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Click to watch an Interview with Joani!


Question: I think I would like to begin doing crafts. How do I find out what to do or where to start?

Answer: That’s a tough one! When you have a little time to spare, the best thing to do is pay a visit to your local library and search through the arts and crafts section and see what catches your eye. Bring a pen and a pad of paper with you, make a list and then go on from there.

Also craft stores offer classes at very reasonable prices. Most of these classes include the materials you will need and a qualified instructor to guide you through.

Question: I’m planning to paint a few clay pots to use outdoors. Do you need a special kind of paint for this?

Answer: I use the acrylic paints that you can get at craft or local discount stores. It's inexpensive, available in many colors and lasts very well on clay pots. There is also another paint available called Patio Paint, which the label says it can be used on terra cotta, which is the same as clay pots, and also wood and concrete. Either type of paint works very well.

Question: After going to the store to pick out a few needed greeting cards, I realized that for the six I needed I would be spending almost $20. I think I would like to try making my own. What kind of paper do you suggest I start with?

Answer: This is one of my favorite questions. At your local discount store you can find inexpensive packs of 8½ x 11 white cardstock and each contains 150 sheets. That means you can get two cards out of each piece -- that will give you 300 cards!

Cut each sheet in half so you end up with a piece of paper 8½ x 5½. Fold each piece in half so you end up with a card that is 4 x 5½. Allowing for a few little mistakes, .that’s still a lot of cards. Cardstock is also available in many colors.

Question: I was the one that asked about making your own greeting cards. I bought the cardstock you suggested and have made a few cards and have really enjoyed doing it. Now I find that envelopes are a little pricey also. Do you have an inexpensive shortcut for making them?

Answer: OK, it’s back to your favorite store again. This time get a pack of typing paper. A pack of typing paper will yield 500 envelopes for your new hobby!

Find one envelope that your new card will fit into nicely. Carefully take it apart so you get a form to go by. Trace the envelope form onto a piece of cardstock. This will be your pattern for future envelopes. You may want to draw lines on your new cardstock pattern where the folds were so making envelopes will be easy.

Take your new pattern lay it on one whole piece of typing paper. Trace around it, make the folds where needed and glue where indicated, leaving the flap that will hold your card open until needed. The first envelope will be a little challenge but all thereafter will be easy.

Question: I have used so many glues in doing paper crafting and am never quite satisfied with the results. What type do you use?

Answer: I only use two glues with my paper projects. One is a liquid called MonoAqua by Tombo. It has two ends for different uses. The top end is for a thin bead of glue called a pen tip and the bottom end has a broad tip.

My second favorite glue is a double stick tape that I use for card making. It comes in a red plastic container and made by Duck. I’ve tried so many but this one is totally reliable. It’s made by the same company that makes Duck Tape and you probably already know how good that tape is!

Question: As I am an avid gardener I see so many flowers and leaves that I would love to possibly press and keep in a memory book. What is the best way to press flowers? And do they keep their color?

Answer: The only thing I use for pressing flowers is a phone book. It is absolutely the best thing to use. The paper is very porous and you can press a lot of flowers in just one phone book!

It usually takes a week or two to dry them nicely. Without overlapping your leaves and flowers, arrange them on a page then carefully close ten or so pages on top of them and keep on going. One phone book can dry a lot of flowers.

You may want to keep a few phone books while they are still around -- one to store flowers, one for the leaves and of course one to store the ones you are currently pressing.

Some flowers keep their color and some won't. The same goes for leaves. You'll just have do a little experimenting. That's part of the fun!

Question: Does the quality of a paintbrush really matter when doing crafts?

Answer: Yes and No. If you are doing fine, very precise work, yes, it will matter. The better the brush, the better the results. Now if you’re painting flower pots or wood garden items you may want the obvious brush stroke effect so a less expensive brush will be ok.

Brushes can get very expensive. You just have to decide for yourself what type of results you are after. Check the brushes out at a craft store. I usually go for the middle of the road. Remember that if you do lots of crafts, then a good brush is a good investment and you will probably have it for years. Take care of all your brushes. Clean them well and store them carefully.

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