Saturday, March 29, 2008

Scrapbooking sale!

I'm ridiculous. I have been really trying to cut down on my supply spending since I am about to ship off to North Carolina for a decadent weekend of creative expression (Inspired Artist Workshop) but I had a 40 % off coupon to Beverlys that was going to expire in 2 days so I felt an overwhelming impulse to peek in. Well to my delight (and financial dismay) every scrapbooking item was 30 % off. I have to take a minute to acknowledge my restraint - I think the little prayer I whispered under my breathe when I saw the sign helped a lot - because I escaped with a heap of awesome goodies for less than $20. How about them apples? So here is my show and tell...

I saw these little boxes of joy last week - placed them in my cart as if I was made of money, then put them back a few moments later. "Another time", I thought. It is Making Memories, "5th Avenue" collection. Isn't this color combination fabulous? I love the printed flowers and am so excited that there are felt flowers too!
Okay - K and Company has just got to stop it! Just when you think they cannot come up with a cuter product line, they drop a bomb on you like the "Berry Sweet" collection.

Hello! Can you say scrumptious???? I totally escaped a potentially expensive situation because my son had to go to the bathroom. Whew! I picked up this adorable chipboard set and these gorgeous papers for card making. They are so yummy!I am in a mail art group called UGRA and I have been working on a Tinkerbell project. I had one page of my layout completed and was looking for something "Tink"-ish for the opposite page. I found a set of charming little tinkerbell pockets (right) that I filled with fairy dust, flowers and bling for the recipient, Carmen, to use on another project.

This Rhonna Ferrer clear stamp was only 70 cents. How awesome is that? Isn't it cute? I'm thinking of stamping in black, embossing, and filling in the blank space with water colors and stickles.
Last but not least, I picked up a package of "giggles" Thickers. With the 30% discount, they were only $2.00!I just love my new treasures and I now have to stop blogging so I can start playing with my treats!

Friday, March 28, 2008

My Etsy Store

I had a great time updating my Etsy store and creating a new mosaic banner for my blog. I love Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker. It took forever to upload all of the photos I wanted to use because Flickr was on the blink so I had to do each picture - 1 by 1. I think it turned out pretty nifty - my blog is looking a little more polished. If you are not careful, I find you can gather a bunch of blog clutter.
I have to share a story. So I had let a few of my mini albums expire at my Etsy store and I had been meaning to repost and upload some new items but between the kids, this new work project and my own need to play in the studio, the Etsy store fell off my radar. So today I decide I'll take a couple of minutes to look at my store and scope out what I need to do. I reposted about 5 mini-albums that I did not sell over the holidays and am in the midst of uploading pictures of my jewelry - I am saying to myself "I'll just upload these two things and I'll do the rest later because I have work to do" when I get an email saying that my "Ode to Mom" mini album has sold. What a delightful surprise and, as far as I'm concerned, a not-so-subtle signal from the universe telling me that I'm on the right path. I just love that! So I posted a few of my mini-card making kits and am going to add a few more items over the weekend.
On another note - can you believe Spring Break is almost over?? It flew by and I have to admit we were very quiet at my house. The weather wasn't all that great and my allergies prevent me from really getting outside in the Spring so we improvised by playing with Play Dough, Building a Fort and watching movies. Grandma came down today and took the kids to the library. All the librarians know my kids so they feel like celebrities whenever they visit.
We are having a garage sale tomorrow if this rain clears up. I need to get rid of the mounds of "STUFF" we have accumulated since last Spring and I want the extra spending money to play with at Inspired!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A little of this, a little of that

I gave blank handmade cards to the grown ups in my family this year for Easter. My mom is always asking me to make her a few for this birthday or that event so I thought a few spring sentiments might be a nice treat.
I have been dieing to do another piece of jewelry but I just cannot commit to the first bead. I find myself staring at my bead organizer, considering, debating, completely unfamiliar of my style. I'm so new to this art form that I often feel clumsy and intimidated. So I closed my eyes and let the inspiration come to me. I saw the colors of the Ocean and I could almost feel the sea breeze on my face. This is what came of it...
Inspired is just two weeks away. I'm so excited yet feeling the pressure because i have several swaps to complete, all of my class supplies to pack and I need to put in some extra hours on my current work project so I don't fall behind while I'm away. I started doing work for a new client last month and it is an absolute delight. I am archiving four generations of photos and memorabilia which includes scanning, restoring, cataloging, and scrapbooking their incredible family history. Needless to say, my office is a disaster:

I have to report a breakthrough I had last night. I have really been struggling with the back page of my art journal page design for the swap. I have started and discarded a number prototypes, but last night it came to me and I am feeling a huge relief. What a goofy thing to feel stressed out about - right? Here are a few of my attempts...

and here is the design I've decided to go with although I may still do some detailing...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter egg-stravaganza

Easter was really nice. The bunny was good to my kids. They were full of joy. The only bummer was that Dad and I were tired. I've come to recognize a pattern - we tend to kill ourselves getting ready for family events (cleaning, decorating, shopping, laying things out, getting ourselves cleaned up and presentable) so that when the event finally arrives, we are too "pooped to party." We have decided to take a look at this and adjust accordingly. Fortunately, our kids were unaware of our low energy and had plenty to supplement. Here is Aidan filled with happiness because the Easter Bunny left him an assortment of magic tricks in his basket.

Miss Eva puts on her ears and does a "funny bunny" impersonation. She wags her tail like an excited puppy.

The highlight of the day was the Easter Egg hunt. Aunt Shauna, Grandma and I each had a big bag of plastic eggs filled with Cheerios, dried fruit, stickers, assorted nuts and playdough. Neither my sister nor I give our kids much sugar and since it has never been a part of their diet, the kids don't miss it. We are so happy that they get excited over watermelon and strawberries rather than cake and cookies.

We designated one part of the backyard for Aidan since he is older and faster than Eva (2 1/2) and cousin Charlie (3). They had the best time -their baskets were filled to the rim with their loot.
Eva took a late nap and I accidentally fell asleep with her even though we still had company (bad form - I know). Aidan and daddy went to Vasona park with Alex and Benny (Maggie's husband and younger son) for some father/son bonding while my mom and I had a nice visit and prepared a roasted chicken for dinner. These are the memories I hope my children will treasure when they are older. I know I will.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Scrapbooking, beading, sewing and more...

I cannot believe it has been a month since I blogged last. but I have a few very valid excuses and lots of work to share. I went skiing for 8 days in Beaver Creek and I had sinus surgery which involved a very painful recovery. These activities plus the catch up in between kept me from blogging but not from creating. Art has finally become part of my living routine! What I mean is that I don't have to sacrifice something else to get art time. Art'ing has integrated into my life just like cooking dinner and doing the laundry.

So during the last 4 weeks, I worked on my pages for my art journal swap. I still have to finish the design on the back page, but I know I'll be using these wedding confetti flowers which I've altered with stamps.

I also completed my 8 x 8 swap pages. I signed up for 2 page designs so I had to make 10 copies of each design - 20 total. I sent them off and then realized that I forgot to photograph one of the designs. I'll post it when the pages are sorted and returned.
I finished all 40 of my charms for the Inspired charm swap too but I forgot to photograph them also (this was during my recovery when I was slightly woozy from the pain medication). They turned out pretty cute - Much better than my last charm swap. I printed the Inspired logo on shrink plastic and stamped the back with "create", "play" and "Imagine" then attached them with silver wire and pink beads. I received the swap in the mail today and I am in AWE of the talent these women have. I cannot believe how amazing the charms turned out! Thank you so much ladies and a big giant thank you to Marsi for putting on a flawless swap! She even included a little jewelry bag with an "inspired charm swap" tag on it! Classy!

After I had finished making my charms I felt Inspired to do some more beading. My dear, dear friend Maggie had given me a stack of AWESOME magazines to enjoy while recovering from surgery so I decided to bead-lift one of the designs I saw in "Bead Style". I am so excited about the finished project. I also made a pair of matching earrings and am currently working on a necklace. I'm considering posting it on Etsy to see if there is any interest. I'd love to make a set in sterling silver.

Last Saturday a few close girlfriends and I got together to celebrate my 39th birthday and to do some scrapbooking. We met at Scrapbook Island to do their St. Patrick's day crop where we ate sushi and chatted without interruption from husband nor child. Heaven! My sweet husband watched my kids plus 2 more so I could enjoy my friend's company. It was a fabulous group! Corvus was there - (of course -my partner in creative crime) and she was working on finishing the Fancy Pants project from last summer's CKU.

Maggie was there working on an adorable mini album for last months ski trip pictures. Maggie is relatively new to the genre of scrapbooking (though an incredibly creative soul), yet she put together the most beautiful book in a matter of hours. All I can say is WOW!

Lisa, my Valentine swap partner from Studio Calico, also attended with her darling little boy Maarten. This was just our second time meeting but I feel as though we are old friends. You would not believe the page she whipped together - Something you would find in the pages of Creative Keepsakes. The photo of her beautiful daughter was a great subject to work with but the way she pulled everything else together was so ingenious and the end result was a stunning page.

And last but not least, Andrea who worked on a gorgeous album for her mom. She has this incredible talent and it is such a treat to watch her work unfold. She coordinated a few different papers to make a beautiful book, inked, distressed and shaazam - she had an album. I loved what she designed and cannot wait to see the finished product. I'm sure her mom will love it!

I had set a goal to complete 5 pages but felt quite happy about my four considering we were visiting and eating too.

And the last project I worked on over the last month is the apron I am doing for Jennifer Williams for the Inspired apron swap. I get all gitty just thinking about it. I developed the apron concept while working at my son's pre-school. My station wasn't very popular that day so i started playing with some paper piecing.

Once I had my prototype, I attempted to make a paper model of the concept.

Then came the hard part; creating the apron out of fabric. Especially since my sewing machine is not cooperating. i think my kids played with the tension because the thread is ripping every few inches. I elected to do a lot of the work by hand stitching and liquid sew. It still needs to be adhered to the apron but I am delighted at with the design.

The hat has multiple functions. Besides being pretty cute, there are several pockets. The hat top is a pocket with a velcro closed flap and the ribbon hat trim covers a stitched elastic band for holding pens. The shirt is also a pocket as are the sleeves. It has been so darn fun to put together!

So that is what I've been up to - It has been a creative extravaganza and I'm so jazzed about it. My husband saw me looking in the mirror last night with the apron on and he said "what a wonderful life you get to do what you love and you are good at it." I was so touched that he said I was good at it and very grateful that I know what it is that I love and that he and my family allow me to do it.