Friday, July 29, 2016

Anniversary Art

My husband and I aren't especially sentimental about "special occasions." We've always felt that every day should be treated as such, and honestly, we have ample access to good food and material things each and every day. Do we really need to make a big to-do on our anniversary with gifts, destination vacations, or a decadent meal out? If we want to, we do, but we don't ever feel it's imperative.

Instead, I've started a new tradition honoring our special day. Well, maybe it's not a tradition if it's happened a couple of years in a row, but I'm going to try to make it a happy exercise.

Last year, I made a sweet little 3x3 canvas collage that honored our anniversary. It was a darling piece that incorporated our wedding date, our initials, and other relevant doodling. It featured a mushroom--for it's cuteness--not for any commentary on what we may or may not have been through together.

This was so much fun to create, and though it is small, there are many techniques woven in to it, including acrylics, paper piecing, stitching with thread, rub-ons, stamping, freehand writing, splattering, and art pens.

This year, I got inspired by the work of Danielle Donaldson, artist and author of Creative Girl: Mixed Media Techniques for an Artful Life. Her work is whimsical, full of light and color, and motivating.

I started with a long piece of watercolor paper and simply started to create. Similar to the mushroom canvas, I incorporated some elements that highlight our anniversary date. I feel the overall piece is quite representative of me as a wife and individual, and that alone is a celebration. Although a glass of bubbly would be nice. Mmmm, and maybe a slice of carrot cake to go with it.

Cheers to 24 fabulous years and more to come...

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Popsicles Are Always in Season

Weather-wise, I think things are looking up in the Pacific Northwest. I walked home from downtown today without a coat AND in my Kork-ease wedge sandals without feeling cold. (In all honesty, my feet were absolutely killing me so it probably could have been blizzard-like, and I wouldn't have noticed.) But, gosh, it's the last day of my spring break so naturally my thoughts are turning to summer.

Here are a few new [pre-summer] card designs for you to enjoy. I'm happy to have dusted off my popsicle stamps!

Going to buy a bag of orangesicles now. And some band-aids for my blisters.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Dancer Lives Here

photo credit Jerome Tso
I don't really need to tell you we have a dancer in the house; there's evidence all around. Here are a few visual clues you'd see if you stopped by today.

First, the obvious: we do loads of laundry full of tights, leotards, and workout gear. One shower curtain rod and four towel bars aren't enough.

Hairpins are a telltale sign, too. We find them everywhere. Seriously. Everywhere. Sometimes I wonder how many bobby pins we have purchased within the last decade or so.

And, what goes with hairpins? Hairspray. Lots of hairspray. Largest quantities you can find, please.

You'll always find the current PNB promotional materials on our table. Never recycle these. They are to be kept for all of eternity. P.S. If you're near the Seattle area, you should really buy tickets for Coppelia which, as the postcard reveals..."opens this week!"

Training for a professional dance career also requires an endless source of inspiration. Motivational messages are sprinkled throughout our home. Sometimes I don't know how our girl can work as hard as she does. Her determination and drive are astounding. It never waivers.

The things that you might not physically see--but are ever present in our home--include the boundless pride we have for our daughter, our amazement in witnessing her journey, and our deep appreciation for performing arts organizations. It is a marvelous experience raising a dancer, and it is exciting to consider where she will land someday. It's all truly a great leap of faith!

photo credit Jerome Tso

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Leap Into March

Happy Leap Day tomorrow! I'm a day early but since I have a "day job" that I need to show up for, I have to papercraft on weekends. I've got a lot to be thankful for so I sat down to make a few thank you notes today.

First of all, I hosted our final admission tour of the year last week so I had a couple of fabulous student ambassadors to thank. Here are the cards I made for these special kiddos:

I love the sparkly cork heart! This card is for a superstar of a guy who will graduate this June. He plans to study industrial design at college. The "bubble sheet" patterned paper is one of my favorites of all time.

As sponsor of the high school Spirit Club, I had the privilege of hosting a Coffee House for our high school students on Friday night. My fellow adult chaperone was my colleague and friend Nancy, and I think we had as much fun as the kids. This is a thank you for her, my partner in crime.

There are also students who go above and beyond, and this card is for the young man who did just that for the Coffee House. He was the only one willing/able to stay after school to help set up (stringing festive strings of lights, moving the flippin' heavy piano, and putting cafe tables and chairs in place) AND stayed late to help clean up. He also performed "How to Save a Life" by The Fray and was so awesome I can't even tell you. This card's for that superstar.

And this one, well, I think this bubble gum card is for me. I love it.

Lots of gratitude going out tomorrow! I hope the recipients can feel the love. Happy March, everyone! <3 p="">

Sunday, January 31, 2016

No Snow

It's the last day of January, and I'm giving up all hope for snow in our neck of the woods. Whatever. So, I guess I'll just go ahead and share the chill-themed cards I've been saving to post on a snow day. No point in waiting--especially if global warming has its way with February. Enjoy these cuties!

Sending out one last wish for a snow day (that falls outside weekends, federal holidays, and already scheduled Mid-Winter Break)!

Next up...heart-warming Valentines!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

DJ Wrapper BB

Today, I've left it all to the last minute: the wrapping, the groceries, the baking. This is when it gets real, people.

Maybe you have a few things to wrap today, too? If so, here's a little wrapping inspiration from DJ Wrapper BB (with a little OCD).

First of all, you don't need to amass a lot of gift wrap. Storing too many rolls takes space (we're short on space so that's always a challenge) and then you run the risk of mucking them up. I like my gift wrap to be pristine. Just choose a few favorites. Oh, and by the way, I prefer to actually wrap gifts in boxes. I rarely use gift bags unless the item is a really weird shape or if I'm in a pinch.

Second--and perhaps most importantly--beautiful ribbon is a must. I tend to have lots of ribbon on hand in a variety of colors for year-round wrapping. I love Paper Source satin ribbon.

Have fun with your wrapping. Even though I always leave it to the last minute, I like the wrapping better than the shopping and [almost] better than the un-wrapping (both of which create certain doses of anxiety). I tend to be sort of a matchy-matchy person. I was excited to find tissue to match the fabric of the gift! As an added bonus, I found a necklace from Forever21 that matched the glittery polka dot theme.

Tags are part of the fun, too. I fell in love with these tags that I found at Stuhlberg's, one of my favorite Queen Anne gift and stationery shops. Here is the finished package with the sweet tag on top.

Tags don't just have to be paper either. I cut this one out of felt and stapled on a sweet little sentiment. Mini-safety pins are wonderful for quick and artsy tag attachment.

There are other ways to "tag" gifts in less traditional ways, too. For this gift, I cut letters out of an old children's book and glued them directly onto the wrapping paper.

It's easy to print your own tags on printed paper, too. Stitching these simple strips on the sewing machine both tags and seals the bag at the same time.

And, finally, if you prefer to give money (one of the best gifts ever) you can have loads of fun with the packaging. I made these simple money holders out of cute patterned paper and was happy they way they turned out. Similar to the stitched bags above, you can also easily affix a custom tag, too.

Whatever you are doing on this merry Christmas eve, I hope you are happy and healthy and doing what you love. That's a wrap!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A String of Snowflakes

We're not counting on a white Christmas so I decided to make my own. You can, too, with a little help from a die-cutting tool and a sewing machine.

I love my Slice machine. Although the Slice isn't manufactured any longer, there are far more elaborate die-cutting tools on the market such as the Silhouette or Cricut. I'm a simple girl so I will stick with my little Slice as long as it keeps ticking.

I cut a variety of snowflakes in all different sizes out of plain white cardstock; I used the Fa La La and Mistletoe discs. When I had a good pile of snow, I pulled the sewing machine out of the closet and stitched them together on white thread.

I sewed mine a little close together but you can exercise more patience and leave more wiggle room. (I've got stuff to do. Can't be sitting around waiting for extra stitches right now!) Hang it on a bold wall to make it really pop. String it from the ceiling lights. Drape it across the window and let the light shine through. No matter where you hang your snowflake garland, may it bring you a little winter cheer--with or without snow on the ground.

Bonus material: I'll give you a few close-ups of my snowman collage. It's a little small for this wall but I wanted to team it up with the strand of snowflakes. Let's zoom in on some of the fun details here...

I love the colors and the vintage wrapping paper in this piece. I'm also glad I added the ruler detail to his nose. If you have a sick sense of humor, well then, go with that. I'm no prude. I just wish I were there with you to giggle, too. Is my snowman blushing?!

We used to get our fair share of snowfall at Snowberry Farm. I always miss our sweet house this time of year--my craft room in particular!

I'll be back tomorrow with more Christmas inspiration! Thanks for following along on this fun little Winter Break craft challenge. XO BB