Thursday 30 May 2013

Crochet Bird

Last week when my girls were playing in the pool, I sat on the deck watching them while sipping a glass of iced tea and crocheting. It was really lovely to sit outside and crochet - gosh how I have missed that, I must make a point of doing this regularly over the summer months ahead, it is really quite soothing and relaxing. What was I working on you ask? Well this little guy.
The pattern is from Bunny Mummy, the same place where I got the pattern for my crochet owl. I made a few changes to her pattern - I crocheted the wings and beak rather than using felt, simply because I did not have the right colors of felt on hand and did not want to trek all the way to the store - but otherwise I followed her beautifully photographed tutorial.

The yarn is from my stash of course - Bernat Handicrafter Cotton.

He's cute isn't he? And so simple to make. I got all the pieces crocheted in that one afternoon on the deck, and then assembled him after dinner. I love little projects like these, such a sense of satisfaction from starting and finishing something rather quickly.

Tuesday 28 May 2013


This month's Color Challenge at The Memory Nest was so simple for me to play along with. I had adorable pictures of my girls in the ponchos that I crocheted for them and the perfect paper (Craft Fair by American Crafts) on my shelf; everything came together rather beautifully to create this layout.
I did a lot of layering on this layout (seems to be a trend lately - I love it), with several small embellishment clusters. Here you can really see how I layered the paper and stacked the embellishments - the journalling tag is from Jillibean Soup and the butterfly is from Pebbles.
This 'Friends' tag from Jillibean Soup fit perfectly above the picture of my girls holding hands. Of course they have their moments like all siblings do, but all in all they are great friends.
This large cluster of prettiness holds the title of this page - "Blessed". I cut the title out using my Silhouette (font: Rockwell Condensed). A large flower from Prima, with a button center, and some layered butterflies from Jillibean Soup add the final touches to this page.
Interested in playing along with this Color Challenge? Well then head on over the The Memory Nest to see what others have done and to link up your own creation.

Monday 27 May 2013

Card of the Week: For You

I have a very simple card to show you today.
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: Jillibean Soup; Cardstock: Bazzill; Die Cut Flower: October Afternoon; Sentiment Sticker: October Afternoon; Ribbon: my craft stash; Border Punch: Fiskars; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, 3D Foam Squares

I love when paper from one company works perfectly with embellishments from another, especially since I often have mishmash of scraps laying around. This was the case with this card - the paper is from Jillibean Soup and embellishments are from October Afternoon.

I even used some ribbon on this card which I have not done for a while.
Simple and pretty - just the way I like it.

Thursday 23 May 2013

The Saved Snake

Remember this long winded post where I talked about how I was crocheting a snake? How he was turning into a long colorful tube that I had no idea what I was going to do with, and how because he was so stiff I had to hold my arms in the air in order to work on him causing me great pain as I crocheted? Remember how I was going to abandon him, rip him apart and use the yarn to make a blanket. Yes, remember my huge ramble about all of that?

Well things changed. At the insistence of my children - the fact that they cried when I unraveled just a few stitches, and their emotional begging and pleading that the snake not be abandoned - I have finished him.
It was not too bad. I just added his tail, made eyes and a tongue, stuffed him up, and he was done.
I do think he looks a little odd: his head seems awfully large for such a short body, but oh well.

One completed snake, two happy children.

P.S. I still do not know what to do with him - the girls played with him for a bit, but the novelty quickly wore off. And since I still have tons of this colorful cotton yarn, making a blanket is still on my 'to do' list.

Tuesday 21 May 2013

My Perfect Day

If there ever was a collection of paper that was right up my alley, it would be Seen and Noted by Pebbles. This was the collection that the The Memory Nest Design Team was working with this week and I absolutely loved every minute I spent playing with this bright, cheerful paper.
The picture on this layout was taken on Mother's Day. I should tell you that I purposely dressed myself and the girls so that pictures of us would coordinate well with this paper line because I knew I wanted to use it for a Mother's Day layout - if that is not dedication to the craft then I don't know what is.

The coordinating stickers in this line are just amazing. They come already attached to foam squares, giving them a little dimension when they are attached to the page; I love this because I use foam squares all the time to add dimension to my layouts and cards.
The phrase - 'My Perfect Day' - was written on the small strip at the bottom of the patterned paper, alongside the UPC code. It was the perfect title for this page and fit nicely into this large cluster of embellishments.
Once my layout was completed, I could not stop. I needed to use up as many of the adorable stickers, and layer as much as the patterned paper as possible. So I made these three cards.
This paper line is awesome - bright, cheerful, colorful! Perfect for layouts and cards. And a little goes a long way - I made this one layout and these three cards from two pieces of patterned paper (double sided) and one package of 3D stickers, and I still have a few supplies leftover.

Today is Design Team Tuesday over at The Memory Nest and I invite you to head on over there to see the colorful layouts created by the other ladies on the team.

Monday 20 May 2013

Card of the Week: Well, Hello there Sunshine!

The weather this weekend was just gorgeous. We spent most of our days outside - working in the garden, eating lunches on the deck and just feeling the warmth of the sun at long last. I did manage to sneak inside for a bit on Sunday afternoon to make this card...totally inspired by what was going on outside.
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: Jillibean Soup; Die Cuts & Stickers: Jillibean Soup; Border Punch: Fiskars; Button: American Crafts; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, 3D Foam Squares

The paper, die cuts, and stickers are all from the Watermelon Gazpacho Soup line by Jillibean Soup. I love Jillibean Soup - awesome colors and patterns on the papers, and such an incredible selection of embellishments. This one of the paper companies that I do not hesitate buying an entire line from.

Well, the gorgeous weather is calling me outside again and I must listen.

Have a lovely day!
The Memory Nest

Thursday 16 May 2013

Crochet Ponchos

I have had it in my mind for quite some time to make matching garments of some kind for the girls, but I could not decide on the right thing. I did not want to make sweaters - my mom has made the girls several, so I felt like that had already been done - and I wanted what I made to be very girly, pretty and a little different. So after much deliberation and after having the incredible fortune of finding this gorgeous colored yarn at a sale, I decided to make ponchos.
Of course them laying on the deck does them no justice, they need to be modeled. First Bridget, standing still and smiling pretty for the camera:
And Claire, who does not do 'smile nicely' and always has a mischievous grin on her face or is acting all out crazy and silly as you can see here:
The yarn I used for this project was Bernat Baby Cakes - 'Up in the Air' for the main part of the ponchos, and 'Punkin' for the trim. My original plan was to make Claire's poncho in 'Punkin' and then trim it in 'Up in the Air', but the orange was a little brighter than I thought it would be when I started working with it, and I did not want to make her a triangular garment in orange and run the risk of her looking like a pylon when she wore it. So both the girls' ponchos are the same colors, and I have a ton of orange colored yarn to add to the stash bin. Oh well, moving on.

How cute is this picture? We had a lot of fun at our 'Poncho Photo Shoot'.
The pattern I used is also from Bernat. Unfortunately it is not available on their website; I pulled it off one of those pads of free patterns in the yarn store quite some time ago. If anyone is interested in getting a copy of this pattern, let me know and I'll see what I can do

I love dressing my girls alike, and they love it too. They are so excited to having matching ponchos that Mommy made for them. And they look adorable wearing them. What else could I ask for really?

Tuesday 14 May 2013

A Reason to Smile

There have been many times throughout my scrapbooking life when I have been oh so grateful for the sheer number of inspirational sketches that are available, especially when I sit at my table with my photos and paper in front of me and my mind is absolutely blank. Sketches have many times given me the boost I need to get started on a layout, as well as many ideas on what to add for that finishing touch. Thank goodness for sketches!

Today I am over at The Memory Nest sharing a layout I did for this month's Sketch Challenge.
This picture was taken one October morning when it was raining cats and dogs, absolutely pouring down sheets of water right at the time, of course, when we needed to leave for school.

The paper I used for this layout is from American Crafts.

One of my favorite details on this page is the subtitle: "you make me happy when skies are grey". This sentiment was on the bottom strip of the patterned paper, alongside the UPC code, and because it fit so beautifully with the story on this page I added it as the subtitle.
The stars that highlight the bottom of the photo are also from the bottom strip of the patterned paper. The chipboard flower and cloud are from October Afternoon.
The title on this sketch was written on its side, and while I often find this to be a bit challenging and outside my comfort zone, I followed along and am really happy with how it turned out. My title is a mix of letters cut with my Silhouette (font: Kristin ITC) and Thickers from American Crafts.
Be sure to stop by The Memory Nest today to see what others have created based on this sketch. I don't know about you, but I always find it interesting and inspiring to see how differently people can create when they are following the same source of inspiration.

Monday 13 May 2013

Card of the Week: Happy Mother's Day

This week I have some Mother's Day Cards to show you.

With three Moms to celebrate this past weekend, I was a busy lady right up to the last minute getting these cards ready.

This one I gave to my Mom:
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: American Crafts; Cardstock: Bazzill; Corner Rounder: EK Success; Rhinestones: Studio 18; Sentiment Font: Monotype Corsivia; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, 3D Foam Squares

This one was for my Oma:
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: Scenic Route; Cardstock: Bazzill; Corner Rounder: EK Success; Circle Punch: Fiskars; Flowers: my craft stash; Brads: Making Memories; Sentiment Font: Monotype Corsivia; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, 3D Foam Squares

And this last one was for my mother-in-law:
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: American Crafts; Cardstock: Bazzill; Corner Rounder: EK Success; Circle Punch: Fiskars; Flower: Prima; Button: American Crafts; Sentiment Font: Monotype Corsivia; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, 3D Foam Squares

I hope all the Moms out there had a Happy Mother's Day. I had a great weekend - Saturday we had a family BBQ, and Sunday we went out for lunch and then I got to spend the afternoon doing some much needed personal shopping.

Thursday 9 May 2013

Gardening: Early Spring

The weather here has finally improved. Thank goodness, because this past winter seemed incredibly endless. Within the last week the temperatures have gotten warmer, the landscape has turned green, and there are signs of life and growth in the garden.
I spent a good portion of the past week and weekend working in my garden. It felt so good to get my hands in the dirt, to clear away all the dead leaves, and help the new plant shoots push through the soil.

I wanted to share with you these pictures of my garden, because in addition to crafting I really do enjoy gardening. I find it incredibly therapeutic to dig in the dirt and to tend to my plants. Plus, living where I do, the green of spring is so nice to see after the long, cold, white winter.

This is a small garden beside my deck. I have sedum, daisies, hens and chicks, chives and lavender growing here. Plus a few other things that I do not know the name of...maybe once they bloom the names will come to me. So far everything is looking good. I have high hopes for this flower bed this summer; we are going to plant some vegetables here, and try everything in our power to keep the rabbits from eating them.
This other small flower bed is on the side of my house. How pretty that there are early spring flowers blooming here (I don't know the names of these plants that are blooming). This garden is also looking good.
The next two pictures are of the flower gardens at the front of my house. Cleaning these beds up after the winter nearly killed me. There is a large maple tree growing in the front yard and it sends all these tiny surface roots right into this flower bed. I spent three hours one afternoon on my hands and knees working the soil and pulling four buckets full of roots out of the garden. That night I went to bed at 9:30, absolutely exhausted. I currently have hosta and lilies growing here, but will need to add some more plants in the coming weeks once the nights stay warmer.
I am feeling very positive about my gardens this year. The three that I have seem a manageable amount - enough space to grow different plants to enjoy, but not so much that I become completely overwhelmed by the amount of upkeep required. It is a balance, you know. I always feel very energetic and ambitious in spring but need to remind myself that other things will demand my time this summer and that when it is blazing hot outside it can easily become a full time job just to keep all these plants watered.

I hope you have enjoyed this little departure from my usual crafty posts. I just wanted to share something else that I do, lest you think I spend my days with nothing but a paper cutter or a crochet hook in my hand.

And as my plants grow and bloom, I will post updates here.

Tuesday 7 May 2013


It's Design Team Tuesday again at The Memory Nest. The paper we were asked to create with this week was Tell Your Story by Teresa Collins. The name of this paper line - Tell Your Story - made me think of some pictures I have from when Steve and I were dating, way back at the beginning of our story. So I looked through those pictures and settled on this one (one of my favorites) for this page.
I cut my title (font: Monotype Corsivia) and the small butterflies out using my Silhouette. To add some dimension I attached the butterflies to my page using adhesive squares.
Under this corner of my photo I slid a clear paisley embellishment from My Mind's Eye.
Two funny things about this layout: when Claire saw this picture of me she was absolutely shocked that I had short hair, and Bridget thought this picture had been taken "a long time ago when you could only take pictures in black and white". Funny kids.

Tell Your Story is a lovely paper line - beautiful colors, lovely patterns. And the paper is a nice weight, a little heavier than other patterned papers, with a slight texture to it.

Head on over to The Memory Nest today to see what the other incredibly crafty ladies on the Design Team have created - lovely and inspiring stuff.

Monday 6 May 2013

Card of the Week: Big Flower Happy Birthday

I have a lot of chipboard in my cupboard...picked up over the years at sales here and there. It is quite the stash, let me tell you, and many of the pieces do not often work for me on layouts. So this week I thought I would try and use a large chipboard piece as the main feature on a card.

Here is what I came up with:
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: American Crafts; Cardstock: Bazzill Chipboard Flower: October Afternoon; Border Punch: Fiskars; Sentiment Rub-On: Bazzill; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, 3D Foam Squares

Something about the gingham patterned paper and the large vintage looking flower on this card reminds me of a summer picnic.

And I love how the patterned paper and the chipboard flower are from two different manufacturers yet they coordinate so well together.

Thursday 2 May 2013

Cute Crochet Owl

With all the scrapbook layouts I have been showing you lately, I hope you don't think I have given up on crochet. I have not. There has been some serious crocheting going on here, larger projects that just take a little more time to finish off. You understand, right?

But in between the larger projects, I made this little guy.
How cute is he?

The pattern is not my own but is from Bunny Mummy (click here for the pattern). Her picture laden tutorial is absolutely wonderful, and making this guy was so quick and easy.

I dug through my stash for yarn for this project: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in Hot Blue, Hot Pink, Hot Green, Orange Chill, Yellow and White.  The more colorful the better, right?

It has been a long time since I made any small toy/decorative items. And I missed it. It might be time to get out one of my pattern books and make a few more small friends.