Sunday, December 14, 2014

Modern stripes holiday greeting card

modern stripe holiday greeting card lisa fulmer

Today I'm leading a make-n-take at the Creekside Artists Guild's annual holiday potluck. We'll be making these striped greeting cards using recycled cardboard and paper scraps. I love saving every strip, scrip and scrap of paper I can for quick and easy projects like this. A randomly adhered array of stripes is the perfect backdrop for some trees accented with heat-embossed stamping.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Smoothfoam Holiday Ball

smoothfoam black white ball ornament

We're having fun with the Smoothfoam Holiday Ball - and you can too! 

If you love creating holiday ornaments and decorations with Smoothfoam balls, feel free to add your own project to our link-up. Even if you're using another brand or type of ball, you can still join the fun.

I made a black and white polka dot ornament by covering the ball with torn washi tape - a project I also share in my new book, Stylish Craft Foam Projects. After a coat of Mod Podge and a sprinkling of clear glitter, I pressed in white thumbtacks around the ball and pinned ribbons at the top.

Check out all the other holiday ideas below and then add your own!

Friday, December 05, 2014

Fleur de lys bulletin board with Foamology

fleur de lys foam bulletin board lisa fulmer

A group of us from the Designer Crafts Connection are working with products from Foamology - our theme is quick and easy home décor. I've been wanting a small bulletin board in the hall next to my front door for the occasional little reminder before leaving the house, like "turn off the space heater" or "put the puppy gate up" or "don't forget your lunch in the fridge."

But I also wanted the bulletin board to be a pretty wallhanging when there are no reminders posted. The Household Utility Foam from Foamology was exactly what I needed - it's flexible at 1/4" thick and holds thumbtacks nicely. I traced my fleur-de-lys pattern on it with a white paint marker and trimmed it out with a craft knife - the foam cut like buttah. The smooth black surface looks like chalkboard, which I really like.

foam bulletin board detail lisa fulmer

Then I wrapped a 12" square of their soft Design Foam with Stickybase with fabric. I covered all the sticky surface on the back too, because I wanted my bulletin board to be easily removed from the wall. I glued the fleur-de-lys on top of the fabric panel and pushed silver beaded pins around the edges to accent. Glued a ribbon loop to the back for hanging and done!

Click here to see what other designers made with their Foamology products and be sure to enter the giveaway below!

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Monday, December 01, 2014

Holiday decorations - Designer Crafts Connection blog hop

felt embroidered ornaments lisa fulmer

It's the first Monday of the month - time for another blog hop with the Designer Crafts Connection. Our theme is holiday decorations - so I stitched and stuffed a bunch of little wool felt ornaments to sell at a local craft show along with some handmade cards. But they're pretty darn cute and I kinda wish I could keep 'em!

These are fun and easy to make - I drew each shape freehand and cut two each from wool felt. After stitching embellishments on the top one, I stitched the top to the bottom shape, almost all the way closed. I used Poly-Fil to stuff them just a little, then sewed them closed.

Look for the DCC logo in each of our sidebars to hop between blogs to see what the other designers have in store for their holiday décor - have fun!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Handmade Christmas cards

handmade christmas cards lisa fulmer

I dusted off the die-cutting machine, dug into my stash of holiday scrapbook papers and made a batch of Christmas cards to sell at the Art Cottage here in Concord. I also made some cute ornaments to sell too.

If you're local, come to the Art Cottage for the artist reception on Saturday, December 6th from 2-5pm. Signed copies of my books will be for sale, a ukelele player will keep us entertained, there will be lots of amazing art and craft for sale from local talent, plus there's wine and munchies!

handmade christmas cards lisa fulmer

handmade christmas cards lisa fulmer

handmade christmas cards lisa fulmer

handmade christmas cards lisa fulmer

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Holiday blog hop - 99+ handmade gift ideas

painted treasure box lisa fulmer

I'm so happy to be participating in the 99+ Handmade Gift Ideas Holiday Blog Hop, hosted by 365 Days of Crafts. One of my favorite handmade gifts is a painted treasure box. It's the gift and the box all in one! But of course, you still need to tuck at least a little something inside when you give a treasure box, like how grandma always put a dollar inside the wallet she gave you.

This box is also my sample for a free class I'm teaching at the Concord Library this Saturday, November 29th (10:30am - 12:30pm). If you're local, please join us!

I like treating the lid of the box like a little canvas. I usually use paper maché boxes, but plain wood boxes are great too. I painted a coat of off-white to cover the natural kraft color first, so the colors I use on top would pop more. Then I sponge-painted light green, with a darker green distressed around the edge of the lid. You can paint the inside as well, or line it with pretty paper.

paint stamped box lid lisa fulmer

I stamped flowers on top and added a few buttons. "Believe" is a wood embellishment that I painted first with a dark plum, then smudged and wiped a little green and white on top.

The most fun part of making treasure boxes is the embellishing. In my book, Craft Your Stash, one of the projects is a silver metallic box with lots of metal charms, beads and a vintage brooch on the top. You can also have fun blending texture medium into the paint like I did for this crown star box. You can really go to town with pretty layered die-cut shapes, like I did on this gold dress form box.

Be sure to enter to win an Amazon Gift Card below, and keep scrolling down to visit all the other designers' blogs to see what kinds of gift ideas they have to share. Forget about Black Friday at the mall with all the crazy traffic and crowds - stay home and craft right through your whole gift list instead! Live handmade, baby!

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Upcycled Jewelry, Bags, Belts and More - a new book by Linda Peterson

upcycled jewelry book linda peterson
So I learned something about my friend Linda Peterson - the woman makes magic with bits of old bike tires and soda can tabs!

I've always loved her jewelry designs and craft projects, but I really love her new book, Upcycled Jewelry, Bags, Belts and More! It's packed with lots of really inspiring projects that are both eco-friendly and stylish.

I have an artisan purse made from crocheted soda can tabs and it gets lots of attention every time I carry it. This book shows you how to make your own, plus a matching belt.

I love the extreme close-up photos, which make it easy to see exactly what she's doing with each finding or bit of wire.

recycled plastic earrings lisa fulmer

Feeling inspired, I went digging through my recycle bin to make something. The only thing that spoke to me were the mangos. The lower half of these sturdy plastic fruit cups are nicely fluted, so I cut out sections of one cup to make these tiered earrings. I colored the bottom piece with blue alcohol ink and coated the front with crackle medium. I added a stripe of copper glass paint in the recessed area of the top piece, along with a couple gems. I love the overall shape and they're super lightweight.

Click here for Linda's playlist of companion video tutorials and then check out all the other designers' blogs below to see what they have to say about the book!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hop, Skip, Jump - 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life

hop skip jump book
Hop, Skip, Jump is a fun new book from Marney K. Makridakis, founder of Artella Land - an online community for artists, writers and creative entrepreneurs.

Marney writes about how to have more fun while you're getting more done. She shares 75 techniques for how to be both playful and productive in order to manifest success. She describes why play matters, that it's about more than being silly or killing time or taking a break. Play is a state of mind; it's about how we stay present and how we magnify what makes us human.

The book's title refers to the three phases for making things happen in your life - dreaming (hop), experimenting (skip) and taking action (jump). Marney's techniques for getting the most out of each phase include quizzes, drawing exercises, trivia, word games, doodling, journaling and other creative prompts. She shares lots of examples and talks about the benefits (and potential risks) of spending more time and energy in each phase.

One of the examples I really liked was about kids in a butterfly garden and how it illustrates the value of pausing instead of pushing. Kids tend to run all around, chasing the butterflies to try to catch them. But if you just stand still, the butterflies will eventually come and gently land on your arm, your shoulder, or even your nose. Such a simple thing that should be easier for me to remember to do, especially when I'm feeling completely stuck for a creative idea when I have to write or design something. Stop pushing so much and just pause for a bit...and it will come to you.

Lots of great tidbits in this book to read and reflect on - I'm gonna have fun exploring more of it!

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Etching glass tumblers - from plain to paisley

etched glass tumbler paisley etchall

When you get tired of your plain glass tumblers, don't buy new ones - just etch 'em with etchall creme. You can use stencils, painters tape, or adhesive silkscreens to add the pattern or image you like in just 15 minutes - love it! A jar of etchall lasts a really long time—you can reuse the creme over and over. Check out their how-to videos and project gallery for more ideas.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Recycled sunshine postcard - paint-stamping on upcycled papers

- 4x6 pieces of stiff cardboard (cereal boxes work well)
- Junk mail or old book pages (commercially printed uncoated paper)
- Decoupage medium|
- Non-stick brayer (or an old rolling pin)
- Craft paints 
- Stamping objects - cork, kitchen sponge, scotch tape core, old credit card, pencil with eraser top
- Printed sentiment
- Foam adhesive squares or pop-dots
paint brush, small cup, non-stick parchment or wax paper, stir stick, scissors, baby wipes
- hair dryer (optional - speeds up dry time)

1.  Tear strips of junk mail or book pages (small print makes a nice overall background texture) and apply to cardboard with decoupage medium (thinned slightly with water). Use the brayer to gently smooth out the surface and let dry. Trim the outer edges of torn paper flush to the cardboard.

2.  Use a narrow wedge cut from a kitchen sponge to stamp a repeating linear pattern across the card with a medium tone paint color; let dry.

3.  Use a ring-shaped object, like the core of a scotch tape roll, to stamp random circles in a darker or contrasting color; let dry.

4.  Drag the edge of a credit card through paint to stamp the sun rays in a bright color, then stamp the center of the sun with a cork.

5.  Use a pencil eraser or sponge to line the edges of your postcard with color, then adhere the sentiment.