12.31.2013

the end of the year









































photo edited with kk texture simplemagic at screen 100%...playing along with Kim Klassen over at Texture Tuesday...she's having a great giveaway...plus I'm having my own giveaway...details here...

12.30.2013

From the heart, part 6



Today is the last Monday of the year...and the last of the easy projects from my Simple 6 series...inspired ideas for simple gifts to make by hand and give from the heart.

I know that Christmas is over (and hope that yours was everything you wanted it to be) but this idea is perfect for after Christmas...or as a New Year's activity...





I'm a believer in sending mail...through the postal service...
actual greetings that arrive at your doorstep...and brighten your day...

The holidays usually means gifts...and I believe in the reciprocal gesture of thank you...so why not send out thank you notes...made from something you have around the house...recycled stationery made from magazines...




I am a magazine whore, so I have no shortage of raw material for this project...the envelopes will be made from inspiring magazine pictures...so I perused my stack and had a bevy of images torn out of the mags in no time...










I had a simple paper template to determine whether or not the chosen image would work or not...a downloadable copy of the template I used is included at the end of this post...

Step 1 : As I began positioning the template to trace around the image, I discovered that I could only guess on placement...and then I had a eureka moment!

Step 2 : Why not cut out a portion of the inside rectangle so I could see how the image would look on the completed envelope...brilliant!

Step 3: After tracing around the template, I cut out the envelope...

Step 4: And begin folding...

Step 5: I found my brayer helpful in getting a crisp fold...a bone folder would work just as well...

Step 6: The completed envelope...a small amount of gluestick is used on the flipside to adhere the bottom flap to the side flaps...










I was on a roll...and made several sets of envelopes...finding a theme among the images I chose...the monthly design magazine, WSJ, had beautiful photos to use...

Don't have any magazines handy?  how about leftover wrapping paper...or your 2013 wall calendar...or paper bags...





























































































After the envelopes were complete, I cut a single flat card for each envelope, using leftover card stock...a quick embellishment of washi tape added an extra flourish on the white cards...

When mailing these envelopes, you might want to use a white address label on the front...and you can use a sticker or a dab of gluestick to seal the envelope before mailing...









the striped cards are perfect for sending a sweet note through the mail...

an aside...my newest pen love...these fine tip Sharpies...in gray!  my fave!










So lets start the new year off right...lets have a little giveaway...leave me a comment and I'll put your name in a hat...and draw out 5 names...each to receive one of the recycled stationery sets I made...deadline is midnight Friday, January 3 to enter...make sure that if your profile doesn't link to your email that you include it as part of your comment...otherwise I have no way to get in touch with you if you win!

I hope you've enjoyed my Simple 6 series...a link to the other five projects are on my blog sidebar...and these projects aren't limited to the holidays...be inspired to create whenever you need a simple gift throughout the year...























right click on envelope template to save it to your computer and then print it out...I used cardstock for printing to make a sturdy template...

12.25.2013

12.23.2013

From the heart, part 5




It's Monday...two days before Christmas...down to the wire now...just in time, I have another Simple 6 project...another tutorial in my series of easy projects for holiday gifts...







Today uses something that you don't even need to search for...no scrounging through drawers or pulling out a glue stick...its as easy as can be...because the main ingredient is TIME...




























The best present we can give is a gift of time...I don't know about you, but I never seem to have enough of it...
and to receive a gift of time would be most welcome.  It might be in the form of a chore that never gets done...
or assistance with a project...or attention to a personal need...or a chance to have some fun...

Dream up some ideas...make up some certificates...embellish them if you like...put them in a fancy envelope...here's a couple that I created...I printed them up on the backside of old factory time cards,
but any kind of cardstock would work...






































And to make it even easier, I've included a template for you to print out, write in the details...done!























If you right-click on the photo of the template, you can then download the image onto your computer for printing...

Ok, one more thing crossed off the list...

Need more easy gift ideas...the previous Simple 6 projects are listed on the right sidebar of my blog...
just click on each photo for the complete tutorial...




Check back next Monday for the 6th (and last!) project in the series...a little after-Christmas idea...

12.22.2013

All in the details

early Sunday morning...a quiet stillness throughout the house...
a holiday that celebrates home, happiness and harmony...


































































































a celebration that begins now...and an appreciation that remains with us into the new year...

12.19.2013

The Lady of the forest

Every year I try to think up a new idea for our "christmas tree"...







I use the broadest definition for this term "christmas tree"...I want something that will be center of attention for the holiday
decorations... something out of the ordinary...a little out of this world...
























While trolling my favorite blogs a while back, I came across this idea from pentimento...
I knew then that I had a plan...

I introduce to you, The Lady of the forest...

A swath of tulle wraps her body and forms a small bustle in the back... a garland of pine boughs, white lights and rusty chain encircle her form, while a finishing touch of silver glass ornaments hang from her hemline...
 
 
 
 
 
































































A pendant of vintage clock faces demonstrates that she is timeless...






































while a nesting bird is the crowning touch...






































She is the epitome of nature, art and junk at its finest...she is the highlight of our holiday décor...






































and a dream to behold...































joining the holiday junk party at Funky Junk Interiors...so inspiring...

12.18.2013

Simple joy

We're taking a low key approach to Christmas this year...not only because the holidays can quickly slip into hypergear before you know it...but also because I am under the weather so am moving at a slower pace...

But I just read a comment on facebook from a neighbor that the local school is looking for donations for their gift bank...a program they have where kids can pick out gifts for family members for free...and they are asking for donations because someone stole the original donated gifts...really? I know I shouldn't be surprised but I am...

I just did an art show...it was successful...I'm taking the leftovers up to the school today...because everyone should have a little something under the tree...because everyone likes to give...its a good feeling...pass it on...

12.16.2013

From the heart, part 4




Once again...Monday...
and the countdown to Christmas continues...

Here's another Simple 6 project...another tutorial in my ongoing series...where I provide inspiration and information to make simple gifts to give this holiday season...because the best gifts are made by hand and given from the heart...









Today I start with metal bookends...these I snagged from the Southern Man's library...

They will be the basis for a simple easel to display a favorite photo...or a special holiday card...or a menu on a buffet table...or reminder notes on your desk...or whatever other purpose you can imagine...this project is very versatile!

Since the bookends are steel, all you need is a magnet to hold a photo in place...I'm going to make mine from covered buttons...




Covered button kits are common at sewing/craft stores...
I often find partial packets at yard sales...

I snapped the metal shank off of the back of the button assembly so that the back will be flat and flush to glue a small magnet...








I gathered up a selection of complementary fabric scraps...lighter weight fabrics worked best for making these covered buttons...






















Buttons complete...
flip them over and glue on a magnet...
















Add a holiday memory...





































or highlight the joy of the season...






































Need more last minute, quick inspiration...check out the first three tutorials in my Simple 6 series...

from composition notebooks to art journals

from old socks and recycled jars to holiday candles

from lone handkerchiefs to fragrant sachets

12.13.2013

Metal mania for the holidays




I have a thing about metal...especially if its old, rusted and has that "to die for" patina...

When I rounded up my materials for holiday inspiration, I knew that these antique tart tins would satisfy my junk metal addiction for festive décor...

I decided that the interior would be the perfect space to create a mini art collage...using found objects and vintage ephemera...and since I've been wanting to experiment with resin, I had my idea and was ready to go...









First I cut out circles from an old dictionary to fit in the bottom of each tin...finding an interesting list of consecutive words was a bit of a challenge...














Next up was gluing each circle to the tin with matte medium...this also ensured that the paper was sealed so that the resin wouldn't saturate the paper and blur the type...












Now the fun part...gathering up all sorts of found objects and assembling the most interesting combination of elements...

Once I had the elements selected for each tin, I lightly glued each object in place so that it wouldn't shift when I poured the resin...




The resin I used is a two part epoxy that I purchased at Lowe's...it is lower grade than the ICE resin used for jewelry but is more economical...and since I wasn't creating high end images, it was perfect for this use.  You want to make sure that you are ready...and have no distractions...because once you mix the resin, there's not a lot of time before it starts to harden.  I used popsicle sticks for stirrers and the straw comes in handy to dissipate bubbles that form on the surface...

With some of the tins, I added a few more elements after the first layer of resin was completely set...it gave a nice 3-D effect to the composition.





After letting the resin cure for a week, I punched a hole in the outer rim of each tin and fashioned a hook from a piece of wire...





























Ready to be hung from my bare branch holiday "tree"...






































Want one of these tins for your own?  or to give as a special present?  I'm having a Holiday Sale over at my etsy shop...There are 9 tart tins for sale...each tin to be personally gift wrapped by me with vintage paper and ribbon...and delivered to you via free 2-day priority shipping...get all the details HERE

Linking up to the Christmas Junk Party over at Funky Junk Interiors...and Knick of Time Vintage Inspiration Party...
I'm not the only one with metal mania for the holidays...

12.11.2013

Even the garden gets in the act













I have a view of my backyard garden from my kitchen window...and thought I would add a little holiday cheer in the garden for my viewing pleasure...






First I found an old leather dog collar...and tied on some jingle bells...my version of horse sleigh bells...


























Greens were free for the taking from the Christmas tree lot at Lowe's
where they trim off the bottom branches for customers...

The vintage silver tray added that extra layer to tie it all together...






















A little wire, a little ribbon...and a few more bells...ready to hang on my junk trellis...


Joining the Christmas Junk Party...still time to get inspired...







worth a look...

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