Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Baby Card

The adorable baby images on the Cricut Baby Steps cartridge were perfect for a card that I made for a co-worker who is having a baby.

Directions for New Baby Card:

Cricut Baby Steps cartridge
White, light pink, light blue, light yellow, dark brown, light brown and light tan card stock
Pink and white dotted ribbon
Foam Dots
Pink self stick pearls
Sizzix Hearts embossing folder
Martha Stewart pink flocking powder
Stickles Icicle glitter glue
Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist- pearl mist
Greeting card program
Colored pencils or chalk

1. Select a new baby verse using the greeting card program. Print the card on white card stock using the half-fold option.

2. Load the Baby Steps cartridge into the Cricut and select the Moon Baby image. Cut Moon Baby at 2 1/2 inches out of dark brown card stock. Press the Shift and Moon Baby keys and cut the image out of light tan card stock. Press the Layer 1 and Moon Baby keys to cut the bow and outfit out of light pink card stock. Next press the Shift and Layer 1 keys to cut the cheeks and nose out of light brown card stock. Place the light blue card stock on to the Cricut mat and press the Layer 2 and Moon Baby keys to cut the moon and clouds. Press the Shift, Layer 2 and Moon Baby keys to cut the moon out of light yellow card stock. Assemble the image. I used pink chalk to highlight the baby's cheeks instead using the light brown die cut cheeks.

3. Use a light peach colored pencil to color the baby's face and hand. Add shading to the cloud with a pale aqua colored pencil. Attach a pink self-stick pearl to the center of the baby's bow. Apply a thin layer of glue to the baby's outfit and lightly sprinkle flocking powder to cover the surface. Shake off the excess flocking powder and set aside to dry. Highlight the edges of the cloud with the Stickles Icicle glitter glue. Set aside to dry.

4. Cut a piece of white card stock 4 3/4 inches long and 4 inches wide. Emboss the card stock using the Sizzix Hearts embossing folder.

5. Center the Moon Baby image on the embossed card stock. Use foam dots to adhere the image to the card stock.

6. Spray the image and the embossed card stock lightly with Pearl Glimmer Mist. Set aside to dry.

7. Cut two pieces of pink and white dotted ribbon 5 3/4 inches long. Glue the ribbon 1/2 inch from the top of the card. Glue the second piece of ribbon 1/2 inch from the bottom of the card. Tuck the ends under the front edge of the card and secure with glue. Use the pink and white dotted ribbon to tie a small bow. Attach the bow to the ribbon at the bottom of the card.

8. Place a pink self-stick pearl in each corner of the embossed card stock. Center the embossed card stock containing Moon Baby on the front of the card. Adhere the embossed card stock to the card using foam dots.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Completed Louis XIV Chest

The Sun King chest is finally finished! Since Brittany plans to take Le Roi Soleil to grad school with her I decided to tuck an inspirational quote in the top drawer. I printed "It is in difficult things that we show our virtue." -Louis XIV on cream colored card stock and trimmed the paper leaving a small border around the edges of the quote.

Top of the chest. The picture is framed in a narrow gold flake border. The red drape in the picture makes the border look wider at the top.

Decorative element on the side of the chest.

Directions for Louis XIV Chest:

Small pre-sanded wooden chest-available at craft stores
Fine grit sanding pad
Matte finish Mod Podge
Foam brush
DecoArt Americana Slate Grey acrylic paint
DecoArt Dazzling Metallics Venetian Gold
Art Minerals Gold Flakes-available at Michaels
Picture of Louis XIV
White card stock
Small stenciling brush or other stiff brush
Round paint brush-I used #2 round
White craft glue-I used Martha Stewart
DecoArt craft varnish
Jolee's Boutique Leaf Elements

1. Lightly sand the chest and the drawers to remove any rough spots. Wipe the sanded chest down with a slightly damp paper towel.

2. Use a foam brush to apply a light coat of craft varnish to the chest and the drawers. Set aside to dry.

3. Lightly sand the chest and the drawers and wipe with a damp paper towel.

4. Paint the chest and the drawers with slate grey paint. Let it dry and then apply a second coat. After the grey paint is dry apply venetian gold paint to the knobs on the drawers and the front edges of the chest.

5. After the paint is dry seal the chest and drawers with a light coat of craft varnish. Set aside to dry. Once the piece is completely dry, lightly sand it and wipe it with a damp cloth.

6. Print a 3 inch by 4inch picture of Louis XIV on card stock with a laser printer or photo copy the image. DO NOT use an ink jet printer because the ink will smear and the colors will run once the Mod Podge is applied. I scanned a picture of the Sun King from one of my books but pictures are also available on the internet. I trimmed the printed picture into an oval shape.

7. Apply a thin coat of Modge Podge to the back of the picture and center it on the top of the chest. Use a brayer or your fingertips to smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles in the picture. Using a foam brush carefully apply a thin coat of Modge Podge over the top of the chest. Let it dry at least overnight (longer if the weather is humid). The chest must be completely dry. Lightly sand the top of the chest and wipe it with a damp cloth. Apply another light coat of Modge Podge. Repeat this process 2 more times.

8. Use the #2 round brush to apply a thin layer of white craft glue around the edges of the picture. Let the glue sit until it becomes slightly tacky (about 5 minutes). Apply small pieces of gold flake on top of the glue. Lightly press the gold flake to get it to adhere to the glue. The gold should stick to the glue but have a slightly raised appearance. You are trying to achieve the look similar to a carved frame. Once the glue is completely dry add another layer if necessary. I brushed glue on the flat areas and added more gold flake to get a raised appearance around the entire frame. Let the glue dry overnight.

9. Seal the top of the chest with a light coat of Modge Podge. Carefully apply the Modge Podge to the picture first, then dab it on top of the gold flake and then coat the rest of the top. Let it dry completely. Lightly sand the picture and the top of the chest. Be careful not to sand the gold flake. Wipe the top with a damp cloth.

10. Using the #2 round brush apply small amounts of Venetian gold paint to the gold flake frame. Let the paint dry. Seal the entire top with Modge Podge and let it dry. Then lightly sand the top (except for the gold flake frame) and wipe it with a damp cloth.

11. Paint the leaf elements with Venetian gold and let them dry. Position them to the right and left of the picture and glue in place. Position the leaf elements on each side of the chest and glue in place. Cover the entire chest with a light coat of Modge Podge and let it dry. Lightly sand the chest (except for the leaf elements) and wipe with a damp cloth.

Since the Jolee's Boutique Leaf Elements were no longer available at Michaels I made a mold and molded the elements from polymer clay. I baked the molded leaf elements, painted them and a glued them to the chest.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

The past couple of weeks have been devoted to my garden. Unfortunately the garden takes so much time that the craft projects often temporarily get pushed aside. Today I was able to work on both the garden and my craft projects since I didn't have any time constraints. The weather was beautiful so I decided to ease into my day by having a cup of coffee in the garden while listening to Mozart's Divertimenti. It was nice to drink my coffee leisurely outdoors surrounded by beautiful flowers rather than quickly sipping my coffee as I get into the car to drive to my next destination.

I found this little bunny while I was reorganizing the other day. I had painted it for Michelle's room while she was in kindergarten. At the time decorative and folk art painting were popular. A friend of mine had invited me to go shopping with her. One of our stops was a store that was devoted to folk art painting and supplies. I had dabbled in watercolors but had never used acrylic paints or painted on wood. At the time I was looking for a picture for Michelle's room that was different from the mass market pictures available at children's stores. I found this adorable little bunny in a book and decided to try to paint it. I was very pleased with the result. Unfortunately the book that this bunny came from is no longer in print.

To make this picture I started with a pre-sanded wooden plaque (available from a craft store). I sanded the plaque with a fine grit sanding pad to smooth out any rough places. I wiped the plaque down with a damp cloth. After the plaque was dry I lightly varnished it with DecoArt water based craft varnish (available at Jo-Ann). I lightly sanded the plaque again and wipe it down. Next I used a wash of walnut acrylic paint to color the plaque. The paint should be very watery. Apply the wash several times until you have achieved the desired look (a light walnut color). Seal the plaque again with the varnish and lightly sand and wipe down. I then transfered the bunny image to the plaque using graphite paper. The bunny was painted using a wash of light blue and tan. The dots are made by dipping the wooden end of the paint brush in undiluted paint. The stars are made by dipping the end of the paint brush in a wash of white paint and pulling the paint out from the center.