Saturday, May 31, 2008

Inspired Again by Restoration Hardware

I found this page from the RH spring catalog stuck in my 12" x 12" paper storage unit today. I don't know what it is about their color schemes, but they strike my fancy. (The prices, not so much.) I don't need these pillows anywhere, but I sort of wish I did. Aren't they beautiful? So fresh, so crisp, so streamlined. I'm sure they'd make my house look exactly the same way, right?

I began pulling out different shades of card stock to see what would best mimic these colors, and I ended up with River Rock, Soft Sky, Blue Bayou, and Very Vanilla. Naturals Ivory really would have worked better than VV, but I was crafting this card with the SAS in mind, and I don't have anything but scraps in that, so it had to be ruled out. It would've imitated the canvas, muslinesque feel of the fabric, but oh well. By the way, the card base is 5 1/4" square, a new size for me. Again, I chose it for the obvious reason--it's the same shape as the pillow.

Then I pulled out my scrap folders for these colors and began creating my own stripe pattern! I find it so fun to create a card without cutting into whole pieces of card stock. After a bit of arranging and rearranging, I had what I wanted, but I wanted something more to finish it off. So I went to Wonderful You, a set I've really come to enjoy for its minimalist look. A little bit of ribbon and some dimensionals to pop it up, and I was done.

I don't know why I'm in a crafting frenzy today, but it's fun so I'm goin' with it! Hope you're enjoying the extra posts.

Pretty Thank You

This card reminds me of grandmothers. I think it's the vintage look of the Afternoon Tea designer paper. It just looks like wallpaper from another era. Anyway, it was the inspiration for this card. Sorry the photo's a little dark. These colors are hard to photograph.

I started with that and Soft Sky card stock. Then I pulled out my new Full of Life stamp set from the Occasions Mini to see which saying I hadn't put ink to yet. Everyone needs to have a thank you card in their stash, so I went with that stamp.

I thought about going monochromatic with this design, but SS ink is quite pale, so I felt it would be helped if the saying was matted in a darker color. I chose Chocolate Chip because it's in the DP below. After I matted the saying, it still wasn't as large as I had planned on, so I pulled out my scrap stash of Whisper White and found a strip that's 3/4" wide. I added some visual interest by paper piercing it, and the SS double-stitched ribbon brought it all together.

A tip for those who like to hoard ribbon: although this looks like one continuous length tied in the middle, what it really is is a 5" piece that's tacked around the back of the white card stock on both sides. Then I took a 4" length of ribbon and tied it once--not in a knot, just like the beginnings of tying one's shoes--around the center, creating the look you see.

Some of you have commented that I must be inspired by my new craft room because of the cards I've posted recently. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm enjoying the creative process and sharing them with you. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Father's Day Shirt Card

How cute is this! This is one of the best uses of origami I've come across, in terms of practical application for card making! Maybe your dad would never wear THIS kind of shirt, but you'd like to communicate to him how cool you think he is. This was made using an 8.5" x 10" piece of designer paper, so any pattern you want will help you express your view of Dad or his style through this artwork.

This is one of the cards my SAS attendees will be making, and for those who don't need 2 Father's Day cards, I will offer other occasion stamps, such as birthday greetings, thank you, or congratulations to give this design another option as a card.

Here's the link to where I found instructions online, so that you can make this shirt at home!

Happy weekend, ya'll! I'm going to have fun in my craft room this morning while my guys sleep in!

Who's Inspiring Who?

The other day, the Restoration Hardware catalog came in the mail. The back cover caught my attention. I liked the color combination and wanted to mimic it using Chocolate Chip and Groovy Guava card stock. I also have a new package of designer paper from SU! called Afternoon Tea that I want to use in a card for next weekend's Stamp-A-Stack.

When I pulled the 12 sheets out of the plastic, low and behold, what colors are part of this group of papers, but these! I chose Groovy Guava as the base for the card and set to work.

I didn't realize when I purchased this that there's a new stamp set in the current Occasions Mini called Live Your Dream that coordinates with this DP, but in the end it didn't really matter. I decided to use the paper with the white background and the flowers as my focal image, and it evolved from there (with a little inspiration from the SCS gallery for Afternoon Tea).

The sentiment on the outside is one of the best that SU! has ever produced, in my opinion. It's from the retired set called Gratitude and it is just such a wonderful thing to communicate to someone. I stamped it with Craft Whisper White ink and embossed it with White embossing powder. The ribbon addition was done using the double rectangle punch and some double-stitched GG ribbon. If you double-click on the photo of the full card above, you can see those details.

I have a really cool card I'm going to go work on for Father's Day that will be part of next weekend's SAS. It's still not too late to RSVP...

BTW, for those of you who may be questioning the correctness of my post's headline, I've included this link for you from Grammar Girl.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


This is the Mother's Day card that came from my in-laws this year. It had a very wonderful, simple message and I was very touched by it. However, it's almost June now, so it's time to move on.

This card has a wonderful pattern on it in those classic colors of pink and brown. I got to looking at it this afternoon and decided to give it a second life. Coincidentally, my order from SU! arrived just before I got home from work, and among the items was the jumbo wheel that coordinates with the Doodle This stamp set. Appropriately, it's called Doodles. The pattern (if you click on the photo you can see the detail better) and the flowers in the wheel reminded me of each other. A little ink, a little coloring, a little glitter later, and the need for a birthday card and here's what resulted.

I'm pleased that I had this wide grosgrain on hand, as it mimics the band in the original card.
I looped it underneath the patterned paper and it is held in place just by the heft of the paper on top of it. The saying is from Full of Life.

Moral of this little tale: look around for paper, ribbon, and other elements you can incorporate into new creations.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Little Inspiration and a Recommendation

The catalogs that SU! produces are so FULL of color combinations, card designs, and ways to use accessories that you could create from just these sample inspirations for days, months, and perhaps even a year and never run out of ideas! That's what I did today. I took my inspiration from the Occasions Mini Catalog. It featured 4 cards made with Real Red, Chocolate Chip, and Bashful Blue. I wanted to see what I could do with that combination, so I went to the closet and pulled out a set I haven't inked up in awhile--A Beautiful Thing.

Truth be told, this set challenges me. Ideas just don't seem to spring to mind when I look at it, so I thought having the colors predetermined would help. This set is a 2-step stamping set, which means it's designed to be layered. This is what I came up with:

The squares are punched with the 1 3/8" punch, and the rest is pretty obvious and self-explanatory. The addition of the row of red flowers around the outside was a bit of a trick to pull off, since I'd already adhered the center flowers with dimensionals. I decided not to tempt fate by trying to fill in the centers! The ribbon addition came about after I went digging in my stash for BB gingham and found 1/4" CC grosgrain instead. The whole thing seems a little like a small quilt, and I'm very happy with it. Now to find a recipient!

On a totally different subject, it's summer, and our livin' is easy. That means more time for reading, one of my favorite past times besides stamping! From time to time I recommend titles, and this one I'm really enthusiastic about for reading aloud to older children or just enjoying yourself. The Penderwicks on Gardam Street is actually the sequel to The Penderwicks: The Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy. The first book won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Why am I so high on this series? Let me name the reasons.

1) The author didn't start her writing career until she was 41, and yet she didn't feel she was past her prime. Continuing to pursue dreams, no matter the age, and working to accomplish a lifelong goal are both things to applaud!

2) The characters are very real, and the interactions between the sisters is fabulous to observe. It was fascinating, funny, and endearing. I didn't want it to end.

3) The story has great dialogue that's wonderful to read aloud. I did that with the first one with Emily and her sisters, and they were captivated. If your child isn't a reader or isn't able to read at this level, reading aloud is a way to engage them in the wonderful world of literature.

One caveat: the children's mother in this story died shortly after the birth of the fourth sister, and the resulting situation is handled with sensitivity. It could, however, disturb younger readers/listeners.

If you have any good books to recommend, I'd love for you to leave a comment!

Monday, May 26, 2008

It's Beautiful and I'm Back!

It's Monday evening and I'm excited to report that the project is completed and what once was lavender is now a soothing sage green (mist frost by Valspar paint at Lowe's, to be exact). I always enjoy reorganizing my things, and so it was fun putting the room back together. Because of where the window is and the need to protect the card stock from sun damage, certain things had to go certain places. Those of you who have seen other "before" pictures of this space will notice that things aren't drastically different. I did, however, purge some alterable items I'd been holding onto for almost a year, and decided to put my stamp sets on the shelves in the closet. Not sure if that's going to be the best thing, so I'm holding on to my old 7-drawer unit until I settle in more.

I was able to get back to crafting this afternoon, after we returned from a hike in Dawson Forest. (It was a pretty day, and not too hot for our trek. The dogs even came along, and we checked everyone for ticks (found 2 on Carly) afterwards.)

Our old neighbor, Jonathan Sytsma, is graduating high school this week. His school's colors are red, black, white and silver. This color combination is wonderful to work with! I only have 3 alphabets and 1 set of numbers, so I used my Headline Alphabet and Numbers for this card. The "U" rectangle is popped up on dimensionals to hold the front flap closed.
When it's open, you can see "2008", also embossed with silver EP--love that stuff! The interior greetings of "celebrate", "good for", "bless", "happy for", and "love" all coordinate with the "U" as the retired set All About U. Jonathan's name was done with the also retired Rough Edges Alphabet.

I wish we were going to be in town for Jonathan's graduation. We saw him when we were home last, and he gave me a big bear hug. He's at least 6" taller than I am now, although it's hard to believe he's 18. We moved in next door when he was 1 year old, so we watched him grow up and were part of his family's lives for all those years. He's off to Calvin College, his parents and grandparents' alma mater, to major in engineering so that he can follow in his father's footsteps and be a surveyor and civil engineer. We wish him the best!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Progress...a Family Affair

Just thought you might be intrigued enough to be interested in how the craft room painting project is coming along! We ALL--yes, even I--joined forces to get this moving along toward completion. Michael only likes to be photographed when you can't see his face, so here he is working in the closet. It was his first time wielding a roller too, and he did a great job! I really liked the changed color, and I'm SO glad I didn't go the shade darker that I was considering. The white ceiling really makes a difference in how big the room feels.

It did require 2 coats to fully cover the lavender, so we're inbetween the first and second coats on one wall and have completed the second coat on the other walls. Don't know if we'll have enough to do a second one in the closet, but it's a closet, right? We are amazed that it has taken 2 gallons for this space, but two of the walls are 9.5' tall before the ceiling starts, and the other two are 11' 6" at their peaks, so that's a lot of wall space to cover!

One last thing: Renkus-Heinz is the name of a speaker manufacturer, the shirt a perk from a rep who visited Bob's workplace last year.

What have YOU done this holiday weekend? Do share!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Clean Slate

Well, this is what the craft room looks like right now. EMPTY!! I had yesterday off and am not working today either, so I sorted through things, pitched stuff (when you have more space, you fill it, don't you?), and brought everything out into the living room.

This is the color that has been on the walls since we bought the house: a kind of greyish lavender. It's not just on the walls, but on the ceiling and raised portions of the door panels as well. It was a little girl's room, so I understand the choice. It's just time for a change. I don't like to paint or tackle big projects around the house; that's why I've not done anything to change anything in the house since we moved in, except place our furniture. But Bob has been repulsed by this color for a long time and wants to gift me with a more pleasant work environment. I've done my part, and now he can work freely.

My parents arrive this afternoon on their way home from a funeral in Savannah. Dad is a meticulous painter, and they'll be here until Saturday morning. He's going to get put to work almost as soon as he walks in the door! After hours of sitting in the car, I don't think he'll mind.

All this to say, there won't be any posts of cards for the weekend. The new wall color is a shade of green--think a pretty misty sage color--and I hope I'll like it! Hard to tell from a chip, as I'm sure you know.

Hope you have a chance to enjoy the long weekend. Fill me in on your plans! If you're not busy, feel free to come by and lend a hand with the painting!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

8th Grade Graduation Card for Emily

My best friend Darcie and I had babies on the same day, 6 hours apart. We had labor rooms that shared a wall (allowing her and her husband to hear Bob shouting the numbers 1 through 10 as I pushed), and we recovered for the 24 hours that insurance allowed back then in the same room. Needless to say, I am experiencing some emotion about the fact that Emily Joy, the dearest girl my son calls his best friend, is graduating eighth grade and moving on to high school in the fall. While Michael is 6 hours older, he had no interest in school when he could've gone at almost 5 (school starts a few days before their birthday each year), but Emily went because you don't hold back a little girl who's already doing simple math in her head!

They've experienced lots of life together, and share many memories. When they were babies, we marked the months of their first year by photographing them at significant milestones: rolling over, sitting up, crawling, drinking from sippy cups, climbing stairs, etc., and as they grew we marked their birthdays with joint celebrations. They went to the same school--and were photographed by the school's cornerstone each year--and played together each day at recess. They really have never known life without each other. She has been his steadfast friend, and is becoming a beautiful young woman, inside and out. Bob and I consider her our almost daughter. So while I knew this day would come, I can't believe it's already here.

I hope that she and Michael will remain friends, but I realize that this could be the beginning of some significant challenges for their relationship. Besides the distance that separates them, this fall Emily will experience all that is high school, while Michael remains in middle school for his last year. Being the sensitive girl she is, she'll try to keep the ties that bind them, but it's going to be tough...and even tougher when she goes off to college and he remains behind in high school. I'm getting way ahead of myself.

This next week, we'll join in as we can from afar and cheer for Emily as she marks this milestone. This card, in the school colors of Brilliant Blue and Summer Sun and Whisper White, is simple. I wanted to incorporate the school's initials in the design, and I girlied it up with some flowers from Wonderful You. It may be hard to tell, but the SS circle actually sits on the inside of the card, and the ribbon holds the card together. Now that the card's done, the question is what gift do you give this dear girl, to let her know just how special we think she is? Whatever it is, it won't do justice to the girl who means so much to our family. Way to go, Em! We love you!

Memorial Day Weekend=Graduation Time!

When we lived in Illinois, graduation was something that happened in JUNE. When we moved south, we were very surprised to hear that the high schools held their ceremonies the Friday or Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. In Illinois, folks have been waiting SO LONG for it to get warm that doing something that would conflict with getting away to the lake or going to the pool would make some folks crabby. Here, it has been nice and warm for many weeks now, so it's just another weekend. At least that's my rationale for the decision to link graduation with the holiday weekend!

All this to say that I am in need of a graduation card for our next-door neighbor, Lauren. Her high school's colors are purple, black, and silver, so of course that's what dictated the color scheme. The design for this started out COMPLETELY differently, but when things happen, you have to make the best of them or start over. I NEVER want to start over, so I persevered and am pleased with the final outcome.

I started out with a solid Elegant Eggplant circle that was going to be mounted offset on the right side of the card. I stamped the word "congrats" in Basic Black on the Whisper White circle that was 1/4" smaller than the EE with my Outline Alphabet. Then I used my Versamark marker to color in each of the letters and heat emboss them with Sterling Silver EP. This went fairly well, but some of the black outlines disappeared, so I had to retrace the letters with my Black Stampin' Write Marker. That's where the trouble started. I decided to try to suggest some of the parts of the letters that had been covered over by the EP process and didn't think that the black would RUB OFF onto my fingers while I was handling it. Before I knew it, I had smudges on the crisp white portions of the circle.

No problem, I thought, I can just cover those with decorative stars! Three stampings with and colorings of the star from Fun & Fast Notes and I thought I was finished. NOPE. The smearing had continued when I'd turned the whole thing over to place the Stampin' Dimensionals. So, I got out my scissors and began to selectively snip. I also went back to the EE circle and trimmed it, creating a slender outline of a circle. Re-adhere, place said circle, tie some ribbon, and it's not looking half bad!

I scored the inside flap at 1 1/2" to create a place for a gift card or two. The girl has a new job, so I'm thinkin' that a gas card would be appreciated, but Bob doesn't think that's very fun, so a Starbucks card will probably be included too!

I was very tempted to let this whole thing go and start over, but I'm glad I didn't. I think it's a hip card for a graduate, and I'm going to go make another along the same lines and see what comes of that process!

My craft room's going to be disassembled over the next 2 days because it's going to be painted a lovely Mint Frost color by my dear husband and my dear father this weekend. Not sure when I'll be posting again, but I'm going to try to get another card made this afternoon or tomorrow morning before I begin moving it all out of there. Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Card I Wish I Would've Made Bob's Brother

Sometimes life conspires against you, or so it seems. I was planning to make a third birthday card on Thursday, but realized that if I didn't get the cards in the mail that morning, there wasn't a prayer any of them would make it in time for the birthdays that are today, tomorrow and next Tuesday. So, I grabbed one I had in my stash and used it instead. This is the card I WISH I'd thought to make for Bob's brother, Rick.

All the regret began after I created this. This was inspired by a woman named Michelle Zindorf. She has a blog where she posts tutorials that teach you how to recreate the techniques that she is known for. Much of her work demonstrates her enormous talent in creating landscapes. One of the favorite things she does is work with silhouetted trees and skylines and suns or moons. Twilight is my favorite time each day, and one of the things I miss most about the Midwest is the flat terrain that allows me to see sunsets through blackened tree silhouettes. It just doesn't happen in these hills.

So, emboldened by this inspiration, I tried my hand at her techniques. I started with the pine branch from Peaceful Wishes and Always Artichoke Craft ink. After stamping, I embossed with clear EP. Then I used a post-it note with a 1 1/4" circle punched out of it to create the setting sun with More Mustard and Really Rust that I sponged inside the mask. After embossing that as well, I then began playing with sponging, starting with Soft Sky, then Cameo Coral, followed by Ruby Red, Groovy Guava, a touch of Purely Pomegranate, and Blue Bayou inks. That created the sky.

When I was finished, it looked a little "off" somehow. Unbalanced, unfinished. So I added another branch and that was better. Then I set about to mounting it so as not to diminish from the colors. During that process, I rotated it vertically and the whole look changed! This is what the final card looks like:

The reason I wish I'd thought to make this kind of card for Bob's brother is that he's such an outdoorsman. He also loves fishing, waterskiing, hunting, and photographing nature. He would've appreciated this, I think. Oh year!

Thanks for stopping by during this gorgeous weekend! Hope you spent time out of doors today yourself!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Color Challenge Inspired Birthday Card #2

As I said in my last post, I have 3 family birthdays in the next 7 days. Kristina Werner's weekly Color Inspiration Challenge helped me utilize my time wisely this afternoon by eliminating the dithering I usually do over color scheme. This week's swatches are: Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive, So Saffron, and Tempting Turquoise. I also was inspired by an old layout created by Jen del Muro for her blog, I {Heart} 2 Stamp.

This is what evolved as I played with the shapes and colors. I used my 1 3/8" square punch and chomped out one of every color except TT, since it is the base. Then I set about coloring on the Sale-A-Bration set, Birthday Whimsy. I wanted details of the stamps--a popular trend called "inchies"--so I colored what I wanted to highlight and stamped each on 1 1/4" squares of Whisper White.

I took this picture to help me remember the placement positions of each of the pieces. I have a hard enough time creating a less than symmetrical look, and recreating it after I remove said pieces to adhere them is more stress than I need. Taking the picture allows me a reference point. I added the strip of WW with dots stamped from an old Hostess Set called Riveting to create some more whimsy and break up the TT base. This card will be for my brother-in-law, who is turning 43, and so there was no option for ribbon.

The interior uses the entire cake image--stamped off once--and the accompanying sentiment. Now all that remains is getting the family to sign it and it'll be off to him in the mail. Unfortunately, his is the last of the three, so it's back to the craft room to create one more so that my sister-in-law (or my sister, I haven't decided who's getting yesterday's card yet) has a card in time for her special day.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Just a quick post today so that you don't go another day without a card to view here! I used my 1/2" circle punch to create the scalloped edge that surrounds this oval. The biggest challenge of this card was getting the words to stamp well. Don't know why it took 4 tries, but the end result was worth persisting.

The color scheme came from Kristina Werner's color inspiration challenge last week. Better late than never, and I have 3 birthday cards to get in the mail this week for my sister, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law.

Life calls! Have a good day...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Check Out These Sites!

Since my inlaws are here and we've been doin' up the town, here are a few cool sites to visit to get some inspiration!

Nancy Riley, a fellow SU! demonstrator and Arizonian, has a blog that has amazing cards and lots of good tutorials on it. This weekend, she's giving readers blog candy! Go there, find out what it is, and comment for your chance to win!

I've mentioned Kristina Werner's blog before, and I wanted you to check out what a bunch of other stampers did with her color inspiration challenge this week. Even though the time period to enter has passed, it's still worth a blog hop over there to check out all the beautiful cards!

One last one: Laura Hendrickson, a Canadian SU! demonstrator, has a great site called scrapnextras. Browse what she has posted just in this past week, and I think you'll be inspired.

Happy blog surfing!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I have a thing about circles. I like them in all sizes, and enjoy experimenting with how they might best look when grouped together. I'm not sure why, but I think it has something to do with the fact that I perceive the combination to be hip, and I'm forever striving to be more hip (but not more hippy).

So, when I saw this paper on a project done by Kristina Werner and posted on May 4, I knew instantly that I wanted to recreate this look. The paper pictured is from Fancy Pants, and the pattern is called About a Boy. I was also inspired by Laura Hendrickson's card for Mother's Day. Since I have the Outline Alphabet, this factored into the creative mix.

The colors I chose from what I saw in the FP paper included Chocolate Chip (base), Kraft (strip), Tempting Turquoise, Only Orange, Certainly Celery, and So Saffron.

I started by pulling out all the circle punches I have. (I also got out my Coluzzle cutting system, but ended up not using it.) I punched 3 of every size in every color and then started putting different combinations together.

Here's how it turned out!!! I'm thrilled! It was way fun to challenge myself to be as random as possible, and I think this is quite manly, yet not at all serious.

Take note of the patterns in advertisements, magazines, nature, and clothing (to name a mere few) that inspire you. Then use those colors or shapes as a jumping off point for your design. I'd love to see what you come up with! Just include a link in the comments!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Mother's Day

I'm not sure why pink and flowers are symbolic with mothers, but I succumbed to the cliche when I created these cards over the weekend. I played with my Wonderful You set and some retired designer paper and the sketch came together rather quickly.

Pink and brown is one of my favorite combinations, and the paper helped determine the use of the flower as the focal image. The base of the card is Pretty in Pink and Close to Cocoa is the mat. Notice the little splash of bling with Dazzling Diamonds in the center of the flower. The sentiment comes from the It's Your Birthday set, and I think it's perfect for Mother's Day. The Happy Mother's Day stamp is from the retired All Year Cheer II set; however, there is a new all occasions set available called All the Holidays, which covers all kinds of holidays and occasions and has 12 stamps total in it.

I was also playing around with some scraps and incorporated that dotted frame I experimented with last week to make this card. I really like it! It has the same sentiment and message inside, mounted on some more of the dp.

Here's a suggestion: consider expanding your Mother's Day card giving beyond family members to your friends or to other ladies who have had an impact on your life. They may have waded through the toddler years with you or passed along some wisdom because their child was a few years further down the road than yours, or just encouraged you as a friend. However you define "mothering" or "nurturing", think about expressing your appreciation to those women this weekend.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Bounce Bounce Bounce...

My nephew is a sports nut! He's into basketball right now, but he "cross trains" by participating in baseball and golf. Last year, this is the card I made him. The front of it said, "Enjoy your birthday, Drew..." It was very well received (or at least his mother liked it!).

Thought I'd continue the "winning streak" I have in this sports card category and try to create Drew a basketball card his 11th birthday.

I'm doing this because he told his mom that what he really wants for his birthday is a "good" basketball. Since it's way more complicated to send a basketball through the mail, and because I have no idea what Drew defines as "good" when it comes to said ball, a gift card is the obvious choice.

This one was very simple to create using my Coluzzle circle and oval cutting system. I used the largest circle to create the base, and the second largest oval to create the curved lines on the ball. Not exactly perfect, but pretty darn close! I used the slit punch to hold the card, but, as this was my first attempt at this, I mispunched them, so I had to improvise and mat the card on a black rectangle of card stock. That turned out to be okay, because it allowed me a place to put a message for Drew that won't be readily apparent when he first opens the card. So sneaky of me!

I can't believe he's 11 already! Time goes by crazy fast, and he's into CLOTHES, of all things, and GIRLS! While we were there last month, he proudly showed us a polo he'd bought at Hollister. He's in fifth grade! Michael could care LESS about these things, and he's two years older! I'm just fine with that.

My fabulous manager at Starbucks made it possible for me to come home 2 hours and 15 min. earlier than expected today, and so I may have enough energy to try a really complicated gift card holder that I saw online yesterday. Stay tuned!

EDITED TO ADD: I had a brainstorm after I finished the basketball card, and used my Lots of Dots jumbo wheel, Versamark, and clear embossing powder to create the nubbies you FEEL on a basketball! It's SO cool!