Friday, June 28, 2013

Ducky Hearts Artist Trading Cards

It took me quite some time to decide what kind of 'duck' tape craft to make. I spent more time on Pinterest than I care to admit to, trying to come up with a unique idea for my heart tape. 

Finally, I found a bookmark that inspired me:

I have tons of bookmarks, so didn't really want to make that (cute as they are). But I liked the idea of a top layer with a heart cut out and a pretty fabric (or paper or duck tape) showing through. So instead of a bookmark, I chose to make a set of Artist Trading Cards (ATC).  

Usually, ATC sets are multiple cards of the same design. Instead, I chose to make a set of cards with six unique designs, all based on the same three tapes. Once that decision was made, I went wild. 

The first card used that "look through a hole" idea. A heart shape is cut out of the red tape, allowing the heart tape to show through. Then I cut five little hearts from the tape and floated them at the top of the card.

With the second card, I decided to use that red heart I'd just cut. I didn't care for the "seam" where the two pieces of tape came together, So I covered it with a small strip of blue. Adding the second strip made it a "feature" instead of a  "bug."

I liked the look of the heart tape as background, so I used it again on the third card. This time, I really made the lines a feature by turning blue and red strips into a plaid.

Then I wanted to find a way to use the heart tape without needing a seam. So I put some on the card vertically, and featured the blue tape as the main background. I couldn't seem to cut three red hearts the same size and shape no matter how many times I tried. So I turned lemons into lemonade by using graduated sizes, stacked vertically.

That being done, I now had a strip of red tape with hearts cut out. This was another chance to allow the design to show through the holes again. I used the blue border as an accent.

Finally, I had the idea to make a heart with a hole in it. That idea came through the frustration of trying to cut the hearts in card #4. So I used the heart tape (horizontally) as background, accent strips of red to cover the seam, and three sizes of blue hearts as the feature.

The back of each ATC has a label with the name of the card set, "Ducky Hearts." It also has the artist's email address, the creation date, the artist's signature, and a fraction that indicates the card number and how many in the set. This shows the first card in a set of six. Then I added a little heart to tie the front and back together.

This was a very fun way to spend a few hours in my Studio! I'm looking forward to the next challenge. Until then, I'll be posting more Heart Extras. I already have some more photos ready to post.

Four of these ATCs are spoken for. If you'd like to do a trade, I still have two. Send me an e-mail and we'll set up the trade.  



Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Room for Tea

A bit of historical trivia

Do you know this stuff is actually called duck tape? It's because there is duck cloth (once commonly used for sails) that this originates from. The inventors of our favorite holds-the-world-together tape put adhesive on the back of duck cloth and produced duck tape. It's actually not recommended you use it for your (air) ducts.

On to the challenge...


A (fun? interesting?) fact about me: I love coffee and tea. I have quite a bit of the stuff and accoutrements around my apartment. Drip coffee maker, french press, espresso maker, hot pot, whole bean, ground, Via, tea in bags, loose tea from stores, loose tea made my people I know, infusers, even odd (read: birthday cake flavored, Turkish, and even fictional universe) hot chocolates. It's a bit of a mess. I have a whole section of kitchen counter top devoted to drink options. At some point it dawned on me today that I could use my duck tape to make a cute little tea holder instead of having a bajillion boxes on the counter. Thus, I present to you, my tea holder.

There is something super amusing to me about my hot drinks being stored in the penguin box. It seems so appropriate. I also got to break out my label maker to label the two major sections, which makes me quite happy. Black teas include super Irish breakfast, Earl grey, chai, and straight up black. Herbals include mint, chamomile, an interesting sweet cinnamon spice herbal tea, some random fruit teas, and lavender-chamomile made by my best friend and Lovely by a friend of a friend (tho it's not exactly herbal).

This by no means holds all my teas, but it's an excellent option for many teas. Plus it took me about a half an hour to make start to finish (not including the extra hour it's taken to remove leftover adhesive from my hands). I'm quite satisfied with this result. The pattern wasn't aligned as well as Jeanne did hers, but I don't need it to be. It's just right for me :)

Oh, and in case you're wondering, the tea is made from a bunch of plants and most of teas are from leaves.

Monday, June 17, 2013

My Green Children

I practically never get anything posted here, but it doesn't mean I'm not doing something. I just never feel like I have anything to report. I realized, though, that I can post a GREAT extra that's actually on theme for me.

I've been pretty excellent at killing plants throughout my life. How excellent? I was once given an army of cacti. I managed to kill half by overwatering them and half by underwatering them. I'm good. But, I love plants. I love being in them and seeing their greenery and just in general having a great time bonding with plants.

So imagine my pleasure that I've finally managed to grow a bunch of plants at home and work. They're all doing fairly well, too! I thought I'd just share my success with everyone :)  

In advance (especially for my mom), I apologize for the lighting quality. The plants are in windows and are pretty difficult to move. I took the photos before work one day, so the light wasn't fantastic.

These are the plants at my office. They're doing astonishingly well when you consider they haven't seen natural light in forever. I have a spider plant (named Gwildor), two ivies, a diffenbachia, and a pothos.

Now on to the little guys at home!

 Sorry about the weird picture shape. That's from an exciting rotation.
I thought it'd be best to have a more vertical plant rather than something artsy.

 A coworker gave me this tomato plant 2 weeks ago. It was already pretty established, but I've kept it alive. Also, look!

Tomato flowers! I may have homegrown tomatoes yet! They've all blossomed while in my care, so I must be doing something right.

Now for the inside plants.
It's backlit, but these are my plants. I like this view because you can see both the avocado leaves up top and the marble-leaf ivy trailing. Here's another view of them.

The avocado isn't very visible here, but if you look along the top, you can see his little leaves.

Here's an overhead view showing you everything. I have a spider plant, 2 succulents, 2 pothos, a marble-leaf ivy, an aloe named Hermione, an avocado I grew from a seed, a wandering jew, and an asparagus fern. Mostly I can name them from what their tags say or what people have identified them as. I'm actually due to get a jade plant sometime soon. My friend's husband is graciously propagating one for me.

This picture is just a funny angle, but you get a great view of the avocado.

 About half the plants I grew from clippings myself, half people gave me fairly established little guys. Also, the avocado (as mentioned previously) was grown from seed. He's had a rough time of it, but mostly he's doing great.

The final guys at home are some herbs I started from a little kit I bought last October.

Clockwise from top left: parsley, oregano, basil, and cilantro. These guys are paler than I'd like, so I don't know what to do to help them get dark green. I'm mostly ignoring them except sometimes watering them.

I typically don't single out specific plants at home because I don't want to have favorites, but this guy is brand new to our family, so I wanted to show him off.

This is my new (fuzzy) wandering jew. My friend's husband is probably a tough love kind of gardener. He's also quite successful, especially with houseplants. He has a spider plant that has produced upwards of 48 spiderette babies. He can't give them away fast enough. He has some jade plants and other plants I can't identify. His wandering jew, though, is quite interesting. He says a year and a half ago he started with this kind of clipping. His plant is now fairly large. He keeps it trimmed and bush-like instead of trailing. I'm pretty excited for my new little guy. With luck, he too will be massive in a year or year and a half.

So these are my little green children I've finally figured out how to grow. I've been slowly collecting them all for the last 2-ish years. I'm very pleased with them. I hope I manage to keep them alive!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now?

One of my coworkers has this really nifty phone soft case she made. After seeing her pull it out for weeks, I finally asked if I could look at it. I generally don't care about cases for my phone (sorry, little phone buddy), but hers had a really interesting addition: she had sewn a cloth for cleaning eyeglasses inside the case. Every time the phone went in and out, the screen was cleaned. As an owner of a touch phone, I loved this idea. 

Her case, sadly, was more than I could manage. I went home anyway and stumbled around and made a case for myself. Here it is:

I made it from some cotton-blend fabric I bought for a Halloween costume a couple years ago. The case isn't fully finished. I don't have a serger, so my edges are rough. I know that. Really, it's kind of like I made an inside case and should put it in a more finished case.

It's actually pretty tight, so that's part of why it's in the state it's in. Plus, I'm kind of mulling over what to do next. Anyway, I made it specifically to fit my Motorola Photon Q, but it's probably a standard-sized phone. In fact, I know it's a big roomy but fits an iphone fairly well.

(Special thanks to my boyfriend for letting me
borrow his iphone for these photos)

I did manage to do the eyeglasses cloth inside the case. It was a bit of a sacrifice to give up my cloth for this, but that was the point in making it.

So my phone is a lot cleaner than it used to be. I figure the project itself is probably a work in progress. If I know my mom, she'll probably give me some suggestions on how to finish this without too much extra toil. The photos make it look rougher and more likely to fall apart than it really is.

I never do extra projects to post here (I barely manage to get the group challenges posted), but I thought I'd share one of the small things I've done lately.

I'm still thinking about my duck tape challenge. I had a great plan, but it proved VERY complicated, so I'm back at the drawing board.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


One day, while I was visiting my mom, she invited me to make a 3D picture with her. I, of course, decided to go all out on my first attempt, and rather than draw a simple object, I made two blue crayon hands.

It was tricky to figure out which way to draw the lines because of all the different directions the fingers went. But I figured it out, and it was a blast to make. I didn't put the colors in any particular order like mom does. I just went completely random.

I learned that the bigger the arches over the object are, the more it seems to pop out of the page. This might just be something I try again sometime.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Duck Tape Will Fix Anything!


(Yes, I spelled it DUCK on purpose ;)  )

This first beauty was both an idea from pintrest and a suggestion from mom. It's an old peanut container that I chopped the top off of to store my pens, pencils, highlighters, scissors (not pictured), and other necessities (you can see a small yellow screwdriver in the back).  

At first, I just had them dropped in there with some makeshift dividers. Mom's suggestion was that I grab old toiletpaper tubes to make individual compartments. Looks great, thanks mom!

This guy is a writing notebook mom gave me when I told her the one I'm using now is almost full. Yes, that's a stripe of normal duct tape, and no, it's not a rainbow color, but hey, it's my project, so what I say works, works, lol.

I've got plenty of rainbow duct tape left over, so I'll probably be doing more projects soon.

I swear I'll get that ornament challenge done sometime!