Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

It's nearly impossible to express my gratitude to the men and women who have given all in service of this country. On Memorial Day, especially,  it is traditional to wear a red poppy in remembrance. In case you've never read the details, here's a little excerpt  from the Department of Veterans Affairs:

"In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly.
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
This was the poem written by World War I Colonel John McCrae, a surgeon with Canada's First Brigade Artillery. It expressed McCrae's grief over the "row on row" of graves of soldiers who had died on Flanders' battlefields, located in a region of western Belgium and northern France. The poem presented a striking image of the bright red flowers blooming among the rows of white crosses and became a rallying cry to all who fought in the First World War...The VFW celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Buddy Poppy as its official flower in 1997. While profits from its sales have helped countless veterans and their widows, widowers and orphans over the years, the poppy itself survives as a perpetual tribute to those who have given their lives for the nation's freedom."

I decided to create my own Poppy pin today from felt. The time spent making this provided a great opportunity to talk to my boys about what others have sacrificed so we can enjoy the freedoms we have. I cut Stamp School 100% wool felt with Lifestyle Crafts Leaves nesting dies to created the petals. I sewed the 8 flower petals together, and then attached a pin backing. To finish off the center of the flower, I cut 3 black felt circles with the smallest nesting die from Lifestyle Crafts Circle Nesting Dies. I attached the circle felt pieces with Ultra Thin Glue Dots® so you wouldn't see any thread from the top side. From start to finish, this project only took about 15 minutes...more than worth it! The finished poppy pin is about the same size in diameter as a tennis ball.

Thank you for stopping by! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Using Girlier Papers to Scrap Boy Photos

I wanted to take a moment today to show you all what I do when I see a line that I love, that happens to be a bit too girly for scrappy my 2 little boys.  For example, I fell in love with Pink Paislee’s Indigo Bleu:
The main, front sides, have lots and lots of floral….but….. if you flip them over, the back sides are full of great geometric patterns in blues, creams, and sand. Using all back sides from Indigo Bleu, I came up with this boy layout:

Since the Indigo Bleu accessories are also girlie, I pulled stickers from Echo Park’s Boys collection, journaling cards from Lily Bee’s Double Dutch line, and a Smash Tiny Flag Clip.
So for those of you who scrap boys and men much more often than girls, don’t write off those pretty, girlie collections all together. Mix, match, and don’t forget to check the back sides!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

End of the School Year Gifts Part 2

As promised, I'm back today with one more end of the school year gift. These will be going to my son's teacher and teacher's aide.

You & Me

I always like to give a little gift with hand made touches. This year I picked up some insulated drink glasses that will be great for keeping summer drinks cool. Little Yellow Bicycle's Hello Spring was a perfect color match for the bright cups (I don't know why the cup is photographing red, but it's really a bright pink). I also created matching gift card holders from A Walk Down Memory Lane's on-line design team member Nicole's tutorial, that you can find by clicking here.

To create the cups you'll need some single serve drink mixes (I used Crystal Light lemonade).

You & Me

Tie about 5 individual packs together into a small bundle. Because I have a large cup, I will be putting 3 of these bundles into a cup (for a total of 15 drink mix packs in a cup), but you can adjust based on the size of your cup. 

Cut 1 - 12" x 1" piece of patterned paper, and 1 - 12" x 1 1/2" piece of paper. Adhere the smaller piece of paper on top of the larger piece. Cut off 3 1/2" (now you will have 2 pieces, 1 that is 8 1/2" long and one that is 3 1/2" long). Set aside the 3 1/2" piece for later.


Wrap the 8 1/2" strip of paper tightly around your drink mixes, and secure the overlapping ends with a strong adhesive like Glue Dots® Lines. 


At this point you can use flowers, stamps, ribbon, lace, twine, chipboard shapes, or just about any other pretty thing to decorate your drink mix wrap. When you are finished decorating, place the drink mixes into the cup and place the lid on the cup.

To create the flags for the straws, grab the 3 1/2" piece of layered patterned paper that you cut earlier. Use a scissors to cut a banner edge to one side. Use a craft knife or circle punch to create 2 holes to thread the straw through on the opposite side of the banner edge.
 Use your printer (or if you have nice handwriting, you can just write it out) to print "For a de"light"ful teacher" and "For a de"light"ful aide" on colored paper. Trim out the words and adhere them to your banner. Underline the words with colored rhinestones. Place the banners on the straws and you're set to go.

I also think these would make great hostess gifts for summer parties! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 14, 2012

End of School Year Gifts Part 1

Hello! I have an end of school year gift to share today, and I'll be back tomorrow with a second one. My son's last day of school is Wednesday, but his school has a classroom grandparent program, and his classroom grandma's last day of school is today. I wanted to give her a little something to thank her for all her time, so today I took in these (one for the classroom grandma, one for the wonderful aide who holds open the school door and greets all the children in the morning, and one for the school office admin):

Inside each of these hand made bags is a fresh baked loaf of bread. Here's the truth: I'm not a very good sewer. I learned a long time ago how to sew, and I just don't do it very much. However, I found this awesome tutorial on making bread bags from dish towels, and I knew that even I could sew this pattern. I love baking bread, so that part wasn't a problem. Last week I found some lovely towels at Target and spent an afternoon cutting and sewing. I was pretty pleased with myself when I finished them. The best part is, after giving 3 away, I still have 3 more bags to put away for the next time I need a fun hand made gift.

When  you sew the bags, you sew a bit of ribbon into the seam for tying the bag shut. I just happen to have a lot of fun ribbon from May Arts, so I just raided my stash and found a number of different ones that worked with the colors of the bags.

Just because I would feel completely out of my element if I didn't add something paper crafted, I also made little thank you tags from Echo Park paper, SRM stickers, and Maya Road Flowers. I tied the tags on with a bit of twisted burlap from May Arts Ribbon.

Thanks for stopping by today! I'll be back tomorrow with another teacher gift idea, and a short tutorial.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Did You Celebrate?

Did you celebrate National Scrapbooking Day? I had fun playing along with a lot of challenges. There are a bunch still open from Little Yellow Bicycle, to Echo Park, to Fiskateers, and my favorite scrapbooking store A Walk Down Memory Lane even got in on the fun. Many of these close Sunday night, so you still have time to check them out.

I made this layout combining 2 challenges. The Fiskateers challenged people to use their leftover scraps (minus 1 full sheet for the background if you wanted), and Echo Park wanted people to draw inspiration from one of their designers. I drew my inspiration from EP design team member Nancy Damiano who made a cute card with a pennant on it. I thought, "hey, I could flip those and use a bunch of them on a layout." The paper is from Echo Park's This & That Charming collection (my current favorite from Echo Park).

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you had a fun National Scrapbooking Day.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Pirate's Life

My friend, who has a preteen daughter, gave me a set of pirate stickers. Somehow, she guessed I'd have much more opportunity to use them.  I immediately pulled some patterned paper from AWDML that was a color match to the stickers. I decided to make a 2 page layout from my boys' recent trip to Disney with their grandparents and aunt and uncle. They went on Disney's Pirate Pal's Fireworks Cruise while they were there, so the photos from that night were a perfect match to the pirate stickers.

I used my computer to print the journaling for this layout. I had a lot I wanted to say in a little space, so my handwriting was just not going to cut it. I use a lot to find fun, free fonts for journaling and for cutting on my Silhouette.  If you're looking to compare the different fonts on your computer with a line of text or journaling, I'd also suggest another free program called FontViewer ( You can type in a title or line of text from your journaling, and it will show you a side by side comparison of how it will look in all the different fonts on your computer in every text style (bold, italic, etc.). It's a handy little program.

 When I finished my 2 page layout, I had plenty of stickers left over, so I pulled a few more pieces of paper from my stash and made a one page layout of their trip to Disney's Pirates League (where they got pirate makeovers on their first day at Disney). 

 Thanks for stopping by!