Sunday, October 7, 2012

Card Cupids World Cardmaking Event

Saturday, October 6th was World Card Making Day.  I'm a day behind on my posts and crafting, but I got back on track today to support a wonderful agency that I'm proud to work with.

Card Cupids is an agency based in Virginia whose mission is to provide happy mail and birthday bundles to kids facing difficult challenges.  A lot of this is done through handmade cards from nationwide volunteers.  So of course Card Cupids has to celebrate one of its favorite days!

Well, Card Cupids has something else to celebrate this year - it's officially a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  I'm so proud of everything that Stephanie has accomplished since launching Card Cupids.  So let's keep with the celebratory spirit and continue to send some smiles to kids in need and earn some chances to win some great prizes!

To participate in the Sending Smiles Challenge, we are asking people to share a card that they've made to make a child smile. We have several requests for cards, so we're hoping you'll also send in your card to one of the many kids on the Card Cupids referral list!

Because of my busy past couple of months, I've sort of slacked on my design team responsibilities, but it's time to get back on track.  I decided I'd start with this challenge (which ends on October 12th).

Below is one of my cards for this week. I'll have a couple more to share throughout the week :)  Yay for crafting for good - it makes crafting extra special.

When sisters rally

On June 25th, I received an email that no one hopes to ever get from a friend.  A sorority sister  whom I had seen over the years since graduation, informed us (her Sigma Lambda Gamma sisters) that she had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  Being in my 30s, I knew that I would one day be faced with this very situation, but I had somehow convinced myself that I was going to escape the direct relationship with someone battling this disease.

Rather foolish, I know.

Deyla is a force of nature.  She served as a paramedic....married the love of her life....had two adorable kids...and lives her life with a very sweet smile and huge heart.  Though no one should ever have to battle this illness, I know that her inner strength will help her in this battle.

One of her previous partners decided he was going to throw her a benefit.  This man's huge heart was in the right place, but boy did he need some help organizing the event.  One of my sisters had been on his original outreach list, and she called on us to come together to do what we do best.  Many of us have had years of experience in throwing large events and fundraisers...but now you also throw in our love for Deyla and you get an unstoppable force of a committee.

So on September 30th, we hosted our Pink Ribbon Warriors' Benefit for our dear friend Deyla and raised over $12,000!!!  We were exhausted...we battled with competing personalities....and were astonished by the generosity of others. 

Deyla's battle has just begun, and her committee of sisters, family and friends has only just started on their journey.  Our September 30th fundraising event may have been a huge success, but we know we can do more.  So watch out world - you ain't seen nothing yet!

We were so happy Deyla was healthy enough to come and see how many people loved her.

Our committee organized over 30 incredible baskets for raffles, about 15 silent auction items and multiple money raffles.

If we made it through pledging...then we'll make it through anything.  Together - we are unstoppable!  Hermanas por vida!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A special request for a special daddy

One of my newest coworkers received some difficult news regarding her dad's health last week.  While there isn't anything we can do to change the circumstances, we are all trying to rally around her to give her the support she needs so she can be there for her dad.  Her mental strength and positive attitude are sure to be a source of comfort for him along this long road...but we all want her to know that she can lean on us!

I was absolutely touched to receive a request for three cards for her very handsome and sweet papa.  One is needed tomorrow, so I raced home to create something masculine enough for him but pretty enough to represent her.

In digging through my arsenal of supplies, I found a card I had started making in an Archiver's class, and I realized it was perfect for what she needed it to say.  So I whipped out my vintage type-writer (bought at Nest Vintage Modern) and added the final touch to the sentiment on the front of the card.

The typer-writer font was perfect for this vintage themed card.

view without the camera flash glare

Sending this very sweet man some positive vibes!!!!  If his daughter is any indication of the type of life he has lived, then we need him to stick around for quite some time longer so more goodness and love can be shared.

We're rooting for you!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Declutter update

So shockingly enough, I haven't stopped on my quest to declutter this House. I'm still following the book I mentioned in an earlier post and finished organizing my finances and health records.  It's amazing what happens when you list your bills monthly (with your corresponding paydays).  I now know exactly what should be paid with each paycheck and I've somehow started not blowing my entire my paycheck (just because I can).  I'm one for instant gratification normally.

Here are some of my favorite organization tools for finances - both found on pinterest!

I've never looked at how I spend before - so I'm creating my first true budget this month.
I know my general monthly expenses, but how do I really spend my money? This is helping me capture all those non-mandatory spends.

This was also my year of getting on track health-wise.  I finally had a physical and have established a medical home for myself.  All that stuff I put off for no reason at all has now been done.  And well, I had some not-so-great blood results which made me push my mission for better health even further.  Nothing serious....just something that could turn serious if I don't start tackling how I eat and how much I exercise.  So I'm all over that too!

I'm also continuing to tackle the scrapbook room.  Tiffany Spaulding of The Scrap Rack is launching her organizing course now that all the kids are back at school.  It'll be a great way to finish the course I started before my new job.  Since I already started the first couple of sessions and they are mostly complete, I decided to tackle my biggest challenge - STAMPS!

I started the organization process by stamping and labeling each stamp as I stored them vertically in a box.  The outside of the box will then tell me what stamp numbers are in them.  Three stamps bins were condensed into one 12x12 photo box.

After I finished storing all the wood mounted stamps (haven't yet tackled the cling stamps), I would sort the stamped images by themes.  For example, if I was looking for an owl, I would go to my animal theme sheet and see what owl stamps I had. Each stamp is now labeled so that I'll be able to find it easily in its appropriate box.

By the time I finished organizing most of the wood mounted stamps, I almost died of embarrassment.  I have almost 400 stamps (that I found in the clutter)...I know there are more!  Oy vey!  At least now I know what I have and can start the declutter/donate process.  I love most of these stamps, but if I don't use them over the next year, I'm going to seriously consider donating the ones I don't use.  Here are all the stamps organized on my shelf.  They now take up very little room.

The process will continue today!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Declutter tackle - for the 500th time

So I think this is my year of don't put off stuff....and start to really tackle my major to do lists.  I'm a girl that loves a list but even I can overwhelm myself!

I've realized that my To Do lists keep growing because there isn't a huge plan on how to tackle the routine stuff. Couple that with a new job that had me working 72 hours a week for about 2 months, and you can just imagine how the list kept growing and how many routine items were left untouched.

I had recently come across a book on sale called Organize Now! It's a week by week guide that goes through 56 weeks of weekly exercises and suggestions to tackle the clutter.  I love lists that give you incremental successes so this seemed perfect for me.  I started to tackle the craft room in a similar way, and the part that I did finish (before my new job) has remained in order and has helped me find the items I need much quicker.

So why not try this book out right?  Well...I've only just begun, but there was one suggestion in the beginning that asked you to create a chore calendar/schedule.  The chore calendar was focused on families and how to help delegate the many items.  I thought this might be helpful for me too.

After some help from a great find on Pinterest...I came up with my weekly list.  I'm already behind (as I just started this tonight), but I'll catch up!

I've also decided to add a reward component to trying to make these items into daily habits. I've been dying to schedule a mani/pedi...but I've decided that I'm not allowed to get one until I accomplish 1000 tasks.  At 2000, I can get a massage.  After that, I hope I'll no longer feel that these items are overwhelming and no longer warrant a reward!

My hope is that by having the routine stuff really become routine and more efficient, I can focus on some of my other major goals and projects.

Below is my calendar....please feel free to borrow and adapt to fit your needs.

Daily Items 
do dishes
take out trash
wipe down stove & kitchen countertop
wipe down bathroom sink & mirrors
make bed
do laundry
clean kitty litter box

Mondays (Kitchen & Dining Room)
sweep & mop
clean baseboards
wipe down walls
wipe down doors
wipe down cabinet doors
clean fridge (inside & out)
dust dining room
clean small appliances (microwave, toaster oven, blender, etc.)
dust blinds
wash windows
dust ledges
remove cobwebs

Tuesdays (Living Room)
seep & mop
clean baseboards
wipe down walls
dust TV/entertainment center
vacuum furniture
dust blinds
wash windows
remove cobwebs
clean off surfaces (coffee table, side table)

Wednesdays (Bedroom & Bathroom)
dust furniture
dust counters
wipe down walls
wipe down doors
clean mirrors
clean baseboards
change sheets
change towels
put away clean clothes
clean toilet
clean bathtub/shower
clean vanity
organize linen closet

Thursdays (Laundry Room & Reading/Exercise Nook)
sweep & mop
dust blinds
wipe down washer & dryer
clean water fountain (my cat's)
dust off exercise equipment
wash windows
declutter shelf
dust shelf

Fridays (Craft Room)
declutter desk
dust off blinds
clean windows
sweep & mop
conquer at least 2 bags/boxes from move that are still to be unpacked/sorted

Saturdays (Hallways, Entrance Stairway)
tackle one major declutter item (mail, old clothes, craft room, etc.)
sweep & mop 
wipe down doors
clean mirrors
schedule 1-2 hours to read something fun!

Sundays (Craft Room & Groceries)
buy Sunday paper
clip coupons
buy groceries
plan out weekly menu
cook some meals for the week
conquer at least 2 bags/boxes from move that are still be unpacked/sorted in craft room
schedule 1-2 hours of crafting fun! (plan projects, card club cards, cards for RMHC)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Welcome Card Cupids Followers

I have sort of been neglecting my blog for a bit, but I promise I'm coming out of the abyss of a new job.  I am, however, SUPER excited to welcome some of Card Cupids readers/participants!  I'm being forced to share a little bit about me, so here's a tiny tidbit into my insane (but fun) life.

I've been a proud Design team member for Card Cupids since September 2011 (almost reaching my first anniversary!).  I have been paper crafting (heavily) for about 13 years.  I started off making scrapbooks celebrating the momentous occasions of my incredible family and friends.  They enjoyed their gifts so much so that my friend asked me to consider launching a business so that she could employ me as part of her wedding planning services. In 2007, I officially launched my custom scrapbook company - Just Remember Scrapbooks, Inc.  I've turned a hobby I adore into something that can generate a bit of additional income. 

I keep my orders to a minimum because I spend a lot of time in my professional career with the Ronald McDonald House Charities.  I love that every everything I do supports giving families a home away from home and helps keep them together during times of health crisis.   Additionally, I'm the daughter of Mexican immigrants, and my love for cardmaking/scrapbooking has allowed me to customize items that reflect my culture and my family's language.  I often post projects that reflect the language and/or culture, and think it would be fun to try doing the same thing via the Card Cupids drives/challenges whenever possible.

Enough about me!!!  As you probably know by now, we at Card Cupids are so excited about our new Design Team Members. Not only am I super excited to work with them, I'm also super excited to be inspired by their creations.  I, of course, am constantly amazed by the creations of our readers in our various challenges.  I do hope that you all will not only participate in the creative challenges but also sned in cards.  I know it means so much to the children and families we deliver bundles of love to...I only wish I was there to hand deliver them myself!

Please stop by to welcome each of our Card Cupids team. Just by leaving a comment on a Design Team members's blog, including this one, you will be entered into a fun little give away for our two exclusive digis. How cute are these?!

By leaving a comment on each the blog's linked below you will have 14 chances to win!

You have until Monday, June 25 at 9pm EST to leave your comment. Winners will be announced on each DT members blog as well as at Card Cupids on Wednesday, June 27.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Baby Shower, a Bris, New Job and very little sleep

I was taking a mental break at work and decided to venture out onto my very neglected blog.  Like most things in my life, many things have come to a screeching halt since I started my new position with the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

In fact, I came home the other day and had found that my cable was down.  When I called to fix it, I was informed that I hadn't paid my bill since mid April (right around the time I started my job).  Oops! 

Before that, I was busy scrambling to help out together my BFF's baby shower and get some items made for a Bris.  Both I couldn't share before the event...and well, both happened around the start of my new gig.  So of course I don't have pictures on me.  Ha! 

Having started my new position, I can finally say that I haven't been happier.  The work I do is helps's rewarding.  I've had many jobs that were important in the past but none have felt this right.

I kinda feel like this:

I borrowed this photo on-line....this is NOT my puppy.  But boy oh boy is he cute!

I'm flat out exhausted but HAPPY :)

Maybe one of these days I can get back to organizing and crafting in my room.  Things are starting to settle down at work because I'm getting into a groove but my hours are going to be long for about another 3 weeks.  C'est la vie!

Friday, April 6, 2012

The craft room re-org: an update

I have been one busy bee organizing my craft room - FINALLY!

Using the tools I'm learning from Tiffany Spaulding of The Scrap Rack, I have made some serious progress.

First, let's discuss my paper addiction.  I knew I had a lot of paper, but I had no idea just how much paper I actually owned.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I present Exhibit A.  Dios mio that's a lot of paper!

And let me just say....this wasn't even a pic of ALL the paper sorted and organized.  This was maybe 3/4 of the way done.  As I've now moved on to sorting embellishments, I've continued to find more paper to organize.  Lesson learned here - no more new paper purchases (despite the cost and despite how cute it may be!).  I's like to use about 25% of my current paper supply before allowing myself to purchase any new paper.  The only exception is special projects from clients.

There is a real system in place - some of which is visually easy to understand (like the top row of paper - the rainbow section) - and I can't wait to go back and truly finish organizing each subsection.  In fact, I've already benefited from this process.  I know what I have a lot of, and I can easily find certain thematic paper for projects.  Knowing what you have makes you create effectively and efficiently.

I've now moved on to sorting my embellishments.  This process is going to take forever...but using the same process as I did with the paper, I'm slowly sorting my many piles of supplies.

As I sort through stuff, I've been emptying storage bins and purposely taking them out of the craft room.  My hope is that these storage units will not make it back into the craft room unless they are absolutely vital to this re-org process.  I want to de-clutter and eliminate items that will slow me down when creating.

Some altered journals for Card Cupids

This month's design team challenge for Card Cupids was to alter some journals.  Having never done this before, I was actually very nervous.  I decided to have a little fun with some extra supplies and generally just went for it. 

We had some adorable digital stamps from The Stamping Boutique which really let me get creative with the covers.  I've also doubled my copic marker arsenal, so blending and color combos have become so much easier.

I added a lot of texture to the covers, so these are not travel friendly journals - at least not the way I pack my carry-on!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

To Conquer or Not to Conquer the Craft Room

Well, the time has come to officially embark on the grand overhaul of my craft room.  Having moved into a new space = a chance to start new, right?

Well, let's just look at the current state of affairs in casa de Nubia.  The situation is NO BUENO!

So, how do I even begin to tackle the disorganized chaos?  I was trying to create zones, but I soon realized that I needed a system because I still wasn't able to find things easily.  I mean, let's not ignore the fact that this is the ONLY room in the house that still has unpacked boxes.  Oy vey!

Thankfully, I happened across an organization webinar from The Scrap Rack company last year.  I had reviewed the first lesson last year and thought the concept was interesting.  I, however, didn't do the rest of the lessons. They ultimately would love it if you buy their products, but there is no purchase required to take the course.  So generous of them!

This time, I am going full force and am promising myself that I will finish this course and end up with a fantastic room.

Lesson one asked us to identify the 4 major benefits we will get from organizing our room and our rewards for completing each lesson.  Here's my board!

We also had some extra credit questions to answer, so I figured I'd keep on track and fully answer those too!

Next lesson is to tackle the paper - which I have a CRAP LOAD of, so lesson two is sure to be a painfully tedious process!  I'm planning to start that tomorrow!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Take Twelve on the 12th Day project - February

Some time at the end of last year, I proclaimed that I was going to try and take a picture a day and make a layout a day.  Considering my scrapbooking tends to be quite layered, I quickly learned that this was not a feasible goal for me.  There are very talented people who have put together kits where this might be possible next year, but my initial design plan needed to quick modification.

That's when I discovered the Ella Publishing Company's Take Twelve project.  The basic concept is that you take twelve photos on the twelfth day of each month and then create a layout about that day in your life.  I still need to go back and do January and March, but February was SUPER easy to do because we threw a surprise baby shower for my friend Barbara that day.

The Take Twelve project does have templates that you can use to figure out how to lay out your photos, but I decide to take a stab at it on my own to see what I could come up with.  Twelve photos are A LOT of photos, so I had to create a plan ahead of time so that I knew how to print up my photos.

I'm pretty pleased with the final layout!  I knew that I wanted to highlight the guest of honor, but I still needed to have enough room for all the other pics.

  • The big photo of Ellie is 4x4 inches
  • My little photos are 1.75x 1.75 inches (I first shrunk the photos on photoshop) and matted on 2x2 inch squares
  • SEI couture paper line
  • martha stewart butterfly punch

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Copic on-line course by Created from Color

For the past couple of weeks, I've been taking an on-line course on how to color properly with Copic markers.  Copics are alcohol based markers - architects, interior designers, comic book illustrators, etc. use similar based markers.

I've become more obsessed with Copic markers since I started designing for Card Cupids because we use digital stamps.  So when this course came along from Created from Color - I just knew I had to sign up.

Anyway, I'm no expert yet, but I am liking the results so far!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Boy Birthday Cards

This month's Card Cupids Challenge is to make Birthday Cards for Boys. 

As a member of the design team, I challenge myself to try and make the best card possible to encourage and inspire some of our followers to submit their versions.  I always hope that our followers will then send in their creations for the kids at the local shelter where Card Cupids is based (Virginia).

Birthday Cards are easy.....masculine or boy-friendly not my strength.  I love flowers and forcing myself to tone down the feminine angle can be tough.  However, I carefully chose my images from Bugaboo Stamps so that I could have the best image to work with.  That, in itself, proved challenging because Bugaboo has a lot of cute stuff, and I could only choose two stamps.

However, after weeding through the cuteness, I came across a baseball player and fireman image that I thought would be perfect.  I didn't realize my baseball player was, in fact, a girl until I was almost done designing the card - oh well! 

My favorite is definitely this fireman card.  I doodled in my sentiment because I'm trying to force myself to not be entirely dependent on my Cricut die cutting machine.  It also makes me practice doodling for my art journal.

I've been taking an on-line Copic coloring class through Created from Color, and I definitely used some of the new tricks on these images.  I was super pleased at the smooth coloring and shading.  I can't wait to get into the real nitty gritty in that class.  I'm sure that in a couple of weeks, I'm going to think these images need a lot of work.  For now, I'll take them!

and a Bag of Chips!

I realized that I never posted a picture of one of my favorite creations from last month's Card Cupid's Challenge.  Our theme that month was to to make motivational cards for kids.  Our digital stamps last month were from Fresh Brewed Designs.  They have some really cute stuff.

I just loved this digital image - I can image sending versions of it to my smaller godkids, who would totally appreciate learning this slang phrase.  I'm sure they would spend hours laughing at calling each other bags of chips!  hmmmm....I may have just given myself an idea!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I heart my daddy

Yet another Pinterest-inspired creation for my home....and I needed my daddy to help me complete it.  I not only needed his fancy power tools, but also his eye for spacing wall hangings.

I bought some cheap frames from my local Michaels with the intent of maybe painting them.  They aren't wood - they might, in fact, be plastic.  I honestly wasn't sure I would be able to make this work, but I went for it anyway.

I bought some cup hooks, some twine and waited for dad to come over today.  In about 30 minutes, we had assembled and hung my new "art" pieces which will be embellished with my jewelry.

My new apartment has a lot more walls for me to decorate and I'm struggling with finding the right pieces.  I figured I couldn't go wrong with making something functional in my bedroom that will also be pretty.  I'm an accessory why not showcase them, right?!

Found some cup hooks at Home Depot and they easily screwed into the frame.

Some simple twine to hang some dangling earrings. 

I now only need to figure out a fun way to display bracelets, studded earrings and rings.  Yay for fun visual displays!

My stamp club assignments

About a year ago, I was convinced to join a Stampin' Up group by my friend, Elisa.  I knew that I loved their products, so I was okay with joining this "Tupperware" party environment for products I knew I would use in my artistic creations.

The twist in our gathering is that this group of women not only get together to learn about and purchase the products, but they also swap cards.  Each month there is a new theme chosen by that month's Hostess, and each month I leave with 15 handmade cards to add to my arsenal of cards to give out to friends and family.

For December, our host asked us to make snowmen inspired cards.  I was a bit behind but I had been inspired by a card that I saw on Pinterest.  Yes, I know...Pinterest seems to be my latest obsession.  Before Pinterest, I would have told you that I had seen it on one of the many blogs I follow...Pinterest has just allowed me the place to organize and quickly find the things I love. 

So my creation was inspired by this adorable card (click on the picture to go to the blog).

And here was my final version (which the club members loved). 

I didn't have circle punches to make this on my own quickly so I used a corner rounder and gave my snowman a funkier shape.  I had some leftover felt from a previous "scarf" project so used those itty bitty scarves on my version.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Progressive art journal week 4 - something clear and a sketch

I think Liz Hicks is trying to make us pull our hair out :)  For this week's assignment, she asked us to sketch and to use something clear in our final page layout.

I hadn't had a chance to make a page about my sister for the "dear to your heart" segment, so I wanted to make sure I made one now.  I totally didn't expect to have to try and SKETCH her.

I started with one of my favorite pics of Kristine.

The long swept bangs and bright colored clothes, plus the pretty make-up on the ONE eye you can see pretty much sums up my sister's look.  The only thing missing here is fun colored hair - her favorite being Pink.

We had to sketch and use something clear in our final product.  I had some fun acrylic pieces from an album I made for a wedding, so I figured why not use on here, right?

I found a little pic of Kris when she was very little that I used to have on my wall at work.  I thought it would be fun to put in here to show how cute she used to be and how ugly she's gotten now (kidding, of course!).

I added some journaling and some damask stamps (her favorite pattern).  I'm afraid to keep adding, so I'm going to stop here.  Overall, I think my sketch sort of looks like my I'm pretty pleased with myself :)

Progressive Art Journal - week 3

I'm a week behind on my art journal class, but since I got home a little early today, I knew I wanted to tackle part of what I had thought to work on.

For this week, I wanted to play with glimmer mists.  I have a couple of colors, but I never use them!  They sit in my arsenal of supplies.  So I whipped them out and just had fun with them.  I also pulled out the acrylic daubers and splatter some paint spots on the pages.  Don't really like the color I chose to add to the misted pages, but it's not terrible.

For our week three class, we were supposed to focus on what's dear to our hearts.  I chose family (which can mean many different things to different people).  For family is super large and I needed to focus.  I chose to do a page on my parents.  I wanted to capture some notes about their personalities and some key dates.  I also want to make a page about my only sibling and my cat...but those will come next.

I really think most of my pages so far are BORING compared to the work I've seen on-line.  I know I'm a newbie and that the layering techniques and sketching/doodling I see will eventually become a part of my journalling.  However, I want it all now :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sweet Potato Burger

One of the other things I love to do is eat....and cook!  Pinterest has been an evil source of many yummy things I'd like to make. 

Today I finally tried a recipe I pinned the other day for Sweet Potato Burgers.  I've been trying to cook more now that I have a fantastic normal sized kitchen.  I made the decision to make these at work today so I stopped by the closest grocery store to me.  My recipe called for Tahini sauce and of course my local Jewel did not have any. So there I am, googling Tahini recipes and I decided to wing it and make my own!

I bought roasted sesame seeds...added some olive oil, garlic, and lime juice and blended them in my food processor.  I have a "pretend"'s one of those $10 mini ones you get at Target.  Gets the job done, but sometimes (like today) it doesn't have enough power to blend smoothly.  End result? Grainy but yummy smoky tahini sauce. 

Note to self - buy myself a real sized food processor!

The burger was delicious and I'm so glad to have a bunch for the rest of the week.  Thank goodness I love sweet potatoes!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My pinterest obsession - my first project

If you haven't yet fallen in love with Pinterest, let me know!  Because the only logical reason for not being on Pinterest is because you don't have an invitation to join.  I will gladly take care of that!

I don't want to bore everyone with the details of Pinterest....but it's essentially a place where you "pin" "interesting" things on virtual bulletin boards.  Crafts, recipes, fashion, home decor, books, etc.

One of my boards is called House Useful...for things that I want to have in my house to make my life easier.  I'm a huge list maker and love being able to physically write down and eliminate items.  I have virtual to do lists which are helpful, but I have many lists written down to remind me of important things at home and at work.

Well...I discovered a fun way to display goals/to-do items that I just had to try.  Here's the link to the site I pinned in my House Useful board.  It's for a rotating goal list.

The Cornflower Blue blog gives you the dimensions and instructions to make your own.

It sounded super easy to make, so I made some as gifts for my closest circle of friends because we had just talked about setting some individual goals.  I figured this would be a fun way to keep these goals and to remind each other to hold others accountable for putting stuff up and completing it.

I made one that looked exactly like the blog posts, but then I did a little research on zentangle designs to make the others different.  Here's the one I made for me!

The one I made for myself is drawn on the Bristol cardstock and pinned to my bulletin board in my kitchen.  For my friends' gifts, I mounted the Bristol cardstock onto some super thick poster boards that I got at Staples.  It was more like thin but super strong cardboard which added a nice weight.  I might make myself one like that for the office.

Super quick...great visual of the best Pinterest finds and projects to take on that seemed very doable!

Our secret baby surprise - Welcome Ellie!

I'm sorry I had been so silent in terms of my visual creations...but I was busy working on a special surprise for our dear friend, Barbara.

Sweet Barbara and her husband Matt are brand new parents to baby Ellie Marie.  We didn't have much time to plan for her arrival but we knew that we wanted to throw a special welcome tea to meet the latest nugget of cuteness in our lives. 

It was a hectic time but soooo worth it.

Our special surprise tea also happened to fall on February day to take 12 pictures.  So here are a few snapshots from that day.  With the help of Barbara's great camera and picture taking skills, I got a couple of extra great moments to remember the day.

Sogol and her husband Aren have a beautiful home that provided an exquisite background to our tea party.  Being Persian, Sogol is also a proud owner of a beautiful tea set...that helped us set the mood for the day.
When our mini guest of honor arrived...we couldn't wait to get our snuggles in.  Outside of waking up to get some grub, Ms. Ellie slept the whole afternoon away.
 I had to improvise on making this banner as my craft room has to be fully unpacked.  I ended up using the pages of a bo bunny chipboard album to create the banner pieces.  I really like the shape of the banner.

Being so close to Valentine's Day, we decided to girlify the event and incorporate both reds and pinks.  Our little take home favors were mini mason jars filled with sugar red hearts (for all the love we shower on Ellie).  I also took this opportunity to play with bottle caps to embellish each jar with Ellie's first initial and a mini button heart.

One of the easiest decor elements was making onesie cupcake toppers.  While we didn't have many cupcakes at the tea, there certainly wasn't a shortage of treats.

 Sogol and Aren were very concerned with their mismatching china and tea set.  I mean, really!  Everything looks lovely.  I made tissue paper pom poms to use as napkin ring holders.  Added a little bit of delicate detail to the place settings.

What's a baby shower without a diaper cake, right?!

The fastest scrapbook I've ever made!  Thank goodness for these adorable "word" albums.  Perfect amount of whimsy with just enough space for mom and dad to add pictures later.

This is the part of the afternoon where Roya has decided she needs a consultation with her attorney regarding Ellie's trademark violation.  How dare she take my title of Baby?! I believe Tajani calmly reminded her that the request to trademark that name was rejected.  Poor Roya!

To make matters worse, Baby Ellie also occupied Roya's favorite space for quite some time - Mommy's Arms!  (Don't you just love Sogol's dress - so cute!)

Auntie Rose was quick to help Roya cool her heels.  I think Roya was starting to feel a little embarrassed about the legal fuss she was trying to create.

That's when we realized that we had forgotten to set a formal place setting for Roya.  We resolved that immediately and I think she settled in quite nicely.  

Here's the newest mommy of our group - Barbara.  She looks incredible and IS incredible with our delicate new addition. 

Thank you for indulging all the crazy Tias that Ellie will have - we love you and can't wait to share in this journey with you and Matt.