Sunday, March 12, 2017

Pocket Letters

What is a pocket letter, you ask? I think the original creator, Janette Lane, explains it best...

'I created Pocket Letters™ as a new way to send letters to your new or existing penpals. Basically, you fill all the pockets of a 9 Pocket Trading Card Protector and send the whole page to someone who wants to swap with you. This can be a one-time exchange or you can keep exchanging Pocket Letters indefinitely. You fill the pockets with anything you like (stickers, tea bags, a note, washi tape samples, pictures, etc.) A short note or letter is included and tucked into one of the pockets. Then the Pocket Letter is folded up and sent in a standard 10 size envelope. It's the perfect way to send and collect letters from other Pocket Letter Pals (ie people who are sending mail in this format) around the world and a convenient way to store them. They fit perfectly in a binder!'

You can find more information, some video tutorials and freebies on her blog.

I'll be honest, I was always a bit intimidated by the prospect of creating pocket letters. Some of the ones I'd seen on YouTube and Facebook looked so elaborate. It did not look like anything that I could possibly do.

Fast forward to online video turned my doubt into certainty this week. And here are my first two pocket letters. The empty pockets on the back are where the letters will go.

Pocket Letter #1 - Front

Pocket Letter #1 - Back

Pocket Letter #2 - Front

Pocket Letter #2 - Back

Here is the video that moved me to action. (click here) Rebecca, a fellow Canadian, made it look easy enough for even me to do.

One of these pocket letters is being exchanged with a friend but the other one is available to the first person who would like to exchange one with me. You can let me know by commenting on this post.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Heart Art Challenge - Week 9

The process that I used to make this weeks' Heart Art tag is almost identical to last week. I only did a couple of things differently.

Scrap piece of foam
The first layer was book text. Then, I used a scrap piece of foam that I got at work as a stamp and covered the whole tag. I thought it would create a really cool background.

I pulled out another background stamp to add the next layer. I used music sheet to cut out the heart, gave it a red paint wash and mounted it on cardstock for dimension. I went around the edges of the tag and the heart with the black archival ink.

My Dymo label maker was utilized again for the quote. As a last minute thought, I pulled out a small acrylic heart stamp and archival ink to add the two hearts at the top and bottom.

I'm not particularly fond of the final result. It looks too dark to me. In retrospect, I should have used a red ink pad for the stamping I did with the scrap piece of foam.

Bea Grob - Week 9
 I was originally planning to do more similar tags in the upcoming weeks but have decided that I want to try something different next week. I don't have a definitive plan yet, so stay tuned to see what's coming!

To see Bea's process video for her Heart Art - Week 9 click here.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Heart Art Challenge - Week 8

Von Pappe 2 Art
Inspiration from this one came from a blog post that I found while looking for ideas for this weeks' heart art tag. It will also be the inspiration for the next few also. Check it out here

This was a quick and easy project. First step was to adhere book text to the tag. Next came some stamping, paint splatters and going around the edges with archival ink and a sponge applicator.

The heart was also cut from a book text page and given a red paint wash. After drying, it was glued to cardstock to give it a bit of dimension. I used my Dymo label maker to print the quote.

Here are my process photos...

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Finished Tag
Bea Grob - Week 8
Here is a photo of Bea's Week 8 heart art with a link to her process video here

I'm planning to do a few more similar tags with quotes over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned to see them all!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Bead Soup Blog Party: Bead Hoarder's Edition

Sign up for this event was on January 28th. I'd participated in a few of the Bead Soup Blog hops organized by Lori Anderson a few years back and they were always fun and challenging. I decided it was time to start crafting with beads again.

The idea this time was to go through your hoarded beads (and all jewelry crafters have them), pick out ONE special bead, and send it to your assigned partner. You were to pick the bead, write a nice note and package it up for shipment BEFORE you knew who your partner would be.

As luck would have it, my randomly selected partner Sally is someone that I already know. I was involved several years back in her blog challenge, Focusing on Life, where each participant would post a blog every week on a pre-determined theme.

I had to drop out of the challenge in the middle of the second year, due to health reasons and other life complications. It's been wonderful to re-connect with her through the Bead Soup Blog Party. We exchanged e-mails, agreeing to stick to the ONE bead rule (while it was obvious that many others were sending much more) and I popped hers in the mail.

Here is what I sent to Sally. This lovely goddess bead was made by my friend, Louise Ingram. I'd purchased a number of lampwork beads from her over the years to make into necklaces and sell at events. Now that I am no longer able to do that, quite of few of these lovelies have been languishing in my bead stash. Each one is different, and each one is beautiful.

Both Sally and I have received our packages and can begin to ponder what to create with them. I knew I was in trouble, however, when I read her note before opening the package inside the envelope. It began, 'I know that we agreed by e-mail to only send ONE bead but...'. She sent more than one bead because 'she could not break up the set'. 

The lovely round beads are the size of marbles, handmade and perfectly amazing. I have a vague idea what I want to do with them but we will see how it ends up. The blog hop is on March 25th, so I have a bit of time to try out a few options and complete my piece. And I cannot wait to see what Sally does with the goddess bead that I sent to her.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Making ATCs - With Cat Hand

I watched this video last night by Cat Hand. Click here to watch it. It inspired me to try the technique myself today. I did not have the same materials and modified the process slightly but basically followed the steps as she laid them out.

Step 1: Use Mod Podge to glue down book text, music page and other miscellaneous papers to a piece of kraft chipboard.

Step 2: Put down some different colours of paint randomly onto the page. Cat Hand used Dylusions paints but I only had regular acrylic paint in tubes at my disposal.

Step 3: Add some torn strips of patterned scrapbook paper. Cat Hand used strips of leftover painted papers.

Step 4: Use bubble wrap and white paint to add another layer. Cat Hand used a brayer to apply the white paint.

Step 5: Use archival ink and a background stamp to add more interest to the page.

Step 6: Cut into ATC size cards. You will get nine from a standard 8.5" X 11" piece of chipboard, with a few small bits left that you can use in other projects.

Step 7: Add torn pieces of patterned tissue paper to each card. I did not have any, so I stamped a bunch of random stamps on plain white tissue and used that.

Step 8: Use Mod Podge to adhere a small stamped image and heart to each ATC. Cat Hand stamped her images onto book text paper but these stamps got lost on it, so I used plain copier paper and archival ink.

Step 10: Add a word or phrase (I used Tim Holtz ChitChat stickers) and I outlined the hearts and words with a fine line black marker. To finish them off, I used black ink around the edges to frame them.

The whole process took most of the day. A lot of time was spent waiting for layers to dry. I did speed it up a bit with my heat tool when my patience had run out.

These turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself, and I can see myself using this technique again. Thanks, Cat Hand, for a fun project on Family Day weekend!