Monday, February 11, 2013

Crafting a Mid-life Crisis: Part 1

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I think I’m having a Mid-life Crafting Crisis.  I have dabbled in too many crafts.

Here is the evolution of my adult crafting career:

Scrapbooking combined lots of things I like – paper, stickers, fun colored pens, sharp cutting tools, and double-sided adhesives.  It was a good thing to preserve memories on acid-free, lignin-free pages.  The result:  a 15-lb tome on the first 6 months of the first-born child. 
I think I eventually made about 20 12x12 fully loaded albums, 10 5x7 albums, and a couple of 8x10s.  People talk about what they would take if they had to evacuate their homes and they always mention their photos.  A scrapbooker is in deep yogurt. 

The thing that made this hobby even more insidious is becoming a consultant or representative of a direct-sales company.  It totally fed the habit.   And it was nice to be making a few extra bucks to dump back into the habit.  (This is beginning to sound like a drug addiction.)  Making minimum orders sometimes means “filling-the-cart-with-my-own-orders” and next thing you know you have a great surplus.  And eventually you see the light and the empty wallet and need to quit.  I still have stuff from my consultant days.

I was pretty current on all my albums.  I needed something else to fill my time and stumbled upon another hobby:  Stamping.  Again, this hobby combine the things I liked:  paper, stickers, fun colored pens, sharp cutting tools, and double-sided adhesives.  Cards were nice because they were tiny finite projects.  Scrapbooking involved a continuum and long-term design.  It also helps if you take good pictures.  I churn out a couple hundred cards a year.  Most of them are given away.  It’s easy to do in front of the tv.  No concentration is involved for writing something meaningful or lasting.  The worse thing about making cards is finding enough envelopes.  And then it got crazy buying new stamps every month as part of a hostess club. 

I do love all the pretty stamps out there and all the pretty ink pads.  Stampers are a pretty creative lot.  They do some amazing things – pop-ups, spinners, etc.  It’s nice to add lumpy and bumpy pieces.  They use glitter! Pretty ribbons!  Twine!  Adhesive jewels!  Buttons!  Prima flowers!  I’m collecting it all!  I began saving lots of really odd and end pieces:  ribbons, metallic paper, cording, etc. 

Collecting weird objects will lead you into Altered Objects.  In crafting ages past, this was called decoupage.  Find something which could be more interesting by gluing stuff to it.  Now I was on the lookout for interesting tins, clipboards, cool boxes, compositions books.  And now I’m collecting more adhesives – shiny, matte, spray, glittery.

Somewhere in all this papercrafting I’ve picked up a couple of big tools for die cutting.  I think die With the right dies/software/tools you can create some spectacular things.  Regular humans who live at home can cut vinyl and cut felt precisely.  I have two workhorses:  The red sizzix machine and the original Cricut (“Baby Bug”).  I also have the sizzix sidekick, but hardly remember it.  With the cricut I also have Craftedge’s Sure Cuts A Lot.  What can’t be designed now?!?!  

I thought the steel rule die cuts were miraculous When the embossing folders and Spellbinders dies became widely available, I couldn’t diecut/emboss enough pieces of paper. 

I could also justify collecting all this stuff because of Lapbooking.  If you’re a homeschooler, you know what I’m talking about.  It’s like scrapbooking with file folders and it’s usually about something the kids are studying in school.  It involves copious amounts of colored cardstock and folding (enter paper-scoring board).  It’s really educational, so go ahead and order more paper online!

Part 2:  leaving Papercrafting

Easter Stained “Glass”

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This was a great project for our mixed age co-op group. 

Contact Paper – Clear (cut larger than your sheet of black construction paper)
Black Construction Paper
Assorted colors of Tissue Paper
white chalk



Closer-up pictures




Quick Instructions:

1.  using white chalk, draw a design on your black construction paper.  Be sure to have a frame on your black construction paper.  Keep in mind that this side of the paper will eventually become the back of your project.  So if you are planning to use letters, make sure they are reversed. 

2.  Cut out your design. 

3.  Remove the wax liner from your contact paper sheet.  Place it adhesive side up on table. 

4.   Place your black construction paper (with the chalk side up) centered on your contact paper. 

5.  Apply tissue paper to adhesive.  Some of the kids tore up the tissue paper and stuck it to the contact paper. Other kids filled each stained glass “chunk’ with one color of tissue paper (see angel).  One kid cut out a heart and placed it behind the cross. 

6. Either fold or cut excess contact paper

7.  Place in window and enjoy!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Baby Sweater

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This was one of my first crochet projects.  It is a super-easy and cute baby sweater.  I made about 8 of them before I realized I didn’t know that many babies.  I made Star Trek ones.  And then I made white ones which needed finishing so it would be ready for any upcoming new baby. 
The pattern I used can be found here:

baby sweater