Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Three Cheers for Fiskateers!

Today wraps up the awesome "In Spirit- Cha Cha Cha" Fiskateers crop.  I had the pleasure of hosting one of the 18 challenges.  All the challenges needed to fit the theme of cheering in some way, so I decided to call mine "Three Cheers for Fiskateers!"
We all love Fiskars products- stamps, inks, punches, trimmers, and more.  For this challenge, you need to use three different Fiskars products to make a card which either cheers someone up ("Get well soon", "so sorry", "thinking of you") or cheers someone on ("Way to go!",  "You did it!",  "Congratulations!").  When you post your picture, please list the three Fiskars items you used. 

Here's my sample.  I actually used four Fiskars items- a Fiskars swirl stamp to create the pattern on the background cardstock, the In Stitches border punch to make the holes for the stitching, Fiskars ink for the sentiment, and my beloved Fiskars trimmer on every element.


Three cheers for Fiskateers!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Serendipity Heart Banners

Serendipity Squares have been popular with scrapbookers and cardmakers for many years.  They're beautiful, fun and so easy- all you need are scraps, a base piece of paper, and some sort of adhesive.  You simply choose some scraps that look good together, tear them into small pieces, and glue them randomly on the page.  When you cut the paper into squares, you end up with pretty squares that look great together.  

Steve and Trevor joined me to make our version- Serendipity Hearts!  I started by pulling out pinks (and a few purples) from my HUGE collection of scraps.   

Steve chose an orange/yellow palette.  Trevor chose an eclectic mix.

I won a bottle of gold Shimmer Mod Podge recently and wanted to try it out, so that's what we used for our adhesive.  We used watercolor paper as our base.  Here is my paper after I mod podged my scraps: 


Here is Steve's:

And this is Trevor's:

When our papers were dry, we turned them over and traced hearts all over the paper. 


Then we cut out the hearts.  Here are mine (I added a single dot of gold Stickles to each.)  Aren't they pretty?  Scraps never looked so good! 


We each placed our hearts on different colors of ribbons to decide what we liked best.  Steve ended up choosing the bronze colored ribbon in the center.

We used Glue Lines to attach the hearts to the ribbon to make a banner.  Here is Steve's:


Trevor chose a pink ribbon for his banner.


And I chose gold for mine.


Here's a closeup:


I love how our banners have dressed up the house for Valentine's Day!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Marshmallow Snowmen

Today I'm participating in the Snowman Blog Hop celebrating the first anniversary of Scrapbooking SOS!  If you're hopping along, you should have arrived here from Sue in CT.



Recently two things happened on the same day: I noticed that we had a bag of 13 large marshmallows that were on the verge of getting stale; and Trevor had friends coming over for a playdate.  Naturally, in my world this meant a project. 

I dug around in the pantry and came up with all sorts of odds and ends.  Far more candy enters this house than we could ever possibly eat (via a ridiculous number of holiday and birthday party goodie bags), so there's always plenty to choose from when we need it for an edible craft.  I found a promising assortment- Junior Mints, Nerds, Mike and Ikes, fruit leather, chocolate chips, M&Ms, Hershey kisses, and lollipops.  I put some of each on each plate, along with three marshmallows and a wooden skewer.

The kids were very excited.  All three got right to work threading their marshmallows.

I melted some white chocolate chips to use as 'glue.'  It held pretty well.  Here's Trevor applying it with a popsicle stick:


All the kids had really creative ideas.  It was so cool to see them working.  Tyler finished fairly quickly, while Trevor and Kayla pondered different options, removed items and changed them, and dug through the bags of extra candy looking for inspiration. 


Here's what we made.  On the left is Tyler's (age 6) and the one on the right is Trevor's (age 5).
Here are Kayla's (age 8) and mine (age 39).  Mine is the only one with no arms, but also the only one with a mouth.  Interesting!  What fun to see all the differences and creativity.

This was a really easy project that made our playdate that much more fun.  And fortunately their mom had no problem with me feeding them marshmallows and candy just an hour before dinner.

To see more snowman projects, hop along to Jean at PagesinTime.  

Book Review- "Paper Crafting with Carol Duvall"

I get a lot of inspiration for my projects from blogs, galleries, and magazines, but I very rarely look at books for inspiration.  The last time I was at the library, I took a minute to head to the paper crafts section (745.54) to see what was there.  I found this book: Paper Crafting with Carol Duvall


I've never watched Carol Duvall on TV and don't know anything about her.  I wasn't very optimistic about the book- it looked a little dated.  I wondered if there would be anything in there that was unique or inspirational enough for me to check it out.  I quickly thumbed through the book.  There were some projects that were more appropriate for beginners and some that simply weren't my taste, but I found quite a few projects that looked interesting.  I checked out the book.

Once I got home, I marked the projects I wanted to try.  As you can see, there were many.


I really like the way this book is set up.  Projects are divided into five chapters: Creative Cards, Just Because, Paper Plus, Show-Offs, and From the Shoe Box.  Each project has a supply list and big beautiful pictures that show the step-by-step procedure.  The tone is conversational and there are a lot of helpful hints along the way.  The projects are suitable for a variety of skill levels.

Today I'm going to share two projects from the Paper Plus section.  The first is a Refrigerator Puzzle.  I've seen these before.  Every time I do, I mean to make one.  And then I forget.  But this time I actually did!  I dug through my box of unscrapped photos and found an 8x10 group shot from Trevor's 2nd birthday.  I trimmed it down a bit, then cut the pieces into squares and attached magnets.  It was very quick and easy and was a hit with my family.  I'm glad I finally made one.


The next project was inspired by Carol's Note Card Coasters.  While I was digging out the photo from Trevor's 2nd birthday, I came upon a stack of pictures Steve took when we went to the Chihuly exhibit at the deYoung Museum.  I'd set them aside to use for notecards and forgot about them.  (Are you seeing a trend?)  As I started to gather the supplies to make the Note Card Coasters, I came upon this coaster kit that I received years ago.


I decided to use the kit instead of making the cork-based coasters from the book.  Here are the coasters I made using Steve's photographs:


Today is Steve's birthday.  He'll be opening these soon.  (Hopefully before he reads this post.)  Happy birthday Steve!  I love you!

I've done two other projects from the book so far, which I will share next week.  Overall, I am very happy with this book and would definitely recommend it.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

CHA Sneak Peeks

The Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) tradeshow opens this weekend in Anaheim.  I won't be there.  I'm incredibly disappointed about this, but things didn't work out for me to attend this winter.  2013 for sure! 

Nearly every company has been releasing Sneak Peeks of the items they'll be debuting at CHA.  I've seen some really interesting new products and some adorable paper lines.  Here are some of the things that have caught my eye so far.  (Click the pictures to go to each company's blog for more information.)


American Crafts - Dear Lizzy Neapolitan:  
I absolutely love the colors in this collection!  And it is so happy and cheerful!  I would use it for cards, gifts and altered items.



Bella Blvd - Baby Boy:
I wish I'd had this collection a few years ago when I was scrapping my baby boy!  It's super cute and would make fantastic cards.



Pebbles - Country Picnic:
This collection reminds me of my goddaughters' strawberry-themed party last year.  I make girly layouts exactly once a year (for their birthdays) and I'd love to go with this color scheme for this year's layouts.



Studio Calico - Classic Calico Vol 2:
You can never have too many basics, as they never go out of style.  I absolutely love this collection of classic prints and colors.  They'll pair with just about anything.



Studio Calico - Abroad:
This is my #1 pick from all of the sneak peeks I've seen.  I love the paper collection, but it is these wood veneers that I fell in love with.  I can't wait to see them in person to find out if they're as fabulous as they look. 


Have you been following the CHA Sneak Peeks?  What's on your wish list?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Quilling 101

Last weekend, I taught a quilling workshop at a nearby fairgrounds.  I've mentioned before that I am a judge for a local county fair.  This fair, like just about every other around the country, has experienced a significant drop in entries over the past years.  They decided to host a really cool event to try to solve this problem.  They invited their judges and other local experts to demonstrate their crafts to teachers, Scout leaders, and 4-H leaders.  The attendees would then go back to their organization to share new project ideas with the children they teach.  The children will (hopefully) enter all these new projects in the fair.  In addition to quilling, attendees learned woodworking, two types of stitchery, dollmaking, and photography.  I heard great things about every workshop. 

In my workshop, I taught my students how to make a simple flower and a basic heart.  I showed how they could be used on cards, gift tags, and placecards.  Here are my sample projects:


Each person got a handout that told about the history of quilling and showed eight basic quilling shapes.


Everyone who visited my table seemed to really enjoy quilling.  I'm optimistic that they will return to their organizations and share how fun, easy and inexpensive quilling is.  I hope to see lots of quilling projects at the fair this year!

Special thanks to Jennifer, who assisted me during the workshop! 


If you're a teacher, Scout leader or 4-H leader in the San Francisco area and would like to attend next year's event, please let me know.  Regardless of where you live, please look into your local county fair and consider entering your handiwork (or that of your child).  Thanks!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Scrapping Another First

It seems like the first two or three years of Trevor's life I scrapped nothing but his 'firsts.'  First bath, first solid food, first tooth, first steps, and the list goes on and on.  The firsts happen less often now that he's 5, but there are still plenty to scrap.  Here is Trevor doing his very first homework assignment.

I used this sketch by Shannon White


The yellow lined background paper is (appropriately) from the Old School line by Pink Paislee.  The dotted paper is from the same line.  It was left over from this layout:


I love the way the same paper can read so differently on two different layouts.

The other papers were scraps too.  (Why is it SO satisfying to use up scraps?!)  The layout came together really quickly.  Thanks to Shannon for another great sketch!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Self-scraplifting a Card

I've been going through pictures of my old projects recently and found this card. I think it might be my favorite card I've ever made. I made it years ago. There's absolutely nothing unique or special about it, but it makes me happy. The colors are awesome and it is crisp and clean.

I thought it would be fun to scraplift the card- would I like the design as much with different colors and sentiments?

I started with a sympathy card.  They are my least favorite type of card to make (and send), for obvious reasons.  I do like how this turned out.  It's simple yet elegant, and definitely somber enough to convey sympathy.


Next I made a birthday card.  It's amazing how changing up just the colors and patterns can completely change the mood of a card.  An interesting note about this card- there was a flaw on the upper left quadrant of the paper that I didn't notice until after I glued everything down.  I brainstormed how to save the card and came up with the idea of punching a dot from the scraps and using it to cover the flaw.  It worked like a charm, though I then had to spend the next 20 minutes punching and adhering enough dots to the rest of the card to make it look like that was the original plan.  :)


For my final card, I used the rest of the green paper from the previous card and scraplifted my original design nearly exactly.  I like the yellow card better, but this one is fine.  The floral pattern is much more prominent in real life.


I have a feeling I'll be coming back to this design again and again!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pepperoni Pizza Spread

When I need to bring a hot appetizer to a potluck, I almost always bring Pepperoni Pizza Spread.


It's absolutely delicious when it's hot and bubbly, but still amazing 30 minutes later (unlike some appetizers).  I like to spread it on Carr's Table Water Crackers.  It's also great on bread. 

I tore the recipe for Pepperoni Pizza Spread out of Taste of Home magazine years ago.  But as I've mentioned many times, I am incapable of following a recipe as written.  Here's my version:

Pepperoni Pizza Spread

       2 c. mozarella cheese, shredded            6 oz. black olives, sliced
       1 1/2 c. colby-jack cheese, shredded     1 small green bell pepper, chopped
       3/4 c. mayonnaise                                 3 mushrooms, chopped
       about 15 pepperonis, chopped

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.  Transfer to a 1.5 quart baking dish.  Bake uncovered at 350° for about 25 minutes.  The edges will be lightly browned and bubbly.  Serve with crackers or bread.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Trevor's Snowman Craft

Every once in a while, Trevor announces that he will be planning a craft for me.  He gathers materials and then calls me to the table when he is ready.  I watched as he gathered up his button collection, scissors, a blue marker, and his paper. 


I had no idea what we would be making... until he demonstrated that we would be cutting out three increasingly larger circles from white paper.  That was a pretty big clue.


At this point, he realized he forgot glue and ran off to get it.  We then glued our circles together, added three buttons, and cut arms out of brown paper.  He carefully explained each step, then demonstrated, insisting that I watch first and THEN try it.  (Hmm... where could he have heard that before?)


He directed me to pick two small matching buttons for eyes, cut an orange triangle nose, then add blue (?) dots to make a mouth.  The last step was to make a scarf.  I was allowed to pick any color, but he strongly encouraged me to add blue dots to the scarf before attaching it. 

Even though I would have preferred black dots for the mouth, I was a cooperative student and followed his instructions precisely.  Throughout the project, he was extremely encouraging and gave detailed instructions.  He would make an excellent teacher.

Here are our finished snowmen.  Mine is the larger one on the left and Trevor's is on the right.


Cute, aren't they?!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jim Dine Hearts

Are you familiar with Jim Dine?  He is a 76 year old American pop artist.  He has done, among other things, many paintings of hearts.  You can see some examples of his work here and here.

As you probably know, I used to be a 4th/5th grade teacher in my past life.  I follow several teacher blogs and am always on the lookout for art I can do with Trevor.  I've seen a couple of teachers do projects based on Jim Dine's hearts, but it was Lori Keihl's Fun Art 4 Kids that finally inspired me.  Lori's students used both crayon and watercolors to make their hearts, which is just what I wanted to do with Trevor.   

We started by tracing a heart onto white paper.  We outlined the hearts with a thick black crayon.

Then we pulled out the warming tray.  (Love that thing!)

We let the colors swirl and glide across the warm surface.  Here we're finished with the crayon part.  Trevor's is directly in front of him.  Mine is the other one.

Our last step was adding watercolor outside of the heart. 


Here are our finished projects.  Mine:

And Trevor's:


I love how they turned out.  What fun to make a cool project and learn more about the artist who influenced it!