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Archive for April, 2009

Since being in our house since 2004 my crafting area has evolved from being a very large room of my own, to a hallway, and now a spare room that has become an office of sorts that I share with my husband. I am a messy crafter. And actually I’m just kind of scattered all over the place. My sweet hubby calls it my “comfort clutter” which he noticed not long after we were married. He said it’s like the little cloud of dirt that always follows “Pigpen” from the “Charlie Brown” cartoons. And I have to admit he’s right, everywhere I go I have little piles of stuff that I’m working on or through.
He’s a little better at containing his things, so sharing the two of us sharing an office has always been a bit of work. Now, add in two three year olds and you can imagine the chaos! My husband has turned the closet into a very efficient computer set up with all of his electronics and is lockable to keep the kiddies out! Here’s my computer work area complete with tv/kid craft area.

A note: all photos are taken in situ, or as they normally occur in real life!
Opposite of my computer desk is my crafting area which consists of an old kitchen table, a book shelf made by my hubby years ago, a stamp pad rack, and paper trays.

This is pretty clean for my desk, normally I end up working on top of piles and it looks like this

I have my spools of ribbon in a double wire basket on top of my stamp pad holder. Plus other ribbon in jars on top of the wood shelf along with paints and brushes, and a variety of adhesives.


And yes, I did create those small art pieces. More reasons my table is always messy!

I also have my “custom” memo boards covered in Amy Butler fabrics. Next to them is a very large painting I did about 6 years ago and have yet to find a place to display it.

Not pictured are the kids easels and wiener dog who is normally hiding under the computer desk!
Hope you enjoyed my studio tour! I like to think that one day I will have a pretty, organized studio all of my own! But then I realize I’d probably just keep it messy! LOL

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Next from the spring mini is the “Eight Great Greetings” set. A very fun, cute variety of stamps. My first thought when I saw this set was that it would be perfect for making a little set of cards for a gift. There are many wonderful ways to create a package for a set of cards, little pouches, purses, and boxes. I think about trying these but in my limited stamping time I have to carefully choose projects so I have yet to make many of these. But when I saw Mary Fish’s scallop note holder it looked like just the thing for my Greetings set. Disclaimer: I never exactly follow directions (in crafting and life:) so my end results tend to be a bit different. If you want really good directions, go to Mary’s site!
My cards ended up being a bit bulkier and I did 6 cards and envelopes so the folder isn’t quite big enough. I will be going back making a larger one to fit all my cards. But for now you can see how it turned out.

I kept the cards simple and used all of the new ribbons from the new spring SU catalog. Now before you gasp in awe of my ribbon collection I will tell you that I participated in my up-line’s ribbon sample this spring. I ended up with one yard of each of the new ribbons, placed them in a pretty glass jar and never used them! I like to “save” things for something special. Any one else like that? I know that if I really need more ribbon I can get more, I also know I probably won’t use all of this pretty ribbon up. But look at it isn’t it pretty in it’s big canister??

The candy jars next to it are also filled with misc. ribbons sorted by color: blue, black, pink, red, browns. I bought these at Big Lots 3 years ago for 2$ each and you’ll notice they are all full! I’m trying really hard to use more ribbon and not just collect it, but it’s so hard to make the first cut!
Specs:
-card stock and ink: very vanilla, pink pirouette, chocolate chip, whisper white, so saffron
-Parisian Breeze DSP
-Assorted SU ribbons
-brads, twine, chocolate chip corduroy button
-Big Shot, cherry blossom embosslit

Thanks for looking!

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Forest Friends

Like most people I am in love with everything in the Stampin Up! new Spring mini catalog! When the pre-order time came I ended up with three sets but the one I really just had to get was the “Forest Friends” set. For some reason it struck me as a little funky-vintage and I loved the tree! I have been playing with this set and have 2 fun cards to share.
The first was one I created for a recent demo swap.

You might notice the card is not in the best shape, this is what happens when your three year twins want to play with the deer! I just haven’t made a new one yet:) The pink and brown seemed liek a sweet baby card. I used one of my favorite sets, Fundamental Phrases to make this a baby card.
Specs: (all SU)
-chocolate chip card stock, ink, ribbon
-pink pirouette card stock
-Candy Lane DSP
-Forest Friends set
-Fundamental Phrases set
-circle and word window punch
-paper crimper
-scallop edge punch

My second card is pretty simple and uses the owl along with the Good Morning Sunshine paper. I added a scrap of Pacific Point that I had run through the Big Shot with the small polka dot texture plate.

Specs:
-Whisper White card stock
-Pacific Point card stock
-Old Olive card stock
-Chocolate chip ink and ribbon
-Good Morning Sunshine DSP
-Scallop circle and edge punches
-Big shot, small polka dot Texture plate

Honestly, I just purchased the Big Shot a few weeks ago and I am amazed at how much I’ve used it already! I knew I’d love it, I’d seen enough projects online, played with a friends enough to know I’d love it. But I was surprised at how much I’ve used it. I have a Cricut that I purchased a year ago, and I’ve yet to use it enough to justify the cost or get into using it as much as I thought I would. Oh well, live and learn right?

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Recently I have put aside my card making to pick up my brushes and start painting again. I’ve been inspired by Kelly Rae Roberts and the journal style of Teesha Moore who I just recently discovered. On her site she has a great tutorial for making a handmade art journal with great instructions and images. I’ve always wanted to take a book making class and I’ve attempted handmade books in the past with varying degrees of success but this tutorial looked like something I could do. Whenever I find something new I want to try (like a sewing project) I tend to scan through the pics and instructions and think yeah, I can do that but I don’t need to follow step by step instructions 🙂 This may be why my sewing projects don’t turn out like they should! Anyway, I liked the idea of the string binding with the stings coming though the spine (this has technique a name?) and I liked using watercolor paper since I have a lot. I didn’t have some of the other items so I thought I’d start with the string binding and see how it evolved. I used one large watercolor paper sheet that I just ripped until I got a size I wanted, I ended up with 8 pieces.
My instructions are very loosely based on Teesha’s and a few other sites I found online. I make no claims that these are the most original or best instructions out there. And I admit it’s pretty red-neck to use masking tape but hey, I was out of duct tape!

Here’s the supplies:
-Watercolor paper 11 x 7.5 in, folded in half
-Foam core board: 2 pieces 7.5 x 5.5, and one piece 1/2 x 7.5 in (or any other stiff material, this is what I had)
-masking tape
-liquid adhesive, I used a bottle of PVA bookbinding glue that was a gift from a friend (gotta love a gift like that!)
-scrapbook, wrapping, or other paper for cover
-hole punch
-binder clips
-embroidery thread
-ruler
-x-acto knife
-ribbon and other favorite embellishments

Steps:
1) rip or cut interior pages to size, fold in half
2) space our 5 holes with a pencil, hold with clips and punch holes in folded pages

3) Measure and cut w/knife and ruler foam core board pieces

4) Lay foam core pieces together with small space in between each space. Next tape pieces together.

5) cut a strip of paper 1.5 x 8.5 glue strip to outer spine, wrapping around the inside
6) cut cover pieces, glue to front and back covers, and inside if you want.
7) cut a 1/2 in strip to cover the tape of the inside spine

Now to assemble pages:
-disclaimer, I tried Teesha’s instructions and looked at a few other sites, sort of followed, but kind of made up my own technique based very loosely on a blanket stitch. I also learned that a “signature” is a bundle of a few pages that are bound together before being bound into the whole book.
1) place two folded pages together with the holes lined up, start a blanket stitch, leaving a long tail if you don’t it’s a pain to fix it later, trust me
2) continue to stitch pages together, tie off a knot at the end and leave a a long tail

3) punch two small holes in the top and bottom of the book spine
4) stack all the pages, take half of the strings though one hole, and then the other. Tie off in a knot on outside of book. Repeat for other end. Here you could add some beads or something.

Now finish embellishing your cover.

Here’s my finished journal.

I used a printed collage sheet (by Rusty Pickle) that I’ve held onto for a few years, I added a strip of “wish” tickets, a saying printed on vellum, a book plate with the word passion, a metal photo turn type thing used to close my journal with ribbon, and a wire heart that I made.
I admit it’s pretty rough, and not the prettiest thing I’ve made, but I’m pretty happy with it. Now if only I could get inspired enough to use it!
Thanks for looking!

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