Sunday, November 22, 2015

Escape Reality

As seen on my previous post, this was one of my submissions to the Flying Unicorn Creative Team Call. About a year ago, I stumbled across a quote that I just knew I had to do something with. "When I've had too much reality, I open a book." My first attempt at this project was not a pretty sight. Thankfully, I've grown and gotten better with my technique and decided to take another try at it! (I'm very happy I did!)

So I just wanted to share with you how I created this piece - and I fully intend on displaying it in my own personal craft area for quite a while!!

First I started off with an old book I picked up at a flea market. I calculated the middle of the book and used my ATG gun to adhere the very outside of the pages together to keep it permanently opened up in the middle. Because I had to adhere every single page together and carefully make sure the pages lined up I didn't choose an exceptionally thick book to do this with.

After all the pages were adhered together and to the cover, I started slapping on stencils and modeling paste.


Next I covered the entire thing in a few good coats of gesso.

 I decided to mount the book to an 11" x 14" canvas board to help keep the book securely open. I used a stencil and modeling paste on the top and bottom edge of the canvas where the book didn't cover. Then I went a little glue crazy adhering the book to the canvas.


Here are just a few pics of my layering and clustering process.

Once I had all the yummy layers and embellishments on there I wanted, I covered everything with several layers of gesso.. So much gesso.


Finally, the (sometimes) terrifying task of picking out color schemes and spritzing like a mad woman!


Here are a few close ups and my finished piece!


I decided to use "Escape Reality" instead of the whole quote and I feel that it gets the message across just as well!

I seriously had so much fun doing this and can't wait to do more!

That's all for now :)

~Amber
aka TMCL

Flying Unicorn Creative Team

I am so excited to be given the opportunity to try out for Flying Unicorn's Creative Team!! Here are my three favorite projects I've done that I wanted to share!

"Escape Reality" Canvas. I used an old book I picked up at a flea market and mounted it to a 11"x14" canvas board. Then I went to town using 13 Arts molding paste, several stencils, Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist, Prima flowers, Flying Unicorn Adornments, and a large Creative Embellishments chippie! This will be hung on the wall in my craft area.



My Tim Holtz Assemblage clock I actually made as a birthday present for a friend. It was a challenge that I ended up loving to do because she and I don't exactly have the same taste in style, so I had to step out of my comfort zone to create something visually appealing for her. I used Prima's Tea Thyme collection, Flying Unicorn Adornments, Prima flowers, and a custom-made color of Shimmerz and acrylic paints.


Last but not least, here is my Halloween House I had a blast completing while I was at the first ever Flying Unicorn Uni Camp Retreat. I used Recollections Black & Gold Halloween paper, Tim Holtz Wicked Alpha Parts, various stamps, black gesso, and some raffia ;)

Ever since I discovered Flying Unicorn, I have been waiting for the day to come where they do a Creative Team Call. The talent from this group is incredible, and I would love to be able to be a part of a family like that.

That's all for today!

~Amber
aka TMCL

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Fabric Covered Composition Book

So the fair went smoothly, but due to poor weather conditions, there wasn't as good of a turn out as expected. I was approached by a very nice woman who asked me to make her a very simple wedding guest book. She even supplied the composition book and the fabric she wanted me to use!

Of course, since I had never done something like this before, I had to have a trial run. I started out with chipboard I cut down to 5/8 inch bigger than the cover. (1/4" on the outside long edge.) I also cut out a 3/8" strip to act as the spine.


Then I used my handy FabriTac to adhere the chipboard to a piece of quilt batting and trimmed off the excess edges. 


Now, I'm not a the type of person to iron - ever. So, I had to get tricky with my fabric to remove the creases from being folded up. I sprayed the creases with some water, then went over it all with my heat gun while pulling the fabric flat.


After the fabric was straight and dry, I adhered it to the chipboard cover. Then I glued the composition book down. I had to align the spines and then lay the covers down to the chipboard. (Of course I decided that I wanted to have a ribbon tie closure so I wanted to attach some ribbon to the chipboard under the composition book covers.) After a few moments I opened and closed the book and let it settle in right with the glue (which is when I snuck in the ribbon!!) :) 


Finally, I added some black paper to cover the inside covers and give it more of a finished look. (See!! There's the ribbon finally attached!)


Last but not least, I embellished the front!



I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out, and I feel this would make a good gift project for many people. I definitely see myself making more in the future!

Hope you enjoy :)

~Amber
aka TMCL

Friday, November 6, 2015

Merry Marketplace

So tomorrow is my first solo craft fair! Back in March, I experienced (and documented) my first craft fair that I did with a good friend of mine. We decided to share a booth and I got to have a taste of what to expect. I can only hope this one goes just as smoothly! Over the past few weeks, I've done absolutely nothing that could be considered a responsible adult activity and have crafted as much as possible - without ignoring the mini-human that is. I still have a few things I need to accomplish tonight before I can (try) to sleep, but I wanted to share some of my most recent creations with you!


Frozen Album
Wedding Album
Mini album using Blue Fern Studios "Love Story" paper collection.

8"x 8" canvas using Blue Fern Studios "Love Story" paper and chippies.
                      
Christmas House decorated with Blue Fern Studios "Vintage Christmas" paper and chippies.
      
                            
                        Echo Park's "Merry Christmas" mini album to donate for silent auction.

I also wanted to briefly talk about the AMAZING craft retreat I attended at the end of October hosted by Flying Unicorn. Being that it was my first retreat, I have nothing to compare it to, but I can't imagine how it could have been any better!! (Well, maybe if it would have lasted a whole week!) I learned some new techniques (I can NOT stop quilling roses) and I met a wonderful group of ladies. Can't wait until next year!!

Okay, off to be productive., Wish me luck!!

~Amber
aka TMCL

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Toil and Trouble

October has always been my favorite month of the year. I love that the weather is beginning to change (even if it's just a few welcomed degrees here in Texas) and of course - Halloween.

So today, I decided to do a quick project and share!

I purchased the Frightful Wreath kit from Stampin' Up MONTHS ago. The poor thing sat in a box in my closet until a couple of days ago when I realized it's officially October!!

The cool thing about the kit is that it comes with pretty much everything you need to make the wreath, minus ink, a stamp, and adhesive.

I changed a few minor things ("Toil & Trouble" instead of "Trick-or-Treat" as the title in the center, and I used Tattered Angels "Almost Black," "Pop Rocks," and "Jack O'Lantern" to color the doilies and the banner instead of ink.)

Hope you enjoy!!





Several more projects in line for the next couple of weeks! 

~Amber
AKA TMCL

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Disney Villains...

I can't help it.. I have a soft spot for the Disney Villains. Now before you go thinking that I'm a little twisted and that I can't help but cringe when the princesses and animal's get their HEA, let me assure you, that is not the case.

As a child, it seemed the entire household was able to recite The Little Mermaid word for word by the time I finally grew out of that stage (read: when I finally moved out of the house.) Ursula's "Poor Unfortunate Souls" was always my favorite. I'm sure I sang all the songs from the movie growing up, and let's just say there's a reason I pursued paper crafting instead of singing.

Now this project is nothing too spectacular as far as skill level needed, but for me it doesn't negate the awesomeness of it overall!

On one of my random trips to Walmart where I purchased everything but the actual item I went there to get to begin with, I found this little gem.


I put it together almost immediately and Mod Podged the crud out of it before I could stop myself. I will say the lenticular printing aspect of it messes with my eyes every now and then, but I love it! 

So, the Villains were are all together again and I had to figure out how I was going to display it! (I used to have the issue of planning every aspect of a project out first before I started - Murphy's Law was an ever present foe during that time - so now I just go with the flow , which can present its own set of problems.) 18" in diameter makes it a great size as a display piece, but kind of difficult to match with a canvas. Let's be honest here, I shop at Walmart (especially clearance,) I do not have the fundage to drop $40.00 on a custom rounded canvas. 

It just so happens that yesterday I went to Homegoods with my little girl and purchased a clear skull Halloween candle (because if you know me, you know Halloween is mah fave) and they gave me this ridiculously oversized paper bag to carry it in. Well, when I broke it down and measured it against the size of the puzzle, it's perfect! I traced the edge of the puzzle in the bag and cut it out. I even used one of the bags handles as the hanger for the puzzle. Beacon 3-in-1 holds the handle on and a moderate amount of Mod Podge was used to adhere the bag to the back of the puzzle. Throw on a few villainous charms, a black twine, green string, orange string, and red string, and voila! 

(Also, much to my frustration, this wasn't the easiest piece to take a picture of! Lots of them looked blurry because of the 3D imagery. C'est la vie!)





Despite the difficulty of the picture-taking, you can still see how it turned out! Ironically, I hung it up in my bedroom to take the pictures (after discovering my tabletop studio wasn't sufficient) and there it shall stay!

On to the next project!!!

~Amber
aka TMCL

Friday, August 21, 2015

Tim Holtz Assemblage Clock

As a crafter, one of the main problems I run into is that I want everything I see, but then I usually end up hoarding the majority of it because it's "too pretty to use" or "I thought it looked cool, but I don't know what to do with it yet."

Thankfully, that wasn't the case with a present for a friend of mine for her birthday! I saw the Tim Holtz Assemblage Clock and immediately knew I had to do something with it for her!

 Back when I first tried my hand out at making mini albums, I used the same friend as a guinea pig. She had just gotten married so I used Prima's Tea Thyme collection and made her a simple 6"x 6" wedding album.


After I made that album (3 years ago) I put the paper away and didn't touch it! It fell into the category of "too pretty to use" until a couple of weeks ago. 

I started out taking the clock apart and giving the whole inside and outside a few good layers of gesso. Then I used a brush to dry brush on a couple coats of Shimmerz Coloringz in Oh Say Can U Sea. The color wasn't exactly what I was going for, so I decided to layer on a couple of coats of Shimmerz Spritz Bamboo Leaf to get this specific color.


I used two of the same sheets of paper for the inside of the clock. One, I just trimmed in a circle for the background, and then the other one, I matched up flowers and fussy cut (blech!!) the flowers out to add dimension. Then it came time to play around with the inside scene!



When I was satisfied, I glued it all down to the background and carefully placed the back of the clock back on. I decided I didn't want to go too crazy on the outside as my friend prefers less craziness in her decor than I do =) I grabbed a couple of different styles of string/ribbon and tied it to one of the bells. I used another bauble to hang from the string, as well as a birdcage. I also added a couple of flowers and a stray pearl to the bell, and called it done! I was quite pleased with how it turned out - and I think my friend was too!




I have a few craft fairs coming up so I will be working as often as my 3 year old lets me! :)

~Amber
AKA TMCL

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

To the moon and back...

It's been a while since I have been able to escape to my craft area and make some magic happen. Today I had even actually planned on doing some crafts with my 2.5 year old. However, just as with most toddlers, planning activities doesn't always work out the way you want. She seemed to be completely content ignoring me and watching Blue's Clues. So that's what she did. The good news was that I was finally able to come and start a project I've been dying to do for a while! 

I think I have said before that I love making things with canvases and with this particular project I definitely wanted to use a canvas that I could hang up in my daughter's room. 

I started out with a blank, white 11" x 14" canvas board and coated it a couple of times with gesso. 

I knew that I wanted some sort of texture for the background, but couldn't figure out what. I flipped through my binder of stencils and came across Prima's Crackle Stencil. I used my homemade modeling paste and added the crackle texture all over the canvas. 

Never having done any sort of galaxy background, I was a little unsure where to start. I googled a few techniques, but none really stood out to me. Instead I decided to just wing it. Which has really worked in my favor lately. 

Using Dylusions sprays in After Midnight, London Blue, Vibrant Turquoise, and Bubblegum Pink, I went to town spraying in no particular pattern all over the canvas. Then I misted the whole thing with water to blend the colors and dried it. 

To achieve the space-like effect, I used an ink dabber with my black archival ink and went all over the front of the canvas. I concentrated more color on the edges and in lighter spots around the center. 

Once that was dry and I was happy with how it looked, I splattered some of the Dylusions White Linen on the front and glued down some small bling. 

The letters are actually made of wood that I heat embossed powder to (and I know I've raved about the magical awesomeness that is heat embossing.) The color I used is from Michael's and it's called Vintage Mint. I just LOVE how it turned out and it went quicker (and somewhat less messier) than either inking or painting them would have gone for me. 

Finally I glued the letters to the front, and voila! Done. 

I really had meant to take a step by step picture of my progress, but I got carried away and by the time I realized I hadn't snapped a picture at all, I was gluing the letters down! This was still a fun project that I wanted to share. Will hang it up in my daughter's room tomorrow!



Now to see if the child will spend a few minutes with me before bed time!

~Amber
a.k.a. TMCL

Monday, April 27, 2015

Altered Watering Can

It seems that my craft supplies have started multiplying exponentially over the past couple of years! 




So here is a little peek at my craft area. I have to constantly rearrange and try to find other storage alternatives for everything! It has definitely become my happy place though. When it's mostly neat and organized, I seem to be able to do the most crafting. I have a problem when it comes to boxes and unique storage options (I'm obsessed with them.) So when I saw this watering can from Flying Unicorn's April kit, I knew what to do with my paintbrushes!




First I coated the whole thing with a layer of gesso and created my own color using Art Advantage Acrylics in the shade of Viridian and Titanium White.



Once I achieved the color I was going for, I found some leftover paper in my stash from a project from long, long ago and adhered it to the center. I used Petaloo's Botanical collection flowers as well as some Petaloo's Mulberry flowers. I threw some texture paste on random places and made layers of colors with various mediums. This was the first project I used Golden's Regular Gel. Must say, I love it, and I will be using it all the time now!









Final product! I am very happy with how it turned out. I didn't let myself over think placement. I just went with the flow so I got to play and play until I was satisfied! 

On to the next project!

~Amber
aka TMCL