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Saturday, October 25, 2008

New Swaps for November and December!

You asked for it - you got it. Two more swaps to finish up 2008. Whoo hoo!

SWAP #1:

The first swap will be Thanksgiving themed inchies. (If you haven't made inchies before, please check out the tutorial for them shown just below this post.) Think: turkeys, harvest, autumn, oranges, reds, and yellows, pilgrims, indians, things you are thankful for, etc. when decorating your inchies.

Details:
Make 20 inchies, get 20 in return.
Sign up deadline is November 3. Sign up by leaving a comment on this post or on the Two Crafty Mules Altered Swap Gallery.
Inchies must be received by me, Wanda, no later than 11/14/08, so I can swap them out and have them to everyone before Thanksgiving.
Important: Please make sure I can contact you through your blog, FLICKRmail or email address. I will need to give you my mailing address so you can mail your completed inchies to me.

SWAP #2:

The second swap will be a handmade Christmas ornament exchange. It doesn't matter what type of ornament you use, as long as it is handmade or significantly altered so it is a one-of-a-kind creation.

Details:
Make 2 ornaments, get 2 in return.
Sign up deadline is 11/8/08. Sign up by leaving a comment on this post or on the Two Crafty Mules Altered Swap Gallery.
Partners will be assigned the week of 11/9/08.
Ornaments must be mailed to your partners no later than 12/5/08.
Important: Please make sure I can contact you through your blog, FLICKRmail or email address. Please provide me with your name and address so I can give this information to your trading partners at the time partners are assigned.

Inchies Tutorial - Miniature Works of Art














In the altered art world, inchies are all the rage these days. What's an inchie, you ask? It's a 1" by 1" canvas made of sturdy watercolor paper which is collaged, rubber-stamped, painted or embellished with tiny photos, trims, words and anything else one can think of. If you haven't tried to make these yet, you are in for a treat.

Directions:

Cut a sheet of sturdy watercolor paper into the desired number of 1" squares.
Color the squares with paint or pencils, or use a tiny scrap of decorative paper as your background.
Select several small images and text (if desired) from clip art, magazines, books, etc. and cut them out.
Use a quality glue stick to adhere your images.
Highlight the edges of your inchies with embossing powder, ink,
or glitter. (I decorated the ones shown here with Stickles glitter
glue. One of my absolute favorite craft supplies.)
If desired, add tiny embellishments like mini flowers, trim, rhinestones, buttons and anything else you can think of.

Don't forget to sign the back of your inchie artwork.

Have fun!



Resources:

Artchix is a fantastic source of pre-cut 1" watercolor paper squares, mini embellishments and images designed especially for use in making inchies. Would you believe, they even have mini frames to individually frame your inchie artwork?

I belong to a wonderful Inchies group on FLICKR. Please feel free to come check out the group for project ideas and inspiration.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cabinet Card Beauties Brooches


The cabinet card was first introduced in 1863 in London. It consisted of a photograph printed on cardstock and could often be found on display in parlors – usually in cabinets. These were all the rage for family photos back then and remained extremely popular until around 1895.


In today’s day and age, it is not uncommon to see cabinet cards of lovely young women, children and families gracing the bins of antique stores. They are also readily available for purchase on EBay and other internet sites. They are relatively inexpensive and fun items to collect, but instead of stashing them away in a box somewhere, how about making these forgotten treasures into little pieces of wearable art? Be warned, though – these are fun to make and extremely addicting. Before you know it, you will have a whole collection of these little beauties!


Tools and Materials:

Photocopy of cabinet card (head and shoulder portraits work best for this project)

Illustration board – slightly larger than the cabinet card

Decorative scrapbook paper

White glue (I used Modge Podge)

Scissors

Light to medium duty utility knife

Pen or pencil for tracing

Colored pencils

Decorative chalk

Ink pad for shading edges (I used ColorBox Cat’s Eye in Yellow Citrus)

Krylon Workable Fixatif

Gel pen (white)

Dimensional adhesive (I used Diamond Glaze)

Small paintbrush

Small embellishments, such as buttons, rhinestones, narrow lace, charms, etc.

Pin finding

Strong glue, such as E-6000


Directions:

Cut out image from photocopy with scissors. Using index finger spread white glue evenly on the back of the image. Place the image right side up on the illustration board. Gently smooth the image down with fingers. Allow this to dry for several minutes to an hour before taking the next step. (Failure to allow sufficient drying time may result in the image tearing when color is applied.)


With one hand, firmly hold the photo in place while using the utility knife to cut out the image with the other hand. The board is extremely stiff and it will be necessary to make several small cuts in an area before cutting all the way through the board. Once the cutting is completed, use scissors to trim around the photo to clean up the edges, if necessary.


Place the scrapbook paper right side down on a flat surface. Place the prepared photo right-side up on top of the paper. Trace around the photo with a pen or pencil. Cut the traced image out with scissors. Use index finger to apply white glue to the back of the scrapbook paper; glue the paper onto the back of the photo.


Now the fun begins! Use colored pencils and chalk to color the hair, skin, eyes, lips and clothing. Add “blush” to the cheeks, if desired. Place the colored photo on a piece of newspaper, and in a well-ventilated area, spray the Krylon Fixatif over the photo in a sweeping motion. Allow to dry.


Hold the photo in one hand and press the edges of it into the inkpad. The purpose of the inkpad is to conceal the outside rough edges of the photo while shading the front edges of the image. Use the white gel pen to add details to the photo.


Apply dimensional adhesive over the top of the photo with a small paintbrush. Let dry.

Use the dimensional adhesive to glue on charms, lace and other embellishments to the photo. Let dry.

Glue the pin finding on the back with strong glue, such as E-6000. Your beautiful cabinet card photo is ready to wear!


Tips and Resources:


For added dimension, color the photos with the pencils first, then repeat with chalk. This will significantly intensify the color.


Homesew.com is a great resource for hard-to-find narrow doll lace and mini buttons.


Use small pieces of broken vintage jewelry to embellish the pins. Mini Christmas tree trims, such as beaded garland make great “pearl” necklaces.


These make great Christmas tree ornaments, gift tags and embellishments for other projects. Use your imagination! The possibilities are endless!


NOTE: This is from my original article and project which was featured in the Spring, 2008 Belle Armoire Jewelry issue. Enjoy! :)


This article and accompanying pictures are ©Wanda Eash, 2007. Please do not reuse without permission.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wine and Sausage Galore in Hermann


When my parents were in town a couple of weeks ago, one of the places we took them to was Hermann, Missouri. This sleepy little German town comes alive when it hosts big events, such as the Beer and Bratwurst Fest which occurred the weekend we visited.

There are several wineries located in town where you can wine taste until your heart's content. It's not uncommon to see large, juicy grapes dangling from the vineyards around town. I'm not really a wine lover, but you don't have to be to have a good time in this town. The downtown area hosts several shops full of gift items and antiques, in addition to the German School Museum. And, if you are a sausage lover, you'll feel right at home here.

One of my favorite sausage shops to visit is the Swiss Meat and Sausage Company. When you walk into the building, the smell of delicious meat envelopes you. It is reminiscent of the Polish butcher shops in Chicago we used to frequent when I was a little girl. Ah, the memories.... Anyway, this company makes 48 different kinds of sausage. There is something for everyone, even equipment and supplies (such as casings) for people who want to attempt to make their own sausage. We stocked up on all different flavors of sausage. Luckily, the shop also sells bags of ice and Styrofoam coolers for tourists like us. We traveled home with three coolers full of meat. (Check out the photo on the right of my mom and daughter with their shopping carts. )

Friday, October 3, 2008

Dick Clark's American Bandstand '57 Heaven Museum



The past couple of weeks were such a whirlwind with my parents visiting from the Phoenix area. So much to catch up on, so much to do and so little time. I know you can probably relate to this. Life is just too short, isn't it?

My parents were kids back in the 50's; it was definitely my dad's favorite era. One room in their home is like a mini museum of 50's toys, collectibles and memorabilia--kind of like a mini museum. Needless to say, they were the inspiration for one of our destinations while they were in town - Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theater and '57 Heaven Museum in Branson, Missouri. This unique tourist destination houses a restaurant decorated with huge 45 records attached to the ceiling, collectibles from Rock-N-Roll legends encased in glass displays and signed photographs and memorabilia hang on the walls throughout the entire restaurant. The displays include a real surfboard signed by Frankie Avalon and Carl Perkins' signed guitar and appearance contract from 1958, when he was paid a mere $155.00 to perform for an American Bandstand-related event. Video screens throughout the restaurant played vintage clips of American Bandstand from different decades.

After we ate lunch there, we headed into the '57 Heaven Museum, which is located downstairs. This was definitely a blast from the past. Hundreds of classic vehicles from 1957 can be found there, among an environment reminiscent of the 50's. The vehicles were displayed in different settings, such as at a faux drive-in movie theatre, repair shop, hotel and gas station (complete with the retro gas pumps.) In addition, there were also exhibits of the inside and outside of a 1957 home, complete with authentic decor, pink kitchen and the "family" gathered in the living room. Music from the era played throughout the museum and helped set the tone. I'm not a person who will normally attend car shows, but this was a whole different ballgame. We all had a great time at the museum and my parents really were in "heaven" during our visit there.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Halloween ATC Swap Mail Date Reminder

Please don't forget the deadline to mail your Halloween ATC's to me was yesterday, September 30. I have updated the list of names to show which ones I have received to date. (Please see the post below or the FLICKR Two Crafty Mules group for details.) I can't wait to see everyone's designs!