9/29/14

Jackson’s First Birthday and My Trip to Colorado

My trip to Colorado was wonderful. It was good to spend some time with Geoffrey and Lauren, and get to know Lauren’s mom, Deb, too. The weather was perfect and I even got a sunburn up in the Rockies!

This is the view from their backyard. Isn’t it beautiful? I enjoyed sitting out on the back patio every morning with my coffee and listening to the birds, feeling the cool breeze, and just taking in the view. Ahhh.

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Keith (the black dog) and Dexter, sleeping on the couch next to me. Keith and I became best buddies, he’s such a sweetie.

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There were still a few hummingbirds around, but the weather was starting to cool off and they were heading for warmer climates.

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We took a little ride over the Continental Divide along Loveland Pass. It’s beautiful up there, but the road is a little scary. It was really cold up that high, too. If you look towards the middle right of the sign you can see the road below. The cars looked like teeny tiny toys from up there.

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There was a beautiful double rainbow on the other side of the Divide. This photo does not do it justice, it was brilliant.

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We took a trip down into Denver for the day. It was H O T and humid that day, not at all like the cool mountain breezes in the higher altitude.

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This is at the 16th St. Mall, which is actually several city blocks in downtown Denver. It’s closed to car traffic, but they have free buses driving down both sides of the center area all day, and you can hop on an off at any stop. There are more of these outdoor pianos all along the way, and this guy was jammin’ on one of them. Yes, that’s a weed shop in the background :-)

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After I left Colorado, it was off to Ohio to see my daughter and adorable grandson. He turned 1 on September 6 and it’s amazing how much he’s grown. He’s walking and it’s hard to get a photo of him that’s not blurry - he’s not still for a minute!

He doesn’t look too pleased at having his picture taken here - I’m not sure what that look was about.

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We took him to the park and he loved the swings!

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And he’s off!!

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This is one of his favorite things to do - he loves being upside down.

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So Grandpapa had to give it a go. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more.

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He’s such a handsome little man and my daughter is so beautiful, and so proud of her little guy.

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“Tent Time” always makes him giggle. She puts a blanket over both of them and when she pulls it off he just giggles and laughs, it’s so cute! Do you think he has enough toys? That’s only a small portion of them, too.

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His own little birthday cake…he wasn’t quite sure what to do with it but he managed to make a pretty good mess of it.

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And finally here is the card I made for him. I love these cards in a box. I cut the 1 with my Silhouette and all the rest is done with dies and punches.

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I’m ready to get back on the road. I need a Jackson fix soon. I’d love to go back to Colorado, but that may have to wait until the Spring. Geoffrey and Lauren may be making a trip out here in a few months, at least I hope so!

8/13/14

Nahnahnahnahnahnahnah….Batman!

It’s hard to believe, but the most adorable baby on the planet (my grandson) will soon be one year old. How did that happen?? Well it did, and his mama and daddy decided on a Batman theme for his party so I volunteered to design the invitations. Here they are…

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I used my Silhouette for the spotlight beam, the bat, and the “Calling All Superheroes” burst. The stars are stamped in gold Delicata ink using a Hero Arts cling background stamp and the cityscape is a set of My Favorite Things dies. The spotlight beam is cut out of gold vellum, as is the oval that the bat in on. I backed the oval with bright yellow card stock to make it a little brighter, and also to make it easier to glue down. Adhesive shows through vellum so much, I had to do something to hide it.

I’m glad there were only 21 invitations needed because the die cuts the teeny tiny windows, but the itty bitty window pieces don’t all come out when you pull the paper off of the die. I developed a very close relationship with my pointy pokey tool while making these :-). It was a labor of love and I’m happy they turned out so well, but that die is having a well deserved rest right now.

The inside was printed on yellow paper, no stamps involved. I found one on Pinterest and just recreated it - why reinvent the wheel, right?

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After all of the cards were assembled, I couldn’t resist created a banner with his name on it. I couldn’t find a bat shape, so I just used a fishtail banner from my Silhouette library. After the party is over, they can hang it in his room!

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I punched the holes with my Crop-a-dile (I knew I kept that thing for some reason) and strung the banner with a double strand of yellow and white baker’s twine. I secured the twine on the back of each letter with a bit of packing tape so they wouldn’t slide around. It’s hard to see in the photo, but the very back layer is a dark blue. The letters are cut out of the top layer and the yellow layer shows through.

I can’t wait to see him again. I miss his sweet little face :-)

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See you soon, sweet baby!

7/18/14

Happy Red, White, and Blue Birthday!

My hubby’s birthday was July 9. He’s quite patriotic and terribly fond of the old red, white, and blue. Last year I spelled out Happy Birthday on his card using Naval signal flags (he was in the Navy) and knew I would have to top that one this year.

Card in a Box to the rescue! BooYah! (is that still a thing?)

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Is that R,W, & B enough for you? And a few sparkly silver stars, too.

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I borrowed Jennifer McGuire’s technique of adding gems to the center of the sequins, and I finally found some of her favorite Ranger Multi Medium Matte with which to attach said sequins. It is everything she said it was, it holds tight. If you find some in stock somewhere, stock up. It sells out regularly.

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One more thing I learned while making this card:

If you attach the elements to the strip prior to inserting the strips into the box, use glue on the tabs of the strips. I used Scor-Tape and let me tell you, it was more than a little tricky to get them positioned properly. As you know, once that stuff sticks it is S T U C K! Wild horses couldn’t pull that stuff off. Not without taking the paper with it, anyway. So make your life easier and just use liquid glue - Tombow Mono Multi, Aleene’s Easy Flow, whatever you have. It will hold as well and give you a little more wiggle room to get them in just the right spot.

OK, one more thing…I used Glue Dots to attach the elements to the acetate strips and also to the inserts. It was easier than cutting strips of Scor-Tape forever.

I think he was pleased, but I have NO idea what I will do for next year’s card. Will someone please come up with a fabulous new technique before next June? Thank you.

Supplies:
Paper: BoBunny Dot Patterned Paper, unknown sparkly holographic paper
Stamp: Verve Stamps
Birthday to You
Dies and Punches: My Favorite Things Label die (apparently discontinued), Sizzix Stars Die, EK Success and SU Star Punches
Other: Miscellaneous sequins, Hero Arts and Memory Box Gems, Ranger Multi Medium Matte

7/15/14

Card in a Box

Apparently I have been a bit out of the loop lately. The Card in a Box technique is more popular than I imagined and the first time I saw one was this lovely example on Miss Dixie’s Blog - Happy 4th. She used a cut file for the Silhouette, but my machine is smaller and I didn’t think the files would fit. So I did what I always do - I Googled it. Oh myyyy…there are so many examples out there. I found the instructions for this version on Splitcoast Stampers and SO many other variations, many of which I pinned to my Pinterest board.

I have a pen friend who has been feeling a bit under the weather, so I decided to try my hand at this fabulous new (to me) trend.

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The flowers and such are attached to acetate and then to 2 strips inserted into the middle of the box. Two things I learned from this card:

1. The acetate must be fairly sturdy. Overhead transparencies are not strong enough to hold up the die cuts. It would have looked more like a garden in dire need of watering (droopy flowers).

2. Arrange and adhere the elements on the strips before adding them into the box.

I used Scor-Tape to attach the things to the acetate strips and to the inserts and although I haven’t heard from her yet, I think it probably arrived intact. There are some versions that can be mailed in a standard A2 envelope, but this one is larger and had to be sent in a great big envelope.

Check out the links above and make one of these yourself. They are lots of fun to make and I’m sure the recipient will think you are a freakin’ genius! Which, as we all know, you are :-).

Supplies:
Paper: Doodlebug Design patterned paper, BoBunny Dot Patterned Paper
Dies: My Favorite Things Plentiful Petals and Fancy Flourish, Impression Obsession Heart Set
Punches: Martha Stewart Butterfly punch, EK Success Star Punch