Friday, March 23, 2012

And I Have a Winner....

The winner of a copy of the March/April issue of Creating Keepsakes Magazine is ...... JORDAN!  Congratulations!  Please email me at patty dot cieri at gmail dot com with your name and mailing address.  We will get the copy of the magazine in the mail to you!

And a big thank you to the folks at Creating Keepsakes Magazine for allowing me to give away a copy of this wonderful issue.

Christmas Cards

Welcome into the Green House on the Hill.  Earlier this week I gave a few hints about what I was working on this week.  One of my projects involved this pile of Christmas cards that we received this past holiday season!

Well, I got to work with the Basic Grey Jovial line, a few pieces of chipboard and my trusty Japanese drill punch and this is what I made. 

I was inspired by Ali Edward's yearly December Daily project.  I have made December Daily books several times, but this year I just wasn't up for taking a picture every day.  In fact, I think there were only a handful of days that I did take a picture. 

In addition, I wanted to do something with the lovely cards that we are so fortunate to receive each year.  With everyone's busy lives and the cost of postage, that pile gets smaller every year.  I really appreciate those who take the time to write over the holidays.  The result was my Not so Daily December book.  Here are a few of the interior pages. 

It is still a work in progress, but so far I have about 30 photos in the book.  And probably 30 or so cards included. 

In addition to photos and cards, I have also included memoribilia, like the pair of 3D glasses in the photo below.  I also punched holes in the program from a show and included that. 

I am very happy with the book. I still need to include a few more photos and find the programs from the girl's holiday concerts. This book is a great way to remember our friends and tell the little stories that go along with the holiday season!

Well, thanks for stopping in.  And don't forget that I will draw a name this evening from the comments that I received on Monday's post for a copy of the March/April issue of Creating Keepsakes Magazine.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Centerpieces and a Few Scraps of Paper

Good morning and welcome into the Green House on the Hill.  Today I am playing with scraps of paper.  Anyone who has been papercrafting for a while struggles with what to do with those little scraps of paper that are left over from a project.  I can never decide whether I should hang on to something, or just get rid of it.  I usually opt for the former ... so I have lots of scraps of paper hanging around.

Last weekend, my older girls had a swim team banquet.  The team decided to spice it up with a centerpiece contest. I asked my daughter, Grace to help me out.  Together we turned some scraps of paper, a few bamboo skewers, glass containers gathered from around the house, glass beads and lots of hot glue into a little water scene.

We had a banner that read "Swim like a Fish" to keep with a swimming theme.  This was my take on a fish. 

We determined that I am very good at detail, but my idea of a fish might not be so accurate.  Yes, I hot glued individual scales to the fish.  Grace gave me the award for most time consuming fish.

Grace, on the other hand, has a great eye.  She sat right down and drew a fish from memory.  No erasing involved.  I, in turn, awarded her the prize for most realistic interpretation of a fish!

In case you are wondering how we got our fish to stand, we hot glued bamboo skewers to the fish and then onto a glass bead.  It takes a little patience, since you can't just pile the hot glue on in one step.  Through trial and error, we found that holding the skewer in place with one hand and then slowly layering the hot glue on, worked best.  Once the glue was dry, we buried the glued stone under more glass stones in the glass container. 

We didn't win any awards at the banquet, but now we have a very pretty table scape that we can enjoy for some time to come!  And when we get tired of it, since it was made from scraps, we can let it go!  I hope I have inspired you to see what you can do with a few scraps of paper!

Thanks for stopping into the Green House on the Hill.  Don't forget that I will be drawing a name on Friday evening from all of the comments that I receive on Monday's post, for a copy of the March/April issue of Creating Keepsakes Magazine.  So don't forget to leave a comment on that post. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Soda Cans and Punches

Welcome into the Green House on the Hill.  As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I have a couple of things up my sleeve this week.  Last night I got to work with my empty soda can and a few of my favorite punches.  Soda cans are made from very thin aluminum, so they can easily be cut with a pair of scissors. 

Before I get started, let me put a few cautions out there.  Since it is metal, it can be sharp, so wearing a pair of heavy gloves when cutting is a good idea.  You should also wear safely glasses, as sometimes a little piece of metal will fly.  You would follow the usual precautions that one would use when working with metal.  Also, you don't want to use your best pair of sewing or paper cutting scissors.  It will dull them!  I used my daughter's safety scissors from preschool.  They worked well. 

OK, safety message aside, the first thing you need to do is to cut the top and the bottom off of the can.  Since a soda can is very thin, you can just puncture a hole in it, or use a pair of wire cutters to put through the rim.  Once you have the top and the bottom cut off, cut the can from top to bottom so that you end up with a rectangular piece of metal when laid flat.  (I cut down the part of the can where they have all the "nutritional" information, since I wanted to save the graphics on the rest of the can.) You will want to flatten it a bit, since will be rolled in the shape of a can. 

From there, you can grab your paper punches and begin punching out shapes. It punches surprisingly easily.  You could just use the shapes as they are, but I like to take it one step further. I enhanced the body of my butterfly with some seed beads.

First I ran a line of Diamond Glaze down the body of the butterfly.  Through some trial and error, I found that placing the beads on a pin first made it much easier to line them up on the Diamond Glaze. I just moved the beads to the end of the pin, placed the beads (still on the pin) into the Diamond Glaze and then carefully pulled the pin out from the center of the beads. Really pretty easy ... and much easier than trying to line them up and place them individually!

The edges of the cut shapes are usually not sharp, but to ensure you don't get cut, run a little Diamond Glaze over the entire shape.  That will seal everything.  Now they are ready to use on a project.  They can be added to a card or a scrapbook page.

You will notice that I made 2 matching butterflies.  When my daughter arrives home from school today, I plan to ask her to make them into a piece of jewelry.  I am thinking of a cute pair of earrings.  What do you think?

I don't like to limit my selection of punches to just the handheld variety.  I am a huge fan of the Sizzix Big Shot.  I love that thing!  You can run the soda can through the Sizzix too.  Here is one that I ran through using an adorable Tim Holtz die.  It is going to make a super cute embellishment for a card.

And I think I might just use the back side of this die cut.  I like the brushed metal surface.

Well that is all for today.  Please come back into the Green House on the Hill tomorrow.  I have more fun stuff up my sleeve!  And don't forget to visit yesterday's post for a chance to win a copy of the March/April issue of Creating Keepsakes!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Giveaway and A Peek at What I am up to this Week!

Welcome into the Green House on the HIll, I am super excited this week because I am taking part in a blog hop with a bunch of very talented ladies from Creating Keepsakes Magazine and the Club CK Message Board. Each of us is giving away a copy of the March/April issue of Creating Keepsakes Magazine. I have a copy in my hot little hands, so I can vouch that it is a good one. Please see the end of the post for the details on how you can win a copy!

Now on to my plans for the week.  I hope you will join me throughout the week. I have several projects up my sleeve. The first will go up later today. Here are a couple of hints about what I am up to.

I love making embellishments from stuff that I have around the house. The chance to reuse something that would otherwise go in the trash or the recycle bin makes me even happier. I have plans for the soda can (and it isn't to quench my thirst)!

I have a ziploc bag full of cards that we received over the holidays. I decided that it was time to get those cards out of the ziploc bag and record some of my holiday memories at the same time. Stop back to see where I am headed with these.   

Giveaway Details!

You can win a copy of the March/April issue of Creating Keepsakes Magazine by leaving a comment on this post. I will randomly select a winner on Friday evening from all of the comments I receive. 

Would you like more chances to win and tons of great inspiration in the process? Then please visit each of the blogs listed below for additional chances to win.

A Matter of Memories

Kim Jackson

Kim Watson

Adele Beck

Suzy Plantamura

If you don't want to wait, you can purchase a copy here. Additional online content and more fun contest links are available here.

Thanks for stopping by the Green House on the Hill. And remember to leave a comment!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Entertaining Six Year Olds (And a Giveaway Coming Soon)

My youngest daughter just turned six.  She insisted on a party at home (although I really though a party at the local bounce place sounded nice)!  So home party is what we did.  There is really not much that scares me more in life than sixteen bored six year olds.  To ensure that I didn't have a wide-eyed six year staring at me saying, "I'm bored," I tried to come up with as many activities as possible.

We are a crafty bunch in this house, so I thought up a few craft projects.  My choices were limited by the fact that I really don't care for fun foam.  That knocks lot's of prefab ideas off the list.  I was also limited by cost.  Entertaining sixteen children can get expensive.  Finally, I like things that might actually get used.  I was wandering through the dollar section at Michaels one day and saw some chipboard albums that were shaped like flowers.  So armed with 4 chipboard albums (each had 4 pages), I went to work.

I came up with this, a chalkboard door hanger.

Here is what I started with ...

You can make it as simple or complicated as you like.  This is what I used..

  • Chalkboard Paper from DCVW (This is seriously cool stuff.  You can write on it and then wash it off.  I wiped mine down with a wet paper towel and it worked perfectly.  It doesn't absorb the water, how great is that?)
  • Chipboard Albums (Mine came from the dollar spot at Michaels.) 
  • Big Shot (I love this tool since I can cut pretty much anything with it.)
  • Nestibilities Circle Dies (If you don't have a die cutting machine and circle dies, a small plate or jar works well for tracing a circle.  You can then hand cut the paper).
  • Self Adhesive Gems (I always look for these when Michaels has clearance sale.)
  • Patterned Paper and Plain Cardstock (I used most of the rest of the Pocketful of Posies pad from DCWV that I had bought years ago.  This is a great way to use up old paper.)
  • A Hole Punch (to punch a hole for the ribbon.)
  • Ribbon (mine was about 1/2" wide)
  • Chalk!
I traced the chipboard shape onto the back of a piece of patterned paper.  I then flipped the shape over and did the same thing on the back of a piece of cardstock.  (This step was probably overkill, but I like options.  This allowed the girls to decide which side they wanted to decorate.)

Once the shapes were cut out, I glued them onto the chipboard using an Elmer's Craft Bond Extra Strength Glue Stick.  I am a huge fan of this adhesive.  It goes on blue, so you can see where you have put it, then dries clear.  It also holds very well. 

I used the Big Shot to cut the chalk paper into circles that fit in the middle of the chipboard flower.  The largest circle in the set of circle Nestibilities that I had worked well for this purpose.  We gave each of the girls the following items ...

  • A chipboard flower, covered on one side with patterned paper and cardstock on the other. 
  • A circle cut from the chalkboard paper.
  • Some self adhesive gems. 
  • Glue to stick the chalkboard paper to the middle of the flower.

Since the girls at our party were young and the flower shape irregular, I decided to cover the chipboard with the paper before they arrived.  If the girls had been a little older and the shape easier to work with (say a nice simple heart), I would have the children do this step too. 

The girls had a great time sticking lots of gems on their flowers and then writing messages on their chalkboards.  I had my party helpers punch the holes and run the ribbon through the flowers.

I hope you have enjoyed visiting me in the green house on the hill.  Come back on Monday, I will be joining some of the super talented ladies from Creating Keepsakes in a blog hop. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Packaging Sweet Treats and a Web Chat

Wow, it has been a long time since I have blogged.  Today, I am going to share an easy and inexpensive way to use scrapbooking supplies to dress up a gift of baked goods.  Most of us who have been papercrafting for a while have a good supply of 12x12 scrapbooking paper.  I often find 12x12 pads of scrapbooking paper on sale and just can't resist buying them.  I use the paper for a while and still have tons of paper left sitting there waiting for a project.  This is the perfect project for that leftover paper. 

The paper that I used came from the My Minds Eye Bright Dots pad.  This pad includes 180 sheets of cheerful, dotted prints in a variety of bright colors.  The paper is fairly thin as scrapbooking paper goes, but it is the perfect weight for making boxes.  I used these boxes to package my contribution to my neighborhood cookie exchange.  The goodies that I included inside were very simple to make, so I decided to dress them up a bit by putting them in pretty boxes! 

Since these were for a cookie exchange, I included a card with the recipe on it too. 

Here is a peek inside ...

Each box holds 6 Nutella Brownies in mini cupcake holders.  I found the recipe here (at  Super easy to make and super yummy to eat!

Come back tomorrow and I will show you how I made the boxes.  Also, I will be hosting a live chat with Creating Keepsake's 2012 Dream Team member, Autumn Baldwin.  Autumn recently had several digital layouts published in Creating Keepsakes Magazine.  She has a lovely, clean, graphic style of scrapbooking that I am sure you will love.  You can find us chatting from 4-5 PM EST on March 8th (that is tomorrow) on the scrapbooking forum at Club Creating Keepsakes.  Here is a link to the forum.