Thursday, June 30, 2011

Personal monthly challenge....Here's July!

I'm always creating for someone else.  They tell me what they want and what colors to use, and I get to work.  I love what I do, but I sometimes feel like I want to create just for the sake of art...and for me.

I've decided that I'm going to challenge myself by doing a monthly tag.  Small enough not to take up too much time, but it will give me the opportunity to get elbow deep into techniques that I don't often get to use.  Each tag will represent what the month means to me.

I browsed around for some inspiration, and I certainly wasn't disappointed.
Hoosier Handmade:  Patriotic Mantel Decor
These ladies are incredibly talented! 

When I think of July I envision the ocean, patriotic colors, BBQs, and warm summer nights. 
Here's my July!

1.  I used a standard manila shipping tag, but you could cut one out of card stock.
2.  Paint it with a wash paint.  I used Angel Blue.  I love how it just tints the tag.
3.  Add some glue in random lines along the left side and place a vintage dictionary page over the glue.  Let dry.  Once it's dry, you can carefully peal off the page; leaving remains where the glue adhered it.
4.  Apply white acrylic paint with bubble wrap to both the bottom right and top left hand corners.  Stamp several star shapes with the acrylic paint as well.  I used an old wooden stamp.  Let dry (if you're impatient like me, you can use your heat gun to set the paint).
5.  With black ink, stamp "Post Card" along the right hand side - vertically- and along the top left -horizontally.
6. Distress the edges of the tag and along the raised areas with distressing ink. I used Tim Holtz-Tea Dye. My fav!
7.  Cut two small stars out of paper and one large star out of cardboard.  Distress the small stars with ink.  Cover the large star in glue and then paint over it with white acrylic paint.  Let dry; it will give the appearance of being made of wood.
8.  Adhere stars to tag.
9.  String 20g. black wire with a few select beads and attach to the left side of tag through small holes.
10.  Using blue Cream City Ribbon, tear into shreds and curl (by pulling it through the scissors and your finger).  Thread through the top of the tag and then attach tea stained crinkle seam binding.
11.  Spell out JULY on a separate piece of paper with alpha stickers.  Cut to size and adhere to tag along the bottom center.
12.  Attach metal bookplate over the JULY.

I'm pretty happy with the outcome, though I think I stayed on the safe side rather than creating outside my comfort zone.  I'll have to work on that for next month.

Thanks for spending some time with me.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Gift cards...I've got your pretty!

Presents are my favorite part of birthdays, Christmas and anniversaries.  That's right.  I said it!  I love presents!  But I love giving them too.  Finding the perfect gift for that someone special and seeing that spark of happiness in their eyes as they open it is a serious close second to opening a gift for myself. 

Meticulously wrapped in pretty paper with ribbon and a huge bow.  The beautiful presentation has given way to high hopes and great expectations.  It's torn open in anticipation of the surprise inside.  Are they going to love it?  Is it the right size and color?  Will it eventually be re gifted? 

Let go of all that unnecessary stress and go with a gift card next time.  That's right.  I said it!  A gift card is THE perfect gift for just can't go wrong. 
Now, I know what you're thinking..."a boring gift card"..."how impersonal"..."where's the thought?"..."where's the presentation?".

Well, looky here:
New Beginnings housewarming gift card holder and handmade envelope.  Measures approximately 4.5" square and will fit any standard size gift card (excuse the Staples card...didn't have more appropriate one like Home Depot).
Perfect for someone moving into a new home or maybe starting college. 
Materials used:  Kraft card stock, K&Co. paper, Prima flowers, vintage button, vintage lace, bakers string, Tim Holtz distress ink, glitter, crackle accents, chipboard house, Making Memories eyelets, and small flower punch.

And what about something for that tween or teen?
Dream gift card holder and handmade envelope...
...ideal for any gal's birthday or a special occasion.
Materials used:  white card stock, Webster's Pages Ladies&Gents paper, tissue paper flowers, vintage buttons, Kaiser adhesive gems, tag, Prima leaves, Tim Holtz distress ink, Making Memories eyelets and bakers string.

A Gift From the Heart gift card holder and handmade envelope can be used for an anniversary or a birthday.
You could even use it on Valentine's Day!
Materials used:  Kraft card stock, Sassafras paper, Crate Paper Restoration Collection paper, eyelets, bakers string, vintage lace, vintage buttons, Melissa Francis rub on sentiment, glitter, chipboard hearts, crinkle seam binding, and Tim Holtz distress ink.

So a gift card doesn't have to be boring or impersonal.  It's all in the presentation, and I've got your pretty!
In fact, Reverie Creations can customize a gift card holder and handmade envelope just for your special occasion.

Isn't it wonderful when all the stress is taken out of gift giving?  The presentation is spot on and the final result is re gifting!

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


My idea of relaxing and someone else's may not be the same, but I can always count on something creative coming from my play-time.  Whenever I have nothing to do (or rather don't feel like doing anything that resembles responsibility), you'll find me spending time with my girls going to the beach or shopping (we're girls...we LOVE to shop!). But, on the rare occasion that they're not around you can find me in my studio.

It just so happens that one of those opportunities presented itself just the other day.  The girls had a pajama party with their Ammy, and I spent a few wonderful relaxing hours listening to music and creating an ATC inspired wall hanging based on a couple of quotes that I find inspiring (I took creative liberty stringing these quotes together).

"She had dreams that time forgot.  Still she sings away all the same knowing she has wings.  Remembering there are moments when the soul is on it's knees." 

Each section is roughly 3"x3.75" card stock.  Leftover pieces from a previous project.  What I love about this is the fact that I used only my scraps stash.  I've been turning to those bins and baskets as much as possible lately because they're taking over!

I strung each card together using 20g. black wire, and I intend to hang it from a black metal rod once I find one that is just the right size.
It will look perfect hanging here in my studio providing inspiration every time I look at it.

Thank you for taking some time to visit.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'm in heaven!

I hope that everyone had a fantastic Father's Day.  I took my Dad to breakfast at one of our local diners and then spent some time hanging at his house.  He loved the picture of his grand girls (to hang from the rear view mirror of his car).  I also gave him a One Republic CD and a Henley shirt.  He asked for both.  He has great taste in music.
It was a beautiful day in every way.  I spent the afternoon lounging out in the sun while reading a book.  Something I don't get to enjoy very often, so I relished every single second.  I also took a few photos of my beautiful rose bush.  It's gotten so big and is starting to bud.  I swear by the coffee grounds!
So today is Tuesday and it's back to the normal/hectic schedule of school (summer) vacation.  I have five children home with me ranging in ages from 5 to 11.  I love having them here, but I'm already hearing the infamous 'I'm bored' and 'Can we go somewhere'.  It's frustrating because I still have things I'm responsible for here at home.  I'm constantly pushing them to go outside and use their imaginations.  I do have to admit that I love the beach as much as they do and I've taken them twice already...I'm falling behind in my chores!

I also love surprises and I received a nice surprise yesterday.  The UPS man made a stop here at my house with a package from Cream City Ribbon
Over 150 yards of gorgeous 100% biodegradable American made ribbon!  I'm in heaven!!
My imagination is going wild, and I can't wait to start creating with it!
I'll be sure and share.

Have a great day, my friends!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Father's Day

Father's Day is on Sunday, and I've been working on a few items for my Dads (and my husband).  I like to create a gift as I think it's a little more personal, and what Dad doesn't like a handmade item from his baby girl (though I hate to admit that I'm far from being a baby girl these days)?
It's hard to come up with something original (rather something that I haven't already made), and this idea came to me while changing the air freshener in my van...what about a picture of that someone special hanging from your rear view mirror?  I know that my father adores his grand girls, so he'd appreciate having them with him whenever he's on his way to or from work or on the way to the store.

This is the front view~
~and you have to have a picture on the reverse side~
I also created one for my biological father using the same pictures:
The reverse:
I absolutely love these pictures of my girls.  We were visiting Popham Beach State Park, and we had such a great time that day!

My youngest is 5, and although she created a beautiful picture for her Dad at Preschool, I thought he'd appreciate a picture of his little girl hanging from his rear view mirror as well.
This picture was taken at their very first Father/Daughter dance...they had such a great time and made some precious memories.
The reverse shows a picture of her looking for shells at Popham Beach State Park.

These were super easy to make, and I used quite a bit of my scraps (I have bins and baskets full!).  The base is a standard (store bought) tag card that I cut down to around 5" x 4".

If you haven't already thought of something for Father's Day, maybe you should get busy deciding on what to only have two days left!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

She had dreams...

My Molly is officially onto her next memorable milestone...junior high. 
I'm not sure how I feel about it yet since the last 11 years have been a blur for me.  I look at her and still see the little girl always trying to make me smile.

Watching her 5th grade graduation last Friday brought back so many memories of my school days and all the dreams I had for my future.
I was inspired to create this mixed media canvas. 
It measures 8"x10" and was created with acrylics, vintage dress pattern, printed images, Crate Paper and K&Company paper, American Crafts rub-ons, black marker and of course Mod Podge.
Although not all of my dreams have come full circle, I am happy in my life and who I've become.  Molly has an entire lifetime ahead of her ~ full of dreams ~ and I'm going to enjoy the ride along with her.
I love you, baby girl, and I'm so proud of you!

Have a great Tuesday, my friends!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I LOVE this and dad too!!

Have you ever tried a product that just made you giddy with happiness?  How did I not know about this years ago?  I promise I'm not living under a rock, and I know that Maine is waaaaay out of the way, but I only found out about Cream City Ribbon just a short time ago, and...
I'm in love. 
Not only is Cream City Ribbon Eco-friendly (it uses USA grown biodegradable cotton fiber, water based dyes free of chlorine bleaches and soy based, non-toxic inks), but it's woman owned!  How wonderful is that?
You know what else is wonderful?  All the ways you can use this fabulous ribbon!  Since it's cotton fiber, you can curl it, fold it, tie it, shred it, and print on it. It comes is all sorts of different colors and styles, and I'm on my way to collecting them all!

Since Father's Day is around the corner, I created this card using Cream City Ribbon.
I shredded it (so easy and not one uneven piece!) and then threaded it through an alpha tag.
I then took the edge of my scissors and pulled the ribbon shreds along my thumb to get a nice curl.  It never's tough stuff.
I also tied a small piece to my glittered chipboard alpha...again, it didn't break.
Perfect in my book!
It adds dimension to my card while staying masculine.

If I had a mountain tall enough and close enough, I'd shout it from the top how much I love Cream City Ribbon.  The product is "environmentally friendly and the only American made ribbon on the market" ~ by a woman!  Sweet!!

In the spirit of Father's Day (and because I honestly don't say it enough), I'd like to shout from that same mountain how much I love my Dad.
He's always been there whenever I've needed support or a kick in the pants.  I appreciate him more than words could ever express, and I'm thankful he chose to parent my sister and I.  I know I'm a better human being, mother, friend, sister and daughter because of his guidance and love.  Thank you, Dad.
I love Cream City Ribbon and I love my Dad (though I do love my Dad more)!

Have a wonderful weekend!