Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top 13 Projects of 2013: Year In Review

Hello everyone. I can't believe a new year is dawning!  As 2014 approaches, I wanted to look back at my creative projects from 2013 and post a few of my favorites.  I love seeing these types of posts on your blogs and wanted to follow suit. 

Below are 13 of my favorites in the order that they appeared on my blog this year. The blue titles hyperlink back to the original posts and tutorials. 

At The Sea - Pebbles Inc. 

I'm All Ears - October Afternoon

Welcome Little One - Echo Park Paper

Lollipop Tents - Echo Park Paper

Delight - Little Yellow Bicycle

Sailboat Tag - Pebbles Inc.

Silly Amazing Handsome You - My Mind's Eye

The Race - My Mind's Eye

I Fell In Love - Fancy Pants Designs

Tuesdays With Cory Mini Album - Fancy Pants Designs

One Fine Day - Fancy Pants Designs

Toilet Roll Reindeer - Fancy Pants Designs

Shaker Card - Crate Paper

Do you have a favorite among these?

As it turned out, 2013 was the Year of the Pub for me. I had 38 projects in print publications this year including work in Paper Crafts Magazine, Creating Keepsakes, Better Homes and Gardens (specialty issue Make It Yourself), Scrapbook and Cards Today, Scrapbooking & Beyond, CARDS, Scrapbook Trends, Create and Simply Handmade.  Sadly, most of these magazines have either ceased publication or will publish only (or primarily) in digital form in 2014. 

I hope 2013 was a wonderful year for you. If you've written a list of favorite projects from the past year, I'd love to see your post. Please link it in the comments. 

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Money Hidden In Toilet Roll: Creative Ways To Give

Our teen nephew is hard to buy for. Every year, we try to think of creative ways to give him money. This year, we taped dollar bills end to end, rolled them and hid them inside a toilet roll. 

We cut a slot in the toilet roll just a bit larger than a dollar bill. We added a "pull me" tab to the last bill and threaded it through the slot. Then we wrapped the roll with tissue paper leaving the pull me tab exposed. 

To open, my nephew doesn't unwrap the gift. Rather, he pulls the tab and the bills will roll out one by one. I got this idea from my friend Cindy deRosier.

We won't see my nephew until the weekend after Christmas so I don't have a photo of him unrolling the dollars, but I am pretty sure it will be a hit!

For creative ways to give a gift card, see this post.

I have other projects with toilet paper rolls here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Paper Cone Ornament Tutorial: Fancy Pants Designs

Happy Christmas Eve, everyone.  Before I head home for the holidays, I wanted to share a tutorial with you for paper cone ornaments. These are easy to make and can also be used as bows on your packages.  

Supplies:  Double sided paper, circle punch, large brad or flair, sentiment, twine or ribbon hanger.  My supplies are all from Fancy Pants Designs, the Merry Little Christmas collection. 

Start by punching out about 14 circles. 

Roll each circle into a cone, using a strong adhesive. Wet adhesives like Zip Dry probably work best. I used a clip to hold each cone together as the glue dried, which only took a few minutes. 

For the base, I punched a larger circle and stapled a twine hanger at the top. The staple won't show as the cones will completely cover the large red circle. After placing these four, I realized all my cones would not fit, so I trimmed the ends and that worked. See below. 

Add in all the cones or as many as will fit.  If, like me, you rolled some cones fat and some cones skinny, you may need to make some adjustments. I ended up using just 11 of the 14 cones and trimmed the ends off each to fit. 

I punched a hole in the center to help me gauge where the center was as I placed each cone.  A hole in the center will also be helpful if using a large brad as a decorative element. 

Here's a side view. You can see the dimension of the cones. I love how they look. 

To complete the ornament, I topped the cones with a flair button and a sentiment ticket. I used the ornament here as a package bow. It can be removed and used by the recipient as an ornament. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Creative Gift Cards: Inside a Snow Globe

I love to give and receive gift cards but I also really appreciate a good presentation. For my friend who is a big coffee fan, I gave her a Starbucks gift card inside a homemade snow globe.

Starbucks has these super cute snowmen gift cards this year that work perfectly for snow globes. 

I only needed a few ingredients to make my own snow globe and I already had everything on hand in my house. Bonus!  I used an old pickle jar. I dumped out the last few pickles and cleaned the jar. 

If you want your snow globe to last awhile, be sure to use distilled water or cooled boiled water. This helps prevent mildew and cloudy water. I added a tablespoon of light corn syrup to make the glitter and sequins fall more slowly. 

To create the scene, I added little bottle trees from Fancy Pants Designs in front of the Starbucks card. I used Gorilla Glue to adhere them. Be sure that you use an adhesive that will not break down in water. 

I wrapped the Starbucks snow globe with a gift card that said: In case of emergency, break glass. Of course, she wouldn't really need to break the glass to get the ornament. Just turn the jar right side up and unscrew the lid!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Have a great weekend. I'll be back on Monday with tutorial for paper ornaments.  

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Secrets For Santa: Fancy Pants Designs

I'm up on the Fancy Pants Designs blog today with prizes there up for grabs!

Here's a closeup:

The photo on this layout is of my little one whispering his list to Santa. Additional details are on the Fancy Pants blog today. 

My post is part of a week-long blog hop with Fancy Pants and Tombow Adhesive. Up for grabs: products from the brand new Timber Grove collection and a variety of Tombow Adhesive. 

You can find all the details here on the Fancy Pants blog. Thanks for stopping by. I'll be back tomorrow with a gift card in a snow globe. It turned out so cute. I can't wait to show you!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Shaker Card Tutorial: My Creative Scrapbook

I'm taking a little break from layouts today to show how to make a shaker card.  

I used the new Bundled Up line from Crate Paper, which was included in the December kit at My Creative Scrapbook. As soon as I saw the theme of this collection, I immediately thought it would lend itself well to a shaker card. I used sequins and tinsel from the kit as snow. 

To get started, I used a chipboard frame in the kit. I thought the frame would have just the right depth for the sequins to shake and fall like snow and it did.  

To the front of the frame, I attached a piece of transparency.  Vellum would work well too. I just stitched the transparency on. It is quite fast and easy to run chipboard through a sewing machine and I didn't have to worry about adhesive showing through. 

After stitching the transparency on, I cut a piece of patterned paper the same size as the frame and embellished both pieces with chipboard. 

I glued the paper to the back of the frame -leaving a small opening for the sequins and tinsel - then sealed it completely shut. Then I added the shaker to a card base. 

Here's a final look:

A fun and festive card!  I'll be back tomorrow with a project for Fancy Pants Designs.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Let It Snow: Using Paint On A Layout

We don't get a lot of snow in the Carolinas but when we do, it's cause for celebration.  When my son was 11 months old, he saw his first snow.  

For this layout, I used the cute Bundled Up line from Crate Paper, which was included in the December Kit at My Creative Scrapbook.  The kit was perfect for this photo of my little one being pulled around in the snow in his beloved red wagon. 

My favorite sheet of patterned paper in Bundled Up is this red snowflake one with the cute polka dots on the flip side. I only had one sheet of this double-sided paper, so I carefully cut out the middle and flipped it over. 

I wanted to bring in another color on this layout and chose an aqua paper with big pink polka dots. It was a little too much, though, so I toned it down with paint. I thinned the paint with water then white washed the pink polka dots. 

I loved the snowy effect the paint gave the paper.  Now the layout has a pop of color but it doesn't overwhelm the page.  

One last look. Thanks for stopping by! I'll be back on Wednesday with a tutorial for a shaker card. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Toilet Roll Reindeer: Christmas Crafts for Kids

I have a children's holiday craft today: reindeer made from toilet paper rolls. These are super quick and were easy to make with items we had around the house.  

We started with three empty toilet paper rolls, cut each roll in half, then choose patterned paper to cover them in. I used paper from Fancy Pants Designs, the new Timber Grove collection.  

We cut the paper into strips, 2 inches wide by 6 inches long, then glued the strips around the rolls. 

After the glue was dry, we punched two holes for antlers near the top of the toilet rolls.  I ran one long pipe cleaner through both holes. The middle of the pipe cleaner is the perfect spot for an ornament hanger. 

To curl the antlers, we wrapped the pipe cleaners around a pen. 

Decorate as desired. 

Then they're ready for the tree!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

PaperHaus Blog Hop: Celebrating The Winter Issue

Hi everyone. Welcome! Have you seen the gorgeous new issue of PaperHaus magazine? It's a thing of beauty, I tell you. And it's free!  Here's the link: PaperHaus Magazine Winter Issue

Isn't the cover pretty? 

Inside you'll find a variety of winter and holiday projects in every style. 

The contributors have been celebrating the new issue with a blog hop each day, these first 12 days of December.  Here we are at Day 11.  Each day's hop is really short, about 4 blogs.  We'd love to have you join us!  Leave a comment on each blog to be eligible for prizes from our sponsors. You won't believe how generous they are! I'm delighted to contribute to this magazine. 

Today, I am sharing a holiday layout that documents that time-honored tradition: picking out the Christmas tree. Our family goes to to a nearby tree farm each year, we pick our tree, cut it down, haul it home and decorate. 

I primarily used Little Yellow Bicycle's Fern and Forest collection for this layout. It isn't a traditional holiday line but the colors were just right. 

On the left, I embellished the page. On the right, I arranged the photos down the side to tell the story: arriving, cutting, hauling and decorating. There's a tag under the main photo for journaling. 

If you're following along for the hop, you should have arrived here from Cassie's blog.  The next stop is Amazing Mold Putty.

If you want to check out the blog hop from the previous days, go to PaperHaus for all the scoop!

Thanks for stopping by. I'll be back on Friday with another holiday project. 
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