Thursday, August 26, 2010

Organizing Christmas

After Christmas last year, I started thinking about creating a Christmas Organizer for 2010.  I knew I wanted pockets that would fit a half sheet 8 1/2 x 11 paper (5 1/2" x 8 1/2"), something with a bit of substance, and a place to store receipts & such as well.  So during the summer I sat down and came up with this organizer.  I used a file folder for the base of the cover, chipboard to reinforce the spine, and cardstock for the pockets.  When I put the pockets together I made openings both vertical & horizontal.  I printed PDF documents I created on half sheets of paper for the horizontal pockets, and for the vertical pockets I circle punched half-way in to create notches for the receipts.  I created 14 pockets:  Calendars, Time Management, Christmas Card Lists, Family Gift List & More, Menus/Parties, Events, Holiday Baking/Recipes, Shopping Lists/To Do Lists, Thank Yous, & Traditions/Memories/Photos.  Though you could add more/less depending on your needs.  The closure is made of grungeboard with Tim Holtz Hardware Findings Sizzix die, which I painted white & added a snowflake brad.  I secured it to the back of the book with eyelets, and to the front cover with velcro!  The flourish on the cover was also cut from grungeboard, Tim Holtz Elegant Flourishes die.  I used my Cricut Heritage cartride to cut "Organized Christmas" and the Ice Skater was cut from the Winter Woodland cart.  I bought a bunch of winter cardstock from Walmart a few years ago, so I thought I'd put it to good use on this book...gave it a very wintery look.  Added some CTMH stamping with Distress Ink, and bits of white paint, glitter, and more before finishing with some great ribbon out of my ribbon cashe which gave it that extra pop.

This isn't quite the purse size (approx. 9.5 x 6.5), but it's a great gift-giving size for those OCD organizers out there (and we all know who we are). ha ha... I LOVE that it holds half size paper--have I said that already?? I made my own insert pages for each pocket, but there are loads of free printables online. If you love organization stuff like I do, you'll love Organized Home's website (I have the link on my sidebar also)! And if you want some of those free printables I was talking about for Christmas...put 'Christmas' in their search site. You're gonna love it!

Thanks for stopping by and hanging out a bit.  Comments welcomed!

Monday, August 23, 2010

AKA Zentangling

One of my favorite things to do when I was bored in school was to doodle.  You would find doodles all over my notebooks, papers, and (sad to say) even my textbooks.  I was never really "good" at it, it just occupied my time...that is, when I wasn't writing notes in class.  Today it seems as if doodling has been taking on a much more "glamorous" form.  It's no longer called "doodling", now it has taken on a new name & art form called "Zentangle".  Of course it has been modified to follow a much more artistic approach to "free-hand" art, which includes repetitive patterns co-mingling together to form an almost "trick-the-eye" appearance.  Remember those books you could buy that had hidden pictures in them--sort of reminds me of that..except those usually had a lot of color in them and Zentangles typically do not.  There are books you can get at craft stores, and there's even more info, including tutorials, study plans, & supplies available on the official website for Zentangle

My first attempt!
While I like the idea of using these sorts of drawings to create art, then using them in cards/scrapbooking, papercrafting, etc, as in this blog, I can't see paying for instruction on the matter.  So, I got online and scoured a few websites to see what kind of inspiration was out there.  Then, I sat myself down in front of the TV with pen & paper and just enjoyed playing around with it.  By organizing my lines, repeating patterns, and letting the ink flow, I was able to get the hang of it pretty quickly.  And while not precise, by any stretch of the imagination...I like it!

Give it a try & just have fun!  Lisa

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Butterfly Love Tent Card

This was a fun card to make, and easy too.  There's a great tutorial on Splitcoast Stampers website.  I used the DCWV Mariposa cardstock for the base and used My Mind's Eye Confetti for the front of the card.  I love my CTMH Stamps  I used the Butterfly Wings stamp set and did a bit of embossing.  I cut out the butterfly shape with The Ultimate Crafter's Companion.  I added some Distress inks:  Barn Door & Bundled Sage, some Martha Stewart turquoise glitter, a few vellum stickers, and finished with a bit of rick rack.

Sometimes it's just fun to play! 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Your Story Grad Book

My niece, Whitney, graduated in June this year!  It's pretty cool, because she actually graduated a year early.  My husband, Chris, was asked to photograph her for her Senior Pictures.  And I have to say he did an amazing job -- so much, in fact, that one of her friends saw her Senior pictures on Facebook and asked her own professional photographer to do the same shots!  Coming up to graduation, my sister asked me if I would do a Memory book for Whit, like I did for Nathan.  The work I put in to Nathan's book was extensive and specific, and time was an issue. So I suggested we do a smaller scale version as a Grad Book, and had my sister gather digital copies of letters & pictures and send them my way.  I was thinking there wouldn't be much for me to do, except print the digital copies and bind the book.  What was I thinking?? 

Although I'm not a perfect crafter, I'm somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to what is going through my mind.  It almost never turns out to be what's floating around in my head, but I just can't help giving it a good try.  At any rate, my sister sent a few pictures and letters my way but of course I just had to expand on it.  So, I decided to spend time digging through old pictures to assemble them & the letters into a digital program.  Once I completed the layouts, I printed them onto 48lb Matte Brochure paper, which took the ink well and is sturdy enough to hold up with continued usage.  After the title page, I started with a photo collage of her through the years.  Then I added pictures & personal letters from various relatives, and finalized with a collage of her Senior Pictures.  On one of the pages I scanned a couple of items I made with my Cricut using the Tinkerbell cart.  I made them quite large, but scanned them quite small -- "Tink" & Tinkerbell with her hands on her dad used to call Whitney Tink...I'm just glad I was able to add them into the layouts since it was for a digital book.  I added Family/Friends pages with quotes on them for people to write notes to her at her Open House, and added a picture & sticker quote to the inside of the back page.  For the front cover I used photo corners and added a picture with a piece of acetate to cover it, and hand wrote "Whitney" and stamped a Grad hat & 2010 with VersaMark before carefully embossing with clear embossing powder.  You can't see it as well in the pictures but it turned out very nicely.  On the back of the book I did an embossing technique in gold where I stamped into it, "LoveLee Notes, by Lisa Sackett". 

Overall, for my first attempt at using my Your Story, it turned out great.  When I assembled the pages into the book I made sure they were pressed down into the spine and even.  I lightly pressed the book into the hot binding element of the Your Story machine and when it was done I set it into the cooling rack.  I left it overnight to cool (though it doesn't take that long, I just thought it best to do it at night so I couldn't mess with it while it was cooling).  In the morning it was bound securely and ready to mail!  Oh...I must say...I did not do any of the heat embossing on the front/back covers until AFTER the book had been bound and cooled.

One thing I decided to do (after the fact) is add a pocket to the back page (using foam adhesive to give it extra depth) for her to add any handwritten letters and such that didn't make it into the book, or that were scanned in, so she could save them. I think next time I make a digital book like this, I won't try to do it in a day, as I did this one. But I'm happy with the results, and more importantly...Whitney loved it!
Happy Crafting!  Lisa

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Heirloom Canvas -- Sisters

Several years ago I saw a tv show where a gal painted on a canvas, put a picture of her Grandmother on it, and gave it as a gift to her Mother.  Now, mind you...I'm not especially talented in the artistic painting department -- you might even call my painting "extreme abstract" IF you were to ever get a glimpse of one-- However...I decided I wanted to create a canvas for my Mom and Mother-in-Law for Mother's Day.  They were my first attempts and I liked the way they ended up turning out--though they were a bit chaotic.  I later created another one for my dear friend, Marla.  The key to this art was to come up with something heartfelt about that person, so that people could read it and understand what makes them special.  For my mother's canvas I joined in with my sister to relay things we remembered from our childhood (I did the same for my MIL by having my hubby and sister-in-law reminisce).  Recently I took it up again, and decided to do one for my little sister, Beth, who incidentally is much taller than me.

MIL Canvas
Mom's Canvas
For my sister's design I got to use my Cricut & Gypsy for the first time!  I used the Heritage Cartridge for the title block, 4 corner cuts, and Tree.  I cut "3rd" into the tree to represent her position in a family of six kids.  Of course, I'm 1st...ha ha.  I prepped and painted my wood mounted stretched & prepped (w/Gesso) canvas with brown & gold acrylic paint. I chose two different scrapbook papers & tore them into varying sections, then I distressed them with Distress inks - Tattered Rose, Brushed Corduroy, and Tea Dye using a sponge applicator tool. I adhered them to the painted canvas with mod podge and began adding a variety of ephemera such as die cuts, stickers, pictures, vellum, etc. (all distressed with distress ink as mentioned above). One piece of ephemera I love is the bottle cap, which I smashed with a mallet & used metallic silver Adironack ink to cover. Then I punched a hole with my crop-o-dile and added ribbon and stickers. On the computer I printed out a poem/saying I wrote about my sister and distressed that as above. On the "Sisters" title, I colored it with the same distress inks as above, adding Distress Pine Needles for the leaves. I added Distress Crackle over the title and after it dried/cured, I wiped a pad of Distress Brushed Corduroy over it to get in the cracks before wiping gently with a cloth to take off the top layer--outlining with a black permanent pen and gold metallic pen. I masked various areas and using Distress Tea Dye for the fencing, and Distress Barn Door for the swirls & hearts masking. I used white-out to write my sisters initials and adhered flat red marbles over it with Glossy Accents. Finally, I finished my distressing by going around the edging of the canvas with Distress ink, and accenting in various areas with Distress Pumice Stone (which is one of my favorite Distress inks).

Marla's Canvas
My Sister hasn't received her canvas yet...but I imagine she'll see it on here before it arrives.  It was fun to make but I do have a time-saving tip to pass on--it really helps to have everything you want to include on the canvas gathered together ahead of time.  Then, when you sit down to complete your project, it can be completed in one sitting. 

Be creative & have fun crafting!  Lisa

(some of the pictures aren't in the best lighting...but you get the picture)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thrift Store Finds & More

I love the idea of finding something not being utilized, and repurposing it into something for which it was not originally intended.  And, I'm not above asking for a certain item if I see someone throwing something away, or for an item they're decidedly not using.  And don't get me started on garage sales and thrift stores -- oh the things you can find!  My husband has a different opinion on this method of acquiring items -- which is, "don't acquire them".  ha ha.. And so we've worked it out, that if I can keep my pile of items waiting to be recycled pretty much outta sight, then he's okay with it.  Oddly enough, he's even started bringing me home items he finds, as well as offering me his medicine bottles and such before he throws them away.  I think he's coming along rather nicely.  =)

During the summer I've picked up a few items at the Thrift Store that were pretty cool:  an old "Windsor Club" pasteurized cheese box, some unused packs of Dolce & Gabbana blotter pads, a black Barbie box, and a wooden treasure box w/broken lock.  My mom gave me her laminate samples as well, one of which I used in an earlier post in a heat embossed key chain.  Also, as I tend to enjoy my chocolate when I'm crafting, the gold wrapper is another salvaged item that will be useful in a later project.

My son is already put dibs on the wooden box, so I'll have to finish that project sooner (rather than putting it off), and the Barbie Box is one of MY favorites, as I love the blue contrast on the inside of the box!   Barbie is only identified on the bottom of the box, otherwise I wouldn't have known.  I got it for 50 cents. I had to repair the picture frame on the front and add a new piece of acetate.  Then I just added a bit of bling and a white die cut flower from Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die.  I'm not sure what I'll use these items for just now.  But as I get to it, I'll add a new post.  I do love that the cheese box fits the blotters just perfect as well as gift cards and such.  But I'm thinking I'll use the blotters for ATC's (Artist Trading Cards), and the cheese box for storing them.  More to come on that...but for now, I'm just enjoying the hunt.

PaperCrafting w/Kids: Purses & Wallets

I love teaching children!  And when it comes to making projects with kids, most of the time you'll find they don't mind getting a little messy.  They have a sense of accomplishment after the task is complete, and it is a joy to watch.  Not only that -- but I learn so much myself in working with their overactive minds...helps to stretch my own imagination & creativity on a different level.  These projects are fun quick paper projects that kids can do with a little help.  For the girls, I took a paper bag and made it into a purse with a few little accessories.  For the boys, a wallet made out of paper to resemble the look of leather -- and of course a few accessories of their own. 
I first became acquainted with the idea of the purse when a friend of mind gave me a birthday gift in a gift bag she made to look like a purse.  Later I came across the  Inking Idaho Blog which you can check out for a full "how-to" guide in making these purses out of a lunch sized paper bag! 

I found some decorative paper gift bags at Hobby Lobby that were a bit larger.  I loved the design on them, so I made them so that the top portion of the bag that was cut off could be adhered to cardstock to stabilize the bag and keep the same pattern for the purse (see bag dimensions & cut sizes below).  I bought a Sizzix die cut plate (Lipstick, Nail Polish & Purse) for 75% percent off!  Since this is a one dimentional die I cut two of the purse dies and created an insert out of cardstock to hold the two purse pieces together--it holds a Ghirardelli Chocolate perfectly, or the journal that I made out of cardstock & stamped papers, w/the nail polish die cut.  I attached a snippet of cardstock to the lipstick die so it could be wrapped around a tube of chapstick, or a pen.  I used a dark red cardstock for the top of the lipstick and added Crystal Effects (you can also use Diamond Glaze) to make it have the wet lipstick look. 

The decorative bags I used for this project are 6" wide.  Trim off top of bag, while folded flat. Bag will be 5 ¼” tall x 6”.   Cardstock:  Front Mat – 5 ¼” x 6”, Back Mat – (add 2” to height) 7 ¼” (score at 5 ¼”) x 6”.

Extra Bag Pieces:  For Deco Layers – 5” x 5 ¾” (x2), & 5 ¾” x 1 ¾” (glue to front & back mat)

I needed a project for the the boys and so the obvious choice was to design a leather look paper wallet.  I used Core'dinations cardstock which was a two toned brown.  I love Core'dinations line of cardstock.  Basically it's two colors of cardstock that have been melded together, so that when it is embossed/sanded the opposite core color shows through.  For this project, when sanded a lighter color brown showed through (tan).

I lightly misted the cardstock with water then crumpled and let dry.  Once dry I sanded randomly and used a variety of brown distress inks to add bits of color throughout the piece.  Kids love this part -- the more random the sanding/inking, the better the leather look is achieved.  I then used the Mosiac Cuttlebug folder to emboss the raised mosaic design on the outside piece of the wallet - it's a longer piece and usually has to go through twice.  The last step before assembling is to mod podge the wallet cardstock pieces, and let dry.  When working with kids, I do this in one-piece-at-a-time steps so that the pieces dry as your working on the next.  NOTE:  If working with a heat gun to speed drying time, I use a non-stick craft sheet and let an adult operate the heat gun.

Assemble the pieces (outside cover - 7 ¼ x 4”, inside - 7 x 3 ¾, 2 gift card pockets 3 ¼ x 2 ¼ -- fold 2 larger pieces in half)  with 1/8" Scor-Tape (this adhesive is Awesome!  Double-sided strong adhesive that is on a roll you can tear instead of using scissors).  I used a circle punch to notch out the middle of the inside wallet piece where the dollars will go, and used a corner rounder to give the corners a finished look.  I created an ID card for their ICE information, and a personalized key chain out of laminate samples & embossing powder!

These projects are great, and not only for the kids -- you can use the gift purses to hold money or prezzies for your friends, and when you don't know what to get for the men...use the leather look paper wallet to hold gift cards, money, certificates, Ghirardelli Chocolate, and more!