Friday, December 31, 2010

last post of the decade

2010 came and 2010 went - how time is speeding by!  We had a lovely first Christmas in our new home.  Grandma and Grandpa Compton stayed for a few days and we enjoyed delicious food, good walks, and quality family time.  Santa found the house, and the most loved presents this year were a bike, wooden jump rope, and unicorn pillow pet.
 Now here's to a new year and a new decade!  There's so much fun yet to come!


Monday, December 27, 2010

christmas cards

Did you catch this adorable folk art card from Betsy Veldman last year (link here)?  It's stamped with the PTI Christmas Friends set and I just fell in love.  I made it into our 2010 card by adding my favorite sentiment from this year's Big & Bold Holiday Wishes set. (And, oh my,  I always keep one 'mess-up' - it looks like I photographed my oops card!)
I LOVE Betsy's design but tweaked it to make it easier for mass production.  Instead of ribbon & bows, I used diecut felt ric-rac and a diecut snowflake.  The turtle doves image went on a separate pieces of cardstock, just in case of stamping mistakes :).  I added texture by running it through a canvas impression plate, then inked the edges since I was not about to sew (did that last year and won't ever do it again).  
I cut Pine's Rustic Snowflake paper into strips that could piece together as unique cards, even with a production line of 55.
 Man, do I love seeing them all lined up!  It was a labor of love - especially when interrupted with a surprise move on December 3rd.  (We had our house on the market but never expected to sell so quickly.  Luckily, the timing was right to get us into our perfect home for Christmas!)
 This message and the fonts from Inside & Out: Holiday just blew me away.  It's exactly what I wanted to say.  These cards were a lot of fun to make... and I've already got some cute papers stashed away for next year's creations!


stamps - PTI Christmas Friends, Big & Bold Wishes, Big & Bold Holiday Wishes, Inside & Out: Holiday, Peace Be Still, Rustic Snowflakes ('Handmade by' snowflake image on back of card)
paper - PTI rustic cream, Rustic Snowflakes patterened paper
ink - PTI pure poppy, ocean tides; Versamagic sage; Distress Ink antique linen
accents - PTI pure poppy, ocean tides, spring moss felt
tools- PTI Rickrack die, Mat Stack 4 die, Canvas impression plate; Cuttlebug; Marvy heart punch (orange) 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

advent spiral

Our four year old had her first candle-held walk through the Advent Spiral with her kindergarten class at the Waldorf school.  This a beautiful Winter ceremony symbolizing the individual receiving their Light in darkness.  
 (photo credit: whitt, flickr link here)
The spiral is fragrantly decorated with evergreen boughs, crystals, seashells, and other elements from Nature.  In the center is a wooden stump with a large candle.  Each child reverently carries an apple holding a beeswax candle through the two and a half turns of the spiral while soft lyre music plays.  In the center the child lights their candle then walks back, stopping to light a candle on the floor and placing a glass lantern over top.
(photo credit: FaerieWaldorf, etsy link here)
Caitlyn tiptoed the entire way as she solemnly carried her candle.  She looked beautiful in her new red and cream holiday dress, cream and red snowflakes tights, and long french braid.  (Of course, her behavior was less than stellar as she waited her turn, but I chalk that up to being Caitlyn.)  In true San Diego form it was an 80ยบ evening so the only thing missing was cold weather.

I also enjoyed the dusk Lantern Walk through Presidio Park for the Michaelmas celebration in November, but there was something truly special about the Advent Spiral.  Although this will be our last year at Waldorf, I know this is a special tradition we will recreate in our home every December.

With peace,

Thursday, November 25, 2010

thanksgiving prep

This year is our first year to do the turkey!  I usually cook the trimmings alongside my mom who does the bird.  But they're up in Oregon, and we're having this one last holiday in our first house (we move next weekend!)Here's what's on the menu (all recipes either Martha Stewart or Pioneer Woman):

'Lighter' side recipes are from the Nov. Living issue:
Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes (MS)
Green Beans Creamed with Mushroom and Shallots (MS)
Whole Wheat Stuffing with Turkey Sausage (MS)
Sweet Potato Puree with Browned Butter and Maple Syrup (MS)

Family classics:
Cranberry Orange Relish
Crescent Rolls
White Wine & Martinelli's Cider
Homemade Pumpkin Pie
Fresh Whipped Cream

And there - my first apple pie!  I was nervous about the lattice, but no problem.  The caramel sauce gets poured right over the lattice onto the apples, so it sugar-crisps nicely as it bakes.  Now just a few hours until the big feast!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!!!

I am so blessed in my life and thankful for every bit of it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

alice, white rabbit & queen

Luckily the little flu that hit Friday was just that - little.  By Sunday, and trick-or-treating, we were all ready to hit the scene.  Thank goodness.  Last year she got a fever the day of Halloween, so she was totally dragging all afternoon (see the picture here) then perked up for going out that night with her friend AND both families.
This year we cleverly re-cycled the same home-made costume by dressing up the rest of the family, and going around a different block ;)
I love our adorable 'matching' tights (I have pairs of these black-striped tights in red, white, pink, purple, green - I used to love wearing them!) 

I'm also a repeat Alice offender.  I'm been her in 8th grade, senior year on the homecoming float for 'Seniors in Wonderland', my first year of teaching at age 22, for Caitlyn's babyshower, and now pregnant with the twins.

So, yes, we also brought along Tweedle-Dum & Tweedle-Dee for trick-or-treating, but they're lying low ;)  I'm 15 weeks now and greatly enjoying the ease of the second trimester.  There are subtle hints of the discomfort to come though.  Still, I'm excited to soon feel two babies jostling around in there!  In just 21 days we find out the genders - can't wait!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

happy hallowe'en!

It's here!  Tonight's the night!  Are you excited too?  We'll be hitting the houses on the block for trick-or-treating.
Here are some treats made for a gang of pre-schoolers (our party was postponed to next Sunday - the flu hit again).  But they're all ready to go, and the perfect little fit for two treats each.
The Tiny Treats stamps are just TOO DARN CUTE.  I have to share each treat:

Happy Halloween!!!

The First Lady of Halloween

Thursday, October 28, 2010

it's almost here!

Here's a little pumpkin cutie card.  Looks a wee bit plain in the picture, but the spider webs are SPARKLY in real life!  I took my MS glue pen and drew over all the lines, then sprinkled on my favorite ultra-fine, multi-colored glitter.  (I started using this stuff for Burning Man costumes - a friend would pour a little pile in their palm and gently blow it all over my hair, face, and costume.  FUN!)

I tried quite a few things on the inside that I've never done!  I placed a bunch of images & words on an acrylic grid block and stamped them with Versamark ink onto colored paper, creating another sheet of designer paper.  Then I trimmed the size I needed, stitched the edges (never put sewn bits on the inside of a card), and used pop-up dimensionals for the die-cut focal point (never even used my pop-ups before).  And, I stamped a cute combo of sentiments where I would normally sign it, instead including a small written note on matching notepaper.
Yes, this is quite possibly the blurriest picture I've ever taken.  I'm sorry.  It's hard to look at, but I have nothing better.  For the treat, just 2 dark chocolate-caramel Ghirardelli squares in a medium glasseine bag.  The topper is a stampled die-cut made from from the same sheet used on the card inside.

Tonight, I'm finishing Halloween treats for our little party guests this Saturday.  Then I need to research a scary (but not too gory or disgusting) movie to watch late at night on All Hallows Eve.  I can't WAIT for all the trick-or-treating and fun!

The First Lady of Hallowe'en

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

designer halloween papers

I tried my hand at making 'designer paper' last Christmas (see post here) and this year I made some Halloween papers.  The PTI Halloween stamps were released right when we returned from a backpacking trip, so I was inspired by my camping hat:
I sliced and pieced together cardstock stripes which were Scotch taped in the back (perhaps there's a better way to do this - it worked for me).  I forgot to take pictures before I cut a corner out of it :)  After I cut, I re-taped the 'raw' edge to keep the sheet together.  It looks so cool in person!
Next I stamped a patterned paper It's hard to see in the photo, but there are plum pudding and scarlet jewel images here.  Every good web needs a spider, so I stamped them next to star clusters.
I also punched and stamped a few double-sided Halloween tags (btw - I'm SO excited for new 1.75" circle mat dies from PTI!!!).  At one time, there was one tag for every color, so I seem to have misplaced a few (orange and scarlet).  I've got something fun up my sleeve for these later.
The blank, pre-folded, coordinating cards are ready for crafting, so we'll just have to see what becomes of it all!  


Friday, October 8, 2010

witchy invites

Halloween party time!  I'd hoped these invites would be ready for the last blog hop because they use a technique I learned from Nichole Heady.  She stamped a star border repeatedly to create a rainbow (in the Wish Big card at the bottom of the post here)I wanted the silhouette of a witch flying against a sunset, so I used plum, scarlet, terra cotta, orange and sunrise stars, clustered as tightly as possible.
I diecut the witch with the Cricut cartridge, A Child's Life, at 2 3/4" then ran it through a Xyron machine (helping all the detailed bits stay put).  I diecut the label on bitty star paper and wrote the invitation details.  I just love how Fillable Frames #4 coordinates with the label from Friendship Jar!  The sentiment and bats are stamped on scraps of paper.
There also happened to be a 'warlock' image on the cartridge, so I made another version with a swap-er-oo of the colors.  Love!  The best part, of course, is seeing them all lined up.  Ahhhh.
I didn't want the project to end, so I put a lot of detail into the envelopes.  I tried Betsy Veldman's idea of sewing an A2 envelope to create a perfect 'pocket' for a 4x4" card.  It worked great, and looked so finished (I highly recommend it!).
You can see the stitching on the front on the envelope, so I used the broom & stars image from Fall Jar Fillers to disguise things a little (colored with Copics Y32, Y35, V91, E55, T1 and 0).  I couldn't resist a matching frame for the address (although most invites got hand-delivered).  Finally, a fun envelope seal to complete the 'witchy' theme!

You could do these cute square cards using any ribbon, any sentiment inside the tiny label, and any focal point.  I'm sure I'll use this design again ;)


stamps - PTI Been Boo'd, Friendship Jar Fall Fillers, Friendship Jar, 2009 Halloween Tags, Fillable Frames #4
paper - PTI Bitty Star Basics; true black, orange zest, summer sunrise, lavender moon
ink - PTI true black, plum pudding, scarlet jewel, terracotta tile, orange zest, summer sunrise
accents - PTI satin plum pudding ribbon
tools- PTI Copic trios, FF #4 die, Jar Label die; Cricut 'A Child's Life', Cuttlebug, Xyron, vintage Singer sewing machine, 1 3/4" circle punch

Monday, October 4, 2010

card swap

I got this Lovely pair of cards a week ago from Mary in the PTI halloween card swap.  If I weren't preoccupied with the events covered in my last blog post I'd have gotten them up sooner!  Of course, I'd also planned on getting 2 "Boo" gifts out to neighbors (haven't started them yet), sending my PTI swap card to Mariana (isn't finished) and decorating for Halloween (with 3 open houses this week I can't start yet).  

But I CAN post some loveliness from Mary!  I also got a PTI notepad from this summer (I didn't make it to CHA), AND the cards are blank on the inside...  so I guess I can send them to friends!

I'm inspired by the soft Earth tones, the dimension behind the witchy image, and the fun mix of patterns & texture in the ghost card.  They're gorgeous and I love them :)  Thanks Mary!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

the most wonderful time of the year

Wow!  September has blown in and blown out and what's left is a lot of October excitement and anticipation.  Quickie-lickie, some news updates:
  • I'm pregnant with twins! (due 4/19, find out genders, etc. Thanksgiving week)
  • Our house just went on the market! (can't fit 5 people into 743 square feet)
  • I'm teaching 260 middle schoolers on a hectic 2 day cycle
  • Caitlyn started ballet lessons
  • Everyone in the house's recovering from a cold
  • Celebrated a special 5 year anniversary dinner @ Mr.A's
 And now, it's finally beloved Halloween season!!  I've been busily concocting some witchy invitations for a small gathering.  I'm also drooling over some designer papers at Studio 45 - Hallowe'en in Wonderland.  See them here.  Be still my beating heart.
27 days until the magic!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

quilters cards

I've had this fun little card set up my sleeve for awhile.  My mom is big into sewing so this special gift is for her.  I also wanted to recycle the PTI stamp boxes for use with card sets, so now I've got a basic design (don't miss it at the bottom of the post)!
Here's the poppy quilt Birthday card (dark & bright cards get a ripe avocado border)...

the melon quilt Friendship card (softer colors get a spring moss border)...

the aqua quilt Hospitality Thanks card...

the avocado 'On the Mend' card...

and the chocolate Marriage card:

I looooved coloring the spools on the front of the envelope, each outlined with a little T1:

and the inside & outside of all the cards looked so pretty lined up-

I wanted to find a way to box a set so you can tell what colors/patterns are in it, as well as the different occasions.  So I stamped and scored up a little stand that also helped fill the extra space in the CD box.  I also wanted to put some paper tags on the outside so it wouldn't be all plastic-y:
Here's the detail:
And the back:
I had to get a little tricky with my tag because I wanted to use the same stitched circle border as the front, but it didn't fit with the trademark stamp I wanted, so I had to mask off the 'Papertrey Ink' part.
When I delivered it to my mom, it was with strict orders that she use upcoming occasions to actually USE the cards :)  Apparently she sent one to my SIL for her birthday, so good job mom for sending, not hoarding, them!


stamps - PTI Quilter's Sampler, Daily Designs, Daily Designs Sentiments, Borders & Corners: Circle, Trademarks, Fresh Alphabet, Simple Alphabet, Fruitful Sentiments
paper - PTI Tea Leaves & Bitty Box PP, rustic white, kraft, poppy, melon, avocado, aqua, chocolate, moss
ink - PTI chocolate, poppy, avocado, melon, aqua
accents - PTI rustic jute twine
tools - PTI Copic trios; Scor-tape, Scor-it mini, EK Success 3/4" square punch, 1 3/4" circle punch & 2 scalloped borders punches, Marvy 2" scalloped circle punch