Tuesday, November 25, 2014

In the Stacks November 25

Hey everyone!  I'm back with another quick review of the books that I've been reading that are at the top of my stack.

1.  Shopaholic to the Stars--You might be familiar with the Shopaholic series about, what else, a shopaholic.  Through the years we've seen Becky overspend, get married and have a little girl and now she's moving to Hollywood.  I don't know if I picked this book up at the wrong moment or if I've just phased out of these books or if the writing just wasn't as good as the past ones but I just couldn't get into this book.  I gave up and returned it but I would possibly pick it up at a different time to see if it struck my fancy then.

2.  Kiss of Deception--This teen fantasy is the first in a trilogy by Mary Pearson and it started off a little slow but with a great premise.  I ended up enjoying it and I recently saw the cover for the second book on Instagram, and I am waiting eagerly.  This was a good read if you like YA or fantasy or an adventure.  And I just have to know what happens because there was a good cliffhanger at the end!

3. The Firewish--Another young adult fantasy and another first in a series but this one has a jinni/human twist.  This was good but I wished there would have been more details about the Middle Eastern setting and about the jinnis and the mysteries and myths surrounding their race.  Overall the book was good and I would read another in the series but this just didn't satisfy my desire to read an updated 'Aladdin' type story.

4. Maid Marian--I love a good historical fiction, especially one set in Arthurian times.  Admittedly, my bar is set pretty high with "Mists of Avalon" but this book just did not grab my attention and I gave up on it within just a few pages.  Bummer :(

5. The Monogram Murders--For those that may not know, this was a book written under Agatha Christie's name with the permission of her grandson.  It features Hercule Poirot and I think that's why I didn't get into it as well.  Honestly, I read until the part about the cuff links and I am still curious about what happens, but it just didn't hold my interest well enough to continue this book.  Maybe it's because I'm a Miss Marple fan?

6.  We Are Not Ourselves--This novel by Matthew Thomas started out good even though it is a more dry book.  But that's its style, and it kept me interested, for awhile.  But then it just felt like it dragged.  I got distracted by other books that had more action in them.

7.  Good Girl--This is an update from last time.  I did finish this book and the ending surprised me, although later I felt like I should have figured it out.  Overall, I liked this book but I think I didn't like the style with the way it went between the past and present.  I already knew what happened to Mia, so I felt like there wasn't enough suspense even though there were obviously some unknown elements.  But it was good.  I would recommend it.

So, it feels like I set a lot of books aside this time.  But honestly, I just like to give my opinions. And this is a portion of the books I read/tried since the last book update.  And I didn't really include any e-books this time.  That's why I check so many books out--because there are duds and life-changers.  And because working at a library I get a ton of recommendations :)  Any you've read lately that I need to check it out?  Any you want me to read so you can get an idea of if you'd like it?  Let me know!

Until next time!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Love You Layout

I made this layout with an older photo of my husband and I used a lot of new products that I wanted to work with and I tried a new technique by another YouTuber, Ashley Laura.  A photo of the finished project is below the video.  Thank so much for watching and stop by tomorrow for another 'In the Stacks' post.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Grandma Layout

Today I'm sharing a layout that got lost in the shuffle for a long time.  I love making a layout about my Grandma--and it's the perfect way for me to dig out all those floral embellishments because my Grandma always had a house and yard full of flowers and plants.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Rockin' Our Shades Layout

Even though it's a little different from my normal layouts, I still really like this layout.  I used the Shimelle collection, as well as a few pieces from the Open Road collection by Crate Paper.  There is a photo below of the final layout.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Me Layout

I am loving the Open Book collection by Maggie Holmes and I know that I am not the only one because I see it everywhere!  Enjoy the video and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ranger Texture Paste

Today I'm experimenting with Ranger Texture Paste.  Spoiler alert: I think it's awesome!  Can't wait to play more in the future!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Give Thanks Wreath

So this is going to wrap up (haha) my fall crafts.  It's a wrapped wreath!  And it was super simple to make.  I just used a Styrofoam wreath, some yellow and brown yarn, burlap ribbon, yellow ribbon (to hang it by), an alphabet stamp set and some fabric.  And I also used a hot glue gun.

To start out, wrap a little over half the wreath in brown yarn.  Wrap the other half in yellow.  Watch some TV or YouTube videos while you do this.  It will take about an hour, give or take.  It's super easy and there are tons of tutorials out there if you want more detailed instructions.

Then, use some burlap cloth and cut it into triangles.  You can use regular cloth, but I happened to find some burlap ribbon and it made cutting the pennants even easier.  Then I used these Amy Tangerine letter stamps that I had, but you could use any alphabet set that you have on hand.  For mine, I spelled out Give Thanks, but you could definitely use another phrase.  And you could switch out the colors and do this for another occasion (wouldn't a Happy Birthday one be cute?). 

I then glued a piece of yellow yarn to one side of the wreath and hot glued the pennants onto the yarn, spelling 'GIVE' on top and then repeated the process to spell 'THANKS' on the bottom.  I wanted to do a zigzag with the banners, but it didn't work out right.

And then to cover up the spots where I had to hot glue the yarn to the wreath, I made these super easy rosettes.  I had never made one before but I had seen the idea and figured it would work.  I just pulled some fall-ish fabric out of my stash and went to town.  I can make a video tutorial to share with you guys if you're interested!  Just let me know in the comment section and I would be more than happy to do that!

I pinned the rosettes to the wreath with some straight pins and then pinned a piece of ribbon to the top for the wreath to hang from.

This was a fun, easy and cheap fall wreath and I absolutely love it!  Fall is by far my favorite season and I felt like I missed it this year with my surgery in September. But I will have this wreath for years.  I had to take all the photos inside because my door has an ugly doorknocker on it, but here it is, hanging on my front door where I see it every day when I get home from work or errands.  It just reminds me to be grateful that I have a job and money and a car and a home.  A good reminder for when I get home.  The cute little dog in the window makes it easy to be grateful too.  But the wreath is definitely easier to care for ;)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Embellishment Series--Foil

Today I'm sharing some unique embellishments made out of foil using embossing folders.  Also, I had two posts today so make sure to scroll down to see a fall craft that I made that would be perfect on a layout!

Gold Tipped Feathers

This craft falls somewhere between scrapbooking and fall.  To me, feathers feel so fall, even white ones.  But maybe that's just me.  You will definitely see me trying this technique again in the future though and they will be on layouts from fall to summer because I think they would look awesome in any season

The only thing I don't like about this project is the feathers that I had on hand.  They had weird tips!  So don't buy these feathers.  I got mine from Wal-Mart but they're probably sold other places, so make sure to avoid these.  Find some nice, feather-looking feathers instead!

The other materials I used were Martha Stewart glitter (I think I used the Florentine Gold, but I can't swear to it.  And I also used this metallic Inca Gold acrylic paint from FolkArt and I purchased this at Wal-Mart.  I am loving the metallic paints from FolkArt and have used them on multiple projects lately.  I also used a Mini Mister from Ranger.  You can get a three pack of these from Michael's or Hobby Lobby and can make your own mist!  It's pretty awesome and I will share a video soon of how to make your own.  Basically just put a few drops of paint in the tube, fill with water and shake.  It can take a few tries to get a good, sprayable consistency.

I did try multiple ways to get color on the tips of the feathers, including trying to paint the feathers with a brush and spraying them with the new Tarnished Brass spray from Tim Holtz.  Ultimately making my own spray worked the best by far!  Remember to just spray the top third or so of the feather.  While the mist is still wet, sprinkle on some glitter, leaving part of the paint exposed.  So beautiful and elegant!  I could definitely see using these as a decoration on a party table or in a vase maybe.  But I will be using mine on my layouts.

Note: these will take a little bit to dry.  And don't spray the feather too close or the feather will start to droop and look funny.

Thanks for stopping by!  I will see you again tomorrow with one last fall craft!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Project Life Week 32

Here is my process video for my Project Life Week 32--photos are below the video.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Turkey Wreath

Here's another fall craft for you.  Because I firmly believe that November is not too late to do fall crafts.  Especially if you had surgery in late September and didn't feel normal until late October, haha!  So, as forewarned, I basically have no pictures, but this little guy is super simple to put together and here is a link to the original tutorial that I loosely followed.

I mean, seriously, how cute is this little gal?  My husband swears it's a boy and that his name is Tyson.  With glitter and tulle I'm betting that she's a girl, despite the fact that she's so colorful ;)

Anyway, here are the supplies you need:

-Red, Yellow and Orange Tulle--I had trouble find these and ended up with one 25 yd roll of red, one 12 yd roll of orange glitter and purchased 1 1/4 yd off the roll of yellow.  And after my experience, I would have ordered rolls online because that was the easiest.  And for your own sanity, don't purchase any glittery kinds!!  The glitter got everywhere!  Horrible, horrible.  But I digress...
-Styrofoam Wreath
-2 Styrofoam Balls
-Styrofoam Cone--If you can't find one in the size you like, you can always trim some off the wider end, that's what I had to do.
-Red Felt
-Brown Yarn
-Yellow and Black Acrylic Paint
-3 Toothpicks
-Straight Pins or Hot Glue
-Ribbon or Yarn

Paint circles on the 'eyes' with the black paint and paint the cone yellow.  Then fold the felt in half and cut a wattle, the piece that will hang from the nose.  Then set these aside.  Cut the tulle in 18 inch lengths.  The great thing about this is that it doesn't have to be perfect at all because the tulle is very forgiving.  And plus, feathers wouldn't be perfect in nature ;)

Tie the brown yarn onto the wreath and start wrapping.  Do this for about 1/3 of the wreath.  I recommend watching some TV or YouTube videos during this process--it makes the time go much faster.  After you're done with that, tie off the brown yarn and get ready to start tying tulle!

I basically just tied a double knot in the tulle around the wreath.  Easy peasy!  And you can rotate the knots a little to get the 'feathers' looking the way you want them.  And just keep tying until it's filled up.  I didn't go in a pattern, sometimes I even did two reds in a row (because I had the most of the red).  You can trim the feathers at this point if they're too long in an area.

Then with the toothpicks stick the nose and eyes into the wreath.  Use hot glue to attach the wattle to the nose.  To hang my bird I took some yellow ribbon and just used pins to attach it to the wreath in the back.  The tulle was so puffy and tall that you can't even see the ribbon behind there.

And that's it!  If you have any questions just let me know.  I'll be happy to answer any questions that you have!  And stay tuned because I will have at least one more fall craft for you this week!

Leaf Garland

I just want to start out by saying that this is not a tutorial.  Why?  Because I absolutely, one hundred percent stink when it comes to a) taking photographs and b) taking photographs of step by step projects.  Mostly, I'm winging things left and right and messing up and re-doing and crafting at nine at night when there's no light and I'm covered in glue--this does not make for the best photo-taking opportunities!  So, basically I just wanted to share with you this little garland that I made.  And I will kind of tell you how I did it.  But it will mostly be words, not so much pictures.

I bought most of my supplies at the Dollar Tree or Wal-Mart because I love making things on the cheap.  I also had some twine, a hole punch and glitter on hand, but that was pretty much it.  So here's what you'll need:

-Fake Leaves (I bought mine at Dollar Tree, they came in a bunch and I just cut them apart to make leaves instead of a bouquet.  Also, I had to iron some of mine because they were so wrinkled, if you do this be very careful because the stems and veins are plastic and the leaf material itself can be melted.)

-White Glue
-Foam brush
-Acrylic Sealer
-Ribbon and Twine
-Hole Punch
-Hot Glue Gun
-Glitter (I used this awesome glitter from Martha Stewart; I bought a huge set with tons of colors a few years back and it's come in handy for all sorts of projects)

I made sure to lay down some newspapers to work on and I also used some sheets of paper to pour the excess glitter back in the jar.  Basically, using the foam brush I 'painted' each of the leaves with white glue.  Then I sprinkled glitter all over it, working with one color at a time.  I chose about 15 leaves and 5 colors of glitter.  But of course, that depends on how long you want your garland to be.

After working through all the leaves I then took them all outside and sprayed them with two coats of acrylic sealer.  I bought this at Wal-Mart and it was near the ModPodge and other glues.  It comes in a spray can.  This seals in the glitter.  And I have to admit, it worked fairly well.  I wish I would have bought a better brand, but I went cheap.  But there's not too much glitter that flaked off so that's always a good thing :)

After the sealer dried completely, I started punching holes in the 'tops' of the leaves near the stem.  Then I threaded some twine of various lengths through the holes and then used a glue gun on the back to adhere the twine to the leaf.  I tried at first to use tape to hole them in place, but the back of the leaf is just too textured for the tape to cling to it.  Then I just tied the twine to the ribbon and hung it up!  This was a fairly simply and cheap craft.  And it didn't take too long to put together either!  I will admit, the glitter did make this a little bit messy, but it was worth it.

And for a photo that's full of honesty, here's where my garland and 'fall display' are at in my home: on a console table that my husband built for me that's never been painted or finished, with all of my books and clutter surrounding it.  Haha, but that is real life in my house!  And to be fair, the reason the table hasn't been finished is my fault.  I can't decide if I want to stain it or paint it white.  And if I did stain it would I go light, medium or really dark?  Decisions, decisions.  Chime in and let me know if you like this project (and what I should do with that table!).  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Index Card 6

I absolutely loved how this index card turned out!  And that's all I have to say about that :)