Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

If you are like our family it has been a busy Halloweekend. We are all set to hit the streets and do some trick-or-treating this evening. It is hard to have Halloween on a weeknight since all the kids still have to go to school the next morning. Today, I am sharing an easy Halloween project I made for our front porch. There were a few moments where I wasn’t sure that it was going to turn out but in the end I think it turned out pretty cute.

Basic Craft Pumpkin Makeover!!
Basic Craft Pumpkin Makeover!!

This little black and white pumpkin started life as a black craft pumpkin. I had found a tutorial that gave directions on creating the stem which you can view here. I didn’t really like the blue part of it but loved the stem. I knew that I had some paper clay just hanging out that was dying to get used. Well, as it turns out that clay was about 90% dried out but in the vein of frugality I tried to make it work.

To start with the stem you make a base structure using foil and then cover that with paper clay. Well, as it turns out that clay doing nothing was about 90% dried out but in the vein of frugality I tried to make it work. Naturally, this wasn’t the best idea. The stem just didn’t look right. That’s what I get trying to use 10-year-old clay. So I broke down and bought a brand new package and what I had attributed to sub-par sculpting, was in fact, more related to working with an inferior product. I applied the new clay over the old clay which made the stem a little larger than I was initially planning, but these things happen.

Halloween Pumpkin
Halloween Pumpkin

Once I had my basic shape created, I added the lines using a few clay tools and toothpicks. I added a thin rope of clay and added the details with a clay tool. This was all set aside to dry for a few days. I live in a dry climate but it still took awhile for the clay to completely cure.

Next step was to paint my stem with brown craft paint. It took a few different paint brushes to  all of the paint the stem with the twisting and little crevices. Then came painting the body. I painted the white stripes first, again just using a white craft paint. It took about three coats to fully cover the paint. I then painted the spaces with black craft paint. I allowed the paint to dry between coats but I was able to get it painted in about a day. The craft paint dried very quickly.

Black & White striped  Halloween pumpkin
Black & White striped Halloween pumpkin

I then aged the body painting. To do this, I created a very basic wash by taking brown craft paint and mixing it with a lot of water. I would then brush on the wash and then using a paper towel wipe the excess away. I did this about three times over the whole pumpkin before I was happy with it.

Next, came the stem, I applied DecoArt® Metallic Lustre™ Wax Finish in Gold Rush. I just brushed it on with a stencil brush and then wiped any excess off with a paper towel. Once the whole pumpkin was dry I gave it two coats of Clear Finish in Matte. I used Matte because it was what I had on hand, although I think that I might go with a Gloss it I make another one. That was it! This was a really fun project. Here is our porch skeleton holding the pumpkin.

Skeleton holding painted pumpkin
Skeleton holding painted pumpkin

My daughter says that this skeleton is a girl just in case you were wondering. I am planning to have her hold our candy bowl when we are out trick or treating so the pumpkin will have to find a new home but until then I thought that this was fun.

The Hubby's Pumpkin
The Hubby’s Pumpkin

Just so you know that I am not the only creator in the family I am sharing the pumpkin my husband carved. I think it is perfect!

Have a wonderful and safe Halloween!

 

Sleepy Hollow Toothpick Doll

Another little lady for you today and this one has a definite Halloween vibe. This doll was inspired by Christina Ricci’s black and white striped gown from the movie Sleepy Hollow. Really isn’t it fantastic?

I decided to make my doll with a dark purple and pink stripes versus the black and white. I gave her a three-tiered bustle and simplified the sleeves. I also gave her an updo, I felt like the dress was too fancy to

Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow

As you can see, the stripes were in full effect! These really a very long time but I think that they are mostly straight. I sometimes have trouble getting things to line up.

Back view - Sleepy Hollow toothpick Doll
Back view – Sleepy Hollow toothpick Doll

Here is the back view and you can see the multiple layers of “gathering.” As with my previous dolls, the curls in her hair were created by wrapping the embroidery floss around a toothpick.

Side View - Sleepy Hollow Doll
Side View – Sleepy Hollow Doll

This doll also has a few roses in her hair. I often work on my non-stick craft mat when I make these dolls, this allows me to create an element on the mat and then remove it and glue it onto the doll. This is how I created the roses.

3" toothpick Doll. Created by Jennifer Miner
3″ Sleep Hollow toothpick Doll. Created by Jennifer Miner

Here you can see the embroidery  floss of her bustle/gathering on the back.

Inspired by Christina Ricci's costume in Sleepy Hollow
Inspired by Christina Ricci’s costume in Sleepy Hollow

According to the website Costumer’s Guide to Movies, this film is set in 1799 but the dresses in the movie are closer to  the dresses of the 1780s. Not that this really matters too much to me with my dolls since really no one would check these for period accuracy but it does help me when using references. I have a very basic costume book that I often reference for ideas or when I need help with a particular era.

I have been working on a video following the creation of a doll but alas, I have have had to pretty much to blow up this project for the moment as something was just not working. However, fear not. I think that I know how to remedy my problem and will start work on the new doll as soon as I can. I am also crocheting like a mad woman and I have three afghans in various stages around the house.

Thank you for stopping by!

Cheers

Honey Damask Card

Hello All,

I am back with another card today, this one features damask and Tim Holtz’s darling layered bee die. This was another fun venture into Distress Ink and layer after layering!

Haney & Damask Card by Jennifer Miner
Haney & Damask Card by Jennifer Miner

I started this card by creating the stenciled damask layer. I started by covering my paper with Distress Ink in Wild Honey. Once I had that as I wanted it, I then inked with Tumbled Glass, Salty Ocean, and Peacock Feather Distress Ink through the Tim Holtz Gothic Stencil.  Next, I stamped the French Script Background Stamp over my damask using Peacock Feathers. The last step for this layer was a quick spritz with Glimmer Mist in Sunlight.

Distress Ink, Damask, and the Layered Bee Die make up this fun Honey Damask Card
Distress Ink, Damask, and the Layered Bee Die make up this fun Honey Damask Card

Next, I started on the bee. I used the Tim Holtz Layered Bee Die and Texture Fade (aka embossing folder) to add the detail using white cardstock. I then spritzed my bee with Mustard Color Shine and Dragonfly Glimmer Mist. I had cut an extra bee shape, one without texture since this was to be the bee’s shadow. I colored this using Walnut Stain Distress Stain and Glimmer Glam in Hay Ride this gave the shadow a little shimmer. The bee and shadow had some quiet time to dry.

Honey Damask by Jennifer Miner
Honey Damask by Jennifer Miner

Then it was on to the background. This was inked with Tea dye, Vintage Photo, and Brushed Corduroy. I then added the damask stamp in Brushed Corduroy over this. I gave my stamp a blotchy application for a more distress look.

I then cut two curvy squares from white cardstock. The larger was inked with Wild Honey. The small of the two was inked with Antique Linen and then I stamped the same damask stamp this time using Frayed Burlap Distress Ink.

Tim Holtz Inspired Card
Tim Holtz Inspired Card

Next, I created the sentiment banner, I stamped the frame and then sentiment on a scrap of paper and then fussy cut them out. Next, I added an application of Antique Linen ink. I adhered my squares together and added my banner with a set of copper brads. I then assembled my card, added a little additional distressing with my Edge Distressing tool. I added the ribbon detail using an adhesive strip of lace over a satin ribbon. I then added the Prima paper flowers, adhesive pearls, and adhesive gems. The top layer of the bee die was adhered using pop-dots. Thank you for popping by today. have a wonderful day.

Materials

Paper: Neenah Solar White

Ink: Wild Honey, Tumbled Glass, Salty Ocean, Peacock Feathers, Tea Dye, Vintage Photo, Brushed Corduroy, Frayed Burlap and Antique Linen Distress Ink – Ranger

Stamps: Damask – Great Impressions, French Script – Stampin’ Up, Saying Stuff – Tim Holtz for Stampers Anonymous

Other: Sunlight & Dragon Fly Glimmer Mist & Mustard Color Shine by Heidi Swapp, Walnut Stain Distress Stain – Ranger, Hay Ride Glimmer Glam – Tattered Angels, Lace on a Roll & Teal 3/8″ Stain Ribbon – Recollections, Clear Gems – Me & My Big Ideas, Pearls – Doodlebug Designs, Gothic Stencil – Stampers Anonymous, Layered Bee Die – Sizzix, Copper brads – Creative Impressions, Paper Flowers – Prima

Hope Is Card

Hi,

Today’s card was inspired by the current Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge – Think Pink. This was in honor of October’s status as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  I dug out a retired stamp set from Stampin’ Up called Hope Is. . . I paired this with another oldie but goodie, In the Garden stamp set from Fancy Pants Design. I love these large 12×12 sets from Fancy Pants and I really wish that they made more stamp sets. I have also made a quick video for this card. For some reason, I could not remember the name and color of Liquid Pearls in White Opal while I was recording. So, I shall be sure that you all know what that product is called. You may also notice that I added some captions in the video to that effect. If you can “Peanut Gallery” yourself I think that I just did. Without further ado, here is my card for today.

Hope Is . . Created by Jennifer Miner
Hope Is . . Created by Jennifer Miner

 

I started this card with a quarter sheet of white cardstock which I stamped the first large stamp image. I used Festive Berries Distress Ink and my MISTI to accomplish this. Next, I stamped a flourish using Worn Lipstick Distress Ink.  I also added another small flourish in Festive Berries. Last, but not least I added the sentiment using Festive Berries.

Stamps from Stampin' Up & Fancy Pants Designs
Stamps from Stampin’ Up & Fancy Pants Designs

hope-6

Now that I had my stamping done, I added the direct-to-paper ink in Spun Sugar, Worn Lipstick and a tiny bit of Festive Berries on the very edge. I also went back over the Festive Berries with Worn Lipstick to smooth out the color transition.

Monochromatic Card
Monochromatic Card

Once, the ink was dry I added tiny Liquid Pearl accents. I followed the natural lines and curves in my stamping to accent the shapes. I also added just a bit of Stickles in Glam Pink and Fruit Punch. I should mention that I was able to take a trip to my closest independent scrapbook store and came home with more Stickles this weekend. I think I might be part magpie, the shiny and glitter just gets to me. I let the Stickles dry overnight and then added round adhesive gems and small adhesive pearls.

Stickles & Pink by Jennifer Miner
Stickles & Pink by Jennifer Miner

The whole card was mounted to a piece of Rose Red cardstock which I trimmed down to give it a very narrow border. This all went to a top fold card  and that was it. I like the monochromatic feel of this card.

Created by Jennifer Miner
Created by Jennifer Miner

Materials

Stamps: In The Garden – Fancy Pants Designs & Hope Is. . . – Stampin’ Up

Ink: Spun Sugar, Worn Lipstick, and Festive Berries

Other: Glam Pink & Fruit Punch Stickles – Ranger, Liquid Pearls in White Opal – Ranger, Adhesive Pearls – Recollections, Pink Round Gems – Elements by Mark Richards

Paper: Neenah Solar White & Rose Red – Stampin’ Up

Little Liquid Pearls dots
Little Liquid Pearls dots

 

 

Lady in Green Toothpick Doll

Today, I will be sharing another toothpick doll. She is inspired by mid 17th Century fashion although I say that with a heavy emphasis on “inspired.”

Lady in Green Toothpick Doll
Lady in Green Toothpick Doll

She is wearing a green and purple dress with triple puff sleeves. Let me tell you that those sleeves were no easy task. Remember she is only made from toothpicks, embroidery floss, and glue. Each puff has layers of floss underneath to create the shape.

lady-in-green-3
Lady in Green – view from the side

She also has fringe on her bodice and buttons down the front and small overskirt on the back.

lady-in-green-4
Toothpick Doll – made from toothpicks and embroidery floss and lots of glue

I made her hair is a combination of ringlets and braids. As in the other dolls, the ringlets were created by wrapping damp floss around a round toothpick and allowing it to dry overnight.

lady-in-green-5
By Jennifer Miner

As I look at this doll, I have to say that I love these sleeves. I think that I am far enough away from the time that I made her that I have forgotten how hard they were to make.

Lady in Green - View from the back
Lady in Green – View from the back

I think that if I created this doll again I would give her darker hair or maybe add an additional color of floss because the really light hair makes it a little hard to see her hairdo. Each of these complex dolls can take quite a long time to create since I have to leave dry time and then there is that crazy thing called life that gets in the way. Most of these dolls were created over the last five years and have just been quietly sitting on the shelve or in boxes. The “fancy” dolls have actually been living in a cigar box for awhile. I am happy that I am getting these ladies out and sharing them with the world. Cheers!

Easy Crochet Blanket

Hello.

Back again, and this time with another non-card project. Today, I will be sharing an easy crochet afghan that I made for my husband. It was very basic and worked up fairly quickly. You could easily take this and change the color scheme to suit your needs.

Afghan by Jennifer Miner
Afghan by Jennifer Miner

This project began as so many do, on Pinterest. Oh, my beloved Pinterest. I sometimes call Pinterest my “Pusher,” because I feel like it is in some darkened alley telling me that I need  ‘just one more project,” or that “I can do that,” or the very devious “that doesn’t look that hard.” These all get me, but I love me some Pinterest people. So, okay where was I? Ah yes, the crocheted blanket.  I found this project, https://pysseldrommar.com/2015/03/29/antligen-tillbaka-monster-virkad-och-vavd-plad/. This darling striped baby blanket. It is seriously darling and looked pretty easy. My hubby had been asking for a blanket of his own and he really liked this one.

Easy Crochet Afghan
Easy Crochet Afghan

I started out creating in basically the same way she describes, but once I got to weaving in the strands of color it was clear that they were too thin for the width of the blanket. (Don’t worry, I actually tested this out on a small scale before crocheting up a whole blanket).

Lovely bright stripes
Lovely bright stripes

So, I went a different route. I started with the dark gray and double crocheted ten rows then I created the color stripes. For the color stripes, I used a half-double stitch and alternated with my dark gray. I I just kept repeating this until I had a blanket as long as I wanted. AKA – when I finally ran out of the yarn.

Simple and easy Crochet Afghan
Simple and easy Crochet Afghan

I then sewed my yarn tails in  and added the simple border. This was just a simple single crochet in gray and bright blue. I told you it was easy. It was just what ye’ old hubbs was looking for and I was pleased with the overall product. My one issue is that I didn’t get the stitch count exactly right on the border and there is a little puckering but I decided that it wasn’t that big of a deal and so I let it go and moved on.

Crochet Afghan by Jennifer Miner
Crochet Afghan by Jennifer Miner

Since we were really focused on the colors the yarns I used are from a few different lines. You can find them below.

Eggplant, Aqua, & Charcoal – Vanna’s Choice

Butterscotch & Grass – Loops & Threads (Available at Michaels)

Premium Turquoise & Baby Gold Fish – Big Twist (Available at JoAnn’s)

Created By Jennifer Miner
Created By Jennifer Miner

I have two afghan’s on the hook right now and just ordered yarn for another because as I mentioned I cannot stop myself and Pinterest is there in the corner telling me that I can whip it up no problem. I did manage to complete my daughter’s Halloween costume so at least I have one thing under control. Thanks for stopping by!

 

Cheers

 

Colorado Eventer Card

Hi,

I am back with another horse themed card. This is the other set of cards I have for an upcoming event. Before I had to retire my horses I trained to compete in eventing. I miss it so very much but that is just how things work out. Many of my friends are still in the sport and so while I am not currently riding I am still surrounded by those who do. If you are unfamiliar with eventing, it is the triathlon of horse sport.

Card created by Jennifer Miner
Card created by Jennifer Miner

Today’s card features a horse and rider silhouette jumping down a drop on the background of the Colorado State flag. All of the dies were cut using my handy-dandy  Silhouette Cameo. I created the flag shape in my software and cut the shapes out of colored cardstock. Often I will just use white cardstock and then color my paper with Distress Ink but this time, I started with colored paper.

By Jennifer Miner
By Jennifer Miner

Once I had cut out my shapes I added a little Distress Ink to each shape. I adhered my flag background and “C” to a white piece of cardstock.

Created for local eventing by Jennifer Miner
Created for local eventing by Jennifer Miner

For the horse and rider, I cut out the shape in black cardstock and then inked them with Dazzle VersaMark in Champagne. I then applied Clear Embossing Powder. I reapplied the VesaMark and embossing powder three times, melting the EP between each application. While it is a little hard to see in the photos each horse and rider shape has a subtle glitter in the embossing powder. I was really pleased with how that looked.

Horse and Rider jumping a drop on Colorado flag background
Horse and Rider jumping a drop on Colorado flag background

I did try to use my Melting Pot to create the enameled look but this worked out much better. Not to mention I didn’t burn  any part of myself in this process.  I am still picking up little blobs of melted embossing powder from the carpet in my studio.

I glued my horses down and then once they were dry I adhered everything to my card. Thank you, as always, for taking the time to stop by my little blog!

Set of 12 cards
Set of 12 cards

Materials

Paper: Black cardstock – Recollections, Neenah Solar White, Cherry – Bazzill, Brilliant Blue – Stamping’ Up, Summer Sunrise – Papertrey Ink

Ink: VersaMark Champagne Dazzle – Tsukineko, Fired Brick, Fossilized Amber, Faded Jeans, Gathered Twigs, and Tea Dye Distress Ink – Ranger

Other: Clear Embossing Powder – Stamping Up!

 

Follow Your Own Star – Galaxy Horse Card

Hi all,

I am back with a  card and video today. Don’t worry if you are enjoying the dolls there are more of them on the way. I am planning to do a video time-lapse of the creation of my next doll. Not too sure on the timeline for that but it is in the works.

Today’s card  is one I have created for an upcoming fundraiser. it is actually one of 12 cards.I created two different sets of cards each with 12 cards and envelopes.  The other style will be featured here later this week.

So, a quick word about my creative process. These two sets of cards really show my two main workflows. The card today was a work-in-progress creation. I wasn’t really sure where I was going and I only knew the silhouette I wanted to use and that was it. It can be a challenge creating  multiple cards in this manner but I just jumped in. This style of work requires a bit of trial and error and sometimes that looks like staring at a half-made project or ripping things off a completed card.

The other way I work is with a clear plan or vision. The other set  was a project that was clearly formed in my mind. I knew what I wanted and how I was going to get there. It is just an interesting process.

So, with that out of the way on to the card and video link!!

 

Galaxy Background with Silver Horse head by Jennifer Miner
Galaxy background with Silver horse silhouette by Jennifer Miner

I started with a piece of white cardstock and started applying ink in Mustard Seed, Peacock Feathers, Seedless Preserves, and Dusty Concord. I laid down my colors from light to dark and then went back over them to blend. This can get darker ink on you ink blending tool but I haven’t had this be a problem and I think that you could just replace your sponge if you started getting ink transfer.

Created by Jennifer Miner
Created by Jennifer Miner

Next, I gave my panel a splash with water and then white watercolor paint. I used a long bristled paint brush to splatter the watercolor and that seemed to give a smaller splatter.

Next, I die cut the circles from white cardstock using my Silhouette. This is a shape that I created by using the circle tool and then the offset tool. Once I had my first circle I simply used copy and paste and then resized the circles to the size I wanted. Once I had the circle as I wanted I merged everything together.  If you replicate this you will want to be sure that your circles have been made a Compound Path before you merge them, if you don’t they will be solid circles. Once I had these cut, I inked them with a little Dazzle Versamark and then heat embossed them with clear embossing  powder.

By Jennifer Miner
By Jennifer Miner

Then onto out horse, I applied Brushed Pewter Distress Stain to my die cut and then gave it a few spritzes with Silver Sugar Glimmer Mist.  The horse silhouette is a shape that I purchased online.

I then cut out 12 hearts from white cardstock. This is a shape I created in my Silhouette, it is a very basic heart but I use it all the time. I inked my hearts with Seedless Preserves and then Dusty Concord on the edges.  I adhered the horse with Scor-tape and then glued the hearts on.

Follow Your Own Star - Galaxy Horse Card by Jennifer Miner
Follow Your Own Star – Galaxy Horse Card by Jennifer Miner

So this was where I got stuck. I just couldn’t decide what to do. I stared at this card for awhile, played with embellishments and was generally lost. This it hit me! I have the wonderful Star Gazer set from Papertrey Ink. The sentiment was perfect and it fit in the space I had created and the little stars were just what I needed. I used Memento Ink and Black Detail Embossing Powder. Everything went on a black cardstock mat and then to the card bases.

I was afraid that there would be a time when I would have to scrap these and I am so glad that they came together! I hope that you all have a wonderful week.

Distress Ink, Distress Stain, Digital Die Cuts & Stamping
Distress Ink, Distress Stain, Digital Die Cuts & Stamping

Materials

Stamps: Star Gazer – Papertrey Ink

Ink: Tuxedo Black Memento, Champagne Dazzle Versamark, Mustard Seed, Peacock Feathers, Seedless Preserves & Dusty Concord Distress Ink – Ranger

Paper: Neenah Solar White, Black – Recollections

Other: Clear Embossing Powder – Stampin’ Up, Detail Black Powder – Ranger, Silver Sugar Glimmer Mist – Tattered Angels

Snow White Toothpick Doll

Hiya!

So, awhile back I discovered these amazing illustrations by the very talented Claire Hummel.  She did a whole series based on Disney Princess. They are really something special. Each princess has been reimagined in a more historically correct outfit. I was so inspired by her series that I made a Snow White, inspired by her illustration. You can view that image here.

I have seen a few people Cosplay her illustrations and so I know that I am not the only one! Here is my take.

Doll created by Jennifer Miner
Doll created by Jennifer Miner

When I start creating a doll, I generally start with a sketch. This helps me make a plan and create a workflow. The illustration that I used as my inspiration had a ton of details that I had to simplify. Fine details can be difficult to recreate in toothpick doll form. So, for this doll I left off a bit of the pattern and made the sleeves with a single puff.

View from the side
View from the side

I did try to make two puffs per sleeve but there were some pretty disastrous results so I went with one. While I would have preferred to have two, I think that the better execution was the better choice.

Back view
Back view

From the back, you can get a better view of Snow’s snood. A snood is a hair covering that was something like an early hairnet. This snood was single pieces of floss applied to the hair after it was glued and dried.

Details include a snood and detail overlay on the base
Details include a snood and detail overlay on the base

You can see on my reference image that there is a tree pattern on the lower detailing of the skirt. I simplified this to be simple swirls.

Snow White Toothpick Doll by Jennifer Miner
Snow White Toothpick Doll by Jennifer Miner

This doll is about the same size as the earlier dolls I shared and stands just under 3″ tall.

Toothpick Doll
Toothpick Doll

She has lacings on her bodice and a small medallion as well.  This little princess was a lot of fun to create!

As always, thank you for popping by!

Victorian Lady Toothpick Doll

Howdy!

Whew, we’ve been busy in these parts. I don’t even really know how this all happens. Today, I’ll be sharing another toothpick doll. This one is inspired by the Victorian Era fashion. She has a bustle, buttons, and high collar. This little doll was a lot of fun to create and I worked up some new techniques to get everything looking right.

Victorian Lady by Jennifer Miner
Victorian Lady by Jennifer Miner

Here she is! Cuffs and collars, hair piled high and that iconic bustle. A lady of the Victorian Era.

victorian-8

I find that one of the hardest things for me is trying not to get glue on the doll. The parts are small and it is so easy to get a little glue on your finger and then to transfer that to a part of the doll that was “just right.”

Created by Jennifer Miner
Created by Jennifer Miner

Her hair has been gathered into a loose bun with a few tendrils escaping.

Back View - Victorian Toothpick doll
Back View – Victorian Toothpick doll

Above you can see the bustle for this little gem. I had never really made something like this. You can get a better view of her hair. Again, the curls are created by wrapping wet/damp embroidery floss around a toothpick and then letting the hair dry. I have dolls from the early 1990s whose hair is still curly. wet

Side View - Victorian Toothpick Doll
Side View – Victorian Toothpick Doll

You can create different sizes of curls by using different sizes of toothpicks. I have used dowels, skewers and even a piece of wire.

Created with toothpicks & Embroidery Floss
Created with toothpicks & Embroidery Floss

I hope you are enjoying my dolls series this week! The next doll was inspired by a historic reimagining of Snow White and is one of my absolute favorite dolls.

Now, back to completing a card order, Halloween costume, and afghan! Never a dull moment.

Cheers