Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Amy Powers, Inspired Ideas + Sugary Houses

By now, I know you're all familiar with the sweet Amy Powers of the blog, Inspire Co. I thought I'd share the link to this online magazine FILLED with so many adorable, little projects and holiday inspiration! You can view it online HERE. It has projects by Mary Engelbreit, Charolotte Lyons, Amy herself and so many others! You'll love it! The best part? It's free!
A couple years back I had the pleasure of working with Amy when she was our Guest Designer. She created an adorable village of sugary houses in her signature style. I thought I'd share it with you today.

Base paint the entire little house the color you'd like for the house to be. Once the paint is dry, paint the details like the roofline, chimney, doors, windows. If you're shaky, use tape to mask off areas where you don't want the paint. Add polka dots and stripes and more details when that coat dries. Alternatively, you could cut out bits of paper for details like the shutters, doors, and windows and glue them into place.

For the piece with an open doorway and windows, glue paper bits to the back of the piece.

Add accents like tiny Christmas balls, millinery flowers, beads, pom-poms using hot glue. Have fun with this part and look at everyday things with fresh eyes. Let yourself play!

Coat the entire front of the piece with craft glue using a broad paint brush. Put glue over the bits and bobs too.

With a piece of paper underneath collect the run-off, pour a generous amount of clear glitter over the entire piece. Shake off the excess.Ta-dah!
Isn't it adorable?! Just a little holiday inspiration. Thanks for reading.

"A smile is a light in the window which shows the heart is at home." Martin Buxbaum

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chalkboard Tutorial featuring Jennifer Priest :: Christmas Giftmaking

I posted last week our awesome Design Team projects and mentioned that a tutorial was on the way for Jennifer's COOL Thought Bubble Chalkboard. Well, here it is!

Won't these make great Christmas gifts? We have a chalkboard in our bathroom and my hubby and I are always leaving little notes for each other. Supplies:
Thought Bubble - Say It With Letters (available in our Etsy shop HERE)
Chalkboard Paint - Valspar ($15 at Lowe's)
Magnets - Unknown ($3 at Lowe's)
Vinyl, Diecutting Machine - Silhouette
Hot Glue Gun - Unknown
Font- Honey Script

Paint the entire front of the wood shape with chalkboard paint and allow to dry. Apply 3 coats of paint.

Cut a vinyl saying on the Silhouette or other diecutting machine. Remove the excess vinyl from the diecut and apply a transfer sheet to the front of the vinyl. Carefully peel the vinyl saying from the backing sheet.

Apply the vinyl saying to the wood shape.
Hot glue magnets to the back of the wood shape. Place them in each corner so that the shape will not rock when someone is writing on it.
Apply to the nearest metal surface or refrigerator.
Happy Gift-Making!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A B C's featuring Leslie Marsh of Snips and Snails

I hope you're enjoying your week. Its Friday! I'm sitting here drinking some hot chocolate which is a new favorite afternoon treat for me. I can only drink a bit of coffee and would probably drink that if I could but I definitely don't need something ELSE keeping me up at night since Max does a mighty fine job all by himself. :) My kids are napping (all three of them) and I'm enjoying a little quiet time.

I thought I'd share these *beautiful* creations by my friend, Leslie. I've had the pleasure of doing business with Leslie several times.

It all started with these letters she ordered for this cutie, Kiran. Since then I think she's ordered 3 other times. We love repeat customers! :) I got a nice e-mail from her the other day telling me she had shared the letters on her blog. They're completely gorgeous!!

She worked on the the SOPHIE letters with Sophie's mom. That's really sweet (and so are they).

I love the colors in these LILY letters.

And I think these NADIA ones are my favorite! I love the deep colors and her embellishments are so unique and beautiful! Here's a closeup of one of the letters... you can see the shiny finish she gave them.

You can see more of Leslie's work and details on her blogpost HERE. She also shared with me how she created the shiny finish.
I use Envirotex Lite, which I buy at Michaels, over the letters once I've painted the sides and covered the tops with scrapbook paper. It's a two-part resin that dries in a couple of days. I set the letters on disposable plastic bathroom cups on disposable aluminum trays when I pour the Envirotex over them and then go back and 'paint' the resin on the sides of the letters with a foam brush and the stuff that gathers in the tray. Then I check closely with a flashlight to make sure I've covered everything and try to brush the drips off the bottom. Then, after about five minutes, I remove the bubbles by running a match or grill lighter lightly over the areas that have them. The letters will dry in about 24 hours, but it takes 3-4 days for the resin to completely cure. Then I sand the drips off of the bottom and embellish!
Thank you so much Leslie for sharing! Beautiful work.
If you have some creations you'd like to share, we'd love to see them! Thanks for reading. Enjoy your weekend.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What are you grateful for? Design Team inspiration with Julie Ann Shahin

Good Monday Morning! I hope you had a nice weekend. Saturday was completely beautiful and I was grateful for warm days in the month of November. This is New England so tomorrow it could very well snow. :)
I was completely inspired by design team member, Julie Ann Shahin's design team project this month (really, she inspires every month!) Julie Ann's inspiration were the Thought Bubbles that are popping up on blogs where people are using them for Christmas cards (adorable idea!) She took our Thought Bubble and had a Thanksgiving gratitude conversation with her husband and the finished Chalkboard design. Here's her little conversation with her cute hubby!

My latest DT project for Say It With Letters was to alter this unfinished Talk Bubble.

I painted it with Plaid Chalkboard Paint, which now comes in a variety of colors!!!!

My husband and I had a Thanksgiving gratitude conversation via my finished talk bubble:


What are you grateful for?


My Loving Family, Our Health, Our Freedom

What about you?


Today I am grateful for a sense of humor and laughter.

And so I ask you my friends, what are you grateful for?

I have so many things to be thankful for and among them are each of you! Leave a comment and we'll do a giveaway sending some of our product!

The winner of our Girly Girl Closet is Jen. Congrats, Jen! I just e-mailed you for your address so I'll get the dresses out this week.

Chalkboard tutorial coming soon!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

More Christmas trees and Thought Bubbles!

Hello, my friends. As I write this I'm waiting on a batch of old fashioned peanut butter cookies to be done baking in the oven. You know the kind - the ones with the cross hatched fork marks on the top. Yum! I've been craving them for a couple days now and finally made them tonight (my lucky husband). :)

I'm excited to share more design team projects! These are the remaining projects (except for one special one that I'm saving for a later date. You'll LOVE it!)

This beautiful standing Christmas tree is by new design team member, Erika Taylor. It has an old fashioned feel to it, doesn't it?

I love the vintage looking image and if you notice in the close up photo, she used a crackle medium. Here's how she created the look.

I used Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist and Glimmer Glam to paint the tree. Stamped swirls on it with Versafine, then added Crackle Medium to really age it. Went over bits and pieces with a sanding block, then started embellishing.

So pretty, Erika.

And our new Thought Bubble was a HUGE hit with our Design Team girls! They really created some fun designs too!

Regina made her shape into a CLOCK! How cool is that?! I love the "Once upon a time" saying and the swirly bling she used! You can visit her blog for all the products she used.

Super cute, Regina!

Say what? It looks like I'm not the only one obsessed with chalkboard paint! Jennifer created this *awesome* fridge chalkboard with super heavy duty magnets! I love it, Jennifer! We love leaving notes for each other in our house. What a fantastic gift for Christmas too. Tutorial coming soon...

Alright, my friends. I need to get to bed. My cookies are done (I was eating them while writing, don't mind me). :) My Max is the most amazing little baby but he's still up about every 3 hours and I'm feeling it tonight. See you soon.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Birdhouse Tutorial, by the sweet Joyce Gleason

Hello again my friends. I figured since I had posted a bunch of other tutorials this week I may as well continue with another fun tutorial by my friend, Joyce Gleason. She's taken our HOUSE shape and created this sweet birdhouse with little wreaths you can change out for the season. Is she clever or what?! She always puts together a really wonderful mix of papers too. I especially love the ruler for the roofline. She created this for a swap she participated in. Here's the steps she took to create this sweet birdhouse.

I chose a wooden house shape from Say it With Letters (one of my favorite resources). {Thanks Joyce!} :)

The quality of these pieces is excellent and I never even have to sand them. I think the hardest part of any paper piecing project is choosing the papers to use. Once I decide on the papers, the work goes relatively quickly. These were the papers I picked for Mary's house.

I like to mix patterned paper with text paper or sheet music and also ledger papers work well with patterned papers also. I love that ruler paper and thought it would work out for the roof line.

It was coming together nicely. I wanted to add a door to hang a wreath on but the
proportions were not quite right...

I decided to turn the house into a birdhouse....

Here are the wreaths...one for the fall and one for winter. They were made using stamps from Papertrey Ink (another favorite resource) stamped onto cardstock and then mounted on cardboard from a cracker box (the perfect weight, right Elizabeth?)

You can see that I've used small pieces of hook and loop dots (Velcro) on the back of each wreath... there is also Velcro on the front of the birdhouse. This way, the wreaths can be changed out at the seasons.
So that the wreath not being displayed doesn't get lost...on the back of the birdhouse there is more Velcro to store the extra wreath...

Mary needed a tenant for her new birdhouse so I covered a chipboard bird with
some patterned paper and attached it to the front of the house.

Next some details were added. Stamped flourishes were next and a bingo marker with the #26 which is Mary's real house number. Here is the fall look with the twig and berry wreath...

and the winter look with the leaves and berries...

Take some time to visit Deb at Say it With Letters. She has a large variety of wooden shapes and letters in different fonts. Any piece can be cut in sizes ranging from very small to very large. I have been using Deb's products for years now and am always delighted, and, she's a heck of a sweet lady, too!
Thank you Joyce for the nice words and the awesome tutorial!! I love seeing what you all are doing with our products.
OK, now I'm off. I'm watching gymnastics. :) Good night everyone.

Guest Designer, the sweet Alison Steadman of Oopsey Daisy

Good Day! As I write this, Max is sleeping and my older kids are completely engrossed in Toy Story 2 (we haven't bought Toy Story 3 yet but we WILL!) The funny thing is they have never seen any of the movies (until now) but they just have toys and other things with Buzz and Woody on them and LOVE them! They've only recently had interest in movies.

I'm excited to share our second Guest Designer this month, the sweet and talented Alison Steadman of a fun blog, Oopsey Daisy. Her blog shares pics of her adorable children, fun craft projects, GREAT kids projects, home decorating and yummy recipes (like these Snickerdoodle Muffins that I made lasy month). YUM! She also has some great free downloads that you can find HERE. Read on to learn a bit more about her. She also shares a tutorial for our Standing Christmas Tree Funny how she had the same idea as Jody with a Christmas countdown. I think everyone's excited for Chrismtas! I know I am. :) (EDIT: An unfinished tree can be found HERE).

Hello, my friends! My name is Alison, and I am the lady behind Oopsey Daisy, my own little creative outlet. Once upon a time, I was a first grade teacher. Now, I am a happy stay-at-home Mom to a handsome toddler. My husband travels all week long, so I keep myself busy with crafts. I love a good project, and I especially love to make things for kids. I am also a holiday NUT--just ask my family! I love all things festive. I am thrilled to be a guest designer today!

Come along with me, and see how I designed this adorable 12" Christmas Tree.

Imagine my excitement when this package arrived at my door! The tree stands perfectly using the second piece as a stand.

As soon as I saw this tree, I knew I needed to go shopping at my local Archiver's scrapbook store. I cut strips of the new Mind's Eye Christmas paper and used my Fiskars scallop punch on some of the strips. I overlapped the paper strips and mod-podged all of the paper onto the tree. I covered both sides of the tree and even the edges. Then, I trimmed it all up. I even sanded the edges so there were no sharp paper edges.

I decided that this tree needed some BLING. I gave the tree a thick coat of mod podge and started dumping on the glitter! Next, I added red sparkly ribbon and green sparkly ribbon stripes. This little tree definitely shines!

I decided that it would be fun to use this tree to count down the days until Christmas. So I found some glittery snowflakes and used E-6000 to secure magnets to the back of each snowflake.

Using my Cricut, I added vinyl numbers to the snowflakes so we could count down the days until Christmas!

Using chipboard letters, I made the "days" sign. I also distressed the edges.

I just glued some thick magnet tape onto the tree so that the snowflake numbers would stick. I topped the tree with a big red ribbon bow.

I glued these fun epoxy buttons all over the front and back of the tree. I love that they look like ornaments!

I found this cute star box at Hobby Lobby and spray painted it red. Then I mod-podged paper and ribbon around the box's edges. Now I can use this box to hold the extra snowflake numbers! I am excited to start counting down the days until Christmas!

Enjoy your holiday season! I hope you'll come stop by my blog and say hello!

Isn't it adorable?! Thanks for your inspiration, Alison! It was fun working with you! Please visit the Oopsey Daisy blog for some fun finds and tell her we sent you!