learning a new craft :: pysanky eggs

There is a wonderful shop called Pinecones & Needles in Belmont, MA with the sweetest owner named Anne. She recently shared a photo similar to this one of beautifully decorated eggs on their Facebook page. I was immediately intrigued by her Pysanky eggs so my daughter and I popped into the shop one rainy morning to learn more about the process.  Anne was eager to walk us through each and every step (and had the utmost patience when working with our 5-year-old!), and kindly let me take as many photos to document our experience.  So are you ready to learn about this super cool technique or what?!

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card making :: popping in by waffle flower

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It seems to be that time of the year again where more than a handful of friends (including one of our daughter’s teachers) are expecting babies to arrive anytime soon.  I played around with the “Popping In” stamp and die sets from Waffle Flower Stamps to create a couple of super cute cards, and our daughter made something to give to her teacher too.

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crafting :: easter themed felt board

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One thing that I’ve been appreciating more these days is the ability to use crafting supplies in multiple ways. Take for example, a stamp set and coordinating dies.  Manufacturers have made it much easier to create stamped images and then cut them out by using detailed dies (with the help of cutting tools and machines) for paper crafting.  But today, I decided to try them out on felt instead and managed to create a fun little playing board for our 5-year-old to play with.  In this particular example I used the “Basket Bunch” photopolymer stamps and coordinating dies from Stampin’ Up.

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project life :: saving artwork

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I used to be an avid paper scrapbooker.  Like I mean, I used to fill albums with 12″x12″ pages full of photos, journaling, and the latest and greatest embellishments.  Of course, this was before I had a child and it seemed like there was more time in a day!  But now that I have a little human that I want to preserve memories for, I’ve slowly tried to get back into scrapbooking by way of Project Life.  I tried doing it by combining some paper elements with digital elements (because all of my photos are digital files now) but even that got to be a little time consuming for me when she was very little.  Then one day, Becky Higgins and her crew at Project Life decided to create an app that was Android friendly, and that has been a real lifesaver for me ever since!

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card making :: bloomin’ love

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I have to admit that sometimes I don’t like all of the stamps that are included in a stamp set. If I’m lucky there’ll be a couple of components that stand out to me enough to make it worth buying the entire set, and in this case it was the little flowers and banner that caught my eye. I used the flowers to do another one of my favorite techniques: creating a stamped background image on a card.

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card making :: different perspectives

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I have a shadow.  Right now, it’s 4-years-old and it likes to copy almost everything I do.  This shadow currently loves to stamp just like me.  And it likes to work right next to me at the table.

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card making :: live, love, grow with succulents

As much as I adore terrariums and succulents, I have never actually made or put one together.  Unless you count making one on paper (at least I know that kind won’t die on me and my not-so-green thumb)!

I’m still quite attached to the technique of watercolor painting stamped images on a card design and my favorite tool by far has been the waterbrush.  I played around with the Live, Love, Grow stamp set by Stampin’ Up! and put many of my ink pads to good use to color in the the stamped images.  I also did a little bit of masking with post-it notes to create a little bit of depth in my terrarium.

I also got to play with the small stitched rectangle dies by Lawn Fawn thanks to a dear friend, and I really like the subtle effect it leaves on cardstock.  So to begin this card design, I cut out the largest frame from a sheet of watercolor paper using a die cut machine.  You could totally skip this step and cut a piece of paper into a 5″ x 3-3/4″ rectangle.  This will leave a nice border once you adhere it to the front of an A2 size card base.

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card making :: one stamp set, different color palettes

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Layer stamping with clear stamps is a great way to try out a variety of color palettes. Here are six examples using an array of Stampin’ Up! ink pads to produce different effects.  The stamp set used throughout this tutorial is the “Beautiful Day” set from Altenew, but the techniques can be used with any layering stamp set.

This is also a great way to make use of those ink pads that may have accumulated in your crafting stash!  For a step-by-step tutorial and to learn about the different color palettes, click here.

This was also my last article written as a contributor to the Card Making section of the About.com DIY website.  It’s been a fun adventure but I’m looking forward to having more time to spend with my family, and focusing on other projects I’ve been wanting to complete during the past year.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the tutorials provided over the past couple of years and will refer to the articles if you’re looking for a little bit of inspiration or direction.  Be crafty!  🙂

how to fill a Lego brick container

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There is this thing that lives inside just about every Lego store.  It’s so big and bright and calling out to my kid, “Come over here and take me home with you!”  You guessed it: it’s the Lego brick wall.  And how can anyone resist, right?  Piles of colorful, shiny, new bricks just waiting to be used in some way.  Our 4-year-old is beginning her migration from Duplo blocks to the small bricks so we’ve been known to bring home a container of loose bricks once in a while (vs buying a whole set with directions and a real purpose).  On this trip to the Lego store, I decided to get the most for my money (hey, I didn’t say that this brick wall option was cheap!) and see how well I could fill a small Lego brick container.

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card making :: be inspired to doodle

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A dear friend gave me this book,  “Draw 500 Fabulous Flowers”, for Christmas and it is a great source for inspiration if you want to try your hand at doodling floral images and need a little bit of guidance.  There are no words in the book, simply images of hundreds of possibilities for you to follow.  At first it may seem daunting flipping through the works of Lisa Congdon’s illustrations, but once you rest your eyes on a particular flower and dissect the pieces that make up each little petal or leaf it’s not that bad.

For the full step-by-step tutorial, click here.