Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Toddler Art

It's been a while. Besides just having a toddler in the house, my job went from part time to full time a couple months ago, plus I've been trying to study for and pass a major professional exam. So not much time for playing lately. But we needed New Year's cards for kiddo's daycare teachers!

Her daycare has been doing crafts with her as early as two months old. So it's already been piling up. We've been trying to figure out how to cull out the important pieces, what and how much to save, etc. Then I decided, hey, let's use some of it to make truly unique for her teachers.

Using layouts that have been making the rounds on pinterest (Joans Daily Stampede and Nice People STAMP!), I dared to cut into her precious artwork, found a neutral that worked with the artwork I found (Stampin' Up! Chocolate Chip), and created what you see here. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out! And we still have plenty of artwork to sort through and make decisions about.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It's All the Buzz...

This card has been floating around in my head for months now. It's fun to actually make it up finally. :) There are some changes from what I had envisioned. First, I hadn't originally planned to have the hexagons over quite so much space on the front, but I think I like it this way. Also, I was going to write "It's All the Buzz..." on the front, and even practiced my handwriting for it, but decided it just wouldn't look quite right. Finally, I had intended to do it in Basic Black and Daffodil Delight. But, it was such a fit for the current Paper Players Challenge #115, that I decided to do it in Basic Gray and So Saffron. (I also realized I have So Saffron ribbon and no Daffodil Delight ribbon.) The inside is a light gray cardstock left over from crafts several years ago. It's hard to see in the scans, but the wings on the bee have a slight shimmer from white color Smooch. I think I like the subtler colors; the brighter might be too austere. (Though I might have to try it in those colors just to find out.) It could also work with yellow and a dark brown, I think.

It sort of meets the Paper Players challenge: gray and yellow, includes ribbon as a finishing touch even though it doesn't especially feature it, and one of the two will be used to welcome a new baby to the world (and if that's not birthday, I don't know what is).

Monday, October 1, 2012

Random Fall-colors Birthday Card with variations

There's another card that's been floating around in my head and I hope to make in the next few days. But in the meantime, I was intrigued by the current colourQ challenge. And bonus: I actually have all of the colors this time! Among other things, I was hoping to use down my overabundant supply of Dusty Durango cardstock that I seem to have such a hard time using up. But, no. Turns out it didn't work that way. The only Dusty Durango I managed to fit in was the ink. I used the layout from the current Your Next Stamp Challenge. On one variation, I tried to play up the "worn" look of the Razzleberry Lemonade in the rest of the card, including an attempt at distressing the brads. The other has a more polished look. This was a variation in my first attempt. I didn't like what I had laid out as the straightforward cross in the backdrop, but when I played around with the same pieces, I liked this look.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Balancing Act

I had really hoped to get back into sewing this summer. I theoretically had June and July off of work, but they were filled with traveling (both for work and pleasure) and lots of studying for an upcoming professional exam (*eek*). As a beginner, I've found that stamping projects have had a much more immediate gratification, as I can finish one in the time it takes me just to prep either the pattern or the fabric (but not both) for sewing. Thus, the blog here is a little stamping-heavy. I hope to change that soon!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Golden Thanks

Today's card was a variation on yesterday's layout. I was excited that the current LIM challenge is GOLD in part because I recently got a package of brushed gold cardstock that I hadn't had a good opportunity to bust into yet! Also I really like making shiny cards!

I went for a variation and made gold the base color instead of the accent to see how that would turn out. I initially envisioned black and gold. With the browns, less black, and more gold showing, it's a different feel than I had initially thought I would go for. But  like it in its own right. I might try something again with the black and gold. We'll see.

The materials are again from SU. The layout is again a variation on the current Retrosketches. The color inspiration was from the current Less is More Challenge.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bold-n-Sassy Birthday

A birthday card inspired in part by the scraps I found among my cardstock.

The gift bag is SU! Tall Tales DSP which I'm not sure I'll ever use up. The twine is actually SU! lucky limeade baker's twine, but don't tell anyone. The edgings were done by carefully using the SU! postage stamp punch as an edge punch. Colors came from the Dynamic Duos Challenge #10 (Rich Razzleberry and Old Olive). Layout from the Retrosketches Challenge #19.

Hm... Looking at the picture... wouldn't it be cute to slightly modify it so that the buttons looked like they're spilling out of the bag!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer Birthday Card

Well, I'm not thrilled with this one. I still really like the ideas, but the execution is less than stellar. I think I have a habit of striking an awkward middle ground between "simple" and "lavish." This seems to be an example of exactly that. Perhaps smaller scale, it could have been left simpler and been very nice. Or with more "bling," it could have been more lavish and again been very nice. I also think the berry color is a little "forced." The line of stamping between the butterfly and the greeting should have been ribbon or the like, but that was an unfortunate result of having to use what I have instead of what I wish I had. So overall: good premise, so-so execution. Minimally, I wish I'd rounded all of the corners before gluing. Part of the problem is my comparatively small stash of supplies and thus options, but the other part is in the eye and execution. But the adventure is fun, and it's still nice enough that my friend will appreciate the effort.

The colors are all SU: pumpkin pie, daffodil delight, and rose red. Both layers of the butterfly are punched from some Japanese paper scraps and is my favorite part of the whole card! The picture doesn't show it so much, but there are  orange fibers running through the top layer of the butterfly. My friend's name is gold Smooch over white paint pen. The butterfly antennae is the gold wire edging cut off of some holiday gift ribbon I received at some point. The stamps and designer paper are also both SU. The stamping doesn't look quite so "messy" in person as it unfortunately appears in the photo.

It fits several current challenges:
Whimsy Stamps Things With Wings
The Cat's Pajamas Color Challenge
Sketch Challenge

Hopefully in the future (when I next have a stamping slush fund) I'll be able to use actual Whimsy  and/or TCP Stamps. Until then, since I'm using their challenges as inspiration, I can at least give them a shoutout.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

First Challenge Entry!

I've done a couple of sewalongs, but I wasn't blogging about them and only minimally got into the community spirit of the thing. But here I go! Exciting!

First: my cards.

Several of the current challenges inspired me to get started on Father's Day cards. The blue and white cardstock are leftovers from miscellaneous sources. The color of the blue is similar to Stampin' Up's retired "Brilliant Blue." The red is SU's Real Red. The letters are hand-drawn and hand-hewn. The leaves peeking through the first one are from the SU "Bird Punch." (Yes, unfortunately, there's a bit of a one-source theme here for now. In a previous post I referred to a friend's party as the source of this new hobby of mine. Guess what kind of party it was. I'll definitely be working on breaking this single-source trend!)

The basic layout is inspired by the Retrosketches Challenge #14. The colors by the Less Is More Week 70 Challenge. The technique by the Technique Lover's Challenge 380. And finally, it also fits in the current Clean and Simple design challenge.

Huh. That's a lot of hits in two little cards, but I tend to find inspiration in structure.

I love the bits of red peeking out in the first card. I find the second one a bit more interesting, though. I wanted to make the stripe a little thinner and played with several ideas about defining the first "D" when I did that. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. And the dads will forgive my less-than-perfect razor blade skills. :)

Stamping Catchup

A friend got me started in cardmaking. I swore she was not going to suck me in, but when I found myself still thinking about it 3 weeks after her party, well...

This blog is in part an effort to learn new techniques and tools. I'm hoping to use various challenges and tutorials to learn and practice. Meanwhile, should you so desire, you get to watch my progress.

Anyway, here's my cardmaking design history...

Baby gift thank-yous. Used Stampin' Up's (now retired) Tall Tales DSP and played with color variations on a theme. The announcements were similar but different.

Misc birthday cards. The "flock" card is an inside family joke of which I'm not really a part but was told this would be funny.

More misc birthday cards. I love the effect of the diagonal on the rectangle and have used it again since.

Sympathy card for a neighbor.

Birthday cards for my nieces.

Sewing Catchup

I haven't done much sewing since early pregnancy (she'll be 8 months this week). But at that point I was just starting to take up garment sewing. I had a borrowed machine, an interest in making things that would actually fit me, an unpracticed knowledge of the basics that I learned at my mom's inherited Singer, and a couple of independent pattern makers that were making me gaga. I made a couple of handbags, and then moved on to garments.

Kwik-Sew 3277 in some random knit

Colette Madeleine mini bloomers

Sewaholic Pendrell blouse
I also made a Colette Crepe dress, but that's not fit for photography until I get around to fixing a few goof-ups. And even then may need a design rework (it's VERY blueberry).

I have returned the borrowed sewing machine and am now on a hand-me-down "Simplicity" brand machine. (Anyone know who manufactures/manufactured those? It appears to take Singer needles, fortunately.) I planned lots of projects over the past 16 months, and am hoping finally to jump in again. First for the practical, though: a crib rail teething guard.

Neither the most inspired design, nor elegant execution. But it seems to be perfectly serviceable. I made it with some leftover cotton from the stash with one layer of 100% cotton batting in the middle. I'd tell you more, but it's really pretty roughshod and not worth describing. But she gets to sleep with dragonflies and I got to make up, out of my pretty little head, what I pretend is basic quilting technique.

On the horizon:

several Colette blouses
Sewaholic Renfrew (twice: once to practice and once to replace one of my favorite shirts)