Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Date to the Vinyards

I love spending Saturdays with my Matty. He's a pretty busy guy, so we do our best to enjoy the two free days a week we have together (if he's not working from home...).  Saturday was a simple yet fantastic date day!

We drove to a vineyard. Exactly one year ago we did a wine tasting trail in upstate New York and fell in love with white wine made from cayuga grapes. When we got home, this wine didn't exist anywhere. You can't even find it online. We recently discovered a winery, only 20 minutes away, that makes and bottles Cayuga White Wine! It's not a cheap bottle, but when you've looked for something for 12 months it doesn't matter.
Once we got there we were blown away at the spot. It was so beautiful, why had we not heard of this place before?!

We know we'll be going back, even if we don't leave with a bottle of wine...

Not angry, just concentrating :)

Huge thank you to Gouveia Vineyards for a memorable afternoon and great wine!

And along with my obsession for white wine, I am also in love with my flip flops... even better when paired together :)

<3 RWK
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Travel the World Wednesday: Nassau, Bahamas

Well it's definitely starting to feel like summer, so I needed to travel to a beachy place today! My dream vacation has always been to travel to the Bahamas, and I have wanted to stay at the Atlantis hotel since my best friend and I watched the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie, 'Holiday in the Sun' (great movie, highly recommend!) oodles of years ago.

So pack your bags, we're off to Nassau, Bahamas!

Here is a to-die-for Etsy treasury featuring all things Bohemian... Please click on the items you love and share your love for handmade artists!

For some extra photos I'm doing something different.  Usually I rely on the amazing National Geographic photography for this piece, but I just couldn't find any photos that weren't related to travel or cruise sites.  So today I'm relying on photos I have 'repinned' through Pinterest.  Small rant: I love pinterest and there are definitely gorgeous things to look at, but it really bothers me that pinned photographs are almost never linked back to the actual photographer. Most of the images below linked back to 'google'.... I really like to give credit where credit is due to artists and photographers and I don't like 'crediting' google to such gorgeous photos. Oh well....

Enjoy the lovely white sand beaches and colorful houses of Nassau, Bahamas!

Do you dream of white sandy beaches? Do you recommend any specific cruise lines to travel the Bahamas? I wanna go!

<3 RWK
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How-To Tuesday: Make a TP Roll Mini Album

Happy How-To Tuesday!  Well as I explained yesterday, I am getting just a wee-bit tired of greeting cards lately.  I love making mini albums (here's an envelope album I made a while ago) and I even have a lot of CD case albums up in my etsy shop.  I have always wanted to make a toilet paper roll album, but could never quite get the picture in my mind of how to put it together.

A couple weeks ago, the lovely Emily from Create Serendipity posted the BEST tutorial on how to make these tp roll albums.  I'm not even going to try to take pictures and put my own how-to together, because I think Emily pretty much mastered this one! She inspired me to finally save up those rolls and make my own!

Basic Steps (for pictures and details please go to Emily's post!)

1 - Save your TP rolls (4 or more) and push them down to flatten, so you have a rectangle instead of a roll
2 - Paint them any color your heart desires and let dry. Once mine were completely dry I also smashed them under a huge neurobiology text book (thanks hubs) over night to keep them flat.
3 - Measure your rolls (mine were about 4" x 2.5") and cut your mat papers accordingly to size. I glued my mats on with classic glue sticks and double sided tape.
4 - Mark where you want your binder rings to be, and punch holes for them. I just used a regular hole puncher, and a lot of arm strength (I don't own any fancy binder system, boo)
5 - Cut journal tags for the inside of your tubes if you'd like, and I added a little pull ribbon to each end with a staple
6 - If you want to add more embellishments, knock your heart out! I like to keep mine pretty modern and simple looking, so I kept extras to a minimum.

And here's what my finished product looked like! I was in love with it before I was even half finished with it, this was so much fun to create!

I can't say it enough, thank you Emily for the inspiration!

What do you think? Have you gotten inspired to save up those TP rolls? I think this is also the perfect size for brag books or anything you want to throw in your purse and take with you.

I ended up posting this one in my Etsy shop so I can make another one for myself :)

<3 RWK
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

My First Side Step Cards

I have a confession to make.....

I've gotten a little (a lot?) bored of making cards lately. I'm losing my inspiration and just not as into it as I was months ago. I'm probably going to stop making them for no reason, but enthusiastically make them for birthdays, holidays, custom orders, etc...

So when I see a card that's different, that's a little more challenging, that involves a lot of steps and layers... I get really really excited! And this weekend, thanks to a blog hop that was going on, I found Alyssa's blog at My Thoughts Exactly and I knew I had to make a step card immediately! Thank you so much for some much needed inspiration!

And here's what happened....

Hello from Maine Side Step Card

Greetings From Maine card #1
Greetings From Maine card #1

Greetings From Maine card #1
So this above is my first ever side step card. I had so much fun with this, I loved loved loved it. My husband's and my recent trip to the coast of Maine really got this theme running (click here for vaycay photos!) I had to have a lobster (duh) and needed a lighthouse... two of my favorite things (I don't eat lobster, just think they're cute). Oh ya, and now you can see my handwriting hasn't changed since the 5th grade, no lie.

Materials used in Greetings from Maine card #1:
All digital SVG files cut with my Silhouette SD and Making the Cut software
Lighthouse - SVG file I found for free off lovely wikipedia
Stamp - TPC Studios
random button, papers, foam adhesive, googly eyes, and Stickles

Greetings from Vacationland card #2
Greetings from Vacationland card #2
Greetings from Vacationland card #2
Greetings from Vacationland card #2
And above is my Side Step Card #2! Greetings from Vacationland, which is Maine's state motto (cute, no?). I learned quickly from my mistakes in card #1 and I am so in love with this card. My husband doesn't want me to send it away, but that's what cards are for! I added a beach umbrella in the back, lobster in the middle, and a big MAINE up front. I think this is a pretty cool card, definitely a favorite for the time being!

Materials used for Card #2:
All digital SVG files cut with my Silhouette SD and Making the Cut software
'MAINE' - cut font, 'AR Christy' and shadowed
Random ribbon, foam adhesives, DCWV papers, googly eyes, Stickles
Umbrella and lobster embossed using cuttlebug folders in my Sizzix Texture Boutique

Side Step Cards of Maine

What do you think of the side step cards? Do you have the sudden urge to rush off and craft one? And you'll probably be seeing some more scrapbook layouts in the future... I have a lot to catch up on :)
Remember to take a peek at some of our Maine vacation photos!

<3 RWK
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Robots, Owls, and Peaches Oh My!

It is just a few hours to the end of the week and start of the weekend! I have decided that tonight I'll make my Matty a happy hour brunch when he gets home from work - pancakes, bacon, baked/broiled eggs and toast, oh and of course I bought fancy orange juice and bubbly to have Mimosas :) What's a happy hour without a good drink?!

Yesterday I went on a card making spree and figured I'd fit them into some challenges so here goes!...

Matt's Father's Day card
First I wanted to share my hubby's Father's Day card that our puppy and guinea pig made for him :) They used the easy graphic-to-svg converter that I outlined here.  The bigger robot is Meeko and the smaller one is Peanut, and they used Lettering Delights funky robot graphics. They drew in the black wind marks and some stars. The inside reads "You are out of the world!" How talented are they?!

Now I have 3 cards I made for some challenges over at 365 Cards...

365 cards simple paper piece card

I made a tri-fold card for this challenge at 365 Cards, which was to keep things very simple and only include one some stamp or paper pieced cut.  This owl I stamped 3 times and cut and layered. The owl, the branch, and the leaves are each stamped and glued separately.  The inside fold has a simple stamped little owl. Stamps are from TPC Studios and corner punches are Sea Pearls from Fiskars. Inside reads "Hi There"

For 365 Cards Just Peachy challenge

This card was made for the Just Peachy challenge at 365 Cards. You had to keep the card summer-y and use mainly peach colors. Did you know, out of 23 paper stacks, I do not own a single peach paper?!? Even the neutral color stack had no peach! So I found a light orange and distressed it with pink ink to make it more peachy. I embossed the front with a folder from provocraft, added some birdie ribbon from the dollar section, and tied on some fun summer buttons! The inside is stamped with a Hero Arts stamp "Sending You Happy Everything!"

For 365 Card Sketch Challenge

The inspiration sketch
I know I know - why the hell did I make a card that looks like it belongs in November, when it's the beginning of summer! I was really drawn to these browns and golds and I just had to use them! The cut flower is left over from when I went on a crazy hand-cutting spree but it fit perfectly for the 365 Cards sketch challenge. 

card made for the sketch challenge at CardPatterns

Lastly I made this card for sketch 120 over at CardPatterns.  I mostly just reeeeally wanted to use some of the paper from my Hippie Chic DCWV paper stack, and this is was fun to make. The flower border is a plain white border die cut that I distress inked with brown and pink.

Have a wonderful weekend! What are your weekend plans? Is this your first real weekend off for summer? Woohoo!

<3 RWK
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Travel the World Wednesday: Coastal Maine

Happy Travel the World Wednesday!  My husband and I just returned from an early anniversary vacation, and we definitely have a new favorite place.  We went to Cape Elizabeth, Maine (just south of Portland, Maine). Everything was so relaxing, peaceful, and just beautiful.  The very first day we were there I kept saying "I don't wanna leave!" I would for sure buy a summer home here if I ever could afford it!

So pack your bags, we're traveling to Coastal Maine!...

I loved putting this Maine Etsy treasury together because I found so many paintings and photographs of places we had just visited. This is a great collection of truly talented etsians, please feel free to click around the treasury as it is active!

And here are just a few photos from our vacation. Can you tell our little Meeko is our baby boy? We kinda like him a lot (and he just turned 5!)....

The path to our private beach, Crescent Beach

Meeko enjoying his paws in the white sand

Meeko posing in the breakfast gazebo 

Beach roses overlooking Two Lights State Park

Portland Head Light, the most photographed lighthouse in the U.S.

Thanks for traveling with us today! Have you ever been to Maine? Have you ever been brave enough to visit in the winter?

<3 RWK
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How-To Tuesday: Relieve Those Bug Bites!

Happy First Day of Summer!! With all those lovely BBQs, picnics, and outdoor activities comes mosquitoes. It's inevitable. We will get bitten by one of these pesky flying things before the summer is out. I can promise you that. I just got back from Maine (gorgeous, by the way) but I have never had more mosquito bites ever in my life. These would wake me up in the middle of the night they itched so badly and I would not be able to get back to sleep. Here are some ideas I have found throughout the internet world to help prevent the bites and relieve the pain. So go outside and enjoy the weather!

Beautiful Google Drawing for today, the Summer Soltice. By Takashi Murakami

Home Remedy Solutions:

  • Mix baking soda and water to make a paste to rub on the bite
  • Rub a bar of soap on the bite
  • Wrap a wet washcloth around the area, or an ice pack, or a heat pack (I like the super hot heat pack!)
  • Apply aloe vera lotion or gel to help reduce swelling
  • Apply chamomile lotion to reduce itch. (I had a chamomile tea bag that I place in hot water and let it sit on my bites and it actually worked instantly for me, very soothing)
  • Apply deodorant to the area, preferably one with aluminum 
  • Blow a hot hair dryer over the bite

Medicine and Over The Counter Solutions:

  • Anti-itch cream (I use Cortizone-10) that contains hydrocortisone
  • Anti-inflammitory drugs such as Ibuprofen to reduce redness
  • Anti-histamine drugs such as benadryl to reduce swelling and itching
  • GoldBond or Tiger Balm

Preventing Those Bites!

  • Always apply those spray repellents as they do actually work! One containing DEET will be best
  • If you know you'll be out for the day, shower in the morning to rid any sweat or salts on your body. 
  • Try to resist from using perfumes or scented lotions, the buggies like the sweet smells
  • Take Vitamin B supplements, it is said that mosquitoes are not attracted to B1
  • Wear covered clothing such as long sleeve shirts and pants. Try spraying the repellent on your clothing as well
  • Use a classic Citronella candle
  • Place some pure vanilla or lavender drops on your pulse points. Buggies don't like these scents!

What remedies do you use to relieve the itch itch itch from these bites? Please share in the comments what works best for you! I'm still scratching over here so I would love some more suggestions :)

There was not a classic How-To Tuesday today because I just got back from vacation. Here are some old How-To's that you can browse any time:
Make Paper Flower Hair Pins
Make an Easel Card
Make Summer Pin Wheels

<3 RWK
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Flip Flops and White Wine: Even Better When Together

Short Story Time:
When I lived in Phoenix and Tucson I lived in Rainbow flip flops. There is a photo of me playing in the snow (that one time it snowed in Tucson) and I'm running around in my flip flops. I always walked to my 9am classes, throughout all of winter, when the morning temperature was under 40 degrees. My toes would be numb by the time I got to class 30 minutes later, but it was so worth it. I've had a flip flop perma-tan for about nine years. I've learned to accept and embrace this.

So these little sandals have a lot of meaning to me, as I am now stuck in the cold Connecticut weather where flip flops can only be worn for 8 weeks out of the year (compared to 52 weeks). They remind me of home, and I had to put these beauties on some summer cards...

I made a set of cards that was bright and fun. I used a file from the Silhouette Store and Hero Arts to cut the cute little flippy flops. I made about 20 pairs of them, in different colors. I dressed up the middle of the flops with some blingy bling.  I distressed inked the middle of the cards and splattered some water drops on it. 

Extra Stickers!
I turned all of my extra flip flops into stickers with my Xyron sticker maker! These would be great to seal the envelopes.

Flip Flops and White Wine
MY FAVORITE flip flop card I threw together pretty quickly... And it's made with a wine label! 
I had this great wine bottle that I didn't want to throw away, and the whole reason I bought it was because of the label (that's how you're supposed to buy wines, right?).  I just peeled the label off, very slowly, and then glued it on black paper backing. I loved it instantly. I stamped the "Celebrate" and glued on. Added some ribbon and some flip flop stickers! I love this, I'll definitely be keeping my eye open for great wine bottles from now on!

Even better when together
Enjoy the weekend. My Matty and I will be enjoying a long weekend in Maine :)

<3 RWK
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Travel the World Wednesday: Tokyo, Japan

Happy Traveling to all of you! And a special 'hello!' to many new followers who may not have traveled with us before, we are happy to have you!

Pack your bags, we're headed to Tokyo, Japan!

Tokyo looks like the most amazing and crazy city in the world. This is a city where you are constantly packed in like a sardines in a can but loving every second of it. It's New York City times 10 million and on steroids! It looks like so much fun, with so much to see and do.

Here is the lovely Etsy Tokyo treasury I have put together. I love all the bright colors in here, it reminds me of the bright city lights and neon signs.

Please click around the treasury, it's active! There are so many amazing works here, I love the talent! Thank you artists for traveling with us today :)

Now for some amazing pictures of Tokyo...

35 Million People like in Tokyo! Insane. Photo from NatGeo

Men dressed in traditional armor.  Photo from NatGeo

Tokyo Skyline with Mount Fuji in the background.  Photo from Wikipedia

Gardens inside Japan Imperial Palace.  Photo from Wikipedia

Sumo Wrestling Arena, this looks like so much fun!  Photo from Wikipedia
Would you ever like to visit Tokyo? Would the crowded feel drive you crazy or would you love it?

Thanks for traveling! have a great Wednesday!

<3 RWK
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