Saturday, November 3, 2012

Let the Holidays Begin!

I love this time of year and even more than that I love the beginning of the holiday season. To me, November kicks off the holidays as I get excited for Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for and it reminds me to get out there and help others in need. I started a food drive at our church for a local outreach and had the joy of dropping off the food to a downtown Denver ministry that helps the homeless in the area. It is called Urban Outreach and they do so much to help people on the streets. We'll be going next weekend to hand out the food that was donated. I think it's a great experience for me but also for my boys to step out their tiny world and see some of the rougher stuff in life.

Anyway, anyhow, anyhoo.... I made a Thanksgiving card and plan on making a bunch more. I got the color inspiration that I needed from our friends over at Play Date Cafe. Aren't these colors wonderful?

Here is my take on the color challenge:

I made this card with lots of layers. I distressed, crumpled and inked a variety of Tim Holtz (TH) papers and then embellished the card with pumpkin colored raffia, crinkle ribbon, satin cream ribbon and a TH stick pin. What I liked about the TH papers is that there was a page filled with thanksgiving recipes and I picked the pumpkin pie one and paired it with the pumpkin picture. Just love little details like that.

Off to enjoy a fun weekend! Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Delight-fall Friday

So glad to be back in my loft this evening. It was a delightful fall day today. My boys had some friends over and we had some adult guests over for dinner; it was a win-win for everyone. And I love it when I feel like everything just falls together perfectly.

Today I popped in on some of my favorite blogs. I found a really cute sketch over at Retro Sketches. Here is what the sketch was:

And since it's been a while I also looked over at CR84FN Color Challenge to see what color palette I could use for inspiration. Here are the soft colors I used for my card:

And here is my first Christmas card that I made in these wonderful neutrals. I couldn't be more pleased with how it came out!
There were lots of creams and tans and grays used to make the mittens and stockings. I took the sketch shown above and just flipped it upside down and put the banner at the top.

There were lots of fun layers I used to make this card. And, of course, I had to add some MS glitter to the teeny weeny clothespins that are holding the stockings.

Thanks for stopping by! Oh, and those dishes are just gonna have to wait until the morning. One load in, another to put off till manana. :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Painted Toes and Pocket Holes- Teen Bed

I just wanted to post about my adventures in woodworking. After reading Shanty 2 Chic's blog about how she made her son's bedroom furniture I was inspired to make my own. My tween boy is growing like a weed and outgrew his bunk bed. We bought it when he was 4 and knew that the day would come when he'd no longer fit in it but was surprised at how quickly that came up.

Since he is a tween, I wanted to get him something that would last until he was finished with high school... unless he grows so long that the full sized bed doesn't work anymore (which means little brother will inherit his bed and I'll have to build another one). Anyway, the spark that set me off on the quest to build my own bed was this post at Shanty 2 Chic. I love the look of pottery barn but don't love the price tag. You know what I'm talking about, too! I get the catalogs and pour over the pages trying to figure out how I can get that look for less. ;)

My dad is great at carpentry and so I ran some questions by him before starting my project. I'm the kind of person who likes to gather up all the facts, costs, potential problems before starting  up a major project. I know some people like to dive right in and that's just not me, sorry. And I'm also a firm believer in getting the kids involved as a fun project to teach them something new and make memories. So, here are the pics of my son's bed:

I first started by building the frame. I had a few tools already but had to purchase a couple more. I had on hand a drill (which my husband had bought me for Christmas some years ago), a sander and some things like a tape measure, carpenter square, and hammer. The things i felt were necessary to purchase were a miter saw (chop saw) and a kregg jig. That put me at $200 before I even bought the lumbar.

Here's my son (who is receiving the bed) helping me to do the sanding on the frame we built. It was interesting to see how involved he wanted to be when using new power tools. I also found that I had to turn a blind eye to some of the cuts he made which could be off by 1/2". This was a learning process, right? :) So, when it came to the wood that I needed for the frame it was $70. Not too bad so far, right?

The stain and sealer cost less than $20 and was more than enough for both the frame and headboard. I ended up staining the whole frame but didn't take another pic later on once this dried. I just flipped the bed over and finished staining so that I wouldn't have any drip marks. The frame was super easy to make once I got used to using the tools.

Here is the headboard put together.  The materials for the headboard cost around $80. I ended up using up one of my scrap boards as a reinforcement in the middle of the headboard. The picture is looking at the back of it since there was a lot of attachments made from behind. Now, I will say this. I am going to be shopping for a nailer in the near future. My thumb took a beating during all of this.

Here is the finished bed. For around $400 dollars (which included the price of the tools that I can use on further projects) I was able to build this cool Pottery Barn knock off bed. And it's all solid wood, too!

Again, you can see some really great photos over at the Shanty 2 Chic blog, which also has a link for the plans to build this bed. The next thing I plan on building is a bookcase and two nightstands.

Thanks for checking me out!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Update in Shop!

Autumn is officially here! I don't have to put off getting my fall decorations out any longer! It took a lot of self discipline on my part not to drag out my pumpkins and leaves and candles when stuff starting showing up in the stores - in JULY. I don't know about you but I feel like stores are rushing us through the seasons now. I like to celebrate them one at a time! And fall is my favorite!!!!

Anyway, I have a new TWeeK up in my shop, WinterBerry Glen. It is a pillow box set with autumn in mind. Pumpkins and leaves make this a kit that you can use the next few months for lots of gift giving ideas.

Here is a pic of my pumpkin pillow boxes all done up. Each kit comes with supplies to make cute gift packaging for 5 gift boxes.

There are also two different styles of pumpkins and buttons to choose from to make it mixy matchy. I am going to be giving these out right before Thanksgiving break to my little guy's teachers. I also think that they will make really cool place settings at our Thanksgiving dinner. I can write each person's name on the pumpkin and inside I can tuck some little treats.

I also sell the pillow boxes by themselves to be jazzed up for any type of gift giving.

Thanks for stopping by!

Teacher Gifts - for XC Coaches

I just wanted to show you some fun gifts that I made for my son's 3 teachers. They coached his cross country season and made the effort to be there at every single practice and game. That's 5 days a week after they put in a full day of teaching, folks. I think that deserves some recognition, don't you?

You'll have to excuse the lighting this time. It was late at night and I wanted to snap a few pics before I toted them off to school the next day to give away. And yes, I had to bring them because my 7th grade son said that they were too girly looking. He did sign the card so I guess that's all I can ask of a tween boy right now. ;)

Here is one more up close and personal. I took a paper sack that Made by Mish sells in her store and folded it almost in half. I sewed up the sides so that I could have extra pockets. Each gift came with a matching card, a matching notebook and Starbucks gift card. The pockets made plenty of space to easily fit those things plus more.

I took these into the front office and the ladies in there ooohhhed and ahhhhhed. It's nice when you can tell that people appreciate handmade gifts. I will have to make them some notebooks of their own for Christmas this year. ;)

Thanks for stopping by!

PS. If you are wondering about the papers I used, I got them in a kit over at Made by Mish's store. She is always updating her shop with fun kits and tags.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Canning Peaches in Colorado

Hi, again. Just wanted to show you something fun I like to do at the end of summer - can peaches! There is a great little town in Palisades, CO, that has the best peaches ever. My friend and I bought a huge box that we split together. Those peaches were bigger than my fist!!!! We set to work canning them and even got my two boys involved in the process.

Once we were done with all our canning, we set to work on getting a cute presentation ready. We needed cute labels, cute lids and cute tags!
We used some labels that my friend bought along with her jars. We used alpha block stamps and a Lizzie date stamp so we would know when we canned the jam and butter. We also made some little gift tags that matched our lids. For the peach embellishments we used my cricut. I have some of those supplies in my etsy store in my Just Peachy TWeeK (Teensy Weensy Kit).

Each jar came out so mixy matchy and I love the homespun feel it gave me. Have you ever tried canning anything? Do you have a favorite recipe? This is only my 2nd year doing it but I'd like to do some more before the last of the fruits are gone for good.

Leave me a comment and let me know! Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Just Peachy- Teensy Weensy Kit

I love giving hand made cards because I feel like i give a little of myself with it; my time, my creativity, and my feelings about the person receiving it. But life can be extremely busy and I don't always have the time to sit down and make a card. I try to customize each card that I send with that person in mind so that it has a lot of thought and meaning behind it. Yet there are times which don't afford me that luxury and I have to grab one from a stash that I have tucked away for those occasions.

That's why I love my teensy weensy kits; they give me the chance to mass produce cards but on a smaller scale. I wouldn't want all my friends receiving the same birthday card now would I?! And while I make a few batches of cards here and there I like to put some of them up in my shop for you, too. It gives you a chance to make a few cards when you have time and then have them ready to send out. You still get the opportunity to use your creativity and make a card but the cutting is done for you and it makes the assembly that much easier.

Wanna see what I mean? Okay, twist my arm... I'll show you! ;)
Here is one of the cards that I made using my Just Peachy TWeeK (teensy weensy kit). The cardstock that I use for this kit is a great quality and the patterned paper is Prairie Hill from Pink Paislee. Let me show you how I made this card using the kit items.
I used the pre-cut pieces and adhered them to the kraft front. The grid paper is just one long strip so that you can cut it however you want. I chose to make mine like a ribbon and snipped the ends in an upside down V. I also distress a lot of the pieces using ink.The chevron or zig-zag die cut is already cut out extra long so I measured it and cut it to size. After I laid the pieces out where I wanted them I went ahead and used my sewing machine to stitch them in place.

One of my favorite things to make are little tags. It's like a mini canvas on top of the card. I distressed my tag with ink but you don't have to. The sentiment banner and the aqua banner are both distressed already.

Next, I used some distress ink on my stitched peach. I also added an extra layer to mine for the middle. I trimmed the "whiskers" and used some pop dots on the back. Once adhered I made sure to fluff up all the layers to give it some dimension. I also added the button to the corner of the sentiment banner and stamped a flourish on the grid paper.
 Here's what comes in the kit. It's enough to make 4 cards; you just need to use scissors and adhesive. And a little imagination. ;)
I'll be posting something in a few days that will show you how else I used my Just Peachy TWeeK. A friend of mine came over and we spent the day making Peach Preserves and Peach Butter! We dressed up our tasty gifts with some fun tags.

Thanks for stopping in!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

Hello, friend. It seems like I'm in the dog days of summer. It is still really hot during the day and since a cold ran through the whole family this week we've been doing lots of laying around. Not what I had in mind for my Labor day weekend but it's nice to have the chance to recoup! And I don't know if it's just my perception but it seems like summer colds are the pits! Maybe even worse than the winter? I have a feeling that the kids are boosting up their immune systems once again now that school has been in session for two weeks. And, of course, they love to bring it home and share with the rest of us. ;)

I did have a little time this evening to get up into my craft room. The dishes can wait, right? So I made another teensy weensy kit as well as a few projects for some challenges. I started off with Retro Sketch #27 because having a good sketch helps me to get my ideas going when I've been absent on the craft seen for a bit. And I've been wanting to do this week's MIM #80 over at Papertrey Ink. It is a love note to all things bunting and I just adore it! Garlands, fabric bunting, felt, glitter.... just love it all. Since we haven't been well all week I had to use my time wisely when I got a few hours to play with my paper goodies. So my card is kinda simple but I hope you like it.

Here is the sketch that I followed:

I really had to take a bit to get the juices flowing. I was really excited to use up some Pink Paislee (Prairie Hill) paper since it was still laying on my desk. I had forgotten about it in the throws of Kleenex and crackers; it was such a nice surprise!

Here is a close up of the bunting/garland. I used Ashley's technique over at Papertrey to sandwich my twine between two layers of banners. I used Heart 2 Heart #6 to die cut those cute little flags (PTI). Then I used my Tiny Tim to staple the twine onto the fence. The fence die is from PTI and I stamped a light gingham background onto it to give it some pattern but not too much. I also distressed the fence and the bunting with Burlap Distress Ink. The kraft background I came up with out of necessity. It was my way of adding some sun rays to the focal point without having more patterns; I've got a lot going on with the card so I needed a landing place where the eye could rest a bit and yet still draw attention to the picket fence. The sentiment "for you" is from fillable frames and is generic enough to be a birthday card or thank you card.

Thanks for stopping by and I will be posting soon with a shop update and a new Teensy Weensy Kit.
Happy Labor Day for those of us who have the day off!!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hi, ho, hi, ho - it's off to work I go...

Well, not me really. One of my close friends is going back to work this week after being a SAHM for many, many years. She is working in the office at one of our local schools. The job she took seems perfect for her schedule since she is only part time and goes in at 11am and leave by 2pm. She is still able to be home in the morning and see her kids off to school and come home in the afternoon to be there for when they get back! I think that's a great thing.

So, I wanted to make my buddy something for her to take with her as she heads back to work. I will miss her for those few hours! I got inspiration from one of my favorite blogs, MISH MASH. Michelle's sense of style, whimsy and color combo make her work stand out from the rest, IMHO. She is always creating new and exciting things and I just love her packaging for her gifts as well.

Here is a notebook that I made for my friend. I used a lot of different MME papers to make this.
I figure that she is going to have a lot of little notes to take while she gets the hang of her new job. Plus, it will be all hers and no one will take it off her desk.

I used my sewing machine to stitch around the outside of the front cover. I also stitched the ribbon in place on both the front and back covers so that it won't fall off when she opens it. This makes it easy to re-tie when she is done with it. I am planning on putting a little pen in there for her and the knot in the ribbon should keep it from slipping. :)

Here is a quick peek at the card that I also made her.

I am putting these in a wax paper sack and tying it with some ribbon and tags. You can find the sacks that I am using here. The notebook peeks out just a little over the top of these sacks but I just love the translucency and feel of them so it doesn't matter.
Anyway, thanks for stopping by! Hope you are having a great week.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mojo Monday #254 and ColourQ

Next up is this card that I made using the Mojo Monday #254 Sketch. Again, if you know anything about me you know that I am a creature of habit. And that means that once again I find a sketch that inspires me. Here's the sketch that I worked with for this card:

Over at ColourQ this week they have a beautiful color palette to work with. Since it seems like summer is coming to an end I especially appreciate these colors since they make me think of sitting outside on my patio and enjoying the summer with my kiddos.
I'd like to chat more about how I made this card and other fun stuff that went through my head while making it, but I'm just too tired for now. But if you have a question about the stamps or such just shoot me a message and I'll be happy to answer it for you. Right now, however, it is midnight and my bed is calling me.

Under the Weather?

Hello, again. I am going to post a couple of quick things before bed. I have a couple of contests that I'm squeezing in this weekend.

Here is one that I made for Make it Monday #78 over at Papertrey. It is a stamping and stitching challenge. Here is the card that I made:
I really like this Heart 2 Heart Stamp set over at PTI. I hadn't had an opportunity to use it so I thought it was about time! I took some white felt and die cut the clouds. Then I took some DMC floss that matches the aqua mist color and stitched all around 3 clouds (1 large, 2 small). I die cut a sun out of cardstock instead of felt because i really wanted the clouds to stand out.
I don't do a lot of hand stitching and I am kinda sad since embroidery seems like a dying art. My grandmothers both did lots of cross-stitching and other embroidery. They tried to teach it to when I was little and it just never really stuck. But I love the nostalgia of it.

I used this sketch from retro sketches for my card. I just love to have a quick sketch handy since it saves so much time on where to place my elements on my card.

Gotta post one more card before I hit the hay!

Retro Back 2 School Mini Scrapbook

We are in full swing with school and sports right now! My boys just finished their first week back {picture me gasping for air}. It was quite a week! My oldest started up in Middle School and is trying cross country for the first time. My youngest is still in elementary but he is also in LAX. sooooo..... the middle of my day is free but I feel like I need to put on my running shoes around 4pm.

Anywhoo, I did get the chance to make a mini scrapbook album this week. I made it with back to school in mind. I love these papers from October Afternoon!

I used little coin envelopes to make the pockets and added some die cut rolodex cards that are removable. Each pocket has a tag to add funny things to remember or pictures.

Here's a look at one of the rolodex pull out cards. i think these would be great for quotes, journaling or even address book stuff.

The cool thing, too, is that I am entering this in the Ribbon Reel Challenge. Their challenge is to use Retro colors (see the blog for the list), a flower, and ribbon/twine. Check, check and check!

You can find this item by clicking on my etsy link on the right hand column. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Teensy Weensy Kits

I would like to introduce you to some kits that I made this week. They are small. They are cute. They are easy to assemble. That's why I like to call them teensy weensy kits. I find these gift sacks perfect for teacher gifts at back to school night. I made a few for our teachers this year and am putting a few of tem in my shop. They require just a little assembly but give back such a cute presentation!

Each kit comes with a paper sack that can be used as a gift bag. The sack has a scalloped edge to make it  pretty and comes pre-punched with two holes in it. The kit includes one large stitched tag, one small stitched tag, felt and button bit, polka dot ticket stub, lace, wrinkled ribbon, wreath circle tag with "for you" stamped on it, vintage inspired brad, patterned paper pieces and a swatch of fabric.

Here is what I came up with but you can design your own how ever you wish. I think that is what makes the weensies so fun; you can add your own creativity to them without it being a lot of work. I've gone and prepped it all for you... I even added the fabric swatch and stitched around both tags. :) You get to add the goodies and give it away.

These tags are a perfect size for gift giving but they can also be used for cards or scrapbooking projects, too.  Not only is it back to school for us here in Colorado, but it is also just about canning season. I like to make jams and other canned goodies so that I can always have some hand for quick gifts.

I am also going to be selling the little wreath circle tags in my shop separately. If you're like me, I can never seem to get enough tags. Fun shapes, patterns and styles make for quick and fun add-ons to lots of my paper projects. It's a quick and easy place to add a little note or sentiment for your cards.

Thanks for stopping by and tell me what you think. Also, what are you doing for back to school teacher gifts? I can never thank teachers enough for all the long grueling hours that they put into their jobs and how special they are in the lives of my children. I look for ways to help out in the class and also surprise them with little gifts throughout the year. It's my way of saying that I appreciate them. :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

MIM #77 - Ink Pads as Watercolors

Hey, friend. I'm back with a challenge over at Papertrey Ink. This week's MIM can be found here. The challenge is a new technique to me: use your ink pads as watercolors. I am not very good at using watercolors to begin with but this was too fun of a challenge to pass up.

I used PTI's Pretty Peonies stamp set along with the coordinating die set. I stamp the image on vintage cream cardstock using memento's brown ink (I find that it dries quickly and doesn't bleed like other inks). I also cut out an extra flower using the die so that i could later pop that up on the card. The inks that I used to "paint" the flower where melon berry and terracotta tile. I used simply chartreuse and ripe avocado to paint the leaves.

I wasn't able to stay completely in the lines but i'm hoping that just adds to the watercolor feel. I then stamped some notebook patterned paper with leaves to paint in with ink. I stamped one of the solid flowers in Pretty Peonies with fine linen ink. The cute frame is also a part of the Peonies stamp set. I stamped it on kraft cardstock using that same memento brown ink.

Thanks for popping in. I'll hopefully be updating my blog more regularly now that the kids are going back to school next week. It's shocking to me that they start before Labor Day but I do enjoy getting a fall break and a week off at Thanksgiving.

And with school starting, you know what that means? More cute back to school style notebooks and teacher gifts. Cheers!!!