Baby Shower Gifts

I am going to share the gifts I made for my friend’s twins. In addition to card making and paper crafts I also knit and crochet. When I was about 14 my mom worked a deal with the little older ladies that worked in a yarn shop in Downtown Colorado Springs. I would take the city bus to the yarn shop and they taught me how to knit. I picked a project, a hot pink and black stripped mohair sweater. I never finished the sweater but I did discover a love of fiber crafts. I remember the women being very patient and pretty saucy. It is a great memory. A few years after this I taught myself to crochet. I have found that most people do one or the other but I still do both and hope it is something I can teach my daughter.

I knit two baby blankets for the twins using Bernat Baby Blanket Yarn and an “M” hook. Once I decided on a pattern they were pretty quick and easy. I really liked the way the yarn felt but it was a little hard to work with. I had trouble holding on to my project and it would slip out of my hands but since this was crochet it was pretty forgiving. For the baby boy blanket I used eight skeins of Fresh Start and one of White for the border. For the little girl blanket I use nine skeins of Pink/Blue and one White. They are the same size so I have no idea why it took one more skein for the Pink/Blue blanket but there you are. I used a very simple pattern that can be found here. I added a simple double chain border in white, adding three double chains in the corners. Super easy and the yarn makes it something special.

Baby Blankets 1

Baby Blankets 2

Baby Blankets 3

Baby Blankets 4

When I was doing my baby shower research I came across a few really cute twin onesies. I mentioned one of the silly ones to my husband who demanded ( okay, just suggested) that I make them for the babies. So, I broke out my trusty Silhouette Cameo and heat transfer vinyl and the following were created.

Dude Where's My Car inspired onesies.
Dude Where’s My Car inspired onesies.

I give you the “Dude Where’s My Car?” inspired onesies. The font is QK Indigo and the heat transfer vinyl is from Silhouette America. They took such a small piece of vinyl that I actually used my cutting mat and two small leftover scraps.This is a picture of the back of the onesies. These were really simple to whip-up. These were given with the understanding that they were really from my husband.

More baby shower to come!

Woodland Baby Shower Favors

Good Evening!

I hosted a baby shower yesterday for a good friend who is expecting twins! We had a great turn-out and packed our house. All of the guests are fellow riders and we all know each other pretty  well.  Other than nearly slicing off the tip of my middle finger off with a mandolin it was a great party. Lots of work but a really nice time.

Since one baby is a boy and one a girl I needed a gender-neutral theme. I went with a Woodland baby shower but I did get some ideas from fairy themed parties. I love Pinterest and I found a lot of great ideas there. Generally when I start a project like this I start a new board and just pin away. I like having a central location where I can keep my inspiration. Of course, you can’t do everything you see but it gives me a place to start.

Tonight, I am going to share the favors I made of the party. I wanted to make something personal and memorable. True soap making starts with lye and is pretty intense, this is not the type of soap making I get involved in. With pets and an almost five-year old daughter running around I try and stay away from things that are caustic. I purchased three packages of goat’s milk soap base which made 24 bars of soap. I only purchased one mold which made fours bars at a time so I made the soap in small batches. In hindsight, I really should have bought at least one more mold so I could do eight at a time because it took a full day to make the soap four at a time. I also ended up having to make four additional favors when I thought that I was done because we had some late RSVPs. You cannot remove the soap from the mold until it is totally cool which took close to two hours. I mangled a few bars trying to remove them too early.Once you gradually melt the soap you add the scent and colorant, then pour it into the molds. I had purchase colorant that said it was purple but actually turned out more pink. I had made soap before and found some old soap dye that was red and blue in my stash which allowed my to have more control the color. So, half were a little more pink and the other half were a really nice lavender color.

Once I made the soap I packaged each in a plastic bag added a wired burlap and lace ribbon and a small 1/8 ribbon over that. Each soap was then placed in a small brown bag that was topped with a tiny clothespin embellished with a small sunflower. I added tags that I stamped with a fox stamp and tied with baker’s twine. The tags were cut with my Silhouette Cameo, I also added a little eyelet to each. I thought that they turned out pretty cute and the guests seemed to appreciate them.

In progress photo of the favors for the Woodland Baby Shower
In progress photo of the favors for the Woodland Baby Shower
The final product
The final product

If you make these ahead of time they weren’t too bad on the time and cost front. If you were running out of time you could easily put purchased soap or another small item in the bag.  I bought the paper bags, clothespins, ribbon and sunflowers 50% off which helped a lot on the cost. The little sunflowers are on stickers, the adhesive wasn’t great and some of the adhesive disks stuck to the sheet when I tried to pull them off and those I just glued on. The eyelets, baker’s twine, 1/8 ” ribbon, plastic bags and paper for the tags all came from my stash. The fox stamp was from Michaels and was stamped with Pumpkin Pie ink from Stampin’ Up, the “Thanks” is from Papertrey Ink’s Mixed Messages.

I have lots more to share from the party! I’ll admit that I haven’t taken the decorations down yet but maybe tomorrow. 🙂

Good night all!

Anglophiles Unite

Anglophile

n. Noun

1. One who admires England, its people and its culture.

I am an Anglophile. I have always loved all thing British. I don’t know if it started with the accent or because of the horse culture but I just simply love it. Today’s cards were inspired by that very interest. They are simple and didn’t require a lot of supplies but I think that they have a big impact.

Monochromatic Union Jack
Monochromatic Union Jack

My fist card was made with the British flag all in black with a few rhinestones. I was inspired by some cards I saw made by Sarita of The Little Princess Cards. It looks like she is no longer active online but her cards are stunning. Naturally I cut my flag using my Silhouette and the rhinestones are from Hero Arts.

Keep Calm & Carry On Card
Keep Calm & Carry On Card

Another simple Silhouette card. The crown image is from the Silhouette Online Store and the font is Clarendon-Light-DTC. Rhinestones are from Hero Arts. I know that there are a lot of “Keep Calm” products and signs out there but I think that the sentiment is so very impactful and striking so I kept it traditional.

Keep Calm & Monochromatic Union Jack Cards
Keep Calm & Monochromatic Union Jack Cards

While a lot my cards take hours to create these were quick and went together pretty quickly. Sometimes less is more.

I am deep in preparations for a baby shower this weekend, which of course features lots of hand-crafted goodies. I will be sharing after the party. Have a wonderful week. Now I am off to the kitchen to try my hand at French Macaroons!

Embellished Saddle Pad

My project today in not a card but a saddle pad I embellished for a friend. Overall, this was a pretty easy process. I started with a black saddle pad, and then created a template on my Silhouette Studio software. When I created the letter I selected a font I liked and then added circles to represent the stones so I would know how many to purchase and also to see how my placement would look. I didn’t have the Designer Edition of the Silhouette Studio at the time so I added them individually. The Designer Edition has an automatic tool that allows you to convert a shape to a rhinestone template. I then cut the template out of light-weight copy paper, this was just the letter and not the rhinestone template. I was able to tape down to the saddle pad to give me a guide. This gave me the flexibility I needed to work around the quilting. I used 4mm Swarovski Hot Fix Crystals in Aurora Borealis (AB) and the BeJeweler tool. The tool is very similar to a wood burning tool and has different attachments for different sizes of rhinestones. I found that the 4mm stones get a little stuck in the end so I keep a toothpick to dislodge them.

My process was to use the tool (hot) to pick up a stone. Then I would hold the tool up where I could see the back of the stone. The adhesive on the back is a tiny little bump and you can see when it melts when it has flattened out. I would the put the stone down where I wanted it. Usually the stone would not come right out. I pulled a few back off when I was figuring this out and they left a little adhesive residue where they had touched the fabric. There is a tiny channel on the attachment where I could stick a toothpick and with very minimal pressure hold the rhinestone down and pull the tool away. I tried using the smaller size of attachment but I found that the rhinestone would fall out when I went to apply it, not good. Hot gem with hot liquid adhesive on the back flying around the room.

Close-up of Embellished Saddle Pad
Close-up of Embellished Saddle Pad
Swarovski Embellished Saddle Pad
Swarovski Embellished Saddle Pad
Swarovski Embellished Saddle Pad
Swarovski Embellished Saddle Pad

Considering the amount of wear the saddle pad gets the stones have stayed on pretty well. It is certainly not an everyday item but it has been very easy to fix the few stones that have fallen off. it is really stunning in the sunlight. If you “bling” a project I always recommend getting a few extra gems to replace any lost stones. I have used E6000 on other projects and may try that on the next pad to see if it is better for keeping the stones in place.

 

Paper Rose Tutorial

I have put together a small tutorial on how I make my paper roses. I would eventually like to have a video but that may be a bit down the road. The rose is the one on the House of Baratheon Part Two card.

First Petal
First Petal

I created my own pear shape in DrawPlus X6 and imported it into my Silhouette software. I like the control tools in DrawPlus but I do also create images from scratch in the Silhouette program. I cut 12 large petals, for this rose the large petals measure 1.031 inches tall and .656 inches wide (at the largest part). I also cut 12 small petals, which measured .75 inches tall and .469 inches wide. I do not always use 12 small petals but I tend to like a more full rose and this number  seems to work for my roses.

Shaded Petals
Shaded Petals

Next, I add shading to each petal. For this rose I used Distress Ink in Antique Linen and Vintage Photo. I start with the Antique Linen and the Tim Holtz Blending tool. I have one tool for each of my Distress Inks. I add the Vintage Photos to the very edge of each petal.

Shaded petals - close-up
Shaded petals – close-up

While this can be a little tedious, especially if you use a lot of colors to shade your petals, I feel like it really makes the flower look more realistic and gives depth.

Shapping
Shaping the Petals

Next, I soften the petals and begin to give them their shape. For this I use the McGill Paper Blossom Molding Mat and Paper Shaping Tools. The mat is about the texture and feel of a mouse pad. The shaping tools have two metal balls on each end. Each tool has two different sizes. For these petals I did my shaping using the 8mm tool. To shape the petal I put the petal on the mat and rub the ball over the petal, I keep the motion going up and down the length of the petal. The petal will naturally start to curl up as you see in the photo.

Shaping the Base.
Shaping the Base.

Next, I grasp the petal at the base using reverse tweezers the pinch the side of the petal together.

Shaping the Top of the Petal
Shaping the Top of the Petal

Now I grasp the base of the petal and use the reverse tweezers to gently roll the top lobes of the petal to the back.  I drag the tweezes off the edge of the petal, I feel this gives a more rounded shape then if you simply rolled it down.

Base for the Flower
Base for the Flower

The next step is to create the base of the flower. This is where your petals will set. I used the McGill Punch – Alpine Snowflake and the cut the top of the arms off since this rose is smaller then the one made with the punches alone. I put the snowflake on the mat and using the 8mm tool roll it around on the snowflake until it forms a cup shape.

First Layer Assembly
First Layer Assembly

So now that I have done all that work has been done I get to start putting the rose together. Using the arms of the snowflake as a guide I adhere the first six large petals to the base.

Second Layer of Petals
Second Layer of Petals

Then I add the second set of large petals. These petals are placed between the first set so they are off set.

Inner Petals
Inner Petals

Now I add the first layer of small petals. For this rose I started with five petals evenly spaced around the flower. At this point I walk away from my flower and let the petals dry.

Then I take two small petal and using the tweezers I roll them into separate tube. I then place one tube around the other. This tube makes the center of the flower and gets glued in the middle. Once that has dried I add the remaining petals, filling in where it looks correct. Then I will punch the two leaves using the Birch Leaf Punch. I soften the petal with the 8mm tool and then add veining using the 1mm tool. I glue the rose to the card with a generous amount of glue and the add the leaves before the rose dries. This allows me to put the rose where I like it and then add the leaves where they are not going to interfere with any other elements.

Close-up of the competed rose on card.
Close-up of the competed rose on card.

I love making paper flowers and I think they really add a major statement to project. Have a wonderful week!

 

 

Baratheon – Part Two

Goodness, where does the time go? We had a wonderful Saint Patrick’s Day. My in-laws stayed with us and my husband made a great Irish stew. I made traditional Irish Soda bread and an Irish cake which had a cream cheese frosting and butterscotch sauce in between the layers. We’ve been having issues with our internet and I am guessing it is related to the basketball tournament.

Today’s card is the next in my Game of Thrones series. I decided to redo my House of Baratheon card with a different stag and change to a yellow background. I created the stag to look more like the one that is featured in the series. I added another handmade rose.

Second House of Baratheon. Crowned stag on yellow background.
House of Baratheon Card
Second House of Baratheon Card featuring medium rose and crowned stage.
Second House of Baratheon Card featuring medium rose and crowned stage.
Card close-up
Card close-up

The background of this card was a piece of white cardstock that I sprayed with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Gold and Heidi Swapp Color Shine in Mustard. Then I added depth by sponging on Yo-yo Yellow, Marigold Morning, Crushed Curry inks from Stampin’ Up and Wild Honey Distress Ink. I stamped the damask images from the Stampers Anonymous’ Distress Damask in Wild Honey. I  then added additional distress with images from the Gorgeous Grunge and Bitty Grunge stamp sets.

I created the stag in my Silhouette Software and cut that image. The ovals, rose parts and crown were also cut using the Silhouette Cameo. The stag was covered with Versamark ink and heat embossed using American Crafts Black Glitter Zing. I sponged the crown with the same ink from the background. The back oval was created using Tim Holtz’s rust method. He showcased this technique on his 12 Tags of 2014 in August. You can view the tutorial here. I added Evergreen Bough, Stormy Sky, Rusty Hinge and Frayed Burlap Distress Stains to the piece and once dry added Distress Embossing Powder in Vintage Photo using Versamark and heating. The rose was created by cutting the pear shaped petals from my Silhouette then the base and leaves were punched using the McGill Paper Blossoms.

Materials 

Paper: Neenah Solar White, Black Cardstock Stampin’ Up, Green Cardstock

Embossing Powder: Black Glitter Zing! from American Crafts & Vintage Photo Distress Embossing Powder – Ranger

Ink: Yo-yo Yellow, Marigold Morning, Crushed Curry – Stampin’ Up, Versamark, Wild Honey Distress Ink – Ranger

Spray: Gold – Tattered Angels, Mustard Color Shine – Heidi Swapp

Distress Stain: Evergreen Bough, Stormy Sky, Rusty Hinge and Frayed Burlap Distress Stains – Ranger

Stamps: Distress Damask & Bitty Grunge – Stampers Anonymous, Gorgeous Grunge – Stampin’ Up

Ribbon: 5/8 inch Black Grosgrain & 1 1/2 inch Sheer Antique Gold Ribbon- Celebrate It (Michaels brand)

Punches: Alpine snowflake & Birch Leaf – McGill Paper Blossoms

Other: Brads – Impression Obsession, Gems – Hero Arts

 

 

 

 

Steampunk

Good Afternoon!

I am still working on the Game of Thrones cards. I started on a new House of Baratheon card as well as a House of Stark and House of Lannister  cards. I am hoping to have them completed next week. So there will be more roses and perhaps a peony.  I may try to photograph the rose process for my first tutorial. And now without further delay, here are today’s cards.

Let me start with a statement, I love the Steampunk aesthetic. I just love the combination of old and new, love the brass and copper and gears. I am calling today’s first card; Steam Heart. I had a blast making this card and loved house the little raven in the corner turned out. The crown was something that turned out completely different then I was planning but I liked much better then what I was planning.

Front of the Steam Heart
Front of the Steam Heart
Side View of Steam Heart
Side View of Steam Heart

All of the shapes on the card were cut from the Silhouette Library using my beloved Silhouette Cameo. The gears were colored using  Distress Paints in Antiqued Bronze, Brushed Pewter, and Tarnished Brass. The front oval was colored with Tarnished Brass Distress Paint and the larger oval was colored with Walnut Stain Distress Stain and then embossed with Distress Embossing Powder. The crown was created with Black Soot Embossing Powder and Flirty and Indian Summer Glimmer Glaze from Tattered Angels.

The raven was cut with the Silhouette Cameo. The wing was created using a scrap piece of cardstock. He was colored with Distress Paint. The eye was created with a gold brad and Firefly Stickles. The heart was colored with Vintage Photo spray. I cut it apart and then using the Tim Holtz Ruler I poked holes to sew it back together with embroidery floss. The stamped images are from BoBunny’s Flourish Acrylic Stamp set. Gems are from Hero Arts and brads are from Impression Obsession.

Close-Up of the crown from the Steam Heart.
Close-Up of the crown from the Steam Heart.

 

Raven from the Steam Heart
Raven from the Steam Heart

The second card, Gentlemen of Steam is more grungey-geary goodness!

Front of the Card
Front of the Card

More Distress Inks and gears. These gears were created with the Distress Paints and Stains and then embossed with Clear embossing Powder. The key was from an old Tim Holtz Grungeboard sheet with keys, embossed with Vintage Photo Distress Embossing Powder. The flowers are from Prima and the gems are from Hero Arts. The stamps are from Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous Steampunk and House of Three Daily Junque.

Side View
Side View

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you’ll have a wonderful weekend.

 

 

House of Baratheon

I mentioned in a previous post that we were just starting to watch the Game of Thrones series. I am almost finished with the books and my husband and I have really enjoyed the series so far. Will be starting season 2 this week. Today’s card was inspired by the sigil of the House of Baratheon. I am probably going to end up doing a series of these as I have a rampant lion image I have been working on. I am starting to get into creating my own images to cut with my Silhouette Cameo. The thorn vine around the card was created by me in the Silhouette Design Studio software. I also created the rose petals that create this three-dimensional rose featured on the card. As you can see from my previous cards, I love three-dimensional flowers but I wanted a slightly smaller rose for this card and the punches don’t really allow for that. To create the petals I drew a petal shape in DrawPlus 6X and imported it into the Silhouette Studio. I am fairly new to DrawPlus, which is an alternative to Adobe Illustrator, but so far I am loving it.  Eventually, I would like to use only images I have created.

Front of the Baratheon Card
Front of the Baratheon Card
Close-Up of the Rose
Close-Up of the Rose
Inside Panel, House of Baratheon Card
Inside Panel, House of Baratheon Card

Materials

Stamps: Distress Damask – Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous, Gorgeous Grunge & Etruscan – Stampin’ Up, Crown – Ann-ticipations

Ink: Fired Brick, Aged Mahogany, Walnut Stain, Antique Linen, Pumice Stone – Distress Ink by Ranger

Other:  Evergreen Bough, Stormy Sky, Rusty Hinge – Distress Stain -Ranger, Vintage Photo Distress Embossing Powder by Ranger, Picket Fence Distress Crackle Paint -Ranger, Tarnished Brass & Black Soot – Distress Paint -Ranger, Fired Brick Distress Ink Refill – Ranger

Stage, Shield & Crown – Images purchased via Silhouette Online Store

Punch: Birch Leaf – McGill Paper Blossoms

Misc: Brad – Impression Obsession, Gem – Hero Arts

Sentiment: Computer Generated – Font Trajan Pro

 

 

North Shore

Aloha!

Today’s cards are a tribute to the Hawaiian Islands! My husband and I were lucky enough to be invited to a wedding on Maui a few years back and we truly enjoyed every minute of our trip. These cards take me right back to the beach, whale watching and snorkeling.

Front view of a 5"x5" North Shore card
Front view of a 5″x5″ North Shore card

Materials

Stamps: North Shore – Waltzing Mouse Stamps, Gorgeous Grunge – Stampin’ Up

Ink: Bermuda Bay – Stampin’ Up, Various Distress Ink – Ranger

Misc.: Prima Flowers, Twine – Stampin’ Up, Gems – Hero Arts

Side View
Side View
Front view of North Shore & Hibiscus Card
Front view of North Shore & Hibiscus Card

Today’s second card features the same North Shore stamp set and a hibiscus made with the  McGill Paper Blossom punches. For the background I stamped the hibiscus images with Versamark and embossed with white embossing powder, then sponged over with Distress Inks.

Materials

Stamps: North Shore – Waltzing Mouse Stamps & Aloha  – Bo Bunny

Ink: Versamark – Tsukineko, Distress Inks – Ranger, Archival Ink Jet Black – Ranger

Punches : Crop-A-Dile Corner Chomper – We R Memory Keepers , Floriano, Birch Leaf and Star Flower – McGill Paper Blossoms

Misc.: Eyelet – Stampin’ Up, Zing White Embossing Powder – American Crafts,  Clear Embossing Powder – Stampin’ Up, Brads – Impression Obsession, Ribbon – American Crafts, Flower Soft Citrus Crush – Flower Soft, Random piece of floral wire

Front of "Aloha" Card
Front of “Aloha” Card
Side View
Side View

My final Hawaii inspired card today is one layer, okay two if you count the black cardstock. The sentiment (Aloha) was stamped with Real Red ink and then I went over it a marker then I traced it with Stickles. This card is heavy on the direct-to-paper technique.

Materials

Stamps: Do the Hula – Stampin’ Up (Retired), Aloha – Bo Bunny, Summer Soiree – Fancy Pants Designs, Antique Flower Background – Hero Arts

Ink: Archival Ink Jet Black – Ranger, Real Red, Marigold Morning & Pumpkin Pie – Stampin’ Up

Misc.: Clear Embossing Powder – Stampin’ Up,  Xmas Red, Yellow, Orange Peel & Black Diamond – Stickles

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

Purple Peony

A chilly hello! We are expecting a high of 20 degrees today so I am not planning on doing too much outside! It snowed all day yesterday but didn’t really amount to too much actual snow. While it is very cold the sun is out and has melted most of the new snow on the sidewalks and roads.

I am calling today’s card Purple Peony, which is uncreative but is at least is accurate! This card features a retired set from Stampin’ Up called Bliss. It was a popular Sale-A-Bration so I’d bet you could find it on eBay if you were looking to purchase it. There are also a ton of damask stamps out there that could be substituted for the set.

Front View of the Purple Peony card featuring the Bliss stamp set.
Front View of the Purple Peony card featuring the Bliss stamp set.

This card features another McGill Paper Blossom Flower. This time I went with a dark purple peony. I don’t always add the leaves to the card but I felt like they added to this card.

Side View of the Purple Peony card featuring the Bliss stamp set.
Side View of the Purple Peony card featuring the Bliss stamp set.

 

Close-up of the peony
Close-up of the peony

I wanted to make mention about the adhesive I use to make these paper flowers. The product that works the best (in my opinion) is Fabri-Tac by Beacon Adhesives. It holds very quickly and is clear. Having said that it smells pretty strong and it dries out quickly both on the craft mat and in the bottle. I make a lot of flowers and even with the smallest bottle it is gummy and nearly useless the next time I go to use it. It says on the bottle that you can thin it with acetone, which I have done and did not have any luck. So, if I don’t have a fresh bottle of Fabri-Tac I use  Scotch Quick-Dry Adhesive. I use that adhesive on almost all of my projects and it works okay on the paper flowers. You do have a slower drying time and I will find my petals moving out of place if I don’t hold it long enough. I am also a little messy and I sometimes get  glue globs on my petals if I am not very careful to get the glue off my fingers before I hold a petal. I have seen people use hot glue but I have yet to find a glue that really works on the paper.

Cheers!

Materials

Stamp: Bliss – Stampin’ Up

Dies: Labels Four – Spellbinders

Punches: Geranium, Grape Leaf, Large Highland snowflake, Sun, Small Geranium leaf, Highland Snowflake – McGill Inc.

Ink: Crumb Cake & Elegant Eggplant – Stampin’ Up

Misc.:  Eyelets – Stampin’ Up, Gems – Hero Arts, Ribbon – Impression Obsession, Embossing Powder – Clear