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Monday, September 15, 2014

Upcycled Briefcase into a Stenciled Art Case with FolkArt paints and stencils

How to stencil a stylish case for art supplies using FolkArt Multi-Surface paints #plaidcraft

This is a sponsored post, which means I got free products and paid for writing it. All opinions are my own and based on my experience. 

Getting the chance to use FolkArt Stencils and Paints for a project was a lot of fun. So first I'd like to talk about the supplies because they are incredibly nifty. Find FolkArt® stencils, paint and more at Michaels.

FolkArt Multisurface Paint- If you're a craft painter, you want this paint. It comes in a bunch of colors and some really gorgeous finishes. I got to use a pearl finish and some metallic finishes in my project. In 3 weeks it air cures on smooth surfaces like glass and ceramics, it works on plastic, on paper, on every surface that gets painted in my home. We are using it this weekend on some white cups, and possibly on some white blankets. As much as everyone in my family likes to upcycle, this is our new favorite paint.

FolkArt Stencils- laser cut precise stencils, these have perfect sharp edges that are smooth, lots of detail and are reusable. They also come in lots of trendy designs, like the jaguar stencil that I used.

FolkArt Stencil Adhesive- I love this stuff. You apply it to the back of your stencil- it daubs on. Then your stencil is lightly adhesive and won't move around. If you make sure to get the fine details that might come up when you pounce your paint on, they don't move either. Then you can peel up the stencil easily and it doesn't leave a sticky residue. Best part? Even if you're re-using the stencil in your project, you only have to apply it once. It stays sticky for a few uses.

So I had a lot of ideas, but decided on making the art case for my daughter because she can keep a lot of her supplies nice and neat in it. So many people have switched to using laptops and bags that briefcases are all over thrift stores and garage sales. They are perfectly designed for paper and art supplies with a hinged lid and rigid build to keep everything very flat. So you'll need to find a briefcase in good condition in a thrift store.

You'll also need your favorite paint applicators, foam plates and painter's tape. I used a larger sponge for stenciling and a foam roller. My photos show a sheet of vinyl for the first part instead of painters tape because the vinyl was damaged and convenient.

The colors I used are
Metallic 14K Gold
Metallic Bright Gold
Metallic Chocolate Brown
Mandarin Satin Pearl

So the first thing you'll do is block off the middle top of your briefcase.
Put some paint on the foam plate. I put on a few colors, starting with the golds, and adding a few small spots of the other two colors. Paint the edges of the case. Pull up the tape and let it dry.

While it's drying, daub the back of the stencil with the FolkArt stencil adhesive. After the FolkArt paint is dry, put the stencil in place in the center of the case.
You can tell that I tried out the stencil first! Make sure the small areas that might come up while your pounce are well adhered. Because of the texture of the case, using a nearly dry brush and going over it twice worked better than using a lot of paint and helped prevent bleeding into the texture. Pounce the brush, and shade your colors from lightest down to the bottom with darkest. As you can see, the stencil needed to be moved to finish. I let the paint dry, then put the stencil on the bottom to put in the last little bit.

The final step is the stripe edging. Make sure all your paint is dry before taping.
As you can see- I used just the gold for the inner stripe, and gold and brown for the outer stripe. The difference between the stripe and the edging is subtle and looks really good.

My daughter is thrilled with the case, and even my son said it looks neat. I think he plans to pinstripe a case for himself using the same colors. The finishes are so nice looking.

Want a LOT of great project ideas? Check out these links.
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Must be fall- geese and magpies

As the weather starts to change, so do the leaves on the trees. It's time to get in the last of the harvest. I have quarts of rhubarb, raspberries and peas in the freezer until next week when TG and I have more time to can and dehydrate. I also have a lot of pea shoots and leaves that will be turned into soup tomorrow night for dinner. There will be a recipe for people wanting to get everything they can from their gardens.

Magpies are getting more visible. I have no idea why that is, but in the fall and winter- I see a lot more magpies locally, and geese start doing practice flights and leaving their summer nesting grounds, you see gaggles in random places in the city. Click on the images to see larger versions.
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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Embroidered Wood Jewelry using the new Dremel Micro 8050 (and why I LOVE this Dremel)

Embroidered Wood Jewelry tutorial using the Dremel 8050 Micro #MyBrilliantIdea #CleverGirls #sponsored
Dremel is awesome, you all know the. The first name in small power tools has the perfect new tool for crafters and hobbyists. The Dremel® Micro™ 8050 tool.

It looks like this, and it's available in all the usual places. Home Depot, Amazon, and it's 89 dollars USD.
So what makes it the perfect tool for hobbyists?

  • It works with standard Dremel bits, grinders, burrs and collets
  • Lots of power in a cordless that can be left on the charger until needed- it automatically stops charging when the battery is full. 
  • Light weight and ergonomic design is easy to hold and control
  • TASK LIGHT! When it's in use, it has a little directed LED that shines right on the project to really see what you're doing. 
  • It does everything you expect from your Dremel Rotary tool, it drills, grinds, sands, sharpens, engraves and carves
In fact, the only thing that's not perfect about it in my family is that we have only one. We plan to remedy that soon. My daughter loves it for making hard wood knitting needles. She whittles down to the basic shape for the point, then uses a sanding drum to finish shaping for a nice taper. My husband thinks it's the best thing in the world with a small collet and drill bit to put nice neat holes in leather without having to line up punches. Using the 8050 Micro, he can mark where the holes need to be then zip zip zip and they are done. My son likes engraving glass.
It's designed to fit well into small areas, and to work on small projects.

Check out Dremel on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest for lots of ideas and projects.

To make the jewelry shown, you'll need a Dremel 8050 Micro, a collet and 1/8th inch drill bit- both are available from Dremel, and if you want to bevel the edges, a sanding drum.
You will also need:
Wood disks, embroidery floss- this is a great use for specialty floss, paint, glue, needle to fit the floss, and jewelry findings. 

This is a good project for craft nights and if you pre-drill, a fantastic project to do with children because there are so many ways to embroider designs and paint the disks.

Plan your holes. I went with a couple layouts for the small disks, and one layout for the large pendant disks- I made marks on one of the wood disks.
Then instead of marking each disk, I taped a few together- these are fairly thin disks of wood. 
Then drilled the holes. So fast, so easy.
Now, you paint them. Remember to contrast the paint with the floss so the floss shows up well, and start stitching. The fun part is that the same hole layout can be used in different ways. 
Spread a layer of glue on the back to seal all the knots and thread. You can back the disks with paper, felt or even another disk. Then attach all your findings. I'm going to glue the small ones to barrettes and ring blanks. The large ones are fun pendants. 

Dremel wants to celebrate its fans’ brilliant projects, work and ideas! Now through October 12, share, tweet or post photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that depict your brilliant ideas using the hashtag#MyBrilliantIdeaSweeps for the chance to win weekly prizes, including free tools and handmade gifts, or the grand prize: a custom-engraved Honda scooter and a Micro 8050. Visit for rules and to learn more.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Geometric mandala to color- I call it joy!

Joy mandala
I call this a joy mandala because I was thinking a lot of happy thoughts while drawing it. I hope you enjoy coloring it in!

Click the images for larger versions to print:
Small JPG version:
A mandala to color- available in both JPG and transparent PNG format

Large transparent PNG:
A mandala to color- available in both JPG and transparent PNG format


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