Monday, February 28, 2011

Lots of Paper Flowers Happening Here

Now that I have learned to make these flowers, I find myself going to town with them!  The punch I mentioned cuts out four shapes at once - two broad (large and small) and two narrow (large and small).  They can each be used for petals or leaves and there is quite a combination of effects possible.  After making the blue one on my Cherish layout I was so enthused that I punched an entire page of white paper into petals and started creating. 

[Technical details]  Although I enjoyed the blue one, I wanted to make something with layers of color and pattern, so I used a burnt orange ink to stamp a background script text stamp on the broad petals, then a combination of red reinker and red perfect pearls in a spray bottle and a red stamp marker to color the petals.  I added gold perfect pearls, then a brocade background pattern in versamark and clear embossing powder to finish them off.  I like working with these petals with a little embossed area on them - they seem tougher and more able to hold their shape.
[Technical details over]

I was really thrilled with the result. I put it on a card that I could hand-deliver since I didn't think it would stand up to being mailed without a padded envelope and I just didn't want to bother with that.  Next I tried the narrow shape as petals to make more of a daisy shape.

Finally, I redid the pink/coral one with kraft paper and gold embossing.  The woodgrain was supposed to just be brown and only the script text be embossed gold but it turned out all gold and it's a pretty nice effect.

It's pretty funny but the centers of the flowers are all just a snowflake stamp I already had.  I had that baby put away with my Christmas things until making the Archivers flower and realizing the stamens for the center were a snowflake!  Cool use for a previously seasonal item!

Friday, February 25, 2011

At the Capitol

Check out these two boys. Their daddy took them to the Texas state capitol building to walk around and look at all sorts of things. Didn't he get a neat shot on a rainy winter morning?

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Now that I'm back to scrapbooking again, I have to share a few layouts I've been doing!

This is a single page that serves as the last page in Sammy's baby album. It isn't the last page as in, "I'm done!", just the final page in the book. I did a double page spread about his party and then followed it with a little about his candle and cupcake that we did with just our immediate family.

A couple of things make me really excited about this layout. First, I learned to make the rosettes I'm seeing everywhere! I didn't get a die or anything and it turned out to be no big deal to make them by hand. I don't even have a score board but it didn't matter. My paper trimmer has some light lines in it so that I was able to use those as a guideline and score every quarter inch on a scrap strip of paper. Then accordion fold, glue into a loop and squish the center. Glue to a circle on the back to hold it in place and voila, rosette! If that's not a good explanation (and I admit it was a pretty sparse one) here's a video of Tim Holtz doing it. He's always fun to watch, though of course he's using the die he designed.

The second thing was that I picked up a little pack of metal keyhole embellishments at Joann's on extreme clearance and it was fun to stick one of them on here.  I put a little cork circle behind it as a base.

Finally, I was really thrilled to work in another layer of journaling to my story on this page. It's titled Wishes and I show Sammy blowing out his candle. But, I also wanted our prayer for our boys that we pray as a family each night to be in his book so I wrote that out as our wishes for him. I'm glad that's the last thing in the book, because it wraps up who we are as a family and what we wish for Sammy in a way that is meaningful for us.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Look, Mom!

This boy has been working on riding without training wheels for a looong time! He really wants to do it, but he doesn't like our holding him and running along with him and he's taking a while to gain his balance. We took the pedals off entirely for a time so that he could scoot around and get a feel for the balance and that was fun. Now he's asked for the pedals back on and it's starting to come together for him. He's still frustrated a lot of the time, but it's coming.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Scrapbook Layout: Cherish

Do you have pictures of your kids or other loved ones you love so much they make your catch your breath every time you see them?  I love, love, love this closeup of Sammy.  His eyes are just so pretty.  He does have pretty eyes and this really captures them.  I had to do a layout that captured the feeling I have about his eyes in this photo.  It might seem too flowery for a boy... but it is designed to show how I feel more than anything else.

Some of the items are pre-made - the large paper frame was from a die cut stack and I hand cut the narrower frame from the over-print to echo it.  The bracket-edged paper on the left side was from the same stack and I added the narrow echo of the shape, again by hand-cutting the over-print.  The word cherish was a K&Company adhesive chipboard that came just like that, except that it had a dot for the i.  I lost the dot somewhere between designing the page and gluing everything down, but I thought the butterfly made a good substitute.  The butterflies were made with a Stampin' Up Embosslit die on the Big Shot, which is an awesome little die that cuts and creates a raised texture at the same time.  The shiniest ones are made out of metal tape from the hardware store (ours was $3 and leftover from a minor house repair!) and the others are made of regular silver paper.  The little dark blue flower at the bottom of the word cherish is a spiral flower (brief instructions here).

But my big news on this layout is about that large blue flower in the upper left: I made it!!  I'm so excited.  I bought the Stampin' Up Blossom Petals Punch which punches out several petal shapes, but then I sat around trying to make my petals into a three dimensional shape with no luck whatsoever.  They don't look so awesome stuck together into a flower without any dimension. As luck would have it, though, Cheryl and I headed up to Archiver's (great store but a little far away from us!) this weekend for a little coupon-shopping and their weekend Make-and-Takes.  We made a card, a 12x12 scrapbook page and a tag.  All three were cute (and it was mighty cool to leave with a full 12x12 page!) but the tag had this three-dimensional flower made with the very techniques I was having trouble inventing for myself the night before!  It was soooo much fun to do, and I was so proud of the flower I created, that I came right home and made another flower from my punched petals and added it to my pretty pretty layout!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Where Did January (and most of February) Go?

Where did the time go? Mostly to road-tripping and reading! We added another trip, this one to west Texas, to our mileage count, which does take a lot of time investment between preparing, going, and recovering.

But a LOT of time went to fiction.  Oh, fiction.  I continue to find myself unable to stop once I get started!  A friend brought me a series of eleven books.  ELEVEN fun, suspenseful, page-turning, can't-stop novels, so of course I had to read them all, in a row.  Sheesh.  Then once I was on a reading roll I had to read four or five more novels.  Fun stuff but it takes all my blogging, picture taking, scrapbooking and card making time (and some of my sleeping time too.  And perhaps some of my time that should be going to everything else).  I think I'm taking a little break from obsessive fiction reading.  I've started back on some scrapbooking that I want to show you and I even took some new pictures of my children - wow.

These are from last month, but hey, here they are - a rare snow event for Austin.

Monday, February 14, 2011

School Valentines

Aren't these cute?  My friend Cheryl designed them and we made them at a little workshop.  It was fun to makes something homemade but I didn't really see myself making 34 valentines (for both Zack and Sammy's classes combined) without some assistance, so this worked out perfectly.  The kids each got a covered lolipop (heart shaped, of course) and the teachers got a matchbox with four Dove chocolates.