Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Our Little Shared Addiction

My little guy, Sam, shares an addiction with me. We both love sketch books. Lots and lots of sketch books. The last time I counted, Sam had a stash of about six sketch books squirreled away in various locations in his room. He always carries one in his backpack, for those lulls in school when he can write and draw from his imagination.

I noticed that he doesn't carry one to church these days. It must seem too disrespectful to a ten year old of emerging faith. Instead, he slips a few pieces of paper in his Bible, just in case the sermon runs on too long.

We made a trip to the local bookstore the other day, and he found this orange sketch book that he just had to have.

I was browsing around Pinterest the other day, and I found this sweet bookmark from one of my favorite artists, Susan Branch. This little owl perches over the book, which I thought was too sweet. Sam loves owls, so I had to print this one out for him.

Sam also loves koalas. He has created a special Koala Club with his friends at school. The mascot is named Kubchoo, a French koala with his own motto: " In Koalas we trust, in Kubchoo we must!" Sam has even created a structure for the club, with flow charts and administrative hierarchies.

We're not sure what Sam will become one day. The next Steve Jobs? The next George Lucas? Or the next dictator of a small third world country? Could be any of the above. He says he wants to create his own animation company called Magic 8 Ball Studios. We're making plans to convert his tree fort into his filming studio this summer.

In the meantime, I'm looking at koalas and wondering if I might be able to craft a little koala for Sam's Easter basket. Something felted and furry, maybe.

If I could make a sock monkey days before Christmas, then I can surely make a koala, too, right?

Here's a link to this free owl bookmark:

Want to spend an inspirational hour or two? Go to Susan Branch's website and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


When the spring breezes blow, I want to open the windows and let the winds of change sweep through the house.

I start slowly, subtly... infinity scarf that was too bulky to wear. I grabbed a seam ripper and gave this infinity scarf an alpha and omega. Half the bulk, and twice the possibilities.

I've been trying to get by without a planner, and the wall mounted calendar just wasn't cutting it. It's April, for pete's sake! It was time to get organized.

I picked up this monthly/weekly planner from Mead. Seven bucks at Target.

A few of the front pages needed modifying. No problem! I grabbed some papers from October Afternoon to cover. Then I used a SMASH book envelope, cut it in half, and glued to the pages.

A perfect place to store receipts, coupons, or notes. Now I can plan my calendar, do a little organizing, and maybe a little journalling, too.

Which leads me to my next creative pursuit...

...trying to take art back to its truly creative form.  Feeling the need to step away from stamps and patterns and stuff, getting back to the simplest form. My own ideas, pen to paper, maybe watercolor. A little journalling, some prayers and scripture and thoughts. Maybe even a hand painted card. My own designs, my own ideas.

It's a little frightening, which makes me think I am heading in the right direction.

Life, modified.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

M.I.M. #158: Under The Weather

Hello, cafe friends! Sorry for the long absence! Can I just say this: It's been a week. One of those weeks that's been spiritually draining and physically draining to boot. I could feel my autoimmune disorder wreaking havoc on my joints. Time to scale back, rest up, and recoup.

Tomorrow is a new day.

But today, while I am still a little under the weather, I thought I'd make an Under the Weather card for a sweet lady I know who is feeling the same way.

This week's Make It Monday challenge at Papertrey Ink was to use a watercoloring technique on a card. I decided to pull out my new gelatos and have a little fun. I used blue, green, and white gelato sticks directly on the large raindrop background stamp, then spritzed it with water and stamped it to paper. I thought this did a nice job of reflecting the rainy spring weather we've been experiencing recently.

{Today's Brew: Scattered Showers and Scattered Showers additions (PTI), umbrella die (PTI), PTI card stock, gelatos, versamark, embossing powder, scallop edge punch, enamel dots (MME)}

Thanks for visiting the cafe today!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Little Stitches

I have gotten away from my stitching recently, and thought I would jump back in with a little project. Three very little projects, as a matter of fact!

These tiny motifs are perfect for fast embellishing. For example, I used the cherries to make a little felted medal, perfect for adding to a future project. And just to let you know, my Big Kick does indeed cut through Aida cloth!  (felt from PTI, circle dies from wplus9)

Then I made a little framed accent, perfect for a gift tag or card.

I think I know just the stamp set to pair with this sweet strawberry in the future! (die from PTI)

These tiny little patterns also make great button covers, as you can see here:

Wouldn't this be a fun accent to a little girl's headband? (honeysuckle pink aida cloth, DMC floss, self-cover button)

And just like that, in one evening, I stitched up three sweet treats to embellish future projects!

Blessings on your day, cafe friends!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

PTI March 2014 Blog Hop: High Gloss

Hello, cafe friends! It is the twenty-fifth of the month, and you know what that means! No, silly,  not Christmas. The Papertrey Ink blog hop!  This month's theme: High Gloss!

It was time to root around in my cupboard and find that oft neglected bottle of Crystal Effects and put it to some good use.

I was able to use a new Memory Box stencil to make this coffee-themed background. And from the looks of those rings, it appears that I need to switch to decaff! No, really, it's supposed to look like someone has just had a double shot of espresso. Honest!

This sentiment is really perfect for me. I love the Lord, and I love His Word, and I love his people, and I love coffee. And the best part? I can often mix all of those elements that I love together!

{Today's Brew: Latte Love stamps and die (PTI), card stock and ink (PTI), Memory Box stencil, Martha Stewart hearts border punch, gingham ribbon, prisma markers, crystal effects, Distress Stains}

I think this calls for a nice Vanilla Latte! Enjoy your day!

Monday, March 24, 2014

MIM #157: It All Started With A Pillow

Dorothy Teacup Applique Cushion
This weekend, I was on the hunt for new pillows to spruce up the couches for spring.

{Caution! Home furnishings rant ahead!}

Much like the paper crafting industry, the home furnishing industry in the U.S. is totally trend driven. If you see chevron in one place, you will see it in one hundred places. Ikat once? Ikat as far as the eye can see. A little Moroccan medallion? A LOT of Moroccan medallion! The only problem with this is if you are not a fan of chevron, ikat, or Moroccan medallion. Then you are pretty much out of luck for a year or two, until the trend has passed and the industry has moved on to the next big thing.

This seems to be  much more prevalent in the U.S. market than in Europe. I think this is a reflection of our consumer driven society that says "buy this, even if you don't like it, because we will have you replacing it next year anyway!"

I am on a bit of an anglophile craze lately, probably induced by too much Sherlock and too much tea. So when I was lamenting the lack of pretty pillows to my good friend, Beth, she said "Why don't you try the Laura Ashley website?"

To borrow a phrase from my friends across the pond, I was totally gobsmacked! The website was stunning, and I wanted one of everything.

This teacup pillow is calling my name!

So when Papertrey Ink posted the Make It Monday challenge to create your own coverplate, I knew exactly what I wanted to try...a card inspired by that pillow! Here it is:

I made this "coverplate" by running the teacup die through the machine once or twice...or six times.

{Today's Brew: Tea For Two and Tea For Two Additions (PTI), teacup die (PTI), Tiny Tags stamp set and die (PTI), card stock and inks (PTI), baker's twine}

Time for a nice cuppa. Thanks for visiting the cafe today!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Out of The Box!

Last week at stamp camp, we made an awesome out-of-the-box card that had us all oohing and aahing! It was the perfect birthday card to give to my sister that weekend. Well, Mom was so amazed by the card that she made me make her a pattern template, and then showed the card to all of her stampy friends.

The big question seemed to be "How long did it take you to make this card? Hours?!"

No, not really. But then again, my SU demo extraordinaire, Cindy, did a lot of the pre-cutting for us. She ROCKS that way!

Here it is:

You've gotta admit, that's darn cute!

The balloons look like they are floating right out of the box, when in truth, they are being supported by thin sheets of acetate.

My favorite part about this project? It still folds up and fits into a standard A2 envelope!

Since making this card last week, I've seen different versions "popping" up all over the place. It seems the possibilities are endless. I'd like to try one again with a flower/flowerpot theme. Or maybe a sunshine/clouds/rainbows/umbrella theme. Or maybe a garden theme. Or maybe...okay, you get the idea.

Thinking out of the box is fun!