Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Technique for Crackle Painting

I love designing decorative boxes, but I can't get enough free cigar boxes to keep this habit/hobby going. So off I went to Michaels and found cute little white shiny cardboard boxes for $.99!

I have 3 boxes and decided to try something different, although I still wanted the crackle look. I decided to skip the white basecoat and applied the crackle medium directly to the white shiny box with a sponge brush and let it dry. Then again using the sponge brush I applied the contrasting acrylic topcoat (blue). The color crackles as it dries, but not so much as when I painted the other boxes with white first. I think it worked enough to make an attractive surface to use of these inexpensive boxes.

 Also since this box is small and short, instead of Tim Holtz feet I bought and painted wooden plugs from Michaels which were on clearance and glued the to the bottom of the box with E6000. My hubby drilled a hole at the top of the box and I used the smallest of Tim's curio knob as the pull to this lovely mini box. I embellished the top with flowers and a butterfly.

Wanting more of the crackle look, but not willing to paint white over a white box, I tried two more boxes. With the pink box I tried doing a few more strokes backward with a dry brush and it did add more crackle, but for the green box I used a wet paint sponge brush and painted in the opposite direction all around the outside of the box, while the green topcoat was still wet. This technique added enough crackle to have a similar look to my original mini cigar box, which I had painted white as a basecoat!

Of the 3 small boxes from Michaels the green has the best crackle effect, but all are pretty nice!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Key to My Heart Valentine

Ok, so February 14th is Valentine's Day...15th is my actual anniversary! Guess what, I get to celebrate for two days straight!

When I taught art, back in New York, my students made their own Valentines as their project for a special day in February. They loved using all the supplies I left out for them to work on their own. They went home with beautiful creative cards, for their moms and dads.

Back to today's card. I feel fortunate to have been able to buy Cricut's cartridge "Everyday Pop-up Cards," but sometimes the cuts don't work for me. So here is where creativity gets going!

First I covered the 5x7" blank card front with print card stock and then cut a 5" lock heart (page 68 layer 2) from gold card stock. I cut the handle off the top and glue the gold heart to the card front.
Then I used the same card stock to cover the inside of the card.

 For the pop-up cube. Cut a strip of paper 1 ½” x 6 ¼” and fold it in half lengthways and then again in half. There should be three folds.
Cut ¼” off both ends of the strip.
Fold the strip on those lines with mountain folds into a cube shape.
Open the cube with the peaks of the fold up, place glue on both end sections of the strip.
Fold the strip back to a cube and the place the cube into the center of the card at equal distance from the top and bottom. The middle fold in the strip is lined up with the card fold. The card should open and close easily.

The key which is a rub on from a bin at Michaels cut out and glued to the cube in front to pop up. Next I cut "Key to my heart" (same page) at 5" from the pop up shift. I like the wording, but not the way it would pop, so I cut those parts away and glued the welded words below the pop up.

Be creative with your Cricut cartridges...enjoy designing your own ideas.
Additonal Pop up cards made in this way:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cling Wrap, Napkins = Greeting Cards

I recently went looking through my list of blogs in search of new techniques to use to increase my card inventory. I truly enjoy looking through all the craft blogs. Terri Wrights blog;, had just what I was looking for. Terri's video tutorials give great directions and are a pleasure to watch.

Here are my examples of cards made with cling wrap and paper napkins. The sentiments were cut on the Cricut, using my Gypsy to weld the letters. I can see using this technique for a wide variety of greeting cards, which turn out so professional looking. Thank you Terri Wright.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Crackle Mini Cigar Box

Ok, you already know, I'm totally into cigar boxes. Altering them is so neat to do. So one day a couple of weeks ago, I checked a smoke shop in town for cigar boxes and walked out with two mini boxes. They were so cute, shinny and full of wording. I had no idea what to do with these little boxes.

The first thing to do, is to get rid of the shine and the advertising, by painting the box white. Then I went to Michaels to use a 50% coupon and discovered a couple of bottled of crackle medium in the acrylic paint isle. A while back I had used another crackle medium, but wasn't really taken with it. This time I bought the Folk Art Crackle Medium by Plaid, made for acrylic paint.

After the white paint, also made by Plaid, was dry throughout the box, I covered it with the crackle medium and let that dry. I applied the contrasting topcoat color. The crackling showed as the topcoat of paint dried. It works really well. After everything was dry, I had my husband drill the hole and apply a Tim Holtz curio knob. I used E-6000 to glue Tim Holtz metal feet to the bottom corners of the box and had some more fun arranging flower petals and glitz around the top of the box.