Month: November 2013

Guest Post: Easy DIY Screen Printing for Holiday Crafts by Tiecen Anderson

Easy DIY Screen Printing for Holiday Crafts

If you look around for a DIY screen printing tutorial, chances are you come up with some pretty in-depth projects that involve light sensitive emulsifier and a darkroom. While these methods create a beautiful finished product, the precise requirements are not very kid-friendly.

With so many fun craft ideas cropping up during the holidays, it’s the perfect time to get the whole family involved, so we’re excited to share this super easy screen printing method that kids and adults can easily participate in. Since the holidays are right around the corner, we’ll use printing holiday themed napkins as an example, but you can really use screen printing for any textile project, including t-shirts, tote bags, and pillowcases.

Supplies Needed

Here is a list of the DIY screen printing supplies you will need:

  • 1 yard of porous fabric, such as chiffon or voile

Chiffon

  • A couple of plastic (for easy cleaning) embroidery frames that are about 12 inches in diameter

Embroidery Hoop (Plastic)

  • A holiday themed design template that you either printed out or drew

Christmas Images

  • A pencil
  • Mod Podge
  • A few paint brushes of varying sizes

Paint Brushes

  • A set of cloth napkins

Cloth Napkins

  • Thick acrylic paint, or paint specified for screen printing

Fabric Paint Bottles

  • A roll of masking tape

Masking Tape

  • A plastic credit card or gift card that you don’t mind getting dirty

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  • A painter’s drop cloth, newspaper, or some other protective layer for your work surface

The Printing Process

  1. Making the Screens: Take your fabric and stretch it as tightly as you can over the embroidery frame, securing it with the outer hoop. Make one screen for each color you’re intending to use.
  2. Transferring Your Design: Place the screen fabric side down over the top of your design template. Using a dull pencil, trace the design onto your screen fabric.
  3. Isolating the design: You need to create a channel for the paint to spread into by masking off the non-design areas. Use masking tape to create a border around your design that extends out to the edges of the frame. Then, use paint brushes of different sizes to carefully apply Mod Podge between the masking tape and the edges of your design. Be sure to create full coverage (hold the screen up to the light to double check), and smooth out any bumps. Allow the Mod Podge to dry for about 15 min. before moving on to the next step.
  4. Apply the Paint: Iron your napkin to make it smooth, and place it face-up on your working surface. You may want to pin it down to a piece of cardboard to keep it flat. Place your screen over the top of your napkin, and apply a thick, ½ inch bead of paint across the top of your design. Use the credit card to drag a smooth layer of paint across your whole design. Try to evenly coat the design only once, as best you can.
  5. Lift and Rinse: Once your paint is applied, lift your screen straight up from the napkin, leaving the design printed on the surface. Rinse your screen and frame immediately with cold water, removing all the paint, to prepare it for the next printing. Make any repairs to tape and Mod Podge in between printings, and allow it to dry.
  6. Repeat With Other Colors: Allow the design on your napkins to dry in between each color. When it is dry, you can use a second (or third, or fourth) screen to apply the next color in your design until the whole thing is complete. Designs that feature only one or two colors are easier and quicker to screen print.

No matter what you try this on, you’re sure to have a fun time and a unique creation! So break out the paints and have a little fun with the whole family this holiday season!

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Online Store Review: CocoMia.com

Scissors necklace On

 

At the beginning of the school year I was approached by a brand new online store, CocoMia.com. As a new company they were looking for different ways to advertise and market their shop, which brought them to my blog.

With endless options for online shopping, it has become a very competitive and saturated market. It’s nice to have options, it makes finding the best deal easier as you compare and contrast prices on the exact same item between 10 different online stores. However, it can also make online shopping more questionable. You have to ask yourself, is this a reliable company, is this a quality product, are they accurately portraying their products? With these questions constantly at the back of my mind, it’s nice to find store you feel comfortable shopping at, and CocoMia.com has become one of them.

While their website leaves a little to be desired, and their shelves aren’t fully stocked, I still found a number of items I would like to see decorating my home, added to my jewelry collection, and gift ideas for multiple people. Their products are trendy, quirky, fun; reminiscent of the often off-the-wall and popular items at stores like Urban Outfitters.  This is a great place to shop for tweens, teens, and twenty-somethings, and will offer very unique gifts.

As I perused the shop at times I was put off by the odd spacing of product photos and blank spaces, leading me to believe all their items were listed on one page, when in actuality there were still multiple pages to click through. Despite this, their products were interesting enough to keep me looking through, clicking on, and reading descriptions. I was impressed by the range of products they offered and the very affordable prices. This is the type of shop that makes staying trendy easy.

After looking at all their products, it was time to get down to business. I had the opportunity to select an item to use, review, and share with you. Although it was difficult to choose just one item, after considering an octopus sculpture, coral design bowl, and envelope themed purse, I finally decided on an adorable, silver, scissor necklace. 

After all I am an art teacher, crafter, collager, and constantly have a pair of scissors nearby. I felt the scissors were speaking to me through the computer screen, telling me it was meant to be. Although there were dimensions listed in the description, the single picture on a white background left me wondering what it would look like in person. I placed my order, and eagerly awaited it’s arrival.

It took a little bit longer than expected to arrive, but the account executive was in continuous contact to ensure the delivery made it to my doorstep. The nice thing about many of these start up companies are their dependable customer service departments. I was very pleased with my choice when I finally got through the many layers of packaging to my scissors necklace. I loved the fact that it actually opened and closed, and couldn’t wait to wear it to school the next day. Since it has arrived in the mail a few weeks ago, I have already gotten a lot of wear out of it, and a lot of compliments. It’s a creative, quirky, well made necklace, and I know it will be in my jewelry rotation for a long time to come!

necklace

As you go about your holiday shopping I hope you take a minute and check out CocoMia.com. I’m sure you will find at least a couple of gifts you can give this holiday season at very affordable prices. Help an new online shop make it’s way to the top with your support. Thanks for checking out my store and product review, help me spread the word about my blog by sharing with others. Thanks for stopping by and happy holiday season!

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Giveaway: Personalized House Painting or Map Painting (closed)

House and Map

I’m very excited, after a very long break, to once again host a giveaway of my own items! With the holiday season quickly approaching I decided it was a great time to highlight two items that could make great, personalized gifts this season.

In my Etsy shop I have a wide range of items, but some of my favorite things I create are the personalized letters and silhouette encaustic paintings. I love giving people the opportunity to take something, and make it their own, turn it into the perfect fit for a gift to a loved one, or even yourself.

Both the personalized house and map mixed media pieces are a great way to give a gift that someone will appreciate and treasure, because it has that personal touch. I was so excited when these turned out just the way I imagined, and couldn’t wait to put them up on Etsy. However, the one downside is the amount of time needed in order to create and ship each piece. I require at least 2 weeks to make your piece, from start to finish, and ship it. It may take 3 days to a week to arrive once it has been shipped (shipping times may vary). With the holidays rapidly appearing on the horizon, I hope these pieces will still be a gift option in the coming weeks.

House Painting detailThe house encaustic, mixed media painting was a piece I did a few months ago, of the duplex apartment I lived in when I first moved to Atlanta. I loved the early 1900’s house, and all the charm it brought, and felt the feel of the house was capture in the encaustic painting, collage. I have plans to re-create each house I live in as my husband and I expand our living quarters, our family, and experience new places. I can visualize a grid pattern on our wall of all our beloved homes.

I love this concept because a home is incredibly important. A home is so much more than a roof over your head, it’s love, comfort, and memories.  I hope everyone has a home they fondly remember, the home they grew up in, Grandma’s house they used to visit, or the house they bought as newlyweds and had their first child in.

To create your own home painting all you have to do is send me a picture of the home you wish to memorialize in your encaustic collage.  I will take your picture, turn it into a silhouette, transfer it on top of my encaustic wax and pattern paper, and add details back with oil paint. After it has dried it will be wrapped up and sent off to you.

A 6″x6″ personalized home is one option for this giveaway!

Map Painting DetailAnother option for this giveaway is a personalized map encaustic collage. As a University of Georgia graduate, and resident of Athens, GA for 5 wonderful years, re-creating a map of Athens was an easy choice. I love the pattern the intersecting roads create. This is a more abstract option, yet just as personalized and important as the house paintings.

I love the cities I have had the opportunity to live in. Each place has it’s own unique characteristics and charm. I loved the familiarity and safety of Roswell, the cool, artsy feel of Athens, and the small town, yet big city feel of Atlanta. The city you live in is almost as important as your home. It’s where you make your friends, begin laying down roots, and create new experiences.

To create your own map piece all you have to do is send me the city and state of the map you would like recreated and I will take it from there! I will research a suitable map, simplify it in photoshop, transfer it on top of my encaustic wax and pattern paper, and add details back with oil paint. After it has dried it will be wrapped up and sent off to you.

A 6″x6″ personalized map is another option for this giveaway!

To enter this giveaway all you have to do is visit my Etsy shop here and like my shop! Comment below with the name you liked my shop under and tell me which item you want to win. For a second entry like your favorite item and comment below with a link to the item you liked. For a third entry share this post on facebook or twitter, comment below with a link to your share! To ensure you are entered 3 separate times, make sure you comment three separate times!

Next Tuesday, 11/26/13 I will randomly selected one winner using the plugin, “And the Winner Is…”. The winner will be notified via e-mail, and will have the opportunity to select which encaustic mixed media piece they would like created. If the winner does not respond in 24 hours a new winner will be selected.

mixed media encaustic

Remember, the holiday season is almost upon us! Help support local and handmade and check out your local artisans or Etsy shops for a variety of handmade. If you love one of my pieces make sure you allow 2 weeks for a personalized piece to be made and 1 week for shipping. To ensure delivery by Christmas order everything 2 weeks before Christmas day.

Thanks for checking out my blog, participating in my giveaway, and supporting handmade! With your help maybe one day I can also quit my day job and focus on selling out of my shop. Help me spread the word about my blog and this post by sharing, e-mailing, liking, tweeting, digging, tumbling, or another social media outlet of your choice. Thanks for stopping by!

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Visual Journal Page 56: Yellow Plate Day

Visual-Journal-Page-56-Yellow-Plate-DayVisual-Journal-Page-57-Teaching-RewardsVisual-Journal-Page-56-Yellow-Plate-DayVisual-Journal-Page-56-Yellow-Plate-Day

I believe that everyone has their quirks. Everyone has some little routine, task, or object that makes them feel a little better, a little more balanced. I am a self proclaimed routiner. I live for my routine. I enjoy doing things in a certain order, taking care of my “little tasks”, as Nick so lovingly refers to them, it makes me feel better prepared and ready for whatever is coming next. Perhaps it’s borderline OCD, or perhaps its just a trait of a well organized person; regardless, it’s what I enjoy doing to make it through my day.

In the morning I wake up, turn on the shower and brush my teeth. After the shower I dry my hair, put on lotion, and get dress. Next, I put a base coat of makeup, dry my hair, finish my makeup, and finish styling my hair. I add finishing touches to my outfit, and head downstairs to make my oh-so-important coffee. While the coffee is brewing I fix breakfast, I can’t make it through the day without my breakfast. Whether it’s a bagel, cup of yogurt, or biscuit, it gets my day started off right, and is a necessity. At this point in my routine my bird plates make their appearance.

While registering for my wedding day gifts, I discovered these adorable, red, green, and yellow bird plates at Pier One. I instantly feel in love, and attempted to register for them. I was disappointed to find that Pier One did not offer registry or wish list options. I was slightly bummed, and unsure of how people would discover I needed these plates for my marital kitchen. Lucky for me I have wonderful Mom who pays attention, told her friend it would be a great shower gift, and I received the entire set at my first wedding shower.

Since the moment I saw these plates I knew I had to have them, the yellow ones in particular. They were special, made me smile, and I was positive food would taste better off of them. Every morning I pull down one of these plates to carry my breakfast to the car, and secure crumbs as I chow down on the way to work. It’s a nice little bright spot in my routine that makes my early morning wake up a little better. As much as I love the red and green options, there is something about that yellow plate. On those dark mornings when I reach up to grab my daily plate, and it comes down yellow, I almost feel like it’s an omen. It’s as if it’s a sign that today is going to be a good day. No matter what happens the rest of the day, I know I started the day with that bright, yellow, bird plate, and because of that, today will be a good day.

Superstition? Perhaps. But it’s these little tid-bits that make each day a little more special.

SUPPLIES

  • Visual Journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • White paper
  • Pencil
  • Colored pencil
  • Old book pages
  • Black sharpie

HOW TO

For this visual journal page I knew I had to keep it simple, and focus on the yellow plate. I began by grabbing my yellow plate, a blank sheet of paper and a pencil. I traced around the outside edge of the plate and began recreating the design on the paper. Once I was satisfied with the placement and details I began coloring the design in with Prisma colored pencils. Since I needed to get a very specific, mustardy shade of yellow, I had to combine and layer a few different shades of yellow. In general, whenever I color with colored pencils I always layer different shades of a color to create a greater sense of depth.

Once the plate drawing was filled in I tried placing it in my book to find the perfect spot. However, I couldn’t find a good place to put it, without going off the edge of the page. I wanted to avoid setting it right in the center of my book, layouts are always more pleasing when the focus is off center. Finally, after a lot of playing around, I decided the best option was to place it in the bottom right corner and cut off the extra. I also decided to add ripped up book pages and place them between the plate drawing and the book, to help the plate pop a little more.

Once I had the pages and plate glued down, it still didn’t look complete. I thought about where to place my words, and opted to put them along the rim of the plate. However, this still left the top part of the page empty. To fill up space I layer more book pages and one section of the plate that was cut off to the top left side of the page to create a more balanced layout.

CHALLENGE

Create a visual journal page about a detail of your OCD, daily routine, or personal quirks.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word by tweeting, liking, tumbling, e-mailing, and sharing in general. I couldn’t do it without you, thanks for stopping by!

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Review and Giveaway: Etsy Shop, Nesting Pretty Nature Inspired Hair Pins (closed)

image_7A few months ago, while perusing Etsy, I stumbled across an adorable all-things-hair shop, Nesting PrettyNesting Pretty, owned and operated by Tamara Louise, has a wide range of accessories, including hair pins, head bands, hair clips, earrings, necklaces, and vintage items. Despite offering a range of things, Nesting Pretty has a distinct style, which visually connects all of the items together through a nature, florally, and vintage inspired theme.

As I perused her shop I immediately found and favorited a few things I fell in love with, and moved on. After clicking through a few other shops I suddenly decided to look back on what I just favorited, one of which was this adorable, turquoise, sparrow bobby pin. After another look at the very reasonable and affordable price, I purchased it without a second thought. A few days later it arrived in the mail, and I was in love.

I do have a slight obsession with hair decor. I even had to create and design a headband holder for my closet to accommodate my ever growing collection of headbands. After awhile I had to take a headband breather, which brought me to the world of decorative bobby pins. This sparrow was the perfect addition to my collection, it has brought me endless compliments and an easy way to jazz up my hair.

After my very satisfying transaction and purchase from Nesting Pretty, I decided to contact Tamara and see if she would be interested in participating in a review, giveaway, and holiday shopping highlight on my blog. I was thrilled when she agreed, and I love the item she has selected to giveaway. See below for details about entering to win this adorable branch themed bobby pin pair!

nature inspired hair pins

Nesting Pretty is a shop that offers a wide range of in-style and adorable items. I definitely plan to check off a few gifts on my holiday list this year via Nesting Pretty. This is on the top of the list for recommended shops to stop at, and check out, this holiday season. Support local and handmade, and give a unique gift this season! Right now Tamara also has a discounted section of her shop, it’s always great to check something off your list, get a good deal, and all before the craziness of black friday and holiday shopping.

If you are in love with these nature inspired hair pins all you have to do to enter is visit Nesting Pretty here, favorite her shop, and imagecomment below with a link to your favorite item in her shop. You can also win one more entry by visiting my Etsy shop here, favoriting my shop, and commenting below with a link to your favorite item in my shop.

Next Thursday, 11/14, the winner will be randomly selected using the plugin And the Winner Is… They will be contacted via e-mail, and will have 24 hours to confirm their prize before a new winner is selected.

Thanks for checking out my blog, participating in my giveaway, and checking out my recommended holiday shops this year! Help me spread the word by liking, tweeting, e-mailing, and sharing! I couldn’t do it without your help!

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