Friday, March 30, 2012

April Calendar

My son Cole will celebrate his twenty-third birthday at the end of April, so I decided I should make my April calendar more masculine in his honor. When he lived at home, his bedroom was painted with black and white stripes, so I went with a black and white stripe for my background. I used a more vertical calendar this time instead of going horizontal. I prefer it this way, but there doesn't seem to be many free downloadable calendars set up this way. Maybe for May's calendar, I'll post a finished "pretty calendar" as well as plain May calendars set up in landscape and portrait. Then anyone who wants to make their own can get either one right here!

I like to set my calendar on my iPod as wallpaper. I think I explained this before, but I'll add pics this time. 

 Use your iPod to come to Personally Created and tap on the calendar. The picture will open on top of the page. 

 Now touch your finger to the middle of the picture and hold it there for a couple seconds until this box pops up. Tap on 'Save Image.' This sends the picture to your photo album.

Now leave the website and go to your Photo Album. (It's the app on your homescreen with the sunflower) When you tap on the picture of the calendar you will see a tool bar across the bottom of the screen. Tap on the envelope on the left.

 Tap 'Use as Wallpaper' and the calendar will be the first thing that pops up when you hit the button on your iPod. You can also email it to yourself to use on other devices.

The wallpaper screen (or lock screen) looks like this. It stays up for several seconds or until you unlock the iPod. I like having quick access to a calendar, and one touch is pretty quick!  

I would love to see how some of you have personalized your phones, iPods, or tablets! 

Thanks for stopping by! See you next week!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Last week I was struck with an idea for recycling something. Then I was struck with memory loss before I entered it into my phone. (If I ever lose that phone, I'm up *that* creek without a paddle. Every appointment goes in the calendar along with everyone's birthdays, and I keep a running list of things to do as well as my shopping lists.) But yesterday I remembered!
I get inspiration from all kinds of odd places. When I see something that gives me an idea I take a picture of it (with my oh-so-useful phone) or, if possible, stick it up on a magnet board in my scraproom. One thing I've gathered several of is clothing tags.

All of these tags, plus a few more, made it onto my magnet board because I liked the colors or the images on them. I originally thought I would just use the color combinations for a card or layout, but the other day I thought, "Why not use the whole tag?" Soooo....

How cute are these?! They could be bookmarks,  gift tags, or embellishments on a layout or card.
The pink one up on top uses the SU! Apothecary Art set and Framelits dies. I really do own more SU! products--I'm just totally enamored with this set! The tan tag on the left has a doily and a small piece of light blue paper covering the printing on the tag, and a flower made from a strip of muslin and a pearl. I tied a narrow braid of leather at the top. The green tag on the right was REALLY easy. I just tied a strip of muslin through the hole on top and adhered a strip of muslin across the bottom to cover the print. Then I added the three little green pearls. Easy-peasy! 
That's all I have time for today. I'm meeting the hubby for a night on the town. Well, a couple hours on the town, anyway! But I want to make the Converse tag (with the star) and the black one with palm trees more masculine, so I'll probably be playing with them again tomorrow.
Betcha never look at clothing tags the same again!  
What's the most unusual thing you ever recycled in your crafting?
Thanks for stopping by! See you Friday!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hello, Spring!

How adorable is this flower?! I got the idea during a blog-surfing session a few weeks ago. I found an idea for a Springtime Banner on the Cheery Lynn blog and went from there. I started with coffee filters, background stamps, and a variety of oval Nesties. At Cheery Lynn they used patterned paper and a much larger oval than I needed, but the folds had to be scored. I needed my flower to fit on a card, so the score lines were so close they pretty much just ran into each other. But a coffee filter is so nice and thin that it folds very easily without scoring.

Stamp three coffee filters with a background stamp. I wanted to make a couple of flowers, so I stamped three with a paisley background and three with a polka dot background. Then cut your ovals from the filters. It wouldn't be difficult to do freehand, but why do that when we have Nesties? I used the largest oval I have to cut the paisley filters and a large scallop oval for the polka dot filters. The coffee filters are so thin that the Nesties cut through all three layers easily.

Accordion fold each of the ovals lengthwise. Each fold on mine is around 1/4 inch wide, but I wasn't terribly precise about it.

Now fold each oval in half and adhere the little folds in the middle together. (Fold it first, then apply your adhesive. I tore one of my ovals because things didn't line up just right and then I tried to mom-handle that thin filter paper.)

Once the middle is put together, your oval will make a heart. (Or a pair of petals) Add one more oval...

and you have a lovely butterfly! 
Or adhere the third pair of petals to complete the flower.

I like layering the two patterns, but I don't think it would mail very well at all. It's pretty thick.

Now all that's left is to add your sentiment and a stem. I layered two scallop circles for the center of the flower and used polka dot grossgrain ribbon for the stem. I thought the bow made a respectable pair of leaves. The grass is a strip of muslin. I folded it in half and pulled enough strings to give both edges a good fray, then I inked it with Certainly Celery. The only CC I had was craft ink, but it worked very nicely. 

Earlier today I had an idea for recycling something. Or re-using, know what I mean. The problem is, I didn't add the idea to the list I keep in my phone and now I've already forgotten it! I'll just wander aimlessly through my house and hopefully it will come to me!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend and I'll see you Tuesday!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Honeytree Lotion

Most of the jobs I've had in my life, both paid and unpaid, have had something to do with kids. I was the oldest grandchild on both sides of the family, so I always had lots of younger cousins around at family gatherings. My first job was babysitting the son and daughter of my elementary school principal when I was just twelve. I worked at a daycare while I was in college, then provided daycare in my home when the boys were little. When Michael was three I had the opportunity to go to work with Miss Connie and Miss Cathy at Honeytree Preschool. It was one of those jobs that just kind of fell in my lap. Honeytree was THE preschool of choice in Aurora and the surrounding communities. The three of us were a great team! I stayed there for twelve years and was considered a full partner when we closed a few years ago. 

One thing you notice when you're around three and four year olds all day is how many bodily fluids you come in contact with. The next thing you notice is how many times you wash your hands and how quickly they become dry and cracked. So we were always on the lookout for great hand lotions. One of the best we ever found was homemade! I don't remember who gave us the recipe, but it's easy and VERY inexpensive. All of the ingredients can be purchased at the dollar store!

If you know me, you know I never follow a recipe (or directions), so of course I had to switch it up a little! 

This is the recipe using the dollar store items:

15 oz. bottle baby lotion
7 oz. jar Vaseline
8 oz. vitamin E cream (two 4 oz. jars)
Just dump everything in a blender and mix well. 

Now here are my tweaks. I LOVE the smell of Jergens. That cherry almond scent reminds me of my great grandma's house. I don't know if maybe she or her sister used it, but for some reason I make that connection. So instead of the baby lotion I use a bottle of cherry almond scented lotion. And I like to use a pump so I only use about half the vaseline. The whole 7 oz. makes it too thick for a pump. 

Mix up a batch and store it in some pretty little candle jars. You probably have some stashed somewhere--I know you can't throw anything away, either! Tie on a ribbon and tag and it's a great little teacher gift. I recycled the clear bottle after I used all the lotion that came in it. The label peeled right off for me and I think the plain clear bottle looks nice. A little Goo Gone will take care of any adhesive residue. The white ceramic bottle came from my old bathroom. 

You might want to  experiment with different scents. I substituted a 15 oz. bottle of coconut lotion  for the baby lotion one summer and it smelled really good, but the cherry almond is by far my favorite. Give it a try--you'll love the way it feels! It's not heavy or greasy, and it really moisturizes. 

What is your most economical "beauty secret?"

Thanks for stopping by! See you Friday!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ever Use a Nestie Upside-Down?

One Friday evening a month several of us gather at our friend Sherry's house for stamp club. Sherry is an SU! demonstrator and has been hosting the monthly event for at least six years. (That's when I joined.) Last Friday we made a beautiful card using an Embosslit folder and matching Edgelit die. Getting everything lined up to cut and emboss was pretty confusing, so I was determined to come up with an easier way to do it. Sorry, ladies. I have a different way to do it, but I don't think it's any easier.

I decided to try using some Nesties since I don't have the Edgelits. I found that it helped to place the die, cutting side down, on the cutting plate and tape down one edge. It doesn't show very well on this picture, but I also marked where the edge of the paper lines up on the die. This will help later. Notice that only one edge of the card goes under the die so that only that edge will be cut. Fold the card down and run it through the machine.

DO NOT move the paper after you make the cut, but add an embossing pad to the sandwich and run it through the machine again. I had to add a couple pieces of cardstock to get a good impression. 

Can you see the line embossed across the bottom edge? When you fold the top down it will line up perfectly. Pretty cool, right?
Start with papers that are close to the size you want for your mats and center them on the die. The marks you made earlier on the die will help. 
After I had my mats cut I decided I liked the paisley better on the left side of the card, so I just cut a strip of it. I embossed the green mat with my Dotted Swiss folder and added a sentiment and ribbon.

You can use a smaller die, too. It just has to be wide enough to fit one edge of your card through. I used the Famelits Labels for this one. Cut your card so the fold is on the 4.25" side. Be sure when you run the card through the machine to cut it that you only cut the one edge. I only crank it through far enough to make the cut then I back it out. Taking it all the way through would add more embossing. You might want to give that a go. I might too! We could probably do without the mats then. Hmmm.... Let me know what you come up with!

Thanks for stopping by! See you next week!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Houn Dawgs Mini Album

Each of the past three years I have attended Aurora's Project Graduation. If you aren't familiar with Project Grad, it's a drug-free, alcohol-free celebration held only for graduates on the night of their high school graduation. Seniors and their parents hold fundraisers throughout the year to pay for the evening's activities, and provide some pretty generous gifts to those who choose to attend. It's held out of town, with the kids boarding a school bus around 8 or 9 p.m. and returning on the bus around 6 a.m. 

You may be asking, "Why? Why on earth would you stay up all night with 100 giddy eighteen year olds?" Because some of them want to make mini albums! Each year I've had around twenty sign up. Project Grad covers my expenses and I supply the girls (there was a boy once, but I think his girlfriend forced him!) everything they need to put together a nice little 6" mini. I make the books myself with my handy-dandy Cinch and I have papers cut to size and an assortment of embellishments. 

We are the Houn Dawgs. No, not the Hound Dogs--the Houn Dawgs. (There's a cool story there, but that's for another day.) Not a lot of scrapping paraphernalia floating around out there for Houn Dawgs. And I'm too order anything custom made, so I make it myself! 
Here are some of the pages from Michael's book that I put together for him.

The Sr 2011 was cut with my Silhouette. The 11 "charms" are glitter craft foam cut  with Sizzlits. I found a really good deal on the tassels last spring. Usually I make them with a few inches of fringe trim.
I doodled on a piece of notebook paper then scanned it into my computer and printed copies of it to get the page on the left. You see a lot of doodle papers, but this is personalized for this specific group. (Michael is the only drummer playing in the photo.)

This was a 12x12 sheet for marching band. I cut out the words and repositioned them on the background after I cut it down to size. (Michael is #10 in the pic of the football captains)

This SR 11 is cut with the same Sizzlits. For the right side, I made the Houn Dawgs paper on the computer and everything that isn't Houn Dawgs paper is a Coolibah page I printed on 4x6 paper.

The left side is another Coolibah page printed on 4x6.

Prom and the flourish were cut with my Silhouette. I don't know how they squezzed so much personality into that limo! Yes, Michael went platinum for a while.

Guys and Dolls is just good old glitter glue on black cardstock. (I didn't do that for 20 books. Michael had to get something special!)

I do work in a few simple pages. I probably wouldn't have included this one on the blog, but it might be the only photographic evidence I have that Michael actually hugged me. In front of hundreds of people! (I'm on the school board and he had to hug me to get his diploma! teehee!)

Another very simple page. Yes, the picture on the right is blurry, but how could I not use it?! That's my brother on the left and our older son, Cole, on the right.

The pic on the left is from the hypnotist show at Project Grad. Guess Who is wearing the yellow and green thing on his head! The page on the right has the name of each of the graduates. Can't get much more custom than that, right?!

And here is our beloved Houn Dawg on the back cover.  I make these with the Silhouette, also.
I really enjoy spending a couple of hours with the girls as they assemble their pages. I get the feeling they like the custom pages because most of them don't cover those with pictures. It's a great time for them to reminisce, since it is the last time the majority of the class will be together, and putting this mini album together gets them talking about all kinds of  "Do you remember when..." times. Kind of like the rest of us do at crops!

Thanks for stopping by! I promise I WILL be back on Friday this week! See you then :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Clear as Mud :)

Nothing new. Just an update. I went back to Tuesday's post to add some pics and try to clarify a little. I think it was easier to figure out than it was to explain! Hope that helps a little. I'll try to be back tomorrow, but it might be Saturday instead. See you then!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

This is Why I Don't Bother Planning Posts Ahead of Time

So I was sitting on the sofa this morning ironing 64 half inch wide strips of muslin with a mini flat iron and watching Hoda and Kathie Lee. It takes a LONG time to iron 64 half inch wide strips of muslin. Did I mention that the strips are torn instead of cut? They're for wedding invitations, of course! I'll show you one after the wedding if Brittanie doesn't mind. Anyway...I ran out of tv before I ran out of muslin, and when I pulled up the guide, I found HSN celebrating National Craft Month!
They were in the middle of telling about a kit to make cards similar to this one, but with a heart instead of a circle. I'm sure there are tutorials out there, probably even on Splitcoast, that tell how to make a card like this, but I had a pretty good idea about how it could be done as soon as I saw it. It was easier than I thought it would be and you don't need a lot of supplies! Paper, stamps and ink, and some Nestabilities. I used the Lacey Circles and Standard Circles. Other shapes will work as long as they are symmetrical. Other brands will also work--you'll just have to adjust the "sandwich" for cutting.

Start with a 4.25 x 5.5 card base and a 4 x 5.25 mat. Line up the mat on the front of the card, stick it down with a tiny bit of adhesive (you're going to pull it off in just a minute), and mark the center of the mat from top to bottom. 
Center the nestie on that mark. 

Sandwich the card and mat between the B and C plates, placing the edge of one cutting plate along the center mark. You want to cover the right hand half of the circle (the half furthest from the fold)  and run it through the machine. I like to use a little blue painters' tape with Nesties. They're so light and tend to shift easily, and that holds them in place without tearing the paper. Plus it's cheap!

Only the part with the plate on top will cut, so you only cut half a circle.

Now you'll want to run the mat through again by itself to cut the entire circle. If you do it this way, that first pass marks everything and makes it easier to line up. (Learned that one the hard way!) 

Score the front of the card above and below the circle on the center line. 

 When you fold the front in half, the scallops will complete the circle.

Cut the mat in half from top to bottom and adhere the left half to what is now the front of the card.
Adhere the scallop circle to the base, lining up the scallops. 

Here is a different angle that shows the way the front is folded a little better. I used a stamp set from Crafty Secrets. They have the most beautiful vintage designs! The mat is a discontinued Stampin' Up! paper and the  image is stamped on SU! Baja Breeze with Early Espresso ink. I liked this so much I had to make another!

I just love this little girl! She's also from Crafty Secrets. I wanted to put a banner with "Wishing You Bouquets of Joy" but it only fits inside. 
See, it's not that hard, is it?! I don't know why the card on HSN grabbed my attention, but I'm glad it did. Now I want to use some different shapes. Wouldn't a square turned on end like a diamond look neat? I have a perfect Fleur de lis die for that! 
Hmmm.... Gotta go!
Thanks for stopping by! See you Friday!

Friday, March 2, 2012

March Calendar

Happy March! I haven't exactly got the knack of planning my posts more than a day or two ahead yet, or I would have flipped my posts this week so you could start the month with a pretty new calendar. Hope you made it through the last day and a half without one! Here it is:

I made this calendar on my iPad using a free printable calendar I found online and Coolibah (my favorite app).Coolibah is amazing! You can see a few of my other Coolibah pages in one of my Facebook albums. Just click  here. (This takes you to a login page then to my album.)

If you want to make a calendar of your own, I give directions in my post titled February Assignment. Or you can save this one to your computer, phone, or iPod to use as a wallpaper or home page. I like to save mine as the lock page on my iPad so it's there at the touch of a button. It even prints nicely. I printed a 4x6, a 5x7, and an 8x10 on photo paper and they all look great!  

I only have one small favor to ask. When someone sees your phone and says, "Oh, my! What a lovely calendar," you have to tell them about your amazing friend, Michele, and her wonderfully entertaining blog! 

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by! See you next week!