MY UPCYCLED SCRAPBOX DESK :)

I love the scrapbox products. I have always been fascinated with doing a lot with little spaces. That is one of the reasons I love the Ikea stores. Can’t get over the fact that they can fit so much in so little space. It’s like they plan entire homes in the space I would normally think a single room with require.

1

I am sorry for being MIA recently but a lot has been happening. I got married for one 🙂 and very ill as well :(. It took me quite a while to get over my illness and through I spent a lot of time thinking about crafting, I couldn’t really do any at all.
So I got married and my husband and I did up our house. One of the things I insisted on was a library/craft room for myself. My safe haven and happy place 🙂
So I got it and spent a lot of time doing research about the best way to utilize the space I had. I have a lot of books so those needed to go in. I needed some comfortable sitting space as well as a desk to do some of my work and research. I also needed a lot of storage space for all my supplies. Stamps, inks, paints, papers, cutters, magazines etc. And most important of all I needed a large work table. I wanted the table to be unusual and derived some inspiration from the scrapbox desk. Here is what I came up with:

2

I LOVE it. The colors coordinate with the rest of the room and I love the glass top. It allows me to use my shard cutters and glue etc without having to worry about damage. I also love that this table belonged to my husband’s grandfather and I had it modified true to my upcycling style. I love infusing old things with new life 🙂
The rest of the room came together really well too. I will share pictures and details in the next blog post so stay tuned. Once again I am very very sorry for the disapearance. I am back for a while now so we can look forward to some fun crafting adventures.
Oh and before I forget, while I was restricted to the bed and really ill, I managed to work some on my website 🙂 Do go on over to www.alteredupcycling.com and signup for the FREE e-book. Not only will you get that book but also a guide to making smash books of your own as well as a video series that will teach upcycled card making. So sign up now if you haven’t already. I promise not to send unwanted emails. Just fun and free crafty stuff.
I hope you all had a crafty last couple of months. Do write and let me know what you have been up to!
Have an artsy day!

SMASH BOOKS 101

I have been experimenting on how to make my own smash books and recently finished one that will chronicle all happenings 2012. I wrote a series of blog posts on my blog that y’all may have read recently.
Crafting a Green World was kind enough to have me over as a guest blogger and I did a Smash Books 101 blog post for them. For those of you who want all the information in one place head on over to their blog to see the entire post. 🙂

MAKING EARRINGS OUT OF SODA CANS!

So by now y’all know how much I love to upcycle and use soda cans and packaging plastic in my craft projects. Today I want to share with you a jewelry project that I adore. This project is also featured in my book, The Christmas Guide to Upcycling, which has lots of cool ideas for Christmas as well as gift ideas for the entire year. Look to the right for links to the books 🙂
These earrings are made using a diet coke can. Can you tell?!

40 41

Here are complete instructions on how to make these earrings. Change the embossing design to give them a completely different look.
Change the colors and the beads to make them more sedate. Play with the idea and upcycle! Change the fate of a soda can.
Beads in a Window – Earrings
Materials:
• Pieces of aluminum
• Sizzix Bigz Slide Mounts Die
• Cuttlebug Circles embossing folder
• Sharpies
• Jump rings
• Earring Findings or hooks
• 2 head pins
• 2 spacer beads or small beads
• 2 large accent beads
To start off use the slide mounts die to cut two identical frames of your choice from the aluminum and the felt. Then emboss these pieces using the Cuttlebug circles embossing folder and use your Sharpies to color in the pattern. For more detailed instructions on how to do this refer to the techniques section given in the book or comment below and I’ll help out 🙂

Glue the felt pieces to the aluminum pieces using clear strong glue. Use a small circle punch to make a hole in each shape in the top part of the frame. The same hole will be used to add a hook to and to hang the bead embellishment.
To make the bead embellishments, use a headpin and add a small spacer or other bead to that. Then add the accent bead and finish off by making a small loop with the rest of the head pin. Make two identical embellishments. Now use jump rings to attach these to the hole in the earring as shown in the picture.
Finish the earrings by adding on the earring hooks.
This is probably one of my favorite projects and I have received numerous compliments whenever I have worn these earrings to any gathering. Imagine the surprise your friends will get when you give them such chic earrings for Christmas. They will never be able to tell they started life off as a soda can!
Do let me know how you liked this project and share pictures of what you did. I would LOVE to see!
Sign up for our newsletter and a free e-book at www.alteredupcycling.com. We share lots of ideas and free e-books with our member community!
Have an artsy day y’all!

AN UPCYCLED VALENTINE

I have been crazy busy with work and family and have found absolutely no time to craft. I have however been going through some old projects that I had done and photographed. A lot of them can be found in all my books, The Ultimate Guide to Upcycling, Crafty Cans and Perplexing Plastic and The Christmas Guide to Upcycling and lots can also be found on my blog.

16 17
For those of you who are reading my blog for the first time, I am a mixed media artist with degrees in Mathematics. Don’t ask how that happened, it just did 🙂 I love to use materials that would otherwise be thrown away in my art. Things like soda cans, plastic packaging, plastic bags, fabricand paper scraps, old magazines and books, all find their way into my art and craft projects. My books and this blog are both logs of my adventures.
My latest project was an upcycled smash journal. I love what EK Success has developed and I bought and worked on a pretty pink smash journal for my 2011 scrapbook but I wanted to try my hand at an upcycled version.
The current post though is about a project I did a while back and that can be found, along with many others, in my book, Crafty Cans and Perplexing Plastic.
I made these small Valentine, Birthday and Baby cards using some paper scraps and soda cans. Here is how you can make your own.

HOW TO MAKE A SMASH BOOK THE UPCYCLED WAY PART 3

Here I am again and I finally found some time to work on my Smash Book! The upcycled version looks pretty cool and I started work on the first page yesterday. I am going to talk about some upcycled embellishments over the weekend but I thought it would be cool to share what I did for my first upcycled smash book page with y’all!
Yesterday was an amazing day. I had lunch with a team at our company and also found the time to shop and get an awesome pair of shoes while waiting for our order to arrive 🙂 I had a lovely evening with friends and followed up on some very interesting projects at work.

ssa

asaa

Got a few lucky breaks and made some breakthroughs and just generally felt blessed and happy. The feeling was something I wanted to document since I had been feeling pretty tired lately and a little overwhelmed with massive to-do lists both at home and work.
I thought that this would be the perfect way to start my upcycled smash book and so here is what my first page looks like!
I used some memorabilia from the places that I went to eat. I went for lunch to a restaurant and had the most amazing soup, steak and dessert. In the evening I had cheese fries and frozen yogurt! I tried blueberries for the first time in my life! Never thought I would like them but surprisingly I did 🙂
I added some stickers to highlight the happenings and special moments of the day. I found some awesome shoes and bought those and spent time organizing life at work and getting things done. The shoes were represented using some really cute stickers of shoes and sales. The paper bag from one of the eateries made a very cool pocket for a journaling card. I used the card to add some personal notes and journaling that will not be visible to everyone going through the book.

asaaaaa

I used a black sharpie marker to add some basic information about the day.
Making this page was quite a smashing experience and I felt that adding things as the year progresses is a lot better than waiting for the year to end and then making a book. I did that for my 2011 smash book and it turned out to be quite a long project and got a little tiring in the end. I actually enjoyed my smashing session yesterday and since I had to make just one page I really enjoyed trying different things and adding new layers. Much better than having 40 pages to do all at once 🙂
Here are some more detailed shots of the page. I used some stickers, some memorabilia, some chipboard embellishments and a Sharpie marker. I like limiting my supplies. It forces me to play with what I have in a creative fashion and since this is an upcycled smash book, the goal is to keep things simple and green.

Have an artsy day y’all! I will be back soon with more crafty adventures 🙂

DECOUPAGE STEAMPUNK DESKTOPS

sdsds

Nopes I don’t mean computer desktops. I mean old fashioned writing table desktops. The ones we used to sit at and do our homework or write letters or make the occasional jigsaw puzzle 🙂 I love desks and I have a beautiful one that was given to my older sister by our grandmother and to me by my sister. It’s quite old fashioned andhas some lovely detail, the top unfortunately was not usable and I had two options. One was to get the top replaced and the other was to somehow cover it. You can guess which option I went with, right? My desk became a decoupage project with a steampunk twist.
I am sorry to be digressing from my usual smash book upcycling series of posts. The fact of the matter is that my mind works in an enormously weird way. I tend to go one way and then another and then back again. You may have noticed that I started my upcycled smash and then went on to write about the Strathmore Artist workshops, which are quite awesome btw, and then went on to discuss how I would make a book of ideas and inspiration and now I am talking about desks and decoupage. This my friends is a hazard of taking a creative journey with me. I change course quite often, but always manage to find my way back and complete my projects. 🙂 So have no fear we will be finishing the upcycled smash over this weekend. I just have so much jampacked in this week that I have not been able to find the time to take the book forward. My apologies for that and for this long explanation.
Back to the desktop. I loved the way it turned out at home and then ofcourse I had to take the same technique to my table at the office. I had just moved into a bigger office with large blank walls 🙂 and L-shaped desks. The walls became the perfect canvas for some steampunk art and the desk was a perfect candidate for decoupage.
Here are some pictures of my desk

.sssdsdsd

 

The look is pretty simple to duplicate. I started out by using white glue to cover the entire desk with pages from an old book. I used one on the history of literature. Then I started adding some illustrations and other items that I had saved. Everything was glued on, from maps to illustrations of hot air balloons and airships to pictures of paintings. Once this second layer was on and had dried, I used some stamps to stamp motifs in black. Once again I let the table top dry and then added some finishing touches like stickers and smaller ephemera.
I really loved the way the table top turned out. After a coat of varnish to seal the top I used a piece of glass to make sure no harm came to my beloved table. Working at it is a joy and a constant source of inspiration. Do try this at home. You can use a small table or book cover or even a large jar or vase as your canvas.
Hope y’all have an artsy day. I shall be back soon with more crafty stuff to share!

MY BOOK OF INSPIRATION

We all have lists of projects that we want to do. Some we find in magazines, others come to us in dreams, many more flood from blogs that we follow or blogs that we love 🙂 I have an ever growing list of projects I want to make but I find that most of the times I forget about the ideas because they are in many different places, in word files, on sticky notes, in sketchbooks, all over the place and when creativity strikes I don’t want to dig for ideas, I just want to create, altered books, artist trading cards, smash books, upcycled treasures…

gh
Therefore I have resolved to make a book of inspiration. Have you noticed that since the new year has started I have been all about making scrapbooks, organizing memories and generally getting my crafting life in order? 🙂 I love the new me, hope it lasts… My book of inspiration will have clippings from magazines, sketches of ideas that I dream up and printed pictures of anything that is found on the WWW. Finally I will have all my ideas in one place complete with notes and doodles so that I can start on a project whenever the mood strikes.
You can choose to have a physical book or sketch book or you can also take pictures of anything and everything that catches your fancy, and that you would like to try your handat, and make a folder on your computer desktop. That way you don’t have to carry a physical book around. I love books and looking through them. That is why I will use an actual book or sketchbook to make my book of inspiration.
Now that I think about it I will probably use an old hardbound book. I’ll try and look for one which has thicker pages so that it can withstand a lot of things being stuck to it. I will alter the hardbound book and turn it into an altered/smash book. Yes! That is what I will do. I can’t wait to start work on it 🙂 I am so excited already.
I have already made quite a few altered books and loved the experience every time. Till now I have mostly altered hardbound books and children’s board books to serve as scrapbooks for vacations. I have never tried making an altered book asanything like an idea book or an artist’s sketchbook before
I am going to alter the cover of the book. Maybe make a few pockets and alter some of the pages. Add some paint to the background pages… I want to use one page for one project. Affix a picture to the center of each page and make notes, add doodles and suggestions on the sides. In the end I’ll have an altered smash book of inspiration. Super cool!
Well I’m off to look for a book and to start my project. In the meantime take a look at this awesome post about a visual idea journal: http://looking-glass.typepad.com/looking-glass/2011/10/visual-thinking-mixed-medium-playtime.html
Sign up to receive notifications by using the widget on your right and be a part of an artsy adventure.

#CountdowntoChristmas – Vintage Dictionary Art

countdown-to-christmas-8

As Christmas comes closer we are all frantically trying to get everything ready and done for the big day. Gifts need to be bought, presents need to be wrapped and holiday decor needs to be put up. We also look forward to meeting and entertaining family and friends and that means getting the house in order and planning eats. In short, a lot needs to be done and there is always a need for last minute gifts. My project today is an awesome last minute gift that can be made for both the ladies and men. It totally depends in the images you Continue reading

#CountdowntoChristmas Festive DIY Gift Bags

countdown-to-christmas-4

We’ve all made paper cups when we were younger. These were one of the easiest origami projects we were taught. I even made some to use as cups to drink water from and they held up pretty well! Today we will turn these paper cups into DIY gift bags.

In the spirit of the holiday season we’re going to take this easy origami project and give it a festive twist. Who doesn’t need gift bags in the holiday season? We all do! And making them out of paper cups is both fun and innovative – making your gift stand out from the crowd. Continue reading