Reusable First Day of School Banner for Sizzix


CT_KINDER_002CT’s first day of Kindergarten was this past week. It was a HUGE milestone for both of us, so of course I had to take loads of photos.

I also figured I should make a little sign so we never forget it was the first day of school.

Then after much thought I decided on a second piece that can be detached that says which year of school shes starting.

All of this snowballed into the fabric banner above! It’s 8″ square with marine grade vinyl letters cut out using my Sizzix Fabi and the Block Talk Alphabet Die Set. The background is Andover Fabrics chambray in black. I made it pretty much the exact same way as my Appliqued Vinyl Letter Pillow.

Reusable First Day of School Banner for Sizzix {an Art School Dropout's life}

CT_KINDER_005CT_KINDER_004 CT_KINDER_003I also added snaps to the bottom of the banner so I could make an attachment for each year she is in school. I plan on making all the grades later this week when things have calmed down around here and putting this in a safe place.

Reusable First Day of School Banner for Sizzix {an Art School Dropout's life}

The idea of her using this every year makes me all teary eyed! Can you imagine her in 12th grade holding this little banner?!?!?

As you may be able to tell, I’m a complete mess over her going to school. Yes I gained 8 uninterrupted hours each weekday, but I still miss her soooooooooo much. Does it get easier?!?

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My Weekend: A Few Days Away & The National Zoo

This past weekend we took a short vacation! My husband was already off for 5 days because we had originally planned on going to Busch gardens or Raleigh. Both plans were cancelled and we were left with a 5 day weekend!

I have been working a lot more than normal lately and we haven’t really done much this summer due to colds and other illnesses. My husband, JC, thought we needed to do SOMETHING! So he used some hotel rewards points he had and booked us a hotel about a half hour outside Washington DC at no cost. It was only 30 mins away from our house, but it had an indoor pool, lots of neat restaurants close by and IT WASNT HOME! We spent the first day there kinda wandering around the local mall, eating good food and relaxing! For me relaxing meant reading the new Martha Stewart’s Living and sketching and for JC and CT it meant swimming. It was nice.

The second day away we spent at the National Zoo in Washington DC. One of my favorite places! It was supposed to rain, but apparently we had some luck for once and it was just a bit overcast. It WAS super humid, even though it was only 75*F out! My lungs hated it, but I pushed myself to keep walking. It was also CT’s first time visiting the zoo, I wanted to make sure she saw as much as possible.

Oh and of course I took a load of photos, so prepare yourselves, there are a bunch…

zoo_001 zoo_002 zoo_003 zoo_004 zoo_005 zoo_006 zoo_007 zoo_008 zoo_009 zoo_010 zoo_011I treat my trips to the zoo like photography challenges. It probably has something to do with the yearly field trips my photo class took to the zoo in high school (and the few times I chaperoned my siblings trips later on) We were let loose on the zoo for an entire day and told to take photos certain ways of certain subjects. I loved it! One of the nice perks of living near a big city growing up. We also did Baltimore trips, but nothing beat the zoo!

My personal challenge this time was to only use my 75-300mm Lens and the largest aperture my camera would let me. Nothing else. Its obviously not a hard challenge, but I still like the limits. This did mean that whenever I wanted to take a picture of something close by, I had to back up really far and look like a fool. The photos came out with such a nice depth of field that I don’t care!


(This ragged looking little bird wasn’t part of any exhibit, he was just wandering around. I just wanted to share a photo of him because he was so friendly and came right up to me!)

Anyway, back to our trip…

The zoo ended up being a huge hit with CT. Though her favorite part ended up being an orangutan who would throw up on the glass and eat it again. She’s STILL talking about that! I’m so happy we finally went. It’s hard to justify not going when we live so damn close to the city. I’m going to make it a personal goal to visit DC more often. We even live down the street from  MARC train stop that goes into the city every weekday!!! No excuses.

The rest of our time away was spent wandering IKEA and thrift stores. I ended up with some Blythe furniture from IKEA and a sweet Pyrex bowl from the thrift store. CT found a huge wooden modern dollhouse for $10!! SCORE!

I’m so happy we were able to do this and its made me a little more excited, and less nervous, for our NYC trip coming up in October. I’m going for BlytheCon, my family is just going for fun. Any of you guys going too?

Culler Lake

This past weekend my baby brother and sister came up to visit, and to help out with some product photos. We were originally going to take picture in the neighborhood, but there was just too much construction. So instead we headed to Frederick since there is an abundance of places to take photos there. Plus there’s loads of restaurants to eat at!!

After lunch we ended up at Culler Lake, which is kinda part of Baker Park. It’s a cute little lake with ducks and all. It was perfect for taking pictures! CT and my brother were able to play and my husband was able to hang out on a bench.

My adorable sister Cori was really awesome about taking so many pictures too! Seriously, I took A LOT of photos!!

Funny thing, I have been making jewelry for almost 10 years, and somehow this is the first time I’ve ever taken pictures of my jewelry on a real live person!!! How weird is that? I’m pretty new to portraits where the jewelry is the main focus and not the person, and I’m not too sure about how they came out. I’m very happy with my sister in the shots, but I don’t think I did well focusing on the jewelry. I guess I’ll get better with lighting, composition and all the more I try?


Anyone have some pointers?


Handmade Gifts: December 2012

Sorry for the Instagram photos, I was rushing all month to get things finished and wrapped and didn’t get the time to “properly” photograph everything!

From top left…

  • a doctor who pouch for my friend Molly
  • a Pyrex inspired pouch for my friend Tasha
  • the Modern Maples quilt I mentioned earlier this week for my sister Ashley
  • a hedgehog pillow for my sister Cori (using the paper piecing pattern I found here. Oh and this was my first time trying paper piecing! I’m in love!)
  • a pillow for my grandmother using the Modern Maples blocks.
  • a hedgehog pouch for my sister Cori (as you can see, she loves hedgehogs, she even has one)
  • two Tangled inspired dresses for nieces.

I actually made a few other things too, but they haven’t been gifted yet.

It was all a lot of fun to make, but I am beyond exhausted. New rule: Start sewing gifts in the summer!!!!!

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CT’s First Time In The Snow!

CT turned three this year, and yesterday was her first time playing in the snow, ever! It’s not like we live in a hot area of the country. She was just too young the first year, too scared the second year and no snow the third year, it wasn’t until her fourth winter could she FINALLY play in the snow!

She threw her first snowball (and about a dozen more), she made her first snowman,  and her first snow angel. She rode a sled for the first time, and said she never wants to do it again. She loved it all, as you can see above!!

She also had her first cup of hot chocolate (which was actually luke warm) and HATED it!! Haha. I guess she can’t love all her firsts.


Merry Christmas! : 2012

Today marks the day when all the craziness of the holidays ends! Hopefully…

I hope everyone who celebrates any of the December holidays had a great month! I can’t wait to get back to my normal, everyday schedule. I have so much to share.

(oh and to explain a bit about why CT has TWO of the same pez in the above photo… I apparently have been really absent minded lately and bought two of the same thing. I didn’t realize it until Christmas eve, while wrapping. So I wrapped them together, and we told her she got twin pez dispensers. SHE WAS SO EXCITED ABOUT IT!.)