Sunday, January 31, 2010

Glitter...and Other Things that Sparkle

I saw the funniest, cute and very "me" quote the other was on a tag attached to a candle my stylist had on her counter. It said: "I was going to do something to change the world today...But something sparkly caught my eye". I laughed when I saw this, and thought of all the times I am out shopping (or browsing) and immediately am drawn to the shiniest thing in the shop...I love sparkles.

Last year I bought several bottles of glitter for crafting, then bought several old vintage salt & pepper shakers to dispay them in...I even had friends of mine keep their eyes out for neat shakers to use (thanks Trixie!). I finally got around to getting the shakers filled last week, and now have them displayed on a table in my studio. They look so neat...and sparkly!

I took a few pictures of the shakers and glitter, and put together a simple layout using a Becky Fleck Page Map for a Page Map Blog it is:

The sketch...

And my layout...

I used some Basic Grey papers (from the Dasher and Euphoria lines), some Basic Grey chipboard shapes (glittered, of course), and some vintage magazine ads from a 1926 French magazine decoupaged onto a chipboard sheet...and then smugged-up with distress ink. I also added the quote at the top left corner of the decoupaged chipboard.

It was a very fun, very messy project celebrating my love of sparkles!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Hair Stylists...and Other Miracle Workers

I have a suggestion for the new health care reforms..I think we should add beauty parlors to the list of approved mental health care providers....

I spent a few lovely hours yesterday having my hair done...I went in a shaggy dog and came out a well coiffed poodle! Not to mention a more relaxed and mentally stable member of society!

There are few things as nice as sitting in a comfy swiveling chair having someone cater to your every need....want the space heater on to warm your feet, done!...want a cup of tea (or two), done!...want me to primp and fawn over you, done!

I love going to the salon, I love the cacophony of voices chattering in the background, the tinkle of the door's bell every time someone walks in or out, the soothing sound of running water and the general laughter of happy women (and men). I enter the salon feeling shaggy and unkempt, and within a few hours my stylist (Oh, I love the sound of that!) has performed miracles! She manages to snip my hair here and there and not only gets my mane back in shape, but sheds pounds, makes my close fit better, makes my skin look clearer and empties my mind of all the things I'm worrying about.

Doesn't that sound like it should fall in to the mental health category? I'm not asking for a lot, just 12 pre-approved visits to keep me sane, happy and a functioning member of society...And if you go my salon, ask for "Dr." Melissa...she is the best!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Busy Weekend...and Other Fun Things

I love when I have a really busy, productive weekend. When I get to do what needs to be done, as well as what I want to get done. And this past weekend was just that kind of weekend...and plus the rain (I love the rain) was just perfect!

I got some scrapbooking time in, had dinner with my friends, watched some good movies on TV, finished (and started) some knitting projects...and got the dishes done, the bathrooms cleaned and the laundry washed and folded (although putting it away will actually take place tonight...).

I finished two small, one-page layouts...both for online contests...and I'm pretty happy with both.

The first one is for the Jan "new" ary challenge at Scrapbook Express based on a Becky Fleck Page Map:

The second layout is for the January Goal contest at Magistical Memories...

I also submitted a page, I finished a couple of weeks ago, to the January Challenge at The Everyday Scrapper.

Whew..a lot of submissions! Plus (and this is a biggie) I sent in a submission, via email, for the Nikki Sivils Design Team...that one's a long-shot, but I gotta try, right?!?!

And I finally finished a scarf I had been working on for several months (sorry, no picture)...started and finished a scarf based on Niki Epstein's Tree of Life afghan (again, no picture...although I am wearing it right now, and it is quite toasty and warm)...started and finished a "mini traveling scarf" for a mini-album my friend is working on...I couldn't resist taking a picture of Bonnie wearing the mini-scarf...

Ain't she cute? I said, very 'busy-bee' weekend...hopefully I can keep up the pace, 'cause the juices are flowing!

If all goes according to plan, tonight I will get another hour or two in the studio to work on a couple more layout submissions that are due at the end of this week...wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Thinking Outside the Box…and Other Uses for Empty Matchboxes

I have a candle on my bathroom counter (thanks Trixie!) that I light every morning while I am getting ready for work. The other day, I used the last match in the matchbox and was just about to toss the empty box out when I realized I could alter it (and since I am on a no buy kick…I am trying to find new and interesting things to use from around the house…)

So I stewed on it for a bit, and came up with a super cute idea (if I do say so myself)…I decorated the matchbox to use as a frame…

Okay, so maybe the idea is not completely original, but here is my take on it anyway…

Here are the supplies I used...

  • 6X6 papers from SEI
  • Misc. rhinestones
  • Pearl-head straight pin
  • ribbon
  • Misc. metal embellishments
  • CTMH stamp and black Archival ink
  • Zip Dry glue
  • and one empty matchbox (from Morton's Steakhouse...yummm!)

I measured the matchbox and cut a piece of paper to wrap around the outside, making sure the paper was long enough to overlap on one side. I started attaching the paper just below the edge of the firts side (hope you can see that in the picture below). I used Zip Dry to attach the paper (it is my new favorite glue!)

Then I cut a strip of paper to fit on the inside edges (measure the height of your edge and add ¼” to lap onto the bottom of the box), scored it and snipped small triangles out where the strip would overlap on the bottom.

I punched small holes on each end of the slider box and added ribbon “handles”.

Then I just decorated the top…with whatever I had on hand.

Add a small photo to the bottom of the slider box…( I still have to print out a picture for mine, just imagine a really cute picture of me and Jon there)…and there you have it. This one will be a small Valentines present for my sweetheart!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Quick Note...

I found another use for the cute little plastic basket I found in the $1 bin at Target...

It is perfectly sized for holding one small cat!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Layout Submitted...and Other Scary Things

Well...I did it!

I submitted a scrapbook layout to a Becky Fleck page call for Page Maps. Whew! I can't divulge the layout yet...I have to wait until I hear from them, so check back around the end of the month...

I would love to be picked, in addition to having the layout posted on her website I would win $50! (Of course there are still 24 days before I could spend the money on anything crafty...sigh!) But I am most excited that I finally did it...put something out the big-bad scrapbook world...well the scrapbook world is really a bit more warm and fuzzy than that, but you get the point...

I'll admit, I'm a bit nervous and excited...what if they laugh when they see it (well, if they do, I guess I'll never know since I won't be there...) I just need to go chin-up and keep submitting, ignoring the potential for laughter, 'cause really, I just do this for me!

Until I can reveal the is one I did about Sam:

Well..I think I'll go hug the dogs and cats...and start working on my next submission...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch…and Other Social Gatherings

This past Saturday I went to another all-day scrap with Scrap Again. Scrap Again has been hosting scrap for about six months now…and I think they are improving with each hosted scrap.

Starting this year their scraps are at a local hotel, an okay venue, but the room we were in was a bit out-in-the-open…I mean this bunch of ladies can get pretty loud, so I felt kinda bad for some of the hotel guests. I mean, isn’t there always the one scrapper who doesn’t have a silent eyelet setter…and of course they decide to use it at 9pm…really?!?! the atrium of a hotel…well, there is always one.

Anyway, public scrapping…I really enjoy this type of gathering, with all the different people with all different styles of scrapping, but I think I prefer my little group of girlfriends and the quiet silliness we have when we get together.

One of my favorite parts of hosted scraps, or just get-togethers with the girls, is the prep…I know, it sounds funny, but it’s true! It’s like the lead up to Christmas…the shopping (sigh, only 26 more days!), the planning, the packing and the sleepless night before-hand…dreaming of all the layouts I will finish!

My girlfriends and I have almost perfected the pre-scrap packing. About a year ago, I borrowed a layout from a friend that she had gotten as a kit. I copied the idea of the “kit” and packed together all the parts and pieces I needed in one little folder. And then I became addicted to the “kit”. I loved the idea of having all the embellishments and papers in a folder, along with the pictures all ready to go…so was born our mutual addiction to “kit”-ing. And since we meet once a month at rotating houses…packing well and light is essential (to the health of our backs…and shoulders…and arms…).

And of course now we are the few scrappers who enter a scrap with a shoulder bag of layout “kits” and a small table-top bag of general tools, inks and adhesives. And we are very productive…I got 13 layouts (two-pages each) at Scrap Again’s October 2009 scrap!

I won’t go into details on “kit”-ing…my friend Trish, a design team member for Scrap Again, will be teaching a class on it at February’s scrap….I highly recommend attending!

Back to last Saturday’s scrap…and the loud eyelet setter...sigh. Like all social gatherings, I think there should be a set of unspoken (but understood) rules…and if you have a few minutes, check out this forum on 2Ps on what not to do at a scrap…pretty funny stuff:Funny Forum.

I did manage to get a few layouts done (can’t reveal them here though, I am going to be submitting them to a contest…top secret stuff) and I finally finished my “25 Days of Christmas” mini-album…whew! Here are a few pictures of the mini…

And on last picture...a close-up of the cute mini-album stamp I bought from Catslife Press.

I think I love making minis…and have a few ideas queuing up in my head…stay tuned.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Coupons...and Other Impulse Buys

Over the past year I have gotten very good and clipping and using coupons. I have a nice little coupon file I keep in my purse with the coupons all separated into categories. I even go through and purge the expired ones regularly. One of the sections is set aside for 'store' coupons; Michaels, JCPennys, Arron Brothers, PetSmart and the like. Those are the coupons I need to address...impulse buys!

I like to think I am a pretty smart gal...I mean if I see a coupon for $0.50 off of eight cans of fruit, it's not a deal to me...I never would have use for eight cans of I pass on the coupon. But give me a 40% off one item at Michaels...and I'm all over it, making a special trip to the store to use it, whether or not I need anything...I mean it's 40% off! Can't pass that up!

So I got to thinking about the week leading up to a big scrap/crop and how many trips I had made to the store to see if there was anything I needed...and how much I had spent...and well you can probably guess where this is going...

So I have made a challenge to myself (and anyone who wants to join)...30 days - no buying any craft supplies! Even if the sale is a Cricut and all the available cartridges for $10...I'm not buying!

The rules are as follows: Buy nothing! No yarn, no paper, no adhesives, no embellishments...nothing. If it breaks, use something else. If you run out of something, use a different product. If you run out of everything, read a book!

So as of January 11, 2010...I have gone 3 days...27 to go!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Paper Dolls...and Other Crafty Things

My co-worker (who shall remain nameless) has the funniest saying...anything that is crafty at all is called "paper dolls". And paper dolls scare her. I just have to laugh at that! Apparently it all stems from her childhood (doesn't everything!) and her lack of skills with a pair of scissors...anyway, I am attempting to change her mind...paper dolls are fun.

So I found this cute plastic basket in the dollar bin at Target about a month ago...and well, since it was only a dollar and came in bright obnoxious lime green...I had to buy two of them. So far I have been using them to tote around stuff...scrapbook stuff...sewing and knitting stuff...generally just stuff...

I went back to Target last week and bought another one, this time in pink, to use as a table-top catch-all for un-wanted scrapbook embellishments when I get together with my girlfriends to scrap. I thought I would embellish it, well, because I can...and I think it came out pretty cute.

Now back to the paper dolls...I brought the basket to work earlier this week to take a picture so I could post it here on the blog, and when Ms. Paper Dolls saw it...low and behold...she wanted to make one herself for her granddaughter...see it just goes to show, crafting isn't so scary after all (with a little help from your friends)! So for Ms. Paper Dolls, and anyone else interested, here are the instructions:

I think any small basket will work, as long as it has some small openings on the side:

Using fabric scraps (but of course I would never deny anyone the opportunity to go to the fabric store and buy yards and yards of new fabric, just for the fun of it), tear strips that are about 1/2" to 1 1/4" wide. To do this, simple make a small snip through the selvage of the fabric and tear...the fabric should tear along the warp and be pretty straight...but exactness and straightness won't be a factor here...

Then cut the torn strips into smaller lengths...for this basket the strips were cut to about 3-4 inches. Again, exactness...not a factor!

Finally, and super simple here, just tie them through the openings of the basket...and there you have it! Paper dolls!

I like mine so much, I think I will whip up a few for my little nieces for their birthdays and fill them with all sorts of girly-girl bubble bath and Bonnie Bell lip gloss!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Resolutions...and other White Lies

Well, here we are in the new year. Welcome 2010!

So I have been thinking a bit about what New Year's Resolutions I should make. Generally speaking, I try to keep them simple, so I can accomplish them. (I mean, no point in setting my self up for failure...I can accomplish that easily enough on any average day!) And this year I have decided to make my resolution and ADD instead of a no "eat less", "complain less" or "cut-out sweets"...

This year I am going to spend MORE time in my studio, doing MORE things I enjoy and CREATING more!

I spent a few hours out in the studio on New Year's Eve and then again on the 2nd and I'm off to a good start.

I am also going to start submitting more work to challenges, DT calls and magazine calls...we'll see where that goes, hopefully that resolution won't fall into the white lies category!