2.20.2012

just a little more of the love stuff

if you saw the previous post, you know i'm a sucker for valentine's day. and i didn't just get the hearts and pink and red and sparkle out for the valentine's party we went to. we needed to spread a little of the love cheer to our closest family this year.


so we quickly wanted to share some of the special valentine's we sent out this year...with a few details of special touches on them...enjoy!



base card: paper source 5-1/2" x 5-1/2" square folded card in red. used cricut to make smaller circles, all fastened together with a heart-shaped brad



same base card from paper source. used rounded corner paper punch on red and pink print paper and cut hearts from cricut. favorite part: the pink mum stamp with embossing treatment.



a little different look with the black and white heart pattern paper and layered paper hearts.


another layered look. layering rubber stamping with various size hearts.


p.s. the picture in the background: that's my mimi and papa. two people who really taught about love.

2.15.2012

pink and red all over

a slightly late post, but still worthwhile....i absolutely love the hoopla around valentine's day. i love the pink, the red, the balloons, the flowers, the cards, the cute little heart-shaped everythings out there. love. love. love.

so imagine my pure excitement when i had a very special valentine's party to go to with the greatest little valentine in my life. and when decorations were needed, i jumped at the chance to put together some hearts and such for this special party.

we had a smaller space to decorate, so i decided to make a couple of shorter banners to give our space a little something festive. i started with picking out a couple of my cricut cartridges with different hearts...i settled on jubilee and plantin schoolbook for the hearts. i had also picked up some red, bright pink and light pink 12"x12" scrapbook papers that were going to be the base for the banners.
















i started with a simple sketch...because of the smaller space we had, i went with a simple six heart banner layout, rotating the color of the hearts. the hearts were cut at 6-1/2" a piece, and to finish them off, i wanted a font that had a little different dimension to it. for this, i went with the doodletype font cartridge, and cut my 6" letters out of simple white scrapbook paper.









to string the hearts together, i picked up some fun heart-shaped brads in different colors and shapes, and simply layered my hearts and fastened with a brad. super simple and easy way to put together a banner!








a step further, i came across an idea on pinterest the week before valentine's day that i just had to try. i made some modifications and used what i had in my craft stash to pull together another smaller banner for our party. for this one, i cut out 21 skinny hearts from the jubilee cartridge, all the same size (i went for 4"...but you could do differing sizes too!) alternating the colors, i also got out my super helpful stampin' up paper piercing tool which lets me make really clean holes through paper for brads or for threading through the paper. and, i just happened to have some martha stewart baker's twine, which just so happened to be in red and white (perfect love day colors!).





lining up the little hearts with the paper punch tool





martha stewart's bakers twine. perfect weight for the lightweight banner.




stringing through. using a simple sewing needle.





one extra long strand of the baker's twine plus one sewing needle (i tried a large eye knitting needle, but it was way too thick and almost ripped the hearts) equaled a really cute and simple valentine's day banner for our little party!

the finished pieces. (i just realized how perfect it was that these are on a purple quilt. perfect love day colors!)




hope everyone had a lovely pink and red-filled valentine's day!

2.11.2012

happy happy to my best friend

this post features one of my favorite projects i've ever done. last month, my husband and i celebrated eight years of wedded togetherness...and to be completely honest, by the time our anniversary comes around (on january 24), we are both kind of at a loss for what to get one another. we've just hit christmas and birthdays for us both, so the list and ideas are kinda tapped by the time the anniversary arrives. and, this year was a bit more delicate from the gift standpoint, because i wasn't going to be in town on our anniversary. (oops. work trip.)



i like to tend towards the thoughtful for our anniversary. and this year i had an idea....we've been together a total of fifteen years, and in those fifteen years, there have been a lot of special dates that we've shared. combine this thought with the special gallery wall we've been developing (see the previous post on this here), and i had an idea. memorialize all of those special dates in some way that combines with my love for craftiness.



the idea: add to the gallery wall with a piece of art that calls out those special dates. i started by picking up another re black frame with white mat from target (in size 5"x7" opening). and then i hit michaels for some scrapbook papers in various greys and whites...i wanted to do something that stood out against the white mat in the frame and that complemented the grey-ish, purple-ish color on the walls in our family room.


the frame. in its pieces and parts.


next up was sketching out the idea. (i just have to callout the awesome audrey hepburn notebook my mom gave me for my birthday. just a simple notebook, but it's become my crafting idea organizer/sketch pad. love it.) we've had so many dates that have meant so much, and surprisingly, i 1.)remembered all of them, and 2.)they fit in the area i needed them to fit in.


i pulled out my trusty cricut, and picked out the font cartridges i wanted to use....making sure to use a variety of fonts and styles to break up all of the dates. i went with some of my ol' standbys: plantin schoolbook and alphalicious, and varied up the normal and italic fonts and sizes.

(note: when dealing with numbers, i learned a valuable lesson: size and font format matters. the first set of dates i cut out were way too small and in a format that were way too thin...everytime i tried to peel the numbers off the cutting mat, they ripped. so, i re-grouped and went with a different font format to give me a little more oomph to the letters.)

i simply cut my grey scrapbook paper in a 5-1/4" x 7-1/2" size, and cut out my numbers from white scrapbook paper. (another hint: i'm kinda obsessed with not wasting paper when cutting, but in this situation, i highly recommed cutting at least two sets of everything you are cutting - i.e. two sets of each set of dates. this gives you some wiggle room if something tears when you're peeling off of the cutting mat.)

to adhere, i used my glue pen (since we're dealing with such small numbers) which worked great. (another hint: use tweezers to place your numbers. much, much better than trying to use your hands, no matter how dainty your fingers might be.)

to finish it off, the piece went into the frame for the final, finished product. and i have to admit, i couldn't contain my excitement to give this to my husband before even photographing it. and, in typical me fashion...i had the frame in its permanent place within about ten seconds of giving it to my husband. it adds something extra to our ever-growing gallery wall of memories.




the finished piece. it's now been officially included as part of the gallery wall.

enjoy!
ashley

p.s. in case anyone is curious about the dates on this special piece, here's their significance:

1.18.79...my husband's birthday. without him, i'd only be 50%.
12.18.06...the day my husband graduated from grad school. for anyone that's lived through that, you know/understand why it makes the milestone dates artwork.
1.11.79...my birthday. because without me, my husband would only be 50%. :)
5.7.01...the day my husband and i graduated from undergrad. from separate colleges. and the day we moved in together in indy.
1.24.04...the day we officially became an us.
4.20.09...the day that changed us forever. the day our little man arrived.
10.21.96...our first date.
2.8.04...the day our furry little son was born.
12.28.02...the day my husband asked me to be his wife. a day i'll never forget.

2.05.2012

here's where the clothes go

so, over the holidays, we did a little revamp of our master bedroom closet. this meant we had to move the clothes hamper into the laundry room. not a big deal since it's right outside our room, but since we were already shifting routine, why not try and put a tad bit more organization to our laundry sorting than what we had?









first up was a trip to the crate & barrel outlet in naperville. (for anyone who's never had the privledge of going here, you must. like most outlets, you'll never know what you'll find, but you can pretty much guarantee that what you do find will be great.) they had some great and decent sized laundry hampers that were perfect for our little laundry space. our entire goal was to be able to separate our three main categories: dry cleaning, towels and regular clothes. so we picked up three hampers and off we went.




the hampers have these great (and large) grommets on the front of them, and once i put them in place, all i kept hearing was "well, what is supposed to go in which hamper?" i knew i needed to come up with some sort of way to mark each hamper, but what to use? i thought about using small (2" x 3-1/2") frames with the label inside the frame. i thought about mounting some sort of tag holder on the wall above each hamper. but each of these seemed clumsy or cumbersome.



then, it happened...during a paper source trip, i came across something i thought might work. they had different sizes of kraft-colored chipboard tags, complete with grommeted holes. i thought i could make these work.


(for some reason, at the time, i only picked up two tags, so i still have to get one more and put it together. now i just need to find the time to get back to naperville and paper source.)


i decked out the tags with some layered patterned papers, and gave them each a touch of something with some rubber stamping. and then completed each with their tags of what goes in which hamper.




ivory paper layered on the kraft tag

ivory paper layered with a grey and ivory pattern



the chosen rubber stamps. my beloved bee and dragonfly.


my paper punches.


stamps on ivory paper. before the paper punches.



the final tags. and thank goodness, organized laundry.





(note: i still need to get myself back to paper source to get my third tag to complete, but you all get the picture. i'm going to finish these off with some brown and grey ribbon, and most importantly, get these attached to the hampers. so we can stop having towels mixed with dry cleaning mixed with workout clothes. because most of you know me, and i don't do well with chaos...especially with laundry.) :)


my kind of gift

i love any gift that can allow me to get creative. and, one of my best peeps gave me one of the best gifts ever for my b-day this year. the 2012 paper source diy calendar. i'm telling you...this peep knows me, knows i love me some paper source and knows that i could not let this absolutely blank canvas of a calendar go untouched this year.






here's a quick premise of the calendar (in case you haven't gone to the link yet): there's 12 cards with dates for each month. each card is a blank canvas for you to stamp, sticker, cut, draw, mark, paint, whatever.




admittedly, i didn't get to touch this calendar until this weekend. (i'm so sorry, p-dot...it wasn't for a lack of trying!) but i managed to get a friday night where it was just me and my little one, and we spent some quality mom and son time crafting.


i started with february (again, i'm a slacker and didn't get january done. if i had, there would have been birthday cakes and wedding dresses). february always gets me in a pink and red mood (even more than i usually am). i immediately went for this great stamp i have from paper source of a mum. and i just happened to have a red stamp pad to give february a little pop.









the mum stamp






but i couldn't just go with a simple rubber stamp. i had to get more toys out. embossing powder and my embossing heat gun. these are the toys that never come out (frankly because i never really have time to use them...except for last friday night).









embossing heat gun and powder






note: for those of you who aren't familiar with embossing powder and an embossing heat gun, here's the reader's digest version. you use these to give your stamped pieces some dimension and texture. after stamping your stamp on your piece, you immediately coat the area with embossing powder (which looks like a very fine sugar...think applying it like you would glitter...go heavy and then you can tap any extra off into your container.) the powder adheres to the stamped area and you then get out your embossing heat gun - think of it as a small hair dryer. turn on the heat gun and you run it along the area where your powder is. the powder + heat gives your stamped area a deeper color with raised dimension. pretty cool stuff.





so, i took on the next three months on friday night...february, march and april. march has a green (of course) celtic-feeling stamp (again with embossing...stamp was from michaels) and april is all about the little man's birthday (happy birthday stamp from paper source).








i love, love, love that i have this amazing calendar for my creative space. that i can personalize each month to something that i hold special and near and dear to my heart.
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