The week before Christmas is always a busy time, but the kids and I had started our Christmas break on the 14th, so we had time to bake, clean, shop and (for me), get caught up on the many little things that seem to slide during a busy homeschool week. Like bookkeeping.
I also grabbed every available minute to create. In addition to painting a vintage sign for my husband, I made eight entries for a big competition held by Spellbinders.The Spellbinders Explore Beyond: Craft to Win sweepstakes gave me the opportunity to create using my favourite dies and because I challenged myself to enter something in each of the six categories, I really stretched my abilities as a crafter.
The jewellery making challenge was the hardest for me. I wanted to make something that I would be willing to wear, and something that was real jewellery, and that eliminated anything too “paper crafty”. I ended up die cutting shrink plastic and colouring it with alcohol inks to create this bracelet, but I would say it’s more something I would give my girls to wear than me. It’s cute though!
Next I made a scarf and brooch for the fabric arts category. I used wool felt and a thrifted sweater to create the scarf, and the brooch is die cut using felt as well. I love the rich colours. Again, I don’t want to ever make anything I wouldn’t wear myself, so I made it to coordinate with my new winter coat which is a rich emerald green.
For the mixed media category I made a banner that is meaningful because of what I’ve learned about gratitude this past year. I have been more joyful than I’ve ever been in my life because I’m learning to look for a gift in every circumstance, and little reminders like this help! I painted canvas sheets and layered them with die cuts, and my hands were stained with ink for days after this project!
This was my entry into the home decor category, and it’s the project I am most proud of. This photo frame has three sides, and each one features a photo of one of my three children. I used my dies the most creatively for this project, even die cutting fancy “legs” for my frame using the negative shape of a die. I would be proud to display this in my home.
Working with paper is definitely more in my comfort zone. I made two cards for the competition and two layouts.
I enjoyed the scrapbook layouts the most, and am excited about working on more album pages in the new year. I’m planning a series of classes focusing on scrapbooking as well, and I love the way that documenting memories through scrapbooking helps to make me a more thankful person as I cherish family memories.
Whether or not any of my projects are chosen to win the competition, creativity is never wasted. I had a great week creating these projects and found new and interesting ways to use my Spellbinders dies. Fun!