Day 10 thing-a-day

I am working on a huge birthday post (it was a really great day), but I wanted to fit in this thing-a-day post first:

scrapbookpages

I worked on these two scrapbook pages yesterday, which was my birthday and the 10th day of the thing-a-day challenge. They are for the scrapbook I do with my sister-in-law, Chelsea, and I have been meaning to complete them for a long time. (The Christmas page is for 2008!) I figured I could make some time for fun crafting on my birthday and I am glad I did.

pre-birthday

polaroid

Travis got me this mini, instant Polaroid printer for my birthday (which is tomorrow). And I have been playing around with it today. I think that counts as a creative endeavor for thing-a-day. That little photo of Crusher (stuck to my computer with a heart sticker) is an example of the prints it produces. They actually have sticky backs on each of the prints, but I just wasn’t committed enough to peel off the back of the print to stick on my computer forever. It is a pretty fun little printer! The photos print out in less than a minute. You can even send photos directly from your cell phone. I need to keep playing around with it! (Sorry for the burned out photo – I had to use flash.)

Since I am doing a little birthday gift preview, check out this amazing La Mer treasure trove sent to me by my parents! I feel so spoiled! …and that was only a part of the gift package they sent! Stay tuned for more birthday details tomorrow.

lamer

thing-a-day 6: Swap-bot Valentines

valentins

Already done with my thing-a-day creation for today! I had been planning to make downloadable Swap-bot Valentines this year and I am so happy that I actually made the time to do it. I designed two cute Valentine cards – one with Ernie, the Swap-bot logo/mascot, and one with Crusher – and a little matching envelope. The PDF file is totally free and you simply download it, print it out on card stock, cut out your Valentines, and give them to your friends!

SwapbotValentines

Download the Swap-bot Valentines PDF here.

There are some basic instructions on the PDF, but assembly is really easy. Cut just inside the black lines, then score and fold the envelope on the grey lines. Fold in the shorter sides of the envelope, then the bottom. You can glue these parts together. Slip your Valentine card inside the envelope, fold down the top, seal it, and give it to someone you love!

prototypes

I hope that some of our Swap-bot users enjoy them. Crusher was so excited about the cards that he already started handing his out!

Crushersvalentine

day 5: cookies!

cookies

I made cookies today. Another food for my thing-a-day. They are chocolate chip-style with a combo of MnMs and swirled white and dark chocolate chips. They were made with whole wheat flour in an attempt to be a little bit healthier. I hope they hold us over during the snowpocalypse that is supposed to hit tonight!

thing-a-day 4: food

bean-salad

Today’s “new creative thing” is this healthy salad that I made for dinner. It is Bob Greene’s Black Eyed Pea Salad with Turkey Bacon recipe from today’s Oprah show. It was extremely tasty considering that it is part of a “managing diabetes” diet. The whole Oprah Show was about diabetes, and even though I don’t usually watch, I tuned in today. My grandfather had diabetes and I am just generally scared of it. I should be more concerned about heart disease – and I am- but it doesn’t hurt to have even more motivation to eat healthy. The salad consisted of romaine lettuce, tomatoes, black eyed peas, turkey bacon, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar. Bob Green (Oprah’s health guru) was touting apple cider vinegar as some sort of miracle liquid that decrease the glycemic index of any food it is paired with. …but I guess it wouldn’t taste good on donuts.

adventures in sewing

newapronI made this apron today! It took me all morning, but I am pleased to have followed through and actually completed a full sewing project. I used the pattern and instructions from Weekend Sewing, a lovely book I received from my mom for Christmas. I am also working on a full review of the book for Craft Critique, so stay tuned for that.

My sewing skills are not superb… I have a hard time keeping my sewing lines straight and usually I am too impatient to actually iron the fabric and hems as I go, but for this project I took my time and tried to do it right. I used my mom’s old Kenmore sewing machine, which is heavy, and noisy, and awesome – I really love it. It works great considering that it is older than I am, and I have FINALLY gotten the hang of threading the bobbin.

It feels good to at least have a basic understanding of sewing (seamstressing? tailoring?), but man, Travis and I would be in trouble if I had to sew all of our clothes! This apron is the third easiest pattern in the Weekend Sewing book… there is a wrap dress in there that I want to try, but I am afraid of ruining a bunch of nice fabric. Maybe I should make the checkbook cover first…

so behind…

omg. ugh. This week has been crazy. It is a monster of my own creation, but I am paying for it just the same. It has not been bad, just busy… And I am so behind on just about everything. I am ok with being behind. I am really ok that dirty dishes are stacked to the ceiling and clothes are sitting in the dryer. Really, I am ok. The only thing I am not ok with is the fact that people are counting on me and I am not coming through for them. If I owe you a call, or an email, or a thank you card and you haven’t received it, I am sorry. It you are a swap-botter with a swap-botting emergency and you haven’t heard from me, I am sorry. My excuse is only that I can’t keep up with it all on a daily basis, but I think maybe I will catch up this weekend. Maybe.

Travis and I released a beta version of GROUPS on Swap-bot, which is exciting. Although, it is a much bigger project than two people can handle while working full time at other jobs… Oh well, we will hold it all together with twine and duct tape like usual and everything will work out. The awesome news is that there are some amazing swap-botters who are being a tremendous help. It is so rewarding when our members respond positively. It just makes me wish we could make Swap-bot perfect for them. Someday…

I created the little image above with elements from a digital scrapbooking kit from Two Peas in a Bucket. The graphics are by Rhonna Farrer and they are for personal use only. (This is my personal blog, so I hope that counts.) I basically do digital scrapbooking everyday at work and I have been using Photoshop almost everyday of my life for the past eight years, so I am curious about the digital scrapbooking stuff. I should really create my own designs, but I wanted to see how the kits work. How many people do digital scrapbooking? I mean it is pretty intense. You have to have a powerful computer, not to mention Photoshop, which adds up to a pretty pricey endeavor just to make scrapbooks… I figure the people who have that type of equipment have to be graphic design professionals of some sort and could basically create designs themselves… of course that takes time. I am just wondering if digital is popular in the scrapbooking world…. let me know if you are a participant.

Ok, I am off to answer emails. Wish me luck! xoxo

one word

So, I guess there is this blog “thing” where people pick a focus word for each year. It is just supposed to be something you want to keep in mind throughout the year, like your one-word mantra. Two of my favorite bloggers chose AM and VITALITY. Very good choices. I am gonna go with HOPE – but not the feely-touchy, “hope is the song of my spirit” type of hope – more like anything is possible. I mean anything and everything actually is possible. I plan to make big plans all based on the HOPE that any, or all, of my goals are possible. HOPE is a belief in a positive outcome. And that is all you really need.

my first ruffle

bathroomcutain.jpg

abfabrics.jpgWell, it only took me about a year, but I finally replaced the bathroom curtain that was left by the previous owner. The old curtain was gray and pretty gross (it had dead bugs stuck to the window side). I wanted to do something totally the opposite to try and brighten up the little bathroom. I previously discovered that my local Ben Franklin Crafts sells Amy Butler fabrics. I picked out these two wild prints, lime oxford stripe and olive kashmir, from the Full Bloom Belle line. I had originally wanted to do pom-pom fringe instead of the ruffle, but NOwhere sells pom-pom fringe. Martha Stewart just likes to use it on all her projects simply to drive me crazy! So, I made the ruffle from scratch. This is the first time I ever attempted an original ruffle. It turned out satisfactory, but it is slightly uneven. I should have pinned it more carefully and been more patient. Lesson for life, I suppose…

operation invite: complete

makinginvites.jpg

My little (baby) brother is getting married this summer and I am helping out by making the invitations and other paper goods. I finished the invitations over the weekend (and the beginning of this week) and mailed them out to the bride and groom on Wednesday. Hopefully, they will arrive (they were sent Priority) by Friday, and then could possibly be sent out to the guests by Tuesday of next week.

I would post a photo of the actual invites, but I don’t know if the bride wants to keep them as a surprise… I will tell you that they are very beautiful!