Sunday, July 20, 2014

Using my Inspiration Boards

How many of you utilize Pinterest?  I LOVE, love, LOVE Pinterest! It is a smorgasbord of unending inspiration and ideas.

And, believe it or not, I actually make recipes from ideas pinned and use my inspiration boards for ideas when creating.  Now if I would actually use the organization and cleaning pins!! snort!!

This past week, I have had to make a total of FOUR  cards in a span of a couple of days.

Four cards.  In a span of a couple of days.  People, I haven't created four cards in a MONTH in a very, veryveryvery long time!!

I needed two cards for office birthdays that we were celebrating the same day at an office lunch.  And, I got asked to make the cards the day before the lunch.   Of course, my creative mojo decided it wanted a vacation.  My Pinterest Inspiration board to the rescue!!

Basically, I took the easy way out and CASEd (copy and stole shared everything) of this fabulous card by beesmom on Splitcoaststampers. , but I had to do it with a twist as I couldn't find a die large enough to cut a frame to fit the  enlarged card size needed for all the office to sign and hold the gift certificates.

And I had a slight problem cutting down on the background!! I REALLY liked it! LOL!!


I wish you could see the shimmer on the background.  Very slight, but eye catching in person! I popped up the main images with dimensional tape to add an extra pop.

Details:  Cards size.  I honestly don't remember. I believe the base was 5"x 5.5".  Distress Paints in Fired Brick, Spiced Marmalade and Wild Honey.  A mixture of Glimmer Mist Pearl and Luminarte Radiant Rain Pearl Blue. Embossing folder Sizzix Tropical Paisley.  Dies: Tim Holtz's Garden Greens, Sizzix Bird w/Leaves and Flower.

The technique video that I used for the background can be found here.

I will share the second card I made using this same technique but in a totally different way in a few days! 

Until then................use those inspiration pictures and create!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Saying Hello and Goodbye

Hello?

Hello?

(tap, tap.  Is this thing on?)

HELLO THERE!!

I know it's been awhile since I last posted.  I actually have projects to share, I've just lacked the time, and even more so, the energy, over the last month to sit down and edit photos and write up a blog post.  In the weeks I've been "gone", I've made 16 graduation gift bags (mass produced), 22 graduation cards (again, mass produced), attended graduation ceremonies over 4 days, co-hosted a graduation party, made  a birthday card and a goodbye card for a co-worker.

Nothing that should have prevented me from posting sooner.

BUT!! Not included on that little list was attending a week long basketball tournament (kids were there for up to 10 hours a day.  Me---several hours a day) followed by increasing my work hours due to two co-workers moving on to new jobs and now 2-3 games per week for summer league basketball.

Have I mentioned I seem to be lacking in the energy department lately?!!

Seriously, life is good, but I have pushed crafting and blogging to the way side to attend all my kiddo's games and just spend down time together as a family.  This year's graduation ceremonies smacked me over the head that my Oldest Kiddo will be leaving our little nest a year from now.  I have days, not years, left of him being home full time and I'm determined to grasp every last second I can!

I digress. I'm sure you did not stop by to be bombarded with our over booked schedule details! Let me share the card I made for one of the co-workers who recently left our office.


This card is about as far from my original idea as A is to Z.  Let's just say my original idea has good potential, but I need to work out some bugs in the actual creating of it.  That will be for a later time!! haha!!  I spent so much time on my original idea the night before the good bye party, that I actually asked The Toad if he could buy a card for me the next morning that I'd pick up on my way to the good bye luncheon.  

Then the guilt set in.  This gal is one of the co-workers that has always appreciated the effort put into cards I've made for work festivities.  I started pulling out every designer paper pack I have hoarded, grasping for any inspiration the paper might provide at 9:30 pm.  By the way, panic tends to set in at 9:30 pm.  Not so much inspiration!!  

If I recall correctly, this was actually inspired by another sheet of design paper that I ruined by slightly crooked stamping.  Of course, it was the last sheet of that particular paper that I had.  Go figure.  I pulled out some older Spellbinder dies (Daisy), rummaged through my paper scraps and figured out my basic lay out.  Hauled my tired rear out of bed the next morning at 5:00 am to cut, sponge and put together the card before I had to get myself ready for work. 

Clean. Simple.  Made. Not bought.  Mission accomplished.

I'm going to fail you right now and not list all the specific details.  One:  I don't remember what paper pack I used, other than it has been in my stash for a while and I'm too lazy tired to walk down the hall and figure out which one it was.  Two: The flowers were cut from OLD SU paper that has literally been in my stash for years.  Like before I labeled more specifically beyond the general color families.  Inks used?  Distress Vintage Photo is usually a good guess.  Rusty Hinge?  Old Olive?  People, I was just grabbing supplies left and right hoping something would magically come together.  

It seems the paper crafting gods decided to grant me this blessing.  I'm just going to be ever thankful and attempt to do better with details the next time around!!

I'm hoping that the little upheaval in my crafting and blogging will soon settle to a more manageable hectic.  I am hoping to put together a little tutorial on a fun technique that I played around with for the birthday card I made!! 

'Till next time................cherish your families. Be thankful for what time you can spend crafting.  Enjoy the moment. 





Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Patterns

Believe it or not, I have been trying to get this card posted for over a week now!!  

It would seem that my secretary tends to overbook the calendar. I really need to fire her.  

Oh wait.  That would be me. 

Can one be fired from a job that one doesn't get paid for?

Sigh.

At any rate, I made this card for a fellow paper crafter, who just happens to be our office PR gal. We celebrated her birthday last week.  

I originally had just planned to use another print from this particular paper pack that had these wonderful flocked/raised flowers on it.  I was running short on time and was going to let the paper do all the work for me.

Then, I had a brain freeze and decided to embellish the card myself.

 No, I prefer to think that I took advantage of the excuse of needing to make a card to carve out a bit more creative time.  

Or, I had a brain freeze. 


The 5 inch square card base is Gina K's Pure Luxury 120# in Ivory.  I then ruined utilized several pieces of black paper in my attempts to try and punch out the decorative border, keeping a straight line.  I obviously failed and after the millionth attempt, (only a slight exaggeration, I assure you), I gave up and figured no one would notice the uneven framing of the patterned paper (from an old DCWV paper pack) but me.

The flower was die cut from some bright, rich red metal that a friend gave me.  I could not capture the actual color with my photo or correct with my limited photo editing skills.  The flower was die cut using the Tattered Florals Die.  I used a decorative wheel and the Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder to make the pattern and lightly sanded with a burnishing block.  

I had figured out that I could stamp on the ribbon BUT! Alas, another brain freeze attacked and I adhered the flower (with E600 glue, no less) prior to the stamping.  That rendered my trusty stampamajig useless as I could not bend up the petals enough to place the jig where I needed it to make sure my stamping was straight.  After several failed attempts to fashion a more narrow jig from Legos that actually worked correctly, I finally stamped on some velum paper and adhered with velum adhesive to the ribbon.

Note to self:  DO NOT USE YOUR PRECIOUS METAL FOR CO-WORKER'S CARDS!!!  It would seem that when other co-workers are signing the card, they don't appreciate the the delicacy of embellishments.  This poor flower was smooshed, smashed, bent and crumbled every which way!! 

That's it for me today!! I now need to change the creative gears and try to come up with a card for the Oldest Kiddo.  It would seem he needs a b-day card by Friday!!

Nope.  No panicking here!!

'Till next time!


 

Friday, May 9, 2014

She's Making Lists......

.......and more importantly, CHECKING off on the lists!!

Order invites for Newest Kiddo's graduation party:  CHECK

Individual Senior Boys Baseball collages put together and ordered:  CHECK

Coach's and Team Baseball collages put together and ordered:  CHECK

Teacher appreciation gift card (yes, I admit that that I caved to the convenience of a gift card. Survival is what we are aiming for in the month of May!):  CHECK

Cute presentation Teacher's Mug to give gift card:   CHECK, CHECK, CHECK!!  

Thank heavens for those paper crafter's who are willing to share their talents and templates online.  It is those saintly souls who make harried mom's like me not look quite so lame in in our gift giving.

Traci Cornelius has a wonderful video that demonstrates how to make this cute little mug. Since she did such a fabulous job, I skipped the step by step photos. This is truly easy  peasy to make!! You can find her video here.  





It actually took me longer to figure out what papers I wanted to use then the making of the mug itself.  The gift card peeking out the top will give you an idea as to the size of the mug.  It's tiny, but CUTE! 

I made the mug and handle out of Gina K's pure luxury 120# card stock as I wanted the cup to be more sturdy. You will notice in the last picture that the handle started pulling off the mug due to the stiffness of the paper.  I had used Scor-tape originally to adhere the handle, but had to resort to TenSecond Studios Humungo Killer tape to get the job done correctly.  The decorative papers are from Graphic 45's An ABC Primer line.  

Using up hoarded paper stash:  CHECK

I'm off to try and accomplish more check marks off my list before an afternoon of watching the Oldest and Newest Kiddo's baseball game.  To all you wonderful and under appreciated Teachers:  a HUGE THANK YOU!!

And to all you mom's (harried or cool, calm and got it together) HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!

'Till next time......................

Monday, May 5, 2014

The End is Upon Us

The End of the YEAR is quickly approaching!!

Oh wait!  You didn't think I was referring to anything else did you?! (wink).

This time of year gets CRAZY with having 3 teen age boys. Baseball is cramming in 3 games a week. Senior recognition for baseball that will require me to go through 680 pictures multiple times in order to put together photo collages for the senior boys and their coaches.  Teacher's are cramming in as many last quarter  projects that might be possible to complete without parents hiring a team of hit men. Music performances are doing double services at the local churches, not to mention the spring concerts that will be upon us soon.  Award banquets.  Teacher appreciation days. School golf tournaments.

A family wedding to attend.  Oldest Kiddo's birthday coming up.

And let us not forget graduation and the party announcements that still need to be made up and sent out. And graduation cards for classmates.

Cloning. That may be the only answer to get all of this done.  

To add the final cherry on top, the Youngest Kiddo decided that it would be the perfect time  to break his wrist.

The Toad suggested he get a white cast so that I could custom paint it for him.  The first idea was to do the Terminator look with mechanical parts bursting out of the skin.

Uhhhh.  Nope!! It would seem that when mom has not drawn or painted in a loooong time, such skills required for that type of detail are no longer an option.

And yes, I did try.

Next option, Ironman.  As simple as this should have been, it took me several tries.  This cast has more paint on it than the Sistine Chapel.  


You may have noticed that I didn't share the top of the cast.  It would seem that became my nemesis. While it doesn't look bad, per say, it just doesn't look as good as the palm.  It looks like it went through a battle to get painted and it won.  Oh well!! The Youngest Kiddo has informed me that I'll have the chance to have another go at it in a couple of weeks.  Yes, this Kiddo will have the pleasure of multiple casts as he fractured the scaphoid bone in his wrist, which just so happens to have the poorest blood supply.  This meaning more x-rays in a couple of weeks to make sure it is healing.  

It goes without saying that further posting will be sparse over the next couple of weeks!! I hope the month of May finds you with plenty of time for creativity! Enjoy a few extra moments for me!!

'Till next time......................

  







Thursday, April 17, 2014

Another Throwback Thursday

I pulled out all the throwback stops on this card.

Two, not one, but TWO old SU stamp sets.

Using inks and masking to create a scenic background. Remember when that technique was all the rage?!

And to complete the throwback?  I used old SU colored card stock in ?Summer Sun?  Does this color even exist in SU's color family anymore? Anyone?  Anyone? Bueller?

I did fail in making this card totally flashback by using Distress Inks vs SU retired inks.  Sorry. Distress Inks just blend soooo much nicer, in my humble opinion.


This card is for a young man who just turned 16.  He loves the mountains and hunting.  I thought that creating this scene was appropriate for the occasion. I must have been on target as he proclaimed "this card is so cool".

Card details:  Size 5.5" square.  
Papers:  Gina K pure luxury black and ivory (for the scene panel).  SU ?Summer Sun?
Inks:  Distress Inks in Ripe Persimmon, Black Soot, Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick, Gathered Twig, Walnut Stain. Memento Tuxedo Black
Stamps: SU's Lovely as a Tree, Nature's Silhouette 


'Till next time..........



Saturday, April 12, 2014

Positive Teen Role Models

I may have mentioned before that my kiddo's attend a small parochial school.

Did I mention that the school is small? As in, barley 300 kids (if that) from grades K-12, kinda small?!

There is advantages and disadvantages to attending such a small school.

Advantage: everyone knows your name.

Disadvantage: everyone knows your name.  

Advantage: class sizes are small so teachers are able to give more undivided attention to those who need a bit more help.

Disadvantage: class sizes are small so teachers have undivided attention! It is much harder to get away with "stuff" (wink).

Advantage: you are able to participate in extra curricular activities that you might otherwise get "cut" from at a larger school.

Disadvantage: with such a small talent pool to pull from, there are times when coaches, friends, teachers and parents will BEG you to play a certain sport so that the school can field a team. 

Disadvantage: sometimes those teams are made up of player and coach combinations that are toxic.  There is such a negative vibe that underclassmen are not inclined to join the team and previous team members decide not to play rather than endure another miserable season. 

For the last couple of years the baseball team, unfortunately, fit into that last disadvantage category.  The end of the school year saw those personalities graduating and coaches moving on, but in the wake, was left a program that had gained a very negative reputation. 

The surviving players begged, pleaded and recruited enough players (just barely) to field a team.  Of the 12 players, keeping in mind that 9 players are required to be on the field, SEVEN of the players are a combination of freshmen and players who have either never played or have not played since middle school.

Needless to say, there is a whole lot of newbies on the field during the games. And, heaven help us, when one of the more experienced player's gets injured because it then becomes a shuffled deck as to who will play what position to cover.

But, despite the disadvantages, this team has shown a HUGE advantage.  

The leadership of the upperclassmen. 

With the encouragement and understanding of the coaches, as to the inexperience this team has, the senior boys, (including one who has never played), has kept their attitudes positive and have gone out of their way to work with and encourage the younger guys. 

And the boys who were so reluctant to to join the team initially are having fun. 

This has not gone unnoticed by the  parents.  Several parents wanted to make sure that the older boys knew that their positive outlook and attitude towards the new players was appreciated. So often we tend to only point out the negative and what can be improved versus commending the good and positive.

Yesterday, we commended the five seniors for the good and positive.  Goodie bags filled with fun goodies such as Lifesavers and Rolo candies with the tag "Thanks for being such good "ROLE" models", "Doughnut" we'd do without you" on the bag of doughnut holes, "High Five for a job well done" on a back of Five gum.  Bottles of GatorADE for the aide given and plastic Big League Baseballs filled with candy for being "big league leaders". 

 We have known, and The Toad has coached, four of these boys since grade school.  And the fifth? The Newest Kiddo that joined our family last year. We felt that a personal note to each boy was warranted.




Inside was the quote: 

"The strength of the group is the strength of the leaders"
--Vince Lombardi

I took this photo before the game started.  As I was walking out of the dugout to get a better angle, I overheard the Captain (one of the Senior boys) talking to the rest of the team.  His words?  "No matter what, let's have fun out there".

And then, he pulled them in for a team prayer.


Positive Teen Role Models.

After the game all five of those boys went to each parent and gave them a hug of thanks.

But that wasn't the best part. The best part was the discussion among next year's upperclassmen of needing to keep the positive attitude going for the new guys joining the team.

Positive Teen Role Models.