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!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Be My Valentine Series - Day 5 - Minimal Cards



Today's cards use minimal supplies, minimal time and mini stamp sets to help you send big love!  Each of these cards uses the following supplies:

It only took about 10 minutes to create each card; I definitely became faster as I went too!  

  1. Place your sentiment stamp on an acrylic block and fill the white card panel, using the lighter of the two ink colors, leave room in between the sentiments for a cute heart!
  2. Stamp your hearts in between each sentiment with the darker ink color
  3. Adhere your card front to the matching card base.
  4. Place your circle die on the darker piece of cardstock and tape in place, now center your heart die inside the circle and tape in place, run through your die cutting machine!
  5. Remove just the circle die from the darker paper and place on your lighter paper and cut one circle
  6. Place the lighter circle on the adhesive sheet, rub well to transfer the adhesive and remove the cover sheet exposing the adhesive, adhere the darker circle with the heart on top, your negative heart shape should now be sticky!  
  7. Place a pinch of glitter inside the heart and burnish it onto the adhesive with your finger, brush off any excess with a large dry paintbrush.
  8. Using foam tape, or squares, attach the circle in the middle of the card front.
  9. Stamp your images and color.  Cut your images and adhere to the card front overlapping the circle edges.
  10. If you want to place an epoxy heart in the center of the glittery heart!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Be My Valentine Series - Day 4

Hi there, sorry but I wasn't able to get this posted yesterday... my littlest has decided that sleeping alone just isn't for her anymore :(  It has been a rough couple of weeks and I am so tired that I keep falling asleep in my big cozy chair in her room, which means I am snoring instead of creating!  No worries though, I still plan to get all ten cards up before February 4th and hopefully you will feel inspired to create your own cards this year too!



Today's card features Altenew products!  Altenew is a newer company and they make some AMAZING layering stamps,  inks sets, dies and their sentiment sets are a must have!  Today I used the Vintage Roses stamp set and coordinating dies, the Red Cosmos ink set, the Green Fields ink set and the Shutter Cover Die.  I was going for a card that had a vintage glam feel with a modern edginess to it; I am really happy with the outcome!

To create the card I started by cutting the cover die with both black and gray cardstock. Before removing the paper from the die I smoothed some Press n' Seal wrap over the back to keep the negative and positive pieces together.  Once it was all out of the die I peeled away the main portion of the gray piece and adhered it to my white card front.  I then randomly selected black and gray pieces to inlay into the background and adhered them with some thin lines of liquid adhesive.  Die cut inlay is so beautiful and not nearly as time consuming as you may think, I urge you to give it a try!

I then stamped all of my images onto some Neenah cardstock and cut them with the coordinating dies. After I adhered them to my card front I added lots of beautiful sequins from Craft Medley and Pretty Pink Posh and a few gems from my stash.  I didn't want to cover up any of this gorgeous glam with a large sentiment so I pulled out some stickers from my stash, found a great sentiment, trimmed it out and matted it with a piece of white cardstock before adhering it to the front of my card.

Thanks for stopping by to share in my Valentine's Day fun, if you have any questions about the cards featured so far feel free to ask me in the comments section.  Off to create while she is finally napping!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Be My Valentine Series - Day 3

Critters in love, what could be cuter!?

Today's card features some adorable Lawn Fawn critters in love!  This card was inspired by this fantastic card by Nichol Spohr. I think her use of the washi tape with this polaroid die cut is just too cute!



Each set of critters was colored with Copic markers and then die cut with this adorable Polaroid Fun die from Mama Elephant!  I did run each die cut through my Big Shot with a piece of 110lb cardstock to smooth them out and help them to fit together without gaps.

I wanted to showcase these cute couples so I chose a deep black cardstock for my background.  Once I laid out my design I used the new Lawn Fawn Valentine Borders to cut out the row of hearts which I backed with a piece of pinkinsh red paper.  I did end up adhering a few of the black hearts back into the card as I felt this looked better under the die cut sentiment. The sentiment is created using the hello stamp from Lawn Fawn's Hello Baby stamp set and their fantastic Scripty Love die.  I glued three individual cuts of the love die together to create a bit of dimension. Finally I adhered everything down and added some cute heart washi from my stash!

Stamps sets used in this card:  Happy Howldays, Merry Christmouse, Baaah Humbug, Flamingo Together and Sunny Skies So sorry some of these were exclusive Stamptember sets and one is retired, I did link those that are still available.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Be My Valentine Series - Day 2

Today's card is guaranteed to bring a smile to your dearest friend's face when they see these adorable bunnies from the Pix's Favorites stamp set by Mama Elephant!



This card was very simple to put together.  I began by stamping the Pix images with Ranger Archival Ink onto Canson Fanboy paper ( this is my favorite paper to use with Zig Clean Color Markers)  as you can guess I colored them with my Zigs and used a wet paint for blending. I did add a bit of sparkle with my Wink of Stella Clear to these cuties and once they were dry I fussy cut them leaving a white border to help them standout from my background.

I knew that I wanted to use a thought bubble so I stamped one from Lawn Fawn with Hero Arts Unicorn ink and heat embossed it using Hero Arts White Satin Pearl embossing powder.  I used the coordinating dies to cut these.

For the background I did some quick watercolor with Distress Inks on watercolor paper.  I die cut that with the Mama Elephant Hillside Cover Die and then trimmed off about 1/4" to allow for a white border on the card front.

I will admit I was so excited to put this card together that I adhered everything and then realized I forgot to stamp my sentiment!  (I had to remove the mouse pad from my MISTI due to the fun foam I had used being the background but it still worked perfectly, love that tool!)  The sentiment is from Concord & 9th was heat embossed using a white embossing powder from my stash. 

Quick, simple and oh so cute!

Thanks for stopping by, see you tomorrow to share some more happy heart day fun!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Be My Valentine Series - Day 1

We are closing in on the end of January which means Valentine's Day isn't too far away!  I have always loved Valentine's Day, doing the mailboxes and classroom Valentine's as a kid, roses and chocolates as I got older and then helping my kiddos with their Valentine's as a Mama Bear... I love it all!  In the spirit of love I am going to share ten Valentine's Day cards with you, one each in the coming days, some feature new to me techniques (like today's card), some will be for your Love and others for your little love bugs.  I hope you'll find something to inspire you to create a card for your sweetie!



Let's get started... today's card features ink smooshing (yes, that is the technical name!) to create a fun background!  I have been trying this technique out for the past week and I found these two video tutorials to be really helpful... Kari Webster and Laura Bassen... make sure to check them out!  I really want to say 'Don't get frustrated!' it took me quite a few tries with all different supply combos before I was happy with my smooshed panel. 

Ink Smooshing Supplies:
Distress Inks 
Ranger Spray Bottle 
4x6" piece of acetate (I used some old packaging)
Ranger Watercolor Paper (I prefer the smooth side)
Paper Towels (I don't recommend Viva, they left lint on the project)

I did add a little extra flair by flicking on some Kuretake Gansai Tambi Starry Colors (Red Gold) to the background!

For my adorable Octopi I stamped them with Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black onto Ranger watercolor cardstock. I then colored them in with Distress Inks and then went over them with my clear Wink of Stella, I can't resist the sparkle!  I cut them out with their coordinating dies once they were truly dry.

I really felt that the Octopi needed a 'landing spot' on the card and as I thought about it I saw this card on my desk and I decided that a heart shaped shell wreath would be perfect!  I stamped the shells from Life Is Good onto vellum with Hero Arts Unicorn Pigment Ink and then heat embossed them with white powder, finally I fussy cut the wreath and adhered it with tiny dots of Ranger Multi-Medium Matte.

To assemble the card I adhered my smooshed background to a white card base.  I laid out my greeting in my MISTI stamping tool and stamped it next to the wreath with Momento Tuxedo Black Ink.  I applied some foam adhesive to my octopi and placed them over the wreath ( I love how they are holding tentacles!) and Voila! a finished card!

Thanks for getting all the way to the end of this post, I hope you come back tomorrow for another Valentine's Day card!





Tuesday, January 10, 2017

You Lift Me Up - Color Challenge




Marker Pop is hosting another fantastic color challenge over on their blog!

I started my card by choosing this cute hot air balloon from Wplus9 'Going Places' and the adorable bear from 'Happy Mail'.  I used Distress Inks to blend a background panel,  but I felt it needed something to anchor the scene so I used the Impression Obsession pine tree background stamp and added in a forest!  To give the background just a bit more detail I cut it with the stitched card front die from the My Favorite Things Blueprints 25 Die-namics After I stamped and colored my images with Copic markers I die cut them  with the coordinating dies.  How cute is it that the dies cut out the bunnies paw to hold onto the basket?!!! 

For my sentiment I used the Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangles and cut a bit of vellum on which to emboss my sentiment, it comes from another Wplus9 set 'Party Animal'.  I used teeny dots of adhesive behind the embossing to adhere this to the card front.  As a finishing touch I added a few enamel shapes from my stash!

Looking forward to seeing what you create!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Spotlight Coloring



I love a good card challenge and when I created this card I was excited to realized that it fit the bill for two of them!

The design for this card was inspired by the My Favorite Things Sketch Challenge #314 (see photo below).  I really wanted to try something new, so after browsing the web I decided to try some spotlight coloring; it is a fantastic way to make a big impact on a CAS card.

I started out with this awesome My Favorite Things Bundles of Blossoms Background Stamp and stamped it with Momento Tuxedo Black ink onto two pieces of white card stock, then I got down to some serious coloring with my Copics!  Once I had colored a decent sized area I die cut it with one of the Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangle dies to mimic the stitching on the background that was cut with the My Favorite Things Blueprints 25 Die-namics.  I then popped the colored piece up on some fun foam and added it to the card.  Holy moly, I LOVE spotlight coloring!  I had never tried this technique before but it has such an impact on this card that it is definitely going to become more of a 'go to technique' for me!  For my sentiment I white heat embossed the Thank You from Avery Elle's Fabulous Florals Stamp Set onto a black banner cut with the My Favorite Things Blueprints 25 Die-namics ( I cut my banner first and adhered it my Misti mouse pad with removable adhesive, then I carefully manipulated the stamp to fit nicely with the shaped banner). To finish the card I added some iridescent sequins and a few sparkly gems!

I am entering this card in the following Card Challenges:

My Favorite Things Sketch Challenge #314


Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge New Something

I used a technique that was new to me... Spotlight Coloring!!!


***I have been doing some organizing and purging.  I can't be creative in a mess.  I have so many beautiful products that are not being used, I would love to find them some new homes.  You can check out my Facebook Page for a destash sale posting later today and more throughout the week!***

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

You've Got Mail

Okay, okay, I know the title is super cheesy but I'm a sucker for cheesy movies, puns and titles!  With the idea of cheesy romance in mind I wanted to share with you these super cute Valentine's Day Coupons that I made for my hubby using the new Lawn Fawn Valentine's Day Release.  As soon as I saw the Stitched Heart Envelope I knew I wanted to make these!

Please excuse the strange redness in the photo, 
it is snowing outside and I had the toughest time getting 
a shot that wasn't too blue!  I will try and get some better photos posted soon!

I began by cutting a dozen of the Stitched Heart Envelopes out of some mid-weight patterned paper in my stash (I believe these are all from a Dear Lizzy release).  I really hate to waste any of my pretty papers so I cut them to 7" x 12", held up the die and cut outside of the die to make two envelopes out of each piece.  Next I cut 12 of the cute scalloped tags out for the front using a fun polka dotted paper, and then the sentiments using a red paper all from the same Dear Lizzy collection.  After folding all of my envelopes I adhered the labels to the fronts with glue dots.  I ran the sentiments through my little Xyron sticker maker and adhered those.  On the envelopes where I used two heart dies (I had three)  I stamped some sentiments from the new Love Letters stamp set with Cranberry ink, they look like little candy hearts... seriously too cute!

To finish off my coupons I had to create the actual coupons... I just created a Microsoft Word document and came up with ideas that would be fun for my Honey (I would be happy to share after Valentine's Day).  I wanted the insides to be cute too so I cut each little coupon out with one of the dies from the Small Stitched Rectangles set.

I found this super adorable little felt mailbox in the $1 spot at Target and it is the perfect little container for these coupons!  For once I am actually super early and really excited to give him this Valentine's Day gift!

Happy New Year everyone!