Breaking routine for weekend art experience

I spent the weekend with inky fingers, creating art with my peers at Artiscape in Dublin, Ohio. I had so been looking forward to the annual weekend-long event. My friend Cathy and I travel together – she’s the driver. We left Friday morning and took nearly the whole day to get there, stopping at any antique store along our path. We even ventured into one estate sale where we scored some interesting objects!

We took a little side trip to Wapakoneta to visit Gild the Lily, a lovely little antique shop we visited about three years ago. We were so glad we made to effort to get there because Glenna, who is 90 years old and the shop’s owner, was selling everything off in preparation for her retirement. We had a lovely chat with her and I bought some beautiful vintage lace to use in classes and on my own projects. Love my road trips with Cathy!


My first class Saturday was with Nancy Curry, who I was not familiar with, but her class sample intrigued me. I’m so glad I ventured into her class. It was three hours of play time with intense water colors, beautiful fibers and beads and I am so pleased with the final results. I walked away with a new enthusiasm for playing with watercolors!

green_door_studio_artiscape_tin640Saturday afternoon I played with burned band-aid tins, rusted metal, vintage papers and old photos. This wonderful little tin houses an adorable mini book created from small Formica tiles, vintage papers and other little dangly things all tied together with raggedy muslin. I would have never thought old rusty stuff could look so nice. Four full hours of creative, free-flow fun with Lesley Venable! It doesn’t get much better than this – unless, you get to do it all over again Sunday!

And I did! Sunday’s class with Lesley included a kit with more Formica tile samples – large ones this time! In the bag were also vintage cabinet cards and papers, mica and a few other little trinkets. Another three hours of free, creative time, chatting with new friends and sharing a laugh or two.

green_door_studio_artiscape_tag640There’s something to be said about breaking routine, meeting new friends and being open to learning new techniques.

It’s good to get away and enjoy new experiences, but now it’s back to work. We’re prepping this week for the popular Davisburg Antique Festival.

This will be our first major show so it’s a little nerve-racking trying to figure out what to take and how to get it there. I spent an hour today making a list of necessary items to bring along with the furniture. Stuff like phone charging cord, rope, signage, Sharpie, credit card reader and so much more! My biggest fear is we’ll get out there, the show will start and THEN I realize I forgot a very important thing like the change box! Hoping for good weather and lots of people who like to shop. Search out our booth – we’ll be in the tented section (not quite sure where that is). It’s a great show and they have lots of fair food – love me some elephant ears!

This mini makes me happy

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotI’m often asked which Xyron machine is my favorite and for this assignment that’s exactly what the Xyron people wanted to know. Such a difficult question to answer – especially for me. I own, love and use them all and have for all my crafting years. My Xyron 1.5″ Sticker Maker was purchased on my very first night of scrapbooking at a crop. I had no idea what I was doing back then but realized quickly this was one little special tool! It didn’t take me long to purchase the 5″ Creative Station then before I knew it I just had to have the 9″ Creative Station because I make a load of mini books. So, for this tutorial I chose the 9″ Creative Station as my favorite (though I did bring in the my 5″ and 1.5″ machine as well).

I’ve wanted to make a little book like this ever since I seen the one, Heather Conklin, fellow Xyron Design Team member made last year. So here’s my version!

I began with a paper pad from KaiserCraft – Telegraph Road. I also used craft-colored paper to cut my own tags to make the pages.


The papers were cut, punched and inked before running them through the Xyron 9″ Creative Station. Love my Xyron machines! Xyron makes it so easy to create beautiful mini books. The papers are secure on the backgrounds and I never worry of any of them lifting.


Then just remove the top covering of cellophane, peel and stick.


When the pages were all decorated I stitched them around the edges a bit randomly. Half the finished pages were processed through the Xyron 9″ Creative Station so I could stick them back-to-back with the remaining pages.




This book contains five pages back-to-back with room for photos on both sides. Holes punched in the top allow book rings to hold it together and hang from the Ikea Tolsby frame. I added photos of my adorable grand-dogs, punched flowers, some ribbons and punch-outs from the paper pack to finish it off.







This is a wonderful way to display some of your favorite photos and Xyron makes it so easy to make!

Back to School in mini style

linda_mug_2014This little book came together so quickly and easily you’ll want to make one for each child, grandchild or friend’s child!  linda_neff_Xyron_Pebbles_back_to_school_mini_9

I started with four 12X12 sheets of pattern paper by Pebbles back to school collection: Notebook, Scissors, Apples and Rulers. They’re all double-sided so it’s like working with eight sheets! I also used Pebbles back to school stickers: Accent Stickers 6, 7 & 56; Accent & Phrase Stickers 10 & 18. Frames by Studio Calico, Xyron 5″ Creative Sticker Maker and Xyron Creatopia – both with permanent adhesive, Perfect Paper Crafting layering ruler, Ranger’s Black Archival Ink (for edging all papers), Westcott scissors and a paper trimmer.


After measuring the library pockets the paper is cut to fit just inside the pocket with about an 1/8″ edge from the library pocket edge and at least 3/4″ down inside the pocket. I cut small pieces to fit the bottom flap and larger pieces to cover the entire back. All paper edges are inked.


After it’s all inked, all the papers are passed through the Xyron 5″ Creative Station and Xyron Creatopia to place a solid covering of adhesive on the back.


After every piece is run through I then, flip and rub the back before peeling the top layer of plastic coating off, so it looks like this – all nicely lined up and ready to peel-and-stick!


It is so easy to simply peel the papers from the Xyron backing and adhere them to the library pockets in manner you wish. I like to mix up the patterns to create lots of contrast.


The fun comes with decorating each little pocket. The Pebbles stickers made this part really easy as well! I had the sticker Frames by Studio Calico so opted to stick them to white cardstock (so photos could be added later) and then use the Perfect Paper Crafting layering ruler to cut a 1/8″ frame around the sticker frames.


Then I ran these through my Xyron 2.5″ Create-A-Sticker and stuck them to the back side of the library pockets. Cool eh?

Once I started using the stickers I couldn’t stop! They’re just so stinkin’ cute and show me a kid who doesn’t love bright, colorful stickers! These pages turned out so cute and will easily hold 3X5″ photos. Just print your photos and tuck them into the pockets for a great Back-to-School memory book.


I used the Crop-a-dile to punch a hole in the upper right corner and inserted a book ring to hold it all together. I love this and I know just the person I’m going to give it to!