Thursday, April 17, 2014

How Does My Garden Grow?

Just as a change from the shoes that Jo gave us to play with I thought I would do something with her felt flowers.  Now I can honestly say that I was not moved by felt flowers.  I would look at them and think what gorgeous colours and then pass them by not really knowing what I would do with them.  However it seems that when a project is due and I am least expecting it creativity strikes and I find myself getting excited about felt flowers.  So I had this vision of a torso rising up from a field of flowers and the project shown below is that vision realised.  How did I do? 

Firstly I layered up the felt flowers.  Once I was happy with the way they looked I glued them together.  I then covered them with fabric stiffener (white glue and water would work as well) and moulded them into shape.  Once they were dry I threaded thin plastic up through the center, added a bead and then threaded the plastic down the other side.  I used very fine strips of plastic because I wanted the illusion of movement when I had the finished project together.  I made lots of flowers because I really wanted to fill the base with them and give the impression of a vibrant garden.


So here is the process for the torso.  Firstly I made a small torso out of a toilet roll and covered it with newspaper.

Using white glue watered down with water I glued a serviette onto a piece of baby muslin.  While it was still wet I draped it around the torso.
I glued several bamboo skewers together and glued them inside the torso to give me a way to stand the torso.  I had some butterfly wings die cut (Spellbinder "Wings" Die) from an old calendar that I was going to attach to the torso, but I just felt that it needed something more, so I used fabric stiffener on a crochet doily and moulded them to make wings which I glued to the torso.  I then glued the die cut butterfly wings in front of the doily. Once the wings were attached I then decorated the torso using Imagine If flowers, leaves, insect buttons and Imagine If/Fix Design butterflies and a gecko.
For the base I used a recycled condensed milk tin.  I undercoated it with metal primer then when it was dry I painted the whole tin with white gesso. While the gesso was wet I put white tissue into the paint and then covered the whole thing again with white gesso.  This gives the tin a great texture.  Once this layer had dried I used gel medium to attach Imagine If/Fix Design felt stencil flowers.  Once the gel medium had dried I covered the whole thing again with white gesso.
I also added a few hexagons that were the offcuts from a Cheery Lynn chicken wire die.
After the paint dried I painted the whole thing with blue acrylic paint.  While the paint was still wet I wiped most of it off with a damp cloth.
To steady the tin and stop it from tipping I put in a couple of layers of glass marbles into the bottom of the tim.  I then put in three layers of polystyrene which I painted brown.  I then began to build up the piece by sticking the torso into the polystyrene and began adding the flowers and the butterfly.  To finish it all off I painted two metal dragonflies with black paint, wiped most of it off then glued them to the front of the tin. I added a row of jewels around the bust and waistline to define the torso.   Once again here is the finished project.
I really enjoyed making this project and I am a convert to the felt flowers.  Thanks for looking please remember to leave comments or questions and I will reply as quickly as possible.  Also go and check out the fabulous flowers on offer at Imagine If/Fix Design NZ and start creating your own gardens.  I will also be posting this project on my own blog.  I hope you will pop over and check out this and my other projects.
Materials used in this project.
Imagine If/Fix Design NZ Felt Flower Packs Shape paces 2-6
Imagine If/Fix Design NZ Felt Stencil Flowers
Imagine If/Fix Design NZ  Butterflies
Imagine If/Fix Design NZ Geckos
Insect buttons
Silk Leaves
Small white and pink beads
Recycled tin
Tissue paper
Metal dragonflies
Glass marbles
Recycled polystyrene
Toilet paper roll
Baby muslin
White glue/Fabric stiffener/Gel medium
White gesso
Blue and brown acrylic paint
Crochet doily
Spellbinders Wings Die
Bamboo skewers
Plastic for flower stems

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Take the first step

Well another week and another project.  This is the second project for Imagine If/Fix Designs NZ.  This project also uses one of their clever 3D shoes, only this time we had a boot to use sent a boot to use in a project.  The boot is actually three pieces that can be made into one 3D boot however I chose to split it up so that I could use the pieces to represent two boots on my project.  Here is the front of the finished project. This is in fact an art journal made from a recycled Readers digest encylopaedia. Don’t you just love the boots.

To begin the project I found an old Readers Digest Encyclopaedia at the local second hand store.  I took the pages out of the middle of the book leaving the spine and covers in one piece.  I then covered the covers and spine with reflective paper which began life as a gift bag.  I simply pulled the bag apart and then glued it to the book Covers.  Once I had covered the book with the paper bag I taped grey duct tape over the spine piece. There are several good video tutorials on You Tube showing how to deconstruct and recover the book with paper and how to create and bind signatures into the book.

Once the outside of the book was covered I cut a piece of thick cardboard slightly smaller than the cover and painted it black.  Taking a second piece of card  I measured the card and divided it into sections which I marked on the front and back of the card.  I then put the boots on the card in the position that I wanted them in for the final look and drew around the boots so I could see where to put the chipboard. Once I had done this I glued several of the Imagine If/Fix Design NZ chipboard shapes onto the card around the outline of the boots and in the areas that the boots would not cover.  Once the glue had dried I covered the whole piece with aluminium tape and using an embossing tool I went around all of the shapes under the tape.

After embossing the shapes I painted the whole piece with black paint and then rubbed it off with a paper towel.  This gives the effect of embossed metal. I then cut the piece of card into nine tiles.  I painted the edge of the tiles with black paint and glued them to the first piece of painted card with a small gap between each of the tiles and the side and top of the black card.
Using the same embossed metal technique I cut four round scallop circles using the Spellbinder circle dies.  I painted them black and used these to make faux metal corners for the front and back corners of the covers.  Fold the circle in half.  Open it out again and put glue on the whole circle . With the glued side up place the corner of the book (cover side up) onto the circle.  Fold the other half of the circle on top, fold the sides around and glue to the inside of the book covers.  I then glued the tile piece on to the front cover and added black and silver letter brads down the side. 
I then added gold brads to the corners of the tiles, except where they would be covered by the boots. On top of the gold brads I put a dot of glossy Accents black enamel paint. On the back of the cover I used strips of metal embossed card, strips of red card and metal word brads.  I punched a hole in the middle of the back cover and used a black eyelet to make an opening for the hair tie closure.

The next part was to jazz up the boots. 
I glued tissue paper to both pieces of the boots and then once it was dry I painted it with red paint.  Once the red paint was dry I drybrushed then with black paint.   You will notice that one boot does not have a heel. That is because it was designed to sit on top of the boot with the heel to create the 3D effect, but as the heel will not show on the finished project it is fine as it is. Once the paint was dry I embossed the boots using a Craft Concepts Flower embossing folder   and then covered them with a coat of modge podge.  On the boot with the heel I made a cut from the top of the boot down to the ankle and I glued a piece of black card between the two cut sides.
I glued a piece of white crochet doily around the ankles of each boot, then I glued a piece of black lace over the top of the doily.  I glued a row of gemstones onto the black card I had glued on earlier and added a leather flower from an old belt.  I painted the heel on the shoe black and I also painted the heel piece black.  I glued the heel piece to the boot and put a layer of glossy accents on to the heel piece. I then glued the boots to the front cover. I then added the words and a wooden knob to wrap the hairband closure around.  (Again there are some good tutorials on You tube on how to make these kind of closures.)
To finish the album I covered the inside of the book with black card.  I made six signatures using manila folders and white watercolour paper which I bound into the book using a pamphlet stitch.  I also used scraps of the silver embossed paper and red card to make beads which I incorporated onto the stitching on the spine.  I then painted two of the boot minis with red paint, added brads on each side and glued them together.  I then put a layer of Glossy Accents on each side. Once the Glossy Accents was dry I punched a hole in the top, added a swivel and attached it to the spine of the album.


Products used:
Imagine If/Fix Design NZ  Products
Boot Mini
Card Cutouts Birds
Card Cutouts Bird Cage Pair
Card Cutouts Art Nouveau Set
Card Cutouts Flowers Stencil
Card Cutouts Monarchs
Card Cutouts Keys
Tim Holtz Chip Block Letter Die
Craft Concepts Embossing Folder
Gold Brads
Letter Brads
Crochet Doily
Black Lace
Wooden Knob
Black card
Heavy cardboard
Silver Aluminium Tape
Tissue paper
Black and Red Acryclic Paint
Waxed Twine
Manilla Folders
Watercolour paper
Black Hair Tie
Black eyelet
Glue/Gel Medium/Glossy Accents
Silver Duct Tape
Fishing swivel
Silver Brads
Although this project seems quite complicated it was in fact easy to make and I think it showcases the neat Imagine If/Fix Design NZ boots beautifully.  Plus it is functional as well as gorgeous.  I hope you enjoyed seeing this project as much as I enjoyed making it.  Please leave a comment or ask questions.  See you for the next project.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Imagine If Design Team Project 1 - Designer Shoe

 Today I get to present my first Design Team project for the Imagine If Design Team.  This project is made using a new release from Imagine If, the SHOE.  This shoe comes in several pieces and can be assembled to give a very cool 3D effect.

When I got my first look at the shoe I was a bit stumped as to what I could do with it as it  is not something I would normally choose to craft with.  But after looking at it from several angles and thinking about it I began to get some ideas

 To begin with I painted all of the pieces of the shoe with black paint (both sides)

I then took the two side pieces and the strap piece and covered them with silver aluminium tape.  (This can be found at $2 or Coin Save shops). I then embossed the pieces using a Provocraft Cuttlebug  Gears embossing folder through the Cuttlebug
Once the pieces were embossed I painted them with black acrylic paint which I them sponged off using a paper towel. Once the black paint had dried I dry brushed on gold Lumiere paint.
The next piece I worked on was the toe piece.  I covered it with text paper from an old book. I then coloured it using Marmalade and Tea Dye distress inks.  I inked up a Kaisercraft bubble wrap stamp with Stazon Rusty Brown ink and stamped it all over the toe piece.  Once the ink was dry I embossed the piece using the Craft concepts summer flower folder.
After all of the altering I began assembling the shoe.
I used an old zip around the edges of the two side pieces and put a crocheted doily in the gap between the pieces. I glued upholstery tacks on the heel side of the shoe and I used a recycled buckle on the strap over the toe.


I added a row of beads from a deconstructed piece of jewellery across the top of the toe piece.  I then put a punched picture of a clock in a bottlecap  which I flattened in the Cuttlebug.  Over this I put a layer of Glossy accents.  Once this was dry I then glued  metal butterfly wings, on each side of the bottlecap and glued it to the shoe over the doily.
I also put glossy accents on the heel of the show to give it a bit of shine.

Here is the finished shoe.

So now I had a pretty cool shoe but what could I do with it?  I decided to use canvases to make a key holder.
I took a recycled stretched canvas and a slightly smaller board canvas and painted them (you guessed it) black.
Starting with the stretched canvas I put mesh tape around the edges of the canvas.  I glued the remaining piece of the doily I had used on the shoe to the left hand corner of the canvas.  I then sprayed the mesh tape with  Adirondack Butterscoth and Espresso colour wash  sprays.

I then began work on the board canvas. I used cream paint and stencilled gears on to the black background.  The stencil  I used was a TCW 12x12 Gears Template.  Once the cream paint was dry I gave the canvas a light spray with the Butterscotch and Expresso coulourwash sprays  that I had used on the larger canvas. 
I glued the smaller canvas to the larger canvas. Then I glued the shoe to the smaller canvas.  I used a Cheery Lynn  Gears .die to cut gears from card covered with aluminium tape. I painted these with black paint then dabbed off the majority of the paint with a paper towel. I then glued the gears to the smaller canvas and added metal brads to the middle of some of the gears

I sprayed six recycled  tabs from cans of tuna with the butterscotch and expresso sprays.  I then glued these around the edge of the smaller canvas, gluing the heads of upholstery tacks over the smaller side.

To finish the canvas I glued a recycled belt around three sides of the larger canvas.  I also nailed in some upholstery tacks to hold the belt in place.  Along the bottom of the larger canvas I screwed in four cup hooks to hold the keys.

As an added extra I cut three pieces of strong card. On one side I put aluminium foil and on the other side I glued paper that had been inked, stamped and embossed as for the toe piece.  I coloured up three keys from the Fix Designs NZ Card Cutouts – Keys, using Vintage Photo distress ink.  I attached these to the paper covered side of the card strip.  I also added some gear diecuts and bottlecaps with various images. I also used numbers diecut using the Tim Holtz  Chip Block die.  I covered the whole piece with Glossy accents and put Glossy accents in the bottlecaps.  On the back I painted the tape with black paint and dabbed it off with a paper towel.  To hang the tags I glued tabs from cans of soft drink to the top of each tag. 

Here is the finished project. From simple shoe to an accent piece suitable for any home.

 As you can tell I use a lot of recycled objects in my projects and these objects can be found in your home,or second hand shops.  I hope that this project gives you some ideas for using Jo’s amazing shoe in your own projects.  Please feel free to leave comments or ask questions in the comments section of this post and I will be only too happy to reply.  Till the next project, bye for now.

Products Used

Imagine If  Shoe
Fix Designs NZ Card cutout keys
Craft Concepts Spring Flowers Embossing Folder
Cheery Lynn Dies – Gears
Provocraft  Cuttlebug Gears Embossing Folder
Black Paint
Aluminium Tape
1 x stretched canvas
1 x board canvas
Clock, compass images
Glossy Accents
Metal Butterfly Embellishment
Metal Brads
Tin can tabs
Soda can tabs
Adirondack Colour Wash Spray – Butterscotch and Espresso
Tim Holtz Distress Inks – Marmalade, Vintage Photo and Tea Dye
Stazon ink – Rusty Brown
Kaisercraft clear stamp – Bubble Wrap
Gold Lumiere paint
TCW 12x12 Gears Template
Upholstery Nails
Gel Medium
Recycled Belt
4 cup hooks
Crochet doily
Recycled belt buckle
Recycled jewellery pieces




Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Imagine If Reveal

I hope you have all checked out the blog at Imagine If.  Jo has revealed her latest products and her projects using them and they are amazing.  Tomorrow we have the first of the projects from members of the Design Team and each day afterwards there will be something new to see on the Imagine If blog.  From the Imagine If blog you can link to each of the Design Team members blogs If you haven't aready you should pop over and check out the new products at  In the meantime here is a small sample from my first project to whet your appetite.