Thursday, September 6, 2012

new supplies

last weekend, i went to michaels looking for some replacement blades for my cricut (was there a national shortage of cricut blades?? it took months to find a store that had them in stock) and i came out with a bunch of new crafty things to play with and i thought i'd share my finds.

i stepped into an aisle and found myself looking at a wall of washi tape. holy guacamole! michaels' brand, recollections, makes washi tape in a huge variety of styles and for really great prices. this is going to be dangerous.

 i find it hard to resist anything travel themed.

crocheted flowers. not something i usually use in my scrapbooks but these were in the clearance section and i love the colors. i suppose i could make them myself but i feel like crocheting with thread would make me go blind(er).

i love new supplies and how they inspire me to try something new. woo!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

luau for little miss d

my friend mrs. pk has the most gorgeous baby girl who is just about to turn one! sadly, i couldn't make to the party since we live on opposite sides of the country... *tear*. i sent them a special gift though! it's more for my friend than little miss d since it's a huge choking hazard. she had been looking for cake toppers to go with the party's luau theme so i decided to paint her some as a surprise gift.

sorry! these photos really aren't the best (i took them when we were getting some much needed rain here in boston). the greatest challenge was figuring out how to make an aloha shirt on something so small! the answer was lots of dots using the smallest paint brush i could find. and little miss d's dress went through a few revisions. it started as a plain pink dress but the result wasn't special enough. i found a photo from their recent trip to hawaii in which she was wearing a super cute white dress with eyelet lace and a pink flower in her hair so i designed version 3.0 using that as a model. one of the great things about working with these dolls is that if you make a mistake or change your mind, a bit of sandpaper gives you a clean slate to start all over with. so don't be intimidated!

i purchased the unpainted dolls from goose grease undone, the same place where i got the dolls for our wedding cake topper. i really do love their customer service and products. i had actually purchased two larger adult dolls that once i had in my hands, were huge in comparison to the baby doll. the ratio was a bit too much for what i had in mind. thankfully, goose grease undone had included a free sample of their fair trade columbian dolls which were a bit smaller than the regular adult dolls and a perfect fit for what i was looking for. the wood is gorgeous and i'll definitely be ordering more in the future. to learn more about their fair trade agreement with a little columbian carpentry shop, visit their website. and be sure to check out their video to see how a doll is made! i love it when cuteness does good in the world :)

happy, happy birthday to little miss d! and mrs. pk, i cannot wait to see photos of the party. i know it's going to be amazing. little miss d is so lucky to have you as her mommy!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

paper presentation

a few weeks ago, we took a trip to new york for a wedding. i managed to find a few spare moments to check out paper presentation in the flatiron district. they have a ton of cool stuff though i didn't take any photos of the interior because their staff have a bit of a reputation and i was kind of intimidated going in. it's a large store with a fantastic selection of gifts, card/invitation making supplies, art supplies and scrapbooking goodies.

once i found the scrapbooking section i was terrible... i lost all self control and went on a shopping spree. they had so many of the brands that i've been eyeing lately and i couldn't help myself even though their prices were a little on the high side.

love these dear lizzy fabric papers by american crafts.

amy tangerine papers by american crafts. look at all those bright and juicy colors!

i don't have a plan for this one but i couldn't resist this sashiko-like paper by pebbles.

papers by kaiser craft, hello summer by echo park, dear lizzy neapolitan and i do both by american crafts. i'm totally giving into the trendy chevrons.

amy tan(gerine) did a recent post about hoarding pretty papers. i'm definitely guilty of that. i save papers because they're too pretty to use and then years go by until they're no longer in style or my tastes have changed. such a waste! so my goal is to use these all up this summer and enjoy seeing them in my layouts rather than in my box of papers.

Monday, July 9, 2012

nail art

i have a friend, let's call her elle l. cool jam, who is a nail art extraordinaire. this past weekend, all the boyfriends and husbands were gone for a bachelor party so elle invited the girls over for a little nail art party. of course we all said, "heck yes!" i am terrible at painting my own nails (the last attempt took two days and the results were questionable) so any time that i can get my nails done is a real treat.

so many colors to choose from

elle has the sweetest, friendliest kitties in the world. they hung out with us and kept us company.

 nebula! so gorgeous.

 the artist at work

 omg. robot nails! aren't they cute??

 and my tuxedo nail! the little bow tie just kills me. seeing it just makes me all happy and smiley. i can feel a new addiction growing. it doesn't help that pinterest is filled with amazing inspiration. i totally have my eye on this design.

elle, thanks so much for such a great girls' night! you are super talented and i can't wait to see what you come up with next.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

i heart boston

an americorps VISTA friend is leaving boston for grad school in new york. it's always so sad to say farewell to a friend but i'm thankful that she'll still be on the east coast and just a bus ride away. as a good luck gift, i made her a little canvas to remind her of her years in boston. i used my cricut to cut the shape of massachusetts from a map showing her neighborhood. a little red heart marks boston and the edges i painted yellow which is her favorite color. the edges were a little rough so i'll have to experiment some more on future projects.

good luck and visit us soon ash!

Friday, June 15, 2012

colored doilies

i recently got a japanese scrapbooking book (that sounds odd) that showed how to tint paper doilies using dyes. i can't read the description because i can't read japanese so i went to blick and had a little brainstorming discussion with one of their associates. here's what i came up with!

supplies: old ink pads that you no longer use, shallow containers (these round take out containers work great!), water, white paper doilies and paper towels (lots of them).

pour a bit of water into the container. about half an inch of water should be enough.

take your ink pad and swirl the surface of it in the water. this is a great way to squeeze one last use out of old ink pads that are drying out.

once you get to a color that you like, place the doily into the water.

make sure it's fully submerged.

let's try it with blue too.

swirl swirl swirl

hm... this doily was a little too big for the container which made it hard to get it all under water. next time i'll use a bigger container since it's best if they lay flat.

after a few minutes, take out your doily to see how it's coming along. this looks about right to me.

place it on a paper towel to dry.

they're ready!

the pink one turned out pretty well and even colored. the blue had darker spots that looked like wrinkles but that might have been because i squished the doily into the container. be sure to lay down lots of paper towels since the dye water will (surprise) stain everything! my bookshelf now has pretty pink marks on it. i think next time i'll try experimenting with watercolor paints.

have fun playing with your new colorful doilies :) happy weekend!

Friday, June 1, 2012

scrapbooking... 2010 complete!

i can't express how satisfying it is to complete a scrapbook.

it takes ages for me to finish one of these and i love putting in the last page and then lugging it over to my bookcase (these babies are heavy).

i'm oddly very shy and secretive about my scrapbooking. it's almost more like a diary or journal than a photo album. a part of me cringes when someone flips though one of my albums ("will they think i'm crazy? will they think it's bad??") and i usually yell out, "don't read the journaling!" but i'm trying to be prouder about who i am and what i love to do so i thought i'd share a couple of pages here just to put myself out there a little and to try and get over my crafting shyness.

i usually don't do the one-photo-per-page thing but this deserved its own page. at the age of 27... i finally got my drivers license.

my scrapbooks were usually filled with photos from gatherings with friends or special events. i'm finding that i take less and less photos each year and i don't take as many when i'm out and about with friends. so for this album, i started making pages that sum up a season with daily life type of photos that normally wouldn't make it into the album or to document events that i have only one photo from.

washi tape detail. yay! shake shack shroom burger. double YAY!

this is terrifying for me so please be nice! especially since in this album, i branched out an tried out several new things. i've been scrapbooking since high school but for the first time, i'm actively looking to learn new techniques and to see what else is out there. and i'm finding so much inspiration! i'm really excited about how much i'm learning.

happy weekend and rabbit, rabbit, rabbit! 
how is it already june??

Friday, May 11, 2012

inspired by... children's books

i've always loved children's and YA books. for the longest time i was kind of embarrassed to admit it because i thought people would think that it was silly for an adult to read children's books. but with the introduction of books like harry potter and the hunger games, so many more people have come to realize how amazing children's literature can be so it's made me a bit braver :) 

lucky me, i work in a library at a college that focuses on children and families so i get to order tons of children's books! lately i've been paying closer attention to the amazing work of illustrators. there are some truly talented artist out there and i thought i'd share two of my current favorites. even if you're not into children's literature, i hope you'll find the artwork of these illustrators as inspiring as i do.

illustrated by carson ellis
i just finished wildwood and i loved the illustrations. she really brought the wild, beautiful forest to life through her artwork. for the entire first half, i kept thinking that i had seen a similar style of illustration somewhere... then it hit me! the mysterious benedict society! another excellent story about wonderfully extraordinary and quirky children.

illustrated by: jon klassen
i think that i want my hat back is absolutely hilarious and i chuckle whenever i get to the page where the bear and the rabbit eye each other. their facial expressions get me every time. these three stories are very different but jon klassen's charming illustrations work perfectly in all of them. 

can i just say that i'm loving this trend of children's book trailers! beats my bad lighting photos any day. and please click on all of the above links. clicking on the illustrator links will take you to their website filled with more of their great artwork and most of the title links will take you to lovely websites filled with author news and fun extras that take you further in to each story.

also, if you're interested in getting more recommendations for children's books (let's face it, my writing skills stink so my book reviews never get much farther than "it's so great!!"), a friend of mine recently started up a blog, auntie karen's book pile: raising books instead of kids to share her favorite children's books. she reads like a maniac and has great taste in books :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

project life win!

remember when i was hemming and hawing over whether or not i should try out project life? well, apparently, the universe thinks it's a good idea and gave me a push in the right direction. about a month ago, becky higgins and members of the project life creative team hosted a bunch of great project life giveaways. and somehow... i won one of the prizes!? i nearly fell out of my chair when i saw my name on the list of winners. i won a project life amber core kit from the giveaway hosted by paislee press! woo hoo!

that's me at the bottom! :D

i got my amber core kit a couple of weeks ago but never got around to sharing it. let's dive in shall we?

thanks liz!

this little box is so dense. i couldn't believe how much it held.

60 3x4 filler cards

60 blank grid journaling cards

32 bi-fold journaling cards + colored day and number stickers

a few of the 380 decorative journaling cards

this is only a portion of what the core kit comes with. i love the colors in the amber kit and i can't wait to use everything!! the plan is to start on my 29th birthday. hold me to it friends! i'll be sure to share my thoughts on this new way of journaling/scrapbooking once i get started. i hear it's especially great for moms with little ones (or anyone who leads a hectic/busy life) since it's a quick way to record each day's little memories and you end up with a beautiful scrapbook at the end. ohh i hope becky higgins will come out with baby themed kits! how great would this be as a gift to help new moms document their baby's first year?

thanks so much to becky higgins and liz from paislee press for their generosity :)

Friday, April 20, 2012


have i mentioned my love of garnish yet? they have all the packaging basics, all like a blank canvas just begging to be filled with loving made baked goods or a thoughtful "just because" gift. and now they have an online magazine too! they share several wonderful ideas just in case you need a little inspiration to get you going.

some of my favs include...

perfect for mailing baked goods to starving college students ^_~

oh i love that natural burlap one too!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

happy breakfast

i love skillets. it's the first thing i look for on a breakfast menu. the weekend of our wedding, we treated our bridal party to brunch at meli cafe & juice bar in chicago. my sister and i got a veggie packed skillet (delicious!) and the guys got meat filled skillets. i've been craving that skillet ever since so i decided to try and make my own at home. i ended making enough for three people... and then ate it all by myself because RT wasn't home over the weekend...

cut potatoes into about one inch cubes and fry them up. season as you like. italian herb? salt + pepper? curry powder? whatever floats your boat! i used cajun seasoning.

 fry up some veggies in batches to avoid over cooking. i used zucchini, broccoli, red pepper, mushrooms, spinach and onions. be sure to add salt and pepper while cooking. i really love veggies so i pretty much cleared out the fridge here.

cook a couple of eggs your favorite way. i like mine scrambled.

pile the veggies on top of the potatoes.

pile the eggs on top of the veggies.

top with cheese and let it melt into your hot eggs or pop it into the oven for a tiny bit to melt the cheese.

yum! the best part is that you can make it however you want it. add sausage, use different veggies blends (possibly asian veggies and eggs topped with siracha??), make your eggs sunny side up. i wish i hadn't eaten it all in one sitting... kind of craving some right now...