Saturday, August 20, 2011

My mother-in-law, Margie, celebrated a big birthday this year and my family of four as well as Rick's brother's family met her at Ocean Isle, NC for a fun beach birthday.  I enjoyed myself immensely as I decided I was going to enjoy my time at the beach by reading a naughty book and getting a little Vitamin D -enriching tan.  After we got home, I wanted to give her a more tangible gift that was also heartfelt as well as handmade.  I settled on making her a gift that was part remembrance, part home decor, and part pretty little thing.

When we lived  in NC we often visited Ocean Isle, staying at a condo that Rick's family had owned for years.  Rick and I had collected hundreds of sea shells from the beach one year when we visited right after a storm.  I'm talking an entire paper grocery bag FULL of shells.  I used some through the years but I still have a pretty selection of small shells perfect for my project.  Before we moved away from NC we made one last trip to the beach and I collected a medium sized Tupperware bowl full of OIB sand.  You know, because you never know when you need a bunch of NC sand.

In May I made and blogged about the "Birthday Configuration" I made for a swap.  I decided to make Margie a Birthday Beachy Configuration.

Its hard to see but can you find the little Party hat in the bottom right square?
I glittered the shells- shocking I know- and added pearls, starfish charms, tiny bottles of sand and glitter, a handmade birthday hat, bling, more shells, velvet flowers, birthday banners, shells, rub ons and ribbon.   While I did line the little boxes with paper on the back and edges I left the entire Configuration the original color because it looks beachy and matches the Marjoline Basic Grey paper I used.   The edges of the inside boxes are again covered in Tim Holtz Tissue Tape.

Of course I needed to make a cool card to go with it.  I must say the card I came up with that it was one of those things that I threw together.  I had NO plan when I started and I can't believe how great it came out.

I started with the Marjoline paper and the wood laser cut cake plate from Parisian Anthology collection by House of 3/Pink Paislee.  As I added the cake plate and decided to make a cake I released the pearls would make a perfect "icing".  I added vintage text for candles and Martha Stewart tear drop bling for the flames.  I finished it up by making little wrapped gifts and adding a Tim Holtz stamp sentiment (which I didn't get a good picture of-oopsie).  I love the cake "icing" and will play around with this idea again.

We are having a rainy sleepy day here in Michigan.  School starts soon and I am NOT happy to see the carefree days of summer come to an end but keeping the kids entertained gets more and more difficult as time goes by.  They need to get back to school don't they?


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Interest in Pinterest?

Book Boat with Vintage Map Paper Sails Pinned from  Etsy Cotton Bird Designs
I wish I was the first to discover Pinterest but I must admit I was the second…or maybe the third.  I think one of the blogs I follow mentioned it... but then again it might have been on Facebook.  Anyway, none of this really matters.  What does matter is that Pinterest is So. Much. Flippin'. Fun.  I mean F.U.N.  What makes it so much fun?  It isn't just a place to keep all those scraps of (virtual) paper that you collect for inspiration, ideas, directions, or recipes.  Oh no, Pinterest is also a place to FIND all kinds of cool stuff.  You see, it works like this: you get or request an "invite".  Once you are officially invited you just register and you can start  "pinning".  FYI-, I keep the "pin it" button on my toolbar so it is simple and quick to pin from any website.

Vanilla Bean Carmel Sauce Pinned from
What makes Pinterest so useful is how easy it is to organize my pins into "boards" by any category, topic or color that makes sense to me.  When I need inspiration; whether to make a special gift for a loved one or maybe just dinner, I go to the appropriate board(s) and easily sort through the ideas.  No more notebooks full of small scraps of paper, cut from magazines and newspapers, falling apart and taped in place on unorganized pages.  No more piles of papers ready to be organized.  No more bulletin boards overflowing with scraps- each competing for attention until it because less inspiration and more exasperation.  Nope, on Pinterest everything is neat and tidy.  You have all seen my messy crafting life; I love how neat, tidy and "all in one place" this concept is.
Team Jacob Ring pinned from Etsy  DIVINE Sweetness
Before I discovered Pinterest I had to print out pictures or pages of things that I wanted to keep and that is not exactly Earth friendly and of course just creates more piles of paper that need to be filed into more 3-ring binders that get lost in the hustle of life.  Finding a particular project was very difficult at best.  Who doesn't have piles and piles of recipes printed from their favorite online recipe site?  What I think I love the most about the idea behind  Pinterest is that even thought it was possible to save favorites on websites like Etsy, Martha Stewart, or Epicurious now it is possible to save them ll in ONE place.  I don't have to remember which food site a particular recipe comes from or whether I saw a cool project on Threadbangers or Martha's site.
Pinned from Deryn's blog
 I love all the cool tutorials that are now one the various websites, blogs, and places like e-how and Instructables.  But I have bookmarks for miles of tutorials I might want to use.  One of my big problems, and I'm working on it, is that I want to make everything.  I literally need a staff to bring my ideas to life.  Because I have a "board" of all tutorials I can keep the handy and don't need to print them off or buy the supplies and then forget how to complete the project.  "I will not become a hoarder, I will not become a hoarder, I will…what?  oh, sorry,  I, um, I love tutorials".

pinned from HGTV blog
Using Pinterest is very simple.  You either request an invite from the site or a friend who already uses it.  Once you are invited you simply register and start pinning.  I keep the "pin it" button on my tool bar so I can pin from any web page that contains something fun.  I have found that Pinterest can't find any photos in an email but it is easy to fix by just clicking on the photo to open it in its own window and pin away.
pinned from Theater in the Clouds

One of the things that makes Pinterest so special is that  you can see all sorts of things you would never be able to find on your own by looking at the pins of other users.  You can see Staff Favorites, search for pins by categories or see what your  friends  are pinning.  I have found some really amazing art that I would never found on my own.  It is easy to follow a pinner or a specific board and they make it simple to post your pins to Facebook if you care to.
Pinned from Love and Olive Oil
Whether you are looking to organize your favorite DIY projects, find delicious recipes,  or find new artists, you will love Pinterest.  If you need an invite, shoot me an email though I had no trouble getting one form the site itself.

Laters Baby

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What happened to the summer?

I thought I was going to scream when  noticed Target putting up the "back to school" display in early July.  Please, can't I have a little summer before you threaten me with that?  But then I realized that the college kids sometimes start getting ready to head back to class in early August; ok, so MAYBEEEE I  can forgive and forget; just enjoy summer. Then, just as my heart rate slowed to a more normal rate and rhythm, I went to Michaels… where they have for sale a bunch of Halloween stuff… ok, it takes time to craft, so an early start is best.  Buuuuuutttttt then I went to the party store where I heard "let me know if I can help you, My name is emily and I will be in the Hallowen section"- as in Halloween COSTUMES.  WTF?  Who is going to buy a Halloween costume in July?  Ryann went to the mall and came back reporting that Bath and Body Works at their Haloween products out.  Give us a big break.  I and will I don't see them bu
I can't believe we are heading quickly into August.  I love the summer but this summer has been much to deal with.  We have had far too many days of hot humid weather and not enough of the Michigan balmy breezy beautiful weather we usually get in return for putting up with a never ending winter.  We've had to turn our A/C on more days than I care to think about.  I hate the A/C….well I love the A/C because it makes life comfortable but I would much rather have the windows open and the breeze gently blowing the curtains.  I usually delay turning on the A/C until the rest of the family stages an intervention….revolt…. coup.

 I am back soldering charms… or at least trying to.  Sally Jean makes it look so simple…. ummmm….well….. it isn't.  After several disasters and a few ok's, I am at least not horrified by my results.  What makes it tough is the fact that if I make the artwork and then the soldering is a mess- I destroy some awesome artwork.  But if I just solder empty glass it seems like such a waste, especially if one looks terrific.  I had to rescue two charms after I royally messed up the solder.  I broke the glass and pulled the artwork out.  Shhhh, don't tell anyone. 

In the mean time, here are some pictures of the stationary set I made for the
Mouse Paper Scissors Mom class I took in the spring.  Heidi Swapp and Jessica Sprague again taught the hybrid (part Photoshop and part actual paper) project.  I made a set for my mom and for Margie. Their Mother's Day gifts were the Parisian Bulletin Board and this stationary.  The photos are of Margie's set - my mom's was slimier but not exactly the same.  I LOVE the way they turned out.  Heidi and Jessica designed the basic set and we all used the same paper as it came with the class in digital format.  I took matters into my own hands with the embellishments.

Laters Baby