Friday, March 25, 2011

Birthday Girl

Three years ago God proved to me once again that He knows best what we need. He blessed my husband and I with a daughter, Macy. I had wanted another boy, that's just how much I loved my son. I'll admit to being a little disappointed in that sonogram room when they told me it was a girl. Even though I was happy to have a healthy baby, I was unsure if I could love a daughter the way I loved my son. Not to mention the curious nature of wondering if you could love your second child as much as you love your first. All this to say, it didn't take long for me to fall hopelessly in love with my little girl, and I couldn't imagine my world without her. Thank you Lord for entrusting your child to me. Macy at 3:

Sweet & Sassy
Loves french fries
Looks like her Daddy
Proactive and Type A
Pink and girly
Takes her blankets everywhere
Sucks her thumb (not for much longer I hope!)
Loves books and her pajamas
Coming out of her shell

Happy Birthday Sweet Macy! Love you so much!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Worldless Wednesday

Just a few words today:








R.I.P. Elizabeth Taylor. Another Hollywood Icon lost to a generation. May you finally find the love and peace you chased after so much here on Earth.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday: Easy-Peasy Pinwheels

Here's an easy activity you can do with the kids - and it's perfect for the upcoming Easter holiday! The image of pinwheels spinning happily in the wind just speaks to me of my childhood - carefree and fun. I'm making a bunch with my own kids, and then I'll let them stick them in the yard. These would also make really fun party favors or dress up the table with a bit of whimsy for your next party! Let's get started!


1 - 12x12 Double Sided patterned paper -
paper trimmer
hole setter
coordinating brad
glue gun
bamboo skewer

First trim your patterned paper down to 6x6 size. You could get bigger or smaller, depending on how big you want them to be, as long as you trim it to an exact square.

Next - draw a large "x" on the back side from corner to corner.

Cut on each line almost up to the center point. Leave approximately 1/2" in the center from cut to center point. (the first time I tried to make a pinwheel, I cut to close to the point and it tore when I had it folded and was trying to set the brad.)

Using your hole setter, punch a small hole in every other corner. Don't use a regular hole punch from the office supplies. Your hole will be too big.

Now pick one corner that has a hole in it and fold it to the center. Take every other corner and fold all four corners in to the center so the holes all line up together.

Push your brad through the holes and fasten. If you want to dress your brad up a little, add a button or sticker.

Take your bamboo skewer and drop a touch of hot glue on the end. Slide it into the center of the pinwheel and press to dry.

All done! Enjoy your cute creation!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday, Monday

Well it's a new week and Spring Break is officially over. The kids go back to school tomorrow (insert sight of relief and cheers here) and I'll get some time to myself before the kids go to bed! I've got a lot to do this week too, as daughter's Strawberry Shortcake 3rd bday party is this weekend. Stay tuned for all the fun projects I'll be working on for the party!
Today I wanted to share my most recent scrapbook infatuation - one of the new collections from Crate Paper called "Emma's Dress Shoppe". I absolutely adore it and bought almost the entire line! Everything from the colors, the patterns, and the vintage theme just resound with me and on the one hand, I don't want to cut anything up or cover it up, on the other hand, I can't wait to dig in and make some pretty somethings with these new goodies. Check it out -
I love the cutouts and stickers and the paper designs are just darling! The flowers are from Michaels, buttons are my own, and I bought lace & eyelet trim from Hobby Lobby. These will be very girly projects!

Check back here tomorrow for a Spring inspired Tutorial Tuesday!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Perfect Picnic

The weather this past week has been gorgeous - and definitely has me seeing spring colors everywhere I go! Of course I had to translate these feelings to paper! This layout is actually a combination of inspirations - a color combo challenge from the Creative Scrapbooking Divas (http://divascreativas.ning.com/) and a sketch from Sketchy Thursdays (http://sketchythursdays.blogspot.com/). It's a LO of the kids in one of our simple pleasures - a backyard picnic complete with Happy Meals and sunshine. Here's what I came up with:

I used new American Crafts paper for the background, polka dot & tree paper. Flowers are all cut from last spring's Cosmo Cricket De-lovely collection. Yellow thickers, rub on alphas, Jilly Bean sprout journaling circle, buttons & white acrylic paint. TFL!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

He Said...

Here is a layout I designed using a page map for the Creative Scrapbooking Divas design team call. I've been wanting to do a layout based around this idea for a while now. First, a little context:

My husband works a lot of nights at the airport (he's an agricultural specialist with Customs & Border Protection) so I do most of the bed times with the kids. Last year in March of 2010, one of Cade's favorite books was called "Mommy's Little Boy" and the idea of course is that no matter how old or how big Cade gets, he will always be my little boy. I started telling him that I wished he would stay little and not grow up and he would always giggle. Then one day from out of the blue, we're driving to preschool and this little voice from the backseat says, "I'm sorry mommy, but I can't stay little. I have to grow up and get big like daddy." Well, you can imagine how this affected me. I got so choked up I didn't know what to say. When I walked him in to his teachers, I cried telling them the story - and they cried too! We're just softies I guess. But that one incident has stuck with me and I will always remember it. Here's what I did with it...

Friday, March 18, 2011

What to Do

I'll be joining the other Creative Scrapbooking Divas this weekend for an on-line crop! What are you doing this weekend??? Whatever you do, find time to be creative and check back here later. I'll be posting some new layouts and projects!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday: Primitive Pirate Invitation

Well it's birthday season at our house, with parties almost every weekend and both of my own kids' birthdays coming up. I love going all out (as much as I can on a budget) with a theme and making the party special for everyone involved. Let's face it - when they're young, the parties are for the adults as much as the kids! This year my daughter's party is Strawberry Shortcake and my son's party is inspired by the new Disney cartoon, "Jake and the Neverland Pirates". So today's tutorial is my son's birthday invitation, but also a look at how to age paper.

Let's start with the recipe for this project:
one invitation printed on letter sized cream cardstock
instant coffee
vanilla extract & ground cinnamon
shallow baking dish & tongs, paper towels
large cookie sheet
parchment paper
lighter (per your preference)
Here is the invitation before I've done anything to it:
Now the fun begins!
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  • Prepare instant coffee as directed on container, but just a little more volume. This container called for 6 oz. water, so I made it with 8 oz. and instead of 1 heaping teaspoon of granules, I added 1 1/2 tsp.

  • Add cinnamon & vanilla to coffee mixture. Don't have direct measurements for this folks, but you want to be able to smell the cinnamon over the smell of the coffee.

  • Pour the coffee mixture into casserole dish and let cool just enough so you won't burn your fingers if they were to come in contact with the liquid.
  • While it is cooling, take your invitation and crumple it up, careful not to tear the paper. It's o.k. if it tears a little bit, but too much and it will fall apart once it gets wet. The creases and lines will show up great when they absorb the coffee. Now uncrumple your paper and lay it out flat.

  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place it right next to your casserole dish so that you can easily slide your paper out of the coffee and directly onto the waiting cookie sheet.

  • Place it in the coffee mixture and use your tongs to push it down. Make sure all parts of the paper are covered with the liquid. Soak both sides of paper in coffee, and let sit just a little to really absorb the color of the coffee.

  • Now slide the paper onto the parchment lined cookie sheet and place in the200-250 degree oven for 9 minutes.
I was really nervous about putting paper in the oven. It goes against everything we've been taught right? But, we need the heat to 'set' the color and 'flavor' of everything we've put on the paper.

O.k. - once you've removed the cookie sheet from the oven, let the paper dry completely. You may be tempted to play with it, but don't give in! The paper won't be totally dry yet, and you could end up tearing it. (am I speaking from personal experience? Why yes I am!)

NOTE: once it dries the paper will be crispy and not easily manipulated. This will make it difficult to fold if you're planning on mailing it!*If you want to use the lighter and burn the edges of the paper, stand over your sink and do it at this point!

For a final touch - gently roll the paper and tie it with black silk ribbon. It will be big and bulky, but these aren't going in the mail so that's o.k. This invitation looks (and smells) great!
This also works great with Halloween projects, Thanksgiving projects (pilgrims) or any history project.I used the same technique on the flashcards for a tablescape & this banner:

Thanks for looking and good luck with your own projects!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Just Do What You Do

I could spend all day (and have on occassion!) surfing the internet from one blog to another and oohing and ahhing over the beautiful and talented crafters out there. From sewing to all kinds of crafting, from party planning and decorating to scrapbooking, I have found so much joy and inspiration from countless bloggers that my head spins. You know what else I find? I find myself wishing I could be that good. I find myself comparing myself to this or that woman whose talent is light years ahead of mine. How do these women find the time? How do they come up with these ideas? Why can't I do that? Oh I wish, I wish, I wish I had that kind of ability to make that scrapbook page, that crafting element. By the end of my blog hunt I find myself paralyzed; unable to do any kind of craft because I'll never create anything that good. And so my paper collects dust, my scrapbook room lies quiet and still, waiting for my self confidence to return.
The truth is I will probably never be as good as these women, and most days I'm o.k. with that. In my own way, in my own style, I'm actually fairly decent. But when you're passionate about something, fairly decent isn't good enough, and I spend too much time comparing myself to others, frozen and a little jealous of their talent. This is where my walk as a believer in Jesus Christ comes in.
God has reminded me today that I am not to compare myself to others, for in doing so I find fault with His creation. Jeremiah 1:5 says, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart..." Because I am a child of God, I know that I was created for a purpose. Right now my main purpose is to be a good wife and mother, taking care of the gifts God has given me and to grow in my relationship with Jesus Christ. He also has reminded me to be happy with who I am, and with the talents He has given me, for "every good and perfect gift is from above." James 1:17. I don't need to be the skinniest, prettiest, or most talented when it comes to scrapbooking. And while crafting gives me joy, it should not be the source of it. So I will keep looking at the beautiful creations of others on the internet, and marvel at their abilities. But for now, I'm just going to find happiness in my own creations, and I want to encourage you to do the same - just do what you do.