ScrapHappy December: Wrapping a Starfish

What’s a Scrap Happy post?

It’s an opportunity or an excuse to make something entirely out of scraps. Our host, Kate, of Tall Tales from Chiconia, encourages the use of scraps to make something useful or beautiful or both.

If you would like to join us, please see the details at the end of this post.

Last month I helped put together a volunteer appreciation afternoon for Front Door Communities/Lifted Spirits. My friend Mary came up with the idea of a starfish keyring as a small thank you gift for our volunteers. The keyrings came packaged in a simple black box.

This is where my scraps come in. I had exactly two sheets of this autumn-themed paper, which I won at a scrapbooking event several years ago. I wanted to include “thank you” somewhere on the gift and came up with the idea of hand-stamping “thank you” and a couple of small stars on a band of paper. I needed 30 bands in all and had just enough to wrap 30 boxes, with enough left over for one bookmark!

Scrap-happy bookmark.

I assembled drawstring bags with the boxed keyring and the thank you band, then added small cinnamon-scented pine cones to help the box stand upright.

Gift bag and pine cones

Small bag, pine cones, black box and a strip of paper before stamping

This is what they looked like assembled on a tray.

Volunteer Appreciation gifts

Why starfish?  Here’s the story:

A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean.

She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “why are you doing this?  You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”

She bent down, picked up another starfish, and tossed it into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one.”

Positive Promotions starfish key ring

Boxed starfish keyring with a parable

Our volunteers make a difference

These small crafty projects are about all I have time for of late, but they’re satisfying nonetheless.

If you would like to join us, please let Kate know.

Wishing you a happy, scrappy holiday!

Starfish Keyring: One Person Can Make a Difference

Starfish Keyring: One Person Can Make a Difference

Check out the links below on December 15th to see other scrap-happy posts.

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline, and Sue L.

ScrapHappy November: Wall Calendar Bookmarks

I’m joining Kate, of Tall Tales from Chiconia, for her monthly scrap-happy blog post. The challenge is to create something made entirely of scraps, or as Kate put it this month it’s “time to show stuff made from bits of other stuff!”

This month I converted pages from my old wall calendars into bookmarks for our Little Free Library. With a library at the curb, it’s a fun excuse to make several bookmarks at once.

Sample calendars

The Nature Conservancy calendar and bookmark: photograph Rick Flematti Nature Photography

Bird calendar page into bookmark: photograph Loic Poidevin

Being the animal lover that I am, I’m on mailing lists for the Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) and the Nature Conservancy. Their calendars are too beautiful to toss so I upcycle the pages into an assortment of things.

Time is short, so nothing fancy this month.

I perused my stash, set aside pictures that would work for the scale of a bookmark and then located the most strategic center.

Sweetness overload

A pair of puppy bookmarks

A trio of kitty calendar bookmarks

From our HSSV calendar (the book is a gift from my friend Kelly)

Will you look at those puppy-dog eyes?

More puppies

I cut a 6 x 6 inch focal point from the center of the calendar, then score at the two-inch mark on either side.  I fold it into thirds and glue the layers together. These gorgeous calendars get a second life.

It’s surprising how relaxing this simple craft can be. I enjoyed revisiting the beautiful nature photography, and I smiled at the notion of all those cats and dogs going to their forever home.

That’s it for this month. I’m off to see how the rest of the bloggers below are using their scraps.

Check out the links below on November 15th to see other scrap-happy posts.

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline, and Sue L.

ScrapHappy August: Tie-Dyed Wet Wipes

It’s true. This month’s scrap-happy card project uses tie-dyed wet wipes. Four year old, tie-dyed wet wipes, just to be sure that they are good and dry.  [Smirk]

I’m joining Kate, of Tall Tales from Chiconia, for her monthly scrap-happy blog post. The challenge is to create something made entirely of scraps.

A few year’s back I took a card-making class with my sister from Michael Strong.

Michael had us create cards using  baby wipes, normally reserved for changing nappies or diapers and a few drops of alcohol ink.

alchohol ink Tim Holtz baby wipes

Alcohol Inks by Tim Holtz

baby wipe tie dye

White backing paper and tie-dye affect using baby wipe and inks

After the ink dries, you attach the wipe to a sticky backing for support. I came home with several finished cards, a pile of tie-dyed samples and lots of good intentions.

tie dyed wet wipes

Samples of ink-dyed wet wipes

These past four years flew by!

With ScrapHappy August looming, I pulled out my four-year-old stash of faux tie-dyed wipes looking for inspiration. One by one, I ran each sample through my Big Shot die-cutting machine, and I was off having fun.

In class we made simple backgrounds using the tie-dyed sheets. I took it a step further and cut the samples into interesting shapes.

Here’s one for Halloween: I used the shadow cut of a “trick or treat” die and a circle to emulate the moon. I used an “oops” card to make the grey shadows, simply tearing the edges and adhering to the top and bottom of the card. That’s supposed to be a bat over the moon, but only if you’re hard of seeing. I’ll have to fix that.

Halloween tie dye card

Next up, a Christmas card using one of my sister’s snowflake dies and a blue and purple dyed wet wipe.

wet wipes merry christmas tie dye card

Ink-dyed wet wipe and snowflake die

This thank you card is going to our Lifted Spirits summer intern. She’s been a wonderful addition to our team. We’re going to miss her.

I die cut the daisy background , then made a frame to hide the jagged edges. The sentiment  “Thanks” is also from a tie-dyed sample.

thank you tie dye card

Ink-dyed wet wipe and two die cuts, daisy background and thanks sentiment

This meandering plant die is one of my favorites. It’s a gift from my friend Pauline.  I love the mixture of blues and greens.

If I did this again, I would not remove the sticky backing. I had to arm wrestle all those tiny bits into position and the backing kept sticking to itself, even when peeling slowly.  The colors are gorgeous though, and it’s interesting how much texture you’ll find in these wipes.

wet wipes tie dye card trellis

Ink-dyed wet wipe and meandering plant die

I still have several shapes to work with in the future, and as always, it’s great working with what you have.

I’m off to see what the rest of you are up to this month. Here are some links to other August scrap-happy posts.

Kate Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

 

 

Scrap-Happy July: Cards and Letters Come Full Circle

I’m joining Kate, of Tall Tales from Chiconia, for her monthly scrap-happy blog post. The challenge is to create something made entirely of scraps.

Here is the inspiration for this month’s scrappy project.

I’ve been friends with Carrielin for nearly forty years. We met doing theatre at San Jose State in 1980. After she left the area, we stayed in touch the old-fashioned way: through cards and letters. Recently Carrielin came across a box of correspondence from me, mailed between 1989 and 1994. She re-read the letters, then offered to send them my way.  My dear friend mailed the cards with little notes attached letting me know what she had liked about certain cards. Isn’t that the sweetest?

Assorted cards sent to Carrielin in the early 90’s

It took some emotional preparation to re-read what I had written nearly three decades ago. When the time felt right, I read each one. Then I hatched a plan.

Now parts of those cards are heading her way once again, but this time as slivers of the past.

I decided to try a paper-piecing pattern shared by Kate on her blog. Kate is collecting gorgeous quilt squares to include in an ovarian cancer fundraising quilt. She’s done several over the years, with blocks she and other quilters create based on a theme and the color teal. You can read more about her efforts here.

One of Kate’s squares for the theme Scinteallation is called Basketweave Braid Star, a paper piecing pattern by Nydia Kehnle. You can have a look at Kate’s gorgeous paper-piecing star on her blog.

Using her design, I cut strips from several of the cards using blues and creams. I chose bits of the cards that represented our interests, including theater and dance, whimsy, art, flowers, cats (of course) and the Victorian era. I used card backings which are generally white, and I even included her name from one of my letters.

Carrielin loves dance and teddy bears
Strips of original cards featuring interesting details

There was only one blue envelope in the batch, so I carefully cut triangles to create the star effect.

Pale blue envelope postmarked 1989.

Here is the finished card with the envelope border.

Finished card using strips of greeting cards with a recycled envelope border
The finished card

Do you like crafting from scraps? Why not join us for the next round.

From Kate’s blog:

“ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? You can email Kate at the address on her Contact Me page. You can also contact Gun, via her blog, to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long-term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.”

Scrap-Happy March: Paper Greens

I’m joining Kate, of Tall Tales from Chiconia, for her monthly scrap-happy blog post. The challenge is to use scraps from other projects to make something useful, beautiful, or both. Several bloggers post once a month showcasing a project made entirely from scraps.

This month I’m using green paper scraps and pages from an old wall calendar.

I started with this pile of paper scraps…

green scrap paper

Green just happens to be my favorite color

Assorted pages from an old gardening calendar

Old Farmer's Almanac Calendar

The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Calendar

And a green Christmas tin.

Swiss Miss chocolate tin

Swiss Miss chocolate tin

I made three greeting cards…

Green strip quilt card

Card made from scraps of green paper and a calendar cut-out

calendar page card with vintage ribbon

Calendar page card with vintage ribbon rests near deep purple hyacinth

Tri-fold card

Tri-fold card

…and about 30 bookmarks. Here’s one made from the center of a calendar page.

calendar page bookmark

Calendar page bookmark with vintage seam binding

I also made a sign for our Little Free Library in honor of St. Patrick’s Day this coming Monday, and I covered a hot chocolate tin to hold the bookmarks.

four leaf clover lore

A bit of four-leaf clover lore in our LFL

Little Free Library with green books

Books with green spines and a covered Christmas tin full of bookmarks

All three cards incorporated bits of the calendar and paper scraps. I like creating like this, with a small pile of bits and bobs and no real plan.

I used a small bird drawing from the calendar for the first card

The trifold card incorporates the center panel from one of the calendar pages on the cover and on the inside of the card.

The third card is simply a photograph from a Nature Conservancy calendar, tied with vintage seam binding. I used a die to cut a note of thanks from a green paper scrap.

The bookmarks are an eclectic bunch. I used several scraps of green paper, bits of vintage seam binding, Washi tape, and again, parts of my Old Farmer’s Almanac calendar. Lexi, my artistic friend, designed her own Washi tape. You can see it here along with several of her other creations.

The green theme won’t last long in the Little Free Library as books come and go, but it has been fun playing with paper and ideas. Thanks for inspiring me to slow down, Kate, and to take some time to play.

Do you like crafting from scraps? Why not join us for the next round.

Little Free Library with green books and bookmarks

Little Free Library filled with green books, bookmarks and a note about four-leaf clover lore.

It *is* easy being green! (Sorry, Kermit).

From Kate’s blog:

“ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? You can email Kate at the address on her  Contact Me page. You can also contact Gun, via her blog, to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long-term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.”

A Tale of Two Artists

Perhaps you’ve already met.

Just in case, allow me to introduce two of my favorite artists, Anne Lawson and Pauline King.

Sometimes you fall in love with an artist’s work, knowing little about the artist themselves. In this case I fell in love with the artists through blogging, then discovered their work.

Earlier this year, Anne shared one of her recent creations on Instagram: the gorgeous pumpkin you see below. It’s painted with watercolors, then over-stitched with a variety of threads. It’s stunning and it’s mine!  I framed the piece using a floating glass frame without a mat, so that I can enjoy the piece front and back.

I connected with Anne’s blog many years ago. She’s a botanical artist living in Australia, a retired teacher and a wonderful soul. I’ve enjoyed watching Anne’s work evolve. She’s always trying new things. As a life-long lover of botanical art, I’ve really enjoyed learning about Anne’s process.

Anne describes herself as “a Melbourne based artist, who is inspired by the natural world. [Her] small art works are available in [her] Etsy shop.”

Anne blogs at Anne Lawson Art. She also publishes a fortnightly newsletter which you can subscribe to here.

Here’s a photo of it framed and hanging on my home office/craft room wall.

Anne Lawson Art: Mixed Media Pumpkin

Pauline King dabbles in a number of mediums. She’s a painter, a crafter and a mixed-media artist. Those who follow Pauline are familiar with her gorgeous light catchers, personalized to the receiver with colored beads, glass and charms. They’re bouncing light in homes across the globe. You can see more of Pauline’s work in The Contented Crafter’s shop.

The beautiful and ethereal piece you see below came from Pauline’s heart.

She created it for my sister whom she’s never met, but of course has been hearing about for years. When Sharon received the piece, she exclaimed “it’s as if she knows me!”  Sharon loves Halloween, witches, cats and purple so you can imagine her delight when she opened it.

Since she was redoing her floors, Sharon asked me to hold this for safe keeping, and of course I happily obliged.  Today I picked it up from the frame shop and will return it to my sister this week.

Pauline King’s gift to my sister Sharon: The Wise Woman

Sharon originally wanted to frame it in black, but when she read Pauline’s blog and saw the piece on a white tray, she decided to frame it in white instead.

Sharon also decided to base this year’s Halloween costume on The Wise Woman. Stay tuned for pics.

Meanwhile, here is a lovely quote from George Sand:

The artist vocation is to send light into the human heart.

Agreed!

Scrap Happy August

I’m joining Kate of Tall Tales from Chiconia  for another monthly scrap-happy blog post. The challenge is to use scraps from other projects to make something useful, beautiful or both. Several bloggers post once a month showcasing a project made entirely from scraps.

I’m sharing a couple of scrappy cards this month using a style I learned in a card-making class earlier this year. It’s called a z fold card because of the shape it makes when opened. The cards we made in class were too fussy for my taste, but I really liked the lines. Half the fun of learning something new, is coming home and making it in your own style.

The first card went to Anne who blogs at Anne Lawson Art. Anne is an amazing artist with a special love of feathers. She sells her work in her Etsy shop. If you aren’t already following Anne, go have a look around. Her work will take your breath away.

I started with a general idea, but Anne’s card evolved over time. Out of a pack of assorted paper I found a single page of white feathers on a gray background. Kismet! I had to set that one aside for Anne. Then I found a couple of feather ephemera in a box of scraps. I couldn’t believe my luck. I had a small scrap of paper with “friend” written in a variety of languages, and finally I had all I needed for Anne’s card.

feathered z-card

Feathers and friendships: A z-card for Anne

That said, you crafty types know that it’s not done till it’s done. The open card needed a little extra something. Knowing Anne’s love of nature, I decided to add a cut out of a nature scene from a book I brought home from Germany nearly thirty years ago. They published Holden’s Nature Notes posthumously in a book called The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. I loved the art and had hoped to brush up on my German at the time by reading the beautiful entries. All these years later, one of Holden’s pages made it in to Anne’s card.

feathered z card with holden art

Assorted scraps often make the best cards

A small strip of Washi tape and a bit of sparkle and the card was ready for the post.

opened feathered z card

The opened card forms a box

Thumbing through Edith Holden’s book inspired a second card. Her illustrations are gorgeous. I also love the old, parchment-colored paper. Time to take it off the shelf and give some of the pages a second life.

Edith Holden book cover

Edith Holden’s beautiful art

I used the same z-fold card format for my friend’s birthday card. Paper scraps formed the bottom of the card, while punched pages from my Holden book decorate the facade and the interior. I kept this design simple, letting the illustrations speak for themselves.

birthday z-card

A birthday card for a friend

opened z-card

Opened z-card

Edith Holden calendar page

One of Edith Holden’s calendar pages

Edith Holden illustrations

Edith Holden illustrations

Are you joining this month’s scrap-happy blog hop? Please post your link or comment below.

Thanks for inspiring us, Kate.

From Kate’s blog:

“ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. Anything made of scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? You can email Kate at the address on her Contact Me page. New members are welcome. No long-term commitment required. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.”