Saturday, December 19, 2009

xmas card wonderland

I just love laying out a collection of coordinating cards... well, who doesn't - they look gorgeous (and you're glad it's finally over!).   You can see the previous post for design credits.

This year I made 50 cards, which didn't seem too bad because there were so many different Basic Grey papers I was drooling over.  And TONS of PTI scarlet jewel, aqua mist & spring moss ribbons in saddle stitch and polka dotsI finally tried making those Copic-colored gems/pearls/brads.  Wow.  Total money saver - and I dig using up stuff in my stash.

Here's the gal in her Hanna Andersson dress (every year we buy a size big at end-of-season sales and save it for the next year).  We did our photo shoot at the zoo - so lush!

Everything was going well when suddenly - drama! - the cat takes a dirt bath and strolls across my master pieces.  Ahh!  Dirty beast.  Why do they ALWAYS get right on top of your project?

Here just a few close-ups of some of the cards.  My little moments of zen:

stamps - PTI rustic snowflakes
paper - PTI kraft; Basic Gey Eskimo Kisses
ink - PTI snow; Versamagic
ribbon - PTI scarlet, moss & aqua saddle sticth & polka dot
embellish - glitter embossing powder, multi-color fine glitter, various gems/brads/pearls & Copic markers
tools - Scor-It, sewing machine, heat gun, glue pen, yellow Marvy circle punch, corner rounder, 1/8" Scor-tape, Tombow mono adhesive

Sunday, November 29, 2009

xmas card prep

They're not done as I had hoped (Dream Big!) but at least I managed to get an early start on cards this year.  Since last December I've wanted to use Pine's Rustic Snowflakes stamps (here) and CASE a photo card from Mish (here).  Paired with those new Basic Grey Eskimo Kisses papers - mmmm.  

Here's my craft table with the first round of cards, in stages of completion:

I say, first make embellishments because it's lovely fun.  Luckily I had scrap kraft paper left over from last year's card (here).  Here's the plan:

  1. stamp snowflake in white ink
  2. glitter heat emboss with Versamark ink
  3. use sponge dauber to soften center with white ink; buff
  4. add tiny white dots to outer circles with gelly roller
  5. (glue & glitter snowflakes - leave center blank for coordinating gem later)
  6. (punch out circle)

Next - the cards.  After a few attempts I discovered a design with the sentiment hidden behind the pull-out photo (see this in the card propped on the table).  The double-sided paper was just begging to be folded & distressed - but grandma's old Singer sewing machine was NOT sewing through those thick layers.  Instead, I'll stitch three sides of the patterned paper.  Here's an unfinished (unsewn) close-up of the card without the pull-out photo portion:
Here's the how to:
  1. slice a sheet of kraft paper, lengthwise
  2. trim a bit off one side
  3. stamp the sentiment so it's hidden by the pull-out photo portion
  4. edge sides with white ink; let dry (I did ~2 days, to be sure)
  5. glitter heat emboss 'snowflake' sentiment (it adds dimension if the alignment is off)
  6. fold (I use a jacked-up mini Scor-It - see photo below)
  7. make a pocket by sealing two sides with 1/8" Scor-Tape
  8. stamp 'handmade by' sentiment on back of card in white ink; sign & date w/ gelly roller pen
  9. edge bottom of card with white ink; let dry
  10. measure & cut patterned paper
  11. fold down & distress paper
  12. measure & cut ribbon - adhere
  13. (sew three sides of patterned paper & ribbon)
  14. (adhere paper to card)
  15. (attach embellishment; add coordinating gem)
  16. (measure & print personal message on kraft paper for back of pull-out)
  17. (measure & print photos)
  18. (round one corner of photo & kraft paper)
  19. (attach with brad in corner)
  20. (insert pull-out into card)
  21. (decorate, label & stamp envelopes)
Lastly, in trying to save a $10 I got a mini Scor-it.  I really LOVE the professional score, but had to tape a small ruler to the top to be able to score the center of an 11" piece of paper.  Oh well! 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

turkey day

We have a very special thanks for our lovely neighbors who are having us over for Thanksgiving dinner.  Robert is an amazing cook so I am quite looking forward to it :)  Not much time was on my hands but I made a quick little card, thank you to inspiration from a sketch from Dawn McVey.

We love those guys and their big old Great Dane, Uma.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

blog hop

Tonight's my first night for the Papertrey Ink blog hop and I won't be around until late (darn).  But the challenge was too inspiring to pass up - Grab & Go Gifts I wanted something for upcoming St. Nicolas day (Dec. 6th) - I lived in Germany when I was young and we always left wooden shoes out which St. Nicolas would fill with oranges, candy and goodies.  

We're trying the same tradition with our little one.  Plus I want to have a few yummy small gifts to take on-the-go to the O.B. Christmas parade & December Nights ('Christmas on the Prado').  The added bonus is the ripe citrus fruits just outside our front door - Christmas in So. Cal. means citrus!  Lemons & limes make gifts for parents and goodie bags are for the kids.

The card and a piece of custom-stamped vintage cream cardstock (so cute!) came first - crafted with love when I had more time.  (The back of the card has 'Handmade with Love' stamped in cream.)  For the bag, I needed something to literally grab & go from the cupboard in a snap - Unbleached Natural Waxed Paper Bags, small chocolate pretzels, tiny candy canes, a Cutie tangerine, and a tiny organic apple - whammo - stapled shut (with a few finishes on the tag).

I'll save this one for us for St. Nicolas Day.  And I have five more pieces of my custom paper for gifts for friends we meet up with at outdoor holiday events - perfect snacks to keep you refreshed & away from pricey food vendors.  I can make more cards if there's time, or add a quick sentiment to the bottom of the tag on the gift.  I'm lovin' it.

stamps - PTI Holiday Button Bits, Fruitful, Fruitful Sentiments, Borders & Corners - Square, Background Basics: Retro (candy cane stamps source unknown - cheap-os)

paper - PTI chocolate, scarlet, cream 
ink - PTI chocolate, scarlet, orangerie, sunset, leaf, chartreuse, cream; Tim Holtz linen distress ink 
ribbon - PTI scarlet saddle stitch, scarlet satin, cream twill; vintage cream twine
accents - PTI vintage orange & leaf buttons

tools - Marvy giga scalloped square punch; Cutterbee scissors; Glue dots; Tombow mono adhesive; foam dimensionals; stapler; Copic markers

Sunday, November 22, 2009

color challenge #19

With the entire WEEK off for break there's time for things a working mom can't usually justify.  Like trying a card challenge.  Dawn McVey & Nichole Heady visited Pioneer Woman's book signing (I was also inspired to try a recipe posted on PW's blog - chicken tikka masala... Dee-licious, if somewhat lighter in color than the photo).

The color challenge at Raspberry Suite is a mix of pastels which made me think of a candy shop.  I do need Xmas cards so here's my interpretation: 

I love it ;) although I was lazy reading the Sunday paper and missed the best morning sun for the photo.  And I think with more time I would box in the back panel sewing with some brown thread - I'll have to pick some up at Jo-Anns.

stamps - PTI Holiday Button Bits, Borders & Corners - Square, Background Basics - Retro & Rustic Snowflakes 
paper - PTI chocolate, raspberry, moss & cream 
ink - PTI chocolate, raspberry, moss, lavender, aqua & cream; Tim Holtz linen distress ink 
accents - PTI vintage raspberry, moss & aqua buttons; vintage cream twine 
tools - Marvy giga scalloped square punch; Tombow mono adhesive; foam dimensionals

Saturday, November 21, 2009

thankee kindly

Here's a thank you gift for a crafty mom friend who watched Caitlyn when I set up my classroomSuch a big help because that was a wild time - the desks and chairs for my 45 1st period students didn't arrive until 2pm the Friday before Labor day (and we were kicked off campus by 3).  Total whirlwind test in letting go.  Normally, teachers like to be prepared before the first day in a new school year (sarcasm?) but it was out of my hands.  Anyone but these super sweet kids would have sensed anxiety and gone for the jugular.

This is a cute & super easy download template from PTI - All Boxed Up.  I dig flourishes so I stamped kraft paper with leaf ink and added dots with a white pen to the tip of each swoop.  I stamped the flourish on the small square envelopes so it hangs over the back flap.  The ribbon is a cream satin flipped over to the non-shiny side and stamped with a sentiment.  The glass jar has a monogrammed top, also dotted with white (hard-to-see) on the green dot in the tiny repeating image.

stamps - PTI Fancy Flourishes, Simple Stationary, Fresh Alphabet, Damask Designs
paper - PTI kraft, leaf
ink - PTI leaf
accents - PTI vintage leaf button, bitty dots leaf ribbon

tools - Marvy circle punch; corner rounder punch; Scor-tape; Tombow mono adhesive; Sakura Gelly Roll white pen
other - small glass jar from the Container Store

Friday, November 20, 2009

giving thanks

We're so thankful for the friends and family that helped us this summer and fall on our vacation up the coast to Oregon and while transitioning jobs.  There's still some gifting we have to do, but here's a trio of cards from our first round of thankin'.

I just adore the Basic Grey Lemonade collection.  There was a 'fun & funky card set' layout in the July '09 Papercrafts '225 Cards & Gifts' by Kim Kesti (p.9, my favorite #).  I used a combination of papers & chipboard, as well as rub-ons, stickers, brads, gems & button.  No stamping except for inked edges, which is crazy unusual for me.

There's a great download for every possible size of envelope liners at Nichole Heady's blog (here) - it's so cute and another good way to sneak in another coordinated print.  I tend to put paper on the outside of the flap so this is another unexpected change.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Yes, my darling husband's a stay at home dad.  Lucky dog - cashin' in on the deal after Caitlyn's already in school :)  Actually, I couldn't be happier.  Once, when I came home, there was a ROAST in the oven.  Once there were organic reverse chocolate chip cookies - baked from scratch.  Once there was a red velvet star bundt cake - cut into 3 layers and iced with cream cheese frosting.  I haven't done laundry in weeks.  He clips recipes for my recipe binder.  This is a man who spent 13 years as a commercial/industrial electrician.  And I am loving every minute of this.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

queen of hearts

Well, we dealt with a Halloween fever for the little one. I finally finished sewing the Queen of Hearts costume that day - Caitlyn wanted it as much for the Mother Goose queen (you know, the knave stole her tarts...) as for the queen in the Alice in Wonderland books. She's growing fast (size 5) and loves dress-up clothes so I made it a little big (5/6). Pinning up the baggy bodice misaligned the checkerboard, but my perfectionism can take a rest for a moment.
Poor kid was draggin' for the first pictures, but she revved right up for trick-or-treating with her buddy, Leela. All were forewarned of her fever, but the girls could not be stopped.
All the parents dressed up and it was soooo much fun. We didn't make it far, but did grab a great shot of these two queens (snicker).

pumpkin carving

Daddy helped Caitlyn scoop out her pumpkin, and carved all the jack-o-lanterns by himself. The newspaper was a good idea - until they got wet and dropped the guts everywhere.
(a very sassy lady)

Friday, November 6, 2009

wedding + gift

Summer slipped by so fast, I didn't snap pictures of some of my favorite crafty creations. Two days before I started teaching my hard drive crashed and I lost all the teaching files and about a year's worth of photos :( That was a BIG bummer. Thanks to the blog I have some pictures intact - and new found motivation to document this & that. Today I have a gift, a card, and a lovely wedding to share.

My dear friend Java got married on 10-10. It was so moving and I teared up during one of the readings (e.e. cummings I think). Here are two shots to share:

I also took a rest from sewing for some beloved paper crafts - it's so fun to make a set of monogrammed cards and a wedding card. I love their color scheme, and there's just something wonderful about October weddings ;)

The card photos are taken at the Compton cabin, Pinecrest, in the high desert North-East of L.A. The sun was a wee bit shiny so it's hard to see the front of the 'Happily Ever After'. I like the white grosgrain ribbon on the front of the notecards - it's simple & elegant.

Friday, September 18, 2009

teaching again

After five years out of the classroom working as a high school science resource teacher, and nine years since teaching middle school – I find myself back again. I'm teaching 6th grade Earth science, 7th grade Life science, and 8th grade Physical science at a K-8 school south of San Diego. I have a huge, climate-controlled room with all new desks, chairs and equipment. The kids are great and we're all enjoying ourselves.

My first two classes are 7th graders, who've been growing 30 day seed-to-seed Fast Plants:

I have one 7th grade class with a RIDICULOUS size of 45 students. It's 1st period so they're half asleep, but still a sea of tween hormones:

I have one mid-day 6th grade class - small but with 1/3 ESL/special ed. Here they are learning about erosion using stream tables:
Sometimes they get over-eager, like this note-taking incident here:

My last two classes are 8th graders, doing parallel and series circuits here:

And electromagnet fun here:

Great kids, really. As long as you keep em busy ;)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

first day of school

Our 3 1/2 year old started a mixed-age kindergarten class (3 1/2 - 5 year olds) at the Waldorf School of San Diego. She takes her little basket with organic lunch everyday. My wonderful husband took two days off work for her first days of school (I was teaching & wouldn't dare leave students to a sub the first week of school).
Here's the classroom during her 'kindergarten tea': the day before class kids come in small groups for an hour to get a feel for the classroom and their teacher. It's hard to tell from the photo but the silks give the room a rosy glow.

Here's Caitlyn playing at the seasonal nature table - the kids add little treasures they find at outdoor playtime.
And, here's her cubby with her very own ladybug symbol.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Our two year old German Rottweiller - Caitlyn's constant companion & personal nemesis. We got her in Ramona, CA the day before evacuations for the fires of 2007. The school district closed the central office for a week so I was home with baby Ky-Ky.
She's smart, loving, beautiful, loyal, stubborn, playful, and gentle. Her name's Kaya Von Compton Hall but we call her Beast.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

teacher thanks

I worked with two amazing beginning teachers for the past two years, and they 'graduated' from the BTSA program. Here's one of the two congratulations cards - in crisp blue and white (the other was grey and green). They loved them - these are high school science teachers here, so no 'red apples' theme.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

jam time

This is my first jam - just strawberries and organic evaporated cane syrup in the bread maker. I cased an adorable Debbie Olson gift set (found here) - I made mine with craft punches instead of nestabilities. To do the machine stitching I haul my grandmother's Singer out of the closet and grab an extension cord to set it up on the living room coffee table. My three-year-old gets a total kick out of every step!

The jam topper is my own design - I like the little stamped expiration date. I'll think I'll add a ribbon around the jar with a bow & button embellishment. The jam turned out like very thick honey (sugar content too high - but it didn't call for any pectin). I'll try a fruit preserves next time.

Stamps- PTI Fruitful, Fruitful Sentiments, Borders & Corners - Circle, Paper Tray, Simple Alphabet
Paper- PTI avocado, poppy, stamper's select white, Bitty Dots & Bitty Box patterned paper
Ink- PTI poppy, avocado; Tim Holtz antique linen distress ink
Ribbon- PTI red grosgrain; jute
Tools- Marvy punches: giga scalloped square, mega circle, extra jumbo circle; Multi-tags punch; Fiskars pinking shears & small scallop scissors; sewing machine; sandpaper; sponge dauber
Other- PTI leaf buttons; scor-tape