Friday, October 29, 2010

Works in Progress

I've been feeling bad since Tuesday that I haven't had any finished projects to show you, but it's because I have SO many things on my plate right now...I feel like my "to do" list just keeps growing, and I have multiple projects in the works.  Just to give you an idea of some of what my "to do" list looks like...

  • Custom-ordered nursing cover
  • Custom-ordered doll slings (2)
  • Custom-ordered painted onesie and matching older girl t-shirts (2)
  • Custom ordered baby monogrammed and fabric-photo gift set
  • Custom-ordered canvas painting
  • Custom-ordered children's art aprons (4)
  • CCC #19 (due by Sunday)
  • Finish photos and writing tutorial for the Art-Full Horizons Jolly Jumpstart blog hop
  • November Monthly Mailer for All Things Tim Yahoo Group 
  • Christmas pennant banner swap for All Things Tim Yahoo Group (11 pennants)
Mind you, those are just my crafty to-do list items - never mind all of my homeschooling obligations, bible study, household, wifely, and parenting obligations (all of which come first, of course!).  

Additionally, my sister Karen is hosting a Christmas boutique in her home (New Hampshire) on November 20, so I'm supposed to be making some things to send to her (more of the paper and altered-art variety, as she'll cover the sewing/fabric side) to sell.  I've gotten lots of new goodies in - some Tim Holtz stamps, Alterations dies and embossing folders, and fun Glimmer Mists - to play with and create lots of fun decorations with (as well as those gorgeous music papers I posted last week...wouldn't YOU love to get your hands on something special made with those?!).  Finally, our little business, Ciao Sorella, is participating in a Thanksgiving weekend online boutique, during which we'll be offering FREE SHIPPING the entire weekend (starting Black Friday - more info on this to come) I need to be making things to stock the store!  

Whew!  Deep breath!  All of this...and I'm really hoping - crossing my fingers, really - to earn a spot on my very first design team soon!!  I would love to take my crafting to the next level, and I think this is the way to do it.  But I am determined NOT to let any of this to take the joy out of crafting for me...right now, I am LOVING all of the creative endeavors I am undertaking, and I will not let anything change that.  Otherwise, it has lost its purpose in my life, as far as I am concerned. are a few pics of some things I've been working on (PLEASE forgive the quality of the pics...they are mostly cell phone pics, and my cell phone - NOT an Iphone by any stretch of the imagination - does NOT take good pics!).

Can you say ROSETTES?!

How cool is this freezer-paper butterfly surrounded by homemade glimmer mist?!

Okay, I promise there will be COMPLETED projects very soon!!  And make SURE you come by on Monday for the Art-full Horizons Jolly Jumpstart blog hop - lots of talented artists will be posting great holiday ideas, tutorials, and projects to get your creative juices flowing so YOU can start getting ready for the holidays!  

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Patterned Cardstock - just for scrapbooking? Not!

Not so long ago, I would wander into a scrapbook store or a craft store, and look at the beautiful scrapbooking papers or patterned papers, and think to myself, "Wow, these are SO lovely, but I really do NOT scrapbook often enough to justify spending the money..."  But over the past few years, I have come to learn just how many projects these beautiful papers can be used for - OFF the scrapbook page!  And not only off the page, but in bits and pieces!  You would be AMAZED at just how much you can do with a sheet (or few sheets) of some gorgeous paper!

Back in July, while at a scrapbooking store several hours from where I live, for a weekend of workshops with Donna Downey, I fell in love - I mean head over heels - with My Minds Eye's Lost & Found collection.  And not just one line in the collection - but the ENTIRE collection.  Every piece of paper in the collection is glittered, the title tags are glittered, the stickers are glittered, the layered rosette flower stickers are just gorgeous, the buttons, the brads, the trims, the chipboard album covers...I mean, MME really hit it out of the park with this collection!  I resisted, though, and didn't buy any at the time.  But when a friend recently asked me to make baby shower invitations for a mutual friend, due to have a little boy in December, I knew within seconds exactly what papers I wanted to use!!  So without further ado...I MME Portobello Road baby shower invitations.  I wish I would have taken photos along the way, but alas, I didn' I'll do my best to describe the process to you.

For starters, I began with just two patterned papers - Portobello Road "Party," and Portobello Road "You and Me."  I also used the Portobello Road stamp set.  Addtionally, I used plain vanilla 12x12 cardstock (Stampin' Up!), my computer word-processing program, the Graphically Speaking Cricut cartridge, a Tim Holtz Alterations -On The Edge "Brackets",  some white Maya Road crocheted trim, some Stampin' Up! light blue narrow organdy ribbon, a Brown Staz-on ink pad,  Vintage Photo distress ink, an Ink Blending Foam Applicator, and a sepia Martha Stewart marker.

  1. I started by cutting my vanilla cardstock into 6"x12" pieces, and then cut the base tag shapes on my Cricut using the Graphically Speaking cartridge, at 5.5" size.  
  2. I inked all the edges of my tags using Vintage Photo distress ink with an ink applicator.
  3. I used the "You and Me" paper to cut 1"x5.5" strips of paper, then ran them through my Sizzix with the Brackets Alterations die to give the fun edge.
  4. I cut the banner off the tops of all of the pieces of my "Party" papers, and then cut the rest of the paper (using the back side) into 3"x5.5" strips to use for the centers of my invitations.  
  5. On my computer, in a word processing program, I typed out the information regarding the baby shower.  I printed it on regular paper, and made sure it would fit on the center strip of patterned paper.  Once I had it sized as desired, I used temporary adhesive to adhere the strips of patterned paper to the same sheet of paper I had already printed on, and ran it through my printer again, so that the information would print on the patterned paper rather than the plain paper.  I repeated this process until all of my invitations had been printed.
  6. I inked the edges of the center, printed strips, with the distress ink.
  7. I adhered the die cut strips to the tag bases, and then adhered the center strips over the side strips, centering them on the tag bases.  I punched a hole to line up with the hole in the tag which the Cricut had cut.
  8. I used my distress ink and foam applicator to apply distress ink to the crocheted trim, and then glued the trim to the bottoms of all of the invitations.
  9. I carefully cut apart the banner pieces from the tops of the "Party" papers.  I chose to cut apart each individual triangle piece.  I had 15 invitations to make, and there were 9 triangles on each page, which meant I used 5 pieces of paper.
  10. Using the word "BOY" from the stamp set, I cut apart the letters very carefully.  Using the brown Staz-on ink, I stamped one letter from the word on each of three banner triangles for each invitation.
  11. After stamping the banner pieces, I used a foam pop dot to adhere the banner pieces to the invitations.
  12. I used the airplane from the same stamp set and, again with the brown Staz-on, stamped the airplane above the banner pieces on each invitation.
  13. Using the sepia colored Martha Stewart marker, I hand-drew in a loopy line from the tail of the airplane to the end of the banner, to make it look as if the airplane was pulling the banner.
  14. I tied a piece of light blue organdy ribbon through the hole of the tag invitation to complete it.

I'm very happy with how the invitations turned out, and am even surprised myself at how much precious, gorgeous, glittery cardstock I have leftover even after making 15 invitations!  I was sure to save the area above the banner on the "Party" paper, with the beautiful birds, as I am certain I will be able to use those pieces for something lovely.  And I still have several good sized-pieces of the "You and Me" paper left as well.  Cutting these special papers apart not only allows you to use them in unique ways, but it also helps you to maximize your "bang for the buck," so to speak.

What about YOU?  Have you cut apart any beautiful patterned papers or cardstocks to use for special projects or to save money?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Prima Product Giveaway - Go check it out!

Prima Product Pick-October

October's PPP is FILLED with delightfully spooky products which are perfect for your Halloween (and fall) projects!
(Make sure you scroll down for last month's winner!)
Just look a the gorgeous flowers offered in purples, oranges and black...the whimsical chandelier-patterned Little Boo paper...smoky black E-Line pearls and alphas, creepy, crawling vines, and sparkly orange Sultan centers!

Prima has a wide variety of perfectly coordinating embellishments to go on your next project! Make sure to check these out for all your crafting needs.
 For a chance to win some of these products:
1. Simply repost this blog post on your blog, facebook wall or other site (please follow TOU for sites.)
2. Then link your post back right here (NOT HERE - on the Prima blog!!) in the comments section. We will pick a winner the first week of November from the linked comments!
Halloween cari 1
Cari rocks these pumpkins with gorgeous Prima flowers in purple (543334), orange (543310) and black! Just think of the possibilities using our Picks this month!

Halloween birgit pumpkin time
Birgit shows off a few of our orange-colored products  (543327) on her adorable layout! See how the orange flowers pop on the page?

Halloween cari lodecor1
Cari uses the Little Boo paper line for a PERFECT Halloween layout filled with tricks and treats (860172, 860189)!

Altered hanger jamied
Jamie D tucks a few fall-colored flowers (543327, SA-018-ND-0125) in on her amazing wall-hanging!

Sultan centers (535087) add the perfect amount of color and sparkle to this altered mirror by Birgit!
Cari haircombs1
Altering fashion accessories is oh-so-simple with Prima's flowers (543334)! Hair combs by Cari.
Pr janine Beautiful Girl
Janine adds purples and oranges (543327) to a layout about her sweet little girl! It just shows how VERSATILE Prima's products really are!
So GO, now, and do the same...simply go to the Prima blog here, re-blog the post on your own blog or Facebook page, and then go back and leave a comment on the Prima blog letting them know you did so.  Maybe YOU will be a winner! 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

CCC #18 - A Christmas Tag

This week's Compendium of Curiosities Challenge was the Paint Dabber resist technique.  I am also entering this in this weeks' Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge, where the challenge was, "Anything but a Card!"  I think a tag will most definitely fit the bill!  I'm a bit over Halloween at this point (and it's not even here yet!), so I'm moving on to Christmas!  (At least for this week...we'll see what next week brings...who knows?!)  I love this reindeer stamp - and it's part of a stamp set I got for a whopping $2.00 at the Scrapbook Expo I went to yesterday!!  What a steal!

While I can't share the details of the technique I used as far as the dabber resist technique, I will share that the distress ink colors I used were Barn Red, Shabby Shutters, Peeled Paint, and Vintage Photo.  My dabber color was white.  I also heat embossed around the edges of the entire card with Peeled Paint distress embossing powder.  

I finally got the Tim Holtz Tattered Florals Sizzix dies - YAY!  I used what the ladies at Jo-Ann's insisted is crinoline (I wouldn't know the difference...except it doesn't really look like the crinoline Tammy Tutterow uses for her flowers...) to make the flower.  I combined several layers in different sizes.  I sprayed them with a combination of Glimmer Mists, homemade shimmer mists, and the top red one got painted with Glimmer Glam.  I then used Rock Candy Distress Stickles over several of the petals sort of randomly.  I used the Peeled Paint distress embossing powder on a black button and glued it in the center.  I inserted a memo pin (love those), and attached an adage ticket, which I had inked lightly around the edges with some Barn Red distress ink.

I also added a couple pieces of Tim Holtz's Tidings tissue tape to a couple corners of the tag, and used my finger to apply some distress ink to the tape.  I do so love how the white of the stamp stands out against the inks!!!  Here's yet another pic of the stamped reindeer, as well as the tissue tape.

Someone reminded me that Christmas is just 2 months away!  Have you started to prepare your handmade gifts?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Vintage music yumminess!

A couple weeks ago, I asked my mom if she had any vintage sheet music or hymnals that I could use for crafting, and she said she was pretty sure that both she and my grandma had some that they could pass on to me.  A few days ago, I received a nice sized box of total vintage fact, some of the contents are SO wonderfully vintage, I almost feel bad actually USING them for anything!!  This first hymnal, in particular, was one of those items...when I touched it, I felt like I was touching a piece of history, something handed down through the generations of my family, and I'm still undecided if I'm going to be able to tear the pages out or cut them up to use in my crafting.  When you see some of the pictures, you'll understand why, I think!

I'll apologize in advance...I'm not going to type much more...but this will be a VERY pic-heavy post...because I just couldn't stop snapping photos of all the wonderful music my mom sent me!  Some of the Christmas carols had such lovely vintage covers/pictures, and some of the other music had such wonderful song titles, great copyright dates, and/or such nicely yellowed pages!  Hope you enjoy as much as I did!


I love this one in particular, because we still sing this hymn - and did you notice the copyright date on this hymnal???  It amazes me that my great-grandparents sang this song too!  I will never sing this song again without thinking about the words differently!

35 cents?!


This is actually a Christmas postcard...and a Christmas carol book.


So there you have it...pretty cool, huh?  Can't wait to make some fun rosettes and other fun flowers with the music!!  Should be fun to make some cool Christmas ornaments and other things using the Christmas music!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beautiful Fail!!

So, yesterday, Tammy Tutterow did this INCREDIBLE tutorial on making pendants/jewelry using metal, Sizzix embossing folders, alcohol inks, solvent ink, Matte Accents (no longer in production), and Rock Candy crackle paint.  She did a second post, with updates and additional information today, which you can see here.  She did some REALLY cool Halloween pendants, along with some other cool non-holiday ones as well.  I had a whole list of things I needed to work on yesterday...but Tammy just kept posting pictures of her progress on Twitter, and I was SO intrigued that I had to play along!!  Truly, you will want to go read her tutorial - embossing metal is SO cool!

I started off with a soda can, cutting it apart so I could use the aluminum - since I have no craft metal.  I altered the overall process a bit on my pendant, because I was trying to do snowflakes - and using black ink just didn't seem like a good fit for snowflakes and Christmas pendants.  So I experimented a LOT, and actually thought I had come up with a good idea.  I covered my embossed pendant in white dabber paint, and let it dry.  I then burnished the raised parts (around the snowflake and the speckles inside it) with a white burnishing block, which removed the white paint from those parts....leaving it only inside the snowflake itself.  I applied the alcohol ink, and it had a very cool effect - being much darker over the paint, and much lighter on the raised, burnished parts - showing off the snowflake just like I was aiming for!  So I applied a thin layer of Glossy Accents (because I have no Matte Accents), and after it dried, when I went to bed last, early this gorgeous pendant was covered in crackle paint, drying.

This morning, I was eager to get downstairs to take a peek at how my pendant turned out...

...and at first glance, it was VERY pretty.  I mean, seriously, the pictures just cannot do it justice!!  The colors are simply amazing, and the crackle on top is fantastic!  

And then I picked it up.  And the pieces of crackle started to fall off, taking some of the color with them.  

And after a bit more handling and playing around with it...this is what I ended up with.  An alcohol-ink colored, embossed metal square, and a pile of very cool-looking blue-green shards...shards which I, of course, put in a little baggie, because I am CERTAIN there is a project in my future that will need them!!!

So, after talking it over with Tammy (who is just as sweet as can be, by the way - and her art is FANTASTIC - you should totally go check out her blog!), we think mine failed probably because I did not put on a thick enough layer of the Glossy Accents, and/or I did not allow it to dry long enough before adding the crackle paint.

So, it's not what I was hoping for...and I don't have the time to try it again right now (remember all those OTHER projects I was supposed to be doing yesterday, before my crafting ADD kicked in?)...but it was a fun technique to try, and I will definitely come back to this and give it another go!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

She Dreams card - generation stamping technique

This is the second card I made for the second week of the Holiday Thinking Inking class on 2 Peas.  I really LOVED the card Jennifer made in her video - you can see it here, along with the instructions for this technique.  I, however, don't have a tree in my stamp collection that would work for this technique (note to self - get one!).  So it took me a minute to figure out what I was going to do for this challenge...and then I remembered my bird from this Donna Downey set.  I knew they would be perfect.  I also knew this quote would be perfect; it's from a different Donna Downey set.  It reads, "She pursued big dreams instead of small realities."  LOVE THAT!  

I won't go through the entire technique, since I linked to the PDF with the instructions above.  I will tell you that I used Spiced Marmalade distress ink for my birds, and since I didn't have any purple distress ink yet, I used another dye-based purple ink with a water-brush to do the water-coloring around the birds.  I used a Stampin' Up! script background stamp (probably retired by now) over the birds and purple background.  I layered the stamped/painted piece on a gorgeous piece of patterned cardstock from the K&Co Que Sera Sera paper pad, and then onto a vanilla-colored card.  I wrapped linen thread around the card front several times before tying it off and adding a Tim Holtz philosophy tag to finish it off.

My fingers have been very inky lately.  What about yours?


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