Monday, December 30, 2013

My Top 10 Favorite Cards & OTP Projects: 2013

It's almost the end of 2013!  This year has seen me grow much more interested in making cards and off-the-page (OTP) projects.  Here are my "top ten" favorites from this year.

1.) "Best Wishes" card

I chose each "top ten" project" for a specific reason.  I chose my "Best Wishes" card because, as a nature-lover, I enjoyed translating the stark beauty of a snowy day into the form of a clean-and-simple card.
2.) "Special Occasion" necklace

Red is my favorite color, so I enjoyed designing a necklace with a red focal bead.

3.) "Love" card

Having this "Love" card featured on the Lily Bee Design blog was a proud moment for me!

4.) "Quilts" wall hanging

I love poetry, so I enjoyed turning a favorite poem into wall art.

5.) "Homemade Thank You" card

As the only female in my immediate family, I seldom make "feminine" scrapbook pages.  Card-making gives me a chance to design with ribbons, flowers, and other "feminine" supplies.

6.) "Discover Africa" mini album

This mini album was simple to construct, yet it contains lots of colorful photos and painting techniques.  I do love color.  :)

7.) "Thanksgiving Rainbow" card

My love of color shows in this project, too; the card has a whole rainbow of colors!

8.) "Woodland" beaded necklace

While making this necklace I enjoyed working with different bead textures.  Cool metal, smooth plastic, faceted glass, and finely-grained wood beads flowed over my fingers as I created it.  Wearing the necklace feels great, too.

9.) "Shiny Ornaments" Christmas card

I'm very sentimental (most scrapbookers are!), so I enjoyed working with all the "retro" elements on this funky Christmas card.

10.) "Let it Snow" Christmas tag mini album

There's something charming about tiny projects.  Working on this tiny mini album was a sweet pleasure.

Now that you've seen my "top ten" list of card/OTP projects, click here if you would also like to see my "top ten" scrapbook pages from 2013.  I love all sorts of crafts, and I look forward to seeing where my crafting journey will take me in 2014.  Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

My Top 10 Favorite Layouts: 2013

Hi, everyone!  It's that time...time to look back and choose a list of favorite projects from the past year.  It's hard to narrow down the list, because each and every scrapbook page holds photos that are precious to me.  But, after lots of thought, I've finally chosen a "top ten" list of my favorites from 2013.
1.) "Rocket Age Uno"

Each page on my "top ten" list was chosen for a reason.  I chose this first page because I enjoyed making the tiny Uno card embellishments, and I love how realistic they look.
2.) "Just Cute"

Making my own smiley face foam stamp was so much fun, and on this page I had the opportunity to stamp it in my favorite color--red!
3.) "Favorite Lunch Date"

I was excited to fit eight photos comfortably onto one page, and still have room for some playful, doodle-y embellishment.
4.) "Happy Pet Lizard"

My husband's pet lizard inspired a lot of journaling, and I was pleased that I was able to fit all the journaling onto the page in a creative, eye-pleasing fashion.
5.) "Medicine Garden"

Hand-dyeing the fabric strips and hand-stitching on my photo montage made this layout extra-special.
6.) "Minnesota Trail"

Reimagining the ever-popular banner, by including photos and a journaling pocket,  gave me a unique take on this page.
7.) "Monster Mash"

Sometimes, I just need to max out on cuteness.  Making my own embellishments out of felt, embroidery floss, netting, and stickers allowed me to do just that.
8.) "Party Prep"

I liked designing with bold Halloween papers--and still managing to fit in five photos and lots of journaling!
9.) "Autumn Walk"

This page is full of personal touches, including hand-cut banner pieces, hand-painted button flowers, and sequin-and-bead-encrusted photo borders.
10.) "In Sickness and in Health"

I got to use all my favorite colors on this page!  I feel like it epitomizes my style.

I'll be making a separate post with my ten favorite card/OTP projects of the year, so be sure to check back for that.  See you soon!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

My Big News

Note: If you are looking for my T-Tuesday post, please click here.  Happy Wednesday!  :) 

It's official--I'm part of the team!

Hi!  I mentioned earlier this month that I am changing design teams for 2014.  Well, the news is official now, I'm a member of the Child's Play Challenges Design Team.  My term runs from January-June, but I was able to make my début this month, with the Lego challenge.

Image source:

Would you like to play along with the Lego challenge?  All you have to do is create a layout (sorry, layouts only; no cards or other projects) inspired by the above photo prompt.  Then link your layout up to Child's Play Challenges.  The deadline is December 31.

Supplies: alphabet & star stickers from Lily Bee; pennant stickers from Creative Imaginations; flair badge from October Afternoon; background paper from Cosmo Cricket; stem/leaf paper from Lawn Fawn; vellum from The Paper Company; all other paper, die cuts, & stickers from Doodlebug; red ribbon from Berwick Offray; yellow ribbon recycled from gift packaging; pen from Zig.

There are lots of ways you could create a Lego-inspired layout.  Legos themselves need not be the subject matter.  You could make a page about any sort of building project, from home repairs to the construction of a tree fort.  Or, you could use supplies that match the bright colors of Legos.  As for me, I did have some Lego-related photos to scrap, as you see in my layout (pictured above).  I was also inspired by the color and shape of Lego bricks, so I designed my page with a rainbow of layered rectangles.

I had fun mixing and matching brightly colored letters for my title, Legos at the Library."  I also used a couple of "wise old owl" stickers on my page, since they seemed to match the library theme.

I know some phone cameras are quite good these days, but my phone is older and takes lower-quality photos.  So, I had my photos from this event printed at a smaller size, and I worked them into the design of my page.  The long, thin photo above worked well in a cluster at the top edge of my page.

I matted my supporting photos on brown paper; in contrast, I made my focal photo stand out by giving it a bright yellow mat.

On a layout heavy with geometric shapes and hard edges, vellum and sheer ribbon soften the look just a bit, for the sake of variety.

Since Legos are tiny and fun, I added details that are also tiny and fun (like little star stickers) to my page.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing my first Child's Play DT layout.  I've certainly enjoyed creating it and sharing it with you.  Thanks for stopping by my blog today!  :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

T is for Twentieth Anniversary

Hi, everyone!  Won't you join me for (virtual) tea today?  In addition to the cookies above, I offer you a taste of the season...

Image source:

...not tea, but wassail!

My wassail is probably quite different from traditional English wassail.  Mine is just a mix of apple, orange, and cranberry juice, simmered together with cinnamon sticks and a clove-studded tangerine.  The wassail shown above has been chilled, but it's also good when served warm, straight from the simmering pot.

Now that we're all settled with a beverage and treats, I'll show you the project I have to share today.  It's a present that I recently gave to some relatives on their twentieth anniversary.  This couple loves camping, so I decided to make a decorative banner for their camper.  Now they can go "glamping!"  :)
(click to see a bigger photo)

Actually, here in Minnesota we go more for the "northwoods" look than the "glam" look, so my banner has a cozy, homespun vibe.  The pennants are made of wool felt, the motifs are from evenweave embroidery cloth, and the gingham accents are from lightweight cotton flannel.  I also used some beads, plus a button upcycled from old clothing.

In keeping with the homespun look, I used a casual running stitch, and I didn't turn under the edges of the appliques.  The bird, heart, and pennant shapes are all of my own design. 

Some of the inspiration for this banner came from personal taste and northwoods style, and the rest of the inspiration (especially the idea for love birds, as well as the running stitch) came from the Needle~Thread~Cloth October challenge.  Yes, October...I've had this banner finished for awhile, but I couldn't show it on my blog until I had given the anniversary present...which I did this past weekend.  I'm glad that I could finally share the photos with you.  Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

T is for Ten on the Tenth

Hi, everyone!  Happy T Day!  I've missed Elizabeth and Bleubeard's last couple of T Days, due to holiday busy-ness, but I think I'll make up for it with today's big post.

Over the course of 2013, my creative focus has been on de-stashing.  I challenged myself to make ten projects using stash items from different categories each month.  This month's category is "everything else," meaning not just paper brands that I haven't covered yet, but also other craft supplies.
Project 1: cardstock from Neenah Paper; red plaid paper, green plaid paper, & gingerbread plaid paper from Provo Craft; Bingo card from Simple Stories; gingerbread circle tag from Crate; tape from We Call Her Happydaks; faux brads from Craftwork; corner punch from Creative Memories.

Many of my "everything else" papers come from paper pads.  The one pictured above is from Provo Craft (do they even make paper any more???), and it might be the oldest paper in my stash.  I used it to make a big, square Christmas card.
Project 2: dotted cardstock from Jillibean Soup; all patterned paper from Fancy Pants; colored alphabet stickers, tab, & label from October Afternoon; green phrase sticker from Bella Blvd; blue phrase sticker & chevron border sticker from Bo Buny; black/white alphabet stickers from Doodlebug; pens from Zig.

Next I used a mini paper pad from Fancy Pants for a sports camp page.  I even cut out little icons from some of the papers to make my embellishments.  I also used the white backs of some of the papers to make photo mats.
Project 3: previously blogged here.

I used the Crate "Pretty Party" paper pad (say that ten times fast!), plus some additional Crate scraps, to make the above wall art.

Project 4: previously blogged here.

I couldn't let mini papers get all the attention; the layout above was made with 12x12" papers from a variety of manufacturers, including Elle's Studio, KaiserCraft, Simple Stories, and Little Yellow Bicycle.
Projects 5 & 6: felt & ribbon scraps from my stash; thread from DMC; double-stick tape release paper; clay buttons from Clay Squared to Infinity.

Next it was time to shift gears and use some of my non-paper supplies.  I made the two homespun ornaments shown above as St. Nicholas Day gifts for my son (a shark lover) and husband (a fan of pirates).  The ornaments are stuffed with little rolls of release paper from double-stick tape--recycling at its finest.  :)
Project 7: chipboard album page from October Afternoon; magazine scraps from Doctor Who Magazine; gel medium, glitter, & assorted paints; sticker negatives from Heidi Grace Designs; tape from We Call Her Happydaks; assorted beads & fibers from my stash.

I recycled pages from old magazines, a non-traditional scrapbooking supply, to make the altered album cover shown above.  This is the back cover for my Dr. Who mini album, so I painted it in shades of "alien green."  :)  I also created "Dalek bump" texture here and there on the page by stenciling with thick paint and glitter through the negative piece of a circular alphabet sticker set.

Last, but not least, I wanted to create projects that used items from three little plastic bins that I keep on a shelf near my desk.  The photo above shows these bins: a bin for tiny paper scraps (on the left), a bin for beads and other small embellishments (on the right), and a bin for ribbon/trim/fibers (in the back). 
Project 8: previously blogged here.

I used paper scraps from the first bin to create the layout above.
Project 9: nylon-coated beading wire; assorted beads & findings.

I used items from my bead bin to create a bracelet, which was adapted from a design in the February, 2013, issue of Crafts n' Things magazine.
Project 10: ribbon, trim, & flowers from We Call Her Happydaks; papers from Provo Craft; ribbon slide from Trinket Foundry; die cuts from October Afternoon; watercolor paint from Angora; acrylic paint from Ranger; household stapler; recycled business reply card.

Last but not least, I created this mini album page using items from my ribbon/trim/fibers bin.  I also used papers from the Christmas paper pad I showed at the beginning of this post, bringing things full circle.

It's been fun for me to challenge myself to use up some of my stash this year.  I have a slightly different idea for "10 on the 10th" projects for 2014, so stay tuned!  Thanks for visiting my blog today.

Friday, December 6, 2013

My Last S4H Project

Hi, everyone!  How is December going for you so far?  Do you agree with me that it's one of the busiest months of the year?  It also happens to be my last month on the Scrap for Help design team.  My term expires at the end of the year, and I'll be moving on to a new team in 2014 (more news about that coming soon).  So, let me share with you my last Scrap for Help project, a layout called "Tidings of Comfort and Joy."
Supplies: upcycled paper bag, doily, postage stamp, & striped ribbon; 3x4" cards & heart pennant from Simple Stories; lace-print paper from Little Yellow Bicycle; music score paper from Graphic 45; starry paper from KaiserCraft; all other patterned paper from Elle's Studio; faux brads from Craftwork; thread from DMC; pen from Zig; word sticker from October Afternoon; eyelet lace scrap from my stash.

I hope you'll get a chance to play along with S4H this month.  The challenge is an easy one.  All you have to do is create a project incorporating two upcycled items: a paper bag and cotton thread.  I made a scrapbook page, but you can make anything--a card, an altered item, a mixed media piece, etc.

I tore and crumpled strips from a two-tone paper bag to create an "awning" for my page.  The paper bag was packaging from some scrapbooking supplies from We Call Her Happydaks.  This packaging was trimmed with a pretty doily and striped ribbon, so I used those items on my page as well.

In addition to paper crafts, I also enjoy needle crafts.  I always seem to have bits of leftover cotton embroidery thread, and these make great embellishments for scrapbook pages.  On this page, I used bits of red thread (left over from a Valentine's Day project) to suspend little baubles from my paper "awning."

The photos on my page are from last year's Holiday Flower Show at the local botanical garden.  As usual, I ordered my photo collage from  It's so convenient to order the collage online and then pick it up at the store while I'm out doing errands.

I hope I've inspired you to create your own paper bag/cotton thread layout.  Be sure to check the Scrap for Help blog, as well, to see the inspiration from the rest of the DT.  Happy creating!  :)