Saturday, July 15, 2017

Free Sweets

Howdy.  I have had a busy few weeks with party planning and executing, as well as some time to re-group.   {deep breath}  I am trying to re-find my mojo, to get back on the crafting wagon.  {wishing, fingers crossed, and eyes closed}
I also, needed to create a 'card' and thank a frequent buyer of my cupcakes.  So, I bit the bullet, and just dove-in!  Into my craft room, that is.
I didn't want to chop-up full sheets of 'new' pattern papers, so I went straight for the scrap box.  I knew that I would be able to find something pretty, something that worked with my 'coupon'.  I did.  And now I needed a sketch.  I found an easy-to-use sketch, and reached for my tape runner.

I found this very workable sketch @ Sketch Saturday #472.  I love how you can add little 'pieces' of your own personality to this sketch and create something beautiful!  And, if you can't 'see' your masterpiece, check out what this design team has created.  You will be inspired! {smile}

and I just HAD to stop by Word Art Wednesday to see what their design team has created.  This paper crafting challenging site always has an anything goes theme.  And they have an inspirational quote that you are free to use (but don't have to).  You deserve to reward yourself and see what this clever design team has created.  {smile}
and here is what I created:

recipe:  this is a typical A2 size card: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2".  

I used two different, but coordinating pattern papers. I selected pattern papers that would not compete with the coupon.  I simply adhered them to vanilla/cream card stock, and machine stitched them.  I wanted a double border stitch, to give the card character without distracting.  I inked all the edges of the papers/cardstocks with kraft ink.  Not so much to give it a 'worn' look, but to define the edges.  I wrapped some sparkle-y ribbon around the card front.  I tied a simple bow, and trimmed the edges of the ribbon on the bias, to give the bow a bit of flair!   I used sparkle-y baker's twine to tie a vintage yellow button to the bow.  I selected a yellow button to match the accent on the coupon.  The sentiment banner piece, was adhered to the card front with foam tape, to 'lift' it off the card front.  Viola.  done.
Thank you for looking.  I hope you still have your crafting mojo.  If not, I really want you to do what needs to be done to find it.  We all have battles, and together, we can find our own strengths!  I know that I am blessed.  But, I too, struggle with the realization of that fact.  I need to feel those blessings in my heart, and not just my head.  I am working on that, everyday.  The struggle is real.  But I will win!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Vintage Red, White/Cream, and Denim Blue

Howdy.  I've been busy trying to get out of a funk.  Trying to stay motivated to keep running.  Keeping up with chores.  And trying to find my passion for creating.
This little project took me about a week.  Only because I didn't want to spend any money completing this project.  I am seriously trying to 'use what I have on hand' instead of just buying more stuff.
I have seen several beautiful 'vintage' american flags on the internet.  Mostly Pinterest.  And well, I felt a desire to create one.  I used scraps of various fabrics, lace, and trim to create mine.  I wanted something that conveyed 'old', 'americana', and simply shabby chic pretty!  Here is what I made:

2 1/2' x 4'

To display your American flag, the union jack is ALWAYS at the upper left corner, regardless of its vertical or horizontal.
The union jack (blue panel) is made from denim.  I machine washed it, to give it a soft feel.  And then I machine stitched various red and white fabrics & trims.  The stars were cut with a star die, using scrap pieces of the blue/white fabric in the flag.  I wanted materials that looked vintage, or had that Americana 'feel'.  I am happy with how it turned out.  I just don't know 'how' to hang it.  Any suggestions?
The 3 I's in the center is for my family.  My ancestors were part of the American Revolution.  The 3 I's represent the 3% of Americans who originally fought against the British.  After the war, these fighters were awarded land 'out west' as payment by our government.  Thank you for your bravery! 
Some of the fabrics were not long enough, so I simply stitched pieces together, to create longer strips.  I think that this piecing together, helps give it a 'worn' look.  
Thank you for stopping by.  Enjoy your American Independence weekend.  Thank a solider for their service & duty, and remember those who have sacrificed.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Evening Tea

~ photo heavy post ~

Howdy.  I am trying to get back into my craft room, and create beautiful things again.  And yesterday, I was motivated to create something sweet, to share with a wonderful group of ladies.  As some of you know, I have started going to the gym.  Mostly, to help me with my running.  I still don't love running, but I want to improve on my time, form, and ease the struggles.  Anyways, I have met some of the nicest ladies there.  They don't judge, or sh*t talk about anyone.  They accept you for who you are, and encourage you to keep going.  How truly wonderful is that?  Anyways, I wanted to share a special treat with them, so I arranged to have an evening tea, to share with them.  (I made all of these arrangements back in April.  Thank goodness, because I am not sure I would have had the strength to do so now.)
And as you know, I can't just do a party!  There has to be favors!  But, first, let me enter my creations into a few challenges {smile}.  I love the challenges @ Really Reasonable Ribbon, basically, because they give you the freedom to just create, add ribbon, trim, or lace, and call it done.  Super sweet!

Then, I entered the challenge over @ Word Art Wednesday, because this group of talented ladies are inspiring with their words and creations.  They basically have the same philosophy: create something beautiful, made with your heart, and share it with the rest of us.  Simply wonderful!  Just like my gym ladies!
The theme for last nights evening tea, was Mid Summer's Night, by William Shakespeare.  The decorations were wonderfully right on point.  And the food was simply amazing!  I am never disappointed, or dissatisfied.  My friend Beth, always puts on the most amazing events!  So, my favors need to be worthy, and pretty, and shabby chic, of course! 
Here is what I made:

my favorite pink version:

and my favorite blue version:

Recipe:  I used simple 8oz mason jars.  I used various papers from the Jolee's Boutique paper pad, the Parisian Collection.  I cut pattern paper 8 1/2" x 2 1/2", and wrapped it around the jar.  I made sure the top edge of the paper went along the rim of the jar, to keep it straight.  I cut two strips, and used a lace border punch, to create the decorative kraft paper pieces.  I adhered them to the second strip of pattern paper 8 1/2" x 1 1/4".  I adhered these strips to the top center of the first pattern paper.  I wrapped seam binding around the jar, for decoration, and to help secure the pattern papers.  I tied the seam binding into a simple bow.  I used hot glue to secure the bow to the pattern papers.  I stamped my word friends in basic black ink, on to the same kraft paper, and punched a tag shape.  I tied the tiny tag to a matching button with kraft twine and hot glued the button to the jar.
For the lid, I cut out a paper doily, and used the jar's lid to hold it in place, and hot glued a paper blossom to the doily.  Viola!  not to crazy involved, but simply pretty.
So, inside the jars are some homemade Vanilla-Orange sugar cubes, and 2 Cinnamon Honey tea bags.
I wanted to make something sweet for my hostess Beth, so I added some homemade Vanilla-Orange sugar pieces to smaller mason jars (4oz), and created a simpler version of the jar decorations.

and a 'gift' for the hostess and her helper:

I added a strip of pretty pattern paper around the jar, tied some vanilla crochet trim around the jars.  I made the same tags, and tied them to cream vintage buttons.  For the tops, I added pale mint velvet leaf, and two paper blossoms in black and cream to match the pattern papers.
There were two ladies who did not make the tea, so I left their favors for Beth and her assistant.  I hope everyone enjoyed their time last night.  As we got a chance to sit and chat, and talk about ourselves, and what makes us happy.  Of course, we laughed, and shared our time together.  The food was delicious, the tea selected was a perfect pairing, and the company was unforgettable!  
I hope you get a chance to create something pretty and share it with the rest of us!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

June Happiness

Hello. and welcome.  As promised, I have my monthly happiness worksheet.   It is a bit late.  and unfortunately all I can say, is that, I have not been 'happy' or able to focus on anything 'good' for a few weeks.  But, I am happy to say (sorry for the pun) that I am making happiness a priority, again.  Hopefully this time, with a bit more gumption.  {smile}
As a few of you know, life has given me a new 'test', and I plan on winning!  So with that being said, let's get on with this monthly happiness challenge!

As you can see, my monthly happiness challenge, did not start at the beginning of the month.  But, please don't let that stop you.  These are tasks, that if done one day at a time, will bring a ray of sunshine into your life, and hopefully that will cause you to smile, to bask in the glow, to exhale some negativity, and to regain some sense of balance/order in your life.  Or simply give you respite from gloom.  
I have some repeating tasks from previous weeks/months, only to illustrate that some of these things/items are not simply one and done.  But rather a repeating venture to keep you on track.  
For instance, working on a personal goal.  That goal is for you to decide.  Me, it ranges from running, to getting a menu planned on time, to continue to be a team player at work.  
Looking at your retirement goals/strategies, will help keep you on track for that next chapter in your life.  Making sure you are doing today, what needs to be done, so you can enjoy your future with less stress, will keep you on track of your happiness.  
Organizing a space, de-clutters your world today.  And that in turn brings peace, and joy.  Selecting/creating a card for someone who may need it, or you may need to do it, will bring joy to two people - you and the recipient.  Now, how sweet is that?  
I believe that family is important, so that is why I have a task that includes your family.  But, if you can't visit your parents, what about a sibling, or an aunt, or a cousin?  Keeping in touch with your family will keep you grounded, and nurturing your 'roots'.  And we all need a strong foundation, for which enables us to 'stand'.  
Looking at your finances, is difficult.  But keeping track of your money is a priority in life.  Make it a challenge!  See where you can cut back, and use that 'saved' money for something special, or simply add it to your retirement fund.  
I am working on getting back into my craft room, but for now, it is baby steps.  Life gives us challenges, and we need to find our strengths to stand at the plate, and swing for the fence!  We need to listen to our own voice, to give ourselves permission to do what we need to get done.  I hope you all are well, and making the most of this life.  I am still struggling, but I will conquer my obstacles/doubts.  It's a slow process for me, but one I will win!  Take care of yourselves, and thank you for all your kind words, and support!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Roses, for a Friend

Hello.  Life has gotten a bit messy lately.  Well, actually the whole month of May, was a living nightmare.  I know, how poopy.  But, I am a strong woman, and I have endured a lot worse, unfortunately.  And, that little piece of knowledge still hasn't taken the sting off of the horrible treatment I have endured at work.
I didn't get my June Happiness challenge out.  Actually, I haven't sat down to write it, yet.  I will.  It will be super late.  But, it will get done.  Because that is what I need to focus on now.  Happiness.  Peace.  Joy.  Reflection.  Family.   Friends.  
I made a few cakes, and posted images on various social media accounts.  Just quick little creations, that unfortunately didn't take a lot of effort, but did bring me some joy {smile}.
Today, I actually went into my craft room.  I haven't been there in over a month.  To say the stress and depression from work has really put a wrench in my creativeness, is a severe understatement.  But, I walked-in, head held high, and began looking through pattern papers to inspire me.  Then, I searched from some favorite embellishments: trim, ribbon, and a button {smile}.  I created a card.  I'm not sure who for, maybe my Etsy shop.  But, I wanted to craft something.  Something pretty.  Something simple.
I stopped by a few challenge sites, to get some of those old, forgotten creative mojo juices flowing.  I am entering this card in three challenges.  Not unique for me.  But, some very dear challenge sites.
My first stop was Mojo Monday.  I was incredible sad, when I read that they will no longer be active.  That little bit of news made my heart sink a bit deeper.  But, I truly understand the reasoning.  

My next stop was Word Art Wednesday.  This group of talented ladies, really have a lot of talent.  The write-up is always inspiring, and uplifting, so for that I am truly grateful.

And my final stop is Crazy 4 Challenges.  Their challenge this week:  rose.  June is rose month, so this group of talent paper crafters want to see a rose, or two, or a whole garden of them!

and here is what I created today:

Recipe:  I used my favorite kraft card stock for the base.  I used my favorite vanilla card stock for the main matt.  This card is a typical A2 size card: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2".

I used three different but beautiful pattern papers from French Flea Market.  The text pattern paper is just gorgeous.  What can I say, I love the writing.  The floral pattern paper is so pretty, and nostalgic.  And finally the blue damask is just timeless.  It also really high lights the blues in the small florals.  I just HAD to add some machine stitching to this card.  I did a simple single border stitch.  I used silver glitter paper for the parallel stripes.  I separated the glitter strips with a scrap piece of blue lagoon ribbon.  I thought that the blue ribbon also high lighted the blue blossoms.  {smile}  Pretty happy that it matchy-matchies.  And yeah, I machine stitched it to the card front.  I added two different, but beautiful trims in place of the vertical strips.  I added a cream crochet eyelet trim, and a green cotton embroidered trim.  The trims are attached to the card front with a simple zig-zag stitch.  (yeah, more machine stitching {smile})
For the sentiment piece, I found a pretty font, simple wording.  I stamped the sentiment in early espresso classic ink onto very vanilla card stock.  (my favorite vanilla card stock.)  And then matted it with that beautiful blue damask pattern paper.  I used foam tape at each corner, to help lift the sentiment off the front of the card.
I added a single floral button to the sentiment piece.  I cut off the shank with a pair of heavy duty scissors.  And viola! my card is complete.  And I am happy with how it came together.
Thank you so much for stopping by.  I hope you have a chance to play along with any or all of these beautiful challenge sites.  And remember, we all need time and space to get through some of life's messes.  Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May Happiness

Howdy! and welcome.  I am still working on my happiness, and trying to stay organized.  I use a planner, most weeks.  But, my greatest struggle is living a happy life.  It is sooo easy for me to find the disappointment, the struggle to be happy feels never-ending.  I know that if you can find the good in things, in life, that I can be grateful, and gratitude breeds joy.  I know the sequence, the consequence, the destination on my journey.  But I struggle with every step.  
So, when I began this new year, I decided to make several New Years Resolutions.  I knew that I wanted certain things out of life, and I didn't want to just sit on the sidelines any longer.  I have kept all of my resolutions.  However, my Happiness journey is still a struggle.  But, I actively work on it, on a daily/weekly basis.  
Here is May's Happiness goals:

I know what you are thinking, 'what? one more task?'.  And the answer is simply 'YES'.  If you can find things to be grateful for in your life, that gratitude breeds joy.  And joy, along with happiness is what you feel in your heart.  So, imagine being grateful, to be happy!  I believe that this emotion, this decision will make life easier to navigate through.  And so, some of these tasks require thought, and planning, but the execution will pay off.  Not only will these tasks make you happy, but they will unburden you with things, with regret, with dread.  When you send a friend a card, just imagine how happy that friend will be, when they open their snail mail box, and see a card, addressed to them.  When you organize a space (desk, kitchen cabinet, closet, room, etc) how 'free' you will feel.  Or how about how accomplished you will believe you are, when you actively work on your retirement plan(s).  Either talk to an advisor, or set up a retirement account, or review your monetary goals.  This active step to plan, for the future, to plan for what you want to do with the rest of your life, will ignite a passion, a sense of self.  
One of my other Gratitude resolutions, is to write down 3 things that I am Thankful for, at the end of each week.  I think that this reflection helps me start the new week, with a healthier, happier, and more joyful view.  I am simply tired of being mad, angry, dishearten, and fumbling their life.  I hope you find this helpful.