Saturday, December 17, 2011

What to do with all of those stamps?!

Recently, I participated in a handcrafted secret santa gift exchange with one of the craft forums of which I'm a member.  We were given a little background info on our gift recipient.  I found out that my recipient likes paper crafts so I decided to make them a set of notecards and envelopes.

The only thing I might enjoy more than messing around with vintage philately is making a cool gift out of it.  This is a simple, fun and inexpensive craft project for all ages. Only a few simple tools are required.  Don't be afraid to get crazy with bold colors and patterns. 

Here's what you will need:

Tacky glue
Glue stick
Mod Podge
Scissors &/or papercutter
Cardboard (or in my case, used old 12" record sleeve)
Cardstock &/or scrapbooking paper
Rubberstampers (optional)
(Vintage) philately

How to make a stamp covered notecard:

1. Cut out your (blank) cards.  The size is up to you.  I took 8 1/2" x 11" cardstock, halved it (creating two 5 1/2" pieces), folded those in half, thus making 2 cards from each sheet of cardstock.  Once your cards are cut, you can stamp a message inside of them.  I chose a simple "hello." or you can just leave them blank.

2. Quickly cover the entire front of the card with glue from your glue stick and start applying your stamps.  I like the layered look.  I layed mine out in rows and added more glue to the bottom of each layer to ensure that all of the stamps were well adhered to the front of my card.  Once you've finished one card, repeart this process on the rest.

3. Gently apply Mod Podge to the stamps on your cards.  I use my fingers to apply it because I like to feel what I'm doing, although some prefer to use a brush.  Don't use too much Mod Podge.  Just drizzle out about a fingernail-size's worth.  Once all of the Mod Podge has been applied, let your cards set out to dry over night. 

4. After your cards have dried, put them under some heavy books for a night so they are pressed firm and flat.  After a night's worth of pressing they should be ready to go.  In the meantime you can start on your envelopes.

How to make your own envelopes:

1. The first step in making an envelope involves creating the envelope templates. Simply choose any size envelope that you already have lying around, open it up and unglue the flaps. 

2. Use your open envelope to create your cardboard envelope template which you can keep and reuse again and again.  Simply trace the envelope onto the cardboard and cut it out.  The "cardboard" I used was from an old 12" record sleeve.  I created two templates, one to cut the envelope paper with and one to fold the envelope paper around (cut to the size of the "front" or "back" of the envelope).

3. Lay your envelope template on your scrapbooking paper.  Trace around the envelope template with a pencil onto the scrapbooking paper.

4. Cut out your envelope shape along the drawn outline.  I used a papercutter to be precise but scissors will do.

5. Use your rectangular template to fold and crease your envelope shape around. At this point it will be obvious where you should apply the Tacky glue to 'seal' the envelope.

6. This step is optional but I like to press my envelopes under some heavy books overnight (as well as the notecards) for extra firmness.  Also, you can rubberstamp on the envelopes to add some extra flavor.

When working on paper crafts of this nature, I like to make a whole bunch at once and bust them out like I'm working on assembly line.  Just to give you an idea of how easy this project is, pressing time aside, it took me under an hour to make 6 notecards and envelopes.

I hope you've enjoyed my first tutorial!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy Tuesday!  Dang, it's already been a busy week and it's still only the beginning.  For some odd reason it already feels like Thursday or smthg...

I'm always so happy and inspired to see what my etsy customers do and create with their purchases.  Here is some work created by Ana Linares.  Her business is located in Gainsville, FL.  She recently created some beautiful pendants with the vintage philately she bought at my shop.   

For more info on Lucky Elephant Designs, you can view Ana's FB fan page.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I've been meaning to get this blog going for ages now.  I really have no excuse for neglecting it.  I've just been super busy travelling, DJ-ing, digging for records, crafting and being my natural over-the-top self, I guess. 

Anyway, my plan for this thing is to have regular updates on all of my favorite craft related things - features on my favorite crafters, craft supplies, craft ideas and more.  This is a craft blog, not a personal blog.  If you'd like to view my personal blog, just let me know and I will send you the link.  If you're looking for a new place to see and read all about cool crafty stuff, you've found just the right place!

So now without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to my wonderful and talented penpal and fellow Etsian, from Rancho Cucamonga, CA, Sugee Andersyn!!  This is the first, among many upcoming interviews, with one of my favorite crafters.

P. Owl: "Describe a day in the life of 'you'."
Sugee: "As of 15 months ago, it’s a baby life all day, every day, a true blessing indeed. My day mostly consists of running after my toddler, feeding, changing, playing, bathing, and most of all loving her unabashedly. She’s the true joy and driving force of my life."

"My creative prime is well after 9 o’clock pm, when the Henry household is fast asleep. It is then that I am clicking up a storm with my punches, busting out mail art and correspondence, carving out rubber stamps, and creating new items for use with scrapbooking, collage and other paper art projects."

P. Owl: "You recently opened up a fantastic new etsy shop with some incredible handmade goods.  Tell me what items you have to offer and about how some of them are made."
Sugee: "Currently I am selling hand carved rubberstamps centering in the realm of pop culture and custom made stamped images in various designs, colors and sizes."

"My stamps are made with the help of my husband who draws them up, and I carefully hand carve each one with a linoleum cutter made of fine quality steel. Each one can take from one hour to 3 days to carve depending on detail. My first stamp was a gnome which was pretty bad and my most prized one is a portrait of Lady Gaga."

"My stamped images are born from my diverse collection of rubberstamps and also from my custom made rubber stamps. Some stamped images are one of a kind. They are stamped out in a variety of ink colors onto heavy cardstock and each are meticulously hand cut one by one. They are then sold ready- made for paper art projects."

"The punch outs are made from my collection of punches which includes cupcakes, owls, bears, circles, tags, stars, clouds and hearts. What makes my punch outs different is the paper used, which is heavy, double sided cardstock on hard to find patterns and designs."

P. Owl: "Where does your inspiration come from?" 

Sugee: "My inspiration derives from family."
"I’d have to say I was first inspired by my late grandmother. I always admired how much she did and how much talent she had. She was a highly skilled seamstress, oil painter, baker, crocheter, knitter, poet, singer, sales woman, and accomplished domestic goddess. My grandfather was a very creative carpenter making such things hutches, vanities, dressers and even a set of scooters for kids to ride on."

"I’m also very much inspired by mom who is a fantastic cook and baker. She also sews, makes handbags, clothes, curtains, button dolls and is a highly skilled interior designer. I’m especially grateful to my mom and grandmother for teaching me their skills and to the universe for allowing me to inherit the rampant creative gene."
"My skills however have morphed into jewelry making, carving, writing, and mixed media paper arts."

P. Owl: "How did you start crafting?"
Sugee: "I first learned how to crochet at 8. After that I learned sewing, drawing, painting, wood shop, doll making, resin casting, jewelry making, book binding, scrapbooking and as of late, carving rubber stamps."

P. Owl: "What are some of your favorite tools of the trade?"
Sugee: "I can’t say I am complete without my custom made stamped images and punch outs, a black pigment stamp pad, a fine black sharpie, E6000, my linoleum cutter and a sharp pair of lightweight scissors."

"Though I’ve learned to do much with very little, I enjoy a chaotic mess of random supplies, including but not limited to jewelry wire, hemp cord, at least 15 stamp pads, all my sharpies and colored pencils, paint markers, all my stamps, fun beads, at least a 2’ stack of various scrapbook paper, glue gun and of course a cup of coffee."

P. Owl: "What is your favorite part of your handmade business?"

Sugee: "My favorite part is that I can share what I make with the world and no one can stop me."
P. Owl: "One year from now what might we expect to see from your shop and where do you want to be?"

Sugee: "I will be adding my handcrafted pop art jewelry which features wire wrapping, one of a kind hand stamped and painted wooden pendants, and unique glass beaded bracelets, earrings and necklaces."
"I also am continually working to expand and develop my Sugee Andersyn brand by carrying more stationary sets, stickers, T-Shirts and eventually a collectible Sugee Andersyn vinyl figure."

P. Owl: "Where can we find you online?"
Sugee: "You can contact me for custom orders or just to say hi at ."

P. Owl: "Who are some of your favorite artists?"

Sugee: "Some of my favorite artists that inspire me to push the envelope are of course my husband Dayne “Romidion” Henry Jr., Greg “Craola” Simkins, Debbie Huey (Bumper Boy), Martin Hsu (Dragon Boy), and Toki Doki creator Simone Legno."
P. Owl: "Recommend 10 songs/artist for my readers."

Sugee: "This was the hardest question of all! I was up all night playing DJ to no one. I came up with a few of my favorite songs and performances."
Belle- Al Green
Cecilia- Simon & Garfunkel
Cry Baby (Live)- Janis Joplin
Someone Like You (Acoustic)- Adele
I’m a good woman- Barbara Lynn
Marley Medley: Guava Jelly/This Train- Sublime
When A Man Loves A Woman- Bette Midler (The Rose movie)
The Harder They Come (Studio Version)- Jimmy Cliff
Volver, Volver (Live)- Linda Ronstadt 
Tell Me Something Good- Chaka Khan & Rufus

P. Owl: "What are some of your favorite foods?"
Sugee: "Enchiladas, taquitos, trail mix and salads of all types." (Editor's note: I've seen images of her enchiladas online and they look DEEE-Licious!!)

P. Owl: "Finally, who are some of your favorite (illustrated) characters and why?"
Some of my favorite characters are Adios & Ciao Ciao, Unicorno, Munny, Dunny, Bumper Boy, and the beloved Pon & Zi. I especially love what Pon & Zi stand for which is to simplify one of the most complicated things anyone has ever experienced; love.

Thanks so much to Sugee for taking the time to participate in this interview.  I highly recommend checking out her etsy shop!