Thursday, August 25, 2011

Party Hat Invitations

As I wave goodbye to over 100 cards heading out to a craft show in Vermont, I finally have time to start crafting for myself again (and blogging about it!). Hard to believe that a year ago this time I was very pregnant and now I'm planning my son's first birthday party! Where has the time gone?!?

Naturally I'm taking on the task of making the invitations myself (the joys & trials of being a paper crafter) and inspiration struck when I saw the latest email from Scrapbooks Etc. featuring this card which shall now be referred to as the inspiration card. I loved the playfulness of it and headed off to the craft store to recreate it.

My original plan was to stay very close to the inspiration card - polka dot paper, bumbles on the bottom, button top. Hah! Not only could I not find polka dot paper but the cost of the bumbles was obscene. I'm only doing 20 invitations, but when one spool of bumbles costs $3.50 and only gets you 4, NO. As I stood there fretting over what to do now, my husband looks at me and says "how about plain paper and fun ribbon?" Well heck, why didn't I think of that?!? Creative burnout, that must be it...did I mention the 109 cards?

So off my genius husband and I went to the ribbon aisle (I showed him where it was, regaining some crafty points) and he found a cute spool of polka dot ribbon. We took it back to the scrapbook paper aisle where he picked out some dark teal paper to complement the ribbon, handed it all to me and said "here, do your thing!" Ok, he also created a template out of scrap paper I had printed coupons on so we could figure out how many cards we could get from each 12"x12" sheet and what was a good size base card. It's nice to have a husband who can think creatively, too.

The rest, however, was now up to me. Raiding my mother's button collection (this is a perfect craft for all those buttons you have laying around!) I now had the last ingredient I needed for some adorable party invitations.

What I used:
  • dark teal 12"x12" card stock
  • yellow 12"x12" card stock
  • green 12"x12" card stock
  • spool of polka dot ribbon
  • spare buttons no more than 3/8"
  • 1-1/2" circle punch
  • Cricut to make the number 1's (from George & Basic Shapes, 2" tall)
  • chalk to ink the edges 
  • adhesive
  • paper cutter and/or scissors
  • word processing software to create the wording

My first step was to create the actual invitation wording for the party. For this I used Publisher, created a new page size, and added a triangle shape to stay inside of. I didn't want the wording to fill the entire inside of the card, so I made it about 1/2" smaller than the card. After setting up my shape it was a simple matter of staying inside the lines, choosing colors that complemented the card design, and printing them out on white card stock. I was able to get four invitations to a page which was great. Using as little paper as possible always makes me happy.

Those swirlies are me preventing party crashers...;) I printed this one on scrap paper which is why it looks, well, blah.
Now it was time to start making the party hat. Taking the teal card stock I cut the sheets into four 6"x6" squares. The square was then folded on the diagonal making a triangle, but not the type of triangle I wanted.

Using the point on the unfolded side I drew a line across the bottom and cut off the extra. Now it looks like a party hat!

Next I inked all the edges and the crease on the hat. You don't have to do this, but I'm an edge-inking addict and couldn't help myself.

While the edges dried I set up my Cricut to start cutting number 1's out of the yellow card stock. With the machine cutting away I set to work punching out circles. Amazingly enough they were done pretty fast and I inked all those edges before setting them aside. What, I told you I'm addicted...

Next was cutting the ribbon into lengths. I made each strip just a little larger than the bottom of the card to leave room for trimming it down to the angle of the card. My buttons didn't need anything (I decided not to make that huge, crazy bow) so now I was ready to start assembling!

Taking my card I attached the invitation wording to the inside with my adhesive.

Back on the front of the card I added the ribbon along the bottom and trimmed the ends to the shape of the card.

The circle went in the middle with the number on top. Adding the button on the top point I was done!
Hmm, now where did that number 1 go...?
Just 19 more to part is that now the card fits nicely in a standard envelope, so no added postage!

Had I stuck with the bumbles on the bottom as in the inspiration card, something tells me they wouldn't have survived the post office.

Let me know if you try this yourself - I'd love to see pictures! Happy Crafting!

Friday, July 29, 2011

It's a Blog Carnival!

One of the best places that I know of to go for digital scrapbooking materials is Scrap Girls. Right now they're hosting a Blog Carnival, complete with a sale (yahoo!) and prizes. After all, what's a carnival without prizes?

Browsing through their latest offerings, I came up with my latest wishlist of digital scrapbooking goodies...hopefully my husband is taking notes...

Coffee House Collection Biggie: Seriously, I have never seen a more perfect collection for me. Caffeinated Papercuts, Coffee's gorgeous!

ScrapSimple Digital Layout Album Templates: 4x6 Cook It: I love templates. Templates mean I can take an idea, add my own special flair by means of paper & embellishments and come up with something that's uniquely me. I'm thinking Caffeinated Kitchen needs these for keeping track of all my recipes...and since it's a template, I can make some for me and then turn around and make holiday ones, too! Talk about a money saver!

ScrapSimple Templates: Basically Bordered Eyelet: I still love templates, and I love punched borders. Seeing as I can't reach through the monitor and use my punches on digital paper, this is the perfect solution. Again, being able to reuse things again & again with different results - perfect!

Ok, enough drooling...if I keep looking my basket will overflow. Besides, I have a napping baby which means it's time to get my butt into the craft room!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, July 18, 2011

New Challenge over at Scrap Girls!

After many months I've finally picked up my digital scrapbooking tools, dusted them off, and have started creating again. My inspiration? The latest weekend challenge over at Scrap Girls in the Saturday newsletter to make a layout around the phrase "The happiest day in my life was..." While things like my wedding were right up there, the happiest day I could think of was the birth of my son, Kieran, 10 months ago today.

While I'm certainly no Photoshop genius, I like how it came out. Go check out the whole gallery and get some inspiration for your next layout!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, June 27, 2011

My New Photo Book from Shutterfly

I love getting coupon codes for free items, don't you?  Today I got one for a free photo book from Shutterfly. I almost always stumble over what pictures to use and how to arrange them (and then usually wind up with a 100 page book...can you say 'extra charges'??) so I tried their Simple Path books this time.  Choose the style, choose the photos, and voila - they create a book for you!  You can go through and change things afterwards like the page layout and how many pictures are on there, then add  your text and you're done. Great time saver and that way it's harder to go over the 20 pages included in each book price. I will definitely be using them again!

The theme this time was a trip we take each year to a waterfall for our wedding anniversary. This time we went to a waterfall in Cherry Valley, NY with a stop in Sharon Springs, NY as well for a peek at theirs. Kieran came along for the first time (ok, technically second - first time outside of me) and thankfully loves hiking with Mama & Daddy. It was a beautiful hike and the falls were spectacular. We rounded out the day by having lunch at Ommegang Brewery's new cafe, stopped by Bear Pond Winery and Fly Creek Cider Mill, then finished at Brooks BBQ for dinner. Yum!

Water Fun Monday

I hope everyone had a drier weekend than I did! We've had rain nonstop since Tuesday...welcome to summer?!? All this water everywhere has me dreaming of the beach and inspired this paper.

Warm sunny days, waves lapping at the shore...yeah, I'm ready for the beach! In the meantime I have to go stack some blocks for my son to knock down.

Happy Crafting!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Freebie Monday!

Morning everyone! I hope all the fathers out there had a great Father's Day and I hope everyone got great pictures. Ready to scrap them? Try this pretty blue grunge digital scrapbooking paper. I know I'll be using it for all the cute daddy & son pictures I got.

Happy scrapping!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Freebie Monday - Weddings & Love

Three years ago today I married my best friend. This has made me slightly sentimental, so today's freebie is a little group of word art perfect for wedding pages, anniversary, and love in general. 

The download includes all four phrases saved as high quality .jpg files ready to decorate your layouts!  Just add the download to your cart and proceed with checkout. After that you will be emailed the link to download your free word art. It's that simple!

Don't forget, should you need cards or gifts for any upcoming weddings and anniversaries be sure to check out our store.  See you next week!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Freebie Mondays Begin!

Welcome to the very first Freebie Monday! As promised, a free item awaits you.  This week is a digital scrapbooking paper designed by yours truly. Inspiration struck as I watched a butterfly dance across my yard so I couldn't resist making this paper. 

The link will take you to a dropbox to download the paper from. Included is a high-quality .jpg for your use, created at 12"x12" and compatible with any software.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Freebie Mondays are Coming!

In celebration of launching the new Caffeinated Papercuts online store, I'm proud to announce Freebie Mondays!

Each Monday I will post a new freebie on the could be a digital scrapbooking item, a printable, who knows! Want to be reminded when new items are posted? Then please, join our newsletter mailing list and get an email every week letting you know what the featured freebie is. After all, everyone should have a reason to look forward to Monday.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tip of the Day: Always Ink your Edges

Going to local scrapbooking crops is a great way to get inspiration from others who share your interest in scrapping, card making, and paper crafting in general. My very first crop at a local store, Captured Moments, taught me a very important tip: always ink your edges!

We all use shapes and cut-outs on our projects so there's always edges. Here I have small stamped squares I'll be adding to cards. The chocolate-colored sentiment looks pretty on the blue cardstock, but it's missing something. It doesn't quite look finished. Time to ink the edges!

While the squares are pretty, a little chalk just makes them pop!

You can use stamp pads or chalk ink pads for this. In this case I chose a similar brown chalk ink by VersaMagic  in Jumbo Java (I love the name!) and just swept it around my edges.  See the difference? It's amazing what a little ink can do!

Adding a little chalk to the squares on the left makes all the difference!
It really makes the square pop on the finished card.

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Twenty-one Minutes

I slide the quarters into the machine and with a 'click, woosh' the washer comes to life. The water starts pouring in and the timer begins counting down the length of the cycle: 21 minutes. I settle into the chair in the laundry room, pull out my phone, and wait.

This is not my laundry in the machine, it is my grandmother's. Grammy, as she is known to her five grandchildren, is a young 86 and lives in an apartment that is part of an assisted living complex. She lives on her own and needs no nursing help but enjoys not having to worry about taking care of a house and all the amenities they have to offer here. However, the laundry room is down two flights of stairs which she has no desire to maneuver. That's where I come in.

Ever since my career divorced me (at least, that's how I like to explain it) I come over to Gram's once a week to clean and run the laundry for her. What do we get out of it? Well Gram gets time with her granddaughter and great-grandson, clean laundry and floors, and a chauffeur to any errands she wants to do. Kieran, the one and only great-grandchild to date, gets to play with his Great-Grammy, eat french fries, and usually baby food from Target...or a toy...or both. Not that he's spoiled or anything. ;)

What do I get? Time. Time with my one remaining grandparent, time to watch my son radiate love for his Great-Grammy, time to etch these moments into my heart and snap as many candid shots as I can of him sprawled in her lap asleep or the two of them sitting on the floor together while she feeds him vanilla ice cream. Time to have her reminisce about her life and relatives I never knew. Time to talk and laugh about our family and the latest 'thing' going on.

I also get twenty-one minutes while the washer does its thing all to myself. I can read a magazine, catch up on correspondence, browse the internet, or blog. The time always goes by so fast but is always enjoyed. While I sit in the laundry room my Grammy is in her apartment with my son. I don't know exactly what they do for their twenty-one minutes together but I know they enjoying every second they spend together.

I hope and pray that Grammy will live long enough that Kieran can have memories of her, but if not I will happily show him photos of the two of them together and tell him the stories I've collected from her of our family. Most importantly I will tell him of our Wednesdays together and those special twenty-one minutes.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

So today I'm taking a day off from crafting to spend the day with my boys.

My ridiculously cute 8 month old, Kieran, presented me with a hand-drawn card and his first *two* teeth, as well as lots of smiles and kissies. He also had help from his Daddy in getting a suncatcher for me as well as getting me my morning coffee. :)

Breakfast we headed out for at a local diner called the Chuckwagon. It is a refurburished 1950s box car diner and the food is phenomenal. As an added Mother's Day treat, they were presenting all of the moms with a free half grapefruit with a cherry on top. :)  While there we also discovered that Kieran likes eggs as he kept demanding them off our plates!

After breakfast we headed for a local nursery, Hewitt's, so that I could pick out some flowers to put in my garden. As we pulled in, we were greeted by the double decker cupcake bus! Bettie's Cakes from Saratoga was there selling yummy cupcakes so of course we supported a fellow local business.

Now we're off to a friend's birthday party where Kieran will have two little boys to play with and I will be gifting one of my cupcake cards (soon available online).

Happy Mother's Day to all!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Time to Play Empty the Rooms!

So the good news: we're getting carpeting installed on Tuesday. Seeing as the living room and dining room are nothing more that subflooring hidden by area rugs, this is a very good thing. Kieran will be mobile before we know it so it is time for real flooring.

Bad news: I have to remove EVERYTHING from those two rooms. Ack! Dishware, curio cabinet, photos, books...the list goes on.

Pass the coffee.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Signs of Spring?

This past weekend was the annual Capital Region Flower and Garden Show. I go every year and love seeing what landscapes the local businesses have created indoors for us.

This year's show-stopper was the recreation of Falling Waters by Design Scapes. The people admiring it even moved just in time for me to get a great picture of it with my phone.

As part of a mining display by R&K Nursery were these amazing carts full of flowers (and bunnies if you look closely). I liked how it was something I could duplicate in my garden.  The outdoor bar with the green roof by Decker Landscaping was just awesome!

After seeing the displays we headed for the vendors. Local wineries, farms, and garden centers were there with tryouts, coupons, and show specials. My son was very helpful in helping his Gramma pick out bulbs to plant.

Now we just need the ground to thaw so we can get planting. Come on, spring!