Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday and a Fun Challenge to Stretch Your Creativity...

Hi, everybody!  I'm so sorry not to have posted anything new in the past several days but you'll see in a few minutes why that was.  I have been a busy crafter despite the fact that I didn't show you what I have been working on before now.  This week at Amber's Crafts and Stuff, the designers were tasked with creating projects using a technique we have never used before! Well, even if you have been crafting as long as I have you know that, along with the constant influx of new products and tools, there are always new techniques being devised to create new and different results so that I had a plethora of untried techniques from which to choose.

I know I have said this a few times before but since I have a number of new followers who are most likely unaware, I will tell it one last time.  I lost my job in August of last year after my company was sold and the new owners laid off over half of my department plus 125 other employees throughout the company. That was quite devastating to say the least because I had been with the company almost 15 years and had aspirations of retiring from there in a few years.  Needless to say, I have been searching for a new position since that time and have, as yet, been unsuccessful in that endeavor. They say that every cloud has a silver lining and even though I had to look really hard to discover it, I found that my situation is no exception. Aside from not having to wake up at 6 every morning for the time being, the other good that has come out of this unfortunate situation is that I have learned to make do with less and I have also become more creative in my crafting. Luckily for me (take heed, paper and ribbon hoarders, everywhere!), I had accumulated a little bit of a stash of scrapbooking papers, stickers, ribbons and other goodies before I was let go so I have been able to stay busy with my paper crafting while I have been sitting at home, looking for a job and trying not to use any more gasoline than I absolutely have to. This has resulted in an ever-growing greeting card collection along with a few mini albums and altered, repurposed or recycled projects.

I have also learned some new techniques... how timely, right? LOL! Those who have been following me regularly for a while are aware of my love of flowers and boxes. Well, let me tell you, in case you didn't already know, that living on unemployment with no additional income allows little to nothing in the household budget for crafting supplies! As I stated, I have a decent stash of tools and materials but the way things have been going so far, I decided that I had better learn to stretch that stash as far as I can because it may take quite a while longer to find a new job. Soooo.... I learned to make my own paper flowers! Mostly I have been teaching myself to make roses because I use so many of them and they are one of the most difficult types to make yourself. It took a few tutorials and a lot of practice but I think I have successfully gotten the technique down pat. At least, I think so. That's not to say that my personal technique can't be improved upon or that it won't evolve to some degree going forward but for now, I'm very happy with the way they have been turning out.

Despite my somewhat futile attempts to de-clutter, I have been hanging on to the most wonderful box for about 3 years, planning to do something spectacular with it but not sure exactly what I wanted to do. This box was received as a Christmas gift from one of my company's outside counsel and originally it contained the most delicious Belgian chocolates from a confectionery named Gudrun. The box measures 10 1/2" x 8" x 2 1/2" and opens on the front in the middle, sort of like a gate-fold card does. It's really cool and I have not seen another one like it since I got it. It also came in its own sturdy gift bag which I also saved and will do something with later.

I completely covered every surface of the box with different scrapbooking papers and cardstock and decorated every side but the back (or bottom in this case) with Copic markers, pearls, flowers, bling and butterflies. I LOVE the way it turned out and now I have not one, but two boxes to hold my greeting card stash. How great is that?! There are several pictures (nothing new there, I know!) so get comfy and grab a beverage of some sort. My hope is that you'll be interested enough to make it through to the end of this lengthy post.

My Butterfly Garden

The dark pink and black roses in the upper left and bottom right corners are the roses I made with my own nimble fingers. The others are some I bought at Michael's.  The next couple of pictures illustrate how the box opens.  The oval-shaped tab in the center has a magnet embedded in it that holds the box closed when both "doors" are shut.  

I couldn't decide whether to line the inside of the box with some pretty pink paper but since it's very clean and in great shape I decided to save my paper for a better use.  I really am becoming quite frugal, aren't I? If you'd known me BU (before unemployment), you'd realize that's not my nature!  Heh heh!


All of the butterflies are by K & Company, from the Susan Winget collection.  The blingy swirls are by Say it with Crystals.

The Recollections pearls, which were originally pale pink, were colored with Copic maker RV 09.  The black and cream DP I used on all sides but the back is from an 8 1/2" square paper pad by K & Company simply called Black and Ivory.  There are some gorgeous patterns in this pad.  After I punched out my flower shapes, I colored the pieces with one of my Copics, RV06.  


This paper I used on the back was a 12" x 12" sheet from a pad of textured cardstock I got at Michael's on clearance for $1.49!  I love the damask diamond pattern on this one.

The box will hold all of the cards I have made right now, which total 13.  It will hold a lot more if they aren't as 3-dimensional as I make most of my cards. 

Here are some of the other roses I made while I was working on my technique.  I used double-sided cardstock for all of the flowers in the next 2 photos.  You can use single-sided paper too if you don't mind the white showing or if you color it with something that won't bleed through to the other side.  

You can see the delicate patterns on the paper if you click on the pictures to enlarge them.  Almost all of the papers I used are from various collections by K & Company.  Que Sera Sera is one of my favorites as the patterns are smaller and more colorful.

The green roses in the bottom left corner are the first ones I made.  Single-sided paper from Basic Grey's Lime Rickey stack was used for these.  The tiny ones were something of a challenge to make when I first started out but became easier as I became more adept.  If you click on the picture, it will enlarge so that you can see the white paper on the inside of the tiny blossoms.  There is one oddball dogwood-type blossom I made with some of the leftover flower shapes.  

I used a combination of techniques but for the most part, I credit one of my favorite blogs, Dana's Inspirations. Dana's You Tube tutorials (you can find a link in the right sidebar of her blog) are entertaining as well as educational and she demonstrates several different types of flower making techniques in her 3-part series. The next technique I want to try is rolled ribbon, felt and tulle flowers. I don't think they take as much time to make and they appear at first glance to be easier to learn. Check out Dana's blog if you get a chance and if you do, let her know I sent you.   

I hope you enjoyed seeing my project. Stop by Amber's blog to see the wonderful projects created by the other design team members. They're sure to inspire you to join in the fun and try a technique you have been wanting to learn. Thanks for visiting me today!

I have entered this project into the following challenges:

Crafts and Me - Glitter
Papertake Weekly - Anything Goes
Colour Create Challenges - Color (Pink, Black and White)
The Paper Shelter - Anything Goes
A Spoonful of Sugar - Tons of Texture
Clear It Out Tuesday - Make a Flower
The Stamping Boutique - Handmade Flowers
The Crazy Challenge - Just Add Flowers
Simon Says Stamp & Show Monday - Anything But A Card
Paper Crafting Journey - For The Ladies

Happy crafting!


  1. Love that projest!! Especially the flowers! I am passing along this award that you can pick up here!

  2. Wow!! I would have never have guessed that was a box!!! Absolutely fabulous!


  3. Omg!! That is so pretty! great job! Have an award for you over at my blog, Congrats!

  4. That box is awesome! I love those flowers too! Good luck on the job search, and have fun crafting while you can. Stay positive!
    I am a new follower...if you want to visit me, I'm at

  5. Oh Ms. Anniebee, this box turned out awesome!! I lOVE your handmade flowers you did a fantastic job on them!! I keep trying my hand at it, but I am lacking patience! LOL I keep trying thought!! Regarding the job search, hang in there and best of luck. You have a really good outlook on all of it!
    Tracy Valure

  6. This is so fantastic. I want to turn one of the many shoe boxes i've hoarded (to do something with lol)Into a gate foldie type opening box. This is just too sumptious for words (though I'm using a lot of them right now). I want to pick you for my top pick this week lol. Your flowers are the best hand made I've seen, I've love the glitter on them. Dana is great isn't she. Has this become addictive now lol. Hugs lin

  7. What a stunning looking box! It looks fantastic. Great work! Thanks for sharing with us over at TPS Challenges this week.
    Love n hugs

  8. wow just gorgeous, and your flowers look amazing!
    thank you so much for playing with clear it Out

  9. I like all details on the box. Lovely flowers.
    Lovely birthday card.
    Thanks for joining us at The Crazy Challenge this week!

  10. This is fabulous - really creative use of your papers. Very pretty.

  11. This is a fabulous box- not surprised you kept it!! You've decorated it beautifully and your handmade flowers are stunning, too!! :) I've been trying to make a few myself lately- they are soo expensive to buy pre-made!! :S - but nothing so intricate as these so far!! :)
    Thanks for sharing with us at My Partner In Crafting Crime this time!! :)
    hugs, Rachel x

  12. Hi Anniebee,

    As you may well know i am disabled and was a nurse for many years before i was retired at 33 through ill health, i know!!! what a shock, i loved my job and at 43 still haven't come to terms with my situation or the constant pain im in it caused severe depression, and not one hour goes by, painfree, however, i find friends on the internet and crafting, helps me through it all, including my best friend, my husband of 9 years, he has always known me as disabled, sometimes that's a blessing but sometimes i feel he missed the best part of me........i acknowledge your determination and never give up attitude as it is close to mine,and whilst money is very tight here too, i am to, happy that i have quite agood stash of everything, lol...i just wanted to say as your newbie follower that your story touched my heart and i also wanted to say how astonished i was when i saw your handmade roses, i could have sworn (if i didnt already know) that they were shop bought, you clever thing you!!! amazing, you are a true inspiration!!! well done, and im so glad i found your blog and you mine!!! hugs, Vick

  13. Such a beautiful box and collection of handmade roses! Thanks for joining us at Flutterby Wednesday this week! :)

  14. Hello! I love your box...couldn't even tell it was a plain box to start with! It is absolutely the flowers, the embellishments, the papers! Just fabulous! Thanks for joining us at Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge! <3 Candy

  15. Your box is so amazing! I love all those flowers and butterflies. Thanks for sharing the with us at Clear It Out.

  16. Hi there again Annie, in response to your message on my blog......Bless you darling!!! I know exactly what you mean, me and John (my hubby) believe that everything in life hap[pens for a reason, firstly, i wanna say....Im not mad, but i am a spiritual psychic medium, so believe in our lives being mapped out for us and its only our own choices that can change the path we are on, i also believe that if we go with our gut instincts and treat people how we would like to be treated, you cannot go wrong in life, luckily there are still some lovely people out there and you my dear, are one of them, so thankyou again for following me and i just know a blog friendship has been sparked! see you again in blogland sometime......if you're on FB, find me vicky off to be now as its 2.50 am here, bye for now, god bless
    vick xxxx

  17. Love your chocolate box and your flowers. You are one talented lady! ... :0)

  18. Annie, your project is awesopme, it's really very gorgeous, love all the flowers and butterflies and the colourcombo is very pretty too
    thanks for joining the TSB challenge

  19. Hello Anniebee. Wishing good luck with job hunting .
    Love your journalling , very interesting ,clear and precise. Your handmade flowers are divine . The box , amazing ! Thank you for sharing and linking to Michelle's Make it Monday.

  20. Amazingly beautiful project.You can see the amount of work and creativity that has gone into this.Thanks for joining us at Craft Your Passion :D
    Lisa x

  21. nothing like the good ole sayin' ~ NECESSITY is the MOTHER of invention and you have truly proved that saying right!! 'cause your box, cards and flowers are just WONDERFUL!!

    THANK YOU for playing along with the teamies of Simon Says Stamp and Show!!!

  22. WOW! That box is over the top gorgeous!!! And the flowers? Amazing!

  23. I popped over to your blog from 'Make it Monday' and I am so pleased I did. Wow!! what a fabulous are a true inspiration..not only craft wise...but life as well. Good on you...You do wonderful work.
    Luv CHRISSYxx

  24. OMGoodness I am soooo impressed, Annie. Your box is beyond beautiful. If I had to choose a winner, it would be your for your roses and stunning creation but also for your optomistic outlook in life. I am follower 90. I have so enjoyed your blog. Perhaps we can make a swap of some crafting supplies to help you stretch your creativity?
    Thanks for joining us at Craft Your Passion this week for our "Anything Goes Challenge." We hope to see you again on Monday for our next challenge. XX
    Barbara GDT
    Would love for you to visit my blog and become a follower too:
    Good luck on your job search.

    9 April 2011 03:37

    Post a Comment

  25. Holy moly batman!!!!! That is one gorgeous project!! I am floored by all the beauty!!! You should sell the flowers you make!! I have that same motto as you, use what I've got!!! It's almost working!!! Thanks for joining us at the Freshly Brewed flowers challenge.


  26. FAbulous box - gorgeous papers and embellies!! Your flowers are gorgeous too! Thanks for joining in our challenge at Colour Create, Juliexx

  27. This box is absoultly lovely! All of the little details are amazing and your roses are just gorgeous. I think you have mastered making these beauties! I too have been living off unemployment and feeling it in my crafting :( so I feel for you. Good luck in your job hunt and thank you for sharing this project with us at Freshly Brewed Challenges!

  28. That is a stunning project! Wow...lot's of beautiful flowers! Thanks so much for joining TSB challenge!

  29. card, sweetie and I love the image you have used….. Thanks for joining us at TPS.....


  30. Wow! Truly amazing, what a fantastic box You've made it beautifully, good luck on the job front, thanks for joining us at TPS tis week.
    Love your blog.

  31. Fab project love the image and colours thanks for joining us at papertake weekly
    Angie x

  32. Beautiful .......such cute .......and nice colors.....thanks for joining us this week at TPS......


  33. What a beautiful project - such stunning attention to detail.
    Thanks for joining in with us at papercrafting journey this week and good luck x
    ((hugs)) Suzie xoxo

  34. Thanks so much for playing along with My Partner in Crafting Crime's 'layer it up' challenge! Good luck with the extra draws!

  35. OMG!! What a FABULOUS box! Super flowers. Thanks for joining us at TSB.
    Hugs, Heide


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