Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Time to go "old school"

I made my parents a set of tiles for their anniversary one year and just found the pictures of them as I was looking through pictures on my "old" laptop. I thought y'all might like to see them....hope you enjoy this walk down "Memory Lane" with me! :o)

All six tiles together.

My mom & dad when they were in elementary school. There were no such things as "middle school" when they went to school. The funny thing is that not only did they go to school together but they lived right around the corner from each other when they were young. Guess you could say they were destined to be together all their lives!

My parents wedding day and an early family picture.

Since I couldn't find pictures of my brother and myself alone (it was a last-minute project), I used different ages of us together. Weren't we just so cute when we were teeny-tiny?! ;o)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Dad's Home!!

Gary was out of town Monday thru Thursday of this past week. I was not the only one that missed him being home. When we went upstairs to play Wii, he reclined back in the love seat to rest & watch me play.....Lily and Layla promptly decided to get as close as the possibly could to him! They obviously wanted him to know how much they love & missed him (I'm not telling them he'll be gone again this week!)

Lily loves dad - Layla loves dad and her toy!

Layla's afraid her toy is going to move when she's not looking....

so she stares at it to make sure she knows where it is at all times!

Lily is afraid that if she doesn't "hold dad down", he'll leave again.....

yes, he did fall asleep for a little while with Lily on his chest and Layla at his side.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

And the winner is.....

Missing! I scanned in the "winning" Bridesmaid Luncheon invite - well, the two that incorporated Kehley & Katie's ideas and now they're missing! After I edited them this morning, I moved them to a different file on the network (along with a LOT of other pictures - some family pictures that I can't replace!!!!) and they are now nowhere to be found! I'm even doing a "Search Results" search on my whole laptop! So far, nothing! :o( I swear if it doesn't find these pictures, I may cry!

What I can tell you is that Kehley's favorite of the invites is the one with the dress.....The 4th one down that Kathy Baffone created. The changes were minimal (different colors for the "tux", ribbon and ink) but they really looked good. Hopefully I'll be able to find them so I can share!

Monday, January 25, 2010

What happens when you fall asleep at our house?

Our little Lily turns you into her bed! :oD Poor Will found this out last night before Brittany woke him up so we could go to dinner. As funny as this is, it makes my heart proud to know that my daughter's boyfriend feels so comfortable here that he will take a nap on our sofa!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bridesmaid Luncheon Invitations

My next-door-neighbor asked me if I could make some Bridesmaid Luncheon invitations for her older daughter's wedding this June. Of course I told her that I would be happy to.....then I started to panic!
We've known our neighbors for 10 years and they are like family to us. We've watched the girls turn into beautiful young ladies and feel as if we're gaining a son just as much as Gary & Katie are (yes, my neighbor's husband is also a Gary....and their last name starts with 'P' as well!)! For this reason, the invitations had to be perfect! This was nerve-wracking for me and as a result, I didn't get started on putting them together until today!

I actually dreamed one of the layouts and in my dream, it was Kehley's favorite! The bad thing is that I didn't "see" what was stamped as the focal point. What's that all about? If I'm going to dream her favorite invite, shouldn't I see the whole thing so that I can re-create it?!!
Four of the five cards you will see were CASE'd from our Stampin' Up! demo-only website. I changed something on the card on each one & will tell you what that was as well as who created the original card, but I won't post the originals as I don't have permission to do so and I just don't feel right doing that.

Jane Hignite created the original that this card was based off of. I changed the colors to Kehley & CJ's wedding colors, changed the way the flowers were placed (Jane's were cascading down the cake) and I ran the cake "layers" through my "Elegant Bouquet" embossing folder.

Anita Haines was the creator of the original card this one was based on. I still used the Manhattan Flower embossing folder but I tied my tag to the ribbon and I again changed the colors. I also inked up one side of my folder so that it would add just a tad bit of color (Regal Rose) to the So Saffron.

Teresa Giordano is the one that created this original. Honestly, I changed very little of this one because I thought it was just beautiful! I added the Chocolate Chip base and I didn't heat emboss the bride and groom as she did (she did that in silver - beautiful!). I again changed the colors to the wedding colors.

Kathy Baffone is the creator of this card and she's being SO kind! She stated that she used a template to make the "bride" side of this card and she's looking for it so that she can send it to me. I'm hoping like crazy she can find it because I just couldn't get the bust of the card to look "right"! The only two things I changed on this card is the stamp and I didn't add flowers.

This is the card I dreamed! I wanted to use my Manhattan Flower embossing folder to create a dress as the focal point but I had a "blonde moment" and it just wouldn't work out. I figured out how it would have worked as I was showing the cards to Katie & Kehley earlier tonight! I may create that card to see how it would have looked if I hadn't been so darned blonde earlier tonight!

Which one do you think Kehley picked as her Bridesmaid Luncheon Invites? You'll have to come back tomorrow to see! She asked about changed a couple things around and Katie had a couple ideas as well so I'm going to make those changes for them so they can actually see what they're thinking and then make their final decision....but Kehley already knows what she wants.

Hmmmm, maybe I need to turn this into a contest?! I will wait until Tuesday to post the requested changes. Y'all post a comment telling me which card you think Kehley picked as her favorite and the first person to answer correctly will receive a prize. I can't tell you what it will be (because I don't know right this minute) but I'll make sure it's pretty! ;o)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

2010 Purse Calendar

At the end of 2008 when we had a promotion that consisted of a "box calendar", a demonstrator from Canada created calendar pages for the remaining days of 2009 (since it was an '09 calendar) and shared the file with anyone willing to pay $5 for it. I was one of those that was willing to! ;o)

I loved that calendar so very much and it was AWESOME! I realized when it got close to the end of '09 that I hadn't seen or heard of a 2010 purse calendar and I panicked. I frantically searched my emails to see if I still had the demonstrators name and email address and sure enough, I found it. I quickly emailed her to ask if she had created a 2010 calendar and luckily she had!

I had so many compliments on my '09 purse calendar that I had decided that I wanted to give some of these as Christmas gifts to friends and family. I shot off an Internet payment to Karrie, she emailed the file and I was set! I did add US holidays to the calendar since there were no holidays listed (I absolutely do not blame her since she's providing calendars for people world-wide!) and I even saved a separate version for myself, my mom & my mother-in-law that contained family birthday's and anniversary's! :o)

The one you'll see below is the first one I finished. This one was done for a friend with 5 ACTIVE kids and a very busy schedule for both herself & her husband! I added a pocket between each month per Karrie's suggestion and I love the way it turned out! I loved it so much that I believe I ended up making 11 or 12 of them! LOL!

So, what do you think? I wanted to keep the cover simple and not add a lot of embellishments since these will most likely be put in purses and bags. I think the sentiment and ribbon added the perfect finishing touch, don't you?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fabric Flower Purse Charms

At Leadership, a top Demonstrator showed us these awesome fabric flowers that she used to create purse charms. I absolutely could not wait to get home & try them! When I got home, I realized that I didn't have the correct dies to create them. I was bummed - especially since I had gone fabric shopping & bought the supplies to create the flowers! I placed an order! ;o)

My order arrived today and guess what I did?!?

These are just three of the 13 I made. Well, I haven't really made 13....I've done all but add the ribbons to the remaining 10. The others are made from the same fabric designs so they look very similar to these. The only difference is that the flower layers are different since the Big Shot die (Flower Folds) cuts out four different sizes of flowers at once.
I love the color combination of blues and browns! I do really like this flower but I can't decide if it's my favorite or not.....I'm leaning toward, "Yes!"

This one is really cute and I wasn't sure how the designs would look together - even though they were bundled together when I bought the fabric.
This one is one of my favorite design combinations. I definitely wanted to use a black/white combination so that it would coordinate with more of my bags and purses.
This is the blue/brown flower.

This is the multi-color flower.

This is the black/white flower. As you can tell, they are various thicknesses. I'm not exactly sure why this is, maybe because I held the iron on that area longer? No matter what the reason, I think I like it.

With the three previous pictures, you can get a better look at the fabric designs I used.
Now, I have to tell you that these flowers may be a little "involved" than I was thinking they would be. I used a "fusible" batting at first but either my iron is just too old to do the job (it is over 20 years old!) or it didn't get hot enough (again, it is over 20!). When that didn't work very well, I ran to the local craft store and bought a batting spray (read: batting adhesive) along with more batting to complete the job. The spray didn't work as well as I expected it to work either. I ironed all the fusible batting fabric designs (I had only tried one design earlier) to see if that would help. That does make the batting more rigid and that looks really good but it doesn't really stick to the fabric. :o(
The only thing I can think of to do next is to sew around the petals with a sewing machine but I'm not a seamstress and I can't even begin to think of doing that. Maybe a different adhesive? What do you think? Anyone have any suggestions on an adhesive to use that won't "gum up" my brand new die?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Work Table Buddies

I have to take a break from posting projects for just one day. Not because I don't have any projects to post but because I have to share something with y'all.

While I've been working on both my projects and transferring files and information from my "old" laptop to my new one, I've constantly been interrupted. I've had to deal with begging, pleading and just down right pitiful eyes! Seriously, every time I sit down I have to watch out or my lap will be filled unexpectedly.

What is it being filled with? That cute little black face that y'all saw in my previous post......Lily! Gary was out of town for a few days last week and I guess since we were both out of town the previous week she thought she needed to keep me weighed down so that I wouldn't leave too. It got so bad that one day I stood at our kitchen counter with my laptop sitting on the counter so that she wouldn't have anywhere to sit! It didn't quiet work - she kept "pawing" at my legs!

While I ignored her and Layla for a while one day, I finally got a bright idea. What do you do with an adorable dog that wants nothing more than to be near you at every waking moment? One that wants nothing more than to be sitting in your lap as you work on your projects? Well, you do this......

Yep, that is both Layla (the nearest one) and Lily (the "camera shy" one) laying on their doggy cushions ON my work table! That seemed to do the trick for Lily - they both laid on the table all day. The only time they weren't laying down is when I told them it was time to go outside for a bathroom break and even then, they would stand up and wait for me to pick them up and put them on the floor. I may have new work table buddies when I work on my projects now.....we'll see. ;o)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Big Shot Fabric Flowers

One of the projects I learned about at Leadership was these really cute fabric flowers. I've seen some other fabric flowers & we were even shown a different type at Convention last July but these are totally different. I loved the other ones I've seen but don't have the correct die to create those.....until Monday. ;o)

When I got home, I couldn't wait to go shopping for fabric to make these flowers! I bought lots of fabric, rushed home to make the flowers and found that I don't own the die that was used at Leadership! :o( I was bummed but my "punch puppy" card fiasco taught me to get out of the "tunnel" and look for solutions right away! And so I did!

This is what the finished product looks like.

I think it looks a lot like a Posey and it's cute-as-can-be in real life! I used the ugliest fabric I bought for this flower. Yes, I thought it was an ugly design but bought it anyway. Why? Because I thought it would end up making the prettiest flowers.....and so far, I'm right! lol

Let me tell you how I made them.....I used my Circles die and cut out 8 layers of fabric (IMPORTANT side note here - you can cut out 8 layers of fabric when you're using a die that does NOT have score lines but only 3 layers if it does). Also, be sure you use fabric that will melt such as Polyester or nylon. Basically, if it's flammable it's good for these flowers!

See, I told you the fabric design was ugly!
Here are the circles after they've been cut out - I think they look much better here!

I forgot to take a picture of the circles after they were layered onto each other so you'll have to see how cute it looks when you create your flowers. ;o)
Next step is to "tack" the layers together. I did this by sewing the pin back on at the same time so I didn't have to do another step. Some call this lazy, I call this working more productively! LOL!
After you tack the layers together, put a pin back on your flower (if you didn't follow my "working more productively" lead).
Once you have a pin back on your flower, you'll want to put it on a clipboard. I put a "bulldog clip" on the end of a Popsicle stick then slid my flower on it & let the flower slide to the clip. I then put the other end of the Popsicle stick under the clip of a small clipboard. This is to 1) hold the flower still & 2) hold the flower with something other than my fingers!
At this point, you'll want to heat up your heat gun. Once it's sufficiently heated, start from the center of your flower, work toward the outside and "melt" the fabric so that it starts curling up.
After you've melted the front of your flower to your liking, flip it over (holding the Popsicle stick!) and "melt" the back a bit so that it will support itself.
Once you've done this, set it aside so that the metal from the pin can cool off......DON'T touch it before it's totally cooled off! ;o)
So, what do you think? If you make some flowers yourself, be sure to either send me a picture of yours or post a link to it (if you have a blog & add it as an entry on yours)! I would love to hear what you think of my "Posey". I'll be working on the other flowers after I receive my other dies so check back to see those.....I can't wait to get started!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Leadership & Punch Puppies

I typed up a long post last night right before heading up to bed and as I was about to hit the "Publish Post" button, everything disappeared!! I have no idea what happened but I just couldn't re-type the whole post again. :o( Here is what I was going to post last night - but most likely not the same words I used then. LOL!

This past week I was in Phoenix, AZ for Stampin' Up!'s Leadership conference. I learned LOTS of different things that I couldn't wait to get home to try! I'll be posting those things over the next few days as I try them out so be sure to check back & see what I'm doing!

When we gather together at Stampin' Up! events, there are times when they have "stadium seating". Those would be at the larger events - Convention, Leadership, etc. I love this type of seating because the chairs seem to be more comfortable & you don't have to worry about someones head being in your line of vision or yours keeping someone else from seeing what's going on. I usually go straight to the top row, plop right down and get my camera out to take pictures of the things I want to try as soon as I get home!

One of the things that goes on when you get Demonstrators together is "swapping". After you swap with other Demonstrators, everyone shows off the different swaps they got. This was happening a couple rows below me and as soon as I saw the following swap, I grabbed my camera, zoomed in & snapped a picture. I needed to make a couple Thank You cards for some pet sitters and this was PERFECT!!
The only problem with this is that I had no idea what was used to create the adorable puppy! I knew it had to be punches but when I got home, I realized that our heart punch is too small to create this dog. Unfortunately for me, when I get a project in mind I tend to get "tunnel vision" and can't see other possibilities to complete the project!

I posted a plea to a group of Demonstrators & asked if they could help. One kind Demo actually received the swap above and gave me the creator's name but that's all she could give me as none of the tools used were listed. I found the swap creator and sent her a message. She was sweet enough to reply and let me know that the heart she used to create the dogs head is an old Sizzix die. There went my project....or so I thought.

While I was running errands, I had a "light bulb moment" and realized that even though our heart punch is too small to create the puppy above - it is small enough to create two puppies! What is the significance of that? I needed to create two puppies for the front of my card! I had planned to create two cards & use one of my dogs for the front of one card and the other one for the front of the other card. When I realized that I could put both Lily and Layla on the front of the cards, I couldn't wait to get home & try to figure out the different punches to use to make my cute dogs.

After a while, I got my girls on the front of two cards and couldn't wait to give them to the girls that took care of them while Gary & I were out of town. Here's what I came up with. What do you think?

What did I use to create these cute girls?
Full Heart, Boho Flowers, Trio Heart & Double Circle Punches (the Double Circle punch is retired)
Pewter brads
Linen thread
Sponge daubers
Creamy Caramel Classic ink & Very Vanilla Craft ink
Basic Black marker

The Going Gray background is an embossing folder with "Thanks" & "Thank You" in different languages.

Here are the real-life versions of Lily (the black one) and (the cream one). What do you think - do they look like the punch puppies on the card?