Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Adult Coloring

My brother and his wife would color with their daughter when she was a little girl. I remember him saying how relaxing it was. This was over 25 years ago. Coloring with crayons for adults was not something you'd hear of back then. Sure, you could get away with it if you were sharing an activity with a child. On your own, it might cause other adults to give you  an over the shoulder, second glance. 

NOW there are coloring books for adults. Recently, I was in a local library where one of the activities that morning was adult coloring. I was invited to stay but because of previously scheduled commitments, I had to decline.

After seeing a flier for adult coloring at another library I decided to attend.  The catch word for me was, "coffee." There would be coffee and muffins or, if coffee wasn't your pleasure, bottled water. I'm a coffee lover so I was sold.

There were four other ladies in the meeting room. The librarian had us select a page from one of the several books available. Selections were printed on card stock.  The tables already had pencil colors so all we had to do was get busy. One person brought her own coloring book that she'd been working on. She'd been using  markers made especially for coloring books that didn't bleed through the pages.

I've seen the adult coloring books. They can go from tame to risque. 
The tamer ones usually have very intricate pictures. I chose a design that wasn't so elaborate. Otherwise, I'd become frustrated  and stressed  causing the purpose for coloring to become null and void.

I enjoyed the experience.  It reminds me of the vintage "Paint by Number" series so popular during the 1960's.

Interacting with other people in a comfortable environment made it even better.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Another Novel Idea: Tablet Keeper

TABLET KEEPER from an old book

While I still enjoy the printed paper pages of a good book, technology has made it possible to have a great number of books all in one place at the same time.  Enter, the tablet, also known by other names, e-reader, Kindle, Nook, Kobo. The list goes on.

I recently purchased Amazon’s Fire. It arrived packed in a white box and within the
white box was an orange box which contained the tablet. It was without directions inside, outside or on the box. I was able to download an e-book after much trial and error.

I thought about how I wanted to store my new gadget. I decided I’d make a tablet cover from an old book. After all I was planning to use it mostly for that purpose. That is until I learned how to work all of the other bells and whistles it came with.

I had an old book that I’d bought for 50 cents at a library book sale.
I’d recently put it in the “Give Away” bag . The fit was perfect. I plucked it from the bag of doom  and began resuscitating it to take on a new life. 

Here are the items I used:

Old book
Iron on fusion tape (I used Wonder Under)
Hot glue
Mod podge
Foam brush
1/8 inch elastic approximately ½ yard (depending on the size of your device. I used elastic head bands because black 
elastic wasn't available)
OPTIONAL: Items to make a book charm and clear heavy vinyl for a screen guard

1.   I started the cut of the pages out of the book using a blade of the scissors.
Do this very carefully. You don’t want to sever the front and back covers.
If you’re feeling lucky, use an exacto knife. The gutted pages went into the recycle box.

2.     I measured the cardboard and felt  in accordance with the dimensions of my      tablet. Cardboard –one inch smaller than the tablet all the way around
           Felt- one inch larger than the cardboard all the way around
3.  Eight, one inch wide fusion tape strips were measured and cut . They were ironed around the outside edges of the felt. After cooling the paper was slowly pulled away leaving the filmy iron on glue.  Using fusion tape instead of hot glue would allow a smoother presentation.
                                                                           4. Allow the tape to cool completely then gently pull it away from the felt.
5. left- after fusion tape was removed and pressed onto the cardboard. right-milky residue left from iron on tape.
6.The white edges would show so I  painted them with a gold metallic acrylic paint. A charm hanging from my book would also be novel (pun intended) hence the length of jewelry chain inside the spine.

After hot gluing the chain  in place, I covered it with a strip of black felt. ( I didn't reinforce the spine with cardboard.I didn't feel it needed it.)

Using a medium and fine tip black marker I made decorative squiggly lines where the edges would show.

7.The elastic I had was too wide. I went to Walmart hoping I'd be able to find a package of 1/8 inch black elastic   but they only had white.  I live too far away from a fabric store so, I stopped in the hair accessories
department of Walmart and bought a set of black elastic headbands. 88 cents for three.

 After measuring the elastic, I hot glued it front to back on one of the covered felted panels making sure it was diagonal in the front so that it could hold the tablet.

About that time I realized I didn't have a closure. That's when I hot glued one of the bands front to back on the opposite cover as you can see on the left below. NOTE: It's better to glue the band ends of the closure tip to tip instead of overlapped. Otherwise, you'll have a hump where you overlapped the ends.                                        
After hot gluing the panels in place inside the gutted book,  here is the result.
I had some heavy clear vinyl left  from a project, which I cut out to make a screen cover. That way I don't scratch it or have to look at the fingerprints when I swipe.
Here is the outside. If you look closely you'll see the book charm is a miniature of the book jacket.
This part was mostly trial and error.
By copying and pasting a picture of the book jacket (found online)on to a piece of card stock in a minute size, I was able to cut it out , stuff it with other minute pieces of card stock resembling pages, glue it together and seal it with mod podge. I drilled a small hole near the top, inserted two jump rings and attached them to the chain.
 I'm very pleased with the outcome. It made it's debut yesterday during our book club gathering.

I'd like to connect online with other crafters and see what you've created.