Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Ok, so it's been awhile since I posted anything, and this post is a touch late topic wise, but I still wanted to post it so too bad. :P

For my holiday cards I purchased some pigment powders from LuminArte. The product is called 'primary element's and comes in 3 flavors: regular pigment powders, iridescent mica powders, and straight up mica powders. As I was poking around their site, I saw they had a tutorial for using said powders to make ornaments. Now the pictures sure were pretty, but I wasn't sure that I was interested in branching out. I mean, I like crafts and all, but I generally want to avoid picking up every neat thing I see resulting in an overflowing craft room and dozens of unfinished or never even started projects.

However, after rolling the idea around some more I checked out the YouTube tutorial and thought that a) the finished product is awesome, b) I already owned the most expensive part (the powders), so the additional cost would be low, and c) it looked so easy! So I trotted on down to my local stamp shop to buy some remaining goods and picked up some uber cheap clear glass ornaments from Hobby Lobby and I was off! Except I was never able to get anything other than the regular pigment powders. Shoot. I went ahead and made a few ornaments and found it was indeed easy and produced a fabulous result, so I went ahead and placed an order directly with LuminArte online and got some flashy mica powders (regular and iridescent). I was set! I cranked out about 20 ornaments total- though sadly did not take picture until I had given most of them away.

12 were packaged up and sent off to my step MIL as a Christmas present which was quite well received. I was a little unsure about giving them as a gift- after all she is a person not a tree, but she was touched that I made something just for her and she thinks they're beautiful, so score for Jess!

One other was given away as part of a thank-you gift for my neighbor for watering our tree while we were away visiting family. The rest that are left are pictured below. These are a mix of ones I liked the least and ones I wanted to keep just for me.

Close ups! I really like the way these came out. The colors swirled a lot on these, that is partly why I like them so much.

This was a fun and pretty easy project. It was however not cheap initially if you have to buy everything and quite messy. The little jars of powder seem like they will last a decently long time, although some are already half empty (oh no!). I hope to find some other ways to use these. I'm going to investigate decorating glass plates/bowls with these. I'm thinking I can paint/powder the underside and apply some sort of sealant and it will be ok. That would also make a killer gift for someone like my mom who doesn't have much need for Christmas ornaments. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Scrapping away from home

I recently went back to the DC office for work- I spent a few days at a conference as well. Work was good, blah blah blah. I got no actual work done, but gt to attend a meeting in person- yippee!

I stayed in a hotel and drug a bunch of scrap stuff with me. I tried very hard to not bring too much, but of course brought waaaaay more than I used. I also discovered that paper is freaking heavy! I did not like having to lug my extra heavy suitcase around, especially since I was sick. I didn't spend all my free time scrapping, but I did get a few pages done and I'm pleased with the results.

This is the first page I put together using some new doggie themed products. The paper and little bone embellishment are Love, Elsie. While I think the designs are super cute, the quality is rather poor. Oh well!

Here's a close up of the bone. Isn't it cute!!!

Next I made this tiny page- title has since been added in brown vinyl thickers 'slurp':

This time I played with some of my new heap of American Crafts paper. It's fun to change between using a shabby, romantic style like Basic Grey to going to a bolder, more graphic style like American Crafts.

When I bought this particular paper, I had these pictures in mind!

That giant paper is the stuff I use to cover my work surface when I craft. My mom, the former art teacher, had tons and she gave it to me. I have several inches of that stuff! It's really great- I love having it there to stamp on and write out my thoughts for journaling. I've even been known to write out measurements when my fraction skills start to deteriorate.

Lastly is this little sucker. I just love the colors and the picture and everything!

Yes, I am totally biased, but I think Madison is jut the cutest puppy around! This is one of those times when the 6x6 size is perfect. I don't really have much to say here other than 'isn't my puppy the cutest in the world!'. With the picture and embellishment, there isn't much room left so a decent title really caps it all off. I'm quite pleased with how it came out. My title is even almost straight!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Simplicity rules!

This past weekend was the first in along time where we actually relaxed- which meant I got a good amount of scrapping in! I spent a lot of it working on a mini-book of a weekend trip we took a few years ago, but also did 2 new Madison pages. I was working on the first one and decided that there was no point in me feeling like I needed to add a lot to my page visually when really I would just have forced it. I really like the page that came out of it in all it's simplistic glory. It's not that I felt I needed to be like the people who get published in magazines whose pages are stuffed with embellishments, but more so that I was worried the page would look empty and unfinished. I think it looks great!

Afterward I did my first 6x6 page. I had purchased a 6x6 paper pad a few months and had not touched it and was worried I was going to start accumulating a list of things I had wasted my money on. No more! I really liked the 6x6 format- it was perfect for the picture! I didn't really have a lot to say, had only 1 picture and it would have looked weird to me with a lot of embellishments. However, it was still something I wanted to record. I think the tiny format is perfect for those times when it's just a little anecdote or just something you don't have a lot to say about but want to remember. I really like how it turned out and I made it in just a few minutes. I'm excited to make some more this size!

Lastly, I finally glues the title on to the cover of my honeymoon album. I think it came out pretty well! The flag is just from a picture I took while we were on vacation. I used UTEE to make the chipboard letters all thick and glossy. I first painted them with acrylic paint and applied the first coat of UTEE while they were wet, then heated them and kept adding more as I heated them. I found the UTEE really easy to work with. Thee frame is something I had bought ages ago with no intended purpose- worked out quite nicely if I do say so myself. I didn't even have to re size the photo!

I am also trying to be much better about recording all of the mental dialogue I have when I look at a picture- I want my pages to say everything that I am thinking. Surprisingly hard to get ones self to do that!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Project kits, etc.

I've started making myself little project kits. Putting them together is a great way to use up a small amount of time, or get something accomplished when I'm too tired to actually *make* something.

Here is a kit I put together to finish off one of the few remaining layouts for my honeymoon scrapbook.
Using it just made things go much faster when I finally sat down to work, and I was able to crank the layout out pretty fast. Here are the finished pages. I'm not sure why I didn't take a picture of them together, but I didn't, so tough. Yeah, I wound up changing the pictures, but all the rest went much faster!

Using the kit also forced me to use the embellishments I had selected to match my papers. Otherwise I may have just wandered off and never used those cut outs, when they coordinate so nicely!

Here is a layout I made recently that I tried a new method on for cutting and pasting. Usually I measure and then cut, then adhere when layering papers, but this time I tried gluing my top layer (the green scalloped paper) down first and then cutting it to fit on the background paper. I won't be dong it again. I wound up with uneven margins. Uneven margins make me twitchy. I used the excess space for some journaling, so I think in the end it looks fine.

Here is my attempt at fancy scrap photography.

Yeah, the letters are velvet! I nabbed 2 packs of velvet thickers online recently- I guess they were leftovers.

I find that the scrapping I've done in my themed honeymoon album is very different than the scrapping I've done for my regular old everyday life album. And of course the upcoming scrap pages of the puppy will be different as well. I'm much more excited about the kitschy stuff for the puppy pages. I got paper with glittery dog bones!

If you haven't picked up on it by now, photography is *not* a hobby of mine. I dropped my mom's photography class after 4 days when I was in high school. True story.

My craft room

Now that we are in a house, I have my own craft room. It's great to have a place to put all my stuff and not worry about cleaning it up all the time so we have a place to eat. Crafts are by their nature messy, and crafters tend to be as well. Add to that my lack of furniture in the room, and surely you understand the mess that is posted below.

See the big bag with leaves sticking out of the top? I'm making a new wreath! I loves wreaths. I have great wreath making plans for the winter.

Here is my desk, along with what I am currently working on. I need another table. I've adopted the 'shove' methodology for clearing off workspace. Not good.
Isn't the leaf paper pretty! Just got that. It is not actually related to my current project.

Here is my cardstock and some of my patterned paper. There is another box the same size that holds papers that are put together into kits and project packs I intend to work on soon. I'm showing this because I just reorganized my paper last night :) Previously I had it categorized as such: SU! paper by rainbow, Bazzill textured paper by rainbow, and then Bazzill smoothies by rainbow. That was not so much working, so now all paper lives in rainbow harmony. I'm big on rainbow sorting. I have a lot of purple, orange, and green. I'm set for Halloween until I die!

This little bin hold all my thickers, letter stickers, and 3-d embellishments. It's a fun little box. Yeah, your eyes are not lying to you- I bought some Jolee's type embellishments. Wanna make something of it? I think they're cute!

So there you have it, where I like to get busy with scrapping and such. I'm hoping the gift fairy brings me a table and some shelves this year. Maybe a better chair. Then I won't hunt around the floor for supplies like a crazywoman!

Hello world wide web!

Hey there! Hi. How's it going.

My name is Jess, and I like crafts. Mostly I've been scrapbooking lately, but really I secretly love all crafts. My dream is to one day have a house covered in homemade kitsch, but for now I'll settle for sneaking in a few hours here and there to live out my hokey fantasy. My day job is challenging but just not that creative, so I enjoy the outlet that crafts provides. My mom was an art teacher for many years and arts and crafts were always a part of my life growing up. I think in high school and college a lot of that got lost, but now that I am nearing 30 it seems it is time for me to get back to basics. A glue gun, some decorative paper, some pipe cleaners and who wouldn't be happy?

I'm hoping this blog will enable me to share the fun I have working on crafts with people, and make some new crafty friends at the same time.