Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Project Life MacGyvering

"I guess I can't make that."  said No Crafter, ever!

I'm new to project life and have been delving into every Pinterest pin to find ideas, resources and tutorials.  I came across a pin to Nichol Magouirk's blog, in which she made the prettiest frame-stamped journaling cards and gave you the names of the stamp sets, ink pads, etc, so you could recreate your own. Alas!  Three of the four Studio Calico stamp sets are no longer available and at least two of them, Epic and Awesome, will not made or stocked again.  For half a second I thought it was over.  Then I realized, no crafter ever admits defeat so easily. --  I may not be able to make the exact same set, but I can make a set that is close to the same look and feel.  I had one of the four stamp sets, with the chevron frame, so I made that one.  Then designed a blank frame template in Silhouette Studio.  Laid it out on a grid, arranged blank and patterned papers to the media mat and cut 12 frames in one pass.  I then used red striped washi to make immitate the bottom right frame.  Admittedly, I could have done a better job, but I was in a hurry to get to the frame I liked most: the "This is Awesome" frame.  I used the same blank template I'd created earlier, enlarged the photo opening, and chose a font close in size and shape.  (I only have the generic fonts that come with my pc, so it's not exact.)  The font on my pc had very different spacing, so I had to adjust, and eventually it came fairly close to the dimensions on the original.  I added two stars and voila!   
Now I can punch my pics out with a square punch (specifically the purple Recollections punch from Michael's) and drop them in.  So fun and easy, I can already tell I'll be making tons of variations to go with different layouts.  Hope you enjoy making your own!
Thanks for the inspiration and challenge Nichol!  And check out April's idea for creating a template for your square pics.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Everyday Eclectic Pieces of Me Mini

  I discovered minis less than a year ago, and am completely addicted.   This time, I went with Everyday Eclectic by EP, because I’ve been hoarding it and I just had to take the plunge and use it. I gathered the paper, some ribbon, doilies, toothpicks, etc. No real clue as to what I’d do, just willing to go with the flow. You can’t imagine my surprise when the entire album took about an hour and a half to make. That’s a record for me, usually my mini albums come together over a couple of WEEKS!

After cutting all the paper to 6x9, the pages were a snap. I kept them very simple so I can embellish more after I add photographs, or maybe journal more. I machine sewed all the chevron ribbons instead of using adhesive, it gives them a fun little line of orange thread down the middle. I attached the flags with wood grain washi tape, and added butterflies randomly throughout. Lastly I bound everything with my zutter and voila! A fun little album, in less than two hours!

The best part is: I only used half my collection in making this. I’m not sure how one package went so far, but I have another stack of 9x6 pages, a bunch of large scraps, lots of sticker elements, and one 12x12 sheet that I didn’t use at all. I think there may be a travel mini in the near future. J

Friday, November 30, 2012

Printer's Tray

My 3 yr old daughter LOVES helping in the kitchen.  Last year her 'help' slowed me down a lot, but this year she has so many little skills down pat that she's a brillant help.  Baking is our favourite thing to do, but peeling carrots and potatoes for soup seems to be a close second.
This was the first printer's tray I've ever done, and the hardest thing was exercising restraint.  I wanted to use all the colors in the collection (Carta Bella Traditions) and do something completely different in every box, but it was too busy.  I'm still tweaking, but it's close! 
The bow is tied with may arts chevron ribbon, I'm absolutely addicted to the stuff.  So if you haven't tried decorating a painter's tray, I strongly recommend taking the plunge.  This one was just $7.50 during one of Hobby Lobby's 50% off sales.  For more details on how I did mine, check out my igram (instructagram) here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Operation Write Home Blog Hop

Good morning!  Today we're hosting a blog hop supporting Operation Write Home. If you've just stumbled onto this blog hop, go back and start at the beginning, otherwise, you're in the right place! 
In reading through the OWH feeback, one that really touched my heart was a soldier writing home to her daughters who are blind.  She took special care in choosing out cards that were 'tactile'.  Making dimensional cards for OWH is a fine balance of adding interest, without adding too much bulk that would detract from shipping efficiency.  So today I'd like to challenge you to make subtly dimensional cards that are visually and tactile-y interesting, without being lumpy or difficult to ship.  I'm fairly new to card making, so I searched Pinterest for inspiration and stuck with simple designs I could pull off.  Feel free to be as fancy as you like, just remember to keep shipping efficiency in mind.  Things like embossing, small bling, border and shape punches, ribbons, etc. 
Please check out the OWH guidelines and don't forget to include a packing slip when you mail your cards!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Album for Baby Wyatt

I have a wonderful friend, Casey, who recently gave birth to a lovely baby boy named Wyatt.  He has CDH, to say it's been tough is an understatement. Fortunately, he's a trooper, and his parents are going through this journey with amazing Faith and courage.  To read more of their story, visit Casey's blog.
Making a baby album was quite challenging because she didn't want the normal "prissy baby" stuff.  So I went for a fun and classic look that I hope will weather well over time.  :)

Inside of the front cover and first page.  
Thank goodness 'Wyatt' has five letters, I feel banners always look better with odd numbers.

 'Miracle' pretty much encapsulates his story.
 One thing both his parents effuse is their love for each other and Wyatt.
Their story is amazing and worth sharing.
Even though they're going through stress, they still find joy in God and life, so I made a couple of double layouts to celebrate that. 

 These pages are all about Wyatt.
 I wanted to give them lots of photo space, so the far page has three 4x6 spaces in a row and one to the side, and the closer page has a 5x7 space.
 The final page and inside of back cover...squeezing in as many photo mats as possible!
 Thanks for looking and please keep Casey, her husband James, and their baby Wyatt in your prayers.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Scene in a Jar

My sweet daughter potty trained far too early and far too quickly, consequently I only have one good ‘diaper butt’swimsuit pic of her. For some inexplicable reason, I find it super cute and I’ve wanted to do something special with it.  Then I saw something similar on Pinterest and thought 'Why not do that with a photo, and have it be a dimensional layout?'  As soon as the idea popped in my head, I knew I had to do it.
Only three items required: a jar, sand, and a paper line with lots of elements.  Cut the elements you plan to use out of the cardstock.  Then play with them and lay them out experimentally until you find a pleasing arrangement.

Measure the inside of your jar and add a third to half an inch of sand at the bottom.

Cut your elements down to the inner length of the jar. (In my case it was four inches.)
And finally arrange your layers in the jar by sticking them in the sand. You may find space to add more elements, like the red fish I fussy cut and propped up on waves, or take away something, like the banner which was too busy.
Even though I didn’t use the banner, let me tell you how I adhered it to the ‘ceiling’ of the jar, in case you have elements you’d like to hang. First I ran a strip of snaketape onto my craft mat, then I rolled it with my finger and made a skinny glob (technical term).
It’s so strong, the slender glob held the banner up, and yet was easily repositionable too. I might go back in and hang a sun using the same method. Still debating it.

This project came together quickly and easily, but the best part was watching my husband and daughter’s reaction. They LOVED it, and suddenly inspiration struck! I could make another scene with her Alice in Wonderland costume, and she could be standing next to the mushroom and the caterpillar.  Now I just need to find the paper.  :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Easy mosaic card for a great cause!

 I recently heard of Operation Write Home, and felt the mosaic theme would lend itself perfectly for an abstract card design. Operation Write Home is a non-profit organization that provides blank handmade cards to soldiers overseas, so they can write home. After visiting their website and reading their guidelines, I decided this easy and dimentional theme was perfect!

First, I took a basic A2 card and colored the pattern I wanted to follow with some markers.

Then I chose coordinating paper from the huge EP stack purchased from CC. 
I also gathered random bling flowers I’ve collected over the years (and never know how to use). I felt they’d make great ‘tile’ accents to my mosaic.
And the free Operation Write Home rubber stamp. (Just visit their website and ask for one, they mail it to you free)  It comes unmounted, but I have a dollar spot acrylic mounting block, so I glued it on for a permanent stamp.
Finally I glued everything onto the basic pattern I’d already drawn, and stamped Operation Write Home on the back. I created a few more cards while I was at it, and will mail them all at once to OWH headquarters so they can be shipped overseas to the men and women who will use them.