Take It Smiling

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Go Green on Black Friday

Check out http://re-maker.blogspot.com/2008/11/go-green-on-black-friday.html and go green on Black Friday! What a great idea.

Seasonal Series

I have a tree stamp called Tree Tile by Rubber Soul. I just love it. But, I've always used it in the same way -- StazOn on SU! Glossy White paper, inked in autumn colors with daubers. I've been very happy with the effect... until now.

Mothers and Daughters Creations challenged us to create a table decor item last week. After completing the challenge (and WAHOO! I won), I was inspired and went on to create an image in a frame. The next thing I knew, I was making a series.
At first glance, the series looks like it's about the seasons. And, that's true, that is part of it. But for me, it's about the treatment of the stamped image. I made an effort to treat the image differently in each season:
  • Winter - Stamped in silver on vellum paper, embossed with white sparkly powder
  • Spring - Stamped in brown on white paper, colored with watercolor pencils and blender pens, dotted with permanent marker and hole-punched green DP (which was then covered in sparkles!) WHEW!
  • Summer - Stamped in black on navy paper, covered with hole-punched leaves of two shades of green, two DPs and colored vellum
  • Fall - Stamped on glossy white paper, colored with inked daubers

I really enjoyed creating this... and to think, the frame only cost me $.33.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wahoo! I Won!

I am so excited. I just found out I've won the Mothers and Daughters Creations weekly design challenge for table decor. I am stoked to go created more!

Thank you so much, MDC!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Calling All Craft Bloggers

Hi there, fellow craft bloggers. What do ya say we share the love and promote one another? Let's do a button swap and a give a Twitter shout out about each other and see what we can do. Leave a comment with your URL and I'll be in touch! As a list grows, I'll post here to increase exposure.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

MDC Table Decor Challenge: Part II

Once I finished the table decor for the Mothers and Daughters Creations challenge, I made the framed image above left. I thought it would be a cute wall decoration. But then I couldn't help myself and I made a winter scene too! How cool would it be to change out the scenes for each season? So now I'm going to make spring and summer scenes and display these proudly in my kitchen. Fun! (And using the same tree image in different ways is a fun challenge for me.)

MDC Table Decor Challenge: Part I

Mothers and Daughters Creations put out a challenge to create a table decor item. I couldn't resist! I used an old hot chocolate container to create a flower vase (for faux flowers... I don't think it could hold water). I like that I can fill the container with candy to give as a hostess gift and the hostess can reuse as either a flower vase or food container.

It couldn't have been simpler. Here's the supply list:

  • Target $1 scrapbook paper set, ribbon set
  • Stampin' Up! Dotted Autumn set
  • Stampin' Up! So Saffron paper
  • Stampin' Up! Cranberry Crisp ink
  • Stampin' Up! Whisper White cardstock
  • All Night Media clear embossing powder
  • VersaMark ink
  • Adhesive
  • Faux flowers
  • Decorative ribbon

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Children's Books -- MUST HAVES

I have three children. My eldest is a 7 year old boy, my middle a 4 ½ year old girl and my youngest child, a boy, is 13 months old. Of course, three children means we have three times the norm of many, many things: food, laundry, doctor’s visits, TOYS.

So, as we approached my youngest child’s first birthday, I thought long and hard about what to give him. Friends asked, “What does he need? What doesn’t he have?” Do you know I couldn’t answer? Sure, our doctor kit is now approximately five years old and missing a few pieces, but do we need a new one? No. Sure, my son already enjoys pushing around cars and trucks but since he’s got so many left from my eldest, does he need new ones? No. How about clothes? Nope, have them left over from my eldest as well as many friends. Hmmm…

Then, it hit me. Can you ever have too many books? No way. I don’t know about you, but I read 2 – 3 books per night, per child so that’s a lot of reading. Translation: that’s a lot of repetition. We’ve been reading the same bookcase-worth of books for seven years now. Ouch. (It actually is painful sometimes.) With this is mind, I decided to have a book-themed party where everyone could give the birthday boy a copy of their favorite book. This worked beautifully for our guest list as the vast majority of kids invited were the friends of my other two. They’d been read to all their lives so I figured they had to have favorites. I was so right and, as I gazed at the very manageable stack of new books after the party, I was at peace. Gone was the usual post-party angst regarding where we’d put all the new stuff. Where would all those tiny pieces go so they didn’t get lost? How long would it take my fingers to heal after untwisting all those wires to free all this stuff? Instead, it was “Ahhhhh. Look at that lovely pile of books for us to read.”

But I’m not the only one with a lack-luster library. Why not consider rejuvenating your friends’ libraries this year too? They will thank you for not giving their child another thing to collect dust once the thrill wears off (ever notice how the thrill doesn’t wear off of books for kids?). To get you started, here are my absolute favorites, appropriate for children birth through third grade (at least):

On The Day You Were Born by Debra Frasier
This gorgeous tale describes the wondrous happenings across the planet as your child was born. I’ve made sure each of my children have their own copy so that they will always know how very connected they are to our environment.

I Hate Everyone by Mij Kelly
A selfish Queen Bee learns to be polite in this clever story. The typography lends to the excitement; as the Queen yells louder, so do the words on the page! The richly colored images are sure to in trance your child as they learn that being nice is the best way to be.

The Napping House by Audrey Wood
Can you spot the little flea in each picture? Did you notice each animal moves just a bit on each page? Your child will enjoy predicting what’s next by looking at the pictures in this fun book. The day may start sleepy but it sure ends up bright!

My Very Own Name Personalized Storybook
Animals gather round as a new baby joins the wood. To decide the baby’s name, each animal offers a letter. “D” might come from a donkey or a deer, for example. Based on the information you provide upon ordering, the animals spell out your special child’s name. The birthdate of this woodland baby matches that of your child as well. I’ve purchased this book for all of my children. When they were younger, they loved hearing their names as part of the story. As they grew, they began identifying the letters presented my each animal. The illustrations are gorgeous as well.

How Do I Love You? By P.K. Hallinan
This fun rhyme describes all the lovable things about your child (“I love it when you’re happy and I’m sorry when you’re sad. And even though it may not show, I love you when you’re bad.”). It’s a wonderful way to reaffirm a parent’s love for their child, no matter what their behavior. The drawings are vividly colored and lots of fun!

This author/illustrator has an entire series of love-affirming books worth checking out.

Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson
If you’ve never read any of the Bear books, you are in for a treat! In this episode, beautifully illustrated rhythmic poetry tells of Bear’s friends caring for him when he is sick. Each animal does something special for Bear and, in the end, Bear cares for them when they become sick.

Also look for Bear Wants More (featuring American Sign Language for “more,” Bear Snores On, Bear’s New Friend, Bear Stay’s Up (a Christmas story) and Bear Feels Scared.

Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry & the Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood
This quick board book is such fun to read. Your child will love how they, as the reader, speak directly to the mouse about his juicy, red, ripe strawberry and the very big hungry bear who loves to eat them!

Go Track a Yak! By Tony Johnston
Go on a silly journey to save the little baby who won’t eat. Thanks to outstanding typography, you’ll find yourself in character as a dim-witted dad and cranky witch. My children have enjoyed the story on many levels over the years; different parts make them laugh as they get older.

Sixteen Cows by Lisa Wheeler
Join Cowboy Gene and Cowgirl Sue as they each call their eight cows in for the night. But, when a storm blows down the fence, the herds mix and mayhem ensues. Through witty rhymes, we find Cowboy Gene and Cowgirl Sue in love and the herd size doubled!

The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman
Do you deal with any picky eaters? Can you imagine SEVEN of them? This rhyming tale will entertain you and your picky eater as you watch one mother become exhausted by her seven silly eaters… and then watch their favorite foods magically combine to make one delicious birthday cake for Mom!

Old Turtle by Douglas Wood
This fable describes how all things are connected here on Planet Earth. Beautiful watercolors vividly depict the land and creatures of our world. This is a MUST read for children to help them understand the importance of preserving Earth’s ecology.

For even more book ideas, check out my list “Children’s Books – MUST HAVES” on Wishpot.com.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Life Gets In The Way

It is my heart's desire is to be on a craft design team. I've crafted for years and have often been told, "You should totally sell that!" But that's not me. I can create until the cows come home, but hit the pavement and promote my stuff? Let's just say I'm still stuck in the barn.

So I started this blog, designed the logo, edited the template code (I'm a web designer by trade) and became active in social media forums to learn the ropes... but what I haven't done is craft anything. I've been so busy online, I've lost sight of my passion. I create. It's my stress-reliever. It grounds me. But I haven't created anything (other than this blog and my online presence) in weeks.

True, life in general has been quite busy lately. Three kids, Halloween, Dad away two outta three weeks away for work, a trip to NYC... no wonder I haven't found the time to create. But excuses no more! Tonight's the night. Tonight, the children will be in by 8:30. I will be seated at my craft desk by 8:32 and I will craft.

Maybe if I put it out there for others to see, I'll really do it. What do you think?

Copyright ©2010 Andrea Diuguid. All content, including text, photographs and concept design elements featured in this blog are © Andrea Diuguid.