Friday, May 27, 2011

May Arts Design Team Challenge

I’m smitten with the simple elegance of black and cream. And since I love creating artful kits for inspiration or to share with my crafty friends, I decided to combine these two passions for the May Arts Design Team challenge!  For this classic ensemble, I gathered some of my favorite black and cream elements along with a bit of bling and some old book paper to add vintage flair. Artsy kits like these are fun to make because they’re so versatile. Choose your favorite color palette and create a collection of ribbons, papers, and embellishments in those hues. Assemble them together in clear boxes, in a vintage sewing box or tin, or even just a simple gift bag. These kits are a wonderful way to use up your stash of crafty supplies and might even inspire you to use your old supplies in unexpected ways!

To create your own kit, start by gathering 1 yard lengths of 6 or 7 different ribbons in your color palette. Cut a piece of cardstock to 4” x 5” and wrap the ribbons around it securing them in the back with tape. I used several of my very favorite May Arts Ribbons:

Black Satin/Pleats {1.5”}
Black Silk {1.25”}
Ivory Satin/Pleats {5/8”}
Ivory Sheer/Looped
Black Sheer/Looped
Cream Crochet

You’ll also need 2 clear boxes, some of your favorite papers and embellishments, and… hmm… this a rather lengthy list, so click here for a printable PDF of all the materials used or here for the complete project. That way we can get right to the fun part: the tutorial!

Tuck the ribbon wrapped cardstock into one of the clear boxes. Fill the other box with your favorite embellishments like buttons, flowers, glitter…the possibilities are endless! I used Maya Road tins and a little zip bag to hold my elements, but anything that will fit in your chosen container will work – even empty Tic Tac or Altoid boxes can be repurposed for this project. I also added some DCWV La Crème Cards and envelopes to this box.

To create a band to hold the boxes together cut a piece of cardstock into one 3 x 12” strip and one 3 x 3” square. Hold the two clear boxes together and wrap the 3 x 12” strip around the box ending in the front. This strip will not be quite long enough, so use the 3” square to secure the ends together in the center of the top box. Make sure the band has a snug fit but is still loose enough to slip off and on the boxes. Use Scor-Tape to layer on some black and ivory satin/pleats being sure the seams where the ribbon ends meet are in the front of the box. Add some bling to the band if you wish. {If you’re like me at all you can never have enough bling!}

To create the layered blossom you’ll need several 3” circles. Shown above are:

3 circles cut from canvas about 3” in diameter each. Fray the edges of the circles by pulling out some of the threads.

2 cardstock circles {Black & Cream Flowers and Sheet Music from GCD Studios Paris Nights collection}

10 vintage book paper circles {divided into 2 piles of 5 each}

{2} 4” lengths of crochet ribbon

{2} 4” lengths of ivory sheer/looped ribbon

{3} 5” lengths of beaded/wired ribbon

Attach the layers together using staples and/or glue, ending with a stack of 5 stapled vintage book paper circles on top. {Use Fabri-Tac to glue the ribbon snippets on top of a canvas circle as shown}

Glue a sparkly button layered on a cream button to the center of the vintage book papers on top of the stack.

Scrunch up all the layers around the button center, trimming off any excess ribbon, and creating loops with the beaded/wired ribbon. Use Fabri-Tac or other strong adhesive to glue the flower to the band around the boxes. Then sigh with happiness over all those lovely crumpled layers!

I made this card...

and this card...

And this card. And I still have tons of black and cream gorgeousness left over for future projects! If you create any artful kits of your own, I would love to see them! Please send a link or a picture to me at

Happy crafting everyone!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Vintage Collage Parcels

For years my sewing machine languished in my craft closet. I wanted to stitch on paper, but I was a bit afraid to try. But thanks to two inspiring instructors, Mary Ann Moss and Roben-Marie, I finally mustered up the courage to give it a go. Now I'm hooked! I couldn't believe how easy and fun it was to sew papers together to create paper parcels embellished with ribbons. I even whipped up a huge and fluffy sewing pattern tissue flower in no time flat! I have to admit, the seams of my parcels are a bit crooked, and the stitching on the ribbon is a little off center, but I figure that will improve with practice. If you would like to know how I created these parcels using the Vintage Collage stack from DCWV and my very favorite ribbons from May Arts just click this link. Or click here for a printable PDF.

While you're visiting May Arts, be sure to leave a comment on my post for a chance to win your own parcel brimming with artsy goodies. Be sure to enter the giveaways sponsored by May Arts and Die Cuts with a View as well. You'll want to check both blogs daily for great inspiration, projects, and prizes all this week! Happy stitching! {If I can do it, anyone can!}

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lavender & Roses

Say hello to the newest addition to our garden: a pink Scepter'd Isle David Austin rose! Isn't she gorgeous?

This is my idea of the perfect rose. Deliciously fragrant, lots of ruffly petals, and brimming with old fashioned charm.

We've never grown roses before, but these lovely blooms were simply irresistible!

We were actually just in the market for some herbs at the annual Newburgh Country Store Herb Festival & Plant Sale. We attend every year and purchase culinary herbs for the clay pots on our patio and these {along with 2 hanging baskets of annuals} comprise our entire garden!
For a couple of seasons now we've included lavender in our mini garden. I love the color and most of all the spicy fragrance! I like to clip off a sprig, let it dry a bit and then tuck it into my tote bag or even in a book for an unexpected whiff of perfume.
This is definintely gardening on a micro scale, but it fits with our busy lives, and the fresh herbs add amazing flavor to all our dishes. We grow rosemary, cilantro, sage, tarragon, thyme, and 2 kinds of basil. Yum!
How does your garden grow?