Craft bits

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I was cleaning up my desk at work (because yes, I do have a day job!) when I stumbled upon some craft projects I chose to do over a period of time, but which I had set aside for later.  Okay, I confess, I sort of forgot about them.  They’re the long term projects which were really more about stocking up for something bigger rather than being the project itself.  Like my pressed rose petals.

I had forgotten about my #PaperGarden of #doodledflowers until I stumbled upon them while cleaning up the other day. These #flowers are perfect for #spring #papercrafts. #crafts #craftproject #creating #personalart #embellishments #gothamhicksays #gothMy Paper Flower Garden.  Two years ago, I had thought to start a postcard project that would have meant sending out hand made postcards.  I am still seriously considering redoing this but there are a lot of things in the way.  I had created backgrounds or “blanks” to work on which had been piled together.  Part of the design were this doodled flowers which I have a ton of, both at work and at home– a bunch of colorful layered and doodled flowers I need to cut and draw further.  I am almost afraid to pick up a pen and start drawing again or even a pair of scissors to cut the ones that need cutting.I had found the whole exercise very calming way back when and I long for the repetitive and no-pressure doodling.  Then I remembered, I had cards to make which maybe I will make using these as embellishments.  That’s a new purpose for a project I had started with different intentions.

The only thing is that’s can get deeply engrossed and distracted by the project when I’m into it, but I’m trying to use my time wisely.

Bag idea book. I have always loved bags and a current interest is making fabric clutches.  I actually joined the sewing class at Mood University hoping to be able to sew one together using an electric sewing machine.  The idea has been brewing in my head for almost a year now but has been slow getting to fruition.  I stumbled upon a year old edition of Harper’s Bazaar (click here to subscribe) which was almost half riddled with bag ads.  I had actually started tearing off the pages when I realized that the whole magazine was seemingly dedicated to bags.  So I cut the pages clean with a xacto knife and put them aside to ringbind as a glossy idea bag of sorts.

The idea is to make this a notebook of sorts.  I haven’t quite gotten past the first few pages and am still trying to write around the blank spaces in the ads.  I have always found it helpful to have my ideas in writing.  It might and it might not work.  I might yet transfer selected clipped images into a real notebook in the end, but it’s something I’m working on.

Finally, my first attempt at a purse!  This actually came from a failed attempt at wrapping a plastic canvas “mold” with fabric and fleece interfacing.  It didn’t quite work, so I started to undo it and I was left with a cut piece of fabric with interfacing I couldn’t remove.  In the midst of experimenting and fiddling with my sewing machine (which is pictured on the left), I decided I would try to work on creating a mock purse, or a model, or prototype and just see if I can work this contraption the way I want to.  And voila!  It did work… but that’s another post altogether.

So I’ve been trying to do my own bit of crafting the last couple of weeks, but as always, there just aren’t enough hours in a day to do as much as I would want.  The sewing classes in Mood Fabrics have helped me to refocus on crafting and have sparked a new interest in exploring other channels of creativity. I try to do it a day at a time.  Like trying to keep this corner of my web presence going.. baby steps, I say.

 

Doodled Paper Pieced Flowers

Here’s something you can do using colorful scrap paper or magazine pages which I use, and it doesn’t take major artistic talent to pull it off. If you can doodle, then  you can pull this off for handmade cards, scrapbook embellishments or journaling decorations.

The idea is to draw the flower in layers, cutting and pasting them as you go along.  Find a colorful magazine — preferably with big color swatches — not necessarily colorful pictures.

MATERIALS

1.  Pick your choice of doodling pen.  I use a black signpen and prefer non-glossy magazine pages.  If your pen works well with glossy pages, that will work.

2.  Take a magazine or colorful paper.  This will also work on scrap patterned/background paper.

3.  You will need a pair of scissors that you are comfortable cutting round corners with.

4.  Glue stick

STEP BY STEP: DRAWING AND ASSEMBLING YOUR FLOWER

Paperkrafts: doodled paper pieces flowers  - step by step layering 1Draw your stamen the size of a quarter. This is supposed to be doodling so don’t worry that your circle is not perfect. Cut the circle just outside its outline. I usually leave a teeny-weeny part outside of the drawing when I cut it.

Find your next “color” or swatch of colored background. Apply paste or glue stick to the back of your done piece and paste it onto the “next layer”.

Paperkrafts: doodled paper pieces flowers  - step by step layering 2I do my first row of petals with flourish instead of patterns.  It calls the eye to the middle of the flower and “pulls it together” for me.  I also choose a pattern or shading for the edge of the petals to “define” it and you will see this more clearly with the succeeding layers as the flower is slowly assembled as you go along.

Paperkrafts: doodled paper pieces flowers  - step by step layering 3

The shape of your petals and its size can change as you go along. Do not be afraid to make mistakes because you can always draw over them or “color” over the spaces.  You may choose to “fill in” the petal with patterns, but for this row, I chose to keep it plain because the page was text heavy. I let that be it’s “background” instead of further decorating it with a pattern.

Paperkrafts: doodled paper pieces flowers  - step by step layering 4

Sometimes I get lucky and come across this kind of a vibrant layout in a magazine. I made the petal larger to accommodate a more elaborate doodle of dots and fan-like embellishment, but I didn’t fill in the petal itself.  I also made the scalloped edge more pronounced by fully coloring it in.  If you noticed, I don’t do that for each layer and it makes each layer distinct from the one next to it.

Paperkrafts: doodled paper pieces flowers  - step by step layering 5

As you can see, I did the exact opposite in the next layer and I used a linear pattern within to cover the entire space within. I still did a definite border but did not color it in, but still defined it.

Paperkrafts: doodled paper pieces flowers  - step by step layering 6By the time I got to this layer, I knew it would be the final layer. You can obviously go on and on and on creating layer after layer, but if you’re planning to use this for a card or a two-page altered book layout, then you know you can stop with the previous layer or this one. I had reached the size I desired, so I made the border even more defined.

You choose your colors, your layers and the size of your final product. I like doing this kind of art because it doesn’t require a lot of thinking and you can always correct your mistakes, either by taking apart a layer pasted onto a messed up next layer. (TIP: Apply glue only to the middle of your finished layers so you can move it easily if you need to.)

Like most things, it takes practice, but if you can draw circles and lines, there is no limit to where your imagination can take you.

Paperkrafts: doodled paper pieces flowers  - step by step layering FINAL

I’m currently using a pair for a Mother’s Day entry in my art journal which is still a work in progress. Have fun!
Mother's Day layout