Sunday, February 15, 2015

Waiting in the Sun

All this year our weather has been unseasonable warm, which feels great but of course can confuse the early bloomers like daffodils and crocuses. What a treat to be able to spend so much time outside with the girls though. With our vacation on the horizon, it's good to get a little exposure on them too, and I'm always encouraging them to go out and swing awhile while I get chores like the dishes done inside. I guess I'm fortunate that they beg to help, I know most kids don't consider doing so, but I do kind of push them out the door, telling them t go chase chickens or that TaTa (or little dog) needs someone to play with.
Or, if Ray is home, he'll generously offer me some alone time, and I'll take advantage of the opportunity for a little spurt of unencumbered craft time, and can whip out a trio of cards like this one, created in about an hour while they walked around the back of the back yard. When you live on acreage, you have to be specific lol. Some of these will go into Pickers Northwest Antique Store and the horizontal card will head to Gig Harbor's Copy & Mail.
I don't usually use our dining room table, but the sun was shining on it so invitingly that I pushed aside the placemats and set up a mini studio of supplies, including crochet thread, that gold chevron trendy tape from Queen & Co, and a 6x6 paper pad that complimented a handful of scraps from my bin. Then it was onto the MME pinterest board for inspiration! My favorite is the one that looks like little polaroids... I'll be using that idea again for sure.
Interested in soaking up the sun while crafting, or just sitting in the dark of winter reading this post? Come craft with me in this cardmaking video I published last Spring:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Don't Retire Too Soon

I was asked to create three retirement cards for one of my associates on our Preschool board, and thank goodness I remembered to make them before getting carried away to vacation land at the end of the month! Working in a large card format is new for me, and I didn't realize that the ones they sell in the store are usually a bit smaller than the 8 1/2x 11 size paper folded in half sized cards that I made. Good news is, I got to practice making my own envelopes using my Martha Stewart Score Board! I still seem to be lacking a basic awareness of math when it comes to using that haha.
My Heidi Swapp die cut book and other bits and pieces of punched shapes, flowers, bling, and sentiment stickers give these cards a lot of dimension. I even repurposed the cover of the book to include a repeated image of my larger die cut within that wood grain frame. Oh, and that frame was made from a wood flooring advertisement! I hope there is plenty of room to write inside, and that the recipients enjoy their retirement wishes enclosed, each card is unique and hopefully the purchaser will be able to match them up to the personalities. I gave her a terrific price because I was so flattered that she ordered through me. Now, hopefully someone will deliver them at our next meeting, which I won't be attending due to my CRUISE (cue wicked laugh).
Don't forget, I plan to review each day in detail, as well as give tips and pointers about preparing for a cropping cruise, so be sure to click subscribe and my posts will arrive in your email as they appear. Thanks for stopping by- challenge yourself to use some garbage to make something pretty today!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Late Night Love Life

One of my favorite holidays to design cards for, Valentine's Day is even more special for us because the day before is Sunday's birthday. Plus, I'm just a really lovey dovey kind of gal, and what better way to express that tangibly than with a handmade card? These were made with the My Mind's Eye woodgrain 6x6 paper pack. I also picked up a package of wood veneers to add to my stash and used the cupid one as I consider it to be the least versatile and therefore the first to go to the store in time for selling! Simple Stories chipboard and some foam adhesive built this embellishment cluster into a focal point of the card, but doing something as simple as adding gems to a pennant sticker really dresses up a simple embellishment. Feeling a little more advanced? Try layering trim behind a sticker as I did with the Be Mine card. Using grey lace, I did have to cut a little on the corners of the hearts to help the ribbon lie flat. Then over two border stickers, also layered, and to top off my fancy embellie, I pop-dotted that smaller heart and paced it slightly offset for some textural flair. Working from a 12x12 sticker sheet helped all of my cards coordinate, and I LOVE the look of each!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Right On Target!

Best Friends for Life
 This week my dad was in town and booked us for a few nights in the Silver Chalet condos up on Crystal Mountain, just past Greentree, WA. My brother and I used to go on ski trips once a year with Ed, but once our older brother started his family, and I had my two girls, we now congregate in the summer months. Summer's a beautiful time of year in the Pacific Northwest, but we're talking over 5 years of no snow filled adventures with the dudes in my life!
I managed to entice my long time best friend Jen into coming up to stay and watch the kids, hoping that with her along, I'd find it easier to sneak up the mountain for a couple runs on my antiquated snowboard. They are the same boots, bindings, and short board I started sliding on in 2001, and you know what they say, if it ain't broke, there's no need for an upgrade! Well, they also might suggest that if it takes you a good five years to learn to ride the front edge of the board, you may want to stick with what you know lol.
Sweet & Sunny Shopping
Well, you know I wasn't planning to be up there for three days with no supplies, and I was up into the wee hours scrappin away. I love how these leftovers from an Embellish It Valentine's kit were versatile enough to be used with my fall pictures of Sunday waiting with me in Target customer service. She is such a little cutie. I crack up during each of our photo shoots; whenever I ask her to smile, she sticks her tongue over her top lip. Not sure where she picked that trick up but it's hilarious! I'll add tiny letters to complete my title, "Target of my Love." This was like, our first trip to go shopping together alone. So Sweet.
I'm a cutie and I know it
So did I ever get up the mountain? Well despite my friend being called back work, yes I did get the chance to ride a couple runs with my bro, who still kindly waits patiently at each turn so he knows I'm okay and still behind him. What a gentleman. Almost makes up for the countless snowballs and ice chunks he hurled at us throughout the week! Imagine how I felt when I learned that prior to this trip he had never been around for a bed time observation. He even got a chance to babysit Sunday for the first time, pulling her around in a sled until she slept like a little pink popsicle at the base of the kiddie lift.
Aww, relief- now get these boots off!
Rainier and I signed up for a mother-daughter ski lesson- what an experience! I have never attempted it but last year I found a good deal on some old fashioned skis at the goodwill. Roxy boots that fit perfectly made me feel quite stylish- until the instructor advised me that the skis were actually too small and that she would not want me to go down from any higher than the bunny slope. Fine with me! Riding down with my oldest between my legs was exhilarating enough, I certainly did not feel the need to add any levels of danger to our thrilling descents. She had been up last year with her dad, who actually does know how to ski, so really she taught me a thing or two. I was so proud to see her trying, not giving up, and relishing the thrill of learning alongside me. And was she afraid of the chair lift? oh no, not at all! Wow, another great example and source of strength for her height hesitant mommy.
Beauty is more than skin deep
I finished out the weeks craftings with a reflective page titled, "Embracing my no blush flush." Funny thing is that in this picture, I probably have quite a bit of makeup on, but I wrote about how I've learned to embrace my pregnancy-induced rosatia as this physical reminder of my greatest accomplishment; my Rainier. She helped shape my destiny and focused my attentions of living as the woman I know I can be. Not a day goes by that she doesn't somehow inspire me to love at another level, and I wouldn't change that for any degree of beauty. On the flip side of that inspiration is what she learns from me; hopefully that God made us each perfectly, and that natural beauty comes from the inside!
So what imperfections have you learned to accept? Or do you have a funny mountainside story? Click on that comment link below this post to share!


Sunday, February 1, 2015

There's a New Shop in town

Birthday cards for the Birthday Girl!
I had the chance to go to Gig Harbor on more than one occasion this week, once to drop off this four pack of handmade-by-me birthday cards for my co-workers {birthday} present, and then my dad took the girls down to play on the water front for an hour or so, giving me a chance to grab a brisk walk myself! I have seen so many new places opening their doors, and it was a beautiful day to do some exploring.
 Standing at the corner of Judson street, across from Brix26 stands the white stucco building that is now host to Blackwater Trading Post's dazzling array of original, locally crafted Northwestern art. As you walk the towards the entrance, your eyes flicker along an intriguing window display of tribal carvings, glass reflecting lights practically vibrating from the gallery of home décor additions waiting your perusal inside.
Upon entering, the warmth of the setting immediately reminds one of visiting a cabin off the coast of Sequim, or maybe closer to Montana's "Big Sky." That's no coincidence; owners Carola and Luke purposefully approached their venture intending to choose art that would fit their own home's asthetics. The faint scent of freshly milled-by-Luke logs (from his own property I might add) support displays that tickle the fancy of a long neglected shopping sector- Men!
Real manly men at that... I'm talking about our guys that are out there fishing for cutthroat in turgid January waters. The fellows who want nothing more but to run along side the wolves of Alaska and walk amongst the same mountain wildflowers that bears frolic about. But, yeah, there are pretty things to be found in the Post as well.   Fancy a blanket you can wear as a purse fashioned from what looks like a bridle? Or perhaps your wine needs it's own sheepskin lined carrier... if it's locally made, durable products you're looking for, or even just want to look more rustic-ated yourself, this is a place to check out.
Alaskan Rainbow Fish ReplicaCan we say custom-made, one-of -a-kind, not- to-be-found-elsewhere-in-Gig-Harbor? You'll find a unique experience waiting for you in each niche of the store. With 26 local artists and counting, there is a media type to delight you at every turn, including texturally rich canvases, original photographs,
 jewelry, and carvings. Sprinkled throughout are Luke's stunning, life-like fiberglass fish replicas and driftwood supports. The thoughtfulness at having chosen artists who truly represent own rich Northwestern heritage and outdoor pursuits has lead to a harmonious collection that is truly inspiring to an artist like myself.

In fact, I found the whole experience so exciting that I stayed up for another late night and created 6 cards in assorted themes including a wedding card, sympathy, a couple of birthday cards, and a really cute card featuring the sentiment, "You're some bunny special!"

You can bring your special bunny into the Blackwater Trading Post's unique gallery a little later in the evenings on Art Walk Third Thursdays, and word is that the check out counter is perfectly bar stool height. Fingers crossed for wine tastings and fundraisers!

Speaking of Fundraisers (an if you're reading all the way down here to the bottom- thank you!)
Have you purchased your $20 ticket to our Key Peninsula Cooperative Preschool Cardmaking fundraiser event Feb. 7th? 6:30-8:30 with me, your's truly, at Key Center's Blend Wine Shop. You can email me for more information about that.