Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that today finds you surrounded by friends and family, enjoying a delicious meal.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Travel Journaling. Keeping it Simple.

Last week, I was rummaging through a box in which I keep blank mini books.  The box is full of books that I have bought with the idea that they would make a fun mini album.  Sometimes I do something with them quickly, but often they just sit in the box, waiting for a project.  Some of the books are clearly designed with scrapbooking in mind, but others were intended for something else. 
While looking through the box, I came across a Real Simple book (it is called an index card wheel) that I picked up a Target a few years ago.  At first I thought it would make a neat autograph book for our upcoming vacation.  But I came across a more tradition book for that purpose.  Today, it dawned on me that it will make the perfect book to take with me on vacation to record all of the stuff that happens.  The whole book is just 4x6 inches by about an inch deep, so a perfect size to throw in a handbag.  There are lines already printed on the pages, to keep my writing straight!  Since the pages are perforated, I can just pull the cards out of the book and use them on a layout.    

Now all I have to do is remember to pack it … oh yeah, and write in it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Keeping Copies of My Cards

Welcome back into the Green House on the Hill.  Last week I shared 5 cards from Christmas’s past.  Today, I am going to show you what I do with my cards.  I almost always miscalculate the number of cards that I will need, so I end up with leftovers.  Since each card is a labor of love, I decided a few years back to create an album that is dedicated to my cards.  Each year, I create a 2-page, 8x8 layout featuring that year’s card and any memories that I have of the process of creating the card.  Sometimes it is a story about the card itself.  Other years it has something to do with capturing the picture that I use.  Below are a few photos of the album and some of the layouts. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

And I Have a Winner....

Thanks for all the kind words this week.  I enjoyed reading them all.  I picked a winner from the comments on Monday's blog post .... and .... the ... winner ... is ....


Please send me a convo on Club CK with your mailing info and I will get the magazine out to you!  Thanks to all for reading!

Striving for Perfection

I am so glad that you have joined me in the Green House on the Hill this week.  Today, I will be sharing the last of my old Christmas cards with you.  I hope that you have enjoyed looking at our cards over the years. Today’s card is all about capturing the perfect photo and using the perfect Christmas themed product.  So often when we start a papercrafting project we first look for the perfect photo and then for the perfect product to match the occasion.  On this card I threw that all out the window. 

First let’s start with the photo shoot.  I don’t know how photo shoots with children go in your world, but in mine two things happen.  The girls happily pose for about 20 or so photos and then one or all of them get tired.  Out of those photos, there are a bunch with glare on their glasses, closed eyes and funny expressions.  But that doesn’t stop my quest for the perfect photo … ok, so it does.  At some point, I have to make the decision to just go with the best of the bunch.  This particular year, two of the three girls were looking at the camera, which for me was good enough!
The next decision I needed to make was the product that I was going to use for the card.  Usually, I start with the cutest Christmas themed paper I can find.  Instead, I found a really cute pad of K & Company paper by Amy Butler that worked well with the red in my daughters’ shirts.  It wasn’t Christmas themed and didn’t contain a bit of red.  In fact it was loaded with pink, green and brown, but it was perfect for my purposes.  On the inside, I printed the dreaded Christmas letter!  I kept it short and sweet, since space was limited.  The finished card measures 4 ¼” by 5 ½”, which fits perfectly in an invitation size envelope.
So embrace the non-traditional and just be happy with the process.  Thanks for joining me this week … I will post the winner of the copy of Scrapbooking Holidays and Celebrations at 12 EST!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day Four ... Simplifying Life

Welcome back into the Green House on the Hill.  Today is all about simplifying.  My daughters love the Disney show, Good Luck Charlie.  One of their favorite scenes is where the older kids ask their mom why she had 4 children.  Her response is that three was too easy, three is for quitters.  Well, if that is true then I am truly a quitter!  The year my third daughter was born our lives became pretty darn busy.  The older girls had lots of activities and we had a new person in our house who wanted our constant attention. 
So this is the year I decided to really embrace an easy to mass produce card.  No x-acto knives, no paper piecing, not even a decorative punch.  The fact that a few of my friends had suggested an intervention following the pop up card, threatening to take away my x-acto knife, might have played a role in this decision.  Sheer exhaustion may also have had something to do with it. 
I designed a card that had nothing but straight cuts … all made with my trusty paper trimmer.  I used Printshop Deluxe (by Broderbund) to create my photo collage, add the sentiment and signature to the card.  I printed 2 cards per page on cardstock and then mounted this on a half sheet of 8 ½ by 11” cardstock.  I love this size because Staples sells a box of 100 greeting card envelopes that a 5 ½ by 8” card fits in perfectly.  Since I selected photos from throughout the year, I converted everything to black and white to make the photos work together.  The row of tiny photos (most are about 1” x 1”) highlighted our adventures that year. 

Stop back tomorrow for the last of my Christmas card walk down memory lane!  And don’t forget to leave on a comment on Monday’s blog post to be entered to win a copy of Scrapbooking Holidays and Celebrations!  I will be picking a winner tomorrow afternoon!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day Three (and don't forget the giveaway!)

Welcome to the Green House on the Hill.  Today is the third day of my Christmas card sharing.  Today’s card holds a special place in my heart.  I made it back in 1998, when my older girls were just babies.  The artwork featured on the cover of the card was done by my oldest daughter, Isabella.  At 2 ½, she was quite the artist. 
It was a simple card to make.  Isabella drew a picture of Santa and a Christmas tree, which I took to a color photocopy shop to be reproduced … I told you it was an old card!  My feeble attempt to decorate the card was just that!  But I love that I preserved this little bit of artwork on a card.  Today, it would be super simple to recreate this card.  All you need is a creative child (pretty much any child would do, since they are all super creative), a scanner (or a digital camera) to capture the artwork digitally and some photo editing software and voila, you have an adorable card!

I added a credit for the cover art on the inside of the card.

Tomorrow, I will be sharing a more recent card!  So stop back into the Green House on the Hill.  And don’t forget to post a comment on Monday’s post to be entered to win a copy of Scrapbooking Holidays and Celebrations!  I hope to see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day Two of Christmas Card Week!

Today, I have another hybrid card to share.  This too is an oldie … circa 2002.  This card was fairly simple to make, no x-acto knives involved.  To create the card, first I made 2 paper piecings; a single angel for the cover and 2 angels with my daughter’s faces on them for the inside.  I scanned the paper piecing’s into 2 separate documents and then printed them double sided on a piece of cardstock.  At the time, this was a little tricky, because I had to find preprinted photos that had heads the right size.  Today this would be a breeze, since you could crop and resize the heads with Photoshop Elements.  Here is one of my angel attempts … the originals must be long gone.

The final card front…

And the inside sentiment.

I hope you enjoyed today’s card.  And don’t forget to post a comment on yesterday’s blog post to be entered to win a copy of Scrapbooking Holidays and Celebrations!  Stop back tomorrow for another card.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day One Christmas Cards ... and a GIVEAWAY!

Welcome back to the Green House on the Hill.  This week Creating Keepsakes is once again graciously allowing me to give a copy of one of their publications to a lucky blog reader.  This week’s issue is all about holidays and celebrations.  Since there are lots of holidays coming up in the next month or so, this is the perfect time to get your hands on a copy of Scrapbooking Holidays & Celebrations.  To get you in the holiday mood, this week I am going to feature some of my favorite holiday cards from over the years. 
Each year, I like to come up with a new design for our family Christmas card.  Some years the card has been very labor intensive!  Some years, it has been almost entirely digital.  One thing I do try to do is to make each card different.  Today’s card is a good cross section of all of the above.  It was labor intensive, a little bit digital and definitely different than anything I had tried before.  If you are familiar with my family, you will realize that this card is a few years old, since there are only two children featured!

The front of the card was made using foam stamps.  The snowflakes came from a set that I bought, but the word JOY is a stamp that I made.  I bought some very thick craft foam (about ¼” thick) at the craft store.  Here is a cross section of the stamp to give you an idea of the thickness. I bought 2 different colors of foam (so you could tell the stamp apart from the foam that I mounted it on).  

I freehanded the letters for the word “JOY” onto the craft foam with a pen and then used an X-acto knife to cut the letters out.  Then I mounted the letters onto the foam with glue.  I dipped the finished stamp into a tray that had a thin layer of paint on the bottom and stamped the image on a blank card front.
A few things that I learned along the way…
It is best to use glue that is waterproof.  Otherwise, the stamp will fall apart the first time you wash it.  Yes, I learned this the hard way! 
Remember to mount the letters so that when you hold the stamp up to a mirror, it reads correctly … I have failed to do that one too!

Now you might have thought that was the labor intensive part, but you would be wrong!  I had to up the degree of difficulty.  I decided to make it a pop up card.  I took a photo of my daughters leaning around a door.  Using photo editing software, I erased everything from the photo except the two girls.  Then I found a holiday door (and wall) in my clipart program.  I placed the two girls over top of the clipart, so they appeared to be peeking around the door.  I left a blank area to the left of the door.  That is where I placed the sentiment.  This photo shows what the inside of the card looks like when laid flat. 

To make them pop up, again out came my trusty X-acto knife.  I cut along the edge of the girls and the door, leaving two tabs about a ½” wide that were used to keep the card together and made the girls and the door pop up. 

And a view from the top so you can see how it works.

To date, I think this was my craziest Christmas card attempt.  My hands were sore for days from carefully cutting out 60 or so cards with an X-acto knife.

Now for my giveaway, to win a copy of Scrapbooking Holidays and Celebrations, please leave me a comment by 12 noon EST, Friday, November 18th on this post.  I will randomly select one of the names on the afternoon of the 18th to win a copy.  You can see a sneak peek of the issue here!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Layout and A Winner!

Sorry for the delay in posting!  My house needed to be cleaned.  I hate it when daily life gets in the way of creating.  So here is what I did with some of the fabric that I sprayed with the Glimmer Mist the other day…

It made a cute little border under the photo in this layout about the girls heading off to camp. 
And now for an announcement!  I have a winner!  Steffanie, you are the winner of a copy of Scrapbooking with Fabric and Notions.  Please send me a convo over on Club CK and I will get it out to you pronto!  Thanks to everyone who has been following along with me this week.  I appreciate all the kind comments. 
Next week, I have another giveaway planned.  So check back on Monday to see what is going on in the Green House on the Hill!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Adding Color to Fabric

Welcome back to the Green House on the Hill.  I am happy that you have stopped by to see what is going on here today.  In keeping with my theme this week of using fabric, I decided to play with adding some color to my fabric.  Here is what I started with…

And here is a list of what I used…
My Creatopia fitted with a scalloped blade (you could just use a plain old pair of scissors or a pair of decorative edged scissors)
Glimmer Mist by Tattered Angels.  I ended up using a few colors; lemon meringue and SWAK.
A piece of muslin I had sitting around from an old sewing project.
An old box, cut in half, that I use for containing my mess when I spray stuff!

The Creatopia by Xyron is a pretty cool tool.  It comes with a basic platform.  By switching out various cartridges, you can make it laminate, apply adhesive, cut or emboss.  There are probably a few other things this tool can do that I am forgetting.  I used the cutting attachment, fitted with a scalloped blade.  I ran a double thickness of muslin through it and it cut a nice scalloped border.

I cut about a 2 inch strip from the scalloped edge of the muslin.  Next, I pulled out my spraying box and a few bottles of Glimmer Mist and sprayed the fabric.

I sprayed one piece yellow and the other one pink.  The Glimmer Mist adds a little bit of color and some sparkle to the fabric.  Who doesn’t love a little bit of sparkle!

Finally, I scrunched up the fabric to add some texture and left it to dry.  Tomorrow, I plan to add it to a scrapbook page, so stop back tomorrow to see what I come up with!

Thanks for stopping by to see what is going on in the Green House on the Hill today.  And don’t forget to post a comment on Monday’s post for a chance to win a copy of Creating Keepsakes special publication, Scrapbooking with Fabric & Notions that the good folks at Creating Keepsakes have so graciously provided.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Repurposing an Old Shirt

Today, I decided to do some repurposing.  Periodically, I go through my husband’s shirts and pull out the ones that look a bit worn.  If they are still in pretty good shape, I donate them, but if they aren’t they go in my fabric pile.  Here is where I started …

To save myself from pulling out the iron, I decided to cut off the edge of the sleeve, since it already had a nice fold.  I also cut a second strip about the same width, but not doubled.  The strips are about an inch and a half or so wide. 

I cut the strips to about 10 inches in length and used my sewing machine to run a basting stitch down one of the long edges of each strip (about a ¼ of an inch in).  If you don’t have a sewing machine, a running stitch sewn by hand works just as well.  In the photo below, I included a piece of muslin with a basting stitch running down it, since it is hard to see what I did on the patterned fabric.  I gathered the fabric so it was about ½ of its original length.

After the fabric was gathered, I tied off the thread at each end, so my gathering wouldn’t fall out.  Then I sewed the two short ends of each strip together, to form a circle. 

I frayed the edge of the piece that was just a single thickness before sewing the ends together.

To finish off the flowers, I gathered some buttons, heavy thread (I used a Karen Foster’s Scrapper’s Spools which is actually a paper thread, very cool!), and a few die cut shapes.  I needed the die cut shapes to give me something to sew my button to.  I used a cardstock scalloped shape on the back (to add stability to my flower) and a few scalloped circles cut from old dress patterns on the front side.  I then created a sandwich with the button on top, followed by the pattern tissue, then the fabric flower and finally the cardstock scalloped circle.  I sewed this together as if I was sewing a button on a shirt, using the scrapper’s spool.

I plan to add these to a scrapbook page very soon!   Don’t forget to post a comment on yesterday’s post to be entered to win a copy of Creating Keepsakes special issue, Scrapbooking with Fabric & Notions!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Welcome and a Giveaway!

Welcome in to the Green House on the Hill.  To kick things off, I came up with a project using fabric (when you get to the giveaway, this will all make sense).  I made a few fun, fabric tags that can be used as an embellishment on a scrapbook page or on a card.  So let’s get started.

This is what I used:
Big Shot Die-cutting Machine
Sizzix Tag Dies (mine are from the originals collection)
Ink (I used Excelsior Dye and a Tsukineko VersaFine ink)
Foam Stamps
Sewing Machine and some thread
First, I cut the fabric with my Big Shot.  I love the Big Shot for cutting all sorts of stuff.  It works really well with fabric.

Next, I used a round, foam stamp to stamp a circle over the hole that is punched in the tag to make it look like a manila office tag. 

Then, I loaded some contrasting thread in my sewing machine and sewed a zigzagged border around the big tag and a straight stitch around the smaller tag.  Finally, I added some stamped images to both tags.

So now you have seen something that I have done with fabric.  Now, I want to show you Creating Keepsakes’ latest special publication and give you a chance to win a copy of your own. 

Creating Keepsakes has just released a new special publication titled, Scrapbooking with Fabric & Notions.  To be eligible to win a copy, leave me a comment on this post by Friday, November 11th, 2011 at noon EST.  I will randomly pick a winner from all the comments that I receive this week.  Here is a sneak peek of this fun issue!  If you don't win, you can buy your own copy here!

Thanks for stopping by.  Please stop back tomorrow for another fun project!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Just Getting Started and a Giveaway!

Welcome to the Green House on the Hill.  There is always something going on inside, whether it be a bit of crafting or something good to eat.  Stayed tuned for next week.  I will be kicking things off on Monday with a few projects to share and a giveaway.  I hope you will stop by and see what is going on inside the Green House on the Hill!