Thursday, February 18, 2010

The DH and I are well on our way to WV for a quick skiing trip with a friend of ours, but I wanted to quickly post about a Paper Crafting project I completed shortly after the holiday season this year.

Pretty much the entire month of January is the perfect time to stock up on all of your Christmas decorating/crafting supplies. This year I was able to take advantage of some sick sales at Michaels and Target so I'm hoping to have some fun projects to complete at the beginning of the holiday season this year. Before all of our Christmas decorations went back into the attic for their yearly slumber, I finished decorating some Christmas-y wooden letters. I picked up the wooden letters from my local Michaels store after I had decided what word I wanted to decorate. I went with 'JOY' since it was short, and this was my first attempt at this! I'd like to point out before I get into the nitty-gritty details that this project can be done for pretty much any holiday. You could create these letters for Valentines day spelling out the word 'LOVE', or Thanksgiving with 'THANKS', or just as an every day decoration for a nice nook in your kitchen with 'EAT' or something along those lines!

I started off by sanding (a must!) and painting the wooden letters red. Then I picked out some Christmas scrapbook paper in coordinating colors. Once the letters were dry I flipped each letter upside down and placed them on the back side of each scrapbook paper. Then I traced around each letter with a pencil. I turned the scrapbook paper upside down to trace on so that there wouldn't be any pencil marks on the pretty side of the paper on my finished product. Don't ask me how I came to this brilliant conclusion, I don't want to talk about it. After all the letters were all traced, I carefully cut out each one.

Then came the fun part; well fun to me at least!! I don't know if I've been living in a cave all my life, but I just recently discovered Mod Podge! Crazy, I know! I first put a generous layer of Mod Podge right on to the portion of the wooden letter where I'd apply my paper. Very quickly, I placed the cut out paper letter onto the space I had just applied Mod Podge. I very carefully smoothed out any bubbles and made sure the paper was covering every inch of the painted wooden letter. After I felt confident the Mod Podge had dried, I applied another generous amount of Mod Podge right on top of the paper I had just secured down. I ended up doing a few extra coats on the letters and applied the Mod Podge to the entire letter, not just where the scrapbook paper was to give it a nice shiny look. I waited until the next day to start decorating the letters to make sure all of the thick coats of Mod Podge had plenty of time to dry.
The letters can be decorated with as little or as many embellishments as you'd like, but I went with a minimalist look and hot glued down some Christmas ribbon and snow flake brads. Here's the finished product! I think I'll make more of these this holiday season and give them out as gifts to family members and friends.
Breaking down the cost of this project: Each of the wooden letters were less than $2 each at Michaels. The scrapbook paper, ribbon, and brads were left over from making my Christmas cards this year, so that was free. Total project cost if I had to estimate how much the paper, ribbon, and brads would have cost would probably be around $10.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Gone Ribbon Crazy?

On a recent trip to my local Michael's store to pick up a few items for a craft project the DH is working on (yes, believe it or not Marshall is doing a craft although he'll never admit that it falls into the 'craft' category), I stumbled upon the clearance ribbon section. I swear those pretty spools were calling my name from across the store so I knew a few of them would have to come home with me. After spending a minute or two making sure I had identified all of the spools that were on clearance I started adding my favorites to my basket. For me, picking out ribbon in the store isn't an easy task. It seems as if I suddenly forget what colors I have in my stash at home while I'm in the store, yet every time I'm making a card and go to grab that perfectly matching spool of ribbon I'm baffled at the lack of variety I have. Therefore, every time I see a clearance section of ribbon I know I must take some home with me.

Once I was done adding my favorites to my basket I looked down to check out what I had picked out...what the...every single spool was a shade of pink or purple. Don't get me wrong, pink and purple are my two favorite colors, but talk about the lack of variety! I put all the yummy purples and pretty pink spools back and focused on colors I thought I was lacking at home since I was positive I had plenty of pink and purple. I ended up with two blue spools, a white and black spool, and a pretty deep pinky/purplish spool (it was too pretty to pass up). Fairly satisfied with my selections, the new spools came home with me.

This is what the majority of my ribbon stash looks like. See all the blue ribbon? What was I thinking??? Sure I have a decent supply of purple ribbon, but one spool of pink, green, and yellow? Come on! Why oh why did I put back those pretty pink spools? And why didn't I pick up some yellow or green spools. Ugh! Oh - and as an FYI - since I'm only a beginner and only make cards when there is an occasion that truly calls for a card, my stash of ribbon is no where near as extensive as some 'professional' card makers out there.

Maybe this is a blessing in disguise...I guess I'll just have to go back to Michael's and get some different colors. I think I need to take a complete inventory of what I have and keep it in my purse. That way, the next time I'm in Michael's and swear I'm lacking some good blue ribbon I'll know with out a doubt that there is no way the pretty blue ribbon should come home with me (unless it's crazy discounted since I can't pass up a good deal!). Does anyone else have this problem?

Talking about ribbon brings me to my next problem. I love the bin that my ribbon is currently being stored in. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a sucker for polka-dots. This bin that was on sale for $2.99 at Target had my name written all over it before I even knew what it's purpose would be. Now that I've been using it for a while, I've come to realize that it's no where near large enough for my ribbon collection. It would probably be best utilized for my stamp collection (which like my stash of ribbon's is growing larger and larger every time I just happen to run into that $1 bin at Michael's!).

But, if I were to start storing my stamps in my polka-dot bin I would need to find a new home for all of my pretty ribbon. I've been brainstorming about cheap storage ideas and searching the internet. These are some of the options I've found that I like....

Man these ladies have a lot of ribbon!!! The first picture is a dowel rod fixture, the second uses those wire racks most people use for spices in their pantry, and third picture is of all things metal gutters!!! I can't believe I'm complaining about my minor lack of organization for my tiny ribbon stash when comparing it to the three pictures above. But, after some research and careful budgetary consideration, I think I'll end up fashioning some sort of dowel rod to the desk I currently use for card making. Somehow I'll have to make sure the dowel rod can easily be removed from the desk so that I can add new spools and remove empty spools as needed. I also need to make sure that the dowel rod doesn't spin when I go to use a ribbon. I feel if the dowel rod were to spin when I was pulling out one ribbon, the spools next to it would end up spinning as well and I'd have to re-spool them. That's a project for on down the road, for the time being I'll just have to make do with my oh-so-cute polka dot storage bin!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cali and a Card!

I'm a slacker, I know. I haven't been updating my blog, but in my own defence I've been super busy. The DH and I just returned from my annual work conference which was held in San Diego this year. Since the conference will be in San Diego for the next 5 years, we didn't do a whole lot of planning this time. Usually we research the best places to eat dinner, print out some info on happy hour locations, and look up any local tours that are available. This trip we took it easy and did our own on location research for things we might want to do next year. We did end up taking a tour of the Padres stadium, and a trolly tour of the city. Next year we'll most likely walk around Balboa park and visit the zoo.

So here is my card for the week. I once again decided to participate in The Cats Pajamas TCP Tuesday card challenge (except this time I'm actually participating!!). This time it was an inspirational challenge using an image provided by the TCP hostess.

Since I needed a Valentines Day card for the DH, this card gets to serve a dual purpose! The sentiment and the bling came from the $1 bin at Michaels - doesn't everyone just love that bin! The ribbon was left over from our wedding, and most of the paper came from my sister-in-law's donated stack! I debated for about 30 minutes over what else this card needed, but couldn't figure it out. I really wish I had a scallop circle cutter so that I could fancy up that grey circle in the back.

I have two more cards to make before Saturday which means I need to get busy! This weekend should be a good one. We haven't been able to hang out with our neighbors, Brian and Keri, in about three weeks and finally get a chance to this weekend. Brian's birthday was yesterday, so I'm sure some type of celebration will occur on Saturday. I also have a baby shower go attend for Marshall's cousin on Saturday, assuming it doesn't snow in between now and then. The super bowl is on Sunday, which pretty much means the DH and I will chill on the couch by ourselves with some wine and his oh-so-delish buffalo chicken dip! We're not really a football family and will most likely watch the game for the commercials!