Friday, July 31, 2015

Loads of Love card with Watercolor Paper

Submitted by Linda
Earlier this spring I needed a boy birthday card, and I didn't have one in my stash of cards. Those of you who know me, know that I enjoy working ahead of schedule, but somehow, I ended up making this card the day before the party (I guess that's better than the day OF the party, right?)

Anyway, this card is for a dog-loving boy, so I decided to use the Loads of Love stamp set and copy a pinterest idea using watercolor paper. I love how the card is simple, yet looks artistic with the blending of the ink. 
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Golden Book Banner

Submitted by Linda
I mentioned the lack of 'treasures' found this spring during our annual trek to the Clovis Antique street fair, but I did find another nugget of inspiration in a booth selling little Golden Books. 

They had chopped up a book to create a cute banner, so I began shopping for books that had 'spring' images. I already have an Easter banner, so I decided to make one to hang on my sideboard for later in the spring.

I found two different books featuring baby animals, and I chopped away. My mom stitched them together with bias tape, and voila!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Vintage Bling Clipboard

Submitted by Linda
This past spring, my friend Liz and I made our semi-annual trip up to Clovis for their charming street fair and antique shops, only this time we brought my mom with us. We had lots of fun, and Mom was an easy traveler to add to our group. Sadly, I didn't take any pictures, and we didn't find any 'super-amazing' treasures, but I did find some inspiration. 

I noticed folks selling 'shabby-chic' type clipboards, often with a chalkboard finish. Since I use a little clipboard at school for all of my lists and schedules, I decided to shop for the findings to make my own. 

It's always fun at the antique booths to dig through boxes of broken jewelry and buttons, and I had lots of fun doing just that. 

When I got home, I started by using Mod Podge to attach pretty paper to the back of my clipboard. I chose this paper that had a bit of a distressed vibe, so that if it didn't come out perfectly, no one would know.
Next I covered the front with this shimmery taupe polka dotted paper. I attached the bling, one piece at a time, using Crystal Effects as my glue. After my items would dry, I would add more until it looked done to me.
The starting point for the bling was this pink flower pin with gold-tone background. I purchased other interesting buttons, and even the watch face. Near the bottom right you can barely see a little pink and blue floral button. This was on an outfit my mom sewed for me when I was little. Sweet, right?
It will be fun to take this to school in the fall. I hope the adhesive will hold up to lots of use!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Time flies... and the flannel scrap project!

Submitted by Linda
Oh, where to begin? The last time I blogged was on March 17th. I could start with my usual list of excuses (too busy, time flies, blah, blah, blah), but I think my absence can be attributed to a bunch of things. My dad passed in January, so my mom and my family and I are still figuring out life without dad. Then, I had a BIG birthday in March, and had a son graduate from college recently. In the midst of that, my hubs made a big job change, so it's been a weird time of ups and downs and transitions and celebrations.

After losing my dad, I really needed time to stop so I could catch up with life (which of course didn't happen). But during that first few months, coupons expired, events came and went, and we were sort of playing catch up all the time.  When school ended for the year, I was finally able to take some deep breaths and just BE.

If you've followed our blog for any length of time, you know that I have been a big fan of the Flylady, and tidying my house every summer. Well this summer was no exception, except that this time I did it the "Konmari" way, as per "The life Changing Art of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondu. To be completely honest, I haven't read the book, but when I heard about it from both a sister in law, and my BFF Michelle, I voraciously read books reviews and blog posts about her systems.  You can go on Pinterest and do you own searching, but suffice it to say, I've been in a purging frenzy, which concluded last weekend with a yard sale. It is very freeing to have less stuff, and for the stuff I have to be in its place.

Also, my church has been doing a sermon series on the spiritual disciplines, and so many of these support a life of simplicity, with times of quiet and rest. How can we allow God to work in us when we are running around like crazy people? One of my favorite nuggets is this: "You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life." So, I've been slowing down. And being still. And resting.

As I did all this cleaning out, I even got rid of crafting supplies or sewing supplies that I know I will never use (or are for a project I don't really want to finish). And that is freeing as well. We don't need to keep stuff that makes us feel guilty.

However, I did work on finishing a couple of projects which were important to me. And one of them is the 'Flannel Scrap Blanket'.

Back when my boys were elementary aged (or maybe younger), I made my boys homemade flannel PJs for Christmas every year. This craziness continued until I realized that I can buy perfectly great flannel pajamas without stressing myself out. But over the years, I couldn't part with the leftover flannel, saving it to make a blanket "someday". Well, "someday" came this last month, because I wanted to make the blanket so I could finally throw away the big bag of scrap flannel.

Here are the boys in their PJs on Christmas Eve one year, with their cousin Sam.
 Usually I coordinated the fabrics, until this year when they picked out their own.
 So I cut the fabric into 8" squares, spread them out like I liked (random, basically), and stitched them together. I almost even had enough fabric for the backing, but I had to buy a bit of the bike fabric that you can barely see at the top of the picture. I put a very thin batting between the layers and stitched it together, and used white yarn to tie the corners.
It's comfy cozy, and I used it TODAY for a Sunday afternoon nap! I've already got dibs on it for the next time I'm under the weather. And best of all, the big bag of scraps is GONE!

Monday, May 25, 2015

1 Year 4 months and 5 Days

Submitted by Michelle

That's how long it's been since I've written a blog post.  This morning I woke up and decided it was time for the creative drought to end.  Several family members are graduating this spring and I began hunting for congratulatory inspiration on Pinterest.  I found some ideas, assembled my supplies and got to work.  
I also reminded my Type-A perfectionist self that I didn't need to create ALL the graduation cards I'll be needing.  One for the day would be enough.  Armed with toothpicks and newly purchased classical music from iTunes, I set to work making a tassel (or is it a pompom?) from baker's twine, stamping tiny banners, and punching out stars.  
It wasn't long before I'd created this. 
Here's to graduations and getting back to making art from paper, ink, ribbon, twine and toothpicks.    

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Birthday Party Favors

 Submitted by Linda
Recently, I celebrated a big milestone birthday, so Craig invited a small group over to celebrate with me. I decided I wanted to have some type of giveaway favor, because I really appreciate my nearest and dearest. 

For a long time, I've been reluctant to make any type of "Hershey's Nugget" favors, because they looked too time intensive. Boy, was I wrong. These came together quicker than many other projects I've taken on over the years. 

I found some tutorials on Pinterest, and I've tried to be clear about dimensions and details so that you can make some too!

Supplies needed:
Nuggets candy
Printed paper
Adhesives
Paper trimmer and scorer (Stampin Up has a beautiful cutter that does both, as do many options at your local craft store)
Pretzel Bags (found these at Michaels in the baking section)
Some type of tag
Some type of ribbon or twine

1. Choose your printed paper, and cut strips 1" X 3".
2. Put Sticky Strip (stronger than a snail/mono adhesive) on one end, and a strip of snail/mono adhesive on the other. The snail adhesive is just to hold your paper in place on the back of the nugget, until you wrap the paper around and secure it with the Sticky Strip.
 3. When you are done your nugget looks like this. I covered four nuggets per favor, in coordinating papers.
4. Next it's time to make the tray.  Cut your paper 1 7/8" X 4 1/4" and score it in 1/4" on each side, as shown below.
 5. When the trays are ready, it's time to load up the trays and slide them into the pretzel bags.
 Here's what we've got when we're done. I used the new stampset called "You Brighten My Day". The  tag design fits perfectly with the coordinating tag punch.
 I kind of went a little overboard and made a few too many. So I shared some with school friends. After all, 'There's always something to be thankful for".
 Here's a picture of my nearest and dearest at the party. It was a good night, and I'm happy to finally be twenty nine (plus a few more).

Saturday, February 21, 2015

An Old Bunny and A Birthday Outing

 Submitted by Linda
So it turns out that we ended up planning my Dad's memorial service on my mom's actual birthday. Not our first choice, but it seemed like the best day for all the folks we were hoping to include in the service. My mom was very flexible about it, and we agreed to spend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday together to celebrate her birthday (which was just two days prior).

In recent months, my dad had become more of a homebody, and didn't like to be away from home for long, or have Mom away from him for long, so we never planned full-day outings. Knowing that she know had a little more flexibility, I checked in with my friend Sandy, who has her wholesale license, about getting me and my mom into Shinoda, which is the Disneyland of decorating and floral supply.

She was eager to join in, so we trekked down to the OC, and here is what we found: rows and rows of ribbon.
Beautiful spring florals (like, an entire row of hydrangeas!)
 Inspiring displays!
What I've learned from coming here before, is that it is wise to have some sort of a plan in mind for shopping, or you can get completely overwhelmed and buy too much or buy nothing.  My plan was to  make an arrangement using this old wooden bunny. I love how rustic and worn he looks!
I had been storing him for years, because my Grandpa Roll had made him. I remember seeing bunnies like these at their Nebraska home, and I can't really even remember how I got one.  Here's my grandpa with his '63 Econoline Ford van. My grandpa passed in '77, so I feel even luckier to have something that he handcrafted.
So, I found a container, and some fake kale, an artichoke and ended up going to Michael's for some carrots and lavender.  I think it's done....
 Yep, done. And all ready for spring!