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It's all about whimsy, art and Halloween!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Wire Bound Dog Book

Mini Keepsake Dog Book Candace Jedrowicz

Pets bring so much love into our lives! Here's a fun and easy way to create a loving tribute to the family pet, with humor and panache.  This mini book is die cut, decorated and then assembled with buttons and wire.

Watch my Mini Dog Adventure Book YouTube video tutorial! 


Buttons  - I used Blumenthal Lansing buttons
Aleene's Tacky Line Runner
Aleene's Tacky Glue Pen
Sizzix Originals - Album Cover & Page Die (or hand cut pages)
Cardboard for the book covers
Card stock for the pages and to cover the cardboard covers
Decorative card stock
Photos and/or drawings
Printed story
Embellisments - gems, tag board bits, letters, fibers and charms
Felt pen to edge the pages - I used black
20 Gauge wire - I used copper
Round nose pliers
Chain nose pliers
Wire cutters

1. Cut 2 covers and several pages.  Print the story with plenty of space to cut out the words and phrases.

2. Cover the cardboard book covers with decorative paper using the Tacky Line Runner.  Tape pages back to back, as well.

3. Edge the cover and pages with black felt pen.

4. Lay out the story and photos in order.  Cut backing for the photos from complementary papers. Add the spacer buttons which will line up with the spine holes on the front of each page. These will allow for lots of 3D embellishments. 

Mini Keepsake Dog Book Candace Jedrowicz Side

5. Tape photos and backing onto the pages.

6. Glue on buttons and embellishments.

7. Cut 3 6" pieces of wire.  Feed one wire through each set of spine holes.  Use the round nose pliers to wrap spirals on each end of wire, wrapping right up to the book.  The wire allows the book to open and close easily.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Featured in Favecrafts.com E-Book!

One of my projects is in Favecrafts.com new e-Book

It's called Wire Wrapped and Beaded Picnic Utensils and it's a super easy way to dress up your picnic flatware!  The e-Book is free to download and has lots of fabulous tutorials and recipes to make your summer gatherings spectacular!

Favecrafts.com is a treasury of crafts at your fingertips!  You can search anything at all there and learn everything about it!  Be sure to sign up for the newsletter to get up to date and relevant project info several times a week!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Traveling Roots: Gypsy Canvas


I am mesmerized by gypsy style.  It's not surprising that I would turn to that soulful, expressive style to tell a story about my own path.

Watch my Gypsy Canvas Wall Art YouTube video tutorial!

Aleene's Super Thick Tacky Glue
Aleene's Original Tacky Pen
6" x 6" Canvas
Gypsy caravan photo from Wikimedia commons
Decorative Paper - I used an embossed paper as a key part of my design
Black craft foam
Die cutter and dies - Tim Holtz Mini Bird and Cage, Tiny Tabs and Tags, Mini Lock and Key Set and Branch Tree
Doo dads - I used a polymer clay face (push mold Art Doll Faces), Tulip Beads in a Bottle dots in several colors (make them ahead on waxed paper so they'll peel right off) - or you can use anything you have to personalize
Metallic paste - copper
Lumiere paint - pink gold, blue, bronze and olive
Sand paper
Brown acrylic paint
Brown distress ink pad
Drill with 1/8" bit
Needle tool
6" piece of 20 gauge copper wire
Round nose pliers
Chain nose pliers
Assorted fibers

1. Cut decorative paper to fit front and sides of the canvas.  Glue in place with a thin, even coat of Super Thick Tacky Glue.  Allow to dry.

2. Cut 1 tree of embossed paper and one from black craft foam.  Glue together with Tacky Pen.  Allow to dry.  very gently run a finger tip dipped in copper metallic paste over the top of the embossed design.

3. Cut a 1" x 6" piece of foam.  Position the foam on the Branch Tree die so that it just covers 1/2" of the bottom of the die.  This leaves some foam sticking out, fold it over the top plate to avoid tearing.  Run it through the cutter.  Use a finger to paint olive Lumiere paint.

4. Cut a small tag from the Tiny Tabs and Tags die from foam and 1 from embossed paper.  Glue together,  Allow to dry.  Treat with copper metallic paste as you did with the tree.

5.  Paint your moon face with pink gold Lumiere.  Allow to dry.

6. Cut a foam key from the Mini Lock and Key Set and a cage and bird from the Mini bird and cage set.

7. Paint the key bronze, the birdcage copper and bronze and the bird blue with bronze beak and feet.  Glue the bird to the cage.  Allow to dry.

8. Sand the edges of the paper on the canvas until they are smooth and the canvas shows through.  Paint the exposed canvas with brown acrylic paint and spread a bit onto the papers.  Allow to dry.

9. Drill a hole in the center of the bottom of the canvas.

10. Fit the bottom of the tree into the strip of green foam and glue in place on the canvas using the Tacky Glue Pen.

11. Color the edges of the photo with distress ink and glue into place with the glue pen.

12. Add the foam key and Beads in a bottle dots with the glue pen.

13. Cut 12" of assorted fibers.  Feed them through the hole in the small tag and tie.  Glue the tag in place.

14. Make a hole in the top of the bird cage with the needle tool.

15. Wrap the copper wire around the round nose pliers and crimp with the chain nose pliers to make  loop.

16. Slide the bird cage on to the loop, slide the wire ends through the hole in the canvas and bend the ends down to secure it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Kitschy Shoe! Bless ya, Hon!

My latest kitschy art piece is an homage to "The Avenue" in Hampden, Maryland. An avenue immersed in the kitschy culture of Baltimore in the 1960's that was the frame for John Waters' movie Hairspray. A real high heel shoe, cut in half, serves as the foundation for this framed art.

Watch my Kitschy High Heel in Frame YouTube video tutorial!
Aleene's Super Thick Tacky Glue
Buttons - I used tons of gorgeous Blumenthal Lansing buttons
12" x 12" dimensional frame
One high heel shoe - cut in half length wise with a band saw using a carbide tip multi-purpose blade
Decorative paper
Gems, letters, tiny nick knacks, doo dads and memorabilia
Hot glue

1. Cover the inner sole of the shoe half with decorative paper.

2. Add layers of foam or whatever you have to be sure the shoe will have complete contact with the frame back. Use Super Thick Tacky Glue to attach the shoe to the background. Allow to dry overnight.

3. Place your message first - I used a postcard above the shoe, so the letters were arranged around it.

4. Add your embellishments - I glued a base layer of buttons on the shoe, then glued everything I could fit over that, keeping my favorite buttons visible.

5. Add any embellishments to the background. My only regret that I didn't have a tiny pink flamingo and horn-rimmed glasses to add!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Heart of the Belflower Tree

The Forgotten Language of Flowers
“In the early 18th century the Turkish "Secret Language of Flowers" was introduced to Europe by Lady Mary Wortley Montague, wife of the British ambassador to Constantinople. Flowers had long been a sign of romance but now lovers were able to send secret messages to each other by means of sending a posy of flowers. Each flower had a specific meaning and the order of arrangement had much to do with the intended "message". The French seem to have taken this idea to heart. In 1819 a French woman writing under the pen name of Madame Charlotte de la Tour (Louise Cortambert), wrote and published "Le Language des Fleurs" which offered seasonal floral and anecdotal advice to those wishing to send "secret" messages to each other.
The following list of flowers comes mainly from that original book but has been augmented to include some common flowers of today as some of those from yesteryear are unknown. Enjoy this glimpse into the past and keep this in mind the next time you send or receive flowers!”

Bell Flower: Constancy; Gratitude
                                   By joelessacredgrove.com

The process of creativity begins with a problem. That may sound silly, but, from that thought/problem comes the idea for a solution followed by the action of solving that problem. Let me take you through that process from mental seeds to physical tree with this fun and easy tutorial.

Watch my Wrapped Wire Beaded Tree YouTube video tutorial!

14 gauge wire - 10" or more
22 gauge wire - a roll of it
Round nose pliers
Wire cutters
Chain nose pliers
Hot glue
Frame - optional
Charms to hang on the tree - optional

1. Cut 2 pieces of 4' 14 gauge wire and fold in half.  Fold a bent wire 2" from the bend and bend in the opposite direction on both sides of the bend.

2. Pinch the two folded parts and twist. These will be roots. Repeat with the other 4" wire.

3. Cut a 2' piece of the 14 gauge wire and bend one end, twisting to make a 5th root.

4. Holding the roots together, begin twisting the tree truck wires together.  Add as many extra wires as desired to add bulk to your trunk.

5. Decide where the branches will open up and separate them.

6. Cut 20 or more 2" pieces of 22 gauge wire and fold them in half.  Twist each for added strength and thickness.

7. Begin wrapping the smaller wires around the trunk, working upward and around the branches until you have the look you want.

8. To add charms, curl the ends of the branches, slide the charm on and secure by completing the curl.  I made charms from purple flower shaped beads with gold bells and leaf beads.

9. To add into a frame make sure the roots and branches have a flattened back side

10. Make sure there are plenty of contact points between the frame, backing and tree for the glue to create a good bond.

P Wrapped Wire Beaded Tree Candace Jedrowicz

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Owl Mail

I've been having so much fun coming up with ways to make art mail!  Cake mail made from a sponge was too much fun NOT to explore further.  What else can be made from a sponge?  An owl postcard!  Hoo wants to try it?

Watch my Owl Mail YouTube video tutorial!

Aleene's Super Thick Tacky Glue
Grout Sponge, or smaller sponge
Tissue blade - it's a super thin razor blade used for polymer clay
Eileen Hull's Sizzix die Flowers with Heart Petals (optional - to use for the felt eyes)
Needle - a narrow 2" long one is best
Strong thread
Paint brush
Tooth brush (optional) I sued to pounce on the felt pieces to push glue deeper into the sponge
Owl Pattern
Owl Pattern for Felt Cutouts

1. Print and trace the owl pattern onto the sponge.

2. Use the tissue blade to saw the sponge carefully

3. Paint the whole sponge and allow to dry.

4. Cut eye, beak and wing patterns from felt.  My wings were ovals with flat bottoms and that worked for me.  Play with the pattern to get the look you like.

5. Using lots of glue, glue the felt eyes in place.  Pounce on the felt with the tooth brush to help the glue get into the sponge, if desired.

6. WHILE THE GLUE IS WET, sew the buttons in the center of the eyes, pulling slightly to make sink in to the sponge a bit.

7. Glue beak and wings in place.  Pounce with tooth brush, if desired.

8. Trace the sponge on cardstock and cut out.

9. Before gluing to the back of the sponge trim the cardstock to make sure no edge will stick out from the sponge.  Glue on and allow to dry.

10. When you address the postcard, remember that the post office will only deliver to the address that is lowest on the postcard and that they need room to put 2 stickers on it.

P Owl Mail Candace Jedrowicz

Patriotic CenterPiece

America celebrates its rich heritage with holidays that venerate those who gave their lives to protect her, those who work to keep her running and the brave souls who gave everything to make her a free country!  In our solemn ceremonies, observations and celebrations, we proudly display our flags.  Red White and Blue are everywhere, from garlands to banners, from hats to party decorations, and we do it BIG!  Here's super easy centerpiece to bring color and sparkle to all your patriotic get togethers!
Watch my Patriotic Centerpiece YouTubevideo tutorial!

Plastic patriotic hat
2 small flags
Block of Styrofoam cut to fit in the hat
12" tall red white and blue spray of shiny stars with weighted bottom wrapped in Mylar
Silk roses in red and white
12" tall spray of white - I took mine from another weighted spray
Wooden skewers
Hot glue
Glittered balls in red (optional)

1. Pour the marbles into the bottom of the upside down hat.

2. Put the Styrofoam block on the marbles.

3. Unwrap the Mylar from the bottom of the weighted red white and blue spray, and set in the center and fan it out.
*At this point I'd like to point out that I didn't glue mine together so it will come apart easily for storage, but you could certainly glue yours.

4. I bought my roses in bouquets, so I cut them off to place individually.  Begin adding roses, pushing the stems through the foam.  Angle the roses so that they fill in below the spray.

5. Cut the Mylar in 4 squares.  Hot glue one corner of each piece to a wooden skewer and twist to secure.  Push the Mylar pieces into the foam above the roses and around the spray.

6. Push the white spray onto one of the wires of the red white and blue spray so it stands highest in the center.

7. Push the 2 flags into the foam on opposite sides

8. Optional - glue red glitter balls around the brim of the hat.

Focal Bead Frame

Polymer clay is so much fun to experiment with! I've created the perfect frame for a beautiful little polymer clay heart.  The heart was made with layers of gorgeous, red foiled strips of clay and needed a dramatic, yet subtle frame.

Aleene's Original Tacky Glue
Focal bead - it could be anything at all
Black polymer clay
Pasta machine
Cookie cutters - 1 1/2" square and 3/4" square
Tissue blade
Needle tool
Knitting needle
Rubber stamp with lots of detail
Water spritzer
Metallic paste

1. Roll your clay out on the widest setting on your pasta machine - about 1/8".

2. Cut one large square.  Double the thickness of the clay and cut one more large square.

3. Spritz the rubber stamp with water and press it into the double thick square.

4. Center the smaller cookie cutter in the stamped piece and cut.

5. Place the open frame piece carefully on the background square and press gently in place.  Trim edges, if needed with the tissue blade or smooth with the knitting needle.

6. Use the needle tool to make a hole for hanging.  Bake according to directions.

7. Use a finger to rub metallic paste on the stamped side to accent the stamp detail.

8. Glue the focal bead in place.

Fun Recycled Gift Box

Bagel Box Gift Box Candace Jedrowicz
Admit it, you sometimes buy product because you want to use the box for a project!I love great big bagel boxes and here's how to make one into a lovely gift box! Grab your spray paint, felt and glitter and get ready to make some giftable magic!
Watch my From Bagel Box to Gift Box YouTube video tutorial!

Aleene's Original Tacky Glue Aleene's No Sew Fabric Glue
Bagel box Spray paint - I used silver
Felt - I used white
Old credit or gift card to use to spread glue
Decorative plastic or fabric - my decorative plastic had been wrapped around a bouquet of flowers Glitter glue - I used silver and gold
Wired ribbon - I used 2" wide gold ribbon

1. Spray the box with paint, inside and out. Allow to dry and spray on a second coat. Allow to dry.

2. Trace the sides of the box to make pattern for the felt that will be glued to the inside of the box up to the fold. Spread Tacky Glue on one inside side at a time and lay the felt into the glue. Press and smooth for firm attachment. Repeat for all sides. Optional: Cut decorative felt pieces that will be glued above the fold on the flaps. Use No Sew Glue around the edges

3. Cut plastic or fabric hearts to cover the perforated parts on the outside of the flaps. Glue in place. Allow to dry.

4. Add decorative details with glitter glue. Allow to dry.

5. Cut a 3' piece of wired ribbon to tie the handles together and make a pretty bow. P Bagel Box Gift Box Candace Jedrowicz