Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend and that you are able to celebrate with family and friends. 

We'll be at the Easter sunrise service at the Old North Bridge and then we have a full day planned with local family and visitors from California.

This wreath was created using a vintage floral image available from Twisted Papers.  I used the StoryBook Creator 4.0 program (still on sale until 10 p.m. central April 1st) to drop out the background, layer multiple copies of the image and add the letters.

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Field of Daisies Card

The pieces of this card have been cut out and sitting in the chaos of my craft table for months.  Last year I was experimenting with doing some print and cut files for the Silhouette Cameo using flower photographs that I took in my backyard.

This is the card that I posted last August - you can read all of the details about how I did the flowers HERE.  When I made the brown-eyed Susan card, I had other pieces chosen for a second card but they just got put aside so I am happy I finally got to make a card with these flowers.

I thought that with Spring finally arriving, some daisies would be cheerful.  The daisies are raised up with foam dots.  The "hello" is from the Cuttlebug Combo set Everyday Greetings.

I layered three ribbons at the top of the card.  The yellow herringbone and sheer green dotted ribbons are from May Arts and the tied ribbon was from my stash.   These daisies are so bright and pretty.  Another day I will show you my first version of these daisies - it was tricky to get them to print correctly and I had some very odd looking flowers.

Do you remember the beautiful tulips I had for our dinner party last week?  Tulips don't last very long after they are cut.  One of the stems broke and I put the flower in a small vase - it still was very pretty for another day or two.

A few days ago the bouquet was fading fast and the tulips had opened and started to curl back toward the stems.

They look like totally different flowers and by last night most of the petals had fallen off.  The faded flowers did make an interesting photography subject.

Here is one of the earlier photos so you can see the change.  I am looking forward to see more flowers in our gardens very soon.

I wish you a Blessed and Happy Easter weekendChag Sameach if you are celebrating Passover.  We have lots of family events going on this weekend - I'll post if I have a few minutes...

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Just an Idea...and some deals

Happy Thursday!  I hope you are having a great week.  Do you have all of the holiday projects you'd like to finish for Easter under control?  I think this year my ideas are bigger than the time I have left to make them.  Sometimes you have to just allow yourself to do a little less - and hope that next year things will be more manageable.

I was experimenting with one of the shapes in my Silhouette Library and I came up with this design.  I think it will look very pretty as a three dimensional framed piece and I have a sneaky idea for a way to make it quick to assemble...I wonder if I have all of the pieces I need in this very cluttered craft room?  Of course this is just a screen shot of my plan - I expect that it will look totally different in the final format.

If you have a Silhouette machine, don't miss the sale on Easter shapes - they are 25% off until March 31.  If you have a subscription this will stretch your dollars even further.

If you are one of the people who just bought a Silhouette in the HSN Craft Show, you should download the software HERE and start collecting the weekly free shapes while you wait for your machine to arrive.

The free shape this week is a beautiful 3D peony.  A bouquet of these would make a lovely table centerpiece. 

If you are a Cricut user, the free images available this week are from the Easter Seasonal cartridge.  You will have access to the images through the Cricut Craftroom until April 3.  This is one of my favorite seasonal cartridges. 

580538_Holiday Banner 468 x 60

If you'd like to see a few things I have made with this cartridge click HERE to see the posts labeled "C - Easter."

Here are a few images of the projects - you should be able to click the photos to go to the posts...

There are two posts with videos showing how to make these cards, HERE and HERE.

This basket is so pretty - I have made it in a variety of colors.  I needed to make a lot of these for a class so to save time in cutting, I eliminated the dots from the scallops using "hide contour."  We were making May baskets in the class, you could use this basket for lots of celebrations.

This beautiful cross is also on the Easter cartridge - I used it for First Communion cards for our nephews.

 The Creative Memories Spring Cleaning Clearance sale has been extended until April 1st.  Some new clearance items are included (and some of the items from the start of the sale have sold out).  You can see what is still available and check out the extra savings HERE on my CM personal website.  The Stork's Delivery Cricut cartridge was still available last night...this might be your last chance to get it (at $27.50 - a great price for a very full cartridge).

The digital sale on all artwork and software downloads has also been extended until April 1st.  If you don't use the StoryBook program you can order a lot of the artwork in Universal format and your download will include JPEG and PNG files.  Be sure to check the format carefully when you put the items in your cart.  You'll find the Spring Fling sale HERE.  The sale prices are reflected when you add the item to your shopping cart.

Both sales will end at 10 p.m. Central Time on April 1, 2013 and there are no price adjustments for prior sales. 

Have a wonderfully crafty day.  Special Happy Birthday wishes to my niece Rachel!

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Memories and Treats

The folks at Hershey's asked me to participate in their Easter Bunny Trail again this year.  When you visit their site HERE you will find links to a variety of blogs with shared memories, crafts and recipes.

In addition to the shared blog posts, there are a number of recipes, craft ideas, decorations, coloring pages and other treats - click the links on the blue ribbon at the top of the bunny trail page to see all they have to offer.

Our family has a tradition of elaborate Easter Egg hunts - particularly those organized by my sister and brother-in-law in New Jersey.  My Dad was always an eager participant, either coaching the grandchildren to find eggs or hunting them on his own  (that's not an eye patch on my sister - just the pom-pom from her daughter's hat in an awkward position!).

Some years, we would hide eggs just for Dad, even if there weren't any grandkids around.  At my sister's house the eggs were real hard boiled eggs (they ate egg salad for about a week after Easter) but we started using the plastic eggs and filling them with chocolate.  One of my Dad's favorite candies was the big plain Hershey milk chocolate bar but they don't fit inside an egg so we put kisses, miniatures and nuggets in the eggs in later years.  It became a running joke to hide plastic eggs at his apartment in the retirement village whenever I visited - even if it was nowhere near Easter.  He sometimes found eggs in October - I told him the "Halloween Bunny" must have visited!  This is our first Easter without Dad so the memories are bittersweet.

No matter his age - he was just one of the kids when it came to hunting eggs!

Do you do Easter eggs hunts with your family?  This is our older son on the steps of our house in New Jersey.  I think he was pretty pleased with the number of eggs in his basket!

The egg hunt must go on - rain or shine!  Our younger son was having fun on this rainy day when we lived in Germany.  His basket filled up slowly because he stopped to eat the contents of each egg as he found it!

Thanks to Hershey's for sending me this basket of Easter treats.  It looked so pretty that I was reluctant to untie the bow (you know I'll be saving that ribbon for a craft project...).

There are so many candies to choose to fill your basket - these are some of my favorites.  I'll be sharing the goodies with our extended family on Easter.

Be sure to stop by the Bunny Trail HERE.

If you are looking for more Easter ideas, this is the digital page I made for last year's Bunny Trail post.  You can read about it HERE.

For a last minute crafty touch for your Easter table these little treat bags are quick and easy to make - you can find the directions HERE.

I hope you are having a great week - do you have any special Easter memories to share?  I'd love to hear about your traditions - just leave a comment below.  Thanks!

One more family note - Happy Birthday to my sister Margie in Wisconsin - enjoy this "significant" birthday!

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Layout a Day in May - early bird discount!

Layout A Day (LOAD) is a month long challenge organized several times each year by Lain Ehmann.  Each time LOAD is offered many people take up the challenge to make a scrapbook page every day for a full month.  Lain makes it fun to participate with a unique theme and daily video prompts and samples to inspire you to create pages - maybe even some that you might not have thought of making.

Lain just announced the next LOAD challenge coming up in May. If you want to do more scrapbooking this is just the thing to get you motivated and excited about making pages. 

I will be participating in this session and I hope you will join me in LOAD 513 - "Get a Clue: Investigating the Mysteries of Your Life."  The theme for this session comes from the famous board game, Clue.  You will travel through the month from the conservatory to the library along with Colonel Mustard, Miss Scarlet, and all the rest. You'll be treated to all of the fantastic parts of LOAD, including daily videos, sample layouts, private message board and gallery, prizes, and more. 

  • 31 days of brand-new video prompts and lessons, guaranteed to bust you out of any scrapbooking rut, bring a smile to your face, and make your hair shine!  (Well, at least two of the three!).
  • Exclusive message board for LOAD members only where you can connect and chat with the coolest scrappers on the Web!
  • Private gallery for members where you share your daily creations, win prizes, and strut your stuff!
  • 31 never-before-seen sample layouts!
  • Random surPRIZES, Hugh sightings (remember, Lain is a big Hugh Jackman fan!) and fun for all!

Here is the best news of all - if you sign up now the fee for the entire month long challenge is only $30 - less than $1 a day for some fantastic inspiration, motivation and fun!  This is a $20 savings but the special price is only available until March 31st.  Just click HERE to view the details and watch a short video from Lain.

Participation is limited so if you are interested be sure to sign up right away.  There are already several hundred past LOAD participants signed up - they wouldn't dream of missing it!

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring Tulips

These tulips have brought a bit of Spring into our house - while there is still snow on the ground outside and yet another storm expected for the East Coast.  I thought I'd share a few photos to brighten the cold and snowy weather.

We had some friends over for dinner this weekend and while I was shopping for ingredients I couldn't resist the beautiful shades of pink and yellow in this bunch of tulips.

Today, while I was working in the kitchen I noticed how pretty the flowers looked in the sunlight.

My camera is always handy so I picked it up and tried to capture the beauty of the flowers.

Tulips are one of the flowers that continue to grow after they are cut (that is why they sometimes seem to "flop" a day or two after they are put in the vase).

I like the shape and curve of the leaves in this bouquet.

The blooms are not yet fully open but they will be in the next day or two.

When you crop the photos very closely, the flower becomes an abstract design.

original photo before editing with Memory Manager
When I take photos I try to think about the surrounding area to eliminate distraction but I don't always get a great shot straight out of the camera.  I know that I can substantially improve a bad photo with editing so I concentrate on focusing on the most important part of the image.  You can see here that I have a lot of distracting things in the background (stove to the left, dishwasher at the top right).  I use the Memory Manager program from Creative Memories to improve my images.

edited with Memory Manager software
You can see what a difference it makes to have easy to use software to edit not-so-great images.  Memory Manager is on sale until March 28th.  If you are interested in the Memory Manager 4.0 photo editing and organizing program the full download is $36.05 (regular price $51.50) and if you already own Memory Manager 3.0 you can buy the upgrade download for $19.95 (regular price $28.50)

I imported one of my images into the Creative Memories digital scrapping software StoryBook Creator 4.0 and quickly and easily created a new cover photo for my Facebook page, adding an embellishment of some word art from the Reminisce Spring digital additions.

The StoryBook Creator 4.0 software download is usually $72.50 but during the sale it is only $50.75 - a great price for this fantastic program.  If you already have StoryBook Creator 3.0 you can buy the download upgrade to 4.0 for just $19.95 (regular price is $28.50).  All digital artwork downloads are also on sale for 30% off until March 28th.

The sale prices will show when you add the items to your shopping cart.  Please let me know if you have any questions about either of these software programs.  The Spring Cleaning Clearance Sale  is also continuing with 40% off the original prices of certain items until Thursday, March 28th at 10 p.m. Central Time.  The Stork's Delivery Cricut cartridge was still available at only $33 on Sunday night.


I hope this bit of spring brightens your day!

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Easter Egg Decorating

Decorating Easter eggs is one of my favorite things to do.  I've been tied up with non-crafty things for a couple of days so I thought I would link up a couple of older posts where I explained how to use vinyl die cuts to decorate eggs.  I am hoping to have some time later this weekend to try a few new ideas...

Hard boiled eggs are fun to decorate but if you are going to do very elaborate designs that you want to save from year to year you will need to empty the eggs.

I use this tool to empty the eggs.  I got it when we lived in Germany but you can find similar kits online.

You drill a tiny hole with the green handled drill and them pump out the contents of the egg with the yellow bellows attached to the needle.  You may end up eating a lot of scrambled eggs if you have many decorating ideas to try.

To display your pretty eggs, you can make some simple collars.  These are connected with a butterfly brad to make them special for Spring.

To read more about my experiments with using vinyl for dyeing eggs and to find directions for making the display collars go to THIS POST.

You can find out how to decorate the eggs for these wreaths at THIS POST.

Have a great weekend!

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