Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Quilled Initial Book Frame

Sorry I've been MIA--my only creation as of late has been a 29 page law review article discussing whether or not autistic students have a right to bring service animals into the classroom.  The thing is finally done, which is pretty exciting since it is one of my last graduation requirements.  May cannot come soon enough!

I made this a few weeks ago, but it was a gift for a friend, and I didn't want to risk ruining the surprise, so I waited until I gave it to her to post about it.  I was trying to come up with a cute but cost effective birthday gift for my friend Jenny.  I had been thinking about doing some quilled projects.  I saw them here and some other places that I apparently didn't bookmark.  I also have seen some really cute book projects around lately, and when I put the two together, I got this:
I went to the dollar store and got a frame and a book.  The frame was in pretty good shape and not ugly, but one corner was a bit funky.  I took a flower punch and punched out a whole bunch (I think like 12-15 per flower) of flowers from the book.  I stuck them in the middle with a brad and smushed them up into flowers.  I affixed them to the frame with hot glue. 

Then I took a whole page of the book and traced a J on it.  It was just some random book, so I tried to pick a page that seemed interesting and a little deep.  I kind of wish I had gotten a good book from the thrift store or Half Price Books instead, but oh well.  I actually made two of them because the first time, too much of my tracing was showing.  It is important that you cover your lines pretty exactly.

To to the J, I cut thin strips of scrapbook paper.  Mine are about a quarter of an inch, I think, and it wasn't quite cardstock but it was heavier than normal paper.  I put a thin layer of modge podge over the lines of the J and carefully and slowly glued it down.  I was surprised at how well the modge podge held the paper and that I didn't have to hold it in place very long.  After I got the outline done, I cut some shorter strips and curled them around a pencil and filled the J. 

Once I got the hang of it, it really wasn't that hard at all.  This one is pretty simple, but I'm thinking of doing some for Christmas that are more ornate.  I love how easy it is to personalize!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"I'm Thankful For"

I wanted to make something like this awesome project but I wanted to make it using only things I had.  As I did not have a wood board or coin envelopes, I had to get creative.  I pondered it for a few days and was still pondering when I was rummaging through our office Monday night in preparation for Tuesday  night craft & Biggest Loser night. When you move in with someone, you end up with two of lots of things.  Two copies of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, two staplers, etc.  Well in my case, we ended up with three or four of somethings because boyfriend wasn't very organized.  For example, we ended up with at least four half empty boxes of envelopes (only one of which was here when he showed up).  I don't have a whole lot of use for letter sized envelopes, so decided that I could get rid of a bunch of them by using them for this project.  From there the whole thing just took off.

I too the envelopes and punched two holes in the top of them, one envelope for each day between Nov 1 and Thanksgiving.  I used metal rings to hold them all together. You can get the rings at an office supply store--I use them to keep my flash cards together (yes, I use flash cards in law school--how else am I supposed to memorize the names, facts, holdings and rules of 100 court cases?).  Then I decorated each one with the date and other scraps.  This is a great scrapbusting project.  I used my Cricut to cut out the numbers, but you could do it however you wanted.  I attached the numbers to the envelopes using packing tape because I wanted them to be sturdy.

The plan is that starting on November 1, boyfriend and I will write down one thing we are thankful for and put it in that day's envelope (I stuck blank notecards in an empty envelope on the bottom of the stack for this purpose).  Then on Thanksgiving we can go back and read them all.  We'll put it away until next year when we can do it again, and read the things we wrote about this year.  I'm hoping that it will be a really fun and meaningful tradition for us to start.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Plastic Bag Holder

I have something that I am super excited to show you, but it is a gift and I don't want to risk ruining the surprise, so you will have to wait until next week.  In the mean time, I thought I would share my plastic bag holder with you.  I've seen these all over blogland (too many places to link to), but it is still super useful.  I try to use reusable shopping bags whenever I can, but sometimes it just doesn't happen.  To make up for it, I reuse any plastic bags I acquire.  They mostly get used for trash bags.  I made a holder for them out of a pringles can.  All I did was cover it in scrapbook paper and cut slits in the lid (it hangs upside down) to pull the bags out off.  Easy and free!  That's my kind of project.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Recipie Box Upgrade

One of my friends who loves to cook had a birthday recently.  I found a recipe box for cheap and it was half-cute, so I figured I could work with it.  The biggest problem was that it had a picture of a grill on the top.  I don't know about you, but when I think recipe box, I don't really think charcoal grill, but whatever.  I gave it a little TLC and this is what I came up with.  She really liked it!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness

In honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, I decided to change up the look of my blog.  My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor.  You can find the digital scrapbook kit that I used here.  I love Summer's blogs and kits--they are awesome and free!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wedding Wrapping Paper

I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but I worry about wedding gifts, specifically people not being able to identify my card/and or gift.  Since people don't normally open your wedding gift in front of you, you can't be like 'oh that's from me' if they get confused.  I worry that my card is going to get separated from my gift, especially if it is wrapped rather than in a gift bag.  It probably shouldn't bother me so much, but my parents drilled into my head at a young age the importance of thank you notes (I am the only person my age that I know who sends a thank you note for every gift I receive) so that probably has something to do with it. 

Last weekend, Boyfriend and I went to our fifth wedding of the year (only one more to go!).  It was one of his buddies so I put him in charge of the gift.  He decided to get three different things, meaning I had to wrap three different boxes.  This was a problem for me because I couldn't even rely on my normal strategy of taping the card to the box.  Luckily, I had an idea when I got home--my wedding wrapping paper is plain white, so I got out my stamps and stamped on each of the boxes.  If it is a super fancy wedding, this might be a little to casual but it was perfect for this occasion.  It added a little interest to the packages and made it impossible for them to not know who they were from.

(Please excuse the terrible pictures.  I realized right before we were about to leave that I had forgotten to photograph them and had to rush to get it done before Boyfriend carried them away).

Friday, October 8, 2010

Picture Wall

Since we live in a tiny apartment, all of my craft stuff lives in boxes in the office closet.  I'm normally not all that into background noise, but I like to have either a show or movie on when I am creating.  We only have one TV, which is in the living room, which means when I want to get crafty I have to drag everything out of the office and into the living room.  This tends to make a HUGE mess so I don't do it unless I have a few hours to work.  I got everything out Wednesday night but was in a little bit of a creative funk, so I didn't get much done other to realize that I have a ton of crap that I need to make things with.  I also have approximately 12 gazillion photographs that need to be scrapbooked.  It was a little overwhelming.  So my new plan is to use what I have before I go shopping for any new projects.  I did make a few things, and realized that there are some projects I hadn't yet taken pictures of, but of course all of those pictures are on my camera which is at home while I am stuck at school all afternoon then have to rush home to change for a wedding.  So hopefully next week I will have all kinds of stuff to share.

Anyway, this is more of a decorating than a craft post, but I thought I would share anyway.  I love to decorate with photographs, probably way too much.  :)  I like artwork well enough, but I would rather be surrounded by memories and the people I love.  If my apartment were ever to burn down and I could only grab one thing, it would be my drawer of photo backup cds. 

I was lucky enough to spend my junior year of college studying abroad in Cambridge, England.  Even now, three years later, a day rarely goes by where I don't miss it.  Our school year consisted of three eight week terms with six week breaks in between.  So we had 12 weeks where our options were to fly home to the US, stay in the dorm (we had to pay for each night we stayed though) or travel.  My obvious choice was to backpack around Europe and it was so awesome.  I have tons of pictures from that time--after our trips, the friends that I traveled with would share our pictures, so I have everything I took plus everything they took.  I really wanted a way to display at least some of them.  Last year, Target sold a set of frames that had some 8x10s, some 5x7s and some 4x6s.  I bought one box on clearance and kicked myself for not getting two.  I got another set from Walmart on line.  They don't match exactly, but they are both black--actually the Walmart ones are nicer and I think they were the same price.

I added ribbon to hang them from to add some visual interest and to take up more space because I had a big wall I wanted to fill.  I would suggest laying them out ahead of time on the floor so you can get the configuration you want.  I had originally hot glued the ribbon but some of them kept falling so I stapled them instead (I just used my regular stapler, but a staple gun would probably be easier).  The hardest part was deciding what pictures to use.  I love the way it looks and every day I am reminded of how much fun we had on our trips!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nothing New Today

I only have one class on Wednesdays and boyfriend has class Tuesday night so it has become my night to get my craft on.  I was looking forward to pulling out my boxes of crap last night and whipping up some cute projects but then I had a group project explode into a giant headache of a mess.  (I should probably note that I loathe group work anyway, so I was even more annoyed).  So not only did I not get to craft last night, but I missed most of The Biggest Loser.  Needless to say, I was bummed.  My plan for today is now to scoot on home after my Wednesday meeting and get all my homework done ASAP.  Then tonight boyfriend will play Halo and I will create.  So hopefully I will have all kinds of crafty stuff to share with you soon.  For now I'll leave you with a spooky pic to keep you inspired for Halloween!  (It's a picture of the catacombs from my trip to Paris when I studied abroad, so those are real skulls).

Monday, October 4, 2010

Freezer Paper Stenciling

I used freezer paper stenciling on the onesies that I made for the baby shower and wanted to try something for myself.  I got a plain pink t-shirt from Michael's and used my Circut (Forever Young cartridge) to make the stencil.  I love the way it turned out!
I put it on the side of the shirt to make it a little more interesting.  I think it is a great way to glam up a plain t-shirt!