Thursday, July 10, 2014

Studio 5 and an Album Giveaway

Today on Studio 5, I shared several album systems. Everything from the traditional, 12x12 approach to scrapbooking to clever gift displays. 



Win!
Want to win an album assortment, including a few of the ones featured on today's show? Simply leave me a comment between now and Monday, July 14 for your chance to win. Thanks for tuning in. I'd love to know what your favorite type of scrapbook album is. :)

Cheers!

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Instax Share Printer, Studio 5, AND a CreativeLive Camera GIVEAWAY!



Whew! Just typing the title to this post makes me tired. Yes, there are many good GREAT things going on here today!

Let's start things off with my June Studio 5 segment—one I've been looking forward to for months and months! It's all about the Instax Share. (Note: This is an affiliate link, which means I get a small percentage of your purchase—a promotional fee, of sorts—if you purchase from here. If you're going to buy and opt to use this link, I'd sure appreciate it. BUT, no pressure if you have another awesome Instax resource. Of course, I do require that you share any and all Instax secrets with me—like our own special club or something. Deal? Deal!) ;)



On today's show, I'm going to tell you all about how the printer works, as well as share a few crafty things you can do with the images it creates. To watch from the fancy internets, simply click here at 1:00 pm (mountain) and then click "Watch now," (or something to that effect—it should appear in red).

If you're a local yokel like me, you can watch in old-school fashion by turning the dial (okay, perhaps not that old-school, but ya never know) to channel 5 at 1:00. Thanks for your interest!


Instax Share Projects

Simple Summer Album
My first and perhaps my favorite project being shared on today's show is my summer mini album.

I'll have more details on this album in a guest post I'm doing with Simple Stories soon. In the meantime,  here are the products I used, including the awesome washi pen I mention on Studio 5.


1. Thin Washi Tape: Happie Scrappie.
2. Good Day Sunshine collection by Simple Stories.
3. My Instax Share printer and this ADORABLE, handmade printer cozy by Happie Scrappie.
4. Pens. The black one is the one that will write on washi tape without smudging. It's from Happie Scrappie. The pink one is a must whenever I visit NYC. It's from a fantastic shop there called Muji.

And here's a little look at a few pages contained in my book. I'll share the full reveal with you soon.



Tree of Life Center Piece
Cory celebrated his birthday last week, so I quickly put together a little display of his beautiful life using nothing more than an ornament tree, basic shipping tags, a little tape (from Target's One Spot—formerly known as the Dollar Spot), Sharpies, and my Instax Share.


The idea: To pick and choose a few images from throughout the birthday boy or girl's life, print them, and adhere them to basic shipping tags, which are a perfect size for the Instax prints.

Just look at this adorable kid! A heartbreaker from day one. xoxo

I feel so blessed to have spent so much of my life with this man. He's a gift from God, and I wake up every day, thankful that I get to spend the rest of my life with him.
On the back, write the year the photo was taken and a little note about the highlights and signifigance of that year.





Bonus Idea: Once your celebration is over, gather the images together and you've instantly got yourself a cool mini album that you can enjoy and your children will LOVE years from now.


Cupcake Picks
Hosting a baby shower, wedding shower, birthday party, grad party, family reunion, or other festive shindig? Make your party favor one to remember by attaching an Instax Share print to a toothpick for a personalized party favor.

Top your favorite tasty treat with personalized party favors, whether you're hosting a baby shower, an engagement party, or another special something. 

Supplies: Photo: FujiFilm; Thank-you Tag: Inspiration Ave.; Bow and Heart Roller Stamp: Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper; Mini Clothespin: Close to My Heart. 


Guest Book Business
This is one story that writes itself, thanks to the Instax. Whether you have a camera or this printer at your celebration, it's the perfect way to create a completely personalized guest book. This is from Maggie's first birthday party. I snapped two shots of each guest —one for them to take home as a party favor and one for Maggie — and asked them to place Maggie's photo in this book, along with a little note for her to read when she's older. I just LOVE this book and plan on doing them for every celebration in our future that involves a guest list.

SuppliesPhotos: FujiFilm; Brag Book: Fancy Pants Designs; Washi Tape: MT.

Special Thanks to...
Studio 5, for the fun assignment! And thanks FujiFilm for the BRILLIANT printer!

Introducing: My CreativeLive Class Countdown Giveaway!
Tomorrow marks the first day of July, which means it's less than a month until I'm teaching on CreativeLive. Can I get an Eeeeeeeep! ?

Win this InstaxMini Camera AND two film cartridges (20 prints). See details below for info on how to enter.

To celebrate, I'm going to host a series of giveaways between now and then. Some happening right here on the weblog. Others on my Instagram feed. And all will be happy and worth checking out! I thought I'd start things off with a bang today by giving away an Instax Mini Camera! 

Like the Share printer, this camera creates the same tiny prints (about the size of a credit card) instantly. I have this camera. I LOVE this camera! And I'm confident you'll love it too!

How to Enter
This is a two-step process:
1. Visit my class course page and click the blue "RSVP for this free live class" button. 

(Note: If you've already enrolled, you can skip this step.)
(Note: RSVP-ing is free and doesn't mean you have to attend. I realize life happens. It just means they'll send you a reminder when it's almost showtime. Though, I hope you'll tune in. Your support always means the world to me, and I'm pretty nervous about this one. *chewing nails*)

2. Leave me a comment.  Can be anything — "hello"s are always nice! — but I'm particularly interested in what it is you would like to learn in a class about scrapbooking using your social media activity (Facebook, Instagram, and/or Pinterest). So if you have any thoughts on the subject, please share. Thanks!

You have until July 20 to enter.

Thank you, friends, for checking out my blog today. More than that, thanks for expressing interest in my various creative endeavors (TV, teaching, etc.). As much as I adore crafting, being able to share my work with YOU makes things that much more enjoyable. I'm glad you're here!

Cheers!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Rit Dye 4th of July: DIY Patio Lights, Poms & Tags



Red, White & Blue Balls—This was the original title I wrote in the bar above. Oh. Wait just a moment. That may not be the best way to go with a title. Don't want it coming up in the wrong search engine results. I have to admit, writing a post about dying my balls reminded me that my sense of humor is stuck at that of an adolescent boy.

Awe, yes. An oldie but a goodie. 


I assure you I'll do my best to act my age from this point on, as I think you're going to enjoy this money-saving approach to outdoor (or indoor) 4th of July holiday/summer lighting.



Project Sponsor: Rit Dye. Thanks, Rit! I so enjoyed taking this dip with you!

This project was inspired by this blog post, which I happened upon via Pinterest, where This Journey created faux patio bulb lights using ping pong balls. Later, I was at Crate & Barrel, where I fell in love with this set of lights.

image credit: Crate & Barrel


I put two and two together, and, voila, I had an idea. I'll dye my balls in red and blue to create my own custom set at a less than half the cost of the beautiful C&B set.  Intrigued? Here's how you can...

Do It To It!
Beyond basic household supplies, all you need for this little project are:

* Rit Liquid Dye, 8 oz: Royal Blue  (or Navy, for a deeper blue)
* Rit Liquid Dye, 8 oz: Scarlet Red (or Cherry)
* Ping Pong Balls (Actual ping pong balls, not the generic version lacking texture [more on that soon].)
* White Strand of Holiday Lights

Optional Extras
* White Yarn
* Large, White Shipping Tags
* Roll of Extra Wide Washi Tape (I used a Fat Roll by Hazel & Ruby  and a chalk roll by Fancy Pants Designs)
* Clover Extra Small Pom Pom Maker


Step 1
Following instructions on dye bottle, prepare your dye in a large pot on the stovetop. Ideal temp: 140-degrees.


Step 2
Place balls in dye for 30 min (or more, depending on desired saturation).

Tip: The balls will float, which simply won't do. To keep them fully submerged, I placed a colander over them and used long-handled tongs to push them below the surface. Six balls seem to stay put. Seven caused too much resistance and pushed everything above the dye's surface.



Note: I dyed one package of red balls and one package of blue. It wasn't enough for my particular strand of lights. Count the number of lights on your strand to determine how many you'll need to dye in each color. Don't forget to factor in the white, un-dyed balls if you plan on including white in the mix.

Step 3
Remove balls from dye and immediately place them in a cold-water rinse and set aside to dry.


Note: Use a bowl you don't mind possibly dying. I used an inexpensive plastic bowl for my rinse. So glad I did, as it has a line of red dye around it now that doesn't seem to want to come off.

Step 4
Puncture balls with craft knife or sharp paper piercer (proceed with extreme caution) to create opening in ball.



Tip: To keep your lighting consistent, always puncture hole along ball's seem.

Tip: Place the ball on something stable when puncturing (vs holding it in your hand) to help avoid injury. Yeah. Learned this one the hard way. #ouch

Step 5
Position balls over lights in desired color pattern. Since I didn't dye enough colors, I placed a white ball over every other light—red, white, blue, white, repeat




Tip: Keep a paintbrush (or something long and thin with a rounded tip) handy so you can push out any areas that may cave in as you're trying to insert the lights.


Ta da! String lights!


Learn from my Mistakes
This was definitely a trial and error experience for me. Here are a couple of the what-not-to-dos:

1. Stick to the recommended 140-degree dye temp. I accidentally let my dye get hotter than this and my blue balls exploded. Eeep! THAT was a wild ride.



Tip: Use a food thermometer to gauge the dye temp.

2. Thought I'd save some money and dye the Dollar Store variety of "table tennis balls." Not a good idea. Their surface was smooth. Too smooth. And the dye would not adhere. Instead, I spent a whopping $1 more per package, bought the real deal, and it worked like a charm.

MESSYBALLS

3. If you opt to do do Bonus Idea #1 below, use washi tape with an extra strong hold. Otherwise, the tape will come right off in the dye, which means no more mask.

4. Pay attention when the box of dye says to cover your work area, wear old clothing, and sport plastic or rubber gloves. This dye, while SO fun and easy to use, can get messy. Let's just say I now have a new pair of tie-dyed (minus the tie) pajama pants. Eep!

Bonus Idea #1
I thought it would be fun to create patterns on my lights, so I tried these little trick:

Step 1
Adhere washi tape to wax or freezer paper and punch star shapes. This creates star stickers/masks.



Step 2
Adhere stars to ball, rubbing thoroughly to ensure tape is secure, and dye balls.

Outcome
It's subtle, and not as clean as I would have hoped. But it looks better when it's dark and the lights are fully lit.

large star
small stars


Bonus Idea #2
Create matching yarn for a more homespun look. Save money by investing in a single roll of white yarn, and simply dip and dye that yarn while you're waiting for your ball dye to set.

Step 1
Place yarn in dye for 2-5 minutes; follow dying steps above (cool rinse and dry) to finish.



Step 2
Gather three strands of yarn (one red, one white, and one blue) that are each 6"-12" longer than the length of your twinkle lights. Wrap yarn around light cording for added patriotic pizazz.



Bonus Idea #3
Inspired by fireworks, I wanted to create pom bundles to dangle from my lights. To do this, I simply followed the directions on my Clover Extra Small Pom Pom Maker.




Bonus Idea #4
Dip dye basic shipping tags to add to the light garland festivities. I did a few combinations.



Dip one portion of tag in red dye and let tag dry.

Next, time for a blue bath. 

Cory and I agree that my tags look a little more French-fancy than USA-awesome.



Washi tape masks worked wonderfully on my tags. I little leakage, but I have a solution for that below.


A little glitter glue to disguise the dye bleed and add some sparkle. 

Cheers and happy July 4th, friends!


Monday, June 23, 2014

Yo! It's Maggie's Birthday


Hello, friends! (channeling my best DJ Lance Rock) And welcome to this rainbow par-tay!

I know it sounds generic to say I can't believe my baby girl is two, but that's the reality. Where did the time go? It seems only yesterday I snapped this shot of my beautiful 9-month-old.


This shot was taken a year later, this past St. Patrick's Day.


As these shots probably suggest, I'm a big fan of the rainbow look. And my Mags ADORES Yo Gabba Gabba, or "Gabba Show," as she's known to call it, so a rainbow-themed birthday party seemed the obvious option.

Without much time or $, I had to do what I could with my resources. Not a huge shindig, but enough that I think she had a great time, which was of the utmost importance to me.

The Gifts
Festivities included Yo Gabba Gabba-inspired gift wrap. I simply bought a rainbow tissue pack and set to creating the Gabba friends.


The eyes are made from white cardstock and a Sharpie marker. The black on the the lashes and such were created using electrical tape (so easy!). The arms were made using that awesome "fingertrap" ribbon. Do you know the stuff I mean? It's stretchy and awesome. I got mine from The Container Store, Hobby Lobby, and Michael's.




Thanks to Curt and Gina, or Guy and G as Maggie calls them, for turning the big box into DJ Lance Rock's boombox.

Over the Rainbow
I wanted to make a balloon rainbow and found the easiest approach to take was to tie balloons directly to two pool noodles. I didn't tie them off first. I simply blew them up and wrapped them around the noodle to tie them off, which allowed me just enough stretch to fit. When I tied them off and then tried to wrap them around the noodle, they wouldn't reach.

Somewhere behind this balloon bundle, I sit, tying balloons to pool noodles.


Once hung, the rainbow arch made a nice photo backdrop for our event.

For fun, I used cool glow-in-the-dark balloons, which I highly recommend. Unfortunately, I didn't think to snap any pics of my balloons after dark. D'oh! But I assure you they're fun.

Yum!
The cake was easy enough. I just picked up an ice cream cake at the store and added some small Yo Gabba Gabba toys to the top that I had purchased to give Maggie for her birthday anyway. This just gave them an extra special role.


Mom added a healthy component, creating rainbow fruit and veggie trays. Thanks, Mom!



And what would a Gabba celebration be without some Dazzleberry Lemonade? Sadly, I didn't have time to add my YGG labels, but the beverage was still tasty, and the rainbow pitcher from Target was just right for the occasion.




Decor

I made the wreath from vellum provided by Doodlebug Design, patterned paper from Simple Stories, and gems from Glitz Design. Love the way it turned out! Simply fold the pinwheels and pin them to a foam wreath. It's a, ahem, breeze. ;)


Mom, Pop and I put the tassel garland together, which we made from tissue paper. It's an easy enough project, but it is a bit time consuming. Just FYI.


Thank You!
Speaking of Mom and Pop, none of this happiness would have happened without them. They both opened their home for the event and helped with the decorating/decorations and food. Maggie is so blessed to have such giving grandparents!


Sorry about the "cur-lo" shot, Mama. 


It's a Hit with the Two-Year-Old Market
All in all, I'd say our rainbow extravaganza was a success. A bright and shining way to welcome age two.


Happy birthday, my beautiful girl! We love you!



Cheers!

P.S. Speaking of rainbow bidnaz, I'm talking the trend of rainbows over on the Scrapbook & Cards Today blog today. I invite you to take make this rainbow connection. :)