Friday, February 10, 2017

Transferring images using packing tape and stencils.

Happy Snow day!

We had a lovely day off work to get outside and shovel out three driveways and then hibernate indoors with our hobbies. Myself, I ventured into my craft room and experimented with packing tape, stencils and magazine pages. Zoo's fault, yet again, due to her sending me another link to put in the 'do' or 'not do' pile. Originally I didn't think I wanted to try this, as the result is shiny and I wondered if I could do anything else on top of the packing tape layer. This morning, however, it tickled my fancy and I gave it a try.

In the video, the lovely lady uses magazine pages, stencils and packing tape, all of which I have on hand, so away I went.

 This stencil is one of my oldest and is from Simply Stencils By Plaid, 28530 Hearts, Checks and Gingerbread

The following three are from a cheap kids set I found somewhere years ago.

 These two are from Stampin'Up, Dots and Stripes decorative masks. The stripes was hard to get the tape off of.

This stencil didn't work the best. In the video, she warns that we need to rub hard or use a brayer to get the tape to stick through the stencil in finer design areas. I used a brayer over thick foam but this one didn't work. Later I used my embossing stylus to rub in the smaller dots and details of the other stencils, but I guess I forgot this one. Good life lesson.

My neighbour, who sews, gave this one to me. It says 28760Bulk on it and may have come from a fabric store.

 I decided before I started that I would place the finished tapes onto pages I had already painted or sumi smooshed. This way I felt I was adding another layer to pages to make cards, or into altered art books for further development.

This last page with the green, I cut up and made cards out of. The gloss from the tape adds a nice dimension to the cards and I also used up some of the stamped paper Zoo had sent me months ago. Some of the stamped images are just photo copies she had sent, but I used them to finish the cards and I like how they turned out. The pictures don't do them justice.

So that has been my fun day with packing tape transfers. I hope the weather adds more fun so I can escape to my craft room more often.  Cheers everyone.   Red Bear : )

Monday, January 16, 2017

Separation Anxiety | Texts From My Cats

I just found this blog tonight while perusing Bored Panda.

I will be here for the next week or so reading ...

Separation Anxiety | Texts From My Cats:

'via Blog this'

Thursday, January 05, 2017

On Books and Reading & possibly a new hobby for 2017

I discovered a new website this week: Literary Hub

I've shared a few articles on facebook the past couple of days, but today, I started reading an article that inspired a post about one of my Grandmothers.

Doing a final edit of the post, I realized it's too long for a facebook post and realized I haven't made a non-crafting entry into this blog for awhile so why not put it here instead?

Inspired by the article "What Romance Fiction Can Accomplish: On the Passion and Pleasure of "Light" Reading"

My Grandmother, Yellow Nana, my Dad's Mom; was an avid consumer of Harlequin Romances.  There was always an ever-changing box of them out at the lake.  With these, plus a box of Reader's Digest, plus a box of my Mom's books, there was always something to read out there.

In grade seven, our English teacher assigned us to read and do a book report, once a month, for the entire school year.  I had mine completed by the second week of September.  I was always looking for something to read.

That January, for some reason, [I didn't know it at the time, but I was already firmly entrenched in my Seasonal Affective Disorder, my January Blues], I set myself the challenge to read one Harlequin Romance a day. By February, I could identify the formulas for the different categories.

Nana wasn't a fan of the supernatural or sci-fi romances but there were generous helpings of the not-traditionally-pretty and scrappy heroine, the independent heroine [as much as there could be in that genre, after all they always did end up with a man], and a sprinkling of the erotic read.  I've never picked up a Harlequin Romance since but, there were the seeds of the independent, yet sensual, career woman I became.

As an adult I graduated to Danielle Steel, amassed a collection, shared them with my Mother and Sister until I learned her formulas and became jaded against "the same ol' story".  In recent years, culling the book shelves to make room for the craft room stuff, Danielle Steel has become the fodder for our Altered Art creations.

Once I was over Danielle, I delved into the likes of Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, Tom Clancy, and Anne Rule and thought I left the romance novel behind.

In the mid-'80s on a recruiting trip to the back of beyond, some isolated part of Northwestern Ontario, Northern Manitoba or Saskatchewan, and looking for something to read I happened upon LaVyrle Spencer.  And thus another collection began.

I haven't read one of her books for over a decade but when the great cull happened, I gave up my Stephen King books but couldn't part with my Lavyrle Spencer's.  Her books don't make it into my annual revolving list of series authors but I can't give them up either.  She's in the shelf with my Margaret Atwood and, my smaller, Alice Munro, collections. Maybe it's time to re-read some of them.

I'm wondering if 2017 may be the year of Literary Hub being my "go to" website instead of Bored Panda?  The language is denser, the thoughts more profound and frankly it stretches and hurts my brain reading some of the articles but, today anyway, that feels like a good thing.

It's too easy learning new things by reading the internet.  When you stumble across something you don't know, a quick highlight, right click, "Search Google for ____" answers the question.  Thus, today I learned the meaning of and how to pronounce "Synecdoche".  I also glanced at the incredible list of Literary Devices and got excited about a whole year's worth of learning!

Yesterday I got caught up in and shared on facebook:

There's so many place to go and read:

There is one section Lit Hub Daily, which, as the title suggestions is a Daily list of about a dozen links to literary related places on the 'net.
Every Saturday though, is a "Best of the Week:" compilation, a slightly longer [I'm guessing to appeal to the leisure of the weekend of "normal" people] list of the Daily links. I wonder how that is determined?  "Most Viewed", "Most Shared"?

All in all, a huge, HUGE collection of intellectual, brain stimulating writing on one of my favourite, life-long pleasures. I've been casting around for a "new project" since the demise of my World of Warcraft involvement.

Himself once observed that every two years or so I change focus of my hobby. When we lived in Churchill it was "Cooking for the Freezer", when we first moved to the farm I learned all about Landscape Gardening, then it was Yoga for a few years.

My first move to Thompson was swimming with intellectually and physically challenged kids, the second Thompson move was Air Cadets and the third, taking a three year long night-course on Management and Supervision.

There were a few years of Paint Shop Pro graphics and a couple of learning to CSS code our own farm website, the internet saved my sanity during the first decade of living as a disabled, physically challenged, isolated person.

Yes, I'm thinking that a 2017 year of Literary Hub would be good for me in more ways than one, and pleasureable to boot!

Think I'll start by learning the definition of and how to pronounce:  lucubrations and Why Calvin and Hobbes is Great Literature.

Who are your favourite authors?  Do you have a list of annual or occasional "re-reads"?

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Using strips of scrap paper

Hello, yet again. I am never on the computer to work and then three blog posts in two days. Zoo will fall off her chair! It is a very grey weekend here and my life is in a weird holding pattern and for some reason doing these posts is a nice break, so here goes another one.

Zoo sent me a link to use up some paper scraps, knowing that I don’t throw anything away and was running out of room in my scrap paper box.
The link was    and showed how to glue/tape thin scraps of paper onto printer paper and then die cutting out an image or saying to make cards. My scrap paper box was full, so I gave it a try.

I first used up just a few pieces of paper out of my pink scrap box and here is the result. I didn’t measure the width of the strips I cut, but just winged it with my cutter. I liked the slight variances in the widths of the strips. I don’t have a huge selection of dies that cut out sayings and shapes that are not for tags, so I chose my Fredward Bear Die Cut  - by Memory Box Inc.

 It was a little blah with just the bear cut out, so dug out my punch-anywhere flower punch by EK Success Brands and punched out the background. I saved the little flowers, etc., that came from the punch in case I wanted to use them. Much better!!

The two finished cards turned out so cute that I spent an hour or two cutting strips out of more scrap paper and making more blanks to use. Believe me though… a little paper goes a long way! 

 I had an idea to use different edging patterns to cut out waves, etc., from the striped paper. It produced a neat effect without too much difficulty. By tracing the pattern onto the back of the striped paper, it was just a matter of cutting along the lines and placing them in order to be glued onto a plain coloured background paper. I chose black card stock as my background to show off the stripes. I then used my Big Shot to cut out shapes. Like usual, the negative part cut out can be used on the inside of the card or for another card.

I also free-handed a dinosaur to cut out.

This was a fun use of scrap paper. I have started saving thin strips of scrap paper in an envelope to make it easier next time.

Take care! Red Bear : )

Metal Blog page for real

After practicing with the metal tape, Zoo and I were to do a page in our AAJ2 using this technique. I once again pulled out a variety of things from my collection and went to town. I wanted to use drywall tape, fun foam embossed to look like waves on the water, my tree punch and left over twig punches from Zoo’s punch. These things all reminded me of nature and the great outdoors so I figured I would do a camping theme. Growing up we did a lot of camping and fishing in remote areas and to this day, I love exploring in the woods, hiking, scrambling up and over hills and mountains (I dislike bugs a little more now though).

I started with the drywall tape diagonal across both pages, as the walking path. Then I added the road using my 1999 Lyuell Harlow LG611 Stone Wall brass embossing plate. This I experimented with in my Big Shot. I put the metal tape on strips of card stock, ran it through the Big Shot, and then applied it to the page using more metal tape. Being a very thin brass plate it and then layers of tape on top, it didn’t show a deep embossed effect but doable for this. I thought I needed a defining line between the path and the road so I used the beaded string to make the road edges. 

                  Next, I started on the lake. I used the fun foam with waves embossed in it (purchased at the Dollarama). I cut it to fit up in the corner and wanted to find something in my stash to act as a rocky shore. I had purchased, from the fabric store, a set of two 80’s patches with antique brass half domes sewn on them. They were 99 cents and so I bought one for myself and one for Zoo. They reminded me of the shoulder patches in the Michael Jackson era and made my day at the time. Zoo, of course, didn’t have a clue why I had bought them or what the heck to do with them when she received hers : )        They did work perfect for a rocky beach, though, so this page was making me smile all the way during the process so far!

 For the grass, I used a million twig punches. Zoo needed a twig punch for some Christmas cards we were working on a year or two ago and I found one at Walmart here and sent it out to her. Before I send it, however, I killed my hands by punching out a million of them for my use. Well, I used up almost my entire stash in this project. The grass is made up of many, many layers of the twig punches glued on and then taped over. I found that my double-ended embossing tool worked the best to bring out the desired texture. I love the grass. I guess I am a little bit of a tactile person and running my hands over the grass and other areas on this page feels cool.

The tree in the upper left corner is made with my Fiskars tree punch. It was too small so I cut out more of them and trimmed the branches off and added them to expand the branch system. It turned out cute. The page needed a little something so I added a van cut out of card stock and taped over. I attached it using foam dimensionals on the top and glue and the two metal brads (bought from Dollarama years ago – yes… I love the dollar store!!!). 


I painted it with the black paint a couple of times until it had the effect I wanted.

I must say, that I do love this page. I had my book standing up on my table with this page open for weeks. Playing with metal tape is fun and inexpensive. Zoo and I will have to do more with it in the future.

 Enjoy! Red Bear : )

Friday, October 28, 2016

Metal Tape Practice

Hello again. Long time no see! Life… you know : )

Zoo found something on line about making boxes, frames and tags with metal tape. Ironically, this was at the same time that my husband and I were doing renovations and were using this product. Needless to say, I was intrigued to find a use for the tape that didn’t involve long days of ripping a building apart and months of rebuilding it.

The links she originally sent were as follows:

We decided to experiment during one of our Skype craft sessions and began by rummaging through our supplies to see what variety of things we could try under the tape.  I found: metal and paper die cuts; sequence shapes; punches; chip board buttons; a button; a pink felt heart; bead string; raised red stars; and a wooden oval with the letter T cut out of it. I tried different numbers of layers to see how the tape would cover each thickness (I wrote the number of layers beside the objects glued to the page).

 I then covered the entire page with metal tape. Not knowing what I was doing, I put the tape on in nice even rows so only the objects show through.  This looked very blah when finished, so I added more layers and shapes of tape on top to give it some character. Finding things to push the tape into and around the objects was a challenge. I ended up using the lid to a gel pen and my fingers for the most part. Using my double ended embossing tool, I added details like a spider web, grass, etc.

When it came time to paint over the tape I used Crafters Acrylic paints purchased at Dollarama. I tried three colours per page and discovered that I prefer just plain boring black. The other colours I found just looked odd. 

Lessons I learned in this experiment were that: different size and shape pieces of tape gives the paint more places to sit to show off the object; tears in the tape going over the beads and wood objects can be hidden when painted; even one layer of paper shows up through the tape, so it is not always necessary to layer objects to be seen; and adding details with pens or other tools is fun and adds personal touches.

Have fun! Red Bear : )