Saturday, 28 July 2012

Paris With Love ... Again!

This post was originally part of a post I made in June about the Brisbane Papercraft Expo. So, you might have already read about my little Twiddleybitz chair. 

However, because I put it on the Twiddleybitz ning site and it got a bit of attention, I thought I'd give it it's own post so I could link it to my Tutorials page as well ... call it 'housekeeping' if you will :-)

Twiddleybitz is a Western Australian based company and they come up with the most delicious little things ... because I am very much a 3D off-the-page kinda gal I really do love their stuff. 

So, without and further carrying-on (I do tend to get a bit carried away and chat alot) ... here is my little chair and how I created it.


You will need a chair from Twiddleybitz - these come two to a packet, are laser cut from thin wood chipboard and come in pieces. I wanted to paint and then stamp the chair to give it some interest before adding other elements to it. 

And because I wanted to stamp the pieces, I I needed to paint the pieces first, then stamp, then put the chair together. And, as the chair is put together by slotting pieces into other pieces I knew I would be running the risk of the pieces swelling and not fitting properly if I painted them with a water-based paint prior to assembly.

After some consultation with the Renaissance Man (who knows lots of things about how wood and paint react with one another) I decided to spray paint the pieces with an oil-based matte white undercoat. This would reduce the risk of swelling, and give me a good base for stamping. So that's what I did.

I then stamped the painted pieces using Rangers Archival ink in 'Aquamarine', and Collections Elements 'Victorian Set 3' stamp, and assembled the chair when dry with very little effort. I then used Tim Holtz Distress Marker 'Broken China' to colour the edges of the chair pieces to match the stamping.

I had recently bought the Collections 1018 Natural Muslin Kit, so draped some of the more open weave muslin over the chair, cut out three butterflies from the 1026 Creative Butterflies sheet, and coloured them using my Broken China distress marker. I cut out the words from the 1042 Collections Mini Word Sheet, and the 'boutons et mercerie' poster from the 1041 ephemera collection kraft sheet. I inked the edges of everything with Walnut Stain distress ink and glued them into position with Glossy Accents. I added a few little buttons and some string used to tie the muslin pieces together in the kit.

I love how this little chair turned out. And I have another one patiently waiting in it's packet for me to decide what to do with it!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Bonbon Gift Boxes

Bonbon gift boxes seem to be all the rage at the moment. Or perhaps it's just the 'Christmas in July' thing again ... who knows!

I love Christmas, and Christmas in July is one of my most favourite 'made-up' festivities, as in - it's a festive occasion for no other reason than a good excuse to eat Christmas food twice in one year.

Anyway - I decided that I wanted to create a cut file for a hexagon shaped bonbon gift holder to use in my Christmas in July table decorations this year ... and then realised that these cute little things could be used all year round. They could work equally as well for bonboniere gift boxes at a bridal shower or wedding, a baby shower or christening, or at themed children's parties or Halloween ... the list goes on, and on, and on!

Pretty Hexagonal Bonbon Gift Boxes
After a little experimentation I have decided that you will need to use a heavier weighted scrapbooking paper, or card for the bonbon parts, and then use a lighter weight paper for your decorative wrap etc.

Dress them up, leave them plain, add a glorious abundance of ribbons, include tags, flowers, holly leaves - the sky is the limit.

I've included .wpc files for the basic bonbon shapes here for those of you who own a Pazzles Inspiration cutting machine. But for those who don't, I have also included a .pdf file which you can import into your own cutting machine's software. I'll let you add your own twiddly bits!

And if you'd like a quick step through on how to cut and construct a bonbon gift box  ...

  • Load paper into your cutting machine.
  • Cut the dashed  'kiss-cut' lines first, which will create the fold lines.
  • Cut out the rest of the lines to make the two parts of the box.
  • Fold on the dashed cut lines.
  • Create a cylinder out of one side of the box, by gluing the front of the left-hand edge panels to the back of the right-hand edge panels, and repeat for the other side of the box.
  • Tie your choice of ribbon around the gusset of each part of the box, add your own choice of decorations to the barrel of the outer part of the box, fill with goodies and you are done!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

It's My Birthday :-)

And I made myself a little present. It's a perpetual calendar - I've always wanted to make one, and finally found just the right little cabinet to house it when I was in Brisbane at the Papercraft Expo.

Here is the front, closed. You can't see the calendar part yet ... 

And here is the back ...

And here it is the inside revealed!

The base cabinet is a Twiddleybitz ATC hinged cupboard, laser-cut from 2mm MDF board, which I spray painted black prior to assembly. 

The papers are from Pink Paislee's London Market (LOVE those papers) 6x6 petite paper pack. I used my black laser printer to overprint the quote from William James on the front of the calendar:

To change one's life
Start immediately
Do it flamboyantly
No exceptions!

Such a great saying in my opinion! I then overstamped with the crown, birdcage and butterfly stamps from the London Market stamp collection. 

It took me three nights of trial and error to work out the roller mechanism for the date and month bit in the calendar - but I finally figured it out! 

Would you like a little tutorial on how to make a perpetual calendar of your own? They are a bit fiddly but well worth the trouble to make.

I've set up downloadable files to help you make your own perpetual calendar to fit inside a Twiddleybitz ATC hinged cupboard. Click on the links and the files should automatically download to your computer.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

A Little Bit of French Fabulousness

I bought some gorgeous mini canvases when I was in Spotlight a couple of weeks ago. They come two to a packet, with little wooden easels, and cost $5 per packet. Bargain! Needless to say I bought two packets! (And will probably go back for more next week!)

Today I decided I would have a bit of a play and here is the result.

I painted the easel with one coat of white gesso. Whilst I was careful to cover all the the surfaces, I didn't get too carried away with the evenness of the painting as I wanted a slightly shabby, worn look. Once the gesso was dry I inked over the edges of the easel with Ranger Inks Spun Sugar Distress Ink to give a hint of pink blush to the white.

I used the Spun Sugar to ink around the edges of the canvas and dried it quickly with my heat tool. I then cut out a square of paper which had just the right pink vintage print on it, and glued it to the canvas face using Claudine Hellmuth's Studio Multi-Medium matte. Using multi-medium as a glue is a trick I learned from the ever-amazing Trisha Ladouceur. I then brushed a thin coat of the multi-medium over the entire paper square and set it aside to dry.

Once dry, I decided the background needed just a little something more (couldn't help myself) so I found my favourite sheet music stamp and inked it up with coffee-coloured archival ink. Interestingly, the centre of the canvas didn't stamp at all, because it was slightly concave, but happily it didn't matter one bit. In fact, it served to highlight the centre of the fleur-de-lis shape beautifully in the end. Happy accidents is what this afternoon was all about actually!

The negative space fleur-de-lis piece of cardboard comes from the left-overs from the printers tray class I took with Julie van Oosten at the Brisbane Papercraft Expo in June.

I had originally intended to just cover it with Adirondack 'Snow Cap' white acrylic paint dabber, but picked up the Pearl one instead, and only realised what I'd done once I started painting the shape. It looked so pretty I kept going. But because I had wanted a sort of distressed look, I decided to lightly brush over the dried Pearl with a dry brush dipped in white gesso. I am thrilled with the result. The shape now looks like tarnished white metal - brilliant! I then rang a Spun Sugar distress marker around the edges of the fleur-de-lis shape, and buffed a little Spun Sugar distress ink around the outside edges.

Once the shape was dry, I glued it to the centre of the canvas with multi-medium and voila! it was done.

This took half an hour from start to finish - and would make a gorgeous little gift ... if I could bring myself to give it away ... which I can't ... LOL!