Monday 30 July 2012

Card of the Week: Using One Paper Collection

This card was really quick to make.
Card Base: Recollections; Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper, Sentiments, Candles, Stars, Party Hat: Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker; Ink: Ranger Inks; Doodle Pen: Inkssentials; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, Quickie Glue

Why?  Because all the elements came from the same collection of papers and embellishments, so all the coordinating was already done for me.

While I love pulling different patterns and colors of paper together, and rooting through my box of embellishments in search of the perfect one, sometimes it is nice to go with what has already been grouped together by the wonderful scrapbooking companies out there.

I find using one paper collection an incredible time saver when I need to get a card made rather quickly.  I don't have to think about 'what goes with what' and can just focus on the design.

What about you - do you always match papers and embellishments yourself or do you take advantage of collections?

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Gone Fishing

For Claire's birthday, I made her a fishing game.

My inspiration for this project came from here but I made a few changes to this pattern to make it my own.  

The pattern that I used for my fish can be found here.  I used Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in Hot Green, Hot Pink, Hot Blue, Orange Chill, and Purple Power.  I made two fish from each color.

I made the worm as follows using a 3.5mm hook, and then made the fishing rod:
  • ch 3, sl st in first ch to form a ring
  • R1: 6 sc in ring
  • R2: 1 sc in each sc around (6 sc)
  • R3: repeat R2 until worm measures 3 inches long.  As soon as it fits, put a very strong magnet into the bottom of the worm.  Stuff your worm lightly with polyester stuffing as you go.  When your worm reaches its final length, fasten off and leave a long tail.
  • To make the fishing rod:  Take a small dowel rod and drill a small hole about 1/2 inch from one end.  Take the long tail that you left when you finished your worm, poke it through the hole in your dowel rod and tie a few knots to hold it in place. 

I wanted something to hold the fish and that would work for Claire to fish out of so I made a basket.  The pattern is from Lily Cotton (click here for basket pattern) and is very simple. The yarn I used is cotton, but I do not know the brand or color; I bought a gigantic bag of it at a yarn sale a few years back.  
Claire loves fishing.  She especially likes to yell out which color fish she caught.  So cute! 

Are there any games that you have crocheted for your kids?  Please share.  I am always looking for cute crochet projects like this.

Monday 23 July 2012

Card of the Week: Happy Birthday Claire

Last week this sweetie of mine turned three years old.

This is the card that I made for her.
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: Doodlebug Designs Inc.; Cardstock: Co'ordinations, Bazzill; Number Font: Care Bear Family (cut with Silhouette); Ink: Ranger Inks; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives

I wanted it to be simple so that she would immediately recognize that it was for her on her third birthday.  

The simple numeric design worked like a charm.  When she saw the card she said, "This is for me, because it's my birthday.  I am three."  She was smiling and pointing at herself.  

It was adorable.      

And it made me so happy to see that even someone as young as Claire feels that extra bit of love that comes from having a card made especially for her.

Thursday 19 July 2012

Tales of Summer: Ottawa

We spent the last three days in Ottawa as a family.  It was wonderful to get away for a while and spend some time together doing nothing but fun.

We left home early on the first day and had a picnic breakfast and lunch in the car; the girls thought this was the coolest thing.  They were amazing for the whole seven hours we were on the road - they sang, read stories and played with their small toys.  I was surprised but thrilled with how smoothly the car-time went.

The first thing we did when we got to Ottawa was walk around the Parliament buildings.

It was very hot.  Not even the slightest breeze.  And my new sandals were giving me a brutal blister.  But we enjoyed taking some pictures and talking a little about what this place is all about.  

We went for dinner at an Irish Pub in the Byward Market.  

The nachos were a huge hit!

And dinner was delicious.  I had fish and chips that were out of this world, though I may have reached my yearly limit for grease intake. Yummy!

The next day we went to the Canadian Children's Museum.  The exhibits were completely interactive and the girls had so much fun playing and discovering. Daddy had fun playing too.

There was a bus to drive.

The ship's captain was very busy.

Mopping was serious work.

And corn needed to be ground.  

These two were constantly on the move; there was so much to see and do and so much fun to be had.

We ended the day with a small snack and coffees for Mommy and Daddy beside the Rideau Canal; some much needed quiet time after the excitement of the day.

We spent our last day at Calypso - a huge water park.  The girls had the time of their lives on the water slides and are still talking about it - discussing which slides they went on, which was the fastest, which was the scariest, and how they want to go down the slides head first the next time we are at the water park.  What daredevils they are, completely fearless.  I have no pictures to share from this adventure; I am not comfortable posting pictures of my family in our bathing suits on the internet. 

Of course, no holiday would be complete without a little crafting.  I took two portable crochet projects along for the 15 or so hours that we were in the car, and for the evenings when the girls were in bed and Steve and I were hanging out in the hotel room.

One project is so close to being done; I just need to put the ends in and then I can show you what it is.

And I got a good colorful start on another.

I came home relaxed.  Rejuvenated.  Ready for everyday life again.  

And I am really looking forward to the other trips we still have planned for this summer.   

Sunday 15 July 2012

Card of the Week: Grid Card Tutorial

When I was working on my One Pad Challenge I made several grid cards. They are very simple, which I love, and they make it so easy to combine different patterned papers.

Today I would like to show you how I make two different style grid cards.

To make a card with nine small squares in the grid like this one begin by making a 5.5 x 5.5 inch card base.

Cut a 5.5 x 5.5 inch piece of cardstock.

Adhere the cardstock to the front of your card base.

Select three coordinating patterned papers and cut three 1.75 x 1.75 inch squares out of each paper.  Arrange the squares on your card.  How you arrange the patterned paper squares is a matter of personal taste.  You may want to think ahead to where you want your sentiment to go and place a less busy/detailed square of patterned paper in that spot.

It is optional, but I always ink the edges of my squares so that they pop against the solid background.

Adhere your small squares to your card.  To get the same spacing between all the squares I just eyeball it, but you can measure if you would like.

Mat your sentiment with a small piece of cardstock and adhere it to the bottom right square.
Card Base: Recollections; Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper: Dream Street Papers; Rub-On: American Crafts; Ink: Ranger Inks; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives

To make a card with three large squares in the grid like this one begin by making a 5 x 7 inch card base.

Cut a 5 x 7 inch piece of cardstock.

Adhere the cardstock to the front of your card base.

Cut three blocks 4.75 x 2 inches from three different patterned papers and arrange the blocks on your card.  Again, how you arrange the papers is totally up to you.

Ink the edges of the blocks and adhere to your card.

Mat your sentiment with a small piece of cardstock and adhere it in the bottom right corner.
Card Base: Recollections; Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper: Dream Street Papers; Sentiment Font: Century; Ink: Ranger Inks; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives

And there you have it - two lovely grid cards.

I hope you have fun making your own.

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Easy DIY Artwork: Reusing Picture Frames

Both my girls had these pictures hanging in their nurseries.  I bought the plaques way back before my oldest daughter was born and had them professionally framed.

When my youngest daughter moved to a big girl bed and the decor of her room changed, I knew that I could easily reuse these frames to make artwork that would match her new room.

To complete this project I gathered the following supplies:
  • my frames
  • ruler
  • exacto-knife
  • scrapbook paper
  • paper trimmer
  • guillotine cutter
  • corrugated cardboard

I began by removing the paper backing.  Using my exacto-knife I cut around the back of the frame being careful to only cut the backing paper and not the frame or the plaque.  

I then lifted up the metal prongs that were holding the plaque in place, and popped the plaque out.

Next, I measured the opening of the frame, and using my paper trimmer, cut a piece of scrapbook paper to fit.  

I also had to cut a piece of corrugated cardboard to size using my guillotine cutter.  The plaques were much thicker than scrapbook paper, so I needed the cardboard in the frame to provide enough thickness so that the metal prongs would hold everything in place.

When everything was secured, I turned my frame over and loved what I saw.

I then did the same with the other two frames.

This project was very inexpensive since I already had everything that I needed on hand.  It was also very quick to finish - I was done everything in about an hour.

And now I have some artwork to hang on the walls in my daughter's big girl room.  

What do you think?  How have you reused picture frames?

Monday 9 July 2012

Card of the Week: 60 Years

This past week my grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

I am still in awe of this incredible milestone.

I wanted to make them a beautiful card to celebrate and capture the significance of this day and I spent a lot of time thinking about and designing this card.  I wanted it to be 'extra special'; this was not just any card, but one to commemorate such a special occasion.

I often find myself a little worked up when it comes to designing cards for very special occasions.  I feel they need to be 'above and beyond' to truly capture the significance of the event.  Does this happen to you?

This was the card that I gave them at the anniversary party:
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: American Crafts, Recollections; Ribbon: KI Memories; Butterfly: Studio Calico; Buttons: my craft stash; Sentiment Font: Century - cut with Silhouette; Ink: Ranger Inks; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives; Glue Dots; Quickie Glue

They loved it.

They both had tears in their eyes.

Our family had a wonderful time celebrating the two people who made it all possible through the commitment they made to each other so long ago.

Congratulations on your 60th wedding anniversary Oma and Opa!

Wednesday 4 July 2012

My First Envelope Pillow

Last weekend I made this pillow.

I love this fabric.  It is called Tulip Dawn.  I bought it online from Tonic Living - an absolutely amazing fabric store. 

This was the first time that I made an envelope pillow - the kind where the back looks like an envelope and the pillow form slides inside through the opening.

I used to make pillows by sewing the bottom seam together once I had put in my pillow form.  This made it impossible to wash the cover when needed without ripping open the seam.  

I have also made pillows by putting a zipper in the bottom seam and then zipping it closed after my form was inside.  This made it possible to remove the cover for washing, but putting in a zipper always causes me considerable grief and frustration.  Plus, a zipper is a little bulky on the bottom of a pillow.    
Now that I have made an envelope pillow, I am never going back.  It was so easy to do, the finished pillow looks smooth and sleek, and I can take the cover off easily for washing.

Since I was figuring this out as I went, and was so excited to give it a try, I don't have any pictures of the process to share with you.

But I have bought some gorgeous outdoor fabric to make pillows for my deck chairs, and I will document that so to share the wonder and ease of making an envelope pillow with you all.

Monday 2 July 2012

Card of the Week: The One Pad Challenge Week Ten

After 10 weeks of making cards from one pad of patterned paper, I am finished.

Before I talk about what I loved and learned from my One Pad Challenge, I want to show you the final four cards that I made.

This small happy birthday card is so simple, but I love that.
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: Basic Grey; Cardstock: Bazzill; Die Cuts, Buttons: my craft stash; Sentiment Font: Burst My Bubble; Ink: Ranger Inks; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, Glue Dots

Enjoy life.  I could not agree more.
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: Basic Grey; Cardstock: Co'ordinations; Rub-On: American Crafts; Die Cut: Penny Lane; Button: my craft stash; Ink: Ranger Inks; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives

Another happy birthday card using one of my favorite designs - the grid.  I love grid cards – so simple and clean.  I also really liked this combination of papers and made several cards using them throughout this challenge.  
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: Basic Grey; Cardstock: Bazzill; Bird: Jillibean Soup; Button: my craft stash; Sentiment Font: Comic Sans MS; Ink: Ranger Inks; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, Quickie Glue

Finally, a very feminine card for someone special.  
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: Basic Grey; Cardstock: Bazzill; Border Punch: Fiskars; Rub-On: Black River Designs; Flower: Jillibean Soup; Button, Floss: my craft stash; Ink: Ranger Inks; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, Glue Dots

Ten weeks ago I posed this question when I introduced my One Pad Challenge:   

How many cards  can a card maker make from one pad of patterned paper?

And the final count (drum roll, please) is 28 cards and 5 tags.

These are the scraps that I have left.  I am giving them to my girls who will likely tape them all to one piece of construction paper in under five minutes.

I am so happy with the outcome of this challenge.  

I made many more cards and tags than I originally thought that I would.      

Working with the same beautiful paper every week was such fun.  And, like I’ve said before, with my papers already selected and laid out on my table, my card making time was incredibly focused – more card making and less time spent rooting around for supplies. 

I also felt creatively challenged as the paper pieces that were remaining became smaller and there were fewer patterns to choose from.  I was forced to move out of my comfort zone in terms of putting different papers together and try other unique combinations in order to make the most of what was left. 

I also made quite a few tags in this challenge.  I know there were only five in total but that is a lot for me.  I sometimes find working on such a small canvas difficult in that I want there to be detail, yet don’t want the tag to become too cluttered.  I am very happy with how these five tags turned out.  
But the best outcome of this challenge is that my stash of cards has grown so much.  I have so many cards now in my cupboard ready to be given to family and friends.  I love giving handmade cards (not a huge surprise, I'm sure); they are just that little something extra to make someone feel special.  
I have truly enjoyed this card making experience over the last 10 weeks and am glad that I decided to challenge myself in this way. 

And I hope you have enjoyed seeing what I have come up with every week.

If you have any final thoughts or comments on this challenge, please tell me. I would love to hear what you think.

(To see what I created over the entire 10 weeks of this challenge, click the "One Pad Challenge" box on the sidebar)