I do love the alliteration of Stencil Sunday. I don’t love the fact that I can’t manage to get anything done on Sundays, especially since the kids went back to school. SO OMG IT’S STENCIL THURSDAY!
The long-awaited winner of the anatomic giveaway is…..
BECKY! Congratulations! I emailed you and will send these lovelies on their away ASAP!
OKAY NOW TO NEW BUSINESS!
It’s officially Autumn as of today. WOOT WOOT! You know what that means?!! OMG YAY HALLOWEEN.
In honor of this momentous occasion, I have FIVE new releases. And a sneak peek of the Patreon release (Patreon supporters get a new stencil every month that isn’t released until the following month. This month’s is a good one, for real, yo.)
You ready?!! I’M SO READY.
I have been sitting on this design for a while. Like months. I don’t know why. Everyone needs some warning labels in their life, right?!
There are SO MANY uses for this stencil, it’s just ridiculous. I went for zombies. Cause I’m that predictable. Haha!
NEXT UP! BATS!!
This stencil drives me batty. HAR HAR HAR.
Those are some itty bitty bats right there. I think the one in the hand is about 1/3 inch wide. BABIES! BATTY BABIES!!
This one may actually be my favorite of the bunch just because it’s so versatile. I use a lot of handprints in my larger work, but sometimes I just don’t want to cover myself in paint to do it. Or maybe I want the same effect but on a journal page or something.
Done and done. Easy peasy.
OKAY NEXT! Spooky Journaling Blocks!
The whole ‘journaling blocks’ stencil idea came to me on a whim, and it has been surprisingly popular. My ever-growing ‘stencils to make’ list had “MOAR BLOCKS” on it, and, since I was in crazy Halloween mode, these came pouring out.
These stencils let you block out a small area for journaling on your page. The words in some of the blocks can be easy covered if you find you don’t like them, though “create” on Frankenstein’s Monster’s head is pretty freaking funny.
You’ll notice that there are stripy lines on those examples above – those were made with my Journaling Stripes stencil that, even though it’s not Halloween related, was also released today. Yay!
This is another design that I have been sitting on for a LONG LONG time. Like maybe almost a year. I am selfish, I admit it.
I know I’ve dropped a lot of bombs on you, so I’m almost ready to let you rest. The final design won’t actually be released until November 1 unless you’re a Patreon supporter. BUT I’m a tease, so I figured I’d share it anyway and attempt to entice you into supporting me on Patreon. TEASE TEASE TEASE.
SO HOLY CRAP YOU MADE IT TO THE END!!
Thanks for hanging with me in my madness. Now I’ll reward you with a giveaway!!
Comment below to win one of EACH STENCIL (6 X 6 except for the Journaling Blocks, which is 12 X 12 ). If you share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Etc., COMMENT AGAIN. I will use Random.org to pick a winner next week!
Now go! Make something or something!
Greetings and salutations, Beetroots!
Last Tuesday was my birthday, so there was champagne instead of tools. Hey, I’ll take it. This week’s Toolbox Tuesday is especially awesome.. Because fire.
The plaster winner!
Cristin! Yay Cristin!! Creepy baby heads coming your way, baby!
Okay. So here’s the situation.
My parents went away on a week’s vacation. I kind of had a stroke of brilliance this week (hey, it happens from time to time)! I went to the hardware store and ambled around. I dug around in the plumbing department and OMG copper. So much copper. I mean, obviously, people used to pipe their homes with the stuff, right?
I am a little addicted to copper – I have spools and spools of copper wire. I have copper tape. I used to lust after my grandmother’s copper bracelets. It’s just beautiful to me. So, as I was fingering the plumbing parts (I mean, really. Gross visual, but true), I said, “EUREKA!!” And asked the guy if they sold copper pipe. OF COURSE THEY DO.
I followed him into the back and fingered the pipes. Talk about weird looks from the hardware store guy. I bought a pipe. I brought it home and used a tube cutter (also available at hardware stores everywhere! That’s a whole other post though) to cut it into ring-size rounds. The pipe I bought makes a size 11 ring with no alteration.
See all of those sharp edges? Well maybe you can’t see them. They’re there, though, I promise. Those all have to be removed before the opening of the ring factory. My least favorite part. Lots of Dremel bit changing and flinging rings across the room.
I dug around in my crystal hoard and found a nice piece of Quartz. Through a combination of magic, solder, patinas, and cursing, I made this…
It went RIGHT onto my finger. Like IMMEDIATELY. That’s where it’s stayed.
The next day I came into the studio and went right for the pipe. NOT THE CRACK PIPE. Ahem. I wanted to mess around with making smaller rings (the 11 fits my index finger perfectly, but I have sausage fingers). Then I made this, a size 7, which fits my ring finger (again, sausage fingers).
I am super excited about all of this. I wish I could give away some pipe! I would do it, but then I’d need to send 2557750 pounds of tools to make it work. So go buy some copper! Buy a soldering iron! Buy a tube cutter! Light stuff on FIRE!!
In the meantime, I’m giving away ring number two. Because I love you guys. So comment here to win! If you share on one of your social networks of choice, comment again so that you can get an extra chance to win! I’ll pick a winner next week and will have something ELSE to talk about. Probably copper.
Good luck! Godspeed! Kapow!
PS… Did you know I started a Patreon? I totally did. If nothing else, the video is especially hilarious. Check it out!
So last week I talked about plaster and using it with silicone molds. I honestly couldn’t even have imagined it working as perfectly as it did! I love how they turned out.
When I originally bought the plaster, it was to make texture on a flat surface. I eventually want to do this with an entire room, but I really just wanted to make texture on wood. Texture junky.
Today, I did just that. On a whim, I decided that I should try attaching one of the baby heads to the wood using plaster. It stuck almost immediately. Plaster likes plaster, apparently.
All I did was put down a glob and slap the baby head down on it. Then built it up around it, messily. I like messily. Then I used a cheap plastic putty knife to cover the rest of the board with plaster – you do have to work fast! I felt a little panicked, but it worked out fine.. Hahah
When it cured, I grabbed one of the frames I made last week, just to see. Holy crap. I love it so much.
I immediately texted The Manflesh and warned him that these could quite possibly show up on the walls of the room I’m planning on plastering. Hey, they used to do this with cherubs, right? I am just imagining a walls sporadically covered with framed creepy babies and squealing a little inside.
Next I want to try using the plaster on a form, but that will have to wait. I have creepy baby heads to mount on every vertical surface.
SO NOW THE FUN PART!
I love giving stuff away, can you tell?!!
Comment below (the usual rules apply – if you share somewhere, comment again!) for a chance to win some *drumroll* plaster! I’m not going to send you a 25-pound box. Sorry. I will, however, send you a 4-pound box and some creepy baby heads. Lucky you! I’ll pick a winner next Monday, September 5, 2016, using random.org. SO go forth and comment!
WOOT see you next week! I have no idea what I’m doing yet, which means I GET TO GO TO THE HARDWARE STORE! YAY!
Now go make something!
Hello puddin’ pops!
In an effort to force myself to actually update my shop with designs I’ve been sitting on (Not good for my butt OR my stencils), Sundays shall now and forever more be known as STENCIL SUNDAY. Forget that sportsball and sermon stuff. Sorry, sportsball and sermon fans. Stencils rule the day now.
This week I have two new anatomic heart designs:
and Crystal Heart
I have this obsession with anatomic hearts and a total lack of patience. SO STENCILS IT IS!
I love them. I hope you love them too. I want to give you some! Comment below to win! If you share it on your social media network of choice, comment again and you’ll get another entry! Woo!!
I’ll pick a winner next Sunday (September 4!) and will have some more new designs for you! And more giveaways! YAY!
Hello, my little tater tots! (Shout out to Sunny Carvalho for giving me tater tots on the brain.. Hah!)
FIRSTLY, let’s talk about last week’s winner! Thanks to the magic of random.org, we have one!
*bears in tutus*
It’s RUTH! WOO RUTH!
*breaks a hip*
I’ll be contacting you and getting your goodies mailed out post haste! <3
This week’s trip to the toolbox is all about plaster.
Look, you can totally buy plaster at any craft store, I’m sure. I grabbed some (and by “grabbed some” I mean I made The Manflesh haul it around) (and by “SOME” I mean 25 pounds. I don’t mess around) last time I was at Lowe’s. I swear I’m starting to sound like a Lowe’s commercial. NONE OF THIS IS SPONSORED. Hey Lowe’s, hook me up!
I don’t have an awesome picture of the plaster cause I came home and immediately dumped it into a bucket so that I made a huge mess in the driveway versus making a huge mess in my studio. Sometimes I have brainystuff happening in my ideafactory. It happens!
Here’s a picture I stole from the Lowe’s website!
I have a few things I want to do with this, including texturing a whole room at the house, but I started with molding. I have a drawer full of molds – I’m sort of obsessed with making them – so I figured I’d test it out there. The plaster has a working time of only 6-10 minutes, hardens in about 30 minutes, and is fully cured in three days, so you need to be kind of quick with it, mix it in small batches, and try not to get it everywhere. Easy-peasy, right? RIGHT!
You mix it with cold water, two parts plaster to one part water. I mixed it in a red Solo cup because I’m super fancy. Once you’ve stirred it up and it seems smooth, smack your container on the counter a couple of times to pop any bubbles and chunks of plaster, then mix it again. My plaster came out pretty smooth. I then poured it into a Dixie cup to pour into the molds since they’re more flexible and easier to deal with. The Dixie cups. Not the molds. Though they’re pretty flexible and easy to deal with too.
Look. It’s going to tempt you. You’re going to touch it after, say, 20 minutes, and it’s going to seem dry. IT ISN’T. Let it sit. It’ll seem totally reasonable to go ahead and try to unmold it, and it will promptly break. ASK ME HOW I KNOW THIS! You don’t have to, I’ll tell you. I did that. It broke. WHOOPS.
After an appropriate amount of time has passed and the plaster is totally hard and doesn’t make a divot when you poke it with your fingernail, unmold those babies!
Okay. A couple of notes. I made the key from a purely experimental standpoint, just to see if I could use plaster to make something delicate. I fully expected it to break, so I wasn’t very careful with the pouring and made a big mess.
To my complete surprise, it popped out, no problem! Since there are so many bubbles and so much over-pour, I snapped it in half to see how easy it broke. It broke pretty easy, so it likely wouldn’t stand up to being turned into a pendant or anything.
I poured everything in one big glop, so there are a lot of bubbles in areas where there is a lot of detail, like these chill pills!
I’d definitely recommend that you pour just a little bit, slosh it around, bounce it off the table, make sure to get all the nooks and crannies filled, and then fill the mold. The same thing happened with the frames, but I LOVE how they turned out.
In this case, I think the air pockets just add more to the look. Love it.
The baby heads? Perfection.
So all I really need to do from here is be a little more careful when pouring. I think I can handle that.
Next week I’ll have more on plaster (because I have more experiments!) and another giveaway! Woo!
Go forth and mold something!
My google calendar yells at me every Monday and tells me I need to publish Monday Freebies. I never actually do it. That changes this week, dangit!
Last Sunday (August 14) was National Creamsicle Day. As you may recall (probably not since it was a million years ago), I once published a simple stuffed free Creamsicle pattern. It looked something like this!
In honor of National Creamsicle Day (my most favorite of all holidays that no one else celebrates), I made another free pattern! It looks something like THIS!
If you make him, I’d love to see it! It takes about 2-ish episodes of South Park to make.
Hello, puddin’ pops!
If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you probably have noticed I have a tendency to shop for art supplies at the hardware store. I live in a tiny town with no art supply store (dreamtalking here – I will open one), but there are probably 15 different small-town hardware stores within a 20-30 minute drive.
Hardware stores are THE BEST. I figured it was time to do a weekly feature to showcase their glory. And also to give me an excuse to go wander around in them. Woo!
This week I want to talk about touch-up paint rollers. And journals.
I think both Mod Podge and Martha Stewart offer glue rollers for decoupage, but they don’t compare. Plus they’re twice the price. I found this one by Shur-Line in the paint department of Lowe’s.
When I made my giant dictionary journal, this thing saved my life. I filled it full of plain old Elmer’s Glue-All, and it rocked my world.
The most awesome thing about this thing is that it locks closed, so you can keep it full of glue or paint or matte medium or whatever in between uses. You do need to rinse the roller or, alternatively, throw it away (Daddy Warbucks) and use a new one next time. They’re actually pretty cheap. Rinsing takes about 30 seconds, and I am still using the original roller. Come on, EcoRanger, get it together. Eventually I’ll get another one for black paint since I use that on canvas panels, but for now it’s my journal partner.
Because it’s my journal partner, I am going to talk about using it to make one.
When you make an altered book journal, you need to do two things: tear pages out and glue pages together. I started working on a smaller but still huge dictionary to illustrate this point and to give you a quick and dirty altered art journal tutorial.
First, pick a book.
I have discovered several things over the last year of making journals – your average Tom Clancy novel, although probably full of fun random text, is not great for binding. If you can see glue when you look at the top of the spine, toss it back. You should be able to see each individual signature (grouping of pages), and, when you get to the middle of one and open the book, you will see threads. No threads, no joy. If I need to, I will do a demo video of what to use and what not to use, but I think YouTube has you covered. I realized that, as I’m posting this, my book has a glued binding. WHOOPS.
Another thing you need to think about is the paper. If it’s glossy, it’s going to be a pain. You might have to sand it before you can gesso it. Yuck. If your book has mostly plain paper pages and a few glossy ones, that can totally be worked with. I have made journals with paper that is 100 years old and REALLY BRITTLE. It is workable but is totally a pain. I’d avoid those too, if you’re not a total masochist.
Make sure your binding is in decent condition so that it doesn’t fall apart once you’ve spent two days tearing and gluing.
This seems like a lot of information, I know, but seriously it takes about 30 seconds to look at a book, check the binding, make sure the covers aren’t falling apart, feel the paper, and check for stitches at the center of a signature. You will probably get weird looks from the volunteers at the library. Just sayin’.
If you deeply desire an altered book journal and don’t want to go through all of these shenanigans, I list them occasionally in my etsy shop. Or send me a convo and I’ll hook you up! I find it thoroughly and strangely rewarding to do all of this tearing and gluing.
OK. Enough about that.
Go to the second page of your book. Using a straight edge (I’m using a bias tape cutting ruler. I have a lot of weird stuff), lay it along the spine and then tear that page out. Then tear the next page out.
You will have a bunch of little nubby pages from the tearing – those are going to be sandwiched in between two glued-together pages, so don’t stress them! Or make extra nubby pages with a bigger nub and use them to add in other types of paper, photos, scraps of fabric, whatever.
Skip two pages and repeat. Skip two pages and repeat. Skip two pages and repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Put on a dumb movie. Repeat. Keep doing this until you reach the end. It takes forever, but now you have a bunch of pages that you can Gelli print on, glue in, make into envelopes, whatever!
Once you’ve torn out half of the pages, go back to the beginning and get to gluing. You can use pretty much anything for this – I’ve used gel medium (works great but wow expensive), Mod Podge, and Elmer’s, and they all work about the same. Elmer’s is definitely the cheapest – I bought a gallon for about 15 bucks on Amazon. That’ll get you places.
If you don’t want to use the handy-dandy paint roller, a brush works. As does a regular paint roller, one of the small ones for trim. That’s what I used to use! It’s super fast and easy too.
Work fast with the glue – I don’t bother covering the entire page. I do the edges and do stripes down the page and call it good. I don’t mind wrinkles (it will wrinkle between the glue stripes). Cover the whole page with glue if you’re manic about wrinkles!
Once you have your glue down, press the pages together and smooth from the spine to the edge to get out any air bubbles.
Using your straight edge here is good too – it’ll smooth those pages out like nobody’s business.
Now put on an even dumber movie and keep gluing. Sometimes I glue the wrong page and end up with three or even four pages glued together. NO problem! Just a thicker, more durable page! We’re not robots people!
You will probably want to use gesso on the pages before you start journaling, but that’s really up to you. A piece of masking tape or washi tape with some matte or gel medium along the spine is also a good idea just to keep stuff from dripping down into the binding and making it stronger. The pages feel SO AWESOME once they have a bunch of layers of acrylic and mediums and papers and whatever on them though, almost like leather. Just awesome.
So that’s the story of how a post about a paint roller turned into an altered book tutorial.
SO HERE’S THE FUN PART!
See that pretty new painter and refill rollers still in their packages? They can be yours! WOooo! Comment below to be entered to win. If you share on Facebook? Extra entry! If you tweet about it? BOOM one more! Pinterest? YES! Just leave another comment when you share or pin or tweet or gram or MySpace, and you’ll have that many more chances. I’ll pick a winner with Random.org on Monday, August 22.
Go forth and glue.
Remember back in January of 2016 when I painted 30 canvases in 30 days and killed six or seven innocent paint brushes and consumed the body weight of a surly, obese lap dog in frozen pizza and then auctioned the paintings for charity, after which, I cried into a stack of pizza boxes for like a day because I was so tired and happy and tired? Yeah, I have spotty memories of that month myself, but I do distinctly remember painting this flying trout canvas, which I called “Truitonne,” because I never dreamed I would have so much fun painting a fish:
Do you like fun facts? Here’s one from the vault: I don’t eat fish. Okay, that wasn’t fun at all, especially since I could have told you I once co-starred in an amateur pornographic film with Tom Brokaw. I mean, that’s not true, but I could have said it. What were we talking about? Fish? I can totally see why you brought up Tom Brokaw, you lewd little subject changer.
Anyway, I picked up this fish mold at Goodwill six or seven years ago (lewdly, as one will), and about a month ago, during a fit of cleaning, my husband begged me to get rid of it.
After another long week, I stayed up until 6:30 this morning painting the fish to emphasize all the cool sculptural details. Here’s what it looked like when I left to get breakfast with my mother at 9:30, rocking the good good hair after three hours of sleep.
In the night, I also made this sign to go with the fish:
I also made this sign, but it was too big.
After putting some nails in the wall, I added coins to the ruler, teeth to the mouth, and dots to the border. And there it is: My tribute to Nirvana, Tom Brokaw, fish molds, pescatarians, or some of the above.