Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Card 2013

Submitted by Linda
Normally, Michelle and I choose the same Christmas card design and then mass produce them together. But this summer, we had different ideas, so we worked together, but on different cards.

Here's my inspiration. I took one look at this Memory Box Country Landscape die and promptly ordered it. I love the white on white. So fresh. So wintery.  I don' t know where I found this picture, so I apologize for not giving the proper photo credit.
Here's my take. I turned it horizontal, added a silver embossed greeting, and still it needed something. I tried glitter, a tiny punched star, and ended up with this tiny rhinestone. I love how it is a subtle shout out to the Star that pointed the way to hope, redemption, and peace.
Currently, the cards are all sitting nicely in the box where they have lived since the late summer. I'm working on getting a family photo, where we all look genuinely happy. We'll see how that goes- ha!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Lisa Super's Sampler Kit

Submitted by Linda
You may remember our post about the Remnants of the Past last June, and MY FAVORITE FIND. Well, I got started on my sampler kit, and I have to say, it is one of my favorite projects, and was so fun to do! Here is Lisa Super's sample: (Click HERE to see her amazing vintage stuff.)
While in Clovis in September, I found a teeny tiny doggie button. I knew that would be my starting point, and so I stitched my house and grass, referring often to Lisa's sample.

Then I started adding ribbons and buttons from the kit, and others that I had bought 
in the Carolinas and at Mindy's Needlework Factory in Eugene, Oregon.
I then started to worry about the layout, so I plopped a bunch of stuff on the fabric, and snapped a photo with my phone, so I could refer back to it.
I had to fill 49 spaces. Below shows it with only 12 spaces left.
Now all the spaces are filled and I love, love, LOVE it! I ended up using some old embroidery and lace from my Grandma's stash, which makes it even more special!
Now to decide how to finish it. I could bind it and hang it on a cute hanger/clip thing, like the sample, but I'm leaning toward having it framed. Either way, I will love having it around.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Magnetic Coaster Calendars

Submitted by Linda

Does anyone remember Steven Covey's quadrants in his "First Things First" book? His four quadrants make so much sense to me, and I love living my life in Quadrant 2, where I work on important things, but before they become urgent.  I'm not a happy camper when I get into the urgent side of things, so I love to get things nailed down, buttoned up and all set before the deadline. 
So you won't be surprised to see that I'm ready for 2014 with new 'coaster calendars' to give my teacher friends. This time I used my October afternoon "Cakewalk" and "Farm Girl" stuff, and boy are they cute. Well, at least I think they are.
I just learned from Susan Branch that when you wake up on the morning of a new month, you say "rabbit rabbit!" to wish for luck that month. I love that idea so I texted 'rabbit rabbit' to my mom, to Michelle, and to my boys (who were probably irritated by it rather than charmed). Anyway, I love the idea, and I'll be saying it each time I turn the page on my calendar.
I usually buy these little calendars at Stamp Your Heart Out in Claremont, but, alas, they've been out for awhile. I believe you may be able to find them online, if you need a cute little new year's treat!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Notecards

Submitted by Linda
I just had to share my classroom Christmas cheer! I made these snowman faces out of paper lanterns for my classroom, copied from Pinterest, of course.
I always like to make a few blank Christmas notecards to use as a 'thank you' or to give away in a pack of several. This year I was inspired and here's what I came up with (I mean copied).

For this one I used old Chrismas Carol music that I bought this past summer in the Carolinas.

This technique is fun. Punch and attach your circles before embossing your card stock. I love the glimmery silver on this one, and the hip chevron design.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Print Poetry: There's Only One You

Submitted by Linda
Ok, blog followers!!! This is the final post about the Print Poetry cards, I promise! I used up most of the paper and most of the coordinating card stock. I have some scraps and a bit of ribbon yet, but all in all, I'm pleased that I no longer will be considered a hoarder. (Just don't ask Craig about that. He may disagree!)

This card idea (like many of the others) was CASE'd right off of Pinterest. Super easy to cut out the swirly design, sponge it up, add a a greeting (on the blue and green card I used "Vintage Verses". The greeting on the red card is Kristina Werner's designs from Simon Says Stamp).  I then added a bit of seam binding or ribbon and a brad, and it's done!
I like these generic greetings, because they can work for any occasion.
The two contrasting papers on this one really pop!
Thanks for looking!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Print Poetry and Tiny Curly Label Punch

Submitted by Linda
Here are more cards made throughout November when I was determined to use up some of my Print Poetry paper.

The good news, is that these cards use tiny pieces of paper, so I had plenty left for other projects. The finished card size is 3"x3", and is the perfect size for a gift enclosure card.
Here are some other color combos!
Thanks for looking!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

S'mores Dessert

Submitted by Linda
So Michelle's friend Carrie (who is now also my friend) recently had a birthday and wished to get out of the desert for a weekend of crafting.  My house was the destination and it became party central! (If you know us, then you realize that we weren't 'forty somethings gone wild' or anything). The focus of the weekend was wearing stretchy pants and tees, eating Weight Watcher approved food except for  the birthday girl's requested dessert: "No Bake S'mores dessert"! (We won't mention the VANILLA POPCORN but the link is here if you're interested in the recipe.)
The recipe reminded me of the old-school 'chocolate eclair cake', except that marshmallow creme was added to the filling instead of vanilla pudding.  The chocolate ganache was amazing with a bit of salt in the recipe.

I took the opportunity to serve it up on my pretty Petit Point dishes. Notice that it's sitting on grid paper. We took a break for dessert, then it was back to crafting!!!!
No Bake S'mores Dessert

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 2-3 hours (overnight is better)
Pan Size: 9.13
Servings: 18 (It's very rich - so small pieces are AOK)

I halved the recipe to make a smaller cake and used a 9x9 pan - however, I think next time I would go ahead and make it in a 9x13 pan because the half-recipe of filling didn't seem like enough.

1 box graham crackers
2 tubs (7 oz) marshmallow creme
1 tub thawed Cool Whip (I used the lite version)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. salt

Using a mixer, blend marshmallow creme with cool whip until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and mix to combine. Line the bottom of the dish with graham crackers. Spread on third of the filling over the crackers, then layer crackers and filling so that you have 3 layers of crackers, ending with the filling on top. Over medium low heat melt the chocolate chips and cream until smooth. Keep stirring until the two ingredients are well combined and then turn the heat off. Add the salt and about every 5 minutes whisk the chocolate until it is cooled but still pourable (5 - 20 minutes). Pour the chocolate over the top and spread it evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Print Poetry and the Artisan Kit

Submitted by Linda
Here's another one using a paper from Print Poetry. The doily, lace, love ticket and flower are all from Stampin' Up's 'Artisan Embellishment' kit that was offered way in the early months of 2013. The sweet "admit one" ticket is from the "That's the Ticket" set, which features 8 different sentiments that are all ticket shaped and can be punched out with the ticket punch. 
That little smidgen of music is another piece of my french marching band music. Perfect size for cards! And, I love having a nice wedding or valentine card on hand and ready to go!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Print Poetry and In-Color Dahlias

Submitted by Linda
I have often said that there is a fine line between hoarding paper crafting supplies and having on hand what you need when you need it. Recently I felt like I had crossed that line when I discovered that I had (on hand) the Print Poetry (shown below) paper since last spring and had never used one sheet of it!
So this month I decided to get busy and use some of it. Stampin' Up is clever in their marketing, in that they offer 'in-colors' that are only available for 2 years. They also offer the cutest embellishments and coordinating ribbons. I also happened to have the 'dahlia' embellishments on hand as well.

Demonstrator Michelle always says "something new is always coming" in the Stampin' Up world, but we agree that sometimes it's good to hang on to the 'oldie but goodie' stamps. In the example pictured below, you'll see the "Thanks from the heart" set, from 2001, which has a super cute mason jar in it, as well as the flower stems. I attached my dahlias and some yellow brads, and it's done! Lately I feel like almost everything needs sponging on the edges, to give it a bit of a vintage feeling.
For any of you stampers who are wondering about that "Hello" stamp, it's from Simon Says Stamp, and is designed by Kristina Werner who has a wonderful blog that you can follow HERE. This card also uses papers from Print Poetry, and I'm happy to say I used up most of the paper and all of the dahlias!
Can you tell that the jar looks like it has water in it? I used Crystal Effects to give it that glossy laquer finish.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

NOEL: My Version of a Pinterest Classic

Submitted by Linda
You may remember that I just became a pinner this last June. Soon thereafter, I began seeing this beautiful NOEL being pinned and repinned. I decided to begin looking for letters in my antiquing adventures. To see the original Creator's blog, click HERE.
As one is shopping for old letters, lots of questions come to mind. Colors? Size? Upper case vs. lower case?

In Clovis I found this upper case N and lower case E. Both red, which could be a problem. I was happy with the red N, because I was eager to add more color to my project. After striking out on an L, and even checking out the local craft stores, I sought out my dad's work bench. He helped me cut this L out of a scrap of wood. The picture below was taken so that I could look for a grapevine wreath for the O.

Next I decided to paint the L with a dark gray color, and then sanded the edges so it would look old.
Then I painted the E a cream color, and Mod Podged some french marching band music onto it. I had bought the marching band music at Remnants of the Past, and it's small size makes it perfect for paper crafting.  Then I glittered it up, of course.
And here we go!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Watermelon Cross Stitch Up-Cycling

Submitted by Linda
So now that I've become a stitcher, I realize the time and love that go into hand stitched projects. I also have realized how I often in my younger days I asked my mom to stitch things up for me without realizing how much time was involved.

Back in the day (1996, as pictured below), at my request my mom stitched me the cutest watermelon design onto a sweatshirt. You can't see the design very well, but the picture gives you an idea of the era. This was on an anniversary trip to the Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo.   
I've since learned about stitching on something other than cross stitch fabric and using waste canvas. It's a giant pain in the neck! So I owe my mom and apology or a 'thank you' or both.

As time passed, I got a stain on the sweatshirt, and it began to form those little balls from wear, so I gave it back to her because I couldn't bear to give it to Goodwill after all of her work.  At which point she stored it for a year. Or two. Or ten.

Recently, we decided it should be made into a pillow, so we picked out some fabric and seam binding, and set it aside until we had time to work on it together.

Earlier this week, I went over to my parents' place to stitch and look what I found!
I love, love, love it! It's even cuter as a pillow than it was as a sweatshirt. And it perfectly fits my happy-country-homey kitchen vibe. (And I'm so happy I didn't have to wrangle the sewing machine to get it done. Thank you Mother dear!)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Halloween 2013

Submitted by Linda
It seems like every time I post, I give a long 'blah blah' about how teaching (and implementing full day kindergarten) leaves me little time for other fun stuff. Well, it's true! I have managed to squeeze in some crafting time with friends (after all, I do have my priorities!), but the blog posts have been slow in coming.

Nevertheless, I'm off this week for Thanksgiving, so I'm going to (hopefully) get ya'll caught up.

My kindergarten team always does a 'group costume', and this year we revived a theme that's an oldie  but goodie.  The assortment of bugs and the bug catcher (me). We actually used this idea in 2006, so it was time to pull it all back out! Our team looks huge, because this photo includes two 'one on one' aides, plus three teachers and our other support staff. 

In the spirit of sharing ideas, (and since you can't see the details of my costume) I'm including this picture from Family Fun magazine of the original idea for the bug catcher costume. The suit is from Home Depot (about $8), and I covered a hat with white tulle and glued on bunches of bugs and butterflies. Add a net, and voila!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

21st Birthday Card

Submitted by Linda
My youngest turned 21 this last week, which is crazy and hard to believe. You know, if I'm only 29, how can he be 21!? Ha!

I'm not sure if either of my boys care about homemade cards or not, but heaven forbid they end up like the teacher's kids who can't read, or the cobbler's kids who have no shoes, or the stamper's kids who get a store bought card.

So for Nick's big day I had purchased an old bingo piece with a #21 on it, at the Long Beach Antique Swap meet back in the spring.  I found this card on Pinterest, made by Jacquii McLeay. You can check out her cute blog HERE.
I decided to cover real candles, which changed the layout a bit, and I plunked them down a bit topsy turvy, which I like.  I used basic gray, with last year's 'howlstooth' paper, and I love the addition of the bingo piece. Yay for ephemera!!! (I love saying 'ephemera'. Here's its definition: a class of collectable items not originally intended to last for more than a short time, such as tickets, posters, postcards or labels.)

Anyway, he ended up liking the card, though he probably liked the cash inside better.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Treats 2013

Submitted by Linda
Some of you may remember that I've only been an avid pinner on Pinterest since last June. Yes, just four months ago. Like everyone else, I've found it to be fun, addicting, inspiring and helpful for finding stamping ideas. For this Halloween, I wanted a treat for my teacher pals, and I loved the idea of using this canning  jar set. Here is the project before it's assembled....
...and after!
I assembled them at our monthly stamp club weeks ago, and felt ready for Halloween. Until earlier this week, when I decided to whip up a much simpler treat for my students.  I punched a polka dotty top note die, cut out 'cute mummy guy', and added a black (chalkboard vibe) tag.
Very basic, but cute!
Now I'm officially ready for Halloween!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall Cloche

Submitted by Linda
Last year, this fall cloche was on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens, and that began my search for a cloche in my antiquing adventures.
I ended up finding one in an antique store in Monrovia, and in the spring I put a vase of flowers in it with a nest, but didn't take a picture - forgive me! In September, for back to school, I added a teacup of succulents (an end of year gift from a special family), some moss, and some apple candles that look like real apples.
For fall, I decided to stray from the BHG version, when I found these awesome fake Chinese Lanterns. I plunked in more moss, a little (fake) pumpkin to go with my little (fake) apple, and ta-da!!!!
I had a few extra stems of the lanterns, so I popped them into this wooden Jack-o-lantern for a little more fall ambience.
If you're interested in having your own cloche, I've seen them at Michaels and the Hobby Lobby (where you could use a coupon!)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Run, Run, as Fast as You Can, and Some Cute Wallace Cousins

 Submitted by Linda
 Well, it is now October, and I've officially come up for air from starting the school year. I seem to always forget how consuming school is in the first month, teaching the kids the routines, expectations, and, well, herding cats.  I was at the gym a few weeks back, and an older business man (who knew I was a kindergarten teacher) asked me if 'teaching kindergarten was easy'. I restrained myself from giving him a 10 minute tutorial on Common Core, full day kindergarten, high expectations coupled with no financial or personnel support, and so on.  Because the truth of the matter, is, I love my job. I work at a fantastic 'think outside the box' school, get to collaborate with neato people like these gals, and I get to dance and sing and laugh everyday.
This year we implemented a full day kindergarten program, and I have to say, it's going well. I have the cutest group of kids, sweet little people with 'normal' kindergarten behaviors. I also have two very special students mainstreamed, one with Down Syndrome, and one with Autism. My class turned out to be the perfect mix for these two - able to ignore behaviors (rather than copying), and never asking why those students get to use things like markers, or squishy balls, or gum.  I really love what I've learned through the years adding these special friends to my class. One of the biggest things I've learned, is that what usually helps the special kids, ends up helping everyone. And at my site, we value the concept of everyone having something to contribute, despite their strengths and weaknesses.

Anyone who knows a teacher or who is married to a teacher knows that the first day of school is a big, big day. Any teacher worth their salt has been upgrading their classroom during August,  or working on their computer researching and planning.  Out in the 'real world', people usually don't understand this. Someone who does is my friend Liz. You may remember her from our antiquing adventures and our summer trip to the Carolinas.
Right before school began, she presented me with a "happy first day of school" gift! It came with this cute apple themed card....
 And the gift was this darling gingerbread man apron, handmade by her, for our gingerbread man week, which is the 2nd week of school.
Embroidery, applique and polka dot ribbon! What's not to love?
After wearing it during the week, I displayed it with the kids g-man artwork!
After we finally found our gingerbread man, I forced each kiddo to sit for a photo before we ate him up.  This guy is always ready to learn, just like he looks in this pic.
Another high point in September, is our annual family reunion. Craig wasn't able to be there, so I took this opportunity to be the queen for our family photo.
Here are my boys with most of their Wallace cousins. I know I'm old because I remember when most of these kids were born.
And here they are with spouses and kids. Is it time to start singing "Sunrise, Sunset" yet?
So September flew by, and now it's time to start thinking about flannel sheets and Christmas crafts!!!!!