Category Archives: Crafts

A La Carde Studio Debut

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BFF and I are debuting our new Etsy shop!!! Each one-of-a-kind card has original art on the front. We sell them in sets of five for $20. That’s only $4/card — cheaper than Hallmark and a hand-made keepsake to boot. They are blank inside for personal messages.
We’ve had such fun. Visit us at alacardestudio.etsy.com for a look. Please do some shopping too! Now’s a great time to send a card to a quarantined friend or relative to brighten their day. Here are a few of our offerings.

A Piece of Work

America the Beautiful

Bonfire Hearts

Celebration

Modigliani

Pull Up a Chair

You Are My World

 

Abstract Attempts

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I’ve been drawn to abstract art lately, and it looks so easy to do. Just slap some colors on the canvas and call yourself an artist. NOT! This process has surprised me with its challenge. I’ve been watching the instructional videos of Betty Krause — her work is luminous, the colors are gorgeous, and her tutorials are explicit. (See her YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_LtcQkDngMzTtnGtdl1gxA.) So I’ve tried to follow the general direction of her work. Here are two of my attempts.

The one above started life as a filler paper for a frame. I painted it with gesso, and then, ala Betty Krause, filled it with random marks using colored pencils.

I used water to spread the pencil marks around. Big slashes of black acrylic paint came next.

I then added random blobs of warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows), let them dry, and then added random blobs of cool colors (blues, greens, purples). Going back and forth between warm and cool colors, I eventually ended up with this.

I wasn’t quite happy with the overall construction, so I added some intentional marks with acrylic paint and china markers. Here’s the completed piece on temporary display in my living room.

Here’s another one I made, following the same steps as I’ve described above.

This one’s hanging in my half bath with a wrong-color mat. Once quarantine lifts, I’ll need a trip to the craft store to try out different mat colors!

More Mixed Media

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It’s much, much harder to crap, er, craft these days without access to all my supplies or a quick trip to Hobby Lobby. It’s easy, though, to get lost in all the YouTube lessons, and this particular piece was inspired by mixed media artist Shawn Petite (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luD0FyZV7vs). If you watch her video, you likely won’t see any resemblance between my piece and hers, but she was a great inspiration nonetheless.

I started with a long, skinny canvas that, believe it or not, my BFF and I picked up out of a neighbor’s trash. I applied assorted book pages and sheet music using gel medium. Once that was dry, I randomly stenciled on black numbers.

I used water-based spray paints to add blue and green colors to the canvas. I then applied a spray fixative so the colors wouldn’t run when I added my next layer.

I taped on a few random shapes, using scraps from my stash. The blue dot in the middle needed something, so I added some stenciled numbers. So far, so good. And the bonus was that some words from an old book remained easily readable in the bottom right area. It says, “When nothing is going well, call grandmother.” How perfect is that!

I liked the placement of the shapes, but I thought the piece needed something near the bottom to bring some balance. So I taped another black shape to audition it in the picture. I was happy with both shapes, so I used gel medium to glue it all on.

Almost there. But I needed a little more. So I added some white circles throughout the design, more green and blue to the blob at the top, and a few more stenciled numbers. This is now displayed on the wall in the bedroom we call  “The Grandkids’ Room.” I think I like it!

 

Baby Gift

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Lord, it’s been hard to get motivated to do anything in these days of quarantine. Especially cleaning house and writing on my blog. But I have made time for crapsmanship, and fortunately, I have a lot of random craft supplies and access to Amazon shopping. We have some friends with a baby girl due in May, and this baby gift is my latest attempt at something pretty.

The picture above is my inspiration, so I ordered a BIG bag of buttons from Amazon.

Ella’s nursery is being decorated in shades of eggplant, purple, and yellow, so I began with this background while I waited for the buttons to arrive. The background is made with acrylic paints and stencils on a 9″ x 12″ sheet of mixed media paper.

Once I had the buttons, I did a mock-up with random colors of purple buttons. Not quite crapsmanship, but I wasn’t happy with the colors. The background was too bright, and some of the buttons didn’t really show up. So back to the drawing board — literally. I darkened up the background with some black and purple Distress Inks, and then I selected the lightest lavender buttons for the E. I used painters tape to make temporary lines to follow as I glued the buttons to the background.

Here’s my finished letter, but a problem lingers. I can’t get to the store to select a mat and frame, so the gift remains unfinished. Let’s hope this damned coronavirus is eradicated by May. Ella needs this present!!!

 

 

Big Flower!

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Last week, I shared the oyster ring bowls I made and liked so much (https://crapsmanship.com/2020/02/23/oyster-shell-ring-bowl/). I especially liked the gold modeling paste I used for the perimeter of the shells. So I decided to go big this week, using an 18″x24″ canvas and some Vicki Boutin modeling pastes.

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Oyster Shell Ring Bowl

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Last Wednesday was Dan the Man’s birthday, and we went our for a celebratory meal. When he ordered a half-dozen char-broiled oysters for his appetizer, I had just the craft project in mind using the discarded oyster shells. While the server looked at me a little funny when I asked to bring the shells home, she was happy to put them in a take-home bag for me.

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Kraft-Tex Necklace

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Have you heard of Kraft-Tex? It’s a paper product that functions as fabric. You can paint, cut, sew, emboss, stamp, and draw on the material. I’ve just recently learned about Kraft-Tex, and I bought a starter kit — ten 8.5×11″ sheets with five colors — to give it a go. (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1617454710/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

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Paper-Making Fail!

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I had such a good idea! I thought it would be fun to make seeded paper — a chunk of papier-mache-ish wad with seeds inside that can be planted — to go inside my Valentines Day cards. After reading about making seeded paper from the blog Kitchen Counter Chronicle (see https://www.kitchencounterchronicle.com/how-to-make-seed-bombs-for-earth-day/), I thought it would be an easy adaptation to go from layering paper in muffin tins, as described in the blog, to making flatter paper that I could cut into hearts and insert into cards. CRAP ALERT: Boy, was I wrong. Read the rest of this entry