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.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Photo a Day/Layout a Day

I knew it was going to be labor intensive to try and reach this crazy goal I set last year...and well, I've decided to reassess my creative plan.

I have not remembered to take a picture every days are scattered...and I haven't started one layout at all from this year.  Considering we are way past January, I don't a prayer of catching up!

I actually saw a modified and much more doable activity that I did last month.  It's called the Take Twelve project from Ella Publishing.  The idea here is that you take TWELVE photos on the twelfth of each month and make a layout of it.

Last month, we had just gotten a fresh batch of snow....and I documented the day with fun photos.  I just need to start the layout (ha!).

Tomorrow, is the twelfth of February, and I have a special brunch date with my girlfriends, so the opportunity for great photos is there.  In fact, it will be the first time we meet baby Ellie...and I'm sooooo excited.

A slight modification, but a much more doable process. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Second page of my art journal

In my previous post, I described the totally incredible free class that Liz Hicks is offering on creating an art journal.  It's a free class for this ENTIRE year - oh my!

Well, our second assignment was to use a piece of advertisement and use its element of design to drive the direction of our second page.  Because I just moved into a new apartment, I had very few magazines to leaf through but I grabbed a very old Oprah magazine as I went to day long crop.  I found a picture that looked promising and just allowed the creativity to happen.  I didn't over think, I just started drawing.

The one thing I promised myself this year was that I was going to create for me, so this art journal course is the perfect first project.  With the guided sessions spread out weekly, I will certainly create and complete something fun.

So anyway, this month's focus will be on Relationships...and I detailed out the three main sections I will focus on through my flower (as the advertisement highlights key aspects of the lotion).  I'll focus on my loving relationships with my family, my friends and my art (i.e. hobbies).

I'm really starting to enjoy my soft pastels - especially now that my cousin educated me about fixatives.  Oh the endless possibilities!