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National Scrapbook Day Giveaway – Win Graphic 45 Little Women!

Welcome to National Scrapbook Day on Craft Critique! I’ve got a great giveaway to celebrate with thanks to Graphic 45 – and a simple layout that I hope will get you inspired to scrapbook today!

[Disclosure: Some links below are links to Nally Studios advertisers or are affiliate links that pay a commission at no cost to the reader when a purchase is made after a click.]

Graphic 45 Little Women large

This new Graphic 45 collection celebrates the classic book “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. Every young girl who reads the story sees herself in one of the four sisters whose lives share the book’s pages. (Of course, I’m a Jo!) This gorgeous celebration of reading and storytelling is perfect for scrapbooking any number of childhood moments.

I chose a photo of my daughter reading with her daddy to share with this collection. This is an old photo, over ten years old, part of a stash of forgotten enlargements I recently rediscovered while cleaning my mess, I mean studio.

Graphic 45 Little Women layout

Supplies Needed:

The diagonal color blocking is a dramatic look. But it worked great – the photo of my daughter stood out brilliantly against the blue background and then the darker side of the photo stands out on the yellow print. The yellow paper balances the yellow on the layout by sitting opposite the yellow on my daughter’s pajamas.

I did the same color balancing with the pink & green, pairing the two pink elements on opposing sides of the diagonal divide and giving them green accents. The flower die is a Graphic 45 Staple and the layers work together beautifully! I used three graduated shades of cardstock (lighter on the bottom) to create the flower and give the illusion of shading.

The quote card was the perfect choice because it included the word “storybook) and it pulled the blue background print over to the other side of the diagonal.

So, are you ready for the giveaway? One lucky reader is going to win a Graphic 45 Little Women collection pack!

How To Enter: All you have to do to have a chance to be the lucky winner is leave a comment on this entry before 11:59PM US eastern time on Wednesday night, May 9th, 2018. Make sure you include your email address in the line reserved for it on the comment form (for your own protection, don’t put it in the text of the comment, where it will be visible to the public – just in the line labeled “email” in the form where only Craft Critique staff can see it). We will need it to notify you if you are a winner. Winners will be drawn by random drawing from all eligible entries. One entry per person. Sorry, US delivery addresses only.

But that’s not all! We’re giving away a different Graphic 45 collection on each of our Nally Studios websites today to celebrate National Scrapbook Day! Don’t miss your chance to win them all! Visit the links below to enter the giveaways on our other websites!

Thanks for sharing your National Scrapbook Day with Craft Critique and Nally Studios!

Paint a Patriotic Flower Pot for the Porch!

I’m so excited to be sharing my patriotic flower pot project today to help kick off the annual Red, White & Blue series at Sugar Bee Crafts, which is being run as a sort of month long blog hop this year! I look forward to seeing what all the other talented bloggers who are taking part will contribute.

[Some links in this article are affiliate links which pay a commission if a purchase is made after a click. I am part of blogger programs at Cricut and Plaid, who each provided me some products used in this article.]

patriotic flower pot

Supplies Needed:

To start my patriotic flower pot, I used the white paint and a foam paintbrush to put two coats on the rim of the pot.

painting flower pot

While my white paint was drying, I used my Cricut Explore Air 2 machine to cut out five stars from Cricut stencil vinyl. I used the Cricut Design Space basic shape tool to do this, and sized the stars so they would fit nicely on the rim of the pot.

Once the paint was dry on the rim of my patriotic flower pot, I stuck down the stars, I used a tape measure to get them evenly spaced around the rim. I measured the rim, divided it by 5 to get the spacing. I then stuck down a star, and measured from the left side of it to get to the starting point for the next star. I made sure to rub the stars down really firmly, especially at the edges, to avoid paint seeping under the edge.

star masks on flower pot

The next step once the stars were in place was to paint over the white with the Apple Red paint. While I had only put the white on the exterior of the pot, I carried the red over the rim down a distance into the interior of the pot so that the pot would be red above the soil line. This detail helps make the pot look “finished” no matter what angle it is viewed from.

It took three coats of paint for me to get solid color coverage over the bright white color. Remember when brushing your paint on to brush out from the center of the star masks so you aren’t pushing paint under the edges of them! (If you do find paint under the masks when you remove them, the areas can be touched up with a small brush and the white paint.) Once the red paint was dry, I peeled off the star masks and my white stars were showing through the red paint!

To finish my patriotic flower pot, I used painter’s masking tape to tape around the bottom of the red rim of the pot. Then I painted the bottom of the flower pot in two coats of cobalt blue, and removed the painter’s tape.

patriotic flower pot

Once all of my paint was dry, I added a few cute annual flowers that I bought at the local garden center. My patriotic flower pot was ready to beautify the table on my back porch. Now, if only I can remember to water my poor flowers regularly!

Would you like to see more fun patriotic crafts? Visit the Red, White & Blue series at Sugar Bee Crafts, or my Easy Melt & Pour Patriotic Soap!

Easy Melt & Pour Patriotic Soap

Not too long ago I discovered a new craft obsession: soap making! This red, white and blue melt & pour soap project that I’m bringing you today was one of my first soaping projects, so it’s perfect for beginners or soap makers of all levels.

[Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to the user when a purchase is made after a click.]

Red White & Blue SoapTo make this, you’ll need:

These items can be found at local soap specialty stores, ordered online, or are available at some local craft stores.

You’ll also need a kitchen scale, some spatulas, and a couple of Pyrex or other microwave safe glass bowls or measuring cups to melt your soap in.

To start, you need to chop up the clear glycerin soap and put it in a microwave container. I use large Pyrex measuring cups for melting my soap. Using 30 second bursts (or shorter when the soap is nearly melted so you don’t burn it) in the microwave, melt the soap to a liquid. Be careful not to boil it, though, by overheating it!

measuring melt and pour soap

Once the soap is melted, follow package instructions to add your fragrance. After the fragrance is mixed in, divide the soap evenly into two containers. Color one of the containers with blue and one with red.

Spritz your mold with rubbing alcohol. Pour each color into one section of your soap mold, spritz the top of the soap with rubbing alcohol to pop bubbles that were created during pouring, and allow the soap to cool. (Ignore the round one below – that is a color swirling experiment I made with some extra soap!)

melt and pour soap

It will take a few hours for the blue and red soaps to cool enough to work with. When they have, pop them out of the mold and chop part of them into small cubes. Place the cubes back into the molds, arranged randomly. (You can use the leftover red and blue soap to make more of these red white & blue bars, or as small travel soap bars, or for other soap design projects.)

melt and pour soap

Chop up the white glycerin soap just like the clear glycerin and heat it in the microwave as well using the same method. When it is melted, mix in your selected fragrance following the package directions.

Spritz the mold and the red & blue soap pieces with rubbing alcohol. Then carefully (I highly recommend using a Pyrex measuring cup with a spout for this task) pour the white soap into the mold around the red and blue soap pieces. Stop right before the white soap level reaches to tops of the colored soap pieces, so they will not get covered up. Spritz the top of the soap with rubbing alcohol to pop any bubbles that occurred on the surface from the pouring.

melt and pour patriotic soap

Leave the soap to cool for a few hours and then it can be removed from the mold! Imperfect edges can be cleaned up with a knife or by wiping the soap with a wet cloth.

melt and pour patriotic soap
And now it is time to enjoy your soap! This design makes a great way to add a festive touch to your guest bath or holiday home for July 4th.

This soap making project isn’t just for the 4th of July. A simple change in color scheme could make this a fun school spirit gift – send some off to school with your favorite college freshman!  Or make it in red and green to make Christmas holiday decor for your bathroom. The possibilities are endless, and since the soap comes in 2 pound packs, you can try several versions with your supply purchase! This is a great way to learn the basics of handling melt and pour soap.

I hope you enjoyed my soap tutorial today! If you are interested in making soap, please check out my other soapmaking articles 7 Things I’ve Learned Starting Soap Making and Celebrate Star Wars with Frozen Han Solo Soap to learn more about it!