Monday, August 27, 2012

Another Birthday Card for a Teenage Girl

Hubby wins again. 

As I recently posted, he asked if I could make a second card for our granddaughter's 14th birthday since we had to postpone the celebration until the weekend.  Men.

I used the Create a Critter Cricut cartridge for the panda, chopsticks, and bamboo.  Since Life's a Party was this week's freebie in Cricut Craft Room, I decided to search there for a balloon to give it some credibility as a birthday card.  I found a group of balloons on the first key, third row, card/shift function, and I then used the "hide contour" feature to cut a single balloon (it's amazing the lengths to which I'll go to avoid getting out of my chair).  The grass was cut from a Fiskars border punch.  I used a Cuttlebug embossing folder to add texture to the panda's hat. The background patterned paper is from DCWV Mango Frost pad.
The panda has no food, but he got chopsticks anyway.   My granddaughter is the only family member coordinated enough to eat her Asian food with chopsticks, so I couldn't resist adding a little personal touch.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Birthday Card for 10-year-old Girl

I drew a complete blank trying to design a card for my 10-year-old granddaughter's birthday (nothing new there).  Ten is such a transitional age, stuck somewhere between princess dolls and boyfriends.  I pulled out one of my favorite Cricut cartridges, Paisley, because I knew I could find something cute and girly, but not too babyish for a girl about to start her final year of elementary school.  This little frog "jumped" out at me.  I used mushroom-patterned paper from a Heidi Grace pad for the background and glitter cardstock for the frog's shadow (a little bling never hurt anybody). I added sparkly trim and a flower brad.  Done.
It was simple and quick and finished on time.  She "ooh"ed and "aah"ed over it and that's what keeps me crafting.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Birthday Card for a Teenage Girl

As usual the birthday snuck up on me.  It was after dinner on the eve of the princess's birthday when it suddenly occurred to me that I didn't have a card for her.  And as always, everybody in the house was underfoot when I needed time to myself to make something.  (If I fall down the stairs and break my ankle, somehow nobody's around to help, but that's another story...)

I waited until the princess went to bed (which was waaaaay too late---for both of us) and started the agonizing process of "creating".  I'm sure it comes easy to some people.  I resent this.

I finally decided to go with what she loves...books and her Ipod.  Well, her favorite thing is talking but I'd rather focus on the constructive aspects of her life.  And the Ipod.

The book was cut from the Cricut Locker Talk cartridge and the MP3 player is from the Cricut Paisley cartridge.  I used a Nesting Lace Ovals die from Lifestyle Crafts to cut the scalloped green background, which I pop-dotted for dimension.  And then God smiled down on me and I found a stamp with the perfect sentiment to tie it all together.  3 a.m. and I was done and off to bed.

We aren't actually having her birthday celebration until the weekend, so my husband suggested I make a second card to give her then.  What's wrong with men?

"It's My Birthday" Ribbon

Last month I had purchased a "Birthday Girl" ribbon at Dollar Tree for my youngest granddaughter.  (The more attention she gets, the happier she is.)  As soon as I got it home I knew I had to buy another for my oldest granddaughter since her birthday happened to coincide with her first day of high school.  My grandchildren think I'm clueless, so I wanted to present it to her and suggest she wear it to high school orientation to let all her friends know it was her birthday.  Don't worry.  I knew it was lame.  I just wanted to see what reaction I'd get.

I forgot all about it until last night.  Birthday/Orientation was today.  Dollar Tree had no "Birthday Girl" ribbons.  So at midnight I found myself desperately trying to make something.

I found a tutorial on making rosettes using the Martha Stewart Scoring Board, so I was on my way.

I started with three pieces of 12 inch by 2 1/4 inch paper scored every 1/2 inch.  I folded accordian pleats into each, then attached them into a circle with hot glue.  I flattened the circle into a rosette shape and glued the center with hot glue (this stuff gets really hot).  I used a two-inch scalloped circle punch to cut a shape for the center of the rosette.  I found a punch-out in one of my paper pads that said "It's my birthday" and glued that to the center of the scallop (this is why I collect anything I can get my hands on---you never know when you'll need something random in the middle of the night).

In my growing stash of ribbon I found one with a birthday theme.  It was a little too white and shiny, so I used Tim Holtz Distress Stain in Antique Linen to give it a softer look that coordinated with the rosette paper.  I cut a couple of strips, trimmed the ends, and attached it to the back of the rosette with hot glue (by now my fingers were blistered and numb).  I then cut a three-inch scalloped circle, glued it to the back of the rosette, and attached a pin with hot glue (still fantasizing that my granddaughter might actually wear it).

It turned out big and gaudy, and it gave my granddaughter a laugh on the day she needed it most.  It's still sitting where she left it early this morning, and that's okay.  She started her first day of high school knowing she's important enough for her Nana to make an ugly ribbon just for kicks.  I'll never solve world hunger, but today I made a nervous teenager feel loved and that's good enough for me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Happy Birthday, Princess

Today is my granddaughter's 14th birthday.  It's also her first day of high school.   Where did the years go?

This child has been a wild one.  Not that she's a troublemaker---just "energetic".  From the time she was teeny-tiny I was convinced she would never learn to control herself.  She wanted to be in the middle of everything.  And boy, could she talk.  And talk.  And talk...  She never met a teacher she couldn't annoy.

Somewhere along the way she has become a wonderful young lady.  She still likes to talk.  But she also likes to help others.  She even occasionally shows me her thoughtful, appreciative side.  Not enough that I expect it, but when she thanks me for cooking dinner or doing her laundry it warms my heart like nothing else. 

I never planned to raise a second generation of children, but God always seems to know better than we do what we really need to make us happy (and keep us on our toes).  Thank you, God; You've really blessed me.  And You'll probably need to remind me of that before the week is over.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Another Cricut Card

Creating anything is a slow process for me, so while we wait for my creativity to kick in (or while I search the internet for ideas) here's another card I made a while back:

This is a Mother's Day card for my oldest daughter.  The cut is one of my all-time favorites from A Child's Year, which is one of my all-time favorite cartridges.  I think one of the things that draws me to this cartridge is the simplicity (silhouettes don't require endless layering) and I just happen to love children (yelling at them all day doesn't negate the warm, fuzzy feelings I have for them when they're asleep).

The decorative strip beneath the flowers is a Martha Stewart punch (I wish I could remember the name, or better yet I wish the manufacturers would label them!)   The envelope was made using the Martha Stewart Scoring Board and one of my endless sheets of random 12x12 paper.  I think I get more satisfaction from making envelopes from my neglected paper than I do from any of my other crafty endeavors (one sheet down, 249,999 to go...)

Thanks for stopping by!

Owl Family Card

It seems like a good time to take a break from whining and post something I created.  Of course I had to dig deep into my archives to find something...

The owl family is from the Cricut Lite cartridge Hoot 'n' Holler.  I made the card for my daughter's first Mother's Day, but it could also work to welcome a new baby.  When choosing colors for the owls, I decided to make Baby a mix of both Mom and Dad just like real life.  (Notice Mom can hardly keep her eyes open--again, just like real life.)

Okay, back to whining.  That's so much easier for me.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

New Beginnings (And a Card)

Lately I don't know what's going on in my head.  It could be the effects of menopause, or maybe I haven't quite come to terms with the realities of my life.  Either way, I need a fresh start.  I can't run away from my life--and honestly, I don't think that's what I need or want--but something needs to change for my sake and the sake of everyone around me.  It's after midnight, so the only thing I can do tonight (except pray, which I've done and continue to do nonstop) is to find a project I haven't posted and share it with you.  Maybe it will remind me that there's a world outside my own head, and it isn't all bad.

(Image is from Cricut Cartridge A Child's Year)

Maybe this isn't the best project to remind me of the good things in life, or maybe it is the best thing for me right now.  It reminds me to appreciate the ones we love while we still can, because in a flash they can be taken from us.

I made this card a while back for my sister, Teresa, just to let her know I love her and am always thinking of her.  As I've shared with you before, she's been in a persistent vegetative state for over a decade now, but I still miss her constantly.  I remember how as a girl she always had a book in her hand, and when she wasn't reading it she was collecting four-leaf clovers and placing them between the pages.  She was a dreamer, but her dreams were cut short due to complications from a surgical procedure.  I want my memories of her to be a catalyst for me to make the most of my life, whatever it is that God has in store for me.

Life is often difficult.  We can make plans for our own lives (and we should), but ultimately we need to accept God's plan if we are to be happy.  Quite often they aren't the same.  It's impossible to sit here on this planet and understand how the disappointment and grief we feel in the present can be necessary in the big picture.  That's when we rely on a little thing called faith.  And a lot of prayer.