Saturday, March 31, 2018

Easter Goodies

This is an exploding box of Easter delights.

I made it for my darling husband. We've been married for 16 years, but we still put together Easter baskets for one another. It's our silly not-so-grown-up tradition.

I found the pattern for this Easter Explosion Box on the Dreaming Tree website. It looked so complicated that I initially was afraid to try making it.

Dreaming Tree, however, released a free bunny Easter card pattern. I tried making that card one afternoon. The next thing I knew, I had three adorable bunny cards.

I had such fun making those bunny cards that I decided that I needed to purchase the pattern for the exploding box.

Until I saw the pattern, I don't think that I had even heard of a decorative exploding box. Basically, one pulls together all of the little pieces and puts a lid on the box.

Then, when the lid is removed, all of the goodies flutter freely.

The box wasn't particularly hard to make, thanks to the detailed YouTube video available on the Dreaming Tree website.

Two sides of the box exterior have large yellow and green flowers. I used my embossing machine to emboss a crisscross design on each of the flowers.

The exterior of the box features a retro vinyl design. I inked the flowers with a bit of brick red ink.

Pardon the crooked lid here. It looks like I didn't get it on completely before I took this photo. Still you get the gist of the design.

The other two designs are the plain vinyl card stock.

I embossed the green paper inside the box as well. I used a swirly designed embossing folder. I wish I had used the crisscross design on those paper pieces as well, but the swirls are OK.

I also inked the flowers inside of the box and part of the green paper. I decided that I didn't like the look of the ink on the green paper, so I didn't do it on all of the green. After the project was completed, I think the ink looked OK.

I probably won't try using a purple ink on green paper ever again, but hey, lesson learned.

The only major thing that I regretted about this project was that I switched to a different glue from what I normally use.

I used Scotch Quick-Dry Tacky Glue. This is the glue that is recommended by Dreaming Tree crafters as well as tons of other people. I thought, "How can I go wrong?"

The great thing about this glue is that it works fast. You don't need to spend a lot of time holding your paper in place in order for the glue to take hold.

The downside is that the glue leaves a shiny residue that is impossible to remove. That's no big deal if you've got supreme gluing skills.

I, however, am not a master gluer. I use glue a bit like a 5-year-old. So, if you look closely at the little critters inside the box, you'll inevitably see shiny specks of glue.

The glue spots annoy me, but I didn't notice the issue until I had finished most of the box.

At any rate, I think I'll be going back to rubber cement for most of my paper projects in the future. It doesn't dry as quickly as the Scotch glue, but I can rube off the dried glue with an eraser so my project will look more professional.

Still, I'm pleased with the project overall. Now that I know how to make an exploding box, I look forward to making more boxes with different themes.

At the end of the day, I learned a few new things.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Water Lily Luminary

This project nearly drove me to madness.

Was it because the directions were bad? No.

Was it because I tried to go too quickly and I didn't pay attention to what I was doing or because I went completely insane and kept starting over.

Of course not.

 Was it because Crafty the Penguin was missing from my desk?

Absolutely. There can be no other explanation for it.

Honestly, I worked on this project for 5-6 hours. It was insane.

The biggest problem likely was that I tried to go to quickly with the most important part of the project - the construction of the planter base that allows it to stand. I made a mistake that kept my pieces from fitting together properly. It simply could not be fixed.

So, I had to cut out new pieces. I was out of the gray paper that I had intended to use so I grabbed some yellow paper. After I had the whole thing put together, I decided that I despised the color of yellow that I had used.

I started taking it apart again. That's how I roll.

At any rate, I finally got it together.

The project is called Water Lily Illuminated Compote. It's available from the Dreaming Tree website.

There's a very detailed video that explains exactly how to put the project together. It's not difficult, but you have to take your time.

It's incredibly sturdy. My cat, who has a tendency to pounce my paper projects, could attack this baby several times and it would not come crumbling apart. It's solid.

It is a time consuming project, but it shouldn't take anybody in their right mind 5 hours to complete it. It probably should take about 2 hours.

I tried some new inking skills on this project.

 I used a cotton ball to rub a bit of fired brick  Distress Ink on the inner pedals of the lily. 

I love the extra oomph that the ink gives the flower.

This is the first time that I've made a luminary. I put two electric tea lights into the box to make it glow.

While it took me a long, long time to finish the project, I'm happy with how it turned out. It's quite large and I learned something new from completing it.

My goal is to build a magnificent 3 dimensional paper castle by the end of the summer. I think this project helped me to develop some of the patience that I'll need to build that masterpiece.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Recent projects

I recently changed phones.  For a couple of days, I thought that I had lost all of the photos from all of the projects that I've made since I started paper crafting last autumn. Gasp!

I finally dug up many of the photos. I put together this funky little slideshow using Cincospa to showcase those early projects. Click along the photos to see a few of my creations.

As you can see, I'm particularly fond of making flowers, cards and funky 3-D animals.


Friday, March 23, 2018

Welcome to my Paper Crafting blog

I've always been a crafter to some extent, but when my husband gave me a Cricut Explore Air for my birthday, I discovered the magical world of paper crafting. 

I love making my own cards, 3D animals, flowers, and every other paper craft that I can find. I plan to use this blog as a place to chronicle the trials and tribulations of my newest hobby.