Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Believe

One of our biggest selling simple phrases is BELIEVE. I think it is because it can be interpreted in so many ways. During the holidays it can be intrepreted as a belief in Santa and the magic of the season. At Easter it means a belief in our Savior. During other times of the year it can remind you to believe in yourself, in others and in the basic goodness of mankind.

Belief can inspire us.

I know that my own beliefs hold me up when hard times hit. I am grateful for my faith.

What do you believe in?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sad News

I have sad news. My lovely and talented sister, the Anne of Lizzie Anne Designs and her business partner, Tricia, have decided to close the doors on Lizzie Anne Designs.

The two of them are hugely talented designers and have created a fantastic product, but the current economy just won't support them continuing in their business. You can read all about their decision here.

You can still purchase merchandise at their website--in fact they are giving a 40-50% discount on their products.

I'll still post the pictures of cards I made with her products--and I'm going to make more (as soon as I uncover my inks from my in-construction basement)--I'm just really sad I won't be able to send you their website to buy anymore. In the meantime, check them out while you can.







http://www.lizzieannedesigns.com/images/logo.gif

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Independence Day!



Happy Independence Day! Admittedly I'm a bit early, but I love getting into the holiday spirit. The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. Who can resist hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled chicken, potato salad, fireworks and watermelon?

Not me.

I thought I'd post two twists on a similar glass block. Glass blocks are so much more readily available these days (Hobby Lobby anyone? Love the predrilled blocks). I love decorating for all of the holidays and the easier for me the better.

So do any of you have big plans for the Fourth of July? We're going to go to one of the National Battlefields and check out the fireworks.

Stay safe and have a good time.

Pin It

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Topsy-turvy Cake


Wow--I had no idea trying to make a topsy-turvy cake out of clay would be so difficult.

First of all, the amount of clay needed to create a full cake was more than I wanted to use. Secondly, to keep my edges clean proved more difficult than I anticipated. Thirdly, I had no idea just how many teeny-tiny balls of white would be needed, or how easily they'd be knocked off the cake if you picked it up the wrong way (even after baking!)

It's done--more or less--and it looks pretty cute, if a little imperfect. My daughter loves it, and that's what counts.

By the way, I built up the bottom by fashioning a support around a wooden dresser knob with white clay. This allowed me to use less clay for the green body of the cake.

If you look carefully in the picture, you can see Jenny's superior cake just behind and to the right of the cake.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Family Ties

May is a month of celebration in my family (mother's day, anniversaries, birthdays, etc). So I thought it was appropriate to post a sign that I love to make. I love the idea that my family can be together forever.

I know I am blessed. I actually love and get along with my in-laws (I think they are fantastic people truth be told). And while we are not perfect and we certainly have our ups and downs, overall I think we're a happy family. I am grateful for this blessing--words really can't express it enough--so I hope my actions do let my family know how grateful I am for them.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Baby Love

What can I say, I love babies. I love baby scrapbook pages, I love baby cards, announcements, clothes and blankets. I especially love that sweet baby smell of my own little ones. (Some of whom are not so little really anymore).

I was going through some boxes today (spring cleaning), and found this scrapbook page I had done for a swap. It's one of my simpler designs, but remember I like the simple stuff.

I hope you like it too.

(By the way the shiny centers are the flowers are microbeads I adhered with crystal effects).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Cleaning and Organizing


I don't know what it is, but I find the older I get, the more I need lists and labels. (Could it be I'm just getting older?)

In any case, I love both my vinyl cutter and my label maker (for those tiny labels I can't possibly ever cut and pick without losing my sanity). I love having a home for each thing I own (I'm not there yet, but I can dream), and having it clearly labeled so no one can get confused at where an item belongs.

The pocket finds jar, by the way, is for my laundry room. I often go through pockets (too many melted crayons in my past experience) and pull items out that don't belong there. You'd be amazed what each of us leaves in our pockets. All finds go into the jar, and I don't have to worry about it. If someone is wondering where an item went--check the jar. Makes my life just that much easier.

And so it's April and if you haven't already, I challenge you to do some spring cleaning and organizing. I'm personally going to challenge myself to get rid of at least 1 item a day for two weeks. And I'm going to go back to my already organized areas and retidy them. I'll try and post some pictures. We are trying to grow our garden too, so I'll let you know how that goes.

Wish me luck! (And good luck to you too).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Monkey See, Kitty Do

We tried our hand at making two of the simpler cakes on the front cover of Jenny's book--the monkey and kitty cat cakes--out of polymer clay.

If you look closely at this picture, you can see the monkey and kitty cakes at the top.


I cut the monkey's face freehand, as well as cat's light colored area around the mouth. (What do you call that on a cat? The muzzle?) I used my new, handy-dandy clay extruder (which needs really soft pliable clay to work well) to get the pieces for the mouths, nose, whiskers, etc. I wish in hindsight I had paid a little more for a better quality extruder--one where you twist a handle or something instead of trying to push clay through with brute force.

Lastly, I found a packet of inexpensive disks that were the perfect cake platter size at the craft store. We painted them with acrylic paints I had on hand.

What do you think?

I've already got the next couple of polymer clay posts ready, but in the future, I will try and post some in process photos as well.

***********

A word to those working with polymer clay for the first time. Read the baking directions when you are rested or just take note of my blunder. I misread the directions in haste and when I was tired, and was looking everywhere amongst my friends for an oven that would bake at 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Ovens baking that low do not exist. Ummm, yeah--that was 130 degrees Celsius--not Fahrenheit. The cat and monkey got a little dusty during the two days they sat there until my brain kicked in after rereading directions on baking.

I also made the mistake of not realizing you cannot use the same tools you use for polymer clay on food items. Luckily I had planned on the shape cutters being solely devoted to clay beforehand.



Thursday, March 31, 2011

How to Decorate for an 18" Doll on a Time and Money Budget

Just a quick little post here--
We wanted to make a couple of fun things for Jenny, the 18" doll belonging to my daughter. I don't have $40.00+ to spend on a dresser for a doll , nor did I have a lot of time to spend on making a dresser that functions (though I've seen some fantastic dresser tutorials online where the drawers will pull out).

My solution? Cover a cereal box in paper. The top paper I quickly designed in Word--trying to make it look like dresser drawers.

It's cute and easy and took me all of maybe 10 minutes to make it.

The laundry basket we found at Hobby Lobby for a buck or two. The flower vase (which you can see better below) is actually a salt shaker without the cap. The mini-flowers came from the dollar store in a huge bunch. (I'm thinking Jenny can have a big flowering bush if I get some green florists Styrofoam). Not too bad considering what I could have spent...



Perhaps during spring break I will make a functioning dresser with my daughter, in the meantime I think we'll keep our main focus on making food for Jenny.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fantastic Deal


I love a great deal. I think most of us do. So in the spirit of sharing, I'm going to put in a plug for these adorable "Trinket Dishes" I found at Michaels. They are in the clearance bins for $.50 where I live. I told a friend in Minnesota earlier and she got the last four at her store.

They measure 2 7/8" across and are the perfect size for 18" dolls.

I'll fill you in on the adorable cookies that are sitting on them later, but for now if you are into doll sized miniatures, run out and pick up a few!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Newest Hobby

So my house is in a bit of upheaval--we're attempting to finish our basement-- and I don't have great access to my vinyl supplies at the moment. I've been looking for another creative outlet.

On her birthday, my daughter received an "Our Generation" doll from Grandma and Grandpa. "Our Generation" is Target's version of an 18" doll. They have a lot of cute accessories that come with some of the dolls. My daughter received Jenny who comes with a little storybook as well as some supplies like a bowl, whisk, eggs, and pretend cupcakes. The advantage is the dolls, clothes and accessories are cheaper than the major brand cough:AmericanGirl:cough of 18" doll out there. (Which we still love to look at and wish we could afford).

Jenny
The hairdo, by the way, is courtesy of my daughter's efforts. It's a bit unusual up close, but she was letting her creative juices flow.


Jenny's book


A few of Jenny's accessories


In reading the story, we thought, "Wouldn't it be great if we could make some of Jenny's desserts?"

This started us on a bit of a baking bonanza. We've made pretzels and tiny cakes and cookies in her EasyBake Oven. We attempted a single tier topsy-turvy cake for Valentines Day. (I'll post pictures of that another day). We've made chocolate chip cookies and they were really delicious. My waistline however, cannot handle a continuous influx of sweets (I AM trying to lose weight--and it starts with the food I eat).

So what to do?

Now you need to know I come from a family of at least three generations of artistic women. My mom and sisters are all really creative. My mom paints, sews, and used to sell some of her creations in shops on consignment. Back when ducks and geese were all the rage, she sewed ducks out of various calico material, and then arrranged them with flowers inside crates that could be hung on the wall. One day I'll track down a picture of some of the things she made. My sisters draw, paint, stamp, design and are skilled photographers.

My grandmother had two main creative outlets. First she was a master gardener of roses. She had more types of rose than I could count, and she created a beautiful peaceful haven in her backyard. I have never met anyone with quite the same touch with roses and flowers as she had. Her second outlet was in working with her hands and making things. She made a felt wall hanging (which incorporated some embroidery) that placed at the state fair many, many years ago. Another project of hers was one that inspired me--my Grandma, knowing her granddaughters loved Barbies, made us all pretend food for Barbie out of polymer clay.

I wish I knew where my little tin of food was, but I don't. It was fantastic though. We had little cakes, doughnuts and chocolate chip cookies. She painstakingly made cabbages, lettuce and cauliflower as well as potatoes, carrots and a slew of other foods. I loved that tin of food and I played with it all of the time.

And each time I played with the food, I knew how much my Grandma loved me because she took the time to make something wonderful.

So, after talking it over with my daughter we decided to make some pretend food from polymer clay for her 18" doll, Jenny. We decided to tackle the various treats shown on the cover of Jenny's book.

The first thing we attempted was chocolate cupcakes with a white liner. The liner didn't turn out as well as I would have liked, but it works. We found an easier way to do cupcakes when we tried to create the smiley face ones. We created the whole base out of blue, then made sure our "fondant" faces would cover the whole base. This worked infiinitely better.

My first attempt at polymer clay food.


The better looking smiley cupcakes.

On a whim, I picked up the clay extruder when I picked up the clay. I'm sure glad I did! It made doing the smiles a lot easier than it would have been otherwise.

I even found little mini white "bakers boxes" for "Jenny's creations".



After we saw how cute these little cupcakes turned out, we were hooked! We definitely have a new hobby now, and for a while (at least until I can get my vinyl supplies unburied), I'll be posting pictures of our creations.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Poppin' Pastel Tulips


I designed this particular card a while ago when I was still a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. My upline had a great idea for making cards from just 1/2 sheet of white cardstock. This is one of her ideas.

I don't have "How To" pictures, so I'll do my best to describe the process. Feel free to post comments/questions.

Basically I tore half of the front of the card off. Set the torn piece aside. I then sponged purple pastel chalk on the left (with the card open to keep it off the back half). I then stamped the tulips in Versamark clear watermark ink on the back half and then sponged on the green pastel chalk with a second sponge. The center overlay comes from the torn off portion you set aside. Stamp your two flowers in Versamark clear watermark ink and tear off the excess paper. Then sponge the purple and green on the appropriate halves of the overlay, and adhere to the left side.

I really like how the torn edges pick up the pastel colors and create a darker variation of color.

Happy Spring everyone!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The laundry goes on and on and on and...

You know I can't imagine why laundry room messages are so popular--is it maybe because it never ends? :D

And speaking of laundry, I've got to go do my three or four loads that are waiting for me.

Have fun doing yours!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentines Day! I hope you are all having a wonderful day. In honor of this day of love, I thought I'd post one of my favorite Valentines Day cards I've made.

The top layer is vellum. The heart is embossed in fine detail white powder.

You can see the pink layer is stamped in red flowers that will be muted by the vellum. On the backside of the vellum, I colored certain roses with a red marker. The effect is what you see above.

I think it would be great to see your twist on this card. Any ideas? Post the link to your card in your comments and I'll check it out.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Keeping the Winter Blues at Bay with Pink

So I don't know too many girls who don't love pink. I know a few, but most of the women and girls I know love the color pink.

As you know, pink is also the color for Breast Cancer Awareness. Back in October (National Breast Cancer Awareness month) I picked up some fabulous pink boa yarn which I proceeded to knit into a scarf for a dear friend of mine whose breast cancer has come back. It was not perfect looking, and it was only the second scarf I've ever made, but it was made with love. I'm hoping each time she wears it, she'll remember how much I value her friendship.

My daughter saw the fantastic pink yarn and asked if I was going to make the scarf for her. I explained who it was for and why, and promised I would make something for her. For her birthday, I gave her a Build-a-Bear scarf kit and first learned to crochet a scarf for her bunny, Ella. I learned a lot in the process of crocheting that first scarf, and a couple of weeks ago I started the scarf for my daughter.

I forgot to take a picture of the pink boa yarn scarf (I've already given it to my friend), but I plan on making another one (I had to buy more yarn when I ran out), so I'll take a picture of that one.

In the mean time. Here is little Ella's scarf.


And the scarf for my daughter

A very happy girl...
A word to the wise on the Build-a-Bear scarf kit. The scarf instructions are off. For both the bear and girl scarves, they have you chain too many loops to begin the scarf. I learned that for the second one and just wrapped the chain around my daughter like I would the full scarf and figured out how many of the chains/stitches I had to pull. I also had to add in additional yarn (the white) as I knew the yarn I had would not make the scarf as thick as it should be.

Still, I'm pretty happy with the end result, and my daughter wears her scarf every time she steps outside. (Just in time for all the snowy weather we've been getting).

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More laundry... (It never ends)


My friend has a gorgeous laundry room. Seriously. It's complete with cupboards and counters and space to fold. It's truly a thing of beauty.

My laundry room (which I am grateful I have--I had a closet in the last house)--is really more of a walk-through room on the way to the garage. I have one shelf and I use the bases for my front loaders to store laundry items in. Still I am really grateful I have a laundry room--and one that I can shut the door on if I want. As I said I had a closet in my last house.

In the hallway off the kitchen.

With absolutely no space.

That was hard to hide dirty laundry in--it often overflowed into the hall and blocked the garage door.

It was a bit gross.

Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful I had a laundry and did not have to run to the laundromat constantly--a family of my size can go through an awful lot of clothes in one week). Been there and done that plenty of times before.

Still it's nice to dream.

And it's fun to liven up the laundry with cute sayings. My friend who put up this sign did not however want to go for "Laundry: Drop Your Drawers", so went with a more basic look. The great thing about vinyl is it's up to you what you want to do.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Spring Time


I know it's not spring yet, but I'm tired of cold and snow and I wanted to post something a little cheery. I confess I didn't design this one--I made it at my friend Peggy's make-n-take--but I thought it was cute enough to post here today.