Category Archives: Making Things

Caution: Rant Alert

Things that are making mad today:

1.  Sour candy that isn’t sour.  Isn’t that the worst?  Your mouth starts watering for sour gummy candy and then…nothing.  Ugh.

2.  Roadwork and traffic that make me late.

3. Blocking crocheted items, especially ones that have to be square or rectangle.

4. Blocking crocheted items late at night when you’re tired, so you rub your eyes and mascara gets all over your fingers and then your almost-completed project.

5. Being so upset about the ridiculous-ness of blocking crocheted items that you forget to take pictures to put in your shop before wrapping and giving it as a gift.

6. 64 degree weather at the end of August.  It’s supposed to be summer!

7.  The economy.

Ok, that’s my rant for the day.   Sometimes it helps to get it all out.  Care to share your rant?


Personalizing Composition Notebooks. Or, making the same thing everyone else makes but thinking how original I am

I can’t function without a to-do list; I just don’t get anything done unless there’s a list I can cross off as I go.  I usually use some cute little notebook – standard yellow pads everyone uses are so boring – but lately my to-do list has been a composition notebook.   You know what I’m talking about…the black and white ones with lines paper inside.  Boring.

So I decided to pretty it up with some scrapbook paper.  Now I know it’s not totally original, but I didn’t think that everyone and their mother decoupaged paper onto the front of a notebook.  After I made my first one, I decided to look on youtube to see if there was a video or two about it.

“A video or two”?  More like 234,852,853,784 videos.  And I’m only slightly exaggerating.  There are also 247,259,264 altered composition notebooks on Etsy.

There goes my niche.   Oh well, they’re still fun.  And my “testers” (also known as the first two who responded to my facebook status update) will like them.

And just because I’m a super nice person, I’m going to tell you a little secret: when the spray adhesive advises you to cover the area you’re working in to protect from over-spray…they aren’t joking.

Final product for my Etsy shop...wrapped, stamped, ready to ship

People make cool stuff: As You Like It

Check this girl out!  She’s almost as random as me!  Most Etsy shops feature just one thing, or at the very most, variations on that one type of art.  Not this girl – Stephanie’s a maker like me.   She runs two shops, and both are super cute.

She makes pretty jewelry:

And cards based on poetry:

And back-to-school stuff like altered folders and notebooks:

Did she read my mind?  I’ve been altering notebooks lately too.  I’m still experimenting though…haven’t got it quite perfected yet.

Plus, she backpacks with her husband.  That makes her super cool.

Find Stephanie online: Etsy shop: As You Like It | Etsy shop: Unexpected Knocks | Blog

Step-by-Step: Stencil Embossing with Hot Air Balloons

I am glad the week is over, let me tell you.  Work-wise, the last few days have been good but super super frustrating.  We are headed to our fourth [!] wedding of the summer and then to Hood River for a work event on Sunday evening.

Thank goodness for Starbucks treat receipts.  A mocha lite frappacino made all my worries disappear.  I stopped in at Stampin Cat Studio for a little craft retail therapy.  Of course I had to try out my new stencil as soon as I got home.  Here’s a step-by-step of how to emboss using stencils and pastels.  Plus I got to play with my new camera to take these pictures :)

– Stencil
– Pastels
– Paint brush with short stiff bristles
– Clear embossing paste
– Some kind of spreader, like a frosting spreader
– Post-it notes and tape

Position your stamp on cardstock and tape it down using reusable tape.  (Make your own reusable tape by sticking a regular piece of tape to your pants and pulling it off a few times.  It’ll stick to your paper but will pull off without ruining it.)  Put post-it notes around the edges of the stencil.

Using circular motions, “paint” your stencil.  Blow the excess pastel dust off the stencil.

Use anything you can find to spread the embossing paste onto the stencil.  My embossing paste came with a little spreader but a popsicle stick will work.  Use even strokes and spread from top to bottom. Just glop it on there – you’ll get rid of the excess next.

I use a frosting spreader to scrape the excess off.  An smooth, fluid motion is important.

Pull the post-it notes off, and if you’re [super messy] like me, throw them away.  If you’re not super messy and if you’re going to do another stencil, save and re-use them.  Slowly lift the bottom of the stencil up, using the taped edge for leverage.  Pull the tape off, being careful not to drop the stencil – if you drop it, you’ll ruin it.  And no, of course I’m not speaking from personal experience.

Let it dry for at least an hour.  I haven’t tried using a heat tool to speed up the drying but if you try, let me know how it goes.  As it dries, the paste will become hard and clear and the colors will show through.

I’m in love.  My hot air balloons are still drying but here’s a few finished stencil projects.

Are you crafting anything this weekend?

How cool is Mod Podge?

I’m having way too much fun with Mod Podge lately.  Everyone else in the world has already discovered the magic of decoupage but I’m making up for my lack of knowledge with enthusiasm.  So far I’ve only covered “normal” things with paper and Mod Podge like picture frames:

And letters to hang on walls:

But “unnormal” things like on this cool site about how Mod Podge Rocks are probably coming.  Watch out, Isaac.

I kinda stumbled into this new craft.  I was at Willamette Valley Fruit Company the other day and they carry the cutest picture frames.  And some of the cutest cards that this awesome girl named Leyla makes.  Anyway.  One of the designs on the frame was scrapbook paper I’ve used for some of my cards.  As soon as I realized it was just paper…well, that was the end of that.  No way was I going to buy this adorable frame. Like any self-respecting DIY’er, I thought to myself “self, with paper you have and those wood frames from Michael’s that cost a dollar, you can do this.”

No, I didn’t actually talk to myself or call myself “self.”

So I did.  Spread Mod Podge, stick paper, get rid of bubbles, impatiently wait until it’s dry, use an ink-pad to fake-distress around the edges…ta-da.

Pretty cool.

And then one day, I went to Michael’s (don’t tell Isaac), and these awesome letters were just hanging there.  I knew I had to cover one with Mod Podge and paper but how could I justify it?  Aha!  I’m sure my new niece needs one of these in my room.

Uh huh.  “Needs” it just as much as I need a new craft.

She loves it.  Or at least, she will when she’s old enough to hold her head up and look at the pretty pink ‘H’ for Hailey above her bed.

PS. You can make this yourself.  It’s fun and you can’t mess it up.  Really.  But if you’re too impatient to wait for Mod Podge to dry, and would rather wait for a package to come in the mail, some of the amazing-ness that is decoupage in my Etsy shop.