Tag Archives: christmas

January Giveaway!

JanuaryGiveaway1

The other week I thought about ways to make my blog more interesting and fun. Well, I don’t know if this is interesting but it sure is fun! I decided, drumroll, to share my thrifty finds with you via giveaways! Every month! Through the entire year 2013!

Applause! Applause!

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Au Revoir, Christmas

My Christmas tree

My Christmas tree

It’s been over a week since I last posted. But I had reasons. First I had my pre-op doctor’s appointment (of which I have a story to tell). Then there has been general life organizing going on and lastly, I’ve been grieving that Christmas is over.

It’s always so sad. Taking down the decorations, packing them away, thinking how you have 11 months before you can take them out again.

koristeetNo presents in pretty papers for 11 months either. This is terrible. I can’t handle this. Maybe a picture of a puppy would help?

ava

It does. Feeling better already! Meet Ava, 7-months old French bulldog. No one can do a stare down quite like Ava. Also, for a small dog, you wouldn’t expect her to be the Master of Space Hogging but she is. Funny story: one day I caught her licking my sister’s Moistmaker Sandwich while my sis was in the kitchen getting a drink. I didn’t tell my sister until the next day. I’m very proud of myself for keeping a straight face when she kept commenting how delicious the said sandwich was. Hey, one more thing to be proud of in 2012!

Seriously speaking, I should start taking the decorations down. But I don’t want to! Okay, I’m taking the decorations down but leaving the lights. And the tree. And the Christmas star in my window is such a hassle to remove so might as well leave that one in too.

Greetings from Thrifty “The Master of Rationalisation” Finn

Alter It!

I’m so sad. Christmas is over and there are no leftovers left to eat. *insert a sad puppy face here* There’s some consolation in this week’s Craft Your Passion challenge where we were asked to alter something and I used this opportunity to make a Christmas present! Yes, my friends. I made something to someone I care about!

There was just one problem. I forgot to photograph my altered item for the challenge before I gave it away so I had no pictures to post on the challenge blog. To have something to share, I altered another box. For me:

Challenge142a I’m storing my paper scraps in there now. Pretty cute, huh? That trim is real vintage and I’ve been hoarding it for ages. I think this is the first time I’m actually using some of it. And speaking of vintage…

I now have pictures of the first box I made. My friend Niko, loves vintage and glamour so I used fab papers by Graphic 45 to pimp a box for him. I called him on the morning of Christmas Eve and asked/told him to take pics for me and although I had to remind him today to mail the said pics to me, he came through admirably. Pics of before opening the present and after. He is so smart if you give him instructions. Repeatedly. And say them  very loudly. (No. We never make fun of each other. At. All. Or point out and laugh when we do something embarrasing. Ever. This is totally an adult, functional relationship that we have over here).

I’m linking up Niko’s vintage box in these challenges:

Challenges 4 Everybody: #10- Anything Goes
Simon Says Stamp Challenge: Anything Goes
Divas by Design: Challenge #66- Anything Goes
C.R.A.F.T. Challenge:  #187- Not a Card
Paper Play Challenges: Out With The Old, In With The New
Paper Crafting Journey: Anything Goes
Pause Dream Enjoy Challenges: #52- Anything Goes
Card Crafter’s Circle: #55- Anything Goes

How To Screenprint in 10 Steps

MerryChristmasPrint

How many of you are still panicking about Christmas presents? I managed to send last of my presents (most of them handmade!) just today and I feel so relieved! I can finally start enjoying this season, maybe even make a gingerbread house! From ready-made dough. I want get to the decorating bit faster ;D

Even if you have only days left, it doesn’t mean you can’t make anything nice anymore. Just last week I made some Christmas themed shopping bags to sell at a boutique in Helsinki and believe it or not, it took only few hours. With some unprecedented forethought I took pictures of the printing process so I could share it here with you.

Materials needed:
Printing frame
Photoemulsion and flooding scoop (or whatever that thing is called)
Cardboard box + matt black fabric to cover it
Sheet of glass (mine is from an old picture frame)
Strong light source (I use construction light, 400w)
Printer
Transparent sheets (mine are by Crafter’s Companion)
Printing ink
Squeegee

Stage 1: Getting started!  I used my printing frame to test if it is the right size for the bag I wanted to print. I also measured the printable are, which in case was 26,5cm*37cm. It’s important that you do this, otherwise you might risk creating an image that you cannot actually print with your screen.

Stage 2: Flooding the frame! I took my frame and photoemulsion to the bathroom. Flooding the frame is easy peasy, tilt your scoop carefully, keep it in a small angle and let the emulsion flow on your screen. Basically what you want to do, since the scoop is usually smaller than your frame, is flood one section, then scrape excess off and then move on to the next section. Your goal is two thin layers of emulsion on each side. After you’re done, leave the frame to dry in a dark room. Extra tip: Don’t kick your open photoemulsion jar. That stuff can be price-y.

Stage 3: Transparent! Meanwhile your screen is drying, you can go back to your computer and finish off your design. Print your design TWICE on a transparent. You need the image you want to print to be blacker than black. The black will block the light from burning the light sensitive emulsion and that un-burned area is your printing area. Since my image was bigger than A4 I needed to use 4 sheets of transparent.

Stage 5: Burn the screen! Now your screen is dry and you should be ready to burn your it. First you need a matt black platform, which should have about the same surface area as your screen. You can make this, as I did, by covering a cardboard box with jersey. Then the order of items going on top of that is: screen, transparent (flipped over, if you have text it needs to read “wrong” and sheet of glass to weigh them all down. Then with some masterful balancing and aiming, try to have your light as close to 90 degree angle towards the screen. In this case I didn’t (usually I do) and it did work fine anyway. Now depending on your light source and how far it is from the screen you need to adjust the developing time. My distance was about 50cm and I left it on for an hour.

Stage 6. Clean the screen! Higher the water pressure, the better. I bought this handy dandy tiny shower head that adds water pressure AND makes the actual water flow sharp and pointy which makes the cleaning easy and quick but you don’t need it, regular shower will do. When all the excess emulsion is off your screen, leave it to dry.

Optional Stage 7: Making ink! Since you again have some free time in your hands because the screen is doing its drying thing, you can mix some printing ink. You can buy printing ink ready made too but I have printing emulsion and various pigments so I can mix my own colours. Usually the company who sells pigments also have recipes for different colours on their website to use for reference. For black, Emo-Tuotanto, gave a following recipe: 15 drops of pigment per 100ml of emulsion. I made a double batch. Not that I used all that but printing is easier if you have enough ink to spread on your screen.

Stage 8: Prepping Printing Surface! You have your ink and screen and you need a printing surface! I laid a vintage sheet (folded) on table, taped it on place and then laid a vinyl table-cloth on top of that and taped that in place too. You need something soft yet firm underneath your fabric when printing. At first I had a towel under the towel and as you can see from the test print, it affected the print quality. Lesson learned: the surface must be smooth.

Stage 9. Printing! Now your printing surface should be ok, but do one more test print just to be sure. You can see smudges on the test print here and that’s because I laid my screen down when I re-set the printing surface and the ink smeared. That is why you must keep you screen leaning upright between prints if you can’t do your printing serially but have to stop to make room for the next printable thing.

When doing the printing you can use your transparent or in this case the original photocopy to guide your screen. Put the copy on the fabric, hold your screen on top of it (matching the image), remove the copy and then lay the screen down. Voila, no guess work! When you’re done with printing, store your printing ink in an airtight container for future use. When your prints are dry, use the ink manufacturer’s directions on how to set the ink.

Stage 10: Enjoy your handiwork! Nothing more satisfying than seeing your own work finished! I made a small batch to sell at the boutique but if they won’t sell, I just give them next year as Christmas gifts :D It’s a win-win! If you are wondering the bag size, the bags in grocery stores are really that big in Finland ;D

Hope you find this helpful and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. You can use the image above to make some holiday gifts of your own, just click it to make it full size. Both the text and image are copyright free. I used the text from Just Something I Make’s Christmas Text Collage and the Santa, I think, is from Graphic’s Fairy.

Happy Holidays and Good Night from Thrifty Finn.

Recipe Challenge! Or How You Can Find Inspiration In Everything.

Yes, it’s time for the weekly challenge card! The theme is a recipe: 3 designer papers, ribbon or twine, something circle shaped and we were asked to use an image from Delicious Doodle.

I requested the Robin Redbreast (who is a distant relative of me, Niina Itchynipple) and had some (a lot) trouble with the colouring. As you have seen in the past, my colouring skills leave a lot to be desired. I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on what I could do with my ProMarkers. However, this time I couldn’t even decide what colours to use! I tried realistic colours. Nope. I tried leaving the image black and white. No, that didn’t work out either. I was getting frustrated. I stared and stared at the image until I suddenly got a feeling of familiarity. I’ve seen something like this before!

I did some creative Googleing and found it! A fabric print by Maija Louekari for Marimekko called Pakkanen:

Image

See where I am going with this? After seeing the image, my card came together very quickly and here it is:

Image  My patterned papers are: the one on the background, the black paper is actually brown chevron I stained black and the blue circles were white but I coloured them blue with my ProMarker True Blue. The heart on the ribbon (twill tape) is also drawn with a ProMarker, colour Poppy.

Image

I love the graphic style of this card and it’s already on its way to someone. Don’t forget to take part in this week’s challenge on Craft Your Passion where you can win 4 digi’s by Delicious Doodles. I’m also sharing this card in following challenges:

Crafty Sentiments Designs Challenge Blog: Snowflakes!
Creative Inspirations: Challenge #193- Contemporary Christmas Colours!
Simon Says Stamp Challenge: What’s Your Favourite? (ProMarkers, stitching, ribbon)
Divas By Design: Challenge #65- Use Some Red
C.R.A.F.T. Challenge: #185- Winter
Dutch Dare Card Challenges: #195- Snowflakes
Pin And Tack: Spark Your Creativity Now! Challenge #4-Anything Goes!
Paper Crafting Journey: Christmas Projects
Stamptacular Sunday Challenge: #194- Christmas Time!
The Squirrel and The Fox: Challenge #33- Christmas
Challenges 4 Everybody: Challenge #9- Anything Goes

It literally has taken me nearly an hour to link these babies up. I think I need to replenish my strength with some chocolate.