Sunday, October 30, 2011

From Baby Clothes to Craft Supplies: Idea 2 of 3

Are you starting to think about Christmas already?  I am.  I figure it's never too early to start planning.  So, today's idea for recycling old baby clothes is a snowman Christmas ornament project (pictured below).

Supplies: old baby sock, sewing kit, wooden circle, acrylic paints, Sharpie pen, Elmer's Glue All (or other craft glue), ribbon scraps, assorted baubles (pom-poms, jingle bells, beads, sequins, etc.) from your "stash"--this is a great way to reduce that stash a bit!

The snowman's hat is made from an old baby sock.  Do you have any mateless socks stuffed in the back of closets or drawers?  If so, then this might just be the project for you.  

Easy steps:

1.  Paint the wooden circle with white paint, then allow to dry.  

2.  Use orange paint to add a carrot nose in the center of the snowman's face.  Allow to dry.

3.  With a Sharpie, add the rest of the details to the snowman's face.

4.  To make the hat, cut the tube of ribbing off the sock.  Turn the tube inside out, make a running stitch along the raw edge, pull tight, and tie off.  Turn the tube right side out.  Sew a pom-pom or other bauble at the top of the hat.  Sew additional decorations on the hat (for example, sequins and beads), if you wish.  Glue the hat to the snowman's head.

5.  Cut a strip of fabric from the remaining piece of the sock.  This will be the snowman's scarf.  Trim fringe at either end of the scarf, then add any additional embellishments (for example, a ribbon bow and jingle bell) that you wish.   Then glue the scarf in place at the bottom of the snowman's head.

6.  The final step is to glue a loop of fancy ribbon on the back of the ornament.  This will be the hanger for your ornament.  After all the glue has dried, your ornament will be ready for Christmas!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

From Baby Clothes to Craft Supplies: Idea 1 of 3

Hello, friends!  Over the course of the next few days, I'll be posting three ideas for turning old baby clothes into craft supplies.  In today's installment, I want to share with you a technique for creating handmade flowers.  You can see these flowers in the layout below, "Lil' Boy Blue."

Supplies: background paper (TPC Studio); starry paper (Jillibean Soup); blue cardstock (Bazzill); white cardstock (Wausau Paper); small alphabet stickers (Lily Bee Design); large alphabet stickers, border stickers, owl sticker, & large bird sticker (Creative Imaginations); buttons & all other stickers (October Afternoon); pen (Gelly Roll by Sakura); thread (DMC).

The journaling reads: "I love to dress you in blue.  It brings out the color of your gorgeous eyes."

The writing on the little tag by the corner of the photo reads: "flowers are made from an outfit." As the tag implies, I made the flowers from an outfit that my son wore as a baby.  The outfit was too worn to pass on to another baby, but parts of it were in good enough shape to yield useful scraps of fabric.  To create each flower, I cut a strip of fabric, doubled it over, and sewed a running stitch along the raw fabric edges.  Then, instead of tying off the thread, I pulled it, to gather the fabric into a spiral/flower shape.  I stitched each flower together, then topped it off with a button.  The small flowers are made from 1x8" fabric strips, and the large one is made from a 2x12" fabric strip.  I think that these flowers make a really meaningful addition to my page.

Thanks for stopping by to check out my idea.  Have you ever used old garments to create your own embellishments?  I'd love to hear your ideas, too!   

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cuter than a Bug's Ear

I don't know how that phrase--"cuter than a bug's ear"--came into the English language.  But it seems like the perfect phrase to describe the Country Drive collection from Echo Park Paper. Country Drive is full of cute little bug images.  There are lady bugs, honey bees, and butterflies galore!  So, in honor of these cute little critters, I decided to create a trio of projects featuring bugs.  As you see in the above photo, I created lady bug card, a honey bee altered pocket planner, and a butterfly layout.  Read on for a list of materials and instructions for each project.

First up is the card, pictured above.  It's a card that can be given to a special little girl for virtually any occasion.  You will need the following materials (Echo Park stock numbers given) to create this card:

  • premade card base (optional)
  • red pen (I used one by Zig)
  • corner rounding punch (I used one from Creative Memories)
  • light colored scratch paper
  • regular and foam adhesive (I used 3M brand)

  1. Cut a 8.5x5.5" rectangle from the red patterned side of the Birds on a Wire paper.  Fold it in half to create a card that is 4.25 inches high and 5.5 inches wide.  Alternately, if you are using a premade card base, you can cut a rectangle big enough the fit the front of your card base.
  2. Cut a 5.5 inch strip from the lady bug border on the Border Strip paper.  Cut a slightly taller 5.5 inch strip from the blue patterned side of the Little Ladies paper, and mount the lady bug border on this strip.  With the red pen, doodle lines along the top and bottom edges of the lady bug border.
  3. From the blue patterned side of the Clover/Big Sky paper, cut a rectangle that is 3.25 inches high and 4.5 inches long.  Round the two top corners.  Use the red pen to doodle a line around the edge of the paper. 
  4. Now it's time to stick everything together.  Adhere the blue block of paper in the center of the card.  Adhere the lady bug border along the bottom edge of the blue block.  Adhere the lady bug sticker from the Element sticker sheet to a light colored scrap of paper.  Fussy-cut along the edge of the sticker, then use foam adhesive to mount it near the left-hand edge of the blue block.  Last but not least, use the alphabet stickers to spell "Hi there, lil' lady!" next to the lady bug sticker.  The cross-hatched pattern on the Big Sky paper will guide you in placing your letters in straight lines.  Your card is finished!

Next up is the altered pocket planner, pictured above.  You will need to purchase a checkbook-style planner.  Mine is from the WWP Resources corporation, and I purchased it for about two dollars at my local Hallmark gift shop.  Here are the other supplies you will need:

  • CD16007 SUNDRESS
  • pencil
  • corner rounding punch
  • light colored scrap paper
  • regular and foam adhesive (I used 3M brand)

  1. Remove the planner from its plastic holder.  Place the cover on the side of the Sundress paper that is divided into four quadrants.  Be sure to place it at the bottom of the page.  With the pencil, lightly trace around the edges of the cover of the planner.  Use scissors to cut along the pencil lines, then adhere your cutout to the cover of the planner, with the orange/white floral side facing out.  
  2. Cut the honey bee strip from the Border Strip paper.  Cut it into two pieces, and adhere the two pieces to the planner cover, as shown in the above photo.  Trim off the excess paper, and save it for another project.
  3. From the blue/white/yellow floral quadrant of the remaining Sundress paper, cut a rectangle that is 3.5 inches high and 2.75 inches wide.  Fussy cut along the edge of the diamonds at the bottom of this rectangle, to create an interesting border.  Adhere this rectangle in the upper, left-hand corner of the planner cover.
  4. Cut a strip from the Big Sky paper that is .75 inches high and 2.75 inches long.  Place number stickers from the Alpha Sticker sheet on this blue strip.  Adhere the strip near the bottom of the blue/white/yellow floral block.
  5. Cut a rectangle from the Clover paper that is 1.75 inches high and 2.5 inches long.  Round the two bottom corners.  Center this Clover paper at the top of the blue/white/yellow rectangle, and adhere.  Use the miniature blue stickers from the Alpha Sticker sheet to spell "Busy as a" on this green rectangle.  Adhere the honey bee sticker from the Element Sticker sheet to a scrap of light colored paper.  Fussy cut around the sticker, then adhere it to the planner cover, as shown in the above photo, with foam adhesive.
  6. Use the miniature blue and green stickers from the Alpha Sticker sheet to spell the word "planner" in the bottom, right-hand corner of the planner cover.  Place the stickers at jaunty angles, letting their sides overlap and their bottom edges extend beyond the bottom edge of the planner cover.  Then, use scissors to trim off the bits of stickers that extend beyond the bottom edge of the orange paper.  As a final touch, you may wish to use a pencil to trace along the edges of some of your elements, to give them extra definition.  I traced along the edges of all my paper strips and miniature alpha stickers.  Now your planner is finished.  You can slip it back into its plastic case and either keep it for yourself or give it as a gift.

The final project is a 12x12" layout.  You will need the following supplies to create it:

  • CD16007 SUNDRESS
  • two wallet-sized photos (landscape orientation)
  • two contact-print sized photos (landscape orientation)
  • white or other neutral cardstock (I used a sheet from Wausau Paper)
  • pencil
  • pink pen (optional)

  1. Cut out the 6x6" pink floral square from the Sundress paper.  Adhere the four photos as shown in the picture above, then adhere the square to the center of the neutral cardstock.
  2. Use the alphabet stickers from the Alpha sheet to spell your title words above and below the square of floral paper, as shown in the photo above.  Because I created this page for a color challenge at the Color Room site, I then traced around the edge of the letters with a pencil, carefully removed the letters, and colored inside my traced lines with a pink Zig pen.  If you want pink title letters, you could do this too.  Or, if you prefer blue letters, simply leave the stickers where they are.
  3. Cut the pink phrase strip from the Border Strip paper, and place it across the center of the floral square, as shown in the above photo.  Trim off excess.
  4. From the orange floral side of the Sundress paper, cut four strips that are each half an inch tall and 10.5 inches long.  Cut dovetails at either end of each strip.  Adhere the four so that they frame the pink floral square, as shown in the above photo.
  5. Fussy cut the following shapes: two apple-green butterflies from the Border Strip paper, two pink butterflies from the Border Strip paper, one orange butterfly from the Border Strip paper, one orange bird from the Border Strip paper, and five mini butterflies from the Sundress paper.  Adhere these cutouts to the layout, as shown in the above photo.
  6. For a finishing touch, adhere the "Sweet Summer" and "The Good Life" sentiment stickers from the Alpha Sticker sheet near the contact-print photos, as shown in the above picture.  If you wish, you may add additional doodling with the pink pen (I added a few borders and dots), or you may leave your layout as-is.  You are now finished with the layout.  
Thanks for checking out this blog post.  Hope you've enjoyed these three bug-themed projects!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Everywhere I Turn, All the Beauty Just Keeps Shaking Me"

ETA: This layout was published in the November 2012 issue of Scrap Street e-zine!

The quote in the title of this blog post comes from an Indigo Girls song.  That music keeps running through my head every time I step outside.  Autumn's beauty is simply amazing me this year.  I just had to create another autumn-themed layout.  It's called "Colorful Leaves," and you'll find it below.

Layout copyright Denise M. Price.  Supply list: cardstock by Wausau Paper; all patterned paper & stickers by Echo Park (Country Drive collection); pen by Zig; photos distressed with emery board.

And before I sign off for the night, I want to leave you with five additional autumn photos that have not made it to my scrapbook pages yet.  Even though the autumn colors have pretty much peaked here, I have enough colorful photos to keep my busy with autumn-themed scrapbook pages for some time. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you're having a nice autumn too.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

OUAS: Apple Days

Today I'm sharing a layout called "Apple Days" that I created for the latest Once Upon a ... Sketch challenge.  The thing I love about OUAS sketches is that they always have lots of room for embellishments.  I had so much fun fancying up my layout with embellies.  Some of them are even handmade.  I'll tell you more about them in a moment, but first, here is "Apple Days" (below).

Supplies: red patterned paper (Lily Bee Design); green patterned paper (October Afternoon); yellow patterned paper (Echo Park); maize patterned paper (My Mind's Eye); photo collage software (; journaling card, chipboard, buttons, stickers, rub-ons, faux tickets (all from October Afternoon); pen (Zig); bottle cap (Bottle Cap Inc.); wire (Artistic Wire); thread (DMC); green ink (Clear Snap); brown ink (Versa Color); repurposed items (used postage stamp, vintage wooden charms, metal charm from old charm bracelet, fabric & natural fibers from jelly jar lid, ribbons from Christmas wrappings); misc (seed beads).

The journaling reads: "Early last week our favorite local apple variety, Honeycrisps, hit store shelves.  I brought a big sack home, and we gobbled them up.  Then, over the weekend, we enjoyed the Apple Festival at historic Gibbs Farm.  It was a yummy week!"  It was pleasant to journal about the simple joys that autumn has brought to my family and me as of late.

I bought a jar of crabapple jelly at the Gibbs farm (you can see it in the upper left-hand photo in the collage), and its lid was covered with a decorative square of fabric and a loop of natural fibers.  I decided to transform these decorative elements into custom embellishments for my page.  First, I wrapped the loop of fibers with beading wire (too help it hold its shape), and it became the frame for my title work (see below).  

Next, I made an apple-shaped yo-yo with the fabric, glued it stitched-side-down in the bottom corner of my layout, and embellished it with a ribbon bow and a metal charm (see photo below).  That goose charm is from a charm bracelet that I had when I was a little girl.  I figure that it will do me more good on display in my scrapbook than it was doing me buried at the bottom of my jewelry box.

I stuck with a vintage/farm theme for the rest of the page embellishments, as well.  The wooden charms (see photo below) are vintage bingo game pieces, which I bought at Beadniks during ScrapFest last month.  They are a bit like the vintage-look Tim Holtz bingo pieces, except that they are *actually* vintage.  I placed them number-side-down on my layout, tied thread through their top-drilled holes, and added interest with rub-ons.

I had the idea that an upside down bottle cap looks a bit like a pie tin, so I filled one with seed beads, topped it off with an old apple postage stamp (lucky me, the cancellation mark hardly shows on that stamp), and used it as a sort of "apple pie" embellishment on my page (see photo below).

I'm pleased that these embellishments are not just decorations--they actually reinforce the theme of my page.  I think they are representative of my style, since I often incorporate recycled elements into my projects.  In fact, today I've added a new set of tags to my word cloud: postage stamps, bottle caps, beads, charms, and stitching.   I use these items frequently, so I thought it would be nice to keep track of the posts that they are in.

Thanks for stopping by to check out my latest autumn project.  Last week we had unseasonably warm weather, and I managed to get outside quite a bit to shoot more autumn photos.  So, I'm sure I'll be blogging again soon to share some more autumn projects with you.  See you then!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Photography: Autumn Colors

Since photos are at the heart of scrapbooking, I'm always interested in improving my photography.  We've been having a beautiful autumn here in Minnesota, which has given me some great opportunities to shoot some fall photos.  As I mentioned in my last post, I'm going to be introducing some new labels for my blog over the next few days, and today the new label I'm introducing is "photography."

Below are a few fall photos I'd like to share with you.

I hope you enjoyed seeing Minnesota's rich fall colors in those photos.

Speaking of fall colors, the challenge for this week on the October Afternoon blog was to create something based on four colors from an autumn photo posted by Lexi Bridges.  The colors are orange, aqua, black, and white.

I decided to take the challenge, and I first pulled this aqua paper (above), which to me looked like feathers.

Next I pulled these cards (above), and when I looked at the blue and orange bits of those patterns, I imagined round eyes and a pointy beak (below)...well, it was immediately clear to me that I needed to make an owl!

I ended up creating and framing this wall hanging (below) for my son's room.  He loves birds of prey (especially owls), and he loves music, so it just seemed perfect for him.  My son is also an enthusiastic student of kung fu, so, for an extra, whimsical touch, I gave the owl a stylized kung fu sash.

Supplies: patterned paper, stickers, buttons, ribbon (all from October Afternoon), ink (Versa Color), glitter glue (Stickles by Ranger), gel pen (Sakura), frame (second hand).

To make the owl, I cut my own template from scratch paper.  I think this is sometimes easier than searching around for a template that has the look you want.  Folding the scratch paper in half and drawing half of your desired shape on the crease (see below) allows you to create a shape that is symmetrical.

That's it for today's post.  "Owl" see you again soon!  :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Inspired by Nature: Bears

Most of my blog posts fall within three categories: "reduce," "reuse," and "recycle."  However, over the next few days I'll be introducing a few new categories.  I'm introducing the first one today, and it is "nature."  I think it fits in pretty well with the other categories.  After all, one of the major aims of green living is to preserve and protect nature.

When you think of nature, perhaps you think of butterflies, flowers, and other pretty things.  My first post in the nature category, though, may not be what you expect.  My topic today is...bears!  Yep, I love bears, from mighty grizzlies to cuddly cubs.  So, without further ado, let me share with you three fun, bear-related layouts that I've recently completed.

Supplies: cardstock (Wausau Paper); patterned paper, stickers, buttons, metal accent (all from October Afternoon); circle template (Fiskars); pens (Zig); twine (vintage).

First up is "Russia's Grizzly Coast," which you see above.  I know you're probably thinking, "Oh, it's another one of Denise's Russian travel pages."  But the photos on this page were actually taken right here in Minnesota, at the zoo.  The journaling reads: "This summer we finally got a chance to visit the newest section of the zoo.  Besides the animals, there were also a mock mammoth dig, a tiger research station, and an izba!"  That trip to the zoo is one of my favorite summer memories.

Supplies: background paper & fussy-cut heart banner (Echo Park), turquoise patterned paper (My Mind's Eye), bear die (Ellison), border sticker (Doodlebug Design), alphabet stickers (October Afternoon), white cardstock (American Crafts), pens (Zig), corner rounder (Creative Memories).

On a completely different (yet still bear-related) note, my next layout is called "Care Bear" (above).  The journaling reads: "You're not too interested in stuffed animals (except duckies and puppets) yet, but you do like the Care Bear that Daddy gave me for Christmas...maybe because it's cute and cuddly--just like you!"

Supplies: burgundy and blue cardstock sheets (The Paper Company); white cardstock (American Crafts); patterned paper, stickers, and journaling card (all from October Afternoon); bottle cap (Bottle Cap Inc.); pens (Zig); decorative scissors (Fiskars).

And last but not least is the layout above, called "Hamms Grotto."  I'm not a beer drinker, but the OA bear from the "Campfire" collection never fails to remind me of the cartoon bear from the Hamms Beer commercials of my childhood.  The journaling on this page reads: "I guess the Hamms family (of beer fame) donated money to Como Park, because the grotto where we got married is named for them!"  Naturally, I just had to cut out that OA bear and place him in the center of a decorative bottle cap. 

Thanks for stopping in today to check out my layouts.  I've enjoyed exploring all the different sides of that wonderful animal, the bear.  TFL!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lessology: Trinket Box

Have you noticed that altered projects are really popular right now?  Lots of manufacturer blogs have been showing altered projects lately, and lots of design teams include people who specifically do altered projects.  Of course, my favorite site for altered projects is Lessology, because Lessology focuses on projects that incorporate repurposed items.

The latest challenge on the Lessology site is to create an altered trinket box.  I have some friends who are planning to visit the Philippines soon, so I created this box (below) as a gift for them.  I figure they can use the box to store their travel-related trinkets and mementos: souvenirs, ticket stubs, coins and banknotes, pretty pebbles and seashells, etc.

I started with this box, which I had lying around (three photos below).  The Mary Engelbreit design is cute, but it doesn't particularly call to me.

So, I changed it to look like this (below).  I covered the floral design on the side of the box with alternating strips of paper.  Some of the strips were from a cardboard box that used to hold chocolates, and the other strips were the last of the leftovers from my Authentique scraps from ScrapFest (see this post).

I decorated the top of the box with more of the cardboard from the chocolate box, some well-inked My Mind's Eye paper scraps, a DCWV chipboard circle, some Echo Park mini alphabet stickers, a coin from the Philippines, and some beads.  To cover the seam along the top edge of the box, where various pieces of paper/cardboard come together, I glued in a border made of twine.

Here are the repurposed elements of the project: the trinket box itself, the coin (first photo below) and the chocolate box (second photo below).  For a whimsical touch, I filled the hole in the center of the coin with a few seed beads.  I like the chocolate box (which is from the B. T. McElrath brand of chocolates--yummy!) because one side had that interesting pattern, and the other side was a yummy shade of chocolate brown.

I further added to the "green" aspect of the project by using up some older supplies.  As I mentioned, I used some paper scraps left over from other projects.  It was nice not to have to cut into any news sheets of paper to make this project.  I also used a bit more of the giant ball of twine (seen below) that my husband's grandmother gave me years ago, and I used up some beads that were left over from making a necklace (also seen in the photo below).

Today is the last day to submit projects for this Lessology challenge, which means that there will be a new challenge posted soon.  I'm excited to see what the new challenge will be!  For now, thanks for stopping by my blog to see my trinket box.  Have a good week!