You asked for it, A DIY Planner Tutorial {on the cheap!}

Hi friends. I am super excited to share today’s project with you, an inexpensive, custom, refillable planner! Did I mention is was cheap to make?

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I even made the jump last night and moved everything over from my month at a glance calendar, I love having more room to write “to-dos” in the week at a glance book as well as having the monthly calendar pages for other projects and events coming up. Best of all I was able to put as many pockets and sections as I liked which was the problem I had with other planners, some things were redundant and it just looked like you were creating more work for yourself if you used it. I think a planner should make you more efficient, not less. But, there is room to get creative! Watch the video to see how I made it, you can whip one of these up in about an hour and I bet you have most of the supplies already!

Video!

Supplies:

  • Mini 3 ring binder (I used an Avery brand one that I picked up for $1 at Mardens but they will be $5-$7 at an office supply store)
  • Small week at a glance planner (Dollar Tree with the back to school stuff)
  • Patterened paper
  • Lamanator or contact paper if desired
  • Washi tape
  • Paper clips
  • Ribbon
  • Adhesive
  • Free printable calendar pages from Scattered Squirrel

I made pockets to hold things like pens, my checkbook, receipts and project notes (I communicate with my clients via email mostly so I simply print out emails and put them in the pockets.) I had the habit of making notes and leaving them on my nightstand, in the car and at the computer. This binder is small enough to bring around with me and if all I need is the week-at-a-glace I can take it with me because it is removable. I could never get into using a calendar on my phone or computer, I need to write it down, even if I never look at it again if I write it I usually will remember it and the planner will ensure that I remember it BEFORE t is too late LOL!

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I am not new to using a planner, I have used a month at glance for a couple of years, it was the only way to keep all of my freelance projects mapped out, I have slowly progressed from random notebooks and sticky notes to everything in one place and I like it! Now, if only I could get my house this organized. Baby steps :) Let me know what you think and if you plan to give this planner a try. I only had to spend $2 to make this, the rest of the stuff was in my stash. I have been asked by a lot of people to make a DIY planner since the cute, popular, scrapbook company ones cost $50-$100. I hope you liked it! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Back Home in my Bubble of Solitude

Hi friends! I got back from Boston late last night, The fresh Maine air has never smelled so sweet! Boston is a beautiful city and on a summer weekend everyone in the world seems to agree because they are all there too! We took the girl scouts to see the Boston Museum of Science and Aquarium, they were wonderful, but crowded, really, really crowded. We rode a subway for the first time, the girls got a kick over being able to stand as it moved (imagine the domino effect of 24 first time subway riders LOL!) and we took the Amtrak down which was my first time (I can remember) traveling on a train, it was nice. I dealt with my severe travel/crowd anxiety (I will be unreachable for about a week as I decompress in my bubble of solitude) and we all made it home safe and sound. I am a country mouse. Before I left I made this art journal page:

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I needed some art therapy before embarking on this trip. If you want to see how it is made watch the video!

Video!

The stencils and stamps are by Patti Tolley Parrish, A wonderful mixed media artist I met during the #lovesummerart collaboration last month. You can find the stencils I used here and her stamps at her ETSY shop. Her designs were unlike any of the stencils I owned, I think they will be a nice addition to my collection. The nice thing about stamps and stencils is that you can’t use them up, some of my stencils are 20 years old and I still pull them out. I am so glad they are more popular than ever, The nice thing about art is that you can’t worry about anything when you are creating, try it, you will see! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Blogging from Bean Town!

Hi friends! I’m in Boston this weekend blogging in a Starbucks on my phone:

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Wow, I just took my first coffee pic with my phone. I am a modern woman! I’ll tell you all about my trip tomorrow, right now my travel companions are ready for the pool!

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That was the view from my room! Cool huh? Til tomorrow happy crafting!

Won’t you Join Me on The Coast to Paint?

Hi Friends! Boy, we should totally all go to the coast of Maine someday to paint, dont’cha think? Until that day comes you can paint this coastal Maine inspired scene with me.

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I am using a Maine state shaped plaque from Unfinished Wood Co., They have cutouts for every state as well as beautiful monogram shapes in all sorts of cool themes including nautical (my fave!) They are even offering an awesome discount for all of my viewers, you can get 40% off your ENTIRE order with the coupon code thefrugalcrafter but hurry, the deal is only good for one week so order before 8/7/15 if you want to snag that deal, and it is a deal because at full price their wood is reasonable. Unfinished Wood Co. ships to USA and Canada. Now on to the tutorial!

Video!

Supplies:
Maine wooden cutout: Unfinished wood Co
Acrylic Paint (M Graham and Liquatex artist acrylics) in colors:

  • Ultramarine blue
  • Yellow Ocher
  • Sap Green
  • Titanium white
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Aliz. crimson

White gesso
Acrylic paint brushes & Palette knifes (use a cut up credit card if you don’t have palette knives)
Varnish (Minwax Polycrylic-gloss)

Tips-Prepping and finishing:

If you have never painted on wood before you will want to know this, make sure you seal the wood either with gesso or a waterbased wood sealer, it will make the paint blend and flow so much nicer, otherwise the acrylic will absorb into the wood, dry too quickly and you will need more paint. Also follow up with a varnish to unify the sheen and make it easy to clean as well as protect the surface of the paint. You can use water or oil based varnish but oil based tends to yellow. I like Minwax Polycrylic but Delta also make an affordable varnish. I hope you try out this painting, it was really fun to paint.

Thanks to Unfinished Wood Co. for sponsoring today’s project, if you check them out be sure to use the coupon code thefrugalcrafter to get 40% off your entire order until August 7th, oh and let me know what you got, there are so many cool designs that I am curious to know what your favorites are, I can’t wait to paint my monogrammed anchor! It’s a project for the “She Shed” my backyard bungalow that I have been puttering away at, of course by the time I get it done they’ll be snow on the ground LOL! So many projects, so little time! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Homemade Lip Balm {you can use what you have!}

Hi friends! I have made lots of lip balms and glosses over the years and what I love is that you can tweak the mixture to get just the glossiness and softness you like.

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I experimented with glycerin this time because I wanted a lip balm that would really moisturize rather than just coat. One batch came out perfect and one had a puddle of minty liquid which was the glycerin and peppermint extract that did not stay dispersed because I did not keep stirring it as it cooled. I just wanted to let you know in case that happens to you. Also you do not need glycerin, you can use more oil instead. At first I tried to make the balm with no oil, only glycerin but it was unusable. I added oil and it was perfect! I will provide the recipe and substitution suggestions below the video. Also, don’t toss a batch you don’t like, add to it until you like the lip balm!

Video!

You will need
1 part beeswax (you can get it in pellets or a block and you will have to grate it)
1 part food grade mineral oil or coconut oil
*note: Use 2 parts of oil if you want to omit the glycerin.
Up to 2 parts vegetable glycerin
2-3 drops of flavoring oil per tablespoon of product (optional) *also you can add some lipstick to the mix if you want a tinted gloss. You can also add a bit of sweetener to the gloss if you like.

Tools:
Glass measuring cup
measuring spoon
1oz food grade jar

Directions:
1. Mix all ingredients except for flavoring in glass jar.
2. Met ingredients by placing jar in a pan of hot water (double boiler method)
3. Let cool until you see the wax turn white at the edge of the cup. Make sure you keep stirring the mixture as is cools to keep the glycerin mixed into the oils and wax otherwise you might have a puddle of minty glycerin in your lip balm! *If using metal containers you do not need to let it cool at all but do make sure the mixture is thoroughly stirred.
4. Pour into 1oz pots and let cool completely before using.

Troubleshooting- If your balm is not to your liking, no worries, you can scrape it back into the measuring cup and tweak the recipe so it is perfect for you. You might want to write down what you did to be able to recreate it later!

  • If your balm is too dry add more oil.
  • if your balm has a “puddle” reheat and stir well, probably the glycerin settled as it cooled and separated from the wax.
  • If your balm is too gooey or glossy add a bit more wax.
  • If putting your balm into “chapstick” tubes you will need a waxier mix but for tins or pots you can have a glossier (wetter) mix. It is up to you because you are making it! You can even melt some candy melts, AKA colored chocolate, into the balm for fun flavors.

Even Easier BONUS recipe for kids!

This next recipe is perfect for kids to make as a party favor and it really works too and since you do not need to melt anything it is perfect for kids to make in the PET plastic containers from Papermart.

Supplies: All Vegetable Shortening (I like Crisco) and powdered drink mix (like Kool-Aid) and sweetener if desired.

Directions: Fill plastic pot half way with shorting. Add 1/8 teaspoon of powdered drink mix to the pot and stir with a popsicle stick until combined.

Do you have a favorite lip balm recipe? If so share it in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Sponsored by Papermart.

Stamp School #6: Layering stamps!

Hi friends! Last week my hubby and I celebrated 14 years of wedded bliss, this is the card I made him:

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I really like layered stamp designs, also called 2 step stamping, because it is quick and you get beautiful results.  I am using some watercolor and accent stamps from Rubbernecker today. I often reach for their watercolor stamps when I want to make a quick, yet beautiful card. There are a few tips I have for you on lining up your rubber stamps, the most important tip is that you do not have to be perfect lining them up to get a beautiful result. Watch the video to see how I made this card.

Video!

Supplies you will need for this card:

  • Stamps: Rubbernecker, they have all the stamps I used on sale and free shipping over $25, thanks guys!
  • Ink: Black (Ranger Archival) Shades of red (Memento)
  • Color Dusters (optional)
  • Black Grosgrain Ribbon (Dollar Tree)
  • White cardstock
  • Paper trimmer or ruler and knife
  • Frame die or stencil (optional)

I hope you try some of these techniques on your next card. I know many people get frustrated with the layered stamps but hopefully you can relax and give it another try. Another tip, if you ever feel like you are not getting a technique, make the card anyway then set it aside and look at it tomorrow because it will look so much better. You can then tell if it needs something else or if it is great as is, hindsight is 20/20 as they say. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Brush Up on Your Brushes!

Hi friends! I have been asked a lot lately about brushes and what different ones were used for and also what brushes were best for what medium so I decided to make a video about that. Find out what brush is best for what paint and how to make your brushes last longer!

Video!

I hope you found that helpful! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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