Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

May your Holidays be filled with wonder....
Christmas 2011
Cozy P.J.'s....
Christmas Outfits 2011
Smiling faces....
Christmas Chicken 2011
and suprises in the way of the "Christmas Chicken"!   (Her name is Matilda!)
Happy Holidays to one and all!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

All She Wants For Christmas Is...

     her two front teeth!
Two Front Teeth
I love this lil' girl of mine!  Missing teeth and all.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Recent Cards

A quick posting of some of the cards I've made at Paper Studio recently.
Card 1....
Country Charm Poinsettia Card
Feeling a bit of "country" Christmas with this card.
Country Charm Poinsettia Card
Card 2...
Vintage Thanks Card
One can never have too many "Thank You" cards in their stash.
Vintage Thanks List
Card 3...
You Rock Card
I miss tapes in some ways.  Reminds me of my younger years,  I still play the ones I have on occasion.
You Rock List
Card 4...
Sew Special Card
This may be my favorite of the bunch.  Could be that I'm doing a lot of sewing these days.
Sew Special List
Till later....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Blissful ATC Swap November 2011

I'm back...taking a break for sewing and preparing for my first craft show! Eek!  I did manage to squeeze in a quick swap with the Blissfull ATC group. The theme this month was "Thankful" and I've a lot to be thankful for.  More on that in a bit....

 I received this beautiful ATC from Mercedes at All Things Pretty.  Turns out it's her first time swapping with Blissfull and mine was last November.  (How has the year flown?)   Mercedes does such wonderful work.  In person this ATC shines with just the right amount of sparkle.  Like fireworks on the fourth of July.
Liberty ATC
Even the back was pretty.  And I'm thankful to be an American as well.
Liberty ATC
I sent this ATC titled "Walking with Grandpa".  My first time using a photo in an ATC.  I took this picture in October of my Father and Ruby while hiking and looking at waterfalls in Upper MI.  (I've yet to post! Sorry.)  It was one of those moments where I remembered my camera and captured it perfectly.  It melts my heart.
"Walking with Grandpa " ATC
I punched all the little leaves and glued/placed them around the "frame" with a tooth pick so as to get them just right.  Embroidery thread holds the frame in place. 

I'm thankful for my family and the time with them.  I'm blessed.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wild Kratts Update

So first there was the "Vest" and 5 "Discs" all created for my little Teo's Birthday Party.   You can find the whole post here.  Since then there have been a few more requests for costumes.  This has brought about 5 more discs and a belted carry pouch.  I got tired of discs all around the house and tons of Ziplocs wasted, thus the pouch. Anyway, the most recent request was for a lil' boy down in Texas for his Halloween costume.  I'm a bit of a sucker for happy little boys and Halloween, so I agreed to make him a vest, pouch and 10 discs. 
Sweatshirt material was chosen due to location and durability.  To be honest I like it more than fleece for there's less lint/fuzz collection while it's being worn.   So I purchased a black sweatshirt, lopped of the sleeves, neck line, and bottom ribbed band.  Out of the excess sleeve I made the "Disc Pouch".
Wild Kratts Disc Pouch
 A belt slides through a back fold so it can easily be worn or taken off. There's a bit of Velcro sewn in the pouch opening to keep all the discs from falling out while running around.  The "Oak Tree" disc pictured is good for when you need the child to stand still!  I love creative play, hee, hee.
Wild Kratts Gloves
Onto gloves.  I'd been thinking about them for quite awhile.  The idea bouncing around in my head just waiting to come out.  And then I looked at the sleeves I had just cut off and BAM... I saw how to make the Gloves.  A pair of thin black knit gloves, the cuffs from the sweatshirt cut at an angle, felt pieces, bias tape, and a whole lot of hand sewing ... ta da!   O.K. the down side was all the hand sewing.  Only the bias tape trim was machine sewn.  All the other pieces were too small to fit on my machine.
Wild Kratts Gloves
I was pleased with the results so I sent this pair with the rest of the costume to Texas as a little extra surprise.  They really do complete the look of a Wild Kratt.  I've been told the little boy who received this "Creature Power Suit" wore it all day and even slept in the gloves! 
And that brings a big smile to my face.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Paper Studio ATC Swap

Paper Studio held a Halloween ATC Swap this month and since I adore this spooky holiday I was pretty excited about it!  Here's a picture of the creative madness in full swing.  May Arts ribbon, variety of torn Bazzill cardstocks, Color Box chalk inks, Crystal Lacquer, tape runner and Fiskars circle squeeze punches in a couple different sizes.
ATC Mummy Workspace
I find this close-up of eyeballs wonderfully silly.  I get kind of giggly looking at it... not very creepy of me I know.
ATC Mummy Eyeballs
Here's my ATC batch of 8 titled "Mummy".  In honor of last years costume, which I had a great time in!
"Mummy" ATC
I love quirky, classic Halloween spookiness.  It's my favorite holiday.  And candy... I also like Halloween candy!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cascading Ruffle Skirt

About a month ago, when there was still green leaves on the trees, I made this skirt for one of Ruby's lil' friends.  I found the tutorial from Ashley over at Lil Blue Boo here
Cascading Ruffle Skirt
I made mine using a bunch of unloved t-shirts.  I did stray from the pattern a little by adding an adjustable waistband.  Ruby's a peanut and it's hard to guess her friend's "sizes" these days.
Cascading Ruffle Skirt
This is a pretty quick skirt to make with lots of twirl power impact.

And now I'd like to ask all of you to put Ashley in your prayers as she's battling some serious health issues.  I've never met or spoken to her but I've been reading her blog for 2 years and I know she's quite an amazing woman with a generous spirit. 
So pray for her please, this world needs more people like her in it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More Cards... Again

Here are a few cards I made about a month ago for Paper Studio.  I love the "Autumn Splendor" paper collection by We R Memory Keepers.  Love , love, love.
Owls For You
Since we've started "card ingredient" lists I'm happy to say I'll always remember what I used in the making department.  I simply have to take a picture!
Owls For You Supplies
Here's the other card using "Autumn Splendor".  I have to say this is one of my all time favorites.  I love the inking and colors.
Miss You 1
Here's the same card but with the flip side of the paper.
Miss You 2
And the ingredients list.
Miss You Supplies
I've a chipboard book to post next using this paper collection to come.  Fall at it's finest.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sometimes There's An Actual Sign

I've been over doing it for over a month.  It snowballed as follows:
School started.
 I picked up an extra cleaning gig.
 I volunteered to be Ruby's Faith Formation Teacher.
Our wonderful neighbor and dear friend lost a battle with cancer.
I made 50+ headbands among other items for selling/gifts.
Started the computer/photo work for my Etsy shop.
And I'm still doing my usual "work" and "homework" and "life" stuff.

And thus I haven't been blogging.  When there's been time I just want to sit or sleep.  Now do not worry for I've been doing family bonding/fun stuff too.  In fact that's also why the Blog has been so lonely.  I feel like I need to spend time with my peanuts.  We've had some wonderful weather lately and I just want to play with them.  They're growing so fast I don't want them ever to say, "Mom was working or sewing all the time."

 Yesterday I came across this sign. I'm taking it to heart.
Good Advice
My list and schedule are nicely meshed, finally.  Room for fun and sewing.  Room for children and work.  And especially room for me.  It's hard to say "No" to special requests but I'm doing it gently.  And I'm happy to report that my Etsy shop is not too far away! 

I'm pacing myself.  Stay tuned...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Yay! School Has Started!

Whew, school has started and I'm feeling like I can breathe again.  I'll miss my lil' people but I am so looking forward to the routine again.  My plate was heaped full in August. 
First Day of School 2011
I'm way behind in posting lots of goodness.
First Day of School 2011
I lost all sense of time and self, which is O.K.  for awhile, but now we're all ready for school and fall. 
First Day of School 2011
There will still be time to look at "slugs"... but secretly, I'm looking forward to having some "Child Free" time to blog, create and sew.  It's been too long.  Yay, school!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blissfull ATC Swap August 2011

Where o' where has August gone!   I did manage to squeeze in a Blissfull ATC Swap this month.  The theme was FOOD and I was "hungry" for this challenge.  I love the "Have A Donut"  CL403 stampset from HeroArts and when I found out my swap partner (more about Fran to come) loved coffee in the morning... well, I knew I had to use it. Thus my ATC titled "The Perfect Morning Start" was created.
"The Perfect Morning Start" ATC
Since I wanted both coffee and donuts I choose to use a vellum piece to let the (double-sided) donut swing open to show the cup o' joe.  A little orange ribbon ties the card closed. 
"The Perfect Morning Start" ATC
I sent a bag of orange goodies along with my ATC.  I've been cleaning house to get ready for school/fall and it felt good to share.  Fran loves orange so I know she'll find a use for them.
ATC & Goodies for Fran
So, I swapped with Fran, whose blog "thebagglady", is full of vintage items, antique-y charm and rusty goodness.   She made this wonderful "Radish"  ATC for me!  All wrapped up in a piece of a sewing pattern and accompanied with a cute card.
ATC by Fran
It's the first 3 dimensional ATC I've received.  Super creative use of materials.... the mesh bag is fantastic!
ATC by Fran
Thanks Fran, I hope we'll be able to swap again sometime. 


Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Birthday Gift From 2010

There are times when I'm working on so many projects that I'm luck if I take some photos and even luckier if I get around to posting them.  Which brings me to this lovely library book bag that I made last year as a gift for Ruby's friend Zoey.  I used a "sketch" for a 12x12 layout as a pattern guide.  I can't remember which one but I used it for my Spooktacular Layout as well.
Zoey's Book Bag
So, I had a nice canvas bag with some weird logo to start with.  (The logo would be covered by the pattern in the end.) Next came fabric and color choices.   I knew I wanted feminine yet not to girly cute... longevity was key.  A pretty book bag to please Zoey at age 6 to 96.  Some sparkle and some vintage.
Zoey's Book Bag
A fancy jean pants pocket to hold the library card, a couple different ribbons, and fabrics.  The olive green was from a flawed dye job attempt on a once white shirt.   I made the felt flowers and used a little embroidery to attach them.  Decorative and vintage buttons for embellishment.
Zoey's Book Bag
View of the other side of the bag.  A smaller version of the front design.  Colored embroidery floss as well as colored threads helped complete the overall look and feel of this bag.
Zoey's Book Bag
I'm still giddy, year later, about this project.  I'm thinking I really need one (or two) for myself! 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"School Daze" Layout

When I first saw the "Travel Light" paper collection by We R Memory Keepers I knew I wanted to do a double page layout of Mateo's Pre-K school year.  There's such a playful feel to this line with the stripes, dots, and color palette.  Thankfully I took quite a few school pictures during the year.  (Poor kid is the second child, I've yet to fill in his baby book.)
School Daze Layout
Sizzix Alphabet dies, chip board and Bazzil paper were used for the letters.  Circle Nestabilities and Fiskars circle squeeze punches were used to cut all the circle mats and circular photos.  School Daze Layout
Creative Imaginations epoxy stickers for just the right amount of word fun.
School Daze Layout
Now I need to go through Ruby's Pre-K pictures and put one together for her before the "summer haze" is over and we're into yet another "school daze"!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Alysse's Can-Can Skirt

Ruby went to her friend Alysse's birthday party this past weekend and thus another Can-Can skirt was made.   I'm able to sew one up quite quickly and easily now.  (Apparently I've made 8 over the past year and a half.)  Color pattern/choice is probably the most time consuming part these days.  For example, I tossed around a few ideas in my head until 24 hours before the party and then I started sewing.
Alysse's Can-Can Skirt
I finished the white base in a timely fashion, mid afternoon.  Ruffles... not so much.  I wanted to do rainbow but had less color variety than I thought.  So I was giddy when I finally stitched down this final combination of ruffles.  Partially because it was 11:30 pm and also because I had to unpick a whole ruffle layer to make the above work.  I had only so much of each blue to work with.  Eek!  I love the end result.  It reminds me of an ocean wave and as it happened the party was "Hawaiian Luau" themed. 
How cool of a coincidence was that!
Alysse's Can-Can Skirt
With Ruby hinting about "needing" another Can-Can skirt and my stash running low, I do believe there's a nylon chiffon order to be placed in my near future!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Party "Wild Kratts" Style

10/29/11 More Updates HERE.

Back in May, while on a walk, the topic of birthdays was being discussed by Ruby, Mateo and myself.  Ruby asked what a "golden birthday" was and that's when it hit me... Mateo would be having his this year!  So, I asked my soon to be 5 year old what kind of party would he like?  I suggested super hero to which he replied in a quiet voice, "Maybe Wild Kratts?"  O.K.  I'm thinking I can work with this, animals and such, no worries.  If you've never heard of the Wild Kratts go HERE.  It's like a pair of crocodile hunter brothers, animal planet and cartoon all mixed in one on PBS.  Great show, even I enjoy it.   So guess what... there is no merchandise currently available!  Now, I do like to DIY most things but not everything, usually.   So, here's what I did.   I checked around the blog world and found 2 that had done birthday parties.  Go Here and Here to take a look.  I took ideas from both.  Neither had an invite so here's what I made.   I searched images on line till I found one I liked and simply printed it off a few times.  Bazzill cardstocks, patterned paper from We R Memory Keepers "Furever Friends" collection and twine from May Arts.   Inked and distressed edges tied the card together with the Kratts logo.
Wild Kratts Party Invite
Now on to the sewing!   What would a Wild Kratts party be without "creature power suits"?  Mateo actually said, "You can do it Mom, you can make anything!"  No pressure.  I made a few versions due to the number of children and materials available.  My favorite was the black fleece and felt.  No fraying or finished edges required though I did on the fleece vest.  Just made everything a bit more crisp.  I used one of Mateo's tank tops as a quide for shape and sizing then made a slightly larger paper pattern for mas production.  I needed 10 vests total.  Zoiks!
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
After the first few black ones Ruby told me the girls vests should be pink.  O.K.  Since I was low on black fleece this was actually a good thing.  I also happened to have a pink v-neck t-shirt laying around.  Off with the sleeves, hemmed the arm hole, cropped the bottom, hemmed again and added the felt details.  Done.  The little black strip in the felt paw print is velcro.
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
Velcro was needed because... creature power suits require "creature power discs" to activate said creature powers don't cha know.  So on to discs.   Then plan was to earn discs by playing games and having some in the goodie bag.  I copied the cheetah and the firefly discs from HERE.  Then I made a sheet of plain discs. Yay photo copier!  I used a stamp from Hero Arts for the Monarch butterfly and finally freehand drew the worms and large mouth bass.  I laminated them for longevity and finally added the velcro on the backs.  Ten guests times five different discs equals 50 total discs.  Zoiks again!  (Mateo was all about playing with his vest and discs as soon as I made them, thus the funk on them in the pic below =:)
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
For the second year in a row a heavy down pour occurred right as the party started.  Thankfully it was warm and without lightning so lots of puddle splashing took place while the food was grilled.  Families were invited to this party so we grilled out hamburgers, hotdogs and had lots of fruit and pasta salads.  There was a little cake for candle blowing but all the guests had frosted sugar cookies in a variety of animal shapes instead for dessert.  Much easier at a BBQ style party.
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
After eating all the kids were given their creature power vests and the games began.  Everyone was given a cheetah badge before they played a game of "Cheetah Tag".  A streamer for a tail was tucked into shorts.  At the sound of go they all ran around trying to pull each others tails.  Even if you lost your tail you could still run and try to pull someone elses tail.  The game ended when all tails had been pulled. 
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
This was played a few times and helped burn up lots of excess energy.
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
To earn monarch butterfly badges party goers had to turn from their caterpillar state into a chrysalis and burst out as a butterfly.  This was done through cheap toilet paper.   The idea came from HERE.  Talk about fun, all the kids loved it!
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
Wrap, wrap, wrap.   Burst out as a butterfly!
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
Silly, good fun!
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
Here's a good shot of the creature power vest in action!
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
Now onto Goodie Bags.  I wanted simple and to include more creature power discs. 
So each bag had :   Animal Crackers
                              Gold Fish Crackers - Large Mouth Bass disc
                              Glow Stick Light - Fire Fly disc
                              Gummy Worms & Worm Slime - Earth Worm disc
                              A few animal shaped Silly Bands
Mateo and Ruby loved making the slime for their friends and it's so easy that I thought I'd include the video here.   This stuff brings hours of fun!

And now for a few confessions.
 I never took a group shot of all the guests.
I took a video of blowing out the candles but no pics. 
I never took a single picture of Mateo by himself on his birthday.
On the up side he told me, "This was the best day ever!"  And I find that when I'm really in the moment I often forget the camera.
Teo's Wild Kratts Birthday 2011
Oh, and when it was time to go one little boy came up to me and asked, "Do we get to keep these?" 
As he tugged on his creature power vest.
 "Yes, it's part of your goodie bag."
Then he made a fist pump, said, "Yes!" and ran off yelling "Thanks!"
Definately one of my best days, too.
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