Monthly Archives: January 2012

Vacation in a Box

January 30th 2012
A Scrapbook, is a package deal really, the memories and the art, but I usually will “Shutterfly” a photo album with vacation pictures because I do like to look at those and document the trip. Plus, scrapbooking 200 pictures would take forever! But for a condensed version, I thought of selecting some “highlight” photos and scrapbook those. Well, that’s the idea at least, I do have the pictures… On a similar note, I did have an “a-ha” moment this summer after I found a shadow box large enough to encompass our last vacation –complete with shells, photos, tickets and ephemera (little papers that relate to the event or experience). I’m about to start that project any day now! Here are the materials:

Shadow box I found at a Home Goods store, it has that “worn,” beached look.
Scrapbook paper & accents, only purchased on sale or with coupons!
Photos of vacation highlights, I am partial to scenery!
“Ephemera” papers  and information about the vacation– and calendar cut outs.

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Sea colored/patterned papers and real shells to mount pictures or something!
(this Linen Closet collection has great greens, blues and taupes for the soft look.)
 Stay tuned for finished product!

Pretty Papers Make Cute Crafts

January 22nd 2012
Paper crafts: Fast, easy, pretty! I am under the weather, but I had a little time to make something but not energy for big preparation and clean up. So I thought about using some pages I have been saving from Mary Engelbreit’s 2011 day-to-day calendar. (The kind you tear a page from every day.)  I have been collecting them either because I like the illustration, the message, or I could use it for another project like scrapbooking or making cards.
I used these in particular for bookmarks because I am reading or trying to read several books at once.  I couldn’t add “jazz” to the paper part since it goes in the book but I was able to add a little 3D to the part that hangs out.  So to humor you, I will show you the 4 books and the 4 bookmarks and you can guess where they each will go. First one to guess correctly gets a free book mark made by me!     
This project is basically cut and glue. Fancy scissors optional but not necessary.
 
 
Current Reading Material.
Magazine about Bloggers,their beautiful blogs and their journeys.
Product Details
Great book! Go ahead, admit that your kids drive you crazy and sometimes you don’t “feel the love.”
No one said it would be easy, thanks Leslie Leyland Fields
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A great way to draw & build a business plan for us right brainers, aka creative folks.
Click the book or here to learn more.
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A nice little Christmas story about reconciliation, a happy ending I’m sure. This is a great, “disconnect from my world” reading, can’t wait to start! Check out the author Chris Fabry.

Unlikely Crafts

January 16th 2012
I really enjoyed being able to create at will over the two weeks of winter recess.  And I get such a kick out of seeing these ideas materialize right before my eyes.  Sometimes the result is exactly how I imagined, and other times it’s so much better! Then of course, there are the duds that need revisiting and revamping until there is a WOW to them that pronounces them FINISHED!  Sometimes there is a quality that defines one’s work or play. I find that I am most meticulous and detail oriented when I am creating.

But now, here we go, back to work and my crafting energy has been zapped. I have, however, started the Summer countdown, at least mentally. There are all sorts of things to plan until then: birthday celebrations (smaller scale than parties) maybe a decent Valentine’s —a day of historical humdrum for years and years! An Anniversary of somewhat significance should conjure up some memorable event, place or outing. Summer Vacation!! My Summer crafting projects, some in the BRAINWORKS already.  I know it’s so important to live in the moment, and I find that they are just the stepping stones to what I am looking forward to in the future. Planning for something exciting keeps things moving along. I was counting down for Christmas and those December days doubled in speed and all its remnants are now packed away, SNAP, it’s over, just like that!

So here are some examples of unusual “crafts” that have kept me busy. They are certainly an excuse to be creative in a different field than what I normally would prefer, at least, they work as temporary motivators for me.

Special Dinner for my husband’s birthday:

Appetizers: Sharp Cheddar and Muenster Cheese (pronounced Moo-enster in the Outer Banks)
Bruschetta: 1 tomato, oil, vinegar, lime, salt, pepper, basil, parsley, garlic, sprinkle over and toss.
Caesar Salad, the boxed mix.

Filet Mignon seared and baked with 2 mushroom sauces on the side
(I didn’t care for either sauce myself)
one had a brandy base, the other a misc. Cabernet Reduction I threw together (literally)
Risotto (with Parmesan cheese, beef broth, leek) cooked in some of the bacon fat* 
Garnished with bacon bits, *from real bacon (for texture) and scallions.
At work, which I rather NOT put in the blog,
a projection of what I rather be doing. (No I am not blond, LOL!)

Wishful Thinking….

Reality…..

Art Filled Bloggers

January 10th 2012
Of course I am not the only one —I knew that. It’s just these types are not in my circles. Sure, I am surrounded by people with creative skills on many levels but I am the one with the irresistible urge to do it all day long! My husband for one is a self-proclaimed, “UN-CREATIVE” type. Yet, when we were house shopping, he would look at a run down dump and see all it’s possibilities, that’s creativity! What makes artists, bloggers, crafters, quilters, fabric-o-holics, and a variety of other folks successful or meaningful, is that there are millions out there just like us.  It’s a human condition, and how nice to know that we are not alone!

I was in a book store the other day looking for the Quilt Sampler Magazine, which is AWOL in these parts for the last 2 issues, and I came across the magazine Artful Blogging. (They also publish Where Women Create, another favorite of mine, as you may know.) Well, I had heard of it, from the WWC mag, but it was the first time I had browsed through it. What a lovely periodical. Not only are the images soft and inviting, the writing is from the heart.
Everyone featured seemed to talk about how blogging is a place to express our creativity without judgement or restraint. It is simply something we MUST do, both the craft and the blog.  This is why blogging about crafts, or crafting to blog has become so popular. People who like it, do it, or wish they could, will read it, if you post it.  And it’s not just crafting, it’s a whole world of blogs about everything imaginable (go ahead search for some) and while we are all unique, there is a thread of commonality among us. It draws us together, to talk, to belong, to express ourselves to be heard and understood, even if it’s just for our own purpose and enjoyment.  I hope to learn something from all those other bloggers and improve my own little blog.

After much denial and skepticism about so many technological toys that I consider to be communication tools used without communication skills; I think blogging, in my view, has given technology some redeeming qualities after all.

One Sitting Crafts

January 5th 2012
I have made a discovery about myself and the crafts I make. When I create, I like to see the finished product in a relatively short time. If I break the process down into phases, I feel like I accomplished something and my Craft Corner doesn’t look like a war zone for days on end. Not to mention that it’s a good way to get the photos of the stages in the process. This is why a “One Sitting Craft” is a great thing. I do it in one sitting, or one day or one hour, and I can scratch it off my list, literally. I once did a scrapbook this way, one page at a time and it was really beneficial to know I had a starting and stopping point and something to look forward to every night.

My daughter and I made this together to hang on her door,
20-30minutes, hot glue, ribbons, jewels and stickers.

I have also been wanting to try this “inner painting” of a glass ball for a while, although this one is plastic, no one would ever know! I especially liked the embellishing part, this one is simple and elegant, (see below) the “inner” paint took a long time to dry. So I figured, if I break the task down to painting only on one day, several at a time, they can all dry and I can move on to embellishing. Then, for one day, one sitting  one hour or one or two ornaments at a time, I can decorate each and finish them off.
I am doing a set of “JOY themed” ornaments for a friend and this is the first one.

Light blue acrylic paint poured inside and swished around. 
Silver adhesive letters, lowercase.

Silver laced metallic trim on sides with snowflake and jewels on the back.
I tied a white ribbon with 2 blue beads threaded through.
It takes on a totally new look when they are painted from the inside, like a “floating” effect and the paint doesn’t get scratched off.