Messy Box Is Here!

The Messy Box is here!The Messy BoxHi, friends! I am so excited to share that Messy Box is available for pre-order today and will be shipping out around March 10th. 

Messy Box will ship around the 10th of each month. Each box is filled with items to scrapbook with including paper and cards, stickers, embellishments, and special items! I design each of the kits with my in-house designer, Ryan, and the team at Studio Calico. Each month is color-coordinated and comes with a different technique theme that I will be sharing projects with here on the blog! 

Just like with Happy Mail, you can get an even better deal by subscribing with a larger commitment. We offer 1 ($24.99/mo.), 6 ($21.99/mo.), and 12 ($19.99/mo. best value) month subscription commitments. On the 10th of every month during your subscription, we'll collect payment of the fee stated next to the level of commitment. Your subscription will begin with the first month's shipment in mid March 2015.  The price is valid for the commitment listed. After that, we'll continue your subscription at that price, unless you cancel. 

Here are a few pages I made with the first Messy Box

Messy Box washi tapeMessy Box washi tape One of the special items in this month's Messy Box is a roll of washi tape that has all the days of the week in my handwriting. It's SO fun to play with! 

Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess!     I loved playing with these white brads to create a design on top of my photo. Excited to try more of this! 

Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess!              This transparency sheet makes a beautiful opener for an album. 

Gold foil chipboard letters in ABM Messy BoxYou know I love all things gold, and this month's kit has a gold chipboard alphabet that is SO cute. 

(I'll share even MORE pages next Sunday! I can't stop playing!!)

Get more information and subscribe here! xx. Elsie 

P.S. We're finalizing some details on our albums and page protectors. We don't have an exact launch date, but it will be VERY soon. We'll post about it here and on Instagram as soon as they're on the shop! (sooo excited!!!) 

Credits// Author: Elsie Larson. Photography by Erin Kunce and Elsie Larson 

Project Restyle: Gold-Marbled Entryway Table

Love this entryway table makeover! (click through to see the before + after pics)    Sometimes I think the entryway area of a house gets the short end of the decor stick (so to speak). This seems to be especially true if you don't have a very large entryway. We have a short hallway that brings people into our house, and I was never really sure if I had enough room to do anything with the area, but I decided to give it a shot and see what I could do with the bit of space we have. I'd seen those really skinny console tables around and I thought one of those would be good for the space and give us a place to drop off our keys and what not by the door. I found a console table at a local store for a good price, but it was lacking the personality that I wanted for the only piece of furniture that can fit in that space, so I thought a makeover was definitely in order!

Love this entryway table makeover! (click through to see the before + after pics)         OK, before someone in the audience yells out, "I liked the table better before!" let me say that this wasn't a bad table to begin with. I mean, I'm really not a big fan of glass topped furniture personally, but gold legs can definitely be cool. However, the gold finish on this table was actually a weathered antiqued gold (it's hard to see in the photo above), so even if I kept the legs that color, I would have wanted to repaint them a solid gold anyway.

I had just bought a big brass mirror for the entryway at a local flea market and I really wanted the gold color of the mirror to be the star of the space. So, instead of gold, I thought a white table base would better suit the space. One can of semi-gloss spray paint later and the base of the table was done.

Love this entryway table makeover! (click through to see the before + after pics)    The top of the table was a bit trickier to decide on than the legs. I cut a 3/4" thick board to be just bigger than the current top of the table, and I wanted to do a faux Carrara marbling technique on the board. I say "wanted to" because it didn't quite work out that way...I tried a couple of times to get the technique down (using this tutorial), but my brush wasn't quite right for the job, my paint was drying too fast, and I just couldn't get the hang of it. I'm still resolved to figure out that technique and I'm going to keep trying until I get it, but I thought I should think of a different solution for the table in the meantime so I didn't have a half-finished piece of furniture in my entryway for the next few months. I still liked the idea of marbling, so I bought this gorgeous gold marbled paper to use for the table top instead.

Love this entryway table makeover! (click through to see the before + after pics)    I cut the marbled paper to be just slightly bigger than the top of my board and used a satin finish decoupage to adhere it to the wood board. Once it was totally dry, I did two more coats of finish on top to make sure the top was adequately sealed. I have to say though, every time I decoupage paper and put on a top coat of finish, I freak out when the wet paper bubbles until they eventually calm down and flatten out as it dries. I also cut a few pieces of wood trim and painted them white to be a frame around the board to give it more of a finished look.

Love this entryway table makeover! (click through to see the before + after pics)  Once the paint was dry, I used small finishing nails to attach the trim around the edges and painted over the nail holes. I attached the new table top to the base with a strong epoxy glue and my new entryway table was ready for action!

Love this entryway table makeover! (click through to see the before + after pics)        Love this entryway table makeover! (click through to see the before + after pics)       Love this entryway table makeover! (click through to see the before + after pics)     Love this entryway table makeover! (click through to see the before + after pics)   I am seriously over the moon with how this table came out. I love it! The white looks fresh and clean and the pop of the gold marbling perfectly compliments the brass mirror above. It's also great to finally have a spot next to the door to set keys, sunnies, and mail so that doesn't all pile up on the kitchen counter instead. I would say that this makeover was a success indeed! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Laura Gummerman + Todd Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

How to Make Granny Squares (and a Blanket!)

6U8A8786 6U8A8806Baby, it's cold outside! At least, it is in Manitoba. One thing I love to do on a cold winter day is snuggle up under an afghan with a cup of tea. Even if it's warmer where you are, a nice crocheted afghan adds beautiful texture to any space. In this tutorial, as part of the Crochet Basics series, you'll learn how to make a classic granny square. I'll also show you how you can join your granny squares to create a cozy afghan of your own! 

In this video, I demonstrate how to make a 3-row granny square. Choose any yarn you fancy! Check the yarn label to choose the appropriate size of crochet hook for your yarn.

Granny SquareStart with a slip knot on your hook. Ch 4, and insert your hook into the first ch. Slip stitch (sl st) to create a loop.

Ch 3, 2 dc in loop. *Ch 1, 3 dc in same loop. Repeat from * 3 times.

Ch 1, then connect to the third chain on the other side with a sl st into the top ch st. That's the first round!

For the second round, start by ch 4, and in the first space beside that chain, work 2 dc. Ch 1, skip 3 stitches, and work 3 dc in the next space. Ch 1, and work another 3 dc in the same open space.

Ch. 1, move on to the next open space. 3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc. Repeat for each open space on the first round. Once you're back at the first corner, work 3 dc, ch 1, and then sl st into the top of the ch (4th stitch) to connect. 

For the 3rd round, ch 4, 2 dc in the same space. *Ch 1, move on to the next open space on the side, 3 dc, ch 1. Move to the next corner, and work the corner as follows: 3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc. Repeat from * around.

To complete the 3rd row in your granny square, once you've done the final 3 dc in the last corner, ch 1, then insert your hook into the top of the chain (in the 4th stitch). Cut the yarn and pull through. This completes a 3-row granny square!

How to join granny squares step 1-3To connect your squares, start by taking 2 granny squares and put them together with the nicer sides facing in. You can see how the stitches line up nicely.

How to join granny squares step 4.Insert your hook into the corner of both squares.

How to join granny squares step 5.With matching yarn, slip knot onto your hook, and pull the yarn through the corner. Work single crochet stitches in each stitch until you reach the other corner.

How to join granny squares step 6.How to join granny squares step 7.How to join granny squares step 8.From here, you can decide whether you want to continue around the square, attaching 4 squares to the middle square to create a plus sign like in the afghan I made, or you can cut the yarn and attach your squares "end to end" in a long strip, creating rows of squares to later attach using the same sc method. Once all your squares and rows are joined, use a darning needle to weave in all the yarn ends.

6U8A8705 6U8A8802One thing I love about making granny squares, is it's something you can start and finish in one sitting. Sometimes you have time to make one, other times you can make a bunch at one time. Stockpile your squares until you have enough to join them into a blanket! Small blankets make special baby gifts. Definitely something that takes time, but those are usually the gifts that get treasured for a long time. -Holly

Credits // Author: Holly Neufeld, Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions. 

Scrapbook Sunday: Messy Book + Messy Sneak Peeks!

The Messy Box!Hi friends! Happy Sunday! Today I am excited to share with you the new Messy Box and The Messy Book we have coming out this month. I have been working on these products for more than a year so words cannot describe how happy I am to finally launch them into the world!

Messy Box is our scrapbook kit club that comes with fun papers, cards and embellishments to fit your album each month. 

So here's a quick sneak peek at what's to come and what I've been creating with the new products! 

Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess!The Messy Book! I chose 9x12 albums because I love the size. It's smaller (skinnier) than a traditional scrapbook (and doesn't hang off my bookshelf- yay!!) but it's still large enough to not be a mini book. I have been testing the size by making 9x12 pages for the past year and I absolutely love it and can't wait for you to try it! They're my dream scrapbooks. 

Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess! Here are the pocket page designs. There is a full size 9x12 page, one with 3x3 squares (perfect for Instagram!), one with 4x6 and 3x4 pockets and one with all 3x4s. I named them after fashion icons, just for fun! 

Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess!  Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess!  One of the things that makes The Messy Book unique is the colorful inside of each album and the "to be continued" at the back of each book. We are launching soon with three different covers, and there will be more coming out as the year goes on. 

Here are examples of what each page design looks like as a finished product (and I made all these pages with the first Messy Box kit too)! 

Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess!     Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess!     The full page design, Plain Jane, is one of my favorites because I love large, full-page photos! I almost always use this page design as the opening page for every album! 

Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess!       Oh- and here's a peek at some gold chipboard letters that are included in the first Messy Box! It will be available for pre-order this week. 

Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess!        Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess!        The Westwood page design is the most traditional since it features two 4x6 pockets. 

Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess!          Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess!          Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess!Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess!              The Monroe design is my personal favorite since I love squares and typically take most of my photos with my iPhone. I love that you can fit twelve photos per page with this design! 

Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess!             Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess!             And the Bardot design is fun as well since the photos can be a little larger! 

I really like mixing all the page designs together and plan to use all four, but I think Emma will pick one or two designs to stick with for her all-photo album. I love that it is so customizable! We're planning to share different ways that we and ABM readers use The Messy Books here in the future! 

Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess!                    Introducing The Messy Book by A Beautiful Mess!                    One more sneaky peek! The first Messy Box has this pretty transparency sheet. I used it for the opening page of my Costa Rica album. 

Messy Box is not quite up for pre-order yet, but you can sign up for information about it here. Pre-order is in just a few days! I can't wait for these to start arriving at your homes! Getting my first box and book in the mail seriously made my whole month! Happy Sunday you guys. xx. Elsie 

ps. I don't know what day the albums will be available in our shop, but I'll post here and on Instagram when they are! 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with Stella from The Complete Collection

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