I’m a big planner…it’s rare I just dive into something without some kind of research, sketch or well thought-out plan.  So when I start conceptualizing a project, especially as part of the Julianna Hudgins Design Team, I want to make sure I’ve thought-out colors, form, design and who my audience will be for the project.  Sometimes, you may find a line of scrapbook or art papers that hits the nail on the head for a project…other times, you may be left to mix and match – curating your own collection.

For example, for this project, I knew I wanted to create a set of handmade greeting cards to showcase some of my favorite icons from the Positively Me die sets by Julianna Hudgins.  I wanted the cards to be different, but they should compliment each other really well.

Below, I’ll show you how I took a variety of papers from different manufacturers, different Positively Me die sets by Julianna Hudgins, and other Spellbinders‘ die sets to pull together a really cohesive, fresh and fun set of note cards that I just love!  Don’t be afraid to break up those packs, mix it up and create something that is Positively YOU!  (By the way, you should totally check out Julianna’s blog here for some other awesome project ideas!)

Set of Five Cards Using Julianna Hudgins Spellbinders Dies

To create these cards to showcase some of my favorite icons from the Positively Me die sets by Julianna Hudgins, I got a little help from Spellbinders new Card Creator Die sets. If you haven’t seen Spellbinders’ new Card Creator sets, take a few minutes to check out this video.  Each of these cards were made using a standard, A2 Sized Card, then mats cut from the Card Creator Matting Basics sets.  If nothing else, an investment in the A & B Matting Basics sets of these dies makes card-making easier than ever!  Then, when you pair them with all the beautiful elements in the Julianna Hudgins, Positively Me Collection of dies and curating your own collection of papers – you’ll be poised to hit a crafty home run!


Curating Your Own Collection: The “LIVE” Card

Julianna Hudgins Spellbinders Card Creator Using Crown Die

Die Sets:


Embellishments & Finishing Products:

Curating Your Own Collection: The “Journey” Card

Julianna Hudgins Spellbinders Card Creator Using Journey Keys Die

Die Sets:


Embellishments & Finishing Products:

Curating Your Own Collection: The “Summer Daisy” Card

Julianna Hudgins Spellbinders Card Creator Using Daisy Die

Die Sets:


Embellishments & Finishing Products:

Curating Your Own Collection: The “Peace is Key” Card

Julianna Hudgins Spellbinders Card Creator Using Keys Die

Die Sets:


Embellishments & Finishing Products:

Curating Your Own Collection: The “Butterfly and Floral” Card

Julianna Hudgins Spellbinders Card Creator Using Butterfly Die

Die Sets:


Embellishments & Finishing Products:

So…go ahead!  Shake out your drawers, break-up those sets and create your own, unique style and collection!  Let Julianna Hudgins’ message of playful empowerment influence your crafting style!  What I love about working with Spellbinders – especially the Julianna Hudgins Collection of dies from Spellbinders Paper Arts - is how well thought-out they are so that you can mix and match between sets to reinvent the looks and collections – almost infinitely and seamlessly! Different looks, different textures, different patters and different elements – but they all still work!  I love it!  So….where will your crafty journey take you?

Set of Five Cards Using Julianna Hudgins Spellbinders Dies - The Lineup

Make Heads Turn…Every Day!

Posted in Handmade Cards, Jeremy's Projects, Mixed Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our friends at Deco Art recently sent us one of their newest products, Ink Effects, to give a whirl and I’m excited to give you a peek at Deco Art Ink Effects – a new, cool and innovative product I used to create a fun, handmade graphic tee to wear to the gym!

Make Your Own Deco Art Ink Effects Graphic Tee Shirt - Strongest Man on Earth Circus Inspired

T-Shirt painting for guys can be dangerous territory, so I looked through countless graphic t-shirts online to get a feel for the best way to approach creating a handmade graphic tee for a guy.  Once I had an idea of something that would work (and be a little funny), I sat down at my computer and created this design.  I went with a hint of a vintage circus poster design.  I really have a love for vintage posters, and really liked the whole side-show theme of the Strongest Man on Earth as a theme for a gym shirt. Click on the image below or this link to download and print the design for free!

Click to Download this Printable Pattern for Deco Art Ink Effects

Basically, the way Ink Effects works is you find some kind of pattern or design you want to transfer to fabric.  Then, you use Ink Effects and a paintbrush to paint the areas of your design you want to show.  Then, you iron it on to your fabric and voila – t-shirt transfers made easy for the do it yourselfer!  You can mix and match your colors to create a custom color palette.  And if your shirt isn’t at least 70% synthetic, you should use their Base Coat to prep your fabric for printing.  All-in-all, read the instructions yourself before you get started to make sure it’ll work for your project. There are also some great Ink Effects video tutorials here.

My pattern was sized to print on standard 8.5 x 11 paper in a regular ink jet printer.  If you do create your own design, remember to print it backwards (or mirrored) so it’s going in the right direction when you do the transfer. I printed my design on heavy cardstock because I wasn’t sure if the regular paper would ripple with the moisture of the ink.  Then, using a fine paint brush, I started painting my design over the printed pattern.  Any stray Ink Jet ink shouldn’t transfer with the design, only what you’ve painted with the Ink Effects.  I decided to stick with a single color to keep the design “guy-safe” and mixed brown and black paint (3:1, respectively) to create a rich, chocolate brown.  Allow to dry completely (30 – 45 minutes).

Painting the Ink Effects on Computer Printer Printout

Once the transfer was completely dry, I started the distressing process balling up my paper so the design would be visible.

Balling-Up the deisgn to distress the Ink Effects Project

Next, I used a regular fingernail emery board to sand off part of the design that’s exposed on the crumples and creases.  Depending on the amount of sanding you do, this does a great job of creating that cracked / well-worn look of vintage tees. Open-up and hand-flatten your design once complete.

After Distressing the Ink Effects Painted Printout

Next, I used a Mossimo T-Shirt from Target and sprayed it with the Base Coat to get the project started.

Spraying the Ink Effects Base Coat

Then, I positioned the pattern in the center of the shirt as shown.

Laying Out the Printed Pattern on the T-Shirt

Then, with my iron set on the Cotton Setting, I ironed over my pattern per the Ink Effects’ instructions (3 minutes). Notice I added some extra sheets of plain Copy Paper to make sure my iron didn’t touch any areas outside of my transfer unnecessarily to prevent scorching.

Ironing the Ink Effects Transfer onto my T-Shirt

Once complete, I removed all the excess sheets of paper and slowly peeled my design for the shirt.

After Ironing on the Ink Effects Transfer

Here’s a list of Supplies used to create this Deco Art Ink Effects Handmade Graphic Tee:

Strongest Man on Earth Printed Design (Click to Download the PDF for free!)
8.5 x 11″ Cardstock (this can really be any color you can print on)
Deco Art Ink Effects Brown Ink
Deco Art Ink Effects Black Ink
Thin Paint Brush
Emery Boards
Deco Art Ink Effects Base Coat
Mossimo Plain T-Shirt
Standard Copy Paper
Iron / Ironing Board

Make Your Own Deco Art Ink Effects Graphic Tee Shirt - Strongest Man on Earth Circus Inspired

While this is a really innovative product, it also isn’t very forgiving – once you iron it on, you’re pretty committed.  The ink is set on a molecular level like sublimation printing, so you really want to make sure all the stars are lined-up before you put the iron to your fabric.  At the same time, that molecular bond is what makes this product really cool – especially for workout wear.  Because it doesn’t sit on top of the fibers of the shirt, it has an incredibly soft (almost invisible) feel and allows your fabric to breath as usual – which I love for a workout shirt.  Also, a lot of workout wear has a high polyester content for wicking sweat away from your body…so this is a great way to dress-up your workout clothes or create custom jerseys for a team, race, etc.

Even though I only used brown and black ink that Deco Art sent to me, the Ink Effects line comes in a rainbow of colors that you can mix and match to create custom colors as well.  And if you don’t feel like the “Strongest Man on Earth” and don’t want to create your own design, Deco Art suggests using coloring books to grab patterns for transferring or you can grab images from just about anywhere to use as a template.  What I love about Deco Art is they give just great base products that allow your imagination to soar!

Visit Deco Art Ink Effects online! And be sure to connect with their Facebook Page and follow them on Twitter!

Make heads turn….every day!

Posted in Free Downloads, Handmade Graphic Tees, Health & Fitness, How-To's, Jeremy's Projects, Techniques, WAY Off-the-Page! | Tagged , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Summer is in full-swing, and with the heat wave we’ve all been experiencing lately, I’ve noticed an increase in searches for summer craft ideas for projects on the web.  Well, our good friends at Westcott recently sent us some of their Westcott Craft Titanium Non Stick Scissors and some Duck Brand Sheets and Duct Tape to try and it hit me that this would be perfect for a fun and easy summer craft idea for teenagers and teens trapped indoors by the heat!  Paired with some pieces from Julianna Hudgins’ Spellbinders Collection, I’ve got a fun project to share with you today!

Animal Print Duck Brand Duct Tape Journal using Julianna Hudgins Jewel Keys Dies

To start, I purchased a Recycled Composition Book from my local Office Max ( *To Note* My local store also carried the Duck Brand tape as well – One-Stop-Shop!).  Then, I pulled out the letters to spell “JOURNAL” from my set of Julianna Hudgins Jewel Alphabet by Spellbinders.  This set of alphabet die cut shapes is perfect for this type of fun teenage craft project!  It’s so whimsical and fun!

Making an Easy Summer Craft Idea Journal using Duck Brand Duct Tape

I used the leopard print sheet to cover the outside of the journal, then I used the Westcott Non-Stick Scissors to trim the excess from around the edges (I was really impressed with the non-stick scissors – they did an awesome job on this project).  I saved the backer sheet from the leopard duck tape sheet, and used it as a carrier sheet to lay down some strips of rolled blue duct tape for die cutting.

Laying Out Julianna Hudgins Jewel Alphabet Letters on the Duck Brand Duct Tape

From there I placed all of the Jewel Alphabet letters and ran them through my Spellbinders Grand Calibur machine to cut the letters.  Because the duct tape is really tough, I ran it through the machine twice to make sure to get through all the little bits of string in the tape.  Julianna’s Jewel Alphabet dies by Spellbinders also held-up really well against the super-strong duct tape!  I didn’t have any issues with the tape gumming-up any tools!  AWESOME!

Ready to Die Cut Julianna Hudgins Jewel Letters in Spellbinders Grand Calibur

Next I started trimming strips of the Zebra Duck Brand Sheets and Duct Tape for use on the cover of the journal and adhered my Jewel Alphabet Letters to the Zebra tape.

Cutting the Zeebra Duck Tape Sheet Using Westcott Paper Trimmer

For the pleated look, I cut strips of the roll tape, folded them in half length-wise and even used Spellbinders Classic Edges Two Edgeabilities to make a couple of them super-fancy.  I outlined each item with a Black Sharpie Marker to make each element really stand out.  Then, I finished it all off with some rhinestones for a craft project that has some bling!

Here’s a list of supplies I used for this Summer Craft Idea:

Office Max Recycled Composition Book
Duck Brand Sheets and Duct Tape (Leopard and Zeebra Sheets, Pink and Blue Tape)
Westcott Craft Titanium Non Stick Scissors
Julianna Hudgins Jewel Alphabet Die Set by Spellbinders
Spellbinders Classic Edges Two Edgeabilities
Spellbinders Grand Calibur Die Cutting Machine
Westcott Titanium Rotary Laptop Paper Trimmer
Black Sharpie Marker
Your Favorite Rhinestones or Bling!

This is a super-fun and super-easy summer craft project idea for tweens and teenagers!  And with Julianna’s Jewel Alphabet Die Set by Spellbinders, they sky’s the limit!  From an art journal or a personalized writing journal or even early preparations for back to school, the Alphabet Die Set is flexible for whatever different journal ideas and projects you can come up with!  Plus, they have a whimsy-playful tone that works really well with the duct tape crafting craze!

LF-014 - Julianna Hudgins Jewel Alphabet by Spellbinders Paper Arts

Make Heads Turn…every day!

Posted in Art Journal, How-To's, Jeremy's Projects, Mixed Media | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

One of the foundation pieces of the Spellbinders, Positively Me Die Collection by Julianna Hudgins’ is the Goddess Set.  I really love how many women are just in-love with this set, so I wanted to use it in a project, but I also wanted to make sure I was able to approach it from a really credible place.  So, I started researching the Goddess’ symbolism and history in order to find my connection.

That’s when I realized this is a wonderful way for an outsider to approach something new or challenging when crafting – simply from a perspective of appreciation and understanding.  Keep your creativity coming from a really pure and natural place – I think that’s exactly what Julianna had in mind for all of us when creating her Collection!

Mother Goddess Artifact Clay Scupture Julianna Hudgins Final Project

So, from my man-crafting perspective, I decided to create and sculpt an “artifact” piece to celebrate the goddess throughout history – calling attention to some interesting key points that support Julianna Hudgins’ empowering message in her collection.  Basically, I decided to create my own piece of history!  How fun!

First, I started by sketching out my plan. I wanted this to be like a piece of an ancient carved wall that has been displayed in a shadowbox.  I also wanted it to resemble sandstone and it had to look somewhat realistic (even though this is a faux-artifact).  Using the mini Goddess Die and the Heart Die from the Goddess Set and a Peacock Feather from the Jewel Fantasies set, I layed out everything and then sketched the rest of the sculpture.

The Craft Planning Sketh for Sculped Clay Artifact Goddess Spellbinders Project

Next, I got started on the actual sculpture. I used scraps of Fimo Oven-Hardening Modeling Clay to start piecing and pressing out a base using my actual sketch as my guide.  Since I’ll be painting the entire project at the end, this is a great way to utilize your scraps of clay – regardless of the color.

Creating the Fimo Clay Base for Sculpted Artifact Project

For the sake of seeing as many details as possible in the pictures, I made some bold color choices ahead (they’ll be painted in the end).  So I used a metal clay extruding tool to extrude pieces for the peacock feather and laid them directly on the die.

Extruding Polymer Clay for Molding and Sculpting

Next, I flipped it over onto my clay foundation piece and pressed slightly to secure the two together.

Clay Peacock Feather Molded for Sculpting

Using clay sculpting tools, I then began sculpting the peacock feather to give it texture as if it was carved from rock.  This also helps to really fuse it to the base piece.

Sculpting a Peacock Feather from Fimo Polymer Clay

I kept adding to the base using more modeling clay until I had the piece sculpted how I wanted it.

Fimo Polymer Clay Mother Goddess Artifact Being Sculpted

I transferred the entire piece to a foil-lined cookie sheet (that only craft “cookies” are baked on) and baked it in the oven according to the package’s directions (275 degrees for 20 minutes).  Then, I removed it from the oven and allowed it to cool completely.

Fimo Polymer Clay Mother Goddess Artifact Sculpture on Cookie Sheet

Once cool, it was time to start painting the entire project to make it look like an authentic, sandstone artifact or relic.  I started by painting the entire sculpture using the Iron Black color of DecoArt’s Texture Fierro and allowed it to dry completely.  This adds a great sandy texture to the entire project and gave me a dark base coat.

Texture Fierro Used to Paint Clay Sculpture

Next, I started applying the layers of sandstone coloring.  To do this, I used four different colors of DecoArt’s Americana Acrylic Craft Paints (Bleached Sand, Mississippi Mud, Bittersweet Chocolate and Fawn) and used VERY little paint on each layer.  If you’ll notice in the picture, I’d dip my brush into the paint, spread it on the brush on the foil, then wipe off any excess on a paper towel – all before dry-brushing on the art piece.  If you use too much paint, you’ll lose the texture, and it’s the multiple layering that really helps to build dimension and a realistic sand effect.  Use the darker paints to speckle and to get the edges dirty.  Allow to dry completely (which shouldn’t take long).

Americana Paints Used for Painting Clay Sculpture

Once dry, it was time to glue it to the backing of the shadow box. I used a piece of leather-look vinyl I purchased for pennies on the remnant table of my local fabric store.

Preparing to Glue the Sculpture-onto the Backer

I applied the leather-look vinyl to the backer using E-6000 Craft Glue.  I allowed it to set-up for about an hour and then I glued the stone piece directly to the backer using the same glue.  I allowed this to dry flat overnight.

Clay Artifact Sculpture Mounted to Shadowbox Backer

Once the glue was set, I inserted the backer piece into the Shadowbox and closed the clamps on the back.  That’s it!

Mother Goddess Artifact Clay Sculpture Framed in Shadowbox

Here is a list of the Supplies Used for This Project:

Spellbinders Jewel Goddess Die by Julianna Hudgins
Spellbinders Jewel Fantasies Die by Jilianna Hudgins
Fimo Oven-Hardening Modeling Clay (color doesn’t matter – use scraps if you’ve got ‘em!)
Clay Gun / Extruder
Darice Wooden Clay Modeling Tool Set
Paint Brush
DecoArt’s Texture Fierro
DecoArt’s Americana Acrylic Craft Paints
Black Leather-Look Vinyl
E-6000 Craft Glue

I wouldn’t call this a quick project – carving the clay takes a nice chunk of time and allowing the E-6000 to set up also takes some time as well.  However, good things definitely come to those who wait, and I really love how this project turned out!  I learned so much abut the goddess figure throughout history and her symbolism.  I even included a card to mount next to the shadowbox to expand on the significance of the Goddess figure, the heart and the peacock feather:

Mother Goddess’ historical significance as a maternal symbol of creativity, birth, fertility, sexual union and nurturing spans across a multitude of cultures and societies – even dating back to one of the most famous figures of the Mother Goddess, the Venus of Willendorf that was estimated to have been carved 24,000–22,000 BCE. Some have been associated with the birth of humanity as a whole while other have represented the fertility of the earth. Many have represented motherhood in one way or another.

What the traditional heart shape actually depicts is a matter of some controversy since it only vaguely resembles the human heart. There are many claims that the heart shape actually depicts sexual features of the human female. Those claims indicate that the heart was originally a symbol of fertility and sexuality, explaining its current association with love.

Additionally, rain, of course, brought fertility in the fields. Since the peacock dances when the rains come to attract a mate, peacocks have long been associated with fertility in many cultures, particularly in India. There was also a period when the Chinese thought that a girl who simply looked at a peacock could become pregnant.

These three pieces just seem to bring Julianna’s message full-circle and tell an awesome story!  I love my new little piece of history!

Julianna has also launched a new website today that looks great!  Hop over and check it out!

Make heads turn…every day!


Posted in Canvas Project, How-To's, Jeremy's Projects, Mixed Media, Photo Frames, Techniques, WAY Off-the-Page! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

So, I’ll admit it…I’m a total geek and I’m totally at peace with it!  I have more Wii Controllers for my gaming system that I can use at once.  So, I thought it would be super-cool if I took one of them and made something steampunk and fun to spice up those boring white controllers!  I’m super-excited about how it came out and couldn’t stop thinking of Candy Rosenberg’s love for all things Steampunk and altered while I was working on it!

Handcrafted Steampunk Wii Controller

So, I guess I should start by giving a disclaimer here.  I couldn’t figure out how to take the controller apart.  So, before the Nintendo folks start freakin out, I’ll just say that if you do decide to do this, I’m sure your warranty will be void and I went into the project understanding that if paint drips down too much, I may lose the controller.  But then again, if it worked…it would be totally AWESOME!  SO, I dove right in!  You’ll have to weight the risks for yourself.

First, I started by making the wrist strap.  To be honest, this was part of some kind of weird leather thing I found on the floor of a casino a few years ago.  I knew I’d use it someday…and today, that little treasure was upcycled and given new life.  I added some Silver Wire from Beadalon to give it a nice touch.  The rhinestones, believe it or not, were already there!

Wii Controller Steampunk Strap

Then, I lightly sanded the controller and then added some cool little buttons and findings from Graphic 45 and Stampin’ Up to the rear of the controller.  I adhered it to the controller using E-6000 Glue.

Back of Steampunk Wii Game Controller

Then, I started covering the controller with DecoArt Texture Fierro.  This product really is amazing! It gives you an instant rough texture, dries quickly and has great coverage.  I also used DecoArt’s Dazzling Metallic Glazes (gold) to paint all the buttons.

Steampunk Wii Controller Rusted

Then, I cut out three of Spellbinders Twisted Metal Tags and Accents from the Samantha Walker Collection from black cardstock.  I then cut them in half and sandwiched two sets of three together using Aleene’s Tacky Glue.  Then, I adhered them to the side of the controller.

Next, using a variety of DecoArt’s Americana Brown, Tan and Black Acrylic Craft Paints and the Dazzling Metallic Glaze – Gold, I dry-brushed all over the Texture Fierro on the controller and on the strap to give a worn look.

Drybrushing Steampunk Video Game Controller

Finally, I used DecoArt’s DuraClear Satin Varnish to give it all a great finish.  This is another amazing product that any mixed-media artist should always have in their toolbox.  I seriously love how easy it use to use, how it transforms my projects and how easy the clean-up process is.

Here’s a list of items I used in this project:

Wii or Video Game Controller
An upcycled item to use as a wrist strap
Silver Wire from Beadalon
Stamped Metal Brads by Graphic 45
Trinkets from Stampin’ Up
E-6000 Glue
DecoArt Dazzling Metallic Glaze – Gold
DecoArt Texture Fierro
Spellbinders Twisted Metal Tags and Accents
Black Cardstock
DecoArt’s Americana Brown, Tan and Black Acrylic Craft Paints
DecoArt’s DuraClear Satin Varnish

Homemade Steampunk Wii Controller

That’s it!  This was a fun project to work on!  And I worked very carefully to ensure paint didn’t run into my controller – either shorting it out or making the buttons stick.  So, if you’re planning on doing this, use your own judgement and do it at your own risk!  But if it turns out…it’ll be a head-turning item all your gamer friends will look at with envy!

Make heads turn…everyday!

Posted in How-To's, Jeremy's Projects, Mixed Media, Techniques, WAY Off-the-Page! | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Last month, I told my peeps on Facebook that I was thrilled to have been asked to join Julianna Hudgins’ Design Team! So, today, I’m kicking off my first project using a piece from her Collection to create this fun little 8 x 10, mixed-media canvas project!

Mixed Media Canvas Final Project Image

I started this project with an 8×10 Blank Canvas.  Michaels sells these blank canvases in a 10-Canvas Value Pack for an AWESOME price, so bear with me as you’ll be seeing…um… approximately 9 more canvas projects coming down the pike.

To start, I cut all my pieces of scrap paper using a Hobby Knife, a metal ruler and the angle guides on my Westcott Cutting Mat.  We always have plenty of scraps around, so I think projects like these are a fun way to pull together a collection of scraps to give them a new life.

Paper Pieces for Mixed Media Canvas

Next, using AmarettoMidnight ConfessionsBaja Blue, and Green with Envy Quick Quotes Powder Puff Chalking Inks and an Emery Board, I distressed all of the pieces of the starburst.

Distressing Paper for the Mixed Media Canvas

Then, I used Americana Acrylic 2oz Indian Turquoise Craft Paint and a 1″ Brush to paint my Canvas (front, sides and the wrapped portion on the back).

Canvas Painting

Then, I used  Amaretto and Midnight Confessions Quick Quotes Powder Puff Chalking Inks and an Emery Board to age and distress the canvas.

Canvas Distressing

Next, using the same, 1″ Paint Brush, I started painting sections of the canvas and decoupaging my sunburst pieces on using DecoArt’s Decoupage.  Then, I wrapped the canvas using Hemp Twine to add some dimension and another texture to the project.  I used my emery board once the Decoupage was dry to smooth the edges of my papers and give a nice handmade, grunge look.

Decoupage Mixed Media Canvas

To make the charm, I cut out two of the “Peace” words from Julianna Hudgins’ Jewel Keys Die Collection from Spellbinders using their Precious Metals Premium Craft Foils.  Then, I used a Black, Utrecht Design Marker with a Cotton Swab doused in Rubbing Alcohol to age and distress the metal.

Spellbinders Peace Charm

Using good ol’ Aleene’s Tacky Glue, I sandwiched the two together to give the Peace Charm some weight and stability, hole-punched them using a tiny punch, and then hung it from the Hemp Twine using some copper jewelry findings.

Metal Foil Peace Charm

Here’s a List of Products I used in this Project:

1, 8×10 Blank Canvas
Westcott Cutting Mat
Westcott Craft Hobby Knife
Metal Ruler
Quick Quotes PowderPuff Amaretto Chalking Ink
Quick Quotes PowderPuff Midnight Confessions Chalking Ink
Quick Quotes PowderPuff Baja Blue Chalking Ink
Quick Quotes PowderPuff Green with Envy Chalking Ink
Emery Board
Americana Acrylic 2oz Indian Turquoise Craft Paint
1″ Paint Brush
DecoArt’s Decoupage
Hemp Twine
Julianna Hudgins’ Jewel Keys Die Collection from Spellbinders
Precious Metals Premium Craft Foils
Black, Utrecht Design Marker
Cotton Swab
Rubbing Alcohol
Aleene’s Tacky Glue
Mini Hole Punch
Copper Jewelry Findings

I love this because there really is a lot of detail in this project with all the little pieces.  But all in all, it’s a fairly simple design. I love that kind of contrast!  And what’s cool, is Julianna Hudgins’ Jewel Keys Die Collection from Spellbinders comes with 5 different words and 5 different complementary keys.  So, you could add more word charms, mix in some keys, or do a complete series of these canvases to really make a statement!  I love Julianna’s message of empowerment with this cool set of Spellbinders Dies!

Julianna Hudgins' Jewel Keys Die Collection from Spellbinders

Thanks so much for checking out my project today!  Check out Holly Simoni’s Design Team Project from last week or follow Julianna’s Blog to see all of the projects!  Check back with me on June 28th when I’ll have another awesome project from Julianna’s Spellbinders Collection!  Enjoy!

Make heads turn…everyday!

Posted in Canvas Project, How-To's, Jeremy's Projects, Mixed Media, Techniques | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

If I had to be summed-up creatively, I think I’d probably say that I’m a tech-geek who still likes to get his hands dirty with some hands-on, creative flair. That’s why I love this upcycled computer motherboard journal project! It’s the perfect marriage of tech-meets-craft!

Upcycled Computer Motherboard Journal

In case you haven’t already experienced this little pleasure yet, it’s more than likely a
day will come when your computer dies on you. And you can bet that it’ll probably happen with the worst timing ever. But keep this project in mind the next time you have a computer that can’t be revived or a dusty “doorstop” computer that hasn’t worked in years that you were nervous about getting rid of.

To begin, I simply started prying and unscrewing everything in sight to unveil all the technological mysteries inside the laptop case. And if you’ve ever done this before, there are a LOT of little screws holding a laptop together. Once everything was unscrewed, I just found all the pieces inside the laptop that looked interesting and started removing them one-by-one to be re-purposed.

All the Computer Parts

Once all the pieces were out, I could then remove all the little pieces soldered onto the
laptop’s motherboard to use as my journal cover using a pair of needle-nosed pliars and a flat-head screwdriver.

Removing Components

Then, I thoroughly washed and dried the motherboard using normal dish soap.  Use an emery board or metal file to file-down any sharp edges.

Cleaned Board

I designed the pages for the journal using Photoshop - basically just creating the custom-sized paper, adding lines to it and then a portion of our logo to the top and bottom as a decorative element. I printed 200 pages (front and back) on recycled copy paper and then cut them to size using my Westcott Paper Trimmer.

Journal Pages

For the back cover, I created a single-use stencil of a swirl and a logo using my digital cutter and a scrap piece of heavy card stock. Then, I used Quick Quotes Mocha Mama Chalking Ink to stencil ink on the swirl and Americana Traditional Raw Umber Craft Paint to stencil the logo on the chipboard.

Back Cover

I punched the spine-side of my journal cover, back cover and pages to create the holes for the spiral binding.


Then, I started feeding my plastic spiral binding piece through the holes. I purchased this type of binding from Office Depot’s Copy Center – just tell the associate you want to purchase the coils without the service. Once you feed the coil through the holes, I bent the ends of the coil using my needle-nosed pliers.

Journal Opened

Now, creating a journal is fun, right? But I also want to try to maximize functionality whenever I can. So, I discovered I had two speakers from the laptop that had mini magnets in them that I thought I could put to use.

Speaker Magnets

There was a piece of metal on the front cover of the journal that I couldn’t remove that the magnets would stick to.  So, I thought it might be great to utilize some of the other parts I dismantled to create a magnet on the front to hold loose documents. I simply glued the magnets to some other circuit board pieces from inside the computer using E-6000 adhesive, along with the “Insert” key from the keyboard to create my magnet.

Magnet ImageCover Magnet

Then, I spotted another opportunity to give this project a little upgrade. The laptop’s SD Card Slot was still connected to the motherboard and just teasing me at the bottom of the journal cover. And since those little SD boogers are so hard to keep track of, I decided to utilize that special little place for me to store an SD Card specifically for this journal!

I took an SD Card that I had laying in a drawer and printed a label on Office Depot’s Ink Jet Sticker Paper. I cut out the sticker, placed it on the SD Card, and then used some of Viva Decor’s Inka Gold Haematite to give the card a little flair.

SD CardSD Card Slot

Here’s a list of supplies I used on this project:

Old Laptop or Computer to rip apart and use for parts.

  • Large Motherboard for Journal Cover
  • Small Circuit Boards
  • “Insert” Key
  • Magnets from Computer’s Speakers

Needle-Nose Pliers
Various-Sized Screwdrivers
200 Sheets of Office Depot’s Recycled Copy Paper
Westcott Paper Trimmer
Computer / Photoshop / Printer
1 Piece of Chipboard
1 2″ Spiral Binding from Office Depot’s Copy Center
Your favorite book binding tool
Quick Quotes Mocha Mama Chalking Ink
Americana Traditional Raw Umber Craft Paint
E-6000 Adhesive
SD Card
Office Depot’s Ink Jet Sticker Paper
Viva Decor’s Inka Gold Haematite

This was a fun little way to upcycle and reuse something headed for a landfill and give it a new life! With the spiral binding and some recycled copy paper, this book will live on for years to come! And at the rate computers are changing every day, it’ll be a collectors item in no-time!

Make heads turn…everyday!

Posted in How-To's, Jeremy's Projects, Mixed Media, WAY Off-the-Page!, Wire Bound Albums | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

With two crafters in our house, saying we have a “junk drawer” is an massive understatement. Like most crafters, we constantly struggle with organizing our “precious” supplies and find ourselves with an open bag of rhinestones here, a pile of glitter there and so on. I know you know what I’m talking about! So, I found these trinket boxes at Michaels the other day that were super-inexpensive and just perfect to help me get our rhinestone drawer organized and styled really nicely.

Wood Trinket Box

The boxes were located on the unfinished wood aisle at Michaels and have a clear shadowbox window on top to easily create a display to see the contents inside. To finish the boxes, I first removed all the hardware and sanded the boxes using an Emery Board to knock-down the edges and remove any splintery-bits.

Sanding the Wood Box

Then, I covered the box with Deco Art’s Iron Black Texture Fierro to give me a base color and a rough, rust-like texture. Then, once dry, I dry-brushed a layer of Americana Red Acrylic Craft Paint, followed by a layer of Americana Black Craft Paint and then a layer of Americana Caramel-Colored Craft Paint. When the paint was dry, I brushed on a thick coat of Deco Art’s One-Step Crackle to give a cracked effect on top of my rusted look.

Painting the Wood Trinket Box

Next, I used Deco Art’s Iron Black Texture Fierro to give the hardware a slight texture. Once dry, I spray painted all of the hardware using Rust-Oleum’s Hammered Metal Dark Bronze Paint, creating a textured, antiqued finish.


After replacing the hardware, I filled the top and the inside of my box and I was done!

Trinket Box Crackle Top


Trinket Box Open

Here’s a list of items used in this project:

Small Wood Shadowbox Trinket Box
Emery Boards
Deco Art’s Iron Black Texture Fierro
Americana Red, Black and Caramel-Colored Acrylic Craft Paint
Deco Art’s One-Step Crackle
Rust-Oleum’s Dark Bronze Spray Paint

It would also make an incredible gift to give with some special candies, teas, craft supplies, etc.  It would also be great to use as treat boxes for a Pirate-Themed Birthday Party! The sky’s the limit! Anything that helps us get organized is always a WIN and I love how this little project turned out! Thanks for stopping by and checking out my trinket box!  ;-)

Make Heads Turn…every day!

Posted in How-To's, Jeremy's Projects, Mixed Media, Storage Solutions, Techniques | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

I seem to get invited more and more to baby showers in the spring and summer months.  I always love to come up with a nice little handmade gift to supplement whatever I purchase from the mommy-to-be’s registered gift list just like my parents and grandparents did before there were registered gift lists.  Time, however, sometimes gets in the way of this southern tradition.  This year, I wanted to get an early start and have a few things in our gift closet ready to go for some of our friends that are expecting who appreciate those touches of homemade-goodness.

Scrapbook Layout Butterflies and Babies

I can’t tell you how excited I am to work on this project for a friend of ours we’ve known for many years who’s having her first baby this summer.  She’s invited me to her baby shower, and although I’m not going to be able to attend because it’s out of town, I wanted to create an 8 x 8 Scrapbook to add in her basket of goodies I’m mailing for her new baby.  This is one of my favorite layouts in the book that has a really cool paper painting technique, and I wanted to take a few minutes today to share the project with you!

For the background paper, I recently discovered Deco Arts DuraClear Satin Varnish and I just love it!  Water soluble with a satiny-smooth finish without brush strokes, this varnish is versatile enough for use on mixed-media projects, home decor pieces, wood finishes and even paper crafting.  I love it and you’ll see me using this quite a bit going forward!

First, I cut out several of Spellbinders Parisian Accents from some scraps I had to use as my masked stencils.  I laid them out on my page to create my pattern.

Spellbinders Shapes Used As Stencils

One-by-one, I used a stencil brush and Deco Arts DuraClear Satin Varnish to stencil all around the die-cut shape, creating a clear, reversed stencil pattern (make sure you remove the paper stencils as soon as you are finished to keep them from sticking to the paper).

Deco Arts Americana Satin Varnish

Then, I thinned-down flat white acrylic craft paint and, using the same stencil brush with very little paint, I “dusted” the paper using a circular motion.  This is the key to the technique.  I blotted a lot of the paint off of my brush and then acted as though I was “dusting” the paper over and over and over so that the white paint would penetrate the paper that didn’t have the Satin Varnish, but would also white-wash the parts that did have the Satin Varnish.  Basically, it all gets a dusting of white, but the stenciled area accepts the paint much more, creating a really cool, whitewashed-grunge affect.

Resist Paper Painting TechniqueFor the Aster Flower, I created layers and layers of the same blue, whitewashed and white papers using all of the dies in Spellbinders Aster Flower Topper die cut set.  I used Quick Quotes Mocha Mama Chalking Ink to age the edges, I curled them a bit and then assembled the flower using a brad through the center of each piece.  The center was made with ribbon, a stray button and a bead we had in our “found object” collection and glued over the top of the brad.

Layered Handmade Paper Flower The butterfly was created similarly, using layers and layers of white, orange and yellow papers to create something really spectacular and dimensional.  Spellbinders Wings of Hope die shapes lend themselves perfectly to this.  I also aged these pieces with the Mocha Mama Chalking inks.

Layered Paper Butterfly This picture demonstrates how all the layers create something that jumps off the page and give you some great color variations without relying on the actual paper design to drive your own design.  This is all just plain cardstock.

Dimensional Paper Crafting

Next, I created two square photo mounts to compliment the 8 x 8 square layout using the same orange, blue and white cardstock.  Each photo mount is glued together using Aleene’s Tacky Glue and then aged with the same Mocha Mama Chalking Inks.  The Butterfly, Photo Mounts and Flower is then connected using a thin satin ribbon and attached to the layout page using more Tacky Glue.

Antiqued RibbonsThen, the layout’s edges are aged using the chalking inks, sanded with an emery board and then aged again to give the plain cardstock some personality and adds to the girly-grunge look.

Below is a List of Supplies Used on this Project:

Light Blue, White, Orange and Yellow Cardstock
Spellbinders Parisian Accents
Deco Arts DuraClear Satin Varnish
Americana White Acrylic Craft Paint
Spellbinders Aster Flower Topper
Satin Ribbon
Spellbinders Wings of Hope
Aleene’s Tacky Glue
Emery Board
Stencil Brush
Quick Quotes Mocha Mama Chalking Ink

Scrapbooking Supplies UsedThat’s it!  I hope you enjoyed this project! I have more pages to complete for this scrapbook, but I really liked how dimensional and colorful this was and wanted to take a few minutes to share this layout!

Have a fantastic weekend and keep Making Heads Turn…every day!

Posted in How-To's, Jeremy's Projects, Scrapbook Layouts, Techniques | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Thanks for stopping by today and I’m so excited to post my first mixed-media canvas project to our new website using a really awesome product designed by a wonderful and influential lady in the craft industry, Julianna Hudgins.

Jewel Fantasies Mixed Media Canvas Project

I’ve been wanting to do some sort of peacock project for a while, and when I attended the CHA Winter Show in January, Spellbinders announced the release of Julianna’s new collection of dies that she designed for Spellbinders. Included in the new collection, there was an awesome set of peacock feather dies, the “Jewel Fantasies” - and that’s where this project started.

Jewel Fantasy Die Shapes

While I wanted to do a peacock project, I didn’t want to do something that was too literal, but more peacock-inspired. So, first, I chose just one of the shapes and decided to cut many, many pieces of that shape to create a really cool, peacock-inspired pattern as a backdrop for the canvas.

Even though I used Black, Blue, Green and Purple Cardstock, I wanted to give the feathers a little more of a punch, so I purchased several containers of Inka Gold from our local scrapbook store, Altered Angel, and spread it on each of the feathers. I had never used Inka Gold before, but let me tell you, I’m in love! Seriously, I want the entire line of it to play with – great stuff! I applied it using my fingers (I’m just fun like that) and it washed off my hands and my Westcott Cutting Mat easily with just soap and water.

Inka Gold on the Feathers

Once all of the feathers were shiny and gorgeous, I attached them to my 8 x 10 canvas using a Gloss Mod Podge, keeping the tips slightly curled off the canvas.

Attaching the Feathers

Once my backdrop was complete, I wanted to create some dimensional letters to add to the canvas. Since the project was inspired by Julianna Hudgins and her new “Jewel Fantasies” dies from Spellbinders, “Fantasy” seemed appropriate.

I cut out the letters using two sheets of regular cardstock scraps we had, sandwiched together. Then, I built up the sides also using strips of cardstock, a tiny brush and some Aleene’s Tacky Glue. Then, inspired by the logo from the new TV Show, SMASH, I added tiny little rhinestones inside the letters to mimic the light bulbs inside the letters.

Letters Before Embossing

Then, I used some Matte Mod Podge and a small brush to adhere some Zing Silver Embossing Powder to the letters on the inside and out. Below, you can see the first two letters after heating and the remainder pre-heating. I abandoned the blue tip you see on the “F”, instead going with an encrusted, black glitter edge. What I loved about this embossing technique is that it made the cardstock super-stable and the heat also rouded off the rhinestones, making them ball-shaped like the bulbs in the SMASH show logo (one of those happy little accidents!).  Because of the scale and the way the embossing powder bubbled-up, it created a really cool wet metal look that even covered some of the rhinestones – which I love!

Embossing the Letters

Here’s how the letters turned out. I mounted them to layers of cardstock that I treated with Inka-Gold and then mounted the entire piece on two straps I made out of layers of cardstock strips sandwiched together.

Letters Close-Up

When putting together my Pinterest Board to gather ideas for this project, I came across some images that made me realize the similarities between paisleys and peacock feathers, and I loved the idea of merging the iconic peacock pattern with a paisley shape. I wanted to acheive that shape by taking a stab at quilling. So, I cut strips of cardstock and started twirling them on the end of a bamboo skewer and put them all together to create the quilled paisley. I glued all the pieces together around a cool found object button we had using Aleene’s Tacky Glue, hit the top edge of the papers with Inka Gold, and mounted it to the canvas using Glue Arts’ 3D Raisen’s. For the outer edge of the paisley, I gave it the same rhinestone encrusted, embossed treatment that I gave the letters.

Quilling Close Up

Ultimately, Julianna, her new line of dies and her girl-power accomplishments were on my mind the entire time I worked on this project. So I wanted to send this to her as a gift. I used Photoshop to put together a card for the back and used Spellbinders’ Large Labels to cut and emboss a card from the Vertigo Graphic duo. 

Back Sentiment

Then, using Spellbinders’ Twisted Metal Tags and Accents Dies and their Precious Metals Premium Craft Foils, I glued some corner pieces to the card, distressed the card using Quick Quotes’ Mocha Mama and Midnight Confessions Chalking Inks, and attached it to the back of the canvas using screw eyes and hemp twine. I love the rough look of this…it feels very da Vinci to me.

Sentiment Close Up

And that’s it! All-in-all, it’s a different kind of project for me, but I love it! It’s full of some really fun techniques, I discovered some great products and was able to celebrate Julianna Hudgins and her amazing accomplishments with her new line at Spellbinders!

Products Used

Here’s a list of items used in this project:

8×10 Art Canvas
Paper Cardstock (Black, Blue, Green and Purple)
Spellbinders Jewel Fantasies Die Shapes
Inka Gold (Haematite 911, Green Yellow 906, Cobalt Blue 13 and Violet 908)
Apple Barrel Craft Paint – Black
Gloss Mod Podge
Matte Mod Podge
Aleene’s Tacky Glue
Assorted Rhinestones
Zing Silver Embossing Powder
Bamboo Skewers
Spellbinders Twisted Metal Tags and Accents
Spellbinders Precious Metals Craft Foils
Quick Quotes Mocha Mama and Midnight Confessions Chalking Inks
Hemp Twine
Screw Eyes

Whatever your fantasies are, I really hope you enjoyed this project and hope you can help me congratulate Julianna and Spellbinders on their new collection of whimsical, playful and empowering designs from a truly amazing woman!

Off to the Post Office to mail this off! It’s coming your way, Julianna! Congrats!

Until next time…Make Heads Turn…everyday!

Posted in Canvas Project, Jeremy's Projects, Mixed Media, WAY Off-the-Page! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments