February 24, 2017

What I Made For the Children's Lit Craft Swap: Alice in Wonderland Edition

Here is the second half of what I made for my #childrenslitcraftswap partner, Katie. Aside from the Chronicles of Narnia themed wall art piece and bookmark I made Katie, I also included Alice in Wonderland themed items too. I made her two "Let's talk over Tea" printed kitchen towels and an Alice and White Rabbit paper weight.

I designed and carved the tea cup stamp out a linoleum. I made the stamp in 2012 when I was in The Bookies Bookclub, for invitations I made since it was my turn to host bookclub. I used it again to make a brooch for a "DIY Let's Talk over Tea Brooch" post I made as a guest for a Tim Burton blog party. 

I stamped the white kitchen towels on my birthday. I hadn't done printmaking in a long time and it was nice to get to do it again. I hand stamped each tea cup using a Speedball Block Printing baren (a hand press). Each tea cup print varied slightly in color since I have to press very hard to get an even print. I love the way both towels turned out. After the oil based ink dried I put them in the dryer and ironed them to help the ink adhere to the fabric better.

I have a plastic tote in the garage marked homemade gifts where I keep art supplies to well you know, make homemade gifts. While going through it I found a glass paper weight and took it out thinking I could draw something for Katie and put it in the paper weight. My daughter and I had gone to the library and I saw a used copy of Alice in Wonderland in their bookstore. I didn't buy it at first; however, we went back a few days later and I told myself if the book was still there I would purchase it. It was! I colored the illustration I believed would look the best in the paper weight, removed the glass, and insert the illustration. Before I cut the illustration out, I did take a picture of the page so I could read the book later.

This is how I gift wrapped my #childrenslitcraftswap partner's package. To use up the extra ink I had behind and clean off my linoleum tea cup stamp, I printed it numerous times on brown wrapping paper. I was going to roll up the wrapping paper and send it to Katie for her to use but it didn't fit in the shipping box. I used the paper to wrap the hand crafted gifts I made for Katie instead. This wraps up, pun intended, "What I Made For the Children's Lit Craft Swap: Alice in Wonderland Edition" post. The next swap I'll be participating in and actually co-hosting with Emily from The Morose Bee is Viva La Frida Swap, were I hope to put my printmaking skill to good use again. 

February 17, 2017

What I Made For the Children's Lit Craft Swap: Narnia Edition

The #childrenlitcraftswap is a craft swap I joined on Instagram. My partner was Katie and she happened to be the host of the swap too. Katie received her package yesterday so I thought I would share my progress pictures of the The Chronicles of Narnia inspired goodies I made for her. When I received Katie's information and read that one of her favorite children's classics is Narnia among others, I knew I wanted to paint a wooden wall decoration based on the first place Lucy and Mr. Tumnus first met, in a wintery forest landscape under a street lamp. I knew I was heading in the right direction when she posted a picture of Mr. Tumnus on her IG account and mentioned that he is one of her favorites. The Narnia wall decor ended up being my favorite art piece I made for this swap, it took the longest to complete, and was my big project for the swap. I also included an Aslan themed bookmark as another Narnia inspired goodie.

I was good at taking many pictures along the way so be prepared to view many pictures.

This was my first check in picture for the #childrenslitcraftswap. I doodled a few Lucy and Mr. Tumnus characters on voting advertising material and took out some of the supplies I planned to used. I ended up changing the unfinished wooden plaque to a more rectangle shaped one because it looked more like the Narnia closet. 

This is a screen shot of my hidden Pinterest board, to give me some inspiration for this project. 

I sketched the clothes pins first.

 I painted the sides of the unfinished wooden plaque and then painted the Narnia characters. I painted Mr. Tumnus legs three times because I wasn't happy with the way it they were turning out. 

I made Mr. Tumnus' ears and his signature burgundy scarf out of felt. His package is made out of a mounting square, wrapped in wrapping paper, and tied with embroidery thread. 


I sketched the wintery forest landscape with trees and a street light. I ended up re-drawing the street light before I began painting the background.

I painted the background a little each day. One night I stayed until 3am because I mixed my own paint and knew it would be difficult to remix the exact color I was using again. I tend to do my best work at night. I sealed everything that I painted with two coats. 

This is what I wrote behind the wooden plaque with an oil based pen that way Katie will always remember who made this art piece for her.

After gluing Lucy and Mr. Tumnus to their background, this project was completed!

As you can see, I put more detail into Mr. Tumnus than Lucy. Other can making his dimensional ears, scarf, and package, I also painted his horns and his little umbrella. 

After remembering that I owned some Narnia trailer film I decided to make Katie a bookmark out of it. 

I went through the whole trailer one night looking for the perfect scene she would like. You may be asking yourself how I got this trailer. Well, I worked for a movie theatre company for 10 years. I met my husband working there. The Narnia film actually belonged to him and he gave me the okay to use it. 

I ended up finding the perfect scene which shows Lucy and Aslan together. Supplies wise, I had everything to make the bookmark but decided to order a lion charm to attach to the tassel. That night I also printed out an online newspaper article written about my local zoo because the African lion that was used to animate the character of Aslan is a resident there. Isn't that way cool!?! 

 The day the lion charm finally arrived I took out my jewelry tools I attached it to the bookmark's tassel.


I included the zoo article with the completed bookmark. At the last minute, I decided to include 38 individual film slices from the trailer as well.  Each film slice had a picture of either Lucy, Edmund, Susan, or Peter. The film slices are for Katie's 6th grade class who are currently reading The Chronicles of Narnia. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing the Narnia edition of what I made for my #chrildrenslitcraftswap partner Katie. I'm relieved that what I had in mind for my big swap project turned out even better than what I had imagined. I'm glad to say Katie loved her #childrenslitcraftswap package from me and today Katie's 6th grade students made their own bookmarks with the Narnia film slices I sent them with quotes from the movie. 

December 15, 2016

Bee Creative Stocking Swap: What Lily Received

My partner, Julie, for the Bee Creative Stocking Swap, Emily and I hosted, was really on her game. She was the first to ship her stocking swap package from all the gals that signed up. Lily received her package in early October. I signed up for one stocking meant for Lily. It felt like Christmas had arrived early at our doorstop the day we received the package.

This is what Lily received. I really enjoyed watching Lily open her stocking. It felt wonderful watching Lily open a gift from a complete stranger who put so much love and creativity into making a stocking and the stuffings just for her. Obviously, crocheting is Julie's thing and she's damn good at it! She crochet the stocking, the fox headband, and the purple teddy bear or what Lily calls, "Baby Bear."

Lily loved everything, absolutely everything, she received. She kept kissing her Baby Bear, which was crochet in her favorite color and her squirrel. The fox headband was a huge hit with my husband and I because foxes and woodland critters are our thing for Lily. 

Julie really outdid herself! I was so happy I got paired up with her and was looking forward to finishing up my family's themed Halloween costumes so I could continue to work on her son's stocking and stuffings and spoil him like she did Lily. 

If you're interested in seeing the other awesome stocking swap packages received, check out the Stocking Swap Album on the Bee Creative Facebook page here!

December 12, 2016

Halloween Swap: What I Received

Yes, I know I should probably be posting holiday themed posts but if I don't post what I received for my Halloween Swap I might never get to it. Pictured below is all the awesome goodies I received from my swap partner Tanya.

Tanya made everything herself. I got a Halloween themed tree, a skull head candle holder, a beautiful skull bracelet, and a haunted house that lights up.

For the Halloween themed tree, Tanya repurposed an old door knob. It's a great addition to my Halloween cemetery decorations.

I love all the detail Tanya put into this awesome candle holder. Details include the book she chose, "The Book of Shadows," roughing up of the book, the spiderweb stamping on the sides, the pearls in the eyes, etc. It makes me feel special that all this work was done for me.

This bracelet has become one of my favorite accessories. I love the colors used, the different shades of purple and the grey. Even with the skulls, which are my favorite part, it still has a girlie feel to it. It is totally my type of jewelry.

Here's another awesome repurposed goody I received. Tanya found this haunted house that light ups and painted it black, added glitter, and the little skull beads on top. Another great addition for the cemetery scene I put up for Halloween.

Isn't everything I received just awesome!?!? Thank you again Tanya! Okay, okay. I'll let you guys return to your holiday posts; however, I hope you enjoyed this post.

November 1, 2016

Halloween Swap: What I Gave

I did a private Halloween swap with my friend Tanya, whom I meet through a Christmas swap last year. She actually lived on my street as teenager and now lives in San Diego. Our paths were meant to cross. Tanya has become a part of my family now and we absolutely love her! Unlike other swaps were packages are mailed, we exchanged our gifts in person.

This is what I gave Tanya. Below are some pictures I took while making her goodies.

Spider Printed Kitchen Towel
I made an easy stamp out of craft foam. 

I glued the foam stamp onto a thick piece of plastic and stamped it onto a white kitchen towel. I made two towels and had to make one stamp for each. This type of stamp isn't for continual use but it works for this busy mama and it got the job done.

Spider printed kitchen towels completed. These towels were inspired by a DIY on Pinterest.

Blessed Canvas by Little L
Tanya loves fall and Lily loves to paint, so I had Lily use fall colors to paint a fall inspired canvas for Tanya. 

Here is Lily's complete part of this project. She used her fingerprints, footprints, paintbrushes, and q-tips to paint on the canvas.

I ruined the surprise and told Tanya this canvas was for her and I asked her what word she would like painted on it. She chose, "blessed."

Pumpkin Stained Glass Kit
I purchased this pumpkin stained glass kit at Joann's. I had to keep adding more beads while baking it. It wasn't my favorite project but I loved the outcome. 

Huge Fly Magnets
I made fly magnets just like these a few years ago for a Halloween party I through. Since I was going for a kitchen themed type swap for Tanya, I thought the magnets would look awesome on her refrigerator. I was glad I saw something like these magnets pinned on her Pinterest after I had made them. 

Halloween Scene on Wooden Spoon
 I saw some Halloween scene pins on Tanya's Pinterest and I started pinning more myself to inspire me to create my own scene for this wooden spoon. I purchased a regular spoon and had my husband sand off the logo. I loved making this. I'm going to start painting on spoons more often. The cookies are pumpkin sugar cookies; I got the recipe from her Pinterest too.

Here's a closer look the painted Halloween scene.

I painted little dots around the spoon's handle to make it look like stars. The stars are my favorite thing about the spoon because it leads your eyes towards the Halloween scene.

It's A Wrap!

 On my last swap, I added pins onto each wrapped package. I liked the way it looked so I did the same here. I plan to do this whenever possible, making it my "thing."

I hope you had a fun and safe Halloween yesterday. I plan to share all the goodies Tanya gave me for our Halloween swap soon. 

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