Sunday, August 9, 2020

Halloween Matchbox Tray

Hi Friends!

We have been secretly working away on samples for the release of the 2020 idea-ology Halloween product.  Today i'm sharing a fun project made with Matchboxes that are part of the everyday idea-ology line.  The foundation is a large Vignette Tray which is 6 x 12".  It is the perfect size for the six Matchboxes. So follow along and I'll give you all the details!

Start by painting a Large Vignette Tray with Black Soot Distress Paint. I painted the entire tray except the inside background that will be covered with paper in the next step.  Once dry, I sanded the surface inside and out to bring back some of the natural wood, then painted on a thin coat of Collar Medium to seal and give it a smooth finish. I used paper from two packs, the new Mini Stash, Departed + Wallflower (for the perfect bug paper). First I cut a piece of Wallflower to cover the entire back of the tray (adhering with Collage Medium). Then I ripped paper from Departed to add over the top. The entire center will be covered by the matchboxes so no need to worry about what that looks like.
The bug paper had an interesting tiled pattern on the back so I ripped small pieces and added that over the Departed paper.
Once the paper was in place I added a thin layer of Collage Medium over the top and let that dry completely.  Then I scribbled Walnut Stain Distress Crayon on the surface and used a damp paintbrush to work it into the corners and around the rips in the paper.  If you scroll back two pictures you can really see the difference the crayon makes.
I decided to add our new Trim Tape with the pinked edge to the box.  So I squeezed out a bit of Antique Linen paint and used my finger to rub it along the edge.  It was good that I had painted the tray with back paint because it sealed the edge so the creme paint stays on top, instead of soaking into the wood.  Once the paint was dry, I added the tape to the edge and then rolled the remainder over the edge and down the outside of the box. The last thing to do was a just a bit of crayon to take away the brightness of the paint color.
Matchboxes (1 1/2 x 2") come in a pack of six which fit PERFECTLY in the Large Tray.  I cut six, 2" strips (six different papers) from the Departed paper stash. Then used Collage Medium to adhere the paper to the boxes. I added Collage Medium over the surface to seal (so I can use crayon later).
Once I had the boxes covered and the Collage Medium was dry, I used my finger to add Distress Crackle Paste to the edges.  Not too much that it covered the design of the paper, but enough to make them look old.  I waited for the crackle to dry, then colored with crayon.  I scribbled Walnut Stain crayon on the Glass Mat and picked it up with a damp paintbrush to push it into the cracks. Followed by scribbling both Walnut Stain and Forest Moss crayon directly on the crackle to get darker spots.
For the drawers, I simply painted three black (be sure to paint the outside) and covered the other three with vintage book paper (again, adding collage medium and crayon to age).
Just a little tip before I show you the details of the tray.  When I was done creating all the boxes and ready to move them into the tray, I cut a thick piece of book board (1" wide) to use as a jig .  It fits right between the bottom of the tray and the bottom of the matchboxes.  Then when I glued each Matchbox to the tray they were nice and even.  Once I was done gluing, I removed the jig.

Before creating the interior of the boxes I lined them up in the tray to see how I wanted to arrange them.  The balance of color and texture is important to me, especially when I know I will be combining all the little Matchboxes into the tray.  As I went along, I tried to balance the "weight" of the three visually "heavy" boxes: the filled dome, the Toadstools, and the glass bottles in the bottom left.

The first quad of boxes are:
1. Red tag from the Snippets pack.
2. Black box - Hitch Fastener added for drawer pull.   Transparent Wings: I held the center of the smallest wings with a wood screwer and heated it with an embossing tool until the wings curled.  I swear I could do this all day long if I had the time!
3.  The Apothecary bottles were the same size so I decided to break one.  I just put the bottle in a plastic bag and hit the bottom of the bottle with small hammer to break it.  I rubbed Mushroom Alcohol Ink over the bones then tied them to the bottle with green string.
4.  The metal bug has been painted with Speckled Egg Distress Paint.  Once dry, I pounced Mushroom AI over the top.  Then I just wove the bug into the Mummy Cloth and glued it to the box.  The number came from the clippings part of the Halloween Sticker book.
box 2
box 3
box 4
5. Before adding the Peculiar Things token to the box, I threaded a needle an sewed two X's into the right side of the box.  My favorite little detail.
6. This is another of the black boxes.  I scribbled Distress Crayons onto the glass Mat and picked up the color with a Detailer Water Brush and just painted the Toadstools.  I adhered the tiny frame from the Baseboard pack to the front of the box then added the Poison, cut from a poison label.
7. The orange pumpkins have been painted white, Distress Crackle Paste added and dried, and a crayon wash over the top.  Words from the Halloween sticker book.
8.  Box is left plain to show off the crackle paper from Departed.

box 6

box 7

9. Another bug from the Adornments Entomology set.  This time I glued Mummy Cloth to the underside of the bug, then wired the bug to the box (poke the holes first and then thread thin wire).  Heavy crayon added to the wire to look like dirt build up.
10. Pack cut up Boneyard and Spooky Eyes in Corked Dome.  Pack the bottom with Mummy Cloth then glue the dome to the Cork.  Add a Remnant Rub (Field Notes) and tie with string.
11. Color a Paper Doll with Distress Crayons.  Cut her to fit into the small box.  Glue a wood block behind her to bring her forward in the box.
12.  I placed a wood block inside the Matchbox so I could hammer a carpet tack into the end of the Optical Lens.  These Lenses are from the regular idea-ology line and can be use for many things.  The Remnant Rub was added (Field Notes) and a tiny spider from the Adornments Halloween pack.
box 10
box 11
box 12
just a couple more photos...

I used a Mini Hardware Pull on the end of the tray to make it look like a drawer that had been pulled from a cabinet of curiosities.  The words are from the Halloween Sticker book.
Well I hope you liked the tray as much as I did making it.  I'm happy to be part of the makers creating these Halloween pieces.  I am in awe of the magical things my fellow maker put out there!  I also love cooking up these products with Tim.  We have a fun time imagining what would work for Halloween each year and helping it come to fruition!

now carry on,

Friday, July 24, 2020

A Story for Girls Tag Book

Hello friends,

I am working on a kit for the fall using Dylusions Mixed Media 12" Journaling Tags.  I needed the lower half of each tag, which left me with about 1 million "tops" (of course I saved every single one "just in case I need it").  I kept walking by the pile in my craft room and I couldn't take it anymore, I had to make something with them.  My idea was to create a little book, so that is todays tutorial: building the book.  Because if you can make one this size, you can make ten more other sizes...really limitless.  

I gathered 6 tag tops (mine are cut 3 3/4" wide) and lightly sprayed each piece with Speckled Egg and Antique Linen Distress Stay Spray.  I blotted after spraying to remove parts of the speckled finish (not a fan of speckles).  I dried them with the Heat It Tool then repeated on the other side.
I chose this large stamp from the Lady Rose set and added it to a Grid Block.
I sprayed three colors of Distress Stain onto the Glass Media Mat - Shabby Shutters, Scattered Straw and Speckled Egg. Then pressed the stamp right into the stain.  
Picking up the stamp you can see that it's wet but there should not be liquid dripping off...that is too much stain.  If you are unsure, test the stamp on a scrap piece of paper so you know how much liquid to use.
I stamped each tag top one at a time to get this watercolor look.  Some are strong impressions and some are light.  It will not matter how the impression looks in the final book - so unique is good!  
Once one side was dry, I turned the cards over and stamped the other side.
My favorite part are the places I stamped the tiny leaves that are on the end of the stamp. I inked only this area of the stamp to add this detail on each card.
I wanted to add another stamped image - a polka dot.  This time only Speckled Egg Spray Stain was used and no Grid block (again, test on scrap piece of paper first).
Roll the stamp onto a portion of the tag top.
The stamp looks pretty uniform at first.
Before the spray dries, use two fingers to press a paper towel in a few spots.
You can see that pressing paper towel into the wet stain make the polka dots look more organic rather than just stamped on.
Randomly stamp all the cards (front and back) with the polka dots.
To connect the cards I cut six strips of Dina's Media Tape and stamped Speckled Egg Distress Ink and Bundled Sage.

I matched up cards and taped them together with the Media Tape. Be sure to leave about 1/16" between the two cards so they will fold easily.  Note: there is tape on both sides of the card sets.
To make the pages into a book, I cut a small piece duck cloth the same length as the card.
Starting on the right side of the duck cloth, I sewed right down the middle between the two cards.
Fold the first set closed then line up the second set of cards with a bit of space between the first and second set.
Open the second set and sew down the center.  Repeat steps for the third set of pages.
I thought this might be helpful to see each set of tag tops individually stitched to the duck cloth (or spine).
I needed a cover so I cut a 12" tag to fit my leftover tag tops. Mine is 8" long - I just estimated how long it should be by wrapping the paper around the 6 tag tops.  I sprayed the paper on both sides exactly the same way as the tag tops.
To combine the two pieces, I simply glued the duck cloth to the cover with Collage Medium.,
So that is how I built the book.  Super easy to do if you have a sewing machine handy.  Like I said at the beginning, you can make any size or shape of book to suit your needs.

As I move on to the inside of the book.  You will find that anything goes, vintage paper mixed with idea-ology Found Relatives and Photobooth.  The one constant is flowers.  Some have been trimmed and some chopped up to create a new idea.  Flower crowns are fussy-cut individual flowers made to look like they belong together.  I will try and note bits of information throughout, but since I chose a very limited amount of materials to work with, it's not hard to figure out what I did.  I find this freeing (limiting my choices) because it forces me to work with what is "at arms reach" as my friend Deb Crouse taught me way back in our 7gypsies days.  I love a good challenge!

This is what I used on the inside
4 Photobooth
4 Found Relatives (cut out)
Field Notes Ephemera pack
Classic Stickers
Clippings Stickers
paper from a vintage Reader book
Tiny Toadstools stamp set - text stamp 
Field Notes stamp set - small numbers
Archival Ink: Black Soot
vintage lace
6 pieces of ribbon
ps) if you know me, you already know all the images were colored with Distress Crayons.

I used Collage Medium to add dyed cheesecloth over the spine portion of the book.

Here are all the Found Relatives and flowers I used on each.  You might notice the girl on the bottom left card. The hat on the lady was too good to pass up, so I added it to the girls head on the front cover.
I used 4 of these Photobooth.  I tried to arrange them so you can see the flowers used.  The girl at the top (with the star background) and the lady on the middle right share the same group of flowers.  When you see each of their respective pages you will be able to tell which flowers I used where. 

Detail shots of each collage
Just random ribbon bits from my stash.
The 365 stamp on the Classic Sicker is from Field Notes Stamp set.  I also tried to add stitching to each page but this is totally optional.
A magic carpet of flowers!  I thought she needed striped tights so I painted them on.
The blue halo around the pink Classic Sticker is done with a water brush at the very end.  More water than's just loosely washed around the image to create a drop shadow.
I love how the text stamp from the Toadstools set 'pops' against the neutral background by stamping with Black Soot Archival ink.
Don't be afraid to use "chopped off" people!
Added lace at the top with Collage Medium.
In the Found Relative photo she is holding a teddy bear.  I cut it out and replaced with clipped flowers.
I hope you have enjoyed the book. I sure enjoyed making it. I love the fussy cutting, figuring out what flowers to use where. I also loved the easy stamping technique that leaves so much room for error that no one needs a do-over. We could all use a little more of that in our life, right?

thanks everyone...
now carry on,