Clearing out My Crafts 1.0

Clearing out My Crafts 1.0

I have been on a cleaning streak lately, attempting to clear out the clutter.

Here’s why.

I love to craft. Love, love, love it! I play around with paper crafts, such as, scrapbooking, cardmaking, journal construction and design. I play around with fabric: quilts of all sizes, pencil pouches, journal covers, art pages, and other stuff. I play around with paints and inks, creating ATCs (artist trading cards), journal pages, tags, and other creative doo-dads.

All the items that I use for this crafting and creating take up room. And because I always think of something that I can do with anything, I had amassed a large number of scraps of paper, bottle caps, aluminum cans, toilet paper rolls, tissue paper, glass beads, pieces of string, and on and on and on.

With piles of random stuff all over my work space, I had two problems. First of all, obviously, I had no space to create anything. Secondly, everytime I approached my work space, I would be bombarded with so many ideas that I couldn’t focus on a single one.

20180618_105135

I started feeling overwhelmed and, frankly, unhappy, that I couldn’t get to stuff. So after the semester ended. I dug in.

At my first pass, (yes, that’s right, I had to go through more than once), I just got rid of stuff that was renewable. These were things like aluminum cans, toilet paper rolls, pieces of cardboard, and other mostly recyclable material. All of these things were constantly coming across my desk. I could never run out because we use stuff that produce more of these lovely crafting items.

I was starting to see the tops of bookshelves and inside of cubbies. But, I had to stop at that point because, believe it or not, I had completely filled the entire curbside recycling bin.

My area looked so much better…but still not where I wanted it to be, namely, usable. And in the process, I discovered so many cool things that I owned and had completely forgotten about. (I’ll be making stuff with some of them and posting them pretty soon!)

And I’ll also be telling you about my second pass.

Thanks for coming along with me on this ride!
And let me know your thoughts!

Graduation Cards

Graduation Cards

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that I had made two additional cards to friends who were graduating from high school.

These cards went in the mail so they really couldn’t have much bulk.

I embossed the top parts of the cards with a tiny star pattern. Used some really busy paper for the bottom and added a simple message.

I had intended to use the word “Celebrate” but it was too long to fit. But I think that the sentiment “Cheers” works just as well. Don’t we all want to cheer when we’re moving to new adventures?

Hip, hip, hooray!

IMG_9886

Graduations and their cards

Graduations and their cards

Graduations are pretty amazing.

Whether it is middle school, high school, or college, it marks the end of one phase of your life and the beginning of something new and exciting!

This June, I received three different graduation announcements. All of them high school. Each of them sent the announcement and a picture. Each of the graduates looked so handsome, so happy, so…adult! (I don’t remember my pictures looking quite so put together. Or maybe it was just me. Ha!)

All three are heading off to college in Fall. And because we couldn’t go to all of the graduations, I made some cards to give/send.

This first one I am posting is a card meant to hold a check or money. This particular graduate plays jazz music so I included the sheet music as a surprise inside. Also, I used the school colors as the color scheme for the card.

I really loved making the little diploma! But it was definitely too bulky for me to use on a mailed card. The only thing I would change for the next time would be trying to take a picture with that silvery cardstock. There was no angle that didn’t produce that shine. But the pocket for the money fits right behind it. So what could I do?

 

The two others that are just congratulatory, I will post tomorrow or the day after.

Enjoy!

Thank You Cards

Thank You Cards

I have been playing with stuff in my craft room and in May, I have been creating thank you cards.

I made three for my boys to send to family for birthday gifts that they received.

And I made one mini card for one of my professors.

arabic thanks 1

And, I can tell you, crafting really does relieve the pressure and insanity of everyday life. Just one little flash of creativity made such a huge difference for me. Especially when I needed to detox after a grueling semester.

Enjoy!  (‘Cause I sure did!)

Tea or Coffee?

I’m addicted.

I tried out this thing called coffee staining paper and I can’t stop.

I kept seeing all these beautiful journals with the tea and coffee stained paper and doilies and ribbon. And I said, I have to try this.

I went online and read about it. And then I searched youtube. And I found Lori (Just a Girl from the Bay). Her instructions on how to dye paper using your oven were spot on. So I tried it.

piles of paper

And now I can’t stop.
Seriously.
I need help.

The first time I tried it, I used coffee. In the video, Lori used instant coffee granules, but I was looking for a way to recycle the grounds from Keurig coffee containers. I saved up about a week’s worth (so around 7 or 8 containers), and then my husband brewed them through the machine for some seriously dark coffee…or so I thought.

The dye wasn’t as dark as I thought it would be. It certainly didn’t look as dark as all the cool journals that I admired.

The second time, I saved up around two weeks worth of coffee containers (around 14) and I put them in a coffee filter lined wire strainer. I set it in a disposable aluminum roasting pan and poured boiling water over it. I let it steep for about 30 minutes.

I also made another pan using the same system but I used a loose dark tea.

Both pans looked incredibly dark to me but for some reason, the tea stained darker. I don’t know if it’s a component of the tannins or what.

You can see that on regular paper, tea  is darker. (Tea is on the left side)

reg paper comparison

On regular paper with a design on it, tea is darker. (Tea is on the left side)

umbrella pics comparison

Even on a medium weight catalog paper, tea is darker. (Tea is on the left.)

Also, the tea tended to stain more evenly while the coffee left interesting blotches and marks.

I really liked how both sets of colors turned out. But I definitely like the rustic look of tea stained paper more.

So check out Lori’s instructions and give it a try. My next post will be how I did it, with accompanying pictures.

Let me know how your adventure turns out!