Learn How to Use Vertigo Surfaces to Create Ornaments


Imagine Blog

by Roni Johnson

Learn How to Use Vertigo Surfaces to Create Ornaments

It’s almost time to start decorating the Christmas tree and in preparation for this fun family event, I have started making new ornaments. Inspired by the color of the month – Frosted Blue – I thought it would be fun to create an ornament or two using Imagine’s Vertigo film paired with Imagine’s various mediums in lovely shades of blue.

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 30 minutes + dry time


Step 1

Die-cut 3 hearts in 3 different sizes of any given shape. I am using Xcut hearts both in scallop and plain. I used 3 different styles of Vertigo film – (large to small) – Prism, Taffeta and Tilted.

Step 2

Rub a thin layer of Blue Hawaii StazOn Studio Glaze over the medium size shape and let dry.

Step 3

Once the glaze has dried, spread a second layer of Cotton White Studio Glaze over…

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Mixed Media Christmas Canvases

This is very nice!

ekgorman designs

EK Gorman, Elizabeth Craft Designs dHey Friends!  I thought I would try something a little different today, and whip up some mix media canvases for the holidays.  Last year I did a couple of similar things for gift exchanges, and needless to say, the friends have been asking if I was going to do it again.  I hadn’t planned on it, but my friends being persistent, encouraged me to do it.

EK Gorman, Elizabeth Craft Designs aHowever, after just a bit of thought I realized that two of the newer Joset dies from Elizabeth Craft Designs would create some really cool mix media canvases.

EK Gorman, Elizabeth Craft Designs gStep One:  Trim up two sheets of heavy duty thick mix media card stock to 6×6 inches and 6×4 inches.  Also pull out two 6×6 inch canvases.  I used a 2 inch thick canvas and another one only 1 inch thick (it was what I had in my stash).

EK Gorman, Elizabeth Craft Designs hStep Two:  Using some Distress Paint (or other…

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A Pear Snowman Tutorial…

20181211_162400 (2)Been working on attaching hat pom-poms, chest buttons, and paper discs for them to sit on to help keep them from falling over. So, back to the beginning…20181101_183104 (2)I started out with the idea I had seen in a magazine several years ago to make snowmen from plastic pears. It took me several years to gather all the various do-dads to embellish these with and one of the places where I got a lot of the small buttons, tiny pom-poms, and the little Christmas light strand beads, Hancock Fabrics, has gone into bankrupt proceedings. You can probably find the buttons, pom-poms and the little light beads or ones similar to them at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s or amazon.com. 20181105_200831 (2)It started out well enough, I had sealed these guys with matte medium, gessoed them and prime coated them, but then problems arose. Two of the pears I had  purchased from the dollar store started bleeding color up through the matte medium, the gesso and the prime coat of paint. So, to stop the color bleeding  I put two coats of varnish on the bleeders. Then proceeded to put two layers of paper mache on the bleeders to further seal them and halt or at least cover up their “bad complexions”, so to speak. But just in case they continued to go down hill, I made two replacement pear shapes from compressed aluminum foil. To make them…20181209_194037 (2)I started by mashing a clump of foil into a pear-like shape and then rolling it around on my drainboard to smooth the surface and I kept doing that and adding more foil till I got the size I wanted and the “pear” was rock hard. Then I put a layer of masking tape all over the pear to completely cover the foil. Then I wrapped the pear with floral tape which is self sealing and really helps to smooth out the lumps and bumps. Then I added the bamboo skewers to give me something to hold onto, which makes it easier to handle the shapes while working on them. Then I put a coat of matte medium on the pears to help keep the floral tape from unwrapping itself. Then I paper mache’ed the two replacement pears and let them dry. Then, I put a coat of matte medium on the two replacements and the original two bleeders to seal the paper mache’ and protect it from the wetness of the gesso and paints.20181111_182455 (3)

I used Elmer’s Glue-All, Multi-purpose Glue, the Extra Strong Formula and Aleen’s Original Tacky Glue and Aleen’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue, all slightly watered down, as the adhesive for the paper mache’. I used gift insert tissue paper for the paper. 20181111_182753 (3)

I used Liquitex Matte Medium, the fluid formula and Liquitex Basics Acrylic Gesso to prep the surface of the “pears” to get them ready for the paint I was going to use on them.20181209_194652 (5)I used Folkart Outdoor Acrylic Paint in: 6240E Cotton, as the prime coat, the base coat and the top coat of all the “pears”, and I used sponge brushes to apply the paint cause they don’t create as much streaking as normal paint brushes sometimes do. On the “eyes” and mouths I used Folkart Outdoor Acrylic Paint in: 1640 Licorice, which I applied with a nail art dotting tool. On the carrot noses, which are pieces of round bamboo skewers, I used Folkart Outdoor Acrylic Paint in: 1615 Pure Orange and I applied it with a Crayola Kid’s Disposable Craft Brush. You could also use pieces of orange chenille “pipe cleaners” for the noses. I got those cute little clamps, that I used to hold the small parts while I painted them, from Walmart. The paints came from Walmart too. The snow men’s “arms” are made from the branching bits left over from when I was cutting off silk fall leaves from silk leaf bunches for my Halloween display. I have a bunch of those and they looked kind of like arms and hands so I used wire cutters to trim them to the sizes I wanted. Then I put two coats of gesso on them and then I painted them with Folkart Outdoor Acrylic Paint in: 1617 Maple Syrup (it’s a color, not actual maple syrup) I used the disposable brushes for these too. For drilling the holes for attaching the noses and arms, I used a round mini diamond needle file, which I got from http://www.micromark.com , they sell all kinds of way cool small tools which are good for model making, small wood carving projects, jewelry making, doll house building, etc.20181209_194926 (3)For the “hats”, I used baby socks in the 0-6 months size, the pastel color ones I got from Walmart and the striped ones I got from amazon.com. To make the “hats”, I turned the socks inside out and then tied the sock off and knotted it tight, just before the heel area, with a piece of string. Then I cut the part above the knotted part off and turned the “hat” right side out and wiggled the hats into place on the snow people’s “heads”. 20181211_162319 (2)The tiny little buttons I’m using for the chest buttons came from Hancock Fabrics, and they come in lots of colors. I glued paper discs on the bottom of all the snow people to cover the holes left from the bamboo skewers and to help keep them from toppling over.20181211_162228 (2)

I used Crafter’s Pick, THE ULTIMATE! to glue all the various small parts to the snow people, it holds firm and dries clear.20181211_162400 (2)So, here they are again, I’m working on them assembly-line like. I glue bits on and let them dry and keep doing that till their done. These guys and gals actually aren’t very hard to do, they just had some fiddly problems I had to ponder on and overcome. The only hard bit was threading those “lights” on the wire “light strand” that the one snowman is holding. They are very fragile and kept breaking so I’m only doing one like that, those “lights” are actually little beads that can be used to embellish like Christmas cards and gift tags, etc., and they came from Hancock Fabrics. In a perfect world these guys would only take a few hours to do plus drying time for the paint and glue. But because I had to paper mache’ some of them it took quite a while longer, plus I was fitting in working on them around doing housework, doing laundry, cooking meals, dealing with hurricanes, tropical storms, etc., you know, fun stuff like that. My recommendation for doing these is that you make the pear shape from aluminum foil and paper mache’ it. That way you have less problems and you can make the bottom flat-ish so they stay upright without toppling over. So, I would place these as an intermediate skill level crafter’s project. They took some problem solving to do. And they need some adult supervision if kids are making these for using the wire cutters, craft knives and sharp scissors for cutting the different bits and pieces out, plus working with the special glue. So, it took a while to get these guys to this point, but I’m liking how they are turning out so far. I hope you find my tutorial helpful and you don’t have to use the exact products I did to do these. I use what is relatively inexpensive and what is easy for me to get locally. I used the Outdoor paints because they are self sealing and don’t absolutely have to be varnished. So there you go! If you make these I hope you like them. Christmas is coming soon and happy crafting!




Air-dry clay ornaments in the works…

20181209_193423 (2)I’m trying out this new to me: Model Air, Air Dry Modeling Clay, made by Polyform, the same people who make Sculpey polymer clay. When it is dry it can be sanded, drilled(very carefully) and painted. Now according to the website, http://www.sculpey.com , these ornaments I’m working on should have dried in about 24 hours. Well, in real life, in the real world, it has taken a little over a week, I started these last Saturday and they are now finally dry and ready to sand(the edges) and then paint. And as you can sort of see from the picture, they curved/cupped a little bit as they were drying, not a lot but they aren’t completely flat like they started out as. I kept flipping them over back and forth so they would dry evenly, and they still cupped. Just a minor thing. I used card board templates to trace and cut the shapes out from the clay, which I had first rolled out flat and even. I then cut the shapes with a sharp craft knife. I’m going to use Folkart acrylic paints and dimensional paints on them. There is a teddy bear, two stars, two cats, two running pigs, a round ball shape, and two ninja kick fighters. I got that other package you see perched there on the cookie pan and will make some more ornaments. These shapes were all made from a 2.2 lb (1 kg) package of white clay. When I finish painting them I will post another picture so you can see how they turned out.

So, there you go! These ornaments were not hard to make so far, just a little fiddley and took some extra drying time. Hopefully, they will turn out well, I made two of some of them so I can give the best looking versions as Christmas gifts. So, Christmas is coming fast! Have a great day and happy crafting!

A way to display ornaments or cards if you don’t have a lot of space…

20181209_193553 (2)I’ve seen versions of this thingy all over Pinterest.com, especially in the sections for Scandinavian Christmas decorating ideas. Some of these are made sized like a regular Christmas tree, clear up to six feet tall and would fit in a very narrow space, good for people with not a lot of room. I pulled together this one with help from my father-in-law, he drilled the holes for the cross pieces to fit through. I measured and cut the cross pieces and assembled and screwed on the base piece. The up-right piece is a 1″ round wood dowel which is 25″ tall. The base piece is a 8″ inch pine wood round, that I got from Hobby Lobby. The cross pieces, starting with the bottom one are: measuring up 7 1/2 ” from the base, a 3/8″ dowel, 14″ long. The next one, measuring up 8″ from the bottom cross piece, is 10 3/4″ long, also a 3/8″ dowel. And the top cross piece, measuring up 8″ from the middle one, is 8 1/2″ long and it also is a 3/8″ dowel. My measurements are give or take measuring, I was using a yard stick to measure the thingy before I took the picture. I base coated this whole thing with Folkart Outdoor paint in: 6240E Cotton. Then I used a sea sponge piece and sponge painted the whole thing with Folkart Outdoor paint in: Metallics 1654 Pure Gold, my camera didn’t pick up the shine very well. I was trying for a marbled look that I could use for holiday ornament display for different holidays, not just Christmas, a multi-holiday ornament or card display thingy. And I keep calling it a thingy because I’m not exactly sure what the proper name for it would be, I just know it’s Scandinavian.

So, there you go, an easy to make ornament/card display thingy that can be used in small narrow locations. And the Folkart Outdoor paints are self-sealing, so the thingy doesn’t have to be varnished, it just needs to “cure” for 72 hours and then it is ready to use. Though, I still might put some varnish on it to make it more shiny looking. So, Christmas is coming really soon! Have a great day and happy crafting!

A bit of a product review #3 The garden & home product edition…

20181101_183818 (2)I used to use these NeemAura Citronella Sticks when I worked in my garden to keep the mosquitoes away. See the taller package, that is how the package used to look, they came as an actual incense stick that you could stick in the ground and you’d light them and they worked great. They would last for two hours. Now they come in the shorter package, there is no longer a stick part and you have to finagle them onto that metal thingy which is an absolute piece of cheap crap! They break and fall apart. If you actually manage to get them to stay in one piece and onto the metal stand/holder thing, the slightest breeze can blow them over and the burning tip breaks off. And all the while you are trying to get the product to work properly, the mosquitoes are coming up behind you and having a field day chewing up your backside and any other part they can get at! So, to make these “sticks” work after a fashion, I light them and put them in a tall can like the ones asparagus spears come in. I set the can next to one of my pots to protect it from sudden breezes and the stick stays burning and does its job like its supposed to do but now for only an hour. I’m really not impressed with the so called new and improved version of this product, I can make it work but I liked how it was originally a whole lot better. In my opinion the “improvement” the company made to this product should never have been made, it was fine the way it was. Now it’s almost more trouble than it’s worth. On a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 as worst and 10 as best, I give this product a 2. Before it was “improved” I would have given it a 10, it was that good! I got this from Amazon.com as it is no longer available locally in stores.20181101_183543 (2) “Dynamite Mater Magic”, in my opinion, works almost like actual magic for growing big healthy tomatoes and peppers. This is a SUPER GREAT product! I feed it to my tomatoes when I grow them and also to my pepper plants. This last growing season I was able to fill eleven gallon size food storage bags with peppers off my pepper plants and my last pepper plant was still loaded with peppers until we had a hard frost last week. The product supplies pretty much everything the plants need to produce vast quantities of tasty tomatoes and peppers and it helps protect against blossom end rot and cracking. On a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 as worst and 10 as best, I give this product a 10, it is that good! I buy this from Lowes.com and from their brick & mortar stores.20181101_183639 (2)It is the time of year when all kinds of crawly things want to come inside and hang out with you over the winter. We even have problems with centipedes getting in, can’t stand them and if they bite you it means a fast trip to the emergency room. So, I use Orange Guard, it is made with the oils from orange peels and works really well for killing and repelling creepy, crawly and flying home invaders. It will take down a fly with one direct hit, and it will kill a cockroach in ten minutes or less, depending on how much you are able to hit it with before it makes a lightening run to hide from you. I haven’t actually tried Orange Guard on centipedes yet, usually I wack them with my shoe, but it might work on them, but because they are so dangerous I would stick with the tried and true shoe wack method on them. Least ways with that method you know they’re definitely dead and not lurking somewhere close in a weakened state but still able to bite the crap out of you. So, a warning about Orange Guard, it can remove paint from all kinds of surfaces, so if you use this product, after spraying it, wipe it off the surfaces you get it on after it does its job killing the bugs you aimed it at.  And don’t spray it on plants, it can burn and kill foliage. All and all, Orange Guard is a very good product. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 as worst and 10 as best, I give Orange Guard a 9 and that is only because it can remove paint off household surfaces. With careful use, Orange Guard is a very effective bug repelling and bug killing product. I buy this at various health & natural food stores.

So I hope my product reviews are useful to someone shopping for garden and home bug repelling and bug killing products and for SUPER GREAT tomato and pepper food! I hope you all have a very nice day!

Give a little, get a little

Attention knitters and crocheters!

Wandering Cat Studio


Do you knit for charity? Would you like yarn to knit for charity?

Yarn Canada contacted me and asked me to spread the word about their charity knitting program. They are looking to give away $2000 in yarn in Canada and the U.S. to crafters who put their needles to work in a good cause.

Details can be found on their website here.

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Making and Baking Gingerbread: Tips & Tricks

Very informative and really good tips!


I have to be honest, I haven’t made gingerbread for years now. Sad but true. I decided maybe it’s time to revisit my favorite gingerbread recipe except I ran into to one problem –  after all these years, it was no where to be found! That lead me to set off on a search of online recipes. As I looked through them, I found some excellent reminders and tips along the way so I put together a  a list of excerpts from the experts on gingerbread making and baking best practices.

Gingerbread probably became linked to Christmas because in European winters, fresh produce was rare, so most sweets treats were based on dry pantry items that kept a long time (like flour and spices). Ginger is also said to aid digestion, so perhaps best eaten after a big Christmas meal? (Food24)

Picking The Right Gingerbread Recipe

Choose a…

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The Pear Snow People so far…

20181129_091239 (2)This is what they look like so far. The one with the blue hat is going to have buttons that match his hat, but he is the most farthest along of all the snow people. And he might be the only one holding the string of lights cause the little bulbs keep breaking, they are so fragile! And the one on the far right, with the hat made of pom poms, is going to loose the pom pom hat, I like the baby crew sock hats better. I’ve got ones of these guys in various stages so I can take pictures for a tutorial. As long as they aren’t bleeding color the pears are relatively easy to work with. I used a thin needle file to drill the holes for the noses and the arms. The string of lights blue hat guy is holding is green craft wire with tiny light bulb ornaments strung on it. I used Folkart Outdoor Paint, which is self sealing, on these guys, so they won’t need to be varnished. Yeah! That’s a good thing cause the weather has been really crappy here, front after front just keep rolling through. It’s like it went from hot summer to nasty cold winter with not much moderate fall weather. Bleah! I’m going to see if I can find some more baby crew socks in actual holiday colors, so far our Walmarts are not keeping the baby sock section very well stocked, Target is even worse. I think it is because of the hurricane, the stores still haven’t really restocked yet after having to throw away so much damaged merchandise. Hopefully, as it gets closer to Christmas, the baby clothes sections at the local stores will get better stocked up on colorful baby crew socks I can use for hats. So, this is what’s going on so far with the pear snow people! Christmas is coming soon! Happy Crafting!