Thursday, June 24, 2010

They Say A Yellow Butterfly...

Good morning all!  Today I have a card for you a little out of my usual style; but, then again, if we never experiment we never grow, do we?

In the field just outside our home we frequently see all kinds of butterflies.  Winter brings the migrating monarchs in clouds; spring brings yellow and white simple beauties and summer finds us pointing out big yellow and black swallowtails to each other.  There is an old weather-watching superstition that if you see white butterflies it means rain is on the way; but if you see yellow butterflies, watch for sunshine.
When I learned the Paperplay Challenge for this week was to be "Sunshine here", I thought immediately of this old superstition and decided I would do something a little different.

So, here are the challenges:
1) Paper Play Challenge Week 25 {It's Sunny Here}
2)  ABC Challenge {X-tra Dimension}
3) Simple Doodles #20 {Fun in the Sun}
4) Stamp Something {Something Summer}
5) Stamptacular Sunday #64 {Cute as a Bug}
6) Etsy Inspired Challenge:
The shop is White Birch Designs
and I took some inspiration from.....

 Decorated pineapple candle:
(I used ornate corner rub-ons and a summery pineapple tone)

and these Gold wire carnelian earrings:
(Awesome rich orange!)

So here is my card: 
 And another view:
And a few detail pictures:
 Materials used on this Card:

Cardstock {Parchment cardstock from office supply}
Chocolate chip cardstock
Patterned papers {My Mind's Eye - stripes and orange flowers; The Paper Studio - notebook paper}

Dimensional butterfly stickers {K & Company}
Butterfly punch {Martha Stewart}
Circle punches from 3/4" to 1 1/4"{EK Success}

Tiny Alpha stickers {Making Memories}
Rub-on corners {miniMarks by American Crafts - Accessories Book 2}
Sunshine stamp {Hero Arts - Sky's the limit set}
Inks {Tea dye Distress Ink and Stampabilities yellow pigment ink}
X-Acto blade to cut out sunshine
Daffodil Velvet brad {Making Memories}

Vintage lace {Spare Parts}
Adhesive brown rhinestones {e. by Prima Marketing}
Thin black strips of paper for butterfly antennae
ZOTS adhesive dots and Foam tape

And here's view of the inside:
Thank you all for visiting, and don't forget to enter for my
4th of July giveaway
before you go! (It's on the sidebar for your convenience :)

Have a wonderful day,

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Where I Create: Craft Room / Closet Organization Ideas

Good morning lovelies, I hope you are having a fantastic start to your weekend!
Today is June 19th, and that means it's time for the 2nd Where Bloggers Create party!

If you are looking for the main party page, just click the image above and it will take you back to My Desert Cottage.
Now I have seen the beautiful inspiring artful spaces in the Where women Create magazine and around some of the other blogs of party participants.  When I own my own home one day I look forward to and aspire to do something similar myself.  But for now, we live in an apartment and I can't do complete overhauls.  It's simple organization solutions for me--ways to maximize space, and do so in a way that will ALSO maximize my productivity based on my habits when I am in the mood to create.  I know myself, and I know my space.  And it works for me.  One day I will have a creative haven, but for now, I am still so very GRATEFUL for what I do have!  When I began cardmaking I was a newlywed and truly was the Kitchen Table Crafter.  I still spread out projects on the kitchen table from time to time, but I have been blessed with a new space to work in.  I learned a lot about organization and myself during my kitchen table crafting time, and now I take that spirit and apply it in other ways.  I hope now that it will help some of you--perhaps Kitchen Table Crafters yourselves--or even those of you with magazine-worthy studios... because, when it comes right down to it, we are all making a space that works for us, and our resources, in order to better do what we love.

So, I've been busy as a bee this past week getting my craft space ready for your "company", since even I am not brave enough to let folks see the *REAL* deal! Most of the time I try to keep the mess fairly organized; but it is, nonetheless, a perfectly marvelous TRUE CREATIVE MESS!  After all, my space is me, as I said before... A true but creative MESS!  haha... There... at least I am honest. :)

Welcome to the place where I create!
So, how about a little tour?

I am blessed with an amazing amount of natural North light in my craft room.  The bay window faces out onto an ordinary but serene Texas field, keeping the city a little further away and helping my country girl self feel a little more at ease in the middle of this huge city.  It is a great place to create, to write, to dream, to make music.  You can't see it, but off to the right is our Yamaha piano.  You see, I was not trained as an artist; I was trained as a musician.  I picked up crafting and cardmaking in earnest as a newlywed precisely to try to fill the void that was left when I no longer had a piano to play for hours each day.  It was a difficult time, a hard transition.  But now things have come full circle, and my life is in a harmonious balance.  I gave up professional music to start a family.  I started crafting to fill the void.  Now all three come together, and I am happy and fulfilled.
The next two photos are of my organization solution for an odd little corner between the closet and the bay window.  I've used white wire pantry shelves from WalMart to hold some of my magazines.  I lined the bottom one with white cardboard off the back of a pack of 12x12 cardstock, so that the magazines wouldn't fall through the wire rack.  The top rack is more geared towards my sketching things; a small landscape artist's notebook, watercolor pencils, and boxes of charcoal and watersoluble graphite.  These were a fantastic clearance find--usually the boxes are between $12 and $13--but I found them for $4--incredible!

On the bookshelf I have photo boxes to organize my wood mounted stamps in categories such as Designs & Backgrounds, Animals, People, Oriental, Botanical, Christmas, Sentiments & Alphabets, Arts & Travel, and so on.....  You can also see my glittering/embossing powder tray stuck in there on top of the boxes.

Next is my flower tree.  I use a lot of fabric hydrangea blossoms on my card, as they are very economical and lovely.  But I couldn't stand to just rip them off the flower head; I wanted to enjoy them AS hydrangeas before I used them... so I wrapped a few inches of the wire stems around the arms of a black metal ornament tree that I had used in the past to display my jewelry creations whenever I took them to sell at Church rummage sales, etc.  But it does beautifully for holding my hydrangeas now, and if I ever need it for jewelry display again, the hydrangeas are easily removed......

 I mounted my thread organizer on L-brackets in the space between the bay windows; it's an oddly shaped, angled space that couldn't be used for anything else.   I also tend to hang frequently used or inspirational stickers and clear-stamp sets from the bottommost pegs... or old stash i discover and decide I need to *SEE* in order to remember to use up! 

 Now for a peek into my closet....

I organize my 12x12 papers in two ways.  In the closet, using three Rubbermaid 12x12 drawer shelving units, I have them organized by company; K&Co, Making Memories, My Mind's Eye, s.e.i., The Paper Studio, Martha Stewart, and DCWV patterned and solids. 

My other papers are stored in 12x12 scrapbook albums in the bookshelf, where I can flip through them easily and quickly to find what I am looking for.... (see them down there, at the bottom of the shelf below the photo boxes?).... 

Now I have told you all before that I am completely addicted to ribbon.  Well, here you can see the proof.  This corner of the closet was bothersome to me from an organizational standpoint.  It was angled in such a way that there was no way to have shelving units on it or anything of the sort--it was wasted space!  Aaaah!  I thought about putting up pegboard--but then I thought of this solution; cafe curtain rods!  For my loverly loverly ribbon!  I bought 3 rods from WalMart, along with the extra long screw-in hooks to hold them, so that the rods would stick out enough from the wall to allow the ribbon to spin as I measured out lengths.  I think the fact that the rods are mounted across an open space here helps as well.  I also store my extra rolls of double-stick Scotch tape here as well.

Do you ever have trouble with a storage solution for your stickers, alphas, chipboard packs, and such?  Mine were always just a little too tall to fit into drawer units; they stuck out or got crinkled, which annoyed me in the extreme.  So I got a few packs of bookrings, large and small, from the office supply store and hung up the packs by type or category.  I also have quite a few of my clear stamp sets hung up this way.  Now I can easily glance through everything I have and it gets used... and I don't wind up buying duplicates or near duplicates.  And as an added bonus, it's kindof like "shopping" through them all over again whenever I glance through.  :)  Up top on the high shelves I have my jewelry making supplies, art portfolio, small easel and cross-stitch things.  I am involved in way too many crafts... how did this happen....?! :)  Still, I wouldn't have it any other way......

 I hang my fabrics up on hangers on the bottom shelf so that I can see them and therefore be motivated to USE them!  i promised myself over a year ago that I would not buy anymore fabric until I had used up all I had.  As you can see.... I've kept my promise and haven't bought any more fabric for QUITE some time.  It'll take me forever to use all this up... because the problem is... I love looking at it the way it is!  Does that ever happen to you?

Here is another trick; I know the idea is not new, but I took my frequently used sentiments off of their wooden mounts (I still have those somewhere--sometimes I use them to mount my own hand-carved stamps) and store them in this CD case.  That way I have them all handy and what's more, they're easier to position when I use the residual clingy glue left on them to mount them to my clear acrylic blocks for stamping.

Lastly, I want to show you how I organize my challenge submissions.  I've printed out sheets with the challenges organized by day; then I took them to my local office supply store to have them laminated, and I fill in the weekly or bi-monthly challenge information as I find it using Wet Erase markers.  When I find a new challenge, I write it in with Sharpie.  As you can see, I am in need of printing up a new sheet again, since I've found quite a few new challenges and it is getting a little cluttered!

I will make my new and *improved* version of my challenge organization folder available here at Kitchen Table Crafter as soon as it is finished; if you would like other challenges added or have any to suggest, please let me know so that I can make it very all-inclusive for your different needs! :)

Well, that's all I have to show you this morning!  Thank you for visiting, and I hope you have a


Friday, June 18, 2010

Little Star Baby Boy Card

Well, while my own Little Star is sleeping I'm going to try to get a few things done around here.  First off there are a number of cards to post so we'll see how far I get before the lovely little nap comes to an end....

Here are the challenges:

1)The Crazy Challenge {You're a Star!}
2) Crafty Creations #72 {It's a Stitch up!}
4) Paperplay Challenges week 24 {Something Old} - the foam starss are SUPER old stash!
Also a fun announcement--Next week will be my first week partiipating as a DT member for Paperplay!  I am very excited to work with these very talented ladies for the next 5 months!

And here is the card: 
Plus a little detail: 
Materials used on this card:

Kraft Cardstock: {papertrey ink}
Sky blue and vanilla textured cardstock {DCWV}
Patterned paper {My Mind's Eye} - Home collection

Foam star embellishments {Craft Essentials from JoAnn's}
Vellum script letter stickers {Bellissimo}
Silver brads {Spare Parts}
Corner rounder {EK Success}
Foam adhesive tape
Butcher's twine
Light blue Sharpie for faux stitching
Thank you all for viisiting, and don't forget to enter for my
4th of July blog candy
before you go! (It's on the sidebar for your convenience :)

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vintage Poppy and Denim Thank You

I have been having a slow time of blogging lately with this laptop.  I'm grateful for the backup plan, of course, but I am eager to find a new monitor so that I can get back to business as usual.

Here are today's challenges:

2) Crafty Creations #72 {Stitching}
3) Creative Card Crew #52 {Thank You}
4) wee Memories #10 {In Stitches}
5) Fun 2 Stamp {Summer Card}

When I think of summer, it's not swimming pools and beaches I usually dream of--it's blue jeans, gardens, hammocks, and all kinds of wonderful summer flowers. So, with these things in mind, I made a Summery Thank You card that's all about my vision of summer. It has the blue jeans, the poppies, the casual look and of course my trademark butcher's twine... which sort of reminds me of the rope hammocks from Pawleys Island, SC.  Ahhhh........

Here's the card:
With some detail:
.....and a little more.....
Materials used on this card:

White cardstock {Georgia Pacific}
Patterned papers {My Mind's Eye} - "Home" collection 4x6
Vintage poppy garden card {Martha Stewart crafts}
Apron lace edge punch {Fiskars}

Nestabilities {Spellbinders} + Cuttlebug {Provo Craft}
1 1/2" circle punch {EK Success}
Sentiment stamp {Papertrey Ink}
Black archival ink {Ranger}
"Chloe's Closet" Alpha stickers {Making Memories}
Brushed metal brads {Spare Parts}

Butcher's twine
Sewing machine
ZOTS {Thermoweb}

Thank you all for visiting!  Don't forget to enter for my
4th of July blog candy
before you go! (It's on the sidebar for your convenience :)

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Vintage Tricycle

Good afternoon everyone!  I am going to be a bit slower with my posting for the next little while, because like a genius I accidentally plugged the wrong adapter into my lovely LCD monitor... you guessed it... bzzzz--pop!--sizzle--and then a burning smell.  Eeeew.  Luckily I have a very understanding and patient DH.
So for the time being I'm using his laptop (read that last sentence again! :), and it is an established fact that I simply cannot type well on a laptop keyboard.  We do NOT get along.  But especially when I already usually blog one-handed (other hand holding the Ben man while he drools on my shoulder and sucks on my ponytail like a lollypop.  Ugh!)

Anyway, enough about things here in the crazy household...

Here are the challenges:
1) MOXIE FAB WORLD Challenge {I want to Ride my Bicycle!}

2) Crazy Challenge {Distress It}
3) Crafty Creations {Child's Play}
4) SmART Words Challenge {Ribbon me this!} - Watch out Susan....
you happen to have ribbon-a-holic on your hands! ;)

And here's the card:
 It's a gate-fold card, in fact...
 And a little coloring detail:
Materials Used on this Card:

Gatefold card base, patterned cardstock {DCWV}
Kraft and Terra-cotta tile cardstock {Papertrey Ink}
White cardstock {Georgia Pacific}
Polka dot patterned paper {Making Memories} - Animal Crackers collection, 12x12 Jack Varnished Dot
Tricycle Stamp {100 Proof Press}
Sentiment stamp {Papertrey Ink}
Ink {Ranger archival Jet Black and Colorbox Warm Red fluid chalk ink}

Brads {Spare Parts}
Leaf Green 3/8 inch grosgrain ribbon {Offray}
Buttons {Benno's Buttons}
Butcher's twine
ZOTS {thermoweb}

As always my friends, thank you so much for visiting and
Have a wonderful day!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Green Butterfly Thank You

Good morning!  Just a quick card post this morning, as I plan to do a mess of BAKING today!  I have lots and LOTS of wild berries that are screaming to be made into a pie (or two) and some very ripe bananas that are in serious need of a quick metamorphosis into Banana Nut bread for a friend who has been on my mind a lot lately....  So, before I get my hands all covered in flour, and while the bambino is still in dreamland, here's my card for these challenges:

1) Creative Card Crew {Thank You}
2) SmART Words {Ribbon Me This}
Materials used on this card:

Cardstock: {Georgia Pacific, Papertrey Ink}
Patterned Paper {My Mind's Eye}
Butterfly cut from Ivory Butterfly paper {The Paper Studio} - colored with pencils
Sentiment Stamp {Stampabilities}
Ink {Ranger Archival Black}
Rub-ons {MiniMARKS by American Crafts} - Accents Book 3
Ribbons {Offray}

Thank you for visiting; and before you go, don't forget to enter for my
4th of July Blog Candy...... HERE!

And, as always,
Have a great day!


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sailing Birthday Card - For the Men

I will be the first person to admit:  Masculine cards are simply not my forte.  At all.  I hope I have improved with my DH's help.... but still....
As most of the men in my family are boating and fishing fans, I tend to gravitate towards masculine cards of that nature.

This birthday card plays in the following challenges:

1) One Stop Craft Challenge #83 (DT) {Make your own Designed Paper}
2) Simon Says Stamp {Masculine Card}
3) Stamptacular {Life's a Beach}
(Okay, maybe a sailing theme is stretching it a little... but you decide....)
4) SoArtful Challenge {One for the Guys}

Here's the card:
Materials used on this card:

Cardstock: {Papertrey Ink and The Paper Studio} - TPS makes a darker Kraft and rougher than PTI; I like using both
Guidelines 2 stamp set {Papertrey Ink}
Sailing Ship stamp {Museum Stamps - product of Bowne & Co. Stationers at the South Street Seaport Museum}
"Soleil" sun stamp {Rubber Stampede}
Metallic brads {Spare Parts}
X-Acto Blade

Ink: {Tim Holtz Distress Ink}
Colors: {Brushed Corduroy, Faded Jeans, Antique Linen}

Look for my tutorial on masking multiple images a little later this morning :)

Thank you so much for visiting, and
Don't forget to enter for my 4th of July candy before you go!
(It's on the sidebar for your convenience :)

Have a great day everyone,


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