"No Place Like Home" A Fresh Coloring Book for the Home Lover

"No Place Like Home" A Fresh Coloring Book for the Home Lover
This Coloring Book was featured in the TV show Make It Artsy

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday, September 19, 2016

Under The Tuscan Sun

This was my first time reading Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes although I have heard about it for a long time. I have also read many mixed reviews over the years. Some people loved it and some didn't. I knew I had to read it to see how I felt. 
As the author herself says in her twentieth anniversary afterword, 'How to sustain a book that has no tense plot, an unforeseeable resolution, and not even an "I survived" motif? Well, I thought, let's just go a little against the grain. I quit worrying about conflict/resolution and character development requirements. I'll try, I told myself, simply to re-create this place in tactile, evocative words. The writing was spontaneous.' 
So if you enjoy poetic sensory eloquence, you'll love this memoir of an American woman buying and renovating an old villa in Tuscany and how she weaved herself into the layers of the local culture and cuisine.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Natural Color

In Natural Color, author Sasha Duerr says, "Making natural color from scratch is much like cooking - it's the same process of using recipes, finding the right ingredients, experimenting, and timing." She chose to make her natural dyes from seasonal weeds, food-by-products, and common everyday plants that can be found in your own backyard, kitchen or local florist and yield gorgeous colors. Citrus peels, pine cones, seeds, leaves, fruits, flowers, roots, pits, barks can all be made into fashionable dye colors without harming the environment. Based on the seasonal availability of her dye plants, the author divided her projects into sections by season. Brush-lettered chapter headings, gorgeous photographs of ingredients, process and projects and the how-to techniques of natural dying make this book a must-have for a versatile crafter's library.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Think Happy!

Stay happy - no matter how much life throws at you! 

That's the theme of Karen Salmansohn's Think Happy: Instant Peptalks to Boost Positivity which is a collection of 50 uplifting pep talks you can give yourself and others to face life as it unfolds. Even when you feel beaten down, these positive words will help rebuild confidence, overcome frustration, nurture resilience and stay motivated. 

For example, in 5 Things to Say When Trying Something New (and thereby scary), the author gives examples of phenomenally successful people such as Michael Phelps, Walt Disney and Bill Gates who also saw failures. She says, 

'It's okay to make mistakes, to fail, to struggle. What's not okay is to think that mistakes, failure, and struggle are permanent states of being! They're simply a bridge you must cross to get to the Land of the Highly Awesome.' 

'Every expert started out as a beginner.' 

It's true that we have all heard many of these words before, but Karen Salmonsohn's book approaches it in a very fun way with positive, almost feisty words accompanied by heart-warming and cute colorful illustrations. Repeat the words and they will help build a positive neural circuit that will help you become more positive and happy in everything you do.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Beware! Lost Zombie On The Prowl

It's only August but as I walk down the store aisles, I see Fall finery all around. While we wait for nature to catch up, it's fun to get in the mood of things to come. So it goes with crafting as well. Creating this spooky little Village Manor complete with a broken Gothic Gate and house number 31 to attract a Lost Zombie jump-started my Halloween crafting this year. Follow along to see how I put this seasonal home decor piece together.

Start with these Sizzix dies: Sizzix Bigz L Die - Village Manor, Sizzix Thinlits Die - Gothic Gate, Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 14PK - Halloween Words: Thin, Sizzix Bigz Die - Lost Zombie and Sizzix Bigz XL Die - Village Dwelling. Let's get started!

To create the Village Manor, you'll need these two dies: Sizzix Bigz XL Die - Village Dwelling which makes the basic house and
Sizzix Bigz L Die - Village Manor which gives it the Manor look.

To diecut the Village Dwelling, create the following Sizzix Sandwich: on a Sizzix Accessory Cutting Pad - Extended, lay the Sizzix Bigz XL Die - Village Dwelling blade-side up. On it lay 13" x 6" thin chipboard (I upcycled a used envelope) and cover with the other Extended Cutting Pad. Pass the whole Sandwich through the Sizzix Big Shot machine.

Create the same Sizzix Sandwich using Sizzix Accessory Cutting Pads- Standard and Sizzix Bigz L Die - Village Manor to diecut the Village Manor, also out of similar chipboard. You may want to cut multiples of the window frame.

Repeat to die-cut the Lost Zombie.

Use adhesive to assemble the Village Dwelling and then add the Village Manor parts to it following the instructions from the die package insert or click here for assembly instructions.

To diecut the Gothic Gate, create this Sizzix Sandwich: on Sizzix Accessory Standard Magnetic Platform For Wafer Thin Dies, lay a Standard Cutting Pad. Lay cardstock down and place the Sizzix Thinlits Die - Gothic Gate blade-side down on it. Cover with another Standard Cutting Pad and pass the whole Sandwich through the Sizzix Big Shot machine.

Repeat with Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 14PK - Halloween Words: Thin to diecut the number 31.

With scissors cut off part of the Gothic Gate diecut to create a broken gate look. Cut the number 31 in a block to use as house number.

Attach the broken Gothic Gate, house number and the Lost Zombie to the Village Manor as shown.

Apply some Whipped Spackle or another texture paste to fill up any gap in the construction as well as to add some texture to the Village Manor.

Color the Manor walls with black Chalkboard Paint.

Paint the roof and other parts of the Manor along with the broken Gothic Gate and Lost Zombie.

Paint details to the roof, walls, windows and base.

Cut a left-over door die-cut at an angle and glue to the base as a headstone. Paint details on the headstone.

Here is a close-up of the Manor.

And a 360 degree view of the finished piece.

Hope you enjoyed today's tutorial and happy-get-in-the-Halloween-mood to you!

Supplies (Affiliate Links):
Sizzix Accessory - Cutting Pads, Standard, 1 Pair
Sizzix Accessory - Cutting Pads, Extended, 1 Pair
Sizzix Accessory - Standard Magnetic Platform for Wafer-Thin Dies
Sizzix Big Shot Machine Only (White and Gray)
Others: cardstock, chipboard, paints, paint brush, adhesive, Whipped Spackle