Oh Baby!

My wife’s work spouse’s spouse had a baby last weekend.  Baby Isaias was born pretty prematurely and is in the NICU, but he’s a trooper and is getting better by the day.  We’re all praying for him.  Of course, they haven’t wanted to have the baby shower until he was doing better, but I can’t wait to give them this card I made and the diaper cake that I’m almost done with.

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I used a page from this great old middle school music primer I got at a tag sale at the beginning of the summer and, since it was for a baby, crayons to add some color.  I don’t know why it’s so fun to use crayons- I guess it brings out the kid in people.  I stuck on a few lines from the song “Beside Thy Cradle Here I Stand” (having no idea how perfect it would end up being for his first week).  Then, I glued on scraps of the embroidery floss I used to tie the diapers for the diaper cake (which, when finished, will have its whole own post).  (I know that disposable diapers are pretty controversial in some circles, but even if they end up going with cloth it’s always handy to have some as backups.)

I’m entering it into the Totally Papercrafts challenge: Happy Birthday Baby! (http://totallypapercrafts.blogspot.com/2013/09/ch185-200913-lisa-happy-birthday-baby.html)  The Design Team’s samples in this challenge are so cute and creative, but, then, there’s something about baby cards that are just automatically adorable.

I’m also entering Card Making Mamas (cause that’s kind of what I am, too!) (http://cardmakinmamas.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/cmm74-for-kids-sponsored-by-bugaboo.html)  Their theme is “For the Kids”, so I guess a baby card counts.

Finally, just for the heck of it, I’m linking to the “Anything Goes” challenge on Jo’s Scrapshack.  (http://www.jwscrapshack.blogspot.com/2013/09/ffc-18-anything-goes.html)  There are a couple cute Halloween cards from the Design Team and the host that I really like.  I’ve never made/given a Halloween card, but it such a fun idea.

Another of my wife’s work friends is having a baby soon, too.  I’m making a diaper bouquet (and a card).  I better get cracking on those.  (Stay tuned!)

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Sugar for my sweet

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I know I’ve mentioned this before, but my wife is an amazing cook.  I’ve given her full reign to get any kitchen utensils/appliances she needs because I know she’s going to use them to make something delicious.  And any time she says she wants me to make or decorate something for the kitchen, I’m all over it!

A few weeks ago, she said she wanted a sugar dish to keep on the counter so she didn’t have to open the canister every time she needed a little bit of sugar.  I know we had one that came with our mug set, but I couldn’t find it for the life of me.  I kept my eye out for one as we were browsing at the cute country stores, antique stores, and galleries on our trip last weekend, but couldn’t find one.  Then, buried on my craft table, I found this little jar I had saved from the recycle bin quite some time ago.  I think some kind of meat rub or seasoning came in it (the kitchen is clearly her domain).  It was the perfect size and has a nice latching top to prevent bugs from getting in and spills from getting out.

Simon Says Stamping is challenging readers to try stamping on anything but paper this week (http://www.simonsaysstampblog.com/mondaychallenge/challenge-stamping-on-anything-but-plain-paper).  This seemed like the perfect opportunity to join in.  At first, I tried stamping the word “sugar” right on the glass.  It didn’t really show up well.  I’m sure there’s a way to stamp on glass, but I couldn’t figure it out.  So, went through my scrap paper box and fabric bin and got some materials that I thought would look neat on the jar and in our kitchen.  I also picked out a really cool old-fashioned glass jar stamp that I bought a while ago and have been looking for the right place to use it.  The fabric I chose was from a set of cloth napkins I picked up at the thrift store (I’ve been using one of them for backgrounds for my photos, lately, and have started cutting up another to use in different projects).  I grabbed the one I’ve been cutting up and stamped my jar on it with a midnight blue ink from my Paper Pumpkin kit.  The stamp came out perfectly, having followed Design Team member Sandra’s directions for stamping on cloth: http://madebysannie.blogspot.com/2013/09/londen-calling.html (I absolutely LOVE this bag she made for the challenge).  I made sure to get my stamp nice and inky and then stamped on a somewhat supple surface, pushing and holding for a couple seconds longer than I might otherwise have on paper.

I used scrapbook paper with a neat greenish, distressed look and stamped the work “sugar” on it (with the same stamp I had originally used on the glass itself).  I put on a nice coat of glossy Mod Podge and smoothed on the paper and fabric with the stamp.  I put some of the lacy edge of the napkin at the top to kind of border the label and voila!  (This time, I finally waited until it the bottom coat was dry before putting on the top coat of Mod Podge, so it stayed nice and smooth.)

Many Thanks

I received a new Paper Pumpkin kit and immediately got to work (https://mypaperpumpkin.com/en).  The base cards were kraft paper brown with a neat bullseye kind of pattern on the front.  There was some white baker’s twine (I’ve been wanting to play with that stuff), some little index card-shaped die cuts and some V-shaped die cuts, some wooden-colored buttons, and a couple celebratory stamps.  The ink pad was midnight blue, a color I’ve really wanted.  There were also some little foam double-sided adhesives to give cards some dimension, something I’ve really felt I needed to do more of lately.

Of course, I didn’t follow the directions for the suggested sample card (I’m not so good at following directions), but here’s what I did make.  The theme for all of them was “Thank you”, as I needed to make a thank you card for my parents and wanted to make a few so I could choose the best for them.  They watched our dog while were out of town celebrating our anniversary (which was an absolutely amazing weekend).  Plus, you can never have too many thank you cards.  Here’s what I came up with, along with some challenges I’m entering them into:

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This one is for the Make My Monday challenge:  Swirls and Pearls (http://mimchallegeblog.blogspot.com/2013/09/swirls-and-pearls.html).  It’s pretty clean and simple, a design I’m really starting to like.  I used scrapbook paper for the background on a plain off-white card (for the “swirls).  Then, I stamped the “thanks” on the mini-index card with the navy ink, added the baker’s twine (another little swirl), and embellished it just a bit with some scrapbooking pearls.

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This one was was for Shopping Our Stash’s “Oldest Flower” challenge: http://shoppingourstash.blogspot.ca/2013/09/sos-119-oldest-flower.html.  The background was the card from the Paper Pumpkin kit.  I added the stamped index card and then pulled these flowers out of a drawer.  I actually got them right after we got engaged (so they’re almost 2 years old, now) and had planned to use them for something at the wedding.  I didn’t have a specific idea for them, but I knew purple was going to be one of the wedding colors and I was excited to start shopping.  Of course, we ended up not using them (I think I actually put them away somewhere and forgot all about them).  I glued them down just in the centers, so they still have some dimension, and used the adhesives on the card.  They have just a touch of glitter, which is hard to see in the photo.

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This one was made for Creative Corner Challenge’s “The Leaves are Falling” theme:  http://creativecornerchallenges.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-leaves-are-falling.html.  I actually tried a new technique on this one, based on one of the Artists in Blogland Design Team’s ideas:  http://artistsinblogland.blogspot.com/2013/09/techniques-on-tuesday-with-jessica-sporn.html  She used actual leaves as stamps, which I loved (see, especially, the woman she did with colorful leaf stamps as hair).  She used watercolors for a much more soft, pretty look and I used stamp pads (I like hers a lot better, so I’m going to definitely try that sometime soon).  I’m also linking up to their Show and Tell with my take on their technique (http://artistsinblogland.blogspot.com/search/label/show%20and%20tell%20saturday)  The button is from Paper Pumpkin.  I’m saving the other 4 for something special (I really like the wood-look).

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And this is the one I decided to give to my parents!  I like how clean and simple it is and I really like the geometry from the Paper Pumpkin elements (actually, everything except the actual letter stamps are from the Paper Pumpkin kit).  My dad’s an architect, so I think he’ll like it.  I actually didn’t have a challenge in mind when I made this one (maybe that’s why I like it the best- it’s all me).

I’m also entering the Hero Arts “Game, Set, Match” challenge (http://ablognamedhero.blogspot.com/2013/09/challenge-32-game-set-match.html).  They suggested making 3 (or more) identical, or really similar, cards at once (which I do all the time, especially when making holiday cards).  I didn’t use any Hero Arts stamps in these, but in going through my collection afterwards, I realized that I do have quite a few.  I’ll definitely use one for their next month’s challenge!

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So, now I have a few thank you cards for next time I need one.  Which one is your favorite?

(p.s. While our dog was staying with my parents, my brother took some amazing pictures of him.  Here they are on his blog:  http://lorrinbaker.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/bear/.  Thanks, Lorrin!)

Last 2 anniversary cards (I think)

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This one was made for another couple challenges.  The first one is Shopping our Stash’s “Favorite Stampy Technique”.  (http://shoppingourstash.blogspot.ca/2013/09/sos-118-favorite-stampy-technique.html).  I used a fun Hero stamp I got from one of my favorite bloggers on the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge design team, who was thinning her stash and selling some of her old stamps for about 1/2 price.  (http://cheironbrandon.typepad.com/my_weblog/stamps-stuff-for-sale.html).  My “Favorite Stampy Technique” is using Bingo ink daubers to ink the stamps.  I tried it when I first started experimenting with stamping because I only had a couple ink pads.  My wife has a ton of Bingo daubers and she actually introduced me to Bingo (which I have to admit I rather like).  I just randomly inked different sections of the stamp with different colors and plopped the card on top.  (I stamp “upside down” when using these, because they tend to be a little drippy.  I’ve found that when you stamp down on the card some of the ink that drips into the crevices drips down onto the paper.  If you stamp “up” by putting the paper on the stamp, this can be avoided.)  I love how bright the colors are!

The second challenge comes in with the quote stamp.  It’s from Stampsmith (some of my favorite stamps are from them).  Their challenge is to create something that’s “Inspired by a Song” (http://thestampsmithchallenge.blogspot.com/2013/09/tsc46inspired-by-song-using-at-least.html).  This was a perfect theme to make a card for my wife for, who’s laying next to me singing as I type.  This quote made me think of the song of “What A Wonderful World”, which I wrote on the inside of the card and which we played at our wedding (the “Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World” mash up by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_DKWlrA24k).  It’s one of my favorite songs.)  The flowers seem to have a kind of Hawaiian theme.

This card is perfect for our anniversary because I really did marry my best friend.

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And this is the last card I’m making (I think).  I used another Stampsmith stamp (aren’t they great?  So detailed!) which I colored with colored pencils.  I used my hand-made zig zag stamp on the sides and a cute phrase on the bottom with Sharpie.

And another…

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I made this card to remember our Jill and Jill.  In case you haven’t been following along, I’m making a bunch of cards for our first wedding anniversary, coming up this weekend, because it’s the “paper” anniversary (and because I couldn’t think of anything else to get).

We had a beach themed party (NOT to be confused with a Hawaiian theme, which my wife was dead set against.  Ironically, when I went to get the postage for our “Save the Date”, the only ones they had were “Aloha” stamps.  She thought I was conspiring against her.)  We made a cornhole with bare feet on it (posted about here: https://craftymadre.com/2013/09/08/have-cornhole-will-travel/) and strung flip-flop lights from the bar with little beach glass/twine/seashell candle holders from Christmas Tree Shops on the tables.  (Oh, by the way, I found out from someone that a “cornhole” is called that because they DID used to throw bags of corn in the hole, but then the corn got mushy or eaten by critters or something so they switched to synthetic pellets).

I made this card to enter into this week’s Drunken Stampers challenge “button” theme: http://drunkenstampers.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/thing-buttons-drunken-stampers-challenge-140/.  I grabbed a metal button from my stash and used some of my fabulous glitter glue to make it into a disco ball.  Here it is halfway covered:

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I used black cardstock for the background (pasted onto the white card), a piece of shiny silver wired ribbon with stars, and some 3D  stickers.  I used more glitter glue to put beams of glory shooting out from the disco ball and dots all over (I even put dots on the back of the card in order to wipe off my fingers and the glue tip).

I love the dimension in this card and it’s almost as fun as the party was.  We had an awesome DJ, Lori B from Martini Productions (http://martiniproductions.wordpress.com/), and I totally just found out that she has a blog as I was looking up a link to post for her!  So many of our friends made raffle baskets and I made a couple crafts to raffle, as well.

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I hope the card brings back as many great memories for my wife as it’s brought back for me making it and writing about it.

Another card for my love

So… here’s what I’ve decided.  The first anniversary is paper, right?  And my wife has absolutely everything she could possibly need.  I’ve already made a couple cards, because I love making cards so much, so I’m just going to make as many cards as I can between now and Friday (that’s when we agreed to exchange gifts).  Here, then, is my next one:

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I made this for the Make My Monday Challenge: Create a Scene (http://mimchallegeblog.blogspot.com/2013/09/create-scene.html).  It’s kind of a representation of our wedding, which was in our back yard with flowers all around.  I used lavender chalk on the background, which I kind of liked the subtlety of, and washi tape on the bottom.  The purple flower stamp is one of the erasers I got from Staples and the grass is another favorite stamp.  I cut the silhouette out of black construction paper.  I put a couple silver stickers on for good measure (the colors of the wedding were purple and grey/silver).

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Now, I’m going to have to find nice things to write on all these cards.  It shouldn’t be hard, though.  🙂

Gelli-madness

I GOT A GELLI PLATE!!!  I’ve been seeing blogger after blogger do amazing things with this thing they keep referring to as a “Gelli Plate” and have been dying to get my hands on one.  I went to Michaels (my go to place for all things crafty) and they looked at me like I had two heads (not their finest moment).  Then, a blogger wrote about an anniversary party for what sounds like an amazing, locally owned craft store in the UK, The Artistic Stamper, and I commented on how it was so great that places like that existed and we should do everything we could to keep them alive.  I discovered they had an on-line store and they were offering free shipping (even internationally) and they sold gelli plates.  So I got one (and a couple stamps, for good measure).  I went with the 6″x6″ one because my space is limited and I tend to do smaller things, anyway.  I hope you’ll check them out:  http://www.theartisticstamper.com/.  They have a huge selection of paper craft materials.

Of course, I went right to work with it.  I don’t have a brayer, so I brushed the acrylic craft paint on with a foam brush.  I tried a couple different ways to make designs in it- dragging the tip of the brush across in lines and waves and stamping with a cool eraser ring I picked up in the back-to-section at Staples (2 for $1).  Here are my first two pages, which I’m going to use for backgrounds in soon-to-be-completed art journal pages:

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As I was using the eraser to stamp on the gelli plate and then on the paper in the empty section, I started to think it kind of looked like the pattern on a turtle’s back.  I had just seen a card challenge with the theme of “Animal Antics” and my wife happens to love turtles and our anniversary is coming up this weekend… so I made her a(nother) card.  I made a stencil out of cardstock for the shell and then loaded up my gelli plate with green paint and stamped the eraser all over it.  I lined it up on the card, stamped, and voila!  It was perfect!!

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Of course, when I opened the card, I realized that the shell was upside-down so I rethought my original concept and stamped on the new phrase.  Sharpies helped make the face, legs, and belly (after Googling images of “turtle cartoons” as a little bit of inspiration).  I already showed it to her and she loved it (she would have seen it in my blog, anyway, and she’s an investigator so it’s impossible to keep anything secret from her).  But I’m not actually GIVING it to her until our anniversary.

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