Friday, June 25, 2010

Birthday Wisdom

At the *uh hem* tender age of 33, I wish I could write down some words of wisdom that would somehow strike a chord in the minds and hearts of America's youth, but I doubt any of them are reading anyway. I'll give you a song instead. An oldie, but a goodie. I'm sure you didn't want to read another long post anyway.

Happy Birthday, Seester!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Movin' on Up

I am not sure I've ever mentioned my BIL, Mr. Bean's little brother. I call him my Billy. He's 7 years younger than Mr. Bean and just about the sweetest guy I've ever known. He's the kind of kid you want for a little brother and the kind of kid you'd want for a son. And, of course, he's the kind of guy you definitely want for a BIL.

When I first met Billy Bean, he was still in high school, had a curfew, wore glasses, and was about as big around as my pinky finger. Now, he's got contacts (so now you can see his beautiful eyes!), an awesome job with an awesome company (after graduating from college with high honors), all sorts of muscles I didn't know Indian men had, and lives on his own about 2500 miles from all of us. And just to rub in to to all the girls that wouldn't date him in high school, Billy Bean just bought a beautiful condo with an awesome view of the city. Go Billy Bean!!

Although he moved in late last week, he's been preparing for the move for a few weeks now. He's drawn up plans for his new pad using Google SketchUp so he could maximize it's potential. I have to say I'm impressed, despite the fact that it doesn't surprise me he'd take so much care to ensure he makes his new space the best it can be.

So, how did I respond to the move? I made a card, of course.

I started the card with no idea of what I was going to do. I couldn't help thinking of a pair of spare keys, so I sketched out some keys on metallic paper and cut them using an exacto knife. The tag is just something I stole from work that we buy from Office Depot, since we are forever labeling keys. I wrote his actual unit number on the tag. I added some paint to make the background of the card to make it interesting. The faux measuring tape is from Urban Outfitters - sort of a nod to Billy Bean's SketchUp drawings - and the other tape is Japanese masking tape.

Billy Bean, Mr. B and I are so proud of you. Watching you grow up into a such a caring, responsible, talented young man has been an honor. We can't wait to visit! I believe I will start calling this my new vacation home. :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Birthday Card Story.

I am really excited to post this next card. Lately, I've been saying this with every card, but this is seriously one of my all-time favorite cards. But please bare with me. I am going to selfishly walk you thru every detail of how this card was created so that I can relive the memories.

I worked on this card with a friend of mine. Working with my friend is always a pleasure, but typically we have an agenda. This time, it was fun to sort of play around with materials and toss around ideas with her. She's amazingly creative and talented. She inspires me everyday to live green and think outside of the box when crafting. She's definitely a crafter in a whole other league from me, since I stick to paper and fabric, so she brings a plethora of crafty information with her.

A few weeks ago, my friend and I set out on a mission to create a card for our fellow crafty friend. We are two of her biggest fans. Basically, it had to be fantastic. It needed to be fabulous. And it definitely required some amount of 'clever'. And I, of course, thought it had to have some sort of pennant banner. And at least one rosette. So, we started a think tank and dove head first into a brainstorming session where I presented my friend with ideas like, "Why don't we just encrust it with huge diamonds!!" And my friend would respond, "Um. No." Or, "Why don't we make a remote control card that will zoom in with a cake on top?!" And my friend would respond, "Um. No." So, the dreamer and the realist went thru my craft room and decided to use what I had. Unfortunately, there were no huge diamonds available for encrusting.

We stumbled upon this picture and used it as our inspiration. A desert table by Amy Atlas.

It fit all the criteria. It was fantastic. In fact, it was fabulous. It had some crepe paper rosettes that were to making me scream, "Come home to Momma!!!" And, layering those rosettes?! How clever! The only thing missing as far as I was concerned was a pennant banner. Totally doing this for a party, BTW. Preferably a party for me.

The next day I started sketching out ideas at work (instead of working, yes). At the suggestion of my friend, I included the sketches for you. Kind of shows you my thought process.
Then, it was back to my craft room. None of the patterned paper I had really satisfied us, so my friend came up with the very clever idea of using magazines or catalogs to make the rosettes. I recycle my catalogs pretty quickly, but luckily that morning I forgot to toss the latest Pottery Barn catalogs in my recycle bin before the city came to pick it up. It was fate.

I'll admit, once we started cutting them up, I was a bit skeptical of the catalogs. It didn't seem like it was colorful enough. But, I loved the idea that we were using catalogs. Despite my concerns, that night my friend confidently churned out every single one of those rosettes as well as the pennants AND still wanted to be my friend the next day.

I figured the enforcers of the crafting labor laws would not condone three nights of torture, so the next day, I decided I'd better figure out the rest of the card on my own. So after playing around with a few ideas, I ended up stitching each pennant into a banner by hand-feeding it into my sewing machine. It sounds extremely labor intensive, I know. I'll just keep typing and making you think that. But, in case any crafting labor law enforcers are reading this, it actually didn't take that long once I got the swing of it.

Besides gluing it all together and making the actual card portion, that was about all there was to it. Here is the final product. Enjoy.

And just because I couldn't get enough of the pennants, I decided to use it on the wrapping.

I wish the pictures did it justice. I tried taking pics of it from different angles so you could see how fantastic and fabulous and clever it is. This card will be hard to give away, but I know the person it's going to will love it and appreciate it as much as I ever could.

June Obsessions.

I'm back with some obsessions for June. I realize it is only the first week of June, but my process of being obsessed cannot be contained to 30 day increments. So, I may have to update this post if/when I find myself obsessing over anything else in June.

This song. I know it's old school, but after we had some friends over to break in our Rock Band 2, I've been listening to it over and over and over and over again. Just makes me nostalgic.

photo via Madeline Weinrib

My competition. Check out Madeline Weinrib. Love the fabrics she uses. Awesome rugs, too. I think I will have to expand my empire of exquisite pillows to include rugs once I make it big.

Pennants. They're everywhere. I know. Every scrapbooker in the world is using them. But, I have been living in the land of pennants ever since my friends helped me make a banner last November. And I don't wanna leave.

photo via wedding bee

Paper rosettes. They're everywhere. I know. But, I can't help myself. Once Martha does them, I have to find a way to incorporate them into every part of my existence. And I will succeed.

I will try to limit my obsessions posts to once a month, but right now I'm reading more than I am crafting. I keep walking into my craft room with good intentions, but I can't seem to finish anything I've started lately.

I hope everyone had an awesome Memorial Day weekend. It actually felt like a long weekend for me. Instead of doing everything we needed to be doing around the house, Mr. Bean and I watched a lot of TV, visited with friends, gave Mr. Bean a mohawk, and ate our weights worth in bbq. Fun stuff.