Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Combining Crafts

I discovered an awesome quilt and needle arts shop in Indy this month called Quilts Plus. They carry supplies and patterns for quilting, rug hooking, penny wool applique, and punch needle. While I was browsing through the patterns, my sister, Tina, found this 2011 engagement calendar at the front counter. She knew I'd have to buy it! It is made by Blackbird Designs and features lovely photographs of antique sewing notions and needle art samplers. Sew pretty!

I decided to use the cover of the calendar as my inspiration for this card. I wanted my card to have the same muted color palette, while featuring a vintage botanical look. Have you visited Mark's Finest Papers yet? I'm adding a link to my blog. They have some wonderful stamps, and great crafting supplies like papers and charms. This lovely image is from one of the new fall releases.

{recipe: Mark's Finest Paper (mum), Fine Lace (SU), crumb cake card stock and ink (SU), b. blue cardstock, button, DMC floss, American Crafts lace, Tim Holtz Woodgrain Texture fade, prismacolor pencils}

The lace featured on this card is from American Crafts, and it is actually a roll of white lace. But I wanted it to look aged and shabby, so I used another product I picked up at the quilt shop called Distress It! It comes in "slightly distressed" and "extremely distressed" colors. It is meant to be used on quilts, hooked rugs, and needle art projects, but I decided that it would work great on this lace as well. Simply spray, let it dry, and voila! Instant antique!

I'm starting to feel crafty again after a bit of a dry spell this month. (As you can probably guess from yesterday's post, it's been a bit crazy around here!) I'm going to be updating some of my links and adding more info in the future, so stay tuned.

Thanks for visiting the cafe today!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Emergency Crafting Kit

Do you have an emergency crafting kit? No? Well, let me tell you why an emergency crafting kit is absolutely necessary. Let's say that, oh, completely hypothetically, your college son calls to tell you that he's being taken to the hospital an hour away with appendicitis. You don't have time to do anything but grab your purse, grab your emergency crafting kit, and go! Of course, you could bring a book or magazine. But when we're talking emergency surgery (completely hypothetically, of course!), are you really going to focus on a novel? Of course not! Reading totally gets in the way of 1 Thessalonians 5:17! And when you're a mom and your child is in pain, you are going to be praying without ceasing. You need something that will keep your hands occupied while your mind is sending up a stream of prayers.

Now let's just say that your son's hypothetical surgery is complicated, and he needs to stay in the hospital for four days. That's four times you'll need that crafting kit!

What makes this kit so handy? It has the pattern, the linen, the button, and the Weeks flosses. All you need is a needle and a good pair of scissors, and you're good to go!

Now, let's just say that your son gets hypothetically discharged from the hospital, and your husband decides to take a bike ride that very day. What would happen if he were to get in an accident, injure his shoulder, and need a ride to the emergency room? Would you be prepared? Of course! You have an emergency crafting kit, and you've been using it all week!

But could this hypothetical situation actually occur? That would be completely crazy, wouldn't it? It's a good thing I have an emergency crafting kit. Do you?

Blessings on your Monday, everyone. Stay healthy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's A Gina K. Kind of Day

Today was a great day to just spend an hour in my fantastic local library, perusing the shelves and looking at new books and magazines. I confess, I am a magazine junkie. I currently have three subscriptions that come to my door: Better Homes and Gardens (thanks, Mom!), Country Living and Midwest Living (both were just $5 for a one year subscription...I couldn't pass it up!).
But if you're like me, you want to see them all without paying for them all. That's when the local library really comes in handy. I was able to browse through the current issues of Somerset Studios, Cardmaker, Cross Stitch, and Crafts N Things magazines, soaking up all the inspiration.

I was pleased to see that Gina K. Designs were heavily featured in the craft magazines this fall. In Crafts N Things, there's a great feature article about Carolyn King (Cammie) and the cause close to her heart...Alzheimers. And in Cardmaker magazine, there's a great interview with Tami Mayberry. Lots of fabulous samples from both of these amazing artists, too.

Today, I pulled out one of my favorite Gina K sets, Botanicals. I need a few sympathy cards, and this set is wonderful for all occasions, even the sad ones.

{recipe: Botanicals (Gina K), Karen Foster paper, Pure Luxury kraft and ivory card stock, dusty durango/soft suede ink and cardstock, Martha Stewart punch, pearls}

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Flower For Mom

A very special person had a birthday last week...my mom! We were able to celebrate her birthday when she came to town this weekend, and I was finally able to give her this framed gift. The design comes from a kit by SamSarah that included everything...button, floss, cloth and frame.

I love to stitch, but I'm not always the best at finishing the project. A frame is a simple finish, but they can also be expensive. So here's one way that I finish frames. I use a piece of chipboard, cut to size, to wrap my project around, then I secure it in the back. I put that in the frame. Then, to give it the stability and backing, I cut a piece of cork to size and pop that into that back as well. You can see it here:

The advantage to using a piece of cork is that you can pop the entire stitched project out of the frame and reuse the frame for different projects. In the future, I might want to stitch up something for Mom that is more seasonal. She can pop out the "Mom" project and put a new one in its place.

Pretty clever, huh?

Thanks for visiting the cafe! Have you had your pumpkin spice latte today?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Retro Monday: Country Pleasures

Happy Labor Day, friends! I hope you are enjoying a rest from your labors today. Me? I'm working this afternoon...such is the way of retail! I had a wonderful weekend of family visitors. As we drove around town, you could definitely see signs that autumn is fast approaching. In my own backyard, the buckeye tree has lost most of its leaves, and the hard nuts have now become launching missiles for the neighborhood boys who come to play with Sam.

Today's Retro Monday creation reaches back into the vault to the year 2003 and the lovely stamp set "Country Pleasures". I love the little framed pastoral scenes in this set...so fun to color!

Here's a papercrafting tip that seems so simple, but it's a step that a lot of stampers forget. Before you get ready to color an image, decide what background papers you are going to use on the card. This way, you can pull out colors from the background paper to use in your coloring, and it will be a perfect match. I like pairing retro stamp sets with current papers for a fresh look.

{recipe: Country Pleasures (SU), God's Way (SU), Pure Luxury kraft and ivory cardstock, Cosmo Cricket Nutmeg papers, prisma markers, metal sticker nailheads (from Gina K), prisma markers for coloring, versafine onyx ink, soft suede ink for distressing}

Today is a precious gift...have fun opening it!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Finding Inspiration

Yesterday, I was talking to my good friend, Beth, about sources of inspiration. She had just recently purchased the new issue of Where Women Create Magazine (with Amy Butler on the cover story). We talked about ways of finding new creative inspiration, whether it's shopping in a favorite store, taking a walk in the park, or flipping through a magazine and coveting other people's clean and organized studios. :)

This week, I was inspired by the cover of the BH and G magazine. Such a fresh color combo! I used it for this card:

{recipe: Puns from the Past (SU), soft sky cardstock and dsp, Poppy Parade cardstock, Amuse patterned papers, square scallop punch, Maya Road flower, button, early espresso ink}

I'm feeling extra "perky" today...I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season. Autumn has unofficially arrived!

Hope your holiday weekend is filled with love and coffee!