Friday, April 29, 2011

April Ampersand 18

This quilled ampersand has been waiting to be posted for far too long.

Have you tried quilling yet? It's a super satisfying project that can take as long as you want it to take. The trickiest part of making something like this is the measuring and drawing the ampersand shape. The kraft paper shape is a little tricky to get to stay together and standing up in the right position, but then filling it with the white curlicues is pretty fun and speedy.

And then it takes about 3 more minutes to take the frame out of its packaging, pop it open, and drop in the ampersand.

Want a little quilling in your life? You can get one of these ampersands or another monogram in the Anderson Ink shop.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April Ampersand 17

For my craft night ampersand, I somehow ended up with two books about butterflies and moths.

So what could I do except create an ampersand that a 10 year old girl would think was maybe just a little bit tacky?

I couldn't resist it. Butterfly ampersand!

You too will not resist the draw of the butterflies. Mwahahaha!

April Ampersand 16

I had a little impromptu craft night with my supremely talented friend Valori. We gave ourselves a rule: we had to make ampersands out of items from the Target dollar bins. Here's what Valori came up with:

Supplies: polka dot greeting cards and buttons

And the finished product:

How does she freehand these so neatly? It doesn't make any sense.

They even still work as cards, as long as your note is short and sweet.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April Ampersand 15

I think that punched tin can sometimes look sort of awesome, so I decided to give it a try. I started simple.

And here's how it looks in the magical twinkle of candlelight.

This was fun. I read somewhere once that the trick is to fill the can with water and then freeze it so that you don't bend the can with every hole you punch into it. That worked like a dream, except that the ice made the bottom of the can bow out when it expanded as it froze. Anybody know how to solve that problem in the future?

Monday, April 25, 2011

A sneak peek into May

I've been thinking about a new project for a little bit. Here's a hint:

I'm plotting to send a postcard each day in May. What do you think?

Want me to send you a postcard? Leave a note in the comments section and I'll put you on my list.

April Ampersand 14

On Easter, I also made a cake.

Can you see the ampersand? Look closer. Closer...

This post was sponsored by Perez Hilton.*

*This post was not sponsored by Perez Hilton.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

April Ampersand 13

Happy Easter, you lovelies. I've got a backlog of ampersands to share with you, but today I'll be taking these eggs to family dinner.

Our family has legendary and very vocal egg fights, and I've got a good about this year's batch. Does forgetting that eggs are boiling for 20 minutes strengthen or weaken the structural integrity of the eggshell? This is important.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Paper Perfume

Karl Lagerfeld is developing a perfume based on the smell of old books.

Swoon. Once he's done developing the fragrance, it's going to be sold inside a hollowed out hardbound book. I think I might love him.

Friday, April 15, 2011

April Ampersand 12

In a recent fit of de-cluttering, I took apart my inspiration board by my desk and re-hung it in a better location. (You saw part of my inspiration board on my first post about the April Ampersand project.)
When I cleared off my inspiration board, I found several green paint chips. I clearly have some sort of problem.

These paint chips were a fun, quick ampersand project to keep my hands busy while I watched Dexter on dvd.

Things I learned during this project:
  • My ruler is not completely straight.
  • It weirds me out when Dexter day-dreams his dad.
  • My dining table has officially run out of room for working on craft projects without putting anything away.
I made ampersands and found a use for a little bit of clutter. I declare today a success.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

April Ampersand 11

Have I mentioned that I own seven typewriters? It's an addiction, and other than writing love letters at a Mad Men-themed birthday party, I usually don't have a use for my darling typewriters.

Until now. I sketched out a flourish-y (we're pretending that's a word) ampersand, then used it as a template for a shape to recreate with my typewriter. There was plenty of trial and possibly even more error, but it worked out, more or less.

This is my blue Corona. It's the first typewriter I bought, and the only one that still has any ink.

Most of the rows of letters spell "ampersand" if you read them vertically.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April Ampersand 10

I was inspired by a photo that I saw on Pinterest:

Cute, right? Sadly, I didn't reference this photo while I was making my washi tape ampersand, and so mine is a very poor version.

Sigh. On the bright side, though, I like having an excuse to use washi tape. It's adorable and I love how it feels. Am I weird?

Don't answer that.

Monday, April 11, 2011

April Ampersand 9

I think this is my favorite so far.

You might say that this matryoshka doll is a little lopsided, but I would say that it is charmingly homemade.

The ampersand is based on a font called Friska, but... plantified.

And once I got to the embroidery portion, it came together quickly.
First I sketched out a design, then went over the lines with a thin black marker and scanned in the image.
There are lots of ways to get a pattern from your head or a piece of paper onto fabric for embroidery. You could use iron-on embroidery patterns or carbonless paper or a temporary marking pen. I decided to ignore all of these useful tools, however, in favor of something more ghetto.
I fear that may be said about more things in my life than I'd like to admit.
Anyway, if you want to be ghetto like me, you can scribble on the back side of the paper, then go over the lines with a pen or pencil so that the graphite transfers to the fabric.

I went over the lines again with pencil to make them more visible.

Finally, it was time to start embroidering. And only a few hours later... ta-DA!

Do you want to make a doll of your own? You can grab this image, print it out, and get to stitching.

This pattern is for non-commercial use only. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April Ampersand 8

My brother is talented.

He makes amazing snowflakes, so I asked him to help with some ampersand snowflakes, and I think they're so pretty.
Jeff made them in two sizes:

Strong work, right?

Plus, I got to hang out with him while he figured them out. Action shots:

There is math involved, so it's over my head.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

April Ampersand 7

Here's my question for you:

Is it wrong to make a plush ampersand and not to give it a face? I think it might be.

Should I go back and add googly eyes and a smile? Please vote:

Friday, April 8, 2011

April Ampersand 6

Today's ampersand is a linocut. And as a special treat (I hope), I show you how to make one of your own.

This photo is reversed to show you what the finished linocut would look like printed.

First, decide what you want to cut. This time around, I chose the ampersand from a font called Saphir. I printed out an image that was the right size, then traced it onto the block. Make sure that the image is reversed, because that way it'll print correctly.

Next I went over the lines with a marker so that they wouldn't rub off.

Then start cutting away everything that you don't want to print. First I cut away the large areas, then go in to cut away the edges and the smaller details.
I am speaking from experience when I advise you to cut away from your body and hands. As soon as you cut towards the thumb on your left hand, your blade will slip and gash your hand. It will hurt.

This time, however, I escaped unscathed. Here's the finished linocut.

I used block printing ink and a brayer to roll a smooth layer of ink onto the block for printing.

But, true confessions: I took photos before work one morning and didn't have time to print. That's why you got the flipped photo up at the top there. I'll save the printing for another day.

Still, I think even the inked up linocut is sort of pretty.