Saturday, May 21, 2011

Father's Day --

(Click to enlarge)
Can you believe I didn't take a single picture of my hubby and kids on Father's Day last year?  So this year, thanks to the Cricut Father's Day cartridge from, I am getting a jump on things early!  This layout has a space for a nice big 5x7 picture.

I love how the "Best Dad Ever" shape from the Father's Day cartridge looks when mounted onto an accordion medallion (I made mine with the awesome new accordion die from Tim Holtz) -- it turns it into something really special!  I used Scor-Tape to adhere the paper for the accordion -- man, that stuff is awesome!  I'll be using it for more projects next month.  The other product I'm featuring this month is the Cat's Eye chalk ink from Colorbox, which is one of my all-time favorite tools.  I use it for adding a nice soft distressing touch to the edges of so many projects.  On this layout I used Dark Brown for all the distressing (definitely one of my go-to colors), and Warm Red to stamp the "Completely LOVED" seal on the tag.  I love the nice soft finish these inks create, and the shape makes them perfect for getting into nooks and crannies.

I painted the tag with Liquitex acrylic ink in raw umber to give it a really old finish, but you could achieve a similar effect with the Tim Holtz Distress Inks.  I used the Country Life cartridge for the title -- love this font!

Other materials:  Patterned papers and stickers -- Cosmo Cricket; Stamp -- Autumn Leaves

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May Flowers

My sweet hubby gave me a pretty bunch of tulips for Mother's Day.  He knows me so well -- tulips are my fave!  I decided to try something different than my usual plunk-in-a-vase arrangement this time around, and stole my favorite vintage canning jars from the tops of my cupboards.  I grouped them on a pretty tray with some nice spring-y moss and it just makes a lovely centerpiece for our table.  I like it so much I might have to keep flowers in them all the time!

 Which means, of course, that I'll have to be on the lookout for more pretty vintage canning jars.  Darn...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"She gave her whole heart..." Mixed Media Canvas

(Click to enlarge)

I created this 8x10 canvas for my awesome, incomparable mom for Mother's Day.  The "she" figure looks like her, and I couldn't think of any more fitting phrase for my mom that "she gave her whole heart to her family."  My mom has given and sacrificed so much over the years and continues to do so.  Every element I used here symbolizes in some way what my mom means to me.  I think that's what I love most about doing mixed media -- it gives you an opportunity for so many layers of meaning.

I also have to admit that this was my second try at this canvas!  I started a different background and it turned into a hot mess.  I wanted to use old pictures from our childhood in the background and printed them off in black and white from our inkjet printer, but as soon as the mod podge hit them they turned all bubbly and turquoise and gross.  So I'm going to have to figure that one out some day...

In the mean time, here are a few close-ups:

I think this heart might be my favorite part.  I covered it with a gazillion layers of UTEE, then put it in the freezer, then cracked it.

I finally found a place to use my cool wax clock seal from 7Gypsies! I've had this for YEARS but hadn't found a way to use it until now.

If you're interested in trying out this mixed media art, you should really check out the She Art Workshop by Christy Tomlinson.  It's amazing!

Materials for this canvas:
Background -- vintage sewing pattern, illustration from the book "The Art of Homemaking," a book from the 50s I snagged from our local thrift store.  It is full of the awesomest illustrations like this.
Patterned paper -- from my scrap drawer, so I don't know who made it. Sorry!  Oh, wait -- I think it was Creative Imaginations
Stamps -- 7Gypsies, Hero Arts, Stampin' Up, Studio G
Punches -- Fiskars (butterfly, used as a mask), Martha Stewart (border punch)
Rub-ons -- American Crafts

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Man Card (don't peek, honey!) --

So my hubby and I have a running "discussion" about handmade cards for guys.  He asserts that it just isn't worth it to make fancy cards for guys because it just isn't their style and they're never going to fully appreciate all the hard work you put into it.  When I received the new Father's Day seasonal cartridge from and saw this "Man Card" image, I knew that was just what I needed to make a card for my man for this year's Father's Day.

To make this card:

1. Cut base of card by cutting 8 1/2x11 cardstock in half the long way, so your card will open on the bottom. Round the two bottom corners.
2.  Cut non-froofy patterned paper block to 3 3/4x5 1/4.  Round the bottom two corners, then adhere to card base.
3.  Write your "no_____" strips onto cardstock (you can substitute in your own go-to girly things) and draw a black outline.  Don't make it perfect.  Then cut out each strip and mount to card.
4.  Write "THIS IS A" on a strip of black cardstock with a white GellyRoll pen, then mount to card.  I thought the screw-top brads were a nice manly touch. :)
5.  Cut the "Man Card" image and the oval bottom layer, adhere together, then adhere to card with 3D foam.

6.  For the inside, cut the "foam finger" image with its layer, then adhere together.  I used a base circle of the same patterned paper from the front of the card to help it stand out better.  Write the rest of your sentiment with the white GellyRoll pen.

Anyone else here on the endless quest for cool handmade masculine cards?  What are your go-to solutions?

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

An Apple for the Teacher :)

It's Teacher Appreciation Week!  (Never mind that I thought it was last week and was killing myself to get projects done in time...)  My two boys are blessed with really wonderful teachers this year, so I was very happy to show them a little love.  When I was getting ready to make these cards, I intended to completely rip off this lovely Mother's Day card made by my fabulous friend Amy.  But as I pulled the design from A Child's Year up on my Gypsy, I noticed this cute apple cut-out card and my wheels went spinning in an entirely different direction!

To create this card, I first cut out the basic card shape.  I embossed the front of the card with my Cuttlebug and the Swiss Dots folder.  Then I went back on my Gypsy and hid the outer card contour so I could just cut the apple shape, which I did in red.  I also cut 3 circles (sized to fit the apple) out of book paper.  I created the little apple by layering the book-paper circles onto the center of the apple and then sewing them into place.  I think I saw the technique on a local show last year and I love the effect -- you fold out the pages after you've sewn them, and it adds a ton of dimension.  I inked the edges of the circles to add depth as well.  I also added little snips of green felt as leaves for my apple.

I cut a piece of patterned paper to fit the inside of the card and adhered it, then cut a piece of white cardstock for the center so I'd have a place to write the sentiment.  I used a notebook-edge border punch for the top edge of that piece.  Then, to make sure the apple was aligned just right, I closed the card and fit the apple into its space like a puzzle piece.  I added the sentiment "wonderful teacher" on little paper strips, then finished off the card with a little baker's twine (I just love that stuff!) and a little thank you tag.

Oh, and as a present, I am giving them this free printable from eighteen25 in a spray-painted red frame just like they show here:

Sam's teacher got hers last week and she really, really loves it!

Thanks for stopping by!

I Am a Mother!

KSL (our local tv station for you non-local people) is doing a really cool thing called "Motherhood Matters," with the goal of elevating motherhood.  There is a 10-day challenge, and there are also lots of cool giveaways and free printables and such.  For instance, I can't wait to download and print this beauty:

"Mother Love"

And it's not just about the stereotypical "mom" role, either -- I believe all women have a mother heart and have the capacity to influence the world around them with that love.  So check it out!

You can read more about the whole thing by clicking here.