So busy!!

So much has been going on lately--I love the creativity that flows during the summer.  It's all set to end soon, though, with school starting in a week.

My CM consultant, Marcia, had a ScrapOlympics competition that coincided with the Summer Olympics.  It was so much fun.  We got points for doing all sorts of things--using our stash, making digital projects, completing an album, journaling, etc.  I won the silver medal!  So exciting! A scrapping friend and I were trash-talking for two solid weeks on Facebook about it, and she killed me! She had 390 points, and I had 94.  It wasn't even close! I won a pack of pages for my efforts, though, which is very cool.

Near the end of the Olympics, I attended Crop for a Cure, a huge crop that benefits St. Jude.  What a great event! I've gone several times now, and it just keeps getting better.  We laughed pretty hard at our table--I was with a great group of friends.  One of the table prizes, won by Diane, was this fabulous stamp set:

No offense to the Mark's Finest Papers people, but really?!?!? We laughed EXTRA hard over this gift.  Somehow, I ended up with it, and let me tell you--EVERYONE at our scrapping table will be getting a buffalo birthday card this year! I particularly love the poem under the warriors.  It's a haiku!! Wow.  It's just not something you see everyday.

Tomorrow, I'm heading out to another crop.  It's a "no frills" summer crop from 9:30AM-9:30PM.  I'm just doing the first half of the day, which will be great.  We have dinner plans with some friends, so scrapping from 9:30-3:30 will be perfect.  I have to pack a lunch and take a snack to share, but I'll get to show off my silver medal from ScrapOlympics, and claim my prize.

I bought a new product after last week's crop:

I'm so excited to start embossing paper! We used this at a couple of the make-n-takes at the Crop for a Cure, and I was hooked.  It might even get me into some card making!! Hmmm...we'll see about that.

Oh, and today at A.C. Moore, I got a Cricut cartridge that I just couldn't pass up:
If you know my love for bunting, then you know this is PERFECT for me! I can't wait to try it out.  So cool.


Scrapbook Space Update

I bought an Ikea desk (and its many parts) from a friend yesterday, and since it was in the middle of the basement, I put it together today and moved stuff off the tables and onto the new desk.  It looks great and I have a lot more room! AND it matches the big cabinet where I hide a lot of junk.

So....scrapbook room before and after:
Notice the old restaurant table--you can't even see the little table under the bulletin board!

The new desk! A little longer, a few more shelves. 
Love it!

You might be wondering about my fathead in the background.  It's my favorite baseball player of all-time, Mariano Rivera, #42 on the New York Yankees. (currently hurt, but let's not dwell on that)

Here's a close-up of the shelves against the wall, just for my friend Denise.  She doesn't like that teeny-tiny shelf on the top, but I think it'll work find holding the punches, as long as it's up against the wall.  Also, it enabled me to get rid of one of my totes.  I'm going to be selling a bunch of stuff on ebay!


Sewing Room Before and After

I think the sewing room is finally finished.  According to SOME PEOPLE in my house, I do not have another inch of space.  Hmmm...I'm looking at that blank wall above the dress forms thinking that a little shelf would look perfect there!

The journey started last winter when the basement got finished and I moved all my scrapbooking stuff down there.  I had a whole room just for sewing stuff, but more important, for inspiration! I hated sitting in that room working on projects--it was so dull and boring.  But now, I love being in that space.  Lots of little bits were inspired by Pinterest, but many are my own little bits and pieces put together.

One of my favorite areas is the wall above the bookshelf.  I picked up a printer's tray at an antique shop in town, and then I began filling it with vintage spools, needle cases, and sewing tools. 

Window treatment before.
Window treatment after.
Main area before...okay--during.
Main area after.
Back wall before.
Back wall after.

Sewing table before.

Sewing table after.

Bookshelf before.

Bookshelf after.


Sewing Room Updates

I've been working on the sewing room lately.  It became the catch-all room when I was packing for my Italy trip and moving winter clothes out and summer clothes in, so I had some digging out to do! I can see the chaise longue again, which makes me happy--there's a place to sit!

I posted about the bunting the other day, but here's that area of the room completed:
I bought one of the decorative dress forms online last summer, and my sister gave me the awesome one for Christmas, and I just picked up that short one at Hancock Fabrics for 60% off last week.  I think three is a good collection.

I hung the bulletin board next to the sewing table and have already put a few things on it--it's such a pretty design that I hate to cover it with all kinds of junk. 

On the back wall, I've been adding frames and pictures and things, and I have a couple of more things to add before it looks totally balanced.  I don't know what those things will be yet, but when I find them, I'll know!
On the far left, I hung the thread and notions puzzle that we put together a hundred years ago, hanging vertically this time.  I moved it because of a new addition that will hang above the bookshelf.  It's not ready yet, but when it is, it'll be posted here!


Sewing Room Bunting

I've been making bunting for almost a year now, and I always made two for the house: one for the mantle in the den and one for the sewing room.  I realized, in May, that the St. Patrick's Day bunting was still hanging in the sewing room, and that's when I decided to make something to hang there that will be permanent and more fitting for a sewing room.

Here it is!
I know it's hard to see the pattern from the wall, but the fabric is all sewing-related.  I got it from Keepsake Quilting as a pack.  Here are some closeup photos of the fabric:
I'm working on a few other additions to the sewing room and will post more pictures soon!


Bulletin Board B&A

A couple of months ago, my neighbors were moving and twice a week with their garbage, they threw out all kinds of treasures.  I picked up a clothing rack that I donated to the lost and found at school, and I also picked up this bulletin board:
It didn't look quite this good--it was definitely used--it even had pictures still on it!! I threw away those poor people I did not know, saved a Punky Brewster pin, and put that bulletin board away until summer.  Last week at the store, I picked up some spray paint and Frogtape (my favorite new tool!) and set to work:

First, I spraypained the whole thing yellow.  That was fun, mostly because it wasn't 104 degrees outside like today.  Then, after a few geometrical issues, I got the diamond design just how I wanted it with the Frogtape and spraypainted what was exposed with the grey paint.  The paint got a little clogged, I think because it was 104 degrees outside today.  (Hmmm...read the directions first: use between 70-90 degrees.) On the plus side, it dried really quickly.  Here is the end result.  I'm going to hang it in my sewing room. Fun and easy!!



Last Friday, I went to the Great American Scrapbook Convention with a friend.  It was my first time going, but to her it is "Christmas."  I didn't know what she meant by that, but now I do.  Wow--it was an incredible overload of scrapbooking stuff.  I loved it!
This is the entrance to the event.  There were vendors as far as the eye could see.  I had a plan in my head that I was only going to buy things that had to do with my Italy trip, our baseball trips, or organizational products.  And I stuck to that pretty well, actually.  I didn't go crazy buying paper or embellishments--God knows I have enough of that stuff. 

So here are some of my happy purchases:
From Best Craft Organizer, I picked up this ribbon caddy.  I came home and wrapped up all my ribbon, which I had on a pants hanger (thinking that was pretty spiffy).  I like this a lot.  It's great for fabric ribbon, but today I tried wrapping paper ribbon, and that didn't work as well.  It unwound itself before I could close the lid on the organizer.  I'm not sure how to fix that, but it could be that it's just not meant for paper ribbon. 

I also discovered a favorite vendor, Jillybean-Soup.  I just love their papers and colors and coordinating stuff.  I did a make-and-take at their booth, and that was so cute, too.  I made a card that I actually sent to a friend already.  I could've gone a little crazy at that booth, but I only bought a couple sheets of paper and a pack of this cool paper that is embossed, and when you rub sandpaper over the pattern, it brings out the inner core color.  I dig it.  I just looked up their product line online and found that none of our local stores sells their stuff.  One of my favorite kit ladies does, though, and that's good news to me!

The big thing I bought at GASC, though, is a mosaic tile template system.  I don't even know if that's the actual name of the thing.  Wait, I'll look it up.  It's called Mosaic Moments by Tami Potter.  The friend that I went to GASC with bought one last year, and I watched her create a page using it at our crop back in May.  I really like the look of the mosaic pages, although I'll have to use them sparingly to avoid the "mosaic page phase" that my scrapbooks sometimes take on when I discover a new technique.  Ha!

So the idea is that you use this system to cut your photo into little bits, and they line up perfectly on these pre-marked background cardstock pages.  There is lots of variety to the layouts, so I am excited to try this with some of my Rome pictures. 

Ok, so here's a template above.  On the website, they show the template and how it will look with actual pictures, which I totally love.  Here's what template #59 look like with photos:

I can totally do this.  HA!  I can totally try to do this.  It's something new and different for me, and that's good.  It might take me four hours to do a page, but that's okay. 

If the Great American Scrapbook Convention comes to an area near you, you should totally try to go.  It was an interesting group of people there--some kids, but not many.  Sheesh...we did see a T.I.N.Y. baby there; it couldn't have been more than a week or two old.  That was not cool.  The shoppers were mostly women, but men manned all the booths.  Interesting.  Here's the link to GASC


Easter Bunting

I am having so much fun making bunting and selling it at my etsy shop!
This was the Easter bunting:
I also have lots of others available at the shop.


Little Shamrocks!

I made these cute little shamrocks, or clovers, or whatever I am supposed to call them---for St. Patrick's Day.  I gave them to the paraprofessionals I work with at my school, and to a few other friends, too. 
The yarn was called "shamrock," and it had little green metallic flecks in it, so it looked great!
I also sent an envelope of them to my sister for her to give to her colleagues, only to have it come back to me the next week needing 20 cents postage!! That was disappointing, although I suppose I don't have to make any next year for her.

Here's where I got the pattern:


March Bunting

I was such a hard worker last weekend and got the St. Patrick's Day bunting cut, sewn, assembled, and hung.  I just love it!
Here's a picture of mine.  I did a pattern this time, starting in the middle with my favorite fabric and then putting pairs of pennants on either side.  I did a shamrock pattern and then a generic green pattern, and I really love the way it turned out.

 Below is the one I made for my sister.  I did hers with nine different fabrics and no "just green" fabric.  they're all shamrock patterns.  I even put a Snoopy shamrock pennant in the middle, just for fun.  Her five-year-old loves it!

Meanwhile, I went a little crazy and bought Easter fabric, watermelon fabric for summer, and even beachy fabric!! Can't wait to get the whole year finished!

In other news, I also updated my Etsy store, Willow Branch Designs, and relisted the few things I have for sale.



I was a little late on the Valentine's Day bunting--made some for my sister on February 11 and finished mine on February 13.  I'll leave it up for a little while, but tomorrow, I'll start working on St. Patrick's Day bunting.  I have cute St. Patty's Day fabric that I can't wait to use.
Here's a picture of my sister's bunting:
And here's one of mine:
On mine, I used 11 different fabrics, but I tried to coordinate the colors and patterns--right in the middle is a fabric of conversation hearts, and then on either side is a different pink fabric with hearts, and then a deep red, then a medium red, then a white background with red, and then a medium red on the ends.  I really like the way it looks.
I talked to my nephew (who is 5) today, and he apparently told his teacher all about making bunting with me.  YIKES! I just hope he doesn't get beat up at school talking like that!


Little Hearts

So cute!! I love these little crocheted hearts. When I was little, my grandmother made crocheted wreaths for us to wear on Christmas, and now I've put my own spin on the hand-made gift with a Valentine's Day present. I just have to sew a pin on the back and they're ready for gifting. Every one I know will get one--we'll see if they wear it!

Here's the link where I got the pattern AND a youtube tutorial!


Organizing, organizing...

I love organizing my stuff!! Then I love reorganizing it!! Sometimes, actually, that's all I feel like I really do. Move paper from this file to that folder, or move markers from this tote to that box. Even though I do not generally make New Year's resolutions, after working on yet another paper file, I firmly resolve to NOT purchase any more scrapbooking stuff in 2012. I am sure my CM consultant is not happy about this, but enough is ENOUGH! I have a ridiculous amount of paper, kits, stickers, and embellishments that I cannot even hope to use in my lifetime, let alone this year. So this year is going to be all about using what I have and not even looking at new stuff. Well, okay, maybe looking at it, but not purchasing it!!

My latest project is working on an album of my history with the piano, starting from when I was a baby and my parents took my picture sitting at a friend's piano, up to last month, where 9 of my students performed in a Christmas recital. There are lots of holes in between, but I was able to find a surprising number of photos and newspaper articles of my high school years. Thank goodness my grandmother saved that kind of stuff!