Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Guess what my girls are up to ...?

Counted cross-stitch!!! Can you believe it? The '80s have been revisited by my little crafty souls. Mackenzie is doing her name in a cool calligraphy font for a wall hanging in her new room. She's so into it right now that she's choosing it over TV! WOW!

Paige went with us to get Mackenzie's Aida cloth and didn't want to be left out. We picked up this teeny kit for her and she's really taking off with it.

The girls seemed a little skeptical at first about my ability to teach them cross-stitch. Then I showed them these beauties ...

... my 1980s Amish works. Still love them even though they are so country and so dated.

Mackenzie noticed the dates and my initials on them and asked why I don't do this anymore. Well since most of them were done pre-1990, I'd say that 4 kids, 4 moves, my degree, rubberstamps, scrapbooks, photography, and a whole lot of LIFE have gotten in the way. I'll pick it up again though, especially if the girls keep at it.

I'm so proud of them! So happy they are finding pleasure creating something by hand.


Exploding Paper Quilt Boxes

Another great little class on Live with Prima ...

Thanks for this design goes to Julie Fei-Fan Balzer ( I made one of these as birthday gifts for a couple very special people.

They are cute little boxes about 4x4" when all closed up, and ... when opened ...

they look like beautiful paper quilts! The bonus is they have a surprise inside. This one has a cute little mini book inside.

(here's a close up of the mini)

Just for fun, I packed a cute little bag of chocolates in the other box. Pretty, eh? Now that I've made a couple of these, I'm dying to make a ton of them. I think they'd make super cute favors for a ladies' luncheon, don't you? Paper quilts - gotta love it.

Thanks for stopping by.


"Grown Up" Chunky Book

Remember Chunky books? - those little board books for babies that were a couple inches thick and made of heavy chipboard (baby bite-able!) pages. Here is my grown-up version thanks to Marion Smith ( for the design and class. It was actually a kit from Live with Prima with slightly different product but I adapted it to use products I had on hand (which were still predominantly from Prima anyway). I LOVE looking at it.

The book is about 3 inches thick!! and filled with the most beautiful papers and flowers.

I used Prima's "Tea and Silk" line of papers plus some "Rue 88", many of their lovely flowers, some of their onyx crystals, ribbons, and various other rub-ons and buttons.

The book is full of pockets and tags which I hope to fill with quotes and sayings that have special meaning to me. Not sure if I'll add photos too. Probably not since I don't want to cover up much of the pretty papers. I'm thinking some hand writing is all this chunky book needs.

Thanks for looking.


My Art Journey Book

After about two years of having and viewing this tutorial from Donna Downey, I finally got around to making my "Journey of Me" book. I'm using its freestyle, grungy, casual format to journal my thoughts along my art journey. Only have a couple of entries so far but I'm looking forward to filling it day by day.

Sorry for posting the pics backwards - here is the cover w/ the book closed. Love its grungy style! Yes, that's "roughed-up" corrugated cardboard for the covers.

Thanks, Donna Downey, for the inspiration not only to make this particular book but also for the idea to record our thoughts along the way of our journey to becoming who we were meant to be.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Envelope Birthday Book

Here is a book I made for my sister's 50th birthday present. It's made of regular greeting card envelopes bound together in a book. The cover is a Hambly transparency with a cute little crepe paper ruffle (sprayed with Key Lime Pie Glimmer Mist to give it color).

Inside each envelope I placed a note along with a gift card for a particular place.
You'll notice on the pages I did a lot of the penant banners. I sort of caught the bug from and have been using this idea - uh, like everywhere.

The design for this book came from Heidi Swapp too. She did a 6x9 envelope book as a free class on her webshow. This was my version using envelopes and papers I had on hand.
Thanks for looking.

Packing up again!

So ... just when I get some energy going in the studio, it's time to close up shop again.

We bought a house and will be moving in a little more than a month. In the meantime I've got PACKING to do. I'll have to pack up the studio first to rid myself of the distraction. How sad to box up my lovely papers and ribbons and embellies. I'll miss them but what fun it will be to organize new space again. This time I hope to customize it a bit with some cabinetry (haven't run that one past DH yet though so we'll see). I'd love a look that's just a little bit above my current stacks-of-plastic-bins look.

I have been getting a few things made over the past several weeks though. Will share with some pics as soon as I download them. Mostly I've been making projects from free online class videos. I'm getting hooked on a few - Heidi Swapp ( does one on Wednesday nights and Prima does several each month ( The Prima ones are actually kits you can pre-order before the show and then make right along with the artist during the video. How cool is that? You should check them out.

I've also been taking some cool spring photos. Remember that old Garden Book class I taught about a year ago? I never made one for myself! So ... now it's time. I've been collecting some great photos of the flowers and flowering trees this spring. It's been gorgeous here in IL.

Check back soon for those pics.