• Live Life Inspired. Dream With Possibility! Donna Downey
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Playing Catch Up

Wow.  There are tumbleweeds over here rolling across my blogland home, lol!  I have so much to catch up on I don’t even know where to begin!  My days have been busy, busy, busy lately and although blogging has been on my “to do” list for the past month, it just always seems to get skipped.  I blame Facebook.  You can come find me there if you want to make sure I’m not dead if I disappear like this again!  

So anyways.  Let’s see.  Let’s start with Scrapbook News + Review.   That would be where a lot of my time and energy is going these days and if you haven’t come by yet, trust me, you will want to!  We have got some truly amazing things that will be unveiled in the coming months, from HUGE new features in the magazine to some spectacular events planned.  I really don’t know how to even begin telling you how exciting this all is – NO other magazine, print or online, has the kind of content we have in the works right now.  Everything from our new kit club section that unveiled in the April issue to the fabulous new sections coming up, videos, TONS of techniques, big projects with manufacturers…we got it all, baby!  And don’t be shy – the staff has all been crazy busy behind the scenes getting all the new stuff figured out, but we’d LOVE to have you stop by the forum and chat with us!  We’re ALWAYS up for making some time to talk to other paper crafting enthusiasts – it’s why we DO what we do, lol!  

Speaking of SNR, I’ve still got all my March projects to share with you (eek – and a few left over from February – do you really still want to see Valentine’s Day though?).  I’ll get to those next so you should start seeing those all pop up and wake my poor little blog up.  😉

Next.  Helmar – wow, I’ve been creating up a storm with some fun new things they sent us and all of our fabulous new preferred manufacturer partners.  I’ll start getting some of that up as well!  For starters, this project went up today on the Helmar USA DT blog.  Go check it out for all the details on what I used and how!  

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Beautiful Life Wall Hanging

This was a project I made for Helmar that went to CHA to go in the booth.  I miss it!  This paper line from Bo Bunny really looked great in my living room – going to have to hunt down some more and make a new one, lol!  For the base of the wall hanging, I used chipboard pieces from Creekbank Creations.  I think I’ve mentioned their chipboard before as I use it especially on jewelry.  It’s much denser than anything else on the market so it’s super strong and will hold up to any kind of application – paint, Mod Podge, inks, etc. without any warping.  They are local for me, so I can get my hands on their products easily but it’s not as readily available elsewhere so if you’d like to try it, you’d probably need to check their online store or see them at an event.  They have a whole second “store” that travels to all the CK conventions and lots of other events.  So if you’re at one of those, stop by and try this chipboard – they have lots of mini books and shapes and pages of cutouts plus will do custom word books.

Anyways, back to the project.  Again, I relied mainly on the paper and a page of cutouts that goes with the Beautiful Life line and just accented with lots of Stickles.  Some Prima flowers and epoxy washers from EK (Rebecca Sower’s Attic line) and a piece of ribbon from American Crafts and lots of Helmar adhesives to put it all together!  The little wooden house shape was a craft store find – they came in a package of four for $1, I think.

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Random Pendants

Just a couple of quick pendants I made using old Magic Scraps metal tags covered with tiny scraps of paper and covered in Glossy Accents.  Added outline stickers to the one and Stickles to the edges of the other.  Haven’t figured out what I’m going to do with them yet, was just testing the suitability of the metal tags as a base material.

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Tis the Season Wooden Gift Bag

I love these.  They’re only $1 (I usually get mine at Michael’s – they carry them year round but at Christmas they always have extras in multiple areas) and are one of the easiest things to alter.  I’m just starting this year’s collection to give to teachers, bus drivers, etc.  Usually I fill them with candy, but with the healthy eating thing going on at the school I’m trying to think of other ideas (help!).  Sigh.  But at least our adorable new bus driver can get chocolate!  🙂

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I’m not sure why, but I’ve had this tendency lately to want to mix styles.  Like this casual stripe with my swirlies and elegant look to the embossing.  The paper is actually a NON-Christmas one, from an older Bo Bunny line.  The stamp is from HOTP and embossed with gold EP from Comotion.  The flower is my favorite though.  I bought this package of four of them last year at the dollar store.  Yup – $1 for for 4 of them, bells included.  I took this one apart and used a swirly stamp (HOTP again) on it and glittery red “Tinsel” embossing powder from Ranger.  I liked the tone on tone look it gave and added just the right touch of elegance to a cheap dollar store find, lol!  The original flower was attached to a slightly longer stem that ended in a big adhesive pop dot, basically.  I didn’t want it sticking out that far so I clipped off about 1/4″ of the stem thing and used my new best friend, Helmar’s 450 adhesive.  Hehe – that poinsettia is never coming off!

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Snowflake Tree Coaster Ornament

I keep seeing those cute projects where buttons have been laid onto paper in the shape of a Christmas tree.  And I want one.  Only I got sidetracked!  In hunting down enough white buttons, I came across this entire container full of shaped brads.  It’s FULL and I never, ever even open it.  Well I had one entire drawer full of snowflake brads in several colors, sizes, and styles.  Including tons and tons of white!  so I decided to do a small scale version of the button project I will someday do (lol) using a Bazzill coaster and some of those brads.  I covered the chipboard with Bo Bunny paper, then clipped off the legs of all my brads and glued them on.

I’m having a really sparkle thing going here lately so I decided to bling it up and sprayed it with Glimmer Mists.  Of course it wasn’t sparkly ENOUGH yet (plus the mist doesn’t stick really well to those brads) so I went back over and added Stickles to everything (snowflakes, chipboard “trunk” and around the edges of the coaster itself).  A couple of holes with the Crop-a-dile and some ribbon to hang it (which I will probably change out and shorten) and I decided that was enough.  Simple and sparkly – love that combination!

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Trust me – this shines like nobody’s business, especially since I found it a location in front of some lights on the tree! While I still want a button tree, this was a fun little compromise to tide me over (still haven’t found my white buttons, lol).

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Bluebell Bracelet

Another piece from the Wearables section of the October issue of Scrapbook News + Review.  Just a simple, fun little bracelet using Bo Bunny paper Mod Podged to small wood tiles.  Each tile got edged with Stickles then I used a Crop-A-Dile to get the holes for the jumprings.  I added some coordinating beads to the jumprings because I had to use such large jumprings it just looked empty until those little beads made everything come together!  The magnetic clasp made this much easier to put on/take off.

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In answer to the question about where to find the tiles, I buy lots and lots of similar items.  Check in any craft store in the unfinished wood section.  They are usually bagged and hanging and come in various shapes, sizes, and mixes – all very inexpensive.  Please note that there will generally be some warped pieces in each bag so just check each piece before you use it and if you need a certain number, grab an extra bag just to be sure you have enough.

As for using Scrabble tiles, yes, you can make a bracelet with them, however I would probably change how you do it.  Since a Crop-A-Dile isn’t going to go through it, you’ll need to use a drill.  Because the tiles are smaller than these (but much thicker), I’d recommend going through from the side rather than the top and stringing them rather than having to use really huge jumprings.

Haunted House

Another inexpensive find at Michael’s, this little wooden haunted house cutout is from Lara’s Crafts – think it was $2.  I covered it with paper from Bo Bunny – my son gave his opinion about not understanding using the word paper (which he thought was way cool though) on a house, but I just liked how the color transitions came out in “house form”.  You know, I keep buying these detailed wooden cutouts and then covering them in paper and THEN remembering why I told myself not to do it again.  It’s seriously a PITA.  If you really want to try this, just plan on spending some quality time with your Xacto knife.  And be careful – it’s easy to slice into the fingers while trying to get all the nooks and crannies of something like this, lol!

I had originally planned to try to get all the details separated out, but the cutout is a little odd in spaces – I wasn’t sure just what parts were actually intended to look like.  so instead I took the easy route and added a bunch of EK stickers.  Those are always fun to play with – several of them have been moved several times (those poor birds) so once I’m SURE I like them where they are (yes, they even got moved while I was photographing, lol), I’ll need to use a secondary adhesive on them for permanence.

I’ll be putting it up with a candle behind it.  If it’s safe.  Right now I’m thinking it might need glitter…or something…   See why I never get anything done?  I keep wanting to add to it later.  And add to it.  LOL!