Monday, November 28, 2011

Sketch time!!

My post this week is going to be very, very brief.  Many of you know that I have had back issues, and had surgery in February.  I've recovered well, but I twisted wrong or something a few days ago, and it really really hurts to sit at a computer (don't know what I'm going to do at work this week!).  So, brief blog entry it is (it will make up for all the other posts where I tend to ramble on.....).

We have a sketch challenge at H2H this week.  Here is the sketch:

And here is my interpretation:
The stitches were hand stitched, using the amazing new Ruler to make guide holes.  I popped up the sentiment with some dimensional tape.  And of course I had to add some bling.  Here is a closer look:

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope all my American friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that everyone has a fantastic week this week!  My son plays in his first high school basketball game tonight, so I'm excited to see that.  Go Vikings!  :-)

Materials list (all products are CTMH, except where noted):
paper:  Mistletoe Level 2 (retired), Chocolate cardstock, Cranberry cardstock, Colonial White cardstock.
stamp set: Just for the Holidays
ink: Chocolate
embellishments and tools: Dark Chocolate Striped Grosgrain, Mocha Opaques, Colonial White Embroidery Floss, Ruler, Scalloped Punch,

Monday, November 21, 2011

In Time....

Last week I saw the movie "In Time", starring Justin Timberlake (man, I love him!).  The premise of the movie is that everyone stops aging at the age of 25, and only have one more year to live, unless they can "buy" more time.  It was an interesting concept, and I enjoyed the movie (but hey, really....JT on a big screen for 90 minutes?  What's not to enjoy?). 

Anyway, it got me thinking about time.  I recently returned to the work force, after being a stay-at-home mom for many years.  It has been a HUGE adjustment for all of us, and I sometimes think it would be great if we could just "buy" time, since I never seem to have enough!  This week's challenge at H2H is to create something using a "time" can use a clock, a saying about time, or anything else "time" related.  I chose to make a little desk calendar for my new desk.  The company I work for deals with an industry dominated by men, and there are definitely not a whole lot of frilly things in my office.  So I thought I'd make a little "pretty" for my desk.  Just something to look at and make me smile.  Here is how it turned out:
I used a simple 5x7 acrylic frame for my base (one of those little cheapie ones you can buy at Staples, to display flyers and things), and cut patterned paper to fit inside.  I then decorated the top of the frame with the calendar, an image cut out of Colonial White cardstock, and some bling.  I put the decorative paper clip on just to hold down the pages of the calendar.
This picture might give you a  better idea of how I layered it....

The calendar was stamped using the Month by Month stamp set.  I started with December 2011, and stamped a page for the next 12 months.  I then glued them all together, using this tutorial I found on Pinterest (can I just say how much I LOVE Pinterest!).  I used a different glue than the one suggested in the tutorial, though (I used Elmer's Craft Bond Tacky Glue, but I think any thick, white glue that dries clear would work).  It was super easy, and I can think of 101 ways to use my own note pads!  :-)

Once the calendar was stamped, I simply adhered it to the top of the frame using some red-line tape (in this case, Terrifically Tacky Tape).  Added the image and the bling, and Voila!  Desk calendar!  I can't wait to bring it in to the office, although I'm sure my boss will think I'm crazy.  :-)

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope all my American friends have a blessed Thanksgiving this week.  Be sure to take some time for yourself, and get a little crafting done, using a "time" theme.  Then link it on up at Heart2Heart Challenges!  We love to see what you create!

Materials used (all products CTMH, unless noted otherwise):
-paper:  Perfect Day Level 2 paper pack (retired), Colonial White cs, Tulip cs
-ink: Tulip, Juniper
-stamp sets: Month by Month, Key Moments
-embellishments: Perfect Day My Stickease, Clear Sparkles, Martha Stewart Scoring Board, sanding block, decorative paper clip from my home office desk drawer....

Monday, November 14, 2011

I am so grateful....

Thanksgiving is coming up, and this week for H2H Challenges we are asked to create a project for someone we are thankful for. Knowing that shortly behind Thanksgiving comes Christmas, I decided to create a gift to give away. The recipient of this gift is not on the internet all that much, and I would be surprised if she knew how to navigate to my blog even if she was on the internet, so I feel pretty confident posting it here. :-0)

One of the people I am most thankful for in my life is my mom. You can read a blog post ---> here to see how she inspires me. I am thankful every day that I still have my mom around, and that God chose her to be my mother. We live over 12 hours away from each other, but she is my best friend.

My mom loves to drink iced tea, and she is rarely seen at home without a tall glass, filled with lots of ice and her favorite tea. I decided to make her some coasters to use (those iced tea glasses sweat a lot!!). Here is a picture of my tiles:

I created a little box to put them in, and wrapped them up in some pretty ribbon. Read on for a quick tutorial on how to make your own. Here is what you need:
First, start with some unfinished tiles. I got mine at Home Depot, and the box says Travertine 4x4 tiles.  I found them in the do-it-yourself tiling section.  I think they cost around $5.50, for 9 tiles.  You will also need some Staz-On ink, and whatever stamps you'd like to create with.

Wipe any excess dust off of your tiles with a damp paper towel. Then, simply stamp your images directly on the tile, using Staz-On ink. This ink is specifically formulated to use on non-porous surfaces (tile, glass, metal), and is great to have around if you plan on doing any altered art projects. It will definitely stain your acrylic stamps, but they will still work, so don't be alarmed! I do keep some Staz-On cleaner on my craft table, so I can wipe off my stamps after I use them. That minimizes some of the staining.
(I don't know why my picture is loading looks normal when I try to upload it, but it shows up sideways. Sorry. I'll try and go back and fix it later.)

Once I've stamped my tiles, I like to give them a quick shot of hot air with my heat gun. Some people like to put them in the oven and bake them for a few minutes, but I'm too lazy to go downstairs to the kitchen. :-) I've never had any problems with the ink smearing after I've set it with the heat gun, so I guess I'll continue to do it that way....

You will want to put some sort of protective covering on the back of the tile once it's stamped. I use plain old fun foam (available at any big box craft store...for cheap!), but you can also use felt pads, or cork. I cut my fun foam a little smaller than my tile and use Liquid Glass to adhere it to the back.

The next step is to make something pretty to put them in.  I designed a box that uses a 12x12 sheet of cardstock or patterned paper.  First, score it at 2", 4", 8" and 10".  Then turn it 90 degrees, and score it again at 2", 4", 8" and 10".  Then use the following picture to cut it:  the solid lines are cut lines, and the dotted lines are score lines:
Once you've cut the cardstock, this is what it should look like (I've added some patterned paper for decoration):
Flip your cardstock over so that your patterned paper is face down.  It would be so much easier to describe the next few steps if I had remembered to label the flaps, but I'll do the best I can.  Stay with me here, folks.  :-)
The longer piece at the bottom of this picture (the one my thumb is on) is going to be folded over the skinnier piece in the middle.

This picture was taken after I had folded two sides.  You can see on the third side how the skinny flap gets folded at a 90 degree angle.  The score line on the longer flap will go over the top of that skinny flap when it it is folded.
And here is the finished product.  Please feel free to email me if you have any questions.  I know these directions are less than stellar.  But it really is an easy box to make, and believe it or not, there is no adhesive involved!  :-)

Now it's your turn to show us who you are grateful for right now.  Use your creativity (and your Close To My Heart products!) and make something special just for that person.  Don't forget to link it up at the H2H blog for your chance to win some awesome prizes!

Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Crafting!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cookie Sheet Advent Calendar

This week's challenge over at H2H is to add some metal to your project.  Aren't the design team creations gorgeous??  Debi and Haley's jewelry is beautiful, and Jody and Pam's cards are simply stunning.  And then there is my project.  Hmmmm.... one of these things is not like the other.  :-)  At first glance, it doesn't appear that my project uses any metal at all.  But look you see it??

The metal on my project is the base itself....I made an Advent Calendar out a cookie sheet!! 

I've wanted to do this for quite awhile, but have just never sat down to do it.  That's why I love challenges...they give me a reason to start and FINISH a project!!  To start, I purchased a metal cookie sheet at the Dollar Store.  It measured 9 x 13.  I then used spray paint primer and regular spray paint to make it white (I've been on a crazy spray painting streak lately...nothing is safe!).  The papers are from the Believe paper pack, cut to size and Mod-Podged directly on to the cookie sheet.  The letters were cut from the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge.  Man, I love that cartridge......

I used a word processing program to create my calendar grid, and printed it out on regualar copy paper, so the layers of paper the magnet had to stick through wouldn't be so thick.  I used my Cricut again to cut out the scalloped circles, and stamped the numbers directly onto the circles.  I knew that I needed something a little sturdier than just plain cardstock for my magnets, so I reinforced them with some thin chipboard.  Here's a little tip for some cheap chipboard...use a food box!  It's the perfect thickness to run through the Cricut, plus it's a great way to re-use something that would otherwise be thrown away.  The best part, though?  It's FREE!!

I backed each cardstock circle with two chipboard circles, and adhered some magnet tape behind each piece.  Here's where this project can get a bit pricey...I originally intended to use magnet circles for the back of each cardstock circle.  I didn't have any on hand, so off I trotted to my local crafts store.  I could only find the extra-strength magnets in a pack of 6, for $2.99 a pack.  I would have needed 5 packs, at a cost of $14.95.  That seemed a little steep to me!  I saw a roll of magnet tape on the bottom shelf, for $1.49/roll.  I decided to try that instead.  So far it's working.  :-)

Here is a close-up of the chipboard circles with the cardstock circle on top.

As each circle is removed, I didn't want to just look at a boring empty space, so I decided to jazz it up a little:

I stamped images so that they are hidden until each piece is removed.  This way the calendar will be pretty all month long!

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope I've encouraged you to try your own Advent Calendar.  I also hope you play along with us at H2H this week, and think of your own spin on using metal.  Don't forget to link it up for a chance to win some fabulous prizes!

Have a great week, and be sure to visit again really soon!  And, as always, Happy Crafting!!