Thursday, October 18, 2012

Holiday Gift Idea Class with Jennifer

Ooo, I'm so EXCITED! I'm all signed up to teach a really fun holiday gift class at Captured Moments, aka my very favorite local scrapbooking store, and they're already talking about it on their blog! You can read all about it here: Holiday Gift Idea Class with Jennifer (hah, that's me!)

While you're there, go register for the class! It will be held on Saturday, December 15th; just in time for those last-minute holiday gifts. Even if you can't make the full class, I'll have kits available as well with full instructions. And hey, if you do make the class and want to purchase some kits to make some extras at home, go for it!

Hope to see you there!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Lawnscaping Blog Hop!

Good morning everyone! Welcome to your next stop on the Lawnscaping Blog Hop trail. You should have come here from Kelly's blog. This month's theme is all things fall, as you can see by our inspiration photo. Changing leaves, pumpkins, apples, pie...mmmm, pie...ahem. Where was I? Ah yes, prizes! The hop runs from Friday, October 5th all the way through Sunday, October 7th. Be sure to comment on all the blogs to be eligible for some fantastic prizes! All of the details can be found on the Lawnscaping page along with a list of all the blogs participating in the hop, in case you get lost along the way.

Now then, before I go dreaming about homemade pie again, let me share with you what I made for the hop. I decided to go completely outside my usual realm of crafting and see what I could come up with for a home decor project. While I've been avoiding jumping on the burlap bandwagon, I finally took the plunge and am hooked. That burlap wreath and the drapey curtains in the photo were just calling to me! Couple those with the pumpkins and fall colors, and you get (in my personal opinion) one really pretty, rustic wreath.

The leaves, acorns, and pumpkins are all paper pieced and fussy-cut from the Lawn Fawn Bright Side 6x6 paper pad. I love that paper so, so much and the smaller pad is perfect for smaller images. I cannot wait to get my hands on the new holiday set!

Of course, when I went to take pictures of my work in progress, BOTH camera batteries were dead so you'll just have to take my word on how I made it. If you really don't believe me, I believe some in-progress shots are up on Instagram. :p

To make the wreath I found what they call a 'craft wreath' at Michael's; it's a 12" diameter piece of wood that's made to be altered. Right next to it was a roll of 2.5" wide burlap webbing. Perfect! I brought them home and while my glue gun was warming up, I started wrapping. Once I had the spacing the way I liked it (I'm picky like that), some hot glue to the back was all it took to hold the burlap down. While it does fray when cut, the line of hot glue acted as a sealant as well - no fray shall pass! (Come on, tell me at least someone giggled at that.) I will warn you; burlap has holes. Hot glue is liquid. Hot glue will bleed through the holes and try to burn you. No, that did not happen to me and you cannot prove that it did. I don't care what it says on Facebook, it's all LIES!

Now then, while the hot glue set I got stamping and cutting. Once all of the pumpkins, leaves, and acorns were created I laid them out on the wreath to decide upon an arrangement. I've learned that doing that before you start gluing really works better in the long run. It also let me decide that the wreath needed GLITTER! I pulled out my Distress Stickles and highlighted the veins of the leaves, the dots on the acorns, and the little flowers on the pumpkins. Funny thing about Stickles - they take eons to dry. No, I'm not exaggerating. I walked away for, I kid you not, 1-1/2 hours and they still weren't set! So I busted out my embossing heat gun to try and speed things along. I think it mostly helped, and it gave the leaves a really pretty, gentle curl. Satisfied that I could successfully avoid the still-tacky spots, my glue gun and I got to work attaching all the pretties. The final touch was some sheer ribbon I had on hand and my wreath was done!

Here are some close-ups of the embellishments:

Leaves and acorns
Just look at that sparkle! Well worth the drying time
Pumpkins in a little pumpkin patch
My fussy-cut, paper-pieced, glittered pumpkin. Totally worth it!
View of my door now - it's never looked so festive!
Thanks for stopping by on the hop! I hope you like my fall wreath. If so, it would be lovely if you started following my blog to see what other crafty things I come up with. There's usually coffee involved, too. Ooo, which goes so well with pie!

All right, you're next stop is Joe Shien Shien's blog! Don't forget, if you get lost along the way head on back to the Lawnscaping blog for directions.

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pink by Design MasterCrafter Challenge

So back in August, Pink by Design put out a call; a new kind of challenge had arrived and the first 100 people to sign up got to play. Amazingly enough, I was online at the right time and managed to snag a box...a mystery box. You had no idea what it contained until you got it and you had to create a project using everything included. Whoa. Today is the day we can finally link up our projects and the voting begins to see who will be the MasterCrafter!

Admittedly, there was a short time where I was terrified - what if the box held things like pink and lace and girly-girl stuff? What on earth would I do with that?!? Turns out I had nothing to fear, for the contents were pretty darn cool.

Ooo, the shiny toys! Possibilities!
What was in the box:
- Scissor Mouse sponsored by Westcott
- DCWV Rockstar mat stack sponsored by DCWV Deals
- Cotton Bag Sponsored by State line Bag Co.
- 1/2 sheet of Rhinestones sponsored by Queen & Co.
- Sentiment stamp sponsored by Pink by Design (I received 'trust')
- 2 buttons

What I added from my own stash:
-PbD stamp set 'Happily Ever After'
-Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Wild Honey, Tea Stain, and Crushed Olive
-StazOn True Black Ink
-Lawn Fawn Twine in Natural
-13"x13" shadow box (really truly, it was just sitting in my craft room!)
-random piece of 12"x12" scrapbooking paper
-crown stamp (dollar bin at Michael's)
-foam tape
-black stamp marker from LePlume

Though I've never used it before, I've always loved the rock star paper. It's cool enough for both boys and girls - yes! So, what did I make?

My MasterCrafter design of a scrapbook layout in a shadowbox frame
Angled view; less glare from the glass
Oh yes - I made a heavily layered layout and put it in a shadowbox frame. My little boy just turned 2 and provided the perfect photos for the layout. Of course, the one thing I forgot until after I was done is just how hard it is to get a good photo of something involving glass! So...much...glare! Seriously, you're seeing the best of about 12 photos here.

Here are some close-ups of the key elements:

The muslin bag got distressed, stamped, and blinged-out with the rhinestones
The buttons got strung through some twine and wrapped around the whole page to make...
...guitar strings!
I paired the 'trust' stamp that was included with 2 more PbD ones from my stash
Yeah, that is one seriously cute, Goldfish-encrusted grin. My little love. That photo happened when he decided to come stick his face in the camera, so I clicked away. Who knew it would turn out so perfect?

EDIT: Still begging for votes, but the voting dates have changed! Please, head on over to the Pink by Design blog starting October 7th and vote for me to become the MasterCrafter. Voting closes October 11th and it would be beyond awesome to win. MWAH!

Ok, on to the photo montage of how I put this bad boy together!

I already had the photobox frame which, in this case, measures 13"x13", leaving me a workspace of 12.5"x12.5". Lots of room! So I grabbed a piece of 12"x12" paper I had lying around in a color that I really wasn't crazy about and used that as my backer piece. I decided to make a patchwork quilt out of the different papers in the pack, so I started laying out my design then got cutting.
Figuring out spacing BEFORE cutting. Sometimes I'm so smart!
Paper all sliced up and edges inked
I used the white insert from the frame to line up my paper, then started gluing
My completed background
I really, really like how it came out. That's the nice thing about paper stacks - all of the papers compliment each other. Thanks to the patterns, I could even work in some of the pink papers despite it being a boy's layout. It came across as cool, not girly. Rock on.

From here I moved on to the muslin bag. It really didn't match in its natural form, so I grabbed my Distress Inks and started layering them on. I tucked tissue paper inside the bag to prevent bleed-through and it provided a cool effect while rubbing on the inks. I have to say, that little bag loved the inks! Soooo easy. When I was happy with the colors, I grabbed the crown stamp I had that, gasp!, matched the crowns on the paper perfectly. Using the rhinestones as jewels was a perfect way to bring some bling in. I let the bag dry overnight and did wind up going back over the crown with my marker as it had faded too much. I love how grungy it came out! Since I already had my marker in hand, I added my little prince of a rock star's name and called it done.

A blend of crushed olive, wild honey, and tea stain resulted in one cool, grungy bag
Close-up of the bag; you can see the crown is already fading
Oh yeah, the bag wasn't the only thing stained...blech!
Completed bag with the crown drawn back in
While the bag dried and I scrubbed my hands clean (surprisingly easy to do, by the way) I chose and printed out my photos and got to work matting them. I also attached my "guitar strings" and buttons while munching on the hidden stash of Halloween candy in my craft room...shhhh! I laid everything out on my background and realized something was missing. In the end, I grabbed one last piece of paper from the stack and fussy-cut the flocked heart design out and added it to the middle. Perfect!
Final layout check before applying the adhesive
My fussy-cut heart embellishment
From here it was simple. Grabbing my ATG gun I glued everything down. I used foam tape to pop up the photo in the corner and the heart embellishment to give it some dimension. Then it was just a matter of lining it up in the frame, adding the bag, and I was done!
One last look...grr, with some glare
I'd love to hear what you think! And pretty please, remember to go vote!

Happy Crafting!

p.s. Don't forget to stop by tomorrow when the Lawnscaping Challenge Blog Hop begins!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Time for the October OOTBS!

Phew! It's been absolutely CRAZY around here lately! September seemed to fly by in a blink, and here we are at October already. I have several September projects to get you all caught up on, but today's spotlight is on the October Out of the Box Sampler! We participated again this month, and thanks to the overwhelming demand in our Facebook poll for them, this month's treat is a vampire cupcake upcycled bottle cap magnet!

Vampire cupcake...rawr!
Seriously, how cute is this little guy?? The magnet is massively strong so don't be afraid to have it hold up your most important papers on the fridge...filing metallic!

Those purchasing a box that are lucky enough to get one of my little magnets will find a small story about our upcycling and a coupon code good for the month of October, all bundled up in a black bag. Hey, it is Halloween!

All the spooky contents
All packaged up and ready to go!
The samplers go on sale TONIGHT, October 1st, at 8pm EST. Hurry hurry!