Thursday, October 31, 2013

25 Days of Christmas

Hello Hello
What's up peeps?

Can you even believe that Christmas is right around the corner? I am not usually a fan of even bringing up the dreaded "C" word until after Halloween but this year for some reason I am a 'no holds barred' and I'm actually excited about Christmas...projects that is.

A couple of reasons:

1} I'm itching to create
2} there are a lot of really good paper lines out this season for the Holidays
3} being completely honest-I needed to get something in my Etsy store 
{aside from Halloween stuff}

which reminds me



So what did I do you ask?

Well I went to Creating Keepsakes Expo a few weeks back and I made minis...
lots and lots of minis

Right now you are looking at one of the minis that I made while I was there. On this one I used the Simple Stories 25 Days of Christmas because I was drawn to the bold colors and the fact that the red isn't exactly red it's more of a rusty maroon or maybe even a brick red. I have never really been a fan of cherry red and it seems in years past that's been more the tradition, thankfully more and more companies are getting away from that.
In here I was able to use a couple of my stamps to create journal spots. In the photo above you get a pretty good look at both of them, the larger one in the background on the left page and then of course this cool little dude right in front. I will tell you that they are both from the same line, which is 7 Gypsies but I do not know if they are still available. The set is called 'Journal' I believe but I know when I got mine a couple of years back it was hard to find. 
As you can see in this particular photo I have a couple of other stamps as well that I thought would be a nice touch, the 'Guest Check' is a Basic Grey stamp from the collection Guest Check. And then the one in the back ground that kinda looks like a luggage tag is by the Girls Paperie, the line is called 'On Holiday' but just to save you the trouble this particular line has been discontinued and this was the only place I could find the stamp.
When I started to create these minis I wanted them to be multi-functional, so not only did they need to be able to support photos - no matter how small - they also needed to have lots of room for the story. Might I remind you that these are made using toilet paper rolls, that's where you get the pocket page for the larger tags and that is also why the photos are probably going to do best @ 2 x 2. My vision was...

I don't know about you but I am completely addicted to that phone app. Instagram is just freakin' cool. I don't play games on my phone, I don't do FaceBook(often) from my phone, I do photos; lots and lots of photos...and there is nothing more instantly gratifying than loading up a pic, pickin' a frame, and then processing it...all in a matter of minutes. enough hype...sorry
(but gotta get it)

Where was I?

Oh of course, Christmas minis.
So another thing I was conscious of when I made these -and I say 'these' because I did make 3 different ones all out of TP rolls- was that the places you were able to write on were accessible. So I used my Jenni Bowlin tab punch to create essentially a tuck spot for my journal spots (and of course the one photo you can't really see it in is directly above so just scroll up a couple of photos and you'll see it). What happens is when you glue just the edge of the bottom and adhere it to your page, the top of it is still open or unattached so you can tuck your photo into it and it will help keep it in it's place...
now isn't that cool?
Just remember that if you're going to do this @ home always use glue (this is what I use). Anytime you want to temporarily store paper or a photo or ephemera somewhere within your project you don't want that piece to get stuck in say a tape line because as you know the sides of those tapes are adhesive too; where as glue will dry completely therefore allowing you to pull things out easily without the worry of any damage.  
Okay so there we have it my first mini of the season. I will be sharing more hopefully throughout this weekend but for sure next week so if you're looking for any know where to come. If you have any questions or suggestions please leave me a comment and I will get in touch with you as soon as I can. I appreciate you stoppin' in and taking a peek - Thank You!

It's All Hallow's Eve 
make it 
Home Safe

until next time
just B

Friday, October 25, 2013

Another You Share

Hello Hello
How is everyone...?
Fantastic I am hoping
Today I want to share another 'How To' You Tube video with you - now I will admit that this one is certainly more involved than previous videos I have shared but I think this one would be a good jumping off point for some of you who are ready for the 'next step' or possibly those of you who are bored with cards &/or layouts.
Okay so here's the scoop, this one is made with a 12 x 12 sheet of card stock, then covered with pattern paper. Or of course you could just use a 12 x 12 double sided pattern paper, but then you'd want to make sure that your paper is fairly sturdy. Now if I had to say that there's a drawback, it's that being made primarily with card stock and pattern paper it most likely will NOT have any longevity but if that's all we have to fret about...that's not to shabby. 
I knew when I started this that it was going to be for a friend who was going on vacation so I kinda went with a tourist look.
So my pocket box mini is covered using Echo Park's 6 x 6  Note to Self paper pad. Love all the rich colors and cool graphics of this line, and it's versatile. I added lots & lots to it as well, stamped images that went along with the paper line, a couple of Simple Stories' journal spots and just whatever else I could find to match.  
What I love most about this project are all the ways this thing opens up; talk about interactive, holy cow - there are flip ups and flip outs and flip downs plus not to mention all the little pockets to tuck things into and hide. That is what makes me absolutely adore mini books, the fact that they are just so much freakin' fun.
The photo above gives you quite the sneak peek
Above is a snapshot of the pages inside a tiny mini for quick little notes, maybe a sign that you caught on the side of the road, or one of those message boards that businesses use - sometimes they say the funniest things.
 Here are a couple of larger journal spots that you could record a bit longer story or happening. It's also not a bad idea to include all the facts of a trip: who all went, where, the dates, etc.
This little guy comes completely out giving you yet another opportunity to write down some moments as they happen.
So there you have it, a super cute mini that has tons of potential, lots & lots of room for stories and random thoughts, plus you still have room for smaller photos if you so wish to include those as well - Instagram photos would look awesome in here, especially with this paper collection.
So I challenge you this weekend to check out the video and give this project a 'go' and then let me know if you did or didn't like it.
Thanks for stoppin' by.

Have a fabulous weekend!
just B

video here

Sunday, October 20, 2013

For Today but Tonight

Hello Hello

for today...

does anyone remember when these posts were popular? it's been awhile since I've done one and thought that it might be something different - of course mine will have to be tonight because well it's already...tonight so...(nevermind)

outside my window...I can hear the traffic on the highway that sits right behind our house, thankfully it's never very busy

i am thinking...that there are just not enough hours in the day for me to get all the things done that I need to do let alone all the things i want to do

i am thankful for...oh so many things-right now the peace & quiet sure is nice and the electric blanket on my bed, warming it up as we speak that is also nice - i am thankful that i must get up and go to work in the wee hours of the morning and that my girls have a wonderful lady who cares for them that early

from the kitchen...nothing to elegant, in fact in the last hour the only thing it has accomplished is a very hot pot of water for me so that i may have my tea if you please although a small bowl of cereal does sound rather tempting - i found some loose granola @ the grocery store this past week and it is really tasty

i am wearing...a pair of yoga pants that i love to do my work out in and just a long sleeve athletic top in bright sunny yellow because when it comes to the gym - i have to be motivated and yellow is one of my motivators - it's just energetic (and if you're wondering...NO...i haven't been to the gym today...these clothes are just really comfortable)

i am creating...Christmas mini books as of right now, at least that is what is in process - i really should be doing that instead because I need to get them finished but you know how procrastination works

i am reading...a couple of things right now - sorta - I have on my nook the final book in the 'Beautiful Creatures' series almost finished - then i have gotten about half way through 'The Light Between Oceans' by M.L. Stedman, an actual book - the other day while i was waiting for my daughter i started 'Twilight' again on my phone - then last night i had a new book sitting on my night stand called 'I'm the Vampire, That's Why' and well i just couldn't resist so i picked it up too

i am hearing...the sweet sounds of silence - both girls are asleep leaving me to my thoughts and all the 'to-do's' that i didn't get done earlier

around the's a bit chilly (hence the electric blanket) and now that i think about it...maybe too quiet...i am use to my husband watching Sunday night football but he is away this weekend helping his dad with the harvest...hum...funny the things you miss when you sit and think about it

one of my favorite things...right now without a doubt is my Yankee Candles - the changing of the seasons just wouldn't be the same without them, at least for me, they are what get me in the mood for the change, help ease me into them if you will...just so happens that Fall is my second favorite season next to Spring so it doesn't take a whole lot of convincing

a few plans for the rest of the youngest daughter and i have a girls day planned with my mom, my grandma, and a couple of my aunts to celebrate one of their birthdays and i can't hardly wait...i love my family i just wish it wasn't always so hard to get together with them...such is life

a photo to share...well two actually and they were taken several months ago but i haven't had a chance to share them yet...they are two different views of an envelop mini album that i made back in the Summer for my younger brother and his wife to celebrate their wedding so i hope you like it and thanks for stopping in

just B

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Vintage Altered Blocks

Hello Hello

So here is a project that I have finally completed after having sat on the back burner for several years. I know why it sat, and I'm glad that it sat, but it is really nice to have it done, and out, and on display to where I can enjoy it daily.
I have had the blocks to do this for literally 5 or 6 years, I added the paper pack to it a couple years ago, then it sat...and sat...
 I didn't have the 'right' photos for what I could see in my mind's eye, nor did I want to just use 'any photos' - that wasn't the point for me. For me this altered decor piece needed to be done right the first time and so in this case-I think that the waiting period is what made this piece so elegant and creative.

My thoughts had time (lots of time) to percolate; my mind's eye had time to focus and the idea had time to take shape. And mind you being that this was such a 'have to do' kind of piece, I took to heart lots & lots of inspiration from all over the Internet and from my scrap book idea/inspiration books.

I am so loving this piece!

The products that I used are: first and foremost the blocks...the 3 small blocks (2x2) are from my local craft store, the 4 larger blocks (3x3) are a Stampin' Up product that are not even wood, they're a press board or something along that line and I apologize that I do not have anything more to go on than that for SU - not sure that they even still carry this particular product (but any substitute will do) or my suggestion is to do a Google search. The paper pack I used is My Mind's Eye - Lost & Found - Union Square. I chose it because of the red, black, and creme colors. My living room is mainly red & brown but with bits of black thrown in so for a home decor piece this was IT.

My main focus was of course the photos, which is why this took so long in the first place but also I wanted it to blend in as a decorative piece too (not that photos don't-but you know). I did all my photos in black & white and then did lots of distressing to the edges to give them a 'vintage' look which is exactly what I wanted & needed to match my living space. And I really do not have a lot of decor in my home, with kiddos that just isn't doable, but with the little decor that I do have I want it to make a statement and my husband & I both are very comfortable with the 'vintage' feel.

So as you look at these photos up close, hopefully you catch the distressing that I did and the inking along the sides, all of those techniques take time...sometimes lots and lots of time but the end result is so worth it to me. 
Some of the other pieces I used throughout have that 'vintage' feel also. The lace, the flowers, the tiny spool with twine, the old(new)key and the actual real vintage key plate that I believe my mother-in-law gave to me...all of these pieces add to it's overall charm.

So there you have it, a well thought out home decor piece that will stand the test of time, which is what I always aim for when I create things for our home, no matter how 'long' it takes to create. I want to know without a doubt that in 5 years they will fit in just as they do the day that I make them, does that make sense? I could have very well used what was trendy this Spring and ran with it, but I knew that in 6 months I was going to wish that I'd gone with my original that's the way I did it from the beginning.
Eventually when I get the idea 'right' in my head I will be doing an altered 'vintage' tray with this same paper pack. I really think that is what sparked my imagination with this piece; I have found over the years that certain patterns/collections just become us and if it's not trendy who cares? Do what you like because certainly with a project like this, you're the one that's going to be living with it
enjoy it!

Thanks everyone for stopping in, hope you are inspired to think outside the box (no pun intended...OK maybe a little). If you have any questions please comment me and I will be happy to answer. If you have any suggestions, by all means-let me know-I'm always open to those as well. 
Until next time-find inspiration-everywhere!

just B

Video Here

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Picture Blocks

Hello Hello
How is everyone?

Fabulous I do hope.

I was away this past weekend at the CKC Expo, this was my 8th year attending and again it was a productive weekend. I can't honestly say that the classes benefit me any more at this point but they sure are fun if you go with the right people.
The lady I spent my weekend with is actually my neighbor and then late on Saturday night we joined in with another group of croppers which was a change up in our normal adventures and I really really enjoyed my time.
As for today I want to leave you with a little something that I will be sharing later this week. This is a project that I have been meaning to do for years and so finally the beginning of this year I was able to get-'er-done!

Hope you like and make sure to come by later this week to check it out in detail.

just B

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Altered Sling Bags

Hello Hello

How about I share an altered sling bag with you all just real quick. I picked these blank fabric sling bags up at JoAnns a few years ago. When I got them I was thinking that they would be good for my girls to take in the car when we go up to my in-laws (it's about an hour drive).

But they were a bit plain so I had to give 'em a little something. I grabbed a couple of the iron-on embroidery pieces, a package of iron-on peace signs, and some pink iron-on nail heads - along with clear iron-on gems. I don't know about you but I'll take the iron-on any day over the sew-on, of course sew-on usually lasts longer, but with a couple of girls is it really going to matter in about 4 months? Not one opted for the easiest way.

When I got home I rummaged through my ribbons and flowers and came up with a few more embellishments to add on. For the ribbon I used the heat & bond trim, and then for the flowers I used my glue gun. So far, several months later, all of my adhesives seem to be holding their own.

So there you have it, a kid friendly travel bag. Besides being able to make it their own (there are ton of iron-ons to choose from) they can also fill it up with a few of their favorite things. My oldest daughter likes to pretend it's her teacher bag; so she has it full of crayons & pencils as well as a few little notebooks to write in and some stickers to 'hand out as prizes'. I think my youngest squirt had me hang it on her wall...because mommy made it just for her so she wants to "keep it safe"...bless her heart.

Well I hope you like this idea and give it a go, as I said...keep it nice & easy and they will love it. Thanks!

just B

Monday, October 7, 2013

Travel Folio

Hello Hello
How is everyone?
Today I want to share a piece that I made for a friend of mine for her vacation. I'm calling this a 'travel folio'.

My finished piece ended up being a 5 by 7 with an 1 1/2 spine to accommodate the stuff in between. The main construction is done in medium weight chipboard and then covered with 'Miles Away' paper collection by Colorbok (this collection is ancient).
 I couldn't decide exactly what kind of travel book I wanted to do for them, so the other night while I was catching up on some blogs that I haven't read for quite sometime, I came across Jim's, The Gentleman Crafter...and well...he is always an inspiration. Eventually I will do his 'wallet' his way - but for what I needed it wasn't quite right so I changed mine up a little bit.

So this is what I did come up with.
I knew I wanted a place for photos, so in Jim's version he has a pocket on the left side that holds his passport; I followed his tutorial and created a similar pocket that's a bit larger so that mine would fit some 4 x 6 photos with ease.

Next on Jim's, the right side is a series of fold down file pockets, well that's where it really didn't fit what I needed so I thought for a moment about what I'd want if I were going on a trip...I'd want a place to document some details, to jot down some tidbits and what-nots. So that is when I came up with the idea to make a mini book for my mini travel folio.

I used some plain white card stock as pages, then I used some of the pattern paper and made some pocket pages(they hold some journaling tags). I then added on some stamped journal spots to the actual pages to make even more room for all the juicy details, added in a couple of sayings/quotes and then used a backing paper so that I could tuck it into the book sleeve that I had already attached to the inside back cover of my folio.
Now on the book sleeve that holds my mini book into place, I also added a string tie closure pocket, why you ask? - well I was thinking that sometimes you come across those machines that will flatten a penny with an embossed image of wherever it is that you're at, this would be a great place for those. 
The pocket pages aren't really ideal for keeping heavier pieces in them (they'd fall out) only the tags and maybe a couple of small photos, so that's why I added this extra pocket that closes.

That's pretty much it, seems simple enough but what a great place to keep track of all those wonderful moments that just happen in a flash. I don't know about you, but I'd be lucky to remember even half of my vacations if I went solely from memory alone, that's partly why I enjoy scrap booking so much-it helps me keep track of the stories and memories that I love and at times cling to
so desperately...until that next one comes around.  :)

Here's just a short video, check it out if you so desire. I thank you for stoppin' in and checking out my latest piece, hope that you like it. If you have any questions please feel free to comment me.
Thanks Again

just B

Saturday, October 5, 2013

DIY - altered file foler

Hello Hello

How is everyone? Fantastic I hope

Just real quick I wanted to share with you another video that I found not to long ago. Just like the last time with the photo wallet, this one is super fast and super easy.

This is an altered file folder, just one to be exact and it even has a couple of pockets and a pen holder. Love this!
I'm thinking this would make a great Christmas list/coupon holder/receipt holder
and how magical would that be to have that all in one freakin' place..right?

In my next one, oh yes I plan to make several of these, I thought I'd add in a Guest Check Slip too beneath my prong paperfastners. That'd be cool don't you think? Obviously I will be adding something to the front cover so that it isn't so bland but for the idea in itself - well I had to share.

Hope you enjoy - Go - give it a try!

just B

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Commemorative Table Top Panel

Hello Hello

Good Day Everyone
Today I have here a custom project that I did for a friend of mine at work. Her son graduated from Elementary school this past Spring and so she wanted some way to preserve and commemorate this milestone in her son's life. So she came to me and asked if I could help.

I said, "sure I can - what do you have in mind?" She gave me a blank look and then shrugged her shoulders, so I started asking questions-gettin' personal:
Where do you plan to display it
What colors would you like for it to be
How large do you want the finished piece
What all do you want me to include in it
Do you want space for a photo...if so how big would you like that to be

Needless to say she still didn't have much of a response, except for when I asked what all she had to include in the overall piece. Turned out she had of course his school picture for that year, his 5th grade class picture, the 5th graders group picture, the graduation ceremony program, his certificate of completion, and then finally a CD.
 She did also mention that she wanted it to be for a boy/guy...otherwise the sky was the limit...okay...I'm good with that.

So I deliberated for a couple of days/weeks (being that she wasn't in any hurry) and then got to work. My first task was getting all of her photos and ephemera into my computer so that I could work with whatever copy I wanted and not have to worry about ruining her actual photos and ephemera pieces. Once I got that finished I went on to my next task which basically was the whole concept of the project for me. When I think of boys, I think rough and tough...right? Not trying to stereo type anyone, that's just what came to mind when she mentioned that it did in fact need to represent him. So what looks masculine? I opted for metal, with lots of blacks, grays, and white. So the main component of this piece is the craft aluminum that I embossed using texture fades, the first one I used for the main background is 'riveted metal' the second texture I used was 'diamond plated' both by the wonderful Tim Holtz.  The one and only color that I left in this piece, because I turned the two other photos to black and white-along with the program and certificate, is the color of her son's shirt which was red. I did this for two reasons: yes red does look good with all of my other color choices but what if this year say, she wants to put in a different photo? then she would have to figure out a way to match the colors - had I done anything else in the way of color. But with this monochromatic color scheme and just the red inside to add a punch (which is removable-by the way), this is still a very neutral piece and therefore could accommodate any colorful photo she cares to add in, over the next several years. Not only did I keep the color palate neutral, I also kept the cover interchangeable, meaning that all the pieces that label it 5th grade or even Elementary, are all on the inside - leaving the front cover open to display a recent photo and making the entire piece a decorative item. Does that make sense? I hope so...

So here is just a peek inside, as you can see the left-sided panel has the 5th graders all together, the opposite panel (which for some reason I did not get a picture of) has his class picture, then in the very center is where I put his school year photo, and of course I intentionally left that shut to protect his privacy. Now the two side photos I copied off as black & white and made them 7 by 5 in size, the center photo - which is just him - I kept in color and enlarged it to an 8 by 10 size. The two side photos cannot be changed, I adhered those down to the panels but the center photo can be removed. I created over sized photo corners so that it could be removed and my reasoning for this is that ever in the future her son wants to display maybe his own children's photo from the 5th grade - he'd have a great spot - either on the inside like his or on the outside with the bullnose clip. As for right now the clip is what will display his Certificate of Completion, and then the program is tucked in a little pocket on the right side flap as you open up the piece. So overall the piece closed is 10 1/2 by 11, there are 3 panels that open from the left then the right which I attached with metal hinges, the open piece would be approximately 10 1/2 by 24 - I'm guessing.

So there you have it, a finished commemorative table top panel that celebrates her son's accomplishment, a milestone within his educational journey. What an awesome way to display this, besides being an art piece in itself, it really does keep all those special pieces all in one tangible place for everyone to 'take notice'.

        (for more on this piece please check out my video)

just B