Saturday, September 29, 2012

celebrate fall!

It's time to celebrate fall in my shop!
Since autumn is my favorite season I am having a HUGE sale over at my etsy shop with 30% off all items - check out my shop here to see the details.
This is a limited time sale so please check it out right away. I have also introduced a few Christmas items here so if you are an early bird wanting to save some money, now is your chance!
 If you use facebook, check out my business page and "like" me to help me spread the news. To those of you who have already been sharing my shop announcement,  thank you so much!

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

tag memory book: when you were two

There is a lot of emphasis in scrapbooking about capturing everyday moments and putting together albums documenting daily life as it happens. I think this is really wonderful, especially for moms who need to carve a creative break into their busy, child-centered days (or anybody, really) and I'm convinced it is very therapeutic to take a step back and honor our lives as they unfold. You also really are only going to remember the itty-bitty details of events if you jot them down right away.

Yes, I do make notes and compose journaling texts as certain events happen and file these in a folder that I pull out when I feel inspired to create layouts with paper and photos.
Sometimes, though, I really want to just look back at the past and scrapbook about it.
If you are a scrapbooker, I wonder, do you scrapbook life as it happens or do you go back months, or even years and put thoughts, memories and photos down together?

Do you really plan out what you are going to make or do you just let it happen?
I recently splurged on some lovely new papers and products and found myself just playing around aimlessly. And I created a little album I had absolutely no intention of making. I don't even know where my idea came from. But I love how it turned out. And it is all about something in my life that happened YEARS ago!
This is a lovely little tag album and anyone can make it. All you need is a ring clip, a few shipping  tags and some paper. In the shortest time you have a little collection of photos and stories to share and enjoy.

(And you will have fun making it!) 

My story here is that my children were all born several years apart and I wanted to document and compare how things were  - how I was as a person - when they were toddlers. Each time I was a different kind of mother because each time everyday life was a different situation.
For each child, I wrote a short letter to them telling them what life was like for them and me when they were two. I also included one photo with just the two of us (not easy to find since I am the photographer!) because the story is about us and our relationship.
I also noted some of my ideas about the specialness of age 2  - who knows, maybe years from now one of my kids will look back and read it when he or she has a two-year old! This longer text folds up and is tied with a ribbon.
A great help was finding photos quickly. I recently organized my photos by family member (a great idea by Stacy Julian) so I could easily sift through those files and easily find snapshots of my children at age two that hadn't yet landed in any albums.
My favorite products in this project are these cute buttons by Flair, tags from October Afternoon and the "Everyday Eclectic" line of patterned paper. (I used an 8x 8 inch pad for this, still have lots of paper left over for other projects). All super sweet products!
My kids grew out of toddlerhood years ago, so obviously I can not truly and honestly recall tiny little everyday details now. But there is also a maturity in letting time past and seeing the broader picture of how things were. I really loved looking back on my memories and putting them down on paper. 
If you feel inspired to create a scrapbook page or project, I think it really doesn't matter if it happened yesterday or ten years ago. You and the people in your scrapbook will love that you took the time to create a way to honor your memories.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

a fall bouquet for you

because you are all so sweet to take the time to be stopping by my little blog today

our first weekend of fall was so warm and sunny
but the wind is picking up and the nights are longer and chilly
my flowers are quickly fading
so i brought some of my blooms inside
love those fragrant sweet-peas and the shiny rose hips

we also made a half liter or so of grape juice from the grapes that are growing along our house...each year the harvest is a little bit bigger

the sun flowers last week, now they are swaying in the wind and dripping with cold rain

in my opinion, this weather calls for tea. please look at the prettiest tea-time finds I collected in my latest treasury on esty here


Friday, September 21, 2012

just a few things

a mug of cinnamon-spice tea (an over-sized, favorite shade of turquoise blue mug, to be exact)
a lovely stack of favorite books
a basket of sewing
the soft September sun
I really love making these little whimsical animals for garlands. They are actually quite small! Several animal garlands have sold in my little shop and I want to restock with some new color schemes very soon. I hope the new owners are delighted by their garlands. How amazing that my little animals have traveled far to their new homes.
A gorgeous book called "Zakka  Style" somehow made it's way into my shopping cart this week :) and I am enjoying being inspired by all the beautiful projects. I am also quite excited to recognize many of the project artists as people I've known on for years on flickr or from their blogs - I am so happy to see them in print! So many cute projects and great Christmas present ideas....
I have always wondered what "zakka" meant. According to this book, this word translates from the Japanese to mean something like "miscellaneous goods"  or "many things", a "style that embodies a kind of simple charm and uniqueness". Perhaps that is what I've been doing all along!

Have a beautiful weekend.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

be like the flower

Be like the flower, turn your faces to the sun. 
-Kahlil Gibran
Where flowers bloom, so does hope. 
-Lady Bird Johnson
 There are always flowers for those who want to see them.
-Henri Matisse
Let us open our leaves like a flower and be passive and receptive.
-John Keats
The poet's darling.
-William Wordsworth, "To the Daisy"

Flowers from our garden this summer. 
Inspirational quotes found here and here

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

as promised.... newest scrapbook cover!

I discovered these lovely silhouettes in a Christmas crafts idea book (source here) with a mother, father, boy, girl and baby and immediately recognized my own family (of course, my baby is now seven, but that's beside the point!)  Actually, I did end up altering the design of the girl.

The how-to details: I first traced the silhouettes onto double-sided fusible interfacing, bonded them with the iron onto black linen and carefully cut them out. I then ironed each silhouette onto colored fabric and machine-stitched them on with black thread. Exact slow sewing but I love the results! I created little frames for each silhouette by sewing the colored fabric on top of layer of plain white cotton underneath to peek out at the edges.The final detail was a unique trim for each "portrait".
It was so fun to chose fabrics and trims that are the favorite color and/ or accentuates the personality of each family member. I also like the vintage 1950's feel - because in many respects our family does have a lot of traditional values. The contrast of the gray linen with the bright colors is perfect because my photos and the scrapbook papers I love are usually quite colorful.

The gray linen also just makes the colors pop. Our living room decor is very toned-down with a lot of gray and white and so book just fits in with the surroundings - to be honest, it is the same Ikea gray linen that I used to sew cushion covers!

By the time I sewed the jacket for this album it was already packed full of scrapbook pages of everyday moments, travels, birthdays....memories I want to celebrate and remember.
Sometimes I just took my inspiration from one of my own blog posts, such as this day my son and I rode our bikes to a sunflower field. Sometimes i just write a little handwritten note, sometimes I print out a typed paragraph or more about something I want to tell my children or just remember!

In this page it really was just my blog post cut up into strips and glued on! 
I also like to just make pretty pages about anything sweet in life, such as this girl who loves to bake.
Or a simple page about our garden:
If you are wondering, I love using the "modern album" from American Crafts, a nice quality ring-book for 12 x 12 inch pages.
This is the latest album I've purchased and just yesterday I put the first two finished scrapbook layouts into it. I already have an idea or two for a cover....:)


Friday, September 14, 2012

family life

I have been thinking a lot about scrapbooking the last couple weeks. It's a hobby that I love - and I kind of get obsessed with it for a while, then forget all about it and go on with my other interests.....

But then I get into scrapbooking fever again!

"Family life" is a scrapbook album series I've been working on to document small everyday moments and important milestones in our family over the years....

i started making the first album years ago.....

now i am starting the fourth book!

This is the cover and front page of one of my "family life" albums:
I appliqued a tree and hand-stitched the date and title. I love the tree imagery for a family album. The symbolism such as roots, limbs, changing of the seasons, growth, nature... match the kind of photos and stories I like to make into scrapbook pages.
My daughter was playing around with my embroidery floss and stitched the word "love" and designed the pretty flower.  I asked her if I could sew it on to the first page of the album. It's important to me to incorporate authentic bits and pieces. And to have some of my own handwriting - even if it's not very lovely - it's a part of the real me.

The book is packed with pages. Don't worry -  I'm not going to put them all up! But here are three favorites...
Last week I just finished sewing a new fabric cover for the album I completed earlier this year and I LOVE love love how it turned out!!!Here is a sneak peek of me sewing while it was still a work-in-progress: 
I promise to show you the finished cover and a few pages next week!

Happy weekend!