Saturday, March 26, 2011

Crafty Kids

We had a sleepover at our house last night.  The two older grandchildren spent 24 hours with us.  Mom and dad had a chance to spend a night with friends in the city.

We made a quick trip to our nearby Michael's to pick up some stickers for two projects that they worked on.  The afternoon was spent painting and decorating lamp kits that I discovered packed away in boxes along with some metal frames.

For the frames, they glued small magnets or magnet strips to 3-D stickers to decorate the frames.  They will be able to change them from time to time to suit the photos they place in the frames.

The lamp kits will make a nice night-lite for their rooms.  Again, they used a variety of stickers to decorate the translucent shades, after painting the base with their choice of colors.  If they desire, they will be able to add other decorations at a later time.

It's fun having crafty kids in the family!

After dinner we laid around the family room watching a "marathon" of Harry Potter movies before calling it a night.  Before getting picked up by mom and dad, we made them their
favorite breakfast when they stay over - French Toast with crispy bacon.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Has Sprung ... I Guess!

Officially Spring is here!  At least that is what the calendar is saying.  Sunday, March 20th it arrived.  Really?

Usually not one to be bothered by the weather, for some reason, I will admit this year it truly is.  Those few days of sunshine and warmer air have teased us all.  Well after all it is still March and it can always be a rather fickle month.

The bulbs are popping through the soil, some of the early perennials are showing some signs of new growth, the grass seems to have a greener tinge to it and I see some buds on trees and bushes swelling with new life. Hopeful signs of the new season are becoming evident - but very slowly. While leaving the hospital the other day after Mike's treatment, the frogs could be heard loudly chirping from the woods across the street.  Everything seems to be waking from a very hard winter.
Our little yellow crocus's are finally blooming.  There is something I just love about these tiny little flowers.  Just like the yellow daffodils that I have been buying to bring a bit of sunshine into the house the past couple of weeks, these bits of flowers just make me smile.  Think they need some grape hyacinths for company next year.  Don't think there is a flower I do not like, nor a color, but for some reason "yellow" at this time just warms me.

Amongst all the everyday happenings in our lives these days I'm determined to still have fun creating.  Always a fan of the holidays, there were decorations everywhere for each.  With grown children and moving a few years back, I lost the desire to go "all out".  So with Easter coming, there are a few new decorations in the works.

One of the things I have done many, many times is to grow grass in a basket or tray to hold eggs and other decorations.  Everyone loves this and I'll do it for sure. (If you click on "grow grass" it will take you to a link on Martha's site with her instructions for this.) Working on an Easter banner for the mantel and various other decorative items for the house.  We have planned to have Easter dinner at our house with just the kids this year.  That means some thinking of some ideas for table decor and for the grandkids.

With the next Designer Crafts Connection Hop coming, this also is giving me incentive to have some creative fun.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wedding Ideas - A Personal Example

Having two sons and only one daughter, I figured that once my daughter was married, there would not be another chance to create ideas for another wedding.  In October of 2006, my oldest son was married.  My very lovely daughter-in-law asked me for help in planning several things for their wedding.  So for this post, of sharing ideas for weddings, I chose to show actual projects that I designed and helped with, to create the atmosphere that the couple wanted for their special day.
Long before they met, both Kevin & Ali have vacationed in Door County, Wisconsin with other friends.  Though after meeting, the avid campers they are, they had camped out at the State Park on this very famous peninsula.  It was easy to see why this was their choice for the location of their wedding.

They had no desire to have the traditional white engraved invitations, so I worked up several styles for them before making a final choice.  Taking into consideration the time of the year, the location, the color of dresses and the couples passion for camping and the outdoors, all the elements fell into place.

The invites were made using a duo-tone paper similar in color to the bridesmaid dresses.  A white mailing envelope with muted, colored specs along with matching card stock and reply size envelope, completed all the invitations.  All printing was done by me and my Mac.  Printing was done using a dark green color ink for all the invitation correspondence.

I colored a natural piece of card stock with inks and Perfect Pearls to replicate the coloring of fall leaves.  A leaf shape was punched and attached with a small paper brad for a closure.  A beautiful crinkled ribbon, from May Arts in a matching color, completed the wrapped closure.
A leaf image was stamped onto the inside of each tri-folded invite, using three colors of ink.  The actual wording for the invitation was printed onto vellum so the stamped leaves would show through.  A silk, leaf shaped ribbon from May Arts, secured the vellum sheet to the card stock.  The front edges were cut with deckle patterned decorative scissors.
Programs to be handed out for the ceremony at church, were printed on a green cardstock with a colored ink to match the ribbon accent.  A corner punch was used to add interest to the program.
The setting for the reception was on a golf course that was surrounded by trees that had already turned every imaginable hue of russets, gold, reds and yellows.  Seasonal and color theme was continued for the reception and the table decorations.  Squares of fringed, natural burlap were placed at the center of the tables.  Pots of fall mums were wrapped with twisted lengths of white tulle.  A collection of gourds, mini pumpkins, apples and amber candle holders were placed around the flowers.
A twist on table numbers was devised for the seating arrangement of the guests.  As mentioned earlier, Kevin & Ali are into the "outdoors".  Between them, they have visited almost every U.S. National Park around the country, either together or on their own with family or friends.  For each table, a oversized postcard was created with a photo of a National Park.  On the backside, a message was printed about the park and when it was visited and by who.
These large leaves were die-cut in coordinating colors for the dinner selection of each guest. 
So I hope you enjoy seeing these ideas.  No longer is summer the only season for weddings and though my ideas specifically were designed to incorporate the fall, any of these can be changed to fit another season or color palette or setting.  Traditional and formal ideas can make for a spectacular wedding but I like how little "out of the box" ideas can make it so much more personal and enjoyable for all.
(NOTE: Instead of a small favor for the wedding guests, Kevin & Ali chose to tell the guests that they made a donation to the National Parks Service and a environmental organization.)


Today is the first official monthly post of the Designer Crafts Connection Blog Hop.  Not a good way for me to begin. Some unexpected problems have caused me to delay posting on time this morning.  I apologize for the delay of the post about wedding ideas.  It will be up later today or by tomorrow morning.

Please continue on your hop through the blogs.  I hope you will return once my post is up.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring Fever

It seems like I have abandoned my "post(ing)".  I'm having trouble getting myself motivated again.  Winter have taken its toll on me this year.  Normally, the long days of winter never  really bother me.  This year I must admit I'm ready for some green grass, buds on the trees and a little spring in the air.

The day to day health situation with Mike is, a good reason to put aside the several project that are in various stages around my workroom.  I keep telling myself that I need to do what is most important and all else will follow (maybe slower then I would like though).
Outside I can see the bulbs poking their way through the soil.  Last year, the crocus's were already blooming. During a stop at the grocery store the other day I couldn't pass up the bunches of fresh daffodils. (One of my very favorite spring flowers.) I think it was worth the trip to bring a little bit of spring sunshine into the house.

In a couple of days we will be posting wedding ideas for the Designer Crafts Connection Blog Hop so get ready for more inspiration!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

So Let It Begin

"There are no rules. Just follow your heart."   ---    Robin Williams
Today the Designer Crafts Blog Connection Hop officially begins.  The posts that you will be reading, for the first installment, will be mostly about what the designers who attended the Winter CHA show observed in the way of trends, designs, experiences and all things crafty.

I was unable to attend the Winter show, but I have seen photos that many have posted and shared.  It will be interesting to read more of what they have to tell us.  Though I didn't attend, I still find ways to check out trends and new products.  One is searching online for  both trends and products.  As I mentioned in the last post, blogs are a good way to keep up with new ideas.  I also find it fun and interesting to just browse stores and malls.  If you have stores in your area like Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel, visit them and be aware of colors, shapes and textures.  Large department stores such as Macy's is also a good place to wonder around in too.

What I enjoy most about designing and crafting today is that nothing is written in stone.   If I like a certain look or style, it can become trendy by just using the color trends for the season or patterns and textues. Search for trends online.  Here's just a couple that might like to check out:

Just checking out photos from CHA and shared photos from a gift show, I can see certain things repeated over and over.  Flowers are everywhere, made from just about anything and decorating almost everything.  It seems that "vintage" is still very popular in crafting and decorating.  I get the feeling that holidays are a big deal and not just Christmas.  Natural fabrics seem to be used in a variety of ways.  Photos are framed, collaged and displayed in a variety of ways.  I would call them "3D Memory" Displays. Jewelry is still big. It just seems to get more and more creative with all the wonderful products being manufactured. Plus I still see a move to use eco- friendly products and recyclable materials, that I really like.

There is a fantastic give away to some lucky crafter who is hopping through the blogs. While you are reading them, keep your eye open for the little "cricut" cricket (that little guy in the upper left corner of the ad above). Nine logos were randomly placed on several of the blogs.  Take note of which blogs you found it on and keep a list.  Once you have read them, please go to Julie McGuffee's blog: Life in the Craft Lane.  You need to leave a comment and the names of the nine blogs the "cricut" logo was found on.  The winner will be named on March 13th when the designers will be sharing a variety of Wedding ideas with everyone.

If anyone is unfamiliar with how to navigate the blogs, you will find the "Designer Crafts Connection" button at the top right in the sidebar of my blog.  You can move forward or back to each participant.  On some of the blogs you may have to look a bit further down in their sidebars for the button.  

Happy Hopping Friends!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

MARCH - National Craft Month - 2011

It that time of the year again to get - crafting! Truthfully, any time is crafting time in this house.
Whether you are a crafter or not, this may be a good time to get yourself started.  Take a class to learn something new or teach someone what you enjoy doing.  Visit a craft store, check out some magazines or books, share ideas or search online.  Here are just four sites that you can find ideas:

1. Crafts: transforming traditional crafts
2.  Craft Gossip. Com
3.  Favecrafts
4.  Craftplace.Org
These four are a great starting point for finding ideas and inspiration.  Websites and blogs that feature crafts are numerous. Something is bound to give you the urge to get crafting!
March 3rd is the official starting date of the Designer Craft group blog hop.  On that date, designers will share with you their thoughts of what they saw while attending the Winter CHA Show in Los Angeles.  This is a large trade show for the craft and hobby industry.  The show is where the newest products are on display, plus trends in all the crafting areas.  Since I did not attend this year, I will be interested to read what everyone saw and what their thoughts are.

Come by and hop through the blogs.  It will be worthwhile!  You will have  chance to win a Circut Expression machine.

On March 13th the projects begin ... the first series of designs will feature Wedding ideas.  So any DIY brides out there or someone who knows of one, come by and get some ideas.