Friday, September 19, 2014

Font Fix: Mix Crosshatch

Here's your font fix for the month!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Geometric Cutout Bib Necklace

If you've been following the blog, you'll know that there are tons of necklace tutorials on here. Since I got the Cricut Explore, I've been meaning to make a cutout bib necklace. I thought I'd share with you what I came up with. After doodling a few options in my grid notebook, I replicated a pattern onto Photoshop.

Click here to download and save the template!

I uploaded my design to the Cricut Design Space, and went ahead and cut 10 pieces from a single sheet of cardstock.

Perfect consistent cuts every single time. Gotta love it!

I made cuts with other colors of cardstock, only because I wasn't too sure what I really wanted to go with. The joys of having an abundance of paper!

I settled on purple, with a hint of yellow in the middle. I kept with a stack of ten pieces. It felt sturdy and thick enough for a bib necklace.

Carefully, I started gluing the pieces together. I made sure to do it quickly and carefully.

I had to brush on a thin even coat of glue, and stick on a cutout layer before the thin layer of glue dried up. Each cutout layer had to align perfectly!

Four purple layers, two yellow, and another four purple ones. Just that little surprise pop of color when you peek sideways.

I let the glue dry completely, making sure to put some weight on it to prevent the paper from buckling.

Once completely dry, I punched holes on either side of the bib.

I went to my stash of chains and jump rings, and put everything together.

I was so pleased with it, I had to wear it right away.

Let me know what you come up with. Tag @mikkomix on instagram!
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Old Photos + Pressed Flowers = ♥♥♥

I was digging through some old photos I had. I found several photos I took with my lomo cameras, and thought they would look really nice as a canvas for my pressed flowers. This was a shot I took of my brother, @sleepymilo, outside the Brooklyn Museum back in 2008.

I wanted to age the photo a bit, so here's what I did on Photoshop. I made duplicate layers of the photo.

The first step is to make the bottom layer Sepia. Select Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, and choose Sepia from the drop down menu.

To retain some of the color in your photos, we'll adjust the color of the top layer. Select Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, and choose Old Style from the drop down menu.

I switched the top layer to Overlay, and made brightness adjustments until I got that perfect aged look for the photo.

L. ♥. V. E.

I printed it on acid-free cardstock, and cut to size.

I went straight to my personal stash of pressed flowers. You can learn more about pressing flowers by attending one of our workshops, or downloading the mini zine!

I tried out different combinations of leaves, blooms and flowers. This mix of baby's breath, phlox and wild leaves made it for me.

Once I was happy with the layout, I carefully and sparingly glued each piece onto the paper.

I took out one of my stock frames, and placed the photo between the two pieces of glass once everything was dry. Can't wait to make more of these using the tons of old photos I found!

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

DIY Notepads

As a kid, I used to love making my own stationery and notepads. There used to be a printing press in the compound where I grew up, so I observed as they printed and gummed all the pages together. So, I started cutting up my own sheets of paper and stamped designs on each sheet. As soon as a printer turned up in our home, I started designing my own sheets digitally, then gummed the printed sheets together. Here's how I used to make them!

I designed something simple using one of my newer fonts. You can download this printable if you want. I printed a total of a 100 sheets, and cut a sheet of kraft paper in the same size.

I found a piece of scrap wood to serve as a base for when I start the gluing process. I used a scrap piece of kraft paper to keep the messy glue from ruining the top sheet.

I used a couple phonebooks to weigh and press the sheets tightly together. Yes, this is one of the phone books my mom and I use for our pressed flowers. With a craft knife, make criss-cross slices all across the edge of the stack. You want to get some glue in those grooves to better keep the sheets in place.

I used some mod podge mixed with a couple drops of food coloring just for a burst of color. You can always keep the mod podge as is if you want the edge gumming to be clear.

With a brush, start with an thin even layer across the whole edge of the paper. Next, you can dab a more generous amount, especially into the grooves you sliced earlier. Before letting everything dry, make one stroke with your brush to even the mod podge out.

Let it dry completely before moving or touching. Afterwards, you can tear the scrap kraft paper you had as a first sheet. Your notepad is now all ready to use!

If you want the notepad to be used by your refrigerator, you can add magnetic strips on the back as well.

You can also add a strip of magnet to a pencil, making it handy when you need to make a list of things to buy!

I would love to see your own notepad designs! Tag @mikkomix on your own designs.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Geometric Watercolor Wall Art

Sometime last month, I tried this simple geometric watercolor project just to flex a creative muscle. It was one of those just because projects that turned out so so so well. This was a small piece no bigger than my iPhone. I wanted to make something big enough to frame. This is how it went!

Click here to download the iPhone Wallpaper for the image above!

I started out by making a grid with lines quarter inch apart from each other. After having finished the project, I actually wish had made the grid a little bigger. Half an inch, perhaps.

Next, I drew diagonal lines through random squares. You'll see why I chose to do the random squares first.

After choosing about 50 random squares, I started combing back through each square. I then drew diagonal lines going the other direction. It should start looking like a maze.

This is the part that took quite a while. Keeping within a color palette, I started filling in the triangles using watercolor paint. I wasn't too concerned about keeping the paint perfectly within the lines.

I let the paper dry completely. LOVE. It came out looking like some colorful mosaic.

I looked for a frame that would go well with the colors. Of course, black was an obvious choice. I cut the watercolor project to fit the frame.

I had these wooden cutouts that could go with it too. I didn't stick it on just yet. I couldn't make the commitment! What would you use this project for?

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Feather Washi and Paper Earrings

Last year, Mansy and I held a couple washi and paper jewelry workshops. One of the projects we taught were these feather earrings. Since we've retired the workshop, at least for now, I thought I'd share the how-to for this with you.

With some scrap or leftover scrapbook paper, draw two feather outlines. This can be whatever size and length you feel comfortable with.

They don't have to be exactly the same. Just like real feathers, no two are the identical.

Take some complementary washi tape. Don't go for something too matchy, just something that would go well with your scrapbook paper.

Using a jewelry hook as a guide, measure double its length.

The wire hook will become the spine of the feather.

Fold the washi tape over to sandwich the wire in the middle.

Get your handy dandy craft knife. You will need this to make feathers out of the washi tape.

Randomly cut and slice either side of the spine to feather the washi tape.

Clean up the slices, so you end up with cleaner cuts.

Lay out all your pieces. Youll need some earring hooks and jump rings to hold everything together.

Stack your washi feather over your paper cutout, and join with a jump ring. Attach the two to your earring hooks.

All done!

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