Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Wishing Well

This is my own version of a wishing well.  Someone once posted that they were looking for a pattern for a wishing well, and I, being one of a few responders, mentioned that maybe they could use the drum from SVG Cuts Santa's Visit SVG Kit file as the base.  Nothing ever came of it, but I couldn't stop thinking about it.  So, when the Valentine Challenge came up over at SVG Cuts Facebook, I decided to give it a try.  The following is my version of a wishing well.  I was so happy how it turned out.  I have been asked to give instructions on how I did it, so the following is my feeble (and way too wordy) attempt at giving some instruction.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  All paper cuts were done with a Sizzix Eclips die cutting machine (awesome machine!) and eCAL software.  So, enjoy!

Instructions on Deb's Wishing Well:

Drum from SVG Cuts' Santa’s Visit SVG Set. I removed the brad holes from the drum and the decorator strip. I used a paper that I made myself. I was recently at the Hoover Dam and took a picture of a rock wall, then took it into Photoshop and made the rocks pink. Of course, you can use whatever you want!

The grass is from SVG Cuts' My Happy Garden Hideaway, and I overlapped it so that there were at least two layers of grass in all areas. I also inked the grass in both a darker green and some brown to give it some depth.  The strawberries, the ladybug and the heart on the top were from 24 Valentines SVG Kit from SVG Cuts. I made the little tag on the top myself in Photoshop. You could replace this with whatever you want…or nothing!

I made the pattern for the wooden boards on the sides in Illustrator, and they’re just four sides and an extra edge as a tab for gluing it together. They are about 10.25 tall, ¾" wide and ¼" deep. I embossed them with the Cuttlebug Distressed Stripes to give a wood appearance (had to feed it in two ways, since the embossing folder was not that long). I made a small cutout on the inside of the top rim of the drum so that boards could lay flat against the insides of the drum when gluing it in. On the left side board I cut a small X into the inside so that I could insert a 3/8" dowell. The dowell is 5.25" long, and I inked it really well in brown. I did NOT glue the dowel into the hole, but just pushed it in. On the right board, I made the Xs on both the inside and outside so the dowell could go through. I cut an inverted V at the top of each board to that it would fit the V of the roof.  (click on image to enlarge)

For the wishing well handle, I just got a piece of chip board, cut it in some arbitrary shape and hole punched the top and bottom. It just happened to be the right size to fit the dowel into snugly, so I didn’t even glue it. Then I took a very small piece of the dowel, cut it and inked it, and put it into the lower hole. No rocket science here, just making it work by trial and error.  With the dowel not glued in, this little handle actually spins and will move the bucket up and down in the well.

I tried four different times to make the roof, but finally realized they were just to thick and cumbersome for this project, so I just cut a 6" x 6" piece of chipboard, scored it down the middle and inked the edges. I cover the bottom inside completely in brown paper. Then I took a 1" by 6" piece of brown paper, folded it in half long ways, and covered the top score line with it and glued it down. Then I took two pieces of brown paper 3"x6", embossed them (had to put it into the embosser twice, once from each side) and glued them to each side of the top. I inked it with brown and just a bit of black. On the underside of the roof, I made two insets, one for either side made as a triangle with tabs. I glued them to the underside of the roof about ¾"-7/8" in from the edge so that they would be close to the upper outer side of the boards when I glued it on. Then I got two separate pieces of brown paper, which I embossed, to cover up the small square area underneath and hide the tabs from the triangular inserts. I cut an inverted V at the top of each board, so they fit the angle of the roof when you set the roof on top of them.
The bucket was made from the bushel bucket from SVG Cuts' Caramel Apple Pie. This was a bit tricky, since the bushel is open-slatted, and the bucket for the wishing well had to be solid. Here’s what I did: I opened the bottom of the bucket and the slats onto my cutting mat, the selected them all together and sized them down so that the bottom (center) was about 1-1/2". Then I ungrouped the slats and placed each one on the tab to which it would normally be glued. After they were all in place, I selected all and welded it together so it would cut out all in one piece. Then I copy/pasted it to make a second one. Next, I found a small glass, like a small juice glass, with a bottom that was about 1-1/2" across. I placed the two pieces on top of each other and twisted it so that the slats were not on top of each other, but filling in all empty spaces. I made a strip of paper, about 3/8" wide and wrapped it around the outer lower edge of the glass and glued the end. Then I put glue all over the outside of the strip and set it on top of the two cut bushel papers. And then folded up all of the slats and added a little more glue to the inner outer slats that didn’t stay put. I just held it until they stayed put, and let it dry. While still on the glass I took some 26 gauge wire (comes like thread on a spool) and wrapped it around the bucket at two levels and secured it. I used some Beacon’s 3-in-1 to keep the wire secured at intervals. After I took it off of the glass, I used a needle to poke holes in two opposite sides so I could thread the wire in and make the handle.

I used jute and took a single strand from it to tie the bucket to the dowel going across the wishing well. It frays a lot and becomes thin, so once I got my strand, I took a little of the Scotch Adhesive glue, put a drop on my finger and dabbed it very lightly down about 3", then repeated until there was just a very tiny bit of glue along the entire length. I then rolled the jute with my fingers to work the glue into the jute to make it stronger and to stop the fraying.

The flower buds I used were from SVG Cuts' Crush on You Boxes SVG Kit, and I used only the center, rolled portion of the flower.  I sized them really little (can’t remember exact measurements). You can just eye it. Then a cut out some little sprigs of leaves and cut them up to place next to the flowers as you like. Before putting them in the bucket, I added some filler (just made square boxes, and then a round piece to fill in the bottom of the bucket), so the flower buds had something to sit on.

Lastly, I used the arch vine from SVG Cuts' My Happy Garden Hideaway to put on the outside of of the boards. I just cut the top of the arch off and used the two sides on the outsides of the boards.

So, there you have it. You can embellish any way you’d like. I’ve never made instructions before, so sorry if this is too confusing. I just sort of winged it the whole way, so there is no one good way or best way to do any of it. Just have fun, and know that it takes a while, especially with trial and error. Finished size is 6" across by 10.25" tall. Have fun!
I'm wishing you happy crafting!

SIDE NOTE Feb. 20:  I was so surprised and pleased to have won first place in the Valentine's Day challenge at SVG Cuts' Facebook for my little wishing well. Thanks to all! Yippee!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Birthday Treats!

How fun is this cupcake treat box!  SVG Cuts does it again.  This is a part of their Happy Birthday to You SVG set that was just released on Saturday.  The set shows a flower on top, but since I was making this for a young man, I swayed from the flower and used a dollop of whipped cream with a cherry on top instead.  I cut the cherry from a very old Art Explosion clip art set I've had for probably 15 years, modified in Illustrator.  I made the cherry two-sided so that I could tuck the stem and the white "cherry shine" in between the two layers of cherries.    The dollop of whipped cream was a free pdf template from Stampindesign by Lynn Pratt's blog. I tried to fold it on my own and couldn't figure it out.  I finally looked at the instructions, and then it all made sense (no, I'm not a man). I can tell I'll be making a bunch of these this year.  The size of the box is perfect for a few treats. It's around 4" tall from the bottom to the top of the cupcake (not including the whipped cream).  All cuts were done with a Sizzix Eclips and ECAL software. I'm on my way to fill it up so I can give it away tonight. Try it!  You'll like it.

Sweet dreams, with a cherry on top!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Birthday Greetings, Bottle of Wine

 Thought I'd share the card I made for my husband's 64th birthday (on Groundhog's Day).  The card and elements are from SVG Cuts, and since the front elements were just taken out of retirement for a short time, it made sense to incorporate the Beatles and When I'm 64.  I used some of the song lyrics from the song inside.  My husband loved it.  It's not easy making "paper crafts" that men will appreciate, but this seemed to be quite appropriate for a guy.  Happy birthday, honey!

Will you still be crafting when you're 64?

A Journal Journey

This was such a fun project, and everything was new to me so it was also a great learning experience.  I made a journal for my daughter's birthday gift.  It was bound with a Cinch 2 binding machine using plastic covered wire coil binding.  The cover is made from chipboard covered with art I put together.  I designed the cover using digital paper from Jessica Sprague and art elements also from Jessica Sprague from the collection Journal Your Art Out 1, by Nancy Rowe Janitz and Christine Honsinger.  The finished size was approximately 8" x 10-1/2".

I filled it with Southworth Granite 24lb. paper in rose (it's so pale you can't tell it's rose).  At the end of the book, on the inside cover, I made an open-topped envelope to hold some embellishments I made.  I wanted to have them available so that my daughter could insert them when and where she wanted as she filled the journal.

In the envelope I put some fun things she can use in journaling.  I made some envelopes into which she can put letters, cards, tickets or whatever is her fancy.  She can glue these onto the pages as she uses them. Then I printed some journaling cards which were a freebie from Back to Paper by Linda Tieu.  I changed some of the colors of them to better go with the journal.  I also used some of the Vintage Cabinet Cards by Kitschy Digitals from Jessica Sprague, onto which I printed some photos of my daughter and her husband.  The one blue envelope was of a tree that my daughter painted and designed.  I asked her to send me a photo of it, and then I made an envelope with it.  It turned out really cute.

And, that's about it.  Hope you enjoyed it.  I certainly had fun making it.  And, I hope she uses it!  When I gave it to her, I got the feeling that she liked it but didn't want to mess it up by using it.  I'd love to see it filled with lots of memories and love.  So, until next time...
Keep on crafting!