Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pretty Collage

As promised, my post sharing another desk top calendar that I created.  Each of these desk top calendars, are for a specific person.  So, each one is unique.  This particular desk top calendar, was made for one of my very special, and dear friend.  This friend has a glamorous soul, who attracts pretty things.  So, I used a glamorous, pretty pattern papers, and kept my embellishments simply pretty!

Jan., Feb., March, April, May, and June

July, August, September, October, November, and December

I used Primrose pattern paper, purchased in a 12" x 12" pad, from a big box craft store.  I just loved the mix of patterns and florals.  The paper is just simply gorgeous!  There are some glitter accents on some of the pages, and who doesn't love a little sparkle?
I used the mini calendar pages from Paper Trey Ink.  I stamped the months by hand, and highlighted some various holidays.  I stamped those in soft suede classic ink.
The girlfriend, who received this calendar, loves french things, so I used a Paris themed stamp set, to stamp the various french images on the calendar pages, in crumb cake classic ink.
I will share some individual images of my favorite months, soon.  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Retro & Fresh

Howdy, I don't have all of my planned projects finished, but I needed to change my focus and work on a new project.  I will be doing a card swap this Saturday.  I only have to make 8 cards.  Easy Peasy.  But, I needed some direction and inspiration.  So, I turned to retro sketches : a challenge.  They have this fun and unique sketch this week.  So, this is where I started.

retro sketches is posting their #99 sketch!  Yahoo!  Congrats to this wonderfully talented design team.  They come up with a lot of inspirational work.
here is the card that I made:

I used some new products from Stampin' Up!.  Sale-A-Bratin starts today, and I used some of these exclusive products.  The pattern paper is called Sweet Sorbet.  This pattern paper has a bright, fun, and charming look.  
The card base is Calypso Coral card stock.  I matted the narrow piece with basic black card stock.  I used a circle punch to create the 'window' piece.  I tied a simply bow with pool party seam binding.  I tired a vintage faceted button with white bakers twine, to the bow.  I added half a tea doily to the punched side.


The blossom, was stamped using the Stippled Blossoms stamp set.  I stamped the blossom in crushed curry and so saffron classic inks.  The leaves were stamped in pear pizzazz and pistachio pudding classic inks.  I fussy cut them out.  Manipulated the pieces, to give them some texture and to keep them from looking too flat.  
The sentiment piece was stamped in basic black classic ink, using the So Very Grateful stamp set.  Finally, to add a bit of sparkle and fun, I added three gold sequins.
Thank you for looking.  Hope you get a chance to play along with your favorite challenge {smile}.  I finished another desk top calendar.  i'll be sharing some photos soon.  Stay tuned!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Market Cardabilities

I really enjoyed making the paper mache book box.  But, it felt like something was missing.   Maybe a tag, to help package the gift.  Or possibly a card!
I used the same inspiration and sketch from Cardabilites # 91.  Their sketch is beautiful, and the inspiration from their design team is motivating.  So, without further ado, here is their sketch:

Beautiful sketch, huh?  Love the simplicity of the clean lines, and the option to embellish with a few items, or really bundle it up!
here is my card:

I used pattern paper is from Lost & Found - Market Street.  I wrapped some very vanilla seam binding around the main floral pattern paper piece and tied an upside down bow.  I added a Prima Market blossom behind/in front of the bow, depending on how you look at it.  I also flanked both sides of the blossom with Paper Trey Ink vintage buttons.  I tied each button with cream twine.  But, I felt it needed a little more glam.  So, I added a trio of gold sequins and peach half pearls.
For my sentiment banner piece, I actually made two banner pieces.  I stamped both sentiments onto pattern papers.  One is, 'HandMade with heart' and the other one is, ' thinking of you'.  One stamp is from Paper Trey Ink and Stampin' Up!
Thank you for looking.   I hope that you get time to create something.  Wether it is paper crafts, sewing, cooking, baking, or painting.  Whatever makes you happy {smile}.

I was a featured designer for challenge #91 @ cardabilities for this card {smile}.   Thank you for selecting my card.  This honor really made my day!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Altered Paper Mache Book Box Complete

~ photo heavy post ~

Whew.  A finished project!   I finished my paper mache book box this morning.  Took quite a few photos and now I'm ready to share with you, this labor of love.  I purchased a paper mache book box from one of those big box craft stores.  So, they should be relatively easy for you to find one.  You can always order one off the internet, but I'm not a fan of shipping costs.  (Frugal, one might say)  The book box measures 4" wide by 6" tall and 1 1/2" deep.  So, it's not huge, but the measurements are perfect when using 12" x 12" pattern paper.   I used a sketch from Cardabilities #91 for my inspiration to create the cover.

Let's start with the cover:  

I first painted the box with gesso.  Then a light sand color paint.  I spritz the box with an alcohol mist, and rubbed some of the sand color paint off, to give it a worn look.  I also used fine linen distress ink on the edges.  I used pattern paper from Lost & Found - Market Street.  I machine stitched the main panel to a crumb cake card stock.  The chicken wire images are stamped from Distressed Background by CTMH.  The sentiment is stamped from On the Grown by Stampin' Up!.  The lilies and white rose are made from clay.  The butterfly is a resist chipboard piece from Heidi Swap.  The pale green paper blossom is from Kaiser Krafts.  The cream button is from Paper Trey Ink, and the gold sequins are from Stampin' Up!.  (If you saw yesterday's post, I hadn't added the button yet, its tucked-in, between the pink seam binding and the pale green paper blossom.)

a close-up:

Let's open the box.  Here is the inside cover:

I used the same pattern paper threw out this alteration.  To keep everything looking like it belongs.    I did however, use a tag from Prima - Almanac.  Love the chicken.  I did a little stamping:  some more chicken wire, and a country phrase along the left side of the tag from Country Born by CTMH.  I also  created a tiny tag using a stamp from Friendship Jar by Paper Trey Ink.  I added a pool party polka dot brad by Stampin' Up!  I created a banner with the same pattern paper; Market Street.  I added some sweet tiny cream buttons from Paper Trey Ink, that I tied with some cream twine. (if you saw yesterday's post, I had not finished the banner.)  I added a white resin key by Melissa Frances, to help balance the page, and to add a sweet little surprise.  (If you saw yesterday's post, I had to flip the key around, so that the box would close shut.)

the inside of the box:

I just love this floral pattern paper by Market Street.  It adds so much sweetness without giving you a cavity (haha).  I wanted to add a little surprise, so I placed a small white crochet doily and a pale pink paper blossom to the bottom right corner.  I also added a little bit of sparkle by including a link from a Melissa Frances dangle.
here is the close-up:

here is the back of the box:

I wanted the back to have a bit of charm, too.  But, I also wanted to keep it flat, incase the owner wants to lay the book box down.  I used the same pattern paper - Market Street.  But I used a part of a pattern text paper that had this open area.  So, I used a stamp from The Sweet Life by Paper Trey Ink.  I thought is was fitting for a memory box.  I also added my signature stamp along the bottom.  

here is the spine:

I stamped the 'title' with a stamp from Loving Thoughts by Stampin' Up! onto a scrap piece of the Market Street pattern paper.  I also added a white resin lock by Melissa Frances.
I used a scrap piece of some beautiful peach colored silk ribbon by Martha Stewart.  I purchased the ribbon probably 5 years ago from a local scrapbooking store.  I thought the ribbon matched perfectly.
All the edges of the pattern papers were distressed with ink or ink and scissors.  I used scor tape to adhere the papers to the box.  I used my glue gun to hold the various embellishments to the box.

oops! I forgot to show you the bow!

Thank you so much for stopping by and taking a look.  I am off to my craft room once again to finish my desk top calendars.  Yep, I still have 2 more to make.  And January is almost over!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Book Box

One of the things that I have realized, is that, without deadlines, I just sit and create.  Create most things for me, or gifts.  But not so much for challenges.  Wow, that sounds kind of stuck up.  But that's not the intension.  I was on several Stampin' Up! only challenge design teams.  They were a lot of fun, and really made me be creative with my SU! supplies.  But, I secretly wanted to just craft.  Craft with what I had, no rules, no restrictions, no limits.  I used the excuse that I didn't make other things/different crafts because I alway had a deadline for my design teams.  Well, now, I don't have that excuse.  And, I still haven't crafted everything I want.  But, I do want to share with you a few (ok, two) pieces of a craft I am currently working on.

This piece is a 'cover' piece.  I am altering a paper mache book that opens into a box.  I wanted to create a shabby chic altered piece.  So, I used pattern paper from Lost & Found - Market Street.  Using what I have at home, and not spending more $ on supplies.  I machine stitched the floral pattern paper onto some crumb cake card stock. I stamped some chicken wire onto the floral paper.  I added some decorative shapes of different pattern papers, to help add some visual interest. The lilies are made of clay, as well as the rose on the seam binding.  The sage colored paper blossom is from Kaiser Crafts.  I added a Heidi Swap resist butterfly.  And a few gold sequins.  The sentiment 'everyday is the perfect adventure', comes from a retired Stampin' Up! stamp set.  I stamped the words onto a scrap piece of pattern paper and cut out the words.

This piece is going on the inside cover of the book box.  I'm not done yet.  But I still wanted to share with you.  I used a text paper from the same pattern paper collection (Market Street).  I added a decorative shape piece of a coordinating pattern paper.  I added a Melissa Frances resin key.  The main piece is actually a tag from Prima Marketing - Almanac.  Love the rooster.  I stamped the same chicken wire in flannel ink.  I also stamped a quote, 'I was born country and that's what I'll always be, like the rivers and the woodlands wild and free. ~ Alabama', in Baked Brown Sugar classic ink, along the left side of the tag.  I made a tiny tag from crumb cake card stock.  I stamped 'Celebrate today' from a Paper Trey Ink stamp set, in basic black classic ink.  I added a pool party polka dot brad to the top of the tag.  
Currently, I am working on the banner strung across the top.  I used a different pattern paper from Market Street, and a distressed polka dot pattern paper from Melissa Frances.  I used some brown bakers twine to string the banner pieces.
So, as you can see, I have been doing some crafting.  Just not very fast.  I'm not making this book box for anyone specific.  I'm getting a jump start on some crafts that I am selling at my next Craft Fair.
Thank you for stopping by {smile}.  I'm hoping to get this book box done this weekend.  I'll share photos once I'm done.  I still haven't decided on the ribbon to tie the book closed.  So, please stay tuned!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Shabby Chic Desk Top Calendar

Whew, almost done creating these for some special girlfriends.  (only 2 left)  One of these special girl friends, has a love for shabby chic, too.  So, her calendar was the easiest (so far) to create.  She is also a minimalist when it comes to crafting.  So, I created a double-sided desk top calendar with that in mind:

January, February, March, April, May, and June

July, August, September, October, March, November, and December
Holy cow!  I forgot to flip March over, to show October.  Ugh! and the calendar is already put together.  Well, here is October, bound.
This calendar was super easy and fast, to get together.  For October, I stamped 'Halloween' in a soft fine linen ink color, onto the pale pink polka dot pattern paper.  I stamped the witch 'ticket' in soft suede classic ink.


I used a super heavy vanilla card stock for each main page.  The pattern papers came from Lost & Found - Market Street.  I matted the calendar pages onto crumb cake card stock.  I sponged linen distress ink on the calendar matts.  I stamped the months in soft suede classic ink.  The little 'reminders' are stamped in linen distress ink, too.  They mark St. Valentine's Day, Halloween, Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Thank you for looking.  I will post an image of each month, soon.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Favorite Fabrication

~ photo heavy post ~

I shared my latest  desk top calendar with you yesterday.  and today, I want to share my favorite months.   The creative block for me, was the use of these bright, bold colors.  But, once I started, it became easy.  

love the mix of orange and aqua

love how the yellow pattern paper adds a splash of brightness

a splash of aqua

love the different shades of aqua, and the mix of patterns

love the 'glass' star and bakers twine

love the ruler

love the black and yellow color combo

I was pleasantly surprised how lovely these colors are together.  Abstractly, you would think, 'Yikes!'.  But, it really does work.  The crushed curry is repeated in the main pattern paper.  The aqua and orange are repeated as well.  
Thank you for looking.  I hope you have been inspired.  Making a desk top calendar isn't hard.  Just takes a little fore sight.  Use what you have.  And experiment with products that aren't 'easy' for you to work with.  You just might be surprised!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fabrications Desk Top

Wow.  I didn't realize that it has been a whole week since I posted.  Ugh.  That's awful of me.  Sorry folks.  I wish I could say that I was super busy creating all these fabulous things in my craft room.  And well, that just isn't the case.  I have been busy with life: work, house work, laundry, taking care of my husbands dog, yada  yada yada.  Busy, like the rest of the world.
Anyways.  I did finish another desk top calendar.  This one is totally NOT my style.  It has bright, bold colors, with a minimalist take on the embellishing.  Perfect for a specific girl friend.

January, February, March, April, May, and June

July, August, September, October, November, and December

The girl friend I created this calendar for, loves, and I mean loves bright, bold colors.  So, that is why I chose to work with these papers.  I'm also keeping on track with my new years resolution to 'use what I have'.  The paper line is from Teresa Collins, Fabrications.  I was a bit surprised by that.  Because I generally think of her stuff in more of a girl-y, glamorous, soft color type of product.  Surprise!  I used pattern paper from her collection, but the card stock and embellishments are a mish mosh of what I have in my craft room. Solid card stocks are from Stampin' Up!: crushed curry, rich razzleberry, pool party, and pumpkin pie.  The ribbons are from Paper Trey Ink: black gingham, aqua mist solid satin, and aqua mist polka dot.  All buttons are from Paper Trey Ink.  The bakers twine is retired Stampin' Up! in pool party and the Twinery  in red.  The thin silver cord and 'glass' snowflake are from a big box craft store.  The mini ruler, and butterfly pin are from Maya Road.  The 'glass' star is from Tim Holtz collection.  The blue rolled flower is from Refections.  And the large blue blossom on Feb. is from a floral pick.  That should cover all the supplies.

This is another 'half' calendar.  In this orientation, you will have the first half of the year.  The second have of the year is on the other side.  That way, you get to see both 'covers'. {smile}
I used my Bind-It-All, to put this together.  However, I am still new at this, and I am not totally happy with how the binding came out.  I followed the instructions, but I still don't like how it 'finished'.  Maybe I used too large of O-wire.  Of something.  If anyone has little tips or tricks that they would like to share with me, please do!  
Have a great week.  I am working on publishing a few more tutorials.  This one is on altering wood blocks and another is on altering an alarm clock.  Look for both of those publications by Feb.  My fingers are crossed. {smile}

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Stationery Noted Calendar

I created another desk top calendar, using Teresa Collins Stationery Noted pattern papers.  I used the same 4" x 4" base, along with the same calendar page size.

January, February, March, April, May, and June

July, August, September, October, November, and December
For this desk top calendar, I did it a bit different.  I made it two sided, so that when you are done with June, you just flip the calendar around, and use the other side.  So, January thru June uses the text side background piece.  While the July thru December uses the flourish side background piece.
When I first bound the calendar, I used a 1/2" spiral, and it was too small.  It really bunched the pages together, and looked too 'cramped'.  So, I am off to the craft store, to purchase a larger spiral.  I'm looking for 1" and 1 1/4".  Let's see what they have {smile}.
I used a different style pattern paper.  Not my typical paper crafting style.  But, I really need to start using what I have here at home, and not spend so much money on more stuff.  You'd think that I was a pattern paper collector, and not an at home paper crafter.
I'll take a photo of the desk top calendar once it is all bound.  Stay tuned {smile}.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Months in French Country

~ photo heavy post ~

Thank you for stopping back by.  I know this year is starting busy, but I'm happy that you have taken the time to swing by and take a look at what I have created.  I have chosen a few of my favorite month layouts.  Enjoy the eye candy {smile}.

March 2014
I'll start with March.  I love the mix of pattern papers, along with the machine stitching along the top edge of the banner.  This layout is clean and simple.  But, I think that leads to the over-all beauty of it.

April 2014
 Another clean and simple layout.  I didn't add a whole lot to these pages.  But, I really love the look of the sparkle clay cameo with the toile pattern paper.  I added a blossom shape text paper piece behind the cameo.  I wanted an additional pattern, but I felt that another blue pattern paper would get lost.  I wanted to add some sparkle, so I cut a foliage piece out of silver glimmer paper.
Easter, is on April 20th, this year.  So, I stamped the bunny in a circle in pink ink on the calendar page.

August 2014
 I had fun with this one.  August always means 'back-to-school' for us.  So, that was my thought process for this calendar page.  I used a large sun flower pattern paper, along with a trimmed down library card, and a wooden ruler.

September 2014
 I love the look of the small floral print with the stamped banner piece.  The colors, and pattern really do work well together.

December 2014
And last.  December.  I used the same pattern paper for the first month and the last.  I think the rooster image along the right side of the calendar page really adds a french flair.  I was also pleasantly surprised at how the text on the pattern paper works so well with this project.  December, is a month that I make cookies with my grandchildren, so the mini ginger man cookie cutter, seemed like the perfect embellishment.  Christmas, is marked by a circled tree stamped in green ink.

Once again, thanks for stopping by.  I made another calendar today.  I'll post photos later this week.  I used pattern paper from Teresa Collins, creating a whole different look.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2014 Desktop Calendar

~ photo heavy post ~
Whew!  I am finished.  There is a great feeling of accomplishment when you finish a craft/project.   I almost stuck this whole project in another bag and pushed the whole thing into a drawer.  But, I printed my resolutions where I can see them each day.  To help motivate me, so to speak.  And, it worked.  I saw these resolutions again this morning, and made the decision to sit down, and finish this lovely project.  I'm glad that I had {smile}.

Here are the finished pages: 

January, February, March, and April

May, June, July, and August

September, October, November, and December

The bound, completed desk-top calendar

bound, and standing
I used a few pieces to complete this project:  Paper Trey Ink small calendar pack, Calendar Basics stamp set, Graphics 45 French Country pattern paper, and (2)  4" x 4" paper coasters.   To ensure that the calendar, as a whole, looks cohesive, I used the same elements, and simple layouts.
I stamped each month in soft suede classic ink, regardless of the colors in the pattern paper.  I did stamp a little symbol on a few American holidays: St. Valentine's Day, Easter, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  I will stamp a few Birthdays, our wedding Anniversary, and a few other dates we celebrate: Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Grandparent's Day.
To pull/hold the desk top calendar together, I used my Bind-It-All {smile}.
I can add a whole lot of embellishments on a project.  But, I wanted to keep the pages flat.  That way they would lay flat, and not be too bulky.    However, I couldn't help myself with a few embellishments {smile}.
This week, I will share with you how each month looks.  I'm super happy with how the finished project turned out.  So much so, I'm anxious to start working on my next desk-top calendar.  I do want to use some different pattern papers, to give each calendar an unique look.  So, until then . . .  have a great week, and don't forget to carve out some time for you!