Friday, January 31, 2014

Envelope #31

January 31, 2014

Today's lesson was blending colored pencils. These are Crayola colored pencils.

Organization and New Colored Pencils

I have been known to be anal retentive regarding my art/craft supplies. Many of my friends laugh at me regarding my lists, sample books and other organizational methods that I use to try and remember what supplies I have.

For example, I just purchased a new box of 50 Crayola Colored pencils for my 365 project. I was currently using a set of 12 pencils and I wanted to expand on the colors that I was using. Rather than carry around my tin of Prismacolor pencils (which can be quite expensive to use on a daily basis), I found these pencils on sale; I also had a coupon which made them less than $6 including tax. I just couldn't pass up the deal so I bought them.

One of my pet peeves regarding colored pencils is that they label each color (which I like) but they use a font so small that it is difficult to read it. With Crayola, they also use a gold foil for the lettering which makes it even more difficult to read. Finally, if you use your pencils often and sharpen them, many times the color designation will become obsolete so it becomes very difficult to replace that pencil (Crayola doesn't sell individual pencils but with Prismacolor pencils, which are sold individually, this becomes important.)

To alleviate this problem, I take a small numbered sticker and place it on each pencil with cellophane tape (the stickers will not stay on without the tape). I then create a spreadsheet or list that states the sticker number and the corresponding color. When I am working with artwork, I will notate these numbers so I can reference them later.

Since I will be using these pencils for my 365 project, I need them to be portable so I simply place them in a gallon Ziploc bag which makes them very portable.
New Pencils in a Ziploc Bad

To complete this total project, I spent about 45 minutes from beginning to end (including the sharpening of all of the pencils). All in all, not a bad investment of time considering the benefits.
Pencil Detail

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Envelope #30

January 30, 2014


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Envelope #29

January 29, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Envelope #28

January 28, 2014

Iron Craft 2014 Challenge #2--Traveling Art/iPad Box (Project 4)

Closed box.
For Challenge #2 we were asked to make something to do with organization. In 2012, I made a clamshell box to hold my iPad. I talked about it here. The box was a result from a challenge from Kat to make a container for an iPad or electronic reader. After almost two years, the box was showing some wear and tear. Since it was only made of board and paper, I decided to redesign the construction.

Lately, I had been using it as a traveling case for my markers and envelopes so I could work on my 365 project while on the subway. It was sturdy and provided a great surface upon which to make my envelope doodles.

To update the box, I make it out of board and library book cloth so that it would withstand daily use. I made it a little bulkier so I could carry my markers, envelopes, and colored pencils. When I need to, I can still use it to carry my iPad and in the empty space I can place my reading glasses.

Open Box
The interiors of the box uses one of my favorite Japanese paper designs. I decided to be a little selfish since this project is for myself. I have used this paper sparingly because I will no longer be able to replace it once I have used it all. This was the last remnant and I decided to use it for this box.

iPad Holder
I am really happy with the way that this box turned out and it makes me smile every time that I use it. Opening it up to find my hidden surprises inside is a great way to start my morning commute.

Traveling art supplies

Monday, January 27, 2014

Envelope #27

January 27, 2014

This was a practice on consistency. Consistency in line shape, thickness and spacing. 

Homemade Valentine's Day Card Swap--Part3

Here is another card I am considering for the Homemade Valentine's Day Card Swap that I mentioned in other posts. I have one more that I am considering so I will have to make up my mind soon. I have two weeks to send these out--as soon as I get my addresses.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Envelope #26

January 26, 2014

Another study in line work and black/white. I started with the eight little boxes and then couldn't contain myself.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Envelope #25

January 25, 2014

A black and white kind of day.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Envelope #24

January 24, 2014

A heart divided.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Envelope #23

January 23, 2014

Today's envelope is sponsored by the Oval.

Homemade Valentine's Day Card Swap--Part2

In a previous post, I mentioned the Valentine Mail Swap that I have joined. The above card is the second card that I am considering for this swap.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Envelope #22

January 22, 2014

Today's envelope is titled Waves and is sponsored by The French Curve.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Project #3--Flat Back Journal

Final Project-- Flat Back Journal

This week's project is a coordinated project for the Iron Craft Challenge that is due next week. I had some leftover materials from that project (I will share it with you next week on reveal day) and I was already in the studio so I decided to make something with the materials. I hate wasting materials but I also hate inventorying materials as well. Therefore, I try and make stuff with whatever bits and pieces that I have around being unused.

This is a pre-made text block from Hollander's (which is one of my favorite online supply stores). It is the medium sized Diary block. The pages are approximately 4.75 inches by 6.5 inches. There is a one day spread for each day. Since the pages only have the month and date printed this would work for any time of the year. I plan on using this for my gym journal to keep track all my exercises.

Add caption
The Nordic Blue Book Cloth a remnant from the previous project. I decided to do a 3/4 binding since I was running short of this piece of book cloth. The Blue Crane paper is from a larger sheet of paper that I brought from Japan. It is one of my favorite patterns and I have used it sparingly since I can no longer replace it. Since this was a project for myself, I decided to be a little selfish and use the last pieces of the paper.

The end sheets are pieces that were left over from project mock ups. It is a blue wood grain paper that was not used in the previous project. I wanted something different than the Crane paper but that would coordinate with it. I only needed two small pieces for the end sheets so this was a perfect fit.

End Sheets

It has been a while since I have made one of these journals so it was good to get back in the saddle with this project--especially since it only had to please myself. While it isn't a perfect sample, I am pleased with the way it turned out.

Envelope #21

January 21, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

Envelope #20

January 20, 2014

Another Black and White Piece. Homage to Keith Haring.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Envelope #19

January 19, 2014

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Envelope #18

January 18, 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

Envelope #17

January 17, 2014

Testing out Uniball Gel Pens rather than using markers.

Box Making Tutorial--Part 4

Completed Project
The final step of finishing our box is to cover the exposed board on the interiors of the top and bottom trays. Of course, there is more than one way in which to do this. One way to cover these areas would be similar to covering the bottom of the box in the Wrap Around method. Simply cut a piece of decorative paper (either the same paper of a coordinating paper) slightly smaller than the dimensions of the tray. Glue it up and place it down (keeping in mind that the paper will stretch a little once wet). This is called a Glue In.

A different way to cover the exposed board is make a separate insert and glue it in. Take a piece of thin scrap board (I use museum quality matt board). Cut it to size (once again, slightly smaller than the tray size and allowing for the thickness of the covering material). Cover the boards with the material. Glue in place.

Dry measuring for size
 Glue the boards to the underside of the decorative paper.

Both boards glued to the decorative paper

Trim out the the boards for 3/4 inch turn ins and miter the corners.

Trimmed and mitered.
 Glue the turn ins to the underside of the boards.

Glued insert--bottom view
Glued insert--top view
Glue the insert in place. Be careful not to use excessive glue. Too much glue on the bottom can squish out along the sides of the tray and ruin the walls or the top side of the insert. Position the liner so that a small reveal of the original paper shows on the bottom tray.

Insert in placed and glued down
Let dry. Place a weight on the insert so that full contact can be made on all sides. Because my decorative paper is suede paper, I take a piece of extra board and place on top of the insert. If the decorative paper on the insert is delicate or can be easily marred, a weight will show impression marks. By using the extra layer cut to size, the weight will not mark the paper.

Weighted and ready to dry

Repeat the above steps for the second tray.

There are several reason that I like to use an insert rather than a Glue In. First, if there are any problem areas with your turn ins or mitered corners, the insert will hide them. Second, the inserts add a little heft to the box. Third, if you mess up the insert,  you can always redo it. If you mess up the glue in (the glued decorative paper option), then you can almost never recover the error and might ruin the whole box.

Note: If you mess up a glue in, one option is to repair it by adding an insert--LOL.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Envelope #16

January 16, 2014

Box Making Tutorial--Part 3 (Continued)

Finished Top Tray
The second manner in which to cover a tray is the One Sheet (OS) method. In this way, the top surface doesn't show any seams and offers an uninterrupted surface. The seams appear in the corners of tray.


Step One: Cut the decorative paper to size. The width of the paper should be measured as follows--the width of the tray, plus four times the height of the wall, plus 1 1/2 inches. For example, if the width of the top tray is 6 inches and your wall height is 1 1/2 inches. The width of your decorative paper would be 6 inches, plus 6 inches, plus 1 1/2 inches which totals 13 1/2 inches. The height of your decorative paper is the same process but substituting the height of your tray rather the the width.

Step Two: Mark the wrong side of your paper to find the location of your left wall and bottom wall of your tray. To find the location of your left wall, make a mark 3/4 inch from the left edge of your paper. From this mark, make another mark that is twice the width of your walls. For the above example, the first mark should be 3/4 inches from the left edge. From this mark, mark another 3 inches to the left. In other words, your final mark should be 3 3/4 inches from the left. Do the same for the bottom edge.

Registration markings
Step Three: Glue the bottom of the box onto the paper making sure that the bottom left hand corner is placed on your registration marks from Step Two. Make relief cuts and remove the excess paper in the corners.
Relief cuts and excess paper removed
 Step Four: Glue the paper to the short walls.

Short Walls glued
Step Five: Glue the long walls and make relief cuts. Repeat Steps 8 - 10 from the Wrap Around method discussed on Monday.
Relief cuts made
Completed interior of top tray/box lid
Finish top of top tray/box lid
As you can see from the last photo, the lid of the box has no seams showing and appears to be one interrupted surface which is the style that I prefer--especially for the exterior exposed surfaces.

The last step of the process will be to cover the exposed board in the interiors of both the top and bottom trays.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Envelope #15

January 15, 2014

Homemade Valentine's Day Card Swap

This year, I signed up for the Homemade Valentine's Day Card swap that is being hosted by Lyndsey over at The Stationery Place. This is one of my new cards for this year that I am thinking about using for this swap. The image is based on a felt doily that I found at the Dollar Store. I traced it out and then cut it. The card is 5" by 5" which would make it more interesting to receive in the mail.

There is still time to sign up if you want to get some Valentine's Cards in the mail. The sign up deadline is January 24th and you must mail your cards by February 7th. You can read more about the swap by clinking on the link above.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Envelope #14

January 14, 2014

Iron Craft 2014 Challenge #1--Leather Box

Finished Project--Top View
Happy New Year Iron Craft and Happy Third Anniversary. For the first challenge of the new year, we were asked to make an anniversary present for Kat and Susi using the tradition and modern gift guides--either leather (traditional) or crystal (modern). The guidelines were present here.

I decided to make a leather box to hold some of my loose postcards that I have acquired over the years. The paper covering is a thick embossed paper that is designed to simulate leather. The interiors are covered with a suede paper in a coordinating color.

Box Interior
Finished Project--Side View

I have been providing a step-by-step tutorial that shows each of the individual steps involved when making a handmade box. The series will continue on Thursday and will finish on Friday of this week.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Envelope #13

January 13, 2014

Box Making Tutorial--Part 3

Finished Bottom Tray
The next step in building our box is to cover the trays with the materials we have chosen. I have decided to use this project for the first Iron Craft 2014 Challenge. I am using paper that simulates leather (leather being one of the themes of the challenge).

Similar to the two ways to build trays, there are two ways to cover them as well. The first manner I will call the Wrap Around (WA) method. The second manner I will call the One Sheet (OS) method. In the first way, you cut a piece of paper to wrap around your tray and then provide relief cuts so you can turn in the top and bottom edges. In the second method, you glue the tray directly to the paper and then make relief cuts to bring the paper along the sides and over the top.


Step One: Measure the circumference of your tray and add 3/4 inch. This will be the width of your decorative paper. The height of your paper will be the height of the wall times 2; to this measurement you add 1 1/2 inch. For example, the walls of my tray are 3 inches. Therefore the height of my decorative paper is 7 1/2 inches.

Step Two: Place your cut band of paper on a flat surface. Measure 3/4 inch from the left edge and mark it with a pencil (when using dark paper, I use a colored pencil). Along the bottom edge, make a mark 3/4 inch along the entire edge from left to right.

Decorative Paper marked
Step Three: Start gluing the box to the paper. Using PVA mixed with Methyl Cellulose (called Mix). Apply glue to the box and roll the box along the lines marked on the paper. With a long wall facing down, bring the paper over the left side of the box using the left edge marking. The 3/4 left edge should start on the left corner on the long wall.
Left Edge
Step Four: Continue gluing the box to the paper until you get to the end of the paper band. The paper should end before the corner where you started. The edge will disappear when glued and keep in mind that most papers will stretch once the glue is applied.

Dry fitting the final edge
Step Five: Once all walls have been glued to the paper, you need to the miter the corners on the bottom of the tray. Pinch two adjoining corners together and cut at a 45 degree angle. Repeat for all corners.

Mitered Corners (Tray bottom)
Step Six: Glue all four turn ins on the bottom of the box.

Turn Ins Glued (Tray bottom)
Step Seven: Make relief cuts to the paper on the top of the tray.

Relief Cuts for the top of the tray

Step Eight: Turn in the paper overlap into the inside corner of the tray. The overlap should cover the corner. The overlap is the only place where you have two thickness of paper.
Overlap turn in glued down.
Step Nine: Glue down the paper on the long edges. If you have made your relief cuts correctly, there should be a small piece of paper that covers the corners onto the adjacent wall. Use your bone folder to press the paper against the wall. Be careful not to puncture the paper along the side seams or the bottom seam.

Long Wall completed
Step Ten: Repeat Step Nine for the other long wall. The short walls should be glued down last and there should be no overlap onto the adjacent long walls.

Completed Bottom Tray Interior

Step Eleven: Cut a piece of paper that is slightly smaller than the dimensions of your bottom tray. Glue this piece to the bottom of the tray (the side with the mitered corners).

Bottom of the Bottom Tray
I have shown you this method because it is one of the most popular ways to cover boxes. The problem that I have with it is the way the covering piece shows on the shown surface. I normally use the second method for both top and bottom trays because there are no exposed seams on the top of the box. If you are careful or have a very busy pattern on the covering materials, this exposed seam really won't matter.

I have decided to show you this method and purposely used it for the bottom tray because these exposed seams would actually be on the bottom of the box (which really doesn't matter).