Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cleaning Out The Craft Closet

           A while back I decided to clean out my craft closet in my work room, mostly because it was bulging at it's hinges, and I promised myself I would get control of this! I tend to hang on to just about anything that seems useful or could be made into something. I have saved some goofy stuff over the years, all in the name of future craft projects.
Like for example I saved a couple of pop bottles because I had this idea. I always felt like the neck of the bottle and part of the center would make a great spy glass or kids.
So finally I made one. My stash of clear flat plastic came in handy for the wide end of the spy glass. After I completed this and came up with a pattern for future spy glasses I pulled out more interesting items.
Some items I had to stare at for a while to try and remember what in the world I was thinking when I saved it.

 Like these for example. Prescription bottles because the their shape and the colored soft rubbery rings around their necks.....really made me nuts to toss them out. But after months and months of holding onto them without any craft idea, it was time. Another item I hold onto is the brown paper wrapper below that comes off of the paper towels we use at the office. I believe that they would be perfect for stamping and using on a small gift as wrapping paper,or to homemade gift bows.
So to say I'm a pack rat is an under statement. It's just that every time I start to toss something in the trash bin I stop and think can I use this for something? These trays from Healthy Choice frozen meals have made me crazy for a long time. All I could think was I bet they would make a great stencil for something.
I was right it worked! Lets see what else can I do. While I never did make anything of any real usefulness then I still believe they will come in handy someday. So back into the craft closet they went.
This then lead me to some foam stamps I have had for years. I saw them once on a show I use to LOVE called the Carol Duvall Show. It was a great show which was on HGTV, back when they use to show craft programs. This was before their executives decided we all wanted to see only gardening, and flip your house kind of shows. A guest on her show was demonstrating these stamps and I immediately felt I needed them. I did some research and found them online.
You can use these stamps over and over again. Heat them with a heat gun and then immediately press them against something else and they will take on that image. I like to look around the house and press them against the corner of a ornate picture frame,or a drawer handle,or my mothers vintage cookie and butter molds. I have also used antique silver ware to make beautiful tags and cards.But remember whatever you press them against it will give you the reverse of that image,and that makes it even more fun!
Mine look stained and rather well used. It's because the uses for these are endless, and that makes them addicting. I have used them for gift tags and cards and scrap booking for many, many years.
After I played around for a while with my foam stamps I pulled out the linoleum and carving tools. This is a hobby that is relaxing to me like coloring a page in a coloring book. It's an instant satisfaction craft. So easy to do like carving butter, smooth and soft. So every now and then I just have to drag them out and make something with them. I must admit the linoleum isn't a cheap craft product so I tend to be stingy with it. I always make sure I have my sketches just right before I begin to carve.
My favorite stamp that I have carved and used over and over again is the fish (in the center of the photo). It has been great for gift tags,cards and wrapping paper. Well I must admit, I have used the bumble bee quite a bit too for gift tags. It's fun to stamp out a bunch and then have the grand kiddos color them for future use. My 9 yr old grandson has wanted to try his hand at carving and I think he's probably old enough to do it now. I use to be scared to death to let him try it with these sharp carving blades. Then I remembered my parents giving me a wood burning tool with it's lava hot tip at a very young age! Different times, different rules I guess. How did we all survive without all the new guidelines on safety haha!!
Spending an afternoon just playing can be very relaxing for me. I rarely accomplish much when I am in this mood. It's more about the act of experimenting and just plain old fashion playing. And sometimes during this process I might actually clean out my craft closet!


  1. You go girl, your mind is it amazing never stops
    coming up with one idea after another, what I wouldn't give to live close to you again. I will never forget the times we shared when we were young. You will always leave me in the dust when it comes to crativity but it sure is fun trying to catch you!!

  2. I just cleaned out my little art/craft space in the end of my least you do something with your saved items! I loved Carol Duvall...didn't like HGTV as much when they went to almost all gardening and selling homes shows! Those foam stamps that you can put your own designs in are fantastic...I'll see if I can find them on internet.

  3. I love the fish, but the "flapper" looking girl with the fish swimming over her head is WAY cool, too! And what cool little stamps that can morph into something else when you're tired of what it was...I would definitely keep those, too! Happy Wednesday, Rebecca - happy rest of the week!