Thursday, September 29, 2011

What I've Been Up To - Teaching My Kids!

Lots has been going on with me lately. It's been making it really hard to get projects up!

I have been doing preschool at home with my 3 year old daughter.  I am doing this 4 hours a day, 5 days a week.  She is learning a ton and doing very well, I include my 2 year old son in some of the activities when I can too.  Plus the usual cleaning, cooking, etc.  She is taking dance and will be starting gymnastics soon, hopefully next week if I get down there to get her registered.  I am also trying to practice my sewing and hoping to be making a couple Halloween costumes for my kids.

 On a sad note, my grandmother is in the hospital dying.  She fell, hit her head, and had bleeding on the brain.  They did surgery and had high hopes for recovery, but she isn't going to make it.  My father has been out there with her for 2 weeks.  She has lived a good life and all that, but it is still hard.  My grandfather will not be able to do much without her as he has a very bad back, so he will need to go live somewhere where he can be taken care of. That has been zapping my energy too.  It is hard to hear the sadness in my father's voice and not be able to be there with him right now.

So, long story short I am SLAMMED.  Lots of transitioning for me.  Trying to get into a good routine with the new things we have going on in our lives. I am answering e-mails more slowly and may not be posting too often for a couple weeks.

In this post I've added some pictures just to share.  I made a board with the day of the week, month, what we are doing for the day, etc.  I am going to start using this with the kids on Monday.  It should be fun.  Everything is laminated for durability.  Lots of pieces to change out store in an envelope on it.  Some things attach with magnets, velcro, etc.  It took me HOURS, it's exactly this kind of thing that has been making it hard to blog!  *LOL*  The other pics are the school area and the adorable kids learning and doing projects.

So, if you have trouble getting ahold of me, this is why.  I hope to be back at 100% and posting more frequently again in a couple weeks.  I am still around, but falling a little behind.  Just wanted to let everyone know.

Spending so much time each day focusing on projects and learning has been AMAZING!  By far the most rewarding feeling ever.  I don't always have "good mom" days or moments.  Sometimes I yell at my kids, or get upset that the house isn't perfect, etc.  I am really finding this time to focus on them and not think for a second about housework and such has been good for all 3 of us.  I just need to adjust to the amount of time it takes and get into a new routine.  Finding out what works and what doesn't for when to start, which activities to do, etc.

*Hugs to all*
I look forward to getting my creative mojo back!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Playing With Acetate

I just wanted to play around with some acetate and see what I could come up with.  I buy huge packs at my local office supply store.  They are a bit pricey, but last a looong time for projects.

I cut a window in a standard sized card base.  It was rather confusing for me, since I am NOT good at measurements!  *LOL*  

I have a top layer for the card that is cut at 4 by 5 and 1/4 with the same sized window cut in it.  The patterned paper is from the Basic Grey Kioshi 6 by 6 pad.  I tied a piece of green ribbon around this layer before adhering it.

In between those two layers is the piece of acetate.  This way the card looks clean both outside and inside and you can't see the adhesive on the acetate.

I stamped a bird cage from the My Cute Stamps Elegant Birds set using some Cotton White Staz On ink right onto the acetate.  For those of you that aren't familiar with Staz On it is designed for stamping on surfaces you can't use other inks on, just like this plastic sheet.

On the inside of the card is a tiny little bird from the same stamp set, also using a patterned sheet from the Kioshi collection.  I will write my sentiment towards the bottom on the inside so that it is hidden when the card is closed.  Easy enough.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dance Lessons Layout

Happy Friday!

Just popping in to share this layout.

The title was cut from Shall We Dance at 3.5 inches  I used some Marshmallow Glimmer Mist for  a touch of sparkle.

The journaling shape was cut from Once Upon a Princess.  The smaller one is 3 inches.  The larger one behind it is 3.3 inches, BUT I messed with the width in my Gypsy to make it look like a shadow and I don't know the exact final size.  I used some Ranger Liquid Pearls in Petal Pink to create tiny little pearls all around the edges.

The adorable little dancer was cut from One Upon a Princess at 7 inches.  I had lots of fun embellishing her.  I used a Peachy Keen Princess face.  I chalked her cheeks.  I took the bows that were supposed to be for her hair and added them to her leotard.  I used some Magenta Stickles on her bows and tutu, and also used them to free hand design a little heart.  Her tights are sparkling with Marshmallow Glimmer Mist.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy Fall Ya'll Card

I've got another fall themed card today.

This is for the Whimsical Wednesday Challenge Fall Colors.  The prize this week is some awesome paints from Creative Inspirations so be sure to enter for your chance to win :)

The base of the card is a chocolate brown color.

I added a 4 by 5 and 1/4 inch layer of patterned paper from the Autumn Splendor DCWV stack.  It's got some really shiny gold accents.

The leaves are cut at 3.5 inches from the Creative Memories Cheerful Seasons Cricut Cartridge.  I inked around the edges of the leaves to give them a bit of depth, and added them to a kraft colored shadow.

I added some gorgeous Shabby Crinkled Ribbon from the Little Boo Collection.  It's from Prairie Bird Boutique.

For the finishing touch I hand cut a little banner in some cream colored cardstock and stamped "Happy Fall Ya'll" using a Pink By Design stamp from the Simply Everything.  I love hand making little banners for things these days.  I think I'm going a little overboard with that trend!  *LOL*

Make sure and head on over to Whimsical Wednesday to check out all the fabulous inspiration, and be sure to enter your own project for the chance to win some fabulous paint from Creative Inspirations

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fall Leaves Card

I wanted to whip up something that really had the spirit of fall in it.  

The card is a standard A2 sized base in Kraft color.
It has a layer of cream colored cardstock at 4 by 5 and 1/4.

I used a stamp set from Close to My Heart called Autumn Splendor for these beautiful leaves.  I used Stampin' Up ink colors: Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa, More Mustard, and Pumpkin Pie.

I used the Close to Cocoa marker to do some stitching lines all around the edges, and then added  a bit of light brown satin ribbon.  To make my knot a little prettier I actually added a separate piece in the center.  I folded a piece of the ribbon in half and used Scor Tape to secure it around the middle of the knot.

I thought about adding a sentiment, or something else, but in the end I decided to just show off how pretty the stamping is in all the lovely colors and I didn't want to cover it up or detract from it. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Winner of the My Memories Software

As Friday comes to a close I've used to help me pick the winner of the give-away.  Congrats to littlen you left comment number 11 and you've won the software :)

Coffee Card w/ A Video

I wanted to play with the Cricut Lite cartridge Love You a Latte.  I stuck with mostly brown and vanilla shades with just a couple pops of pink for a fun and feminine touch.

Here's a quick supply list.

Cut from Love You a Latte at 3.5 inches

Stampin' Up Creamy Caramel
Stampin' Up Close to Cocoa
ColorBox Fluid Chalk in Chesnut Roan

SP & Company Scripty Scripts
Stampin' Up Dot Dot Dot
The Paper Studio Coffee Cafe

EK Success Border Punch Open Scallop
Nestabilities in Circle and Lacey Circle
Twine from The Twinery in Cappuccino

To see me put the card together step by step with a few tips along the way check out the video below.

Thanks so much for visiting!  Happy Friday :)  I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sewing a Zippered Pouch

I wanted to learn how to sew little lined zippered pouches.  I found this tutorial on You Tube and watched it to help me figure out how to make it.  It was a bit challenging for me to sew the zipper, but I managed.  You can easily make it any size you want.  I used an 8 and 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper for a template.  The finished size is 10 by 7 and 1/2.
I'm glad to be continuing my sewing journey and learning new skills.  I am so thankful for the people who make sewing tutorials on You Tube!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Working With My Memories Software

*Give Away Alert!!!*

I had a really fun opportunity to try this software called My Memories.  I'm going to share 3 projects I made using it, and a little bit about what I thought of the software.

The first thing about it that I liked is that it is both Mac and PC compatible, you just pick which version you want after you purchase it and download that one.  I run a Mac and it's working beautifully for me, so that's nice since a lot of scrapbooking software doesn't have that option.

My favorite feature is how easy and fun it is to make circular text!!!!  Some basic software programs don't have that awesome feature, and frankly things like Photoshop are over my head so I have a hard time learning to do things like that in that type of software.  This was perfect for me, very easy to do.

My Memories comes with all the basic shapes like scalloped squares, circles, etc.  You can easily fill any of these shapes with any color or patterned paper to make lots of fun layers and effects with minimal effort.

It includes lots of basic papers like polka dots, and some funky patterns too.  It also has some brads, buttons, flowers, etc.

I'm having a lot of fun playing with it!  

Here are the projects I made.

The first thing is a simple digital layout.  I figured I ought to try my hand at that.

Everything on this layout, except of course the photo was done using only things that came with the software.  I started off with a simple textured polka dot looking background.  The text along the top was super easy to curve, and I even grabbed a part of the flowers to color the words with to ensure they matched perfectly.  It was easy to line all those little rhinestones up in a row, as the software gives an option to copy and paste the item directly on top if itself and not off-set it.  This allowed me to just use the arrow keys to move them, ensuring they stayed in a straight line.

My next project shows how much fun the circular text can be.

The circle of black dots came with the software.  I simply added my text, chose the color, and told it I wanted it to be a circle.  Then I played with sizing a little bit until the spacing was perfect.  After printing out the design I cut the circle shape with my Nestabilities.  Then I inked the edges and added a pumpkin die cut from my Gypsy Wanderings Cricut cartridge.  I added it to a little straw.  These would be easy to mass produce as cupcake toppers or to stick in a tiny candy filled box or bag.

My last project is going to be framed, but I didn't want the glare of the glass so I snapped the photo of it plain.

The only thing I added that didn't come with the software is the photo of the ballet slippers.  I snagged that by doing an online search for ballet slippers.  Basically what I did is take advantage of the basic shapes.  They are easy to color and re-size so I created the look of lots of layers.  The scalloped rectangle was easily filled with a patterned paper that comes with the software.  The beautiful flourish was found in the embellishments.  The text was just a font I have on my computer sized and typed out.  Really, very quick.

So, I hope this gives you an idea of all the cool things this software can do, and it does come with a lot to get you started.  They also have a store where you can go purchase more goodies.

I am able to offer one of my readers a FREE copy of this software - downloadable version.  To be entered to win please leave a comment on this post with the following info.

1) Your favorite of my 3 projects today

2) Go to the My Memories website here and tell me one of the kits they offer that catches your eye and what you might use it for.

I will choose the winner on Friday to get their very own copy of this fun software to play with.

If you decide you'd like to buy the software for yourself please use the promo code STMMMS55623  

That code will get you $10 off the software, and also $10 to use in the store for kits.  The code is exclusive to me, so when you use it you are helping me out and I appreciate it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Funny Kitchen Card

This card reads "Countless number of people have eaten in this kitchen and gone on to lead perfectly normal lives"  I have to admit, that does a pretty good job of cracking me up.

I used a stamp set called A Woman's Place by There She Goes Clear Stamps.

I stamped the appliances onto some mirrored cardstock using black Staz on ink.  I stamped the cabinets in dark brown onto kraft cardstock, and then filled in the handles with a silver gel pen.

I cut out and assembled all the pieces.  After that I just added a cute satin ribbon and stamped my sentiment.

I have no idea what I'm going to use this card for, but the idea is so cute that I just couldn't help but make it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Showered With Love

Happy Friday!

I started off with a Kraft card base, and rounded the corners on a 1/4 inch setting on my Crop a Dile

The cloud paper is from the My Mind's Eye Lime Twise, Fly a Kite 6 by 6 pad.  It's cut at 3 inches by 5 and 1/2.  The top and bottom edges have a thin line of Crystal Stickles.  Behind it are some scallops punched with my EK Success Scallop Border Punch. This whole layer is up on pop dots.

The little journaling tag was cut from the Echo Park Little Boy collection.  I used a stamp that says "Showered with Love" from the Pink by Design Country Living set.  Then I added a KI Memories Puffy of a rain cloud.

Along the bottom I added some ric rac ribbon, and 3 white buttons that I threaded with thin slivers of cardstock to match the scallops I punched.

This card was very inspired by a beautiful rainy day we had this week.  It felt so good to cool off and for the air to be crisp and fresh instead of just feeling hot.  I think I kept it generic enough that it could be used for a simple thinking of you card.  Hope you like it :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Just FYI Nestabilities Work Great on Construction Paper!

My 3 year old daughter put together these adorable frogs.

She is learning to cut with scissors and that means lots of projects with cutting and glueing.  

I had seen this cute kit 
I found it very inspiring for paper bag puppet ideas.  The kit makes it easy with lots of stickers that come with it, but I didn't want to order it.  Can't buy everything, right?!  

I knew my daughter would have a very hard time cutting nice circles.  Heck, I can't even cut a decent circle, so I decided to try my Nestabilities.

They worked BEAUTIFULLY on construction paper. I got gorgeous, clean cuts with it, and my daughter was able to stack the plates for the Cuttlebug, so all I did was turn the crank for her.  She loved it, and it was easy.

When you have kids construction paper is hard to work with.  You don't want to use it in your die cutting machine because it will mess up your mat, but even beyond that it tears easily and can bunch up and not cut well.  I even find it hard to use in my paper trimmer that has a sliding blade if I'm not very slow and careful about it.  So, I was thrilled to find out that this was super easy and effective and thought I'd pass along the tip.

She still got to use her scissors on this project, and then do the circles the easy way.  I'm sure we'll be using the Nestabilities again together.  Plus, she just thinks it's really cool to get to play with MY toys ;)  

Hugs to everyone.  I'm trying to keep up, but things have been nuts.  I am doing preschool at home and I spend many hours planning our lessons and doing them with her.  Then just the usual cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc.  I am just really focused on my kids at the moment.  It doesn't help I just un-mounted all my rubber stamps to convert them to cling and it took FOREVER and made a huge mess. *LOL*  Glad I did it, but that ate up a lot of would be crafting time too.
I have some fun projects in the works - so don't give up on me.  I've got some cool things planned for Halloween and such.  Coming soon, I promise.

I truly appreciate everyone that stops by!  Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Discovery Bottles Layout

Here's a quick layout I whipped up.
It is of my daughter making discovery bottles.  Basically you get some bottles and let your kiddo put glitter, ribbon, sequins, etc. inside the bottle.  They the lid gets sealed on tightly and they get to see how all that stuff floats and moves around in the water.  Fun activity for kids around 2-3.  It is recommended to glue the lids on for kids under 3.

The paper is from DCWV.  I think it's from the Blossoms and Butterflies Stack.  I added some gems and lots of different colors of Stickles to the flowers.

There is one 4 by 6 photo, and two 4 by 4 photos. 

I used some cool stickers that are clear hearts with stuff floating inside.  I believe they are by Jolee's Boutique, but I no longer have the packaging to confirm that.  Thought they fit the theme perfectly.

Letter stickers are from the We R Memory Keepers Tiffany's stack.

Ribbon from my stash.

"Little Angel" sticker by 3 Birds from HSN.
Simple page.  Think it came out cute and fun. Trying little by little to catch up on my scrapbooking.