Wednesday, September 25, 2013

embroidered crochet cozy

Happy Fall!
I'm so ready for fall--ready for chilly mornings, sun-shine warming my face, blue jeans and sweaters, apple crisp and the gorgeous colors of autumn.

And after all those things, my favorite thing about fall?  Starbucks Pumkin Spice Lattes!  Oh, sweet Heaven in a cup.

Sweet Mollie at Wild Olive shared a free embroidery pattern for a cutie little PSL.  I thought it would  be just perfect on a crocheted coffee cozy:

So I stitched one up last week. But then I met up with my sister and she was drinking her Pumpkin iced coffee from that "other" coffee shop {blehhhh!}.  I gave her the cozy so her little hand wouldn't freeze off.  And besides, if she insists on drinking that substandard coffee, the least she can have is a cute cozy around her cup. (Love you, Sister, even if your choice in coffee is yucky!)

So this week, I stitched and hooked a cozy of my very own.  And of course, once I was finished, I had to treat myself to a Starbucks PSL.

ps.  I have been working on lots of projects for the new design team I am on.  It is killing me not to be able to share them here, but as soon as I can, I will.

Hope you are all enjoying your fall so far!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

almost 4

Did a little double-dippin' today and combined the Mood Board #9 challenge at Jot Magazine and sketch challenge #251 from Creative Scrappers to come up with this layout:

I used some colorful and fun papers from Bella Blvd for the circles

and sprinkled in some sequins and mist spritz.

Thank you to the teams at both sites for the fabulous inspiration.  
It's a happy day when inspiration hits hard and I can get a page created!

ps. So excited to say that my page was featured on Creative Scrappers!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

a little project life

Warning: this is a very long, wordy, and detailed post.  And if you have no interest in Project Life, you will be bored to tears.  Feel free to skip right on through to the next post {or go make yourself a nice cup of tea}.

So it's no surprise that I'm hopelessly behind in Project Life.  

I think this is an inherent problem with this type, or any type for that matter, of scrapbooking.
Time passes, most of the time faster than we can keep up, faster than we want (except when we were kids and counting the days until Christmas, summer vacation, or the day we could get our driver's license.) Time doesn't stop so we can better appreciate those we love, so we can enjoy our baby's belly laughs, and certainly not so we can catch up with our memory keeping.

But the whole point of Project Life is to document the everyday, the fleeting, time-is-passing-too-quickly moments so that we can attempt to hold onto them forever, attempt to stop time, so to speak.

It's a trade-off I'm willing to make.  So I will trudge on, desperately (but not hopelessly) behind.

And along the way, I've learned a few things:

*I've learned to jump around with my weeks.  I don't have to go in order, and can just make sure I use the correct side of the page (I just do one week per single side, not double page spreads), and leave empty page protectors in my album

week 14

week 15

week 16

week 17

week 19
*I've learned to document, document, document.  Because even though you think you'll remember what day that happened, or the cute thing he said, you won't (or am I the only one with the horrible memory?)  I use a few tools to help me keep up with this:

 I created my own and added them to my Creative Chaos binder:

These are great for jotting down little notes about what happened that week and noting which photos need to be printed.

I created a quick filing system for each week of the year.
Washi tape attaches an index card to the front of each divider so I can easily see the week's dates, jot notes, and keep track of what still needs to be done to complete that week's layout.

Printed photos and other ephemera can be tucked right in ready to be turned into a layout. And the dividers can be reused each year just by replacing the index card.

*I've learned to have everything in reach.  I like to keep all my Project Life supplies together and within easy reach while I'm working.  I organize PL cards in a sectioned box that I bought at Target several years ago:

I separate the Becky Higgins cards by color and or pattern.  This saves me tons of time shuffling through cards in their original packaging.  When I need a certain color or a quote card, I can easily find one to use.

 Oh and those little empty spots are being reserved for the Honey edition as soon as I can get my hot little hands on it!

I also organize all of my other supplies, pens, tools, etc in my Raskog cart from IKEA.  Man, do I love this pretty little thing.

 It holds so much and keeps it all organized thanks to the Antonius inserts.

I try to keep just the Project Life essentials in here, like roller date stamps

my favorite alpha stamps

and of course, some washi tape

{A huge 'thank you!' to Becky at One Scrappin Mama for sending me most of those gorgeous rolls of tape pictured above.  She sent me an absolutely ENORMOUSLY HUGE package of goodies last month when she was cleaning out her gorgeous stash of stuff.  I am one lucky girl!}

OK, back to some more stuff I've learned while doing Project Life this year (I'm so easily distracted).

*I've learned to use a few little digi tools to help me document our lives, specifically these apps:

This app lets you "collect" your memories with a photo, some words, and lets you tag them for sorting.  It also lets you set up multiple albums.  The best part of this app is the little cards it makes:
They have lots of options for sharing, but I like to email them to myself for printing.  Project Life made easy!

Love this app for sorting all my iPod/Phone photos by date.  Aside from the ads, it has a nice, easy to view format that lets you easily see when your photos were taken.

Gratitude Journal
Even if you're not a Project Lifer, this is a fabulous app for keeping track of the little moments in life.  It also lets you snap a picture to represent the day.

*And finally, I have learned that I am happiest when I focus on our Project Life album, when I set aside time each day to write notes, and each week to edit and print photos.  I love the actual creating of the pages, slipping just the right cards into the pages, and trying to create a pleasing and balanced visual representation of our lives for that week.  Project Life has helped me be more present in our daily lives, find the joys and happiness in the little things, and be more conscientious of documenting it all.

Whew!  So there you have it: my little Project Life learnings as I go through my year.  Now if I could just follow my own advice, maybe I wouldn't be so darn far behind!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

wild olive summer stitching club

I began this summer with hopes and visions of creativity.  I did get some of that, though not nearly as much as I had hoped (isn't that always the way?).  But one project that followed me through the summer was Wild Olive's Summer Stitching Club

It was the perfect little project to bring outside while the boys played or swam

or during a soak in the tub 

And everything was easily toted from the hockey rink to the beach

in this fancy schmancy duct taped suitcase:

It helped me to feel like I was being creative everyday:
So with summer winding down, you would think that this project is winding down, too.  But no, I am still in a sea of stitched hexies, none of which have actually been stitched together.  

How cute are these patterns, right?
I am still trying to figure out how to lay them out.

Decisions, decisions. . .

If you missed Mollie's Summer Stitching Club, maybe you can catch her Autumn Stitching Club.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

a crochet pincushion

I have a sweet little crochet project to share with you today:

The photo-tutorial pattern is available from Sandra over at Cherry Heart
There's also a Ravelry download here.

The pattern is based on an African Flower Hexagon that I am all too familiar with from this work-in-progress:

The blanket was apparently too much for me to take on, but a pincushion?  A pincushion I can handle.

It worked up so quickly, I made two.  In one day.  
Seriously, I know.

The first one I made on the right followed the pattern as Sandra wrote it.

When I was working on the second one, I had a brainstorm of an idea to make a second hexagon so the bottom of the cushion could be as pretty as the top.  The above left shows that bottom.

 Then I followed Sandra's pattern for the sides and before decreasing, attached the bottom hex working the front loops only (at least that's how I remember it).  I'll be working on another one soon, so I'll pay better attention and let you know if that's not right.

These will be perfect little gifts for my sewing friends.

What crochet projects are you working on lately? 
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

why hello there!

Oh my poor little dusty and neglected blog.  
I lay in bed last night with a deep desire to get on here.  So I grabbed this

to do notebook
and made a list.
Good things come from lists, don't they?

It's been way too long.  Where to even begin?

Summer was good to us.
It was short and long at the same time.
It was relaxed (a little bit too much if you look at the lack of posts around here!).
It was at times, dare I say, boring.
We didn't do a whole lot, and the boys had more than their fair share of:
video games (oh and ice cream!)
But now fall is in the air.  
The leaves are just beginning to show hints of earthy tones. 
Nights are cool, and mornings are chilly enough for sweatshirts.
School buses are running, and I'm looking forward to returning to the classroom part-time as a kindergarten aide.  
So, so excited!  
I'll be working just three days a week, and I couldn't be looking forward to this new schedule more. 
Hello two whole days off--I think I love you!
One day for errands and house work.
And one day for creative bliss (and blogging, I hope!)
I can't wait!

So I dedicated today to project photography, editing, and drafting posts (in between loads of laundry).  I probably got a little overzealous, seeing as the boys will start coming home in about 2 hours and this is my first post.  

But here's a little peek of what's to come this week:
dipping the pen (and other art journaling endeavors)

crochet pincushion

trudging through Project Life
summer embroidery
 All this blogging stuff is more fun when you have a furry little helper {who just wants to lay all over your projects when you're trying to photograph them} to keep you company.

It feels so good to be back!

ps.  The day I found out I got my job in the school, I also received this little bit of news:

So thrilled! 
Can't wait to share more when they reveal their new website.  
You can check out more about Accucut here, and also take a visit to some of the very talented girls I'll be working with here.