Archive for the ‘how to’ Category

In my quest to paint, sand, and alter nearly any surface I finally turned to my blue iphone case, one of the those hard plastic clam shell type cases in an ugly blue color. Okay the color wasn’t horrible but it certainly wasn’t as cute as the pink one that it replaced. *note

First I took a sanding block and gave the whole thing a light sanding to help the gesso stick better, then I covered it in gesso and let it dry.

Next, I decided to make a quirky house with a tree out of scraps of paper. I drew the shapes by hand, cut out and glued on using modge podge.

Once I had the scene set, I painted the background sky, and added paint to all of the paper pieces to soften them up a bit. After the paint dried I added clear glitter paint because everything is better with glitter! For the front of the clam shell I painted it bright fuchsia, added some of the book pages to it and glitter.

After everything dried, I sprayed a few coats of matte clear coat. I’ve been carrying it in my pocket and purse for over a month and I’m very happy with how it’s held up.
This makes me very happy ūüôā


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Had this photo of my dad and my little guy working on an ancient car. Really wanted to scrap it, to tell the story about how these two guys hang out and do stuff. Also wanted to cut into my big pack of Sweet Pea DSP for the first time!
(all supplies Stampin Up!)

Excuse the poor lighting but you get the idea. I somewhat simple LO on kraft, with a few embellies, and lots of story in my own handwriting. And while the journaling was what I wanted and told the story–the important part of scrap booking. It wasn’t very nice to look out. Now I’m not trying to win a scrappy contest, get published, or get on any design teams. I just want my pages to tell the story and look sort of nice. You understand right?

So here was my triage process.

1. Cut off the kraft background. Lay on white clipboard, try different color backgrounds.

2. Bermuda Bay background, not bad. And now that I look at it on the computer I like it.

3. End up choosing Chocolate Chip cs. But still needed something in that bottom rectangle. So I add a piece of pattern paper.

4. Finally end up using my Scallop envelope die to make a little spot to tuck in the journaling cards.

And there’s the final product. Much better huh? I think the kraft would have been fine if I hadn’t journaled right on it.

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Like most people I struggle with keeping my chaos somewhat under control. I’ve tried all kinds of approaches and have had some success. I am fortunate to have an iphone and mac computers so my hubby and I can keep out calendars shared and synched. This helps a lot. But something I’ve always done is had a daily to do list. This has changed from random sticky notes, electronic notes, scraps of paper, notebooks (cute and plain) and back again. Recently I decided what I really needed to keep track of. Here’s my list

-daily to do’s, including the must do’s like phone calls etc
– menu plan, really trying to plan farther ahead than say, 4 o’clock that day!
– grocery list, I see we are nearly out of “white dip” (ranch dressing) but by the time I go to make a list I’ve forgotten it!

So I had a plain med size notebook with 3 sections. Which worked for a while but I wanted to add pages or have pockets so I thought of making it work, and making it pretty. Then I thought, a little binder would do the trick, I have photoshop I can make my own pages. I found my old planner. Really a nice leather one I probably paid a bit too much for. But I didn’t want to go to the store and buy new pages because a) I’m cheap and b) I never find just the right page.

Here’s my basic directions for photoshop
1. create a new project that is the same dimensions as your planner insert. Mine are the 6 hole pages that are 3.5 x 6 inches.
2. Using text boxes, make your lines using the _ key, leaving space for a blank notes section
3. Make a small rectangle for the date at the top.
4. Make another small rectangle for the daily menu.
5. create a new project that is 8.5 x 11 inches
6. Select all and “copy merged” to past on your new large project. I was able to get 3 to a sheet. Do not resize these at all.
7. Print, trim to the correct size, punch holes.

These are the daily pages I made inspired by Simple Mom.

I kept them simple, added a digital brush on the pages to fancy them up a bit. The brushes are from Jason Gaylor, and if you have photoshop these are a very cool thing to have! He has a lot of designs available for purchase and free download. These are a very fun thing to add to photos before printing them! I didn’t print my pages back to back so I could have the back of each day as extra room to write a list or message, or inspiring thought. Next I made a basic menu plan and grocery list.

DISCLAIMER: I am not in anyway an expert, or one of “those” kinds of women who have it together! Ha Ha! The opposite. But I read lots of books, magazines and blogs about house keeping and organizing etc. So I’ve put the ones I like together and made my own system.

Here are helpful links to people who really do have it all together.
Simple Mom Tsh covers everything and it makes sense. Really it does. The things I’ve really taken and put to use in my life are the idea of menu planning. She has great ideas on how to get started, examples and after making my 1st set of menus for 2 weeks, it wasn’t as hard as I thought. I used her basic categories because they worked with how we eat anyway. And I like how she even does a monthly menu plan! Can you imagine not having to stress over dinner for a month? But as Tsh puts it, if you can plan for 2 weeks, you can rotate and repeat and you can make it a month! Cool! I also like her “Daily Docket”, her version of a daily planner which you can download for free from her site where she also has lots of other free downloads. And I’d really recommend checking out her categories on the side bar, lots of good info!

Fly Lady I read the book a couple of years ago, and she has a ton of info to get you started on the journey of reclaiming your life by getting your house under control. I’ve followed her systems in various ways, but what I really like are the simple things like setting a timer and cleaning/picking up a room for a set amount of time and moving on. Really great way to get a plan to get your house under control. I don’t do the zones or the set things because there are times when the kids and I just decide to go do something and leave the house stuff for another day. Plus I’m not real great about a set schedule for everything all of the time.

These are two of the sites I’ve checked the most for ideas.

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DIY Butterfly Wreath

In my lovely google reader, I get inspiration from Decor 8, a really great site full of design inspiration in graphic, home, fashion, and lots of other lovely things! While I live in a house occupied by three year old twins and a husband who doesn’t mind my decorating attempts–as long as they don’t interfere with his daily routines:) So, I try to keep it simple, and out of the reach of little people! Anyway, I found this post about wreaths. And I fell in love with the butterfly wreath. Now, I am a DIY girl who just bought the Big Shot from Stampin Up! along with the exclusive Butterfly die! So, I knew I could make this. Now if you don’t have this very cool thing, you could cut your own butterflies using an image from your computer’s clip art or do an image search for a simple butterfly template.

I also found in this article a link to a beautiful etsy artist, Beach Cottage Studio who sells butterfly wreaths and cut butterflies that you can buy to use on your own projects.

Here’s what you need:
-butterfly die or template, need 2 or 3 different sizes
-double sided patterned papers, I used the free Salabration paper from Stampin Up!
-embroidery hoop
-adhesive, I used gel medium which sticks to anything and dries clear
-ribbon to hang

1. cut out a variety of butterfly shapes, the Big shot butterfly die cuts 4 different butterflies at a time, which makes this go fast!

From Butterfly Wreath

2. Lay your hoop flat, place a few butterflies to see how you want it to hang. My hoop was a 49 cent find at my favorite thrift store, it’s plastic, with a large bulky piece that I decided I could use as a hanger for ribbon.

From Butterfly Wreath

3. Next, start layering the butterflies. I folded the butterflies in the center a little, then brushed adhesive on the center.

From Butterfly Wreath

Alternate sizes, and papers, working around the wreath until it’s as full as you’d like it.

From Butterfly Wreath

This would be a fun project for older kids. And if you don’t want to deal with a messy adhesive you could use glue dots instead. I also thought halfway through this that one could laminate the paper to make this a durable outer door wreath.
I’d love to see your variations on this!

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Last summer my Grandma Florence moved out of her house into a mobile home on my parents’ property. She was 89 and lived on her farm which is pretty isolated and my parents were worried about her being by herself. I went and helped her pack some of her things up for the big move. She only moved about 2 miles but she’s a horrible pack rat (a trait I inherited), she never got rid of anything, and she had stuff packed into every nook and cranny. She had an old cabinet packed full of old photos and scrapbooks. She knows that I am really into old photos and preserving the past so she gave them all to me. I was thrilled until I saw her start stuffing a large diaper box with photos! Yikes! I took over and tried to gently pack these pictures into the box. Since then these have all been in my garage in my large scrap booking tote and I’ve yet to figure out what to do with them. I started just putting the loose pictures into general categories including one for mystery pictures.
Then I got to my grandma’s scrapbook.

organizing old photos

It’s one of those with the construction pages and string binding with photos glued to both sides of the paper. There are sections of my dad, his brother and cousin and other family members.

From organizing old photos

The largest section is photos from when Grandma was in the military and overseas during WWII. These are just priceless.

From organizing old photos

Photos of her fresh off the farm and completing basic training in Daytona Beach, FL. Then there are the photos from when she was stationed at Oxford, England and Paris, France. Unfortunately my Grandma is not interested in talking about the past or reminiscing, she’s actually much more interested in history and politics right now. But I have this terrific scrapbook that she cared enough to put together years ago
and it has most of the pictures labeled in some fashion.
I’ve tried a couple of different ways to remove photos and none really work. Whatever glue was used, really stays stuck. I didn’t try that stuff called “un-do” or whatever the name is. I was hesitant to put any liquid on one side of the paper where it could leak onto the photos on the back side.This is where inspiration struck and I thought why not just put the entire pages in new sheet protectors and make a new album? This was a really smart idea on my part, except the pages are much bigger than 12×12. I tried to trim down the pages but just couldn’t get them down smaller.

Then I remembered that Martha Stewart Crafts had these gigantic albums for sale at Michael’s.

From organizing old photos

I didn’t realize how much bigger an 18×18 album was until I picked it up, these things are enormous! And expensive, $79. Ouch! But then I discovered I could use my 40% off coupon on the album which made the price much more reasonable. I picked up extra sheet protectors which have double pockets instead of one pocket for pages to go back to back in, and these were nice pages. When I got the album home and ripped off the wrapping I found that the pages in the album were not sheet protector types like the ones I bought but were paper pages with a thin top page (like tissue paper). This threw me off because I wanted to be able to slide the pages right into the pockets. What I did instead was use the clear sheet protectors for the pages that had photos on both sides of the paper, then used photo corners to attach the original pages that had pics on only one side onto the paper pages of the new album. I kept the album in the same order that the original scrapbook was in and just mixed in the clear pages with the paper pages as I went. The orginal album is not 18×18, and the pages in the sleeves slide around a bit so I need to come up with a way to keep them from sliding out.

I still have many old photos that are loose and not identified, I’m thinking that I will add those to the remaining paper pages of the new album and try to have most of these old pictures together.

From organizing old photos

As for my regular scrap booking, I don’t see myself converting to this bigger size album I just don’t think I could store many of these giant albums or fill that big of space.

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In praise of the New Year, I’ve made some resolutions¬†I mean goals. Things I’d like to work on for the upcoming year. Here’s a partial list: lose weight, get healthy (duh), get organized (sort of), be more productive, make better use of my time, buy less craft stuff (or not as much), and use up the stuff that I’ve been holding onto for way too long. After reading several boards and blogs I know that my hoarding and collecting of craft stuff is not unique to me. Many others suffer from this affliction. I had found a blog where many posters were talking about building their own kits for scraping. Did a bit of brainstorming and came up with a plan and started shopping in my stuff.¬†¬†Yes, I have lots of stuff, but I know that many others have more stuff than me, and that helps me not feel as guilty.¬†So I started with some funky cardstock that had no¬†apparent¬†use. ¬†I also included leftovers from 12×12 sheets that looked approximately 8.5 x 11.¬†Then I added 3-4 patterened papers (some where full sheets, some scraps), then I choose an alpha type (sticker, rub ons, chipboard, or stamps), I added a card or tag (something that I could use for journaling or something), ribbons (at least 3), chipboard, flowers, buttons, brads, or similar¬†embellishments. I also included things that I have collected or held on for a long time. I put all of the kits in big baggies that I’ve saved–yes, I’m a huge packrat!¬†Part of the goal I have is using things that I’ve waited to use on the “perfect” project.I also wanted to use some of the non-scrappy things I’ve collected. One of the kits has a paint chip sample that is part of a larger pile that I always meant to do something with someday. Well, someday is now.My other thought with these kits is time saving. Like a lot of scrappers, I would love more time to scrap. As a SAHM to nearly 2 year old boy/girl twins I really am limited in time. As if that isn’t enough I also work out of my home with a couple of businesses. So, if I have a few kits made up ahead of time I can do a bit of scrapping when the kiddies are taking a nap. I also think that down the road it might be fun to swap page kits with other crafters online. Maybe.¬†When I first tried this I was feeling restricted by using only the stuff in my bag. But I made myself stick it out and now it’s become a fun and easy way to craft. Plus, now if I go to a crop of a friends house I can just grab a few kits and head out the door instead of packing half of the stuff I own!¬†

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