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Hey Gang,

I want to start today with a photo of the gorgeous sunrise I was greeted with on my way to work today.  The sun was so red and HUGE.  This picture really doesn’t do it justice. But WOW huh? ( I did absolutely no photoshopping, this is straight from the camera.)

The other little ditty I have for you is a project I started a while back.  I was feeling like my paper craft friends thought I had abandoned them, so I decided to finish it.

Here’s how to make one of your own.

Use a children’s 25 piece puzzle that you can find at any dollar store.

Flip it over.  I used the back as my canvas because I am lazy and would have had to gesso the front due to the slickness and pattern.

Number each piece.  Trust me, you will thank me for this advice later when the pieces get mixed up.

Pick out paper to use as your background. I used patterned paper from Echo Park- A walk in the park.   You could use anything though, even fabric.

You will trace the pieces on paper and cut them out.  Two helpful tips.  1. You need to make sure that you have the piece on the paper the right way.  Meaning the paper has two sides to it and so does the puzzle piece. So you need to make sure that the brown side of the puzzle piece (the side the paper will be glued on to) is facing down and the paper side you want to show is also facing down.  This way when you trace your lines and cut them out they will not show and the pattern that you like will be correct.  *ask me how I know this.  Tip 2.  Cut your piece with a little allowance on all sides.  If you cut your piece too close,  the brown will show and you will get really mad and stomp your feet. (well at least that is what I did, maybe you have better self control.) Think of the extra as cookies- its always better to have more cookies, right?

Print out your family photos using a thumbprint layout or custom size to about 1 inch by 1.5 inches. Unless you have fewer photos and then you may want to go with a bigger size.

Fiddle with how you like the photos with the papers etc.

Glue the papers onto the pieces.  I used Tombow mono multi, in the cool triangle bottle, but you can use what ever glue you prefer.  After they have dried,  take a nail file- you know the coarse ones for acrylic nails- and file the paper off the edges of the piece.  This creates a nice clean edge.  I chose to darken the edges of each piece with Tim Holtz walnut brown ink, using a sponge dauber.  I felt that this added a unity to all the pieces tying them all together.

I then put the puzzle back together and played with the details. Originally I was going to have one person for each piece.  But then I found the center sentiment “it doesn’t matter where you go, it’s whose beside you that counts”and decided to put the couples closer together and to leave room by the singles so that I can add to it as they marry. I mounted each photo on brown card stock, once again to tie them all together.

I chose three metal hearts to also add unity to the piece. I added three butterflies I cut out using a sizzix die and patterned paper.  I added four rhinestone gems because I was feeling frisky.

I put my mom and her brothers and sisters on thick pop dots, their five kids on slightly less raised dots and their spouses and kids flat.  I felt the the depth added to the overall look of the piece. This photo better shows what I am talking about.

I then glued the entire thing to a piece of card stock.

Overall I am very pleased with the results.  I love that there is so much room for exploration.  Go wild and make one too.  If you do please share your results with me.