Happy father's day to all you Dad's out there! Several friends in my life have become father's this year and are celebrating their very first Father's Day - it's very cool to see them in that role and I imagine they must be enjoying their very first Father's Day - Cheers Jesse, Michael, Hugh, and Brett!
Today we will get to spend time with my hubby's Dad so I whipped up a quick card for him:
Today is one of those days, though, that makes me miss my Dad more than usual. Inspired by my friend Jenn's video she posted on her blog today, I thought I'd send my Dad this fun collage.
It's amazing how life ebbs and flows - SO many people in my life are having babies right now. It's quite shocking, actually. My husband and I *may* have utterd the word "epidemic" :) Although we've never felt that calling in life, we both love kids (I would hope so, considering I work with kids every day) and are perfectly content to be in that aunt & uncle / helpful neighbor role.
Watching some good friends go through this phase is both beautiful and difficult to watch. It's clearly exhaustive and so much hard work - and such a life altering experience for independent friends who have full lives and careers - but it is beautiful to see how much love fills their hearts. No question, this is the toughest and most important job on the planet.
As I type this, we are winding down our trip to visit my family in Oregon.
Job hunting prompted my parents to move to Oregon when I was in college. A few years later my brother and his family joined them. Since the move, my hubby and I enjoy driving up to visit when we can, and that is especially true this year since now my Mom and two nieces (whom I affectionately refer to as "Big Chiquita" and "Mini Chiquita") are expert card makers now. We got in a lot of crafy time this visit which was so fun for me (I honestly can't remember the last time I made a card for fun). So, I thought I'd share some cute crafty chiquita pics and a couple cards with you!
Before stamping, we all had to find our crafty mojo - so super soft fluffy crafty-mojo socks were in order!
I'm pretty sure Big chiquita will put all the card designers out there to shame one day! She's a total "outside of the box" thinker - it's fun to see what she comes up with. She's also taken to helping her Grandma remember techniques when Grandma forgets (oopsies!) :)
I'm sure Mini Chiquita is smoking past her kindergarten counterparts! Her coloring is so excellent and she's so good with scissors. She's also an expert at glitter, one of her favorite things, as evident by the glitter we find tracked all over the house (Grandpa's favorite thing)! :)
The girls worked really hard making everyone these beautiful name cards which they carefully placed at everyone's seat for Christmas dinner.
We all also designed some special cards which I'll be sure to share in a special post for you in a couple weeks ;)
Before heading up north, I was "under the gun" to make my calendars (which I give as gifts) and holiday cards. I thought you might like to take a peek at the card I made. I sadly didn't have time to send out cards to many people (I can blame that on my thesis, right?) - but I managed to get a few out to some people I knew I wouldn't be able to see.
I love this big stamp that was released this summer by A Muse - I thought it lent itself nicely to something more retro. I just had to go with pink and green :)
So, as I sit here sipping the last of the eggnog while saying goodbye to 2010, I wish you all a fabulous new year!
It turns out, my niece, a 4th grader, is pretty artistic. She loves to draw and do crafty things. She and her little sister often spend weekends with my parents and usually end up doing some sort of fun thing with my Mom like baking, making glittered gourds, etc. Apparently, she loves the cards I make, so I decided to hook her up this past Christmas. I was planning a visit to my parents for the holidays, and they live in the same town, so I thought I'd get her all the basic supplies she would need and teach her how to stamp. Now, from experience, I know how hard it is to share things like this, and I knew my Mom would be the one working with her, so I decided to get Mom supplies too.
I assembled a kit for each of them: a cutter, scissors, adhesive, ink pads, and a few fun stamps, embellishments, and notecards. I tried picking sentiments and images that would have more than one purpose so they could use them for more than one type of card. My niece is crazy about animals, especially bunnies, so I got her a couple bunny stamps and the Animal Wishes set by A Muse. I also got her a wonderful colored pencil roll hand-sewn by Vi (awesome Mom of Linda, owner of A Muse). I had a lot of supplies that I wasn't using anymore (loads of patterned paper, old stamps, embellishments, etc.) that I also passed along to the two of them.
Saying this was a hit, was an understatement! She couldn't wait, and while her sister was opening presents she started to make cards!
I work a lot with kids, so I figured the little sister would feel left out. I had already gotten her something else for Christmas, but went ahead found a kid ink pad and a little set of stamps with kids on them (found them at a teacher's supply store) so she could make things too. I also got her one of Vi's crayon rolls (you can see it in the picture below - isn't it adorable?) I figured if she could show that she could listen and hang with the big girls, then her big sis and grandma could share their supplies with her.
Since Mom and the girls live about 1,000 miles away from me, I wanted to introduce them to a lot of things like how to ink stamps properly and how to care for stamps and inks (like, don't stamp on the floor again! My nieces stuff got loaded with dog hair, LOL). I also showed them lots of different techniques. As I went through the techniques with my niece, I had her write "notes" on a mat for herself. I figured she could keep the mat as a reminder of things she can do with her cards since she wouldn't have me around later.
This actually cracks me up now, looking at it. I love her little notes like, "rub" and "don't touch after"
Notice the smear marks :)
Mom got a little more specialized training later. I advised her to join the A Muse Lounge so she could see the cards in the design studio, and also suggested that when she sees cards to pay more attention to the layout to get ideas. We also got to sneak up to Seattle and go to the A Muse shop where we did some serious damage. Oh my, that store is fabulous!
Mom and niece will have to learn how to work together. Mom is more like me and likes a neat, organized space to work in. My niece is more of a spastic hurricane when she works. :) I really think it's just a difference in how brains work. I advised Mom to take deep breaths and let the kid go for it. As long as she is taking proper care of her stamps and putting everything away when she is done, let her go nuts and make a mess. If she spills glitter, she'll realize her mistake and never do it again. If she uses 20 twinkle stickers on one card, she'll run out and learn that less is more.
So far, little sis is going great and may well be on her way to getting a "pro" kit like her big sister :)
In the end, this was a lot of fun and I'm really happy I was able to help teach them how do do something fun together. Reminds me when I first learned to stamp with my aunt :)