Monday, November 24, 2014

A Thanksgiving "Giving Thanks" Journal

                Thanksgiving Journal
Pin It

Today I'm sharing an altered art project just in time for Thanksgiving, a "Giving Thanks" Journal. 


                            Giving Journal.
Giving Thanks Journal
Giving Thanks.  Thanksgiving.  Any way you say it, it's important to recognize and appreciate everyone and everything you have to be thankful for:  your loving family, best friends, your cuddly little puppy dog, your favorite teacher.  You get the idea.

A great way to remind yourself about all the wonderful people and things going on in your life is to create a "Giving Thanks" Journal. 

First, gather your supplies.  Select your paper, and then go through your craft stash, choosing embellishments you may want to use in altering your journal including ribbon, buttons, brads, metal findings, flowers, tags, chipboard, etc.  

Next, measure the front of your notebook, and cut the paper to size. 

Since my notebook has a spiral edge, I used a spiral punch down one side of the paper and carefully decoupaged it onto the notebook cover, gently sliding the paper underneath the spirals.  You will get a better seal if you apply decoupage to both surfaces.  In this case, I coated the front of the journal as well as the back of the paper.

After a few minutes, you can then decoupage the top of the paper.  This will help the surface resist wear and tear.

Now comes my favorite step:  Embellishments! 

I am a self-appointed ribbon queen.  I just love how ribbon adds so much color and texture to a project.  I cut 7" lengths of eight different ribbons, and tied them around the spirals. 
Creative Journal

I added a metal frame and coordinating cardstock. I typed out "GIVING THANKS JOURNAL" using my label maker (which I have owned since the 1960's!), and centered the labels inside the metal frame.

Then I punched out six divider tabs and glued them to the journal pages, creating six sections.

I added the words, 
Thanks, Hopes, Actions, Noteworthiness, Kindness and Sincerity.  
When you put the first letters of each word together, it spells THANKS.

This journal has a pocket on the inside front page which I embellished with paper, ribbon and a metal heart paperclip.  I tied ribbons through manila tags, which will be used as bookmarks).  If your journal does not have a pocket, you can add one to the inside back cover.

A few more embellishments including extra ribbon, sunflowers and brads complete the journal.

This would be a great time to start a new tradition in your family.  Pass around the journal at the Thanksgiving table, and ask everyone to jot down who and what they are thankful for, their hopes, their actions, etc.   Bring it out every year and add to it, read the previous year's notes, and continue adding to it year after year.

Wouldn't this be a great journal to pass down to future generations?  
Thanksgiving Journal
Pin It

I hope this altered "Giving Thanks" Journal inspires you to add something special to your Thanksgiving traditions.

And here's a quick and easy Thanksgiving project:

Put your party hat on at:

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Friday, October 17, 2014

Crafts for the Sports Fan


Yes. Yes. Yes.
The Giants Win the 2014 World Series!
Congratulations to my home team.

and now back to the original post:

"The Giants Win the Pennant!" 

After five nail-biting playoff games, my favorite baseball team is going to the World Series--for the third time in five years!  So how do you celebrate baseball by crafting?

Two years ago, I altered a tin can to celebrate their 2012 world series win.   You can see it here.   

I've updated this sporty & sweet idea using 6" hinged jars, which I'm sending to two of my favorite Giants fans living in San Francisco.     
SF Giants
After printing out the team logo, I made two versions, the one above, accented with orange & white twine, and the one pictured below, with black & white twine. 
Baseball Crafts
With Halloween and Autumn in the air, it is easy to find orange chocolate kisses.  Just look for the bag with the orange, silver and red kisses, and eat save the red ones, leaving you with the perfect blend of orange and silver to complement the SF Giants colors.

This idea is easily adaptable to any sports team.  With football season in full swing (oops, still got baseball on my brain), think of all the color possibilities you can conjure up!   What's your favorite team?  Have fun with this idea.  And in the meantime, I'll be glued to my TV next week to "root-root-root for the home team!"

Partying here and also at The Answer is ChocolateFrench Country Cottagelou lou girlsBack to the Basics Tuesdays with a Twist

Monday, September 29, 2014

OMG! It's National Coffee Day

coffee crafts

What's better than celebrating a birthday or Mother's Day?  It might just be "National Coffee Day." However, when it comes to caffeine, everyday is Coffee Day in our house; and here is the sign adorning my craft room door to prove it: 

So grab your favorite coffee drink and linger awhile while I share   
a few photos and past posts of my favorite coffee-themed crafts. 
 I've included some links to get you right over to the post for more details.  
coffee crafts
Post-it note holder made from an acrylic photo frame

I decided my daily lattes were a bit of a luxury, so I created a Coffee Stash Cash Can. I place my extra change in it (and an occasional dollar bill), and use this "extra" money to fund my caffeine addiction. Plus, it was fun to create.
coffee crafts

This next photo shows one of my coffee-theme ensembles.  It includes a set of coasters, note-holder and pen desk set, a large note clip, and (my favorite) a clipboard with matching pad of paper.  I love how everything coordinates!  These make wonderful gifts, especially with a fresh hot cup of coffee or coffee shop gift card.
handmade gifts for coffee lovers

Another favorite altered art project of mine includes transforming three square canvasses into a trio that I call "Three Cups of Coffee."  I used a lot of coffee ephemera, including old gift cards, coffee sleeves and even a vintage coffee spoon.  Click here to quickly get to the post to see the completed trio and tutorial.
coffee crafts

And a fun makeover using a scoreboard chalkboard:

And in case you've "bean" busy and missed my post about coffee and it is again.
coffee scrapbook paper

As you can plainly see, I am a fan of obsessed with everything coffee.  However, I hear that drinking two to three cups of coffee a day --just like a glass of red wine --actually has good health benefits. 

That's my story, and I'm sticking sipping to it.

Sharing a cup of coffee with: A Life in BalanceHappy House & HomeSir Thrift a LotThe Cottage MarketFlamingo ToesThe DIY MommyDistressed Donna Down HomeThe Crafty Blog Stalker

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Repurposing City Maps & Picture Frames

Our older daughter lives in "The City by the Bay," which also happens to be my old hometown.  She absolutely loves everything about San Francisco.  On our last visit, I noticed she didn't have any coasters, and since she is "borrowing" her grandparents' antique furniture...let's just say, the coffee table will soon need a new coat of varnish.  Until then, I decided to combine fun with functional, and use an old SF map to create coasters and a coordinating serving tray for her.

Here is the tray I started with, found at a thrift store for $3.

Someone had previously added handles onto a picture frame, so it saved me a step.

I painted the frame with an antique white paint using a light brush stroke here and there to give the tray a distressed, vintage look.  After all, paper maps are vintage, right?

After deciding on the section of the map for the tray, I cut it to size to fit inside the frame and decoupaged it into place.  Then I painted the handles sage green to match the green parks on the map.  I sealed the entire tray with antique-colored decoupage to emphasize a vintage look.

Then I cut four 4" squares from another section of the map and decoupaged them onto stone tiles.  

Not leaving well enough alone, I decoupaged a small box to neatly hold the four tile coasters when not being used.
tile coasters using maps

For the photo op, I leaned the tray against my kitchen wall, coincidently right under a schematic of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Now I'm going to pop the tray and coaster set into the mail -- marked fragile, handle with care -- and surprise my daughter with a little handmade DIY.

I've been featured:

Thinking Closet

You may find me partying here and

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Industrial Chic Craft Storage

how to store my crafts

It's been a peculiar year.  Sometimes, life throws you curves.  I guess that's what makes us stronger.  As I'm turning 58 years young next week, I guess it's time to admit I'm a real grown up--whatever that means.  My Dad passed away early this year, and while we are all grateful he lived almost 91 years, it wasn't without its bumps along the way.  Yes, we are grateful, but that doesn't make me feel less sad.  

My Dad was the optimal optimist.  His thoughts were always positive, believing that tomorrow will be a better day.  With the crazy world we live in, it is important to think, hope and believe that tomorrow will, indeed, be better.  

To help with all the insanity, I'm glad for my arts & crafts--it's the best therapy ever.  Although I haven't posted anything new this year, I have spent many a day, wandering up and down the junk-treasure-packed aisles at the local flea market and at a few yard sales.  I hide my quirky and rusty finds in the corner of our backyard, hidden from view.
I'm in the process of replacing my plastic storage bins with industrial chic organization.  Remember my 33-drawer metal cabinet and my very cool-for-school locker transformations?  Recently, I purchased a wonderfully rusty, 18-drawer metal cabinet, and knew it would make a perfect storage unit for my rubber stamp collection.    

Here is a photo of it in its original glory:restore metal cabinets

First things first, comes the mundane: cleaning each one of those 18 drawers.  Ugh -- remind me again why I bought this.  It was hot outside, so hosing down those little monsters was actually keeping me cool.

I spray-primed the entire piece and each drawer, then hand-brushed the drawers with a pretty shade of green, leaving the label holders white.

Then it was time to re-organize my stamps and move the ones I want to keep into the metal drawers.  Here is a photo of the old and new storage side-by-side:
my stamp collection

And here is the [almost] finished cabinet.  [I still need to create the labels.]  This cabinet also has three large openings at the top which are perfect for housing card stock, stamp pads, and miscellaneous other very important items.

Once the labels are in place, I should easily be able to find specific stamps to create a personal, handmade card or gift.  Come on over and craft with me!
craft storage

You may also like:

painting school locker

Join me at these fun link parties here and: