Yeasty Mosaic at Disney's California Adventure

Yeasty Mosaic at Disney's California Adventure
Yeasty Mosaic at Disney's California Adventure

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Easy Easter Baskets from Recycled Grape Bags

Recycling Rioblanco grape bags easily into Easter Baskets.

I love grapes. I think I could live on them if I had to. The problem was that I had a hard time tossing the plastic bags holding the grapes which have a zipper closure at the top and room to hold other goodies.

With a few small steps, I discovered that these bags could be recycled into perfect Easter baskets.

All I did was stamp a bunny graphic onto some old tags I had lying around. I punched a hole into the front cover of the bag (only through the one layer of plastic) and threaded through some colorful yarn and tied it in a knot to secure the tag. The lucky recipient's name can then be printed on the back of the tag.

I filled the bags with Easter grass and plan to pick up some sweet treats at my next grocery run to place in the bags.

I think I will be looking for other uses for these pretty bags. They could easily hold a plastic bag filled with small plants for a spring gift. Or be filled with small pieces of cheese and crackers for a hostess gift accompanying a bottle of wine. Since they already have lovely pictures of grapes on them, this is a no brainer!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Finding Treasures at a Reuse Center

With the emphasis in our society these days to Reduce! Recycle! Reuse!, cool places like the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse are popping up all over.

Housed in the same building as Construction Junction, which promotes conservation through the reuse of building materials, the Reuse Center is a somewhat organized place full of trash or treasure, depending on your viewpoint.

For me, I fall somewhere in the middle. I love to find some simple treasure that I can carry home and turn into something else. But because I really don't need another thing in my home, I am careful (at least some of the time) to only pick up items I think I may be able to use.

But it is so much fun to go through everything in the store, looking for that one special item which will catch my eye. On my last trip I found a few small things that I brought home (see photo above). Their value may not jump out of the photo at you, but it's possible they will become some awesome new thing. If and when they do, I will try to remember to photograph them and show you the transformation.

Check back.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pin Some Glamour to Your Coat

I made this pin out of a piece of .99 clearance craft item. All I had to do was glue (with strong glue) a pin back on it and attach to my winter coat.

Voila! It was so easy to do and I have gotten a lot of compliments on it. Reminds me of how back in the day  women always had pins attached to their coats. It's a trick that can add color, whimsy or elegance to your outfit.

The pin (which didn't photograph well for some reason!) is colorful enough that people think it's a spring accessory. If  that's all it takes to bring on spring, I say Yea!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine Cards Easier than ever to Make

As I mentioned in the last post, I had decided to use my Gelli plate prints on some Valentine's Day cards I wanted to make.

As you can see, the results turned out pretty well. It was such a snap to take the Gelli prints which I had printed on old holiday cardstock, cut them to size to fit the card sets I had bought and add a focal point heart and some stamping. I then embossed the stamp ink so that the cards would have some shine.

Very easy. And I wanted to mention that I used my new Brother Scan n Cut to cut  out the hearts from cardstock and thick embossed paper.

Tools like the Gelli plate and the scanner make doing these craft projects much easier, and really, more fun.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Gelli Prints May Confuse the Viewer

Wondering what this is? Words of description may be escaping you right now. Words such as red, odd, stripey, messy, a creative bomb, masterpiece?

That last word might be one you would pick if you are a lover of Gelli Prints like I am, and apparently lots of people on the internet.

A Gelli plate is a gellatin monoprinting plate. A Gelli print is a print that is "pulled" from the actual Gelli plate which has been covered with paint and textures and then relayered and relayered until the artist is satisfied. You can work on the same print for as long as you like until you are happy with the results.

I hope to use this print and more like it in similar colors to provide the background for some Valentine's cards I plan to make. The Gelli Plate can make even the most beginning artist feel pretty darn creative. Check back!

Here is more information on Gelli Prints:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Nothing Like a New Box of Crayons

When we were young and getting ready for a new school year, the absolute best thing to have was a box of 64 Crayola crayons (with an actual sharpener embedded in the box.) Way cool.

I went to look in my office drawer for such a box to show you and found that I actually had a 96 crayon box hidden away from an old project. I didn't even remember that.

Not 64, but 96 Crayola crayons
I checked further on the internet and it seems that Crayola now sells a  box of 120 crayons (twice as many as when I was young) which is probably too many, but I wouldn't turn the box down.

I was talking with a friend about creating art and I thought about  how inspiring any size new box of crayons could be to someone who is looking for a creative project to begin or work on again.

So my suggestion is to go out and buy a box of crayons -- any number of crayons will do -- and start a project with them. Draw and color in an art journal, print out some mandala patterns to color or make some greeting cards for Valentine's Day. Doesn't matter what you do just that you do something. And don't be intimidated by all of those perfectly sharpened, untouched tips on the crayons. Go ahead and use them.

So many artists on the web talk about not trying to be perfect in everything, to strive for progress not perfection.

I think that is a good lesson for all of us.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Grocery Stores Getting Creative, Too

I know it costs more to buy small packets of clean and cut up vegetables at the grocery store. At my store visit today, I noticed that the produce managers had moved these packages from the left rear of the produce section to pretty much front and center when you come into the store.

I looked around at the offerings and decided not to buy any now, but I thought to myself what a great idea this was for the holidays. If you slave over cutting up celery and onions and other veggies to make stuffing, you no longer have to do that. You can just grab a couple small tubs of already cut up vegetables and concentrate on more important things, like mashed potatoes.

I neglected to check the pricing of these small items when compared to buying vegetables in their natural state, but I am guessing they will cost more. How much, I don't know.

There's the decision: Pay more for convenience or not?

It will all depend next week on the mood I am in when I shop for Thanksgiving. Not sure which way I will go, but I know what my decision would have been back in the day when my children were young. I would have snapped up those pre-cut veggies so fast . . .

About Me

I am the creator of the web's premiere Baby Boomer site: Boom This: A Generational Thing!(