Saturday, November 29, 2008

New Design for the Shop

Family Fun Week has been great AND I've been longing to create something again. Alone. With no one around. Just by myself. Ok, I think you get it.

I've always loved that paper that kids use when they first learn to print their letters. I love the feel, the colors and the crisp, clean appearance of it. Not to mention the hope this paper gave me, when I was a kid, that one day I could have crisp, clean, well organized, beautifully formed handwriting. Well, I don't, but I still appreciate the hope the paper gave me.

Anyway, here's what I came up with.

Family Fun Week - Day 6, 7 & 8

Day 6
Day 6 of Family Fun Week was pretty mellow. Little Cat A assured me that she was healthy as could be, but I didn't want to travel too far from home just in case. We enjoyed some fine dining at In-n-Out Burger (Little Cat A's choice) and then off to bowling. In the evening Little Cat B went to a friend's for a sleep over and the rest of the gang watched the movie, Enchanted. Little Cat A and I made some Meringue Cookies. If you use this recipe feel free to substitute the chocolate chips and nuts for 1 Cup crushed-up mint M&Ms, we did (you can only get these at the holidays). Tres, tres tasty!!

Lunch -- $15
Bowling -- $20
Movie -- $2
Everybody Healthy -- $ Priceless
Total -- $37

Day 7
Thanksgiving Day -- The LOML made a great dinner with all the traditional foods. The rest of the crew was responsible for making desserts to serve in the evening when some guests came over. My dessert pick was the Meringue Cookies mentioned above. Little Cat A chose Lemon Poppy Cake (recipe not included because I didn't think it was tasty) and Little Cat B chose homemade Moon Pies. The Moon Pies turned out fairly decent. We made Homemade Marshmallow and sandwiched the goo between Costco chocolate chip cookies. I think if we make these again, I would put the Marshmallow goo on ONE sugar cookie, wait the goo to set up and then dip the goo side into melted chocolate and let harden. In our Thanksgiving version, the ratio of cookie to marshmallow was off. Just too much cookie. The LOML also made some Gingerbread cause he just can't help himself.

Day 8
The weather was a bit gloomy and overcast and we wanted to avoid post-Thanksgiving crowds, so we decided to stay in the "hood" and try our hand at geocaching. Here's how geocahing is described on their website "Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment." We had never done it before and the LOML had been figuring out how to use the hand-held GPS all week. We set out on foot from our home and walked to two cache sites. But alas, we discovered we are not such good seekers! Yet. We didn't find the caches. We still had a good time and the dog got a walk in, so all was not lost.

Went out for lunch at Back 40 Texas BBQ. We love their sweet potato fries! Had a lovely lunch and then tried one more geocache site. Still no luck in finding the cache. We learned that it's VERY helpful to print out the clues from the website when you go out searching. We'll do that next time.

We watched the movie, Iron Man, that night and snacked on leftover Thanksgiving desserts.

Geocaching -- $0
Lunch -- $15 (we had a $40 gift certificate)
Movie -- $2
Total -- $17

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Creative Customer - Marcey

I received an email this morning from Marcey Stone over at Happy Stones sharing with me some photos of her paper goods she created from a template set she purchased from my etsy shop a little while back. She added some sparkle with rhinestones and glitter. And you know, glitter always makes me smile. I was excited and delighted to see what she came up with. I always wonder how my designs are given and received. Thanks for sharing Marcey!!

Family Fun Week - Day 5

Family Fun Week had to call in sick for Day 5. Little Cat A had a fever and felt yucky. :(

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Family Fun Week - Day 3 & 4

Day 3 - Sunday
Well, we laid low on Day 3. Some chores around the house (no fun in that) and then in the afternoon we went to Gianna's, our niece, family birthday get-together. Got to catch up with everyone. For all you crafters out there, my brother told me about this website that is closing out a bunch of stuff We ate some tasty BBQ chicken with fixin's. My brother-in-law is the BEST BBQ-er! He could open a restaurant. Really. In the evening, we came home we had Movie Night in our family room and watched Wall-E and ate our candy from Powell's Sweet Shoppe.

Movie -- $2 (Netflix)
Family Memories -- $ Priceless
Total -- $2

Day 4 - Monday
We decided to go into San Francisco for Day 4. Little Cat B (14 year old son; does that make him Medium Cat B??) had been wanting to go to the SFMOMA for some time. On the way, we stopped in Berkeley at Zachary's for a slice of their delicious pizza and then another pit stop at Bake Sale Betty's to pick up some of her mouth-watering Ginger cookies for the car ride to the SFMOMA.

The SFMOMA was fun, but it's safe to say I don't get modern art. I tried, really I did, but after viewing 3 of the 5 floors, Little Cat A and I went to the gift shop and had a fine time looking around. Little Cat A bought a very cool, clear bouncy ball that is filled with superfine blue glitter. It's mesmerizing.

We then decided to head on over to the Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shop at Ghirardelli Square where we proceeded to gobble up 2 giant Hot Fudge Sundaes. Our tummies felt a tad woogley after the treats, so we walked around and peeked in some of the shops to give our stomaches a chance to settle before getting in the car again. There were a couple of shops that spoke to me and I had to explore further.

First, there was Kara's Cupcakes. I adore cupcakes! The petiteness, the sweetness, the flavors, everything about them, I love. I bought a Sweet Vanilla and a filled Meyer Lemon cupcake. I ate the Sweet Vanilla in the evening. I savored it. I don't like to be rushed with a cupcake. It was the best tasting cupcake I've ever had. The frosting was tres vanilla-y and the cake had a bit of an almond taste to me. YUM!! The Lemon cupcake is still waiting to be sampled. Here are a couple of photos of the cupcakes in their natural habitat..

We then strolled over to Lola of North Beach, a very cute paper goods and baby gift shop. We poked around a bit, had a few laughs at some of the cards, bought a card that sparked an idea for a Print Possible holiday card and had a lovely chat with the woman who was working there.

Then off to home we went. I made chicken noodle soup for dinner and we popped popcorn and watched Bee Movie (a very clever movie in my opinion).

Zachary's Pizza -- $14
Bake Sale Betty treats -- $5
SFMOMA -- $32
Parking -- $9
Ghirardelli treats -- $18
Card -- $3
Kara's cupcakes -- $6
Movie (Netflix) -- $2
Time with Family -- $ Priceless
Total -- $89

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Family Fun Week - Day 2

Yesterday, the first whole day of Family Fun Week, we went to Petaluma, CA. Though it's FAMILY Fun Week, this trip was solely my desire because Cathe Holden of Just Something I Made blog was participating in a vintage craft boutique. Cathe posted some sketch books on her blog that she would be selling at the boutique and I wanted to own one the moment I saw them.

The weather was beautiful, sunny, clear and in the 70's. We enjoyed the lush, green rolling hills showcasing the mama sheep and their baby lambs on the way there.

Here's what we parked next to. I couldn't resist snapping a pic. Wow!

The boutique was absolutely fabulous!!! There were about 15 vendors and each one had beautiful items. It was so nice to meet a fellow blogger and especially someone who is so creative and talented. Cathe couldn't have been nicer!

Here's Cathe surrounded by all her lovely goodies.

Here's the newest addition to my things-that-make-me-smile-and-bring-me-joy cache.

Cathe wrapped up my new sketch book in such a cute way with some red and white baker's string tying a pair of scissors to the bag along with her business card. It felt like a gift to myself.

The LOML, Little Cat A and Little Cat B were extremely patient while I visited and shopped. Here's another little goodie I bought. Glitter makes me smile...

Next we were off to The Tea Cafe for lunch. It was OK. I think the next time we visit Petaluma, we will try a place new for eats.

We then walked over to Powell's Sweet Shoppe. This is just a wonderful place. It's filled with every candy imaginable, pleasingly displayed and they have Charlie and the Chocolate Factory playing on a TV with theater seats to sit in. Little Cat A bought a DOTS lunch box that she has been pining for since August, and we all bought some candy, of course.

Then it was time to drive home. Fun was had by all and I will enjoy my sketch book for years to come!

Boutique goodies -- $28
Lunch -- $45
Candy -- $15
Inspiration received from seeing so many beautiful creative things -- Priceless
Total -- $88

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Family Fun Week - Day 1

Well, the kids have the whole Thanksgiving week off from school and with feeling the need to conserve finances, we decided we would not be doing any grand destination vacation. So, I came up with what I thought would be a brilliant idea (so far, I think I'm the ONLY member of our family that thinks so) of staying local, but acting like we are on vacation. We all contributed to a list of places we would like to visit/experience. Our budget is $100 a day for a family of four, not including gas and bridge tolls, but including food.

And here we gooooooooo...

Last night went to the The Paramount Theater in Oakland to see Singin' in the Rain. It was so much fun! The theater is art deco beautiful (of course, I forgot my camera) and the movie was great! (Nobody in my family had ever seen it.) And the Paramount doesn't just show you a movie, oh no my friend, they give you an experience. At 7:30pm a man sitting at an elaborate organ rises from below the stage and proceeds to play some oldies until 8pm. After each song the audience claps and cheers. Next they show an old cartoon and some previews of old movies. At 8:15 they turn up the lights, and rising from the stage once again, the man playing the organ PLUS three men in tuxedos, one woman in a vintage fancy dress and a very cool retro spinning wheel with 3 turning dials/wheels. It was time for "Deco-Win". Each patron received a numbered raffle ticket when entering the theatre. The Paramount's "Carol Merrill" (Vanna White for you younger readers) spins the wheels/dials, one of the tuxedoed men calls the winning number and, ta da, the lucky ticket holder wins a gift certificate from a local food place. They did this 3 times and no, we did not win, but it was still great fun! Then the movie begins. After each great dancing scene the audience applauds and cheers!

It was a great time and I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who is near enough to partake!

Movie entrance fee -- $25 (5 people, Little Cat A took a friend)
Food Treats -- $23 (4 bottles of water, 3 bags of popcorn and 1 box of Milk Duds)
Parking -- $10
Experience -- Priceless
Total -- $58

Monday, November 17, 2008

Party Invites for my Niece

Time flies! My niece Gia is turning 4. Seems like last week she was born...

Well it's her first "little friends" birthday party and I offered to create the invites. She decided on a princess theme and my sister and brother-in-law were kind enough to just trust me to come up with something.

Here's what I came up with...

Of course she would need some Thank You notes too!

I hope they like them. I think I will make some into birth announcements for my etsy shop

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What a Pretty Treasury!!

Jen over at Paper Wren put together a very pretty Treasury on etsy called Tipetty Tap Tipetty Tap and was kind enough to include my "Hello" / Typewriter gocco-ed flat notes. I love the subject matter and colors she focused on! Thanks Jen!

Friday, November 14, 2008

What an Honor!!

Miss B over at invited me to do an "On the Download" on her blog today. "On the Download" is a weekly (on Fridays) free download of an creator's artwork. I've put together an assortment of gift tags just for the download.

I was so honored by her invite. I adore her blog! It's beautiful, informative and so fun to read!

So scamper on over and get yourself some free gift tags! And of course, check out all the great things on her blog (not to mention her beautiful paper goods in her etsy shop)!


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wine Glass Name Tags Demo

My good pal, D, is part of a wine tasting group. This group meets regularly with the hosting of each meeting/dinner party rotated through the group. When it was D's turn to host, she and I had a little visit and came up with these tags so everybody could have fun tasting without fear of swapping cooties. :)

the supplies: embroidery floss, 1/8" hole punch, scissors, 1 1/2" scallop punch, 4 x 6 chartreuse card stock (really any size card stock would work, I only had this size in the color we wanted to use.)

On the computer I set up a layout with 1 1/2" circles (that didn't print) on my size paper and then centered each name in the circle. If you printed the names out on 8.5 x 11, you could just sprinkle the names about with a bit of space between them.

I centered each name in the 1 1/2" scallop punch area.

I punched each tag with a 1/8" hole punch.

Measured about 6" of embroidery floss.

Folded floss in half, threaded through the hole, put ends through loop and pulled.

Tied around the base of the wine glass and trimmed ends.

I also created menus (her last name begins with P) that she slipped into these napkin holders from IKEA that have a little slit at the top to hold such a thing. That tall brown item behind the menu is a wine bottle wrapped up in craft paper (so know one knows what they are tasting). I made a bunch of numbered labels, one for each wine bottle.

A cootie-free good time was had by all!

A Sweet Co-Creation

I just love when a good idea springs forth during the hum drum moments of the everyday. The newest pdf template in my etsy shop, titled "Sweet" happened just that way.

Little Cat A (10 year old daughter) and I were at the grocery store on Wednesday when I heard a rather loud gasp. Little Cat A had spied the Hostess rack of treats sporting a sale sign that read 10 for $10. After spending $1 of her allowance on some firm vanilla cakes with plastic-type frosting, we were driving home when she said, "Too bad you don't have brown labels. You could make some to look like cakes." I thought that was a fab idea!

Here's the final result...

the set of 4 note cards

Little Cat A wanted one that said "Hostess with the Mostess". What a clever girl!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Crafty Rainy Saturday Afternoon

Last Saturday it rained all day which made for the perfect day of staying inside and doing a little crafting. I decided to try something I suggest in my pdf template listings in my etsy shop with the envelope seals, which is "take some string and make a garland". Here is the process and the results...

My supplies: Scissors, ribbon/string and a sheet of printed labels.

I pulled some ribbon out, placed a sticker face down, put the ribbon in the center and then placed a second sticker on top of the first.

I used the side of the label sheet as my "ruler" to space the stickers along the ribbon, so they ended up about 11" apart.

I tried several ribbon styles. Here's one I think looks very un-lovely. It's just too wide.

Then I tacked a couple of push pins in the wall and tied the ends of the ribbon to them, used some petite clothes pins (double stick tape would work too) to hang the cards and, volia, a holiday card display. It being the beginning of November, I haven't actually received any holiday cards, but you get the idea.

Here's the garland created using string instead of ribbon. The idea is to use it as decoration around a Christmas tree. Again, this being the beginning of November, I don't actually have a Christmas tree yet, but you get the idea on this boxwood who was kind enough to model.

Tried it on a gift too. I rather like it.

I think it would be fun to do several rows hanging straight down in a doorway. (Think beads from the 60's style.)

Well, that was my rainy Saturday afternoon.

Feel free to leave a comment and share ideas.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Another Treasury!

It's always exciting to know that someone has looked at my work and then liked it and then shared! Well, Stacey at bipsy on etsy did just that with her darn cute Treasury titled "Ah Nuts". Those are my squirrel note cards in the top right.

Here it is... (sorry for not showing the whole treasury. I still can't figure out how to capture the whole screen. My apologies to the artists who I cut off.)

Are those squirrel booties cute or what?

Rampage of Appreciation

Fall has officially started in my neck of the woods. Last Saturday it poured most of the day, some sun on Sunday and rainy and cloudy today. I like the sun. Actually, I need the sun. I get grumpy and schleppy when the sun hides for too long. So, I started thinking of how I'm going to get through this cloudy season that's just beginning and I remembered a little process I learned from Jerry and Esther Hicks called a "Rampage of Appreciation".

It goes something like this...
1. gather a pen and paper
2. find a quiet, comfortable place where you can be uninterrupted for say half an hour
3. write down 100 things you appreciate

By the time 100 is reached, you can't help but feel better. My list has run the gamut from appreciating flushing toilets and the internet to the ability to take a deep breath with ease or the way my husband make me laugh.

I just thought I'd share this in case cloudy days get anybody else down too. Really it works any time, like when I'm in a nasty, grumpy, negative, poor-pitiful-me sort of mood. Cause that's not pretty to be around. Luckily this exercise helps snap me out of it.

Woo hoo, the sun just peeked out of the clouds!