50 Miler

Last spring, Trevor's Scout troop did a 50 mile bike ride. Impressive enough, but more so knowing Trevor did the first 30 miles on a fixed-gear bike. Another boy (Ryan) was riding on a bike that was too small for him, so at Mile 30 Ryan took the bike his dad (Carlo) was riding, gave his bike to Trevor, and Carlo rode along in the chase vehicle.  

50 Miler (affiliate link)

The top photo is from the start of the ride and the lower photo is at the end. I resisted the temptation to add some of the other photos and left lots of white space as well as plenty of room for journaling. The tiny embellishment cluster in the upper right is my favorite part. 


Festive Holiday Sweater Cookies

My grocery store has a small alcove where they put clearance items. Most people walk right by it, as it looks like an employee-only area. It's the best place to find all sorts of amazing bargains, particularly after holidays. My latest find? This!

The Best Before date was still four months away. The kit wasn't damaged. There was literally nothing wrong with it except for that people don't decorate cookies to look like sweaters after December. But why not? It's still sweater weather, there are holidays coming up, and decorating cookies is always fun! Besides, it cost something like $2, which would be worth it even if I threw everything else out and kept the sprinkles for next Christmas. Of course I bought it!

The kit had six large cookies (3 bags of 2 cookies each, about the size of my hand), three tubes of fine-tip icing (red, white, and green), a package of white icing, and two bags of Christmas sprinkles. Definitely worth $2!

I put away the Christmas sprinkles and got out the giant collection of sprinkles I keep on hand. (You never know when a sprinkle emergency will arise. Plus, I get a lot of sprinkle samples as a blogger.) I tested the various icings on the first two cookies and discovered that the bag of frosting was a bit too thick for much other than eating, but that the fine-tipped icings were awesome. Once I got the hang of them, I decorated the remaining cookies with four upcoming (potentially) sweater-weather holidays: Valentine's Day, Mardi Gras, Pi Day, and St. Patrick's Day. I thought it would be really limiting only having green, red, and white icing with a very fine tip, but that just forced me to be creative. Check out my festive sweater cookies!

Happily, the cookies are delicious and surprisingly fresh-tasting. The icing is yummy, too. And I had a lot of fun decorating them.

I've linked some of my favorite cookie decorating supplies below, along with the exact same Ugly Sweater Cookie Kit as mine, but branded differently. I hope I've inspired you to extend your cookie decorating beyond Christmas and throughout the year!


My Version of the Stitched Bucilla Camper

Recently, the Plaid Ambassadors received something exciting in the mail. We're calling it a BORC (pronounced bork), which stands for 'Box of Random Challenge.' Each ambassador's BORC was specially curated to contain Plaid items that the recipient doesn't normally use, with the goal of challenging us to see what we can create. My box held all sorts of interesting items, including this camper-themed Bucilla embroidery kit (affiliate link here and throughout the post). 

I didn't want to just complete the kit as is. In the spirit of the BORC, I used Fabric Creations fabric inks for the first time. I used brush to paint the inks onto the unstitched canvas, let it dry, and was delighted to find that the inks covered perfectly in a single coat and the fabric remained soft and flexible. 

On to the stitching! Because the design is printed on the canvas, I opted not to use the directions to determine which stitch to use where and instead did whatever stitch I felt like using. 

I did my stitching in the evening. Thank goodness for my Brightech lamp! It makes stitching so much easier, not to mention the fact that I can thread a needle in a single attempt when I use the magnifying lamp. It's almost like being young again, LOL!

The kit comes with a wood frame, but again, I didn't want to just use it as is. I dug around through my ever-increasing stash of Plaid products and found Folk Art Transparent Soft Gel Paint in sepia. I used a cotton ball to rub the gel into the wood, then let it dry before framing my stitching. Here is my completed project:

And for comparison, here is the picture on the front of the package next to what I made. 

I had a lot of fun with this quick and easy project. I particularly love that it gave me the chance to try two types of colorants that were totally new to me. I'm looking forward to my next BORC project!


Football Diamond Art

I'm not a sports fan, but Steve and all of my inlaws are rabid 49ers fans. They were thrilled that the 49ers were in the Super Bowl, but obviously not particularly happy about the outcome. Maybe next year! 

If you or someone in your life is a football fan, you're definitely going to want to check out the NFL series by Leisure Arts (affiliate link here and throughout the post). I used the 49ers kit, then framed it with a wood panel and poured paints by Plaid. 

I started by completing the Diamond Art kit, which was straightforward and relatively quick. The kit includes everything you need. Next, I cut out away the background fabric with my microtip scissors. I LOVE them. 

My goal in cutting away the background fabric was two-fold. First, I wanted to be able to fit the design in the square panel, and second, I wanted to have a less busy background. Cutting out the basic shapes was quick and easy. 

Cutting out the inner parts was not. It took a really, REALLY long time to carefully cut away all of the inner fabric using a sharp craft knife and a self-healing mat

Once everything was cut, I turned my attention to the frame. I mixed the pouring medium into Folk Art acrylics (yellow, red, and black) and drizzled them over the frame until I was happy with the marbling. Once the paint was dry, I added the cardstock and the Diamond Art pieces with Supertite.

Now that this is done, I'm looking forward to starting my next Diamond Art project. What to make though? I have a few kits I could start (including this one that I love), or I could do a freestyle design. So many options!


Christmas 2018

Christmas 2018 is in the album!

Christmas 2018

For this page, I really wanted to use the newsprint patterned paper as my background, but I only had a single sheet. With some careful cutting, I used it across the top of both pages, then did the same thing with the red paper at the bottom. I'd originally had the photo blocks flipped (intending to put a title in the top left and the journaling would be in the bottom right), but by inverting them and using the patterned paper as a title, the little bird at the top of the tree is looking directly at the title. The snowflakes form a visual triangle along with the title and bird, which also highlights the gift my inlaws had just opened (a slightly modified version of this, which they'd requested). I'm happy with how this turned out.

Incidentally, you may have noticed that I added a Scrapbooking tab to my website. I've posted a (very) small sample of the layouts I've made that represent my style, as well as links to my favorite basic scrapbook supplies.