Monday, February 18, 2013

Valentines KISS

Happy Valentines Day everyone!  Valentines is a day to show our love to those we care about so I make it a special evening for my kids, as well as my husband.  So my theme for Valentines is KISS ... Keep it Simple and Sweet!  It's fun to decorate and make yummy food for the holiday, but with five busy young kids SIMPLE is a must; and this year I had two extras (cousins) I was babysitting.  Over the years I've learned that I can make everything look perfect and do it all by myself (usually getting stressed and going crazy in the process) or have fun laughing, making memories, and letting my children experience the holiday fun with me.  So ... the strawberries and cookies are not dipped to perfection, nor are the cupcakes decorated with care, but I had a BLAST laughing, taking pictures, and watching them 'experience' valentines fun.  Besides, what are they really going to remember the 'perfect' food or the fun they had making it!?! 

Here are my four GREAT helpers.  What a mess!!!  Chocolate everywhere, cake batter on the counter, beaters in the face, licking fingers ... and elbows, whatever touched the glop!  The two boy cousins are even wearing the cutiest girly aprons (the only ones I had left).  Lol!! Worth every smile, laugh, and fun!

My idea of SIMPLE extends to decorations also.  In fact, cheap is also a great way to go ... cause kids don't know or care if it cost $1 or $20 for the center piece.  So most the decor you see here is from the dollar store (centerpiece, doillies, paper plates).  The table cloth and crystal goblets I've had for years.  And construction paper hearts take about 3 minutes to cut out, are disposable, and the kids love heart attacking the kitchen. 

So ... there you have it.  Simple and sweet ... and very memorable!  With love from my kitchen to yours.  Sharina

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Elf on the Shelf Mini Album

Hello there ... I'm back with another mini ablum.  The "Elf on the Shelf" idea for Christmastime is becoming a more popular idea each year.  Santa sends an elf to watch your kids, on December 1st, to make sure they are being good throughout the season.  But every night he/she comes to life and does mischieves things.   This was our first year doing it.  It was so fun to see my kids faces as they discovered what "Tinsel" (our elf) had done that night.  I decided to make a mini ablum to display all the memories Tinsel helped us make.  Here is an inside look at how I create mini ablums ...
STEP ONE, choose the mini book!  I knew I needed an album that would hold a lot of pictures.  So I went to UTube ... (great place for ideas and tutorials).  I decided on the "Vertical Paper Bag Mini" by Ginger of MySistersScrapper for the main page assembly.  In the photos, my paper bags happen to be the red and white candy cane stripe. I also needed a way to bind the album; and I am a fan of Kathy Orta's "Stack the Deck Binding System" (also on UTube). 
Once I decided on the album it is time for STEP TWO: organize the album.  Sometimes I draw it, but this time I quickly drew a paper bag shape on my computer and just printed a couple sheets of it, as well as a spot for other information like the title of each page, how many pictures, etc.  Since I knew I needed one page for each day I was able to sketch the ideas as the days went along in December, plus it helped me keep track of any information I might need, and plan the type of pictures I should take for each day.  (I actually started this project mid-December so you don't have to know what your doing before the event starts :)

STEP THREE: create the album.  Follow Ginger from 'My Sisters Scrapper' and Kathy Orta 'Stack the Deck Binding System' for the album assembly.  Believe it or not this is only 6 paper bags (perfect for a into page, and 25 days til Christmas).  My album has a chipboard cover and binding.  I couldn't find any pattern paper to match my bright, cheery paper bags so I just sat in my craft room looking around.  My eyes spotted this years wrapping paper and I thought it went perfectly, so ... yes, I used wrapping paper for the decorative paper in this ablum :)  Other than that I used solid cardstock (white, red, green and blue).  The spread here is the back of the front cover (left), first paper bag (middle), and cardstock flap in the open position (right).

The spread here is paper bag (left), flap in the closed position (right).

STEP FOUR: decorate your album.  One side of the paper bag makes a great pocket, but I like MORE pockets so I added a few, in many different shapes and sizes, as I liked.  I also used dollies, random stickers from three or four left-over sticker sets, a random cricut cartridge, some fussy cutting, corner and edge punches, etc.

STEP FIVE: print and add your pictures.  I made most of my photo mats to fit a 3x4 photo.

Ta-da!  Darling mini-album (a fat one I might add).  My kids (and their friends) have had a great time looking back at their first Christmas with Tinsel and speculating what he might do next year!  Hope this little post inspires you to save a memory, be creative, and have fun everyday!

Wooden Snowman

My mother had a boutique at the Quilted Bear when I was young.  I spent many hours working along side her and learning her craft.  I'm so grateful for all she taught me and loved being with her.  I love to look at ideas on line and say "I can make that!"  And that is what happened here.  I was in the mood to make a little snow time craft so I googled 'winter craft ideas.'  This is one that I saw done up a couple of different ways and thought was really cute.  I took a quick detour to Home Depot for the wood, during my weekly grocery shopping.  Then I showed my husband (an amazing carpenter) a rough idea of what it was supposed to look like.  Gave him the dimension for the head and he had it cut and sanded in no time.  That Saturday my little five year old help me paint the pieces, and in the random 5 minute intervals of spare time, throughout the evening I was able to finish painting it and adding a little decor.  Supper easy to make ... the pieces are 2x2 wood, white paint, glaze painted on and wiped off, sanded edges, and a little ribbon, fabric, jute, and snowflake button.   LOVED the way it turned out!

Snowglobe Album

So ... Etsy didn't work out so good for me, and baby number five has kept me supper busy.  So I haven't posted much, but I haven't stop creating!  I have a goal to post my projects more often this year just to keep you inspired once in a while.  With that note, let's get started.  This is an album idea I started last year.  I made the snowglobes and the tags and then got stumped ... that doesn't happen to anybody else does it. LOL!  Well, this year while I was looking for ideas for a different project inspiration hit for this one instead (isn't it always they way).  So I put the other project away and pulled this one out again.  LOVE the way it turned out with all the bling, felt, twine, stickers, embossing, etc.  I'm so glad I waited for the inspiration to hit.  Now I just need to dig through the family photos for some adorable shots of my kids playing in the snow.  To finish it off I was going to put them on chipboard, but then I got stumped _AGAIN!  Awe, inspiration will hit again at the right time.  Happy Scrapping!

Credits: Paper line is Basic Grey "Eskimo Kisses" from a few years ago.
I used the "Joys of the Season" Cricut Cartridge for the snow globe pieces and tags. 
The grey swirls are from the "Accent Essentials" Cricut Cartridge. 
The rest was just random things from my stash of supplies.