Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Paper Pendant tutorial

This paper pendant was created from embellishments in the May Scrap For A Cure kit. I have made EIGHT projects/cards/layouts from this kit, and I still have product left for more! You can get your kit from their website. It's a great value, and a great cause!

You can use this technique with any similar supplies. you will need:
*paper wreath or circle
*paper bird (could use a punch)
*cork heart
*mini alpha stickers
*paper glaze (such as Glossy Accents)
*jump rings or wire

Step One:
Cover the wreath with paper glaze. This will give it a glassy, glossy finish and protect it from damage. Poke a hole in the top and two below to feed jump rings through later.

Step Two:
Edge the bird with ink to give it a little depth, then glaze.

Step Three:
Pierce holes in the cork heart and attach with jump rings

Step Four:
Attach bird with glue dot and letter stickers (cover any exposed sticker backs with pieces of cardstock).

You can hang your pendant from a leather string or ribbon, or you can attach it to a card with a brad to give as a gift! The card above was also made with supplies from the May kit!

I don't know about you, but summer is a busy birthday season for us, and I am running low on cards. In preparation for our busy month, July, I will be hosting a week of card tutorials in June. So gather those stamps and scraps and stay tuned for the exact dates. Let's have some fun together and get ready for those parties and BBQs!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Weekend Sewing

I had a little flu this weekend, which was bad enough, but I was also out last Sunday from some disagreeable Mexican food, so I've had two fruitless weekends in a row. I hate being sick, period, because I HATE being idle, but it's even worse on the weekends, the free two days when we can do something together. Fortunately, the fever let up on Monday and I was able to make my first project from my Mother's Day gift, Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. I had seen a few pieces from the book on various blogs, and well, let's just say the gift wasn't a big surprise. Then I read the recent reviews on Amazon, where people had many issues with the patterns. Yikes! But, I don't scare easily, and none of the patterns looked difficult to alter. One reviewer complained about the yard scale skirt being way too small and wasting her expensive fabric, but seriously, do you use expensive fabric on a pattern you've never sewn before? I certainly don't. I made our pajama pants from an old sheet. The skirt, according to Heather's website, should have included at least one more panel, but don't you try things on as you are making them? I started with the pants pattern itself. I used the small pattern, but I knew I would have to add a lot of additional length, because I have a long inseam. Then, after I cut the pattern, I held it up to me and judged that I would need to make it a bit bigger to get the loose fit I wanted, so I cut an extra half inch of fabric around the pattern. Now, I am definitely not an experienced seamstress. I learned to sew from my mom in grade school, and have just played with simple patterns ever since, but I've sewn enough to know that no pattern is perfect. Yes, I think her patterns do run a little small. I am a size four, and the pajamas probably would have fit as is, but not with the wide, loose fit that you'd expect. Madeline's small/medium children's pants were just perfect, and she's a 7 slim. They don't have much room to grow, so I will probably try the large pattern next time. These were minor issues, and ones you could find with any pattern. So far, the book's a hit for me, and I can't wait to do more projects. Madeline is loving the matching clothes thing right now (never thought I would go for that, but I know that all too soon she'll be in middle school and want nothing t do with me, so I'm taking advantage of it!), so I think the little girl's sundress is next, but one in mommy's size, too!

Edit: Speaking of fabric, hurry over to Jenna Lou and enter the Amy Butler fat quarter giveaway! Love to get some of that, because the quilt shop in town (love her, but it's the only local fabric store) doesn't carry Amy anymore. She said it just doesn't sell well - too traditional here. :( While you are there, take some time to check out her nifty blog!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


According to Madeline, we attended Max's congradulation tonight. It's hard to believe that he's almost a kindergartner! Miss Laura did a great job with the songs and coordination, and the theatre at Edna Hill was packed. Walking by, one might mistake it for a high school graduation... well a high school graduation where everyone does the chicken dance!

Congratulations, Max. We love you!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Channeling June Cleaver

I have developed quite a "thing" for aprons. I've worn full aprons for years when baking, and I did make matching Christmas aprons for the kids when they were younger, but now it's beginning to turn into something more. For Madeline's last playdate, I made matching aprons from a vintage table cloth for them to wear while baking cupcakes.

(they are large enough for adults to wear, too!)

My favorite apron lately has been this vintage one:

I have been tying it on before cleaning or working, and for some strange reason, it makes me more productive. Not that I'm channeling June Cleaver (she wouldn't be caught dead in a Mickey Mouse t-shirt), but it is like slipping on a costume. When I was in college, I was in a production of Macbeth set in Medieval Japan. The director kept telling me that I looked to strong, too American, no matter how I held my body. But, as soon as I slipped that kimono on, my demeanor completely changed. Yuki even asked me what happened; it was the costume. So I suppose, the apron is my domestic costume. I'm thinking it's time to make another, more fitting to my personality. I'm participating in an Alice in Wonderland circle journal, so I'm thinking about a Mad Hatter themed apron. I'll leave you with some pages from my sketchbook that I used for the Alice paper dolls I had published in Somerset (you can see the final product here)

So tell me, who is your favorite Alice In Wonderland character? Have a mad weekend!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Farmer's Market Bounty

The Farmer's market opened on Saturday, and the kids and I headed down to scoop up some local produce. Not that I didn't support eating local before, but Animal, Vegetable, Miracle has inspired me to make sure I'm buying as much local produce as possible. While we scored some fabulous food... Okay, I'll get my gripes out of the way first:
1. We live in an agricultural community, yet more than half of the booths are from out of town growers.
2. Only two booths had organic produce, and one was strawberries only (they were good, though!) and the other didn't have that much.
Yes, there are farm stands on the edges of town, and yes, I need to visit them, but I just wish they were at the market, too. You see, the library and city park are near the market, so the kids can play in the fountain, swing in the park, get new library books, and we can still go shopping.

Whew! Griping over! Of course, we found great food, and I learned that I need to bring more cash next week! Here's what I made for Saturday dinner:

Look at these amazing sugar snap peas! Grown right here in town, they are super crunchy and sweet. I served them as is for dinner, and the kids actually ate them! Yum!

The main dish - a baked asparagus pasta dish from Mollie Katzen (the recipe is not online, but she has featured asparagus recipes on her site, here). This one is just pasta, onions, asparagus, Parmesan and bread crumbs. It's super fast, and really tasty!

The finale? Organic strawberries!

And a few quick peeks of projects from the Scrap For A Cure May kit. You can snag one here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Things that are making me happy right now

This stack of fabric. I am only working with one piece at a time, as I sew up skirts and shorts, but I leave it all out on the table anyway, because it makes me happy to look at it.

This layout I made for the online scrap at SIStv for National Scrapbooking Day. I have fallen off the wagon with the daily drawing (trying to get back on!), so I look for ways to insert pen and ink into other projects. And headphones are cool.

Blanket forts. How many did you make when you were a kid? I remember spending hours in them, squirreling away dolls, snacks, my Fisher Price plastic "record" player underneath. And constantly fixing them when they fell down. Good fun.

What three things are making you happy right now?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Spring Clean Day Two

Are you cleaning? If not, click the button on the side to join the party!  I'm doing small bits at a time, in between caring for Max. I tackled the family room today, because it's small, and Max has set up camp on the couch in the living room. I have to admit, there was not a lot of work to do in this room. The two hot spots for me are the kids' craft storage and my desk.

Yah, the desk is bad. Honestly, it's always bad. I thinned out a lot of stuff around my desk - it tends to be the dumping ground for all of my projects, even ones I'm not currently working on. I hung a few pieces that were above the desk on the pass through, and dusted A LOT.

I don't know if the kids' art center looks any better, but I did sort and toss some drawings, filed others, and generally organized supplies.

And the final product:

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Reveal!

Yah! It's May and the new, fabulous kit is ready at Scrap For A Cure! Here are a few designs I did with this month's kit:

These are just a few. Check out Scrap For A Cure to see my gallery, and the other inspiring designs from their design team. Remember, each purchase is for a good cause - this quarter it's Donate Life, a very worthy cause. I've been a registered donor since I was 18. So far, I've made 4 layouts, two cards (the pendant on the Mother's Day card is removable), and one wall hanging, and I still have tons left in the kit! If you are a card maker, or a scrapper who uses cardstock instead or patterned paper for the background, you'll get even more out of it! A great deal, for a great cause, from a great team. Check them out!

A side note - I'm joining in with (love that site) and the Spring Cleaning Party. Madeline's school is closed this week due to Swine flu, and Max has the regular old flu, so we'll see how far I get this week, but I'm determined!! Click the button on the side to check it out!

Edit: Here's my progress update for Day One - Clearing the Clutter:



I won't bore you with the rest - you get the idea;) Happy cleaning!