The Art of Paper Filigree

This blog is to celebrate the things I enjoy making. This includes quilling art, crafts, and cooking recipes and ideas, as well as some musings. I enjoy sharing ideas. By all means, if you want to borrow an art idea, go for it. But please, make it your own; don't just copy. If you've never heard of quilling art, I hope this introduces it as an art form and possible hobby. And I hope the pages to the right of the quilling blog posts offer up information, ideas and inspiration.

Enjoy your visit! If you have questions or comments, by all means share.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lo-Tech Note Clips

No, I said "note" clips. Hehe.

Yeah, they're just cute, fun little items for market. There's a magnet affixed to the back so it can be stuck to the fridge, or any metal surface. Good for that running shopping list that everyone can add to. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Getting Ready for Market

Yes, I've decided to do the Market again this summer. But I'm getting a bit old I think, to schlepp across the parking lot with boxes and boxes of jams and jellies. So I've decided that I'll bring 3 cases of them (3 dozen jars) to each market, for the bread and butter, so to speak. The rest will be other things, such as quilling art, dragon bags, nature craft kits, etc. Two years ago when I did the Market, I noticed that the little things sell, the more ambitious pieces, not so much. So that's the approach I'm taking. That means it's time to get busy on those little lovelies that will actually sell. I remember I couldn't make enough cards and tags, so I'm making just a bunch of 'em.

I also noticed that the blank cards were the most popular, so while I'll make some Happy Birthday, Anniversary, Get Well and New Baby cards, most of my cards will be blank for people to write their own messages. And I'm doing mixed media cards as well ~ Photo Art cards, photo art and verse, quilling art, and some cards with all three.

So, enough of Freaky Fish and Fancy Flowers for the moment.... now I'm just having some simple fun. :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fancy Freaky Fish!

Ok, ever since I saw a fancy fish on the home page of my quilling art supply company, I've wanted to make one. There wasn't a kit. At least, not that I could find. I didn't want to just copy anyway. I just wanted to take the idea and run with it. So that's what I did.

Curled paper. Single curls. Double curls. I made the body separate from the tail. I put a "shadow" behind the head. It's a tropical, topical, fancy, freaky, crazy fish. I mounted it on blue-green carding, added sea grasses and kelp-type thingies, a school of smaller fish, a "fly" hook with line.

The frame came with a border and smaller opening, so I fixed it up larger using balsa wood, and used sandpaper for a "sandy" bottom. Then I added shells and a river rock.
The plastic frame was black, so I sprayed a little blue and white Krylon on there to lighten it up. I wound up backing the picture with bristol board just to firm it up.

To be honest, I don't think it's nearly as good as the fish I saw on my supply store site, but I like it. This is a cool freaky fish. And it's mine.

P.S. I'll add my supply site to my links. Should have done it sooner! ;o)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Candles from recycled wax!

There is nothing like the glow of a homemade candle.

Well, it's Roll up the Rim time at Tim Horton's and that gave me an idea. I had all these little bits and pieces of wax accumulated over the winter, along with candle bottoms from previous efforts. I don't discard my bits of wax. I make candles with them. You just need disposable coffee cups, some candle wicking, a nail, a few pencils, tape, a glue gun and an expendable pot that you'll only use for wax. I bought a little enamel pot with a spout just for this. (Some candle-making sites recommend a double boiler, but I've never found it necessary as long as you have the patience to use low heat.) My little pot wasn't expensive, and when I'm not making candles, that's where I store the little bits of wax I collect from tea lites and other candles that I burn over the winter.... until it's full that is, then I just put the overflow into a can.
Make sure the cardboard cup is clean, then poke a hole dead center in the bottom with a nail. Feed your wicking through, leaving an inch sticking out. Tape it down, then put a blob of hot glue from the glue gun over the hole. This not only holds the wick in place for sure, but prevents wax leakage.

Turn the cup over and center the wick, wrapping it a couple times around a pencil that you place across the cup. Tape it in place, so the wick is taut. It doesn't hurt to tape the pencil into place on the sides too, just to make sure it doesn't move while you're pouring hot wax. Now your candle mold is ready.

Put bits and pieces of wax into the your pot over low heat. Be patient. Do not leave warming wax unattended. Parafin is a petroleum product and will burn if left to overheat. I like bee's wax candles, so I just use a mixture of waxes as they come to hand. You can control the colour of your candle by using waxes of similar hue, such as reds with orange, yellow, etc., to get a sunshiny colour, or blues and greens together. If you mix them all, you'll get a brown candle, so it's important to know how to mix colours for best results. Of course, you can also buy candle colourings at most craft stores when you go to buy your wicking. :) It's also nice to add some scent and this is best accomplished, I find, with essential oils such as cinnamon, lemon, or any scent that you like.

I make my candles in two layers, filling the bottom of the cup (which will be the top of the candle) with one batch of melted wax. Just warm it till it's all melted, stirring with a spoon. When there is no wax residue left on the spoon, it's warm enough. Don't heat up too much at once or warm it too long, because the wax will be overheated and won't harden up nicely. That's why doing the candle in layers works. I heat up half a candle worth, pour it in, do another batch and start another candle in another cup. Then heat another batch. By this time, the wax in the first cup should be clouding over, and that's when it's time to pour on the second layer. It's especially important to wait for the first layer to start to harden a bit if you're using different colours for each layer. (Two tone looks good!)

When the cup is full, just let it harden. Now, if you look up directions for candle-making, some will tell you to poke at the wax as it hardens to prevent it from dipping in at the top. But with this method, the top is going to the be bottom of your candle, so don't worry about that deep hole that may form in the center as it solidifies. Just save a little wax to heat up again when all the candles are hardened and fill in the holes, but not right to the edge of the candle, or it will show. When that is hardened, the candle is done. Peel off the paper cup, carefully removing the glue-gun glue from around the wick. Polish with an old stocking, trim the wick, and voila! A lovely candle.

These make great gifts for the person who has everything. You just need to add a little decoration, like a ribbon or raffia paper or something like that, just so your recipient knows to remove it before burning. Enjoy!