Up for a Challenge? Introducing #StashCraft19

In The Studio

‘ve come to realize that I’m very bad at putting myself first. It’s something I’ve been working on, on a personal level, and now I’m addressing the creative needs.

For 2019 I applied for absolutely no design teams so that I could work on more of my own projects. BUT! One of the nice things about being on a team is the deadlines and accountability you have to the organizer. When it’s just me? That’s harder.

Enter the wonderful thing that is public accountability! I’ve created a challenge (and some supporting goals) and I’m putting it all out there in the hopes that it’ll help keep me motivated when the going gets tough.

Here, have a video of me explaining it:

But if you’re not in a place where you can watch a video, here’s the basics:

The Challenge

Create one project a week–with a video–using mostly (if not completely) materials I already own.

Goal #1: Use of the supplies I’ve hoarded over the years.

Let’s face it, my craft stash is considerable, with so many things I’ve purchased, collected, or been given over the years (decades!) with plans to use them someday. Well, someday is now! Time to blow off the dust and finally get to the projects I’ve meant to do for so very long.

Goal #2: Declutter the Abyss

Use it up, move it out, make something awesome! I’ll be able to organize as I go while using the supplies up and weeding out any items that are too old, dried up, or otherwise no longer viable.

Goal #3: Save Money by Using What I Have

Not only do I have tons of supplies to be creative with already, my budget is currently not in favor of spending a lot of supplies to fuel a year’s worth of projects. I’m aiming for 90-75% stash supplies for each project (the 75% in deference to the inevitable using-up that’ll happen by the end of the year) but many things can be accomplished strictly with the stuff I already own. Each project will include a run-down of supplies and what, if anything, I spent.

Goal #4: Make Some Money, If Possible

This is a stretch-goal, sure, but it’s not exactly unrealistic. Blog/Vlog business schtuff alert: First, creating weekly videos is bound to increase my subscriber count and watch time which will enable me to go back to monetizing my videos. Not that it’s a huge revenue source, but it’s something. Second, of the items I’ll be making as part of the challenge, some will undoubtedly be personal projects while others may be suitable for sale and will be available in my Etsy shop.

So that’s it! Every Monday, starting January 7th, I’ll post a new video of a new project created from my craft stash. All posts here, on YouTube, and on social media will be tagged with #stashcraft19 and I invite anyone who wants to join in to do so by using that same tag.

I’d love to know what you’re creative goals are for the year. Leave a comment here or on the YouTube video and grab a little public accountability for yourself!

Imagine That: Coffee Filter Wedding Flowers

In The Studio

This month Imagine is highlighting weddings on their blog and, hey, if there’s one thing I know about weddings it’s all the different ways you can hand craft them.

I keep my DIY bouquet on display in my office and it still makes me smile to look at it!

Long-time readers know that I spent the two years leading up to my wedding with Todd making all the decorations for the ceremony and reception plus the invitations, favors, etc.

While my own bouquet was a mixture of papers, wood, knitting, and beading, I stuck to one main medium for this project: coffee filters.

They are both versatile and malleable (and let’s not forget inexpensive!) and there are a number of ways to make them into wonderful floral stand-ins with a bit of Fireworks! Spray, floral tape, and wire.

Make sure to check out the post for information on making four different types of flowers, plus greenery, and even a quick take on turning them into a small bouquet and boutonniere!

Imagine That: August Trio

In The Studio

I wish I could tell you where August went but I’m afraid it was one big blur of work-work-work. Not that I didn’t have time for some fun, gotta take your chances where you can, right?

And, of course, I was crafting for Imagine this month. I have to say, of the many reasons I love being on design/creative teams, the deadlines might be my favorite.

Yes, you heard me right! I love the deadlines.

When work or life gets hectic, it’s way too easy to put the fun stuff off, even if doing so is detrimental to our overall well-being. I need my creative outlets, and team deadlines make sure I get my crafty time in for them if nothing else.

So, what did I make for August? I’m so glad you asked!

Our first prompt was teal, a color I am quite fond of. Since I did oh-so-many cards the previous month I really wanted to branch out and do non-card things this month, so I started with an altered bottle. The Creative Medium did so incredibly well on the glass, and the Fireworks! sprays just needed a lot of time to dry to get a great shimmery tint.

Our next prompt was “mystical.” I had so many ideas for this one but I had to make a decision and this little gate (found in the fairy garden section of JoAnn Crafts) was great inspiration for a fairy gate treasure box. I started with my tried-and-true tissue paper decoupage and then stamped background details, embossed the entire gate, and added a charm and foliage to fill out the scene.

Our final challenge for the month was simple Motion. Simple, huh? I went decided complicated with this one, but my goal was to create a freestanding, three-dimensional paper sculpture that not only could move but suggested movement even when it was still. I think I managed it! Go check out the video of my flight of fancy video on the Imagine blog and see what you think.


Imagine That: Coffee or Cocktails

In The Studio

Today I have a two-fer to share with you–one project here and another, using the same stamp set and theme, over on the Image blog.

Waffle Flower was kind enough to share some products with the Imagine Artists in Residence this month and you know how much I love Waffle Flower for their cute monkey stamps, right? For these projects, though, I used the Currently Drinking mini stamps that are part of their planner series.

For Imagine I used the wine and cocktail-themed stamps in the set to create a scattered, embossed background for a fun card perfect for a bachelorette bar crawl or a girl’s night out.

Not to be left out, the coffee and tea images also in the set were perfect for a bracelet when used with shrink plastic and a few jewelry tools. Check out the video, below, of just how easy this bracelet came together.

Here’s what I used to create this bracelet (amazon links, below, are affiliate links–thank you for supporting this blog!)

Imagine Supplies

Waffle Flower Supplies

Other Supplies

Stuck on Xyron!

In The Studio

Hey there! Today I get to share one of my Imagine projects over here on my own blog because we’re having a little hop with Xyron!


Before we get into how I made this any-occasion countdown calendar, I’d just like to thank Xyron, not only for sending us product to work with, but for sticking around (hah!) all these years. Both the little 150 Sticker Maker and 500 Create-a-Sticker that I used in this project I’ve had for something like 15 years and even with all that time and the evolution of their product line, the refills still work in these older “machines” and for that I am sincerely grateful.

Okay, enough gushing, let’s get to the project du jour!

Any-Occasion Countdown Calendar

Are you ever shocked when that one friend (everyone has one) comes into the office or posts on Facebook, etc. “only XX days ’til Christmas”? Even though they come around at the same time every year, I’m always a little gob-smacked at the small number of days before a holiday or other event (and how generally unprepared I might be for them). So I thought a countdown calendar would be an excellent thing to have on hand, and even better if it worked for any holiday or occasion coming up!

To make this countdown calendar I used (more or less in order of use):

Wow, that looks like a lot of stuff and explains why my work table looks like a tornado hit it.

Step One: Emboss and Emboss

Step One: Emboss and Emboss

So I could have sworn I had a clock-patterned embossing folder but apparently I talked myself out of that one (why?!) but I will not be dissuaded. I used the gears embossing folder and inked up one side with the clear Versamark pad. Once it was embossed I sprinkled it with white embossing powder and heat set it. My coverage wasn’t perfect here, but that’s okay, since I really just needed two “perfect” gears.

Step 2: Prep for letters!

Step 2: Prep for letters!

There are many things you can use a Xyron for, but hands-down my go-to use is for letters. With the Create-a-Sticker I will do a larger piece I can run through the die cutter and boom, intantly adhesived letters. No fussing with adhesive all over the place, just so super simple. This time I did two layers (one white, one red) through the Sizzix at once, vastly cutting down the cutting time.

Step 3: We have a title!

Step 3: We have a title!

As you can see, I fussy-cut the gears and added some strips of black cardstock for arms, then I secured them with a brad. The ends of each arm are decorated with a homemade “enamel” dot made from StazOn Studio Glaze. I made a bunch of these on a lark and have a little box of them on my work table for whenever I want one. Basically, you just squeeze a little puddle out onto your craft mat and let it dry.Done.Apply with a tiny dab of white glue.

My title is made by offseting the red letters just a hair behind the white, and sticking them down directly to the dry erase board. The gear-clocks are popped up with a couple of ZapDots a piece.

What you won’t see (because I apparently forgot to grab the camera) is my cutting out a scalloped oval from a piece of white cardstock and blue fun foam. Why blue? It’s what I had. These were put together and attached to the board with some Tear It! Tape.

Step 4: Here's your sign!

Step 4: Here’s your sign!

Here’s where you get customized. I used a variety of stamps and inks, along with some hand lettering, to create little signs to go under the frame I made in the last step. These are just a few I’m starting with, but the beauty of this board is that you can make any occasion you need.

Step 5: Make mine a magnet, please!

Step 5: Make mine a magnet, please!

This magnet tape is really what inspired this project, let’s be honest. On the back of each occasion sign (which have been matted once or twice, each, for strength and prettiness) I placed a piece or two of the Xyron Magnet Tape. This is what makes the countdown any-occasion.

Step 6: Little Letters

Step 6: Little Letters

To finish my board, I cut tiny letters to decorate the bottom of the countdown frame and ran them through my little Xyron 150. Like I said, my favorite use for my Xyrons are letters and for tiny things the little X sticker maker is perfect.

Make good use of the extra space!

Make good use of the extra space!

Since my countdown calendar only takes up 2/3 of my dry erase board, I can use the remaining space to either hold some of the other signs, like in the first photo of the post, or I can use it as a to-do list for the upcoming event. Now I really have no excuse for holidays sneaking up on me.

What would your favorite countdown be?