Thursday, June 24

artful thursdays #22....cupcake envelope book tutorial

i might have to call this my artful week...
first i spent the most lovely time at the art nest, then went to my art group last night and now today i am making a sweet little cupcake envelope book to tuck in my purse for my artful thursday.

this is such a fun and easy project. you can make up a whole stack of these little books in an hour. i like that there is a little pocket in the front and back of the book to tuck in a surprise or two.

you will need: 1 envelope, a little stack of paper, a big needle, some string, and a little image for your cover. so the crazy numbers came from a box of subtraction cards i found this week, just felt like cutting them up for the cool numbers....

step 1. fold your envelope in half. cut the flap up the center fold.

step 2. fold the envelope in half with the flap opened. with a pencil mark the cutting lines for shaping your envelope flaps. trim with scissors.

step 3. cut a stack of papers 1/8 inch smaller all around than your envelope. i like to use ledger paper, graph paper, or cute recycled notebook paper. use a corner rounder to round off the corners if you like.

step 4. use a pencil to mark three holes for stitching your book together. thread a piece of string or waxed linen through a large needle. sew your pages in using the pamphlet stitch. here is how to do it.

poke your needle down through the center hole.

poke your needle up through the bottom hole.

poke your needle down through the top hole.

poke your needle up through the center hole again.

now tie the two string ends in a square knot and clip threads.

step 5. decorate the front of your book with a square of cute paper and a cupcake image. i love the cupcakes in this nook and pantry paper pad from basic grey. use an image from a scrapbook paper, piece of wallpaper, wrapping paper, or from a worn out vintage book.

wrap your book up with a bit of ribbon and a tiny pencil for the quickest ever little handmade gift. enjoy, julie

Thursday, June 10

artful thursdays #21....sewn tag tutorial

today i am sewing all the name tags for the art nest next week. looking at a cute little stack of these sewn tags on my desk i thought what a fun project to show you today for my artful thursday! the little tags are quick to make and let you use little bits of leftover stuff you have already. i am painting names on each one to be worn as name tags, but you can tie your sewn tag to an old suitcase where you keep your paints or write a little note on the tag and tie it to a gift.

gather from your art room a piece of cardstock, a scrap of fabric, a punched out piece of decorative paper, and a little ribbon.

step 1. cut a rectangle out of cardstock and one from a fabric scrap 3 1/2 inches long and 2 3/4 inches wide.

step 2. use a glue stick to adhere the fabric to the paper rectangle. round the corners with scissors.

step 3. punch out of decorative paper a 2 inch scalloped square. the punch i use is made by marvy by uchida and can be purchased here. glue the scalloped square to the fabric with a glue stick.

step 4. make a little template and mark a square for your stitching lines.

step 5. sew along the pencil lines.

step 6. use a japanese screw hole punch and punch two circles in the top of your tag big enough to thread a ribbon through.

step 7. thread a length of seam binding through the two holes like this. tie a knot with both ribbons together and trim. the prettiest hand dyed seam binding i have found is made by my friend marilyn.

make up a little stack of these tags and keep them in a bowl on your desk. you will be surprised how fun it is to use one of your own hand sewn tags.

next week i am creating a special artful thursdays post on making little trades to exchange with new friends. i will be posting photos of the tiny trades from the art nest when i get back. see you then and happy artful thursday, julie

Thursday, June 3

artful thursdays #20....framing tutorial

last thursday was our last day of school and my daughters sweet 16 bash...the day was so full of celebrations and fun. it really feels like summer this week. i am back riding my bike up the canyon in the mornings and the kids got the slip and slide out,
i am in my studio working on some art nest goodies getting ready for the retreat in two weeks. its wonderful...

today for my artful thursdays tutorial i wanted to show how to recycle old frames to hang art throughout your house. i like to buy old frames at thrift stores, usually for less than a dollar each. i want to have frames filled with my kids art all around the house. this is my daughters 2nd grade self portrait that hung outside her class for parent teacher conference.

choosing one color to paint several frames unifies them when they are hung together. black is a classic. try using a flat black paint with a matte clear coat for the finish. cream is also a great basic, or go for a whole collection of red frames to make a bold statement.

step #1. remove the backing from the old frame and take out the cardboard and the glass.

step #2. lay the empty frame on an old piece of posterboard outside in the shade. choose a warm day without any wind. the heavy weight posterboard works better than newspaper or plastic, it always seem to blow up and get stuck to the drying paint. spray the back of the frame first. let it dry then spray on a thin coat of paint to the front of the frame.

step #3. spray on a second coat of paint. make sure you move around the frame and spray from every angle to get paint in all the recessed areas. let the paint dry completely. spray on a clear coat to finish.

step #4. replace the glass if you are using it and layer in the backing pieces and close the back of the frame by bending in the metal tabs or staples.

i like to use repurposed frames for little shadowboxes like these these little gold plastic frames that were painted blue and then wiped off some of the blue paint to expose the gold underneath.

here is my mom on a dancing day. i used tiny german dresden paper borders to frame the image.

frame a collection of buttons, stones, beach glass, or millinery flowers. use scrapbook papers, fabric, or wallpaper for an interesting pattern in the back of your frame. 'just sad' is my daughters watercolor painting with vintage lined paper in the background.

use a clip in a frame like this one to quickly change out pictures or tiny sketches. my son uses this frame to put in cool pictures of cars.

collect vintage frames with the same finish. the details on these frames are gorgeous.

take apart an old picture book that is damaged and frame your favorite illustrations. our kids bathroom has framed prints from the book 'Go. Dog, Go.'

frame your own art and hang it where everyone can enjoy it. change things up frequently and group several frames together for a greater impact.



whatever you decide to frame, have fun.
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