For the Love of Books

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Evening, friends!  Seeing as how it's the very last day of February already, I figured that I'd better use these last couple of hours in the day to bring you all this month's For the Love of Books post.  Kaden and I have been planting lots of seeds in preparation for our summer gardens this week, so I thought it would be fun to share a book, written for children ages three to seven, about a couple of critters doing some planting of their own.
Bear and Bunny Grow Tomatoes, written and illustrated by Bruce Koscielniak, highlights two very different, gardening processes.  Bear carefully plots out, painstakingly removes stones and weeds from, and strategically plants his garden; while Bunny haphazardly tosses his seeds over the ground.  Bear faithfully waters and gingerly places sticks to help his plants grow straight.  Bunny makes lemonade and throws a pool party.  Fortunately, when harvest-time comes, Bear's garden produces such an abundance of tomatoes that he has more than enough to share with his clueless neighbor, too; for Bunny's garden simply can't be found.  When he does find it, though, "the tomatoes are sure to be colossal."

I think this book would be fantastic for creating a secondary discussion about seasons.  With that said, there are so many absolutely fabulous books out there, that some month's I struggle with which ones to highlight here.  Don't get me wrong.  I'll keep on recommending, but if you're looking for something specific or simply need a little advice, I'd love to cater these posts to your needs.  Just leave me a comment on any of my For the Love of Books posts; and if I don't have the answer, I'll be sure to find it for you.  Thanks so much for stopping by!  Happy reading, y'all!

Pretty Little Studio: Celebrate Every Single Day

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Hey, y'all!  Just popping back in to share my niece's 5th birthday card.  It happens to be up on the Pretty Little Studio blog today and inspired by Zinia's Tales and Dreams Collection.
I started her card by anchoring a 4" x 5-1/4" piece of the Follow Your Dreams print, to the white, cardstock, card face, with bright-pink-threaded, straight, machine stitching.  I then secured a number of Dreamy Mix Garland and Live in Color Cut-Apart Flags, across the top of the card, in the same way, tying off the ends of the stitched threads to the front of the card face.  I also added a playful, little, "love THIS" Make It Happen Wood Veneer pennant and a couple of die-cut, from our Sweet Dreams and Cotton Candy prints, banners into the mix.
The Spice Cake Vintage Die Cut was popped up, with foam tape, in the bottom center of the design...
and embellished with the "celebrate EVERY SINGLE DAY" title, which was created from a stamped, in Jet Black ink, on a vellum, die-cut banner, "celebrate" and an Always Fun Word Flag cut-apart, both anchored, at their left-side ends, with a Blooming Dreams Flair Button.  A Beautiful Bookmark Journaling Cards butterfly and sprinkling of Crystal 4mm and 8mm Sequins complete the look.
Thanks, as always, for humbling me with a visit!  Have a blessed Sunday and wonderful week, friends!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: With Love (Reverse Confetti) Paper: white & vellum (Paper Studio); Tales & Dreams: Follow Your Dreams 8x8, Sweet Dreams 8x8, & Cotton Candy 8x8 (PLS) Ink: Jet Black (StazOn) Other: hot pink thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); Double Banner Garland dies (Reverse Confetti); Banner Trio die (Wplus9); Big Shot (Sizzix); Tales & Dreams: Dreamy Mix Garland Flags, Live in Color Cut-Apart Flags, Always Fun Word Flags, Blooming Dreams Flair Button, & Make It Happen Wood Veneer; Dream Big: Beautiful Bookmark Journaling Cards butterfly; Summer Vibes: Crystal 8mm Sequins & Crystal 4mm Sequins; & Spice Cake Vintage Die Cut (PLS)

The Studio Kraft Challenge

Morning, friends!  I've got another February challenge, for you all, from The Studio.  We're looking for kraft on your pages in any way you want to interpret that.  I've used it on my background and tied it into a number of my design elements.  Check it out!
I started this page by arranging my elements, along with my photos, all of which were matted with white cardstock, in a grid design, on the kraft, polka dot, patterned, base page.  I think the easiest way to discuss what I've done, since I've left out my usual dose of mixed-media from this design, is simply to start in the top, left quadrant and work my way around.  The lettuce photo was topped with a "plant kindness. grow love." cut-apart, stapled over the the top edge of a days of the week die cut.
The top, center, tomato photo was backed with a blue, frame die cut and topped with a "smile", puffy, sticker Thicker.
The top, right quadrant was filled in with an "i love you", floral cut-apart, backed with a simple, white doily and topped with a row of vellum butterflies.
Moving down and left, the peppers photo was backed with a black and white stripe/yellow polka dot print, anchored with gold-threaded, straight, machine stitching, as well as a leafy tag, laced with white string, tied in a bow, and a yellow ticket, stapled in place.  A blue and gold foil, summer 2015 label was adhered in its bottom, right corner.
The center photo was backed with a teal and green, leafy print, anchored with more gold-threaded, straight, machine stitching, and crowned with a "hello, sweetheart" sticker and cute, heart, paper clip.  LOVE that pic of my hubby working hard to make my dreams come true!
The center, left space was embellished with a "NOTE" die cut, topped with a vellum, bird die cut and die-cut, from gold cardstock and vellum, jar.  The jar was filled with a dandelion stem, die-cut from white and Lucky Limeade cardstocks and glittered.
The final, bottom photograph was backed with a couple of color-coordinating prints, one of which was anchored with the last of my gold-threaded, straight, machine stitching, and topped with a "HAPPY DAY" sticker, popped up with foam tape.
Finally, a blue, floral tag, laced with aqua string, tied in a bow, was tucked under the largest photo's right edge and topped with garden ephemera; a darling, deer die cut; and the "Love makes everything grow", vellum, die-cut title to complete the look.
Further inspiration for this page came from Citrus Twist's February 4th Sunday Sketch Challenge.
 
Be sure to stop by the challenge link above to see what my talented teammies have cooked up just for your viewing pleasure.  Then, you have until Sunday, March 11, 2018, to link up your takes, on this Kraft Challenge and/or our previous, February Sketch Challenge, in the right-hand column of The Studio blog.  Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have an awesome week, friends!

{Supplies & Tools}
Paper: Lucky Limeade (SU!); gold (Bazzill); white & vellum (Paper Studio); dotted kraft & green/teal leafy (Crate Paper); blue diamond, yellow polka dot, & black/white stripe (Citrus Twist); yellow floral (Maggie Holmes) Ink: Black PITT artist pen (Faber Castell) Other: gold thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); Dandelion Stem & Jar Collection dies (Poppystamps); Big Shot (Sizzix); white string (Hobby Lobby); Dazzling Diamonds (SU!); doily, heart paper clip, & aqua string (Citrus Twist); High Five puffy sticker Thickers (American Crafts); "plant kindness. grow love." label & "i love you" square cut-aparts, stickers, blue frame, tags, & "NOTE", vellum bird, deer, vellum "Love makes everything grow", butterfly, & plant ephemera (Maggie Holmes); days of the week & yellow ticket ephemera (Crate Paper); staples & staple board (We R Memory Keepers)

Friday Faves

Friday, February 23, 2018

Evening, y'all!  So sorry that it's been such a quiet week around here.  I've had a number of home-improvement projects in the works on top of just trying to keep up with my kiddos' schedules AND being under the weather for nearly a month now.  It all adds up to one HOT MESS.  So, because I didn't have much going on design-wise, I took it easy and caught up in a few other areas of my life.  I do have a couple of new projects coming your way this weekend, though.  So, hang in there.  In the meantime, how about I kick this month's Friday Faves off with this playful, Beam Me Up, stamp set from Lawn Fawn?  My littlest would love those cute, little aliens to bits and pieces; and that "TAKE US TO YOUR CAKE" phrase totally cracks me up.
Since I'm talking cute, how about we try Avery Elle's Party Pals stamp set on for size?  Aren't those critters stinkin' adorable?!  And the bubble letter banners are pure perfection.
I love the versatility and practicality of their new Banner Bits stamp set, too.  What a great layering element in combination with the Banner Bits Elle-ments die!
The bold, bright, happy colors, not to mention plethora of natural elements, of The Bright Side 12x12 Collection Kit, from Fancy Pants, had me at hello.  I'm also a huge fan of the fact that it isn't so theme-heavy that it wouldn't work for just about any project all year round.
I couldn't leave out these darling, textural, The Bright Side Crochet Flowers, too.  I so badly want to teach myself to crochet.  Some day, I'll actually have the time.
And while I wasn't a fan of the prints in another new, Fancy Pants collection, Poolside.  I do adore the happy, coordinating Ephemera.  Eeek!  I can't wait for summer again!
But until then and since springs appears to be knocking on our doors, I couldn't resist concluding with this stunning, Spring Tulip Wreath from Elegant Wreath.  I'm super NOT a fan of the price tag but thinking it's just the breathtaking inspiration I needed to style one of my own.  And why not?  I've already been wearing my DIY pants all week long ;).
Thanks so much for peeking, friends!  Have a warm and wonderful start to your last weekend in February!  XOXO

Paper Sweeties February Blast from the Past: Day 3

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Hello again, friends!  Just popping back in for the third and final day of Paper Sweeties' February Blast from the Past series.  A friend of mine and her children have been living a state away from their husband/father for more than a year now; and today, they were reunited in a new home and state.  She and her family inspired this next creation.
I started this card by anchoring a piece of multicolored, southwest, patterned paper, to the white, cardstock, card face, with soft yellow, straight, machine stitching.  I then wrapped it, horizontally, with a length of Cookie Dough seam binding ribbon, tied in a double bow and embellished with a single pearl, as well as a length of yellow twine, tied in a bow.
The "Congratulations on your new home" sentiment and house were stamped, in white ink, on Crumb Cake cardstock.  Light and dark umber colored pencils and mineral spirits were used to strategically shade it...
before Melon Mambo-embossing the chimney hearts.  The image was then framed with both Barely Banana cardstock and soft yellow, straight-threaded, machine stitching; backed with a snippet of cheesecloth; and popped off the surface of the card face, with foam tape, to complete the look.
That does it for this month, folks; but we'll all be back again the same time next month with fabulous, new goodies to share.  Thanks, as always, for all your visits and comments!  XOXO

Debbie Marcinkiewicz – Paper Sweeties
Michelle Bala
Nancy Salkeld 

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Paper Sweeties) Paper: Crumb Cake & Barely Banana (SU!); white (Paper Studio); multicolored Southwest (Paige Evans) Ink: white (SU!); watermark (VersaMark) Other: yellow thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); cheesecloth (Dritz); light & dark umber colored pencils (Prismacolor); mineral spirits (Inky Antics); Melon Mambo embossing powder & embossing gun (SU!); pearl (Paper Studio); Cookie Dough seam binding ribbon & yellow twine (Paper Sweeties)

Paper Sweeties February Blast from the Past: Day 2

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Welcome back, Paper Sweeties fans, and happy Valentine's Day!  I've cooked up a set of festive cards for my kiddos, to share with you all, on this day two, out of three, of our February Blast from the Past series.  Enjoy!
I started these cards by wrapping 3" square, white, cardstock, card bases, horizontally, in lengths of of red, gingham ribbon, tied, in bows, near their right edges.
I then set them aside; black-embossed the cupcakes on 2-1/2" watercolor, paper squares; and watercolored them with liners of brown and tops of their respective colors.  They were splattered with the same colors of watercolor as their tops, as well as Pure Black and Titanium White acrylic paints.
Once everything was dry, they were anchored, to Crisp Cantaloupe, Pool Party, and Island Indigo cardstocks respectively, with color-coordinating, straight, machine stitching and topped with red, heart buttons, secured with white string.
They were then popped up, with foam tape, off their prepped, card bases, but not before stamping their interiors, in Jet Black ink, with the "I {heart} YOU More than CUPCAKES" sentiment.
I hope to see you back, at the same time and place, tomorrow for one more day of Blast from the Past goodness.  In the meantime, be sure to pop in to visit the rest of this talented team.  Thanks, as always, for humbling me with a visit!  Have a blessed day, Paper Sweeties friends!

Debbie Marcinkiewicz – Paper Sweeties
Michelle Bala
Nancy Salkeld

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Sending Sweet Thoughts (Paper Sweeties) Paper: white (Paper Studio); Crisp Cantaloupe, Pool Party, & Island Indigo (SU!); watercolor (Master's Touch) Ink: Jet Black (Ranger) Other: aqua, teal, & coral thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); foam tape (Tombow); black embossing powder & embossing gun (SU!); buttons (JoAnn Fabrics); white string & gingham ribbon (Hobby Lobby); watercolors (Kuretake); Pure Black & Titanium White acrylic paints (FolkArt)

Paper Sweeties February Blast from the Past: Day 1

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Hey, y'all!  Debbie continues to be super busy with her new, bed and breakfast adventure; so, once again, this month we're spending what would normally be Paper Sweeties' release week digging into our stashes to create projects that might give you some ideas to use what you already have.  I'm kicking things off with a set of thank you cards that I made for a number of people who blessed me for my birthday last month.
I started one of the cards by stamping the white, cardstock, card face, which had its bottom corners rounded, vertically, three times, in Melon Mambo ink, with Sweet Borders' row of hearts.  I then die-cut the For You tag from a pink, diamond print; laced it with a length of white string, tied in a bow; backed it with a snippet of cheesecloth for texture; and adhered it just above and left of center.
The blue, plan, patterned print was hand-cut, using a heart template.  I then created a white-threaded, straight, machine-stitched frame around its edges and popped it up, with foam tape, over the die-cut tag, just right of center.  The "thank you" sentiment was stamped, in Jet Black ink, arched along the heart's bottom right edge.
The basket of flowers, from Thank You, was white-embossed on watercolor paper; watercolored; hand-cut out; and popped up, with foam tape, over the die-cut tag and hand-cut heart.  A sprinkling of Sugar Sprinkles sequins completes the look.
Another seven cards were created in the same way with the exception of a few different patterned prints, including a large, pink polka dot; bitty, blue floral; blue gingham; blue polka dot; and blue star, being swapped out for the tag and main heart.
Be sure to stop by and see what the rest of my teammates have cooked up for your viewing pleasure; and we'll all be back tomorrow with additional projects, showcasing more oldies but goodies from the shop.  Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a wonderful night, friends!

Debbie Marcinkiewicz – Paper Sweeties
Michelle Bala
Nancy Salkeld

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Thank You & Sweet Borders (Paper Sweeties) Paper: white & blue polka dot (Paper Studio); blue floral, bright pink polka dot, & blue gingham (Crate Paper); pink/yellow diamond (Citrus Twist); blue plan & star (Jenni Bowlin); watercolor (Canson Studio) Ink: Melon Mambo (SU!); Jet Black (Ranger); watermark (VersaMark) Other: white thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); foam tape (Tombow); heart template (Jenni Bowlin); white embossing powder (Zing!); embossing gun (SU!); white string (Hobby Lobby); cheesecloth (Dritz); Corner Chomper (We R Memory Keepers); Big Shot (Sizzix); For You Sweet Cuts die & Sugar Sprinkles sequins (Paper Sweeties)

Pretty Little Studio: Back to School Clothes

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Morning, y'all!  Just popping back in with that fall-inspired page I promised in my previous, The Studio Sketch Challenge post.  It just so happens to be up on the Pretty Little Studio blog this morning.  Enjoy!
I started this page by adding yellow and lime, watercolor puddles to the 12" x 12" watercolor paper, base page.  I then splattered it with those same shades, as well as bright pink, purple, and orange watercolors, before rubbing Wild Honey Distress Ink, through a vertically-laid, chevron stencil, across the background.  I also stamped a few evenly-striped lines and a partial grid in Melon Mambo and Jet Black inks respectively, before splattering everything once again, but this time with Pure Black and Titanium White, acrylic paints.  That set the stage for my photo, which was matted with white cardstock and backed with a trio of Potpourri prints, including I Love Fall, Taking a Walk, and Favorite Season, all anchored with gold-threaded, straight, machine stitching, as well as a snippet of cheesecloth and a torn and folded sheet of Toadstools Vellum, not to mention two large Fall Leaves Vellum Die Cuts.  The "Back to School clothes" title was created from a Back to School Die Cut, popped up with foam tape, and glitter, foam Thickers.  I also surrounded it with a number of additional Back to School Die Cuts, popping them up with foam tape respectively and adding a little Glossy Accents, to the apple, for shine.
A Dream Big Shipping Tag was laced with white string, tied in a bow; tucked under the opposite side of the photo; and embellished with a Forest Walk Flair Button, backed with a tangle of gold thread.
A trio of additional, smaller Fall Leaves Vellum Die Cuts, along with a quartet of Back to School Die-Cut hearts and handful of Falling Leaves Sequin Mix leaves, trail from top to bottom of the design.  The bottom also houses a trio of So Much Beauty Sticker phrases, which read, "Back to school", "it is just perfect", and "Thankful".
A Here Comes the Sun Shine 4x6 Card was partially tucked behind the top of my photo stack to house my journaling, which reads, Can't beat new back-to-school clothes from Grandma.  Thanks!  I also included the grade levels/age of my kiddos, Adina - 1st, Ezekiel - 7th, Kaden - 1 yr., and filled in the Aug. 5, 2015 date.  A scattering of Seaspray and additional, Falling Leaves sequins completes the look.
Further inspiration for this page came from The Studio's February Sketch Challenge.
 
Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a wonderful week, friends!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Off the Grid & Sent with Love (SU!) Paper: white (Paper Studio); watercolor (Master's Touch); Potpourri: I Love Fall 8x8, Favorite Season 8x8, Taking a Walk 8x8, & Toadstools Vellum 8x8 (PLS) Ink: Melon Mambo (SU!); Jet Black & Wild Honey Distress Ink (Ranger) Other: gold thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); watercolors (Kuretake); Pure Black & Titanium White acrylic paints (FolkArt); Glossy Accents (Ranger); cheesecloth (Dritz); chevron stencil (Jenni Bowlin); white string (Hobby Lobby); Dreamer glitter foam Thickers (American Crafts); foam tape (Tombow); Potpourri: Fall Leaves Vellum Die Cuts, Back to School Die Cuts, Forest Walk Flair Button, So Much Beauty Stickers, & Falling Leaves Sequin Mix; Dream Big: Dream Big Shipping Tag; Summer Vibes: Seaspray Sequins; Here Comes the Sun: Shine 4x6 Card (PLS)

The Studio Sketch Challenge

Morning, y'all!  We're starting the month of February, over in The Studio, with a Sketch Challenge that's just waiting for you to put your creative touch to it.  I'll be back, in just a few short hours, to share my take, inspired by Pretty Little Studio's Potpourri Collection; but until then, I have the sketch for you.
Be sure to stop by the challenge link above to see what my talented teammies have cooked up just for your viewing pleasure.  Then, you have until Sunday, March 11, 2018, to link up your takes in the right-hand column of The Studio blog.  Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a blessed week, friends!

Pretty Little Studio: Best Friends

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Hey, y'all!  Just stopping in to share a page that's up on the Pretty Little Studio blog today.  I didn't get enough time with our fall collection, Potpourri, when it came out way back last October.  So, I'm trying to make up for it a bit today.  Enjoy!
I started this page by adding puddles of purple and aqua watercolors to the 12" x 12" watercolor paper, base page.  It was then splattered with orange, yellow, lime, and bright pink watercolors in addition to the two used previously.  The hearts were added by rubbing Wild Honey Distress Ink through a heart stencil.  I also stamped a trio of butterflies, in Jet Black ink, strategically, throughout the design, before splattering everything once again, but this time with Pure Black and Titanium White acrylic paints.  That set the stage for my photos, which were all matted with white cardstock and clustered, near the center of the design, with those scrumptious Fall Leaves Vellum Die Cuts running vertically down their combined center.  The top right corner of the design was filled in with the "BEST friends" title, which was created from Polka ABC Die Cuts and the "friends" Back to School Die Cut, popped up with foam tape, and topped with the "always" Love Life Words Die Cut, which was also popped up with foam tape.
The right-side photo was backed with clippings of the Campfire and I Love Fall prints, both anchored with gold-threaded, straight, machine stitching; embellished with a cute Forest Walk Flair Button, backed with a tangle of gold thread...
and wrapped with a length of white string, tied in a bow.  An "a pile of leaves" So Much Beauty Sticker was adhered to its bottom right corner.
Moving clockwise, the bottom, left-side photo was backed with a piece of the Falling Leaves print, anchored with gold-threaded, straight, machine stitching; a torn and folded strip of the Toadstools Vellum; and a bright pink, Beautiful Day Sprinkles Bookmark.  Another Forest Walk Flair Button, backed with a tangle of gold thread, dresses up its bottom corner...
and a Sprinkles Bookmark butterfly rests, along with one that had previously been stamped, to its left.
The left-side, center photo was simply backed with a piece of our colorful, Pile of Leaves print, anchored with gold threaded, straight, machine stitching; and the final photo, just above it, was dressed up with a couple of additional, So Much Beauty Sticker phrases to complete the look.
Thanks, as always, for visiting, friends!  Have a wonderful Wednesday!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Spring Fling (Teresa Collins) Paper: white (Paper Studio); watercolor (Master's Touch); Potpourri: Pile of Leaves 8x8, I Love Fall 8x8, Campfire 8x8, Falling Leaves 8x8, & Toadstools Vellum 8x8 (PLS) Ink: Wild Honey Distress Ink & Jet Black (Ranger) Other: gold thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); foam tape (Tombow); white string (Hobby Lobby); heart stencil (Jenni Bowlin); watercolors (Kuretake); Pure Black & Titanium White acrylic paints (FolkArt); Potpourri: So Much Beauty Stickers, Back to School Die Cut, Fall Leaves Vellum Die Cuts, & Forest Walk Flair Buttons; Ain't Life Grand: Love Life Words Die Cut; Beautiful Day: Sprinkles Bookmark; Dream Big: Polka ABC Die Cuts (PLS)