Monday, March 14, 2011

Scrapbooking Meets the Teddy Bear

Because I love so many different types of crafting, I find myself using supplies and techniques developed for one type of craft in unusual ways for a totally different craft. My Xyron machine gets more use applying adhesive to scroll saw patterns than it does for card making or scrapbooking. I use scroll saw patterns in my glass fusing, cutting the glass with a ring saw. I love to scroll saw Chinese paper cutting patterns. I create rubber stamped jewelry pendants and earrings and have also rubber stamped designs on fused glass using glass enamel powders instead of ink.

It seems I am not alone. Many artists and craftsmen also cross the boundaries and do what I like to call "cross-crafting". Several years ago, Sizzix sponsored a contest where the grand prize was a collection of all of their dies. Entries included cards, memory books, and other items you would expect from a contest featuring die cuts. And then there was this cutie:

This hand made mohair teddy bear is decked out with ultrasuede appliques cut with Sizzix dies. Although he was not the grand prize winner, he did place first in the unusual application category. The bear was made by Elizabeth Taylor of Agape Bears. Elizabeth is a talented bear artist who happens to also be my younger sister. You can see more pictures of this Sizzix Bear here.

Elizabeth has created two more Sizzix embellished bears. This bear was an auction piece at a show in 2008 to benefit Good Bears of the World. The theme of the show was Teddy's Favorite Holiday. More photos of this bear can be found here.

The third Sizzix bear was also an auction piece benefiting Good Bears of the World. She was made for the 2009 Teddy Bear Jubilee in Kansas City where the theme was Bloomin' Teddies. More photos of her can be found here.

So, do you "cross-craft"? I would love to hear from other artists about their favorite unusual use of supplies or techniques.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Feeling Buggy

I have a particular fondness for art featuring odd critters. Microorganisms, insects, and unusual animals fascinate me. I tend to include them in my own work and seek them out in others. Here is one of my creations featuring a beetle, which hangs in my bathroom. The beetle silhouette was cut from cherry wood and mounted on a scrap piece of mat board.

Etsy is a great place to search for unusual critters. It was hard to choose just a few, but here are some of my favorite Etsy finds featuring insects and their kin:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Where Do Your Craft Supplies Come From?

Where do you find your craft supplies? Do you go to chain stores like Michaels and AC Moore? Do you  find your supplies online, such as on Etsy? Perhaps you prefer small independently owned stores, or maybe conventions. I buy my craft supplies at all of these places, but my favorite place to search for supplies is at Leftover's Etc. They are a local nonprofit whose mission is to divert items heading for the landfill into the hands of scout leaders, teachers, artists, and anyone who likes to craft. I like to stop in a couple of times a month to see what new items have arrived. It's like a treasury hunt; you never know what you will find. Here are some of the items I found there, and some of the crafts I made from them:

Ceramic tiles: Often these are samples which have been retired from lineups at local stores. Sometimes they are leftover from homeowner or contractor projects. I use a lot of these in my Etsy store to make rubber stamped necklaces. Here I have made a mosaic fish:

Leather scraps: These are often samples from furniture stores. This Valentine's day ornament features a dog die cut from a leather scrap. The wood heart and yarn trim were also from Leftovers.

Metal samples: I'm not sure if these were for counter tops or some other application, but they work great for cutting jewelry pendants. My metal stamping needs some more practice:

 Here are some items I made from scrap acrylic:

Not only do I find supplies at Leftovers, I also donate items to them. I keep a separate box in my kitchen for items heading there, such as paper towel rolls, old light bulbs, yogurt containers, and anything else I don't need that someone else might be able to use. I love being able to keep things out of the landfill.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Meet My Quality Control Engineer

This is Cali, the official quality control engineer at "Ooh Look, It's a Rabbit!" Designs. Cali is a 5 year old domestic short hair. Her coloring is torbie, which means she is part tortoiseshell and part tabby. She was adopted from the St. Charles County pet adoption center in December.

Cali checks out the design and functionality of the homemade light box my husband built for me last weekend:

And here she makes sure a pair of earrings have no design flaws before they are listed in the store: