Monday, October 25, 2010

Need I Say More....

They're called Double Sin Brownies. You can see why! Go visit Songberries for the recipe!


Oh, and it's exactly TWO MONTHS til Christmas! Just sayin'

Friday, October 22, 2010

More Embossed Metal

So I was making another fired copper piece and this will be an example of what happens when you make your copper "well done". You definitely want a medium rare on this stuff in order to bring out the best variation of colors. When you "cook" it too long, you go from vibrant to dull and brilliant to muted. Which can be fine,but it wasn't what I wanted. So at first I thought this is a fail, but I remembered that I told Suzy at Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom that I usually take my fails and do something else with them. So I did!
This actually looks shinier in the pic than it really was
So what to do with it? It was kind of like an old tin tile except it wasn't old. So I aged it:
And then I painted it some more until I was happy with it using copper and gold paint ( I know...using copper paint on a copper piece of metal why didn't you just leave it alone....well.....) and I wanted to make another plaque so I got one of these out:
4x4 wood plaque from bag o plaques picked up from Michaels for $4.99 before coupon
Covered it w/ scrapbook paper using Mod Podge and went around the edges with copper foil tape. Then I mounted my painted copper piece but it needed something because I have an embellishment problem. Enter these:
Jolee's Boutique 3D stickers that look like miniature moulding. I used 2 pieces from this and two charms from my other metal project and:
Before the paint was completely dry on the copper tile, I wiped some of it off to age it a bit. Fail to fave!

Linking Up At:



Who's Afraid of Mod Podge?

Because if you are or if you have only just started playing with it or if you have played with it and want some other ideas or or or, there's a FREE 25 page e-book you can download from FaveCrafts ! And everyone's favorite Queen of Mod Podge, Mod Podge Amy from Mod Podge Rocks is in there! And she doesn't even know I'm posting this :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Girl Who Played With Fire

No, not that one, although I did read the books. I don't have a dragon tattoo either. But I do play with fire. The kind from a pencil torch. You're either interested now or you think I've completely lost it. Or both.  Easier to show you maybe?

Butane Pencil and Micro Torches
 Sure I could make creme brulee but I'd rather fire up copper. Why? Because it's cool and changes colors! See:
Embossed and fire heated copper acorn plaque
This may be old news to many of you but one thing I'm learning in blog land is that something's always new to someone.
Several years ago I was at a stamp show and a woman named Elaine Woodhouse was there and she had a micro torch! My inner pyromaniac came out and I stood there transfixed as she not only did incredible metal embossing...on aluminum and brass which is cool enough on its own, but the copper is what got me. When you heat it it is just magical. You don't have to have a can use a candle or if you have a gas stove etc. but a torch helps. When I went to the same show a couple of years later, she'd graduated to the larger pencil torch so of course I had to as well! If you want to see some how-tos on metal embossing click on her name. She's amazing. You may also have seen Ten Seconds Studio metal embossing projects. I saw them at another show ( notice a pattern here?) and went gaga for their tools. So I've done aluminum, brass, and copper and right now I'll show you a copper project.

Start with your image which can be a stamp (use Staz-On ink) or a clipart image, or a stencil, or if you have actual talent....freehand. I used clipart for this:

This is a sheet of copper I had in my stash. JoAnn's sells some by Walnut Hollow that's about the same weight. Or AMACO makes embossing metal too. Lay your image over your metal which you should place on a stack of newspapers or a special rubber mat that's sold w/ embossing metal supplies. You want your impression to "sink".
Trace your image, and then flip your piece over and go along your outlines to make it pop. You can puff out from the underside. I'm sure there's a You Tube video that makes more sense. I used this pattern wheel thingy to make random designs for no particular reason other than it gives it depth.

I only have two hands so I didn't take pictures while I was torching the copper but do that next. You don't want to hold it too long in one spot and the pencil torch goes REALLY FAST. You also don't want to have just put on a lot of perfume or hairspray. Or have a nervous husband screaming "please don't burn the house down" which is why I do this when he's not home. You will get different results every time you do this which for me is part of the fun!
Once again, one image doesn't want to flip the way I want it to
Sometimes I leave the metal alone at this point. Sometimes not. This time not. I wanted a less shiny finish so I went over it with black acrylic paint and wiped it off. You can use these as embellishments for other projecs or whatever you want. I made a plaque by covering a wood piece w/ scrapbook paper and Mod Podge, attaching some decorative copper thingies and rhinestones, finished the edges w/ copper tape and adhered my metal piece to the plaque using super strong double sided carpet tape. This time of year is when I get my torch out because the copper turns all the colors of  Fall.

Linking Up At:

A Little Knick Knack

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm A Guest Star On A Sitcom!

Welcome to those stopping in from:

The Two Savvy Sisters

Yes I'm awake, and no, I haven't been drinking or taking heavy doses of cold medicine. Imagine my surprise when Suzy, from Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom, asked ME for an interview and told me I was going to be a guest star in her recurring Wednesday feature ?!
Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom

If you've never visited Suzy, you need to fix that. Not just because she has my interview up but because she is hilarious and why she's not actually writing for a sitcom ( or is she???) I don't know. And, as her blog name suggests, she's Artsy Craftsy so there are some great projects to accompany the humor. Oh and Tom Selleck. Just sayin'. 

I'd like to thank the Academy ( I don't care if "we" haven't won an Emmy yet) and of course Suzy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

There's A Tag For That

So my husband said to me one day that he didn't really get the whole tag thing. Then, we had a get together to go to the other night and decided to pick up a bottle of wine on the way and lookie here...tucked a tag I happened to have on hand into my bag to put on the bottle :) See sweetie...they come in handy. So I decided to make some more to have on hand because you never know when you'll be picking up a bottle of wine or something. Remember I went "funky junkin" ? I bought a bag of this stuff because it looked really cool and I knew I would use it for something:

It's almost like paper yarn. Hard to describe but it was one of those "you'll be sorry" if you walk away moments.

I ran out of my stash ( see I busted it) of manila office tags so I cut some (two sizes) with my Cricut. I know...welcome to planet, not you. Sometimes I forget what that thing can do!

For the smaller ones here, I covered with torn paper and used copper Magenta Peel Offs  in these funky leaf shapes. Added a copper eyelet and my very ethereal papery yarn.

Did something similar with the larger ones but used K&CO scrapbook borders (Blossomwood collection) that have a lot of copper foiling. Again, finished with copper eyelets and my funky yarn.

I stamped on some of the tags before embellishing. See stamps? I haven't totally forgotten you!
Linking Up At:

 Beyond The Picket Fence

Monday, October 18, 2010

Coffee (Filter) Filled Center...Includes Tute

Nope it's not a yummy candy with a coffee center. OK now I'm craving a mocha. Back on task. I know everybody and their sister in blogland has made a book wreath, but as some non-crafty friends remind me "not everyone lives in your world". True, true. Since I'm making stuff for a craft fair next month, I figured maybe there will be people who aren't sick of book wreaths, especially since I saw one recently similar to the technique I'm going to show you that was waaaaaaayyyyy overpriced (IMO).

Here's my finished project:

The book pages are mounted on a circle of cardboard from a leftover box. I prettied it up by covering the back w/ some scrapbook paper. But the tutorial is on the center: 

I used an old ceral box for my base and went "old school" ( would take longer to load my Expression) and drew circles and cut out. Then I made a bunch of coffee filter clusters. 

Fold in half, then in half again and gather the bottom into a stem. This will naturally form a ruffle / flower. Staple about 1/2 way up the stem. Turn on glue gun. Start gluing bundles ( I didn't count but make at least 20-25 for a medium sized circle). I started in the center and worked outwards
I put the first two back to back and then the next two on either side and just kept working around until the cardboard circle was covered:
As it fills in, you can fluff along the way to determine how many more of your bundles you need to add.

Glue in the center of your book wreath!

Linking Up At:
 Beyond The Picket Fence

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