Friday, April 30, 2010

We Have a Winner!

Ok, who's excited?

Well, maybe none of you not named Allison!

Yes, folks.  You heard it here first.  At utter random, Allison was chosen by the Random.org gods as the winner of the Make Paper Crafts / Bead Head Art Giveaway!

Here's what she said:
Well, darnitall!  Good thing you forgot and came back with that second entry (and yes, both were valid entries . . . they were just flip-flopped).  I'm trying to picture a deep elvin green.  Sounds lovely.



Congratulations again, Allison!  Thanks to everyone who played along.  And thanks once more to Cynthia of Make Paper Crafts for her awesome tutorial and giveaway.  Please go visit her and give her lots of love because she deserves it.  :)

This whole guest post/giveaway thing was fun.  I'll have to try it again sometime.

What do you all think?

Giveaways: YAY or NAY?

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Yes, that's right.  It's my B-day today.  I thought that in honor of the day of my birth, I'd have some fun here on the ole blog.  Wanna play a game with me?  It's called, "Guess how old I'm going to be based on what I want for my birthday this year."

Are you ready?

OK, here we go:

My very own Paper Dolls.  I'm not sharing them with Little Miss.  Unless she plays REALLY nice with them.  They will live in my new sewing studio.


And they will love it in there.




They're going to need more outfits too.


I'm going to need some comfy slippers to craft in as my feet are constantly cold.  I'm also going to need the ability to crochet because these tootsies are only a pattern and I can't crochet for the life of me.

Don't they look ridiculously comfy?

A little retro kitsch for my new kitchen.  I haven't decided what color it's going to be (right now it's very neutral and is going to need some personality), but these would punch up the bland factor in no time flat.

Buttons.  A big ole pile of em.

The more vintage and bright, the better.


Some artwork to inspire me towards my Indie Biz pursuits.

Someday I'd like a whole wall filled with lovely artwork that whispers (or yells) YOU CAN DO THIS!



Some things are just so cute and simple.

For $3, I may just have to get this little set of paper tools for myself.


 One or ALL prints from this lovely photographer.


 A little catchall bowl for pins, or threads, or keys or earrings, or something.

Anything.


 A little friend to sit on my shelf.

No particular reason why.


A custom portrait of my new house

FOR my new house.


 A lovely locket to hold the pictures of my sweet children close to my heart.


Another little something unexpected.

Not sure where this one would live exactly, but I'm sure I could find the perfect spot for it.


Another little stuffie.

Once again, these are gifts for ME.  No kids allowed.

Especially Kee-ku.  Far too much drooling.


 And finally, a crown to wear on my special day.

With a promise from EVERYONE that they couldn't make fun of me for wearing a crown.


C'mon.  Can I?

For just one day a year?

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Monday, April 26, 2010

DIY: Rainbow Cake

Little Miss turned 3 today.  It's hard to believe that 3 years has gone by since she made her entrance into the world.  To celebrate (among other things), she helped me make a Rainbow Cake.

Perfect jobs for the about to be 3 year old:
  • sorting the whole bag of Skittles by color
  • lining the entire bottom of the cake with marshmallows to conceal the fact that I ran out of frosting towards the end
  • "accidentally" slipping while placing the marshmallows on the cake and "having no choice" but to lick her fingers . . . over and over again
Things I would do differently next time?
  • Buy 3 boxes of cake mix instead of 2 OR use 8 inch rounds instead of 9 inch
  • Buy 3 large tubs of frosting rather than 2
  • Borrow 4 more pans instead of using the only 2 I had 3 times with cooling and cleaning time in between.  Oy.
  • Allow the cake to cool a teense more completely before attempting to frost.  I'm afraid some of the layers suffered a bit during the frosting process even though I did stick the whole shebang in the freezer before the final frost.  You can see in the above photo, though, how the cake had a bit of damage from too vigorous spatula usage.  Oh well.
It did, however, kinda go over HUGE.

The remains of a most excellent birthday:
Want to make this cake?  Of course you do.  I found the idea originally on, where else, The Idea Room.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Getting Creative with Kids: Watercolor Paint Cards + A Giveaway!

I'm so excited to share an awesome tutorial with you today courtesy of the lovely Cynthia from Make Paper Crafts.  Her website is chock full of great information, tips, and techniques on all things PAPER!  Here's a little blip from her site to give you an idea of what's so great about paper and what you can find at Make Paper Crafts:
Whether you are just discovering your passion for paper or have had a long love affair with manipulating paper there is something here for you! Learn how to make jewelry, decorations, or wall art. Already an avid paper enthusiast?  Come in share your expertise and inspire others. Discover and share new ideas for creating with paper.
So yes, you simply must visit.  It's that good.

Now onto the tutorial!  Do any of you remember Paint with Water books?  I haven't seen them for sale in ages (maybe I just don't shop at the right stores anymore), but they were HUGE when I was a kid.  And they were a super great craft gift for kids because they are SO EASY to do.  Grab a Dixie cup of water and a little brush and paint a rainbow [brite] of colors, NO PAINT NECESSARY!

When Cynthia told me that she had a DIY version of Paint with Water in mind for this tutorial I was geeked beyond belief.  This would be a great project to do with your kids, you could make a little book of your own drawings for a gift, heck . . . these look so cool and I'm feeling all nostalgic now I may just have to do a couple for myself.  :)

**********************************************************************
Watercolor Paint Cards

Do your kids love to paint?  My daughter does but sometimes the mess is shall we say, "messy
"?  Here is a fun DIY that little ones can enjoy and you can relax knowing there won't be too much mess! 


Tools and Supplies
·  Watercolor Paper (the more water your child likes to play in, the thicker the paper you want!)
·  Watercolor Pencils
·  Paint Brush
·  Water
·  Permanent Marker
·  Pencil
·  Tape (optional)
·  Container
·  Sketch Paper
·  Sunlight and Window if your tracing
·  Paper cutter or Scissors 

Step 1. Cut your paper down to size.  I started with a 9 x 12 sheet that I cut down to 4 pieces. Whatever is easiest for your little ones will work.

Step 2. Once you have your paper cut to a nice size sketch your drawings.  For the best results, I recommend using sketch paper to get a picture you like and then tracing onto watercolor paper.  Hold/tape your sketch paper onto a window with your watercolor paper over it for easy tracing!
Step 3.  Trace all of your drawings in permanent marker and lightly erase pencil marks.


Step 4. Get your drawings and watercolor pencils ready!


Step 5. Outline all of your drawings with the pencils.  The thicker and darker the lines, the more paint will be available to cover the picture.


*Tip for a younger child you may want to use one or two colors for the entire picture or they may get disappointed if they turn a rainbow of colors brown!


Step 6. Drawings, check.  Water, check. Paintbrush, check!


Step 7.  Grab your kiddos and present them with this awesomeness or sneak and do them yourself!


Step 8.  Let your masterpieces dry and bask in your glory!

~Happy Crafting!~ 



About the Author--Cynthia Devening is the owner of Make Paper Crafts, the site where paper and creativity go hand in hand.  She is also the creator of Bead Head Art and has a new line in the works! 
***********************************************************************
Um, ok.  Did anyone else think that was completely awesome?!


If you liked that you're going to love this.  Cynthia is providing the amazing prize for Skooks' Playground's first ever

Giveaway!!


Here is your chance to win a new 5x7 Print from Bead Head Art's upcoming line....
*********EDITED: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED**********  


P.S. Thanks, Cynthia!  You're a paper-crafting rock star.

P.P.S  I'm hooking up with some awesome Linky Parties this week.  Find out which ones here.

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I Smell a Giveaway . . .

If you've been following my Tweets lately, you know that I put a sniffer out there that when I reached 50 followers I was going to do a giveaway. It appears as though I have 55(!) so I guess I'm 5 of you lovelies overdue. ;)

Come on back later this afternoon for an awesome tutorial with my special guest, Cynthia, of Make Paper Crafts.  She's not only sharing her stellar creative mojo, she's also giving away a special prize to a lucky reader of Skooks' Playground! 

Hooray!  You're not gonna want to miss this one.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Inspiration: Blog it Forward!

Well, it's officially my "day" on the Indie Biz Blogging it Forward campaign trail. I've had a great time checking in on all my former classmates inspiring posts over the last few weeks. For those of you who have never visited Skooks' Playground before, you can check out what I've been up to by perusing the links across the top of the page or explore my categories over in the sidebar.


And jeeps . . . Welcome! I'm so glad you came by.  :)

Here are a few of the things that have been inspiring me lately:
  1. My Kids: I had dabbled in sewing and craft throughout my life, but it wasn't until my daughter was born (almost 3 years ago!) that I really dove into it.  Little Miss looks at me and seems to believe I can do anything.  She sees something she likes and she says, "Mom, you can make me that!"  She's not always correct about that (by the way), but it encourages me to try different things I might not have otherwise.  She also has a love for expressing herself through art already at this young age.  Every day is a new day to "make something together" with me.  This melts my heart.  My son is only 8 months old and so far hasn't expressed any interest in doing anything other than chew on my creations.  But he has a big personality in that little body and already expresses a go get em attitude.  He's started cruising the furniture recently and the other day decided it was already time to let go and stand on his own.  The kid's got gumption.  I'm going to be drawing on this kind of *I'm just going to do this even if I fall on my face* inspiration the day I open up on Etsy.  Whenever that day is.
  2. My husband: One day this past February, in the DEAD of the bitter cold winter, Mr. Skooks decided he was going to take up running.  Outdoor running.  So he did.  He just got up and ran a couple miles.  He has proceeded to go out running in the cold every other day pretty much since that random morning.  I could see him doing a triathlon with very little effort.  He swims like a fish and already has a deep affinity for cycling.  Who does that?  Who wakes up one morning out of nowhere and just hits the ground running?  My husband does.  And I love him for it.

     
  3. Inspiring-ly organized crafty spaces:  I love looking at a nice clean space with all the crafty jazz arranged just so.  Not in an anal way.  In an anything is possible kind of way.  I curated a delicious gallery of inspiring crafty spaces on Flickr here.  When I move in early June I'm going to have the opportunity to make my own sewing space, and you better believe I'll be drawing inspiration from the aforementioned gallery to make it both organized and lovely.  I am jumping out of my skin on this.  I can't WAIT to get some space of my own!
  4. Bloggers:  There is so much amazing content out there you could spend the rest of your life in front of a computer trying to soak it all up.  In the interest of not keeping you here all week long, I'm making it easy on you.  If you're interested in some of my faves scroll down my sidebar or take a gander at this post and this other one where I wrote up about a few that top my list these days.

    Annie Mole image found via Flickr
  5.  Pattern Makers:  How do they do it?  So far it eludes me, but I so want to be one someday.  A few I've found that deserve mentioning: Ashley, Larissa, Meg, Dana, Patty, Hilary, and Corinne.  Oh my, and though I've yet to try one of her patterns out I must bring up Liesl who I discovered actually went to my alma mater!

  6. COLOR!  People who love neutrals, move over.  Color really energizes my thinking and puts me in a place to get creative.  Not to mention just looking at gorgeous colors just straight up makes me happy.

  7. A few words that say so much . . .

Thanks for visiting!  I hope you were able to come away from this post with a little inspiration of your own.  Be sure to check in with Nicole tomorrow as we continue to Blog it Forward.



P.S. I'd love to hear about some of your inspirations. Share with me if you wish in the comments!

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Grad-jee-ated Once Again

Indie Biz 2.0 is officially over [sniff], but I'm not done with it yet. Yes yes, *technically* I graduated on Saturday, but due to my weird housing situation and through the natural course of my busy life I haven't yet finished all my assignments.

I know . . . FOR SHAME.

Anyway, I was in a bit of a crafty rut from all this moving business so I forced myself to do one of my more simple projects that I had skipped over.

A little business card holder:
I filled it with cards from all the Etsians I have done business with thus far (well . . . the ones that tossed a card in with my purchase) because I don't officially have any business cards of my own yet.  Um . . .  and I don't officially have a business yet either.

Someday.

I really hope to focus on my product line and get some stuff going once all this moving business settles down.

Seriously, I can't WAIT to start putting all my practical AND inspirational lessons to work for me. The sooner the better! Our housing inspection is tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed it all goes well and we don't have any more bumps in the winding road to home-ownership!

AND

a big THANKS to my awesome teachers (Elsie, Jill, and LA) and all my inspiring Indie Biz classmates. Ladies, y'all are AWESOME. :)

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