Scandi House and Greenery Wreath

 
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I had the pleasure of a brief, delightful, 1 week stay in Sweden last June. Though brief, it made an impression on me. Enough of one that before I left, I made a promise to return (in summer, of course) for more. Because once you get a taste of the Scandinavian lifestyle, trust me, you'll want seconds.

Lets start with fika….a Swedish ritual that elevates the coffee break to a new level. Every day at 9 am and 2 pm precisely, the team would stop what we were doing to fika. Unlike in the U.S. where a break translates into a check your email-return phone calls-use the bathroom-grab a muffin and cup of coffee before you return to your seat-break; fika is about taking a real break from work to reconnect. On paper, scheduling this dedicated time in the agenda could seem like a waste. In reality, it helped our team bond and improved our productivity.

Of course, there's hygge -- a Danish word that embodies the principle of taking pleasure in the simple things in life. Oh, and did I mention it's nearly a cashless society? Yup, some establishments don't even take cash anymore. I'm not mad at that. Saved me the step of converting cash from dollar to krona and back again.

There's also the Scandinavian design aesthetic -- uncluttered, simple, chic, and warm -- which I've long admired. On occasion I have unsuccessfully tried to recreate the effect in my own home with pieces from IKEA; emphasis on unsuccessful. That is, until I started elevating my crafting game and became a member of the Lia Griffith community. Instead of buying, I decided to try my hand at making my own pieces.

Scandi House and Greenery Wreath

The space above my work desk was a sad, blank wall that was in dire need of a face lift and a perfect excuse to make a décor project.

I chose the Scandi House and Greenery Wreath project because it checked a lot of boxes for me. It was trendy, easy to make, budget friendly, and aligned with my January inspiration theme.

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#1 - Style Trend

Wreaths are always in style and this popular embroidery hoop style fits nicely with the trending minimalist look.

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#2 - Simple Construction

For a beginner like me simplicity is a must; nothing too ambitious or time consuming.

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#3 - Use My Stash

I tried to use what I had on hand. To keep costs down I substituted kraft board (two layers glued together) for the chipboard and used a wooden embroidery hoop instead of gold.

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#4 - Scandi Inspired

Using wood adds a warm, natural element to the space that's in keeping with my hygge practice goals.

Any other wreath makers out there? Share the joy and drop a photo of your work in the comments.

Happy Founders Day - J13

 
Happy Founders Day to all the devastating Sorors of DST!

Happy Founders Day to all the devastating Sorors of DST!

 

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was founded on January 13, 1913 at Howard University by 22 extraordinary and visionary women. In honor of their legacy, Deltas around the world join together this weekend to celebrate and commemorate. This is an occasion that certainly calls for a card or two.


 
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Card #1

I knew I wanted to do at least one interactive card that included a picture of the Founders and an element of surprise. The hardest part of this card was figuring out the measurements. (I'm really bad at math and fractions, LOL). The Cricut Maker did the cutting, so all I needed to do was cut, score, fold, write, and assemble.

 
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 Tips:

  • Use HEAVY cardstock. Interactive cards are not the time for delicate materials. Make sure your card is sturdy enough to hold up to being opened and closed multiple times.

  • Your numbers (or letters or shapes) also need to be sturdy. Glue 2-3 pieces together to give each of your numbers some umph!

  • Use foam tape to adhere the letters. This will give the letters some dimension and makes for a smoother interaction. Depending on how you want the card to open, add adhesive to either the top half or bottom half, only. If you add tape to both halves, the card won't open.

Outside

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5 1/2 x 12 inches white cardstock, scored at 2, 4, 8, and 10 inches.

2 inch numbers cut from red cardstock

1/2 inch strip cut from black cardstock

5 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches card base cut from red cardstock

Pearl embellishments

Handwritten or stamped sentiment

Permanent adhesive (glue or tape)

Foam tape


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Inside

5 x 3 inches black cardstock

Photo cut to 4 3/4 x 2 3/4 inches

 

 

Card #2

This started out being a CAS (clean and simple) card with a single cut element in the center. I wasn't feeling it so I cut out three pieces from scrap cardstock using the Concord & 9th Geometrics die set. To give the background some interest I went with a stitched rectangle from the  Die-namics Inside & Out Stitched Rectangle STAX set.

 
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4 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches rectangle cut from white cardstock

4 3/4 x 3 1/2 inches rectangle cut from black cardstock

5 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches top folding notecard cut from red cardstock

Geometric shapes cut from pattern cardstock

Pearl embellishments

Handwritten or stamped sentiment

Permanent adhesive (glue or tape)

Foam tape (to adhere card to base)

1 Year, 365 New Opportunities

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Happy New Year! The start of a new calendar year is always an exciting time. And it's a wonderful opportunity to mark a new beginning. Well, actually 365 new beginnings. Every day of the year brings another chance to start or restart. There's no need to wait for a new year or even to wait until next Monday to start (ever notice how everyone waits until "next Monday" to start a new habit?) Start today. And this time next year you'll be glad you did.

 
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Background Image - Stamped

  • White cardstock (Neenah Classic Crest, 80#)

  • Black ink ( Memento Luxe, Tuxedo Black)

  • Background stamp (My Favorite Things, Diagonal Design Background Rubber Stamp)

 Numbers - Die-Cut

  • Black cardstock

  • Glitter cardstock

  • Die-cutting machine or scissors (Cricut Maker)

 Sentiment - Handwritten

  • Black cardstock

  • Gold pen/marker (Cricut Gold Pen, 1.0 tip)

 Embellishments

  • A few rhinestones from a previous project adds a splash of bling.

 
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This card design was inspired by the It’s All About the Numbers Card Challenge on the Cards in Envy blog.

Journal Inspiration: January

 
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Winter is Coming…or rather, it's herrrrre! In case you missed it, December 21st was the winter solstice -- the shortest day of the year and the official first day of winter in the Northern hemisphere. Of all the seasons, winter is my least favorite. I hate being cold. Bring on the heated blankets, the heated car seats, and the hot toddies.

 
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Despite all its faults, there some things I like about winter: It's the best season for celebrations -- Christmas, New Year's Eve, and my birthday! You never have to worry about having a winter-ready body. And it's the perfect season for living the hygge lifestyle.

 Hygge, pronounced (hue-gah or hoo-gah), is a Danish word that has no English equivalent. It's a concept of coziness, simple pleasures, and well-being. For me, hygge conjures up images that go hand and hand with the winter season -- blankets, candles, books, hot chocolate, fuzzy socks and mittens. That's why I chose it for my January's inspiration.

 January Inspiration: Hygge

My monthly inspiration pages in my Canvo bullet journal help me plan and organize my projects for the month. Having a theme helps me focus. Without this type of anchor, my mind swirls with so many ideas that I get overwhelmed and never get past the ideation stage.

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I started with creating a  Pinterest  board to collect images to visually define my theme. I then, printed some of the pictures to include in my journal.

I started with creating a Pinterest board to collect images to visually define my theme. I then, printed some of the pictures to include in my journal.

I also created a word "cloud" and added stickers.

I also created a word "cloud" and added stickers.

Do MORE of what makes you happy!

Do MORE of what makes you happy!

I also use this page to plan for my crafts, content, and challenges.

I also use this page to plan for my crafts, content, and challenges.

Do you create inspiration pages in your planner? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Get Your Shake On

Craft: Shaker Ornaments

 
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Shaker anything is all the rage in the paper crafting world. They're fun and easy to make once you get the hang of it. Best of all, it delights the recipient. While store bought cards tend to get put aside after the first reading, shaker cards get revisited over and over again. It's hard to resist shaking a shaker. Think about it. If you give a baby a rattle they can entertain themselves for quite a while. I suppose it's a fascination we never outgrow.

 Which is why I thought shaker ornaments would be the perfect craft for this year's Craft & Sip — an annual Christmas Eve event where me and some friends, along with our children gather for food, games, and of course crafts (almost always an ornament)!

 
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When choosing a craft, I wanted to keep it simple for a number of reasons.

  • It's always a group of various ages and crafting abilities. It's supposed to be fun and no one wants to be frustrated, so I pre-cut all the pieces with only some assembly required.

  • I wanted to use a limited number of supplies to keep costs down and to keep me from having to haul half of my craft supplies with me.

  • It had to be quick to make. The group had to work in shifts, plus there were other activities to get to -- gingerbread houses and games. 

Shaker Ornaments

Supply List

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  • 2 - 4 inch circles from heavy cardstock

  • 5 - 4 inch rings from heavy cardstock

  • 1 - 4 inch circle from acetate

  • 1 - 4 inch ring from decorative cardstock

  • Ribbon or twine

  • Glue

  • Foam Tape

  • Multi-use Tape (I used Scotch tape)

 *I made the width of the rings 1 inch thick because I thought it would be easier for everyone to work with (it wasn't). I would recommend 1/2 inch width. 

 INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cut all your materials to size. I used my Cricut Maker to do most of the cutting. You could also cut them from dies or using scissors.

  2.  Design your background. Using one of the 4-in circles (save the other for later), create the background for your ornament. You can use stickers, stamps, die cuts, or draw your own background. Tip: Lay one of the rings on your background as you work so that you can see where the border will be. By doing this, you can prevent part of your background from being hidden by the rings when you stack them.

  3.  Assemble the sides. Glue all 5 of the 4 inch rings together to make one thick ring. Glue the ring stack to the face of the background circle. Next, add foam tape around the top of the ring stack. This is how you will seal in the sequins and other "shaky" stuff so make sure there are no gaps. If there are gaps, the shaky stuff will fall out of the ornament

  4.  Add the sequins and such on top of the background, being careful not to get any on the foam tape. Tip: Glue a couple of sequins to the top and sides of the background so that when the other sequins fall to the bottom, some will still be visible at the top.

  5.  Use foam tape to attach the acetate circle to the ring of decorative cardstock. This will be the face of the ornament. Glue the face of the ornament to the top of the shaker to seal it shut. Tip: Test the seal over a trash can or coffee filter to catch any fallout.

  6.  Use ribbon or twine to create the string from which the ornament will hang. Use tape to adhere it to the back of the ornament. Finish it off with the remaining 4 inch circle.