Thursday, February 28, 2008

Craft Challenge

Craft Challenge Begins!!!
You love to be creative! And, if you're like me, sometimes (OK, most of the time) it's hard to carve out time for myself and be creative. So, I'm taking the CRAFT CHALLENGE and I invite you to join in the fun too!!!
~ Commit 1/2 hour every day during March (National Craft Month) and do something (ANYTHING) creative.
~ Send me your creation for the day - it can be a photo, drawing, video - any form you'd like to share your artwork. Send it to me at jfee@duncanmail.com and I'll post it on my blog. See the 'rules' to the left - it's all about having fun and being creative!
My friend, Pattiewack, loves to be creative in EVERY aspect of her life. Here's an envelope from a card she gave me a couple weeks ago - it didn't take her long, but I know she enjoyed creating it.
I can't wait to see what you come up with. I have some ideas already brewing for my projects. Go ahead, take the challenge.
Joan

Getaway Weekend

Mom's Birthday Girl's
Getaway Weekend!!!

We're down to hours now until the BIG weekend!!! I've just been cleaning out my car for our road trip that starts Friday afternoon. I have my craft projects packed and am waiting for the laundry to be done so I can pack up my bags.

Things are busy at work - during March you'll see over 30 brand new projects on the website http://www.duncancrafts.com/. I'm also working on the new Crafty Chica products and we're gearing up for another trade show - this time ceramics.

Since I won't be able to post a project on Saturday, March 1st (the first day of the Craft Challenge!!!!!), I'm posting my mother's present (a clear glass teapot and blooming teas). I wanted to make this gift look a little more special, so I glued a carnation (my mom's favorite flower) to the top of the packages with Aleene's Original Tacky Glue and then added little loops of some bright ribbon. It only took a few minutes, but it felt soooo good to go beyond ordinary and be creative.

Joan

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ceramic Shoe Plate

Shoes and more shoes...ceramics that is!

What a delightful class tonight - fun ladies, a great teacher (way to go Debi!) AND a beautiful project!!!

It was nice to relax and have fun painting this shoe on a ceramic plate - I especially liked adding dots of glaze as accents around the flowers. It's being fired later this week, so it'll be great to see my finished project.








Teri Lyn is busy painting her shoe. She works with Fred, a ceramics teacher who showed me the ceramics ropes almost 3 years ago.












Debi (our teacher) you're the best! Your patience and kind words are wonderful!













Here's my shoe just waiting to be fired - and there's my drink of choice, Starbucks Venti Black Iced Tea with two pumps of Classic - even my friend at work knows my drink order by heart.

Happy, happy day!

Joan

Ceramics Class

Ceramic Shoe

I'm headed off in a couple hours to a fun ceramics class where we get to paint this adorable shoe! I hear it's super easy! I can't wait!

After my class, it's time to start getting my crafting stuff together for our crafting weekend. We've booked ourselves pretty heavy into pampering appointments and some craft classes, so our free time will be limited, but we'll enjoy every minute of it, I'm sure! When we get the ladies of my family together, we have a fabulous time! The weather here is fantastic - it's going to be in the 70's and the sun is shining!!! (I talked to someone in Omaha last week and they were happy to have weather in the teens!)

Since I'll be away this weekend (no computer) I will post my challenge photos on Monday!!!

Saturday is March 1st, so let the Craft Challenge for National Craft Month begin!

Enjoy your day!
Joan

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Aleene's Bread Dough Recipe

You asked for it, here it is!

Cyndi asked for the Aleene's Bread Dough Recipe, so I've posted it below. It's great for making flowers - anything you want to 'model' as a matter of fact. Speaking of flowers, for part of my Craft Challenge projects for March I'm going to make some bread dough flowers and I'll post them. They turn out fabulous!

Let me know if you have any other 'recipe' requests.

Joan

Bread Dough Recipe

Aleene's Bread Dough Recipe



Remove crust from white bread and tear into pieces. Place pieces in ziptop plastic bag.








Add 1 tablespoon of Aleene's Original Tacky Glue for each slice of bread. For larger batches, use 1/4 cup of Glue to 4 slice of bread.



Knead until smooth.


If after a few minutes the mixture is still sticky, add more small pieces of bread. If it is too dry or still, ad a few drops of Glue.





Place dough in another plastic bag. Knead dough until smooth and pliable.










To color dough, add paint a few drops at a time and mix or wait until dough is dry to paint.










OPTION:
Mix equal amounts of cornstarch and Aleene's Original Tacky Glue and follow the above procedure.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Taxes

Tax Time!!!
Tomorrow I have an appointment with my tax preparer, but I'm finding this year easier and less stressful. Last year I found a large wood box and decorated it and that's where I put my 2007 tax information as it came in - no more hunting. Now, all I am doing is sorting through it - wow! what a difference a tiny bit of crafting and having a place for all the info makes in my life.
As for last night - my friend and I had a fantastic evening - there's a funky restaurant that I have been frequenting lately just down from the theater where we saw Tuesdays with Morrie. I highly recommend seeing Tuesdays with Morrie - I don't think there was a dry eye in the place, but it is one of those thought provoking plays/movies/books that makes you question where you are at in your life...after the play we went to an inviting coffee shop and sat and talked about life until midnight. Thanks GB!
I practiced my singing this morning and I'm finding that I am having trouble memorizing the words - I gotta work on that!
Meanwhile, I'm getting ready for the big crafting weekend next weekend - we're doing lots and lots of crafting so I definitely have my camera on my list of things to take to show you all our creations come next Monday. We have pampering appointment scheduled, we're making lavender candles, we're having high tea, we're making teacup bird feeders - we're going to have so much fun!!!
It's not too late to make your life less stressful - create a box for your 2008 tax info...
Joan

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Wonderful Indulgences

Decadence…

It has been a week of wonderful indulgences...last Saturday I had brunch with friends at a funky coffee shop where we sat and chatted for hours listening to a great guitarist/singer.

One evening I treated a friend (and myself) to a facial. My friend has had many trials in her life and it was time she got pampered. When our facials were done, I came out to find her propped up against the wall with a glow to her face and a smile that I hadn’t seen in a long time. The ladies in the shop were kind enough to ‘make me over’ because I was going out to dinner at a very nice restaurant with another friend. It was absolutely divine to catch up, have a wonderful dinner and listen to live music. I had the most fantastic dinner – there was some fancy name for it, but it boiled down to Lobster Ravioli in a light creamy tomato sauce with shrimp – divine!

The next night, I had dinner with Cheryl Ball – yes, THE Cheryl Ball from the Aleene’s Creative Living television show. Cheryl and I go back a long, long way, so we chat about the past, present and the future. We had the most wonderful comfort Italian food on a rainy, cold evening.

One evening I took the short drive to where my family lives to drop off my nephew’s birthday gift. I got him one share of Marvel Enterprises since he’s a huge Spiderman fan. It won’t mean a lot to a 6 year old, but hopefully someday it will. But what this started was something at work – I told a co-worker and she told another co-worker and now she told one of her sons she’d front the money for a share of stock if he researches and finds out about the stock to purchase. Fantastic!

Back to my evening…I drove my parents to my brother’s house to look at his latest remodel project – last I was there, there was a 6 foot hole in their family room floor. The floor now looks fabulous!!! As we got back to my parents house, I asked them if they knew the Irving Berlin song What Will I Do? And sure enough they did. So, I popped in my ‘training’ CD and we sat in their driveway and sang the song. I haven’t practiced my singing hardly this week at all –yikes!

I indulged in a wonderful massage late last night, came home, chilled and went to bed early.

It’s Saturday and I don’t have many things on my to do list. We’re expecting a huge storm later today, so I’m planning on staying in until I go out tonight with a friend to dinner and to see the play Tuesdays with Morrie.

Are you thinking about the Craft Challenge for March? I know I sure am! I’ve started my list of projects.

Make it a fantastically creative day!

Joan

Sunday, February 17, 2008

President's Party

President’s Weekend Bash


Here’s what happens when two creative people get together for lunch…”So, are you bringing your fantastic chocolate dip to the party?” “Gee, I hadn’t thought about it.” That turned into a whole conversation on how last time I took the dip I did a strawberry topiary and how this time I had to tie it into the President’s Weekend theme – so within seconds, I was making a ‘tree’ to put cherries on (the old George Washington and the cherry tree story) and of course, we HAD to have a hatchet. All of this in a half hour lunch and we ate too and talked about the trade show!

So, after being busy Friday night and Saturday morning and not being able to come up with how to make a tree (Lindy suggested celery, but I just couldn’t visualize it!) I remembered this ‘tree’ I had that is supposed to hold photo charms. It’s just been sitting on my kitchen bar for ages and so it became the George Washington Cherry Tree. By the end of the evening people were decorating the tree with other items – we never did do the hatchet, but it really didn’t matter…

We had karaoke – yes, I’m hoarse today and I’m sure my voice teacher won’t be happy with me this afternoon. It was an exciting day for the hosts of the party – they set a wedding date!!! I’m sure Lauren will be sharing her wedding plans soon – I’ve seen the bridesmaid’s dresses and I hear from her California Mom’s that they are taking her dress shopping soon. Her fiancĂ©, Alex, was one of the guys who got dressed up as Barbie at my birthday party last year – nice to see ya Alex in regular clothes.

Today is a day to sleep in, have my voice lessons, run some errands, veg and it’s nice to know I have another day off tomorrow!

My friend, Barb, and I signed up to create the cutest ceramic project in a couple of weeks. It’s a Mother’s Day project – an adorable shoe.

Oh, yes, the last few days I’ve been exploring my next vacation – still haven’t decided on a place, but I’m having dinner with a friend Wednesday and the restaurant serves Tuscan food…

The ladies in my family have been planning a weekend celebration for my mom’s monumental birthday in a couple weeks. We LOVE to get away, but it doesn’t happen as often as we’d like – my sister-in-law has two little guys at home that keep her busy. Somehow we got into a tea theme for the weekend – we’re having high tea on Saturday, we’re making teacup birdfeeders, we’re making lavender candles in teacups and my gift to my mom is a clear glass teapot with blooming tea – if you haven’t seen the blooming tea, it’s worth checking into – I saw a set at Target yesterday – the tea comes in little pods, you add hot water and they ‘bloom’ into masterpieces – they’re tasty too.

Make it a creative day!

Joan

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day Gifts



Last Minute Valentine Gift


I have a friend who's been having a tough time with life lately, so I invited her for a facial next week. I thought I'd make her an invitation so the occasion would feel even more special - The Aleene's® Crystal Clear Tacky Spray™ makes quick work of layering papers, so it's perfect for last minute cards.

This idea is great for gift certificates too.


Happy Valentines Day!!!


It's been one fun moment after another today - we started out the day at work with a Snack Fest!!! Beautiful heart shaped cookies, of course, donuts and all kinds of goodies.
Then, I was off to visit my special friend, Barb, who's our receptionist to wish her a Happy Valentine's Day and that's when I saw it - Josh's car!!! There were balloons, window clings, a banner...and there's a package waiting for him at the front desk. Details Josh!
I found the denim candy box at my local drug store last night - I'm meeting a friend for lunch and this is just perfect. This morning I was looking at it and realized, I could have made the box...so, note for next year - save those old jeans and save the heart shaped boxes from this year. There are cute little pockets on the box - perfect for stuffing in little gifts or notes.
It's only a little after 9:00 a.m. and the day is shaping up for lots of fun!
Make it the best Valentine's Day EVER!!!
Joan

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Craft and Hobby Association

Jane Seymour, Lauren Johnston, PattieWack, Jack Canfield the Chicken Soup for the Soul guy, Cheryl Ball, Vanna White, Craft Products, Friends, Crafty Chica, Home Dec Ideas, Carol Duvall, Beads, Retro, Beaded Corvette, Road Trip...I'm EXHAUSTED!!!

There is so much to tell you about my trip to Anaheim...we had a great group on our 6 hour trip to Anaheim - Valerie, our VP of Marketing, her daughter, Allee now a designer at work and a Jenn our trend spotter - my, what a group we were! I started the adventure about 8:15 Saturday morning, picking everyone up in the company van and we laughed, we shared, we talked about our lives and we waited in traffic - it was a beautiful day with downtown LA looking particularly stunning since the air was clear and the snow on the mountains was wonderful.

To get to Anaheim and see the booth in all its glory was great! Everything went together and to see all our hard work in front of us was so powerful - we work on our booth for months coming up with themes, signs, new products...

We introduced Crafty Chica at the show - Kathy Cano-Murillo is a tremendous designer and businesswoman. I am so inspired by her and her giving ways. She shares so freely and has such an awesome, upbeat personality - I love being around her.













I was so taken by this mural - it was huge and all made out of beads - you can click on the image and see all the detail.








Aprons, aprons and more aprons!!! AND RETRO - These aprons were made from patterns from the 1950's. So cute!









More retro aprons!








I was so excited about his booth - It was like a little cabana and people sat and did their make-it and take-its.








This ice cream cone was stuck to the carpet on the aisleways of the show - they were probably 5 feet long - it really made we want to find some ice cream!!!








This blouse was on display in the Designer Showcase - it uses the Tulip Sticky Fabric Stencils.












friends...
when you've been in the industry as long as I have, there are people you know everywhere. I had the opportunity to get together with Lauren Johnston a few times - here we're taking a break to have a lovely convention center lunch - you'll notice that all of these pictures revolve around food...




Here's Lauren and me again, but this time with our old friend Marina - Marina was one of the art director's at Aleene's - we worked together on books and the magazine.









OK, not such a great picture of me, but I wanted to include a picture of Julianna - we worked together at Aleene's and at Jangle.com - she lives in New Jersey, so I just get to see her once a year.






And, Jane Seymour - she was demonstrating her watercolors kits - her pieces were beautiful! I was a HUGE fan of Medicine Woman (I believe I should have been born back in the 1800's!!!)






I kept walking passed his ginormous hanging thingie above a booth - it's made of ribbon...I have to incorporate this idea somewhere.







Here's a dress Debbie Rines recreated in Tulip Fashion Glitter.

More details later...I think I need a nap - oh, that brings to mind our trip home - someone, who shall remain nameless, gave us directions to save us time during the rush hour traffic - what took us 6 hours down took us 8 hours to get back home and even the six hours to get there should only have been about 4 to 4-1/2, so yes, I'm tired, but the trip was fantastic!!!

OK, still more...I had a kind of funky afternoon yesterday because I was SAD, but happy at the same time! I had to tell my friend, PattieWack goodbye and I don't know when I'll be able to see her again - she has taken a job in Nashville - just when I thought they'd settled in California again. My best to you, Pattie and Scott - to new beginnings my friends...

I'm sure more pictures will come my way as my friends make their way home - the trade show goes on through tomorrow afternoon.

Joan

Friday, February 08, 2008

It's almost time to leave for CHA...

Things keep piling up in front of my desk - unfortuantely, we're one of the last to leave for the trade show and we have a van, so that means we get stuck taking all the stuff people can't get in their cars or were forgotten. Check out all the fun we'll be having at the show http://duncancrafts.com/cha/

I'm in the process of writing a couple ads this afternoon, a friend is picking me up lunch at one of my favorite places - Japanese Kitchen, I'll load up the van and get outta here to pack up my bags, indulge in a 1-1/2 massage tonight and then get on the road early tomorrow morning for some awesome adventures.

I've lined up a couple of get togethers with old Aleene's friends - Lauren Johnston, Sharon Williamson, Julianna Hudgins and hopefully PattieWack will be able to squeeze me in for at least a hug.

Until next week - keep craftin' but, I have to share with you an email I received from a friend this morning...she knows me pretty well - I shared it with friends at work and thought you might like her insight.

Remember life is too short...take a minute and look around you wherever you are, THEN YOU WILL SEE 'your life is wonderful!' but YOU aren't letting YOURSELF SEE IT! Make it a HAPPY LIFE!!! - Love you Miss FS

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Valentine's Day temporarily interrupted for President's Weekend Party Ideas...




I'm getting ready to head to Anaheim on Saturday for the Craft and Hobby Association trade show, but I HAD to take time to make these cute invitations for a party on the 16th to celebrate President's Weekend.
My friend offered the house and I offered to do the planning. Since I can't do anything just 'Plain Jane', I made forty of these 'invitations' to the party. I started with clear shot glasses from the party store, added red, white and blue Jelly Bellies, covered the glasses with cellophane and tied them closed with red, white and blue star garland. I printed the invitations on my computer, cut them up and glued them together with a skewer inbetween. Aleene's Original Tacky Glue Sticks worked perfect for this project - and it dries super. We're almost ready to party when I get back from CHA - I'll have to come up with some party decorations - oh, my!
Speaking of CHA, I'm taking my camera and will be posting pictures and let you in on what's new in the craft industry after I get back on Tuesday. It's going to be a fantastic show!!! I can't wait to catch up with old friends and see what's new and exciting.
I promise to post more Valentine's projects...I just had to get my invitations out before I left.
Take care,
Joan

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Ornaments for Your Valentine
I LOVE napkin applique projects!!! There are gorgeous napkins out there to fit any personality. These make great party favors, napkin ornaments, anywhere you need a little - have fun finding the perfect napkins and ribbon roses to make this fun project.
Remove the unprinted plies of the napkins. Tear into small pieces.
Brush Aleene's Paper Napkin Applique Glue on the ornament. Place napkin pieces in glue. Brush glue over the napkin pieces and continue until ornament is covered. While the glue is still wet, sprinkle on Tulip Fashion Glitter.
Glue on ribbon roses, a bow and some baby's breath for the finishing touches!
The Aleene's Paper Napkin Applique Glue is washable too! You can apply napkins to T-shirt and other fabrics and you've 'painted' on a design.
Joan

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Heart Valentine's Day Quilt

I happened to find a picture of this little quilt I made ten years ago and thought I'd share it with you for a quick and easy Valentine's Day project.

This project is even easier now with the help of Tulip® Sticky Fabric Stencils™ - they are adhesive backed and ready to be applied to T-shirts, home dec fabric, walls - wherever you want some color!

Place the stencils on your prewashed fabric and dab Tulip® Soft Fabric Paints™ in the openings with a costmetic sponge and that's it for the painting - see, you didn't even have to get out a brush!

For the borders - just cut printed fabric the length of the painted fabric, sew it on and then add your side borders.

Sandwich your painted piece, batting and backing fabric. Sew around the edges leaving a couple inches unsewn. Flip, sew the opening closed and you have an adorable quilt.

This same idea is perfect for placemats, chair covers, potholders...you can use the same stencils to make a matching card or wrapping paper - have fun!

Happy today!

Joan

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Shopping, shopping, shopping!!!
The big CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) trade show starts next weekend, so it was marathon shopping day. I shop mostly on line and definitely not on Saturday - don't know why I did today, but I did and YIKES!!! I forget that I live in a rather large city and traffic backs up, restaurants get crowded and everything becomes hectic...I did spend over seven hours shopping - I needed clothes right down to new socks!

I started off at one of my favorite clothing stores - Coldwater Creek. I found a couple jackets that were perfect and way beyond my budget, but a girl's gotta look good at these type of things. So, splurge, I did. I know their clothes are high quality, so I'll have them in my closet for years to come (hear me justifying my purchases?). The teal jacket is suede and I usually don't wear that color, so I looked and looked for jewelry and couldn't find any, so I went to Michaels and got some beads and a heart charm on sale (the trade show ends the day before Valentine's Day). Now, I get to make them into a necklace. The rest of my shopping adventure did hold some great bargains - it will seem a tad bit odd to have on an expensive suede jacket and wearing a $1.20 tank top I got on sale underneath it.

I am still working on some last minute signs and things for the show and playing catch up after all the focus on the show. We have tons of new projects up on the web, so check them out - lots of Valentine's projects. http://www.duncancrafts.com/.

Speaking of Valentine's Day - I'll start posting some ideas myself tomorrow to help us get ready for the big day.
Friday night was hilarious - My brother, sister-in-law and her sister and I went to see the Vagina Monologues - it was funny, it was serious, it was every emotion wrapped up on one performance. Before the play, we went out, something again, I usually don't do on a weekend - we had a fantastic time, just sitting and talking and relaxing...I am very fortunate to have them in my life.

Back to getting ready for some Valentine's projects.

Joan