• Live Life Inspired. Dream With Possibility! Donna Downey
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Bittersweet Storage House

This piece was one I featured in an article in the February issue of Scrapbook News + Review on altered items for your craft room/studio.  I gave up on buying pre-made storage for my craft supplies ages ago.  I’ve found that by thinking outside the box I can come up with something custom-fit for just about any supply PLUS I get to alter it – woohoo!  I pretty much stalk the unfinished wood section of Michael’s.  Hobby Lobby is my other option, but I’ve found I don’t like their selection quite as well (or their quality – always check each piece before purchasing!) and they don’t change out their stock as often as Michael’s does.  When I came across this house shadow box (I think it was $5), my mind just raced with all the possibilities for what might fit into those cute little sections!  


I’ve pictured here a variety of things that fit into the sections, but I actually use it solely for my Stickles and Glossy/Crackle Accents.  I like having those out and handy plus being able to see the Stickles colors at a glance.


First I painted the whole thing with black acrylic paint (Jo Sonja’s by Chroma – it’s a nice, thick paint in a tube.  Step above craft grade, step below artist grade).  Then I started playing with the papers from the Bittersweet line from Basic Grey and just filling in all the spaces.  Paper packs are awesome for projects like this where you want a variety of papers – they’re all pre-coordinated!  I used an Xacto knife to cut out a few strips from one of the papers to decorate the “attic” area.  Then I just started dotting away with Scribbles (Duncan) in a shiny pink to make the edges more interesting.  Even with drying time on the Mod Podge and paint, I think the whole project only took me a couple of hours.  


So next time you’re out at your local craft store, wander through the unfinished wood section and think outside the box!  Take a piece over to the scrapbook section to see what might fit – you might be surprised!!!

Supply storage

I made this to keep some of my crafty supplies close at hand. I honestly have so much stuff that I will forget about it if it’s not in front of me so this is my solution. Here I can keep a selection of rubons, stickers, and other similarly packaged embellishments handy. I left slots for seasonal, new, and favorites. This piece is actually pretty darned big (24 inches high) so it will fit a lot of goodies. It’s freestanding, however could be mounted to the wall as well and cup hooks added to the bottom to hang even more. If I had wall space, I would, lol! The piece was originally just a craft store unfinished wood piece. Glossy spray paint is your friend when working with big items like this! It REALLY didn’ photograph well, but the top edge and all the front edges are actually covered in black ribbon with white polka dots (if you click on the pictures to see the gigantic version you can see the ribbon) . The papers I used are from EK’s Arte Blanche line – they come 3 to a pack on nice, big rolls. This happens to be my favorite set – just love all the swirlies! The flowers at the top…well they will probably come off. I just don’t know that I like them there. The labels on each bin are done with Heidi Swapp chipboard letters.

Rubon Booklet Storage

I altered this little wooden gift bag to hold my rubon books from Making Memories. This keeps them neat and tidy because it fits them perfectly! I matched it to the alcohol ink carrier I had made and both are featured in my new article at Scrapbooking.com Magazine in the brand new June issue. All the items used are the same as for the ink carrier and still, between the two projects, I think I still came in under $10 in supplies!

Accordian Receipt Organizer

In case you couldn’t tell, I just finished up my taxes, lol! THIS year I think I’ll try being organized. I’ve forever got receipts scattered everywhere so I thought I’d make up a little holder to tuck them into – not just my tax stuff, but also major purchases, etc. and stuff I just tend to keep.

I started with an accordian folder album from Zsiage – it’s 6×12 so this came together really fast. I adhered papers from Zsiage’s New England line. The stripe is Cape Cod Stripe and I used that on the front and back, then covered the pockets with Surf and Turf. I used a metallic embroidery thead from DMC (I separated out 1/2 the strands to use) to sew the pockets closed at the sides, making sure the stitching was even on the front and back. I also added a drop of glue to each of the knots as this metallic floss has an odd slickness to it that made me wonder if it would STAY knotted without some help. I cut some smaller pieces of Ocean View and attached a piece to the front and smaller pieces to each of the pockets. I labeled the pocket pieces with my categories (using a Permapaque pen from Sakura) and then outlined each of the pieces with Cinammon Stickles (I LOVE this color!!).
The chipboard numbers and letters on the front are also from Zsiage. The numbers come packaged together and then the letters are 1.5″ Monica font. You’ll need to click on the photo of the front to see the detail. For all the chipboard pieces, I first textured them with the Tim Holtz hammer. Which was fun, lol, I want to play with that some more! Then I used alcohol inks to cover the chipboard. I finished it off using the metallic mixatives by themselves (well, I added just a touch of the blending solution) both dabbing and swiping to get it really random then wiped some away as well.
I know the flowers don’t quite match, but I’m out of the teal in that size so I just went with what Primas I had handy. I liked the bit of contrast it gave but may go back and change that. One of the other Zsiagettes had put together a layout with these papers and used either a red or a pink accent (wracking my brain trying to remember – gonna have to go check) and it ended up just looking fantastic together and it’s one of those things I NEVER would have thought up on my own, lol, being such the matchy-matchy girl I am! Anyways. The flower centers are chipboard dots from Zsiage’s Chippies set covered in the Cinammon Stickles again.

Mail Sorter

Well, I’ve now made FOUR new birdhouses this week…but I can’t share any of them with you yet! One will be in a special issue of Scrapbook News + Review, two I’ve submitted and am busy crossing my fingers for, and the third, of course, is the one Kazan won and I want her to see it before I post it so it will still be a surprise for her!

So instead, I thought I’d share the mail sorter I finished up last night. We’ll see if it actually keeps all my mail off the coffee table…

The sorter itself is from DecoArt (at Michael’s). The patterned papers are Surf & Turf and Cape Cod Stripe from Jen Starr’s New England collection from Zsiage. The scrapbook film letters ans swirls are also from Zsiage – 1.5″ Monica font and chippies. I used Espresso alcohol inks from Ranger on them, then outlined them with silver stickles, also from Ranger. The flowers are from the floral department at Hobby Lobby and I used turquoise stickles to embellish them.

I had several emails regarding the paper beads so I’ve begun work on a tutorial for them. I need to take a few more pictures and hope to have it up later today or tomorrow. I hope you’ll give them a try!!

Gadget Corrall

It’s amazing the number of little things we have in this house that need to be plugged in to charge. Technology may be amazing, but it’s also a pain! I am forever losing the cords when I unplug my phone etc. and the plug falls behind the table I use for charging. I picked up this little wooden tray at Hobby Lobby ($1.50!) and thought it would be perfect with a little modification and a bit of alteration (of course) to keep these things organized. I started with the same Rich Espresso metallic paint from DecoArt that I just love and use on everything and then added papers from Daisy D’s. I edged around the inside bottom with a dimensional writer from DecoArt too. I took some of the scalloped clips from Making Memories and painted those as well before attaching them (with E6000) to the corners to attach my cords to. Voila! A nice attractive place to plug in my phone, etc. where I won’t ever lose the cords!

The only problem is that I planned on also putting things like my son’s Gameboy there, but now he wants one of his own, lol! So much for color matching…yes, the Gameboy is in blue and my Bluetooth matches the darker red shade, etc., which is one of the reasons I picked this paper!

PS – Stop by tomorrow morning and I’ll post some details for a giveaway!

Checkbook cover and a tiny wreath

I’ve decided I have too many projects going at once. Each in various states of “something” needed drying time so it was left “overnight”. I just don’t always get BACK to said project, lol! I have them everywhere. So instead of finishing any of them, last night I at least started projects I could finish in one sitting. It’s a start, isn’t it?

First is this checkbook cover. I can’t believe I’ve never done one of these. I’ve put up with the ugly ones you get from the bank or the check companies. I found one of the Creative Imaginations blanks at Blessed 2 Scrapbook in Champaign and last night decided it was time I had a pretty checkbook cover I won’t be embarassed to pull out in a store! Cheryl, one of my fellow Zsiagettes, recently sent me (among other things – she’s so sweet!) the Stone Rose collection from Prima. I LOVE this line! Then again, I love a lot of their paper lines (totally in love with Angelique and Cavalier from the upcoming CHA release!), lol! I thought the paper was pretty enough on its own to not need a lot of miscellaneous “stuff” added. I did use a rubon that came with the collection which I embellished a bit with glittery Scribbles (I wanted the pattern to show through so used those rather than the Stickles, which would have covered completely). I used some Bo Bunny letter stickers I had hanging around and an old EK quote sticker. I’m in a “less is more” kick right now…except when it comes to sparkles! Oh – and the center of the flower IS in Stickles in a teal color. Click on the picture to get the gigantic version where you can see details.

I found these adorable little tiny grapevine wreaths at Hobby Lobby in the miniatures section (actually I found several really cute little things over there to play with – would it be totally weird if I want to do a full dollhouse altered style even though I only have the one little boy so there will be no one to play with it?). Simply covered it in tiny Primas and used glittery Scribbles (just because I still had them out from the checkbook cover) for the centers. I was debating adding some ribbon and other embellishments, but think I’ll hold off. I rather like this one as is…after all, I did buy several more to play with! They can get a busier design. It’s about 3″ by 3″ – thinking I might add a magnet to the back and pop it onto the refrigerator.