Monday, February 20, 2012

A New Outlook

February is almost over, and although I've created one layout using my February Scraptastic Club kit, I barely had time to look at the pretty patterns and colors of the papers and embellishments. It's been such a busy, hectic month after deciding to start up a craft club at Rileigh's school and receiving additional writing assignments, not to mention basketball season, new tutoring opportunities for Andraia, and doctor's appointments galore.

I read a book yesterday, totally unmotivated to craft or clean or anything, and it inspired me in such a strange way. The book is called Drawing Free, loaned to me by a friend who loved it and I loved it just as much, if not more. It really spoke to me. I am sorry, but I'm not going to delve into specifics. Go ahead and Google it if you are curious, all I'll say is that it addresses the problem all of us stay-at-home moms run into (unless you have already learned this lesson and already get your me-time): taking time for ourselves. Lately, with the craziness called my life, I have been focused on mommy duties, writing assignments, and DT assignments. Yes, I did a page or two just for me this year, but I used to do so many more. I used to find the time to bake all sorts of new yummy treats for my family. I used to clean a whole lot more just because I wanted to. I used to pick up my guitar more often. Now, I find myself saying "Well there'll be time for that, right now I have to ______________." That ________________ usually involved doing something for the kids or husband, and I would say "have to" when it wasn't really a requirement at all.

All of that "doing for others" kind of took its toll over time, and I had had enough. This book came to me at the perfect time, and I'm so thankful. It was just the reminder I'd needed to snap myself out of it and get down to making ME happy (it also helps that the book is about this mother's artistic passions as well!)

That said, I created this first thing this morning, and I have a "canvas" drying (no, it isn't a canvas at all but a piece of cardboard I've primed with white paint and misted the crap out's that reusing thing. I must cut down on the amount of stuff I "save for later," starting with this cardboard-turned-wall hanging.) I can't show off the wall hanging just isn't really for "me" as it's a March DT assignment...but it is for ME to hang on the wall of the craft room, to remind me I need to make something every day to be happy.

Here's the layout, made with my Feb Scraptastic Club kit. LOVE this kit.
 Papers used: MME Love Me, Lily Bee Smitten, and Echo Park Yours Truly. MME Lost & Found Blush Label Stickers. MME Love Me die cut elements. Iguana Thickers. Icicle Glimmer Glaze. Black Smooch Spritz. Petaloo flower. MME Lost & Found buttons. Staples. Black Velvet ribbon. The strip of squares was fussy cut from some patterned paper.
 Tried to get the Glimmer Glaze I put on the big ol' black flower, but it didn't work out the way I wanted. Just know that it is sparkly and pretty. There is also glaze on the pink flower button.

 Circles fussy cut from EP paper.
 That heart die cut is also covered in Glimmer Glaze.

So that's it, my "for me" page, which showcases a picture of my great grandmother holding my grandmother when she was a baby. Another page for the Mills Family Album!!

With that out of the way and my "canvas" drying, I guess I have to do my writing assignments.  :(

I hope you are enjoying your day, and check out Drawing Free, written by Elena Aitken. You'll love it, especially if you are a busy stay at home mom with artistic passion.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

DVC # 26: Just for men

Good Sunday morning!  It's time for a new challenge over at Dream Valley Challenges, and this time we want you to show us your cards made just for *him.* Our sponsor supplied us some images, and I loved them so much, I made two cards. I just couldn't choose one! Our prize this time, a $21 gift certificate to spend over at our sponsor's store, Bugaboo Stamps.
The images are so great, and there are funny ones as the second card I made.  This first one was featured over at the Dream Valley Blog, and I love this stamp!  Made this for my hubby's birthday (even though his birthday is in July HA, I'm ahead of the game this year!) I started with my Crafter's Workshop houndstooth mask which I rubbed a pink ink pad over, then doodled around the edges. Colored up the image with my Spectrum Noir Markers, adding Glossy Accents to the balloon, bow on the present, and her shoes. She's such a great image, and hubby should appreciate her shirtlessness HAHA.
 Those little triangles on the edge were done using my Sew Easy system. Alphas: K&Co, Scenic Route, and MLS. The hearts: chipboard, covered in Candy Apple Red Glimmer Mist.

 Twinery charcoal twine with a little My Mind's Eye Lost & Found button. I would like to enter this card into the Creative Card Crew's Masculine challenge.

When I was done with that one, I decided to make this second card for Father's Day.  Hubby loves to fish, so this was perfect. I love this grumpy Gus (yes, Gus is his name.)
 Spectrum Noir and Glossy Accents again...on the beer bottles and the water for the ripples. I added it to Gus' glasses too :) Matted with a Making Memories kit that has been in my stash for years and years.
 Here's the sentiment, with ribbons from the MM kit added to the side, affixed with staples.  This pic shows of the card base best, which is just blue Glimmer Mist. Love it :)
There it is, a sampling of Bugaboo images. Head over to Dream Valley and share your "just for men" creation (it can be anything your little heart desires, as long as you made it! Scrapbook page, card, wall hanging, tackle box....anything!) You have two weeks, so get creating!!

I hope to post later. I am trying to avoid housework, so I envision myself in my craft room later (although it is a beautiful day here in NH...I am tempted to take a long walk with the kids.) I hope you have a great day!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

**Finally** crafting for me.

It feels good to get up in my craft room after what feels like ages. Box after box of artistic goodness have arrived at my door, and I sadly piled them up on my craft room desk, just dying to play with them but knowing I didn't have the time.  Last week was full of potty chart orders...3 in all this month, one shipped last week and one today.

This one was made for a truck lover:
 This one was for a little girl who looooooves Chuggington, pink, and purple.  It's my new favorite :)
 In between the chaotic craftiness to make these bad boys, I also had to do my normal "real" job writing assignments, and (what was I thinking) started up a craft club at Rileigh's school.  Me, 20-30 first through fourth graders, and a quarter of my crafty stash...I figured it was a good way to use up some stuff to clear room in there for more stuff!  I was right, these kids just tear through supplies like you wouldn't believe!!  It's a lot of fun though, and I'm glad that I have the opportunity to do it.  (It also gets me away from the boy child, which is BIG. I need me some Patryk-free time every once in a while!)

I was away over the weekend at a baby shower, it was a lot of fun and we got crafty making onesies.  The kids really got into it and came up with some clever little shirts!

Today was my first day in the craft room for something other than an Etsy order.  YAY!  It was aMAZing.  I whipped out two cards and a layout in a matter of moments as I'd had so many ideas swirling in my head while looking at all the new stuff I had gotten to play with.  The first thing I was dying to tear into: my Scraptastic Club February Hearts A-Flutter kit.  So great.  I made this, a layout featuring hubs and I hanging on a clothesline (love those little clothespins, of course included in the kit.)  Everything but the twine and mists was included in the kit.  I set to work with candy apple red and key lime pie Glimmer Mists and Icicle Glimmer Glaze.  I love the effect on black paper.  you can barely see the shimmery green-ness, but it's there!  I also added some red Smooch too.  I felt it needed another color (and because the red Glimmer mist clogged up and I could only splatter it...that was irritating!)
 She the sparkle?  Love it.
 I also glimmered up the heart using the same mists, only adding black Smooch to tie in with the cardstock.
 Once the heart dried with a little help from my heat gun, I added some die cuts from the kit and another cute clothespin.  That's it, so simple but so nice!  I really wanted the picture to stand out, and then afterwards didn't want to hide all of the splatters of shimmery colors.

 I made a couple of cards afterwards (and sorry about the pics, but the sun disappeared after shooting the layout grrrrrr), this one using a new Unity stamp set I got last week and a 6X6 Kaisercraft stack I got as a goodie included with my purchase.  I also used a Tim Holtz Distress Stain around the edges to bring a bit more orange to the card.  My Spectrum Noir markers accented the sentiment nicely, and a strip of lace finished it all off.
 The inside left panel...Stickles and Spectrum Noir to color it.

 This is a Unity Bitty stamp, I fell in love with it when I saw it!  A Chip Chop Shop doily and some Lilybee Memorandum to mat the image, which can I just say again, I LOVE IT!
 I had a little fun using my Sew Easy for the first time making these little stitched bursts.  It really was sew easy HA. DMC floss and some Distress Stickles in Black Soot.

 There you have it!  Pot roast is in the crock pot, and I'm headed up to whip out one more quickie project before I head out to play chauffeur to the rugrats.  Before I go, you should really get yourself entered to win in the CCCB weekly stamp giveaway.  Our prize this week:
  Don't forget to check out our Something Sweet challenge.  Enter by the end of the month for a great prize, head to the blog to check it out!  Stop by the True XOXO Girls blog as well...GET MESSY with us this month for a chance to hang in our exclusive Facebook group and be our Guest Designer!!  Did I mention there are only a few days left to enter our challenge at Dream Valley as well?  So many great challenges, such a short month!  Hurry and enter today!

Have a great day!


Monday, February 6, 2012

CCCB Inspiration Monday

Today is my day to post over at the Crafter's Companion Challenge Blog, and I ended up using this adorable Strawberry Kisses - Together stamp.

Isn't it cute?  Check out the blog post over at CCCB for more details of how I made this card and a couple of close-ups, and while you're there, enter our weekly stamp giveaway.  This week, we are offering a stamp set from the newest line of CC stamps, Stamp It Australia - Rose Clock.

There are some gorgeous stamps in this line, head over to the store and check them out!  I have a busy day ahead of me, so I must say goodbye for now, but be sure to enter to win this great stamp, and while you're at it enter a project into our Something Sweet Challenge.  More details at the CCCB.  Have a great day!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

CCCB February Challenge: Something Sweet

Good morning (um...afternoon...whatever.)  I hope you've all had a productive day.  I have been hard at work on potty charts and articles this week.  Nothing wrong with working a lot, right?  That means more money at the end of the month!  I've been so busy, I almost forgot to post that it's time for a new challenge over at the Crafter's Companion Challenge Blog!  Before I get to the card I made for this challenge, were you the winner of our last challenge?  Go check it out **here** (and meet our GDT for February as well, the lovely and talented Janette Garcia.)

This month, we want to see "something sweet."  I took this to a whole new level thanks to my Ultimate Crafter's Companion, boxer board, and envelobox creator and made hubby a sweet-filled card.  Of course, this project originated as a tealight holder card featured on the Advanced Construction Techniques DVD, I just filled it with hubby's favorite Pretzel M&M's instead of tealights.

 I used the Strawberry Kisses - Yum stamp set for the image, and the sentiment comes from the S.W.A.L.K. Deserve A Treat stamp set.  Of course, my Spectrum Noir markers colored him in and to make the berry pieces appear more realistic, I covered them in Glossy Accents.
 See that shine on the berry juice?  I love how it looks.  I also love how the reds of the markers blend so perfectly :)
 Prima flower and Twinery twine.
 I staggered the twine bows on the inside to create some added interest.  Normally I would cover the strands up with a piece of cardstock, but I kind of liked the way the mess of bows looked and stuck with it.
 The DVD gives instructions on making an envelobox to contain the card, and it came out perfectly!
I hope you like my project and that you're inspired to enter your own creation into our challenge.  All you need is a Crafter's Companion stamp.  Head on over and share your something sweet with us for a chance to win the Strawberry Kisses Papercrafting CD-ROM and 3 stamp sets of your choice from the Strawberry Kisses stamp line!!

My iPhone has just alerted me that the customer has accepted the potty chart I made (I always email a photo before mailing it out just in case they want something in a different color.)  Here's what I made for a little boy who loves Thomas, let me know what you think of it:

I'm glad she likes it, now it's off to the post office.  I'll be posting later, another DT related post that I forgot to set up to auto-post.  I really need to get better at that!  I hope you all enjoy your day, I have one more potty chart order to fill and a zillion errands to run...although I'm already paring down my to-do list.  I need to learn not to make it so full...