Friday, November 29, 2013

New layouts

This summer my family and I went to Spain.  We were there for about 9 days and it was wonderful!  We rented an apartment in Madrid very close to a subway entrance.  It was so easy to just get on the subway and ride to wherever we needed to go to catch our trains for a daytrip.  Of course, we walked our bums off too!  I joked that I should have packed hiking gear instead of what I brought.  And add to that the high heat that was unusual for the region at the time of year.

But we had a blast!  And of course I took pictures.  Mounds and mounds of pictures.  My kids tell me that sometimes I take them in a most horrible pose.  But then when I get home and they see it on the screen that is not 2" square, life is good again.  They even love some of them.  Alright, so bottom line is that I took around 750 pics.  I kept around 575.  The others were just either too blurry, did not capture what I wanted, or I let someone else take said camera and well, hum, they didn't turn out so well!  Now comes the gigantic chore of scrapbooking them.  I am more of an event scrapper at this time.  So I must get this done!  Christmas is coming!

I thought I would share some of my favorite pages so far (I really haven't gotten that far!). Here goes:
 This is the cover page.    The 2 tags pull out from the side and have journaling on them.  This is what my kids call the mandatory, horrible family vacation photo.  Is it really so hard to just look at the camera and pretend you are smiling for real?  (just joking)
 I really like this page.  I like how the date is incorporated in the embellishments and I like how the city map can be pulled out.
 I have numerous photos that I wanted to keep but are basically ones that will help us remember how everything looked.  so I decided to stack some of them.  I like the look of this page with the swirls and the gray pastel I brushed on around the page.  It was also a great use of all the small scraps I had.
 The page above and below are facing pages.  I fell in love with the architectural details in this Cript and thought it would be fun to mirror those on the page.  The resin pillars from Prima are perfect.

 I have this love for banners.  I think they are so cute.  Just had to have them on a page or two!

That's all for today.  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  If you are one of those brave souls who chooses to explore the retail world on black Friday, then be safe!  I am headed for another cup of java and a blanket.  Maybe I can catch a few more z's before all the children get up!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A little decor

Last year while at CHA, my boss found these adorable galvanized metal stands.  They had a black chalkboard in the center and were scalloped around the edges.  Very cute!  She puchased one for each teacher and asked us to make something that would show our classes for the upcoming quarter (obviously it would change from quarter to quarter).

I teach around 6 classes each quarter for her.  So, I made a small tray that fit exactly inside the chalkboard part.  The tray was equally divided and in each section I placed something from each of the class projects and a little tag with the class name, dates, and price on it.  The whole tray was then placed on the stand with magnets so it could be removed and updated the next quarter.  I also took the time to decorate the stand itself with Tim Holtz distress paints and some other fun things.  I included my name on the top as well so people would know it was me!
 This is the frame after I painted and embellished it.  Sorry, but I did not take a pic before!  You can see that I was playing around with a tiny, tiny piece of chalk on the board.
 A side view 
This is the original tray I made for the stand.  6 classes each with its own small sample space.

 Everyone loved the idea enough that I had to make it a class!  This is what I came up with:

Can you see that the little lantern in the bottom corner lights up?  So adorable.

The tray itself is only 7 x 4.  I love the idea that this is something that is small enough to be placed on a desk and is easily changed for each holiday or season.  So many possibilities!  The trays are made with chipboard; takes a little time to put them together.  The little lantern in the lower corner is from Tim Holtz.  It comes with a battery pack so when you plug it in the lantern lights up!  Very cool.  I made a few modifications to it for the class.  I added a dark metal element under the numbers to help balance it visually.  Liked it better (now I have to make a new one for me!)  I also made 2 other holiday kits; one for Thanksgiving and one for New Year's.
Again, I made a design change for the class kit by adding very tiny twigs under the leaves on the tree.  It added dimension and looked so freakin cute!!!   Sorry about the glare on the tag on the top.  I used stickles on top of the stamped "so Thankful" image and my photo light just kept catching all the glitter!

New Year's has an old fashioned look.  I love the metallic colors with the deep black.  Feels glamorous to me.  All the stars and swirls were cut on the Silhouette.  Did I mention before how much I adore my Silhouette?  Oh My Gosh.  I love, love, love it!  It cut those pretty black stars (see all the little detail on them?) perfectly.  When I removed them from the mat they lifted perfectly.  I did not have to sit and meticulously pick out and cut out by hand all the little spaces.  Nope, they came off perfectly because they were actually cut perfectly.  And the swirls?  Cut those from a thick glitter paper.  Perfect.  No special tools to take them from the mat or little chads on the edges to cut off.  Again I love my Silhouette!  Sorry, I digress!

I have so many ideas of things to make for the next few holidays.  Not all of them are trays.  The stand is a chalkboard too so I was thinking of integrating that with a design.  Hope this inspired you today.  Happy crafting.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Changing things up a bit and a little help

Life is crazy here (as usual!)!  I really thought that with 2 of my kids away at college it would be a little calmer.  Who was I kidding?  The reality is there are still 3 at home and they are a full time commitment.  And did I mention that I love it?  Well, I do!  If you know me then you know my kiddos take center stage with me.

So, 2 are away at school.  That has left me with some reorganizing to do.  There are things that needed to be packed away and put away.  I have left that chore for some time now.  Slowly I have been doing this.  One week I packed (or re-packed since the boxes were falling apart - rubbermaid to the rescue) all the oldest's things.  We have a bedroom for each child.  However, when the oldest left for school I took over the smallest bedroom for my craft room.  That said, all of his things had to go someplace!  I did not kick him out completely.  The bed and some of his things are still there.  I just share the space.

A huge shift in reality just occurred recently though.  My youngest daughter is now being schooled at home.  She has a medical condition that does not allow her to be at school right now.  She is in high school so she is following an online school program.  Kinda nice for old mom here!  However, I have found that I need to be in the same room as she is while she is working on school work.  Keep her on track and answer questions.

Enter operation re-do craft room to accomodate her and her desk!  Wow.  I spent the weekend redoing the whole room.  Cleaning.  Cleaning out.  Moving furniture all over the place.  I am lucky to have kids who help out though.  My son was invaluable to me when moving the furniture!  I am almost done.  Give me the day and everything will be in its place.  I think I will like the new arrangement.  I can get to all my stuff easier.  And my daughter is right there with me!  I love that.  And the biggest benefit?  If someone comes over I can just shut the door!  Woohoo!!!

So, I have changed things up a bit.  Hoping I can post more often.  And the little help I mentioned?  Well, I actually had 3 little helpers but only caught two on camera.
 The one above is the old, fat cat.  She was lurking among all the boxes.  She was actually snooping hoping to find a sock to pull out!
Then there was the little guy.  He doesn't care as long as he is in the middle of it all.  Amazes me how he can lay on top of just about anything and go to sleep.  He was rather peaceful the whole day on top of the desk.  I kept piling things around him.  He just stayed curled up.  Then we moved the bed.  Oh my!  He went crazy!  His toys were under the bed.  He took each and every one and found a new place for them to be!  He is so funny!

Maybe a pic or two of the new space this week.  Check back and as always stay crafty!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ready for a little Christmas

I just love Christmas.  It is just such a special time of the year.  I hate seeing Christmas stuff in the stores in say, August, but I love Christmas.  I have made my first mini for the season already.  The class is this Monday.  The mini is made with Authentique's Joyous paper collection.  It is so pretty!  Great colors and patterns.  I have purchased quite a bit of it for numerous projects yet to come.

Here's the cover.  It is made using the Zutter 8 x 8 bamboo covers.  After you make your pages you bind them with an "o" wire and it fits in to the cover perfectly.  It is so clean looking.  Recently I purchased a Silhouette Cameo (and seriously love it!!!).  I made the light pole and sign hanger with it.  There are lots of goodies inside; fun trinkets (Tim Holtz and some others); fun interactive layouts.  Ready for the season.

So, if you have already signed up for the class you will need to bring your basics to class.  Include a glue pen to glue fine details, pop dots, glue dots, zip dry, and distress ink if you desire (I used frayed burlap I believe).

If you have'nt signed up yet, there is still a spot or two left.  Just call the store (281-288-7289).

Hope you have a great weekend.