Sunday, January 29, 2012

Spring Fairy card

Hi everyone!
Today I'm sharing a card I finished last night. I ordered 2 digi stamps from The Greeting Farm, Spring Fairy and Autumn Fairy. They are SO cute! I love how sassy they are! I haven't had a chance to color up Autumn Fairy yet, but couldn't wait to show you Spring Fairy! I am submitting her for the very first TGF Farm Fresh sketch challenge over at Splitcoast Stampers (TGFSC1).

The Copics I used were:
Skin: E00, E11
Hair: R81, R83, R85
Dress: BG11, BG13, BG15, BG45
Wings: BG11, BG13, YG06, 0 Colorless Blender (to add tiny dots to the tips of her wings)
Highlights: At You Spica pen, Clear

After I colored her I cut her out with my detail scissors. Following the sketch, I used Lemonade paper from Basic Gray to add the layers. (I love this paper, and have been hoarding it...I really should just track down another 6x6 pad! :) ) I sponged the edges of some white cs with Pixi Pink ink from Stampin Up and layered this little fairy on top. It's a very subtle change in the texture and thought I would give it a try since I didn't have my dimensionals handy.  I tried dyeing the fabric flower (also from SU) with Lindy's Stamp Gang mists, but once it dried it was far too light (and purple-ish) for the look I wanted. I used the same Pixie Pink ink to sponge over the flower and got a much better result. I then just used some adhesive pearls to finish it off and called it a day!

My family think she looks very mermaid-ish, and I can see how they think that with all the aqua tones I used. I'll have to play with some other color combos and see if I get a different look. Watch for more posts soon! :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Vintage Finds

I wanted to share a few recent thrift store finds!
Two pair of vintage salt & pepper shakers...I love the little Michigan set! The little smiling toadstool set are also really cute, and my daughter loves them, but I thought they might be a fun set to sell...Etsy maybe?

They had a sale running that day...50% off dishes and glassware. I found this teapot and 2 cups - so cute! I can't find much on the manufacturer "Capistrand Japan", but will keep looking.

Then I found this set. Isn't it cute too?? The price tag was 12 for $5.99, so I got all of this for $3.00. The downside is that there were only 11 pieces. I don't know what the other piece was, or whether they just miscounted the set. This set is by Seltmann, a German company. The stamp on the bottom says "Seltmann Weiden K. Bavaria W. Germany". I've been trying to track down the pattern and haven't had any luck yet. There are dozens of patterns from this company at, but for some reason I just can't find this pattern. Frustrating! :)

I also found this sweet little glass dish. My hubby laughed when I showed him, and told me that it would always have to have "old people candy" in it. Right now it has plain M&M's, but I'm waiting for him to come home with something like bulk store hard candy or buttermints as a joke. It's a little hard to see in the picture, but there is an eagle and a star alternating on the sides which I really liked.

I also found a milkglass mug, but I didn't post a photo because I couldn't get a good photo of the three figures on the front. It's tall and narrow and will make a great vase.
I'm currently on the hunt for some kind of cabinet or shelves for the ugly bathroom. This weekend hubby had to make a repair to the toilet. In the process we decided to throw out the metal shelving thing that was around the toilet. We bought it soon after we bought the house. It was metal and glass, which worked because it mimicked the metal stripping on the walls, but over time the legs have become very rusty. It was impossible to clean, and looked terrible. So we tossed it. But now we need something to store brushes, lotions, etc. So maybe I'll get lucky and find something fun at a thrift store or on Craigslist...fingers crossed!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Plymouth Ice Show

Living in Michigan we are very lucky to enjoy four solid seasons...even though there are plenty of times I complain about snow or humidity or tornadoes or whatever else, I really do love it. One of the cool things we have is the ability to have an outdoor festival in the winter. This weekend we went to the annual Ice Show in Plymouth. I think I might have gone once when I was a little girl, but can't be positive. Needless to say, we wanted to take the kids, so off we went! We finally had some snow on Friday, but Saturday was a beautiful crisp sunny day. It was about 25* outside, but with the sun shining and no wind, it was a great day to be outside.
The ice sculptures were beautiful:

We were so bundled up we could have been mistaken for Randy in "A Christmas Story"!

The kids loved watching the sculptors work:

We made a quick pit stop to share a delicious Elephant Ear...oh my, it's been YEARS since I had one and it was sooooo good! It filled the whole plate, but this was what it was reduced to by the time I thought to snap a picture!

They had a spot where kids could try their hand at "skiing"...more cross country I guess, since there really weren't hills, but for my kids, who haven't been on skis before, this was quite an adventure!

We made it home, tired and chilled, but full of very happy memories. We will definitely have to go again next year!
One of the other big events in the area this time of year is the North American International Auto Show, held in Detroit annually. We had hoped to make it there this year (again, I haven't been since I was a kid), but we just didn't make it. Hopefully next year!
Do you have any local festivals unique to your area? Any recommendations on some to check out if we take a road trip? I'd love to start a list!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Making cards

I made a few cards's been hard to get the time to work on projects but I finally had a bit of time to work. I've been in the mood to work on "romantic" cards lately. Perhaps because of Valentine's Day, maybe because I've been watching too many sappy movies! :) Anyway, here are the cards I came up with:

I broke out my Copics for the first time in ages...I love this sweet stamp I found at Hobby Lobby, and have lots of plans for it. I was really pleased at how the shading on the umbrella turned out. :)

Once it was colored, I cut it out and popped it up with dimensional adhesive. I stamped the image on the card front before I layered the cut image and did some quick coloring to match the layered image, although I didn't color the center and I didn't do the same amount of shading as on the top image. The sentiment stamp is from American Crafts, and maybe it's just me, but I never seem to get a crisp image from these clear stamps.

I found this quote on Google some time ago and knew it would be great for a card. I printed it on vellum with my computer, and next time I think I would try to print directly on the card...I really don't like the vellum tape that I had to use to secure it. Maybe it's time to invest in a Xyron sticker maker? The background script stamp is a retired stamp from Stampin' Up. The little heart is from a set of small enamel sticker set I found at Joanns ages ago (I think in their dollar section?)

This image from Stampin' Up was colored with Prismacolors and mineral spirits. I'm really loving the blending abilities with these worth the money! (especially with a 50% off coupon from Michaels!) 

I used a Lawn Fawn stamp set for the background and the sentiment stamp is from the dollar bins at Michaels. The Memento ink in London Fog was a little darker than I expected...I was hoping for a more subtle look, but nevermind! I used the same tiny dimensional heart sticker as I used in the second card.

It was great to finally spend a bit of time getting inky fingers. I've missed it, and really need to set some more time for myself to work on things like this. Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day. :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Simple Morning

I happen to have today off from work, which was timely because Big D caught some kind of stomach bug and was throwing up all day yesterday. To be on the safe side I kept him home with me and Lil A today. It was nice, relaxing together on this very gloomy gray morning. He was finally feeling well enough to eat this morning, so we had a lovely breakfast of soft boiled eggs and tea. The three of us like this sort of breakfast, so we usually have it on days that hubby isn't with us since he doesn't care for it. He's a scrambled-eggs-and-bacon kind of man, and I'm not sure that tea has ever crossed his lips. :) But it was perfect on a day like this.

After we took Abby to preschool, Big and I spent some time doing absolutely nothing together. Jewel took the opportunity to join our cuddling too. Especially when the kids are upset or sick, she loves to curl up with them.

At some point I need to vacuum up the cracker crumbs on the floor and do some laundry, but for now, I'm going to enjoy a little bit more time with my little man.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My home improvement dream of 2012...

Who has the ugliest bathroom on the planet? This girl.
Don't believe me? Take a look...

Yep...this is my bathroom (hangs head in shame...). Actually I took this picture before we actually bought the house, and that was at the end of 2004. It's still like this, minus the bathmat, which the sellers kindly took with them. My niece, who was about 3 at the time was sooo excited when she saw the toilet for the first time...after all, who knew that there were PINK toilets? Every little girls dream, right? lol

If I could have one major project to do this year, it would be to completely redo this bathroom. I'd tear out the mint-choclate-chip-icecream-green formica walls with aluminum stripping, the speckled linoleum floor, yank out the postage stamp sized shower stall (which is painted pink inside too, by the way) and yes, toss the pink toilet. Maybe with a catapult, though I wouldn't mind a sledgehammer...

I'd have a lovely light and airy room, with the right hand wall bumped out a couple feet (there is a counter and shelving in the family room on the other side I'd be happy to sacrifice). I'd perhaps move the shower to the window wall, maybe have hex tile on the floor, maybe some wainscoting on the lower half of the room. A white toilet. Some shelves or a vintage cupboard to hold towels (which have to be kept upstairs right now) and paper rolls (which are in the pantry now). I'd have the light switches inside the room...right now they are outside the room on the right side of the picture.

You know, just a few minor improvements.

A girl can dream, right?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Diaper Cake!

One of the Kindergarten teachers at my son's school is having a baby (actually she was induced last night, so we're waiting for news right now!) and since Tuesday was her last day we wanted to give her a little gift on behalf of the PTO. Being the "crafty one" (lol), I was in charge of making a diaper cake. I've made a few of them and usually keep mine pretty simple. This one used one package of Pampers and was decorated with some very cute ribbons and a little stuffed lion. He of course needed a touch of color too, so I tied a bow around his neck with the same ribbon. :) Thankfully one of the PTO members snapped a picture of it, because I didn't have a chance before I had to rush it up to the school...elementary schools have lunch so early in the day! After he took it I realized that the top ribbons had shifted so I straightened it before the mom-to-be came into the room. Whew!

I've seen some massive cakes, and one day I may have to attempt it, but for now this 2-layer version works out quite nicely! In fact, it has become one of my go-to baby gifts!

If you've never made one before they are relatively simple. The diapers are usually arranged in one of two ways: individually rolled and formed into a "cake" shape, or by fanning a stack of diapers into a round shape. I prefer the second method...while it take a bit of patience to fan them evenly and shape the circle, individually rolling each diaper seems mind-numbing to me. Some people use a tube in the center to help form the circle of diapers, but I don't bother. I can usually coax a good circle with some patience. I always top mine with some sort of stuffed fact I usually let the stuffed animal decide how the rest of the cake will be decorated. I tried finding an animal to match the cake and it was nearly impossible, so I learned my lesson! This little lion was perfect. To add a bit of color I tied a matching ribbon around his neck (think a cute stuffed animal is even cuter with a giant bow!). I then added a little note card with a die cut lion on it with a little message from the PTO.

One of the other members (who is equally as crafty!) made a sweet little onesie. She used fabric paint to recreate our schools eagle logo on the front and put little eagle "foot" prints on the backside. We rolled it up, tied it with a ribbon and added it to the top of the cake.

Here is another I made last year:

Do you have any special gifts you like to make for babies/weddings/etc?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Under the Sea

Sorry this isn't a great picture...I took it with my cell phone.
We just found out what Lil A's dance class will be wearing to their dance recital in June...I had to laugh when I first saw it. This will be her 2nd recital, so I'm still getting used to the whole costume/stage makeup thing. I didn't dance as a kid, so this is a whole new world for me...especially the idea that my 4 year old has to wear makeup.
The girls are dancing to "Under the Sea" and once I found that out, the costume made more sense.
The fish on top of her head still makes me laugh though. :)

She is soooo excited by the costume, and I think this might be one reason why:

Lil was fascinated by the Nutcracker figurines I put on the bookcase for Christmas this year, and of course her favorite was the Sugarplum Fairy. She even used it as a model for a drawing ( I love the noodle arms going over her head!) and her costume does bear a bit of a resemblance, especially when you are 4 and have big dreams of being a ballet dancer.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Can anyone else believe it's 2012??? It feels like we just started 2011!

Things here have been pretty surprise there! After a lovely birthday celebration, we spent the next 2 days cleaning and prepping for guests on Christmas day. Yes, that meant on Christmas day itself! :) We spent the afternoon on Christmas Eve wrapping family gifts and the tree looked so festive with some gifts underneath it finally. Having two cats and kids means we can't put out wrapped gifts out too early...we've also given up on using ribbon or bows on gifts since the cats love to tear them off and eat them, and it's just not worth the mess. :) The kids were so excited to put out cookies for Santa (and an extra one for Mrs. Claus, at Santa's request!) and as a little gift from us, they each got a new pair of pajamas. They were so excited to find a present on their beds it could have been broccoli and they would have been happy! (Actually, they probably would have been, I'm lucky to have kids who like their veggies!) Anyway...

Christmas morning was funny. Of course my son was up by 6am, and then crawled into bed with us. He and daddy then spent the next 20 minutes or so "whispering" about what Santa might have brought them before I finally gave up on the idea of sleeping. Note to self...try to be in bed well before 1am on Christmas Eve...  They then went upstairs to wake up Abby and we went to see what goodies had been left. Santa doesn't brings loads of presents to our home, which is a good thing. We want our children to learn that Christmas is about more than just gifts. But Santa did bring the xBox Davin and Daddy have been hoping for since last Christmas morning, and Abby got a Barbie house. Putting that pink monstrosity together was a nightmare for me, but she was so excited as it came together it was worth it. :) Andy and I gave them some books, and a few other smaller toys, and I'm proud to say that one of Davin's very favorite was a "Tornado maker" by Discovery kids, which uses water to create the effects of a tornado in a cylinder. He loved it so much it had to be the "centerpiece" on the dinner table. Score one for Mommy and educational toys!

We had a pretty quiet afternoon. We celebrate Christmas in a secular way, so it's all about a focus on family. We cooked, ate, played games, and generally had a nice time. At around 3, our dinner guests started to arrive. It was the same gathering as we had for Thanksgiving, so we ended up with a total of 8 people. Sometimes I long to have a large family bustling around, but then I have to cook for people and I realize that "8 is enough". :) I missed having my mom with us, but my dad told us that she had called from Germany to wish us all a happy day. I really can't wait till she gets home in a few weeks.

In our family the traditional dinner is roast goose. I love goose and look forward to Christmas each year because its really the only time of the year I have have some goose. If you've never had it you don't know what you're missing! It's basically all dark meat, and is really moist. The only down side is that it isn't a large bird, on average they range from 11-12 pounds, but even that size can takea bit of searching. For a family of 4 it's perfect, but beyond that you really need something else to go with it. I've started having ham as a second option. All in all it was so yummy, though I am still nowhere near my mom in terms of making gravy. :)

We then had round 2 of presents and our house was littered with paper again. :) Ice cream and leftover birthday cake for dessert followed and then we just relaxed until people started heading home. All in all a very good weekend.

Starting Monday I had a full week at work...and a very busy one. The museum was hopping each day, and the attendance increased each day. I really should add up the total attendance for the week, but I think it was over 18,000 people between Mon and Fri. Needless to say I was worn out! :)

But Friday was a special day because hubby took me to see "Wicked"! He got us tickets as a Christmas present and I was SO surprised! I have never seen it and have been hoping to see it for years. It was at the Detroit Opera House, which is a stunning building. We had great seats and the performances were amazing. I was just on cloud nine all night! My hubby is the best! :)

New Years Eve was spent at home. I had a few errands to run but made sure to come back with some party hats and noisemakers. We danced with the kids, put on mustaches and just got silly! At the kids request I made a cake to celebrate New Year. My bother-in-law and niece came by later. I'm sure the kids would have made it to midnight with my niece, but they were so wound up that they were turning into little monsters so we finally had to pack them off to bed after a little New Year toast with some sparkling cider. The rest of us rang in the year together, even my brother-in-law made it, after repeated claims he was going to fall asleep.

Yesterday we had a big New Years breakfast together and then did some cleaning (of course!) I woke up with a sore throat and just a general ickiness. No surprise with all the hustle and bustle of the past week and the amount of sick people I have been around at work. I took a nap that ended up lasting 3 1/2 hours! Yikes! Hubby enjoyed watching the Packers beat the Lions and my dad called to hassle him about it. :) After the kids went to bed we took down the Christmas tree. As much as I hate to see it go, it's dropping needles like crazy now and our front room is a total disaster. The kids are up this morning and I don't think they have even noticed! lol

This week I finally have a few days off to spend with my family. I have a few projects I'm working on, and plan to finally clear off my craft table. One of my new Years resolutions is to be better about sending birthday cards to my friends and family. As many cards as I make I'm not great about making cards for specific people. I'm also working on an afghan for Lil A, which will take a while to complete but it's getting there. I'll post a few pics as I move along on that project.

I hope that you had a lovely Christmas and New Year, and wish you all the best as we start 2012!