Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Vacation Haul

I'm sure that most of you (if not all) are not surprised to learn that this is the vast majority of what I bought during my nearly three week vacation in California. I did buy some pants and shoes, but my trip would not have been a success in my eyes if I had not brought back a bunch of crafting goodies. Along with all of the tape refills, I picked up 8 Distress Ink pads (mostly the newer colors), four sets of clear stamps, three embossing folders and one die, a new seam ripper, beeswax (for waxing sewing thread to strengthen it and prevent tangles when doing hand sewing), some fat quarters of fun fabric, a rotary fabric cutter (with replacement blades), blank cards and envelopes, lots of fun cardstock, including two 8.5" x 11" red sheets with a fuzzy nap and some brightly colored glossy cardstock with cool designs (you'll see those up close and personal when they are used in projects). I also got lots of fun stickers, some more Glossy Accents, some Prismacolor pencils, and a Wink of Stella pen that I can't wait to use; it's for adding sparkle to previously colored images. I love the bright sock yarn I got, too. What you see above are the results of visits to my dear friends Michael and Joann, as well as the Piedmont Yarn and Apparel shop (I drop in every year). I also bought a bunch of stuff from a perfectly (watch out, here comes the rant) horrible store called Scrapbook Territory in Berkeley. Not only was the store poorly lit and patrolled by two large dogs with filthy snouts, but the woman there mocked me to my face (for not knowing certain products were discontinued) and laughed at me when informing me that a new product I wanted was out of stock. I should have abandoned my cart and walked out, but I had managed to find a number of things I wanted that I hadn't found at Michaels, so I was weak. But you can be sure I won't ever go back. End of rant, and please forgive me for descending into negativity. Hopefully, it is all out of my system now.

Liat and I went wild at Wal*Mart, picking out colors for a throw she wants for her new apartment in Jerusalem. This will be for the living room sofa. She picked out a pattern with a daisy in the center of each granny square. Should be fun to make, and squares are doable even in this nasty heat and humidity. I already miss northern California weather...

Time to get serious about moving my crafts room upstairs into a room with a ceiling fan and air conditioning. I have a lot of crafting to do!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Mad Libs

Have you ever played Mad Libs? Player 1 asks the other players for a list of words (adjective, animal, noun, and so on) without giving any context. Player 1 then plugs those words into a story and reads out the result, which is often hilarious! I wanted to make some interactive cards, or at least cards with an activity, for my next batch to be sent to Cards for Hospitalized Kids. So I came up with the idea of Mad Libs, and found a website that has them. Instead of generating the story online, I copied out the list and the story into Microsoft Word, and printed them out. You can see the list and story on the far right of the picture.

For the fronts of the cards, I used stamped images of a little dragon reading that a lovely friend sent to me long ago. I'm still working on using up the things I've been hoarding... I typed up the sentiment and printed it out onto pale green cardstock. 

I had a bunch of library card pockets from back in the days when I used to loan kids I was tutoring or friends of the girls' books to read in English. Yes, I am that anal, I made up library cards for my books! Only for the ones I loaned to kids, though, not the books I read myself...

I sponged the pocket with some Distress Inks to make it look less boring. I may yet add some stickers, too. I'm thinking maybe stars... Anyway, the list and story are tucked inside the pocket.

I have a dragon stamp by the same artist who made the reading dragon, so I stamped the liner where my message will go, just to make things more fun.

Of course a project like this is very involved and takes quite a bit of time. But somehow it seems like all the little details really make a project fun, not only for the recipient, but also for the crafter.

The12 Mad Libs cards will join the 20 or so other cards I have already made. In the photo above you can see those cards, most of which also use up stamped images friends have sent to me. At the bottom left you can see that I had just gotten started with my Mad Libs cards, coloring in the reading dragon. And now I'm already pondering ideas for the next batch!

Happy Birthday

I can't believe Meital is seventeen! Just amazing. All of the gifts I gave her this year were handmade. Instead of my usual slapdash wrapping, I was inspired by the Older and Wisor blog to attempt something better. I put each gift into a box (cookies, ice cream bars and dishwasher tablets) and wrapped them with scrapbooking paper. My bow didn't come out exactly right, but not bad for a first time. The little tag has a Suzy's Zoo sticker on it. For the card, I used papers from a 6 x 6" pad by My Minds' Eye that I bought last year.

Since I had just finished this pair of socks, I stuck them in a box as gift #1. Yeah, it's kinda cheating, since she saw me working on them, but who doesn't love to unwrap gifts, even if you know what's inside?

I saw this Happy Chemistry embroidery pattern on Shiny Happy World (LOVE that website!!) and knew I had to get it for my budding chemist. But what to embroider on? In the end I made this very wonky Kindle cover (no pattern, I just made it up as I went along. Hence the wonkiness). 

The Kindle fits inside, but getting the cover snapped closed is a challenge. I am trying desperately not to let the off-center stitching and crooked pocket bother me....

Gift #3 was a little stuffed cat. Meital had asked for a cat like the one I made for Hopeful Threads (and later, for Liat) but our original plan was for her to make it. We hadn't gotten around to it, so I went ahead and made it for her.

So strange to realize that next year, her birthday will fall a few short months before she starts her IDF service!