Studio insights, classes and tutorials

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Time for Giving and Crafting

Enjoy making your own gift cards and ornaments.  I recently took an online class and got inspired to make some of my own.  I don't always have all the supplies that are listed in the class menu, but usually find a way to substitute items on the supply list and try to make it my own.

These adorable miniature journals are so much fun, using tea bag paper.  Yes, a great way to recycle your used tea bags!  Inspired by Jenny Wentworth.

Here is a picture of one ready to go, along with a tea bag, tea bag string and washi tape.  Just dry and carefully empty the tea bag, remove the string and fold it open.
Here is a pic of most of the supplies used.  Love these little packs of watercolor paper I found on ebay.  I have used them in a variety of ways and they were perfect for this project.
Cut your watercolor paper, approximately 2 1/2 x 2 1/2.  Also cut two sheets drawing paper twice the size
of the watercolor paper.  Fold in half and put aside.  With Matte medium and washi tape, attach both front and back of journal.  If you want the border edge wider,  add another strip to the front.  Allow tea bag to dry and carefully open it up and dispose of the loose tea.  Then, proceed with cutting the tea paper the size of front and back cover and attach with the Matte medium.  I like to use DecoArt.   While cover is drying,  attach tea bag string inside, to the fold of the journal.  I like to use Tacky glue.  Proceed with the two folded sheets and add the glue onto the folded edge. You should then have four pages.  You now have a perfect little journal!
For the tree journal, I cut out a stencil from a card.  Using texture paste, stipple into the cutout with a stiff brush.  When dry, stipple in shades of green and white high light.  The star was cut from carboard.  Antique with brown paint around subject and edges of the journal.  Add silver and grey metallic for added interest.

I like to draw and paint my design on a separate piece of paper and then attach it to the tea paper.  Just in case I do not like how it turns out.  I did that with the face and with my Santa.  Then, add texture paste in an around the hard edges so it blends into the paper and does not look like a cut out.  Use any Christmas stamps to stamp the backs of each journal.
Here is my Santa sketch with texture paste added to the tree and fur onto his his suit.  He was inspired by a little antique Santa I have in my collection.
 I not only used my old playing cards for stencils, but also made them into fun little gift tags.  This is from a child's card playing deck.  I used old Christmas card images, a verse of Silent Night and attached them with gesso.  Cut and gesso a tree from burlap, dry brush with two shades of green and add a stem.  Punch a hole for your ribbon or jute.
My neighbors and I had a fun afternoon making these wine cork ornaments.  A great way to use old jewelry finds, buttons and for all those corks you have laying around.  If you do not have any, you can purchase them by the bag at Michael's.
I hope you try and make some of these ornaments on your own.  A special touch attached to a gift.  They will love that you made it especially for them!

If you have any questions or would like to post some of your own hand made journals or ornaments, I would love to hear from you.

Have a very blessed Christmas!


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