Thursday, February 23, 2017

Crafter in The Spotlight 38 - Itsy Bitsy

Hello arty-crafty folks,

Thursday is here again. It’s time to introduce our ‘Crafter in the Spotlight’. This week we feature talented crafter “Pooja Sharma”! Pooja is from Gurgaon, Haryana and crafting is her passion.

 A commerce graduate and a fashion designer, Pooja taught art and craft in a woman’s Polytechnic. She decided to work from home after she got married and that motivated her to start her own art and Craft studio. However, now that Pooja has a two year old kid, she prefers to devote most of her time to the little one and crafts only when there’s time.

Pooja’s teachers noticed her creative work right in college because they were different from the ordinary. That is when she realized she could also pursue a career in art and craft.

How did Pooja get into crafting, what inspires her, what are her tips for fellow crafters, her favourite quote, how would she contribute to the crafting world if she had magical powers? Read answers to all these questions, discover more about her interesting journey and catch a glimpse of a step by step project by Pooja in this interview. Don't forget to leave your comments for her.

Here are excerpts of my interview with Pooja:

Rashmi Closepet, MD, Itsy Bitsy: Tell us a bit about yourself & your background?
 PS: Thank you IB team for giving me this opportunity, I am Pooja from Gurgaon (Haryana). Craft is my only passion. I am a fashion designer and a B.Com graduate from Delhi University. I worked as an art and craft teacher in a woman’s Polytechnic but after getting married I decided to work from home. Thereafter, I started my own art and craft studio. Once I became a mother, I took a break so that I can devote most of my time to my little one. Now that he is two years old, I craft only when I get time.

RC: How did you get into crafting?
 PS: Well! From my very childhood, I used to make things from waste. Creative things always attracted me. While I was doing my fashion designing, my folders, colouring sheets, projects were noticed by my teachers because they looked different from rest of the lot. I was the topper in my batch and when people started appreciating my work, I realized that I can do something in this field too. I started my job as a F.D teacher and later got an offer from a woman’s polytechnic, where my art journey started professionally. 

RC: What is your favourite type of craft?
PS: I always wanted to do various kind of art which I love. I also love learning different things and working with different medium. That is why I love to make murals, clay modelling, waste material craft, siporex and now I am enjoying paper crafting. Lately, my favourite is mixed-media and I really enjoy making mix media projects

RC: What are your favourite products at Itsy Bitsy?
PS: I am really a big IB fan. None of my work is complete without IB products.
I like their huge verity of craft materials at reasonable prices. My most favourite things are stamps. I must say IB has a gorgeous collection of stamps and more important thing is they are extremely affordable. I also love the stencils, gesso, flowers, chipboard shapes and variety of inks.

RC: If you had magical powers, how would you contribute to the Crafting world?
PS: If I had this power I would really want to change the mentality of those people who still think that art and craft is just waste of time and this profession cannot earn us much money. I want those people to realise the value of handmade things in the true sense.

RC: Your prized possession in your craft stash from Itsy Bitsy?
 PS: It would be stamps, stencils, spray, dies, everything…. whichever product I bought from IB will be my prized possession. The latest in my wish list are chalk paints.

RC : How would you describe your style of crafting?
PS: I love to do experiments. I always try to make and learn different techniques and styles. I don't want to stick to just one kind of craft; I like to make things out of waste because I believe nothing is useless in this world for a crafter. I like bright colours, so most of the time I use vibrant colours in my work. I love to do mix media projects the most.

RC: How do you organize your time for crafting?
PS: This is really a tough question. I also wish I have more free time like others crafters, but being a mom of a little baby is really very tough for me. I can only craft when my baby is sleeping or when my husband helps me a lot to manage things at home. 

RC: Tips for people who want to craft
PS: My tips to the crafters is “do enjoy …while doing art work, comparison with others is not good, just believe in yourself. The most important thing is, do not be afraid to make something if you really want to make it. Take the plunge and make it without caring about how it will look because no one is perfect and we all learn here!!

RC: Your all-time favourite quote?
PS: “Nothing is permanent so be calm in every situation.”

RC: Thank you Pooja for sharing your story with us. We look forward to many more gorgeous creations from you and wish you all the best in your creative journey!
PS:: Thank you Rashmi.

Here is a gorgeous project by Pooja  & step by step description:

I chose green and maroon hand made papers to begin with. 

 I have lots of stamps in my stack from IB, this time I chose to use these clear stamps for my flowers and leaves.

I stamped flowers and leaves of my choice and coloured them with pencil colours and crayons

          I layered two stamped flowers to make one flower, used ball tool to              give it a 3D look as shown in the pic .

I simply distressed  the edges of the green paper with pigment ink from IB and arranged  my flowers on doily cut out.

After I was done with these steps, I used this clear stamp for the background in the remaining area 
                   To convey the message I used this Itsy Bitsy clear stamp

Then I added a piece from my Itsy bitsy pack of corrugated sheets to upscale its beauty.
I prettified my creation with some shining crystals too. 

Here are a couple of Pooja's  other awesome creations:

Many congrats Pooja  for being the CRAFTER IN THE SPOTLIGHT – ITSY BITSY

You will receive Rs.500/- Itsy Bitsy gift voucher 😊 😊 & a Crafter in the Spotlight badge, which can be proudly displayed on the side bar of your blog and other platforms. Looking forward to many more creations, Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

DIY Hexagon Wall Shelf with Popsicle sticks and Chalk paint

Hello crafters! Angela here again with yet another tutorial. This should be one of the easiest and coolest project for your home.

Liked them ? Then this tutorial is for you to try these out :) Best part is these are simple, minimalistic, chic and I love this color combination. All the supplies are from Itsy Bitsy store and they are tagged at the end of this post in case you want to purchase them for your project.

The main product used in making these hexagon shelf are these humble Popsicle sticks. Ice cream sticks remind me a lot about my childhood days when we used them often for school projects! Itsy Bitsy has a huge collection of Popsicle sticks in natural and varied colors. I picked up a pack in indigo and another one in natural shade. You can decide on any shape for these wall shelves and I think triangles and hexagons are the easiest and these two shapes will allow you to stack them easily in a perfect mesh.

Once I decided I was going to make a hexagon, I drew an outline of the shape on paper to get the hexagons correctly. Take your compass, measure the length of your Popsicle and draw a circle with the same radius. Starting from a random point on this circle, keep marking points at same length your radius on the circle and finally join them using a ruler to form the hexagon.

The base layer of your wall shelf is important as your entire shelf will build up in the same shape as this, so take time in securing it correctly. Place three ice cream sticks on the hexagon like this, leaving one edge in between.

Silicon glue worked just perfect to stick these stick together strongly. Put small drops of glue at the edges of these sticks and place another three sets of stick along the gaps but make sure they are in line with the hexagon outline you made on the paper.

While the glue is still wet, you can adjust the sticks to get the perfect hexagon shape. Wait for it to dry, which usually takes 10-15 minutes, so that the base shape is set properly. Now you can build over it by sticking the sticks in the same way as before, 3 sticks in a layer. I used approximately 100 for one single shelf, they were of width just enough to hold small items. This is how the final shelf looks like after all the layers are put in place. I made one shelf with indigo and two in natural but I wanted to have them in a gold blue color palette so I painted the natural ones.

The sky blue shade is painted with Itsy Bitsy's recently launched chalk paint, in Frozen Ice shade.

Since my background was already in a light shade, I did not use any base coat but if you need to, the white chalk paint will be perfect. The chalk paint come in bottles of 60ml and here is the complete set of shades you can choose from.

The paints are generally thick and are water based so you can dilute them with water depending on the kind of finish that you are looking for. I diluted the paints a bit for ease of brush movement and here is how the finished one looked like with one coat.

I also painted the side layers with the same shade and I did a couple of brush strokes to cover the entire area.

This shade of blue looked lovely and only a touch of gold was pending in the whole project. I painted the final wall shelf with gold spray paint and added a final glittery touch by giving a coat of Mont Marte gold glitter paint over it.

Here is the final color combination that I arrived at. I think gold goes with everything and I love how versatile they are!
I added these handmade Ocean Mist flowers from Itsybitsy on one of the shelves to add a little more detail. These shelves are functional so don't overload with accessories but if they are for ornamental purpose, you can add a lot more detail with more flowers, fillers. ribbons etc.
These flowers, they have a little glitter and shimmer and they went very well with my blue chalk paint. More pictures of the beautiful flowers.

I made these little hooks using flower making wires at the top of the shelves for hanging them. I hope you liked these shelves and you would also try them out. The supplies list are simple and they are easy to make as well. Oh my daughter found the perfect use of these shelves during the photo shoot :)

Supplies used :

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Getting Inky & Making Easy-Peasy Projects

                                      Hello crafty folks J
Hope this New Year has been treating you well, your stash is growing and your ink pads are all nice and juicy :)

I am Jaya Christina @ CraftyJC and I am a stamper and primarily a card maker. When Rashmi from ItsyBitsy contacted me if I’d like to do a guest post, I was super thrilled to try some of the new stamps and products. 

I am so glad for having used the happy bird-day  & the jumbo-wishes stamps, the new papers packs and a bunch of lovely ink pads.
First I made 3 Valentine’s Day cards which are so versatile, you can use it to for any occasion – you don’t have to wait till V-Day to tell your special one how much they are loved isn’t it.

I used the nice and sturdy Bright White Cardstock to size and layered that with a panel from the Pretty in Pink paper stack. Now, this stack has some lovely embellishments that lend to some easy-peasy cards. If you know me, I am rubbish with patterned papers. But I surprised myself when I saw how quickly these two cards together. Trim, add some foam tape and layer them. I’d trimmed the sentiments which are in the embellishments sheet as a banner and you have a gorgeous card in a matter of minutes. Now all you need to do is clap your hands with glee.

Next I tried out the happy bird-day stamps. I cut out a 3x3 square piece from the Bright White Cardstock and a circle as well. They stamp so well and I will be using these quite a bit.

For the first card I stamped this cute bird and then inked background with the lovely Chalk Ink in Aqua. My little one helped me colour the bird. Finished with dotted lines using a black gel pen, added another banner sentiment from the Pretty in Pink paper stack – using foam tape to add a bit of dimension.

For the second card with this stamp, I inked the entire circle cut out using the Chalk Ink in Aqua and stamped the cute little bird directly on the inked panel with a black ink. I then stamped the bird again in another piece of cardstock, coloured it used regular markers. I then fussy cut the bird (without the legs) and the leaves and then layered these on the stamped image. Added a little squiggly lines using a white gel pen. I added a stamped sentiment banner from the same stamp set. I just SOOOO love how this turned out. As you can see, Pretty in Pink paper stack makes an appearance in this card too. I love this layout so much, I must make a bunch more cards in this style.

Now comes the cute Mr. Jumbo. This jumbo-wishes stamp set is totally ADORABLE. I stamped this fellow in the Bright White Cardstock and fussy cut him – and added a tiny bit of shadow to the guy. I then stamped the Happy Birthday sentiment from the same stamp set, and penciled a speech bubble free hand and trimmed that out. Did the same for the puffy clouds too.

I then cut out a hill mask and inked Chalk Ink in Aqua and Chalk Ink in Olive to make the sky and the grass. Assembled the whole card using foam tape and this cute little card is ready to be given to my daughter on her birthday next week.

The chalk inks lend themselves easily to quickly ink up backgrounds. I’m going to be adding all the colours to my stash.

Lastly I’d like to show you this cute little Sizzix shaker box. I die cut this box using Sizzix BigShot from the Bright White Cardstock. I stamped the bird from the happy bird-day stamp set onto the lid of the box and also on a small note which slightly smaller than 3x3. The lid was quickly coloured using coloured pencils.
On the note, I did a bit of paper piecing using the Pink Stack with the background inked with the trusty Chalk Ink in Aqua. I cut out a border and belly band for the box from the Pretty in Pink paper stack

There is a brilliant video on YouTube from ItsyBitsy which shows how to make this box. Do watch it.

This box has a small cavity to add some tiny gifts, chocolates or even trinkets. Guess who’s getting this for her birthday! :) I am planning to add a small pendant in a chain inside the box.

And that’s about all I have to share with you today :) Thanks for looking and here is me wishing you many hours or crafty fun.

JC @ CraftyJC

                                             Supplies used