Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Special Friend Blend

 Some brilliant person somewhere coined a phrase...I think it goes something like this; Cancer Sucks! Yes...I'm pretty sure that's it! It is true, too. My dad died from cancer; lots of people every day suffer from this awful disease.  One of my new, yet dear friends has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. My heart aches for her, for her darling kids and her supportive husband.  She is so courageous and bright spirited through it all. I had the opportunity to bring her family dinner this past week and made this to give to her.  I ran out of time to get everything ready, so it still needs to be delivered, but now I have an excuse to go see her again.

This is one of my all-time favorite sets. I just love it. I used to use it ALL the time, but it hasn't seen ink for a while. I also used the companion set as well; Tea for Two and also, Tea for Two additions.  They both have dies that coordinate, but for some reason I just really love cutting out the tea pot. I did, however, use the die for the tea cup which you can see on the tag. The reason why I love cutting out the tea pot is because it follows the inked lines exactly and the die cut leaves some extra space. It is good when you are in a time crunch, but when I want to make it look a little better, I opt for me, the scissors and exacto knife.

 This project uses a lot of techniques that I really love and you can see throughout a lot of my work. I used some vintage glass glitter around the accordion medallion, stitching and buttons.  The funny part about this project is that it does not include any tea. I don't know if she is a tea drinker, so I gave her a few packets of hot cocoa and Dove hearts. What's not to love about that, right?

The tag is just a fun little addition. After it was all done, I imagined how cute the spoons would have looked embossed in silver or gold. Looks like I have given myself another "tea" themed project so I can try it out.  Thanks for fluttering by!

P.S. The Thomas the Tank Engine birthday party was a smashing success and I have decided to do a whole birthday series. I did get a comment (thank you) from a reader saying that they would like that so....I will do it! I haven't decided if I should start with some of the older parties and work my way forward, or what, so stay tuned.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Thank you for the thoughtful gift

In the meadow we can build a snowman...when I was growing up I thought the song said...and pretend that he is "parse and brown". I always wondered what it meant to be "parse" and why would any self respecting snowman want to be brown?  Clearly I have grown a lot since then and that's why this cute little snowman is white and sparkly...maybe a little parse, but definitely white! LOL!

I always like to make a special effort to create some handmade thank you cards to send out after the holidays in gratitude for the gifts that we all receive.  This year I got a head start and had them made before Christmas even came. I was seriously having so much fun being crafty!  The sad part is this...as I am typing this they are sitting in a stack on the desk all addressed and NOT SENT! What? I know, I know...shocking and disappointing. Hopefully they will get to the post office tomorrow. I just really want them to be hand cancelled so all of my hard work doesn't get shredded in the postal sorter.

I wanted the cards to reflect the season but not, definitely not, be Christmas-y. I think I achieved this goal with the mix of papers and colors.  The snowman was stamped with Palette ink and then colored with Copic and Prismacolor markers. I used an assortment of blues and greys to try and create the perfect icy shadow on Mr. Brown. The effect was perfect with the addition of some stickles.

The snowman image is from a PTI set called Tremendous Treats: Christmas or something like that and the sentiment is from the set called Tree Trimming Trio. The snowflake embellishments were punched from vellum for a soft, realistic feel. The sequins added just the right shine.

I kept everything as flat as possible for  them to be easily mailed, yet once I had added the embellishment on the sentiment it made the card a little more bulky than I felt comfortable with, hence the need for hand cancelling. The post office just loves me. I do have to add, however, that my new post office loves me more than the old one I used to go to. Thanks for fluttering by!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

So sorry for your loss

 Life has a way of throwing us curve balls...lots and lots of them.  Death is constant and inevitable, yet when it happens so unexpectedly and tragically it is especially difficult. I have endured many losses in my life and while each one has been painful, the days go by and eventually the hurt fades and life has a way of creating a new normal.  You would think that with experience comes some sort of expertise, but for some reason when others lose a loved one, I shrink into an awkwardness of not knowing what to do or say. Sometimes saying I'm sorry just doesn't seem like enough.

 I can give a little bit more by creating a piece of myself to give away with the recipient in mind.  Today I chose purple...I think it's her favorite. Sympathy cards can be tricky...you must strike a perfect balance of appropriateness and cheer.  I tend to gravitate towards floral and classic, but today I chose something a little more organic and earthy. I felt I captured the feel I was going for without compromising the sympathetic elements.

 This particular stamp set is called Blooming Button Bits from PTI and while it rarely gets used, it is one that I love.  I chose a few buttons with different textures and sheen for interest but kept the colors exactly the same to eliminate a distraction.  The leaves were stamped using Simply Chartreuse ink and then I added some stickles to a few of the leaves for just the right balance of shine. Again, it goes back to the appropriateness level.

Since I wasn't using pattern paper, I felt I needed to create enough texture and pattern to satisfy my tastes.  I guess I'm a meddler...I just can't leave well enough alone! I know simple is chic and in vogue, but I have to stay true to myself. If I "copy" someone else, it becomes math and math isn't my best subject.

I used an embossing folder for the first layer. I then added a layer of burlap to just peek out from the focal image to keep it earthy and organic. I don't normally mix sentiments like I did here, but for some reason it works here. I had originally had the sentiment on purple just repeat itself along the strip, but it was needing something else. This frame was the perfect addition. I did want to add ribbon, but I left it alone. The final touch was a few of these tiny  stones, I bought them quite a few years ago and I think they are from the robin's nest or something like that. I really liked them on this card...maybe some fresh dew, rain or tears.  I really hope this card brings some comfort for the recipient. Thanks for fluttering by!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

From my heart, to your home

Snail Mail...a disappearing form of communication. I refuse to participate in its demise.  As much as I love the instant gratification of being able to communicate with someone via text, email, private message, etc. there is something so much more endearing about a personal note or letter and especially, a handmade card. Most of the time, the mail box is devoid of any form of joy but rather abundant with the dismal reminder that there are bills to be paid and obligations to be met. Today I chose to send a little handmade cheer!  It is always nice to be thought of, especially when it is unexpected.

I made three of the exact same card, because who said bad things always have to come in threes? Can't good things, too? I think so!  I used one of my all-time favorite stamp sets; Love Lives Here by PTI. I chose my color scheme based on these yummy papers. I just love them. I just recently made a "Baby's First Year" mini flip album for a friend for a baby shower using the same paper. I wasn't thrilled with the photos I took (unfortunate lighting and too little time) but you can check it out at the bottom of this post if you are interested in seeing it.
I always love adding a little stitching to my handmade cards. I especially love adding it with a felt element as well, as I did with the bottom border on these cards. I hope these cards bring a little cheer to the recipients. Thanks for fluttering by!

P.S. I haven't done a ton of papercrafting for my son's Thomas the Tank Engine party he is having Saturday, but I will still share the details if you are interested. I actually have put together quite a few birthday parties for my kids in the last year, so maybe I will do an entire "birthday" series,

Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy Brrrrr-thday!

 Hello! It's me just popping in to let you know I'm not dead. I am, in fact, quite alive and have been having a lot of fun crafting, creating, cooking, and keeping busy being a mom to my 5 amazing kids! It is crazy, it is hectic, but it is ALWAYS an adventure!

 I thought this card was fitting for the recent weather we are having! I know it seems insane, but I give thanks almost daily for the snow and winter!I love it! I have been taking advantage of cozy fires, warm sweaters and frequent cups of hot cocoa to stave off any inkling of the winter blues trying to creep in. In fact, I realize that spring is closer than it seems every time I pass the pots of bulbs I have in the garage that are slowly forcing their green leaves through the dirt.

 For today's card I used a fun little set from PTI that I purchased last year, but USED it a ton this year with my Christmas gifts. I also used a snowflake set from PTI as well. I completely fell in love with this sled image and coordinating dies.

 The circle image was embossed using the wood grain background from PTI as well. I really liked giving it a little texture that mimicked the feel of the sled.

 I always love the feel a doily can add, especially in conjunction with the snowflakes; delicate and lacy! I also stamped a piece of vellum to lay over the printed music pattern paper for some extra whimsy and detail.

The jingle bell is probably my favorite part; sparkly and cheery! I bought an assortment from Hobby Lobby and had a lot of fun adding them to lots of holiday projects! I'm really kind of sad that the holidays are over and jingle bells are no longer necessary. Oh well, it will be here before we know it!

At least there is Valentine's Day, which I love, right around the corner and I am so excited to get some fun projects put together. My little Rowan will be 5 tomorrow and I have been planning his "Thomas the Tank Engine" party. Valentine's projects can wait...little boys who are growing up too fast get TOP priority! Thanks for fluttering by!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Fabulous Birthday!

 My daughter is off to a birthday party this afternoon and that is always a great excuse to make a card.  I decided to go for a cleaner look with today's card. I made the card to coordinate with the bag (surprise, surprise) and it is a crisp white with flowers at the bottom.  I took all of  my color cues from the bag itself. I wouldn't have necessarily come up with these particular colors together.

 All of the stamps are from PTI. The sentiment and frame are from one of the Boutique Border sets...probably Birthday LOL! The flowers and leaves are from the free set called "Ruby Reprise" and this is the first time it has seen ink. I really like it so I am sure it will be getting inky regularly now.

 I feel like I have been overusing sequins so I chose to only add them for a little shine to the middle of the two larger flowers and it about killed me to leave the center of the smallest flower bare, but I did it. Clean and Simple, right?
The sentiment from the inside is from the original Ruby set and I love, love, love it. It didn't stamp clearly, and at first I was super bugged, but in the end it just has a rustic, vintagey quality that I can go with! This card was quick and easy, but I still think it is fun and it goes super good with the gift bag.

We have been up to our eyeballs in birthdays, so hopefully I can take some time to blog about those parties. I had a lot of fun with them. Thanks for fluttering by!

P.S. School is starting soon and I want to put something together for my daughter's new teacher, so stay tuned for a school inspired project.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

With sprinkles on Top!!!

 My darling daughter just turned 11 and this is the card I made for her! I used my new "Shakers and Sprinkles" kit and it is much more fun to work with than I first thought. The papers worked perfectly with the colors of her birthday party.  I will share some pictures from that a little later on.

 I used Monday's "Mojo Monday" sketch for this card and it worked out very nicely.  I thought the doily worked nicely with the "food" theme also.  As much as I wanted to make a shaker card, this particular sketch really wouldn't allow it. I really wanted the heart to hang over.  I used a little bit of stickles on the sprinkles diecut for some shine.

I was also pleased to use these fibers on the top that I have been hoarding for well over a decade. They worked nicely here.  My daughter loved it and that is what is important! I can't believe she is 11! THanks for fluttering by!