My Vintage Family

Friday Crafternoon: A little inspiration for your weekend!

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I love all kinds of paper crafting, but I just never have gotten into the scrapbook world. For one thing, I don’t take a lot of pictures of people. I wasn’t sure what the subject of my scrapbooking could be since I am lacking in that key element.

It wasn’t until recently that I began to put some pieces together in my mind. As I have talked about before, I love searching for interesting vintage photos to use in cards and shadowboxes. Old photos just seem to inspire me more than anything I take myself.

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I suddenly remembered two large boxes of old photo albums that my father and I had acquired years ago, after helping my Grandmother clean house before she moved. How could I have forgotten about those? Here I was, sitting on a goldmine of fabulous old photos, of people I was actually related to! Sometimes an idea is so obvious that you just miss it. So I picked them up from my parents house and began the task of sorting through and making copies.

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I am just in the beginning stages, but I really love it! And I feel a sense of accomplishment that I am preserving history and resurrecting these previously forgotten family moments. Even though my Grandmother went through these albums with us a bit before she gave them to us, I have already forgotten the the context for the many unlabeled photos. The feeling of responsibility to document all of these things for fear of loosing the information forever had loomed over me and seemed daunting. I am excited to have found a way tackle the project one step at a time and put my own creative spin on it. Now I weave my own handiwork into the tapestry of my family history, where the present meets the past and takes the form of something that I can pass on to future generations.

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I do plan to try to be better about taking my own photos to use, and I’m certainly not abandoning my fascination with old photos of strangers! This is just a way for me to branch out, putting my own spin on things as I go. It is so important to find your own style and forge a path for yourself. Don’t worry about making work that fits the mold of what “everybody else is doing” because that isn’t creativity. Our differences are what makes it unique! If you’re hesitant to try something because it isn’t your style, then I encourage you to find a way to make it your own. You just might like the results!

Are you a scrapbooker? What photos inspire you to create? I’d love to hear from you!

The Silhouette PixScan

Today I wanted to talk about something called the PixScan mat for the Silhouette Cameo. This is a way of taking an existing image and importing it into your Silhouette to cut it out. I got this mat because I really wanted to be able to turn my stamped images into die cuts without having to cut every image out by hand. This will be a simplified overview of how it works, and what my results have been.

The first time you use the PixScan mat there are some instructions you will need to follow to calibrate it. After that, the process is pretty simple. You place your paper on the mat, take a picture with your phone and upload it into Silhouette Studio. I have found that shiny images, especially metallic colors, are difficult for the silhouette to read, so keep that in mind.

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Once the photo is uploaded, you can use the trace function to generate your cut lines, and then you can manipulate them from there. I like to leave a little bit of a border around mine rather than cutting right to the edge of the image. There is an easy tool in Silhouette Design Studio called Offset that helps you do this.

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Here you can see the difference between cutting to the edge and using an offset.

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When you are ready, choose your blade settings and cut it out.

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Some images come out better than others, and I haven’t yet mastered this tool. As you can see below, the flamingos turned out really well, but flower pot is way off.

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Have you ever used the PixScan mat? Share your tips and tricks below!

One Swell Project

Friday Crafternoon: A little inspiration for your weekend!

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This week I have been hard at work making a batch of valentines to give to my co workers. It has been ages since I handed out valentines, or even really cared much at all about the day, but working at Paper Source has really made every holiday extra fun! I love being part of a group of people who jump at any chance to celebrate and get crafty.

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I started out by cutting two types of hearts with my Silhouette Cameo – one with slits for the arrow (the front) and one plain (the back.) I then ran all of the front pieces through my embossing machine with the Stitches Cover Plate from Ellen Hutson. This background die is so incredibly detailed! Then I glued the front and back together and inserted the arrows.

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The featured photos were cut out of an old yearbook that was just begging to be repurposed. The hair and outfits on these boys are truly something to swoon over.

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Such a dapper bunch!

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I added a few enamel dots to embellish, and a little of the Ranger Glossy Accents that I mentioned last Friday. On the back I adhered a small sentiment that I typed up on my lovely vintage typewriter.

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The packaging is where I had the most fun of course! I used a combination of stamps and stickers to add extra detail to these wonderful vintage envelopes. I have been hanging onto them for years just waiting for the perfect project.

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I believe I only paid $1 for this wonderful old stamp set from the thrift store. Clearly it has a rich and colorful history. It’s weathered look is part of the charm. The box is quite unassuming, but the large title “PRINT SET” managed to catch my eye from its misplaced spot on the shelf of puzzles. Even more shocking – all of the letters are there!

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The stickers themselves are not vintage, but are made by a company called Cavallini, which gets their artwork from items in their drool-worthy archive of vintage miscellany. They really do an amazing job. It’s almost like having the real thing!

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These envelopes were too old and wonderful to ruin by sealing the flaps, so I used a little bit of bakers twine. It is the ultimate finishing touch!

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And off they go to be delivered!

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I hope you enjoyed this week’s project. Did you make a Valentine for anyone this year? Come back next week for another fun project!

Friday Crafternoon

A little inspiration for your weekend!

This week I have been working on some fun floral tags. Tags are a great way to use little bits and pieces from your collections or leftover scraps of paper after another project. I love to have some already made tags on hand in case I need to put together a quick gift. They make it so easy to dress up any package or bag!

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For these tags I pulled some elements from two different Maggie Holmes ephemera packs, along with some labels from my Dymo, Studio Calico stickers, and some other bits and pieces I have stashed away.

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I wanted to add some tiny details to really make this piece shine! This is where the Ranger Glossy Accents come in.

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This is a clear liquid that you can use to create droplets in any size you want directly on your project to add dimension and shine.

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To add some sparkle to the flower, I always reach for my Wink of Stella brush pen. It has a very fine tip so you can make precise lines. I just filled in a few areas on the flower rather than covering the whole thing, but you could easily do either with this tool.

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I used the same techniques on this second tag, but tried to keep this one a little more simple.

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Have you used any of these products before? What is your favorite way to embellish your projects?

Come back next Friday for a vintage inspired Valentine’s Day project!

My 2016 Christmas Cards

Christmas has come and gone, but I thought it would be fun to stretch it out a little bit more with this behind the scenes look at how I put together my Christmas cards this year. It was a lot of fun and I was very pleased with how they came out.

I started out by making the ornaments. This was the most time consuming part of the process, but since I wanted this to be the main feature, it was worth the effort. Using a design that I had adapted from my favorite vintage ornament box, I printed a full sheet of the ornaments, with Silhouette crop marks, at a copy center using toner based ink. Then I used the print and cut feature on my silhouette cameo to read the crop marks and die cut my ornaments.

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After they were cut, I used my Minc machine to add gorgeous red foil to the design. You can check out a little video of them over on my Instagram. Then I just added a simple twine bow, and they were ready to go! Next I cut the background pieces, some woodgrain, and some green, as well as the pine branches.

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Then, it was time to heat emboss my sentiment on the back of the card with a cute stamp from a Cavallini Christmas set. I made sure to treat the surface with my powder tool first to cut down on unwanted powder sticking, then stamped with my Versamark watermark ink pad, before adding red embossing powder. I usually repeat these steps until I have several cards ready, then heat them in batches.

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To add some dimension to the card base, I backed my green and woodgrain shapes with craft foam and adhered with a tape runner.

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Finally I could assemble the parts and add some embellishments. I attached the ornament with a foam square for even more dimension, and tucked my paper branches around it with a few dabs from a glue stick.

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I added the sequins with tacky glue, to give it a little extra sparkle.

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And there you have it! Thanks for stopping by. I hope to share more behind the scenes looks with you in the coming year, so stay tuned!

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My New Favorite Room

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My new favorite room isn’t actually a room at all. I’ve been hard at work decorating a formerly wasted space at my house- the front porch. Since we bought the house we talked of how nice it would be to relax on our front porch, but we have never actually spent much time out there as we had intended. I set out a couple of chairs, but it wasn’t very comfortable, or much to look at. This year it has been my goal to create a welcoming and comfortable space and I have definitely achieved that.

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Our porch is as wide as our living room, with a roof over it to protect you from the elements. It just seemed silly not to be using it, but these things take time. Our year began with a very long and harsh winter, but it gave me time to hunt and squirrel away various pieces for the project. It was so hard to be patient waiting to get to planting season, and once it arrived I just went nuts. I have never had much luck with houseplants, but after successfully growing outdoor plants over the last couple seasons I felt confident enough to branch out a little more.

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I created a cute little side table from a plant stand and a lazy susan.

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Colanders make excellent hanging planters since they already have great drainage and are interesting to look at.

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Old tins are also a favorite of mine for planting in.

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Any container can become a planter.

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Of course I have to add in some whimsical critters.

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Some cute details were already there, such as our shutters, and this sweet little doorbell. Aged to perfection with its chippy red paint.

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Things are happily blooming all over.

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We are looking forward to spending the rest of the summer relaxing in our colorful new space.

Mini Makeovers, with Plants!

I am not extremely gifted in the agriculture department, but I wanted to give it a go with some fun plants in the living room. They really do complete the look, and of course improving the air quality is a bonus! A couple months ago I was looking for something to hold a sansevieria (“snake plant”) and of course I wanted a mid century feel. I came across this beautiful project on Pinterest using an Ikea pot and some spray paint:

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My birthday had just passed and I had received a Visa gift card, so once again I was able to complete a fun little project without dipping much into my own pocket. The Pinterest link only led me to this photo and the name of the Ikea pot, CASHEWNÖT. The top and bottom of the pot separate, and you can style it two ways simply by turning the bottom part over. Since the bottom pan is not very big, one of the miniature sized spray paint cans was more than enough to cover the piece. And voilàA fabulous planter!

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When I purchased my super cool metal cart, I also picked up a mid century plastic plant pot for a mere 50¢. The burnt orange color was not bad, just not a color used in my current decorating palette. (Please don’t hate me for painting it!) I thought the geometric design was stunning, and would pop even more in white. Now that it is finished, it reminds me of the Disneyland building that houses It’s A Small World.

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I already had paint left over from another project, so the most expensive part ended up being the plant, which was only about $7.

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These were both small and simple projects, but they enhance the overall look of the room tremendously. Now I just have to try my best to keep them healthy!