Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A few More Valentine's Projects revisited...

Today is my last full day in Germany and the last day in January. There are only two weeks left until Valentine's Day.  I have some links to share for projects I did a couple of years ago that you may have missed.  The little metal mailboxes are commonly found in Target store dollar spots.  I printed and cut magnet material to decorate them.  All of the details are at THIS POST.

This mobile is one of the more complicated projects I have done.  It isn't difficult but it does take some time to cut everything and assemble all of the pieces.

It took me a while to lay out the pieces - I have trouble doing "random!"  All of the directions with lots and lots of photos are at THIS POST.

I can't wait to tell you all about our adventures.  Please send good thoughts for safe journeys as Mandy travels back to Australia, Enfys returns to England and I head back to the States tomorrow - thanks!

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Candy Treats - All Dressed Up

Valentine's Day is all about candy - and the simplest of treats can look very special with just a little bit of "dressing up!"  I designed these bags last year for classroom treats or party favors.  This type of candy bag is easy to make and there are endless variations.

You can find step by step directions for designing the bag toppers at THIS POST.  The directions for assembling the bags can be found at THIS POST.

One more day in Germany - by now I'm sure my mind will be full of new ideas and things to try - it will be great to get back home and start some new projects!

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Inspiration Challenge Update

I thought I'd share one of the ways I interpreted the color and pattern challenge.  If you missed the original post where I gave this challenge, you'll find it HERE.

I started with the shapes and used the Silhouette Studio program to draw some flowers that follow the pattern of the brooch.  I tried using the same colors, but the result seemed a little dull - so I livened it up a bit with some pink!   I made a sheet of digital paper to use for a background.  It needs some tweaking but I like it so far.

I hope that you will try making something and add your link to the original post.  I am shopping for a small but interesting prize from Germany and will draw a name from those who take up the challenge...

Just a couple more days and lots more to see...starting to think about the weather and hoping there won't be any problems for any of us getting back home again.  I hope you are having a great weekend!

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Something Funny for Saturday...

I saw this in a shop window when I was in town doing errands before my trip.  It made me laugh and I thought I'd share it with you.

The "Wee Forest Folk" are collectible figures that are made by a family in the neighboring town of Carlisle, Massachusetts.  They have been making these figures since the early 1970's.  You can see their website HERE

The mice are holding an "Occupy Walden Street" protest.  The signs say things like "more cheese" and "no more fat cats."  It made me smile and I hope it makes you smile too.

By now we should know our way around Frankfurt pretty well.  In addition to the trade show, I'd like to do some sightseeing and shopping around town.  We'll have to see how much time we have (the show looks like it is very large!).

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Easy Valentine's Day Wreath

Today will be my first full day in Germany.  Before I left, I changed the wreath on the front door.  It will be February 1st when I get back with only a couple of weeks left to show some love for Valentine's Day!

Quite a few years ago, I bought a round wreath of pink hydrangeas at a store like Home Goods or Marshall's.  When I brought it home, I simply bent the base into the shape of a heart.  This is the underside of the wreath so you can see the shape - it isn't perfect but close enough!

You just need to adjust the flowers on the top side to try to get the heart shape to show clearly.

From a distance, the heart shape is pretty easy to see.  I like the way the pink looks on our blue door.  It is a nice fresh change from the evergreen, ivy and gold that we have up during the Christmas holidays.

Our entry is recessed (in the very practical New England style) so I don't have to worry about the wreath getting wet.  This sort of wreath is usually inexpensive - maybe around $10 (I don't remember exactly what I paid since it has been quite a few years).

Here is another wreath that is easy to make.  It is just a coat hanger shaped into a heart with strips of red and white fabrics knotted around the frame.  The fabric is cut with a pinked edge and the patterns are alternated.  I made this in a crafting group I belonged to when we lived in England and I don't have the exact details but it would be easy to duplicate.

There are a couple of tiny wooden hearts that are painted red and tied with ribbons to dangle in the center of the wreath.  An extra bow with several loops is tied to the point of the heart.  The fabric strips are about five inches long and an inch wide for this wreath of about eight inches.  You would just adjust the sizes to suit the finished size you would like for your wreath.

Do you do a lot of decorating for Valentine's Day?  I am definitely going to check out the German decorations.  I can't remember exactly what the did for Valentine's Day - I know that Easter decorations were very elaborate (at least in the town where we lived).

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

On my way to Germany

I'll be flying to Germany today - and arriving very early on Friday (on an overnight flight).  I hope to be able to make some quick posts while I am away but I am not sure how easy it will be to get to the blog.  We will probably have very full days with three trade shows to attend!

I have scheduled some posts that should appear regularly while I am away.  I am not taking a computer with me but I will have my phone and should be able to check email when I have wifi available.  I will try to post some photos during the week on Facebook.  I am not sure how much we will be allowed to photograph at the trade show but I'll do my best to share any interesting "finds" with you all.

If you are a Facebook friend or a "fan" of the Capadia Designs Facebook Page, you might see some photos there (I know that not everyone uses Facebook but it may be easier to post that way while I am away).  I'll definitely fill you in on all of the things we see when I get back.  I'll be returning to the US on February 1st - my fourth Blogoversary - and there will be a fun celebration the first week I am back!

The photo above is from when we lived in Germany (from 1992-1995).  Three generations on the balcony outside our house in the tiny village of Aidlingen-Deufringen.  The little one in lederhosen is now a college graduate!

LAST CHANCE FOR SALE:  I want to remind you that the Creative Memories 20% off album sale ends today, Thursday, January 26th at 11:59 Central Time.  If you like these albums (I think they are the best available), this is a good time to stock up on pages, protectors and coversets.  If you don't have a Creative Memories consultant that you work with, I'd be glad to help you.  You can click HERE to go to my Creative Memories personal website.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tim Holtz Distress Inks and Foam Pads

After reading Monday's post about organization, a few people asked for photos of the way I attach the foam pads to my Tim Holtz Distress Ink pads.  So I quickly took a few photos - I hope they help make it easier to see how simple it is to do this.

You can buy hook and loop fastener (Velcro) at a sewing store.  Some is sold in dots or tabs and it also comes in long strips.  I had some strips left over from another project.  You only need the "hook" side (but of course, I saved the "loop" side - it may come in handy for something!).

Just cut the strip of the hook side into small rectangles - about 1/2 inch or so in length.

 I use the 1/2 inch wide Scor-Tape to adhere the loops to the stamp pad base.  It is a strong adhesive and should stay put if you are careful when you remove the pad from the base.

You can add the loops anywhere on the back - I tend to put it to one side but it doesn't really matter.

The foam pad that you have used for this color will always be handy and you can quickly put it on the wooden handle to work on your project.

I have just a few handles, enough for now and I can add a few more from time to time so I can keep the colors I use the most ready to go.  I don't think I'll ever have a handle for every color - they take up a lot of space and I'd rather save the money for another crafty purchase!

I hope the photos helped - it is quick and easy to set up this system.  I still have to redo the rack for holding the ink pads.  I'll post that when I finish it.

I am busy packing and trying to make sure I don't forget anything  - less than 24 hours until I fly to Germany!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Catching Up - Simple Treat Holder

I had a rather crazy day, lots of errands,  a follow up appointment for my hand surgery that took much longer than expected (everything is fine - they were just really backed up...) and lots of other last minute things to do before I leave for Germany on Thursday.

I had planned to post something new that I just designed.  I didn't get a chance to do the test cut so I thought I'd give a link back to a simple and cute treat holder I made for Valentine's Day a couple of years ago.  You will find the full post with the directions and file for making the treat holder HERE.

In the same post you'll find the file and directions for making these heart lanterns...

...and a card you can make with the "leftovers."

It's hard to believe how quickly January has flown by.  It really doesn't feel like winter this year - the temperature was in the mid 50's today and nearly all of the snow is gone again. 

I hope to get a little crafting time in on Wednesday - but the packing has to be done first! 

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Getting Organized - Ranger Stickles and Inks

I have been adding more Distress Inks to my supplies.  I like experimenting with various techniques and the colors are so beautiful.  I also have a pretty good size collection of Stickles that I have built up over the years.  I decided it was time to tackle the organization of these items.  For the most part, I have been keeping them in JetMax cubes and that works fine.  The difficulty comes in remembering the shades of the colors - some of them are only slightly different and the names can be confusing.

I started out labeling the distress ink pads with my Dymo Labelmaker.  The tapes for this gadget are fairly pricey and I wanted to be able to label all four sides to make it easier to put them away.  This would take quite a bit of tape so I looked for an alternative.

I discovered that there are a series of charts and labels available to download from the Ranger Ink site.  Just click HERE to go the the page on the site where you can find lots of free label sheet PDFs that work with Avery brand 5267 labels for your ink pads.  These labels are 1/2 inch by 1 3/4 inch and there are 80 labels on a sheet so another brand might work if you can't find Avery labels.

There are also color charts for lots of other Ranger products.  You can print these and add the colors you own for a handy reference when working on a project or shopping.

When I was at CHA last year, I had a chance to make a few of these charts.  Tim Holtz actually autographed the Distress Stain chart at the top right.  It's very handy to grab the chart and check colors.  For the stain, we did samples on sticky back canvas as well as directly on the cardstock.

I have done my Liquid Pearls and Stickles so far.  I have a Stickles color called "gunmetal" that wasn't on the chart so I added it at the top.  I am also not sure if "midnight blue" (on the chart) and "dark blue" (on my bottle) are the same color but it was the only spot left so I put it there.

You can see the effect of the liquid pearls very clearly on the chart.

When you fill up the chart be sure to go in order from top to bottom so you hand won't bump into wet Stickles!  All of the clear colors are across the bottom row.  


I did a post a couple of years ago that shows the differences between the various clear colors - if you missed that post you can find it HERE

One more tip for using the Distress Ink pads.  If you have the room and the funds, you could buy a handle for each color and keep the foam pad on it for easy use.  I only have a few handles and I just keep the foam pieces tucked under each ink pad (the base is recessed just the right amount).  You can add a small velcro dot (the loopy side) to keep the foam pads attached to the correct ink pad.

Thanks to the Ranger Company for providing these easy charts and labels - it helps all of us to get (and we hope - stay!) organized.  It also shows you which colors you still need - I think I'll have to go find the Liquid Pearl and Stickle colors that I am missing!

(did you hear the latest news - they are adding Distress Markers to the line - see HERE - one more thing to organize!)

A couple of notes...

I want to remind you that the Creative Memories 20% off album sale will be ending on Thursday, January 26th.  If you like these albums (I think they are the best available), this is a good time to stock up on pages, protectors and coversets.  If you don't have a Creative Memories consultant that you work with, I'd be glad to help you.  You can click HERE to go to my Creative Memories personal website.

Thanks to those of you who ordered through me on the surprise five day sale earlier this month.  I know there were issues with the servers being overloaded and I was happy to help those of you who contacted me get your orders through.  The shipping is taking longer than usual due to the huge volume of sales - thanks for being patient.  I have a couple of orders from the 15th that don't show shipping information yet but I know that everyone is pitching in at CM to get the orders out as quickly as possible!

Also, Blitsy keeps adding interesting items for sale each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Today they added the Pink Paislee Vintage Vogue line - I couldn't resist and ordered some of this adorable paper along with a variety of embellishments.

If you haven't joined this free membership shipping site, please use my link below to sign up

Once you have joined, you can get your own referral code and invite your friends and family.  When someone you refers makes their first order of $10 or more, you will get a $10 credit to spend on the site.  If you are a Facebook user, be sure to go "like" their page and then check in the left side column for a fan coupon code that will give you and extra 10% off on your first purchase.

Christmas is almost all back up in the attic - things are starting to look more normal around here!
Just a few days until I leave for the trade shows in Germany.  I'll do my best to post while I am away but there may be some delays.  I will definitely tell you all about it when I get back next week!

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday in New England

Thank you all for the lovely compliments on the photos I shared on Saturday.  I am finally catching up with reviewing and editing the photos from our trip to Spain and I am happy to know that you enjoy seeing some of them.  I am trying to get more of my personal projects finished this year.

When I was at church this morning I thought about the difference between our fairly typical small town New England church and the cathedral in Toledo.  I know it is comparing apples to oranges but I thought I'd post a few photos to share with you all.  Many of you have written to say that you also enjoy seeing photos of Concord, the historic town where we live in Massachusetts.

It was a glorious winter day with a brilliant blue sky.  Our church is quite typical with a tall steeple and bell tower and a long side extension for the Sunday school classrooms and offices.

There are four tall arched windows on each side of the sanctuary.  The glass is plain and allows plenty of light to enter.  There are also simple sconces and chandeliers.

There is a balcony across the back of the church.  When I was a child I loved to sit in the balcony of our church in Pennsylvania and look down over the congregation.

Through the door on the right is the Church Library and the Fellowship Hall is through the door on the left.  There are usually simple flower arrangements on stands in the front and when there are new babies born to members of the Church and their families, a rose is placed on the altar table.  Today there were two roses, including one for the first grandchild of our senior minister.

The walls are plain and the woodwork is very simple.  It is painted a slightly rosy shade of white in contrast to the walls.  The choir sings from this loft and the organist somehow manages to play and conduct with her back to the singers!

There are no fancy ceilings but this skylight is very pretty.   Simple lines without much ornamentation - a very typical New England Protestant Church.

Just a quick reminder...

There are a few days left to take on the challenge I gave you in the beginning of the month.  Thanks to Emily and Jules who have posted their links already.  I have extended the date until February 1st when I return from Germany - I am sure that I'll be able to find a great prize while I am there.

You can find the original post with all of the details HERE.  I'd love to see some more people take the challenge - maybe I gave you too long to do it (should I give a shorter deadline next time?).

For those of you on the email subscription - my timing is a bit off for the past few days.  I will be posting a Monday organization idea later in the day and then will try to get back on the 6 a.m. release timing for the rest of the week and while I am away.

February 1st, the day I return from Germany, will be the fourth anniversary of my blog.  I have a blogoversary celebration planned with some fun prizes for three lucky people.  I am really excited to have a chance to thank all of you who take the time to read and comment on my blog and I hope you will join in the fun!

The photo at the top of this post is of our neighbor's fence.  I love seeing the little "caps" of snow on the fence posts!

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