Monday, December 27, 2010

Wrapping Up the Holidays

Just thought I'd pop in for a few minutes.  I'm actually avoiding my craft room right now.   I really don't know how it got so filthy in there so quickly.  But it will undoubtedly take me longer to clean it than it did for to me to get it in the state it is in now.

Anyway, I figured I'd post a few pics of some presents I wrapped for anyone interested.  I probably enjoy wrapping gifts more than shopping for them.  Which, if you know me, says a lot because I love shopping.  It is kind of rush for me to find a gift for someone that I know they will love.  I often fail at finding that perfect gift, but when I succeed and the person loves it....that's really the best gift for me.  I think people often feel guilty about receiving a gift when they have nothing to give back. But that always leaves me feeling bad that they feel bad when I wish they'd just enjoy their gift and let me enjoy them enjoying it, you know? 

I have a couple of friends that are the best at wrapping gifts.  Every gift is such a treat to receive.  It made me realize that pretty wrapping makes the gift that much more special.  This year, I decided I wasn't going to buy anything new.  I'm trying to turn over a new leaf and start using all of the stuff I am hording saving not using.  I tell Mr. Bean it is because I have too much stuff, but it's really because I want to make room for new stuff. I am a horrible person. I know. I feel too guilty adding to my already full drawers.  Plus, I've discovered it feels pretty good to actually see my stuff in use. This is a new concept to me, so bear with me. I have not gotten to the point that I will use everything, but to avoid appearing on an episode of Hoarders, I am taking baby steps.  Baby steps, Anita!!!

Above is how I decorated for all of the lovely ladies that bless my life. I stamped kraft colored wrapping paper with gold ink then decorated with tulle, bits of gold paper, and gold ribbon. I included doilies when I could.  Love doilies.

On the soft gift, I just used tissue to wrap the gift. I try to avoid using boxes when possible so that I am not using a box and tissue for every gift.  It not only keeps my box storage down - I will admit I hoard boxes - but it also keeps my gift wrapping stash to a minimum - which is also why I like to stamp kraft colored wrapping paper instead of storing tons of rolls of wrapping paper. I stamped the gift tags with the same stamps I used on the paper and used some gift tags I brought back from India - which is big for me because I don't know that I will ever get any more of those tags ever againPlease hold all applause until the end of this post.  Thank you.   

Here is how I wrapped the gifts for the men in my life.  I used tissue paper on the wrapping and some fabric scraps instead of ribbon.  I love that the edges frayed as I tied it around.  I had some old felt poinsettias that I added to the gift tags with brads. 

Alright.  Enough rambling.  Time to get to bed.  I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays. I've been doing my best to stretch them out as long as possible. I even recorded a bunch of cheesy Christmas movies on Lifetime at the last minute so I could watch them after the holidays. I know. I'm crazy.  The holidays are flying by way too quickly for me. But, I suppose it's as to be expected. This year flew by faster than any year I can remember.  Goodnight!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Just in the (St.) Nick of Time....

So much for getting a head start on my Christmas cards!  I got them in the mail on Friday just in the nick of time.  I actually bought everything I needed by Halloween with the best of intentions to have them all finished by December 1, but....well....that didn't work out.  I am pretty sure I was busy doing something good in the world because nothing else would have kept me from making my cards.

The idea was to keep them simple since I was making 70 of them.  But, what I learned is that no matter how simple you think they are, 70 of anything is a lot of work.  I also learned that no matter how quickly you cut everything, assembly takes twice as long as you think it will...but I will spare you from my nuggests craft-tastic wisdom and get on with it.

I designed the card in PSE and printed them out with a color printer.  I didn't have anything specific inspiring me other than I wanted them to be simple and clean.

I cut everything to size and rounded the corners. I used my Silhouette to cut out tags and then stamped each one.  I then took a break in the assembly and addressed the envelopes.  In the interest of time, I drew in the calligraphy instead of using ink and a nib.  I just never had the time to make it to the art supply store for red ink. 

My copperplate calligraphy instructor used to give customers a cheaper option to use a gel pen rather than traditional calligraphy ink.  This was an excellent option when a customer wanted the look of copperplate, but didn't want to pay the price for the real thing.  When using a nib, it is all about the pressure you apply with each stroke while rolling your wrists, so it takes a lot time and it takes a lot out of your hands.  I decided I would draw it in since I'd procrastinated enough that these were looking like they were going to be 2011 cards and not 2010 cards. Talk about pressure!

I've blogged before about how I am obsessed with Betsy Dunlap's work.  I kind of wanted to evoke the same drama that she does so well on her envelopes.  I know there is no comparison, but I really like the way they turned out.  Above is one of the ones I am most proud of.  It helps that their last name is pretty cool, too. 

After the addressing was done, the assembly began.  I wrapped the white cardstock with bakers twine and added the tags. I used pop up dots to attach the (gorgeous) white cardstock onto the card.  That is pretty much it! 

Just for grins, below is a close up.   

I am kind of obsessed with that embossed paper.  

That's all I got for now.  Mr. Bean and I are up late trying to see what we can of the lunar eclipse.  Unfortunately, it is too cloudy to see anything, but every once in a while there is a break in the clouds where you can see the moon.  And it is kind of amazing.

I am not sure I will have a chance to post again before Christmas, so Merry Christmas!!  I hope everyone gets everything they want and more.  :)  

Friday, December 10, 2010

Weekend Crashers

Wow, it seems like it's been so long since we've spoken!  I have been busy decorating the house and making my Christmas cards and enjoying the weather.  Mr. Bean and I have been drinking lots of hot chocolate and apple cider and listening to Christmas carols as much as we can. I've been recording whatever lame movies Lifetime offers and lovin' every one of them.  I love this time of year.

To start off our first weekend in December, Mr. Bean thought he'd get all fit on me and and run in a half marathon out of town.  So we took a road trip up to the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the weekend.  Luckily, we have some pretty amazing friends that allowed us to crash their weekend.  It was an action packed weekend, so I thought I'd share some of the highlights.

Our first stop was Fort Worth, Texas to visit my friends, Christina and Nehme.  I haven't seen them in over four years.  They built a new location since the last time I visited, so for four years, I've watched their progress and been there in spirit since the beginning, but it was time to experience Chadra Mezza & Grill for myself.  And I wasn't disappointed.  The.Food.Was.Amazing.  They are well known in the Fort Worth area for their food and have received numerous Reader's Choice and People's Choice awards, so I had pretty high expectations.  Especially since I've eaten there before and remembered Nehme's lamb melting in my mouth.  But, I was not prepared for the awesomeness I had on my plate.  I wish I had taken pictures.  If I had had a second or two between shoving my fork in my mouth and chewing I probably would have, but trust me when I say there was no time.  

Mr. Bean left me in Fort Worth that night to have some girl time with Christina, so Saturday Christina gave me a tour of her 'hood.  Fort Worth has some really awesome old school Tex-Mex restaurants.  And by 'old school' I mean home-style, home cooked, better-than-Grandma's cooking.  We stopped at Benito's on Magnolia Avenue.  I couldn't help myself.  I had to take some pictures.

By the way, I am working on figuring out how to size my pictures properly.  I am just now getting the hang of the ratios.  Just click on the picture if you want to see it larger. 

We stopped by an old home supply store that I was too busy rummaging through to take pictures.  Then we stopped by to bug Nehme at Rahr & Sons Brewery
Nehme claims he was working, but after about 2 minutes there I knew why he was really there.  There was live music and awesome food (provided by Chadra and served by Nehme, of course) and lots and lots of beer.  It was such an awesome atmosphere.  Fort Worth is one of those big cities that will forever be a small town.

It was time to say goodbye to Fort Worth after that.  Christina drove me over to Dallas to meet with Mr. Bean and crew.  While we waited though, we stopped by the Dallas Farmer's Market and checked out all the pretty pansies while we looked over our shoulder for Ahmed Hassan to come crash our yard.  No sign of him, but I did make a list of everything I needed wanted for my yard in case he makes an appearance near me. 

In Dallas, it was just laid back good times.  We stayed with Mr. Bean's good friends.  They are pretty awesome people.  The kind that don't make you feel like you really did crash their weekend.  We ate dim sum, played the XBox Kinect, and I got a tour of the most fabulous craft room I've ever seen in my life.  It was like an Archiver's was open all night just for me. And this, my friends, is where I found myself in the presence of the most beautiful piece of machinery I've ever seen in my life.  A 1903 Golding Pearl letterpress machine.  And.It.Was.Amazing.  I had one of those moments where my jaw literally hit the floor when the machine was unveiled.  All I could say was 'O.M.G.'.  I call her 'Pearl'. 

I won't pretend to know anything about this particular machine, but what I do know is I was in the presence of greatness.  Pearl, can I just say you are impressive?  Check out her heart shaped pedal.  Be still my heart.  Apparently that is a pretty rare pedal.  Pearl, you had me at 1903, but that heart shaped pedal won me over.

After that, nothing could really compare.  My weekend had pretty much peaked.  But, I can say I was left a little speechless once again when we stopped by a house in our friends' neighborhood.  The Christmas lights were insane.  Mr. B doesn't know it yet, but I am fully expecting something like this in our yard next year.  He can't say it's impossible now.  ;)  

After all of that, Mr. B still had to run the race, so Sunday we all got up early to cheer Mr. Bean on.  He did really well on the race.  I am so proud of him.  He is now inspired to sign up for some more, so next time, maybe I'll join him.  We'll see.  I'd kind of retired my racing shoes, but it's hard to just sit and watch all those racers run by you and not be inspired by their sheer determination.  Pretty amazing.

Thanks to everyone who allowed us to crash their weekend!!  For me, Christmas time is about family and friends, so it was a perfect way to kick off the Christmas holidays!

I promise to post what I've been working on next time.  Until then!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Obsessions: The All-I-Want-For-Christmas Edition

This is my favorite time of year.  I not only love the music and the cooler weather and scarves and being able to drink a latte without sweating, but I absolutely love Christmas.  No other time of year does the city sparkle at night like it does during Christmas time.  Love.It. 

For my obsessions this month, I decided to show you what's on my Christmas Wish List.  Since Mr. Bean surprised me with a Silhouette SD for our anniversary (we don't do gifts for our anniversary, so I really was surprised), I told him not to get me anything for Christmas and I meant it.  So, this is the wish list that follows the Silhouette if I hadn't already gotten the number one thing on my list.  Enjoy!

1.  Jelly Roll Pans.  I have some cookie sheets without a lip, but some baking just requires that lip.
2.  Jonathan Adler iPhone covers....when they come out with covers for the iPhone 4.  Any one will do. 
3.  Heather Bailey Jack & Jill Lunch Bag Pattern.  I bring my lunch to work most of the time.  It's about time I look cute doing it. 
4.  Anolon Advanced cookware.  Mr. Bean bought me some really expensive nice cookware pieces, but despite using only bamboo cooking utensils, the piece of crap teflon peels. 
5.  Rule Breaking Quilts.  I got an opportunity to go to the International Quilt Festival last month and I am ready to break some quilting rules.  After I learn to quilt.  Whenever that may be. 
6.  Denyse Schmidt Quilts.  A lot of bloggers are recommending this one.  I love the triangle one in the upper left hand corner.  I kind of dream about having this draped over a chair (which I'd have to buy once I made the quilt. So it could match, of course.) 
7.  M. Flynn Earrings.  Four words:  Antique.Swarovski.Flower.Earrings.  Four letters: L.O.V.E.  Seriously, do I need to say anymore?
8.  A Kindle.  No explanation is necessary.  I love this new color, too.
9.  Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour.  This was already an obsession of mine.  I just want to reiterate that to the world wide web.  And anyone who might be reading that might want to buy me something. Kidding....kidding.
10. Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher.  The staples are smaller than a mini stapler (which usually seems like it's still too big) and it just seems easier and safer to use.  The last time I was working with my mini stapler, I put a staple thru my finger.  Not cool.

As you can see, I am a simple girl with simple thoughts. OK, that is a lie.  But I pretty much buy myself what I want all year around, so my Christmas wish list always stays pretty tame.  I hope you enjoyed them anyway!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hippo Bithday, Shiraz!

I am so excited to show you this next card.  I actually thought of it while I was making this card back in February knowing full well who I would make it for.  I sketched it out on some scrap paper and basically waited until this week to make it.  It was hard to wait that long, but I think that makes me all the more excited to give this to the little boy it was meant for. My BIL scoffed when he found out there were no moving parts (LOL) so I hope this one doesn't disappoint.  :)

Shiraz turns 2 this month.  He's a pretty amazing little guy, a lot of which stems from the fact that he has pretty amazing parents. Shiraz's father is sort of the older brother Mr. Bean never had.  Mr. B looks up to him and respects him and loves working for him.  Shiraz's mother is a fascinating woman.  She is from Tanzania, fluent in like 5 different languages (I don't think I'm exaggerating here), operates Journey to Africa, a company that specializes in customized safaris to Tanzania and Kenya (please check it out even if you aren't considering a trip to'll make you want to go, like now), is an awesome mother, baker and, of course, crafter.  She is the one who inspired me to actually sit and learn to sew and is a huge supporter of my addiction to paper.  So, needless to say, I always try to make something special for Shiraz.  Because I know whatever it is I create, it will be appreciated.  And that is like icing on the cake for a craft addict, isn't it? 

The inspiration for this card was a combination of the Elephant Baby card and Jenn Ski's alphabet cards.  While I was making that card, I thought how cute it would be to have a diorama-esque card that showed animals and numbers instead of letters.

I went with hippos because, well, there aren't many animals that are cuter than hippos.  Since Shiraz was turning two, I wanted two hippos sitting in a body of water - much like the grassy waters you see on any nature show. Everything was sketched out and hand cut except, of course, the Thickers and mini alpha stickers.  I am really upset with myself because I actually made little party hats for the hippos and then forgot to glue them down. UGH. 

For the water, I used two different tones of blue cardstock.  One textured.  One flat. I tried to keep it from looking like an ocean. The jury is still out on whether I was successful or not, but I think we can all use our imaginations here.  

For the grass, I used two different papers.  One was a light green patterned paper.  The other was Bazzill Bling, but I used both the bling side and the reverse (matte) side of it.  Each blade was hand cut and glued down in a pretty ugly manner to a piece of cardstock, which is one reason why I had to change my original plan to have grass along the bottom of the card. 

For the sun, I used a circle punch on some scraps and just clipped it to look like rays.  I added a button for more color from a huge jar that my grandmother gave me of her leftover buttons.  Gotta love Grandma.  The clouds were freehanded on the reverse side of the cardstock and hand cut. 

I didn't originally include the pennant banner, but what says 'birthday' better than a banner?  So, I used some twine to make it look like the hippos where holding up a banner just for Shiraz.  I literally tied the twine in a bow around the hippos' tail and prayed it didn't rip the tails off.  That's what you call livin' la crafty vida loca, my friends.  

I used Thickers for Shiraz's name and placed it on a little name plate I created with blue cardstock.  OK, I'm lying.  I didn't do that on purpose, but don't you love when stuff works out like that??  :)  What I did do on purpose was place the letters in a way that made it look like they were each floating in water.   And, finally, I think it goes without saying that I used a ton of pop up dots to piece this card together. 

If you are still reading, that was about it!  I think with every card you make, you think of all these things you could have done differently or other things you could have added - and even things you forgot to add - but one aspect of card making that I enjoy is the problem solving part of it.  You start out with a one dimensional sketch and figure out how to make it two dimensional.  I love how it came out and I know Shiraz and his parents will love it, too.

Happy Birthday, Shiraz!  It's been such a pleasure to watch you grow up.  I hope you love your card, because I think I already know what I want to do next year. :) 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Crafting in Circles

Anita's birthday card was 100% inspired by Tara Donovan.  I came across Tara Donovan's work a couple of weeks ago while I was clicking thru images in Google.  Google images to me is like YouTube to a 10 year old boy.  I can spend all day looking at images. 

When our friend, Sharmee, and I started brainstorming for ideas for her card, we knew it definitely had to have some sort of wow factor.  I was looking for some inspiration on creating something that was sort of organic looking, like coral.  When I found images from the gallery who represents Tara in New York, I basically was in awe.  Her installations seriously take my breath away.  She is known for taking everyday materials and transforming them into these beautiful sculptures.  Using everyday materials and using items I already own was a goal of mine for this card, so discovering Tara Donovan was crafty fate.  Take a few minutes to check out her work.  Can you guess which one inspired Anita's card?

To make this card, I basically used a circle punch to create a billion little circles out of coffee filters.  My intention was to color the filters with watercolor pencils (Anita let me borrow hers a while ago and I've been dying to use them on something), but I liked the way they looked in their natural color.  I then took 8 circles at a time and folded them in half.    

These were hand stitched to keep them all in place and make sure they stayed folded, which is what you are seeing above.  Apparently the trick here is to keep them away from your dog.  After about 5 hours of work one night, Freddie ate all the pieces I made that night. Yeah. I won't lie. I cried.

I then used glue dots (sorry, Anita, I know you hate them, but they are so handy!!) to glue three of the pieces together and then glue them down as one unit.  I tried to be green and sew them down, but they weren't sitting as well as I wanted, so I reverted to gluing them down in a random pattern. But some of them are sewn in.

I originally glued the circles down on kraft colored cardstock, but I decided I wanted some color to the card, so I cut the entire piece out and mounted that on textured teal colored cardstock.  Most likely Bazzill. 

Here is the final result.  I am obsessed.  Is it bad to be obsessed with something you make?  If it is, then I guess I am a horrible person.  Horrible. It was like having a little piece of Tara right in my craft room.

Here is a closeup of the pieces.  Each circle measures approximately 1/2 inch.  And, here is where you can kind of see Freddie's next addition to the card making process.  After I was done, she decided to lick the card down the middle.  A little extra love thrown in just for you, Anita.  Luckily, it dried really well.

And one more pic of a really close closeup.  Just for grins. 

I know Anita will love the card as much as I do.  And I know she will take better care of it than Freddie I will. 

Happy Birthday, Anita!!!  I hope you have an amazing day!!

A is for Awesome. I mean, Anita. Well, OK. Awesome Anita.

Anita has a birthday this week so our mutual friend, Sharmee, and I have been trying to come up with some crafts worthy enough to give to her.  Anita is the awesomest, greenest crafter I know, so we challenged ourselves to use what we have and not buy anything new to create something she'd love.  With my Seester's ingenuity, I modified this lovely autumn wreath by Elise Blaha into a 'A'. And, I think I kind of love it. 

Anita loves anything blue, so I dug into my craftovers - my fabric scraps and ribbon scraps - and took out anything I had that was blue or would coordinate with blue.  I surprised myself with how much blue and green I actually have. Even my pinking shears were blue! A sign that this project was meant to be, no?

Then I stole two wire hangers from Mr. Bean and had him break away from his laptop for a few minutes to form a (huge) 'A'.  Another sign this project was meant to be.  I have an aversion to wire hangers a la Mommy Dearest so wire hangers are rare in the Pintobean household.   

I cut the scraps into strips about 7" long. Then I stopped to take a picture because they just looked so darn pretty piled up like that.  I contemplated stopping there and thought of ways I could convince Anita that it was some sort of art installation on my kitchen table but I was pretty sure Anita would have wanted me to use them, so I forged ahead. 

I basically just knotted the strips all along with wire hanger per Elise's instructions.  Simple as that. 

Pretty Awesome.  Just like Anita.  I love how it turned out.  I hope she likes it.  If she doesn't, I've already figured out how to turn it into a 'P'....

Monday, November 8, 2010

November Obsessions

Well, hello, November!  So glad to see you!  We've had beautiful weather lately, and I couldn't be more pleased.  I haven't had a ton of time to sit and obsess over things like I usually do, so you get a break on the long obsession post this month.  So, here we go...

{photo taken of ShakeItPhoto homepage}
ShakeItPhoto for the iPhone.  This iPhone app has taken over my photo album.  It's so much fun!! When you take a picture, it even makes a sound as the picture spits out...just like a Polaroid camera!  I find myself taking pics just to shake them and watch them develop faster.  It is so addicting!! Love the vintage vibe the pics have. Not to mention every time I shake my iPhone, I sing a little rendition of Outkast's Hey Ya. And that, my friends, is worth every penny.
{images via Chanel}
Chanel Nail Colour.  Need I say more?  I kind of want to buy some just to stare at all day.  And a set that I can hold all day.  And then a set that I can actually use.  Or maybe just stare at all day.  I'd be scared to ruin it's loveliness.  I need these.  Like, now. 

Coeur de Pirate, "Printemps".  I love French pop - even though I don't speak French.  Mr. Bean speaks it very well, though.  He attended a language arts high school so he took French for four years.  And unlike most kids, he actually remembers it all.  This song pretty much makes me want to learn French and then start up a band with Mr. Bean and tour the world.

That's all I've got for this month!  Hope you enjoyed it all!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What I Am

I saw this on Ali Edward's blog and I had to share.  I love Sesame Street. And being an avid Oprah fan, I love  He has a huge heart and always surprises me with his generosity and sincerity.  To the point of tears.  As soon as I see him walk out on stage, I usually grab a Kleenex.  After seeing this video, I love him (and Sesame Street) even more.

Friday, October 29, 2010

No tricks. Just Treats.

Happy Halloween!  I don't know why I love this holiday so much.  I have a very overactive imagination, so I am not big on scary movies and ghost stories and such.  But what's not to love about a holiday that you can wear whatever you want and eat all the candy you want?

I typically decorate the front of our house with all sorts of spider webs and orange and purple lights, but time got the best of me this year.  I am going to try to convince Mr. Bean to sit outside like a Halloween lawn ornament and scare trick-or-treaters as they go by, but he's not as into Halloween as I am.  My brother's neighbor does that every year. He doesn't yell 'boo' or anything.  He just sits at the door dressed like a grim reaper and every once in a while reaches over and taps an unsuspecting kid on the shoulder as his wife hands out candy. He's gotten a reputation for it, so it's always fun to see the lines of kids that walk up to his door and run away screaming.

Every year, I like to make a little something for Mr. Bean's coworkers.  This year, I decorated some jars of apple butter that my grandma made.  My grandma cans stuff like a madwoman, so every time my dad goes up to visit her, he brings back about 10 cases of items she's canned.  It'd be a nice gesture if it was just once a year, but my dad goes to see her about 6 times a year.  We got jelly, salsa, apple butter and preserves coming out of our ears!!  I've been able to avoid getting a surplus of jars at my house, but this last time my dad got crafty on me.  He was basically unloading cases while I wasn't looking and took off before I could object.  Talk about trick-or-treat!  So, what do you do with 5 cases of apple butter?  You decorate them!   I don't know about you, but seeing a bunch of mason jars makes me just want to slap some ribbon on them. 

My grandma is the type of grandma that wants everyone to call her 'Grandma'.  So, I thought it'd be cute to make some "Made by Grandma" labels for her jars.

I printed out the text onto large shipping labels and used my Curvy Cutter to cut them down into circles.   You don't see it here, but I added my name on the label for it to read "Made by Selina's Grandma".  I wanted it to look like an afterthought, so I hand wrote it.  You'll see it in the final pics.

 Then, I made tags using black cardstock and my signature white pen.  

I used a plate to cut burlap into circles to go over the jars.  Here is where having a mom that's a work horse helps.  When you get tired of cutting, she'll do it for you.  :)  I went with burlap because I love the texture it adds to any project. 

Next, I basically assembled everything on each jar and tied it with ribbon using a rubber band to keep the burlap in place.  I used what I had in my craft room, so I chose a purple and orange color scheme.  Who says Halloween always has to be black and orange? 

That's it!  I have a few more to make to give to some friends.  I didn't know apple butter was so popular until I started giving it away.  Good for me because I only got rid of one case today!

Alright, back to work. I want to get home and clean up. I have quite a bit of cleaning up to do at home.  The state of my craft room is about as scary as any horror movie I've ever seen.  It spooks me every time I walk in there.  It's like Nightmare on Bean Street.  ;)

Hope everyone has a spook-tacular Halloween!

Monday, October 18, 2010

He {hearts} She

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  I didn't get half the stuff done I wanted to around the house or in my craft room, but I never do, so it was a pretty productive weekend if you measure it against my other non-productive weekends. 

My latest card was inspired by this Kristina Werner card.  As you may already know, I am kind of a fan of hers.  A big one.  I wish I had an ounce of her creativity.  And her craft supplies.  I could do great things I tell you.  Great things.

Anyway, Mr. Bean's second cousin, Suneeta, got married recently so I figured I'd make a wedding card.  When I got married, Mr. B and I received cards from all over the world from people we'd never heard of or met before because of my MIL and FIL's vast network of family and friends.  Being a lover of all things card related, it was really exciting to get so many cards in the mail.  However, they were all the traditional ones you see at your local drugstore.  Except one.  I have a friend from Tanzania whose mother sent the most beautiful card.  It was like art.  In fact, it was art.  Not to take anything away from the sentiments included in the cards we received, but out of the 5 or 6 dozen cards we got, that particular card is no doubt the one I cherish the most.  If I was a blogger worth anything, I'd dig it out and take a picture and show it to you, but I am typing this at work because I am an employee worth nothing. :)

With this card, I wanted to make something non-traditional and something that would stand out amongst the 5 or 6 dozen cards that Suneeta herself will no doubt receive.  I've been kind of obsessed with these male and female figures for a while now, and loved they way Kristina Werner used them.

I used less layers than I typically do since I am mailing this one to the other side of the country.  I do love me some pop up dots but the postal service doesn't take to them too kindly.

I hand cut the figures using a white cardstock from Bazzill Bling, so there is some shimmer you can't see in the pics.  The black and kraft colored cardstock is Bazzill as well.  The heart is from Hobby Lobby.  Very simple.  And hopefully unique.  

Please excuse the large glob of glue dots on the female's leg.  I didn't notice that until I uploaded the pictures. I was apparently very frightened that that particular leg would come tearing off the card and wreak havoc on all mankind because it looks like I tripled up on the glue dots there.  But I assure you, no legs were harmed in the making of this card.   

That's all I've got for now.  I do want to give a shout out to my Billy and say Happy Birthday!  I hope you have an awesome day!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bienvenidos a Miami

I took a quick trip to Miami sans Mr. Bean to help celebrate my friend's 30th birthday.  It was hard work but somebody's gotta do it, right?  I went there feeling 21 again and left feeling....well, really old.  I had a blast getting to know some of my friend's best friends and am really glad I got to see first hand why she loves them so much.  It was a pretty awesome group of people.  I hope to see them again soon.

Here's a few quick snaps I took.  I took an actual camera, but never actually had it on me so most of the pics were via my iPhone. 

As you can see, I focused quite a bit on the Cuban fare. I am not typically a big pork eater outside of curries, but I have to say, a good Cuban sandwich can convert almost anyone.  I had to have some yuca and plantains in the mix and the rest of the pics are in and around our hotel and glimpses into our evenings. 
I will be back on a regular schedule beginning this week.  I've just about got my voice back (a result of the 'feeling like I was 21 again') and am almost rested enough that I am feeling back to my old lady self again.  I have neglected my craft room, but I should have a decent post for you after this weekend.  Adios!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

October Obsessions

Wow. September flew by faster than I expected. And it actually feels like fall here! This weather is making me giddy. Even Freddie loves it. She tends to get frisky with cooler weather. It's really cute. Lately she won't even come inside when we coax her with treats. I wish I could do that today instead of be at work. Only I probably wouldn't be coaxed with treats. It'd be more like, "You can stay outside...forever." And I don't think Mr. Bean would appreciate it if I came home and said I got fired because I wanted to go outside and play all day.

This month's obsessions are a bit random, but I think you'll like them.

Crop-a-dile Corner Chomper.
This, my friends, is the greatest corner rounder ever. I've had my eye on this for a long time, but my corner rounders from Hobby Lobby were working just fine, so I couldn't justify the expense. Until I started my cards for the Latina Art Show. My corner rounders wouldn't sharpen for the life of me, so I finally broke down and bought the Corner Chomper. And I have but one regret. That I didn't buy it sooner. I used to have to pull strength from The Almighty Himself to round corners to my cards. And I thought that was normal. The Corner Chomper rounds the corners so easily and quickly - and thru multiple layers of cardstock! - I really think this is my favorite tool in my craft room. Seriously.

{image via EK Success}

Embossing Pen by Inkadinkado. I'm a CA (craft addict) and the Embossing Pen was my idea. Seriously. They need to market this pen the way Microsoft has marketed Windows 7. This is one of those products that you envision on your head and one day you actually find that someone actually makes it. I love to emboss. It takes your cards to the next level. But I hate that you are limited to the stamps you own. This, dear craft lover, is the answer. Love it. Thanks, Sharmee, for showing me the way.

{image via Small Screen Scoop}

Project Runway Season 8.
This has been an ongoing obsession of mine, so technically it doesn't count, but life is never better than when Project Runway is airing. I absolutely love that they repeated the HP Challenge for designers to make their own fabric with this last episode. Textile design has always intrigued me, so it's so fun to see these designers create and then use the fabric they made on a design. Great marketing, too, because it really makes me want one of those HP TouchSmart systems. For when I become a famous textile designer, of course.

I am totally take by one designer this season. Mondo. I love his point of view. This last episode had me bawling so much, I had to stop the recording so I could clean myself up. Several times. If you haven't watched it, Lifetime has the full episode here and you can actually download Mondo's (and all the other designers') pattern here. I think I might use Mondo's for a card in the near future. I can't wait to see what Mondo will be producing the rest of the season. I don't see how he won't be at Fashion Week. I really think Mondo will win it all.

{image via Calico Corners}

Calico Corners. Um, so when did Calico Corners become cool? The last time I went inside a Calico Corners store, I think I was 8. And I don't remember blown away at the fabric choices. (Even as an 8 year old, I would have remembered fabulous fabric.) But, the other day, I was doing some online searches for some cool, affordable fabric and I stumbled upon Calico Corners. They have some really awesome fabrics to choose from that vary from traditional to ethnic to a more vintage feel. I am really impressed. And then, SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. Take a look at Iman's collection, sold exclusively at Calico Corners. I've seen other fabrics with comparable designs, but not for that price. I DIE. I need about 500 yards of every style. Please.

The Girl by City and Colour.
I don't really need to explain why I love this song so much. Dare I say that Dallas Green just may be the new Jack Johnson in my heart? I don't tell me....

That's all for this month! I haven't created anything lately because I have been playing around on PSE a lot. (Show some love for the new blog header!!) Man, I could play all day with that program and never get tired of it. Quite possibly the best purchase of 2010 in my book.

I actually took a
last minute trip up to Iowa to visit my sister again. She got an infection that almost landed her in the hospital so my mom and I flew up there as quick as we could to be with her. It was a shame we were there under those circumstances, but it was really nice to just be there with her with no real agenda except for her to work on getting better. I got lots of Colt time, too, which is always an exciting adventure. So, I'll leave you with this pic I snapped on my iPhone.

{This is Colt. Hanging out on the couch - even though he knows he
isn't supposed to - b
ut looking quite pleased with himself nonetheless.}

And this article on creativity crushers. It's a good read. Laters!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Gleek-y Birthday

I think it is pretty obvious what this card was inspired by. I am a HUGE Glee fan and so is my friend, Blanca. She's kind of my clone in the sense that we have the same sense of humor and the same name it. I met her in college at a time when I really needed my own set of friends. I had just gotten out of a bad relationship, and I found myself in that position where I realized all of my friends were actually his friends. So, she took me under her wing and showed me how much more fun college can be without a boyfriend. She's been my partner in crime ever since.

Blanca is only 9 months older than I am but was born the year before I was. So basically we are only the same age for 3 months out of the year. And, since I like to be a pain, I like to give her a hard time about that. And it never gets old. Well, she does. Not the joke. Ha ha ha. [I hope she's reading.]

Anyway, this card is for her birthday. I solicited the help of my friend, who is pretty awesome to allow me to use her and abuse her crafty awesomeness, so let's just give a shout out to Anita. She was my hand model as well as my Cricut extraordinaire.

Pretty simple. Anita used Sure Cuts A Lot on her Cricut to cut out the letters in the font I wanted. We took a picture of her hand and had it printed at the Walgreens photo center. I cut out the hand in the picture and used pop up dots on the letters and the picture. The black letters are Basic Grey's Micro Stickers (my fave). I didn't have them in black, so I used a Sharpie.

Here is the inside.

The inside has a quote from the show: "Wait, so old people can join Glee Club now?" - Finn Hudson
All the paper is Bazzill, of course. Love it.
It's no coincidence that I posted this today. Glee premieres tonight!! If you don't already watch it...well, you deserve a slushie. ;)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

All caught up and nowhere to craft.

I finally sent off the cards yesterday for the art show that I blogged about last month. They should arrive by Thursday. Yay. I have been up late the last couple of nights trying to get them out in time, so it's a relief to have that checked off the list.

The idea was to have two cohesive cards that were also unique in their own way. So, I used the same paper, but a slightly different pattern. This second card was sort of a crocodile inspired look.

I am not quite sure I pulled it off, but I am fairly pleased with how it turned out. Especially when the two cards are sitting next to each other.

This is a shot of them as I was packing them up. The card I re-made has an orange butterfly and the crocodile inspired one has a yellow butterfly, both with Bazzil Basics cardstock. The kraft colored cardstock is Bazzill as well. The patterened paper is Hambly. Since the cards are so much like the one I already blogged about, I didn't take a ton of pics, so these are pretty much all I got. Enjoy!
And just for grins, I'll show you a pic of the girly burp cloths I made over the weekend. I've made these before, but I tend to err on the side of 'functional' when making/buying things for newborns so these are perfect. Since I don't know but one little girl, it was so much fun to break out into the pink fabric I've had in my fabric stash forever. I love pink fabrics, but I can't ever use them because everyone has boys!

This is my favorite go-to gift to make and give. I basically do something like this. I am a slow sewer, and even I can churn out 3 of these in under an hour from start to finish. Very simple to do. The fabrics I used are Amy Butler (of course!) and Heather Bailey.

That's all I got! I am pretty much caught up on everything I wanted to do! So now back to reality. I need to do a serious reorganization of my craft room but I am not sure how to just yet without just taking everything out and starting over. And I am not quite ready to do that right now. But we'll see. I am getting to where I have different things I am working on in the extra bedroom, the kitchen, the living room as well as my craft room. So, it's getting harder and harder to clean up all that mess. And find everything. So, I need to find a solution. A solution that doesn't involve buying a bigger house or kicking Mr. Bean out.

Hope everyone has a great week!