Monday, October 31, 2016

Teal Pumpkin

Happy Halloween! Since this week's new post falls on a holiday, I have a quick craft for ya. Before the trick-or-treaters came to our house this year, I decided to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project. It's a movement to let kids and parents know which houses will have non-food treats (instead of or in addition to candy) for Halloween. It's a nice gesture to have something on hand for kids who have food allergies or diabetes or any number of reasons why candy might not be a good choice for them.

So I grabbed one of the pumpkin pails that was sitting in our basement (I grabbed a few of them one year from Target on clearance after Halloween), a can of teal spray paint, and a cardboard box. A few coats later--voila--a teal pumpkin!

You could stick some gravel or sand in your pumpkin and stick a light in it to set on your stoop, or like I did, print off one of the signs from the website to put on your window and then fill your teal pumpkin with your non-food goodies. I had some Halloween pencils and temporary tattoos and a handful of toys from cereal boxes to give out to the kids this year.

I hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Alcohol Ink and Plastic Wrap on a Glass Bottle

I found this fabulous decorative wine bottle at Dollar Tree, and I just had to bring it home and ink it, but I didn't know exactly what I should do with it. Dripped rainbow ink looks fabulous on glass, but I wasn't sure it would look awesome on this bottle. Stamping is always an option, but I didn't know how it would look with all of the ridges and details on the glass. So, I decided to try a new (to me) technique using plastic wrap that I had seen on Pinterest. Unfortunately, I never did find a complete tutorial, so I was just winging it.

I knew the colors would mix together, so I picked ones that were adjacent to each other on the color wheel so they wouldn't turn into a muddy brown mess. I grabbed some blues, a purple, and a teal. I spread out a sheet of plastic wrap (just some cheap stuff I had in the cupboard) onto my craft mat.

Then I dripped a bunch of ink randomly onto the plastic wrap.

To thin the ink down just a bit, I dripped some rubbing alcohol onto the ink.

Then I wrapped my vase in the plastic wrap. I made sure it was wrinkled and a bit lumpy when I applied it. Then I peeled it off and wrapped it up the neck of the bottle to cover the whole bottle.

After the first application, it was mainly blue and not completely covered (especially around the neck of the bottle where I had reapplied the plastic). So I repeated the same exact procedure again with some darker blue and a little more purple and green to try and give it a bit more dimension. I peeled it up and replaced it any place where the color hadn't covered enough until I was satisfied. I might have even dripped a bit more ink on at one point--It was hard to take photos of these steps since it's a two-handed type of process (and there was ink all over my hands by this point).

In the end, I really love the way it turned out. It's almost iridescent! I can't wait to try the technique on some other surfaces!

What I learned: 

If you don't like getting ink on your hands--it's very hard to keep your hands clean with this method--you may want to wear gloves. 

You may want to try using a bottle or vase or whatever that you can completely cover with a single sheet of plastic wrap (this bottle was just a bit too big in either direction). 

If you're not happy with the way it's turning out, just keep peeling up the plastic and adding ink until you like the way it looks. Since I was using those analogous colors, it never looked like there was a point of no return.

And if it does feel completely off, glass is a pretty forgiving surface to ink--just wash it with some rubbing alcohol and start again.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Updated Guide to Adult Coloring

Last spring I made a Guide to Adult Coloring, but since then, I've picked up a few new supplies and coloring books that I think are worth sharing.

First up, coloring books. I still recommend the Joanna Basford and Eleri Fowler coloring books, as they are high quality with beautiful designs. But if you're looking for something a bit more economical, I've found a few options. This coloring book was so good, that I even added the recommendation as an update to my original post over the summer. Parragon publishes a line of coloring books that are each 288 pages long and are priced around $8-12. The paper isn't quite as thick as some of the high-end books, but it's jam packed full of great designs. They range from geometric to floral to doodle-y--whatever your mood may be. The three images below are all from Coloring for Creativity. They also have a Coloring for Tranquility and Coloring for Inspiration.

In most of my coloring books there are mandalas or some take on mandalas, so when I saw a rack of coloring books on sale at our local Barnes and Nobel, I picked up Magical Mandalas for $5. The mandalas are beautiful and only single sided on nice quality paper so they could be framed or gifted very easily.

I really love how the mandalas are repetitive (to simplify color choices), but not so geometric to feel rigid or simplistic. I haven't been able to stop coloring them since I got the book. They are completely addicting and great to color while watching TV.

In addition to the great coloring books, I've also picked up some additional supplies. I still highly recommend the Prismacolor colored pencils (Verithins--hard for fine designs, Scholar--for medium multipurpose, and Premier--for soft saturated color and blending).

But I also found that their blending pencils come in really handy. They will smooth colors together and allow you to avoid pencil lines. They are well worth the price to pick up a couple.

If you're looking for a budget friendly colored pencil, I now have a second brand to recommend after Crayola. These Sargent Art colored pencils are similar in quality, hardness, and price to the Crayola pencils. So if you're looking for more colors to add to your collection, or if these go on sale...they're a pretty safe bet.

If you have any favorite supplies or books, be sure to mention them in the comments!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Dripped Alcohol Ink Halloween Candle

A while ago I decorated some pillar candles by stamping alcohol ink on them. Ever since then, I have wanted to try dripping alcohol ink onto pillar candles. With Halloween around the corner, I went with some holiday colors for my first attempt.

Once I had my white pillar candle, I grabbed my craft mat and a couple shades of orange and black alcohol ink to drip onto my candle.

I started out by dripping Sunset Orange in one-inch intervals around the candle. If my single drip didn't make it all the way to the bottom, I added a little more to the stream.

Then I went around the candle with Terra Cotta and finally with some Pitch Black. The black didn't run quite as much as the orange did, so I had to add more to most of my trails of ink. As the ink started to mix a bit toward the bottom, I realized I'd have to add more orange to fill in and mix a bit on purpose.

After adding more orange and black, I had a pretty funky Halloween candle. All the while I was working on this one, I couldn't help but wish I had a second candle that I could do in red and black to make it really gruesome for the holiday. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Duct Tape Covered Disinfectant Wipes Container

I'm knee deep in paper grading, so I have just a quick project to share with you this week. I had an empty disinfectant wipes container, and from past experience, I know that they make great bag containers. The last time I made one of these, I used tissue paper and mod podge, but I was looking for something even faster, so duct tape it is.

I grabbed a cutting mat and a rotary tool along with two rolls of duct tape--a solid color and a print. I measured my container and found out it was just under 8 inches tall (from base to lid) and about 10 inches around.

So I made a sheet of duct tape that was 8 inches by 11 inches (for good measure). I laid my strips of the solid color along the bottom and a single row of my print tape at the top. I picked this print because it had a little yellow in it to coordinate with the lid.

Then I used the rotary cutter to trim the edges to make a nice neat square of duct tape. Next, I carefully peeled the sheet of tape off of the mat.

I lined the edge of the tape up with a seam in the plastic and the top edge of the container. Then I carefully smoothed it onto the container. I had a little extra tape at the bottom that I folded over the bottom edge.

When I was all done, I stuffed it full of some store bags. You can toss it in a drawer or cabinet or even in the trunk of your car. I even put a roll of tall kitchen bags in one to take camping and it works great!  And if you want your store bags to pull out neatly, you can even go through the trouble of rolling them up like I did the very first time I covered up a wipes container