Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Merry Little Christmas| Digital Design

The past few months my creative outlet has been focused on my photography and digital design in the form of Christmas cards!! 

I am excited to share a few that I have designed now that they have been sent out and there will be no ruined suprises from the wonderful families I have photographed this season. 

For now, here is the card I designed for my own family!  Thank you to my wonderful friend and talented photographer Alice Addington of Addington Images for the photographs of our family!  They are a true treasure.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Homemade Superhero| (featuring) iLoveToCreate Fabric Fusion and Crystals

I am the first to admit that I am not great at sewing.  While I am a perfectionist in other aspects of crafting... I just don't have a love for the sewing machine.  (I do have high hopes of changing that!!) 

One thing I do try to get the sewing machine out for each year is to make Halloween costumes.  This year the girls were going to each be a homemade superhero... ie- Super Hannah, and Super Claire!

With the help of Pintrest, I found a great cape tutorial and got to work. 

I did employ some Aleene's Fabric Fusion to help with the logos that weren't sticking well with the 'wonder under'... and I added a little dazzle to their masks with some Tulip Glam it Up Iron-On Crystals using the Tulip Cordless Heat Setting Tool.

If I am being honest, the costumes were cuter in my head then they ended up being once they were done, Oh well!  :0)

The girls loved them and had so much fun running around and yelling "Coming to Save the World!!" 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Inspiration: Halloween Costume Banner

I saw this adorable idea for a Halloween Costume banner this morning and have been thinking about it all day.  Such a FUN idea to bring out each year and add to as years go by... I have decided I MUST make this this year. 

FREE printable banner is available through the How Does She blog when you sign up for weekly emails!!  I have been receiving these emails for about a year now and have never been disappointed with their crafty inspiration. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Organization: Kids Toy Bin Labels

This summer we made some big strides as far as the organization goes in our house. 

Claire's room has been an orgizational nightmare for awhile.  She is just at an age where she does enjoy playing with most everything she has and it doesn't seem to matter how much effort she puts into keeping things picked up and sorted... the toys always end up in a big pile. There just wasn't a place for everything.  Not good. 

So, I found this shelving and canvas bin system at Costco and thought I would give it a try.  Once I put the shelf together, Claire and I went through her toys with a 'Less is More' mentality and really tried to reduce the toys she wanted to keep.  I felt that including her in the process helped her understand that we just don't have room in our home to fit EVERYTHING, and that when we only keep what we love it is much easier to find the toys we want to play with.  (Ok, so I would like to think that is what she learned... but if nothing else she did not get upset that we sold or donated many of her old toys and stuffed animals.)

We ended up with seven categories for our eight bins and I headed online to find some ideas for cute labels.  While there were plenty of cute kid's toy bin labels available, I just didn't find any that really fit my style or the color scheme for Claire's room.  I also wanted to make sure the labels included pictures for my pre-schooler who can not read yet. 

Here is what I came up with ... colorful and organized labels, printed at Costco as 4x6 matte finish prints for $0.13 each - actually they were printed two-to-a-print, so 6.5 cents each! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall Inspiration: Button Pumpkin

I'd like to thank the ever addicting Pintrest and a crazy beginning to photography season for yet another lull in posts. 

Fall has found us... today was our first day with a temperature lower than 80 in awhile and I was so happy to see the cloud cover that I went out and bought a box of chi tea to celebrate! 

Right now I am contemplating if I have enough various orange buttons to make this sweet little fall craft.  Check it out over at Auntie Lolo Crafts.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

iLoveToCreate: Repurposed Fabric Covered Bulletin Board

Poor Claire, my youngest daughter, has had bare walls for quite some time.  It's not for lack of thought or intention, it is just that I kind of have a phobia when it comes to decorating.  I want to LOVE what I put on my walls... for goodness sake, I will have to look at it EVERYDAY!  It has always seemed like a lot of pressure.  Pretty much the only reason things get put on walls around here is if John harps on me enough to get it ready, then he will hang it.

As was the case with this easy project! 

We like to call this our $1 Bulletin Board.  We spent a wopping $1 on the frame and had everything else on hand.  It was a great way to repurpose an old cork bulletin board as well. 

  • Frame - Ours was found at ReStore (it has a chip in the back was a gaudy gold color, so John painted it black...you can't even see the chip when it is on the wall!)
  • Corkboard - We had an old board that was actually in our yard sale pile... John cut out the middle section to a size that would fit inside the frame with a utility knife
  • Fabric - enough to cover the board with a few inches extra on all sides
  • Stapler - Regular old office one, the staples in a staple gun would have gone through the cork
  • Hanging hooks, grabbers, fastening clips, or whatever you like to use to hang the final product (find at any hardware store)

  • Decide on your frame size and cut corkboard to fit inside the frame
  • Measure enough fabric to cover the corkboard, plus a few inches on each side.  Iron the fabric and place it wrong side up on your work surface

  • Go outside and spray the good side of the corkboard with Aleene's Tacky Spray
  • Quickly place the sticky side of the corkboard onto the wrong side up fabric
  • Start on one side pulling the fabric taught and stapling it down on the back of the coarkboard, work your way around until it is all stapled
  • **I also flipped the corkboard over and  placed a large, flat tray or book on the right side to make sure the fabric sticks to the cork, I left this for about 30 minutes to dry

  • Place covered corkboard into frame, we made sure ours stayed tight with fastening clips
  • Add picture hanging hardware and hang on the wall... (John did this part)

...and the final product!  Almost too pretty to add her treasured photos and memories :-)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rearranged China Cabinet | Home Decor Project

When we were in the process of buying our house, this china cabinet was one of the selling points to me.  It was a built-in piece of furniture and was a convenient storage spot.  Score!

Not so much.

Fast forward six years and I was completely lost when it came to the decor of the china cabinet.  Every time I passed it, I wanted to throw out its contents and start again.  It had become a catch-all for items I didn't want to get broken... not the beautiful display I had once envisioned. 

See... such a hodge podge!

So, one day a few weeks ago I enlisted the help of a friend (Thanks Brooke!) and we got to work.  We used only items I had on hand and rearranged everything in a more cohesive way. 

This is basically a post to (a) thank my sweet friend for her help and (b) remember the way we displayed everything in case I need to use or clean the contents. :-)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

iLoveToCreate: Reverse-Stencilled & Spray-Painted Shirt

This is a great, fairly easy way to uniquely personalize a shirt!  My friend Brooke, co-owner of the fabulous Uptown Kids sale (a twice yearly consignment event held here in Fresno), came up with this idea and I have to say it seems to have worked out well!

First she decided that she wanted to rock a fun and unique shirt with her business initials... UPTK.

Tank top style shirt (or anything you would like personalized)
Tulip brand fabric spray paint (your could use several colors if that suits your fancy)
Vinyl - cut using the Silhouette machine
  • Choose a font and size that will work well for the letters of your shirt, then cut out your vinyl using your Slihouette, Cricut, or trace and cut with scissors.
  • Peel letters out of vinyl and place on your shirt

  • Cover your work area and spray fabric paint liberally around the stuck-on letters and around shirt until you have the desired effect
  • Peel off vinyl lettering and enjoy your creation!

  • Wouldn't this be a great craft for a kids party or camp? 
  • I thought the spray paint gave the shirt a cool effect and you could have a variety of outcomes depending on the amount of spray you want to use.
  • The vinyl worked really well and provided nice crisp lines... no bleeding paint!!
  • Add some spray glitter for a little more pizzaz!
**Thanks for sharing your idea Brooke!  I'm sure you will enjoy wearing it at this fall's consignment sale!!**

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I went to post something...

... and I ended up changing the whole layout and design of the blog.  Man, I am so easily sidetracked!!

It was driving me NUTS that my margins weren't allowing the extra large sized photos here on blogger.  So, after a few hours of tinkering I am happy with the new margins, the ability to now show extra large horizantal photos, a more simple and clean white background, and a fresh new header. 

(This counts as being crafty, right?)

I also added a whole section of the ten most recently updated iLoveToCreate blogger blogs over there on the right side ---->
I am thinking of adding another section of crafty inspiration blogs, but that list could get REALLY long... if you have a crafty blog that you would like me to include, send me a message or email. 

And now, I will try to get back to my regularly scheduled post :-)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fishy Themed Party: Part Three, Fishy Bar

The pièce de résistance and really the whole reason I was excited to do this party stemmed from the 'Fishy Bar' idea. 

Have you gone into any grocery store lately and seen the number of varieties of Pepperidge Farm Fish crackers?  It is really pretty crazy.  So, my idea was to have every single kind of fish crackers in the form of a bar and let each party-goer take home a sort of 'trail mix' of different fish crackers. 

To take the idea even further, I wanted to give each of the types of fish crackers a cute and 'fishy' name to go along with the theme of the party.  

For example: Rainbow Colored Fish became 'Rainbow Trout' and the 'Baby' variety of fish crackers became 'Guppies' :-) 

I even found this Fish shaped snack container and had John drill a hole through it.  I then stuck a dowel through the hole so I could use it as part of the display.

If I can find my list, I will come back and add the entire list of fish names I gave to the crackers.  I used twelve(!) varieties of the crackers and there were still more I could have chosen from. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fishy Themed Party: Part Two, Food

All of the food for the party had an orange, blue, or fish theme to it!  It was fun trying to think of things to have that fit into the parameters.

Drinks were orange and blue Gatoraide and Juicy Juice (we did have water too) 

The Menu:
  • Pinwheel Sandwiches - called "Sushi Sandwiches"
  • Turkey and cheese sandwiches cut into the shape of a fish with a cookie cutter (not pictured)
  • Chinese Chicken Salad - Oranges added
  • Orange-you-glad it's fruit salad (peaches, oranges, cantalope, mango + blueberries)
  • Orange and Blue Jell-o cups
  • Various Orange and Blue candies
  • Cheese it's (obviously orange)
  • Cheetos (again obviously orange) - not pictured
  • Blueberry yogurt-covered pretzles- not pictured 

Out of sheer luck and good timing, we were given this sno-cone machine to use at the party as well... even though all the syrups weren't blue and orange it was a great, unique addition to the party!  Thanks friend that lent it to us ;-)
And finally, my favorite orange and blue addition to both the menu and the decor... cupcakes

These were Funfetti cupcakes with homemade marshmallow frosting dyed blue.  The toppers were made using a cutout from my silhouette machine.

I thought they came out super cute!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fishy Themed Birthday Party: Part One, Banner

I was driving Claire to school one day when I had the idea for a Fishy Themed party to celebrate her fourth birthday.  By the afternoon I had completely planned the party on paper, nevermind that her birthday was six week away!  The pre-planning was really unlike me, but I do have to say it helped me keep my budget in check, know what I was looking for, and it gave me less stress the day of the party.  It also kept me from letting my imagination get the best of me and spreading myself too thin for a party... which I have a tendancy to do. 

Moral: Plan ahead.  It works!

Claire's Birthday falls the last week of June which is nearly always over 100 degrees where we live.  I thought the colors of blue and orange were great for a summer birthday and adding in the 'Fishy' aspect was a fun personal touch because Claire LOVES fish crackers! 

All of the decor had orange or blue included, it was actually pretty easy to find things to match the color scheme...

I made this paper penant banner using a few pieces of scrapbook paper I had on hand and my silhouette machine... it took one hour  exactly start to finish and I thought it looked absolutely adorable.  I strung it with some twine, which gave a nice touch. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Color and June: the month of craziness

I logged onto the blog today thinking that it had been a few weeks since I posted and I'd better try to get something up on the blog to show that I haven't completely gone AWOL.  Then I realized it has been since May 18th that I have posted!  Woah! I truly didn't mean for that to happen, but photography has been demanding my attention over the past few weeks and I have been putting all my creative energy into some truly wonderful photo sessions and a beautiful wedding. 
Isn't it funny that there are months that just demand more attention than others?  Before I even turned the calendar to June it was full of summer events and parties, end of the school year assemblys, photo sessions, and birthdays.  For some that might be overwhelming, but I LOVE it.  I think June and July are my favorite months. 
So, needless to say I haven't had the opportunity to get crafty.  I have a few things in the works that I am excited to get completed... and summer is the perfect time for this! 
Speaking of summer, I am in love with walking the local Farmer's Market.  Not only is the produce WONDERFUL, but the colors and textures are bright and provide an abundance of inspiration. 
So, before I let my crazy schedule get the best of me I am going to soak up this beautiful time of year.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cupcake Party: All in the Details

In an effort to wrap up the 'cupcake party' posts, here are a few of the details that I haven't mentioned yet.

  • I am a big fan of the FREE-to-download subway art found at eighteen25, this is a Birthday version
  • Small cupcake stands were made with plates and candlesticks found at the Dollar Store, then glued together and spray painted.  I have seen several tutorials for this.
  • Caraffe's seem to be popping up all over too!  I found these at Smart and Final as a set of two.  They are plastic and have a lid.   
  • I had grand plans of making this pennant banner, but my time started running a little short.  My wonderful friend Brooke swooped in and sewed several of them for me... and I am SO thankful!  She is much more detail-oriented that I am so I wouldn't have been able to pull them off as beautiful as she did!  BONUS: I can use them in the future or lend them out!! 
  • I kinda splurged a little on these paper straws from Sugar Diva.  I am a little bit obsessed with them.  We served pink (strawberry) milk, chocolate milk, and plain milk... so I felt the straws were such a cute addition!
  • And finally, I found this awesome idea in several places, but really liked the look of the Cupcake Garland tutorial found here, I was so sad to take it down after the party... it was just so pretty! 

So, there you have it!  Cupcake party fun!!
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