Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Advent Calendar...it's finally finished!

I can't believe that I finally finished our Advent calendar...at the halfway mark I wasn't sure I was ever going to be done.  This post is LONG and has LOTS of pictures, so be prepared!  

I had a lot of fun working on this calendar, but I'm not going to lie to you and say that it came together quickly.  Parts of it came together REALLY fast, but other parts took a bit longer.  I worked on it on and off for about 3 weeks...I should have kept better track of my time, but I would guess that I spent approximately 15-20 hours on it.  (Part of that time was spent trying to figure out what images to use...I tend to be a bit indecisive.  Also, one draw back of the Silhouette Design Studio for me is that I tend to take a lot of "internet breaks.")
I had a hard time deciding whether or not I wanted to use all drawers or all boxes, but then I saw Tania Willis' calendar and she used a combination of both.  There's no rule that you have to use one or the other, so I went through and decided that there were definitely a few boxes that I didn't like very much.  I then just tried to space out the drawers evenly, so I would get a balanced look.  One big tip that I have for you - don't try and work numerically.  I started off making box #1 and planned on going through each in order, but I quickly figured out that I needed to start working by color and/or patterned paper.  For example, I made all of the pink boxes at one time...that way I didn't end up with two pink boxes right next to eachother.
I also probably could have saved myself a little time by using chipboard or sticker numbers instead of cutting out each of the numbers 5 times to create faux-chipboard.  I looked for chipboard numbers that I liked, but in the end it would have been too expensive to buy enough sets...plus, I changed the size and font of the numbers based on what I was placing on the box.
I'm sure you're not exactly shocked that I incorporated kraft cardstock in the project.  I love it and I feel like it provides a nice neutral for all of the bright colors I used.
I REALLY wanted to use this star shaped box, but I had a bit of trouble with it.  To cover up the fact that the top of the box isn't as perfect as I'd like it to be, I used a little baker's twine around the edge.  I also pretty much stole borrowed the layout of this box from Tania Willis' calendar.
I think this box may be my favorite.  I used three colors of baker's twine to create the little braided string for my mittens.  
I had a hard time deciding what to use for drawer number 18...it's fairly large, so I needed something that would fill the space.  I was thinking of using a sleigh, but decided on colorful snowy houses instead.
I also really like this little snowman.  I used white pigment ink and a q-tip of all things to create my falling snow and the snow on the ground.
Materials Used:
  • Silhouette Limited Edition Advent Calendar
  • Patterned Paper: Doodlebug Designs Santa's Workshop Collection
  • Solid Cardstock:
    • Bazzill Basics Paper: Avalanche, Chablis, Grenadine, and Parakeet
    • Turquoise - DCWV Textured Cardstock Bright Stack
    • Kraft Cardstock - Michael's Recollections Brand
  • Glitter:
    • Martha Stewart Glitter Glue: Garnet, Peridot, Tourmaline, Yellow Barite
    • Stickles: Diamond Dust
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink - Walnut Stain
  • Baker's Twine - Scrappy Moms Stamps: Maraschino, Blossom, Honeydew, Carribean & Pink Sorbet
  • Assorted 3/8" Ribbon - Michael's
  • Die Cuts - Silhouette Online Store (Mostly Lori Whitlock files because #1 I think they are adorable and #2 a lot of her holiday shapes are sold in sets of 5 or 6 shapes, so it's also cost effective.)
  • Embellishments
    • Assorted Adhesive Glitter Dots: pink, gold, white & red - Michael's Recollections brand
    • Clear Adhesive Gems
    • Candy "stickers" - Jolee's Brand (I added the glitter to them using Stickles.)
  • Adhesives:
    • Red Tape - Recollections Brand (I used this for all of the boxes and drawers.  I wanted adhesive that would really last, so I can use this again for years to come.)
    • Pop Dots
    • Martha Stewart All-Purpose Gel Adhesive
I hope you like the calendar!  I am finishing up filling it with a few little goodies.  I picked up a few little surprises for my little one, but the majority of the calendar will be filled with activities that we can do...watch a Christmas movie, drive around to look at Christmas lights, bake Christmas cookies - that sort of thing. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

EAD Monday Hop: Friends!

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had wonderful weekend!  We had a fun and low key holiday weekend...best kind in my opinion.  I didn't venture out on Black Friday, so I don't have any funny shopping stories to share this year.  I hope you are hopping along with the EAD Design Team this morning!  If you arrived here from the super sweet and talented Joanna's blog, Scrap-Making, then you are in the right spot.  If not, you can head back to the EAD Designs blog!
I used the Good Company set from EAD.  It's one of my favorite and would be perfect for any hostess thank-you notes that you may need to write over the next few months.  I combined the "friends" sentiment with a simple pre-designed card from the Silhouette Online Store.  They have a ton of cute pre-designed cards that are great to use when you need to whip up a quick card.
Good Company

The next stop on today's hop is
 I know she will have something wonderful to share!
You still have time to take advantage of November's Monthly Steal!
Also...make sure to take advantage of EAD's Cyber Monday Sale!
Use CYBER40 to receive 40% off your order today!

Here's a peek of what I'm sharing tomorrow!  I hope you will check back tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Scrappy Mom Terrific Tuesday Challenge!

Happy Tuesday!  It's time for another Scrappy Moms Terrific Tuesday Challenge!  This week's challenge is to create a new project using the Cricut cartridge From my Kitchen.  I don't have that one, so I chose a slider card that I've had for awhile from the Silhouette store.  This is one of those projects that looked better in my head, but oh well - here it is.  
The little coffee pot forms the envelope and the lid forms the card...pretty cute!  I saw a clear embossing tutorial a few weeks ago on Papertrey Ink's site and I've been wanting to try it...it didn't quite provide the "wow" factor that I had hoped.  :/  

I hope you play along with us!  You can link your project HERE on the Scrappy Moms' blog.

I am STILL working on the Advent calendar...I'm a little burned out, so I took a few days off.  I have 6 boxes left to decorate.  I WILL finish it this week...I will.  Really.  (fingers crossed) 

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

EAD Monday Hop: Fa la la la la

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a good weekend!  It's time again for another EAD Designs Monday Hop!  If you arrived here from Joanna's blog, Scrap-Making, then you are in the right spot.  If not - make sure to head back to the EAD Designs Blog, so you don't miss out on any projects!  I have another Christmas card to share with you today!
I was browsing through some digital stamps and as soon as I saw these sweet Three Carolers from Mo Manning, I knew I had to pair them up with the "Fa la la la" sentiment from EAD Designs.  I have been wanting to try a "snow" themed project on kraft cardstock, so I decided to give it a whirl.  I'm mostly happy with how it turned out...I still need to play around with how much color to use to get the look I want.  
Christmas Sentiments

The next stop on today's hop is Liz from Liz's Paper Loft!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Last Minute Thanksgiving Decorations!

Gobble Gobble!  I have a few fun and kid friendly Thanksgiving decorations to share with you.  These all come together really fast and would be perfect for a kid's table.  First let me introduce you to Fred the Turkey.  I saw this in a Parents magazine, but completely forgot about it until I saw it on Pinterest.  This came together so fast and I liked him so much that I made a similar turkey for Nicole's preschool class.  One tip...in the original instructions it tells you to cut an inch or so off the bottom of the styrofoam ball.  I don't think I cut enough, so once I attached the turkey's little head - it kept tipping over.  I improvised by adding some little feet to help keep him steady.  I used two popsicle sticks tucked into the yarn and then covered the exposed popsicle sticks with felt.  
I made these little boats for each Nicole's classmates.  I had planned on putting two little Hershey's Kisses in each one, but once I saw the little mini pies that another mom had brought for dessert - I decided to take pity on the teacher and not give them any more sugar.  Ten three year olds on a sugar high seemed like a bad idea.  ;)  I found this little 3D boat in the Silhouette Online Store, but HERE is a template for a similar boat.  These would be sweet filled with little jelly beans or even pebbles...again - I didn't think either or those ideas would work for preschoolers.   
I also made Nicole a super simple turkey shirt...just don't look at my stitching too closely.  Ok?  I actually just free-handed the turkey and feathers...I didn't even pull out the Cricut or Silhouette.  

I hope you have a great weekend!  I will be back on Monday for another fun EAD Designs Hop and Tuesday marks the start of a brand new Scrappy Moms Terrific Tuesday Challenge!  I am hoping to have our Advent calendar finished this weekend, and share it sometime next week!

Friday, November 18, 2011

EAD Designs + Whisker Graphics Hop!

Happy Friday!  Today the design teams from EAD Designs and Whisker Graphics have joined forces for a fun filled blog hop!  There is no set order today, BUT I have a complete list at the bottom of this post.  My suggestion is to start at the beginning and work your way down the list.  Don't worry - everyone will have a complete blog list posted!  A BIG thank-you to Ashley from Heart Hugs Designs for coordinating this hop!  Ashley also cut and wound millions of yards (okay...maybe not millions, but A LOT) of lovely baker's twine for us.  She deserves a medal.  ;)  Make sure to keep reading to find out about the fun giveaway!

I have two projects to share with you today!
For my first project I combined the super cute Notebook Middy Bitty Bags from Whisker Graphics with some fun sentiments and images from EAD Designs.  When I saw the little notebook paper bags, I envisioned lots of doodles.  The sentiments from EAD's Random Sayings worked out perfectly.  I added a sweet cupcake to the topper from the brand new Celebrate with Love Set from EAD & 2 Cute Ink.  (The 2 Cute Ink images are what I wish my "doodles" would look like, but sadly - stick figures are about all I can manage.) 
Of course I had to do come up with a Christmas themed project too.  Chevron patterns are so popular right now, and these adorable Chevron Bitty Bags come in 6 beautiful colors!  I also added one of their Small Colored Tags to the top of these bags.  I used some of the cute circle stickers from EAD's Funky Christmas Tags set to personalize these little favors.  All of the sentiments are from the Christmas Sentiments Rub-Ons.  I am planning on using these to package gift cards.  These little bags would also make the CUTEST (and easiest) Advent calendar.

Blog Hop List

One random commenter will receive an amazing prize pack: 
$25 EAD gift certificate 
15 yards of the original 12 Divine Twine colors plus 15 yards of Holiday Divine Twine, assortment of Bitty Bags and other goodies from Whisker Graphics.

Thank you so much for stopping by!  I hope you enjoy the hop!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Scrappy Moms Peek & a Quick Holiday Project!

Happy Tuesday!  I have two quick projects to share with you today.  I have another sneak peek at the newest Freshly Brewed set from Scrappy Moms Stamps.  I altered this little silhouette to mimic a similar cut from the Love You a Latte Cricut Lite cartridge.  I found this cute lady in Silhouette Online Store and added a little tray and cup.  Here's another peek at the new set!
I also have a quick project that I made on Friday to share with you too!  Nicole's preschool is having holiday pictures today, which you know probably means a cheesy holiday themed backdrop.  I didn't want to send her to preschool in her actual Christmas dress, and everything else she has would clash with a Christmas themed backdrop...so I decided to go casual.  (What are the chances that the pictures will turn out anyway?  School pictures rarely EVER look good...especially when this is the "smile" she gives you when you ask.)  
I found a few holiday shirt ideas on Pinterest and gave Nicole the choice between a reindeer or a Christmas tree.  She chose the reindeer.  You can't really tell from the picture, but the little reindeer is made out of felt.  I used Heat 'n Bond Lite to apply it to the shirt and then just used my sewing machine to stitch around the edges.  (You don't have to do that, since felt won't fray.  If you don't plan on sewing around the edge, make sure to use the Heat 'n Bond Ultra Hold.)  You can find the project instructions on the Noodles & Milk blog HERE!  Her directions are really easy to follow and she even has the template for the reindeer for FREE!  
I made her a matching ponytail streamer.  These are my favorite because they are easy to make and I don't worry about them falling out on the playground.  You can find my instructions HERE!

Monday, November 14, 2011

EAD Hop: You are a Blessing

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a good weekend and are hopping along with us this morning.  If you arrived here from Joanna's blog, Scrap-Making, then you are in the right spot!  If not, make sure to head back to the EAD Designs Blog, so you don't miss out on any of the fun projects.
I have a pretty simple card to share today using two different sets from EAD Designs.  With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I am in the mood for some fall themed projects (have to break up all the Christmas projects a bit, right?)  

I used the  Cute Transportation set for my main image.  This set is really versatile and it ships free!
Cute Transporation
I paired the sweet fall tree with a sentiment from the Thank You Sentiments set.
Thank You Sentiments
The next stop on today's hop is 
Materials Used:
If you stopped by the blog on Saturday, you saw that I had a rather long "craft" to-do list.  Well...I got sick on Saturday.  My poor husband who never plays golf was actually playing golf Saturday morning, and I was so sick he had to abandon his game and come home.  So...I didn't get anything done on Saturday and very little on Sunday.  Oh well...luckily I have a few projects finished for this week's Scrappy Moms sneak peeks!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Scrappy Moms Sneak Peek #2

Happy Saturday!  I have another sneak peek of the brand new Freshly Brewed set from Scrappy Moms Stamps!  I actually made this a few weeks ago for my daughter's preschool teacher.  Honestly anyone that can handle ten 3 year olds is obviously some sort of saint...right?  If she's not a saint, then she at least deserves some caffeine to deal with the little monsters darlings.
I used a library pocket envelope to create a little gift card holder.  Since I didn't have to mail it, I didn't worry about the size.  I obviously really like her, since I used my favorite paper of all time for the envelope.  :)  Dear kiMemories, please reprint Paisley Parade.  It is my favorite.  Thank you.

Here's another look at the new set!  
Freshly Brewed
Make sure to check out the rest of the Scrappy Moms Design Team blogs for even more inspiration!  You can find all of the links on the left hand side of my blog!  

What are you up to this weekend?

Here's my craft to-do list for this weekend:
"Reindeer" t-shirt & bow for Nicole's school Christmas pics.
"Turkey" t-shirt for Nicole's Thanksgiving "Feast" 
Decorations for Nicole's Thanksgiving "Feast" 
(I'm the room parent for her class.  I'm really excited, but I don't want to come across as too "Martha-ish," so I'm trying to keep it low-key.)
Get at least half of my Advent boxes decorated!  
(At least I finished cutting out all of the boxes...if I never see Terrifically Tacky Tape again, it might be too soon.  I have been finding the little red plastic pieces ALL over the house.)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Scrappy Moms - *new* Freshly Brewed!

Happy 11-11-11!  Scrappy Moms Stamps is releasing a brand new set today - Freshly Brewed!  A whole entire set of coffee and tea themed sentiments...perfect!  As always, they are in stock and ready to ship!
I have had so much fun playing with this set.  I think I designed five projects the first night I had the set, so get ready...there should be a bunch of new projects over the next week.  I used a shape card that I found in the Silhouette store, but you could just as easily duplicate this by using a tag with a similar shape.  I heat embossed the heart on the coffee mug using a heart stamp and my translucent embossing powder.
I stamped the sentiment using my trusty Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Walnut Stain - I love the way it looks on kraft cardstock.  

Make sure to check out the Scrappy Moms Design Team blogs for LOTS of inspiration using this brand new set!  

Make sure to welcome our November Guest Designer, Sarah from Sarah's Stamping and Stuff!

Hope you have a great day!