Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Derailed by asthma...

We've had a really crazy couple of weeks since my last post. We had a really bad scare almost 2 weeks ago on Thursday morning. My daughter, Taylor, has asthma. Anyone who has a child with asthma or manages asthma themselves can understand what a complex condition medical condition asthma is and how scary it can be at times. Our pulmonologist tells us that managing asthma is like flying a 747. Pretty complicated and scary at times. Well, that Thursday morning was one of those incredibly scary times for us.

When Taylor woke up panicked, with uncontrollable coughing that wasn't responding to nebulizer treatments, we thought she was having a severe asthma attack. A scary trip to the ER concluded with a diagnosis of croup. Of course, given her underlying asthma, she was given a steroid shot to help reduce or fend off a severe asthma flare. Croup is generally caused by a virus. For children with asthma viruses that affect the respiratory tract (a simple cold, for example) can trigger an asthma flare. So, while she wasn't suffering from asthma on Thursday morning, it didn't take long for the virus to trigger an asthma flare. Then, on day 3 of the simple virus, Taylor spiked a fever, indicating a secondary infection. She has a history of pneumonia so she was put on antibiotics and a second round of steroids. She was finally well enough to go back to preschool by the middle of last week and was very happy to be back with her friends. I'm finally feeling like I've recovered and have "caught up" after being derailed by this. And Taylor's back to her playful self, but it seems as though her baby is sick, now.

So, this explains my lack of craftiness and subsequent lack of posting here. I've got a tutorial up tomorrow at Crafts Unleashed and I'm expecting a special crafty gift for myself that will be arriving on my doorstep sometime this week! I'll be posting about it when it arrives. And, I've got some pics that I want to post of a lil' shoot I did with Taylor this past weekend. So, stay tuned and we'll get caught up together.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mom's Lucky Charm Scrapbook Page

I know, I know. We just got over Valentine's Day and we're already moving on to St. Patrick's Day. Today, I'm posting over at Crafts Unleashed sharing step-by-step instructions on how I created this 12x12 layout using my new Storybook Cricut Cartridge from Consumer Crafts. So be sure to pop over and check out my latest project as a member of the Crafts Unleashed Design Team!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Project 365 {Week 6}

OK, so, once again, I have less than 7 photos for this week. Actually, I have a bunch of photos, but only photos from 5 days this week. Oh well, I think we can all get over it and get on with the pics I do have ;). And, apologies for not posting these yesterday but I've been hit with a nasty cold and I was up against a deadline for Crafts Unleashed so I spent what limited energy I had yesterday, finishing that project and writing the post. By the way, I'm quite happy with the finished project and it will be published Wednesday, so stay tuned and I'll post a link when it's published! OK, now, on with this week's photos:

Spontaneous date night with hubby!

Finishing up a page from one of my Donna Downey albums

We're undecided if we want to have another baby. (Well, by "we" I mean hubby and I. Taylor made up her mind long ago that she absolutely wants us to have another baby.) Until we decide we want one, we'll just borrow this little cutie from our friends. I can't even imagine how many shots I'd be snapping if we had another baby in our house!

There's something so fun and playful about sidewalk chalk.

I actually got my girl to wear jeans!!! She hates the feel of denim, but somehow I got her to oblige on Saturday. We enjoyed a beautiful "spring" day at the park. This time of year is just gorgeous in the desert.

I hope you enjoyed your week ;)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Storybook Cricut Cartridge

I've written a feature post to highlight the awesome Storybook Cricut Cartridge over at Crafts Unleashed, today. So, head on over and check it out!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

More Pretty Craft Storage - Altered Jar Mini-Tutorial

You all know how much I love flowers, and I use them in almost all my crafty projects. Well, I've got quite the collection of flowers and I used to store them in their individual packages or little baggies and whatnot. While organizing my craft room, I decided to use this large jar to store my whole collection of flowers so it can sit on the shelf as a pretty and inspiring piece in the room. The lid was stained wood, and I painted it using a rag with purple, pink and turquoise acrylic paint. I cut the pink scalloped rectangle and the turquoise label from my the Storybook Cricut Cartridge (Thank you, Consumer Crafts). I punched holes at each end of the label and tied the pretty ribbon through to hold the label onto the jar. I stamped the word "Flowers" using the Classic alphabet stamps from Stampin' Up. Finally, I embellished it with a multi-layered flower, of course! Aren't flowers just the perfect embellishment?

The jar coordinates perfectly with the rest of my craft room and the cardboard caddy I made, too.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cardboard Caddy Tutorial

I love the shape of caddies like this but they're sometimes hard to find and when I have found them they're either too small or too much money, or just not right. So, I decided to make my own. This project was cheap and green and FUN! Let me show you how to make one!

- corrugated cardboard
- paper towel roll or cardboard tube or wooden dowel
- masking tape
- gesso
- acrylic paint
- mod podge
- patterned paper and solid cardstock
- stamps and ink pads
- embossing ink pad (I used Versa Mark)
- embossing powder
- heat gun
- ribbon, trims and embellishments, puches or dies of your choosing

Start by cutting your cardboard into pieces that will form your caddy. You need 2 sides, a bottom and 2 end pieces that are shaped like a house as shown in the picture below:

Next, tape your pieces together using masking tape as shown in the picture below:

Once you've got your pieces attached to the bottom of your caddy, bring all the sides up to form the caddy and tape all around the side and inside of your caddy as shown in the next picture. Next, using scissors, poke holes into the ends of your caddy where you want the tube to go through.

For my handle, I used a thick cardboard tube. I have no idea what was on this tube, it was just in my stash. You can see from the next pic, that it's a lot thicker than a standard paper towel roll.

If you use a paper towel roll, you can use several layers of paper and modpodge wrapped around the roll to make it sturdy enough to use as a handle. Then cover the whole caddy in gesso before you start decorating it. Once it was covered in gesso, I painted layers of purple, pink and turquoise on the outside of the caddy. I then treated each side as a canvas and created different collages on each side and end.

This pic above is the front of the caddy. I used mod podge to apply the papers to the caddy. These papers are from My Mind's Eye "Totally Girl" paper pad. The scalloped flower was created using the Spellbinders Scalloped Circles Nestabilities die. The quote is a Donna Downey Unity Stamp, the butterfly is cut out from the patterned paper pad that I adhered to the caddy with mod podge.

The above picture is one of the ends. I used Making Memories lace and papers from the same paper pad, canvas butterflies from Donna Downey that I painted and embellished with rsuty wire and ribbon. The pink hearts were white cardstock hearts that came in a Donna Downey grab bag I got a while ago. I simply painted them pink and them stamped the faded "Dream" text.

I created the collage on this end using a Unity dress form stamp embossed with pink embossing powder. I also used a Hero Arts faded text stamp. I finsihed it off with the adorable pink daisy chain trim.

This side was decked out with K&Company dies from a little packet of goodies with all these adorable handcrafted themed paper die cuts.That's where the word create is from and the hand. I created the tulle flower, and added a little felt flower for the center.

And now I have an adorable little caddy to hold my paintbrushes. It coordinates perfectly with all the pink, purple and turquoise in my studio and I had SO much fun creating it. I'd love to know what you think or if you use this tute, send me a link. I'd love to see how you personalize it!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Project 365 {Week 4 & 5}

I'm doing my best at taking pics every day. Turns out a lot of pics I take are crafty pics of projects in progress. I don't really want to include those in my 365 because they get blogged anyway. So, I'm going to make a point of taking pics of other things every day. For now, here is Project 365 week 4 & 5 with a few days missing. Those crafty pics will make it onto my blog along with tutorials, later this week. So stay tuned. (All of this week's shots were taken with my Canon 50mm 1.8 lens, except the laundry room pic that was taken with my kit lens. Photos were minimally edited in Picnik).

Remember my one word for 2011 is Organization? Well laundry is my nemesis and much of the disorganization in our home revolves around too many clothes, clothes piled in baskets and an overflowing an inefficient laundry room. So, while Taylor takes a bath, I'm folding laundry and I spent last Sunday reorganizing and cleaning our laundry room.

My favorite dinner...pasta. I should really be Italian.

The next American Idol. Taylor started watching American Idol with us and felt the urge to set up an audition room in her bedroom. She's holding her number on her belly.

These are her judges. I must note this was totally unprompted and created all on her own. Ah, the imagination of a little girl. So precious.

And, in case you haven't already seen what a little drama girl she is, this pose and dress up was also totally unprompted. Even though we live in sunny Southern California, we had no intention of actually swimming when she decided to set up her own little beach in the living room.

And this was my shot when I realized a day had gone by without me reaching for my camera. Taylor was already in bed which left me with my beautiful calico as my subject.

I was struck by the irony of this beautiful blooming tree. Not sure what kind of tree this is, but when the city of Chicago was shut down this week due to severe snowstorms, I was walking from my office to my car and was taken aback by the beauty of these blossoms. The pure whiteness and shape reminded me of snowballs.
And this is a shot of a gorgeous desert sunset. When I'm sweltering in August in temps of 120 degrees, I'll look back at these shots and remember that it's the late winter/early spring weather that makes the area that I live in paradise.
And we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and did a little photo shoot with Taylor yesterday. This is one of my favorite shots from the day.

Remember, if you're doing a Project 365 of your own, add a comment with a link to your shots. Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What to to With a Stretched Canvas?

If you've ever stared at a blank canvas in an arts and crafts store or on your work table and wondered what to do with it, then head on over to Crafts Unleashed and read my post about the versatility of stretched canvases. I share several of my favorite project ideas for using stretched canvases!