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Tag Archives | Easy Crafts

Vendor Spotlight: Stampendous "Painting with Powder Technique" Embossing Powders

Reported by Maria Del Pinto
The “Painting with Powder” line of embossing powders by Stampendous offers the user an opportunity to paint a surface in a manner that can have results that look like chalk, enamels and other media.  The more well known technique to painting with embossing powder is Fran’s Painting with Powder Technique™ which you can view on the Stampendous YouTube channel.  The powders are used to create fun abstract paintings on various objects but using her special technique and these embossing powders.  This is being promoted as a fun way to use embossing powders to create a different type of art.

The kit they sent me was the Scenic Selection which comes with 14 jars in a variety of colors:
white, star dust, clear bark, olive, lettuce, periwinkle, baby blue, clear lemon, sunny yellow, golden sand, honey, paprika, Chinese red, and ruby red.
This kit has a helpful “Tips & Technique” chart and comes with two scoop straws to aid in the use of the embossing powders.
The manufacturer recommends using the Versamark™ Clear slow drying ink with these embossing powders to get the best results.
For my first project I decided to use the embossing powders on a glass ornament to see if it would work.

I used one of the stamps enclosed in the kit, the “VersaMark” ink pad and some of the embossing colors.
I stamped the image onto a clean glass ornament and applied the powders.  Since it was a curved surface, I had a little trouble getting a clear image.

I decided to keep the image as is and a little more embossing powder in certain areas to give it some definition.
I also added a little glitter to the embossing powder to give it some sparkle.  I heated it carefully (to keep too much of the glitter from flying away).  It is a bit difficult to see the sparkle on the picture, but it looks great hanging in the window.
For the next project, I decided to try my hand at the “Fran’s Painting with Powder Technique”™.  In case you have not already figured it out, I do not have very much experience with embossing powders.  However, I decided to give it a try anyway.  I applied the VersaMark pad all over the board.
Then added each color, starting with the lightest.
Then adding more color,
until I ended up with this finished gift tag which looks similar to the sample on the packaging label.
For my third project, I decided to make a card for a friend.  I also decided to test the powders on different colors of paper to see how the embossing colors would look on them.
Here is how the colors look on a black board.  Interestingly enough, the lighter yellow embossing powders on the top left corner, look green on the black background.
Here is a sample on regular card board.  Again, the yellow colors on the top right corner do not look yellow but kind of a yellow green.
And here is what the embossing powder looks like on cold press water color paper.  Because of the texture of the water color paper, it almost looks like chalk.  The colors showed up fabulously.
I used these samples to make the third project which is a card for a friend.
The embossing powders are a mixture that ranges from translucent to opaque.  This allows for some interesting results, depending on the surface you are going to use them on.  The embossing powders can be used on paper, wood, glass, and a variety of other surfaces.  I also used these same powders to make a faux enamel-type box for a friend of mine, by mixing these powders with some mica and glitter.
It worked great and the box looks exactly the way I wanted it to.
Pros:
  • Interesting selection of earthy colors that darken once they are set by the heat gun.
  • Some of the colors are opaque which is great for covering darker surfaces.
  • Some of the colors are more translucent which lends well to working on lighter surfaces and glass.
  • You can add a variety of materials like micaglitter, etc. to the embossing powder to create additional special effects, as long as you heat the paper from beneath the stamped surface.
Cons:
  • There is no purple or black shade in the kit.  Two colors that I personally can not live without.
  • The small containers make it challenging to get the left over embossing powder back into the container without waste.
  • The sunny yellow turns a strange color when used on dark surfaces, so be mindful of that when planning out your project.
Have you ever tried to add glitter and mica to the embossing powder and what was the final effect.  What are your favorite embossing recipes and tips?
 
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Vendor Spotlight: E.K. Success – Martha Stewart Embroidery Set

Reported by Maria Del Pinto




The E.K. Success Company sent me this cute baby one-piece and cap embroidery set from their Martha Stewart Crafts embroidery line.  I love making gifts for infants, so I was very excited that they had a new line of embroidery projects for baby gifts.  At first glance, the kit looks a little plain because the colors on the packaging are printed in a yellow ink that seems to fade out the colors of the thread on the baby set.  The thread colors are actually more vibrant out of the packaging.  I really liked the simple “Let It Bee” design on the two baby project pieces, along with the color choices of the threads for this design.
Kit Contents

Here is what comes in the kit:
  • 1 cotton onesie, pre-printed in wash-away ink
  • 1 cotton cap, pre-printed in wash-away ink
  • 1 needle
  • presorted cotton thread (Papaya, Marina, and Pumpernickel)
  • easy illustrated directions


One piece shirt
The one piece shirt and cap are very soft and made of 100% cotton with the designs already printed on them in a “wash-away ink”.   
baby cap

I love that the company placed the threads on a color coded thread organizer card that directly corresponds with the drawings, which makes it easy to identify the right threads.

Additionally, the Martha Stewart  embroidery Kit includes an easy to follow Key Chart that not only lists the stitches but breaks it down by color.  

The directions themselves are well-illustrated and easy to follow.  Instead of being too wordy, they have done the illustrations in varied thicknesses and colors that correspond back to the chart.  

You only need to do three stitches to complete this kit.
  • the stem stitch
  • the back stitch
  • the french knot



All you have to do is look at the Key Chart and match the line and you will know which color and stitch to use.  



This is an ideal beginner embroidery project and the final pieces are so adorable as you can see in the close up below.



Tips:
  • The pieces in this kit are pre-printed in a wash-away ink, so remember not to pre-wash the two pieces or you will lose the design. 
  • Use an embroidery hoop, it makes the project go faster.

Pros:
  • Great illustrations that are easy to follow.
  • The needle has a big hole so I did not need to use a needle threader.
  • The shirt and cap are very soft and finished in an over lock stitch which means it will hold together through more washes than those that do not.

Cons:
  • I wish the design had been printed just a little bigger on the one-piece.  
  • It would be nice to list the weight of the child that would fit in the 9 to 12 month one-piece for those who may not be familiar with how to size baby clothing.  Or at least to list something to the effect of “when in doubt…pick a size up”.  

What types of projects do you recommend for infant gifts?  What are your favorite baby items that you have made? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Book Review | 101 Tees: Restyle*Refashion*Revamp by Cathie Filian

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

The book motto is to: “Restyle, Refashion and Revamp” your t-shirts.
I borrowed a copy of “101 Tees” by Cathie Filian from a friend of mine to check it out. You may know Cathie from the DIY Network show “Creative Juice,” the YouTube videos she films for Plaid, or her blogs.  

As someone who is always in support of recycling or upcycling clothing, this book was a treasure trove of ideas.  A quick glance convinced me that I needed to purchase a copy of this book for my own personal craft library.

My kids are always bringing home t-shirts from various events they participate in, and often the design, color or cut of the shirt is not particularly flattering for them.  In the past, we usually just cut off the neck and sleeves to change it up, or we turned them into pillow covers.  However, after reading this book, we realized the tremendous potential for individual expression that the author’s ideas allowed for.  Not to mention its potential for plenty of easy craft project ideas for teens and children alike.
Steve Piacenza and Cathie Filian


So how does Cathie go about upcycling old t-shirts?  Well, she gives the reader an easy series of steps to follow, along with a brief explanation of the different types of t-shirts to look out for.  She also uses simple techniques which are broken down by chapters to transform old t-shirts into something that reflects the readers personal taste and enjoyment.
There are 11 chapters which include the following subjects:
  • cutting and stitching
  • painting on fabric
  • dyeing fabric
  • appliques
  • embroidery
  • ribbons and trims
  • iron-ons and patches
  • sparkle and shine (rhinestones, paints, sequins, glitter paints)
  • mixed media
  • just the boys (male-orientated projects)
  • holiday and special occasion’s
  • templates
Within each chapter she covers a lot of material in a concise and interesting manner.  The book introduction gives some tips on supplies, preparation and caring for your t-shirts.  Cathie Fillian immediately gets into the process the t-shirt makeover process rather than spend pages talking about non-related matters.  The book also includes templates and great graphics  – a great time saver for the reader when one is trying to finish a project.  After all, how many of us get hit by the creativity bug at a time when it is just not feasible to go and search for templates at our local craft stores.  The pictures are really good and help you to get an idea of the style of shirt and its potential for re-styling.
In her book, she mentions that the first step is to wash your shirt.  This helps to remove dirt, stains, and any other chemicals that may be on the shirt.
The second step is to lay your shirt out and really look at it.  Decide what elements you want to keep and what elements of the shirt you do not want to keep.  This will help you figure out your layout and which pattern from the book best works with your particular shirt.  With over 101 different design ideas, you are bound to find one that works.
In the shirt that I choose, I like the color but find the shirt a bit boring.  The shirt itself has a nice cut to it.  It just needs something to make it more interesting.  So I went to Chapter 6 in her book that focuses on “Ribbons & Trims”.  She explains the different types of ribbons and trims, along with hints on how to best utilize them.  So I decided to lay out different trims to see what would work with this particular shirt.

 I started with the lace collar. Then tried a piece of lace on the shoulder.
I could not get it to work with the neck lines, so I tried it on the bottom of the shirt to see how that would look.  I liked the way that looked.
Then I decided to try a different type of lace on the center of the neckline. It was a bit too fancy for this shirt.
So I tried a different piece of lace on the shoulder area.
I then decided to try a ribbon flower and see how that would work.  It looked a little better.
I like to keep some things simple and this seemed about right.  My two favorite looks were the simple lace collar and the peach ribbon flowers.  You can see that just by laying the pieces out on the shirt, you can get good feel of what would work with that particular garment.
Cathie also talks about trims like rickrack, floral trims, rhinestone trims, buttons, ribbon & silk flowers and much more.  She gives you ideas on different ways to apply them to the fabric and to use them as a design element.
That being said, I wondered if I could apply the information from this book to something besides t-shirts.  So I looked through my closet for a different type of shirt to refashion.  I found a great cotton button up shirt to work with.

I looked through the book and found that Chapter 7, deals with “Iron-ons & Patches”.  So for my second project, I will just make some minor changes to the shirt by adding a cool iron transfer from Plaid that I recently picked up.  I ironed the shirt to remove any creases.
Then I followed the directions and ironed on the patch.  You should know that I have never ironed on a patch before and managed to mess this one up a bit.  So I decided to add some rhinestones with heat activated adhesive on the back to cover some small flaws.  It worked pretty well. Plus, I liked the way the shirt looked.  It will be the perfect shirt to wear when my kids and I go roller skating.
The ideas from the book are applicable to many different types of items.  I tried some of her applique tips on paper, and a couple of totes.  This first is a tote that I added another some bits and pieces that I found around the house, along with a cute “Cup Cake” iron on (this one worked much better than the first).

Then I tried some applique, trims and an iron on a different tote bag.
The final one is of a gift bag; I just cut out fabric and glued it onto the paper bag to make it look like an applique.  Then added some sparkle with glitter glue.
All in all, this is a great resource that can is not limited to use just on t-shirts.  You can apply the ideas in this book to a variety of projects.  
Please leave a comment below to tell us about your ideas and/or tips for recycling or upcycling t-shirts.