Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Craft Room Resolution

My goal today was to clean and organize my craft room and then share photos. My intentions were really good and there is a definite improvement. But as I was looking at the photos I realized that I have too much Stuff. That's "Stuff" with a capital "S" which means it is valuable to me but when there is too much then it becomes a chore to maintain it.

So after looking at these photos I've decided that 2011 will be my year of "Use it and Lose It". But in my defense I do have a LOT of projects going on at any given time. So in 2011 I will try and use Stuff that I have before I buy more of anything (This involves only arts and craft supplies and does not include any purchases of thrifting treasures.) There! That's my resolution in print!

So without further excuses, here is my craft room:

This is where I do most of the work. I have a ton of these Tilt Bins on the wall. I bought them from a scrapbooking store that was going out of business years ago. These hold everything from adhesives to ribbons. The large cabinet on the wall holds larger tools and Sizzix dies. Under the desk are three drawers that hold completed projects and scrapbooking pages before I put them in the finished scrapbook.

On the left of my main work area, below the work surface are several Cropper Hopper rolling carts that hold themed scrapbook papers. Hanging in front of the Tilt Bins is my Ikea version of a hanging system. I hang rub ons here so that they don't stick together. On the shelves above are new scrapbooks and boxes of photos for future projects. The white drawers on the lower left are mini flat files from Ikea. It rolls under my desk and holds my digital die cutter and rubber stamps as well as more supplies.

Inside of the mini flat files I placed a metal bulletin board and magnetic spice tins. They hold all of the little bits and brads that tend to get lost. I use the lids to hold rolls of Japanese masking tape so their edges  stay clean.

On the opposite side of the room are my 49 junk drawers. Most people have only one junk drawer but how many can say that they have 49! I bought this at an estate sale back in the early 1980s. It holds typical things like Scotch tape, string, etc. but it also holds art supplies and tools for my projects. On top of the 49 junk drawers sits my Scraprack. This holds my scrapbooking papers organized by color.

This is my little bit of crafting heaven. I now have two resolutions for 2011; one is to get healthier and two is to use up some of this Stuff. Now if I could only craft while exercising then success would be easy.

My goal for 2011: Use It and Lose It!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Best of 2010 Thrifting Treasures

I realized that there were several treasures I had collected throughout the year from garage sales, estate sales and on Craigslist but had never previously posted. This seems to be a great time to reminisce about the joy of my 2010 treasure hunting exploits.

I have to start off with something that I have been searching for and finally found at a relatively reasonable price. This is an 1865 clock made by the Welch, Spring & Company of Forestville, CT. The reason I have been searching for this clock is because my son is descended from one of the co-owners of this company. This could be considered my son's great great great great grandfather's clock. Usually these clocks are so expensive but I found this on Craigslist and one day I will have it refurbished.

Another treasure I found at an estate sale is this Duncan Miller, Tear Drop Relish Dish with lid. My mother used to collect some Duncan Miller glassware so I was thrilled to find this lovely piece in such good condition. I also bought a large, Duncan Miller, Canterbury serving dish at the same time.

This elephant cookie jar was found at an estate sale for half price. He was just so very cute so I had to buy him.

Another favorite find was this Zero fan. My father used to have a larger version of this and I remember playing with it as a child. I found this at a garage sale for $2 but I haven't plugged it in yet to check if it works.

Well that wraps up my fabulous miscellaneous finds from 2010. I can't wait to share new thrifting treasures in the coming months.

I linked this to House of Grace, Vintage Thingie Thursday and Apron Thrift Girl.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Altered Anthropologie Frame

Today I Created | An Altered Frame from an old Anthropologie Frame

My boyfriend found this for me at a Goodwill store. He has started to develop an eye for things that can be altered. This is what the finished frame looks like now after it has been altered.

Originally the frame was lime green. I lightly sanded it and painted it with white acrylic paint just to give it a good working surface. While the paint was drying, I printed some postcard images from the Graphics Fairy. There were so many nice images to choose from but I wanted to keep things neutral and let the faux paper colors and textures be the design. I did include a real vintage English postage stamp that I had from my childhood stamp collection.

I applied the postcard images to the prepared frame using Mod Podge. I don't know how I went through the 60s and 70s without decoupaging something since I think I did every other craft available during that period (Personally I'm waiting for macrame to make a comeback). Anyway, I had fun using Mod Podge.

I reassembled the frame once it was dry. There is space inside of the frame to place a small object. I haven't decided what I want to put in there yet.

Here are two photos of the original frame when it was lime green. It still had a price tag from Anthropologie. The original price was $32 marked down to $14.95 then on sale at Goodwill for $2.99 and I bought it for half-price at $1.50. Not bad for a frame from Anthropologie.

I am honored to have this bragged about on Brag Monday at the Graphics Fairy. Thank you!
I am also honored to be mentioned on Frugal with a Flourish. Thank you!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tattered Leaves Christmas Poinsettia

Today I Created | A Poinsettia Gift Embellishment

I used the smallest leaf from the Sizzix, Tim Holtz Tattered Leaves die and cut three dark green leaves and nine red leaves.

Fold each leaf in half lengthwise (doesn't have to be perfect, remember; "embrace imperfection" as Tim Holtz always says). I used a 1.5" round piece of sturdy chipboard as the base and hot glued the three green leaves along the edge of the base. I glued them as close to the edge as possible so that they would stick out the furthest after the petals were added.

Next I glued three red petals along the edge and evenly spaced them between the green leaves.

For the next two layers I removed the stem from the red petals. I glued three of these stemless, red petals closer to the center and staggered their placement so that they didn't overlap any previous shapes.

The final layer has three more red petals glued in the center and also staggered. As a final touch I added gold seed beads in the center.

The final poinsettia makes a perfect substitute for a bow on a gift. The box in this photo is a standard shirt box so you can get an idea of the scale of the finished poinsettia.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. Peace to the Planet.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Alcohol Ink Glass Ornament

Today I Created | A Glass Ornament colored with Alcohol Inks.

This was another easy project. I used clear glass ornaments and removed the metal tops. I placed two drops of Alcohol Ink inside of the ornament and then sprayed canned air inside to spread the color.

After several trial and error attempts I discovered that it looked best if you spray one color inside one half of the ornament (bottom or on one side). After it is dry then add the second color but don't spray it. Instead roll the ornament until the color coats the remaining area.

Another lesson I learned was that it helped to have a blow dryer to quickly dry the ink inside of the ornament. The ink tends to stay liquid and pools in a giant blob if it doesn't dry quickly.

I finished off my ornament with a little paper banner that I stamped and glued onto the glass. The colors look very nice with a light behind them.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Noodle Ornament... Really!

Today I Created | A Christmas Ornament using Noodles.

I was visiting Eileen Hull's blog and discovered that she is having a "Noodle Contest". The contest was to make an ornament or decoration using noodles and you could win a $10 gift certificate to Noodles & Company. I love Eileen's blog and I love noodles, put them together and I'm in!

Off I went looking around for noodles in my kitchen.

I don't cook a lot but sometimes I get a little ambitious. I had these rice noodles sitting around for some time and now they were going to come in handy. I dropped them in boiling water for about ONE second just to soften them. Any more than that and they would have been too soft for this project.

I placed about one fourth of the noodles into a round, flat-bottomed bowl to create a wreath shape. I used a blow dryer to quickly dry the noodles so they didn't get sticky. Once I had the shape and it was dry, I removed it from the bowl and sprayed it with Olive Vine, Glimmer Mist while drying it with the blow dryer. Again, any moisture would make the noodles sticky so I needed to dry everything as I worked.
As a final touch I glued wooden beads and a ribbon to complete the look of the wreath. You could also make a bird's nest with these noodles. This was such a fast and fun project.

Addendum #1: Thank you to Noodles & Company and Eileen Hull. I was just notified that my noodle ornament won the noodle ornament contest. I can't wait to experience the food at Noodles & Company. Thanks again!

This is linked to Making The World Cuter.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Recycled Book Christmas Ornament

Today I Created | A Christmas ornament out of a recycled book.

My sister and I exchange Christmas ornaments every year. We choose a theme and make something for each other. This year's theme is "Distressed".

With that in mind I thought of something that would be meaningful to my sister and be distressed at the same time.

I created this ornament using an old book. I used Distress Ink to color the edges of the pages and applied some glue and glitter although this doesn't show up very well in the photos.

I strung a ribbon and made a charm to indicate the year and attached that at the top.

My sister has always loved words so creating a distressed ornament out of an old book seemed like a perfect choice.

This is linked to SomedaycraftsBlueCricketDesign, Saturday Mornings and Keeping It Simple.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Apothecary Jar Centerpiece

Today I Created | A Christmas Tablescape inside an Apothecary Jar

I was inspired by a beautiful idea in the PB catalog. I recreated it but at a fraction of their cost.

The apothecary jar is from Michaels that I bought on sale with a coupon. The bird in the center is actually metal that I found at a garage sale years ago. The bird has a lovely Shabby Chic finish so I didn't want to cover it with glitter. I printed music sheets from the Graphics Fairy and trimmed them into 3/4" strips. I rolled these around a pencil to create curls.

I had small pinecones that I first dipped in white paint and then glitter. The "snow" is fiber batting covered with Sparkle Christmas Snow from Anthropologie.

As a final touch, I took a piece of off-white ribbon and stamped "Merry Christmas" several times then tied it around the top of the lid.

The total cost for everything in my tablescape is about $25. At the PB, the apothecary jar alone costs $69 empty.

This is linked to TheGirlCreative.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Decorations

Today I Created | Photos of my Christmas decorations

I collect a wide variety of ornaments. I collect at least one ornament a year that depicts some memory or event of that year.
This year has been the start of my Shiny Brite Christmas ornament collection.

My mother had a plastic tree like this so I bought one on eBay several years ago and it is the first thing that I set up each Christmas.

I made these Song Birds and now they grace my Christmas tree.

Here is a small section of my tree. The female figures are the wives of Henry VIII (I bought them at Hever Castle in England). The flamingo is about 25 years old. On the right side, reflecting the lights, are two clear glass ornaments from Willow Springs Race Track in California. And to the left, above the wives is a metal ornament of the Spruce Goose when it was in Long Beach, California.

I made this tree skirt a long time ago. At the time I think I planned to have a Victorian-themed Christmas tree. This tree skirt reminded me of how long I have been creating things. I guess you're never too old nor too young to create something.

I am linking this to Vintage Thingy Thursday.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Triple Play Blog Hop Week 7 - Treat Bag Toppers

Welcome to the final week of the Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop. It has been a wonderful experience and I feel honored to have been included among such talented designers. I hope everyone has found some wonderful new ways to use these extraordinary dies.

This week's die is the Treat Bag Toppers by Eileen Hull. There are so many pieces in this die that can be used in so many ways. Instead of using this die as the tops of candy bags, I envisioned a totally different use.

I decided to create a little booklet using this die and Basic Grey, Figgy Pudding papers. I used the main piece of the Treat Bag Topper as the spine of the booklet and cut pages to fit. The "spine" already had holes punched so I just had to add holes in the pages before tying it together with ribbon.

I used the On The Edge, Ornate die for the edges of the pages. The green shape on the cover is one of the many decorative shapes included on the Treat Bag Toppers die. The letters were cut from an older Sizzix die font called Broadway Melody.

One of the other decorative shapes included in the Treat Bag Toppers die looked like folder tabs so I altered them a bit and used them as tabs inside the booklet.

You could add photos and include them as pages in this booklet. Or even use this for a special Holiday card.

I hope you enjoyed my project and be sure to continue through the Blog Hop by using the forward or back buttons in the blinkie to the right. And thank you for stopping by and visiting during this wonderful seven weeks of the Triple Play Blog Hop. A special thanks to Brenda, Eileen and Karen for making all of this possible and inviting me to join in. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Pop-up Gift Card Holders

Today I Created | Christmas Pop-up Gift Card Holders

Well, I already borrowed part of this idea from Karen Burniston so I decided that I may as well borrow a bit more. I just couldn't resist how she made her Twist Cube die pop up and hold a gift card so I decided to make my own version. Here's what she did for the Triple Play Blog Hop. Isn't it amazing! You can see why I couldn't resist this idea. Since I had to make so many of these I am not putting them in a card but rather the pop-up Twist Cube is the gift.

I used several different styles of Basic Grey Christmas papers. I used the double-sided Christmas papers to create the bows using the Sizzix Create-a-Bow die.  I used single-sided papers for the Twist Cube shape. I made my own "tags" that actually holds the gift cards. I pretty much wiped out my stash of Basic Grey Christmas papers so I think some shopping is in order.

When the Twist Cube is closed, the tag says "Merry Christmas". I used the Santa and Reindeer image from the Graphics Fairy and layered it in Photoshop to create the front of the tag.

When the Twist Cube is opened then the tag reveals the gift card and says "For You". I used the Holly Sprig image also from the Graphics Fairy. Below is a better view of what the tag looks like before it is folded and trimmed.

Hope you enjoy this and a big thank you to the two Karens that inspired this; Karen Burniston and Karen the Graphics Fairy.

I linked this to the Graphics Fairy and Favecrafts, Finished on the Fifteenth.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Garage Sale Finds

I found some treasures at a garage sale this weekend. It didn't look too promising at first until I started to dig.

I found a box of craft supplies and started digging. I picked up a bag of (maybe vintage) daisy lace, 5 yards for $5 which seemed expensive but I've been looking for this so I held onto it as I continued to dig.

I found a baggie with crocheted rosebuds made out of mohair yarn.

I'm not sure if these are supposed to be bows or butterflies. They are made out of velvet ribbon tied with seed beads. Very petite and in Christmas colors.

These crocheted cats and Scotty dog were so cute. There is so much handiwork in each piece. There are also five round flowers and one small lacy bit of crochet with three pink flowers.

This is a napkin ring but I am going to take it apart and use the pieces as centers for flowers. I love the colors.

I fell in love with the ladybug on this purse. The bead purse is 5" x 4" and the ladybug just makes it so cute.

That was it for the craft box. I then found a box of books. There weren't a lot of books but I found some gems.

I picked up two Bobsey Twins books copyrighted 1921 and 1925.  I don't read music but I found a "Laurel Music Reader" Special Edition by C.C. Birchard & Company copyrighted 1910 to use for altered art projects.

My favorite book was the "Picture Dictionary for Children" by Garnette Watters and S.A. Courtis copyrighted 1948. The illustrations are adorably cute.

We got all of these treasures for $12. And when it was all added up the daisy lace cost less than $1 for 5 yards. I love thrifting!

This is linked up to Apron Thrift Girl and Vintage Thingie Thursday.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop #6

Welcome to week 6 of the Triple Play Blog Hop. This week's featured die is the Sizzix, Bigz XL, Album, Brackets by Brenda Pinnick. This is another incredibly versatile die that had my imagination spinning.

Since Christmas is just around the corner, I decided to create an advent calendar using the Album, Brackets die. Because the shapes are square, I immediately thought of pockets.

My advent calendar is made from felt. I bought half a yard each of four colors (red, pink, green and light green) for the pockets. I also bought a yard (possibly could make it with 3/4 of a yard) of the dark green background felt.

I first cut 5" square pieces, six of each of three color and seven of one color. I carefully planned out the colors on a piece of graph paper. If you look closely you can see the squares are in a diagonal color pattern. Red squares are #1, 5, 9, 13, 17, 21 and 25. Pink; #2, 6, 10, 14, 18 and 22.

Once I had the pocket pieces cut I then had the Album, Bracket shapes to cut and lay out. There is a pattern here as well. I used the large bracket shape in all four corners and in the center. I used the small bracket shape for all of the even numbers. Then I used the square bracket frame for all of the remaining odd numbers. Can you see the pattern? I also had to select what colors to use in what shape. This was a more random choice with the idea of not repeating the same color combination next to each other.

The numbers were die cut using Ellison, Sure Cut, 2" Block Numbers (education dies).

Once I had everything laid out I started sewing. I did not do any applique sewing since this is a seasonal piece that should not get a lot of wear and tear. I first sewed the Album, Brackets shapes to the squares then the numbers to the bracket shapes. Finally I sewed the squares to the background as pockets and sewed along the top of the dark green backing piece to insert a dowel.

I'm still not sure if I am going to give this away or not. I started thinking about all of the fun little gifts that could fit inside these pockets... art supplies, little toys, vintage goodies, jewelry... and now I just might keep it for myself.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed creating it. I love my Followers so please be sure to join and then continue on through the Blog Hop using the blinkie button to the right. I'm sure there are many amazing creations and fabulous uses for this die.

This project is linked to These Creative Juices.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Collecting Ducks on my Doorstep

I have to first state that I live in a very large urban area.

Having said that, I seem to have created a wild duck collection. It began about five years ago when a pair of ducks appeared in our neighborhood swimming pool. They were a novelty at first and soon became a welcomed addition when they were seen walking with several chicks a few months later. They left sometime in the Spring.

The next year they returned but now there were five ducks. We didn't see any chicks but they were still fun to watch until the Spring.

The following year there were about seven, then eleven the next year. I bought a bag of cracked corn to feed them.

So this year we've had a big surprise. At last count there were 31 ducks hanging out at the swimming pool. But that's not the funniest part of this story. They seem to know that I will bring them food. I opened my front door to find ducks on my doorstep. My boyfriend walked right passed them with our dog and the ducks didn't scatter. Some even followed him looking for food.

You can see the edges of my front door in this photo.

And now the flock will come running if they see me. They will gather around my feet and eat if I stand very still.

I do hope we get to see a lot of chicks this year.
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