Saturday, March 23, 2019

AFCI Designer Swag Bag Challenge

Welcome to the AFCI Designer Section Challenge Blog Hop!

At Creativation in January members of the Designer Section were gifted a swag bag of fun products from a variety of manufacturers. I have joined in with a small group of my designer friends to challenge ourselves: select at least 5 of the products and create a unique project. You will find a complete list of our wonderful sponsors and the materials they provided at the end of my post. And now, it is time to play...

I jumped at the chance to play with polymer clay from Sculpey® as it is something I have never really tried before.  Sculpey® Soufflé is extremely lightweight, comes in a lot of colors, and is perfect for jewelry making. I sliced off a piece of Turnip Souffle and conditioned it in my thrift store find pasta machine. 

I looked around on the internet and found a slightly advanced technique I loved called the Sutton Slice.  Basically you push clay into a rubber stamp and shave it off with a very sharp blade.  For this effect it is really important to not have any clay left on the surface of the stamp, just in the recesses.  Let's just say I did my best! 

The next step was to take a second color (I chose Poppy Seed, which is black.) and roll it out and then press it on top of the stamp, covering the first color.  Then you peel back the rubber stamp to reveal your creation.  (That is a pretty basic explanation but there are lots of great tutorials if you use the Google!) 

I used a biscuit cutter to cut out the best looking section I could find, poked holes on opposite sides of the circle, and then baked it according to the manufacturer's instructions (275° for 30 minutes per 1/4" thickness).  I think it turned out pretty great for a first timer, don't you?

I decided to add some details and doodles with the Spectrum Noir Metallic marker supplied by Crafter's Companion and then I set it aside.

Next up I reached for the Crafter's Pack of foil from Rinea. It is actually double sided paper foil, comes in a wide range of colors and measures 6"x12" which is the perfect size for my needs. 

The first thing I did with that beautiful, shiny and unblemished foil was to carefully crumble it all up!  And I do mean carefully because the point is to add texture, not tears!  When it was all wrinkled up to my satisfaction I smoothed it out and used double sided adhesive sheets to adhere it to a piece of 6"x12" matboard. I did this twice so that I had 2 pieces.

I die cut the matboard using the Eileen Hull Journal die from Sizzix.  Just look at all that gorgeous texture!! 

To really show off the texture I painted over it with acrylic paint from my stash (I was trying to match the Turnip clay I had used previously), not trying to get full coverage.  I actually wanted a lot of the gold Rinea foil showing through. After it had dried I painted over the whole thing with black paint and then used a paper towel to rub most of it off before it dried.

I ended up with a really cool finish with lots of subtle shine and color.  

Once the paint had dried again, I applied Beacon Jewel Tac Jewelry Glue™ along the spines... 

...and overlapped and joined the covers.  I also threaded gold elastic through the holes at the top and bottom.  The elastic also holds the covers together and provides a place on the inside to add signatures.  

At this point it was time to make the inside as pretty as the outside!  I painted it solid black and then pulled out the Prismatic Stencil from The Crafter's Workshop and Extreme Sheen 24k Gold acrylic paint from Deco Art.  I sponged over and around the stencil on the inside of the front and back covers. I love that mandala design!  It is so on trend right now!

I used the end of my paint brush to add dots to my mandalas using all the paints DecoArt provided... 

I also used the Spectrum Noir marker again to add in some teeny, tiny little dots. 

Having the stenciled outline of the mandala made it really easy and relaxing to just add the decorative touches.  It was really fun and I  could have done more but I had to make myself stop at some point!  Here's a peek at the finished inside covers.

Sculpey® had also provided a bottle of liquid bakeable medium and a mandala mold that you can put in the oven! I squeezed out the liquid, squeegeed it into the mold, and baked according to directions.  (300° for 15 minutes per 1/4" of thickness)  

Look at how beautiful and delicate they are!  But don't be fooled, they are very sturdy!

I realized  too late that I should have done a better job of cleaning off the extra Liquid Sculpey® before I baked it.  The lacy mandala had a thin film covering a lot of the holes.  I took them over the sink and gave them a good scrubbing with my vegetable brush - I told you - sturdy!  It did not remove everything, but my mandala looked a lot better!

I decided to add some pink mica powder to the Liquid Sculpey® to see if I could get a different color.  I mixed it on my craft mat...

...and also dusted the bakeable silicone mold with the powder. 

The pink mandalas came out even better than I imagined,but I set them aside for now.

I wanted to add signatures to the inside of my journal.  To decorate the covers I arranged some of the 3D Foam Squares from Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L into a pattern.  I dusted them with gold glitter... 

...and then added in a stacked mandala from the Liquid Sculpey®. 

And now, drumroll please!  Let's see how it all comes together!  Here's my journal:

This is the outside of the journal as it lays open on a table.

I used the Sutton Slice piece to decorate an elastic used to hold the journal closed. 

And here you can see the inside of the journal and the first signature.  

I really am happy with how it turned out and I learned so much just playing with the products!  I may have developed a new addiction or two!

Here are links to the other Designers who decided to play along with this challenge!  I am really curious to see what they came up with, aren't you?  I wonder if they used the same combination of products?  Surprises and inspiration ahead!

Susie Bentz (you are here!)

Thanks so much for joining us!  

Sponsors & Materials for Journal:
Rinea - Crafter's Pack: Glossy - Ruby/Gold
DecoArt - Extreme Sheen™ Metallic Paint - 24K Gold
DecoArt - Americana® Acrylic Paint, Peony Pink
DecoArt - Americana® Decor™ Chalky Finish, Lace
The Crafter's Workshop - Prismatic 6" stencil, TCW802s
Sculpey® Clay - Soufflé Oven Bake Clay:Turnip, Poppy Seed; Silicone Bakeable Mold Mandala; Liquid Sculpey® Liquid Polymer Clay - Pearl
Beacon Adhesives - Dazzle Tac Jewelry Glue™
Crafter's Companion - Spectrum Noir™ Metallic pen, Gold Nugget
Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L - 3D Foam Squares

Other materials:
Sizzix Journal Scoreboard XL die
Sizzix Sizzles Matboard
Adhesive sheets, double sided
Elastic cord, gold
Acrylic paint: black, purple flash

Friday, March 22, 2019

Beach Canvas with Mod Podge Ultra Spray

Hello and welcome to the March Designer Crafts Connection Blog Hop!

This month we are partnering with Plaid and showcasing an exciting new product: Mod Podge Ultra Spray.

Crafters have been asking for a medium that can glue and seal, with no brush strokes, and Plaid has delivered! Mod Podge Ultra Spray has all the same benefits you have loved over the years and now there's more:  it can be used for indoor and outdoor projects, it dries non-tacky and it is strong enough to hold and seal heavy items!   It comes in two finishes, gloss and matte.  I received a bottle of the matte finish and designed a mixed media canvas incorporating a variety of materials. Let's take a look!

I started with a canvas panel and used inks to create a horizon line and a setting sun.  I heat set the ink and...

...reached for these fish themed paper napkins.  They were 3 ply, so I carefully removed 2 layers and tore one of them into the desired shape.

I primed the Mod Podge Ultra Spray by gently shaking the bottle for 15 seconds and squirting in a trash bag a few times.  I sprayed the surface of the canvas panel, positioned the napkin, and sprayed again on top.  I intentionally left wrinkles in the napkin because I liked the texture but I did have time to arrange those wrinkles around!  At this point I left the canvas to dry overnight, being careful to raise it up on a small box lid so that it didn't stick to the paper below it as it dried!
NOTE:  Be sure to clean the nozzle with a baby wipe to keep it from sealing - because that is what it does best - and cap it when you are done.

The next day I primed the Mod Podge Ultra Spray again as I was getting started.  Time to add a few things!  I sprayed the canvas then placed cork and chipboard words...

...sequins and more die cut cork...

...more sequins and another layer of napkin fish...


...and a dusting of sugar white sand from the beaches of northwest Florida's Gulf Coast!

And here is the most amazing thing - Mod Podge Ultra Spray is all that is holding these seashells in place!  Seriously! I did have to spray them a second time, but I honestly think that was because I didn't wait long enough after I added the sand. You need to wait at least 4 hours for it to set so don't be an impatient crafter like me!  :)

I did one last spray across the entire surface and left it to dry overnight.  Ta-dah!

Check out the other stops along the blog hop for more ideas and inspiration!
Next stop is HERE  with  Erin Reed!

You can find the master list at 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you find some time to play today!  Susie

Materials for Beach Canvas:

Plaid Mod Podge Ultra Spray, Matte
Clearsnap ColorBox Blends - Uniform, Sunshine, Golden, Stop, Bay
Want2Scrap - Fancy Chipboard Word, Paradise - Large
Sizzix - Adventure Words & Vacation Words Thinlits
Canvas Panel

Monday, March 18, 2019

Spring Treasure Box with Eileen Hull

Hello crafty friends!  This month the Eileen Hull Inspiration Team is sharing items with a Spring Things theme.  I am still so in love with her new Treasure Box die so I made one featuring butterflies and flowers - and a new technique for the lid!

I started with 2 pieces of mat board and applied double sided adhesive sheets from Therm O Web on one side.  On top of that I adhered  floral paper from the DCWV Pumpkin Spice Premium Stack.  On the other side I used Eileen Hull's Melon ColorBox Blends Ink and some water to create a watercolor effect.

At this point I used the Treasure Box die to cut the prepared mat board. You can find a full tutorial on cutting and assembly in one of my previous posts - here.  

I assembled the lid and put the die cut top on the inside of the lid.  I added Supertape on the top of the tabs.

I cut an extra piece of mat board that measures 5.25" x 3.25" for the top of the box.  I covered one side with double sided adhesive sheets and adhered striped green paper from the same paper stack.  I used the Mover and Shaper die from Eileen's Trinket Box die to cut an oval in this piece.

I adhered clear acetate to cover the oval opening and then applied a sticker from the same premium paper stack. Isn't that floral spray beautiful?!  I adhered this new piece to the top of the treasure box lid and added a bit of lace around the edge.

I created a hinge for the box using Mixed Media Art tape.  Using the Melon Blends applicator I treated it to match the interior of the box.  To make sure the hold was secure, I applied a strip of 1/4" Supertape to the inside of the box and the lid...

...before applying the Mixed Media Art Tape.

I decided to add a dimensional element to the top of the box.  This butterfly was in my stash and I used the Melon Blends ink so that it coordinated with the box.  I added black details with a pen and then attached the butterfly with Therm O Web Zots.

I just love it when it all comes together!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you find some time to play today!  Susie

Materials for Spring Treasure Box:

Sizzix Eileen Hull Treasure Box XL Die
Sizzix EIleen Hull Trinket Box XL Die
Sizzix Little Sizzles Mat Board
Sizzix Movers and Shapers Shuttle
Clearsnap Eileen Hull ColorBox Blends - Melon
Therm O Web - Supertape, Mixed Media Art Tape, Easy Cut Adhesive Sheets, Zots
DCWV Premium Stack - Pumpkin Spice
Resin butterfly
Black permanent ink pen