Friday, February 26, 2010

Layout and Toddler Time

Layout first, so nobody has to suffer through my toddler time ideas if they don't have too:). It's almost unbearable to myself some days.

Did this layout for the Silhouette blog earlier this week. The challenge was to do it in under a hour. Which I am happy to report, I did. It was completed during naptime along with a good deal of goofing around on the computer. OK, maybe the stitching was showboating it a bit, but I love that machine! Rolling pin, tab, and title all cut with the Silhouette. Dot Spot stamps and Raspberry Fizz ribbon by PTI. And Cosmo Cricket Gal Friday paper. Loving their stuff lately too. Got a couple pads from Michael's on clearance and have been using the heck out of them.

Silhouette's got t-shirt transfer paper now. Pretty cool stuff going on. My mind is a'spinnin'. I think I found a way to afford these Pottery Barn pillows. Just got make a knock off.

Toddler time wise, Hank has loved playing with corn starch slime this week. Doesn't get any simpler than mixing 1:2 parts water and cornstarch and then adjusting with either ingredient to get the right consistency. It's both liquid and solid at the same time and very sensory oriented. Add food coloring and extracts for color and smell if you want to get the Mommy of the Year Award:). Hank likes picking out the colors.

I threw some marbles and plastic animals in it for interest. Two 1 hour periods spent playing happily with this stuff in the afternoons. Kinda pain to clean up (be prepared for a mess), but if you just let it dry for 30 minutes, it vacuums off the floor and any unfortunate furniture that gets in the way.

Bookwise for Hank, it isn't very often that Matt and I have the same opinions about Hank's books. Matt will read Dr. Seuss for hours, I try to hide every copy in the house. We both agreed that Dirty Joe the Pirate was a hilarious story. The library is dangerous, we think we're saving money by keeping Hank in fresh reading material, but often end up buying the favorites that we've discovered. Could be worse, right?

Monday, February 22, 2010

This One's For Hank

A very special little man in my life turned two (2!!!!!) on Saturday. Hard to believe, no? We've come a long way in the last 24 months.

Now, anybody who has or had a toddler knows that just keeping them entertained is a full time job. Absolutely NO exaggeration. I've recently taken myself on a quest (out of sheer desperation) to find new, engaging, and cheap activities for Hank to do. Especially important this time of year when we are pretty much housebound. Finding a lot of inspiration in Unplugged Play and The Toddler Busy Book as well as general Google searching for "fun toddler activities".

I created this Animal Pockets board today with my Silhouette. Multi-tasking mama did all the cutting while on hold with various doctor's offices and the cable company. Basically, I took eight pieces of cardstock and cut a pocket and various animals silhouettes from the same sheet. Adhered the pockets to foam board with dimensional adhesive and glued half a manila envelope on the back for storage. He takes all the individual animals from the back and puts them in the right pocket based on color. Funny to watch him shake his head at himself when he almost puts one in the wrong pocket. Board probably will only last a few months with the wear and tear, but didn't cost me a lot of time or money to put it together. Anything that buys a few minutes of peace is totally worth it.

Pocket is file jean_pocket_C00441_19210 in the Silhouette store and the animals are actually a free dingbat. Saved my cut file so if I need to make more in the future, it is a piece of long as I have a phone glued to my ear and insurance information to hand over:).

Might be fun to share my successes and failures with Toddler Entertaining here on the blog. I've already learned that you've got to be willing to let a mess happen. Armed with a vacuum and wet wipes, I'm game for just about anything.

Speaking of the Silhouette, here's a few layouts I've done over the last two weeks for the Silhouette blog. Check here and here for more of the details. Just thought it would be fun to share.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Guy Cards

Here in the Parsoneault family, we have a slew of June/July birthdays, myself included. Then we all went out and got married, hooked up with serious boyfriends, and procreated and by some twist of fate, now have just as many February birthdays. As I like to say, "February is the new July, only a helluva lot colder".

Two brother-in-laws are celebrating this week, putting me on the spot for some manly cards. I hear the masculine cards are hard to do. Grrr. Dunno. Stay away from polka dots, hearts, flowers, and pink and I think you have a good start. Besides, guys aren't picky. Slap a button on a bottle of beer and they'll be thrilled.

Teamed up two of my favorite things for these--stamps and die cuts. Can't go wrong. Tattoo border is a Silhouette shape. I found lots of tattoo style dingbats online yesterday if you want more options, a la Jon Gosselin wearing Ed Hardy t-shirts. Just try to ignore that association between the two in your head. I mean, total ICK right?!?!?!?

Paper is Black Tie Basic Grey, which I hear they are re-releasing on their website as a "vintage" collection. It's about 6 years old. I'm 33...what does that make me?:) Sentiment from PTI Big and Bold Wishes. Seriously becoming a go-to sentiment set for me. Lots of unusual ones.

After all that, I'm going to make up bunch of these. They work for guys and was tickled it came together so easily. No need to reinvent the wheel, aye?


Stamps: PTI Star Prints and Big and Bold Wishes; Die cut: Silhouette cut file grunge_tribal_band_C20090820120418_18816; Basic Grey Black Tie; Perfect Match Hybrid Ink in Pure Poppy; Punch: Fiskars

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Studio Style Card

My favorite card from the February Papertrey Ink release was actually the very first one I made... and not long after opening my box for the month. Guess I was pretty excited to get going and inspired by the offerings. Nothing beats new supplies right?
This is what the card looks like. Lots of buttons and dots in Raspberry Fizz, Hibiscus, Pure Poppy, and Smoky Shadow ink.

And this is how I did it. Actually had the forethought to grab the camera while I was stamping. I created a mask out of lightweight printer paper. You can do this with dies, a ruler, and a craft knife, but I opted for the high tech option--my Silhouette. Had the mask done in a jiffy with the dimensions I wanted. Next, I used my Basic Grey magnetic cutting board to hold the masks in place. Because the paper is so lightweight, I could see my actual card front through it, so I knew I was centered and lined up. Then, it was time to go to town with the stamping. Not only used Studio Style, but filled in the spaces with the single dots from Dot Spot. There is actually an even smaller dot stamp on Polka Dot Basics I if I wanted to take it a step further. Thought it was looking pretty good how it was though. :)

Time-wise, it probably took me 15 minutes, which is totally manageable. Sometimes you just want to stamp. Kinda therapeutic too.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Q&A from the last few weeks

OK. Got a lot of comments/questions to answer. Let's get right to it, shall we?

Question: How do you make the basket in my Egg Hunt Card?

Answer: Here's a step by step for you.
  1. You'll need oval and label trio dies by Spellbinders. You can cut them all out on a single piece of 4x8.5 inch cardstock.
  2. Make the following cuts with your die cut machine.
  3. The ringed oval is made by cutting one oval inside the other.
  4. Cut the solid oval in this manner. You'll want to use the middle piece, discarding the top and bottom.
  5. Stamp with Background Basics: Tin Types with Dark Chocolate Perfect Match Hybrid Ink.
  6. Adhere pieces together. Pop dot label pieces for dimensions.
  7. All done.
  8. Adhere to your card and fill with eggs from Egg Hunt.
Question: What were the dimensions for the clear box I used for my Egg Hunt project and how did you cover it?

Answer: It's a 2x3 inch box from I made a simple sleeve to go around, by making score lines on my cardstock every 2+ inches. If you score it at the exact meausurements, it won't fit, you need a little extra for each corner. Then, just adhere a handle to the inside of the sleeve and attach to box.

Question: What Janome Sew It Mini did you get?
Answer: This one. And it is awesome. So glad I got it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Treats

Happy Valentine's Day! I didn't get as much done as I'd have liked this week, but did manage to get some baking and giving crossed off my list in the last few days. Thought I'd share the fun with you.

Now before I get started, I just want to say that I'm a big tool girl. I think it's a trait I've acquired after ten years of scrapbooking/papercrafting. Tools just equal professional and topnotch results. So, I've invested in good ones not only with the papercrafting, but with baking and cooking as well. Adding something here and there over the years. Very, very worth it. Gives me a lot of satisfaction and now I completely understand why my dad's got a small fortune in woodworking tools in the basement.

First up, cupcakes for friends. The best way to give them is to go to the bakery department in your local grocery store and ask them to sell you some of the plastic cupcake containers. I get them for 50 cents a piece. Lots of decorating possibilities with these and easy to obtain.

I bought the button candy mold from Bake It Pretty and used pink, red, and white Wilton Candy Melts for the season. Two good tools used here to decorate. First, I bought a chocolate melter. $20ish. No more messing around with tempering chocolate, using a Dutch Oven, or scorching anything in the microwave. Another favorite tool is the Dessert Decorator Pro from Wilton. I think I got it for $23 with a coupon from Michael's. Use it all the time. I'm not ready for the big girl piping bags, so this works well for me. Kinda a pain to fill, but that's the trade off for ease of use.

In the end, lots of cupcakes tied up with ribbon, Silhouette heart shape (nice to cut while I was doing something else...need that multitasking sometimes), and PTI stamps. YUM!

For the parental units, pear pie heart tarts. My mom learned the greatest tip from this couple who had a pear tree--pears make a better apple pie than apples do, but taste the same. Absolutely true. They just stay firmer once they've been baked. Appropriate for Valentine's Day--the perfect pair/pear. I made the filling on these and used store bought pie crusts to cut down on my prep time. Pie crust just seems like a huge pain to make from scratch. Never even attempted it. I'm opting for the shortcut here.

Tool-wise, I'm becoming as much a Williams-Sonoma addict as I am a PTI addict. Bought their heart shaped tart mold. Makes short work of things. Plan on making calzones and sandwiches for future Valentine's using it.

Ribbon and PTI again. Lots of different stamp sets used. Threw this together in like ten minutes once I got the inspiration.

I've had lots of comment questions and hints over the last week. I'm hoping to get a post done address and talking about all that this week. And a demo on how to make the basket from my Egg Hunt card. Using a broken C Plate on my Cuttlebug no less! It's been a busy week and I've been limping along with one of those:). But I still think I can get my point across on that. Very easy too btw!

Supplies for Cupcakes: Silhouette Machine for hearts, Stamps: Sweet Love, Cupcake Collection, and It's a Celebration by PTI, Perfect Match Ribbon in Pure Poppy, Perfect Match Hybrid Ink in Dark Chocolate and Hibiscus by PTI

Supplies for Tarts: Punches: Marvy Uchina; Stamps: My Punny Valentine, Fancy Flourishes, Mixed Messages by PTI, Perfect Match Ribbon in Pure Poppy, Perfect Match Hybrid Ink in Hibiscus, Pure Poppy, Smoking Shadow, Close to My Heart ink in Paperbag

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Egg Hunt

Welcome to one of the *official* stops on the Papertrey Egg Hunt!

Look closely and you may find
a hidden egg that's one-of-a-kind.
Perhaps there are more than one or maybe even none!
The challenge is yours, enjoy and have fun!

If you are starting out here, make sure that you stop by Nichole's Blog to read about all the details along with the GRAND Prize affiliated with this fun contest!


The following photos are NOT part of the contest, but I figured you'd like close up of my Egg Hunt Project.


Being released Feb. 15 through PTI: Egg Hunt (stamp), Background Basics Tin Type (stamp), scallop die, egg die

Other: Daily Designs stamps by PTI, Background Basics Retro, Polka Basics II; Twill Ribbon in Berry Sorbet, Gingham ribbon in Spring Rain, Perfect Match Cardstock Perfect Match Ink: Berry Sorbet, Spring Rain, Spring Moss, Summer Sunrise, Dark Chocolate; Buttons: Spring Moss and Natural; Spellbinders Nestibilities Ovals and Spellbinders Labels
in Spring Rain, Spring Moss, Berry Sorbet, Fresh Snow;

Crystal Clear Box from

White Out


February Fury

Winter Wallop

What the heck day is it again?

We got hit with another major snow storm the last few days. It literally snowed for 36 hours straight. I've left the house only twice since last Thursday and I'm finding I really have to concentrate to remember which day it is--everything is blurring together. And not in one of those I-Had-Too-Many-Pina-Coladas-Type of ways. Unfortunately.

Ah, well...more time for crafting. Got things to do.

Here's today's Valentine's Day project. They are for Matt to take to work for some of the employees. I think the sentiment is appropriate for the scenario. Swedish Fish fill the Silhouette cut boxes. It's taken tremendous willpower not to eat all of them for myself over the last few days. I should reward myself with a bowl of ice cream for being such a good girl.

Paper: Ka-Zoo collection from K&Company (too cute!)
Stamps: Tiny Treats, Big and Bold Wishes by PTI
Ink: Pure Poppy and True Black by PTI
Pens: Copics and EK Success Writers
Scallop circle: Spellbinders Nestibilities
Die Cuts: by Spellbinders (having trouble cutting/pasting for some reason, will link those later)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Love You Sew

I read a tip on the PTI message board a few weeks ago about the Janome Sew Mini Sewing Machine being user friendly for paper crafters. Now, sewing machines and I don't exactly get along. I'm afraid they'll eat my fingers, which I happen to care for quite a bit. And then there's the White Sewing Machine Disaster of 2003 when somehow, someway I manage to ruin my brand new machine trying to sew on paper. Don't let my mother hear that I admitted that publically as she bought it for me. Anyway, it all adds up to me being super phobic.

But, PTI. Sigh. I'm feeling the need to up my game to play with the big girls. The Sew Mini was ordered, set up without any fuss, and...I LOVE IT. Zero problems so far! Will be making up for lost time. All those sad, sewing machineless years of papercrafting behind me are fueling my desire to use it over and over and over. My favorite part? Only one speed, no matter how much to step on the peddle. My fingers are safe!

Here's today's V-Day card. With lots of sewing. Can't stop myself. And more of those little red hearts cut from my Silhouette. Happiness.

Stamp: Simple Valentine by Papertrey Ink
Scallop dies: Papertrey Ink, being released Feb 15
Silhouette shapes: heart_sm_1518 05/21/2009, love_birds_C00131_19547 01/29/2010
Paper: Perfect Match Kraft and Raspberry Fizz by PTI
Buttons: Vintage Buttons in Raspberry Fizz by PTI
Ribbon: Perfect Match Ribbon in Pure Poppy by PTI

Fillable Frames Papertrey Project

Just taking a break from throwing glitter and red hearts around (as a pregnant lady, most people run and hide when they see me, least they'd be catching what I've got) to share my Fillable Frames project for PTI. We were supposed to put together a project using our favorite colors. Well, Terracotta Tile is a new one for me and I'm in love.

When you put them all my favorite colors in a row like this, can you tell that I'm a child of the 70's? My parents used to have a fridge that exact color green.

Top of my list of PTI stuff to get after working on this? Turning a New Leaf. Oh, how I covet thee.

Supplies: Perfect Match Cardstock by PTI in Terracotta Tile, Ripe Avocado, Fresh Snow; Stamps: Beautiful Blooms, Mega Mixed Messages, and Polka Dot Basics II, Perfect Match Ink in Ripe Avocado and Terracotta Tile, Buttons, In Bloom Paper

Monday, February 8, 2010

Valentine's Week

It's my favorite week of the year! And I have a staggering amount of little lovies and goodies to make for people between now and Sunday. Doesn't seem to be quite the Hallmark holiday when you go out of your way to make it special and homemade for people, kwim, so one must solider on with it:). Twist my arm, red's my favorite color. Pans out well for you too, as I'm posting something new everyday in honor of the big day o' love.

I made this card the other week for the Silhouette blog and had this pretty little pile of red hearts left over from the background. Putting those to use in a bunch of my cards this week. Which, kind of brings be to the topic of how much fun it can be to use things that are right on your desk. I was on a roll yesterday with using basically the same techniques and the same products. No thinking involved, just going for it. Really my most creative time, which is the opposite of what you would think would happen. Like that little heart swag. I mean, how cute is that? Will be adapting that for a lot of projects. I always start out thinking that everything I will make will look the same, but it never does.

Off to Walmart. I have LipSmackers, Marshmallow Frogs, and Swedish Fish on my list. Sounds like ingredients for a Valentine's Stew, doesn't it? Guess you'll just have to wait and see.

Supplies for Lollipop Card: Lollipop and tag dies by Silhouette; Sentiment from Everyday Button Bits by PTI; Ribbon by PTI

Supplies for Adore Card: Vintage Label Set, Sweet Love stamps by PTI; Basic Upper Case Letters and Write Your Own Stamp by Hero Arts; Ribbon and Buttons from PTI; Scallop Die (available Feb 15) and Black and White Basics Paper by PTI

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Snow Weekend

Hope you are all enjoying the weekend, even if you happen to be buried in a few feet of fresh snow like we are. I actually ADORE being snowed in. There's just this feeling of obligations being lifted when there's nowhere to go and nobody to see. Almost like a vacation at home. Very peaceful and cozy.

Of course, I don't think I personally can handle many more snow days this year. Let's just say the snow pants aren't zipping up over the yoga pants quite as easily as they used to. I'm thinking maternity snow bibs really aren't a hot item when in reality all they really are is insulated sausage casings.

We did manage to get out anyway despite wardrobing challenges. Whatever it takes folks, I'm going to out to play with my boys. I've got a little man who is quite the fan.

And back in again for hot chocolate. Have you ever made it from scratch using the recipe on the side of the Hershey Cocoa can? A million times better than the powdered mixes. All that warm milk makes you nice and dozy. Perfect vibe for a snowy Sunday afternoon. Sigh.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mirror Stamping and a Scrapbook Page

I got a few comment about where I got a solid rubber stamp for the mirror image technique. I got this one at Impress almost ten years ago. Luckily, they still have it. It really isn't that big. I was just working with what I had. If you notice, I had to stamp it diagonally across the stamp. Head's up tip: stamp the mirror image first and then the acrylic. It's easier to line up the acrylic since you can see what you are doing to get both bikes in a straight line.

I seem to recall Hero Arts have a whole line of shadow stamps around six years ago. Definitely not in the current catalog, but I managed to track them down. Not sure about that company linked there, never ordered from them. Just the first link on a Google search for "solid shadow stamp". Go forth and enjoy the hunt.

For those of you who are new to my blog, I also do some work for Silhouette America. I had a page on their blog yesterday. Click on over to get all the cutting details, like how I did that woven border. SO EASY. Busted out some of my beloved PTI for some accents. Around & About Sentiments and Vintage Buttons in Pure Poppy and Raspberry Fizz helped ground all that bright color. Whoa baby!

Snowed in this weekend with a crazy two year old. As you can see, we learned what happens when childproofing fails. I was informed that I had the lock on backward (and therefore unlocked completely), so it was operator error. Guess they are not only childproof, but mama proof as well! It's going to be a long weekend...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Thank You! Thank You!

Just wanted to pop in here and say thanks for all the well wishes yesterday! It was really a fun thing to have announced and was made even better when I got such a warm response. On cloud 9, really.

Definitely feel the need to up my game with the PTI gang. Such a group of ladies. They've been inspiring me for a long time. I'm totally up for the challenge.

I've actually been hoarding quite a number of projects from the last year. You just never know when you need a little blog material. Thought it was long past time I busted this puppy out. Made it this last August for my parents' anniversary. I wasn't in the blog instruction mode, so I don't have how-to pictures of getting the mirror image of the bike from Everyday Button Bits. But I can certainly describe the process. All it takes is a solid square/rectangle rubber stamp. You stamp your image onto the solid image stamp and then stamp that onto your project. Viola! A mirror image. Another tip? To equal the ink intensity on the mirror image, stamp the original stamp on scratch paper before you stamp on your project. That way the saturation of the stamped images match up. Clear as mud?


Stamps by PTI: Everyday Button Bits, Heart Prints, Favor It Weddings, Polka Dot Basics 2, Text Style, sentiment from last year's anniversary set

Perfect Match Cardstock by PTI: Aqua Mist, Enchanted Evening, Pure Poppy

Ink by PTI: Aqua Mist, Enchanted Evening, Pure Poppy

Vintage Buttons: Aqua Mist and Enchanted Evening

Whew...that's a lot. Told you I was a fan!