Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I have a big announcement!

BOO for rain!

It's raining today.  I am not necessarily against rain BUT me and one of the other first grade moms put a lot of effort into getting all the first grade moms into a group on FB and planning an outing at the park for all of the rising first graders at Pezza's school today.  Then we were going to head to Sweet Frog as a group and attend the school's Meet the new Asst. Principal event - also to take place OUTSIDE!  I was SO looking forward to this and I think it really helps Pezza to do this kind of thing to since she is a worrier.  She has somehow decided there is the distinct possibility that she will not know ANYONE.  Umm we live in a tiny town with ONE elementary school and know tons of people.  And we have such a wonderful and unique group for her grade.  A lot of the moms are SAHM, active in school stuff as well as outside activities, friendly and a lot of us started getting together last year throughout the year thanks to ONE awesome lady who I have become so thankful to know.  I have really missed everyone myself with our busy summer lives and few get togethers!  I like that we are all getting to know each other since, if we stay put, these will likely be the kids she will be wanting to hang out with on her own when she's older and I like that by then I will know all of these parents!  And they will know us!  Not to mention if someone ever sees her hanging out behind the 7-11 they need to know 1. who she is and 2. who to call!  Just Kidding - my kid better not EVER be hanging out behind the 7-11 - NOTHING good going on back there!

I had a little moment of back to school sadness yesterday.  For the most part I am ALL over the full school day gig and getting some time to myself again after being full time with Pezza for nearly 7 years now - and she brings new meaning to full time - there was no nap time for this kid from infancy, no sleeping in no break.  As many of y'all long time readers might remember I had to get up at 3:30am if I wanted any crafty time or time to myself.  My body finally gave out and I could no longer keep that up so it's been all Pezza all the time.  BUT as we walked in to Target yesterday while running errands and we headed over for our usual treat at at the Starbucks - she gets Iced Lemon pound cake and I get coffee and we sit at a table and just hang out - I realized that this was it.  I would no longer have my little buddy with me all the time (ALL the time!)

SO what's my big announcement?  I am a new design team member for the Cut It Up Challenge blog!  I have REALLY been taking a back seat lately but with Pez going back to school AND for a FULL DAY now - I am itching to get back into the swing of things the way I once was.  So what is the Cut It Up challenge?  You must use a die cut on your challenge entry and they pick a random winner each time for prizes from some great sponsors!  I have been doing a lot more with my Cricut and Black Cat lately and plan to continue that so I was thrilled when I was selected for the team!

In honor of the occasion I am bringing back an oldy but goodie - this is a project I did for my magazine Through the Craft Room Door which is now run by my friend Colleen (and she is AMAZING with it!)  This is a Back to School set for a teacher:

I used 2 different sized clear paint cans from Michaels - the large one is filled with all sorts of goodies the teacher can use as treats for the kids.  

The small one has goodies for the teacher like Expo markers.  The metal tin holds the little memo cards I made for sending notes home to parents.

I used an oldie but goodie on this one - the apple and school bus are cut using my Cricut and the Doodlecharms cartridge.  I ran the top layers of both of them through a Xyron machine to get the front nice and covered with adhesive and then put red microbeads on the apple and yellow flock on the school bus.  I used the Printing 101 cartridge for the lettering - be sure to use your shadows!  It always makes your die cuts look better!

Electronic cutters aren't the only way to make die cuts!  On the lids I have some felt die cuts I made using a large (think old school) Sizzix die and a Spellbinders die and my Cuttlebug.  Incorporating pipe cleaners, pom poms and buttons give them some great dimension and since my set is geared towards an early elementary teacher they seemed like the perfect thing to incorporate!

For the felt I really prefer using a good quality felt  - my go to for good felt has been Felt On the Fly on Etsy.  I have been using her for YEARS. (Be sure to tell her I sent you!)  Pom poms and pipe cleaners are from Micahels.  To make the flowers you need a hot glue gun.  

Pom pom flowers - These look best on a felt foundation but it is not necessary.  You need one for a center and five for the “petals” and a hot glue gun.  I wrapped a layer of hot glue around the center pom pom, put it down on my craft sheet and then quickly smooshed the five petal pom poms into the glue.  There are lots of other things you can make with these too – I actually found a book with ideas!

Pipe Cleaners flowers – These are quite easy too.  Take a pipe cleaner and cut it into five pieces – they should range from 1” – 2” depending on the final size you want.  Now bend them in half into a tear drop shape.  Make a puddle of hot glue on your craft sheet and put the points of all five pipe cleaner tear drops into it to form your flower petals.  Put more hot glue on top and add a center – a button, a pom pom, a spiraled pipe cleaner, etc.

      Notecards: You will want to make these simple so they are easy to use, fit in the tin, and you can make a lot of them easily.  Mine are simply colored cardstock bases, a patterned strip across the top, a white piece to hold the writing and a small stamped image in the corner.  These are from one of the TONS of Studio G $1 stamps I have been collecting over the years.  I stamped them with the Studio G $1 pigment ink pads which are really super quality ink pads and work so well with the little stamps!  As you can see I get a great crisp clear image with these little guys and I am guaranteed to always have a few stamps for EVERY occasion!

     The current challenge over on Cut It Up is a Back to School altered notebook so head on over there, welcome all of the new team members and then join in the challenge!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mini crochet fun

One. More. Week.

Yep - just one more week before school is back in session here in Loudoun County.  I might be jumping for a joy.  You see that's what happens when it's the third kid and you are 22 years into parenthood!  Not because I don't love her, not because I don't enjoy, not because I don't appreciate her and how lucky I am to have her - I am just realistic.  I need a breather and she needs WAY more to do than I can provide on a daily basis!  I do wish I had gotten more checked off on our summer fun time list than I did but I am happy for the fun things we DID do.  She is super excited to get back to school too.  This will be her first year going full day - I think she'll be fine.  I also think my house might finally get back to normal and I will be glad to get a routine going again.  I have visions of all I will accomplish in those long hours alone!  In silence.....and uninterruptedness........

We have had LOTS to do in our last week that's for sure.  This past weekend Pezza cheered for her little football team for the first time and perhaps got a glimpse of what the hell this whole cheer thing is.  It was only scrimmage games.  Our first real game, with parents and bleachers will be this Saturday.

Pezza is the one on the far left with her daddy's sunglasses on...

And in crazy cat lady news...

No I didn't find this pic on the internet to accentuate my point - that is actually the cat tree in my basement :P  It's got all the cats but our two old orange cats on it!

Anyway, Baguette & Brioche were adopted this weekend!  SO very happy for them to find a loving permanent home.  Their brother, Bun is still with us - his eyes are not getting well enough for him to get fixed but we are going to try on Thursday.  I want to keep him but hubby is worried about long term costs.  Plus he's a wee bit naughty...But oh my LORD is he a sweetie pie!  We also have one named Buddy - another Maine Coon we thought might hit it off with Bubba but we aren't sure it's going to happen :(  And then there's Biscuit - the momma.  Such a mess!  She can't go to adoption events because she is too scared so I have to hope someone will see her on the website for LDCRF and ask to meet her.

I DO have a crafty endeavor to share - not paper but still crafty!

Remember the dollhouse I have been building for a million years?  Ok only two but it sure came to a screeching halt for awhile.  Just waiting on hubby to cut the center walls now and then we will be doing the final work.  In the meantime we have collected furnishings and Pezza picked out a living room set.  I decided I wanted to try my hand at crocheting an afghan for her - I have been crocheting since I was a kid and some of my older readers may remember some of the crocheted embellishments I have shared in the past (the link is to my old blog on Wordpress.)

I told her she could also use it on the kids bed:
I made the kitty blanket and pillows too.  How perfect is that Cat bedroom set for us?!?!  She decided she wanted this one in the living room though so I am nearly done with another one for the bed.  I so admire the intricacy of the really good mini crocheters on etsy - they use even tinier thread and hook than I am here.  I so want to be able to do that eventually.  But I will probably need a magnifying glass to do it.  I am also considering doing some miniature mixed media artwork to hang on the walls....

Have any of you done miniature crochet???  Any advice???

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Beach fun digi pages

Hello friends!

BOY coming back from vacation is hard!  We have lots on our to-do list - unpacking, cleaning up the house, Grocery shopping, school clothes shopping, haircut...  I brought along a pair of long pants for Hollyn when we were camping and when I put them on WOW has she grown.  Everything was still a little big at the end of the winter last year but it is NOT going to work at all for this year.  I had thought we would get away with no shopping!

I have 2 more pages done for my digi brag book to share with you.  I worked on them on my way home Monday. 

These are pics from our trip to Myrtle Beach at the start of the summer.  I used a fantastic collection of digi scrap stuff from the Sweet Shoppe called Heatwave.  It is PACKED full of great stuff and a great deal at only $7.99!

Now the great thing about digi scrapping - if you are not familiar with it - is that it can be done completely from scratch with kits like I usually do it OR you can get templates or even ready made quick pages.

Quick pages are already completely done for you - you just drop in your pictures and you're done.  Most are 12 x 12 but alot of places have them in smaller sizes for mini albums too.  Some 12 x 12 Heatwave quick pages are available too!  EIGHT gorgeous pages of summer fun ready for your pictures!

An in between option is to use templates for your pages.  With templates you have all of the layers in place for your papers, pictures and embellishments BUT you can use whatever digi collection you want - you just drop them into place!  The Sweet Shoppe has lots of templates too!  For the pages above I made my own templates since I am doing 5 x 7 pages not 12 x 12. 

I like doing the pages for my own scrapbooks the traditional way but digi is definitely the way to go when making several albums to give away.  I usually just print them out and bind them with my Bind It All machine but I am thinking of looking in to having them printed through something like Shutterfly so they are an actual bound book.

Now I am off to bed with some allergy meds - the ragweed does me in every year but this year it seems especially bad!

Monday, August 19, 2013

More digi scrapbook pages

Hello everyone!

As you read this we will be on our way back home from another long weekend in our camper. Oh how I love our camper trips (though this one had some grumpy rough spots.) We spent the weekend in Lancaster County - of course now I want to move there. I always want to move where ever it is we visit. I just like to move. But Lancaster is truly spectacularly beautiful. AND I am obsessed with farms - and Amish farms are the best. So of course I made everyone take a buggy ride to tour one. As good as I imagined and then some! And those Amish have quite the setups - these farms are HUGE and don't let the lack of electricity fool you. It' is a misconception. They have PLENTY of power just not from power lines - it's all propane, compressed air, solar, gas, diesel but still power. I also think we need some baby goats - oh so cute!  We had some fantastic meals and hubby even indulged me in a stop at a quilt shop - the handmade quilts were GORGEOUS OMG!  and pricey!  But someone bought one while we were there so they must sell some at least occasionally.  Sunday was supposed to be Dutch Wonderland day for Pezza (a kiddie amusement park) but instead it was looking like a rain day BOO!  We hit a true diner for lunch and then decided to give the amusement park a try anyway since it was only sprinkling here and there and not a full down pour.  We lucked out and it was fantastic!  The park was VERY UNcrowded so no lines or crowds.  Pezza tends toward the dramatic (I know you're all shocked right) so she kept saying stuff was too scary - keep in mind this is a park GEARED for small kids so nothing too crazy.  It was like mini versions of regular rides.  BUT we convinced her to conquer her fears and she went on everything but the larger roller coaster and each time she ended up LOVING it!  Now I am a HUGE ride weenie but since she was doing it I figured I better do it too.  She had me on the log ride THREE times - scares me to death with the straight drop at the end UGH!  So basically we ate diner food, funnel cakes, soft pretzzels and rode puke inducing spinny fly in the air butterfly stomach rides all day.  An awesome time was had by all!  The down side - I was sure we would get rained out and end up going back today so I brought no camera with me - not even my cell phone so NO PICS!  UGH!  We finished it off with daddy teaching her how to fish since our camp site was right on the edge of a stream.

While on the road and during down time in the camper I worked on a few more digi pages for my brag book I am making to pass around to the grandparents:

Again I used some digi collection kits I have had for ages.  I have been collecting them for as long as I have been scrapping but if you are interested in getting some I can at least tell you my fave places to shop - Scrapbook Graphics, Sweet Shoppe, Scrap Girls, Scrapbook Elements & Designer Digitals.  I am sure there are more out there I have not even found!

Do you have a fave store for digi scrap goodies?  Leave me a link in the comments!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Scrapping digi style

Hi all!

On our list of summer fun family fun time this year - the county fair.  Now I haven't checked off everything I put on the list at the beginning but I am doing my best.  Initially we were going to hit OUR county's fair and catch it on demolition derby night - another check mark!  BUT it rained out and we skipped it so we went to the fair in the next county and caught the truck and tractor pull (YEP check mark).  Now I have to say - I was spoiled in San Diego by going to the Del Mar State Fair every year - it was massive and amazing.  This fair...not so much.  I was excited initially looking online at the contest categories for crafts and art and such....yikes.  Pezza was another story.  She has never been to a fair.  We did the buy a bracelet and ride all night option and her and two little friends raced around to do the kiddie rides.  I let her stay until the end (10:00pm) and get an ice cream.  While we were waiting in line she hugged me real tight and told me it was the best thing ever in the whole world and I was the best mom.  Funny how little it takes huh?!?! 

So today I am sharing a layout but not the usual layout.  This one is a digital layout.  Now I know there are some big time digi scrappers out there and they do ALL of their stuff digital.  I am not one of those but oh how I do love to collect it all up!  It is SO much cheaper!  What I do love digi scrapping for - making books for family.  I can send digital photos but they never get printed out or I can send photos and they get tucked away.  There is no way I would manage to do books for all three sets of grandparents but digi is perfect.  I can make a brag book - maybe throw in a few pics customized for each set of grandparents and then print them out and bind them.  I always print my own stuff so I am sure you can do the same basic thing through Shutterfly or something but I don't know anything about that.  I love making my own stuff in Photoshop too.  So here are my first two pages:

 I used a super old set called Sweetie Pie from Ellie Lash and Scrapbook Graphics.  It's not available anymore but they have LOADS of adorable stuff.

I approach my digital pages the same way I do my regular ones.  You can purchase layout templates but I did not find one I wanted to use so I grabbed a sketch I liked on Page Maps and worked from that.  Know what else is nice about these?  Digi pages are easy to bring with me and work on during long car rides!  We have some sort of gizmo my genius hubby knew about that plugs into the car and we have a regular electrical outlet so I can plug in.  I have used our long rides this summer to go through and completely organize all of my photos from the last 3 years so I can get them all scrapped!

Have YOU done any digi scrapping?  Where is your favorite place to get supplies?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Not scrappy but still a crafty post....

WOW!  Did I drop off the face of the earth or what?!?!?!  I guess I just needed a break - not that I have been keeping up with this blog the way I used to anyway but....It's been going strong for 6 years!  Of course, entertaining the ever adorable little daughter can really put a dent in your time to play!  We opted for no summer camps in an effort to save money this summer so that means it's mommy time ALL the time!  And also means not a whole lot of crafting has been going on.  Because if I am in there she is in there and if she is in there I am not getting a heck of a lot done.  But we HAVE been busy.

So what's been going on?  ALOT.  As y'all know (if anyone is still here reading this!)  I have been really battling health-wise with getting off of my medications and dealing with my struggle against depression and borderline Bi-polar disorder.  Well, it's gotten alot better.  The meds are out of my system and I am slowly normalizing - to what's normal for me anyway - and learning to accept myself and rejoice in my facets!  Because I am not broken I am just unique.  And that can be ok.  I had a HUGE wake up call this summer when an old friend of ours who has long struggled with depression killed himself.  I have always seen suicide from the view of the person who is suicidal - I know the pain he was in.  But I have never seen the aftermath or felt how completely flooring it is to be someone left behind.  To be so completely filled with the WHY of it.....  Steve was mutli-faceted and profoundly interesting and I believe these things often go hand in hand - the mad scientist and crazy artist types you know?  It gave me a new perspective and has helped shift my thinking back towards a healthier place.  But the road is long.....

Our very sick litter of foster kittens with the horrible eye infections - they all survived AND no one is blind.  However, it is a lifelong ailment that may require future meds and treatments and vet visits so it will not be easy to find adopters for them.  Especially my little Bun-ny, the boy.  He is SO stinkin' adorable but his eyes were the worst and he really struggles.

Bun with his "Big Cat" buddy Bubba
"Jungle Bun - he single-handedly destroyed this plant for me...
"Ferocious Brioche-ess" - in my old purse
Baby Baguette - the runt
We have been on lots of trips too - out with the camper to Myrtle Beach, Luray Caverns and soon Lancaster PA to name a few.  We also went to Utah to see my Dad and Step Mom and I strolled CHA which I have not done for several years.  It was SO SO good to see friends I only see during the show.  Nothing bowled me over as far as products but I think I have gotten a bit jaded to it all!  The highlight (other than my awesome awesome friends Terri and Nadja) was meeting Anna Dabrowska - Finnabair - and watching her demo while I worked in the Splash of Color booth.  She is so chock full of talent plus super sweet and fun to boot!

So what have I been crafting?  Not a whole lot I have to be honest BUT I have been doing a bit of things here and there outside of paper crafting and mixed media.  I pulled my sewing machine out of the disaster that is my studio and laid it out on the sunroom table (my hubby loves when I do this sort of thing and begin taking over the whole house) and I also FINALLY got back to my dollhouse I had started 2 years ago (HOLY CRAP TWO YEARS!) 

So while I know y'all are all papercrafters, and I WILL have more of that coming,I wanted to show y'all the purse I made:

Now even though this is fabric and it's a sewing project it's still relevant!  For one it's crafty - HAHA!  But I often stroll through my {incredible} local quilt shop and think how adorable some of the fabric collections would be if they were translated into a papercrafting collection and this collection is definitely one of those!  My papercrafting/mixed media stuff has been filled with this great color combo - Turquoise with Terra Cotta or Coral - and I even did a post about why it works so well together HERE. And of course the OWLS - holy cow I cannot seem to get enough of the owls.

Anyway I made the great big boho-esque bag.  Then I realized the lack of pockets (I normally only use patterns with lots of pockets) would be a problem so I had to make a zipper pouch and sunglass case from the extra fabric.

They both gave me problems though since it was my first time for each so the extra fabric turned into a trip to get even more fabric BUT in the end I am pleased.

It was important to me that my pouch have the little fabric end stops on either end of the zipper and I found the PERFECT and perfectly FREE tutorial on Flossie Teacakes.  Now I want to make more but I don't have a reason to....YET...but I am sure I will think of something!

Some little matching fabric Kanzashi flowers, yoyos and buttons were the perfect finishing touches.  Now if someone would just make me some paper to match this collection......!

I better scoot - I have lots to do before we can get out of the house - heading to the local county fair to look at the booths and then see a truck & tractor pull and ride some rides!  Hot dogs and funnel cakes here we come!

What is YOUR favorite color combination OR scrappy/paper collection right now???  I want your input!!!!