Thursday, October 1, 2015

That's Life

I do apologize for the long absence. SO MUCH cooking in my world these past few months. Let's do the cliff notes version:

  • Turned 31
  • Got laid off from my job
  • Moved out of Astoria
  • Moved back in with my mom for a month (not ideal, but wasn't torture either)
  • Found a BEAUTIFUL new apartment in Forest Hills
  • Landed an even better, more exciting job
  • Am now balancing home and work with clear cut goals for my future

And OF COURSE, through all this, crafting wasn't really happening. Especially not in the beginning of the summer. However, I got some major guardian angels on my side and everything worked out wonderful. JP and I are loving our new apartment. I hit the jackpot with my job and with my two bosses who I am learning so much from every day. 

So now what? Time to get back into crafting! I have a few pieces I've worked on over the past few months and I am already working hard on my Halloween cards. I'm going to post some of them this weekend. For now, I've just been listening to the Hamilton Broadway Soundtrack nonstop (amazing-GO SEE IT!) and some Sinatra. 

That's life, that's what all the people say
You're ridin' high in April, shot down in May
But I know I'm gonna change that tune
When I'm back on top, back on top in June

Monday, March 9, 2015

Blue Skies and Sunshine, Guaranteed

For my next Thank You card, I wanted to stick with the same bright and cheerful look. I still had some of that lace from my last card so I decided to use it again in a different way. The patterned paper is from a My Mind's Eye pack that I have and I just partnered it with a matching solid color. I made the center cut from my Elegant Edges cartridge.

Is it spring time yet?

Friday, February 27, 2015

Let's Go Fly A Kite!

I had to make a thank you card for someone and because the weather has been so horrid and also because I had the song from Mary Poppins in my head, I decided to use a bright kite cut. This is from the Baby Shower cartridge, but while the original is cut so that the kite comes out with zig-zag pattern, I decided to just use one main pattern. The clouds were cut from my Mickey and Friends cartridge.

When trying to think of what kind of tail to attach, I started rummaging through my embellishments box. You know the box I'm talking about- the one with a million little embellishments, stickers, jewels and lace that you totally forget you have sometimes. I found some lace and pearls for an extra accent. The thank you stamp is from a Michael's $1 grab bag and they have really been so useful over the years.

Here's hoping for some sunshine real soon. =)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Critters and Cupcakes

I still had some Valentine's Day cards I wanted to make and for that, I turned to my Penny Black Critters stamps. I cannot say enough just how much I adore Penny Black! Plus, it gave me the chance to whip out my Copics which I haven't done in forever and am SO rusty as a result. I have to go back and look at old youtube videos and blogs of how to do just simple shading. It was nice practice though. I also did some embossing and blending with Distress Inks.

I did this one Saturday while watching all of season 1 of Grey's Anatomy. The show might be a bit worn out now, but back in the day, it sure did a great job at mixing humor with drama. Plus, I will always love McDreamy. =)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Valentine's Day Treat

When my friend Gale asked me if I wanted to take an arts and crafts workshop with her, I quickly answered, "Well, duh, of course I will!" Truth be told, I have always wanted to do something like that, but I've been too scared to do it alone. (I know, so lame....)

She sent me a link to a store called Paper Source and I was very surprised that I hadn't already heard of them. They have many different locations in the city and they were offering a workshop to create Valentine's Day greeting cards.  I quickly purchased two tickets.

This was their Upper West Side location

I do have to warn about the lack of decent photos with this entry. We were halfway through the workshop and I was so carried away with everything I didn't even remember to take photos! I definitely had a "Oh crap!" moment and started snapping away, but I really wish I had remembered earlier. Ah, well, there's always next time.

We had two instructors, Dasha and I want to say, Chloe was the name of the second instructor? Again, my manners are atrocious. My focus was on the cards and I wasn't thinking of the details I needed to write this entry later on.

When we first walked in, everyone was very nice and welcoming. They had snacks and drinks waiting for us and ya know, I'm all about the food!

Front of the store. The workshop was in the back left corner.
When we took our places, they explained that in front of us were materials for four separate cards. Dasha then started explaining how to emboss for those of us who were new to the game. (I let myself feel smug for about two minutes there. It swiftly vanished when I realized I was sitting next to two Martha Stewart clones. Ego, people. It'll kill ya...)

The beginning....
 The instructors then encouraged us to be creative. We didn't necessarily have to follow the rules if we didn't want to. We could mix and match as we liked, but seeing as how this was my first hand at public card-making, I stuck to the plan. So did my friend Gale.

My fellow Paper Diva!
 And then we were off! They were always there for guidance or help, but for the most part, both instructors were as involved as you wanted them to be with your particular project. I kind of liked that actually. Since I always craft alone, I didn't really want someone on top of me asking me if I needed help. On the contrary, Gale and I experienced exactly what I wanted the evening to be- a carefree girl's night out. There were plenty of inspiration images around and already made cards if we wanted some ideas.

Dasha giving us some pointers!

Our messy embossing station!
Towards the end, (ah the fun always ends too soon!) we had both made lovely cards for our significant others and friends. I actually made an envelope liner! When Gale and I were making shells for her wedding invitations, we had flirted with the idea of making envelope liners as well, but I was always hesitant, thinking they would be too complicated. Psh, girl, come on. It was so simple! Can you trace? Can you cut? Well, you can make a liner! It's so silly the things we don't attempt before even knowing all the facts. (Craft lesson that is a LIFE lesson?) Anyway, I was thrilled with the outcome!

The aftermath....

This was an ORIGAMI HEART! I was so excited that I could actually make one. (Don't ask me to do it again though. I can't remember a thing) I used a special pen to write, "ditto, ditto" because this card is for my Dad and that's how we say I love you.

This gold background is actually Washi tape which was so simple and it really made me wonder why I don't utilize it more often.

We are happy crafters. (excuse my scruffiness!)
All in all, I would definitely do another workshop at Paper Source. It was so much fun to be around other crafty ladies, some experienced, some newbies. It was also awesome to receive a 10% off coupon to use for store merchandise, which I totally used on the spot. (Self-control? What's that?)

Gale and I have already decided to try out their Wedding/Special events workshop when it rolls around next month. I promise to document that workshop a bit better!

Great Advice!

Have any of you ever been to Paper Source? What was your experience like?

Also, as a fun parting image, I must share this gem:

I mean, COME ON! Genius.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Distress Ink distress?

Getting back into crafting after a few months absence wasn't quite as easy as I thought. The phrase, "It's just like riding a bike," didn't really apply to me.

For my first attempt, I wanted to make a sympathy card for my friend Rachael's parents. Her grandmother had just passed away and I wanted to do something for them since they have always been so nice to me and have opened their home to me on numerous occasions.

I decided to spring out the old Ranger Distress Inks box and see if I could blend some colors. This attempt was the third (third time's a charm, right?) because I was never satisfied with my blending skills. It's like I forgot the technique! The colors came out splotchy or too dark. Finally, after some test runs (which I just should have done in the first place...) I was satisfied with the outcome.

For this card, I blended Scattered Straw, Mustard Seed, and Vintage Photo. I pretty much use Vintage Photo on everything because I love the look it gives to the paper. The flower stamp is from Hero Arts and I wanted the bouquet in the middle to look clearer than the ones on the side.

It was a valiant effort, but it did get my feet wet so to speak. I just needed some time to bond with my paper again. (Yes, I bond with my crafts. Paper sings to me!) I know you crafters know what I'm talking about.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Two Zero One Five

Here is some advice for the new year: If your boyfriend suggests that you two should move in together, be happy. Be excited. Get ready. Get all your ducks in a row and do your research!

Be patient.

Also, do yourself a favor and don't let the first thing you pack be the hobby that keeps you sane.

When my boyfriend JP suggested we move in together, I was ecstatic. I started to pack immediately and the first thing I packed away were all of my crafting supplies.

Big mistake.

Almost 4 months later, I was still waiting to unpack my craft bins. You see, what a rookie like myself didn't realize was that moving is not immediate. Of course, I knew it would take some time. Some time in my mind was a month maybe? It took us four. Apartment hunting is not easy. Sometimes it was downright scary even. But finally, the stars aligned and we found our perfect one bedroom apartment and after three weeks, we are pretty much all moved in.

Our first Christmas Tree! It was a Charlie Brown moment.

One of the main things I asked for when looking for an apartment was a section to set up all of my supplies. I was pretty cramped in my old room, sequestered in a tiny corner with everything on top of each other. But because my boyfriend is pretty awesome, he helped me pick out the right furniture that would hold everything and still give me room to create. Also, we were pretty lucky in that our bedroom is huge. There was a chunk of free space after we put in two dressers and a queen sized bed so I decided to use the other half of the room as my crafting haven. (Folks, I'm serious. TAKE YOUR TIME when looking for a place. I'm so glad we didn't settle because I LOVE THIS APARTMENT!)

Here is a look at what I'm working with--->

This is my desk looking nice and tidy! See how long that lasts...

I got that book case from Ikea to hold all of my supplies.

It was important for me to be near a television. Originally, we were only going to have one in the living room and use the bedroom as a place to relax at night and help our minds quiet down. But I quickly realized, there was no way I would be able to craft without some background noise. Sometimes, music doesn't quite cut it. And for the past two weeks, I've become obsessed with the NBC show, Parenthood. I was going to need a way to watch and craft at the same time. (Also FYI: Check the show out! It's in it's final season, but it's a realistic, funny, and moving family show)

Can't be creative without JP or our alter egos, Ellie and Carl. 

I was pretty psyched for this Christmas gift. JP bought me a Foldio studio. In the past, taking pictures of my cards was always a 10 minute struggle. The lighting was never good. I couldn't find a good background. There were always weird shadows in the picture. This little studio box eliminates all of my problems! There's a light inside and you could either insert a white (as seen above), black or grey background and you no longer have to worry about the quality of the photo. I seriously, cannot wait to use it! The Mickey ears are just an added decor element from my days as a Disney Cast Member.

I have a lot of stuff.....
Us on Christmas Day. <3
I'm really quite excited to start some projects in this new and improved space. I already have lots of ideas lined up and plenty of creative energy to burn.

So here's to a great 2015! Hope your year is full of plenty of love and surprises. 

And Crafting. =)

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