Monday, October 31, 2011

Album Cover

I've been very busy the last few months with my scrapbooking. I wanted to share the original cover I created for the scrapbook album of our cruise to the Bahamas this summer. I am proud to say that only 14 weeks after our marvelous trip, the album is all scrapped! It's quite a large album. I am guessing it has probably 100 pages to it! I have a fear that someday I will end up with Alzheimer's and forget about all these fabulous things that have made my life so rich. I suspect that when I am gone, many of these albums will be dumped on my kids. The family albums will be meaningful, but the personal albums - well, "not so much" to use a popular phrase.

For the album cover, I modge podged two pieces of cardboard that come with my page sleeves/protectors. Then, I started layering images from the brochures I collected during our trip. It doesn't meet the criteria for acid testing, but it is one personalized - and may I say, ROCKIN'! - album cover!!! I was even able to use leftover luggage tags! I used my Cricut to cut letters from vinyl for the names of the places we visited on our trip. I used 3-ring metal binders for the spine/binding. I had to upgrade to a larger size ring as I kept adding more pages! In hindsight, I should have re-enforced the holes better as I have one top hole on the back (the middle picture above) that is pulling through. Nothing that a little more modge podge can't fix, though!

I have been doing other crafting as well. I hope to get posts up of that soon. I also taught both my daughters how to sew this summer and am working on birthday and Christmas sewing projects too. Hence, the blog becomes the least of my concerns. Thanks for looking!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cupcake Party!

My middle child wanted a cupcake themed party for her recent birthday. Aha! Another theme! So much fun!

I found cupcake necklaces and wooden cupcake cut-out for $1.00 each at Joann's. Then, I purchased baker's hats from Michael's and the girls colored and otherwise decorated the hats. I found a GREAT website/blog called She even has a book recently published all based on her baking genius. We made cupcake bites (chocolate poured into candy molds, cake balls pressed into the chocolate and then the tops dipped into colored candy melts). Then, we made cupcake pops - cakeballs on lollipop sticks dipped in chocolate to look like mini cupcakes. We took regular cupcakes and turned those into milkshakes (strawberry cupcakes, ganache, icing to look like whipped cream, gumball to look like a cherry and two mini-straws). Really, what's the fun in making a cupcake look like a cupcake? Finally, we decorated plain cupcakes however we wanted. Using our baker hats and dress-up clothes, we strutted our best cupcakes down the runway in a cupcake fashion show.

Instead of a cake, the birthday girl wanted a cake made out of cupcakes. So, I came up with this. It was a hit!

In the morning, we had muffins and quiche cups to round out the cupcake theme. A great time, indeed! But also so glad it is over!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Capadia Design Challenge

Diane over at Capadia Designs,, was hosting a challenge this week based on a take out box from a restaurant. I rotated the image on the box as my design layout for this page.

There wasn't much to journal about, the pictures say it all. So, I used the Rub A Dub nursery rhyme as a springboard to say something fun about these three cousins: Rub a dub, dub. Three cousins in a tub. And who do you think they be? The diva, the shaker, the cupcake baker, Turn 'em out knaves all three!

I used vellum for two of the medium sized circles and mulberry paper for the base behind one. It was fun to revisit these types of papers. They used to be popular about 8 years ago. I still had some in my stash - I used to think they were gold and saved even the tiniest scraps. The little dots running horizontal on each picture were self-adhesive glitter dots. I used buttons on the top L circle and braided, self-adhesive rope in lime green across the middle of the page.

One more page done in getting caught up with the Hailey album. Sigh.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

I have had a terrific Mother's Day. After church, my husband surprised me by renting a pontoon boat on the lake less than a mile from our house. The whole family had a fabulous time eating the picnic lunch he packed, kicking our feet in the still-frigid waters and stretching out for some sun worshipping.

He also got me the Robotz Cricut cartridge and time this afternoon to play with the new cartridge. It has not only a bazillion of the cutest robots, it has a font with a shadow. This whole layout was done with the single cartridge. Although the pictures were four years old, it was fun to revisit them and finally get them scrapped. I wanted to prove that these little robotz weren't just for boy layouts and boy birthday cards!

I am about five years behind on my scrapbook for my oldest daughter, so I have committed to getting her caught up before our Bahama cruise this summer. Maybe I'm CRAZY for thinking I can get it done??? (Comments RE: my level of craziness WILL BE edited for content!) But maybe if I could sprout an extra set of hands like this robot, it wouldn't be out of reach! (get it?)

Have a great Mother's Day!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Paris Party (Part Deux)

I previously posted details about last week's Paris Party held in honor of my daughter's birthday. In this post, I wanted to highlight all the things I was able to use the Cricut on to make this party a snap.

On our front door, I posted the word art "Paris" with the Eiffel Tower in it. I used vinyl that I am able to get from my brother's graphic design company for free. They frequently have leftovers from projects and he is kind enough to save them for me. So, this nifty little mood-setter cost me nothing, and came on my cartridge exactly as is. A punch of a button and it was ready to go.

Just inside the front door was the sidewalk scene (see previous post). On the French doors behind the scene were an Eiffel Tower and more word art. Hanging from the ceiling were an array of French inspired designs from the Summer in Paris cartridge. These included a shoe, perfume bottle, dress form, hot air balloon, and more word art. Again, all of this was done by click on Cricut. The only thing I had to do was decide my colors, glue the layers together and hang them up!

You know, no trip is complete without the classic t-shirt souvenir. Using the vinyl, I cut Eiffel Towers to use as stencils on t-shirts. I found these permanent fabric spray bottles at both Michael's and Joann's. The girls had a lot of fun with this and it was the easiest craft of the night.

In addition to the t-shirt, we also had table in which the girls made hairbows (see previous post on hair poms/rosettes for directions) and Eiffel Towers. Again, the 3-D Eiffel Tower came as a cut on the Summer In Paris Cartridge. I had cut the towers out before the party. The girls used glitter and gel pens to make designs on the cutouts and then glued them together using pre-cut notches.

I wished I'd had the cartridge 2 weeks earlier so I could have done my invitations with it instead of the stamp. I have to say, though, this cartridge paid for itself with all decorations and crafts it covered!

Paris in April

This cake was made to celebrate my daughter's birthday. She has had a love affair with Paris for several years now. So it was only fitting that we had a Paris Party. I found a similar cake online for my inspiration. The bottom layer was a 9 1/2" triple chocolate round cake. The top were 2 8" French Vanilla layers. The best part was the topper which I found at Target for $2.50. I found a similar Eiffel Tower at Michael's, which was actually a candle. But the cost and weight of the tower were considerably more.

Dinner consisted of all things French - croissants, quiche, olives, cheeses, French berry soda (which I found at our World Market), truffles, French baguette bread with cheese and nutella spreads, apples, & grapes. For breakfast the next morning we served crepes.

I created these invitations (right) and thank you notes (left) from a stamp I found at Michael's. I used water color pencils to add color to the invitations. The front of each invitation was addressed to "Mademoiselle X". I used patio furniture to create a Paris sidewalk cafe scene. Each guest had her picture taken and I am printing those off today to go in each thank-you note. I also used the stamp to imprint the Eiffel tower on plain pink napkins. To enhance the French feeling, I checked out some CD's from the library that had either traditional French music or modern music sung in French (Belinda Carlisle had a beautiful sound track).

Of course, I had to put my Cricut to work. I ordered the Summer In Paris cartridge

and found multiple uses for it, including decorations, craft project and t-shirt designs. I will post more in it later.

All in all, it was a small, but lovely celebrations almost as beautiful as my daughter!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bitten the Bug Challenge: Dog

The challenge over at Bitten By The Bug 2 this week was to use a dog die cut. The specific one they were requesting I didn't have. But the girls there are always so good about allowing substitutions. This pup is from the Animal Kingdom cartridge. Unfortunately, the pictures are quite old (from my oldest child's preschool days), but I had never gotten around to scrapping them. This challenge inspired me to do a play on words and I found this group of photos with my daughter in some of her earliest social settings. Since I was using slang, I decided my dog needed to be more "dawg", so I gave him a little crown (cut from Celebrations cartridge), sitting lop-sided, of course. His blinged-up collar, nails and tails were done with Stickles. It wasn't until I was just about done with the page that I realized the one friend is carrying a stuffed dog. A dawg carrying a dog!!! Lol!

Christmas Leftovers

Here's some leftovers everyone will like. I did so many projects around Christmas-time that I forgot to take pics of some of them, and then I lost the SD card on which I had taken the ones I did remember.

For both Thanksgiving and Christmas, I signed up for snacks for my kids' classrooms. I made the traditional Chex Mix minus the peanuts (allergies, ya' know). I made individual servings by putting the mix in snack size baggies. Using my Cricut, I added seasonal appropriate images for each snack baggie. Then I took a paper bad, but the top 8 inches or so off and folded the top down to get as much of plain brown as possible. Refolding the cut-off of the top, I was able to make a long handle which was stapled on the sides and then taped w/ packing tape to the bottom to reinforce the bag. Finally, I decorated the outside of the big paper bag w/ additional die cuts from the Cricut. I also added rafia to the Thanksgiving one giving it an extremely country rustic look. It was so stinkin' cute - and I forgot to snag a picture!

Then, I found these instructions for making these sock cupcakes on greenbean's crafterole blog. She even had the file for the wrapper which she created in Design Studio. So with a quick cut on my Cricut and a rolling of the socks, I had super cute teacher gifts. I even ordered some small bottles of Hemp Lotion which I ticked deep inside the roll. I found cellophane bags, which I think were created for treat bags for birthday parties. Ties 'em off with a ribbon and I was done. They were a hit. I watched my sales and got the socks for anywhere from $2- $3 a pair.

I guess "Better Late Than Never" is the right mentality on this posting!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hollywood: Diva Heaven

I had so much fun making the pom rosettes from the necklace and hairband (see previous posts) that I was inspired to extrapolate the idea to scrapping. I am STILL trying to finish our vacation pictures from July!!! So when the pictures of our day in Hollywood slid across my scrapping table landing on top of my fabric circles leftover from the poms I suddenly knew what the person who invented Reece's felt like! A perfect blend of two beautiful ingredients!

The gorgeous borders on the sides are cardstock border stickers from Glitz It Now. Since these pages feature my tween daughter, I thought doing some hand drawn doodling would set a nice tone for the page. The fabric circles used to make the flowers are left over from my pom necklace and headband projects. Originally, the fabric was used to make flower girl dresses a year ago. I LOVE getting so much mileage from my leftovers! The black ribbon is actually seam binding that someone gave to me because they didn't know how to use it. Actually, I don't know how to use seam binding properly, either! But doesn't it look nice as a stem for a flower?

I've discovered my key for creativity. I always thought the creative process started with an abstract free-standing idea that one brings to life. Those thoughts never come my way (unless it's a rare moment when I am in the bathroom BY MYSELF, and then they typically aren't centered on scrapping or crafting). But what I have learned is that I can take one idea or method and contort it into something new, either by changing my medium, method or application. These really are all big words for "stealing"! Turns out, I can steal pretty good!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Repurposing the Past

My grandmothers passed away two years ago within five weeks of each other. My one grandmother had Alzheimer's and I had been caring for her for the previous six years. Needless to say, my attic has been full of her things, despite two previous auctions. The things left are things that I just can't part with or that I have no idea what to do with - a pair of water skis from the 1960's for example.
When cleaning out the attic this last fall, I came across a box of Grandma's costume jewelry. Luckily, I had been to visit a friend of mine a month before and had seen a necklace in which the artists used vintage beads and miscellaneous finds to create a new shabby chic styled necklace. I had a new vision for these old pieces of jewelry!!!
The ribbon and roses created from the ribbon are new as are all the big beads in the top strand. There are also three other new things on this necklace. Can you find them? I hope not! The middle strand of pearl beads were founds at the bottom of a box, the string on them broken many years ago. By re purposing her brooches, clip-on earrings, and broken bead strands, I have a new set of jewelry I adore. Not to mention the nostalgia of not just a time long gone, but also of my grandma.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pom Rosette Necklace

Little Miss Momma (see previous post) had other ideas for using the rosette pom poms. Again, using leftover flower girl fabric, I made a necklace. Since I didn't have the right kind of chain in my crafting supply, this project cost about $3 for me to make. This was a simple no-sew project. For instructions, click here:

Little Miss Momma made hers more into a v-shape and I'm wishing now I'd had just a little bit more curve to my project. Since it didn't have as much curve, I cut some white cardboard and glued it to the back followed by flat left-over fabric circle. So the cardboard is sandwiched between the felt and another fabric layer. I probably could have just cut a piece of fabric in the same shape as the cardboard, but why not use the fabric circle scraps I had left over??? Anyways, the cardboard gives the necklace plenty of structure.

One other change, my middle two rosette poms are smaller. I tried just making a smaller felt circle base, but it didn't make the top of the rosette smaller, just less full (took this "mistake" and made it into a headband!). So, to get these two smaller rosettes, I had to both make my base felt circle and my fabric circles smaller. Each of the larger rosettes is different as I varied the netting and organza combinations. The center large rosette is fabric only. It's my favorite. I wouldn't use the organza again - or at least not in that color as it made it too princess-y.

This project I'm keeping for me - hands off daughters! Now, if only I could figure out what to wear it with! Ideas???

Pom Headband

I got this idea from a blog recommended to me by another friend. Check it out for a tutorial on how you can do this, too!
I used leftover fabric from the flower girl dresses I made last May. My middle daughter wants to wear it for the Valentine's Party on Monday. I might have to dig down and see if I can find some red fabric in my stash for the older one, although she's sick so we're just hoping she gets to make it to the party!
I varied this pom a little bit in that I added some netting - still in the same manner as the rest of the pom, but it added some edge and texture. I also used a no-slip rubber headband as opposed to an elastic one - just cause that's what was lying around in the house. This band cost me nothing - I just used fabric and felt scraps and a headband we already had! LOVE THAT!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Alternative to Trinkets and Bags

I stole this idea from my friend, Melissa, after she sent my son home w/ a similar water bottle after a sports-themed birthday party. Since I abhor the cheap trinkets you get at carnivals and the like, I very much appreciated the idea. I would much rather send a kid home with one usable gift than a bagful of junk!
Spencer had a MIZZOU-themed birthday party this year. I used the Cricut and my basketball cartridge in the Design Studio to weld together each child's name. I cut this out on a silvery-white vinyl I got for free from a scrap pile at my brother's printing company. I then added Missouri stickers with a glaze of modge podge. The modge podge didn't stick very well. I think it will rub off with a few uses and then the stickers will eventually wear off as well. I do believe the vinyl will stick, though.
I filled the water bottles with football trading cards for the boys and Webkins trading cards for the girls, little Kleenex packets, a package of dry Gatorade mix to add to their water, and candy and stretchy bandz from the pinata.
The appliques on the water bottles may not last for years to come, but I KNOW they'll last longer than a cheap plastic bag filled with plastic junk! And the kids thought they were pretty cool!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tile Coasters

I had an afternoon to come up with a housewarming gift for someone I barely knew. I had no idea what this person's decorating style, color palette or needs were. So, I went to Cricut! Doesn't everyone love what comes from the Cricut? Here's what I came up with!
These coasters started out as plain stone tiles purchased loosely from home Depot. There was a set of 9 in the box and I paid less than $4 for the box. I made a set of 4. This will leave me with enough tiles to make a second gift at another time.
To get started, I washed my stones off as I have found that when I have worked with natural stones, as opposed to ceramic tiles, there is a lot more dust that interfere with the adhering of the vinyl. I cut my "H" at 3" from the Opposites Attract cart. After placing the vinyl, I covered it with a layer of Modge Podge. Finally, I put these clear nubbies on the bottom. The nubbies are actually designed and sold for the purpose of keeping cabinet doors from slamming. All in all, I have $5 tied up in this project.
The best part: When my hostess received her gift, she was thrilled. Their new home is much larger, and they had just bought a new table for a new sitting area, but were in need of coasters. She was thrilled. So was I.