Monday, July 28, 2014

Avila Beach Projects

Submitted by Linda

Several weeks ago, Craig and I had the opportunity to go to Avila Beach for a week of rest and relaxation. This tiny jewel of a town is just south of San Luis Obispo, on California's central coast.  What we realized on this vacation, was that it had been years (maybe since our honeymoon) where we were away for an entire week without kids, friends, or APU folks. This is also one of the first times where we didn't have a big sightseeing agenda.
Our boys stopped in for a couple of meals, and then made their way north to visit friends. I didn't even get of pic of them, but I got one of Craig and me, eating at the Custom House restaurant.
Though I'm embarrassed to say that my feet never touched the sand, we did take the five minute walk each day to see this! During the weekend the beach was crowded, but this was the weekday crowd. It's like a little secret beach that no one knows about!
On the walk back the way we came, you can see the San Luis Bay Inn (the pink building), which is where we stayed.
This snack cart was so cute- isn't it something you would picture at a California beach? I never saw these at Newport where we vacationed for years. My boys would have been obsessed with a cart like that (and all the goodies) when they were little.

Now it's confession time. I'm not super good at relaxing. I will admit that I took a ton of naps, and sifted through the giant pile of magazines that I brought to catch up on, but I knew I would need something else to keep me busy.  So, yes, I brought some paper crafting. Does that surprise anyone?Here is my happy workspace in the condo. I will say that a 'must bring' for any type of crafting is my Ott Light. If you craft or stitch, you will want to invest in one of these, and they are always on sale at Michaels or Joanns.
I didn't want to bring a ton of supplies, so I brought three different Christmas tags to work on, packed neatly in kits with all the materials included. (You'll be seeing them later in a post about our annual Tin o' Tags project).  So after I made 300 tags (Yes! I said 300!) I got to get creative with a bunch of October Afternoon supplies.

Usually when I make one card, I often create a bunch more, since the hard work is in designing the prototype. In this case, I had packs of 'miscellany' that had only one or two of each item included. So I leisurely was able to create one card at a time.  Though I am super loyal to Stampin' Up, I do love love LOVE these October Afternoon lines of papers and coordinating supplies. The first two cards are from the "Farm Girl" line.
You may have noticed the darling handwritten words on both cards. They are from Simon Says Stamp, and are designed by artist Kristina Werner. You can follow her blog HERE, and you can find all the stamps designed by Kristina HERE.

One technique that I always admire and never take the time to do is paper piercing. Since my vacation was all about relaxing, I took the time to paper pierce many of the cards I made, and I love the effect. For me, it's worth the time, unless I'm making a huge amount of cards.
The next few cards are from the "Cakewalk" line. Another technique I am addicted to is sponging the edges of the papers with brown in to give it a distressed, vintage vibe.

I have found many of these supplies at scrapbooking stores here and there, but I got most of my stuff at Peachy Cheap. This is a scrapbooking website where they offer a daily deal and you can sign up to get a daily email with the day's deal. Over several years, I've only ordered the deal 4 or 5 times, and have been very happy with the supplies and the deal. To shop Peachy Cheap, click HERE.
Again, the "Happy Birthday" script below is designed by Kristina Werner for Simon Says Stamp.

Thanks for taking a look!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Masculine Birthday Card

Submitted by Linda
It seems like I'm really good at cute 'girly' cards but never have enough 'manly' cards for the men in our family. So earlier this spring I created this easy duo, using the now retired "Howlstooth" paper. On the first card I used "Memorable Moments", which I love because it can be personalized for someone's real birthday.
This one is a bit more generic with a birthday greeting from "Happiest Birthday Wishes". The ribbon is Stampin' Up's burlap ribbon. 
Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rustic Bridal Shower: Spring 2014

 Submitted by Linda
If you know how many pins I have on pinterest, you may be surprised to know that I've only been a 'pinner' for just over a year. I started back in June 2103 by searching "kindergarten classroom",  and now checking my feed on pinterest is a fun daily ritual.  

I have always enjoyed planning parties, but now it is even more fun to have pinterest as a resource! My task was to host a bridal shower for my teaching friend Alisha, who's engagement to Alex happened in Mammoth during an annual family fishing and camping trip. I felt a 'rustic' theme coming on, so I copied the vibe of her 'save the date' cards, using the woodgrain embossing folder with a heart.
 My next step was to enlist the help of my niece, Kyan, who you may remember from her rustic wedding. Click HERE to see all of her cute details. Since her wedding, she has opened an Etsy store to sell her handmade banners and other homespun projects. Click HERE to visit her Etsy store!
 Next up, menu planning. The shower was held after school, so light snacks were all that were needed. I tried several different s'mores cookie recipes before I decided on this one (it has chocolate chips in the cookie, along with graham cracker crumbs)!
I also discovered these darling cupcakes, decorated with a pretzel fishing pole complete with a fishy cracker on the line. What I learned in this process is that I MUST learn how to pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Mine are not nearly as pretty as the pinterest version.
For me, decor is a big part of a successful party (though I'm not opposed to an impromptu gathering now and again). Philosophically, attention to detail, like setting a pretty table, should be one of the 'five love languages'. Nothing makes me feel more welcome than knowing that my arrival at a party was excepted and anticipated. This is something I would like my guests to feel, anytime they walk through the front doors of my home. 

What could be more welcoming than vintage thermoses with the trademark plaid design? I hit up my antiquing pal, Liz, to borrow hers.
I also enlisted a helper to create the cute twiggy dip container, shown in the center of the photo below. After a windstorm that left bunches of branches on the ground early in the spring, I gathered a pile of them up with that project in mind. When my friend Nancy offered to help with the shower, I promptly sent her the pin (of the idea) and loaded the pile of twigs into her car. LOL!

The tiny red lantern was a fun Pier 1 find, and the log slices were courtesy of Craig. Pictured below is the entire tablescape, complete with a fishing rod (holding the banner) and a net that was shared for the party by the bride's mom, Debbie.
In addition to the sweets, veggies and dip, 'bait' and 'rainbow trout', I added the little 'pigs in a blanket' with homemade sweet hot mustard. Who doesn't love a hot dog on a campout?  I've found the that little pigs (crescent roll dough and little smokies) are a hit at any party, especially for the guys.
My stamp club friends insisted that I prepare a take-home treat. I found this printable 's'mores to go' tag and added it to a cello bag full of marshmallows, chocolate, kettle corn, and graham cereal. My friend Patti assembled these for me.
 Here's the bride and me after she arrived at the party. Yes, I am wearing a school T-shirt because the party was on a Wednesday, which is 'spirit day'.
This beautiful picture is Alisha and her mom, after the gifts. I love their smiles!
 Somehow, I realized that I had a bunch of extra green hearts from making the invitations. So this summer, I created a stack of coordinating 'thank you' notes for the bride. Because, what bride doesn't need 'thank you' notes?
 The wedding is coming quickly, in mid-August. It will be such a happy day!

To see all of my pins and the recipes, click HERE.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

To Gnome You is to Love You

 Submitted by Linda
It's good to have pals who are stampers, so that you have access to their stamps as needed. Case in point, the sets Gnome Sweet Gnome and Gnomenclature, borrowed from Michelle. I knew that 'administrative assistants' day was approaching, and my school office manager likes Gnomes. A lot.  

The first card has a cute cloudy embossed background, and the words"There's no place like gnome".
Card #2 is super simple, with some paper, ribbon, a punched heart and the words "to gnome you is to love you".
Nothing says 'love' like some handmade cards wrapped in a cello bag. Well, except maybe chocolate chip cookies.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Little Cabin in the Woods, Little Sled by the Window Stood....

Submitted by Linda
I found these pictures from December 2013, and realized I'd never posted them and the 'little house' project.  When we were in SLO at the Remnants of the Past event, Michelle had bought a cloche, and I also bought one for my mom. For the holidays I envisioned a snowy scene complete with a sparkly, snowy, pretty little house. I began looking here, there and everywhere, to no avail. I had a vision in my head, and it looked similar to this:
OK. I'll admit my vision wasn't that amazing, but don't you just love that little house with the birdie and the 'sparkle' on top? To see the original creator, click on PAPER TALES.

Ironically, whilst in SLO for Remnants, I forced my pals to stop in at Beverly's, the local craft store. In it, I found the perfect little paper mache houses. After buying the aforementioned houses, I came across a glittery church ornament (see photo below), which I thought could do the job. But alas, the houses were still begging to be decorated.
I started by painting the sides pale pink. I covered the roof with my vintage french marching band music (the perfect sized music for a little roof)!
So here it is, waiting for the next step.
This is probably the point where I have to confess that I used three types of iridescent glitter. Actually owning three types of iridescent glitter either makes me a legit crafter or just beyond crazy. Nevertheless, the sides of the house are covered in Stampin' Up's Dazzling Diamonds, the roof is covered with large glitter (from Michaels), and the snow on the ground is made of Mica Flakes, again from SU.
Next, I added a birdie button, some pompom snowballs, and a sled (formerly red) that sported a white coat of paint and a dip in the Dazzling Diamonds.
Michelle had a 'sparkle' stamp, which was the perfect size!
While at Remnants, we knew this project was in the making, so we bought these trees that had been bleached white and then re-dyed by the crafter in different hues with old fashioned glitter. So here is my little vignette, on my pretty King's Crown plate (a $10 find at the Huntington Collection in Pasadena).
My photography skills are not good enough to get a good picture through the glass of the cloche. So you'll just have to use your imagination. 

I know I've mentioned Remnants quite a few times, and sadly, this summer I'm not sure if I'm going to make it, since they've moved the location further north to Santa Clara. It is a great event, though, and this year it is June 28 and 29. You can find more info HERE.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Baby Shoe Pincushions

  Submitted by Linda
Do you remember these vintage doll shoes repurposed into pincushions? I feel like I shared this photo before, from the amazing crafter Lisa Super. Click here to see her blog.
Well, ever since I saw this pic, I've been looking for old dollie shoes, to no avail.  But at Christmas time, my mom and I both found a pair of tiny, vintage baby shoes at Treasures and Junk in Ontario. Mine were a whopping $3.00.

I lined them with a pretty muslin, with a white on white pattern. My mom used a pink with some silver flecks. And voila! A cell phone pic!
Here's a better shot with my Rebel camera. So sweet, little leather boy shoes!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happiest Birthday "Fishes"!

Submitted by Linda 
Buying stamps is sometimes like buying shoes. You never know at the time of purchase if you're really going to love them, if they're going to feel good on your feet, and so on. Stamps are like that, too. Sometimes the cutest stamps on my shelves go for months without being used. Sometimes they make a comeback, and sometimes they bless somebody else. This "fishing around" stamp had been calling my name, even though it's not my usual style. I had just gotten it, when I was invited to a twins' first birthday party. 

I had pinned a card similar to this one, and I loved the idea of adding the party hats on the fishes. I used my fun new watercolor printed papers, and here it is!
And here we are at the party with the two little ladies!