Friday, December 14, 2012

A Little Peek

I've done a lot of crafting lately, but I've neglected this blog - I've spent most of my non-baby, non-cleaning, non-errand time doing actual crafts or posting to I thought I'd put up a quick picture of what I did today, though. I've been picking up these easy 12x12 frames at Joann - only about $4 with a coupon - and I originally had something else in mind for them, but hadn't gotten around to doing it yet.

My husband got me a subscription to the Studio Calico monthly scrapbooking kits, and I've been having so much fun making fancy baby books with new, coordinated supplies every month. I thought it'd be fun, instead of sticking the pages I make straight into the books, to display them a while on the wall.

The 12x12 frames I picked up at Joann are perfect - they're unobtrusive, easy to get pages in and out every month, and have enough "give" to allow the 3D embellishments I like to use. Right now, I've put up a few of my favorites from the last couple of months, and I plan to rotate them out every month so they coordinate a little bit, since each Studio Calico kit has a ton of coordinating elements. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Nap-Friendly Crafts: The Ridiculously Easy Nursing Cover

I made this nursing cover almost entirely during a naptime, including this blog post. Like I said: ridiculously easy!

Muslin blanket (from our stash of, like, 400 new blankets)
2 yards of wide ribbon (the only thing I bought for this)
Big button
Sewing machine

I started by folding down one corner of the blanket and pinning the ribbon to it - I pinned from the back to make sure the blanket was straight against the ribbon.

After I did that and got my straight fold, I cut the long end off the ribbon (about a yard, maybe more - nothing about this is exact) to make a strap, unpinned one end, and sewed on the end of the strap so it would be under the edging ribbon.

Then I sewed along all the edges of the edging ribbon, turning the ends under, trimmed the strap to the length I want it, hemmed the end, added a big button to the blanket and buttonhole to the strap*, and trimmed off the folded-under corner. Easy peasy!

*Not shown, because I'm going to ask my mom to do it - I don't know how to do buttonholes. But you could also do just a decorative button with a snap on the back side and strap if you wanted.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A few words about Papertrey

One of the goals I've had for this blog is to keep it completely drama-free, and I'd like to continue that, but because I've ordered and used so much product from Papertrey Ink in the past, I want to say a little bit about the firestorm that's blown up around them in recent days.

I haven't been involved in the forum discussions or other drama that's come up lately regarding their customer service, so if you're interested in details of what's happened recently, you can catch up with some excellently written blog posts about it here, here, and here.

As for me, the main reason I haven't been involved in the discussions is the same reason that you've been seeing more and more product from other companies on my blog lately. I was fairly irritated when I discovered that Papertrey had discontinued all of their inks due to problems, but had only posted that info on the Ink section of the site - no recall emails (even though they send out frequent emails to their customer base), no blog posts on Nichole's blog or those of any of the design team (which I have in my RSS reader, so I see them daily) - just one mention, buried in the site, which I didn't see until after the time had passed to be able to get a refund for the defective inks I already had.

I decided to give PTI the benefit of the doubt on that, and give them credit for acknowledging the problem with the inks and discontinuing them. Plus, I figured, the recall notice said they'd be releasing new inks soon, so I could just wait.

"Soon" ended up being... a year? Maybe? Possibly more.

The next order I made took a very long time to arrive, but I thought I'd try one more order, since I LOVE their products.

Unfortunately, the next several times I tried to place an order, nearly everything I tried to put in my cart was out of stock. There's no notice on the site itself if something is out of stock - it just wouldn't go into your cart. I wasn't trying to order hot new releases, and I wasn't even ordering in the week after release week when supplies tend to run low. In fact, some of the things I wanted most were older releases (a year old or more) that hadn't been featured on anything in a while. When I emailed Customer Service to ask when they might be back in stock, and to request a better system to let customers know when something isn't available, I got a very dismissive reply.

That was the end of my love affair with PTI - I still think they have amazing products, but if they can't get their products into my hands, what's the point?

The reason I post all this is that I'd sort of thought I was the only one, and I wasn't going to make a big Denouncing Statement or anything like that, since the company still had such good products that other people love. Now that I'm seeing that there are so many others who had my same issues, I want to put my voice with theirs and withdraw my support of the company. I won't stop using the products I already have, but I'll be removing the link from my sidebar and not ordering from them again.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


So I've got sonogram-picture pages, and coming-home pages, and... now I'm coming up blank. What other pages am I going to need for these baby books? Any particular events that I'll definitely want to record? Give me some ideas.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pictures already?

I know that sonogram pictures are notoriously vague and something "only a mother could love" - they're a little creepy, to be honest.

But I thought I'd scrap them anyway, since I have them.

The layout I'm less crazy about:

There's something wonky about the flourishes, but this was the first thing I scrapped while I was here, before I had any supplies, so it's kind of fun anyway. I used the baby-themed page kits my dad brought me from Michaels for this one.

And the one I like a little better:

This is a mix of the baby-themed page kits (the background paper) and the Studio Calico kit I used last week - I'm probably driving this chipboard font into the ground, but I love it!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Yesterday's Yang

I've been convinced that I should do two baby books, so I'm trying to keep up with making two pages for each event, without necessarily making duplicates of every page. Today's page is the "yang" to yesterday's "yin" - it uses all the same papers (except the background), and is for the same event (bringing the babies home), but is changed up to make it a little more boy-ish. (Again, sorry for the lighting/photography.)

I loved this background as soon as I opened the Studio Calico package - I think the woodgrain hearts motif is adorable. All of the strips of paper are from the same papers I used yesterday, although some are flipped to use the back side.

I even used the same chipboard letters, just colored red this time instead of gray. I had to add a little bling, just for fun.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Back in the land of the Blogging

If you don't know (or don't have me on Facebook), I'm heading into my third week of hospital bedrest. Trying to keep these babies in place for a few more weeks! As you can probably imagine, it's very strange being here and I miss home. As we've been trying to figure out what hobbies I can still do while in a hospital bed, factoring in transportation and storage, I've decided that one thing I'd like to accomplish is to get some pages done for the baby books. It's not really feasible to do some of my more supply-intensive projects (like the balloons I was working on with the painted bottle caps), but scrapbooking page kits make that a much more manageable hobby.

In fact, for the sake of portability and manageability (and for the sake of having everything within arms' length from the bed), I've managed to whittle down my whole craft room into a few necessities (sorry about the quality of the photography - my camera isn't one of the necessities, so I'm using my phone):

A pizza-box-style cardboard box to hold paper (it was the packaging for one of the kits - perfect!).

And a 31 bag (thanks, Gwen!) for my stickers and embellishments, two sets of markers (possibly overkill, but one is better for using on stamps, and one is better for adding color to neutral elements, as you'll see below), a pair of non-stick scissors, my tape dispenser with single- and double-sided tape, and a good black pen.

So what am I making? Well, I ordered a fantastic kit from Studio Calico, and shortly after it came, I saw this gorgeous layout on the Fancy Pants blog - perfect for CASEing with my new kit!

As you might guess from the lettering, this is going to be a "homecoming" layout, for when we bring the babies home - the big cream panel will be a mat for a 4x6 photo of the babies in their coming-home outfits, and the yellow panel is actually a pocket where I can put their hospital bracelets.

The blue trim is one of the things I was referring to above - it's actually a neutral-linen non-colored trim from Pink Paislee called "mistables" - created for coloring to coordinate with a layout. I love that I can make it go with anything using my Bic marker set.

The pretty lettering (love this font!) is a similar deal - it came in a plain chipboard, so that I could color it to coordinate. I also love this butterfly - three of them came in the Studio Calico kit.

The embellishments on the left side of the page are a mix of items that came in the kit, and chipboard stickers that were included in some baby-themed kits that my dad brought me. I love mixing up elements from different kits to make something unique!

Sorry about how long this got - I'm pretty excited to be doing something "normal" on a Saturday afternoon while I'm sitting here in the hospital!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What am I doing?

What does it look like I'm doing?

I'm painting white bottle caps white, of course.

Because that's totally normal.

It's a work in progress... I'll keep you posted as it gets slightly more interesting.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Les Petits Cadeaux

I had occasion recently to make some little handmade gifts - I wanted to do something whimsical and completely impractical, just for the sake of being pretty.

I picked up these little apothecary jars at an estate sale several months ago, and thought they'd make sweet displays for something. I wanted to only use materials I already had on-hand, so I used crinkle paper from a Christmas package to make little nests, and rolled tiny paper beads to cover with glitter as eggs. The beads ended up being a lot of fun to make - I'd never tried that before. I added a bit of ribbon and some silk flowers from my stash, and I think they turned out very cute.

I got a collection of assorted gift-wrapping items for Christmas, including the twine and cute little stickers I used on the boxes. I love little touches like that for packaging - it makes a present that much more fun to open!

Monday, January 9, 2012


Things I've accomplished since deciding sit down and end my pregnancy-induced craft hiatus and start on my project backlog:

1) Bagged all the trash in my study
2) Cleared off my work desk
3) Cleaned my work desk
4) Organized the supplies for the first project on the list
5) Found a good movie on Netflix to watch while I work on the project
6) Plugged in all the correct computer peripherals to watch the movie
7) Worked on some actual paid work
8) Went and found a power strip and plugged everything in again so I could also use the lamp
9) Cleaned out all the old thread tangled up in needles in my pincushion
10) Got a drink of water
11) Swapped out the stale candy in my candy jar for fresh candy
12) Wrote a blog post

Things I haven't accomplished since deciding to sit down and end my pregnancy-induced craft hiatus and start on my project backlog:

1) My craft project