Monday, August 29, 2016

Fairy Garden Party

Saturday was Ellie's birthday party.  She's turning nine this week, and I thought we were going to get away with no party this year.  She had previously said she wanted to just have a family trip to Hershey Park, but several months ago decided she actually did want a party.

Of course the type of party she wanted kept changing.  The algorithm seemed to be that she wanted whatever type of party she had just been to.  In order to break this vicious cycle, I decided I needed to take control of my own destiny.

My goal was to come up with something that could be done outside with a small group.  Fairy garden was one of the things that the girls had been playing consistently with an old birdhouse Ellie had.  They spent a lot of time in the spring setting up all sorts of landscapes, bridges, ponds, rivers, forests etc. around the birdhouse.  

I did some searching on Pinterest and found this party and off we went.  The other request Ellie had was not to have cake, but to make ice cream sundaes.  Done.

This was really manageable and easy to put together.  I'm guessing it cost, including the pizza/ice cream about $125-$150.  All the little houses were purchased at craft stores using 50% off coupons, same for most of the landscape decorations (little pebbles, shells, stones, etc.).  

The trays were kind of a splurge.  I got those from Home Depot for around $4.50, you could definitely get trays for much less, but I liked how sturdy those were and since we were keeping the party small I thought it was OK.  

We picked up some moss from the craft store, but most of the moss Ellie 'harvested' from our backyard and we picked up lots of bark on our walks with the dog.  That was actually Carina's idea, it was fun to see them getting into finding things for the party. 

We also found some things in my stash that could be used, like Maya Road wooden spools we used to make tables.

It was really fun to see how the girls personalized their houses and created landscapes and items like sinks for their houses.  All told, the process took about an hour.

Then there was eating, ice cream sundae making (these girls used up a whole canister of Whip Cream!), and gift opening.  (The ice cream sundae cups were a Michael's find, 50% off summer clearance, so $1 a piece and the girls got to take them home.)  It was really warm and sunny out, so I took pity on the girls and let them come inside to eat.  

Ellie was also involved in making the thank you notes.  I thought Lawn Fawn's Fairy Friends would be perfect for the party.  I'm linking this up to the Simon Says Stamp Summer Vacation Kids Challenge for her.  (Is it me, or does she look really old??!!!)

A great weekend for Ellie.  We're keeping the party going here as we're celebrating her actual birthday tomorrow, and then Carina's birthday this coming Saturday.  Now to get back to my paper mache....

Friday, August 26, 2016


Here's another card I completed last weekend.  This one is for my mom to take to a wedding.

I got this rose die from WPlus9 a while back and just now had the chance to get it out and use it.

I was inspired by this card set my friend Jocelyn made a while back.

Instead of doing actual inlay, and because the rose didn't cut all the way through for me the first time and was still basically intact, I went the lazy route and just adhered the patterned paper pieces over top of the original pieces.

The sentiment is from Waffle Flower and I added a tiny bit of sparkle paper as a mat beneath it for some extra texture and glitz.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Simple Hello

I got some great goodies from Cosmo Cricket a few weeks ago, and have been experimenting with them.  I posted a pic of this card on Instagram the other day, but thought I would share it here as well.

This is one of the quickest card ever.  I used one of the little snippets from the Work in Progress book which contains cut apart pages with a variety of patterns/phrases in clear or gold resist.  This allows you to easily add watercolor to get some great effects

I was drawn to this fun pattern and added color using their Swatch Sticks

I thought the panel stood well on it's own, so just added a vellum mat and a simple sentiment from Altenew.

Super quick and easy!

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Hope Today is All Rainbows

Wow!  I didn't intend to neglect the blog this month, but that's how things are turning out.  It's been a little crazy here!  The girls were down at my in-laws last weekend for their annual summer visit, so we were home alone.  Which you would think would lend itself to lots of relaxing and crafting, but I always take that week to purge/clean up, and this year it was even crazier since we recarpeted the upstairs.

The good news is that it's done and we're down about 10 bags of random happy meal toys, stuffed animals, things the girls have grown out of, etc.

The bad news is that's just the start of a crazy two weeks.  We've got Ellie's birthday party this coming Saturday, Carina's party the following Saturday, and back to school shopping and prep to deal with.

Happily I was able to squeeze in a little crafting with my buddies JJ and Tessa on Saturday.  Tessa brought this cute set from the Greeting Farm that I've been eyeing, so I just had to ink it up.

The unicorn was colored with Copics as were the rainbow pieces.  Pretty simple and straight forward.  I finished it off with a few sequins.

I'm thinking this will make a great first day of school card for Ellie.

Hope your day is all rainbows too!

P.S.  Don't forget you have through tomorrow to comment on my Ellen Hutson release post, just scroll down.  :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Essentials by Ellen Late Summer Release Blog Hop and Giveaway

Hey everyone!  I'm psyched to be participating in today's blog hop celebrating the latest Essentials by Ellen release!  You should be arriving from Carolyn Peeler.

I was assigned to showcase the Mondo Peonies stamps and dies and the Warm Fuzzies stamp set.  I went a little nuts with this release, so I'm going to get right to the cards.

First up, Mondo Peonies.  Can't tell you how thrilled I was to get to showcase these.  Peonies are my favorite flower!  These first two cards are very similar.  I started with a very light wash of gray/blue on the background for both cards.

For the first one I wanted to go a little mixed media.  I started by stamping the peonies and leaves with Antique Linen distress ink.  I really just wanted to get the basic shape for where they would be.

Then I used Seedless Preserves Distress Paint for the flowers and a combination of Peeled Paint, Mowed Lawn, and Antique Linen Distress Paint for the leaves.  This was kind of a base coat, and I really wasn't concerned about being precise.  I knew I would be outside the lines, I was going for a more messy look.

Once that was dry, I restamped the images using Ranger Archival Ink.  Then I used Kuretake watercolors to go back in (again, not in a precise manner) to add some shading/detail/depth to the images.  I also added some color in the background and splatter.  The sentiment is from an older Ellen Hutson set, Love you So.

Now I'm not going to lie, there were a couple times when I was creating this first card that I looked at it and thought, this is a hot mess, and considered abandoning it, but I'm happy I kept at it.  I really like how it turned out.

I thought I would remake the card using just watercolors, you get a much lighter feel here, but it was created in the same way, just using watercolor for the base layer rather than the acrylics.  The sentiment is from another of the sets being released, Lovely.

Since I ignored the coordinating dies in these first two cards, I thought I should show them off a bit.  I also wanted to show how versatile they are, so rather than creating a peony,  I used three of the flower shapes to create a bold die cut flower.  I inlaid each layer of the flower so it's flat, but you could stack them for some great dimension as well.  The center of the flower uses a stamp from Ellen's Bold Blooms set.

I cut a thin strip of cardstock and die cut two of the peony leaves to create my flower stem and leaves.  The sentiment is from the Warm Fuzzies set.

The Warm Fuzzies set has some really cute sentiments, and I thought this sunshine sentiment would work perfectly with some other dies Ellen is releasing, Silver Linings.  I am absolutely in love with these dies and really wanted to use them.  The sunburst was cut three times using three different shades of yellow.  I wanted to add some dimension/texture to the card, so rather than piece the pieces together, I opted to trim out the layers and adhere them one on top of the other.

I cut a bunch of the clouds from vellum, stitched them to a thin strip of cardstock and then adhered them to the card with foam tape.

I literally could not get enough of that sunburst die.  I look at it and just see so many patterns and possibilities and I just had to play a little more, and this is what happened:

There are actually two starburst pieces that mirror one another in the set.  I cut each one twice using three shades of cardstock.  Then I trimmed/adhered them in layers like I did for the prior card.  Placing the four pieces together I was able to create this great diamond design.

I thought it would work perfectly for a nontraditional Christmas card, so I added a red foil cut joy die cut sentiment and a secondary sentiment from the previously released Merry & Bright set.

I have so many other color/placement combinations for these sunburst dies!

OK, now for the good news for all of YOU!  I get to give away an Essentials by Ellen stamp set!  The winner may chose ANY  Essentials by Ellen brand stamp set  (Maximum value $25 USD) currently in stock at Ellen  To enter my giveaway, please leave a comment on today’s post  by Tuesday, August 23rd!

There is also a crazy good Grand Giveaway in the CLASSroom!  To enter, be sure to leave a comment there, also byTuesday, August 23rd.

ALL winners will be announced at the CLASSroom on Friday, August 26thPlease check there on that date to see if you are a winner and for further details on claiming your prize!

Your next stop on the hop is Julia Stainton.  If you get lost along the hop, please visit the CLASSroom blog for a complete list of all the designers.

Happy hopping!

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