Sewn Paper Cards – Playing Card & North Carolina Theme

I’ve been working on more sewn paper cards this week.  I added in some scrap booking paper, but I am still using old books and the interior print from envelopes – the blue North Carolina came from our old credit union’s mailed statements.  That is one problem with being into collage – you save too many scraps.  I have my scraps organized into file folders and in a plastic tub for easier access.  

The card symbols were inspired by the pages of an old bridge book – I just love the mix of text and card suits.  The Crisco pie ad, on the right, is from an old advertising book I found at an antique book shop in Greensboro – it’s a treasure trove of card possibilities.

These are heading off in the mail this week for a friend’s birthday.  I just love making things and passing them on to others.  I have to, otherwise my house would be full to the gills by now.  So friends, say mercy when you’ve had enough and say more if you’ve not had enough.

Coffee Filter Flower Card

One of my art teacher roles is often to teach my students that the hand made gifts are truly the best. This is an easy project that is fun for all ages.  You should have seen my seventh grade students working on this yesterday – the enthusiasm made my day. 
 
If your peonies don’t like mine do right now, then make your own for Mother’s Day!
 

Start with plain white paper coffee filters.  Draw on them with water-based markers.  Try multiple colors, different designs, and even coloring the entire coffee filter with color.

Spray with water in a spray bottle. I recommend doing this over newspaper to catch any colored water that will inevitably soak your work surface. 

 Your designs will turn into watery, tie-dye like motifs. Allow the filters to dry completely. 

 Once they are dry, you can now begin to cut them up, layer them, and create your flowers.

 Fold the filter in half, then in half again, and then into a pie slice shape. 

Cut designs along the top curved edge – like a paper snowflake.  These cuts will form the petals of your flowers, so experiment with different cuts.  Once the petal designs are cut, open the flower up, pinch in the middle, and twist.  This will create the base of the flower.  Now you can add a stem out of pipe cleaner, or glue them onto a piece of paper for a card. 
 
Add some leaves, a garden or vase, a background, and a nice note and you have a card.  Wasn’t that better and more fun than buying a card in the store?
 
This flower was made with two different filters layered within one another.  Go ahead and make a bunch of these filters so you have extras for mistakes or multiple layered flowers.  Just remember that your colors will run into one another so choose your colors based on how they look after they mix! 

Happy Valentine’s Day + Vegan Chocolate Cherry Cake

It’s not too late to make this sweet treat for your Valentine.  It is fast, simple, and takes very minimal prep time.  

I spread out on the dining room table last night to make this cake for Eric, who actually requested a cake.  Usually if I start talking baking on a weeknight there is some eye rolling, because of course, there are other more important things I should be doing – lunch prep, coffee prep, walking the dog…

I mixed the cake up in a medium mixing bowl.  Normally for this recipe, you mix everything in the pan, but since I was using a layer of cherries on the bottom, a bowl was necessary. 

I made the same vegan cake I made for the Super Bowl last year, but added a twist with a layer of cherries on the bottom of the cake. 
 

Of course, I made the horrible mistake of reading the ingredients!  I think next time I will go with frozen or fresh cherries and a sprinkling of sugar and melted butter or margarine.  No more corn syrup and Red 40 for me. 
Grease a 9-inch cake pan with margarine and then pour the can of cherries on the bottom of the pan.  That Red 40 sure does look festive and Valentine-like though! 
 
Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Eric!  He got to enjoy his cake with an IPA. 
 

Here are the last of my Valentine Day cards for 2013.  I liked the ice skating design on this one.  I used pen and ink again to create the blue heart background and then sewed the image to the card.  My sewing line slipped a little on the ice.  :)

Eric and I always opt to stay home on Valentine’s Day, we are curmudgeons that way – it is just too busy in the restaurants, the wait staff is annoyed, and the “specials” are over priced.  We plan on staying in and making dinner tonight.  What are your plans?

Vegan Chocolate Cherry Cake

Ingredients:

1-1/4 c. flour

1 c. sugar
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 c. warm water
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9-inch cake pan.  Open can of cherries, pour into bottom and smooth out.  In a medium mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt with fork. Mix very well.
2. Mix water, vanilla, oil, and vinegar in a small bowl or glass mixing cup. Add all at once to the dry ingredients. Mix well. Use a spatula to scrape sides and bottoms to ensure adequate mixing.  Pour cake batter over the cherry mixture. 
3. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or til knife comes out clean.

 

Handmade Valentine’s Cards

I’m back with more handmade Valentine’s card ideas.  This time, I mixed things up a bit and used pen and ink as the background to my old advertising book collage.  I love the classic car in this image.  
The Iowa collage is for an Iowa transplant friend here in Greensboro.  I saved a couple books from library discard on Iowa and have been using them for art projects.  The background on this card is made from rubber stamps. 

For this card, I went out on a limb.  I decided to take a more abstract approach.  This card is the practical card for teachers – tissue, bandages, paperclips, and paper.

Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the Valentine Day cards from 2013.  Enjoy your evening, y’all!

Hand Made Valentine’s Day Cards

Here are a few more examples from my 2013 Valentine’s Day cards.  For this card, I stamped the background with a rubber stamp before sewing paper shapes onto the surface.  At first the faded stamps bothered me, but upon finishing this card, it turned out ok. 

Here is another gem from the old advertising book.  The book is chock full of old advertisements that crack me up.  Who knows why this person is standing inside of a hay stack.

This card is made from layers of torn and cut papers from my old advertising books.  The repetitive red edges of the paper corners is my favorite part about this collage.  I used watered down glue to get a smoother surface quality.  I am never going back – brushing on watered down glue is the way to go.

2013 Valentine’s Day Cards

Valentine’s Day is nearing, my friends!  Here are a few from the collection of 2013 Valentine Day cards – more designs will be debuting throughout the week.  This year I decided to creative and take collage to a new level with the aid of my sewing machine.  I stuck with a few constants – selections from old books, red thread, recycled papers, and stamps.

Some cards were randomly created,  while others were made specifically for a certain person.  This one is for a friend here in NC.  The blue heart is the paper from the inside of the envelope that the SECU statements come in.  NC friends, you are welcome to bring these to me or send them my way.  I have plenty of other uses for these envelopes.

This one is covered in x and o stamps and overlaid with a selection from one of the books.  One of the old books I was cutting up is on advertising, so it has some different text and image selections.  This heart shape was a random find in an art drawer – something from Valentine’s in years past, I guess.

In this digital age, will you send or give a real Valentine card this year?  If you are interested in any of my handmade cards, I am always willing to sell them.  Send me a message, if interested.

Mommy’s Musings

There are plenty of good things going on around here this week.  I for one, am so glad it is already Wednesday.  It seems like this house cannot make it more than 2 days without some sort of illness.  Anyone else got this going on?  Onto the things going on around here this week…

More Valentine’s Day cards are rolling out this week.  This year I decided to combine my love of collage and sewing and go for the sewn paper technique.  I have been loving it – the quickness of stitching the paper allows for a faster pace than my typical glue or glue stick method.  More of these to come later on.

Lots of yard work going on due to the extra daylight.  I love coming home to the prospect of working outside, walking, or playing with Greta for an hour or two after work.  We found this little guy in the front garden bed.  He was moving pretty slowly though so we placed him near the house.  I don’t think he made it – I found a crumpled little snake on the sidewalk a couple days later.

Greta is a bookworm.  She loves to bring her books, blanket, and Winky (her stuffed pink lamb) into her tent and read.  Usually she demands that mom or dad climb in with her – the quarters are a little cramped then.  This little bed/tent is fantastic – it zips from the outside, has an inflatable air mattress, and is perfect for travel because it folds flat into a nice little disc.

Good breakfast’s galore.  We have had some tasty breakfasts lately.  This one was my most recent favorite – cinnamon raisin french toast with cottage cheese and apricot jam on the top.  You have to try this!

If you like Goodnight Moon, check out Goodnight iPad.  You won’t be disappointed!

Fried Egg Sandwich + Valentine’s Cards

Valentine’s Day is approaching – time to get your craft on and make it a holiday that is more meaningful than a store-bought card and a box of chocolates.  Here is an oldie but goodie from 2009.  Coming soon: Valentine’s Day 2013 cards!

Just for the record.  All time favorite dinner: fried egg on toasted bread, with mayo, tomato, and avocado.  I got this sandwich after watching Adam Sandler make it on Spanglish.  No joke.  A local Greensboro micro brew never hurts this meal, either.

This is all I can muster tonight – I am low on blog energy this week.  More to come soon, I promise.  There are big things brewing around here.

Happy almost Friday, y’all!

Valentine’s Day is Nearing…

This means only one thing: hand made cards coming soon.

I was going through my vast digital collection of photos this evening, while Eric is chaperoning a middle school dance, and found this old gem.  I have made Valentine’s Day cards as long as I can remember.  Some years I made collage cards, but most years I made linoleum block prints.  Some years I was ambitious and sent them out like Christmas cards.  Some years I only give them to those closest to me.  I have yet to decide on this year’s theme, media, and quantity.  I am fairly sure I made this dreaming cat card in college.  I no longer have any prints of it, just the linoleum block.  





Actually, scratch that, Valentine’s Day means two things: 

Dunkin Donuts heart donuts!  

Want to try making your own block print?  You will need a set of these.  More on block printing coming soon.