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My First and Second Quilts February 7, 2012

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Well, I haven’t done much papercrafting lately, but I’ve been getting very well-acquainted with my sewing machine!  How did this happen?  Well, my niece Julia is going to be turning 2 soon.  I ordered her some pajamas (and the next day I found out that although she’ll probably be okay wearing the princess pajamas, I shoud have gotten her something Elmo).  Apparently princesses are more of an Emma thing.  Well, the PJs were a good deal, and I’d been planning on buying her a toy or something to go with it anyway, so she’ll still be getting the pajamas.  So I come up with the idea of making her a quilt with Elmo in it, since she is so into Elmo right now.  Keep in mind, I’m a novice sewer, I’m a novice quilter… I can count on one hand the number articles of clothing I’ve sewn, and up until this week, I’d never made a quilt on my own.

So I got online… and found instructions for how to make a rag quilt.  What I actually wound up doing was combining a couple of different instruction sets from here and here.  For my quilt, I wound up using 7/8 yard of seven different flannels, cut in 7″ squares and then giving it a 1/2″ seam.

Elmo Quilt Front

Elmo Quilt Back

So there is my version of the rag quilt.  All in all, I’m happy with how it turned out, especially for a first attempt.  Are there things I would change?  Of course!  I’m terrible about keeping stuff in the right order when I lay it out.  I’m not sure what to do about that issue…. probably just more practice.  So a few of the rows had to be moved around so that none of the squares was next to the same pattern.  I also discovered I’m not a huge fan of all the cutting required for rag quilts — but I do like the final result! LOL… so yes, I am planning on making another rag quilt… possibly for my niece Emma, whose birthday is in May.

Now what to do with the scraps?  Hmm… I’ve made a couple memory quilts with Debb (although she did all the sewing for those; I helped cut the squares and with the layout), and she does tied quilts.  I had some strips of flannel left, and from those I could cut ten 4″ squares.  I had enough leftover flannel to use as a batting for the middle of the quilt, and I backed it using part of a Twin XL sheet leftover from my college days.  I used some yellow worsted weight yarn leftover from a knitting project to tie the quilt.  This quilt was a total experiment on my part.  I’d never pieced a quilt top together, but it turned out.  Right now, my fingers are still recovering from pushing that needle through all the layers of the quilt in order to tie it!

Elmo Doll Quilt

Hopefully Julia likes these quilts and gets lots of use out of them.

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January Birthday Card January 29, 2012

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Here is a card for my mom’s birthday, which is today.

For this card, I used red paper from the Making Memories Primary mat stack and stamped a chocolate kiss background onto it with MFT clear stamps.  The blue cardstock is embossed using a Sizzix Texture plate.  The image is a Bugaboo digital image, which I received as part of the CDAC Progressive Challenge. The January sticker is from my stash, and the rose is cut from cardstock from my stash using the CTMH Art Philosophy rolled rose.  I colored the image using the following Copic markers: 0, B000, B32, B34, B37, E00, E11, E31, E33, E74, E79, R32, R35, R37, R39, T3, T5, T7, T10.

This card will be entered in the following challenges:

2012 Calendar December 22, 2011

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Here is my attempt at a 2012 calendar, 12″x12″, and done completely from scratch!  Quite the attempt for me, as I am not really a scrapbooker… and I have, until this project, only completed 8″x8″ calendars from pre-made calendar kits!  It was quite the experience.  There are some things I would change, but all in all, I am pleased with the result.  I used White Grandee paper from Patricia, the Paper Temptress.  She sure has some gorgeous papers!  This one was perfect for my calendar though.  It was somewhat similar to a watercolor type paper.  It took extremely well to different inks and Glimmer Mists.  In fact, it sucked in the glue so fast I had to be careful to lay things down where I wanted them or they were not coming back up!  The base calendar dies are from the QuicKutz Calendar Kit.  That basically included two week templates, the abbreviations for the days of the week, the numbers for the days, and the abbreviations for the months.  As you will see, I chose not to use the month dies; instead, I cut the names out with the Designer’s Calendar Cricut cartridge.  I also made use of my Bind It All and the 1 1/4″ wires.  They were easy to do!  I was surprised at how quickly it came together for binding.  In fact, all the month names and the accompanying graphics on either side come from Designer’s Calendar.  Most of them are layered, embossed, and spritzed with Glimmer Mist.  Also, where there are fancy photo corners, the Paper Shapers punches sure came in handy!

Cover

For the cover, I used 12″x12″ paper from the ATD Serendipity paper pad.  The orange and kraft cardstock is from Archivers, and I cut the year out using the Art Philosophy cartridge that my wonderful husband got me for my birthday this year.

January

The first month!  Aren’t my nieces adorable??  They are playing in the snow outside.  Julia is actually in a “snow fort” that Daddy built for the kids to play in.  They were doing some renovations on their house at that time, so it worked out to make a perfect little play place.  The background for this is “finger painted” with Distress inks and Perfect Pearls mixed with water, so it has just a hint of a shine.  I used Weathered Wood, Broken China, Stormy Sky, and Faded Jeans.  “Snow Angels” was cut using the Jasmine cartridge.  The mittens are from Designer’s Calendar.  I used Stardust Stickles on the edges of the snowflakes to give them a little more glittery look.

February

For this month, I cut out circles in different patterns of paper and cardstock.  The plain white cardstock is embossed using the Swiss Dots Cuttlebug folder, too.  Then, I laid them out in a pattern.  The red satin ribbon is from Michaels.  These pictures are from Julia’s first birthday party.  Bill had just gotten his Ipod Touch, and he, Jack, and Emma played Angry Birds for quite a while in the afternoon.  (At least until the battery got drained!)  Emma was hilarious.  She hated the pigs with helmets!  Every time they got to a screen with the pigs with helmets, she would run away screaming that they were scary.  The bottom picture is Papa with the birthday girl.  I wanted something clean and easy to read for the font, so I used the Printing 101 cartridge.

March

I really like how this month turned out.  The background is the same finger paint technique using Distress inks and Perfect Pearls mixed with water.  This time, I used Mustard Seed, Bundled Sage, Peeled Paint, and Weathered Wood.  I then covered most of it up, but even the little hints that you see really made a difference in my opinion.  The stark white was just too much of a contrast.  The pictures are from when Bill and I visited my parents while they were staying at a condo down in Florida last March.  They had a beautiful view of the ocean, and Bill and I walked down there one evening.  The picture of my parents is when we went out to eat at a local restaurant… I can’t remember the name — was it Gulf View Restaurant or something??  The food was fantastic!  Anyhow, I covered the background with some pre-cut die cut squares that I purchased from Michaels years ago.  The White Grandee paper sucked up the glue so much, it made the squares look textured, an effect that I like.  The cardstock I matted the pictures on is from Archivers, and I punched the corners using the Layered Arches corner punch by Martha Stewart.  The text is from the Jasmine Cricut cartridge.

April

For this month, I used some of DCWV’s glitter paper from the La Creme cardstock stack.  I thought it set off the pictures well.  For this month, I used the Storybook cartridge for the font and for the birds.  They have iRock gems for eyes, and some gold Stickles as wing accents.  The flowers in between the letters I cut using a Stampin’ Up punch.  Then, I added the little iRock gem as a center.

May

May’s background is sprayed heavily with Glimmer Mist — Chocolate Covered Cherries and Iridescent Gold.  The flowers are Prima flowers and the centers are iRock gems.  I really like the photos on this month, too.  Eric and Andrea came over with the kids, and we went to Metro Beach Metro Park (where the photo of Jack was taken) out on the nature trails. We also went to the Detroit Zoo, which is where the picture of Julia and Papa was taken.  The third picture is of Drake when we met the ornithologists at Metro Beach.  They were tagging and releasing the birds, and they were quite knowledgeable.  Drake was afraid to touch the birds, so he only touched this particular bird… I got to see a female who was about to lay an egg.  It looked huge compared to the tiny bird; the ornithologist said he guessed that she would lay it that afternoon some time.  The decorations surrounding the month’s name are different this time around, too.  Instead of a Cricut cut, I used K&Company’s Daisies Layered Accents.  They were super easy to use… Peel off the backing on the adhesive, and attach!

June

The background for this month is similar to the one I did for February.  The ribbon is also from Michaels.  I cut the text using the Printing 101 cartridge.  The sailboat is from Designer’s Calendar.  I love the picture of Julia stomping on the bubbles!  This summer, Drake was absolutely obsessed with blowing bubbles.  And yes, I do mean obsessed.  He would be outside blowing bubbles for HOURS.  Oh, the other thing slightly different with June is that I did not emboss the butterflies.  Instead, I used Purple, Black Diamond, and Diamond Stickles as well as Flamingo Pink Liquid Pearls to decorate the wings.

July

I really like July’s result.  The picture of Drake and my parents is one taken at Stony Creek Metropark.  They were looking at the fish in the pond there.  Drake’s still got that goofy fake smile, which Bill and I were hoping he would grow out of this summer…. maybe next year!  The other picture was taken at the Walter and Mary Burke Park in New Baltimore, right on Anchor Bay.  He’s actually looking at a little girl as he climbed out of the slide.  Bill and I had gone to that park for Emily’s graduation (my best friend’s niece) and thought it was really nice.  When John and Marilyn came up to visit with Drake this summer, we took them there.  The firecracker is colored in with Copic markers; it and the sentiment are from TLC Creations.  The sentiment is colored using Distress inks in Worn Lipstick, Barn Door, and Vintage Photo.  The 4th of July die cut is from the Ultimate Creative Series Sampler cartridge.  I really like the Spellbinders Fleur de Lis sets, and the border is from the Fleur de Lis Accents set.  This background is also one of my favorites.  I used clear embossing powder and Distress inks to create a resist technique using the Many Petals stamp by Hero Arts.  Then, after embossing the image, I went over the flower portion with Worn Lipstick and Barn Door.  I used Bundled Sage and Peeled Paint for the green, and a little hint of Vintage Paper for the browns.

August

These pictures are from when we all went to Petoskey, MI for vacation.  Jessica even flew in from California!  I drove up separately with Drake, and my parents drove their vehicle.  We met Eric, Andrea, and the kids.  The condo was right near a small beach, and that’s where the kayaking photo was taken.  Jessica is in the front, Drake in the middle, and I’m in the rear.  We were also literally right across the street from Petoskey State Park.  I got some mini hikes in there, which was really nice.  The park was quite full, and they had a gorgeous beach that we made use of also.  The second photo is in Boyne, where Eric was dying to do the Zip Line.  This photo is one he took of Jessica and me getting rigged up.  Next time, if there is a next time, Jessica and I are going to do the longer “tour” instead of just the last line down to the resort.  This background is Graphite Glimmer Mist, and the text was cut using George and Basic Shapes.

September

These pictures are some that Eric sent to me.  Jack’s kindergarten class used real sunflowers as a guide to paint their own rendition of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.  Jack is really enjoying kindergarten, and he is definitely becoming more confident with his gross and fine motor skills this year!  These shapes both came from the Ultimate Creative Series Sampler cartridge.  The sunflowers have Rock Candy Distress Stickles in the center to brighten them up, and I used Glossy Accents on the raccoon’s nose.  The right paw actually has a pop dot under it, but that is really difficult to see.

October

I really like how October’s background came out, big droplets and all.  I used a combination of four Glimmer Mists to get this effect — Lavender Fields, Juniper, Scarlet, and Iridescent Gold.  At first, I was disappointed with how splotchy the big droplets were, but then I changed my mind and decided I liked them.  The tree is a picture that I took this Fall when I was out with my dad.  He and I were distributing meals for the Meals on Wheels program, and this tree was near one of the houses we stopped at.  It’s one of my favorite shades of reds, so I snapped a picture of it with my phone’s camera.  The witch die cut is from the Ultimate Creative Series Sampler cartridge, and the tree is technically a leaf from the Art Philosophy cartridge… but I cut it out larger and used brown for the trunk.  I think it worked out okay.  I used Storybook for the text, if you didn’t already figure that one out since I’d used it on other months.

November

Well, with the number of pictures I had to include with this month, I kept the background simple and more “manly” than some of the other months.  Jack has a birthday November 8; Bill and Eric both share November 10.  I thought this paper suited them, and I cut out the “Birthday Boy” sentiment from the Storybook cartridge and then added an “S” to it since there are three of them sharing the month.

December

Finally, on to the last month!  I know Bill hates these pictures, but he is (almost) always game for being in them.  I need to do them fairly early in the month so I have time to finish the calendars that I’m generally working on for Debb and my mom… and this year for myself, too!  The background for this one is back to the finger painting technique with Distress inks.  This time I used Festive Berries, Pumice Stone, Worn Lipstick, and Iced Spruce.  I also changed up the Perfect Pearls and used Perfect Gold instead of Perfect Pearl.  I thought it would go better with the poinsettia that I spritzed with Iridescent Gold Glimmer Mist… although I did do the bells in silver!  The poinsettia was created with the Spellbinders Layered Poinsettia die set.  Then, I used three iRock gems for the center.  The bells are a Memory Box die called Jingle Bell Border, the latest variety of dies that I’ve gotten into.  They are much more delicate cuts than you get with most Spellbinders dies, and the designs are quite different as well.  The remainder of the die cuts are all from the Art Philosophy cartridge.  I am really loving how you can combine the die cuts with stamps to jazz them up a little bit.  The ticket has the December and 25 stamps from the Cherish the Day set.  The holly stamps are from the A Holiday stamp set (a generous freebie when I purchased the Art Philosophy cartridge!).    The remaining stamps for the tree and the gift are included in the bundle that comes with the cartridge itself.  I must say, I am very impressed with the CTMH acrylic stamps.  They are high quality and take to inks very well!

Oh, I did not list all the designer papers/cardstocks I used in the project.  They included the following:  Cloud 9 Design, The Paper Studio, DCWV, Recollections, Heidi Grace Designs, ATD, Best Occasions, and most of the solid cardstock was from a variety pack I purchased at Archivers.

And so now what?  Well, after completing my first “from scratch” calendar, I must say that I like the size, but it is a tad on the heavy side!  I do not think I will use the number dies from the calendar set again.  They were just way too labor-intensive!  I had to run all the numbers through my Cuttlebug, then separate them, lay them out on the calendar to make sure I didn’t miss any, and then glue them all down by hand!  Now they are the perfect size for this particular calendar set…….. but I will be searching high and low for a nice set of numbers to use instead next year!  I will also cut the weeks out of smooth cardstock instead of the textured stuff I used this year so that I can use stamps for the numbers and not have them come out looking like they are missing pieces.  I think I will also use the entire bottom section for the weeks, and fill it up with five weeks.  The month’s name will have to go on the top portion of the calendar along with the photos.  Some months, my numbers overlapped funny because I only had four weeks to play with.  So, for example, in June I doubled up the first week with days 1-9.  Two days overlapped in that week… whereas if I had overlapped at the end of the month, I would have had the last two weeks of the month sharing one row.  I wanted the calendar to be big enough that I can write on it with little trouble.  Live and learn, right??

 

Repurposing for a Birthday December 20, 2011

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Okay, well, here’s my version of a recycled blue jean purse.

Purse with front flap closed

 

Front of purse, with front flap lifted

 

Back of purse with 30 Sucks treat in back pocket

That’s my rendition of the recycled jean purse.  Please excuse any flaws… I’m still a beginning sewer!  I got the idea here.  And while my purse might now look quite the same, I think it came out pretty well.  And I now have a 30th birthday gift for my sister (hence the 30 sucks sucker in the back pocket!)  For the most part, I tried to follow the directions for the purse.  The difficulty I had was in sewing the front flap onto the purse since the thickness of the material just wasn’t machine friendly!  But on the bright side, I only broke two needles…  If I attempt another purse, I will find material that is much thinner…  I will talk with my sister and find out if the short strap works for her, or if she wants a longer one to turn it more into a cross-body bag.  I have enough to make a longer strap if she wants it.

The sucker was an idea I got when Bill, Tom, and I went to Frankenmuth this year.  We went into a candy shop (how could we not, when Bill and Tom are both candy-holics?), and I saw a sucker that had a similar sticker on it in various ages.  I would have bought it, but it was something in the range of $7!  For a sucker!  So I bought a plain sucker for $3, dressed it up at home, and put my homemade sticker on it.  I think the effect is the same.

Can’t believe that my “baby” sister is turning 30 in January!  Guess that makes me pretty darn old…  Lucky for me, most days I don’t feel all that old.  Yet.  Jesyka is actually flying in late tonight/early tomorrow, so we are going to get a little jump start on the holiday visiting since she is coming in early.  Hope she likes her birthday gift… especially since we aren’t “supposed” to be exchanging gifts this year.  Ha!  Like I ever listen…. 🙂

Birthday Bonanza November 15, 2011

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Here are some pictures from our birthday bonanza this past weekend.  Eric, Andrea, and the kids came over to help celebrate all the November birthdays!

Jack, Papa, and I went to George George Park on Friday afternoon while the girls were napping.  He had a lot of fun playing in the park.  We had a good ol’ game of tag on the playground equipment, and then we took a walk down to see if there were any ducks left in the pond.

This tower is one of Jack's "safe" spots in the tag game.

Some of the few remaining trees with leaves on them!

 

Sure enough, ducks were still swimming in the pond.

After we got back from the park, we did birthday presents, dinner, and birthday cake with ice cream.  Bill and I got Jack a Darth Vader alarm clock/FM radio and a C3PO wristwatch.  Papa and Grandma got him a Hotwheels boat with a shark that eats the people!

We had multiple cakes, as usual… There were two layer cakes and bear cakes.  Eric and Jack got chocolate cakes with chocolate buttercream frosting, and Bill got a white cake with buttercream frosting.

Jack loved his bear cake -- he ate every crumb!

 

Eric and his birthday cake

 

Bill and his birthday cake

Also, on a side note, the kids got their journals over the weekend.  Jack LOVED his journal, which brought a smile to my face.  He used it immediately, and I was glad to see how much confidence he’s gained recently about his abilities.  The first journal I’d made him wasn’t nearly as big a hit with him since he didn’t want to draw or write in it.  This time, he jumped in with both feet!  Emma had fun doing swirls in her notebook, and Papa also traced her hand in it and dated it.  Julia carried hers around… but at least she left the other kids’ journals alone!

R2D2 and C3PO

 

Michigan and the Great Lakes

These are my two favorite pages that Jack did over the weekend.

For A Boy and Two Girls… November 7, 2011

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Well, here are my latest projects for my nephew and two nieces.  They all started out as the composition books that you can pick up at the Dollar Store year-round or cheap at most stores selling school supplies in August.  I covered them all with papers and then decorated them differently.

Jack's Dinosaur Notebook

Jack’s notebook has dinosaur paper from MSE, and then two different Dustin Pike digital stamps (Dino Peek and Raptor) that were colored using Copic markers.  For Dino Peek I used 0, T4, T6, T8, T10, Y02, Y15, Y19, YG00, YG91, YG95, YG97, and YR31.  For Raptor I used V04, V12, V15, V17, V25, W2, Y21, and Y26.  Last year, Jack was totally into dinosaurs.  This year is a Star Wars year, but I didn’t have any Star Wars stuff, and I didn’t think he’d appreciate the high heeled shoes like the girls.  I think he’ll enjoy it either way.  The ribbon is from Target, and the chipboard letters I picked up at Tuesday Morning.  I will also be entering the journal into Dustin Pike’s Anything Goes Challenge.

Emma's Princess Notebook

Julia's Girly Notebook

For Emma and Julia’s books, I used more girly accents.  The chipboard came from Tuesday Morning, and the paper is from my stash.  The girls’ notebooks I decorated with ribbon from MSE and Michaels, as well as with rhinestones from Hobby Lobby.  Their notebooks were much quicker to put together since no coloring was involved…  Hopefully, the girls enjoy their notebooks (I’ll find out this weekend when everybody comes over to celebrate the November birthdays), even though I’m not sure Julia will get much use out of hers!  But you sure can’t leave that girl out of anything or she gets MAD!

I Reserve the Right to Brag…. September 22, 2011

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…about my wonderful husband, Bill.  He is extremely driven to succeed and he has plenty of ambitious plans for the future.  That is one of the reasons that he is currently enrolled in a black and white art class this semester (as well as a Maya class).  Now I have known Bill for years, and we have been married now for almost three years.  For this entire period of time, all I’ve ever heard from him is how artistically untalented he is.  Well, I’m about to throw that theory down the drain.  From the basic line art that he drew in class on Day One, to the more recent charcoal drawings, all I’ve seen out of this man is talent.  He just “gets” perspective, shading, depth… all those tough concepts that it takes some people a long time to learn.  They come naturally to Bill, as you will see.

John Adams in charcoal

This is one of the first charcoal drawings that Bill did for class.  I really like how it turned out!

Pope in 1503, charcoal

Okay, so this is not my favorite drawing, but I’m still impressed… I know Bill didn’t care for it either, but that’s also part of the learning process — learning how to do things that you don’t necessarily enjoy, and learning how to do them well.

Woman, charcoal

I believe this is one of the first drawings Bill did with charcoal as well.  I know it’s one of our favorites of the drawings that he’s done so far.

Plant, charcoal

This is the latest drawing Bill has done, completed in his most recent class on Tuesday night.  He’s not a huge fan of it, but I really like how the plant turned out.  I think he got lots of details right, and once again, I’m impressed!  I know charcoal is probably one of his least favorite mediums, too… since it is dusty, dirty work… but nevertheless, the talent sure does shine through!

A Day at Kensington Metropark August 24, 2011

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Well, we finally made it to the re-enactment at Kensington on August 14!  I’ve been wanting to go for a long time, and we’ve always had something else going on.  This year, Debb, Drake, and I went.  We had a great time and learned some new things about the American Revolution.  The whole set up was at Martindale Beach, and it was bigger than I thought it would have been… Lots of tents set up, and people were very friendly and open to questions.

The medical tent

The gentleman who was at this tent was extremely knowledgeable about the medicines and treatments that were commonly used.  He even offered to pull one of Drake’s teeth, if it was giving him any problems.  Drake’s eyes got huge and he declined.  Lucky for us, medicine has come a long way since then…

Re-enactment of a skirmish during the Revolution

We were fortunate enough to be around when there was a battle re-enactment.  One man narrated the entire thing, which was great.  He told the audience about the various weapons used as well as about the soldiers.  I never realized that many Native Americans fought for the British during the Revolution!

Portable cannon, used during the American Revolution

This cannon was very interesting.  It was portable, and apparently very useful to the side using it.

Milking cow at the farm

After checking out the camp, we went to the farm area.  There, we saw many animals, including cows, pigs, sheep, goats, turkeys, and chickens.  This is one of the milking cows at the farm.  I thought she had a sweet face.

Crested Ducks

Well, these ducks were quite interesting.  I have never seen this type of duck before.  Apparently, a genetic mutation causes a deformity in their skull, which results in the tuft of feathers growing at the top of their heads like that.  They looked perfectly normal though, other than their feathers on the tops of their heads.

Sandhill Crane parents

Sandhill Crane Family

These are some Sandhill cranes that we saw near the Nature Center at Kensington.  They were very fearless when it came to human beings… it was a little strange to be able to get so close to them, especially when they had their young with them.  The birds were quite unruffled, but we still stayed a little distance away.  No use in pressing our luck, right?  We also saw tons of chipmunks and birds.  One of the employees said that while they do not condone feeding birds during warmer months, during the winter they have a barrel of seeds, and you can come out and hand feed the birds.

Okay, it appears I’ve been on hiatus…. August 3, 2011

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It has been forever and a day since I last posted.  What can I say?  Life has been extremely hectic lately between life in general and family issues.  But hopefully things are starting to get back on track at this point!

Back in July, John and Marilyn came up to visit.  Unfortunately, they only got to visit for a short time with Drake but we made the most of it.  Because our time was so short, I didn’t take too many pictures this year… but I got a really nice one of the three of them in the water in New Baltimore.

Drake, Marilyn, and John in the river

We actually stayed overnight at Algonac State Park, but this year it was just one night, and then they had to leave to head back to Georgia.

This past Monday, Mom, Dad, Drake, and I went to the Dow House in Midland, Michigan.  We had read an article about it in the newspaper, and it looked very interesting.  Mr. Dow was the son of the Dow Chemical Company founder.  He became an architect who had a style similar to Frank Lloyd Wright.  His house was extremely large, very modern, and yet it had a warm, cosy feeling to it.  He defined his space quite well, and he was constantly using the closing in and opening up of spaces to draw your attention to something, to make you feel invited into a space, or to keep you moving through a space.

Front gate leading to the house

Here are Dad and Drake waving.  This is the drive up to the main house.

Main drive and first view of the house

This is the first view we had of the house itself.  Mr. Dow was much more interested in making the guests and people inside the house feel warm and invited into a space.  He was much less concerned with the outward appearance of the house.  The building actually consisted of two spaces, one living area for the family which was 15,000 square feet and a working area which was approximately another 5,000 square feet.  I was absolutely amazed at the size of the house.  It did not feel that large at all!  We entered the reception area and signed in for the tour (Daria was our guide, and she was excellent!) before being seated in the conference area.  It was down a few steps and in an area surrounded by a large, man-made pond.

Part of the pond surrounding the house

This graveled pathway led around from the back, more private entrace to the house to the front of the house, where business was conducted.  The pond went, I believe, 3/4 of the way around the house.  Daria said that the children used to paddle around in it quite often. There was a large outdoor screened porch where you could get a breathtaking view of the area.  It was so peaceful!  The portion of the house that you can see in the photograph is the conference room.  The guide said that at certain times of the day, you can get the sunlight reflecting the water on the ceiling, and you actually get the feeling that you are underwater in that room.

The house itself was ingenious.  It had many built ins, so the bedrooms (for exaxmple) did not feel as confining as they would have if furniture like dressers had been necessary.  The kitchen was mostly a 1950’s style.  Yet they had updated it with a microwave that fit the style of the kitchen.  There was a huge room where many of Mr. Dow’s blueprints are filed.  It had been a game room for the children at one time, and it now showcases the many toys that Mr. Dow had collected over the years.  Apparently, he was a train fanatic, and there were train tracks running all over the house.

The house is definitely worth a visit if you ever get a chance.  I would like to go back one day and visit the gardens as well.

A Card Fit for a Princess May 11, 2011

Posted by Danielle in Crafts, Family Stuff.
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Just wanted to do a quick post of a princess card I made for my niece Emma’s birthday.  She just turned 3 this year, and she is totally into princesses.  She even has a “princess” dress, which she loves to pieces — literally!  When she and her brother spent the night in April, the dress came along with her so I could fix it.  Apparently, she took a nap or two in the dress and wound up tearing some of the ruffles… and they just had to be fixed so she wouldn’t trip on them, of course!

Emma’s Princess card

I am really happy about how this card came out.  The stamp is a digital image from Making Our Mark, and I thought it was perfect to use for Emma’s card.  The pink paper was cut and embossed using the Fleur de Lis Squares Spellbinders die, and the paper is from my stash.  The iridescent paper is by Wausau, and I embossed it with the Fleur de Lis Cuttlebug folder.  I colored the image using Copics, and then I added sparkle to the card with a clear AtYou Spica pen… I also like how the Jolee’s hot-fix jewels finish off the card.