Thursday, October 1, 2015

Shoebox 1K-2015

It's time! It's time! It's time to register for this year's Shoebox 1K, shoebox packing party for Operation Christmas Child.

For the past 10 years our group has been coming together to pack shoebox gifts. After being filled with; personal care items, school supplies, small toys, a beanie baby, hard candy and more, these boxes are sent all over the world along with the good news of God's love. Last year over 300 volunteers joined together to pack 2129 shoebox gifts most of which were distributed in Ecuador!

This year we aim to pack 2500 shoebox gifts but we can't do it without YOU!! How can you get involved? Click on the button below it will take you to more information on how you or your group can get involved with this years Shoebox 1K Packing party.

First the details:

The party will take place on November 7, 2015 from 8am-9pm, at the Christian Youth Center of Morris, IL. Registrations are available in 2 hour shifts. We ask that in order to allow as many people to participate as possible you only register for one shift. If you wish to work more than one shift please contact Betsy Burnett event coordinator. More information is available on the registration page.

When you arrive at your shift, you will go through a brief orientation video and training, then you will be able to start packing your shoeboxes.

Once again the fabulous team from Shine FM will be there with their amazing team of volunteers running the photo booth for us! So be sure to stop by the booth and have your photo snapped to place into your shoebox!

While attending this event is free, we ask you to prayerfully consider how you can be a part of helping cover the shipping expense for the shoeboxes you pack. Each shoebox gift has a suggested donation of $7 to ship, which is a real bargain if you have ever tried shipping a package to India through the post office! You can bring your shipping donation directly to the packing party or donate online through Operation Christmas Child-Follow your box. (<---click on the link to find out more)  If you donate online you will receive a bar code label to attach to the shoeboxes you pack. You will then receive email updates as your box travels around the world!

Don't miss out on your opportunity to help bless kids all over the world! Click on the link below to register yourself or your group.

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on VolunteerSpot


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

To clothe the naked...dolls that is!

For many years my family has packed shoeboxes full of gifts to send to kids in need all over the world through Operation Christmas Child (OCC) . Because of our family involvement and our love of this organization, I eventually started getting others involved. We have since set a goal each year to pack at least 1000 shoebox gifts for OCC.  Because of that we call ourselves "Shoebox 1K"

Our group recently received a donation of over 200 dolls. Which is fabulous! Little girls LOVE dolls and we love being able to put them into shoeboxes! Yet we had a problem. These dolls were a little larger than your standard sized Barbie doll and  that means they cannot wear Barbie clothes and the dolls came to me naked!

Knowing that the creative community has a huge heart, I reached out to them.  I put out a call for help and my friend Laura Johnson from Ellie Inspired answered that call! Laura not only created a pattern but enlisted the help of her Ellie Inspired Pattern Group to help us create dresses for our dolls!

Today the first of the dresses arrived! I received a lovely note and 20 dresses!

How exciting for us! We quickly dressed our lovely ladies! These are now ready to be put into shoebox gifts for this season. 

But, we still have more to finish! 

The the simple peasant style dress looks adorable! The pattern takes under 1/4 yd of fabric and goes together really fast. Best yet Laura made the pattern available for FREE to anyone that wants to help us clothe the dolls. The dress pattern has the added advantage of working for your Barbie sized dolls as well. So it's a great project to do with your kids. We would LOVE for you to be a part of our project!

You can find the pattern and information on how you can help  ---> HERE

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Painting party!

I have always wanted to do one of those "Painting parties" because I have always wanted to learn how to paint. While I enjoy designing and project work, creating something that looks like something or basically something  from nothing has always alluded me. So mustering up my courage, I convinced my friend Ashani to come along.

We arrived to about 30 women all anxious to get started. It seemed like many of them already knew what they were doing and had started. I was asked to pick out a photo of the painting I wanted to do and then choose an easel. I did

 I loved the colorers of the background in this painting and the little girl swinging. So I went for broke and selected that. Then I sat and waited for instruction...that didn't really come. If it wasn't for my friend and the gals across the table from me encouraging me to take another sip of wine and "just paint,"  I think I would have been in tears by the time it was over. (It was a rough night.)

The lighting in the restaurant it was being held at was awful, the instruction was minimal to none. Sadly our instructor was a bit overwhelmed by the size of the class and spent time tallying up how much money she was going to be making from the event, vs. helping the budding artists. She showed us one technique and then said...'well I really didn't do that right but you get the idea."

Negatives aside,  I enjoyed the concept and event. I  liked being able to "paint" and spending time being creative with my friend!  I did finish (well almost...never did add the girl on the swing) and it wasn't half bad. I would love to try this again but maybe with a different instructor.

As I said the lighting in the restaurant was bad so this is the only picture of Ashani and I with our creations.

My kids decided my painting looked "spooky" kind of a windy, dusk is falling lonely night. Not the look I was going for...but all things considering it wasn't half bad.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Charity Auction!-Art Chair

Several weeks ago a friend approached me asking "Would you be interested in decorating a chair?" The town of Morris, IL was trying something new; an "arts festival." The idea was to gather local artist, musicians, actors...really anyone creative and art lovers and celebrate the arts in the first ever "Liberty Days Arts Festival." The cumulating activity would be a auction of decorated chairs with the proceeds going to the charity.

Stores in town were encouraged to sponsor the decorating of a chair which would be displayed at their store during the festival and then auctioned off for the charity of the stores choice. The charity chosen for the chair I was creating was the Christian Youth Center of Morris. I volunteer at the Youth Center couple of days per week and was excited to help them raise money.  I immediately said "yes" but with a bit of "fear and trembling." I had an idea in my head and hoped it turned out as well in real life.

The first step was finding the perfect chair to paint. For this feat, I visited our local Habitat of Humanity ReStore. I love this store. Not only can you find fun furniture pieces and building materials on the cheap. All proceeds go to help Habitat for Humanity build houses for our neighbors in need!

Finding a fun chair with some character at the store, I set out to sand it down, and tighten some joints with wood glue and prime it for painting. I decided that my theme was "It's about time" and wanted the chair to allude to the inner workings of a clock, with gears, cogs, and springs, and numbers.

Priming with black, I planned on having a graphic mosaic design, so I used tape and vinyl number stickers from Elmer's to mask off areas that would then remain black when I removed them after painting. I used Liquitex professional paints, both heavy and soft body, because I didn't want to have to repeatedly add layers to my design. After the  colors dried, I then stenciled gears and cogs onto the yellow paint using stencils from Deco Arts' "Americana-Mixed Media" Collection.

After the paint job, I knew I wanted a gloss coat to seal it.  Talking to DIY guru Mark Mantano, (Thanks Mark!) I went with Minwax PolyAcrylic, because I love the durability of the product and the high gloss shine!

Painting and sealing complete, the only thing left to finish was the decorative touches. I  love the look of the coiled watch springs, so I created some with flat jewelry wire from "On-a-Wire," coiling it around at first a dowel rod, then itself. These springs I glued along the bottom of the back. Drilling a hole in the upper part, I installed a battery operated clock movement on the back of the chair.

Supplies used: Chair-(ReStore), Liquitex paints-professional heavy body and soft body, DecoArt Stencils-Americana Mixed media; gears and cogs, timeless treasure, Minwax- PolyAcrylic, Elmer's -Board Mate Vinyl Letter and Numbers, Art Minds (Michaels)-Clock Movement Kit 5/8", On-A-Wire(Hobby Lobby)-5mm flat aluminum wire, Scotch-3M fine line tape, drill, dowel rod.

The chair will be on display at Harrington's Fine Jewelry Thursday June 25-Saturday June 27, 2015. The auction will take place at the "Liberty Arts Festival" After Party, Saturday June 27, 2015.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Dear Mom

I've been thinking about my mom a lot lately. Maybe it was the "Happy Mother's Day" signs that have been staring me in the face at every store we have been to for the last month. Maybe it's the fact spring is sprung and every spring (for Mother's Day) I would help mom fill her front flower beds with flowers. Mom passed away about a year and a half ago, and we were very close. As life continues on without her, I find myself thinking about her a lot!

Even with as much as I had been thinking about her, it surprised me when I started creating pieces for a canvas that reminded me of her. After creating a background with gelatos, I grabbed a stencil and masked off part of it to create what I wanted to be a "stained glass" or "mosaic" vase. I realized after I created it, the vase reminded me of my mom's urn. The flowers I wanted to fill it with were daisies, mom's favorite flowers. I wanted butterflies on it-Mom loved them!  It was then I realized how much I just wanted to talk to her and I guess creating the canvas was my way to do so.

So I turned my canvas into a letter to her.

Dear Mom,
Sometimes it seems like it was only yesterday you left, other times it seemed like it has been a million years since I lasted talked to you, seen you smile. I miss you so much. I see something you would like and I want to pick up the phone and call you, but I know I can't. I know you are so very happy where you are at! You are with the Savior of the world, with Jesus. Knowing that fills me with the hope that I will see you again and that is how I can face life! 
Love, Betsy

Supplies used: 8 x 10 canvas, Faber-Castell-Gelatos and Bead Gel Medium, Heidi Swapp-Colorshine, Ruby Rock-it-Butterflies, chipboard letters, Sharpie markers, Krylon-18k Gold Leaf Marker, Prima Marketing-flowers, mosaic stencil.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hallway Makeover with Stencil1

Have you ever noticed when you start redoing one room of your house you can't stop there? One room starts looking good and so it makes the rest of the house look bad??? So one room leads to two and so on...

When my dad agreed to redo the kitchen it led to working on the dining room, due to structural issues, then after I got the dining room all fixed up, it made the hallway look pretty shabby. So I did a quick coat of white paint to at least freshen it up. 

My hallway has always been my photo gallery. A hallway of memories so to speak. I never really had any rhyme or reason to it. Since I was redoing other rooms, I decided it was time for a change. I wanted to still have my hallway of memories, but wanted a more cohesive feel to it. Inspiration struck  at the Craft and Hobby Trade show when I saw a cool mum stencil from Stencil1. 

My idea was to use the 3 mum repeat stencil down the hallway and then paint my hodge-podge of frames all the same color to tie everything together.  So I tucked the idea into the back of my brain for a "when I have time" project, but then Stencil1 emailed! Their repeat pattern stencils won PRODUCT OF THE YEAR and was I interested in using one of them for a project? I shared my hallway idea and they loved it as much as I did. 

So Stencil1 set me up to do my "hallway makeover."

For my project I needed: Fresh wall space, paint, roller and tray, Stencil1 stencil (I used 3 mums repeat,) and painters tape. 

Since my halls were already bare and freshly painted I didn't need to apply a base coat. I wanted to have the mums tumbling all over the wall in more of a casual look BUT I am a little OCD when it comes to casual things. Some people can just casually pull something together, for me it takes a bit of planning to be casual!  Therefore to help with the placement I photo copied the stencil several times. I then used painters tape to place the images where I wanted them to "casually" go. This allowed me to play with the placement and positioning of the stencils and see the overall effect without having to commit quite yet with paint. 

After I was satisfied with the positioning, I was ready to get painting. Stencil 1 sent me their roller tray kit , to use with my project. The brush for the roller is a good quality sponge, that holds the paint well.

I used a few pieces of painters tape to hold the stencil into place and then I rolled my paint over the stencil. They say you only need a couple of pieces. I wasn't that brave (remember that thing I have about being a little OCD...) So I used a bit more than recommended to avoid what I call a "Betsy Mishap" of the stencil falling off mid paint. 

I found the sponge roller held ALOT of paint, and so it made sense to roll off some of it before covering the stencil. This helped prevent bleed through with the stencil. I also found you needed a lighter touch, if you were heavy handed with the amount of pressure you applied to the roller, you ended up with pools of paint that also could cause bleed through of your image. One failed attempt, and both these lessons learned I was ready to go to town.

I would take down my photo copy image and then replace it with the stencil and paint away. 
I moved from left to right top to bottom and when I got to the little storage cubby decided to paint that as well (the little roller was perfect for the small spaces around the handles and along the edges!)

I loved the effect of the mums tumbling down the hall way. 

All that was left was to paint the frames and hang them on the wall and decorate! 

I loved the finished product and can't wait to try stenciling elsewhere!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Scrapbook Expo 2015-Milwaukee, WI

Shoebox 1K is on the road! Come visit us this weekend at the Scrapbook Expo in Milwaukee, WI. We will be running the baggage check booth and holding basket raffles. We have over $2000 in prizes donated by our generous sponsors! There are prizes from Craftwell, Creative Options, Fiskars, Michigan Scrapbooker Magazine, Peddler's Den, Forget-Me-Not Memories, JoAnn's Creations and MORE!!! Tickets are only $1 each if you by 10 you get 2 free and if you buy $25 in tickets you get a FREE gift valued at $20!!!