Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Year-end, New Year Workbook

Hello Crafty Peeples!

Each year, at the end of the year, I create a Workbook for myself.  I use these during the course of the year to write down crafting ideas, make notes about the 613 Challenges, and on occasion, a few personal tasks.  Mostly, though, the books are for my crafting goals.  

This year,  I decided to use a binder to create my Workbook.  When I selected the binder, I did not realize that is was 11" x 12" which is big for a desk book, but I liked the idea of seeing how I would cover so much real estate and still keep the front of the workbook interesting!
I chose cut outs from the Graphic 45 Ty-pog-ra-phy Collection to adorn the cover.  I love the upbeat quips and quotes.  Each time I pick up the workbook, I see little words of encouragement and, as you all know, there are many "crafting" days when we need lots of encouragement.
The school themed paper used for the binder back, spine, and front and interior pockets is from a Page Kit that I bought several years ago at Big Lots for $2.50.  I really wish I had purchased about three more of these.  I purchased three and this was my last kit.  
 I used a scrap piece of  vinyl wallpaper to make a funky little pen and pencil holder.  
The pockets are intentionally uneven
I was so disappointed when I ran out of the reinforcement printed paper, so I took a sheet of brown CS, colored a sheet of reinforcements with Tim Holtz Vintage Photo and Abandonned Coral Distress Ink™ and then stuck them randomly on to the C/S.  I found some neat little stickers in my stash and decided to add them to the page as well.
The paper on the spine also came from the School Days Page Kit.  I added a book plate and a couple of fancy paper clips to which i added the caps of gold brads.  The binder is covered in clear shelf liner to protect it from stains!
I am trying to figure out if I can now add a leather handle and clasp without destroying my book. Probably not, but I'm still thinking!  This book is already getting a workout. 

My 2014 Year-end New Year Workbook!
Poisted 12/28/2014

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Leslie!

Hello, Crafty Peeps,

Last week, on Christmas Day, the Shopping Our Stash Blog Challenge Team lost it's Founder and Creative Leader,  Leslie Hanna.   Today,  we have chosen to honor her memory by posting our favorite "Leslie Creation."    Many of you probably knew her as The Crooked Stamper, still others of you may have become familiar with her work at The Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers, or A Blog Named Hero, but for me, she was, Leslie, the "Queen of Clean" and voice of SOS!  I chose this card because, short of animating the crazy bird so it could do an "eye roll," this card speaks to me of Leslie's creative voice.

Even in death, her light is not extinguished!

Her projects were wonderful and often reflected her sense of "Snark!"  She was quite witty, I guess one would have to be if one happily takes on the label "snarky." Leslie was smart, friendly, and uber creative. 

Our design aesthetics were very different.  Leslie was a Clean And Simple designer while I am all over the place.  I was invited to the team in 2013 and I have enjoyed my tenure because everyone on the team is a little "off," (as far as I can tell) because everyone is super talented, and above all,  because I loved how Leslie's mind worked.  She could come up with some of the strangest challenges...and I used to tell her how weird they were.  Sometimes, I would just shake my head, smile, and think, "this child has issues."  But those challenges have made me a better and more daring designer.  

This was her response when I wrote a short story about one of her challenges (create a design based on your shower curtain) that left me less than thrilled.

"BWAHAHAHAHA! I love a good short story! I'm sorry to have caused you "not thrilled" moments, but your final project is amazing. 
I, too, sometimes let things sit and stew for a few days before the light bulb goes off and I get a clue."  Leslie Hanna

And then, as I wrote on my Facebook page the day I learned of her death:
"Leslie,  funny, snarky, lovely Leslie is gone...just like that! I still can't take it in.  I know I will stop a minute. I will go back to her blog and look at her work and I will remember and the tears will come again.  It will take a long minute."

Writing this has started a new stream of tears and I have to stop writing.  I didn't know her as well as my other teammates, but Leslie touched me in a mysteriously deep way and it still hurts to remember.  Some people leave marks on your soul that are indelible, Leslie has done that to mine!  

Goodnight, my friend!
Chana Malkah

Monday, December 28, 2015

Earth Safe Finishes - Bird House - Chinese Tea House

HI, Crafty Peeps!  Today I am presenting a cedar birdhouse that I painted and decorated to resemble a traditional Chinese Tea House - Birdhouse.

Here is a recent design using Earth Safe Finishes®!  In case you are not familiar with ESF, it is a WOMAN owned, Made in the USA company that develops, manufactures, and markets high-quality VOC free products.  You can read more about the company HERE!

This birdhouse has languished in Projects In Progress for almost four months.  I knew that whatever I did with the birdhouse, I wanted the roof to have texture so, back in May, I added drywall tape to the roof, covered the entire birdhouse with Gesso, and put it in PIP.  Last week, I decided to make another attempt and was inspired to go oriental.   I hope this project will inspire you to use chalks and pigments on large surfaces with minimal embellishments.   My product focus this week:  Earth Safe Finishes® Chalk It Up™ "Licorice" and Earth Safe Finishes® Pigment "Permanent Red."  I also used Ann Butler Designs™ Iridescents "Sheer Silver."

The Tutorial for this project can be found at the Earth Safe Finishes® Artists Blog
My husband purchased an unfinished cedar birdhouse from the Goodwill Store for $3.49.
The windows are caps from empty distress stain bottles.
The house had some rough edges, which was great, because I wanted the tea house to show age.
The Oriental Weave panel provides visual relief from 
the bold designer papers on the back, side and front of the house!  
The instructions for creating the faux metal siding are included in the tutorial.

Thanks for Stopping by,
72dpi ESF Chana 2015

Sunday, December 27, 2015

613 Avenue Create- Challenge #156 - Anything Goes w/Optional Twist - Use Music Symbols

Good Morning, Crafty Peeples,

This week, the Design Team at 613 Avenue Create would love to see you create a project that incorporates, Musical Symbols, Sheet Music, Lyrics, etc.

I am late with my post.  I wasn't actually scheduled to post a project this week, but,
yesterday, I learned that Leslie Hanna, the owner of the Shopping Our Stash Challenge Blog, died Christmas afternoon.  Her death was sudden and unexpected and has left us all in a state of shock.  My teammates and I are still trying to imagine SOS without her.  

Goodbye, my dear friend.  Rest in the arms of G-d!
I am not sure what influenced the creative side of my brain while working on this tag.  
I started with a piece of sheet music torn from one of my clarinet study books.  
I haven't had my clarinet against my lips in years.  
I think I 2016, baruch hashem, pick it up again.

Thanks for Stopping by!  I would love to see your entry at


Challenges Entered:

Friday, December 25, 2015


 Hello, Crafty Peeps!   
Today I am showing how I redesigned a project that did not hold up to use.
A few months ago, I made a note holder for my friend, Amy!  She loves Steam Punk and I thought an ensemble made for G45's Steampunk Spells would be perfect!   
This is what the set looked like when I gave it to her.
Pretty, but unfortunately, the paper was not strong enough and the seams began to split.  She brought it back and  I was so embarrassed!  Take my word for it, it was AWFUL.

This is the revised wallet:
I even added a pen holder and this neat box to hold the pads.  Business Cards fit behind the PUNK

So I started again, using the heaviest weight of cardboard I could find.  I also increased the size of the note wallet and gave it more of a book binding.
The panels were coved with a heavyweight kraft paper.
I used three large magnets as closers.
I used large clamps to square the box.
I cut a piece of Steampunk Spells paper to size and covered it with clear shelf liner. 
This will reinforce the seams and protect the wallet from stains and tearing
The inside was also covered with corresponding paper.
 I have opened and closed this wallet at least fifty times; it seems that the construction is holding.
Amy is an infusion nurse and this wallet will get a work out from her.  It is great, she can be my product tester.   I am currently working on a wallet using faux leather.  Wish me luck!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Shopping Our Stash - #232 My Precious

Hello, Crafty Peeps!
Welcome to another fun challenge at SHOPPING OUR STASH!  

Our Theme this week is "MY PRECIOUS."  
Use something you have hoarded that you never, ever, planned to actually use. Piece of pretty paper? Special embellishment?  Tell us what your is your Precious element.
When it comes to hoarding, in my world, it is anything from Graphic 45.
I have tons and tons of G45 Collections.  I am a member of a buying club and we get G45 at a group discounted rate, so I can get the stamps, papers, embellishments, etc., at a deeply discounted price.  Great, right? Wrong, because I never want to use the stuff.  In 2016, I plan to start using my papers. bs'd

I had to find a way to incorporate those stunning birds!  The micro beads and glitter don't photograph as well as I would like, but IRL, they jus sparkle.
Creating this project put me in an oriental state of mind and I completed two more designs using the Graphic 45 Birdsong papers.  I also fell in love all over again with the faux metal embossing.

My teammates at Shopping Our Stash have creates some pretty awesome projects for your inspiration.  Stop by and leave your "Precious" and a little love!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

613 Avenue Create - Challenge #155 - Anything Goes

Hello, Crafty Peeples!

December is usually a lost crafting month for me because most of the challenges are centered around Christmas. This year I decided to create Winter themed projects that would not look Christmasy.  Also, since my birthday is in November and all of my gifts are craft supplies or money to be used to buy craft supplies, I usually have a lot of new toys with which to play!
New Toys: 
 Big Shot Plus, Minc Foil Machine, Silhouette Mint, and the E Brush
(Using an air brush system is not as easy as it looks!)

So here are two tags that are going on gifts to a couple of special friends.
This is more fall than winter, but I just love this blend of Tim Holtz Distress Inks.
I think the brown tones warm up the chill of the cool blues in this creation.

Stop by 613 Avenue Create to say hello and drop off your ATG project!
I'll be on the look out for ya!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Shopping Our Stash - Challenge #231 - Let It Snow

Welcome to another fun challenge at Shopping Our Stash!  
This week we want you to LET IT SNOW (use snow, snowman, etc.)

I am once again creating a card using the great technique I learned from a Tammy Tutterow Tutorial.
I have a few more dies on order so that I can experiment with this design technique.
Love how well the Iced Spruce Distress Ink and the Carolina Blue Vellum work together.
This cute little stamp from Unity Stamp Co. fit perfectly on the inside of this project.
I created my background paper!
I used a thinlit die to create "footprints" in the snow.
I painted my card using Picket Fence and Iced Spruce Distress Ink.
This piece of tissue paper was on my board, left over from another project.  The shape and black text seemed a perfect counterpoint to this design.
I added a small safety pin to the ribbon because the left side of the card seemed a little empty. 
I used Rub n' Buff Patina to distress the safety pin.  This was a safety pin from my local laundry.

Hope you join our LET IT SNOW Challenge!