Thursday, December 30, 2010

I've Been Infatuated

with Mini Moo Cards for a while now. In my mind they are super fun. I have a few little designs ready to order but wasn't sure I wanted to order 100 just to prototype them. This Create a Calendar 2011 from iKari Designs at JS gave me the perfect reason. Seriously, aren't these awesome? Who wouldn't want to have such a sweet at a glance in their wallet? It comes with 12 different masks for photo options + separate files for each month. I choose to keep it simple because they were going to be so small [mini moo cards are the length of a business card and about half the width]. The kit is on sale until tomorrow night for $3.99 actually the entire site is 20% off right now, but it ends with 2010. And just so you know, the calendar doesn't come in such a small size. It's intended to be 4 x 10. I think that's a pretty fun size too... too bad nothing can compete with a Mini Moo.
ps. Do I have Mini Moo Cards on The List? If I don't I should. I didn't actually order these yet. I printed them at Costco and stuck them back to back to see if I liked the tiny size. Like it? I LOVE IT!
pss. Speaking of the back. It's a page from Erin Zam's DIY Droplet Planner and Calendar Digital File. I'm not sure if she's still selling them or not [though I can't imagine why she wouldn't. They're DIY, meaning you fill in the blanks]. Her shop is on vacation and will open up again Jan 3, 2011. Anyway. I bought it a couple of years ago and I've had lots of fun using the different pages for various projects. Though I've never actually printed the whole thing and made a planner... Hmm. Anyway, it's a small corner of one of the many pages.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas is Coming...

First off, this is my newest project for JS. Valentine Goodie Bags by Elle's Studio. Cute, fun, simple. They come out Monday.
I was a good girl this year. I completed the assignment as the begining. In the end I just couldn't leave well enough alone [plus, it's Christmas and I wanted some Christmas fun] so I hijacked the file and made a few alterations. Now it's a candy-gram. So many options...
I used Elle's Studio Birdnotes Sheets for the letter portion. I just deleted out the backgrounds of the Birdnote and layered it right over the valentine message on the bag. Nice and simple. I wrote little love notes to the kiddos. Good idea to do that every once in a while I think.
I hope things are going exactly as you plan and I hope there are some happy surprises too. Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm Making

a nominal effort at pulling through on the December Daily project. Had a bit of a setback when I lost my camera bag + battery charger for a few days. Here's my latest project for JS. It's a bit crazy busy, but that's what we're doing these days. I thought fit the mood quite nicely.
iKari Create A Calendar 2011_5x7 set. Since my December Daily is 5x7 and iKari has these great 5x7 templates for making a 2011 calendar I decided to just go ahead and use those. I did have to scrounge up a 2010 calendar though.
Katie Pertiet Roughed Up Krafty Paper. Though I did change the color a bit and added some texture.
Queen of Quirk + Paislee Press Collaboration You Are Here. I used the paper preview. The one with all of the papers lined up. I'm always so much more infatuated with those than I am with the actual papers. I think I just really like stripes.
Free People December Calendar. I love these free calendars by Free People. I've been using them all over my layouts. For this one I just deleted out the white background and then did the soft light blending mode on the layer. I also copied the dates and pasted them to a new location seeing as how the photo block was covering them in the original.


How to create a banner in 10 steps or less [not including duplicates]. This little project I had a bit of fun with. It was soothing for me to cut out these letters. Soothing for me to hang them. Soothing for me to see them. That was the point. Entirely.

I made this using Crystal Wilkerson's Merry & Bright Pack #2. Want one?

  1. Just open up the Alpha of your choice [it comes in three colors + if you opt to recolor your options are really endless].
  2. One by one copy and paste the letters you want into a new document [I used 8.5 x 12]. Each letter should have it's own layer. Now keep in mind that to make "All Is Calm" I had three different "L" layers, etc.
  3. What you are going to do is select a layer + resize the letter by clicking on a corner of the bounding box. This will open up some options on your task bar. You're going to want to type in a number to increase or decrease the size depending on the size you want. For example: I wanted mine to be approximately 3 inches tall so I increased to 250% by typing 250% in the W: ___ box and clicked the chain icon to constrain the proportions [don't forget this step... your stuff will be wonky if you do *ctrl + z will undo it if you forget*].
  4. duplicate the layer [ctrl + j]
  5. flip the duplicated layer vertical [image + rotate + flip layer vertical]
  6. move layer so that the tops of the letters touch [this is where you will fold + glue them back to back over the string or whatever, so try not to move side to side. Just up and down].
  7. You should have something that looks like the "M" above. Merge those two layers [ctrl + e]. Only those two layers.
  8. Repeat with remaining letters.
  9. Cut out + fold over string of choice. Glue wrong sides together.
  10. Hang + enjoy. I envision a whole slew of happy Christmas sayings...

Sound a bit confusing? Sorry. It's really not. And, suprisingly, it didn't take that long to accomplish. If you have any questions just ask. If needed I could include screen shots or whatever to clear up confusion.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Every Little Thing

Today she opened the sequins. She wanted to play. So play we did. She played with paint and glue and sequins.
I played with paper and scissors and glue. Oh, and a bit of fabric and sewing thrown in for good measure. I love the homemade entry peeking out there. Thus the reason I shot it upside down.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

You Hold the Key

I keep trying to remember what it's all about. I keep trying to remember what it's like to be a child at Christmas time. I keep trying to remember to breathe. Can I just say again that I've got to get out of this funk? Argh. It's about them. I want them to enjoy it. Why do I have to keep telling myself not to slaughter them? When I just can't take it anymore we put our heads together. Foreheads touching. And I imagine that all the tension is leaving. I just let him have it. Crazy I know. I don't hold the key. He does.

Friday, December 3, 2010

All You Need is Love

"Today, focus on love. Feel it. Be it. Capture it. Share it." -- Tracy Clark Today I love the feel of yarn slipping past my fingers. The sound of the needles click, click, clicking. Watching the loops become stitches and the stitches become rows. The rows become... What? Who knows. Sometimes I just unravel it so I can start all over again. Crazy. I know. Today I bought a skein of red wool yarn. Yarn so I can knit. Wool so I can felt. Red so I can cut it into hearts. It's a lot of work I know. None of that flimsy poly-blend felt for me in that too bright too primary red. I want these to be real. These hearts will be substantial. They will be thick and sturdy. They will not mince words. They will mean exactly what they say. Today I didn't take a single photo. Today my list includes Pajamas. Hearts. Dollhouses. Fingerless gloves. Dolls. I make things. It overwhelms me a bit. I wonder why I do this to myself. It's so much easier to run out to the store and just pick up something I can check off their wish list. And most years I will end up doing just that in a mad dash on Christmas eve morning. But still I make things. Every stitch, every cut, every late late night. I put my heart into it. Then I wrap up my love and I give it away. Today I thought about myself as a giver of gifts.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reframing the Season

This is supposed to be all about my point of view... if I could honestly frame something it would be to preserve the order amidst the chaos. Freeze frame that is. I had a plan I was going to take a photo of all my empty laundry baskets. I was going to take a photo of all of the clean clothes folded neatly + stacked to be put away. I was going to take a photo of the empty sink. I thought about setting up a frame around each one. Then life happened. I took a photo of The Girl helping me empty the dishwasher. She's putting away the silverware. And I realized that it's not about framing the perfection. It's about changing my frame of mind. The budding artists. The bursting energy of youth. Curiosity at it's finest. We won't talk about the photos I could have taken to illustrate this. I'm trying to change my frame of mind. Breathe. Now. See those little fingers popping through the grid? That's what I'm talking about.
I remember Christmas.
Christmas was magical. Christmas was alive with anticipation and wonder. Christmas putting an ornament on Grandma's advent tree. Christmas was Secret Santa. Christmas was knocking and running as fast as my legs could carry me praying I wouldn't break a leg. Christmas was wassail. Christmas was sneaking peeks. Christmas was early mornings and bleary eyed twinkle lights. Christmas was drives in the car with my face pressed against the cold glass. Christmas was mix tapes full of deep voices singing noel. Christmas was tinsel. Christmas was jingle bells on Grandma's door.
Where are you Christmas? I want my kids to know you too.

Holding on to Gratitude

This was the assignment. Of course I've been wallowing for the past few weeks. I'm having a hard time digging myself out of this pit I fell into. I keep telling myself to just get over it. Everyday I tell myself this. And then I feel the guilt. I pile on the guilt. I tell myself to get over it again. I can't seem to do it. I had a hard time with the assignment. Oh, I know I can rattle off a list of things I'm grateful for on any given day. And I really am grateful for them. I love my kids. Today I took photos of them. Each one of them. *E* has got his smile on. He even busts out with a belly laugh on occasion. The girl found her princess. She does not know how to hold still. *A* ran into a wall yesterday and got 3 stitches. He also does not know how to hold still. He draws pictures of sea creatures and submarines on his homework. *I* created the arctic in a quarter-machine bubble. There is no end to his imagination. I enjoy them. I enjoy watching them play. I love *B*. I wish there was good light so I could take a decent photo of him when he gets home. If I could only capture it, *E* lights up when his daddy walks into the room. That would be light enough. We are healthy. We are warm + dry + we have food to eat. We are forever. We have incredible parents. We have awesome brothers + sisters. Especially sisters. We have good neighbors. We have good friends. My grandma taught me how to crochet. It's a bit like riding a bike. I have a sewing machine and I'm not afraid to use it. I have big plans in the works. Somebody put the old Disney cartoons on YouTube. The girl loves watching "Christmas Tree." Christmas is coming.