Craft it Forward: 7 of Hearts

craft it forward button

Craft it Forward Button: Grab it for your own blog

In early February, I launched my first Craft it Forward.  It’s been great fun having an excuse to craft all year and the pleasure of trying new things.

December’s Craft it Forward is ‘7 of Hearts’ representing my 7th work from the heart.  As soon as I secure Vivien’s address, they’ll be on their way to the UK.

Vivien blogs at Where the Journey Takes me. She writes:

I live in a small old mill town nestled into the Pennine hills in Yorkshire with my long-suffering husband of thirty some years. I have two beautiful daughters who have flown the nest (most of the time!). I paint and draw (a little) when time allows, make and bake sometimes but not often enough and garden and grow things as much as possible. I recycle and up-cycle, hate waste and I couldn’t live without my time planner and lists.

Vivien is slowly renovating a quaint and picturesque cottage in Scotland, where she will eventually retire. We share a mutual love of gardening, card-making and organizing.

I crafted a set of cards from KaiserCraft’s Enchanted Garden Collection.  Vivien uses flowers and butterflies in her own cards. I incorporated both into the designs, below.

butterfly die cut

Die cut butterfly using my Silhouette

Butterfly Cards

Butterfly Cards

Using the same paper, I made a set of quilt cards, one of my favorite designs for the Silhouette. I enjoyed combining the geometric patterns of the card design, with the more ethereal patterned paper. Each of the six cards features a different combination of the papers.

Envelopes and card detail

Envelopes and card detail

quilt cards

Quilt cards

The last two cards feature the intricate illustrations of the Enchanted Garden designs.

Enchanted Garden Cards

Enchanted Garden Cards

I’ve kept the packaging simple, honoring her desire to scale back: they’re wrapped together with a single piece of ribbon.

What is Craft it Forward?

If you think you might like to try this on your own blog, G+ or Facebook page, here’s how it works. You put forth the offer to create a handmade item. The first five people to comment on your original post receive a handmade item, uniquely your own . In return, they agree to pay it forward, crafting their own unique item for the first five people on their list. Craft it Forward encourages community, creative spirit and camaraderie. It also encourages flexibility, so I expanded my list from five to seven based on interest in the project. Isn’t it fun making your own rules?

Craft if Forward: Garden Journal

This month’s craft it forward goes to Emma at Greenhousing.   Emma is a fellow gardener, helping things grow in her own special garden in the UK.

She started Greenhousing: Big Plans for a Small Garden with her husband to:

plan and keep a record of our hard and not-so-hard work.

Luckily we have been hoarding lots of plant pots of various sizes, seed and drip trays, pot trays, seeds, weed suppressant fabric, vegetable and tomato fertiliser, etc. so we can make big plans without having to spend a lot of money.

The garden is an odd shape at the back of the house, with fencing on three sides and a corner of a neighbour’s garage jutting into it.  The big plan is to work around any obstacles and grow some tasty food and lovely flowers and plants.

She hasn’t posted for a while, so I’m hoping life simply got busy and that all is okay.

Garden Memories

I started by gathering garden-inspired paper and embellishments.  Oh how I tax myself [wink-wink]). I assembled an 8 x 8 book/album, small enough to carry into the garden to record notes on garden progress.  It can also be used to save photos of her garden successes or remembrances of her first year with a lovely greenhouse.

Here are a few sample pages:

garden journal page 1 garden journal page 2 garden journal page 3 garden journal page 4 garden journal page 5 garden journal page 6 garden journal back cover

What is Craft it Forward?

Here’s how it works. The first five people to comment on the original post receive a handmade item with the gardening nirvana touch. In return, they agree to pay it forward, crafting their own unique item for the first five people on their list. Craft it Forward encourages community, creative spirit and camaraderie. It also encourages flexibility, so I expanded my list from five to seven based on interest in the project. Isn’t it fun making your own rules?

Further, in the era of the internet, who doesn’t like ‘real’ mail? If you haven’t started your own Craft it Forward, today is a good day to get going.

The Magic of Snail-Mail: Gjeometry Crafts

Who doesn’t like finding personal mail in their mailbox?  Nobody I know, that’s for sure!  It’s become a rare commodity, so much so that many postal services are going broke.  I’m happy to report that we bloggers are doing our part, one wonderful note, card or parcel at a time.

Through my blogging community and Craft-it-Forward projects, I’ve received numerous goodies in the mail.  Last week was no exception.  Catja, over at Gjeometry let me squeak into her pay if forward list, even though I was number six and the cut off was five.  You can read a bit more about it on her blog. (Thanks once again, Catja).

Look what arrived in the mail.

gjeometry apron collage-188

Catja sent me this beautifully sewn, dual-toned apron sporting three large pockets and several tabs for holding tools.  The body of the apron is an incredibly soft rayon tweed with a subtle pattern, a cross between herringbone and check.  The face of the apron is a sturdy, floral canvas, trimmed in brown.   I *love* it!

Catja included a thoughtful note written on a card embedded with annual and perennial seeds.  I’ll be able to keep the card, and slip out the seed insert for planting next spring.  What a treasure.

embedded seed card

Bloomin’ Flower Card

The spoiling didn’t stop there.  She also sent a volume of essays called The Roots of My Obsession: Thirty Great Gardeners Reveal Why They Garden.  I can’t wait to dive in.  Here’s a quote:

There’s a mystery at the heart of gardening: Why would any sane person spend hours on hands and knees, courting aching joints and a ruined back, just to raise a bunch of plants? He simple answer, of course, is that gardening is an obsession that cannot be conquered or abandoned, only indulged.  The richer, more complex and more human answer can be found in the pages of The Roots of My Obsession.

I see joyful reading ahead.

gardening essays

Personal essays on why we garden

On the subject of spoiling, our resident felines received a treat as well.  It seems, Catja’s mom is also crafty.  She knit this wooly purple octopus for the kitties.  It arrived with a small opening for cat nip, with a length of yarn attached to sew it closed.  Our catnip plant is just now dying back for the winter. I pinched off a few of the leaves for their new toy.  Here’s a shot of Mighty Mouse checking it out.

knitted octopus

Tiny octopus

Mighty Mouse loves the new toy

Mighty Mouse loves the new toy

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Catja, for your thoughtfulness.  I admire your style, your grace and your creativity.

You can check out Catja’s blog at Gjeometry.  Her kitty features prominently in most of her posts. Here are a few of my favorites:

Craft it Forward: Tiny Album, Big Heart

DSC_0197My kindred spirit Boomdee is flying home to Canada today.  Mr. B and the kitties can’t wait to see her.  I tried to convince her to stay through the end of October, but she didn’t want to miss the first snow of the season. 😉 I reluctantly took her to the airport this afternoon after seven, extraordinary days.

Although I’m partially responsible for bumping her suitcase over the fifty-pound limit, I was happy to deliver Craft it Forward #5 directly into her hands.  (It can’t possibly weigh more than four pounds (two kilograms).  It must have been those cute new shoes.

Boomdee’s charming blog is about ‘art, life and other bits.’  She says

“Picking a Blog name is such a personal thing.  Should it be a play on words, funny or witty?  I want to do so many things and I’m passionate about a ton of stuff. What will I write about? That’s how I landed on Boomdeeadda.  It’s a bit of a nonsense word but says so much about me.”.

The Challenge

I like to challenge myself with each of these projects. Though I’ve created many photo albums in the past, the challenge this time was creating something for such a talented crafter. If you haven’t seen her paper masterpieces, you are in for a treat.  Take a look.

She encourages me to go the extra mile.  I inked the edges, added layers of flowers, ribbon and photo corners here and there.  Mostly, I had fun, choosing her colors and mixing it in with a garden theme.

Album pages are viewable in the gallery below.  Please click on the gallery slide show.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 What is Craft it Forward?

Here’s how it works. The first five people to comment on the original post receive a handmade item with the gardening nirvana touch. In return, they agree to pay it forward, crafting their own unique item for the first five people on their list. Craft it Forward encourages community, creative spirit and camaraderie. It also encourages flexibility, so I expanded my list from five to seven based on interest in the project. Isn’t it fun making your own rules?

craft it forward button

Craft it Forward: Grab a button

Further, in the era of the internet, who doesn’t like ‘real’ mail? If you haven’t started your own Craft it Forward, today is a good day to get going.

Craft it Forward: Secret Garden in the Round

This month’s  Craft it Forward creation will soon be flying over the pond to The Pyjama Gardener.  PJ’s always witty and entertaining blog features ‘simple organic gardening and seasonal living.’  No need to take my word for it.  You can go have a look here.  According to PJ:

A Pyjama Gardener is anyone who is too impatient to get dressed before venturing outside to check the plants… it was only meant to be a quick look (honestly)… but before you know it an hour or more has passed and you’re still wearing your pyjamas!

What a thrill it was to find this beautiful paper on the shelf of Scrapbook Island!  Graphic 45 has an entire line of Secret Garden paper, featuring a PJ-clad girl on the cover!  Kismet.

This tiny ‘album’ pops open to reveal several panels. I’ve added photo mats and stickers inside, with bits of ribbon here and there.  The circular book is now ready for small photos and memorabilia.

mini scrapbook

Cover (and view of closed album)

Clam Shell Folds

Clam Shell Folds

top view

Album, top view

Inside Pages

Inside pages featuring Secret Garden

Panel View 1 of 4

Panel View 1 of 4

Panel View 2 of 4

Panel View 2 of 4

I made a similar version of this album in early March. It has a Valentine’s Day theme, so I plan to feature it in a give-away closer to the time.

I hope PJ loves this little pop-up book as much as I loved making it.

Circle Explosion Album

Craft it Forward:

Here’s how it works. The first five people to comment on the original post receive a handmade item with the gardening nirvana touch. In return, they agree to pay it forward, crafting their own unique item for the first five people on their list. Craft it Forward encourages community, creative spirit and camaraderie. It also encourages flexibility, so I expanded my list from five to seven based on interest in the project. Isn’t it fun making your own rules?

craft it forward button

Grab the button for your own Craft it Forward

Further, in the era of the internet, who doesn’t like ‘real’ mail? If you haven’t started your own Craft it Forward, today is a good day to get one going.

Craft it Forward: Three’s a Charm

I dubbed this month’s Craft it Forward: Three’s a Charm. I incorporated three loves (photo manipulation, paper and cats) to create my third craft it forward: a series of greeting cards. If you’re new to the concept of Craft it Forward, you can read about it here.  Links to the first and second project are at the end of this post.

I’m trying a little something different with each craft, stretching the old comfort zone if you will.  It’s good challenging myself.

This set of cards is for Sheila.  She’s an animal lover, photographer and all-around nice person. She fosters cats and nurtures children and is always quick with support or a compliment.  She’s guiding and supporting a young woman through a difficult time now.  I hope these cards serve as a little pick-me-up.

At my request, Sheila sent a digital photo of one of her cats, a stunner named Rodent. I altered the photo using Picasa software, creating three different images. Sheila loves purple and robin’s egg blue, so I applied colored filters to the photo to achieve the effect you see below. The third photo is in its original form. After manipulating the image, I printed the photo on heavy-duty watercolor paper. The paper absorbs some of the color, creating a mat finish. Let me know what you think.

Included with Three’s a Charm:

  • Twelve, 5 x 7 greeting cards, 4 of each design
  • Twelve ‘Secret Garden’ envelope seals
  • A small, faux birdcage.

The small faux cage currently houses the cards.  Once empty, she can reuse it to hold a small house plant or fill it with laundry lint and other soft materials for nesting birds.

Birdhouse of Cards

Birdhouse of Cards

Purple cards

Lovely Lavender

Kitty in the Garden

Kitty in the Garden

blue cards

Shades of Blue

cards in a cage

Cards in a cage

Craft it Forward:

craft it forward buttonHere’s how it works. The first five people to comment on the original post receive a handmade item with the gardening nirvana touch. In return, they agree to pay it forward, crafting their own unique item for the first five people on their list. Craft it Forward encourages community, creative spirit and camaraderie. It also encourages flexibility, so I expanded my list from five to seven based on interest in the project. Isn’t it fun making your own rules?

Further, in the era of the internet, who doesn’t like ‘real’ mail? If you haven’t started your own Craft it Forward, today is a good day to get one going.

Craft it Foward: Flowers and Oscar Wilde

I’m really enjoying my Craft it Forward projects. You can read about my first project here. The second project took on a life of its own. You could even say its been a bit of a drama.

The effervescent Betsy receives the second Craft it Forward. Betsy lives life in two worlds: a life in the theater and as a wonderful homemaker for two active girls. I wanted this craft to reflect both worlds. Bets and I have a number of mutual friends from our years in the theater, but didn’t actually meet until a few years ago through our children.

The white picket fence pays homage to domestic life, a quiet home in the suburbs. Look a little closer, however and you’ll see theater come to life.  Theatre folks…

  • paint scenery (white picket fence)
  • decorate props (gold leaf)
  • ‘distress’ the new to look old (sanded gold leaf along the fence posts)
  • memorize lines (an Oscar Wilde quote lines the picket fence)
  • dress in costumes (those flowers are pretty darn theatrical.  They also happen to be her favorite color); and
  • gather on stage (or in the garden) for opening night.

The quote on the fence, printed on vellum in purple ink, says:

“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” – Oscar Wilde

Craft Supplies

Metal ‘gold’ leaf, adhesive, acrylic paint and Mod Podge

Unfinished planter box from Michael's

Unfinished planter box from Michael’s

White picket fence planter

White picket fence planter

Potted Campanula

Potted Campanula

B is for Betsy

B is for Betsy with a bit of bling

Michael J. Fox quote

The oldest form of theater is the dinner table. It’s got five or six people, new show every night, same players. Good ensemble; the people have worked together a lot. Michael J. Fox

Craft it Forward:

craft it forward buttonHere’s how it works. The first five people to comment on the original post receive a handmade item with the gardening nirvana touch.  In return, they agree to pay it forward, crafting their own unique item for the first five people on their list. Craft it Forward encourages community, creative spirit and camaraderie.  It also encourages flexibility, so I expanded my list from five to seven based on interest in the project. Isn’t it fun making your own rules?

Further, in the era of the internet, who doesn’t like ‘real’ mail?  If you haven’t started your own Craft it Forward, today is a good day to get one going.