• Live Life Inspired. Dream With Possibility! Donna Downey
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Spring Floral Peekaboo Frame


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This was a fun little frame that came together really easily using some papers from an 8×8 pack of Making Memories papers.  These $1 frames from Michael’s just happen to be the perfect size to allow you to use an 8×8 in its entirety.  This collection from Making Memories happened to have a lot of diecut papers in it and while flipping through them I found that I really liked the way the text looked behind this floral cutout so I Mod Podged them on as is.  You’ll notice the overhang on the sides (these frames aren’t perfectly square) – adding a couple of additional layers of Mod Podge to the front and back stabilizes those overhangs nicely.  I also added some glittery Scribbles (Duncan) to the flower openings to jazz them up a bit and then layered some Prima flowers for the corner.  The beads I used as the flower centers were from Flair from several years ago, but you can find coin-shaped beads like that in most bead departments of your local craft store.  

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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!

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!  

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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.

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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.  

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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!!!

Bittersweet Hearts Canvas

Ready for the late Valentine’s Day flurry?  I know.  You usually get the bulk of my holiday items right after the holiday, lol, but it’s because they’ve been in Scrapbook News + Review magazine and I can’t post them here until the month following the issue debut!  This is a 16″x20″ canvas I did using the new Basic Grey Bittersweet collection and a couple of fun techniques.  Oh!  And I’ve also got another Valentine project (a small dollar store frame) up at the Helmar DT blog today – be sure to check that one out for another fun technique!

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Let’s start with the canvas itself.  I knew the effect I wanted, but on a canvas this size, knew I didn’t have enough Glimmer Mists or even the right shade to make this work.  So I made my own spray.  I took a spray bottle (actually it was the one I was using to spray the cat when he did something bad so now I need to get a new one for that purpose, lol) and mixed several shades of Lumiere paint (Jacquard), Pearl Ex (Jacquard), walnut ink crystals (to tone it down when it was a bit too bright) and water.  I couldn’t begin to tell you how much of what colors because I looked like a mad scientist – add a bit of this and a lot of that – until I got it to spray the way I wanted.  Then I layered it onto the canvas.  The first couple of layers I sprayed then wiped with a soft cloth (first one direction then the other, alternating as each layer dried) then started letting some of the droplets remain so it didn’t look so precise.

Then there was the issue of the hearts.  I do have a heart punch somewhere, but only about a 1″ size and I wanted a much bigger one.  So I looked for one.  For a week or two.  In every store within an hour of here.  LSS’s, craft stores – NO ONE had a heart punch in anything over about an inch.  A month before Valentine’s Day.  I was livid, lol!  When I was a distribution buyer, I always made sure we had those in stock well in advance of the holiday so that when the stores began prepping for Valentine’s Day we’d have them ready for them (so I had them in stock back in early December).  Well apparently with the influx of diecutting machines (which I’ve still never broken down and bought), no one carries much in the way of punches anymore – even basics like a heart.  Sooooo, I dug out my old trusty Coluzzle.  Yea, I’m old school, lol!  And proceeded to cut almost 200 hearts out of each sheet out of the Bittersweet pack (I still have a TON of this paper left too – just no full sheets).  Then I used Scribbles to outline the edges of every single heart with a clear glitter to get a subtle sparkle.  I usually don’t spend this kind of time on projects, but this one took several days to complete.

I finished up by tracing one of the 8″ Making Memories chipboard hearts from a couple of years ago (watch for the heart itself to show up as a magnet I made) onto the canvas and began layering the hearts into a heart shape.  I built up layers using Helmar Liquid Scrap Dots.  These are so cool!  I used an entire tube of them on this but just couldn’t stop myself from layering them higher and higher, lol!  They do take some time to dry so I could only do a few layers at a time then would have to stop to allow them to dry so that I didn’t inadvertently flatten them when I pressed on the next layer.  But it was addictive, lol, and I loved watching it take shape as the layers built up!

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Christmas Frame

This was another simple frame.  I used the basic $1 wooden frame from Michael’s and added paper and a tag from a Hot Off the Press 8×8 Christmas pad.  Something to note, 8×8 fits these frames almost perfectly.  You still have to trim, but with the exception of the middle cutout, you’ll get almost the entire design onto your frame!  I dressed up the design a bit (this page was fairly “complete”) using Glossy Accents (Ranger), Scribbles (Duncan), and some acrylic domes from Tulip (Duncan) to create the tree on the bottom right.

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Snowy Canvas Frame

Remember those little white easel-backed canvas frames EK Success used to have?  Well I still have a handful of them left and thought I’d pull one out for a quick holiday project.  I first painted the sides and back with a pearl Lumiere paint for a nice subtle shimmer.  Then I covered the front with some Heidi Grace snowflake paper.  The dots around the center are Scribbles and the snow on the outer edge of the frame is Delta’s Fantasy Snow.

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Now this stuff is NOT the easiest thing to work with (though I definitely prefer it to DecoArt’s Snow-Tex).  You need to apply it with a palette knife or something similar and it takes some nudging to get the flakes (big, gorgeous glitter flakes) all situated to completely cover your surface.  Fair warning – the end result doesn’t look ANYTHING like the picture on the jar – this product is white based and the pic makes it look like it will be more clear.  But it’s still a really pretty product.   And on top of it all, just because you can’t sparkle TOO much, there’s a nice misting of Glimmer Mist.

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Christmas Mini Birdhouse

Still loving these mini birdhouses!  I had really hoped to do up a little village of them, but that’s probably going to have to wait until next year, lol!  But at least this one is done, and I have one more almost done.  All the papers on this one are from American Crafts (from last year’s collection, or maybe the year before?).  I pulled out one of my ancient deco-edged scissors for the roofline.  All the little felt embellishments are also from American Crafts.  Scribbles made quick work of adding little “ornaments” to the trees and wreath.  I also added fake snow from DecoArt.  This comes in a little tub and has “flakes”, for lack of a better term.  It’s a little awkward to work with – you need to apply it with a palette knife or something similar.  But it’s much sparklier than the photograph shows – really a fun product.  I was thinking it would make a cute ornament as well if someone wanted to add a hanger to it.  I actually ended up donating this to the little girls next door’s school holiday fundraiser sale.  I have no idea what price they put on it, but their mom came home at lunchtime and said it had sold almost immediately so that made me happy!  I hope whoever bought it enjoys it!

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