Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Bright Happy Birthday

I mentioned in this post that a blog friend sent me a care package with goodies.  Not because I particularly needed care, but simply because she cared!  Loly kindly included some die cuts including Happy and Birthday that I could mix and match on cards.  This stunner was created using patterned paper from Stampin' Up's Attic Boutique bought on clearance earlier last year and sitting in the stash. The flower was cut using my Heartfelt Creations Tattered Blossoms dies.  The center is a bit of Peacock Feathers Distress Glitter applied with a little Crystal Accents glue.  Such a cute and simple card.  I think I might make more!

Early Easter Craftiness

Pinterest abounds with Easter celebration ideas and decorations.  Last year, I sewed for Easter.  That craft may maintain status as my favorite Easter craft.  Cute and full of chocolate goodness, they were a hit for my niece and nephews.  This year, though not quite the height of crafty achieved last year, I've decided on another craft to give a small gift at Easter.

These eggs were made by pushing small chocolate, foil-wrapped Easter egg candies into water balloons. This can be the tricky part- the balloons are thin and so they tend to tear.  I typically pulled the lip of the un-inflated balloon around the candy.  When sufficiently surrounded by balloon, I then blow up the balloon to cause the egg to fall into the bottom.  I then repeat the process for the second chocolate egg only this time I tie off the balloon while inflated.

The string/thread is crochet thread of various colors.  Yes, I also have a stash of crochet thread.  I simply dip the thread in Mod-Podge and, while wet, I wrap it around the balloon in a random pattern leaving the tie of the balloon on the outside.  When sufficient thread is wrapped, I use an binder clip to suspend the egg by the balloon tie on a piece of thread tied to the top of my laundry basket.  I let them hang there to dry.

It can be tricky to determine whether your project is completely dry.  If it isn't completely dry, the thread egg will collapse and not retain it's shape. When in doubt, let it dry some more.  Once dry, I snip the balloon through the dried thread, trying to create a large enough hole in the balloon to ensure that the chocolate eggs fall out of the balloon.  The balloon can collapse around your chocolate egg making it hard to remove inside the egg.  You might need to move your scissors through several of the holes in the thread to do this successfully.  Once the balloon is fully separated from the thread, pull the balloon out through one of the larger holes.

These treats are for my niece and nephews again this year.  I'm wondering how clever they will be in trying to remove their chocolate eggs.  We'll see next weekend!

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Sparkling Hello

I had the great fortune to be blessed by one of my blog friends, Loly.  She blogs over at Card Ville.  She emailed me out of the blue one day and asked for my address.  Apparently she had somehow got her hands on duplicate set of Simon Says Stamp's Very Special clear stamps and wanted to share with me.  That is so generous and kind of her!  I promptly sent a thank you note off to her to let her know how touched I was with the gift.  Loly couldn't stop at sending me the stamp set all by itself, but instead included lots of fun goodies along with.  Isn't she grand!?

  • The flower was cut from MME's Ooh La La For Her paper pack using my Heartfelt Creations Tattered Blossoms dies.  I then shaped the flowers, layering the cuts and creating a glitter center with some Crystal Accents and Peacock Feathers Distress Glitter
  • The Hello die cut was part of the gift from Loly.  She provided a black, white and the patterned paper cuts.  I thought that the layering really added depth along with the linen background to add texture.  
  • The sequins were also a gift from Loly.  She's a peach and so this card basically made itself.  
I continue to be amazed at how kind and generous blog friends are.  I'm an introvert at heart and so I make only a few close friends and stick by them with a fierce loyalty.  I'm not sure when Brandy and I started this blog over 3 1/2 years ago that I thought I would come to know, care for and be cared for by others as a part of the blogging world.  It really does make blogging a special treat and so I thank God today for Loly and her generosity as well as the other blog friends I have made.  Let's keep it going!

I'm going to link this up with Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: Journey.  It really has been an amazing journey this past 3 1/2 years.  This card is proof!  I'm also linking up over at the Inspiration Journal's April Monthly challenge: A Few of My Favorite Things.  Besides how much I love the Heartfelt Creations flower dies (one of my most favorite tools), the friends I've made blogging are definitely one of my favorite things!  Finally, I'm linking up over at Word Art Wednesday's Challenge #126: Anything Goes.  These opportunities to share my talents add to the feeling of community that blogging brings.  Come join the fun or just stop by to look at all the amazing talent on display just waiting to inspire and/or encourage you. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

An Encouraging Sign

Work has been filled with stress lately- pressure to get things done, pressure because things aren't going right... all kinds of pressure.  I've been doing my best to ward of the inevitable lapse in creativity that often comes with this kind of pressure.  One way was to sit down (after making no time to craft at all this weekend) and make this sign for my desk.  The quote comes from a lecture given in 1976 by Clyde Kilby.  It's like he knew what kind of being I would become and decided to make me a list (I like lists!).  Of course, he didn't know me and wouldn't necessarily know what I'd become- just that we are all so similar.  There's comfort in that too.

The quote was created using Word. I have previously spoken about the process I use to create this kind of word art.  I found a tutorial on the web that explains how to use the text box feature.  I use all these methods for my word art.  Here's an image that shows the text boxes used to create the quote:

I used four different boxes set to "No Fill" and "No Line" so that when they overlap they don't obscure the box next to it.  I simply play around with font type and size until I get a feeling that the quote looks like art.  I'm not super pleased with the "forget" box placement here- a little too high.  However, I didn't notice until I had the project together.  After everything is just right, I print out the quote onto white cardstock to make the frame.  Here's the other details on the project:

What do you think?  Should I forget about myself and get back to work?  I'm going to take that to heart and try to set aside some crafting time this weekend.  Crafting can be the best kind of work, yes?

I'm linking this project up over at the Shabby Tea Room's Week #212: Pretty in Pink challenge, Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: Anything Goes, and the Inspiration Journal's monthly challenge: A Few of My Favorite Things.   These are some of my favorite places to go and see inspiring creations that should light my creative fire.  Come join me!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Projects with the child- a little sewing fun

My children go to a "year round" school.  As a result, spring break is a little more than 2 week vacation for them.  My daughter, Katie, got a little crafting itch of her own.  She wanted to sew a small tote bag.  Off to the store we went to pick out some fabric.

Our project is not without mistakes.  I'll keep them between Katie and I!  It ultimately took us the better part of a Sunday and then two weeknights to finish.  This is largely because my tolerance after working all day is about 32 minutes long.  That barely lasts longer than it takes to set everything up!

Still, I think it might be the stuff that memories are made of.  Now, she has plans to make a second bag a bit bigger.  This will require her to figure out the pattern, etc. herself.  I'm going to do my best to encourage her and stay out of it.  She needs to figure it out! They grow up so very fast...