31 January 2013

Mixed Media

I'm showing off my new craft punch this week.

It's a balloon design that turns old magazine or catalog pages from blah to TADA!  Scraps of gift wrap or decorative paper are other alternatives so we don't put pretty paper to waste, right?

Today, I'm using mixed media {collage and watercolor} to create unique birthday cards.

Here's what I've come up with:

Balloon cut-outs and a watercolor drawing. Perfect for a little girl's birthday! Match the number of balloons with her age.

The balloons here are a mix of watercolor and punched-out shapes. Using double-sided mounting tape on the back of the balloon cutouts will give these an elevated effect, adding some dimension. The blank space, now shaded in watercolor, is where I'll write my message.

On the cover of this card is a sign being lifted by a bunch of balloons. Personalize the sign any which way you want. Inside, a few stray balloons are added.  Just add a note around the balloons. Have a great day!

30 January 2013

Balloon Bouquets

I mentioned last week that I've had birthdays on my mind. It's that time of the year when I think about the birthday cards I'll be sending out this year. Oh yes, I still do snail mail.

With my new craft punch, I made a bazillion balloons out of pages from a holiday magazine...blah to TADA! indeed. Add the balloons to some card stock and here's what you'll get:

Handmade birthday cards!

I can't wait to write on them and send them on their merry way. And if you're celebrating your birthday today {or anytime soon}...happy birthday! 

29 January 2013

Beautiful Balloons

Howdy folks! So yesterday, I told you about my newest craft punch. I love craft punches! They're such fun tools that I've used to make this, this, this, this and this.

I thought a balloon craft punch deserved a place in my collection. I went ahead and bought one, then punched some plain and printed balloons out of an old shopping catalog.

I took out some card stock that I got on sale

I used a paper cutter to make blank cards.

Then, I dressed up the blah cards with my balloons! I used a glue stick to attach them, and some thick double-sided tape for some to achieve a raised or two-dimensional effect. You can't see it from here, but the stripey balloon has a metallic finish. The string was drawn with a white pen and the ribbon with a marker. TADA!

I added a few more balloons inside, a small inscription and lots of space for more personal words. I also found some translucent envelopes that give a hint on the surprise inside. 

Whatever the reason for celebration, I think this card delivers the message!

28 January 2013

A New Craft Punch

Thank you for visiting me today! It's been freezing in my part of the world and to keep away the winter blues, I've decided to treat myself. Some women buy shoes, and others purchase make-up. Oh, I do that too. But if need a really cheap thrill, I head to the craft store!

I got myself this balloon-shaped craft punch. I think it'll be a great addition to my blah to TADA! craft arsenal. Let me show you its baptism of fire.

I saved these holiday gift catalogs that I got in the mail the past two Decembers. Sure, the gift suggestions were TADA!, but I really kept them because of the paper.

The pages were shiny, colorful and had an assortment of prints. Why spend on scrapbook paper when I had these right here?

I tore off the pages and punched out balloons. 

Paper balloons organized in empty egg cartons.
{Can you say blah to TADA! once more?} 

The printed balloons look cute, too.

Now that I've got all these balloons, please stop by
tomorrow {and everyday this week} to see how
I use them. Have a productive Monday ya'all!

25 January 2013

An Office Party

Hello and Happy Friday! Birthdays have been on my mind lately, not necessarily mine, but of dear family or friends, and how I can help make it special for them. That's why when I saw the following ideas in the Martha Stewart Living magazine, I got excited over how ordinary office supplies can turn from blah to TADA!:

via Martha Stewart
Turn pad, graph or copy paper into instant gift wrap.
Then, embellish with rubber bands for added color.

via Martha Stewart
Get yourself a few sheets of sticky notes and cut out 
letters that spell out a greeting. Stick these on a wall
or a piece of twine to decorate your party space.

via Martha Stewart
Create a giant birthday card out of a file folder and 
colorful masking tape or Japanese washi tape.

via Martha Stewart
Then pass it around for everyone to sign.

A batch of blah to TADA! birthday card ideas 
coming next week. For now, may you all 
have a warm and fuzzy weekend!

24 January 2013

The Simple Life

Today, I'd like to feature a few more things I discovered while leafing through the January issue of Martha Stewart Living. I adore these because of their functionality, beauty of design, eco-friendliness and how they transport us back to a simpler time.

via bowlovers
This product started with a blah problem: how to store left over food. The TADA! solution: using clean shower caps to cover serving bowls.  The idea evolved to BowlOVERS, which are made of cloth with an elastic edge. They fit different sized bowls, can be washed and used over and over again.

via bowlovers
 The only problem? I can't choose between the gingham or white with messages.

via welcome companions

How cool would it be to have this cart for trips to the laundromat, the park or the beach? The detachable canvas bag doubles as a backpack that can be used independent of the cart. I'm drooling over the Tiffany blue color, too!

via welcome companions
Now for a more macho version -- how about this wagon? Whether you take it to the farmer's market or playground, a few envious stares and compliments are soon to follow. 

via farmhousewares
Here's a retractable clothesline that I'd like to attach to my bathroom. It'll be useful to dry my delicates and clothing that have to be washed immediately because of accidental stains.

via Ancient Industries
If I had my own laundry room or a backyard for that matter, here's something that would be a welcome addition. It's a drying rack that works on a pulley system. Use it to dry large sheets like blankets and curtains or smaller hand wash-only pieces of clothing. And since it's attached to the ceiling, it can easily be pulled out of the way when not in use. 

Doing things the old school way, while requiring some hard labor, is a step of kindness for Mother Earth. Isn't that blah to TADA!?

23 January 2013

Products to Covet

One of the reasons I like reading magazines is that they lead me to shops and purveyors. Some may just be start-ups, while others have been around for years just waiting to be discovered.

So as I was perusing this month's issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine, I saw a caboodle of products that are both pretty and useful...which led me to this shop... that led me to some more adorable items! Here are my picks:

A Few Bath Supplies
A warm bath during winter is a soothing treat for cold evenings and chapped skin.

No.1: A body brush for hard-to-reach areas; 
I would love to try this for dry brushing
No.2: A soft nail brush for DIY manicures
No. 3: A handmade bar of soap in my favorite scent
No. 4: A book of scented paper -- tuck it in linen drawers
or tear off a sheet then light it with a match to 
deodorize a room 
No.5: Fluffy towels provide a hug after a relaxing shower

A Few Kitchen Supplies
Baby it's cold outside! That means more time indoors to cook or cozy up.

No. 6: Canning jars to store kitchen staples from beans to chocolate
No. 7: A handsome spoon to dish out hot soups and stews
No. 8: A chopping board that works as a platter for bread, 
cheese and dessert
No. 9: A stock pot that will be busy all winter long, simmering
stick-to-the-bones comfort food
No. 10: An old school kettle to heat up the water
that we'll use for steeping tea 

Have a nice day!

22 January 2013

The Crisp White Shirt

Hello there! 

I've been burying my nose in the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living, and today, I've ear-marked something I'd like to add to my craft list. It involves a white button down shirt. I'm certain that many of us have this in our closets as a classic staple. On days when we feel the plain white shirt is looking blah, here's a quick TADA! to update the look:

via Martha Stewart
Add some fabric flowers!

via Martha Stewart
Find a matching fabric {this one's called cotton pima poplin} and follow this tutorial to make the flowers. Sew the flowers onto the shirt with needle and thread and TADA! -- it's like a brand new shirt with minimal cost and effort. 

21 January 2013

Craft Room Envy

Happy Monday and Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! We get a day off today and I'll use it to rest, recharge, and do a little reading.

One of the items on my stack is the January issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine. Have you seen it? One of my favorite articles is "Pretty Crafty", featuring the craft room of Darcy Miller.

via Bride's Cafe
Darcy Miller is the editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings. She's very crafty and is one talented illustrator. Well, given that she's got those feathers in her cap {or sparkly tiara}, it would be expected that she have a craft room in her home. And a very fancy craft room at that.

via Martha Stewart
Just a selection of tools for her illustration needs,
neatly grouped in tumblers.

via Martha Stewart
Neat stacks of paper in a rainbow variety.

via Martha Stewart
Here she is with her three darling daughters.
I bet they spend hours and hours here!

via Martha Stewart
Her wall is filled with black and white family photos documenting her children's growth and many memorable moments. The black boxes in the shelf below contains more photos, which eventually end up in scrapbooks and scrapboxes.

via Martha Stewart
Uniform binders {properly labeled, too} keep the room neat and cohesive. A few shelves display some of her illustrations, many of which were used as cake toppers.

via Martha Stewart
A peek into her drawers: generous supplies in 
designated places. 

via Martha Stewart
Yes, even the crayons & pastels have their own drawers.

via Martha Stewart
Clear bins for more storage.

via Martha Stewart
Boxes containing greeting cards and decorating supplies segregated by occasion {ex. Valentine's, Holiday, etc.} fill the closets.

I'm feeling so much craft room envy! I only have a craft table, but wish for a craft room someday. I think that upgrade would be blah to TADA!

18 January 2013

The Decorated Page

Hooray, we made it to Friday!

All this week, I added some TADA! to rather blah notebooks:

 Just a few floral touches using watercolor and these notebooks
have gained some charismatic character.

They're blank inside. Ah, but there lies even more blah to TADA!
Imagine all the good things you can put inside.
Here are a few ideas: 

via Jennifer Firth
 Turn them into journal pages just like Jenny's Sketchbook.

via Debra Cooper
 Use mixed media to record your day just like what Debra does.

via Donna Downey
 Or use some texture with paint and scrap paper the way
Donna makes hers.

via Geninne Zlatkis
 Or make something dreamy just like Geninne's

via Danielle Kroll
Of if you're totally proud of your "Outfit of the Day",
illustrate it the Danielle way.

Here's to beautifully decorated pages,
and an even beautiful weekend!