Scrapbooking made simple – also for Independence Day

Happy Independence Day!

On July 4th, we are going to celebrate the Independence Day of America. Liberty is something we fully enjoy today while others around the world are not quite so lucky! This post is about scrapbooking made simple – also for Independence Day. Let’s celebrate by using July 4th as a good theme for your next scrapbook page.

Here are a few suggestions to make your page commemorative:

  • Draw and color the American flag all over the page. Grab a medium that is available to you. You can use crayons, pastels, and/or watercolors. Make sure you fill in the entire page. This will serve as the main background making whatever you put on the page very much relevant to Independence Day.
  • If, you don’t want to cover the entire page, use a combination of the Flag colors (good old red, white, and blue) as your page border. Cut long strips (the exact length of your scrapbook page) of red, white, and blue colored paper, or ribbons and attach it on the borders for the whole page. For the corners, cut out a white star. Make sure the size of the star is a little bit bigger and is more visible. Paste the white stars on the four corners of the page.

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Beautiful Animated Artistic Cards

The world of electronic greeting cards, or e-cards, and more specifically beautiful animated artistic cards, provides one of the most dynamic examples possible of the power that the Internet possesses to change for the better the way we all live. They harness the unique ability of the worldwide web to enhance the quality of our lives and relationships on a very human level and they are easily refined or adjusted by you if you have an artistic and creative mindset.

Most people will likely be familiar with ecards through the websites of the longtime major players in the paper-and-ink greeting cards business, Hallmark and American Greetings. Both companies’ sites provide an incomparably large selection of electronic greeting cards, literally thousands in a wide range of subjects and styles, which can at first produce the kind of overwhelmed feeling you get upon entering a brick-and-mortar card store.

If you’re searching for a card to email or send for a special occasion like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, or a loved one’s birthday, you could well spend more time than you’d like just clicking and sampling.

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Oil Painting – some great tips

Artists, but also committed amateurs or hobbyists, can never learn too much about color. Color is at the core of the message your work emits. A basic understanding of color is a great place to begin your new pursuit of artistic expression. So let’s check out Oil Painting – some great tips.

There are three primary colors that cannot be created by mixing other colors. Those three primaries are red, blue and yellow. Aren’t they great? Mixing these primary colors creates other colors called secondary colors.

Yellow and blue make green. Red and yellow make orange. Blue and red create purple. The exact hue of the secondary color is dependent upon the proportions of the mix of the primary colors.  The best way to become familiar with the seemingly unlimited color and hue possibilities is to experiment.

When the artist mixes three primary colors, the result is a tertiary color. The hue of the tertiary again depends on the proportions of the mixture. Have fun creating and learning your options.

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Painting With Acrylics

Those wonderful acrylics are very fast drying, neat and relatively easy to use. Painting with acrylics is a little different than working with watercolors, pastels or oil paints but when you want to get right at it, there is nothing like painting with acrylics.

Painting with acrylics is easy, easy to learn and neat to work with. Acrylic paints are based on water which allows the artist to mix them in water for thinning purposes. The artist’s brushes can also be cleaned in water.

Acrylic paints are made from the pigment and mixed with emulsion and acrylic resin. As the fastest drying paint, they can be used in impasto, or thin, watery glazes. The effect is powerful and instantaneous.

Most artists who opt to paint with acrylics are influenced by the drying time and the fact that the only solvent necessary is water. The artist will need stiff-bristled brushes for thick acrylic paints and soft-bristled brushes for watercolor type effects. The brushes come in many diverse shape and sizes and in many different handle lengths.

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How to Avoid Brush Marks when Painting

Some paint-works look great from afar – fresh paint, strong colors, sharp edges – but as you approach nearer, imperfections in the form of brush marks become obvious. It is a very common problem, and much more obvious on glossy surfaces than on satin or matt ones. This is because brush marks form undulating profiles that reflect light unevenly. If the paint used is glossy, the unevenness is exaggerated. So let’s talk a little about how to avoid brush marks when painting.

Basically, we need to watch 3 aspects of our painting – the brush, the paint, and technique.

The Brush
A bad brush in the hands of a professional and with the best paint will give mediocre results at best. It is always good to pay more for the brush. Not only does it give you a quality finish, but it also saves you time and a lot of frustration. Aside from the problem of brush marks, a low-quality brush tends to open up at its sides, making the painting of clean edges an impossibility. Then there’s the problem of bristles dropping and sticking onto the painting surface.

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Water-Based Enamel Nippon Paint

Nippon Paint seems to be blazing the trail, as far as the local decorative paint market is concerned. They introduced anti-bacterial with their Medifresh, low odor with their 3-in-1 Odour-less and Teflon-free in their EasyWash, all in recent years. Now, they’ve done it again with Aqua Bodelac, water-based enamel Nippon paint for wood and metal.

Water-based enamel paint is not a new technology. In fact, it has been around for many years. Most major brands of decorative household paint overseas have this in their range of products. Different story here in Singapore. We are like a third world country when it comes to the types of paint available here. And it’s not confined to paints. I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that the range of DIY tools here is also very limited.

Personally, I’m a skeptic when it comes to water-based enamels. Maybe its got to do with less than desirable projects in the past with water-based varnish and water-based polyurethanes. Water-based antifoulings, too, fall short of expectation. So it was with some relish when given a can of Aqua Bodelac to try, harboring sub-conscious desire to “prove it doesn’t work”.

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How to arrange your flowers for pressing

TIME OUT! Summer vacation. Time to change the daily routine and try something new — take a vacation, camp out at a different site, catch up on movies. Let’s devote some time to learning how to arrange your flowers for pressing.

In terms of crafts, it means exploring a new medium or learning what it takes to produce something we use that we normally purchase ready-made and take for granted. A few years ago, someone gave me a Klutz craft book for kids for a Christmas present. Although it explored a medium I had never tried, I put it aside. (Too simple! It’s written for 10-year-olds, I thought ) But one day I wanted to do something different and looked at it seriously. Then I tried clearly illustrated projects and, during the course of two hours, I had a wonderful time. What worked for kids surely did work for me.

How to Press Flowers

How to arrange your flowers for pressing depends on the shape. Klutz suggests: Press your flower face down, or sideways. It’s easiest to press daisy-like flowers face-down. Trim off the stem and flatten the back of the flower center so the flower can lie flatter. Press single petals if you want to. After drying you can put them back together to look like the original flower or use them by themselves in original designs. If the flower is thick, cut it in half. And if it is really lumpy, pull out some of the center petals.

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Hat Pins and Stickpins Decorations

Hat Pins and Stickpins decorations are enjoying a resurgence of favor. Young women wear hat pins to decorate a turned up brim, never guessing that they once were functional, securing hats to long tresses. Other women adorn lapels of suits with stickpins to lighten the look. Here are some custom-made pins, each featuring a different natural material from around the country.

From left to right: large poppy pod with tassel, small chestnut with beads, Job’s-tears pod with silver tassel, oriental nigella pod wit gold button, a live oak acorn with gold ribbon, eucalyptus pod with a gold cord, strawflower with beads, and small poppy pod with an antique bead. 

GATHER YOUR MATERIALS

For each pin:

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Cardboard Ornaments and Clothespins Ornaments

Gorgeous Ornaments from Cardboard and Clothespins

Clothespins and cardboard, paste and paint can all add up to great make-it-yourself ornaments. Our projects were originally created by Cici Hughes in 1972 in her spare time. Friends encouraged her to sell them commercially and she did — she made hundreds for Lord & Taylor in Virginia. The ornaments took over her home for two years before she retired from this business to explore other design projects. Below are instructions on how to make Cardboard Ornaments and Clothespins Ornaments Cici shared with us. Why not make several for yourself and a few to give to your favorite collectors?

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How to turn a window shutter into a letter holder

Years ago I had the luck to rent a unique garret apartment offering instant patina. Handed down from art student to art student for several years, it was fitted out with antique discards from neighborhood buildings which were being modernized or torn down. In this post, I’ll explain how to turn a window shutter into a letter holder.

The bathroom contained a slightly chipped claw foot bathtub. Porcelain sink faucet knobs mounted on a weathered board became “hooks” for towels and bathrobes. The previous owner also left me a pile of handmade, slightly irregular red bricks which I used to construct bookcases and tables.

I enjoyed knowing that these carefully made pieces could find a new use in my life. I read books to learn how people lived when these pieces were originally used. These artifacts gave my spare apartment character and history. With the help of flea markets and building makeovers in my area, I’ve managed to incorporate a few old building details into all the places I’ve lived since then.

If you’ve wanted to buy old doorknobs, heat registers, iron rails, window guards and other bygone details — but didn’t know what you’d do with them — check out the wonderful book, Salvage Style before passing them up again. It contains 45 step-by-step projects that transform salvaged items into new and different objects.

The authors say, “The skills needed for most of the projects are minimal, though experienced craftspeople will also find many interesting and challenging projects. And, even if you don’t want to pick up a hammer, the projects can help inspire you to find the perfect look for your home.”

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