Tuesday, May 29, 2012

blissful spring days

long weekends & blissful spring days
feels like summer
splashing in our favorite lake
loving our little eden
playing, reading, resting, dreaming


 "If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive…"
Eleonora Duse, Italian Actress
 
 
Thank you for stopping by.
Have a great week!
xoxo 
Karen

Monday, May 21, 2012

Altered Matchbox Tutorial

Altering a matchbox into a pretty decoration and functional treasure box to store tiny items is a fun little project I wanted to share today. This is a little gift I made recently for my goddaughter. It was so fun that I am already working on a few more variations for myself and my kids :)

This is a really cute craft idea that you can tailor to a specific theme. Depending on what goodies you tuck into the inside of the box, this can be a really sweet present for a special child or person in your life.

This is also an easy way to experiment a little with paper crafting and mixed media.

First, you will need an empty matchbox. I like this large 10 cm box leftover from Christmas time. You can also use small matchboxes, but the larger format is easier to work with (and there is room for more things in the inside).

The other materials you will need are:

  • scrapbook or other decorative papers
  • glue stick
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • straight edge or ruler
  • selective of embellishments and ephemera, you can get really creative here!
There are many ways you can cover and decorate the box, no way is right or wrong. This is how I made this box. You can experiment with many other variations.

1) Measure one piece of scrapbook paper to fold around the outside of box - not quite all the 
around -but so the top and sides and a bit of the bottom are covered.

2)Trace the bottom of the box over a contrasting piece of paper and cut this out, too. 

3) With the glue stick, glue the bottom piece onto the bottom of the matchbox.

4) Next, fold the top paper around the box to see where the edges are, fold lightly. Then with the paper flat on the table, crease the folds with your fingers. This will make your end result much neater. The folded paper should fit snuggly and perfectly around the box. Using a glue stick, cover the paper thoroughly with glue and with a bit of pressure, fit it smoothly on the box.
5) To decorate the inner sliding box, trace the short sides onto the desired paper, cut them out,  and adhere to the outside of the box with the glue stick. Cut two more identical sized strips to adhere to the inside of the box.

6)  Measure and cut out one piece of paper to cover the bottom and long sides of the inner box. It is easier to do this by wrapping the paper around the outside of the box, you will probably have to trim a bit afterwards. Fit the paper into the box, lightly pre-fold and then remove it to crease the paper! Apply glue the paper and then fit it in the box, pressing tightly.

7) If there are any edges that are not quite covered, you can touch them up in with acrylic paint or markers.

8) Your matchbox is complete! Now you can go crazy embellishing it (or just leave it simple like I did) and making little treats to go inside.

For my goddaughter, I made a little paper bunting with her name stamped on (see how-to here). I tossed in a paper flower and a little message and gift-certificate for the ice-cream cafe, and a nice verse from a favorite Psalm. I then packaged it all up and watched her face light up when I brought it to her. (perhaps I received the loveliest gift of all!!!)
 
 Good luck, and Happy Crafting!
xoxo 
Karen

PS Type in "Altered Matchbox" at Google images for TONS of inspiration!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Saturday snapshots

Hi!
I hope you've been enjoying a lovely weekend. I have! Sometimes it seems it's just the littlest things that can make me happy...

lazy late breakfast,
the sun coming out after a rainy morning,
biking to the supermarket with my husband to pick up some groceries,
a sweet letter from a dear friend,
a few hours sewing in my studio,
a kitty perched on my ironing table (it's his fave spot - he has his own cover! but he has to watch out that he doesn't get ironed!),
a familiar-looking boy stopping outside my window to wave hello,
a spontaneous little family outing to Ikea & some pretty new things (they were really necessary!),
eating outside at the picnic table with my family,
just feeling blessed by the little things

Here are some Saturday snapshots from my studio....(& the Ikea loot, of course :))
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


I hope you've been blessed with some joyful moments this weekend too.

xoxo 
Karen
PS I've made another treasury on etsy of some really cute finds here !

Thursday, May 17, 2012

shades of white



shades of white
bits of gray and black
lush green

 
 
 
 
  

 
xoxo
Karen

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

easy crafts: super simple vase

Hello! I have an instant vase re-make to share today. In fact if you've been a follower of my blog then you might recognize it (I apologize for that!) 
What you need are a few pretty bottles, decorative paper and ribbons or ties. Cut the paper to size, wrap it around the bottle and secure it with clear tape - which you can then hide under the ribbon.

That's it! 
I love this little bottle because it actually reminds me of our little French vacation last year. My sons got thirsty as we toured the this beautiful historical park. After they drank their apple juice I had the honor of carrying big son's empty bottle in my purse. (Why is my purse always filled with my kid's stuff?!?!?) He rightfully pointed out that the bottle was quite unique and pretty and we couldn't just throw it away. 

I'm sure if you live in France this bottle is nothing special. 

But for me it is, it is a sweet memory and also a bit of a hug from my son every time I look at it.
If you had kids, you probably have collectors in your family. My daughter is minimalistic but my sons both have big issues with hoarding treasures. Bottle caps, feathers, stones, bits and pieces of wire, toy wheels, this and that.....for them decluttering is next to impossible because that would be like throwing away countless possibilities. The instinct to make new from old lives on!
Wishing you a lovely Tuesday! 
xoxo
Karen


Thursday, May 10, 2012

fleeting spring moments

unfurling
sprouting
reflecting*
 glowing
 briefly appearing
 moving on

unfolding
 reaching out
 radiating


(*reflecting: beauty is where you find it challenge Nr. 18)
xoxo
karen