Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tiny Treasure Trunks

Today begins another Sizzix Scoreboard Blog Hop.  This time the die we are all using is the Rectangle Box.  The box is perfect for a variety of uses and open to many possibilities.  As you visit each of the participating blogs you will get an idea of how many ways this little box can be used.

In my package of dies, I happened to find two of this particular die.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to use both of them and hope you enjoy seeing how I chose to design them.

The mat board that the Eileen uses to cut the shapes is a wonderful surface for any medium.  I was delighted to have the two so I could "experiment".

For this little red box I used Ranger's Distress Crackle Paint, from the Tim Holtz line, to paint the box.  I applied a thick layer to the box and allowed it to dry well.  The paint will create a interesting crackle effect.  Once the paint dries and cracks, I wiped the surface with Black Soot Distress Ink.  The box was then constructed using wide red line tape.  I used ribbon to  hold the lid of the box to the bottom portion.  Fabric roses and velvet paper leaves (Sizzix dies) adorn the top.  The box is tied closed with a length of coordinating silk ribbon.  (NOTE: Decorative paper was glued to the inside of the box to give a finished look.)

Being a collector of "old" things and also someone who likes working with metal was the inspiration for the other box.  It was meant to look like one of the old "hump top" trunks that we have.  I traced the pattern from the box onto a piece of lightweight aluminum by AMACO.  The pattern is cut out, leaving about 1/4" for turning to the inside of the box.  Paint or line the inside of the box before proceeding.  Cut a piece of red line adhesive the same as the box die.  Apply the adhesive to the box; remove the second backing sheet and place it onto the cut piece of aluminum.  Use a small brayer to roll over the metal to adhere the two layers together.  Carefully turn the edges to the other side, using a brayer of bone folder to smooth the edges.  (NOTE:  Small stripes of red line tape can be applied to the edges to hold in place.)  Using a variety of my metal embossing tools, I patterned the surface of the metal.  The embossed surface was colored using Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Ink in Caramel.  The box was constructed the same way as the directions given above.  The lid was attached using small paper brads.  I added some small decorative metal pieces for added embellishments.  Two long lengths of two-tone satin ribbon is used to tie the box closed.

I hope you enjoy my designs!  Eileen's Scoreboard designs are so much fun to work with.  I hope you will leave me a comment.  No need to make it long, but I would love to hear your thoughts.
                                        "YOU CAN WIN A DIE"
         If you enjoyed seeing these ScoreBoard projects on the hop, please leave a comment here or on Eileen Hull's blog so we know you stopped by. This makes you eligible for a random drawing for a ScoreBoards die! 
The next date will be May 15th ... We'll be making "cakes".  Come  follow the blogs:
Ann Butler
Candace Windham
Carla Schauer
Cindi Bisson
Eileen Hull
Einat Kessler
J. Goode
Julie McGuffee
Karen Burniston
Laura Bray
Lisa Rojas
Lorine Mason
Madeline Arendt
Melody Bradley
Michelle Cummings
Modern Surrealist
Niki Meiners
Roxi Phillips
Sandy Laipply
Sparkle's Studio
Veronica Goff

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Week 2010

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."    Theodore Roosevelt
(This is a book that I just borrowed from the library.  It's one of many that have ideas for repurposing old things into new. There are numerous other books on the same subject available.  Check out your libraries.)

So this week there are a number of things going on across the country and the world to get people to recognize the importance of this planet we live on.  We have heard the "deniers" out there who think we can just go on and somehow things will be OK.  They aren't concerned with our water supply, the air we all breathe, the pollution that is in our soil, the garbage that is collecting in large areas in our oceans.

Just like the quote above, we each can do something, no matter were we live and within everyone's personal means.  I don't want to get political here but all that shouting from some about the future of our kids and grandkids ... if people don't truly start seeing that how we have been treating this earth we all live in, future generations will not have a clean, safe place for whatever is facing them.

Start doing something!  Start little and keep finding ways to help our earth.  Stop using plastic bags, recycle, recycle, recycle.  If you can, start using rain barrels for collecting water for watering outside plants. Pick up trash, don't litter.  Walk instead of drive short distances.  Choose public transportation for getting to work instead of driving.  Buy fuel efficient cars, energy saving appliances.  Purchase a battery charger and rechargeable batteries for games and other things. Dispose of things properly.

There are a number of websites devoted to the environment, recycling and helping our earth.  Check them out and read and see how you can help.

Find ways the reuse things around you.  Since I like to create crafty things, I am always trying to find ways to reuse packaging, paper, containers in useful or artistic ways.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Full Cup

The second challenge to the Sizzix Blog Hop begins today.  This time we are all using the "Teacup" design from Eileen Hull's newest collection of Scoreboard dies.  As a part of the "teacup" design, a color challenge was given to us if we so desired to take up that challenge.  My feeling ... why not!

What fun to work with these Sizzix dies.  I decided to cut the handles from the cup shape.  Instead of discarding the handle pieces, I added them as a design element.  I tried to keep within the first color palette the best I could.  The cup and base (saucer) was colored with a light paint (Ranger Adirondack Dabber/Sandal); after the paint dried the surface was brushed with Perfect Pearls to give it shimmer.  The handles were painted with Perfect Pearls Bronze.  Before putting the cup together, the two cup shapes, the base and handles pieces were coated with a thin layer of Glossy Accents, then set aside to dry completely.
Once the surface has harden the cup can be constructed, using red line tape along the folds to form the cup and position the cup onto the base.  Glue the handle shapes onto the cup to form a heart.  Narrow cotton lace was glued onto the upper edge of the cup and along the outside edge of the base.  NOTE: Unfortunately the photo does not show the metallic glimmer on the surface of the die-cut, nor the glossy finish of fired china.

Using a variety of Sizzix flower dies, paper, felt and fabric were cut to make flowers.  Wire stems were added.  A few  leaves were cut and added.  The small "teabag" tag was inked and stamped.  A wire holder was added to hold the tag.  A styrofoam ball was cut and pressed inside the cup.  The flowers were arranged into the foam.

If you are new to the "blog hop" ... each participating blog will have the same list that will take you from one blog to the next.  Please visit each one and check out all the creative ideas.  It would be great if you would leave a comment on each blog.  The participants will appreciate hearing your thoughts.  Vote for your favorite ... to do this, just hop back to EILEEN HULL'S BLOG and in the "COMMENT" area leave her a comment.
The list of participating blogs is:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

For Tess - Doll Trunk

Just wanted to share another project that I made for Tess.  It was made to go along with the doll crib and highchair that we repainted and made fabric accessories for her new baby doll.  It will hold a fair amount of clothes and accessories for her new Bitty Baby.

The surface was a extra large paper mache trunk.  The trunk was first painted with two coats of white acrylic Perfect Paint from Earth Safe Finishes.  Pieces from scrap materials were torn into pieces and applied to the trunk with Beacon's Liquid Laminate.  The inside of the trunk was lined with pink felt.  Final touches of rick-rack, buttons and a flowered tag, complete the gift.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Quilting, Crafting, Blogging

The quilting group gathered today and began working on a service quilt.  We have decided we can get more done if we meet early in the day then an evening meeting.  Another thing that was discussed was the International Spring Quilt Festival that will be this coming week-end in our area.  Some will be attending but on different days.  It's a slightly smaller version of the Fall show in Houston, but fun to attend.

Then it was back home to finish up the next project for the Sizzix Scoreboard Blog Hop.  On Wednesday, April 14th, get ready for more inspiration.  This time we are using the "teacup" die from Eileen Hull's newest "Celebrations" collection.  Our challenge this time, if we choose, is to use one of two color palettes that was chosen by Brenda Pinnick.  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's great creations.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Had to share a couple of photos and some thoughts of celebrating our little grandaughters birthday today. Another beautiful spring day and perfect for a party with kids.  With room to run, they had some fun.  Tess really enjoyed having her cousins to share the day with.  Time for singing "Happy Birthday", first to Tess and then for her daddy.  Then she enjoyed her cake and ice cream.

It was time for gifts and she announced to everyone, "I got presents!".  Clothes, toys for outside, a pool for summer time, Play-Doh and other craft supplies, her new baby doll along with many accessories, Tess had a wonderful birthday.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Kind of Town

What a fantastic day!  We have had some great spring weather this year.  Of course when you live in the Midwest you can expect some nasty days, and we had a few this week.

We are in the middle of "birthday season". So far Joseph, Amy and Mike have celebrated theirs.  This week-end is Kevin and Tess's, with Matthew's in about two weeks.  All of them are within a one month time frame.

Today we made a trip into the city.  We don't do that too often anymore,  but the trip was for a very special reason.

Tomorrow is our youngest granddaughter's birthday and she is receiving a "Bitty Baby" along with some accessories and a doll crib and highchair.  The American Girl Store has changed locations since the last time we visited the store for some "doll gifts" for our older granddaughter.   If you have never visited one of the few stores that are across the country, it is quite an experience.  The new store seems more spacious.  It was fun to see each display for the "period" dolls.  Each is a little history lesson.

We happened to be at the store within an hour of its opening time and was amazed how busy the store was already.  Little girls everywhere and lots of grandparents too!

Chicago is truly a great city.  Even though I was born and raised in Chicago, the downtown area has always bee a great place to visit, especially when the weather is great.  So much to explore and discover.
Hope to make a few more trips, one to see the Matisse exhibit at the Art Institute before is closes, the Museum of Contemporary Art and maybe do the "architectural tour" again.  There's are several new buildings that have gone up.

We enjoyed a early lunch at the "Cheesecake Factory" in the John Hancock Building before heading back home to the suburbs.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sewing Something Sweet

Lots of sewing going on here.  Some sewing for profit and some sewing for fun.  My workroom has projects of all kinds scattered about.

 This very special sewing project for our sweet little granddaughter Tess.  She is turning "two" this coming Sunday.  Grampa and I are giving her a "Bitty Baby" for her birthday, just as we did, when our older granddaughter turned two, almost 7 years ago.  Along with her new baby doll, I wanted to add something special.

The doll crib was a flea market find several years ago as was the little wooden highchair.  I always knew I bought them for a good reason. After washing them down, Grampa  gave them a fresh coat of paint.  I started making patterns for the highchair cushions and the crib coverings.  I searched through my fabric stash and found some perfect prints to use.

Looking forward to giving them to her this Sunday along with her new baby doll.  (All in preparations for the arrival of her new sibling this summer.)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

What a beautiful day to celebrate this holiday.  No matter what your faith or beliefs are, this day is all about new life!  Each person gathers from this day something different.

Here where I live it has been an amazing week. One week ago nothing was green, nor a bud showing any signs of bursting.  In a matter of days the grass has greened, the forsythia's have bloomed, the daffodils are opening their bright petals to the sun, and their is green spotted on most of the trees.  Nature is a wonder to watch.

Hope that this season warms you like the sunny days of spring, renews your spirit for life and inspires you to create some beauty in your own individual way.