Value of Time

Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you can not do more with it.M. Scott Peck

Friends & family value our creative handiwork but how do you find the time for exercise your muse. Appealing but practical gifts that can be assembled quickly are an important part of any crafter’s repertoire. Today I am sharing one of mines.

This 3 panel hanging message center uses 2 of the photo frames from the Kaiser Accordion Book, scraps of cardboard, ribbon, buttons and tags left over from other projects.

After pulling the bits and pieces together that suit the colour range and theme, the whole project takes less than 30 minutes to create.

2 photo frames from Kaiser
Heavy weight cardboard 3 pieces 5 x 5
Coordinating pattern paper x 2 sheets
Paint or ink
Embossing powder and stamp
Ribbon for hanger
Wide Ribbon 12 inches long
Cardstock strip of 4 inches for die cut tabs
Sizzex or pre-cut tab shapes
Buttons and embellishment
Clip and message pad
Red : Cosmo Cricket 2006 Christmas Paper Wonderland First Gift & Holiday Cheer Green : Walter Knabe Big Paper Block

The two photo frames need to painted or inked with a base colour to start. Finishing the edges of 3d objects with a darker color helps to create depth. The fastest way for me to achieve that is with a colored pen.

A paint resist technique like crackle glaze can take some time to dry. Embossing is a fast alternative to creating texture and interest.
I particularly like the Opals powders with many rich vibrant colors to choose from and as the name Opal implies, you can blend their colors without them becoming muddy for a lovely variegated finish.

While the photo frames are cooling, cut 3 pieces of heavy weigh cardboard or chipboard to 5 inch squares. Cover the squares with paper and ink the edges. File tabs were used on the green version to add a message about making time to enjoy life.

When gluing the ribbon on the back of the squares, the fastest way to ensure they are evenly spaced is to us a ruler. This is a trick my dad taught be me in carpentry when shingling a roof or setting fence pailing use of a template to butt against saves measuring.

You can probably see the use of a visual triangle for the collage elements. Hanging sure makes you more conscious of being balanced with embellishments, weight on the left has to be balanced with weight on the right

People often ask how I pull collages together. For me the rule of 3’s works easily and painlessly. For the most part it is only one or two colors in use in my assemblage and a very simple theme, in this case coffee time! Anything more than 3 it starts to get cluttered, the message is muddled and who has time for that? If I am using two colors it will be one theme, or with two themes I will cut it back to one color to equal 3.

It sounds ruthless but it is fast and works easily when deciding what embellishment is getting on board.

One thing that is worth taking time for especially if you are making a gift is to ‘back it up’. The back side of a hanging project may not see the light of day too often, but is that any reason to leave your plain old cardboard hanging out? It takes little time to cover the back with scraps of left over paper from other projects.
Most importantly – don’t forget to sign and date your creations.