Ms. Ruin's Playthings

"The imagination imitates. It is the critical spirit that creates." -Oscar Wilde

Sunday, April 6, 2014

This project is a hoot!

Happy Sunday!  We're on the verge of yet another busy week.  I've been a little overwhelmed lately (story of my life) with Spring photo sessions and just life in general.  But I don't want to fall behind with my blog too much so I thought a great way to start the new week would be to tell you all about the adorable hoots you previewed in my last post.

So tonight I'll share how you can turn this:

Into this:

There are so many ways to alter these adorable wooden owls.  I have covered them with patterned paper, fabric, used bottle caps for the eyes, etc.  The possibilities are endless.  So lets talk a little about how I cut these little birds out in my wood shop.  Kidding!  I actually bought the wooden owls at Michael's.  They also sell other bird cut outs and YES, the legs are included.  ;)  

Alright, so lets jump right into how I brought my feathered friends to life.  For the pink and teal birds:  paint the bird using an acrylic paint of choice.  I used Distress Paints by Ranger for these and didn't even require a brush, I just painted the entire owl with the dauber.  Once the paint dries, grab a stencil and some embossing paste.  I thought the stencil shown above would give a cool "feather like" effect to the my owls.  Place the stencil over the bird and apply embossing paste with a spreading tool.  (Helpful Hint No. 1:  Keep your stencil from moving by using a tiny glue dot to keep it in place.  Remove glue dot AFTER the embossing paste has dried.)   

Gently peel the stencil off of the wood and your bird now has some really awesome texture as seen above.  Allow paste to dry before proceeding with next step.  Imagine all of the stencils you could use on these babies.  You can visit my my mixed media pin board on Pinterest to view other birds I've decorated.    

And now for the fun part --giving the bird a personality!  For these little gals I simply added googly eyes, beaks made out of orange polymer clay and hearts made out of white polymer clay.  I painted the hearts using distress paints by Ranger and then stamped initials on them using acrylic alphabets.  Warning, the clay is very slick and the stamps will slip and slide --press gently, firmly, and quickly.  Yeah, good luck with that!  Haha.  The final touch for these little gals was the ribbon barrette at the top.  I actually bought those at Hobby Lobby and they were already put together.  I simply hot glued them in place.   

(click images to view larger)

Now lets talk about these little guys.  For these particular hoots I used Martha Stewart paints and crackle.  I applied the base coat --orange on the little guy on the left and a light blue on the little guy on the right.  I'm sorry I can't recall the official names of the colors.  Once the base coat dried --oh, you can apply two coats of paint if you'd like --anyway, once the base coat is dry, apply the clear crackle.  Allow crackle to dry completely.  Apply top coat in the color of your choice.  I used the color Wedding Cake on both of these because I just love, love, love that color.  The paint will immediately start to crackle.  Allow paint to dry and crackle.  (Helpful Hint No. 2:  Practice your crackling on small pieces of chipboard by doing all of the steps above.  Applying the crackle with different strokes or even brush vs. foam brush can give you a variety of crackle effects.)  For these owls I used a stencil with the word love on it.  Just like I did above, I secured the stencil with a tiny glue dot and then spread black embossing paste over it.  Gently peel off stencil and allow paste to dry before removing glue dot.  Lastly, add googly eyes, polymer clay beaks and hearts.  

Ms. Ruin's Supply List Gal Owls:
Basic Crafting Tools
Wooden Owl
Acrylic Paints or Distress Paints by Ranger
Embossing Paste
Googly Eyes
Polymer Clay (orange and white)
Barrettes or Ribbon
Alphabet Stamps

Ms. Ruin's Supply List Guy Owls:
Basic Crafting Tools
Wooden Owl
Martha Stewart Acrylic Paints
Martha Stewart Clear Crackle
Embossing Paste
Googly Eyes
Polymer Clay (orange and white)

I promise, these little gals and guys are as fun to make as they are to look at.  Stay tuned --I've got an altered paint brush, and a design team challenge project to share with you in my upcoming posts.  Until next time, I'll leave you with a preview:

Peace, love, and a hootin' good time!

Ms. Ruin

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Altered Mason Jars

Hello bloggers and blog readers.  I've got a few projects I've worked on lately that I want to share with you but for today we'll zero in on a couple of gorgeous altered mason jars.

As you know, I run Artsy Fartsy, a swap community on Facebook, with the help of my friends DeeDee and Genie.  Each month we host a swap and for the month of March, DeeDee hosted an altered mason jar swap.  My partner told me she enjoyed vintage styling and she lives in Louisiana so a fleur-de-lis would be to her liking.  So with that little bit of insight I got to work.

Ms. Ruin's Supply List:
Basic Crafting Tools 
Alcohol Inks and a dauber
Paper Flowers
Tissue Paper

The first step I took to create this gorgeous project was that I applied a decorative oval shaped sticker to the jar.  This particular one is from Tim Holtz's Idea-Ology Industrious Stickers/Borders.

I then started inking the jar with alcohol inks on the outside only.  I used about three or four different colors, I believe they were ginger, butterscotch, raisin, and gold.  I applied one color at a time.  Keep in mind that you don't have to cover the entire jar with each color.  I however did cover most of the jar each time I applied an ink.  The key to getting that marbleized look is to simply tap the jar with the dauber repeatedly --kind of like using a sponge when sponge painting.  The gold ink was the only metallic I used.  I made sure to make it the last ink that I applied all over and then I went back over it here and there with other colors.  (Helpful tip:  Keep alcohol blending solution on hand just in case you don't like the way your project is looking, you can apply the blending solution and the inks will wipe right off. )

The ink dries very quickly so I was able to move on to the next step within seconds.  I wanted to bring out the details of the sticker a little so that they wouldn't get lost behind all of the inks I had just adhered so I took a sanding black and just scuffed it up a bit.  Since the sticker is paper, white was exposed.  I went back and dabbed alcohol inks over it.  You can also use distress inks for this.  

I took a handful of flowers from my flower stash and adhered those to the bottle with hot glue.  And trust me, those babies are not coming off of that jar without a fight.  I then applied the fleur-de-lis which is an embellishment I had in my collection for many years.  I used E6000 to adhere the embellishment.  One of the final steps was to wrap twine around the neck of the jar and then I tied down the key.  There is one final step which I will cover in a sec.

I actually had two jars on hand so I decided to decorate a second jar for a friend.  I used all of the same steps except that I stenciled the first letter of her name on the jar rather than using a fleur-de-lis embellishment.  When it was all said and done, I kind of wish I had also used an embellishment because she too is from Louisiana!  But I think it's just as pretty and personalized.  :)

Alright, the final touch on these jars was adding this printed tissue paper to the lids.  Remember, mason jars have those little plates that come right off so what I did is I traced the circle onto printed tissue paper, this paper is by 7 Gypsies.  Then I applied glue and seal to the plate and adhered the tissue.  Once that was dry I put a coat of glue and seal over the tissue to protect it from tearing.  Ta-da!  Project complete.

What's next at Ms. Ruin's Playthings?  In my next post I'll be showing you these sweet little hoots that hatched in my craft room over the weekend.  Until next time...

Peace, love, and alcohol ink!