Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Card for Jordan

Have you ever heard of femoral derotation osteotomy surgery? I hadn't until last week, when I learned that my friend Heather's 10-year-old daughter, Jordan, would be undergoing this procedure. Jordan has cerebral palsy and this surgery should eventually allow her to walk correctly. During the surgery, the doctors will break both femurs, rotate them into the correct position, and insert rods and pins. The recovery process is long. 

Heather mentioned how much Jordan would love to receive handmade cards to open during her recovery. I wanted to send something uplifting, positive, and sparkly to put a smile on Jordan's face. I found a beautiful hot air balloon sticker, got out the Stickles, and painted them on to change the muted colors of the hot air balloon to bright and sparkly.  

I cut a sky blue card base, punched some clouds, and added the glittery hot air balloon.  

I know that Jordan and her family will appreciate any prayers and well-wishes for tomorrow's surgery and the long recovery process. If you would like to send Jordan a card or follow her recovery, you can find information on Heather's blog

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ellia at 5

There aren't too many people who I have known for their WHOLE life. I can think of exactly five: Trevor (of course); my younger sister, Kari, who I met in the hospital when she was a few hours old; Kari's kids, Timothy and Allison, each of whom I also met in the hospital when they were a few hours old; and my goddaughter Ellia, whose birth I witnessed five years ago.

Each year, I make a framed layout for Ellia's birthday, just like I do for her older sister, Kylinn. Ellia requested purple, so I dug out three purple papers, a purple pen, purple ink, and purple Stickles and got to work. The first step was changing yellow letter stickers to purple.

The layout came together quickly and easily. Here it is:

Here are the layouts I've made for her the past four years:

Happy 5th birthday, Ellia!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Kylinn at 8

Each year, I make a framed scrapbook page for my goddaughter Kylinn's birthday. This year, for the first time, she requested a specific color scheme: lavender and pink. Yikes. Totally not my colors at all. But, anything for the Birthday Girl!

Thank goodness for Tanya's box of goodies.  It was loaded with all sorts of pinks and lavenders, stuff I never buy. While there were lots of pinks and lavenders to choose from, there weren't any papers that combined the two colors. I selected a pink and white floral to use as the base for the layout. I matted the photo with a lavender, then used the scraps to punch small circles, which I added as centers to the floral background. I inked some light pink letters to make them darker, then added Stickles so that they'd sparkle. Here's the finished layout:  

Here are the previous seven years.  I love going back and reading the words I used to describe Kylinn each year.

Happy 8th birthday, Kylinn!

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Cursive Project: Narwhal

Trevor chose "narwhal" for Letter N of The Cursive Project. As I mentioned in that first post, Trevor drafted the whole A-Z list ahead of time, so I've had plenty of time to think up a craft for each letter. Some have been easy, while it's been a major struggle to think up a cute, original craft for others. I was stumped about how to make a narwhal, until the day Steve offered to do a grocery store run to pick up the only two things we needed: bread and milk.

I do 99% of the grocery shopping, and when I do, I always get a full cart's worth. Rather than do a quick run for two little items, I'm more likely to do without them until my next major grocery store trip. Steve doesn't mind running to the store; in fact, since he works from home, he often welcomes quick errands that give him a reason to leave the house. Anyway, my point is that Steve went to the grocery store to get two items. He has never, EVER, come home with just the items he planned to buy. He almost always comes home with treats that I never buy, things that aren't on sale, etc. We all know this, which is why Trevor is happy to accompany Steve to the grocery store and doesn't always choose to go with me: Daddy says yes to everything Trevor asks for, and Mommy does not. This time, in addition to bread and milk, they came home with Twinkies.

I can't remember the last time I had a Twinkie, as it's been years (probably the last time Steve brought some home from the store). I don't love them, and if I'm going to indulge in a treat, I'm not going to choose one that's only so-so. As Steve and Trevor were enjoying their after-lunch Twinkies, it struck me: a Twinkie would make an excellent narwhal! 

Time to create! We looked a photos of narwhals and talked about what we could use for each feature. After digging in the pantry, we came up with our supplies and got to work. Here is my Twinkie narwhal:

This is Trevor's. He preferred a toothpick for the horn instead of the twisty candle.

The eyes are mini chocolate chips and the fins are Melt 'n' Mold wafers that we carved down with a knife. 

We were both really happy with our narwhals except for the color. Narwhals are dark and speckled, not yellow and cake-like. Perhaps if we used a pastry brush to add cocoa powder to the Twinkie? Yes! Much better.

Finally satisfied with our narwhals, I lit the candle. 

A great start to the second half of The Cursive Project!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Cursive Project: Moon

For Letter M of The Cursive Project, Trevor choose the word moon. Having taught about the solar system to 11 years' worth of 4th and 5th graders, I had a number of art projects in my mind. We ended up combining my favorites into something I never did in the classroom, primarily because of the drying time required. It's nice not to have limitations like that on projects we do at home.

Step one was to splatter yellow paint onto black cardstock.

We used a stencil brush, though an old toothbrush works really well too.

While that was drying, we worked on the moon portion of the project. We gathered our supplies: heavy watercolor paper, a circle template, white paint, flour, an empty roll of tape, and an empty pill container. We each cut a large circle from the watercolor paper and set it aside. We each put white paint into a container and then stirred in flour until the paint looked like spackle. (Trevor added a few drops of yellow paint to his; I kept mine pure white.) We used brushes to spread the thickened paint across our cut-out circles. When the circle was covered, we used the tape roll and pill container to stamp craters into the moon.

Here's how mine looked.

At this point, we set our moons aside to dry. It's very hot and dry here, and they still took a full 24 hours to dry completely. Plan on multiple days if it is cool and/or humid.

When the moon is dry, you can leave it as is... or not. I chose to use grey ink to add extra dimension and shadows to the moon. Trevor chose to cut his moon into a crescent. When you're happy with your moon, attach it to the splatter-paint background. We used a very strong double-stick tape.

Here is my finished moon:

This is Trevor's.

We're halfway done with The Cursive Project... on to Letter N!