January 09, 2015

Monochromatic Birthday Card

Hi there!

I have a new card to share with you today.  If I'm entirely truthful, I started this card with the best of intentions and then after deciding on the card base and the tab sticker, didn't know where I was going with it and set it aside...for a few months.  Oops.

But determined as ever to catch myself up on back-logged cards, I dug it out and finished it nonetheless!

The approach I finally decided on to finish it?  Very simple: just keep adding and layering!  Sounds silly, I know but I really enjoyed putting together this hodge podge of emphemera - banner, washi tape, View Master slide reel, mustache sticker, brads, die-cuts, chipboard, staple, letter sticker accents - just go crazy and pile it all on!

Here's a little close-up of the layering.  And you know, that October Afternoon bear brad in the top right corner up there?  I never really liked it when I first saw it and now, I think it's pretty awesome.  Go figure.

With all the layering on the right side, there was a heavy lack of balance on the left side so I filled up the space with some repeated date stamping.

So the next time you find yourself stuck with what to do for a card, why not try the just add and layer until you can't anymore approach?!  It just might work for you, too.

January 05, 2015

Kiva - November 2014

Welcome back to a new year and a slight backlog of Kiva loans!  :D

Remedios (Philippines)

A loan of $175 helps Remedios to pay for her children's school expenses this school year.

Remedios is married and has 5 children. Her husband is a fisherman. They live in Plaridel-Danao, Philippines. Remedios supports the daily needs of the family by selling the catch of her husband and by buying the catch of her neighbors to sell. In January of 2014, Remedios applied for membership in Paglaum Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PMPC) after she learned of the benefits offered by the Co-op to its members. She became a member in good standing and has received several loans, which were repaid in a timely manner. She is a persevering mother who wants nothing more but to see all her children achieve their diplomas and have stable jobs. Remedios is in need of financial assistance. She requested a loan of 7,000 PHP to pay for her children's school expenses this school year. Someday, she hopes to build a concrete house for the family.

You too can get involved and contribute to a loan today!

December 15, 2014

On Holiday

Hi, folks!

It's been very quiet on the blog front lately due to my crazy busy schedule and new-found ability to sleep while standing up, or so it would seem most days.  However, I will be on holiday from this week through to the New Year and look forward to catching up with all of you then.

Wishing everyone a magical, safe and happy holiday season!


December 01, 2014

Getting Into the Season

Happy December!

Every year in November leading up to the Christmas season, my friends and I take an annual floral arranging course at the local and much renowned floral college, Ingvar Strandh.  We've been going there for years and they always have new projects, from wreaths to decorated candles to hanging arrangements and more.  It's always fun when you can go to these sorts of events and walk away with finished projects and they always look quite professional.

This year we took a half day course and did two projects (although not nearly as impressive as previous years): a decorated hyacinth bulb and a wreath, which also included a cute little handmade wire heart decoration.

Here's my little hyacinth with the bulb wrapped in fresh moss.  It's decorated with some lichen, dried apple slices and a little twig with red berries (can't remember the English or Swedish name for them).

And my finished wreath made from spruce boughs.  It's decorated with fresh moss balls and lichen, tiny fresh apples and dried apple slices, a small succulent plant and a handmade wire heart with berries and bow.  The smell is simply gorgeous!  And while this may look impressive, it's actually crazy easy when you have the supplies.

All finished!  I decided instead of hanging the wreath on a door where I wouldn't get to enjoy it so much to instead use it as a centre piece on my coffee table with a huge pillar candle (also made at the floral college a few years ago).  Now I get to see and smell its beauty every day.

November 29, 2014

Little One...Hello

Earlier this month friends of mine had a baby boy.  Naturally this meant that a baby card was in order.  I got to work straight away and in very little time came up with this (if I do say so myself - and I do) adorable card.

Now, would you believe that this card was entirely made from supplies from the Project Life baby girl kit?  Yes, indeed.  Everyone I know recently has been having baby girls and so my stash of baby related papercrafting is overloaded with pink, frilly cuteness.  And then suddenly a baby boy.  Well, I was up to the challenge.

I started shifting through the Project Life cards, looking for any non-pink possibilities.  Now, don't get me wrong, I see no problem in little boys having pink things and dolls and I certainly see nothing wrong with little girls having blue things and playing with Tonka Trunks but it's probably safest to play the gender neutral card in these situations.  So...I went with the fab retro orange and brown combination.

The elephants, stars and moon are from the Simple Stories baby girl collection kit and aren't they just the cutest?  I piled the elephants up on the bottom in a little family train.

Having added the elephants, there was suddenly this yellow from the baby elephant that was out of sync with the rest of the design and colour palette so I searched the Simple Stories sticker sheet for a way to bring more yellow into the card.  I found the moon and added some stars to make a visual triangle.  The cork cloud was a nice way of anchoring the stars and adding another texture and dimension of brown at the same time.

Finally - and I didn't take a photo of this part - I added the sentiment inside.  And to my horror, as I was writing out my note to my friends, I misspelt one of the words!  No!  What to do, what to do?  I grabbed for a package of word stickers and found a selection that not only fit with the message but even worked with the colour scheme and completely covered up my faux pas - whew!

November 26, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Hello, hello!

Wow, is it seriously Wednesday again already?  Amazingly, I got some extra stitching done over the weekend and that means more progress on my Nice People, Nice Things embroidery quilt.

It's shaping up nicely.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced:

November 24, 2014

Wish Patchwork Birthday Card

Hi, there!

Last month I made up a set of patchwork thank you cards and decided as my mum has been a professional quilter, it would only be fitting to make a similar patchwork card for her birthday this year.  As I still had many tiny little triangles left over from the first batch of cards, it was a very quick and easy make.

Wish Patchwork Birthday

Like the original set, I used a small doily and a die-cut, this time scalloped, and a sprinkling of gold sequins.  I also added some of the pink thread I used for the stitching between the doily and the die-cut.  I had intended on layering up some other elements but I didn't want to detract from the patchwork background so I decided to just keep it simple.

And thankfully, while this card won't make it to her on or before her birthday, it won't be months late like her Mother's Day card was - whew!

November 21, 2014

Kiva Update - Andres in Mexico

I received another update from Kiva on one of my loan investments - I'm really loving this feature and being able to keep updated on the progress of lenders.

Andres in Mexico received a loan to start his own cucumber plantation business and he's well under way.  Here's his update:

Reposted email from Kiva:
With the loan Andrés got from Kiva, he rented a 3,000 meter greenhouse in Yecapixtla, Morelos and planted 8,000 organic cucumber seeds.

Andrés can herefrom become a partner of Truequio’s cooperative and sell his cucumber production for exportation at a better price.

He is very enthousiastic about his work and the influence that young producers like him can have within his…


Want to get involved with Kiva, too?  Join Kiva today!

November 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Hello, hello!

Just a short post to share with you today my most recent progress on my Nice People, Nice Things embroidery quilt.  I really like the simple elegance of this block.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced:

Until next time...

November 17, 2014

Celebration Tea Bag Pinwheel

Welcome back!

Recently I decided to try a new technique.  I was reading through a back-logged issue of Papercraft Inspirations and came across a Masterclass article for tea bag folding and thought I'd give it a whirl - if you like origami (and I do), then tea bag folding is just the thing for you, too.

Celebrate Pinwheel

As with origami, using a thin paper is helpful with the folding and obtaining crisp edges so I dug out some of the free 6x6" paper gifts from Papercraft Inspirations (as these are always thin quality paper) and got started making my pinwheel.  It was super quick and easy, although it turned out larger than I had anticipated.  I decided to mount it on a regular A6 card blank anyway, rather than a square, to give it some interest and really make it the focus of the card.  Similarly, I used a layer of vellum to diffuse the background pattern so it wasn't so overwhelming.

I dressed up the center of the pinwheel with a swirl of twine and two layered buttons, then sprinkled some pink/purple sequins around like a sparkling fireworks display, ran another length of twine along the fold and stamped a very simple sentiment onto the pinwheel itself.

This little message of cheer will be going to a colleague who is celebrating her 25th birthday and I hope it will put a sparkle in her eye.