Monday, February 11, 2013

Hand-Stitching on Paper

Lately, I've been into hand-stitching on my scrapbook pages.  I wanted to share an example of how I do it.  Currently, I'm taking a great class called Bright Ideas at Studio Calico.  The first challenge of the class is to use a stencil somehow on your layout.  After looking around my scrap area, I noticed that I had a negative cut from a word I cut from my Silhouette Cameo and used on this layout that I made months ago.  I'm happy I kept that negative cut!  I pulled it out and a layout quickly came together in my mind.  It also helped that the challenge came with a sketch to use if you needed an extra push.  Here is the layout and how I created it:
The layout.  The word "bestie" in the title is what I hand-stitched.

The negative from the cut.  It said "besties" originally, but I cut off the "s" to accommodate for this page.
I played around with the layout before adhering anything down.  I needed to be sure I put it in the correct spot before putting the layout together.  I didn't want to be stitching when there's a bunch of stuff on the page, it gets a little heavy to handle that way.
I traced the word onto the paper in pencil.
Using a paper piercer (and a mousepad underneath), I poked holes along the word where I wanted to stitch.  Be sure to poke a little closer as you go along curves so they come out looking correct.
Using a needle and 3 strands of thread, I stitched along the outline of the word.
The final result!
 Here are a couple of other examples of pages that I've hand-stitched on:

I'm loving the look of hand-stitching and it's really not something that takes up a lot of time.  I just poke my holes, and sit down in front of the TV and stitch away!
If you're interested in starting stitching, but it kinda scares you, Amy Tan has some great stitching stencil kits that come with stencils, a needle, thread and a mat...everything you need!  I haven't seen them for sale anywhere yet, but she blogged about them recently.  Check it out!

Monday, February 4, 2013


A while ago, I had decided to take on a new challenge for 2013.  It all started with these Handbooks that Studio Calico started designing (I don't think the chevron album is available anymore, but my eye is on that geotag one...another album is in the works in my mind for that).  I'm a sucker for an awesome album...and these are awesome.  They fit 6x8 page protectors, which is different and fun to work with when I need a break from 12x12 pages.  There are many different types of page protectors as well, which is an echo of Project Life.  I've actually seen quite a few people using these Handbooks for their Project Life albums.  Great examples are: Shanna Noel and Kelly Purkey.  Kelly is actually using a Snap Album, but it's the same idea.

For 2013, I decided to do a goal oriented album.  I got some page protectors (the full sized and one with three slots).  For the album, I am choosing 3 goals for each month of 2013.  I'm calling the album "3."  I'm not choosing crazy big goals, definitely goals that I can accomplish each month.  The basis of the album is that the full sized page will have my goals listed on it, while the 3 slotted page will hold the pictures of the goals being met.  I'll share the progress of the album here each month.  And with that, here is the album and January:
The cover.  The album is raw chipboard, so I spray painted it turquoise and used silver acrylic paint to paint and emphasize the chevron pattern.  Then, I added the 3 coaster that I had in my stash.

Cover page.

January's goals.
 I'm excited about this album and so far, it's going very well!  I already have February's goals page done and I'm close to getting two of them accomplished.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Book Review: The Yellow Birds

I recently chose this book as my book club selection for January.  I heard about it on Morning Joe on MSNBC.  Now, if you know me, you're probably thinking, "What in the WORLD were you watching MSNBC for???"  I'm a Fox News girl through and through.  I took some friendly advice to give this show a try from a friend who watches it.  It was fine.  And I actually met Joe Scarborogh when I was working at a restaurant in Pensacola, FL and he was very friendly.  So I was watching and they had this author on and they were discussing the book and read a few excerpts.  I immediately added it to my TBR (to be read) list.  The author, Kevin Powers, is an Iraq War Vet and the book is a fiction novel that follows two soldiers through a war.  And wow, it was powerful.  Very brutal...we're talking about war there were some hard parts to get through.  And it jumps around a bit, so I had to get used to that.  But what captivated me so much was the way that the author wrote it.  He's a very good writer.  The words he used and the way he wrote it was almost....poetic.  That's pretty talented when you're writing a book about a war situation. While this is a fiction novel, with the author being a vet and going through a tour in a hostile country, I'm assuming that some of these experiences are things that he actually experienced somehow.
I also wanted to choose this book because my book club is made up of military spouses in my husband's group.  I wanted to see how they reacted to it, being wives of soldiers.  I got some mixed reactions.  Some really like it, some found it hard to read.  Everyone appreciated it, and we all were affected by it somehow.  In our husband's career field, they are lucky to not be on the front-lines, the way the characters in this book are.  But they do deploy and it is a hostile environment and can be scary at times.  I do recommend it if you can read this type of topic.  It's powerful and really shows you what can happen in war-time situations.

Project Life, Week 4

Full view
Week 4...already?  Wow, where did January go?  This week was a good one.  Lots of stuff to fill my pockets up.  Dogs went to the vet, we spent a great morning at the park, got our new iMac, Caylan started reading an actual book...reading! rained in Tucson...I got some new jeans....Layla had her 18 month check up...yep, it was a good one.
Left side
Right side

 And yes, yes I did put my weight in my PL and also on my blog.  There it is.  All out there.  No excuses now!  Am I crazy or brave?  Maybe a little bit of both with an emphasis on crazy.