Rabbits and rinchies

I know a lady who wanted 60 cards, 60 ATCs, and 60 inchies, all with rabbits on them, for her April birthday.  She got the large cards, not problem, and most of the ATCs, but hardly anyone she knows does inchies, so I decided to whip some up for her today.  While I was at it, I made some rinchies (round inchies) too.
The round inchies are for the April lottery at inchies_onexone.  Inchies are so small, it is hard to compose something that is even smaller.  The ATC has an Easter image on it, I know, but I just liked it.  It had a nice stained glass look that appealed to me.  Some of these are pretty simple, but the iridescent paper from Papertemptress really elevates them.

So, to the challenges:
Card Creations and more - not a card or layout
Stamping Vacation - April
Wags and Whiskers - use a punch (every circle and square is punched)
Art Impressions - use an animal
Amber's Crafts and Stuff - use a digi (all the rabbits are digis)
Tip Top Tuesday - Squares

Thanks for looking!
Juliet Arrighi

Easter eggs

I was making deviled eggs last night, when I realized that I did not show you my family's Easter eggs.  It's a little late, but I think it is still worth seeing some of the ones I have left.

These eggs were done by my 19yo daughter.  She was experimenting with masking tape, trying to make plaid eggs.  It was a very ambitious attempt, and I don't think she was very happy about how they turned out.

These were done by my 14yo son.  For the egg on the left, he used masking tape to keep the eye white while he dyed the rest of the egg purple.  He then colored in the details with a glaze gelly pen, not realizing how long they take to dry (which is why it is a little smeared.  For the Rasta egg on the right, he first dyed the whole egg yellow, then patiently dipped and held each end in place to add the red and green.  The Lion (of Zion) was drawn last.
These eggs were done by my husband, or at least the one on the left is (the one on the right might also be by my daughter, I'm not sure).  He likes the crayon resist method.  After coloring the stripes, he submerged the egg in dye, then slowly removed it for the ombre effect.  The one on the right is also a resist method - dots of yellow glaze gelly pen were allowed to dry completely (which is why I think my husband did it), then the egg was died blue.
I did not use any resist techniques this year.  The egg on the left was died, then colored with tiny dots of souffle pen (souffles dry opaque).  It was very hard to keep from smearing the ink before it dried.  The other egg was doodled over with a fine tip of a marker.  This was really hard to do on an egg, and was also prone to smearing.

It took the four of us over an hour to color 18 eggs, and now you can see why.

Juliet Arrighi

Red and Gold

Red and gold is the final challenge this month at Gingersnap Creations.  This is a card that I had in my head since I started being the Monthly Muse, to juxtapose the geisha stamp (from TAC) with a fan, almost as if she were holding it.  The double-sided paper is from GCD Studios. The fan is from my tutorial; I just can't stop once I get going.

Stampin' Royalty - sketch
Ladybug Crafts - fashion
Card Cupids - punches (used on fan)
Digis with Attitude - Asian
Stamptacular Sunday - at least 5 layers

Juliet Arrighi

Candy bags

As Passover is ending, I decided to use up the last of my matzah by making Matzah Candy.  I have a few girlfriends that have come to expect it every year, so I thought I would make some little gift bags and glam up my presentation.
These are 2-5-7-10 bags made from some double-sided paper I picked up at Tuesday Morning.  The flower tags were punched from scraps. 

Do they fit any challenges?  Of course they do!
Claudia and Co - clean and simple
Going Grey with Scrap-Creations - flowers
Aly's Sunday Challenge - baker's twine
Shannons Sentiments - anything but a card
Stamp. Scrap, and Doodle - add a tag
Crafty Ann's - fancy folds
InStyle Stamps - color challenge

Juliet Arrighi

Tutorial: A Fan using the Dahlia fold

Today I want to show you how to make a fan embellishment for your paper projects that will lie flat.  Of course you can make an accordion folded fan, but it will not fare well once you stuff it in an envelope.  This fan is deeply dimensional, but flattens nicely.

The two main things you will need are double-sided paper and circle punches.  The radius of your fan will be the diameter of the circles you will need to cut.  For example, if you want a fan that is two inches wide, you will need a one inch circle punch.  If you don't have double-sided paper, then color the back by brayering or burnishing with a dye ink.

If your paper has a repeating motif, try to punch your circles so that they are identical.  

This paper doesn't have a repeating motif, so I tried to simply make sure they looked as similar as possible on the top edge.
Crease each circle into quarters by first folding it in half vertically, opening it back up, then folding it in half horizontally, then opening it again.  This is the back of my demonstration piece.   I cannot stress this enough - keep track of the top of your circle!  Double-check before you fold!
With the back side facing up, fold the curves towards the center, using the bottom and side creases as guidelines.  Because the back side is up, it is very easy to accidentally fold the wrong edges.  Double-check before you fold!
To complete the "petal", flip it over so the right side is up.  fold the two folded edges from the previous step to the center crease.  It looks a little open in this photo because I'm not pressing it down, but the two edges do meet in the middle.
Put an arc of glue on your base.  I like tacky glue for this because I can slide the petals around to adjust them.  This base is an ATC, and the circles I am using here are 1 1/4 inches.

Here is the completed card.  After I glued the petals in a fan shape, I put a doodad in the middle.  This particular doodad is a gold charm, and it already had a hole for a ribbon.   I like putting ribbons on my fans, a consequence of too many years at the ren faire.
You can go to any size.  You can see by the grid underneath that the circles are only slightly over a half inch in diameter.  Note also that I carefully punched the paper to give me identical circles, and lined them up so that the white flower is at the top.

It's an inchie!  a fancy brad is enough for a hinge.
Stripes are great for these fans, but one again, be careful how you line them up!  they will look good either horizontal or vertical, but terrible if you mix them up or don't pay attention.
This is a standard size card.  I used 2 inch circles, and to make the handle, I first punched a small flower out of gold cardstock, then punched a hole for the ribbon.  I wrapped the ribbon in gold wire to make a handle.  See how dramatic the stripes are?

I hope you will give this a try.  I would love to see your results!

Diane in Idaho sent me a photo of her fan.  She says that this is a work in progress, but doesn't this fan work perfectly with the image?  The heart brad at the hinge is terrific, too!  Then she made this one, using half-inch circles:

Jeannie has a great dahlia fold fan on her blog - you can see how great it looks when the papers in the fan are echoed in the layers on the card.  She also made a medallion using scalloped circles.

Becky Partan of My Paper Moon Stamps put made a card using the same paper in the background, the fan, and paperpieced as the kimono on her image .  She left the back white, and the contrast really pops!

Vicky did an awesome job using this fan in her vintage themed shadowbox. Not only geishas hold fans!
Juliet Arrighi

inchies for Mom

The one of the themes this month at Inchies_onexone is Mother. I had to choose between normal and realistic, or at least between what I think is expected for this swap and what is really representative of my mother.

This is what I think people would like to receive:
The paper is Poison Ivory Iridescent from PaperTemptress, lightly burnished with distress inks.  I no longer remember where I downloaded the images.  Of course, bling is essential on a one layer inchie.

I assure you, my mother would hate these.  She might even stick her finger down her throat.

As it happens, today I got an amazing treat in the mail.  Becky Partan of My Paper Moon gifted me a bunch of small stamps - ATC and inchie size - and as I spread them over my table to admire and sort this bounty of over 70 (!!!!) stamps, I noticed that there were stamps for the four card suits.  If you know my mother, you know she loves to play cards, so I immediately went down and made these inchies.
The backgrounds are made by by laying 1/8 inch strips of red and black cardstock on sticky paper and pouring white embossing powder in the spaces between, like grout.  You can see that I got a few stray flecks of EP.  The images stamped very crisply, but blurred a little when I poured UTEE (why UTEE?  I just like the texture) over them (you can emboss over distress ink).  These inchies are made entirely from scraps, which my mother would admire greatly.

So now I have two different sets of Mom inchies - which do you think I should swap?

Oh, can't forget the challenges!
Clear It Out - quilt your scraps
Creative Craft Challenges - embossing
Going Grey with Scrap-Creations - digital
Simon Says Stamp - embossing
Truly Scrumptious - vintage
Lexi's Creations - anything but a card
Our Daily Bread - no coloring

Juliet Arrighi

Easter Card on Passover?

Happy Passover!  This is not my Seder night, as my husband is out of town until tomorrow, and that is when my son and daughter will come for dinner too, so I quietly blessed and ate my matzah and went on with my evening.  I knew I needed a card for my mother in law, and I was absolutely in love with this image (cutest bunny ever!), so...

The image is from Sliekje, of course, printed on poison ivory iridescent paper from the PaperTemptress. The patterned papers are from an old CTMH set, Victorian Elegance, and so is the copper cardstock and copper brads.  The sentiment is from TAC, so you can see I don't really have any brand loyalty to anyone.  I just buy what I like.

Creative Belli - bunnies
For Fun - colors
Lil Red Wagon - Easter
The Paper Variety - Flowers

Fun with Shapes and More - animals
Crafty Catz - Furry Friends
Nettie G - color a favorite digi

Juliet Arrighi

Scrap doll

One last bookmark doll, I promise! This one is unique in that all the paper on this card except the base is from scraps. The hair and head are leftovers from the other dolls I've made, but everything else is from a CTMH class I took last month. Unlike other workshops I've attended, Michelle doesn't give us precut pieces for our cards; she gives us uncut pieces of paper and a cutting diagram. There is always a lot left over, sometimes enough to duplicate all the cards we make at the workshop and then some. Anyway, I used the leftover CTMH paper because I knew that all the colors and papers would go together without even thinking about it.

Fast forward a month - I'm at this month's card class, and we are chatting about CTMH blog hops, and it's time for me to go, so I ask what I should do with my plastic drink cup (I was looking for a recycling bin), and Michelle tells me that I should use it on a card for the recycling challenge on the Heart 2 Heart blog.

So, I took it home and punched a butterfly out of it, and hit it briefly with my heat gun to curl it a little.  The tan color of the solo cup goes nicely with the muted tones of the paper, I think.  It was easy enough to add it to the card with a glue dot.

Other challenges:
WoodwareUSA - anything goes
Stamping Vacation - no black ink
Papertake Weekly - dimension
A Spoon Full of Sugar - small creature (butterfly)
Rubber Redneck - color
Freshly Brewed - cute and sweet
Fabulous Friday - handmade embellishment

Juliet Arrighi

Bead for Life

I got a box of beads in the mail today - I ordered loose beads from Bead for Life, an extremely worthwhile organization that empowers women in Uganda by selling internationally what they make there, in particular beads rolled from old magazines. Recycling and helping fight third world poverty by purchasing craft supplies? How could I pass on that?

So, I played with my new beads:
First, I whipped up a pair of earrings.  One of the best things about paper beads is that they are so light!  These fun dangles don't weigh down my ears at all.  Next, I tried stringing a quick necklace on some wire.  It came together quickly, and has a fun summery look, I think.

Can I make rolled paper beads out of old magazines myself?  Sure, but at this moment in time, the idea of helping others by buying their beads outweighs whatever satisfaction I would get from making similar beads. I think it says a lot that when I bought Swarovski crystals, I shoved them away in a corner and didn't look at them for months, and then only brought them out to make things for others; but these beads, the minute I opened the box, I was making jewelry for myself.

Juliet Arrighi

Fairy flight

I was tasked to make a large (8.5 x 5.5 inches) card for the whole bowling league to sign, to wish one of the members a speedy recovery after surgery.  I knew the usual motif in these instances is flowers, and I know Michelle Zindorf designs nice cards, so I paged through her tutorials and found one that seemed to fit the bill.  Since I did have any of her stamps and didn't feel like brayering, It ended up looking like this:
The coloring was all done with pencils.  Of course I used Masking and burnishing to color the sky, and  I used a combination of the Puzzle Layer and Paper Piecing techniques on the flower.  I decided to pass on the ribbon - it isn't only an issue of mailing, but when people are writing on both sides of the inside of the card,  it isn't very nice for them to have to work around lumps.

Kerry's Color throwdown - colors
Amber's Crafts and Stuff - favorite things (techniques)
Crafty Creations - paper piecing
Creative Card Crew - Spring
Flutterby Wednesdays - soft pastels
The Paper Variety - flowers
Color Throwdown - colors
Creative Stamp Friends - swirls
Juliet Arrighi

Tutorial: How to make a Japanese bookmark doll

Bookmark dolls, or shiori ningyo, are a fun Japanese craft all by themselves, and they also make a cute embellishment on a card or other paper project.  Despite the name, they aren't usually used as bookmarks; they are called that because of the shape.  They are really more of a paper doll.  Although they are traditionally made out of washi paper,  almost any paper can be used if it isn't too heavy to fold.

You can make one any size, but my goal here is to make one that could fit on a standard card.  I started with a plain piece of white cardstock, about 4 inches long and about a half inch wide.  Using scissors, trim away a slender neck and shoulders.  The neck looks long now, but most of it will be hidden under the head.

Next, prepare a small piece of paper to be the undergarment - kimonos are not worn directly against the skin.  I used a 2 x 3 inch piece of leftover origami paper.

Fold over the long edge a quarter of an inch, then fold it over again, to make a nice clean border to your paper.  If your paper isn't colored on the back side, you can unfold it at this point to color the part that will show, then fold it back up again.

Once you have it colored the way you like, you can wrap it around the neck of your base as shown in the picture.  Use a bit of adhesive to hold it in place.  Be very particular about folding the right side over the left as shown - only the dead wear it the other way.  Once you have the neck stable, fold the sides so they are parallel to the sides of the base.

 Pick a a paper to be your kimono.  Although most people wrap the kimono all in one piece, I find it easier and less bulky to wrap the top and bottom separately.  No one will see once you put the obi (sash) on.  For this size doll, I cut a 2x4 piece for the top and a 4x4 piece for the bottom of the kimono.

Fold over one edge and color the small piece just like you did for the undergarment.  Wrap it around the neck, letting the undergarment show at the neckline.  Again, be careful about having the right side over the left.
Fold the sides back to be parallel to the sides of the base.  If you are making a freestanding doll (not glued to a background piece) tuck the excess paper inside the fold instead of pushing it to the back.  Use a little adhesive to hold the top in place.

For the bottom of the kimono, fold and color one side of the square of paper, just like you did on the first two pieces.
Wrap it around the base, lining up the colored border.  Use a little adhesive under the flap to hold it to the base.  You can flare the bottom a tiny bit, if you like.

Now it is time to add the obi.  Actually, you can have several obis, three is a very common number.   Use a strip of a differently patterned paper, about 2x3 inches wide, and fold in the long edges to make them smooth.  Here I have two.  A little dab of adhesive under each one holds it steady while you wrap the ends to the back.  If you are gluing it to a background, then you are pretty much done with the outfit.  However, if you are making a freestanding doll, you will want a bow in back.
Here is a back view of my doll.  There are a lot of different ways to knot an obi; this is my paper interpretation of the popular drum bow (smashed flat).  I took another couple of inches of the same paper that I used to make the obi, and tucked the ends in over and under the obi.  Be careful to hide your cut ends under the bow.  In this photo I hadn't added the second obi yet.

Now it is time to make the head.  For the head,  I punched a circle out of white cardboard with a one inch circle punch.  I then cut out some hair from black cardstock, making sure that the hair was larger than the head.  You can be creative with your hairdo - hair can be long or short, fancy or plain, pigtails, buns - your imagination is the limit.  Also cut out some bangs or other hair to surround the face area.  These dolls don't have faces, so don't worry about the hair covering the eyes.
Here is my completed doll, with the head glued in place, and a few flowers added for fun.  I also have a different doll I made earlier in this picture, just to show you a different hair style.  Here they are from the back:
You can see I tried a different bow style on the second doll.  If you do a search for obi knots, you will see a lot of different variations to try.

These dolls ended up being about 6 inches long, but if I wanted to fit them on a card, it would be easy enough to trim a little off the bottom.  You may wonder about the lack of sleeves.  Bookmark dolls traditionally don't have sleeves.  However, it is your doll. You can try to add sleeves if you want, but trust me - it will not improve the look of your doll, unless you want your doll to look like Batman.

(snickering - I kill me)

The obijime (thin tie over the obi) is a very thin strip of yellow cardstock.  What Japanese girl doesn't have a headband with kitty ears?  Anyway, as you can see here, if you make the doll out of scrapbook paper, it will be sturdy enough to stand up.  the wings...er...sleeves are two separate pieces of 3 x 6 inch paper folded in half cut with a curve.  

I hope you will give this a try - it is fun,  and a great project to do with the kids, too.
Juliet Arrighi