A New Endeavor

At one time I was really good at sending cards – Christmas cards, birthday cards, graduation cards. Then my 2nd son was born less than 2 months before Christmas, and I decided I would be forgiven for missing the ritual that season. Then I was too tired to send birthday cards in the early part of the following year. Then I decided it wouldn’t be fair to send cards to the people who had birthdays and occasions in the 2nd part of the year when I’d missed the 1st part. Then I just quit.

So this year I wanted to start fresh and get back in the habit. And because I’m a little crazy that way, I decided to make all the cards I send.

I’ve never made cards before, a little strange given all the scrapbooking I’ve done over the years. It always seemed like so much work to just be thrown away. At least my scrapbooks will be thrown away after I’m dead so I can happily pretend my great-great grandchildren will be reading them. But my scrapbook supply pile? Not getting any smaller. Let’s call it ‘creative repurposing’. So here are a few of my first attempts, all designs ruthlessly scraplifted. Of course.

Anniversary Card for Hubby

Birthday Card No. 1

Birthday Card No. 2

The last one is my favorite. So much so that I’ve refused to send it to anyone yet. I love the dandelion paper, and fuschia is my signature color.

Now I need to go make Mother’s Day cards so they can arrive before Father’s Day…

Chucking It All (Tear Sheet Edition)

I’ve already mentioned before that I may have a teensy little problem with magazines. They’re just so pretty! And shiny! And require very little of my dwindling attention span!

One of the symptoms of the tanking economy over the last few years was the folding of several of my favorite magazines. I miss you still, Cottage Living. And poor little Blueprint, barely out of the blueprint phase. I could go on (and on, and on), but let’s just say that I seem to have an affinity for niche periodicals with too small niches. Anyway, I was hoping that those publishing failures would slow down my accumulation of tear sheets (actually I was terrified).

It was wasted fear hope. New magazines have trickled in to fill the void. Lesser magazines mostly (not you, Sunset – never you) but I still seem unable to resist their glossy, sweet nothings. Here are the accumulated sheets from two or three months…

Tear Sheets

…with a lovely cup of tea. It’s a job that requires at least 1 cup of tea.

And here is the recycle bin after I snipped and purged…

Tear Sheet Trash

I will not show you a picture of what made the cut. Because it is embarrassing.

Is That a Scrapbook Page?

 Holy cow. I actually started and completed two scrapbook pages this week!

Quentin's 5 Things

Corbin's 5 Things

I think I’ve always been a crafter. I remember always being a crafter, but since we all know that memory is a tricky thing, my mother will have to confirm or deny that allegation (although I’m sure she will point out that I showed zero interest in cooking or sewing). But scrapbooking was really a gateway drug to my current crafty obsessions.  And strangely I find myself rarely doing it anymore.

I often feel disappointed with the scrap pages I create now; I want them to be better. Being a beginner is all sorts of giddy fun – discovery and playfulness and no pressure to perform well. I don’t do well once that shiny newness has worn off (which totally explains my last two years of college). Paper still makes me dizzy, and I’ve been known to literally squeal at images in scrap magazines, but I’m not sure how to go about taking that next step to up my game.

6 Years Old

Yesterday was my oldest son’s birthday – Happy Birthday, Q! The night before I stayed up much later than I should have getting this little tidbit made…

Felt Birthday Ribbon

No pictures of my process because I don’t have any decent light for photos in the house after the sun goes down. I just sewed one end of two accordian folded pieces of felt, each about 1.5 yards long and 2 inches wide. I fanned those out and used my trusty hot glue gun to stick them together. The hot glue gun also attached the two circles I cut, the chipboard number, and the orange “ribbons” to each other and the folded circle. I glued a pin on the back, and it was done. He wore it proudly.

On the agenda yesterday morning was getting the cake decorated to look something like this. I baked all 4 of the required round cakes the day before and stuck them all in the freezer. I think it turned out pretty good…

My Motocross Cake

I only used 2 cans of the frosting but didn’t mind having the extra can because one of my pet peeves is recipes that are stingy with the frosting. I also didn’t add the straws because of the freezing. And yes, as a matter of fact I did have to attempt sticking a straw in there before I realized it wouldn’t work! Here’s the cake with the addition of the motorcycle and rider…

Motocross Cake with Rider

Things I Love This Week

I have some other in-the-works crafty things to show off, but because I’d like to actually get something posted today, I’m going to make up a quick list of things that made me happy this week instead of posting crafty pics. Am I allowed to write such long sentences in a blog? In no particular order…

This poem moved me.

I just discovered the blog ‘In Pursuit of Martha Points’ (thank you, Freshly Pressed), and it made me laugh so hard, I almost cried.

This sweet little egg made me wish our local nests weren’t so high up in our trees. Which are covered in spines. Which are actually really tall cacti.

Anyone else want to join me on a road trip to New Orleans just to meet Miss Longshore?

I think there is something about concrete that screams ‘desert’ to me. Not sure my outdoor, glass tabletop could take it though.

Never really see myself as a rustic-cabin-in-the-woods type but maybe this could sway me. Especially if we add more of those velvet pillows.

Off to work on a few more glue gun burns…

Baby Book

I’ve been obsessing over my new scrap project. I offered to make a baby book for my sister-in-law months ago. We went over some basic guidelines of what she wanted, and then I promptly got so anxious about getting it ‘right’ that I did no actual work. Over Easter weekend (while we were in Phoenix for the wedding at which I wore the fascinator I made), I used a blanket from the bedding to get the colors right. Good thing too – the few sheets of paper I picked up as a guess were completely wrong! I don’t want to share too much here before I actually give it to the expectant parents, but I am so excited about the first few pages that I had to post a sneak preview…

Introduction Page

Giraffe Stamp

Felt Coasters

I’ve been wanting to make felt coasters ever since I first spotted the craft in a magazine (I thought it was Family Fun but I can’t find it on their site). I was thinking Christmas gifts, but, as usual, my holiday-crafting-plan eyes were much larger than my holiday-available-time  stomach. A few weeks ago I did manage to snag a bag of cork coasters at one of the local craft stores, and when I realized my husband was putting his glass of water on our newly-inherited Heywood-Wakefield dresser with just a tissue under it, I knew it was time to put them to us.

I decided to skip the sticky back felt in the original (wherever that may be); I’ve never seen any in colors that I particularly like. I started by cutting squares of eco-felt just slightly larger than my coasters.

felt, cut to size for coasters

 Like my labelled scissors? I had to do that when working on a project that had me going between cutting paper and cutting fabric. I’m easily confused.

Next I put felt glue on the back of a coaster and used a paintbrush to make sure it was completely covered all the way around.

felt glue "painted" on cork

Then I put the felt squares on the glue-y cork, pressing it down firmly. Some of the glue seeped through the felt, but it hasn’t seemed to affect the performance. Yet. I let the glue dry overnight because as the mother of small children I am regularly forced to abandon craft projects. The felt glue label recommends at least 3 hours of  drying time.

drying time

And right here would be the picture of me cutting the excess felt from around the cork if I had managed to get one. I’ll blame it on finishing at night and not having any decent lighting for photos. Next time I’d like to try doing multiple colors on each coaster. Polka dots would be perfect, but I’m not sure I have the talent or the patience to get all those circles just right…