Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Mama Bear's Family Tag

The Wednesday Challenge, for this week, at Simon Says Stamp is tags!  They are also featuring Ranger products, because we all know Ranger and tags go hand in hand!

My tag features only a few of the great products and manufacturers that you can find at Simon Says Stamp!



The tag base is from Ranger and I blended both Distress Inks and various Tattered Angels shimmer sprays to create the background and the hill.

I used this awesome Big Bang Scenery set from Winnie and Walter along with some Versamark and Hero Arts Silver Embossing Powder to create a starry background.  The moon is a heart from the Simon Says Stamp Set Tons of Hearts!

The adorable bear family is from two Mama Elephant's stamp sets Bear Hugs and Cub Cuddles.
I stamped the bears with Antique Linen Distress Ink onto Ranger Watercolor Paper and used my Distress Inks , Ranger Artist Brushes and Distress Markers to paint them.  I then fussy cut them using my Fiskars Spring-Assist Micro Tip Scissors.  The sentiment is also from Cub Cuddles and was embossed with the same Silver Embossing Powder.

The ribbon was an older SEI one from my stash ;)

I plan to hang this in a shadow box on our family's gallery wall in the living room.  Our kiddos are growing up so fast and this sentiment really sums up exactly how I feel.

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  I love to read your comments so feel free to leave one below!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Fashionable Foxes Weighted Blanket

Sharing a sewing post today; it has been a bit since I could get much sewing done. My Littlest is now older and I can do a bit more while she plays, with the pin cushions, because of course the dangerous things are her favorite *insert head shake*.

Speaking of my Littlest she is BUSY, like all the time BUSY and has trouble falling asleep.  I had read about weighted blankets several years ago and thought about making one for my Oldest but I never did get around to it.  Fast forward a few years and I am talking with my friend about Littlest's sleep troubles and she mentions that her nephew has a weighted blanket that he loves... hello light bulb moment! I immediately was on Pinterest and Google searching DIY Weighted Blankets and holy smokes there are tons of awesome tutorials out there!  I am going to link a few below in case you are interested in making one too!

I let Littlest dig through my fabric stash and she picked out these adorable fox fabrics from Joanns for her blanket. I pieced the flannel side in stripes so that it would be easier to make my grid pattern for the weight pockets.  I combined quilting techniques and simple sewing in this blanket and I learned a TON while creating this blanket!

Helpful DIY Weighted Blanket Links:
Craft Nectar Weighted Blanket Tutorial
MamaSmiles Weighted Blanket Tutorial
Weighted Blanket Size & Weight Chart from Mosaic Weighted Blankets

What I did differently than the tutorials:

- When creating the pockets for the weights I sewed 1/4 of an inch from each side of the vertical grid lines I had drawn.  My thinking behind this was that it was one more seam to reinforce the fabrics and strength of this blanket, it was another line of defense in case one seam ripped out and the weights started to scatter through the blanket, and it created smaller weight pockets so they were more compact and stayed 'flatter' instead of all being on one side of the pocket. (You can see this in the largest photo above)

- I also made half pockets on the sides of the blanket so that the edges were easier for little hands to grasp and pull up for covering herself. I also left several inches before the pockets began on the top and bottom of the blanket for this purpose and so that she had a bit to snuggle up under her chin that wasn't weighted.

- I bound the edges of the vertical sides, I did this primarily because I am not a huge fan of a turned under seam, I don't think it looks as finished.  I did do only a turn over seam on the top and bottom, as I thought this would reduce bulk and discomfort when she pulls it up under her chin.

What I would do differently on the next blanket:

- I would sew the center grid completely, similar to a quilt and then bind the edges just like on a quilt.

- I may try and make one with a duvet, so that just the cover could be removed and washed, my washer was not a big fan of the weight!

Tools & Tips that really helped in creating this blanket:

- A walking foot!  This made it so much easier to get the layers of fabric through the machine.

- Adjustable sewing foot pressure was also super handy!

- When you go to wash the finished blanket add towel to the washer to help even out the weight, I put mine in a washing bag so that they would all stay on the side opposite the blanket (I have a top loading machine)

- Crayola Ultra Washable Markers - these are my preferred marking pens, they come right out in the wash and make a dark line that I can easily see when sewing.

- Soft-n-Comfy fabric has a direction, sewing in the way the fibers lay makes it much easier to get through the machine and keeps puckering to a minimum, I only remembered this halfway through the blanket!

- When you are filling the first few rows of pockets a long cardboard tube of PVC pipe helps in getting the weights down to the bottom!

- If you make a paper funnel for the beads make sure to keep it out of reach of your cat... otherwise they may get their head stuck in it and cause you to lose half an hour laughing at their antics!

Final result:  Naptime and Bedtime were both MUCH easier and she fell asleep in record time with her "special to me" blanket!

If you have any questions please feel free to let me know in the comments, I would love to help in any way that I can!

***If you want a weighted blanket but don't want to make your own I highly recommend my friend Melissa's site Sew Important, she creates beautiful weighted blankets tailored to her customer's tastes!***



Friday, February 10, 2017

Be My Valentine Series Day 10 - Quick Yet Cute


For this last card I wanted to challenge myself to make a card in 10 minutes that I would still be happy to give to someone.  

I often find both sketches & color challenges to be good starting points for any card.  They also give me a great plan when trying to make a quick card like this one! For this card I combined the current MarkerPop color challenge with the My Favorite Things Sketch Challenge.

I was inspired by my crafty friend Kevin Bray and his use of stacked washi tape strips to create a quick background!  Next I cut out a cute Pix image from Mama Elephant Pix's Favorites, I had painted her with Zig Clean Color Markers & Distress Markers.  I found a shimmery bit of vellum and used the Sizzix nesting hearts to cut out two to place Pix on... they really weren't distinct as two so I inked the smaller heart with Cranberry Ink from Lawn Fawn.  I still felt the vellum heart wasn't really distinct against the washi so I trimmed the card base down so it would hang off the side a bit and draw your eye.  

The sentiment is from My Favorite Things Because You Stamp Set and was embossed with white on black before being die cut with a banner from Blueprints 27.  To finish the card I added sequins, both cupped & hearts with some Multi Matte Medium!

Phew, that was 9 min and 36 sec, a total record for me!!!!

Thank you so much for joining me!  I would love to see any cards you created that were inspired by this series, be sure to tag me @modernmamabear on Instagram!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Be My Valentine Series - Day 9 - Bookmark Cards

Today I wanted to share with you an idea using a sketch from Scrapbook and Cards Today.  This is their challenge sketch for February and I thought it would be perfect for bookmark cards!  These cards are perfect for Grandparents, parents, aunts or uncles for any occasion and Valentine's Day is no exception!
SCT_WI16_Card2

The important thing to remember about a sketch is that it is meant to be a starting point but if you want to CASE it completely that is okay too!  Sketches are a great way to get your creativity flowing.  I followed the sketch pretty closely on these card but tweaked it to work with the supplies I had on hand.  I created two cards; one more manly and the other a bit more feminine.






These adorable bears were colored with Staedtler Watercolor Pencils, Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers, and Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils.  I was going for a specific look with these images; I wanted them to look like illustrations.  The bear stamp sets are Cub Cuddles and Bear Hugs both from Mama Elephant.

The cards are just basic white side folding cards.  The patterned paper is from Lawn Fawn's Polka In The Meadow Petite Paper Pack (note:  I backed each bookmark with the same paper as the card front) The epoxy hearts, washi tape and red twine are from my stash. The green hills were all cut from one piece of watercolored paper using the Mama Elephant Hillside Cover die. I used some thin but strong double sided tape on each side of the extra little hill on the card front so I could slip the bookmarks into them yet keep the bulk down.

I know my Mom will be really excited to get this card!  Let me know if you end up making any of these cards, I would love to see them!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Be My Valentine Series - Day 8 - Dynamite Dies


Some people just aren't stampers, I get it as I wasn't always either.  So today I went back to my first love... die cuts!  Each of these cards was created using only die cuts and really they could be used for any occasion but are perfectly suited for Valentine's Day!

The card above features dies from Lawn Fawn, the heart die from the Stitched Party Banners and  a few of the smiley faces from the Make Me Smile die set!  I used some micropore tape to hold the smiles in place for die cutting and it worked perfectly to keep them in just the right spot on the hearts!

The next card features a water colored background done with Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers on some Canson XL watercolor paper.  This amazing Heart Beat die is from SugarPea Designs; I used it on both the background and a piece of black cardstock to create the inlaid panel!


My final card features the Rose Background Die from Wplus9, I love that this die covers the entire card front!  I cut it from some Doodlebug bubblegum crushed velvet cardstock (I have been hoarding this paper for the last 9 years so it was high time I used it!  But wait, Joann.com still has it in packs, I need more, it is so darn awesome.  You can click the link above to order.)  I then spritzed a black card base with Shimmer spray and adhered it using the 3L adhesive sheets!  This card is so stunning in person but very hard to get a good photo of.


I hope you feel inspired to break out those dies and create a Valentine for your loved one!  See you soon with a few more days of heartfelt cards.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Be My Valentine Series - Day 7 - Outdoorsman

I had really wanted to share some cute lunch box love notes that I created but they have disappeared! I even tried to recreate them but I can't find the die anywhere... it is a BIG die... I am feeling beyond frustrated.  I hope to find them in time for Day 10, but if not I will share a variation on that theme.



Today's card is on the more masculine side.  My hubby isn't one for sequins and roses so I created this card with some great wood grain texture and the adorable squirrels from My Favorite Nut by Neat & Tangled!  The images were all painted using my daughter's Crayola watercolors since I was painting with her at the time, oddly they have a bit of sheen to them but I am pleasantly surprised at how well they did work for blending and creating colors!

See you back here tomorrow to spread more love!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Be My Valentine Series - Day 6 - Darling Deer



I am enamored with images that have a mid-century modern feel and these deer from the Kitsch Christmas Stamp Set by Caryn Davies for Avery Elle are right up my alley!

I was browsing through cards on my Pinterest boards and I came across this gem by Caryn Davies!  I think these deer are slightly flirty and therefore perfect for a Valentine's Day card so I grabbed one from my CCC "Colored Critters Cache"  (I colored a ton of these around Christmas time so I had a few leftover, yes, I REALLY love these deer!) and I set about recreating this card with a romantic feel.

I used the My Favorite Things Die-namics Stitched Mini Scallop Circle Stax and the Die-namics Inside & Out Stitched Circle Stax to create the base of my focal point. Next I used a stencil brush to blend some Festive Berries Distress Ink on the inner white circle. I used Avery Elle Laurels Stamps and Dies to create the flower and leaf accents around the edge. They were all stamped with various Altenew Inks (Cotton Candy, Ruby Red, Coral Berry, Peach Perfect, Frayed Leaf and Forest Glades).

After laying everything out in my MISTI I positioned the little starburst stamps and stamped them with Versamark and heat embossed them using Ranger's Princess Gold Embossing Powder, this is my favorite gold powder.  I then stamped my greeting from Avery Elle's Fabulous Florals Stamp Set and heat embossed that as well.  Finally I assembled all of the pieces together and Voila, Darling Deer!

I will be back with a post featuring Lunch Box Love Notes!