Monday, February 25, 2013

taking it easy

good morning, all!  it's Monday again.  it seems like last week flew by; it's likely due to the fact that Hoss was off on Monday and i was busy organizing all week.  we had sort of an up and down weekend, and were forced to take it easy on Saturday and Sunday.

my obstetrician has been concerned for the last couple of months that Little #2 is not growing fast enough.  we've had a few ultrasounds and about a month ago, it looked like the baby was going to be just fine.  however, at my appointment last week, he ordered another sonogram, just to be on the safe side, which i had on Friday.  after looking at the results, he's concerned that s/he is still too small for the gestational age and so he told me to cancel any weekend plans we had and just take it easy.  he wants to start monitoring the baby's heart-rate, which we'll do today, because very small babies, apparently, don't handle stress inside the womb very well.  depending on how the test goes, we may end up inducing before the due date.  the doctor said that he's not worried, but he does want to stay on top of it.  we have our appointment this afternoon so i'll keep you posted.  i have quite a few questions for him!

i have a rare layout for you today.  i don't scrapbook much, mostly because i'm honestly not sure what to do with the layouts after they're done!  i could start an album but then you have to find a place for it.  i could display it, but you have to buy a huge frame to keep it from getting dusty...and then find a place for it.  i'm not anti-scrap, by any means; i just prefer projects on a smaller scale.  i do like having the large canvas on which to create, though.  i like that a lot...although it also intimidates me when it's time to adhere everything.  it has to be just so and there are many, many more details that have to be in kinda makes me nervous to put it all together!

the layout was inspired by the Creative Weekly assignment on Crate Paper this month.  we were asked to focus on the color RED.  after Christmas and Valentine's Day, i was a little red-ded out but once i got into picking and choosing my embellishments, i actually found it difficult to narrow down my color choices.  i almost ended up with yet another red and yellow pairing but in the end, after seeing all of the beautiful gold elements from DIY Shop, i went with those instead.

i've definitely been on a gold kick since the fall anyhow and i don't see it fading anytime soon.  i used a couple different shades of gold for my layout; a dark, antiqued shade and a lighter, shinier hue.

i painted a bitty clothespin with my gold leaf pen to clip a few different tags together.  i absolutely LOVE the cream tag with the gold glitter dots on it.  it's from DIY Shop and the whole collection is so classic and beautiful--it's by far my favorite of all the new releases from Crate this season!

Hoss took this photo of Mr. Bagubian and me 2 years ago during our first trip up to the Redwoods in Northern California.  Gooby was just 2 months old and i wondered if we were crazy to set off on a major road trip with such a young baby, but he slept almost the whole time we were in the car--and we were in the car a lot!  the photo was taken in sepia and i wanted to tone it down just a bit so i sewed a piece of vellum over it to soften it up and add to the layout's subdued, old-time look.

if all goes well this week, i hope to be back with you again in a day or two with a bit more gold.  in the meantime, wish us luck at our appointment today...let's hope Little #2 is nice and relaxed.  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

birthday cards

whew!  how is everyone doing today?  i have been pretty busy this week, thanks to our productive weekend.  Hoss had a long weekend in honor of President's Day so we had 4 whole days to get things done and we took full advantage.  except for a couple of hanging shelves, i am all moved out of my old studio and into my cozy spot in our old living room.  there's still quite a bit of organizing to do, but if i needed to, i could get some work done in there.  we got Mr. Bagubian a new bed and put it together and he loves it!  we even spent one day doing errands.  i feel a little better about our baby-prep progress...but of course, it may never be fully done.

i have a couple of cards to share today that i made earlier in the season.  i used older supplies on them and they have a Valentine feel, though they are birthday cards.  i know a few ladies with birthdays very close to Valentine's Day and so i'm usually making birthday cards first and V-Day cards second.

the paper on my first card is from Sassafras Lass while the chipboard pieces are from Basic Grey and are a few years old.  i made the paper flower out of book pages.  i love the bright pop of color from the yellow gingham ribbon--yellow and red has definitely been my signature color pair this season!

i made the two cards one right after the other so some of the details are similar...the book paper flowers, felt hearts, the white doily.  the large polka dot die cut heart is from Paper Source and i got it several years ago while i was working there.  

i think--think--that the striped card is Pink Paislee but i'm not 100% sure--if anyone remembers these, please correct me if i'm wrong.  i stamped "celebrate" from Papertrey Ink and used stickers to spell "y-o-u."

here's my flower for this card, layered on top of a wad of messy thread in pink and aqua.

for the inside i stamped "Happy Birthday" and cross-stitched "To You" on a paper doily.

i hope to get back with you again tomorrow or Saturday.  it's been fun setting up my new studio space and finally making progress as we get ready to welcome Little #2.  i haven't done anything crafty in about a week, though, and i feel like i want to today.  i have to say that even though i downsized my space, it might actually be nice.  the way we set everything up makes most of my supplies very accessible from my desk chair and that's pretty convenient.  so i'm hoping to get to work on something today.  after all, i only have a couple more weeks before there's a new baby taking over my life!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

happy valentine's day!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!  i hope you're all having a nice day, whether you get right into this lovey-dovey, mushy (created by greeting card companies?) holiday or not.  Hoss and i are not extremely into it, but we do like a good excuse to go out and eat a great meal alone!  i think we're going to Lucille's, a really yummy bar-b-que place where they have fantastic fried dill pickles.  i crave them (even when i'm not pregnant)!  it's low-key and not fancy which is good since i'm only wearing yoga pants these days!  3 weeks to go and i'm pretty uncomfortable in anything else so a romantic, expensive restaurant is out of the question.  we're pretty un-fancy anyhow so this is perfect.

i do like to create for Valentine's Day, though, because you can allow yourself to be super-sweet and corny and no one will care.  i started working on this set of mini cards a few weeks ago, when i first got the Fourteen products from Crate Paper.  i loved the idea of creating minis and wrapping them up in these 5" paper doilies.  

i won't go into explicit detail about every single card because there are 7 of them and we'd be here all day.  i'll just point out a couple of highlights when needed and otherwise let you quietly browse...i wadded up a vellum garland from CP's On Trend line and stuck it behind the XOXO garland die cut.  on top of the die cut is some of my favorite washi tape which has different words in gold type. 

this wrap comes tied with embroidery floss and a couple of buttons for added detail.

the wrap is the same for this card.

sweet-heart...i love this bicycle built for 2!

to close the wraps on the vertical cards and one of the horizontals, i used the stitched labels--they ended up being the perfect embellishment for this project.

i only used stickers on this mini, staggering them for a tiered effect.

scallop circles and more stickers here...the vertical cards were a little harder to decorate and i'm actually not too crazy about the way they turned out.

this one is okay, i think.  i love the "Be Mine" heart paper and really wanted to make something with it for this set.  it was the last card i made, and probably the easiest.  now if only the photo had turned out better...

not overly smitten with this one :)

...but these little wraps are cute...

the last card is another made from the red hearts "Sweetheart" paper.

all right, folks...that's all from me today.  whether you're planning a fun evening with your kids, have a hot date, or are just hanging out with your friends, i hope you have a great night!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

more valentine packaging

here we go!  i'm back with a few more packaging ideas for all of your Valentine sweets.  i carried the same colors and heart theme over from yesterday's packages but instead of wrapping chocolate boxes in scrapbook paper, i put the treats in glassine envelopes.

the first one is a 4x4 envelope on which i adhered a pink scallop die cut frame from Crate Paper's Fourteen collection.  all of the coordinates are from Fourteen, actually.  

i'm having a love affair with these tiny tags and little paper punches.  they're so small and simple but there's something about them that compels me to keep making and using them.  i layered a few elements here: the tags, a strip of lace, and a heart die cut.  then i covered a mini clothespin with matching patterned paper (not washi tape this time!) and a button to attach the bundle to the envelope. 

a few simple punched hearts in the lower corner and this envelope is ready for a card, a photo, a gift card...i can think of lots of items to put inside.

the next treat uses a 3x5.5 glassine bag.  i wrapped lace and pink seam binding around the package and tucked half of a paper doily underneath them.

a typed vellum strip...

...and another tiny heart tag.

you may remember this decor from yesterday; i liked it so much on the box of chocolates that i made another one for this envelope of chocolates.  there is another lace and ribbon wrap and doily but i removed the blue punched hearts and used a heart toothpick flag instead.

my last treat is another 4x4 envelope filled with a garland of pink hearts.

more layers of embellishments, attached with 2 bitty clothespins.

i've been making a lot of these heart garlands lately, too.  initially i was going to wrap them around the packages, but in the process of putting everything together and testing out different goodies inside them, i decided i liked the way you could see all the hearts and gold thread through the thin layer of glassine instead.

mini hearts...

tomorrow is Valentine's you have plans yet?  Hoss and i will probably go out to dinner--it could end up being the last time we get to go out alone for a very long time so even though we don't know where we're going yet, we'd better make the most of it!

thank you so much for stopping by today!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

wrap like a pro

hi there!  if you've dropped by this blog often lately, you've probably noticed that i LOVE packaging and gift wrap.  i've had several posts featuring some of my ideas for wrapping up small treats.  wonderful things can come in small boxes and if you dress up that small box with beautiful papers and embellishments, doesn't the object inside become even more wonderful?

i recently put this project together for the Crate Paper blog.  i had to come up with a tutorial and because it was going to post a week before Valentine's Day, i had to make it about wrapping up Valentine treats!  when i think of Valentine’s Day, the first word that comes to mind is sweet.  it applies to actual sweets like chocolates and candy, feelings (sweet on you), and cute treat packaging.  there is an infinite number of ways to wrap up Valentine treats but i thought i’d show you how to take those gorgeous patterned papers from the Fourteen collection that we all adore and turn them into wrapping paper.

a few years ago i worked at one of Paper Source's retail stores here in Orange County.  if you've heard of PS then you probably know they have gorgeous, colorful papers and make some of the most beautiful stationary in the business.  that's what drew me in...and i fell so head over heels in love with their products, i had to get a job there to pay for my PS paper habit!  it was while there that i learned how to gift wrap like the professionals do and i'm going to pass that knowledge on to you today--straight cuts, sharp creases, and seemingly seamless edges!  settle in...this is a long one!

the great thing is that you don’t need much for this, either...

a pencil, a paper trimmer, super sticky double-sided tape, a bone folder, and 12x12 patterned papers get you started.

and once your package is wrapped, simple and coordinating embellishments are a cinch to put together! 

before we begin, i just want to mention that i’m using 12x12 heavyweight scrapbook paper here, but the same steps apply when using lighter, traditional wrapping paper.  the first thing you’ll do is measure your paper for trimming.  i’m wrapping up small boxes of chocolates so i can do two or three with one sheet of paper.  if your packages are small enough, 12x12 paper is fantastic to use because you can trim it with your paper cutter to get a straight cut.  if your gifts are larger, you can also achieve straight cuts by using a large cutting mat, straight edge (a sturdy t-square works best for me), and a kraft knife.

let’s get started!  bring one end of your paper over to meet the edge of your box as shown in the photo.

then fold the long end over and mark where you’d like to make your cut; i like to bring it to the middle of the box.  trim.

next we’ll plan the ends.  you want the paper to reach about three-quarters of the way up the box.  make your mark and then trim again.  now we’re ready to wrap.

lay your box face down on the backside of your paper.  for placement’s sake, bring one end all the way over to the edge of the box, as you did previously when measuring for the cut.  this will be your top layer.   

getting those sharp creases is easy with a bone folder.  simply hold it flat between your thumb and forefinger and run it up and down the length of the box, pressing firmly as you go.

{tip:  the heavyweight scrapbook paper can be a little tougher to wrap with than regular wrapping paper.  for this reason, you’ll need to pinch the creases firmly with your bone folder and fingers as you move over the length of the box.  you’ll also want to do this a few more times than with normal paper.}

you will then do the same with the bottom layer, which should now measure to the box center--exactly where you want it.  after you make your creases on this side, you’re ready for tape.

an important rule when wrapping professionally is “no tape directly on the box!”  keeping this in mind, you will put your tape on the top layer--remember it’s the one that reaches to the edge of the box.  using double-sided adhesive ensures that “unsightly” tape is never seen on the outside of your beautiful gift!  it’s a good idea to use a very strong adhesive to get a solid stick.  i used Super Tape for this and because my paper is heavy, i taped the entire length of it to be sure it wouldn’t ripple.

bring your shorter side over to the middle and wrap your long side around it, pulling tight to the edge of the box.  you can use your bone folder again to smooth it down.  (it will be fun for you to watch your recipient try and figure out how to open this gift!)

for the ends, keep your box upside down and fold down the top part of the paper, creasing the edge with the bone folder again.   fold in the sides and crease again, moving your bone folder into the corners to make it very tight.

once you’ve made all of your folds, you can put your tape on the end flap.

fold the end up and press firmly to adhere.  you’ll see that your end looks neat and tidy, meeting up nicely with the seams.   repeat with the opposite end and your package is complete!    

so now you have a box (or a few) that look crisp and professional but need to be dressed up.  with a few accessories, you can achieve a sweet look for your boxes of sweets!

sticking with the patterned paper theme, i found you can really step it up and make beautiful things with it.  that’s why we all love it so much, right?  using a mix of 12x12 and 6x6 papers in “Cupid” and “Connection,” i wrapped up 4 packages and then used color and a heart theme to coordinate them.  they don’t all have to look exactly the same to accomplish a cohesive look.

i wrapped a doily, lace, and aqua seam binding around this box to sweeten it up.  then i tucked 4 hearts punched from pink chevron paper behind the trims to make a cute border.  the final touch was a simply decorated white tag. 

another lace and ribbon wrap with more punched hearts...quick and easy!  all that was left to add was the “darling” label sticker and a couple of vintage buttons.

for this package, i stitched vellum hearts to paper hearts and dropped some white sequins in between.  and it’s not hard to guess what might be inside from the “YUM!” spelled out in alpha stickers, is it?

the last box came together using more punched hearts and a piece of doily.  i also wrapped a slip of scallop-edged vellum around the box for a soft touch.  carefully chosen snippets of “Valentine” and “February” 6x6 papers leave no question that this is a Valentine treat!

when i started on this project, i also made a few matching packages with glassine envelopes, which i didn't include with the original tutorial since i didn't actually wrap them up with paper.  i just photographed them today and my fingers are crossed that i got some good images so i can share them tomorrow.  i hope you had fun today!