Thanks for visiting!

Welcome! This is the place where I share my artsy and crafty projects. I am an evolving artist these days ... finding myself enjoying less of the cards and mini albums that I have made for years, and turning to art journaling and more artistic endeavors. I have always enjoyed some craft or other, and some of my earliest memories of my mother helping me make paper dolls and other crafts. I am now in my 60's and finding myself more passionately enjoying creating beautiful things and learning new skills and techniques and products.

While you are here I hope you will find inspiration and ideas for making your own projects, however any images or projects you find here are my personal property and should not be used for your own monetary gain, or for contests or challenges. Thank You!


Be An Angel . . . Unscripted Sketches # 91

As you can probably tell, I've been on a major tag making binge of late!  I love making tags, and I think they make lovely little greeting cards.  When I saw the sketch for the Unscripted Sketches challenge this week, I just immediately saw a tag!  Here is the sketch . . . 

And here is my take on the sketch . . .

And here are all the details . . .

Product Information:
  • Base of card is a #5 manilla tag (2 3/8" x 4 1/2")  See pic below.
  • Patterned papers - striped paper is from a very old My Minds Eye 'Wild Asparagus' stack
  • Pink hearts paper is from one of the very first kits I bought when I began paper crafting.  All I can remember is that it came from QVC, but I have no idea who made it.
  • Ribbon, lace and ric-rack are from my stash - see mini-lesson on buying supplies below
  • Image is from a vintage valentine I found online - probably Flickr
  • Stickles:  Golden Rod on wings and halo, Diamond around the image and on hearts on pink paper, Picket Fences Distressed (Tim Holtz) on the cloud, and Icicle on the diagonal line between the two papers

Back of tag view so you can see the type of tag I am talking about.

Tips, Tools and Techniques:
  • Place tag on top of patterned paper and trim around tag using a sharp craft knife.  I did this once for each patterned paper, then cut the pink heart paper at a diagonal to place over the striped paper.  Then glue paper to tag using your adhesive of choice.  Using 1/4" hole punch, punch hole in patterned paper.
  • Print image onto cardstock (I use Georgia Pacific 110# white cardstock from Walmart), trim around it and place on foam dots or squares to raise it off of tag for dimension.
  • Add Stickles and llow to dry.
  • Add ric-rack, then add image.
  • I ran pink satin ribbon through the red laceto lighten it up a bit.  Fold lace in half and push the folded edge through the hole in the tag.

Mini Lesson . . . Buying Embellishments:

My crafting budget is on the bottom of the list when it comes to doling out money each week/month/year.  It's just a fact of life!  So over the years I have learned to get creative when it comes to buying embellishments for my crafting projects.  Personally, I prefer to spend more on 1)good quality papers and 2)good quality adhesives, and almost never spend money on made to match die-cuts, chip board, buttons, ribbons, etc.  I love them, but they are pretty expensive.  So I try to think outside the box when it comes to buying embellishments . . . 
  • Yard sales, estate sales, thrift stores - It's amazing what you can find if you dig a little bit!  I have bought some amazing laces, beads, stamps, etc. that were hidden in the bottoms of boxes at sales where everyone else is going for the bigger ticket items.  Keep a small list in your purse or wallet, and when you go to these types of places, pull it out and start shopping!
  • Antique markets and flea markets - Great place to find goodies!  The red ric-rack on the tag above came from a booth at a local antique market.  And the prices are very reasonable, and less than retail!
  • Small 'mom and pop' fabric or craft stores - That gorgeous red lace on the tag above came from a small store about 35-40 minutes north of here.  The store is next door to an older man's home, and he and his daughter run the store.  Years ago he had owned several fabric stores, and over the years as he got older and his health failed, he consolidated into this one building next to his home.  The great things about this place - they have TONS of older laces, trims and fabrics that are very reasonably priced!  They have much lower overhead, so their prices overall are much lower!  I bought a few 1/2 yard pieces of NEW fabric recently that cost about 1/3 of what they would have at a larger 'big box' fabric store.  And one other bonus - you make new friends!  These are the sweetest people and now that they've gotten to know me, they always have a smile on their faces when I walk in - and I really don't spend that much there, so it's more that I'm a regular and a new friend than it is about the money.
  • Word of mouth!  That's how I found out about the store above - because I never would have found it on my own!  Ask other crafters where they buy their supplies, but be willing to share your sources, too! 
So that's your assignment for this week - think outside the box!  I think you'll find you get a whole lot more for your crafting money if you do!

And next week, look for Unscripted Sketches #92, where you will find my very first sketch!  Yep, I drew this sketch, and I will share with you where I got the idea, as well as another project made specifically from the sketch!  Have a wonderful day!

Be Joyful Always!  Becky


Night and Day . . . Tale of a Tag Making Marathon!

Last night was just one of those nights!  As always, I watched TV until eleven pm, turned out the light, took off my glasses, tried to get comfy, and waited for the weather to come on.  Most nights, by the time the weather forecast is finished, I'm out like a light!  But occasionally it just doesn't work and I'm not going to sleep.  And on those nights I usually end up in my studio, door closed, gooseneck lamp shining over the work table, and me getting creative.  Last night was no different!

So I made a tag.  A really cute one with some bright pink, blue, green and white paper and like it so much I made another, and anlther.  Somewhere along the way I found a cut-up piece of old Scenic Route rub-ons, and I decided to just try to use up some of my oldies but goodies from my stash. 

Eventually, around 4:30, hubby got up and left for work, so I went back to bed to sleep for a couple of hours.  When I got up I made the girls go outside to do their business, fed them their breakfast, poured me a glass of juice, and went back to my work table.  In all I made 9 tags!  And I love them all, although there are one or two that are 'special'!   Here they are . . .

I used #5 manilla tags (2 3/8" x 4 1/2") for the base for all tags.  Adhesives used are Beacon 3 in 1 glue, Glue Glider Pro with Perma Tac adhesive, and adhesive squares from Dollar General.

#1 = Paper from a DCWV Stack, ribbon from Hobby Lobby, Gems are Prima eLine, Stickles 'crystal', Melissa Frances rub-on.

Brown ink and ribbon from Hobby Lobby, Stickles 'platinum', French text stamp (can't remember who made it) pompom from a bit of fringe in my stash.

Close up of the pompom and ribbon flower.

Probably my very favorite of the 9 tags!  Paper is from The Paper Studio (Hobby Lobby), ribbon from Michaels, gems are Prima eLine, rub-on from Scenic Route, flowers are all, I think, Prima.

Paper is from My Minds Eye, ribbonis from Hobby Lobby, lowers are various, but mostly Prima, Stickles 'platinum', and Prima eLine gems.  Oh, and 'celebrate' rub-on is Scenic Route.  (PS - I love that pink and copper fleur de lis ribbon!)

Paper is Shabby Princess by Bo Bunny Designs.  Green cardstock is Core'd'inations.  Ribbon is from Hobby Lobby, sentiment is Scenic Route, button from my stash, and Stickles 'diamond'.  I wet the green cardstock in warm water briefly, then dried it with a paper towel, pleated it by hand, and dried in the microwave @ 50 seconds or so on high.

Probably my second favorite, although I'm not really a 'pink and black' kind of gal.  Paper is from an old Fancy Pants sheet, gems are Prima eLine, Flowers are (I think) Petaloo, ribbons from my stash, and the sentiment is Scenic Route.

This one is a little different.  I left the tag 'bare', added strips of chicken feed sack fabric from the 1950's, buttons are from my stash, rub-on is Scenic route.  And I know you can't really see it, but look at the orange button as a clock, and look at about 2 o'clock!  There's a quilters pin sticking out from under the button with a heart shaped head.  It's green, and I coated it with Stickles 'crystal'.  It matches the green diamonds in the fabric perfectly!

My Minds Eye papers and diecuts, Stickles 'crystal', gems are Prima eLine, Scenic Route rub-on, and ribbon from my stash.

And last but not least, a very simple one with paper from Jillibean Soup, rub-on from Scenic route, flower, button and twill tape from my stash.

I love these tags!  They are so much fun to make, and very cheery and happy looking!  They make great a great alternative to bigger cards!  And they are all available for sale at $2.00 each or 3 for $5.  Each one comes with a white envelope that fits them perfectly.  Simply email me at lifeatcamelliacottage (at) gmail (dot) com if you are interested!

Thanks so much for visiting today!

Be joyful always, Becky



Tag Tuesday Challenge - Valentines

It's Tuesday once again, and time for one of my favorite challenges 'Tag Tuesday Challenge'.  This week's challenge is to make a tag with the theme of Valentines which, if you've been here on my blog lately, you'll know I don't have any problems making Valentines tags!  As I sat at my work table, trying to decide which direction to go for this challenge, I looked over to my left where my pink ribbon stash was sitting, and got a glimpse of this lovely grosgrain ribbon - ivory with brown, red and mauve-y pink hearts and butterflies.  I've had that ribbon for probably two years and have never used any of it, so today was the day! 

Here is my tag for the challenge . . .

Having the butterflies on the ribbon gave me the idea for the 'flutter' of the heart.  I cut out eight hearts using my Cricut and the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge.  The light pink were cut at 3/4", 1 1/4", 1 3/4", 2 1/4", and the deeper mauve-y color were cut at 1", 1 1/2", 2", 2 1/2".  Then I scored a line down the center of each, positioned them just so, and stitched the stack of them to the tag.  then I added some brown ink and platinum Stickles to the edges of each heart, and to the whole of the smallest heart.

The sentiment "You make my heart flutter!" was printed on my ink jet printer, trimmed and mounted on pink cardstock, then the edges were inked in brown.  I then popped it up on the page with some foam squares.

I used a #5 manilla tag, stamped it with a French text stamp and brown ink.

Then I made a bow around the bottom, and tied another, looser bow at the top - all of the inspiration ribbon.  I think this may go to my hubby.  It's something small that he can put on his desk at work.  He already has several of my tags there already.  And seriously, after more than 25 years, he does still make MY heart flutter!

This was a fun tag to make, and I hope you've found some inspiration of your own to make a Valentines tag for someone special to you!  Thanks for visiting!

Be joyful always!  Becky



Unscripted Sketches #90 - Dear Diary

Happy Saturday!  Once again it is 'Sketch It Saturday' over at Unscripted Sketches, and do we have a great sketch challenge for you!  This week's sketch seems to me to be very 'orderly' and 'structured'.  And if you've been reading this blog for very long you know I don't do orderly and structured very well!  But as always at Unscripted Sketches, this sketch is 'unscripted', so each person is free to turn, twist, scramble up the sketch as they see fit, as long as you can see something about the sketch in your finished product.  Here is this week's sketch . . .

And here is my finished product . . . it's an altered journal or diary . . .

And here are all the details . . .

Product Info:
  • The journal itself is a composition book - you know, those black and white speckled bound notebooks that you use in college?  I buy up a bunch of these in the fall when school supplies are out at Walmart.  You can usually get these for 25 cents each - what a deal!
  • The red papers are from a KI Memories stack from Hobby Lobby
  • The black and white striped papers are from a very old kit from QVC, and I couldn't tell you the name - sorry!
  • The image is from a vintage greeting card image I found online.  It originally said Hello, but I retouched it in Picasa and added Dear Diary instead.
  • The ribbons and button are from my stash.  The large button is vintage, and did not come on the card, but I sewed it onto the card.  The card had some smaller buttons on it that I bought at a small fabric shop in Mountain City, GA.  It is obviously old, and says it came from West Germany!

Tips, Tools and Techniques:
  • Altering this journal involves a lot of measuring and cutting.  I measured the front and back of the journal from the outer edge to the edge of the black binding, and cut two pieces that width and length, and adhered those pieces to the journal using Glue Glider Pro and Perma Tac adhesive.
  • Next I measured the inside covers from the outer edge to the inside edge, and cut two pieces of the striped paper to fit that and adhered those with the same adhesive.  Note:  I added the red satin ribbon under the inside back cover BEFORE I glued on the striped paper and pulled it across to the front.  You need the length of the notebook plus about 6 inches of the ribbon. 
  • For the pocket, I used a piece of the striped paper and cut it about 1 inch larger across and 1/2 inch larger vertically.  I scored three edges 1/2 inch in from the edge, clipped the two bottom corners at an angle so they would fold neatly, and folded them in.  I adhered these with FabriTac for a little tighter hold.  Then I added the ribbon and lace also using FabriTac glue.  The small tag is one I had in my stash, and I added red and white ribbon and a small ribbon bow.
  • For the image, I matted it on black cardstock and popped it up on foam dots.
And there you have it!  An easy project with a useful future!  You can decorate these journals to fit your own style or needs, and they make great gifts!  Come back soon to see what I'm up to here at Camellia Cottage!

Be Joyful Always, Becky

PS - Please take a minute to scroll down a couple of posts and check out my Pay It Forward Post!  I'd love for you to join me on this journey!!!



Tags, Tags and more Tags

I love crafting . . . period!  And from day to day, I may be working on something totally different, just depending on how my artsy mood goes!   For the last few weeks I've really been enjoying making tags, especially valentines tags with vintage (50's/60's) valentines card images, but for the last few days I've been in more what I call an 'artsy fartsy' mood, and have made a couple of tags in that variety.  First up is one of my valentines - and yes, you've seen this little girl before!

I used #5 manilla tags for the base of all of today's tags.  The paper on this tag is from a KI Memories stack from Hobby Lobby.  And I didn't get a pic of the 'hanger', but it's an iridescent white cord or 'rattail'.  Also as you can see, there is lots of 'stickling' going on here!

This tag started out to be another valentines tag, but I found the sentiment in my stash, and loved it!  The sentiment is from a Craft Secrets sheet of images.  I added the question mark, cut on the Cricut.  The flowers and ribbons are all from my stash.  The striped paper is from October Afternoon.

And now on to the 'artsy fartsy' tags!  I'm still not sure if I like how this one came out or not, but it was fun to make!

The Eiffel Tower rubon, stamp and fleur de lis rubon are from an old sheet and the labeling is gone, so I couldn't tell you where they are from.  The buttons and lace rubons are from an old (OLD) Fancy Pants sheet.  The chipboard stem is from an old set of Cosmo Cricket 'blackboard' chipboard.  I inked the gold leaves with Versa Mark, and dipped it into Ranger Queens Gold embossing powder, and heat embossed it.  Then I inked the whole thing in more Versa Mark and topped it with clear powder and heat set that - twice!  I added tiny rhinestone gems to each leaf.  Then I added some black wire, a heart charm, and a little bunch of beads in red, white, and blue.  I think it turned out fairly well!

And I saved my fave for last!  I just LOVE this tag!  And it was fun to make!  First I made the 'mosaic' chipboard.  I inked it with first brown, then blue, green and silver inks, setting the ink with the heat gun in between each.  Then I inked that with Versa Mark and added a light coat of Copper embossing powder, and heated it until it all kind of separated.  Next up was more Versa Mark, deep impression clear powder, melted, repeated, then added a little piece of hardware adn some glass beads.  I heated up the embossed areas and added the beads into the melted 'stuff'.  Then I heated it up some more and got the 'bubbly stones. 

The rubons (all except the stamp) are from an old Fancy Pants sheet, the ticket is from Tim Holtz, I inked everything a few times, the paper flower is from Flora Doodles, copper colored silk ribbon is from my stash.  Last I sprayed everything with Irridescent Gold Glimmer Mist and heated it with the heat gun.  That gave me some really cool patterns that you can't see in these pictures - so sorry!  And I tied the mosaic chipboard onto the tag with jute twine.

As I said, I really, REALLY love this tag!  And it let my artsy side run free for a little while, which is good for you!

Okay, I have a 'free day' today, so I'm off to create some more, but I wanted to remind you of my 'pay it forward' post down below - please check it out! 

Be joyful always!  Becky


Pay It Forward!

Don't know if you've seen this going around on blogs and facebook, but it fits with my 'Little Gifts' campaign, I love it and want to take part!  Due to shipping costs, this will only be available for folks in the US, and I'm really sorry!

I promise something handmade to the FIRST 5 people who leave a comment here. However, to be eligible, you must repost this status, offering something handmade to 5 other people. The rules are that it must be handmade (or homemade) by you and it must be sent to your 5 people some time in 2011. Ready, set, GO!

Now leave me a comment with a way to reach you.  I'm really anxious to see how many people are willing to 'pay it forward'!

Be joyful always!  Becky


Tag Tuesday Challenge - Winter

Have I told anyone lately that I just love making tags???  Most likely, because I really do love making tags!  Each one can be as simple or as elaborate as the artist, or creator, wants it to be, and each one is a small piece of art!  I love making tags!

This week, over at the Tag Tuesday Challenge the theme is 'winter'.  No other instructions, just make a tag that speaks of winter.  So I opened up Picasa and started looking through my folder of vintage greeting card images and found this beauty.  It had a greeting and Santa in a sleigh across the top, but I edited that out and enhanced the sky and smoke, and had a lovely winter scene.  Then I got online - looking for a winter quote or verse, and found one that I really liked a lot.  Well, enough about how the tag came about, here is my take on the challenge . . .

And here are the details . . .

Product Info:
  • Base cardstock is from The Paper Studio (Hobby Lobby) Textured Cardstock Stack - Brights
  • Patterned Paper on back side is from an old DCWV 'Ultimate' Stack
  • Ribbon, eyelets and lace from my stash
  • Small snowflakes are from Hobby Lobby, after Christmas sale in the section where they have decorations for small tabletop trees
  • Stickles:  Silver is outlining the tag, Icicles is on the blue snowflakes on outer edges of image, Crystal is used on the rooflines and trees, and Tim Holtz Distress Stickles 'Picket Fence' is used on the smoke rising from the chimneys

(Back side of tag - there is a 3rd piece of plain cardstock sandwiched between the front and
back for extra stability.)

Tips, Tools and Techniques:
  • Shape of tag was cut on Cricut Expression using Winter Woodland cartridge, using Tag feature.  I cut three different 'copies', one in the dark blue cardstock, one in the blue patterned paper, and a third from plain cardstock, and 'laminated' them for extra strength.
  • Snowflakes are hanging from oval jump rings, placed through three eyelets on the bottom of the tag.  The eyelets will keep the jump rings from pulling through the cardstock over time.
  • Image and sentiment printed on inkjet printer.
Sometimes you work on a project and it just never comes together, but this one came together quickly and easily.  I love it when that happens!  Thanks for visiting today!

Be Joyful Always!  Becky


Unscripted Sketches # 89 . . . and an 'oops'!

It is time once again for 'Sketch It Saturday' over at Unscripted Sketches challenge blog.  I am so grateful to be a member of the Design Team there, along with some incredibly talented ladies!  As members of the DT, we get access to the sketches weeks in advance so we will have plenty of time to make our projects and get pictures of them uploaded in plenty of time for our deadlines.  For some reason, this sketch was a tad challenging for me to use for a card, so I decided to try something different and used a paper mache' box and altered it with scrapbooking papers and decorated the top using the sketch as my guide.  I flipped the sketch a bit, but that's okay . . that's the 'unscripted' part!  Anyway, I loved the box and loaded it to our online forum and then realized I'd goofed!  This week was 'piggyback challenge' week, and I hadn't noticed that my project was supposed to be of a masculine nature!  And so it was back to the drawing board!  I came up with a cute card, using one of my newest Cricut cartridges "Nifty Fifties" for my hubby's birthday this year. 

So even though my original project wasn't exactly right for the challenge, I want to share both of my projects with you today.  Here is the sketch . . .

And here is my masculine card . . .

I used kraft cardstock by The Paper Studio (Hobby Lobby) for the base, the patterned paper is from a KI Memories stack that my hubby got me for Christmas.  The colored cardstock is from DCWV.  I also used Stickles 'Platinum' and 'Silver', twill binding, a vintage wooden button and brown bakers twine from my stash.  

The old pickup and sentiment were cut using my Cricut Expression and the Nifty Fifties cartridge. The #59 on the side of the truck is actually the age my hubby will be this year!  I love the pickup, and love how it turned out!

And here is the box that I altered . . .

I used Cosmo Cricket "Garden Variety" papers, a heart shaped paper doily, and a flower made of ric-rack and a button.  I also trimmed the edge of the lid with twill binding and more ric-rack. 

The 'Mad $' was cut using my Cricut Expression and the 'Simply Sweet' cartridge.  The ricrack flower was made by cutting a circle of felt, then gluing the end of a length of ric-rack to the center.  You simply go around and around, gluing as you go until the circle of felt is covered.  It's very easy, but takes a few minutes to complete.

I hope you have enjoyed these projects!  Please go over to the Unscripted Sketches blog and give this week's challenge a try . . . we would love it if you would join us!  Be Joyful, Friends!  Becky


Tag Tuesday Challenge - A Bit of Fabric . . .

Hi there!  Just here for a quick post about a tag that I made today for the 'Tag Tuesday Challenge'!  The challenge was to make a tag with 'a bit of fabric' somewhere on the tag, and you know I have plenty of fabric around here, and a big plastic shoe box full of fabric yoyo's, so here is what I came up with . . .

Don't you just love it???  Here are all the details . . 

Product Info:
  • Base card stock is Die Cuts With a View.
  • Lace, ribbon, buttons and fabric yoyo's are from my stash.
  • Image is from a vintage Valentines card I found online.
  • Stickles:  Diamond, Platinum, Icicles, and Christmas Red
  • Sentiment printed on ink jet printer.

Tips, Tools and Techniques:
  • Tag base was cut using Cricut Expression, A Child's Year cartridge, using the Tag feature set at 5".  I cut out three tags:  one from black cardstock, one from plain white cardstock, and a third from a pretty red patterned paper with white polka dots for the back.  (Sorry, I forgot to take a pic of the back!)  And I 'laminated' them using Glue Arts Glue Glider Pro with Perma Tac adhesive.  Laminating the tag like this makes it much more stable and holds up better to the weight of the fabric and lace.
  • The image was printed on white cardstock, trimmed around, and popped up on the tag with foam squares.  The 'flames' were not a part of the image, so I cut freehand and cut a slit in the missile and tucked the end of the flame inside to make it look more a part of the picture.  I put a bit of platinum stickles on her hair and the center of the flame; red stickles on the flame and highlights on the missle,as well as around the tag perimeter; Icicle in the center of the flame, and Diamond all over the missile.
  • The yoyos are made by cutting a 4" diameter circle of fabric and basting with needle and thread all around the perimeter, then drawing tight and sewing the button on the center.  These buttons are vintage, in fact I thnk the red one was from one of my mother's house robes from my long ago childhood!  :o)
  • The sentiment was printed on white cardstock, trimmed with pinking shears, backed with black cardstock and glued to the tag.
I thinkthe little girl is just beautiful, and if I could, I'd tagalong with her myself!  Thanks for visiting today, and . . . Be Joyful!  Becky

UPDATE/UPDATE/UPDATE!!!  I just realized I've crossed the 10,000 visitor milestone on this blog!  So to go along with my "Little Gifts" Campaign, if you'll leave a comment here on this post, on Saturday 1/15 I'll pick a winner and send you this tag, along with a few other little goodies.  Due to my budget constraints, I'm afraid I'll have to limit this to folks in the United States.  Thanks for understanding!  Becky