• Live Life Inspired. Dream With Possibility! Donna Downey
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My New Year’s Resolution – Project 365

Yup, I’ve wanted to do this for a couple of years now and have just bitten the bullet and joined this group (registration closes tomorrow since it has to start on 1/1/09!).   I’d love to know if anyone else is doing this?  There are lots of groups out there so I highly encourage finding one and spending this year honing your photography skills (man do I need this, lol) and documenting your year in the everyday extraordinary!  For those who are unfamiliar with Project 365, the concept is simple.  Take one picture per day (of course, you can take more, but at LEAST one).  It can be of anything or anyone that means something to you.  When the year is up, you should have a snapshot view of your interests, yourself, etc., rather than just the usual “here are the Christmas pics, here are the birthday pics…”.  I personally take a lot of people pics (lol, and project pics, of course) so I want to push myself to make this project about the things that surround me rather than the people (who I’ll already photograph).  I’m hoping to start taking more interesting pictures through this journey, as well as a visual reminder of the bits and pieces of my life.

Whether you join the group I’m in or another, I hope you’ll take this photographic journey yourself!

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Noel Ornament/Stocking Hanger

I know, I know, Christmas is over and you probably don’t want to see these, but I still have a few Christmas projects to share with you that were in the November/December issue of SNR!  So bear with me and I’ll try to get them all done up and scheduled for the upcoming week then I’ll move on, I promise!

I made this as a hanger to hang a few special ornaments on.  The plaque with hooks was from Walnut Hollow and one I’ve used before (I use this one to hang my purse and keys on in my entryway) – it alters quickly because it’s a single, simple shape to cover and you can spend your time in decorating mode.  🙂  I used some paint from I started with some Scrapworks paper and the chipboard letters are also Scrapworks.  The ribbon (from L’il Davis Designs from years and years ago) has lightweight wires so that helped with my bow-tying deficiencies, lol!

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What you can’t see well in the picture is that I used a gold glaze from Delta/Rubber Stampede over the whole thing.  I wet down a makeup sponge, wring the excess water, then use that to apply the glaze all over.  Tap it off on some scrap paper first so you’re applying light layers and build them up.  Pretty much the same technique I use with the Making Memories glazes.   Over the front it’s pretty light (catches the light beautifully though) and I used a lot more on the sides, which you can’t see.

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The charms are also really old from Provo Craft.  I LOVE these and have carefully hoarded my little collection (the product was called “Changles”) – aren’t they darling!

This is why I’ve been so absent lately

For a major holiday undertaking, while Michael was at his dad’s house, I redecorated his room!  Here’s the before…

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Somewhere I have more recent pics (the tent has been long gone and the desk moved out next to my desk), but I’m just not sure where they’re filed, lol.  But anyways, you get the picture.  Bright primary colors.  And Michael HATES the yellow walls.  He’s been in pirate mode for a while now and when I asked how he’d LIKE his room to look, he said that’s how he wanted it decorated.  Sooooo, here’s what he came  home to!

The view when you first walk in the room.

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Michael’s first reaction.

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The top bunk of his bed

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That particular pirate is right next to his pillow

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His treasure chest in the corner

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The new little fishtank on the left is pirate themed (too cute), then there’s the new frog, and the old fishtank, just waiting for the last fish to die so we can convert it for hermit crabs.

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The pirate map Michael’s grandma made for him covers the bottom “bunk” of his bed.

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The bottom part looks like this now, except we’ve set up the whole train set, which covers the entire space.

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And Michael and Max enjoying my fuzzy new throw (we’re all about soft, warm blankets to cuddle with in this household, lol!)

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I painted the walls blue first, so that when the pirate mess comes down, he’ll have a nice pretty blue instead of the yellow.  The walls are all covered in a vinyl…stuff.  It came from Oriental Trading from the party section and when it said “vinyl”, I immediately thought of the nice, home dec type.  Ummm, it’s not. Think of the shrinky stuff you cover windows with in the winter…only it doesn’t shrink (I tried, hoping to get some of the wrinkles out).  And it is an absolute nightmare to work with.  Getting the wrinkles out – not a chance.  Getting things trimmed – impossible to do nicely.  Getting it STAY up on the walls, definitely not easy.  I woke  up Sunday morning and had to completely re-do about half the room because it had fallen (HOURS before Michael was due home!).  Ugh.  But I figure it will last about as long as his interest in having THIS much pirate will, lol!   Then in a few months the vinyl will probably come down and just leave the pirate elements.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

Saturday Shout Out

OK, you’ve only got a few more days if you want to get Christmas projects done before the big day!  And here’s some more inspiration for things you didn’t even know you wanted to create (but now you will, lol)!

Still have a last minute gift you need to put together?  Making Memories comes through for you with a simple to reproduce gift tin with lots of ideas for how to fill it!

Tanisha reminded me of another quick and easy gift idea I had totally forgotten about!  Scroll down to check out her adorable magnets – I remember these being the very first “off the page” project I tried with my scrapbooking supplies years ago!  Now somewhere I have a large collection of those glass pebbles…time to dig them out and play a little!  Try these with little stamped images as well (like the Studio G stamps that are too small for most things!)

Tons of gorgeous ornaments on the Bo Bunny blog!

Camille McClelland has finished up the last of this year’s acrylic album village sets with the Reindeer Stables.   All nine little reindeer stalls are darling (love that one is out training, lol).  The roof and the stone pillars between the stalls are fabulous details.  You know, I’m sad this was the last one – watching for these is now a creative tradition for me, lol!  Can’t wait for the 2010 set!

Look!  Lorri did the curly paper trees too – hers turned out soooo great!  LOVE the idea of using the sparkly boa on top (I have some of that…where the heck did I put it?)!

Kendra McCracken made this truly lovely little wall hanging.  Not Christmas, lol, but I’m in love with it!  The combination of fabrics and paper and stamping, oh my!

Roni is still rolling along with her gift ideas and I think this is my favorite yet!  It’s a wire and UTEE necklace that is simply to die for!

Here’s another gift idea that has my brain just spinning with all the possibilities.  Over on the Cosmo Cricket blog, Julie posted instructions for turning an old vinyl album into a bowl.   I have no wall space for a shelf, but am envisioning a shelf of these (cough, what if they were stamped on first!) lined up full of ribbons or other crafty bits!  Cute, huh!

I’m so ready to go poke through my fabric stash after Leigh-Ann posted these great instructions for yo-yo and petal flowers from fabric!  Seriously – are those houndstooth flowers just perfect!!

Ok, I have to stop drooling NOW and go get some stuff done today, lol!  Hope you’ve enjoyed these links as much as I have!

No snow day, so the Christmas party is on!

I was torn.  I really was.  On the one hand, the thought of a snow (ice)day made me happy, knowing that if the roads were iffy I’d have to drive into town to Michael’s school for the party and I hate winter driving.  BUT, after making 20 of these

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to help fill 20 of these

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for all of Michael’s classmates, I probably would have been disappointed, lol!  I’m going in this morning to help with the schoolwide cocoa celebration (they’re even bringing Santa in this year!), then off to the separate classrooms for fun and storytime (they all wore their pajamas this morning) for the rest of the day.  It’s a photo op I’ve been looking forward to, lol!  So luckily not nearly as much of last night and this morning’s rain turned to ice as they expected.  Traffic through my street has been moving at a normal pace and I haven’t seen any slipping.  And my own sidewalk is MUCH less slippery due to the rain washing away most of my ice and leftover snow.

For the wooden ornaments, they are more of the Darice wooden signs I’ve been using for ornaments (these are the smallest sizes), painted with pearl white (it has a mica in it) Jo Sonja’s.  A word about this paint.  A company called Chroma out of Australia makes this and it is FABULOUS.  hands down, it is my favorite acrylic paint.  It comes in a tube rather than a bottle and is much thicker (very much like the proverbial “butter”) than your standard craft acrylic.  It’s a definite step above your Apple Barrel, Ceramcoat, and the like (Making Memories paints fall into this craft category), but a step below your fine art acrylics like Golden.  For most applications, one coat is sufficient.  The colors are rich and as the tube says, “velvet matte finish”.  It’s not cheap.  But it’s well worth the price.  I don’t use it on paper, but LOVE it on wood, acrylic, and such.  I bought an entire CASE (closeout because it had been in a display) back when I was with Herr’s.

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Ok.  Commercial over, lol!

Back to the ornaments.  I kept it very simple and just kept adding more of the rubons from the same Making Memories rubon booklet (this booklet has given me soooo many projects and there are still a ton left in there!).  Some American Crafts ribbon, some Stickle action, and I called it a day.  All in all, they took me about 2 and a half hours from starting with the paint to setting them aside for the Stickles to dry.  For 20 of them.  Not bad. AND, figuring up the cost of materials used (and using percentages of things like the rubons), I think the whole project was probably about $4.  Definitely not bad!

Well, off to the school!

Wintery Frame

I made this frame (of course it’s one of the Michael’s $1 frames) last weekend from a sketch challenge at SNR’s Christmas crop.  I had skipped some elements (stitching around the outside and the title and journaling section in the top left corner).  The papers are all Basic Grey, outlined with my favorite – cinnamon Stickles.  The whole thing is also heavily sprayed down with Glimmer ist (especially the sides – the silvery blue over the brown paint ties in really nicely with the papers on the front) The picture of it has been sitting here on my computer waiting to be posted, but the frame itself has been sitting on top of my monitor mocking me.  Sitting across the room from it last night I finally figured out I didn’t like it the way it was and finally knew why.  Here’s how it originally looked:

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Yup, it needed a snowflake up in that corner!  I had known I wanted to use it with a snow day pic of my son (which is also why I “moved” the big roundish element from the bottom right hand corner up a bit – originally it was more of a side of a sunset look and I wanted more of a snowball look so pulled it out of the corner a bit).  So how I hadn’t thought of adding a snowflake before eludes me.  🙂  Maybe because I’m rebelling against winter in general, lol – the only good snowflake is a crafted version, IMO!  So anyways, here’s the final version.  It’s grungeboard (LOVE this holiday themed set – so glad I begged my lss to get it in for me!)  I squished it onto my moonlight white Brilliance pad (my go-to inkpad for snowflakes this winter, lol) then hit it with the same Glimmer Mist (Frost) to get the blue tones into it.  Adhered it with some Helmar Scrap Dots to pop it up a bit then edged it with the cinammon Stickles.  I layered a second grungeboard snowflake covered in Stickles over it with more Helmar Scrap Dots (really loving this stuff!).  I almost started fluffing with it some more, digging through my embellishments to see what ELSE I could add to it, but much as I love the whole layered/piled on look, I just can’t make myself do it most of the time.  I get to a point and just decide “it’s done”.  One of these days though – because I’ll NEVER whittle this stash down if I don’t start getting it USED, lol!

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Shout Out Saturday…on Wednesday!

Sorry!  I missed getting this done on Saturday but didn’t want to wait until next Saturday (way too much to share!) or backdate my post to last Saturday where it might be missed, so you’re getting a mid-week shout out, lol!

First of all, I hope you’re keeping up with us over on the Helmar USA DT Blog for our 12 Days of Christmas!  We’ve been putting up a project a day (mine was the tree that was posted on Sunday!) that will take you right up to Christmas and there have been some really great projects already – I love that I’m working with such talented ladies!   Totally inspiring!

The last installment of Camille’s  2009 Christmas acrylic album village is up!  The North Pole Post – how cute is that!!!  As always, TONS of little details (including my favorite – the little elf doors!).  I love the spot she left to tuck in the letter to Santa and the adorable poem she wrote to put in it!  The kits for these albums (the whole set are individually available as a complete kit with everything you need plus detailed instructions) are close to being sold out so if you want to make one of these little masterpieces, I’d say you’d probably better act fast!!

I absolutely love these pyramid ornaments that Lorrie made!  I completely envisioned myself making a ton of them, lol, but time is running out and I haven’t even tried it yet.  Maybe next year…

Nicole put up a paper version of a yo-yo tree ornament her mom used to make on the Pink Paislee blog.  First of all, how cool is it to take something that is part of your childhood tradition and update it (kind of like my attempt at sharing salt dough with my son except MY attempt was a lump of dough that wouldn’t “dough”, lol, and giving up – maybe this weekend we’ll try again. )  Anyways, it’s also just as cute as can be!

The Pink Paislee girls are on a roll, because another of their team members, Annabelle, put up this adorable spa scrub gift up on her blog.   While the packaging isn’t Christmasy, I’m envisioning myself (cough) getting a few of these done for Christmas gifts.  Loving that she put the recipe up so I can try!

I’ve seen “12 Days of Christmas” done on so many blogs and sites I’ve lost count, lol, but Lainey did up such a fabulous list I thought I’d mention you should go through all of them, even though I’m only linking to my absolute favorite!  Wow is the only word I can think of for this topiary tree!  Guess I’ll be picking up some more styrofoam!!    I’m thinking of how well this will translate into other holidays and seasons as well…  PS – after you go look at all of the projects, go to this post and let the girls know your favorite and you could win a great looking prize package!  Two more ways to get chances to win as well (lol, one is to post about the giveaway – I find that hilarious that this was already in my post when I happened to read about the giveaway today…yes, I’m still behind in my blog journeys!)  But don’t go for the giveaway (or JUST the giveaway) – seriously.  The topiary is worth seeing!

Go green with your holiday crafting with Cathie Filian!  She shows great instructions for a dimensional ornament we see often in the papercrafting world, but she added the twist of using old greeting cards!

I have to admit – I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Fancy Pants Christmas line this year.  Which is surprising, because I pretty much love everything they do.  But I’ve said it before – I like my traditional Christmas colors, lol, and the more “unique” companies try to make their Christmas line’s colors, the more I rebel against them.  BUT.  After seeing this cute little photo board Allison put up on their blog, I have to relent.  It’s cute, I admit it!

My fellow staff members at SNR are awesome.  There’s talent pretty much oozing out from every corner, lol!  Their blogs are all (well, it was up-to-date a few months ago, lol, there are new ones I need to update) down on the righthand side if you don’t believe me!  Anyways, one of our newer staff members, Melissa, made the most adorable snowflake card!  Granted, the first snow isn’t a reason to celebrate in my book (as I look out the window and it’s starting up again…), but the card certainly is!  🙂

Well, tune in this coming Saturday for the next edition of my Shout Outs – still lots of Christmas goodness to go!  I promise to move on after that, lol (ok, I’ll TRY).