Monday, January 31, 2011

Finished yarns/fun jewel effects

I've finished spinning all of the lovely fiber I had mixed. Here are the finished skeins of my Rumpelstiltskein yarn. These are my 8th spinning project. I'm really proud!

I have a lot of fun with different things in my paper crafting. I was working on a birthday layout for Thad's 8th birthday dinner at Golden Gate, and after I added these fun buttons (one of them was covered in paper, the other two are transparent buttons that I glued matching glitter to on the backs... all three buttons are attached with 1/16th" brads, which is another one of my favorite "techniques". I know I didn't invent this. But I did discover it for myself, and I love it.), I felt that the page still needed something more. So I decided to add a few jewels. LoL. And this is what happened. I had, on a layout I just did, run out of the string of jewels that I was using to border the left side of all of my photos. I still needed a bit of it, so I applied a line of glue and just glued a straight line of clear jewels. On this layout, I decided to try making something fancier. I saw my little jar of mixed jewels and thought they would make a perfect party accessory. This is what my finished thing looked like:

Here's what it looks like super close up: (If anyone ever gets this close to your page, smack them. It's rude.) I glued these down with my favorite liquid glue: Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive. It dries perfectly clear. You can see that here. My happy discovery on the smaller thing I did on my other page was that even though I made a huge glue mess when I was doing it, the glue really does dry so clear that you don't even notice it. Also, this is about as much adhesive as will show on even some of the super fancy jewel things that you can buy in a store for like $5.00 each.

This is what it looks like wet: (I added more at the top of the page because I can't help myself.)

Here's how you do it. Basically, just draw the line that you want with your pencil, if you're doing a fancy swirlie thing like this. Use a stamp as your base, maybe, or trace it from a stencil, or just free hand it like I did. Over the photos, I sort of eyeballed what the line would be. Draw your line of glue over the pencil line (or the imaginary one). Don't do a whole long thing or else the glue will dry too fast. I could do about 3 inches without it drying before I got to the end of it, but I'm really fast. You might want to start with a shorter length until you figure it out.

Place your jewels with tweezers. Again, these are acrylic jewels. Holy moly, don't do this with Swarovski. Please. Basically, I pick up any jewels that are face up and then let go of them when they are where I want them to go (without touching the glue, which you'll figure out, but until you do, wipe the tweezers frequently), and then close the tweezers and push on the top of the jewel to make sure it's in the spot.

It takes a while. But I think it's fun. I also think spinning my own yarn is fun. This might be an indicator of my crafting personality, and a sign that we might not match. If we're not compatible in this way, you may want to proceed with caution. Start small. (There, I did a disclaimer... that was awfully nice of me. Wouldn't you say?)

I added extra fun shapes once the other swirl was there because apparently 100 little jewels in a lovely swirling row is just not enough bling for me. Again, personality indicator, etc., we may not match, proceed with caution, blah, blah, blah. ^_~

There's my final title before it dried. I need to take a picture of it dry so that you can see how perfectly the glue disappears. It doesn't just dry clear. It dries smaller. So the HUGE pile of white glue you see will be clearer and a bit smaller once it's completely dry. This process takes a long time, by the way. At least an hour. Maybe two, even though it says it's quick dry adhesive.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rumpelstiltskein #1! And a card!

I'm back after a pretty long break from blogging and it feels good. I think I've finally figured out what the heck I want to do this for, which helps out a lot. Oh, and if this type looks bold, I don't know why... it's not like I feel so ultra self important that everything I type must be in BOLD letters. It looks bold in my editing box, but later in the blog, the text turned normal... so who knows?

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching. Last year I made 14 cards for Adam, one for each day of February leading up to Valentine's Day. Last year it was a totally last minute idea, like I usually get, on probably January 31st... And I thought, "Ooh, that would be so cool!" And then I frustrated myself to death, because suddenly the standard had been set and I felt like if I only made him 5 cards, that would be woefully inadequate, and really... what kind of wife would I be?

Well, this year, I still want to make 14 cards. (Wait for it... I HAVE learned something.) But this year I'm starting early. I also frustrated myself trying to make all of the cards somewhat masculine last year. This year, I'm going to have every single card be a celebration of my own artistry and my own style. I'm having them be almost like big artist trading cards. Each one of them is going to be a piece of me. So I finished the first one last night and it's awesome. Yeah, I'm shameless. I love this thing. It was so fun and I think it turned out SO beautifully. The finished size is 5.5"x8.5". I made an envelope for it using the instructions in my Martha Stewart scoring board. I had seen the thing and thought, "Why the heck would you need that if you have a scoring blade in your slide cutter?" Oh, you need it. It has instructions for boxes and cards and envelopes... nothing you couldn't really figure out on your own with some only slightly complex number crunching, but not having to do it is so worth it that I think I would adopt the thing and buy it puppies if it were to ever gain sentience and express such desires.

Adam's first card: Pretty much all of this stuff (except for the little acrylic jewels and the sentiment and ribbons) is from the Jubilee collection by K&Company. How I love it! It's like bright and flashy vintage. Which is pretty much exactly my style. Adore!

Also, I blended some fibers for the first time. I did 80% wool and 20% silk. Here's what I started with:

Blended to this...

Spun to the pretty yellow... I'm calling it my Rumpelstiltskein... get it? Spinning gold!? Into a SKEIN!? I felt too clever. (Still do.)

I just absolutely love it. It's 1.5 oz. so far (half of what I blended)... A chain plied sock weight. (At least it looks like a sock weight... I didn't do anything so scientific as actually MEASURE. Just eyeballed it.) Can't wait to spin the rest of the blended pieces. I don't know what I'm actually going to MAKE out of any of this yarn I'm making. At first it was too precious. Now I think it's because I'm finished. Right? I mean, my project was making the YARN. It's finished. Yay! Move on... How do I take my yarn and make something else now? That project was finished. Now I start another one? LoL. Hopefully I'll get over that soon. I'm developing a wee pile of it.