Showing posts with label crafting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crafting. Show all posts

Monday, September 5, 2016

Making a Family Cookbook from Scratch

My daughter, Brianna, celebrated her 23rd birthday a couple of weeks ago.  When asked what she wanted for her birthday, she replied, "I want a cookbook of all of your recipes."   This was not an easy task to accomplish.  First - like many people out there - many of the recipes I make are in my head.  I measure ingredients by sight and taste on many things.  Oh, sure, I do have several recipes written down or bookmarked in favorite cookbooks, as well, but I often improvise on these, too, to make them my own.  In addition, while I knew I would "someday" make recipe books for each of my kids, I knew it would be a large undertaking, as well as time consuming.  I am currently a full-time college student, plus I work part-time for a non-profit agency and run my own little jewelry business. Where in the world would I find time to construct a family recipe book?

I wanted this book to be special.  I wanted something that was more than just recipes.  I wanted this to be a generational cookbook; one that featured recipes not just from me, but also from my mother, grandmother and other family members.  I wanted it to be personalized with family stories and memories of food that will be otherwise lost when the older generations pass on.  In addition, I wanted to share special family pictures and my own cooking "secrets" that have worked for me over the years.   It was important to design the book in such a manner that my daughter can add her own recipes to the book, so she can eventually pass it down to her kids.   Last, but certainly not least, I did not want to have to create a book totally from scratch due to my tight time constraints.  (I had about 6 weeks to complete the book from start to finish, and that is not a lot of time.)

I ended up purchasing a pre-designed recipe/scrapbook from Hobby Lobby.  The book came with a set of designed tabbed dividers, several colorful scrapbook pages, page protectors and decorative recipe index cards.  Of course, I had to purchase additional recipe cards and pages in order to ensure I could put everything I wanted to include in the book.  Using the book as my template, I purchased other items to decorate and design the book, such as scrapbook paper in coordinating colors, vintage-looking paper flowers, lace, ribbon, buttons and cooking-related stickers.   All in all, I think the book turned out beautifully.

I began the book by writing a heartfelt letter to my daughter about my own cooking experiences and how I wanted her to make this book her own by adding her own recipes and memories to it.  Immediately following the letter, I designed a page of the four generations of women in my family that are (and will be) the main contributors to the book - namely, my grandmother, my mother, me and my daughter.

Generational family cookbook - four generations and counting.

I included individual pages about each generational member (the cookbook "authors") of our family, such their photos, their names, where they were born, dates of death and birth date information.  These pages were decorated with lace and flowers to give them an antique-heirloom feel.

The pages about my grandmother and mother.

The pages about me and my daughter.

One the front of each tabbed divider page, I wrote humorous food-related experiences encountered by our family members.

The back of each tabbed divider contains more photos of the women within our four generations.

Decorated divider pages. This is of my grandmother.

  Decorated divider pages. This is of my daughter when she was little.

No recipe book is complete without a few kitchen secrets. These are a few of mine.

Kitchen secrets page.

 And, of course, it is important to include pictures of some of the recipe highlights from the book:

Featured recipes pictures.

Featured recipes pictures.

Featured recipes pictures.

 When the book was completed, it was quite thick, but it still has room for additional recipes to be added in the future.

The completed recipe book.

The completed recipe book

My daughter loved her book.  She is getting married next month, so it is ready just in time for her to begin adding her own recipes to the book; an heirloom in the making.

Brianna and her family cookbook.

Brianna and her family cookbook.

To anyone thinking about making a family cookbook - you don't have to be an avid scrap-booker in order to create something like this.  Just be sure to allow sufficient time for it to be completed.  It took me six weeks to complete this book, and I had to work on it every day during that time period.  To make it really special, I'd also recommend handwriting the recipes and such in order to give the book some personal flair.

An another note - since I am sharing family information on this post, I want to announce that there is a new bud on my family tree.  I became a grandmother in July- for the first time ever (courtesy of my son and daughter-in-law)  to a beautiful blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy name Oliver (Ollie).  He has absolutely stolen my heart.  There is no doubt you will be seeing more of him and creations made for him on this blog in future posts.

Me and my precious grandson, Ollie. ♥

My little sidekick. LOL

Sweet little Ollie.
Please be sure to follow my blog here or through Facebook in order not to miss any future posts.  As always - have a creative day!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Cool Find - Discounted Name Brand Mixed Media Craft Supplies Warehouse

One picture of the main part of the shop.

Whenever I stumble upon a cool find, I like to share the information with my friends in blog land. Well, this is one of those times.

One day last week, I stumbled upon a neat little find not too far from where I live in Springdale, Arkansas.  Two large signs near the street advertised a "craft supplies warehouse sale" in the adjacent set of warehouse buildings.  From the signs and the building itself - both are pretty nondescript - you wouldn't think there was anything special about what is inside...but looks can be so deceiving.

Simple street signs give the most basic information.

This is the nondescript entrance to the shop.

Once I got to the door (which was locked), I had to call a telephone number listed on the door for one of the employees to let me in.  To make a long story short, the warehouse employees work in the back, and when customers arrive, they unlock the door to allow them into the shop and adjoining warehouse.  (One of the employees informed me that they don't have enough regular foot traffic in the shop to warrant an employee being there at all times; that is why visitors have to call to be let in by a warehouse employee.)

Once I was inside, I was thrilled to find that this location manufactures name brand mixed-media and scrap-booking products for: 7 Gypsies, Tattered Angels and the Canvas Corporation.  In addition, they carry many more product lines including, but not limited to: Maya Road, Tim Holtz products (including alcohol inks), Zutter binding products and more.  Best of all - everything in the air-conditioned shop is 25% off at all times.  In the warehouse immediately adjoining the main store, there is an additional shopping area where all products are deeply discounted at a minimum of 75% off of the retail price.  In the warehouse, there is no air-conditioning or heating and you may have to dig to find some awesome things, but it is well worth it.

Here are some images from inside of the main shop:

Christmas products

Halloween products

Miscellaneous tags

Scrapbook paper and matching accessories

Fabric and paper combinations

Fabric paper and combinations (Christmas themed)

Maya Road embellishments

More Maya Road embellishments

Scrapbook paper and colored sprays/mists

A view of the back of the shop.

Burlap sheets by the basketful
Tattered Angels 4 pack of shimmer mists at 50% off
As I mentioned above, the warehouse carries many items, too, at deep discounts of at least 75% off.  Here are some photos of the goodies that can be found there:

All items in the warehouse are 75% off.
Tattered Angels paints are 3 for $1.00.

Purse book set discounted to $2.99

Canvas bags and embellishments galore can be had here.

Paper and eyelets

Zutter Bind-It-All - only 75 cents! (I bought it!) :)

Emboss paper punches - a steal at 3 for $2.50!

Aisles of goodies for sale in the warehouse.

Tags, mica pieces and other embellishments.
This is just a sampling of what can be had at this awesome shop.  In case you want to visit, the address is: 2300 S. Old Missouri Road, Springdale, AR 72764.  The shop hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.   They take cash and credit/debit cards.   If you go, happy shopping!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Jewelry Made from Coloring Books Tutorial - Part One - Boho Floral Necklace

I recently received an invitation to participate in a challenge sponsored by C&T Publishing.  This challenge involved selecting one of C&T's adult coloring books, coloring a page and fashioning it into something totally different and unexpected. 

The book I selected was Modern Elegance.  I love the various floral images contained within the book and I knew I could make something fabulous with this.  The image I selected reminded me of the large, billowy floral decorations used in the Art Deco age.  I thought this would be perfect in jewelry pieces reminiscent of Boho fashions which are so popular these days.   I knew it would look awesome in a focal jewelry piece, as well as in several complimentary pieces.  The coloring book page combined with wood cutouts and jewelry supplies I had at home were all I needed to design a whole new jewelry wardrobe.   I ended up designing 7 different things out of one coloring book page - the large focal Boho Floral Necklace, along with complementary earrings and a charm bracelet.  I also made a cross necklace with complementary earrings, cross earrings and a mini wall cross.

The tutorial I am sharing today is for the Boho Floral Necklace.  Be sure to follow my blog in order to see the upcoming tutorials for the other pieces in this collection.  Now, without further adieu, here is the tutorial:


Supplies needed:

1 - Large wooden pendant blank, approximately 3 inches wide. (I used a shield-shaped pendant I purchased from RocknWood Supply on Etsy.)
1 - Adult coloring book page.  I used Modern Elegance.
5 - Sharpie markers in complementary colors (I used yellow, orange, light orange, light pink and dark pink/fuschia.)
1 - pink acrylic paint (I used Apple Barrel Pink Eraser)

24 inches - rhodium larger link jewelry chain
18 inches - Sari silk ribbon/silk ribbon in shades of orange and/or pink
27 - glass beads, crystal and/or pearls in shades of orange and pink
48 - silver-colored bead caps (optional)
17 - silver-colored seed beeds
17 - 2" inch long, silver-colored head pins
1 - Lobster clasp
several jump rings - silver-colored

White glue
Super glue (optional)
Diamond Glaze by Judikins
Water-based varnish  (optional - please see #4 for information.)

Tools needed:

Basic jewelry tools - chain nose pliers, rosary pliers, wire cutters
Pen or pencil


1) Paint the back side of the pendant with two coats of pink acrylic paint.  Let the paint dry thoroughly in between coats.  Drill 2 holes at top of pendant, about 2 inches apart (if pendant is not already drilled.)  Drill 5 holes along the bottom edge of the pendant.  Please refer to the photo for hole placement.  Set aside.  (Please disregard the top wood pieces; they are used in a different project.)

2) Color coloring book page with Sharpies.

3) Using the pendant as a guide, place it over a section of the coloring page, selecting an image that will serve as the focal point of the necklace.  Use pencil or pen to trace around the pendant.  Cut it out with scissors.

4) Use finger to apply a light layer of glue over the top of the wooden pendant blank.  Carefully place the coloring book piece over the top of the blank, smoothing it out with your finger and removing any wrinkles and/or air bubbles.  Set piece aside and let it dry.  Once it is dry, use your finger to apply a thin coating of Diamond Glaze over the top of the pendant.  The key is to use a very light touch here, so as not to smear your image.  If desired, once this is dry, the pendant can be left as is, however, I noticed that items sealed with Diamond Glaze can be somewhat tacky.  To alleviate this, I add a coat of water-based varnish over the top.  This takes away the tackiness of the Diamond Glaze.  I do not recommend using the varnish without the Diamond Glaze, though, as it may "lift" the color off of your pendant.  The Diamond Glaze is used as a protectant.  When applied lightly, it will help to prevent the coloring from smearing or lifting off of the page.

5) Divide the rhodium chain into 4 equal pieces.  Set 2 pieces aside.  On the remaining 2 pieces, lace the ribbon through each length of the chain and cut, leaving approximately 1 1/2" inches extra on each end.  Tie each end into a knot.  To ensure the knots stay secure, dab a dot of super glue on them (optional.)  Trim excess ribbon.

6) Thread 12 headpins with a silver seed bead, one pink or orange bead and bead caps, as shown in the image below.  Wire-wrap each headpin into a loop and clip off excess wire.  Lay out the beads as shown, alternating pink and orange bead dangles on either side of the ribbon-threaded chain pieces.  Attach these to both sides of the chain pieces.  See photos below for placement.

7) Attach the beaded ribbon chain pieces to the top of the pendant with jump rings.   Add remaining chain pieces to each end of the ribbon chain pieces.  Add lobster clasp.

8) Make 5 beaded dangles by threading a seed bead, two pink beads, one orange bead and bead caps onto each headpin.  Form the top of the headpin into a loop using rosary pliers.  Attach the dangles to the bottom of the pendant with jump rings.  Please refer to the photo for placement reference.

9) Enjoy your beautiful new necklace!

I will be sharing tutorials for a charm bracelet, earrings and cross jewelry pieces using coloring book pages as the design in the very near future...please be sure to follow me so you don't miss these tutorials.

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