Sunday, November 30, 2014

'Tis the Season

It really is the season of giving and sharing and enjoying fall things.  I had such an occasion to celebrate on Friday.  Here's a list:

1. Birthday breakfast for my daughter - she turned 16.  She woke up cheerful (!) and ready to help get the house and food in order so that my mom, grandma, sister and nephew could join us for a scrumptious breakfast.  Celebrations later in the day were not to be and this was a solid compromise to make that fun happen.

2. I received a kind, thoughtful bundle of gratitude from a blog friend, Karon from Karon's Krafty Korner.  Karon and I met via the Cricut website message board in 2012.  We first started following each other's crafty exploits, then we connected via email and exchanged the chatty email.  Recently, I read a post where she was wishing for some Heartfelt Creations tools and I picked the flower set up for her.  Viola, a thank you gift such as this was delivered.

One can't say thank you for a thank you gift.  However, I can point out the lovely homemade card set, the beautiful Christmas card and the so thoughtful thank you tag.  Check Karon out (link above).  She's fascinating to watch and a lovely blog friend.  I decided that just the right thing to squeeze into my day was to use those note cards for their intended purpose.  I just had a birthday and joyfully sat down to write out thank you cards with my gift.  There's quite a bit of fun in that package and I look forward to completing a few Christmas projects so that I might play around with what's there.

3.  We needed to finish 116 cupcakes to celebrate my daughter's birthday with her band family.  See at Thanksgiving dinner with my husband's family we each had to say what we were thankful for.  Katie was thankful for the family that surrounds her- on both my family side and my husband's family side.  She was also thankful for her high school marching band family.  Well, family isn't family without sweet treats for your birthday so...

Two 1/2 full boxes later- were ready for the end of the night (which wouldn't happen until 11 pm).

4. Next was a trip over to Arizona Cardinals stadium in Glendale to watch my daughter march at the beginning of the state high school football championship game.  They did wonderful!  My son, a senior at the same high school was able to cheer his team after watching sissy march her little heart out in a major NFL domed stadium.  The dome was open- it was a beautiful night!

5. Well, folks that high school team, which had not won the state championship in football since 1949, went on to beat the in-district rival Hamilton High School to will the state championships.  It was all fun to watch from a distance (no parents allowed in with the band!) as my daughter played to cheer on the crowd and the team to victory doing a few dances of celebration along the way.  

6. It was a rush to the East side of town, pick up the boxes of cupcakes where they were safely tucked at home and meet the band back on campus to hand out cupcakes.  The band family sang a very lovely Happy Birthday to Katie and we all went home exhausted, happy and full of joy.

I'll stop with the six best things about Friday night.  They are all, by themselves, quite lovely.  We got to get them all at the same time.  My son is a senior who can claim to have won the state championships in football his senior year.  I think even this stoic 18 year old man was pleased with the day!

Thanks for tolerating my gratitude counting.  I love that we can share such things through the blogosphere.  In this world where community sometimes seems to shrink it is encouraging to connect across the miles and the bytes of data.  

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Girly Album

Brandy has been back at crafting for a while.  I don't always get photos to share with you, but here's a creation that she recently finished and sent photos to me.  I think it captures the colors of the seasons.
The lovely young lady was created with paper piecing and Copic marker coloring using Prima's Paper Doll #4. The flowers are from a pre-made set and the butterflies punched out of patterned paper.

For the inside, Brandy made a pocket to hold a few jjournaling cards and created a waterfall photo holder on the opposite side, all in coordinating patterned paper.

Finally, a quick thank you card to go with the gift- I just love the coordinating paper.  The daisy and the amber gems simply make this card work.  Isn't it wonderful?  Brandy stuns again with such a beautiful creation.  Whomever is the recipient of this lovely card and album set will certainly feel special.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Christmas Cards- 2014

Back in the summer, on vacation I began making the pieces to my Christmas cards.  On this eve of Thanksgiving as the Christmas season officially begins, I thought to share a sneak peak at some of the preparations made months ago.  I ultimately made 50 of these cards as well as a few straggling others to send out in the coming weeks.

One of the first elements was this window created for a sentiment.  The patterned paper came from Hobby Lobby and has words in another language written on them.  This is good because I might have actually placed these pieces upside down.  No one will notice ;)

I cut the window with an exacto knife in an "X" shape.  Then, I curled each of the edges back to reveal the window...

Next was some holly swirls for accent.  I stamped with green ink and die cut using my Heartfelt Creations Holly Berry stamps and matching dies.  After cutting all pieces out, I shaped the leaves by pressing in with a stylus at the center of each leaf.

Ladies and gentleman, I shaped two different swirls and three different leaf clusters for each card.  That is a total of 250 shaped die cuts for this card set.  Fun times.  Well worth it!

I'll wait to reveal this final creation for Christmas day, however I do have some other Christmas cards to share with you soon.

I wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving feast tomorrow.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Shining Like the Sun

My daughter, Katie, has been in the high school marching band for the past two years.  I've worked alongside many others as we parents toil to help the band do all the work and effort of performing at football games, competition and even participating in out of state competitions.  One tradition is that the students are all given a tchochke of some type to memorialize the show.  This year, I had just the thing in this layered die cut.  The cuts all come from Cricut's Tinkerbell cart.  The color inspiration comes from the marching band show:

The show starts with the band "hidden" behind these panels.  Any guess as to the inspiration?

My daughter leads the group out from behind the sun panel.
Marching across the field in a stunning show.  They took 5th place in the state marching festival.  The football team has made the playoffs.  We eagerly await the final standings in the state championship- to be determined later this month.

Go wolves!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A 65th Birthday Celebration

It's a party and it's on the way.  My mother celebrated 65 years of youth last month.  We felt this needed a party, but wanted to wait until my grandparents could join the celebration.  The big day is later this week.  I made these simple invitations for everyone to cherish.

The flowers are clear embossed and die cut using my Heartfelt Creations Arianna Blooms stamps and dies.  The flowers were then spritzed with water and accordion folded using the technique described in this video.  This creates such a unique flower- I'm really pleased with my flowers for this piece.  the greenery is my go to Our Daily Bread Designs Fancy Foliage die.

The patterned paper is two sided paper that coordinates.  I just thought the lacey effect of those borders worked perfectly with the sentiment.  I printed the circle out on the computer and matched it with a cream cardstock Lacey Circles die cut.  

On the inside, more information about when and where the celebration is to take place.  We'll be having our shindig later this week!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Falling for the Happiest Birthday

The man card birthday.  It can be tough, but fall is the best time of year to celebrate and make a card appropriate for those men in your lives.  This card is a take on a card I made last year.  I like it so much and I found these Momenta Cut Emboss Leaf dies.  I used Rusty Hinge, Scattered Straw, Worn Lipstick and Peeled Paint Distress Inks to color the leaves after embossing.  Crinkled glassine paper accents the left side and a little twine for effect.  The sentiments were all stamped in brown Archival Ink.

On the inside was one lonely leaf and a final sentiment.  I think my friend enjoyed his card and certainly felt the warmth of caring on his birthday.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Happy Birthday to My Sister- and Me!

I will happily announce that this card was made to celebrate my sister's birthday- sending her warm wishes for a very happy birthday.  The trick is that this is also a celebration of my birthday- we're twins and have shared celebrations on this day our whole lives.  This certainly called for something special.  Here's the details:

The circles were cut out for another project long ago.  I pulled them out of the shapes scrap heap as they fit this card perfectly!  They are edged with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

The clock was stamped with my Heartfelt Creations Alarm and Watch stamp using brown Archival Ink.

The border was stamped with my Heartfelt Creations Summer Season border stamp in brown Archival Ink.  I embellished this stamp with a glue pen and glitter as well as pearl accents.

The tiny flowers were mad using my IO Spiral Flowers die.  I cannot get over these flowers- they are my new favorite.  Pearl accents perfectly fill the centers and a few floral leaves from die cuts create just the right finish for this card.  Some Vintage Photo Distress Ink along the bottom to soften and forgive my poor stamping techniques and this card is done.

Happy Birthday, sister!  I wish us both a grand day of celebration with the party to follow later this weekend.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Our Beautiful World- Sport

Once again, Kirsty over at Handmade Little Things has inspired me with her post for Our Beautiful World.  This week's prompt is Sport and I just couldn't resist a nostalgic trip down memory lane.  My daughter, Katie, played softball for many years.  Her dad was a coach and I was the picture taker mom for the team.  Here's a few of her in action:


Our team was given nicknames by a former coach.  Katie's was "Sting" since she typically hit the ball hard at the end of her bat and the bat would ring.  Plus, she was a pitcher and while her pitches weren't the fastest, her accuracy at the corners stung many a opponent when they struck out.  

I think my husband, Dan, and I miss these times more than Katie.  She's moved on to another "sport"- Marching Band.  Here's what she does now...

That's our Katie right in front

Her starring appearance in the show- she's in the center of that trust fall
We try real hard not to live vicariously through our kids.  Looking back though, we enjoy seeing her success and enjoyment of sport.

Stop on by Our Beautiful World and take a look at the pictures of Sport shared by others.  Come join the fun- I'd love to see what you do for sport.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Simple Little Boss's Day Card

I lost track of this photo but found it and thought that I would share with you. I had a change in jobs this year.  This meant a change from having a female boss for the last five years to now having a male boss.  There are differences and we could talk about that over coffee some day.  One big difference is when you design a Boss' Day card.  No more frills and flowers for this girl.  I saw this card online and thought it would be easy, simple and might just hit the right note.  The tie was made by printing tie clip art on the backside of a patterned paper and fussy cutting it out.  A second piece of the fussy cut knot raised by a foam square adds some interest.

Simple, homemade and for a co-worker.  The male card is a tough win, but I think this card fit the purpose well.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Golden Birthday

I've mentioned before that I signed up to sponsor a child with Compassion International.  I've enjoyed the first 2/3 of the year and found that it was time to send my child a birthday card.  One of the reasons that I chose Yuli was because she shared a birthday with my son.  I didn't get the card mailed on time, though we did send a birthday gift to Yuli and her family.  This card was made to celebrate Yuli's golden birthday- the year when her age matched her date of birth.  So I made this gold card.  Here's the details:

  • The background is a piece of glitter patterned paper from Hobby Lobby.  It is perfect, though you can't see it's charm in these pictures.  Trust me- it is shiny enough to charm any young lady.
  • The sentiment is stamped in brown Archival ink on a shimmery piece of solid paper and die cut with my Our Daily Bread Designs Elegant Ovals die.  A frame was cut with the matching dies from a piece of gold paper and a cream cardstock.
  • The greenery is cut out of scraps of green cardstock using my Fancy Foliage die and another die I've lost track of the name.  
  • The flowers were cut using my IO Spiral Flowers dies using the coordinating papers including a vellum.  The tiny flowers set as a base is an old Quickutz die.  The centers are pearl accents.
  • Add a pearl swirl and I think this is just about perfect.
I hope Yuli had a very special birthday this year.  I hope, though this card is late, that she feels how special she is to me and her family.  I'm off to get this into the mail with a small gift.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Have an Awesome Day

One of the ladies from my Bible study group has a sister that recently was incarcerated.  This is a really difficult situation as my friend's sister has been making bad choices and one of them finally cost her in a big way.  Still, that's no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater.  My friend called on all of us to write her a letter to help with the transition and hopefully encourage her self reflection and growth while she spends time in jail.  Of course I had to make a card.

The card had to be simple- there are restrictions on what can go into a card.  I pulled out my Worn Lipstick and Shabby Shutters Distress Ink along with my Simon Says Stamp Favorite Flowers stamp set and got to work.  There's a Fiskars border stamp thrown in for good measure along with a Simon Says Stamp Tilted Banner stamp in brown Archival Ink.  I achieved the border by taping a strip of paper onto the card front and stamping the flowers and leaves.  Most of the flowers are second generation stamps with the background flower stamp.  The leaves are first generation with the background stamp.  After I removed the strip of paper, I stamped the border and the sentiment.

I hope it brightened my friend's sister and made her day.  More importantly, I hope the words of encouragement that I wrote inside had a lasting impact.