Friday, January 31, 2014

festive friday #24 {vintage ornaments}

hey, folks!  it's Friday and it just happens to be a "festive" Friday!  i loved the inspiration photo for this challenge--it prompted this idea of something antique, even tarnished, and very vintage-looking.  i was really thinking of German glass glitter which is meant to tarnish as it gets older, but of course i don't have any so i had to use what i've got.

luckily, my sister recently gave me some very ornate vintage buttons.  the one i chose for my card looks like an antique brooch or costume jewelry, but it actually is a button--and it was perfect!  the background paper and the "JOY" sticker are from the My Mind's Eye All Is Bright line, while the gold polka dot tag is from Crate's DIY Shop.  for something a bit different, i used shimmery gold card stock from Paper Source as my card base.

i actually made another card first, but as sometimes happens, you get out all kinds of different products as the idea is coming together.  when i was happy with the first card, i started playing around with the second card and then found the vintage button--and once i found the button, sadly, it was all over for the first card.  when i had the second card put together, i liked it a lot better for the challenge.  but since i do love the first card for other reasons, i'll still show it to you.

some of the same elements can be found on both cards--the silver and gold, glitter, lace bits.  but this is really a totally different card.  the "all is calm" sentiment is a snippet from the All Is Bright 6x6 paper pad (which is where the idea for the second card started to form).  i love how both cards have so much texture on them--when you've got a lot of texture, it's not always necessary to pile a lot of other products on top of it--unless you want to, of course!

i hope i see some of you playing along with this challenge!  you can find all the details and inspiration from the rest of the DT here.  as for me, i'll be back this weekend with some lovely Valentines!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

tiny things + another announcement

exciting piece of news #2 for this week...i'm back for another year as part of Crate Paper's Design Team!  this will be my third term as a CP Girl and i truly love being on this team!  i enjoy the products--OF COURSE!--but i also love the challenge of creating new and different projects each month.  i could easily make cards and tags every day for the rest of my life and never get bored...but that could get boring for others so i like trying fresh ideas--mini albums, scrapbook layouts, even the occasional home decor piece.

today i have something different i made for the Crate blog last year that never got the chance to make it to my own blog.  these are teensy, tiny little things and i had a ball making them!  i don't know about you, but i personally find tiny things irresistible!  isn't the Nano cuter than the iPod?  who can resist baby hedgehogs and mini clothespins?!  and don't get me started on babies and their tiny pants--especially jeans, right? much cuter can you get?  with that feeling in mind, i set out to make baby-sized paper goods.  they're pretty simple to make and i've offered a few helpful hints along the way, so grab an espresso--because it's a tiny cup of coffee, of course!--and have a look...

i made a notebook and 2 albums, all pocket-sized.  my idea is that these are easily portable and mailable.  you can pretty much accessorize with whatever fancies you; i chose mostly items from the Flea Market collection, with a few Close Knit embellishments mixed in.  the 6x6 paper pads are especially good to use, since the papers are scaled-down versions of the originals.

{some tools here are my preferences and will vary based upon your embellishment choices}
scoring board or bone folder & ruler 
adhesive (your preference)
pinking sheers
decoupage glue
binder clips
small pliers
small paper punches

let's start with the notebook.  you can see from the photo that it's small enough to fit inside a small handbag--the finished size measures only 2" x 3".  the matchbook-style is also the basis for the albums and you probably already know how to make one.  but just in case, here's how to do it:

i chose "Tag Sale" from the 6x6 paper pad and trimmed off a 2-inch length.  these paper pads are actually 6" x 6 7/16" with a 7/16" border at the top.  i purposely kept the border attached and used the readily-made perforation to my advantage.

score the backside of your paper at 3 inches (from the opposite end of the perforated border).
{tip:  i have an inexpensive trimmer that i use only for scoring; i just switched out the cutting blade for a scoring blade.  it's especially helpful if you do a lot of folding--for cards, paper pockets, etc--and doesn't take up a lot of space.}

fold your paper down at the crease and then fold the border up; your finished size will be 2" x 3" with the folded border.  you'll have a handy little matchbook without a whole lot of work.

for the notepad part, i cut twelve 1.75" x 2.5" pieces of "Open Air" (from the standard 12x12 size) and held the stack of them together with 2 binder clips for a tight hold.  to avoid imprint marks on my papers from the clips, i inserted small squares of cardboard on each side.

next, apply a generous amount of glue to the top edges.  (i used Martha Stewart Decoupage glue, but most craft glues will work--Mod Podge, PVA, etc)  because this paper is a heavy weight, you will want to coat the edge liberally and allow a long drying time--30 minutes or until it's dry to the touch.  lighter weight papers require a thin application and take about half the drying time.

when your paper pad is dry, adhere it to the inside of your matchbook.  you can jot down notes and lists, and tear them off one piece at a time.  i was originally going to use the lined side of "Open Air" but when i saw the soft pink pieces of the bokeh hearts side, i couldn't resist!

embellish the cover as you wish.  due to the small size, busy print, and the idea of keeping this in my purse, i went easy on flair with a simple gold-trimmed die cut and cabochon.

next up is a tiny album, with the same cover style.  i removed the perforated border for this one, so it simply folds in half.  "Antique" is one my very favorites from Flea Market.  the lines of the white-washed wood are beautiful.  it's also a great neutral--i used this paper for both my boy album and my girl album.

for both of my albums here, i also took full advantage of the small phrases from the 6x6 size of "Market."  they're itty bitty and so cute!  not to mention that there are so many different sayings, there's probably one for practically all of your photo ops.
(tip:  pinking sheers are the perfect tool for creating one-step notched ends.)  

instead of the mini notepad style, i made a pullout album.  i cut a 1.75" x 10" strip from the 12 x 12  of "Fabric".  i scored the chevron side at 2" and 6", then flipped the paper over to the genealogy side and scored at 4" and 8".   

adhere the back of the first flap to the inside cover, then decorate as you choose.  this bitty album is about a family trip we took two Christmases ago up to the Redwood Forest.  Mr. Bagubian is obsessed with monster trucks so when we saw this awesome monster bus parked on the side of the road, we HAD to stop for some pictures.  

speaking of photos...these albums are miniature so your photos will need to be, as well.  mine are 1.25" x 1.25".  you can print them out at that size on your personal printer or use your favorite photo-printing service (i used the PostalPix app for my iPhone--it's also available for Android users). 
{tip:  if you also choose to go the PostalPix route, you'll need to make a 2x2 grid photo with 9 different photos.  save the grid, then select it again as a 4x4 photo.}

(an extra tip:  i love the button-brads from Close Knit, but, as in this case, don't always want the added bulk of the prong.  it's easily removed with a pair of small pliers...)

just pull and twist off...

most of us enjoy the mini album and love how they're so much bang for your buck.  but you might be asking what you'll do with a pocket album such as these.  well, they're light and travel well--keep it in your purse, store it in a fraction of the space, or send it across the country.
my family lives 3000 miles away from us and i'll admit that i'm not the greatest at keeping everyone up-to-date on our ever-changing and growing children.  these sweet albums are personal and handmade, and capture the spirit of my little ones perfectly.  they will also fit into a standard envelope for easy mailing.  {at the time i made these in October, i had every intention of sending them to my mom, but i never got around to it so it is with pangs of guilt and sadness that i share it with you today.} 

they'll also nestle into these tiny tins for safe keeping...

embellish the tins as you like.  i kept mine simple again, so i--or my sister, if i send this to her--can carry  it in a purse.  there's so much stuff in there already that i didn't want anything overly decorated that would be destroyed with the first "rummage."  the gold tiled letters are flat so no real extra bulk is created.  although they come adhesive-ready, i did add extra dabs of glue to the back of each one to ensure they stay put.   

if you like mini albums, i hope you’ll try one of these pocket-sized babies sometime.  they’re awfully fun to create and are a snap to put together!

make sure you check out the entire Design Team over on the Crate blog...there are introductions all week long and a tremendous amount of talent will be introduced.  have a wonderful Wednesday!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

festive friday {on sunday}!

hey there!  remember last post when i said that i had some exciting news to share?  i was recently invited to join the Design Team over at Festive Friday!  i could not be more excited about this because it's a chance to celebrate Christmas all year long.  after losing my mom in November, i wasn't feeling at all festive this Christmas--nothing at all like last year.  so i didn't do too much holiday creating and i'm thrilled that i now get to make Christmas-y things all year!  thank you so much, Meredith, for this fantastically festive opportunity!

if you are unfamiliar with FF, it's a challenge blog with the idea that every two weeks, you will be inspired to make a holiday card or tag or whatever tickles your fancy.  and by the end of the year, perhaps you will have gotten a great head start on your Christmas cards.  every two weeks there will be a beautiful new photo and some fun ideas from the DT.  and, if you're feeling up to it, you can link up your project to the FF blog for everyone to see!

the first challenge of the year is up and running and the photo this week is this lovely red wintry barn that really makes me miss the snow!  (i apologize to all of you in colder parts of the country/world because i know you're so over it by now!) 

i wanted a mostly white or light neutral background for the card with pops of red and green.  i also used a lot of texture--glitter branches, lace, tulle, doilies, and burlap--because there's a lot of texture in the picture--snow, wood, greens.  the bit of burlap also ties into the rustic quality that the barn evokes.  {this will NOT be the last burlap flag you see from me, either; they're one of my new favorite things!}

i hope you've been sufficiently inspired and if not, there's much more to see over on the Festive Friday blog.  you have about a week and a half to play along!  i hope i see you there!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

i thank you...

well, it's a new year and i'm ready to welcome it.  thank you so much for all of the kind comments and support you all showed from my post about the loss of my mother.  i was truly touched that so many of you took the time to offer words of encouragement.  i mentioned the kindness of others briefly in the post, but it is really true--there IS good in people.  i witnessed it first-hand from my family and close friends, distant relatives and less familiar friends, people from back home that i hadn't seen in 10, or even 20 years, the blogging community, and even my Etsy customers.  people reached out when they didn't have to, offered encouragement, and shared personal stories.  the loss of my mother will stay with me for the rest of my life...on some days i will be consumed by grief; on others i will be warm with memories; and on others still, i will be amazed and in awe of the human spirit--for it is wonderful!

i don't know about you, but i am ready for some sharing!  i have been neglecting this space for far too long, but that doesn't mean i haven't been busy "behind the scenes."  there's quite a bit happening, actually.  i have some exciting announcements to make over the next several days, new items and sweet Valentines to debut in the Etsy shop (and here, too, of course!), and even a few projects from last year that i never had a chance to show you.  so let's get going, okay?

back in October--yes, waaaaay back then--i created these lovely tags for Crate Paper.  our assignment was to incorporate the trending chalkboard movement into our design.  the Maggie Holmes Flea Market collection was definitely one i did not get to use enough with everything that happened in the last couple months of the year, but i did get to make these, utilizing the gold chalkboard frame embellishments from the line.

in creating the tags, i wanted to find a different way of attaching them to packages and the wood brads (mostly from CP's Close Knit) were a fantastic way to do that!  by piercing a small hole in the box lid or through a gift bag, you have a clever little way to attach the tag to the gift.  it also requires little to no wrapping!

be sure to stop by Crate Paper to see the new collections for 2014...they're just as pretty as Flea Market and you're sure to be inspired by all of the beautiful work from the Design Team, too!

{i love the chipboard deer!}

for my last tag, i was going to use a brad with it, but i actually didn't like the way it looked, sitting just above the blue cabochon flower.  it looked pretty goofy so i went with the clothespin instead.

although i made these back in October, with their colors and sentiments, i think they're relevant for Valentine's Day so if you missed them on the CP blog last year, you'd probably never know this was a fall project.

thanks for checking in on me tonight...i'm still here!  and i'll be back SOON!