Fun With Vellum

Friday Crafternoon: A little inspiration for your weekend!

This week I’ve been playing with vellum. I’ve always loved the affect this material gives when layered over something, however I rarely incorporate it into my projects. It turns out that the Silhouette Cameo is very good at cutting vellum, so I’ve just been going to town making some really fun stuff! I hope you like it!

I started with an experiment to make envelopes, and after a few prototypes I came up with two different sizes – mini and itty-bitty.

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The itty-bitty are just the perfect size for my little flamingo die cuts. Adding some sequins turns these envelopes into a fun little shaker!

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To make these envelopes, I cut a flat shape, then use a cardboard template and a bone folder to fold the flaps in.

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A little double sided tape on the flaps, and there you have it!

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These envelopes are great for making a memorable business card presentation, or a fun way to give a gift card. I used a bit of fun washi tape on the back for easy opening and extra decoration.

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As if the endless possibilities for the plain envelopes wasn’t enough, vellum comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns. How sweet is that polka dot one!?

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To fill in the negative space on my sheet when cutting I added some other fun shapes such as startburst medallions and flag tags. Both of these shapes combine well with a paper rosette and button.

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The vellum tags can be used by themselves, or layered with some cardstock. I used a simple eyelet to attach the two layers. Some of these items will probably be finding their way into my Etsy shop soon!

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What would you put in a vellum envelope?

Tell Me About Your Mother

Friday Crafternoon: A little inspiration for your weekend!

Today I finished up a shadowbox project that has been bouncing around in my head for a while. I have an ever growing collection of old photographs, which started somewhat by accident. Now I am always on the hunt for them! It’s fun to peek into their lives and imagine their stories. This particular photo came with no name, no date, just a simple “40 years” written in pencil on the back.

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In this photo centric age it is hard to remember a time when taking a photo meant something different. Now we can take take unlimited photos, see them, edit them, and print them right away, but I remember dropping off film, waiting, and being filled with excitement picking up my little packet of photos and hoping they turned out well. I definitely prefer the way things are now, but there is something to be said for these un-edited snapshots.

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I’ve been incorporating crepe paper into a few projects lately. I like to buy streamers since the paper is already cut to a manageable size for my tiny projects. To get the ruffles I sewed down the center of the strip, gathering as I went with the tension setting very loose. After I began to lay out the ruffles I realized that they echo the shape of her apron hem. It must have been a subconscious influence!

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I stacked two foam squares to get extra dimension and leave room for the ruffles.

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I wanted to add some shimmer to the doily peeking out from the top, so I turned to my Heidi Swapp Color Shine. I covered the entire doily and let it dry over night. It is so subtle, you can’t even tell in the photos.

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Of course I added in some washi and sequins, because I just can’t get enough! And yes, those are vintage barber scissors. I found them at the thrift store and they cut better than most crafting scissors I have tried. All metal, made in Germany, and still sharp.

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A lot of my work is inspired by mothers. In college, my senior thesis exhibition was entirely focused on the subject. You may not have known your mother, or your grandmother, or her mother, but there is a story, there is a history. We all have a mother, and even though we may generalize or stereotype the role of “Mom” each of our experiences is unique. For better or for worse, they are who they are and it shapes who we are.

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Now, I don’t mean to downplay the importance of fathers. I was equally nurtured and supported by both of my parents, and I certainly take after both of them. My father always spoke fondly about his Grandmother and told me what a talented artist she was. I was given my middle name, Elizabeth, after her but perhaps that isn’t the only part of her that was passed on to me. My creativity and passion for crafting is a huge part of who I am, and that I attribute to my mother. As far back as I can remember we were crafters. If we saw something we liked, we would try figure out how to make it. If I showed interest in something she was doing, she would teach me to do it too. Not even out of necessity, but because we shared a passion for making things. I don’t ever remember being told I was too young to learn anything. I watched her constantly trying new things and teaching herself as she went and I adopted that practice as I got older.

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I am not a mother, but I still carry the legacy of all the women who came before me, not only in this family but in all of my life. Who was this woman? I may never know, but imagining her story becomes a mirror in which I reflect on my own story. What women have influenced you the most? I would love to hear your stories!

Featuring Yours Truly

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Four years ago I bought my wedding dress from a fantastic retailer called Unique Vintage, and now I am honored to be a featured artist on their blog. I have been selected as the first winner of the Great Create, a monthly contest they are running this year to promote independent designers, crafters, and artists. All of the fabulous photos used in the feature were taken by my very talented neighbor. Hop on over to their page and check out the interview, and if you’re in the market for a new spring wardrobe, be sure to browse their main website, Unique-Vintage.com, for some amazing clothing and accessories!

My Holiday Home 2014

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I love to decorate, but decorating for Christmas is by far my favorite. Each year I find myself eager for Halloween to be over so that the store shelves can begin their glittery transformation into holiday wonderland. I was especially excited for this year because we decided to splurge a bit on a brand new artificial tree. After a few years of struggling with our other tree, which turned out to be a bit of a dud from the start, I was finally ready to throw in the towel. I didn’t even take pictures of the tree for last year’s post because I was so disappointed with how it looked. I set my sights on a champagne colored tree, though I was skeptical that my husband would share my vision for such a sparkly and non-traditional tree. To my surprise he liked the idea. We have a small, fairly dark living room and a large dark green object made it feel smaller. We hoped that maybe a champagne tree would brighten things up a bit, and by golly it does just that!

 

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I try to keep the holiday decor contained to two zones: kitchen and living room, just to make it easier on myself (and those living here!) Let’s start with the living room. The wreath that I made last year has survived it’s first year of storage. (Whew!) This is probably my hardest piece to store because of the shape and extremely delicate nature of it. A few pieces did pop off, but I wasn’t quite finished filling in all the gaps with tiny ornaments after last year, so I just re-glued all the loose bits as I finished it up. Now it is nice and full.

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Mr. Rabbit has donned his festive chapeau once again.

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Kitschy holiday knick-knacks abound everywhere you look.

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But the star of the show is the tree. I am just over the moon about it! My collection of vintage blown glass ornaments looks absolutely perfect among the shiny tinsel branches, and the tree itself even looks vintage. I did consider getting an actual vintage aluminum tree, but it is much harder to find the size and shape you want, and many of them cannot be strung with lights.

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I find myself not wanting to leave the room at night to go to bed. I just want to stay curled up on the sofa staring at the beautiful glowing tree and basking in my own little Christmas wonderland.

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Ahhh… Now, onto the kitchen!

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One advantage of having a mostly red and green kitchen year-round is that it easily transforms into a Christmas themed kitchen!

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Once again, kitschy knick-knacks abound.

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Even the top of the refrigerator is festive.

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I’d like to give a special thanks to June, the amazing photo-boming dog, for once again inserting herself into the scene. Where will she show up next? Who knows!

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Thanks for stopping by for another little peek into my life. Happy Holidays!

Welcome to the Future!

I avoided getting on the smart phone bandwagon for a long time, but now I am on board! I try to be frugal in all aspects of my life, and I hang on to my electronics until they are absolutely non functional. (I still have my first and only CD walkman from 1999, and my 2006 ipod!) After being so careful trying to pick out good “basic” phones, they turned out to be very disappointing. We used them for 2 years, waiting for the contracts to end, and paying way more than we should have for what we were getting, but I still maintained that I did not need a fancy phone. When we found out we could switch providers and get smart phones for less than what we were currently paying, my attitude changed, and now I am a believer. It has become such a handy tool for managing social media and email. I love being able to use Instagram to post my thrifting and crafting adventures. Follow Me for more great eye candy and fun updates!

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Christmas and Beyond

Christmas has come and gone, can you believe it? Here is a look back on how we enjoyed the holidays.

We had my family over for Christmas Eve. I loved getting to use the pull out leaf of our table, and the red and white colors are perfect for the Christmas table setting!

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Since this was our first time to host a big holiday at our house, I thought I would try some simple sounding recipes. We had lemon pesto chicken that cooked in the crock pot (so easy!) with mashed potatoes, honey roasted cauliflower, bread, and salad. All followed by a cornucopia of baked goods and sweets. I was so excited to eat I forgot to take any pictures of the food once it hit the table, but it was delicious and beautiful!

Exchanging gifts was a blast. I love giving gifts, even more than receiving them. I love finding them, making them, wrapping them, and watching them get opened! I made everyone open mine first because I just couldn’t wait! My most crafty gift was for my sister. She loves mason jars, so I made her this custom brooch using her middle name as the brand. Lots of painting, sanding, and sealing went into this one to make all the details stand out. I love it!

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I won the award for creepiest gift given, by making a replica of the Laura Palmer glamour shot prop from Twin Peaks for my super-fan husband. He was surprised, delighted, and a little creeped out all at once. I signed it “to Chris, from the Log Lady.”

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Christmas Day was spent with Chris’ family, which meant even more delicious food, sweet treats, and fun family time.

The next morning I was off with my parents to visit mom’s family in Iowa/Nebraska for my Grandmother’s 80th birthday. What a milestone! It was so fun to see everyone. We had almost that entire side of the family present. The weather was sunny and 65 degrees! What?! Their neighbors had laundry on the line, and there was no snow on the ground. My aunt & I ditched our coats and popped out for some fresh air and speed thrifting after diner before the store closed. My grandparents town may only have a few hundred residents, but they do have a killer thrift store! I found the exact mid century wire shelf I have been hunting for, as well as some milk glass plates and miscellaneous craft supplies. All in under 20 minutes!

Thrifting was the theme of our journey. There is a lot to see in the midwest, but not so much on the stretch of highway between Chicagoland Nebraska. We tried to keep things interesting by stopping to eat and thrift when we needed a break. That’s how my family gets its kicks. We even stopped by Le Claire to visit picker mecca – Antique Archaeology!

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I really got to stretch out the holiday celebrations this year. I got home and a couple days later it was New Year’s Eve! Chris filled in on drums for a friend’s 90s cover band. I tried to get a picture, but it was hard with him moving at warp speed.

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So much fun, despite the horrifying driving conditions. In case you missed it, we got some winter in these parts. At one point we checked the radar to find the storm was shaped like a thick line moving straight over our town. We are loving the electric snowblower we purchased this season!

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Happy new year!