Tag Archives: Papercrafting

House Altered Book, part III



Girls' Bedroom



1 Comment

Filed under Altered Books, Crafts - Cheap, Crafts - Paper, Ephemera, Thrift, Using What You Have

Found Supplies for ATCs

Artist Trading Cards are a fun, quick and inexpensive way to work with paper and loosely based on the old idea of kids swapping baseball cards. You can swap in person or over the internet.

One video I watched on youtube recommended making your own chipboard base from cereal or cracker boxes instead of purchasing cardstock. Now there’s a cheap idea that I like!

Carrying the thrifty bit a little further, I decided to see what I could do with a magazine and some stray bits from my paper stash.

The lavender themed one I call “Paris Flowers”.

For it I used:
card cut from cereal box
lavender printed bedsheet from a magazine advertisement
pansies cut from a stationery box
clipping from a restaurant review
stamped image of a flower
alphabet rubber stamps
black ink pad
tacky glue
small sanding block – this is to take the shine off the magazine page

Perhaps because I have such a fondness for literature, I generally like something to read on my projects. The restaurant review seemed to fit.

Apparently there are just a couple of basic rules concerning ATCs:
1. They must be 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ in size.

2. Sign, date and name your card on the back. I also add my address.

3. They are to be traded – not sold.

That’s about it. The rest is up to the individual artist/crafter.

Some are original paintings. Others are stamped or collaged. The background can be paint, fabric, paper, metal or woven Johnson grass.

Last week I had fun working with some sewing supplies that were passed along to me.

Here are a few links with more information:

This one tells a little history and a little how-to.


Go here if you’re interested in connecting with people to trade with.


Filed under ATCs, Crafts, Crafts - Cheap, Crafts - Paper, Ephemera, Free, Fun, Internet links, Thrift, Using What You Have

Made inĀ America – Tacky Glue

Real Deal Tacky Glue

This week’s Made in America feature product is tacky glue from JoAnn’s Fabrics. I think it’s probably equivalent to Alene’s Tacky Glue (also made in the U.S.A.) and Twice as Tacky, which is what I’ve been using in paper crafts lately.

Yes, I use tacky glue on paper. I’m too cheap to buy the fancy adhesive stuff. There’s no way I’m going to buy one of those roller things that dispense the double sided tape. Not even pop dots.

And even though I do have a bona fide roll of the double sided tape, I used to use glue sticks – sadly with disappointing results. If the page had much flexing (like a greeting card), the glue from sticks tended to come loose.

My next glue product to try on paper was Aqua glue. Better than glue sticks but still a little too wet; makes the paper wavy sometimes. Kind of like Elmer’s glue does. Speaking of which, good old American Elmer’s Glue is not American anymore. Made in China.

So then I tried Twice as Tacky and I’m very happy with it. It adheres paper to paper very well, is not too wet and is versatile. I use it to glue on buttons and embellishments and I like having out only one type of adhesive. The table gets pretty messy when I’m working and using only one kind of glue helps. When I went to buy a replacement bottle, Jo-Anns didn’t have it, so I bought their store brand. I’ll use it tomorrow and give an update on how it works.

And the last great thing about it was the price: $1.29. It should last me 6 months – 1 year. (If you clink on the link and go to their site, you can register for email updates and coupons, often 40% off of most things not on sale (read the fine print – I think some of the fancy cutting machines are not included).

Leave a comment

Filed under Crafts, Crafts - Paper, Made in the U.S.A., Shopping, Using What You Have

Rubber Stamping Convention


Beth taught the Belts and Buckles class. I think the cards I made mistakenly got in with my sister’s stuff and have travelled to Oklahoma with her. But you can see examples of her other cards here and here.

A note on the classes my sister and I took: I recommend Beth’s class because not only were the cards interesting, but we learned to use new tools (at least new to me) and I was able to see the difference in well-made stamps and cheap ones (hers are so good you don’t have to press down hard, in fact if you do, it smears the image. Most of the stamps I’ve bought in the last few years have been cheap ones and I have trouble stamping a clear, even image).

But the main reason I would take one of her classes again is that she was kind. When we made a mistake, she’d say “it’s just paper” and would repeat instructions if needed. That may sound elementary, but having talked with people who take classes often, that’s not always the case. I made stupid mistakes but she made me feel not stupid.

Her class was very fast paced; we made 4 cards in two hours, actually a little less than two.

She and her sister design their own rubber stamps and sell them both at the convention at their booth and online.


Zia taught the fossil class. She was also friendly and helpful.

I plan to make broaches from mine. These are not finished yet. They need more color brushed on. This is what they look like after drying.

Heirloom Pro has information on each show if you go to the website and click on the city you’re interested in, but apparently they aren’t linking the city to it’s classes until closer to the date, so keep checking. As of this posting, information is available for Lawrencville and Vallejo.
Cancelled Riverside, CA ~ January 16 & 17
Lawrenceville, GA ~ February 6 & 7
Vallejo, CA ~ February 20 & 21
Indianapolis, IN ~ March 6 & 7
St Charles, IL ~ March 13 & 14
Portland, OR ~ March 20 & 21
Allentown, PA ~ April 10 & 11
Puyallup, WA ~ May 15 & 16
West Springfield, MA ~ June 5 & 6
Grapevine, TX ~ July 17 & 18
Novi, MI ~ August 7 & 8
Costa Mesa, CA ~ Sept TBA
Anderson, SC ~ September 25 & 26
Fort Wayne, IN ~ October 2 & 3
York, PA ~ October 9 & 10

The last time I attended one I promised myself that I would save up to have spending money, which alas, I didn’t. But that’s okay, there’s always the next one in July and I collected business cards from my favorite booths and can order online from them.

Here are the things I bought for my sister with the money she gave me.

This is a better photo of the fiber packets. They’re very interesting. The vendor made the butterfly brooch as a demonstration and gave it to me. She doesn’t have a website but if you click on the photo you can see her email address to get more information about colors available, prices and shipping information.

Leave a comment

Filed under Crafts, Crafts - Paper, Fun, Shopping

Updates, January 2010

Things have been pretty quiet around my blog for a few days, but not quiet around our lives. My sister came down from the way below freezing temperatures of Oklahoma to the way below freezing temperatures of north Texas so we could go to the rubber stamp convention in Grapevine. Ouch. We moved here 27 years ago and I don’t ever remember it being this cold. Out here in the country it’s been down to 10 degrees F, maybe lower. NE Oklahoma still has a lot of snow from before Christmas.

We had reservations for a couple of classes on Friday, one on Belts and Buckles in card making and the other was making fossil type objects from a crafting compound. There was also going to be an ATC (artist trading cards) contest and swap. So on Thursday night we worked on ATCs, and again on Friday morning before we left for the classes.

The classes were fun. Fran graciously paid for both of us. She’s taken lots of different paper crafting classes over the years. I’m the cheap sister and I’ve only gone to one other, so it was nice.

When our phone rang early on Saturday morning and Joe saw on the caller i.d. that it was my brother, I knew it wouldn’t be good news. Our mother had fallen a couple of hours earlier and broken her right hip and had been taken to the hospital from the nursing home. In March 2008, she had fallen and broken her left hip and collar-bone and had healed amazing well for a woman over 90 years old.

So Frances packed up earlier than planned and went back to Oklahoma to be with our mother (they live in the same small town). She asked me to take her ATC cards and submit them to the contest and swap. We did but not one single other person showed up for the swap. I gave a couple of cards to some women who were interested, and bought some stuff for Frances (she had given me an envelope of money to buy “interesting stuff” for her).

Joe helped me shop for her, which was fun. Maybe I can post photos of the items later.

Fran made it back to Oklahoma okay (it was snowing there again).

My brother told me that Mama came through the surgery just fine, but that the break was worse than the previous one.

When it rains, it pours. One thing I forgot to mention was that 3rd and 4th gears had gone out of the transmission on our second car and it was in the shop, so I’ve been afoot. And Isuzu has a really bad design key design on their ’91 pickups, a very narrow place which tends to break off in the ignition; our older son was using the truck and it broke off on him this week. This is the second time in 4 years.

Our son got the key out of the ignition without damaging it (Hallelujah – last time it ended up costing a bundle to replace the tumbler).

Today we’ll pick up the car and then go get a couple of loads of wood. Our wood stove has been consuming mass quantities of oak and whatever else we’ve had available.

But first Joe needs to sharpen the chain saw and put the chain back on.

And we’re having computer woes again, so this afternoon I’ll have to try to upload photos onto the laptop until the pc is up and running again. I took pictures of all the ATCs we made. **Update on the update: I posted them above.

I’m ready for a quiet Monday.

Thanks be to our Father in heaven who sustains us!

Leave a comment

Filed under Aging, Crafts, Crafts - Paper, Events & Museums, Family, Fun, Internet links, Shopping, Texas

Altered Books, A Sister Project

Sandra, over at Add Humor and Faith was asking about altered books. I’ll bet they’ve been around a long, long time on an individual basis (when people wouldn’t have access to a blank book or fresh paper, etc…) but I’ve only known about them for the past 4 or 5 years. It’s a particular niche in the crafting/art world. Actually, the scrapbook/craft type are more to my liking because the art ones get weird really fast.

It was not easy for me to start making them because I’m such a book lover; rarely have I even written in my own books (the big exception is my Bible where I make lots of notes) and the horror of painting or gluing in one was hard to overcome. But I did.

And still, I’m pretty selective about the ones I’ll use for a project. It has to be one that I don’t think I’ll ever read, one that I really disliked or one that no one else would want – for instance, even if I donated it to the library, they would probably end up sending it to the paper recycler because it wouldn’t sell. The sources are almost unlimited. Our younger son had a huge stack of mathematics magazines that he didn’t want; instead of regular slick pages these have the book type pages and are just right for this craft.

The project from my previous post is in one of these magazines, and I also used one for a round robin that was just between my sister and me. I use cardboard from a cereal box to stiffen the soft covers, then decorate them with fabric or something else.

Sometimes crafters will buy a buy a book (hopefully a secondhand one – I can hardly stand the thought of a new book going straight to altering!) that’s in the same theme as their subject. For instance, using a gardening one when their subject is flowers, or an old cookbook for recipes, etc… That looks pretty clever when finished, and I’ve gathered a few to do that sort of thing, but haven’t started them, yet. Also, really unconventional materials are used and are nearly limitless, like paper sacks, or sewing fabric pages; children’s board books are good but not as versatile.

In a Round Robin, each person chooses their own theme and sets the rules for working in their book. They do their own cover and two pages, then pass it on to the next person (who passes theirs on, etc.). Normally each contributor would only do 2 pages in another person’s book (like my sister’s paper doll book), but since she and I were the only ones involved we passed ours back and forth several times.

She allowed me to set up the overall rule that this project was to be unconventional in the sense that nothing could be used that was bought specifically for paper crafting and we should use as much stuff as we could that had cost nothing at all- or at least had not been bought new. I wanted to see just how creative we could be. There are incredibly wonderful products on the market (and my sister has lots of them) but I wanted to see what we could do with our imaginations. She talked me into altering the rule to include one new product per page. Yes, I know I’m cheap thrifty.

It was a lot of fun.

Her theme was Tranquility; mine was Cats and Cups. All the photos in this post are of her book. Mine will be in a future post.

She used old file folders cut down to make her pages and key rings to bind it. Her cover (seen at the top of this post) was fabric from a drapery sample book (Thank you, Pat Fischer. Pat is my friend who gave me those wonderful, out-of-date books from her shop Ruffles and Things and I shared with Fran. Also, the background floral on the page below is one I got from a sample book). We used magazine pictures, church bulletin covers, used postage stamps, scraps of fabric, hand painting, journaling, ribbon, buttons, counted cross-stitch, embroidery, both watercolors and acrylic paint, the interior of security envelopes, old trumpet music (from the library sale), a few rubber stamps; and even more. Most of the stuff we used would make a traditional scrapbooker head to the fainting couch – almost none of it was acid free. We aren’t worrying about that. This is for us, not posterity; our inheritors are probably not interested.

For these 2 pages, I started by gluing down (I use glue sticks) pages from an old novel, then painting them yellow and green to match the cut-outs I was going to use. Then I painted a border around both pages to repeat the border in the cut-out. Using a pair of decorative scissors and a hole punch, I made the paper lace to go under the fireplace picture (which I had glued in). Using watercolors, I painted a little house, a bunch of flowers and little yellow hearts. For added dimension I wanted them to be a little thicker, so I made my own chipboard pieces by gluing them onto the cereal boxes, then cut them out and sanded the edges. The little house had a hole punched in the top and threaded with pearl embroidery cotton to hang on the binder ring.

I love books and it’s fun making my own. It can be about anything I want it to be. My efforts won’t ever be featured in Cloth, Paper, Scissors or a Stampington magazine, but I really enjoy it, it costs almost nothing and as they say, it’s cheaper than therapy.

Linked to:
Frugal Friday on Life as Mom.


Filed under Altered Books, Crafts - Paper, Family, Free, Thrift, Using What You Have