Monday, February 25, 2013

Memory Book

When my dad's best friend passed away (eerily exactly a year before my dad died) I made his wife a little book that was full of things that Larry loved- his kids names, his grandkids names, his hobbies…I included some amazing poems by the amazing Brian Andreas.  If you don't know if his work I highly recommend you check it out.  His work-StoryPeople- is quirky but always so meaningful.

My mom's friend Judi's mother passed away in December and mom asked me to make a similar book. While it is always harder when I don't know the person, I managed to make something I think is pretty and hopefully Judi will enjoy.

I made the book on my Cricut using papers by Amy Butler (K&Company).  The 5x5 Album with Box is a digital file from Lori Whitlock available here.
The box is made from cardstock.  Because it is a box- and the mini album fits snuggly-the first box actually ripped on the edges after it was pulled out and in a few times. I recut the box, left off the decorative pieces because the paper was so beautiful and covered ALL the edges with Tissue Tape.  Hopefully this, and careful use, will keep it from ripping again.
The letters for MOM were cut on Sizzix Alterations Word Play die- a favorite of mine.

Cover- I covered the "binding" edge of the book with mt brand silver washi tape- a favorite of mine- I love how it shines and it looks so beautiful on anything and everything.  I made the tassel using some silver thread I've had forever.  The metallic thread is very stiff so I used a drop or 2 of Glossy Accents on the knots to ensure it doesn't come untied.  The flowers were cut using Alterations Tattered Florals. Idea-ology Accoutrements buttons and a flat-backed pearl became the flower centers.  Idea-ology Tissue Tape, an Idea-ology Word Band, a small Divine Twine bow and more pearls complete the cover.
Page 1:   Includes a Brian Andreas poem called Butterflies:
Brian has no problem with changing the gender of his poems and in fact you can order his products with either gender.  The page was left very clean with only an Idea-ology heart held in place with a Divine Twine bow.

Page 2:  Includes her mom's name and a place for a favorite photo.  I ran a length of redline tape along the bottom of both pages and covered it with White Gold Martha Stewart Fine Glitter…my favorite glitter- and you know that is saying a lot.
Page 3 and4:  I added her family information hand important dates (I did block out last names and dates since I didn't have anyone's permission to add it however all the info was obtained from public obituaries).  I used a combination of Idea-ology Alpha Parts (painted with silver Paint Dabber), black label maker tape, and computer print (with a variety of fonts) to add the information.  All the edges were inked and I added rhinestone and pearl embellishments.
Page 4:  Another space for a treasured photo.  The page was kept simple with an Idea-ology Ornate Plate and black label maker tape.
Page 5:  Is devoted to journaling a special memory.  I made a journaling tag and envelope using Alteration dies (Tag and Tie and Pocket Envelope).  More label maker tape, Tissue Tape, pearls, and rose ribbon completed this page.
Page 6: A simple page for a photo with only a sparkly brown ribbon (Making Memories) and the beautiful Amy Butler paper.
Page 7: I used a glassine envelope to hold paper embellishments that symbolize things she did with her life and/or loved.  I fussy cut the images and placed them loosely in the envelope.

  • A Cross I printed off the internet to represent her deep faith. 
  • An old advertisement for beauty school also printed off the internet to represent her career
  • A rubber stamped doily to represent her love of crochet
  • A rubber stamped airplane to represent her work during WWII at an airplane factory

The final page includes another Brian Andreas poem Thousand Moments:
I still remember the day the world took you back & there was
never time to thank you for the thousand scattered moments
you left behind to watch us while we slept. 

The final embellishment for this page is an Idea-ology clock from Time Pieces and 2 Game Spinners and another line of the pearls.  All of the cardstock pieces in this album were inked using Distress Inks.   

Saturday, February 23, 2013

February 12 Tags of 2013

I spent yesterday in the studio you guys.  Yay!  This morning my husband realized the water softener was spraying horizontal out into my studio space so the carpet is very wet right now.  Yuck… but thankfully I believe we found it early.

First up is my response to Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2013.  As always I like to show Tim's tag:

and my version:
I didn't have the Valentine Blueprint set  but I do have this awesome "steampunk-ish" set with the lightbulb.  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wedding: The Credit Card Is Out: Get The Best Deal On Craft Supplies For Your Wedding

God, I love spending somebody else's money.  So.  Much.  Fun.  My credit card is getting a workout as  I shop for The Wedding (AKA my friend B's June wedding).  If you want to get picky, I am shopping for supplies for all of the projects I want to make for the event.  And shopping like this is fun, if not a little overwhelming.  When I got married 19-ish years ago, there was no internet and while that certainly stifled my creativity, it also took a lot less time to make choices.  They just weren't there.  I couldn't Google for a better price or free shipping and handling or 10% off, or loyalty points.  Now days, I can spend hours trying to find the best price on an item,  comparing/contrasting selection and cost and s/h and then trying to weigh out the differences to get the best deal.  It is a slow process involving my brain, my MacBook and lots and lots of Safari windows open and waiting.  I end up with lots of orders started and abandoned in pursuit of a better deal.

Before I go any further I do need to say…
Please shop at your local independent stores as much as possible…it's good for your economy.

Back to my wedding-project shopping:  I don't have a local scrapbooking store so I'm left with Hobby Lobby, a small Michael's and a very small JoAnn's.  I realize that many of you are saying to yourself "oh poor baby" as you shop your local grocery store for craft supplies, but hear me out.  The big chain stores are great for overall craft selection, for holiday crafting, and for prices- but they aren't so great for  shopping for a big wedding project that requires:
  1. Crafting items within a color palate 
  2. Anything "wedding" that isn't black, white, and silver
  3. Large quantities of one item 
  4. Variety 
  5. My favorite brands
Color Palate/Not digging the Silver/White/Black: The wedding is Peach, Cream, White and Aqua with GOLD (not silver) metallic accents.  Now, try to find enough paper and embellishments in this color palate at Michael's…you won't be able to.  They carry a handful of Bazzill papers in a handful of colors.  Their patterned paper selection varies usually consists of some crazy UGLY papers sold by the sheet in 12x12 and fewer in 8.5x11 all in random colors.  The rest of the patterned paper is sold in big stacks which are not a good deal when I could only use a few sheets.  I did run to JoAnn's and get the peach card stock you see in the photo above because I needed to match the colors specifically to the palate with my own two eyes.

For the rest of paper I need it makes a lot more sense to go with a big internet retailer.  I ended up hitting the clearance section at 2 Peas In a Bucket  paying as little as $0.20 for many 12x12 sheets of patterned paper I will need to make tons of Rosettes and other decorations.  I purchased maybe 10 sheets of Tattered Rose Core'dinations cardstock from JoAnn but the rest came from HSN.  They sell it by the stack of 20 sheets for $10.95 with $3.95 s/h but with each subsequent craft item the s/h goes to $1.98 so I paid $53.66 including s/h for 80 sheets of cardstock making each sheet $0.67.  While a sale at JoAnn would bring the price inline with what I paid, I couldn't walk out with 80 sheets.

HINT #1 Scrap By Color at  This feature allows you to choose products by color-whether based on a photo, the color wheel or a product match.  Simply upload a photo (or chose a product to match) and click on the base color you want to work with from the selection offered.  The default is a monochromatic scheme but you can select complimentary, triadic, analogous, or split complimentary schemes.  You will be give 4 square of color and the option to view a layout in your chosen color scheme.  The products that meet your criteria then begin to fill the screen.  It's easy but if you are confused they offer a video demo.
Scrap by Color at

HINT #2:  Hit up the clearance sections at big internet stores like 2 Peas in a Bucket and, Create For Less, and even more of the smaller but well stocked stores like Nona Designs, Inspiration Emporium and see what you can score.   

With 150 or so guests and my always over-ambitious agenda, I need plenty of embellishments…lots and lots of embellishments…in bulk…and cheap.  It isn't my money, so I can't afford to pay full price…if I did it would be my first and last wedding.  That is all great but NOTHING can look cheap…oh no. 

To get what I want, at a price I want to pay, I will use a three-fold approach:
  1. I search the clearance sections of the big internet retailers as well as my favorite smaller stores
  2. I become friends once again with Mr. Google.  Google is your friend. 
  3. I scale back my plans, changed things up a big and use more handmade and easily reproducible but fantastic items- yes there will be pictures at some point. 
For this type of project I need decorations and doodads, but I am not too picky on exactly  what type of doodads I use- as long as they look FAN-freakin-TASTIC.  So I'm open to suggestions meaning I can shop around in the clearance sections.  It is true, cruising the sale sections of online retailers can be a daunting task to say the least.  2 Peas In A Bucket has over 3,000 items listed in their sale section and has almost 2,000.   Ah, but my patience paid off as I scored some Tim Holtz items at killer low prices because they were being discontinued.   Smaller retailers are easier to search and often have even better prices because they need to get rid of stuff.

studio calico Classic Calico 2 Laser-Cut Wood Veneer Shapes-Tiny Stars at Sears.comHINT #3: If you need a large quantity of an item, Google the specific item, find the BEST deal for the item and only order that item.  

Yesterday, I was doing exactly that and stumbled upon StarLit Studio which is a totally new retailer to me.  They have a good array of May Arts Ribbons and Memory Box dies at AWESOME prices.  Their overall selection is defiantly limited, but I saved a good amount of money of what I did get.  Today I found a store that goes through Sears- Stuff 4 Crafts- selling Studio Calico Laser-Cut Wood Veneer Shapes-Tiny Stars for $2.74 which is far below the $3.99 price elsewhere.  They also have KaiserCraft rhinestones for $0.39.  Seriously!?! They are usually $1.99.  Keep in mind that Sears, like Amazon, works with the smaller store-within-a-store concept so you may end up with items shipping from more than one location so keep an eye on shipping charges.  

On the down side: There are at least 2 stores that work within this concept at Sears and I noticed the prices on craft items were not consistently low.  While I scored some great deals, the Ranger and Sizzix items were priced comparable to other retailers or a tad higher so know what your buying.  Finally, I found it hard to find the craft items and ended up searching for "scrapbook" which opened up the menu.  Sears carry companies such as Bazzill, Jolee's, Ranger, Sizzix, American Craft, Zig, and Hot Off The Press to name a few.

HINT #4: For largest selection, hit the largest retailers. Duh, right?  But what store has great selection…

Shopping where there is a large selection is pretty self-explanatory.  Unfortunately, I have yet to find the retailer that carries everything I want at prices I want to pay!  Until this Utopian storefront opens, it will always be a Google game to find what I need.  One store that always has an excellant selection is Frantic Stamper.  The downside?  While she does have a clearance section, she never runs sales.  The upside? Customer Service and selection.  For years she operated under an email your order system but finally it has been upgraded with a fully functioning website.  When Tim Holtz released his first batch of "limited edition" Distress Ink colors last year, I missed the first go round.   When there was a second shipment to stores, Fran held one for me just on my word that I wanted it through an email.  I'm not a good customer who she knows- I'm just one of many. That is customer service that will bring me back again and again.  She also does special orders and because her staff is small, you know that your questions will be answered and things will be taken care of. 

 HINT #5: Coupons people…use them.  
  • Sign up for the store newsletters as they will tell you what is one sale and often carry coupons 
  • Check for any discount codes on the store website itself. always lists their daily sale at the top of the homepage.
  • Google:  At some point in your transaction-BEFORE you pay-open a new window and Google "STORE XYZ coupons".  Spend a few moments checking the results to see if there are any active coupon codes floating around.  You'll be surprised how often this works.  It may be 10% off or free shipping but hey, it's your money.  I like Retail Me Not, but I will take anyone that has a valid discount code.

How do you save money?  Leave a comment I'd love to know.  Next up: My favorite websites for shopping. 

To all who voted for me in the Messy House contact THANK YOU…I WON.  I'm so proud that my hoarding-craft-supplies has done something positive for my family.

Laters Baby….

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Vote For Me Messiest House

I am thrilled and honored to be considered a top contender for Artist of the Year!

What?  Not Artist of the Year?
Album of the Year…that is such an hon….No, not record then
No way… I'm up for Record of the Year? OHMYGOSH…That is the best and I've worked so had….What? No…No Grammy for me?
Well I did think it was weird…you know since I cannot sing or play an instrument.  I guess I makes more sense that I am up for
Best Craft Blog of 2012. I mean that makes sense really because I am very crafty and I do a lot of crafting that I share on my blo…. No?…Not for my Crafting?  Well than What am I nominated for?  Messiest House.  MESSIEST House?  MESSIEST House?
It seems that the hilarious Anna (aka Anna Banana) at My Life and Kids is having a "Messiest House Contest" and since I don't like losing…at anything…I want to win.  

But really, how can I win…I don't have a messy house…I mean, have you seen my humble abode?  Oh you have…Well, then you know that I am a super-duper neat freak and NEVER, ever messy… ALRIGHT, so I may be a TAD messy…. at times….like when I am busy or not feeling well or….but it isn't my fault.  

My house is messy because I hate cleaning…I have bigger and better things to do than clean up after everyone….like I could be using that time to create art….being crafty…making pretty things.

My house is messy because my family never cleans up after themselves.  That isn't completely true.  My 7-year old does a fairly good job of being responsible for his possessions… except for the

1, 000,345 Legos he owns.  I spent a lot of time and effort coming up with a storage system for the Legos (you can read all about that here) but in the end we found the best place to store his vast collection is the living room and his bedroom floors.
The Lego-inator
My 14-year old is waiting to wake up one day as a responsible adult who ENJOYS cleaning up after herself…seriously.  Between you and I, I've come to the conclusion that she was a high ranking princess in a former life  with a full staff at her beck and call… so one cannot blame her for her bad habits now can we?
Pretty Pretty Princess Ryann
In order to stay married, I will ignore my husband's contribution to the problem in this blog post.

Back to me now because you see, my award-wining submission to Anna's Messiest House competition was all my fault.  (standing up) "My name is Danee, and I'm a Craft.Supply.Fanatic".  I mean I've never, ever, ever met a Craft supply I didn't immediately fall in LOVE with (she says with heart-eyes and a dopy smile).  I mean craft supplies are my life blood…they make me feel giddy and giggly and cause an endorphin release like nothing you can imagine.  The bottom line is "I need to own them all…like right NOW".   But let's be frank- because we are now besties after all- the biggest problem is that once I get the beloved craft items in my hot little hands, I never want to part to let them go.  So I don't.  
The Nominees for Biggest Contributor To Danee's Mental Illness… er…Issue are:

1.  Swarovski Crystals…they sparkle so PRETTY.  Why would I want to get rid of them?  Why would I want someone else- AKA NOT ME-to have the joy of watching them sit and look so very pretty?
MME Union Square

2.  Scrapbook Patterned Paper? I search out the prettiest papers…snap them up and then…can't let go.  I mean H.E.L.L.O.…I have like 4 Stacks of Mind Mind's Eye Lost and Found Union Square cardstock and yet I cannot seem to bear parting with a single sheet.  I have heard that I am not alone in suffering this disease issue and in fact many of paper crafters become paper hoarders.  The Uber Talented Artist Michelle Ward struggles with this as well and has made a book to keep swatches of her favorite papers.  This way no matter she uses the beautiful papers, she always has a bit to keep for herself.  You can read about what she calls "Me First" Journaling here and here.  

I am proud to point out that I may not be hopeless… My Mind's Eye has come out with Lost and Found 2 and 3 and Halloween and Christmas AND I have not purchased a single sheet of any of them.   Baby Steps People…Baby Steps.
3.  Glitter…Please…Do I really have to explain this to you?  Oh and Glass or not, I don't care. 

4.  Tim Holtz: Just about anything and everything designed or developed by Mr. Holtz makes my creative heart go into pitter patting overdrive.  It is pathetic and embarrassing really.  His twice-a-year product "sneak peaks" usually about send me into an almost catatonic state as I SWOON and giggle and then realize I have to wait months, sometimes many months, to get my hands on the actual products he is taunting in front of my eyes.  Oh the despair and sadness…I digressed didn't I?  I have tried-and tried hard I might add- to get control over this disease, addiction infatuation and the first step was admitting that I am a Holtziholic.  It's true…there is no denying it any longer and admitting it is the first step to overcoming it.  So I did a good thing here, right?  I figured the second step is to purchase ONLY what I absolutely NEED but TIM he makes it sooo damn hard.  I mean it becomes like Sophie's Choice.  I know he must be so proud that he continues to come up with soooo many new products every 6 months but come on Tim…cut us some slack…this isn't always about YOU…WE need time to catch our breath and let our bank accounts recover between product releases.  Maybe you could help the Holtziholics among us by developing only a few dozen new products every year?!
5.  Heidi Swapp: I've always had a hard time resisting Heidi Swapp's products  and this is true whether she is designing on her own, when she was with Making Memories and my beloved House of 3, or when she teams with the digital Queen, Jessica Sprague.   My addiction isn't quite as bad as it is with Tim and Heidi is gracious enough to develop a reasonable number of new products each year- so thank you Heidi for that- but it is still a problem.  

6. MiscellaneousOne cannot understand my…"issue"… without understanding that there are many, many, companies besides those listed above that may not consistently make me scream Visa, Visa, MasterCharge but do come out with products that I MUST have.  Prima has the most amazing self-adhesive, faceted, rhinestones, Teresa Collins makes gorgeous acrylic jewels and some pretty papers, Claudine Hellmuth has fantastic paint and Matte Medium, Martha has always been a favorite of mine.  

7.  Basic Grey: Probably deserves a separete bullet all its own if only for it's historical significance, so I gave it one.  Back in the day I would buy everything they designed- which was doable because they produced 1 or 2 paper lines a year and it was only paper- this was during the dark ages, pre-embellishement days if you will.  One day they started pumping out the products and I gave up.  Then they really shot themselves in the foot but releasing really sucky designs.  I hated the papers or they were so similar to their old stuff it was a joke.  Initially Basic Grey was so unique and that was their appeal to me; nothing on the market looked like Basic Grey.  But the other companies aren't stupid, they caught on and started making papers that looked like Basic Grey.  Suddenly Basic Grey was releasing too many new lines of ugly papers that looked like everything else on the market.  Today they get their own bullet because lately they are releasing fewer lines with better items and the lines are fantastic.  Did you see Clippings?  Serenade?  True Love?  
Basic Grey Clippings
Basic Grey Serenade
Basic Grey True Love
So now that you understand on an intellectual basis WHY I'm "Clutter Challenged" and it is time to give you the visual evidence…the proof if you will cuz I WANNA WIN and in order to WIN I need you to vote.  I am not beyond campaigning for this awesome award, I mean I never win anything so I've become Not-So-Picky about the awards I beg for.  Here is how you come in…Starting Monday February 11th, between 5am-10pm EST you can go to My Life and Kids and vote (FOR ME).  It is a head-to-head competition so each day fewer house will be left standing tall and proud. 

Imagine…It is Christmas 2010…there is a beautiful Christmas Tree sparkling with dainty lights in my living room;  the trees outside my Michigan home are heavy with new fallen snow, fragrant mulled apple cider simmers on the stove and my gorgeous dining room looks like this:
Say it LOUD Say it PROUD….

 Laters Baby….

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Wedding Fever

I haven't been in my studio much lately but I have been thinking about crafting…a lot…like a lot a lot. Why? Because I am  helping my friend with her wedding and as with all other aspects of my life I don't know what to say when.  I keep finding new, awesome projects that I just have to do to make the wedding perfect.
I often complain that when I got married it was Pre-Pinterest- and in fact Pre-Interent -but the reality is I might have been overwhelmed if I had this unlimited source in inspiration.  We got married in Michigan but I planned the entire wedding myself while I was living in Texas.  Thankfully Martha Stewart had just published her Weddings book which was my best resource.  In 1994, she didn't even have the Wedding magazine yet.  Even without a lot of resources I still managed to make my own cake,  have the dress and bridesmaid dresses made (I chose fabrics and styles), made the paper for the invitations, and made cookies for the reception and made all the other decisions myself.  Can you imagine how over the top my crafting would have been if I had the recourse  and the skills that I have 18 years later?  I promise to share pictures from my wedding and all the projects I worked on but this post is about B's wedding.
The color scheme is all pretty peaches and dusty pinks.  We are adding neutrals and a pop of aqua and gold.  Lots of vintage items will be used to decorate the rustic barn including tags, garlands, glittered letters, poms, mason jars, burlap, and peonies.
The barn has twinkle lights from a previous wedding so we don't have to string all those but we still have a lot of work to do to make the space look like a wedding.  And the lack of electricity and need for generators will also be a factor.
I love this door and have plans for it….
Simple Song ... tissue paper tassel garland // nursery  // wedding decoration // birthdays // party decorations
Source Pom+Love
 I ordered this aqua pom and some color swatches from Kirstin at Pom+Love on Etsy.  First of all those swatches you see in the photo above are what I received.  I expected postage stamp sized pieces, but I got huge pieces of each of the colors I requested and she didn't even charge me for the swatches.  I did pay for the pom but at $4.50 for a beautifully made pom it was worth it.  Pom+Love gives volume discounts for large orders and sells confetti and tissue tassels as well as gorgeous poms in several sizes.  She carries a huge selection of colors and patterns and makes the most adorable  tiny poms on garlands or stems.
choose your colors ... diy tissue paper garland // nursery // birthday // gender reveal // wedding ceremony // party decorations
Source: Pom+Love
Custom Colors ... tissue paper pom flowers // weddings // birthdays // party decorations
Source: Pom+Love
Kirsten offers a video on YouTube explaining how to open up the poms correctly and how to hang them.  I cannot say enough about how this woman does business.  When I decided to make the poms myself and wanted to order a huge amount of tissue from her she ended up sending me the links to order every color I needed from the sources she uses.  Each individual color had a link.  What an amazing thing to do for me.  So please check out her beautiful work and if you need poms, garlands, confetti or tissue consider ordering from her.

I spent all of yesterday and today trying to find and order all the seam binding, tissue paper, cardstock and patterned cardstock that I need for the projects.  It is exhausting.  I don't have a local scrapbooking store so I have to spend hours on websites trying to find what I need and hope the colors are true enough.  All while trying to get the best deal for my bride.  I will post photos as the products arrive.  

I did get my Distress Paint today so YIPPY For me.  Oh, and I found the recent issue of Simply Handmade Paper Crafting with my Valentine Garland in it.

Laters Baby….