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Thanks for dropping by! Take a look around and stay awhile. See that little purple box on your left, it contains a summary of recent posts, further down, you will see a box of shared items, these are things I find around the web and want to share with you. Further down on the left you can add a link to your own blog for others to see. I love comments, so feel free to leave some love and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Today's Featured Project: Joy Notecard

Joy Notecard
A small gesture can mean a lot. Fill this tiny and trendy card with warm thoughts and brighten the day of someone you love. For recipe or purchase information, just click on the project!

A few cards to share




Posted by Picasa
Today is your day to paint life in bold colors,
set today's rhythm with your heart-drum,
walk today's march with courage,
create today as your celebration of life.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Out with the gray! In with color; in with the juice of life.

Vision - Creation - Art? Each of us is an artist, but many are repressed artists. There is something of ourselves that cannot be expressed in words. Perhaps that something can be expressed in form or color, dance or music. If only with crayons or a tin drum, let that something that cannot be said move your hands or your body today.

Snow Cottage waterless snow globe

I created this waterless snow globe for one of the kid's teachers. You can grab a fully-illustrated tutorial for $5.00

Thanksgiving Mini Basket

you can find the original video here

A reason to stamp every day in November

November 1 - Day of the Dead - find out more about the Day of the Dead celebrations and ideas for rubber stamping and crafts activities here - Day of the Dead Projects.

November 1 - The Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel Unveiled - in 1512. While perhaps not on the Michelangelo scale, why not use rubber stamps to decorate your home. Stamps, in particular foam stamps, can be used to stamp decorations on walls. This can be a good way to give a room a makeover quickly and easily, as a low-cost.

November 1 - National Literacy Day - mark the day by reading a story to a young one and encouraging them to make a picture or collage using rubber stamps to illustrate the story. For more information see the National Literacy website.

November - 2 First Scheduled Radio Broadcast - in 1920. Today there are plenty of ways to listen to the radio, including listening to the radio over the Internet. Try listening to some craft related podcasts while you are stamping, it's a great way to find out more about different crafts. There are some great podcasts available. Here are some of my favorites:

* Craft Magazine Podcasts
* CraftSanity
* CraftyPod

November 3 - Sandwich Day - this day marks the birth in 1718 of John Montague, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, who gave his name to the Sandwich. Mark the day by making your own special sandwiches and packing these in handmade and hand stamped packaging. If you don't fancy making your own packaging then why not make a hand stamped note and pop this in the lunch box to let someone know that you are thinking of them on Sandwich Day!

November 3 - Culture Day in Japan - this day is a day to celebrate Japanese culture. The Yamaha Motor Group have some scenes of Japan paper craft projects available on their website, these include free printable paper Plum Blossom and Japanese bush warbler models. For more information see the Yamaha Motor Group website.

November 4 - The Anniversary of the Discovery of King Tutankhamen's Tomb - celebrate the day with your own Egyptian themed project. If you don't have any Egyptian themed rubber stamps then how about making a pyramid gift box. These can be used in many ways and make great favors or decorations. See Pyramid Gift Box and Template for more information.

November 5 - Guy Fawkes Day And Bonfire Night - this marks the day when Guy Fawkes and other conspirators planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament. The day is celebrated with bonfires and fireworks displays. If you are going to the fireworks display and want to take photographs have a look at this useful article about firework photography - Firework Photos Basics. No firework party is complete without fudge and toffee apples, make some fudge for friends and package it in bags with hand stamped bag toppers. See this list of top 10 fudge recipes from About.com Candy.

November 6 - Anniversary of the birth of James Naismith - inventor of basketball, in 1861. There are many different types of basketball themed rubber stamps available, these range from images of a basketball through to rubber stamps showing well-known players. These can make a great gift for a basketball fan. Keep a look on online auction sites such as eBay for unusual or hard to find basketball themed used stamps. See Buying Rubber Stamps on eBay for more information.

November 7 - The Marie Celeste Sets Sail From New York - it was later found deserted. Make your own Marie Celeste paper boats to use to mark place settings or as party favors. See How to Make a Paper Boat for more information.

November 8 - Anniversary Of the Discovery of X-Ray - in 1895. Mark the day by incorporating a skeleton or two into a rubber stamping project. If you don't have a skeleton rubber stamp then how about carving a stamp using this skeleton template.

November 9 - Inventor's Day - this day is celebrated in some countries as a day to recognize inventors and the role that they play. This is the birth anniversary of the actress Hedy Lamarr whose invention, frequency hopping, is still in regular use. See the Inventor's Day website for more information. What would your invention be? Mine would be a little machine that cleaned rubber stamps after use and stores them correctly. In the absence of such a machine a proper stamp storage system is necessary. See Rubber Stamp storage for more information.

November 10 - Anniversary Of The Launch Of The Direct Dial Coast-To-Coast Telephone System - in 1952. Small note pads are useful for keeping by the telephone. Make pretty note pad covers to customize note pads. These also make great gifts. Make a few now ready for Christmas.

November 11 - Veterans Day And Remembrance Day - the Write Home Organization (formerly known as Cards for Heroes) sends handmade cards for troops to send home. There is a lot of information on the Write Home website about the initiative.

November 12 - Postman's Day in Mexico - a day to show appreciation for postal staff. In Mexico people leave gifts in mailboxes. Show your appreciation for postal staff by making sure that the addresses on envelopes can be clearly read. This is particularly important with handmade envelopes that may be on a patterned paper. See How to Make an Easy Folded Envelope for instructions.

November 13 - World Kindness Day - a random act of kindness is a wonderful way to bring a smile to someone's face. As a rubber stamper there are lots of ways that you can make small gifts or cards to give people. For more information about World Kindness Day, including lots of ideas and free downloads, see the Acts of Kindness website.

November 14 - Birth Anniversary Of Claude Monet - in 1840. For more information about Monet's work including a quiz, take a look at this article at About.com Painting - Claude Monet. If you fancy getting artistic results from your rubber stamping perhaps you should consider investing in artist quality materials such as watercolor pencils and watercolor paints.

November 15 - America Recycles Day - there are lots of ways that recycled products can be used in rubber stamping and crafts activities. Take a look at Green Crafts for more information and ideas. One great way of recycling paper is to make your own special handmade paper. A variation is to make seed paper and this makes an unusual 'green' gift. See How to Make Seed Paper for more information.

November 16 - 10 Days to Thanksgiving! - If you are looking for rubber stamping and craft activities for Thanksgiving then take a look at these articles for inspiration - Thanksgiving Craft Projects and Sentiments, Verses and Words for Thanksgiving Projects and Cards

November 17 - Patent Granted For First Computer Mouse - in 1970. While I haven't found any crafty uses for an unwanted computer mouse, mouse mats can be used in many ways. I use mouse mats to stamp on sometimes when using unmounted stamps as this gives a more consistent impression. Do you use mouse mats or other computer cast-offs in your stamping? If so, why not share your tip here - Best Rubber Stamping Tips.

November 18 - Birthday of Mickey Mouse - the Disney website has lots of activities for young and old Mickey Mouse fans alike! The 'create' pages, under the 'artist' heading have some interesting digital art features, including the opportunity to 'stamp' the page with Disney stamps. These can be saved and printed. More information can be found on the Disney website.

November 19 – Tele Monte Carlo is Launched – in 1954 by Prince Ranier III. This is Europe's oldest television station. While a private television station might be a nice idea, the Internet makes online videos on a wide range of subjects available to us in our own homes at the tough of a button. There are some great rubber stamping videos available and these are a good way to learn new techniques. Check out the videos on Stamp TV for some new ideas.

November 20 – Anniversary of release of the film The Sheik - the silent film of 1921 starring Rudolph Valentino.. Silent film stars are popular subjects for many rubber stampers. Photo-quality rubber stamps are available featuring famous stars from the silent movie era. A good source of this type of rubber stamp is the Stampsmith. Velvet Ink Cafe has some video tutorials about using Stampsmith stamps.

21 – Anniversary of the First Untethered Air Balloon Flight – in 1783. Air balloons make great subjects for rubber stamping projects. They can be used as a theme for both adults and children. Use this template to incorporate an air balloon in a project. Use your favorite character rubber stamps to add to the basket.

November 22 – Birth Anniversary of Thomas Cook – in 1808, the well known travel entrepreneur. Travel memorabilia can make an interesting addition to a rubber stamping project, whether it is a scrapbook marking a special holiday or a handmade card. If you don't have any travel memorabilia of your own then the Internet offers a wealth of ideas and inspiration or cut out images from magazines and newspapers.

November 23 – Birth Anniversary of Harpo Marx – what better reason could there be to include a Marx brother quote or two into a rubber stamping project. Here are some great quotes from Harpo's brother Groucho Marx - Marx Brother Quotes.

November 24- Start of the Ancient Roman festival of Brumalia - this was a feast of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine. Make wine glass decorations to help you and your guests recognise your own glasses during your own feasting. See How to Make Wine Glass Charms for a step by step guide.

November 25 - England Was Hit by a Great Windstorm - in 1073, which caused chaos with gusts upto 120mph. This rubber stamped windmill may not stand up to that kind of wind, but this is a fun quick project.

November 26 - Captain James Cook becomes the first European to visit the Hawaiian Island of Maui - in 1778. These instructions for making an Hawaiian Lei on the Family Crafts site at About.com can be further enhanced by rubber stamping the flower shapes before putting it together.

November 26 - Thanksgiving! - take a moment to think about all the things that you are thankful for this Thanskgiving.

November 27 - The Nobel Prize Established - in 1875. Why not produce your own rubber stamped prize for someone you know who deserves recognition for being special.

November 28 - William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway Receive their Marriage License – in 1582, in Stratford-upon-Avon. William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway pay a £40 bond for their marriage license. Great writers and poets from the past can offer great sources of text for greeting card sentiments. Why not use some words for a poem or a quotation as inspiration for a card for someone special - Poems and Verses for Greeting Cards. November 29 – Anniversary of Thomas Edison Demonstrating his Phonograph - in 1877. Things have moved on a long way from Edison's phonograph and now a lot of music is sold digitally without anything physical like a record or CD being purchased. If you've got some spare CD cases lying around, why not use them to make some CD case calendars. They'll be perfect presents with the new year around the corner - How to Make CD Case Calendars.

November 30 - One Month to the New Year! - If you are planning on making calendars as gifts then here are some templates that are perfect for decorating - 2010 Calendar Templates. Now is also a good time to start thinking about what New Year's Resolutions you are going to make. Here are some ideas for stamping resolutions for the new year - Stamping Resolutions.

inspired by about.com

Interesting Information For Rubber Stamping Hobbyists

Rubber Stamps have an interesting history for those who don’t know that they might have been inspired by dentures. Yes, it’s true: dental dentures! But some background first, as Charles Goodyear had to discover the secret to vulcanization. This is the process of “curing” rubber so that it can be molded as desired. Before Mr. Goodyear’s discovery, rubber — in its natural state — was not very practical to work with.It is sticky and cannot stay set in any one particular shape. But with vulcanization, rubber, once cooled, would stay in the shape in which it had been set.

Unhappily, Mr. Goodyear did not benefit financially from his invention, though he was publicly recognized by the Emperor of France, Napoleon himself, and prestigiously decorated with many honors. His invention, however, went on to find many applications that would soon change the world. One of these was dentures. Rubber was determined to be a great replacement material for the dentures of the day, which were often made of metal or even wood.Dentists had long been making their own dentures, and one of these many dentists had a curious nephew who realized the potential of rubber and eventually wound up making rubber stamps for the U.S. Postal Service. This nephew, a certain Mr. James Woodruff, is often credited with having invented the quality rubber stamp we recognize oday. But there exists, believe it or not, many different accounts of the origins of rubber stamps, depending on exactly how a rubber stamp is defined, with one even stretching all the way back to the ancient Mayans! This version just presented is among the most widely accepted accounts for the marking devices which we today would most immediately recognize as being a rubber stamp.

Another widely popular and acknowledged account of the invention the rubber stamp concerns a Mr. L.F. Witherell, who even composed a document titled “How I Came to Discover the Rubber Stamp” wherein he claimed to have been inspired during work as a foreman at a wooden pump manufacturing facility. According to Mr. Witherell, there was a problem one day involving the paint that was used to mark the pumps. The paint would run and create obscuring blotches in front of necessary information. Mr. Witherell happened on the notion of making stencils from some of the thin sheets of rubber packing laying about. But while making the stencil, he thought further and decided to simply create thick letters out of the rubber, then glue them to a backing of wood, with which he could make repeated impressions of the necessary marks.

The one account thought least plausible involves a Mr. Henry C. Leland, who was actually championed, ironically, during his time by none other than the “Stamp Trade News,” published by a manufacturer of rubber stamps.But whatever its actual origins, there is no doubt that the rubber stamp itself has left quite an impression on our world.

Turning Pages transforms old, damaged books into works that help kids learn to read

By Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood | The Grand Ra...
November 08, 2009, 4:11AM

sally berry.jpgPhotos by Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood | The Grand Rapids PressSally Berry, director of Turning Pages, the Grand Rapids Reading Institute, uses her scrapbooking skills to recycle old, damaged books into new word books. The economy is forcing many to figure out ways to get by with less, and creative types like Sally Berry seem to thrive when faced with this challenge.

As the director of Turning Pages, the Grand Rapids Reading Institute, Berry, 47, knows a thing or two about educating on a tight budget. It has been a way of life since she founded the nonprofit seven years ago. Turning pages is a paid service that helps adults and children with reading disabilities.

Berry contacted me a short time after she cooked up a plan to use a donated box of old and damaged books to help people learn to read.

She explained that she and her staff of 15 reading tutors were converting the damaged children’s books into word books using scrapbooking supplies, images ripped from old magazines, decoupage medium and letter stickers.

Since I have two children who are learning to read, I couldn’t wait to hear more about Berry’s educational craft project. During a recent meeting, she showed me how she transformed a stack of tattered and dated books into fun and useful learning tools.

First, she taped back together the front and back covers of the books and embellished them with paper collages sealed with decoupage medium. She taped the inside pages together in groups of two with double-stick tape to form sturdier pages. From there, she used scrapbook paper, die cuts, stickers and magazine images to illustrate the words spelled out on each page. She reinforced the binding with strips of paper taped or glued into the creases between each new page.

An avid book lover, Berry couldn’t bring herself to pitch the damaged books that were too dated and damaged to use with students. So she decided to get out her scrapbooking supplies and transform them into something useful.

While Berry said she would have a hard time turning a new book into an altered collage, transforming the pages of the first book she picked from the damaged pile was easy.

“It was a really silly story,” Berry said, recalling the 1970s book was “kind of sexist, so I didn’t have any problem covering it up.”

What a creative way to reduce access to offensive content without piling it in the landfill. So, if you don’t like what the old book in the attic says, change it.

Berry’s “ck” themed book includes 12 words including “luck,” “rock” and “lick,” and each page is decorated to illustrate the word.

Berry taught kindergarten in Kentucky before moving to West Michigan in 1996 when her husband landed a job here. Not long after the move, she saw a job ad for tutoring and started teaching kids to read through a Kalamazoo nonprofit. Eventually, she was inspired to start Turning Pages in Grand Rapids, with two fellow tutors, and delve deeper into multisensory instructional strategies — including the Orton-Gillingham Instruction method, which combines visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile teaching methods.

The goal, Berry says, is to teach students to use their senses and retrieve reading information from four areas of the brain instead of relying just on audio and visual triggers.

Berry offers intensive $500 training sessions for parents and teachers looking to become tutors at Turning Pages, but the great thing about her approach is that many of her methods are easy enough for parents to try at home.

Seven years after founding Turning Pages, Berry has accumulated a wealth of low-budget craft project ideas that can help students become more proficient readers.

In addition to word books, Berry makes low-cost tin foil/felt boards that function like white boards when students and teachers write on the foil side with dry eraser markers and erase with a block created by glueing a piece of felt to the bottom of a block. The reverse side of the board is covered with felt on which students and teachers can stick felt letters to spell.

Berry has students spell words by dragging their fingers through colorful sand spread out on cookie sheets and writing with dry-erase markers on worksheets kept inside plastic page protectors.

Both methods allow students to keep erasing and practicing.

“I just love it,” Berry said of teaching students to read. “I’ve never had a bad experience with a student using this method.”

I love it, too, and plan to transform some damaged books, tin foil, felt and sand into new educational tools for the kids.

Send your comments and story ideas to Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood at jennifer@craftsanity.com. Watch Jennifer demonstrate craft projects at 9 a.m. Fridays on WZZM-TV Channel 13’s “Take Five & Company.”

Stamp 'n Cross Stitch Technique from Leisure Arts

you can find the original video here