Monday, September 8, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

 I know it’s only September and probably a little early to talk about Christmas, but since I spent the weekend in the Beehive working on my December Daily aka Countdown to Christmas aka Christmas Daily aka Jingle Bell Journal, I am more than ready for some delicious gingerbread cookies and eggnog.

I don’t usually do a Show and Tell of a work in progress, but !ALERT! Christmas is just a tad over 15 weeks away (EEK!) and I couldn’t wait to give you a sneak peak.

 Looks like Santa  is going to be playing BINGO!
There are 2 pages for each of the 25 days of Christmas.   

I’m tossing in a few recipe cards, oodles of charms and hope to have this listed in my Etsy shop – Inside the Beehive -  by next week.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Better yet, have you been a good girl or boy?


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Do You Believe in Fairies?

Once upon a time I believed in the Tooth Fairy.  I didn’t know what she looked like, but I was certain she didn’t resemble any person I knew.

My story begins the morning after losing a tooth and placing it under my pillow. I know I must have had magical dreams all night, but when I awoke and looked under my pillow, there was nothing there except my tooth. I ran down the stairs in search of my mother, crying because I couldn’t understand why the Tooth Fairy hadn’t left me a shiny quarter. 

My mother tried to assure me that the Tooth Fairy hadn’t forgotten me and together we went into my bedroom to search for that special gift from the Fairy.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw my mother slip a quarter on my bed. I remember as if it was yesterday, the immense sadness I felt when I realized the Tooth Fairy did resemble a person I knew. It was my mother. From that moment on, I ceased believing in fairies.

Having just shared my tale of woe, I encourage all children to believe in Fairies. To honor that belief, let me present My Newest Etsy Creation -
 I love this little Fairy Box filled with two vials of Magic Fairy Dust.
 I even included a tiny Tea Dyed Journal!
Do you still believe in Fairies? If so, what would you wish for?


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Time to Renew My Passport

It was an ace British themed weekend. Which was a bit odd - or not - since July 4th is the celebration of our independence from England. It’s not that I’m cheeky, because it all started innocently enough when I purchased a new paper stack called Dear Jane by DCWV. I love Jane Austen so it was mandatory that I create a few smashing items using the pretty paper.

Because I needed to get in the mood, I held my own private movie marathon to honor dear Jane Austen. I started with my favorite, P&P, on Thursday. Friday was reserved for Persuasion and Saturday was S&S. I ended the long weekend with Lost in Austen.  By the end of the holiday I was knackered from watching so much TV.
My first project was a Jane Austen inspired Diary using a color I usually avoid – red. Even so, I do fancy the way it turned out.

Their are four addressed envelopes and they are my favorite part of the Diary. I went online and found the real addresses where Jane lived. I just sold the Diary and am thrilled that it will be going to another Jane Austen Lover.

On Saturday I started my bespoken order for a 16 year old who coincidentally just happens to love London. Since it isn’t bound yet I wanted to give you a peek at what is going into this truly one-of-a-kind Junk Smash Book. In case you're curious she also loves elephants, the Peace Corps and monkeys.

All this talk about Jane and London has rekindled my desire to go to England to take the Jane Austen Tour. After I finish this post I'm definitely going to add that to my Bucket List!

Have you added anything new to your Bucket List? If so, please share.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Baseball Goes Regency

Just because my newest scrapbook paper acquisition is called Dear Jane, it doesn't mean the paper is restricted for girly girls. I decided to try my hand at making something masculine and used the husband's favorite colors - green/gold - for inspiration. Just in case you're curious, it's because those are the colors of the Oakland A's Baseball Team.

I started with a tiny ring box which is only 2 1/2" w x 1 3/4" h x 2 1/4" d.

Next I removed the hardware, put it in a plastic sandwich bag and then added a few squirts of caramel Alcohol Ink.
I painted the inside/outside of the box with olive green paint. When dry I painted it lightly with an off white paint. I then sanded it down and used TH Scattered Straw on the corners for a real vintage look.
Then I then used three of the Dear Jane papers to line the inside, bottom and top. I attached the hardware and layered the top.
The finished Gentleman's Ring Box.   
I have to be honest and share with you that the husband thought it would have looked better with a  baseball player on the top instead of one of Jane's Fictional characters.  
I told him that he was my Mr. Darcy, gave him a kiss and that made him happy. Have you made something recently for YOUR Mr. Darcy? If so, please share.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Goodbye Recipe Journal, Hello Magic Bullet

No one believes that I once taught a 6 week vegetarian cooking class. Not because I’m a lousy chef, au contraire, it’s because I rarely never cook anymore. Way back when, I loved sharing my favorite vegetarian recipes and actually considered, for about a minute, becoming a professional chef. Obviously that never happened, but it is why I have a particular fondness for Recipe Journals.  
Which, in a round-about way, leads me to our latest purchase, The Magic Bullet. It’s sitting on our kitchen counter and I have used it 4 times in the past week. The husband and I spent hours reading reviews and opted for the super duper 900 series. Does it work? Yes. Is it worth the money? Too early to tell. But I can tell you that it is a great way to use up fruit that you would normally throw out.

Since I’m talking food here, I wanted to do a bit of show and tell. This morning I sold my favorite Retro Recipe Journal. It’s going to a good home, but there was a moment when I thought twice about selling it. However, since my latest recipes look like this,


1 apple from our apple tree

½ brown banana

Some questionable strawberries

Handful of ice


1.      Throw together ingredients into The Magic Bullet.

2.      Mix and eat or drink, depending upon consistency.)

I decided that that my Retro inspired Journal deserved to be filled with wonderful recipes, of which the recipe above is not.
Instead of showing a photo of our newest acquisition, here are a few photos of my dearly departed Recipe Journal.

I don't know if I will be doing any real cooking anytime soon, but I can say with assurance that another Retro Recipe Journal will soon be listed in my Etsy Shop - Inside The Beehive. Make anything tasty lately? 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

HOPE is more than just a 4 letter word!

I am not a “Spring has Sprung” kind of gal.  Most of my journals are made with monochromatic Kraft paper and despite the fact that the door of the Beehive is yellow, there isn't anything bright and colorful in my closet.

There is this incredibly talented artist, Charlotte, who is also a professional photographer. Gorgeous photos and Gorgeous Digital Papers. Recently she asked me to make something special with her line that was inspired by the Kew Gardens in London and called The Botanical Collection.
Odd for me, but I was immediately drawn to her yellow and orange papers. I knew I wanted to make a journal and had a few ideas swirling around when I heard the sad news that one of my former co-workers had recently been diagnosed with cancer.  Having a good support group is so important when you are facing a life threatening disease, but also is expressing your feelings. And that is how my Journal of Hope was born.

The cover is layered with Washi Tape and three of The Botanical Collection papers.
Inside are pockets that hold tags for friends and family to add their notes of support.

There are 45 (90) pages of parchment paper that has been tea dyed and inked to give a vintage look.
We have all been touched by cancer in one way or another.  My hope is that I can make a difference, albeit small, in the fight against this horrible disease. I will be listing the Journal of Hope in my Etsy store – Inside the Beehive -  and will be making a donation to the Cancer Society with every Journal I sell.  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

It's a Bird. It's a Plane. No, It is a Bird!

I have a love/hate relationship with custom orders in my Etsy Shop - Inside The Beehive. I think it's because I overthink everything instead of just going with the flow. I worry way too much if the buyer will like what I created. Fingers crossed, KOW, so far so good.

My latest project is a mini for a gal who likes bird's nests, robins, buttons, burlap and her favorite colors are pink and teal. I dare you to find any patterned paper in pink and teal. Double and triple dare you! There is absolutely none available in the universe. I checked. So, I improvised and made the bird mini album in pinks and added buttons in teal.

I wanted to add a real pretend bird's nest,
so I used an altered tray lined with vintage paper. 

 There are Five Birdies with plenty of room for journaling and small photos.
I hate seeing broken bird's eggs so I glued these down. 
 Note the buttons on the bottom. Cute?

Okay, you  can be honest with me. What do you think? If you like it please leave me a comment. If you don't like it please remember what your mama told you - If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything! 

Hugs from the EllenBee

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Joys of the Job

I rarely post about my 9-5 job, but as many of you know, I am an Event Specialist for a local non-profit organization. What that means in simple terms is that I put on parties, from  screenings at big movie studios to luncheons at swanky Beverly Hills hotels.

I also have the privilege of coordinating an Annual Miniature Golf Tournament ,which is just around the corner. It 's amazing how much fun a group of grown ups can have dressing up, playing putt-putt, eating pizza and playing games in an arcade. That includes me too!

As a professional fundraiser the gifts I receive are for the organization, not me personally. So imagine my surprise when last month I received two gifts from donors. It was Christmas in April in my cubicle and the thoughtfulness made me a bit weepy.
The first was from this extraordinary group of ladies called The Motion Picture Mothers. This organization started 75 years ago and each and every mom has a child who has been in the entertainment business.

These ladies are as gracious as they are generous and as a token of appreciation gave me this whimsical golden sunflower.
The sparkly Bee is on a spring and this Bee feels like jumping for joy when wearing this beautiful broach.
The second gift was from a lovely lady who had recently traveled to London. I had shared with Martha that on my Bucket List is to one day take the British Jane Austen Tour.  

I am enamored with the chapter titles and can't wait to read
the book from cover to cover.

The book is wonderful and that she also included the Bumble Bee wax seal brought me such joy that this Bee went into honey overload.
After receiving such thoughtful gifts I had to create some very special thank you cards. This is the card I made for Martha.  You can see other cards I made HERE. 
 A quote from a Jane Austen novel.

Two questions this time. When was the last time you played miniature golf? And, what was the last surprise gift you received?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Do Wear Pink and Do Not Chew Tobacco

As some of you may know, I am doing my first Craft Fair in two weeks and am beyond excited. I did my pre-fair research on the Etsy Forums and it seems as if I am not the only one who has questions about craft fairs, since there are 4955 threads in the Question Section.  

I didn’t read them all, but enough to happily report that I am now totally prepared to rock this fair. I learned all the basics - like, DO wear pink since it softens your appearance and makes you more approachable. Unfortunately, I don’t own a pink shirt or sweater so it looks like a trip to the mall is definitely in order.

The list of DON’TS is much longer and includes such things as don’t eat, read, chew gum or tobacco and DO NOT ever talk on the phone! I can however drink, as long as the bottle isn’t hidden in a paper bag. But, above all, the most important thing when doing a craft fair is to have fun. That is something I plan on doing!
One good bit of advice from the forums was to have inexpensive "Impulse" items. Since so many of my Journals are time consuming = $$$, I went to town making my share of low cost items. 
These darling little gift cards ($1.00) and mini envelopes ($1.00)
are my least expensive items and my favorite!   

Can anyone have too many shoes or tags? 
If these magnets don't sell they're going on my fridge!
I've got a lot more new items so hope you'll stop on by and say hello. I'll be the gal wearing a pink shirt! If you can't make it you can always visit me at The Beehive.
The Moms, Dads and Grads Craft Faire
May 10, 2014
12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
707 South Main St
Burbank, CA  91506

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Keep Calm and Iron On

During the 1950’s, if your clothes weren’t wool, then they probably needed ironing. Gladys, a lovely African-American gal, would come to our house 3 times a week to help my mother with cleaning with one day totally devoted to ironing. Our basement was typical for the era, knotty pine walls, rattan furniture with tropical flower cushions, an ironing board and a radio to keep Gladys company. I can close my eyes and remember the sound of the hissing iron, the smell of freshly laundered sheets and the joyous sound of Gladys singing.

Tony, the husband, irons his own shirts. He’s lucky or rather I am because ironing shirts was not part of the marriage contract. Ironing Tea Dyed Parchment Paper on the other hand is something I happily did for my latest Journal.
 The Key to My Heart has grown up. No longer is it just a 3 ½” x 5” Journal,

 It's 5" x 7"!!

 I used parchment paper, which works wonderfully for journaling.

The page count quadrupled,
from 25 to 100

I developed a personal relationship with the Parchment Paper after spending so many hours with it.
  1.  CUT 100 sheets of paper
  2. TEA DYE 100 sheets of paper
  3. IRON 100 sheets of paper
  4. INK 100 sheets of paper
  5. PUNCH HOLES in 100 sheets of paper
Although the grown up version of Key To My Heart took me much longer to create than I expected, I like to think that more time equals more love. This is a custom order but I plan to add this to my Etsy shop Inside The Beehive. Think I need Gladys!!!!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Wall of Fame

Since this post has its genesis in Baseball, I’d like to start out with a famous quote that I’m sure most of you are familiar with, “If you build it, he will come.” I know the quote is suppose to refer to a Baseball Field but if you think about it, the quote, in a round-about-way, is also about Bucket Lists.

Which leads me to another quote, “If you write it down, you can make it happen.” The author of that famous quote is no other than EllenBee, and it too is about Bucket Lists. Hope I haven’t lost you yet because this fairy tale has a happily ever after ending.  

The husband and I go as often as possible to NYC to visit my daughter Cassandra. This time, Tony planned to tackle one of his major Bucket List items - a visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.  I too wanted to cross something off my list, so after looking through my Bucket I decided to  visit the holy grail of seam binding – Zipperstop.  
As many of you know, one of my great loves in life is Seam Binding. I worship those 100 yard wheels of  Hug Snug Seam Binding with names such as Paradise Aqua, Siam Pink and Turkey Red. I use them on almost every single Journal I create.

So, last Tuesday I left the hotel, gave the cabdriver the address and together we headed to my chosen Temple of Worship. I have to admit that I was surprised when the cab driver stopped in front of a small store in China Town.

Once inside I was granted free reign and was able to roam the aisles.
A wall of Seam Binding? Nirvana!!
Peeking into the many boxes of Seam Binding ready to be mailed.     
I started off the day thinking my Bucket List item wasn’t really a major item, but I was wrong. It was because as l left Zipperstop with a bag of delicious Seam Binding, I also left with something so much more - new friends. Thank you Jeff and the rest of the crew who made my visit so memorable! 

I'd love to hear about your love for Seam Binding. Please do share. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ode to the Pin-Up Girl

Technically, a Pin-Up Girl is a glamorous gal whose photo/picture is meant to be "pinned-up" on a wall. I think Betty Grable is probably the most popular pin-up ever, but my favorite has to be Ms. Cassandra Rosebeetle.

My favorite Pin-Up Gal EVER!

A few months ago I had a request to make a custom Pin-Up Gal Journal. Johanna loves pink and wanted to add lots of journaling and vintage family photos to the journal. She sent me a copy of a page from an old Pin-Up Girl Calendar for inspiration, so I decided to go with a stripes and vintage black photo corner theme.

 Adorable pets were often added to make the calendars both cute and sexy!

 I added journaling cards in pink, purple and yellow.
All in all there are over 35 tags for photos and journaling.

This is one of my fattest journals ever!
 I loved making this journal and hope that Johanna loves it as much as I do. If not, it's going up for sale at Inside The Beehive. If I can bear to part with it. Do you love Pin-Up Gals? Or are you one?