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Sewing on paper

For my first ever challenge-blog entry, I have been inspired by a challenge at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog. This week’s challenge is “patchwork“, and my mind quickly turned to cozy, snugly quilts.

As I attempt some of these challenges in the fall season, I hope to “put by a store” of handcrafted holiday cards. So using a holiday paper was a must. I used Tim Holtz’ “Holidays Past” paper. A sheet featuring 1.5″ squares furnished an appropriate scale. Then I got to sew on paper – a technique I’ve long wanted to try, but never thought of a reason before. I haven’t sewn a real quilt in ages – although I’ve recently been thinking of a new way to continue working on the ever-unfinished “Fall Quilt”. After sewing decorative stitches along the borders of the premade squares, I needed to deal with the whitened needle holes, so using a wet paintbrush, I inked the sewn lines and edges of the quilty paper with “Tea Stain” Distress ink. I fussy cut a photo of my baby and inked the edges with “Vintage Photo” Distress ink…

About now I need to confess that I have a bit of a design-crush on Tim Holtz. A month ago I’d never heard of him, and now I kind of want to buy everything that man has put his name on… Which pretty much means he must be really good at his job. So if it seems I mention his products ad nauseum, I apologize, I’m just really impressed. And as is my custom with such things, I want everyone to jump down the rabbit hole with me. It will make my excess seem more justified later if everyone else is kind of on board with me. Know what I mean? I just love tattered, grunged, antiqued, patina-ed, distressed, scuffed, aged, etc, and Tim Holtz is all over that style!

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Back to my project: baby photo went on a hand-drawn pillow, and all pieces went on a pearlescent card that was on clearance at Pat Catans (the local discount craft store). That’s my first ever challenge entry! I can’t wait to see how other people interpret the inspiration.

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A new chapter: Papercraft

I always joked that the only crafts I didn’t care to do were paper crafts, but that if I ever had a kid, I’d get into scrapbooking.

Well…

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I had dabbled very briefly in card making, because I really hate the sense of obligation to buy an impersonal card with “personal” sentiments. But in the days before blogs and Pinterest, it was hard for me to find inspiration, or to know what tools would help me on my way. So I had a few rubber stamps, brads and some papers in the back of a closet, but that was the extent of it.

I am great at jumping down the rabbit hole, so when I discovered the mixed-media, altered art style that many modern scrapbookers are using, I found myself deep in a new craft obsession. Not only is my son’s baby book coming along nicely, but I’m also working on a scrapbook for myself and one of family history.

Oh, and I have purchased a BigKick die cutting machine, and started amassing a small horde of dies, embossing folders, inks, mists, and these new-fangled cling stamps. All within the couple of months since I recovered my craft mojo post birth. Sometimes I scare me!

One thing that I adore about mixed media scrapbooking is that it gives me a chance to use all my other supplies in new ways. Fabric, jewelry bits, yarns, paints, and drawing implements are all fair game. I also like that it’s pretty modular and fast, meaning I can complete one or two steps per night (some even sitting on the couch), and have a finished piece in a few days at most. That feels pretty good for a time-starved first-time mom. Mind you, I am writing this at 4am, because baby got back to sleep and I couldn’t. That’s life with a new baby, I guess. But I wouldn’t trade my little guy even for time to craft all day – caring for him is the best “project” I could ask for, and every artist needs a muse.

Until next time… Keep the inspiration churning.