Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The 9/24/11 Wedding Card

This past Saturday was a day of 2 weddings!  A couple from my church had their marriage celebration and my cousin finally married his long-time girlfriend!  It was the perfect timing for me to make my first wedding card.  I wanted it to be something simple and elegant.  I decided to go with the bride and groom silhouette cuts on the Sweethearts cartridge.

I was very surprised at how well it cut especially since the things coming down from the flowers and the bride's arm are very thin!  From what I remember, I cut it at 4 inches.  The card itself is not an A2 (I don't know my sizes, but it's the one bigger than that!).  I chose red for the background because it's supposed to be a "lucky" color in the Chinese culture for things like weddings.  I also chose the yellow ribbon to be the "gold."  Very traditional Chinese colors for good luck (not that I believe in the power of colors, but it's nice to use them because they're so traditional for us).  The sentiment is from Pink by Design's "Scripted Year" set.

The bride and groom at church told me that they loved the card, so I was very excited!  My cousin got the card from my parents (I made a different card from my fiance and me).  It was a bit of a challenge doing this because it wasn't a cutesy card, but despite how simple it may look, I really like how it turned out!  It's definitely the kind of card that can be easily mass produced.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Muy Delicioso!

Back in August, one of my friends who moved to California got married.  I couldn't make it out to the wedding, but my cousin went because she was a bridesmaid.  Since she was heading to the West Coast, she asked on Facebook for any restaurant recommendations, and someone we know from our church who also lives in California gave her many suggestions.  Because of that, my cousin asked if I could make a card that had food on it.  Although this took a lot of time to do because of all the pieces, it's so far one of my favorite custom order cards!

I cut the images from Simply Charmed.  I used my Gypsy to hide all the faces because I didn't want them on this particular card.  I don't know what foods my cousin ate while in California, so I picked a variety of food that would be colorful!  My favorite is actually the ice cream cone.  Normally, I would've thought it'd be kind of plain, but the extra white pieces really make it more interesting!  I actually had to cut the hamburger out again because when it was way too large when I cut it at the same height as everything else, haha.  Monster burger!

I adhered it to white paper that was then put on the purple cardstock.  I'm loving the long cards, so I made this one 4x9 since it'd be able to fit all the food on it.  It's a great size for business envelopes.  I think that's fun too because it'll make people not suspect that it's a card, and they won't know until it's opened!  I also added the sentiment from the Inkadinkado "Thank You Words" set (I bought it for 50% off the last time stamps were on sale; I figured it'd be useful to have "thank you" in all different fonts and sizes).  The last thing I did was add the bling at the corners to tie together the purple theme.  Really fun card to make especially because there aren't many occasions for me to use these food cuts!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Birthday Presents!

Birthday presents are always fun even at 27!  Though it's different than getting a Polly Pocket or Barbie as a child, there's still excitement involved.  With my mom's side of the family, the aunts agreed to stop giving gifts after the age of 25, so I only got a gift from my mom and my fiance, Howard.  That's okay by me though because they were things that I wanted!

On Labor Day, my mom ordered a Boat and Tote from LL Bean for me.  I wanted it as a carry-on for future vacations, particularly for my honeymoon to Walt Disney World next May!  It was perfect because there was an extra 15% for card members.  Plus, there's free monogramming for card members as well (otherwise it'd be an extra $6)!  I was going to pay for it, but then later on, she said she would pay for the dress I knew I'd have to buy for my cousin's wedding, but I said the bag was fine.  The bag will have more fun memories!  I received it only 2 days later, so it was an early birthday present.  I would've waited until my actual day, but I wanted to check to make sure it was okay.

It so easily stands up on its own!

The Boat and Tote bag is one that has been popular for 65 years and is made to hold up to 500 pounds.  Though I can't imagine what in the world I'd be carrying on a plane that weighs 500 pounds, I loved the fact that the reviewers raved about its durability.  I want to be able to throw something heavy in there and not have the tote be misshapen.  I chose the large size because I wanted to be fit as much stuff in it as possible as a carry-on.

I put my rules and expectations letter for school in front of it just so that you can see the size comparison for the large.

I love this bag so much already!  It's much sturdier than I could have ever imagined, but it makes sense since it was originally made to carry ice or wood or something.  I love the cool green color of it as it's bright and different than my usual black or pink.  Plus, it reminds me of my Howard!  It's so great that I think I might want to order the medium size in a pink-ish or purple-ish color when there's another sale.  I can't wait to use this next May when Howard and I go to Disney World!

HOW for Howard and RAE for Rachel!  We're Team HowRae!

The Saturday before my birthday, Howard and I celebrated since he couldn't be with me on my actual day.  The first thing I asked for was birthday California rolls!  There's a restaurant called Tenzan near his house that we used to go to all the time.  That's our beginning sushi place!  So many memories there!  We don't really eat raw fish anymore.  It's very sparingly just to be on the safe side even though we LOVE it, of course!  Haha, I wouldn't be "love and sushi" if I didn't.  But sometimes we also just want those Cali rolls with that yummy avocado!  Of course, silly me forget to get a picture of the Cali rolls; I only got one of the salad!  AND I didn't even get a good shot of the delicious ginger dressing either!

Funny thing is, I took this picture with the cover on, and Howard said, "Why don't you take the cover off?"

I got two other gifts this year, and they were from Howard.  We had already agreed not to get each other birthday gifts and Christmas presents since we're saving for the wedding, our apartment, AND mainly annual passes to WDW!  Haha, being realistic, it's mainly because we want APs.  This way, we won't feel "guilty" spending $500+ each on APs.  Howard still wanted to get me something, so he bought me some goodies that I absolutely love!  The first was Hershey's Milk Chocolate Drops.  I had seen this on TV while with him, and I immediately knew I wanted it.  Last year, I had something similar to it when one of my students went to Lancaster and brought back a baggie of chocolate.  When I felt faint at school due to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), it was the perfect thing to pop in my mouth for a sugar rush.  After I ran out, I had M&M's, but I'm not a fan of the candy shell.  These were perfect especially since I LOVE Hershey's chocolate (haha, and Godiva, but that's a bit too pricey; the only reason I tried it was because I got it as a gift from a student!).

Waiting for me at work in my desk drawer!  I really put it farther in the back because another teacher uses my room 5 times a week, hehe.

Howard also got me another gift that was a surprise!  Back in February when we were in Disney World with our friends and my cousins, I stopped by Basin at Downtown Disney for the first time.  I saw a bar of Mickey soap that smelled like ginger ale.  I really liked the scent!  When I'm nauseous, I sip ginger ale, so it has a very calming effect on me.  I was going to buy it, but I decided against it because I figured I wouldn't use it because it's bar soap (I like liquid soap).  Plus, it was just another souvenir that I knew I didn't need (although who really NEEDS souvenirs, haha).  Well, this was the other thing I got, and I had NO clue whatsoever!    

I know you're wishing you could smell it!  This was taken at school with my desk calendar.  I had brought the soap to school for my "Me in a Bag" project with the 6th graders.  I like modeling the projects I assign as much as I can.

That night, I got to pick dinner, and what I wanted was a yummy burger from Outback.  Nothing fancy but still absolutely delicious (especially since we brought it back to my house, and we relaxed and watched movies - The Sorcerer's Apprentice, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and Ip Man!)  Of course, I forgot to get a picture of the cheeseburger and fries too, but Howard got one of the Bloomin' Onion.  I had done the survey on the receipt from the last time I picked up food, so it was free.  Since we were bringing it back, we were able to cut it in half so my parents and brother could have it too (it's way too much for two people!).  It wasn't the best one that we've had; the onion wasn't as thickly cut, but at least it was a nice free appetizer.

Well, that was my 27th birthday!  I also bought myself a bunch of stamps from Scrapbook.com (cute 99 cent ones and a bunch of background stamps from the clearance section for the buy 4 get the 5th free) a few weeks earlier.  I had saved the box to open on my birthday, so even though that wasn't the intention, it was fun to get to open something crafty!  Anyway, I promise to eventually get back to some crafty posts.  I did make some cards as custom orders, and I was holding on posting them since I'm not sure if they were sent to the recipient just yet.  Thanks for sticking around!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Today is my 27th birthday!  As I woke up this morning, I had two thoughts:
  1. I'm so glad it's Saturday, so I can sleep in!
  2. Boo, it's not Saturday.  I wish I could stay home and make birthday cards (haha, for other people).
Alas, my day will not be a crafting day as the start of the school year this past Monday has taken up all of my free time.  I've been good and signing off around 10pm and having my head to my pillow by 11pm.  During the second half of the last school year, I would finish my lesson plans and grading as fast as I could and craft before sleeping, but that just hasn't been a possibility just yet.

This year, my fiance and I decided not to get each other birthday presents or Christmas presents (hehe, or at least not big ones because we're saving for annual passes to Disney World!).  He got me goodies that I really wanted, but I actually have them at school so I can't post a picture.  I'll try to get pictures of them today.  He did email Disney, and they mailed him a birthday button for me!  I can't wait to get it on Saturday!

Regardless, I look forward to this year of being 27 (even though I keep forgetting how old I am and sometimes have to ask my fiance)!  It's my last birthday as Miss Love and Sushi because next year, I will be a Mrs. come May!  That also means my honeymoon at Disney World is approaching, which will be a huge event that I really want to scrapbook!  Haha because we all know, everything comes back to crafting (even when we don't have the time right now to do it!). 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 10 Years

Today pains me.  As my dad watched part of the memorial ceremony this morning before we left for church, my eyes filled with tears, so I had to just walk away.  Though I didn't lose anyone I knew personally, there are so many around me that have.  Hearing the names being read out loud makes me sick because it just makes the reality of each individual life that was lost more prominent.  I think all New Yorkers carry this day around with them day in and day out.

In September 2001, I was a senior in high school.  It was going to be a great year finally being at the top of the school!  I remember walking from one side of the school to the other through the hallway that passes the library.  My friend walking in the opposite direction said, "Someone just flew a plane into the WTC," and I casually replied, "Probably terrorists."  When I heard "plane," I didn't think about the large passenger planes; I was thinking about the really small ones that you take to islands or even a 2-seater.

When I arrived at my next class, however, I began to understand what really happened as my teacher shared with the class what he knew so far.  There was no way we could do any work especially since one of my fellow classmates was in tears trying to call and locate her mother who worked there.  That day, it was difficult to get in contact with anyone by cell phone.  Then I realized that WTC was very close to where my father worked, and I started worrying.  There was nothing we could do at that point but just wait for more news.  It was a really uneasy feeling as we didn't know if that was all of it.  Was anything else planned?  Were we safe where we were?

We weren't allowed to leave the school and go home.  The only way we could leave was if our classes were done (we had to show our schedules) or a parent had to pick us up.  I went to each class, and all we could do was just sit there.  I remember my AP Biology teacher tried to make us work because he said there was nothing we could do about it.  I don't know if he was trying to distract us or trying to distract himself.

When I finally made it home and saw that my dad was home and okay, I was relieved.  He made it on one of the ferries after meeting up with my aunt, and they came back to Staten Island together.  My aunt worked MUCH closer to the towers, and when the planes hit, they were told to stay in place.  My aunt disregarded that and left right away, thank God.  They were in the city when the towers collapsed, and they couldn't see a thing in front of them.  My dad said that when he held his hand right in front of his face, he couldn't see it.  I can't even imagine what that must've been like.  I had to stop watching the news footage after a while because it was day after day of sadness.  I do remember that I started watching the TV show Third Watch during those next few months as they included 9/11 in their storyline as they film in NYC.

I saw the news footage, and I knew the world would never be the same again.  That Sunday before, I had my eyes closed while on the Manhattan Bridge.  Every other Sunday before that on our way to church, I'd look out the window to stare at those two buildings and how they soared over all the other skyscrapers.  I couldn't believe that I would never be able to lay eyes on WTC again.  I thought about the time when my aunt took my mom and me to Windows on the World at the top of the North tower.  I remember how they at first didn't want to allow me to go up because I was wearing white Keds with my summer dress instead of fancy shoes.  I ordered chicken pot pie, and it was the fanciest chicken pot pie I had ever eaten.  Looking down at the streets was a view that I'll never forget.  But knowing that there were so many that jumped from the building from that height makes me nauseous.

My middle school students don't remember that day.  They were too young.  Even my younger brother doesn't remember it because he was just a baby.  When we had memorial ceremonies at school during the prior years, they'd fidget or act as if it were a lighthearted issue even though our school family would go up to the microphone to announce the names of those loved ones they lost.  I hate that they don't respect the day, and I also hate that they have to grow up in this world (even if they may not know it as any different).

Year after year, the world remembers what happened.  For those in NYC, it's more than just an annual memory.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Lure of Paints

I'm a paper crafter.  I've always been into paper crafting since I was really young.  I use stamps and now the Cricut, but that's pretty much it.  I don't explore other mediums rather often.  That's part of the reason why I started The Greeting Farm's HeART Journaling because I wanted to be "forced" to try new things without worrying about making a mistake.*  Paint is one thing that doesn't seem as if it's made for me because it's a bit too free form!  I'm not artistic; I'm crafty!

Well, our crafty friend Martha is making that a bit difficult for me though!

Back in August, Howard accompanied me on a trip to Michaels.  We were just taking our time and walking around when we saw the paint aisle had changed since the last time we had been there.  They were stocking the aisle with new products by Martha Stewart!  Wait, glittery paint?  Um, I want some!

I don't know what I'd do with any of these paints, but putting glitter or shine or shimmer in anything definitely lures me!  Maybe I'll look into wood pieces or other things around the house to up-cycle or alter.  No, I haven't purchased any yet, and I don't intend to, but boy, I always love looking at all the new products and tools she makes (haha, even though I'm not a fan of actually watching her).

*Alas, I have dropped out after week 5.  I debated it for a while and discussed it with Howard.  I was having issues doing the assignments because although I had fun doing them and was happy to complete them, it hung over my head like a homework assignment with the Thursday due date.  I knew that if I was feeling that way during the summer, it'd be even worse during the school year.  Now that I've been back to work for 3 days (teachers only), I'm glad I made that decision.  Too much to do!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Crafting with Irene

Last Friday was a very different Friday than the one I just had tonight.  Tonight I watched the Pink by Design September release on Ustream!  Last Friday, I was nervous about Hurricane Irene as I was rushing to clean my room.  One of the things I did on Saturday as I continued to tidy up was say goodbye to my Cricut.  To the left, you can see my Cuttlebug.  And you can see that my Gypsy wire is always connected to my Cricut too!  I <3 my Gypsy!  And I'm totally going off topic here ...

I have an air conditioner somewhat close to my Expression, so I wanted it packed in the box so that there'd be no possibility of water damage or anything like that if those worst case scenarios in my head actually occurred.  The last time my E was in the box was when I brought it home!

The rain began coming down on Saturday.  It was like a regular rainy day.

However, the nighttime was a totally different story with the intense winds and the tornado watch.  I was awake from 3:30 to 6:30am before I finally fell back asleep.  Around 11am, I woke up and all seemed so calm outside except for a little bit of wind!  We had survived!  Phew!  Later that day around 5pm, the winds were really intense again, and we ended up losing power.  I was exhausted from the crazy early morning, so I ended up napping before dinner.  Silly me; I should have spent that time crafting when I still had daylight!  

After dinner, my family was supposed to watch a movie on the little DVD player that was charged, but we couldn't agree on anything that we all wanted to watch.  Haha, this is probably why we don't do the whole family movie night thing.  With nothing to do to occupy my time and no desire to sleep EXTREMELY early, I decided to craft ... in the dark!  I had a crank flashlight and a Sabbath candle (hehe, we're not Jewish).  In this picture, you can see just how dark it was!  No one had any lights at all.  The red you see there is from an emergency vehicle that was just driving around the neighborhood.  I took the opportunity to take the picture so that you could see the contrast.  It was especially odd for me because there's a street lamp that shines into my window because I'm at the front of the house on the top floor.  Strange!

Well, I decided to challenge myself and see if I could make a card in the dark.  I was excited to have something to do!  I couldn't craft at my little table though because I recently brought up the breakfast tray for crafting, and I had it set on top of my table so it'd be off the floor during the storm.  I didn't want to deal with that so I actually crafted on the low table since my Cricut wasn't there.  It was also easier to sit on the floor too and have much more room around me. 

Obviously I could only stamp, and I wasn't about to deal with my Stamp-a-ma-jig in the dark since I often had to hold the flashlight in one hand to see, so I chose a clear stamp.  I bought this Inkadinkado set just a week or so prior to the storm when AC Moore had their 50% off ALL clear and wood mounted stamps (I purchased a TON!).  I went with the little chocolate covered strawberry!

I then chose to use Pink by Design's "Big Thoughts" set since I figured it'd be a lot easier to stamp than thinner text.  I wanted a longer word because I knew I wanted to stamp 3 strawberries.  Once my stamp was chosen, I put it on my block and pulled out Memento ink.  I just gotta say just how wonder Memento is!  I read reviews before buying ink, and many suggested Memento and StazOn.  I had been using StazOn all this time but needed Memento for Copics.  I love both of them, and they both work better with certain stamps, but I really am happy that I can use a black ink sometimes and not have to worry about getting high on fumes, haha.

I chose "CELEBRATE" because who doesn't love celebrating birthdays, wedding, anniversaries, and days ending with "y" with chocolate covered strawberries?

Then I stamped those 3 strawberries.  One for me, two for you.  I mean, two for me, one for you.  I mean, three for me.  Haha.  In actuality, I don't like ALL chocolate covered strawberries.  They're not all created equally.  Sometimes the chocolate just doesn't meld well with the fruit.  Ooo, chocolate covered pineapple, on the other hand, is just absolute yum!

I colored the strawberries in with Bic Mark-It markers in ultra-fine because I was not about to deal with Copics bleeding all over the place.  Plus, these were small, and I wanted to have more control over it.  You can also see the candle in this picture.  It didn't stay lit for long because I kept wanting to leave my room, and as we all know, we're not to leave candles unattended!

The card needed something more, so I used my Martha Stewart Ribbon Loop punch.  I initially wanted the strips to go vertically, but in my trimming, I used the wrong measurement!  Whoops!  I wasn't about to dig for another paper in my scrap stash, so I just trimmed it to fit the top and bottom.

Here's the completed card!  It's not as fancy as other cards, but at the same time, I really do like CAS (clean and simple) cards so maybe it kind of sort of is!  The blackout gave me a reason to stick to my favorite CAS.

I lied.  I wasn't done.  It still needed something else, so I decided to put Glossy Accents on the chocolate part the next day in the light.  Then I thought, "I can't say I did all of it during a blackout with a flashlight," so I pulled out that lovely glossy stuff and applied by flashlight!  Silly me shook the bottle before I remembered that you're not supposed to shake it because of bubbles!  I had one small bubble, but I was able to pop it.

I still had time before heading to bed, so I put together another card.  I don't quite know why it won't rotate because I fixed it in Photobucket.  Oh, you can also see that I got tired of taking pictures of everything, so this is the final shot. Haha.  The stamp was from the same Inkadinkado set, and the sentiment is from Pink by Design's "Simply Everything," if I'm not mistaken.  I made the patterned paper with some Versamark ink and a stamp.  Don't you just love Versamark?  I didn't think I could make a tiny bow using the comb/fork method while it was that dark, so I just put the first piece of ribbon on and taped it to the back before taking another piece to tie a bow.

Alas, I STILL had some time to craft!  I decided to stamp these pieces of candy and the "EAT CANDY" phrase on 2.75x2.75" cardstock for 3x3 mini cards.  I colored them in quickly since I only did 5.  At this point, I was done.  I was happy with what I had done and thought it was quite the crafting adventure!

Special thanks goes to my pig rechargeable flashlight as seen in the picture above (the two lights come out of its snout).  I couldn't have done it without you!