Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What I've been playing with, dreaming about, etc!

When I look at any of the new Cosmo Cricket paper lines I have a fleeting thoughts of how I'd like to take a week off from work, hire a nanny, housecleaner, and chef; then go and lock myself into my craft room and be free of all responsiblities other than creating! There are so many projects swimming in my head just begging to be made, and yet there isn't ever enough time to indulge myself. You may have noticed I haven't posted as much in the last two weeks- you can chalk that one up to mojo rehabilitation and summer time activities! There's a lot of things I haven't shared with you yet though, so I'm here today to show you the product of the few hours I got to "pretend" I was locked away in my craft room with nothing to do but get elbow deep in some of the most inspiring and wonderful paper EVER!

Have you noticed how many kit clubs are featuring Cosmo Cricket paper this summer? It has been hard to find ONE that isn't. And that of course is a great thing! I seriously thought about how cute Katelynne's crib would look if it were decoupaged with some Girl Friday paper!


When I look at the Snorkel paper I want to plan a vacation- RIGHT NOW and take enough pictures that I could buy a wholesale amount of the paper and use it, yes- all of it! These layouts were made using products from my June Life Preserver's Kit, I anticipated it's arrival for several weeks!

When I saw the wonderful Early Bird paper in my Scrapbook Kit Club Kit this month I just knew it was what I had been waiting for- the paper that was absolutely perfect to scrap the photos of my daycare kids. All of the colors are happy and fun and mesh well with the outdoor photos I have taken throughout spring and summer.

Paper that is double sided and has tags and journal spots on both sides are very dangerous. I must buy two or three of them, always. If I don't I sill sit and flip the paper over and over and over and, yeah you get the idea! I am always afraid of using a piece only to find I have the perfect use for the OTHER SIDE later! I really loved making the border on this page though, and YES, I flipped my paper over, around, and back and forth several times :)

When I saw the piece of Early Bird paper with the polka dots and paired it with the yellow, it was a match made in heaven! I was at a crop while working on this page and I remember saying "I am DEFINITELY going to need some more of this paper!".



And now for my favorite of my recent projects- this one has been on my mind for quite awhile. The last straw that made me get up to my craft room and get this little box made was when I had to buy Katelynne a new pair of shoes. She wore her size 4 sandals for nearly two months and even had two pairs exactly alike- one dirty pair for the backyard and one clean for when we were going out. This box is to preserve her first pair of shoes, they were so cute I cannot let them go! I plan to make one of these little boxes for Lucas too!



I covered the inside of the box with pink fabric and tulle to make it feel extra special and fanci-fied!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lucas Style and some news!

I was waiting to post this layout since I had entered it in a sketch contest- since I didn't win here it is! LOL! I LOVE these pictures of lucas, they have to be the best I have ever taken!!! I made this with my May kit from Life Preserver's and it's hangin' out on the refrigerator right now- so I can look at it everyday :)



News #1- I have accepted a design team position at Scrapbook Kit Club- and here's a sneaky peaky from one of my layouts created with the July kit! I had so much fun making all my creations with this kit and I even matched together paper from two different lines- which you may have noticed is something I don't normally like to do!
News #2- I will only be designing for Scrapbook Kit Club for a couple of months BECAUSE.........
I have accepted a design team position at Scrap n' Art Ezine! This is so exciting for me and I cannot wait to begin working with all the wonderful ladies at Scrap N' Art! You have GOT to go to their website and check them out ;) I'll be creating multiple pages/projects for each issue and showcasing products from several companies, it is just an amazing opportunity! I am going to be helping with the SNA blog and a few projects for the Sept/Oct issue, and you'll see me full time in the Nov/Dec issue.



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Stay Beautiful

This week at Vintage Plum is the final challenge of the Star Search- Roll out the red carpet and embellish your layout with all the "icing"- do you think I added enough? :) I made this layout using some more of the new K&Co greenhouse line, tons of prima flowers, thickers, prima transparency, and some Shimmerz! I had fun painting with the Pixie Dust colored shimmerz on my flowers and around the photo.

Guess what I was listening to while scrapping this page last night? Yep- Taylor Swift's CD and the song Beautiful came on and has been stuck in my head ever since then- and it gave me the title of my page too!


I used some of the Bo Bunny clear charms swirls in between the flowers, and I made the white hemp curls too! Wanna know how? I'm planning to use it as my next blog tutorial!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mommy, I smell something!

This is just a quickie I did today- because I had to break into my goodies from Life Preserver's Club! I have been wanting to make a page about this for a long time now- Lucas has been totally all about smells, he is constantly noticing new smells around him. If you can't tell- in the smaller picture he is holding a flower, he picks them for me almost everyday and always wants to smell my flowers too.


Relay for Life Baton

YAY I finished the Relay for Life baton!! I don't know about ya'll but I would feel pretty cool walkin at Relay for Life with THIS baton :) I had a lot of fun altering it- it started out as a piece of PVC pipe! Add some thickers, purple rain drops, a whole bottle of grape stickles, and some ribbon- and you get something super cute! I used some of the photos from last year's R4L and put them on the ends of the baton as well since this year's theme is "memories" I thought that would tie it in really well!


And I know you are probably getting sick of hearing my design team news but I am happy to say that I am one of the lucky new designers for The Scrappy Shack and I'll be getting to work with their fun and unique die cuts- can't wait!! I have also accepted a summer design position at Scrapbook Kit Club, so be sure to check out their kits, I'm planning to make you drool over them for the next few months :)


Monday, June 8, 2009

Get Happy

When I saw the new Greenhouse line by K&Co I knew I HAD to have it. Just flipping through the pages in the specialty paper pad made me think of all the wonderful sunny days playing in the backyard with my kids and the daycare kids too. I was glad that it was on sale because I had to buy the paper pad and all the matching embellies too!!!

I created this layout for Week 4 at the Vintage Plum star search- it was all about hand stitching. To be completely honest up until now I have snubbed the stitching kits at my LSS because I simply did not want to spend the time to do HAND stitching on my pages- but I do maching stitching on almost every single one of them. So this time around I really thought about my layout for a couple of days and what I wanted to do- WANTED, I didn't want to FORCE myself to do the hand stitching if I didn't want to! I started thinking about when I was a little girl and my grandma taught me some embroidery stitches and showed me her crazy quilt she was making with decorative hand embroidery all over it. I borrowed some of her old embroidery thread and a book about embroidery stitches and got to work!

For the record- embroidery on paper is like TEN times harder than on fabric LOL! But I had fun and love the look I got using it!

This layout uses recycled materials too- old embroidery thread, the Kraft paper is from some Prima packaging.



This page is all about how much these little kiddos LOVE to swing. It is amazing to watch 2, 3, and 4 year olds just put their whole bodies into going as high as they can and huge smiles on their faces, they look so free and relaxed when they are swinging. This is one of those pages that if I could put a video on it it would be priceless!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 6/8-6/14

It's been awhile since I've posted my menu- not that there hasn't been a plan, I just haven't been sticking to it! In the warmer weather and longer days I've just been outside all day and not taking as much time to plan, but I've realized I NEED my plan more than ever in the summer! I NEED it to give me a reason not to give in to going out to eat, over-spending on groceries and take out, and feeding my family food that is not entirely healthy for us! So, here's my re-commitment to eating healthy, at home, and affordably!
I am adding a new "feature" to my weekly plan - every couple weeks I am going to spend some time doing freezer cooking. My daycare meals and family meals have become so much simpler by using these methods so I am going to make a plan to keep doing it!


Breakfasts:
Cereal
english muffin egg sandwiches (low fat!)
Pancakes, oranges
Peanut Butter Toast, banana

for lunches visit the daycare blog!

Dinners:
Monday

tacos
mexican rice

Pizza Tuesday
french bread pizza (with mushroom, onion, and beef topping)

salad

Wednesday
turkey burgers
mac n cheese
baked beans

Thursday
chef salad with grilled chicken
1/2 baked potato

Friday
baked ham (leftover from lunch)
green beans
baked sweet potatoes
rice

Saturday
tex-mex cheese quesadillas with black bean and white corn salsa
mandarin oranges

Sunday
pepper and cheese stuffed chicken
rice
salad

Freezer Meals
I went to sam's club this weekend so this week I'll be whipping up some staples for the freezer:

Turkey Meatballs (4 lbs. worth!)
Taco Meat (4 meal portions for tacos and taco salads)
Spaghetti Sauce (2 batches)
Pancakes
Breakfast Burritos (with ham eggs and cheese)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Diaper Cake Tutorial

It is long overdue- but here is my first tutorial!! It could use some tweaking, but I hope that it will help someone (anyone!) to create a wonderful gift and have fun doing it! Click the image above to view the PDF format of my tutorial, or read on below!

How to Make a Diaper Cake

Are you looking for the perfect gift to take to the next baby shower you attend? Want to give a new or soon to be mommy a unique gift that can also serve as a decoration in the baby's room? A diaper cake can be all of these things! It is easy to give a package of diapers as a gift, but if you know me- then you know that I believe in doing everything in a "decorative" way- and that includes gift giving. By spending a little bit of extra time you can create a beautiful and unique gift for nearly the same price as a generic store-bought one and I'll teach you how!

Supplies you will need:

1 package of size 1 or 2 diapers, I usually use size 2 so that the cake doesn't have to be taken apart too soon. You will want to buy a good brand of diapers that doesn't have designs on them so that when rolled up your diapers will look crisp and white.

rubber bands

cardboard cake round (either 8 or 9 inch, if you don't want to buy one then simply cut one from a cardboard box and paint it to match your cake)

1 large bottle of baby powder

glue dots

coordinating ribbon and paper shreds

cake topper (could be a stuffed animal, infant toy, onesie, large bow, flowers, card, etc., be creative!)

Now, let's get started!

Begin by rolling all of the diapers up and securing them with the rubber bands. To roll them start at the open end of the diaper with the pattern facing so that it will be inside the rolled up diaper, and roll towards the folded end of the diaper. I used Huggies organic diapers so there is a small pattern on mine, but I was able to turn the diapers so that it didn't show up too much!

Once you have all of the diapers rolled up, use a few glue dots to secure the bottle of baby powder to your cardboard round. Place one large rubber band around the bottle of baby powder and then begin place the rolled diapers all around it, I used two rounds of diapers for this tier of the cake.



Now you are ready to add the second tier to your cake, you’ll add it the same way you did the bottom tier and only using one round of diapers this time. The base of your cake is now ready for decorating!

Here is where you can really play! Experiment with flowers, ribbons, paper shreds, bows, and any of your other scrapbooking supplies. Look for unique embellishments that go along with the theme or colors of the baby shower. There are endless photos of diapers cakes on the internet so if you don’t know exactly what you want to do, look around for some ideas!

You will need to cover the rubber bands, I usually use a decorative ribbon or scrapbook paper. The theme of this diaper cake was OSU Cowboys so I used a black/white polka dot grosgrain ribbon:

I usually like to use either a curly ribbon bow, paper shreds, or flowers in between the layers of the cake. For this particular cake I shredded a piece of patterned scrapbook paper that had orange and black on it, then folded the paper shreds myself- it went quicker than I thought it would and gave a custom look for the cake! Add the shreds in between the tiers and at the top of the cake under your cake topper. If you wanted to be extra fancy, you could even add some under the cake too.

Almost done! Add a cake topper of your choice and you are ready to go! There are SO many choices here, you could use a stuffed animal, baby toy, rubber duck (they come in ALL different colors, even with outfits!), a large bow or flower, baby bottle or products. I used the travel size baby items on this cake because I knew the parents liked to travel and thought that these would come in handy!


I hope that this tutorial will inspire you to make a decorative move next time someone you know is expecting a new little bundle of joy! With only a little extra time and effort you can use your scrapbooking products and creativity to make a memorable and unique gift! Here’s the final finished OSU cake, I added a handmade card and used some thickers to put the baby’s initials on the top tier of the cake:


Remember to experiment with different materials when making your diaper cake, use more diapers, make more tiers, there are SO MANY ways and ideas of how to decorate them- have fun!!! Here’s two of my past cakes to spark your creativity:



Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Relay for Life Album

I was so excited to be asked to make this album for the Relay For Life fundraiser Auction. My father in law has been diagnosed with Leukemia so it is even more special for me to help raise money for the Relay For Life foundation. It has definitely been awhile since I have made a pre-made album with no photos in it, let alone a paper bag book!! It was fun and I enjoyed hunting for lots of purple things to add to the book. The theme of the even this year is "memories" so the album will fit in perfectly!! I tried to keep it generic enough that the album could be used for photos of nearly anything- family or friends.








I am still working on the baton for the team I am creating for- basically an altered piece of PVC pipe! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll have both the time and energy to get it finished tonight!
If there is a Relay For Life event near you I would encourage you to go and check it out this weekend- they are a lot of fun- bring the whole family! Nearly everyone knows someone who has had cancer or is living with it now and this is something that we can all donate a little bit of our time to :)
And one more piece of news....
Come Play Along at Scrapping out Loud!

I am one of the new design team members for the Scrapping Out Loud Blog! It is going to be a lot of fun and I hope you will all participate in their weekly challenges- you could win some pretty cool RAK's and prizes for it too! Our July prize is going to be sponsored by Life Preserver's Club too- which you hear me talk about all the time so you KNOW this will be an awesome prize :)