Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thrifty Thursdays - Easy Beach Souvenir

Summers are the time for travel and trips to the beach!  What better way to remember those beautiful summer memories then bottle them up (literally!).  I used a spice jar (from World Market for $1 - though you can find them anywhere)  filled it with sand and dressed it up with seam binding and a vintage label. 
Now everytime I look at the jar I remember our trip to Rhode Island and how Dustin and his brother Zach stared at me like I was crazy while I ran into the ocean (it was September): 
Here is another idea for you - why not frame a postcard from your vacation - or even better a VINTAGE postcard!  And where might you find vintage postcards..... hmmm..... perhaps in my Etsy Shop??


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Clever Apple Etsy Shop

If you have been following my summer studio makeover you probably know two things:
1.  I have been making very SLOW progress and...
2.  At about week 2 I started buying a bunch of art off of Etsy to put in the studio (that's right I was buying more stuff to put in before I ever even started taking stuff out!)

So today I wanted to share with you my favorite piece and where it came from!  A couple months ago I stumbled upon this:
Now if you are a Pride and Prejudice fan you will understand just how fantastic this piece is!  Right?  Well I bookmarked (or in Etsy terms "favorited" it knowing I would come back for it someday and when I started to plan out my studio it was one of the first things I bought!) And that's how I met Megan.  I loved the piece so much I wanted to share her shop with you!  I asked Megan to write a little about herself for my blog:

Hello! My name is Megan Wolfe.  I am an Army wife suffering for my country in Hawaii with my husband, 2 dogs and 2 cats.  Try not to feel too sorry for me :o) I quit my job last year to become a full time homemaker and was thrilled to finally have time for a hobby.  I now run the one woman show known as Clever Apple.  I sell hand embroidered pieces of hoop art.  I started my shop as a way for me to fund my embroidery hobby.  It also gives me an excuse to practice my love for packaging things. I have been so amazed by the interest shown in my shop (such as this blog feature!) and that people actually like and buy my pieces.  I also really love that I get to meet so many other awesome crafters like Melissa!

Now if you are thinking - that Darcy piece is lovely but I'm not really a Pride and Prejudice fan - well first - WHAT?!?!?!? and second - that's ok ( I guess haha!) she makes lots of other fabulous pieces including:
So run don't walk to Megan's Clever Apple Etsy Shop right away! (ok it's the internet so don't run just click here ) And an important side note - she does custom orders! She altered her Mr Darcy piece in the colors I wanted which was fantastic!

And also check out her recent studio makeover (though her makeover was due to moving into a new house - where mine is due to being terribly messy and disorganized!)
Thanks Megan for  letting me feature your lovely shop and for supplying the photos!

Disclosure: this is NOT a sponsored post - in fact I never receive free stuff for my blog.  I wrote this post because I have purchased from this shop and genuinely think it is fantastic - so fantastic I wanted to tell you!  Please take the time to check it out!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Studio Makeover Week 6

I made some real progress this week!  And by this week I mean last night at midnight!  I decided to rearrange my studio a bit.  I moved some of my shelf/cube things on to the wall of cubes.  (now they are stacked 4 high instead of 3). 

I also moved my table to the middle of the room:
And I moved my antique sewing table to a different wall:
And see that horrible cork inspiration board thing?  Yeah I hate that - the cork tiles don't stay up and they are sorta crumbly - BUT I have a FANTASTIC idea to replace - seriously I got this great idea at like 2am - I'm hoping it will work out and am excited to show you!  (but I'm not telling you just yet!)

Thanks for sticking with me on this studio makeover journey!  I know it feels like its taking FOREVER!  But I did warn you it would take the whole summer!!  I only work on it a couple hours a week and only because I know I have to post it on the blog - which is a good thing because its forcing me to work on it and I know I'm going to love it when it is all finished! 

And remember you can purchase some of the items I am purging from my studio in my Etsy shop - here.  And if you are interested in buying multiple items from my sale (particularly the larger items) convo me - I would love to make you a deal!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Scrapbook 101 - Creating your First Scrapbook Part 3

Make sure to check out:

Part 3 – The sketch – putting it all together

Ok so you have your supplies and you have your photos now you are ready to start making pages!

I won't be telling you the "rules" for creating a page - because I don't believe in rules!  I think scrapbooking is like any other craft/hobby/art form - it is about fun, experimentation,  and about creating something that you are happy with.  So here is my biggest piece of advice when starting - don’t reinvent the wheel!! Look around the internet and find people whose work you really like and let that inspire you to create.  It is okay to copy them – you are creating pages for your family and you want to be happy with what you have created – if you see something you like recreate it! Over time you will start to develop your own style and won’t need to rely on others as much.  Scraplifting is absolutely okay! (With that said it is never okay to copy someone’s work and submit it for publication or to put it on the internet without properly giving credit  -just a friendly reminder!) 

When I was getting back into scrapbooking a few years ago (after taking some time away from it – but funny enough NOT taking time away from purchasing supplies!) I would keep a notebook of sketches of layouts that I liked the style of.  Sketches are sort of maps/recipes for how to create a layout. I sorted them by number of photos to make it easier to find a sketch that would work for the photos I had on hand.  To sketch a layout I would copy down the basic outline of the layout – where the embellishments would go, what sizes the photos were, where the patterned paper was – keeping it basic so that I could put my own twist on it later. Then when I sat down I found that I usually ended up moving stuff around and the layout would turn out different and would look more like something I had created.  The more pages I created the less I found myself relying on sketches and the more I found I was developing my own style.

If you are creating a scrapbook for a special occasion (like a birthday gift or a wedding guest book) and you have limited time I recommend considering coming up with a couple of similar sketches and repeating it throughout the entire book.  This will make things easier for you as well as tie the whole thing together and give it a “professional” look.  Here are a couple of similar sketches that may work for you.  Notice how they are all similar but a slightly different spin – see if you can come up with more based on these (click on the photos to make them larger):

So that's my advice for creating your first scrapbook - the most important thing to remember is there are no rules.  This is supposed to be fun!  Hopefully this series has been helpful!  If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments and I will try to answer them.  I will leave you with a few links to sites that offer sketches and/or inspiration:

This post is linked at Passionately Artistic and here:
handmade projectsThe Girl Creativemmm buttonMakingPhotobucketKeeping It Simple

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday Finds

Do you know what 1500 vintage postcards looks like??? I do!!
The rest of my weekend will be spent sorting and listing postcards.. fun fun fun !


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thrifty Thursdays - Fun Fringe

You know I love searching through the dollar store for cheap craft ideas.  Well here is a way to turn dollar store streamers into a fun fringe accent for your scrapbook layouts.

1.  Start with some streamers - 3 is a good place to start - they could be all the same color or multi color.  2.  Cut strips of each slightly longer than the size you need.  3.  Adhere the layers on top of each other. 4.  Take your scissors and cut slits half way up the streamer. - if you want yours to look more vintage you can take distress ink and rub it on the crepe paper.  5.  Gently ball up the streamer.  6.  Unball the paper and straighten out the fringe to achieve a look you are happy with.
I used parts of one of my Patriotic kits (music sheet, bingo card, ticket, labels, seam binding) to create this page.  I have 4 kits left in stock here:
Ephemera Kit - Patriotic/USA 1
Ephemera Kit - Patriotic/USA 2
Ephemera Kit - Patriotic/USA 3
Ephemera Kit - Patriotic/USA 4


This post is linked here:
handmade projectsgiveawaysA Crafty SoireeHookingupwithHoH

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Studio Makeover Week 5

Not much change in the studio this week.  The big change was in the closet:
I cleared almost two shelves worth of stuff.  Where did it go?  My etsy shop of course!  Lots of stuff - check out my SALE items here.  And I am still trying to figure out how to purge my huge stash of paper - paper costs so much to ship! But I basically have a closet full of it to get rid of

Monday, June 20, 2011

Scrapbook 101 - Creating your First Scrapbook Part 2

Make sure to check out:

Part 2 - Organize your photos:
 ** Please note this is not going to tell you how to organize/store your photos – I need help there too! I recommend Stacy Julian’s Photo Freedom if you are interested in organizing photos **

Regardless of the reason you are scrapbooking you are going to want to gather some photos to use.   The project you are working on will probably dictate how you collect your photos:

One time project:  If you are creating this scrapbook as a gift for a birthday/wedding/special event and have no intention of making this a hobby – you want to gather enough photos to span the period of time you are scrapping (a person’s life/ a family history/a couple’s history)  I recommend starting with enough photos to do 20-40 pages (if your scrapbook came with 20 pages – 40 would be doublesided) To do double sided layouts I would recommend photos from 10-20 “events” you want to scrap.  Events can be anything – birthdays, holidays, important days in your life, or they can be important everyday rituals or traditions (example – if every Saturday you and your family have a picnic in the local park you may want to do a layout about this special tradition). 

Beginner Scrapbook:  If you are scrapbooking for the first time and want to start this as a hobby but are not making this book for anything specific – you may want to collect a few groups of photos to start with.  I recommend not getting caught up in scrapping chronologically.  Start with whatever event or photos you are most excited about starting with.  You can always rearrange your layouts later.  Again think about the types of pages you are going to want in your scrapbooks – will you only be scrapbooking big events and holidays? Birthdays? Or will you be scrapping everyday life as well?  Gather photos to get you started on a few pages. 
Here's an idea: I take some time to sit down and sort photos into groups I want to make layouts with and store them in envelopes.  Then I do a short write up of what I might want the journaling to say.  If you aren’t the best at journaling it will probably really help you to have a rough draft.  I also include a sketch in my envelope with photos and journaling (we will talk about sketches later).  I might not immediately scrap these memories but next time I’m feeling inspired to create I will have the basics of my layouts ready and I won’t waste time looking for photos! 


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Saturday Finds

I spent yesterday doing my favorite thing - looking for great vintage finds!  Here is just a sampling of what I came back with:
Books - tons and tons of books!  Two giant box fulls to be exact! Lots of children's books that will become ephemera packs in my shop!
12 large circus souvenir books from the 70s/80s.  Great circus images - still not sure what I am going to do with these!
And my favorite - a stack of tobacco felt flags.  I don't know much about these other than they were given out in the early 1900s to promote cigarettes.

I also picked up a few travel guides and a huge stack of postcards.  I have already posted a bunch of postcards and look for the other items to pop up in my Etsy shop soon!