Thursday, July 30, 2015

Keep Calm and Craft On...Your Health Will Thank You!



     I was always a "crafty" kid.  I remember watching my Mother lay out Simplicity patterns and gorgeous fabrics on the living room floor.  It was magical to me to watch the transformation from tissue paper and pins to dresses for us.  She was also a big knitter and the click-clack of the knitting needles was always a comforting sound to me.

    I grew up on a great street with amazing families and friends.  One Mom in particular, Mrs. Wu, used to have all the neighborhood kids over to her house for "crafts" times.  She was able to drag us away from our bikes and Barbies and taught us basic sewing skills, sand art, bead jewelry and embroidery.  This is when my love, ok let's call it an obsession, began with craft stores.  I would hoard my allowance money and run to our Singer store and walked around the fabric piles like I was in a candy store.

    The very first "big girl" project I did was an embroidery series.  I remember feeling so happy when my Mom took all the pieces to a frame store.  These first pieces have followed me in all parts of my life's journey to remind me of the joy that creating something always brings me.

    And it turns out that my love of creating has been proven to be good for your health!    The recent edition of "Craft Industry Today", a publication from the Craft and Hobby Association featured an article Healing Through Crafting.  Some notes from the article:

  • "Craft therapy has become an increasingly important part of rehabilitation for people with illnesses, both physical and psychological. "
  • "Needle crafts distract people from chronic illnesses and pain, and improve their outlook on life.  When you are engrossed in creating, there is less time to focus on pain and disability."
  • "Knitting also has positive effects on memory and concentration, helps them problem-solve more effectively and organize their thoughts."
  • "People who paint, write poetry, make jewelry or engage in similar activities have better overall physical health, make fewer visits to the doctor, use less medication and have fewer health problems than people who don't participate in creative programs"
     Here are some tips from Craft To Heal by Nancy Monson which I'm definitely adding to my reading bucket list!!!


   There are so many fun ways to be creative, here are just some ideas to get you started:

  1. Classes -- I love learning new techniques and meeting with like-minded people.  You can find classes at your local college/university, library, YouTube and craft retailers like Michaels, JoAnns and The Paper Source.  For a small, if any investment, you can try something you always wanted to do.  Trust me, you will have fun!
  2. Your Phone --  As someone who grew up with a land line rotary phone, I find the current pick of phones amazing for creativity.  I barely use it as a phone, actually, it has become an easy way to capture images.  With Instagram, it is easy to put up a cool shot from the beach, the mall, your backyard -- the opportunities are endless.  And with free photo editing software like Picasa, you don't need to have a degree in Graphic Arts to spice up your photos.
  3. Journaling --I remember having a diary where I would record my deepest darkest secrets and now they are just hysterical to read.  Now I use a sketchbook to record ideas, to sketch something that interests me or to cut and paste inspirational quotes and pictures.  Use different inks, pencils, etc., and it becomes its own work of art while recording things that caught your attention.  I carry mine everywhere!!   
  4. Coloring Books and Doodling -- I don't know about you, but I spent many hours with my friends and coloring books and a big 64 count box of Crayola crayons.  I particularly loved the Barbie books.  Now coloring books for grown ups are all the rage.  On a recent visit to Barnes and Noble, they had a whole table of coloring books.  Some that caught my eye:
                  "You Can Draw It All!" published by Parragon books.This is a fun and easy way to learn some basic shapes for sketching.

                  "Inspired Coloring:  Travel...coloring to relax and free your mind" published by Parragon books.It is definitely a grown up take on the coloring book and I can hardly wait to get my pencils on these.  Once finished you could also use these images in other artwork pieces ie a bon voyage gift/card for a friend.

     And I am obsessed with:

                  "Hilda's Sketchpad" published by The White Cabinet.  Featuring 16 original drawings by Hilda Glasgow.  Check out more about The White Cabinet for an amazing inspirational back story and products @ The White Cabinet website.

     Now get out there and find some creativity in your everyday life.  Leave me a comment on any other ideas you have!   Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Make Your Wedding Sparkle!


     It's challenge time again at Decorate To Celebrate!!  With some of the great products from The Buckle Boutique, you can easily add bling and sparkle to your wedding decor.  For more creative ideas for your next celebration check out THE DECORATE TO CELEBRATE blog.  And to look at all the beautiful trims, buckles and rhinestone sheets be sure to visit THE BUCKLE BOUTIQUE website.


     Using silk flowers and a vase/candle holder from the dollar store, and some Buckle Boutique products, see how easy it is to bling up your wedding or other celebration.

     Using a rhinestone buckle, thread onto ribbon.  I wanted to make sure my buckles were evenly placed so after you thread on the buckle, measure around the vase and adhere with glue.

    I liked to have a pattern but you can place however you like.  After the buckles were in place, I added some of the beautiful Buckle Boutique trim below the bottom ribbon and above the top ribbon. For the trim, I used metal/glass/bead glue which seemed to hold them in place better.

   I cut the rhinestone sheet into two different widths to add some interest and applied accordingly.

   You can easily adapt this process for coordinating candle holders.  Not only do they complement your centerpiece, you can also use these as wedding favors.

    A new product from The Buckle Boutique are individual adhesive rhinestones.  For a reasonable cost, these rhinestones glitter just like the real thing and are easy to apply to any surface.  To increase the shine on the silk flowers, I added some rhinestones to the petals.  You can apply as little or as much as you want.  It is a simple way to add some more bling.  HINT:  I found it easier to apply the stickers once your flowers are in place in the vase so you can have a better view of the placement.

    When using silk flowers, I like to use a glittering tulle ribbon inside the vase.  Not only does it easily support the flower stems, it adds a subtle touch of bling for any parts of the vase that you can see thru.

    And you are done and although the Bride will be the star of the show, your tables will also have pretty bling.  If using at an outdoor event, I loved how the sun glinted off the trims and rhinestones.

    Happy Crafting!!

Follow The Buckle Boutique at our Blog  //  Facebook  //  Twitter  //  Pinterest
Shop The Buckle Boutique at our Main Store and Etsy
Tips and videos for cutting our rhinestone sticker sheets can be found HERE
Are you a retailer who would like to carry The Buckle Boutique's products in your store?
Please contact us for wholesale pricing information.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Getting Scrappy With The Buckle Boutique


     As a design team member for The Buckle Boutique, I am so fortunate that I get to play and create with such great product.  The rhinestone sticker sheets are my favorite!   They come in large sheets, are easy to cut and apply, are affordable and you can make so many projects from just one sheet!

     Check out the site for yourself The Buckle Boutique


    By using scraps from previous projects, here are some quick and easy ideas on how to get the most out of your sticker sheets.


    I have not mastered making jewelry from scratch (another item on my crafting bucket list by the way) so I am always happy when I find jewelry blanks on the craft store.  I found this cool silver bracelet that had a nice flat surface and I thought it would be the perfect type of bracelet to use up some bling.

    Cut out very small pieces from your scrap pile.  One of the benefits of the rhinestone sticker sheets is that no matter how small you get the pieces, they are still easy to cut and apply and since the "stones" are gel based, you can easily cut through them and they do not break.

   Once you apply the rhinestones, turn the bracelet over and trim the edges.  Add a single rhinestone piece and that's it.  It is amazing how this catches the sunlight and shines!


    If you use any of the die cutting machines, you are left with what I would call "negative space" pieces.  You may have used the cut out portion for a project, but you are then left with with another opportunity to use the piece.

  • Use numbers for birthday cards, table settings
  • Use letters for birthday cards or a custom hand made card for a friend.  I then added some scrabble tiles.  I love mixing rustic with bling.

  • Use crosses for unique wedding cards or other religious celebrations.  Just use complementary paper and you have a beautiful card


   I loved the way the cheetah rhinestone sheet looked against cheetah paper.  My friend's daughter was graduating from fashion school so I was helping her compile a scrapbook to help commemorate her achievements.  I then added some small strips of gold rhinestones and I think this is a fun chic way to use up your supplies!

Happy Crafting!   And don't forget to check out The Buckle Boutique and start adding bling to your life!

Follow The Buckle Boutique at our Blog  //  Facebook  //  Twitter  //  Pinterest
Shop The Buckle Boutique at our Main Store and Etsy
Tips and videos for cutting our rhinestone sticker sheets can be found HERE
Are you a retailer who would like to carry The Buckle Boutique's products in your store?
Please contact us for wholesale pricing information.