Crafted Living

Living a crafted life!

Archive for the month “May, 2013”

Cricut Friday: Monogram Plaque

A great way to update the traditional monogram.

A great way to update the traditional monogram.

I love fonts and thought it would be fun to add my own twist to the monogram.  You need the following tools and supplies to create this plaque:

Cut out the orange “k” at 2″ and the white font shadow at 2″ from the Folk Art cartridge.  Cut out the patterned paper and thin chipboard at 3″ x 3″.  Adhere the patterned paper to the chipboard and then adhere the “k” to the paper.  Apply foil tape to the edges.  Punch holes in the upper corners and string the ribbon.

This project is a fabulous way to use up your paper scraps.  It is charming and would make a great decorative addition to a gift.

*Tina

Sweet on Sweet Peas

Sweet peas lend a cottage feel to the garden.

Sweet peas lend a cottage feel to the garden.

I love flowers, but sweet peas are my favorite.  They are because these were the first flowers I grew myself from seed.  Long ago and encouraged by a neighbor, I planted my first crop and have been hooked ever since.  To be successful in Southern California, you plant the seeds in the ground around Thanksgiving.  The rain and cool weather will help your cause.  Come spring time, they burst forth and bring color to your garden.  I am fond of the heritage varieties because of their intense colors and fragrance.  Nothing makes me happier than a tall, cylindrical vase filled with an explosion of sweet peas.

There is a delightful Freemasonry among lovers of Sweet Peas, doubtless due in great measure to the sweetness and beauty of the flower.  – S.B. Dicks

*Tina

My Nemesis

One of the best flowering vines to decorate walls and fences.

One of the best flowering vines to decorate walls and fences.

The Morning Glory is my nemesis.  We inherited the vine, which grows along the property line and has completely covered two fences as well as creeping up onto our neighbor’s garage roof.  A few months back we experienced a frost, which we hoped would diminish its aggressiveness.  Not to be.  It has come back livelier than ever.  All we can do is cut it back and keep at it until it is gone.  The start of the never-ending project.  Grumble, grumble.

*Tina

Photography Monday: The Huntington’s Chinese Garden

Liu Fang Yuan, the Garden of Flowing Fragrance, is the largest Chinese garden outside of China.  The creation of the garden began in 2000 and it was open to the public in February 2008.  A truly cross-cultural effort between renowned Chinese architects from Suzhou, a city highly regarded for its ancient gardens, and California builders channeling the legacy of Henry E. Huntington created and executed an exquisitely designed garden.

The architecture of a Chinese garden invites both composed and borrowed views.

Intricately crafted lattice windows artfully frame objects and scenes.

Windows, bridges, and pavilions provide different views of the landscape and are admired for their own beauty.

Windows, bridges, and pavilions provide different views of the landscape and are admired for their own beauty.

Plants and flowers serve a symbolic purpose as well as a decorative one.

Plants and flowers serve a symbolic purpose as well as a decorative one.

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The architecture of a Chinese garden invites both composed and borrowed views.

Layers of meaning add to the enjoyment of a Chinese garden’s artistry.  Filled with symbolism, it’s more than a stroll through a garden, but like a work of art, it slowly reveals itself to show its inner beauty.  For more information, please visit this site.

Next week, I will showcase the Huntington’s magnificent roses.

*Tina

Cricut Friday: Wine & Cheese Banner

Makes you want to eat cheese and drink wine!

Let’s get the party started!

On Saturday, we are hosting our bi-annual wine and cheese party.  I thought it was time to make an official banner for the event.  You need the following tools and supplies to create this banner:

To create the flags, cut out the cement flags at 5″ and the kraft flags at 4.5″ from the Tiny Treasures cartridge.  Cut out the wine letters at 3.5″ and the pale yellow shadow letters at 3.5″ from the Folk Art cartridge.  Adhere it all together.  Hole punch the upper corners of each flag and string the ribbon through the flags to create a finished banner.

Wine and cheese banner detail

Wine and cheese banner detail

I am thrilled with the result and it looks fabulous hanging on my buffet.  Banners are a fantastic way to set the style for the space.  I hope it puts all of the guests in a wine-tasting, cheese-sampling and chocolate-gorging mood.  Il partito di let!

*Tina

Crafty Today: Party Dog

Perfect for the dog lover!

Perfect for the dog lover!

For my co-worker’s birthday, I made the above party dog to adorn her cubicle.  You need the following tools and supplies to create this art piece:

  • Cricut machine
  • Cricut Create a Critter and Create a Critter 2 cartridges
  • Cuttlebug machine
  • Cuttlebug embossing folder
  • cardstock
  • foil tape
  • thin chipboard
  • ribbon
  • adhesive
  • hole punch

Cut out the dog from the Create a Critter cartridge at 3.5″.  Cut out the party hat from Create a Critter 2 at 2.5″.  Adhere all of the pieces together for the dog and hat and combine to create the party dog.  Run the light blue cardstock through the Cuttlebug machine to emboss.  Cut the chipboard at 4″ x 6.25″.  Adhere the embossed paper then the party dog to the chipboard.  Apply foil tape to the edges.  Punch holes in the upper corners and string the ribbon.

I thought it would be an excellent idea to take the card concept that I have perfected and make art pieces.  I think it worked amazingly well and she loved it!  There might be more in my future.  Stay tuned!

*Tina

Homegrown Flowers

The dahlia is often referred to as the "Queen of the Autumn Garden".

The dahlia is often referred to as the “Queen of the Autumn Garden”.

For us gardening enthusiasts, growing and maintaining a flower garden is a labor of love.  It brings me immense joy to share my flowers or my mother’s flowers with family and friends.  Nothing surpasses a handcrafted bouquet of homegrown flowers.  The naturalness and charm shine through and provide an experience that keeps on giving.  What is not to love and besides, it makes me exceptionally happy!

I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.  -Emma Goldman

*Tina

Photography Monday: The Huntington’s Japanese Garden

For our Mother’s Day celebration, our mothers decided they wanted to visit The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.  It is a gem tucked away in the pastoral landscape of San Marino, California.  A destination site filled with many things to see and do and not enough time to accomplish it all in one day.  First stop of the visit was the Japanese Garden.  This garden was recently renovated last year to celebrate its centennial.

The first view of the garden as you leave the famed Rose Garden.

The first view of the garden as you leave the famed Rose Garden.

The sun has set these Japanese maple leaves on fire.

The sun has set these Japanese maple leaves on fire.

The nine-acre site has picture-postcard views, of koi-filled ponds, distinctive moon bridge, and historic Japanese house.

The nine-acre site has picture-postcard views of koi-filled ponds, a distinctive moon bridge, and a historic Japanese house.

A close-up of a beautiful Japanese maple tree.

A close-up of a beautiful Japanese maple tree.

The Japanese Garden is among the oldest and most elaborate of its kind in America.

The Japanese Garden is among the oldest and most elaborate of its kind in America.

Begun in 1911, it was inspired by widespread Western fascination with Asian culture.  After the institution opened to the public in 1928, the Japanese Garden became a major draw for visitors.  It is one of the most iconic landscapes at The Huntington and will continue to be so for many years to come.  For more information, please visit this site.

Next week, we will visit the Chinese Garden at The Huntington.

*Tina

Cricut Friday: Envelopes

A simple envelope decoration

A simple envelope decoration

After creating such a special Mother’s Day card, it isn’t complete without decorating the envelope.  You need the following tools and supplies to create this envelope:

Cut out the purple letters at 1.25″ from the Folk Art cartridge.  Adhere the letters and the rhinestone to the envelope.

So simple, yet so effective.  I like to decorate the envelope because it adds a finishing touch.  Happy paper crafting!

*Tina

Adorable Artichoke

The cutest, little artichoke ever!

The cutest, little artichoke ever!

My neighbor has a front yard filled with native plants.  I passed this artichoke the other day on my morning walk and had to share it with you.  Maybe 4” across, it was the tiny crown topping a rather large plant.  Too cute!

After all the trouble you go to, you get as much actual “food” out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 to 40 postage stamps. -Miss Piggy

*Tina

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