Saturday, January 19, 2013

I Want To Journal!

I really do. Ever since I bought my daughters Smash Books last year, I have thought about it. What's funny, is that these journals were created and marketed toward their generation, but I was the one to find them and found myself more excited about all of it than they were. I'd ask them periodically if they had been "smashing" and I'd usually hear "no." Then, we would be leaving an event, and say "You should keep that ticket (or that napkin, or that wrapper) for your Smash book. They seemed excited, and then I find the items laying around the house a few days later. I have to remind myself, "who was it that started all of this, not them!"

So, I've decided to stop living through them. I'm making my own. Not a Smash book, but my own type of journal. I can't limit it to just memories, or travel, or dreams, or prayers, or ideas (shall I go on? - nah, I won't bore you). A journal รก al carte, so to speak. I want this to be for anything, truly random. And, this is also my way of getting around the New Year's resolution thing. I definitely set goals each year, but never keep track of them. so this is how I can keep track of my scatter-brained ideas and thoughts. Because, I hate more than anything else, that I forget . . . everything. Some people say they have a lapse here and there, heck, I can't remember a time when I didn't forget things (wait . . . was that a double negative?) Anyway. My husband really worries about me at times, and other time he just laughs.

So, I'm hoping this journal will be my way of keeping some of my thoughts from fleeting. And to inspire more of . . . anything! I want to fill this with ideas, memories, pictures, dreams, prayers, anything I want to hold onto. I'm getting more excited by the minute. And, thanks to my lovely class, I have a pocketful of birthday money to spend on making it, and making some of those dreams come true.

So, I'm off to shop and create - and I will report back with my results. Wish me luck!

Oh, and tell us whether or not you journal and what about, I can use more ideas!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Canvas Gifts

Canvas Photo Art is so fun and easy to make. I took the technique described in my post Canvas Photo Art - by Renata and tweaked it a bit for several collage pieces. I was inspired by a Flickr site of letters from  Leo Reynolds' photostream Collections. What is so cool about this site is the huge number of photos of letters from many different sources like signs, engravings, print, and objects. I also reproduced the original process for two prints using typographic art I found online, and one I created with typed words on an image of wood.

To begin, I tested the collage print process with my own photos.

Then moved on to make a few more.

Here is the process.
Collage Photo Art supplies used:
18 x 24 inch canvas
20 x 26 in (approx.) fabric piece
Photo prints (here I used photos cut out of our Christmas card - the others used 4 x 6 prints)
Stickers (or printed words)
Scrap paper
Mod Podge
Sponge brush

I printed the photos and letters at Walgreens. Using a quick print site like Walgreens is great for the photos, but limited the size options available for the letters. The original images are square, and the only print options available were rectangular, meaning they would be cropped, losing part of the image. Therefore, I chose to print them as cards (using a simple card on which the image is square). I then cut of the card greeting leaving the image intact.

Begin by cutting your fabric to the size needed to cover the front of the canvas and wrap over the edges and back of the canvas frame. Be sure the fabric pattern runs the direction you like before cutting. (You may notice mine should run vertical, but is horizontal - oops - don't make that mistake!)

Apply mod podge to the canvas front and lay the fabric over smoothing out any wrinkles. Be careful not to stretch the fabric. 

Flip the piece over and apply the mod podge to the edges and back of the canvas frame in sections (so it does not dry before you wrap the fabric) and then wrap the fabric around the edges and back, again, not stretching the fabric. 

The corners will need extra modpodge. I chose to the meet the sides of the fabric at the corners then fold the excess over the corner.

This is a good time to apply an extra coat of mod podge over the fabric on the edges and back of the frame (no pic because I did it later making it a bit difficult to dry). Allow this coat to dry, be sure the front is not sticking to your work surface. I used a laundry drying rack which came in handy when working on multiple canvases.

While this dries, you can trim your photos and letters, place the stickers you want on the scrap paper (I tore the paper for effect). You might also want to put some photos on paper as I did.

Once the edges and back are dry, flip over and lay out your photos, paper scraps and stickers.

Apply mod podge to the back of each piece one at a time. If any overlap, be sure to glue the bottom piece first. Then apply mod podge over the entire front of the canvas in only one direction (for me that was vertically), using long strokes from edge to edge. Allow to dry completely.

Then apply mod podge in the opposite direction with the same technique. Allow to dry completely.

And, you are finished!

Here are the other three canvases I made. I used 8 x 10 canvases. 

The first two were for my nephews of their favorite performers. These images were found through google and gave permission for reproduction. I like these pics (thanks to both of them for sending these since I forgot to take any), if you look closely, they both show the resulting texture from the mod podge.

For the last canvas, I typed the phrase I wanted (thanks DesignsBySyds for the inspiration) onto an image of wood I googled. I then followed the technique from Canvas Photo Art - by Renata.

I am really happy with how they turned out, and it seems my family enjoyed receiving them. I'd love to hear what gift you made.
This post has been linked up with these AWEsome parties: The 36th AvenueOne Artsy MamaChase The Star,  Shaken Together Life,  Seven Alive,  Tatertots and Jello, and Night Owl Crafting.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Apothecary Jars - Upcycled

I fell in love with the idea of making Apothecary Jars a couple of moths ago when I pinned the idea from Parties for Pennies. This site specified spaghetti jars, but mine all had the brand name in the glass - or I would have been able to make a TON of these. I ended up using salsa jars and pickle jars, which took a little longer to empty. In fact, the last one was emptied into another container so I could get these done in time for Christmas. i filled them with my homemade candy. You can see how it's made here, Cindy's Christmas Candy.  But, what's great is these can be made for any occasion, or none at all!

Empty clean jars with all labels removed
Spray paint (silver)
Wooden knobs (drawer pulls)
Printed labels
Scrapbook paper
Hot glue

After cleaning your jars and removing all labels, spray paint the lids and wooden knobs. The knobs I found were from Hobby Lobby - called "drawer pulls." A trick for painting the knobs is using a skewer to hold it. I could spray the entire surface at once. It dried quickly, so I just held it until dry.

Next, glue the wooden knobs to the center of the lids with E6000.

The labels were printed from Just Something I Made. They did not have a version with text fields, or I could have saved everyone from my hideous handwriting. I printed them on standard paper, cut them out and glued them on larger circles cut from scrapbook paper.

The ribbon was measured for each jar and cut. It was hot glued where the ends met on the front of the jar and once on the back. The label was hot glued onto the front of the jar over where the ribbon ends met. I chose to hot glue so it could all be removed easily.

And, voila! I will be making some for my own kitchen, as soon as we empty some more salsa and pickle jars!
This project has been linked up to these AWEsome parties: The 36th Avenue, and One Artsy Mama.