Monday, May 30, 2011

Turtle Spotting

We rented a paddle boat on Town Lake for a fun outing with the boys this weekend.  We paddled west along the bank seeing lots of turtle families.  Sammy started out freaked out and crying but he was able to adjust and have fun.  We were really relieved since he's been scared by a wide variety of things lately. 

We all had a great time but let me share a word to the wimpy: paddling back against the wind was really hard!  We kept getting stuck and pushed backwards.  Kayaks were sailing along next to us with no trouble but our big paddle boat was not very easy to get back to the dock!

Afterward, what else but burgers at Sandy's on Barton Springs?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Teacher Gifts

(click on any row to see photo larger)

This is a set of four cards - I've made two identical sets to be end-of-year gifts for Sammy's two pre-school teachers.  The cards are huge compared to what I usually make - 6x8inches - though they don't require extra postage.  They are the size of a large Christmas card, so they look really nice.

For the blue one, I wanted something masculine since it's sometimes hard to find or make handmade cards for guys.   I guess we just get all girly with our crafting!  The strip of lattice paper is silver paper that was embossed with the Stampin' Up Square Lattice Embossing Folder.  The sentiment is embossed in beautiful silver and then punched out with the Decorative Label punch.  The white frame is hand cut around the negative from the same punch, then attached with dimensional adhesive so that it stands up from the card.  Such a good idea and I got it from Britta, a college girl with great stamping videos.

The other three cards are made with a Top Note cut out of vellum paper and a punched bird.  For the orange card, I left the vellum smooth for a more graphic look.  For the pink and green cards, on the other hand, I wanted more of the distressed look so I dampened the vellum, crumpled it into a little ball, then smoothed it out again (thanks to Cheryl's technique lesson during her class teaching this layout, the subdued version).  It feels a little scary the first time you totally crumple up your little paper you are planning to use, but it turns out to be a super easy technique! 

I made a few of the pink ones for myself and I'll be using them to safely mail some 5x7 photos since they are not only large but really sturdy and the envelopes are nice and stiff too.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How can kindergarten be almost over?  These guys - prizes from the school treasure box - will probably continue to be favorites, though. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Scrapbook Layout: Enchanted Rock

This is the layout detailing our Spring Break day trip to Enchanted Rock.  I know it doesn't show, but the background paper has glitter embedded in the polka dots and the striped paper has glitter in some of the stripes.  The copper paper in the matting of the large photo and the little leaves is really nice and metallic!  It came from Michaels and it's really pretty. 

I originally had this layout designed with the two striped paper strips even with one another but it just seemed so boring.  I was unhappy with not having any "art" in it.  I had to add the white torn pieces, stamping, and the copper wire and beads.  Then it was artsy enough for me to call it done!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

McKinney Falls State Park

Looking for a little day hike in the Austin area? McKinney Falls State Park is perfect for hikes, picnics and swimming.  There are also some cool activities at their nature center.  We started at the nature center, walked through the rock overhang and down to the falls.  Sammy was able to walk all the way there and back!  Doesn't he look big? 

Here was something creepy (April, skip this paragraph) - there are these fuzzy areas on the ceiling of the rock overhang.  I walked under them without thinking much about them until Zack asked James about them.  Even looking closer it seemed to be some kind of loose moss.  James held the boys up and then touched the edge of one clump.  It spread out and started pulsing, hundreds of spiders moving up and down in a loose rhythm.  We had to really look to see they were just daddy long legs, but it was nonetheless a little icky.  I just took a deep breath and walked right underneath like the boy-mom I'm supposed to be!

Overall, check out the park, it was really pleasant.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Card: Wonderful Mother

This card is for my own mom! (I think she should have gotten it in the mail by today so hopefully she won't see it here first...) The most fun item on this card was the die cut leaves.  They were cut out of plain vanilla paper, but then stamped and inked in several colors of green and embossed with gold embossing powder.  The other fun thing was the row of small punched shapes from the Itty Bitty Punch Pack. Even though these shapes are small I like the effect when they are combined in a row or a group!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Cards: Happy Mother's Day!

These are the Mothers Day cards I made for my two grandmothers - both pretty impressive ladies!

I used the same cardbase, strip of scallop punched pink paper and stamped image for each. The cardbase is black cardstock embossed with the Stampin Up! Elegant Lines embossing folder. The stamped image (from retired SU! set Eastern Influences) is stamped in black and colored with colored pencils but for one card I mounted the stamped rectangle on silver paper and for the other I cut it out and mounted it on a strip with decorative label ends.

I learned something that Julie says she tried to explain to me but it went so far over my head I didn't even know this is what she was telling me!  But, it's simple to do:

To make a decorative end on a paper strip like this, stick just the end of the strip into the punch from the underside of the punch instead of slipping it in slit as you would to punch the whole shape.  Position your strip to square up the edge of the image with the edge of the strip and punch!  (This will give you the inverse shape from the shape you would get by slipping the paper in the normal slit and just punching the edge).  If my explanation doesn't make sense, just try it both ways and it will become clear right away!