Confessions of a Craftaholic

Tag: upcycled crafts

An Altered Journal for a Pin Up Fan

Today I worked on a swap. I do love creating things for swaps, it’s so much fun. The swap that I worked on today, is for an altered journal. Fortunately for me, I happened to have a very good artist sketchbook, just waiting to be altered.

My partner’s favorite color is purple, and she loves pin up girls. So here’s what I came up with:

Now, I know that it is not typical of me to have a lot going on, as I love to lean towards the simple side, but today I was in the mood for a lot going on. I used purple acrylic paint by Plaid Crafts, Pan pastels in purple, typewriter font background stamp, and fusible glittery fibers, by Art Institute Glitter. The flower is by Prima, and is hiding a smudge. Damned inky fingers.

I used dimensionals to get Ms. Betti Page to pop out a bit more.

The ribbon was sent to me as extras, in a swap I was in.

The film strip ribbon is by Mr. Tim Holtz. I love that stuff!

What else? Today I am catching up on a bunch of swaps. I usually do them in bundles, since I wait until I have the extra $$ to mail them all out. It’s easier to do it once every couple weeks or so, then to have to keep going every so often.

Oh man. The other day, I made the most AMAZING portobello mushroom pizza and blackberry lemonade. It was SO good. Don’t worry,the food blog is coming. But since I don’t have the most high tech camera in the world, you all will just have to wait until my dear husband has the time to take amazing shots with my crappy camera, of the step by step.

That’s all for today.


PS. –> Help FUND my CAUSE!

The Craftaholic

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Superstitious Lucky Parcel

Today I finished off (and sent out) another swap. This one was the box, for the lucky parcel that I was a part of. I had to make up 4 items for my swap partner, for which she chose the theme, “Superstitions”. So this is a “dream” box, for her to put inside things that personify her dreams and wishes and hopes.


This is the view from the top. The quote there, is from a stamp by Stampin’ Up. I’m sorry I can’t remember what set it is from. But it is one of my favorites.

This box was, in a former life, a box of Godiva chocolates. I love saving little boxes like this and repurposing them, don’t you?

It’s easy enough to do. I painted it with some paints by Plaid Crafts, and embellished it with buttons and a butterfly stamp that I cannot remember the maker of. Sorry.

The quote was stamped on some textured stampin up cardstock, then inked on the edges with blue ink. I put it right over the part of the box, where it says, Godiva so that you can’t see it. It’s not a box of chocolates anymore, it’s a wish box!

Here’s the inside:

I lined the inside with cardstock.  All her little trinkets are wrapped up inside.

What do you think? You like it?


The Craftaholic

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Gift Tags for your Knitwear

So I made these cute gift tags recently.

Cute, right?

I love this! It’s so adorable.

Anyway, this comes in a set of 5, and you can purchase them in my etsy shop.

The Craftaholic

Create-A Watercolor Journal


“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

-Abraham Lincoln

I keep telling people when they tell me they worry too much, that life is too short. There is so much focus on saving money for the future, and planning for the future, and living a healthy lifestyle, but not enough emphasis on how much joy and peace there is in your life.

I always go back to forgiveness and letting go. We store too many things within ourselves; we suppress things. Why are we so focused on the outside, and not on the inside?

We must look within ourselves and let go of the negativity. It doesn’t serve a purpose, at all. Let it go. Life will continue and pass you by, and all you will be left with is these useless feelings that only repel others from you.

I finished something I am truly proud of. I wanted to keep it for myself! This is for a swap, on craftster. I got flaked on by my original partner, and got assigned a new one, so I put some effort into it.

She said she wanted a combination of lined and unlined pages, so I gave her that.

This book has a spiral binding, for which I used my binditall machine.  I used fantasy fiber that I ironed and made into a fabric, to layer on the cover, with a vintage playing card, and typewriter letters by All Night Media, by Plaid Crafts.

This fairy is a rubber stamp, by All Night Media by Plaid Crafts.

Here, you can see how I made it lined for her. I was unsure as to what I should do for the other side of the watercolor pages, so I went ahead and glued lined paper to the blank side of the watercolor paper. This way, she’s got lined AND unlined pages in her journal. Nice, right?

I stamped quotes and images on the pages of watercolor paper, so they can serve as writing prompts for her. Plus, it’s nice looking.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I hand painted the watercolor paper. It’s easy! Squirt a nickel sized bit of watercolor into a spray bottle, then fill almost full with water, and shake. You can spray it on, then brush it with your brush, so that it makes more of an interesting look on the paper!

That’s all for now. I have a couple more small-ish swaps to work on and send out. And I got a sudden craving for Nutella. Yum.

The Craftaholic

Day 364: Bottlecap Alphabet Magnets


“We find that between the past and the future there is an extremely thin line—something that cannot really withstand analysis.”

-The Dalai Lama

It just means that we live our lives very close to the past and the future. But the truth is, we live in the now. Or at least, we should. Life is short on this earth. While we walk the earth, we should keep in mind, how close we really are to the past and future. We are close to it, but not there. Don’t live your life focused too much on one or the other. Bitterness comes from living in the past too much, and worry comes from living in the future too much. That’s my thought, anyway.

Today, I made something really cool!

I saved some bottlecaps from my daughters apple juice containers, and little jars of “NAKED” juice that I buy sometimes, and made a magnet set that spells out her name!

It’s easy.

Make sure you clean them, first.

Then, if you want, you can paint them. I used Apple Barrel Brand Paint by Plaid Crafts (in blue).

Then, get some pretty scrapbook paper. Trace and cut circles, then glue it with a glue stick.

Then, in coordinating paper, stamp out your child’s name. I used the Typewriter alphabet by All Night Media, by Plaid Crafts.

After that, go over it inside, with some Dimensional Magic, by Mod Podge.

Then, let it dry, and apply the magnet backs with Art Institute Glue.

That’s it! It’s easy peasy and so cool looking.

Day 358: Altoid Tin Fairy Box and a Poem en Español


“According to tantra, the ultimate nature of mind is essentially pure. This pristine nature is technically called “clear light.”

-The Dalai Lama

Clear light. wow. The one thing that makes me think about this quote, is a reoccurring dream that I have often. It is actually what made me love owls so much. It’s in Spanish, sorry. I will try to translate it, tomorrow. It’s called:

I dreamt I was an Owl

En otra vida

en otro tiempo

Yo vi a la lechuza

lo vi

en el desierto, sola

en la noche que no cambiava ha dia

me hablo

me dio un cigarillo

y un rosario

En otro tiempo

en otra vida

me vi, yo

en una montaña altisimo

Pero en un desierto, si la monaña

con magos

con lechuzas

y la lechuza shaman

Alze las manos

y me converti

a la lechuza


la lechuza majica

Y haci


So that’s that. It’s a poem about me, and owls. What can I say, I dream of owls.

Anyway, today I got crafty (and chatty) with a friend of mine. We made these cute fairy boxes out of altoid tins. Check out some shots.

A messy workspace, because that’s how I roll.

This is Leann. She’s lots of fun, and a great listener. I was QUITE the chatterbox today. QUITE. But I always am. Back when I was dating, I’d tell my first dates, “you’re never going to have that awkward silence with me”. Because truly, you won’t. I like to talk.

Opening a package of fantasy fiber, by Art Institute. OMG. Love this stuff. I do.

This is what we made. Mine is on the right. I used the “Dazzlers” glitter by Art Institute glitter, and their glue. Actually, not just because because I’m a guest designer for them, but I really love their glue a lot. It’s strong, and it dries quick. Anyhow, here’s the insides of mine:

I’m not sure if I’m done with it. And yeah, the glue was still drying. I wanted to catch the perfect shot, with just the right sunlight, so there it goes. I used the Art Institute Fantasy Fiber for the top background, and some dollar store fake moss for the bottom. You like it? I do. It’s cute, and simple.

Oh, and here’s a tip for you. Instead of buying blank tins, just recyle your old altoid tins. I lined the embossed lid with chipboard, to make it a flat surface to work on. And yes, Art Institute Glue works best!

Actually, I was thinking of how fun it would be to make a hole bunch of these, as little rooms, to make a whole “house” of altoid tins! Wouldn’t that be something?

Tomorow is Labor Day, and my husband is working. So I’m off to my friend Yoshi’s house, to get crafty and catch up on some swaps.

The Craftaholic

Day 356: More Domino Pendants


“Simplicity is extremely important for happiness.”

-The Dalai Lama

I couldn’t have said this better. Being a simple person, or being a person who does not require much, is quite vital to happiness. First of all because no one likes a high maintenance person, and secondly it is ecologically sound, and good for your pocket.

Try to be simple. Being simple, and living a more simple lifestyle can be challenging, but fun. Instead of purchasing jewelry supplies, figure out how to make your own. Instead of buying cake mixes, try making it from scratch. It’s easy, if you just take small steps.

Today, I made some more domino pendants, for an upcoming workshop. And I finally have my crafty mojo back, after weeks of feeling sluggish and bored! I’m back to my hyperactive craftaholic workaholic ways.

Cool, right? I got the papers from a collage paper pack at Dick Blick, and the words are from some old beat up children’s books.

Anyway, I’ve got to run. Tonite or tomorow, I’ll be announcing a fun contest that I’ll be hosting with Plaid Crafts! So, stay tuned!

The Craftaholic

Day 347: A Halloween Chunky Book


“Human potential is the same for all. We all have the power of thought—so what are you lacking?”

-The Dalai Lama

Holy moly! The power of thought. When we think of what we’re lacking, we tend to think of practical things like diapers, money, clothing, food…but those are just external things. What we lack is the idea that things will get better, that we have the power to improve things, just on our own. And we can. When we believe in ourself, we accomplish much.

Today, I accounted for the lovely autumn weather by making a Halloween themed chunky book. I really love how it turned out. I have an appointment next week with someone (I can’t tell you who yet) and I must prepare a portfolio of my work. I am so excited for it! I wish I could tell you, but I can’t yet. It’s next week, though. I can tell you that.

Anyway, here’s what I made:

I used a vintage frame that I had laying around, just waiting for such a project. Lovely, right?

The tabs are handmade, of course.

That frame was part of my wooden vintage frame. I took it out, and voila!

The handmade flower is easy. It’s just six or so scallop circles with a brad in the center, then they are crumpled up into a ball to look like a flower bulb, then you slowly unfold them. Easy peasy!

So, what do you think? You like it? I love it. Today is lovely! The weather outside reminds me of when my husband and I first married, in the fall. It was such nice cool weather, and everything we had was brand new…you remember that feeling?

I guess I am feeling nostalgic because my anniversary is coming up next week, on the 30th. It’ll be 7 years of us being together. I’m not a fancy pants kind of lady, so I don’t need much. I’d like a Smashing Pumpkins CD that I lost  to an old boyfriend years and years ago. That, and a sit down dinner at this old fashioned diner in manhattan. It’s called La Bonbonnierre, and it’s almost next door to the Ink Pad. That’s all I want, really.

Anything else I want? Actually that’s all. I honestly can’t think of anything realistic that I want. Amazing, right? Meh, I’m a simple girl, really. Given the chance, I would rather buy art supplies than clothing. I don’t know why, but whenever I set aside money for clothing, I end up buying art supplies.

I don’t know what to get for my husband. At all. He’s not a tie wearing guy, I can tell you that. I got him the mandolin he’d been asking for. Maybe, I’ll make him some really good soap. He’s into good soap. That’s how I got into soapmaking. I had made soap before I met him, and then when we started dating, I started making more for him, because he loves a good bar of scented soap. So I’ll do that then. I wonder if anyone makes a fragrance oil that smells like Irish Spring…?

The Craftaholic

Day 341: A finished job


“Try to develop a deep conviction that the present human body has great potential and that you shall never waste a single minute of its use.”

-The Dalai Lama

This is what I’m always saying: life is short. Don’t waste time. We waste time in so many ways. I don’t know if I mentioned this, but I struggled with depression most of my childhood and into my adult life. About 2 or so years before I got pregnant, I found myself finally lifting myself out of it, by healing myself with art and poetry.

When I had my daughter, I went through postpartum depression, and it was rough on me. I decided though, to lift myself out of it. Life is short, and I had this tiny little person that I wanted to be there for. I didn’t want to waste my life being sad over the crap that happened to me as a kid. Bad things happen everywhere, and we must put our faith in our higher power, in the universe, in ourselves, and in whatever your religious beliefs are.

Anyway, we must not waste time being sad or bitter. Don’t let the past determine your future. Only you can decide what to do with your life. As the song says: “don’t let the bastards drag you down”. That’s a song by the Toasters, one of my favorite bands.

Alright, today I finished a job for a client. Remember the eyeshadow I made for a client of mine? Well, I had to package them up and get them ready to go. I labeled them with the name for each person they are for. See for yourself:

I used a set of collage style stamps by Stampin Up that is now retired, sorry. I for some reason have an affinity for their retired stamps. I don’t know why.

Anyway, I started another project. I may have a meeting on Aug. 31 that I am UBER excited for! I can’t tell you what about, because I don’t want to poo poo it. Suffice to say that I have to bring my portfolio, so I wanted to make some extra special things. Here’s a work in progress:

What do you think so far? I’ll post the finished work tomorow. I have to buy a few things for a book that I’ve been working on FOREVER. I now need a rubber stamp of a banner, and some thick brown ribbon for the sides of the book. And hubby is off, so we’ll be hanging out together.

The Craftaholic

Day 331: Handmade Books, with Friends


“But once you take the crystal away from the surface you can perceive its actual clarity.”

-The Dalai Lama

Space. Sometimes, a person needs a space of their own, to just….relax and find themselves. It’s hard sometimes to find that. But I’m a firm believer that we must FIND time and space for ourselves, if we are to be good parents, spouses and friends. We have a duty to ourselves to find time for ourselves.

Yesterday, I led a workshop with my craft group. We met up at the Brooklyn Lyceum and made some Dream Books. These are fun books with pockets and such, that reflect what you want out of life, and where you see yourself going.  Here’s a few pics from the event.

And here’s what we made:

I made that one.

Anyway, that’s that. We had so much fun! Today, is my crafting day off, so no projects for me. I was cleaning my desk today, and did find some turquoise leaf beads that I might make into a pair of earrings for my mother. She loves jewelry, but for her, it has to be real silver, real whatever. This is real turquoise, so that should be good enough.

It is strange to have a clean desk. Don’t worry though, it won’t last. It never does!

The Craftaholic