Friday, December 26, 2014

December 2014 PTI Blog Hop: Silver and Gold

Updated to add a daylight pictures!  Much better!


This month's Papertrey Ink Blog Hop challenge is to create a card using both silver and gold elements on it.  I knew exactly what I wanted to create and quickly whipped up this card using some silver and gold embossing powder. 

Sorry for the terrible pictures, I'll try to re-take them tomorrow using some natural light!  I had this card done a few days again but the holidays happened and here I am just minutes from the blog hop closing trying to quickly get this posted!  Ugh, I bet I'm the last entry!  :)

After embossing Mr. & Mrs., I added gold card stock to make it all come together!  I hope you enjoyed this month's challenge as much as I did!

See you next time!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from our family to yours.  Just a quick post today to show you our Christmas card for 2014.  I don't know about you but I love getting everyone's Christmas cards in the mail especially those that are handmade or have family photos on them.  They are all so lovely.  I love watching everyone's family grow from year to year.  I keep the good ones in my Christmas card box to look at each year.

I also love making our Christmas card, it's something that I look forward to every year.  And while it can take some time to create, it's something that's important to me.  With a newborn at home I knew this year's card needed to be quick, easy, and simple.

Thanks to my friend Jesse's mad photography skills, that was easy to achieve with this card.  I knew I wanted this photo of my three boys to be the star of the show.

I printed the photo out in black-and-white, cut it to size, and added a simple stamped greeting on the bottom.  Despite it being quick and simple, it is still beautiful, right?  Of course it is with those three boys on it! I wanted to show you that during this busy holiday season, if you keep it simple, you can get handmade cards out to all your loved ones with just a bit of planning and a couple spare hours.

I fit this in while the kids were napping over the course of a few days (I used to sit down and make them all in one day,but I don't have that much free time in one day any more).  I addressed some and postal stamped all envelopes while the kids were napping in the minivan, which I love (BOTH the minivan and the kids actually napping!).

The interior of the card was kept simple too.  I typed up a couple quick sentences about each of us and what this past year has brought to us and glued it to the inside.

The most time-consuming part of this card was writing all five of our names on the bottom before
sending them out to all our family and friends.

Well I'm sure this is my last post for the year so have yourself a happy holiday and see you in the new year.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Birth Announcements

Hi everyone!  So I have decided to declare one day each week during my maternity leave my crafting day.  Yep, that's right.  In between baby feedings, diapers, and utter chaos, I'm focusing my attention on crafts, my full on attention!

 Today I thought I would show you the birth announcements I made for our new addition.  Let me just start out by saying, I'm so disappointed in Shutterfly and Walgreens.  These pictures are really orange.  They are not quite as orange looking in person as they are in these photos but they are still pretty orange and they cropped off the border we made on them, but since I printed 50 copies, I wasn't about to have 50 new prints made and waste another $10.  Lesson learned, next time print a test copy! He is still pretty darn cute :)

Anyway, look past the orange and at the cute subject matter.  What a cute little ham, right?  He did this pose all on his own, no set up folks, I promise.  He looks so much like his father here, pose and all. I can tell already that he is going to be a deep thinker just like his daddy (that's probably a good thing because this house can't handle another talker!). 

Anyone else sad when google went away with their photo editing options?  I loved using it to add words to pictures.  It was great for novices like myself who find Photoshop too overwhelming.  I have found Picmonkey to be a great replacement though!  If your looking for basic photo editing options, check out that site, I use their free version but they do offer a paid option that gives you even more choices.  I used their site to add the text to his birth announcement.  

The cute little elephant stamp comes from Echo Park's Little Man line.  I'm using this whole product line for Thomas's first year scrapbook.  This little guy adds just a touch of bling. 

I was a little particular about how Thomas was going to lay and it was driving my hubby a little batty.  But I knew that I was lining all three boys together in our hallway in these frames so I wanted there to be some cohesiveness (two boys laying to the right, one to the left).

I told him, this picture is going up on the wall and we will be looking at it FOREVER so let's make this right.  All three boys are now lined up together in the hall way.  They look great. 

Taking a nice picture of these frames was nearly impossible given that this is a dark hallway that gets relatively little natural light so again, forgive me.  With three kids eating up all my free time, it is what it is!

Here's a far shot.  The photo's are sandwiched between the bathroom and Robert's room.  I love being able to walk past these everyday and see my cute little babies all together.

Well that's it for this morning!  I have a naughty one year old to go check on (and feed!).  


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

He's Here and He's Perfect

On Monday, November 17, 2014 Thomas Harold joined the world.  8 lbs and 3 oz. and 21 inches long.  He is so lovely and we are just smitten with him already.

Look at these two big brothers.  Johnathan (6) has been such a trooper.  He is just in love with his new baby brother and Robbie (20 months), he isn't sure what to think yet but with some time I know he'll come around.

Look at my husband, he's such a natural at this.  He makes it look easy.  I think that is Thomas's first smile right there and he hasn't even left the hospital yet.  I may have another daddy's boy on my hands!

This is my first moments with Thomas.  I still have my hair net on from surgery (the real deal folks!).  A momma waits 9 months to hold and love their new little baby and those agonizing final minutes of waiting after a c-section feel like an eternity.  Once I finally got to hold him, we are both instantly in love with each other.  

It's been two weeks and we're starting to get into a routine here at home.  It will take a while yet, but things are starting to return to "normal" (whatever the heck that means). 

Please excuse my absence as I get to know and bond with my newest little addition.   This is FOR SURE our last baby so I'm trying to enjoy and savor every little cuddle I can because I know in a blink of an eye, they will be all grown up. 

See you soon!  Hugs!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Take Two: Christmas Cards

I got two more Christmas cards to show to you today.  This first one comes together pretty quickly with the help of Papertrey ink's Shaker Shapes Ornament Die.  I found this cute patterned paper on etsy which I affectionately like to call "ugly Christmas sweater". You can find it here:  Valeriane Digital.

Do you see that rain in the background?  It might turn into snow later this week here in Wisconsin, I say, that's a sure sign my baby is about to come! 

I love the red and teal colors paired together on this card for a non-traditional twist and with a simply saying stamped in red ink, this card is simple but pretty.  

I've already told you all how I love photo cards at Christmas.  I just love the simplicity of this design, it really lets your photo do the talking.  Who wouldn't love to get this cutie in their mailbox this holiday season ;)

The background is in a light green card stock and Papertrey Ink's photo finishers "joy" is surrounded by red and gold stars.  The stars are just enough of an accent to dress up this card without making it feel too busy.  

I hope these cards inspire you to get out and do some crafting this weekend!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Christmas Card Season

It is November and you know what that means: it is HOLIDAY TIME!  Yes, that's right folks, stop your mumbling, Christmas is only a short 50 days away!  I love this time of year, especially now with little tiny ones at home.  It is so fun to see how exited they get as Christmas draws closer.  I saw my city was putting up the holiday street lights on Monday night so I took that as a sign that it was time to break out my stamps and create some holiday cards for 2014.

This card is just the cutest.  I know, I am biased but there is some serious cuteness going on all over this card.  I love holiday photo cards but they are so darn expensive.  This home version costs a fraction of what you will pay if you have a big box store or online retailer make it for you and as a bonus you get bragging rights because you made it with your own two hands.  It is economical because the photo is sized so that two photos can actually fit on one 4X6 print and cut to size, meaning you only have to print half the number of photo prints needed for your total amount of cards.  For this mom on a budget, that's importantante (that's Spanish for necessary!).  

Grandmas and families especially love these types of cards.   These types of cards tend to hang out on refrigerators long after the season has past and that's exactly how it should be, you get a lot of bang for a little buck! 

Isn't this card screaming quintessential Christmas?  Poinsettias are just the perfect Christmas flower and paired with this pretty white polka dot paper, how can you go wrong. 

A little white sequent was added to the middle of the poinsettia to polish off this card.  These cards come together super fast as it is just a matter of layering the pieces together and adhering them to a standard A2 card.

This card makes me want to break out the Christmas decor and get the house all nice and pretty for the cozy winter nights that are ahead of us.  Oh and this year I get to do that snuggling a newborn, lucky me. 

I had another card created but my little one year old ran off with it and I can not find it anywhere.  ANYWHERE.  I've looked through garbage cans (I often find my stamp sets there), in clothes drawers, under blankets, it is NO WHERE.  What a stinker, I bet it will reappear on December 26th!  Oh well, I guess that means back to the craft room I go (oh darn, twist my arm). 

Stay tuned for a couple more designs in the next couple of days, in the mean time, I hope you start finding some holiday inspiration while you are out and about this week!   

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween 2014

Halloween 2014 has come and gone.  Look at my two cuties all dressed up this year.  I really try to stay away from getting store bought costumes as I don't like the commercialism of this holiday.  If my kids want to get candy from strangers, I think they (really me at their ages) need to work for it a bit, hopefully they will agree as they get older and older.

Since I am only weeks away from giving birth to my 3rd child, the thought of elaborate costumes was just not going to do but these were super duper easy.

Johnathan (6) went at Fred from Scooby Doo.  I bought the blue dress shirt and white sweater from used clothing stores and the orange ascot is just a strip of a very ugly orange shirt I bought and cut.  I didn't even bother sewing it.  He had some nice "preppy" dress shoes to wear to complete the outfit but he is weird about shoes and I didn't feel like arguing.  Sometimes it just isn't worth it!

Here he is getting candy at a house with a very cool scary costume.  We also got Robert to go up to this guy but he started crying.

Robert (20 months) went as Bob the Builder (name sake, get it?).  I bought the hat at goodwill and the tool belt at Target, the rest of the outfit he already owned.  Easy.  The Cheetoo was a bribe to get him to keep the hat on and somehow it worked. 

What a couple of cuties.  These two are still best friends, I hope they find room for the third who is just around the corner!

Action shot of Bob the Builder getting candy from strangers with his Auntie Katie.

Robbie and Bumpa walking the streets looking for good candy, Robbie was stashing the goods in his tool belt. 

Oh and here is daddy and Uncle Jake playing on their phones, we tried losing them here but they found us.  Good thing the kids were with us and not these two with their heads stuck to their phones.  What a bunch of creepers sitting on a street corner with phone in hand and an empty stroller.  ;)

The kids weren't the only ones to have fun.  Nate and I dressed up as well.  He went as pregnant me and I went (with my pregnant belly) as the magic eight ball (my signs got cut out of the pictures, but I think you get the point.  Super easy costumes that took about 10 minutes to throw together.  At 8.5 months pregnant, I don't feel like giving anything more than 10 minutes of my time!

One more final shot of my hubby dressed as me for Halloween.  Look at those sexy legs :)  And yes, he wore this dress better than I do!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Frozen Banner and a Little Bit of Fun

 As a mom of two boys the Frozen movie phenomenon has mostly missed our house.  I’m ok with that.  Even though Frozen hasn’t been on repeat since coming to home video in our house I still have heard the songs enough to have them memorized.  My son said all the girls at his school sing the songs all the time, yep, he’s right, I hear them signing them when I pick him up.  I hear girls singing them in Target, doctor’s offices, even at the zoo. I hear it everywhere.

I thought it was time to give in to this blockbuster of a hit and put a banner up in my etsy shop so all moms and dads can have just one more Frozen item in their house, to all the fed up mom’s and dad’s out there, you are welcome.  Hey, we have a similar problem in our house with the Lego Movie. 

I mentioned the zoo up above.  Let me tell you how our local zoo, the movie Frozen, and my soon-to-be-three sons are all connected while I show you some pictures of this cute banner.

I have to back track just a bit to make this story complete.  When we found out our second child was going to be a second boy, I was a little surprised.  Nowhere in my world was it possible my second baby was going to be a second boy.  My whole life I thought I would have two kids, the first a boy (to be the over protecting big brother), and the second child a girl.  Both pregnancies were very different, a FOR SURE indicator (as everyone said) that the second was a girl since the first was a boy.  So when the technician said, “it’s a boy”, my reaction was not elated joy but more of a “What?!?! Not possible”.  My reaction was just weird enough there was some moments of awkward silence by the tech. 

Now fast forward to just a few months ago.  This third time around, I learned a lesson, I learned not to assume anything and that it is a 50/50 chance that this baby would be a girl and a 50/50 chance they would be a boy.  As the ultrasound date grew closer my anxiety grew higher.  I was at peace with a boy or a girl but anxious to learn which gender they were.  Sure, a girl would be nice, but there is some peace in having a third boy, I know how boys work, I already have two, and let’s face it, I love them to pieces.

 How could you not love these two little hams.  They are just the cutest.  I had this strong feeling I was having a third boy, after all, I am the oldest of three girls.  So when the technician said, “It’s another boy”.  I was ok with it.  In a lot of ways, I was relieved.  I’m about to have my third child, having them be the same gender as the first two seems to make life easier somehow.  There were no tears shed, no pouting, I was going to be a mom to my third boy. End of story, so I thought.    

 A week after the ultrasound, we went to family night at the zoo and we sat in front of the karaoke stage to eat our dinner.  Kids gathered on stage to play various instruments: drums, electric guitars, sing vocals, etc.   The music started, “Let It Go” was being sang by about a dozen little girls.  I very innocently turned to my hubby while the boys were eating their sandwiches and said, “awe, look at all the little girls singing”…..the words barely left my mouth before the crocodile sized tears started rolling down my checks followed by the words, “I’m never going to have a little girl”.  Followed by more crocodile sized tears.  My husband couldn’t help himself, he started laughing, which helped me start laughing.  I have no idea where they came from, they came out of nowhere.  My hubby said, “Put yourself together, what is the matter with you, we’re at the zoo and everyone can see you crying”.  My kids were oblivious to mommy’s embarrassment.  I took the song literally, I sure did  Right in the middle of the zoo, in front of all those people.   The tears stopped when my oldest said, "this song is dumb, why don't they sing the Lego Movie song".  Life is good. 

I’m happy to report, there have been no further tears since that moment.  I’m excited to meet the next cute little ham to grace our family in just 26 short days (not that I’m counting).  He’s going to fit right in to our crazy, goofy, chaotic lives.  But every time I hear the song, “Let It Go”, I’ll think back to that July day when there was a brief moment that I wasn’t sure and I’ll giggle and laugh at what could have been and how life is so wonderful with my three little peanuts.    

Now go to my etsy shop and buy this cute banner or if you are blessed to have all boys like I am and don't see yourself throwing a Frozen themed party anytime soon, do me a favor and share it with your girlfriends!

And while your at it, check out two of my favorite bloggers that have all boys themselves:

Look at Shelly with her four (!!!) boys:

Look at Jen with her three boys:

Oh, and this post with all three boys sitting around the table just makes me so excited, I can't wait for this in my own life: