Monday, August 22, 2011

Go Green Classroom Decoration and Project

So, up until today I was so full of energy to start my new school year, then I went to get my work laptop computer from my car in the garage this morning (I know I shouldn't have left it there!) when I discovered that it was gone, as in stolen!  Next I find out that my employer doesn't insure against theft even though my school said we had to take our work computers home for the summer.  I am now the one liable for what happened and had to claim it on my home owner's insurance.  I am devestated and don't know where I will come up with the money for this!  Anyone who is a teacher at a small school (not a public school), can share my pain. do I come up with classroom bulletin boards and some easy ideas that don't break the bank in my current situation you ask?  I turn to my cricut and my scrap stash for some support and much needed creative outlet for this stress!!!!!

Here is what I came up with, I hope it inspires you to "Paint the Earth Green, the Woodland's Way" and try to use up your scraps!  I used some older paper that I had on hand, but it coordinated perfectly with the Go Green theme (DCWV The Green Stack which is made from 70% recycled paper!!!!)  and the Give a Hoot Cricut Cartridge.  If you have a gypsy it makes it super easy to plan out your project and make multiple cuts a cinch!  I had 17 different pages in my project (not all of this are seen here).  Enjoy!
This will be a neat back to school project for my students.  I made the earth is a gift image from the Give a Hoot cart at fit to page and layered it up.  I cut the matching phrase at fit to page as well and shadowed it.  These will go on my classroom door... then I cut from the Cricut sweet treats cartridge a present at 5" and then on my gypsy flipped the image and welded it to make a small present card.  I cut the matching bow layer and then the matching tag on kraft paper at 2.75".  I cut the layer for the tag in white and inked it with Tim Holtz Broken China distress ink (love this cool blue color!) Then I stamped the To: and From: with Memento Rich Cocoa ink from My Pink Stamper's Christmas set from last season.  I wrote in with a Dk Brown Bic Marker that the gift is To: Earth.  Each child will have their name on one of the gifts where it is stamped "From:".  Inside, they will write about the gifts they appreciate from Earth (sunshine, plants, clean water, mountains, forests, snowflakes,etc....whatever inspires them from the natural world and tell one thing they will do to help better our planet and protect these gifts....So hope my third and fourth graders are ready to think when we start next week, because I like to dig deep into who they are and help them develop a sense of who they will become.... now to get some sleep and forget about my nightmare of a day with the theft of my work computer!!!!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Mind's Eye Hazel Layout, Flower Shoppe Cricut Cartridge

Oh wow, I forgot how exhausting it can be to set up my classroom and get ready for a new school year!  I had to get crafty this week and reminisce about summer.  I had posted a few weeks ago about a moment at the zoo when my two little ones put their jealousy and constant squabbles aside to talk, walk and share all their experiences while in separate classes at the zoo.  It really was a moment where I stepped back and saw two people who really care for one another; as any mother I was so humbled and felt the promise of a lasting bond between my kids.  I know they love each other, despite the daily fights.  It is these moments, the little things in life that matter to me...

Recipe for my layout:

Bazzill 2 sheets candlelight textured cardstock (base)
My Minds Eye Hazel Collection (assorted 12x12 and 6x6 paper pad)
Cricut Flower Shoppe and Cricut Teresa Collins Sophisticated cartridge
Pearls from Reminisce
Ink: Distress Ink from Tim Holtz (Ranger) in Wild Honey and Antique Linen, Jenny Bowlin Spiced Tin and Malted Milk
Stamps:  Papertrey Ink Background Basics Textile I and Polka Dot Basics II and Fancy Flourishes
Ribbon: Papertrey Ink Enchanted Evening Twill
Other tools:  Tonic distress tool, ATG pink adhesive gun, large glue dots, hot glue gun for flowers, cutterbee tweezers, Tim Holtz scissors, ink blending tool

I am still playing with the Flower Shoppe cartridge and am learning as I go!  I like the layered look, but still need to work on measuring my layers.  I had a lot of fun playing off the flowers in the patterned paper for inspiration and inked all my flowers.  I love how the background stamps from Papertrey ink dipped in wild honey distress ink make the flower border pop (I cut the ruffle flower # 4 at different sizes from 2.5 to 3.5 inches)!  I can't wait to play more with this cartridge!  My sentiment is from another new one for me, the Teresa Collins Sophisticated cartridge.   Now off to drool about the new Chic and Spooky Halloween release for Hello Thursday and to try to figure out how I can get the new Close to My Heart Art Philosophy Cartridge, I need this one!!!!!!

Oh well.....

Here is my layout....

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Journey Awakens the Soul mini album

Hello all!!!!

I posted awhile ago about my younger brother battling cancer... so here is an update...

My brother and I have had our differences in the past, but it is amazing how as I have become the mother of a boy and a girl and watch them develop their relationship I have been given a new understanding of sibling love.  I worked on a mini album for my brother, not really knowing how this project would turn out, but having a sense of purpose and drive to complete it as he began his chemo treatments.  I wanted to create a place for his photography passion to be a new focus for him and a welcome distraction.  I also added lots of space to journal and some inspirational quotes.  I ended up with a mini album that I am proud of for its distressed feel and "steampunk" influences.  It wasn't perfect, but I poured my soul into it!

I have to thank Judy Ann from JAnnBdesigns and her video tutorials for inspiring much of my mini.  I used her basic page designs to create this album and her support, help and encouragement motivated me to complete my tricky binding!  Thank you Judy!!!!!

My daughter is lucky to have such an amazing godfather!  Keep up the fight, little brother!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Little Mermaid Birthday Party!

We are getting so excited to celebrate Amelie's third birthday and I have been so inspired by the Little Mermaid theme!  My main project has been a large vase, I bought this one at Michael's with my 40% off coupon:)  I also found the pink sand on clearance for $1.49/bag.  I had to get 4 bags though!!!!  I didn't realize how big the vase was!  I also got a bag of seashells on clearance there a few weeks back and got a really good deal.  Next, I cut out Ami's name using my favorite new font on the Expression 2 american alphabet preloaded elegant!!!  I used it for my last banner for a friend's wedding shower and it was spectacular and classy!  I used cricut vinyl in white for this at 2.5" using a kiss cut (pressure 3, blade 3, speed 3).  I may go back and add a princess crown, not sure yet:)   I then filled my vase and figured out that I could add volume by using those great clear vase gems, so I didn't really need as much sand as I thought.  Then I used my titanium white acrylic paint and some craft dowels from my favorite local Joann's as craft picks.  I wanted the effect of a bouquet of Little Mermaid Under the Sea life.  I then cut my images from the Disney cricut cartridge, Dreams Come True, assorted Little Mermaid at 1.5 to 5"( I cut Ariel at 5". Flounder at 3.5" and Sebastian at 2.5", the rest are between 2-3" each:).   I used some chiffon ribbon tied to each and adhered with a glue gun.  I did use the shadow feature of each image to sandwich the dowel between.  I used Martha Stewart glitter in Aquamarine and some crystal stickles as well as Michael's brand pearls to accent.  On the seahorse I used Ranger perfect pearls, I like the 3D effect!   I added a purple satin ribbon around the vase to tie it all together and used a large glue dot to adhere, it is really secure!!!  I am thinking of adding some floral picks from my local craft store, not sure....  My other picture is a sneak peek of my traditional birthday banner that I create  for my kids' parties!  hope you like it and are inspired to create your own decorations,  I use all the party store colors and then just let the project come together with color inspiration!  My daughter is excited and that really just means EVERYTHING!!!!!!Have a happy Monday!!!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Just love...

When I think about all the pressure and stress in takes only one moment like this to transform my thinking.  My children are kids; they fight and squabble for our attention on a regular basis.  After a few hours apart, however, their only concern was for sharing what they learned at their zoo class with each other.  They asked each other questions and shared their experiences, hand in hand, as we walked through the zoo on a beautiful day.  Can't summer stay????

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My First Papertrey Ink Cards and little Amelie!

Okay, so I am on a roll here... but with two small kids how long can it last?  I think I need to figure out how what I am doing can help others. any mom you know that kids can change on a whim and are hard to figure out.  Ami, for instance, says she wants an Ariel birthday party months ago, so I ask myself, when do I start planning?????  I know this could pass, but alas, I order my first papertrey ink cardstock and chose to get the plum pudding, aqua mist and hawaiian shores cardstock, that should work for the little mermaid's ariel, right????  Well, Ami has changed her mind about her birthday all summer!  Ugh!  I set to work to make her invites, anyway!!!!  I used the "Dreams Come True" Disney cricut cartridge.  Wow, that was hard at a small size of 4 inches!!!! I had to work miracles to add white cardstock and copic markers to draw in Ariel's eyes and lips.  I used Martha Stewart aquamarine glitter and some perfect pearls from Ranger in peacock to accent my card.  I also used a cuttlebug folder (divine swirls?) to emboss my aqua mist cardstock and then distressed inked it with Tim Holtz broken china and dusty conchord.  I really had to muscle it to get the blending to work.  I used a Martha Stewart punch around the page to the layers ( I think it was called a scalloped fan?)  Overall, the quality of the papertrey ink cardstock and the distressed look of the swirling ocean made me happy!  Ami liked her invites and thought it meant that the party was done!  So cute!  Oh,,, she also thinks she is turning 5, like her brother and cannot understand that she is just turning 3!!!!

Couldn't wait to play with the new Cricut Flower Shoppe Project Cartridge

Okay, so I have had this cartridge for a few weeks ( I couldn't resist a pre-order for $20 on Crafts to Favor) and I really hadn't figured out what to make with it.  I made a few flowers that I added to my new 4th of July mini that is in progress, but had no big ideas.  Then I took out my My Minds Eye (I think it is from the Gertie collection) and voila!  I was inspired by my daughter suited up for the first time to get wet this summer in her "Esther Williams" inspired suit.  She was so proud of herself and I could see that she truly felt beautiful...  I wanted to make a feminine layout for her album that was all about her at almost 3.  She loves flowers, smelling pretty things, playing with dolls and the color PINK:)  Soooo, I made this layout for her incorporating these elements.  I cut out the large flower at 2.5, then I found it best to start with your largest layer and move inward.  I decreased the next layer to 2 inches, then 1.75 for the last layer.  I used the heart flower and the first flower for all my pieces.  I did mix and match to my liking.  I also recommend that you adhere the layers with a glue gun and attach the flowers to a layout with a large glue dot, I tried to use scotch quick dry, but for the 3 dimensional flowers it didn't work well.  I also went back after these photos and added some more distress ink, I should have done all my flowers before assembling, I just forgot in my excitement to complete one of my  layouts in less than 24 hours:)  The sentiment beautiful was cut from the phrase feature of Teresa Collins Sophisticated cartridge at 2 inches, I wanted it to be subtle.  The last thing I need to do is go back and add some hidden or small journaling to tell my little girl the story of these photos.  Hope everyone is enjoying their summer as much as we have,  these are the days I am so grateful to be a teacher (stay at home summer mom!)  I have more projects that I have completed this week to take pics of!  More to come...have a fabulous Thursday if you stumble upon my rambling!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Echo Park paper "Splash" of fun! two page layout

Can I just say that I LOVE my echo park paper collections.  The papers are so bright and fun!  I had to do a two page layout to capture all the cute faces my kids make while playing in their little pool in the backyard.  They just love to have fun together and play really silly games.  I used my new Cricut cartridge Sophisticated to make the titles, but otherwise my layout is Cricut-free (yikes, that is rare!)  I just used my Cuttlebug to add some nestabilities scalloped circles and cuttlebug folders to emboss.  I used a little bit of the lemondrop twine from the twinery to stitch a scallop border...because I love my new We R Memory Keepers "Sew Easy" tool.  The rest is just stickers from the Splash collection elements page.  I added glossy accents to the drops of water to make them look wet.  Mostly, I wanted the pictures of my kids and the journaling to tell my happy summer story!  Hope you like it!