Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Easter Card

I stepped 'out of my box' and made a square card, gasp! 

I found a 10 pack of 5x5 cards and envies at Joann's a while back, and I just picked up Basic Grey's Kioshi 6x6 pad.  Then I saw this card and was totally inspired ;)


I used my Cricut and the Stretch Your Imagination cartridge to cut the tree, which I then embossed in my Cuttlebug machine.  Also, a various bunch of circle punches for the 'leaves', and then the bunny is heat embossed (another one of my $1 clear stamp sets!) with white powder and a KaiserCraft pink pearl eye..  I used my Tim Holtz inks on the edges with the foam aplicators: Stormy Sky on the blue background, Bundled Sage on the circles, Peeled Paint on the 'grass' and Vintage Photo on the tree.  I used his edge distresser on all the edges too, love that tool.  Something about Basic Grey papers just call out for edge distressing to me!  And last but not least, I used my Martha Stewart Loopy border punch for the grass. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More crafty stuff

Wow, 3 posts in one day, I am on a roll ;)

I made some more  felt flowers!

I started out by cutting some circles out of felt.

Then cutting each circle into a spiral shape.

I took a few of the flower centers and folded them in half.

Then I added a drop of hot glue and started rolling them up loosely.

Once they were all rolled up, I secured the end with another bit of glue.  I also turned the flower over and gave the bottom edges a light coat of hot glue.

This one I did a little differently.  I cut a strip of felt, and used a long running stitch and pulled it tight to gather it.  Then I glued the center in, and all finished!

Simple pin cushions

I found a website the other day called DIY Dish.  They had just posted their first video, and it had a super cute pin cushion tutorial, and it looked like fun, so away I went!

I even had all the supplies to make this, so even better, no shopping to do ;)  Here's the body of the cushion, made out of rolled felt strips.

I had this cute stack of fat quarters laying around, and hadn't done anything with it yet.

I decided to change it slightly from the video.  I wanted the bottom to finished, so I cut some cereal boxes with my Nestabilites circle dies for the bottom. 

To make it a little sturdier, I glues 3 of them together.  One a side note...  My husband had comandeered my glue gun and it was somehwere in his gagrage.  I looked for it for about 10 minutes, and then gave up and went to Hardware Sales.  I was able to find a mini glue gun and 2 packages of glue sticks for less than $10!

I covered the circles with a square of fabric.  Only one side of this was going to show, so it didn't matter what the back looked like.

Then I covered the top with another square of fabric, only glueing the edges.  This had to be tight, snd the glue dries fast, so I had to work in stages pretty quickly!

This is the part that wraps around the outside.  I embroidered this cute design, ans then top-stitched 3 of the edges (two long sides and one short side).

I started with the raw short side, and started wrapping.  The hot glue dires fast, so again I had to do small sections at a time.

I got a little overzealous with the hot glue!  This one you can see it sticking up from the edges, so this one will be mine to keep ;)

It is a perfectly functional pin cushion now, but I wanted to fancy it up a bit.  I sewwd a 2 inch strip of fabric along the raw edges, and pulled the bottom thread to make it into a ruffle.  It took some fussing to get the ruffle to be about the same length as the circumfrence of the circle, but it wasn't too hard.

Then I glued the ruffle to the back of the circle.  This will be the bottom of my cushion, so it is all neat and finished.

This is the other side, the side that faces up and will be glued to the bottom of the cushion itself.

Here it is put together.  I put a whole bunch of Tacky Glue in the middle to hold the felt, and then went around the edges carefully with the hot glue.  I tried to keep the nozzle under the finished edge so the glue wouldn't ooze out and show.

I also wanted to make some felt flowers to add, and here's how.  I just rough-cut some flet and used a long running stitch to gather up the 'petals'.

I did the same thing for the leaves.  They were triangles cut out of the green felt, and then used the same stitch on the short side to gather.  The one on the left, I used hot glue farther down the inside when I was wrapping the cushion.  Then I went back and stitched the edge closed all the way around the top, which I like better.

I found some flower centers to use as 'stamens' and added them to the buttons. 

These were super fun to make and I have already purchased a few more fat quarters!

Boulevard Park

I went for a walk this morning bright and early!  I have to get some more miles under my belt, only 6 months to go until the 3day!  I left my house at about 6:20 and walked with a co-worker for about 6 miles.  We met right around the corner from my house and headed out to the bay.

On our way downtown, and it was pretty quiet.

Once we got to the park, we walked right by the water.  It was a little windy, but not too cold.

We stopped by the Woods Coffee location in the park.  I absolutely LOVE their new sugar-free Brown Sugar Cinnamon flavor, it's delicious!

Isn't this a pretty picture??

Cool bench next to the trail...

My walking buddy was a little camera shy!  She said I was the only one who got to see her that early in the morning ;)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Only a couple of weeks to go!

...Until retreat time!!!  It has been so long, over a year, and I can't waaaaaaaait ;)  I have already started prepping so I can get LOTS done between all the great food and fun times with the ladies!

Here's what I do, and it works pretty well for me...

I start by sorting my photos.  I group them by the layout they will be going on. 

Then I go through my sketch file on the computer.  I have them sorted into folders by how many pics are on the LO, 1 pic, 2 pics, etc.  Ok, this next part makes perfect sense to me, so hopefully I can explain it!  I go through my photos and pick the first group.  If it has 4 photos, I go to my '4 photos' file and pick a sketch I like.  I 'copy' the sketch file and 'paste' it into a new folder on my computer, this one I called "April 2010 Retreat".  I rename the sketch to '#1', and then repeat until I am done with my pics.  I have 54 sketches and 54 groups of pics, and that is my goal for the retreat.

Once I have all the sketches picked out and in the new folder, I print them out.  What works best for me is to print them four on a page, going down one side.  Then I have room for the next step, which is to write down what is in the pics and how many papers I need.  I write down how many patterened papers (pp) and how much cardstock (cs) I need for each LO.

Then the fun begins!  I set up right next to my papers with the supplies I need.  I have my clipboard with the printed sketches and all my notes, a pen and a pad of Post-It notes, paperclips, and a box to put my completed 'page kits' in.

Starting with my first group of photos, I check my clipboard and see what sketch goes with them.  My notes next to the sketch say how many papers I need, so I look at my photos and decide what color/theme the papers are going to be.  For this one, I needed two sheets of cs, and one pp.

Same for this one.

Once I pick out my papers, I label them with a Post-It and the coresponding sketch number.  I make sure the sticky part of the note is along the side, so when I fold it over it grips the front and back of the group of papers.  If I have a certain tag or other embellie to use with the papers, I include it, and put a paperclip over the sticky note.  If it is just the papers, I don't put a paperclip.

Then into the box it goes.  This box is totally random, but about 3 years ago I started using it becase it was the only thing I had the right size.  All the 12x12 containers I had were either too small or too big, so I still just use this box.  It sits right next to me on the floor at the retreat, and I just reach down and grab the next set of papers when I finish a LO.

Phew, ok!  So as I am typing this out and going through my step-by-step process, it has occured to me that it sounds a mite anal!  Oh well ;)  It works for me, and I am able to get a lot done.  

Like I said, the process of getting started is the hard part for me.  This way I just grab and go, and I hit the ground running.  Once I have a clear jumping-off point (the sketches), I can start creating.  Also, I don't have to decide what papers to pack and then consequently waste time deciding which ones to use.  That part of the equation is already completed and I can focus on the fun part, creating something meaningful and pretty ;)  Almost everytime I go to one of these retreats, I have a few of these LO kits that don't quite 'work' for me when I am there, but that's ok.  It is maybe only 3 or 4, so overall it is a pretty efficient way to get organized.  For me is anyway ;)

This sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but it is easily broken down into bite-sized pieces.  I don't do it all at once!  Sorting the pics is pretty quick and doesn't take a lot of time.  I typically do this in the evenings after the kids go to bed, and my hubs and I are watching a program or two.  I think it only took one night to sort them.  Then probably 4-5 nights of picking sketches to go with the pics.  I have my laptop in the livingroom so I can do a bit of mulit-tasking ;)  Once that is done, printing them out takes only a few minutes and another night or 2 of writing notes along side of them.  The part that takes the longest is sitting down and pulling the papers together.  That is why I start now!  I have a little less than 4 weeks until the retreat, so I want to make sure I have enough time to finish the pre-planning part and then start packing.

Once I get all that done, packing the rest is a cinch.  I bring my tools, a stack of extra cardstock for matting and cutting titles, and whatever embellies I need.

For tools, this includes my Cricut and cartridges, other cutting tools like a craft knife, circle cutter, etc., Cuttlebug and dies/folders/plates, stamps, blocks and ink pads, cutting and craft mat, adhesive and refills, and all that stuff.  For extra cardstock, I bring an assortment of 12x12 sheets in black, white, and a bunch of different colors, plus a ton of the mat stacks from DCWV.  I love the ones that are 4.5 x 6.5, because they are perfect for punching, die cutting and cutting titles on Cricut, and I can pack a lot of different colors in a smaller space.

As for embellies...  Well this is where I get a little carried away!  Just ask anyone who has been to a retreat with me ;)  But I can, because I was so efficient in packing my paper, so now I have LOTS of extra room for the fun stuff!  I bring pretty much anything I think I will use.  Letter stickers, Thickers, ribbon, bling, felt, brads, you name it.  This is where my creative process comes in.  I took all the spontaneous elements out of the equation by pre-planning my paper choices, so now I need room to groove with my embellie choices.  This is where I take my time to decide what to use, so I bring it all.  I bring all my ribbon, all my brads and eyelets, all my flowers.  ...And I have a lot of flowers, don't I ladies??

Yep, all of it.  I can't help myself, and I know that if I didn't do it this way, I would be wishing I would have brought that one thing I need to finish my page.   I even bring a small shelving unit to put behind me so I can easily access my supplies and have everything in reach.  I use one of the wire cube shelf sets I got at Target for like $15. The unassembled sets are pretty cheap!  I can put it together in about 10 minutes, so it is super portable and convenient to use.  A few of the regular ladies I retreat with have taken to doing the same thing ;)  Space is pretty limited so I make the most of it, and there is nothing worse than having to dig through a bunch of stuff to find that one thing you need!

So there is a peek into my process, hope it helps someone ;)

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I found this video yesterday, and wanted to give it a try!  Her stuff is so beautiful, and very out-of-the-box for me, so I thought it would be fun to make something new. 

I started with plain white cardstock for the backgrounds, the leaves and the flowers.  I didn't take pics of the flowers until I was finished, but I made them the same way as the leaves.  For a tutorial on how to make and shape the flowers, go here ;)  There are also TONS of videos on youtube on how to make these.

For the leaves, I used my Cricut and cut them using the Stretch Your Imagination cartridge.  I inked them with various combinations of Shabby Shutters, Pine Needles and Peeled Paint distress inks by Tim Holtz.  Then I swiped a bit of Brushed Corduroy on them too, to make them a bit more vintage-looking.

Then I sprayed them with a water mister.  In the mister there is water with a few scoops of Perfect Pearls powder.  I have one each for the pearl, bronze, copper and gold colors of powder. 

This is what they look like after I dried them with my heat tool.

Here's everything all put together!