Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Folds: Door Fold Rosh Hashanah Card

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  I Want To Live Each Day As If It Is My First And May Be My Last
As Fall begins to find her way into the air, I am reflecting on this past year and wondering about my hopes for the coming year.  For those of you celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, (beginning Sunday at sundown), you may be finding yourself doing similar reflection.  For each of us, our aspirations for our time on this planet may be different.  Those aspirations may also change with time.  One thing that will remain certain for me - the desire to approach each new day that I have been granted with a sense of wonder and gratitude.  If this is the awareness I can bring to each day, then I feel I will have succeeded in some small way.  This awareness will impact my life and the lives of those that I touch.  So today I wish for you, and for myself, that we can experience our daily lives with a sense of awe and wonder at what is around us, at what is beneath us, at what is above us and what is in us and others.  That we can appreciate and be grateful for all of the blessings we experience each day - from the ability to breath in and breath out; the ability to release waste from our systems; the ability to love and laugh; the ability to feel pain and express empathy.  I wish for us that we can remember to bring this awareness into each day we are granted on this planet.  I wish for us, peace.  For those of you celebrating the Jewish New Year, may you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a year of health, happiness, prosperity and peace.  Shana Tova!
Today's Friday Fold card is a door fold Jewish New Year card.  I began with an 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" piece of Early Espresso card stock and scored it at 2 1/8" and 6 3/8" from the left-hand side.  I then took a strip of Baja Breeze card stock (2 1/2" x 9 1/2") to create the "belly band" for the card.  The tree from Thoughts & Prayers was stamped onto a Very Vanilla label that I had die cut in the Big Shot with a Labels Collection framelit.  I used a combination of Early Espresso and Baja Breeze ink.  Since I didn't have any appropriate greetings, I decided to create a few stamps of my own :)  I carved a "Shana Tovah" (a traditional Hebrew greeting shared on the holiday of Rosh Hashanah - it means "Good Year!") and a Star of David stamp.  Here is a picture of the carved stamps:
A touch of Dazzling Details was added to the leaves of the tree.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend - full of love, peace and creativity.  For those of you celebrating the holiday - Happy New Year!!!!

Friday Folds...Coming Soon :)

I am running a bit behind, so Friday Folds will be posted a bit later today.  Thanks for your patience and have a beautiful beginning to your day!!!!!! (or a beautiful night's sleep...depending on when you are reading this :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fine Feathers Thanks Card

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Get Mesmerized By What Is In Your Backyard
This past weekend we decided we were not normal.  Well, actually, we realized we weren't normal a long time ago.  We just reconfirmed it this past weekend when we found ourselves staring at the backyard for hours.  We watched the downy woodpecker move from place to place.  We watch the flight paths of the bees that visit our little water dish (and decided there might be members of three different hives visiting us for water since they fly off in three distinct directions).  We even watched the little mice in the corner of the yard, where the fence meets the driveway.  They come hunting for fallen seed.  We laughed about what it would be like to be on the dating scene again and, when asked what we like to do, to answer "sit in the backyard and stare at the bees for hours!"  Not quite the "watch movies and eat at fine restaurants" answer :)  Then we learned that maybe we are not as abnormal as we think.  Or we just seem to find people who are as weird as us when it comes to nature :)  We were in the park at night and were talking to one of our park friends.  He told us that they just had there small pond in their backyard cleaned - with the extra lilies and other plants removed and the liner replaced.  As a result, the pond was about a foot deeper.  He said he and his wife sat out in the evening, for hours, after the person who cleaned the pond left.  They sat there and watched their two koi swim happily in their cleaned out surroundings.  When was the last time you were mesmerized by what's in your backyard?
For today's card I decided to keep it clean and simple.  I took a small piece of chipboard and stamped it with the small feather in the Fine Feathers stamp set using Early Espresso (or maybe it's Soft Suede...I'm sorry I can't remember) ink.  I then stamped some background leaf images from Tiny Tags using the same ink at 1/3 strength.  I also sponged the edges of the chipboard.  Next I used my paper piercing tool to make a hole in the chipboard and added an Antique Brad.  Then, I stamped the sentiment from Little Labels onto a piece of Sahara Sand card stock and cut it out to form the banner end.  I then stamped the tiny postage stamp from Little Labels with the same ink at 1/3 strength.  This little banner was then added to the chipboard with glue and the whole piece was adhered to a Sahara Sand card base with dimensionals.  Here is a close up of the chipboard piece.  I hope you like it!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Out On A Whim Wednesday: A Trip To The Milwaukee Museum Of Art

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Get Your Brakes Fixed
On Sunday we were planning to go for a bike ride.  As often happens, we decide that we will head out early, before the heat of the day and then somehow it is noon and we haven't left yet.  So off we went a bit later than expected...and a bit hotter than expected.  So I was in a bit of an "off" mood when we started.  My back brake seemed a bit loose and my mood was a a bit looser.  Next came a couple of riders behind me that didn't seem to follow bike etiquette.  No verbal indication of their intentions - riding up along my side on the left, than the right...and wearing headphones - so that after they passed me and I went to pass them, they didn't hear my "on your left" warning...or at least didn't do anything to acknowledge they had heard (one of them swerved toward me, ignoring my warning).  So then I was really grumpy and hot and pissed and angry and and and.  So when we reached the top of a hill after about 35 minutes of riding, I was ready to go home (or get off my bike and throw a tantrum right there on the bike path...but I figured riding home was the more mature thing to do).  So we started to head home and I realized that the bike store that I purchased my bike from was on the way home.  So we decided to head there so I could get my brake tightened.  It was an easy fix and after the brief stop we headed for home.  My attitude had shifted.  The ride became enjoyable.  I had to smile at the irony of getting my brakes fixed.  Sometimes you just need brakes that work better - whether that is on your bike or the brakes that help you stop your bad mood when it starts to run away without signs of stopping.  When was the last time you got your brakes fixed?
For today's Out On A Whim Wednesday, I decided to share a recent trip with you.  I had a trip last week to Milwaukee for work.  I had two flight choices - one early in the morning and one that would get me in quite late at night.  I decided to choose the earlier flight and then I started to consider how I might take advantage of arriving in Milwaukee early.  The art museum was the first idea to come to mind and, it turns out, it is only about 15 minutes from the airport!  I arrived around 2 pm and the museum was open until 5.  (The museum sits on Lake Michigan and the building is gorgeous!  You can see its conical shape in the photo above).  I took full advantage of those three hours - immersing myself in the art that was there.  There was one piece I would have walked by en route to another area I was wanting to see.  But one of the guards in the museum stopped me to see if I needed any help finding my way and she pointed out this piece...
 It is by an artist named Tara Donovan (you NEED to Google her and see her amazing creations!!!!).  The guard asked me if I could tell what it was made of.  Of course, at first glance, I thought it was an amazing mineral formation of rose quartz.  But then I ventured closer and I was AMAZED by what I saw.  Let me show you...
And a little closer still...
BUTTONS!  All the exact same color and size!!!!!  Can you believe it!?!?!  Of course the thought then crossed my mind how much it would cost to try to create something like this with a Stampin' Up! button :)  Yup, I'm definitely a Stampin' Up! demonstrator :)  Ms. Donovan's work focuses on taking one item and seeing where it takes her.  Really, if you like this, you need to Google her and check out her work - just amazing!  Through October, there is an exhibition of some of her other work.  If you happen to live in the Milwaukee area - or if you are itching to go and visit Milwaukke - definitely go!!!!  I definitely filled my creative well with my 3-hour visit.  I even had to stop and sit on a bench and journal just to process what I was seeing.  When was the last time you took yourself on an artist's date to an art museum?  I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Two Ways Tuesday: Bird Builder Punch

For this week's Two Ways Tuesday, I decided to take out my Bird Builder Punch.  I'm sure I was inspired by all of the bird watching I've been doing in the backyard lately!
The bird builder punch can be used all on its own to punch out card stock and designer series paper.  Here I chose to simply punch a "raven" from Basic Black card stock (it's hard to see the wing in the picture since the black is so dark).  The wing was added to the bird with a dimensional.  I then layered the bird on top of a number of other punches and die cuts from the decorative label punch and the labels collection framelits.  The Gumball Green background was run through the Big Shot with the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder.  The sentiment is from Teeny Tiny Wishes.  I really enjoy making simple, graphic cards.
Of course, you can pair your bird builder punch with coordinating stamped images.
For this card I used the Language of Friendship stamp set.  The bird and wings were stamped onto Bashful Blue card stock and adhered together with glue and dimensionals.  Notice that I gave this bird two wings to make it look like it is in flight.  The Pool Party card base was run through the Big Shot with the Framed Tulips embossing folder.  The sentiment from Language of Friendship was stamped in Basic Black and a piece of Always Artichoke seam binding was wrapped around the card (I created a small slit along the "spine" of the card with my hobby blade so I could thread the seam binding ribbon through it).
I hope you've enjoyed this week's Two Ways Tuesday!  If there is a stamp set or product you would like to see used in two different ways, please let me know.  If I have the product, I am happy to share some ideas with you!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Perfect Penants Wonderful You Card

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Sit In A New Seat
I have a habit.  Whenever I sit outside on the porch, I always sit in the same chair.  I'm not sure why.  I guess a part of it is the view - the ability to see the back gate and the feeders.  Maybe it's the way the cushion has conformed to my tush.  The other day I came outside for lunch and Michael was in "my" chair.  He said, "I thought I'd give you the chair with the better view."  Funny how he felt he always had the chair with the better view...I always thought it was the chair where I sat.  So I sat in a new seat - a view I hadn't experienced.  At first it felt incredibly weird!  I couldn't see the back gate and my view of the back bird feeder was different.  But I was a lot closer to the chicadee who came to drink on the porch fountain.  And I was a bit closer to the hedge where the sparrows congregate - their song a bit louder than usual.  So there I sat.  Looking out at the world from a bit different vantage point.  It was good for a change.  Maybe if I sit there a bit more, then switching things up will become habit and I will see things I have never seen before.  When was the last time you sat in a new seat?
Today's card began with a leftover designer paper circle that had been die cut with the Perfect Pennants die in the Big Shot.  I took a Baja Breeze card base and then sewed on a Crumb Cake panel that I had run through the Big Shot with the Lacy Brocade embossing folder.  Next I took a strip of Baja Breeze card stock and ran it through my paper crimper.  I then cut the end to look like a ribbon.  I then layered the Perfect Penants circle and additional punched circles on top of the crimped layer.  The sentiment from Loving Thoughts was stamped on Whisper White card stock and cut to look like a banner.  I adhered it to the "ribbon" with dimensionals and then added the entire "ribbon" to the card.  I hope you like it!