Friday, May 4, 2012

Wonderful Washi Tape

If you have a passion for paper-crafting you have probably heard about the latest craze - washi tape!  And perhaps it's already part of your crafting "stash."  I purchased some of this wonderful tape back in December, and added a few additional rolls to my collection since then, but until now, I haven't used it! Like many paper-crafters, I tend to hoard my supplies.  But really, now, what is the fun in doing that?!  My paper-crafting goodies are just too cute and should be shared with everyone!  Not only is it fun to brighten someone's day with a handmade card, but when I use up my supplies, it means I have more room for new supplies.  A win-win all around.

After seeing some fabulous projects created with washi tape during recent visits to some of my favorite paper-crafting blog, I decided that it was indeed time to dive into my own stash and create something.

I decided to play along with the Tape Color Trends Challenge posted recently on the Embellish Magazine blog.  This photo above served as inspiration for my card design.  I don't think I could come up with a better color palette for spring!

Perhaps because it is spring, I find myself reaching for my flower stamps and dies, which is what I used for the focal point on this card.  I love using my dies to create felt flowers and paper leaves, which is a nice texture combination.  And of course,  adding some "bling" to the center of flower is an absolute must!  I rounded out the overall design by adding three strips of washi tape and a sentiment. Wouldn't this make a wonderful Mother's Day card, or perhaps a "just because" card for someone?  Just by changing out the sentiment, it can be customized for any occasion.  Heck, you could even create a set of cards as a gift for someone and include different color flowers and a variety of sentiments.  

I definitely foresee including washi tape on future cards and other paper-crafting projects.  I guess that means I better allot some storage space in my studio since I'll be adding more of it to my collection!

By the way, in addition to it being Cinco de Mayo, tomorrow is also National Scrapbooking Day (always the first Saturday in May).  I think that might call for a frosty margarita while I "scrap" the day away!  How will you celebrate?

I came across the following quote which ties in perfectly with the sentiment that I included on my card:

"It isn't the great big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones."
-Jean Webster

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Papertrey Ink Blog Hop - March 25, 2012

It's Papertrey Ink Blog Hop time again and this gives me the perfect opportunity to post a blog entry today, and hopefully continue to do so on a regular basis. It's been quite awhile since my last post and a lot has happened, but I'll save that story for another time. Onto the inspirational photo for today's Blog Hop.

This is what Nichole Heady of Papertrey Ink had to say about the photo:
For the month of March we wanted to focus on sunshine and the upcoming spring season. What better way to do so than with a fresh color scheme of aqua & yellow. Use the inspiration piece as a jumping point for your color scheme, pattern combinations, overall design or whatever else inspires your creativity.

I immediately liked the color combination when I saw the photo, particularly because I don't think it is a combination that I would have thought of on my own. Because pink is my favorite color, it tends to be the main color in many of my card designs, especially in the spring and summer. However, I like to think outside the box so I searched my stash of crafting goodies to see what I could come up with and here is the result:

This is a list of supplies that I used to create the card. All supplies are from Papertrey Ink, unless otherwise noted. Stamps (Rosie Posie; sentiment is from Ordinary Days by Ali Edwards - Technique Tuesday); Ribbon (Aqua Mist Satin Ribbon - 1/2 inch); Inks (Memento Dew Drop by Tsukineko - Cottage Ivy; Bamboo Leaves; Dandelion); Dies (Rosie Posie); Cardstock (White - Papertrey Ink; Daffodil Delight - Stampin' Up!); Punch (Ticket Corner - Stampin' Up!)

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today, whether you are stopping by as part of the Papertrey Ink Blog Hop or you currently follow my blog. I am happy to have you here.

Wishing you a wonderful day and I hope that the week ahead is good one for you!

"Joy is a flower that blooms when you do."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy New Year - 2012!

Although it's almost the end of January, since this is my first blog post for 2012 I can still say "Happy New Year!" I hope that the first month of 2012 has been going well for you.

Lobby at Hotel Monaco - Portland, Oregon

As I promised in my last post, I am following up with details about my holiday travels. I enjoyed spending Christmas in Portland, Oregon with my parents. I arrived in Portland on Christmas Eve and met up with my parents on Christmas Day. Although we didn't do a lot of major sightseeing during our stay, we did visit some wonderful parts of downtown Portland including the Pearl District and the Alphabet District (also known as Northwest). It's amazing how "walkable" Portland is, not to mention the fact that the dining and shopping opportunities are outstanding. I could certainly spend a lot of time in Portland - it's a great city and I am happy that I was able to spend part of my vacation there and visit with my parents. Another highlight of the trip was a visit to the Nike Employee Store in Beaverton. I don't think I have seen so much Nike apparel in one place before! Needless to say, I ended up with some nice items including shoes and hoodies. Sending a big thank you to my dad for making arrangements to visit the store during my visit. I am only including a few photos from my trip in this blog post, but feel free to view the entire photo album on my SmugMug site.

Christmas Dinner at Portland Prime

My Dinner Entree

The Nike Employee Store in Beaverton, Oregon

January has certainly been a busy month for me. In an effort to gain additional experience in the fields of graphic design and photography, I am taking a Photoshop class at Skyline College in San Bruno. I am discovering that Photoshop is fun and interesting, yet challenging too. I am also learning how to crochet. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you already know that I enjoy knitting. When I learned how to knit several years ago, I also learned the basics of crochet, but for some reason I ended up focusing on knitting. I've decided to give crochet a go, and so far I am really enjoying it. Of course I don't plan to give up knitting, but it will be nice to know how to do both, especially since I have come across some wonderful patterns for crochet.

Being the avid sports fan that I am, it's been a great month! The Patriots made it to the playoffs and they are going to the Super Bowl. I am excited! I am looking forward to watching the game on Sunday, February 5, and you can bet that I'll be wearing all of my Patriots gear. Go Pats!

One other project that I am working on for this year is taking one photo each day for the entire year. I'm uploading my photos to Shuttercal so that I can easily track my progress. The nice thing about Shuttercal is that it allows you to upload photos even after the date has passed. I take a photo each day and then I usually upload a week's worth of photos over the weekend. And it's no surprise that Shuttercal has an app for the iPhone so you can snap a photo and upload it on the go. How easy is that?!

As always, I'll wrap up with a quote. This quote in particular seems very appropriate for this time of the year when many people have made resolutions to change certain things in their life.

"If you always do what you always did - you'll always get what you always got!"

Friday, December 23, 2011

Season's Greetings!

Happy holidays! Can you believe that it is almost Christmas Eve? It sure seems like it comes quicker with each passing year! I had high hopes at the beginning of the month to write numerous blog posts and include photos of the many holiday paper crafts that I have created and designed for the season. As you can see, that didn't happen! But, better late than never.

This is the holiday card that I created for 2011...some of you might have received one in the mail! I decided to go with a winter theme so that the card could easily be displayed beyond Christmas. Compared to some of the holiday cards that I have created in past years, this one was fairly simple because it consisted of only one layer. Despite it's simplicity, I love this card and I am very happy about how it turned out.

Although December has flown by, I did have some time to make some cute "doo-dads" (love that word!) for gift bags, and I also embellished some adorable notebooks that I found during one of my many visits to Michael's this month. Perhaps you were a lucky recipient of one of these notebooks. Wink wink!

Despite it being a very busy month with so much to do to get ready for Christmas, I have managed to relax while spending time with my dear friends. Although Christmas preparations can be fun (and stressful!), I think that my best memories from this season will be of the time I spent with family and friends. Speaking of family, I am off to spend Christmas with my parents this year in their "neck of the woods." For my readers who don't know where that might be, check back soon for highlights of my Christmas celebration, including photos! You can also keep up with me on Twitter (see the link to my Twitter feed in the right-hand column of my blog).

I hope that by now you have finished with all of your shopping and things on your holiday "to-do" list so that you can take time to relax, perhaps with family and/or friends, and enjoy this Christmas weekend. No matter how you choose to celebrate, I hope that you are surrounded by loved ones and experience many magical moments.

While I typically end my posts with a quote, today I am going to do something different. Do you happen to have a favorite Christmas song, or perhaps a Christmas tune that has gotten stuck in your head this year? After all, some of the radio stations around here have been playing Christmas music since before Thanksgiving! Anyway, I'll leave you with a few verses from one of my favorite Christmas songs, The Holiday Song (Happy Holiday) sung by Andy Williams. It seems that many people have a "love-hate" relationship with this song, but I happen to like it.

It's the holiday season
And Santa Claus has got a toy
For every good girl and good little boy

He's a great big bundle of joy

He'll be coming down the chimney, down

Coming down the chimney, down

He'll have a big fat pack upon his back

And lots of goodies for you and me
So leave a peppermint stick for old St. Nick
Hanging on the Christmas tree

It's the holiday season

With the whoop-de-do and hickory dock

And don't forget to hang up your sock
'Cause just exactly at 12 o'clock

He'll be coming down the chimney

Coming down the chimney

Coming down the chimney, down!

Happy Holiday

Happy Holiday

While the merry bells keep ringing

Happy Holidays to you

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy December!

Happy Holidays! Now that it's December 1, it's officially time to start celebrating on my blog and I hope that you'll join me for some festive fun this month. It's sure to put you in the holiday spirit!

Throughout December I'll be featuring a variety of handmade holiday tags and other holiday-themed paper-crafting goodies here on my blog.

So, without further ado, here's a photo of a cute tag that would add an adorable touch to any Christmas package.

The darling ice skate was created with the On Ice stamp set and coordinating die available from Papertrey Ink. This is one of my favorite winter stamp sets because I have fond memories of waking up on Christmas morning and finding a new pair of ice skates waiting under the Christmas tree for me. My dad would take me to a frozen pond near our house, in Massachusetts, and I would lace up those skates and glide all around the pond for hours...or until it got too chilly! Now that I live in California, it's challenging to find a pond to skate on, but I do like to go to the small skating rinks that pop up in the area during the holiday season. It's the perfect way to feel like a child again.

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time."
-Laura Ingalls Wilder

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend Wrap-Up

I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were able to enjoy the long holiday weekend while taking time to reflect on the many blessings in your life.

I enjoyed having Thanksgiving dinner with my brother, Andy, and his girlfriend, Amber. I prepared a turkey breast as well as some other tasty side dishes including stuffing, cranberry-apple relish, green beans and dinner rolls. Andy and Amber also cooked some delicious sides - candied yams and mashed potatoes. It was a delicious and filling meal, but fortunately we weren't too stuffed for dessert! I'm not a big fan of pumpkin pie, so this year I chose classic apple pie. And while I do love to bake, I've never actually tried my hand at creating a pie crust from scratch, and I didn't think experimenting for Thanksgiving was a great idea. The pie came from Beckmann's Old World Bakery. Beckmann's is actually located in Santa Cruz, California, however they sell their items at the local Farmer's Market near my apartment each week. Their pies are delicious, as are the other goodies that they bake. Our dinner rolls also came from Beckmann's. I am very thankful that we were able to enjoy a delicious meal and spend time together.

The highlight of my day on Friday was watching "The Muppets." I am a huge fan of the Muppets and I have fond memories of watching "The Muppet Show" on television when I was a child. Do you have a favorite Muppet? I would have to go with Kermit as being my favorite, but Animal comes in as a close second. To be honest though, it really is hard to choose a favorite - I like them all! I have to admit, I have been singing "Mahna Mahna" since I left the movie theater! It's the perfect song if you want to put a smile on your face!

In lieu of joining the "Black Friday" madness on Friday, I decided to go shopping on Saturday and while I did visit some of the "Big Box" stores, I made an effort to support the small businesses in my community in honor of Small Business Saturday. It just happened to turn out that I needed to buy some new yarn for some knitting projects that I want to complete, so I decided to visit Nine Rubies knitting store in San Mateo in honor of Small Business Saturday. I ended up finding some gorgeous yarn to add to my stash and I am looking forward to "casting on" some stitches very soon.

I will be enjoying my autumn decor throughout this week and I plan to put up a few Christmas decorations next weekend, when the calendar actually changes to December! I like Christmas, but it sure feels like Thanksgiving is rushed along more and more with each passing year. With that being said, I will admit that I did spend some time in my stamping studio over the weekend getting "crafty" for Christmas. My holiday greeting card is designed - now I just have to get to work on making multiples! And I also have big plans for getting my blog into the holiday spirit, beginning on December 1, so you'll have to check back then to see what I have up my sleeve!

Sending you wishes for a lovely holiday season and hoping that you find plenty of time to savor all of the magical moments during this most wonderful time of year!

"Keep your Christmas-heart open all the year round."
-Jessica Archmint

Friday, November 11, 2011

Honoring Our Troops on Veterans Day and Throughout the Year

Today is Veterans Day in the United States. I was fortunate to have the day off from work, and while that was a nice treat I thought it was important to take a moment to reflect about the meaning of this particular day.

Veterans Day offers an opportunity to celebrate and honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

I spent part of the day thinking about what I might be able to do to say "thank you" to the men and women serving in the military, fully realizing that I wouldn't be able to personally thank each and every one of them! There are many ways to reach out to both veterans and those who are currently on tours of duty around the world, ranging from sending a care package or simply writing a letter to a soldier.

As I was browsing the internet this afternoon - something that I often do - I came across the following website: Operation Write Home. I was immediately intrigued when I discovered that this organization gathers blank handmade/hand-stamped greeting cards and sends them to troops so that they have cards to mail to their family and friends. What a perfect way for me to say "thank you" to our troops! It's a "win-win" situation for everyone: I get to make some cards (a favorite hobby of mine) and the troops end up with cards to send to their loved ones back home.

In honor of making my first batch of cards for this organization and the fact that it's Veterans Day, I decided to go with a patriotic theme. I am very happy with the final results. There is no minimum number of cards that need to be sent - you can send one or a hundred (quality is more important than quantity). I'm starting out by sending five cards this month and my plan is to send at least five cards each month, and if I have time I will send more. Hop on over to the Operation Write Home website for specific information about making cards.

Below is a photo of the inside sentiment on the "Happy Birthday" card. It works perfectly with the star theme.

As always, I'll wrap up this post with a quote that I recently came across:

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."
-William James

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.