Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Crafty Soiree #131

Hi Friends! 

If you're in the Midwest like me, and got hit by snow this week, I hope it wasn't as bad as predicted and you've been able to dig yourselves out.  We had six or more inches predicted at one point but ended up with about three.  The lights went out three times for around five minutes each time so I was most worried about a cold night without heat.  So glad it went back on and stayed on!  We had a snow day yesterday and things were pretty calm around here.  However, as of this writing our schools had not gotten their power back so we may be all at home on Thursday too.

We were in need of an uneventful day, after finding out that Brad's Grandma died Monday night.  She's in Missouri and we had not seen her since last Spring Break.  We were beginning to discuss making the trip down again the week after Easter when ER is off of school and are so sad we missed being able to see her one last time.  I'm very glad we sent a recent batch of pictures and a handmade Valentine that I know she received and liked.  Once again, I'm reminded of the fragility of life and how much each of our loved ones means.  I hope you won't think me presumptuous if I urge you to all give yours a big hug today!
Now back to "business", although our weekly time together is too much fun to be considered "work" :) I had a super hard time picking just five projects to showcase this week!  You are all truly amazing!!!  I love being inspired by my crafty peeps, who have to be the most creative bunch of bloggers out there.  Here is just a little of the awesomeness shared last week:
1 Hour DIY - Vintage Book E-Reader Case Tutorial from Strawberry Roan: I love how this project combines both the classic and modern way to enjoy the written word!
Washer Flowers from Do Small Things with Love: Remember the washer necklaces that were all the rage a couple years ago?  Here's an updated way to use the same technique and create custom art.
DIY Condiment Caddy from A Typical English Home: I love the resourcefulness of bloggers, when Andrea needed an organizer, she made herself one with MDF!  Wanna know another neat thing about this project?  It's been painted in chalkboard paint, so clever!
Free Pattern: Newborn Crown from Little Rays of Sunshine: I could not, not share this darling itty bitty crown.  Isn't it just the sweetest?!  Wouldn't it make a really special photo prop for a newborn photo shoot? 
DIY Michigan String Art from Andrea Arch: Okay, I'll admit to being biased by sharing this one.  Just had to share some mitten love from my fellow Michigander!  She is lucky enough to live on the otherside of the state, where some of the nicest people I know are, along with beautiful tulip farms, and gorgeous sandy beaches.  It well deserves the "heart" marking the spot.
  • Link up to four of your creative projects (No Etsy stores or other linky parties pretty please).
  • Add your link to the specific posts not the main URL
  • Add a "Crafty Soiree" button to your blog or posts.
  • Please comment on the post linked up in front of you. All party goers love meeting new friends... don't just stop there...if you see something that catches your fancy-- stop by and say hi!
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Alton Brown's Swedish Meatballs, Yum!

I can't take credit for making these delectable meatballs, my friend Kate made them for their Super Bowl party but was kind enough to wrap up a bunch for Brad who had to stay home sick.  But guess who somehow ended up eating most of them, oops!  Well, he was too sick and not in the mood to eat much.  Wouldn't want anything this tasty to go to waste.  Seriously, these were great and one of the very best meatballs I've ever had!  They were so good I wanted to share them with you, because it's always nice to have recommendations for new recipes!  Both kiddies and I loved them; they're great comfort food and so nice and filling during the cold winter months.   You should definitely give them a try too.  And if you do, I'd love to know what you think!

You can find the recipe on The Food Network: Swedish Meatballs by Alton Brown.


Shared at: Close to Home

Monday, February 25, 2013

Baby Boy Scrapbook Pages: Just Arrived

Some of my most viewed scrapbook posts are of LB's baby layouts, like his newborn pages.  It seems a lot of people are interested in baby boy ideas!  I've made quite a dent in the pages I want to make for LB's First Year Album and have several ready to post.  I've decided to start a weekly series of Baby Boy Scrapbook Pages.  I'm excited to share what I've done so far!

I also thought this would be a good way of getting back to my main creative passion, memory keeping and papercrafts.  I hope you all enjoy and get some ideas for simple and easy to create pages.  There probably won't be many fancy tricks or elaborate techniques because I just don't have time for all that!  My scrapbook philosophy is to keep the focus on the stories and pictures.  Not that I don't love product, you all know I love to shop for new supplies but I try to make sure it's my photos that shine. 

For my first post in this new series I have a page with the type of photos many moms of newborns have, pictures of their sweet slumbering baby.  These are of LB right after he came home.  I hope you can tell how darling he looks, despite the glare on the plastic of the page protector.

To create this page, I took at look at the pictures I wanted to use and then took a look at the two 6X12 scraps of paper I had.  Then things just kind of came together.  While it's a fairly simple page, I think the layered paper "banners" and rhinestone on the text are just the right amount of detail for this sweet newborn page.
Supplies: Patterned Paper & Glittler Sticker: Martha Stewart Crafts.  Just Arrived title stickers: Pebbles Inc., Rhinestones: Studio G

Sharing at: Craftionary

Friday, February 22, 2013

Thirty Days of Lists - I'm Joining In!

I heard about this fun sounding month long journaling project on a number of scrapbooking and papercrafting blogs I read and decided to jump on the bandwagon.  Basically, for one month you get a new prompt each day and at the end you have a collection of lists that help tell your story. 

I've been in need of a little creative spark and this came along at just the right time.  Post holiday winter is usually a slower crafting time for me and Michigan's dull grey skies aren't too inspiring.  I was looking for a new way of including more of me in our family's memory keeping.  This will be a fun and manageable way to leave a little bit more about Mom for my kids.  Plus March is my birthday month so it's also a fun way to mark turning 36.

You can learn more on the 30 Days of Lists website and if you decide to join in, might I suggest you use my friend Jennifer Wilson's link via Simple Scrapper?  She's also a Lister; you can see the journal she's created for next month, herePlease note, she is an ambassador this round and by clicking through & purchasing via her link she earns an affiliate credit.  Look for the large aqua blue circle on the right hand sidebar. 
You don't have to make a special journal, but why not?  For me, that's one of the funnest parts!  I decided to take apart a Fancy Pants Designs Brag Book I've had sitting around.  It's got 60 journaling pages as well as several photo inserts and pockets so it's full of fun things.  A little too full if you ask me, adding lots of stuff to it would make it very bulky. 

Since it's got 60 pages, taking out half works nicely for 30 Days of Lists.  I've got the other half set aside for another journaling project, specifically the Mamahood Journal that was the August 2012 Project for the Simple Scrapper Premium Membership { <--- my affiliate link used there}.  I'll share that another time.

For 30 Days I used 30 lined sheets, three each of the photo sleeves and pockets, and the spiral from the brag book.  The front is decorated with a Dear Lizzie card, assorted washi tape in the top corner to cover a punching oops, letter rub ons, and a My Mind's Eye date label.

I created new covers out of chipboard and covered both sides with paper from the Neapolitan Dear Lizzie line.  Then I used my Bind It All to punch holes in the covers and into page protectors that I cut  down to size.  These became protective sleeves for the covers.  They are open on three sides and sealed only on one, which make them perfect for bits of leftover page protectors you might have from things like homemade Project Life inserts.  They'll provide a little bit of protection from finger smudges etc.
I thought the number paper was especially appropriate for this project and perfect for lining the inside of my journal.  I've added my name inside of the blank label to personalize it.  You can see the first photo sleeve and pocket on the right. I think I'll add a picture of me on March 1st or one taken at some time during the month and give some statistics along the lines of rukristen's Currently project.  Not sure how the pocket will be used, which is why I only added three for the month.  I'm sure some bits and pieces like receipts or things E draws for me will make it in there and add to the time capsule feeling of the project.  For now, I've stored some things that might come in handy for embellishing this month.
This will give you an idea of how each of the pages look.  I've gone ahead and stamped the date on each page.  The backside of each lined paper is blank, like on the left.  I'm thinking this will give me space to get creative with recording each day's list prompt and also provide me with room for including any pictures that might relate to the topic.  It will be fun to use up stash here.
I really wanted to wait and be surprised each morning with the day's list prompt but also knew I wanted to include a list of them at a glance somewhere in my book.  As I planned out the journal I realized it made most sense to put it on the cover and since I was making protective sleeves, I'd have to add it before assembling everything.  I knew that once I had everything rebound I would be too lazy to take it all a part. 

It probably would've made most sense to have on the inside of the front cover but I was so eager to use that number paper I wasn't thinking clearly.  It was only after it was mod podged on that thought further on the list placement.  So it's on the inside of the back cover and I've decided not to obsess about it.  Or rather to try and not obsess too much about it.  Cause you know I'm going to!
The back of the journal has more Neapolitan Dear Lizzie and washi tape.  I fussy cut out the little jar and love how it all turned out.  Incidentally, the Dear Lizzie paper I used is from an awesome paper pad Michael's put out under their Recollections brand.  It's not labeled Dear Lizzie but it so is.  I know, I have the real deal expensive double sided sheets sold individually to compare them too.  I've horded it in the past and getting the paper pad was like Christmas.  I like how the paper in the pad is one sided, now I don't have to feel bad about using one side and "wasting" the pretty second side. 

So, that's my plans for 30 Days of Lists.  It would be so fun if you joined me!  There's a Flickr group, forum, some journaling cards and other cool printables that are included with your registration price.  I'd love to see you there!


Sharing at: The 36th Avenue, Craftionary,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Crafty Soiree #130

Hi Friends!  I'm so glad to see you for the craftiest day of the week.  I always love seeing what you have been up to, especially since I am in a bit of a crafting slump :(  It started when I was sick for a week earlier this month and I haven't completely bounced back yet.  It's totally zapped me of a lot of energy and motivation to create. 
BUT then I see things like this fabulous clock from Callie's Crafts.  I'm so inspired by her daring do, she didn't wait for her husband to come home to help with the router and plugged that baby in and went to town all by herself!  I love the gorgeous, one of a kind clock she made herself. 
I found these S'more Pudding Cookies over at The Best Blog Recipes and felt the need to run out and buy all the ingredients that day!  S'mores are so yummy anyway, but how often do I get by a campfire?  Now we can enjoy these yummies all year round!
While I haven't been super crafty lately, I have been on a glitter kick. Or rather, I never stopped being one.  Who doesn't ♥ glitter?  Saw this lovely mason jar vase on Circus Berry and fell in love, so simple to make too!  I've gotta have a few empty jam jars laying around the house, just waiting for a new pretty glam life!
Valentine's day might have come and gone for 2013 but this fun idea for how to embellish a plain tote is too cute to wait until next February to try!  Artsy and Crafty Little Things suggests using an pencil eraser to make a Bag of Hearts.  I was thinking that it would be a fun technique to make other simple shapes like flowers for spring and that your kids might want to give this a try too.
This last feature from Altered Artworks, is also Valentine related. This washi tape covered candy holder that can morph into the cutest laundry money carrier ever, is such a fun little way to surprise your favorite college student.  It would be a fun addition to a care package sent any time of the year.
  • Link up to four of your creative projects (No Etsy stores or other linky parties pretty please).
  • Add your link to the specific posts not the main URL
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Crafty Soiree #129

Hi Friends!  It's time for the craftiest day of the week and I'm so glad you joined us!  I can't wait to see what you've brought to share this week.  Before we get started I just wanted to wish all of you a wonderful Valentine's Day!  I just couldn't resist doing one more round up of Valentine projects, I can't get enough of the red, pinks, and hearts!  Enjoy. 
Fingerprint Frame from One Artsy Mama - a sweet little gift your kiddo can make.
Jute Web Heart Pocket from Restyled Junk - a super cute little pocket made from unexpected material, that's pefect for tucking in little gifts.
Dollar Store Valentine's Day Gift from Second Chance to Dream - if you've always wanted to make a drink sleeve but can't sew, here's your chance!
How to Make Pipe Cleaner Hearts from Zing Zing Tree - Here are several fun ways to use them and helpful vlogs to show the techniques.
Tissue Paper Hearts from Southern Blue Celebrations - I love these pretty, fluffy decorations that look fantastic and are made out of inexpensive supplies.
  • Link up to four of your creative projects (No Etsy stores or other linky parties pretty please).
  • Add your link to the specific posts not the main URL
  • Add a "Crafty Soiree" button to your blog or posts.
  • Please comment on the post linked up in front of you. All party goers love meeting new friends... don't just stop there...if you see something that catches your fancy-- stop by and say hi!
  • Your hostesses would love it if you'd follow us. You can find Malia here.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Project Life - Last Week of December

I'm done with 2012!!!  I can't believe it; so excited to have finished a whole year and with every single week represented.  I feel like I really accomplished something, looking back at all the little details I've recorded over the past year is so rewarding. 

The year ended with my friend Jill's one year wedding vow renewal and party.  She and her husband Jas were actually married a year ago in Australia and this was the friends and family celebration.  I saved several mementos from the event that I knew I wanted to include.  It made the most sense to put them all in inserts and on the right side of the spread. 

Click on any of the images in the post to see them larger.
On the first side of the spread I most of the week, deciding to keep the wedding all together at the end.  In the top left is a picture of Brad shoveling us out from the first big snowfall of the year.  I used a swirly overlay and a "brrr" sticker on top of it for a fun touch.  The snowflake paper that I added grid paper on top of for journaling is actually the backside of a journaling card from the previous week.  It's so nice when placement works out and you can get use out of both sides of a really cute piece of paper.

The camera card is from a journaling paper pad that I just picked up at Michael's.  It's from their Creative Chaos line by their in house brand Recollections.  I wrote about my family's visit on it.  Next to that is a filler card representing when the wedding happened in the timeline of the week.  The top right photo is of their reception.  The last card is for New Years Eve and the collage on the bottom right is from our lunch at PF Changs.  That pretty much covers the highlights from the last week of 2012.  I decided to end my album on the 31st so all of 2012 would be together. 
Jill's photographer took this fabulous photo of her and Jas; as soon as I saw it I knew it would be perfect for Project Life.  I resized it to 8X10 and then created a journaling block right on top of it in PSE.  I picked up the teal color from the mittens that Jill's Grandma knit her and color matched the text.  I also filled in the little border with the same color so everything would coordinate.  I also added the color to the couple's initials and date circle.  Then I printed the photo out with all the elements already on it.
Jill and Jas had a travel themed wedding because they met while on Safari and got married while on a three week trip of Australia and New Zealand.  Jill made her own invitations and many of the decorations.  I used the same paper she used for the background I put some keepsakes on.  The dinner menu was absolutely amazing, the food absolutely yummy!  I wish I could've eaten twice as much and I managed to put away quite a bit.  This was probably the best wedding food I've ever had.

They had a photo booth and as you can tell, since I'm not in the third photo, Brad and I were not exactly experts at using it.  We were trying to reposition when the last picture was taken.  We decided it was funny and looked like the wife was running away from the husband.  The photo booth printed out two copies, one for us and one for them.  Jill is going to use their copy along with a travel themed postcard we wrote a message to the couple on in a special guest book.  Isn't that a fantastic idea?

I used some travel themed stickers I've had in my stash from a previous project from about 9-10 years ago to decorate this page and the following insert as well.  This was one time I guess pack ratting your supplies turned out to come in handy!
Design E, cut in half - Views from the front and back of Insert

I had to keep the invitation, but it was a little thick and my second binder for 2012 was becoming overstuffed.  So I made the decision to cut it in half...(gasp of disbelief)...which I still kinda can't believe I did.  But in the long run it was the right idea, now I will enjoy it a lot more.

Front Side:

Jill used the prettiest sparkly brown envelope that had the invitation on one half and a little pocket on the other, where she inserted guest information printed on staggered pieces of paper.  When cut in half they fit almost perfectly inside of the 6X6 pockets of Design E.  The cancelled postage image and bookplate are both stickers I added on top of the page protector.

Back Side:

On the other side I put more the matching paper and a copy of the wedding program at the top.  The program was another handmade touch Jill put into her wedding.  Jas wrote most of the text and they used stamp and travel poster images to further personalize the program.  Then Jill stitched each and every program together to bind.  The cover of the program is brown and all the sticker stamps, words, etc. you see were once again put right on top of the page protector.

At the bottom is the front of the wedding invitation envelope.  I cut it to fit because I wanted to keep all the pretty stamps Jill used for postage.  They included stamps to represent each of the countries they've traveled to together or that are meaningful to the couple, like the Canadian one - which is where Jas has family.
Here is another look at the wedding program.  I love how it fit inside of Design E and is easily accessible so I can take it out and look at it again in the future.
The second side of this week's Project Life spread is devoted to wedding pictures, mainly of the many personalized touches Jill did.  At the top left is the map seating chart.  The name of each guest or couple was written on a die cut airplane.  Then they were attached by string to a destination that the couple has been too.  Each table was all named for places Jill and Jas have been. 

Brad and I were seated at the New Zealand table with Jill's stepbrother and two stepsisters and their spouses.  It was a merry bunch to sit with and we had great conversations all night long.  Jill made the wraps for the candles and the photo blocks that held each table's name, as seen in the bottom left. 

At each place setting was a miniature suitcase that opened to hold teal M&Ms and caramels.  Attached to each was also a little hand stamped and inked luggage tag.  I helped Jill make all of those one night when we met to scrapbook at Archivers.  It was so neat to see the finished tags on the tables. 

The paper flowers at the top right were also made by Jill, some stamped with a subtle text pattern and others inked.  They made up each bouquet the girls carried and Jill's too.  She also made each of the flowers that the groom and groomsmen wore. 

I'm linking up with The Mom Creative.

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