• Live Life Inspired. Dream With Possibility! Donna Downey
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Super Girly Wall Hook

I’ve had this very uncharacteristic obsession with pink this year. I’ve really never been a pink kind of girl, but for some reason I keep picking it up lately! I had this little heart-shaped wall hook from Hobby Lobby ($1, of course!) sitting in one of my boxes of “toys to be altered” and thought I’d whip up something quick. Well, I went a tiny bit overboard on this little project so it wasn’t as quick, but not including drying time (which was a LOT, lol) it was still under an hour hands on, so not too bad.

First I base coated the hook with Strawberries and Cream (AKA Pepto Bismol pink) from Making Memories. I had picked up these two coordinating pieces of paper from Stemma and thought they would be really cute layered together on this. So I started with the white piece for the heart and covered several chipboard flowers from Creekbank Creations with the black. I had also covered the center pieces for the flowers as well, but ended up going a little overboard with Duncan products instead!

I outlined the flowers with a white Souffle pen from Sakura, then started adding dots everywhere with watermelon Scribbles. I ended up filling in the centers of the flowers with the Scribbles, then when those were dry still wasn’t totally sold on it so added glittering crystal Scribbles over the top of that. Some more dots, a flower cut from the paper and Mod Podged onto the hook itself, and I now have a really girly, really busy little hook that I actually have no plan for, lol, except that it’s cute! Luckily I have two little girls who live next door…who love all things girly and pink and flowery and glittery…

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Love Frame

This was another project I did for the first issue of Scrapbook News + Review using the same window frame from Walnut Hollow as the clock I shared yesterday. This time I simply painted it black. I cut Prima papers to fit each window opening and actually just used masking tape to attach them to the back of the frame. My intention was to be able to pull these fully decorated inserts out of the frame and rotate them with other seasonal looks, but these papers happen to look nice in my living room so for the time being, I’ve just left it, lol! The chipboard letters are from Zsiage, covered in Prima paper and edged with a gold pen from Sakura. I used the same pen to edge these silk flowers from Michael’s and layered them with tiny gold heart brads,

Window Frame Clock – working with sketches in altered items!

This is a clock I made from a scrapbook layout sketch for the first issue of Scrapbook News + Review. A lot of sketches really lend themselves well to altered items, whether you use pictures or not. For this one, I happened to use pictures, but I could have just as easily made each of the blocks just a coordinating piece of patterned paper, a quote, whatever works for the piece.

I started with an unfinished window frame from Walnut Hollow. It actually changed color a couple of times and got crackled before I ended up with what I was looking for. The window frames will fit a 12×12 piece of paper behind it exactly but I decided to use a piece of acrylic for the backing. Then I used a 6×6 piece of the same acrylic on the front of the frame to add my clockworks stuff to.

To add the clockworks itself (also from Walnut Hollow), I had to drill through both acrylic pieces and the window frame. With a large hole. This was NOT easy (if you’ve got someone handy with tools who knows of the proper drill bit to use, ASK THEM for help!!) and I definitely have to put the PSA out there to wear eye protection!! In retrospect, it would have probably been easier to use a blade and taken the time to carve out the holes that way (except in the wood frame – that took a drill just fine). Other tips – make sure you use a piece of scrap wood behind the acrylic when you drill. I also used a couple of pieces of masking tape in an “x” over the drill hole as a guide and also to help keep the acrylic from splintering as badly and flying everywhere. Kind of. Pretty sure a different drill bit would have helped, but I used what I had.

From there it was easy sailing. I used tiny screws to attach the back piece of acrylic. I made guide holes for the screws using my trusty Forster hand drill (see the bottom of this post for more info on this handy tool!). The hand drill and it’s tiny hole went through the acrylic beautifully. I then matted each of the photos on coordinating pieces of patterned paper from My Mind’s Eye and edged everything with a copper leafing pen (Krylon) and arranged them according to the sketch. I also edged the 6×6″ piece of acrylic and used the leafing pen to color my clock hands and stamp the word Memories onto another piece of edged paper from MME.

I set up the center 6×6″ acrylic piece and used the clockworks to secure it into place (with some more adhesive behind that piece of pattered paper as well, just to be sure it wouldn’t turn since the clockworks is like a big screw). I used some old decorative brads from Making Memories with the prongs clipped off as my clock “numbers” and set them by turning the clock hands to find the right placement. I love the way it looks against my gold walls in my living room!!

Tried to photograph it from underneath to show the way it’s layered with the 6×6″ center piece on top of the frame and the larger piece beneath it.

So has anyone else tried altering using sketches? Try it! There are tons of gorgeous sketches out there. Round sketches (see Becky Fleck’s Page Maps) are great for regular round clocks. 8.5″x11″ ones are great for clipboards. Remember the elements shown in the sketch aren’t necessarily what you have to use for your project. Replace pictures with patterned papers or embellishments. Replace journaling with a quote, or some other element that will make up the right size.

The very first thing I ever had requested for publication was actually an altered wooden gift bag done from a sketch for the newly released Scrapbook Blueprints 2! You can actually see my project in the preview PDF there on the website. As you can see there, I replaced the top three photos with flowers and the journaling at the bottom with a quote tile!

I’d love to see what you’ve all done with altering based on sketches! Link me up if you’ve done one or do one in the future!!

Southwest Birdhouse

This was the third custom birdhouse I created for a friend to give as a Mother’s Day gift. She had asked for a Southwest theme, which I immediately pictured in my head, but could not for the life of me find ANYTHING that would bring my picture to life. Seriously – cowboy is everywhere, but nothing in those gorgeous Aztec-type designs I was thinking of. So instead, I googled southwest houses and after looking through tons of beautiful stucco houses, revised my vision and took a new path for this birdhouse.

I started with some old My Mind’s Eye paper that had a stucco-like look. I pulled the brick red color for the roof from another common theme I’d seen in my “house hunting” (man, did I ever want to move, lol!). I did attempt the wavy roof, but didn’t like the way it came out so stuck with a flat roof and went another direction.

I found this leather trim in my stash and started trimming out the rooflines and bottom of the birdhouse. Gotta admit – I really loved this look! Then on to decorating.

I knew I wanted cactus. However, like the southwest designs, cactus just isn’t “big” right now…at least not in Central Illinois! I found a couple of EK’s Jolee’s that had some cactus included, but they looked completely cheesy. Not what I wanted at all! It suddenly hit me that I could repeat something I’d done years ago. A little unorthodox, but those cactus are REAL! Years ago, I helped decorate a dollhouse for a guy I was dating’s little sister. We used real cactus and they survived forever – even in the hands of a 5 year old! If you look at some of the small cactus plants you find in grocery stores, Walmart, etc. (I got these at Lowe’s), they grow by “budding”. I took these tiny wooden flower pots (painted and sealed for waterproofing) and added just a tiny bit of dirt, then a tiny bud off of one of my cacti (which I bought to discourage my cat to avoid chewing on my plants…seems to be a lesson he’s learning!). One of the full size plants had these lovely yellow blooms (look carefully – most of those “blooming” cacti actually have their blooms glued on!!!). So I recreated the look with tiny yellow Prima’s folded and scrunched and then glued on. I sent along instructions that they’d need just a drop or two of water every 10 days or so. I used a Bazzill coaster as a base for this one as I didn’t trust having the pots just glued from the sides so they’re glued to the base instead.

It’s a totally different look than my original vision, but I was still pleased with how it came out – my interpretation of southwest architecture!

Quick Baby Bunny Update

Just wanted to share with you that my baby bunnies seem to be doing just fine on their own! I was worried about whether they were old enough to eat on their own (since I know zero about bunny habits, lol) and I am happy to report that they most definitely ARE! I sat and watched one of them yesterday and he was a little eating MACHINE! I have two little areas behind my enormous front bushes that Michael was supposed to clear all the weeds out of so we could plant some flowers. He got one side done the other day but got bored with it so didn’t do the other side. Well, my little bunny friend took care of a good chunk of it just in the twenty minutes I sat and watched! I think he ate his weight in dandelions and other weeds so I have no fear those babies are eating just fine. They have moved in under that bush and seem to have gained an older (seems about two or three times their size but definitely still just born this spring) friend who is living there too. Still no sign of mama, but I feel confident I don’t need to interfere and can just watch them grow up from a distance. With camera in hand, of course!

I’ll be back later with another project!

Quick Shadowbox Decor

This was a spinoff of the adorable butterfly collages showing up everywhere using the Martha Stewart punch. I didn’t have the punch (but I do now – woohoo!) so I just grabbed a circle punch and a pad of Daisy D’s papers. This was soooo quick! It gave me a place to store some coasters on a table in my living room that was looking bare, and the colors were perfect. The shadowbox with drawer is from EK, as was the circle punch (1 3/8″). They are mounted on 1/4″ pop dots.


On a side note, I have five baby bunnies living in my yard who seem to have been abandoned. They are soooo sweet and allow themselves to be petted, picked up, and photographed, lol! They are still awfully tiny and can’t be very old. Anyone know if they’re going to be Ok without their mother? She hasn’t been around in over a week (which makes me think she may have met with an accident) and the bunnies usually separate during the day then you can find them at night all huddled together..in the middle of my yard, lol! There were originally six but their first nest was right next to the road…you can guess what happened. Is there anything I can do for them or will they be ok on their own?
Isn’t he sweet!!!

Country Birdhouse

This was another one of the birdhouses I was commissioned to make for a friend to give as a Mother’s Day gift. I have to admit, this is my new alltime favorite one I’ve made! I love how the colors came together and the little basket and hat were so fun to play with!

The paper is from Daisy D’s. Flowers from Prima. Mini buttons are mixed from Making Memories and Dress It Up. The paint is also Making Memories. The basket and hat are from Darice. I also used Glossy Accents to seal the wire “stems” into the basket.