Thursday, January 29, 2015

Stash Dash 2015 - Organize Your Fabric Like a Mini Fabric Store

Do you ever have fabric envy? A few years ago we had dinner at a friend's house, and she was amazing at making hats. They lived on some land and resided in a house that was built onto the original log cabin on the land. It was still a tiny house - but inside she had created a jewel box of beautiful decorating and handmade art. Even though it was a teeny tiny house, she had managed to create one tiny room with nothing but shelves for fabric. She had so much fabric, and much of it was on the big bolts, just like in the fabric store. So that meant it was very organized, efficient, and she could always see what she had on hand.
My fabric, what little I have, has been a mess for too long. I don't have fabric store size bolts to wrap it around, but I did decide I could wrap it around something and organize it like she did. 
So, I destroyed a couple of cardboard boxes and went to work! I cut rectangular pieces of cardboard (my mini version of the bolts), and I found that when I folded even the most unruly cut-up pieces of fabric into some kind of long folded rectangle, it would wrap very nicely around the cardboard pieces, and then file right into a square box, basket or tub.
I tried to keep like colors together, and I am happy not only with being able to actually see everything I have, but the fact that the fabric will stay more wrinkle free now. What a simple solution!
Best of all, I can go shop for fabric, knowing that I'm not duplicating what I already had. And if there's something in my stash that will serve the project, even better. No shopping trip needed!

Click here to see five simple rules in dashing your stash.

We had dinner a few times out at my friend's tiny log cabin jewel box house before she moved into a bigger home. And the way she did things and made things and transformed that tiny space influenced me forever. I will always love the handmade, the created-from-scraps, the hand-of-the-artist look to everything. It holds much more beauty, personality, richness and character than anything mass produced.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WOYWW 295 - The Typist

Happy Wednesday desker lovelies! Click here to visit the brave crafty souls who are revealing what's on their worktables today at Ms. Julia's Stamping Ground. Right now my desk is 30% typewriter, 20% embroidery, 30% bits and bobs, 10% art journaling, and 10% tag making.

Let's see what have I been doing...
1- Making a concerted effort to shop my stash and cut down on my visits to Michaels and JoAnns. (cut down, people...not cut out)
2- Using a sunny morning to have a little photo shoot with my typewriter...typing up fun little sayings I can use on future blog posts and maybe in my crafty book.
3- Working in my junk journal (on the left) I made last year. Want to make another one!
4- Finishing up my second matryoshka doll cross-stitch--still haven't decided if they will be a banner, pillows or an art quilt! I'm just having fun stitching them and watching Downton Abbey. I tend to watch every episode at least twice, because there is so much to look at, I don't catch everything the first time. Love that Maggie Smith...she has the best lines this season! I remember seeing her in The Prime of Miss Jean Brody long, long ago and loved her then!
5- Kind of missing the old days with the typewriter--would love to create some actual book pages with it. A miracle that all the ribbons I bought for this thing in 1990 are still perfectly good.

I hope you are feeling happy, creative, and healthy today.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tag Tuesday Feathers

Today's theme is "Feathers" over at Tag Tuesday - click here to visit and share!
I often enter a drawing for a random box of crafty goodies from an online craft shop, and one week with no notice, a box arrived on my doorstep. It was full of bird stuff! But it was crafty bird stuff. I really had no idea what to do with it all, and included were some feathers, so today I had a great reason to use this pretty feather. It was also a good time to pull out my super cute owl stamp from Unity.

I was in a hurry though, so lucky for me I still have a little stack of tags from a gelli plate painting session, and some diecut hearts and flowers from a diecutting session using food packaging that I cut up and keep for that purpose. It gets upcycled very nicely when you cut it all, paint it, and even glitter it if you like. It's time though to load up my container of pretty diecuts again though, so the Big Shot will be going to work soon.

Anyhoo, visit Tag Tuesday. Make your own art tags - I plan to sell some of mine at a craft fair this spring, so don't forget to add sentiments to them - they also make great cards.

Happy Tuesday!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Monday, January 26, 2015

Scrap Happy with Stash

Click here for five simple rules for Stash Dash 2015

Do you love your scraps? When you make a vow to shop your stash and use your scraps, you start to feel more creative and love what you have! 

I am playing in my junk journal today (photo of my whole junk journal below--click here to see how I made it) and one of the things I love about my junk journal is the use of old ephemera and even old outdated patterned papers that apparently I once liked enough to buy, but now I don't like so much. However, when I use my stamps on them, color them, tear them, ink them, emboss, and smash them together with other things whether it's ephemera or mixed-media, I truly love the whole new piece of art that comes out of it. I am still adding scraps in this journal - I sew in it - I write lists in it - and I stick things in handmade envelopes that were made from stash and built into it.

That's all. Just lovin' those scraps! See you for another Stash Dash post on Thursday about organizing my fabric to make the most of it.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Threads

Show me your ways Lord, teach me your paths, guide me in your truth and teach me. For you are God, my savior and my hope in you all day long. 
Psalm 25:4-5

Friday, January 23, 2015

Orange you glad it's Friday...

I couldn't resist...I was drinking a cup of orange juice with breakfast and realized I sat it down right by some orange floss, and the orange part of my glasses. I think I love orange.

I hope you are having a lovely Friday though. Saturday is always my favorite day of the week--I'm either crafting, out shopping, or gardening in the spring and summer! But it won't be long until it's time to start some seeds in February on my greenhouse, I can't wait!

By lunchtime I was in the pink--having a little bowl of noodles and stitching with my little go-bag. Have a great weekend.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Wall Pocket Calendar Recycle--Stash Dash 2015

Using my scraps and stash to recycle a pretty pocket calendar
 Every year I get a new pocket calendar for my kitchen--you know, the kind with the spiral bound top, hangs on the wall, and has a handy pocket on the bottom of every month. I also keep them when the year is over, to upcycle some of the calendar pages into other projects. And of course, I have several that are completely in tact and I haven't used them yet. I especially liked the one from 2013, and couldn't seem to find another one I liked that much. Then I got the idea to recycle it! Make it my 2015 kitchen pocket calendar. Why hadn't I thought of this before?
Step one is to add the current year at the top of the pages
These kind of calendars are always made really well, and don't get wear and tear, so why not recycle. I had printed out calendar pages to actually make a scrapbook calendar, but they looked like they would fit my pocket calendar. So I went to work, trimming them down, coloring them a little with gelatos, colored pencils, using stamps, old stickers in my stash, using my wavy scissors, and simply applying each calendar page to the existing page with washi tape and nothing else. Now, I don't have a lot of washi tape, and was wishing I did. But I did use the three spools I do have. The washi tape covers up the seam on each side, but later lets you easily remove the page if you want to recycle it again another year or upcycle it for another project.

-Click here for the free pdf printable calendar webpage-

This was such an easy project--just required some trimming and getting out my supplies. As you can see, I didn't get too fancy because I just wanted to get it done and up on the wall to use. But you could certainly take your time and embellish the pages as much as you want. Leave them fresh and white,  throw some color on them like I did, or print them on colored card stock. That's the fun of it! Happy stashing!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WOYWW 294--Crafty Recycling

Happy Wednesday Deskers!

Hop around worktables at What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday.

I'll have a stitch-tini.
I was having my morning cuppa and using my mini trimmer on a recycling project. I decided that a pretty wall pocket calendar from 2013 could be recycled with those free downloadable calendar pages, and it worked! I used washi tape to install the pages very nicely, and decorated them. Now I have my favorite wall pocket calendar back in the kitchen--and it was all free because I used my stash. Go crafty stash! (Posting the project on the blog for tomorrow when all the pages are done.)

I'm staying short today. Hugs!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Texture Tag Tuesday

It's Tag Tuesday and today's theme is Texture Tuesday. Visit Tag Tuesday here.

Anytime I am creating art tags, my two favorite things to include are sentiments and texture. So a great way to shop your own stash of scrap papers and supplies is to have a texture tag making session. Anything goes. Paper, ribbon, buttons, fabric, sequins, beads, brooches, trim, stamps, ink, gelatos...just have a ball. And don't forget the words. Whether you use stamps, word stickers or a typewriter, the sentiment is what really makes your art tag sing.

My tag is completely from supplies in my stash - a mish mash of scrap paper, a little piece of ribbon stitched on, a cross-stitch heart, gelatos, and some cardboard packaging that was diecut into a heart, embossed and painted, and another fabric heart on top of that. 

My cross-stitched hearts are always in supply for projects because I keep a little homemade cross-stitch kit in my bag at all times. Anytime I'm in a waiting room, standing in line, or just anywhere really, I can cross-stitch a heart.

Read more about stitching-on-the-go.

Happy Tag Tuesday!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Tag

Monday, January 19, 2015

Upcycle Ugly Magnets

You have them--those free promotional magnets that aren't necessarily that attractive to display. I was looking for a big square magnet to hold my pattern to a metal copy holder and help me follow it. So I had a couple of kinda ugly promotional magnets that had been thrown in my bag at a women's show last year. They were the perfect size I needed, and I upcycled them in about five minutes.

Just grab a scrap of patterned paper and your glue stick. Cut, glue, and then add a word sticker of encouragement. Wallah! A cute and useful magnet. Keep dashing your stash!

Stash Dash 2015 Five Simple Rules

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Threads

 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.

Ephesians 5:8-10

Friday, January 16, 2015

Use Your Words

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune
Without the words
And never stops at all.
And the sweetest in the gale is heard
And sore must be the storm
That could abash that little bird
That kept so many warm
I’ve heard it in the chilliest land
And in the strangest sea
And never in the extremity
It asks a crumb of me.
—Emily Dickinson

Looking for a new idea for a junk journal? How about a hopes and dreams book? Use old file folders, index cards, and scrapbook paper scraps to put together a colorful and special journal and fill it with words of wisdom, encouragement, and joy. You'll want to reference it often.

I use my old typewriter, stamps, ticket stubs, old pattern books, and a flower here and there. These word sticker books make it easy to add your sentiments too. Then get out your markers, colored pencils and gelatos and color away!
This is one of my favorite junk journals with covers made from vintage file dividers


My typewriter is covered with stickers - I like it this way. I only have three ribbons left until the poor thing is obsolete. I'm glad I had the foresight back then to buy so many ribbons, they should actually last me for a few years.
Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dash the Stash and Smash - Sandy Leigh's Stash Dash 2015

Did you shop your stash this week? Skip a big haul, and go right to your crafty cupboards to create and upcycle? I have a new year's resolution to work from my stash of papers, fabrics and tools and limit the crafty shopping this year. It's my Stash Dash 2015 - click here to see my Stash Dash Five Simple Rules.

I have been creating from my current crafty supplies this week--I didn't even buy a skein of floss! Today I'm sharing some pages I've upcycled for art journaling in my Smash book. No gesso required. I didn't particularly like the design the pages came with, but I wanted more writing space and just a little art space, so I grabbed a few index cards, inked the edges and started smashing.
I do love Smash books--but I don't always want to stick with the designs on every page.
I really just pulled scraps from my paper scrap bin, and then I decided to make the index cards a little more fun by inking the edges.
I used a tag punch for some of the index cards and corner punches too--I've had those corner punches since I started scrapbooking 16 years ago! Do you have crafty tools that you love but kind of forget about? Get them out this week!
I've actually been using this Smash book to art journal craft recipes and pattern directions--just a fun way to keep that information. So now these pages are ready for lists, journaling, and a little smashing too. I used my ATG gun a lot today! Yay!
I think distressing your index cards looks kinda cute! If you dashed your stash this week, share in the comments below. I've already heard from several of you how you were thinking the same thing this year, and plan to work from the goodies you already have on hand--there are so many things we forget we have that are awesome supplies and tools. Happy stash dashing!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

WOYWW 293--Stash Dash Going Strong

Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday! It's the mid-week desker party, and you can take a peek right here at the Stamping Ground.
While our host makes the most beautiful cards and things - you will find a plethera of crafty delights on the worktables of deskers around the planet.

Now, onto my desk. It's really a vintage leaf table I painted white long ago, and stenciled on some ivy. It is constantly covered with pink cutting mats - the one on the right is magnetic, and it comes in handy with its metal ruler to hold things down sometimes. But right now I've got paper scrap out, my Smash book, and I'm making tags from scraps--part of my Stash Dash 2015 pledge to myself. Also, I've finished my first cross-stitched Russian Doll. She's so cute. I'm trying to decide on whether to use her in a banner or a little art quilt as I start on doll number two.

I've also got a fat cat doll standing there--I was thinking about making more of those. And my hubby gave me a mini Altoids tin, which I will upcycle into something!

In the meantime - attention Downton Abbey lovers...did you love the whole scene with the first time they experienced a radio broadcast at Downton? That was cooool...and I loved how they called it the "wireless." We all forget that nobody really said "radio" in 1924...they thought of it as a wireless telegraph at first. I don't know why I'm so fascinated to see how people might have acted the first time they witness someone using a sewing machine, or a typewriter, and now a radio, but I love it! Robert and Carson think it's all a fad that will go away. Cute.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tag Tuesday - Downton Diva

Visit the Tag Tuesday blog here.

Today's theme over at Tag Tuesday is Diva. And being a Downton Abbey lover, and finding this lovely vintage lady in my scrap pad stack, I created my Downton Diva tag. The new season of Downton just started last week, (at least here in the U.S.) it is 1924, and the gorgeous divas of Downton are wearing the most fabulous dresses and perfect hair. I love it. My mother was born in 1926, so I know she would have adored the season. I could easily create a whole series of Downton Diva tags I think! 

The most fun thing about making tags is how they fit into my Stash Dash motto for the year. I'm trying to make almost everything from my stash, and tags are the perfect way to use up scrap papers, embellishments, and upcycle. This tag features a flower diecut from a food package, and then painted and glittered. 

Visit my Stash Dash Five Simple Rules here.

Happy Tuesday!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Welcome to Sandy Leigh's Stash Dash 2015

There's Five Simple Rules to Dash Your Stash

What's in your stash? Stacks of paper pads from great sales at Michaels...multiplying spools of ribbons....jars of buttons...piles of fabrics...skeins and skeins of yarns, floss, beads for days, threads and crafting twine and cords. Then there's the tools--die cutters, ATG guns, special glues, mod podge, gesso's, specialty exacto knives, hole punchers, rotary cutters, craft punches, sewing machines, embroidery machines, binding machines...all this and some of us don't even have a whole dedicated craft room! It's no wonder that every time I buy something, I have to reorganize my whole crafty corner. It's not that I don't enjoy my crafty life--I am a regular Mollie Makes. But, this year I'm going to make more out of it, because I'm going to create more and buy less. I call it my 
Stash Dash 2015--my own little plan of five simple rules to upcycle, use it up, make it up, and pretty much go nowhere from here but up! So before I run out and buy a great new thing, I need to make a great new thing. More creativity, less stockpiling.
I mean, I could build one of those tiny houses just for my sewing stuff. So, I'm going to do these things and I'm going to do them all year long.

If you want to do a Stash Dash 2015, raise your crafty hands and repeat these five simple rules after me:

1--I'm going to shop my stash regularly. Be my own merchant! If I used up half my paper or fabric stash, I'd still have enough to pass around at a crop every week!

2--I will use an under-used craft tool at least once a week. Like this thing. My flower loom! I was so excited when I got it. I made a lot of flowers. Then I found a great container to store it in. And now, I haven't used it for at least a year. So this week--I'm making some flowers. They'll be great for tags, bags, and pages.
I love this little loom and don't want to forget how to use it!
We all have those goodies that got tucked away and we need to bring them out again and create with them. I need to use my die cutter weekly, and my stencils!
3--I will learn from my stash. That is, I'll go to the blogs and videos and my stash of crafty magazines where I can get instruction every week with something I already have on hand. And I will learn a new technique with it, simply refresh, or get inspired with a new creative slant on a new project. I have a great knitting book that I need to go back and choose a project from!
I need to quit collecting stamps and use them!
4--I will earn from my stash. Whether I seek out more publishing opportunities, counter space in a friend's shop, craft fairs, or just finishing my crafty book, I will make my stash go to work for me with projects that do more than go to storage. This stuff lives here, so it's going to earn its keep as either art or merchandise!
I put ribbons and price tags on these bubble wand necklaces and they are selling in my booth at an antique mall.
5--I'm going to enjoy more time in the craft room and less time with JoAnn. Or Michaels or Hobby Lobby! I just named my three favorite haunts. And it's true--I really don't spend my money on fancy jewelry, electronics or expensive clothes. For me, it's the craft store. But, if I use my precious weekend time shopping, I don't have the time and energy left to gain momentum on a project. Spending more time in the craft room is the answer! Also, when we get to May and June, my time gets divided into the garden as well. 

I do deserve the occasional splurge, but if I stick to these five simple rules, I'll deserve it. I think another reward will be to join a stamp-of-the-month club or something like that. I won't be out shopping for them all the time, but I'll get something special once a month on my doorstep for a little extra inspiration.
You can see the steam from my tea! How cool.
The sun is splashing across my desk and I've printed out a cute cross-stitch pattern that I downloaded last year from a free website. I love Russian dolls--but I'm not buying anymore. I'm stitching one with floss and aida on hand! I think she will be part of a Valentine banner I'm working on. I'm having hot tea out of my Christmas mug--one last time, I know, it's January--and I'm happy with where the year's going. I think I'll write and draw about it in my Smash book.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Stash Dash