Tuesday, December 30, 2008

From one Holiday to the Next

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We were snowed in most of the week here at the North Pole, I mean, Michigan. We were not plowed out until Christmas Eve at 9PM! The kiddos got loads of toys and sweets. Santa must've thought me good this year- I got Starbucks and Michaels giftcards and a whole box of Martha Stewart glitter in every color! He also left a Wii here, which Dearest is hooking up as I type. We've also watched many of our favorite Christmas movies, and a new one highly recommended by sweetie Candice Carpenter, Bing Crosby's White Christmas. I had never seen it before, but it's now my favorite Christmas movie (move over Elf!).
I've been working on some new Valentine's goodies for the shoppe. I must give a standing ovation to Lisa's Altered Art. Her collage sheets are lovely and may show up in a few art treats later on. Meanwhile I've been busy keeping my fingertips pink and red with dye inks. Here's a beauty from one of my kits at etsy. I'm still working on techniques that will minimize the tearing in separating layers of wet crepe streamer. Keep your fingers crossed for me! Also have many ribbons soon to be added to the sale block. I've placed a few on vintage flashcards or these lovely mini-cards from Jenni Bowlin. They are hand-dyed, as well, with lovely subtle shadings. Scrumptious!

Here's the full Spun Sugar set, with dyed ribbon and matching crepe. This crepe streamer was originally ivory, although that side is down in the picture so you only see the dipped pink end. I have several larger kits I'm putting the finishing touches on. Hopefully will be up soon!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I've got the Joy!

My eldest daughter needed a gift for her second grade teacher, but changed her mind last minute. We came up with this quick gift idea. (being as banners are such a popular trend right now- she still had to explain to her teacher what it was!)

We used the lovely Jenni Bowlin Christmas Bingo cards for the backdrop, then covered them with vintage German Scraps, Christmas picks, cut digital collage images, dresden, tinsel and pom-pom garlands, a stamped image of a cardinal (insisted upon by sweet girl). JOY is made from Cricut's Storybook cartridge (yes, I use that one frequently!). All strung on bakers twine and tied up with seam bindings in red and hand-dyed cream!)
Closer ups of the individual letters- Hot glue gun works well for adding the picks, garlands, and dresdens. Otherwise Zip-dry is my personal glue choice for papers.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sugar Shoppe

I'm hoping to add more basic paper elements to the shoppe soon. Items that can be used for your own crafting. I've started with one set of SugarCubes (basic crepe rosettes). This particular set is Marzipan. You can add collage images, glitter, sparkle, buttons, ribbon, and all little fun sorts of items to them, then they can be added to collages, scrapbooks, mixed media, altered journals, banners....

You may have noticed some of the new sections I've added to my shoppe (waiting to be filled). My thoughts on SpunSugar include all sorts of trims, like the vintage red and white ribbon there now, and also I'm experimenting with dyeing both seam bindings and crepe streamers.

Raw Sugar will be small kits most likely with a few SugarCubes, some seam binding, and some Swarovski crystals all in coordinating themes.

Sugar Rush is to be larger kits including those above, plus some vintage images, fancy papers. I have so many ideas floating around my head, but most of them will have to take place after the holidays.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Generally French

My wishlist has almost always include one of these gorgeous decorating boxes from the French General
I finally broke down and made my first purchase:The holiday decorating box! (I believe it is currently referred to as the Star Bright box). This compact box holds a surprising amount of heart palpitating goodness. Here is the first layer
After unearthing all the trims and notions containers, the second layer filled with dresden, feathers and stamen. The silver underneath is a type of cloth/tissue I will savour as long as it holds out.

Removing the beautiful cloth layers to reveal pretty papers and old labels. What fun it will be to create with this lovely box of notions!

Vintage Trimmings

I'd been eyeing this trim at French General for ages. It's so unique, and truly vintage. And now it's finally mine. All 36 metres of it (that's a lot!). I might be sharing some soon. On the website it appears to be white and red, but the background is truly more ivory colored. I had a hard time deciding between the geranium red, bright petal pink, or ocean blue. Guess I'll have to save up for the next roll.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sugar Follies

I am almost ready to add some items to my etsy shop. The first batch will include these element sets, which I call Sugar Follies. They will be a grouping of coordinating items that can be included in scrapbooks, altered objects, in home decor, or just plain collecting (something of which I seem to do frequently). These three sets each have a crepe rosette/flower, decorated prima-style flowers -mostly mounted on a manila shipping tag, ribbon or other decorative trim, and mini vintage-style flashcards.
Here is Nutcracker
And Jack Frost
And finally, Snow berries

Monday, November 10, 2008

Melting Marshmallows

I am participating two new banner swaps (Hot Cocoa and Candy Cane). I am creating the "H" and a blank for the Hot Cocoa set. (We use blanks to start, finish, and separate words on a banner). I chose to create a crepe rosette dusted lightly with mica flakes. Center round is old German print, then a Cricut Storybook H and snowflake brad. Background is a candy stripe red ribbon and swirl, again from Cricut Storybook.
The blank uses Cricut Joys of the Seasons Ice Skate, with silver blades! Chalked to age, assorted scrapbook papers, prima, doodlebug velvet brad, and some craft pom-pom trim. I hope my swap partners are pleased.

Monday, November 3, 2008

When New Friends Meet

I don't feel as if I've had much time to sit down and do anything beyond standard daily chores lately. And our cat (Barnum) has not been very happy with us. Here he is greeting his new roomate for the first time. Here is the newest little member of our household shortly after we brought him home mid-October.

And a picture of him taken by the lovely family that owns his mama. He's only about 6 weeks in this picture.

He has been keeping us busy playing ropey, squeaky toys, keeping him from chewing EVERYTHING and the very fun housebreaking.
He's been dubbed Mr. Bingley (ala Pride and Prejudice) and I think he needs to go out now.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Sugared Banner!

Finally! A real banner made by someone who has the talent I lack with image editing. I've admired her work since I "discovered" her etsy work, the lovely Kris Hurst (Blissfull Elements). I'm behind already when I think of the Christmas presents I need to start making. This should give me some inspiration!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Major Mojo Buzz

I'm so full of inspiration right now. I finally have come up with a concept for an etsy store. The variations on the main idea are endless, and I have PAGES of notes for different colors, themes, presentations, and names. The excitement running through me sometimes feels similar to when you first see your full stocking on Christmas morning- so happy and full of potential.

It is taking some time to bring everything together, I am anxious to have one piece finished. (I have many started. Isn't that how lots of projects go?) I have to set up the shop as well, and decide whether or not I want to keep my current buyers name or start a new account for the Sugared Songbird.

Not giving any peeks yet, as everything is in the early stages, but I hope it will be worth the wait.

Cause I seriously need to earn some of the $ back I spend there.

Monday, October 6, 2008

It's Actually All About Me!

Well, at least this altered composition will be. When I decided I wanted to do a scrapbook album of my own thoughts, ideas, favourites, etc. I knew I'd want a place to track some of these ideas before they hit album pages. On Scrapshare we've taken to calling these albums "Book of Me" or BOM after the book written by Angie Pedersen. I have yet to start my album, but at least I have a cool composition to inspire me! This one is covered in Basic Grey's Haute Couture line (one of my favourites) and a vintage book page. Some of the ephemera is printed by K&Co. and some other bits are by Jenni Bowlin. Little green pearls and golden circles are from my craft box. I also used vintage collage images I had collected off of etsy.
The spine is tied in yellow seam binding and holds a crystal chandelier drop.
The back- you can also see ribbons from Basic Grey's Haute Cotoure to divide "chapters"
Happy thoughts once again, this time running up the inside of the back cover.

You're my Cuppy-cake (Journal)

I started keeping notes in a plain old composition book on ideas for arts-and-crafty goodness. Things like themes, great color combos, favourite supplies, and a list of my Doodlebug embellishments (they are so yummy and come in so many colors I had a hard time remembering which I had of what!). But the cover was so dull. So I dressed it up in my favourite paper line (Basic Grey) and added my favourite colors (red and pink) and favourite sweet (cupcakes) and loads of my favourite embellishments (Doodlebug, Jenni Bowlin -love crepe paper!, evalicious newsprint buttons, wish tickets, seam binding, ribbons of all varieties)
A small pocket inside the front cover
Aside from the cover stating to "Think Happy Thoughts" a perfectly "Happy" flashcard adorns the back.
And absolutely everything in here is full of inspiration!

Finished Spooky Banner

All the pieces made it here, and I was able to tie it all together with a combination of seam binding and tulle.

I {heart} Jenni Bowlin

I love her kits! In August she asked for willing participants to send in layouts and other items using that month's kit. I'd never tried something like that before, so it was fun to experiment with the constraints of the challenge. I did one layout of my daughter in a blouse I had sewn for her with her choice of bottoms. I also presented an altered journal.

While I did not win, I certainly had fun trying. I'd never attempted a design spot before, so this was new to me. I hope to try again sometime.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Never One to Sit Still

I was inspired by a Christmas Organizer published in Paper Trends Dec/Jan issue from last year. I intended on doing the Christmas themed one (who doesn't need organizing for the Holidays, the earlier the better). However, my love of the cute notecards I've browsed on Etsy led me to do a greeting cards organizer first. I like how it turned out, and this may just become my Christmas gifts to family and friends this year! The file organizer itself came from Target, with 6 expanding files. Paper is FancyPants line "Celebrate". Cricut Storybook cartridge provided the title. I will reacess how I want to deal with the handle. Perhaps just cutting the paper down like I did on the reverse. Maybe a bit of paint. The backside was a sheet of predesigned paper from FancyPants.
The inside dividers (I was limited to six!) are titled: Birthdays, Thank You, Wedding/Baby, Congrats, Sympathy/Get Well, and Other/Blank

Now to fill it up with the whimsical designs from my favorite artists ( I already snagged two from the lovely Melissa Phillips aka Lilybean's Paperie!)

Friday, September 5, 2008


My friend and companion of eleven + years was put to rest this morning. He's been with me when I lived on my own, through the wedding and births of three children. He took good care of us and enjoyed eating popcorn when tossed his way. Rest in peace, my friend.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Playing with glue

Been busy playing with crepe and glue again. I've been so inspired by all the flowers and rosettes I've seen on blogs and etsy I tried a few of my own. The little orange posies on the vintage book pages are very close in design to the pretties made by Eve
The crepe flowers are a combination of types I've seen from many artists and the ribbon flowers are my own design. And they use a LOT of glue dots. I vow from now on to never run out of glue dots, Zip-dry, and crepe paper.

Monday, August 25, 2008

S is for Spooky

I'm hostessing a banner swap at my favorite site (Scrapshare). My favorite group is the Spooky Banner. Each participant in this particular group creates eight each of their chosen letter (there are two decorative "blanks" at each end) and I swap everyone's set out so the participants end up with one each of the blanks and letters to spell out Spooky. Color scheme is black, white, and orange. This was my first time sewing on paper- it went real well, til the bobbin ran out of thread, and then the whole machine started squeaking. Must remember to oil soon. I used SCAL to cut out the "S" in Oklahoma font. Black Market paper for the background, as well as Bazzill. Pink Paislee provided the stamp, while the tulle came from Bazzill's new line of embellishments (must get more colors!)
I can't wait to show off the whole banner. (Shhh...I'm liking this piece so much that I might just recreate the entire spooky banner in this style for a RAK!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

There's Something About Marie

Marie Antoinette, that is! There's just something sinfully decadent in studying her lifestyle and excesses. Oh, to own even one pair of these shoes (however uncomfy those toes look!)
That's why I was thrilled to discover that Stampington (makers of the wonderul magazines my most favorite being Somerset Life) is doing an entire publication filled with gorgeous images and assemblages based on the last Queen of France! It won't be available til next Spring, I can hardly wait!

Mad Mom

Well, after trying upload several images to blogger and kept crashing, I finally got this one on here. It's from a recent daytrip to Frederik Meijer Gardens. My children love playing in the Children's Garden. This statue is parked near the enterance to the play area. It's called Mad Mom. I think I need to make a refrigerator magnet of this one. Truthfully, it reminds me of those Colorforms people. The kind you build things out of plastic shapes you stick to a black sheet.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Never too Early for Halloween

I've always been attracted to the romantic vintage images of Halloween. That's why I'm so excited to be a part of Kari Ranstom's (better known as ArtsyMama) Sweet and Sinister blog. She has a great team of artists lined up to inspire us for three whole months! I was a bit too late to join the swap, but I look forward to the giveaways, tutorials, and pretty eye candy it's sure to bring!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sprinkles Cover All Manner of Faults

There is a reason I buy my children's birthday cakes. I knew there was. I've been so inspired by the beautiful cupcake images and tasty treats posted by other bloggers and etsy sellers. So I broke down and bought a cupcake book (Crazy About Cupcakes). And went about baking the golden cupcake recipe for my son's third birthday. He picked out the Cars cupcake wrappers himself. Note to future cupcake bakers- the wrappers either stick permanently to the cupcakes or they wouldn't stay in shape and fell off the sides after baking. The recipe said would make 18 to 24 cupcakes. My 27 cupcakes were overflowing the pan and stuck to the top of it. Even with the cup only 2/3s full.
I thought for sure that the chocolate buttercream frosting I made the next day would hide the crumbly (yet very moist) cupcakes. Um, no, not really, they just spread the crumbs further.
But somehow the sprinkles covered up all the cupcake injustices of the world and they were still devoured at the party.
At least they tasted good. I would just use regular paper liners and maybe fill the cup only half-way next time.

Thought I'd post another little pretty from my studio. Fun inspiration for me while I work. Big puffy handmade millinery and bag of glass glitter stars by Marilyn . Hot pink sugar bloom and little beige silk posie by Tara . Book page rosette and crepe rosette by me. Pink shoe was a favourite etsy purchase as well.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Patriotic Panache

Happy Belated July 4th! Our power was out from Wednesday til about noon today, so I am behind in posting. Still wanted to share some of my Americana vignettes.
This lovely party hat came from a kit at Peacoats and Partyhats. I love Candice's kits, they are highly doable, and still give the opportunity to add your own creativity. I've done a few of her others, including the birthday banner hanging in my living room right now awaiting my son's upcoming birthday party. She has the most delicious things in her shop, and will soon be organizing her first swap. I've done many a scrapbook swap, and secret sisters type swaps, but have yet to try a blog swap. They always look like fun! Candice is also putting together a Marie Antoinette soiree (swoon), but living as far as I do, I can just hope they post lots of beautiful eye candy of the party afterwards. Here is my favorite American Girl doll (Kit) wearing her patriotic outfit from my friend Debbie (her work is well recognized on ebay). She's looking upon a Dee Foust crown and a pair of tiny cat sisters.
Aren't they the most adorable pair of stinkers? This is the first set I've received from Crystal. They won't be my last- the work is amazingly detailed. Her seasonal work is my favorite, and I'm hoping to add a Halloween set this upcoming autumn.