Google+ House Revivals: 2018

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Quick and Simple Birthday Card!

Sometimes it's nice to use premade materials when making a card. You get something that looks very professional, but is still unique and personal.


You can often find boxes of fifty card bases, with envelopes, for around five dollars, on sale or with a coupon. You just can't beat that price!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

How to Draw Fanciful Mushrooms -- Easy!

Sometimes it's fun to sketch something fanciful. A couple of years ago, my granddaughter and I decided to draw each other pictures and mail them to each other.


These little mushrooms were originally drawn to send to her, but then my contractor came by with his little girl, and she loved the mushrooms, so I sent them home with her. Don't worry, my granddaughter got plenty of other pictures. 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Make Your Own Mixed Media Business Cards

I was shopping in a local Seattle thrift shop a few weeks ago and found a package of printable business cards. In my mind, the line between art supplies and office supplies is blurred, so I grabbed the business cards and brought them home.


I shared in this post on how to create your own mixed media master board, that I sometimes use master board to make business cards. I decided to treat the business card sheets as if they were master board substrates, and use them to create... wait for it... business cards!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Use Sharpies to Decorate Pretty Paper Beads

Do you love paper beads, but find yourself creatively "stuck" when it comes to making them?


You might consider using your sharpie markers to take your paper beads to the next level. Paper beads are great for jewelry for people with autoimmune conditions that make them sensitive to heavier jewelry.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Create Marker Storage From Recycling!

I was looking for an inexpensive way to store pens and markers the other day, but wasn't ready to invest in an expensive storage system.


I wanted something that could sit in a shelf on its side, since that's better for the markers, but that could sit upright at my work table.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Make These Impossible Paper Spheres {FREE Printable}!

While doing some random internet research, a few weeks ago, I found some gorgeous paper spheres at the lovely blog Hattifant.  The editor of Hattifant also found the form while searching the internet, and suspects it is of Scandinavian origin. I was immediately intrigued by the form, and decided to play around with some paper and figure out how to draft my own templates.


After some trial and error, I figured out the math to make these little paper spheres, first making them from vintage book pages. I shared them on my Instagram account, at the time, but I couldn't get the concept out of my mind. I decided to transfer the measurements into CAD, so that I could print out very accurate templates, and experiment with coloring designs.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Comparing Purchased and Homemade Gelatin Plates

Last week, I posted about making a permanent gelatin printing plate at home. The project was much easier than imagined.


Today, I'm sharing a comparison of how a homemade gelatin plate stacks up against purchased gel plates. I purchased three gel plates on Amazon to compare.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

How to Make a Paper Mache Starfish

I adore paper mache. When it comes to crafting, I would go so far as to say it's my first love. Since we've moved to more humid climes, however, I've found that my projects don't dry quickly (or at all) on their own.


I've learned to compensate by using the oven and putting drying racks over heat vents. Another way I compensate is by finding ways to keep my armature from getting too wet.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Create Pretty Cards Using Color Families

Today, I'm sharing another card created by raiding my stash. Unless your stash is identical to mine, you won't be able to make the exact card, but by using the techniques I share, you will be able to create something unique and beautiful that anyone would be thrilled to receive.


For this card, I started by pulling together an assortment of items from the purple family. These were thrown into a pile on my work table.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

How to Make a Permanent Gelatin Plate

This is one of those projects that I procrastinated trying for several years. Then, I did it and realized how easy it was and felt silly for putting it off all this time.


Do you have projects like that? I love all the cool things folks are doing with gelatin plates, and I've had a small Gelli Arts plate for some time, but I wasn't exploring the gelatin printing process as much as a wanted, mostly because we go back and forth between three different homes, for my husband's job, and the place where we spent the most time was very small and I didn't have space to spread out big projects.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Make a Journal From Your Junk Mail

Here is a fun project for creating a journal using junk mail, items that would normally be thrown away, and leftovers from other projects.


I had this pile of junk mail and return envelopes and paper scraps that I thought I could make into a nice little junk journal, so I put it in a drawer and forgot about it for several months.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Annie Sloan Toy Chest Makeover

Today, I am sharing a toy chest makeover using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. This project was done by my dear friend, Jami, for her granddaughters to use when they come for visits.


Jami started with a nice, but dated, oak cedar chest.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Draw and Color a Peony

On rainy Sunday mornings at the beach house, I like to sit at the dining table and sketch or doodle. I rarely go upstairs to the studio to get "real" art supplies. Instead, I use supplies from a kid's art supply tote. This way, I don't feel pressured to create something special, and I remind myself that you can create pretty stuff from anything (also, sometimes I'm just too lazy to climb the stairs).


On rainy spring days, in the Pacific Northwest, I find myself craving color and flowers, so on this particular morning, I grabbed a silk flower and quickly sketched it out.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Pretty Gift Tags From Packaging!

I have a confession to make. I don't buy a lot of card stock. The occasional scrapbooking paper pack, bought with a 40% off coupon or picked up at Tuesday Morning, does find it's way into my home, but for the most part, I find my card stock at thrift stores and Creative Reuse stores.


When all I need is a substrate, and I'm not worried about archival qualities, I try to find my material in the recycle bin.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Art of Meenakshi Temple {a tutorial}

On our recent trip to India, we visited Meenakshi Ammon Temple, in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Meenakshi Temple is beautiful, with a central pool, intricate carvings, ceiling murals, and Kolam designs on the floor.


The temple is an amazing example of Dravidian architecture, with it's towers encrusted with carvings of gods and goddesses.


I was most enamored with the colorful ceiling medallions. Each medallion is unique and brightly painted.


You can't help but be cheered by the abundant use of joyous color at Meenakshi Temple.


Much as I would have loved to sit down with a sketchbook to record what I saw, I had to satisfy myself with snapping a few pictures at the time.


I've always enjoyed doodling medallions or mandalas, but after the Meenakshi Temple visit, these doodles bring fond memories of a very special time and remind me of the exuberantly painted ceilings we'd admired.

I like to start a doodle using a mechanical pencil with a white eraser. White erasers don't smudge like the red ones do. To create a medallion, I start by creating circles -- these can be freehand or made with templates like lids and cups and bowls. Next, I divide the circles into four segments, then eight segments, and so on. I don't worry about perfection, because, it's just a doodle. Doodling is a creative way to relax, and I don't find seeking perfection to be relaxing. I usually doodle medallions without a plan, making petals or leaves or feathers in concentric patterns.


After I've sketched the medallion with pencil, I go over my lines with a smear proof pen and erase the pencil lines (sometimes -- other times I leave the pencil lines, because of that perfection thing).


The piece is then colored in layers. In this case, I started out by lightly laying on a base of color with Spectrum Noir markers.


Then more layers were added, to build up color. I changed my mind about the color direction along the way, but didn't stress over it, since the point was to play.


Next, I added some colored pencil on top of the marker layers. That turned out pretty, but I didn't like the texture, so I took the Spectrum Noir blending pen and blended the color out. I was pleasantly surprised by how well this worked, as not all alcohol markers play well on top of colored pencil. My Chartpaks cause waxy colored pencil marks to get gummy and weird.


I hope you try your hand at doodling. I love it, because it's not intimidating -- you don't need any drawing skills or knowledge of perspective or shading (although you may want to try shading to add dimension to your pieces at some point). If you can trace around a bowl, you can draw a decorative medallion.

You might also enjoy this post about India's colorful trucks.


You might also enjoy this post about how to draw a spring tulip.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have scheduled. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on daily on Instagram. Feel free to link today's post to your favorite social media sites.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
~Amanda



Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Upcycle Clothing Tags into Unique Gift Tags!

This is a fun little project where the hard work is already done for you, so all you need to do is the fun stuff? Don't you love projects like that?


I find myself hanging on to nicer quality clothing tags. Some of them already have rivets and twine or ribbon or acetate layers, etc.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Create One of a Kind Card Stock {Masterboard} From Scraps

What do you do with all your creative paper scraps? Those bits left over after punching or die cutting or trimming your paper? Those intricate die cuts that didn't quite work out? Embossed papers that cracked or tore? Stuff that really isn't useful, but it's still really pretty?


Every so often, I will gather up a collection of bits and pieces that I've been hoarding, and use it to create a masterboard. A masterboard is simply a decorated sheet that can be cut apart and used in other projects. To create a masterboard, you need a substrate. Your choice of substrate will depend on the finished purpose of your masterboard.


For instance, if you are creating a masterboard for scrapbooking, you may want to keep your materials archival. If you are making cards or crafts, archival qualities might not be important. My favorite substrates include cereal box sides, ugly scrapbook paper, packaging, mailing cardboard, and junk mail.


I've even used those heavy card stock weight handwriting strips that teachers use.


How you decorate your sheets will also depend on how you want to use the piece. You can layer materials, paint, stamp, or doodle. I usually do a little of all those things.


This is also a great way to use up small amounts of leftover paint. My favorite way to add paint is by spreading it with an old gift card or a stiff piece of cardboard.


Since I like to layer scraps on my masterboard, I use all-purpose white glue. It's inexpensive and can be purchased by the gallon. I have a smaller glue bottle that I refill from my gallon jug. The glue can be spread with an old gift card. Your choice of adhesive may depend on your finished application.


Glue all your layers down really well, then use a brayer, if you have one, to flatten it out and get good adhesion. To protect my brayer and to get good contact, I sometimes use an old sheet of fun foam over my masterboard while using the brayer.


I keep layering collaged items, paint, and ink until I'm happy with the finished piece. I do not seal the top of the piece.


I've used heavier masterboards to cut up and use for business cards. If you cut them out after the glue is mostly dry, but the paper is still cool to the touch, you can run the pieces through your embossing machine for beautiful results that are very sturdy. Or run them through the machine between your shimmed plates to flatten them out perfectly. Embossed pieces can be lightly inked on the raised areas for very pretty effects.


Lighter weight masterboard is perfect for cards or tags. The possibilities are limitless. I know of an artist who creates his own masterboard from found ephemera, presses it perfectly flat, then screen prints over it! His pieces are beautiful.




If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on throughout week on Instagram. Feel free to link today's project to your favorite social media sites.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
~Amanda

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Make a Sweet Fairy Cutaway Card

My sweet granddaughter will be getting a new baby brother pretty soon, and I wanted to make her a card to remind her how special she is to us. She is still at the age where she adores anything with pink or with flowers or with ribbon.


She also loves the Rainbow Magic Fairy books. They are sweet little books at just the right reading level.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Make a Framed Filigree Card

The thing I love best about card making, is that you can create something beautiful in a short amount of time. We are all busy, but we want to be creative.


You can easily create this card while the kids are napping, or in the evening after work. To make this card, you will need a frame die, and a filigree die. You can see that my frame die had a fancy shape.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

How to Draw a Spiral Rose

There are lots of ways to draw a stylized rose. Here is a fun little rose that anyone can draw -- even if you don't know how to draw.


Start by drawing a spiral, lightly, in pencil. Now, attach the bowl of the flower to the spiral -- basically, sketch a "U" shape that flares out at the top, where it connects to the spiral.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

My Dear Friend's Junk Journal

Last week, I shared a tutorial on how to make a junk journal, using an O-ring binding machine. This week, I am sharing a flip through of the journal my friend made during that same creative session.


We were both using the same supplies, and the same binding system, but our books turned out very different.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

How to Create the Look of Delft Tile for Card Making

I love the look of deft tile. When my daughter was young, she had a piano teacher who had been a missionary and had traveled a great deal. Each time they flew one of the dutch airlines, they were each given a keepsake tile. 


With all their travel, they collected quite a stack of of these beautiful tiles, and when they settled into their retirement home, the used their delft tile for the fireplace surround.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

How to Make a Junk Journal From a Vintage Book

Several months ago, my dear friend from Colorado joined me at the beach house for a week of creative fun and beach combing. One of our creative projects was to create junk journals using covers from some old Reader's Digests.



I introduced my friend to the Zutter Bind-It-All, and we watched some YouTube videos for binding inspiration. Then we raided the 'studi-attic' for supplies.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

My Favorite Junk Journal Binding Tools

When I was in college, we created altered books in one of my art classes. As the instructor described the project, I felt as if a chorus of heavenly angels was singing in my brain. The project was a mix of repurposed vintage stuff, and art, and good old handcrafts. Can anything be more perfect than that?


That particular project was created similarly to this  Dollar Tree project, that I shared earlier. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Workshop With Venice Artist Flewnt

Over the course of the past year, my husband and I have been splitting our time between Seattle and Los Angeles. We have a little apartment on Venice Beach where we've gotten to know several of the local artists. One of our favorite LA artists is Flewnt, who creates assemblage works, including signs and flags.


The Best of LA Artist has a mobile studio where he offers workshops and stages pop-up galleries.  When the weather is fine, he leaves his bricks and mortar studio and takes his mobile studio up the Pacific Coast Highway, where he can park by the beach and create art between dips in the sea.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

How to Create a Beautiful and Functional Kitchen

If you are thinking about renovating your kitchen, you will want to read this post. It could save you a lot of money and frustration in the long run. As an interior designer, I've seen a lot of badly designed kitchens.



Kitchen design takes careful planning. Did you know there are recommended linear feet of shelving that depend on the size of your home and household?

Thursday, May 17, 2018

How to Make a Quilted Greeting Card

Nothing says comfort like a handmade quilt. Snuggling in with a beautiful quilt is like getting a comforting hug. Now, you can send a hug to loved ones far away or right next door with this easy quilted card.


To make this card, you will need an embossing machine and an embossing folder. Embossing machines can be found fairly affordably at big craft stores (use your 40% off coupon). Lately, I've been seeing them at Tuesday Morning, as well.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Why Should I Swatch My Art Media?

Do you swatch out your inks, pencils, crayons, and paints? For years, I didn't bother. It wasn't a big deal, because I only used two brands of marker and one brand of colored pencil. I used them so often, I didn't need to swatch them.


Over time, however, I started using other types and brands of media, and things started to get confusing.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Creating With Premade Card Bases

I'm lazy and I love card making, so I love, love using premade card bases (and embellishments) when it comes time to create.


I know  that a lot of card makers turn their noses up at premade printed bases, but I'm here to try to convince you to give them a chance.

How to Make Easy Mixed Media Flowers

These mixed media flowers were inspired by projects by Barb Owen and Stitches by Julia. You will want to check out both of their YouTube channels -- they are full of amazing creative ideas.


I do a lot of projects using old book pages and covers, and often end up with a surplus of book paper. This project will help bust your stash of book pages,while building your stash of embellishments.