Paper Sweeties Sketch Inspiration #10

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Evening, or morning, depending on what neck of the woods you're reading from ;).  We're at the beginning of a new month once again, which means a brand spankin' new Paper Sweeties sketch to get your creative juices flowing.  I rotated this month's sketch 90 degrees to the left and came up with this.
I started this card by piecing together a trio of color-coordinating, patterned papers, one of which was punched down its right side, on the Kraft, cardstock, card base.  I then stamped a row of stacked books, in Jet Black ink, on a strip of White cardstock; colored them in with colored pencils and mineral spirits; adhered the strip just to the left of my punched, paper strip; and even added a touch of glitter to dress up those apples.  Everything was then anchored with black-threaded, straight, machine stitches, before I wrapped the prepped piece, between the punched and stamped strips, three times with a length of coral twine, which I then tied in a bow.
Jake and his clothing were then stamped, in Jet Black ink, on White cardstock; colored in with colored pencils and mineral spirits; hand cut out; pieced together; and adhered, with foam tape, in the left half of the design.  A die-cut, cork star grounds Jake's left side...
and the stamped, in White ink, on a Black, cardstock, pennant die cut, "Welcome Back to School" sentiment his right.
Now, those of you moms with more than one kiddo know that what you do for one, you must do for the other.  So, while the above card was created for my big guy, the below creation was created, in nearly the same way, for my little gal.
In addition to changing the color palette, I swapped out Jake for Emma and dressed her in a yummy, paper-pieced sweater and plaid skirt colored with pencils and mineral spirits.
The card base and twine color were changed to match the palette...
but I kept that same cork star and stamped sentiment.
Here's this month's Sketch Inspiration #10 to get you off and running in the right direction.
You have until the close of the month, on Saturday, August 31, 2013, to link up your takes, over at the challenge link above, in order to be in the running to win a $20 gift certificate to the Paper Sweeties Shoppe.  Can't wait to see what you come up with!  Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a wonderful day!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Jake, Hippity Hoppity, So Proud of You, Occasions, & You're My Hero (Paper Sweeties) Paper: White, Kraft, & Black (Wplus9); notebook grid & turquoise chevron (My Mind's Eye); coral polka dot (SU) Ink: White (Wplus9); Jet Black (Ranger) Other: black thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); Banner Trio & Clear Cut Stackers: Stars dies (Wplus9); Big Shot (Sizzix); Threading Water Border punch (Fiskars); coral twine & Dazzling Diamonds (SU); cork (Mega Brands, Inc.); colored pencils (Prismacolor); mineral spirits (Inky Antics); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives)
{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Emma, So Proud of You, Occasions, & You're My Hero (Paper Sweeties) Paper: White & Black (Wplus9); multicolored floral & yellow lace (Crate Paper); teal doily & red polka dot (My Mind's Eye) Ink: White (Wplus9); Jet Black (Ranger) Other: black thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); Banner Trio & Clear Cut Stackers: Stars dies (Wplus9); Big Shot (Sizzix); Threading Water Border punch (Fiskars); Baker's Twine (Clean Country Paper Supplies); Dazzling Diamonds (SU); cork (Mega Brands, Inc.); colored pencils (Prismacolor); mineral spirits (Inky Antics); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives)

Weekend Snapshots

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Happy Tuesday, friends!  I just wanted to pop in here today to share a few pics of our weekend, but I promise to back tomorrow with the start of a few creative projects.  I know it's been awhile, but I thank you all for hanging in there with me.  I so appreciate and treasure each and every one of you.

So, we had the coolest weekend temperature-wise that I can ever remember it being, in Kansas, during the month of July, let alone the end of July and heading into our hottest month of August.  Crazy!  But I'll take it!  My hubby camped out, with our kiddos, in the backyard Friday night; but before they settled in, we had a yummy dinner.  I tried my hand at my first polenta, specifically a cheese and basil polenta, paired with talapia and a tomato and basil sauce, not to mention a fruit salad.  It turned out so tasty.  Ezekiel asked, "Is this our back porch, or is this an Italian restaurant?"  And the compliments didn't stop there.  He's so sweet!  Then, we couldn't resist lighting up the fire pit and toasting a few marshmallows for s'mores.
After baths, everyone cuddled into their sleeping bags and read, while Daddy got ready for bed.  Yes, my daughter is in footy pjs; and no, it was definitely not too warm for them.
Oh!  We even saw a raccoon in our neighbor's tree.  So, it really felt as though we were at the lake ;).  LOVE!  And isn't he (or she) the cutest?!
My hubby did lots of yard work and spent even more time with the kiddos on Saturday, which is a luxury for me.  So, I stole up to my creative space and played a bit.  Then, Sunday afternoon, I took my big kiddo to Barnes and Noble to spend a birthday gift card that's been burning a hole in his pocket.  And would you believe that he's already read four of the books he picked out?  At least, he likes to read them over and over.
He also had a coupon bonus from Build-a-Bear and decided to spend a little more of his birthday money to make a bear.  I guess you're never too old for a cuddly, new friend :).
Then, we picked up the rest of our family for a quick dinner in the park to close out our weekend right.  Gosh, I love these two to bits!
Finally, I just had to throw in a couple of pics of two of my most favorite blooms from my gardens.
We're not doing much today, other than enjoying another rainy day.  We so need the rain.  It could rain all week, and it wouldn't bother me in the least.  LOVE!  But, every evening this week, Ezekiel has a rare opportunity to take a class to try out lots of different instruments for homeschool band in the fall.  Yesterday, he played the trombone.  He said it was too heavy, and he didn't like the way his lips tickled, when he blew.  LOL!  Today, he's trying out the trumpet.  His Daddy played the trumpet, so he keeps telling Ezekiel that he's going to like it, but Ezekiel has pretty much already decided that he wants to play something with strings.  I guess we'll see in the end.  Then, tonight, he's got a pizza party to wrap up his season of baseball.  Summer activities are coming to a close in preparation for school to begin in a couple short weeks.  Sigh.  Thanks for checking in on us!  Have a blessed week!

Friday Faves

Friday, July 26, 2013

Happy Friday, friends!  Before I get to this month's picks, I just wanted to thank you for all the get well comments and emails.  You all are so sweet!  I'm sure that I'll be feeling better soon.  In the meantime, I'm simply taking things one day at a time and trying to rest it away.

So, I only have a handful of things that have really caught my eye this month.  Although, when all those fabulous peeks of amazing products from CHA Summer become available, I have no doubt my list will grow.  Without further adieu, let's begin with Simple Stories' Smarty Pants 12" x 12" Collection Kit.  There is absolutely nothing about this collection that I am not completely in love with.  Swoon!
And wouldn't these Cork Arrow Shapes, from Fancy Pants, pair with the above collection perfectly?  Actually, I can't think of many places they wouldn't look fabulous ;).
I'm still totally digging the nautical trend and just couldn't resist throwing in this Anchor Button Set from Freckled Fawn.  So sweet!
By now, you all know that I'm a pretty big fan of a great bag, especially if it possesses a hands-free, cross-body design.  Well, I just adore the vintage appeal of Red Tree Design's Pale Blue Floral and Brown Cotton Bag.
I also couldn't resist throwing in one of their Crochet Lace Clutch Purses, and the bright color of this one totally caught my eye.
Last, but certainly not least, earlier this week, I FINALLY purchased a brand spankin' new Black with Small Dots Camera Strap.  No more of that itchy, plastic strap rubbing on my neck.  Woohoo!  And would you believe The Plaid Barn offered it up for a mere $9.99?  Score!
That covers it, for this month, y'all.  I apologize for my lack of creative projects this week, but like I said above, I'm sure that I'll be feeling more creative soon enough.  Plus, I've still had so much fun visiting and being inspired by all of you while tucked into the comfort of my bed.  Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a great weekend!

For the Love of Books

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Since the beginning of another school year is right around the corner, I've picked a book, to share with you all this month, that addresses the excitement and trepidation that might come with just such, especially if it may be your child's first year of school or maybe even if your child had a difficult 2012-2013 school year or is starting this year in a new school.  Written for children ages four and up, it has been near and dear to my heart since I taught my kindergartners years ago and was always one of my top picks, for story time, during our first week of school.
The Kissing Hand, written by Audrey Penn and illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak, is the story of Chester Raccoon's first day of school and his desire to stay home with his mother.  His mother tells him of all the wonderful things he'll get to do and learn at school and shares a family secret that gives Chester the assurance that her love will travel with him wherever he goes, even to school.

The Kissing Hand is just the beginning of an entire series of books, by Audrey Penn, that addresses a number of childhood issues, including, but not limited to, accepting the birth of a new sibling, approaching a bully, and even learning to cope with the loss of a friend.  Audrey's hope is " that every parent would use the opportunity these books present to talk to their child and help them to find an approach that best fits their particular situation."

Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedules to read!  I hope you find just what you're looking for in little Chester's adventures.  Be blessed!

Family Update

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Good morning, y'all!  I hope you're all having fruitful weeks.  I've been feeling a bit under the weather, so just trying to keep up with my kiddos, who never seem to slow down, and the rest of my household has had me consumed, but I do have a few pics to share of some of the other things that have been keeping us busy this summer.  Adina got a book, in the mail, from Grandma, just for the fun of it...
and Ezekiel couldn't possibly let anyone else read it before him.  LOL!  Are all firstborns as controlling as mine?  But, at least, they were getting along for 10 minutes.  Ha!
Trying to beat the heat one day, I dragged my kiddos over to Loose Park Sprayground.  They so badly wanted to go to the pool, but we just couldn't swing a pool pass this year and were pushing to make it until our next paycheck.  So, this was the alternative, since it's FREE.  Fortunately, no matter how much they complained beforehand, they had a blast and forgot all about the pool in the first five minutes, especially since we also ran into some friends we hadn't seen in awhile.  Yay!
I already shared lots of pics from my big kiddos' birthday celebration, but I also wanted to show off his fun thank yous.  I'm not the biggest fan of duplicating designs, and after putting lots of energy into the planning of birthdays, this just seems to work much better for us.
And finally, last week, we closed out another season of baseball.  The boys (and girl) had a tough ending with back to back losses, but I think they all learned lots and had fun in the process, and that's what really matters.
I'm off to do a little cleaning and water our poor, crispy lawn.  Then, I've promised Ezekiel a trip to the movies for far too long.  So, we're off to see the matinee of Monster's University.  So fun!  Thanks so much for peeking in on us.  I'll be back, tomorrow, to share this month's For the Love of Books pick.  Then, I'll close out the week with my Friday Faves.  Until then, have a wonderfully blessed Wednesday!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Happy Monday, y'all!  I trust you enjoyed your weekends.  We got lots of errands run and even stocked up on a few school supplies, but other than that, it was pretty uneventful, which is a good thing these days ;).  I do have a few pics to share of all that we've been up to as a family, but they'll have to wait until another day, as today I'm here to share my take on Color Combos Galore's newest palette.  Enjoy!
I started this card by adhering a piece of woodgrain, floral, patterned paper to a White, cardstock, card face; machine stitching, with gray-threaded, straight stitches, around its edges; and stamping its bottom center, in Jet Black ink, with the "thinking of you on your special day" sentiment.
I then die-cut a quartet of pinking squares from color-coordinating, patterned papers and adhered them in the top center of the design, before wrapping the card face, horizontally, between the sets of pinking squares, with a length of gray ribbon, which I tied, in a bow, near the left edge and embellished with a yellow button, laced with a couple of hemp twine bows.
The center of the combined pinking squares was then dressed up with a homemade, by me, fabric flower, which was made from a length of canvas; yellow, felt, heart die cuts; and a bunch of pearls.  And I've got to say that the color is photographing much brighter than it is in reality.  It's such a bummer, too, because I'm completely drawn to the softer side of this one.
Finally, a yellow, chevron tag, stamped, in London Fog ink, with the secondary, "hello there" sentiment, was tucked under the bottom right edge of the fabric bloom with foam tape.
Further inspiration for this card came from Deconstructing Jen's Deconstructed Sketch No. 110.
And here's this month's final Inspiration Board #249 to get you off and running in the right direction.
I took my inspiration from Inspiration Photo #3 to Focus on Texture: Fabric.  I was also drawn to those chevrons, as well as the square-shaped pillows, woodgrain, and big, bold blossom in Inspiration Photo #2.  Thanks so much for peeking in, y'all!  I so love hearing from each and every one of you.  Hugs!  And have a super blessed week!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Fresh Cut Florals & Strictly Sentiments 2 (Wplus9) Paper: White (Wplus9); woodgrain floral (My Mind's Eye); yellow alpha (JBS); gray gingham & big yellow floral (October Afternoon); gray & yellow floral (American Crafts) Ink: Jet Black (Ranger); London Fog (Memento) Other: gray thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); Hearts & Clouds & Clear Cut Stackers: Pinking Squares dies (Wplus9); Big Shot (Sizzix); pearls & gray ribbon (Hobby Lobby); felt (Scrapbook Page); canvas (May Arts); yellow button (SU); hemp twine (Creative Impressions); yellow chevron tag (Elle's Studio)

TCM: New Release Blog Hop

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Yay!  It's time for The Craft's Meow's July New Release Blog Hop!  You should be coming here via Jessica Fick's Blog, but if you didn't, got lost along the way, or simply want to start at the beginning, you can find the complete list of hop participants on the TCM Store Blog.  Without further adieu, here's that card, using Welcome to the Office and Circle It, that I promised.
I started this card by topping a piece of multicolored, chevron, patterned paper with a strip of grid, patterned paper; adhering them to the Daffodil Delight, cardstock, card face; trimming their combined vertical center with a strip of vellum; and framing them with yellow-threaded, zig-zag, machine stitches.  The vellum strip was then anchored, down both its long sides, with yellow-threaded, straight, machine stitches and used to house my "You MAKE MY LIFE BRIGHTER" sentiment.  The "You" was embossed with Pool Party embossing powder, and the remainder of the sentiment was stamped in Jet Black ink.
I then wrapped the card face, between the two patterned papers, three times, with a length of Baker's Twine and tied it, in a bow, near the left edge.
A folded, red, chevron envelope was tucked, under the twine, into the top right corner of the design and secured, to the stamped, focal point, with a simple paper clip.
Speaking of the focal point, I stamped the lamp and its rays, respectively, in Pacific Point and Daffodil Delight inks, on a scalloped, journaling spot and over them, in Real Red ink, with the A+ and its circle.  I also topped the latter with a touch of glitter, just to help it stand out a little more, before adhering the prepped piece, just to the right of the twine bow and above the sentiment, with foam tape and grounding it with a die-cut, Lake House, cardstock cloud, which I also dry embossed with polka dots.
And here's a look at all the fabulous goodies, just waiting to be scooped up and loved, this month.

Turtle Love
Mindy Baxter
Hogs and Kisses
Mindy Baxter
Vintage Baby
Nina B Designs

Welcome to the Office
Karen Baker

Circle It
Karen Baker
Free Gift with $50 Purchase
Thanks you so much for all the love you've lavished upon me throughout this release!  I have so been enjoying my time at TCM and cannot wait to see what the future holds!  Now, off you go, to Lin Brandyberry's Blog, to continue your hop.  Commenting by 11:59 pm PST, on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, on each of the blog hop posts, makes you eligible to win all five of this month's new stamp sets.  You are not required to leave comments on each blog, but your chances of winning do increase.  So, be sure to leave lots of love along the way.  And until next time, happy stamping!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Circle It & Welcome to the Office (TCM) Paper: Lake House (Wplus9); Daffodil Delight (SU); chevron (October Afternoon); grid (My Mind's Eye); vellum (Paper Studio) Ink: Daffodil Delight, Pacific Point, & Real Red (SU); watermark (VersaMark); Jet Black (StazOn) Other: yellow thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); Hearts & Clouds die (Wplus9); Dazzling Diamonds, polka dot embossing folder, & Pool Party embossing powder (SU); Big Shot (Sizzix); Baker's Twine (Clean Country Paper Supplies); red chevron envelope (Whisker Graphics); paper clip (office supply store); scalloped journaling spot (Jillibean Soup)