Friday, December 5, 2008

Plans, Hope and a Family Tree Project

December 5. Lot’s going on today. Today I plan to clean my scrap table. I plan to cut down all the papers for at least one of those 8x8 albums I plan to make. I plan to create a digital layout this morning for Kjoi Studios. It’s time to buckle down on those homemade gifts – 20 days until Christmas, but hey –only 15 to the first family gathering for which I need one album done. YIKES!

I have lots of plans. Always have been a planner – if you know me, you already know that. However, some things I cannot plan for. I would love to be on the Magistical Memories Design Team come January, but I can’t plan for it – only hope. Today we find out who moves on to the next round in the DT contest.

Today I want to share a project with you that has been brewing in my head since October when I received Magistical Memories Autumn Splendor Leaves Book. Seeing other chipboard shapes in my stash the idea brewed itself into a project my whole family loves- our own Family Tree wall hanging.

It begins on top with a Jumbo Scallop Circle and a tree from the Happy Trees collection. The circle frame was painted chocolate brown with an application of crackle paint as a second coat. The third coat applied was Making Memories Ruby Glaze, for a beautiful effect. Earlier in the week I showed you how I embellished the Happy Tree with paint and alcohol inks. Bella Blvd.’s new Family Tree paper line was the perfect choice to compliment this project. Chipboard alphabet and Bella Blvd. cardstock stickers, and a few button embellishments finish off the Jumbo Scallop Circle wonderfully.

Did I say this project begins with a Jumbo Scallop Circle? Well, I suppose I first should tell you that there might be some exercise involved if you want a really cool, and gnarly, tree branch. I chopped ours off the crab apple in our front yard – didn’t have far to go. You do want to prep your branch and ensure you are not bringing mites and such into your home. I began with throwing the branch in the tub and washing with soap and water, using an old toothbrush to get in all the nooks and crannies. Be careful not to break off too many branch nubs, as it adds to the beauty and natural look of the project. Once washed, it was soaked for 15 minutes in water and bleach solution. I only put a little water in the tub, and used a pitcher to get the whole branch coated. The ratio is 10 parts water to one part household bleach. After 15 min. rinse thoroughly and then “bake” in your oven at 250 degrees for 15-30 minutes. (I assure you this process comes from 10 yrs of raising parrots and the procedure is one directed by our veterinarian when bringing in branches for cage perches.) Once the branch is dry it is optional to coat your branch with mat mod podge, or spray with Krylon protective coating. I opted not to as I like the natural look. (You may note that the size of your project will depend upon the capacity of your oven.) LOL

I used 2 sets of the Autumn Splendor Leaves Book (setting aside the large maple leave in each for future projects). Covering each leaf with mod podge, and placing on top a piece of Bella Blvd. paper roughly cut to cover the leaf. I then tore around the edges while the mod podge was very wet, which made the paper flexible and easy to tear. Once torn I distressed edges with Rubber Stampede Coffee Brown ink. The photos were matted with brown cardstock. But as you may notice, the paper for “Abby’s leaf” is mostly brown. In order to offer contrast I decided to cut up a pair of olive twill pants that were not only too short for Kyle, but the zipper had just broken. I don’t fix zippers, and instead, look to salvage fabric in my scrapbook projects. Waste not, want not! (I think my dad always said that!) Not only that, but these cargo pants have huge pockets on the pant leg, and my very first thought was to do something with those pockets – have some ideas and cannot wait to cut them off the legs and use them. (LOL)

To embellish my project I used copper wire to wrap around the tree branch here and there (I just love the warmth of copper!), found some copper bookplates in my stash to include important family tree information, and a mix of letter stickers to add our names. All in all, although it may look rather involved, it is a simple project. Prepping the branch probably took more time than all of the other details combined! (LOL)

So what do you think of this project? (I have to note that with this project hanging in your home, there is no excuse to forget birthdays or an anniversary.) LOL
I hope those judging the Magistical Memories DT entries sees how much fun I have with chipboard and put me in the next round – I would love to continue designing for this awesome chipboard manufacturer. It's going to be tough though - the talent submitting for the DT have created some of the most awesome projects I have seen!

Well, I said I had lots of plans for today, right? I better hop to some of them and make progress before I go to work. Hey – did you know Narnia - Prince Caspian is now available on DVD? We picked up our copy Wednesday night. Kyle has been resting before I get home from work so he and I can watch some of it – being that it is a school night and all. Tonight, however, we can stay up late and finish it. No school on Saturday and I have a weekend off. I loved the first Narnia movie, and the effects in this one may even be better. If you have neither, both Narnia movies would be an excellent choice for family viewing (of all ages I might add!). Get your copies today and, I promise, you won’t be disappointed! Here’s to plans, and hope – AND to peace when the plans we make go awry. That peace comes from knowing Christ – the true reason for this season. Until next time – may you find peace in the hustle and bustle of this season!