Friday, July 25, 2014

Strike While the Muse is Hot

Sewn Tee-Shirt ScarfMy life has been crazy busy in a good way lately. But crazy is still crazy, isn't it?

I've been up, at this computer, at my craft table or on the floor - seriously - since 1:15 AM. There's no sleeping when your mind is racing with ideas and to-do lists.

Wouldn't you know that, during this critical time for The Artful Crafter business as we transition to a whole new look and platform, my muse has struck with a vengeance. If there's one thing I've learned about her in the last decade it's that if I don't answer when she summons, she goes off in a huff. I never know when she will reappear.

One needs to gingerly tiptoe through my studio to avoid disrupting any project these days. For example, the tee-shirt project at top is laid out on the floor. I use my cutting mat (turned upside down) as a chair mat in front of my computer. It's always handy when I want to cut larger projects. The floor space right behind my chair is the only surface large enough for the mat anyway.

Alcohol Ink Stamped PendantThis is what's on my craft table. I'm playing with alcohol inks again! I love alcohol inks.

Alcohol Ink Stamped PendantThis domino-made-pendant is almost finished. It needs a bit more doodling.

Alcohol Ink Stamped PendantThis one needs a lot more work. I'm not happy with the unevenness of the "Bloom" doodle and I'm not sure how to fix it. Muse, where are you?

As for the website redesign project, my free e-book is almost done. [It will be a free download for anyone who signs up at the new site.] Title chosen; cover designed ... all that remain is one last read-through.

Most of the grunt work is finished. My dear hubby has been amazing through all this. Believe me, website coding is tedious work. I wonder if computer programmers have a high suicide rate like dentists.

As I finish this, the sky is lightening as the cock crows. It'll be another beautiful day in my little corner of Mexico. I hope yours is as well.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tips to Find Exactly the Specialty Paper You Need for Paper Crafts

My eclectic crafting buddy, Lynda, and I had fun yesterday in our Free Private Class with Lia Griffith.

Not only is Lynda an eclectic crafter like me, but also she lives right here in the same little village in Mexico. Don't get me wrong, there are dozens and dozens of English-speaking artists and crafters here - from fine artists to ceramacists to quilters, knitters, and even card makers. But Lynda is eclectic and we share several craft loves: jewelry making, paper crafts and scrapbooking. Plus we egg each other on.

Lynda is encouraging me to learn Kumihimo beading and has lent me a foam Kumihimo disk to give it a whirl. She makes gorgeous Kumihimo necklaces and bracelets.

Find Specialty PapersBut I digress. We found it difficult to locate the specialty paper called for in Lia Griffith's video class. As my homework, I determined to find exactly the paper Lia uses - that's it in the screenshot above - as well as other pretty papers which would make great paper flowers.

The screenshot shows how I located the Red Satin text weight (80 lb.) Reich Shine Shimmer Metallic Paper from among the 213 papers on the metallic paper page at Paper-Papers. You can also use the excellent search filter functions in the left column to go directly to all text weight papers. That narrows the search to 96 options.

Here are the other sources I found for shimmery paper rose making papers:
    Find Specialty Papers
  1. LCI Papers - great prices for a home crafter but smaller selection; and
  2. Find Specialty Papers
  3. The paper Mill Store - sells in larger quantities only.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Take a Free Private Class with Lia Griffith to Learn Unique Paper Rose Making Techniques

Lia Griffith Paper RosesMy friend, Lynda, and I took a free private class from Lia Griffith ...

Lia Griffith Paper Roses... in the comfort of my own craft room
... following Lia's online video for her metallic paper roses.

Lynda and I both follow Lia Griffith and love her awesome paper flowers - from succulents, to anemones, to roses. They're all gorgeous and fun to make.

Lia Griffith Paper RosesThere isn't an inch of free space in my craft room but we managed to set up two independent stations for making paper roses. Mine is to the right in the photo. Cozy, but it worked.

Neither of us had access to the shimmer paper Lia uses. Even had we had time and money to order it from Paper-Papers.com and have it Fed-Exed to Mexico, we'd have a hard time finding the right one among the vast selection of metallic papers Paper-Papers carries.

Finding the paper Lia uses (described only as text-weight shimmer paper from Paper-Papers) is my homework. We used Crafter's Companion Shimmering text-weight paper from my stash (no longer available). I also tried old book pages.

Lynda and I have a few paper flower making tips for you.

    Lia Griffith Paper Roses
  1. If your papers are somewhat fragile like the ones we used here, curling the petal and leaf edges with a bamboo skewer works better than curling them with scissors.
  2. Lia Griffith Paper Roses
  3. Regular (and cheaper) acrylic resin hot glue sticks are easier to work with than silicone. Acrylic resin allows more work time before setting so you can carefully arrange the petals as Lia instructs. If you make a mistake, acrylic glue comes off easily without damaging your project.
  4. Lia Griffith Paper Roses
  5. Old book pages may be too fragile to run through your printer. I used a few dabs of glue stick to attach book pages to Lia's template, trying to place the glue between the template petals. Hold up to a light so you can see where to glue.
  6. Lia Griffith Paper Roses
  7. Don't even try to curl old book pages with a scissors.
  8. Lia Griffith Paper Roses
  9. Petal template piece #4 (the smallest of the multi-petal pieces) is difficult to form into a cone. A little snip at the center releases the tab to make it easier.

I made the Petite Paper Roses you see at top quite by accident. It was the first time I used my new printer, which has an auto-detect feature for your document's orientation. Last week, the printer detected that Lia's template had portrait orientation. I didn't notice there was anything wrong and merrily set about to make the roses. The minis are very cute but trickier to make.

Today I made the full size roses as Lia designed them. I guess my printer is now broken-in or properly warmed up, or maybe it possesses artificial intelligence and learned on its own that Lia designed her templates to print in landscape orientation.

I shared Lia's video in Awesome Printers and Awesomes Printables.

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