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Back in the late fall, a friend commissioned me to make a few costume accessories for her son.  Not only was he super-excited about capes, but he was specifically interested in Prince Philip from the Disney animated movie Sleeping Beauty.  My daughter modeled the accessories before I delivered them to my friend!

I made a plain red cape in the same style as all the other superhero capes I’ve made (no star monogram on this one)…

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…and at my friend’s request, I also made a sword belt.  I did an internet search of images of Prince Philip to decide how it should look.  (For the photos of the belt below, I have increased the exposure and contrast so that the stitching details can be seen.)  

I used thick black jersey knit to construct the belt, and it encases some wide elastic.

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The “belt buckle” is made from gold satin and conceals the velcro closure.

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Most importantly, there is a loop on the side of the belt to hold a toy sword.  I had my friend measure the width of her son’s widest sword to determine how big to make the loop.  It is made from the same jersey knit, encasing a narrower piece of elastic.

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Here is a recap of April’s goals:

  • make and finish a simple Disney scrapbook for B : no progress.  I need to print a few more photos and I’m questioning my paper choice.  I got stalled :-p
  • make more cards & send them : Done.  I’ll blog some of them soon.
  • work on the December Daily 2015 album : I finished the first five days and I worked on a few more days’ worth, which I will blog later.  I wish I’d completed more, but it is what it is.
  • a couple sewing projects : Done!  I’ll share them later, though, since they are gifts!  But it’s hard to wait to show them to you.  ;-)
  • keep up with my photos and videos :  Fail.  I caught up March, at least, which was a big month, journaling-wise, and so it ended up being a bigger job than I’d anticipated.  I’m going to try to power through April before we get too far into May!
  • work out at least 3 times per week.  do a 30-day thighs challenge (+arms/abs alternating days) : Done.  I ran a LOT this month– mostly with both kids in the stroller (what a workout!!) and a few times by myself.  I also filled in the gaps with rowing if it was chilly or rainy.  I am pretty happy with myself for following through on the thighs challenge– I only missed one day.  I’m not sure how big of a difference it made, though…
  • continue shooting photos in aperture priority and get more confident :  I spent a day+night gloriously alone at a B&B, and I think I figured some stuff out while I was photographing some of the beautiful flowers on the property.
  • make at least 2 scrapbook layouts for my traditional scrapbook albums : I made one.
  • prioritize Bible study and prayer : yes.  Thank you, Lord.
  • Bonus: I caught up on a lot of blog posts that I’ve been meaning to write!!

 

In May, I would really like to finish some of these projects that seem to be languishing on my goal list–specifically the mini-albums.  I hope that I can make more progress this month.

  • make and finish a simple Disney scrapbook for B
  • make & send cards
  • work on the December Daily 2015 album
  • catch up and keep up with my photos and videos
  • work out at least 3 times per week
  • make at least 1 scrapbook layout for my traditional scrapbook albums
  • prioritize Bible study and prayer
  • make a lap quilt for myself (birthday gift!)

and on the wishlist for May– projects that are on my mind but I can’t prioritize quite yet:

  • make a new bag for myself (purse-sized)
  • start the finishing process for B’s project 365 album
  • make a photo book or two (a simple one to display shots from a family photo shoot; Day in the Life 2015)

I haven’t made a huge number of “me-right-now” type of scrapbook pages, though I have made a few.  A couple months ago on Shimelle’s blog, she shared a process video of a birthday selfie layout.  That re-inspired me to do a similar documentation of my birthday, and I marked it down in my planner to “take a picture!” and “write some journaling about right now.”

Sunday was the “big day,” and while I did snap a photo in the evening, I had to wait until the next evening to sit down and write my journaling.  However, the delay proved to be advantageous– Shimelle’s weekly challenge this week is to “make the journaling the heart of your scrapbook page,” and so I decided to write more than just a bullet list. Inspired by Kirsty Smith’s hidden journaling in plain sight, when I sat down to write my birthday thoughts, I took a plain, white, 8″x8″ piece of paper and just wrote.  I knew I would cover it with a flap of vellum, but other than that, I didn’t have a huge plan in mind.

The layout marinated in my mind for a few days, and I stole moments here and there to pull out supplies.  I broke out my Gossamer Blue May 2014 kit, which I’d won in a giveaway and have never used (until now!!).  The floral paper and the striped paper both are from that kit.  Once I’d decided on a background papers, an idea started to form in my head, and I will say that there was definitely inspiration from Jen Schow’s fashion-inspired layout and the way Wilna Furstenberg uses paint and white floral cut files.

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I got very brave (for me!) and mixed up some acrylic paint to a coordinating aqua and swiped it on across the vellum to ground the cluster.  The vellum lifts so that the entire block of journaling can be read (and I tried to make the edge pretty, too).

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I had “gutted” both pieces of patterned paper, since I wasn’t exactly sure how much layering I was going to do.  I ended up fussy-cutting some of the blooms from the floral to embellish my photo, as well as a piece of the triangle print from the back to add some further grounding to the photo+embellishment cluster (I tend to go for strong horizontal lines in my layouts).

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A while ago, I purchased “The Crafter’s Font Bundle” of beautiful script fonts from The Hungry JPEG, and this layout was the perfect time to put it through its paces with my die-cutting machine.  I played with special characters (via the Character Map tool) to create my main title, and I used some of the dingbats included with another font to cut the white florals and leaves.

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Paper:
striped: Favorite Things Seeing Stripes – Heidi Swapp
floral/triangle geometric: Favorite Things In Bloom – Heidi Swapp
white textured cardstock:  American Crafts
vellum: Paper Studio

Embellishments:
fussy cut flowers from patterned paper
die cut flowers (via Silhouette SD; font = Amigirl Script)
gold glitter enamel dots: Paper Studio
pink striped tape: Bella Blvd
rub on: Glitz Designs
acrylic paint
sewing machine

Text:
die cut title (via Silhouette SD; font = Bruselo)
gold alphas: Uncharted Waters Teeny Alphas – Glitz Designs
journaling pen : Becky Higgins Project Life

While I’m on a cake decorating kick here on the blog, I thought I’d finally get around to sharing V’s fourth birthday cake.

Remember my final cake for the Wilton Level 2 course?  Well, I basically copied it for V’s fourth birthday cake design.  When I asked her what she wanted, she started by basically requesting a repeat of  her third birthday cake…  Even though I was (and still am) proud of that cake, I’ve definitely stepped up my cake decorating game (like that cake inspired me to do!), so I talked to V and explained to her that she could have something different if she wanted.  She thought about it a bit, and then decisively declared that she wanted daisies.  I didn’t know that daisies were her favorite flower, but apparently they are!  I didn’t even know that she knew specifically what daisies were, but when I asked her what they should look like, she confidently described them as having lots of white petals with yellow in the middle.  Okay!  Perfect.

I figured out how to make daisies and prepared a bunch of them ahead of time.  We celebrated V’s birthday at my parents’ house, so I baked and frosted the cake there.  I piped the lettering first…

Decorating Vivian's fourth birthday cake

…and then I placed the daisies and leaves.

Decorating Vivian's fourth birthday cake

And here is the cake!

Vivian's fourth birthday cake

Vivian's fourth birthday cake

Vivian's fourth birthday cake

Vivian's fourth birthday cake

Vivian's fourth birthday cake

Vivian's fourth birthday cake

Vivian's fourth birthday cake

Our final week of the Wilton Level 2 course began with learning some buttercream borders: reverse shell, rope, and ruffle.  I’d gotten a sneak-peek of the rope border from my course 1 teacher, which I used on B’s nautical-theme first birthday cake.

We also learned how to make a basket-weave– which absolutely entranced me.  I don’t usually think of myself as a basket-weave type of girl, but in white-on-white, it looks so elegant!  I decided to cover the sides of my final cake with this technique.

The rest of the class time was spent decorating our “final cake.”    In the week prior to class, I browsed the internet (Pinterest, really) for floral cake ideas, and based my cake design off of a few that I found that looked really elegant and beautiful in their simplicity. I sketched out a design, and each of us brought our cakes to class torted and frosted with a base layer of buttercream.  I had prepared all of my flowers and leaves ahead of time– I used the ones that I’d made in class, and I also spent a couple hours making a big stash at home.  (Below is a cell-phone snap of the box of flowers I brought to class!  A scrapbook-supply shipping box was the perfect way to store the flowers– it’s basically a clean pizza box.)

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I added the basket weave to the cake side after we had practiced the technique.  Then, all that was left to do was place the flowers according to my sketch using dollops of buttercream to support and adhere them!

I was so excited about everything we learned and by finishing my final cake that I completely forgot to take photos at class on our final evening.  However, I did not neglect to take photos of my final cake!  Please indulge me as I share a plethora of “beauty shots” of my cake.  :)

"beauty shot" of my final cake for the Wilton Method Course 2

"beauty shot" of my final cake for the Wilton Method Course 2

"beauty shot" of my final cake for the Wilton Method Course 2

"beauty shot" of my final cake for the Wilton Method Course 2

"beauty shot" of my final cake for the Wilton Method Course 2

"beauty shot" of my final cake for the Wilton Method Course 2

"beauty shot" of my final cake for the Wilton Method Course 2

"beauty shot" of my final cake for the Wilton Method Course 2

"beauty shot" of my final cake for the Wilton Method Course 2

"beauty shot" of my final cake for the Wilton Method Course 2

"beauty shot" of my final cake for the Wilton Method Course 2

"beauty shot" of my final cake for the Wilton Method Course 2

Without leaves (and some vines for good measure), flowers look a little bit lost, right?  This week’s class began with practice making different shapes of leaves with royal icing.  We learned how to pipe leaves with buttercream in Course 1, so this was a bit of a review.  I made a lot of leaves.

Wilton Course 2, week 3: royal icing leaves and vines

Wilton Course 2, week 3: royal icing leaves and vines

Wilton Course 2, week 3: royal icing leaves and vines

We did learn a new leaf shape this week– the violet leaf.

Wilton Course 2, week 3: royal icing violet leaf

Perfect timing–it’s like they knew we were also learning to pipe tiny violets and pansies!

Wilton Course 2, week 3: royal icing violet

Wilton Course 2, week 3: royal icing pansy

Seriously, I loved every moment of these classes.  All of these different flowers!

And then it got even better– we learned how to make a lily:

Wilton Course 2, week 3: royal icing lily!!

Wilton Course 2, week 3: royal icing lily!!

Even though I need a serious amount of practice to make my lily look a more delicate, it was amazing how lovely even the clumsiest ones look when you stick in the stamen and pistils (not edible).

Adding another layer of petals turns a lily into a poinsettia…And this was where my stumpy petals really started being obvious.  And then I dropped it in my lap.  Ha!  It really didn’t look much better before I dropped it.

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Wilton Course 2, week 3: royal icing leaves and vines, violet leaves, pansies, and violets

I saved all of the leaves and flowers that I made this evening in preparation for our fourth class– making our “Final Cake!”  (Well, I may have sacrificed the poinsettia to taste-testing…)

I mentioned in my first post about this project that after I had my photos printed, cut apart, and placed in the pockets, all that I had left to do was to add journaling and embellish.

In this post, I’ll show my finished pages for the first five days of December.  At first, I thought I would jump around to complete the book, but since the project is taking a bit longer than I expected (this part in particular), I decided that at least for now, I’d work in order.  I reserve the right to change my mind– if it means that I am more efficient in finishing the album!  I also will mention that Dec 5th had a lot of stuff going on– and I’ll likely add some more to this day’s “entry” in the album.

This month, I have two mini-album projects that I want to finish (or at least make significant progress on them), and Shimelle’s scrapbook with numbers challenge was the impetus for me to start working on this one first.  I’m taking the interpretation that every December Daily page has a number on it!

Days 1 and 2:

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Days 3 and 4:

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Day 5:

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I’m using the Crate Paper “Peppermint” collection as the main set of products for this album, but I am also adding in various Christmassy and not-themed products (including doilies!) from my stash.  If you have any questions about a particular product, let me know in the comments.  

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