Wednesday 26 September 2012

Crochet Flower Brooches

Despite the problems that I encountered when making my flower scarf using Bernat Mosaic yarn, I wanted to use up the yarn that was leftover from this project; better to make something from it than have it sitting in a bin in the basement.

So I made as many flowers, like were on the ends of my flower scarf, as the leftover yarn would allow.

And I am going to use these flowers as brooches to dress up an otherwise plain coat by simply pinning them to the front with a safety pin. 

My girls thought this was a beautiful idea and were quite willing to model for me.

Love it - a quirky and whimsical handmade touch.

Monday 24 September 2012

Card of the Week: A Tailored Wedding Card

This past weekend we attended the wedding of some friends.  The wedding celebration included a ride on an old train and the ceremony took place in a train restoration building.  The train held special significance for the couple as they met on this train and he proposed to her at the train station.

In keeping with the theme of the wedding, and to honor the place of trains in their love story, I made them this wedding card.
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: Basic Grey; Cardstock: Bazzill; Chipboard Heart: my craft stash; Sentiment Rub-On: Pebbles Inc.; Border Punch: Fiskars; Ink: Ranger Inks; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, Quickie Glue

Not at all a traditional wedding card, but one that suited this couple and their special day perfectly.

This is one of the best things about handmade cards - you can make a card that is specifically tailored to the recipients; I would have never found a train themed wedding card in the store, but was able to make one.

Wednesday 19 September 2012

The Picture that Stole My Heart

My daughter started grade one this year.  It has been a bit of an adjustment for her.  Being away from home every day, all day, is just not something she is accustomed to.  For the first few days she looked so sad while standing in line waiting to go into the school.  She was not crying but I could see in her face how unsure she was.

One day last week I asked her if she felt better once she got into her classroom and started her day.

To this she relied, "Oh yes Mommy, I was fine.  And when I felt a little sad and missed you during the day, I just went and looked at my picture."

"What picture?" I asked, having no idea to what she was referring.

"I'll show you, Mom" she said and then went into her backpack and pulled out this photo.

After some questioning, I got the story of the picture out of her.  The picture had been in her craft bin at home and she had, on her own accord, put it in her backpack when school started so that she could look at it when she was at school and feeling a little sad and lonely.  Looking at this picture of her Mommy and Daddy made her feel safe and okay.

My heart was in my throat as she told me this.  I was amazed that she had such an understanding of her own emotions and what would comfort her, that she had taken this picture and put it in her backpack so that it would be nearby when she needed it.

I was so proud of her.  And happy to know that we had indeed created such a feeling of safety and love for her within our family.

And I was touched that she understood the value of photographs and that they can and do provide comfort.

It was one of my proudest moments as a mother and my heart was stolen just a little bit more by this amazing little girl of mine.

Monday 17 September 2012

Card of the Week: When You've Finished a Scrapbook Layout, Make a Card & Tags

A while ago I talked about how when I have finished a scrapbook layout, I like to make cards with the scraps right away. This is one of the things that I do to try and use up some of the scrapbooking supplies that I have on hand at home.

Well, this week I did this again, only I made more.

After I finished this scrapbook layout,
Cardstock: Bazzill, Co'ordinations; Patterned Paper: Cosmo Cricket; Flowers: Prima; Buttons: my craft stash; Border Punch, Circle Punch: Fiskars; Pearls: Recollections; Title: cut with Quickutz Squeeze; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, Glue Dots, Quickie Glue

I made this card,
Card Base: Recollections; Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper: Cosmo Cricket; Flower: Prima; Button: my craft stash; Border Punch: Fiskars; Sentiment: Cosmo Cricket; Ink: Ranger Inks; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, Glue Dots

and these four tags.
Tag Base: Recollections; Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper: Cosmo Cricket; Flower: Prima; Ribbon, Button: my craft stash; Border Punch, Circle Punch: Fiskars; Sentiment: Cosmo Cricket; Ink: Ranger Inks; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, Glue Dots, Quickie Glue

I had the patterned paper and coordinating stickers in my stash for quite some time, and with these few projects was able to use them all, meaning there are a few less supplies that I need to to organize and store.

I love trying to use up each and every small scrap that there is.  It gives me such a thrill to see how much I can make from one pile of papers and embellishments.  And as the paper pieces get smaller, and the embellishments fewer, I love the creative challenge of trying to make one more card or tag using what is left.  That, and I can not bear to throw a decent sized piece of paper in the garbage.

Wednesday 12 September 2012

A Flower Scarf and A Yarn Review

Back in July when our family was on vacation in Ottawa I started crocheting a scarf.  I know a scarf in July seems silly, but I had the yarn in my basement for months, I was very interested to work with this yarn, and I figured a scarf would make a great portable project.

The scarf is made with Bernat Mosaic - a sort of variegated and twisted yarn - and the color is Optimistic.  I love the name of this color and to be honest, I chose this particular color in part because of its name.

I found the pattern for this scarf in a book of patterns specifically for Mosaic Yarn.  The book was published by Bernat.

I love that the colors in this yarn are so vibrant.  Because of the variegation and twisting of the yarn the color pattern in the finished product is just lovely.

And I love the three dimensional flowers on the ends of the scarf - the perfect little detail.

But there were some things about this yarn that I did not particularly like:

First, the weight of the yarn varied a lot as I moved through the ball - there were some times when the yarn was very thick (bulky) and other times when it was very thin (fine).  As a result of this, the stitches were not all the same weight, so there seems to be some thinner and some thicker spots in my finished scarf.  Also, the width of my scarf is not the same along its entire length, which I also think may be due to the differences in yarn weight through the ball.

The thinner parts of the yarn were also very delicate and easily ripped apart. I discovered this when I was sewing the flowers on the ends of my scarf and had to tug my needle slightly; the yarn that I was sewing with ripped apart which makes me question the durability of the yarn and its ability to stand up to normal handling.

I also noticed as I was working with this yarn that it got fuzzy and balled as I handled it.

So, despite the gorgeous colors, I will not be using this yarn again to make any sort of garment.  I feel like my scarf is much too delicate for everyday wear and that if I did use it everyday that it would pull apart and get all fuzzy.

I do plan to use my leftover yarn to make flowers and perhaps a garland, but other than that I am done with Mosaic.

While the colors are lovely, the variegation and twisting of the colors together eye-catching, this is not, in my opinion, a durable or dependable yarn.

Have you ever made anything with Bernat Mosaic?  What was your experience working with this yarn?  Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

Monday 10 September 2012

Card of the Week: Happy Halloween

It never ceases to amaze me how early stores have merchandise for holidays. The other day I was in Michael's and all the Halloween decor was already on sale and the Christmas stuff was being unpacked.  What!!??

Seeing the Halloween stuff did remind me of this card that I made last year using leftover paper from a scrapbook layout.  (To read about how I often use this little trick - finishing a scrapbook layout and then making a card right away from the scraps - click here )
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: American Crafts; Cardstock: Bazzill; Brads, Ribbon, Floss: my craft stash; Rub-On: Black River Designs; "Halloween" title: cut with Silhouette; Ink: Ranger Inks; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, Glue Dots, Quickie Glue

This will be the first Halloween card that I have ever given.  I am going to send it to my nieces with pictures of my girls in their costumes tucked inside. It will be fun for them to see pictures of their cousins all dressed up.  

Do you give cards for Halloween?  

Wednesday 5 September 2012

The Cut and Paste Theory

I have a theory about why I love scrapbooking and card making so much.

I refer to this as my 'Cut and Paste Theory' and while I have no supportive evidence other than my own experience, I believe that this theory does have some merit.

Let me explain.

I remember the 'cut and paste' center in my kindergarten classroom and how I loved spending time there.

As I got older I continued - cutting articles and pictures out of newspapers and magazines, and pasting them into spiral notebooks.

And I continue to this day - adding paper and embellishments to surround my pictures, cutting up pieces of paper to make a card.

After all, isn't scrapbooking and card making just a grown up version of 'cut and paste'?

I believe scrapbooking and card making were a natural progression for me - from my humble beginnings at the 'cut and paste' center, an avid scrapbooker and card maker I became.

Are you a scrapbooker and/or card maker?  Did you love 'cut and paste' growing up?  Let me know and help lend support to my theory.

Monday 3 September 2012

Card of the Week: Back to School

My daughter starts grade one this week.

This is a big deal for her and for me.  She will be gone all day every day and we are both feeling sad and excited for this.

I wanted to write her a note of encouragement to give her on her first day so I made this 'back to school' card.
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: Little Yellow Bicycle; Cardstock: Bazzill; Border Punch: Fiskars; Ribbon: my craft stash; Apple: cut with Silhouette; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, Quickie Glue

The card has lots of school themed symbols - lined paper, the apple, the bookworm - but what I hope she treasures most are the words written inside letting her know how proud her Daddy and I are of her.