Remembering: Sending snow to Guam

Today I am sharing an oldie, but goodie … this post is from 5 years ago, but I thought it would be fun to share again!My son, a corpsman in the U.S. Navy, is currently stationed in Guam. This will be our first Christmas apart.

He called last week and asked for me to send him his ornaments and I included a special gift from Mom.

It is a tradition I started when my children’s father and I were divorced. Each Christmas I give them a personalized, usually handmade, gift from me.  They open their special gifts on Christmas Eve and then I make them listen as I read “The Night Before Christmas.”

This year, since we will be apart, I thought I would send some of our traditions to him in the form of a mini wooden book.

It started with a mini album from KaiserCraft. I love their Beyond the Page line. You simply cut, sand lightly and cover with paper.

I wanted a winter theme, since he is living in the tropics, so I chose the new winter paper line from Bo Bunny.

I made a shaker box (super easy with Shake It from Impression Obsession)  for the cover and filled it with “snow,” in the form of Art Glitter and a Grungeboard Snowflake.

Inside, I shared some photos of him, along with the gifts of Christmas. I think he’ll enjoy showing his friends how cute he was when he was little!

In addition to snow, I sent him my love …Our tree (with Misty hiding underneath … she loves Christopher almost as much as I do!)And Santa … along with a photo that I know will make him laugh.On the last page, I made a stocking and filled it with a copy of “The Night Before Christmas.” I know as my kids got older, they only endured the reading to humor me (and because my husband told them that Santa wouldn’t fill their stockings if they didn’t make their mother happy), but traditions become important as you grow up, so I thought I would send it anyway.

Assuming he doesn’t read my blog, which I doubt he does, he should be surprised by his little book in another week or so … it takes a long time for mail to get to Guam!

Focus, focus, focus

focus by Candy Spiegel

That’s what I keep saying to myself. It is my word of the year. The word that will keep me on track, reduce my stress and allow me to make my business a success.

It is also a word I have trouble “focusing” on. I sit down to make a card. I glue on a flower, cut a piece of paper, then decide I need to look something up online, check my e-mail, play a few games, answer a question for a customer, get up to get a drink, do the dishes, collect eggs from the chickens, take a picture of the cats to post on Facebook, throw on a load of laundry and soon the whole day is gone and I have yet to finish one simple card. Then I forget about the card until I remember I have a deadline and then I stress about finishing it!

This may be my typical day, but I am sick of it. It is time to get my act together and FOCUS on getting things finished.

That is what I decided in December and again on January 1. It is now half-way through February and I am still working on staying focused. There are just so many distractions!

I thought if I kept the word in front of my face, it would help. So, I created this little 5×7 canvas in my favorite colors (they match my kitchen perfectly) to help remind me to focus.

focus 2 by candy spiegelI started by spritzing a 5×7 canvas and a Linnie Blooms pocket with Glimmer Mists.

focus 1 by candy spiegelI put them in a box on the way to the recycle bin to contain the mess.

focus 3 by candy spiegelWhile those dried, I coated some Linnie Blooms hearts with Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive. (I used my finger to spread it around so I got the entire heart).

focus 4 by candy spiegelThen I covered each heart in Art Glitter glitter. I use a coffee filter to collect my extra glitter. It doesn’t stick to the filter and then I can pour it right back in the jar.

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I set those aside to dry and turned my attention back to the pocket. I wanted the pocket to look puffy, so I folded up a paper towel and tucked it inside.

focus 6 by candy spiegelThen I followed along the front flap of the pocket with a bit of Designer Dries Clear Adhesive and coated it with clear glass glitter.

focus 7by candy spiegelI used the same glue to attach feathers and the pocket to the canvas. I used the Tiny Attacher to attach the ribbon and burlap.

focus 8 by candy spiegelThen, I glued the hearts on the front.

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I cut tags out of kraft paper using a Tim Holtz die. I then inked the edges with Distress Ink in Vintage Photo and then in Black Soot.

I added flowers, a metal clock (because this is all about time), a metal button, some twine and the word FOCUS in big black letters that I cut out with a Tim Holtz die. I also used some little sticker letters (also from Tim Holtz) to put the words To Do and Today on the tags. And that was it! Can you see how puffy the pocket is?

focus by Candy Spiegel

 

Here’s a close up of the corner of the pocket …

focus detail by candy spiegel

 

You can see how the adhesive dried clear and now you just see the chunks of glass for a pretty, soft sparkle.

Now if I can just stay focused …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Crystal Palace

Just before Christmas we had an amazing ice storm. It was beautiful, but it created a lot of work clearing broken tree limbs and many people were without power — some for more than a week — right through Christmas. But it did create for some amazing photos. Here are the pages I created to remember the event.

Crystal Palace by Candy Spiegel (3)For a larger look, and to find out how I created this page, visit http://www.journella.com/storyboard/fullview/id/12288/Family-Life-The-Crystal-Palace

 

A Sparkly Christmas Banner

christmas_garland_Candy_Spiegel11Today is my first post as a guest designer for Linnie Blooms. I created this adorable mixed-media banner using blank canvas shapes and my Copic Airbrushing System.

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Then, I added a bit of glitter, Stickles, jingle bells, flock and more. I even attempted to sew a bit — OK, I cheated and taped the threads on the backside, but I did use a needle and thread.

Here’s the completed garland …

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Head over to Linnie Blooms blog for a step-by-step tutorial, including a few tips I learned along the way!

The barn tree

Last spring, Matt took me to a friend’s home and I was able to tour a 150-year-old barn that was about to be torn down. I fell in love. This is the Mosaic Moments page I created following my adventure …

Candy_Spiegel_BarnThe part of the barn that amazed me the most were the ladders. These ladders went from the floor of the barn to the second and third stories. They were built onto the main support beams of the barn and I fell in love with them.

iphone 054 I even got Matt to pose on one for me …iphone 070Many months later, I found a tree made out of a pallet on Pinterest and thought it would be perfect to replicate for my house. I figured I could put knobs and clips on it and hang favorite photos, cards and other items that could change throughout the year.

So, I asked Matt to go back to that farm and get me some discarded barn wood to build the tree.

He came home with a piece of one of those amazing ladders!!! He told me it was the one he posed on and I let him believe that I believed his little white lie. These days, that barn is a pile of rubble, so there was absolutely no way to know what ladder the piece he brought home came from. But, Matt can be a real romantic sometimes, so I went with it.

Anyhow, I asked him to use the piece of the ladder as the trunk of the tree and to use barn siding, trimmed down, as the branches. He did as I asked and created this amazing tree for me …

barn tree candy spiegel

 

I added random knobs and pieces of hardware to the tree to hold my creations. Many of the knobs were purchased at Hobby Lobby. Others were from Home Depot. I also made a few with my paper crafting supplies … check back in a few days to see how I did it! Every knob is unique — there are no two the same — but all are in silver, white, black, cream or glass.

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For some scale, here’s how it looks in my house. It hangs on the hallways wall that connects the bedrooms to the kitchen via the living room. (I live in a very small house) … The pictures don’t do it justice (it’s hard to photograph in a small space on white walls), but it looks amazing and makes a huge difference in my living room.

(remember to click on the photos for a closer view)

barn tree 3 candy spiegelAt the top, I placed a rusted pipe fitting I found in the rubble at the farm. Matt used toggle bolts to hang it to the wall and I asked him to use really large washers to add a bit of metal to the wood. I love that you can see where the rung of the ladder was ripped off of the ladder side. The paint and patina is all-natural, century-old barn paint, water damage and weathering. All we did was clean it.

barn tree 6 candy spiegelI made the explore life knob and then glued two Tim Holtz clips to hold photos and cards. I used Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive. It stuck almost instantly and held strong! And, they work perfectly as you can see!

barn tree 4 candy spiegel

 

When we were at Home Depot looking for toggle bolts to hang the tree, Matt and I both noticed the chains and he asked if I would like to add it to my tree. I jumped at the chance. The Home Depot employee thought I was rather strange when I asked for only 3 feet of chain. He had a very clouded look on his face as we attempted to explain what we were doing, but when I mentioned “cards,” the light bulb went on.

“You mean Christmas cards?” he asked with this excited look on his face because he finally figured out what we were doing … or so he thought. I just went with it. Sometimes it is impossible to describe my altered style to those who only use pipe fittings for pipes and chains to hang plants and secure loads. lol

barn tree 7 candy spiegel

Here’s the tree with a few random things hanging from it … These are cards I recently made, some ornaments that didn’t sell at a craft show last week and a favorite photo of mine.

barn tree 8 candy spiegelOn the bottom rung, Matt used picture hanging wire to create a thin clothesline for hanging things. I added a few mini clothespins by American Crafts that were left over from a project to hang my cards.

barn tree 5 candy spiegelI also added a few eye hooks and this chain from Prima fit through perfectly.

I love my new tree and I hope it inspired you to turn some “trash” into something fabulous with the help of your paper crafting supplies!

 

 

 

 

 

Do dies get you crowing?

It’s June 1st and that means it is time for another challenge at Scrap It Girl.

This month, the theme is dies. I used an old Cottage Cutz die to create this adorable card …

scrapitgirl_candy_spiegel_june2013

 

I started by cutting the die multiple times with different colors of cardstock:

056 Then, I inked the edges with Distress Ink to give it a bit of depth. I completely covered the comb so it would be a different color red than the tail feathers.057 I then added a bit of color to the cuts in the dies with a gray pen.058 For the eyes, I attached a piece of brown cardstock to the back.059 Then I assembled the rooster060 Next, I assembled the card using cardstock and Best Creations paper.061 Glittered paper is sometimes hard to adhere to. So I used Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive when attaching the pieces to the glittered portion of the paper.062 Then I thought the rooster needed a bit more definition, so I made country stitch marks with a black pen.

063Finally, I added a stamp from Darcie’s. Didn’t it turn out cute?!

scrapitgirl_candy_spiegel_june2013Now it is your turn.

Create something — a card, layout, mini album, altered art — using dies and post them on the Scrap It Girl website. The best entry will win an amazing prize package that includes Spellbinders dies!

You have until the end of June to enter … get cropping!

 

 

Don’t just make it; Wear it!

wearart_candy_spiegelI finally had some time to play this week, so I tried my hand at making some wearable art.

This piece started as a plain bookboard bezel from Globecraft & Piccolo, which I coated in the new Platinum Embossing Powder.

wearart2_candyspiegelThen, I chose a stamp from Northwoods and stamped an image on the front with Staz-On Ink.

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I was not too concerned about the image on the stamp, since I knew I would be covering most of it up. I just wanted some pattern for any blank spots on my pendant.wearart4_candy_spiegel

Next, I added a few pieces of Fantasy Film from Art Glitter. I attached them with Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive.

wearart5_candy_spiegelI didn’t want to have cows on my necklace, so I cut out and tore a few pieces of Graphic 45 paper to attach. I used Burnt Umber 3D Enamel Gel to add a bit of aging to the papers.

wearart6_candy_spiegelThen I added some different glitters and Vintage Glass from Art Glitter.

wearart7_candy_spiegelThen, I added a Piccolo piece covered in Vintage Gold and some additional glitters.

wearart8_candyspiegelThen I coated the entire thing, front and back, with Globecraft & Piccolo’s new Instant UV Resin. (This product will be available online soon.)

I wanted to add beads from Tim Holtz to the bottom, but I found the pearl color too bright. So, I placed them in a plastic bag and added a few drops of Alcohol Ink.

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After letting them dry for a few minutes, I attached them with a jump ring to the bottom and hung my pendant on a chain (also by Tim Holtz).

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Here is the finished piece. What do you think?

wearart_candy_spiegelI used the same Piccolo Bezel to create a hot-air balloon pin. Head over to the Globecraft Blog to see how I made this one.

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