Canvas Decoupage Creations

Canvas Decoupage

I started scrapbooking when I was in middle school, but these days, I don’t make much time to do it. When I go home to visit my family though, I can’t pass up on the opportunity to raid my mom’s MEGA scrapbooking stash. My mom picked up the hobby with several of her friends at work and now attends workshops, retreats and scrapbooking events. She has an entire room filled with tools, stickers, circle cutters, ink pads, buttons, ribbons and stacks upon stacks of velum and other assorted papers. It’s a kid in the candy store moment for me every time I sort through her materials; there’s always some small embellishment that catches my eye and inspires me to create a new page that I hadn’t planned to work on.

When my mom asked me if I wanted to go to a workshop taught by a friend of hers from her scrapbooking group during my last visit home, I immediately said yes. The focus of the class was on decoupage. We all met on a Friday afternoon and sat through a quick tutorial on the art of decoupage. Our teacher brought in the blue dress piece (above) as inspiration; she also brought all of the stamps and supplies to recreate the dress on canvas (plus a bunch of other materials for us to use liberally). Our teacher demonstrated great patience and skill in helping to explain techniques to us, oftentimes repeatedly.

Canvas Decoupage  Canvas Decoupage

First, we painted the sides of our canvas, and then came the hard part. We had to decide what we wanted to focus on as subject material. I was drawn to the clocks and time-related pieces that our instructor had in her magic bag of supplies. I was particularly taken by this quote from Sidney J. Harris: “The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” Amen. My mom decided to create an artwork similar to the instructor’s, using a stamp set and some delicate folding to recreate the 3D layers of the dress. We sat for hours chit chatting, working on our individual canvases, admiring others’ works in progress and snacking. With the help of a little Mod Podge, which we used to secure all of our paper, trinkets and ribbons, we each walked home with a mini masterpiece. :)

Canvas Decoupage

More Sweetness:

Paper Snowflake District Collaborative Dose Market

Paper Star Snowflakes

Paper Snowflake00

I spent part of my childhood growing up in Michigan, so I’m no stranger to snow. And before I moved here, many people warned me about Chicago’s winters. While we did get hit with some flurries this week, we’ve yet to experience a major blizzard, like the Snowpocalypse that hit DC in 2009, followed by DC’s Snowmageddon in early 2010. (Think: 20+ inches of snow in the DC area for each storm.) Fingers crossed, this winter turns out to be a mild one. After all, Punxsutawney Phil did predict an early Spring. :)

While I spent some time cooped up inside, avoiding the slush of the streets of Chicago, I cut, folded and stapled this door dec paper star snowflake together. It really could be a craft for any season, as you could switch up the colors of your star for the appropriate occasion.

The Makings:

Paper Snowflake01

  • 6 square pieces of paper (I used 12×12″ scrapbooking paper)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Tape

The Sweetness:

1. Fold each piece of paper in half.

Paper Snowflake02

2. With ruler and pencil, mark off points at 2″, 5.5″ and 7″ from both ends of the long edge of each piece of paper. Make cuts on these marks from both ends in towards the center, stopping 3/4ths of the way, before cuts intersect.

Paper Snowflake03 Paper Snowflake04

3. Unfold piece of paper, pull innermost triangle points in taping together the ends. Flip piece of paper over, and pull triangle points in the opposite direction, taping ends, so that you’re taping in alternate directions. Continue process until all ends are taped together.

Paper Snowflake05 Paper Snowflake06

4. Staple flakes together.

Paper Snowflake08 Paper Snowflake09

5. Then gather and staple all bottom tips together.

Paper Snowflake12

Paper Snowflake11

Punch a hole at the top of one of the flakes/points. String a ribbon through the hole and hang from desired location.

Paper Snowflake13

Handmade Holiday: Randolph Street Holiday Market

barrel of monkeysHappy New Year! Here’s to lots of sweet somethings in 2013. :)

A few weeks ago, while searching for gifts at the Randolph Street Holiday Market, like the barrel of monkeys above, I discovered these nifty belt ties, crafted by Rachel of Green Hide.

Belt Ties

She also had some cool recycled buckle jewelry.

Buckle Jewelry

At the time, I couldn’t think of anyone to gift these pieces to in my family, but wanted to share them here. Like the seatbelt handbags I eye-spied in Detroit, I love the way these items have been repurposed as unique wares.

Handmade Holiday: Renegade Craft Fair

Renegade Craft Fair 003

Renegade Craft Fair 001Earlier this month, a friend and I moseyed over to the Renegade Craft Fair in search of holiday gifts for our friends…and ourselves. ;)

Apparently, the fair started in Chicago in 2003, and has since expanded to other select cities, too, including BK. (Brooklyn in the house!)

The holiday market was a super cozy affair, hosted in a building that felt like an old school gymnasium, with high ceilings, tiled and wooden floors and winding, narrow hallways. Despite having to struggle through some of the crowds, the close-knit feel of the setting made it fun to explore. Everywhere you turned, you were greeted by a festive explosion of crafts from 100+ indie makers.

Plus they also had a super cool DIY gift wrapping station to stamp and decorate your purchases.

I ended up snagging a pair of earrings from uncommon handmade.

DIY Gift Wrap

uncommon handmade earrings

I also bought my dad, our family’s master of desserts, (seriously, Thanksgiving just isn’t a holiday without his pumpkin pie,) a fitting “evil pie” print by Paul Friedrich.

 <div style="display: inline-block">

Other nifty goods and collectibles spotted in the marketplace included: beaded bangles by Lily Dawson Designs, a booze bolster holster by four.chamber.forge, wooden wall decor by iamhome, a deck of Chicago playing cards by Double Blind.

Renegade Craft Fair Collage 001

I also spotted this chillingly fresh tee by the Little Friends of Printmaking, four seasons of Chicago prints by Ryan Kapp, a “Congratulations on Finding Your Mr. Darcy” love card by Pearl & Marmalade and a mixed media guitar by Dolan Geiman.

Renegade Craft Fair Collage 002I’m looking forward to swinging by the Randolph Street Holiday Market later this week. Where do you get your holiday shopping done?