Monday, February 13, 2017

DIY Valentine Paperclip Tutorial

Valentines Day Paperclip Project – this is a quick and easy project that requires very little supplies. With all the sales at Michaels, Target and JoAnns, these DIY paper clip Valentines are a really inexpensive way to give someone Valentine themed gift or just to add to a card.   This easy to do Valentines Day Craft Project was quite affordable to do.  I spent around $2.00 total on supplies and was able to make 20 paper clips.

Foam Sticker ¼” to 1/3” in thickness
1 piece of Felt material
Assorted Sizes of Paperclips

White Glue that dries clear

Step 1:
Remove the foam stickers from their packaging.  Sort by the heart shapes by thickness.

Step 2: 
Take the stickers and place on a piece of felt material and trace the shape. Cut out shapes. These will be used as a backing for the Valentine Paper clips.

Step 3:
Take the ¼” thick foam stickers and place a sticker face down with the sticky side up.  Remove the part of the backing paper from the sticker and carefully place the paperclip onto the sticker.  Then squeeze a little E6000, around the paper clip and allow to dry.  

Then remove the rest of the sticker paper and adhere the felt to the foam heart sticker.  If the felt does not adhere well, just add a small amount of white glue. 

Step 4:
Using the blade*, take the 1/3” thick foam heart stickers and make a cut across the bottom like the one in the picture.  Please use care so that you don’t cut yourself during this process. 

Step 5:
Take the E6000 glue and put a little in the cut and add the paper clip.  Hold it tight so that it will adhere well. After a few minutes you can put it down and allow to the glue to finish drying.

Step 6:
 To finish, take off the paper backing and adhere the felt to the back of the heart. Put a little drop around the edges of the felt heart to tame down the bits of excess felt. Once it is dry it is easier to trim away.

Now you have a cute way to show off your valentine spirit with this easy project.  My kids are adding them to valentine cards, and small gifts.  I am using mine for a planner swap that is Valentine themed.

What types of Valentines Project have you been working on? I would to hear your project ideas.

NOTE:  *Always use care and follow the manufacturers instructions when using any type of blade.  Additionally, be cautious around children and put the blade away somewhere safe, so the blades don’t inadvertently injure them.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers Review

The Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers are water brush markers (ink filled brush pens) that have been filled with dye based inks that make it easy to use incorporate these beautiful ink colors into your mixed media projects.  I love working with brush pens and have purchased them in the past to fill with my favorite inks before.  I found that the price point on these markers of $39.99 at Michaels was quite reasonable.  Since I had a 40% off coupon when I purchased mine, this really lowered the price significantly.

One of the things that I first removed the Mermaid Markers from the packaging,

I notice there was a green stopper between the barrel and the ink reservoir.
First I removed the screw on lid. Then I removed the brush marker barrel from the ink reservoir.  I then removed the yellow green ring from the reservoir and carefully screwed all the pieces back together.

If you look at the clear plastic ink reservoir, you will notice a slightly indented area that has the words "push" in raised letters.

I pushed on the two sides of the plastic ink reservoir to release the ink.  That was not a good idea because as I squeezed over a scratch piece of paper, the mermaid makers squirted quite a bit of ink. The red was the biggest culprit, as the ink flows out quite easily from that brush marker.  The green below squirted a lot less ink.

It got all over my hands too.  I tried using a baby wipe to remove it but it only took a little bit of it off.  This makes me think that the ink will hold up well while using in my projects since it dried on my hand so quickly.

I figured out the right amount of pressure needed to squeeze the plastic so that ink would travel down the barrel and onto the brush part.  After that, I did not have any more problems with the ink squirting out in large amounts.

NOTE: I recommend storing these with the brush upright (brush at the top and ink reservoir at the bottom) to avoid any future leakage.  I store all my water brushes this way and have not had any problems with them.

I decided to do a couple of swatches on a variety of papers to see how the Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers would perform.  The first swatch is on Canson Cold Pressed Watercolor paper (140 lb).

The second Swatch is on the JD Marker Paper (this was from one of the butterfly refills) which is really smooth and the colors just goes onto it so beautifully.

The third swatch is on in my Hobonichi Weeks (Tomoe River paper) to see how the colors looked and if I had much bleed to the other side.

Tomoe River paper is ultra thin so I have to be careful what products I use in it.  I was so glad to see there was very little ghosting and no bleed through with these markers. Here is the back side of that page.  The yellow you see is my using a marker to highlight the dates on the page.

I also decided to do a simple swatch to see how the colors blended with each other.  The first swatch is on on Canson Cold Pressed Watercolor paper (140 lb).

The second is on Strathmore Mixed Media (90 lb) paper.

I got better results with the Canson than I did with the Strathmore paper, however the differences were quite minor.

The third swatch is on the Jane Davenport Marker Paper which is so smooth and really shows the beautiful pigments of these markers.
The last is a test of my adding water to the Jane Davenport Mermaid Brush marker swatches to see if I can get a nice watercolor affect.  I really like how easy these mixed with the smallest amount of water to get a nice effect.  The more water I added the lighter the pigment.

Mermaid Brush Pen ink mixed with water.

The regular price point is still pretty good when you consider the quality of the plastic water brush markers and the very pigmented inks that each pen has.  I did check Jane Davenport's Website and the Michaels website to see if there was any information on how light fast the inks are.  However I could not find any information regarding pigment or on how light fast each ink is for the Mermaid Markers Brush pen ink set.  The packaging did have the California Warning that states that this product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth-defects or other reproductive harm.  So I will show the usual care whenever I do use these markers.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

DIY Valentine Heart Earrings Tutorial

Create your own stylish Valentine Themed dangle earrings using easy to find supplies like Swarovski Crystals, glass beads, eye pins, head pins and ear wires with this easy DIY tutorial.  February is such a fun month and what better way to express the love I have for my family by making them some fun Valentine themed jewelry like this DIY Valentine Heart Earrings tutorial.  I picked up most of my supplies at Michaels, since I had a 20% off my entire purchase coupon.  The most expensive item I bought were the Swarovski Crystals (I bought two) which makes this a pretty affordable project.

Silver Ear Wires
Silver eye pins
Silver head pins
Silver jump rings
2 Swarovski Crystals
2 Heart shaped glass beads
Assorted 2mm glass pearl beads

Round Nose Pliers
Long Nose Pliers
Wire Cutters
Fabric Mat

Step 1:
Gather your tools and supplies and place on fabric mat.  The mat keeps your beads from rolling of your working space and onto the floor.

Step 2:
Take one of the eye pins and load a pearl bead, a heart shaped bead followed by a pearl bead.  

Step 3:
Use the wire cutters to cut off the excess wire, making sure to leave at least a ¼ “ to make another loop. Using the long nose pliers make a 90 degree bend on the end of the eye pin.  Use the round nose pliers to form a loop with the remaining bit of wire.  Do this for the other eye pin.

Step 4:
Using a jump ring, attach these to the ear wires.

Step 5:
Take the head pin and load a Swarovski Crystals.  Use the wire cutters to cut off the excess wire, making sure to leave at least a ¼ inch of wire to make another loop. 

Step 6:
Then using the long nose pliers make a 90 degree bend on the end of the eye pin.  Use the round nose pliers to form a loop with the remaining bit of wire.  Do this for both head pins.

Step 7:
To finish, use the long nose pliers to attach the Swarovski Crystals dangles to the end of the earrings.  Make sure to close the loop tightly so they don’t fall of the end of the earrings.

Disclaimer: Always read the manufacturers directions and warnings to avoid being exposed to any products you could be allergic too.  And use tools carefully, especially around children.   I keep mine stored in a locked box so they can't get to them.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Review Jane Davenport Watercolor Palette Sets

Jane Davenport Petite Watercolor Palettes and Aqua Brushes
Jane Davenport and American Crafts partnered to create this beautiful line of "Petite Watercolor Pallets" in Brights and Neutrals, as well as her new aqua brushes.   Each of the Jane Davenport watercolors pallets come with 12 half pans of watercolors in two different colored metal watercolor tin boxes that can hold more than just the 12 half pans.  If you put a piece of magnet down the center, you can six more half pans to the box, which is a nice feature in these sets.

The Jane Davenport Watercolor Tin
The packaging on these sets is rather simple compared to the acrylic paints, which offer a mini tutorial on the back.
Jane Davenport Watercolor Packaging
Back of the Jane Davenport Watercolor  Box
However, she does have the fabulous video (below) showing how she uses these new paints on her YouTube page, as well as other pieces of her new collection (like the aqua brushes). Additionally, you can sign up for some free tutorials on her website. It is a fairly easy process, just add the free tutorial to your shopping cart and check out.  There is no charge to the user but you do have to go through the whole cart process so that the website is able to track who wants to be emailed when each tutorial is posted.  For those who do not have time to look around her whole website for the free product related workshops, click on this link to go a page that explains the process.

I also purchased the Jane Davenport Aqua Brushes that work beautifully with the watercolors. They are really easy to use and fill with water.  I have had them for two weeks and have not had a single leak yet.

There are two different tips on the brushes and they are marked "A" and "B".

I found that the metal watercolor tins are not very well made, I broke my neutrals one the first time I opened it.  However, I plan on putting them into a larger Meeden Empty Watercolor tin that can hold all 24 colors and a aqua brush.  I thought I would warn you so that you use care when using them and they don't break for you.

Anyway, the tins are lovely and have ring on the bottom to make them easy to hold in your hand when on the road.

The Brights Petite Watercolor Palette comes with 12 colors.
Jane Davenport Watercolor Palette - Brights
I swatched them on the card that came with the watercolor tins. These are bright beautiful colors.
Jane Davenport Brights Watercolor Swatches  on watercolor paper.
Since the swatch paper included in the tin was not a watercolor paper, it really did not give me a good idea of what the colors would look like on watercolor paper. Thus, I swatched them onto a hot press watercolor paper to see what type of results I could get on them. I made the sheet big enough to fit into the travelers notebook so I have it on hand when I need it.
Jane Davenport Petite Watercolor Pallet in Neutral
The Jane Davenport Petite Neutrals Watercolor Palette comes also features 12 colors. These are great for mixing and creating your own skin shades. Again, I swatched the colors onto watercolor paper so I could get a better idea of how the paints will look on various watercolor papers.

Here are both of the cards that were included in the Jane Davenport Watercolor Tins so you can get an idea of how they look on non-watercolored paper.

She does include more information on the colors (like pigments and Light fastness) on her website. Jane Davenport truly understands that many of us what more information and happily provides it on her website.  She has really put a lot of thought into this product line.

NOTE: I do not work for Michaels, American Crafts or Jane Davenport.  I purchased all the above items with my own money at Michaels.  I am not affiliated with any of the above companies, either.
My opinions are my own, and may vary from others who use and review the same products. Also the colors of the paints will vary in accordance to the equipment the viewer is using.  I personally love the product line and hope they add more colors to both the acrylic paint line and watercolors.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Review Jane Davenport Acrylic Paint Sets

Jane Davenport and American Crafts partnered to create this beautiful line of acrylic paints which are currently offered in two collections of four paint colors which are the "Portrait Paints" kit and the "Matte Acrylics" paint set.  Each set comes with four 1.35 ounce tubes of paint, a paint brush and a stencil.  The packaging on these kits is fabulous.  The back has almost a mini tutorial of how to use the paint.

Additionally, Jane Davenport invites the user to go to her website to sign up for some free tutorials on how to use her product line.

She also has a blog connected to website that is great to read.  Jane Davenport also has videos on her YouTube Channel that introduce the various bits of her new line.  Below is one of her videos on the matte acrylic paint set.

The Portrait Paints Kit comes with:
  • 2 Flesh colored (light and medium tones) Acrylic Paints
  • 1 Pink colored acrylic paint
  • 1 Peach colored acrylic paint
  • 1 paint brush
  • 1 face stencil
The colors in the Portrait Paints are less opaque than the Matte Colors, and that is perfect.  They can be layered to create a more opaque coverage.  I personally like it when my paints offer me that flexibility. It saves me from having to add a gel medium to get a less opaque coverage.
Jane Davenport Portrait Paint Set

The stencil is so fabulous. I do not draw faces very well, so this is so helpful to me.  Below is how easy it was to lay over a water color page I did to test the water colors.

Jane Davenport Stencil and Watercolor Paints
It is also flexible since you can reverse the direction that the face is facing by flipping the stencil over like I did below.  I was testing out the matte paints to see how well they covered. I just used the page to clean off the small amounts of paints on the brush and then used the stencil to draw a face over the paints wipes.

Jane Davenport Stencil and Matte Paints
The "Matte Acrylics" Paint Set comes with:

  • 1 Pink Colored Acrylic Paint
  • 1 Teal or Light Blue Colored Acrylic Paint
  • 1 Purple Colored Acrylic Paint
  • 1 Dark Blue Colored Acrylic Paint

The color in the Matte Acrylics Paint set are very opaque.  I had to use a very light hand to get a less intensive result with these.  However, I did mix them with a gel medium that allowed me to have a less opaque coverage.
The Jane Davenport Matte Acrylic Set

Below is a test swatch that I did in the my canvas journal (hot press watercolor paper).  I apologize for the lighting, the weather when I took this was bad and my lighting was affected by that.  However, you can see how opaque the paints are.

The Jane Davenport Acrylic Paint Sets by American Crafts are beautiful.  They paints are creamy and really glide across the watercolor paper and the other papers that I tested them out on.  Because the paints are thicker than the usual craft store acrylics, I found I could get some of the same fun results that I achieve with the artist quality acrylic paints.  They also mix well with my gel medium, my sand medium and few others that I had on hand.  At the price point of $19.99 these are a really good deal.  A little of this paint goes a long way.

NOTE: I do not work for Michaels, American Crafts or Jane Davenport.  I purchased all the above items with my own money at Michaels.  I am not affiliated with any of the above companies, either.
My opinions are my own, and may vary from others who use and review the same products. However, I personally love the product line and hope they add more colors to the acrylic paint line.