Author Archives: crapsmanship

Mixed Media Ornaments

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Ornament 7

I didn’t start out intending for this to be a DIY Christmas, but as I continue to make gifts, I realize many of my presents this year will be hand-made. These ornaments are some of my favorites so far. Each year, I get the grandkids themed ornaments — Kaye gets an angel, Mikey gets a bear, and so on. Usually I buy them, but this year I used a variety of material — acrylic paint, scrapbook paper, an old map, for example — to create each child a one-of-a-kind ornament directly from Grandma’s hand to their Christmas trees!

Ornament 5

Ornament 6

Ornament 4

Ornament 3

Ornament 2

Ornament 1

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Scary Doll Remake

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Doll

My BFF loves to decorate for Halloween, so I visited my local Goodwill store hoping to find inspiration. My first idea was to find a plastic baby doll to strip, take apart, insert into a jar, and fill with water and some green food coloring. Ick! But when I saw this lovely porcelain doll for less than $5, I knew she was the one! Read the rest of this entry

Christmas Wrappings

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Wrapping 1In general, there are two approaches to Christmas prep. One approach is to buy gifts throughout the year, prepare early, and roll into Christmas with ease. The other approach is to freak out in mid-December about all the things you still need to do. I belong to the first camp. I have many of my gifts bought, I’ve made a number of them, and I’m working on using my crapsmanship skills to make one-of-a-kind Christmas wrappings. Read the rest of this entry

Book-Inspired Pumpkin

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img_3114I won’t bore you with the how-to on this one — it’s a simple rip, rip, rip, glue, glue, glue.  But I do have some things I’ve learned in my attempt that may help you turn your own crappy pumpkin into better-than-crapsmanship.

  1. It helped to keep the torn book pieces fairly small — no bigger than 2″ x 2″.  But please don’t measure — that’s against the bylaws of the Crapsmanship Club!
  2. Plan to get sticky.  My hands were a mess with ModPodge.  Have a couple wet paper towels handy for an occasional quick clean-up.
  3. My hands were a mess because I had to press the the wet-with-glue paper onto the pumpkin to get it to conform to the shape of the pumpkin. You want to make sure the seams of the pumpkins show.
  4. I wish I had ripped off the page margins beforehand.  I prefer more text on my pumpkin and less white space.
  5. I used a very diluted brown watercolor to “age” the pumpkin. I’m not sure I like it.

This project was easy, and I like the pumpkin sitting amid books on my living room shelves. You may want to consider other things to ModPodge onto a cheap pumpkin (I have a friend who used map pages to good effect) such as wrapping paper, catalogs, or old letters. Have fun!

 

Stamp-Making with Wikki-Stix

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Stamp 9

Do you know about Wikki-Stix? They are small “sticks” created by coating strings of yarn with food-grade wax. When I was teaching little kids, we used Wikki-Stix all the time to mark spelling patterns, shape letters, and find important information in text. They’re bendable, removable, and reuseable. The perfect trifecta!

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Cheap and Effective Texture Medium

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Texture 9

As I experiment more with mixed media, I have been wanting to add some additional texture to my art.  (Note: Using the word “art” is undoubtedly an insult to all artists everywhere!) Yes, I could have purchased some commercial texture paste and a palette knife.Texture 10

But why go with professional tools when I can get a similar effect with the cheap stuff? After all, I’m a crapsman, right? I first tried to make my own, following this recipe from Such a Pretty Mess: http://gabriellepollacco.blogspot.com/2012/08/making-my-own-texture-paste-fun-with.html. Somehow, it just didn’t work for me.

Then I went to the hardware store and bought some spackling compound and a putty knife. Cheap, cheap! I easily used the putty knife to scrape the spackling over a stencil onto my canvas.

A bonus is that the spackling mixture goes on pink, so it’s easily seen as it’s applied. Over a short time, the mixture turns white. The photos below show three shots of my first efforts at experimentation.

And here it is on my acrylic-painted background.

Texture 5

A potential negative is that the spacking’s edges round off somewhat if you go over them with paint or ModPodge. Here’s a closeup.

Texture 8

I like the muted effect, so having less-than-crisp edges is fine with me. I’ll publish the finished picture someday, but it’s a Christmas present, so no reveal yet!

Fast and Fabulous Pho

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Asian flavors are rarely my go-to selection. When it’s a choice between Chinese, Mexican, Italian, or a good hamburger, the continent of Asia and its flavors are left in my dust! But I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of a Vietnamese chicken soup, and when I saw this recipe described as “cheater pho,” I decided to give it a try. Read the rest of this entry