Creative Bliss

Friday, December 5, 2014

Counted Cross Stitch Advent Calendar

Hi there!

Whew! I did it! My friend Becky has displayed a beautiful counted cross stitch advent calendar in her house for several Christmases. Each year I have admired it very much. Well, over the summer, while our kids played together at her house,  we got on the topic of counted cross stitch patterns. She pulled out her pattern stash and I came across the one for the advent calendar. She generously loaned it to me and I have been working on it off and on for the past several months. Well, yesterday I put almost all the finishing touches on it and took pictures. I am so happy with this project and am very grateful for Becky's generosity. For the record, I've tried searching for the pattern to link for anyone who might want to purchase  the pattern, but I cannot seem to locate one. It's an older pattern and most likely out of print. Sorry for that! I took a picture of the pattern cover for reference. This was a lot of work, but so completely worth the effort. This is a little photo heavy and I hope you don't mind. Hope you enjoy. Click to enlarge any photo. When I couldn't work on stamping or cards, I was able to be creative by working on this project. Thanks, Becky!!

Quick story behind these clear snaps. They are hand sewn with clear thread.  This where I am completely spatially challenged. I initially thought I'd put the snaps toward the top of the square, not thinking that not all the pieces to be attached are the same height. I had already hand sewn the snaps onto the pieces you see the top center of the piece. Yes, on all 25. It wasn't until I started putting the mate on the calendar squares and checking to see how they fit that I realized that it wasn't going to work. I had to take all the snaps off the pieces and reattach them to the center of the piece. Sigh...yep, I sure did. But, everything is lined up nicely now!

The calendar has a fabric backing and I had some extra that I thought would make a cute little bag to hold all the pieces. 

Here's the cover of the pattern.

On the job front, I have now been cashier trained and have taken and passed a safety and sanitation class, so I'm considered a permanent cook/cashier. I've accepted the opening at the school I've been working at since I started this job. The job itself is not very hard as in difficult or confusing. It is very busy and physical(not a bad thing, because I am never bored). In addition to rotating between cashiering, serving and dish duty (one day I'll cashier, the next I do dishes, and the following I serve), my job is to pull together/wash/cut/make the fresh fruit, veggies and salad we'll be serving on the line that day. I also pull together what's called the fruit and veggie grant food. Twice a week the students are given a healthy fruit or veggie snack. I get that ready and deliver it to the classes. For example on Wednesday, I had to cut into quarters 4 cases of grapefruit, and divvy them into bags for each classroom. Today I washed 3 cases of pears (that are individually wrapped in paper-I have no idea why) and got them ready to go out next week. Not difficult at all, but definitely takes time to do. I think my favorite thing to do is cashier though. I enjoy the interaction I have with the students for those few seconds. Plus, if I know(have memorized) their lunch number, they are all kinds of impressed. :) I got a lot of second graders to giggle yesterday when the people who supervise them turned on some music. Let It Go came on and I started mimicking singing with a pair of tongs as my microphone or I bopped around when other songs came on. Fun stuff!

That's it from me for now. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading if you got this far. Have a wonderful weekend and I hope to be back again soon!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Made Time To Stamp!

Hi Friends!

I'm happy to be back fairly quickly after my last post. Thanks so much for the nice and wonderfully encouraging comments you left on that post. They are very much appreciated. After another very busy week, I managed to eek out some time in my crafty space yesterday and got two cards made. Whoo hooo for me! :) Hope you enjoy.

I picked up Lawn Fawn's Let It Snow stamp set after seeing this post and watching the video on how Nichol Magouirk created her card. I thought the gold and white was beautiful.  I also saw this card and liked the blue and white version. So, I set out to case the cards. I thought this stampset was a new one, but apparently it was released a couple of years ago. Shows what I know!
For this card, I used Close To My Heart's Crystal Blue ink in first and second generation. I don't usually make square cards, so I decided to put the 4x4 square stamped piece on a 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 card base. To fill up the extra space on either side, I used a scrap piece of glittered cardstock and trimmed off 1/4 inch strips. The happy holidays sentiment is from Lawn Fawn's mini set called Winter Penguin. I added some glitter glue using a Viva Decor Paper Pen that I picked up at Hobby Lobby last year. 

This is my version of the card that inspired me to buy the stamp set. I pretty much cased the card Nichol made. I happened upon the Delicata Gold Ink pad at Joann's on sale with an extra % off the sale price coupon (whooo hooo!) I discovered I don't own any straight gold embossing powder. How is that possible? I used some gold that also has some glitter to it. Not too bad. Knowing myself as I do, I chose not to add any snow to the trees. It would not have ended well. Instead, my one veer away from the original design was to add some gold ink along the edge of the hill. I like it! 

That's it from me today. 
Thanks so much for stopping by.
I hope you have a happy and creative day!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Birthday Card(s) and Gift

Hello there!

Long time, no chat! I'm still here in my little corner of the world trying to keep up and catch up on all the stuff I need to do. After being a stay at home mom for 13 or so years, I never thought getting a part time job would throw my world into such the tizzy as it appears to have done. I think having two girls in middle school has helped keep me hopping as well. 

The job is going well, but it's definitely a busy one. I'm on the go from the moment I get there and I don't really stop until the shift is over. I can't remember if I shared that I am working as a cook/cashier in an elementary school kitchen. In my life before kids I was an elementary school teacher. However, I don't wish to go back into the classroom (I know myself~I wouldn't be able to balance mom and teacher very well at all-heck I can barely manage part time work and mom)so, this was a good alternative for me. I still have some contact with the kids, but I don't have to worry about lesson plans or grades and I am home when my kids are home. Win, win! The girls have had many after school/evening events over the past several weeks which has kept me/us on the go. Add a weekend activity or two and my crafty time is shot. But really, I know I am singing to the choir. I don't know how some of you moms handle full time jobs and kiddos and crafty time. Bless you for keeping it together better than I feel I am doing. Life is full and good, and my kids are happy. That is what matters in the end. *Ü*

I am trying to be crafty, but it's a different crafty, how's that? I have rediscovered my love of counted cross stitch. Like crocheting or knitting, it is something I can pick up when I have a minute and put down when my time is up or when my eyes refuse to stay open. So, when I have a minute that is what I have been working on. I showed you a couple of projects in my last post. Well, I have a few more items to share today, plus a couple of cards. Yay! 

Sit back, grab a cuppa whatever, this post is a little bit photo heavy. Fair warning!

A couple of months ago I came across a book from Annie's Attic called Easy Cross Stitch Cards & Tags. One of the projects on the cover was this owl. The card in the book is a Halloween swing style card, but  I have a friend whose birthday was approaching and I thought she'd like this owl on her card(and not necessarily the Boo! in the original design). She's likes to cross-stitch, too. This is stitched on perforated paper and cut out. I used lots of pop dots to give it a bit of dimension. The paper is Doodlebug, my favorite!  I was really excited to see ideas for cross stitch projects made into cards and look forward to trying to make more.

I also found a neat idea in a magazine called Just Cross Stitch. I picked this issue up at Barnes and Noble. What drew me in is the gorgeous wreath on the cover. Yeah, I actually thought I'd be able to whip that one out in time for Thanksgiving this year. Delusional much? Snort. I haven't even started stitching it. Inside though, I saw a neat Owl Candle Band and I thought my friend, who loves owls, would like this as well. Only not as a candle band. She's not a fan of candles (we have a lot in common, I'm not such fan of them either). 
It's kind of hard to take photos of stitched projects. I think the camera is great at emphasizing the holes in the paper! Click to enlarge if you like. This is also stitched on perforated paper. 

Here is my alternative to a candle band.
I found a jar at Hobby Lobby that the band would wrap around. I added a tube of cardstock.

I filled that tube with dark chocolate M & Ms.

I added some tinseling fluffy stuff in fall colors to hide the tube.
And attached the band to the jar using super sticky tape. 

I got the tube idea from one of my new friends and co-workers who is a crafty gal. Her idea was to use the tube on a smaller scale as way to give money as a gift. She saw it on Pinterest, I think.

And finally, Jessica had a birthday last month. I saw a card idea I knew she would love on the Lawn Fawn blog here. I watched the video and figured I could make it, if I had the  images used. I got some help from a friend(thank you so much, sweet friend) since I didn't own the kitty and frame stamps needed (I had other stamps to do the rest) and got to work casing the card.

Jessica loved it! 

She has a cat loving friend who attended the birthday party who loved the card, too. 

So, when the friend's birthday came around, I made her one, too.

I used Distress Inks-Spun Sugar, Picked Raspberries and Squeezed Lemonade.  The frame and kitty images are from my friend(Lawn Fawn sets). The cupcake is from an old Doodlebug birthday set. The word birthday and hat are from Lawn Fawn's So Much to Say set. The letters for purr-fect are an Avery Elle letter set. The banner on Jessica's card is a heart stamp. I was in Michaels recently and came across a wooden stamp two-fer that had the banner on the friend's card. Whoo hoo! The coloring on the cat, frame and banner is done with Primacolor pencils and odorless mineral spirits. 

That is it from me today.

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading if you got this far.
Have a happy and creative day!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Patchwork Patty-Counted Cross Stitch Project


I'm back with my second post for today. I simply couldn't wait another minute to share this. A couple of weekends ago, I went on a little field trip to see a couple of stitchery shops I discovered were nearby. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a stitchery shop, to be honest. In case you aren't familiar with the idea, a stitchery shop sells the patterns, threads, fabrics and doo-dads you need to create stitching projects like counted cross-stitch.  I think I came across the names of them while thumbing through a cross stitch magazine while waiting in line at Joann's. Oh my goodness, the eye candy of all the samples on display! So many projects, so little time! 

I happened upon a magazine called cross-stitch and needlework that had THE cutest little witch on the cover. I was instantly smitten and full of desire to create Patchwork Patty. I bought the magazine and the perforated paper as listed in the supplies from the shop (along with another project, I can't wait to get working on). I figured I either had the rest of the supplies or I could pick them up as needed (and with coupons) from Michaels or Joann's.  I've been stitching like crazy these past couple of weeks and last night I finished gluing all her pieces together. I originally had her glued to some ribbon and had it wrapped around a glass apothecary jar (kind of like she was on the cover of the magazine), but I really wasn't all that thrilled about how it looked. So this morning, I got the idea to put her in a frame, minus the glass. So I snipped off the ribbon. Jessica helped me pick the background paper, and I decided to put a piece of vellum over it to keep it a little more subtle. The frame is one I got at the dollar store at some point, but it was natural wood. Jessica and I painted it black. (Amy was at a basketball clinic this morning so she wasn't available to help).

Okay, enough she is! Feel free to click on the photos to make them bigger. 

And here she is in the 8x10 frame I had. 

I adore how colorful she is and the bits of sparkle(although the camera may not have picked up much of that). I like the beads and the use of the memory floss(which is basically cotton floss wrapped around some wire to retain the shape you want).  I love the wild and crazy hair. Jessica tried to create a braid, but the strands were too short to do much.  I think it is just so much fun to look at. :)

Such patience and focus...

Here's a link to the magazine I got the pattern from (in case you were interested).

That's it from me today. Thanks ever so much for stopping by and reading my ramblings. 

Glittered Trees Car

Happy Saturday to you!

I have a card to share...yay! Last month there was a Scrapbooking and Stamping Expo in Denver. I decided at the last minute to go. I had been working on going through boxes in the shed and decided to reward myself with this little jaunt after I was done for the day. It had been several years since I'd been to a show like this and I thought it'd be fun to check it out. It wasn't very big, bit I managed to find a few things to bring home with me. 

One of the first booths I saw as I walked in was one that was highlighting a technique I'd seen samples of  at my local scrapbooking store (they teach this technique in a class) and fell in love with the look. You use super sticky adhesive tape, microfine glitter,outline stickers, and for most crafters, Copic markers . You can use Spectrum Noir markers. You can also use Sharpies/Bic markers, but blending colors would be difficult, if not impossible. I do not own but just a couple of Copics (light blue, gray and a few skin colors), no Spectrum Noirs, but I do have a bucketful of Sharpies and Bics. I admired the samples. I just love the glittered look. In the end, after watching the lady demo the technique, I could no longer resist. I bought the stickers and glitter and a 6x6 size sheets of adhesive.  

Basically, you adhere the one side of the double sided sticky tape to white  cardstock, take off the covering of the second side,  pour the clear glitter over the cardstock creating a glitter sheet. Then you put the outline sticker on top of that sheet. After the sticker is attached, you take your markers and color in the open spaces on the sticker. You cut out the pieces and use them on your card or scrapbook page. With Copics or Spectrum Noir markers, you can blend the colors to get beautifully shaded images. Not difficult, but the results can be stunning (in my humble opinion).   Here's a link to the Elizabeth Craft website. Look in the header to see what the technique is really supposed to look like. Here  is my first attempt with the technique.
Not quite as pretty as the cards on display(or on the website), but okay, I think. I hope you can see the sparkliness(you can click the image to enlarge it)! I tried to make the trees look fallish with the colors I chose. Once I cut them out, I didn't quite know what to do with them. I fiddled and futzed with a lot of layouts, but in the end decided to just keep it simple. 

Elizabeth Craft fine micro-glitter in Warm Diamond
Super Sticky double sided 6x6 adhesive sheet
Krazy Kloset outline stickers
Sharpie Markers
Darice swirling leaf embossing folder 
Hero Arts Happy Thanksgiving stamp set (sentiment)
Cardstock-my stash, Hobby Lobby (black) and Coordinations (orange)

That's it from me for the moment.  Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you have a great day!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Birthday Card Made on World Card Making Day


Life keeps me hopping, like I'm sure it does you. For me the new twist is I just started a part time job working in an elementary school kitchen. Yep, I've become "the lunch lady." :) This past week was my first week of working, but there have been a lot of hoops for me to jump through to get to actually working. That has kept me busy "behind the scenes." Prior to that, I was busily working on going through the tons of boxes we have had stored in the shed  out back by our garage. Most of the boxes contained teacher supplies from when I taught elementary school. I have no desire to head back to the classroom in that capacity, that stuff needed to go. I've taken quite a few trips to the Goodwill recently. Thank goodness it's only about a 5 minute drive from my house. :)

All that to say, that's why I've not been posting on the blog. I'm hoping that once I get the hang of this working thing (I've been a sahm for the past 13 years, so it's an adjustment for sure), I'm hoping to get back to more consistent creating, and then posting. I've been doing some creative stuff, but nothing that's share-able just yet. Fingers crossed that I will have something finished soon.

We had a birthday party to go to yesterday for my friend's son. I came across this card and thought it would be neat for this friend. Amy was eager to help with the card-making, too. Yay!

Amy says, you'd better watch out!
I showed her how to paper piece and how to mask. Although, it turned out the masking wasn't necessary since we paper pieced. 

Here's the card without the gift card we added.
Here's how it looked all put together. 
Amy stamped everything. I cut the file and added the twine/floss. 

We used this file from the Silhouette shop. I had to follow the tutorial to remember how to manipulate files with the Cameo. 
The stamp set is Lawn Fawn's So Much To Say.
The paper is Echo Park's boy set from a few years ago. 

We sure had fun putting this together! How neat that it was made on WCMD, too!

Thanks so much for stopping by! 
Hope you have a great day. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Swinging Hi!

I'm back again with a second post for today(scroll down to see my Autumn Teddy card). Whoo hooo! Laura over at The Crafty Sister really has inspired me to color these past few days. Here's another card that I thought was adorable and had to case(hope she doesn't mind).  I really like the flower paper she used, but alas, don't have that paper pad.

Here's my version, using colored pencils and odorless mineral spirits. I think I printed my image off a bit too small. Some of the areas were teeny tiny and a bit of a challenge to color. Ah well. She's still cute. Hope she doesn't slide off the tire swing though...that's a bit of a drop, isn't it?

The tree paper is  from Doodlebug's Flower Box 6x6 pad. The hi is a Paper Smooches sentiment from  the Simply Said set. You can find the image here at  A Random Fan on Etsy.

That's it from me for today. Thanks ever so much for stopping by!