Saturday, August 29, 2015

Pretty Thank You: Card

Welcome.  I took an hour this morning to make a card for a very special friend.  She has been my rock when I needed it the most.  She is always available when I need her.  And always helps me see the bright side to life.  I really do love her, and I know I am truly blessed to have her in my life.

a sneak peak
I needed some inspiration and direction, so I went to a few of my favorite challenge sites:
I started @ Shabby Chic.  Because let's face it, that is my easiest style to craft {smile}.

Their challenge is two parts: include an apple(s) or/and use the required colors: soft pink, pale green and white.   Also, your craft must be in Chebbi or Provence style.  Easy for me!

I next stopped by I Love Scrap.  They have sketches that are so easy to work with, and the design team really can get your creative juices flowing with their creativity and clever use of embellishments {smile}.   
I always love the layers in the sketches, and the design team will sure to inspire you.  They have various styles of crafting, but all of them are beautiful!  You just might find a new blog to follow.  {smile}

And finally, I stopped by another creative challenge site:  Brown Sugar Challenge.  Their current challenge theme is: make the sentiment BIG!  I have noticed that several crafting companies have started creating large sentiment stamps and chipboard words.  This is your perfect opportunity to use those large sentiments.  

and here is what I created:

and a slightly different view:

the Recipe:  I used kraft card stock from Paper Trey Ink for the card base.  I love the weight of this card stock, and I really wanted a 'light' kraft color.  
The text matt is a pattern paper from Melissa Frances.  I love the dark grey text on white paper.  It's very beautiful!  The cream floral pattern paper, is from Tilda: Happiness is Homemade.  I used a thread cutter to distress the edges.  I also added some machine stitching along one corner (upper right corner).
I machine stitched a strip of this beautiful gold lace trim to the pale green tiny star pattern paper.  This is also from Happiness is Homemade.  I adhered this piece to the left side of the card.
For my large circle piece, I cut an embroidery hoop out of a thin wood sheet.  I sponged white ink on the edges to help give the hoop some dimension.  I adhered the same dark grey text pattern paper to the inside of the hoop.  I felt that the repeating of this pattern paper would tie the large matt into the over all look of the card.  [I thought that a different pattern paper would look too random and possible out of place.]
I tied a multi-loop bow out of a pale pink seam binding.  And tied a button to the bow, and tied the whole piece to the hoop with some kraft twine.  I made sure my twine had a double wide loop bow, too.
I added a trio of paper blossoms to the lower right of the embroidery hoop.  I selected pale, soft colors that matched the required colors of the Shabby Chic challenge.  I stuck a button stick pin into the floral cluster.
For my sentiment, I could find the right font, the right words, the right shape.  And then, I decided to use vellum as my 'paper', and use embossing powder as my 'ink'.  It sounds relatively simple, but I did stamp several different sentiments in various colored inks, on various shaped papers, before I thought of using vellum.  I selected gold embossing powder, because gold is the accent color on the lace trim.  I used the Hand Scripted stamp set by Amuse Studios, the sentiments are big and 'hand written' style.
I also added a scrap piece of gold washi tape to the bottom right corner on the inside of the card.  And yeah, I added some machine stitching, to tie it all together. {smile}
Thank you for looking.  I'll post some photos of my advent calendar tree soon.  It's super cute!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Handmade Legacy; Card

Holy Toledo!  I didn't realize I had been absent so long.  My sincere apologies.  I have been crafting Christmas items, and working on a few blank journals, and started some desk top calendars.  And I haven't photographed any of it.  {frown}
But, I did make this card yesterday, and didn't get to photograph it until late today.  See, my life is crazy.  I have started a new venture, so to speak.  Well, I didn't just 'start' it, I have been 'busy' with this since the middle of March.  My new venture: Running.  I know, you must be thinking: seriously? Yeah.  I spend three days a week running, and swim laps one day a week.  I still work full-time, still take call at the hospital 2-3 nights a week, cook, clean, take care of my dog and husband.  And carve out time to craft.  Crafting keeps me sane.  But so does running.  Running gives me a chance to just do that.  Nothing else.  I can't start laundry, get dinner started, vacuum, or walk the dog.  I can only RUN.  And it does give me a chance to clear my head, and think of crafting, layouts, colors, figure out sketches, and think about Christmas crafts.  
My running has taken a front seat to my life.  And it will soon slow down.  I am running 12 miles now.  And that takes just under 3 hours, each day I run.  Yep, three hours devoted to this only 'thing'.  I can't do anything else.  And so, once I find the time to do this, I really do need to complete it.  I am training for a half marathon.  And that race is quickly approaching.  I plan on staying with running even after this race.  However, on a modified schedule.  I'm looking at running for an hour or two 2 times a week, swimming laps one day a week, and then do a spin class one day a week.  To stay in shape, to do this for me.  It gives me an hour for a 'healthier me'.  And it helps clear my mind from work, and to help concentrate on crafting.  

I knew I wanted to make a card for a very special friend, so I went searching the internet for a layout to really show off these pattern papers I picked up recently.  And found this beautiful sketch from SaratovScrap.  here is the card sketch:
What I love about this sketch:  The layers, and the bits and pieces just under the blossom.  
and here is what I made:

Recipe:  The card base is made from Kraft card stock by Paper Studio.  One of my all time favorite kraft card stocks.  Its a beautiful color and easy to work with weight.  
The pattern papers are from Simple Stories:  Legacy.  Instead of adding strips of pattern papers I decided to layer them.  I roughed up the edges with a thread cutter and my finger nail.  I sponged the edges, with a light brown ink.  
I added some machine stitching to one side.  I thought that it would add a home-made feel to the over all look of the card.  
I added an old (1870) French theatre ticket to the lower portion of the card.  I thought the color and the 'print' help 'age' the card.  The 'handmade' label I hand-stamped using the Boutique Accessories stamp set by Paper Trey Ink, using Mint Macaroon classic ink by Stampin' Up!.
I added a Prima blossom.  I cut a pair of leaves to help make the blossom look more natural.  And finally, I added a trio of wood grain sequins.
I finished the inside of the card with a piece of vanilla card stock matted with Mint Macaroon card stock.  
I won't write inside the card.  Instead, I add a hand-written note on a post-it, and add it to the inside of the card.  That way, the person who receives it, can re-use the card.  Sometimes, it is nice to have a card or two (sometimes more) on hand for special occasions.  This card is off to the post office, to be mailed to my very special friend.  {smile}  Thank you for stopping by!  I'll share more crafts soon!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Inside Spiral Notebook

~ photo heavy post ~

Howdy!  Well, I did finish my last blank journal.  I made the cover before I finished the book, and ran into a glitch.  I didn't want to put holes through the cover.  I thought the holes would look ugly through the beautiful cover.  So, I had to make an adjustment.  And thanks to Pinterest, I found my solution.  {smile}
the finished cover:

Recipe:  I made the cover and pages from my favorite kraft card stock by Paper Studio.  I used two pattern papers for the front: the text paper is from Melissa Frances, and the large polka dot ledger paper is from Bazzil (Vintage Market Place collection).  I matted the pattern papers to a piece of pool party card stock by Stampin' Up!
To add a home-made feel, I distressed the edges of the pattern papers with a thread cutter, and then machine stitched them together.
I added a half pink paper doily, and then wrapped a scrap piece of macaroon mint lace trim (Stampin' Up!)  I layered my sentiment piece just over the top of the lace.  I tucked a thread spool label in behind the sentiment piece.  I wanted to add a paper blossom to help balance the piece.  I added silver glitter to the petal tips.  And to add a sweet softness, I tucked a multi-loop bow made from a pale pink  seam binding just under the paper blossom. {smile} I tied a vintage kraft button with kraft twine, onto the multi-loop bow.  
I thought the top portion of this piece, looked bare.  So, I cut a line of hearts out the the same Bazzil pattern paper.  (It's actually the reverse side of the large polka dot ledger pattern paper.)  I did add some machine stitching, to help tie it into the cover.  I didn't want the line of hearts to look 'random' and not 'connected'.  
inside the cover:

Recipe:  I used Macaroon Mint card stock (by Stampin' Up!) for the matt.  I added a chevron pattern paper from Bazzil.  I had a scrap piece of that beautiful aqua polka dot paper laying on my craft table.  So, I hand-stamped the sentiment: 'memories', in black ink, and adhered this piece to the lower portion of the inside cover.  To help give it a 'finished' look, I hand tied a white vintage button with kraft twine.
For the first page, I wanted the author of this journal, to proclaim who they are!  I found my inspiration from Simple Stories, 'I AM' collection.  {smile}
I added 13 blank pages inside the journal.  Four of these pages, have side pockets.  That way, if you have some memorabilia you want to keep with your writing, you have a place to tuck them in.  {smile}  The blank pages are perfect for journalling, or to simply make the journal 'YOURS'.   Just add your own pattern papers, trims, embellishments and trinkets.  There is space, so you can decorate your pages to your heart's content.  {smile}

I did add some digital library cards into these pockets.  The pockets were created using other pattern papers in the same Bazzil collection.

the back cover:

Recipe:  I used the same pattern papers.  I also distressed the edges of the paper with a thread cutter.  I didn't add any machine stitching, so that it would appear 'sturdy'.
I did not create, this unique way of adding the spirals to bound my book.  I actually found a tutorial HERE.  I am very happy with how my journal did turn out.
Thank you for looking!  I will be making a few more of these, to sell in my Etsy shop.  I'll keep you posted!  I'm thinking of 'finishing' some of the 'pages' to help give the journals a more 'finished' appeal.  

Friday, August 14, 2015

Real Life

Howdy, and welcome.  Let me start by saying, that I am sorry for being silent these past few weeks.  I have had someone out there who was 'stalking' me thru social media.  When I say 'stalking' I mean that they would show-up @ locations I 'checked-in' at, and would try to talk with me about things I have shared in my virtual world, and not with them personally (as they are NOT my 'friend').  Let's just say, that their approach, their content, and their actions were more than not welcome, inappropriate, and plain 'creepy'.  So, I had to make a few changes to certain security settings, and disabling the geo-tracker in my photos.  Welcome to the new age of cyber stalking.
To say the least, this whole experience has caused me to re-evaluate what I post, what I comment on, and what I share.  Unfortunately this person had changed the way I communicate with the outside world.  And this infuriates me.  I won't let my government silence me, or take away my rights, and now I have let a weak, insecure, selfish, disgusting, gross, grown man do that to me.  Well, I will take back my space.  I will talk, post, pin, share, like, and #!  My government does NOT have the right, the power, or the privilege of silencing me, and neither will a cyber stalker.  I just have to be smarter, and outwit that SOB!  And I WILL!!!
But through all of this, I have to admit, it has been hard to create.  I couldn't seem to focus.  I couldn't get the desire to craft.  I didn't have any ideas.  But that all changed last night.  I made some changes to my virtual world access, and 'adjusted' my photos.  And then finally finished binding my last blank journal.  I bound it with silver spirals.  I have the cover on, and I am now working on the inside cover and the back cover.  Bravo to creativity!   I will take some very nice photos and share them with you this weekend.  (fingers crossed)
Thank you, to everyone who has been patient, supportive, and understanding.  I love sharing what I create with all of you: followers, friends, family, and crafty internet surfers.  You are the folks that I want to connect with, that I want to share with, and that I want to interact with.  Thank you for being there when I really needed it, and for all your support.  Now, lets craft something!  {smile}