Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Corset Diaries VII: February Corset Template

February's corset is wonderfully different from any couture project I've offered to date and lends itself well to a world of possibility for those who dare to imagine it.

paper corset journal page 7" x 7 1/2"
Your journal page appears above. Click to download at full size. Ideas: Fold the half page over to the right, glue the bottom and make a pocket for your ephemeral bits.

The video gives instruction on how to use the guide to make a pleated, more dimensional corset than what you are used to using. Feedback is always appreciated if you have a moment. Enjoy!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Uptown Girl Corset

Tailored and polished, the muse of the uptown girl carries with her an energy of unique origin. She strives not to better her creator but instead to show her possibility already present within herself.

paper mâché corset front

In turn, is it possible for the creator to offer earthly wisdom to her clever muse? If so, what might the lesson be?

paper mâché corset back
There is beauty in simplistic design. To embellish further is to hide away true beauty or to deny that it exists in the first place. Set free your fear. To do so is to befriend uncertainty.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Easy Origami Butterflies

You wouldn't believe how complicated some of these origami butterfly instructions are and to see them reduced to a mere diagram? Oy Vey! It's enough to make your eyes glaze over and roll up into the back of your head. These paper butterflies not only look pretty but are happily, very easy to make.

origami butterfly tutorial by goorigami.com
Go Origami has a short tutorial in diagram format that is easy to follow and won't have you throwing your hands in the air after the second step. These little pretties are great added to paper crafts, dried branches or use them as party decorations. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Zen of Paper Butterflies

Sometimes all it takes to calm the inner storms is a trip back to simplicity by focusing on the gentler side of life. There is wonder and a sense of complete presence in watching a butterfly fluttering it's way around a field of wild flowers.

via A Drink of Rain
As a nice prelude to spring, I thought a craft project on creating a paper butterfly might be good to lift the spirits. Home Made Simple offers a paper butterfly template you can use to create dimensional butterflies like the ones pictured below easily and simply.

purchase finished butterflies from hipandclavicle on Etsy
Don't feel like going the DIY route? hipandclavicle on Etsy offers a variety of colors and patterns you might like. These can be stuck on the wall to create a beautiful and uplifting wall art design.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Absinthe and Old Lace for March

Imagining absinthe and old lace conjures up all kinds of images and possible story lines. Now that my designs have evolved into something a little more dimensional I wanted to visit the burlesque idea again for March's paper corset project.
steampunk burlesque via Glamtastik on Etsy
The colors are nowhere near what I'll be using but the design was too tempting for me to pass up. Since it is the season of all things green we will create something with a lighter, spring feel to it and perhaps add bit of botanical flair. :)

Note: The original photo has been edited. The background and much of the skirt was deleted to focus on the elements most appropriate to this post. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Basic Bubble Bath Salt Recipe

All the talk about healing baths last week sent me on a mission to find out more about making my own bath salts. After doing a little research I was introduced to the many therapeutic and healing benefits of dead sea salt.

via the Dead Sea - unknown facts
One of the advantages of soaking in this wonder ingredient is younger looking skin because dead sea salt slows the skin aging process. The fountain of youth? Sounds good to me. What could be more decadent than adding bubbles to your salt bath? Here is a basic recipe for making bubble bath salt.

via Easy Aromatherapy Recipes
Constitute (adapted from Easy Aromatherapy Recipes): 
  1. Measure the salt into a large ceramic, glass or metal bowl (not plastic - it will absorb the essential oils and be ruined.)

  2. In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients until thoroughly mixed. I recommend using a metal spoon - a wooden or plastic spoon also absorbs essential oils.

  3. Pour the soap mixture into the salt and stir until the salt is evenly coated.

  4. Spoon the lavender bubble bath salts into a dark glass or PET plastic jar and let cure for 24 hours before using.

  5. Use about one cup of salts per bath. This bath salt recipe makes enough for three baths.
via Diet and I

Adding Essential Oils:

Essential oils can greatly enhance your salt recipes with aromatherapy however, they can also be very expensive so I have omitted all but one from the original recipe. Essential oils can cause allergic reactions when used on skin undiluted and not all essential oils are suitable for use in bath recipes. Add responsibly and be sure to do your research.

Note: Bath salt recipe is reblogged and adapted from Easy Aromatherapy Recipes.  All ingredients can be purchased at reasonable prices from Mountain Rose Herbs. 


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Corset Diaries VI: January Corset Template

Miss January absolutely came forth kicking and screaming like a petulant child! Whoa! So, looks like I'm pullin' double duty for February. Your template for January looks a little bit different this time. I think you'll really like it. I know I do.

template 7 1/2" w x 7" h - click to download at full size
The flap on the right can be folded over toward the opposite side of the page and glued at the bottom to make a pocket for storing paper bits and ephemeral inspiration for your corset or diary. You can also fold the flap to the left toward your template. I'll be providing at least one more of this type of page to help add some visual interest to your book.

January is a magnificent combination of the November and December corset. Feel free to alter it to suit your needs. The lacing is made by doubling a length of crochet thread. I think it gives the corset a more polished look which suits our Miss January perfectly. Enjoy!

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Ostentatious Snowflake Corset

Miss January was a rather ostentatious sprite to deal with. She made it very clear that her presence here is entirely her own idea which is why it took her so darn long to make her appearance. Now that she has emerged we would almost rather she disappeared, back from whence she came.

You know the type. Those clean, crisp lines that ooze with polished sophistication. She knows it, you know it and yet she still feels the need to antagonize us with her uppity inclinations. We wanted to be her once, to feel what it might be like to walk in her shoes even if for just one day but we looked the other way pretending she meant nothing.

She does mean something. She has awakened something within us that begs for our attention. That ostentatious part of us we buried long ago now stands before us demanding nothing more than our acknowledgement and love. Thank her for being part of you and watch her melt into the pure positive light she is.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Living the Magical Life: A Ritual Shower

Anything you do as a ritual will make a resonance upon the unseen world. Just because we can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there waiting for us to make the most beneficial use of it that we can. Even a warm shower or bath can have therapeutic results when approached as a healing ritual.

via Ripped N Fit
The other day I woke up with a low grade headache which I experienced difficulty in getting rid of. The standard medicine cabinet remedies were not working. I remembered reading something quite recently about water being a great conductor to the unseen world ritualistically speaking so I decided to turn my shower into a ritualistic experience.

via She Knows - Canada
I felt the warm water run down upon me and smelled the fresh scent of body wash sweeping over my skin. As I washed I imagined white light entering through the top of my head. I envisioned it running down through my feet and back into the earth, asking it to cleanse me of all negative attachments and influences as it did.

headache easing bath salts via Amazon.com
By the time I got out of the shower, my headache pain had subsided and was gone a short time later. I found this exercise to be a great release for letting go of the petty stuff of the week that I might otherwise of held on to. If you decide to try this, let me know what your experience was.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Water Resistant Inkjet Labels for Glass Jars

I thought I would give you a little tutorial on how I make my inkjet printed labels waterproof or at least water resistant for adhering onto glass bottles and jars. With this method you don't have to buy any special labels, you can use any plain white or colored paper of your choice. The paper should be something light weight like label paper would be.

pretty apothecary jar from Michael's - great for melting wax

  • Candle warmer
  • Candle jar
  • Beeswax or candle
  • Bone folder or burnishing tool (popsicle stick)
  • Tweezers
  • Pallet knife or suitable substitute (a metal ruler or spatula)
  • Decoupage gel
dip label in melted wax to coat
  1. With beeswax or candle in the jar, place the jar on the candle warmer until the wax is melted
  2. Print your label
  3. Cut or tear out the label 
  4. Using tweezers, dip the label into the wax to coat and allow to cool for a minute
  5. Place the wax covered label on a flat surface and scrape the excess wax off both sides 
  6. Apply decoupage gel to the back of the label and adhere to your jar or bottle. 
  7. Rub out air bubbles using a burnishing tool or bone folder
  8. Let the label dry before brushing on a top coat of decoupage gel over the label
  9. With a damp sponge or paper towel, wipe off any excess gel from around the edges of your label
scrape off excess wax from both sides
The wax gives the label a slightly translucent look which I like because then it takes on a little bit of the bottle color if you've tinted it. The wax will also deepen your printed color making it look richer. The nature of the gluing process gives the paper a bit of a parchment or mottled look which is definitely going to enhance your item making it look more rustic and aged. We most definitely LOVE that!

label with wax scraped off - ready for use
The other thing you could do with your labels if you don't want to go the wax route is to spray your labels with some Krylon Clear Coat and then use your decoupage gel as outlined above. The Krylon won't make your labels waterproof but it will keep your ink from smearing while you apply the gel. I have used this method very successfully.

Well, that's it. Hope you liked the tutorial. Feel free to ask questions if you have any otherwise, happy label making. :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Rustic Wire Photo Holder

Having been inspired lately by the look of shabby, rustic photo holders I created my own version using a vintage ink well instead of a door knob or insulator I've seen others use. Ink wells can double as a little bud vase to go that extra mile in adding pretty to your craft space.

rustic wire photo holder at Le Charmed Life
I really had no idea what to do with the loop on the left. There was no original thought as to what function this would play in the piece but I grabbed a tiny clothespin, a little tag and voilà, another unique display idea.

gorgeous antique Victorian label
I started with a drawing of how I wanted to twist the wire and it turned into something a little bit different than what I had in mind but that's perfectly okay. It's kind of fun to be delightfully surprised by what actually takes shape in your hands. Don't you just love that sneaky little muse! :)