Ugly box upcycle

linda_mug_2014I’ve basically built my new business on upcycles and redos so when I received a collection of Anna Griffin products from Xyron I knew I wanted to upcycle a box of some sort.

I hit up our local Salvation Army on Senior Day – one of the perks of getting older – to see what they might have. I selected this bright, bold and ugly box with three drawers. It was just gaudy enough to demand a redo.

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I know it looks like it might have six drawers but there are actually only three.  I thought about painting the base but then opted to leave it white and go with it.

I measured the beautiful Anna Griffin papers to fit the sides, top and drawer fronts. Then I inked all the edges with Ranger’s Black Archival Ink and processed them all through my Xyron 5″ Creative Station with permanent adhesive.

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The full adhesive coverage of Xyron makes the paper stick really well to all parts of the wooden box. I removed the knobs from the drawer fronts and painted them white to coordinate with the papers then reattached them after the papers were in place.

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I also cut more of the coordinating papers to fit the insides of the drawers as well.

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I had this idea that I would create several little 3″ by 3″ note cards to tuck in the drawers. I think I made nine and could have kept going. These are so easy to make using the scraps of papers left over from the box fitting as well as the cute Anna Griffin Stickers and cardstock borders. I just snipped the borders in intervals of 2 3/4″ and adhered them to the card front.

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A silver, gold or white marker would add a touch of elegance to whatever little note you wanted to send to someone! They store really nicely inside the little drawers. So the next time you’re perusing the aisles or your local resale shop take note of those ugly little boxes or trays that you can transform quickly and easily with pretty papers and a Xyron machine!

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Happy birthday, precious

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotOur baby turned 30 last week.

It’s been a rough road for her over the past year or two but she’s a survivor and I know in my heart she will come out on top and happy. She’s been tough and head-strong since day one and always presents an upbeat and positive attitude – if only on the outside some days. The photo I pulled out to use in these projects reminded me of that.

When this picture was taken, it had been a rough week. She was so sick but still smiling and happy through it all – just taking it all in stride.

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I had some projects due for Xyron – birthday and baby themes. The timing was perfect to work both those projects around Rachel and her birthday.

For this card I started with a plain A2 card cutting a pattern and coordinated cardstock to use for the matting on the front and inked all the edges with Ranger’s Archival Pitch Black Ink.

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Then I ran all the paper pieces and photo through my Xyron 5″ Creative Station.

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It is so quick-and-easy to assemble the card once the adhesive is on the back of each piece – just peel-and-stick!

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I used the same photo on a scrapbook layout as well. I have to admit, the layout isn’t my usual distressed style but I really like it. I started with the die-cut hearts (Sizzix Primitive Hearts), some burlap cut for the photo mat, coordinating yarn, a couple vintage white buttons, and some scrap lace. I cut the title from my Sizzix Go Slim alphabet die. I was able to process all these pieces through my Xyron Creatopia using the Stickz Fabric Adhesive at one time – love it!

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Once I peeled off the top cellophane layer all I had to do was peel-and-stick onto my background cardstock. I am so happy with the results of this layout and couldn’t believe just how quick-and-easy it was to put together using the Creatopia. It just makes me smile every time I pass by this layout on the table. I’m going to have to put away soon.

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This layout is one piece of a three-piece collection centered around a baby theme. The other pieces include an adorable fabric bunny and a cute frame for baby’s room.

The fabric bunny is one of three that was cut and processed through the Xyron Creatopia with the Stickz Fabric Refill. I then stuffed them, ever-so-slightly, with a tad of polyester stuffing and stuck them together. The Xyron Fabric adhesive holds the stuffing and opposite side into place for stitching.

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I also cut more fabric hearts, stuffed and stitched and processed the title ‘Precious,’ and the hearts through the Xyron 5″ Creative Station with the 5″ Permanent Adhesive Refill. These were used to decorate a black, framed mirror. The entire collection looks really nice together and would make wonderful gifts as a group or on their own.

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Projects like these make me realize that sometimes simple really is the way to go!

Up against the wall …

Linda_Neff_mug_shot_2013I’ve been dying to share this project with you all since I finished it the other day! It is so not-my-style, but I love it just the same!

It’s the week of projects created from the partnership between Xyron’s Design Team and Little Yellow Bicycle. I have always loved Little Yellow Bicycle products and was so excited to receive my generous packet of supplies with their newest collection – Acorn Hollow. As much as I love mini books I wanted to do something different with the canvas mini book I received. I wasn’t sure what, but after discovering the sticker collection with the title “5 Things I am thankful for” I decided six book pages would be perfect to work with – one for the title and five more for the 5 things.

I started decorating the book’s pages individually using the 6-by-6-inch papers with no focus in mind really other than I would have six finished squares. Using the Xryon Creatopia made it so easy-peazy to cover the pages. I was able to line two 6-by-6 inch papers side-by-side and run them through the machine. After all six were sticky back I just needed to peel-and-stick the papers to the pages.

They needed a finished edge and I originally inked them with Ranger Black Soot Distress Ink but it didn’t feel right. A lot of the embellies with this collection are highlighted with copper so I dug out my Ranger Adirondack Metallic Copper Paint Dabber and gave that a shot. It was perfect! After all, Fall is all about the glow!

To make the paper leaves and flowers more dimensional I rolled them gently with a stylus on a mouse pad until they curled and then outlined them with the copper paint. The Acorn Hollow collection has so many different embellishments that were just so darn cute that I just kept layering and layering! I layered the chipboard embellies with the paper ones and ran the clear acetate embellies through the Xyron 2.5″ Create-a-Sticker Maker to hold them flat and in place. This project was just so much fun!

    

So, I have the six squares finished and I experimented with laying them out and hanging them like a banner. I really liked them stacked and thought they would look nice framed and on a wall. Went to the garage and rummaged around for different pieces of junque to mount them to and came across an old photo collage frame pained in country blue – yes, you remember the style. Wasn’t sure what I was going to place inside the frame for the background but proceeded to take the frame apart to paint it and clean the glass.

I settled on a black frame (Ranger Adirondack Pitch Black Paint Dabber) and highlighted with touches here and there using the Copper Paint Dabber that I edged the pages in. I really like the way it was going. I decided on a plain black background so painted the corrugated cardboard backing and turned it to the inside. While, when I was replacing the glass I broke it so was left with just the painted cardboard. That actually worked out well because it gives it a more rustic feel which I like. I mounted the finished squares with dimensional foam tape to pop them up just a bit. It looks really nice! It’s big. It measures 17-inches by 22-inches.

I wanted to make a scrapbook layout too because I had papers and embellies left over – there’s still enough left to make several cards – so chose some pictures from my favorite place to visit, Sunset Shores in Clare. The photos worked well with the papers and embellies. This layout is a bit more my style. A little torn up and distressed. I stamped on the tan background paper with Archival Jet Black ink, heat set, and then spritzed it with a homemade concoction of Perfect Pearls Heirloom Gold and water.

Hope you like and be sure to visit the Xyron and Little Yellow Bicycle blog all week long to see what my other team members are up to!

Six ways to say Thank You …

In honor of Xyron’s partnership this week with Quick Quotes I made a fall-themed gift bag full of greeting cards. I don’t know about you but I’m always in need of just the right card to send for birthdays, a quick thank you, or just a card to say ‘hi.’  This great little gift is self-contained: five cards, five envelopes, stamps and all tucked neatly into a coordinating gift bag!

It’s a breeze to create, especially when using coordinating paper packs like the Cherry Truffle pack I used from Quick Quotes. I began by making five cards, all with different sentiments to cover several occasions. A few have some unique features to them, just to add a little special touch here-and-there. On this ‘Life’ card I used a Fred Mullet stamp, clear embossing ink and ultra thick clear embossing powder. By using the clear embossing ink and powder it lets the beauty of the paper show through while giving a look and feel of dimension and texture. The sentiment is stamped in Ranger Coffee Archival ink, heat set and then I spread Dried Marigold Distress ink on my non-stick craft sheet, spritzed it with water and lightly brushed it over the sentiment to add a hint of color. Love the final results!

I’ve always loved the concept of incheys but don’t have the patience to decorate those small 1-inch pieces of paper so I take the easy way out by punching scalloped squares with an old punch from McGill. It’s a 15/16″ and I back it with a 1-inch square punched coordinating cardstock. I love the look and have used it many times on cards and scrapbook pages. On this card the scallop square is punched from papers in the Cherry Truffle line and edged lightly with Ranger Gold Acrylic Paint Dabber. I run all the squares through my Xyron 1.5″ Create-a-Sticker, stack them together, place them on the background then pierce through the center and brads in each one.

Here’s a look at all the cards that fit inside the little bag.

The bag is made from one sheet of 6X12″ cardstock and is decorated using the Cherry Truffle papers, scallop border punch and Xyron 5″ Creative Station.

I finished it off by adding a vellum quote from Quick Quotes processed through the 5″ Creative Station. I love Xyron machines for vellum papers. The adhesive totally coats the back of the vellum so nothing shows through except the background paper – as it should be!

I sprinkled some clear embossing powder to a couple pieces from the Quick Quotes Bag o’ Chips after heating them with my heat gun and then melted the powder. By not using ink it gives more of a random look, which is what I like. These are dangled from the ribbon handle. All that’s left to do is insert the cards, envelopes and stamps and your gift is ready for presentation!

Fall workshops are just around the corner …

Even though temps are still pretty high around here my attention is focused on Fall – Fall workshops that is. I’ve been working on several projects this summer that will be offered this Fall as workshops and I wanted to share some sneak peeks with you all. My calendar is being updated as workshops get confirmed so check back often.

The first is this Christmas-themed configurations tray using Graphic 45 papers, Art Glitter, Globecraft Memories and Xyron. Go figure! I managed to work them all into one project that I think you’ll love to display each year during the holiday season. We’ll work with acrylic paints, inks, embossing powders, fussy-cutting, glitters and so much more! I’ve titled it “Compliments of the Season.”

This next workshop, “Glimmers of Hope,” came about as I was designing a project for the Graphic 45, Art Glitter and Want2Scrap Blog Hop recently. The project received so many nice compliments (thank you to all of you for those!), and is able to work so nicely into a workshop. I’ll teach you how to turn a Graphic 45 plain craft-paper box and accordion book into a beautiful keepsake. Once again, we’ll use those gotta-have-’em papers from Graphic 45, Art Glitter and Ranger products – more technique!

Who doesn’t love hand-made ornaments? These cute little globe ornaments from Globecraft Memories are so much fun to create with. You can put just about anything inside them – they’re not just for the holiday season! This workshop will really get into fussy-cutting using some Crafty Secrets cut-out sheets. We’ll add some bling, by way of Art Glitter and Want2Scrap and you’ll be able to play with the new Piccolo embossing enamels from Globecraft Memories too! Join me in this “Victorian Gewgaw” workshop.

There are a couple more in the works still. As soon as the samples are done you’ll find them here so check back often! Any of these workshops can also be scheduled for private groups of six of more in your home or other location. Contact me via my email: lneffscraps@gmail.com  to make arrangements.

Operation Write Home

Xyron and We R Memory Keepers have partnered to help support Operation Write Home, an organization that provides handmade cards to deployed soldiers so they can write home to their families and loved ones.

Xyron Design Team members are participating and samples of all the great cards have been shared throughout the week on Ain’t She Crafty. Hop on over there to check them all out!

For my cards, I took a cue from my friend Robin who has participated in Operation Write Home frequently. She’s mailed hundreds of cards to the organization that she and friends have made and also those from our Cracker Jack Stampers club. Her cards for this organization are always beautiful without being real dimensional for mailing purposes. She tends to be able to stretch a little paper a long way, yet create a good quality card.

I made several cards using paper by WeR Memory Keepers and a few stamps from my stash that have been in my collection for so long I honestly don’t know which company they are (help me out if anyone recognizes them). I just love the softness of the colors in the collections and was even able to create a cute little baby congrats card without any stamping! These lines coordinate extremely well and the embellishments are perfect on the front as the sentiment, which makes it easy for anyone to be able to create a card with just a few tools. The cards are all held together with Xyron’s Mega Runner and 1/2″ Dot Adhesive, which is quickly becoming a favorite of mine!

Please join us in the worthwhile project! Click the links above for complete information! Happy card making!

Fireworks anyone?

ART GLITTER AND DREAMWEAVER STENCILS ARE TEAMING UP THE ENTIRE MONTH OF JUNE TO BRING YOU AN AMAZING CREATIVE COLLABORATION MIXING DREAMWEAVER STENCILS AND ART GLITTER. COME ALONG FOR THE RIDE…WE PROMISE IT WILL BE A SPARKLING ONE!

Visit the Art Glitter blog and the Dream It Up! blog for fabulous inspiration from both talented design teams. We are encouraging all of you to play along with the challenge of creating with Dreamweaver Stencils and Art Glitter*, preferably using the Double-Glitter Technique. Just link your creation to the Mr. Linky on the Dream It Up! blog, or email pics to lynell@dreamweaverstencils.com, for an opportunity to win one of four fabulous glitter and stencil prize packages. One winner is chosen each week. (US and Canada only, please).
*For the month of June Art Glitter is selling 1 oz jars of glitter for $5.98 (regular price $7.32)! Get the details HERE!

In addition to my post here, you’ll find another Art Glitter project from me over on the Art Glitter blog.

Now, on to the fireworks! I love watching fireworks shoot in the sky. Makes no matter to me if it’s small ones shot in the backyard or if we make the trek to Kensington or Fowlerville to see them – I just love to watch them!

When I ordered this Stencil LX7012, Waves and Dots, I had no intention to use it on a Fourth of July card, but that’s just the way my mind works sometimes. At first glance I originally seen retro with pinks and oranges so how it got to red, white and blue I have no idea; but I love it!

After soaping the backside of my stencil I adhered it to Art Glitter’s Sticky Paper.  Then I noticed it – stencil LX7012 has a lot of tiny little holes in it – a LOT of tiny little holes. I wanted those to be filled in with red glitter so that meant I had to cover all those tiny little holes. Dreamweaver sticky paper to the rescue. I cut it in a couple little strips then into little tiny squares and taped over all those tiny little holes.

Trust me, covering all those tiny little holes takes time but the end result is fantastic!

I really wanted to try my friend Laura’s technique with Art Glitter’s Ariel Dazzlers (D16) so they went down first. I pressed them in like she said and tapped off the excess before filling in with Pacifica Microfine Transparent (701) glitter.

The larger pieces in this mix are the Dazzlers.

Once the blues were down I carefully brushed all loose glitter away from my stencil and workspace so as to not contaminate my blank sticky paper when removing the little squares covering all those tiny little holes; the craft knife worked really good for this.

See, some of those little Dazzlers pieces still snuck into the holes!

The Ruby Red Microfine Opaque (500) glitter was perfect to fill in all those tiny little holes – don’t you agree?

Tap off excess and again, I was careful to brush all glitters away from my work station to avoid contamination of my blank sticky paper background. Flip the stencil over so it is resting on the desktop and carefully peel away the stencil (this little tip helps prevent the stencil from bending) and this is what I ended up with after sprinkling on Winter White Microfine Transparent (711) glitter onto the remaining blank Sticky Paper.

I used this finished paper to make this AaaaHSome 4th of July card! Stamped the sentiment SSC 1094 with Jet Black Archival Ink onto white cardstock, cut it out then framed that with red cardstock. I matted the glittered paper onto a dark blue cardstock, wrapped a piece of May Arts silk ribbon in Navy around that piece before adhering to the white card. The sentiment is popped up with dimensional foam dots and added to the card front to get the finished look below.

Happy Fourth!