Thursday, September 16, 2010

A happy sister makes for a happy Mandee

Yesterday I mentioned receiving a holiday basket from my friend, Starr, and that I had to emphatically refuse my sister's offer to buy it.  It turns out, she actually wanted to give it to a colleague as a birthday gift.  Well, I couldn't let that opportunity pass, so I made her one this afternoon. 
Side one
It has the same look as the one I made to send Starr with the exception of the butterflies and the crepe paper border.
Side two
I created the tags on each side using the Mariposa line from DCWV.  The colors are so vivid and the added splashes of glitter put it over the top gorgeous!  I cut out the individual butterflies to give it that layered look I love so much.

I used a Martha Stewart border punch on the handle rather than adding a ribbon or seam binding as I did with the first basket.  I thought it created a nice whimsy touch that complimented the feel of the rest of the basket.  Also added the cut wine corks for feet.

Since my sister mentioned that she was giving this as a gift, I also created a matching birthday card.  Got make the rent somehow!  ; )
The inside is stamped "Happy Birthday"and embellished with Prima pearls and flourishes.

I used the same Mariposa paper from DCWV and added a hand cut and glittered frame with buttons tied up in baker's string.  The satin ribbon is a beautiful deep sea blue that just pops against the dark rust-orange of the background.  Not a color combination that I use often, but I think it looks rich.  The flowers are paper and cheesecloth.

My sister was happy, and simply put, so was I.  I was even happier when she paid me for it!  Not gonna lie!  She gets the family discount.  The family discount is her asking me how much and me replying "whatever you think".  I really have a hard time "selling" my pieces to family, but they always treat me well.

Another good day, friends!  I hope you had one too.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Preschool and a surprise

My youngest started preschool this week.  She's only four but has a distinct way of fooling others into believing she's wiser than her years.  Let me explain.  Picture my darling little princess at the hardware store with her father and I.  We walk by the fly swatters, and having never seen one before, she asks what it is.  My explanation is simple:  "It's used for pesky little flys."  "Can I have one?"  "What would you need it for?"  "So that I can whoop some fly ass."
I give my husband all the credit for her colorful vocabulary, but I'll take the credit for the leap she made in it's use.  With that said, it's sometimes hard for me to think of her as only four, but when she's gone for those 3 hours everyday, I miss my baby girl.

So I'm standing down at the bus stop waiting for the pinchkins to get home from school today, and around the corner appears a flash of brown.  My stomach flutters and I get a little giddy.  Could it be?  A package for me? 
I'm only mentioning this for two reasons.  First, we all know that it's a prerequisite that you must be incredibly handsome to be one of the men in brown, and my UPS man is no exception.  I looooooove to see by or stop, it doesn't matter.   The second reason... that gorgeous man stopped.  You heard me...he STOPPED!!!  He had a package

and this is what I received....
...the Thanksgiving basket from my swap friend, Starr at  Isn't it amazing?  I absolutely love the colors she used and all the fantastic embellishments are to die for.  In fact, my sister asked if she could buy it from me.  I said no - emphatically, of course.  I can't wait to use the gorgeous ribbon she sent and the "vintagey" key.  Thank you, Starr!!!
 I had a good day, and I hope yours was as well.  Be sure and stop by my shop for some daydreaming in paper.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Holiday Basket Swap

I was asked to participate in a holiday basket swap by Deb (DKravec) at  My first and certainly not my last!  If you've never done one, then you should make it a priority.  Honestly, it's fun AND you get goodies in return - the best part!  I'm not gonna lie!! 

Here is the Thanksgiving basket that I'll be sending to Starr (Stormydog).
First side
I absolutely love the colors of fall...the deep reds and greens.  I also used some cream to help the vintage images pop a bit.
Side view
I added feet to the bottom of the basket using cut up wine corks.
Second side
I tucked a bit of tulle inside the basket and a few Maine pine cones (hand painted and glittered, of course!).  I'm also going to add few of my handmade items:   a purse-sized embellished notebook and a package of vintage style tags that she can use for any occasion.

I also finished a Christmas basket and this one will be sent to Trisha (TrishaLouise).  I strayed from the usual reds and greens of the holidays and instead went with teal and white.  I love the combination as it reminds me of winter.

First side
This basket has more of a vintage feel.  The flowers were created using torn paper, vintage dictionary pages and cheesecloth.  The center is an old vintage earring.

Second side
The frames for the printed vintage images were hand drawn, cut and glittered.

Side view
Again, I tucked a little tulle inside to give it a more finished look.  I'm going to add a few pine cones, a handmade gift card holder and a package of my vintage tags.

These were so fun to make that I'm tempted to add it to my already overwhelming list of things to make for the holiday season.  Make sure to stop in at Reverie Creations and check out the holiday section for some great gift ideas!

I appreciate the time you've spent with me.
Have a wonderful day.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Vintage sailboats

I've already admitted to having a hard time with masculine cards, but I'm on a roll!  I created this vintage inspired card from a printed image of sailboats.
I used Crate Paper's Prudence Collection for this card, a little twine and a couple of miscellaneous chipboard elements to finish it off.
That was easy.  Sigh, if only I believed that.

Thanks for stopping in!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The hard part

I don't usually have any problems designing a new card.  If I happen to stumble into a rut, there is a plethora of inspiration out there on the Internet and in magazines and on TV...virtually everywhere you look there is an idea screaming to be worked on.   However, when it comes to "guy" cards, I'm at a I think everyone else is since there isn't much for masculine inspiration flitting about. 

I do have a need in my shop for these types of cards, so I began browsing the Internet, reading magazines, watching reruns and awful commercials keeping a keen eye open for any artistic spark; eagerly desperately looking for something that said macho.  Sigh. 

I did manage to find a couple of vintage images, and this is what became of them...
Vintage motorcycles
Vintage airplanes
I thought they turned out perfectly macho, and the first sold before it was even posted!  Which only means that I have to "work" on making another.  Sigh.
This is the (my) hard part.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The most amazing man.

We all have someone we adore and look up to.  I was blessed to have parents whom I cherish beyond words... for all they sacrificed in order to give me the most amazing childhood.  My dad isn't my biological father, but I've always considered that just a technicality.  Biology doesn't make you a dad.  Sitting down with you and meticulously going over algebra does a dad make.  Playing pass with you in the front yard makes you a dad.  Holding your hand in a crowd so you don't get lost makes you a dad.   Grounding you because you didn't make it home by curfew makes you a dad. 
I could go on and on, but the point is that anyone can be a father, but it takes a very special man to be a dad.
We celebrated my dad's 61st birthday this past weekend.  I made him this card (to go along with the gift that took me forever to find).  I wish I could remember where I got the design idea for the card because that person deserves the credit.
My dad is one of those men that has EVERYTHING!  So finding him the most perfect gift is essentially a month long process for me.  My dad carries Nitroglycerin tablets, and I found this amazing pill holder on Etsy made by the talented Nathan at moonskywoodworks.  It was crafted from a 217 year old elm tree that was just recently cut down in Yarmouth, Maine due to Dutch Elm Disease.  This tree, Herbie, gained notoriety on the national news with Katie Couric.  Perfect....practical and a piece of history.  He was impressed...with the pill holder and the Pumpkinhead Ale! 

Happy Birthday to the most amazing man in my dad!

Thanks for spending some time with me and while you're browsing around the internet, take peak at Nathan's Etsy shop for that something special!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Flea Market Party Organizer

Manila file folder = pocket organizer.  It just amazes me that something so simple can turn into something so darn cute...and practical!  Who doesn't collect notes and receipts when they're planning a party?  Especially a baby shower or bridal shower.  This little organizer is so adorable that you could pass it onto the bride-to-be or mother-to-be as a keepsake afterwards. 
Cover and double-sided tags
The prints on this remind me of flea market quilts and antique bedding. 
Inside pages with tags in pockets
The back side of this organizer has a partial calendar (Sept-Dec 2010) for planning and a Party Planning Guide/Checklist.

close up of cover
I love making these and have them available in my Etsy shop.  I can also customize it to fit your party theme or specifications.  The uses are endless.

Material used:  Echo Park paper, Scarlet Lime exclusive paper, October Afternoon paper, paper doilies, cupcake liner, Making Memories brads, vintage dictionary pages, Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Plum Pudding and Pearl, fabric leaves, SEI designer brads, Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Weathered Wood, Kaiser rub-ons, American Crafts flocked chipboard butterfly, Prima pearls, vintage buttons, vintage lace and Scarlet Lime exclusive stamps.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mariposa Moments

I created yet another memory album for my Etsy shop.  This one took quite a bit of time to finish, but I absolutely love the way it turned out.  If I weren't so impatient for the finished product, I'd certainly make more of these...
Mariposa Moments with envelope inserts
Ten pages of embellishment heaven!  Butterflies and blooms all around.  I also included some vintage printed images and flowers made from vintage dictionary pages.  There are two built-in pockets within the album, and so I created two envelopes with twill pulls for extra journaling and photo storage.

Measures 6"x6" and 1.5" thick
Inside front cover and page 1
Pages 2 & 3
Pages 4 & 5
Pages 6 & 7
Page 8 and inside back cover
Handmade with love and lots of quality materials:  paper bags, Colorbok chipboard, DCWV paper, 7 Gypsies paper, white acrylic paint, crepe paper, hand cut glittered frames, fabric leaves, vintage buttons, vintage printed images, vintage dictionary pages, Stickles, Making Memories rivets, Tim Holtz distressing ink in Antique Linen, grosgrain ribbon, sheer ribbon, twill, satin ribbon, crinkled seam binding, twine, bakers twine, OTC chipboard frame, Kaiser Rub-ons, Smead labels, clear flourish stamp, OTC seam clear stamp, Prima pearls, Kaiser pearls, Prima rhinestones, Crafty Secrets journaling tag, paper doily, Shimmerz in Plum Pudding, Making Memories brads, Fancy Pants chipboard shapes, handmade sheer ribbon rose, paper roses, Jenni Bowlin embellished butterfly.
Mariposa Moments Memory Album

Thanks for stopping in and be sure to head on over to my Etsy shop for all the new items!
Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ideas and Inspirations

If you're anything like me, you get a creative idea and draw it out with little notes ... like colors, what paper/prints you want to use and embellishment ideas.  Currently, I use a standard 8.5"x 11" size notebook with divided pages - the top is blank for drawing out your image and the bottom is lined for jotting down your ideas.  I'm not sure where I picked it up, but I've been using it ever since and love it!  I thought I'd make something for all my creative friends using the same principle.  I wanted it to be a bit more compact so that you could carry it with just never know when inspiration will hit.
Inside front cover
I started with two 6" x 6" chipboard covers.  On the inside cover I attached a handmade pocket and added an envelope handmade from a vintage book page for any loose papers.  Just a little extra storage. 
There are 25 double-sided pages inside.  One side is lined for jotting down your ideas like color combinations and product information.  The reverse side is graphed for drawing out your idea.  The paper I used is recycled from an old tablet that I cut apart and trimmed down to size.
Inside back cover
I left the inside back cover void of any 3-dimensional embellishing so that it would be smooth for writing, and I used "o" rings to hold it all together so that you could add to it at anytime.
I like it and am planning on making myself one!  It's listed for sale in my Etsy shop.

Materials used:  chipboard, SEI paper, Ki Memories paper, My Minds Eye paper, DCWV paper, vintage dictionary page, OTC chipboard alpha, Tsukinek pigment ink in Malted Mauve, embossing powder and ink, 7 Gypsies measuring tape trim, vintage button, Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Antique Linen, vintage lace, vintage printed image, recycled paper, seam binding, Smead labels, handmade crepe paper roses, vintage book page envelope and hand cut frame.

Thank you again for spending some time with me, and I hope you're having a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Imagine the Journey

I just finished updating my Etsy shop with a darling little shabby-chic memory/photo album that I finished yesterday.  What a fun project!  I used a lot of embellishments with this and so it measures just over 2" thick.  Most of the products used came from The Scrappy Gourmet's Inspirations card kit.  Obviously, I didn't make the cards...I opted, instead, to use all the goodies for this album.  I also used quite a bit of stash.
Cover of "Imagine" Memory Album
Pages 1 & 2
Pages 3 & 4
Pages 5 & 6

If you love the shabby-chic styling and you have a few really special pictures that need a home, then this 6" x 6" memory/photo album can be purchased in my Etsy shop

List of materials used:  chipboard, 7 Gypsies Victoria paper, Prima Jewel Box butterfly, hand cut and glittered frames and hearts, Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Antique Linen, vintage lace, crinkle seam binding, handmade fabric roses, Kaiser pearls, taffeta ribbon, Me & My Big Ideas rub-ons, cameo, Prima pearls, Tsukinek pigment ink, Maya Road chipboard frame, glitter, grosgrain ribbon, sheer ribbon, shipping tags, Jenni Bowlin chipboard buttons, tissue paper roses, paper roses, flourish clear stamp, glitter glue, and a whole ton of love!

Thanks for spending some of your precious time with me. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pretty just got shabby...

Happy August!  I can not believe that it's August already and that summer is almost over with.  It won't be long now before the girls head back to school. 

I couldn't help myself...I made another organizer.  This time I used the shabby & vintage style that I love so much and colors that make me happy.  I'm not sure if I'm going to list this one in my Etsy shop or not.  I absolutely love the way it turned out, and you have to love the fact that it's made using one manila file folder from the Dollar Store.  How much thriftier can one get?
Pages 1 & 2 with double-sided tag
Pages 3 & 4 with double-sided tag
Calendar - July through December 2010
I used lots of goodies from my  stash to create this gem starting with Scarlet Lime's exclusive Vintage Ruby paper, GCD Studios paper, DCWV paper, paper doily, Making Memories chipboard clock face, hand cut and embossed time piece, vintage buttons, bakers twine, OTC clear stamps, shipping tags, brads, Petaloo fabric flowers, vintage dictionary page, vintage printed image,  Glitz Design rub ons, and Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Tea Dye.  I also found some cool gold ribbon in my infamous ribbon jar!

There are so many projects going on at my house right now, and I certainly could use this organizer, but I think I'll list it in my Etsy shop anyway.  My way of spreading the love!

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Getting Organized ~ The Pretty Way

I've been thinking it's about time to redo the downstairs bathroom. 

My youngest was notorious for using the wall behind the door for creative expression.  She would sneak in, lock the door and let loose with these little tiny circles and squiggles.  She's  four now and has since figured out that the bathroom is not the right place for artwork (removing the lock helped!), and so I think it might be safe for a new coat of paint, and while we're at it, new fixtures and maybe some bead board? 

For weeks I've been looking at paint samples and tearing pages out of magazines as inspiration.  I've even got a pile of sticky notes and restaurant napkins (you just never know when an idea will strike).  They're everywhere!  It gave me an idea for a little book with lots of place to keep all these little bits of paper where they won't get lost. 
The Project Organizer.
I had quite a few manila folders hanging around (another one of my Dollar Store finds) and created this little book out of just one.  I honestly can't take credit for this ingenious idea...I found it on the Internet a while ago, but unfortunately I can't remember where.  It is a simple idea and for me served a great a pretty way!
Pages 1 & 2 with a double-sided tag
Just about everything that was used for this project came from Scarlet Lime's July Frugal Fab kit.  I've been a happy kit club member with Scarlet Lime for about a year now, and this month they've debuted their Frugal Fab kit...a way to stay on a budget and still get gorgeous products.  Their Frugal Fab kits are a steal with $40.00 worth of products at only $19.95 (plus shipping & handling) for a monthly subscription or $21.95 (plus shipping & handling) for a one-time purchase.  You really can't lose!  Skip on over to Scarlet Lime and sign up for one (or both) of their kit clubs...I promise you'll be over-the-top thrilled with all the new and exclusive goodness they pack into each package every single month!  Tell Christy that I sent you!  ;)
Pages 3 & 4 with another double-sided tag
I even added a calendar for planning out those large projects.
You can purchase one of these Project Organizers at my Etsy shop!  I'm adding new items every day!!  And while you're at it, hop on over to Scarlet Lime and become a member!

Have a great day and remember to laugh at least once!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Love Over Ice Cream

My daughter's, Molly and Madison, meeting their nephew, Jaxon, over ice cream.  This was the first time they've met him and their older sister, Ashleigh.  She's lived in another state most of her life, and made the decision to venture to Maine to connect with her father and meet the rest of her siblings.  Family is everything and this was a special day for everyone!
Thank you, Ashleigh!