Monday, May 2, 2011

May I Work Backwards?

Sometimes life gets such a hold on me that by the end of the week my head is aswim in all that's happened in the past 7 days.  With that in mind, I would like to share the past week with reverse.  Also, because the most important moment of my life this week took place on Sunday ~ our wedding anniversary of 41 years!
Were we ever really that young?
I also helped to celebrate the soon-to-be arrival of Sadie Jane, at Karey-Ann's baby shower - a glorious event!
As a teacher, I guess continuing education is very important to me, and one of the highlights of being an avid altered paper artist is learning from the best.  Well, on Saturday I was privileged to take TWO workshops given by Paula Cheney and Debbie Crouse at MMU.
a peak at the Abundance Folder we were going to make

Deb instructing

Paula, me, Debbie

Paula and Deb are designers for the 7Gypsies line of paper art and scrapbook products.  These ladies are amazing and I always come away from their events richer and more knowledgeable.  Just wait till you see the finished products...coming soon in a future blog!  Please pay a visit to their blog...  I think you will love their gypsy hearts ~ I do!

Friday was a not-so-great day for me.  Ron was in San Francisco for the 2nd straight week and our girls had just left for Rocky Point, Mexico.  I must have put on my whiney pants that day because I was feeling pretty blue.  Having posted this on Facebook, my dear friends rallied and sent so many virtual hugs and wishes...reminding me to remember the glass that's "half full."  Reading those messages, and watching the Royal wedding pulled me out of my funk.  Yay!

Thursday our beautiful Mandy turned 36 and we celebrated with a mom and daughters day out ~ getting spa services, lunch at Wildflower, and shopping!

Dad snuck in a phone call to the table while we were at lunch, sending love and birthday wishes from California.
my specially created card for my beautiful first born

Wednesday When I began my blog I had no idea about the wonderful world of wonderful people it would open up for me.  Recently, I've made two new friends through "blog swaps."  With Natalea, who's from upstate NY, I swap ATC cards and with Mary, who's from Cape Cod, we've swapped Petite Inspiration Matchboxes.  More important than the beautiful art that we share, are the new friendships that have been forged.  I am very blessed to know these two fabulous ladies.  Take a look at what I got!!
Our theme was Spring ~ birds and nests
Nat and I just swapped again, this time the theme is masks, royalty, crowns, etc.  Pictures to follow in the next blog.
Here's the box of goodies from Mary.  In the first picture, look at the fabric yo-yo w/yellow button.  The fabric is from the flower girls' dresses in Princess Grace's wedding!!  Cute story about that to be shared at a later date, with Mary's permission.

fabric yo-yo and green ribbon were on the outside wrapping.

look at all these amazing treasures ~ I'm going to have a lot of fun creating with these!!
I caught up with dear friend Nancy, and her daughter Kay, for lunch at the newly opened Pita Jungle.  The company was exceptional and the food was great.  If you're in the area, I recommend the Lavosh pizza with grilled chicken.  They also serve vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Tuesday brought my first International order from my etsy shop.  Deborah, from Queensland, Australia ~ I was excited!!

Monday I was lucky enough to not only have a Copics class with Kiera, but there were just 2 students in the class - me and Cathy.  Nothing like private school education!!
great pic of Kiera - not the night of class!

Cathy and I - not class night either!

Copic *drool* markers
So, dear friends, that was my week in not-quite-a-nutshell!  Age has it's advantages in many respects, but sometimes working backwards with the help of photos and a calendar are the best tools!  I'm looking forward to an exceptional week...the girls return from Mexico today and are on home on vacation through the rest of the week.  I think I see some "junquing" in our future as well as a special scrap event at the end of the week!!

I leave you with a fabulous craft from sweet Sharon Garofalow at Cupcakes and Cutlery.  Here's the link and you'll be able to click on it or paste it in your browser bar:
When I asked Sharon if I could post this she replied, "Of course!  I want the whole world covered in plastic ruffles!"  Please be sure to visit her blog and let her know you were there!  Thank you, Sharon!

The cutest ruffled streamers from plastic tablecloths!

How cute are these!  I'm not even sure how this idea came to me (and it has probably already come to someone else out there too...) but I started thinking about how sometimes when you stretch plastic it warps it and creates a sort of lettuce edge.  I gave it a try and they turned out super cute.  So with just using a cheap plastic tablecloth you can create bunches of darling ruffled streamers.

This streamer above was the white version I tried a few weeks ago.  Now, these plastic streamers might not work for someone who is a total perfectionist and needs everything to look super finished and polished.  For me, however, these are perfect!  My first intro to ruffled garlands was from the radically talented Jenny of Hank and Hunt.  Hers are made from fabric and are gorgeous but since my sewing skills are elementary at best, there was is chance that I could recreate those.  If by chance you are a sewing maven, go check out her tutorial here.  When I read it I thought for a very brief second that I might be able to, in fact, give them a shot.  But alas, no way.

I have a bunch of plastic tablecloths on hand so I'm not sure of the exact cost but I would have to say each would be between $1 and $2.  And because I get bored very easily when putting together a tutorial, I didn't cut the whole cloth to see how many garlands you could get out of it.  Here is my estimate:  a bunch, ok I'd guess about 15 depending on the width you cut.  I'd also like to point out the wrinkles in my cute fabric tablecloth.  Ain't no chance I'm going to be ironing things before I do a tutorial.  Given that most of them take place during a nap time, and I'm lazy, chances are good that you will be seeing wrinkles in most of my instructions.

Do not unfold the tablecloth once you take it out of the package.  You will want to find the side with the end of the tablecloth, not the fold, so when you cut you will get a strip.  And thanks to that last sentence I could quite possibly be the worlds worst tutorialist.  Cut as many strips as you want.

If only I had a third hand this portion of the tutorial would be more informative.  Basically you will want to the plastic in one hand between your thumb and pointer finger and hold the plastic the same way in the other hand right next to the first hand.  And pull your thumbs away from each other.  Give it a test so you can figure out how much and how far you should stretch it.  The good thing about these is that they are never going to come out exactly the same as the last stretch so variety is fine.  Also, you will tear the plastic once in a while.  As long as you haven't torn it clear through to the other side, it is also fine. The tear sort of ruffles as well and blends in.  I wouldn't point the tears out to my party guests but I would totally use the garland.

Stretch down one length of the plastic strip and then flip the strip over and do the other side.

I did this when my husband was out of the house.  When he got home he thought they were really cool but swears it must be too time consuming.  Uh, hullo!  I did it!  It's totally not time consuming.  And this is one of those party projects you could easily do while watching tv.  I even tried putting two strips of the plastic on top of each other to stretch two at once.  It worked great!

I'm not sure if you all have heard but California had some "weather" this weekend.  It was freezing outside the day I did this (you guys, it was like 54).  So I literally stapled these babies up, took as many pictures as I could and ran back inside.  I could have hung them up cuter but quite frankly my fingers were beginning to get frost bite (yes, I'm a baby).  But here is the amazing thing.  They are still up in my backyard as we speak.  They have been outside through rain, hail, wind and sun.  They look exactly the same as when I first put them up.  These would be so great for anywhere that is windy or has lots of moisture in the air.

They are also SUPER lightweight.  Although I used my staple gun I am pretty sure that depending on what type of surface you are trying to attach to, most kinds of tape should be able to hold them.

I think what I like most about the idea of using a plastic tablecloth to make really cheap, really cute ruffles is that you can make a ton for next to nothing.  I can see using a ton of them, all different colors for a crazy photobooth back drop.  Which would cost you around $5.  While it does take some of your time to make them, you could make a huge impact with these around your party.

I also wondered if you could do it around the edge of the tablecloth to get a super girly ruffly look.  You totally can!  Don't judge my composition.  I was working against the clock here people.

Wait, what's that you say, Sharon.  It was freezing outside the day you did this tutorial?  Oh and there is your son barefoot out on the freezing concrete with no jacket.  And to you I say, yes.  You are right.  I think this shall secure the sarcastic mother of the year award for me.  But I just needed one quick picture of this last garland.  This is made from a black utility trash bag.  I just needed to see if it would work.  It did. 

I'm sending you all hugs and kisses and may your week be blessed with joy, gratitude, and musings!


Cindy Adkins said...

Wow, Karen, Happy Anniversary!!! And I love your streamers and the ruffle tablecloth--amazing and so dreamy!!


mrsthesun said...

Every time I visit this blog, I come away with so much. Can't wait to try the ruffled streamers and ruffling the edge of a tablecloth. Dear Mandy 36?...impossible!
The card was priceless. What a big week you had. So many blessings, so much to be thankful for.

Unknown said...

Wow! What adventures! Happy Anniversary! I love the decor you showed, the ruffles are so cute! Thanks for inviting me to this post. It has been a pleasure rummaging through all your goodies and memories!


kandeland said...

Happy Anniversary! wow! 41 years!!
Sounds like a very full and lovely week. And thanks again for doing the atc trades with me! love your atcs! Have a happy week Karen, xo natalea

Ragamuffin Gal said...

This whole post was a great read! I felt like I actually spent the week following you around, and then, the cool idea with the plastic tablecloth is fabulous!

Marie Lost Bird Studio said...

Happy Anniversary and thanks for sharing your week.Beautiful ATC's you received.
Have a wonderful day.

mary k said...

Love this great post.
What a busy week you had. Great tutorial!