Wednesday, December 1, 2010

By the book or not

My biggest drawback when it comes to doing anything crafty is that I always seem to think I have to do things by the book. I have to have the exact materials or the right tools to complete a project. I find something I want to try and make and I end up putting it off until I can find all the "right" stuff. I lose out on all the fun I could be having just seeing what my imagination can come up with.
For a change of pace I decided to use the book in a different way. I used it as a launching pad for inspiration and then let my imagination take over.
Here is the first in what I hope to be a series of projects.

The original inspiration for these came from the sweet, crafty and super talented Marie from Spun by me. She made some of these blocks a while back and I just loved them (I'm not sure if blocks is what she called them but that's what I'm going with)
I'm making these on a 6x6 piece of cardstock base. For this one I used a scrap of gold wrapping paper that I had laying around. I printed out a quote that I found then embossed the top and bottom of it with my cuttlebug. I actually did it backwards because I wanted the raised part on the front. Since imagination was running the show, I took a gold metallic pen and ran it through the lines of the embossing. Then I took a sponge and inked up the edges of the paper and around the embossing and just grunged it all up a bit. Then I finished it off with a couple of quilled candles.
I have another one that I'm working on and will post that when I finish it.
So what about you? Are you a by the book kind of person or do you just play it by ear?


  1. Very pretty! It depends, somethings, like baking, have to be done by the book tho you can change it up a bit with the flavorings or add-ins or frosting. Cooking? Never by the book. A recipe is just a jumping off place - I take a general idea that I sort of like and then do it with the foods I like. And nothing I cook ever tastes the same way twice because I can never remember what I used the last time.

    Crafty stuff - well, we know I don't do that. Give me a blank page, come back in an hour and it will still be blank! Give me a list of instructions and I'll just throw up my hands and say "Why?" LOL

  2. That's pretty Ann. Very much so. I'm not crafty as you know so I always appreciate folks that can be crafty.

    I follow the book when I know the outcome has to be a specific way. Years of working in law enforcement. Things that really don't matter then no. I tend to do it my way. Changing this here and there along the way. Some have turned out very good and some not so much.

    Have a terrific day. My best to Duck. :)

  3. Very Nice work, Ann!
    Like you I use to be a "by the book" person but then I threw the book away. Creativity has no rules.

  4. That is really lovely!
    I'm a play it by the book gal - have no imagination to go out on my own :)

  5. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [02 Dec 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  6. I really like how that turned out! So pretty! I'd go by the book if I had a book! I'm not too good at coming up with ideas so would love to have a book that would help me do that. I do bake by the book but that's about it.

  7. Wow!! I'm loving the quilled candle, outstanding!! When I first saw this, I thought it was the cover of a scrapbook or photo album, it would be very pretty used that way, as well. I am just like you, I have NO imagination, and must do things by the book. Well, it is more like I am just not creative. I can do lots of crafts by following instructions, but could never actually create something or improvise.

  8. Beautiful Ann! Love all of the details like the reverse embossing with the gold! And the quilled candle is perfect. This turned out great!

  9. Very nice Ann - love the quilling thanks for sharing!!!

  10. This turned out terrific! It looks like something that could be handed down from generation to generation.
    To answer your question, I would go by the book for the first time (to learn how to do it) and then after I knew how, I would wing it.

  11. this is really pretty ...loved the candle

  12. Those are great and I am a "by ear" person which is probably why my projects don't turn out so goo, oh my! what can I say. I get excited and just go to town. Um, um,um!

  13. Great job Ann! I am a by the book person!

  14. Love this ~ the quilled candles are the perfect touch and the saying is beautiful! Gold and red together are one of my favorite color combos! I can't wait to see more!!
    Thank you for the very sweet words by the way!

  15. Hello,

    A beautiful, creative and imaginative project! Love the candles! You must have had fun working on this book!

    I love to check out other blogs to see what is being created and can get many ideas that way!

    Don't let the snow get you down! Christmas will be here soon and snow goes so well with that holiday! :<)


    Barbara Diane

  16. Ann this is a lovely card. I am a definitely a 'play it by ear' kind of gal. Even when it has come to knitting my teddy bears I have added and changed little things to make each one a little different so all of the kids have an original. I like to use things as a template and then 'go with the flow' always adds a little more originality to things and I feel that this way i can make something really personal!!...besides which I very rarely have 'everything' that I need...even when it comes to

  17. You're very good creating on your own, you don't need any book. I would need some! But I'm too lazy :)

  18. Brilliant, Ann - this is lovely! I'd vote for playing it by ear every time.

  19. I think.. you should never go by the book.. same as baking or cooking.. the adventure itself is in the discovery of what can be.. if you let yourself free :)

    You are most creative enough.. trust me!

  20. I would really hate it if you got all swell-headed, but at the risk of that, I must admit that your little project looks really good. Alas, you are going to make me regret this--aren't you?

  21. I am definitely more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl. Even when using a recipe, I will make little changes here or there depending on what I have or what I want to do.

  22. Oh my! I love the quilled candles! You chose a very sweet quote too :)

  23. So pretty Ann! All my crafts have to be done in a couple of hours. I don't seem to have the attention span to do crafts that take a few days or weeks.

    I guess we all have our quirks. :)
    xo Catherine

  24. Great job Ann. I am afraid I am a by the book type. Maybe we should all throw the book away.

  25. they are very pretty Ann. I am not crafty and have always wished I were.

    These are just great and I still wish you had an Etsy shop. I would love to buy something like this for the girls for Christmas.

    As always I am late ringing in. I was asleep last night by 8pm.

    I hope you have a great day. I am leaving soon to do some shopping and hunt for photos!:-)

  26. I did the same. I had to make it exactly like the original creator. Then once I had the hang of it, I would add my own touch. Beautiful work. Love the colors.

  27. That card is just lovely. I have thought about trying quilling but I don't have all the right stuff. So I guess I'm a by the book gal. Except when it comes to cooking, I never go by the book.

  28. Play by ear Most things!Hahaa
    Love the project Ann!

  29. I spend a lot of time watching tutorials looking for something new and easy.

  30. I have been challenged by following the book since birth. I can't do it. i always wing it and of course it looks nothing like the instructions or taste nothing like the recipe. i can not put anything together by reading directions, i have to be told or shown. a real challenge has been photoshop, because even people who show me or tellme there are a hundred ways to do it. it is The Place to not follow the book. LOVE the candle

  31. I wing everything. My crafts, my sewing and my cooking. It cooking one drives my hubby crazy. I'm always saying "just put a little bit in" he comes back with "what's a little bit". I have to say winging it doesn't always work.

  32. I love to do things by the seat of my pants. I used to bake bread like crazy and would always go by the seat of my pants. Course I had recipes but I would add and subtract. But you have to have the time to try things out but I think it is much more fun to have your own design. It was great bread too.
    I love that card.

  33. Grace, thanks. When it comes to baking I almost always follow a recipe but cooking, I prefer to wing it

    sandee, thank you very much. I suppose in certain things, it is necessary to go by the book

    Jean thanks I think I'm finally learning that there are no rules :)

    audrey thanks I don't normally have much imagination myself. I have to have something to look at to give me the ideas

    craft crave, why thank you

    beaded tail I can't come up with my own ideas either.

    ginny thanks I can improvise somewhat but usually don't feel like it's turned out right if it wasn't done exactly the way the directions said

    livintheblues lol, ok then

    LDH thanks the reverse embossing was a goof up that turned out quite nicely

    beebeebabs, thanks and I was glad to share it with you

    tahtimbo I think I'm starting to do more of that, using the book to learn then going out on my own

    mansi thank you

    miawa and that going to town is what makes it more fun

    gayle thank you, I guess I'm just a little of both

    marie you are very welcome. All your projects that you post inspire me all the time to go get crafty :)

    whimcees I did have fun with this. Other blogs, just like yours for example give me so many wonderful ideas

    allotmentts4you thank you. Oh when i crochet I have to do it exactly like the pattern says, no way can I wing it on

    josep lol, I need the book to at least get me going

    philippa thanks, I find playing it by ear a little tricky but I'm learning

    anny I like that. the adventure is in the discovery. I may have to use that as a quote for one of my projects :)

    fishhawk since Christmas is fast approaching I will quietly accept your compliment and then never mention it again :)

    anne I'm good at winging it in the kitchen I don't know why I find it so difficult to do in the craft room

    duni thank you. I made the quilled candles first and then went searching for a suitable quote. This one fit the bill nicely

    catherine thanks, mine are usually done in short spurts spanning over a day or two. depending on my level of enthusiasm

    russ I'm thinking that it couldn't hurt to at least have the book around to use as a reference.

    shinade thank you very much. I've still got the etsy shop in the back of my head. Maybe after the first of the year I will make the leap

    helen the problem arises when i can't find all the things I need to make it the way the original was

    connie thanks, the nice thing about quilling is you don't have to have anything special. You can use a toothpick or make a slotted tool from a needle. You can even cut your own strips of paper

    donna I'm trying to be that way. I really am :)

    out on the prairie I do a lot of that too. But then I have to replay the tutorial a million times while I'm trying to do it.

    sandra I've always been a hands on kind of person, where I have to actually do something to learn it. If I just read about something or watch someone else it doesn't have the same effect on me as actually doing something

    b boys mom I do the same with cooking.

    marg I don't know if I could go totally on my own, I always need some kind of instruction to work off of. Something to at least get me started.

  34. very nice I love the saying, if I have instruction I do a craft first time by the book then how ever works best for me after that.

  35. Country mouse studio. my problem is always getting through the first time :)

  36. ООО, Очень хорошая мысль


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