Monday, November 4, 2013

Craft Weekend

Daughter #1 and one of her friends from college had a craft weekend the last weekend in September and I was home and able to participate this time! Yeah me!  Though I didn't accomplish half of what they did, I was able to get 18 Thanksgiving cards made to send to Operation Write Home.

I found an online template for a ribbon (you're suppose to put it on packages), but I decided to put it on the front of a card instead.

I purchased a Doodle Charms cricut cartridge for this weekend and loved the two leaves that came with the cartridge.  I bought a 6x6 paper pack of Doodlebug Designs Thanksgiving paper (bottom design) and loved it so much I wanted to make all my cards from it, but wanted to save a little for family Thanksgiving cards I'll be making this month. The top cards were made with an Echo Park paper that I really like too.

I had purchased this acorn stamp last fall and wasn't sure what to do with it.  Tried a couple of different things, stamping on card stock and stamping on printed paper.  The overall design was fairly simple but for someone writing home, I though it worked.

I think the paper pack I used for these was Little Yellow Bicycle.  The paper was very busy and a little dark for me, but I wanted to make a variety of cards and early September, it's hard to come by Thanksgiving paper.

I started one other project over that weekend but and still trying to figure it out. I want to make a keychain using the rifle shell from my dad's funeral.  I have a couple of little trinkets (his picture and a heart with a saying) that I also want to attach somehow.  I'm stuck trying to figure out how to attach this all together.

In other card making for October,

I have a niece getting married at the end of the year and her family threw a shower for her in October. This is the card I made for the gift.

I also have a niece (different from above) who is expecting a baby girl at the end of October and we had a shower for her and this is the card I made. I want to make some burp rags (pink of course) for her but wasn't able to get it together quick enough.

My husband had a co-worker lose their adult son, so I made this card for him to send.

I need to start thinking about the holidays and what I want to make for presents.  Daughter #2 actually has a Pinterest board of things she wants, I haven't had a chance to look at it yet.

Also not sure what to do for my sisters, I haven't spent a lot of time on Pinterest seeing what kind of ideas are out there.

I am painting the girls bathroom this week, we're going yellow and gray so I want to make a wall hanging of some sort.  Also thinking about painting a saying on the way, not sure if I want to free-hand it or look on the internet for it. The saying I want is fairly popular (at least on Pinterest) so I'm sure it exist out there somewhere.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Operation Write Home and a sad farewell

I wrote in my last blog about Operation Write Home. It's a non-profit organization that collects homemade cards and sends them on to service men and women overseas to help them stay in touch with their loved ones back home.

Well, I went to their website and the more I read, the more I wanted to do something.  I requested the free stamp (every card submitted has to be stamped Operation Write Home on the back). Once the stamp arrived, I sat down and started card making.

I made 18 Halloween cards to send off:

These cards were a little "thick" with the rosettes but, according to the Operation Home website, our military personnel do not have any issues in mailing thicker envelopes because of their postal system so I used rosettes on three of them.

I liked the idea of using puzzle pieces for this little guy because you always can find a puzzle with pieces missing. This was also the first time I got my paints out for a card project.

I purchased the Teresa Collins Masquerade Party 6x6 paper pad and used my circle punch to decorate these cards.  I also purchased the matching enamel dots. I love enamel dots! This is going to be a problem for me, I can tell.

Aren't those little owls the cutest! I found these Doodlebug owls at Archivers.  I didn't have a tree stamp I liked, so I found an image on the internet and printed them on my desk jet printer. To give them  a little depth, I embossed them.

I found this card on Pinterest.  I liked how they turned out but because of the stamping on the edges, they were by far my messiest card. Which reminds me, I need a new cat eye stamper in gray!

Daughter #1 and I are having a craft weekend here in a couple of weeks and I'm going to try and make some Thanksgiving cards to send out.  The most difficult thing about making the cards is the deadlines. Operation Write Home needs time to process and sort the cards before sending them on to the troops.  Because of this, deadlines are usually two months before the holiday.  The Halloween cards for example, needed to be postmarked by Aug 28.  I had a hard time finding embellishments and such because most stores do not even start stocking Halloween items until September.  Our next deadline for Thanksgiving is Sept. 30th so I have really been looking for those types of themed items. I guess I may be in luck with themed papers because I am such a paper hoarder,  it definitely came in handy this time.

I also had to say good-bye to my sister in August, her company relocated her to Athens, GA.  She and my youngest sister and I got together for dinner prior to her leaving and I made a little Seven Gypsies artist tray for her to hang at her desk in her new office.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer Break??

Okay, I can't believe I haven't posted in months! I don't want July to slip by without a new post so here it is.

First, in May I created several table decorations for my nephew's high school graduation. This of course did not happen without a small heart attack.  Daughter #1 and I was out in the scrapbook room and as I started the project, I went to my trusty Cricut machine and it wouldn't turn on! Panic ensued.  After some troubleshooting that included googling and a quick search for a new Cricut, we decided to try the local Radio Shack first to test the battery.  Low and behold, all I needed was a new battery pack and my little machine that could was producing dog bones, graduation caps and diplomas once again.  Happy, happy, happy!

I also made a couple of graduation cards.

I have a friend that was celebrating the big 30 ;) and asked people to send her a post card from where ever they were.  Well, I wanted to make mine special so I found a postcard made from a sponge that you can actually mail.

Here is how I made the sponge: I purchased a large sponge and cut it diagonally to make the cake shape. Using an Xacto knife I cut a ridge partially through the middle to make it look like a two layer cake.  I then spray painted the sponge (I used brown to replicate chocolate).  Then I used a tube of caulking again, I chose brown for chocolate and a plastic knife and spread the caulking in the pre-cut ridge and on the sides and top of the sponge (I left one side un-caulked so I could put the postcard on it.)  I then printed up a postcard with my message and the addresses.  I sprayed adhesive on the un-caulked side and applied the post card.  I then took a little more of the caulking and sealed the post card to the sponge so it wouldn't come off in the mail.

Note to self: Next time I do this, place the message and mailing address lower as the postage for this ($2.24) will take up a large portion of the top of the post card.

June brought a our annual block party and I used my creativity to make several different things to take to the party. 

(l/r: Blackberry buckle, fresh roasted corn salad, homemade chocolate chip cookies, brownies and a cherry jello poke-cake).

Also, this summer, my mother-in-law passed away from cancer.  Her favorite flowers were blue carnations so I along with daughter #1 and daughter #2 formed an assembly line and using the McGill Paper Blossom punches made 17 blue carnations to put on picture boards.

I also am the one that made the boards.

My husband also had a friend who lost a parent this summer and I made a sympathy card for him to send.

My Aunt has a grand-daughter that is going to get married at the county courthouse this summer and they wanted to have a wedding reception for her so I made the invitations for that. I used Bazzill card stock in fig swirl and embossed purple and white designs on them.  In hindsight, I wished I had made the actual invitation smaller and mounted them on a boysenberry card stock. (Note to self: next time!)

And last but not least, my mothers birthday is in July and here is the card I made for her.

So, I have been busy creating and for the most part this summer, working full time, and traveling (Houston twice and Athens, GA) and have really only been off for about a week.  

Several months ago (okay more like a year and a half ago, I purchased Project Life).   I have taken so many pictures over the last several months that I decided "just for now" to put them in the plastics that I bought with Project Life.  I have to say, so far, I am not that thrilled with it.  It is difficult to match pictures with the plastics.  Some have all landscape, some have all portrait and only a few have a mixture of both and if they do, there is usually only 4 spots for pictures and it's not a 12x12 sheet.  At this rate, I would need a ton of plastics and a mountain of binders just to take care of my pictures. I'm not really sure if I want to continue this route or not.

I read recently about a project called Operation Write Home. It is a project that provides homemade cards to deployed service people so that they can "write home" to their loved ones.  I went to the website and read up on it.  I think this is something I am going to try.  I enjoy card making but realistically I can only use so many cards a year.  This way, I can enjoy making cards and send them to Operation Write Home and they will get them to servicemen and women to use.  Also, if I keep good records, we could use the money I spend as a taxable donation, which makes the hubby happy. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

The weekend

Had a nice quiet weekend, my husband and daughter #1 went to Louisville, KY for the Thunder over Louisville fireworks show.  I had to work a few hours Saturday morning then after hitting Joann's, Hobby Lobby and Michael's went home to clean and craft.  The clean part took pretty much the whole day into the early evening so unfortunately no crafting was done -- I was tired! But I did get my mantel decorated for spring.
Some of the items on the mantle I already had but, I bought a few new items. The white vase was actually a "not pretty green" vase I bought at Michael's on clearance.  A couple quick coats of Krylon Glossy White and it looked much better.  I find though that when I am looking for items to put on my mantle, I forget just how big it is and when I get something home, it looks so small.  I really should have went taller on a vase and taller on the flowers for the vase. oh well there is always next year.  I also want to find a purple ribbon for my Pottery Barn rabbit to help him match a little better but other than that, I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Also, made a card on Thursday night for a co-worker who was given a big teaching award at our Honors Convocation held Friday. As you can tell, I have become a fan of that type of card.   I will be in Texas this weekend so there won't be any crafting done until May then, I'm sure I'll have a few graduation cards to make and some table decorations for my nephew's graduation party.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April is slipping away

Been busy out in the scrapbook room, and not just with cleaning (notice I didn't say cleaning and organizing). I look at my stacks of paper and tell myself I need to change how it is organized but I don't know how to do it.  I've read different things about organizing and even took an online course by Aby Garvey, called the Happy Scrapper but I'm still a mess. Anyways, back to my post.

Easter has come and gone. I made Easter cards again and even managed to remember to take a picture of them.  The idea came from a make-and-take that Archivers did using a cloud punch.  I didn't have that punch but had a cloud available on one of my Cricut cartridges. Used my McGill paper blossom tool kit to add texture to the ears. I have really run with the idea of "make-a-bunch" lately.  Instead of creating two of several different cards, I create several of one card. Makes it easier and creates less waste. 

Last fall, my brother-in-law lost his mother, who was well known in her town for her angel food cake, fluff frosting, and lemon meringue pie.  Her recipes were highly regarding and a much kept secret! For Christmas, my sister gave me a copy of Etta Mae's angel food cake and fluff frosting (still waiting on that pie recipe Kath!).  The recipe itself must have been 50 years old! I thought Easter would be a great time for an angel food cake so, 18 egg whites later, taa daa.. Thank you Etta Mae VanWinkle for the super yummy recipe.

Have several birthdays coming up so in the "make-a-bunch" mindset, I sat down and made these last weekend.

I like this style so much, I am actually going to list dimensions here so I know where to look for when I want to make them again.  This is for a finished card 4.25" x 5.5".

  • card stock (background) - 4" x5 1/4"
  • top paper 3 3/4" x 3"
  • middle paper 3 3/4" x 1" (made adjustments if you are going to use a chevron pattern and trim the top)
  • bottom paper 3 3/4" x 1"
  • Flower and leaves: Hello Kitty cricut cartridge 2 1/2"
  • Texturize the leaves with the McGill paper blossom tool kit 2mm size
  • Flower center - 5/8" circle punch 

I really like using the 6x6 pads for card making, I less waste when using them and can get 2 cards from each sheet (depending on design).

And lastly, my sister-in-law lost her father this past Monday and here is the card I made to send to her and her family (I made it in the 5" x 7") format.
In addition to the baking and card making, I also produced five more of the buckwheat heating pads that I gave to my girls for Valentines Day.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Just a quickie

Had a couple of birthdays this week so I whipped this card up last night. I should have taken the time to make 3, had plenty of supplies. I used Pebbles "Family Ties" paper.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Valentines Day

Well, now that Valentines Day is over, I can publish what I made my girls this year.  I have had this idea for a few years, but it takes some advance planning and it would alway slip my mind until it was too late to order the supplies.

For Valentines Day, I made each of my girls a heart shaped buckwheat seed heating pad.  I actually received one as a gift about 10 years ago and we have all used it many times.

I found the buckwheat seeds here.  I wasn't sure of how much seed I would need, so I ordered a 10# bag.  I weighed the heating pad I own and it weighed about 14.5 ounces so that was the weight I went with. I purchased a bottle of lavender essential oil from the local GNC store and divided the seed into 10 ziplock baggies and placed about 3-4 drops of essential oil into each bag. I let the bags sit for about a week so the oil would absorb into the seeds.

Next, I searched the internet for a heart shape that I liked. I wanted one that was asymmetrical so the pressure was off to make a "perfect" heart. I don't sew often so I knew this would be tricky.  I found the perfect heart and printed out several on 11x17 inch paper so I could use them for patterns. This print size made each heating pad about 14" across at the widest point.

Next, I went to Joann Fabrics and purchased a 1 yard piece of a pretty red velvet. The price was pretty steep but thanks to a Joann's 50%-off coupon, I saved a little.  Flannel would also be a nice material to use for the heating pad but, I wanted to make it luxurious.  I then pinned the hearts to the fabric and cut them out. I then sewed the right sides together, leaving about a 1" opening towards the bottom, so I could fill it.  I used a chop stick to help me turn it right-side-out and to push the edges out.  One-half yard of fabric made 5 heating pads. Here they are pre-stuffing.

The next step was to fill the heating pads and stitch them closed.  It was an easy step, but I need to improve on my hand-stitching. Here are the completed heating pads.

The girls really liked them, and I know it won't be long before one of them is used. They turned out so nice, that I also gave them to a couple of women at work. 

Now, I have to find something for next year…oh boy.

I also made several cards to mail out for Valentines Day.  I have adopted the idea to find a card I like and make several of them at one time.  Makes it easier to make a lot of cards.

And, for the first time, Daughter #1 and I decorated the mantle for Valentines Day.  Here it is from the angle of the couch. Daughter #1 made the I'm falling for you last year and Daughter #3 screen printed the Te quiero picture for my birthday last year.

Also, in looking back, I realized I didn't include a picture of the card that I made for my sons first wedding anniversary from last fall.

Well, it's off to making St. Patricks Day cards and decorating the mantle for Easter.  

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Post for the month

I didn't want the month to end without a post. I really thought I had been creating this month, but when I looked back at my pictures, I only had one. I've sent several cards out this month including a get well card, an anniversary card, a Congratulation s on Retiring card, a sympathy card and my New Year's cards. I did manage to get a picture of the latter but, only after I had to open the one to my sister and reseal it! And wouldn't you know, she told me over the weekend, "yeah strangest thing, your card had been opened and resealed!" I fessed up and told her I needed a picture of the card so I did it.  Here is the picture, on the inside I stamped Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much!

I also have been to Joanne's this month. On my roster of things to do before Valentines day is Tooth Fairy pillows for the little rug rats that daughter #1 watches. The middle one has a loose tooth and I want to get them made before his falls out.

I also have something in the making for Valentines day, but will have to wait until after Valentines to talk about it. And, have you seen the new line from Authentique!!! I can't wait until the Remembrance collection hits the stores.

I also enrolled in Kerri Bradford's The History Project. I'm really excited to get started on it, but it has been so difficult. I'm actually looking for a journal that I think will work well for me for this class. I just need to find the time for it all.

Work has been crazy busy…we're in the middle of hiring a new professor and have a big time speaker coming in next week. And, I can't believe I did this, we registered Riley Grace (2 1/2 year old puppy) in doggy day care so she can get exercise during the day, so there is the taking and picking her up. I thought I was over all that when the last child got her license (#4 turns 20 Saturday,  Good Lord, where did the time go?).

And to top it all off, my husband had a kidney stone attack on Saturday and Good Lord(!!), the world came to a stop! He had it surgically removed on Tuesday, and boy was I happy to get back to work on Wednesday!! Needless to say, when the florist came into my office this morning, I told her I earned those babies! I did remember to keep a few things from the hospital and even took a before and after surgery picture so I can scrapbook it.  But no, I did not  keep, nor want, the stone itself - yuck!!

I'm hoping to post lots for February - specifically, valentine gifts and the Tooth Fairy pillows. Wish me luck!