Saturday, June 5, 2010

Quick and Easy Summer Decor

Like so many of us, I like to have seasonal touches throughout the house. In the Spring, I made a 12x12 canvas that I put in the powder room and when I took it down for Summer, the place where it was looked so bare that of course I had to make another one for Summer. Right? Had to?

This was a super quick and easy project.

  • 12x12 pre-stretched canvas ( I got mine on sale @ Ben Franklin for $2 or $3)
  • Acrylic paint ( I used Folk Art Linen and Ceramacoat White)
  • Clipart ( found mine online)
  • Desktop Publishing program (I generally use  Printshop Deluxe)
  • Clear label paper ( I'm in love with Avery 8665)
  • Bag o shells from Michaels ($6.99 before the 40% off coupon of course!) and not the $16 bag from Pottery Barn!
Paint canvas with linen paint. Impatient people like me assist the drying process with a blow dryer.
I only did one coat because I wanted it to look aged. Dry brushed that with the white.
Using your graphics program, make a layout that you'll print on your label paper:

"Sea Shells" sounds so much better in French 

Print your images, cut out and arrange on your dried canvas. Choose some shells and glue on. Wait for glue to dry and take pictures to put on your blog because you're too impatient for the glue to set to take a picture where the canvas is actually going :)

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Teacher and Grad Gifts

Just a couple of easy frames I did. One for a favorite teacher and the other for the daughter of a friend. Supplies are things I had on hand...$1 wood frames from Michaels, and scrapook paper.

Plain wooden frame ....frame painted black....use frame as a template to cut out scrapbook paper and decoupage to front of frame.

I cut out two scrapbook paper templates with coordinating papers. I knew I wanted mix up the patterns so I used one whole template and then tore the other one in half and decoupaged on top of the first one.
Using the paper cut out from the center of the frame template, make layered paper flowers ( I just cut a random flower shape in descending concentric layers) and then I crumpled the paper for a more dimensional effect.

Glued the flowers to the frame and added some embellishments I had on hand ( alphabet labels and buttons) and voila. Oh and see what's behind the frame? That's a sheet (196) of amazing glass tile I found at Home Depot and bought in two colors that I can't wait to play with and they were only $4 (ea)  but I digress!
The teacher gift will go with a scrapbook that the kids will present. It's fun to watch your kids grow up and know that they really do pay some attention to what you do. My son (17) came up with the idea, and told the other kids "Go to JoAnn's or Michaels and buy a 12x12 piece of scrapbook paper and make a page". I'll put all the pages together in an album and made a page for the front with all of the kids names: to figure out what I'm going to do with my glass tiles :) 

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I Can't Believe It's Been A Month!

Today marks my one month "blog-iversary". I had no idea what I was doing when I started ( and only slightly more now) and it's hard to believe it's already been a month, but it has been an incredible and fun experience. I have met so many wonderful bloggers and am humbled that in that month, 70 people have decided to follow my little blog. THANK YOU!

I am looking forward to continuing this journey, learning more from so many talented people out there, meeting more new people and seeing where this all leads. Thanks to everyone who has left a supportive comment and for the encouragement you've provided. Thanks to my family who have put up with me acting like I invented something every time I figure something new out.

This experience has been re-energizing at a time when I really needed that. One of the things I've learned about are blog parties and follows so it's only appropriate to participate in one today :)


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Great Site, Great Ideas and a GREAT Giveaway!

Before I started my own blog, one of the places I lurked a lot was The DIY Dish . It's a wonderland of ideas run by twin sisters Kim and Kris who also have a web tv show.

About Kim and Kris:

As former elementary school teachers (they even taught in the SAME 4th grade classroom for many years!) they have always enjoyed sharing and teaching. In 2006, Kim started the popular DIY website, Two years later, Kris began managing the 2nd “sister site”, And in 2009, a 3rd DIY website was added to the mix:
Whether it be sewing, crafting, scrapbooking, quilting, embroidery, family projects, and more, you’ll enjoy watching The DIY Dish and participating too!

Their current episode ( they'll have a revised summer schedule ) has some projects that would make awesome Father's Day, graduation, birthday, or wedding gifts, or just to make because we make stuff!

Episode 11: Photos that Pop! Plus, Fabric-Covered Canvases


Because we all need another excuse to go to the hardware store :)

But the best part (even though the project ideas are pretty awesome) is that the sponsor of their show has a GIVEAWAY that no craft minded creative person I know would want to pass up a chance to enter. Check this out:

GIVEAWAY TIME!         One2One Network and are giving away5 prize packages that include a $50 gift card to Michaels Crafts Stores and a $50 bundle to This giveaway is open to viewers world-wide, 18 years and older. (void where prohibited) Giveaway is open until June 7, 2010.
1.  Watch Episode 11 of “The DIY Dish” and leave a comment on their blog. Easy!
2.  Share this with others! Tell a friend, embed the video on your blog, tweet about it, share it with your friends, sewing, or craft groups…you name it! Let them know  on their blog and you have another entry.
3.  US and Canadian residents have a 3rd entry by going over to One2One Network and signing up for this free program to review products and services. Let them know on the blog and you have another entry. If you are already a part of One2One Network, they'd love to hear from you, too!  *Note: If you are a Canadian resident wishing to join One2One Network, simply email them at and they will put you into the system.

I'm not affiliated with any of the sites mentioned here and you don't have to be in order to enter. I am however thinking about joining One2One. Good luck!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Some Cards...

My first crafting love is cardmaking and my addiction is paper. I'm not a paper snob; I love everything from expensive handmade papers (especially Japanese Washi papers) to "ordinary" copy paper. Old paper, new paper, you name it I love it. I get giddy whenever JoAnn's or Michaels has scrapbook paper 4 or 5 for $1 and the cashiers always ask me: "What are you making" and I usually have no idea at the time. I just know that you can't have too much paper.

I'm in intense card mode from about September through December (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas... for a list that goes from about  15-20 people for Halloween  to 60 or so for Christmas ). January slows down to a couple of birthdays, then February is Valentine's day and birthdays and the March / April picks back up with Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day etc. with birthdays and other occasions sprinkled in. So Summer is not a big card time for me but I like that because in those other "high production" times, I'm usually using the same papers / colors etc. and while I put love into each card, when you're making multiples it's not the same as making one for a single purpose.

I got a Cricut Expression for Christmas ( I love you Mr. Chocolate!) and that's opened a whole 'nother box of crazy for me. 

Here are a few recent ones:

 This is a card I made for my Nephew's birthday. I had fun using the "Doodle Charms" cartridge to make the seahorses and just tore ( did I mention I love , love, love tearing paper?) the yellow and white panel mounted on the aqua. The letters are "wave" alphabet stickers I had that spell out BIRTHDAY. And even though he's a boy, I'm addicted to self adhesive rhinestones so those are what I used for the eyes.


Since we had a rainy Memorial Day weekend, it was a good time to work on some Father's Day cards. I always have a hard time with "guy" cards and only have a couple "guy" stamps,  but I loved this vintage bicycle from The Graphics Fairy and thought it would be good for Father's Day so I imported it into PrintShop ( I have Adobe but I am useless with it) , created the sentiment and printed out using the business card option since I was making multiples. I added a bronzy-brown dot of Stickles glitter glue to the center of each wheel to match the papers.


This last one is a graduation card I did for a friend's daughter. She's graduating from HS and I liked the idea of discovery so I used my "Graphically Speaking" Cricut Cartridge to make the word jumble, and mounted it onto a panel with some handmade silver scraps ( because we never throw out scraps right!) and blinged it up with some rhinestones. 

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Look what a new bloggy friend made!

I was reading a comment from a new follower , Laurie ( thank you!) and went to check out her blog Simply Scratch  , because I try to always do that. If someone is nice enough to visit me and comment, I do try to do the same in return. Anway, imagine my little chocoholic heart's delight when the first post I saw on her blog was THIS:

Yeah, that's what I said. Want NOW! Simply Scratch isn't just a blog about chocolate (a girl can dream) but about something I try to do as much as possible which is cooking from scratch. Not to fulfill the part of my brain that has a Martha Stewart personality disorder ( said lovingly) but because there are so many chemicals and junk in processed food that where I can do it from scratch I'd rather. Anyway and needless to say, this recipe caught my eye so go check it out and some other yummy ones too!

Black Forest Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Ganache

Another Tray Transformation

On the same trip where I picked up the other tray for $.99, I picked this one up for slightly more....gasp $2.99. Oh the extravagance!
I liked the shape and it was in decent enough condition. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it but since when is that an inhibitor? Mr. Chocolate and I had recently been to a lovely street fair in the town of Snohomish, WA and he spotted a goodie bag of watch parts. Mr. Chocolate is a watch collector and loves all things watch and clock related. So I bought this bag of goodies:

and the vendor threw in a bag of containers for $25. Haven't done much w/ Steampunk but thought it would be perfect for playing with that. Then, the other day, as I was visiting The Graphics Fairy ( whom I call the Queen) and saw a lovely antique pocket watch image, I got an idea. So first I painted the tray black...didn't worry about the middle too much because I knew I was going to add some paper.

Decoupaged two complementary styles of scrapbook paper ( one is the same paper I used in the other tray and one of my fav patterns) and then went over the painted parts with thinned white tacky glue to give it a weathered look. When dry, I dry brushed it with gold paint and lightly brushed the center of the tray with it too. Then to my bag of watch goodies and took complementary pieces of "watch guts" and glued them to opposite corners of the tray.

Last but not least, I printed the antique pocket watch image onto clear label paper ( I'm in love w/ Avery 8665) and the used my Printshop program to create the word "Time" in Latin . Even though it's clear, I trimmed closely, pulled off the backing and stuck it to the center of the tray. Done and done:
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