Thursday, August 8, 2013

Paper Therapy!

 So you know by now I have an addictive relationship with paper? I collect it, I create with it, I adore it, I pick it up at stores and practically drool over it! I have stacks and stacks of paper and make things from it all the time. I posted about my quilled heart last year that I made. 

I showed you some of the techniques for quilling (paper curling/twirling) back then find that post here

I found myself once again a bit mentally jumbled and in need of some "paper therapy" as I call it. I tend to become very focused and relaxed when doing anything tedious with paper. It relaxes me and allows me to clear my mind. I looked at all the quilling strips I had and thought...haven't quilled in a bit...why not do some quilling!

I looked through some line drawings I had and came across some stained glass window patterns I liked. It hit me that that might translate well into quilling? I decided to try it out and set about making all types of swirls and curls to fill in the drawing! I did the framework of the "window" out of black strips of paper 1/8". I then filled them in with colors I thought looked like stained glass colors. It turned out quite nice and I thought I'd share it with you!

 I'm already thinking of different geometrics I can create in colors more to my lifestyle like hot pink and black and white, greens and aquas? My mind was already planning the next project while already working on this one! Tell me what you think and...

Until Next Time Dear Reader,

Chatty Cathy

Monday, May 27, 2013

Scherenschnitte freehand...

I decided I'd give myself a little "creative" time today and here's what I designed. I have always thought Dahlias were quite pretty and decided to try my hand at cutting one out of paper. I think it turned out nice...I'm thinking it could actually pass for a peony though?????

Here's some close ups of the project:

Another quick project I took on today was cutting a saying from the Hunger Games for my daughter who just graduated H.S. She loved the books and the movie. Here's that little piece:

I've been cutting paper since I was 10 and have always enjoyed it and found it relaxing. Hope you enjoy the images and I encourage you to try your hand at it! There are many resources online for paper cutting or Scherenschnitte (the German term for it).

Feel free to use mine from this page as well!

Until Next Time Dear Reader,

Chatty Cathy

Friday, February 15, 2013

Spring Fever!

It's spring fever.  
That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!  ~Mark Twain

I'm longing for Spring. It's my desire to see flowers that is causing it! To be completely honest Fall is my favorite season, but Spring with all the plum and crab apple in bloom and the azaleas waking and blooming in downtown's so lovely in the South!

My longing for some flowers had me browsing Pinterest and I came upon a tutorial for making coffee filter flowers. You know I had good success on my coffee filter heart here

I thought...I can do that! I can make flowers. I must give credit where credit is due. I found the idea on this wonderful site: lovely crafty home

Her wreath is just something to drool over. I wanted a bit brighter one and since the "natural" coffee filters at all my stores are dark brown instead of pale oatmeal like hers...the white ones were what I went with. You can see it gives a bit brighter colors than hers...but I really want to make some softer ones like hers at some point as well. Please visit her site and let her know I sent you!

Here's hers and mine so you can compare the tones of using different filters:

As you can see hers are more muted and I love them! I have included a tutorial on how do do this project and hope you will give it a try. It's super easy and cheap! < You KNOW I love that!

*tons of coffee filters (by tons, I mean a package per wreath if I had to I mentioned I made enough for three wreaths!)
natural or white filters can be used
 basket filter not cone filters!

*acrylic paint (I use FolkArt brand)
*brown paper bag or surface to paint on
oven set to 200F or clothesline
*16" wreath form 
(I used grapevine because no store had any wreaths larger than 14" that weren't grapevine! UGH!)
*lots of hot glue sticks and gun
*non-stick or regular foil (helpful-not necessary)
*roll of masking tape
*ribbon to hang wreath- about 24" long

Okay prep for project:

1- organize your paining area:
 by placing brown bag on table or old newspaper could be used but you'd have to change out the paper because it will come apart once it's wet.
water paint down 1:1 ratio
2- set oven to 200F if you are using this method 
(I did because it was cold and rainy here)
if using line method string up some string, yarn, ribbon whatever, and make a make shift line to hang wet filters on...they will probably drip so make sure underneath is something you can get wet.
3- start painting!

See the watered down paint? I just used a chip brush to brush the filters, I layered one on top of another until there was a nice stack. I then peeled them off the brown paper and placed them on a rack in a 200 oven. This is warm enough to dry them in about 4-5 minutes. I spread them out in a single layer and worked on painting the next stack while those dried in the oven. 
TIP: YES I did clean the oven later...maybe a smart idea (I have those after projects!) would be to line the oven under with foil? Or...lay them on the non stick time I'm doing that as I tried that at the end of this and it worked lines on the filters...which you don't see in the flowers anyway, but cleaning the rack was not something I would have had to do if I had done the foil method! Trust me!

Cutting flower

Fold dried filter in half

Fold in half again

scallop edge with scissors

cut center out of filter and unfold so it's only in half again

cut one side of folded filter and open so it looks like this

Hopefully that was clear. I tried to take lots of pictures!

NOTE: I kept making different dilutions of paint and colors so I achieved lots of variegated colors, you can always do an all pink wreath of whatever you prefer. 
I made so many I had enough for three wreaths!
See all the pretty colors!

Taping the flower

Take the circle from center- twist it so it looks like this. You are using three filters per flower, so you need three circle twisty things (It's a technical term)

stick half onto the tape (I used a piece of tap about 18"...fiddle to find what works for you.

Then... this part if a little tricky but it gets easier.
Take the inner edge of the filter and start ruffling and sticking it to the tape. The scalloped edge is NOT on the tape it's to your right in this picture. Do this one after another till you have three on the the tape. I made my ruffles loose...tighter flower would have tighter ruffles. You get the idea?

Rolling the flower

LOOSELY roll the flower...see how loose the tape is? This is important to have a nice full flower. I made this text big for a reason :)

Flower rolled to the end

stand it on scalloped edge

take fingers and squeeze the tape like so

fluff out flower

isn't it pretty?

Glueing flowers on wreath

as I mentioned, I used a 16" grapevine. They wanted $7 for a styrofoam one and $6 for a straw one...I'm cheap thrifty, so I used a $3 grapevine.

I started by glueing the flowers in some sort of with most things this didn't last long and then just started sticking in whatever I wanted...gave a more natural look. I try not to over think these things as I have perfectionistic tendencies when it comes to crafting (Not housework mind you!- I wish!)

Do not worry if you get this look (bit pouffy on some areas)

Just keep fluffing and tweaking and it will come out just right!

Attach ribbon and enjoy!

I simply threaded a ribbon through the back of the grapevine and tied a bow. It's really that simple! I think these would be lovely in pinks for Valentine's Day and reds and white for Christmas???
I'm sure you'll see more on these later this year!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and you'll try it and share your version? Please do, I love to hear from people!

Until Next Time
Dear Reader,

Chatty Cathy

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love is a wonderful thing!

Each year I make our family a special breakfast. Usually waffles with shipped cream and fresh strawberries, sometimes crepes, sometimes pancakes. Always bacon, eggs and the normal stuff. I think what makes this breakfast special is that we sit down together and share time together. I always do a special family night on Valentine's Day. It's a tradition:

  I make special food

 decorate the room

have flowers

and candles or like last year:
Fairies in a jar!

You can get instructions on how to do these here

This year is no different! I am busily making items for tonight's celebration and homemade lobster bisque for my hubby is one of the specials on tonight's menu! He loves it and it's a labor of love... for him! He's worth every ounce of effort I can assure you! I will post tomorrow about our special evening and hopefully it will encourage you to plan a special night with your family. After all...who better to exert yourself for than your family?

Friday, February 8, 2013

A LOVE for coffee...filters that is!

Who doesn't love coffee? I love coffee, but recently took up juicing. This left my hubby as the only coffee drinker in the morning, so we pulled out the French Press coffee pot and found we had a surplus of filters now! I had seen coffee filter projects floating around and decided I would try my hand at one!

This project is so easy...a little time consuming and messy, but easy! The filters look like carnation ruffles up close see....

Here's a list of supplies:
old cardboard to make heart of your choice (mine is 2'x2')
400 coffee filters (mine are 1.29 at Piggly Wiggly for 200 ct.)
acrylic paints in your choice of color. Mine were pale pink, white and red
bowl or cup to mix and dip for your paint
hot glue gun and sticks

Start by taking a filter (I bought white ones but natural ones give a pretty muted tone as well) and fold it in half and then pinch at center and pull through your hand to make it look like this. 
Told you it was easy!

Next do that to all the filters...I'll wait and watch a movie while you do that!

Okay ready? 
Now take some paint and mix 1 part water to 1 part paint then start dipping filters in it like so:

See how the edge is just dipped in paint? Easy right?
Now place them on something to dry...I used old cardboard in the garage, but I am ADD so that wasn't quick enough for me, so I switched to laying them on my oven rack and baking at 200 F. They won't burn! Leave each batch about 5 minutes. I would do about 10 filters, lay them on the rack, go power clean something for 5 minutes and then return to do the next batch. (if hubby came home to a big project like this and no cleaning was accomplished... well I'd feel bad) Keep mixing in different colors to your water/paint mix to make lighter and darker shades. Here are some dark pink and red.

Once you have a nice stack of dried filters you will simply start hot gluing them onto the heart by the pointy tip. Keep doing this till you've filled the heart and you will end with this lovely full heart!

Time consuming...but worth it! 
I love the look and for $2.50 for a piece of heart art, you can't beat that with a stick!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you'll drop back by this month. I have a darling paper village all heart themed coming up that I think you will really like!

Until Next Time Dear Reader,

Chatty Cathy