Sunday, September 30, 2012

Christmas card season

Thought I'd share some Christmas card inspiration today, featuring stamps from The {Stamps} of Life, and cardstock from Discount Cardstock.  If you are making your own cards this year. . . .it's about time to start thinking about it! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Autumn mini-garland tutorial

I shared a new project at A Cherry On Top this week.  I created a mini-garland to usher in the autumn season! I hope you like it! Please visit A Cherry On Top for all of the supplies I used, plus lots of great inspiration and scrappy crafty fun!!

fall mini garland by laura williams, for
I don't have lots of wall-space to hang a fabulous GIANT autumn garland, but I thought a petite-sized garland made of these cute little triangle tags would be the perfect addition to a lamp,  hung above a picture frame or mirror, or even on a door.  As we create, I'll share some of my favorite techniques for creating this warm and cozy stamped project.

Supplies you'll need:
fall-friendly inkpad colors (some of my favorites: BrownTerra CottaOrangeChestnutDark Moss

I LOVE this set of 6 little stamp sheets on sale in the store - and you can't BEAT the price. (For REAL! How have you NOT bought these yet!?)  I decided to make my garland autumn themed, but without too much focus on Halloween or Thanksgiving in particular - so that I can hang it up now, and leave it up through November.  
fall garland by laura williams, for
I used the stamps and simply created 7 little triangle tags to string along.  Here are some techniques to try, while you play. 
Blending ink colors - to create a multi-colored image, start with the lightest color. In this case, I stamped the image in a terracotta color.  Then I tipped the edges of my stamp into a dark brown.  Now comes one of my favorite tools: a sponge dauber.  Use the dauber to gently dab over the stamp where the colors meet.  This will blend the colors together.  Then stamp on the triangle tag.  This technique works really well with solid images, like this leafy spray.
fall mini garland by laura williams, for
The next technique I used to add to my triangle tag is along the edges. 
Distressing - drag, dab, or pull the cardstock edge along the ink pad to add this detail.  You'll find that different ink pads create different looks.  A different amount of pressure will also effect the look.  Play with some scrap paper and perfect YOUR favorite look.  
Faux sponging- After, and during the distressing, I also gently tapped sections of the tag flat onto the ink pad.  See that area in the top right corner? It almost looks like it was sponged, but it was just set down onto the inkpad.  Depending on the juiciness of your inkpad, this technique can get away from you easiy. . .so be VERY gentle!
fall mini garland by laura williams, for
Distressing times 2 - After distressing the edges with the mustard color, I decided to add a little more, and go over it again with dark brown.  I also added a few extra stamped leaves to finish off the tag.  Using a dark color along the edges will add extra drama and help "finish off" the look. 
I used these techniques on all of the tags I stamped.  Each one is a little different, and I used lots of images from this stamp set, including some of the great autumn words.  I used a few different colors on the tags, but each tag has mustard and dark brown.  This adds some consistency and allows the project to flow cohesively.
fall mini garland by laura williams, for
As a finishing touch to each tag, I tied a bow using the twine included with the Canvas Corp. tags.
fall mini garland by laura williams, for
I used an extra length of twine from my stash,  to string the tags up, and then they were ready to hang!  The Canvas Corp Tags & Ties come in a variety of shapes and colors, and any one of them would be adorable to complete this project with! (Or maybe one for each season!)
Happy FALL!
fall mini garland by laura williams, for

Suggested Products:
autumn stamps a cherry on topsponge ink dauber a cherry on toptriangle tags a cherry on top

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Purple roses

Today I'd like to share some Close To My Heart projects that I shared on my mom's blog.  

These projects feature the new Flirty paper pack, and the coordinating Love Blooms stamp set.  I LOVE the colors on this paper.  It's perfect for this time of year, as we sit in late summer, teetering on the edge of fall.  (Well, I know TECHNICALLY it IS fall now. . .but in Florida, it doesn't FEEL like fall yet!)

Also perfect for fall is a QUICK and simple project to dress up your dinner table.  I cut a strip of CTMH's new burlap ribbon, stuck some two-sided tape to make a loop, and wha-laaaa, a napkin ring! (You could certainly just cut strips of burlap or canvas too, to create something similar!) I stamped the flower a few times onto some Flirty paper, trimmed sections of it and layered with foam tape and adhered the leaves behind it.  I distressed up the edges a bit, and stuck it onto my burlap napkin ring.  Easy-peasy, just the way I like it! I am sort of obsessed with this new Rasberry color.  I think I'm going to run out of it VERY quickly! It's gorgeous!

To coordinate, I created this card using the same stamp set, and paper.  I actually made quite a FEW cards using this paper . . .want to see one more??? 

So there you go.  Please visit my mom's Close To My Heart page, to order up some fabulous CTMH goodness! (Tell her I sent ya!) ;) 
Thanks for stopping by today! Have a great week!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bazzill Beach House Winner!

Hooray, hooray for Cami J! :) 
I asked my kiddo to pick a random number for my winner, and he picked number SIX!!
Congrats Cami! Bazzill Beach House, plus an awesome pack of Bazzill Card Shoppe cardstock are coming your way!!!

And because I hate to post without pictures, here's a quick and simple card I made using the Bazzill Card Shoppe cardstock, plus dies and stamp from The {Stamps} of Life, and jewels from Want2Scrap.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bazzill Beach House giveaway

Bazzill Beach House cards by Laura Williams,

I suppose that *technically* it's almost fall.  But here in sunny Florida, it won't REALLY feel like fall until November.  Granted, the meteorologist informed us we are having a cold front this week, and I must admit, it IS cooler.  Today I believe the high is 87. (Can that REALLY be classified as a "cold front?")
Ahh, but I digress. . .Bazzill Basics Paper has a lovely colletion of patterned paper called Beach House.  It's beachy, but in a "let's sit in a cottage and play board games, and look at the ocean" sort of way. . .not in a "let's go run wild on the beach and wear florescent flip flops" sort of way. (And that's a GOOD thing.) The paper has a BEAUTIFUL texture to it. And I made about a million cards with the 6x6 pack that they generously sent me.  But the best news? They sent me a pack of 6x6 Beach House paper to share with one of YOU too!!!! So please, please, tell me you're still here - and comment, so that the sweet people at Bazzill will send me MORE goodies to share next time!  

Here are just a few of the many cards I created, paired with cardstock (also from Bazzill,) stamps from Gina K Designs, Close To My Heart, and The {Stamps} of Life, and my favorite twine from May Arts.

Bazzill Beach House card by Laura Williams,

Bazzill Beach House card by Laura Williams,

Please leave a comment on this post by Saturday and I will draw a random winner to receive a 6x6 pad of Bazzill Beach House paper, plus a few other goodies that I will add in! 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Garbage Truck Birthday Party!

Hello, hello! I'm here with the OFFICIAL birthday party update! Now that it's over, I can continue on with other aspects of my life. (Which is sort of a relief!) 
garbage truck birthday party from

All in all, I gotta say that Mr. 3-Year-Old's birthday party was a SMASHING, BASHING, TRASHING success this past weekend. 

This child's LOVE (read: obsession) with the garbage truck inspired our shindig.  

We hit a few bumps along the way. . . like the AC deciding to stop functioning, a few hours before the party. NOT COOL. (Literally)  But our crew of family and like-family friends were troopers, and we had lots of extra fans.  And thankfully it was fixed during the party and we had some relief.  In the meantime, the mimosas and chocolate milk (excuse me - "muddy milk")  helped keep the grownups and kids happy.  

chocolate "dirt" cake from
The cake tasted FABULOUS.  It was chocolate cake (from a mix -gasp!) with a big thick layer of "dirt" inside.  You know, the fabulous pudding-Cool Whip-cream cheese deliciousness, with cookie crumbles? I just mixed the cookie crumbs right in, and used the whole thing as filling, rather than putting it in cups like dirt is "traditionally" eaten.  Then I frosted the cake with my new FAVORITE chocolate frosting.  It was simple to make - a fairly normal chocolate frosting recipe. . .but with the addition of 2 Tbsp of espresso - oh my GOSH, it was amazing! (And I must say - I think the cake was much cuter in person.  It looks pretty BLAH in this picture!)
You can find the recipe, along with a delicious looking cookies 'n cream cake, which was part of my inspiration, at Restless Chipotle. 

Oh, and I forgot to take another picture, but you can see the pennant banner that I made, in the background.  I die-cut a pennant die, on my Big Shot using green cardstock for the back layer, and magazine pages for the inner layer.  Then I layered on circles and spelled out his name. 

garbage can favors from
I did favors for the kids - these are pencil cups from Dollar Tree, that  I lined with squares of black trash bag.  I found some great reflective stickers (see photo below) at WalMart, that I thought went with the theme pretty well.  Then we hit the jackpot at the last second, and found little "green" earth-friendly notebooks in the Target Dollar Spot for 70% off! Woohoo! I also put in a Go-Go Squeeze.  It fit the color scheme, and Go Go is a pretty earth friendly company, so I decided that it fit.  ;)  I used my circle punch to make a quick tag, and stuck cork sticker-back letters for each child's first initial. (Cork stickers from Close To My Heart)

Here's my random picture - I wanted to show you the silverware holders . . a soup can, lined with garbage bag, along with the cute stickers from WalMart.  

garbage wreath from lauralooloo.blogspot.comgarbage wreath from

The wreath was REALLY fun to make.  I spent a whole ONE DOLLAR on it.  I got a foam base from Dollar Tree, and used the fabulous tutorial at Living With Lindsay.  I used newspaper pages, junk mail, and shopping bags.  Then I diecut those little flies, which I used on the cake, the wreath, and wherever I could stick them.  I used a butterfly wing die, from The {Stamps} of Life, along with a circle die.  I used a silver Sharpie pen to draw their eyes, and then attached a piece of floral wire.

freezer paper garbage truck stencils from
Probably my favorite project of all. . . .our matching garbage truck t-shirts.  I used a freezer-paper technique to stencil them.  There are a TON of great tutorials out there.  I looked at a couple, and then went for it.  Do a google search, and you'll get LOTS of great advice.  I looked at a lot of clipart, and garbage truck images, and then just created my own stencil for it.  (And I just used tshirt paint from WalMart.)

We got a box in the mail, the week before the party, that had TONS of this brown paper in it, so I saved it and made garland from it.  Easy peasy, and it went perfectly with our decor.  I forgot to take a pic, but the other thing I used for the table was instead of a tablecloth. . . .I used black trash bags, bubble wrap sheets, and a big cardboard box to add some dimension.   Because of our little AC situation, I didn't bring the cake out until we were ready to eat.  It was going to be the centerpiece of the table, on top of the cardboard box, but instead I just stuck one of Tanner's toy garbage trucks on there instead! (Improvise!!!)  We did the party in the morning, so we had lots of good brunch foods. Muffin-sized mini quiches (which I found on this blog, but seem to be originally from Food Network)  mini grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids, fruit, bacon, cottage cheese, and of course CAKE! 

garbage party decoration from
Just another little decoration.  A large size soup can (I think it had crushed tomatoes in it.)  I stuffed it with garbage bag plastic, and some crinkled wrapping paper and added the picture of my little guy in there, and some of the flies.  It was a nice little extra decoration.

If you are planning a garbage truck party, check out my Garbage Truck Birthday Party Pinterest board with LOTS of ideas I collected along the way.  There are some other AMAZING garbage themed parties out there.  I have links to some of our favorite garbage truck books, cute coloring sheets, cake ideas, games, and crafts.  I had so much fun scouring the web for ideas!!!

Update: This has been such a popular blog post. . . .apparently we aren't the only garbage truck loving family out there! Looking for more party fun? Check out our Fire Truck Birthday Party post!