Dec 18, 2012

Christmas Gifts 2012

Like so many of you, I have a serious stack of 12 x 12 patterned papers. I have added to them, used them, moved them, stacked and re-shelved them. They are beautiful and precious to me. But of course I have WAY too much! So this year I have decided that no matter what it takes, I will use up my stash of patterned paper. It's going to take a lot of doing. So for Christmas gifts I dug out my papers and some note paper pads I have had for a very long time and set to work. 

This is a really simple but nice gift. I measured and scored my pattern paper. Then adhered the notepad to the paper with score tape.

 Folded the paper around the pad and added a self-stick velcro tab.

Voila! A little notebook holder!

 I made a slew of them. (sorry, upside down picture?!)

 I also followed this tutorial HERE to make some hand sewn sketch booklets. Same style. Folded cover with a velcro tab.

 And of course since I just can't waste paper, I made some tiny ones as well. I used some of the loose notepad pages from my first books and sewed them up like the second sketch books but they are about 4 inches instead.
 Because of the size difference I didn't think velcro would work out so I made a little sleeve to slide over the book to keep it closed. Some of the papers came with fancy edges and others I added myself. I have made a bucket load which means everyone I know is getting at least one of them this year!
Merry Christmas in just 7 more days!

Dec 8, 2012

Christmas Tree Decorations

This year, being far away from home and all my Christmas decorations, I opted to use my craft stash to help decorate our new tree. We left the big nice one at home and bought a little "apartment friendly" one here in Singapore. I decided to make a string banner and some snowflake ornaments. 

I started with the Spellbinders Banner die cuts and my Cuttlebug machine.
 I chose a pack of older holiday papers that I have had sitting in my stash for a few years. I went crazy with the cutting. I would love to move home without one page of old paper so I can get all new when I get back to the states ; )  
Before I cut the banner, I folded the paper so it would be double sided when they popped out. I put runners tape on both sides and sealed it over my ribbon.

 I also tried some rope as seen below. But its rounder and thicker, so the banner had a harder time staying put. I would recommend using a thin, flat ribbon of some kind. But this is what it looked like strung up!

Next I took some Papertrey Ink felt in Pure Poppy and Fresh Snow with their Snowflake die cuts and ran them through the Cuttlebug.

I took the corresponding stamp set (also by Papertrey Ink) and Palette Noir ink and stamped the image right onto the felt. It gave it a nice muted tone which I really like.

I punched holes in the top with my Crop-a-dile and added some hooks. And this is what they look like!

My tree is so small I really didn't need many. I think I ended up with 10-15 of them. Between these, the banner and a few silver globes, there was enough to fill up the tree perfectly!

And for some reason, I can't upload the final photo of the entire tree! Grrrr! Sometimes, technology just gets me, you know?! Well, anyway. It looks lovely and festive! I'm really glad I got to do it all myself this year instead of relying on buying things. Part because it is SO expensive (especially in Singapore) and partly because it really made a homespun look and it was just what I needed being so far away from my home and family. It really helped me get into the spirit of the season!

Nov 28, 2012

Simple Crafty Advent Calendar

So, Christmastime is coming!! I feel I am awake enough in my new environment to actual notice a holiday is coming! Unlike all the other holidays that have passed without me noticing. I spent New Years in a chinese grocery store, we completely skipped Valentines and St. Patrick's Day. We managed to squeeze in a few eggs for Easter but the candy was crap and the 4th of July was a huge bust. I spend moments of my day worried about my kids not knowing or participating in all these traditions and what would become of them so I vowed to make it a memorable Christmas!

I have never owned an Advent Calendar. And since my crafts have slowly made their way out of their boxes, I felt a huge nudge to make one myself. I found these cute bags at Ikea. They actually are meant for a calendar and come with these little number stickers, but I wanted it to be a bit more crafty than that. Tsk Tsk!

I used the Doily die cuts from Papertrey Ink and cut out 24 of the 3 different styles in white. And adhered them to the front of the little bags.

Then I busted out the ol' Cricut and made up my numbers at 1 1/2 inches. 
(I was SO glad the power situation worked out on that on. Ask me about the other things I have blown out using Sing's 220 power.) 

 Aaaaaand, easy does it... Taped those on with pop-up tape.

 Voila! I stuck the finished bags on the wall in the shape of a tree. 
My first Advent Calendar:
 Here's a close-up of a few of the numbers. It's really simple and I really like it. You may know about my Christmas Books that I add to each year and which live each year under our tree for our reading enjoyment. Well this year I wrapped each one and placed a number on it that corresponds with a day from the advent calendar. I also added a few Christmas movies to watch and of course some scripture reading for each day to really set our holiday up right.

I'm excited for it to start on saturday! WAAAY more excited than my kids, for sure. I was wondering if doing these things would make me miss home more or fill the hole that I've had since we've moved here. Luckily it has really helped me become more planted in this place of the world we have chosen to "bloom" in. Family traditions are what hold us together! No matter the craziness of life or the experiences that pull the rug out from under us. Tradition gives you comfort and the reminder that you do belong somewhere. And that is together as a family in this journey of life. Each tradition that we have dusted off or created this past year has really helped ground me in my reality. And because of that, I am even more excited to welcome Christmas this year. Ho Ho Ho!

Nov 17, 2012

Welcome Back!!!

Hey there! Are you out there, at all?? I am back.... 

Lots has happened in the last year and a half. First off, I had another baby. That's right. I now have 4 boys. I think some of you were here for that. I think I was, right?
Baby was born Sept. 2011. It was all I could do to keep going until it happened and then two months later, we moved to Singapore.
Yes, you heard me. Singapore. As in, Southeast Asia. We have been here for almost a year, and I tell you what, my head is still swimming. 

But I did get a bit of a craft space carved out of our EXTREMELY tiny apartment though. And somehow I have managed to level off my hormones to the point where I can actual DO some crafting!
Don't get me wrong, I love babies, and having babies and all my babies, but WHEW! Its about time I get to feeling normal again. 

So without further ado, here is my first card after 18 months:
Sending you a Happy (and crafty!) Hello!
(please ignore the extremely ugly green cutting mat. Still trying to figure out how to photograph these things in this EXTREMELY tiny apartment. Plus my new camera after leaving my old camera in a cab the second week we were in country. Oh, how I cried then.)

Now, I am not vain enough to think that people are out there just waiting for me to get back into the crafting game. Indeed, unless you are doing this professionally, its impossible to have people stopping in here everyday. But let's be honest. I'm doing this more for me, right?  But I would love to have some friends along for the ride, if you are out there looking for some crafting inspiration.

Now that I am feeling a bit more on my feet, I am getting to know Singapore and its crafting scene. So far, I'm just on the outskirts but I hope to get to see and do more here. There are some local craft stores that might have some space for a little western girl and her craft supplies. Maybe I will try to teach a few classes? 

Regardless, I will be logging onto the ol' blog here and updating as regularly as I can.
I have been feverishly preparing Christmas cards and ornaments for my tree. So stay tuned. I am going to be decorating my house right after Thanksgiving (which is just a regular thursday here) and then I will share pictures after that. So make a visit in a week or so if you want to get into the Christmas spirit.

Until then, if you are indeed out there, please stop by to say Hello! I hope all my blogging pals are still alive, well and crafting like banshees.

Happy Crafting Hello.... See you soon ; )


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