"Sometimes adventure calls and we ignore it. We miss the opportunity for a lifetime of memories. Go ahead, be adventurous" ~Maria Villanueva

February 24, 2010

Washer Pendant

Yesterday I visited Lowe's, one of my favorite places to get craft supplies. The friendly sales people, clean isles, low prices......aaahhhh, heaven! At one of the isles I found these roud rings called washers. I had seen an episode, in Creative Juice, where Cathie Filian made pendants out of these washers. In person, she's just as she comes off on TV, very sweet and friendly.

I had been wanting to try this project out for the longest time and finally I did it today. I actually started this project yesterday since you need to let it dry 24 hours. They came out very nice, you would never know they are washers from the hardware store.

Here's what you need from left to right: glue, paper glaze, craft blade, pen, scissors, washers (they come in a variety of sizes, pick the size you'd like to make), bead, necklace closures (toggle), leather cording (or ribbon) and some pretty paper. You can find all these supplies at Michael's except for the washers, those you can find at your local hardware store. Make sure the washer are zinc plated.

This is the paper I'm using. It's so pretty. It's gift wrap paper but it's very thick. I got it at Little Tokyo in down town Los Angeles. It's important that you use a paper that has been printed in a laser copy machine so the colors won't run. Decorative scrapbook paper would be perfect for this project. Take it to your nearest copy shop (Kinko's) to copy it in their laser machines.

You'll find that the next few steps are really easy. First, take the washer and trace all around on the inside and outside with your pen. Make sure you trace on the back side of the paper.

Next, cut out the circle, use your craft blade to cut inside the circle, use a self adhesive mat under the paper so you don't damage your table.

It makes your whole life easier if you cut the inside circle out first, then cut the outside with scissors.

Next, glue the cut out to the washer with a craft glue stick.

Take your paper glaze and first, add a string of glaze all around the washer

After the end of the washer has been filled, go ahead and work yourself in towards the center.

You can use a skewer to spread the glaze but be careful with this step because it can create air bubbles. If you handle the glaze carefully, you shouldn't get any air bubbles in your work.

Once it's all filled in with the glaze, it's going to look like this (see pic). Let this dry for about 24 hours.

Add a toggle to your ends to secure. If you use ribbon, there's no need for a toggle since you can just tie the ribbon ends together and make a bow.

I ended up make two. On one I added a pretty bead down the center with 20 guage jewelry wire that you can get at Michael's. Check out the three pictures below of the finished pendants.

Altered Imagery

It's here!!!! The book I ordered, I love this book. I already started reading it and can't put it down. I had been looking for a good book on altering photos for collage (it's collage as in garage NOT college as in university, see my comment below, pretty funny) and when I heard about this book, through a group of artists with rave reviews, I placed my order at Amazon. I can't wait to start doing some of the techniques on the book which, of course, I will share with you, you lucky people!!! I plan on posting all the techniques on this book step by step, of course. I can not wait to share this with you.

The author of the book, Karen Michel, is a very inspiring artist. She has a blog, please visit her blog when you have a chance or when you need inspiration for your own projects. Just click on her name. I've also linked the image above that will take you straight to Amazon. Let me know if you have the book and have worked on the techniques, I'd love to see what you've done.

The reason why I said collage as in garage and not college as in university is because I invited a dear friend of mine (I hope she doesn't read this, she'll kill me) I texted her "wanna go to a collage party?" and she mentioned it to her co-workers saying "I've been invited to a college party, how fun" so this is very funny because we're both in our fourties!!! ha ha ha! so they have been calling her cougar at work ever since.........no my dear friend Sally, if you happen to read this.....I am not making fun of you, I'm laughing WITH you, cougar, ahm, I mean, Sally.

If I don't post anymore and disappear from the face of blogger, you know who to question, my dear friend Sally.

February 22, 2010

St. Patrick's Day.....Kiss me you fool!

I was looking at my LOVE wreath yesterday, the one I made by following Fire Flies and Jelly Beans step by step instructions. I LOVE this wreath and thought it was sad that now, since Valentine's day is over, I'll have to put it away.................................sorry, I had to wipe the tears.

BUT today I thought, what if I turn it into a St. Patricks day wreath? would it work????? I ran over to the dollar tree store and found some supplies. A wire garland with shamrocks and some curly bows and I was on a mission.
I cut out additional pages from that old book I had and turned them into strips, just enough to cover the "Love" letters on my Valentine's day wreath. I also pulled off the flowers and took down the red ribbon.I then brought out additional supplies: some glue dots, a transparancy sheet printable on an ink jet printer, scissors, green ribbon, and my trusty 20 year old glue gun. Yep, I bought it when I was a baby. By the way, don't you just love my table cloth? I got it at Marshall's for $20!
I glued the strips around the styrophome to cover the "LOVE" letters. This is how the back of the styrophome looks like when you glue the strips of paper on the back.

I then printed out the words "kiss me" in curly font size 200 in Microsoft Word on a transparancy. I cut around the words and placed glue dots on each corner to attach it to the wreath.

I downloaded this picture from the internet, trimed all around it and attached it to the wreath.
And here's the final product, I love it.

February 21, 2010

Embelishment Air Dry Clay

Well it was supposed to rain today but there is absolutely no rain, in fact it's nice and sunny outside. I had a ton of crafts lined up for today "rainy day" but since there is no rain, I only have one. I'd love to craft all day but the sun and my bicycle are conspiring and are calling my name......."Maria.....Maria....Maria". I guess I'll have to go outside and ride my bike for an hour or two.

I made this cute embelishment that you can use to glue on a simple 99cent gift bag to make it look "expensive" or you can hang on your wall or place on top of your mantle, or a pendant for jewelry, whateva. I decided to glue mine on a greeting card. I have a friend who could use a little lift from a butterfly right now.

You will need a few things that you can pick up at Michael's. I love Michael's and Michael's loves me... When I'm in Michael's stocking up on supplies, I tell myself, I shouldn't, I SHOULD not, I shouldn't, I reaaaally should NOT, OOOOOOHHHHH what the heck! and walk right up to the register. Yep, that kind of love, what's a girl to do but shop.

Anyway, here are the supplies you need. Air dry clay, wood mounted rubber stamp, gold metallic acrylic paint, a dark brown acrylic paint, a paper napkin.

A couple of paint brushes, or if you don't mind getting your fingers dirty, you can use your fingers instead of brushes. A cookie cutter or just your imagination (I'll explain later) a clay blade or a knife will do.

A food grade silicone spray OR vegetable oil OR baby oil, they will all work just the same. They are used on the rubber stamp so that the clay won't stick on it.

First, condition the clay, add water if it's too dry. Shape into a square big enough for your chosen rubber stamp.
Take the oil or spray and apply it to your rubber stamp. Next press the rubber stamp into the clay to make a strong impression. It will look like this.

The next step is to cut all around using your knife or blade to make a clean cut. Next, using your imagination, or a cookie cutter, cut a shape out to make a bail to be able to hang your piece.

I press down on my cookie cutter and voila! I have something that can be shaped to attach to my piece.
I attach it to my piece and let it dry for 24 hours. I placed a skewer so it will not colapse while drying, but don't forget to add some of that spray or baby oil to the skewer so it won't stick.

The next step is to add the gold metallic acrylic paint. You can use a brush or your fingers. Let this dry for about 15 minutes.
Next, apply the dark color acrylic paint and let dry for about 2-3 minutes.
Next, use a napkin to wipe off excess. Leave only enough that will be appealing to your eye.

There, I'm happy with this look

I attached mine to a card with a dot of hot glue and my friend will have a nice thoughtful gift along with her card that she can display on her desk.

Vacation Home

We are so excited to finally have found our new vacation home to vacation out in the mountains of big bear. It's been a long hunt for the perfect one, about 5 years but we finally found it. Oh the long hours shopping for one are finally over! through the years, we "rented" and we borrowed from friends and family members but finally we have one of our own! So since the weather was beautiful yesterday, we decided to set it up and take a look. Check out the pics:

scroll down....

yes people, it's a tent, our vacation home....hehe! got you! We got it on clearance at Target and saved $60 off the regular price, Eddie Bower....nice....This is how it looks like all set up:

And this is us trying to set it up, we wanted to make sure all the parts were in the box, afterall, it was on clearance:

This is the inside, three rooms.....nice.....

February 16, 2010

Valentine's Day Continued

There can't be a romantic date without chocolate, right? so I whipped up some bon bons. They are so easy to make and there is no baking with this recipe. I got this box at Costco and the recipe is on the back.

I got a little impatient and my peanut butter bon bons aren't perfect like the picture on the box but, trust me, they were just as delicious! and isn't the dish lovely? got it at a yard sale.....thank you yard sale lady.

I always have left over chocolate when I make these and today I decided to make hearts with the left over. Place pieces of wax paper on a flat surface. Spoon in all the left over melted chocolate inside a sandwich size zip lock bag.

Cut a small piece of one corner and pipe out the chocolate making a decoration. In this case, a heart.

Place in freezer, make sure they lay flat
Wait just a few minutes later and voila!

You could write a beautiful poem or a love song to tell your valentine how much you love them or, you can bake a heart shaped cake and send the same message. Since I didn't have a heart shaped mold, I used a square mold 9"x 9" and a circle mold 9" and behold! a heart!

Cut the circle in half, these will go on each side of the square to make the top part of the heart.

The template below shows the placement of the blue square and the red circle cut in half.
Decorate with icing and sugar crystals. Nothing says I love you better than a big piece of chocolate cake with ice cream.


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