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Every week I get dozens of e-mails from curious crafters from all over the country seeking tips and techniques.

So imagine my delight last year when Kitty Harmon and Christine Stickler contacted me for a brief interview for their new book Wild With a Glue Gun: Getting Together With Crafty Friends (Northlight Books, $19.99). It’s bright, vivid and playful, and celebrates the global village of crafting with 65 creative projects.

Chocolate Box Valentine
(from Wild With a Glue Gun)

Heart-shaped chocolate box
Assorted acrylic paints and brushes
Collage materials
Found objects and scrapbooking embellishments (see below)
Copper tape
Decoupage medium
White glue
Seed beads
Rickrack ribbon
Angel wings (can be found in doll-making supplies area).

Gather collage materials: clippings of images and words from magazines, wrapping paper or old books, stamped images, dried flowers, tissue paper, etc. Focus on items that will convey a message of love. Remove the chocolate from the box and eat it as you apply a layer of acrylic paint over the inside and outside of your box. You can use the lid to make another Valentine, but for now set it aside.

Sort through the collage pieces and lay out the ones you intend to use. Begin fitting them into the box, cutting the pieces to size. Begin with the walls of the box and apply a layer of decoupage medium. Apply the pieces and smooth them with your fingers from their centers outward. Overlap edges if you wish or leave gaps where the painted surface can show through. Cover the inside bottom of the box, using typical collage techniques; build up several layers in imagery in places to make it look more interesting.

Finish with collage materials around the outside of the box. Let dry for several hours. Seal the box by coating with decoupage medium. Let dry. Run glue around the inside edge of the box and press in a string of seed beads. Cut excess bead string after the glue has dried. Use glue again to attach rickrack around the edge of the box. Trim the edges with copper tape to give it a finished look.

String a piece of copper wire for hanging through two holes drilled in the flange. Cut the angel wings in half and glue to the back of the box on both sides. Glue or tape excess wire to the back of the box and hang.

Love & light,

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