Stash Busting: Adoption Scrapbook

I know I've been gone for a few days.  Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and I've battled one over the last week.  I've found that the more that I lose myself in my studio the less I focus on my pain.  So, while I missed you this week, I spent as much energy as I could muster in my studio making a scrapbook for my neighbors who just adopted from China.

I haven't met Riley Grace yet, but I have followed her journey from China to Tennessee through her blog, Ramblings Regarding Riley.  The family's posts are filled with pictures and details of their journey that definitely tug at your heart strings. 

I took a chronilogical approach to Riley's memory book and used paper and embellishments that I purchased years ago to scrap my hubby's trips to China, South Korea, and Taiwan.  I wanted Riley to know the journey that her forever family went through to get her.  However, I knew that I couldn't tell their story for them, and I firmly believe that the most important part of a scrapbook is the journaling.  So, I created hidden journaling spots on nearly every 8x8 page.  Here's a sample:

I started with Die Cuts with a View Far East 8 x 8 paper pack.  I then added my title, 'God's Plan', using Basic Grey letter stickers.  I cut a sweeping wave out of a light blue piece of card stock from the pack, glued it in place, and machine stitched it to a bamboo-colored sheet using a zig zag, leaving a pocket in the dip of the wave for our tucked-away journaling tag. 

HINT:  To keep the stitching looking cohesive, I used a needle to pierce the paper where my stitches would have been and then used blue pen that matched my thread to draw in the stitches.  Can you tell?  I didn't think so.

To make the the hidden tag, I cut a shape from orange stock from the same DCWV pack to look like a rising sun when tucked into the blue wave.  This piece should be almost as wide as the blue piece and the bottom should match the shape of the bottom of the blue piece.

You could tuck this tag in and leave as is for journaling.  But, I wanted more surface area and thought that it would be better if the journaling spot was white.  So, I fan folded a large strip of plain white printer paper and attached it to the tag.  Fan folding white card stock would create too much bulk.

Honestly, that wasn't quite enough for me.  So, I also created a journaling spot under the picture of the "before" family.  Here, they can record their prayers for the little girl that God would bring into their lives.

To do this, cut a piece of light colored card stock the same size as your photo.  Attach it to your background where you plan to place your photo.  Then, cut a narrow strip of paper the same width as your photo and fold it in half.  This is your hinge.  Glue one side to the card stock and one side to the photo.

Viola!  Now you have two large journaling spots on an 8x8 page.  I can't wait to give this to the family and meet their newest addition.  Welcome home Riley Grace!


Stash Busting: Fern-inspired Necklace

I actually made this necklace a few weeks ago, but I did create it from items in my stash.  I used natural green shell beads and antiqued brass chain to create this lovely 16" necklace.  But, my favorite piece is the steel fern frond that I purchased on Etsy from Black Sheep Beads

I have been very inspired by the ferns I've seen this summer.  In the south, you can usually find them hanging from nearly every porch.  I can remember my grandmother bringing her ferns from their winter hibernation spot and hanging them from hooks on her front porch while telling me how they were about as old as me (around 5 at the time) and who she got them from.  Ah, summer.

photo by maryruthrowell on photobucket

I'd love to hear what you think of this project.  I plan on making it available in my Etsy shop opening in July. 

I'm linking up to these parties:

giveaways Get your craft on Thurs.


Stash Busting: Mod Podge Nursery Wall Art

During the first week of May 2010, Nashville suffered a devasting flood. We now have a new measurement: a 500-year flood plane. Homes and businesses were destroyed. The Opryland Hotel and Convention Center still has not re-opened.

I'm proud to live in Nashville. No matter how large and diverse our community gets, we are all still family and have rallied together to rebuild.

Our home was not harmed, however I did personally know a few people whose homes were. One is the Dunn family. Mike and his wife had just welcomed their first child a few weeks before the flood and after a difficult pregnancy. I'm happy to say that Mike and his family got out safely and are rebuilding. Our company is hosting a housewarming party for the Dunn's and this is my gift.

This nursery name plaque is the second in a series of many. I hope. Carson's room hasn't been painted yet, but I think this would go with any decor they choose. If not, I'd be happy to do it again!

All of the materials came from my stash except the hanging hardware. You can read my tutorial for this project here.


Stash Busting Challenge

Sometimes I think I need to go through a 12-step program for crafting. My name is Jennifer, and I’m a craft-a-holic and a supply hoarder. I guess there are worse things that I could be addicted to. I just can’t help myself. I must have crafty ADHD. I decorate cakes, draw and paint, scrapbook, make jewelry, crochet, and whatever else I can get my hands into on any given day. Whenever I’m in a hobby or craft store, or a thrift store, or even the dollar store, I’m inspired by everything I see. I don’t always know what I’m going to do with any given purchase or find, but I know that it can become something great.

Today, my stash is neatly organized in my studio. I’m not sure how much longer I can fool my sweet hubby into thinking I’m using a just-in-time (JIT) crafting process. So, I am committing to an all-out, free-for-all, stash-busting crafting marathon over the next two weeks. I am allowing myself a budget of $5 each week to purchase any “finishing” supplies.

I’d love for you to participate with me! Email me with your stash-busting projects and you could be featured in future posts or even be asked to do a guest post.

Let’s get busting!


Fiddlehead Ferns:

I am an avid blog reader. One of the blogs that I love to follow is Ruffled. It is a blog for vintage-inspired weddings. I love to see how modern brides are combining colors, textures, DIY projects, etc. I came across a picture of a bride who used fiddlehead ferns in her bouquet and boutonnieres. I loved the graphic nature of them. They have a very modern, simple shape and beautiful colors.

Immediately I began sketching. I wanted to capture their geometry as well as the interesting negative spaces a grouping of them made. I know that a painting is in the future for these guys. My mind also quickly leapt to the jewelry design possibilities. I scanned Etsy to see what others have done with these beauties. I knew that I wanted to make an asymmetrical necklace with a grouping of fiddlehead ferns as a link. I found these gorgeous vintage glass beads from Black Sheep Beads and had to have them.

I used my WigJig Delphi to make the fern shapes from copper wire and paired them with the green beads. Here is the result. This lovely piece will be available in my Etsy store opening in July. 
I’m not finished with this seed of inspiration! Stay tuned to see what’s next.

Get your craft on Thurs.


A Second Chance

Robert Frost is one of my favorite poets. I love his fluid style and ability to paint a picture with his words. One of my favorite Robert Frost poems is The Road Not Taken. Megan, at the Brassy Apple, posted this beautiful picture with a line from this poem as the heading. It prompted me to go back and read it again. Here it is for you:

Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

After reading this, I realized that I had the same choice in my work. I had the choice of building a career in business (the path with the “better claim”) or studying art and literature. I chose business. But now, I feel like I have the opportunity to go back and take the other road. Unlike the speaker in the poem, I will not have to sigh when I tell my story. For me, two roads diverged in a wood and I had the unique opportunity to travel both, and that has made all the difference.

Always look at obstacles as opportunity and life’s downs will be doors to new adventures.


The Ripple Bracelet

It's definitely summer time in Tennessee, and for us that means weekends spent on the lake.  There is no better place to get inspired.  We've been getting those pop up summer showers on the lake lately and I wanted to capture the beauty of the ripples the raindrops make as they hit the water.  Nature can be organic and geometric at the same time.  The perfect concentric circles of the ripples was the inspiration for this bracelet. 

The bracelet is 8 inches long and made of silver-plated metal.  The clasp was handmade using a WigJig.  At first, I wanted to use a toggle clasp, but found this clasp to be much easier to close.  I'll have this item in my new Etsy shop opening in July. 

I hope this will be the first in a series inspired by the weather, specifically storms.  I have tons of ideas and sketches and can't wait to get creating!


A Bracelet Idea: An Epiphany in Sherbet

Ever had an epiphany?  One of those moments where you could almost see the light bulb switch on above your head?  That was me last week.  I had an epiphany in .....drum roll..... sherbet.  That’s right, sherbet. Orange to be exact. I’ve been hooked on the stuff lately. When I was making myself a big bowl of it before lunch this week, (yes, BEFORE lunch. I love being an adult!) I got a very interesting shape when scooping it with a spoon. I took a picture of it before I finished it off. Wouldn’t this be a great look for a bracelet? I’d love to be able to pull off this ruffled, or ruching, effect with paper but fabric might work best.

This is going to be fun. Don’t discriminate when a seed of inspiration finds you. It just might be in your next dessert.


Digital Scrapbook Page: Needle's Eye, Rock City, Chattanooga

I don’t do much digital scrapbooking, but this is one page that I really liked doing. The picture was taken in Chattanooga when my hubby and I spent a long weekend there to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. It was the most relaxing weekend that I could remember in a long time. The journaling reads: Inhale, breathe, meditate, simply feel, envision, relax, slowly let go of all the craziness of life and hear the sounds of God’s creation…now exhale and start again.

I believe scrapbooking, digital or paper, is a very personal form of collage.  You get to capture a memory while creating beautiful art that has tremendous personal value and the ability to translate the same message from viewer to viewer.  Scrapbookers, even newbies, tend to quickly develop their own style.  That's why I believe any scrapbooker could transition into collage, for art sake, very easily and successfully. 

So, my next canvas project will be a collage.  I'm not sure why I'm so nervous just thinking about it.  Hopefully, this will get me out of my analytical rut and free my creative genius :)

Background paper: Corina Nielson http://www.funkyplaygroundesigns.com/
Embellishments: Amy Teets http://www.scrapix-design.com/
Fonts: Shabby Princess www.shabbyprincess.com

Yes, that’s Cody in his bag. He loves that thing. He went everywhere with us: Rock City, Ruby Falls (yes, down into the cave), and even restaurants (shhh…don’t tell). He’s a little big for it now, but he still loves it. Check out this pick taken this year on our way to Jacksonville, FL.


Photo Inspiration

Sometimes I get in a creative rut. My inspiration seems to just run dry. Amy at Mod Podge Rocks posted about this in her Cool Photos post. So, I hopped over to Flickr and Photobucket to get my creative juices flowing. Here are some of my favorites.  Click to go to the image and view the credits.

On Gratitude - Group Collage

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