Friday, January 30, 2015

get well card

It's that time of year. Sniffling, coughing, visits to the doctor...we know this routine all too well during the winter months. I don't know about you, but I can never have enough get well cards on hand this time of year. So, today I thought I'd share some easy and clever get well card inspiration.

Under The Weather Card by Aly Dosdall

If you've been following this blog for a while, then you know I love to find multiple uses for my craft supplies. Visit the We R Memory Keepers blog HERE to learn some cool tips and tricks I used to make this get well card.

Under The Weather Card by Aly Dosdall_close

I've got a sick neighbor who will be the recipient of this card, and I've got a few more friends and co-workers who are feeling "under the weather" in mind for additional cards.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

DIY memory box

Being a working mom of 5 means that my free time is very limited. And that also means that I don't always have time to "keep up" with my scrapbooking and memory keeping. (Really, is anyone completely "caught up" anyway?) Sometimes it takes me a while to get photos and memories onto a scrapbook page, so in order to keep those photos and memories fresh and organized I decided to try a new system this year--a memory box!

memory box by aly dosdall 1

I've seen this idea in various forms floating around Pinterest and the blogosphere lately and I really love it. So, after looking at several different systems and types of memory boxes I came up with one that I think will work for me. The idea is that I record memories from each month of the year on Grid Journaling Cards, and then print my 4x6 photos (or photo collages) each month and store them with the journaling cards until I have time to create a page using the printed photos and hand written stories. 

memory box by aly dosdall 2

All of the memory boxes I've seen have been store-bought, but I tend to be a DIY kind of gal so I decided to use some We R tools to help me create my own little 4x6 filing box. To learn how I made my own box, visit the We R blog HERE.
Then I printed my 4x6 photos and Instagram photo collages and placed them in the proper month. I'll leave this sitting on a visible and accessible surface in my craft room so that I can easily record memories and add photos as the month progresses.

box contents

memory box by aly dosdall_january contents

memory box by aly dosdall_journaling cards

I'm really excited about this new system. It's totally easy and low-stress, but will still allow me to keep my photos and memories organized until I can get them into my scrapbook!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

valentine's day mini canvas

Need a quick and easy idea for a Valentine’s Day gift? Or maybe you’re looking for a small accent piece for your Valentine’s Day display? Try creating a mini canvas using the beautiful Echo Park Lucky In Love Collection Kit and Designer Dies.

Mini canvases are an inexpensive and versatile way to create. They make great gifts, are perfect small d├ęcor pieces, and are completely customizable—you can go as crazy as you’d like, or you can keep it clean and simple. Either way, it’s the perfect project to experiment on.

For this bitty gift I’m giving my hubby (shhh…don’t tell) I started by cutting some thin border strips from the patterned paper to act as an anchor for the project. I cut “v” shapes in the ends of one strip, allowing it to extend beyond the canvas for a fun effect. Then I die cut some hearts using the Designer Dies and added them to the background. I used the text patterned paper which is a similar color to the canvas to create some texture and interest in the background while still allowing the die cut letters to stand out.

Next, I die cut the “LOVE” letters each in a different patterned paper. I cut the L, V, and E with red paper, and the O with pink paper to make it stand out since it houses my tiny photo. I printed my photo in black and white 1” square in size, which fits perfectly behind the opening in the center of the letter O.

After adding my letters, I embellished the project with some jute twine, a mini clothespin, and a few tiny die cut confetti hearts. Then I placed the canvas on a mini easel, which you can purchase at your local craft store. I can’t wait to see my hubby’s face when he opens this--it’ll fit perfectly on his desk! 

For a full supply list, visit the original post on the Echo Park Paper blog HERE.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

cork board coaster memory book

While recently cleaning out my craft room I came across some leftover cork board coasters that I had used as part of a craft for my daughter's classroom party. When I saw them I immediately thought they would make a great base for a mini memory book as a gift for grandma! So, I pulled out one of my favorite We R collections from the past, my Corner Chomper, and my Crop-A-Dile Big Bite. Take a look at how it turned out!

Cork Board Coaster Memory Book by Aly Dosdall 1

I love the earthy unique look of the cork board coasters. They're 4x4 and are the perfect size for a gift album. You can find them at your local craft store. This mini memory book has three coaster pages housing four 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch photos of the grandkids, and it's small enough to fit into grandma's purse.

Cork Board Coaster Memory Book by Aly Dosdall 2

To decorate my pages I used mostly 3x4 journaling cards and a few scraps from the Chalkboard collection. I included Washi Tape and Enamel Shapes on each page, and layered bits and pieces I cut from journaling cards with my black and white photos.

Cork Board Coaster Memory Book by Aly Dosdall 3

The die cut cards I used from the collection add a great decorative touch, and are super easy to include. I also cut out sentiments and titles from the cards to use on each page. The small canvas size of this memory book helped the project to come together quickly and easily. Designer tip: be sure to use a strong adhesive when adhering your papers and photos to the cork board.

Cork Board Coaster Memory Book by Aly Dosdall 4

To find out which We R tools I used and how they helped me carry out my crafty plans, visit the original We R blog post HERE.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

i'm a finalist!

So thrilled to share that I'm a finalist in the 2015 Craftsy Blogger Awards for the paper craft instructor category. It's an honor to be a part of the Craftsy community, and to be included with these finalists.

Visit the Craftsy blog HERE to find out who the other finalists are and vote for your favorite! Vote by Wednesday, 1/30 at 11:59 pm MT for your vote to count.

And, to celebrate I'm offering a 50% off discount for my class, Celebrating Everyday Moments: Playful Scrapbook Layouts. If you'd like to register for half price, CLICK HERE!

Friday, January 23, 2015

doily heart valentine

Now that the holidays are over and we’ve begun a new year, it’s time to turn my thoughts to a very special holiday that my family loves to celebrate—Valentine’s Day! Among other things, we like to make it a special day for each other by making valentines. Here’s an idea for a handmade valentine using the beautiful Lucky In Love Collection Kit and Designer Stamps.

I used the Designer Stamps in some fun ways to create texture and to alter some stickers from the collection. First I created an embossed heart doily by covering the doily stamp with some watermark ink, and then stamping the image onto plain white cardstock.

Next I sprinkled some gold embossing powder over the stamped image, making sure to cover the entire image. I carefully poured the excess powder back into the container. Then I used my heat gun to emboss the image. (Be sure to allow the embossed image to cool before handling.) I love the rich texture that the embossed gold heart doily adds to the card!

Visit the Echo Park Paper blog HERE to learn a cool stamping tip I used on my card.

How about you? Do you like to make handmade valentines to celebrate with you loved ones?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

pinwheel bouquet

I've had so much fun lately using my favorite We R tools to create some decor pieces for my craft room! Last week I shared how I used the Triangle Score Guide to make the paper gem garland I hung in my newly re-organized space (if you missed that post you can catch it HERE). Today I'm going to show you how I made the pinwheel bouquet that sits on the little shelf underneath that garland.

Pinwheel Bouquet by Aly Dosdall 1

The pinwheels I created for this simple bouquet are double pinwheels, meaning that I layered two sheets of paper together to add twice as many vanes to my pinwheels. I love the fullness of the double pinwheels!

Pinwheel Bouquet by Aly Dosdall 2

I made these using my Pinwheel Punch Board. The punch board allows you to make several different styles of pinwheels--simple ones, double ones (like mine), layered simple, layered double, etc. You can make them as basic or as elaborate as you'd like!

Pinwheel Bouquet by Aly Dosdall 3

To learn how to create these basic double pinwheels, visit the We R Memory Keepers blog HERE.

Making pinwheels with the Pinwheel Punch Board is so easy, and the possibilities are endless. Pinwheels are great for any paper craft project--cards, gift wrapping, home decor, and more!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

paper gem garland

I recently re-organized most of my craft room (see the posts HERE), and as part of that I re-did some of my decor. I love the paper gem trend right now, so I decided to create a paper gem garland to dress up a small wall-mounted shelf in one corner of my room.

I chose the navy and aqua papers from the It Factor collection since they coordinate well with the colors in my space. I alternated octahedron and decahedron shapes in my garland, making them all the 3 inch size.

I followed the instructions in the booklet that comes with the Triangle Score Guide, and it was a blast making these paper gems! For full instructions and supplies, visit the We R Memory Keepers blog HERE. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

bitty desk calendar {free printable}

I love quick and easy projects, don't you? The thrill of completing an awesome project in 15 or 20 minutes is oh-so-sweet! Visit the We R Memory Keepers blog to snag my free 3x4 printable 2015 desk calendar. While your there, find out how easy it was to make this using my 3x4 Card Punch and The Cinch. This took me minutes, and it's such a cute little calendar--perfect for a gift, or to keep for yourself.

CLICK HERE to snag the free printable and to learn how to make one for yourself. Happy 2015!

Monday, January 19, 2015

craft room clean out: final reveal!!

Before I reveal the photos of my newly re-organized space, I want to share some tips with you that I've picked up over the years about PLACEMENT of supplies in your craft space. This is just an idea, and it doesn't always work out perfectly since sometimes spaces present limitations, but the basic premise it to try to place items that you use most frequently in closer proximity to your workspace, and in an easily accessible container.

For example, I have a canvas caddy on my work surface that contains the adhesives, scissors, rulers, journaling pens, craft knifes, tweezers, paper piercers, and other small tools that I use very frequently. I save myself time and effort by keeping those items within arms reach while I'm creating. About once every quarter I re-evaluate the exact items I keep in that caddy and change them (if I need to) based on my creative habits. I also keep my main paper trimmer (the one I use most frequently) out on my work surface.

As I mentioned in my last installment of this series, I keep other larger tools (paper trimmers, score boards, circle cutters, etc) in drawers within arms reach of my work station because I use them frequently as well.

Of course, I can't keep every item I use frequently within arms reach of my work surface because that's not how my room is set up. But, I've tried over the years when organizing my room to think about that as I place items in my space.

My suggestion for you is to sit down and mentally go through your creative process.Take a look at your last 10 projects, and determine what supplies they all have in common. Think about how you can rearrange your space so that some of those most frequently used items are as close to your workspace as possible. You'll be glad you did!

Now, on to the final photos of my space! I'll start with a group of photos taken as I turned a 360 in my space, and then I'll share some detail photos.

The first photo starts from the left side of my space (as you enter) and the photos that follow were taken as I turned to the right.

This is the corner where I keep most of my supplies in my new Ikea Kallax shelving unit. The table you see with the sewing machine is used mostly for my youngest daughter to draw and paint with me while I work in my space, but I also use it for sewing and cutting items larger than 12 inches.

Next to the sewing table is the closet where I keep my scrapbook albums, a few generic paper craft supplies (colored cardstock, generic hard and soft embellishments), some family history documents and journals, and some other basic craft supplies (floral, sewing, fabric, etc).

Immediately to the right of the closet is a small shelf to display some of my completed projects. Below that is my hubby's little office space (don't tell him, but I'm secretly eyeing his space for a cutting/trimming station). He mostly works out on the couch with his laptop watching our favorite TiVo playlist, so he doesn't need much room. =)

To the right of that is my main workspace--a corner unit placed directly in front of my only window so I can work with as much natural light as possible. I keep my glass cutting mat and CutterPillar out on my desk since I use them for every project.

Along the right wall of my space I have a wall mounted shelf where I keep a few Anna Griffin card kits and stamps, all of my mini albums, completed cards that I keep for giving away, and a library card photo display. I also have a couple of Grip Strips to display some of my most recent (and favorite) layouts.

Here are a few detail shots...

Completed projects

Washi tape storage

Punch storage

Quick note about the Ikea Kallax shelves: They don't fit the Cropper Hoppers I have (which are a few years old), so I decided to use some utility scissors and cut off about 3/4" from the top of each. The inside measurements of the cubbies are 13". Just FYI so you don't end up with the same problem I had. =)

Embellishment and tool storage

This last shot is my pocket  page (Albums Made Easy, Project Life) storage. The top drawers contain all my 4x6 and 3x4 cards, and the bottom section contains all of my page protectors. I also keep a magnetic display board next to it to display some of my favorite recent cards.

Overall I'm really happy with the way things are, though there are a few minor things I'm sure I'll tweek over the next few months to get things just right. I think that's one important thing to remember about organization--it's a continual process, not a one time event. Happy organizing!

P.S. if you have any questions about my space or about organization in general, feel free to ask in the comments section below.