Thursday 18 April 2013

My Ada's 'Exploding Box'...!

My beautiful granddaughter Ada was five years old yesterday and instead of a card, I made her and exploding box with her gift inside it.

It really wasn't that hard - just a bit long-winded for the time I had to make it in - but that's me - why make it easy on myself...? LOL!


1 x A3 Centura Pearl card sheet (but you could use a 12 x 12 in a good weight cardstock)
1 x A4 Hunky Dory Adorable Scorable pink and white stripey card
1 x 12 x 12 Pink Pearl Bazzill cardstock
Some scrap pieces of pink dotty paper for covering the white backs of some of the leaves.
Double-sided tape
Good quality paper glue - I used Allene's Fast Grab Tacky glue.
I used a Martha Stewart deep border punch but whatever you have is fine
Fancy edging scissors
Couple of yards of organza ribbon.
Embellishments to taste.

Cut one Centura Pearl A3 down to 12 x 12 and use Martha Stewart punch around the entire edge (I centred it  because the match wasn't quite perfect, so I chose to leave a small gap in the middles).

Then, measure on the wrong side your required space in the middle (I used a 12cm x 12cm central square for mine) and score the sheet into nine squares.

Score the corner squares lightly so you can fold them inwards

At this point you might like to do any stamping or embellishing of the inside of this outer leaf. I used a couple of different heart-shaped stamps.

Repeat this step as many times as you feel happy with, reducing the size of the middle square just a little each time to allow for the leaves 'nesting' inside each other. Also, snip off with either scissors or craft knife, the corner sections.

I had previously made a small box for the centre of the exploding box in which to put Ada's small gifts.   For a boy, or a less girly girl, I think a pirate theme with a treasure chest would be fab but my Ada is into Princesses at the minute!

(You can see in this pic where I've snipped off the little waste 'nib' left by the border punch, with the edge of a round hole die)

The sun was acting up at the time, going in and out by the minute - so sorry for the shadows...!

As you can see, I made three other leaves inside the original by following the same step but just snipping out the corners to reduce bulk. I also used fancy scissors to edge the layers.

When you're happy with your layers, use a little double-sided tape to secure on the bottom in the middle of each square. You can embellish before or after this step - whichever suits!

As you can see, I've added some greetings like 'Happy Birthday', 'FUN' and 'SMILE' on one layer and butterflies (Ada LOVES butterflies) on another layer.

The next thing to do is to make a 'lid' for your leaves, to hold them up.

I used the pink pearl Bazzil for this but , sadly, forgot to photo it as I did it.  It is, however just a simple lid, similar to the original leaf, keeping the centre 12cm x 12cm middle square, but snipping down one side of each 'corner', folding the corner across as you make the box shape and securing it with a good very tacky glue. I used Aleen's Fast Grab Tacky glue which is amazing and dries really fast!

When that is dry (well I did it before actually, to hold it in place) put  little narrow dst in the middle of your ribbon and secure it to the 'back' edge of your lid so you can tie the bow without it sliding down and off the lid (...don't ask how I thought of that...! LOL!)

Last of all is to do the same ribbon trick with the outside leaf, to keep it closed until the reveal.


This is the little charm bracelet and Hello Kitty necklace I made for Ada and was places in an organza bag in the inner box.

Hope you've enjoyed this project and have a little go yourself!

Ei x

Sunday 14 April 2013

Pin the Chameleon on the Princess......!

My darling granddaughter, Ada had her fifth birthday party yesterday, although her actual birthday isn't until Tuesday and my gorgeous daughter asked me could I make a 'Pin the Tail on the Donkey' game for the little ones to play.  

The theme of the party was Princesses and Princes and as Ada's favourite Princess is Rapunzel, I decided to have that as the theme of the game instead of an old donkey!

(Disney's) Princess Rapunzel's best friend up in that tower is a chameleon, who is in a lot of the pics with her, so I thought he could be 'pinned' on the princess.

It would have been a lot less traumatic and finished off a lot better if I hadn't completely forgotten about my promise to make this until the night before the party...!  A bit of a rush, you could say....   LOL!

It's a BIG piece of illustration board (probably 3ft x 2 ft) and the surface just soaked up my ink so, as I didn't want to waste my Copics, I resorted to copier inks and paintbrushes.  A bit rough but I quite like that about it!

Anyway, Ada loved it and that's all that matters to me...!


Wednesday 10 April 2013

Multi-Media Canvas

Been after doing one for a while, so I got rid of the OH and the dogs for the day and did it!

Made the 'canvas' out of the back-board of a K&Co Scrap-pad to Go. Just scored about 3cms in and bent it all round, cutting out a small square form each corner, then pasted it with cheap craft glue and stuck a piece of bookbinder's gauze over to keep the shape and a couple of staples to secure on the back side. 

Made my own Gesso with white craft glue, white acrylic paint and half a box of talc. This made loads so I did a couple of other projects at the same time.

Painted over the gauze with the Gesso, sticking on spurious textured 'oddments' of braid and lace as I went. Didn't really have a plan - just made it up as I went! LOL! 

Allowed to dry.

Gessoed all over again and dried. Painted with whatever took my fancy at the time, then stuck on the watch & clock bits.

Last to go on were the photos of my father and his siblings (copies, of course!) and then laquered.  Et voila!

Got at least two more generations to do yet......! LOL!

Hugs Ei x

Monday 8 April 2013

Steampunk Junkies Ch - Floral Steampunk (DT)

...I really have lost it...! I made this project WEEKS ago for the DT on Steampunk Junkies but completely forgot to upload it to here! What a Walter!

I'm surprised Bosslady hasn't smacked my wrist  I deserve it!

Here it is anyway...!

I bought a cheap clock from B&M stores (£2.99!) and punked it up a little with metal foil, corners, chain, bronze flowers, little legs and pearls. There is also a crystal drop and since this pic was taken, I have added more pearls (to the flowers) a handle at the top and some bronze detail to the sides.

I love this clock now and it's in pride of place on my half-landing,  on top of a small bookcase.

Hope you enjoy it and it inspires you to join in our challenge!


Friday 5 April 2013

My other Brother's Birthday....!

...yup, I have two of the blighters! This is baby bro Brian...well, I say BABY bro but he's actually 4.5 yrs older than me but was also much shorter/smaller for much of our childhood and I used to spank him in a norty! He probably went easy on me, being a gent..  

Anyway, he's 65 today (4th April) and I made him a card but I got to thinking how much he actually means to me and ended up making him a poem and a little album.

Being the numpty I am, I forgot to photo a stage so you'll have to imagine it and fill in the gap!


2 x pieces of heavy-ish board (I used 350gsm  illustration board) 18 x 14 cms
2 x papers to cover the outside and 2 for the linings.
6 x pieces of heavy-ish card (I used the card backs from a couple of paper 
pads) approx 13cm x 18 cm (these will be trimmed to length later)
2 x pieces of black card (to be cut and embossed to suit) for spine
1 piece of small narrow heavy card to stiffen the spine
24 beer or lemonade can 'tabs' (I'll call these 'pop-tabs' for short!)
12 assorted brads to suit
Quantity of Gesso (I made my own with PVA, white Acrylic and half a box of talc! If you have a go at making your own, please do this outside - talc is really bad for your lungs!)
Acrylic paints to suit (I used Adirondack 'Dabbers')
2 x pieces of narrow ribbon app 30cms each
1 x piece of wider ribbon app 45cms
2 large buttons and 2 smaller buttons (with holes large enough for the narrow    
   ribbon to be threaded through.

In addition to this you will need PVA or white glue and you may like to use Pinflair Gel glue or other via a syringe for some of the finer gluing detail.
Also, whatever poem, verse or other words will need to be printed on suitable paper and cut to shape for the pages (as with mine in the pic below) and whatever pics you want to use, printed off. I did mine in a uniform sepia to 'connect' them.   Clearly, pick your papers and elements to suit your photos - you might decide to make a baby album or one for your dog or something!


First of all, glue your pop-tabs onto your 'pages'.
Mark the exact place you want each to be (you can make a mark in the little aperture) and you can use two or four on each page.
I used four as it seemed more secure - two on each side back-to-back.  Glue with either the pva or, like I did, Pinflair Glue Gel from a syringe. I let mine dry overnight.

Next day, I Gessoed the pages (sadly, this is the bit I forgot to photo) and hung them on the washing line to dry (not sure what the neighbours will have made of this...! LOL!)

Whilst waiting for the pages to dry, I made the cover for the album.

This is like a mini-tut in itself!

First, take the cover boards and the papers you've chosen to cover them.

Then, cut your 'outer' papers to about 2cm larger than your boards.

Place your board in the centre and fold the 1cm border over to make a crease and trim the corners but NOT right to the board. Leave at least the thickness of the board's depth to allow for folding.

Now the fun bit! Making sure you use a work mat (mine is a teflon oven sheet from the Pound Shop!) to protect your surface, put your paper on the mat and apply a liberal serving of white glue.

Spreading/brushing from the middle outwards, make sure the glue gets all parts of the paper.

Place your board in the centre and brayer it.

Flip it over and use your brayer, from the middle,  to roll any air-bubble and bumps out of the sides.

Fold the excess over and 'persuade' it to stick snugly (don't pull hard with fingers as wet paper can tear) by kinda 'pushing' the edges of the paper towards the middle of the board.  (Do opposite sides rather than going clockwise as it makes for a better tension.)

Once you're happy with this, you need to do the corners.  As shown in the pic below, use the end of a tool to 'tuck' the first edge of the corners in before turning the third edge over. This makes for a neater corner.

Once all four edges are folded in, each cover should look similar to this...

When this is complete you can either leave these to dry (I did) for a few hours or if you're feeling confident, you could adhere your lining papers.
I used two different papers for the back and front of mine.

Whilst waiting for these to dry, you could prepare the spine by taking the black card and cutting to size. I used my BigShot and a rather nice profile die (dunno the name - it's not a Spellbinder) to cut it and then I embossed it to resemble tooled leather. You need two of these. No need to emboss one of them.

The small narrow piece of card will come into this too as it's going to stiffen and strengthen the spine.

The thickness of your album will, with six pages, be about 4cms so this is the width of your 'stiffener' card.  This can be adhered in between the two black pieces with white glue or Pinflair, but you need to measure whatever shape you choose for the black card and centre the three pieces up.   

You will have two open 'flaps' either side of the 'stiffener' card and that's fine - they're for the covers to fit into.

When the covers are dry, they can then be adhered into these flaps, remembering to bend the cover so it doesn't tear when you do so when it is dry.

You need to now make two sets of two small holes about 7.5cms apart on the spine. I used a two-hole ribbon hole punch for mine.  You are going to thread ribbon through these holes to go through the pop-tabs to hold the pages into the cover.

To stop the ribbon ripping through the card under tension, two large suitable buttons are used on the outside of the spine (as in the picture below) and two smaller ones inside.

Your pages should now be dry, so first off, use a pokey-tool to make a hole though each pop-tab aperture if you intend putting the brads in there. It's easier at this stage than after you've threaded the pages onto the ribbon!

Threading the two narrow ribbons through the pop-tabs, use a piece of thin wire to thread the ends of the ribbons though the small buttons first, the spine-holes and finally the large buttons on the outside of the spine. 

Tie in a bow for now, as you may wish to alter in some way as you work on your project and a knot may be difficult to untie or may compromise your ribbon if the fastening is moved.

Trim your pages length now to suit. The way the pop-tabs are held by the ribbon, not all pages will be the same length - the centre ones will be shorter than the outside ones.  I used a craft-knife and a steel rule.

Now it is time to embellish your album.  Do what pleases you!

I used my 'Dabbers' in Lettuce, Butterscotch and Pine Trees as well as some 'Vintage Photo' distress inks from Tim Holtz.  Also some antique lace.

I also popped the brads thought the holes in the pop-tabs to strengthen them.

For my brother, I thought a vintage feel with family photos would be appropriate as a) he's ancient...(LOL!) and b) a lot of the old family b&w pics were lost in an accident (...don't ask...!) so he might appreciate some of the ones I have left.

I could have printed fancy tags, but for something so personal, I feel that handwriting (if you can call my scrawl that!) is more appropriate and, also,  personal.  

I could have been more extravagant with my embellies - I certainly would have been for my SIL or one of my more girly mates but for a male and especially my brothers, less is most definitely more..!

Last of all, tie the wider ribbon round the book as a closure. You could, if you so wish, make a sleeve or a box in the same style for yours.

Hope you like my little project (the pop-tabs were an idea I saw somewhere else - not my idea - but I happened to have a bag of them so....!)


Lots going on at Chez Eiglas... ;)

I've been home from work now for nearly three months - and it has been wonderful...! I've drawn, painted, had an amazing time with ...