• Live Life Inspired. Dream With Possibility! Donna Downey
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Easter Bonnet

Admit it – how cute are little girls in little flowered Easter bonnets?  I don’t have a little girl, lol, but when I saw these little white hats in the Target $1 spot I couldn’t resist.  And once I started covering it in flowers (American Crafts), I just couldn’t stop!  I glued them on using Helmar’s Premium Craft Glue and added buttons (Making Memories) with the same.  It was really easy – took about one hour while watching TV, lol.  You can’t really see them well, but there are also circles punched from KaiserCraft paper under the buttons as well.  Simple, inexpensive, and although I wished I’d have had a little girl to wear it, this hat looked darling hanging up as an Easter/Spring decorative piece as well.  

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Tissue Box Cover

Well Central Illinois is now officially under water.  Or at least my basement is.  At least it’s going to be a great day to hang out at home and do some creative things!  

Here’s one of the items I had in the March issue of SNR.  Every month I have an article regarding items that have been altered for a specific room of the house and March happened to be powder rooms.  So along those lines, this is a nice elegantly girly cover for a kleenex box.  Gotta admit.  I love the idea, however I have altered both types of wooden tissue box holders and can’t for the life of me figure out why they would be made to NOT fit any of the tissue boxes on the market.  This one was from Don Mechanic for DecoArt and I have yet to find a box that fits into it.  So you have to take the kleenex OUT of the box then put them in.  

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Yea.  Didn’t make sense to me either, lol.  Anyways, I covered it in patterned papers from Making Memories and also handcut the print flowers from a paper from the same Valentine’s Day line.  I always like holiday lines that work well for non-holiday items.  🙂  I used a Staedtler pen to outline the flowers so they would be a bit more defined against the background and added some velvet ribbon (my favorite!) from American Crafts.  

I absolutely LOVE these chenille flowers from Creekbank Creations.  In hindsight, putting them on top of a kleenex box might not have been the most logical thing to do though, since the kleenex lint is drawn to them like a magnet.  The epoxy brads are from Making Memories.  The flowers and ribbon are attached using Helmar 450 Quick Dry Adhesive and the papers, of course, are Mod Podged on.  There’s also a thin line of black stickles around the opening.  

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Butterfly Photo Holder

Another Michael’s unfinished wood find – $2 and because it’s basically just a block of wood – SUPER quick to alter!  If you’re looking for a beginner item to get your feet wet on altering, this would be an ideal project.   Simply cut your patterned paper (I used some Basic Grey) to the sizes of the sides and top.  

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Adhere them using Helmar Professional Acid Free Glue.  Cut out a couple of butterflies from more Basic Grey paper (or whatever embellishments float your boat for your project), do a little bending for dimension and adhere using Helmar ScrapDots for even more dimension.  A little bit of Scribbles action to get things glittery, of course.  A quick bow out of ribbon, a few Prima flowers and a teeny tiny button brad (Making Memories – I just love these!) and it’s done.  Really.  It’s that easy!

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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Heart Canvas Frame

Oops!  Still trying to get all these Valentine’s projects posted before the end of February.  😉

This little canvas frame took NO time at all.  You could literally make this in a half hour and give it for a gift a couple hours later (just to be sure the paint and glue were totally dry, lol).  The frame is one that EK used to sell – not sure if they still do or not?  Being canvas, it takes paint like a dream and I used Jacquard Lumiere paint to cover it in pink.  The rest is simply adding a few Prima flowers and some pre-glittered chipboard shapes from Scrapworks.  I used Helmar’s 450 Quick Dry Adhesive so it dried fast and strong.  Done!  Change up the colors and theme and you can have instant gifts for family, friends, relatives, teachers…

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Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls

That would be these.

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My friend Kary and I went out for coffee yesterday morning and the coffee shop had these in a glass on the counter.  So here I am, ordering my frozen blended coffee concoction and eyeing these.  Pretty, aren’t they?  Well, of course Kary notices me looking at them.  And being the good friend that she is, SHE knows just WHY I’m looking at them.  And laughs at me.  😉  Now don’t get me wrong – I LOVE tea.  More of a coffee person these days,  but love the occasional cup of tea.  Especially a good tea.  But of course, I wasn’t originally thinking of drinking these, lol.

Did some research on these and here’s what I found:

Tea enriched with the fragrance of jasmine flowers has been a favorite since the Sung Dynasty ruled China 800 years ago. The jasmine plant was brought to China from Persia before the third century. These intoxicatingly fragrant flowers first made their appearance in tea around the fifth century.

Dragon Phoenix Pearl gets its name from the tea bushes “climbing the hillsides like a Dragon rising from the waters”. It is grown in a mountainous, often fog shrouded area near the border of the Fujian and Jiangxi provinces. Dragon Phoenix Pearl is one of the finest jasmines shipped from the port of Foochow.

The tea is plucked in April and May and stored until August when the finest jasmine blossoms are in bloom. Night blooming white jasmine flowers are picked in the morning when the tiny petals are tightly closed and kept cool until nightfall. In the early evening the flowers begin to open with a popping sound which is the signal for the scenting to begin.

Once open, the “mating” of the jasmine and tea leaves takes place in several applications, each taking up to four hours, after which the jasmine petals are removed. Once the petals are removed each leaf and bud set are skillfully hand rolled into a tiny pearl size ball. The tea is then wrapped in silk mesh and dried to set the form.

During infusion the boiling water causes the tiny pearls to open like flowers and then sink slowly to the bottom of the cup. We recommend placing 18 to 20 of these tiny pearls in a clear glass cup to watch their graceful unfurling. The superb fresh bouquet, delicate flavor and unique leaf shape make this tea extra special.

Let me tell you – these smell AMAZING.  So I bought some.  Kary followed me home to watch (she knew) and the minute I got in the door I tried to poke a hole in one with a needle tool.  I tried stabilizing them with Future Floor Finish first (just turned their pretty colors to a dark, shiny brown).  I tried wetting them down first.  Unfortunately, there just is not a way to string these.

So with Kary giggling and offering helpful suggestions along the way (I am soooo converting her to a crafty girl!), I began testing other options.  I cut a small piece of acrylic and began gluing the pearls onto it using Helmar’s 450 Quick Dry Adhesive.  Kary suggested it might look better if I added some color to the acrylic so I pulled out some alcohol inks and dabbed the back, then added a silver bail and popped it onto a hemp cord.  I actually braided some of the cord but forgot to string it before tying off the knots and didn’t feel like re-doing it for the photo, lol.  But anyways.  Here’s my tea pendant.

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And yes – it tastes every bit as heavenly as it smells!