Monday, January 30, 2012

Crafting with Students: "Some Birdy Loves You" Cards

Last Friday, I read the book Benji Explores Hong Kong by Virginia La Torre-Jeker to the 1st and 2nd graders for literacy.  I chose that one because (1) I had it in the bookshelf [my mom's friend met the author and had her sign it for us] and (2) I figured a Chinese book would be appropriate for Chinese New Year.  It was fun going through the pictures in the book and pointing out what made Hong Kong a little different than NYC.

The project was to make a card with stamped birds.  I used the Sandy Lion clear bird stamp and gave 3 birds on cardstock to each child.  They then had to draw a "scene" on the front showing something in NY or in the United States that the bird(s) might want to visit.  Most of them didn't do that, which I didn't really mind because they were still very into the project.  I felt it was about time to introduce the younger ones to the world of stamps!  I also brought in one of my phrases from Pink by Design's Woodland Critters set that says "Some Birdy Loves You."

Here are the finished products!  I just had to share their cards.  One of the 1st graders made the one I like the most (yes, I have a favorite project!).  You'll see why in just one moment.

I love how they all wanted to make their birds colorful!

This was by far my favorite in terms of the writing.  Haha, "to Mom and DaD.  I have a bird."

I gave them the foam adhesive squares so that the birds could pop up from the cards.

This one followed my original plan.  That's supposed to be a ferry even though it says cruise boat.  
These were the cards made by the 1st grade class.
Without a doubt, this was my favorite one!  She was so creative!  She did ask for another bird, which was fine because I had extra, but look at them sitting there on the telephone line!  So cute!
I'm glad that I get to do some sort of crafting each week for and with the little kids when I see them on Fridays.  I've been too busy to do any other crafting at this moment, but this gives me an opportunity to share my love!

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Southern Customer

Though I haven't had the chance to craft in the past few weeks due to getting extremely sick with the stomach virus (worst illness EVER even though I am not in good health 99% of the time anyway; that's just how bad it was!) that then led to dehydration and fatigue, I did want to post a picture of one of the last things I did in 2011. 

On December 31st, I finally sent a box of cards to Joni, one of my "Disney/teacher friends" (we <3 Disney!) and one of my faithful customers of loveandsushi!  The first card she ordered was on August 6th, but we decided that I'd just set them aside until there was a bunch to send at once.  She ordered all the way up to November 28th, and I was horrible in taking SO long to send it to her (I did include a bunch of extras too because I felt so bad!).  I just didn't quite know how I'd be sending it.

Thankfully, Howard knew what to do at the post office.  I guess I didn't make enough trips to the post office with my mom as a child!  We were able to fit them all in the smallest flat rate box.  Then I brought it to one of the windows, and Howard knew that we had to lift the door to put the box on the scale and to close it once more so that the woman working there could take it.  Haha, one of the coolest things ever.  I paid for the shipment and that was that!  My first chunk of cards sent to a customer! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Our First Furniture Purchase!

Although I've been crafting a little bit here and there, I didn't yet bring the big camera downstairs to upload the photos (I made a ton of penguin thank you cards for my students and their families to thank them for their Christmas gifts).  That's why I've been doing more "real life" updates.  I also made it one of my goal's this year to write more about what's going on in my day to day life since this is definitely the year of change since I'll be a Mrs. and not a Miss anymore come May!  I know I won't remember all this little details after the fact.

Just a few short weeks ago, Howard and I made a trip to IKEA.  This trip was different than the ones we've had in the past because we had intentions to actually PURCHASE furniture!  We've gone to look, compare, and try, and we've both bought a few things here and there (even a scrapbook album!), but this was our first large purchase.  When we paid for the items, we went to the pick-up area and waited for the number on the receipt to come up on the screen.  This is the first time I've ever experienced this as the smaller items I got in the past (my craft table and stool, for example) were from the self-serve area.

Our number came up on the screen, and two big boxes as well as two smaller boxes were given to us on a cart.  WE HAVE FURNITURE!  As you can see in the picture, my momsicles came along with us as well.

Wondering what we bought?  Well, IKEA had a pretty awesome deal going on at the time that we had to grab.  With the purchase of a select few brands of sofas, a gift card was given for 15% of the total price.  Thankfully, Kivik  was one of the brands that was part of this deal!  We chose Kivik from the start.  That was the one thing that we knew we wanted for sure because the seating was so comfortable.  I especially love the high back!  Instead of buying the couch though, we decided to go with two of the one-seat sections because it would save us a few inches in width in our apartment.  We also figured that if we were ever able to afford a house, we would buy the couch then and the one-seat sections would still match it.

It's very roomy and extremely relaxing, and I'm happy that we didn't have to compromise by getting another brand just because of the size.  Howard loaded the big boxes into his family's minivan (I loaded the seat covers in the smaller boxes, hehe), and then we were on our way!  This is such a giddy time for me because I have been flipping through IKEA catalogs since high school!  I'm the weirdo who saves old ones because I love all the room ideas!  Now I can actually look with the intention of buying!  Fun-fun :)  

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Favorite 2011 Christmas Present

In an attempt to blog more often, I have been following BlogHerBlogging on Twitter to get the NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) Prompt of the Day.  Today's prompt was as follows: "What is your favorite start-of-the-year tradition?"  I don't do much at the beginning of the year although I do feel refreshed thinking about all the things I would like to do throughout the next 12 months.  Goals just seem so possible during the first week of January.  I don't think I can expound much more on that topic, so I decided to share my favorite Christmas present from this past year!

My mom and dad bought a gift for Howard and me.  I had absolutely no clue what it was, so it was truly such a surprise as we opened it!

They bought us the Philips Sonicare toothbrush!  I'm so excited to have it.  I knew I wanted to get it, but I just couldn't justify the cost.  Getting it as a gift is the perfect thing!  I absolutely love practical gifts.  No frills and no thrills, remember?

The little tag that my mom put on the wrapping paper made it even better.  Thanks, Mom!  (Hehe, she reads my blog!)

Monday, January 2, 2012

NaBloPoMo Prompt of the Day (Jan 2)

What did you do on New Years Day?

Bringing in 2012 was a little different than other years because it landed on a Sunday.  That meant that once midnight came, Howard had to leave my house soon after because we had church to go to in just a few hours!  Of course, that didn't stop me from finishing the episode of Lie to Me that we had started watching.  Yup, I brought in the new year addicted to a new show.  Alas, I only have 3 seasons of it to watch since it's already cancelled, but I'm sure it'll be entertaining while it lasts.

When I woke up for church, I wasn't really in the mood to go because I wasn't feeling the greatest.  I wanted to go to a local church, but the car I can drive needed gas, so I couldn't use it.  It actually worked out though because the Tylenol kicked in, and I felt fairly decent throughout the day.  I was very grateful for that!  The sermon was very appropriate for the new year, and I hope that I can "press on toward the goal" even as 2012 brings a million changes in my life.

Sunday School was about the life of Joseph, and any time we study those chapters, I can't help but think of the word "orchestrate."  As readers, we can see the big picture in how God chose to "arrange, organize, or build up for special or maximum effect" even though Joseph couldn't see it at the time that those negative things were occurring in his life.  I wish that I knew how not to freak out as things happen in my life!

For lunch, a bunch of us took the easy route and decided to just get McDonald's.  The idea of McNuggets with sweet and sour sauce just appealed to us!  Considering I'm not 18 anymore though, I couldn't eat with reckless abandon, haha.  After a few, I had to stop.  Don't worry though; I just nom nom nom-ed them when I got home after taking a much-needed nap in the car.

Once at home, I tried to relax despite knowing that it was my last night to enjoy vacation as I didn't have to wake up with an alarm the next morning.  I continued with my new Lie to Me addiction and watched 3 more episodes on Netflix.  I ended the rest of my night with a shower, dinner, and reading material (Learn Me Gooder by John Pearson and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling - I switch between the two even though they're completely different, haha).

It may have seemed like I had an uneventful first day of 2012 (I mean, we didn't even have any Martinelli's, haha), but that's exactly the kind of day that I like.  I'm all about no frills and no thrills.  Give me the mundane, everyday events, and I'm perfectly content!  It's just not as interesting to blog about ... hehe.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Most Memorable Cards in 2011

This year was my first year crafting with a Cricut!  I decided last December to purchase one, but it took a while to get my Walmart gift cards from credit card rewards points and then order it.  I finally received it on January 15, 2011!

Since then, I've had a lot of fun making cards and dabbling with the idea of scrapbooking.  Here are the most memorable cards for me!  

(1) Warm Wishes (January)

Looking back at this card, there are so many things I don't like about it, haha.  But it's definitely one of the most memorable ones as it's my first ever!  I was happy to use my Cuttlebug after reading about everyone having the Swiss Dots folder.  I also loved the Simply Charmed images, but I probably should have started with a Doodlecharms card instead, haha.  This was also the time before I had the right paper to cut, and I didn't know ANYTHING about properly sizing.  But it's still fun to look at and remember my beginner status as a crafter (which I still am, but at least I have my Gypsy!).

(2) Glittered Turtle (February)

This was the first card I made since I started crafting that I was really proud of!  I had used Mod Podge and Martha Stewart glitter, and I loved how it turned out.  I also used a layer of Mod Podge to seal the glitter on. For a while, I kept this on the desk next to my bed so that I would see it every morning when I woke up.  I kept touching the glittered part as well because I was amazed that it wasn't flaking off!  This is still before I had a lot of paper choice, stamp choice, and ink!  But I still love how this card turned out.  Simple and basic - I don't think I'll ever really stray from that.

(3) Japanese Lanterns (May)

This is also not a fancy card, and the color combination is rather weird.  However, it's still one of my most memorable cards of 2011 because it's one that I made specifically for my cousin.  She was dealing with a lot of stress at the moment, and I wanted to send her a pick-me-up, so I made this with her in mind (she's been to Japan twice), and wrote what I hoped to be an encouraging note inside.  This is why I love making cards so much, but I know I didn't do this nearly as often as I wanted to.  Hopefully, in 2012, I will be more mindful of actually sending the cards that I make!

(4) Dustin Pike Dragon (June)

This was the first time I won a challenge EVER!  It was on Pink by Design's message board, and the challenge was to make a card without using the Cricut.  I had just started to learn about digi stamps, and this was one of the freebies I had saved from Dustin Pike.  This is also the first time I had used my Bic Mark-It Markers (the time I was insistent that I wouldn't be buying Copics, but of course, I ended up buying some of those later on!).  I was ecstatic when I saw that my card was chosen as the winning card.  I was bouncing off the walls for the next couple of days!

(5) Karber Digital Leslie (June)

Here's another card that I made with a digital stamp from Karber.  This was one of my favorites because I had learned to blend Crayola colored pencils with baby oil and Q-tips!  I also broke away from my rectangles and made a circle card for that challenge that I won.  It took me a while to plan this one, but I was very happy with the results.  I also learned that I love the pink, green, and brown combo!  And STICKLES!

(6) Pink Cat Studio Dinosaur (July)

As you can see, I went through a digi stamp phase.  This was the first card that really required "fussy-cutting." I made this for my cousin's birthday, and I struggled with it because I don't quite know how to make a birthday card for a boy!  I also used a sketch from Deconstructed Sketch that was out of my comfort zone (those circles again!).  I used a bunch of different papers before settling on those that ended up on the card.  Though this was took a while (as most of my cards have up to this point when I was trying to enter challenges), I love how it turned out.  This was not just one of the most memorable; it was also one of my favorites.

(7) Glittered Popsicles (July)

This was my all-time favorite card of the ENTIRE year.  It took a while despite its simplicity as each popsicle was carefully glittered, and I wanted everything to be exactly spaced.  I was entering the challenge at CAS-ual Fridays (CAS stands for clean and simple), and I was so eagerly waiting the announcement of this winner.  When I saw my card won and I was now in the TGIF Club (click here; haha, it's the one that's so badly photographed compared to all the others!), I was thrilled!  I also won the huge prize package of the personalized stamp from PSA Essentials that I now use to stamp the backs of all my cards.  This would definitely be my #1 of the entire year.  It's also the card that made me realize that white space is a-okay!  I love the CAS look, and a lot of the bloggers I enjoy are all about CAS.

(8) Mass Produced Sheep Card (August)

Many of my friends kept encouraging me to start an Etsy shop.  I didn't want to deal with any fees, so I just started a Facebook page instead to start selling my cards.  This sheep card was using the CAS technique that I loved, and it was also one of the first few cards that I mass produced to sell.  "Fussy-cutting" all those sheep was rather annoying!  I also had a few Copics at this point, and I practice shading on the sheep's head.  This year really was all about learning and experimenting with a million different things!

(9) Custom Order Food Card (September)

My cousin needed a specific thank you card for someone who had given her restaurant suggestions when she went away to California for a bit.  I really enjoyed making this card because I was able to use cuts that I knew I probably wouldn't really be able to make any other time!  There are a lot of images on the Cricut cartridges that are so perfect for scrapbooking, but sometimes they don't seem to fit in my world of card making unless there's a specific reason for it.  This was one of them!  Though it actually took a while to make this as opposed to the cards I was mass producing, I really like how it turned out!

(10) Mass Produced Birthday Card (November)

The night before my church's bake sale, I was scurrying to make some birthday cards as I had a ton of others to sell but not many for birthdays!  I quickly made 6 of these cupcake cards.  I hadn't really used much patterned paper in my other cards, so I really liked how this turned out being so bright without being too girly either.  Well, I had one customer buy 1 card, and then someone else bought the remaining 5!  I had a few people say that they had wanted birthday cupcake cards as well, so I actually went home and make some extras with the other piece of paper I had.  This became one of the memorable cards of 2011 because I liked how I actually had to go back and make more because there were people disappointed in not getting it!

Well, that was my 2011 crafting year!  It was filled with a TON of purchases (I probably put in $2000 or so into this hobby of mine!) and a ton of learning experiences.  As you can see, I'm still a basic crafter in some regards, but I thin there's a huge jump from where I started in January to where I ended in November/December (I didn't craft that much in Dec). I hope that 2012 is filled with more opportunities to craft.  I'm especially looking forward to joining my first blog hop and then scrapbooking my Disneymoon after my fiance and I get married in May!  Great things ahead!