Wednesday, April 27, 2011

CK Scrapbooking Convention

In our original post, we confessed our disease.  Brandy infected Andie at the Mesa CK Scrapbook Convention and the rest was history.  Well, this month was the annual event.  We had made our reservations for two classes, an acryllic book sponsored by Button Farm, and the latest and greatest from Boxer Scrapbook Productions.    The time flies by.  We made a trip through the vendor faire, fortified ourselves for the evening with dinner at a local restaurant and then back to the convention hall for the crop. 

A rare picture captured by a fellow tablemate Saturday night
(notice the obligatory snack front and center!)
I finished my Sweet Memories acryllic book and started to use my Paper Crafts Connection prize package.  Brandy worked on her Harley Davidson mini-book.  She continues to create some of the best stuff, but I haven't been able to convince her to post here.  Still trying...

One of the fun things they do at the crop is give away prizes.  There is often a high quantity of prizes given.  Even though neither of us won something big, I did win a small set from Studio Calico that included their vintage patterned flowers, wood veneer square frames and pink Houndstooth fabRips (sticky fabric strips). 

 The vintage paper flowers were immediately handed over to Brandy who had resisted the urge to purchase this specific embellishment without a planned purpose earlier in the day.  A free gift goes home without guilt!  I had also resisted the urge to buy some wood veneer product, so I, too, left with the gift that goes without guilt.  Now to get to the crafting and use some of this stuff.
For those counting, this would be my second win in a couple of weeks.  I am not worthy, I am not worthy... but I am going to try to earn worthy and post what I did with my gifts.  Til then, catch the bug!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

PaperCrafts Connection

It's not like I have a lot of time to follow blogs.  Working full time, having busy kids to take to various events, and then keeping a house doesn't make for a lot of time to craft and/or read blogs.  Even so, I have found a couple of good blogs to keep up with.  I've dusted off my speed reading skills and typically skim the content.  That's the bonus of having a hobby that is extremely visual- you don't really need words to be inspired.  I feel the same way about craft magazines.  I like how they look in the display at the store, but to actually spend the money for them is typically not my cheapfrugal mentality.  Several years ago, my good friend Keri changed all that.  She gifted me a subscription to Paper Crafts magazine (one of the best Christmas gifts I've received).  I've subscribed ever since.  When I recently keyed into the fact that they have a blog- I thought I would check it out.  I can't say I typically read all of the copy posted there, but I find the crafts to be interesting, fun and very inspiring.  I even entered a contest or two.  Guess what- I won!  Of course I won based on a random draw, but in my book (and I do keep track!) a win is a win.  The box came a few days later- 
Yep- that's right- Andrea Miller

When I ripped the box open, oh the goodies I found.  The prize package was from the My Beautiful Balloon feature in the March/April magazine.  I entered the I Spy contest- answering questions about the magazine.  My name is published right there in black and white.
The package contained papers, stickers (including the cute cardboard Thickers letter stickers), brads, and ribbons from the American Crafts City Park collection, stamp sets from Practicing Creativity Designs (never heard of them, but how cute are they?) and Unity Stamp, and 7 Gypsies rub ons. The real trick is now to be worthy of the gift and make something fun to give away and bless others.  Wow, do I feel grateful. Check them out and see if you, too, can be a winner!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Fun

I haven't had a chance to create many inspiring Easter decorations.  I'll try to post some fun stuff I've been working on this weekend if I can squeeze it in.  Until then, check out these cute Easter eggs for decorating at Betsy Veldman's blog,  If you haven't seen the stuff over at Papertrey Ink, check them out.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


We went to California on vacation in March.  The vacation was well earned as it was the first for me in 2 years.  Vacation can be a little tricky because of the two beasts, St. Bernard dogs Abby and Jilly, that normally share our home with us. 

Jilly on the left and Abby on the right
 Getting good pictures of a dog is tough- they are always on the move and these two do not really like to hear the sound of the camera. 

Often the shots end up looking like a bad driver's license photo.  Jilly in particular doesn't enjoy the electronic sound of the shutter on the camera opening.  So, we end up taking shots from a distance or surprising them.  It's always tricky.
Abby out by the fence

This doesn't mean that these 125 to 145 pound monsters aren't precious to us or important.  So, when we go on vacation we're always grateful for  a house sitter.  This time our neighbor, Cheryl, watched the girls for us.  This can be a bit of a task because of the drooling, dry grass they haul in the house, and the hours they keep (up at 6 am for a milkbone and rest outside, breakfast at 8 am, milkbone snack at 4 pm, and dinner at 8 pm).

Jilly hiding from the camera

While on vacation, I brought a few paper crafting supplies and ended up making a thank you card for Cheryl.  It is the very least I could do and still fun, relaxing way to spend a couple of hours with the balcony door flung wide and the ocean breeze tickling my back.

Green being my favorite color, I brought my burlap and some shear fabric with me.  Using a cream cardstock for the card base, the shear fabric (see in the background of the picture above) was cut to the size of a olive green piece of cardstock and glued to the cardstock which was then adhered to the cream card base.  Brown distress ink was applied to the edges of the card bringing out the texture of the fabric.  I cut the burlap to size and ran water over the burlap to soften and misshape the burlap.  This added even more texture to the burlap which I glued on with clear, adhesive tape. 

The sentiment is stamped on a scrap of cream paper.  Cream, pleated paper was inked along with the edges of the sentiment to create a focal point to draw the eye.  The bow is made out of a string pulled from the burlap edge and glued in place with Crystal Accents. 

I'm thankful for many things, my family and the wonderful time we had on vacation, but equally as much for neighbors who you can entrust the precious things with!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Name Banners II

I promised a second post on the name banner just to show you the differnt looks that can be made.  Here we used the Cindy Loo Font and Font Layer- two different cardstock cuts.  This adds a little extra time to the preparations, but also makes the banner a sturdy construction.  Here is where I should pause and caution any potential name banner makers.  If you use the lighter weight cardstock the banner can rotate and twist on you depending upon how the banner it tied together.  This is another reason to use the fonts that have layers, more stability.  As you can see in this sample, a variety of colors, some not directly coordinating, were selected for use in the emblishments. 
A white velvet ribbon was used to connect the letters for Jessica's banner.  Some creative placement of the connections was used to make sure the banner hung appropriately with out weakening the tops of letters like the "I".  Most of all, let you teenager-in-training have free creative reign and watch as they make combinations and color selections you might never thought of or would even prefer.  Just be sure to leave the general vicinity of the present opening to prevent hearing loss from the high squeals and piercing exclamations as the teen opens her gifts.  Okay maybe it isn't that bad, but I certainly feel as though it might be... I'm getting old.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Name Banners

As my young lady nears teenager hood, I find it increasingly difficult to balance between cutesy girl things and more teen-hip grown girl things.  One of the neat birthday gifts we've discovered is the Name Banner.  Okay, I could come up with a slightly more hip, hot and happening name- but I'd need a lot of help and frankly I'd rather just show you the goods.

We make the Name Banner to combine the young lady's favorite colors/themes.  Mackenzie really likes orange, can you tell?  The letters of the name are typically cut from a 12 x 12 textured cardstock.  In the interest of making the most out of the paper, I will typically cut the letters out at 5 3/4 in.  This way you can typically cut 4 letters out of one piece of paper.  For those girls with shorter names, I might increase the size to 6 1/2 in.
Next, we use the Cricut to cut out some interesting embellishments.  Because I am in love with the paper flower, I typically use layered flower cuts of the same or different sizes.  However, this is a great opportunity to let your young teenager-in-training use the Cricut.  A quick sort through the carts and Katie came up with flowers, stars, and even a sunburst.  I will often use a contrasting color to make the embellishments pop right
 off the page.  Here we used a slightly darker orange and bright yellow.  Another trick to add dimension to the look is to use ink on the edges.  Here, the orange letters looked more appealing with a little brown ink on the edges.  This helps the edges to soften and blend in with the other decorations in the room.  I usually apply the ink haphazardly- a very specific act for the type-A, perfectionist that is me.  I consider "inking" to be one of my psychiatric therapies.  Keeps me from going all- "this doesn't look [right]/[good]/[special enough]".  You can finish the look off with a hole punch and some pretty printed ribbon.  The ribbon for Mackenzie's banner is a shiny,satin ribbon with yellow and orange flowers printed on a white background.  Usually a three foot roll of whatever is on sale works wonders.   I'll be back later this month with a quick post of another Name Banner example just to see how different and unique each banner can look.  Til then, craft a banner and save a toy from the short, meaningless life spent with a teenager-in-training.