Monday, February 28, 2011

The Present...

"Tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift.  That's why it's called the present" - Fr. Pat Crino, Pastor, Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church.

Wow!  This statement was a summation of Fr. Pat's homily at Mass yesterday.  It was one of those "stop and smell the roses" moments and got me thinking the truths that resonate from this.  Whatever else the day may bring, it is our "present" and what better way to enjoy the fullness of a present then to share it with others!  So, dear family and friends, without further adieu, I will share my "presents" of the past week with you!

I love a Monday when I have Kiera's Basic Grey class....super way to start my week.
Our creative, crafty Kiera with the 2 page layout 

my work-in-progress
AND...we also made 2 cards...what a deal!

Tuesday was not a good day as allergies got the better of me  and I had to cancel my lunch date with Nancy (to be rescheduled).  

Wednesday was a much better day and spent it lunching and shopping with "Recently Retired Rhoda" but alas, FORGOT my camera!! So, no pix from our wanderings.  Spent too much money on my "paper habit" and had quality chat time with my dear friend.

Ron was called out of town unexpectedly for a couple of days and that always spells "dinner out" with my girls and/or girfriends!  Grabbed Mandy and Debbie and headed to one of our faves - Pei Wei.

beautiful Debbie

beautiful Mandy

beautiful Orange Peel Chicken with sauce on the side (recommended by dear Sandra and now I'm a fan!)
Poor Schotzie had to close that night, but we brought dinner home for her.

Spent the rest of the week creating:
and scanning all the treasures Rich and Pat sent.  Here are a couple that just tickle me to death and I'm SO blessed that we have this history!  Oh, and another  nugget...  because we have the birth certificate for my paternal grandfather, I finally know my great grandparents names - Moritz and Nanette!!!
My paternal great grandfather Moritz

My maternal great grandfather Leo

My beautiful mother, age 10, in a silk dress which she embroidered

My darling dad, age 3, en route to Europe with  family

And two of the cutest brothers a girl could have!  That's Erik on your left and Richard on your right
So, the scanning is finished and the treasures are making their way back to, just have to find out what N.Y. brother Erik has to offer!  The family heritage book with be the next BIG project.

Well, kids, I've cooked up a goodie for you this week....I call it "My Buttoned Down Mind Book (MBDMB)."  Why that title?  Well, we begin with an old fashioned composition notebook, you know...the kind where you can't tear the pages out 'cause if you do, it will haunt you forever by dropping the "mate" pages!

This is a journal/note to self/planner/organizer/to-do list book.  Therefore, if I have my MBDMB with me at all times, I will for sure have a buttoned-down mind!  The fun part is that you get to decorate it however your muse directs you!  So, before we begin, let me show you a few pages from my most current MBDMB (yes, you will have many in time), so you get an idea of where we're going with this...

front cover

Well, what are we waiting for???? Let's go!

Composition notebook
Paper scraps of choice
Ribbon, embellishments of choice
Ink and stamps - optional
Mod Podge or any other gel medium
Sponge brush (small)
Scissors or paper trimmer

1.  Select your papers.  Cut/tear to size and lay on the cover to get the positioning you like. By the way, I'll be covering the back of my book in this tutorial.

2.  Open notebook, lay flat and apply mod podge to the cover with the sponge brush, giving it a smooth, medium coating.

3.  Begin laying down your papers.  Where they overlap, be sure to apply mod podge to the back of the paper.

4.  Smooth out all air bubbles.  Layer more paper if desired, but be sure to apply the mod podge to the back of the paper.

5.  Trim away any excess paper along the edges.

6.  Apply mod podge over the entire surface, horizontally and then vertically to ensure you've covered all spaces.

7.  It's a messy job, but now's the time to use your fingers and gently smooth out those air pockets that have surfaced.  Let your project dry for 30-40 minutes.

8.  Once the cover is dry, you will be able to age your paper with inks or stamp images on it.

9.  Add a ribbon and tie at the top.  This is nifty when you need to slip a paper inside the back cover!

Well, those are my presents for this week...let me know how you do with your MBDMB (or whatever you name it) and have simply glorious presents this week!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday and Manias!

I probably got you thinking..."what the heck does she mean with that title??"  Well, I don't think I've blogged at all about MANIAS.  Those are wonderful happenings that take place at my favorite scrapbook store, Making Memories Unforgettable, every Friday and Saturday from 6:00 p.m - midnight.  And yes, you get to scrap or craft your little heart out.  And yes, I was at the Friday mania this past week - got lots done for my etsy store inventory and spent amazing time with some of my dearest friends.  You know, it's pretty great when you get to "mess around and mess up" someone else's space - and they don't mind!!!

But I digress...I should say that on Monday I enjoyed a wonderful Valentine's Day with my sweetie and we kicked it low key with a romantic dinner at home and dancing in the living room - perfect!  The rest of the week I was pinching myself because I couldn't believe our temperatures were reaching 80 degrees!

Had lunch with some fabulous friends on Thursday and later on Ron and I were at McKale enjoying a VERY exciting basketball game as our Wildcat men's team beat Wazoo (Washington State U.)!  But the best game on Saturday with a WHITEOUT vs. U of Washington
pregame arena

Kyle Fogg

It was really a thrill to walk into the area and see a sea of WHITE!!  Pretty awesome, and the excitement and noise was off the hook! Oh, and it really helps that we beat them Huskies in total drama in the last 2 seconds of the game!

Received a fabulous bundle of treasures from Richie and Pat...fabric, trims, and fibers which had belonged to Pat's mom and she is SO generously sharing with me.  Richie sent priceless photos, articles, ephemera from our childhood which I will tackle down the road for the family archive album.

I'm sure some of you haven't had a chance to check out my etsy store, so I thought I'd post a few pix this week of my newest creations.  Unfortunately, dimensionality and detail doesn't come through in the photos as I would like.  The cards average size is 4.5 x 6.5 inches with a 3 in. drop from the ribbon.

Are you wondering what I've got for you this week, craft-wise?  Well, it's a real goody and one that I think you'll enjoy, easy to make too!  


White felt - about 10-12 in. square
Sharp scissors
Glue gun
Pearls or embellishments of choice ( I also used vintage buttons)
Chain necklace 18-24 inches long
White cotton trim of choice - at least 2 yds. (I mixed mine as you'll see in the photos)
Wire cutters or and old scissors that will cut your chain

1.  First, cut out three felt circles in the size you want your lace flowers.  One circle will be LARGER as this will be the center flower.  

2.  Put hot glue around the edge of one of the circles.

3.  Press the edge of the trim into the glue, being careful not to burn your fingers.

4. Repeat this process, spiraling your trim towards the center.  Cut off the extra and glue the end down.

5.  Glue your pearl embellishments in the center of your flowers.
I used two different types of white cotton trim, and buttons and pearls for the centers.

6.  Now, glue the large flower down on the remaining felt.
large flower

7.  Next, get the necklace chain ready to be cut.

8.  Find the center of the chain and with the wire cutters or old scissors, snip through the chain so that you have two pieces.  They should be the same length.

9.  On one of the two remaining smaller flowers lay down hot glue and attach one of the chain pieces, about 3/4 in.  Repeat with the remaining small flower and chain.

10.  Place a small flower on either side of the large flower until you have the shape you want, then glue down.

11.  Finally, cut around the flowers, carefully trimming off excess felt.

12.  Show off your new necklace!!

Have a wonderful week and listen carefully for your muse! xoxo

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Well, it's here...the day of LOVE!  When I think of Valentine's Day I think back to elementary school and our V parties.  We had to decorate a shoe box to receive our Valentine mail.  Sadly, there was no "equal for everyone" rule in my classes, so some got few and others abundance.  Fortunately, things have changed today.  When I was teaching I always told my students "You don't HAVE to bring in a card for everyone, but if you do bring in cards then you must have one for EVERYONE.  The following photos are from last school last Valentine's Day as a Dunham teacher.

My Valentine for each of my students

Our classroom

our schedule for the day

Whatever your celebration is today, be sure to tell someone you love them! [sigh]

Another fabulous week has passed by which found me working like crazy on my inventory for the Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Mkt.  Our dear friend Milena was there on Sunday with her fabulous wares and furnishings and displayed my things as well (but not in these pix because they were taken before she received my paper art).

Flea Market 4

Flea Market 3

Anxious to hear if the Californians liked my line...
In the meantime, I also took a wonderful class at MMU and learned how to make this amazing wreath - wrapped in yarn and embellished with hand cut felt flowers!
The model

And this is mine....a work in progress....finished project to be shown at a later date!

Friday came and my dear hubby was home at last, after 5 long days on the road; On Saturday it was a day with Debbie and scavenging the Tucson secondhand and antique stores looking for treasures.

Thrift Store ramblings...

Here are some gems I found that begged to be part of my altered paper art
and this fabulous old crate holding my fiber trims

My week ended on Sunday. Mandy and I had lunch at Maynard's. Our first time at Maynard's but we'll definitely be back...I highly recommend the Caesar Salad and Mushroom Pizza! We ended our afternoon  with a matinee performance of Liszt and Ravel by the Tucson Symphony.

Some of you may be giving loved ones gift cards today, so I thought it was appropriate to include this little project in my blog this week.  Even if you're not giving a card today, this might come in handy in the future!


decorative paper
scissors or paper trimmer
ruler and pencil if not using a paper trimmer
standard hole punch
decorative edge punch/scissors (optional)
bone folder (optional) or scor-pal (optional)
gift card

1.  cut your paper so that it is 4 1/2 in. wide by 8 in. long *if your paper has a directional pattern, be sure you are cutting in the direction you want your pattern to follow

2.  Measure 3 in. in on the long side, draw a straight line across the middle and fold; if using scor-pal or paper trimmer use your scoring tool.

This pix shows the paper folded over along the 3 in. line

3.  Continue along the long side and do the same thing at the 6 in. mark
It should begin to look like an envelope

4.  Slip the gift card inside, center it in the envelope, and crease along each side with your nail

5.  TAKE THE CARD OUT  (You don't want to punch through it!).  Mark where you want to punch and punch a hole on each side of the envelope, opposite each other. Lace your ribbon through the holes.



6.  Slip the gift card back into the envelope.  Tie off the ribbon in a bow.  BEAUTIFUL!!

Of course you can do a lot more with this using glue...some ideas would be to cut out the edge with a decorative edger and glue a contrasting paper underneath....and then there's the whole other universe of brads, buttons, and bling!!!  Have fun with it and Happy Valentine's Day