January 31, 2014

Five Friday Favorites: Sweater Weather

Brrr! I'm not sure about how things are where you are, but January has brought us some very cold weather! When I lived in Ohio, I had quite a nice collection of sweaters, but moving to Maryland, where the temperatures are typically 10+ degrees warmer on any given day, I found that I didn't wear my thick sweaters very much. Slowly and sadly, those sweaters were retired. The recent cold temperatures have brought my love for warm sweaters full circle and I've started up a small collection again!

1. Actually my newest addition... AE's Chunky Striped Sweater comes in solid colors too (and is on sale right now - bonus!)

2. Unfortunately, C Wonder's Scattered Polka Dot Sweater is no longer available... I wore this sweater just the other day and got tons of compliments! This one is next on my wish list...

3. Probably the comfiest sweater ever! Target's Mossimo Mixed Media Cable Sweater is my go to lounge top when I get home from work. (The blue isn't available anymore... boo!)

4. Old Navy's Honeycomb Knit Sweater is on clearance right now, so snatch it up quick! I'm loving this Creme Caramel color!

5. Tommy Hilfiger's Cable Crew Neck Pullover is a fun one, but hard to find. I actually snatched mine up at Marshall's, which means it was quite a steal! And my dear Rebecca has one too, so it must be popular!

What are you wearing in this sweater weather? What are your go to sweater shops? Can't wait to hear!

January 20, 2014

Crafts from the Past: Pup Art

Well, hello there! I hope you're enjoying your 2014 so far. Today I'm sharing a project that is way overdue... I mean, I think I started this thing two years ago. It's been so long that I can't quite remember!

It all started when I started seeing pixel art on Pinterest, like this one and this one. And of course, paint chip art was becoming increasingly popular. I knew I wanted to have something bold and abstract, yet also meaningful. I played around with some scenic photos from our wedding, but wasn't liking how they were turning out. I finally decided a large artwork of our pup, Molly, was in order. I found a photo of her that looked pretty good pixelized and played around on my photo editing software until I got something I really liked. 

Then it was off to the hardware store to pick out paint chips! I printed out my pixelized photo and just sort of matched paint chips to the color scheme, then I got out my 1" square punch and went to town punching out the colors that I wanted to use. I played around with the colors a bit, and as I matched 1" paint chips to the squares on my print out I just added a bit of glue and stuck the pieces down. With such a large piece of artwork, it took a while, but once I was finally done, I found an inexpensive frame for it and popped it up on the wall. Hubby and I loved it and still do. 

I really liked the way the paint chips looked, so I hadn't planned to seal it or anything, but my laziness got the best of me and after a while, the paint chips started to curl and eventually fall off. 
Just recently, I pulled it down from the wall and re-glued all the pieces and Mod Podged the whole thing. I'm crazy like that. Now it's kind of a texture-y, blobby looking mess, with pieces that still look like they're ready to peel off, but we still love it.   

I promise that this isn't a project that actually takes years to complete. It just took me that long to fix it and photograph it. If you do it right the first time, it should only take a few days. The bonus is that it doesn't require a ton of money or skill to make this. I used a free photo editing software, plus free paint chips, a large piece of watercolor paper that I had lying around, glue and eventually some Mod Podge. The only cost involved was the frame!

I'm loving it so much that I think I'm going to tackle a water color version soon. I'll be back in a couple of years to share that one with you. :)

Just a reminder that there's still time to check out my Deescounted Stamps page! Everything on the page is on sale this month! :)

January 15, 2014

Stampin' Celebration Sketch Challenge

Hello friends! It's time for some mid-month inspiration from the Stampin' Celebration team!


Paper: Calypso Coral card stock, Crisp Cantaloupe card stock, I Am Me DSP
Stamps: Four You, Gifts of Kindness, Oh Hello, Regarding Dahlias
Ink: VersaMark, Whisper White
Embellishments: Cork, Crushed Curry Chevron Ribbon

Don't forget to check out the rest of the Stampin' Celebration design team's fabulous creations! Then join us for this month's challenge, using either using either the inspiration images from the beginning of the month or our mid-month sketch. We can't wait to see what you make!

Erica Cerwin - Pink Buckaroo Designs
Erin Gonzales - Hand Stamped Style
Cori Kozak - Creative Chat
Allison Ohran - Sweet Impressions
Lauri Ingram - Paperville Crafts
Krista Jensen - Krista's Stamper Room
Anita Krul - My Paper Chronicles

January 13, 2014

Crafts from the Past: Birthday Chair Banner

Back in November, we threw a little surprise party for my friend, Rebecca. I enjoyed being the mastermind behind the project - mostly because I like bossing people around, like her husband. Haha. Let me tell you though, It's not too easy to throw a surprise party for someone in their own home, especially when you don't live in the same home. I spent some time crafting some special details for her, including this special Birthday Girl Chair Banner, inspired by the cute banners from CMHandmade. Sorry for the crummy pictures... I was in a hurry to make the banner and snap a few photos before sending everything off to surprise party storage.

Whenever I make party decorations, I try my best to make things that are useful beyond the party. I wanted to celebrate the fact that she turned 30, but I knew that would mean my hard work would eventually end up pretty useless... pretty, but useless. So instead, I hand painted the words "Birthday Girl," which I thought would help to get plenty of mileage since her two little girlies could enjoy having a special birthday chair banner at future parties. The ribbons can easily be switched out to match another party's decor. And we all know I have tons of ribbon, so Rebecca need only stop by to have it refreshed. Now I think I kind of want one of my own... 

Don't forget! I still have lots of stamps and other crafty goodies available on the Deescounted Stamps page! Enjoy a nice 2014 discount this month on everything on the page! :)

January 6, 2014

Special DEElivery: The 52 Week Card Project

I'm not very good at mailing things. Perhaps part of the problem with card making is that I'm so focused on making the card that I never actually get around to mailing the card. Terrible, I know... It doesn't mean that I don't have good intentions. In fact, I write letters to people in my head all the time. Hmmm, I guess that doesn't really count...

So this past weekend, I came up with a plan. Enter The 52 Week Card Project. My goal is to send one card out a week to someone I think about regularly. I knew that in order for this to work, I'd have to make it easy for myself, so I did all the legwork now while I had the energy and motivation. Hopefully, this will make things way easier for me in the future, whether I'm writing card number 2 or I'm at week 52...

So, here's what I did. First I made a list of 52 people in my life who I wanted to let know that I think of them. I went through my phone contacts and my Little Pink Book to help me out. I cheated a bit and put some people down twice - people I think about a lot but don't tell them enough (like my little bros). I included a nice mix of family, current friends, old friends, and colleagues - anyone who crossed my mind at some point during the year and who I thought would enjoy a little note tucked in their snail mail amongst their bills and catalogs on a random day.

Then I spent an afternoon tracking down everyone's addresses. I dug through my stack of Christmas cards, sent out e-mails to my parents getting addresses for relatives, used the handy dandy online white pages, and shot out a few random texts and e-mails. I got back a lot of responses fairly quickly. I typed all of them in and made 52 address labels using fun and fancy fonts that I like. For people who move around a lot or are getting ready to move, I just made a blank label with their name on it. I'll have to track down and fill in the address later.

Then I cut out the labels into 52 single stickers. This was surprisingly the most annoying part of the process... I dropped them all into a pretty glass jar on my desk. I also dug through my giant stash of cards and pulled out various Hello and Thinking of You cards. I didn't bother to try to get 52 cards, because I figured I might make a handful more during the year, but I gathered quite a few. I crammed them into a cute basket and also placed them on my desk. I wish I had a cute photo to share with you today, but alas, this arrangement isn't quite as pinworthy as it sounds. My desk doesn't have fresh cut flowers or those pretty acrylic trays... You know, like this one:

I think this is possibly my favorite desk space ever. One day... But back to the project... Now I have a sweet reminder to mail out a card weekly. I'll just pull out a label, which can be done randomly or I can pick one out if I'm thinking of someone in particular and pen a quick note. No pressure. No need to write that perfect letter detailing all my life happenings since the last time we chatted... Just a quick hello. And hopefully, I'll be sending 52 smiles out this year. :)

Don't forget about the Deescounted Stamp Sale! I've added a few new items, including ribbon by the yard and spool - fun!

January 1, 2014

A New Year

Welcome 2014!

Wow! Does anyone else feel like 2013 went by like a blur? I felt like I spent the entire year running after myself and trying to catch up. So crazy! It finally donned on me that I didn't have to live like that, and so I'm spending 2014 trying to re-prioritize things.

That being said, you may notice a few changes here on the blog-o. :) It was time for a little change... I'll also be taking a little break from some of my card making, which includes having to say goodbye to some of my design team responsibilities, like Pals Paper Arts and the Pals Blog Hop. I'll still be on the Cupcake Inspirations DT as creative director and will continue my DT term with Stampin' Celebration until February. I'll definitely miss my teams, but I know it's something that I need to do right now.

I'm also ready to let go of some of my crafting supplies. I spent most of my winter break cleaning out my craft space and am starting to feel refreshed and energized again! To celebrate the New Year, I'm giving 14% off all products on the DEEscounted Stamps page through the month of January. Feel free to e-mail me if you see something you like.

Don't worry, though... This doesn't mean I'm going away. I'm hoping to continue blogging. I still have lots of projects to share with you and I'm hoping that without having to meet so many deadlines, I might have more time on my hands... I'm hoping! I know that the blog has gone through quite a few changes in the past years, from daily posts, to barely there posts, and I'm not exactly sure how things will go, but I'm trying to stay positive.

I'll be back soon.... :)

Stampin' Celebration Inspiration Challenge

It's January 1st, and you know what that means...

I'm in the mood for a bit of metallic... Can you tell? :)

Paper: Midnight Muse card stock, Print Poetry DSP Stack, Silver Foil Sheets, Whisper White card stock
Stamps: Four You, Secret Garden
Ink: Midnight Muse, VersaMark
Tools: Scallop Trim Border Punch
Embellishments: Rhinestone Jewels, Silver Embossing Powder, Smooch Spritz

Be sure to take a peek at what the rest of the Stampin' Celebration design team has created. 

Erica Cerwin - Pink Buckaroo Designs
Erin Gonzales - Hand Stamped Style
Cori Kozak - Creative Chat
Allison Ohran - Sweet Impressions
Lauri Ingram - Paperville Crafts
Krista Jensen - Krista's Stamper Room
Anita Krul - My Paper Chronicles