Friday, February 25, 2011

Sneak Peeks, and a crochet scarf

Where has February gone??  I know it's a short month, but sheesh--this is ridiculous! 

It's school vacation week around here, but in between the movies, visits with friends and the museum, I've managed a bit of work with the March kits from Scrapbook Heaven.  Here are a couple of peeks so far:

Last night we resumed our Chicks with Sticks meetings and I started a cute ruffle scarf from this pattern at Lion Brand Yarn.  Of course, it wouldn't be a true crochet project for me if I didn't get partway through and have to tear it out and start over because I hadn't followed the pattern correctly {sigh}.  It's ok, it was too short anyway.

Can't wait to cozy down tonight and work the last two rows.

Some sad news: my beloved Canon Rebel xti dslr is broken.  I can't even begin to guess what might be wrong with it (other than something is shaking around inside--that cannot be good) or how it might have happened (I'm really hoping the kids did not knock it off the table).  I'll be scoping out a camera repair shop this weekend to hopefully get it fixed soon.  In the meantime, I'll have to settle for my little iPod camera and Instagram (which I do love, so I guess it could be worse!).

Hope you have a happy and creative-filled weekend!

Monday, February 21, 2011

A few crop pages

I always get ahead of myself and snap pics of pages that aren't quite finished (like the journaling part)!  I'll get on that soon.  In the meantime, here are my {mostly} journal-less layouts created during the sketch crop this weekend:

It's not too ate to join in on the crop for a chance to win $50 in Basic Grey products.  You have until Thursday at 6:00 pm EST.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

There's a crop goin' on!

If you're in need of a little sketchy inspiration, hop on over to Scrapbook Heaven and check out the sketch crop happenin' right now!  There's $50 in Basic Grey supplies up for grabs for the winner, so please play along.  Here are mine to get you started:

The first one:
The Sketch:

The Challenge: Time to get naughty with a little strip tease! Gather up your strips of scrap paper, glue or stitch them together and cut them into a shape to use on your layout.

The Example:

The Close-Up:

 And the other one:
The Sketch:

The Challenge: 'Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...these are a few of my favorite things" This challenge is a bit a-la-carte. I compiled some of my favorite things into one LO, and you get to choose three or more of my LOVES to use on your page. Here they are:

The Example:

Have fun! And remember: to be eligible for the prize, your layout must be uploaded to Scrapbook Heaven by Thursday, Feb 24 @ 6:00pm EST.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Redefining Mom World Wide

I try to keep this blog limited to topics related to creativity and art.  This post doesn't have much to do with art, but everything to do with courage, authenticity, and well-being.  It has to do with creating your best life possible.
One of my closest and best friends since middle school is undertaking a revolution on Facebook.  She has created a page for mothers world wide to post a goal they would like to achieve before Mother's Day.  Now we all know how hard it can be to achieve our goals, and how hard a job Motherhood is.  We need all the support we can get, right?  So please consider joining this brand-new growing community of mothers, a community sure to be filled with support and encouragement. 

Redefining Mom World Wide welcomes you to our community. Join our group in celebrating you. Share a personal goal you would like to achieve by May 8th and let the community support you in achieving your goal as you support them. Our mission is to create an amazing mother’s day this year celebrating with our children full of accomplishment, pride, self expression and a new sense of personal identity.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Art Journal Friday

Went all week with hardly anything to show in my art journal.  Week two would be way to early to flake on this commitment, so I grabbed some watercolor paints and dusted off the chalks to create a couple of pages:

First, I need to say that I can not draw for beans (ok, maybe I didn't really need to say that, you can see for yourself).  It makes me sad to think that as child I really didn't care for art class.  There was a lot of drawing involved, and drawing frustrated me.  My eyes played tricks on me and my hand wouldn't listen.  I could never get my drawings to match what I saw in my head.  I gave up on "art."  As an adult, I still can't draw, but I have learned to embrace my non-drawing-self.  And every so often I'll put pen to paper and attempt a little drawing.  I've learned to be OK with whatever the outcome is.  Maybe someday I'll take a drawing class...
Tried out some new Smooch Spritz earlier this week.  Did some drips and some ink blowing, splatted a bit of metallic and pearl alcohol inks.  Really just throwing some mess down.  Just a little experiment.  Got me thinking about these mediums a bit, and got me inspired to try out some other ideas I have.  Sometimes you just need to play with no real concern for the outcome--that's the beauty of an art journal.

Happy Friday!  Hope you will take some time to play with your creative side this weekend!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentines for Kids

Every year, the boys and I make handmade Valentine's for them to hand out to their classmates.  And every year, they're a little bit older and can help a whole lot more with the production of said Valentines.  I will be sad when they become too old for this tradition.

I got the idea for this year's treat in an email from Northbridge Media.  Roree Rumph made these adorable Valentines:

I just loved them to bits! 

Nothing says LOVE like a handmade Valentine, and nothing says "handmade Valentine" like glue, scissors, paper hearts and doilies!  So we improvised and used some doily paper hearts from the grocery store to make pop holders in the same design as Roree's.

If you can spare a few minutes before Monday, it's not too late to whip up some homemade Valentines of your own.  Here's what you'll need
 All it takes is 5 easy steps:
  1. Glue the doily to some cardstock for added stability.  The cardstock also provides a place for the giver to sign his/her name (or write "secret admirer!").  Trim around edges.
  2. Glue patterned paper heart to center of doily.  (I made a quick template by tracing the inside of the doily and cutting it out of cardstock.
  3. Adhere punched hearts (or you could substitute stickers).
  4. Punch holes to thread ribbon through.
  5. Tie knot around pop stick and adhere Valentine greeting.

Happy Love Day!! XOXOXO

Girlie Birthday Invites: Cupcakes!

I love when I get to go all out girlie, especially when it's for a little one's first birthday party.  I finished these up for a client a few days ago and want to share them here.  If I ever open an etsy shop, these custom invitations will be my first listing!

The top of the frosting lifts up to reveal the party details.
 Some stitching, a ribbon bow, and "piped icing" complete the look.

These cuties measure 4 1/2" by 5 3/4" and fit in a standard card envelope.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Another Crochet Ear Warmer

Took a little break from paper this weekend to organize my yarn stash a bit.  I realized that my small collection of yarn had spread into two bags, three baskets, and a closet.  Time to reign it back in!  And of course, the mere act of touching the yarn and I had to dust off the crochet hooks and put together a little headband ear warmer:

I came up with a pattern for this one.  It's a bit thinner than the one I made here.  I'm using the word "pattern" very loosely here.

Row 1: ch5, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each chain across (4sc)
Rows 2-3: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across (4sc)
Row 4: inc 1 sc by sc 2 stitches in one sc from row 3 (5sc)
Rows 5-6: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across (5sc)
Repeat this pattern, increasing by one stitch every third until your piece measures 3 1/4" wide (not long).  For my somewhat chunky weight yarn and J hook, this was at 10 sc.
Continue sc without increasing until piece measures about 15 1/2" long.
Decrease every third row by one stitch by sc two stitches together until you have three rows of 4sc.  Fasten off and weave in ends.

ch5, join with sl st in first ch to form ring
Round 1: ch 1, 12 sc in ring join with sl st in first sc (10 sc)
Round 2: ch 1 sc in first st *ch3, skip next st, sc in next st; repeat from *4 more times, ch 3, skip last st, join with sl st in first sc (6 ch 3 spaces)
Round 3: *sl st, sc, 3 hdc, sc, sl st in each ch 3 space around.  sl st to first st to join.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Art Journal Friday

I am declaring Friday to be Art Journal day on my blog (at least for February).  I like to take these things in small doses.  I know I can't last with the photo a day thing, so I do it for a month.  Or the word of the year, mine is a month.  It's not that I'm easily bored, or that I might run out of ideas.  I guess I'm kind of a commitment-phobe.  Or, there are just too many ideas out there and I like to try as many as I can, and let's face it 24 hours in a day is just not enough time!  Anyway, onto this week's art journal.

I was super inspired by the new SMASH product from EK Success Brands, and their super cool video, so I made a smash page of stuff from my desk.  I didn't get up from my seat (rare for me, I usually create standing up), everything was within arms reach--it was helpful that my desk was a mess when I made this!
Lot's of little pieces of creative nothingness.  I love that most of the stuff on this page would have been tossed in the trash, but now it has a forever home.

I actually did two pages this week, in my effort to catch-up from a bad art journal January.  This page's background is torn from an Anthropologie catalog, dry brushed with white acrylic, and then I wrote and doodled around the edges.  My doodles are a work in progress.
If you are looking for more art journal inspiration, visit Julie Fei Fan Balzer's blog.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Valentine Mini Album

Earlier this week I shared a quick look at a Valentine Mini Album I created with a Kaiser Craft mdf album and February's Petite kit from Scrapbook Heaven.  Here's a little closer look at the pages and the process:

  I used an album by Kaiser Craft.  It's made from super sturdy mdf board.
I started by painting all the edges with white acrylic paint.  The pages covered quite easily: trace onto paper, cut out just inside the pencil lines, Mod Podge to the mdf, let dry, poke holes, and sand edges.

I love all the size and shape variety in this album.  I slid in some printed transparency pieces to add a little more dimension--simply punched them and reinforced them with 3/8" eyelets.

I just love the peek-a-boo heart window:

That pink lace is self adhesive paper--swoon!

"I want to say quite sweetly, I Love You most completely." {sigh}

The "together" tab is self adhesive canvas.
That last photo is the day we got engaged, before he popped the question (I think he looks a little nervous!).
 How about you?  Do you have any fun projects planned for Valentine's Day?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

National Hobby Month and Sketch

Another post from last month's crop event that mysteriously went missing (aka, I lost my ridiculous mind and forgot to post).  The crop is over, but there's no saying you can't take on the challenge or use the sketch!

January is National Hobby Month. So my challenge to you is to create a layout about hobbies. You can do a page about your favorite hobbies, or the hobbies of your loved ones.


And here's a sketch for you. You can include any number of photos in any sizes you choose.

Tea Bag Holder

Somehow the following post got lost in the shuffle last month.  I would have had no idea I hadn't posted it, but I went searching for the directions for this tonight, and huh, they weren't there!  Geesh, my mind sometimes??  Well, here's what I forgot to post:

Who knew? January is Hot Tea Month! There's nothing like a hot cup of tea to warm you up on a frigid January day. So go brew yourself a cup and then take on this next challenge in the crop: create a tea holder.


1. Cut double sided paper (or make your own) to 3 1/2" x 11"

2. Score at 3 1/2", 7" and 7 1/2"

3. Hold paper as shown and cut third panel at a diagonal to create a pocket.

4. Adhere pocket to second panel.

5. Embellish!

In love: SMASH

Have you seen this?  I am in love with this concept.  I guess I've had this concept in my head in pieces for a while now--the idea of keeping snippets of your life in a book.  Not a traditional scrapbook b/c it's not all prettied up with store bought papers and embellies.  Not exactly an art journal b/c it's not all splattered with ink, paint, and drawings.  Not exactly an inspiration journal b/c it's more than just things that inspire you.

Check it out:

I love that this has smacked me right in the face.  I think I needed to see someone else put it together like this for it all to click in my head and make sense.  I'm on it, and I'm excited with the possibility!

Smash by EK Success Brands

Embellishing Patterned Paper

It's challenge time!  There are so many beautiful papers on the market, and from all the peeks I've seen from CHA, there are many more to come.  My challenge to you this month is to kick up your patterned paper a notch by embellishing it.  Try stamping it, misting it, distressing it, punching it, stitching it, doodling on it.  Whatever you can think of.  On my LO below, I stitched buttons to the center of the patterned paper's motifs, adding in a flower here and there.

Have fun with it!  And if you take on this challenge, I would love to see what you created!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February Reveal Time

It's February, the month of L-O-V-E and I am completely smitten with this month's kits from Scrapbook Heaven!
I'll start off with the Petite.  This kit just might be one of my favorites (I feel like I've said that before, and that I might be losing credibility); but seriously this kit is a total steal at $17.99. If you are scrapbooking people that you love, then you need this kit.

I couldn't stop myself from creating with this one--so much fun to play with!

As soon as I unpacked the kit I "saw" a mobile with the acrylic angel wings:

Mobiles are not easy to photograph. Here's another view:

And one of it all laying down:

Then I knew the yummy papers in this kit would be perfect for a Valentine album I had bought in The Store a few months back. 

So here's my album:
It's for hubby for V-day--shhhh!  I'm pretty sure he doesn't have time to read my little 'ol blog, so the secret should be safe here.  Later this week, I'll share the album in more detail.

Speaking of Valentine's Day, I always make Valentines for the kiddos' classes. I got the idea for this little cutie in my inbox a bit ago.  The boys and I will be crafting up bunches of these for them to give to their classmates.
note: The doilies, tiny black letters, ribbon and pops are not included in the kit, and the word "be." is punched from some packaging in the kit.

And since this is a scrapbooking kit, I thought I should actually make some layouts with it:
The hearts were cute from a piece of paper in the kit then stitched down with a sewing machine.

The first block in the middle row is actually a little note card that opens to reveal the journaling.

And then a simple one layer card:
How stinkin' cute is that frog?  I just want to kiss him!

Oh, and then I found the little checkbook style purse calendar in the kit (I swear this kit is like Mary Poppins' magic carpet bag!), and created a little cover for that with the fab stickers and rubons from Fancy Pants.

And now for the Elite kit. This kit has a beautiful mix of papers with gorgeous colors. I love the variety of looks you can get out of this one kit.


Thankfully these pics are small--that's me and hubby at my HS Junior prom--yikes!


OK, so I loved thess kits to pieces, literally. I'm going to challenge myself this month to use up every last scrap of them because I love them so much.  If you want to get your own to play with, please visit The Store at Scrapbook Heaven.

ps. Thanks so much for reading this humongous post all the way to the very end (or maybe you did what I would've done and just scrolled through to see all the pics!)