Tuesday, May 12, 2009

{Spellbinders} storage, {beautiful} bouquets, and {a couple of} bookmarks

I've got a few things to share with you today, and, knowing me, I'll likely be too wordy in doing so. Hope you'll hang in there with me, but if you can't, I totally understand; hopefully you'll still enjoy the pictures. ;)

**ETA: After posting this and seeing several of the pics not where they were intended to be, and not having the time (or apparent technical knowledge) necessary to correctly align my photos across the page, I'm hoping you'll accept my apologies...and enlighten me if you can. Thanks so much!**

My parents have come and gone, and we all thoroughly enjoyed their visit --lots of yakking, laughs, and food, and even a little stamping, shopping, and game playing. I think us ladies had a lot more fun, though I may be a bit biased. lol On Friday my mom, Chloe, and I, along with a friend and her young daughter (who just happens to be one of Chloe's friends) --all five of us armed with gift cards-- spent the day shopping at the Michael's concept store, enjoying a nice lunch, and then stopping by Archiver's. The two girls would've preferred to bypass Archiver's, but for us older and wiser gals, that store turned out to be the highlight of the day (too bad they don't have 40%-off coupons!), and so the young ones did their best to indulge us (as if they had a choice -lol). Despite the fact that neither store had BasicGrey's new Wisteria collection in a 6x6 pad, every one of us still managed to come home with plenty of fun new toys. ;D

To make it even better, we came home to an empty house, meaning the guys were out having fun too...but more importantly, and unbeknownst to them, they were being very kind and considerate to let us put away all our booty without an audience or feelings of guilt (although my friend wasn't so fortunate).

And the icing on the cake was that within an hour of our being home, my mom and I had BOTH received flowers! First, my very sweet and thoughtful oldest daughter sent me this gorgeous spring bouquet (here's a couple shots from Friday and then one from today):
Thanks so much, Monica!

And then my mom received this beautiful heather-colored arrangement from my oldest younger brother and his family. Good timing too, as the irises we had gotten for my mom earlier in the week weren't looking so lovely by then. (BTW, these pics don't do the flowers justice, but I'm sure you already knew that.)

If you're still with me, I think you'll like this next part. ;)

In addition to our shopping excursion, one of the things my mom wanted to do when she was here was to help me store my Spellbinders dies in a more compact and less-cumbersome way (yes, she's thoughtful like that)--I'd been storing all of my dies crammed into a medium-sized plastic storage box. While blurfing around a while back, she'd come across a few organizing ideas for them and had since decided on one and organized her own collection using a tall CD binder and thin chipboard pieces (aka cereal boxes cut to size) covered with adhesive-backed magnetic sheets. So that's just what we did...for several hours. The only die of mine that didn't fit into the binder is the Classic Lace Border, but since it's 12" long, it's understandable.

My mom even went a step farther (which she's very good at) and cut up the acetate from the MANY empty Spellbinders packages, so now I have a LOT of acetate pieces waiting to be used. ;) This system takes up a LOT less room than my storage box, is more convenient to carry, holds a TON of dies, and is making it so much easier to find what I'm looking for --I already LOVE it! Thanks so much, Mom! Here's what it looks like:

Next up...I've been wanting to make some bookmarks as gifts for quite a while now, but, as usual, I haven't found the time. I had been planning to make the 'house-shaped' type that fit over the corner of the page, but then my mom and I had both fallen in love with a gorgeous vintage bookmark that Amy Sheffer (I absolutely love her work!) had recently shared on the Verve blog. Because I had specifically wanted to make one for my mom as part of her Mother's Day gift and hadn't yet done so, and because she mentioned she'd love to have one like Amy's, I let her choose the papers and stamp she wanted and went to work. I didn't intend to CASE Amy's (and really would have preferred not to), but with my mom's choice of supplies and preference of layout orientation, it just kinda worked out that way. And I really do love that color combo, so I'm not complaining too much (and if Amy ever reads this, I hope she'll take my version as a compliment). ;)
The only thing that threw me for a loop was that I was using a one-sided ribbon. I didn't even think about it until after I'd attached the button to the end of it and found that it would be showing the wrong (back) side of the ribbon when attached to the paper. Oops. Because my mom really wanted to me to use that particular ribbon (I agree...it IS really pretty), and after we did some brainstorming, I ended up removing the button, cutting another length of ribbon and attaching it to one end of the original ribbon strip to create my own double-sided ribbon, and then starting over. It's a bit thicker than it would be otherwise and it prevented me from putting a pretty little piece at the top edge of the bookmark like Amy's has, but it works. ;) And while I was working on my mom's bookmark, she was playing around with the other type of pattern I mentioned earlier. She followed the directions we found HERE in a tutorial by Aud and made herself one, and then later scaled it down a little, added a bit of ribbon as a 'handle' at the upper corner, and made one for me using some of my scraps. While it doesn't allow much, if any, room for stamping on the front side, we both ended up preferring the smaller size. (And this is a good indicator of how slow I stamp --she always runs circles around me, no matter what the task!)

And because she didn't stamp on it, I love how she personalized this for me. What started out as an experimental bookmark and way for her to kill some time while waiting for me to finish up became an unintentional treasure, and I love it (thanks again, Mom!).

You could stamp on the back side, but on this one we opted to keep it simple and just go with a larger piece of the pretty patterned paper: Well, with my parents back at home and our Spring Break over, we're back hard at work with school...hoping to pick up the pace a bit so as to complete the last five weeks of work in four. Not fun, but worth it if we succeed.

Oh, on Saturday we received the kids' state test scores (in record time, I'd say!) --and they both did very well (94th and 95th percentile for their grade level nationally)...I'm soooo relieved and we're very proud of them. And not to take away from their accomplishment, but I'm pretty sure they both could've done a bit better had they not thought they had done everything correctly and used their extra time to go back and check their work -lol. Oh, well. Even still, I guess we must be doing something right. ;)

Thanks so much for the visit and if you hung in there to the end, you deserve an extra special thanks...and maybe some sort of medal -lol. I hope you'll stop by again soon, as I've got an update on Chloe's butterflies to share. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Cardstock: Garden Green (CTMH), Sweet Blush (Papertrey Ink), Curious Iridescent Cryogen White (Arjo-Wiggins); Patterned Paper: Sugared collection (BasicGrey); Stamps: Something Within (Unity); Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko), Antique Linen Distress Ink (Ranger), Baby Pink (CTMH); Other: Labels 4, Curved Rectangles (Spellbinders), Cuttlebug, Terrifically Tacky Tape (Provo Craft), sponge (CTMH), ribbon (May Arts?), buttons (Papertrey Ink), embroidery floss (DMC), sandpaper, glue dots, foam mounting tape


Marie said...

I read all the way through :-) I enjoy your writings as much as your wonderful artwork. I am soooo jealous of all of your dies!
What a precious family you have.
Marie with a :-)
PS Kudos to the kids! And to you for all of your hard work.

Susan (rainy) said...

I'm so jealous!! Your shopping trip must have been such fun! And all those fabulous bouquets. WOW!

Love your bookmark, too. Absolutely gorgeous! Clever girl with the double ribbon. And your mom's bookmark is beautiful as well.

What a wonderful post!!

Sue C said...

Beautiful things on this post, Christi! I thought about CASEing Amy's bookmark, too - but I INTENDED to CASE it, not just do my own version - so pretty! I'm jealous that a) your mom is around and, b) that she plays with you and your crafty toys. My mom and I lived on opposite coasts while she was alive, and now she's even farther away... Glad you had such a great visit and all!

Jeanne said...

Absolutely gorgeous bookmarks! I can see where you get your creativity from.

I read all the way to the end, as I always do because I love your posts. *Ü*

Congratulations to the kid and YOU for their outstanding performance on their tests. And love the whole mom/teacher comment that they are capable of doing even better. SO true!

It sounds like you had a fabulous week with your family and I'm so glad. Isn't frustrating that Archiver's either can't keep that pad in stock or they never ordered it in the first place....

Jeanette - said...

Beautiful flowers, great organization, gorgeous bookmarks. I'm so glad you had a great visit with your parents. Congrats to both you and your kids on the test scores!!

Christi said...

I am SO jealous: a shopping trip, flowers, AND owning those GORGEOUS bookmarks!! Wow!!