Vellum flowers

So my DH’s firm was moving offices and getting rid of as much stuff as possible, which included a huge safe, a couple of drafting tables and stacks of vellum. Not blank vellum, but reams of plotter sized vellum printed with blue prints.

Knowing what how much I would love to take possession of all these things, particularly the vellum, he brought them home to me and I went to work – on my fancy new (to me) drafting table [love!].

Spray ink, a die cutter and flower shapes is where I went first with this, layering the vellum with dress pattern tissue:

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Vellum sheets work really well as a non-stick work surface too – not exactly heat resistant, but that could be fun too.

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Custom Envelope Book

A customer on Etsy had the brilliant idea of ordering a custom sized envelope book to pass around to family members in the weeks before Christmas and stuff with memories, pictures, notes, and give as a gift to a lucky family member. Here’s what I made for her.

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And here’s the one I did for my mother, using the same genius idea.

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Do you FabLab? You should…

Have you heard of FabLabs? Fabrication Laboratories. Definitely worth looking into if you find one near you. I’ve been frequenting one near me at the Baltimore County Community College. Truly patient people there who know the ins and outs of small scale prototyping.

Think high school wood shop on steroids. In a nutshell, it’s a large room with a bank of computers with Autocad, Corel Draw, etc. on one end and a couple of laser cutters, 3-D printer, and a ShopBot 3-D Router on the other end.

Safety goggles for all and a required $100 safety class to start. Using the machines used to be free, but now there’s a small fee – something in the neighborhood of $50 for 10 visits. Bring your own materials.

The sky’s the limit if you are thinking of making stamps out of photographs, your own stencils, or art shapes for your mixed media.

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I wanted to actually make something on one of my visits – you know an actual make and take instead of just messing around. I participate in an ornament exchange at work. (about a dozen ladies; make 12 ornaments, get 12 gorgeous ornaments back).This year I did mine at the Fab Lab.

I made a series of graduated circle designs in Illustrator, brought the file to the Lab and touched it up in Corel Draw. Then I cut them out onto Davey board (bookbinder’s board) using the laser cutter.

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The trick with the laser cutter is getting the settings just right. You can cut or etch on just about anything in one of those, but you have to get the laser power settings and the distance from the material just right, or there is a tendency to set things alight. (see the singeing in the first picture above – and that wasn’t the worst example.)

Not to worry – layers of gesso and paint will cover up the soot and smell. :-)

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Final layer of Tattered Angels glitter paint adds a nice layer of shimmer and shine.

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Go to the FabWiki to find a list of Fab Labs. You might want to look around for maker spaces (google it) – depending on the focus they might also have cool shop tools you wish you had when you were in high school.

 

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Diaper Cake

Yes, you read that right. Diaper cake. Clean. Unused. No – don’t go there.

The key: graduated cake pans and large rubber bands. Spiral those diapers round and round in each pan, then hold with the rubber band. Decorate and deliver.

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I also found these lovelies on Pinterest – washcloth lollies for the gift topper.IMG_0461

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