Sunday, January 31, 2010

Vinyl Scraps

I have a hard time throwing things away. It's always amazing that there can be so many uses for one product. The other day when I was creating some vinyl wall art, I was left with some scraps of vinyl that were too small to work well in my Silhouette Craft Cutter. This got me to thinking about whether I should throw them away or whether I could use them for something else.

I could cut these pieces by hand, with a paper trimmer or I thought it would be fun to try running them through my die-cut machine, the Cuttlebug. I found the above sweet little die and tried it out.

The Cuttlebug is super easy to use and you can just layer your die over the vinyl between two B plates. If you don't have a die cut machine, usually a local scrapbooking store will allow you to use theirs for a small fee or if you take part in a crop night. Just turn the handle and the die will pass through the machine.

This die left me with both a positive and negative shape. I'm actually loving the negative shape best but I'm going to use them both up. The flower ended up on a little tin...

and my negative shape was super quick to apply to this tin canister I use for storage in my craft room. Here it is on the shelf...

Wouldn't this be a fun idea to personalize things with? How about letters on storage containers in a kid's room or to organize things in the back hallway? To personalize a vinyl binder? Hmmmm.... I wonder what else I can come up with!

Do you have some fun ideas for vinyl?

Happy creating!


Saturday, January 30, 2010

moving furniture...

Unfortunately, I'm not goign to be showing you us moving our furniture back into the family room or tips on how to do it. We're still chipping away at the huge to do list for renovating the family room. As with all renovations, one thing always seems to lead to another. Hubby decided to do a little more electrical than originally planned. He wants to get rid of all the aluminum wiring and replace it with copper. I guess if you're going to do it, now is the time!

I'm lovin the new look on our walls...

I have been moving furniture however...on paper. It's a great way to plan a room for new furniture or a renovation. I put a lot of effort into finding free programs on-line to do this for me but one or the other all had some kind of difficulty with them. This room was too large, or too complex or there were limited furniture options so I decided to try moving things around on paper. I found a great little tool on the Pottery Barn web-site called Room Designer. You don't need to be technically savvy. You just need to be able to measure and sketch out your room and then do a little cut and paste.

Here's what I came up with...

One of the things I'm most excited with about this renovation is the removal of the existing gas fireplace. It was in such a difficult place to arrange furniture around. I suppose if it had been a living room it would have been easier but this is our family room and we needed to arrange around the main uses for this room...watching videos, the stereo and playing games. This allowed me to turn our furniture 90° to the left and it should flow much better. It also centers on the room nicely with the peak of the cathedral ceiling running right through the middle of the room...horizontally in the above sketch.

Another great thing about planning ahead for furniture placement is the ability to place power outlets in the floor just where you need them. I'll have one in the floor just under where the sofa will be to allow for a lamp for reading. I can't wait to turn this...

...into my nice cozy family room.

So. How do you move furniture? The old fashioned way, on some paper or with a computer program? I'd love to hear about it.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

c is for....


I'm just finishing up some of those pesky little details so that I can call my creative space finished. Or mostly so for now. I'm sure along the way I'll may a few changes but there were a few things let undone that were driving me crazy.

You may have noticed my C the other day and wondered what it was for. None of my initials start with C.

I found this C vinyl wall decor in Home Sense a couple months ago. I think Home Sense is the Canadian equivalent to Home Goods but am not quite sure. It had been marked down to $5 and I loved the big square shape. I do have a Silhouette Craft Cutter that I'm having fun cutting vinyl with but it just doesn't cut that wide. I decided to bring it home and mix the two.

This is the original vinyl tranfer...

And here it is with a little diy love added to it.

NOW it makes sense in my craft room and added some very inexpensive decoration. I didn't even worry that the two black vinyls were a little different. One is glossy, the other matte. Unless you stand at a very strange just can't tell.

So now if I can just get the last door handle installed...I'll be a happy girl!

Do you like vinyl wall decor? Have you ever altered it?

Monday, January 25, 2010

my creative space

welcome... my new creative space.

I'm super excited to finally be able to share it with you. Two and a half years in the making since hubby and I were standing in a hole beside the house under where our porch used to be. We were pacing it off and planning the bedroom that we'd need to get baby #5 out of our bedroom and over top would be our new back hall and eating area. It went a little something like this...

She said: Hmmmm.... looks like a pretty big bedroom to me. Does child #3 really need a bedroom this large? It's larger than our master bedroom.

He said: No...we could make it two rooms. One nice sized bedroom and a smaller room...for studying, maybe?

She said: We have a study that we already have the computer in and the older kids all have desks in there rooms. (she hesitates a little and gingerly suggests) What about a craft room? It's not as large a space as I'd like but I think I could make it work.

He thinks.

She holds her breath.

She said: It would get all my stuff out of the family room....

He said: OK We can do that.

She said: (scream) I'm so excited! I love you! You are the best hubby ever...blah, blah, blah, blah.....

(she jumps up and down, runs over, big hug and kisses etc.)

You get the idea.

In the meantime we've been busy with more crucial parts of the addition/renovation.... whole story here.... and while we worked away, I planned out my little creative space eking out the most use from an 8x8 foot room. Here's my plan...

And finally welcome to my space...

It turned out just as I designed on paper and I couldn't be more thrilled. I think what makes my room so workable for me is that I really considered how I design, exactly what my needs were for workspace and storage and how best to squeeze it into my creative space. Hubby agrees with me that the photos actually make my room look larger than it actually is. Two people would have difficulty working in this space together. It could be done but as I usually create alone, this works for me. I can turn around in my chair and reach into the drawers behind me, pull things out of the storage carts to the side or quickly stand up and grab my cardstock from its shelves.

My desk is the place were I spend most of my time. It usually doesn't look like this. I usually have some stamps, ink, a paper cutter, scraps and a project in progress. I have everything I use most within reach. My desk isn't terribly pretty but it was a gift from a friend who no longer needed it. The drawers are great and it has a great large worksurface. I'm thinking it may get a makeover down the road but for works for me.

One of my favorite storage solutions for crafting is this Making Memories Storage Carousel. It's amazing how much it fits into one space, I can see and find my most used items and I think it still looks pretty. Love how it smoothly spins around. I picked mine up at Michael's with a 50% off coupon and liked it so much, I bought another next time it was on sale.

Above my desk within easy reach is my ink pads. Ink pad storage has been a bit of a trial for me since I started stamping about 7 years ago. They can be difficult to store and if you stamp a lot, you'll want easy access. I tried a few different solutions but this one is the winner for me. I have three ink pad organizers that each hold 48 ink pads. I know, I know...that's a lot of ink but I do use them all. I still have a few empty spaces but they are great for holding various acrylic blocks, twine and I have a row saved for some new Distress Ink colors being released soon. Organize More is a fabulous solution for me. They also sell ribbon organizers and other craft storage solutions.

When hubby installed my ink storage for me, I got him to make a nice little shelf to go over the top. I have some pretty frames, my clock and some crafting items up there. Things that make me smile. One of them is this stamp I've saved from an old Stampin Up set. For me it's the perfect decoration... inspirational, unique and using what I have.

Here's my magnet boards where I keep receipts, work in progress and sometimes a layout I like.

In the corner of my craft room, just behind the entry door, I have a little cupboard to store extra things. I have magazines, alterable items and other misc. craft things in there.

If you come back to my desk and turn left this time, you'll find two of my favorite craft storage pieces. I am totally amazed at how much these hold in one area. So much better than drawers and iris carts. The drawer units are from Best Craft Organizer and the shallow drawers are fabulous. I keep embossing powder, paint, rub-ons and just about anything small in these drawers. If you pull them out, they will also stack if you want to bring them to another area to work on. The area is a little tight and the area really only works because the carts are on castors. I knew this on my original plan but with my smooth hard floor, they easily move closer to my desk if I need better access into the cupboard on the left.

My two Clip-It-Ups fit perfectly on top of the craft organizers and are invaluable. One of them I ordered from the US and the other, I purchased at my local scrapbook store with a store credit I had. They are a little expensive but worth it for me. I can see what I have and use it rather than it getting creased or dated in a drawer. One of my Clip-it-Ups holds my unmounted stamps and the other, embellishments.

I like to keep my counter space as clear as possible so that I can have additional space to work. This end I use for die cutting.

This side holds various craft supplies and a circle cutting system.

My counter is 8 feet long and just barely squeezed into my space. I had originally planned on a different counter top but one Saturday after installing the counters, hubby told me I could order one and wait for it to come in or go to Home Depot and pick one from stock. He would install it that night. Hmmm.... I rushed off and this counter was quite similar to my original plan. I love the subtle color variation and texture. I did splurge a little on the hardware and I'm glad I did.

You can see where I did cut some corners in this photo...I've reused my old kitchen fluorescent light fixture. My flooring is also pretty much non-existent. It's just the concrete floor painted with epoxy paint designed for garage floors. We decided this was the best solution for me as I've been known to drop permanent ink pads onto flooring and drop adhesive glue dots on it too. This is so easy for me to clean up by sweeping up scraps, my chair slides easily and if I stain it...I can just repaint. My floor is also super warm as it has infloor heating. With the bright south-facing window, I hardly feel like I'm in the basement at all.

One of my biggest problems in my old corner was paper storage. I love patterned paper and like to store it in these Iris cases from Michael's. They work great and I can pull down the case I need and then put it right back. I designed this shelf system to hold them and hubby did a great job of giving me exactly what I needed. It's not the prettiest storage (hubby wanted to put doors on it) but making things easy access is key to me putting things away and finding exactly what I want. It's only functional if it works for you.

And now we're full circle at the door and you can see my last storage area. This space backs onto the basement stairs and we were able to carve out a little space to hold my cardstock. I'm thrilled with how easy it is to find what I need. Each shelf will hold a 12x12 stack of paper and an 8.5x11 stack as well.

That's my space and I hope you've enjoyed the tour. I'm thrilled to finally share it with you and I hope you've found a few ides for your own space.

Do you like my space? Was it worth the wait?

Thanks for visiting!

This post links up with the Twice Remembered Cottage's Make Your Monday.

Metamorphasis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch

Make it for Monday at Cottage Instincts

First Big Project of the New Year at Sanctuary Arts

DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Remember this?

And this?

It's done! It's been a long process with many side trips but I can now sit in my room and just love it. My very own creative space. I couldn't have asked for a better gift. Seriously...I even get a little sappy and get tears in my eyes.

So I now have it all tidied up and photographed and I'm just working on getting a very long post ready for tomorrow.

In the's a sweet little frame I created for my room. It's made from Craft-a-Board...a chipboard like product and some scrapbooking supplies. I think I'm going to have to make some more as I love this one so much. Grandma would love one for a gift I know.

Tutorial and step outs for this project can be found in the CLASSroom.

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Nine Nifty Magnets

I've been collecting for my creative space for a very long time. A few years ago I had a store credit at my local scrapbooking store and invested in this great Making Memories Magnetic Boards for my room. They've been patiently waiting in a closet and are so glad to be out in the sunlight. I've hung them on my craft room wall right beside my desk to help me stay organized.

My little boys had taken them over but I cleaned all the lovely crayon drawings off the other day and reclaimed them for myself. I didn't have any magnets so I picked up a package of blank magnets and set out to make my own. Now if you're worrying about the prolific artwork pile and some hurt's all good. Mommy has a plan for them that they are excited about. I just need to find a little more time to work on that next.

So here's how to make nine nifty magnets....

Flowers: simply hot glue them on the magnet. Isn't this Prima flower stunning? What more could you need?

Buttons: For this sweet and easy magnet I wanted a vintage look. This darling little chipboard button was tied and then adhered over a white blossom. Simple and sweet.

Stickers: Add some letter stickers to personalize a purchased magnet. I picked two of these up at Michaels. (Note to self: ceramic magnets don't do well when dropped on concrete floors.) I did rescue it and turn the magnet into the stamped magnet variation.

Printed Chipboard: I have a lot of beautiful chipboard pieces. Glue together, add a little heart and you're done.

This and That: Mix it all up. I found all these sweet little pieces in a box of loose embellishments. Layer, layer, layer and use it up.

Stamped Magnet: Stamp and ink up a piece of chipboard, cardboard or whatever and add some goodies.

Fabric: Now I think this one is my favorite. A piece of Prima canvas fabric is adhered to the back of the acrylic piece. (I used Ranger Glossy Accents but any clear liquid adhesive should work). Allow to dry and then adhere a few found items from your drawer.

Felt: I love these colors! Stack the felt, add a button and you're done.

Ribbon: I love ribbon! Here it's mixed up with a flower and some sweet Maya Road scrapbooking product

So here they are all together...

And here they are beside my desk.

The best things about this project, they used up scraps of stuff I had on hand, they personalize my space, keep me organized and it was a super quick project. I'm pretty tickled with how cute they look.

Which one do you like the best?
Have a great weekend!

This post links up with Funky Junky Interior's Saturday Night Special

Friday, January 22, 2010

color my world

I've always meant to keep a record of my paint colors...just in case I needed them again. When I first moved into this house almost 11 years ago, I was organized. I only had three kids and all of them were in school. I had a file as to just move into this place, a lot of work had to happen first.

But life happened and I didn't keep it up. When I saw that Stephanie from Frugal Home Ideas was having a paint color party...I thought it would be fun to join in and also get my paint colors all in one place.

It was interesting too. Seeing all my colors together in one place tells me a little more about what I like. Here's a peek into the colors of my world...

my kitchen:

Benjamin Moore Herbes de Provence CC-634

painted dresser:

Behr Black Suede

my livingroom/dining room:

Benjamin Moore HC 30 Philadelphia Cream

master bedroom:

Benjamin Moore Heavenly Blue 709

Basement and Back Hall:

Bar Harbour Beige CC-320

Upper Bathroom:

Benjamin Moore Bradstreet Beige HC- 48

Upper Hallway:

Benjamin Moore Sand Dunes 1072

laundry room/bathroom:

Benjamin Moore Heather Field CC-970

my creative space:

Benjamin Moore™ 2051-60 Birds Egg

I'm almost done! Full pics coming in a couple days.
Daughter's Bedroom:

Benjamin Moore Flagstone CC 516

my family room to be:

Benjamin Moore Wedgewood Gray HC 146

A few color notes:
  • Flagstone is the yummiest color ever. My daughter and I adore it in her room and I'd recommend it to anyone
  • I'm totally lovin' my Bird's Egg creative space. It's a wonderful blue...fresh and inspiring.
  • My living room color is nice but it's too light. It's getting painted this spring.
  • I like my funky purple bathroom.
  • My kitchen color is beautiful...even with dark cupboards. Herbes de Provence is so soothing. If you buy it...beware...first coat will look nasty going on but hang in will be gorgeous.
So I've decided I like cozy mid-toned colors with a touch of grey in them. Soothing colors in my mind.

What are your favorite colors to paint with?

This post links up with Frugal Home Ideas Paint Color Party...