Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cute Clips - Clothespin Craft

Thanks so much for the overwhelming response to my Paper towel Wreath for Fall. You guys are all so sweet. Special thanks to Jenn at Tatertots and Jello for featuring it and to Michelle at Someday Crafts for posting about it.

(click all pics to enlarge)

One of my all-time favorite blogs is Mish Mash by Michelle Wooderson. She has a thriving Etsy shop and is a DT member for PTI - did I mention she's crazy talented too? Last week she posted a tutorial for stained and embellished clothes pins and I loved them so much I had to make some. This is unusual for me because for the most part I am an admirer of tutorials - I seldom haul out my crap  stash and make them myself.

Here's what I made:
Set #1:


Set #2:

Set #3:


I tend to use clothes pins in place of paper clips and staples. They're great for holding receipts together until you do the books, keeping forms and papers in order and for closing bags. I wouldn't recommend using these on clothes though as I worry the stain might come off on clothes and even with Mod Podge the paper might not withstand hard weather and moisture. These would also be cute with strong magnets on the back to use on your fridge or whiteboard.

My first set went to a really nice neighbor of ours who I was owing a thank you gift. I simply painted a big messy smoosh on a lunch bag, heat set it and wrote my note in Sharpie. Then I dropped the gift in, folded the top down and clipped it with an extra clothes pin. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

A New Paper Towel Wreath for Fall

(As always, click to enlarge)

I had a bunch of dye spattered paper towel left over from letting my zombie journal blocks dry so it seemed like a perfect time to make a fall-themed paper towel wreath. Yay!

Isn't it pretty :-)

I'm crazy about orange and wanted to make something that was fall, but not to theme-y. In my opinion, decor that compliments the season, but isn't tied to it is just about right.

If you haven't seen my tutorial on how to make one you can find it at the top of my right side bar
Just click on the picture 

My favorite part of this wreath is that when I spritzed the dye onto the paper towel lightly it brought out the pattern on the opposite side. Once scrunched and abused a bit, the pattern projects a neat polka dot vibe. Cool-beans.

If anyone wants to make one, here's a link to the tutorial:

Do you go all out decorating for holidays? Do you add a few seasonal touches or ignore the fussing all together?

Me? I tend to vacillate between the last two - oh the shame of it.

Linked to:
Home is Where My Story Begins
I'm So Crafty: Fun to Craft
Sunday Scoop: I heart Nap Time

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Most Inappropriate Christmas Card Photo Ever

This one is for our Wall of Awesome, it's been a little neglected of late. For awhile there, I was worried the whole room would be full floor to ceiling - and then what?

(click to enlarge)

Since the SLC Zombie Walk was such a great time I thought it needed to make it on the wall. Pages that I'm hanging up are generally the only time I do one photo LOs and I rarely add journalling as it limits how high I can hang it and still be readable. This one just called out for more story, not less, so it's at eye level. Here's a close-up:

I downloaded these journalling tags for FREE at Creativity Prompt. You should check it out, they have great stuff! The paper is by Jillibean Soup and October Afternoon.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Beautified Blotter Page

Thanks for all the love yesterday. Today I feel like I was run over by a Zamboni. Ouch. Not exactly unexpected though.

In the past, I've blogged about my "craft space"... a calendar blotter, and how I'm really happy with this system. As my projects have gotten wetter, stickier and more goopy I've needed to use about five blotters a year. Which at the Target dollar spot costs me about five bucks and I get the bonus of having the nice chipboard backs for other projects.

After making all the pages for my Art Journal, my blotter looked pretty cool. Not one to waste, I decided it would make an awesome base for a LO.

(As always, click to see details)

I tried attaching my journalling block with paint to make the area stand out a bit from the rest. It was a neat new messy way of sticking stuff together and I'm glad to have it in my arsenal.

Tip: When you are doing a lot of ripping and curling, sewing down your elements helps them stay put during all the abuse you put them through.

As always, I bow down to the awesomeness of Alisa Burke. Without her classes I never would have tried stuff like this.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Let Me Tell You About My Run (and a LO)

I've been doing the Couch to 5K  running plan in an attempt to get back some of the strength I've lost. I have to tell you, this is really hard. To quote Shrek, "Really, really."

The docs (who have admitted I'm so far off the path they have no idea what I can and cannot do) all agree that my mobility should improve about six months before the pain decreases. This was really sad news for me because the pain being the last thing to improve doesn't feel like fair play. But, this is what I'm working with so mobility it is.

Here's me:

Running In This Place:

That sometimes looks like this:

About six months after having my spinal cord severed and my back held open with big claw clamps.  Did I mention it's really, really hard?

Which brings me to yesterday. We were starting Week 3 Day 1 and I had had a terrible morning both with my technology, my back and the boys. Stress makes my muscle spasms worse and I was freaking out. Chris got me out the door for my run and my Nike Sensor didn't work, my C25K app quit stopping, about five houses from home my back was so in spasm I could barely walk and my iPod kept shutting off every song. It was like the Bermuda triangle. By the time I got to the trailhead (about five minutes from our porch) I was sobbing so I sat in the dirt and cried for about a half an hour. 

There was a rustle in the bushes behind me and I thought Chocolate was coming to check on me. What peeked out of the bushes wasn't my 85 lb lab-rottie mix... but it sure was the same size so I ran like hell. As soon as I got to a clearing on the fire road I felt safe enough to stop and the pain had me in tears again. I stood still trying to collect myself. Off in the bushes to my right a rattling sound started. Now I've heard about all the snakes here but haven't seen them so this scared the hell out me... again.

I took off walking calling my dog as loud as I could hoping he'd leave Chris and Brayden and come protect me. I met them about 2/3 of the way out our course so by the time I'd walked home with them I'd walked 3/4 of our run. I was spent and it was HOT. Ended up being 100 degrees.

Back at home I was so sad and hurting. But worse, I worried that my running days were over. It was just a happy blip in this long and dreadful recovery.  So I pulled my last bit of reserve together, laced up my shoes and did whatever is the less sexist word for manned-up.

I grabbed my dog and he and I went for a run. About half way through our course I hit a rock and smashed myself to the ground. Aside from cracking the iPhone, my body did okay. I'm a girl who couldn't be jostled a few months ago, this is wild improvement. When I made it home I did 20 push-ups and 20 sit ups. Every part of me hurt (and hurts). But I feel like I won a small victory against my health yesterday.

It's so hard to explain to people, and to myself, that when Everything hurts, I'm more or less free to do Anything because it makes no difference. Trust me, I've tried. I feel equally bad if I lie in bed or go and play paintball. Might as well play.

Here's a LO I made after our muddy run, hope you like it. It's very pink. I was following a recipe challenge so I had to do some odd maneuvering to meet all the requirement.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Handmade Art Journal and a Layout

Happy Friday Everyone! So glad to have made it through the week. Did this one seen longer than usual?

(Click any of my photos to see the details)

As I've mentioned before, I've been taking two classes from the always inspiring Alisa Burke and I finally put some of the lessons to practice. Julie Fei-Fan Balzer has been doing an awesome series on art journalling and I decided to make my own journal applying the techniques I learned in class.

Yesterday I sat down with the pages from a homeschool catalog and some Kmart flyers and got painting. It took a chunk of time to paint both sides but by doing more than 20 at once (I know, crazy!) I could start painting the backs of the first ones right after completing the last.

The paper has a glorious not-paper but not-plastic tooth to it. It's really strong too, which is a good thing as I'm going to beat it up :-)

Once dry, I bound it all into a book. I used page protectors to make the cover waterproof, duct tape to join them and sewed through the spine several times to hold it all together:

Here's the binding:

And a few more pages, the first two show the insides of the front and back covers:

The great thing about this is it's all the fun of a journal without the "scary" blank pages. 

I really can't wait to start filling it up with photos, fabric, ephemera and the bits and pieces of our life.

Not into Art Journalling? I couldn't resist making a scrapbook page with one of the sheets. This page was created with one sheet of card stock, a K Mart flyer and cardboard from a box of pasta. Pretty cool to keep it out of the landfill.

Wow, if you made it to here you are very sweet. 

Thank you. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Another Scrapbook Page

Just when you thought this was a sewing blog (or a food blog or a mixed-media blog) I go and start scrapbooking again. Oh my heaven. This is another page from the Festival of Ideas. I pared the sketch down to a much simpler LO - the other had flowers and lacy stuff everywhere and let's face it, I have a house full of boys and I scrapbook pictures of them making pigs of themselves while eating hotdogs :-)

(Click pics to see them better.)

Here's some close-ups:

Gotta run, sorry for being a little boring today... I only had a minute. 

Smooches all around ;-)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Staycation 2010

I don't know if I'm thrilled or bummed to have distilled my 300+ pictures down to a two page LO. Granted, it has 31 photos on it so each day is well represented... still.

(Click on it to see the page in all it's glory. LOL)

Close up:

I'm a little bummed that all the stitching doesn't show up in the pics. It's hard with such a long LO. But, it's there, all around the edge for a border and scattered about.

My inspiration (and heavy borrowing of ideas - like sewing down the title) came from the current lesson of Festival of Ideas over at Big Picture Scrapbooking. It's a free class and I'm getting a lot out of it. That said, it's very mainstream.

One funny thing about this LO is I realized I've gone mixed-media (and can't come all the way back) when I ran out of 0's for 2010 and instead of looking through my stash for something I grabbed a pasta box, painted it white, covered it with glue and topped the wet glue with red paint. Then I heat set the whole thing which made a very cool effect. I punched out two hears and VOILA! Years ago I probably would have waited to go to the store for matching Thickers.

The paper I used was from my Sept. '08 Scraproom scrapbook kit. I managed to buy these papers, win them in a RAK and then have it sent to me as part of a Guest DT spot. So, I still have a lot of Fancy Pants Daily Grind.

This is my entry in the Created By Hand  Take a Hike+ Stitching Challenge.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pincushion Fun AKA: I am an idiot

This really isn't a sewing blog. Honestly, I'm a paper crafter - I swear it! All this finishing up things though has led me to my fabric stash more than my pretty papers of  late. I'll resume regular programming ASAP. Promise :-)

Right Side Close Up

So... I made a pin cushion. In part, it's to remind me not to be such an idiot.

My dear sweet Mom-in-law sent me some straight pins way back when. Since they were making a long and harrowing trek from Canada she tucked them snuggly in a tupperware container and sent them on their merry way. And this is where they've stayed, save for when being called into action, ever since.

Remember when I spoke of the dangers of sewing? Turns out, it's not so perilous for most folks. Just newbies like me, who lack common sense.

Imagine this, I'm pinning a dish mat so I set the fabric where it needs to be and then reach into plastic container where a couple hundred pins lay higgledy-piggledy waiting to prick, pounce and impale. Some find their way under my nails, others pierce my fingertips - I dread it. Really I do.

To make matters worse, after a few injuries I get so gun shy that I select a few friendly looking pins and leave them out on the table to spare my sore fingers. One careless maneuver and the stray pins get swept onto the carpet, into my scraps or into my folded fabric... which leads to more pricks... and let's face it, a few bad words.

Left Side Close Up

Now I've seen all sorts of pin cushions and I dismissed them as decorative... like cupcakes just not near so tasty. Then a few nights ago, as I pulled a turquoise headed tyrant from my nail bed I thought to myself, wouldn't it be awesome to have a nice squishy dedicated place to put these nasty things.

*lightbulb moment*

Pin Cushion

So I made a pin cushion. This one features Michael Miller Hedgehog fabric that I bought at Fat Quarter Shop and is from the book  I Love Patchwork: 21 Irresistible Zakka Projects to Sew by Rashida Coleman

I Love Patchwork: 21 Irresistible Zakka Projects to Sew

This book is awesome! I'd say it's geared towards fearless newbies to intermediate sewists... but what do I know, I didn't even figure out the genius of a pin cushion until now. 


The winner of my finishing week prize is:


Let me know what colors you like and I'll pop a RAK in the mail for you.

Linked To:

Visit thecsiproject.com