Card challenge

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I made another card for a couple challenges.  The themes for each of them, respectively, were “Music” and your “All-Star stamp”.  I’m making the card for a couple of my boy’s friends (siblings) who are performing in “The King and I” in a couple weeks.  He’s going to their dress rehearsal tomorrow, so I thought it would be nice for him to bring a little card for them.  It was also the perfect occasion to use my new film strip punch by “ek”.  I’ve never gotten one before because they’re so expensive, but I needed something to do with my last 40% off coupon at Michael’s (it would have been a crime to just waste it, right?)  I love it because it has a guide that you can line up the already punched portion to keep the pattern going in as long a line as you want.

Here are the challenges I’m entering:

http://addictedtocas.blogspot.com/2013/08/atcas-challenge-21.html – This one is one of my favorite new challenges.  I’ve struggled with the “Clean and Simple” style but it forces me to be really mindful.  I especially liked this week’s theme, “Music”, and it was perfect for the purpose of the card.  I used one of the Design Team’s ideas of putting sheet music behind a die cut shape.  I can’t find the link to her post about the inspiration card, but here’s her blog: http://florenceandfreddiepart2.wordpress.com/.  I really love her style.  My first iteration of this card included a couple stickers on the front with a movie theme.  I love the stickers, but the style didn’t really match and it took away from the CAS style (see, I’m learning).  Luckily, I was able to peel them off and put them on the inside, instead.  Without the stickers, I was left with a blank space next to the writing, so I cut out a little star out of a piece of the music and pasted it on.

http://www.simonsaysstampblog.com/mondaychallenge/challenge-stamping-all-stars/ – Another favorite challenge, and their design team usually goes in the totally opposite direction from CAS.  But I love them!!  They’re all about the layers and the dimension and they’re not all cards.  One of the submissions is a bunch of multi-colored tea bags stapled to the back side of a wooden frame with chipping aged wood behind it.  On the side of the frame, she stamped one of my favorite quotes from Marianne Williamson “We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?’  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.”  Here’s the link to her piece: http://snappingmonsters.blogspot.com/2013/09/my-other-creations-artsy-tea.html  I think it’s absolutely amazing.  It didn’t inspire this card, but it definitely inspired me (and I Pinned it for later.)

The theme for this challenge is “My Stamping All-Star”.  That would totally be my typewriter letter stamps from “Recollections”.  I use them all the time, and I’ve gotten better at them.  I’ve learned how to use a ruler to line them up if I want a straight line and I’ve learned that if I want the edges not to show I have to either wipe off the extra ink with a damp towel or stamp really carefully on a really hard surface.  I didn’t do either of those things this time, but I like the way it turned out.  I used a Craftsmart’s Brick Red ink pad for a little dash of color.

Here are the materials I used (my new paper punch and my “all-star” stamp (collection):

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And my boy’s sweet message on the inside:

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Have cornhole, will travel

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Okay, okay.  Before I start getting comments about the shocking nature of the title of this post, a “cornhole” is a beanbag toss.  Pure and simple.  I don’t know where it got that name.  (Maybe they used to use dried corn kernels to make the bean bags, but then they’d probably be called “corn bags”, wouldn’t they?)  Anyway, this cornhole set was build by my father-in-law for our Jill and Jill party.  It’s been making the rounds at various parties and family functions every since.  It was even used as a ruse to get my parents to their 50th Anniversary party (we have to use my dad’s truck to transport them).

The first photo was their original incarnation.  The theme of the party was the “Toes” song by the Zac Brown Band.  We even had PBR on tap.  It came from a couple days after we had first met.  My wife went to Country Fest and sent me a video of that song from the show.  It was one of the only country songs I even knew at the time.  In fact, in the on-line profile at the dating site where I met her, for musical tastes I wrote “anything but country”.  She loves country.  (I’ve actually recently been to my first Country Fest- and I survived it.)

(This cake has nothing to do with the cornhole theme of the post, but I had to share it.  It’s a cake that one of our bridesmaids had made for the Jill and Jill.)

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So, after the Jill and Jill the cornhole set sat in the basement for a while until I realized that it was such great entertainment for any party.  We dragged it out for our boy’s 8th birthday and I painted them sky blue.  I was going to put more a design on them, either an 8 or something Skylanders (the theme of the party) but I ran out of time.  (That’s probably okay, though, because he was much more interested in the bounce house we rented).

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Some friends have borrowed it on occasion, and we just used it again today for our church block party.  I spray painted the initials of the church on it:  “Trinity United Methodist Church“.  (As I was trying to mask the “M” with painters’ tape, I found myself wishing I was still a member of the United Church of Christ.)  I went with the sloppy look because the sign advertising the party has those block letters with the spray paint spilling over, too.  Image

Here’s the final version of their latest incarnation:

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And some good ol’ cornhole fun at the block party, with my wife, the referee:

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I ended up with a wicked sunburn, but had a great time.  Our boy got totally decked out in his balloon armor and I spent the rest of the afternoon holding everything so it wouldn’t pop while he played.

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I wonder how I’ll paint them next???

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV

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When I saw this photo challenge theme, An Unusual Point of View, I immediately thought of a photo I took atop the Yokahu Observation Tower in El Yunque National Rain Forest in Puerto Rico.  I actually took the picture with my iPhone, because I wanted to send it to my dad.  It just tickled me to see this binocular thing in the midst of one of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen.  I guess it’s for people who have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees.

I love the theme for this challenge as I’m really into the unique point of view.  I think it can say a lot about someone’s creativity and willingness to “think outside the box”.  There are a ton of awesome photos at the blog this week with this theme:  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/unusual/

Here’s another photo I took that day that goes with the theme.  It’s from the ground looking up at the tower.  I just love the blue and white of the sky behind the aged, rust colored stone.

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I’m not a big photo blogger, but I love taking pictures.  Touring the rainforest was a truly amazing adventure and going through the photos brings it all back to me!

An owl to scare away the woodpecker

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My parents have a woodpecker problem.  A HUGE woodpecker problem.  They have clusters of holes in every corner of their siding.  They’ve tried hanging shiny things from the roof to scare them to no avail.  My dad has even hinting at getting a BB gun.  Here are a couple of photos that I cropped from our recent reunion (I wasn’t even aiming at the holes, but they came through in the pictures loud and clear):

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So, when I saw this adorable Upcycled woodpecker on the Old School Garden blog (http://audaxdesign.co.uk/) I knew I had to give it a try.  I followed the post pack to this neat blog:  http://aristonorganic.com/2013/02/19/upcycle-make-an-owl.  You’ll have to check out the blog itself, because I couldn’t copy the original photo but, trust me, it’s adorable.

I went through my considerable CD collection and ended up with a compilation CD I made when I was teaching middle school theater.  It was definitely time to close that chapter.  My only second thought about this one is that it was kind of blue, instead of the typical hologram-y silver you get with store-bought CDs.  I think I’ll try one of those next if I can find one I’m willing to part with.  I picked up a bag of knives at the local thrift store and I raided my button stash for the beak and pupils.  I had the rest of the lids and bottle-caps lying around for just such a project.

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It looks like the elements are bolted together on the original version but the glue seems to be holding pretty well.  I put a used cap center from a canning jar on the back for another layer to hold the knives together.  (Those suckers are heavy.)  I have no idea how they found such short knives, but this will be the samurai edition.

My version is nowhere near as cute as the original, but it’s a first try (and there are 5 corners at my parents’ house, so I have four left to make).  I’ve since found a ton of other cute owls made out of upcycled materials, so I have a lot of others to try.  I’ll be sure to add any subsequent ones to this post.

I hope that if the shininess of the silverware and CD don’t scare off the woodpeckers, the knives will.  (My boy was very excited to think that they might be “decapitated”, which disturbed me just a little.)