Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Update and 2018 in Review

Hello, Crafters! I have a small update on my surgery. Tomorrow I will be 4 weeks post-op. I am doing well, so far. Still healing, still having some pain, still needing to take it slow and easy. But, the grafts seem to be holding and I am progressing along! I am adding small things each day, and slowly getting back to my life. I finally managed to get the Christmas tree and decor put away, with major help from my husband and younger son! (Mostly, I bossed them around from the couch and they did all the work!) I also managed to get my every day decor back in place! Slow and steady, with lots of rest wins the race! I see the doctor next week for my 5-week check up, but I don't expect any issues. 

Thanks for all of your comments and prayers! You may notice all my comments for the last 5-6 weeks have disappeared! I was trying to delete some SPAM (using my tablet rather than the computer), and accidentally deleted a bunch of legitimate comments. There was no way to retrieve them! ARRRGGGG! Technology! User error! 

Now, since I am not able to get into the studio yet, I thought you all may like to see a year in review of my favorite projects from 2018! they are! (To see the full project posts, click on the month.)

January: Set of Piggy Note Cards
My favorite project for January was this set of piggy note cards. I was trying my hand at coloring onto kraft paper with pencils and these turned out super cute. They were to be a gift for my sister...but they are still sitting here...patiently waiting! 
I love to create sets of note cards, but I don't do it very often. I hope to be able to do more of this type of project so I can donate some card sets to charity. 

February: Best Wishes Card
My favorite February project was this card I created for Heartfelt Creations. I used a layering technique to create a scene, plus I used flower soft to make the background flowers. I simply adore this sweet card. It is not in my normal "bag-o-tricks" but it was so fun to make!

March: Sun Kissed Mini Album
This project posted the last day of March 2018. I always love a mini album, and this one was a fun one to make! I used some mixed media techniques on the front cover, which is not something I do very often....because it's so messy!
The inside of the album is pure "Gloria" style! 

April: Sewing Mini Album
One of my favorite projects of the whole year was this sewing themed mini album. This one is actually an 8" x 8" mini. I loved working on something this size! It took loads of paper, but the end product was amazing! {If I do say so myself!}
I did a tutorial for the binding of this mini, but not a full tutorial. I want to make it again in 2019 and do a full tutorial. Stay tuned! 

May: Down on the Farm Mini Album
My favorite project for May is this country-style mini album. I had been saving the denim and the other fabrics for a special project, and this was the one! I loved making this book so much! (I see a pattern forming...I love making mini albums!)
Authentique Paper sends me the most wonderful papers to work with! I love every collection. 

Part of why I cut way back on my design team commitments was to ENJOY the process! I had really become so burned out on making, that I needed to take a step back! I am so happy that I did. I really have rediscovered my JOY again! Having just a few commitments a month means I can not only enjoy my DT work, but I also have time to create just for fun! What a concept!! {smile}

June: Graduation Cards
I always need masculine cards for my card stash. I created these two masculine graduation cards, and wouldn't you know, I only need feminine cards this year! But, these are in my stash for the future! 

July: Christmas in July Mini Album
I called this a giant mini album! It is a tri-fold mini with two waterfall features! And the paper...totally adorable! Retro vintage! Yum!
This is another project that I would love to find time to do a full tutorial for you. Fingers crossed!

August: Pop-up Card
I think this is my favorite card of the year! Not only do I love how the front turned out, with all the layers...but it's a pop-up card! 
This style of card is one part card, one part gift card holder, and one part scrapbook! I adore these vintage bathing beauties! And...distressed wood paper? Get out! 

I chose this as my favorite project for September, because one of my goals is to get back to coloring more! I love how this turned out! I am in awe of myself sometimes! {giggle}

October: Christmas Card
I did have two different Halloween projects that I liked, but this sweet Christmas card won for my favorite of October! I love the papers, the image, and the sweet bow I made! 

November: Christmas Layouts
I confess, I loved every project I made in November! It was a good month, creatively speaking! But, these amazing 12x12 page layouts stole the show! 

December: Poinsettia Panel
Because of my surgery, I did not make much in December. This coloring panel was my favorite thing of the month! I am still amazed that I was able to color such a velvety red! Sometimes I amaze myself, sometimes I look for my glasses when I am wearing them! 

So, that's my year in review! Let me know in the comments which of my projects is your favorite. Maybe you love one not on my list! 

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Gloria's Paper Crafting Vacation

Happy New Year, Readers and Friends! I pray you all had a blessed Christmas!

I have to admit to a little bit of a "bait and switch" with my post title. I know some of you are thinking, "Wow! Cool! Gloria is going on a craft vacation!" Some of you are thinking, "Excellent! Gloria is going to HOST a craft vacation!" Well, you would be WRONG! See, what is happening is that I am having a forced vacation FROM crafting! 

I had pelvic floor reconstruction surgery on December 20th, and I am almost two weeks post surgery now. The recovery is going slowly. I am just today able to sit for a little while - on my special cushion! Crafting is out of the question. I am not sure when I will be back in my studio. I have my 2-week check-up tomorrow (January 3rd), but the full recovery is 6-8 weeks, with full return to normal life at approximately 12 weeks. This could go better or worse, depending on...well, on me. From what I gather, the worst thing I can do is too much too soon! I am trying to allow for healing time! 

The surgery was a 6-plus hour surgery to...let's say... replace all my pelvic organs back in their original and upright position, and then secure them with "live" grafts, using mammalian tissue. Due to having three large babies with three quick labors, weight gain, and aging, all my important parts had fled south! I have been suffering greatly for some time now, so it's a relief to have the surgery. Plus, it was a reconstruction, not a removal, so no hysterectomy! 

At any rate, I am doing fairly well - which I hope the doctor also agrees with when I see him tomorrow! I have had a lot of pain, and since I cannot take traditional opiate or narcotic pain medications, I was really suffering for about a week. Plus, that long of a surgery really caused my back and hip pain to spike and my arthritis to run rampant! I had a catheter for a week, which was NO fun. But that's out and the incision is healing fine. 

The silver lining is that I have had no migraine for 10 days. Not just no migraine, but no HINT of headache! I did have a migraine come on yesterday and still have it today, but I think that it is food-based. I ate some treats on New Year's, and I think perhaps there was one of my NO food additives in there! I am trying to "detox" today with a lot of water and whole foods. 

So, Dear Friends, the bad news is that I was feeling so poorly prior to surgery, and what with the holidays, that I did not work ahead to get projects ready to post. The terrible news is that I am not making anything new just now. (For those of you who are waiting for the January Copic project, I will have it at some point, either later in the month or with the February project. As soon as I can be upright enough to color...I will be coloring!)

The good news is that Authentique sent me gobs of new paper, so I am trying to sketch out ideas for things to make once I recover fully!

The great news is that I have the last two Graphic 45 Calendar projects finished AND photographed. All I have to do is edit the photos and write the tutorials! As soon as I can sit for longer than 10 minutes, I will get to work on those for you! 

I appreciate all your prayers! And if you wish to send me a note or chat with me on Facebook or something, I am up for that! I am getting bored with lazing about! Not so much bored as...I am in pain and cannot do much so I am getting stir crazy! And, now that my oldest son and daughter are back to their own homes after the holidays, I will be lonely. My husband is leaving on the 4th for a 10-day trip to Asia. My youngest son will be here with me, but there is only so much computer game talk or Dungeons and Dragons talk I can take before my head explodes. {smile}

Here is praying that 2019 brings me healing, energy, strength, and lots of new paper pretties and fun ideas to share!

I will try to post my 2018 Top Ten later this week, if I can sit that long! 


Monday, December 17, 2018

More 12x12 Christmas Layouts with Authentique

Good morning, Crafters! I am back with MORE 12x12 Christmas layouts to share! (To see the first two layouts, click HERE.)

Before we get to the project today, I have to tell you that I am actually at the hospital today doing my pre-op "stuff" to get ready for surgery on December 20th! I am having all sorts of tests to see if there are any red flags before surgery on Thursday. I will be having a 5 hour surgery and be staying one night (hopefully) in the hospital. After that I expect a 6-8 week recovery, and I will probably not be able to do much crafting or sitting at the computer for a few weeks. I am praying that I recover well and quickly, but as with any major surgery, you never know until you are neck deep in it! {smile}

If the blog goes quiet, you will at least know what is happening! I pray all of you have a wonderful Christmas season! 

Now, on to the project! 
These two layouts hold approximately 12 photos! Plus there is room for saving ephemera or extra photos, plus areas for journaling!
These two pages are actually the inside of the front and back covers of a spiral-bound album project that I am working on. I always like to add pockets to the inside covers of my mini albums, so why not do the same for this 12" x 12" version?!
I am going to use a large, wire binding, that is nearly 2" in diameter. I will need 23 "loops" for the holes in my pages and covers. I am using a heavy-weight chipboard. This style is white on one side and kraft on the other. 
First, cut black cardstock and splice it together to make a piece that is 14" x 14". It takes a bit of measuring, but if you cut one piece at 12" x 12", two at 12" x 3", and one at 3" x 3", you can splice them together to make a 14" x 14" panel.

Angle the corners and add adhesive as shown above.
Wrap the cardstock as shown. This is the inside of the cover. Make sure to burnish all the areas where the paper is spliced together.
Trim decorative paper to 11 7/8" x 11 7/8" to cover both sides of the chipboard. Do this for BOTH chipboard covers. I used Nostalgia Three for the front cover and Nostalgia Five for the back. I will decorate the outside of the covers at another time.
I used Nostalgia Two for the inside front cover. I used Spectrum Tricycle Red cardstock for the inside back cover, then trimmed a sheet of Nostalgia One to 11 1/4" x 11 1/4" and attached it over the Spectrum cardstock.
After I added my paper, I punched the holes needed in order to bind the book with the wire binding. 
Let's work on the rest of the inside FRONT cover first. We will be creating an envelope-style pocket that is actually a double pocket. Plus we will create some photo mats and a 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" scrapbook page.
To create the envelope, cut black cardstock to 6 1/2" x 12". Score at 1/2" from the sides and bottom edges. Add adhesive and angle the bottom corners. Cut another piece of black cardstock to 4" x 11" and trim it into a triangle shape as shown. Score 1/2" from the top and add adhesive.
Attach the pocket base to the bottom of the page. Tuck the flap of the triangle piece under the top edge of the pocket, making sure the adhesive is attached to the inside of the pocket. You will have a large pocket BEHIND the envelope. 
You may wish to add magnet closures, but be aware that once you stuff your envelope, you magnets may not work. so take care where you place them.

Now, you will need to make the front pocket of the envelope. 
Trim Black cardstock to  6 1/2" x 12". Score at 1/2" from the sides and bottom edges. Add adhesive to the scored flaps, but do NOT attach the pocket yet. Using the envelop flap (the triangle section) as a guide, trim the pocket as shown above. Attach the pocket to the front of the envelope base.

Add decorative paper to all surfaces of the pocket. I used Alpine Six to line the inside of the envelope pocket, Nostalgia Eight for the flap, and Nostalgia Nine for the front of the pocket.

I added two hinge stickers from the Festive Details sticker sheet. Instead of using brads, I added red enamel dots to the hinges.
 I attached a sticker (Festive collection) to a small die cut doily to decorated the envelope. (You may want to hide your magnet closures under this area.) 
I have made a 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" scrapbook layout to tuck behind the envelope. The layout is double-sided with space for two 6" x 4" photos and one 7" x 5" photo.

Start by cutting black cardstock to 10 1/2" x 10 1/2". Since this is a double-sided layout, I used heavy-weight cardstock. Then cut Jingle Seven (stripes) paper to 10 3/8" x 10 3/8" and attach it to the cardstock panel.
Trim Jingle Seven (holly) paper to 9 1/4" x 7" and mat with black cardstock cut to 9 3/8" x 7 1/8". Attach the panel to the layout approximately 3/4" from the top edge and 2 3/4" from the left edge.

Trim Nostalgia Three (snowy dots) paper to 3" x 10 3/8" and mat with black cardstock cut to 3 1/8" x 10 3/8" Attach the strip at 4 1/2" from the top edge. Cut two photo mats to fit 6" x 4" photos and attach them to the panel as shown. I used ivory and black cardstock.

Add the "ho ho ho" punch-out (Jingle Elements) to the top of the holly panel. Add glitter enamel dots as shown. Add a "memories" tab sticker (Nostalgia Details) to the lower right corner of the holly paper.
Create a stacked embellishment in the lower left corner of the layout. I used a snowflake die cut and stickers from the Nostalgia Details sticker sheet. I also added a glitter enamel dot to the center of the snowflake sticker.
Flip the layout over and cut Nostalgia Seven (plaid) paper to 10 3/8" x 10 3/8" and attach it to the cardstock panel. Trim Nostalgia Five (multi-colored dots) paper to 5" x 10 3/8" and attach it to the center of the layout. Add scallop border stickers (Nostalgia) to the top and bottom of the multi-colored dots paper.

Trim Nostalgia Three (snowy dots) paper to 1 1/2"" x 10 3/8" and mat with black cardstock cut to 1 5/8" x 10 3/8" Attach the strip to the center of the layout.

Cut two panels to 6" x 6" and mat with black cardstock cut to 6 1/8" x 6 1/8". (I used Nostalgia Six and Nostalgia Two.) Arrange the two panels on the diagonal, as shown above.  Cut one photo mat to fit a 7" x 5" photo and attach it to the panel as shown.

Add a tag cut from a paper scrap to the left of the photo mat. Add a glitter enamel dot to the tag. Trim the sentiment from Nostalgia Eight paper and mat with red and black cardstock. Add a snowflake sticker and a glitter enamel dot. Place the sentiment block on the lower right corner of the layout.
Place the layout into the pocket as shown.
A fun "half layout" fits into the envelop pocket!
Create some photo mats and a journal spot for the pocket. The large photo mat is 5" x 10" and has circle photo mats for photos or embellishments. The smaller photo mats hold 6" 4" photos. They have decorative paper on one side and plain paper on the other. 
 Here is the back of each piece. However, the journaling block could be plain on the back if you wish. I matted the journal block (cut from Nostalgia Eight) with ivory cardstock.
You could create several of these half-size layouts for your pocket.
 The other photo mats and journaling spots will fit into either pocket.
Here you can see I have the "half layout" in the envelope pocket and the other mats are tucked in front of the layout behind the envelope.
Let's work on the inside back cover!
Cut  Spectrum Tricycle Red cardstock to 10 3/8" x 10 3/8" and add it to the inside BACK cover. Then trim a sheet of Nostalgia One paper to 11 1/4" x 11 1/4" and attached it over the Spectrum cardstock. Punch the binding holes AFTER you have attached the paper. (I forgot to mat the newsprint paper with black cardstock, so I used a ruler and a black marker to give the illusion of a black mat behind the newsprint.)
Cut a photo mat to fit a 7" x 5" photo and attach it to the right side of the layout as shown, approximately 1 1/4" from the right and bottom edges.

Create a long pocket by cutting black cardstock to 9 1/2" x 5" and score on three sides at 1/2". Trim the top edge of the pocket into a "V" shape as shown. Add adhesive to the 1/2" tabs and attach the pocket to the left side of the layout. 
Decorate the pocket with Jingle Three paper and a strip of Solitude One and a punch-out from Jingle Elements.
Use a 8 3/4" x 3 7/8" tag (Graphic 45 Large Tag) for your pocket. Add Solitude One paper to the tag and then a journal block from Nostalgia Eight paper. Tie a ribbon trough the hole in the tag and then add a bit of twine.
Cover the back of the tag with Solitude Six paper. (I used a matching tag die to cut my paper to fit exactly.)
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you are inspired to pull out your Christmas papers and make some layouts! 

Authentique Supplies Used:

Solitude: 12x12 paper
Nostalgia: 12x12 paper, Details Stickers
Jingle: 12x12 paper, Elements punch-outs
Festive Details Stickers, Elements Stickers (2012 release)
Spectrum Tricycle Red cardstock

Additional Supplies: 
Ribbon: Stampin' Up red grosgrain
Twine: ivory craft suppl
glitter enamel dots: Doodlebug Design Sprinkles (Lily White Glitter)
Tag and tag die: Graphic 45
Cardstock: Worldwin Papers Natural and Black
Paper doily: Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts
Binding punch: We R Memory Keepers Cinch
Chipboard: Grafix
Adhesive: ATG tape, Scor-tape, white glue