Sunday, May 31, 2015

Loving this beautiful weather!

The rain has finally stopped and we have had a full week of sunshine and warmth. Most people would head outside for picnics, camping, hiking. Not me. I head out to the garage to refinish furniture lol

Last weekend (Memorial Day weekend) was gorgeous. The rain had stopped, the sun was sort of peeking out and the temperatures peaked in the mid 70s. My husband was looking forward to a weekend in front of the television and playing on his computer. Yeah, I didn't let that happen lol

I have been wanting to get rid of the dresser I have been was a hand me down from my inlaws...a bland/blah thing from the 80s. No character and definitely not 'Me'. It clashed with all the antique and vintage style furniture in the room. So I convinced hubby that it was time to refinish the old dresser he had stashed out in the garage.

We estimate, based on wood type and construction, that it is from the 1940s. It was originally stained but at some point in it's life someone spray painted it black and added some hideous gold drawer pulls.

I had already removed some of the pulls before I remembered to take a picture.  Poor thing, it was in pretty rough shape and yet still very structurally sound.....and weighs a tons! lol

I primed it and then painted on several coats of Behr's Cottontail latex paint. I let it dry overnight then hit is with a sander (and a bit of hand sanding) to bring back that aged (and well loved) look.

I then hit all the home improvement stores to find the perfect pulls and fell in love with some that have a dark bronze base and porcelain looking inlay.

The fronts of the drawers have a swirled texture in the wood. I didn't know how this would look when I distressed the paint but I tried to use a light hand and I am thrilled with the results.  And I just LOVE the new pulls!  :-)

It now has a whole new life and although hubby was not happy about losing his weekend, we are both very happy with the results.

But of course, that is not the only thing I have been up to  :-)

My postcard swap items are due in mid June. I completed 2 of the 3 a while ago (see prior posting) and have been stuck with trying to come up with something for number 3.

I finally went digging in my old photo stash.

I found this girl proudly showing off her dress. It isn't a really fancy dress but she seems very happy so I wanted to send her to a dance. I went searching online and found this ticket to a prom "Under the Big Top". Yep, I could see her wearing that dress to a circus themed prom.  I added one of her old hair ribbons and the chorus to one of the songs they played that night.  :-)

Here is the complete set I am sending for the postcard swap.

And lastly, I got a new toy a couple weeks ago. I have a love/hate relationship with the HSN craft days. I see so many things that are new and interesting and thankfully I can usually resist (or only make a small purchase). But I knew this item was coming and I was positive that I didn't need it...and then I watched them demo it and I HAD to have it.

Anna Griffin's mini Minc machine

Have you seen this thing? It is a foil laminator and was just too cool for me to pass up. It had a premier price of only $69, much less than I have paid for other machines in my craft room heehee. (I used it in the prom postcard in case you didn't notice lol)

To be able to add foil accents to projects is just too cool. And I wanted to be able to combine it with other items in my craft room.

Experiment #1: stamp rubber stamp images, scan them then use my Explore to Print Then Cut them.
Then add foil to create fancy card embellishments.

Voila!  How cool would that look on a birthday card?  A shiny light pink and gold cupcake?!  Love it!

Experiment #2: scan images out of my Dover clip art books (I have a couple dozen of them lol) and then print and foil.

The cat is from a clip art book. the flower background is one of the pre-printed backgrounds that came with the Minc. (it came with over 150 printed items including backgrounds, sayings and awesome collection)

The foiled the cat with gold and the flowers with teal. What is really a very simple and basic card has now become elegant. Love it!!!

I am having way too much fun!  I foiled the text for my nephew's graduation card....but haven't photographed it yet (have to remember to do that).

And I made this card for my mom just so she can see exactly what I keep babbling about every time I call her lol

The bad thing about foil is that it is very difficult to photograph!
The background is another of the pre-printed, Anna Griffin backgrounds foiled in silver. The Hello is one of the pre-printed sayings foiled in rose-gold. The bouquet is a Print Then Cut from my Explore.

Well, that's all for this week. I hope you are all having beautiful weather and get to enjoy it in any way that makes you happy.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

To all you wonderful moms out there I hope your children shower you with love today.

I have been absent for a few weeks. Work has been such a bear that I run screaming from my desk each day and don't want to go near another one until I am forced out of bed the next morning. But projects and deadlines exist and I did manage to get a few things completed since I was last here.

The Bad Babies are trying out Pocket Letters. It seems to be the latest craze and we thought we would give it a go. If you haven't heard of them just hit up Google or Pinterest...there are tons of videos and blogs about them.

You would think that filling 9 slots with ATCs and ephemera would be easy....or at least I did. It was much tougher than I expected. I had ideas on what I wanted to do. I even made lists of things I could put in each pocket....and then I got stuck.

How do I decorate each pocket?
Should I have a theme for the whole thing?
Should I try to stick to a color palette?
I know nothing about my recipient...what if she hates everything I put in it?

What I thought would be a 2-3 day project took me almost a month (remember I also had that work issue making me dread any desk in my house lol)

Here is my final Pocket Letter.

I didn't know if she preferred brights or pastels so the corners are bright and the rest are pastels with the middle possibly going either way lol
The top, center pocket has a packet of flower seeds.
The center pocket with the typewriter has my letter.
Of course the Tea Time has the required tea bag (I hate tea and have no idea why that is a 'rule' for these but whatever)
The bottom right is a collage of postage stamps and the pocket is jammed full of stamps from all over the world.
I used vinyl on a couple pockets to hint what was inside.
This pocket is full of stamped quotes. Great for adding to projects.

Here is a stack of Gelli Print backgrounds cut down to 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 for ATCs.

I also created some ATCs myself.
I honestly cannot remember what I tucked behind this 'Absolutely' card. Isn't that sad?! I mailed this out several weeks ago and my brain is mush these days....obviously lol.
The background colors are Gelatos. The woman is a stamp from Art Impressions (L-3103) The flourish is from Tim Holtz French Market set.

One of the ATCs had die-cuts behind it. It think it is this "trendy" one since she is a cut from the Cricut cart Forever Young. The background is a gelli print.

So that went out the door and I was on to the next project(s)...

I have probably mentioned this before over the years, my parents birthdays, Mother's day and Father's day all fall within a one month period. That keeps me hopping for several weeks as I try to get everything made, purchased, packed and mailed.

I made the SVG Cuts Peony Cottage for my Mom. I hope she likes it. I think it is adorable!

For my Dad, I made this cute Smores box from the SVG Cuts Camp Firefly set. It is just big enough to tuck a gift card inside.

My Mom loves tote bags. She says she has tons of them. She rarely buys them. She gets them free when stores are giving them away as promotions or she gets them as gifts from us kids.

I was in the middle of this project when my mom told me she had received an early Mother's Day gift from one of my sisters.....a large tote made from recycled sails. Mom was very excited about it. I am not upset but I was a bit bummed....I was making my mom a large tote from some Gelli Prints I created just for this project. :-(

So, I had to step back for a couple days and rethink. I ended up changing the project a bit. I went from large tote to not quite as large purse/tote with a shoulder strap and magnetic clasp.

The above picture is the front stamped with Fred B. Mullett stamps Lil Ox Eye Oreo, Seahorse 2 and Big Pompano.

And a note about Fred B. Mullett....I bought some stamps directly from his website. The customer service I received blew me away! I received a personal email thanking me for my order and a request that I let them know when it arrived and that he would look into possibly cutting the shipping cost on my order. A couple days later I received a reduction on my shipping! I emailed them back upon receipt of my stamps (which was much sooner than I had expected!) and received another personal and humorous email in return again thanking me for my purchase and wishing me years of enjoyment with my new stamps. No one does that anymore. Everything is automated replies. This was such a breath of fresh air. If I was not already a huge fan of his stamps I certainly would be now. So, if you cannot find his stamps in your local stores don't hesitate to order from him directly. You will not be disappointed.

And back to my Mom's tote/purse ...

Here is the back. This is stamped with a small school of the Lil Ox Eye Oreos, a Rockfish and Silver Salmon.

But since I was now making a purse instead of a tote I added a couple more goodies inside.

A pouch for tissues and a zipper pouch (I do not have a lot of experience installing zippers so hopefully Mom doesn't inspect too closely lol)

And of course, cards...

I love this hummingbird from Art Nouveau.

And my Dad's birthday card which comes from Wild Card 2.

This purse comes from SVG Cuts Luxury Handbag kit. I took the gift card panel from gift card holder in the set and added it to the Gal Pal card so that it is now a gift card holder and a flip open card. That probably doesn't make much sense but if you view the set it might lol

I think that covers should all know by now that you are in for a picture heavy post if I haven't been around for a few weeks lol

Thank you all for visiting and Happy Mother's Day!