Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Color Room 91

I am always very excited when I get the colors almost spot on with a palette. I feel that I have done it with this layout for the Color Room 91.  I also used products from many manufacturers for this layout which really reminded me why I love these color challenges: it forces me outside of the "collection" box. 

Speaking of collections, I splurged right before Christmas and bought a bunch of stuff.  I dove in shortly after the package arrived and made a couple of new projects!  It sure is nice to have time off from work! 
During my break, I have already tried three different fitness classes at my local YMCA.   My most favorite new class is BodyStep. That class kicks serious butt! Too bad it is not offered at any time that I could normally attend!  I am absolutely loving working out every day. It feels absolutely wonderful and completely luxurious. It's like a mini taste of retirement!  Oh bliss!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Coming Up for Air...

Christmas 2011 has finally come to an end.  I am so tired that I slept most of the day today!  I'm not sure what caused this fatigue because I neither shopped for presents nor cooked holiday meals.  I did go to the YMCA four days in a row, but surely that could not be the reason why I collapsed the way I did today! 

I have hardly done anything creative in the recent weeks, but I do have this layout for the Color room palette 90.  This was a very challenging color palette for me so I kept it as simple as possible.  I used mostly Doodlebug's Classic collection and a sheet of magenta colored patterned paper from Santa's workshop. 

I am keeping this post short because I am still so tired and I need to gather my strength for the Body Pump class in just two hours! lol.  Have a wonderful week everyone!  Let's get ready for 2012! :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Cards, Part Last

Back in October, Alexandra asked me to create a sketch and a Christmas card based on the sketch for Scrap Rendez-Vous.  I'm totally going to admit it, I felt that I needed to overachieve, lol.  At a minimum, I was going to do two cards with vastly different styles.  So that was exactly what I did.  First is the card sketch.

The first card uses Graphic 45's Christmas Emporium collection that Aimee had sent me. The 8x8 paper pad is just way too awesome for making mini-albums and cards! It's wonderful that manufacturers make their collections into these smaller formats.  The cool vintage looking buttons came in a kit from Scrapbook Attack from probably two years ago now! 
Next I tried out my new Cricut Winter Frolic cartridge. I admit it, I like cutesy things, very very very much! I don't think I will ever tire of that trend, even when it is no longer a trend!! I would like some suggestions on what kind of papers to use for faces, you know, natural skin tone colors.  This is something I struggle to find every time I want to make cut a person!  I used an SRM Stickers sentiment for this card as well.
Lastly, unrelated to Scrap Rendez Vous, I have a Santa card using Santa's workshop collection from Doodlebug.  And have you seen the newest collection by Doodlebug: Sweet Cakes? Oh my, Valentine can't get here fast enough!  But before we go there, ho ho ho, I wish a very merry Christmas to you and yours!! 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Color Room 89

Winter firmly arrived here in Minnesota a few weeks ago and the kids rejoiced and welcomed it with open arms!  Even I, the grumpy mother, couldn't resist going outside and snapping some snow photos.  I must add that winter must have decided to take a Caribbean vacation because it's been unseasonably warm here this week!  Anyway, here in the photos, Second Child is completed outfitted by clothes from a dear friend of mine.  That hat is just so adorable!  I called it an Eskimo hat, though it really looks more Russian? Who knows, she looks cute in it :) 

Here is another beautiful palette from the Color Room.  I feel like these are shimmery winter colors, especially given the inspiration photo, so that's why I chose these photos for this layout.

Here is a close-up of the title area of the layout.  How adorable is that Cosmo Cricket chippie bird. I really miss their products!  I sure hope they will have new stuff out for the winter CHA coming up!
Christmas is fast approaching and I am furiously working on getting a big project wrapped up before I take Christmas break off for the first time since I started working!  There's always the 23rd for shopping! lol.  Have a wonderful evening and I hope to be back soon, which means I should probably make a project or two first! :) 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Doodlebug Tutorial and Project

Every year after Christmas, I pick up a few boxes of empty glass ornaments at Michael's for the following year's holiday season's DIY craft project.  With some glitter, they really make some seriously cute and easy ornaments.  One year, First Born dropped a couple and it has become the family lore!  Second Child who wasn't even conceived in our consciousness at the time of the "incident" will solemnly tell you the cautionary tale of her older sister dropping and breaking Mama's ornaments! LOL.

Doodlebug first came out with their sugar coating glitter in 2008, and they were extremely popular and difficult to find!  I would know because I was in market searching and buying, lol. I did manage to amass a lovely collection of Doodlebug glitter.  To think a few years later, I would serve on its design team and create a glittery tutorial, oh the full circle! :)
1.  Gather supplies needed: empty glass ornaments, glitter, and embossing fluid refill.

2.  Pour 2 teaspoon of embossing fluid into the empty ornament. This was a little hard to photograph, but you can sort of see just how much I have poured into the little bulb.  You can actually dilute the embossing fluid with water to make it stretch.  I recommend diluting it first before pouring into the little glass bulb.
3.  Gently rotate the ornament so that the entire interior of the ornament is coated with embossing fluid. This could take a while if the embossing fluid is thick.  (Yes, some embossing fluid is thicker than others.)

4.  Add more embossing fluid if it is needed. Pour out the extra when it is completely coated.

5.  Pour in the glitter quickly and abundantly but quickly swirl the ornament so the glitter coats the interior of the ornament.  It's important that a lot of glitter hits the wall of the glass ornament at once.  Otherwise, a little glitter hits the wall and the wall loses its stickness, which means more glitter won't stick.  So to create the most consistent thickness of glitter around the glass wall, use a lot of glitter and work fast.

6.  Pour out any excess glitter.  At this point, the ornament is actually ready to go on your Christmas tree!There's no waiting for drying, it's immediately done.  You can tie some twine on it, put a ribbon on it and hang it up.

7.  Optionally, you can decorate the outside of the ornament if desired with glittered stickers and jewels like I have done here.

Other ideas on decorating the exterior of the ornament: white rubons, permanent markers, glitter pens... I have tied wide ribbons at the top of the ornament, they look really good that way.  I hope this is helpful and that you will enjoy making your own glitter ornaments!

Before I go, I have another Doodlebug project to show.  I altered a kraft box into a gift box with papers from Doodlebug's Santa's Workshop collection.  I put this under the tree and the kids said that it is just decoration!  Who knows, eh?  Santa might just come on Christmas Eve and put something in there, so no one should discount an empty box!

Now if only we can fast forward so Santa can bring us more toys :) Have a wonderful week everyone!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Cards Part Two

I have another batch of Christmas cards to share with you using the December Work in Progress kit!

There were a couple of dark draft tags in the kit and I immediately decided that they should be used for holiday cards!  One of the little Ormalu flapper is "each and every day" which is just way too perfect as a sentiment for any card! I paired it with the tiny letters from Echo Park and created this card. A fair amount of 3-d foam adhesive is used, and you can see the depth on the close-up photo.
Next up is a failure apparently. I asked DH if he could tell for which occasion is this card. He stared at it for 10 minutes and told me that he had no idea! Really? I was a little appalled! Maybe I should have moved the number stickers closer together, but I thought the gingerbread man would have been a good clue that it's a Christmas card? Ugh, like I said, apparently, this one is a failure!
I put a couple of 3-d foam adhesive behind the little number flags to make them stay "flapped."
Then I have this relatively obvious holiday card using three tiny tags. I wonder if the non-traditional colors are what threw DH off in the previous one?
Lastly I will sneak in one more card that isn't a holiday card, but kinda cute anyway.

I have thoroughly enjoyed making these cards.  I hope this weekend will bring me some needed inspiration and creative energy.  My parents are leaving in just a few days to spend their winter in Shanghai and I will have significantly less free time soon!  Have a wonderful weekend everyone! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oh Christmas Cards... Part One

I have been making holiday cards, in fact, since last month, ever since Alexandra asked me to make a sketch and cards for Scrap Rendez Vous.  I will share those in another post soon.

First check out my card creations using the Sweet Peach Crop Shop's December Juicy kit. First is a square card with the silver Hambly reindeer rubon as the focal point of the card. I added a few brads to accent its antlers.
Next, I have a card that focuses on the colors red, kraft, and white. I hand stitched the border around the patterned paper to frame it. I used my trusted My Favorite Things die set for this. 
You can see the 3-d depth here in this close-up.
Lastly, I used the image of this elk in a sheet in Prima's North Country collection as the focal point of this card. A few scallops from the My Mind's Eye paper, ribbons, and a brad all add up to enhance the main image. This one is my personal favorite.
Here is a close-up of this card.
I have thoroughly enjoyed making these, especially using some non-traditional Christmas colors :)  Thank you for stopping by.  I have more cards to share with you yet next time!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Work In Progress Layouts

It's Friday which means that I survived a full work week after having quite a few days off for Thanksgiving!  Now that the weekend is here, I hope I can squeeze in a few minutes of creativity in the packed weekend schedule. Meanwhile, I have a couple of layouts using the December Work in Progress kit to share today.  Both them are documenting our summer trip and our day in historical Philadelphia. 

I used the tags as frames in the first layout.  The kids were just goofing around on the pebble street and I took some pictures.  I finished it off with drops of mist.  It's a pretty simple layout.

We would have loved to visit the Franklin Museum but it was under renovation so we just hung out at the Franklin Court. I really like the picture I took of First Born sitting there, definitely one of my favorites from the trip.
I layered a few stickers from the Echo Park and the etsy tags included in the kit. I guess these stickers reminded me of invention which is a huge part of Benjamin Franklin's life. 

I should say that I quite enjoyed all the chevron stripes included in this kit and I tried to leverage them wherever I can in these layouts.  Chevron stripes seem to be all the rage right now in scrapbooking.  I bet my friend Deana would tell me that they are all the rage in the fashion world as well, she would know, that and twine! ;)

Have a great weekend everyone!  Stay warm!  Count your blessings if you are warm already, lol!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Veni Vidi Visa

I was taking a lovely nap on the couch after the big meal on Thanksgiving when Second Child decided to mold my face as if it was play dough.  When she finally went away, I could drift back into z...z..z.... land with the sound of football playing on TV.  Then came some insistent disturbance around my ankle and foot, oh I was annoyed!!  Would someone please stop her already?  Completely irritated, I decided to open my eyes, it was DH trying to wake me up because it was 3:50 and time to go to Michael's!! 

The roads were completely deserted as I drove to the store.  Funny to see a cluster of cars parked in front of the store and a group of women and men standing outside waiting for the door to open!  They were ready for us, the store associates.  I am sure that she could see my hungry eyes as I came to a screeching halt in front of all the Cricut cartridges.  She cautioned us, "You must buy two cartridges to get this free one."  That was equivalent of saying to me, "You must eat the turkey and the sweet potatoes before you can have pecan pie!"  Where's the challenge?!  Thirty minutes later, I was home with my five new favoritestestest cartridges.  lol. Now fully awake, Second Child and I made more "animals" and she didn't seem nearly as irritating to me any more. 

The next morning on Black Friday, I headed out the door to Menard's (a hardware store) for more Cricut cartridges. This time, they had the Cricut Lites for $14 a piece!  Normally $40 and only "exclusively available" at Walmart or ebay, I don't know how this hardware store chain got ahold of these cartridges!  There was a limit of eight per customer.  I was reminded of this fact by several shoppers who saw what I had in my arms.  I just wanted to get them all and find a place far from the madding crowd (yeah right) to decided in peace :) 

So yes, veni, vidi, visa!! I am well stocked for Cricut cartridges for the year.  I cannot be more pleased!

I will leave you with a layout I created a few days for no good apparent reasons :) If this is random, I don't ever want to be methodical, lol.  It's a little busy I know, but I enjoyed cutting into this gorgeous Crate Random collection!
Just a little chipboard banner from October Afternoon.  Gosh, I do love to pile on the patterned paper and loath to use up precious embellishments! lol.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Color Room 86

What a wonderful Thanksgiving this has been! I must say that my sweet potatoes and my pecan pie turned out quite well! DH made the most wonderful turkey combining techniques from Alton Brown and a couple of other recipes. The stuffing was a complete miss but there was way too much food to cry over dried bread :)  I am completely full and very happy that our first Thanksgiving meal turned out so well! It certainly helped to have taken a day off yesterday for some prep work! Ironically enough, as much as I enjoyed the sweet potatoes and pecan pie, I really can't imagine eating them again for a long while, lol.

I am finally back with a Color Room layout! It seems hardly possible that I went from doing every palette to skipping nine palettes in a row!  I felt tremendous relief when I finally shook off the dust and faced my colorless wall and made this layout.  For that, I am also extremely thankful! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Apples of Our Life

Today I am sharing a layout I was asked to create for a special issue of the Creating Keepsakes: Scrapbooking with Fabric and Notions. I admit that I totally wanted to balk when I got the request to incorporate fabric into my journaling. That required some thinking outside of my box. In the end I was glad to have taken on the challenge because I am very happy with this layout.  I was so happy with it that I actually stuck everything down before I submitted it for review, lol.

As seen in special issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine: Scrapbooking with Fabric and Notions. Copyright Creative Crafts Group. Posted with prior permission from the publisher.

You can see a close-up of the fabric lined journaling here.  These are AdornIt fabrics that Carolee gave me when I visited her booth at Winter CHA this year. I thought they coordinated very well with the rest of my layout.  I trimmed very thin pieces of fabric and folded them in half lengthwise to make them even thinner.  Then I stitched them directly onto the paper. 

The label is a digital cut from Laina Lamb, you can find it in the 2peas store.  Isn't it awesome?

Thanksgiving in the U.S. is fast approaching and I am very thankful for this hobby and all the wonderful people I have met along the way, whether in real life or in the virtual blogsphere.  Thank you for visiting and your comments always brighten my day! 

I am excited for this Thursday because I am actually planning to make food! I have big plans: candied sweet potatoes and a pecan pie.  I've never baked a pie in my life, so my parents-in-law are bringing a back-up, lol.  That and no one else in the family likes pecans.  How un-American to not like pecans?! lol.  Anyway, I will finally have a Color Room project to show on Thursday so I will update you on my attempt at cooking and the aftermath :) 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Painted Face

A week later, all the furniture we bought at IKEA have been assembled, including two storage units for my scrapbook room.  As DH so wisely quipped on my purge effort a few months ago, my attempt at subtracting from infinity, while successful, is not visible.  So now I must resort to hiding some of that infinity.  I have a lot of work to do to get all the stuff on my tables and floors arranged and put away. 

This layout was up this week on the Doodlebug's blog so I can share it here now.  I used the Doodlebug's Colorwheel collection, a very bright and cheerful collection with flowers that look like the ones painted on my kids' face at Flint Hill Children's Arts Festival.  That was an event we went to in June when summer was getting into full swing. The most "memorable" thing about it was the horrendous rash I experienced due to apparently sun allergy! These pictures and layout are nice and everything but I can't help but cringe every time I think back to this day and the weeks that followed! 
I tell ya, I do love stickers and Doodlebug's cardstock and glittered stickers really make me happy.  Here is a cluster of flowers and my title in close-up:
The weekend is here!!  Hip hip hurray!  Have a great one everyone! Thank you for visiting!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mid-Autumn Festival and Mooncakes

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is usually sometimes in September. I remember as a youngster, we always had to eat four thing: mooncake, duck, potato, and egg.  Of these things, the moon cake is the most prominent, the de facto food of the mid-autumn festival.  The more famous type of moon cakes are the Cantonese style. They are glazed outside and usually sweet.  My favorite filling of moon cake growing up was a sweet mixture of brown sugar and pork fat.  It was as amazing to me then as it is revolting to me now. 

Then there is the Souzhou style mooncake, a dough that is pastry like with meat fillings.  They are baked on the stove top and always served and eaten hot.  I remember how amazingly delicious they were when we would buy them from street vendors.  Even now, every time I visit Shanghai, I return to the famous stores on Nanjing Road where I would buy a couple: one to inhale, one to savor :) 

These are the types of mooncake that my parents learned to make a few years ago. What's amazing to me is how authentic they are!  It's not like someone gave them a recipe.  They just figured things out by trial and error, and they are absolutely amazing from that perspective.  I appreciate their traditional culinary efforts and admire their abilities in the kitchen. 

So here it is a layout documenting them making mooncakes in 2010.  Using Doodelbug's Welcome Home and Bon Appetit collections and a pagemap.

Friday, November 11, 2011

She Got Style...

Today is Veteran's Day in the U.S..  We salute all our veterans and armed services members. Thank you for your services to this country!

I am still working my way through the Sweet Peach Crop Shop's November kit. Here is a layout using a couple of favorite photos of Second Child.  She really is adorable, especially when her hair is just pristinely done by Nabu :)
This layout was started because I wanted to try a flag banner like this.  It looked pretty much as I envisioned it so that's good. They are layered with 3-d foam adhesives and then I added the buttons, the rubon butterfly and bits of pearls. I am happy with the results!
Here is a close-up picture of the little title.  These Sassafras letters actually came in the October kit but they work very well here for my layout :)

The weekend is upon us and I am actually having a day off.  We are headed to Ikea to hopefully find some furniture for the kids' room.  I might get a few things to organize my scrapbook room.  At this point, I need to purge more than I need to organize.  I am not good at either of these two things!  sigh...  Happy weekend to you all!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Got Stuff? Confessions...

The October WIP's add-on kits came with two 5x5 Kraft boxes.  I liked the school theme so I altered it into this and gave it to Second Child to store her crayons.  She was very enamored with this box and for a few days all was well as she used it for her crayons.  One evening, First Born decided to "give" her sister all her crayons in a container (French's French Fried Onion sans lid).  Instead of transferring the crayons in the hideous Fried Onion thing into my glorious box, Second Child proceeded to take crayons out of the box to fit into the Fried Onion thing!  In my award-winning Mother of the Year moment, I dumped out all her crayons from her box and told her that I'm taking back the box and now it's her older sister's. 
You can all imagine how well that went over!  So the only solution left was to alter another box to maintain world peace and redeem myself!  I did just that with WIP's November main kit.  This time, I even bothered to label the box!  And of course, now that there are two boxes, no one really wants either of them any more!  It figures!
I also created this card using the WIP November kit. I dedicate this to my wonderful blog readers and friends!  Thank you for reading this silly post (a.k.a. confession of an unfair mother) and for visiting so faithfully!  Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Knitty Gritty

Some layouts I can't wait to share on the blog and this is definitely one of them.  It's never easy using only 4x6 sized photos on a layout and I thought this is well done, so I'm totally stoked :) Check out the Work in Progress kit that I used to create this layout.

How about that, eh... I can't believe she is doing a little knitting now, and that my mother was the one who started her doing it.  There was a time when the only sweaters we wore had to be knit by my mother.  What we consider a hobby activity today was once upon a time a necessity to do (or have no sweater to wear in the winter).  When I was First Born's age and asked my mother to teach me to knit, I was told: "Study hard, get good grades, go to college, get a good job, make money and buy all the sweaters you will ever need."  I did all of that, so today, my children have the luxury of learning knitting from their grandmother, yes, it's come full circle and I appreciate that.

I'll be waiting for that scarf First Born has promised me... my neck will freeze for decades I imagine but I'll be waiting...

This adorable yarn cluster comes from the Country Life cartridge. The scallop circle is cut from Elegant Edges cartridge.  I bought an Expression 2, I just couldn't live without my Cricut any more.  The new machine actually cuts better than my previous one, so I have a new side hobby now: making Cricut cuts for the sake of making cuts :)