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I am a 37 year old nurse who is currently not working due to medical issues. I have chosen to pass my time crafting, but because I am not working, I have little money to spend on supplies. I have a small stash from while  I was still working but am now using what I have access to around the house. I also use things I can find cheaply at the dollar store, in the dollar bins, on clearance, or buy with coupons at Michaels and Hobby Lobby. I also like to shop thrift stores and garage sales for things to use in my crafting. You would be surprised with what you can find if you aren't afraid to prowl a little.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hidden Drawer Book Stack Part 2

Hello again! This post may not make much sense as I have had a bad day today, but I am going to attempt to explain how to make the actual book and drawer part of the stack. To make the drawer, I followed the drawer part of the tutorial on this link:  http://thegentlemancrafter.typepad.com/files/treasure-box-mini.pdf    and re-sized the template to my specifications. You can use any size you want, but suggest you keep it to a size you can easily fit on a 12 x 12 sheet of paper. I didn't do this and ended up having to add extra paper to fill in empty space that was left over. As you can see, I used plain black card stock for the inner lining of my drawers.
I need to go in and touch up the drawer on the top. I'm not sure what happened, but, the back flaps didn't turn out right. I grunged up the outside of the drawers with gesso to make them look sort of antiqued or patinaed (is that a word?) or something. The drawer pulls are made with fishing wire and beads from my stash. (My husband and I love to fish so there is no shortage of fishing line in this house.) The pulls are attached with hot glue. I probably should have used something stronger, but used what I had readily available.
This is a side view of the books, or the part that would be where you see the pages. What I did was measure the height of the drawer and add 1.5 inches. I then measured the length of the side of the drawer and added an inch and cut the measurements out of cardboard about the thickness of a cereal box. I then randomly chose pages from an old dictionary I had from high school and misted them with my tea spray and let them dry. Once dry, I mod podged them to the cardboard strips and let it dry. Once dry I scored the strips at 3/4 inch in from one of the long sides and 5/8 inch in from the opposite side and folded both in on the score line. These flaps are where the glue goes when it is time to construct the book.

Book Covers:
I used the same material for the book covers as I did the sides. I measured them to my specifications and covered both sides with coordinating paper. I then cut a strip of coordinating paper the same length of the book and 3 inches wide and adhered it to what I considered to be the top cover about half an inch in from the edge.

Construction:
I wanted the inside cover to be seen somewhat when the drawer was closed, so I adhered the "pages" 1/2 inch in from each edge (front edge, back edge, and bottom edge) of one of the covers. I did this with both page strips. Adding the top was a bit trickier, but I followed the same measurements. My husband helped with the 2nd and 3rd drawer, which made things much easier. I then bent the flap that was sticking out from the top cover and adhered it to the back cover, again in about half an inch. I did end up having to trim some of the paper off. It wasn't perfect, but no one will see that side.

I made three books and glued them together with hot glue and then went to town with embellishments.
All the flowers on the side of the book, were hand made by me. The butterfly on the purple rose is made out of card stock cut on the Cricut with the ultimate creative series cartridge. The leaves on the purple rose were cut from the giant flowers cartridge and then misted with 2 shades of green glimmer mist (Ditto green mist and Eucalyptus walnut ink). Check the clearance isles at your craft store, I got both of these mists for less than $2 each with the clearance price plus a 25% off entire purchase coupon at Michael's. I got the crocheted butterfly in the clearance crafting stuff at Wal-Mart. I think it was only fifty cents. And again, I have had the feather butterflies in my stash for quite some time now.
The purple rose is made from purple card stock and I inked the edges purple with some studio g ink I got either at Wal-Mart or Michael's in the dollar bin.
All of these flowers were made with either ribbon or card stock I had in my stash.
The clock and the "Beauty" heart I picked up at Michael's in the dollar bins. The watch face was something I found at one of my trips to GoodWill with my sister.
The gold chain with the clear beads was something else I picked up at GoodWill. It was part of a really tacky necklace. The gold ball just above the butterfly was also part of that necklace.

Hope you like it. I'm not sure my description on how I made this is very clear, so if you have questions, please feel free to ask.

I am currently working on a mini-recipe/scrapbook album as a gift for my mom as well. Once it is completed, I will show it to you, but I have to dig up some pictures before I can do that, and that means a trip to mom's when she isn't home. That can be tricky, as I never know when she is or isn't home. So, whenever it is done, I'll show you. Until then, I think I will work on a new shadow box.  Here are a few I have already done.



As you can see, I like butterflies and flowers. (Sorry about my shirt and the blood pressure cuff in the bottom picture.)

Thanks for stopping by.

Miranda

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Finished Hidden Drawer Book Stack

Well, I finished the hidden drawer book stack I was working on for my sister. Considering it is the first time I have attempted something like it, I think it turned out pretty good. I haven't taken pictures of the finished project yet, but I do have some pictures of the  book on the top of the stack. I do need to say that this is not an original idea of mine. The inspiration came from MsLiberty25 on YouTube and I used a template I found on line for the drawers. If you google Treasure Box Mini
By Jim R. Hankins The Gentleman Crafter, you should be able to find it.
Above is the cover of the book that will be on the top of the stack. Most of the elements on this page I either made or have had in my stash for quite some time. I did not go out an buy anything for this project.

 I made the rose in the bottom corner from the giant flowers Cricut cartridge, but instead of putting the petals on what the cartridge calls the bud, I glued them to a circle and added the leaves. I have no idea what the paper line used was. It was something I had for a long time and the cover had come off. The leaves are just white card stock sprayed with Ditto green glimmer spray. While the spray was still wet, I took the end of a paint brush and "drew" the leaf spines on.  The butterfly is a feather butterfly I got from Michael's what seems like forever ago. The heart charms and pin are from a necklace I wore with a Halloween costume a few years ago and never wore again. I grunged up the charms with homemade gesso. I got the recipe from this link:  http://www.ajsartsanddesigns.com/2011/01/my-homemade-gesso-recipe.html. As I have never used anything but this, you will have to decide if it is worth making. You can't tell from the picture, the I randomly painted the flower with iridescent pearlescent glitter paint.
I made the dragonfly from things I had in my stash. The body is made out of beads that I had in my stash. The wings I made from packaging paper. I cut two long ovals. Green: outlined with dark green water based marker, colored rest of wing with lighter green water based marker, drew the lines in with grey water based marker. I did this on both sides, sprayed with water, let set for a few minutes, and then dried with hair dryer on the hottest setting. Once dry, I coated both sides with clear crackle paint and let air dry. I did the same process with the blue wing. The wings were then threaded onto the wire followed by two more beads to finish off the body and the head. It is hot glued on. The flowers are paper flowers from Michael's. I think I got them in the dollar aisle. I grunged the crown with gesso and adhered with hot glue. The chain is from another necklace I no longer wear. The green strip is an embossed piece of green card stock that has been distressed and grunged up with gesso.
This corner was totally an experiment. I misted the corner with my "tea" mist and let it dry. I then put down a pretty thick coat of homemade modge podge (Elmer's glue and water..more glue than water). The corner flower is 1/4 of a fabric flower I got in a garage sale a few years ago with a white bead glued to it then placed in the modge podge. That is an actual leaf from a rose my husband got me for valentine's day, and is also stuck down with modge podge. Then on top of the leaf, I put real baby's breath (yes, from the same flowers) and slathered them and the leaf in modge podge to get them to seal. Once the modge podge dried, I covered the whole thing in gesso and let it dry. I then went over the leaf with green water color paint, the baby's breath with pink mixed with red water color paint, and the fabric flower with purple water color paint. Once dry, I went over it one more time with modge podge. I did the stems in yellow green water color paint.

I have written quite a bit. I thank you if you stuck around long enough to read the whole thing. I will continue on another post, probably tomorrow. I would appreciate suggestions, comments, etc.


Miranda

DIY Glimmer Mist

OK, I know it hasn't been even 24 hours since my last post, but, the pain is keeping me awake, so here I am. Previously I talked about how most of my crafting supplies are made by me or are quite old, so how about a little tip or two or 10 on glimmer mist. Glimmer mist can cost a pretty penny to someone who doesn't have extra money to spend. So, I took to the Internet and YouTube to see if I could make my own. Low and behold, there are umpteen million different ways to make glimmer mist.

A lot of them have ingredients that are in and of themselves expensive. But there are some things that all had in common: Alcohol, some sort of ink or paint, and something that shimmers, and some sort of setting agent. The first one I tried to make, actually turned out really well. I used about a teaspoon of folk art metallic blue topaz acrylic paint and water. Mixed it up in an empty spray bottle from bath and body works and gave it a try (see picture). I used hairspray for the fixing medium as  I had seen it done on a few of the YouTube videos.

AS the blue topaz was the only metallic paint I had, I went about finding other ways to make mists. I knew I needed something like paint or ink and something to make it "shimmer."  So, I talked to an art teacher friend of mine who suggested I use dried up markers. She said that she takes the "ink" out of the markers and puts it in water and uses it for water colors. Awesome, but what about shimmer.  Somewhere, either on the Internet or on YouTube, I saw someone use eyeshadow, but I wasn't about to use my good makeup on my crafting, so off to the dollar store I went. I found LA Colors Shimmering Loose Eye shadow. It was perfect. This is what markers and eyeshadow make.....
Picture doesn't do it justice, it is very shimmery. There is no amount specific to each. I just kind of mixed them until I like the effect.

The next one was blue food coloring using alcohol, hairspray, and eye shadow.
But, I must say that my favorite one is the one I call "Tea." I call it this because I made it by bringing a small amount of alcohol to a boil. It doesn't take long at all in the microwave, less than 30 seconds. I then put a Lipton tea bag in the boiling alcohol (it really doesn't smell good) and let it sit until it made a strong looking tea. I then added the hairspray and eye shadow.
It gives a nice aged look. The next picture is a rose I made out of phonebook pages and misted with the tea mist.
It is heavily misted therefore darker than just a normal mist, but I think it's pretty cool.

I used spray bottles I found at Wal-Mart and Meijer for $1/bottle. They are in the travel sized section.

I haven't tried to use sharpies. But because they are permanent marker, I'm not sure they will work. Besides, sharpies are a bit pricey as far as I'm concerned and I also use them to ink the edges of some of my projects. 

Let me know if you have any other suggestions or questions.

Miranda

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My First Post

Hello all! As I am a blogging virgin, I am probably going to make a fool of myself many times. But, let me introduce myself. My name is Miranda. I am 37 years old an have been a registered nurse for 13 years. Currently, due to health and pain issues, I am not working. So, I have decided to keep my mind active by diving into my crafting. But, as crafting can be an expensive endeavor, I have to use what is either around the house or I can find cheap. I do have a small stash from when I was working, but it will not last forever. Most of my shimmer sprays are homemade as is my "modge podge." My markers are no more than the good old trusty crayolas and my scissors are ancient. I do have a cricut expression2, that I got for less than half price at a Black Friday sale. So, the focus of this blog will be how to craft when you have no money. Currently, I am working on a handmade hidden drawer book stack. I am making flowers to emblish the books with. The picture below is the flower I finished today.  So, the first little bit of this blog will have to do with that. I am not sure how often I will be blogging, as I currently have days that are more painful than others, but I will do my best to post frequently.  Thanks for taking the time to read this.  Miranda