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!