Saturday, November 30, 2013

3 minute package toppers


     While roaming through my neighborhood Michaels, I found these charming sleds.  By just gluing on some leftover bottle brush trees, wreaths or stickers, I now have really cute package toppers.  In 3 minutes, honest.


Inspired By The Season


     As mentioned in a previous blog, I was loving the catalog and Holiday cards with old cars and trucks with Christmas trees.

     I found some adorable old-fashioned cars at my local #CVS and the trees at #Michaels.  With just a little glue and twine, I was able to replicate this imagery and I am excited to give these out as ornaments and package toppers.  A plus?  The cars actually run and the doors open.


     Cover the top of your car with a good glue - I like E600.  Add some weight on top of your tree and let set overnight.  Next day just wrap the tree with twine - just like you do when you pick up your tree.  And that is it.  A variation is to use a wreath on the front of a car.  You can even add some mini packages so your finished item looks just  like a Christmas road trip.  So fast and easy.  Each car was $5.99 and a bag of the trees and wreaths was about $10.00.   Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday DIY Made Simple (Part 3)


     I found these affordable design boxes at Michaels this week and I have been playing with them all week.  Need a quick and easy holiday craft to use around your home or to give as gifts?  Check out my  new presentation below and you will be on your way.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Inspired By The Season


     There are so many things about the Holidays that I love...the scents, the food, the lights.  I also love going to paper stores and looking through their cards and papers for inspiration for my Holiday giftgiving and crafting.  This week I went to Papyrus ( and came back with, not only gifts for my list, but great inspiration.  Their store is beautifully merchandised and is a nice respite for the imagination. #papyrus
     I also receive loads of catalogs this time of year.  In addition to making my list and checking it twice, they also fill me with ideas on trends and projects.  Here is what is inspiring me this week.  Check back to see what I've come up with!

     Loving this imagery for homemade ornaments and decor:

card from #papyrus. Catalogs from #anthropologie and #redenvelope

        I found some old embrodiery hoops from my stitching days and I think this is just the inspiration I needed to get back to my stitchy ways

     I seem to be gravitating toward ornaments and animal, metallic and sparkle.  These cards inspire me to create something fun with the beautiful materials I received from #thebuckleboutique at this summer's CHA tradeshow:

Modern ornament  cards from #papyrus
   This adorable card from Papyrus got me thinking about making miniature Christmas scenes.  Or taking some of my Christmas photography and playing around with Picasa and colors.

  Last year's waterless snowglobes were a big hit with my friends....Check back to see what I've come up and get crafting!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Holiday DIY Made Simple (Part 2)


     If you are like me, the refrigerator has become a gallery for photos, kid's artwork, etc.  I have an easy DIY project that makes great Christmas presents requiring very little time and materials.  You can choose one image to recreate onto magnets or a "theme" like your child's Christmas photo; an event you all attended, a birth announcement or a DIY Save the Date. I choose images from my son's USMC graduation to give out to friends and family. Even scraps of fabric can easily be applied to these magnet strips.  Your imagination is your only limitation. Any jpeg can easily be turned into Refrigerator Art.


     The only materials you will need are your chosen jpegs; a software photo program like PICASA and a rotary cutter.  The magnet sheets come in packages like this and are easily found in any craft store:

  Follow the steps below:
Step 1: Create a new folder with your chosen images

Step 2:  Upload folder to PICASA.  Choose 'create a pic collage"
Use 'grid spacing' and white background

Step 3:  Print out collage on photo paper; cut out. I changed the
orientation to be long and narrow
Step 4: Place your photos on to the adhesive side of the magnet paper

Step 5:  Using a rotary cutter, cut out photos with magnet sheet

Your magnets are now complete

Saturday, November 9, 2013

"Painting" Leaves


     In the Northeast, we are pretty much at the end of the fall foliage season.  Before the leaves are all gone, I like to find a couple of examples of perfect looking leaves - whether it is the shape or the color that attracts me.  Here are some ideas for using "free" supplies, thank you Mother Nature.


STEP 1. Original JPEG
     Take a close up jpeg of the leaf.

     Save your original under several titles ie Leaves1; Leaves2.

      Using basic photo editing program (I like Picasa, easy to use) play around with color effects.  There are several choices and you can just click undo or cancel if you don't like how it turned out.  Picasa lets you preview the image so you can see how it turned out before saving.  Some of my changes using the original jpeg:
STEP 2.  Invert Colors
STEP 3. Invert colors/hologram effect
 Picasa has a great feature - "collage".  Lets you arrange any amount of photos and automatically creates a cool collage effect which you then save as a new jpeg.
STEP 4. Create collage jpeg - I like to call this the Andy Warhol look
STEP 5. Choose focal b/w option

You can also play around with cropping and color.  Using the same original jpeg and saving under a few different names, I used different saturation settings and different cropping for each one and created as a collage.  I think this is an easy way to make customized artwork using one simple photo.

     Using just one jpeg, you have limitless options to create fun artwork.  Your finished photos can be adhered to blank cards, glued to a blank many ideas from one photo.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Holiday DIY Made Simple (Part 1)


      I love incorporating handmade elements into my gift giving and holiday decor. I paid a visit to a new store in the neighborhood - Paper Source and created some easy gift tags and garland.  This store is amazing and will get you feeling inspired in no time.


     Take a look at my mini tutorial below.  You will not believe how creative you can be with some pretty supplies, some items you already have around the house.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Taking The "Book" Out Of "Scrapbook"


     If you are like me, you love to document your friends' and families' lives with photos.  I started doing scrapbooking several years ago when my son was born and now, 19 years later, I have a few too many scrapbooks.  But how to keep your memories, or give out memories as gifts, when you just don't have the time to create scrapbook pages.  Here's how to take the "book" out of "scrapbooking".


     At any craft and hobby store, you can find shadowbox frames like this example.

     These come in many shapes and sizes -- some have these compartments while others are a completely flat surface.  What you will need:

  • Papers to fit your theme (this is a great project for paper scraps)
  • Adhesive
  • Small canvas frames to add dimension if desired
  • Photos (color copy if you don't want to use the original)
  • Souvenirs from a trip or the event you are capturing
     Here are three frames I did for my BFFs....commemorating our recent reunion to Chicago.  Each one is slightly different, but using the same theme:

     These make great gifts as you can hang these frames on a wall, lay them flat on a table.  I have even covered them with glass and they can be used as one big coaster on your coffee table.

     Here are some examples or using a plain shadowbox frame - no compartments.  I used patriotic papers and symbols to celebrate my son's graduation from US Marine Corps Boot Camp and gave to his grandmother, etc.

     I wrapped small canvas frames with paper to add some depth to the piece.    These are great examples to get you thinking of how to get the "book" out of "scrapbook" and have memories that you will be proud to create and share.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

Got 5 minutes?


     I found this great card game, based on the old school Memory game, at one of my favorite retailers, Anthropologie.  I love when I find something meant for one thing and use it for my crafts.  I added to my studio windows for a whimsical design element and I have been incorporating them onto easy and quick to make cards.


     Take a look at this 5 minute card tutorial and try it for yourself.

Inspiration and Organization Station


     If you are like me, you love reading magazines and ripping out recipes or crafts saying "I'm going to do that someday."  I have come up with some easy ways to organize my inspirations.


BULLETIN BOARD:  Whether it is in your home office or in the laundry room, invest in an old school bulletin board.  Pin up (this is how Pinterest started after all) images, inspirations and refer to them often:

BINDERS AND JOURNALS:  Utilize binders from the office supply store and clear protective sheets.  I love to print out my favorite photos and keep them here for reference to use for future projects.

BLANK JOURNALS are also a great place to cut and paste your inspiration. I have a few that I continually refer to.  Categorize them in any way that makes sense to you like "Holiday Recipes" or "Bedroom Paint Colors I Love."

     I am always strolling through the hardware store looking for containers for all my bits and pieces.  Again, I find it easier to separate by theme or project.  Normally used for drill bits and nails, I love these containers and they tend to be very affordable.

     Now that you are inspired and organized, the sky's the limit to what you can create.