Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nothing Like A Good Pair Of Old Jeans: Sketch Challenge

It’s hard to match the lived-in comfortableness of a good pair of old jeans. When I was in the Peace Corps, I brought a brand new pair of classic Levis with me to Namibia and wore them so often that by the time I left my service, the jeans were like sweat pants.

Relationships are like that too. I love the feeling of being around someone for so long that they are as comfy to me as an old pair of jeans. When I saw the worn denim patterned paper in Authentique’s Genuine collection, that feeling of comfort is exactly what I thought of. So I had to make a jean pocket.

Those sweet little crocheted flowers are from my good friend Tabbetha Gilbert. I thought they fit perfectly here with the jeans.

The card is based on the May monthly sketch at Authentique Paper. I put the flowers in the square grid format.

You can find all the details here.

CS: American Crafts
PP: Authentique Genuine (Perfection); Loyal (Honest)
Stickers: Authentique (Genuine Details), (Delightful Elements)
Crocheted Flowers: craft supply (made by Tabbetha Gilbert)
Sewing Machine: Bernina

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pausing To Remember: Cards For Our Troops

I come from a military family and while I love the long weekend that Memorial Day affords, today I also want to pause. Today, I remember the fallen. As someone once said: freedom is never free.

Today, I remember our heroes, and I remember too that our country is still at war. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that we are still sending men and women to battle.

When my brother was deployed to Iraq in 2005, we wrote each other frequently and occasionally he would ask me to write to one of his buddies who didn’t get a lot of mail from home. Those letters and packages were always fun to send because they were unexpected. After my brother returned home, I sometimes wrote to “any soldier.” I haven’t done that in a long time, but today, I will.

If you’d like to write a note to a service member or send a card, one organization that accepts mail then distributes it overseas is Operation Gratitude here.

To send mail directly to a specific service member, you can choose a name from hereOr ask around your neighborhood, office or place of worship to make a more personal connection with a service member.

To the men and women who fought for freedom, or who are still fighting, and to their families, thank you.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hexagon Punch: LYB Hello Spring Card

I admit: I am behind the trend on hexagons. I have used some fun hexagon themed patterned paper in the past but I’ve never made my own hexagons. But now, I’m officially trendy!


Part of the reason I had never made hexagons before was that I didn’t have a hexagon punch, a particularly elusive creature. I am not sure why there aren’t more hexagon punches on the market. But I managed to find an old one by Creative Memories that did just the trick. This particular punch makes hexagons in two sizes and you can also nest them. Nice.

This shows the punch and the beginning of my card panel, albeit upside down.... I used the larger hexagon for my project. 

Here's a close-up. Paper and embellies are Little Yellow Bicycle, the Hello Spring line. It’s such a fun and vibrant collection and perfect for this time of year.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Documenting Baby's First Year: 11 Months

I started scrapbooking in 2009 just prior to my son’s birth with the goal of making a baby book of his first year. Someone had given me an album, cardstock and stickers at a baby shower and that was my start.

As my son grew, I was dogged about one thing: taking a photo each month of my baby on his birthdate and writing down that month’s milestones. Recently, I was looking through his baby album and saw I had milestone layouts for months 1 – 9 and a birthday page for age 1. Hey, that’s pretty good. I was just missing milestones for months 10 and 11.

So, here we have it: the 11-month milestone page. I was grateful I had written these down. At the time, you think you’ll never forget. But trust me, new mommas, you will.  Here, I added the list of milestones to a cardstock pennant.

I used Echo Park Paper for this layout, primarily the Note To Self collection. The star paper is from EP’s Pride and Joy mini theme. The wood veneer heart is Studio Calico; stickers are October Afternoon. The Polaroid frame is a die cut from Paper Issues’ etsy shop.

And coming soon to a blog near you: the 10-month milestone page.

And speaking of Echo Park , I was so pleased to see this little beach ball card I made from EP scraps muscle its way into the week’s top 3 lists at Two Peas in a Bucket.  Two Peas just recently switched from daily top 3 lists to weekly ones. This shaped beach ball card topped the list for the week as the most liked project and came in 2nd as most bookmarked.

I originally blogged about this card here.  I had made the card for a publication call for shaped cards. It wasn't picked up, which is always a bit deflating, so it was extra sweet to find the card in the Two Peas rankings. :)  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bark, Ruff, Howl: A Doggie Hello

Hi, hey, hello there.  Bark, ruff, howl.  I like to keep a stash of cards with every day sentiments on hand, something that I can send for any occasion or just because. I’m always on the lookout for a paper line that fits this bill and the Echo Park Paper's mini theme Woof was perfect.  Even though we aren’t dog owners, I couldn’t resist this cute collection.

I particularly liked the paper in the Woof collection with all the doggie sayings. I used that paper as a background on my card, then pop-dotted a few speech bubbles for emphasis. The chipboard doggie is from Echo Park's Hello Summer line and worked perfectly with the Woof collection. 

Also, I wanted to share some fun news today. My Creative Scrapbook is having a contest that starts June 5. The particulars are still under wraps but I know it involves Prima and bling and lots of fabulous prizes. I’ll post more information about the contest and sneak peeks of the prizes as soon as I know more.

All the details of the contest will be posted on . We’d love to have you join us!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Capturing Graduation: Simple Stories

My layout today celebrates my brother Michael’s college graduation. His education was interrupted a few years ago by a tour of duty in Iraq. He was deployed right before exams and was not able to finish the semester. I was so proud of him that he went back to college, repeated that semester, and graduated.

My brother’s degree is in construction management, thus the white hard hat in lieu of a mortarboard. But you can’t have a graduation layout without a graduation I made one. I used black and white baker’s twine from The Twinery for the tassel. It was really fun and easy to make.

I love these Simple Stories journaling cards. They are a must-have in every collection. These school-themed ones are from Elementary, one of the earlier lines. I thought they fit perfectly here. The background paper is from Simple Stories’ Awesome line, which is, well, awesome. I love SS's new basics. This particular pattern has faint stars. Love that.

Simple Stories is running a challenge to post a project using its element cards. You can find the challenge here.

CS: Bazzill Basics
PP: Simple Stories
Alphas: Basic Grey, October Afternoon
Stickers:  October Afternoon, Crate Paper
Button: October Afternoon
Twine: The Twinery
Sewing Machine: Bernina

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Creative Sketches challenge: Little Yellow Bicycle

I'm so excited to be part of the My Creative Scrapbook team.  One of my favorite parts of the team is our monthly sketch challenge and we 'd love to have you play along.  A new sketch is posted each month (mid-month) on the My Creative Sketches blog.  And we've got prizes, great prizes!

Here's my layout.  I used Little Yellow Bicycle's Paradise collection.  This is my little boy, almost 2, playing peekaboo with me at dusk at the park.

Here's the sketch I worked with, the May sketch at My Creative Sketches. 

Please join us; play along! Make your own layout based on the sketch and upload your creation. Just use  the linky tool to add your page to the My Creative Sketches blog here.  Your layout should be new for this challenge and cannot be used in any other contest.  Just one entry per person, please.  The winner will be announced by random draw on June 15. 

Here's the prize. Yummy!

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Sweet Mother's Day Card and Some News!

I don’t know what it is about a cupcake, but I find them immensely appealing. They are just so cute and the perfect amount of sweet. My three-year-old refers to every cupcake he sees as his “birthday cake” which probably says something about my baking, or lack there of.

Because I love cupcakes and my little one loves cupcakes, we’re going to suggest by extension that my mom loves cupcakes too. And even if she doesn’t, we think she might like this cupcake card:

The sentiment says: Grandmas are moms with extra frosting. If you’ve followed my work for long, you know I love puns and funny sayings. Corny? That’s me.

For this card, I used the Cupcake Love line by Little Yellow Bicycle. I can’t get enough of the little felt cupcakes in this collection. Here, I added some tiny pearls to the hearts. Pearls and moms just seem to go together.

On this card, I also used a sweet twine from Trendy Twine called Cherry Cupcake that mixes red and pink together. Love that. And I think this card will fit perfectly with Trendy Twine’s monthly challenge to use twine on a Mother's Day project. You can find that challenge here.
Switching gears to a bit of news. Don't you love it when you get good news?  Then don't you hate it when you have to wait awhile before you can share it?  Me too!  But today, I can spill the beans:

I have joined the design team of My Creative Scrapbook. I have been a long-time fan of My Creative Scrapbook and its beautiful kits and can’t believe my good fortune at being named to this team. Eeeeee. I wish you could see how big I am smiling over here as I type this! The other members of the team are: Alicia Geiss, Angel Rodrigue, Carla Marchee, Delaina Burns, Jamie Harder, Jolaine Frias, Kris Berc, Luzma Bruna, Maiko Kosugi, Melissa Vettorel, Rachel Elliott, Romy Vuel, Shell Carment and Zoe Nemburt.
If you’ve been eyeing kit clubs or looking for a friendly forum and beautiful gallery, I invite you to come have a peek at My Creative Scrapbook. You won’t leave disappointed. The June kit just arrived on my doorstep last night and I am about to fall over in excitement!

I appreciate your stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend.  

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Echo Park Paper Sketch Challenge: Baby Swing

I love National Scrapbook Day, especially when it spills over to the next day. I think it’s just wonderful that we paper crafters have a holiday for ourselves.

So many sites had fun challenges over the weekend and I played along with both Little Yellow Bicycle and Echo Park Paper. I made a Mother’s Day card for LYB and I'll share that later this week.

First, let’s get to the Echo Park Paper challenge. I played along with challenge #4, which was a sketch challenge posted on the EP blog here.  I scrapped a photo of my little boy at 15 months old in his favorite spot, our carport swing. There was a long stretch of time when my little guy used the swing almost daily. He loved it so much. He still uses the swing now, at age 3, but much prefers the park these days.

For this layout, I used primarily This and That - Charming with a little Sunshine mini kit thrown in. I followed the sketch pretty closely, though I did move the pennants under the photo block and used a sun and kite in the original location.

Here’s a closeup of the stitched circles.

And a closeup of the pennants and title block.

And here’s the sketch.

All in all, I have to say:  NSD made for a really fun weekend, and I hate to see it end!  I hope you had a great weekend too.  Did you make anything crafty?

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Legacy of the Big Wheel

If you’re a child of the 70s like me, you probably remember well the plastic tricycle known as the Big Wheel zooming around every corner of the neighborhood.  Big Wheels were a national phenomenon.  It seemed everyone had one, including my youngest brother Michael, who is a child of the 80s.

Big Wheels were fun and because they were so low to the ground, it was hard to fall off. Or if you did, you didn’t fall very far. I remember my brother used to delight in pedaling fast, then turning the steering wheel quickly to put the trike in a 360-spin.

My parents are not particularly sentimental people, but my brother loved his Big Wheel so much that they decided to save it.  They put it away in the attic and there it sat for a long time. Twenty years.  Then I had a little boy and my folks remembered the plastic tricycle hidden away, pulled it down, and dusted it off.

That afternoon, we were all gathered my parents’ house and Dad said he had a surprise. We went out front and there was the old Big Wheel.  Michael smiled in remembrance and Cory took it for a spin.  And we all felt a little sentimental after all.  The Big Wheel had made a comeback.  At least in my family.

I used Echo Park Paper on this layout, a few different collections, mostly Splash, Country Drive and Happy Days.  The wording on the page says -  Generation to generation: my Big Wheel keeps on rolling.

I wonder what the vintage toy of 2012 will be.  Any ideas?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Masculine Card: Note of Encouragement

I love it when the mail carrier leaves a happy box on my doorstep.  I got a new box of goodies in the mail on Friday from Paper Issues  and I dove into it right away.  I immediately pulled out the Game Day Chili collection from Jillibean Soup, played around a bit and made this masculine card.

I thought this might work well as an anniversary card for a guy or as a Valentine or love note. But as a mom of a young boy, I thought a card like this could also be used as a note of encouragement.  I'm definitely my son's #1 fan and if he were having a bad day or a rough time, I'd like to remind him that dear ole mom is always in his corner. To me, he's a star. He's a champ. He's my homerun.

The Jillibean designers had a challenge in April to use buttons on a project.  I didn't have any regular Jillibean buttons, but I did have some die cut ones from the Game Day line.  So I layered a star die cut button on top of a blue button and stitched them onto the bottom corner of my card. 

I don't know how many entries Jillibean Soup got in this challenge, but I feel pretty certain that my project had the least number of buttons....

CS: Bazzill Basics
PP: Jillibean Soup
Stickers: Jillibean Soup
Chipboard: Cosmo Cricket
Twine: Trendy Twine
Sewing Machine: Bernina
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