Friday, February 25, 2011

DMOIY wedding stationery and glass charm necklace kits - in my studio this week

It's been a busy couple of weeks in my studio and I thought that I'd share some of the projects that I'm working on right now. The first project that I'm really excited about is the wedding stationery that I designed and had printed for a friend's daughter ... it's a DMOIY (do most of it yourself) project ... the bride and her "crew" are coming to my house tomorrow to start cutting and putting together the invitations. I printed the wedding stationery and most of the reception materials all together ... we are just waiting for the address labels and wine labels to arrive later today.
I'm really happy with the way these turned out ... the graphics and colours have a "classic urban chic" feeling ... and I'm totally in love with the column textured paper that these were professionally laser printed on. I can't wait for the bride to see them! We have two hundred invitations to make ... that is about 800 of the 1200 sheets of paper that I had printed ... we have to cut, fold and put them together ... oh yeah, and the envelopes need to have liners and address labels added. I think that I may need to stop by the wine store tonight!  ... oh, wait a minute, maybe no wine until the girls have finished cutting :)
The other project that I am working on right now are my glass charm necklace kits. I created art for over 20 different kits that I'm going to sell at Scrapfest in April. I've printed all of the art and now I have to cut the papers. I can't make the kits up yet because I'm still waiting for my glass tile supplies to arrive ... I ordered them over two weeks ago and I'm hoping that someone at the post office will decide it's okay to deliver them to me soon! I am planning to make up about 200 kits to sell at Scrapfest and Scrapbook Queens. I'll let you know more about these once the kits are all made!

So I'm thinking that my paper cutter and I are going to be good friends over the next few days ... that will give me some time to think about a design for my new resume so I can start applying for a new job.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines, butterflies and flowers ... oh my!

Happy Valentine's Day!

If you are still working on Valentine gift ideas, you can check out my earlier posts for a free download of
Valentine chocolate wrappers and gift container inspiration . The vintage postcard image above is from the Graphics Fairy - Karen has lots of royalty free images that you can use for last minute valentine cards.



I recently hung one of my new mixed media collage projects up at Scrapbook Queens to promote my newest class called "mixed media butterfly collage" ... this collage is filled with lots of 3-d butterflies and we will using the new Echo Park "Be Mine" papers on a wood canvas.

This is another one of my beginner mixed media collage classes and there are two class dates available - March 31st and April 12th. I have limited the class size to six so it should be fun for everyone. I think that this project would make a nice Mother's day gift!

I've also just added another "introduction to mixed media II" workshop ... it will take place on Friday March 4th. You can find more information about it on my class website and on the Scrapbook Queens website.
This class sold out quickly the first time that I offered it ... here's Milena, Barbara and Debbie with their finished projects! 

Have a LOVE-ly day everyone!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

mixed media sculpture

I've been wanting to make a mixed media sculpture for a while and I finally completed my first one. I'm really happy with the way that it turned out ... so many of "my favourite things" all combined into one little 3-D piece of art! The sparrow on top looks like the bird in my logo and was my inspiration for this piece.

Most of it just came together over the past 3 weeks as I cleaned up my supplies and sorting through my boxes of scraps and antique findings. The tin container at the bottom is an antique film container that I've had for about 15 years -I have one more of them and will use it when I create another one of these for Robyn ... she has already requested one of these with lots of pink for her bedroom at the cottage.

Here's a couple of views of the different sides ... there is lots of layering and every element has a special meaning to me. Again, antique pieces that I've collected and have been sitting in boxes .... hidden away for no one to see ... are now out and on view. I guess that I was just waiting for a project special enough to use them in! I'm sure that you have scrapbooking supplies or vintage pieces of jewellery that are that are doing the same thing in your home!!
I also broke open the seal of my German Silver Emporium Pure Glass Glitter that I purchased in New York last year at Tinsel Town Trading Company ... you can read more about my New York inspirations here . This glitter was a little more expensive than other glitters that I have purchased so it has been collecting dust in my studio just waiting to be used. It is sooo beautiful and sparkles like little diamonds! You can find this glitter online at tinseltrading.com.

The tin container created a secret hiding space in this piece ... which makes it a functional piece of art too ...
so I worked it into a little area of my kitchen ... it looks like just another piece of art!

I think that after I make Robyn's little sculpture I may work on another version of these mixed media sculptures to teach a class. I've got so many different ideas in my head - and they are so much fun to design! I'll keep you posted!

Friday, February 11, 2011

{birthday} bunting tutorial

It's been another busy week for me ... more birthday celebrations, teaching a mixed media canvas class and test printing wedding invitations ... I'm looking forward to just hanging out with friends tonight!

I thought that I'd share with you a fun little project my daughter and her friend, Alexis made with me recently. This is a fabric bunting that can be used as a decoration for birthday parties, showers or any holiday celebration ... like maybe Valentine's day! This is a great "beginner" sewing project so you may want to try it with older kids as I did. My daughter Robyn made hers so that we could hang it up for her sister's 17th birthday this week ... Alexis made hers to use at her 13th birthday party last weekend.

Here's what you will need: assorted fabrics, wide ribbon, scissors (regular and pinking), a fast fade fabric marker, cardboard (to make a pattern), ruler, straight pins, thread and sewing machine.

I bought 5 different Amy Butler fabrics for our bunting ... I  love Amy's colours and prints! You don't need a lot of fabric for this project so I bought "fat quarters" of each print from a quilting store ... a fat quarter is one yard cut into 4 large squares - you could also just purchase 1/4 of a yard of each fabric. The Amy Butler fabrics are a little expensive (about $18 yard) so to keep costs down I used  an expensive solid fabric (about $6 yard) for the back of each triangle since our bunting would be hung so that the backs are not really visible. I was able to make 2 six foot long buntings and I still have fabric left over for other projects.

I wanted all of the triangles to be the same size so I made a template out of cardboard. Here's how I made my triangle template: (a) Draw a line 7" across ... this will be the top of the triangle. (b) On that 7" line find your half way mark (3 1/2"). (c) From your centre point, draw another line that is 11" long ... you now have a "T". (d) Now draw your triangle and cut it out. 

I traced around our template directly onto the fabric using a quick fading fabric marker - the ink disappears in about 24 hours ... it's like magic! None of our prints had a pattern that was one direction so I was able to flip the triangle template so we had almost no fabric waste as you can see in my photo!

We wanted 10 triangles in our buntings - two of each of the five different Amy Butler fabrics. We also had to cut 10 solid backings so we had to cut out 20 triangles in total.
This photo shows the next three steps ...
1. We pinned the wrong sides (one patterned front, one solid back) together for all 10 of our triangles.
2. Next we used our sewing machine to straight stitch the two longest sides of each triangle ... we could have sewn the top too but it wasn't necessary so we didn't bother.
3. After all of the triangles were sewn together, we used the pinking scissors to trim the edges of the two longest sides to give a decorative "zig-zag" edge (if you don't have fabric pinking scissors or prefer a straight edge, just trim with regular scissors!)

Next we need to sew our triangles onto a long, wide piece of ribbon - our ribbon was 6' long. I found a ribbon in the colour that we liked but it was a little thin and somewhat see through so I sewed a piece of lace onto the ribbon along one edge as you can see in the photo. 
The next step is to pin the triangles to the back of the ribbon. The triangles were placed so that they were touching each other and lined up about 1/2 way along the ribbon. I started to pin the triangles working from the middle of the ribbon and working out to the end of the ribbon so that I had some extra ribbon at each end for hanging.
The next step is to sew all of the triangles onto the ribbon ... we did two lines of straight stitching ... one at the top of the triangles (about 1/2 way through the ribbon) and again at the bottom edge of the ribbon so that the triangles would lay flat when hanging.

To finish the ends of the ribbon, simply turn the ends over to form a loop to hang and sew the ends in place using your sewing machine and you are done.
The girls added large buttons at each end of their bunting to hide the stitching from their loops ... a nice decorative touch with the lace. We hung Robyn's bunting on our fireplace mantle so I used some twine on the loops and hung the bunting from heavy candle sticks. I think that we are going to hang this in Robyn's bedroom over her bed later on ... she did a great job and just loves it.
Robyn made Haley a pillow from some of the fabric scraps ... we used the cuttlebug to cut flowers and I created the "love like crazy" graphics as an iron on. The back of the pillow is one of our favourite Amy Butler fabrics. It was Robyn's first pillow and she is dying to make another one for herself .... maybe this weekend!
And I made Haley this little mixed media canvas piece after teaching my class on Tuesday ... the denim pocket was from one of her baby outfits ... Haley knew it as soon as she opened her present. The words on the side of the photo say "always believe in fairytales".

I hope that you try to make one of these ... maybe add words to spell out something or keep it simple like I did and reuse it after your celebration for an everyday decoration! 


I'll be linking up at in-the-studio-sneak-peek-friday today!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

{birthday} celebrations

We have so many family and friends that are celebrating birthdays at this time of year ... I can hardly keep up with all of the dates. That's why I'm currently designing a birthday calendar that I can bind with my cinch to help me keep track of all of the birthdays, anniversaries and special dates that we celebrate. I'll share more about that once it is done!

Today my "great" nephew, Ethan, is celebrating his very first birthday. {Happy birthday little man!} I can still remember when his Mommy, my beautiful niece, Anmarey, was born (omg - 28 years ago). It feels strange that we are already celebrating birthdays for the next generation ... I really don't remember getting this old.
I designed and made Ethan's birth announcements and thank you cards as a shower gift for Anmarey and Peter ... isn't Ethan just the cutest little guy! The first graphics in this post with Ethan's birth details was another gift I designed to celebrate his birth ... I had it printed as a 12x12 picture and framed in a simple square frame from Ikea for his room.

Now I'm off to make my shopping list for tomorrow ... cake mix and candles are at the top of the list because my oldest daughter will be 17 on Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My day at the CGTA gift show with artist Robin Davis


I attended the Toronto CGTA show with my creative friend, Robin Davis on Sunday. I've known Robin for about 19 years and she is currently living her dream ... she is an artist and is licencing her art to a number of different companies in Canada and the USA. Robin has sooo many wonderful collections that she has been working on ... I don't know how she comes up with so many ideas. 


These are a few pictures of Robin in front of her new Children's line are at CCR Gifts ... an amazing Canadian wholesale company that makes a lot of their product right here in Canada! Love that!
Robin was at the Atlanta Gift Show a few weeks earlier and you can see more pictures of Robin's product lines from Atlanta on her blog here.

The CGTA is a trade only show for Canadian retailers and I have not been to it for a number of years. It was so inspiring and my head is spinning with lot of ideas for projects and decorating. I saw so many great trends ... coloured burlap, antique keys, words (vintage handwritting and "subway" type), lots of birds (yeah!), vintage (everything) and it seem that our love affair with all things Parisan is still strong. It was also interesting to see how much "handmade" and "papercrafting" have influenced the styles of much of the product that was being shown. It was also wonderful to see how manufacturers are now promoting up and coming artists from around the world and making their mass produced products "look" more hand crafted. I feel like we are back in the 1920's when the Arts and Crafts movement was happening, a time when people appreciated the work of the local craftsmen and did not want things that were "mass produced" by machines.

I'm off to finish a mixed media collage for one of my classes and to ice a cake for my wonderful hubby who turned 50 today!