Wednesday, June 29, 2011

An Inspiring Birthday

No it isn't my birthday… isn't my children's' birthday…. it isn't Rick's birthday.  But I was "Inspired" by one of my favorite blogs, using one of my favorite designer's products, to make a "Birthday Inspiration
Configuration". Birthday is the theme, Inspiration is the name of the blog from which the swap originated (Inspire Co.) and Configuration refers to the Tim Holtz box we all used.  Amy, of Inspire Co organized the Birthday Configuration Swap.  Interested bloggers sent their name and blog info to Amy and she matched participants together in two's and sent our swap partner's email addresses to us.  I was matched with Maria of the blog Fabulously Creative.  I did receive the box she made for me but I got it as I was leaving for the beach (as in OCEAN!!!!) and didn't have time to photograph it.  I did of course photograph the one that I sent to her.

Tim Holtz Idea-ology Foundations are glued to the bottom of the box.  I love the way this looks because it adds an element of completeness to the box.  
Choosing which of the Configurations and what paper I wanted to use was the first step.  I decided to use the medium size Configuration and the "Whimsy" line by Girls Paperie as my starting point.  I really love pink and aqua and think of them when I think of birthday celebrations.  I didn't own many pink papers so I went shopping at a really cool store in Livonia, called Scrappy Chic.  I had never heard of it until I went to the Mega Meet and the wonderful Jenny Bowlin of JBS Mercantile told me about it.   Very fun and very well stocked.  If I could stock my dream store this would be it.  So I grabbed all sorts of pink things that I thought would look cute- including lots of cool stuff from Mr. Holtz.  Right now there is a big circus thing happening in the scrapbook world so it was easy to find super cool and fun items for this project.

I started by painting the inside of all the boxes with Claudine Hellmuth' Studio paint in Painterly Pink .  I didn't like the way that looked so I covered the back and sides of each inner box carefully with pattern paper from the Whimsy line.  I had to do it twice because It wasn't perfect the first time.  I  covered the entire front with Tim Holtz Tissue Tape to give it a cleaner look and keep the individual boxes from shifting.  The boxes can be moved around to get different "configurations" but since I was going to leave the clear acrylic lid off the finished box I needed to keep the boxes from sliding out.

I made the little hot air balloon seen in the far left box from a Tim Holtz Idea-ology light bulb, aqua seam binding, and fine gold thread.  It is hanging from the top of the box.  The far right top box contains a vial of glitter labeled "dreams" and a large pink acrylic cabochon rose as well as a little flag pennant.  The middle top box has a key I embellished with rhinestones and Glimmer Misted seam binding.  There is also a large aqua pearl and tinsel glitter. 
The little bottles are filled with glitter because there is  never too much glitter. The far right, bottom box contains the framed word and a rhinestone.  The middle box (top in this picture) contains 2 Tim Holtz wings and paper butterflies.
The left side middle opening (top on this picture) holds a little ring I made from a kit using flower and round beads - I added extra Swarovski Crystals to bling it up.  The middle bottom square contains a little Frozen Charlotte doll that I dressed using seam binding colored with  Glimmer Mist and a little party hat I made out of paper and seam binding with a Swarovski Crystal on top
I covered tiny little wooden spools with 1/4 inch silk ribbon in the top box.  You can see a better picture of the ring in the middle box.
The little white frames are from Melissa Frances.  The top one frames music notes and the bottom three say "Happy", "Birthday" and "Maria
I finished the box by adding the Foundation Feet and covered the outside of the box with more paper from the Whimsy line- this one a pink and white check pattern.  The top edge of the box is covered with a line of velvet flower ribbon.  I cut the brads off the pink jewel brads and added one to each end of the ribbon to finish it off.  The roses were also once brads.  The brad portion was cut off and they were glued in place with Glossy Accents.

So much fun to make. I am currently typing quickly so I can head back out to the beach.  My kids are bored by the ocean already- what is wrong with them?  I don't know, but I am going out to sit in the sun, read my smutty novel, think about what to put in a "beach themed" configuration, and soak up the healing energy I get whenever I am near the ocean.  It is relatively calm today so I am hoping to see dolphins.  Fingers crossed.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Here Comes the Bride…..

"Here comes the bride" dum dum da dum….. dum dum da dum… dum dum da dum dum …….No not me…Pul-eeze!  I celebrate my 17th Wedding Anniversary next month.  What is the proper gift for a 17th anniversary these days?   His and Her Smart Phones?  My name in a Domain Name?  IPO of some hot social networking company?  A quick check and Google tells me it is watches or furniture.  Seriously?  That is sooooooo boring.  No wonder people get divorced, they don't want to have to buy their spouse a 17th anniversary gift.   I will have to think of something much better than furniture.

The bride reference really is because I made a wedding gift for a cousin of Rick's and it turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself.  I worried at one point if it was too over-the-top, even describing it as Hello Kitty threw up.  You see, I went all pink, back, and white.  Hello, kitty.  Hopefully if they hate Hello Kitty they like handmade gifts…. made with love…..or just need a photo album for wedding pics.

I made the book using digital files from the late, great House of 3; altering some of the pages in Photoshop Elements (PSE).  I glued it all onto the pages of an acrylic book and then threw lots and lots of glitter at it.  Luckily, a lot stuck!  Never can go wrong with glitter…  Speaking of lots of glitter, I had a continuous glucose monitor on for 5 days as I try to determine if I am pre-diabetic, diabetic or just almost-prediabetic.  I had the unit in the pocked of the pants I wear to make messy crafts.  I pulled it out and found it was covered with glitter from the last time I crafted.  I had immediate visions of "Oops, sorry sir, I ruined your $500 monitor".  Lucky me... it still worked but I had brush it off really carefully.

This is my Black, White and Pink Wedding Album (not to be confused with the work in progress Black, White, and Red Wedding Album).

Cover page, I added the names and colored some of the designs pink in PSE.  The rose is made with Tim Holtz's Tissue Tape (Directions on
Close up of bottom of cover.  The gathered ribbon is seam binding.  I am obsessed with glittering the small lines and words using a Zig glue pen and Martha Stewart Glitter which I think is the best glitter- it is affordable and widely available.  Art Glitter is terrific as well but expensive and harder to find.
I love this pocket I made out of vellum.  I glued decoration on the front but my favorite part is the little journaling tag I made from a piece of one of the pages that I cut up.  The darling polka dots are made with a Ranger pink paint dauber.
I folded the paper on the bottom of this page with a little pleats and glittered the edge.  The "LOVE" is also glittered.  Too much?  NEVER!
The dark pink glitter was applied using the glue pen and MS glitter.
Here you see the acrylic transparent page and more seam binding.

Two page with blank spaces for the bride to add her own pictures.
More of the pleated paper and glittered embellishments.  The embellishments on the 9 square from the top left square: piece of paper and plastic corner decoration,  a punched circle with a rub-on layered on another punched circle with dimensional adhesive in between,  the crown is  metal, the Butterfly is a vellum sticker, and the flower is from two punches held together with a brad.  Lots of glitter and a button complete this page.

More space for photos and a little charm made with a Tim Holtz Fragment with a rub-on and vintage book page.
I love the plastic flowers that are so popular right now.  I glued one to this page which I also highlighted with grey seam binding and faux-flatbacked pearls.  The poem is from my favorite Brian Andreas
Again Brian Andreas poem and glitter.  Poems were added to  page using PSE.
In other news, I took my daughter to see Taylor Swift in concert in Detroit.  It was quite stressful getting there- between Ryann's mandatory dance rehearsals to Rick's work schedule to Chase needing adult supervision to the idiot(s) who scheduled a Tiger home baseball game and Taylor's concert to start within 15 minutes of each other (they are located literally right next to each other).  Making it all so much more complicated was the fact that we would get to town just in time to hit the stadium but I did't have the
Ryann and Ally at Taylor Swift "Speak Now" show
tickets… my sister did.  We couldn't come up with a viable plan to change hands was about all I could take.  The stadium wouldn't let us use Will Call and going to Michelle's house before we headed to the stadium would guarantee we would miss the concert or at least a good portion of it.   I almost called it all off and stayed home.  Luckily my husband was more sane and rationale and late Friday night came up with a plan that, I must say, was as stroke of genius.  You see. he had to leave at 5 am  to get to work at Fed Ex.  He usually flies out of Grand Rapids but has the ability to jumpseat out of Detroit as well, as long as there is room.  At midnight we took the chance that he would be able to do just that and booked a nonrefundable room at the Westin.  The Westin just happened to be 3 or 4 blocks from the concert venue; walking distance.  This plan was so brilliant because it solved all the problems: Michelle dropped off the tickets Saturday afternoon at the front desk so they were waiting for us when we got there.   Rick got the Captain's permission to jumpseat out of Detroit and took a cab to the airport at 5 am.   We parked the car at the hotel valet which was a huge benefit of staying over.   Rick watched Chase until I got back from the concert and then I took over as he went to work fulfilling all legal and moral parental duties.  Somehow, someway the route we took to the hotel-although only a few blocks from the stadiums- was completely hassle free and we did not sit in traffic for even a moment.  This plan became the gift that kept on giving when Michelle, who was bogged down in the huge parking lot that was I-75 was able to change plans, hop on over to the Westin and park in the valet.   She arrived just as the final opening act was wrapping it up. Thankfully, I left Kalamazoo at 3:00 and was checked into the Westin and in my seat watching the opening acts by 7:00.  The Westin was swanky, we had a good night sleep, a $50 breakfast, and were on our way.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Odds and Ends

Memorial Day is a time of remembrance of those we served for our freedom including my husband Lt. Col Kaplan who served in the Air Force and currently serves in the Michigan Air National Guard. 
My family is enjoying a weekend- crazy weather and all- with family and friends at our cottage in Northern Michigan.  Today this weather is gorgeous- a perfect Michigan Summer day…not too hot….not too humid…. perfect.  We head home this afternoon, stop at Nana's for dinner and then on home.  Tomorrow begins the final week of school for my kids and I say "Thank God for no more 6:30 wake-ups… at least for a few weeks".  We have a busy summer planned…busy but fun.

I have some projects that I haven't shared so this post gives me a chance to show those projects.  I do start two new classes in June so expect lots of interesting art.  

The first project that falls under MISC is a really cool kit I ordered from Janet Hopkins.  She is selling directions (not the kit) to make this and other projects on her Etsy site as well.

I adore this book.

I also did another major remodel on the craft space- love it and it is getting much more efficient and effective for me.  I whipped out some small projects for my beloved grandma to put in her room at the Laurels.  It is my duty as her offspring-both genetically and craftically- to keep her room stocked with cool projects.