Friday, February 29, 2008

Two Projects from the Bringing it Back Challenge

Here are the two projects I made for last week's Bringing it Back Challenge - Magic Mesh.

This little harvest basket was super easy. I spraypainted a basket black, then added this rust colored Magic Mesh to the side panels. The rest of the decorations are from two packages of Jolee's stickers from EK Success. I did quite a bit of rearranging of the different elements to make them fit where I wanted them. Then I used some Twistart to cover the handle and form two bows.

I've had this cheap little bracelet blank hanging around forever. I don't even remember where the heck I got it. But I had all these little scraps of mesh from the project above and realized I could make them fit inside the rectangles of the bracelet. I then covered each with Glossy Accents from Ranger and added some tiny Prima's with copper Scribbles as the centers (I just poked them right into the wet glaze). Rather different looking. Not sure if I like it...but I don't hate it, lol!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bead Trends March/April 2008 Update

Yay! Got my copies today!! I have the following projects:

Wood Dreams Necklace - page 47 (these yellow wood jasper beads photographed beautifully!!)
Pink Drop Bracelet - page 98
Spring Green Floral Bracelet - page 101
In Full Bloom Bracelet - page 120 (uses scrapbook supplies)

There are some really fabulous pieces in this magazine! Some of my favorites:
Amethyst Serpentine by Michelle Gowland - pages 38 and 39 - the purple jasper pendant is just gorgeous!
Just Peachy by Michele Hamby - page 112 - vintage lucite beads...yum!
Rising Sun by Dina Lamison - page 144 - she did some wire wrapping that is just stunning for the pendant!

Well, off to go devour this more thoroughly!

Mail Sorter

Well, I've now made FOUR new birdhouses this week...but I can't share any of them with you yet! One will be in a special issue of Scrapbook News + Review, two I've submitted and am busy crossing my fingers for, and the third, of course, is the one Kazan won and I want her to see it before I post it so it will still be a surprise for her!

So instead, I thought I'd share the mail sorter I finished up last night. We'll see if it actually keeps all my mail off the coffee table...

The sorter itself is from DecoArt (at Michael's). The patterned papers are Surf & Turf and Cape Cod Stripe from Jen Starr's New England collection from Zsiage. The scrapbook film letters ans swirls are also from Zsiage - 1.5" Monica font and chippies. I used Espresso alcohol inks from Ranger on them, then outlined them with silver stickles, also from Ranger. The flowers are from the floral department at Hobby Lobby and I used turquoise stickles to embellish them.

I had several emails regarding the paper beads so I've begun work on a tutorial for them. I need to take a few more pictures and hope to have it up later today or tomorrow. I hope you'll give them a try!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Handmade bead necklace - Bellisimo

Here's another necklace I made with beads I handmade from scrapbook paper. This is soooo easy and generally uses about 1/3 of a piece of 12x12 paper for a full necklace. For this one, I think I used a little over half that amount (I cut a 4x12 strip and used 6.5 inches of it). The paper I used is Bellisimo from Zsiage's Ti Piace Italy? line. For added dimension, after I rolled and glued the beads, I added some embossing. To do this, I threaded each bead one at a time onto a piece of wire I had bent a small "holder" out of. I took a stamp with a small design and inked it with Versamark. The choice of stamp is absolutely of no consequence as you will not actually get the design on a bead this small - the point is to simply get some random ink onto the bead. Hold the bead by the wire and roll it around on the inked stamp. Then dip the whole thing into your embossing powder and tap off the excess - again, you're looking for random so if extra falls off, don't sweat it! Your little wire holder provides the perfect handle to heat the embossing powder. I also didn't heat beyond the "pebbly" stage - I didn't want smooth sections of silver, just a random mottled effect. I dipped these a few more times in my finish that I usually do because of the bumpy texture and wanting to be sure this didn't get chipped off. They were probably dipped 8-10 times (I lost count - I just dipped them every time I walked by, lol) and left to dry overnight.

It's snowing here still so my light is kinda funky. Here's a closeup of the beads themselves and I'll try to photograph the necklace a little better later on. As always, you can click on the pictures themselves for the gigantic version.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bead Trends March/April 2008 Issue

Well, I haven't gotten my copies yet, but I flipped through this last night in Michael's and this magazine just keeps getting better and better! The photography in this issue is simply stunning! I have four pieces in it - two necklaces and two bracelets - and I was just amazed how the photos came out! I'll get the page numbers up here once I get my copies and can sit down with it.

One piece, in particular (Wood Dreams necklace) really stood out. I knew just how gorgeous these stones were (they're yellow wood jasper) in real life but MY photos of them didn't relay it. The pics in the magazine - WOW! They really show off how incredible these stones really are!

Oh, and there's a bracelet (In Full Bloom) made with scrapbook supplies too - remember those plastic flowers American Crafts did in those cute little canisters? Yup - they made a really cute stretchy bracelet!

I can't even put into words how excited and honored I am to have had my jewelry featured in the first three issues of this magazine! I'm sad I won't be in the next two (a submission date got moved up and I didn't notice since I had it written down elsewhere), but am currently preparing submissions for the next one! Wish me luck!

Friday, February 22, 2008

And the winner is....

Well, my friend was disappointed we didn't hit 88 comments (good god, I'm not Tim Holtz, lol!) so that he could use Dale Jr.'s new number so he picked 5...apparently that has some Dale Jr. meaning too, lol!

So the fifth comment is this:

Kazan said...
wow - this is awesome. I think I like the graphic doodlebug stuff right now. I am so into my B/W too. This is going to be fun to see what you make for the winner. Awesome give-away :)
February 18, 2008 9:48 AM

Kazan, you're the winner! And now I'm off to brave a snowstorm to run errands, including a trip to Champaign (about 40 minutes away) to hit the lss's (ok, and drop off my son with his dad for the weekend, lol, so it's a multipurpose trip!) in hopes of finding graphic Doodlebug or black and white! I'm looking forward to creating this for you! Email me your addy at!

Thanks so much for all who played along! I'm looking forward to trying some of your other ideas too!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Another functional piece

So this is the little chest of drawers that I posted the unfinished picture of a while back. I needed something to keep track of all the little odds and ends I keep next to my bed. I don't have a nightstand with drawers or anything, instead I just have a little bookshelf. Which is nice, however it's hard to keep track of all the little things I have to have nearby - chapstick, lighters for candles, jewelry I've forgotten to take off before getting into bed, etc. My cat has absconded with several tubes of chapstick so far and it's never there when I need it, of course! So I decided to go with the teal color of my walls (don't ask - it was a paint color error and I've just never bothered fixing it!) and used Prima's Stone Rose collection of papers. This did take me longer than most altered wood projects simply because I painted and Mod Podged (glossy) every surface, inside and out, just to help protect it since it will be opened and closed several times a day! I edged everything with a copper Krylon leafing pen. For good measure I also gave this several coats of a spray lacquer (from Valspar - found it at Lowe's).

On another note, as some of you may have noticed, I like to include products in my altered items that haven't seen the light of day in ages. Like most scrapbookers, I've got bunches of products from when I first started scrapbooking...the good, the bad, and the truly hideous. Well, with the encouragement of some of the girls at 2Peas, I've started up a new challenge blog, Bringing it Back. Challenges will go up on Fridays and I hope you'll join us in our effort to use some of these older products and maybe even bring them back into "style", lol!

Also, don't forget my giveaway ends today! Be sure to comment on this post to get in on the drawing! I'll be drawing at noon right before I go to my son's school then we're off to Champaign for some shopping so I hope I can find what I need for the winner! There are so many fun ideas - can't wait to start playing!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Opening up my giveaway internationally!

I found that I can ship this internationally and it won't be too bad if I send it USPS first class. Now this can apparently take forever, but if you're still interested in entering my little giveaway below, please go ahead and comment here!

Want a custom mini birdhouse?

UPDATE!!! Opening this up to other countries IF you're ok with me sending it USPS first class - which apparently can take forever, lol! So if you're still interested in getting in on this, please do!

I'm having so much fun making these! My blog's getting all kinds of traffic (still amazes me, lol) but everyone is getting quiet again. I love hearing from everyone - what you think, what you're interested in seeing, just plain what's up! So I thought I'd get to know you all a little bit by asking for some suggestions and offering up an incentive! So here's the deal. Leave me a comment about what theme, color scheme, paper line, or whatever you'd like to see in a mini birdhouse and on Friday afternoon I'll use my handy dandy random number generator (ahem, asking someone to pick a number between 1 and whatever, lol) to choose someone and I will make YOUR suggestion and send it to you with some other scrappy goodies! Hmmm, I'd better add - if you've chosen a line I can't get my hands on quickly (i.e. I don't have any in stash and can't find it at any of the stores I have nearby), I'll contact you to arrange something as similar as I can, how's that? I want to be able to get this to you next week so while I'd love to work with the new CHA goodies too, it will have to wait, lol! So let the suggestions begin! The cutoff will be noon on Friday to get your suggestions in.

Eek. Sigh - wish I didn't have to do this but I do have to limit this to US and Canada until I can figure out how to ship internationally. I checked FedEx and the quote was $75-$100 using some of the random cities I found in my Sitemeter! For a 1 pound package!!!! That can NOT be right...can it? Anyone know how best to ship internationally?

Here's a picture of the three I have done at the moment (they look so cute all grouped together - can't wait to add to my collection! Working on a couple at the moment!) along with a bottle of Glossy Accents to show you a comparison of size. I know I've given out the measurements before, but it makes it so much more meaningful to SEE how tiny and cute these birdhouses are!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Gadget Corrall

It's amazing the number of little things we have in this house that need to be plugged in to charge. Technology may be amazing, but it's also a pain! I am forever losing the cords when I unplug my phone etc. and the plug falls behind the table I use for charging. I picked up this little wooden tray at Hobby Lobby ($1.50!) and thought it would be perfect with a little modification and a bit of alteration (of course) to keep these things organized. I started with the same Rich Espresso metallic paint from DecoArt that I just love and use on everything and then added papers from Daisy D's. I edged around the inside bottom with a dimensional writer from DecoArt too. I took some of the scalloped clips from Making Memories and painted those as well before attaching them (with E6000) to the corners to attach my cords to. Voila! A nice attractive place to plug in my phone, etc. where I won't ever lose the cords!

The only problem is that I planned on also putting things like my son's Gameboy there, but now he wants one of his own, lol! So much for color matching...yes, the Gameboy is in blue and my Bluetooth matches the darker red shade, etc., which is one of the reasons I picked this paper!

PS - Stop by tomorrow morning and I'll post some details for a giveaway!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Another Birdhouse!

As seen in the April/May 2008 issue of Ready Set Create E-Zine.

Not really holiday themed this time, although I suppose it could be Spring or Mother's Day, lol! Papers from Paper Studio and I just went dot-happy with the Scribbles 3D paints in watermelon, lime, lemon and crystal over the dots on the paper. Again, I had to use chalk (pink) to tone down the bright red bird. I hand-cut the scalloped parts of the roof paper (green and red) to make them stand out. I also added lime Scribbles paint over the edge of the green scallop. This was such a busy paper I decided not to add anything else and just go with the flowers!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A slideshow of some of my jewelry

I make a lot of random jewelry then usually end up "needing" to go buy something to wear with whatever I just made!

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's Day!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Noteworthy Altered Wheelbarrow

I don't think I ever posted a picture of these little wheelbarrows when I first came across them but they're from Hobby Lobby - $1 in the unfinished wood section! Everything I used to embellish it was from the Noteworthy line from Making Memories except the paint (Sea Foam), which was from the Funky Vintage line. I also used some glittery Scribbles just around the top rim. The only difficult part was the way I did the wheels. To get the felt flower on the wheel, I had to dismantle the front end. That required getting out a wooden peg (glued, of course) that went all the way through both the outside pieces and the wheel. I first took an Xacto knife and poked it around the peg on both sides to at least have the edges free of glue. Then, using a hammer and a plastic rubon tool (the ones that come with all American Crafts rubons) to tap away at it. It was NOT easy and required some odd leveraging with the wheel to get it out. Then I simply glued the felt flowers in place and attempted to put the peg back in. Lining it up was a pain, but nothing compared to getting the peg hammered back in. One squashed index finger later, I did get the peg back in, then realized that for my purposes it really didn't matter if the wheel didn't turn - I should have just glued the wheel back in and ignored the peg since I was covering it with more flowers and buttons anyways! Anyways. I've thought of several uses - it would look great hanging out on a desk holding paper clips, or in a bathroom holding little girl's ponytail holders - basically anything small. I thought it might be cute holding chocolate, but really, it just wouldn't hold enough chocolate to be worth it, lol! I took the one photo with the paint bottle to show an idea of the size.

Monday, February 11, 2008

St. Patrick's Day Birdhouse - Luck O' The Irish Pub

Yup - it's time to switch holidays, lol! Relax - I have surprisingly few papers and zero embellishments for this holiday so there won't be much. I LOVE doing these little mini birdhouses though! There will definitely be one for every holiday by the time I'm done! I started with the Reminisce papers and then got a little Prima crazy. I considered completely covering the rooftops with them, but didn't have enough of the green. I had a bottle of iridescent shamrock green Scribbles and used that to do the flower centers and the perches. The bird - from the same package that the ones I used for the Valentine's Day birdhouse (from the miniatures section of Hobby Lobby), but there wasn't a green. So I took a blue one and used shimmer chalk from Pebbles to alter the color! The darker green spots on the wings were done using a touch of Sakura paint pen. At this point I decided I wanted to make it into a little pub for the St. Patrick's Day theme but couldn't figure out how I was going to make a little sign (or what to call it, even). I stumbled across this little scrap of paper and found my answer! The paper collection I used was "Luck O' The Irish" from Reminisce. Guess what the edging of the paper had on it - the cutest little title identifier for the line in just the perfect size to cut out, mat on the darker green, and cover in Glossy Accents (Ranger) to make my little sign! Of course, it sports a fingerprint from testing to see if it was dry (I just can't ever help myself with Glossy Accents for some reason) and a crack, but I still love that little sign! Then I used some letter brads (with the tabs removed) from Provo to finish off the look. I seriously had zero embellishments for St. Patrick's Day, which surprised me since I have overloads of every other holiday, it seems! So a quick trip to my soon to be extinct Hobby Lobby (what the heck are we supposed to do with NO craft stores in town anymore???) to see what I could find to finish this off. The selection was pretty sparse there too, but I did come across these shamrock buttons from Jesse James Dress It Up collection. I used more than I planned because I thought it was kind of cute to think of them as little shamrock shrubbery surrounding my little pub, lol! And there it is, my second in what I've decided will be a series of holiday birdhouses! :)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

CHA in Spirit Day at 2Peas

Whew! I've been at it all day long with my fellow Peas and I'm exhausted! I managed to complete four layouts today and that's HUGE for me! I haven't scrapped much for the past several years - altered a lot, but not scrapped. So I'm excited and thought I'd share what I did today! Nothing earth shattering, but I had a blast!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Checkbook cover and a tiny wreath

I've decided I have too many projects going at once. Each in various states of "something" needed drying time so it was left "overnight". I just don't always get BACK to said project, lol! I have them everywhere. So instead of finishing any of them, last night I at least started projects I could finish in one sitting. It's a start, isn't it?

First is this checkbook cover. I can't believe I've never done one of these. I've put up with the ugly ones you get from the bank or the check companies. I found one of the Creative Imaginations blanks at Blessed 2 Scrapbook in Champaign and last night decided it was time I had a pretty checkbook cover I won't be embarassed to pull out in a store! Cheryl, one of my fellow Zsiagettes, recently sent me (among other things - she's so sweet!) the Stone Rose collection from Prima. I LOVE this line! Then again, I love a lot of their paper lines (totally in love with Angelique and Cavalier from the upcoming CHA release!), lol! I thought the paper was pretty enough on its own to not need a lot of miscellaneous "stuff" added. I did use a rubon that came with the collection which I embellished a bit with glittery Scribbles (I wanted the pattern to show through so used those rather than the Stickles, which would have covered completely). I used some Bo Bunny letter stickers I had hanging around and an old EK quote sticker. I'm in a "less is more" kick right now...except when it comes to sparkles! Oh - and the center of the flower IS in Stickles in a teal color. Click on the picture to get the gigantic version where you can see details.

I found these adorable little tiny grapevine wreaths at Hobby Lobby in the miniatures section (actually I found several really cute little things over there to play with - would it be totally weird if I want to do a full dollhouse altered style even though I only have the one little boy so there will be no one to play with it?). Simply covered it in tiny Primas and used glittery Scribbles (just because I still had them out from the checkbook cover) for the centers. I was debating adding some ribbon and other embellishments, but think I'll hold off. I rather like this one as is...after all, I did buy several more to play with! They can get a busier design. It's about 3" by 3" - thinking I might add a magnet to the back and pop it onto the refrigerator.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Valentine's Day Wooden Tree

This was a little unfinished wood tree kit from Joanne's. The tiny finished sample pictured was just painted and I thought "oh no, we can't have THAT". Yea. I wish I had, lol! This was, in no uncertain terms, a pain in the butt to do. Even with the Basic Grey file kit I broke down and bought. I ended up giving up and leaving it kind of ragged. The paper is from Reminisce (same collection as I used for the gift bag and mini album). I was originally going to paper all the hearts too, but after the tree, there was NO way I was going to mess with them, lol! So they just got painted and then decorated with Sakura Glaze and Souffle pens - which was actually a lot of fun! Did those while one of my favorite movies of all time (Fried Green Tomatoes) was on last night.

Hanging Valentine's Day Decor

Love this little mobile! It came as just an unfinished wood piece already assembled from Hobby Lobby - couple of bucks regular price and you know how Hobby Lobby is...closer to the holiday the better the sale! It was actually really easy to alter too. I used double-sided papers (from Bo Bunny's collection from last year) and laid a piece down onto my glass cutting "mat" (ok, it's just a cheap picture frame glass I pulled out!) and used my Xacto knife to cut in between each section - plenty of room to not be precise. This gave me two options for each size heart. I repeated this with another double sided piece and I had four options for each size heart and I just picked my favorites, lol! It's meant to kind of spin, so I just made sure no paper was used on two sizes closest to each other. Adhered all the paper with Mod Podge, did my trimming, and voila! It was pretty much done! I added a little bit of dimension with some pearly Scribbles. I was going to decorate them more, but realized that once again, I had something where the paper just seemed like "enough" to me. Plus, because this hangs on its own little cotton cord, care must be taken to get weight evenly distributed, so if you try this yourself, just watch any heavier elements you might add so that it doesn't hang crooked!

I hit Hobby Lobby last night (finally gave in and got the Basic Grey file set for a project I'll be posting later) and wanted to share a few cute finds. The first was they had (sorry, last week's sale but they run it so often I'm sure you can catch it!) these floral bushes on sale for 50% off. Now I LOVE Prima's flowers, but have zero access to them here in the "sticks". I've been dying to play with some of the bigger ones, but even going over to Champaign, with a Michael's, a Target and 3 scrapbook stores, still NO decent selection (I saw exactly ONE type in my last trip) of Prima's! Soooo, I have to make do. This was ONE $7 bush (which I actually thought was kind of ugly as a bush) that was on sale and after a quick check of the construction, I could see it would come apart beautifully. And it did! So for $3.50 I got 8 each of the large (which are 5" across) in each color and some random smaller ones. As a bonus, the red and pink ones are very lightly flocked! Just enough to be soft. Check your local craft store floral department - especially during sales (which are frequent - especially during season changes!). While not all are suitable for scrapbooking, your options open up dramatically in altering! There are some beautiful colors and textures available and if you especially watch for bushes like these, you can get multiple colors at a time.

This is the other cute find! I have been drooling over all the cute projects I've seen done with Say It With Letters' little wooden houses! Here is a recent one they shared on their blog from Valerie. Cute! Well anyways, I found these teeny tiny ones that Hobby Lobby puts out. There are four in a package. They are tiny (3 3/4" x 4"), but I can't wait to do a little playing!

Friday, February 1, 2008

I'm back!! With a super quick Valentine's project!

See, I knew I shouldn't have gotten on that blogging every day roll I was in a couple of weeks ago! My computer crashed! I finally got a new one, but am still getting things caught up and organized. And trying to FIND all the disks to reinstall all my software! However I really wouldn't have had a whole lot to blog about - I've been doing tons of creative "stuff", but most of it can't be shared yet! {wink} - Doesn't that sound mysterious, lol! It's really not. I made a bunch of things for the first issue of Scrapbook News + Review (I'm on the staff so this is my shameless plug - you're going to LOVE this magazine!) and some random things I just want to hold onto for various calls and such.

I HAVE, however, replaced my Christmas kick with a Valentine's Day one. Which is odd - the holiday itself is rather depressing for me, a single gal and all, lol, but I am just in love with creating in pink and red and hearts for some reason! So here is one more item I've made to decorate my house and show the love of my life (who turns 7 next week!) how much I love HIM!
I have more, but need to get better pictures.

This was a 50 cent wooden heart plant stake type thing I found at Hobby Lobby. This took less than a half hour, including drying time on the paint! The paint, ribbon and buttons are from Making Memories and the flowers from Heidi Swapp. One of my secrets for getting this done so quickly was the glue I used. Can I just RAVE about Beacon's 3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue? This stuff really grabs onto embellishments and holds almost immediately. Dries clear and FAST. Love this glue!! A little goes a long way and its hold is similar to E6000 (it smells too, but not nearly as bad as the E6000 does) in that it will take metals and all kinds of things and hold them strong. Seriously - if you haven't tried it yet, do so! I have buttons everywhere and never use them and one of the reasons is it's just a pain to get them to stay put long enough to dry where I want them. On layouts I usually can get away with Glue Dots, but on altered items I just don't have the faith that they will stand up and take a little abuse. I'm so glad I pulled them out and tried them with this glue! The pictures are of the front and back - which are pretty interchangable, but I plan on putting this in a plant hanging in an opening between my living room and dining room so both sides will be visible.