Tuesday, January 19, 2016

School Memory Boxes


Hello!!

If you have followed my blog for any length of time you'll know that I'm not a scrap booker.  I find the task absolutely daunting and for that reason alone have steered clear off the scrap book path. With that being said however, I still want to preserve our memories so the boys can reflect back in the years to come.  I've spent countless hours, on and off through the last couple years, searching the internet for other solutions and I think I finally found one alternative that works for me!

I decided that 2016 is the year I'm finally going to divorce the excess clutter in my house, beginning in my craft/office space. In the last couple of weeks I've emptied out the ENTIRE space, purged, organized, and slowly began the process of putting only the things that belong and I truly need back. Wow, what a chore - but its so close to being done!

One of the biggest areas that needed to be organized was the boys past schoolwork and projects.  I have a hard time throwing things away but it was beginning to take up too much space.  I had a little stashed here, and a little more over there, and oh, don't forget that drawer over there too!  I hated never knowing where I put things and I was starting to worry that things were going to be misplaced or mishandled and we'd lose those memories they worked so hard to create.  I wanted a system where I could put their entire schooling from Pre-K to Grade 12 in and it be safe and protected for years to come.  Enter in Jen from I Heart Organizing.  I've followed her blog for a couple of years now and while looking through her archives for something else entirely I stumbled upon her School Paperwork Organizing post.  It was literally a light bulb moment - it was exactly what I was looking for!  The post comes with free printables, tutorial, and tips; it truly couldn't get much easier!


I first began by purchasing my bins.  I went a little (ok a lot) bigger than Jen's file boxes but I wanted to make sure I had tons of room for growth.  These particular bins are Sterilite brand and are 4.5L.  I had a couple of hanging folder frames that I used inside them to hang my hanging folders onto. Using my Silhouette Cameo I cut both boys names and "School Days" from vinyl and added them to the side of each bin so there's never any confusion about who's is who's.

I printed out the Grade labels for each boy and affixed them to my file folders then printed out the Grade info sheets from Pre-K to Grade 12.  I added some solid colored paper, and a piece of the Schoolhouse DSP underneath their school photo from each year and added it to each corresponding year file folder.  I made sure to complete all the years so that everything co-ordinates and is ready for each school year.  Then all that was left was to fill them up!


As you can tell I have lots and lots of space left but I'm okay with that!  If the next couple years are anything like the last couple of years in school, it will be filled up in no time!

So, now that I have the boys school work in order I've given myself the next hill to climb...family photos.  I haven't done a thing with our photos since prior to 2006.  There are literally hundreds of them.  I've managed to sort them into years but that's it.  As I mentioned in the beginning of this post I am by no means a scrap booker but I think I'm going to attempt to take the plunge and use the Project Life products; they are simplified and easy to use for "newbies" like me LOL.  I'll keep you updated as I go but I would love to hear your advice and any words of wisdom you might have on how I should tackle this one!

Until next time...
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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Hello 2016!


Hello 2016!

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season!  I became so swamped in December with home life that I made the biggest faux pas a card maker could ever make - I didn't get Christmas cards out!  It was definitely a "shame on my moment" so I decided instead to send out Happy New Year cards so I could *slightly* redeem myself.  I really like how they turned out and I was able to complete them when I didn't feel stressed or rushed to get them done; a win win in my books!

The concept had to be super simple and quick.  I didn't have time to have pictures professionally printed so I used my home printer.  I stamped the "HELLO" image from the retired Cheer All Year set in Versamark then heat embossed with Silver embossing powder.  Below the embossing I added "2016" cut from a Silver Foil Sheet using the Little Number Thinlits.  The mat behind the photo is a 4-1/4" x 5-1/2" piece of Night of Navy card stock with a vertical row of silver embossed leaves from the also retired set From the Garden.  On the backside of the card I added a piece of Very Vanilla card stock so I could write a quick message to the receiver. 

Today is pretty exciting in the Stampin' Up! world - the new 2016 Occasions and Sale-A-Bration catty's go live today!  If you'd like to take a peek at all the new goodies, click the links in the left side bar - you WON'T be disappointed!

Here's a quick birthday card I made using the SAB set Sky is the Limit:


I used a technique called Faux Stamped Leather, which I featured a while back on the blog and did a tutorial over at Splitcoast Stampers for.  I added a few paper piercing additions and some white gel pen for a little interest.  A perfect masculine card!

Ok, I'm off.  My goal today is to get all the decorations down, sorted, and boxed up.  It was the boys first day back to school and I must say I was really beginning to crave routine again!  I've been putting off way too many things simply because we were still in the midst of "holidays".  Today, no more excuses!! ;) 

Until next time...
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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Tomte


Hello!

One more sleep till the big guy in red arrives!  Are you excited?  My boys haven't slept in days and to be frank I'm looking forward to Boxing Day when there's nothing for them to get up early for (other than putting together the million pieces of Lego that are soon to arrive)!

All the Christmas prep has put me behind in my blog posts.  I have been spending countless nights in my card room but all that crafting just hasn't made it to the computer yet!  My biggest goal in 2016 is to get back to blogging more regularly - we'll see how that goes!  In the meantime, I thought I'd quickly share this little guy with you.  Isn't he the cutest??

Our new neighbours moved in just down the road from us a little over a month ago and they collect Tomte's or Swedish gnomes.  I've always loved them but didn't know what they were called until they told me a bit about them. Folklore says that they protect your home and family from evil and misfortune.  If treated well, they will deliver gifts at the door; similar to our Santa Claus.  It is customary to leave behind a bowl of porridge with butter in gratitude.  But be sure to not insult them, as they will usually play tricks and steal items from the home!

Because of their love for collecting Tomte's I thought I would try create a punch art card featuring one for their Christmas card.  Many of the pieces are hand cut, but I plan to share the pattern in an upcoming post. The trees were cut using my Silhouette but could easily be re-created with punch art pieces as well.


And probably my favorite part of the whole card?  I got a chance to use the new Wink of Stella available in the new Occasions Catalog!  It adds the most wonderful glitter and sparkle with virtually no work or mess!!  It's a definite MUST from the new catty! 

Supplies:
Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog


That's all for now!  I have a few more odds and ends to finish up before tonight so I best get on it! They'll be 15 people here tomorrow for a HUGE feast - I can't wait to be in a pleasant food coma! I hope you have a wonderful, festive holiday and are surrounded by those near and dear to you.  From our family to yours, have a Merry Christmas!  I'll see you all back here next week! 

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sleigh Ride Envelope Card

Hello!

Everyone keeping busy with the Holiday prep?  I'm up to my elbows in last minute projects, gifts, and baking.  I hope I can finish it all in time!

Today I thought I would share this card fold I stumbled across called an Envelope Card.  I enjoyed making it so much I ended up making four of them!  They are all different so I thought I'd share one with you today then the rest a bit later with all the instructions on how to make your own.  The great thing is that you can make them for any occasion and with as little or much dimension as you would like.  I kept this one fairly simple but if I were in an extra crafty mood to make this one again I'd add a few additional pop up trees in the background of the scene.

I used my Silhouette cutting machine to cut out the tree, sleigh, and lamp post.  My lighting wasn't co-operating when I took the photo but the tree was cut from Dazzling Diamond glimmer paper and looks so darn pretty I can hardly stand it!


See how simple it all folds together?  Add a little greeting to this side and seal with adhesive.  Flip over and add a mailing label and its all ready to mail (with a little additional postage of course!)

Supplies:
Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

That's all for today but I'll be back tomorrow with the instructions and three more cards using this fold!  I hope you can stop by!

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Home for the Holiday's in a Tea Cup



Hello!

I loved making the Spring version of my Front Porch in a Tea Cup so much that I just couldn't resist trying a Holiday/Christmas version! I'm so happy with the way it turned out - if I could find a cottage like this I'd definitely move in; how about you?

As with my previous version, almost everything is hand made.  The only store bought items are the little trees and beads and a few other little trinkets to add finishing touches.  Each piece of siding is hand cut and stamped; along with all the small paper details you see.  And, as usual, all papers are Stampin' Up!

The little snowman was so fun to make that I couldn't resist making a batch of them to use in other projects!  They are the absolute perfect size for little wee things like this and add a little whimsy to the scene I think.

Small pine boughs with berries adorn the white picket railing and a scattering of freshly fallen snow add sparkle above the window and door and stairs.  The evergreen is decorated for the festive season in the front yard with garland sprinkled with gold decorations.  

A quick view of the top of the tea cup; I just couldn't cover up the pretty pattern with more snow so I left it exposed to enjoy.  The small cuts of branches help add height and dimension to the side of the tea cup and make the cottage scene look slightly more "woodsy".

I'm planning on taking this tea cup along with a few others I made to a small craft show later on in the week. If it doesn't find a loving new home I'll be placing up for sale either here on the blog or in my Etsy shop.  So, if you love tiny wee things be on the lookout!  I've made a few winter as well as summer ones that I hope to share here later this week if all goes according to plan.  I'm not sure about anyone else but I'm not nearly as far along in my Holiday prep as I normally am for this time of year! Now, you could say that it's because of my excess crafting, but I'll just chalk it up to busyness elsewhere in my life...like remembering to move that dang elf every night...LOL

Have a great day all!  Until next time...

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Christmas Story Birthday


Hello!

Sometimes I make a card and it just becomes "THE ONE".  The one that can compete with no other and takes all the glory...this leg lamp card is that card for me LOL.  My sister and I LOVE LOVE LOVE A Christmas Story movie and when I stumbled across this cutting file in the Silhouette store for my Cameo I had to have it to make it part of her birthday card.

The Hearth & Home Framelits were the perfect background addition; I mean what's a leg lamp if it can't be proudly displayed in a window, right?  And even more dual purpose, the window box portion of the die set became the table top for the lamp to sit on.

Supplies:
Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

Now the only dilemma that remains is how many more of these do I make so I can have a string of leg lamp garland in my front window?? ;)  I feel a Christmas tutorial post coming on...hehehe

Just a quick note before I sign off; have you had a chance to sign up for my 12 weeks of Holiday Newsletter yet?  This week marks Week #10!  I can't believe how fast the time has flown by!  And don't fret if you've missed past newsletters and are just joining now.  There is a archival link when you view the newsletter in your web browser, or, if you can't find it just send me a quick email at melissa@porchswingcreations.com and I'll be happy to forward the earlier weeks to you.

Have a fabulous day!  Until next time...

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Snowy Lovebirds


Hello Everyone!

I hope all my American crafting friends reading this had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday!  I thought I'd drop in today with a quick post perfect for this time of year.  Yesterday we had the prettiest snowfall - big fluffy flakes coming straight down, no wind, and sunshine.  If all winter days could be like that I might actually enjoy winter!

I sponged the sky in pretty blues and stamped the pine boughs and birds before embossing with the Softly Falling embossing folder.  To add a little extra sparkle I covered the entire background with Versamark then sprinkled with Iridescent Ice embossing powder and heat set.  The sparkle on this card in person is spectacular!  To create the shimmer on the letters I covered a small piece of Bermuda Bay card stock with Versmark and Iridescent Ice embossing powder before cutting them out.

Supplies:
Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog


Be sure to pop by next week!  I was working frantically over the last couple weeks to get ready for a small pop up shop that happened last night and I have tons of projects to share that I created for the event.  I made many cards and the like but I also created some winter decor items along with tea cup scenes similar to this ONE I shared a while back.  Not everything sold so I'll be listing them in my Etsy shop soon!

Until then, have a wonderful weekend!
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