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home decor — Marjorie Towers

home decor

Summer Time

October 9, 2013

in Design Team, home decor, Trisha

Design Team member Trisha Easley made this absolutely beautiful summer canvas. How perfect for those of us lucky enough to live here in Brookings.

august blog 1

It almost has to be seen in person to be appreciated but here are few close ups so you can see some of the detail:

august blog 2

august blog 3

august blog 4

Here is how she describes her design process:

Start with a 12 x 12 stretched canvas. Coat with Gesso and let dry (if you get a few crackles that’s OK it adds to the distressed look!!

Paint canvas with your favorite colors of acrylic paint. I used Tim Holtz Distress Paint (Salty Ocean is my favorite, this week!) and Golden Fluid Acrylic.

Apply paint horizontal let dry.

Once canvas is dry I used a variety of different effects. Caps dipped in Interference Paint, Stamps dipped in Acrylic paint and Faber-Castell’s “Stampers Big White Pen”

I also printed out some things on the computer cut them in strips and glued them on.

To decorate the Maya Road Vintage Wood pieces, I painted them with Interference Fluid Acrylic. I outlined the birds with blue paint. Let them dry.

I stamped all the birds and the twigs with 3D-Stempel-Farbe Black 3D paint. The stamps are from 7gypsies “Collections from the journey”

Glue Birds on at random.

On the top and bottom of the canvas I used Clear Granular Gel.

First I put a layer of clear granular gel very randomly then laid some polyester netting in it and the Maya Road Wood Twigs. I wanted it to look like driftwood on the shore with frothy water. When you use a heat tool on it the netting it shrivels up and looks like seaweed.

When it was dry I used some more paint and glued tiny beads and bobbles.

Thanks Trisha for the inspiration!



Cheryl, along with Mary Ruth, is one of our Design Team members who lives over in Grants Pass.  I think I will call them the “valley girls”.  Actually, I was pretty excited that someones outside of our local community was interested in making the commitment to drive over to the coast every month just to be part of the store’s Design Team.  It was very honoring. Cheryl has a lot of experience doing booth demos and teaching classes at CHA.  Maybe we can even get her to come to the store and do a class here. She loves Graphic 45 and you will see their influence on a couple of her projects.

Here is one of her challenge projects using the Prima Marketing Hello Pastel

pink card

Isn’t that just a lovely lacey look? Here are the instructions:

  1. Cut pink cardstock to 5 1/2″ x 11″
  2. Score center to create a 5 1/2 ” square card.
  3. Cut paper doily (Spellbinders Gold Elements), adhere under each side of a 5″ x 5″ piece of printed paper
  4. With fold on top, adhere a 5″ x 5″ piece of printed cardstock in center
  5. Cut out floral decor and adhere to the center of the printed cardstock
  6. Die cut four corner pieces and adhere to each corner with foam tape
  7. Add floral embellishments and brad to left side of lattice-like window
  8. Punch decorative corner on a 5″ x 5″ piece of white cardstock, adhere inside.

envelope card

This card has an envelope look. I love the gray tones.

  1. Cut two pieces of contrasting card stock 11 3/4″ x 6 1/4″
  2. Score at 3 1/4″ and another score at 7 1/2″
  3. Cut angled corners on the 3 1/4″ piece to form the flap
  4. Cut two 5″ border strips from Spellbinders Floral Doily Accent
  5. Adhere between the two pieces of patterned paper on each side of the flap.
  6. Die cut the flap overlay from Spellbinders Gold Elements One from a soft tone of blue-tone cardstock
  7. Cut out additional pieces for the inside from the same sets, layer for dimension.
  8. Add flowers and brad elements to the front flap.


This is a picture of the notebook she submitted as a favorite project.  Here’s what it looks like when you open it up:

notebook open

notebook open

She also submitted this wall hanging that uses last year’s Graphic 45 summer line (sadly all sold out):

wall hanging

But you could certainly use another beachy line and perhaps add a photo or two for a personal look. Love the corrugated cardboard for the background.  I’m sure you are as excited as I am to see what Cheryl will be contributing to our blog this year.



I stopped by Dotty’s home on Christmas Eve for a little cheer. To visit my friend, to be sure, and to see her home all decorated for the holidays.  She always does such a beautiful job.  She loves the victorian look and has acquired such a beautiful collection of simple and elegant decor items.  And then she tastefully arranges them.

What really caught my eye was the way she used rosettes. Small ones, big ones and everything in between.  They looked so great.  Check it out:

122911 3

She had them strung across the mantle.  They were made using 12×12 music note paper that we have at the store.  This paper comes with black notes on a cream background on one side and cream notes on black background on the reverse side.  She said, “I thought I could even turn them around for Halloween.”

122911 2

If you decide you want try these, be sure to keep in mind the formula for the circumference of a circle (pi r squared).  For example, if the radius is 2 inches, you will need more than 12 inches in length because 2×2=4 and 4 multiplied by 3.14 (pi)  is more than 12. So cut yourself two strips of 2×12 paper and glue then together.

And look at all the tags on the swag over the doorway:

122911 1

Of course, both tags and rosettes could be hung as tree decorations.

Great ideas don’t you think. And you have almost 12 months to get them made for next Christmas!

Happy creating~



Just in: some Kaiser Craft do-it-yourself products.  They do such a nice job with the pressed wood stuff. I got in more of the 9-drawer cubbies.  These are perfect for storing little goodies, like all that Tim Holtz stuff you may have in plastic bags and who knows where else. It’s like the one I have at the store.

Kaiser Craft drawers

We also have the Writing Desk.  As one customer said, it would be a lovely gift filled with handmade cards. And I think My Minds Eye Lost & Found Two would be a perfect paper to cover it with.

And if you are looking for Christmas decor, there are two different items: One is a wonderful Advent Calendar with 24 little boxes around a center picture (use some Christmas scrapbook paper or a cherished photo).  The boxes can hold any number of goodies: a small prize, piece of candy, ornament. And it will last way beyond Christmas 2011.  The second is a sleigh with reindeer (sold separately) to hold Christmas cards or whatever else you want. The reindeer would actually be super cute all by themselves.

Stop in and take a look! Mention this blog and get 20% any of the above mentioned products. Offer good September 13-19, 2011.



Ah…the long delayed post on organizing stamps.

The simple truth of the matter is I love stamps, maybe even more than all those beautiful papers.  And I love wood stamps the most.  I love they way they look, the grain of the wood, the lovely stamped designs; I love they way they feel in my hand and I love they way they stamp, solid, with substance. But that being said, they take up a lot of room to store.  In my studio (ie. converted bedroom) at home, I have an entire wall of stamps.  My husband affectionately calls it my “Wall O’ Stamps” and even made a sign that says as much:

Nov 24

This is really just a simple bookcase.  I like the way the shelves are adjustable for height. I can stack stamps 2 and 3 thick, with the taller ones in back.  I love that my stamps are out where I can see them.  Fact: I use my stamps more when I can see them. I can even stack my SU! plastic boxes on these shelves.  But they do require that you have an entire wall that you can dedicate to storage.  And this is not even all of my stamps.  I have more in seven 6-drawer rolling plastic carts under my four 2×4 work tables. Yes, I know.  It’s an obsession.  I have a lot of wood stamps.  And that doesn’t take into account all the wood stamps in my larger studio (ie. Creating Lasting Memories).

wood stamps at clm

These cabinets at the store also have adjustable shelves.  They are in the classroom supply area.  Stop by the store and check them out anytime!

An alternative is Best Craft Organizer.  This storage system is customizable.  Order at the store.  They ship directly to your home.  Brochures are available at the store with exact sizes.  There are short and tall organizers with 3 drawer sizes: 1″, 2″, and 3 1/2″.  The 1″ drawers were designed for wood stamps.  And here’s the best part: from now until the end of March, Best Craft is offering these organizers for 25% off. Their options include desks, computer cabinets, paper storage, ribbon storage, dividers that go inside the drawers for storing small items, etc.  You must order through a distributor (ie. Creating Lasting Memories) but you can check it out at this website:


Now, to cling and clear stamp storage.  The number of different storage systems here is huge.  And when they come out with one you like, it gets discontinued.  Hence, I have three different ones I have started and my favorite is no longer available.  And to make things even more interesting, cling stamp sets come in a huge variety of plastic sheet sizes, as you know if you have ever purchased very many of these.  Teeny tiny, 2×3 up to 6×12. That’s the American way = free-enterprise.  But I do like Tim Holtz’s leather tooled organizer; it is perfect for his cling sets with their 3-hole punched plastic sheet.  Unfortunately, that is not a standard size (8 1/2 x 11) 3-hole punched sheet.  It is specific to his stamps (of course!). But it is gorgeous and I have three of them at the store.  He does sell plastic protector pockets to put similar or smaller sized stamp sheets in. Here’s a photo of Tim’s:

TH cling

Inkadinkado  sells a nice holder which has a cool little drawer inside for holding your acrylic blocks.  And you could always just use an 8 1/2 x 11 3-ring binder with regular page protectors.  These can be stitched to the exact size you need. I have one of these at the store too.  And Jennifer McGuire has an excellent post on this:


In fact, check out her entire studio and how she organizes it.  Amazing.  Enlightening. Overwhelming. So organized. Wow.


For more organizing tips, Cropper Hopper has a pretty write up too at this address:


And we can order anything by Cropper Hopper for you at the store.

Lastly, I promised to show you a decorating idea for your layouts.  This is so simple and looks so good.  It involves using drapery rods, just the cheap ones that you can purchase at Fred Meyer.  The length depends on the amount of room you have on a wall (yes, again, you need wall space).  I’ve seen these mounted way up high, though, where you may have empty space.  Use the ring clips that normally hold your curtains to hold your page protectors.  I put my layouts in page protectors with the holes up and then line up the clips with the holes.  It takes two clips per page.  I have two of these in my studio.  One is over the bed and it holds one 2-page layout and one 1-page layout.  The second one is over my desk and holds one 2-page layout.  They are easy to swap out.  I do this all the time, often displaying my latest completed layout “on the wall.” I love it!

on the wall

Not a great photo but hopefully you get the idea.

So that’s it for organizing for January, 2011.  I want to tell you that I have personally been so encouraged by all of you who have taken me up on the suggestion to get organized.  I think you will be glad you did it.  It’s easier to work when you can find stuff. It’s been fun to find product that you had forgotten you had. You probably can’t wait for the garage sale in July!! Suggestion here: put prices on that stuff right now (use the seller number you had last year; we always save those for you) before you store that box (boxes?) away.

Thanks for looking!



This week I want to address the subject of embellishments.  This category is huge for some of us.  I already discussed ribbon and fiber in my first post on this subject.  But what about all those brads (not to mention scads of other metal and plastic things – all that Tim Holtz stuff we love!) and alphabet stickers and flowers and chipboard and die cuts and…..problem is, lots of packaging that’s takes up lots of room.

Let me begin by saying the first step is to sort and purge.  How do you sort?  Group like items together.  Put all the brad packages in one pile, all the flower packages in another, etc.  This will not only establish a little order to the chaos, but will also bring to the forefront a lot of stuff you probably forgot you had.  It will also reveal many half used packages.  Now, the purging.  As you put these items into some kind of storage container, try, try, try to get rid of what you know you won’t use.  Be realistic.  Will you ever use those foam alphabets with no vowels left? Consider the amount of storage space those items take up versus the likelihood of them being used.  One thing you can do is find a (large) cardboard box.  As you sort, put these half-used products in the box.  Then put the box out in the garage, or up in the attic or wherever you store rarely used things.  If you haven’t gone to that box after 6 months, give it to charity.  Or take it to the dump.  Really.

All that packaging takes up a lot of space.  It is GOOD if you can get rid of it.  I know, you think you are going to enter your pages or cards in a contest or magazine to become famous (or at least get some recognition) and then you will need to know who the manufacturer was. Again, really? Perhaps you need to ask yourself, “Why do I scrapbook or make cards?” And, “Can I even make them in this cluttered space?”  Here is one way to store a lot of stuff that I recently used at the store to unclutter:


This is called a scraponizer.  It comes in 2 sizes, 8 1/2 x 11 or 12×12.  I used the 8 1/2 x 11.  You get four clear plastic “trays.” Each one has a different configuration of compartments.  The four compartment tray I used to put flowers in: pink and purple in one, orange and brown in a second, green and blue in a third and white and red in the fourth compartment.  The try lifts out and you can put larger items underneath.  I put the self-adhesive sheets of flowers in there.  My huge plastic storage bag of flowers is now one tidy little plastic box.  It turned out to be super for brads.  I used the eight compartment tray.  Now my huge plastic storage bag of brads is now one tidy little plastic box. Here’s a photo:

brads in scraponizer

In the other two trays, I put alphabet stickers in the two compartment tray and chipboard shapes in the 3 compartment tray.  Here’s a photo of the alpha stickers in their new home:

alpha in scraponizer

Gotta tell ya I’m lovin’ it.  Of course, this is only a start with those alphabets!  They come in an astonishing array of sizes and I think I will need to break open one of the 12×12 Scraponizers to store those larger sheets.  For now, they are all in one of those 12×12 plastic bags from the store.  But i really like the way these trays sit on a shelf in their holder taking up very little room.  You can label the edge and decorate the holder with scrapbook paper to make it cute and decorative if you like.

Now for all those Tim Holtz and 7 Gypsies metals, etc.  I use the Kaiser Craft 9-drawer pressed board organizer.  Once it’s painted and covered with paper, it really looks cute.  But you may be able to find other cute storage units at garage sales and antique shops, not to mention The Container Store (I sure wish I lived closer to one of these!).  I have an adorable floor unit with 12 drawers made out of wood that my daughter picked up for me on close out at Target.  I love it but it stands about 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide.  Fortunately, I have an entire room for my studio at home. Here’s a photo of my cute Kaiser Craft unit:

Kaiser Craft drawers

This is only a few ideas for embellishments.  At home, I do have a Craft Mates container for my brads.  It works good for your brads if all you have is the small ones.  And it is really easy to grab and go for a crop.  I’ve also found great storage containers in the sporting goods department.  A lot of the containers they sell for fishing tackle work great for craft supplies.  And I have a tackle box itself for all my weird altered book stuff.  And the wooden cabinets with the pull out plastic drawers with handles that we discussed last week with paper also come in a variety of configurations for storing smaller items.

It is a never-ending challenge to be sure.  But remember this: sort, purge and store.  And how much room you have to store determines how much stuff you have to purge. Next post, my last one for January and for this subject, is storing stamps.  Oh yes, another huge challenge for a stamp-a-holic like me.  Just wait til you see my “Wall O Stamps!”  I will also discuss storing layouts and some great ideas for decorating with your layouts. And don’t forget that all organizational supplies are on sale for 30% off the entire month at Creating Lasting Memories.


Well, first let me say, welcome to 2011!  This really has nothing to do with organizing your supplies but I got a new camera for Christmas.  And now I have to learn how to manually focus – didn’t realize how much I had been relying on the auto thing.  But did anyone catch the absolutely fantastic sunsets we had last Wednesday.  I rushed out and snapped this photo using the “Scene – Sunset” setting on my camera.  It really did look just this incredible (only a little crisper as I still don’t have the focusing down).

sunset 1

Anyway, I hope 2011 finds you snapping lots of photos for your albums.  We are so blessed to live in a place of incredible sunsets, don’t you think?

One thing I hope to do by sharing about organizing your supplies, is to show you how I organize mine.  And I love the way I have my ribbon “stored.” I love the way it adds color to my studio space.  I have collected various jars, mason and others, to keep my ribbon in.  I sort by color.  I don’t roll it up or anything.  I just shove it in the jar.  It doesn’t seem to get wrinkled. When I need a piece I just pull it all out, choose the one I want, and shove them back in.  Not very scientific but it works and it looks so great up on my shelf.  I also have a selection of smaller jars for buttons. Then I use snack size baggies to keep the fibers in.  These I punch holes in the upper left corner and thread a piece of ribbon through and tie a bow.  They hang on a pin below the respective jars.  Here’s a photo of how it looks in my studio:

ribbon jars

This method of course, implies that you have a shelf to store your ribbon jars on.  My second favorite method for storing ribbon is to use ribbon rings.  These we sell at the store.  They take up virtually no space at all.  Your ribbon does not get wrinkled.  You can easily pick up the rings and put the whole kit and kaboodle in a ziploc storage bag and bring them with you to crop (or a suitcase if you’re going on a retreat).  The plastic tabs and the rings are pretty inexpensive.  And they look so festive hanging from a nail or a drawer pull or wherever you want to hang them.  Super easy and really economical.

ribbon ring

And here’s a close up of the rings and the plastic tabs:  you can really store an awful lot of ribbon of all widths and styles on these tabs, which come in two sizes.

ribbon ring close up

Thanks for stopping by the check out my first Organization tip.  If you read my email newsletter for this week, you know that all products for organizing your stuff are 30% off starting Monday, January 10, and lasting through the end of January.

Next post, I will talk about paper.  Hope to see you then.



It’s time again for our 12 Tags class.  This year Trisha Easley and I are team-teaching.  Each of us has designed 6 tags.  Below you will see the second tag for Monday’s class. It features lots of metal and some very cool colored and heated plastic leaves.


Tuesday will be really special.  We’ll be doing a tag featuring a reindeer (no more cutting grunge board for this one – it is  cut with Tim’s new die).


The other tag on Tuesday features that wonderful little bird that we all love:


Wednesday we will make a winter snowflake tag.  Really liking this one by Trisha:


And our second offering on Wednesday is another bird, this time with a nice pine bough.

pine branch

Well there they all are.  As I said, these classes are filling quickly.  If you did not sign up last week, then please call the store to check and see if there are any available spots.  Next Sunday I will share with you the final 6 tags.


Happy Easter

March 31, 2010

in home decor, Sale

Check out this super-cute and fun Easter banner:

happy easter banner

It’s another Dottie original.  This one just makes me smile.  It’s so fresh and spring-like.

easter banner

Here’s a close-up of a couple of the tags to show all the detail.  They are also decorated on the back so if you are in the classroom tomorrow for our Make ‘n Take you can see that side too.

banner closeup

As I promised, here is a special sale just for those who are checking out the blog.  Mention you saw the banner on the blog and get 40% off all Easter products April 1-3rd: paper, stickers, stamps, yep, anything to do with Easter.

Have a blessed Easter everyone!


For the past three years, I have been a fan of the “One Little Word” idea.  If you aren’t familiar with the concept, the idea is to select a word – yep, just one word – and let it be your guide/inspiration for the coming year.  I love doing something new with the New Year.  So this is a small thing to do  that you can keep to yourself or share publicly.  It’s really up to you how you use it.  For more information on the topic, check out Allie Ewards’ blog here.

As I said, this will be my third year to pick a word (or perhaps it is that the word picked me).  My words so far:

2008: Glorify

2009: Joy

2010: Hope

It is sometimes helpful to find something to remind you of your word.  Last year I found this cool not-so-little word block JOY on sale at Fred Meyer.  It was even 50% off since it was part of their after Christmas sale.

2009 one little word 2009 one little word

Now as the year draws to a close, I plan to do some piece of art that expresses what I have learned about Joy this year.  I’m thinking a scrapbook page but more to come as I complete that project.  But for now I just want to encourage you to check out this idea and see if it might not be something you want to try this year.

And here is by “reminder” item for my 2010 word.

the higher our hopes the brigher our days the higher our hopes the brigher our days