You are stranded on an island. Do you stay and build a home or build a boat and leave?
Boat built from parts scavenged from crashed airplane
Boat built by emus
I’m a sucker for paper collage and love to make cards using all different kinds of papers — some fancy craft papers as well as bits of pages torn out of magazines. I’m drawn to straight, tidy edges versus more organic shapes. And apparently, I use those little hearts a lot (I swear I make things without those hearts!). For the non-grid cards, I added thin ribbon accents.
Remember the Gocco? It was a compact, Japanese screenprinting system that has not been manufactured since 2008 (although you can still find them on eBay).
I used one for a few years to do simple at-home printing projects. It’s a very different experience than taking a studio printmaking classes during my years as a VPA student at Syracuse, but it was satisfying to be able to print quickly and easily at home. Now that the boys are both in school, I’ll be on the hunt for a studio screenprinting class.
Back in 2006, I made a lot of gift tags. A lot. I enjoyed making all sorts of gift embellishments, really. To me, wrapping and decorating a gift is almost more fun than buying it!
For the Queen of Hearts tags I started by printing the main image onto kraft gift tags with black ink using the Gocco. Red, pink, burgundy & chocolate velvet paper hearts were then added with craft glue. Simple, right?
All the other tags are even simpler. Just one- or two-color prints onto kraft tags. For two-color prints, I painted both colors onto the screen at the same time and printed.
Needle felting is easy and addictive. So many color choices! I’ve made a few things, but the flower pins are my favorite.
Using dyed wools from New Zealand, I create felt and shapes using a barbed needle. Complete with a bar back pin, each pin is ready to attach to clothing, hats, and more!
The best part? You can find some great starter kits on Amazon.com for under $20.00.
Grandparents go ape sh** for photos of their grandchildren, so I am always trying to come up with new photo gifts to send to my parents and the in-laws. Framed photos only impress the first hundred times. 🙂
Last year, I made my mom these decoupaged wood blocks — one for each of my boys. I printed some favorite photos at Shutterfly, cut them to size, decoupaged them to the blocks, and added black edging using black acrylic paint. I intentionally made the borders “sloppy.” Once the paint dried, I applied a finishing coat of glossy Mod Podge.
The wood blocks can be difficult to find – I have not seen them in my local craft stores, but they can usually be found online (search for “wood blocks” on etsy or check out amazon.com).
Colorful felt flowers I make to use as gift wrap embellishments. Felt is so affordable and comes in so many colors that I end up buying more than I can ever use.
I use a Sizzix machine to cut the flower shapes, add a hole to the center of each layer, and attach with the brad (or button).
Way back in 2006, Dutch fashion house Oilily used them in their store windows across the US! How exciting!