Sunday, May 31, 2009

Thank You Teachers!!

School finished up the '08-'09 year on Friday. We were crazy fortunate that our son had the most Fabulous teacher this last year. Not only is she an outstanding teacher, but she was also the perfect fit for our boy! He grew and thrived in her classroom and we will certainly miss seeing her daily next school year!

Confession time! Like many of us, I am addicted to dollar departments. Every time I enter Target or Michael's, the gravitational pull toward the Dollar Spot or that lovely dollar aisle seems to be unbreakable. My daughter will ask, "Mama, where you driving?" (aka where am I pushing her in the shopping cart to?!)'t stop now!!! And even worse, those fabulous one dollar craftables go into the ever growing collection at home and just wait and wait and wait and wait.....and wait to be used!!

But, this time, when I bought this adorable mini watering can, I knew exactly what I would be using it for.......a perfect little pencil holder for our perfect teacher! I wrapped a piece of Pure Poppy stitched grosgrain ribbon around the neck, adhering the whole piece with my ATG. I then made a bow, threaded two buttons with SU's hemp twine, and tied the whole thing together, knotting it in front of the top button. I adhered the bow embellishment to the Pure Poppy ribbon at the neck of the watering can with Fabri-Tac. This is a fabulous adhesive, especially for bulky tied ribbons and is a perfect item to coupon at Michael's!

When it came time to adhere the mini chalkboard, I used a new glue...well, new to me, that is...Zip Dry Paper Glue. Laying down a line of the glue onto the watering can, using the button as a centering line, I placed the chalkboard on top of the glue. It wiggled quite a bit, so I just held it tight for about five minutes and then it held and didn't budge! The most difficult part of this little project was writing with chalk on the mini chalkboard. Thankfully, I was able to erase and start over....many, many times! I finally realized that my handwriting did not need to be perfect, but rather, it was most important that it was legible and that I got all of the letters into that space!

When I made Mom's Mother's Day gift, I did not realize that I would become hooked on Lauren Meader's Timeless Templates. Yes, I should have known better!! Again diving into my tubs of delightful craftables, I came up with two little pails that I got at Target Dollar spot, two for $1. I checked out all of Lauren's templates and their measurements and discovered that the one that would fit more than one of the pails is one of the templates that I already have...yay! After trying to print "From the Desk of" and arguing with my printer that was not taking the cardstock (it took it the last time, so I think it has multiple personalities!), I printed the templates out on regular printer paper and just layered it on top of the cardstock to cut and score. And do you know what?! I like making the template better that way!! I didn't think I would, but I do and have the added bonus that the score lines are not printed on my project, distracting the eye!

What was even more delightful than these cute little craftables was that this became a major use my stash project! The patterned paper came out of an old Die Cuts With A View Fall stack and was inked with some Distress Ink. I made a ribbon flower by twisting and folding one piece of ribbon at each petal (kind of like how a cause ribbon is folded - pink for Breast Cancer, red for Aids or Heart Disease, etc.) and adhering each layer of ribbon with Fabri-Tac. The layered buttons were tied off with more hemp twine and then instead of tying them on to the flower, which would have changed its shape, I used more Fabri-Tac to adhere the buttons to the top of the flower.

I filled the mini pails with colorful paper clips & binder clips that were in my office supplies. And into the mini watering can went our perfect teacher's favorite brand of pencils, Ticonderoga. It took forty-eight pencils, I think. I wanted a little extra something that she could use at home as I suspected she would keep the other items in the classroom, so I included seed packets for zucchini, french leeks, and carrots for her garden. I thought they still tied in with the gift because of the cute watering can!

Lastly, I would really like to thank all the wonderful teachers that teach our children, guide them through their learning adventures, and help them thrive! I would like to thank all the parents who get involved in their kidlets' education. And I also want to thank everyone who supports the schools in their communities, whether or not you have kidlets attending. Without such strong community support in our town, my son and his classmates would not have experienced music class, art class, square dancing, spirit days, movie nights, star gazing night, and all the other wonderfully enriching activities that are paid for and put on by the PTO. Our community support is also what provides lots of our technical equipment, field trips, and other educational materials that would not be possible for our little school to have. So, thank you again to all who support their community schools and help provide the education and enrichment that is necessary for all of our kidlets to thrive and hopefully return that generosity for the next generation!!

Cardstock: Pure Poppy - PTI
Ink: Weathered Wood - Distress Ink by Ranger
Patterned Paper: Fall Stack - DCWV
Ribbon: Pure Poppy Stitched 5/8" Grosgrain - PTI; Natural Hemp Twine - SU!
Buttons: Stash....if I had to guess, I would guess either SEI and/or Autumn Leaves
Other: Mini Chalkboard - Darice

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Acrylic Play

Singing in my ear, a muse led me to a paint brush and canvas. Wanting to try painting for a couple of years now, I picked up a few canvases at half price some time back. So, with a picture in my head, an assortment of acrylic paints from my scrapbooking supplies (just plain ol' Delta Ceramcoat & Making Memories acrylics), and a couple of paint brushes, I sat down to play. The canvas is 5x7"....I have several sizes, but somehow, smaller was less intimidating to me! The only other 'tool' I used was for the right side. Do you know what I used? Before I started, I knew what effect I wanted and thought I would run to the hardware store to get something to help me create it. Remembering my abundant craft supply stash, I brought out...............Magic Mesh!!! A happy dance is always in order when lonely and forgotten supplies are freed and allowed to play.

I have to admit, I loved it! Smiling the entire time and feeling almost energized by the whole process. Now, I have never painted before. So, please go easy on me....what do you think?

Monday, May 25, 2009

May PTI Blog Hop

Its time to Hop, Hop, Hop at May's PTI Blog Hop! The challenge this month is to get into the spirit of summer and use yellow. That meant it was time to play with PTI's lemon tart cardstock. I had no set plan in mind when I got to it, with the exception of the lemon tart objective and using Lisa's great stamp set, Life (one of my favorite sets!). After playing around with different color pairings, I arrived at a mixture of raspberry fizz, plum pudding, and of course, that lemon tart. As I was gathering supplies, I came across a Tim Holtz set that I bought about a month ago and had not yet put ink to it. Well, that had to be corrected, right?! I stamped the flowers in two different purples to create a happy little corner, the Tim Holtz sentiment (isn't it fabulous?!) in pink, and used the same pink with a sponge to ink the edges. I hope you like it and I am So looking forward to seeing what scrumptious yellow creations you are sharing tonight! Have fun and I'm off to hop, hop, hop!!

Cardstock: Lemon Tart, Raspberry Fizz, Plum Pudding - PTI
Ink: Pink Passion, Lovely Lilac, Elegant Eggplant Classic dye inks - SU
Stamps: Life - PTI; Life's Possibilities (sentiment) - Tim Holtz for Stampers Anonymous

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thank You!!

Just wanted to pop in to say THANK YOU! to both Jess and Caryl P for the lovely blog awards they've passed on to me! I've had a lot of fun in both reading the generous comments they leave for me and popping on over to their blogs! There are so many bloggers that inspire me daily and I really do look forward to visiting you and seeing what you are up as often as I can. So, again, thanks to Jess and Caryl, and a big thank you to All the bloggers, creative spirits, and friendly faces that give their time and themselves to share their crafty and artistic talents on their blogs!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

From the Desk of.....

Whoops!! It would seem time has gotten away from me, but I have a good excuse....really! It was hubby and my daughter's birthdays over the weekend and first, I had to run all those fun errands to pick up everything needed and then take the time to Celebrate (good times, come on!...sorry just a little Kool and The Gang singin' in my head)!

So, to travel back in time (don't worry we won't go far, just back a week), I've got the 'packaging' for Mom's Mother's Day present to share. Admiring Lauren Meader's Timeless Templates since they came out, I'm embarrassed to admit that I did not try one until now (I mean then, last week.....well, if we've time traveled, I mean now...'cause its last week, right? Yes, the men in white coats have me on their checklist!).

Using her From the Desk of template, I made a super duper easy little piece that will go perfectly in Mom's kitchen. Lauren provides a template to cut out a decorative layer, but I also wanted to mat that. To go about doing that, I cut the Berry Sorbet cardstock just outside the lines and the patterned paper just inside the lines and it worked out quite well, not perfect, but I'm still happy. I did however, have issues with the half circle in the front. For some reason, I seem to remember Lauren saying she used a coluzzle to cut it out evenly, but mine did not line all. Consequently, I cut it by hand.

Do you remember me saying I CANNOT cut out circles freehand?! (Remember, I'm not cutting on the line, I'm cutting inside and outside the line to make an extra mat.) So, that's a skill I'll have to work on (or find another tool to cut it for me!!).

And speaking of improvement......when I printed the templates out, I did not see how to lighten the lines up, so the score line would not show so much. But, Lauren, ever So Great at answering any questions in her comments, shot me an email that reminded me of the option of printing on printer paper and lining it up with the cardstock as a guide or clicking 'grayscale' in my printing options. I will deifnitely be trying that next time.

I added some pretty pre-patterned & glittered K&Company chipboard letters to the front (I wanted to spell 'Mom', but the font I had was too chunky for the patterened paper, so Linda, it was!). Some of the letters in the assortment have pearls on them and some do not. Of the letters I pulled, only the 'A' had a pearl and it was looking rather lonely, so I added one to the 'L' and another to the 'N' to complete my little project.

Are you wondering what I put inside of this? The goodies that went inside of it (no, I do not have a photo of it....sorry) do not really go with the box itself. Mom's working on her house, so I knew I wanted to get a Home Depot gift card. Except, I am Really not a fan of Giving gift cards (receiving them though....well, that's a whole other Delightful story!! :>). I prefer to pick out a gift that I think someone will Love. But, I knew a Home Depot card she would be able to use and if she just did not want to use it for any of her home improvement projects, she could use it to buy a pretty plant (she loves gardening). With the gift card, were a pack of vinyl (latex free) gloves, two cord clips (to tie up all those computer cords), blue painter's tape (she just bought about a dozen gallons of paint), a scraper with extra blades, and a six pack of mini Crazy glue tubes. Again, yes, I know its an odd gift to put into the desk set, but it worked.

And the first thing she thought to use her new container for (and no, it was not one of my dozen or so suggestions) were her post-its! She has a serious addiciton to Post-It notes, ball point pens, and knitting needles....any twelve step program I can sign her up for? No? Well, then I guess a desk set to hold two of the three will have to do!

POOF!! We are now back in present time. Back to the party cleanup that is waiting for me, the Star Wars legos that were left out on the living room floor last night, and back to playing referree between my cats and the Blue Jays who keep stealing their food!! Hope the trip was good for you...I had fun! :>

Cardstock: Ocean Tides, Berry Sorbet - PTI
Patterned Paper: K&Company
Template: From the Desk of - PTI
Embellishments: Chipboard Letters - K&Company, K-Ology Hannah Alphabet; White Pearls - KAISERcraft

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Strawberry Charm

Last month, my son and his class went on a fieldtrip to the local Ag Fair. He had SO much fun and is still talking about his experiences today. In addition to that lasting excitement, he has a little something growing rapidly that he brought home from that Ag Fair. They sent each kidlet home with a little strawberry plant. His Dad helped him plant it in the backyard and other than that, we, hubby & I, have done nothing. We watch our son drag the hose across the yard to go water it pretty regularly. While I was out back taking pictures with the kids yesterday (they had control of the camera, so most of them are of the cats and a few Really unflattering ones of me!), I was so delighted to see just how big his strawberry plant is getting! I snapped a quick pic and thought I would share it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Well, its a few hours early, but in any event, Happy Mother's Day to all those Mamas out there! I finally crafted that time to try out one of Lauren Meader's Timeless Templates today and it was so much fun! I used From the Desk Of to put Mom's present in. So, where's the picture? They are not yet taken. I lost the light as I was finishing it up this evening. I decided to wait until the morning to take its picture.

So, instead, I thought I would post one of my favorite cards I've ever made and it just so happens that it was Mom's Mother's Day card two years ago.....thought that made it kind of appropriate!
Masking tape, chalk inks, some Modge Podge, and a great stamp make for fabulous fun! I learned this technique from Ethel, while on 2Peas, two years ago. All you do is tear masking tape (I chose strips, but you can tear it into any shape), arrange it on your piece of cardstock to your liking, burnish it Really well with a bone folder (otherwise you will not get a good impression when you stamp if its too bumpy), randomly ink the masking taped cardstock with your choice of chalk ink pads (direct to paper), and then seal with a light coat of Modge Podge. When it is completely dry, stamp on top with StazOn ink. This technique looks really great with collage stamping. Since I am not the most adept at that, I chose one beautiful PSX tulip botanical. I made four of these cards at the same time as I applied my masking tape to an entire sheet (8 1/2 x 11") cardstock and even though they were made at the same time using the same process and stamp, they all look so different because of the random inking. This one has a lot more of the purples, but two of the others were quite a bit more pink. I really loved them all and want to do the same (or similar) thing again and frame it. Wouldn't that make a great gift?!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Background Inking

When I saw this video tutorial on Tami's blog, Dapple Designs, on making distress backgrounds lighter and brighter for spring, I knew I would try it. Eventually. Thankfully, 'eventually' finally became 'now' over the last two days. I was a little short on time, but it was really easy to break this up by making the backgrounds on Saturday and putting it to work on a card on Sunday.

Using all four SU classic ink yellows, I swished and swirled my paper into the ink I pressed on to my craft mat. Just a side note here: I've had my craft mat for about a year now and this is only the second time I've brought it out! Smack me on the head now please! What have I been thinking....or not thinking, to be more precise! This is one fabulous simple little necessity to have in your crafting tool bag! And flashing back to the card..... It took several passes. I also forgot about using any water. The excitement to ink up the cardstock took over, I think. In the end though, I really like how it turned out. And without the water, it gives the paper a texture that is almost like suede. I really recommend checking out Tami's blog and seeing what great inspiration she has there!

Breaking out SU's Best Blossoms again, I stamped the flower in three colors and the stamp with the leaves on the stem several times and then cut them out. I adhered the two flowers on the outside with 1/16" foam tape and the one in the middle with 1/8" foam tape. The bottom layer of the ribbon is satin ribbon, with the wrong or back side facing up and on top of that is the pink twill. I adhered them to each other and to the card with my trusty ATG.
So much inky fun was to be had that I inked up two more backgrounds, one with purples and one with blues, that I hope to use in the near future!

Cardstock: Stamper's Select White, New Leaf - PTI
Stamps: Best Blossoms - SU; Thank You - Rubber Soul
Ink: Summer Sun, YoYo Yellow, So Saffron, Barely Banana, Positively Pink (retired), Cameo Coral, Regal Rose, Garden Green - SU; Vintage Sepia - Versafine
Ribbon: Hibiscus Pink twill, New Leaf Satin - PTI
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