Friday, December 16, 2011

Teacher Gifts 2011

Well here it is the last day before winter break, and I just finished up making my teacher gifts.  The teachers loved the gift tags I made last year, so I decided to make them again for this year's teachers.  I kept some of the same designs just to keep my brain from going into creative overload, and came up with some new ones.

Here they are...

All twelve designs.

Stocking from Jolly Bingo Bits colored with markers, tag punch.

Presents from Holiday Tag Team colored with markers, Nestabilities petite scalloped oval.

Ornament stamped in Versamark then Cherry cobbler, clear EP, ornament punch.

Ornament stamped in Versamark then Pacific Point, iridescent ice EP, ornament punch.  So pretty IRL.

Snowman from Jolly Bingo Bits, colored with markers, Versamark pen along bottom and embossed with iridescent ice EP.

Peppermint candy from Jolly Bingo Bits stamped in Real Red, red rhinestone to center, tag punch.

Pennant Parade 'tree' stamped in Memento Bamboo Leaves, petite pennants builder punch, popped up on demensionals on red hand cut tag.  Rhinestone as a star on top.

Snowflake from Serene Snowflakes stamped in Versamark with White EP, hand cut tag.

Holly from Holiday Tag Team colored with markers, wide oval punch.

Poinsettia from Patterned Pines colored with markers, decorative label punch.

Tree from Jolly Bingo Bits colored with markers, Nestabilities petite oval, glitter pen to star for a little sparkle.

Celebrate the Season from So Many Scallops, cherry cobbler ink, scallop circle punch.

All packaged up and ready to go!

I also made the teachers some magnets in the theme of the school's mascot - Tigers.

Go Tigers!

These were all really easy to put together, I just waited too long to get them started.  I am the true definition of a procrastinator.  Don't tell anybody, but I still don't have my Christmas decorations up.  That will be happening today!

Unless I find something else to do.

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by my Etsy store. I just added a few more items if you want to check them out.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Perfect Tree

Every year, we buy a permit from the National Forest Service (for only $10) to cut our own Christmas tree.  You can cut any tree you want with a trunk 6" or less in diameter within the cutting boundaries they establish for that particular year.

Any tree in the whole forest.

You would think it would be a simple task, but the perfect tree doesn't exist in nature.  You think you have found the perfect one, but discover a giant hole in the branches to one side.  Or it has been growing on the side of a hill and the branches are crooked.  Or it's too close to another tree and is flat on one side.  Or two family members like it and two don't.  Ugh!  The joys of cutting your own tree!

Despite all the obstacles we always do find the perfect tree for us.  And then after we cut it down, we find an even more perfect one on the way back to the car.  It happens every time!

Here are some pictures of our tree cutting adventure today.

Bunny tracks in the snow.  Aren't they cute?  M wanted to track it down and keep it for a pet.

The perfect tree!  Notice the beautiful blue sky.  It couldn't have been a more perfect day.

R cutting off branches to get to the stump.

M tries her hand at sawing, too.  She still needs a little practice!

Manly men carrying the tree back to the car.

After we got the tree loaded, it was time for a snack and some hot chocolate for the drive back home.

What traditions do you have for your Christmas tree?


Friday, December 9, 2011

My Etsy Store is Open For Business!

Yea!!  I can't tell you how long I've been waiting to type that!  I finally got my Etsy store stocked with a few items I've been making.  I have a lot more things made, but still have to take pictures before I can list them.  These shortened hours of natural daylight have put a damper on my picture taking.

Anyway, I hope you will take a moment to stop by my store, and please share it with others if you like what you see.



Sunday, December 4, 2011

Handmade Gift Exchange, Winter 2011

Linda, of Craftaholics Anonymous, hosts a handmade gift exchange twice a year.  The most recent one was in November.  When you sign up, Linda matches you up with a 'crafter-pal', and you make gifts for each other.  What could be more fun than exchanging handmade gifts?

Here is what I made for my crafter-pal.

The bracelet is made with wool felt rosette flowers, and secures with a snap.  Rhinestones radomly accent some of the flowers.  I crocheted the flower and used a vintage button for the center.  The flower back has a clip and a pin, so you can use it as a clothing or a hair accessory.  Cute!

If you are interested in what some of the other crafters made, visit the linky party and check out all the fun homemade gifts!


Hint, etsy store is opening soon!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Merry Christmas to Me!

I took advantage of Silhouette America's Black Friday sale last week and ordered myself an early Christmas present.  I have had my eye on the new Cameo ever since I new it was coming.  Yes, I know I have a Cricut Expression, and I don't really need another electronic die cutting machine (can you tell I'm about to give an excuse?), but it seemed so much easier to use.  And it is.

I have had my Cricut for over 4 years, and because I have used it no more times than I can count on one hand, I have to try to figure it out every time I want to make something with it.  That is not fun to me.  And the cartridges are wicked expensive, especially when you don't use all the images on them.  With a Silhouette, I can buy only the images I want (most of them for 99 cents), or I can design my own.  Plus it will cut any font I have on my computer.  Score!!  I was sold.

<3 my Silhouette Cameo!

The first project I wanted to make was a sign for my kids' bathroom.  It is a smaller scale of a subway sign I want to make with our 'house rules'.  I had a lot of fun figuring out how to design it, and I think it turned out pretty good.  The kids, however, don't think it is necessary. ha!

After I uploaded these pictures I decided it would look better without the circle and line thingies that separate the phrases, so just pretend they're not there.  ;-)

Can any of you stampers out there figure out what I used for the wood block?

You're right!  It is a background block!  I am so glad I figured out what to do with that huge box of wood I've been hoarding forever.  I must get busy making some other signs with all those blocks.

I've been busy making things to put in my etsy shop, too, so stay tuned for more info.

I'm such a tease!


This is not a paid advertisement, I just love my new Cameo!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Time for a Christmas Card

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.  We just returned from our trip to my brother's in Minnesota.  It was great to be with our whole family for the holiday.

This card was a few weeks in the making.  I am so out of card-making shape!

In its first phase, the wreath was stamped on a white card base, but it was so blah and boring.  I even stamped a wreath on another card and added rhinestones thinking that would dress it up a little.  But I couldn't make either one of them work, so I tossed them aside knowing something would come to me.

And it did!

Voila!  So much better!

Supplies used:
Stamps - PTI Wreath for All Seasons, Mega Mixed Messages
Paper - Pear Pizzazz, GKD PL white
Ink - Old Olive, Cherry Cobbler
Accessories - Nestabilities scalloped and regular circle dies, Big shot, taffeta ribbon, dimensionals, corner rounder

Now that December is almost upon us, I must get busy making my Christmas cards for this year.  Do you have yours made yet?


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Embossed Tree

In keeping with my promise to post more cards, here is a really quick one I came up with the other day.  As usual, it isn't exactly what I visualized, but I think I like this better than my original thought anyway.  I love it when that happens.

Very simple, but simply elegant!

My original vision had an embossed frame all the way around the tree panel.  Once I trimmed the panel down, the tree was no longer in the center.  So I just embossed one edge and echoed it on the card base.  I rather enjoy the asymmetry of it!

I used a ruler and my Versamark pen to ink the edges for embossing.  That way, you can make the stripe as wide or narrow as you would like.

If you look closely, you can notice tiny little bubble holes left in the embossing powder.  I won't be sending this card to anyone because of them, but I have never had that happen before.  I know EP can bubble if you overheat it, but mine barely got melted before it was bubbling up.  I have had this EP forever, so maybe it is just past its prime.  Have you ever had embossing powder go bad?  Do tell.

More cards to come as soon as I get them made - I've been busy playing with my new sewing machine!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Amy Butler Barcelona Skirt

Remember the little sneak peek I gave you of one of my sewing projects?  Well it's time for the big reveal.

I fell in love with Amy Butler's Barcelona Skirt pattern as soon as I saw it.  I really dislike paying full price for patterns, but I didn't even think twice about paying an arm and a leg for this one, and it was so worth it.

Here is the first skirt I made.

I used fabric from the Blossoming line by Kathy Davis for Free Spirit.  Don't you love the colors?  I got many compliments from strangers the first time I wore it, and since I have enough fabric to stock a small fabric store, I thought I'd make another one.

I had originally purchased this fabric (from Hobby Lobby) to make a different style skirt, but it worked well for this pattern.  I love that the layers are not finished seams and the edges fray a little.  I altered the pattern for both skirts in that I didn't line or hem them.  I left the bottom edge to fray just like the other layers.

Which one is your favorite?


Saturday, November 12, 2011

My New Stamp Basket Runneth Over

Just because I have only stamped out of necessity during the last 5 months or so doesn't mean I haven't stopped buying stamps.  It is an addiction, I tell you!

My New Stamp Basket will hardly hold any more stamps.

And that only means one thing.

I will be posting some cards in the coming days.

Woohoo!  Karen stamps!

Hope you enjoy your weekend   ~  K

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What in the world have I been doing for the past three months?

I wish I had a good answer for that, but I don't.  I have just been living the life of a busy mom whose age has caught up with her.  I can't stay up much past midnight anymore without having serious mental consequences the following day.  I was so wrong thinking I would be able to get more done once the kids went back to school.  I'm not sure where my time goes every day, but I am seriously thinking about enrolling in a time management course.  Know of any good ones?

Despite not getting my house cleaned up like I would have liked by now (crafting is much more important to my sanity), I have managed to make a few things in the last few months.  I taught myself how to knit many, many years ago, but never made anything besides scarves....knit, purl, knit purl.


While browsing my local yarn store, I came across a book of ponchos, and decided I would make one for my next project.  I bought my yarn and started knitting away.  Within the first few days after I started my poncho, I saw two women on different occasions while I was out and about who were wearing ponchos.  I was so excited!  That shows you how far removed I am from the fashion world.  I had no idea they were in style right now.  I'm not sure what happened with the first one I made.  Even though my guage was right, it did not come out the size it was supposed to.  At least it was bigger, and I can still wear it.  It just looks like I am wrapped up in a huge blanket!  Sorry, I thought I had a picture of it, but I don't.

So I immediately went back to the yarn store and bought different yarn to make a second poncho.  This one was made with another pattern, and I learned how to increase and decrease.  I love this one even more than the first!

The yarn is alpaca wool, so it is super warm.  And super soft.  Not scratchy at all.

And I had just enough yarn left over to make a pair of fingerless mittens.

My husband asked what the point of fingerless mittens was, and I replied "So I can knit at the football games when it is cold out".  Or to cook in the cold when we are camping.  Or just to look cute!

I learned how to make a thumb with this pattern, and it was pretty easy. Until I got to the left mitten, and the directions were wrong. I didn't realize it until I was completely finished, so I had to rip it out (just down to the thumb) and figure out the right number of stitches. If you use this pattern, the correct # of stitches to knit on the thumb row of the left mitten is 23, not 29 as the pattern states.

The pattern for my poncho is out of the book Viva Poncho by Christina Stork and Leslie Barbazette.  The fingerless mitten pattern was in the book Knit at Home by Leanne Prouse.

I've also been sewing a fair bit.  Here is a sneak peak at one of my projects.

Now that I have remembered how edit my photos and post on my blog, maybe I'll be around more often!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Berry Pickin'

I surprised our kids today with a little adventure.  My daughter tried as hard as she could to get it out of me where I was taking them, but I wouldn't give in.  I told them they had to wear their 'rough around' clothes, shoes...not flip flops, a hat, sunscreen, bug spray, and take long sleeve shirts and pants.  They finally guessed it when we turned down the road that had nothing but farms on both sides.

We went to Berry Patch Farms in Brighton, CO.

The first thing M wanted to know was if there would be animals there.  This picture was taken about 30 seconds after we got out of the car...

She didn't care what kind of animal it was, just so she could pet it!

We took a short wagon ride out to the raspberry fields.  I was hoping their strawberries were in season, but they won't be ready for about two more weeks.  Since the kids will be in school, we may have to brave the crowds on a weekend to pick our strawberries.

We decided to pick black raspberries first, and took off  down a row.

Yummy sweet deliciousness!

The mosquitoes were ruthless, and we were swarmed as soon as we started down the row, even with bug spray on.  M was over the picking about half-way through the black raspberries and just wanted to sit there.

So she helped by carrying the berries.

Picking went a lot faster once we got to the red raspberries.  They were much plumper and the bushes weren't as prickly.

But M was still done.  R did a great job picking berries between trying to catch all the grasshoppers he could find.  And they were everywhere!

I didn't think of it until now, but the ratio of berries in our hands is about the same as the ratio of berries we each picked.  (Except I should have about 10 berries in mine!)  Can you tell who licked her fingers the most?

Here is our flat of yummy berries.  I'm not sure if I will make jam out of them or just eat them, but they sure are tasty!  M is smiling because she gets to pet the animals now.

There were beds and rows of flowers you could pick, too.  These were so colorful, and the sky was overcast - perfect for taking pictures without harsh shadows.

We hung out for a while looking for animals to pet.  The baby pig was in the house because she had just had surgery, so we had to settle for the chickens and roosters.  I didn't get any pictures of the ducks because they took off as soon as they were spotted and aproached.  Check out this guy's posture and see if you can't hear him...

We had a great time and look forward to our next farm adventure.  I must call ahead to make sure the pig is out, though!


Faux Washi Tape

After reading some discussions on faux washi tape, I thought I'd give it a try.  I haven't jumped on the washi tape bandwagon; given my completion tendencies, I refuse to go there.  So faux it will have to be!

I used paper tape from the dollar store.  It took a few tries to get it torn the way I wanted it.  Funny how it never tears straight when I go to put it on a patient's dressing at work, but that is all I could get it to do when I was trying to tear my drifts of snow.

Nichole posted a very cute snowman card and tag set that I styled my card after.  I loved the simple snowman stamp she used, but didn't have any similar to it, so what else was I to do but make my own!  I punched out a circle and two different ovals, taped them together and traced around them on my card.  Then I added his face, buttons, and mittens.  So fun!  I also made my own polka dot stamps a long time ago by punching out a piece of scrap rubber with both size punches from my Crop-a-dile, and glued each 'dot' to opposite ends of a chopstick.  *patting self on back*

Isn't he cute as a button?  Haha!  Get it?

I think it's past time for me to go to bed!

Supplies used:
Stamps - Hero Arts holiday sayings, home made polka dot stamp
Paper - Pool Party
Ink - white craft, Memento black
Accessories - 3/4" circle, large oval and wide oval punches, paper tape, markers, baker's twine, button, dauber


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

More Cards!

I loved all the fab modern-style cards I saw when PTI first released their Modern Basics stamp set.  So I bought it.  And it has been sitting, uninked, in my New Stamp Basket ever since.  I could never come up with something other than a CASE, and wanted to design something on my own.  When the stamping bug bit me a couple days ago, I gave it a little more thought.  But not much thought as you can see by the card I made with it...

Yea.  Pretty simple.  And pretty plain.  But the colors are pretty, aren't they?  This stamp was a lot easier to line up without a SAMJ than I thought it would be.  It is very forgiving.

Supplies used:
Stamps - PTI Modern Basics, SU Birthday Greetings (retired)
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - tempting turquoise, Memento pear tart
Accessories - SAMJ (I didn't trust myself to get the sentiment straight and centered!)

Since I was digging around in my New Stamp Basket, I pulled out some other stamps that I bought many moons ago.  I got them at the $1 section at Joann's.  These cards got me excited about stamping again.  They are CAS at its finest.

I love this turtle.  It totally reminds me of turtles I've seen while scuba diving.  There is definitely something magical about swimming around with these magnificent creatures.  The sentiment is perfect for a turtle because if you ever see one when you are in the water, it will look at you as if to say "How are things?", but before you get a chance to answer, it has already swum away.

Yes, this one is a little cliche, but I couldn't resist.  The inside says "I was a crab".  I may have to make another one and give them to my kids when they go back to school.  Something about the incessant bickering, whining, and attempts at manipulation tells me I will be crabby until then.  (Bad Mom!)

I punched an oval out of a sticky note and used it as a mask for the sand that was made with the Speckled jumbo wheel.  Isn't the sentiment cute tucked in between his (her) claw?

This one is my favorite even though it is stamped a little too high on the card.  The hand drawn bubbles were an afterthought, but they are so small I don't think it makes it too off balance.

Did you notice all my sea creature sentiments were in gray instead of black?  I really like the look of gray for a sentiment, especially when the image is stamped with lighter colors.  It gets the point across, but doesn't yell it at you like black would.   In the crab's case, though, I could have used black!

Supplies used:
Stamps - Inkadinkado Summer assortment minis
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - Rididng Hood Red, Kraft, Memento pear tart, tangelo, and london fog
Accessories - Speckled jumbo wheel, lg oval punch, sticky note for mask, London fog marker

I have lots of stamping ideas swimming around (no pun intended) in my head.  Lets just hope I can get them onto paper!


Monday, August 1, 2011

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Our new neighbors just moved in next door, so I made this card for them.  I'm not sure I like the red chair, but since this was my second attempt, I am leaving it as it is.

The inside is stamped with "Welcome to the neighborhood".

We are really going to miss our neighbors who moved to Texas to be closer to their children.  They were like surrogate grandparents to the kiddos, spoiling them with chocolate, ice cream, and candy.  But we are excited about getting to know the young family that just moved in, and the kiddos are glad there is one more child on our street to play with.

I am hoping to get back to posting here more often.  I have made a few cards this summer, but have been too lazy to take pictures of them.  I have also sewed some clothes, but don't have any pictures of them, either.  School starts in two more weeks, so I should have more time and energy then.  The kids have sucked every creative ounce of energy out of me this summer, and I can't wait to get back in a crafting groove!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Family Tradition

One of the traditions my family had when I was growing up was to eat popcorn for dinner (supper) on Sunday night.  I'm not even sure how it originated (Mom?), but in my quest to simplify our lives, I decided to continue it with my own family.

Seeing that we don't eat a lot of popcorn anyway, I was hoping the kids would embrace it.  And embrace it they did.  I was not so gently reminded last Sunday after I had already fixed pork chops for dinner that it was popcorn night, so the chops went in the fridge for another meal, and we had popcorn instead.  That's how much they love the new tradition.  Hubby wasn't so eager to embrace the new meal plan as his response was "What about the protein?"  But since he doesn't cook, and knows better than to complain about what Momma cooks, he eats his popcorn without saying a word.  :)

When I was growing up, we watched the Disney movie and/or Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, and tried our best not to watch Lawrence Welk.  We also drank pop with our popcorn.  Well, we have traded the soda (I refuse to buy it and rarely let the kids drink it) for water or milk, and keep the tube turned off in favor of playing games.  That is the most fun part.

Even though it is a very simple change, and may not appear to make a difference in our hectic lives, it is obvious that our kids look forward to knowing what we are eating and doing at least one night out of the week.

And that makes me happy.

What family traditions have you passed on from your childhood to your own family?


By the way, our popcorn is popped in butter and bacon grease (yes, you read that right!) just like when I was growing up.  Sounds kinda gross, but don't knock it until you try it.  It's way better than that microwave crud!