Friday, August 31, 2012

Scrabook Layout: Oh Coffee!

Today I am sharing a layout about my love of my SAME cup of coffee I like to make every day.  I have been wanting to add some scrapbook layouts that are about the adults in the family.  I mean, I really like my kids and all, but I see people do pages about themselves or their spouse and I like that too.  I've been wanting to do a page on Coffee for a while.  Maybe I'll move from here to scrapping something deep and meaningful about myself.  Wait, maybe coffee IS deep and meaningful!

The main papers here are some Basic Grey - the background pink and the center floral paper - as are the tiny hearts and the sticker with the row of heart cutouts.  I added Basic Black Stampin' Up ink to the edges of everything.  Even though I talk in the journaling about how I prefer to make my coffee at home I couldn't resist adding some saved items from a cup of Starbucks.  I love the little stir-sticks they use to cap the drinking hole, for example, so I put it on there.  I also used the inner side of a coffee sleeve as a paper to punch out some embellishments - all with the great slimline punches from Stampin' Up

The green and black tape layer is actually painters tape (Frogtape brand), covered with Martha's Textured Metallic Paint in Lampblack.  I had used the tape and paint for a stripe in Sammy's room and after I peeled it off the wall I liked the sparkly black on the green sooo much that I took it straight in to put it on this layout! 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday, August 06, 2012

The St. Louis City Museum

I've saved the best for last!! This is the last of my Big Road Trip posts but I think it's the coolest!  I may have told everyone I know how amazing the City Museum is but I have to say it again!  This is another St. Louis attraction we attended two years ago, though it seems I didn't blog about it at the time.  I'm not sure why, unless it was just too much to show and say!

"Museum" is a bit of a misnomer.  There is very little in the way of display or (traditional) education - instead, it is all about exploration.  The place is a huge, amazing piece of art-for-climbing. Most of it is made out of old junk and found/recycled items.  It has very little in common with the playscapes we usually see - I find current playscapes to be so safe as to have lost any sense of adventure.  Of course, no one wants their kid hurt - I know I don't, so I get it.  But on the other hand I just love that this place is so much more raw.  There is a real sense of adventure being there (even for an adult!).

Much of it is also really beautiful.  There is a whole area of sparkly feathers and mosaic, another area of cave tunnels that wrap back on themselves, a ten story slide, two rusted out airplanes welded into wire tunnels high in the air, a medieval seeming tower, a mini-train and lots of places to climb.

We followed the children through man tiny, dark, narrow, short and/or wire holes and tunnels - so much so that my quads were sore for three days!  Last time, two years ago, Sammy was scared of all the tunnels and slides and spent almost the entire day on the mini-train.  This year he was AWESOME!  He and Zack followed each other through every area, up and down and over and through.  It was super to see him having as much fun as Zack had.

We had SUCH a good time!  Thanks to those who have actually made it through all these posts!  I need to post something crafty or foodie next, I guess.  We'll see!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

St. Louis Zoo

Ok, while it's true that we particularly enjoy going to zoos, this may be one of the best zoos anywhere!   It being FREE is pretty impressive.  We loved it two years ago and we loved it again!! They have some new areas open that are really beautifully done.  We liked the little education/involvement areas they added throughout the new spaces.  

It was also really fun how many baby animals they had!  There were baby and "teenage" elephants, baby monkeys, baby penguins, baby sting rays and lots more!  The baby elephant was my favorite, and watching the teenage elephant swimming.

This time we remembered to use the train to move around the zoo and it was really fun and workable that way.  We would get off at a station, do all the habitats in that area, then get back on and go to the next area.  

One recommendation is to get the Safari Pass.  Although the zoo is free the train does cost $5 for one time to each station (whether or not you get on and off).  If you instead get the Safari Pass for $10, it allows unlimited train rides, carousel rides ($3), petting the sting rays and sharks ($3), and several other things!  We really liked being able to ride the train without "using up" each section, and I don't think we would have paid for the carousel or the sting rays without it. 

Petting the sting rays was especially awesome! We haven't gone to Sea World where they may have something like this so I'd never tried it.  It was a bit magical to have the sting rays swimming right up and under your hand on their own.  They are very soft and velvety!  Zack and I were both really into it.  James tried it once and was done.  Sammy would have liked to but kept getting scared.  The bench that you lean on was too high for him and the moving animals were too startling.  Still, he did touch one once! 

We thought we would stay til about 2pm and then go back to let the boys nap but the kids were super and we ended up staying until after 7pm!  It was an unusually mild day, not too sunny, and we just kept going.  Good times!

Friday, August 03, 2012

St. Louis Arch

We had so much fun at the Arch last year that we had to go back!  And once again Zack took a really cool picture! His is one top one, looking up with the clouds reflected in the arch surface.

Even having seen it before, it is an impressing structure and great to visit.  See the scale with James and the boys at the base of it in the last picture?  Huge!  Sammy was young enough not to remember these places so it was particularly exciting for him.  I'm sure we'll be back again when we get the chance!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Other Challenge Quilts

Want to see what all the other participants made out of our Reunion Challenge Fabric?  There were 9 projects - all different but all BRIGHT!   

A couple of interesting notes: 
  • Pooh Bear has "I'm just a little black rain cloud..." embroidered on the narrow burnt orange border. 
  • The draped one just to the right of Pooh Bear is a two-sided crazy quilt with lots of denim.  It was too heavy to hang but was really amazing and interesting!
  • The draped one, the baskets on to it's right and the large blocks in the bottom left are all done by beginning quilters, though they look GREAT.
  • The flower one in the middle of the third column is all hand-pieced and hand-quilted.  The flowers are 3-D.
  • The one in the bottom right has the center pinwheel area all made of Halloween fabrics!
It was interesting to see all the variety!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Challenge Quilt

Here is my fourth Reunion Quilt Challenge quilt!  

Each reunion the group of quilters chooses a fabric to make something out of.  Everyone who wants to participate takes a piece and brings back their project in two years at the next reunion.  You can see the first three challenge pieces here: Itty-Bitty, Herb Garden, and Pink Flags.

The challenge fabric is here, second from the left, with it's optional companion fabric on the left end.  The other fabrics are ones I chose at the same shop to use with it. 
(click for a larger view of any image)

I chose a pattern that was designed for a wall hanging to a full size quilt and then adapted the size and color scheme to make a miniature.  The finished project is 16"x20" and machine-pieced and machine-quilted.  

I had a hard time figuring out how to quilt it (once again, my mom was soooo kind to take out my false starts and mistakes to minimize the pain of re-doing!).   I have looked at a lot of quilting and I have noticed that when a quilt is very geometric/straight line I tend to like the finished result with the quilting is curvy (rather than straight and following the lines of the quilt).  That's something I plan to keep paying attention to as I see quilts, but I think it holds true.  Once I tried out these wonky spirals inside the squares I loved the result.  And I always like the meandering quilting so I used that to tie together the progression of background colors.

It was REALLY fun to make and I like the finished result best of the quilts I've made!  It's so bright and so wonky and fun that I find it very inspiring!

Come back tomorrow to see everyone else's projects with the same fabric(s)!