Friday, March 15, 2013

insta scrap challenge #1

Happy Friday!

I have a little scrapbook page to share with you today.

The sketch inspiration for this page is from Artful Delight:

They have adorable kits for sale, so do check them out!

I used some of the Hey Girl! Basic Grey line that JoAnn's stores is now carrying.

This page is also the first challenge for a new little Instagram fun I decided to start.  

So, if you are on Instagram {and if you're not, what the heck are you waiting for??!}, create a page and post your creation with the hashtag #instascrapcrop1  I'm thinking I'll post a new challenge on the 15th and 30th of the month.  And maybe, just maybe, there will be some prizes someday...we'll see!

Monday, March 11, 2013

super why invitations

Calling all Super Readers!  It's party time!

I had to do a little research on PBS's hit show Super Why in order to create these invitations.  
Luckily, watching YouTube videos of preschooler television shows is pretty fun research.

Since the show is based on reading, it only made sense to create little books:

In each show, there is a problem that Whyatt and the rest of the Super Why gang need to solve, and they, of course, "need your help!"

So they head to the Book Club house and Princess Presto sings a little chant:

And finally, when the problem is solved they burst into a "Hip Hip Hooray" song.

It really is quite cute!

These were created with the help of my Silhouette Cameo using an adaptation and enlargement of these cut files:
book cover and belly band: 2 page book card by Samantha Walker
pinked circle: ribbon by Echo Park

Sunday, March 10, 2013

ikea haul

A couple of weeks ago I made my maiden voyage to 

Oh. My. Word.  If I didn't have children's buses to come home for (and a husband who would miss me terribly), I would have moved into one of their rooms.  Maybe this rad orange and pink one:

Or this cool contemporary one:

Or definitely this one decked out in my favorite colors and that light.  Oh, that light.

Is it not the coolest light ever?  It took all my will power not to bring it home with me.

 But I did come home with quite the IKEA haul and a few IKEA shopping tips.

Number one: go prepared!  This place is huge.  I mean ginormously, Texas-sized huge.  Me with no concept of IKEA casually asked my brother, "Like, is it wholesale club huge?"  He laughed at me.

I made a shopping list on their website with the definite, on-a-mission things I needed.  Then I scoped their inventory tracker for days before to make sure they would have my necessities in stock before I made the hour-long trek.

Number two: get your necessities first.  If there are things that you absolutely must go home with, load those up first, even if it means making two trips through the check-out.

One of my main goals was to pick up two table tops to make desks for the boys:

I knew the stock on these was low and that we would probably have to go with an alternate color.  After shopping for an hour, I panicked and bee-lined off the show room floor and down to the warehouse.  Good move--these were the last two table tops and they were out of their #2 choice.  Whew!
from IKEA: Vika Amon table top in high gloss red, Adils legs in black, Snille swivel chair in red,  Alrik swivel chair in blue, Bygel wire hanging basket, Bygel containers in black, Tertial work lamp, Algot wire basket, Kassett magazine file in white, Trofast storage box with lid in white
Another item that I was definitely going home with was this cutie:
From IKEA: Raskog utility cart in turquoise, Antonius basket insert

So I threw that on the flatbed with the desks and chairs and made trip number one to the car.
With those items checked off my list, I could relax and casually stroll through the showroom and marketplace.

Number three: don't use their carriages if you can at all avoid it.  The IKEA carriages are CRAZY!  All four wheels swivel.  At first I thought it was just me, or that I got a bum carriage.  But then I saw everyone making really wide turns with their whole body tilting out to the side.  If you must use a carriage take this tip passed onto me by one of the salespeople: walk alongside with one hand on the front and one on the back of the carriage. 

from IKEA: Vitaminer Vimpel panels with tiebacks
Number four: take measurements.  I went with a list of measurements of the boys' closets and the existing shelving in them.  It would also be helpful to have someone at home to call on for some speedy measurements of things.
This is my college dorm loft bed turned cozy nook/ "treehouse" for the boys--lots of fun!

Not from Ikea, but a little close-up of the blanket my nana made decades ago:

Number five: give yourself plenty of time.  I was warned by lots of friends to not expect to get in and out of there in two hours.  I spent four hours shopping and did not stop to eat (though the food did smell yummy).  It is definitely a store you want to take your time in to get the full experience.  Oh, and if you find yourself in a rush, look up for the shortcut signs--very handy, trust me!

from IKEA: Akerkulla cushion
from IKEA: Ung Drill mirror
This summer we will head back to IKEA as a family.  I think the boys will love the room vignettes on the showroom floor, and somehow I completely missed the fabric section.  Besides, I think that light needs to come home with me.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

project life

Project Life.  It's everywhere you look: Pinterest, Amazon, Instagram, people's blogs. 
All the cool kids are doing it. 

It took me a while to come off the proverbial fence, but I decided to give it a try this year.

I'm already several weeks behind {what else is new}, but the year is still young, right?  I can catch up.

The Title Page:
 I was hoping to get a family photo for this page, but that didn't happen (we'll get the annual family portrait on Easter in a few weeks).
And I'm still waiting for the boys (all 4 of them) to write their hopes and dreams for 2013.  It'll happen. Maybe I'll take away dessert until they do it ;)

Week one:

Week two:

I've been reflecting on my approach to Project Life and came up with these things:
  • keep it simple: no fancy papers or expensive embellishments, the purpose is to capture the moments and the ephemera, the bits and pieces that make up our lives
  • record the little moments that would otherwise be forgotten: take notice, be open and aware, live fully and document the everyday
  • don't stress: if one week is lacking content, photos, or excitement, use some filler material (favorite quotes, books we're all reading, things we're currently doing, favorite things, a recipe from the week, a note to someone, the grocery bill receipt), anything at all to say, "hey, we're here, this is our life, we're living it."
  • I can always catch up: it's ok if I fall behind, as long as I take some notes, snap some photos, draw some sketches.  If I keep good records, putting the actual page together is nothing and can be done at any time.
  • this doesn't replace scrapbooking: I'm still going to create traditional scrapbook pages.  Project Life certainly serves its purpose, but doesn't take the place of the creative outlet and documentation of our lives that scrapbooking affords me.
I think my favorite tool for this project is going to be my Silhouette.  There are hundreds of PL cut files out there, and it's pretty easy to design your own.  This machine and software never cease to amaze me.

Another favorite tool is Instagram.  The best camera is the one you have with you, right?

 There are also oodles and caboodles of FREE (or inexpensive) printables suitable for Project Life.  I have a Pinterest board here with lots, and I know I'll be adding plenty more throughout the year.

So there it is.  I'm committed.  I'm all in.  Let's do this, baby!

Friday, March 8, 2013

crochet: puff circle in a square pattern

Hi there crochet fans.  So I think a couple of weeks back, I might have promised to post a granny square pattern that I came up with.  I should really know better than to make promises at the end of my posts.  So many projects, so little time to write about them all!

Anyway, I'm spending the day drafting a bunch of posts to go live in the next week or so, and this baby is on my list.  

OK, please pay no attention to the fact that I took a photo of this square upside down.  Ahem, I just wanted to show you how purty the back of it is.  {Good golly, where is my brain sometimes?!}

My plan of attack is to make a bunch of circles first, 

and then square them up with a little traditional granny motif (see the green wip below)

 The squares themselves work up fairly quickly, but since I have crafty ADHD I am allowing myself plenty of time (like until Christmas) to finish this. {Who am I kidding?  We all know I'll be cursing myself into the wee hours of the morning hooking this blanket up come December 14th}

Noted: 14 circles & 1 1/2 squares complete on 3/8  Yeah, we'll see how this progress tracks {and we're not going to mention this blanket}.

The Pattern:

ETA: 3/23 please note change made to final granny round below

To make puff circle motif
Rnd 1: in a magic circle sc 12 stitches, join with a slst to first sc and pull tail tightly to close center circle

Rnd 2: ch3 (counts as first dc here and throughout), 2dc cluster (beginning cluster), ch1, *3dc cluster, ch1 repeat from * around in each sc from rnd 1, slst to first cluster to join. You should have 12 3dc clusters separated by a ch1 space.

to make a beginning cluster: *yo, insert hook into stitch, draw up a loop, yo, pull through two loops on hook*, yo, insert hook into stitch, draw up a loop, yo, pull through 2 loops, yo, pull through remaining 3 loops on hook to complete stitch.

to make a 3dc cluster: repeat steps above between * * 3 times until there are 4 loops left on the hook, yo and pull through all 4 loops.  It's like you are doing the first half of 3 dc stitches and then pulling through all of the stitches at the end. Here's my rhythm: yo insert hook, pull up, yo pull through 2, yo insert hook, pull up, yo pull through 2, yo insert hook, pull up, yo pull through 2, yo pull through 4, ch1 (repeat)

Rnd 3: slst into ch1 space between clusters of rnd 2, ch3, 3dc cluster ch2, *4dc cluster, ch2 repeat from * around in each ch1 space (between cluster from rnd 2), slst to top of first cluster to join.  You should have 12 4dc clusters separated by a ch2 space.  Fasten off--puff circle motif complete.

note: 4dc clusters are the same concept as the 2dc and 3dc clusters, you just do the beginning part of 4 dc stitches to have 5 loops on hook to pull through at the end.

To turn the circle into a square
Join border color {white} in space between any 4dc cluster. Ch3, dc, ch 2dc all in same space (first corner made).  Each cluster from the previous round has two stitches plus a space into which you can crochet.  You will be working the following stitches into these stitches (the stitches in the {} are worked into the ch2 space created in rnd 3, and all corners are worked into a space also): *dc, hdc, {2hdc}, hdc, hdc, {2hdc}, hdc, dc, corner: {2dc, ch2, 2dc} repeat from * join with a slst to top of beginning ch3.  You should now have a square shape with 14 stitches along each side 

To create granny border Note change in this round: omit ch1 stitch between groups of 3dc
Slst to corner space.  Ch3, 2dc, ch3, 3dc in same space (first corner made), *ch1, sk 2st, 3dc in next stitch, ch1, sk 3st, 3dc in next, ch 1, sk 3st, 3dc in next, ch1, sk 2st, 3dc in corner space, ch 3, 3dc in same space.  Repeat from * around and join with a slst to the top of the beginning ch3.

That's it!  If you find any errors in the pattern, or have any questions, please let me know.  I hope you give this pattern a try, and I'll keep you updated on my slow progress.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

flower pot invitations

It's been a snowy and cold couple of months here in New England (surprise, surprise!).  
So I was thrilled to be able to think spring while making these invites for a little cutie's 1st birthday.

 This Silhouette cut file from Lori Whitlock made quick work of all the cutting.

Most of the papers are from the DCWV Kidlet line

Thanks for looking!