Friday, February 03, 2023

Old Things are New Again

I wish I was talking about myself when I say "old things are new again" as I just celebrated my 58th birthday yesterday! But, alas, I am not talking about myself! i did not wake up yesterday with new joints or a slim waist! I just keep getting older every day! {smile} But, discovering new things in craft world, or in this case re-discovering an old passion...that's pretty amazing, right?!!

You may remember back in 2013, when I had a back injury, that I retaught myself to crochet, something I had not done since my early teens! I enjoy the process of crochet, but I really do not care for crocheted items. (I know, I know!) However, I was wanting something to do with my hands when we watch TV, or when I am sitting idle in waiting rooms, or traveling, and so forth. 

Well, long story long...sit back and relax now...my very first craft as an adult was counted cross stitch. Back (way, way back) in 1988 I was freshly out of college, married to a husband who was traveling a lot for his job, and I needed something to keep myself busy in the evenings after work! My friend shared with me her new hobby of cross stitching. She took me to the local Ben Franklin Crafts and said, "Look, Gloria! You can pick any craft you want!" (Well, I have picked them all by 2023!) So I blame my friend Mari for the state of my craft room! {giggle}

I chose counted cross stitch because it was inexpensive in those days. The cloth and a pattern and the floss...you could do a nice project for $5 back then. And, money was tight for us. I stitched a lot between 1988 and 2000. I made all the things! But in 2000 I was homeschooling two children and had just had another baby, my husband was still traveling a lot, plus I had started paper crafting. Something had to fall by the wayside, and....it was cross stitch. I eventually gave all my stitching things away, except for a few bits of cloth and my boxes of floss, because I thought I would NEVER pick it up again. 

Yes, yes, famous last crafter words! I recently have been seeing lots of cross stitch that has made me VERY interested in the hobby again! (Thanks to my friend Amber! My friends are bad influences!) My style now is very different from the past, so I cannot morn my lost patterns and projects too much. Plus, money is no longer an issue...so I have dived back into the fray, so to speak! 

This sweet sampler pattern is from a series of 12 monthly samplers by Country Cottage Needleworks, called Sampler of the Month. I purchased all twelve (from Fat Quarter Shop online) and decided to begin with "June" so that I could make sure to finish them in time to display each month. {smile}

I stitched on 16 count off white aida and the finished stitching is approximately 8 1/2" x 3 3/4". After so much time away from the craft, and with my older eyes, I decided that 16 count was probably the smallest size fabric I could use! The project called for this sampler to be stitched on 32 count beige linen...which was a big nope for me at this point! 

I used DMC floss (available at Hobby Lobby and other craft stores), but I did change some of the colors because I was stitching on white. My only trouble was with those pesky French knots, which have always been my nemesis. Next time, they are going to be replaced with seed beads! 

I decided on a flat finish or flat fold, which just means that the stitching is not in a frame or made into a pillow. At any rate, that is my understanding of the terminology of the day. I simply put my paper craft skills to work and added a piece of batting to the back of the cross stitch panel and wrapped the whole thing around some heavy weight chipboard.  

I then created a top-fold "card" out of chipboard, which I also covered with scrapbooking paper (Lawn Fawn Perfect Plaid). The finished easel card is 9 1/2" x 4 3/4". Since the card easel is made from heavy weight chipboard, it stands up well on a table or shelf. Perfect for home décor. I am so excited to add these monthly samplers to my tiered tray displays! 

I added a little bit of ribbon and a button to match the stitching, but I may rethink that later. We will see. 

I cannot wait to stitch some of the other months, especially for my favorite holidays of Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!


I have started the July sampler already - in fact I am nearly finished stitching it! I plan to finish all 12 samplers in the same way, with coordinating papers and ribbons. I love when several of my hobbies play together! 

And, because I am me...I have huge plans to design my own patterns! Not only to alter existing patterns, but to design my own from scratch! Y'all know me...go big or go home...with a huge basket of craft stuff! 

What old hobbies do YOU want to bring out again? I would love to know. And if you are a stitcher, leave me a comment! Oh, also...there is a thing called FlossTube! Go to YouTube and search on Floss Tubers....oh my! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Christmas on the 25th - Christmas Printer's Tray

I know, it's the end of January, but...starting this month, I am going to try to share a Christmas themed project on the 25th of each month. I will share a NEW completed project, a work in progress (WIP), or something from the vault that I want to share again. The projects could be any sort of crafting item, not just paper crafting. {smile} 

Today, I am sharing a NEW project that I completed just before Christmas 2022. I was able to put it up with the rest of my holiday décor! Yes, a NEW printer's tray! 

I love printer's trays. I have made a number of them over the years - some for myself, some for shops or companies to display in stores or booths, and some to give as gifts. I have not made one for my home in a while, so it was high time! 

I had this 7Gypsies tray in my stash (okay, I have a few of these in my stash, why not?!). As you know if you have been reading the blog for the last few months, I am trying to USE things that I have in my stash! I tend to buy things and hoard them for "just the right time." Well, the  "right time" is NOW! 

Note: This style of tray is not popular at the moment, so you may have to do some Google searching to find something similar. You can always make one with chipboard, similar to the Tim Holtz configuration trays and boxes that used to be on the market. Or you could all start asking your favorite companies to bring them back! Then we can hoard more of them! {giggle} 

Anyway...I decided to repurpose a kit I purchased at the Ready Set Create event I went to in September. From the project photos I liked the kit (by Paula Cheney, see her similar one HERE), but in practice it was not really what I wanted. Paula used the Tim Holtz Vignette Tray and Matchboxes, but I felt the matchboxes were not only "fiddly" but not sturdy enough to handle being stored away. I ended up just pulling bits out of the kit and using some of them to make my printer's tray! 

I hauled out all the Christmas things in order to choose the papers and embellishments that I wanted. I decorate with a vintage/retro theme for the holidays, and I wanted to make the tray to match my other décor.

I spent the best part of a week working on this project! I completed one little opening at a time. There are 20 openings in the tray, where Paula's project kit had only 12 little boxes, so I used her project as an inspiration to create my own 20 vignettes for each "window" in the tray.

The tray is approximately 12 1/4" x 10 1/2" x 1/2" not counting the handle at the top. So the little widows are pretty small.

I pulled a lot of papers from Graphic45, Authentique, Simple Stories, and more! I really only needed small scraps of paper, stickers, then various small embellishments. I made my own embellishments in some cases. I got out the glitter, the seed beads, and just all the fun things! 

For such small spaces, each window is a little work of art! Each vignette takes time and planning to get it just perfect! 

Let's look more closely at each little window! I don't know for sure what company every item is from, but that is not really necessary for you to know. If you want to make something like this for yourself, just shop your stash for things you like or things that match your décor!

From the top, Window #1 contains a scrap of red and white plaid paper and a small chipboard rectangle with some vintage writing on it. I added a fussy cut flower taken from a scrap of paper and a few flat back red pearls. I used foam dots to pop up the flower, plus I added gold Stickles to the flower center. 

Window #2 contains a scrap of holly paper and a phrase sticker. The dove is a resin piece I had in my stash which I covered with glitter! I simply painted the bird with glue and then drowned him in glitter! {smile}

Window #3 contains a scrap of collage style paper and a chipboard tag/tab that I painted with red paint (I use cheap Apple Barrel paint, usually). I added some small screw brads that I painted white. Then I glued on resin numbers, which I think were in a package by Tim Holtz called Typography, in white.

Window #4 contains a piece of the same holly paper I used in #2. I added a gold seal sticker under a bit of flair. I have no use for flair pieces normally, but this one fit the tray opening perfectly! The angel is another resin piece I found in my hoard, distressed with paint, then again drowned in glitter!

Window #5 contains a piece of black and white gingham (plaid) paper and a piece of Christmas ribbon (from Really Reasonable Ribbon, where else?!). I slipped the ribbon through a sparkly ribbon buckle than added a sticker word. 

Note: Much of this stuff is old product, meaning you won't find it in the stores anymore. Instead of getting all frustrated, look for similar items, look in off the wall places, or shop your own stash! 
Window #6 contains a scrap of candy cane striped paper under a popped up faux metal stenciled letter "C." The letter is a Tim Holtz product, too but I totally lost the packaging and cannot remember what it is called. I added a few stickers to the letter tile. 

Window #7 contains more of the red plaid paper and a glass bottle that I filled with glitter. I added a sticker and a twine bow to the bottle to make some "wishing powder." I also added a metal star brad to the window. 

Window #8 is a larger window containing the black plaid paper and a collage I made from various Simple Stories and Graphic 45 stickers and chipboard. I also added a metal snowflake, a twine bow, and some red Stickles.

Window #9 contains a piece of wood grain paper (it is actually the reverse side of a journaling card). I found the door tag in my stash and colored it red with Distress Ink. I added a wreath with Stickles berries, a ribbon bow, a tiny bell, a "Joy" sticker, and die cut hearts. The little door knob is made from gold Stickles.

Window #10 contains a piece of paper with a fir tree. I used paint to antique a Tim Holtz Salvaged Santa and glued him to the tray (Santa, not Tim). I added some fake snow using some cotton batting and then some Grunge Paste. I gave Santa a sign made from a piece of ephemera I had on hand. 
Window #11 contains a red and white plaid paper scrap. I found a tiny tag with some gold decoration in my stash. I tied on a bit of twine and popped it up in the window. I then used some gold paint to change the color of the metal poinsettia, which I then glued to the tiny tag. 

Window #12 contains red/green/white plaid paper and a few stickers popped up.

Window #13 contains more of the holly paper for the background. I used a small bingo card to which I added the "deck the halls" sticker. I created a Christmas vignette with a tiny tree and some baubles and other bits and pieces. I added fake snow with Grunge Paste and Stickles. 

I have a whole bin of tiny Christmas bits and pieces that I dig into when I need something tiny! I don't toss extras, I just save them for...just the right time! {smile}
Window #14 was a fairly easy one, but it took me the longest time to figure out! I eventually added some green plaid paper to the background, then placed a Graphic45 tag on top. I added some Stickles to the berries. But....it just needed something! I ended up making a tiny book from paper scraps, a sticker, and a tiny piece of ribbon! 

Window #15 contains more of that holly paper. (I must have used up a whole 8x8 sheet! Gasp!) I used a bit of the candy cane paper to cover a wood spool, then added the Grunge Paste to look like snow! I added some glittered and painted baubles and a flower, plus some pearls. I used a sticker tag from on of the Authentique collections. 

Note: Most of the "baubles" you see are just fallen bits from floral sprays! Sometimes in my making these little bits fall off a bigger arrangement, so I just scoop them up and save them. Win-win!

Window #16 has a snowflake paper background. For the vignette I used a thimble that I painted to look antique. I made use of the Tim Holtz candy pieces, all covered in glitter of course. I also added some punched and glittered greenery, some pearls, and a clear star. 

Window #17 contains yet more holly paper and a metal frame that I painted with white paint. I added some twine, a bell, and a sticker. I also fussy cut some leaves from the paper and added them to the top of the frame, under the bow.
Window #18 contains a scrap of the red plaid paper, a metal snowflake painted white, a glitter snowflake button, some sequins and bling, and a sticker phrase.

Window #19 contains yes...more holly paper and a Graphic 45 postage stamp image. I placed seed beads and pearls into a bottle cap, then filled it with Glossy Accents, which looks like a resin-filled baking tin!

Window #20 contains more holly paper. I used paint to color the Salvaged Deer. I added some punched and glittered greenery, some moss, a wood slice. and then fake snow made from Grunge Paste. The little deer has a red bow, and there are Stickle berries and clear stars on the background. 
I hope you enjoyed looking at this Christmas project, and I hope you are inspired to try to make a tray of some sort in any style! If you have one lurking in your stash for "just the right time," pull it out and get to making! 

I have another big project to share February 25th, so come back for that, especially if you love Christmas as much as I do! March 25th will probably be either a WIP or something from the vault as I am going to be on a cruse then! My husband and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary in September but were not able to get away then. So, we are going to be cruising the Mexican Rivera in March for a week. {smile}

Thanks for stopping by! 



Thursday, January 19, 2023

Ready Set Create Project Roll

In September 2022 I attended the Ready Set Create event in Burbank, CA with a few friends. It was a weekend-long paper crafting extravaganza! My last craft retreat was Copic Boot Camp in January of 2020, so...this was a fun and much needed girls' weekend away!

Melody, Jacquie, Gloria, Karen at the sock hop 

Ready Set Create is difficult to get into as there is ALWAYS a waiting list. The last time I bubbled to the top of the list was maybe 2018, but I had to cancel due to a health issue. I was so happy to be able to attend in 2022, and so excited that three of my friends were also able to snap up spots!

It is no secret that I have been in a creative slump when it comes to paper crafting since the early summer of 2020. After nearly 15 years building my blog and my "brand" I was just so burned out! My 2020 summer break became a 6 month break, which became a pandemic break, which became a moving into a new house break, which morphed into a two year break. I have been struggling to create, or to share anything I DID create. My decision to QUIT paper crafting altogether hinged on my experience at Ready Set Create! {No pressure!} If playing with paper for the long weekend reignited my love of paper crafting, great. If not, I was going to just have a big sale and move on to something else! Well...

Thankfully I had a wonderful time and came home with a new love of making and creating! I came home with some new products, too! Not to mention the sheer volume of sponsor products we received! It was a HUGE haul! 

I wanted to share with you some of the projects I created at the event. I managed to finish all but ONE of the many projects, and that leftover one is going to be remade as a Christmas project for next year!  

Our six classes included two mini albums, 2 scrapbook layout classes (I know, don't faint), one off the page project, and one card class. I also purchased some kits to bring home, and managed to finish two of those as well. Oh yeah...I have been crafting my heart out! I confess that I am still struggling with the desire to work on the blog, as evidenced by the fact that the event was FOUR months ago! But, I am trying to self-motivate and find the joy in blogging again, too!

This is a long post, with lots of photos and chat, so grab a snack and put your feet up!

Class 1: Creative Cardmaking with Hero Art Stencils by Debi Adams

I am a card maker. I love making cards. However this class was WAY out of my style zone! But you know what? I enjoyed it immensely! I had never used Hero Arts ink or stencils before, so it was fun to play with those products. And it was fun to try some techniques that are just NOT in my wheelhouse! 

Like most things, you never really get 100% finished at these classes while at the actual workshop, so when I got home, I put a little Gloria spin on the cards and finished them up! There was a paper folder and some envelopes included, so I finished those, too and plan to give this set of cards as a gift to someone...sometime. {smile}

Class 2: Layout Class by Jodi Sanford from Make a Pretty Life

I really don't scrapbook in 12x12 any more. I just lost the love for it a long time ago, so I was not sure how I would like taking not one, but two layout classes! Especially since the style and products are not really my "thing." But of all the classes I took, I enjoyed the layout classes the most! I ended up coming home and finishing EVERY SINGLE LAYOUT! {I know, right?!!}

We made three layouts for Jodi's class, plus we made a wood dowel hanger as well, which was a super cute addition! The paper collection is Bloom and Grow from Fancy Pants, a company I did not even know was still making paper! Y'all know I am mostly a vintage style paper lover, so some of the more trendy stuff just sails right by me!

I did change up the layouts a little bit from the directions, because...you know that's what I do! But I tried to stay pretty true to the original design. I am not sure what I will do with these yet so for now they are in a box with other finished layouts awaiting inclusion in my scrapbooks.

FYI: The "Place Photo Here" stamp is something I had custom made years ago, and I do not remember where. you can find that sort of stamp online. Do a Google search for one and see what pops up!

Class 3: Let's Go Layout Class by Sue Kendall

Sue's class was interesting. We used Simple Stories products, and I love some of their papers and things. I used to buy their Christmas collections all the time. Oh, and I buy their Disney themed collections also, which they call Say Cheese I think! 

Anyway, the feel of this class was retro and sort of theme park-y which I enjoy. We made three double-page spreads, so SIX layouts.

I finished a few pages in class, but when I got home I did all the rest! We were missing some of the products due to a glitch in the matrix, so I just did my thing once I got home. {grin} Sue eventually did send us the missing items, but now they are in my stash, waiting for another project down the road. 
My pages are about 80% what they are supposed to look like, which is pretty good for me. {giggle} I had a chance to use a few products that I have never purchased before such as the chipboard frames and the foam letters and stickers. I normally only buy the paper packs. I did go to the little store and buy some more of the enamel dots that they had on sale! You know I love those! 
There was also a nice amount of product left over so I can make more pages if I decide to ever scrapbook one of my many trips and adventures. {Don't hold your breath!} And, I did purchase a few other Simple Stories paper packs, so watch out for those to make an appearance at some point! 

Class 4: Enjoy the Little Things Mini Album Class by Layle By Mail

Y'all know I love a mini album! But this one was not in my normal wheelhouse, so I was really excited to take the class. Plus, my friend Jacquie raves about Layle's classes which made me even more excited!

I think we mostly used papers from the Jen Hadfield Collection called Live and Let Grow. I was unfamiliar with this paper line, but thought it was super cute! The little book had clear covers with gold foil numbers. That was really fun! There are 14 pages, for 28 sides! There are pockets, flip outs, tags, and more! Just adorable!
The book is bound with hand stitching! Then we added some ribbon, charms, and trims to the spine. I enjoyed this binding technique so much that I bought the tool you need to make the stitching easier! It is called Book Binding Guide Tool by We R Memory Keepers, and Layle sells it on her site HERE.
I love the tag waterfall on the right-hand page! Some of this paper was not my style, but some was, so I just went with it!
This is my favorite two-page spready! We used a bit of the packing material, the text "paper" on the right. That is the junk you normally toss out! Except for a few small changes, I created the book pretty much as Layle designed it. I had a few things that I tweaked, but not much. {smile}
We used more packaging material to make the pocket on the right-hand page. So smart. I often save this stuff, but then it goes in a bin somewhere and I never remember to use it! 

All in all, this was just a super fun and very cute project! I may do a video walk through as I have several books to share and maybe I can do them all at once. I will post a note if get around to that! 

Class 5: Graphic 45 Cottage Life ATC Album by Monika Thomas

So, you know THIS was the class that had my name written all over it! Graphic 45 papers and taught by my friend Monika! Win win! We used the G45 Cottage Life 8x8 papers and the Ivory ATC Album.

I think this was actually the last class of the event for my group, so we did not really get very far into it. It is a small album, but it has 12 double-sided pages (24 sides), plus covers, plus tags, plus pockets, oh my! But I really had a blast finishing it up at home! 

My style is pretty similar to Monika's, but I did change a few things, and added MORE paper! I purchased an extra pack of the paper so I would have more....in case of a paper emergency! {Don't judge!} I also went through my VAST G45 stash and pulled some papers from other collections.

I like how it all came together in the end! I always love a nice, chunky mini album! If you can believe it, this is the first Graphic 45 product I have purchased or received since spring 2020!! I ended up only  buying a few things at the shop, because, let's face it...I have tons of older product that I can use!

I will try to add this mini to a walk through video soon. I have a few books that would be fun to share in a video, so we will see if I find the time to do it in the next few weeks. Y'all know editing video is really not my thing!  

Class 6: Bowerbird Card File by Paula Cheney

This is the only project that I did NOT finish. I started this one during the class, but I did not really get much accomplished as there was a LOT of technique involved, plus some drying time for the various parts of the make. I have taken Paula's classes in the past and know that you need to be prepared to get messy! Which we did! (The photo above is of Paula's finished project, not my sad attempt.)

I liked having a chance to play with a lot of Ranger and Tim Holtz products as I have not really followed the new stuff for several years. I made a list of what I would like to buy for later! 
Truthfully, as much as I love Paula's work, I just didn't love the theme of this project. I could not see how to use this in my home décor, and I am really trying to stop making things that have no use and need to be stored or sold or tossed, or whatever. However, Paula remade this same project for Christmas (see HERE) which I LOVE! So, I am putting this one away until later as I plan to do a makeover of it for next Christmas! I totally like the idea for this project, I just need to make it using a theme that inspires me, and Christmas is 100% my rodeo! 

Plus, Paula ALWAYS gives you so much product that there is plenty of opportunity for me to make some other things with what was leftover! And I am sure I will have ample opportunities to use what we learned! So many techniques!

I was super excited to reserve my spot for the next event...sadly, I have had to cancel my trip to Ready Set Create for 2023. Because...I am going on a 2-week British Isles Cruise with my daughter in September 2023 and could not justify the cost of two events. {smile} 

So that is the scoop on the event! I also completed two kits that I bought, but they are both Christmas projects, so I am going to try to share those on the 25th of each month until I get sick of sharing Christmas stuff. I have a lot of WIPs (Works in Progress) that involve Christmas or Autumn themed items that I hope to share with you when I have some free space on the blog. 

I also purchased a few other kits that I have not started yet, so I will share those as soon as I get them finished. {smile}

Have a great day, and thanks for sticking around to the end!

Monday, January 16, 2023

XOXO Card

Hello, everyone! I am bringing some Valentine cheer over on the Really Reasonable Ribbon Blog. I always cross-post here, but please head over there and look at the inspiration from the other ladies, and also check out the RRR Store.

There is always something so sweet about making Valentine's Day cards. Maybe it is all that pink, red, white, and black together. Maybe it is nostalgia for my school day's Valentine parties. Maybe is is visions of chocolate clouding my brain! Whatever it is, I enjoy making Valentines!

I created a standard A2 card from black cardstock and then jazzed it up with some paper (Simple Stories Kissing Booth, 2018). I adore those X's and O's. 

I made a fluffy bow from the 5/8" Pink Delicate Stitched Satin, topped with a Pink Cottage Rose. I don't care how many mulberry paper flowers I have, I always "need" more! I love that Bonnie carries them in the shop! 

I die cut the word "Love" from black cardstock and attached it (ever so carefully) to the top of the bow. The die was a gift from a friend at Christmas. My sweet friend Becky sent me a whole package of Crafter's Companion items she got in a mystery box. She does not paper craft, so she sent me all the things she had no use for! Look for more projects using my new goodies in the weeks to come!

I also die cut a heart shape from the printed paper. I was going to stitch around the outside edge with embroidery floss, but...I had other things to be doing so I drew on some stitches with a white pen. I did it incorrectly, but pretend it looks fine!

A few stickers and some enamel dots finish off the card. I also lined the inside with white cardstock, ready for a sentiment stamp. 

Thank you so much for joining me today!




Really Reasonable Ribbon Supplies Used:
Other Supplies Used: 
Cardstock: WorldWin Black, Red; Hammermill white
Printed paper: Simple Stories Kissing Booth
Stickers: Simple Stories Kissing Booth, Authentique Adore
Enamel dots: Eyelet Outlet
Word die: Crafter's Companion Gemini Sending Love stamp and die set
Heart die: My Favorite Things Stitchable Heart Stax
Adhesive: Hot glue, foam squares, Art Glitter Dries Clear Glue