April 20, 2014

Super cute prints - I love doodle

How adorable are these prints from Etsy shop Doodling a Smile. So many beautiful illustrations.
Click the pics to go to the listings.

So cute right! I love the "No hard feelings" one. LOVE!

April 12, 2014

Eggcellent DIY ideas

Easter is only one week away! Time to get cracking on those egg-cellent crafts! 
Here's a few great egg themed DIY projects I've stumbled across recently that I know you guys will love. Click the links below to go to the projects. 

Are you following Crafted on Facebook? I post (almost) daily DIY and handmade awesomeness! Sound good? Well what you waiting for? Follow Crafted. ;)

April 1, 2014

Amazing paper flower DIY projects

I am so jealous of the northern hemisphere right now! Down here we have just finished our glorious summer and are in the beginning of Autumn. Even though Autumn can still pull out some amazingly warm days and the leaves look great it's still leading us into my most disliked of all seasons... Winter.
The start of Autumn is like sunday night. It's technically still the weekend so you should be happy but you know what's coming. A whole week of work until you get that warm weekend feeling again... ahhh... anyway back to what started me on this rant....

I am so jealous of the northern hemisphere right now! With easter coming there are a lot of beautiful spring time projects popping up all over the DIY blogosphere. My favourites being paper flowers.

Since I got the book Paper to Petal I have been a LITTLE bit obsessed with paper flowers. There are just so many options! (If you haven't got a copy of that book GET ONE! It's hands down my most favourite craft book ever!)
Here are some great paper flower DIY projects that I've come across recently...

Click the pics to check out the projects! :)

And of course I had to include my DIY paper daisy chain. :)
Click here to check it out. Free template too!

Above is a little stop motion project my man and I made for Makes Two. We made a whole bunch of paper flowers and animated them. 100 flowers star in this baby and we made each one. Not a fast project. ;)

How good are paper flowers!!! <3
Have you made any paper flowers? What did you make them for? :)

March 27, 2014

Interview: Jason of Board Games

Jason is one very clever cookie. His Etsy store Board Games is full of amazing creations for kids all made from recycled skateboards.

Tell us a bit about yourself, who is Jason?  
I'm an artist residing in Portland, OR. 

Have you always been a creative lad?
Yes. At least, that's what I've been told.

Do you dabble in other creative mediums?
I do a lot of painting and drawing. (PSST... you can check out Jasons paintings here! www.greenelbow.com)

Tell us a bit about your process. 
I often sketch out ideas. Most of the time, I just work it out in the shop. There's a lot of tinkering involved when working with recycled materials. The limitations of a particular material can be challenging yet quite rewarding when I can use them to my advantage.  

What is your workspace like?
I have a small studio in our old garage. There's only one small window, so it feels much like a cave. A dusty plastic curtain separates the mess in the wood shop from the chaos in the painting studio. I love it. 

What inspires your pieces? 
I'm often inspired by whatever my son is into. He's five now, but when he was younger, he really loved watching tops. I also think about classic toys like yoyos and slingshots that I enjoyed playing with when I was younger. Honestly, I still enjoy them.   

Do you remember the day you looked at a skateboard and saw it as a material rather than a cool mode of transport?
I think a lot of skaters save their old boards. Maybe it's nostalgia or a collecting instinct. Anyway, I always try to make something with what I've got before buying it. I've always had used skateboards laying around, so it wasn't a stretch for me. When my son was two, he needed a small chair, and I thought the curve of an old skateboard would work well as a little chair. So I made him one and soon started selling them. After that, I just started playing around to see what else I could make from skateboards. 

When you look for a board to use what do you look for?
I'm not too picky about what I use. I get most of the used boards from friends and skate shops, and I like using boards that have a little history to them. That is to say, scratched and worn in a way that the graphics almost look like a smeared oil painting. However, sometimes the graphics fit with whatever I want to make or vice versa, so it can be nice to have some of those original graphics still visible. I just made a small car out of a board that had a picture of a car. Super creative, right? 

I think one of the greatest elements of items that are made from recycled skateboards are the layers of coloured wood. So unique to using a board rather than just any old piece of wood. You can see this really clearly in your tops.
Yeah, the layers work well for the tops. Most boards are made of seven layers of maple which is a beautiful wood to work with. Often, companies dye some of those layers, so you get these colorful layers to play with. Tops have been around forever and have long been painted with bright colored stripes. I guess it's a case where the material fits the form well.  

Do you have a favourite element or feature that your unique material brings to the pieces? 
I'd have to say that unique material makes for unique objects. I love the fact that each item I make is one of a kind, no two are the same.  

If you had to choose one of your pieces to be your favourite which one would it be?
I did make a yoyo once that had a portion of an Ed Templeton (the pro skater/artist) drawing. It made me smile each time I picked it up. 

Do you sell your pieces at markets/in stores or just online?
Yes. I do both. 

Does selling in person interest you?
I'll sell at a craft show every now and then. It's super fun to see kids and grown ups playing with the toys you made. I don't get to see that when selling online. 

Do you have any advice for people thinking about doing the same?
Definitely think about the physical presentation of your work. It can make a huge difference and set you apart from others. Online, it's easy to isolate your pieces, but at a store or market, your pieces are competing with everything else for the customer's eye. 

What do you do to get yourself out of a creative rut?
Take a break, go skating, and come back to it later. Sometimes ideas need more time to ferment. 

Any other etsy sellers you admire?
I just love Etsy in general. I could go there every day and find something different I like. It's the whole community of makers that I admire most. 

Last one, if you could have any kind of creature for a pet would it be and why? (real or fictional.)
A mantis shrimp. They're so freakin' cool. 

Aside from making awesome skateboard toys Jason is also an amazing artist. Check out his paintings here. www.greenelbow.com

March 24, 2014

D.I.Y. Hexi earrings

We all love a good hexagon at the moment right! In this tutorial I'm going to show you how to make these super cool hexi earrings in only a few minutes! Ok so that doesn't count baking time but they are seriously so simple to make!

You will need
Polymer clay - I used Fimo
Metal shapes - I bought mine here.
Earring backs - I bought mine here.
Strong glue - I used UHU all purpose. 
*CORRECTION* This glue didn't work. So far the only glue I have found to adhere to fimo is E6000

Step 1
Take a very small amount of polymer clay and need it in your fingers. You want it to get nice and soft so it molds nicely into the shape you want.

Step 2
Put the Fimo into the shape.

Step 3
Use your finger to create a dip form in the clay. If you would prefer the clay be flush with the metal edge just use a very sharp blade to remove the excess clay sitting above the metal.

Repeat these steps to make a second piece.

Step 4
Bake your pieces in the oven following time and temperature instructions on the packaging of your clay. I'm using soft Fimo which needs to be baked at 110 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. 

Once you have baked your pieces allow them to cool before moving onto the next step.

Step 5
Glue earring backs to the back of your pieces. 

*CORRECTION* This glue didn't work. So far the only glue I have found to adhere to fimo is E6000

And you're finished! 

So simple right! 

This project is my second tutorial working along with the other amazing crafty ladies of the quarterly colab! Make sure you pop over to the website to see what the others have made! :)
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