Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Pinterest Debate...and a Peony

How many of you that own a Pinterest account, actually try out some of the cool stuff you pin? Truthfully? I know that when I see something magically fantastical, I have to Pin it so that I can 'try' it or use it for inspiration later. Sound familiar?

With all the inspiration that is available out there on the big wide internets (yes, I meant to add an 's' there), you would think that we would soak up the information like cotton balls and squeeze it out onto our own craft/sewing/desk tables.

Unfortunately, or rather fortunately, life happens. We're all busy with our own thing. Be it work, studies, homemaking, or simply spending time with your loved ones. Sometimes, we're so engrossed in making something that our own brains have conjured up that we simply forget about all the lovely things we wanted to do via our Pinterest boards! These things take priority. I hope I'm not sounding too philosophical here, but I thought the subject needed some musing after I happily pinned away at marvelous ideas and creations today. And yes, I did think.."ooh! this would be awesome for a party!"...and..."Wow! wouldn't that look lovely on my desk?"..."I must Pin this so that I can make it sometime". I realised that sometime isn't going to happen unless I make it happen, Pinterest idea speaking, that is.

So, in honour of all those wonderful pins on my board, I am going to aim to make at least one project a week that is inspired or copied cased from an item on one of my boards. heck, I'll even share it with my readers, maybe you'll be inspired too! and in the process, we'll give fellow internets people the credit for our inspiration :)

So, without further adieu, my first Pinterest inspired project!

I credit Michelle Dupuis from Rust & Sunshine for today's inspiration. I tagged her tissue paper flower tutorial a very long time ago, and if you follow the link I've attached to her blog name, you'll see her original post was done in May last year.

Michelle credits these flowers as quick and easy to do, she is not wrong. It took me all of about five minutes to have pieces of tissue paper looking like a peony. The flower recipe calls for tissue paper (obviously) and green pipe cleaners. Unfortunately I only have white pipe cleaners, but being a crafter in love with ribbon I quickly found a length of green that would substitute the green colour for the stem just fine. I wrapped the ribbon around the stem and secured with a pin.

It really does make for a lovely decor piece, and I am sure that as a bouquet these may even make a beautiful addition to a brides attire.

So, that's my two cents for today. Hope I have in turn inspired you to do something with your own Pinterest Boards?


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sewing: A Silhouette Cameo Dust Cover

I have spent my entire weekend pondering over what to make. Should it be a card for a challenge? What about working on the mini album I'm putting together? What about a 3D Project for Valentines day? ...or... how about a sewing project?.....

After my disastrous attempt at a skirt some months ago, I have been respectfully staying away from my sewing machine with all things material. Yes, I have sewed on many a paper project, but fabric has been banished from my machine for quite some time. Until now. I bring you, my handmade Silhouette Cameo Dust cover!

Do you remember this?

Well, it has been unpicked and recycled! I simply could not bare the thought of either throwing the fabric away, or having it lie in a drawer gathering moth holes. I have needed a dust cover for my Silhouette for some time now, what with hubby and his father renovating our bathrooms. It never ceases to amaze me how the dust wafts through the house and eventually settles on just about everything, including my machine.
Before I explain my colour choice, let me first show you my Silhouette's personalised face plate, which is the first file that I cut with my machine when I bought it last year.
Apart from the obvious fact that I love pink, I have a little bit of an obsessive disorder, whereby everything either needs to be colour co-ordinated or matching. enough said? This meant that, even though I wanted to recycle my skirt fabric, I had to somehow bring the colour pink into the mix.
Thankfully my lovely mommy gave me some fabric from her own stash when we went to visit for Christmas, and a beautiful pink floral was included in the mix. Out it came, to be added to my project materials. I also bought a gorgeous pink rose ribbon length a while back that I have been saving for a special occasion, and I thought this might just be it. As you read the post, if you're interested in getting the ribbon for yourself, it's an American Crafts Premium Ribbon and is called Peony.
See how cleverly I used the pink fabric to create piping along the seam of the dust cover? And how I sewed the ribbon all along the front? Delicious don't you think?
I am loving the final product quite a bit, and am thankful to these two ladies for posting their patterns on the net, Taylor and Mz Daisy. I used the Side panel pattern off of Taylor's design and the General dimensions of the main panel from Mz Daisy's pattern. I then added a one centimetre seam allowance onto Taylor's pattern so that I had enough fabric to work with (being a novice and all, I thought it might just be safer).
In hindsight, I would have adjusted Mz Daisy's dimensions as well, shortening the breadth by a good Five centimetres, as my hem along the bottom of the cover is quite massive.
I'm quite proud of myself, and proud of my new dust cover. I may just venture a bit more into my sewing now :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Happy Thoughts

It seems to be a craft filled evening for me today, the combination of challenges and receiving happy mail from a crafting friend in Germany (thank you Maria!) have truly given me an oomph. A much needed one at that, I have been feeling under the weather the last two days, nothing too serious, just a bit of a head cold I think.

Maria sent me a lovely background set of stamps which I used for inspiration in combination with a challenge I found.

I used another two new techniques on this one...masking and colouring/inking over embossed areas. Doing all these 'new' techniques, really have me thinking that it might be useful for beginners if I did a couple of simple tutorials. I'll think on it and get back to you all on that one, I think it could turn into a lot of work.

I'm not really sure about the bear image on this one, it was a second hand stamp that wasn't labelled with the company or name. Sorry. I stamped the bear image twice and used the second one to mask the first before stamping the background image in a clear ink. I then heat embossed the background image and carefully inked over it with my light blue Mica ink pad. I wiped off the excess blue ink and voila! the clear image made it's appearance :) The background stamp is by My Paper World and is called Vintage Lace (Art. Nr 400301800).

The sentiment is stamped in the same green as used for the grass, and is from a Kaisercraft set greeting stamp set that I have. If you live in South Africa, these Kaisercraft stamp sets can be bought at a variety of stores, mine are from Crafters Market and Scrapbook and Things. Kaisercraft is an Australian brand, so all you Ozzies should find it pretty easily I'm assuming?

I coloured the bear, kitty and flowers with a combination of Promarkers and Sharpies. Cats always seem to call for orange when I colour and this time was no different :) I used a dark green stamp pad to ink the grass patches, this took quite a bit of technique on my part to avoid having straight edged lines when inking straight from the pad, I pat myself on the back when I was done (excuse the bragging).

TOP TIP: I think my top tip today is very much linked to the technique I used on my card. You do not always need to have the latest product on hand to get the effect you want. Use an ink pad, for example, to create the illusion of a mist spray. It's cheaper, saves you space and challenges your inner creativity!

UPDATE: I won the Top Tip Tuesday's 'Top Tip' award for this post! woohoo!

No need to guess then that I'm entering the following challenge:

Top Tip Tuesday - Fur or Feathers

Have a happy Tuesday evening, may your Hump day approach quickly!


Two Hearts

When I first saw the sketch over at CTS (click on the acronym to go to the challenge page, I immediately had an idea! It didn't help though that I was at work, checking through my blog roll during lunch... no craftiness gonna happen at my desk that's for sure. Funny how sometimes the best ideas come when you're unable to actually carry them out. I literally felt my fingers itching to touch the piles of paper in my stash, and not new pieces, old ones lying dead and lost in 'THÉ' scrap heap of snippets.

The inspirational sketch

I had the idea in my head, and there it stayed. When I eventually got home, I had 40 minutes to whip up my card, photograph it, and get it on a blog post ready to enter the challenge! It closed today at 6PM EST you see, tsk tsk that I saw it so late.

I did cheat a little, my post started out with only the sketch, the card and the link to the challenge... LOL's! {So, technically, what you're reading here is an edit}

Anyways, after all that rush, I missed the deadline by a minute people. sigh* all that rushed crafting for (almost) nothing, almost because I actually love the card and I think it so fitting with next month's Valentines Day theme don't you think?

I used only scraps for this card (apart from the actual white card base), though it didn't truly make a dent in the heap. I used the heart portion from this image in the silhouette store, and a phrase from a stamp set that I haven't used in over a year, it felt good to break open it's plastic chains. The set is CS917 Wedding, by Kaisercraft.

I plan on doing a {14} days of Valentines feature on my blog as we get closer to February and I want to give everything I make to hubby in his Lunchboxes leading up to V-day. We don't actually, ever, celebrate the day but I thought it might be a nice way to make something, get it on the blog (see, I'm being more dedicated here), and still have it be practical enough to give away. Make sense? I hope so, feels like I'm starting to ramble and try to explain myself....

Anywhoooo, just for formality, even though I was late, Challenges entered:

Case this Sketch - #10

[PS] - I realised too late that this blog post has the same name as the last one LOL! did you notice?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

{2 Hearts} - Scrapbook Layout

Continuing on with the showcase of the wedding album, today I have another LO to show you. It is another of my in-laws photo's, in the blue coloured theme.

I managed to try a new technique on the backing paper of the LO, one that I saw in one of our local South African Scrapbook magazines (very old - it's a 2011 edition). Generally, I prefer to buy the Australian Scrapbook magazines that get imported (in particular, Scrapbooking Memories) as I find the content to be much more informative and 'modern''. But I was nicely surprised by the projects in the SA magazine.

In case you would like to try the same technique, which is the peeling back of layers of the backing paper, here are very basic instructions:

- Cut a slit in the paper, anywhere you wish. Make the slit at least 3-4cm long
- Distress the edges with a distressing tool, or an emery board (like I did)
- Peel away the layers from each flap (my paper had about 4 layers)
- Roll the layers that have not curled naturally with a pencil or pen
- Ink
- You're done!

Close up of left hand page

Close up of right hand page
Because of the busyness of the folds and the contrasting pattern paper that I chose, I did not add much by way of embellishments on the page.

And as I am sure you would have noticed, I whipped out the sewing machine in a big way for the borders of the LO. I also improvised with my title, covering chipboard letters with matching cardstock. Remember that this can be a great way to create a title that perfectly matches your LO (or even a card), and you don't need any die cut or electronic machinery to get you there.

{Tip} When tracing your letters, make sure you trace on the reverse side of your paper so that your  trace lines don't show. In doing this, remember that you must reverse your letter as well, otherwise the cardstock and letter won't match up.

I hope you are all enjoying a lovely and relaxed Sunday. I am going to make sure I get the most out of my last day of holiday. Tomorrow I return to work and the busy year ahead :)


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ruby Red

I have a simple yet effective card to show off today. I am loving the variety of silhouette images that the Silhouette store has for sale. I have a monthly subscription that allows me to get more than your average number of cut files, for much less, and I always find myself with a few extra silhouette images in my shopping basket.

This particular image is called  ''Kid on tree swing'' and you can find it in the store here if you like.

I used red bling stones to resemble apples (in my opinion anyway), and another greeting stamp by The Angel Company.

Happy Weekend everybody!


Friday, January 4, 2013

{Timeless} Scrapbook LO

So, today I have a scrapbook layout to share with you all. It's one of many 'wedding related layouts that's I've crafted in the last week or so. I've been trying to finish an album I started almost three months ago as an anniversary gift for my in-laws and since I've been on leave (vacation), Crafting time has been in abundance and I have managed to catch up tremendously.

There is a lot of pressure when putting together an album for somebody else. Will they like it? will they be happy with the photo's you chose? Will they appreciate the time and effort that went into making it? Because let's face it, an album full of double page layouts is no easy task. I find singles much easier and inspiring to put together.

The album is to be filled with equal pages of my in-laws wedding photographs, and their two sons weddings. Both Stephan and I, and Conrad and Colleen's photographs are in digital format so are easy to print out and cut as I please. My in-laws photo's however are not, and in order to protect the originals, I scanned them into my PC and saved them in digital format. This is a great tip for anyone wishing to archive old photographs and I highly recommend that you do so if have old film photographs lying around.

I've done the album in date order, so my in-laws pages will be first, followed by Stephan and I, and last but not least Conrad and Colleen. So far, I still have 3 double page layouts to complete, as well as the front and back single pages.

Each Layout is colour themed according the wedding colours, I thought this might add a nice sentimental touch for my mother-in-law. She scrapbooks too and will pick up on the smaller details.

So, without further adieu, here is the first of many Layouts to come...

The original design for this layout is actually by the scrapbook store close to my home, called Scrapbook and things. I love this layout so much that this is at least the third time I've utilised the design.

Believe it or not, I actually used scrap pattern paper for the squares, I couldn't believe my luck when I scratched around in the pile :)

Close of the Right hand page

Close up of the Left hand page

I used a few flowers, brads and rub-on's for accents on the page. The ribbon was actually a short piece lying around that would never have made it into a bow. I love using every tiniest bit of stuff that I have, I can't stand to waste... I think I may be a bit of a hoarder..

I love the vintage nature of these photographs, they're grainy and beautiful in black and white. I hope that the layout will bring back fond memories of the day my in-laws got married :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy Belated Christmas and New Year!

As I've said above, Happy Belated Christmas and New Year to everybody! I trust that you all enjoyed a wonderful time with your families and that the festive period was a blessed and happy one. Hubby and I spent time with both our sets of parents and we were spoilt rotten with Christmas gifts, though we did not forget what Christmas was all about either. I thank God for his unfailing love for each of us, and that because of this love He sent His Son to live among us, eventually taking the sins of the world upon His shoulders. What an amazing sacrifice.

I have been quite busy these last couple of months, despite my absence from the blog world, and I have a lot of posts to catch up on. I have created for friends, family and myself alike, and have had a ball of a time doing it! In amongst crafting, I also wrote end of year exams in November ( I am currently in my second year of my BCompt Management Accounting Degree), passing all my subjects, and spent a lot of quality time with family. And let me not forget to mention, the major clean up of my craft space, or the remodelling of our bedroom. So you see, I have much to blog about! Let's hope I won't be lazy and leave things out... Besides all of that, I am sure that this year is going to be an abundance of memories waiting to happen.

Today though, I have a card to share, as the photo's were the easiest to edit amongst the hundreds of others I took :) LOL's!

I used a new technique (for me anyway), and used my Singer (sewing machine for those who don't know yet that I purchased one) on paper for the first time. I must admit it was quite an experience and I was quite nervous about it at first. Many thoughts ran through my head, from how to make the ends look neat, to how this was going to blunt my machine's needle. Well, I sort of got the ends to look neat, and the needle isn't blunt yet, and trust me, I've used it on many a project besides material since. I have also realised that it is easier to choose one colour and go with it on almost every project without swopping the thread out because let's face it, who wants to rethread a sewing machine five or more times a day?

The stamp is from an Angel Company set (B, I can never thank you enough for it) and all of the paper is from my scrappy stash, which is thankfully a lot more organised since my big clean and purge a couple of weeks ago.

Thank you all for being patient with my random posts last year, and my lack of appearances in the cyber world. I hope to turn that around this year and I can't wait to write my next post :) Until then, have a wonderful day!