Wednesday, May 28, 2014

DTC Decorate to Celebrate: A piece of my heart for the Graduate


     A friend of mine was starting to feel that little sense of panic as her oldest daughter gets ready to graduate high school and go away to college.  As a parent, we know we have done a good job when our kids grow up and begin to start their new lives.  But it is a bittersweet time.

     In helping her plan her daughter's party she wanted to do something handmade that she could take with her to her dorm for a little piece of home.  My friend, an avid knitter, had created more blankets than her daughter would ever need and wanted something else.  While speaking with her about it she mentioned that she wanted to make sure her child knew that she took with her a piece of her Mom's heart to keep close by.  And knowing her daughter is a big fan of retro 60s flowers and colors (think the Partridge Family), I came up with an idea that she really liked and was easy enough for her to do herself.

     In keeping with a theme of colors and motifs (blue,reds,creams and chevron), I decided to help her create a lightweight wall hanging (or sitting on her dorm desk) piece.  And for the center piece I used an old NY State map, indicating her home base.  With kind of heart shape, combined with flower shapes, my friend's daughter loved this little piece of home.  (And she liked it so much, she asked me for help to make one for her Mom.  Sweet!)


     Basic supplies:  coordinating paper, template or banner template (I like the one from The Paper Source); glue, pencil, stickers, Mod Podge, foamcore, old map (or print something off Google).

     Once you decide on your papers, trace out your template shape on the reverse side of your papers. Do this for the map as well. Based on this size template, you can get 2 shapes out of (1) 12" x 12" piece of paper.  HINT:  if your paper has writing on it, make sure you position your template correctly so the words will appear right side up.

     Before starting to glue, arrange your papers in the order you like.  Cover your piece of foam core with the Mod Podge and start adding your papers.  Don't worry about the middle where the points meet.  That will be covered up by your map. Once applied, cover everything with a thin coat of the Mod Podge.  Add your map shape to the middle section.

     Let dry overnight and then add your embellishments.

     Depending on the papers you choose, you could do one with a baby theme, a map of where you live and send to far away grandparents or other family members.  Think about small versions for party favors.  There are also a million type of shapes, stickers, etc., but whatever you choose, someone will know they have a piece of your heart wherever they may be.

    God Bless all the 2014 graduates whether you are graduating pre-school or medical school, make it a glorious future.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Weekend Inspirations

     This past week has brought me so much inspiration for future projects that I needed to share with my friends.  So in between this Memorial Day's activities and remembrances, here are some ideas to help you get inspired as well!


     After a very LONG NY winter, I am so happy to get down 'n dirty in my garden.  Next to the smell of BBQ, I love having color in my garden again.  After a morning rainstorm, I snapped some pics of my new fav plants.  Think about doing this with your plants -- these simple photos can be used in scrapbook pages, created into greeting cards, printed and framed as gifts -- so many possibilities.  Also with free, easy to use photo editing software ( I like Picasa), you can manipulate your photos and come up with some one-of-a-kind photos.  So start planting!
Love the "1960s" effect on Picasa
Removing some of the color is fun


     A crafty friend of mine, Gina Satrape, posted this photo on to Facebook and I thought this was such a great idea.  With graduations coming up, what a fun way to preserve this memory.  Great gift to the grad and maybe for their eventual first Christmas tree?  And don't stop with tassels.....what about the wrist bracelet you get at the hospital along with your new baby?  Or a copy of your kid's learning permit or first drivers license?  These glass ornaments are really inexpensive and this is another great way to get the "book" out of "scrapbook".


     While once again strolling through the aisles of my local Michaels, I found two frames that just spoke to me.
      I love love love this collection of clipboard frames.  I know I have some around the house, but you can either buy this set or run out to Staples, etc.  They are adorable just as they are, but what about painting them for a nursery?  Or holiday colors?  Spray paint the clips?  Add other embellishments? Also, if you use positionable tape or glue, you can change out the photos.  I think these make a great vignette.
     I always make sure I stop by the clearance bin, and lucky me!  This shadowbox frame and print were adorable.....The frame itself was pretty, but I really liked the image inside.  How easy would this be to replicate?  Very!!!


     A big trend in home decor are marquee lights. and featured some on their pages recently.
     Sadly, I have run out of outlets in my home and I think if I set up one more surge protector I will affect the entire Northeast electric grid.  So how to do an "unplugged" version?  I picked up a couple of wood letters and really cool pearlized dimensional stickers.  And of course some more paint.   I'm thinking I can either use as they are, or get my helpful hubby to cut these wooden letters in half which I THINK will make it look even more authentic.
 Geek Alerts


     While walking through this week's National Stationery Show in NYC, I visited the Scotch3M booth.  They have a great line of decorative tape.  And they are having a craft contest , open to all.  Look for the contest announcement in early June, but here is the webpage for more info when available.
     So you know I'm all about contests!!  I picked up some supplies along with my Scotch 3M tapes, can you guess what my theme is going to be?
ScotchBrand Make Amazing Contest link


    In a recent issue of Country Living Magazine, they had a very cool project idea for mason jars.  With just some glue and gilding papers (gold leaf papers), you can transform any glass jar into an antique looking piece.  Great for your table, parties, etc.  I'm going to try on one of my vintage mason jars, but this concept can be used on anything glass - candle holders, vases....endless opportunities! And thanks to the sheets, tools and adhesive from #MarthaStewartCrafts @ Michaels I'm good to go.
Country Living Magazine Mason Jars Crafts
Country Living Magazine


    I love my EReader, especially with traveling, but there still is nothing like a real book.  And The Huffington Post recently had some very creative ideas for bookmarks.  Some of them were crazy unique!  Check out the post: Huffington Post Books


    And most importantly this weekend, please take a moment to say "thank you for your service" to a military troop member, pray for all those currently serving, thank our veterans and a moment of silence for all lost soldiers.

Monday, May 19, 2014



     I have been working with a friend of mine who is the lead singer for an amazing 80s hair band out in crazy Las Vegas.  He has a new logo so I was playing around with different items to create some merchandise for him.

    And I thought 80s hair band???  I must have bling......and the products at The Buckle Boutique came to my rescue.  Their product is very high quality and super easy to use.  I just cut out with my scissors, it's just that easy.  And it is a fun way to incorporate bling into any of your craft projects.  Comes in different patterns and fun colors.  Check them out  Fast shipping too!


    Using just a canvas, felt and products from The Buckle Boutique, I came up with a fun logo treatment for my friend.  Just cut out and the rhinestones have a self adhesive backing which holds up really well and incredibly easy to apply.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Decorate To Celebrate Challenge - For Teacher

Washi Tape Pencil Garden for Teacher

My Story:

     Even though we have so much technology to help our lives move at the speed of sound, for me, there is nothing like the sound of an old fashioned pencil on paper.  I love the feel, sharpening the point....I'm definitely old school.

     So for this Design Challenge for Decorate To Celebrate, I created a Washi Tape Pencil Garden for a Teacher that perhaps has the same love of old tools like me.

Your Turn:

     My dollar store is becoming like that old TV sitcom "CHEERS" where everyone knew your name.  I had this idea for the pencil garden and I wanted to start off with a container for me to build my colors on.  And my neighborhood dollar store did not disappoint.  I loved this mug and its colors.  I also love coming up with ideas that serve more than one purpose.  So when the pencils are done, the Teacher can relax with a nice cup of green tea and put the flowers in your hair.

     Gather up your supplies:  mug or container; pencils; Washi Tape in a related color story; styrofoam is optional; cupcake picks; embellishments for pencil tops (I love these combo pins/hair clips found in the clearance bin @Michaels.

     Start wrapping your pencils as desired.  Some I used the tape lengthwise and others I wrapped around the pencil.  There is no right or wrong way.  The only advice I have is to use one of the tape designs on every pencil.  (I liked the antique typewriter keys tape as I thought that was appropriate for a teacher).  It helps pull all the colors together.

     When complete, take whatever embellishment you are using and place into the eraser or glue onto the top.  Whatever you come up with is perfect.  For my example, I used the pin and placed into the eraser.  For others I just clipped the flower onto the top of the pencil.  To fill in part of the container, I clipped the flower onto the cupcake pick to stick in by itself.

     This is an optional step, but helps keep your garden upright.  Cut a piece of styrofoam to fit and start "planting" your pencils.  Use some scraps of silk leaves to fill in your "soil".

     And that is all there is to it.  This concept can be adapted for some many occasions, just by changing the color of the washi tape and the type of container.  I would love to see what you come up with!

     Happy Crafting!