Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Junk in the Journals

Lately, I've been into junk journals. Junk journals are pretty low-stress to make as they are, in essence, journals filled with junk. And man, I have a lot of junk.

Here's a look at three that I made recently for a Craftster swap. The covers are made from cardboard, and I then painted, stenciled, sprayed paint and used some dimensional paste to add interest. They are each held shut with binder circles that open and close, so the recipients can add in or take out whatever they want.

The green one is short and chunky -- lots of goodies in there. I also used part of a paper doily to add some texture to the cover.

The aqua one has some great texture going on -- this was using a new stencil that I picked up. They are either fireworks or chrysanthemums, I can't decide which.

The purple one was the largest of the three, as I had a lot of larger papers left to use. There's some stenciling action going on here, as well as some more texture. 

Let's take a look inside, shall we? Here are a few pages that are among my favorites. There are really no rules for junk journals. I added tags, old book pages, papers that I have stamped or sewed on, blotter pages, junk mail that we've gotten -- you name it, it's in there. Like Prego.

I find "Here are Tommy's train" amusing. I think the story went on to the next page which I didn't use, but here it's just terrible grammar. Also, keep those raffle tickets! You never know when you need a page tab.

I have enough materials to make about a hundred more junk journals, but it was really fun to make these for other people. Again, there are no rules here. Paint over these pages, add more in, stamp on them, draw on them, whatever you want. It's junk. And junk can be very freeing!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pumpkin spool buddy

Sometimes, you just need a little Halloween friend. And sometimes, you have about 50 vintage spools that you need to use up because you have so darned much stuff in your craft room. *ahem*

I made this little Jack for the same swap as my last post, and was happy with the results. The "body" is made from a spool and some vintage bobbins stacked together, and the pumpkin is paper clay. Then embellishments like tinsel, a wooden star button, a vintage toy tire and some paper fringe jazz him up. I think I will be making more of these as I still have lots of spools and bobbins left!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Max's Bone Shoppe Halloween Shrine

I am a big fan of Craftster, an indie crafting site, and love participating in crafting swaps on there. I made this for a vintage Halloween swap, and Max the dog belonged to my swap partner. This is easily one of my favorite things that I have made in a while.

This piece was made from a wooden shadow box that I had in my stash for some time. The background is scrapbook paper, and the rounded stage is made from heavy, velvety scrapbook paper.

Here's a close up of Max. I sculpted him from paper clay, which is a light, airy clay that dries very quickly. I painted him with acrylics, and the paper collar is made from some of my favorite Halloween fringe.

Some more detail -- Max is an excellent sales dog. The bones are also made out of paper clay.

Here's a look at some of the more high-end bones. The container they are sitting in is the lid to a Tropicana bottle that I covered with gold gilding paint.

Welcome, and why l will now "release the craftin'"

For my very first post, I want to thank anyone who reads this blog. I suspect it will contain a lot of nonsense and tomfoolery, with gratuitous photos of projects and general craft messes that are made along the way. I will post about things I am working on currently and things I have made in the past. I have made many, many things through the years, and it's about time that I stop squirreling away the memories of them.

Release the craftin' has come about after years of procrastination. Or rather, procrastination and self-doubt. I have a tendency, as I think many people probably do, to try to hide things about myself that I feel are a little off-beat. It's hard to bring up in general conversation that I like to turn doll-house furniture into Halloween-themed miniatures, or that I have a craft room in our basement that looks like it belongs in an episode of Hoarders. Why do we do that? Not talk about things that we truly enjoy? If I'm honest with myself, I think about making things all day long. At work. On the car ride home. At dinner. In the shower. So why stifle that?

I think we (or more specifically, I) stifle it because I do too much comparing. And it's hard to remember -- someone else will always be a more technically gifted artist, and another person will always have more creative ideas. But it doesn't mean that my ideas, or our ideas, aren't relevant. It's ok to show the world that you are good at something. It's even more ok to have fun doing it.

So let's do this! Let's release the craftin'! That creative monster that hides just beneath the surface is dying to be let out. And now I have about a million ideas for sea monster crafts.