Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Arrives

Wow what week we have had here weather wise!  It's officially Springtime by the calendar, but several days of 80+ weather brought us a very early arrival of buds bursting with green and other colors.  Call me crazy but I like a more gradual shift from spring to summer.  That shift seems to me happening much quicker these past several years.  I figured flowers outside would have to wait at least a few weeks so I would bring some flowers inside with a new project.  All my crocus' and dutch iris and daffodils are blooming like crazy! (Update: Tonight the temps drop again and expected high for Monday will be in the 40's.  When you live in the Midwest - wait a little while and the weather can shift.)
Anyway ... I completed a "blooming" banner for my mantle and would like to share it with you.  Out came the Sizzix Big Shot, DCWV papers, Eileen Hull dies,   other Sizzix dies and a couple of Sizzix embossing folders.

Once I decided on the words for the banner, I used the Sizzix die, Album, Scallop/Circle by Brenda Pinnick to cut a "circle" background base for each flower. One side of each base piece was painted with a green acrylic paint.

All the flower petals were cut from various shades of DCWV textured paper as well as the leaves. The flower petals were then embossed with a large dot embossing folder and the leaves embossed with a small dot folder.  My flowers used 8 large petals, 7 small petals and 2 large leaves. Another green paper was used to cut 12" x 1/2" strips for the stems.  Each is folded in half.  Circles for each flower are cut from the Original Circle die for the center of each flower from a handmade, textured brown paper.
NOTE:  I shaded the edges of all the petals and leaves with Antique Linen Ranger Distress Ink.  I didn't want the white inner core of the paper to show.  A darker ink could be used in place or a coordinating color.  It's your choice.

When all pieces are cut, embossed and inked the flowers can be assembled.  Glue the folded strip onto the background circle base at the bottom, opposite the little punched tab on this piece.  NOTE: Refer to photo.  Glue the two leaves onto the stem as shown in the photo. Use one of the center circles to mark the background bases center area as a guide for glueing.  Glue the eight large petals in place spacing them to your liking.  Layer on the smaller petals over the larger ones, again spacing them to your liking all around.  Glue the center brown circle in place.
I used leftover acrylic bubble letters from the Valentine banner I made last month, placing them onto the brown paper centers.  Just to add a little bit of glitz, Ranger Silver Ice, Ice Stickles was applied around each center.
Little clothespin clips hold the flowers onto a cord and a row of blooming flowers appear across the mantle for Spring!
Click on the "Sizzix Spring Linky" here to link to Eileen Hull's blog.  You are bound to find several wonder ideas for Spring and Eileen's dies from many talented people.   

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Decorating For Spring

The calendar says March, our clocks "sprung ahead" this week-end, the tiny crocus' bulbs that poked through the earth, during a warm spell, weeks ago are now blooming.  (How can anyone not smile when you see these little blooms?)  I guess it's time to THINK SPRING!

Sharing a quick post of a new decoration I made the other day for this new Season.

I purchased a package of Creatology™ white butterflies at Michael's, using one of the coupons in their flyer, plus a forsythia garland that was also on sale.  To cover the butterflies, I used an iron-on material to back scraps of fabrics.  Ironed the fabrics onto the shapes and trimmed them.  Baby rick-rack was glued around the edges of each shape. Half of a gold tinsel stem was pushed through holes punched at the top of the butterfly and shaped into antenna. I made up a pattern for the body and head and cut them from felt scraps, then glued to the center of each butterfly. Using fabric paint, eyes are dotted on the head.  To add a little sparkle, I brushed each with a glitter glue.  The final step was to thread a clear monofilament at the top to hang the butterflies from the garland.  A very simple decoration to make and add some "springtime" to you house.

I will be heading outside for a little walk after this, to take in the sun and warmer weather that has arrived the past few days.  On returning, it's time to bring out the other spring decorations.  I also will be starting a new "banner" project for the mantle that I hope to share with everyone next week.

Hope there are signs of Spring where you live!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Designer Craft Connection - Springtime Crafting

The crafting has begun!  Several projects are on my agenda and look forward to sharing them.  Last week I spent the week working on two gift ideas for a baby shower that I attended this week-end.  I can share them now and announce that they were well received by the parents-to-be and other guests.

It seems that I must always try to include something handmade and not expected as a gift for showers.  This time I put together a collection of music for baby and parents to enjoy.  The lullabies can be used for sleepy time or just some quiet time.  The other music in the collection is easy to listen to and fun for the entire family.

Of course I like to find ways to reuse items in my projects.  So using some old empty CD cases, leftover mat board,  scraps of fabrics and papers and odds & ends I ended up with a unique and personal gift.  With the knowledge that the new arrival, several of the songs chosen are just for "daddy's little girl".  Music always makes a wonderful gift!

The second gift was made to fit the decor of the baby's room.  A hand painted tree was painted onto one of the wall in the room.  The bedding and accessories are from Pottery Barn for Kids with images of trees, leaves, owls and birds in an array of bright pastel colors.

A branch was trimmed from an outside tree; scraps of fabrics, mat board, trims and felt from my stash and those favorite stand by tools from Sizzix, were combined to create a mobile for the room.  Each of the birds were made using Sizzix die by Eileen Hull.  The birds main shape are die cut from mat board, four for each bird, one each for the wings. Note: two body shapes were glued together - using two doubled shapes for each bird. Fabric pieces were applied to Therm-o-web PeelnStick  adhesive sheets.  The birds shapes were then applied to the the backed fabric pieces and cut out with 1/4" to 1/2" extra around the shapes.  Note: Good idea to use teflon coated scissors for this cutting.  Wrap the fabric around the edges of the bodies and wings.  Snipping and trimming fabric if necessary.  When all shapes are covered, glue the two covered bodies together.  String clear monofilament through a hole in the top edge of each bird and knot.  Glue mini white rick-rack around the edges of the birds body shape. Glue the wings onto each side of the birds.  A small purchased nest is wired onto the branch.  Snips of shredded paper was glued into the nest and then a bird.  Tie clear monofilament onto the branch in any way to make the branch hang evenly.  Form an loop at the top for hanging.  Tie each of the birds onto the branch spacing as desired and different levels. Optional: Each bird was painted with a matching glaze, using a Ranger Adirondack Acrylic and water for a slight gleamer.

Please use the button at the top right to continue hopping through the other blogs for more and more ideas.

Now onto the next project - will share it with you all as soon as complete!

I received the OK to post a photo of the tree that the daddy-to-be painted on the bedroom wall.  It is just too darn cute!  Beautifully done Jim!