Sunday, November 21, 2010

Recipe Box

I was inspired by an example of a modified recipe box in the Cricut Cirlce Monthly Magazine.  See... it all started with a volunteering effort I decided to sign up for in my local church's women's ministry program.  They were creating a church cookbook.  As I was trying to think of a neat raffle item, and the idea of using the Cricut cartridge From My Kitchen was too fun a proposition to turn down.  Now, I must say at this point that the last sentance was Andie channeling Brandy (not really, but isn't this funny).  Truth is that Brandy took an off hand comment from Andie about wouldn't it be a neat raffle item... and ran with it.  Ladies (and the few gentlemen out there), this is why friends are just so precious. 
So, we met on a random Friday night and commensed with the Cricutting, inking, and general distressing of paper using Mod Podge among other things.

This is where I feel compelled to give a disclaimer.  Being working women (and by full time we often mean 50 - 60 hour weeks), we haven't the time to provide step by step instructions for each and every requirement.  Our scrapping style doesn't include directly copying projects and we wouldn't want anyone to attempt to provide an exact replica of our projects.  Our goal is to inspire and point you in the right direction.  Andie continues to encourage Brandy to post about some of her favorite blogs that instruct (Tim Holtz anyone?, anyone?).  Having said that, if you post a comment asking specific questions, and time permitting, we will try to answer questions in as much detail as possible.
The recipe box used was a cardboard recipe box with a very outdated cream background littered with red hearts.  Not something that would go in most modern kitchens.  The outside was painted with an acrylic cream paint and a sponge brush.  Nothing fancy or neat.  the edges of the box were inked with a dark brown ink pad held at a 45 degree angle to the edge.  The background mat papers were cut 1/4 in. smaller than the side dimensions, inked in the same manner, and then Mod Podged to the face of each side.  The two papers used were purchased at J's (Joann's craft store), though the actual brand escapes me now.  Then it's off to decorating the sides.
2 in. flower center with 1 in. flowers
1- 1/2 in. flowers

 The side panels are simple flowers cut out of the Cindy Lou cart.  The flowers are layered in 2 in., 1- 1/2 in. and 1 in. cuts.  The edges are bent outward just using your fingers.  Jewels, brads and gems are used to decorate the centers and ink is applied randomly to the edges of the flowers.  Each flower has three layers and the big flower on the left has three 1 in. layers in the center. 

The back panel has a 1-1/2 flower with the rolling pin from the From My Kitchen cart as a center.  The flourish is from Cindy Lou.
The top utilizes the whisk, spatula, and spaghetti server in 3- 1/2 in. cuts from the From My Kitchen cart.  Another 2 in. flower, 1-1/2 in. flower and 1 in. flower make a center piece around some red suede ribbon I had on hand.
 The front panel consists of the "recipes" cut found in From My Kitchen.  Another flourish and 1 in. flower and the front is done.

Finally, some dividers to organize the inside cut directly out of the From My Kitchen cart.  The cut size wasn't exactly proportionate, so I trimmed the edges using my paper trimmer.  The stitching was made with a black marker.  The labels were 1/2 in. cuts of words in the From My Kitchen cart.  Everything is inked on the edges

Everything doesn't have to be difficult.  Brandy and Andie working together for 3 hours on a random Friday and another hour of clean up decorating later and voilรก- a raffle prize that hopefully will inspire many purchases for the church cookbook fundraiser.  That was fun!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Halloween Costumes

I know this is late. However, since our blog goal is to encourage others, I still wanted to make this post. My daughter, Katie, is turning 12 this year. With only an older brother, she is on the brink for Halloween. Should she trick or treat? Should she not? Last year we went to a concert at the Arizona State Fair with some of our very favorite Christian rock bands. So, when Katie received an invitation for a costume party for Oct. 30th this gave her the reason to forgo trick or treating and head to the fair once again. The following pictures outline the costume we created.

Katie's Girl Scout Troup celebrated Friendship Day as a part of the larger World Thinking Day in spring of 2010. The local neighborhood group pulls together 10-25 troops to host a festival. The idea is that each troop is assigned a country to represent and they create a booth to share information about the country including traditions, food, and other cultural specialties. This year Katie's troop represented Spain and they made Flamenco dancer costumes. We took the skirt and mantilla that were already made and added a fan, some flowers and dramatic make up.

The first thing that we needed was a fan. M's sourced a roll of ribbon for $2.50 on sale. The ribbon had wire edges making it easy to bend in half and accordion fold. After that is was just a matter of hot gluing the ribbon down onto popsicle sticks that we had on hand. With hindsight, I should have painted the popsicle sticks with black paint, but we didn't have any on hand and the goal in our house is to keep it simple and cheap.
The girls had previously made their mantilla's with a ½ yd. of black lace. The lace was accordian folded and hot glued to a $1 black headband. We added the red flowers by hot gluing to the headband. A charm and black ribbon from a recent wedding favor served as a choker necklace. The red flowers on the shirt were hot glued to safety pins and pinned to a black shirt we already had.

The skirt was made for the festival. Better people than I have provided instructions for making a skirt like this. Don't look too close- the pleating isn't uniform from one tier to the next, the seams are uneven, and the fabric edge tends to fray- nothing that a 12 year old girl concerns herself with. We used some more of the flowers with the safety pins as a decoration for the skirt.
Finally, a pair of slip-on ½ in. heals from the local thrift store and she feels like a Flamenco dancer.

I am really committed to encouraging us all to find our inner craftiness and look for ways to invest in our childrens lives.

Here's the financial investment (keeping in mind the cost of the skirt and mantilla were paid for by the troop and equaled about $25):

    Black lace                  $2.50 + tax
    Popsicle Sticks           $1.50 + tax (already had some, though)
    Red Flower bush        $2.50 + tax
    Safety Pins                  on hand
    Hot glue gun                on hand (look at the thrift shop for a cheap one- all it does
                                                     is melt glue.  Plug it in and if it gets hot- it works)
    Shoes                          $2.50 + tax
                Total                $10.00

Katie would tell you the best part about the costume was the anticipation of seeing it all come together. Also, if you cultivate spending this kind of time with your kids, they initiate for you. Katie is the one that came to me and requested that we use her costume from the Friendship Day and also suggested many of the additions. She never felt like we were being cheap or skimping on her costume. As a result, she won the Best Costume Award at her party. Now that's a smile worth a million dollars!

Catch the crafting spirit and pass it on!