Sunday, May 31, 2015

Let's Party!

Everyone loves a party and of course we have to commemorate the happy event with a photograph...  This was taken at a 21st Birthday party - a very special day, deserving to be framed!  

For this particular photo, I used a 5"x7", two part acrylic Deflecto frame and added a little doodling.  I love using clear frames because you can lay the top part of the frame over any design then trace over it with a marker.  You can trace images from a book, an image stamped on a piece of paper, or even artwork from a catalog. 

Paint markers work really well on acrylic, but for this frame I used the new line of Chalk Markers from Marvy Uchida.

The first thing you need to do is to separate the two pieces of the frame then place the top piece on top of the design/images you want to use.  I traced over some letters for the word "PARTY" then added the little drink glasses along each side.  I used the white marker for the outlines, but black would work well too.  I then added color to the glasses on the BACK of the frame and blocks of color behind each letter.  It was very simple and easy to do.....  Once the chalk paint is dry, I sandwiched  the photo between the front and back pieces, re-assembled the frame and it was finished. EZPZ...  

This is just one of the projects for this month's First Monday DCC theme.  You can see what other designers have created by hopping forward thru the webring using the blue, DCC logo in the sidebar.  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now.........

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Creating with Joy!

I love to personalize things - clothing, home dec items, signs, words on canvas, etc and for that I need letters.  Alphabet letters come in all fonts, sizes and surfaces from wood, to chipboard, to cardstock and then there are the embroidered letters.  These are available in a variety of fonts, colors and sizes and even white ones that are dyeable.  They can be found in craft stores everywhere and are so much fun and easy to work with. You can purchase them individually, or full alphabet sheets.

Designer Craft Connection (DCC) members were challenged this month to create with Joy® iron-on, embroidered letters.


We were all given a variety of letters to work with and we could use them on any surface.  Funnily enough, when working with such a versatile product, it's hard to decide what to do because there are SO many choices.  

I decided to use two of the sheets of letters to make a special T-shirt for my granddaughter. I call it a "Shy Shirt", because it speaks for you.  Not that she's ever at a loss for words, but getting started can be challenging sometimes.  Here is what I started with:

I removed one each of the alphabet letters from the pink sheet, except for H and I.  I picked these from the blue sheet then placed them on the front of the T-shirt.

The instructions come on the packaging, but basically you place the letters (shiny side down) in alphabetical order on the shirt, cover with a pressing cloth then press carefully with an iron, holding it in place for for about 25 seconds.  Turn the shirt over and press carefully from the back.  Do not use steam!

And there you have it!  A little conversation starter T-shirt and she doesn't have to say a word...

Look for more ideas by hopping thru the DCC webring then check out the "Creating with Joy" blog @ for ongoing inspiration throughout the year.  There's also a Facebook page @, so please "Like" us....   Enjoy!  Y'all come back now.......

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Light My Etched Glass Bottle!

It's been raining, windy and stormy for the past 2 weeks or more, so it's hard to think about backyard celebrations, but when we do I'll be ready - for the decorating part at least....  I have fairy lights hanging across the back patio and they're not just for Christmas.  They look so pretty, I keep them up year round together with lanterns and lots of votive candles.  I've recently been using the LED ones. LOVE them!  They don't blow out when it's windy and there are lots of ways to decorate them, but.... I'll leave that for another post because now I have something new to share.

A few days ago my friend at etchall® sent me this "Light My Bottle" stick and asked me what I thought. 

OMG, I just LOVE it.  I've put LED twinkle lights in glass containers before, but never really knew what to do with the battery holder.  Well the batteries are inside this light stick which fits perfectly into the neck of a bottle.  The rounded top is the switch.  It sits on top and all you have to do is to tap it lightly to turn it on or off.  It looks nice and twinkly inside any kind of bottle, but when the bottle is etched, the light is diffused and it looks just gorgeous.  I'm sorry my photos don't do it justice.

I used it with two bottles.  The first is a beer bottle.......  I removed the labels (they came off quite easily in warm water) and the second is a wine bottle.... we've obviously been partying at my house in spite of the weather.... LOL.  NOTE:  I used NAPTHA (from the hardware store) to remove the labels from the wine bottle - great stuff!  I etched the bottles with etchall® dip'n etch by placing them in an empty soda bottle (you can find detailed instructions in my previous post here  They would have been just as good if I'd left them plain. but for some reason I could see dragonflies dancing around the brown bottle and tiny stars on the green one, so I created a simple dragonfly shape and cut multiples from etchmask™ on my Cricut Explore®.  Obviously you can use any digital die cutting machine.  (I've uploaded the jpeg on my "images for personal use tab" so please feel free to use it for personal projects).  You can also find dragonfly peel off stickers.

I copied and pasted the image multiple times on the sheet then removed the etchmask from around the images, so my sheet looked like this making it much easier to pick up each dragonfly.

Carefully remove each dragonfly with the pick tool.  If you pull gently from the outside of the wing, the cutouts will remain on the sheet.

I positioned the dragonflies on the bottle before placing in the dip'n etch, so the finished bottle looked like this - without the lights then with......  I also had a small dragonfly punch, so I punched smaller shapes from scraps of etchmask and added those too.

I had a sheet of small Peel Off star stickers which I used to cover the wine bottle before placing in the dip'n etch.  EZPZ.....

NOTE:  Don't forget to fill the bottles with water before placing in the dip'n etch, or they will float.
After 15 minutes in dip'n etch, remove the bottles then rinse and dry the insides thoroughly.  They are now ready for the light stick.  

The brown bottle is shorter, so I wrapped the light cord snugly around the stick, (don't forget to put the batteries in first), then carefully inserted the stick into the neck of the bottle.

Since the wine bottle was taller, I only wrapped the bottom couple of inches of the stick, pushed the lights into the bottle then added the stick last.

See how easy it is to light up your life... you'll definitely be the "light" of your party with these decorations.  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now....

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

String Art for Paper Crafters - Instructions

These are string art embellishments and this is where you'll learn how to make them!

If you came here from the Craft Paper Scissors blog, welcome!  If you didn't, you might want to hop over there first so you'll have a better idea of what's going on here

This post is essentially part two of my post about string art embellishments for paper crafters.  I shared a little history in my post on the Craft Paper Scissors blog, but this is where we get down to the nitty gritty of the "how to".

1.  You need shapes.  The most popular shapes are round, but they can be any shape as long as they have a notched edge.  You can purchase "Spirelli" punches at Ecstasy Crafts for punching round shapes from lightweight cardstock, cut shapes with decorative edge scissors, or, if you have a digital die cutting machine, you can use the shapes I designed.  These shapes are in jpeg format and you can find them under the tab "String Art Instructions" right here on my blog.  Drag each shape onto your desktop, then upload to your cutting software.  I uploaded the jpegs to Cricut Design Space then cut them from medium weight cardstock on my Cricut Explore.  The shapes were sized after being uploaded.  The large ones are 2.5" diam and the small ones are 1.5" diameter.  Ideally you will need small - 1.5", medium - 2", and large - 2.5" shapes for layering.  The sizes can be any size you like, but for layering you will need graduated sizes.

2.  You need thread:  I have an assortment of spools of thread in lots of different colors and thicknesses.  The shapes are wrapped with thread to create your embellishment.  Please see the wrapping instructions under the "String Art Instructions" tab.

3.  Layering:  As you can see in the samples above, I wrapped small, medium and large shapes with one layer of thread.  For a different effect you can also wrap one shape with 2 layers of the same color of thread like the ones below:

You can also use more than one color of thread on one shape.  For the sample below I started by wrapping with blue thread, separated by 8 petals, then silver thread separated by 6 petals and finally with green thread separated by 4 petals.

You can also layer different sized shapes like this.  I used a brad at the center to secure them:

Here's an example of layering using 3 shapes.  Note, only 2 of them are wrapped:

This is an example of a flower shape on top of a square, matted with a plain square:

Once you've mastered the art of wrapping, which takes about 3 minutes, it's fun to cut lots of different shapes in different sizes from different colored cardstock.  I will usually place an adhesive jewel at the center of the top shape, or punch a tiny hole at the center and insert a brad.  I layer the shapes using 3D glue dots, or small, adhesive foam pads for a little extra dimension between the layers.

Finished embellishments can be used on scrapbook pages, cards, bookmarks, even wall art.  (If you saw my earlier post this year on String Art, you can see a photograph I took of this type of embellishment on the wall of my local Anthropologie store.) 

Here are a few samples for inspiration:

The most exciting thing about these embellishments however, is that they are fun, easy to make and, dare I say, very addictive.  

I hope you enjoy this string art technique as much as I do.  Please let me know in the comments if you do and I'll post more ideas and shapes for you to use.  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now......

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Sunday, May 3, 2015

iRock Sparkle!

I've been Spring cleaning and in one of the boxes I uncovered, I found some inspirational projects from the time when I was demonstrating the Fiskars Ultra Shape Express and templates for fabric.  I had ironed adhesive stabilizer onto the back of a variety of fabric and was using the heart template to cut out some hearts.  I then layered the hearts and ironed them onto T-shirts, aprons, pillows and the brim of  a denim hat.  It didn't take long for my grandaughter to claim the hat as hers.  "But Nana", she explained,  "it needs some sparkle.  Can we put some jewels on it, pleeeeeze?" I'd also found an iRock, battery operated adhesive jewel setting tool and some jewels, so we set to work.  This is what the fabric hearts originally looked like:


With the jewel setting tool I outlined the inside of each heart with clear crystals then added a single strand of Connie Crystal jewels around the edge of crown. EZPZ......  fit for a princess.

And here's my granddaughter rocking the sparkle like only a 6, almost 7 yr old can......


In case you haven't already guessed, the Designer Crafts Connection theme for this month's  First Monday post is - All About Bling.  Use the DCC logo in my sidebar to hop thru our webring and see what other designers created.  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now.......

Yours truly,
Julie :)