Wednesday, April 27, 2011

twinkle your toes...

The day after the pirate party, we re-dressed the house for our ballerina extravaganza (ok, not really an extravaganza, but there was a lot of pink everywhere).  Here are some of my favorite shots - enjoy!

the birthday girl - already 6 years old!

love her brother's feet in the shot *rolls eyes*.

a shot of our decorations - I made them all!

felt banner made with PTI dies

my paper-napkin flower garland

tutus on a line - one for each girl

tissue-paper-poms hung on the chandelier

a centerpiece for the table

crepe paper rosettes

I worked on these decorations for a good month or 2, just little-by-little.  I really enjoyed the process - it was fun to be able to work through the long list of online tutorials that I've been meaning to try out!

warming up for the ballerina, with Thomas supervising!

a ballet class!

even Maia wore a tutu

When the girls came, they were each given a tutu, and told that a *real* ballerina would come a teach a class for them - it was so cute how excited they got!  They started stretching to get ready for her - hilarious!  They really enjoyed her - and her 30 minute class was the perfect length of time: some of the kids started slinking off to the snack table to sneak more chips somewhere around 25 minutes in, haha.

a party on the inside
The cake got so many compliments, but it was dead easy!  I mixed food coloring into each layer of cake batter in different amounts to get the layers of pinks.  My hubby declared it: ordinary on the outside, but a party every slice :)

favor tag

monogrammed tee

Each girl got a parting gift of girly trinkets, a ballerina bookmark (that doubled as the tag) and an embellished, monogrammed tee.  I think they were a hit!  

We had a fantastic time, and Sofia loved it all - I hope these memories will be cherished for years to come!

So now, 2 parties down - 1 more to go!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

pirate party re-cap

 Ahoy, mateys!

Now that the parties are done (well, the first 2, anyways...) I thought I'd share my favorite shots from Thomas' pirate party.

party pirates in the house!

We have a whole chalkboard wall in our kitchen - we drew a simple mural, which the kids are blocking... but they're cuter than the wall, so I'll allow it... ha.

our treasure hunt

Sofia helped me color in the treasure hunt map.  When the kids arrived, they were given pirate hats but had to "hunt" around for the rest of their gear: pirate hooks, swords, eyepatches, and telescopes.  Great fun!

pirate world

Give a 4-year-old a play mat, and enjoy the hilarious/creative play.  The dialogue those kids were coming up with was priceless.

walk the plank, ye skurvy scoundrel!

My hotter-than-yours hubby (JUST KIDDING, haha!) demonstrated how to properly walk the plank.  It was a bit wobbly, which only added to the fun ;)

pirate cupcakes

Honestly, what little kid doesn't go crazy for chocolate cupcakes?  Let's keep it simple, right?  Pirate flags, chocolate cupcakes with gobs of chocolate icing.  They were oohing and aahing as if I were Martha Stewart...  if only every audience were so easy to impress!

Pirates don't change diapers

This was our gift to the parents.  We finished them off with a story - calmed them down after all the sugar of the cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and choco-marshmallow pops.  Even the nicest kids go bug-eyed and crazy after that big of a goody-buffet...

ye loot
Obviously, they had to take home their own treasure boxes filled with gold chocolate coins... No pirate party would be complete without some shiny loot!

Just for fun, check out one of the printables my sis made especially for our party - obviously more for the moms than the kids!  

Monday, April 25, 2011

building my 'stashe stash

Men.  love 'em, but hate making cards for them.  It's seriously challenging.  No ribbon, no butterflies, no doilies - not to mention the "cute" factor of the punny stamps that I love so much... harrumph.  Men are like the stooges of card-making.

This is what I've learned so far, as dictated to me by my own man:

1.  harware = good.  When I showed him the card of the day, the first thing that got a positive comment was the mini office clip.

2.  simple is better.  This card is way understated.  Just enough layering to keep it interesting, but not over-the-top, since that makes it girlier, apparently...

3.  patterns:  do I even have to tell you that floral is a no-go? ha.  Newsprint, houndstooth, argyle, plaid, polka-dots, stars, stripes - all good stuff.

4.  graphic elements keep your man-card modern.  Or retro-modern, which is what I was going for!  My mustache is hand-drawn and cut out - not hard to do!  I was going for a whole "barber-shop" theme with this one, I think :)

I hope you enjoyed the card and some of the banter.  Have a fabulous day!

supplies (all PTI, unless otherwise noted)
stamps: it's official, tag-its #1, background basics: retro, background basics: newsprint
paper: vintage cream, basic black (SU), real red (SU)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

happy easter, peeps!

I just wanted to pop in and wish everyone a happy easter.  Hope you enjoy a meaningful day with family and loved ones, some good eats and lots of chocolate...  I have a song in my heart, as we celebrate the resurrection of our Saviour!

 We whipped up (by that I mean, I forgot I had bought the peeps until 15 minutes before we were leaving for church when I spied them in the pantry) some treats to give out to our friends this morning.  To our favorite peeps! ha ha - I crack myself up.

The kids and I popped a few peeps and some chocolate eggs into each cello bag... that sugar stuff is crazy - it got everywhere!  We stamped (I did let them help this time!) the chick image from PTI's friendship jar spring filler set and they carefully dotted some pastel colors into the polka dots with their markers... I hand-wrote the sentiment and we stapled it all together just in time to spread the luv to our favorite peeps.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

parties, parties, parties.

It's 9am, and I've already made a few dozen cinnamon-chocolate cupcakes, chocolate-marshmallow pops, chocolate chip cookies and brownies.  The house is clean(ish) and a pirate ship threw up in my living room.  It can only mean 1 thing: party time!

Friday morning is pirates.  Saturday morning, we're twinkling our toes for Sofia's ballerina party.  And Sunday, we're celebrating our Lord's resurrection!  It's jam-packed - hopefully the decorations don't get mixed up (right now, I have some easter eggs on the counter and a white table runner with pink ruffles on it amid all the pirate stuff... lol.

Here's a tiny sneak-peak of the kids' parties...

But I also had time to create a little Easter card - mostly because Thomas asked me if I would stamp something for him to color in, and he chose "winter bunny" (lawn fawn).  I would pause here to point out how crazy he is, but it's snowing a bit outside... so bunny-wearing-scarf-in-spring isn't so far off after all.

I love this little card!  I already had the frame die-cut, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I found something cute to pop inside.  I colored 3 little bunnies and chopped off their scarves.  I'm not condoning the whole "white easter" thing that's going on outside...  A little bow around their necks and they almost look edible...

If I don't make it back to the blog before Sunday, happy Easter to all!  

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In His great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead..." - 1 Peter 1:3

Sunday, April 17, 2011

eat your veggies, kid.

We're tired of whining, pleading, bribing, threatening, etc. with Sofia to get her to eat her veggies.

This bad boy is getting tucked into her lunchbox tomorrow... think it'll do the trick?  ha.  Hopefully it will, in the very least, put a smile on her face.

She drew me a picture of a broken heart today, and told me every time we "make" her eat her vegetables, she feels like her heart is breaking.  Cry me a river, kid.  And also, let me give you a huge hug so you don't notice that I'm cracking up behind your back.

For this card, I used Vegtastic - I can't get enough of those Paper Smooches cuties!  I first stamped the trio of veggies in Versamark ink to create a background on my kraft cardstock, then stamped them again on patterned paper and snipped them out.  The notebook die-cut was stamped and clear-embossed with the "order form" image from PTI's It's official.  Cute, right?  I'm imagining she'll order veggies.  And eat them.  It's a nice dream :)

My little "with love" sentiment on the bottom is also from Vegtastic - but I added the comma by hand and also handwrote m-o-m in the little circles.

Here's a closer-up look:

The E-A-T letters were die-cut and then stamped with PTI's gingham image - also been using that pattern on everything.  The message on the card is pretty clear, right?  In-your-face veggies, veggie-background, e-a-t+arrow pointing to veggies... clear enough for even the almost-6-year-old?

Friday, April 15, 2011

modern basics gift set.

I broke up with my camera yesterday.  We are not on speaking terms over how today's cards were photographed...

I used a cute set called "modern basics" - it contains all sorts of building blocks that allow for so much creative play!  And play I did. I had so much fun that I couldn't stop at 1 card - I stamped 4  :)

Now, as I was saying about my camera (I had to take a short break in there and talk about the stamps so I wouldn't start getting stressed again), it - not me, natch - made it look like my card colors are grey and orange.  I would like to state, for the record, that although grey and orange is a delightful combination, I actually went with yellow and grey.  And because I love that combo so much, I'm doubly annoyed that it wouldn't photograph well.  Sigh.  C'est la vie, non?

I built the cards using 2 sets, 2 colors, and 2 papers:

  • modern basics + simple sentiments (both PTI)
  • going grey + daffodil delight inks (both SU)
  • guidelines (PTI) + going grey cardstocks (SU)

It was very refreshing to sit down with more limited supplies and see what I could come up with!

And with that, let me add: TGIF, baby!  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

baby blossoms

I love making my own scrapbook designer paper - so fun!  And also, economical!  I really didn't use many supplies on this project: just card-stock and ink...

If you want to create your own patterned paper, remember this tip:  stamp your larger elements first, then go back in and "fill in the blanks."  I stamped the roses first, and then filled in the spaces between with even smaller blossoms and sprigs.  Another tip is: layer!  I added a layer of - what is it, exactly?  a Moroccan motif? - overtop to unify all of the elements.

The rest of the card was purposely kept super-simple, so that I could show off my baby blossoms designer paper.  100% homemade, baby!

Supply list (all PTI, unless otherwise noted)
stamps: baby blossoms (SU), mat stack 3, background basics: retro, background basics: gingham
ink: (all SU) daffodil delight, bashful blue, pink pirouette, blushing bride, pear pizazz, peach parfait, mellow moss, memento tuxedo black
paper: bashful blue, mellow moss, whisper white (all SU)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

MIM #10

Where do you derive inspiration for your papercrafting?  Or for your general craftiness?  I find mine in the weirdest places... 

This week's MIM challenge was to mask using your die-cuts.  I die-cut the cupcake you see above, and then used the negative space to sponge in my colors.  I sponged the entire space in SU's crumb cake ink and then created another mask that allowed me to sponge fresh snow ink at the top for the "icing" and SU's early espresso ink for the "wrapper" at the bottom.  I wanted the wrapper to stand out, so I also stamped it using text-style II.

Here's my inspiration photo:

Doesn't it look yummy?  That icing is calling my name, begging me to eat salads all day so I could fit it in to my daily WW points, lol!

When I sponged white ink onto my cupcake, it wasn't looking enough like that yummy icing.... so I busted out my liquid applique (who uses that anymore? ha!) and painted over the top to make it pop.  And, for good measure, I added some chocolate chip sprinkles.  Because, according to my kids, everything is better with chocolate chip sprinkles...

Everything else is pretty straightforward.  I stamped a row from polka dot basics II in SU's cherry cobbler, and another row in daffodil delight.  The little "eat cake" sentiment is from Tiny treats: birthday and was stamped in baja breeze.  Everything was sponged to tie it together, even the embossed polka-dots on the card base.  For a final touch - a little baker's twine.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

MIM - on Saturday

This week really flew by... I haven't missed participating in a MIM challenge yet, and I didn't want to break my streak.  I have to admit that I'm not head-over-heels for this card.  The stitching is sloppy, which is bugging me.... but at least the kids were excited by this card!  They asked that it be given to them on Easter Sunday, with "lots of chocolate, ok?" haha.

The challenge this week is "heat-embossing."  Really not my go-to technique. At all.  I find it messy and I absolutely hate it if it's not cleanly done.  When there are extra gold or silver or (even worse) white flecks on the paper?  blech.  So I mostly (when I do heat-emboss) use clear embossing powder.  Wanna see it closer-up?

The kids had fun running their fingers over the stamped images.  So did I, truth be told.  

ps - did you notice the eggs in my apothecary jar?  I stamped PTI's "textstyle II" and "background basics: gingham" onto white tissue paper (y'know, the filler you put into your gift bags) and then modge-podged strips onto some dollar-store plastic eggs.  Our crafty spring decor... 

Card supplies
stamps: friendship jar spring fillers, tag-its (PTI)
paper: whisper white, certainly celery, baja breeze, pink pirouette, daffodil delight, bashful blue dsp (all SU)
ink: versamark, daffodil delight, early espresso (all SU)
misc: clear embossing powder, scallop edge punch (SU)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy birthday, mom!

I haven't updated my blog all week!  It's not that I haven't been crafting - my crafts are actually starting to eat up valuable space in the living room:  pink napkin-flowers strewn on the mantel, crepe-paper-rosette-wreaths on the shelf where the books used to be (books banished to the basement), a pirate banner on the dinner table... the list goes on, believe me!  And, to top it off, it's my mommy's 60th birthday this weekend!  Happy birthday, mom!  I can't show off any of the decos or cards created until after her Sunday-evening-party, but here's a birthday card in her honor.  Cheers!

Supply list (all PTI, unless otherwise noted)
Stamps: Background basics: newsprint, background basics: gingham, tiny treats: birthday
Ink: Bashful blue, basic grey (both SU)
Dies: turning a new leaf, buttoned up #1, beautiful blooms 2 #1
Misc: yellow tissue paper, rhinestones, doily, PTI felt

Sunday, April 3, 2011

woodland frame of mind...

I think I'm in a woodland state of mind this weekend...  Slowly and steadily, things are being created for all of our upcoming birthday parties.  I got a bit tired of all the pink ballerina stuff and turned my attentions to woodland deer and all things gingham.

I don't think I'll be sending out invitations for little Maia's party - only our families will be in attendance - but if I were to make one, this is what it would look like.  So much easier to create one card than to produce 10 of the same design, lol!

Does it not set the tone for a woodland party?  I love the little twine bow in the deer's head.  My girly touch.

Thanks for looking!

Supply list  (PTI, unless otherwise noted)
stamps:  way to go, kiddo!, big birthday wishes, background basics: woodgrain, bacground basics: gingham, forest friends (SU)
papers:  kraft, vintage cream
inks:  antique linen distress ink, memento brown, old olive (SU), fresh snow
misc:  double-ended banner die, 2.5 inch circle die, copics, by the numbers dies, vintage trinket brads (SU)

Friday, April 1, 2011

monster love!

Is he not the cutest?  

I'm in a great mood today.  A giving mood.  Sooo, I'm going to let you all in on my secret to crafting in a hurry (ie, when the kids are napping or aren't clawing at your legs or asking for more chocolate milk because they're hunnnnnnnnnngry.... lol).  Here goes:

Save yer stuff.  

This card came together in 10 minutes (and I promise you at least 7 of those minutes was spent threading those buttons... grrr....)  The sun-rays were already stamped onto the kraft paper, and the "sun-circle" was already roughed-up.  The monster with his insanely cute googly eyes was already colored and cut out.  The strip of stamped "ground" was also a scrap from another project.  All of these pieces were rejects from different projects.  I couldn't get them to work at the time, but I like how they came together here!

In 10 minutes, I stitched a crazy pattern into the sun (mostly because that's all I can manage for now), stitched the ground under the monster's feet, and stitched the "strings" for the button-balloons.  All that remained was to fill the space on the right with the greeting: monster love x3!

Thanks for looking!  Have a great weekend :)