Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I'm a Guest Artist - Whisker Graphics

I love stationery and packaging, so naturally I really love Whisker Graphics. I remember coming across their products when I was the Buyer & Shoppe Manager for Stampington and falling head over heels for their bakers twine.

I really like the simplicity of the designs and the versatility of the products. The paper bags can be used for all sorts of treats and favors or you can use them in a mixed-media scrapbook. The twine can be used to tie a parcel, hang a garland or add some whimsy to a handmade card.

However, my favorite product that they have been releasing annually is the Calendar flashcard set. If you're crafty then you need this calendar set in your life... Head over to the Whisker Graphics blog to see more pictures and info on this monthly calendar I created for 2015, featuring the Flashcard Calendar set. They are also offering the calendar at 33% off with free shipping this week, so be sure to get yours and get your calendar ready for 2015.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Little Man Accessory Board

Back in late 2012 I was in nesting and mode preparing for the arrival of my son, due in early February 2013. At the time we were living in our old house in California and I went to town decorating his nursery. Stampington & Company actually featured my sons nursery in a blog post which you can read about here.

There were a number of thrift store finds and simple DIY projects in the nursery. When we moved to Utah I sold a lot of our furniture so I no longer have the dresser and rocking chair (tears because I badly wanted to restore those), and he now sleeps in a big boy bed so his bedroom has changed a lot. I have held onto a lot of the DIY projects though, and one of my favorites are these framed pieces of fabric.

One thing that you will usually find a lot of at thrift stores are frames. They are so easy to redo with a little paint and minimal supplies. I wanted to do a small gallery wall of frames in various sizes so I chose a bunch of totally random frames. Some still had glass and some didn't, I just tossed the glass in the trash. I spray painted all the frames a solid white with a matte finish.

I used recycled cardboard from old boxes (after my baby shower I had a lot of excess cardboard boxes) and cut the pieces to size to fit each frame. I picked up a bunch of fun fabric swatches to use and then cut the pieces all to size to match the frame they were going in. You could glue the fabric onto the cardboard but that gets a little messy so I just stretched it over each piece of cardboard then secured it at the back with a little glue, and then tape. Not the most professional method but hey - it worked and projects like this are usually only temporary for me. In a year I will probably re purpose the frames into a different project.

These frames hung on the wall in my sons bedroom as is for quite some time. Recently after unpacking from our move from California to Utah I pulled them out of a box and decided to give them more of a purpose.

I saw an idea on Pinterest a few years ago where someone had created a framed board with fabric in it and used it to display accessories for a little boy (bow ties and that sort of thing).  So I decided to used one of the larger frames in a similar fashion.

I suggest just using sewing pins to attach the accessories to the boards. That way it isn't permanent. Since the backing is cardboard, everything pinned on really easily. Its probably best to used pins without a pearl head like I did, that's all I had on hand. The pins without a head would be less visible. Whatever you use, just keep the frames out of reach from your little ones..

And here is the finished board, I have a couple more bow ties to add but didn't want it to look to cluttered for the purpose of the blog post...

Happy accessorizing for you little man. And I hope you are inspired to create your own little fabric board to display his little dapper accessories!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

I'm a Guest Artist - Stampington

Im excited to be featured as a guest artist on the Stampington blog Somerset Place today... If you don't know me too well then you may not know that I actually worked full time for Stampington for 7 years as their Shoppe Manager and Artist in Residence. Im no longer living in sunny California where they are, but Im still submitting art and staying active in the creative community..

So I hope you will hop on over to Somerset Place to see the GreenCrafted Gift Wrapping inspired project I did for them. I love turning really special presents into little pieces of art...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I'm a Guest Artist - Stencil Girl

I'm really excited to be featured as a guest blogger today over at StencilGirl Talk. I'm a big fan of StencilGirl and founder Mary Beth Shaw, and the many talented artists that design stencils for Stencil Girl. I've quickly become addicted to using stencils in crafts. I hope you will head over to their blog and take look, here's a peek....

This was a really fun project, perfect last minute gift idea also... Make sure you stop by StencilGirl Talk to check it out, and the many other amazing project ideas.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Natural Christmas Wrap Inspriation

I'm a kraft paper nut. Just a paper lover in general. I love to give gifts and I love to wrap them. A poorly wrapped present just looks well poor... And won't get the gift recipient very excited. Except for little kids. They don't seem to care much up wrapping lol.

I was wrapping these presents for a good friend and had to add a little something special. So in addition to these "brown paper packages tied up with string" I added two more simple details to each package. I slipped a mini vintage music card under the twine on each package. I found a stack of these for 50c at the thrift store. Then I attacked our little Christmas tree and clipped off some of the larger stems. I rolled them into circles and tied them onto the packages to create these mini wreaths. All done.

Theres something warm and fuzzy about these presents, including whats inside. The presents that are really fun to buy, are for the people that love exactly the same things you do.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Collage Salt Dough Ornaments: Merry Mooses...

I think its safe to say that the holidays really brings out the crafty kid in me... I get excited to make everything (except gingerbread houses) and I really love to make ornaments or any kind. I've used salt dough in the past to make ornaments with my daughter. I came across a few "homemade clay" recipes online recently and thought I would try them out. They basically consisted of baking soda, cornstarch and water. I did two batches and honestly wasn't too happy with how it turned out. 

It just wasn't as strong as the usual salt dough and a number of our ornaments broke, so I ended up doing a third batch of ornaments but on the third (and final) batch, I instead used the salt dough. So my suggestion is just stick to your regular salt dough. Unless of course you have an amazing "no salt" foolproof, homemade clay recipe. Which by the way I would love to know about!

We did all the rolling on wax paper which helps the clean up... When we cut out all the shapes I put holes in them with a skewer so we could easily thread twine through to hang them. But since I ended up collaging the mooses with vintage sheet music paper (instead of painting them) I just put looped the twine around the antlers instead since I covered the holes.

I know a lot of people do the salt dough ornaments annually, which is a really cute way to create a small Christmas keepsake every year... You could try stamping on the year and name of the creator, or just write it on the back. Whatever you do, these are fun to do with the littles (or without lol).

In case you were wondering, the moose cutter is from the Drommar pastry cutter set from Ikea. I purchased it a few years ago and it looks like its still available. If you don't have an Ikea close by, they sell them online.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Holiday Card Hoopla

I really admire the people that manage to get picture perfect, catalog worthy family photographs every year for their holiday card. I find it practically impossible. I really would love an awesome Christmassy, festive photo to use for a holiday card and every year I have good intentions to try and do just that.

But with school coming to and end, organizing gifts, get togethers, making sure a tiny elf appears daily creatively in our house all the other holiday craziness (and of course this new blogging hobby) it's just really difficult to throw in a professional portrait session...

The past two years I've used a collage style card with various pictures from throughout the year. In 2013 I did a DIY one using fotor.com and printed them at Staples. It was a little time consuming so this year I took advantage of the crazy cheap prices at vistaprint.com.

On black Friday Vista Print had their 60% off sale (they do really good sales frequently) so I created our card fairly quickly and easily and ordered them at about 11:45pm before the sale ended (that was fun). I just received them on Saturday and sent most of them off yesterday, cross that off the to-do list! Anyhow if you're close friends and family then "surprise" this is what is coming to your mailbox soon:

Happy Holidays for 2014!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Washi Christmas Tree Wall

We decided this Christmas to try a live "potted" Christmas tree. For years we used the same fake Christmas tree and then last Christmas, two days before Christmas our fake tree all of a sudden just snapped in half and broke. I was emotional enough at the time with holiday craziness and stress in general and this topped it off. So I cried. It seemed like a Christmas tragedy...

Although I was pretty upset, looking back its pretty funny really... So two days before Christmas we are "tree-less" and decided to go to the local Christmas tree farm. The good thing about getting your real tree so close to Christmas is that you are for sure the only people at the tree farm. And so for the first time we tried a real tree. And it turned out to be pretty much perfect. Picking out the tree, the smell, all that good stuff. I feel like I don't ever want to go back to fake one.

As much as I wanted to do the "big" fake tree again this year we decided (for a few reasons - long story) to try a real but "potted" live Christmas tree. We found this little tree for $10 at Home Depot. It's a little quirky I know but everyone seems excited (this novelty may wear off soon).

While we were decorating it, even though we were excited for its uniqueness I felt like it was a bit lonely so I decided to add a bit of whimsy to the wall behind it and create some additional Christmas trees with washi tape on the wall.

I've seen a lot of ideas online for washi wall Christmas trees but until this year never really had the right wall space/spot for one. The great thing about this idea is that washi tape comes off so easily and won't mark the walls.

So I went to town on the trees and then used some circle and star punches with the We R Memory Makers washi paper to create the ornaments. So its looking a bit more festive and fun now. Please note - don't "surprise" your eight year old and do this while they're at school like I did. Because apparently they will just come home and be annoyed you did it without them. Lesson learned. And please excuse the not-so-great pictures. This spot is really hard to capture good lighting any time of the day...

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Recycled Paper Flowers Craft

Theres a ton of great DIY paper flower tutorials on Pinterest and I've been wanting to try these for a while. GreenCraft magazine had an article (in one of the first issues) on creating similar flowers that also inspired me to give these a whirl. These are great for kids to make and look really cute as a center piece in some pretty bud vases.

All you need is a few simple supplies:
  • Recycled paper (magazines, old wrapping paper etc)
  • Shredding scissors
  • Twigs
  • Washi tape
  • Masking tape

 1. Fold a magazine page accordion style.

2. Using shredding scissors, snip all along the edges that are folded, leaving about 3/4" along the other edge.

3. Add a piece of masking tape along the entire edge (that isn't cut).

4. Gradually wind the paper around the top of a twig (if they're thin twigs just use two and tape them together). You need to start about 1 1/2 inches down the twig and gradually wind upwards towards the top. You can add some adhesive (double sided permanent tape) to the twig before you start winding the paper to help keep it in place.

Once its wrapped and the you have the flower shape, use washi tape to wrap around the base of the paper on the flower to secure it to the twig. Thats all there is to it. My daughter loved this project and we made a bunch of them together.