Archive for August, 2010

Craft Room Redo

My craft room is really one section in my basement.  It is a basement, unfinished by choice.  Three years ago we had a sump pump failure during heavy rains and it flooded.  The most we had in some places was about 2 inches but the mess was incredible.  What kept me sane during the clean up was that it would have been so much worse had we actually finished the basement.  We decided at that time we would stop entertaining thoughts of finishing it.  I guess there was a reason we never seemed to get around to that project!  It’s still useful space.  We’ve changed the way we store things down there.  Lots of plastic bins and shelving and furniture that elevate the storage. 

Over the years, older pieces of furniture found their way to the basement as they were replaced.  Items we didn’t really need but with which we weren’t yet ready to part.  What was spared from the flood still remained.  In my attempts to entice my husband and kids downstairs to hang out with me while I was crafting, I made room for an old loveseat in my craft area.  We also had a small television set complete with VHS and DVD players.  This maneuver was mildly successful,  however, the little love seat couldn’t compete in comfort with our oversized couch in the livingroom upstairs.  You just couldn’t stretch out and nap on the loveseat and when my son would join my husband there wasn’t quite room for the both of them.  And of course the dog wanted to be included so things got even more crowded.

My husband made the remark about a week ago, “You know, if we could have the couch on this side of the basement it would be SO much more comfortable and I’d spend more time downstairs with you.”  Unfortunately, the old couch was too large to fit where I had placed the loveseat.  I got out the tape measure and some graph paper and set to work.  If I couldn’t make it work in the area I currently occupied, I negotiated trading spaces with the boys for the area that housed the unused and very cluttered “karate dojo”.  Although this area was larger, there was a piano and office furniture that would need to be accomodated so it really was not as attractive as first thought.  I determined it was best to stick with the space I already had and do some rearranging and reorganizing.  So here’s the result!

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The couch that started it all!  (Minus hubby and the dog, but rest assured they have already been napping on it!)

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My bulletin/white board is an essential item in my craft room.  You also get a glimpse of what I call “The Great Wall of Stamps”.

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A bit more of “The Great Wall of Stamps.”  The old buffet and milk crates house all my paper.  There’s even room now for my laptop!  Plastic bins underneath the buffet offer additional storage.  The colored drawers on the left are my son’s craft stash.

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The old end tables were stacked to create an elevated stand for the all important TV/VCR/DVD.  They provide storage for idea books, catalogs and scrapbook albums that are waiting to be filled.  The dresser to the left is now the “cutting station”.  All my punches and dies are stored in the drawers and there is room underneath for some more plastic bins.

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Section one of my newly organized supplies!  Drawers have been labeled to identify their contents.

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More supplies!  The green topped Snapware is home to lots of my favorite stamps.

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Even more supplies!  Not only stamps, but class materials, works in progress as well as finished products just waiting for the next craft show!

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My work table is my old dining room table.  LOTS of space to get messy and creative!

Most of what you see was already hiding somewhere in my basement although I did need to make a WalMart run for more plastic storage.  Cost of this project?  About $30!  The “karate dojo” was also cleared out, reorganized and restored to its useful form.  “Trading Spaces” and “Clean Sweep” would be so proud!

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs

At Stampaway last year I discovered a company called “Movable Parts”.  I fell in love with their “Big Fuzzy Dogs” because they looked so much like my own babies.

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Skittle, Snickerdoodle & Scout

The sets come with the body parts separated so that you can stamp them in various positions.  They have dogs, cats, bears, babies and all kinds of faces and accessories.  The posibilities are endless!

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I am a dog person at heart, but I do appreciate cats with personalities and I have a number of friends who are cat people.  I’ve had the cat set on my mind since last year so of course it was on my list for this year’s Stampaway.  They are as much fun as the dogs!

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Now that I’ve got the basic sets, I’m starting to think about the accessories!  Next year!

Something Completely Different

Moms are always saying, “Don’t play with your food.” But truly, it isn’t such a bad thing.

Before she headed back to college, my daughter and I took a “Bento Bonanza” class at the library. She has always been fascinated with Japanese culture and has talked about wanting a bento box of her own.  We thought she might also get ideas for things she could prepare in her dorm room.

We learned some basics about bento lunches.  The idea is to create healthy and delicious dishes that are visually appealing.  We then got to work making some cute and clever food items.

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The Wall-E sandwich was just too cute for words!

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Here’s a turkey sandwich that doesn’t have to be made with turkey!

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Sheep rice balls!

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Mario Mushrooms!

They were right about the visual appeal.  I brought my creations home to my son.  He’s one of the pickiest eaters around.  The Wall-E sandwich was an instant hit with him insisting we start buying wheat bread.  He also enjoyed the rice balls.  Unfortunately the vegetables in the turkey sandwich weren’t camoflaged enough.  The mushrooms made him smile, but not enough to want to try them.

That’s ok.  I’m happy with achieving success with the wheat bread.  And that he now will eat ham and cheese sandwiches — even when they don’t look like Wall-E! 

Sakura

Translated “sakura” means “cherry blossom”.  My son and I recently took a class at the library in which we made 3 beautiful cherry blossom cards. We also learned how to fold and cut paper to make the 5 petalled cherry blossoms. (I’m planning to use this technique to make other flowers as well!)

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My son waiting for class to start. He’s awesome with origami!

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Materials and instructions.

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Working hard!

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Cut cherry blossoms and petals.

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Finished cards!  So pretty!

A Trip to the Orient

I love oriental stamps!  I think it started with my daughter’s facination with Japan.  I’ve collected quite a number of them over the years.  In October, I will be teaching a class where participants will learn to make 4 oriental style cards.  I’ve included several techniques and products from Japan.

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My favorite card in this series is the kimono card. The kimono is embossed with gold detail embossing power over origami paper and then cut out.

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After designing this card, I determined I would need some silver detail embossing powder and some more metallic outline corner stickers. So that resulted in what I call my “practicial purchase” at Stampaway — after all those are materials I need for class, right?

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Of course when I got home I had to play with my new toys so I created several more cards.

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It is a bit difficult to see but the top row are embossed and embellished in silver and the bottom row in gold.  (I think I’m still partial to the blue ones with gold!)

Stampaway 2010

For the second year in a row I’ve been privileged to work the door the night of the Preview Party at Stampaway.  It’s so much fun and I enjoy seeing everyone so excited about the things I get excited about.  There are new products, unique items, demonstrations, make & takes and a buffet dinner.  In several cases this is the only place where you can purchase from certain vendors. 

Only 500 tickets are sold to the Friday night Preview Party.  On Saturday, the convention is open to everyone and it is packed!  So Friday is definately the best way to go if you can manage it.  

The Preview Party begins at 7:30 PM but attendees start lining up early.  By 7:00 PM there were two lines extending in opposited directions extending across the parking lots.

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A few minutes prior to opening, attendees are allowed to enter but must wait until it is actually 7:30. It’s a sea of crazy crafters!

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Even though I was working, I still had plenty of time to scope things out, grab a bite to eat (The food was as delish as the stamps!) and get all my shopping done before the party was over at 11:00 PM. Quite a few of my friends were there and I also met lots of new people and shared some great conversation.

Stay tuned to see what new toys I have!

Photo Album Card

A few months ago I posted a more elaborate version of this project.  I’ve redesigned it so that it will fit in an A2 envelope for mailing.  My daughter and her college roommate were the inspiration for this card.  It is a nice little project that is quick to do and would make a darling inexpensive gift for someone special!

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The pages inside have been watermarked using a VersaMark pad and a background stamp. 

I “cheated” a bit with the quotes — no stamping involved.  I found them on www.quotegarden.com and printed them in a fun font with Microsoft Word.  If you are looking for a quote, be sure to check out this website.  They have TONS of quotes from which to choose!

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