December 5, 2012

Still obsessed

Still on a sewing/stitchin' kick!  To be honest, I did take a little break.  Because I could not get the machine to work, and I was getting the teensiest bit frustrated with it.  After a little sabbatical, I went in with a cool head and figured out the problem fairly quickly- and sewed these and a few other cards in one sitting.

Oh and as you can see, I am still loving the washi/decorative tape too.  If I received an envelope sealed with these colorful tapes, I would be smiling in anticipation.  It's the little things that count sometimes.

p.s. We decorated paper stockings at work today.  I am so used to incorporating stitching into my projects lately that I was tempted to bring my stocking home to add a little special touch.  Don't worry, I didn't succumb.  I made do with what I had there.

November 27, 2012

How was your Thanksgiving?  I enjoyed visiting with relatives I had not seen in awhile, joined in on Black Friday festivities with my in-laws, and wondered where all the time went.

It seems there was barely time to enjoy Fall decorations.  I packed them all up tonight, and am hoping to get up Christmas items before that season is gone as well.

My aunt gave me a ceramic cornucopia that my grandma made in 1972.  I love it!  I love the piece itself, with the curves and shape and color, but I especially am grateful to have a reminder of my grandma.  I will need to take a picture next year- I didn't get one before I had to toss the contents.  I filled it with mini orange and off-white gourds from Vala's Pumpkin Patch and corn and a hedge apple from our church Thanksgiving.

Below are the napkin rings (also made by grandma- no year though) my aunt used this year.

November 8, 2012

I love little touches that make something a little more special.  R and I co-hosted a jewelry party.  She did a beautiful job of preparing the food- scones, a cheese platter, beverages- and I provided the treat bags for the guests to take home.

Projects like this are so much fun because I can play on the computer, play with the sewing machine, play with paper and layers.

Continuing obsessions: sewing detail, chevron design

October 28, 2012

Correspondence Basket

I put together a "Correspondence Basket" for our church basket auction in September.  I wanted to include some watercolor pieces, but I have sold out of those cards- so I printed off some copies at home and added a little stitching detail.

Current obsession: striped bakers twine.  Rather than spend the money at a scrapbook store, I found a package of twelve colors at TJ Maxx.

October 21, 2012

Easy quilt cards- trim paper, adhere with tape, sew!

October 8, 2012

I've been fairly absent on here- with my hands in a few freelance and personal projects, I haven't had time to post.  That just means that I've got a stockpile of pictures to share!


Turning to a wedding invitation for inspiration can be helpful when making a card- mostly when choosing colors or fonts.  If the look of an invitation sets the mood for the rest of the celebration, shouldn't the card reflect that as well?

Although I love perusing Archiver's and Hobby Lobby for fun papers and decorative elements- I can many times feel just as creative utilizing what I already have on hand at home.

Oh and I appreciate any opportunity to dip into my washi/decorative tape collection!

August 31, 2012

For "the Mama"

It can be so nice sometimes to take a break from the computer, and that's why I enjoy making cards with more textural elements, such as layering paper and sewing  (see previous post).

In progress:

Voila!  Birthday card for MIL that matches zebra pattern bracelet and tissue paper.

August 20, 2012

Baby shower fun

A co-worker is due in October, and a couple of ladies organized a surprise shower.  I was in charge of e-mail invitation and the actual card we gave her at the shower.  

We usually come up with personalized cards for birthdays at work, so we don't have to buy generic cards, and I'm in charge of executing.  I found the bottle, binky and toy on a free vector site, and constructed the rest pretty quickly.  

Have you noticed I am getting good use out of my craft sewing machine?  I just cut a 12x12 cardstock in half and then folded it again, and it fit into a 6x6 envelope I already had on hand.  The square scrapbook papers were a cinch to sew on, and they are reminiscent of a baby quilt or baby blocks (one of the organizers made a cake that looked like blocks).

August 5, 2012

A week in South Lake Tahoe- it was beautiful!  The vacation was also a family reunion for my mom's side of the family, and I tried to stay on top of "documenting."  I made it a point to take portraits and candid shots...but in a place like Tahoe I of course also enjoyed the beauty of nature.

This was one of my favorite shots.  The family rented a pontoon boat one day and we had lunch at Emerald Bay.  We had time for a little jaunt, and I was entranced by textures, shapes and colors of the trunk.

July 30, 2012

Time to play

I love the combined textures of thread and paper.
The tan colored base for the first card and the mint paper were finds at porridge papers, right here in Lincoln.

I am a huge fan of gray right now, and I love the cool combination of these two colors.  Here are some close-ups to give you an idea of how textured the paper is.  (Also shows the back of the card.)

July 18, 2012

I dare you to check out this post at and not be inspired.

My little buddy is a foot away from me.  Time to play for a few minutes...

July 13, 2012

Golden Birthday, Part II

Of course, if you know R, she likes fun gifts but also more elegant ones.  Thanks to a few favorite blogs, I found just the right inspiration.

Design Sponge is one of the first blogs I discovered, and my go-to place for variety in posts.  I was enamored by these Anthropologie cards the site featured, and was inspired to create my own gilded stationery for R.  I love the combination of gold detail and juicy summer color blocks.

Maybe a month or so ago I started following The Small Things Blog, then found out her sister has a blog called From My Grey Desk- where I saw this post featuring her five favorite things from the past week.  The "Q & A a Day" book seemed perfect for R.  When I found the book at Barnes & Noble and saw the gold-edged pages, it became even more fitting.

I enjoy receiving and giving themed gifts like this.  Having a theme can help bring everything together and shows the thought behind some of the choices.

July 9, 2012

Golden Birthday Part I

I love themed gifts (see the black and gray gifts I received).  For Mother's Day I gave my mom a bunch of gifts she could use while on her walks- a t-shirt, water bottle, and cross-body purse.  I chose a turquoise, black and white color theme for my sister-in-law's last birthday.  Themed gifts are fun because having constraints can be both helpful and challenging.

Recently R celebrated her golden birthday (aka "Angel Birthday")- she turned 27 on the 27th.  All of her gifts were carefully picked. 

I found the little notepad at the Omaha Summer Arts Festival at the beginning of June.  R would appreciate supporting local artists/businesses, and the sunny yellow still fit in the "golden" theme.  The gloves I had purchased at Michael's in the spring.  She has a new home and a large backyard to take care of.

July 6, 2012

Just a little spoiled

My family used to go to (come back to?) Nebraska every summer.  We always celebrated Jayme's August birthday before leaving.  Lucky Gerard and me- as the siblings we always got presents too!  Maybe it was because I tried stealing Jayme's, maybe not.  Regardless, I got used to it at a young age.  

In fact, on the Fourth I watched "The Music Man," my favorite musical (some of the songs were on our "Fourth of July" station at work this week).  This was a "birthday" gift from Bruce when I was younger.

So I thought it was fitting that I got to open a present on Ben's last birthday from my in-laws:

July 4, 2012

Now that the little table in the dining room has been revamped and moved to the living room, I have a space for Grandma's sewing cabinet (which I believe formerly belonged to my namesake, my dad's great-aunt Laura).  I wanted the piece to be on the first floor so guests could see it.

I really wasn't sure what to call it- so I Googled "sewing chest" and a picture of the exact piece showed up!  The picture was found on this sewing blog post, which informed me I own a Martha Washington Sewing Cabinet.

It is a perfect fit for the room because it provides storage and mixes in another family element.

June 25, 2012

Sometimes I showcase "items around the house" of little treasures.  Most of them were gifts and/or part of one of many collections.

These can also be categorized into "a few of my favorite things" because they have special meaning or just make me plain giddy.

I found these antique glass electric conductors at a little place in Lincoln called "Twice as Nice Consignment Shop."  I actually didn't buy them the first time I was there- I went back a week later and luckily they were still there.  Amanda has a few that she uses as decoration in her apartment and I really liked the look.  The colors, shape and texture are just lovely with the glass flower arranger, which I like to use year-round.

June 23, 2012

I'm not defensive- this is normal

Most of my books are on bookshelves throughout various rooms in the house, including the basement.  However, the books I am currently reading are all in the bedroom because I usually read in the evenings before I go to sleep.  Thirteen might seem a little excessive, but I have explanations for each and every one, I promise.

Books 1-9 are found on my nightstand.
  1. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer: I almost finished this Book Club book.  It is based on a true story and took awhile to get into.  I didn't make it to the discussion/movie, so I didn't make time to finish it.
  2. Run by Ann Patchett: Borrowed from Amanda (BFA)- I started this Ann Patchett book months (maybe years?) ago and it just hasn't been as alluring as The Magician's Assistant or Bel Canto.  I am halfway through and will finish it someday!
  3. The Bible: I think I've had this Bible since 7th grade.  New International Version was what we used in religion classes and my preferred version.  It is worn from years of travel between other books in my backpack.
  4. Dare to Repair, Replace & Renovate by Julie Sussman & Stephanie Glakas-Tenet: R gave me this book for my last birthday.  Some parts are fun for now, and I look forward to using it more when we own a house.
  5. Encyclopedia of the Exquisite by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins: Read 6.
  6. Just My Type by Simon Garfield: Both 5 and 6 were gifts from Amanda, birthday presents from 2011 and 2012.  I haven't finished either, but have been making my way through each.  I think in each of the notes she wrote, part of the reason she picked the book for me was because of the cover.  I was completely giddy when I opened each one.
  7. Writing Personal Notes & Letters by Jennifer Williams: I purchased this as a gift to myself.  I enjoy writing and receiving notes/letters and thought it would be a nice book to have around for looks.
  8. Room by Emma Donahue: BFA- I've heard such great reviews about this book, and both R and Amanda have already read it.  I am only a few pages in, because right after I borrowed it, we found out our next Book Club book.  See 9.
  9. The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean: I realized I don't really need to buy every Book Club book and decided it was time to give my wallet a rest.  Only a couple chapters in, but this library book is a fairly quick read so far.  I just need to remember to return it on time.
  10. Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs: Last month's Book Club book.  I FINISHED THIS BOOK ON TIME.
  11. Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne: BFA- the inspiration for Amanda's wedding invitations.  See other wedding posts.
  12. A Year of Mornings by Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes: I found this book when I was reorganizing the office a few weeks ago.  I actually had bought two copies- one for Amanda and one for myself.  The book is a compilation of photos that two women blogged back and forth.
  13. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory: Book Club book.  Didn't even start it.  Didn't watch the movie.  Someday.

Books 10-13 also serve as decoration on the shelf above the bedroom table.

June 20, 2012

A Friday night craft hour

I love my craft time for Worship Committee projects.  In this case, I volunteered to create a Trinity symbol the Thursday night before the Sunday it needed to go up.  I hit up Hobby Lobby Friday after work and constructed most of it that night.

The Plan: buy three grapevine wreaths, white spray paint, and wing it.
The Modified Plan as I shopped: price three white styrofoam wreaths and white fabric and wing it.
The Final Plan as I put the first six wreaths away: cut three embroidery hoops to interlock and cover in fabric (wing it).

Hobby Lobby purchases:
Three 14" embroidery hoops
White tulle (40% off coupon!)

I chose the white tulle because the Trinity symbolizes the Father, Son and Holy Ghost- the Worship Committee wanted an ethereal, delicate look.

So The Final Plan was modified again.  Instead of attempting much more measuring and multiple cutting and piecing together, I chose these steps:

  1. Only using the middle hoops, I overlapped the three circles
  2. Tied the hoops together with strips of tulle
  3. Started wrapping the hoops with tulle
  4. Realized I could still see the wood
  5. Unwrapped the tulle
  6. Painted the hoops white (yes, got paint on my hands and legs)
  7. Wrapped hoops with tulle, tucking and weaving- much more time-consuming than you might think*
   *though not as long as the wedding letters wrapped in yarn and lace

The next day, Ben finagled a way to prop the symbol up using items in our office.  I used a piece of kneaded rubber eraser to hold the wire in place on the table.

Above display by Worship Committee

June 12, 2012

I had a different post planned for today- but then my mother, one of my faithful blog followers (I have two), e-mailed me some pictures and included one of the card/packaging for her Mother's day gifts.  

So, thanks, Mom, for the photo of your Chevron card (and polka dot washi tape- another current obsession!)  Most of the time I am trying so hard to get the card made and mailed in time, I don't always remember to document- even though that is one of the main purposes of this blog.

June 10, 2012

Just like my last post, this one takes a winding little path.

Months ago I was playing with wedding invitation designs.  This is one of the samples I came up with:

I didn't get to see it used as a wedding invitation, but I have started using the Chevron design more for smaller projects.  It has really made a resurgence in scrapbooking, home decor and even nail (as in, manicures) design.

For commissioned work, I came up with this note card design.  The client wanted to give personalized note cards as a high school graduation present; and after discussing the project, this seemed perfect.  The design is clean, not too girly, but has some color.

I've since tweaked the colors and sizes for other cards, including a birthday tag and gift tags (Mother's Day and pregger roomie gift, both not pictured).

I'm working at saving time when I can use designs I already have versus creating something new, and utilizing Chevron right now when it is still so popular allows me to focus on those "something new" details for other projects.

May 30, 2012

If you give a mouse a cookie...

I sat at the computer the other night to print out a couple signs for church.  Five minutes, max, to type, print, cut and frame.  

As I saw the files I had left open, I realized I could print a sticker for a birthday present instead of making a tag.  So I wrapped, taped, typed, printed, adhered.

The table was a bit messy, so I started putting everything out in its place and realized I should just make the labels for my drawers I've been meaning to put up for awhile.  That also meant I had to rummage through the drawers and make sure each was properly labeled.

So I found in the "Scrapbook Paper" drawer something that didn't belong: a wrapped gift.  For the life of me I could not remember what it was, or who it was for.  

After I carefully used an X-acto blade to open the wrapping- then I sat down to the computer and finally made the signs.

Five minutes.

May 21, 2012

What a coincidence that Andrew shared photos of his dresser refurb the same week I was attempting my first furniture painting project.  Darn!  After I am always reminding others to take progressive pictures, I didn't.  I do, however, at least have Before and After:

Ben's aunt Judy supplied me with this table from one of her storage units.  Two years ago, when we moved in, my MIL helped me clean it up by scraping off the bubbling top and using our pal Old English.  It has been in my dining room ever since, housing multiple collections.

I needed a change, and initially was going to go with an Heirloom White- distressed, of course, courtesy of this inspiration by Shanty 2 Chic.  This blog gave suggestions for distressing.  Originally I was thinking the table would be against a painted wall again, but then decided it would be next to white, so I nixed the Heirloom White and went with a red to accent other parts of the new room.

This project ended up costing a little more than I initially planned (though not a ton, by any means).  

Items I ended up buying:
  • sandpaper
  • 1 can of red spray paint
  • 1 can of primer spray paint (Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon!)
Items I already had:
  • 1/2 can of red spray paint
  • bottle of harvest gold acrylic paint
  • polyurethane satin finish spray
I didn't have Vaseline, as the tutorial suggested, so after reading other "distressing" tutorials, I ended up using a candlestick.  The wax serves the same purpose, and I didn't have an extra cost.

What I'll do differently next time: paint the underlying color (in my case, the gold) everywhere.  After spraying the red on, I didn't remember the oh-so-clever places I had painted the gold, and it was a little uneven.   I'll also try to remember to take progressive pictures.

May 19, 2012

For a fun but simple card/tag, I combined two of my favorite things right now: Chevron design and washi tape!

May 17, 2012

I enjoyed putting this piece together, although it was a real challenge at first.  Amanda sent me some great inspiration and then let me have fun.  This is an example of what I really love to do- combine different media and try something new.  

I used some watercolor element from a previous project for the background, as well layered color, texture and font; I sketched the nest, scanned and manipulated it in Photoshop, creating more depth with colors and gradients within the nest.

April 30, 2012

So this is what happens when you don't blog for almost three weeks- everything has changed on the blog!  Post settings, editing, everything.  I hope I can make it!

It's amazing to me that it is the last day of April.  During this last month I have celebrated National Card and Letter Writing Month.  I celebrated in two ways; first, I attempted to write one postcard, card or letter every day.  Second, I gave away stationery every Monday to Facebook friends via the LKP Design page.

Four of the five weeks, I gave away stationery I already had on hand- three photography sets and one watercolor.  Last week, though, I had some fun with supplies I had on hand and a tree drawing from library book invitations for a May wedding.  I'll post the invitation pictures after the wedding.

April 16, 2012

Behind the Display: Entrance

photograph by Jason Harms of Harms Studio

Simplicity and Consistency (with other displays) were key for this display, which wedding guests saw before they were escorted to their seats.
  1. Decorative Letters
  2. Picture
  3. Jars
  • Vintage jars from MOB's (mother of the bride) collection
  • Other canning jars from family and friends
photograph by Jason Harms of Harms Studio

More on the letters: they were inspired by the One Single Photo. While I came up with other lighter options for the "LOVE" display, the A & C letters were what I had in mind from the start.

My co-worker became engaged shortly before Amanda, and I shared the inspirational photo with her. She is a creative person and I knew she would love the idea. She and her fiance were gracious enough to cut the A & C letters out of wood they had on hand.

I wrapped the lace on a roll around the letters, and the ampersand was covered in blue gradient yarn. The lace was easy, though time-consuming (the fabric was pretty wide and would catch on the unfinished wood. The yarn took much longer than I expected. I had to hot-glue gun more often than on the lace. I did end up with a few battle scars from burning myself, as the hot glue came through both the lace and yarn quite easily.

The textures of the lace and yarn and colors of cream and blue- all against the texture and color and of the hay and grass- added some romance, intrigue, and comfort to the ceremony.