summer's end

well, guys, yesterday was Labor Day which, for most, means the end of summer.  it doesn't necessarily feel that way for me since i don't have little ones in school yet, i already returned to school myself 2 weeks ago, and it is still HOT here in Orange County.  i think i heard them say it would stay hot this week and get hotter next week!  why?!  since i am a California transplant, i grew up with the marked change in seasons in Upstate New York. in fact, you could usually mark the end of summer by the fall grape harvest.  our house was situated smack in the middle of acres of vineyards and the delicious smell of Concord grapes filled the air every autumn.  we hardly ever make it back for a fall visit but i do miss that smell and the gorgeous fall scenery of the area.  out here in CA, well, not much changes.  i expect it will be much different when Mr. Bagubian begins Kindergarten, but luckily, i have a few more years before that happens (don't want him growing up too fast, of course).

he does have a birthday coming up in October--it's so hard to believe he will turn 2 years old.  that means thinking about his birthday party and wondering if i have the time to make invitations for it.  as a crafty mama, i feel obligated to make something instead of taking the easy route and heading out to Target to get some fill-ins.  but there's a little more going on this year than last--i did make them last year--and if i'm going to do it, now is certainly the time to start.  not to mention that i need to come up with a theme first and i like to stay away from anything too commercial or licensed.  it's just not my thing.  we did a woodland theme last year so can't do that again this year.  his main interest right now is trucks.  he gets extremely excited to see any kind of truck--garbage, big rig, fire engine, tanker, delivery--and knows the names of them all, too.  here he is this past weekend at the car wash with Hoss, posing in front of his most favorite truck of all, the car transporter.  

he has some little Fisher-Price plastic Wheelies that he actually takes to bed with him.  he loves Tow Mater--yes, that's what he calls him--from the Disney Cars movie and on his birthday we are taking him to Cars Land at Disneyland.  in all likelihood, we'll end up having a cars and trucks theme.  but that's going to be hard for me to translate into invitations.

anyhow, just something i need to get thinking about.  i'd love some ideas if anyone has any...

i haven't shared any cards in awhile, but I've been busy making them, so i have 3 to show you today.  i made all of these for the Crate Paper blog using products from the soon-to-be-released lines Acorn Avenue and On Trend.  the first card feels fall-ish and honestly, Acorn Avenue would have been perfect to have on hand for Mr. Bagubian's 1st Birthday since there are parts of it (like the deer Standout) that are heavy on the woodland theme.  

i cut several strips of paper from both collections in small sizes and made ribbon ends out of them.  you can also see that instead of discarding each tiny triangle, i lined them up and sewed them along the bottom of the card.  i should warn you that those triangle cutouts are quickly becoming one of my new favorite embellishments.  you'll see it again in upcoming posts.

i used some grapevine twine and wrapped it around the card a couple of times before tying it into a bow.  i call it grapevine twine because that's what grape farmers use to tie the vines to the wires, and because my dad was a grape farmer when i was a kid, i grew up with it around the house.  i think it's probably just jute, but it has an incredibly rustic appearance and is even a little messy.  for a finishing touch, i slipped a wooden button underneath the bow.

i felt that the right side of the card was pretty bare so i stuck the scalloped frame deer Standout there, along with a couple of little chipboard pieces that are actually from CP's Random line.

this card was made for the August edition of Creative Weekly, which you can see here.  we focused on patterned paper and were encouraged to use as much of it as we could.  you might note the similar colors and patterns in this card and the one above it.  that's because the first card i shared with you is actually an outtake i made for the theme.  although i did like the card, i really wanted the focus to be on the patterns and didn't feel that the first card did that well enough.  but i liked the colors so much that i stuck with them and went a different route for the design.  

i used both collections again here and made scalloped edges out of thicker strips of paper.  i then adhered them to the card to create a tiered look.  i tied a bow of Hollywood Green seam binding and added a simple white tag with a tiny little flower from CP's Pretty Party line.  i think that tag is my favorite part of the entire card.  so simple yet so sweet.

i wanted to keep the top uncluttered so i used a cutout card from CP's Story Teller collection to do that.  i actually used 2 of the same card and cut out the top semi-circle "Notes" section.  using foam dots, i adhered the semi-cicle cutout from the first card over the same section of the 2nd card to create some much-needed dimension.  i spelled out E-N-J-O-Y using stickers from Little Boy Blue and then adhered the little "everyday moments" snippet, from Story Teller, with foam dots.

lastly, i have a completely different card for you.  this is pretty much all On Trend here.  this line has the most vibrant colors.  i love the pinks and greens and chartreuses, and love, love, love to pair them up with the black and gray patterned papers that are also in the collection.

i hand cut the butterfly and then spritzed it with some Mr. Huey Calico Shine from Studio Calico to give it a little oomph.  i layered it over some black lace and cream tulle that also add texture.  don't you love the floral card it's sitting on?!  those colors make me swoon.  i added a bit of glitter glue with a greenish hue to the flower centers and hand-stitched it onto the black and cream striped paper.  that paper, in turn, sits atop a length of black lace and the pink smaller floral print paper.  oh, and there's a little bit of a doily peeking out from the bottom, too.

for my sentiment, i used a Papertrey Ink stamp from "Birds of a Feather" and 3 adhesive gems.  the pink glitter chipboard is an American Crafts Thicker from a few seasons ago, and the f-l-y-! letters are Crate Paper "Custard" Thickers, which should release with the new product lines.

i have much more to come this week, including more cards to share, the debut of my first-ever scrapbook page layout, and a look at some goodies i picked up from a fun (and super-cheap) new Japanese import store that recently opened in our area.  be sure to check back in the next couple of days and, as always, thanks for stopping by today!