Monday, January 16, 2012

Showing My Heart(s)

With all the Christmas holiday stuff finally packed away, the house was looking a little drab.  With everything looking gray and brown outside for so long this winter I needed to think about some decorations.  (Though low and behold on Friday we received our first real shot of snow.)

The Big Shot was cranking out a variety of die-cuts for a few days last week.  In the last couple of days I finally got the chance to put together some decorations for the house.  The mantle here is the perfect place for hanging banners.  (In past posts you can see a few of the others I have made for various times of the year.)

This first one here, I used several Sizzix dies and once again went to the scrap bins first to see what could be reused.  There was pieces of "warm & white" batting for the background, fabric scraps for more hearts and the side bows, paper scraps galore for the flowers and leaves and glitter glue.  The red glittered fun foam sheet, glittered stickers strips, adhesive bubble letters and adhesive heart gems were all purchased on sale at a nearby craft store.  
The picture shows the placement of all the pieces used.  If you do not own or have access to a Big Shot or the dies, try making your own patterns.  I have seen kits available for banners and they go together pretty fast and easily, but I would rather take the time to design and cut my own.  

For the second "conversation hearts" banner, I did use purchased felt hearts. Once again I did get them with a store coupon to save a little money.  Simply punch holes into the sides of the hearts and thread torn strips of fabric through.  Tie bows to connect the hearts.  Letters were cut with a Sizzilets Alphabet strip and glued onto the hearts.  For this idea you could easily cut your own heart shapes and use store bought alpha stickers for the words.  Used some "on hand" wired white ribbon for bows at the ends of the banner.  Super simple!  I could go back at some other time and add some lace or rick-rack around the edges or some glitter glue embellishments if desired.

I made these heart ornaments last year and wanted to share them.  They could be given as a gift with notes or photos attached to the pages.  They have ribbon closure to hold it closed, but once opened the ties also hold it open to hang as an ornament.  Change it up by using different papers.  Fill the pages with love quotes or write a love letter to your sweetheart.

Make some hearts and share some love!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Designer Craft Connection Blog Hop-January-Journaling

The first challenge for the Craft Connection Group in this new year is "journaling".  I'm looking forward to seeing all the ideas the group comes up with.  With any tips that are shared and ideas for journals, my goal is to work on journaling my ideas better than in the past.
What I created is made from all scraps - cardboard, fabric, packing paper, paper & metal scraps and even paper towels used for clean up.  The only purchased element was the "ring binder" from the idea-ology collection by Tim Holtz.

Follow the general instructions given.  Any size journal can be made by just adjusting the sizes you cut the cardboards, fabrics and papers for covering and pages.  For the journal cover cut three pieces: 2 the same measurement for front and back covers, 1 for spine (the same length of covers and 1 1/2" wide).  For inside journal covers: cut 2 pieces 1/4" smaller then outside covers, 1 for spine (the same length of inside pieces and 1 1/4" wide).

Use a clear packing tape to join the outside covers to the outside spine.  NOTE: Leave approximately 1/8" space between the spine and each cover.  This will help the journal close easier.  A scrap of drapery liner was cut 1" larger on all four sides for the journal covering.  Use any type of paints or finishes to cover the fabric. Use any color combination of choice.  Allow the paint to dry completely before covering the boards. Use the same paints or finishes to also cover a large piece of brown packing paper.  If paper crinkles when dried, iron carefully between parchment paper to smooth.  Cut pieces to cover the inside boards for the journal. Again allow approximately 1" around the front and back pieces and 1/2" for the spine piece.  NOTE: Cut a piece from the packing paper about 3" to 4" wide and the same length as the outside cover.  Glue this piece to the inside center to cover the spine, gap and inside edges of the cover pieces.  Glue the painted fabric piece to the outside cover piece.  NOTE: Miter the corners in any fashion you like to use.  Glue the painted packing paper to the two inside boards and the spine.  Attach the ring binder to the paper covered spine using the paper brads.  Center and glue this spine piece in place.  Glue the two inside cover pieces in place, also centering them evenly.

Finish the front of the journal in any desired fashion.  I used a scrap of canvas and stained the edges with Distress Stains.  From a scrap of metal, I pierced it with an "M", for Madeline and then colored it with alcohol inks. I die-cut flowers and leaves from scraps and my clean up paper toweling.  All were then glued to the top cover.  I cut pages for inside from a variety left over pieces of papers.  NOTE: Jot ideas on the pages or clip or glue ideas found to the pages.  I printed some "creative" and "artistic" quotes found on Pinterest that would be inspiring to add to pages.  

Excited to see all the ideas about journals and journaling.  This blog has been a form of journaling for me.  Pinterest is a digital form with "pinboards" of inspiration.  I hope to create journals of all types and sizes this year - any form of journaling that would help me in my daily journey to continue to grow.

Check out the "app" Evernote for helping to keep track of ideas.  With this app you can add notes in a variety of ways: written, photo, audio.

Make a journal the size of envelopes and use the front for journaling and slip photos or notes into the envelopes.

Cover $0.99 Composition notebooks for using as a journal.  Make one for each month if you journal a lot or make one for each season and decorate accordingly.

Monday, January 2, 2012

In The Year 2012

Happy 2012 to everyone!  Just returned home after spending a few days "up north" once again with family.  The tradition continues no matter what!  It has been a strange year and the trip was no different.  The lack of that white stuff was not only felt at home but most of the trip north.  It was odd to not see any snow on the ground till more than half way through Wisconsin.  Luckily there was enough for us to enjoy the stay and more arrived while there. The beauty of the area is just amazing.  We toasted in the new year a bit early.  The crisp winter air and activity (broom ball, cross country skiing, skating and snowball fights) had almost everyone too tired to stay awake till midnight.

This new year will bring with it many new changes, whether I like it or not.  The old year ended and the new one began with family and friends - my hope is that will be one thing that won't change in my life.

I face this new year with so many thoughts of what is behind me and the challenge of what faces me without a very special person to share it with.  

Like so many years in the past, January 1st brings with it thoughts of what we want to do to make it a good year. Experiencing this past one has proven that life can change in an instant.  Not just for me but for so many others.  

Resolutions are something I have never made. This year I will make a list of "hope to do's" and see how many will be completed.  It will all start with a plan to reorganize everything.  Mike made sure I have a wonderful work space to do all that I enjoy.  My first plan is to make it get it in better shape to  go with any creative idea that comes my way.  Next is to make lists - I have a habit of always making lists - from "have to do" to "maybe I'll get to it".   I want to push myself but not to the point of feeling pressured.  I don't need or want pressure after this past year!

Going to try to be productive, creative, positive and hopeful.  Those are my goals this coming year.  All I can ask myself is to TRY!