card making :: stampin’ blends

A while ago, Stampin’ Up! came out with alcohol-based markers to use along with their stamp sets. Unfortunately they were only on the market for a short time as they discovered an issue with the manufacturer.  Alas, they’ve come up with a new line of them and I had the opportunity to try some of them out.  These dual-tip markers are being offered in 12 different colors and 2 shades (a light and a dark) within each color, plus a color lifter marker.  They’re a great way to color in stamped images where you want to see some use of shading.  I’ve paired them up with the “Floral Statements” stamp set to try them out.

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card making :: skeleton halloween card

We’ve become one of those households that loves celebrating Halloween.  It has also become a good reason for me to whip out some of my old stamps and embellishments, and I love that our 5-year-old enjoys crafting as much as I do!

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ripple yarn project

Earlier this summer, I signed up to be one of the 57 artists in the Ripple Yarn Project.  The project was created by two local artists, Adria Arch and Cecily Miller, and the installation is along the Minuteman bikeway in Arlington Center.  We were assigned specific measurements to knit or crochet a piece to cover a portion of a tree using a bright and bold color palette, but were [almost] totally free to do whatever design we wanted.  The exhibit will be up for six months.

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diy :: food skewers out of buttons

I’ve been on the whole lunch box packing thing lately. There is a ton of inspiration out there for fun ways to jazz up what might otherwise be considered a boring meal.  One thing that is pretty common to use are food picks or skewers.  Fast forward to a trip to our local craft store and E eyeing a package of cute mermaid themed buttons.  I snuck them into our shopping basket when she wasn’t looking and decided to try to make my own plastic skewers that could be reused in her lunches.  Because you know me, I’m just crafty like that.  🙂

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card making :: climbing orchid

I think I owe my fondness of orchids to our mother: she has this incredible knack of being able to keep them alive in her house, and they continue to bloom year after year.  She must have at least a dozen at a time, and each time I see an orchid flower or plant I think of her.  Stampin’ Up! has this stamp set called “Climbing Orchid” and it has matching dies so that you can cut out the stamped images too. We had a couple of yucky rainy days recently so it was perfect for staying in to craft.  Here are a few card designs to illustrate ways you can use the stamps.

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introducing crafty lunch lady

With our kid starting kindergarten soon, I’ve been practicing packing her lunch while using a spiffy Bentgo Box.  I love this thing!  We’re going to let her buy lunch at school a couple of times per month too (read: on pizza days!) but since she tends to be particular about what she likes to eat, this’ll be a way for me to make sure she’s eating well during the day.  She’s generally a good eater but she’s less likely to try new foods if we’re  not there with her.  Plus she said that opening up her lunch box each day will be such a fun surprise!

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baking :: blueberry oatmeal crumble bars

I believe it took living sixteen years here in New England before I realized that blueberry picking was even possible.  Last summer was the first time my daughter and I made the drive up to Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro, MA to try our hand at the pick-your-own blueberry experience.  It was a particularly hot and humid summer day, and as the sweat on my forehead fogged up my sunglasses I wondered why in the world we were even there to begin with!  (It was still fun and worth it … just sweaty!)

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sewing :: the day I made my own dress pattern

We recently decided (read: my husband generously decided) to turn one of the bedrooms in our house that was being called the “office/guest room” into a usable art space that our daughter and I could use for crafting.  In other words, it was a solution to all of the projects (ahem … crap) that constantly would take up half of the dining table.  We recently actually had guests stay over at our house so that meant I needed to clean up the room, and it ended up being the big push I needed to really organize and sort things out.  I went through some bins of fabric from shopping excursions of the past and came across this cute mermaid fabric that I bought from somewhere I can’t remember.  Of course, the second our daughter (now 5.5 years old — what the what?!) saw it, the demand for a dress was made.

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card making :: oh so succulent

There’s a great stamp set by Stampin’ Up! called “oh so succulent” that comes with a matching die set.  The stamp set follows the new trend of two-step stamping where the outline and the filled in part are two different stamps.  I played around with different ink and paper colors, and mostly just used the stamps by themselves (they are not the easiest to line up correctly because of all the different points on a succulent plant, plus I’m just not that great at it!).  It became quite meditative to stamp and cut them out without actually thinking about what to do with them later.  But I knew eventually they would come together to make some sort of card.

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learning a new craft :: pysanky eggs

There is a wonderful shop called Pinecones & Needles in Belmont, MA with the sweetest owner named Anne. She recently shared a photo similar to this one of beautifully decorated eggs on their Facebook page. I was immediately intrigued by her Pysanky eggs so my daughter and I popped into the shop one rainy morning to learn more about the process.  Anne was eager to walk us through each and every step (and had the utmost patience when working with our 5-year-old!), and kindly let me take as many photos to document our experience.  So are you ready to learn about this super cool technique or what?!

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