Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spin, Twirl, Dance!

You could say that creativity has been somewhat lacking in our house lately.  We had been expecting to be moving until red tape put a rather abrupt hold on our plans, and the past few months of waiting around have not been especially inspirational! Creativity has not been happening.  

And then we spotted this t shirt in the clearance rack.  

  And I remembered the sewing machine tucked away in storage, that I had bought to help keep myself entertained after we do move.  And I realised that this t shirt very clearly wanted to be made into a dress!  

A quick google search revealed there were lots of instructions online for making t shirt dresses.  I decided to base my one on these instructions by Mormon Mommy Wars.  Nice and straight forward, and quick too.  Of course, me being me, I then proceeded to change every step - shorten the t shirt, make the skirt fuller, add a frill, add some lace....  Needless to say I made one dress in two hours, rather than six in two hours like it said in the instructions!  But the end result was worth it...

a pretty, inexpensive dress (with none of the fuss of having to put in sleeves or finish necklines!) 
and a very happy girl (giving the dress the 'spin twirl dance' test).
Best of all - some creativity at last!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sketch Challenge Pony Party, with sparkle.

I have been meaning to join in the fun over at 'Just Add Ink' for quite a while now, but just never quite got myself organised in time.  Until now that is.  This week they have a great sketch for inspiration and it worked perfectly for a birthday card for Bridie's friend.  Here is the sketch they had:

And here is what I came up with:
(The card is actually straight - it is my photo that is wonky!) I flipped the layout over so that the unicorn (from the Pony Party stamp set) would be looking towards the greeting.  A splash of colour using markers, and some glitter to add to the sparkle and magic soon gave us a perfect little girl's birthday card.

Friday, February 18, 2011

'This is Your Story' layout

I am pretty sure I could count on one hand the number of scrapbooking projects I completed last year.   I think my immediate desire to document the adventures and achievements in our lives was taken care of with blogging, and scrapbooking fell by the wayside.  I do enjoy scrapbooking though, and so this year I am hoping to get back into it.  At the very least I am hoping that I will need two hands to count the projects at the end of the year!

So here is my first scrapbooking project - a 12 x 12 layout.  It doesn't have any photos, but was the perfect project to allow me to play with some frills and fuss, and still keep the straight lines and order that I really like.

I used several different shades of pink ink to first sponge the nine squares that were the base of the layout, and then it was just a case of adding on the pretty bits - flowers, hearts and butterflies, and a 'B' for Bridie.  I used an assortment of punches and big shot dies, as well as embossing folders to add texture to some of the elements.  Some half pearls, paper daisies (one sponged pink) and some scraps of the Newsprint DSP were added to the mix too.  

Other ingredients (all from SU):
Card/ink: Pink Pirouette, Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose
Stamps: Rough Type, Notes and Details
Punches: Full Heart Extra Large, Heart to Heart Extra Large, Small Heart, Scallop Trim Border
Dies (used with Big Shot): Beautiful Butterflies, Timeless Type Junior Alphabet, Lots of Tags, Beautiful Wings Embosslit, Simple Flower Embosslit
Embossing Folders (used with Big Shot): Perfect Polka Dots, Petals-a-Plenty

This layout is for the front of Bridie's album (hence the 'this is your story...') but I think it would be perfect as an artwork for her room too, so version 2 is on the list of things to do, as is a boy version of the scrapbook layout.  That's almost one handful of projects!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Number Birthday Card

This card was inspired by a sketch (126) over at the Clean and Simple Stamping Blog.  When it comes to birthday cards for children you cannot go wrong with a big old number on the front.  They are so proud of their newer, older status (so at what point does that change I wonder?!)  I find it particularly good for boys too, who don't necessarily appreciate a bunch of fuss and frill.

 I started by stamping up some white card using the Circle Circus stamp set, and three different ink colours (Crumb Cake, Cajun Craze and Marina Mist) to make my own, one of a kind, 'patterned paper'.  Then after all of that, I only ended up using a couple of little strips of it on the front of the card, and another on the inside.  The dies used for this card were Timeless Type Junior Alphabet, and Lots of Tags. The sentiment is from my favourite, and most used (but sadly now retired) birthday set - A Little Birthday Cheer.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lots of Monster Valentines

It's that time of year again - Valentine production line!  I did think this year I might take the easy way out and just let the kids choose valentines from the shop, but both boys (and several of Hayden's friends) asked if I couldn't please make those same valentines we made last year?  

So we settled on a compromise. With coughs and sniffles in the house (mostly me!) I didn't think homemade treats would be a good idea, but we could still make the same matchbook style of valentine with chocolates from the shop.

As it turned out these valentines really don't take so long to make, when you don't make the chocolates too!  Both boys were keen for a monster theme so I got to have a play with the 'Make a Monster' stamp set.  4 sheets of white card and (apologies - I decided to use up some of my stash of retired card - taken with teal and green galore, and a splash of pumpkin pie) 12 sheets of coloured card later (and a bit of cutting, scoring, stamping and sticking) and we were good to go with 48 valentines.  

We stamped one of the greetings from the 'Something Sweet' set.  It seemed perfect for the occasion.  Bridie wants robots on her valentines, but she doesn't need them until Monday, so we still have a bit of time to work on them.  We just have to survive the boys impending sugar hit between now and then.  Wish me luck! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Simple and Pretty Thank You Cards

So do you recognise the background 'stamp' for these cards? 

Truth be told, while there is some ink on these cards, I didn't use a single stamp.  For a quick and easy background I simple pressed my ink pad directly onto the white card - I love the textured look you get.  I ran some coordinating card (pear pizzazz) through my bigshot with the 'thanks' embossilit die and then cut out just the thanks word part to use.  Add one of the daisies from the paper daisies pack and it was almost done.  The final step was to pile up some punched card circles in the centre of the flower, and give them a glaze of crystal effects (for the glue and the shine!)
Waiting for the crystal effects to dry was the longest step of this card, but well worth it, as it makes such a pretty embellishment.  The finished card looked so pretty I made up a couple more in Peach Parfait and Daffodil Delight, to add to the collection.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Pirate Card for an Older Boy

Projects for boys can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, but I have found that a pirate theme is always well received.  The long retired 'Ahoy Matey' stamp set has always been a favourite of mine.  The images are fun to colour, and we have made some fun things with it.  They do tend to be better suited for younger children though, so I was pleased when SU gave us the 'Beware Pirates' stamp set that has an 'older' look to it, and was even happier when I finally got around to having a play with it!

For this card I wanted to use 'Not Quite Navy' for the main stamped image, and consulted my colour coach for an easy colour combo that would work with that - More Mustard and Cajun Craze (so easy!)
After recently spending an afternoon with my talented friend and upline Rachael Knight, I am feeling inspired to get my Big Shot out more often, and embossing folders are such a quick and easy way to transform a plain piece of cardstock.  For this card I gave the cajun card mat some texture using the Square Lattice embossing folder.  If you turn it on an angle the crosses become 'x's which are just perfect for a pirate theme (hopefully you can see them in this closeup).
My boys both gave this card the thumbs up so I am thinking I might need to make a few more for the birthday card stash!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Where has the time gone?!

Oh dear.  Is it too late to wish you all a Happy New Year?!   The past few months have been pretty hectic for our family, and the time just seems to be flying by.  Once again inspiration and the time to create have not often coincided, and the follow up step of blogging about it hasn't happened at all.  Now it is time to play some catch up!

Here is a quick card I made a while ago, inspired entirely by this fantastic quote from the 'Sense of Time' stamp set.  I am sure I am not the only would who could do with a few more hours in the day?!

The rest of the card involved simply freehand cutting a few wavy lines of card, and  rolling out some embossed butterflies using the 'beautiful wings' embosslit die and my under utilised (at the time!) Big Shot. 

It came together really quickly (from memory, time was short, and the 'to do' list was long!) but the therapeutic effects of having created something lasted a lot longer!

Friday, November 12, 2010

scrapbooking disguised as homework?

I had been so sure that when the kids went back to school I was going to have lots of leisurely craft time ('lots' being relative to the zero leisurely craft time I had during the summer break!)  As it turns out all that sunshine must have caused some memory loss, because I had forgotten about the fact that when school went back we would be busier than ever.  Never mind the leisurely craft time, it's all about the taxi driving, the school activities, the taxi driving, the after school activities, the work trips for Peter, the taxi driving, and trying to keep on top of the laundry.   Then you need to remember those other key ingredients that seem to have been lacking lately - inclination and inspiration.  There has been a bit of a craft drought around here lately, so thank goodness for homework!

When Campbell came home and told me he had to make a family tree for school, and asked if I had a stamp he could use, I was pleased to tell him I had something even better.  It was the perfect excuse to finally try my new Big Shot, and the 'little leaves' sizzlet die, and in no time at all he had more than enough leaves for his tree. It took a lot longer to stick them all on!  The tree trunk and grass we cut by hand, and he used punches to cut out all the photos and name labels.  We used a piece of 12x12 card as the base for the family tree, so that when he was finished he could put it straight into his album, and he is so pleased with his first ever, made it himself, scrapbook page.

I am pleased that the craft drought may finally be breaking, even if it is just homework disguised as scrapbooking!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Beautiful Wings Butterflies

Another little taster from the new catalogue for you, and I think this product is going to prove very popular - the gorgeous little embossilit die - Beautiful Wings.  I just love the detail and texture you get with these butterflies - five different butterflies (I have used four on this card, there is another, larger butterfly too) and they are so quick and easy to make. 

The colours I have used are Regal Rose (a Rich Regal colour from previous catalogues), and the fruity cocktail of Tangerine Tango (an 'in color' from the last catalogue) and Melon Mambo (from the last mini catalogue).  These three colours now join together in the renamed, regrouped Brights Collection (along with Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive, Tempting Turquoise, Pacific Point, Rich Razzleberry, Real Red, and the new Daffodil Delight).

The front of the card has some texture thanks to the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder.  The greeting is from the Teeny Tiny Sentiments stamp set.  I was tempted to add some ribbon, but decided that the polka dots and embossed butterflies provided enough texture and interest.   As a bonus, the card is less bulky (and so easier to post!)

These beautiful little butterflies make the perfect embellishment, and are just one of several new dies and embossing folders that the new catalogue has on offer.  Remember that if you don't have a big shot, most of these (including the Beautiful Wings Embossilit die) can also be used with your cuttlebug.