Feb 15, 2014

afternoon set-up

Yesterday, instead of the day being filled with candy and flowers, I was surrounded with lots of vintage/home decor stuff as I set up an outdoor photo shoot. I have about a week of work left, and this coming week will be all about moving/sorting/and selling. I'm planning an outdoor estate sale for next weekend. (Easy to do when the temps are nearing 90 already!) 

I didn't realize this until just this week but you can advertise estate/yard sales on Craigslist and Facebook as well as Garage Sale Gal. We would need some photos though to advertise along with a description of what we were selling. (anything and everything!) So I came up with this idea to create a little country-road-side market photo shoot with some of the things that would be included in the actual yard sale next week. I spent my evenings sketching out the set-up idea as well as scribbling down notes as to what I wanted to include in my photos. 

I love staging photos. I really like creating photos where there is almost too much stuff in the photo and your eye has to wander to really take everything in. Photos that are 'visually interesting.' Two hours later I had the scene set and the lighting was just right for an afternoon photo shoot! 

Not only will there be an enormous amount of scrapbooking stuff at this yard sale I'm also working on creating a virtual scrapbook yard sale.... like a studio-spring cleaning sale. I just need to work out the details of where to put everything (etsy vs. blog)  and get all of the photos ready! 

and looked who came out to help me yesterday. My little buddy Chase, he found a fruit picker in the yard last week and now every time he tags along he'll pick all of his own fruit. I have 2 baskets of evidence right now on my kitchen counter. :) 

Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentines Day and a very Happy Saturday to you all! 

xo ~ tara

Feb 4, 2014

Goodbye January, hello work

Hi everyone! I've been around, promise. I know it's been forever but we made it through the holidays and then the clean up took place, and it seemed like every time I had a spare minute to post or create something I found myself buying more and more piano music (and then spending hours practicing) and borrowing more and more books from the library to read! :) 

and then I took on a job that I had heard Peter talk about for the past few months. I didn't realize what exactly the job would entail, I had a good general idea, but nothing really prepares you for when you have to organize the physical contents of another persons life.

When my grandparents passed away 3 years, I took on the job of cleaning out their home along with my mom. That was my first summer going up to the Oregon house with the kids in tow. It was beyond what words can describe as stressful, physically draining and challenging and sad. I've never worked harder in my life than I did that summer. I think I cried every night because of the amount of work that still needed to be done and because no matter how many hours I worked a day, (16+) it never actually looked like any real progress had been made. If you've had to clean out someones home, you likely know what I talking about.

There are 2 things that I crave, that I must have in order to feel grounded and balanced; 1. a clean house and 2. a quiet home. 

I can't physically function if my surroundings are out of place. It makes me nervous and when I get nervous I get grumpy.  Sometimes I want to start sewing or creating something and I'll look around and think I need to sweep or mop just one more time today before I can be creative. It may be an obsessive behavior on some levels, but I need things to be clean in order for me to think clearly. Messes make me anxious. 

So, when Peter would come home and talk about a client of his having the massive job of needing to clear out her mom's home, I immediately felt that anxious feeling I did 3 summer's before, thinking about how big of a job that really is. I volunteered myself to help. I know how overwhelming it is, and how you look around and you don't even know where to start, that there is just so much to do. 

Tara to the rescue. 

I've boxed up too many boxes to count, lifted and stacked boxes until I thought my arms would fall off, sorted through stacks of papers, gathered and grouped collections of scrapbooking supplies, giraffes and candles, I've sold some things and listed a lot of things, I've found journals that were written a decade ago and pictures that were taken 50 years ago. It's rewarding to see progress everyday and to know that I'm trying to find a good home for the things that this woman loved enough in her lifetime to keep. It's not just cleaning, but rather, it's organizing a persons whole life. 

I'll be honest though, I come home tired, dusty and worn out. I have another 3 good weeks of work ahead of me before the moving truck is scheduled to pick up what's left. So, until I'm done working this place here will continue to be pretty quiet. 

I have been taking photos though! I've been posting them on both Flickr and Facebook so if we're friends you've likely already seen them! I've sort of decided to make it a point and try to take more people photos. (I'll admit I don't really like taking photos of people.) The kids and I went out last week to practice at a shopping center close to home here, in the good warm lighting right before the sun sets out in the desert.   

I have this super cute *at least in my head it is* idea for another Valentines theme photo shoot, I just need to build the set for it..... when I have time and the energy to do so. I so want to get some more photos in this week, it's my only creative release at the moment. 

Thanks for all the encouraging messages I've received, hopefully I've answered you back if you've sent an email to me! If not, fear not, I promise I'm not ignoring you on purpose! Another few weeks and my happy little schedule will be back to normal once again. 

I can do it!
xo ~ tara 

Dec 13, 2013

diy ideas: holly leaves & gift wrapping

Here's a quick idea for gift wrapping, especially if you made one of the previous projects using the cut-out holly leaves and you happen to have a few extra leaves left-over! 

When it comes to gift wrapping, I love layering! It's my secret weapon to making my gifts look presentable. I'll layer, ribbons, bows, leaves or flowers, gift tags and everything gets clipped together with a little clothespin. 

To make the sewn holly leaves, I cut out 2 different sizes to use, one small and one large. Sew 2 leaves together and look for little pieces of trim, fabric or ribbon to use for the middle of the leaf. Once you have a few leaves sewn, gather materials to layer together and a gift that needs some embellishing! (I think these holly leaves would be really pretty if you used vintage sheet music - I may try that today!)

I have a to-do list a mile long today! It may be a tad overly ambitious for a single days work, but I'm going for it - and, with a little luck, I'll hopefully have a new tutorial and giveaway to post this weekend. 

Happy Friday to all!  xo ~ tara

Dec 12, 2013

diy ideas: Holly Wreath

Make a simple & pretty holiday wreath with just a few paper leaves and a coat hanger! 

Just like yesterdays project, we'll use similar products as well as the technique to make a really simple wreath to hang up this holiday season! 

{I had intended getting this posted last night, but instead I ended up needing to design Ben Franklin with Alaina for a class project. There's always something to do!} 

To start, you'll need a few supplies:
wire coat hanger
wire cutters
gun gun & glue sticks
paper (I'm using a dropcloth)

You'll need to create a holly leaf template. (Search online for a printable one, or just draw one, like I did, onto a folded piece of paper.) Cut out leaves from paper, I used about 40 leaves total for my wreath.
Use a pair of wire cutters to cut the top part of the hanger off. Carefully bend the wire into a circle and use pliers to twist the end pieces together. 

Start to glue the leaves on to the wire. Add a leaf to the back of the wire, add glue and then place a leaf over the wire and on top of the first leaf. You'll want to cover the wire completely with paper leaves.

Once you've finished gluing the leaves onto the hanger, let the glue dry completely and then you can remove all of the glue strings. (I love using hot glue, but really dislike all those glue spider web strings that end up being left over!) Create a bow using string or ribbon to hang up and your paper wreath is complete!  

I have another gift wrap idea to do with the same holly leaves, and then I want to do something with snow globes! Everyone loves snow-globes this time of year! 

xo  ~ tara

Dec 11, 2013

diy ideas: holly leaf garland

Holly leaves, like snowflakes, are one of my favorite holiday embellishments to use! I've created a few quick diy projects that make the most of these little paper leaves! Here's my simple how to: on making a holly garland that you can use for decor or even giftwrapping!  

 First to get started, you'll need to create a template of a holly leaf by either going on line and finding one or by creating one by freehand.  Last week I needed to get some painting done and Chase and I made a quick run over to Home Depot to pick up a few supplies when I came across this kraft like paper. It's called Eco Drop, it's actually a paper dropcloth for painting but it's comparable to a thin kraft paper. Plus it's eco friendly and recyclable - the best of both worlds! I paid about $4.00 for 216 square feet. I'm also planning on using it to wrap presents this year, just dressed up a bit with bows and other pretty embellishments!

You'll also need; a glue gun, glue sticks, some craft or floral wire (mine was really thin and easy to bend) and cut holly leaves. Start by spreading out newspaper under your glue gun, to keep your work space safe, and letting the glue gun heat up. Stretch out the wire and lay out flat. Place a paper leaf under the wire, add a bit of glue and sandwich another leaf on top. I left about an inch space in between each leaf. Continue gluing leaves to the entire length of the wire. 

Once you finish gluing the leaves on, you can hang your wired garland up as a holiday decoration or use it as part of you gift wrap decor! Here's how I used it to wrap up a simple gift card!

 I stared with a little teal box, a gift card, glittered pine cone, holly garland, a small typed tag and some string or a clothespin. Tuck the giftcard into the box, wrap the garland around the box, snipping off the extra and twisting the wire together to hold in place. I used a clothes pin to hold the gift tag and pinecone in place, just clip to the wire garland - you could also use the string to tie everything together. 

It's a pretty presentation for a small gift! I have another 2 projects using the same leaves that I'll post a little later today. I'm off to get some Etsy stuff done this afternoon and then back to crafting! Enjoy your Wednesday! 

xo ~ Tara

Dec 5, 2013

diy ideas: Holiday Gift Tags

It's easy, with all the hustle & bustle going on around us, to forget about the little details of the holiday. Things like gift tags! You wrap a gift, make it as pretty as possible and then remember that you don't have a gift tag to attach! Here are 6 simple gift tags that you can probably make with just the random craft items sitting on your desk right now! 

I'm doing a natural/gold/silver decor this year for Christmas and I made my gift tags to match. I'm also forgoing the traditional wrapping paper in favor of recycle-friendly newspaper! But I think I will make a set of these in bright reds & pinks though. (I bet they would even photograph better than these too!)

gift tags DIY

* use a paper punch to punch out a snowflake on a gift tag, glue scrapbook paper onto the back of the tag (I used a glitter paper)
* hand sew a glittered floral stem (they have lots to choose from in craft stores right now!)
* sew a punched snowflake onto a gift tag
* sew leftover chipboard letters, the first letter of each persons name onto a tag
* cut out 3 circles from felt, sew them from large up to small for a quick snowman tag
* sew pieces of fabric starting with longer pieces on the bottom up to smaller pieces on top for a fabric tree

{{DIY ideas is going to be a little mini-series this month. I have a few more post ideas that are Holiday theme-ish. Hope you enjoy them! xo ~ Tara}}