A country fair and fundraising

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Every year, a friend and I craft our hearts making various items for various crafts shows in our area….all in an effort to do some fundraising for our American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life Team, which we’ve dubbed “Friends for Life”.  The Team name is a play on both the concept of Relay for Life, and the fact that we–and most of our team mates have BEEN friends for most of our lives.

This year’s crafts fair is the biggest one we’ve tried, and we had a good bit of success with our first effort there.  We had a lot of interest, a reasonable amount of sales, and I had the joy of sharing the fact that Relay for Life offers cancer-survivor activities at the yearly event with a few folks who weren’t aware of them. As a cancer survivor myself, being able to connect with others who have their own “battle-stories” and letting them know about how Relay works–it’s a very good thing.

To find out more about the American Cancer Society, go here.  You’ll find links with tons of information for you or a loved one dealing with cancer. And for more information on Relay for Life, our Team’s facebook page is here. We’ve already had our 2016 event and are gearing up for 2017–always looking forward. Getting involved with a Relay in your area is a way to celebrate life, remember and honor our loved ones with cancer, and to help fight back against this awful disease.praters-5


-Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

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Autumn Angels

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Some of this Fall’s craftiness has been very “retro” for me.  I can remember working with abaca literally decades ago.  If I search long enough, I’ll probably unearth a photo with the abaca butterflies I embellished with some ribbon and hung on my bedroom wall many, many moons ago.  And long-ago-me also crafted with pretty much the exact type of abaca items featured here today.

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These abaca angels are part of the items included in this year’s crafts fair booth (in my Relay for Life fundraising efforts).  abaca-angels3These heavenly creatures have been adorned with various silk leaves and coordinating ribbons, and are now all decked out in their Autumn splendor. Each is unique, and I enjoyed designing their tiny “garments” and matching the ribbons to their leafy “skirts”.  Each Autumn Abaca Angel may be used as an ornament or will stand upright, as displayed here.  I personally envision them in a grouping of 1 taller angel, flanked by two smaller ones as a table centerpiece.

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The angels’ prayerful stance inspired me to write a poem that I printed out and then crafted a tabletop art piece from, to display along with the angels.  I distressed the poem panel, mounted it onto a perfect shade of orange piece of cardstock, and then mounted all that onto a burlap frame, adorned with more silk leaves, some more ribbon, and a couple of acorns. I also printed a much smaller version of the poem and included it on a hang tag with each angel.

The poem reads thusly:

Autumn Blessings

Lord, thank You for the falling leaves,Glorious colors, And a cooler breeze.

Please bless our home, and loved ones, too.  Our Autumn Blessings are falling from You.


–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

Festive Fall Wreaths

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Autumn provides my “warmest”—and one of my happiest—decorating opportunities.  Normally one who leans toward either crisp black-and-white…or to the other extreme of subtle vintage-y pastels…I love the Fall color palette possibilities. I get to play with rich browns, golden yellows and bronzes, and the yummy clarets and oranges I usually run from the rest of the year.

This is the time of year for textures, too:  rough woven burlap; scratchy grapevines; the softness of some feather plumes; the natural beauty of freshly fallen leaves, nubby acorns, and prickly pinecones. And a wreath made with one or more of those items, and with some traditional fall icons worked in—that makes my heart sing with memories of wonderful family gatherings in times past…and look forward to what this new season will bring.

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This year’s wreath creations are four: one larger grapevine traditional round on my entry door and three smaller square-shaped ones adorning my front windows.  The three littler guys are simply adorned with some ribbon and a focal point of either a girl or boy scarecrow or this adorable little squirrel “pick” I found at my local crafts store.

The larger wreath has quite a bit more going on—with some silk foliage and three different ribbons, both wrapped and bowed to finish it off.

This lovely grouping greets me every evening after work and has me both smiling and entertaining thoughts of pumpkin pie and hot applie cider. Yum!

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

Golden oldie Autumn scene

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I’ve been blessed with a group of friends who’ve “been there” for each other for four decades or more now–through thick and thin (literally, weight-wise!), births and deaths, joy and tragedy, laughter and tears. Just basically life in general. There are 7 of us who are sisters-by-choice, and 8 of us, including my “birth-sister”. I can’t imagine my life without them, and many times, they’re the only reason I managed to survive to this point!

THREE of them have November birthdays! Whew…..but YAY, coz then I have an “excuse” to use all the wonderful Autumn-centric papercrafting goodies I love to buy….and then let fall by the wayside as I concentrate on upcoming Christmas needs. And this year, I get to play along with the new Retro Rubber Challenge, too–allowing me to happily pull out all my “golden-oldie goodies”…for my golden-oldie friends. (woops–had to dodge a shoe one of them threw at me for saying that….)

Lovely as a Tree Birthday

SO, anyway, this is my second entry for the first RRC challenge…they said we can enter as many times as we wish, and I’m just thrilled to have been able to play along. This card prominently features my oldest-bought-by-me stamp, from Lovely as a Tree, which was in the first batch of stamps I bought when I found Stampin’ UP! several years back.  I had tried so-called-stamping wayyyyyyyyy back years ago before I knew SU existed. But those weren’t fabulous SU stamps and the results I got trying to stamp then were PIT-I-FUL. Finding SU was like one of those hallelujah-moments they have on tv shows when a spotlight beams down on whatever fabulous-thing the hero learns.  Yup, THAT much difference in the quality and results!

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I’ve once again used a bunch of oldie-stuff and a bunch of new goodies to create my card:  Apothecary Accents and Ovals Framelits (current) frame the stamped trees, and the retired Adorning Accents Edgelits and Embossing Folder shape the card; the current Woodgrain Embossing Folder was used on a piece of Color Me Autumn dsp (love how it gave such a distressed finish to back up the stamped panel), and I’ve added retired buttons with some current Linen Thread bows. My colors are all current SU (I’m completely in love with Mossy Meadow right now), and I’ve used both SU markers and Blendabilities to get my tree scene colored to my liking. I saved the happy-birthday greetings for inside my card, in a hand-written note, which I surrounded by randomly stamped leaves from the Fall Fest set from the holiday catty. I let some of the images show up from the front of the card when closed.

Hopefully, my dear “old” friend–who is a nature-lover and talented artist–will appreciate my attempts to create a “painted scene” for her. Since I can’t even draw stick people myself–stamping lets me feel like an artist, too! Thanks for sharing this walk down an Autumn lane with me and for visiting my Little Corner today!

Everything Old is New Again

It feels like forever since I last uploaded a project and wrote a post! I’ve had tons going on in other areas of my life, and a lot of it has been crafty-stuff, but I just haven’t had the time or opportunity to play along with any challenges lately.  I made an exception this weekend–just in time to complete a couple of needed birthday cards….and to join in on a new challenge at Retro Rubber. Since I’m a hobby-stamper, I’m thrilled with this “new” concept that “oldies are goodies”!  (Hey, we non-spring-chickens need to support each other!)

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In keeping with the retro/old concept, I went really vintage with my card. Lots of distressing, sanding, inking, spotting with the not-so-old Gorgeous Grunge stamp set, a run through with the also-old Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder, and there’s also another old SU stamp on here (the “punkin” from Harvest Home, which I still love). But there are some new touches on here, too–the candy dots and the wonderful little wooden leaf accents and a piece from the fall dsp in this year’s holiday catty.

This card fits the “use your oldest stamp” challenge in a couple of ways. First, it includes my Lovely as a Tree part of the image as a portion of the background. My Lovely stamp set was in the first batch of stamps I purchased when I discovered SU about 6 years ago, when my stepdaughter did a short stint as a Stampin’ UP! demo and managed to infect me with the stamping bug in a big way.  Thankfully, since it’s STILL current (and I’ll never part with it even when it’s not!) this stamp set proves that some things DO get better with age…I’m hoping that translates itself to both my stamping AND my everyday life.

Happy Birthday stamp

However, that’s not the oldest stamp on this card.  The “Happy Birthday” sentiment is part of an SU! set that was given to me by a dear friend when she cleaned out her crafts closet a couple years ago. Her kind gift included a bunch of consumable goodies that I’ve long since used up for various Relay for Life activities (her reason for the donation), but there were several really good SU stamp sets in there, and I’ve had a ball using every one of them on lots of different projects. I have no idea of the name of the set, but in it there are several more lovely script sentiments similar to this one…and the decal on the stamp says it’s Stampin’ UP!–copyright 1999!  And THIS proves that timeless beauty really does transcend the years!

I’m very much looking forward to the next Retro Rubber challenge–it’s fun to get inky again! Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

Autumn Wreath

Fall Wreath 2014

I love to make wreaths–it’s a craft/hobby/whatever I’ve stuck with for *ahem* over 40 years. (wow, I’m old!)

I used to think I preferred making Christmas wreaths–but that’s likely because the materials to make one have been readily available for all these decades, whether natural or store-bought components. But getting out in late-late summer and early Autumn to gather fresh materials is almost impossible for me to do, allergy-wise. So when the retail stores realized that folks enjoyed decorating for every season and made so many beautiful things available for each–that are entirely allergen-free hopefully!–I discovered that I actually like making Autumn wreaths and florals the best.

I’m typically NOT a gold-yellow-orange-red kinda color-girl. My favorite color is blue, which is definitely not a typical fall hue, so my utter lovefest with all things Autumn is befuddling. Why a person whose favorite place in the world is the beach would choose fall as their favorite season is a source of consternation…since that person is ME.

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Where I live now, I don’t have the opportunity to decorate anything the way I want to–no room, no time, etc. So I usually settle for elaborately-bedecking the front door in a seasonally-inspired wreath. This year’s involved a profusion of mum-like deep-orange flowers and a batch of multi-colored silk leaves, all against a backdrop of burlap and mesh. (I was quite thrilled to finally figure out how to work with deco-mesh to my satisfaction, but it took a lot of Google research on the topic before I did!)

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And while I was at it with the wreath-making, I took the previously-hanging grapevine and silk-ivy wrapped wreath and added some of the fall florals, along with a huge burlap-ribbon bow.

Now, even though I can’t safely go out and play in all the upcoming falling leaves, I can enjoy the warm and rich colors of the season as they welcome me at the front door. I’ve got Autumn-beauty coming and going!

Thanks for visiting my seasonally-appropriate Little Corner today!

Ghosts of Halloweens past…

Skeerkrows by 2Ks&aT

Okay, so these aren’t ghosts. And they aren’t too skeery as Halloween ghouls go, but I wanted to throw them in here now, as I begin to work on my Halloween goodies. I just “re-found” a couple of these that I had stashed in with my fall papers and such and was thrilled to see how well they’ve held up–for two years now!  These were created in a fun afternoon crafting project with my niece and great-niece, who was only eight at the time, and I think she did a fabulous job.  Honestly, I don’t even remember who did which one–although I’m leaning toward thinking the youngest girl amongst us may have been the one applying the bright pink lips. I do remember that playing with the Big Shot was a BIG hit as we cranked out the Top Note Dies that are the bases for these darlings.

BC6 Scarecrow

This little lady to the left is the version I made for a Breast Cancer Awareness project. I decked her out complete with an actual earring (amazing how I’ve accumulated so many lone costume jewelry earrings through the years), and a real pink-ribbon-rose. She was all pink and purty and dressed up to hawk my Relay for Life’s team efforts back in October, 2012. Our theme for the month was, “Help us Scare Up a Cure”, and we mixed the BCA October Pink Ribbon month with Halloween ghoulies throughout the month to drum up interest–and funds–for our American Cancer Society Relay team. It was the beginning to a successful year for the Team, and it was a fun way to get us all on board with the effort.

The idea for the scarecrow came from here from the uber-talented Rae at Wild West Paper Arts. The die makes it easy to do, and the fun is in the “dressing up” on this one. Seeing these today got me a bit more fired up to get cracking on some new Autumn projects!


–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

A Freshly Royal Masculine Birthday

Another November day, another birthday card needed. Today just happens to be my brother’s birthday, so I designed him a fall-ish, masculine, upbeat card, thanks to two design challenges this week.

I love it when I can find inspiration for exactly what I need when I need the perfect card.

The sketch at Freshly Made Sketches provided my layout. I’ve been wanting to make a “wreath” out of the many fall foliage stamps and stamp brush sets SU offers, and this sketch gave the perfect opportunity. I added layers and layers of leaves and pine cones to create  Autumn-splendorous sprays around the circular base.

My color palette was provided by Stampin’ Royalty‘s lovely fall-inspired selection this week. The perfect warm and comfy-cozy colors to evoke just the right feeling of wanting to kick back in front of a fireplace and enjoy the smell of pine cones crackling in the fire…and hot chocolate to go with a bit of pumpkin pie.  Hmmm, maybe in this case we better make it some coffee and birthday cake!

For my card, I used the leaves, branches, and pine cones found in the Autumn Traditions Digital Kit.  The sentiment is from Elementary Elegance (love that font!). I added some digi-buttons and grosgrain knots, and some texture to the base cardstock with an overlay. This took a while to create, even digitally, because I really played and played with the arrangement of the leaves and pine cones.  Making a wreath takes time–even if it’s on paper or on a computer screen!

Happy birthday to my wonderful brother…and thanks for visiting my Little Corner today! –Terri

Some CAS Punkins

 

BOO! My happy lil Halloween card today was inspired by two challenges this time, Hand Stamped Sentiments #139, and a new challenge blog at CAS(E) this Sketch! I’m trying to flex my creative muscles a bit and go outside my comfort zone….and Clean and Simple is NOT comfortable for me! Thankfully, this site said that texture was okay in the “white space”, so I decided to give it a whirl.

First the sketch.  This one really is a great sketch to work with, especially for someone who doesn’t come naturally to the clean and simple table. (I also made another card, with a Christmas-y theme to enter twice!)  I chose NOT to add a sentiment, since I’d already done the embossing and since I already had some layers going on here with my circle punches. These clean and simple rules are tough, but I gave it my best shot.

The theme challenge at Hand Stamped Sentiments is, obviously, perfect for this time of year. “Punkins” are evocative of all that is happy and bright about Autumn, Halloween, and harvest time. Whether you’re carving your punkin into a jack-o-lantern, as on my card, or digging into some homemade pumpkin pie, they’re always good for a smile and a happy memory of family and friends, and all the joy that accompanies Fall.

My card has the added bonus of Stampin’ Up!’s “Little Boo”–sadly, retired–who will probably always be my favorite Halloween stamp.  Lil Boo reminds me of all the sweet little trick-or-treating kids in my family through the years, and on my card, I imagine him skipping along the punkin patch on his way to the next house for some goodies.  Of course, he’ll have to watch out for the big ole spider web, courtesy of the cute (and current) SU embossing folder.

I love all the opportunities out here in blogland to be creative and share the fun with other crafters. It’s a great way to grow and learn and enjoy the tremendous talent in the papercrafting world!

Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today! –Terri

An Autumn Wreath

This is one of those “3-D” kinds of paper projects that allows me to enjoy the overlap between the various crafts I love so much. My crafting life began when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old, watching my granny embroider, and I guess I’ve dabbled in most of the fabric crafts to some extent. One of my fave things to create with printed fabrics was wreaths. I’ve been making wreaths of one kind or another for many, many years. And I’ve actually made one from paper before–but that was back in the 80’s when there was a “paper-twist” craze. I’d buy hanks and rolls of different colors of paper, all twist-ied up into what ended up being a strong cord-like strand. You could use it like that…or untwist it and cut it into shapes….I’ve got an old photo of one I made somewhere around here still.

Now, however, SU’s dies offer me another way to work with fabric or paper to create a one of a kind wreathly work of art. I used a retired SU Bigz Die to cut out each of the leaves on this wreath, using a mixture of DSP and cardstock from the SU collections.  For THIS wreath, I went green. Nope, not too much green ink or paper…just some serious recycling going on here…and using up some old paper stash.

The base of this wreath is made from the packaging material included in shipments from Stampin’ Up!…it’s a long coil of kraft-colored paper that’s both strong and pliable….and it’s an excellent source of great up-cycling opportunities.  I took the packing and opened it out flat, cut it vertically into three really LONG strips (my wreath is about 24-inches in diameter), and then folded each strip vertically….and then braided it. I took apart a wire clothes hanger and wove it through the braided paper and twisted it all into a circular shape. While time consuming, it was super easy to make a completely FREE wreath form/base to work with. And it was already in the neutral color I wanted for my base.

I cut maybe 250 million leaves with my Bigz Die.  Well, that may be a slight exaggeration–but I cut a LOT. There were four different leaf shapes to work with, and I WORKED a lot on them, too. I sponged the edges of every single leaf with a similar or deeper color, and then I put “veins” on each leaf with my bone folder. And then I folded each leaf up and curved them and shaped them a bit with the bone folder too. This gave them a bit more “movement”.

Then I took my trusty glue gun, and randomly glued these lovely leaves all around my wreath base.

This wreath took a lot of time to create, but it was a project that I was able to work on “in stages”, as I sat watching tv or relaxing. The interim wreath result with the leaves attached looked like the photo to the left (here with a couple other projects I was working on at the time.)  At this point, I had also made a paper bow using some more of the packaging material. But I knew I wasn’t quite done with this … and I knew I wanted to do some more upcycling.

Which led me to making a bunch of flowers, using my Blossom punch. I punched a bajillion individual flowers with my punch, sponged all the edges in various colors already used on the leaves on the wreath, and then assembled five or six layers together, scrunched up all nicely, and held together with a brad in the center. Each of these “dried flowers” was then glued randomly around the wreath, to give it more fullness.

To finish off this many-layered creation, pictured at the top of this post, I added some lengths of SU ribbon and some tulle–again randomly glued around the wreath, among the leaves. I also added some ribbon and tulle lengths to my original bow, which I had already split into thinner strips to make the overall bow more in proportion with the rest of the wreath.

Since this IS a paper creation, it hangs on my front door inside a storm door, out of the way of any rain that might threaten it, but it’s glued together so well, it’d take a hurricane-strength wind to tear it apart!   By the way, although I used retired SU product on THIS wreath, the current SU Holiday catalog includes a brand NEW Bigz Die–Autumn Accents–that has four lovely leaf shapes AND a cute little acorn. I intend to make another one of these with the new die and lovely new autumn-patterned papers very soon!

Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today! –Terri