One Little Word 2011 Wrap-Up

2011 was the year to simplify…

I started the year in a small rental house feeling cramped to the gills with all that was around. Couldn’t move, couldn’t relax… needless to say within months that would change.

We signed on our 11 acres in April and finally were able to move to the ranch in July. We went from roughly 1200 square feet with our stuff EVERYWHERE to a 400 square foot RV and a barn full of our stuff. What a way to teach me {and my husband} about excess. We simply didn’t have the room for anything “extra” in our RV and have learned what basics are necessary for us to survive together.

We have worked out many storage configurations and granted we still have many things just in various spots but it works for us. I have learned to stay on top of laundry and dishes because there isn’t a place for them to go if they aren’t put up. I’ve learned to work with the basics when it comes to scrapbooking/crafting/card making. I don’t have all of my supplies and have gotten very ingenious with the way that I store things in the RV making full use of every nook and cranny. I will say that some of my stuff stays in my car as I have been going to my friend’s house and crafting as well.

When we moved, we had a huge garage sale and sold so much of our excess and it felt great. Made for less to move but we still have a ton in the barn that I have the urge to go through and purge if the weather will just cooperate.

I’m definitely happy with where my life lead me this year and how I did work hard to simplify in many areas of my life.

How did your 2011 turn out? Have you found/chosen your One Little Word for 2012? Check back tomorrow as I talk about mine.

Heartfelt Thoughts (SSD108 Challenge)

Earlier this week, a family friend lost her father. I knew I had to make a Sympathy card and I had NO IDEA where to begin. I wanted it to be regal looking but also simple. I thought that this week’s Skipping Stone Desgin Challenge was the perfect match up.

The base started as a piece of Kraft Cardstock cut at 5 ½” x 8 ½” and folded at 4 ¼”. I pulled out a Recollections paper pad that I bought on Black Friday and pulled out the damask brown and teal papers. I thought these were definitely regal enough for this project.

The bottom light blue layer is 1” x 5” and the brown mat is 1/8” wider and is inked with Iced Spruce Distress Ink. The damask is 2 ¼” x 3 ¾” with the brown mat 1/8” wider and inked with Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink. The white cardstock is 2 ¾” X 3 ¼” again with the brown being 1/8” wider and is inked with Iced Spruce Distress Ink and Pumice Stone Distress Ink.

For the background on the card and top layer, I used Pumice Stone Distress Ink and a Retired CTMH stamp set. For the background I went all around the edges first and then filled in the centers. For the white cardstock I went around and did 2nd and 3rd generation stamping with the same image. I love how it looks!

I put down all the layers but the top and cut a slit on the side for the seam binding tape to go through once I saw where it needed to be placed based on the bow being tied. I then got the sentiment stamped in Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink using two different stamp sets. {Heartfelt- Say it In Style by CTMH; Thoughts- Random Stampin’ Up stamp}

Once all of the layers were down, I tied to the bow and affixed a glue dot underneath it to hold down the bow. I have learned this helps out SO much! I also added some pearls to the top left and then some bling to the bottom right to give a nice visual line across the card. The final touches were going around with the Bic Ultra Fine Marker and giving the top and bottom layer a bit more pop.

I hope you like this card and come play along at Skipping Stone Designs!

“Hello” Mojo Monday Challenge

Wow, seems like I just finished last week’s sketch and here I am with another one. When I saw this sketch, I wanted to challenge myself and do something besides a regular A2 sized card. I did decided to go with the standard 4 ¼” square so it could still fit in a regular envelope. I also flipped the sketch counter-clockwise so that it would look a little bit different.

I happened to have a 4 ¼” x 8 ½” piece of brown cardstock already on my desk that was scored so I knew I could start with it as my base. I also had the scrap of teal cardstock on my desk that I then cut down to 4 1/8” square. I liked the bright colors so I chose to go with the My Minds Eye Lime Twist scraps that I had in my paper pad to enhance them. The green polka dots were cut at 4” square literally was almost all that I had left of that sheet, so another scrap was used up!

I inked the edges of the green polka dot paper with Shabby Shutters Distress Ink. I also pulled out some matching scraps from my paper pad where I cut down the flowers to be 1 ½” x 4 ½” and the woodgrain to ½” x 4 ½”. The flowers were inked in Shabby Shutters Distress Ink and the Woodgrain in Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink.

I wanted to use up some more scraps so I went through with my 1” circle punch and punched from various different prints. I love how this paper pad is double sided so I get a lot of different prints in a small pack. I inked the edges of the circles with Shabby Shutters Distress Ink and the one woodgrain with Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink. I stacked three different circles in varying patterns and I used my Crop-A-Dile to punch a hole in the center of the layered circles to insert the shimmer brad. Once I had the brad in, I used my scissors to cut at an angle through all three layers to then form them into flowers. I used Glossy Accents to adhere them down to the card.

I used a gifted sentiment stamp that said Hello and stamped it on in Memento Tuxedo Black Ink to the small oval cut with the CTMH Cricut Art Philosophy Cartridge. I then chose my Copic BG07 to color in the image as it matched along with the colors of the card. Once the coloring was dry, I sprayed the oval with Pearl Glimmer Mist. Love the shimmer and shine! Again, I used my Crop-A-Dile to punch holes for the mini brads on the oval. I adhered this to the card with foam tape right on the inside of the brads.

Don’t have a use for this card as of yet so it may end up in my Etsy shop. I love how it came together and definitely think that I will use this sketch again for future cards. Got to use a LOT of scraps on this one which made me feel good as well!

Handmade Christmas Part 2

Yesterday I shared with you the Wooden Surname sign that I made for my father for Christmas and so I wanted to take some time today to share with you what I made for my mother and sister.

It all starts with my mom saying she didn’t want us to get her or my father anything for Christmas. I was not raised to go to someone’s house for the holidays and not get them something. Granted my mom is another one of those that is IMPOSSIBLE to shop for! She has been a big supporter of my card-making and craft fairs and so I thought a perfect gift for her would be a handmade set of note-cards. I decided since I was making one for her, I would then also make one for my sister who we already had a gift for.

I went for a very simple sketch for the notecards and I created 4 of the same cards for each of them. I didn’t want to go way out and make a crazy number but also wanted to do something that I create really easily and simply.

{Didn’t get a pic of my mom’s before she already started using them…. LOL!}

My mother’s set I wanted to be more regal colors as she is very much a jewel tone woman and I wanted her to use them. I used a sheet of paper from We R Memory Keepers collection that was in my stash and it worked great! I used my CTMH Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge to cut the circle, scalloped circle and letter for her first name {Lillie}.

My sister is more of a modern type of girl {she is 23 after all} and I wanted hers to be more funky and her. I used some scraps of Pink Paislee House of Three Daily Junque and some random cardstock bits that I had around my desk. I used the CTMH Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge again to cut the circle, scalloped circle and letter for her first name {Rachel}.

I do hope that they like them and I have uploaded custom notecards in my Etsy shop. They make great gifts and are totally affordable!

Handmade Christmas Part One

For many people this year, and in those past, it was a handmade Christmas. I admit that I enjoy making things for others especially those who have everything and it’s hard to shop for. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy making for others to just create but finding that special something to give someone who has what they want at all times is true challenge to me.

This year, I had been fortunate to review Artistic Letters on my blog and I have had them available for me to use at any step in my crafting and hadn’t found anything that I liked and wanted to create. Once I went to Canton First Money Trade Days I got inspiration from these little wooden plaques to make something for my father (and my mother) with our surname on it from the Letter Photographs.

The first thing that I did was paint the sides and edges of each board in black acrylic paint using a foam brush.

While they were drying, I then went through and measured each of the plaques on the top section to see exactly what size each letter would need to be. I chose my letters and opened them up Photoshop since I knew I would need to resize them so they would fit perfectly. I printed them out on white cardstock using my Inkjet printer.

After I had cut out each letter, I took my Black Ink and sponge and inked up the edges of each letter so that it would blend into the painted background. Using Mod Podge to put the paper down, I was very generous so to not have bubbles.

As you can see the letters turned out so well! Hubby and I had two different ways of putting this together and so we decided to give it to them for Christmas unassembled but let them know our two ideas.

My idea was to put a thin piece of wood along the back also painted in black and using barbed wire to make a hanger for the top piece. Then my mom could put a bow at the top and hide the hanger. The barbed wire was leftover and found on their new property down in Central Texas.

Hubby wanted to use the barbed wire and run a loop along the back and then just have the hangers hold up the barbed wire.

Which would you have chosen? As soon as I get a picture back from them I will make sure to let you know what they chose.

What did you make for holiday gifts? Check back tomorrow for another holiday gift that I made for my mother and sister!

2 Challenges in One!

Another quick post for a challenge that is due today {yes, 2 posts in one day}. I made this card earlier this week after I had downloaded the sketch from Mojo Monday and then didn’t have internet access until today when I got to my parents so it’s been a bit rushed. Oh well! I did also decided that it could qualify for the Wee Memories Challenge for this week as well.

After being so heavy on Christmas cards lately, I knew I wanted to something bright, cheery and festive. I picked out the CTMH Pair-A-Phrase My Acrylix (no longer available) and grabbed the butterflies and stamped them on a label I had cut out using my CTMH Cricut Art Philosophy Cartridge.

I chose to use the Pink Paislee House of Three Daily Junque stash that I had to make this card and love the colors that it inspired to color the butterflies with. I then inked up the label with Shabby Shutters Distress Ink and added the sentiment in Broken China Distress Ink.

Have you been playing along?

Skipping Stones Designs #107 Challenge

Here just to peek in and show you my Skipping Stones Designs #107 Challenge entry for this week. The sketch they had available was very simple and inviting and I really am pleased with what I created.

I started with a 5″ base from Kraft cardstock and layered it with brown cardstock and then a sheet of teal polka dots all rounded with my 1/2″ corner rounder. The blue wasn’t the right color so I covered the entire base with Tim Holtz Tissue Tape and then inked over it with Broken China Distress Ink. The brown polka dots is 3″ x 2″ and corners were rounded at 1/4″.

Used some Martha Stewart ribbon around the center and then used my Uniball signo for some accents around the edges. The die cut piece was cut with my CTMH Cricut Art Philosophy Cartridge and I used some older Stampin’ Up stamps for the image and sentiment. I colored in the image with my Bic Ultra Fine Markers and then inked the background with Victorian Velvet Distress Ink.

I finished off the bottom with three pearls and called it done. I hope that you will play along with the challenge as well.