Monday, August 30, 2010

Summer journal

I started this journal with the cover paper, and went from there. This pattern was so soft, so whimsical, like it was just calling out "use me, love me!" So, I did use it, building the feel of this sweet journal from this paper. In the midst of creating this project, I found out a friend hit a particularly rough patch...and the journal took on new purpose. It became (in my mind) a place for her to vent, safely, without the danger of judgment, or well-meaning advice...and so she became my inspiration for this piece.

I struggled with the right words for the sentiment, and finally decided on "dream". I think no matter what season of life we're in, we can always fact, sometimes it's all we have.

Inside-front cover

Back cover

Inside-back cover

Sometimes, my words fail me, but making something with my hands that really comes from my heart is what I can offer-it's like giving a piece of me away. My heart is heavy today because there are no easy answers, no quick mending of the heart-and I grieve for what is lost.

What projects have you made to let others know you were thinking of them? I would love to hear about them, and see what inspires you.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Traveling gifties

Have you ever had your luggage lost on a trip? Me neither, but I've come close. It seems everyone has the same black suitcase with roller wheels, and I almost saw my luggage go home with someone else-how horrible! My parents took a recent trip to Africa with an Orphan care and adoption agency Hope's Promise (, and I wanted their luggage to be recognizable. Believe me, it was.

I started with picking up some shimmery luggage tags from the dollar bins at Michael's, then I added some ribbon (okay, a lot of ribbon) to a key ring and added this to each luggage tag. Next, I embellished the tag it came with, decorative on one side, address label on the other (kind of like a mullet, don't you think?). The only thing I had to purchase for this project were the luggage tags themselves, for a total cost of $2. This price range is right up my alley!

Lorie's was easy, I know her taste and had so much fun girlifying her luggage tag!! Dad's was more of a challenge, especially the ribbon. But I found some in my stash that was void of flowers, glitter, and pink. In the end, I really liked his too!

I sent all of this down with a fun little card to let them know I was thinking of them, and that I would be praying for them during their trip. Just getting to Africa is exhausting enough, let alone the ministering they were doing while there-hard work, emotionally and physically exhausting, all the while building important relationships.

What special things have you made for someone, I would love to hear what has inspired you, and see pictures of your creations!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Vintage finds and journals

So, I'm a sucker for buttons. Especially old buttons. And when I visit Mama Said Sew, I get myself into trouble, because she has the most amazing collection of vintage buttons (and lace, and patterns, and fabric...see a trend here?)

Look at these beauties I picked up from her booth at the French Nest Market, aren't those yellow pearls delicious? And I couldn't resist those crackle buttons. I tied my treasures up in a handkerchief, and off I went to get some hand dyed trim and vintage lace from the ladies from Escentuals, some of which I used on a project this weekend. The lace is currently parked in a cup of vanilla nut coffee (yes, intentionally). Mmmmm...

Front of the journal
close up of the front-love the gold script!
I couldn't wait to use some of that pumpkin colored trim!
Back of the journal
Inside front cover
Inside back cover
This journal is inspired by the rich, fall colors that are starting to appear everywhere (except in nature, of course). In clothing stores, catalogs, everywhere I look I see fall! Maybe it's because fall is my favorite time of year...things start to slow down a little, and I look to make my home just a little cozier for my family, and look forward to winter, of days spent snuggling inside...this is a birthday gift to my precious mother-in-law. She loves birds, and I think she'll enjoy the rich textures. She is a very gifted writer, and I have no doubt she will use this journal well!

How about you? What is your favorite season, and what projects does it inspire?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Happy Mistakes

Do you sometimes ever goof up, and the end result is not only livable, but actually pretty darn cool? This happened to me recently when scrapping a page from a vacation album I'm working on. I was playing around with a quote sticker, and thought "hmmm, wonder what it would look like on this photo" when it happened...the sticker and the photo gravitated towards each other, like they were meant to be...and my sticker got stuck on my photo. I thought they were both ruined. Turns out, I could peel the sticker off of the photo, but it looked good-no, it looked great-so there it remained.

The rest of the page came together from this photo. I don't usually have just one photo on a page...if I did that I'd have scrapbooks coming out of my ears, but this photo just begged for it's own page. I wanted to recreate the serene, peaceful feeling of gathering seashells on the shore of St. Kitts, the memory is so lovely...

What happy mistakes have you made?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Birthdays, and more birthdays!

August is FULL of birthdays around here, so I've been busy creating some birthday cards for some very special people! Each card is inspired by the recipient, as is the gift shown below. My brother owns a karate studio in California, and so his journal and card were inspired by his passion for teaching, living, and breathing karate.

This was my first attempt at altering a composition book, and while I learned a lot, I was very happy with the end result-but I will alter the inside of the covers next time as well. Of course, if the journal was for a girl there would be a lot more embellishment...but guys tend to like simplicity, so I forced myself to call it good with three different types of paper and two ribbons colors. I also embellished the front by embossing a stamp, and adhering two Chinese coins I had in my stash for a Taiwan album that I'll make...someday! I also stamped my own red chop in the lower right hand corner, my brother will appreciate this, and perhaps be inspired to add his own chop to the cover in his seal of approval! Love you big brother!

We also had some younger birthdays, so I made these three birthday cards for some very special cousins:

In the above photo, I tried something new-I customized these brad to the card. I used copper embossing powder on the Happy Birthday sentiment, and wanted my brads to match. So, I dipped each brad in embossing ink, then the powder, and embossed them. Each took two layers, although that was more operator error (dropping them on the paper towel, which rubbed some of the wet color off, oops). If you try this, MAKE SURE you hold the brad with some tweezers, these little guys get hot!

Is this purple ruffled ribbon yummy or what?!
With all of this creating, my scrap room/home office is a mess, I'm off to tidy it up a bit! Please feel free to leave me a comment or link of what you've been creating lately, or tips on how you keep your creative space organized and clean!

Monday, August 9, 2010


What inspires you-both in life and to create? I am often inspired to create something for an occasion-a loved one's birthday, a holiday, or sometimes just because someone needs something lovely and handmade.  Sometimes though, colors or a scene just moves me. Recently we went to the local fair, and after walking through the exhibits of canning, home grown flowers and vegetables, beautiful cakes, and hand sewn items-I felt so nostalgic and old-fashioned! We sauntered down to the carnival, watching children anticipate their turn on the ferris wheel or upside down ride, and I saw this ride:
I couldn't quite capture it accurately on film, but the glow of the lights was a yellowish white, with an robins egg blue, and it was just lovely. Look for something in these colors coming soon!

On to some fun projects-here is a little card that I created, mostly from the sheer need to create something.  It seems like lately, I've been doing everything BUT creating...can you tell I was feeling colorful and happy? I used a bit of vintage lace, and experimented with distressing the brads (did I mention I like distressing and ink?!) I roughed them up with my sanding block, then dabbed them with some black ink, let it dry for a bit, then wiped most of it off. The effect is a used-looking brad in the middle of my hand cut flowers (another experiment, and I like it!), it gives them a very homespun feel. I loved the punch of purple in this card, it was just meant to be.

How about you? What inspires you, and what have you created? I would love to see what you're working on, and hear how it all began...because every creation has it's own story, doesn't it?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wedding season

Okay, first a promise. I solemnly swear to work on my photography skills. I think you will see below that they are already improving (right?). And I have a plan in place-my Dad is an AWESOME photographer, and I plan on hitting him up for some help-with my camera (I mean, what does white balance really do anyways??), with lighting, and even photo editing. When I began taking pictures of my work, it was mostly for my reference. I mean, how can you let your little creations out into the world, never to be seen (by you) again, and not have something to remember them by? Oh, that’s just me? Yes, perhaps I get a little too attached to my work, but I find that each new thing I create becomes my new “favorite” and I can’t stop looking at it…until I create the next thing. Then the last thing is old news. Anyone else, or am I alone in this? Anyways, when I began taking photos, I never in my wildest expected to really show them to anyone, let alone have a blog where I would show them to everyone. So, now that my stuff is becoming public knowledge, well, I’ll beef up those skills a little bit.

Okay, on to the fun stuff.

Do you sometimes create things, and you're not quite sure why? I made this card for my very best friend Elizabeth months ago...then held onto it. It seemed "weddingy" to me some how, and it just didn't seem like the right time to send it.

Well, she got engaged recently to the sweetest most perfect man for her, and so I had the perfect reason to send it! I sent it along with a fun 'worst case scenario' for weddings book (this book covers EVERYTHING) wrapped in leftover tulle from my wedding, and this clipboard that I made for her!

I was oh-so tempted to create the clipboard in colors I would suggest for her wedding, but I re-thought that for a few reasons. 1) I remember my wedding when everyone was telling me what to do (I WILL NOT be that person) 2) You only get to enjoy all the bridal, girlie stuff once, so I went that route instead. The bling around the clip was a last minute decision, but I needed to dress it up somehow. I would have preferred all pink rhinestones, but you gotta work with what you have. This girl is all about lists, so a clipboard is the perfect gift for her wedding planning. And I found out that she has asked me to be her Matron of Honor-oh my gosh!! So excited, and hungry, because now I'm on a diet.

I sent this all off to her recently, and I can't wait to hear what she thinks!! If anyone has tips for how not to be an emotional (happy) mess during your best friends wedding, please send them along. I have about a year to prepare myself, and I'll take all the advice I can get!

Thanks for stopping by, leave me a comment, your wedding advice, or dieting tips...all are appreciated. :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hello, thank you for landing at Kiss of Whimsy! I'm Crista, and this is the place where I'll be sharing some of my creations, inspirations, and other tidbits. More introduction in my bio, but a little background on me: I'm 30, and I'm addicted to crafting. I love all things domestic (except cleaning the house, I don't love that). I love to can (strawberry margarita jam anyone?), sew (very beginner here) on my Mother's old JC Penney machine, scrapbook (I'm way behind), and make cards, tags, and other paper creations. I am a banker by day, and so I didn't think I HAD a creative side! At my husband's urging to find a hobby (his is old hot rods and spends many an hour covered in grease in the garage), I landed on scrapbooking, and it's spread out from there as my creative senses awaken. I love to see what others have created, hear their inspiration, and enjoy the beauty of creativity all around me. I LOVE texture and vintage, and these themes frequently show up in my designs. I am still discovering my "signature style", but distressed always plays a part-I can't not ink the edges up on something!!

To begin with, I'd like to share some cards that I made for some ladies very near and dear to my heart-my Mother (step-mother, but I'm not hung up on titles), and my sweet Mother-in-law.

My Mother-in-law likes darker, richer colors, and I always choose rich colors for her because they suit her personality. I had some trouble with this huge Prima flower staying on, so I ended up gluing it with my Scotch glue, and that did the trick. Of course this wouldn't fit in an envelope when it was done, thank goodness it was hand delivered with some other goodies.

This card may be my all-time favorite (so far). My Mom loves all things European, especially Parisian. As I don't have first-hand knowledge, this is my imagination of what a hotel room in an old Parisian hotel would look like. I imagined the cream and pink paper as the wallpaper, the dark paper as maybe a book or magazine, and the richer paper as the bedspread. I also discovered the Copper embossing powder with these cards, and I LOVE it. The inside features some lace and an earring of mine that broke, and found it's way into my stash. There comes my creative side, scrounging for things in everyday life to use!

Inside of the card-don't you just love that lace?

Thanks for stopping by, I would love to hear from you and see your creations too! And if you have a suggestion for how to fit cards with impossibly large flowers into envelopes, I would be eternally grateful.