Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Giraffe Wobble Card

 I'm running out of giraffe designs to use on Teresa's cards.  I found this one on the Cricut cartridge Life's a Party.  It's one of those cuts you might never notice.  You can find it on the card/shift creative feature from the Mother-to-Be hat, which is on page 59 of my handbook.  The handbook shows it as what I would call a "negative space design", in which you would actually discard the giraffe cuts and use the window shape that remains.  Instead I used Cricut Craft Room to hide the rectangular border (a step you could skip if you don't use a computer design program with your Cricut machine) so that only the giraffe pieces were cut.
Because the giraffe shape didn't have layering pieces, I decided to ink an embossing folder (from the Cuttlebug set Animal Print) and run the head and body through my Sizzix Big Shot for added color and dimension.   Admittedly this print probably belongs on a cheetah, but sometimes you have to work with what you have.  I'll obsess over acquiring a giraffe embossing folder later.
Since the head and body are two separate pieces, I thought it would be fun to put the head on a wobble spring (you can almost see the motion in the second photo).   I found a tutorial to make my own on Linda Kaiser's blog, The Paper Boutique (thanks, Linda!).   To complete the card I stamped "Happy Birthday" on a balloon shape, added some cording, and tied the balloon to the giraffe's tail.  A little ribbon along the bottom "tied" it all together.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Two Weeks of Fun

I'm away from home for a couple of weeks.  I miss my husband and the girls terribly.  I can't spend time in my craft room with all my cool toys.  But here's what I get to play with while I'm here:

Yes, life is good.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Summer Fun Thank You Card

My sweet sister (who I hold totally responsible for my crafting obsession) and her husband always invite the extended family to share a week on the lake with them during the summer.  They also take us on fun (and sometimes death-defying) activities on their boat.  I made this card to show my appreciation for all they do for us.

The Cricut Lite cartridge Fun in the Sun had the perfect image for this thank you card, and will be put to good use (eventually) when I scrapbook all the wonderful memories.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Life's Little Surprises

No, this isn't about how a middle-aged woman found herself in round two of child-raising.  But it is about how these children make her life so much richer.

Lately, my fourteen-year-old granddaughter has been spilling her teenage drama to me.  It can be time-consuming, but not without its rewards.

Tonight was family night.  Dinner out, a trip to Costco (yeah, family night is exciting around here) and various others stops along the way.  I was telling the family how I would miss them all over the next couple of weeks while I'm away caring for my little grandson.  Teenage granddaughter says, "I'm gonna miss you, too, Nana".

It was the best surprise I've had all year.

Shared Passions

I think my husband wants to scrapbook.

To begin with, he seems to wander into my craft room on a regular basis.  I see the lust in his eyes.  And it isn't for me.  At first I thought he was just amazed at the sheer volume of stuff I have crammed into this tiny space.  But I'm starting to realize he's in awe of the possibilities of all these supplies.

Today I caught him rearranging a layout I had been working on.

I can't remember his exact words, so I'll paraphrase:  "I really like how you can use these design elements to showcase different aspects of the layout".  Yeah, that was stretching.  But he was having fun trying to use his artistic vision to better my scrapbook pages.  I found it annoying.

I enjoy playing tennis with my husband.  I even tolerate skiing with him when he's willing to stay on the green trails.  Lounging by the pool (or beach) together is Heaven.  But in my little 8x10 craft room, I prefer to work alone.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Disney Photo Flip Book

I was offered a free photo flip book and thought, "What the heck...fewer photos to scrap!"   The finished product with its plain clear cover was crying out for some embellishment.  My huge vinyl stash was also crying out for attention.  I was feeling lazy.  It was either this or housecleaning.
I sat at my computer (that's always easy) and designed a frame using Cricut Craft Room Basics (again, no need to leave my chair) and Mickey Font. 
From CCR Basics I chose a rectangle and circle (can't believe there's no basic oval in CCR Basics!) then resized and reshaped them to fit my cover.  The now-oval shape was placed in the center of the rectangle to create the cutout, the Mickey Font letters and date were lined up along the bottom of the opening, then everything was welded together.  After cutting the vinyl using the kiss-cut method, I used clear contact paper to transfer the overlay onto the photo book cover.   Could it have been made fancier?  Sure, but not by me.
As God is my witness, I'll use my vinyl stash one 4x6 piece at a time.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Just Breathe

Let me preface this with the following statement:  I love my granddaughters dearly.  But sometimes a woman just needs a safe place to vent.  I hope this is mine.

My husband went to the bank on Friday and brought me back a little emergency cash.  Today I gave it to my granddaughter who was going to the fair with her friend.  While this was taking place, my husband was at the orthodontist with the other granddaughter (in comparison, the cost of the fair seems like small potatoes).  And it's only Monday.

I thought at this point in my life my husband and I would be free to spend weekends taking leisurely drives through the mountains, stopping at quaint cafes for lunch or dinner.  But instead, weekends are about activities for the kids, running errands, and/or family outings at kid-friendly restaurants.  For that matter, most of our week involves driving the kids to school and extracurricular activities, helping with homework, preparing meals for picky eaters, endless cleaning (kids are nasty little creatures) and doing mountains of laundry.  Most of our money goes to the necessities of life with children.  And my husband and I rarely see each other, much less have time alone together.  I long for a simpler life.  I long for romance.  I long for a good night's sleep.

For the past 34 years it seems every resource I have goes to one child or another.  It's exhausting.  What happened to my "golden years"?  I thought I had planned better than this.  Oh wait, I did.  My youngest child hasn't lived with me in a decade since she went away to college.  Ten more years and, God willing, the youngest granddaughter will be in college (can't wait to see those bills).  Maybe then I'll catch my breath.  If I live that long.  God willing.