Friday, September 5, 2014

Simon Says Stamp- Stamptember 2014

Today I want to share the last project I have made using the Simon Says Stamp Lots of Snowflakes stamp set.
I had a list of projects I wanted to create with these stamps. Some I got finished, others didn't, then a few ideas just took off and I ended up with projects I didn't plan. Yesterday's project was one of those type projects and so is today's.

I love how sometimes you plan your projects and then sometimes creativity totally takes over and takes you in a whole different direction.

This piece is probably my favorite of the week. Small, but so full of potential. I have no idea where it will end up this holiday season, but I know it will be used. 

It may actually be my jumping off point as I plan my Christmas cards & December Daily album. I love the colors and the old dictionary pages, the red and green mixed with the blue & white, & the old text paper. It just seems very me. 

The actual size was meant to be 3x4, but the "Merry Christmas" banner piece hangs over the edge, so it is probably more like 3 1/2 x 4. 

I started with watercolor paper and used Broken China Distress Ink & Perfect Pearl Mist to watercolor the background. I then used Broken China Distress Ink and the ink blending tool to ink the edges. The darker blue splotches were made by rubbing the Broken China Distress in pad onto an acrylic block and then spraying it with water. I then stamped the ink directly onto the piece. 

The trees are from Tim Holtz/Stamper's Anonymous Reindeer Flight Stamp Set & stamped in Peeled Paint Distress Ink. I stamped a few of the smaller snowflakes, from the Lots of Snowflake stamp set, in Versamark and then heat embossed them in a white and silver glitter embossing powder. 

The "Merry Christmas" banner was made by covering a scrap piece of cardstock with old dictionary pages. The Merry Christmas sentiment is from an older Hero Arts stamp set and was stamped and then embossed using a combination of American Crafts Rouge embossing powder & PK Glitz red glitter.

I added iridescent sequins and then added the "Merry Christmas" Banner across the bottom with foam tape.

Thank you so much for stopping by this week and thanks again to Simon Says Stamp for generously sending my such an amazing stamp set to work with. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Simon Says Stamp- Stamptember 2014

I love fall with all of the beautiful colors and crisp cool breezes. When you add daily creative inspiration, like Stamptember, into my favorite season I am over the moon excited!

Today's project started as a card using the smaller snowflake images of the Lots of Snowflakes set. 

I wanted to use the smaller flakes as the base for the card & then add larger, fussy-cut flakes for the accents on the finished card.

I randomly stamped the smaller flakes with Versamark & then heat embossed with a white & silver glitter embossing powder that I have had in my stash for years. 

Once I completed the base, I stamped, silver embossed, then fussy cut a few of the larger flakes. As I started to lay out the design I decided that it just seemed to busy, so I scrapped the card idea altogether. 

Instead of wasting the card base, I decided to cut it into two pieces and use them for inserts in my Project Life or December Daily album.

The resulting 3x4 cards are fun and I look forward to using them in my album.

The cards were not quite 4 inches wide, so I decided to cut them & add elements that made it look more intentional, rather than just a fix. 

On the first card I used a ribbon to cover where I cut the card in half. The glitter flakes and star came from the dollar spot at Target a few years ago. The snowman is one of my favorite older small stamps from Hero Arts & was stamped then watercolored with Twinkling H2O's

For the second card I removed a larger section of the stamped piece so I could stamp "Wintertime", which is from an older Hero Arts stamp set. The small blue flake is from the SSS Lots of Snowflakes stamp set. I then added washi tape to the white background card. To finish this card I added iridescent sequins and flicked the whole thing with Perfect Pearl Mist

Both cards were edged with Broken China Distress Ink before they were mounted to the background pieces. 

The Wintertime card will definitely end up in my PL album, but the more I look at the other card, I think I might end up making additional cards and using them on the boys Christmas presents this year. 

I have one more small project to share tomorrow using the Lots of Snowflakes stamp set. Here is a small peek. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wordless-ish Wednesday

We interrupt this week of new Stamptember projects to share a picture of my constant scrapping companion.

He really cares nothing for scrapping & creating, but he likes to be nearby with toys. I enjoy listening to him babble and chatter to me and his toys as he builds and plays.

 He leaves behind a mess on the playroom floor that is almost as big as a mess as my scrap desk. He is boy after my own messy heart and great company when I am downstairs in the playroom/scrap space.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Simon Says Stamp- Stamptember 2014

Thanks for coming back for today's project! Today's project is a little more simple & less time consuming than yesterday's banner.

I am always in need of tags for packages & handmade gifts in December. As I was making the dictionary text snowflakes for yesterday's banner I decided to cut out a few strips using the Sizzix/Tim Holtz Rosette Snowflake Decorative Strip Die. I found out that you do need to cut two strips in order to make the full rosette snowflake. So I ended up with four complete snowflakes after running eight dictionary text strips through my Big Shot. I also ended up with two small snowflakes that should be sandwiched on either side of the rosette snowflake when it is all glued together.

I did adhere my dictionary text to cardstock scraps before cutting it into to strips to die cut. The dictionary paper is really thin and needed the cardstock for stability.  Before folding the rosette snowflakes I added Distress Ink in Old Paper and Broken China to the pieces. I then folded the flakes & used a glue gun to attach the rosette to one of the snowflakes, filled the center of the rosette with hot glue to hold it together, then covered the center with another snowflake.

The finished tags look like this.

I used manilla shipping tags that I picked up at Hobby Lobby years ago. The "Merry Christmas & Happy New Year" phrase is from an older Hero Arts stamp set (CL538). I stamped a mid size snowflake from the Lots of Snowflakes stamp set in Broken China Distress ink on some cream colored cardstock, then fussy cut each one. I attached one snowflake on top of each of the Rosette Snowflakes using foam tape. I then adhered a pearl to each of the centers and then used Star Dust Stickles on the edges of the snowflakes underneath. 

Here is a close up of one of the centers, that shows the stamped snowflake from the Lots of Snowflakes stamp set.

I adhered the rosettes to the tags using hot glue because of how heavy the finished flakes were. To finish the tags I added gems, pearls, & ribbon to the top of each one. 

As you can see I am always conflicted about how to attach ribbon in a tag. I usually try it both ways before deciding which way I want to use it. I plan to leave these like this until I begin attaching them to the packages this Christmas. Then I'll decide which way looks better. 

Please leave any questions in the comments section. Tomorrow will be a Wordless Wednesday post of my sweet, babiest boy (I have three of those stinky, little boy people) & then Thursday I will be sharing another blog post using the Lots of Snowflakes set. 

Here is a sneak of Thursday's project.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Simon Says Stamp- Stamptember 2014

I was lucky enough to be chosen to receive an early release of a stamp set from this years Simon Says Stamp Stamptember release. The stamp set I received is called Lots of Snowflakes (SSS101443).

I have no idea how the sweet people at Simon Says Stamp knew how much I loved snowflakes, but somehow they got lucky with the set they sent, because it was perfect. I really love this set and can't wait to create even more winter projects with it. I am thinking it will used heavily in this year's December Daily Album.

The first project I wanted to create was a banner that will be used either in our home or in my library at school. I am leaning more towards using it in the library, if I can find/ or make a large snowman to hold it. For the time being it is hanging across my Expedit shelf in my scrap space.

This banner started with some blue scraps of cardstock, some dictionary pages, and some old Rusty Pickle chipboard stencil letters. I have been really into using up scraps and other bits and pieces that have been in my scrap space for a while. All the above mentioned materials have been around for a long time and I am glad I could find a new way to breathe life into them.


In these two close ups you get a better idea of what the banner looks like and how it was constructed. I covered the chipboard with dictionary paper, from an old dictionary (one of the perks I have as a librarian...access to endless amounts of old book paper). After it dried I covered the letters with Distress ink in Old Paper and then added a mix of Ranger Star Dust Stickles and Distress Rock Candy Stickles. The text snowflakes that are stitched between the letters are from the Sizzix/Tim Holtz Snowflake Rosette Die. They too have a little shimmer from the Stardust Stickles and a touch of Broken China and Old Paper Distress Ink. 


Now for an even closer look at a few of the banner pieces. Up close you get a better look at the Lots of Snowflakes stamp set. Each flag was cut with the jumbo fishtail die set by My Favorite Things. Then the snowflakes were stamped using Broken China Distress Ink. It isn't the best ink for stamping, but I love how it bleeds and moves when water/Perfect Pearl Mists are added, so it is perfect for my stamping needs. On top of the ink I added lines and dots with my Signo White Uniball broad tip pen to give the snowflakes a little more definition so they would pop off the background. After attaching the chipboard letters with Ranger Multi Medium Matte, I added gems and iridescent sequins from my stash to each of the banner flags. I also flicked Biscotti Perfect Pearls over the finished pieces before I sewed them together into a banner. 

I am looking forward to having this fun, sparkly banner hanging around this winter. If you have any questions about how I created this banner or the products I used please leave your question in the comments section and I will most definitely answer it. I enjoy getting comments & questions. 

Come back tomorrow for tomorrow's project "Christmas Tags" using this same stamp set. 

Here is a quick preview. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Cocoa Daisy Layout--His Will is Strong

The pictures I hurriedly snapped this past rainy Monday (see this post), reminded me of a layout I had yet to post.

I am still amazed it rained on the first day of school. The rain plus the fact I was dropping all three boys off at three different schools made taking beginning of the year pictures difficult to take. To save time I decided to just use my phone to snap a couple before the boys got in the car.

Carter picked up Jude who was running around in the carport. Jude LOVES "side" as he call the outside. Anytime we go outside he is determined to get down and take off. So this time when Carter picked him up so I could get a shot of all three of them, Jude was not a happy camper. In both pictures he is wiggling, squirming, and protesting in an effort to get down.

His squirmy protests reminded me of a few months ago when the same thing happened on the last day of school. On that particular occasion, I was lucky enough to capture a few good shots with my big Canon camera. But then I tried to get a few pictures with my phone to share on Instagram and Facebook. The layout below shows the resulting chaos.

For this layout I used the May 2014 "Here I Am" Cocoa Daisy Kit . I also chose the title after considering Ronda Palazzari's One Little Word for May 2014 "Will".

This layout makes me laugh and is such a great snapshot of Jude at this age and how his brother's react to his new need for freedom. Jude loves to outwit the big boys and to wiggle and whine just enough to get his way with them. The big boys, as you can tell, find this behavior quite frustrating.

Oh how these boys keep me on my toes! Luckily, I usually have my phone close by to capture our everyday crazy.

Back to School

Towards the end of July the five of us begin to get tired of one another. By the time the middle of August arrives we are crazy tired of being together. Since Jess and I both teach, we spend all summer at home with the boys, which gives us so much time to make memories, but eventually the summer gets long and we are all ready to head into a more structured schedule.

 I am always amazed at how much my boys grow and change over the summer break. All three of them grew taller and after Carter's physical (he is going to play football for the first time) I realized he had also put on almost 7 pounds. No wonder my grocery bill has been going up! We have entered the "They will eat anything that doesn't eat them first" stage of boy raising.. Fabulous.

 Each year I take a beginning of the year shot of the boys and a last day of the year shot of them. It is always fun to look at the two most current photos and see how much they have changed. In this case the end of the 2013-2014 school year in May (daycare, 2nd, and 4th grades) compared to the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year this past Monday, August 18th (daycare, 3rd and 5th grades).

The first picture was taken on the last day of school and the second picture was taken Monday as we all headed back to school.

This year it rained on the first day of school, in August.. Weird. I can't remember a time when it has rained in all my years of attending or teaching school. So this years annual back to school photo was taken in the carport instead of by the dogwood tree in the front yard.

Taking these type of photos are a reminder of how quickly time passes. On one hand I want the school year to pass quickly so I can have a summer to spend with the boys. But on the other hand I hate feeling like I am wishing my days away. I treasure each and every moment with these three and the idea of them growing up and driving, having girlfriends, and then moving out and leaving makes me sad right now. It all seems to go by so fast.

It really is hard being a Mama with her heart walking around outside her body in these three.