Tuesday, June 29, 2010

{Christmas} in June!

It's been wicked hot and humid here on Cape Cod. I feel like it came on pretty suddenly too - we had gorgeous, unseasonable warm weather early in the spring, then a cool and rainy start to June. And then summer hit. Add to the miserable weather outside the fact that I work in the kitchen of a pizzeria with no air conditioning... One large oven set to 325-350 degrees from 6am until at least 2pm, plus another 650 degree pizza oven! And the health department decided they didn't want us keeping our kitchen door open. So for 6-8 hours I'm stuck in an airless room with over 900 degrees of heat pumping into it. My energy is completely sapped - 100% gone! - within about 2 hours. So needless to say I haven't been getting much done at home after work! :) Today I really had the best of intentions to fold laundry and tidy up, but then the hubster decided to set up Netflix on our Wii and watch SNL.

Last night I decided to play with the other MFT Pure Innocence stamp that Kimberly sent me: "Merry Kissmas" :) I wouldn't normally be making Christmas cards in June, but I wanted to practice my Copics and my paper piecing. Plus, that's where the design world is focused right now anyway with CHA and pub calls for Halloween and Christmas coming up! I got the idea to use the blue and red patterns from October Afternoon's Thrift Shop collection - one of my favorites ever! I'm really REALLY loving any variation on red, white, and blue right now... especially red and turquoise! I'm pretty psyched with how this card came out!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great Fourth of July weekend if you're in the good ol' USA! :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

one of My {new} Favorite Things

I have to toot my own horn for a little bit :)

Yesterday evening I finally cleaned off my desk and started playing with paper again. I had 3 ideas that I was so exited about... But after completely ruining one (it's still a great idea though, I just have to think a little harder while working on it!), and having another one not quite work out, I decided to walk away for the night. Well, I stayed away for about 5 minutes, but despite the crafting gods not smiling on me, I had the itch and HAD to make something! So I started playing with one of the Pure Innocence stamps that Kimberly sent me :) I know I'm supposed to be practicing my Copic coloring, but I just had to try my hand at stamped paper piecing.

I took a lot of inspiration from the My Favorite Things design team gallery at Splitcoast Stampers. I'm completely new to MFT, and I've never tried anything in the style of the Pure Innocence images, so I really didn't have a clue where to start. My card isn't anywhere near as impressive as what the DT does, but I just have to say I am SO PROUD of this card! Every time I look at it, I almost can't believe it's something I made myself :) Do you ever have that feeling about a project you make? It's so satisfying, isn't it? :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

cute craft for kids

I don't have kids - but you already knew that, right? :) But I went to school to be an elementary school teacher, so obviously I love kids. I've only had one real teaching job - as an assistant at a bilingual school in Cambridge, MA - but I'm always on the lookout for fun projects and ideas... for someday, just in case :) And I have to say I ADORE Family Fun magazine! Check out this adorable oh-so-clever 4th of July t-shirt project... I just LOVE things that make you go "Wow! How'd they think of that?!"

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Very Jackie O.

I've been putting my paper crafting on hold recently, favoring instead playing with fabrics! Here's what started it all...

I found this gorgeous vintage enamel brooch on etsy...
... and my very first thought was 'Hmm... I bet I could do that with die cut felt." So that's what I did!
I found some absolutely yummy 100% wool felt from an awesome etsy seller Felt on the Fly. She was so great to work with! I used a Sizzix 3-in-1 daisy die to cut out the flowers. I used a Dritz covered button kit - my new favorite thing ever in the universe! - to cover 7/8" buttons for the centers. Check it out!

The easiest way to cut the felt was to cut all three flowers at once, so I was able to make 6 pins with just 3 pieces of 8.5x11 felt. But the buttons were really hard to cover with the thick felt, so I ended up using Pink Paislee's 365 Degrees collection Bella Brads in the center of 2 of the pins:

Aren't they cute? And so super simple! Gotta love that!

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

friends with {benefits}

(Just a heads up... No photos today!)

Before we were married, my husband used to play World of Warcraft. A lot. (Any of you with friends or loved ones into online RPGs will, I'm sure, understand this situation.) He used to talk about his WoW "friends" and I hated that he called them that. Frankly, it kind of scared me that he couldn't distinguish between his real friends and random people all over the world who he happened to be playing games with and really knew nothing about.

I've mentioned before in this blog that I'm fairly new to the scrapbooking world as a community - online and in "real life." I've been crafting literally my entire life, but the world of classes and crops, manufacturers and collection kits, techniques and tutorials is so new in my life... If I'm remembering right, it was just after Christmas 2009 that I stumbled onto all of this. I'm still constantly checking for tutorials on youtube, still looking up acronyms used in forums, still asking stupid questions that I'm sure have been answered a million times. But I realize now why my husband called those people his friends; the blogs I read and forums I participate in have become such an amazing source of inspiration and motivation in my life. I've also started trying to take some classes at my LSS - OK, so I've taken one so far but there's another in August I'm looking forward to! - which is adding another layer of fantastic dimension to my becoming part of this community.

I'll be honest, I can't really bring myself to think of these crafters as friends. It's more like how I pretend to myself that Rachael Ray and Sarah Jessica Parker are my friends :) Even though these crafters often have never met each other, they've built amazing and true friendships over many years, and I know I will never be able to "infiltrate" the community to that extent. I'm honest with myself: I am not a peer to this group of amazing women in any sense of the definition - not in age, not in lifestyle, not in skill level. But, even though they don't know me from a hole in the wall, they have an amazing impact on my day-to-day life for which I really am truly grateful.

So here's the story....

Recently, the lovely lady who writes the first crafting blog I ever found, Kimberly Crawford, did a week-long series of tutorials using the Spellbinders Borderabilities dies. I've had my Wizard for a while but I don't use it a lot because I don't have many dies. I tried a technique she did in one of her videos, but I wasn't a very good student, didn't listen well, and completely messed up. So I commented on her blog asking for help. She, in turn, replied to my query, except she did so through a comment on my blog. So thoughtful - that way I would be certain to see her reply and her comment wouldn't get lost in the shuffle. Plus, I was psyched that somebody as talented as Kimberly had taken a peek at my little blog! :) In her comment, she asked me to email her when I had the chance, and gave me her email address. "That's funny," I thought to myself. "Why can't I just comment back?" But I did as she'd asked and thanked her for her thoughtful response in a personal email. Not long after, I got the following email reply:
"I saw on your blog that you just got into Copics. I was wondering if you would like a couple of Pure Innocence images from MFT? I have a couple that I have used a couple times and would love to give them a new home. If you want them, give me your address and I will send them."
WHOA! Um, hold on, what? Wow! SO amazing, generous, and thoughtful to offer stamp sets to a stranger! And then, a couple days later, I get another email from Kimberly, telling me she accidentally bought a duplicate Copic marker, and if I want it, she'll throw it in the package with the stamps. Amazing. I feel so lucky, so blessed, to have the presence of these incredible cyberspace 'friends' in my life, inspiring me and fueling my own innate creative forces. Thank you Kimberly! This may all seem insanely melo-dramatic, but I want to express how very much the generosity and openness of the entire scrapbooking/cardmaking/papercrafting community means to this newbie.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

more Father's Day

This afternoon I went into the Orleans Whole Food Store (OWFS) - where I have a small selection of cards for sale - to check out my display. It's right on the checkout counter and it looks awesome! I'm so psyched! :) I guess I didn't really pay enough attention to which cards I took in, because I couldn't tell if any had sold... except I knew for sure I did include two Father's Day cards, and they were both gone! Yay! So tonight I quickly whipped up four more to bring in tomorrow.

This first one is inspired by Kristina's most recent Make a Card Monday project, which you can check out here. I used Show & Tell, one of the new collections from We R Memory Keepers. It's actually a school-themed collection (which I just can't ever resist even though I have neither a teaching job nor school age kids... or kids of any age for that matter!), but the more basic patterns remind me of retro 70s ties, so I thought it would be great for Father's Day.

(I apologize for the poor quality of these photos. I usually photograph my cards outside, but I had to package these up right away to get them to the store tomorrow, but I still wanted to be able to share them.)

The other cards I made were based on this sketch from the March/April 2010 issue of Paper Crafts magazine:
I love it! And I had SO much fun using my Tiny Attacher for the first time ever... I might have gone a little overboard, but I LOVE the finished look!

(using Show & Tell again)

(using BasicGrey's Max & Whiskers collection)

(using Cosmo Cricket's Joyride collection)

So there you have it. Variations on a Father's Day theme :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 14, 2010

a few new cards + exciting news!

Just wanted to share a couple cards I've made recently...

With Echo Park's Sweet Summertime:
(using Laura Craigie's card, seen in my last post , as a sketch)

With Pink Paislee's Starlight:

(lifted from Erin Terrell Clarkson)

AND ... I have some exciting news! As of this week, my cards will be available for purchase at the Orleans Whole Food Store, in my hometown (and current town!) of Orleans, on Cape Cod. Janis, the store's co-owner and the mother of one of my best friends, is known locally for her wonderful selection of cards, and I'm so thrilled to be the third local artist/crafter to have cards for sale in their awesome store! Should you ever find yourself on Cape Cod, make sure to check it out! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 11, 2010

CASEing the joint

In my very first post, I wrote "My plan is to show a sketch or link to a tutorial, and then show my take." This post will be exactly that. I've been printing out a TON of photos for my Card Inspiration binder, and today I decided to let two of them guide my crafting.

This first card really isn't CASEd at all. I took this amazing card by Jen Martakis (that you can find here in the 2 Peas gallery) and I pretty much used her design as a sketch.
The original:
My version:
All supplies from Studio Calico's June kit Partly Sunny except: stamp - Hero Arts Essential Messages; buttons - Studio Calico from Granny's Cupboard

Now, this is where the CASEing comes in. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love what Laura Craigie creates. Hers is absolutely, exactly, perfectly the epitome of the style I aspire to... but I so very highly doubt I will ever get there! :) She recently posted a card on her blog that was made with last month's Studio Calico kit. I knew I had all the exact supplies she used, so I figured why not make the same card? Recreating cards I love helps get my brain used to combining and placing materials in a certain way that I'm aspiring to. Muscle memory! Right? Right?! :) I love this card and I love how my copied version came out. I think I might have to "recycle" this design as a layout or a frame too!
The original:
My CASEd card:

So that's it for me for today. Almost time for supper - veggie pizza, yum! - and Jeopardy. I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

did I just waste all these amazing PTI buttons?


Hint: I'm hoping the answer will be a resounding no :-/

I was hoping to have a productive evening since DH is out with the boys tonight. I tried making this sketch from Paper Crafts Magazine ...
... with Sweet Summertime (still obsessed!) but since I'm still saving my pennies for a Tiny Attacher, I tried using a regular stapler and it wouldn't go through the layers of paper. And it's that stupid Staples brand "One Touch" stapler that claims it can handle up to 25 sheets! So that was ruined and I didn't feel like cutting a more strips. The base of the card with the coral layer didn't get ruined, so then I was going to make a button heart, inspired by this amazing card. But making a heart out of buttons is no small feat! So I scrapped that, and used the same base to make this. I can't decide if I like it or not. Maybe tomorrow will be more productive... I have to fast after 9pm for bloodwork so I'll need to keep myself busy! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

I've never used {brackets} on a card before


There are SO many collections out right now that use my favorite colors - leaf green, turquoise, coral, sunshine yellow. It's so exciting and I'm having a blast trying to mix and match them! So yesterday, enter Studio Calico's June kit, Partly Sunny. Not my favorite kit - didn't feel like I got as much bang for my buck as usual, but that's probably because I already had some of the items in it! - but boy, oh boy, does it ever go perfectly with some of the other collections in my stash! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to notice the similarities between the Pebbles, Inc. paper and the Buzz & Bloom fabric clouds , but I was absolutely tickled with these two items! Throw in some Sweet Summertime (didn't I tell you how smart it was of them to use white and ivory?!) and - voila! - perfection! I'm so thrilled with this card-and-envie combo!

All supplies from Studio Calico's Partly Sunny kit and Echo Park Paper's Sweet Summertime collection EXCEPT: buttons - Studio Calico (Granny's Cupboard kit); textured ivory cardstock - Bazzill; glitter brackets - American Crafts Dear Lizzy collection

Monday, June 7, 2010

love at first sight

Yesterday was literally the first time I have ever touched a Copic marker. As I suspected, I instantly had a separated-at-birth moment! I took an all-day workshop with Jenn at Colorful Creations on Main Street in Hyannis (Cape Cod, MA). Even if it wasn't my only LSS, I would still think it was the best LSS in the world! They recently had their 11th birthday, but somehow - I still can't believe it! - I only discovered them a couple months ago. So this was my first class - and now I can't wait to take more! They also have a studio you can "rent" and use all their stamps and dies and oh my word it's amazing. :)

Here's a little sample of what we did in the class:

The photos aren't great, but I think I did pretty well! BUT... are you ready for the ironic twist in this love story? I came home and realized I don't own any stamps that I would potentially want to color! What?! So my plan is to start saving my extra pennies, and in the meantime, head over to Colorful Creations and pillage their amazing wall of stamps. That way I can just stamp a bunch of images to color at home and use on cards in the future.

Now, if that wasn't enough, I have another new love! Introducing... Echo Park Paper! They're a new company that I just discovered, and their first collection - Sweet Summertime - is AMAZING! (Check out their facebook page for other fans' creations!) I read that their goal is to release a new collection monthly. Sounds like a tall order but I hope it's true! I ordered a few of their papers, as well as the elements stickers, just to try out the collection. Needless to say I quickly went back for the rest... it's in the mail :)

One thing I really like about the collection is that they mix white and ivory. One of my first thoughts about the collection was that it had a lot of similarities with October Afternoon's recent collections (Thrift Shop and Fly a Kite), but OA uses ivory as it's base color. So I was thrilled to see that Echo Park mixed the two because it makes it coordinate with practically any other manufacturer. 

Here's my first Sweet Summertime project:

I LOVE the pinwheels! More to come soon!