Monday, August 29, 2011

Your Beautiful Life

     My, how the summer has flown by! I haven't had much time to craft lately since I've taken on more hours at my second job this summer, but I finally finished a layout I've been working on for a long time off and on.

     School started today, and the house is so quiet! I love having the girls home for the summer, and I'm never as excited as they are for school to start. I like the messes and the questions, the adventure of finding something fun to do with little money, and the good company. The highlights of the summer included a trip to the farm (where we found a litter of kittens), the fair, and watching the sun set on a blanket in the yard. It's little moments like these that I'll always treasure up in my heart.

     The layout I'm posting today features a photo of my best friend (who also happens to be my sister) on her wedding day. She was a gorgeous bride, but what shines through most for me is how her beauty on the outside has always reflected her beauty on the inside. She's made her life into something beautiful, and I'm so, so proud of her.

     My sister is an amazing teacher who has chosen to spend her time making the lives of others better. She's an amazing aunt, and my daughters adore her. What a wonderful role model they have! She's involved in community service and is never out of wise, honest, and encouraging words. She's incredible at making people feel special and loved.  I'm truly blessed to know her.

     I knew I wanted this layout to be absolutely plastered with flowers and pearls, so I used paper and felt to create several different kinds and sizes. Tim Holtz's Tattered Florals die was absolutely invaluable to this process! I wanted to make my roses look almost like porcelain, so I coated them with Glossy Accents. I created a reverse-masked doily background for the bottom layer to add some visual interest, and the top left features seam binding woven through eyelets and tied in a bow. Very girlie! 

     My sister was a radiant bride, and her light of her beautiful life shines brightly every day. I'm just lucky to be touched by her sweet sunshine.
Materials used:
Paper: Once Upon a Springtime (Graphic 45), Die Cut from Lullaby Lane Collection (Webster's Pages), Very Vanilla, Old Olive Cardstock (Stampin' Up) Ink: Worn Lipstick, Tea Dye (Tim Holtz) Dies and Punches: Tattered Florals (Tim Holtz), Circles #2 Die (Stampin' Up), Boho Blossoms Punch (Stampin' Up), 5 Petal Flower (Marvy Uchida), XL Flower Punch (Stampin' Up), Little Leaves Die (Stampin' Up), Small Snowflake Punch (Martha Stewart) Stamps: Music Notes Roller, Elements of Style (Stampin' Up) Embellies: Tiny Pearls (Joann Fabrics), Very Vanilla Seam Binding (Stampin' Up), Journaling Card from Lullaby Lane Collection (Webster's Pages), Tags from Once Upon a Springtime Collection (Graphic 45), Grungeboard Flourish (Tim Holtz), Acrylic Fragment (Tim Holtz), Baker's Twine (Stampin' Up), Pink Pearl (K&Company), Vanilla Felt, Paper Doilie (Michael's), White Eyelets, Vanilla Crepe Paper (German Corner LLC) Tools: Aqua Painter (Stampin' Up), Crop-a-Dile, Glossy Accents (Ranger), Dazzling Diamonds Glitter (Stampin' Up), Aleene's Quick Dry Tacky Glue, White Acrylic Paint, Stickles (Ranger)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Stamp Collage

     Stamps, glorious stamps! Sometimes I get so caught up in awesome paper and embellies that I forget how much I love stamps. The same stamp set can make a million different projects in a million different colors and configurations, and figuring out how to piece together stamps with different themes into a cohesive project is a totally fun design challenge!

     This weekend I broke out a few stamp sets and challenged myself to make projects with three or more stamp sets per project. The first project features this beautiful new layered set called Field Flowers from Stampin' Up. I really love the two step effect on this set! The design is my take on the cover project of the company's new Idea Book and Catalog.

     I also felt an urge to get "watercolory," so Gia and I had to have a papercrafting date. I broke into her stash of Tim Holtz inks and did up a luggage tag. This tag actually uses four different stamp sets. I love the collage effect! Sometimes stamps are all you need to make a fun and simple (low embellishment) project. 

More Tim Holtz goodness on this last project, which again uses four different stamp sets and some vintage images from Crafty Secrets along with a Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die cut. 

Stamp sets I used: (*Stampin' Up!)
Music Notes Roller Wheel*
Established Elegance*
Friends 24-7*
Artistic Etchings*
Field Flowers*
Young Vermillion*
Botanical Bliss, Cornish Heritage Farms

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Coign of Vantage

     I found the coolest thing ever at Barnes and Noble a while back ... a clip art book entitled 120 Great Paintings with full-color electronic designs in various sizes on CD!  Oh, the possibilities! I love the idea of incorporating more fine art prints into my projects, although I'm more excited about the thought of doing this than coming up with great ideas for how to do it.

     The very first image in the book is a painting called "A Coign of Vantage" by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, and it's possibilities for a vintage fabulous wall art piece struck me right away. I can't wait to incorporate some Waterhouse into my paper crafting as well. If you love vintage like I do, not much can make me giddier than some great art prints. (Except some crackle paint, but that's another post.)

Paper: Ummm, from my stash. (I believe the music type is 7 Gypsies, and the blue is Basic Gray Christmas paper), chipboard for backing
Ink: Vintage photo, Tim Holtz
Tools: Crop-a-dile and eyelets, Flourish Mask (Tim Holtz), Scallop Punch (Fiskars), sewing machine, Mod Podge, glossy accents
Embellies: 20-year-old lace from my mom's sewing stash, Prisms (7 Gypsies), Crackle painted grungeboard (Tim Holtz), Tiny Type stickers (Pink Paislee), Stickles, Vintage thrift store earring, Seam binding (Webster's), Art print

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Heaven

     Who needs heaven when you can have heaven on earth? I created this banner to reflect how I feel about my beautiful little family. 

     My little girls will turn nine in only a month, and I can't believe the time has flown by so quickly! When the doctor told me at 19 weeks that ... oops! ... they had missed a baby and I was actually carrying twins, I was petrified! I didn't know how in the world I would cope with being a first-time mom of two. Looking back, I was right to be nervous, but I was right to be excited too. These precious girls and their wondeful daddy are my whole world, and I absolutely wouldn't change a thing.

  We've been through a lot together, and I'm sure we'll go through a lot more before it's all said and done. In the end there's only the memory of these sweet times and the way we treated each other. I've been lucky enough to live in my heaven, and it's a beautiful place.

Monday, August 1, 2011

I Like Birds

     I didn't know I had such a thing for birds until recently, when I looked around my living room and found it covered with them. Perhaps it's the fact that they lend themselves to vintage projects of all kinds, or maybe it's just that they're so doggone cute. Either way, I'm surrounded by birds!

   One of my favorite birdie projects is this photo tray by 7 Gypsies filled with Conservatory papers. I wanted to make these as 3-d as possible, so I broke out my paper tole tools and shaped away. My butterflies are stuck to the foam core background with stick pins, reminiscent of high school biology. :)

     The only thing better than birds just might be birds covered in sparkle. This chipboard birdhouse is one of my all-time favorites! I love decorating my house with little hand-made surprises; I think it gives a room so much character.

     Banners and birdhouses: What could be better? These Stampin' Up banner stamps have to be the coolest thing ever, especially since they now have a punch to match!

     This sweet little songbird hangs in my daughters' room. I would love to be inspired by your bird-themed ideas! Please leave me some links!