Beginning with a vision

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotI’m trying to get a jump on the new year with classes and projects that will be happening at Green Door Studio and wanted to share a peek at a new Pinterest-Inspired Tag Art workshop we’ll be offering each Thursday.

I love Pinterest for all the inspiration, knowledge and beauty that can be found there. It is so easy to lose an hour or two or more surfing the boards. The Pinterest-Inspired Tag Art workshop is taken from a myriad of tags pinned in my board: Tag- You’re it!

Each week I’ll select a tag from the board and teach the techniques involved in creating it or we’ll make something up and show you how you can recreate that tag with other materials and techniques to make it your own, which is what I do to this tag.

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For those of you who may not be aware, my daughter Rachel and I opened Green Door Studio in September. We offer a variety of arts & crafts classes for individuals or groups such as birthdays or bachelorette parties and  work or church groups. We also upcycle and refurbish furniture pieces and home decor items as well as offer custom furniture painting. We’ve taken advantage of both our talents and passions and located them in one brick-and-mortar location in Brighton, Mi.

I’d appreciate if you jump on over to our new site and click ‘follow’ (down in the lower right-hand corner) for our blog posts. You’ll find posts covering all sorts of things from furniture redo’s to class offerings, tutorials, yummy recipes we’ve tried and more! From the blog, you can also sign up to receive our newsletters which are sent about once a week. The newsletters usually contain a list of upcoming classes, events or happenings in and around the studio. And, if that isn’t enough information for you – ‘like’ our Facebook page. Rachel does most of the posting here about new furniture pieces that have come in or have been finished and are available for sale. You’ll also see her babies show up quite frequently there. She works a lot from home and I’m usually in the Studio. We’d love to have you stop by if you’re in the area – coffee is always on! And, if you’re not close by, please stop by the blog or Facebook pages for the latest news and happenings at Green Door Studio!

Visit our Green Door Studio blog for more info on the Pinterest-Inspired Tag Art workshop that utilizes gesso, color spritzes, ink, stamping, Xyron, die-cutting and distressing.

On the cuff – charms, buttons and braids

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotHey there! I want to share my Pinterest-inspired braided cuff with you. It’s something I pinned a while back and when I got word Xyron was doing a blog hop with Epiphany Craft I thought it a great opportunity to track down the tutorial and make it.

I love Pinterest and the board list just keeps growing under my name, but fortunately I’m learning to organize them a bit better so I can actually find something when I need it.

When my package for the hop arrived from Xyron with the Epiphany Crafts products inside I was so excited to find I had received a packet of charms because I knew immediately they would be used on the braided cuff. I had never used any of the Epiphany Crafts products prior to this but they were so easy to use and worked just as the package said they would!

I love that the charms I received are double-sided. So often these little charms are one-sided so the backside remains plain. I was able to utilize both sides of the charms for when they flop over.

I gathered up a grouping of old family photo copies and used the Epiphany Crafts Shape Studio Tool Square to punch the photo and apply the Shape Studio Accessories Bubble Caps Square Epoxy Shape.

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I am impressed as to how easy it is to punch and adhere the epoxy with just one step. I swapped in some pretty pattern paper and little word stickers from Tim Holtz to use on the opposite sides of the photos for the charms.

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Then I ran all the little pieces face-up through the Xyron 1.5″ Create-a-Sticker and adhered them into the charms.

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When the charms were all done I started work on the braided cuff. Heidi over at Sew, Craft & Create has a wonderful tutorial for cuff and I was able to understand the directions as well as have the cuff turn out well.

I started with the leg from an old pair of jeans that my husband saved for me. He’ actually beginning to understand there are certain items you just don’t throw in the trash and denim is one of them!

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I cut the denim to the dimensions specified in Heidi’s tutorial and wrapped it around my wrist and having a 1-inch overlap.

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Next I cut the strips and stitched them to the main piece just like the tutorial said. Then I followed the directions to make the braid. Easy-peasy!

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The braided cuff provided the perfect backdrop for the Epiphany Charms. I hand-stitched them on using carpet thread because of it’s durability. This is the first cuff I’ve made and I’m really liking it and will be making plenty more of these. They’re so much fun to make and to be able to add old family photos (or use someone else’s family) is just the icing on the cake!

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I chose to use photos of my mother at various stages in her life. I have since added some vintage white buttons and I may add some clear beads to it as well. The denim with its unfinished edges frays nicely and give the cuff that worn, vintage look. It is very comfortable to wear. I can’t wait to see what other shapes Epiphany has for the charms. I think this would be great with a mixture of shapes and sizes.

Be sure to stop by the Xyron Blog and Epiphany Blog to see what great projects the other designers have been creating!

Rolling out the dough …

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotHey there! It’s getting closer and closer to Christmas and I’m running further and further behind – who doesn’t this time of year? How come in November it seems we have so much time and then all of a sudden it’s gone!

It was my turn to do a post for Art Glitter (by the way, hop on over there when you’re done here and check out my other glitter project) and I was pressed for time and out of ideas so I turned to Pinterest for inspiration and found some really cute salt dough ornaments. I thought they would look really cute covered in glitter and I was right!

I googled salt dough ornaments for recipes and several came up, then at the very bottom of the page there was one that called for microwaving the ornaments to dry. That was fantastic because nearly all the other recipes call for air dry (36-48 hours) or oven dry (3-4 hours). The salt dough ornaments are very easy to make and would be a perfect project to do with children.

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The recipe for salt dough is easy – half, half, whole.

1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour (I used bleached flour to get the white ornaments)

Mix ingredients and knead on a floured surface till soft and smooth. Roll out with a floured rolling pin to any thickness you like. Mine are about 1/4-inch thick. Cut out with standard cookie cutters or free-hand any design you like. If you intend to hang them make sure to make a hole for the thread. A straw works for a larger hole or use a toothpick for a smaller one.

The easy-and-quick part is the baking. This recipe calls for baking in the microwave for 2-3 minutes on a flat surface. I placed my ornaments directly on the glass tray in my microwave. I had to flip them over after about two minutes and cooked for another 1-2 minutes on the other side.

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The ornaments cool off quickly from the microwave so they can be decorated right away.

I gathered up the glitters I wanted to use and poured some Designer Dries Clear onto my non-stick craft sheet. I applied the glue with a brush to one ornament at a time and sprinkled on the glitter.

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I used three different glitters: Art Glitter Antique Silver Fine Vintage Glass Glitter, Silvery Moon Vintage Glass Glitter and Mini Pearl Microfine Pearlescent.

To finish them off I used a few tickets from a Crafty Secrets cut-out sheet and coated them with Clear Crackle Paint.

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This is really a quick-and-easy holiday project. The dough can be cut into a variety of shapes and decorated in a number of ways. They would make great little gift tags on packages, too!

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Check out my remake of a vintage-style lantern I picked up in the clearance section at a resale shop. It’s over on the Art Glitter blog. Art_Glitter_Linda_Neff_Victorian_Lamp_photo_6