Sunday, July 31, 2011

Happy Shark Week!! (and CAS card)

Today marks that official day that only comes once a year, but is most possibly the best week of the year next to Christmas...

HAPPY SHARK WEEK!

In honor of such a fantastic 7 days of educational shark programming on the Discovery Channel, I have created this Shark Week side-step card...




"show me your teeth" seems to be the motto of Shark Week this year. I thought it was really cute to have everything so happy and cartoonish! All of the die-cuts are from Lettering Delights' 'Something Fishy' set. The shark I used is actually what LD called a dolphin, but the shark they had looked more like a pathetic little guppy... definitely was not going to fly! I put together all of the cuts using Make-the-Cut software and my Silhouette SD machine. I added some Stickles and some blue rhinestones to look like bubbles... this card turned out way better than I thought it would! Let's just say it's been a rough technical difficulty kind of day with my SD and MTC... sigh


I also made a card for the CAS-ual Fridays blog. This week you had to create a card that was 9" x 4" definitely not your typical shape card! And try to embrace the white space you'll be left with. I made a birthday card for a family member...

CAS-ual Friday card entry

CAS-ual Friday entry, close up
This is my first entry to the CAS-ual challenge, I loved that it was something different! The majority of the cuts are from a die cut stack by Me and my Big Ideas, a few bling bits and some cotton candy stickles.

Will you be tuning in for Shark Week tonight? I know I will! And the measurements for my side-step card will be Tuesday's How-To so come back in a couple days!

<3 Rachel w k
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Friday, July 29, 2011

Photos from my Parents' Visit

You may remember that my mom and dad recently flew in from Phoenix to visit me here in Connecticut! My mom had a severe stroke in October 2010, and I think it is a huge accomplishment that she was able to take such a long flight to visit me. I wanted to share some photos from their trip with you all. We pretty much toured around the entire state of Connecticut and Upstate New York.

Enjoy....

We drove down the Golden Coast of Southern Connecticut
some shoreline of southern Connecticut

We took a little day cruise around the Thimble Islands....

Thimble Islands, southern Connecticut
We visited some historic Connecticut homes, and looked at marine animals of Long Island Sound at the SoNo Aquarium

I'm so awesome
Stopped to smell the blooming flowers

flowers around New Haven, CT
We visited the entire family on my mom's side in Albany, NY and toured the Saratoga Battlefield

Saratoga Battlefield
We drove along the Housatonic River and through Litchfield Hills (the Berkshires) back down to Southern Connecticut

Housatonic River, Litchfield Hills, Connecticut

<3 Rachel W K
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Double Embossing and Moxie

Can you taste Friday yet? I'm just about drooling for the weekend. But I'm super excited for a new season of Project Runway tonight! It's about the only 'reality' show my hubby will sit and watch with me :)

Today I made my first card ever to enter into Moxie Fab's Tuesday Trigger! I had a lot of fun with the inspiration photo, and it is my favorite colors to craft with :) green, blue, and whites! I was inspired by the colors and the great geometric patterns throughout. I found a couple great patterned papers that I paired together...

for the Moxie Fab challenge
Tuesday Trigger photo at Moxie Fab

I also created a card for day 150 over at 365 Cards.  The challenge was to use a background that was either dry embossed or heat embossed.  I couldn't pick between the two so I used both, and I used them together. It's hard to capture in the photo because the heat embossing shines so much, but this is definitely a new favorite technique for me! I dry embossed the background flowers with a cuttlebug folder, and then I used a normal glue pen to trace over the flowers, then added white and silver emboss powers. The glue pen actually worked better than my normal glue pad stamps and I'll probably use it this way always! I love it! I then took a skinny sentiments stamp from Hero Arts "sending you hugs and kisses" and stamped it a few times along the curves of the flower stems...

Day 150 at 365 Cards, embossing
Let me know if you're watching Project Runway as well, I'm sure I'll be tweeting about it :) @itsracheldub

<3 Rachel W K
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Travel the World Wednesday: Turks and Caicos

Happy travel day everyone!! Hopefully where you live the heat wave is starting to simmer away a bit. But whether it's the middle of winter or the middle of summer... it's always 75 degrees and gorgeous in Turks and Caicos!

So pack your bags, we're headed to Turks and Caicos!

Here is the etsy treasury I put together for our virtual vacation.  It was a lot of fun to go through all the great blue and white handmade goodies!  As usual, there are very talented etsians in this collection and please click around the treasury and let them know how great they are :)


The photos for today are very special from a great blog/etsy/twitter friend of mine. She suggested the travel spot for today and also sent me some personal photos from her trip to Turks with her husband.  So Thank You Kristen for the ideas and gorgeous snap shots. Please visit her blog Life by the Book and her etsy shop bythebookpaper!

Photo by Kristen at http://bythebookpaper.blogspot.com

Photo by Kristen at http://bythebookpaper.blogspot.com

Photo by Kristen at http://bythebookpaper.blogspot.com

Photo by Kristen at http://bythebookpaper.blogspot.com
Looks pretty ok doesn't it? I wouldn't mind being there right bout now.  If you have a travel suggestion or some photos to share please let me know in the comments and we can work it out!

<3 Rachel w k
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How-To Tuesday: Organize Those $1 Ribbons

Happy How-To Tuesday, my favorite day of the week!

Over the weekend I got really distracted while working on some birthday cards, and made a ribbon spool organizer.  The only ribbon I ever buy is from those giant bins at Michaels or Joanns.  They are usually $1, have 3 yards of ribbon, and housed in a cardboard spool large enough for 20 yards. They drive me nuts and take up way way too much space in my tiny little apartment craft space.

Skewer ribbon holders
I know most people use some sort of shower rod contraption for spools, but my super fantastic landlord (ahem) would lose his shit if he saw something like that bolted into his precious walls. So I created a mini version of that and wrapped all my ribbon around a bamboo skewer!

Here's what got me so distracted and crazy....

nothing is worse than being disorganized!
Materials:
bamboo skewers
wine corks
tape
and of course, your ribbons

Step 1: I immediately grabbed some corks from my trusty wine cork stash. I put those on the end of the skewer. Those no real reason to this, but I didn't like the pointy ends sticking out.

my old wine corks in the skewer, and messy ribbons
Step 2:  Put a piece of tape on an end of your ribbon, and tightly wrap it around the skewer. This will help keep the ribbon in place and not flop all around your skewer.  Keep twisting the ribbon around, and then tape the end to keep it in place.

all wrapped up!
That's really all there is to it! Make sure to check the length of your ribbon before wrapping it. If you've got 10 yards of the stuff, you'll probably pull your hair if you try this. It was perfect for my 3 yard spools!
I made one skewer with all my pinky ribbons and one with my blue ribbons. I learned those are really the only two colors of ribbon I own!

all of my bargain ribbons in one easy to find spot!


The little skewers take up so much less space than all those over-sized cardboard spools. And besides, I found somebody who was more than willing to put these spools to good use...

nom nom nom
That's what I call upcycling.

How do you organize your ribbons? What has worked best for you in the confines of your crafty area?


<3 Rachel W K
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Polka Dots and Baby Cards!

Merry Christmas in July! There are a lot of fun blog hops going on, and the weather (finally) is just perfect! It's really making me ready for fall and the holidays (but not snow)

I've been trying to get all these birthday cards finished for the billions of people with August and September birthdays, and figured I should do some challenges, too!

Over at 365Cards the challenge today was to do half and half... with half polka dots and half solid papers. I made my grandma's birthday card for this...

Birthday Card for 365Cards Challenge
My grandma L-O-V-E-S chickens. She used to own a lot of them and have a huge chicken coop and everything, they were basically children. She can't have them anymore because she's just not able to take care of them (she's turning 94!) but when I saw this Lettering Delights chicken graphic I knew she would really love it.  I popped the chicken up with foam dots, and the solid orange card stock was embossed with Swiss Dots folder.

Chicken Card Deets:
chicken graphic - lettering delights
papers - DCWV lemon stack and solid brights stack
swiss dots cuttlebug emboss folder
ek success flower border punch
stamps from imaginesence and tpc studios
bakers twine from a baked good in the grocery store!

The next card is for the lovely Amie who recently told her bloggy ladies that she's expecting a baby!! I immediately asked her if I could make her a card, and I have never made a baby card before so I was excited to do it for her :) I used the sketch from MoJo Mondays #201.

mojomonday challenge #201
Card made for mojo monday and for Amie
I feel bad that I'm ruining the surprise for Amie if she sees this post, but I'm also including some extra little goodies in her package! I can't wait to send it out and for her to get it! Congrats Amie! Please visit her at her blog and give her some love!

Baby Love Deets:
paper from dcwv lemon stack and citrus stack
stamps from inkadinkado and fiskars
buttons, ribbon, and brad random finds in my stash
inked with colorbox, gel pens, and artist's loft markers


<3 Rachel W K
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mommy and Son Birthday Cards

I'm sure you have a slew of friends who have birthdays coming up... it always seems like August and September are just flooded with birthdays, and the other months are always missing out on the party. So ya, I've been trying to make slightly different cards than your basic balloons and cakes!

Well one of my closest friends in Connecticut, and her son (my favorite 5 year old!) have birthdays in the first week on August.  Like most 4 year old boys turning 5, this little guy is obsessed with planes, trains, and automobiles. He knows more about the Metro North train line than I do!

A special Truck card for Brady, turning 5 years old!
Truck Card Details:
paper is all basic colors from my stash, nothing fancy
truck shape from the Make the Cut gallery, and welded together for a card
all shapes in card were cut using my Silhouette SD machine
top of truck is texture embossed with a Cuttlebug folder
'5' stickers from my stash

I made him a shape card that looks like a Dump Truck (all kids get so excited when the garbage man comes by!). I also wanted to make him something special, so I created these personalized blocks for him. He can spell his name and I added some little trucks and cars to each block. I really love how they turned out! If you want customized blocks with your child's name, in any colors you want, just email me and we'll work something out!

customized play blocks

his name spelled in different mix-n-match fonts and colors
Don't they look great? Even my hubby was oohing and aahing over them while I was working on them. I really am pleased with this gift!

And his mom... She's such a great friend, and is a preschool teacher by day and the mom of a kindergarten boy by night (well, actually 24 hours a day) so let's just say she really values her adult time. I think happy hour is the thing we're both best at together :)

Happy Birthday Cocktail
Because Happy Hour should last for 24 hours when it's your birthday :)

Martini Card Details:
martini shape svg from Make the Cut gallery, welded together to make a card
all shapes in this card were cut with my Silhouette SD machine
yellow dot paper from DCWV lemon stack
pink and blue paper from DCWV glitter stack
olive filled in with Stickles 'green' and 'thistle'
stamp from TPC Studios
ribbon, skewer, and adhesives from stash

Hope you all had a great weekend!

<3 Rachel W K
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Travel the World Wednesday: Alaska

Happy travels, all! It has been a couple weeks since I've traveled with you, so I'm really excited to get back in the swing of things and share an amazing journey and gorgeous treasury!

So pack your bags, we're headed to Alaska!

Here is the stunning icey blue treasury I put together for today's trip to Alaska. I was able to find many artists who are located in Alaska, so it's great to support their talents and skills.  Please click around the treasury, it's active and live!



And I don't think you need me to tell you how amazing Alaska is.  I have never been, but I know it will 100% be somewhere I travel to soon.  A lot of my friends have even done the Alaska cruises and loved every second of it. How great would it be to kayak between these glaciers? Or to sneak a peek at a whale or grizzly?

Enjoy these awe-mazing photos....

photo from nationalgeographic.com

photo from nationalgeographic.com

photo by Michael Melford of nationalgeographic.com

photo by Michael Melford of nationalgeographic.com

photo by Michael Melford of nationalgeographic.com
Thanks for traveling with me.  Do you have any desire to go to Alaska? What would be the adventure you would want to do most? And if you've already been, please tell us your favorite part!


<3 Rachel W K
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How-To Tuesday: Paint Your Shoes!

Happy How-To Tuesday!! It's been a couple weeks since I have posted a how-to, and I am so so excited to finally get this one on the bloggy!

I painted my shoes! It was a really fun project. It mostly just took a steady hand (I don't have that) and some patience between drying times, but now I have this great new pair...



I used an old pair of Target flats. I thought about it and realized these shoes are 7 years old, and I haven't worn them in about 4 years. They were also a great material for acrylic paint, one of those plastic synthetic fake leather materials. It was smooth, and grabbed on to the paint reeeeeeal goooood :)

Boring shoes Before makeover
The pattern on the shoe was great because it made it easy to incorporate multiple colors throughout the stitched pieces.

Midway makeover
This is the shoe about halfway through the makeover process. I put tape along the side of the sole of the shoe so I could keep it free from paint. The lighter colors took a few more coats to cover up the black pleather.

With my latest obsession with aqua (just look at what I did to my kitchen!) I knew I needed some more punch to the shoe.


Ahhhh the aqua is perfect. Once all the paints were totally dry I sprayed the shoes with a glossy finishing spray (the one I used is actually for decoupage) and they look so so good! They turned out much better than I had anticipated, and they actually match a lot of my outfits.

So a lonely pair of Target flats has been revitalized. A pair of shoes that I haven't worn at all in 4 years has now been worn nearly every day for the past 2 weeks!



What do you think of the project? Do you have an old boring pair of shoes you think needs a summer spruce-up? 


For last week's (free!) how-to make button stamps click here


<3 Rachel W K
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Monday, July 18, 2011

Adding a Splash of Color to the Kitchen

I've missed you all! My parents were visiting so I have been lagging on the blog posts the past couple of weeks. It was so great to see my mom and dad, and my mom's speech really is getting stronger, even if she doesn't think it is.

I am a renter, which means I don't have the freedom to completely remodel or paint my home as I would like. If it were up to me, I think every room would have a giant wall mural painted right on it. But since I have to keep the walls white and can't paint the molding, I had to find other ways to spice up my kitchen...


So I painted the chairs an aqua blue! This was all inspired by a little dish towel I bought at Target a couple months ago for $4...

the towel that started it all target.com
So this color became my obsession. Just this towel caused a craving for all things Aqua. And then I made this....


I made these state pride paper pieces knowing that it would end up somewhere in the kitchen. For my post about this easy project click here! Here it is hanging above the window in front of the kitchen sink. It's a very tall ceiling (about 10 feet high) and this is the only color way up there, so it really stands out.

And then I got really excited when I found an old paint bottle that was aqua color, so I made this....

old acrylic paints and water colors
I had a lot of fun splattering the hell out of this thing, and the landlord's precious white walls have a few misdirected red splats on it. Woopsies... that's why there's those Magic Erasers right?

Then there were the cheap black Stefan chairs from Ikea. I'm sure you've seen them....

Stefan chair, ikea.com
They're the cheapest (wooden) kitchen chair that Ikea sells. Two years ago we bought four of them, in black. I was determined to paint these suckers, despite my husband's wishes....


Ahhhh much happier! I spray painted the chairs with Krylon Ocean Breeze paint. They could each use another coat, but I ran out of spray paint.



I love my new kitchen!!!! And the hubby actually really likes it, too (why do men doubt our decorating skills?) I think painting the chairs such a bold color was a great way to add character to the room, especially since the walls can't be painted. And I love the new splatter painting and the location of it. Walking in the door puts a smile on my face!

Price breakdown:
Canvas and paints all reused from stash
Dish Towels - $4
3 Cans of Spray Paint - $18
State Pride Piece made from stash

What easy touch ups do you add to your home to brighten up your day?


<3 Rachel W K
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Crafting up Some Home State Pride

Since my parents are visiting I wanted to make something that represents the place I grew up as well as the place I live now.  All around etsy there are tons of variations on state-pride prints and artworks and jewelry and stickers and.... It's easy enough to make my own, and I have always loved representing my home town or home team (where ever that may be!).








Ahhhh my two loves. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and hated it and loved it at the same time, and I still do. I now live in Connecticut where I mostly love it, except for those multiple months where temperatures drop below 50 degrees.... and mosquitoes, ya those things don't really exist in Phoenix.

My heart definitely belongs in two states at once. When I'm in Connecticut I'm always planning my next trip to Arizona.  And usually the second the plane lands in Phoenix, I'm already missing Connecticut. So this little piece of paper art shows that I can love two things at the same time :) especially if it's popcorn and chocolate, that is a really good food combo right there.

What I Used:
I cut the state outlines, hearts, and 'home' with my Silhouette SD and Making the Cut software.
All papers are DCWV. The Lemon stack, the Glitter stack, and the Safari stack
The first piece I used water colors to splatter the background page.
I used icicle Stickles to glitter up the 'home' lettering
Lettering Delights has a great set of all 50 states

Both of these measure 8.5" x 11" and they will be framed very shortly.  I apologize for the photos. It was difficult for me to get enough light to show off the glitter sparkles without shining on the metallic paper. I'm sure you get the idea, though :)

What state does your heart belong to?


<3 RWK
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