Monday, January 27, 2014

Handmade Thank Yous

This year I decided to actually make some New Year's Resolutions. This isn't something I typically do. I guess it's because I figured that I wouldn't actually DO what I set out to do, and why in the world would I want to start my year out failing right off the bat. That is definitely the "pessimistic" way of looking at it. This time around I didn't want to start a new year with a pessimistic attitude. This year I've designated 2014 the Year of "Change" (this was actually inspired by a spot I saw on the Today Show about dedicating a "word" to each year and putting all your energy into living up to that "theme." You can read more about it here One Word). So keeping the word "change" in mind, I decided THIS year I'd set some resolutions. My list contains some BIG resolutions and some small resolutions. This blog entry is about a small one…writing Thank You Notes.

Some of my New Year's Resolutions

Seems pretty simple, right? You get a gift from someone, someone does something nice for you—you send them a Thank You note. It doesn't take long, but somehow I never seem to get to them. I remember I don't get to them and that weighs on me and makes me feel bad about myself—I need to "change" that.

January is the perfect time to start working on achieving this resolution. The holidays were only a few weeks ago. The family has gotten a whole lot of stuff that we need to say "thanks" for. To help motivate me even further…I still have an envelope of school pictures of the boys that I haven't passed out to family members (dirty little secret—I haven't given out school pictures for the last 2 or 3 years…I pay $45 for each package and they have just been sitting there, in the envelope they were delivered in…what a waste!!! Definitely another thing to "change").

Now, I KNOW I have Thank You cards floating around the house somewhere. I have actually written a few over the years. But of course, I when I really need them, I can't find them. I was going to go out and buy some new ones, and then I came across a picture I had "Instagrammed" of my boys on Christmas morning. This picture was just begging to be shared with family and close friends. I decided that I would make my own "Thank You" cards.

Instagram photo of my two little sweeties. Aren't they adorable? Boy #1 had told me on Christmas Eve "Mom, when we wake up, we're going to go downstairs and you're going to take a picture of us in front of the tree." Sounded like a good plan to me, and look how cute it came out. What a smart kid!

The benefit of making my own cards was that I could use up some supplies I have around the house. I'm always picking stuff up because I figure I'll have a use for it at some point. Or I have left overs from other projects. I love being able to to find uses for this stuff, even if it's been hanging around for years.

First step, get the photo printed...

I used my handy-dandy photo printing app, Kicksend (I really, really love this app) and sent the image to Walmart and printed out a dozen (TIP: Walgreens and Walmart both print out 4x4 pictures. Walmart is 10 cents cheaper per print).

Second step, design the Thank You card….

I knew I had some 5x7 folded card shells in the house from a past invite project I had done. These cards are photo is square. I really wanted to avoid printing ON the card shells, for a couple of reasons: 1) I didn't have a lot of paper and didn't want to risk wasting any if they didn't print correctly. 2) my printer was actually low on ink. A layout came to my mind…I would place the picture, off-center, horizontally on the card shell. I would balance it with some ribbon or trim that I had around the house and add some sort of little "Thank You" graphic on top of the ribbon.

Third step, finding said graphic…

With all the little scrapbooking and card making materials the local craft stores have, I figured there MUST be some little "Thank You" graphics that you can buy on a sheet. I headed over to my local Michael's and went aisle by aisle looking for said "graphic"…NADA! Probably didn't help that A) it was right after the holidays and others were probably also making their own "Thank You" cards, and B) this particular Michael's is getting ready to move across the street and isn't keeping it's shelves stocked.

I was just about to give up and figured I'd just have to go ahead and print my own little graphic (keeping the ink coverage down to try and get as many pieces printed as possible...remember, I was low on ink). I looked over one more scrapbooking/card making display that was right before the registers and BAM! The most perfect little "Thank You" graphic!! A sheet of 8 for just $1.50. The Crafting Gods were looking down on me for sure. I scooped them up with a big grin and headed for home!
"Thank You" stickers found at Michael's for only $1.50


Fourth step, assembly…

So, I had my photos. I had my blank card shells. I had my "Thank You" graphics—I was ready for production! My "vision" was to place the photo of the boys on the card using little black photo corners. I KNEW I had those around the house….well, I thought I did. I looked through my whole craft cabinet and all the other places I store away crafting supplies and NADA! Groan… I was about to scrap the photo corner idea when something in my head went "BING!" and I remembered that I  had a paper punch to MAKE photo corners (my hubby had given it to me for Christmas the year prior). I pulled out by paper punch collection and low-and-behold, my memory was right, there is was…still in it's packaging. The Crafting Gods were still with me and my Craft Cabinet of Requirement (a fellow crafting friend dubbed it that when I told her this story) supplied me with what I needed.

My "Craft Cabinet of Requirement" bestowed on me a paper punch to make photo corners and little photo mount squares.

With paper punch in hand, I found some black paper, and punched out my own corners. I actually ended up liking them better than the basic corners. They are more decorative. Took longer to assemble this part of the Thank You card layout, but in the end it was worth it.

Making my own photo corners. Punched them out of black paper, attached a little square photo mount to each corner of the picture and let it stick out a bit so the paper corner would get stuck to it. Placed the picture and corners on to the card shell and burnished it down along the end of the picture.

Once the pictures were in place, I found some assorted red ribbon that I had around the house and attached a strip to each card with double-sided stick tape. To finish off the design, I placed the cute little "Thank You" sticker on top of the ribbon.
Some of my ribbon stash. I keep ribbon "odds-and-ends" in a couple of glass canisters that I had actually gotten as a wedding gift years ago. I stopped storing sugar and flour in them a while back and found they were the perfect storage container for my crafts.
TA-DA! Handmade Thank You Cards!
Finished "Thank You" Card
I'm really happy with the way they came out and I had fun putting them together. Crafting makes me happy, and when I'm happy, I'm productive…in all aspects of my day.

Fifth step, writing out the "Thank Yous"…

Some people would probably think MAKING the cards was the hard part, but not for me. Once I had the cards done, I sat there and stared at them. What do I write? What do I say? Seems really simple "Thanks so much for the thoughtful gift…", but I wanted to add more of a personal touch, but I seemed lost for words. To get past this speed bump, I considered what the gift was that we had received and gave some thought to who I was writing to, and was able to pull together some thoughtful words. (TIP: make note of who gives you what when you're opening gifts. REALLY helps when you are writing "Thank Yous". I'm adding this to my Resolution list right now…). I really AM "thankful" for all that people do for me and my family, and the gifts they are able to give (whether large or small), and I want the person receiving the note to know that.

Sixth step, mail cards…

I luckily had some very cute Disney movie stamps floating around the house which made an excellent final touch to my cards. I dropped them in the mail and many arrived the next day. I got a text photo from one friend who said "What a nice surprise when I got home." That made me happy.

Stamped Thank You cards, ready to be mailed.

I'm feeling pretty good about my New Year's Resolutions. I'm actually accomplishing things. And pulling this blog entry together is helping me to accomplish another one…"Blogging regularly"

Before signing off, I want to also thank all of YOU who take time to read me thoughts, ponderings, and creative ramblings. I hope some of what I share inspires you to make something, do something, say something. 

Wishing everyone as creative and fulfilling 2014!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Party Time - Skylanders

I can't believe I haven't posted anything in nearly 3 months. Where does the time go???

October through January are very busy months for me. My youngest son's birthday is near the end of October (as mentioned in my entry about the "Baby Stinky Costume") and then we move right into Halloween. From there I blink and Thanksgiving is upon me with Christmas on it's heels. And then BOOM! The year is over and my First Born's birthday is right on top of me. Yup, that is definitely where the time goes.

Well, New Year's Resolution time…get back to blogging about all my "creativity adventures." There was LOTS that I did between my last entry and right now, but I'll start with the one that is the most current in my memory...My First Born's Skylanders Adventure Party!

I started with the "theme" parties right off the bat. Son #1 had a Football party for his first birthday (it happened to fall on Super Bowl Sunday and our team was in he could it NOT be football themed?). You could say I cursed myself, but honestly, I really enjoy it. I know that it may seem to some that I'm going "above and beyond," but what I pull together really doesn't cost me a whole lot and it is typically something I can pull together in a week or two (with LOTS of late nights…but hey, that's how I roll).

Let's remember, Creativity is my super power, so themed parties just come to me naturally.


So Son #1 asked for a Skylanders party. Both my boys are BIG into Skylanders, and have loads of the figures, but honestly, I didn't know much about the topic. So off to the Internet I went....

FIRST STEP, hit Pinterest and see what others have done for inspiration. There were of course lots of great ideas. I noticed that lots of people played off of the different characters to come up with game ideas. There was also lots of ideas around the different "elements" that each character gets their "powers" from. (You can check out my Pinterest Party Board here to see the types of stuff I pinned)

SECOND STEP, learn who the different characters were and what each one did. I was able to get this info via Wikipedia pages—so helpful. I started making lists of the different characters under the different elements and brainstorming ideas for games and such.

My brainstorming list for games and activities for the Skylander party.

Invitation Creation

Between the Christmas/New Years break and the snow days after the first of the year, I had to make an invite quickly for my son to bring to school the Monday before the party. I asked him who his favorite Skylanders were and I was able to find images of Wash Buckler, Stink Bomb, and Blast Zone on the Internet. I had seen the idea of customizing the Skylanders logo to include the child's name, so I decided to do that for my son. He thought it was the best thing EVER! I pulled all the elements together into a 4x6 layout and saved it as a JPG. I sent the layout to my phone and then from my phone, through an app (I love Kicksend), to Walgreen's. I had a dozen invites ready to go an hour later.

Skylanders Party Invite - I cropped the top half as seen here to use for decorations.
I printed full 4 x 6 copies at the local Walgreens. Quick and inexpensive!

Decor Galore

Once I had the invite done, I used the elements from the layout to make decorations: banners, garlands, table decor, and cake toppers.

To add to the decor, I also downloaded files for all the Skylander elements: Wind, Life, Undead, Earth, Fire, Water, Magic, and Tech (I knew there were different "elements" in the game, just didn't know there was so many!!) I used the Elements graphics for party garland and for cupcake toppers.

All my decorations are typically made out of paper. It's easy…at least for me! For the decorations, I just print out color copies of the graphics, trim them out (sometime silhouetting them—which I do by hand. I don't have a Cameo...which I would LOVE to have) and tape or glue them, whatever works best.

Assorted Skylanders Party decorations. Garlands and banners. Tabletop decor and cake toppers.

Let Them Eat Cake!

Or should I say "cupcakes". Several birthday parties ago I discovered that doing cupcakes was WAY easier than getting an actual cake. Why? Because you don't have to worry about cutting anything (it can get SO messy). It also saves time. The kids just grab themselves a cupcake after the candles are blown out. Super simple!

I order the cupcakes from the local market's bakery. I'd loved to make them myself, but that would be just one more thing I'd have to do. It's way easier to just order them plain and add my own decorations. For the Skylanders party, I ordered just white frosted cupcakes, because I wanted them to feel "cloud like." I made Skylanders Elements "toppers" (printed on card stock and punched out with a 2" hole punch), which I placed on top of each "cupcake cloud."

I did also do a small round cake as the "centerpiece". This is usually just to hold the main decor of the "Birthday Cake", but this time it also got eaten (we had a LOT of people).

For the cake decorations, I found a paper craft "portal" online that I downloaded, printed out on cardstock and put together (you can downloade it here). Worked perfectly! (Tip: when doing paper cake/cupcake decorations, be sure to use inks that are NOT water soluble. If it's typical ink jet ink, then the ink could run once it comes in contact with the frosting). I then printed out one of the Skylander images I used on the invite, trimmed him out, and attached him to the portal. I did also glue the whole piece to a large plastic cover, so that the paper portal wasn't sitting directly on the cake.

Skylanders centerpiece cake and Element cupcakes.

Keeping Them Busy

Over the years I have developed a formula for all our parties:

  • Coloring/Crafting Activity as guest arrive
  • 1 - 2 Games
  • Pizza/Food
  • Let the kids run around
  • 1 Game
  • Cake
  • 1 (more) Game
  • Goodie Bags
  • Presents*
    *I use to do presents second to last, but this part of the party sometimes gets really out of hand…all the kids reaching for the gifts, wanting to (help) open them. I've started to wait until most of the guest are gone so it's a little more calm. Usually there will be a few people who'll hang out afterwards to join in on the fun.)

This time around we had a REALLY big group…26 kids!!!! I wanted to keep the "running around" to a minimum and decided it was best to try and keep to a schedule and keep them busy.

We started out having each child choosing a Skylander they wanted to be and make a name tag that included the Element they wanted to be. With such a large group, I decided I would break the kids up in groups for each game—by their Element. This worked out very well.

Skylander Name Tags. Each guest choose a name and an Element.

I also had some coloring sheets to keep them busy as guest arrived. You can find all sorts of color pages online. download and print - DONE!

Once all the guests had arrived, we started with the games...

Sonic Boom & Star Strike's Sheep Corral

I split the kids up into 2 teams. Each child in each team had to "corral" one balloon "sheep" into a "holding pen" using either a balloon inflator hand pump (Sonic Boom) or a plastic fan (Star Strike). The team with the most sheep won.

Sonic Boom & Star Strike's Sheep Corral

Trigger Happy's Target Practice

Used Nerf plaster with suction cup bolts to shoot at a target I had made on a large mirror. Kids were broken up into the same two teams as the last game.
Trigger Happy's Target Practice

Trigger Happy's Coin Toss

2 teams once again. Each team got a bunch of plastic coins and had to throw them into their bucket. The one with the most in their bucket, won.
Trigger Happy's Coin Toss

Wrecking Ball's Element Grab

I had made a bunch of Element Cards on card stock. I placed them on the floor in a square area and had each child come up to the "Element Well" and try to "grab" their Element with a "sticky hand" (like Wrecking Ball's tongue). The person who grabbed their Element first, won!
Wrecking Ball's Element Grab

Shroom Boom & Eruptor's Troll Attack

A simple game of tossing a ball at a stack of "cans" (trolls). I had found some cool bouncy balls that looked liked cooling lava (though green, not orange) and blinked when tossed. The players got to decide if they wanted to shoot them off with a slingshot (like Shroom Boom) or just throw them (like Eruptor). They quickly realized that throwing was easier….but it was fun trying to use the sling shot.

Shroom Boom & Eruptor's Troll Attack

Thank You Treats

For Treat/Goodie Bags, I used dark blue lunch bags (Tip: I found these bags at Target in the paper bag/plastic sandwich bag aisle. They cost less than $2 for 40. Way cheaper than the same size bags you find over in the party aisle) and made little "Thank You" tags that used the Skylanders logo I had on the invite. I had seen this look on Pinterest from another party and I liked how simple and easy it was. I filled the bag with stickers, tattoos, a bouncy ball, some candy, and a print out of a Happy Meal activity sheet, that I again, found online.
Skylanders Treat Bags / Goodie Bags

Wrapping Up

A gift Walker got from one of my "creative" friends. She always makes a custom tag for the present. The Skylander bag was found at Target...which was PERFECT timing for the party...he got 3!

It was a loooong and crazy day with lots of "children corralling", but when it was all said and done, Son #1 said "Mom, it was the BEST party EVAH!!!!" That is really what it's all about….making memories.

Birthday Boy and his little brother Sprinkles

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Last Minute Costumes 2008

So it's pretty much 5 years to the day that I was driving down the street with my 4.5 year old in the back seat. He was going on and on about how excited he was that he was going to be Captain Rex for Halloween. He just couldn't wait. Then he said "Momma, what is Sprinkles going to be?" 

I was 9 months pregnant with my second child. My oldest had named him "Sprinkles" when we discovered we were having another boy.

It was about mid-October and I was scheduled to have Sprinkles on October 22. That would mean he'd only be a measly 9 days old on Halloween. Honestly, I hadn't really considered taking him out for trick-or-treating. But I decided to humor my 4 year old and said "Oh, I don't know, maybe a bumblebee?"

"Noooo!" he responded.

"How about a pea-in-a-pod?" I suggested.

"Noooo!" he said again.

"Well, I don't know, Sweetie, he's only going to be a week old. Costume options are kind of limited."

"I know what he can be," he announced from the backseat. "Baby Stinky!!"

"Baby Stinky" aka Rotta the Huttlet was Jabba the Hutt's son. The Clone Wars movie had just come out that summer, and my oldest became a huge fan of all-things-Clone Wars, including "Baby Stinky".

I guess the "creative" gene runs strong in my family, because my little boy had come up with a FABULOUS idea! Baby Stinky is just a little slug. What better to dress a new-born infant as. All I had to do was make him a little "snuggie" that looked like a baby Hutt. Sure I could do that!

Sprinkles was born on October 22nd, as scheduled. 4 days in the hospital and we were back home as a new Family-of-4 on the 26th of the month…5 days before Halloween.

Being as we were preparing for a new baby, and I was HUGELY pregnant, I hadn't spent any time working on the Baby Hutt costume prior to giving birth. So there we were, a few days before Halloween and we weren't in the house 6 hours when my oldest asked "Momma, when are you going to make Sprinkles costume?"

4 days after having an 8lb 15oz baby via C-section, and my 4 year old is asking me to MAKE something. Really? But I had pretty-much promised him that Sprinkles would be Baby Stinky, and I really didn't want to let him down.

I took a few days to recuperate and settle in with a new new-born and then we headed out to the fabric store and picked up some tan fleece. It was 7 days post-delivery, and I was on the floor of my living room, laying my 1 week old son on the floor and drawing a "slug shape" around him.

Luckily it was really a simple thing to do. Basically it was a simplified "papoose" with eyes and little "muppet" hands.

Papoose picture borrowed from Wikipedia:

I stuffed the arms with some stuffing material I had around the house. And the eyes I made from a pair of knee highs that I had in my dresser. I put a bit of stuffing in those, made them into little balls, and then painted them with some craft paint to look like Baby Stinky's eyes.

I made all the wrinkles by just pinching the fabric and hot gluing it together (I love hot glue!).

Finished Baby Stinky aka Rotta infant costume. Made from fleece and nylon stockings.

And there you have it, "Sprinkles" first Halloween costume—Baby Stinky! I can't wait to put this one up in a slide show on his wedding day.

Sprinkles first Halloween costume - 9 days old

And just in case you've never seen "Baby Stinky" before, here is what he looks like from the movie:

Baby Stinky aka Rotta The Huttlet


Oh, of course my oldest couldn't be happy with just his baby brother having a costume. He wanted Momma to have one too. And who did he want ME to be? Ahsoka Tano! Yes, he wanted me, a 37 year old woman who had just given birth to a nearly 9 pound baby to dress up as a young teen alien who wears a tube top and a skirt.

The things I do for my kids, I tell you!

I pulled this one together ON Halloween, and thought I proud of my last-minute creativity to make it happen, I'm not going to say that I was that "pretty" of an Ahsoka. But you know what, my son LOVED it. He thought I looked awesome. And THAT made me feel great!

Me, 9 days post-delivery dressed as Ahsoka Tano with Son #2 as Baby Stinky

Ahsoka Costume: I wore an orange, long sleeve, turtle-neck (fairly easy to find right before Halloween). Made the tube top and skirt out of some maroon fabric I found at the store and glued the top to the orange shirt. The head piece was just made flat, attaching white felt to some cardboard and painting the stripes of the head tails. A pair of white leggings, brown boots, and some face paint, and my 4 year old thought I looked like a brave Padawan from a galaxy far, far away.

May the Force be with you, as well as the creative juices!

-- Lori

Monday, October 14, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Halloween: Inexpensive Decorating

As a follow-up to my "spooky windows" post, I thought I'd share a few other Halloween decorating items I pulled together…fairly inexpensively…

Batty for Silhouettes

After doing the big window silhouette, I felt like the front door could use some of its own. We have 3 little window panes on either side of the door and I thought it would be a perfect place for a bunch of fluttering bats.

Once again I hit the internet looking for simple bat silhouettes. There are TONS out there to choose from (though you'll find MANY that are different versions of the Batman symbol).

After finding the bat shapes that I liked the best, I traced them using my Illustrator program and then printed them out on some scrap paper.

Bat silhouette templates

I used these as my templates and then took some black paper (that I happened to have around the house) and traced the template on the black sheets. I squeezed in as many as I could get on a sheet. Then I sat in front of the TV, watched one of my favorite shows, and trimmed them out.

Trimmed out bat silhouettes

From there all I did was tape them into the windows -- DONE!

The bat silhouettes attached to the inside of the windows.

 It looks really cool at night!

My front door at night when the inside lights make the windows glow.

A Scary Welcome

Over the summer I had happened upon a really cool black feathered wreath. I had NO idea what I'd do with it, but it was just really neat AND cheap—3 bucks! I couldn't pass it up. I knew I'd do something with it.

As it got closer to Halloween I had decided it would work perfectly for the season, but I needed to do something with it. I popped on Pinterest and searched "feathered wreaths" and "Halloween wreaths" to get a few ideas. Nothing really struck me, but it got the creativity wheels moving.

Once again, I happened to find myself at Target (I get a lot of inspiration there it seems…I like their style) and came across this cool looking felt skull cut-out. It had a bit of sparkle that I really liked too. I knew it would be the perfect size to fit into the center of my feathered wreath. And once again, it was cheap—$4

All it took was a little hot glue to put the two together. Because my door is brown, I needed some contrast behind the skull image so you could actually see it. I happened to have some sparkly white Fun Foam in the house (yes, I happen to have LOTS of stuff "around the house") and I attached that to the back to make the skull image pop. I have a very large ribbon collection (surprise, surprise), so I found some that looked nice with the feathers and added that as well. To "top" it off, I had picked up a little black crow at the Dollar Tree—yup, for just a buck!—and added him in as well. It added to the "spookiness".

And there you have it, a pretty cool, spooky, Halloween wreath for just $8!

Black feathered Halloween wreath with skull and crow.

You just never know where you'll find your inspiration for something. I always keep my eyes and mind open and wait for that flash of creativity to appear.

Hope some of these ideas sparked some ideas for you!

Friday, October 11, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Halloween: Window Silhouettes

When I was a kid, I ALWAYS remember decorating for Halloween. We lived on the second floor of a "big ol' spooky house" (my dad dubbed it "The Adams Family House), so of course we felt that we were obligated to deck it out for Halloween. We never really went too spooky….maybe we were too afraid of scaring ourselves...but my mom would by paper Halloween decorations and we'd make some of our own and we'd line the long windy stairway with them. I looked forward to doing it every year.

Unfortunately, as I got older, that was one holiday I sort of grew out of. I did still like putting out a pumpkin and hanging some fall leaves, but I never really went too crazy….But then I had KIDS!

Last year my youngest (who was 4 at the time) got REALLY into Halloween decorations. He kept requesting a "spooky house." We didn't have much in the way of decorations and I really didn't want to spend to much money on them, so I decided to see what I could do with what I had around the house.

We had just moved into our current house earlier in the year, so each holiday was a new adventure in decorating as we discovered what we could do with the new set up. One of the nicest features of the house was a BIG picture window. At our old apartment a neighbor of ours had put up some really cool "spooky" silhouettes in their windows. I loved the look and decided to give it a try on our big window.

Soooo off to Pinterest I went to research some ideas (FYI - I LOOOOVE Pinterest. One of the best inventions EVER!!! Has made my "creative life" so much more productive. I'll probably be referencing Pinterest quite often in this blog.

Part of my Holiday Board

I found all sorts of Halloween silhouettes and examples of what other people did.

I found myself really drawn to the images of "spooky trees". I thought that would really look great in the window, but of course, they can be pretty detailed. I wanted something "spooky" but also "cartoony". I happened to be at Target around that time and saw this cool store decor they had….

Target's 2012 Halloween Store Decor - What do they do with this stuff after the season is over anyway?

 ....and wished I could just take that tree. It would fit perfectly in my window. But I didn't think that would be possible…at least not BEFORE Halloween. So I just kept searching the web.

I eventually came across this image

It was PERFECT!!! Though maybe a tad to many owls, but I could just edit some out.

I brought the image into Illustrator, did a fairly quick outline to "vectorize" it and simplify it a bit.

My simplified version of the illustration I found

From there I could blow up the image to the size I needed. To print it out, I "tile printed" it on some black construction paper I happen to have around the house. Once all the pieces are printed out I taped them together like a big puzzle. Then came the really time consuming part: cutting it out.

I laid out the taped together sheets on the kitchen floor, slipped a large piece of cardboard under it and then got down on my hands and knees and cut the whole thing out with an X-Acto knife. I really don't know how long it took me. It's something I do in the weeeeee hours of the morning (I'm a late-night creator), but I find it easier to cut things out like this with an X-Acto rather than just scissors.

Once it was all cut out, I just taped the whole silhouette to the window. It's easier to do with a helper, as there lots of parts flip-flopping around. I just used a clear scotch tape. From far away (cars and people who pass by along the street) you can't see the tape.

When it was all done, it was EXACTLY as I had hoped! AND my 4-year old was happy with the "spooky" result.

My finished window graphics

So that is how I did it!


A few months after Halloween I came across this blog via Pinterest: Heartland Paper

This post shows you how to do it with black vinyl and even has templates to download. Definitely a great resource.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Lime Green Makes Me Happy

So my opening post was about my love of creativity and how I love to create things. I find creativity in just about everything. And I can CREATE with just about everything. However, there is ONE medium that eludes me -- The Web!

I have just never gotten into web designing. I don't really know what it is about web design that stifles my creativity, but I have pretty much no interest in it and when I contemplate doing it, my creativity tank totally empties. Maybe someday I'll be able to break down that wall and it will open up a whole new world for me, but at the moment, it's just not my thing.

With that being said, I've decided to start a creativity blog. I choose BlogSpot/Blogger, as I had played with it before and it was recommended by a friend. Lucky for me, it has some great templates to choose from.

My day job is as a graphic designer, and it hurts my "designer ego" a bit to default to someone else's "template." But I've chosen to view it as just a "canvas" where I can showcase my creativity and not as a representation of my "creativity".

As I went through all of the supplied templates, I did contemplate the options that had pretty curly-Qs, fun doodles, or just a space scene (I love space), but I settled on this simple Lime Green template…because Lime Green makes me happy…and when one is happy, their creativity flows much more freely.

"Lime Green Makes Me Happy" became sort of a motto of mine some years back. I think it may have actually started when I moved into my first apartment and I discovered that the peach kitchen it came with did NOT make me happy. My landlord said I was free to paint it whatever color I wanted to, so I went to the paint store, looked at all the colors, brought some sample chips home and discovered that the lime green just made me smile. My husband thought I was crazy, but he knows that I'm the "creative one" in the family and if it was going to make ME happy, it made US happy (smart, smart man). So the lime green went up on the walls and it was a huge success!!! Everyone who came into our house LOVED the Lime Green kitchen. It made me happy. It made me feel cozy. It made me feel creative…as the kitchen tended to be the place where I did most of my projects.

Several years later we moved to another apartment and this time the kitchen walls weren't painted yet, as the landlord had just finished remodeling the kitchen. I again asked if I could paint it lime green, and he said it was fine as long as it wasn't to dark. So I got my Happy Lime Green kitchen once again.

Me, in my Happy Lime Green Kitchen #2. Notice I'm also WEARING Lime Green

Another view of Lime Green Kitchen #2

Counter space in my Happy Lime Green Kitchen #2

During this time, my office at work was being renovated, and being that we were an "art department" we decided to paint the walls with color rather than the white walls we had had for so many years. Everyone in my design group new of my "motto" and they had started to adopt it as well. I would say, how can you be Unhappy when you look at that color? So we decided as a group to pain the walls Lime Green and we've never regretted the decision. The office has been that color for almost 10 years now and we still get comments on it.

My work space at Work

Happy Coworker in our Happy Lime Green Office
Our Lime Green Office SPARKS creativity!

About 2 years ago, I and my family moved once again. We had no real plans to move, but one late fall evening I happened to see a friend post pictures of an apartment she was renting and low-and-behold, it had a lime green dining room!!!! I was SOLD! Once we moved in, the dining room also became my craft room, so it's my creative center :)
My crafting corner in my Lime Green Dining Room. I found this cabinet on Craig's List and repainted it and added the curtains in the window to hide all my crafting supplied inside. It works perfectly in the room!

So it only makes sense that my blog dedicated to all the creative stuff I do and think about would be Lime Green. It really DOES make me happy when I see it. I hope it does the same for you.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Creatively ME!

Welcome to my blog Creatively Lori!

I'm dedicating this blog to all the "creative" stuff I do as well as the "creative" stuff I think about and see around me. It's not just a "craft blog" and it's not just a "mommy blog", but a place where I can share some of the ideas that I have floating around in my head and a place to share some things that inspire my creativity.

 As it states at the top of this page, "I'm Creative." If I had to think of one word that describes me, "creative" would be it. It's just what I am. It's who I am. I love to create!

The definition of "creative" is:

cre·a·tive (kr-tv) adj.
1. Having the ability or power to create: Human beings are creative animals.
2. Productive; creating.
3. Characterized by originality and expressiveness; imaginative: creative writing. n. One who displays productive originality: the creatives in the advertising department.

I love that first part "Having the ability or power to create". I do believe that is my Super Power. For a long time I totally took it for granted. I thought everyone was like me, but as I got older and met more people, I realized not everyone WAS like me. Not everyone's brains worked like mine.

Let me state up front -- I'm FAR from the most creative person on the planet. There are many people out there who are WAY more creative than me. I'm by no means Martha Stewart or George Lucas...but they are definitely two people I look up to. But what I have learned over the years is that "creatively minded people" are different than "non-creatively minded people." We see things differently. We think differently. People will say to us "Wow! How do you think up these things?" We think "how did we not?"

 I love to create and I love to share my creations. So that is what you can expect to see here at this blog if you choose to spend some time here. I hope you enjoy what I have to share. And I hope you will find some inspiration in it, just as I find inspiration from so many of the other creative people I cross paths with in my life.

-- Lori