Sunday, November 23, 2008

Little Gift Boxes

The pre-school where I work is having a bake sale tomorrow and Tuesday. Teachers and parents have been asked to contribute raffle items. I decided to make an offering of these little ornamental/gift boxes made using the little wooden shaker boxes, ribbon, paper, rub-ons and little embellishments. I love making these little boxes and filling them with chocolates and other delectable items during the various holidays. The photos are lousy because its way too late for me to be up and the lighting is bad…but I have to take them to work/school tomorrow morning so this is my chance to take photos.

Thanks for looking...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Some Holiday Cards

I have several posts today since our internet was down for nearly 48 hours and I accomplished quite a bit (for me at least) during that time.

This first card is a silly little fun something I whipped up this morning. I found the ‘forest’ image while rummaging through some unfinished pieces. I created this one last year. It’s based on an art project that one of the former pre-school teachers I worked with would do every year with her 4 year olds. The children would tear pieces of brown and grey construction paper (good for working fine motor skills) into long thin strips (tree trunks) and glue them onto a piece of black construction paper. They would then tear pieces of white paper and glue those pieces on top of and around the long tree trunks and sprinkle it all with a bit of glitter. I was always amazed how these little winter forest scenes…made by little 4 year old hands…looked like beautiful artwork lining the school hallways. So last year I decided I needed to try the concept and I have to say that I like the look of the children’s artwork better…probably because they weren’t trying so hard to achieve a certain look.

Anyway, I decided to take my piece and make it into a card. I added some reindeer and a sentiment, both from a Martha Stewart holiday clear stamp set. It needs a lot of tweaking, but for me it captures the essence of a snowy evening deep in the woods. (My husband is traveling with my camera and I had a hard time getting a good photo with this other camera.)


I like penguins. I know they were all the rage a while back, and may now be passé, but I really enjoy playing with these two stamps.

This first card is made using a stamp by Dawn Houser for Inkadinkado.

I first stamped this penguin image several times onto white card stock in black ink and then cut out the images. I re- stamped the penguin onto white cardstock with red and green ink. I paper pieced the hats and scarves and added tiny pom-poms. I took 3-D glitter paint to the hats, scarves, the pom-poms and the snowy hills. The sentiment is from the Peace and Cheer set by Amuse. I like the swirling night sky effect created by the Making Memories background paper. The sentiment inside: “From we three Penguins”.

This second card uses a stamp I bought from the Paper Source. The stamp has five penguins in a row. After stamping in black ink I cut out four of the images and attached them to some Disney Swirly Sparkle paper. I added little scarves, hats and ties that I cut from colored cardstock, some 3-D glitter glue and star embellishments.
I was going for a more masculine look on this third card, which was created using some of that postcard sized cardstock from one of those bound tablets, but I don’t remember which brand. The tablet was a birthday gift from a friend this past summer and I’m just now getting around to using it. The dove and sentiment are from the Amuse Peace and Cheers set. After looking at the photograph of the finished card, I realize that I really need to invest in some nestibilities. I’ve been looking and longing, but just can’t seem to decide which set I want to start out with. (Note: I later decided to mat the sentiment circle, thus the additional shot.)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Desperately Seeking Mojo…

With the holiday season just around the corner and with my craft area finally organized...literally after months of not being able to approach my table...I’ve been taking time to sit and create.

The problem…I feel lost.

It seems the creative juices have done gone and left me! I’m spiraling into a “one card mode” with everything looking the same as of late...and I’m uncertain how to get the ‘creative’ part of ‘creating’ in gear again.

Perhaps my recent re-organization is to blame...I've moved my supplies around and have yet to label them and so...I spend precious time looking for supplies and materials.

Perhaps I’ve been out-of-the-game for so long that like a newbie, I’m just not sure what to do or where to start.

Perhaps I’ve seen so many new ideas and techniques and absolutely fantastic creations on other Blogs that I feel intimidated.

Perhaps it’s that I have too many supplies…and feel overwhelmed.

Whatever the problem, I’m bound and determined to find some mojo this holiday season. Wish me luck…Please!

(I wrote this last night after creating this card, which looks just like the other cards I’ve created recently. I think I need to join the sketch challenges to help get the creative juices flowing again.)

The snowman paper is shinny, so it's hard to get an accurate color photo.

Happy Tuesday! Hope it’s not as cold and windy where you are as it is here in Arlington, VA.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

When tweaking just doesn’t cut it…

Have you ever spent time making a card only to not like the finished product…and then spend more time trying to improve upon it...and like it even less?

Well here’s my most recent disaster…

It’s like an appliqué…but on paper. I saw this fabric on sale at Joann’s and thought…what a fun piece to use for general all season use.

Maybe that was the problem. I started working without a clear plan or purpose. It was late when I started and I had difficulties with the colors, which was probably the main problem. Nothing spoke to---or grabbed---me and the end result is not only garish but b-o--r--i--n--g.

The fabric is pale blue and covered with lime, pink and red apples and pears. This afternoon I decided to give it a try with a chocolate base and while better, still not a favorite…or my best.

With the chocolate card stock, I decided to turn it into a submission for the current “Chocolate” Caardvark challenge.
This is a totally stamp free card using a using a combination of fabric pieces, ribbon and a computer generated phrase, which I got off the Internet. I love using stamps, but I also equally love creating non-stamped cards.

Thanks for stopping by…

oops...forgot to add a card

Oops! I forgot to add this card to my last post. The penguin panels are cut from fabric and adhered to card stock with fusible webbing.

Simple Fabric & Paper Holiday Cards

I love working with fabric…almost as much (or maybe more) as I love paper. This must be some sort of residual effect from my days as a kid waiting around for my mom while she browsed through pattern catalogues and fabric. While doing my own browsing recently at Joann’s I found some cute fabrics on sale that I thought would make some fun holiday cards. Here is a quick and simple card I created on a recent very rainy November afternoon.

This second card evolved while cleaning up my work area from the previous card. A scrap of wavy cut cardstock was lying above---almost on top of---this penguin fabric piece…almost like a shingle. I thought it looked like a store front and the card evolved from there into a snowy store front scene. Next time I’ll use different paper for the storefront sides and create a 3-d effect with pop dots like I did with the roof and the snow.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Belated Post – Halloween Dinner Party Decorations

[I wrote this post on November 2 but never got around to posting it.]

My husband and I love to entertain and throw dinner parties. He loves to cook, is good at it and he even does the food shopping! Since I love all things Halloween I’ve wanted to throw a Halloween party for some time, but it’s hard when you have children who want to trick-or-treat or when Halloween falls on a school night. This year, with Halloween on a Friday night, we decided to have a post-Halloween dinner party. I showed the handmade invitation, which I was really pleased with, in an earlier post. Since I’m essentially a kid at heart when it comes to Halloween, I decked out the dinning table to my heart’s content. I was so pleased with the overall effect that I decided to post some photos.

I got a visual image for my table when I spied this Martha Stewart white spider lace table runner and these wonderfully cute Halloween-themed busts and headstones made of resin (for .50 each!) all on sale at Michaels.

So I popped next door to Joann Fabrics and snagged 3½ yards of a black satiny-like fabric for just under $11. (Who could tell in the candle light that it wasn’t hemmed?) Here’s a photo of the fabric and the table in progress from early in the day.

My 12 year old son helped pull the spider webbing across the dinning room picture window and added some MS spiders, again on sale---I love these sales! It looks great at night (and who had to know that I initially did it to cover the fact that I have yet to clean my windows!).

At AC Moore I found some black flowers…

Photos of the final table setting.

This glass tubular candle holder was a gift from a friend and I filled it with Halloween colored (orange, black, green and purple) mini ornaments (again on sale at Michaels) and some glitter spiders and skeleton heads I had from last year. I think my friend was really pleased with the look and to see it in use.

The skull votives were also a steal at Michaels… so I bought a baker‘s half-dozen. The temperature was too warm to light a fire in the living room so I placed an antique looking mirror, some candle holders and more skulls (facing backwards towards the mirror) in the fireplace to create an eerie looking effect.
I also love the look achieved in the guest bathroom using bones, skulls and some skeletons to jazz it up.

This is what was hanging on my front door. I used boa's and I think I got the idea from Michaels.

Thanks for indulging me!