Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Daffodil Easter Tag

Today I have a little project to share, an Easter tag! The daffodils have been blooming like crazy around here the last few weeks and so I was inspired to use this image from Papertrey Ink's set Year of Flowers: Collection. It always makes me so happy when the daffodils and crocuses start to bloom because it means spring is finally here!

I die cut a tag from watercolor paper and stamped the daffodil image in Versa Mark ink. It was then embossed in white. Using an aqua painter brush and Daffodil Delight ink, I went back over and filled in the image, concentrating the color in the center of the bloom. I layered a second tag behind to add more color. The sentiment strip is cut from Kiwi Kiss cardstock and also embossed in white. The tissue paper is tied with white cotton string but I used yellow and white baker's twine to tie on the tag.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps: Year of Flowers: Collection (PTI), Teeny Tiny Wishes (SU!)
Paper: Daffodil Delight, Kiwi Kiss (SU!), watercolor paper
Ink: Daffodil Delight (SU!), Versa Mark
Tools: Tag Sale #5 die (PTI)
Other: white embossing powder, baker's twine

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Planes, Trains & Automobiles 2nd Birthday Party

Recently we celebrated our sweet boy's 2nd birthday. Like most toddler boys, he is crazy about all things that go, so we had a Planes, Trains & Automobiles themed party. I wanted to share some of the details from his party, so here you go!

Here is the invitation (personal information having been erased). Being a card maker, I of course wanted to make invitations rather than using something like Evite.  This allowed me to introduce the theme of the party in a fun way and really personalize it. Besides, who doesn't like getting fun mail? :) The text and image of my son "driving" were created on the computer and printed out on white card stock. I then went back and stamped the plane and clouds using Papertrey Ink's Little Hot Rod set, and mounted it to green card stock. The invitation is a traditional A7 size (5"x7").

This was the mantel display, with the over sized chalkboard frame being the centerpiece. I used chalkboard markers to make the design crisp and stand out. The vehicle images at the bottom are actually from transportation coloring pages I found online. I resized them to fit and then traced them onto the chalkboard using this technique.

The Speed Limit 2 sign was also an image I found online, printed out, and glued to a piece of stiff board. The other decorations were things I "shopped" from my house. We already had the toy race car and, of course, a picture of the birthday boy.

The other end of the mantel featured more of my son's toys and a silhouette we had made of him over the holidays. 

Last year at his first birthday party I had a display of our son's "monthly photos". I didn't deliberately take monthly photos this year, but I still liked the idea of watching how he has grown throughout the year, so I went back through my files and found a representative picture from every month. I tried to include special events or trips, but some months didn't have a lot to choose from so I did the best I could! It was amazing to see how "babyish" he still looked at 13 months compared to his 2 year old self. Time certainly does fly!

We hung blue streamers from the living room ceiling and then hung about a dozen foam glider planes with fishing line to fly through the "sky".

This cardboard train was our piece de resistance. We used it as a photo booth to take photos of all of the party guests. I'm wearing the conductor's hat because the birthday boy kept taking it off! This was a fun activity and also a great way to make sure I had a picture of everyone who came. Afterwards, I emailed all of the guests their picture as a fun party favor.

The train engine design was also originally a coloring page. I found the simplest train engine I could, added the number "2" in Photoshop, then printed it out so it would be approximately 38" tall (this took around 20 sheets of 8.5x11" pieces of paper!). I taped my template together and then traced it onto cardboard with graphite paper. Using an exacto knife I cut out my design, then gave the green and blue segments two coats of paint each. Lastly, I outlined everything in black to make it pop. My son is still having fun playing with his "choo choo". :)

This next activity was a bit of a flop, I'm sorry to say. I made a traffic light out of black tag board and construction paper circles then sewed matching colored bean bags out of felt. The idea was to toss the red bean bag onto the red circle, and so forth. No one but the birthday boy would go near it, though, and all he wanted to do was match the colors! Oh well, perhaps this was too advanced for the 2 and under crowd! 

And on to the food!

I found an image of a yield sign online, then added the words "for a snack" underneath in Photoshop. 

Most of the food had cute little signs to go with them. I used the Little Hot Rod set for these, too. The vehicles were die cut and stamped, then adhered with foam tape to printed signs. The "Stoplight Skewers" were made from strawberries, bananas, and green grapes.

We made "Race Cars" from apple slices with green grapes for wheels. A big thanks to my dad for trimming all of the toothpicks so they didn't stick out past the grapes! The checkered flag toothpicks are from Oriental Trading Company. 

"Steering Wheels" made from mini bagels with cream cheese.

The "dip" sign was another online find that I printed out. It was taped to a small bamboo skewer, which was in turn taped to the back side of the serving bowl. 

These sugar cookies were by far the most work, but definitely worth the effort. I had never attempted anything close to this level of decoration before; usually a solid frosted cookie with sprinkles is as fancy as I get! But when I found these cookie cutters from Wilton I knew I needed to step up my game. And it was fun to stretch my cookie decorating skills a bit. A big shout out to my mom who helped me make the frosting and do the decorating! I used the cookie recipe that came with the cutters, which can be found here on Wilton's site, and this royal icing recipe. I had never used royal icing before, but I don't think they turned out too bad for a first attempt. As you can see, we ran out of frosting and some of the trains had to remain outlines. They were still delicious!

Whenever we asked our son how old he was going to be on his birthday he would say "cupcakes!". Clearly having cupcakes at his party was much more important than turning 2. :) I took the easy route and used a boxed mix for the cupcakes, but did make the chocolate buttercream frosting from scratch using a Betty Crocker recipe. 

The drinks station. We had water, cans of pop, and a simple punch of raspberry lemonade mixed with ginger ale.

A few minor last details. I used part of one of my son's train sets to create a display on our dining table. Again, using things from home to decorate whenever I could!

And lastly, the goodie bags for the kids who were able to come. I had aspirations of really getting fancy with these, but in the end decided simple was best for my sanity. Regular brown lunch sacks with construction paper toppers and bakers twine and they were done.

I had a blast planning and making things for our little man's party, thank you for letting me share them with you!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Small Business Saturday (and coupon!)

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving! I hope each of you have plans to spend the holiday with loved ones and eat lots of delicious food. I'll be up on Ohio with my husband's side of the family, where we'll have a full house of 30 or so people!

Everyone knows about Black Friday following on the heels of Thanksgiving, but do you also know about Small Business Saturday? It is a day to support your small local businesses, in contrast to the big box stores. I'll be participating in Small Business Saturday this weekend by offering a coupon for my Etsy shop.

By using coupon code SBS14, you will receive 15% off your entire purchase now through Saturday, November 29th! I have Christmas cards, cute holiday gift tags, and cards for all occasions.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Holly Bough Card

I am participating in a holiday craft fair next weekend with some talented local crafters, so I am definitely getting in the Christmas mood! Here is one of the designs I will be offering.

I've had the idea for this rumbling around in my head for a while now, so it was fun to finally see it come together. 

I die cut the holly leaves from a textured green card stock. The red button is actually sewn to the card front with baker's twine and tied in a loopy bow. The sentiment I found in the Michael's $1 bin several years ago!

SUPPLIES Stamps: sentiment ($1 bin at Michael's)
Paper: Rustic Cream (PTI), Old Olive textured (SU!)
Ink: Onyx Black (Versa Fine)
Tools: Holly Jolly die (PTI)
Embellishments: red button, baker's twine

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Spider Tags

I'm sneaking in one more Halloween project for you. Gift tags are one of my favorite things to make so I couldn't help but make a few for Halloween. These would be cute on treat bags for little ghouls and goblins. :)

I die cut the tag shape with Papertrey Ink's Tag Sale #3 die and then stamped the spider and web images. I used a fine point sharpie and a ruler to draw the thread the spider is dangling from. A simple sentiment and some orange and white baker's twine finished them off!


Stamps: Creepy Crawly (Inkadinkado), Teeny Tiny Wishes (SU!)
Paper: Stamper's Select White (PTI)
Ink: Onyx Black (Versafine), Tangerine Tango (SU!)
Tools: Tag Sale#3 die (PTI), black fine point Sharpie
Embellishments: Clementine Baker's Twine (Maya Road)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Banner Cards

Hello! Today I have some Halloween card inspiration to share with you. These are a variation of some birthday cards I have available in my Etsy shop. To make these I picked out a variety of Halloween themed pattern papers and die cut banner shapes from them. I then shuffled the die cuts around into coordinating groupings.

I arranged three banners across the tops of 4 bar sized cards and then machine stitched them in place, leaving the thread tails long to mimic the ends of the string that would hold up a real banner. It is finished with one of my favorite Halloween sentiments from Inkadinado's Creepy Crawly set. They turned out very cute, if I do say so myself. :)

Have a fun and safe Halloween this week!

Stamps: Creepy Crawly (Inkadinkado)
Paper: Vintage Cream (PTI), assorted pattern papers
Ink: Onyx Black (Versafine)
Tools: Banner Builder dies (PTI), sewing machine

Friday, October 17, 2014

Apple Cider Pound Cake

Ah, fall. My favorite season of the year. Cooler temperatures, changing leaves, roaring fires and delicious smells of spices baking in the kitchen. Everyone seems to snuggle down with loved ones when shorter days and cooler weather come back at the end of the year. Fall, though, has been a little late in coming to the South. Cool weather flits in for a tantalizing day or two and then the temperatures soar back up to the mid 70's. But now that it is mid-October I don't care what the thermometer says, I am going into fall mode!

The recipe for this Apple Cider Pound Cake was a happy discovery on Allrecipes.com a few years ago, and I pulled it out again last week to make for a group at our church.  Our kitchen smelled divine while this was baking! And as none of the cake was left at the end of the night, I know you'll love it, too.

Apple Cider Pound Cake from allrecipes.com

3 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. butter
6 eggs
3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 c. apple cider
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. buttermilk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. baking soda

In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir together all dry ingredients; set aside. Combine cider and vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with cider mixture to batter. Mix until well blended. Spoon into greased 10-inch angel food cake pan or fluted tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees F for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until cake tests done. Meanwhile, combine all icing ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. While cake is warm, drizzle 1/2 of the icing over cake. Serve remaining icing over individual cake servings, if desired.