Author: Kelly Waterman

Craft Your Stash: Neocolor box

I had a LOVELY trip to a local art store yesterday (Preston Art Center, for you local peeps) and couldn’t resist picking up more NeoColor II crayons. Have you played with these yet?? I just love them – they are so vibrant and I really like that you can color directly on your project and add water, or color on a craft mat (my usual choice) and use them more like traditional water colors.

But, back to Preston. They had a whole rainbow of colors for sale individually – it made me do a little happy dance. Literally. I knew I’d need a larger tin/box to store them in as the starter set I got a few years ago came in nifty tin….with no room for growth. I looked around the store and found some really nice pencil cases…for $15. And then I got to thinking about my stash of containers I want to “someday” alter. I decided to head home with my new little gems and see what I had that might could work…and guess what:


I found this cute little box – which I think originally housed a cord of some kind. Pretty fancy. It has a drawer with a metal pull and a hard plastic see-through window (Which is why I couldn’t throw it out and tucked it into my “someday” pile.)

imageI grabbed an old McCall pattern set and my neocolors and went to work.

imageNow, I use ModPodge for my glue of choice on most of my mixed media projects. I’ve also used gel medium – but I find it thick, stiff and really sticky – and it dries even faster than the ModPodge, giving me very little time to make any adjustments should I need to (and, let’s face it: I need to A. LOT.)  Plus, I really like the finish on the matte MP.

I added a few layers of the pattern, building up the texture. Because the sewing pattern is basically tissue paper, it does have a tendency to wrinkle a little – it will flatten out some when it dries, but it does have some wrinkles. I’m OK with that.

imageI have to admit: I liked the graphic texture and was tempted to just leave it. But, i couldn’t reaaallly stop there. I colored in the top slightly, letting some of the pattern show through. I scribbled directly on the top, using my finger with some water on it to blend most of it. I left some pretty rough, allowing it to look like a crayon:

imageI made stripes on all the way around with each crayon with a little hand written label identifying the color. Now I’ll know what it looks like on a project (a stroke of genius, really):

imageIt’s was a bit tedious, as the neocolors are, well, watercolors and are therefore water-based…so using ModPodge over the color smears. So, I took a small square brush, dipped it in the MP ran over the color, added the tag and another layer of MP, being careful to clean the brush after each swipe. I love the effect of the color smearing over the white label as I added the MP:

imageFinally, I did some doodling on top with my favorite Scarlet Lime pen (I will be sooo sad when it runs out – Christy has no more in her store!!), and added a half of a doily colored to match and some Thickers, to cover the little white graphics on the window:

imageI have lots more room in the box for more crayons – but no more space on the edge for colored stripes. I guess when I acquire more, I’ll have to add some paper to the bottom for my samples!

Hope this little project inspires you to pull something out of your “someday” pile and just create. Make it a great week!


What was I thinking?

imageOkay, so I must be a little crazy. (No surprise there!) I’m looking at my newly acquired Filofax for January (printing my inserts deserves it’s own blog post!!!)…and realized I may have been a little ambitious with registering for classes this month. But – there’s SO MUCH GOOD going on out there. I just can’t help myself – and I’m looking forward to each one. Here’s what’s on my dance card:

One Little Word 2015 This is a year-long community with inspirational new content coming from Ali Edwards each month. I cannot recommend her classes enough – she’s so authentic in her presentation, making it such a delight to participate. OLW asks you to pick a word to focus on for the entire year. Each month, Ali gives us new prompts with ways to incorporate that word and keep it present in our daily routine. It’s a mixture of art, reflection and journaling – and I am so looking forward to participating again this year. My word is “true”. I plan to  document my progress in 2015 here and my first post will explain the reason why I chose this word and what I hope to get out of keeping it top of mind in the year to come.

Sparkle It’s being led by Shanna Noel. ‘Nough said. Talk about inspiration – this lady is one of my all-time faves. Her classes are always filled with inspiration and she puts so much of her time into the class – you truly feel like she’s participating right along side you. And, I don’t know about you – but when I take a workshop online, I really appreciate it when the instrctor(s) are active throughout the class and take the time to answer questions, comment on galleries and conversations in the message board. And, Shanna rocks that. Plus: her designs are jaw dropping! Plus: the class is all about glitter and sparkle and…well, YUM! Can’t wait! The class officially starts next week but I may have to get some Zing! out this weekend in anticipation…

Move More, Eat Well by Cathy Zielske over at Big Picture Classes. I have not taken classes with Cathy before – but I can tell ya: I’m blown away by the pre-class content she had loaded prior to the start of class. She gave us all the layered PS files for every day/week – and even had tutorials for people who wanted to change their color scheme and didn’t know how to do it. I’ve not taken many classes with THIS MUCH editable content in well…forever. I’m pretty impressed by it (can you tell?) – and the designs are super cute. What I’m excited for most: the Facebook community and taking it with a local peep (we’ll keep each other honest). While the content (with daily emails/videos from Cathy, who keeps it pretty real) is just a month long, the community is open all year and there are enough printables to keep you on track for the remaining 11 months. Very cool.

Day by Day Bundle over at Studio Calico. They really get me. Every. Time. I’ve taken the SC Project Life class for the last two years. They decided to shake it up a bit in 2015 with 5 different classes offered throughout the year – each with a different focus. January’s class is “Project Shots” – which, in theory will make me a better photographer. Since, let’s face it: I’m pretty boring when it comes to my photos {read: fairly close up shots, subject pretty much dead center…and lighting?? Meh.) I’m looking forward to some tips, tricks and inspiration. I have only one way to go and that’s up.

And if that weren’t enough…! I’m contemplating Photo|365 (beth-adilly may have pushed me over the edge) and the Document Life Project through a facebook community hosted by the folks over at The Art5 Academy I’ve joined their community and am cautiously optimistic that I can play along. The concept is Art Journal based – and they offer techniques/challenges each week to get you off the couch and in the craft room. I’ve never really been able to get into art journaling – but I love what others do. So, I’m going to go along for the ride and hopefully learn some new stuff along the way. From what I have seen from the instructors – they’re pretty fun and don’t mind getting silly – just my kind of folks.

Okay, so I’m tired just proof reading this post. 🙂 But, I am also energized and so, so ready to begin. What’s on your hit parade for 2015? Will I see you in any of these online communities? Whatever you adventures – I hope it’s fun and full of awesome inspiration. Let’s do this!


2015 Weekly Planning Pages

Hello there,

I can’t believe that 2014 is coming to an end. Where DOES the time go? I am preparing for 2015 and a new year for Project Life. New to Project Life? You can check it all out here on Becky Higgins’ site.

This will be my third year – and I’m planning to change it up a bit. I am going to use the handbook size available at Studio Calico. This summer they introduced the Brighton Pier collection – and this album made me swoon. When they came back in stock (they flew off the shelves!) I snagged three to use in 2015. I hope that’s all I will need – because they are sold out once again!

P16711838I think the handbook size will allow me the time to keep current AND be able to create some traditional layouts. As I work full time and have a pretty active pre-teen, my crafty time is limited…and having done PL for the last two years, I’ve done very little in the traditional layout space. There’s just very little time left over after keeping up with my weekly spreads.

To help me organize, I have created a weekly planner for the last two years and have offered it as a free printable here on my blog (you can grab the 2015 version here.) It gives you a monthly calendar and weekly planning pages, complete with a blank layout at the top (I’ll have to change this up a bit for my new handbook format) and as well as room for notes/design ideas. I added a touch of color to the cover, but per the several requests I’ve received, I’ve kept the internal pages black and white for easy printing.

LEFTPAGE15-01Last year, Crystal Roy over at A Crafty Island Girl blog, found the planner and used it in her filofax — and explained that she printed it to fit the A5 size. I’m super inspired by her and what she does with a planner (who knew a whole world existed around artsy planners? … Well, um…actually a TON of people…just not me!) and I’ve have put a planner on my holiday wish list (I’ve been good this year, so fingers crossed!). The color on the cover of my planner? That hopefully matches the kikki planner on my wish list (see how I did that?!?!?!?!) I hope to follow in Crystal’s footsteps and put my 2015 planner into a larger organizer that I will use for more than just PL.

At any rate: for those of you like me, already looking ahead to the year to come – I hope you find this planner useful! Have an awesome holiday season. Thanks for stopping by!




Craft Your Stash – silver bucket

imageSo this week we had a parent/teacher conference with all of Emily’s 6th grade teachers. She’s in a new school – and it’s middle school, which is a tough transition. She LOVES her school and all of her teachers. They’ve been awesome, attentive, accessible and just plain fun.

I knew I wanted to bake a little treat to take to the meeting as a way of saying “thanks” for going that extra mile in helping her adjust and welcoming us to the school. When I drew my #craftyourstash prompt for this week – I instantly knew I wanted to transform this little bucket into a cookie carrier.imageI think the bucket has been in my stash for a few years — and I think it may have had some sort of Christmas treat in it…I vaguely remember a red and white band around the middle with snowman on it. I think. It’s been a while. And while I was able to recycle the paper part of the packaging, I couldn’t get rid of the tin. Because — someday I knew I could alter in into something cute. Right?

Three — (or four, who’s counting?), years later — here’s what I did:


I took some Tim Holz tissue paper (LOVE THIS STUFF for a background), added a pop of lime green paint over the top and mod podged (is that a word??) some white doilies from Studio Calico, all around the base. Added a thick ribbon, some gold glittery stars and a quick hand stamped tag with a bit of washi at the bottom for a completed look.

imageAnd the cookies. Oh. My. Heavens. I tried a new recipe I found on Pinterest – (dont’cha just love Pinterest?) They are completely decadent, totally Fall and just perfect. Brown butter, salted caramel snickerdoodles. Snickerdoodles have always been one of my favorites (it’s a tough choice between that and peanutbutter – but if I could only have one for like, the rest of my life…it’d have to be snickerdoodles. And now that I’ve tried THIS recipe  from Two Peas and Their Pod – this is the one it’d have to be. True statement. Check them out over here. image

imageHope you find some inspiration to craft something lying around in your stash this week. And – don’t forget to go make those cookies — you’ll be thanking me later.

30 Days of Me

I’m embarking on a month-long mini album project: 30 Days of Me. It’s tough – as I’m usually the one behind the camera — or, rather iPhone — and don’t often find myself in front of the camera – much less take the time to tell my stories. The class is being led by the fabulous Maggie Holmes over at Studio Calico. Here’s a peek at my title page:

30daysofme-titleIt’s a smaller album for me – a handbook size, which I’m testing out, as I’m thinking next year Project Life will go 6 X 8. Lots of bits and pieces from the class kit and from Heidi Swapp’s new gold foiled PL kit ((love)) — seriously…drool. And, I’m not even a gold gal – give me silver almost any day of the week. But that kit…gorgeous.

For the “me” circle, I created that cut file (which you can download here), used Mixed Media paper in the Silhouette on the chipboard setting and then used Martha Stewart’s Gold Gilding. Love how it turned out. I followed the same technique for the “k” and the little arrow on the heart. First time I used that liquid gold paint and it was dreamy.


I’m excited to tell these stories – and to share my journey here. Hope you have a fabulous week.


Craft your stash challenge

I don’t know about you – but I get a little geeky about packaging. I often save cool boxes, bags, tins, etc. for the “someday” when I alter them for re-gifting or storage of my crafty supplies. I also am addicted to the dollar bins at Michaels and Target – often picking up neat little trinkets that would also be cool to alter in some way…over the years, I’ve accumulated quite the stash.

When I went on a cleaning spree this spring/summer – nothing in the house was sacred (except Emily’s stuffies). I had to make some tough choices, but I whittled down my stash of “someday” projects to 1 bin plus a box of various sized canvases.

Since “someday” is so elusive, I decided to push myself to “craft my stash” on a semi-weekly basis and get through my box and bin. I took this little container I’ve had from Close to My Heart for at least a year – (probably longer, truth be told) … and cut strips of paper for all the potential projects in my basement.

craftyourstash2ideasEvery two weeks, I’ll pull out a prompt and create something. I am so excited about the potential in that bin…I can see holiday gifts (or at least packaging) starting to form. I’m also excited to get inspired by that little slip of paper – challenging me to create something new – something out of my box.

craftstash4craftstash2photo 3

I encourage you to take some time to craft your own stash – I’d love to see what you create! Have a great week.