Sunday, September 30, 2012

Celebrate Fall and Halloween!

If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would ever get done!  This project took exactly 5 mins - quick'n EZ just like I like them.  Let's face it, time to be creative is at a premium these days.  Not only can you make these mini lanterns in the blink of an eye,  you probably have all the supplies on hand:  decorative napkins, empty plastic water bottles, a piece of tape and a pair of scissors.

1.  Cut the top from a small plastic bottle about 6" from the bottom.

2.  Separate the printed layer from the paper napkin.  Trim to the height of the bottle.  Wrap around the bottle, overlapping ends about 1/2".  Trim away excess, then seal with a piece of tape.  NOTE:  You can use ModPodge to glue the paper to the bottle, but if you tape the paper in place you can re-use the bottles with other decorative napkins throughout the year.

3.  Place an LED flickering candle inside the bottle. 

That's it!  I have a ton of empty bottles, so I can place these on windowsills, the fireplace mantle and along the sidewalk.  You can also punch a hole on opposite sides at the top, then add a cord or wire hanger and hang from a tree.  It's a great way to re-cycle!  

Check out more fun ideas by hopping forward via the Designer Crafts Connection logo in my sidebar on the left.  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now!

Yours truly,
Julie :)

Family Matters!

I've only posted twice this month - my bad, but I've been away.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here's the reason - I'm now Nana to 3 :)

My new grandson, just 5 days old.  This photo was taken by Meredith Hunt.  Please like her FB page; you can find it here:

Designer Crafts Connection will be posting Fall/Halloween projects tomorrow, First Monday in October, so don't forget to check back.  There's also a Makins Clay challenge and giveaway on the 13th!  October is shaping up to be pretty spooktacular!  Y'all come back now.....

Yours truly,
Julie :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Scrapbook Memories Now Online!

Show 1610 is now airing at  I love this particular show because it was all about flowers.  Flowers and shells are my two favorite things.  I used to collect wild flowers, press them between the pages of the telephone book then feature them in a wildflower journal.  Wish I still had it - it was quite a collection.  Now I take photographs instead - that way I don't end up in jail...LOL - since it's illegal to pick wild flowers in many parts of the world.

Like the shells I collect, I kept the pressed daisies and buttercups picked from lawn in the front of the house and put them to good use.  In the late 90's I used them on a scrapbook page I created while hosting "More than Memories".  I think I was considered somewhat of a rebel, after all they weren't exactly "acid free".  I really didn't care - I liked my page and the flowers were the perfect accent!  Soon after that a company started selling pressed flower stickers......   acid free, of course, since that was a really big deal in the 90's and up to 5 or 6 years ago.

Beth and I opened the show by showing lots of flowers:  shapes, punches, etc then Julianna Hudgins showed us how to create flower accents for her project using a digital die cutting machine and software.

Love those machines!  I've had a Wishblade for 6 or 7 years now.  I loved that it worked with my Mac and I could cut out anything that I drew.  Delicious!  As usual, I digress.   

Our next segment was shot on location in Orlando, Florida at the summer CHA Trade Show.   I was in the Flower Soft booth with Noreen McKie from "jolly ol England" as you can no doubt tell by her accent.  She's actually from my neck of the woods, but quite a bit further North.


Flower Soft "sprinkles" is such a great product, I hope you'll give it a try.  If you can't find it in your local craft store, try Paper Wishes.  A subsidiary, or partner company with Hot off the Press, you can find a lot of really cool supplies here for paper crafting.

Last, but definitely not least, Julie Fei Fan Balzer showed how to add a hint of glitter to paper with a Sakura glue pen.


Lots and lots of ideas over the years and all the instructions are on our website (most of them anyway).  I like to look at the projects from earlier shows.  It's interesting how much has changed over the years and how much hasn't.

Blogs and Pinterest have become a great resource for inspiration over the past couple of years.  I founded the Designer Crafts Connection a little over a year ago.  It's a group of bloggers who are either CHA designer members, or work for CHA manufacturer members.  We're linked together as a webring and the first Monday of each month we post a project based loosely on a theme.  We all create with different supplies, so it's interesting to see what everyone comes up with.  This month's theme is "Vintage Showcase".  Basically crafting with old stuff...  You can see my post below.  We're also hosting a blog hop this month and there's a giveaway.   Just look at all this great product you can win.

Look for the blue Designer Crafts Connection logo in my sidebar on the left, then click on "hop forward".  It will take you to Carol Heppner's blog where you'll be able to see what she made and how to enter to win these products.  There are 12 of our designers participating in this hop, so hop around via the logo and when you get back here, you'll know you've seen it all.

Please "like" us on FB (there's a button in my sidebar for that too) and you can see everyone's projects on our Pinterest board (the  P  button).   Good Luck with giveaway!  Y'all come back now.........

Yours truly,
Julie :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Vintage Crafts - Designer Crafts Connection - First Monday

You may remember that I love collecting shells.  I have boxes of them that I've dragged around with me for almost 50 years.  I'm not sure where this fascination came from, I just know that it is what it is.  I've talked about collecting shells quite a few times over the past year or so and each time I think I've mentioned Sailors' Valentines.  Here's a photo of one I created for my Aunt about 15 years ago.


This is a photo of my Uncle Derek taken in the late 1940's.  He has since passed away.  My Aunt is now in her 90's and this "Sailors' Valentine" stands on the shelf over her fireplace.  It's a very basic rendition, of course, but special because all the shells I used were found on the beach where my Aunt and Uncle used to go on holiday every year.  I used the base of an empty heart shaped box of candy then glued the shells in place around the photo.  Much the same as making a mosaic.  If you're wondering how this ties in with our "Vintage" theme, I've had the shells for a long, long time and crafting with shells is inherently vintage.

Samples of antique Sailors' Valentines can be found in maritime museums in coastal areas in the US and other parts of the world.  Easy to find, crafting with shells was a popular pastime for early 19th century sailors - can you believe they were "eco crafting" and upcycling 200 years ago!   To learn more, you only have to "google" Sailors Valentines.  Click on images for some great samples!  You can also read a little history here:   Enjoy!  Y'all come back now..... there's a special blog hop for our group, 8-18 Sep with a GIVEAWAY.  You can read more about it on Carol Heppner's blog when you hop forward....

Yours truly,
Julie :)