Friday, December 17, 2010

Colossal to-do list avoidance

What do you do when your kids will be home in three hours (early release) for the holidays and your to-do list is a mile long? Why, make more tags, of course! Sad to say, when my mountain of tasks gets overwhelming, I'm pretty good at finding something really fun but not-on-the list to do...

Tim's original day 5 tag is here. I really love the enamel look of the numbers. Fun technique. I didn't have the same Santa, holly, or sentiment stamps but I think it works. I used some fabric flowers and yellow brads instead of the Idealogy foliage.

The original day 6 can be found here. Tim's video explanations are great! I did struggle with this one trying to get the stamped texture fade image to look right - Tim's looked so nice and crisp and mine was kind of smeared. I tried it a few times (and now have several tags with trees and swirls) but could never get it to come out any clearer.

I was lacking in the aqua paint department and the closest thing I could find was some Claudine Helmuth teal, mixed with white. Mine is pretty dark - I like Tim's better. 

I didn't have any word sticks, so I used a rectangular fragment, drilled a hole (learned my lesson from day 4 tag when I cracked my fragment - the craft pick doesn't work so well on these. My Fiskars craft drill worked like a charm!) and stamped WISH with archival ink and teeny tiny stamps. My star is paper - I had already used the ONE star that comes in the adornments package on tag #1.

And now, seriously, must tackle that to-do list!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tags and trees

Still working my way through Tim's tags. Finished 3 & 4.

The original can be found here. I really like how this one turned out. Followed Tim's directions for the most part, but I didn't have any moss for under the bird. Searching through my stuff, I found this really cool packaging I had saved and thought that a little piece of it would look like a bird's nest. Inked it and crumpled it up a little and I think it turned out rather well. My package of memo pins is missing, so I wrapped my sticker with red wire. I like the memo pin better and may change it if I ever find them. I couldn't find any tiny tinsel garland, but I thought the silver beaded garland was pretty.

The original for #4 can be found here. This tag gave me fits! I didn't have any facets, so I tried using an oval fragment. It took several tries to get it to look right and then when I went to put a hole through, it cracked the charm. At that point, I used it anyway. :) Then my baubles kept falling off the jump ring and I'm still missing one. Have no idea where it ended up. Might be hanging out with my memo pins...

I used some snowflakes instead of Prima bling on the card...and when I was finished, I was looking for something else and found the exact package of bling Tim used in my stash. Oh well... I really liked the original but it is not my favorite finished tag.

It is getting harder and harder to keep holiday traditions as my kids get older. Notice that only half of the children are pictured. We ALWAYS go get a tree together, but not this year. It gets more difficult with teenagers who are always busy, always have something else going on. Micah was gone to the state robotics competition, Matt had swim practice and McKelle is on crutches. I get a little teary when I realize everything can't stay the same - always changing, always growing and probably sooner than I can handle, moving on.

(Just so you know, for any perfectionists that may be reading, I totally redid the ribbon this morning. With kids helping, one ribbon roll ended right smack dab in the front of the tree. I lasted 3 1/2 days before I had to change it...)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday favorites

Just a few things that are making me happy this busy December Friday.

* Making sure I schedule time to be creative. I made another Tim tag!

The original can be found here. I didn't have the snowman die, so I used my EK Success snowman punch. Since I was working with a much smaller figure, the sanding and shading was a little difficult (and dang - I lost at least three of those teeny, tiny carrot noses) but I think it turned out ok. I couldn't find any holly tiny enough for the hat, so I put it up at the top instead. Love the effect of embossed plastic packaging!

* Loving my Soap Sampler from Walla Walla Soap Works. I adore their soap!! And the owners are just the sweetest. The Calendula Baby bar is perfect for kids (or grown ups!) who have sensitive skin. In fact, that is how they started their business several years ago - researching and trying to find soaps that would work for their family and not irritate and inflame extremely sensitive skin. My current favorite is Granny's Candy. Showers never smelled so yummy. And if you're local, free (and very quick!) delivery, even in a snowstorm. :)

* Christmas music!! I force myself to wait til the day after Thanksgiving and then it is all Christmas, all the time. A new favorite is David Tolk's Christmas. Lovely instrumentals! I could listen to Casting Crowns version of Peace on Earth over and over again. 

* Pomegranates! And with this Martha video, getting the seeds out is sooooo much easier. Genius!

* Studio Calico's December kit. Ok, I don't even get my box til next week, but the colors in this are so luscious! And it is still available. SC rocks!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Tried a T!m tag or two (and a layout)

Since 2007, I have been intrigued by the 12 Tags of Christmas done by Tim Holtz. Intrigued enough to buy any number of TH, Ranger, etc. products...but then I always seem to run out of time to actually put together the tags. This year, I actually made two tags! And hopefully, more will follow, but they can get pretty time consuming. I'd love to have a tree or maybe a banner decorated with a bunch of 12 Days tags.

For tag #1 (original found here) I stayed pretty close to Tim's directions until I got to the little extras. I couldn't find any garland in my stash, so I ended up altering an old Mrs. G wreath sticker with distress stickles and a bow. I still need to add some sort of tree, but couldn't justify the hour trip to the Tri-Cities to look at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. Our little Joanns in Walla Walla doesn't carry much...

With tag #2 (original found here) I strayed a bit - I didn't have the pinecone or Happy Holidays stamps, so made do with what I did have. And then, my music stamp came out much darker than his. Not sure why - I did use the same color of ink. Because the background was so dark, I stamped my Merry Christmas sentiment on manilla cardstock, cut it out and attached it to the tag. The swirl is there, but I couldn't get it to show up in the photo. Wishing I had cut my ribbon a tad longer...

The layout is of McKelle and my adorable nephew Ty. He is darling, with a head full of curls. And if you need exercise, just spend a little time chasing him around! My house is no longer very baby proof, so my sister and her husband spent Thanksgiving dashing this way and that to keep him out of trouble.

Made with Studio Calico's On the Easel Kit and addons.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Squeezing in time...

Just a few pages amidst the hustle and bustle (I only just started my Christmas shopping and wouldn't you know it - the ONE thing on five of the six Christmas lists is sold out everywhere. Aargh! Not paying scalper prices...not going to do it.)

Just using up bits and pieces of older Studio Calico kits.

And, super sweet news! Matthew got his acceptance e-mail to BYU-Idaho last night. My son is going to college! He still has a couple of schools to hear back from, so destination is not final at this point but we're super excited for him. And a little shocked at how fast time has gone - I feel like breaking out singing "Sunrise, Sunset!" After all, didn't he just start kindergarten yesterday???

Monday, December 06, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

But no tree. I am not as brave as my sweet cousin-in-law Lisa, who ventured out and got her own tree. With Michael and the bigs in Hawaii all last week, no tree yet. And, since he took such a nice vacation, Michael is slammed with work this week...I'm not sure when we're going to find a time to get one. But the mantles are decorated, the wreath is on the door, the nativity is up...

I may be slightly obsessed with specimen art. I have plans for every holiday. Really.

I saw this gorgeous FREE printable over at eighteen25 and had to have it! I downloaded it from their site and uploaded to Costco and got a 16x20 print. LOVE it!! If you do this, just make sure to have the auto correction option OFF on Costco's photo site. Otherwise, your background will not be white. Yep, speaking from experience...

Santa and his elf have been around for awhile. I made them several years ago and it looks like Mr. Elf is missing some jingle bells. Time for a touch up...

The banner was also a printable at eighteen25 - I just printed it on copy paper and backed it with some thin-ish chipboard. They sewed theirs together with bias tape, but I decided to use some eyelets and jute to string it up.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas season!