Monday, 24 December 2018

Upcycled box Fireplace and Pool Noodle Centrepiece - Helmar Creative Team

I hope you are having a great Christmas Eve.  Today I have 2 Christmas Decor projects to share with you.  But first I wanted to start by sharing how I came to be creating my project.
I originally started created the word MERRY from large wooden letters that I was decorating with various papers and embellishments, I was in the middle of my first letter when I thought to myself this decoration really needs to be on a mantel but I don't have a mantel.  So I decided to make a box fireplace.  There are so many versions of this on the internet but I wanted to make one that was kinder to the environment and stronger thanks to using Helmar wherever possible.

So I collected 6 identical wine boxes and 2 laptop identical laptop boxes and assorted non-recyclable clean plastic rubbish and foam packaging that was't recyclable to fill the boxes to give them stability and strength, I sealed the boxes with packing tape, this was the only time I used tape in this project.
I set to work constructing my Fireplace.   I glued my boxes together with Helmar Hobby & Craft Glue at first but later switched to Helmar Premium Craft Glue as I thought it would give more strength and it definitely worked better when I experimented to add texture with fibreglass tape.

I created my base by cutting down a box from a fan and adhering my fireplace to it with Helmar Premium Craft Glue.  I also cut multiple strips from the fan box to use for adding details to the fireplace.
I stacked some boxes of books on top while it was drying to ensure enough pressure was applied to both sides while the glue dried.  And I was hoping it would help my laptop boxes straighten out as they were a little warped.

I added a back to the fireplace and then I added details to the front with the strips I cut from the fan box earlier.

I decided to try covering my fireplace in crushed packing paper and then a coat of beige paint to give it what I hoped would be a rendered look.
When adding the paper I found it best to work in small sections to ensure the details came through.
I used Helmar Premium Craft Glue where the packing tape was to ensure a strong hold.  Adding the glue then applying the paper here first.
Then I used my Helmar Craft & Hobby PVA for the parts that didn't have tape on.  Again working in each detail section at a time.

Once these front sections were covered I applied the paper to the sides and inside as far as it would go.

Now it is ready to be painted.

I was hoping my sample pot would be enough to give me a good coating but still allow my details to show through and that the overall effect would be a rendered look.   However I ran out of paint after 1 coat and my back was not happy so I decided to love it the way it is.
Here is a close up of the top.  What do you think?  Did I get a rendered look?

During one of the breaks I took while making the Fireplace  I saw a post about creating a pool noodle table centrepiece in a Mum's group and there were so many Mum's who had burnt themselves using hot glue to create this, I knew I had to make one with Helmar so people would know they could avoid the burns by using Helmar for projects like this.
I wanted to be as environmentally friendly as I could be by using old/damaged decorations a friend gave me and a damaged pool noodle.  I wound up buying the green pine tinsel on sale for 50% off and some extra red and gold decorations as there wasn't quiet enough in the box my friend gave me but I tried to keep my environmental footprint for this as small as possible so I only bought what I needed.

I first experimented with doing a all gold one just to see if it would work.  I looped the tinsel garland and bead garland and applied Helmar Premium Craft Glue in sections to add these garlands to my pool noodle.  This was a great way to get it on quickly.  I would wind up removing this before it was dry so I could instead use green pine type tinsel garland and a mix of red and gold decorations.

So the LED candles could easily be turned on and off and fit where they needed to go easily I cut the packaging they came in into 3 and added it onto my pool noodle where I wanted them to be with Helmar Premium Craft Glue. 

I added some of the gold bead garland to the candle packaging as it is clear and I needed to hide the pool noodle when the candle is in it.
I then started adhering the green pine tinsel around the bottom and cutting some pieces off the end to fill in the top between the candles.

I then started adding decorations, just adding them where I thought they looked best and keeping in mind when putting them near where the candles would go that they should help provide stability and support to the candle packaging.
When adhering each decoration I would put some Helmar Premium Craft Glue to the parts that would be touching something else, I would hold whatever it was touching together until dry, whether that was the tinsel and another decoration or 3 decorations.

I used Helmar Premium Craft Glue for the entire pool noodle decoration.  It has been great for this project.  This was my first experiment creating anything like this and next time I will experiment with Helmar 450 Quick Dry Adhesive as I think this will give me a even better hold.

And here is the finished Fireplace and Pool Noodle decoration all set up with LED candles and LED wire lights ready for our Christmas celebrations.  I love how they turned out.

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Gift Ideas for the Scrapbooker/Papercraft List 2

My friend Shay asked in her Scrapbooking Group what scrapbooking related thing were people hoping to get for Christmas so I commented that time is what I need and mentioned my Gift Ideas blog post listed ways you could provide time.  Shay and I started chatting about my list and I told her I had had a couple of extra ideas and that lead to us discussing all kinds of wonderful ideas so it was clear a second list was needed and here it is.

Professional Family Photos are always something to treasure.  I do advise finding a local photographer rather than a chain as the local photographer is usually cheaper and has more qualifications, etc.

Vouchers for Experiences so they can get more photos and memories recorded.  This could be anything from a movie to a theme park or a wildlife experience like feeding dolphins at Tin Can Bay, visiting the turtles and Mon Repos, a Museum trip, Whale Watching, visiting local landmark, etc.

A Ancestry Membership or even a Ancestry DNA test is a great gift for the Scrapbooker who is into exploring and recording family history.  

Digital Photo Storage and Organisation.  I know many are not tech savvy including myself or have trouble being organised so anything that helps with organising and storing our digital photos safely is appreciated.  It could be something as simple as helping them find the cloud storage that is right for them, a photo storage and sorting program, a external hard drive that you then set up folders for each year and each month of each year in, etc.

Physical Photo Storage and Organisation.  Most of us have huge piles of photos from before we had digital cameras maybe you could give the gift of your time to help them scan and back up their photos and album pages and maybe even help sort their photos into photo safe storage so they can find things easily to scrap.  When looking for a photo storage box look for one that isn't cardboard or PVC, you want polypropylene or mylar plastic for archival storage.

A gift basket full of scrappy goodies.  Shay had a awesome idea for a gift basket full of scrappy goodies, many of them are in this list, so why not look through this list and the previous list and create a gift basket for the scrapbooker/papercrafter in your life.  You could use a basket or a cute bag or tote to present it in.

A nice pen for their journalling.  Years ago I emailed some pen companies to ask which pens are archival, Pilot said all their pens are as did Uniball and Sakura said their Pigma Micron Pens are so a pen from these brands would be a awesome gift for their journaling.  

Supplies for clean up when doing mixed media so some paper towels (you could even get some with a cute design on them to make them a bit more fun), baby wipes or head to the op-shop for some face washers and hand towels for a reusable clean up option.

Scissors.  A crafter always needs scissors.  I have a pair for fussy cutting, cutting fabric and ribbon, non-stick for cutting tape, multipurpose for cutting plastic and other things that may damage scissors.

I did mention a cup or mug in the previous list and this falls into that category a Travel Coffee Mug, they are less likely to spill so are great for crafters.

Sweets to munch on while crafting to keep their energy up while they work.

Spray bottle for a nice spritz of water when doing mixed media.  You could even get them one with a cute decal on.

Paint for doing mixed media, even the cheap stuff from the local cheap shop can be fun to play with and experiment with, it doesn't have to be expensive.

If they haven't tried Gelatos or Scribble Sticks yet then a set of those as they are a lot of fun to play with. 

Paint Brushes, either a set or a nice silicone one.

Photo Printing Vouchers.  We do print a lot of photos so if they don't have a printer at home and getting one is out of the budget a voucher to get photos printed is great.

A 12x12 frame to display their work.

Albums to put their work in.  Try and suss out which type they prefer.  Some prefer D ring and some prefer post-bound or the old style strap hinge albums.  If you aren't sure don't worry, we appreciate the thought and albums no matter the type are always useful.  

If buying a post bound album consider also ordering  a snapload kit  to replace the posts with, especially if they have hand issues like I do.  I find using post-bound albums very difficult due to my hands and I wind up having to ask someone to put pages in for me so the snapload kit is awesome for me as it allows me to be independent when using these albums.

I hope this list and the list I created earlier this month are helpful to you in your gift giving.  And don't forget to save both lists so you can come back to it for those upcoming Birthdays, Mother's Day and Anniversaries.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Childhood Christmas Memories album - 2 more pages - CraftOnline Creative Team

When creating the Trifold Card in my Simple Christmas Cards video I felt that the papers from Simple Vintage Christmas by Simple Stories were perfect for my St Nick and Decoration pages in my Childhood Christmas Memories project so I decided to do a second video for you this month and share my process of creating these 2 pages for you.

Items used in this project include.
Simple Stories Simple Vintage Christmas chipboard stickers  

Previously I left myself 2 pages short so I added a page in earlier but I still needed one more page in this section as this time period in my memories needs 3 pages so I used 1 of the papers from the 6x8 paper pad to become a large tip in that folds up from the top.
For the page that will be behind my tip in I added the top half of another paper from the paper pad over the join so it would look like it belonged.

I needed to pull in the colours from my previous page so I stenciled with the Tim Holtz stencil using my Dina Wakley paint in Peacock to pull part of this design over while also having the more traditional look needed for these pages.
I made sure my stenciling went over the bottom of the piece to pull it together and make if feel like it was meant to be that way.

I matted my photos in a cluster on some red cardstock and fussy cut the holly on the paper so it could sit on top of my photo.

For the front page/tip in this was going to be my St Nick page so I just matted my photo and added a couple of chipboard stickers to finish it off.

I needed these pages to be fairly flat as I didn't want to add anymore chunk to it, the chipboard stickers gave a little chunk but didn't over do it, they were perfect for my needs.

I love how these pages turned out and I have the back side of my St Nick page to add in my journaling when I am happy with what I have written.
I hope this project has inspired you to record some precious memories.

Simple Christmas Cards - CraftOnline Creative Team

Today I have some simple Christmas cards to share with you that I created for a kids Christmas card making class and the CraftOnline Creative Team.  The kids Christmas card making workshop was going to be for ages 6 and up so I wanted to have quick and simple cards and something a bit more advanced for the older kids.

Items used in this project include.
Poppy Crafts Merry Christmas script die (no longer avaiable)

I decided to create a wreath card and experiment with foiling using the double sided adhesive paper from Universal Crafts for one card.  I had a idea about how I wanted to do this but did some quick research to see if anyone had used foil the way I was thinking and found this video from Jennifer McGuire, she has 5 ways she uses it and the one using adhesive paper was exactly what I was thinking about so it was good to know it could work before I started playing with the technique.

I keep forgetting to order a replacement bone folder (mine went missing a few months ago) so I had to use a brayer for this technique and I got a kind of grungy foil look that I really love.

I then experimented with creating a watercolour background and paper background for my card.

For the second card I went with a design that uses up paper scraps.  I made another version of this card a few years ago for another children's card making class.  I do not remember where I got the inspiration from as it was so long ago but I do love this technique for creating a quick card that uses up your scrap stash.

I then decided a trifold step card would be cool.  To make it easier I used a cut file and my Silhouette Curio to cut the base and then I just decorated it with Simple Vintage Christmas paper and chipboard stickers from Simple Stories.  I love the results.

Inspired by some of the papers while making this card I created 2 more pages in my Childhood Christmas Memories album, you can find the process video for them here.

I love how the kids took what I showed them and created these cute cards.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

December Projects 2018 YouTube Hop - Childhood Christmas Memories - Christmas in Cunjurong Point

Welcome to the December Projects 2018 YouTube Hop.  
Wow can you believe it has been 2 years since I posted in a couple of groups asking if anyone would like to do a December Projects YouTube Hop.  I made some wonderful friends doing this hop, I think that has been the best part of it for me.
Thank you for supporting it by watching and commenting on our videos, we create them to inspire you and it is good to know you value our hops.

You can find a Playlist for the Hop here.

December Projects 2018 YouTube Hop order
AmiraInOz Crafts
Dyspraxic Organised Scrapper (Me) 
Chrissi Mannix
Scrappy Cheeky Lauren 

For my project I worked on the last spread in my Childhood Christmas Memories book, a project that I started for last year's Christmas Hop.  I used supplies from the November 2017 kit from Scrapping Fun Kits and some supplies from a couple of older TN Kits.

Have you joined out Facebook Group for our Hop Fans yet?  

I hope you enjoy this Hop there are some wonderful projects from these talented ladies, so much crafty inspiration.  
We really appreciate knowing you enjoy our videos and the best way to do that is to leave a thumbs up and comment.  And if any of the projects inspire you to create something please let us know.

Thank you for supporting our Hops.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Gift Suggestions for the Scrapbooker in your life

I was asked for Christmas present ideas for myself by a loved one who knows nothing about scrapbooking, paper crafting, art journaling or card making but supports my creativity, they aren't sure what would be a good gift.  So while I was thinking about what I could suggest I decided to try creating a post for others who love a paper crafter and want to give them a thoughtful present.  

Ok this post is going to be a long one so bare with me.  

Before I get into my list I just want to share this cute bag from James Burke, I love it as a scrapbooker and journal keeper, it is a great quote as I keep so much stuff others would just throw away to use in either my journal or a scrapbooking layout.  So before I start my list I am going to recommend This Cute Bag as a cute gift because it would otherwise fit in my list much further down and I don't want you to miss it.  :)
He has a full priced version and a discounted version as it has a flaw
Note:  Though James is a Aussie he is living in the US so postage is high due to this but I love supporting artists like James who share their art and provide tutorials to help inspire us and help us find our creativity.

Ok back to my Gift Suggestion List

Gift idea Number 1

My biggest need is TIME, time to craft. 
I think we can all relate to needing time to do the things that bring us joy and are good for our mental health so my number 1 gift idea is time and I have a couple of ideas on how you can give this gift.  It can cost you nothing or as much as you wish to spend but it will be a really thoughtful gift they will appreciate, so here are some ideas on how you can give them

Does the papercrafter have kids?  Offer to take them out somewhere, to the park, a museum, the movies, etc.  Of course only offer this if they are a parent you have a relationship with that this is suitable.

Is the Housework something that gets in the way of their crafting?  Maybe book and pay for a cleaner to come for a hour or 2 with a note saying they should craft while the cleaner is working.

Those are 2 examples of life chaos you could offer to help with to give them more time, think about ways that suit you and them that this could work for.

A lot of crafters love going to crops, classes and retreats.  These are a great way to give time but can be more expensive.  So why not book and pay for a crop, class or retreat and give that to them.  Try and suss out what sort of class, crop or retreat they would enjoy. 

Even experienced crafters may enjoy attending a class, personally even though I have taught classes I do love attending classes due to the social aspect and I believe we are always learning and even if they are teaching something I already know I may learn something else from the class. 

One thing to keep in mind when booking a local to your crafter class is the shops they choose to shop with locally.  They may have a preference so try to go with their preference.  For example, locally the Art Journal Classes I prefer are at Wide Bay Art Gallery.

Back to retreats.  These are a big ticket item so you may want to split the present with other loved ones. 
Oh how I would love to attend a retreat.  A weekend away just for crafting would be awesome.  Keep in mind the travel involved to attend the retreat.  For example I am not up to being in a car for a prolonged period so I would need a retreat close to home or one I could attend via the Tilt Train that would be a short taxi ride from the station or someone at the retreat would be willing to pick me up from the station.  Also if your crafter has food allergies check with the retreat organiser as to whether this can be accommodated without them being given a plate of rocket as a meal (that happened to me at a wedding once lol).  
And please think about the cost of travel to the retreat, while I would love to attend a retreat I am really good at talking myself out of attending due to the travel cost so you could include the travel cost in the gift or talk to another loved one about giving them a gift of the travel to the retreat booked and paid for.

Gift idea Number 2

My next need is Supplies.
Some Supplies
we always need like adhesive, the background paper or cardstock we use on every project, so that might be white 12x12 cardstock or mixed media paper or watercolour paper and other supplies are things we would love but haven't got yet.  Giving these staples is a great thoughtful gift.

Another good way to ensure your crafter is able to get the supplies the need and want is gift vouchers with businesses, this can be a great way for them to be able to buy a big ticket item they otherwise wouldn't buy, especially if loved ones work together and choose to buy vouchers from the same shop.
Personally I would recommend getting a voucher for a business that has a large variety of supplies used or supplies other stores may not have.  CraftOnline, Aunty Vera's Scrap and Craft, Shop and Crop Scrapbooking, Anna's Craft Cupboard and many more amazing Aussie businesses have a large range and some have ranges others don't.    
Have a look at what businesses they share posts from or are following on social media to get a idea of what ones they love..  
There are also some great stores whose websites aren't online shopping friendly but I have found them to be very helpful when shopping over the phone so check out Bella Paperie and Daisy Chain Scrapbooks, they have some awesome supplies for sale.

Gift idea Number  3

My next scrapping love is Scrapboking kits, they come in a range of prices and styles.  Kits usually are full of coordinating supplies and can be a great way to get projects created as it all goes together.  If a kit is outside of my usual preferred supplies I view it as a challenge to get me creating outside of my comfort zone, creating more.  I do enjoy challenging my creativity.

You could get them a 1, 3 or 6 month subscription so that it is a gift that keeps giving.   They range in price from $10pp to $85pp per month so there is a price to suit any budget.

Disclaimer I do own a tiny kit business which I will include in the list of kit businesses.  Here is a list of Aussie Kit businesses (note these are just ones I can think of, there are likely many I have not thought of as I know my list is shorter than it used to be).

My business is Scrapping Fun Kits.  

Other awesome kit businesses I love and shop with include

and Corbett Creations have a monthly wood veneer and acrylic embellishment kits.

There are other kit businesses I haven't shopped with yet including

Gift ideas that are individual items

The first 2 items are big ticket items so you may want to work with other loved ones and pitch in together to buy either of these.

Being able to print photos at home is awesome for any scrapbooker or journal keeper so a photo printer is a awesome big ticket item.  Portable printing is even better if they travel or attend crops.  A wish item for me is a HP Sprocket, so I can print anywhere for my journal. 
Check out your favourite store that sells printers to see if they stock the HP Sprocket.

For more archival printing for my scrapbooking I would love a Cannon Selphie, this would mean I can just create when I am in the mood to with whatever memories I want to work with instead of needing to go to the shop and wait for prints, on bad pain days this can really impede my creating so it is a important tool to have.
Check out your favourite store that sells printers to see if they stock the Cannon Selphie.

When it comes to giving a piece of technology please keep in mind if your papercrafter is not tech savvy and organise installation for them and find them a tutorial on using it if needed.  I am not tech savvy.

Now for some more budget friendly items.

If they are a papercrafter who loves vintage items check out your local op-shops for vintage sheet music, ledgers, dictionaries, etc they can use.  
And doilies, doilies can be a wonderful item in crafting.

As mentioned at the start of this post a cute bag, they are great for packing supplies in to go to a class, crop or retreat or if they are like me and craft while on the train.

A Cute Pencil Case.  Even when I am not crafting while traveling I keep some supplies in a Cute Pencil Case on my desk.  Storage is always handy but I love my Pencil Case my daughter gave me for my birthday a few years ago as I use it on my desk but also when I travel.

A Cute Bucket, Tub or Cup to keep supplies on their desk.  Like the Pencil Case Storage is great but cute storage can help inspire creativity.

Cute Totes to put their supplies in when going to a crop, class or retreat.

A cute mug for their favourite cuppa.
We all need a good cuppa during our relaxing time I think so a cute mug can inspire their creativity while they drink.

Online Classes are also a great gift idea.  Check that they class will be downloadable and able to be completed in a time that suits them.    
James Burke has a new series of classes coming out in the New Year and his previous Patreon content is available on his Etsy store as a bundle (so many awesome videos and blog posts in that bundle I am sure), there are many other online classes available including Ali Edwards, Craftsy, Jane Davenport, Vicki Boutin, Big Picture Classes,, Art of the 5th and there are so many more.  Just google scrapbooking online classes, or scrappbooking online workshops or art journaling online classes, etc.

A spill proof Water Bottle to keep them hydrated while they create without risking damaging their work if they knock it over.

A Scrap-Ma-Bob or a similar product to clip onto their desk and be a home to their drink, etc.

Another big ticket item they may not have yet is a Die Cutting Machine, this can be a very useful tool for the papercrafter in your life.  There are manual machines that you need metal dies for or electronic machines that you use software to design what you want to cut or download designs.  Personally if getting a manual machine I would go with the electronic version of it like the Big Shot Plus Machine as it means your papercrafter can use a wide range of paper dies,doesn't have to learn to navigate a software program if they are not tech savvy and they don't have to spend time cranking a handle to get the die through.  

I hope this list is helpful to you, even if it is just a starting point for helping you think of things the crafter in your life would love.

Merry Christmas and Happy Crafting.  :)

After a chat with my friend Shay I created a second list with more awesome gift ideas so make sure you check that one out too.