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Saturday, January 21, 2012

New Addiction

Like I said in the post Our Second Home Jennie showed me how to crochet a bit. I thought I would share how I am coming along.
It was a bit challenging for us as she is a lefty and I'm a righty but between her,the book she had and what little I remember from watching my grandma crocheting when I was a little girl we got it figured out.

This is the piece I made while practicing:

Not a very pretty piece but it helped me learn how to control the thread tension, the hook and holding the thread till it finally felt comfortable after crocheting so many rows. Believe me it all felt so awkward that I thought I would never enjoy the craft of crocheting. Now I can't put it down. I just keep on working row after row.

Here is the dishcloth I am working on now:

Sorry the photo is a little dark. This is piece is much better. The thread tension is even and I am using a smaller hook. The first two rows I worked on before I had practiced on the white yarn and bigger hook. It was sooo hard to work with the smaller hook so Jennie had me switch to the larger hook. When I switched back to the smaller one after working on the larger hook it was much easier.

You can see the stitches are a lot more even now. It's not perfect but it's getting there.

I am almost done working the rows. Only 3/4 of an inch to go. Next I will have to learn how to finish the edges. I am excited to get this far and have so much more to learn.

Do any of you crochet? What stitches should I learn next and what would be a good next project? A scarf?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Our Second Home

We spent our first weekend in our new second home.
This is our view during the day.

And we had this lovely sunset in the evening.

Two days later we woke up to a totally different scenery.

It was so beautiful and peaceful with the blanket of snow covering everything.

Oh and by the way this is our new home! It has wheels so we can move it to wherever we feel like going to. This weekend it was Pacific Beach. We really didn't know it was going to snow so that was a nice surprise. We went with another couple who also had a new rig and this was our "Maiden Voyage" to try them out for a short trip not too far from home and work out any kinks before taking a longer trip.

It was also our first time taking our dog along but he did fine and he even got along great with our friends dog. We enjoyed walks along the beach during the day and in the evenings after dinner we would play games or watch movies. Jennie even taught me how to crochet.

We stayed nice and cozy inside the trailer and Nanook was so happy to be inside with us as he is an outside dog at home. He did well and learned his place was in his bed. The first night we heard his nails clicking on the floor as he made his way to our bedroom. We would tell him to go lay down and then we would hear his nails clicking all the way back to his bed. Then about an hour later he would make his way back and we would tell him to go lay down and he did. The last time he came back to the bedroom he started to whine so we figured he had to go potty. It wasn't fun getting up in the wee hours of the morning to take him to do his job but after that he slept the rest of the night. The next night he only came back once. By the third day he had the routine down.

All in all the winter trip went very well and we left before the expected nine inches of snow was to hit the coast. I call that perfect timing.

Here is one last photo of the campground covered in a dusting of snow. There were only a handful of other campers so it was pretty quiet the whole weekend.

We are excited for our next camping trip. In the mean time we have a list of things to bring or do to the trailer before our next great adventure.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

By The Numbers

Cath always picks such great pieces for her Tuesday Triggers I am always excited for Tuesdays just to see what she picks even if I know I can't play.
 When I saw this weeks Tuesday Trigger over at the Moxie Fab World blog it immediately reminded me of a Cuttlebug embossing folder that had random numbers just like on the quilt. You can find the Tuesday Trigger here to see where my inspiration came from and what I took from it:
Here is what I came up with:

I used the numbers embossing folder on white cardstock. I wanted the numbers to be colored and so I decided to use Shabby Shutters, Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Marigold, Worn Lipstick and Spun Sugar distress inks. I  took each ink pad and smeared ink onto my craft sheet. I just took a paint brush with water and mixed each color of ink as I used it and painted the embossed numbers. It took a little while to carefully paint each number but the ink really helped to make the numbers pop.

For the #50 I was going to use Papertrey Inks By the Numbers dies for the #50 but they were a bit too big so I ended up using Provo Craft font dies Olivia. For the TH I used the Martha Stewart punch. The mat for the Happy is the inside of the zero. I used black Staz On ink. 

For the border I used a scalloped border punch in pink layered with a straight green strip on top. I ran a mini rick rack down the middle of the green border and again I used the inside of the zero to stamp the text birthday except this time it was from the Papertrey Ink number die that was too big. I threaded green floss through a white button and adhered it to the sentiment. To finish the border I used some blue gemstones.

The thing that  made me happy is that I finally used the numbers embossing folder. I have had it for a year and had never used it till now. It always makes me feel good to use something I've had for a while. I might not have thought to paint the numbers different colors if it hadn't been for this weeks TT.
If you have any questions about the card just leave it in the comments. I will be happy to answer any questions you have.
Now I am off to post my card and to see what the other gals came up with.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bird Inspiration

One of the many blogs I read is The Classroom by Julia Stainton and I was inspired by one of her cards back in Dec. Here is the link if you would like to see hers and what I took from her creation to make mine

Here is how my card came out:

I loved Julia's chipboard bird with the doily and all the texture but I didn't have a chipboard bird. I did have some Martha Stewart bird stamps that I bought a looong time ago and have never used. This was the time to pull them out. I decided I would use distress inks to paint the bird. I chose my colors then pressed each ink pad onto my craft mat and spritzed each color lightly with water and used a paint brush to paint the bird and leaves. I sprayed it with Perfect Pearls to help blend the colors and give it a little shine. After it dried I cut it out.

After deciding on the color of the card base I decided to use a white doily so my cluster of embellishments did not fade into the background. I inked the edges with distress ink so it wasn't too white.  The corrugated paper is another thing that I have had forever but I have used. After I dye cut the label with my die and Cuttlebug I inked it with a gold ink pad that I just lightly ran across the ridges. Then I inked the edges with Walnut Distress ink.

For the blue strip I used a piece of canvas I had leftover from another project and inked it with blue distress ink by using the blending tool. I then frayed the edges and adhered it to the corrugated label.

Next I punched a label and used a script stamp with tea dye distress ink then stamped the thank you with black ink and embossed it with black sparkle embossing powder. After I punched the heart out of red cardstock I spritzed it with some of the Perfect Pears water and let it dry before adhering it to the tag. I used gold pearls in the bottom corner and inked the edges of the tag with Walnut Stain distress ink before adhering the tag to the blue canvas and corrugated label.

I love all the lovely layers of Julia's card and wanted to transfer those over to my card. I think I accomplished that. For some reason I have a hard time doing lots of layers. I get a couple of layers and then I think it's good, can't of anything else to add or I am afraid it will ruin the card so I just stop while I am ahead.  
I do like how the tag came out but I wish the bird had turned out a bit better.

I was wondering how you all come up with your card ideas. Are you usually inspired from paper, stamps, a card sketch or someones card like I was inspired by Julia's card?

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year/New Organization

Happy New Year to all!
I thought I would share with you how I reorganized my cardstock scraps since it seems like the new year is a good time to wipe the slate clean and get a fresh start on things.

I keep my scraps of cardstock in this file. In some ways it works very well. It keeps each color separate. Say I was looking for a red scrap (I kept all shades of each color all in one folder) I would just grab the folder marked red.

But once I opened the folder it just seemed to take me a long time to find  what I was looking for especially if I was looking for a small scrap. My folders had gotten so full especially the colors that I tend to use the most that when I would go through the folder pieces would fall out and I had a hard time finding the smaller pieces as they would get lost among the larger scraps. So if I was in a hurry or just didn't want to go through the hassle of the messing with the overflowing folders I would just grab a new sheet of cardstock. Of course that was just making more scraps to go in my already full folders.


This is a photo of the folder once I had taken out all the small scraps. All that is left in the folders now are pieces of cardstock that are larger then 5"x7" or strips that are too long to fit in the with the smaller scraps.

I now am storing the scraps that are 5"x7" or smaller in this old photo container that I was no longer using.

I didn't spend any time on making it look pretty as I wanted to make sure that I was happy with the system before spending time making it look nice. I have to say I really like the system. For dividers I just cut chipboard to fit the size of the box and punched out labels of each color group and stapled it to the top of the chipboard divider. I have used it a few times now and it seems to work really well. I know if I need a piece of cardstock about the size of an A2 card or smaller to look in this box first. It is big enough to hold all the scraps and allows me enough room to browse through with ease.
Here is a top view:

Like I said it isn't pretty but I really like having the smaller scraps separated. I am finding what I want faster and using up more of my scraps this way.
I plan on sharing with you some pictures of my craft/office room It is nothing fancy but I am so happy to have a room with all my things in one place. It saves me so much time.
Do you have any organizing ideas that work well for you?