Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Where the envelope art is going to...

And here's the next installment of What I've Been Doing with Envelopes.

We'll start with a little tutorial on using business envelope windows as shrink plastic. First step, colour with some colour pencils (I've used Prismacolor here, and I've chosen light colours). If it looks like nothing's happening, you're doing fine.

Second step, stamp something nice on the plastic. Here I've used a big alphabet (the Big Deal alphabet from Stampin' Up). The ink here could certainly be something permanent like Stazon, but I'm just using Stampin Up black (that's a waterproof ink). Non waterproof ink will not work at all (so coloured Stampin' Up ink is out).

Yes, you could stamp first then colour - then you would probably HAVE to use a true permanent ink - otherwise it would run when you coloured near the lines. Of course, if you just stay away from the lines, you might manage it. I did, but I'm not going to recommend it as fun and safe for the kiddies.

Third step, cut out just the plasticky bit of the window. And heat it - with a heat tool (and tweezers so you don't blow it away) or in the oven (I used a bit of baking paper on top of my baking try to keep things neat. The shrinking happens in seconds. Sadly, so does the curling!

Here's my sample after shrinking - wow, the letters changed! Oh, wait, no, I just swapped samples. Stay with me, same method. See how intense the coloured pencil is now. And see how the piece is a bit curled up - it would be nice to get it flat. Back in the oven for a few moments, and we'll whack it flat with any flat utensil (this wood mounted stamp will work).


And then there are no more photos of THOSE two samples, because they both curled up so very badly they became molten puddles of recycled mush.

So here's one I prepared earlier...

This is my little book, made of mat board and envelope paper, and shrunken window. The book is called "ImPOSTers". See what I did there? That's one of them puns. Well, kind of. I thought I might fill the book with faux postage.

And here's the other complete book I made. This was the one where I stamped on the front cover, and tried to hasten the drying with my heat tool, only to see it curl into a hideous mess ... which is when I realised I had shrink plastic.

The pages inside both books are all patterened inside-of-envelopes. So pretty, as you can imagine.

And in real life : Ouch, ouch, eye-hurting! Yes, after imagining how inspiring my all-patterned art journal was going to be, I can only look at it for a few minutes before my eyes go all fuzzy!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Where envelope art came from...

Well, following that diverting discovery about envelope window plastic, it's back to business. Business, in this context, meaning making STUFF out of old envelopes. I cut them out days ago (while I was annoyed at being on hold for a long time), and at last it's time to get making.

The whole envelope paper idea came from a class I did recently with Ro Bruhn (see here for photos of the actual day!). She had us making journals out of recycled pages - one of her sample pages was paper from an opened out business envelope, and she'd painted a flower on it - it looked cool! But of course, mucking around with envelope paper goes back further than that ...


See how the screen went all wiggly there? That's cos we're going BACK IN TIME! I've been through the archives, and found this. I entered a swap in 2001, where the theme was "One Stamp" - you pick one stamp, and do six extremely different things with it. It was a challenging swap. This was what I received from Danielle D'Onofrio, and it took me a few days to work out what the mystery paper was Insides of Envelopes.

I used the idea in 2002 for this : I put it in a competition (nah, didn't win...).

Along the way I showed these things to Maria, who has used envelope paper in her collages ever since, including just the last stamp club (go here to see!).

And I even found this gem in my photo collection - a book I must have made to entertain the kids. First here's the cover :

Then the first page :
"I have a shell. I live in the water. I walk sideways. What am I?"

You can see a tantalizing glimpse of the mystery animal through that envelope window....

And finally, the big reveal!

Did you guess it was a crab? Nope, me neither.

So that's the history of Why I Am Spending So Much Time Cutting Up Envelopes.

Next post is What I Did Next...

That might come later tonight, but I warn you, I have the sniffles, and am likely to collapse on my swooning couch at any moment. Especially if there's a small glass of Tokay next to it.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

A whole new thing to shrink!

Oh my goodness, crafters, I have NEWS! The plastic in the window of a business envelope is shrink plastic!

Check it out - I've stamped a nice outline flower, and shrunk, once without colouring, and once with pencil colouring. There was a third one that looked awful - not all the plastics are the same.

A tip - leave the plastic on the envelope while you stamp and colour, and cut it just before shrinking.

There you are - go to it!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Tap Dancing

I had a day off today. Among other things, I cleaned up the kids' bathroom. Ah, that's nice.

WAIT A MINUTE! How can we cope! Those TAPS!

The "Hot" and "Cold" doovers have fallen off (alright, that probably happened about seven years ago, but today feels like a good day to fix them).

So I retreated to the craft room and sorted through my tap-mending supplies (that is, the button box) and found two terrific little buttons. I had to remove the shanks - good thing I keep wire cutting tools on the desk.

Don't they look nice!