Monday, December 30, 2013

What's been keeping me busy…?

Most bloggers are currently posting seasonal recipes, decorating, holiday posts.  Not me though.  You come here, and you're going to get yourself a huge mess of a project post!  But, since you ask.  I've been working on a little endeavor I thought would take 3 days AT. THE. MOST.  Ha.  That will teach me.  It's been on my to-do list for nearly all of 2013.  Whew, done.  Just under the wire.

We won't talk about the whole OTHER project of scanning ALL my mom's and my old negatives and organizing them by date? year? decade? onto a hard drive.  That's now my new goal for 2014.  It's good I'm so flexible.

No, the thing that has kept my kitchen in SUCH a mess for so long (because you know, it's just silly to think of putting everything away when you're just going to have to pull it ALL out again when the next shipment of EZmount foam arrives next week.  Or whatever.) is converting all my wood mounted stamps to much-easier-to-store cling mount.  Just when I thought I had them all, I'd discover another drawer of Stampin' Up! wood stamps.  It's no wonder they hardly ever got used, stored in one closet or another…?!

Remember how, when you were in high school, you'd have dreams (nightmares?) of arriving at school, in your pajamas (when it wasn't even cool yet!) to write an exam you hadn't remembered to study for, and you couldn't remember your locker code?  Or a happy-mare, where you'd dream of getting a brand new BIKE for your birthday, and it felt so amazing even when you'd wake up in the morning and it was, like February and your birthday wasn't for months.

I don't have those dreams anymore.  I'm an adult now.  The things that make my heart soar while I'm asleep are dreams where I discover a WHOLE EMPTY CLOSET in my house that I had not known was there!!  Truly.  This is what my life has become.

Basically, this dream has come (sort of) true with the completion of this project.  I've emptied an entire closet of wooden stamps and, with the new cling foam storage format, filled two dresser drawers instead.  Right here in my craft room.  All in one place, stashed close at hand where I can easily riffle through them to find the ones I want.  Can you hear the choirs of angels singing?

I'm not sure what I'm going to fill that closet up with, just yet.  Crock pots maybe.  Or lightbulbs and gardening tools.  Or!  Pool towels?  Just thinking of the possibilities is making me positively giddy!!

What would you use a whole, big, empty closet for?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

More Seasonal/Holiday cards….

Here's another (and the last for now) catch up post.

I've recently joined a group of stampers and card makers who assemble once a month to learn new techniques, trade cards and generally have a fun social time!  Here are some of the cards I took to trade for the last couple of monthly "meet ups".

The theme for October was fall.
Impression Obsession Cover-A-Card stamp, Papertrey Ink sentiment stamp, epoxy leaf sticker from who knows how long ago!
Tim Holtz/Sizzix Bigz leaf dies, 7Gypsies tissue paper, another WAY old epoxy embellishment.
Papertrey Ink Mighty Oak stamp set, Silhouette tree die cut, Imaginesce cloud stamp, Wink of Stella Glitter pen on the leaves.
Vellum stamped, clear embossed and layered over top of tissue die cut leaf, washi tape, Recollections faceted enamel dots.

And for November, the theme was ribbon.  
So I finally got to use up some ribbon!  Inkadinkadoo Alpine Snowflake stamp set, Versamark Ink, clear emboss powder, Gold emboss powder, Studio Calico gold sequins.
 And this cute little wooden spoon scarecrow is what one of our members taught us how to make at the October meet-up!  He/she has a pin on the back to wear on your lapel!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Inspired Blueprints Sketch #112

Whoops, there it is!  All out of order, but finally posted.  

I'll be honest.  This wasn't the easiest layout to make.  I was afraid of making a "spectacle" out of the event by documenting it, but it felt good to have done it, when I was finished. 
 These were two random photos on my iPhone camera roll that we took this summer as we crossed back and forth across the continent.  Two photos I casually snapped of a seemingly insignificant moment in time.  We had stopped to visit some friends we hadn't seen in a few years and had several hours one evening and again the next morning sharing memories of old times and precious things with them.  
 When we got the news exactly one week later of the accidental death of our friend, it was both more shocking for having JUST seen him, and also something of a comfort for having so recently had that time together.  And it reminds me again, that even in hard experiences, there is something good to be thankful for.  

Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cute gift bags...

Besides the adorable little muslin drawstring bags that Lori carries in her shop, I get one of these bags monthly with my Studio Calico kit, for that "extra" inevitable add-to-cart item I can't live without.  And they are too filled with awesomeness to ever consider throwing out with the rest of the packaging.
 So along with said bags, some Tim Holtz Sizzix Bigz dies, a roll of Heat 'N' Bond and fabric from my stash, I made these up.  They look SO much cuter than the amount of time and effort they took to create!
The process is easy.  Iron a piece of Heat 'N' Bond onto the back of your fabric.  Run this double layer of fabric and H'n'B through your die cut machine with the die of your choice.  (It even worked great with Sizzlits and other thin dies such as this deer from Memory Box or the snowflake from SimonSaysStamp!)  Remove the paper backing, arrange on muslin bag and heat adhere with the iron on top of all layers.  
Obviously, if you were going to do any sewing, you'd want to do that before adhering the pieces to the bag.  Don't ask me how I figured that out.
 These silver snowflakes are actually glitter Pow paper that I treated in much the same way as fabric, except for the last step when you iron the shape onto the bag from the top, I used a piece of fabric as a pressing cloth to protect whatever the glitter paper might be finished with.
 Thanks for stopping by today!  It means a lot that you do!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Inspired Blueprints Sketch #114….

A new sketch has gone up over at Inspired Blueprints today!  (And yes, if you're thinking things are out of order and where is sketch #112 please??, you'd be right.  I am still playing catch up these days, and it's going to pop it's head up soon all surprising you!  Be ready.)

This was sketch #114.  LOVE a reason to print and scrap a BUNCH of photos!
Last fall I got to help my photog daughter with a senior shoot of my son's girlfriend.  She made such a cute subject for the camera and I couldn't help wanting to do a layout of a few of my favorite shots!
We went to the Arizona State Fair, and with several wardrobe changes, we got a fantastic variety of photos.
 There, that wire flower?  I've been hoarding that in my stash since, probably 1999.  I wish I were kidding.  Anyway, recent purge and it was either use it or lose it.  So I USED it!  Now I'm really glad I saved it all this time.
 And here is one of the new Heidi Swapp glittery words that I searched high and low for.  It was out of stock EVERYwhere.  Finally found a package at my LSS, and I'm trying to be good about not hoarding them...
 Be sure and stop by the Inspired Blueprints blog to see the lovely layouts created by the rest of the design team!  Thanks for stopping here today!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Glitter, Glitz and Glam….

So, I realize I'm late to the glitter party, but now that I've arrived, top up my glass with some antique silver Glass Glitter punch please!  
As with so many scrappy supplies, glitter has found it's way into my stash, even without my ever having any intention of using the stuff.  How DOES that happen anyway??  And again, a couple of weeks ago at my favorite monthly vintage and antique sale they were selling tiny, little vials of the prettiest vintage looking German Glass glitter.  So I bought some.  For no other reason than the display was so pretty.  The thing I've learned about the real glass glitter is that the silver backing will tarnish slightly.  And if there's anything I love more than real silver, it's slightly tarnished real silver!
Then, I saw this page in the latest Pottery Barn catalogue and decided to try something.  I wanted to see if I could duplicate that pillow design on a card.  I'll admit, the double-sided adhesive paper had it's challenges but with a steady hand, and nowhere else to be for the next 15 minutes, it's quite manageable. 
For the pillow card I actually used silver microbeads.  That's a whole other game, let me tell you.  But the rewards are so resulting.  I think. Well, something like that.  The dies for the quatrefoil design and the chevrons following are from Papertrey Ink.
And then I cut some "snoopy" chevrons for the German Glass Glitter that I felt confident enough to deal with at this point.  (Word to the wise….when they call it GLASS glitter, they aren't kidding!)  But if I did this card design again, I'd separate the stripes more, to make them visually stand out more.  
And finally, I used this glittery star from Lori's shop that she sent me in my last pizza box!  I clear heat embossed the card front and then kept the design nice and clean and graphic with the sentiment on the inside.  

And with that, my conversion to all things glitter is complete.  
These cards were preciously posted at Love is in the Details.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Goes against the wood-grain...

Love, love, LOVE me some real/faux woodgrain paper and scrappy bits!  

To that end, I finally pulled out some of the REAL woodgrain paper I've been hoarding.  How DO they make wood sheets as thin as paper!?  
The first card I made by die-cutting the Trophy Antler set with the Tim Holtz/Sizzix die, and coloring them with slightly different shades of Copic markers.  The result is a slightly unconventional masculine Birthday(?) card.  Oh, and I was quite delighted to discover that you can run corrugated cardboard through the Big Shot with a thin die and it doesn't squash it all flat!  I know, your existence is infinitely improved with that bit of knowledge isn't it!
Then!  Ohmygoodness, then.  I pulled out my new Papertrey Ink tree die and cut some more woodgrain paper.  I pulled out each leaf and colored it before glueing it back in it's place.  I used about 6 different shades of brown Copic markers. And don't you LOVE the intarsia look that results??  It makes a great masculine card that needs very little else to complete it, and I'm sure I will be making one for each and every card-receiving male in my life!

These cards were previously posted at Love is in the Details.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Inspired Blueprints 110….

My apologies.  This is how behind I've gotten….that this Inspired Blueprints sketch went live already a few weeks back and I haven't even posted it here.  

I stayed fairly close to the sketch, except for making the grid off-sized slightly, and I tried really hard to keep this layout really clean and organic, to better compliment the photo.
 I love this photo from this summer of my daughter admiring her all-white gladiola spray from the Farmer's market.  Sassy girl asked the vendor if she could make up a bunch in all white, without any of the other colors and the girl was quite happy to do it for her!
I used a memory box die to cut the floral shape from (very convincing) faux woodgrain paper.  Pretty much all the elements on this layout came from the November Studio Calico, Cuppa kit.  

Thanks for stopping by today!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hi, (waving) I'm BACK!

Even though I didn't actually go anywhere, I'm back, with a promise to get caught up here!

This posted at Love is in the Details yesterday.

The last time I stopped into the Love is in the Details shop, Lori loaded me up with these GORGEOUS corrugated gift boxes!  In both kraft and cream.  And she gave me enough that I shouldn't have to hoard them, but try convincing my brain of that!  Here are some fun ideas for ways to use them….

They happen to PERFECTLY fit the Kaisercraft Cards and Envelope sets in the store, so I made up a gift box of cards.  You could do this for any occasion; an all-occasion card box would make an awesome gift.  I did mine all holiday/seasonal.  The snowman embellishment on the box top is a Tim Holtz Sizzix embossing folder (there is an identical die too, I know).  I embossed the shape, cut out around it, lightly rubbed Versamark ink over the raised portions and heat embossed with white embossing powder.  I also used a Memory Box die for the snowflake swirl and a really OLD Making Memories fabric label.

And is it just me, or is there a TON of kraft and white inspiration around this year?  I've been wanting to scratch that itch and here's how I did it.

Memories Pigment Ink, Unicorn, White Detail Embossing Powder.
Tree stamp - Hero ArtsMemories Pigment Ink Unicorn, mat paper - Echo Park Christmas Reflections, Bakers Twine.

As well, I've had to part with 2 of my gift boxes give some candy gifts lately, and these boxes worked beautifully for that.  The idea for this Bark fell into my head one day, and I figured it would either be a tragic mistake or the most amazing thing to date.  Almond bark, minus the almonds, PLUS pistachios, candied ginger and BACON!  As far as I can tell, it's a huge HIT!!

 The box before it got wrapped up all pretty….
 …and after.

Ginger Bacon Pistachio Bark
12 oz bag of Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers
4 oz bar of Ghirardelli Unsweetenen Chocolate
2/3 of a 12 oz bag of Ghirardelli White Melting Wafers
1/2 - 3/4 Cup each of coarsely chopped pistachios, and finely chopped candied ginger.
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled.
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.  Melt dark and unsweetened chocolate together in a bowl, and melt the white chocolate wafers in another bowl.  Pour the dark chocolate on the wax paper and then follow with the white chocolate.  Swirl the two together, (but minimally).  Sprinkle the nuts, ginger and bacon over top the chocolate and let set in the refrigerator for an hour before breaking into pieces and sharing with family and friends.  Or stashing and eating all yourself.  Up to you.

Thanks for stopping by today!