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.