Showing posts from 2013

Sew & Sew Sewing Box

Welcome to the Ann Butler EZ De's Blog hop! Go to the link at the bottom to hop through and see what other designers have done with Ann's beautiful stamps.

I love the adage, "A place for everything, and everything in it's place." That was the motto of my eighth grade Home Economics teacher, Mrs. Coker, who tried to pry open our 13-year-old brains and pour in her knowledge of a lifetime. At the time, I thought she was a silly old lady, but now I wish I had paid more attention in her class.

I love an organized house and have had that happen once or twice, but I always have another project on the horizon, and if you're a crafter, you know that you can clean and organize your workspace, but the minute you get out the supplies to make one card, it looks like Hobby Lobby threw up. That's why I'm constantly trying to corral the little pieces of a bigger projects in one location.

Sewing is a prime example. You have spools of thread, several sizes of pins, ne…

Cozy Christmas Cottage

There are two things I absolutely love: making gifts for my friends and decorating for the holidays - any holiday. Those two items come together in the mother of all holidays, Christmas, and as my granny would say, "It's right around the corner" (Silly me. When I was a child, I would walk to the end of her street to see if I could see Christmas. After all, it was right around the corner.).

My sweetie and I have been married 43 years. In that time, we have collected ornaments from our travels across the United States, managed to accumulate tons of Christmas lights and in the last few years have added many quality items to our stash. And it's a big stash. I love to add a new element each year, but I'm running out of room, so I decided to create our 2013 keepsake using SmoothfoamTM and paper and embellishments from The Robin's Nest. The Robin's Nest Dew Drops add a lacy appeal to the roof lines. and the Smoothfoam keeps it lightweight. This cute …

Deck Yourself from now Until Thanksgiving

Add fall color to your wardrobe with these easy-to-make, recycled jewelry pieces. I awoke this morning to the first signs of the fall season. It's rainy and chilly here in the Mid-South, where it was sunny and 86° on Sunday. This weather makes me want to pull out my favorite fleece PJs and snuggle up with a hot cup of joe and a good book. It also makes me yearn for wool skirts and crew-neck sweaters in rich colors, perfect for wearing while shopping the multitude of farmers' markets and craft fairs that the fall season brings. What better way to dress up last year's favorites than with new jewelry?

My mother was the costume jewelry queen. I believe she had the first piece of jewelry she ever bought, and added to her stash regularly. She wasn't big on bracelets, but I have boxes and boxes of necklaces and earrings, which provide the fill-in beads I use in recycled jewelry. This bracelet and earrings set contains pieces from three necklaces, plus the additio…

Easy Peasy Tote Bag Pocket

I just love tote bags. I guess because I always have something to tote, but I was a bag-a-holic long before I had anything to carry around with me. My grandmother always had a big  handbag that contained everything but the kitchen sink, so I guess it's just in my genes.

Anyway, I am participating in the 2014 Sketchbook Project, a wonderful sharing of ideas and art. I try to carry my sketchbook and an assortment of pencils, water pens, markers and erasers with me when I know I'll have some down time - doctors' offices, traveling, etc. All of this paraphernalia takes up room, thus the need for a tote bag, but not just any tote bag. The sketchbook is only 5" x 7", so a big bag isn't necessary, but all those writing instruments! I hate digging in the bottom of any bag for a pen.

These fabulous new stamps from Ann Butler and KellyCraft were the answer to a prayer for a simple way to dress this little bag up AND hold my writing instruments at the same time. I had s…

I saw the signs....

After the recent Craft & Hobby Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas in July, we headed on to Sequoia and King's Canyon National Parks, the California coast just north of Los Angeles, drove across the Golden Gate bridge, then turned east to Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, Reno and Rocky Mountain National Park. (We are known for our marathon driving trips.) We had already spent the nights before the convention at the Grand Canyon North Rim and Zion National Park, the most beautiful place on earth in my humble opinion.

We saw so many different signs along the way. I have always been interested in signs, particularly those with lots of age on them. The ones we saw on this trip were mostly more modern, but they were still beautiful. My KellyCraft Get-It-Straight Laser Square made this squared-up layout easy as pie (which we thoroughly enjoyed at The Thunderbird Restaurant just outside Zion National Park).

Here's how I did it:

KellyCraft Get-It-Straight Laser Squa…

Beautiful Butterfly

Nothing says summer like a beautiful butterfly…that and swimming, popsicles, baseball, fireworks, cool nights on the patio…and our Vacation Bible School. My local church has the most awesome VBS ever! The entire church is transformed into another land – this year it’s a rainforest with a huge tree (10 feet around!) in the sanctuary. There are monkeys swinging from the rafters in the entry hall and lots of giant lizards everywhere.

I wanted to make dozens of butterflies and dragonflies to float among the monkeys and frogs all over my VBS craft room. But I didn’t have enough Smoothfoam on hand (note to self: get more Smoothfoam and start planning earlier next year!) so I just made this one beautiful metallic butterfly to hang in my studio. He’s so pretty and bright and when I turn on the fan, he flits around to keep me company and make me smile!

12″ Smoothfoam sheet
Smoothfoam balls – three 1″, two 2″ and one 3″
Metallic paints – green blue, gold, purple
18″ length …

Happy Birthday, America!

This is the time of year we celebrate our independence. What says America better than a red, white and blue sign to greet your guests at the door and tiny reminders of our freedom scattered throughout your home? These great chalkboards can become the centerpiece of your decorating with just a few pieces of bright chalk and about 10 minutes of your time. Don't worry if you can't draw it perfectly. Remember my motto: If it's perfect, it's not handmade.

The best thing about these chalkboards are that with the swipe of a paper towel and maybe a little bit of water, you have fresh slate to start all over for your next celebration. Mine were purchased as you see them, but you could achieve the same results with a piece of plywood or masonite and a can of chalk paint. Pop your handmade board into an inexpensive frame, and you have a great designer look.

Be sure to click on the Designer Crafts Connection at left to hop through and see other designers' ideas for celebratio…

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better....

...we have a giveaway! If you're as excited as I am about etchall® Reusable Glass and Mirror Etching Creme, you'll love this message from the blog of Julie McGuffee. (which I am shamelessly reusing!).

Etchall Giveaway! Have you seen all the etched projects designed by Designer Crafts Connection (DCC) members?  Are YOU itching to etch?  Then here's a newsflash for you:  Hop thru the DCC webring and comment on the projects.  Each time you comment you'll be entered to win the same etchall® kit that the designers worked with - the more you comment, the more chances you'll have to win.  (US & Canada addresses only.)

You have until midnight, June 23rd!  

Just click on the Designer Crafts Connection button to hop through the blog posts and leave a comment.

I think I'm in love...

I have always wanted to learn to etch glass. There are so many possibilities for home and office decor that I believe I could write a book about it. There's only one problem: I have always hated the mess, odor and possible side-effects of the etching creams I've used in the past, so I haven't played with it very much.

Well, those days have ended, my friends. My first project with B&B Etching Products, Inc.'s etchallTM  Reusable Glass Mirror Etching Creme  turned out so good that nothing made of glass is safe at my house. I want to etch every surface, which  is made less expensive than the older versions of etching cream because it is reusable. It says so right on the label and it's true. I was able to return 90 percent of the used cream to the bottle for future projects.

I used a stencil, which I created with a punch and etchmaskTM vinyl, for my first etchallTM project. I am very pleased with the results. You could also use a stencil cut with an elec…

Spring Beauty

I just love Springtime in Tennessee, and this one has been beautiful. Our azaleas were just gorgeous, the daffodils beautiful and all the flowering trees made wonderful touches of color in our woods, but the most stunning blooms were on our three-year-old Clematis. I took so many photos because it just became more beautiful every day.

I knew I had to document them in a scrapbook page. This one is a digital page created with the Duetica Lettering Arts Studio fonts, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign, but you could just as easily create this in a traditional layout.  The Duetica Lettering Arts Studio made this beautiful title so easy to do with the elegant Mandolyn font.

Here's how I did it:
Using the Duetica lettering Arts Studio, set “Spring Beauty” using Mandolyn font. Make changes to “S” and “Y” to create swirls.Open Spring Beauty file in Photoshop. Change color to deep purple. Save as a png file to preserve background transparency.Open photo. Set image size to 12 x 12. cropping…

My Mother Album

I know Mothers Day for 2013 has come and gone, but this project could work for any subject. Check out how I created this using lace paper, Mica powders and KoolTak® adhesives.

Now I just have to fill it up!

Using up my stash...

I was cleaning put my stash of ribbons and fibers a few weeks ago and came across a pack of colored twine. There were at least a dozen colors, maybe more, and I was saying to my self, "What was I thinking when I bought all this twine? I have enough to twine bomb a small country."

I was trying to think of different things I could use it for when I remembered the small foam spheres I had from Smoothfoam®. I whipped out my foam cutter, sliced several of them in half, plopped myself down on the sofa with a Criminal Minds marathon on the TV, a big glass of sweet tea and made flowers. Lots and lots of flowers.

You can see compete directions at While you're there, be sure to  go through the posts of other professional designers who love Smoothfoam® the way I do.

Have a great Memorial Day and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.
Sand and shells picture frame

I have always loved the addition of texture in art, whether it’s the tiny brush stokes of Van Gogh or the addition of fibers, rusty metals, embossing powder or glitter to my current craft project.
But this not a case of adding texture. It was a case of covering up an error. Yes, I know that’s hard to believe, but I occasionally make a few mistakes, and while you might never notice them, they drive me crazy. In fact, while some designers are the Queens of Creativity, or the Divas of Design, I am Her Highness of Hiding Mistakes.

This piece started out as a simple tutorial on how to make a little frame for one of my favorite quotes about the beach. It got ugly quick.

I use an awesome heat foam cutter. It cuts Smoothfoam like butter, but that’s my problem. I tried to zoom through the inner cuts and wound up with one side not only crooked, but ¼” smaller that the opposite side. When I tried to correct the error, I made the cut too long, almost c…

Mothers Day Card

I can't imagine a better season to honor our mothers than spring. Iris and tulips are pushing up through the warmed earth, birds are singing and preparing nests for their new additions and the sun shines - most of the time, although those showers are helpful as well.

When I think of my mother, I think of sewing, baking and setting a high moral example for her two daughters. She loved family history, anything old as well as the latest trends and beautiful color combinations. This card reminds me of a beautiful purple wool straight skirt that she paired with a purple twin sweater set. Add pearls and heels and she was definitely decked out.

She made all of our clothes when we were growing up, and there were always scraps from which we fashioned doll clothes. Today, my scraps are now baskets of paper pieces left over from my latest projects. When I saw these wonderful quilt-patterned stamps, designed by Ann Butler for Unity Stamp Company, I knew they would make the perfect frame for …

Recycled Sun Catcher

Welcome to the Designer Crafts Connection April blog hop. Our theme this month is Spring Flowers, but we were also challenged to only use items we already had around the house. This wire and glass sun catcher fit the bill.

There wasn't a lot of sun when I took the photos for this project, so trust me: that beveled glass can really sparkle. To see another spring project using the roll of wire described in the materials list, see my blog post of March 22.

Be sure to click on the Designer Crafts Connection button at left to hop to other bloggers participating in this event.

Here's how I did it:

Metal Coat Hangers, 2
Roll wire (Found in the garage. No one knows what gauge it is or why we bought it.)
Wire Cutters
Needle nose pliers
Regular pliers
Beveled glass pieces, 1 large, four small (Purchased at a salvage store several years ago. I think they were made for light fixtures.)


 Hang the large piece in the center and space the four smaller pieces around the s…