Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oh To Flutter and Fly

Hello Hello
What's up? Are ya needin' some color in your day? Here in the Midwest we are coming into Fall colors something beautiful but I still thought I'd share this bright little beauty.
This butterfly chipboard album has been covered with this bright colorful pattern paper for probably two years and I've been stuck ever since...
well not anymore - I decided to embrace the bright, bold colors and go with it.
So the way I set up the pages is that they flip up - on the top of the page I used a Polaroid die cut frame as a photo tuck, there is a plastic sheet to cover up the square cut out in the middle of that frame. Tucked into that frame I included two journal spots and there is plenty of room for a couple of photos as well.
As for the bottom page each one has a mini envelope with a either one or two extra journal spots. I kept this page fairly simple and had I thought about it a bit further I would have flipped the bottom and the top pages, putting the photo tuck on the bottom and the mini envelopes on the top but such is life.
This mini envelope is the only one that actually has three mini journal spots in it.
I mixed up the journal spots between 4 different acrylic stamps that I own so there are two of each that I stamped. Normally when I stamp images to then use in mini books such as this one, I will use either black or brown ink and stamp on a heavier white or cream card stock. Over the years this has just become my preference, I like that I can see the image and that the paper can handle the wear and tear. 
In the background where it isn't so noticeable, I used a mini Eiffel Tower die cut to represent the body of the butterfly. It works...I think?
Now you may have noticed that each of my mini envelopes that I used are not only different but they all close differently too. This one below actually has a Velcro dot to keep it closed, the reason I did this is because there really isn't a way to glue this particular die closed, the edges don't have enough hang over so the Velcro was the next best idea.
And of course it has it's own journal spots too.
Here's a closer look at the other two journal spots that I used. I love the calendar, so many times when I forget to put a date on something I always end up kicking myself later. Getting older does horrid things to my memory.
So here's the final page and for an end I thought it would okay to just leave this envelope open, the other pages when the book is closed will keep the things inside where they need to be kept.
So there you have it...do you like it? I was a bit concerned because I'm not really a bright bold colors kind of gal, I like muted colors best and earth tones even more so but all in all I think this mini is absolutely adorable.
On the cover I added a doily die tied up with some teal twine, added a couple of small bright colored paper flowers, tucked in behind the doily are two yellow skeleton leaves that help soften up the whole ensemble. Love it!

Hope you like it as well, if you have any questions let me know. So glad you were able to stop in for a bit, thank you.
Later this week I'll be sharing a new fall project that I am super happy with, hope you'll join me then as well. Until then be safe and have a great week.
just B 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Insta 'favorite' Gram

Hello Hello
How is everyone? If you're anything like me you're ready for some time off. Thank goodness for weekends, just wish vacation was within sight...
oh well
Today I wanted to share this layout that I created using one of my most favorite Instagram  pics of my oldest daughter. It's rare these days that I get any decent shots of her because she's either moving way to fast or stickin' her tongue out at me. Kids...
In this layout what I was really happy with was the blingy mesh extra wide ribbon that I tuck in behind the whole layout, I wasn't sure if I would care for it or not but I really like how it turned out. It does however take it awhile to lay flat. Also rolling the paper is really cool not only does it add interest it helps create depth as do the flowers. I like how they pop out from all around that spot.
This layout also got several patterns which is certainly something I am still learning how to accomplish. Knowing what two or three will actually communicate well together takes time to get the hang of...I'm getting better ...but it's a slow process for me just because I don't do that many layouts period.
Anyhow I also like that I tucked the journal spot in a glassine bag so it's kinda there but not and being halfway tucked under the photo it helps keep the design rule of a triangle going, at least I think it does.
Alright well that's all I have for today, thanks for taking a peek and keep an eye out in the next couple of days because I'll be posting my newest 'crafty' piece...I think you're gonna like it.
 Hope you have a fabulous weekend and enjoy!
just B

Sunday, September 21, 2014


 Hello Hello
And good day to you!
Hope you all are having an enjoyable weekend, maybe getting a 'to do' list finished off, or wasting some good quality time with friends and family. I am taking the weekend (what's left of it anyhow) and gettin' crafty, I still have a lot to do and the count down is on.
So I was sittin' in my unusually quiet kitchen earlier this morning sippin' on my first cup of coffee thinking to myself what all I needed to do today because there is a lot and surprisingly enough I can say that 90% of what is on my 'to do' list is something that I want to do...
how amazing it that?
First up is what I want to share with all of you today. I think I have mentioned this before that I am a fan of practicing gratitude...
I attempt to practice it everyday, some days I'm better at it than others but in my quest to keep in practice I made this small gratitude journal. 
The book itself is made using two handmade envelopes along with the hidden hinge binding system, the covers are of chipboard and the inside journal pull-outs are made using some older pattern paper by My Mind's Eye that I found in my stash, inside for the pages I used a heavy weight cream card stock that I picked up at Hobby Lobby.
 What I love about this journal is that it is small and totally cool. Since I made my own envelopes to use I was able to match my envelope paper to the inside cover paper making it quite elegant. Also I only used two envelopes... yes you read me correctly, only two and I'm really not sure why. I can tell you however...it works.
 Within both of the envelopes you will be able to pull out a mini pocket journal spot, open it up and you have a 3 x 3.5 blank spot for journaling on. Then close it and tuck it back into your envelope pocket. My thought for this was that it would be perfect for laying around the house and just as you thought of someone or something that you were grateful for you could jot it down in here.
 Another thing I totally love is the metal bobby pins that I used to close both journal spots and together when they dangle from the outside it reads 'every day'.
 Here's a peek at what those blank journal spots look like, of course you could add a photo or two so long as they are fairly small in size and then use the paper clip to secure it to the journal.
 The closure I created for the entire piece is done using a Tim Holtz hitch fastener and an extra long piece of black faux leather cording, I just wrap it around once or twice and then tie it around the hitch so it'll stay put.
On the cover I added just a few simple embellishments being that the book itself is so small - 3.5 x 5 - I didn't figure it needed anything to dramatic.
So there you have it, hope this inspires you once again to practice your gratitude and/or your creativity. Thank you so much for stopping in and taking a peek and enjoy the coming week.
just B

Friday, September 19, 2014

An Insta Mini

Hello Hello
How is everyone?
Ready for the weekend I'm sure, I would be too if I had a normal working schedule, as it turns out for me today is actually my Monday and well...with that {a lot of times} the Monday madness.
But all is well...I think I'm close to having my old laptop up and running, it's been running updates for two days and then there were several programs that I had to update but finally I think there is light at the end of the tunnel. 
Today I want to share with you a mini gratitude book that I made a while back. I wasn't sure what it would become when I made it but I have stored some of my favorite Instagram pics in here and I think this is where they will stay.
The mini book is made using small Kraft envelopes and the binding is a hidden hinge system. The cards that came with the envelopes are what create the fold out flaps and that is where I adhered my Instagram photos.
On a few of the pages I added a couple of photo tucks and then stamped a few of my favorite quotes by Tim Holtz and tucked them in, always good to have reminders whatever they are for. Gratitude, thoughts, hopes & dreams, ideals, etc.

Here you can see two of my card inserts unfolded, with two of my Instagram photos. The idea is that eventually I will go back and add a bit more to the page by including the hash tags that went with each of these pics and then maybe a bit more information as to why I took the photo in the first place.
So there you have it, my Insta mini. I love that it's so small but still able to capture something that is near and dear to me. Like many of you I am addicted to social media or rather Instagram, I can't think of the last time I didn't go a day without at least looking a my IG feed and only a few days go by at a time that I don't post an IG pic so this mini is actually a really big part of my daily life and I wanted a cute way to document that and also to show my gratitude for some of life's simpler pleasures ...this is definitely one of those.
Hope this inspires you to document those simple pleasures in your own life and encourages you to be grateful for them.
Have a fabulous weekend and thank you so much for sharing my passion for scrap art with me!
just B

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Unplugged and Unnerved

Hello Hello
Just jumping on here real quick to let you know that I haven't forgotten about you but I've been unplugged for almost a week, my laptop bit the dust and so for the past several days I've been cleaning out and shaping up my old laptop...and oh my goodness were there a ton of updates to run...the good news is I am up and running again (not quite as fast but better than nothing) and working on a post very quickly!

In the meantime here is my latest on Instagram, also I actually painted my nails! I don't think I've done that in over 10 years, with the job that I do both career and craft wise it proves to be a futile effort. I think my oldest daughter might have been just a tad bit jealous though because now she wants white nail polish too...imagine that!
More to come I promise now that I'm no longer unplugged, hopefully tomorrow but for sure by Friday. Hope you are enjoying your work week and have a relaxing weekend planned, be sure to check back and thank you so much for stopping in.
just B

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Little Thoughts of Gratitude

Hello Hello
How is everyone this fine day?
Well into your work day I would assume or maybe for you it's a crafty kind-of-day...
Boy those kinda days are my favorite!
 What I have here for you is a quick peek at a few minis that I made over the weekend, they are going to be apart of my Gratitude Collection in my Etsy shop very soon.
 A few years back I made a Gratitude mini for myself and although mine is a bit larger than these guys I think the sentiment is still a very good one. In order to feel blessed one must continuously count their blessings - this mini is a perfect way to do just that...snap a few photos of people you love and particular items around your home that bring you joy, jot down a few thoughts, upload & print your photos to a 2" square and then adhere them into your Gratitude mini book.
 I think this mini is my favorite from the set and it's most likely because of his colors, I love teal and the Kraft just makes that teal come alive I think. Anyways I made 7 in total and they are 3" square envelope style minis with a hidden hinge system. The covers I did with light weight chipboard and the spine is made using grunge paper, I added a button/twine closure that wraps around the whole to keep all those tabbed spots in their place. Last but not least I used several different collections of pattern paper from my stash to cover the pages then inked up all the edges with some distress ink. In each of the pockets I added a tabbed pull-out Kraft journal spot for all those extra bits & pieces.
 There are 6 pages in six of the books and then one of the books only has four pages, my thought was that the 4 page mini would be mine for this year and also dub as my sample piece when I do my show at the end of the month here locally. But now...well...I'm thinkin' that this guy might have to be my sample.
 As for my book I can tell you that I will probably take some new photos on my phone over the next several days of random things and then friends and family as I see them, then at the end of this month I will go through what I've captured via Instagram - decide on what I want to print - then add them onto the pages and leave the pull-out journaling spots for my thoughts and maybe a few quotes from my daughters. I have found that I love keeping track of those funny little things that they say and this would be a great spot to record them. 
So there you have it...an adorable and meaningful way to be grateful this coming season as Fall begins to set in and mother nature slowly succumbs to her restorative slumber. 
I will be adding the remaining 6 mini books to my Etsy shop later this week if you are interested please take a look. Also if you have any questions please feel free to contact me, I'd be happy to hear from you.
 Hope you all have a wonderful work week and thank you so much for stopping in.
just B 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Postcard Stories

Hello Hello
I'm back and you were warned...
Today I am sharing a mixed media piece I did for a really good friend of mine. I have been wanting to work with these balsa boxes for a while now and so I finally pulled one out of my stash so that I could play around with it and see what I could come up with and well...
Not to shabby if I do say so myself. I rather like how this collage came out and I figure they will hopefully only get better as I get more practice in. So to start with of course I put a coat of Gesso on so that anything and everything after that point has something to grab a hold of and stick to. Then I went in with my bits and pieces of embellishments and my artist's gel medium in a matte finish and started adhering things. After that layer dried completely I used my artist's modeling paste and grabbed a few stencils and put some dimension on that way. 
After all my layers had dried and I was happy with the collage I then went back to it again and used a few spray mists to give it lots and lots of color. I started with a light gold right in the middle of the top of the flap then slowly layer upon layer I added in the brick red color. After that color dried completely I used my finger and applied over the raised textures a gold ink just to help redefine them, then added a bit of a Vintage Photo distress ink to the seams.
Inside the box I used a metallic acrylic paint in a vintage gold color and didn't do any more. I figured the postcards will end up covering most of it up so there was really no point beyond that.
Now as for the postcards I made them all by hand, the front side is the postcard where my friend can add her memories, then on the back of it I put a photo mat so that once she documents the memory she can add the photo that goes along with that moment.
The card I also made with a vintage flair and added one of my favorite quote stamps to the back of it framed in an elegant oval.
It reads:
Well-behaved women rarely make history
The smaller eyelet envelope has her 'Happy Birthday' wish in it.
The last little bit that I included was a few fashion clutches that dub as tiny journals in case one or more of the postcards isn't enough to tell the whole story...
So as a whole that's pretty much it. The papers I used were a white card stock, a Kraft card stock and then I believe all the ink was jet black by Ranger. I can only say that I am pretty darn proud of this piece and I sure do hope that my girlfriend will use it because she has a handful of grand babies now that would no doubt love to be able to look back in a few years to see what nanna did with her time.
Here's just a peek inside one of the mini journal clutches. I cut a couple of the ATC cards from a Sizzix die and stitched them into the seam of the clutch
To make the clutches I used three different Sizzix dies:
Then for a closure I used a Velcro dot and gosh do they look awesome, I think that they completely set it apart from anything else that I've done recently.

So I have to admit...this mixed media thing really is all it's cracked up to be...I freakin' love it and I encourage you to try it if you have gotten the stuff and are just to afraid to jump in.
 Ironically enough I did the same thing, I normally do when it's something new that I haven't ever tried, I'll go buy what I need to get started with it and then it'll take me another year to actually do it. Now if I would just DO IT then I probably would be a lot further along than I am now...
but a finally dug in and I can't wait to do it again.

just B