Archive for August, 2008

Custom Fabric Journal

I love many things, but a couple of things I really love are” collecting fabric (for those things I will sew one day), journals, and altering things. So in this project I took a cute green journal that I got on sale at Starbucks and a piece of my favorite fabric to cover it. The journal is fine as it is and I’ve been using it for journaling and daily notes but was bored and trying to get inspired.

At first I considered using fabric glue which I don’t own, then I though I could use my modge podge which I have a big jar of but is pretty messy. What I used was the Greeting Glue from Stampin Up that was discontinued last year. It’s similar to liquid tombow, comes in a little tube with a sponge applicator. Basic insturctions, measure fabric large enough to wrap inside book, apply glue to one cover, add fabric, use bone folder to make crease for the cover, fold, glue, repeat.

Once completed it looked nice but we can always embellish a bit right? So I added the ribbon and metal book plate (from Stampin Up). Now, I have a very stylish and cute journal to pack in my purse.


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Photo Freedom

I bought Stacy Julian’s new book Photo Freedom after a friend of mine read it and highly recommended it. I have read it all the way through twice and I’m still picking my way through it as I have time. This is big, it’s revolutionary, and will really help you get your photos organized! That being said, I am not going to review the book, it’s too much to go over. If you go to Amazon you can read excerpts and reviews there. What I will share is how I am implementing these ideas.

First thing to know about the whole “Simple” philosophy of Stacy and her magazine is that being “caught up” is not the point of scrapping. Cathy Zielske also talks about this make believe place in her Clean and Simple Scrap booking:Part two (which I love!) This makes sense to me because if you are continuously taking pictures you will never be done, you will always have new photos to take and new stories to tell. That is what is so terrific about scrap booking. The second thing to know is that you really don’t have to scrap chronologically. Which is cool because I never have been this way, I just scrap as I go and as I feel like it. BUT I store my layouts in chrono order and all my digital photos on my computers and hard drives are all by date. This makes sense to some degree, but when you take an average of 10,000 pics a year it can really get overwhelming!

So now on to Photo Freedom. Stacy uses four general categories of: people we love, all about us, places, and things. This is the foundation of her whole system and she explains in detail how she breaks things down within these categories. I will warn you that this book can overwhelm you if you try to adapt all of the ideas into your current scheme. I got stressed about re-organizing my scrap books. But I think I have found a way that makes sense to me and my family. I did not do baby books for my twins, I know too many people with these partially filled out books sitting in boxes in their homes. After their birth I started a large 12×12 album for each kid where I could include all the bits of info and memorabilia included in the traditional baby book. I don’t want to brag or anything but my babies are a little over two and their first two years on this earth is pretty well documented in their albums. I have friends who have teenagers and have scrapped nothing about their lives, this is okay. I like to scrap, this is my fun. And these are my first babies, probably my only babies so I wanted to really put the effort into preserving these early memories as they occurred.

Now, here’s the bad part of my system: Prior to the year 2006, very few if any scrap book pages have been made. My husband and I were married in 1995, we didn’t have babies until 2006. In between we graduated from college, worked, traveled, lived in different places, had hobbies, and took pictures of these things. But if you look at my pile of albums, it looks like our lives started when we had the babies. Which is when our lives took on more meaning. So, by organizing my pages I can see there are big gaps in the story of our family. I don’t feel obligated to scrap these old pictures, but I feel the need to tell our story as it has evolved.

And here is where “category drawers” come in to play.

I have adapted this to my own system but I did get the 5×7 file drawers and labeled them as the four main categories. Now, as I find packets of film pictures (all over my house) I sort the pics into the categories, I have made my own dividers with card stock and my file punch from Stampin Up!

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groccery bag holder

Since buying my sewing machine this summer I have only sewn a few things. I have mended a couple kiddie outfits including a very annoying satin and tule dancing skirt for my little girl. Still working on the basics, get annoyed with straight stitches and measuring but, I’m trying.

So here’s where my next project came from. When I go grocery shopping I try really hard to remember to grab my reusable totes that nearly every store sells. I hate plastic bags not just because of the “green” issues, but they are annoying, they are hard to store, and are good for picking up dog poo. So, I save the bags and try to keep them from taking over my pantry. Then I thought of the bag holder my mom has and probably your mom too. And thought, I can so make this. It’s basically a tube with gathered ends. I did find this web site with an actual pattern and I sort of followed it.

I love to collect “fat quarters” of fabric. There’s just something fun about these little bundles of color and texture that’s appealing and Craft Warehouse is really good at putting these coordinating patterns together in such a appealing way, I can’t not buy some. But now I have a sewing machine and a couple of books and patterns. So I can make stuff. Basically my fat qtr was roughly the same size so I didn’t bother with measuring and folded a 1/2 inch seem and pinned to I could thread my ribbon or elastic through.

Note to self, next time, place the elastic or ribbon in the fabric and then sew the hem. Threading this through my little tunnels was a real pain! Also I only had a piece of elastic for the bottom end. Kids are napping, need to use what I got so that’s where the ribbon comes in.

I was pleased that most of my seams were pretty straight and pretty. Only had a few snags and had to rethread the needle 4 times. Not bad for me. Not bad at all.
I used a chopstick and paper piercer to help push the elastic and ribbon through. I think using elastic on both ends would be a good idea.

Overall I’m pretty happy with the final result. It looks pretty, uses up fabric and stuff I’ve had forever, and hopefully tames the plastic bag mess.

And since I have my machine out and the work table cleaned off I think I’ll work on a camera strap for my nikon. Look for a new and exciting chapter in my new adventures in fabric!

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Color Inspiration #18

This is my first time participating in Kristina Werner’s Color Challenge. I’ve lurked for quite a while but just never seem to be on the ball enough to complete the challenge on time.

The challenge was using Black, Pumpkin Pie, Rose Red, Summer Sun, and/or Green Galore. I did not have the Summer Sun or Green Galore but I have Kiwi Kiss which is sort of close to the inspiration green.

For my card I used the SU Pumpkin Pie flowers with center flowers punched out of Kiwi Kiss and Rose Red eyelets.

Not my normal card style (if I have one) but I like this bright pop of color against the black.

Thanks for looking!

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My monthly project started on the 4th of July this year. It wasn’t really a planned project, just an idea that came to mind when I was sorting some craft stuff during the kiddies nap time.
I had a piece of chipboard leftover from another project, a wooden star, an old copy of “my country tis of thee”, and glitter paint. So I found a picture of the kiddies from last year, they had their matching shirts on and looked so cute in a lawn chair on the front porch. Then I just started playing. I wanted to make it a wall or door hanging so I punched the holes at the top of the chipboard for a hanger then painted the entire piece with red acrylic paint and set aside. I trimmed my photo down to slightly less than 6″ wide and cut a piece of burlap that was just a bit bigger than the photo.

Lately I’ve really been loving burlap, I love to mix it on cards and layouts with bright colors. I thought the burlap would give me a cool retro/americana type look. After I laid the photo next to the red chipboard it needed more, so I added some gold glitter and dry-brushed cream paint to soften the red. I used my tombow liquid glue to add the burlap and photo to the chipboard. I covered the wooden star with the sheet music, rubbed it with a bit of brown chalk ink, some red paint, and gold glitter. Now for the emblelies. I wanted to use my metal label holder then I experimented with stamps on ledger paper until I had July in a size and color that would fit in the label holder. These I attached to the chipboard with brads. Once the star as dry I attached it with tombow liquid glue. I added the twine to the holes for the hanger and went through my ribbon stash and found lots of fun ribbons to tie on.

This hung in my kitchen for the month of July, it just made me happy, and now I might add it to a scrapbook or something.

Supplies: chipboard, burlap, ribbon from Stampin Up! and Love Elsie, wooden star from Provo Craft, paint from Plaid, and vintage sheet music.

So today I thought I should make an August hanging.

I started with the back off of a small notepad, covered it with fun paper. Then used my turquoise craft ink pad to ink the edges and give it a border. Now for the photo. I tried to find one of both kiddies, but I really loved this picture of Miss Clara last summer eating. What is more summer than watermelon and babies in bikinis?
After adding a strip of ribbon to the bottom of the piece I added the photo, but it needed a little punch so I sanded the edges and inked with the same turquoise craft pad. Now for the word “August” I started with stamping on card stock and cutting out but wasn’t really getting the feeling I wanted. I grabbed my chipboard stash and hunted up the letters to spell out August and decided to use the same turquoise ink on the letters and emboss them! I just got into embossing and it’s like all I want to do! Love embossing! This covered my letters nicely and gave them a bit of a shine. I didn’t bother with inking inside each letter less work that way!
Next I added foam poppies (dimensionals) to stick the photo the piece and lift it off of the background a bit. Next added the felt flowers in the corner, and the letters along the side. This just about felt done but I then I decided it needed a frame which I made with strips of white scallops I made with my new super cool scallop border punch. To make a hanger I punched holes, added large eyelets and an organza ribbon with a few bits of other ribbon. Once again, this started out as a little idea and evolved into something a little different.

Supplies: (All from Stampin Up!) Whisper white card stock, flower paper from picnic collection, tempting turquoise craft ink pad, chipboard letters, felt flowers, bold bright brads, and ribbon.

This newest one will also hang in the kitchen and I’m already thinking about what September’s going to be.

These little bits of happiness are just the thing I needed to use up some of my stash of stuff.

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