you never know when an idea will hit

Last night we went to see Cars 2 and I'm happy to say that it was a lot of fun to watch. For some reason my expectations weren't very high. Once again, Pixar didn't disappoint. Aside from the obvious (story, characters, etc) I was particularly taken by the amazing detail in the backgrounds—specially the scenes in Italy. Wow.

At home, after we were done with our typical family review of the movie (a.k.a. everyone wants to talk at the same time discussing their favorite/funniest part of the movie) my mind took a huge jump. The buildings I had seen in the Lettering Delights European City (which is part of a bundle that is still on sale) came to mind. It definitely was the Italian scenes that influenced this project. In a couple of minutes, I knew what I wanted to make and got to it.


I used the same hurricane glasses I used for my recycling idea and Hexagon Candle Cover and made this new pair of designs. One has tracing paper completely covering the glass. The other has a tracing paper that I cut to the size of the buildings. I didn't think the paper would survive the cutter but it did. Vellum (or even parchment paper) would've been ideal but I didn't have any.

I think I must be the only person that goes outside to spray mount something in our yard at 11pm—and my understanding husband doesn't even bat an eye. He knows me so well! Ha!

This project would work just as well with any type of shape that has cut outs. My Summer Blooms would look really pretty and even some Mod Borders (wrapped around the glass) would work well too. I used Glue Dots to attach the paper to the glass. It holds the paper without being permanent, allowing me to change up the glasses whenever I want to.

I think what I really need to do is a table full of candles that are covered with all sorts of designs. Now that would be fun! Hmm...

This is what the covers look like in daylight—and I still like them. The one in the front is my favorite. Spontaneous for-fun projects are always the best!

Have a great day!

I'm trying

to-do list holder

This summer I feel so off. The whole work/kids schedule is still not really flowing. To-do lists are helping, but I wanted one that was really in front of me while I work. I'm using a standing work station that I love, but as you can see the top shelf is getting a bit crowded.

The minute I saw this frame at Ikea I grabbed it. All I did was place a printed piece of my Mod Stationery (the one intended to be a note card) in between the two acrylic pieces of the frame. I'll be writing on the outside with an erasable marker. Presto—a handy to-do list holder!

Cost of the frame: 99 cents!
• • •

As promised my printable Mod Stationery is now available in the shop!

lettering delights

lettering delights

When it comes to cards for kids' birthdays I need to step outside my normal repertoire. Particularly when it's for one my daughter's friends. My little C is very determined and expects certain flair and look to the cards that she gives her friends (I wonder where she gets that from?). So, here is the result of something that we worked on for the weekend.

I have a hard time when it comes to finding 'cuter' graphics to use, so when I found Lettering Delights I killed two birds with one stone. I found alternatives that the kids will be happy with and I save time by using cutting files that already exist. Even though I love coming up with new designs, the truth is that sometimes it's really nice not have to start from scratch. Having said that, I rarely use the very few Cricut cartridges I have.

The flowers are from the Quirky Flowers set and the leaves below are from the Quirky Trees set. Yes, more gift tags. I can never have too many!

I don't usually post over the weekend, but I thought this would be worth it for those of you that work with digital cutting files. Lettering Delights is offering a $49 bundle of 50 sets with at least 15 single layer images each. Can you imagine all those files? The entire bundle is regularly $150 and will be on sale for the next 2 weeks only. Another newsworthy item is that all Lettering Delights images are now available in AI, DXF, EPS, GSD, JPG, PDF and SVG formats.

If you're interested in this bundle you can find it here.

lettering delights

Full disclosure: I want to let you know that I am now a Lettering Delights affiliate. It's a small way in which I can continue to maintain my blog ad free.

Making a blog sustainable could be a post all of it's own, right?

Have a wonderful weekend my friends!

never say never

note cards - mod borders

I don't scrapbook and most of you that visit regularly know that. When the kids where babies, I tried to resurrect my forgotten journaling skills. I didn't want to forget all the special moments in their lives—it didn't stick. [But boy oh boy did I take photos!]

I used to journal and keep what could be called scrapbooks when I was in high school. I had several really thick books of all sorts of collected memories. I saved concert or movie ticket stubs, notes from friends (passed around class with what we called "mano-mail"—for those of you that don't know mano means hand in Spanish), sketches and whatever else I could get my hands on to remember special dates. I was really into it.

tags and journaling cards

Sadly, I don't have any of those scrapbooks because I willingly got rid of them in a single afternoon. I was 19 and I decided that I didn't want my boyfriend (who I foolishly assumed would be more than that one day) to ever find and read them. Silly. Silly. Silly me.

So, here I am several (ahem) years later inspired to give it another go.

Scrapbooking layouts are something that really don't appeal to me because I'd be thinking and rethinking them. I know myself to well to know that it would become more of a design exercise than a memory keeping exercise. Aside from that I live in a small house. Where in the world am I going to put a bunch of scrapbooking books (assuming this new phase does stick!)?

I like capturing moments in small snippets—like I do with the photos I take. I didn't think there would be a way to do that with scrapbooking and journaling until I started reading Ali's blog and saw the way she's working through her Project Life.

Yep, it's all your fault Ali!

I've ordered some grid journaling cards and photo pocket pages, even though I still have my doubts about liking the whole plastic thing. As far as the cards, I think that adding color to them will be a great way for me to use up some of my scraps stash.

I was also contemplating doing something similar (small cards) but scanning them in and turning a year of journaling into a Blurb book—but again, I'd be running into the designer side of me and I'd never get to actually journaling vs planning a layout. I want this to be something really simple but fun to do and that's why I think the pocket system would work better for me—for now.

flat cards - mod borders

What inspired me? - A mental snapshot I took (didn't have my camera with me—grrr!) of my bike against little C's at the entrance of a coffee shop. We stopped there midway through our ride. It's the furthest we've gone (she just learned how to ride last month) and it just felt like a special moment. The first time out of the neighborhood. The first time out of our comfort zone—and it dawned on me that I wanted to write about it. I don't want to forget it.

So, while I worked on all the paper goods and photos you see here, I used one of my own Mod Borders to create my first journaling card and I wrote about our ride.

It's a beginning. Let's see where this leads me.

My Mod Borders are now available in the shop—and fear not, I haven't forgotten those of you that don't have cutting machines! I will have PDF printables of these stationery sets available on Monday. All I have to add is that as I worked with these borders all I could think of was that it would be awesome to see these designs on ribbon—I'd love that!

Happy weekend everyone!

4th of july star place cards

star place cards

I don't know about you, but when I'm full of mental cobwebs, my creativity flies out the window. Instead of making anything new, I spent the last couple of days building my gift tags stash, using recently ordered stamps. It was very therapeutic.

Today, mental balance has returned (phew!) and I'm in a 'better give than receive' mood.

Seeing so many 4th of July projects has seeped through, so I worked on this simple place card project that you can either cut by hand or with a cutting machine. It's a new freebie for you!

If you don't celebrate the 4th of July, you can still use the cards to help decorate any occasion for the stars that brighten your life.

I called them place cards but they can also be used as gift tags or food labels (I've also heard them called food tents—right?).

Download files here (PDF, SVG & DXF files are included).


s is for summer & s is for slow

bloom tea light cover

We're in slow mode around here. But you know what? I like it.

Summer makes me put the breaks on whether I want to or not. Reading, trips to the pool, riding bikes, board games, drag me away from the computer and anything related to work.

I have managed to work on some behind the scenes things and this new Bloom Tea Light Cover—which would also be a nice way to hold party favors.

It gives me a small sense of satisfaction to see something in paper again. I've been on my computer for other design work (web site!) for far too long at late hours of the night.

My thing for candle light is showing again, isn't it?

One other thing...

Remember my Just Leaves fabric? It is now available for sale at Spoonflower! I haven't been this addicted to a pattern in quite some time. It's time to crank up the heat on my next group of patterns. We'll see what I focus my sights on in the coming weeks.

bloom tea light cover

Off to finally crack open my collection of Jane Austen books! I need some of that right now.
Is anyone willing to share a summer reading recommendation? I'm craving some new reading materials.

For now, happy afternoon!

martha stewart party supplies

martha stewart

Thank you so much for all your thoughtful comments on my previous post. It's not the type of topic that I like to cover every day but it is a real part of creative life. Learning more and talking about copyright issues is better than hiding from it all. Don't you think?

So, now that that's covered, let's move on...

I had a semi-craft fail last night. I have an idea for a stationery box that I want to make for myself and it didn't quite work. I'm not giving up though, so starting prototype number 2 will be my next step. It's a recycling project, so I'll share when I have it all figured out.

In the meantime, we had some quick paper satisfaction putting together the Martha Stewart pom pom garland—part of the new party goods that I got in the mail for review. Little C has totally laid claim to it—ha!

They are now being sold at Joann's Fabric and Craft Stores. Click here for a coupon that is valid until June 30th.

The sets are really festive looking and they would be suitable for any type of event. Everything that you could possibly need is included in each set. I also noticed that the quality of paper and printing is quite good. I can see myself using some of these when I'm short on time. In a matter of minutes it would be easy to dress up any gathering.

Here are two more items that I got in my intro package: Cello Bag and Basket & Compartment Boxes (photos from Joann's).

the first one


A lot of sun, playing and relaxing, that's what last week was all about. I'm so glad I decided to take the week off. Its feels so much easier to slide into our summer routine.

The new fabric I just got from Spoonflower has me totally entertained. I've been wanting to add some graphic looking cushions to our bedroom and I couldn't find anything I liked. So, I fell back on my leaves once again. I love how these new cushions are going to look in our room. This is the type of simple sewing I like to work on.

I'll be able to put this pattern up in my Spoonflower shop, as soon as I get a new sample of the fabric. I had to correct a couple of mistakes I made with the repeat of the pattern.

So here's to my first project of the summer—and involves sewing no less.

• • •
Thank you!
Last week the new Paper Dolls blog used my Mini Dollhouse as their challenge for the week. Check out all the work they put into their houses. Thank you so much for having me Tamara & Thienly!

Happy Monday everyone—while I head back to put away the remnants of yesterday's birthday get together for my Mr. Z. [Beans always taste better when they're in a traditional bowl + basket!]


clean slate


Our summer officially starts when I pick up the kids from school at 11am. Woot! I'm ready.

The last day of school makes me almost feel like it's January 1st. Clean Slate Day. It helps that I now have a new work station and I'm reorganizing the studio. Hopefully that will be done within the next few days.

This brings me to the fact that, I've decided that I'm going to be taking a blogging break next week. I need it and we'll all be better for it in the end. I'll be puttering around on Twitter but there will be no updates here. I'll be back on June 13th with fresh ideas and things to show you.

Friday Tidbit
Paper mache teacups by Ann Wood - This looks like it would be a fun project to make. (via Decor8)

Have a wonderful start to June my friends!

leaves, rings and pods

just leaves lattice

Here are more way to use the Just Leaves Lattice. I can't help it—I think this is such a fun one to use. I really like how the cards turned out. The pattern in now available in the shop, as are other goodies I've been slowly adding.

Rings Lattice - I can see this pattern on so many things—specially on cards on an angle and cropped—and in orange for some reason. This was a pattern that involved a lot of tweaking. At first the rings seemed too thick, then they were too thin. When I finally held this cut out in my hands, it felt right.

rings lattice

Pods Stationery - This is a fun set that I've used myself many times. The simplicity of the main graphic is what I've liked about this pattern. That's why it keeps popping up, like my leaves. Several of the bookmarks are staples next to my reading books.

pods stationery

I realize that my digital cutter projects have started dominating my posts lately. I don't want that to discourage any of you that don't own one. I'm still working on printables and DIYs that don't include any cutting machine steps—so please stick around. I haven't forgotten about you.

I have other goodies and news coming this month but that will have to wait for the right time. I don't mean to tease you, I'm just excited about everything that's been going on behind the scenes.

There are a couple of things that I can mention. The first is that I have a new web site in the works. I'm so happy about that! That's why my digital cutting section is a bit overcrowded and with no categories to make it easier to find things. I've been concentrating my efforts on uploading products to the new shop, while trying to keep the old one running. It's double the work, but it will pay off in the end.

The other thing is that for those of you that have been asking about the compatibility of my files with a Silhouette. My files are now available in DXF, which is a format that can be easily imported and recognized by the Studio software.

Well, happy Thursday! One more day and the kids will be all mine for the summer!

book reviews

While I was working on my 26 Days of Making series last month I received several packages in the mail worth mentioning. You know that I usually like to review one thing at a time, but I'm doing it a bit differently today—or I'll never get to them. So here we go, with a little something for everyone.
This is a sweet book that belongs to the Make Good Books series that I've reviewed in the past. It is styled very nicely and the photos all make you want to jump in and enjoy that homemade feel. I'm not a person that sews, but I can see that the projects are fairly simple. So simple, in fact, that I'm going to give a couple a try over the summer. The projects range from tote bags, pillow covers, and kitchen items to more complex quilts (at least for me!) and zipper bags. You can download PDF instructions to a couple of projects in the book here.

Pulled: A Catalog of Screen Printing by Michael Perry
This book tugs at me because screen printing is something that I've worked with and have always wanted to try. There is a lot to be said about this handmade art form and this book doesn't disappoint. It's a thick book with many, many styles and artists to peruse over. I still am flipping through it every day finding something new each time. It's a good book to have on hand for reference.

Family Knits: 25 Handknits for All Seasons by Debbie Bliss
As soon as I saw the cover on this book (different than the one on Amazon) my hopes of flipping through gorgeous simple projects shot up. I wasn't disappointed. If the extreme heat of this city didn't exist, I'd be more inspired to knit every day. The good news is that this book will definitely help me get started. The projects are simple in design and so stylish.

I started to photograph sample spreads of each book and ended up making an impromptu short video instead.

I hope that you find something that you can try yourself. Summer vacation is officially going to start on the last day of school which is this coming Friday. I'm so ready for it. I want to do some knitting or crocheting and a lot of reading. Sewing will also be on the agenda since my little C has several projects on her mommy-please-make-this wish list.

Here's my wish list (hoping that by making it public will make things happen):
- Blanket for our bed (knitted or crocheted)
- Sweater
- Large tote bag
- New paper lamp for a small corner table
- Little C requests (doll and bag)

Do you have any making plans for the summer (or winter if that's your case)? If you don't, what's on your wish making list?