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Cosmo Cricket

Member Since February 2008, 1 forum posts, 1 public projects

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Blog Post

It's my Birthday!

I was going to make a list of reasons why 38 is great, but I'm struggling to come up with any. Hmmmm. Ok, I've just thought of two.

I'm not dead.


I'm not yet 40.

Happy Birthday to me!

7/31/2012 9:12:27 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Blog Post

Weekend Project: Tank Tops

Summer Tank Tops_Odds and Ends fabric by Julie Comstock
I am loving this summer!

Since we moved, our kids don't have too many friends yet. This means they are home with each other and with me much more than any summer in a long, long time. I am thoroughly enjoying it. Besides playing board games with Ethan and creating forts in the front room with Jack, my girls and I have been sewing things together.

Over the weekend, we decided to make some simple tank tops with Odds and Ends fabric and a scrap from Salt Air.
Summer Tank Tops_Salt Air fabric by Julie Comstock
Kate is growing up right before my eyes. As I stitched the bodice of this tank on a machine at the foot of her bed, she kept me company. 

"What do you say when a friend wants to do something you don't want to do?" she asked. "What if you have a friend that doesn't like any of the things you do?" "Friends are so complicated!" "It seems like it's easier to be friends when you are little, but then when you get bigger it's hard because you go in different directions."

It was like the moment in Mama Mia when Meryl Streep is combing her daughter's hair while the song "Slipping Through My Fingers" is being sung.

I look at this girl and she's thinking critically. She's forming her own opinions and values. She's growing up. I'm excited, scared, proud, in awe and a million other things all at the same time. 
Summer Tank Tops1_Salt Air fabric by Julie Comstock
Abby has tried very hard to be exactly the opposite of Kate. If Kate likes pink, Abby hates it. If Kate thinks boy's basketball shorts shouldn't be worn by girls, Abby will wear them everyday she can. 

Kate is polite, sweet and quiet. Abby is fun, energetic and bubbly.
Summer Tank Tops1_Odds and Ends fabric by Julie Comstock
For the first time since babyhood, they are now sharing a bedroom. This started out with constant fighting. Kate would complain that life is soooooo unfair and Abby would complain that Kate is IMPOSSIBLE to get along with.

Somehow though... a modern day miracle I'm guessing... they have managed to become best friends. Abby will now tolerate Kate picking out some girly outfits, even in matching colors, for her to wear.
Summer Tank Tops2_Odds and Ends fabric by Julie Comstock
When Abby started catching lizards, Kate started designing posh shoe boxes for them to live in. Kate even let Abby paint her fingernails.....BLACK!

So, to answer Kate's question, I told her that you find common ground. You take turns. You learn from each other. You respect each other and then, you get along.
Summer Tank Tops3_Odds and Ends fabric by Julie Comstock

But she seems to have figured it all out on her own. Like I said, she's growing up.
Summer Tank Tops4_Odds and Ends fabric by Julie Comstock


7/29/2012 9:48:53 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Blog Post

Thrifty Thursday: Matrix Love

WARNING: The following blog post may cause marital spats, the redefinition of the term garbage and/ or dumpster diving divas.

Let me begin at the beginning. When we moved, Ethan's favorite game was left behind at a friend's house. As most good moms would, I bought him a new one. And as most good crafters would, I saved the matrices from the packaging.

I know better than to leave anything Eric could consider garbage (most of my belongings) out. But, this time I forgot. The next morning, I spotted the matrices in the kitchen recycle bin. I quickly snatched them up and hid them in a secret spot (I can't say where because Eric may read this and then all would be lost... I hide chocolate there for emergency use by myself only). 

Yesterday I sat down at my desk and started working on my matrices adding in an old Christmas ornament package to the mix. Eric looked over and said, "I thought I threw those away."

I said, "You did, I've been hiding them ever since."
Matrices_thrifty thursday project
Matrices are great for using as masks and stencils, but I wasn't in the mood to get too messy and I wanted to try to push myself to find other ways to use them.

So here's what I did.

First, I cut out one of the hexagons and made it into a pincushion using some of our Odds and Ends fabric. I am giving this to a friend that loves sewing. Even the crocheted flower and button can be removed to use on a project. If I would have had a box, I would have placed the pincushion on the top and made a sewing box, but alas I did not so I'll just save that idea for another day.
Cosmo Cricket_game matrix upcycled as pincushion card

Cosmo Cricket_game matrix upcycled as pincushion
Then I used another hexagon matrix as a template to make this layout with Twenty Three. (By the way, my matrices come from the game Settlers of Catan and the backside is cream colored. It's a fun game to play too.)
Cosmo Cricket_using templats and quilt technique to make pieced hexagon

Cosmo Cricket_game matrix as template for hexagons
I planned to use the Christmas ornament matrix over the top of these circles, but I liked the clean look better. I did use the matrix as a guide to place all the circles. It made spacing them a cinch!
Cosmo cricket_packaging as card template

Cosmo Cricket_spacing circles evenly for paper craft designs
Finally, to entertain Jack, I taught him to wind string through the openings in the matrices to make decorations. It was a good idea and so I cut a shape out, notched it every 1/8" to hold the string and wrapped it to make this fun card. I was just lucky in that the button fit the hole left in the matrix perfectly.
Cosmo Cricket_packaging matrix wrapped with floss as embellishment
Maybe you have a different idea for using matrices? If so share with us in the comments below. Also, if you all think a tutorial is needed for any of the above projects let me know. I am on tutorial-by-demand mode at the moment. 

7/26/2012 8:14:09 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Blog Post

Campfire Songs Album by Donna

Cosmo Cricket Camping Songs Album_Smore Love Collection
Donna Budzynski knows some awesome campfire songs! I don't think I sang any of the ones in her cute album.
Cosmo Cricket Camping Songs Album_Smore Love Collection_5
My personal favorite was an original by one of our neighbors. Each summer he would come up to our girl camp with his guitar and quirky sense of humor. The chorus, adapted for his female audience went like this:
Cosmo Cricket Camping Songs Album_Smore Love Collection_4We're the girls from camp Gitchi-Goomy
Our mothers sent us her for to teach us nature's ways
We learned to make fire by rubbing sticks together
And, if we catch some boys, why we'll set the woods ablaze.Cosmo Cricket Camping Songs Album_Smore Love Collection_3
We never did catch any boys! In fact, we never attended a camp by that name. But his verses, which I can't remember, always had us laughing until our sides hurt!
Cosmo Cricket Camping Songs Album_Smore Love Collection_2
My mother also knew some funny and slightly disgusting songs... I'm sure I get my wacky sense of humor from her! One of her's I remember, and have taught to my own kids, goes to the tune of My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean:

My uncle had tuberculosis
My mother has only one lung
My brother can cough up his tonsils
And roll them around on his tongue.

This song is just revolting enough to get all your kids laughing. If you prefer non-revolting, Donna's are cute, charming and perfect for little ones. 

I love the idea of putting these all down in an album. I am calling my mother today to get all the lyrics to the ones I can't remember. I may even look up my neighborhood friend and quiz him too!
Cosmo Cricket Camping Songs Album_Smore Love Collection_1

7/25/2012 9:22:54 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Blog Post

Backyard S'mores

Cosmo Cricket_S'more Love_Debbie Olson
I was told that the land of Tim Tams does not have S'mores. That's right my friends, the Australians are missing out on this camping tradition.

So today, I'll teach you all how to make S'mores even without a campfire.

Technique number one... grilled S'mores.
You will need:
Marshmallow roasting sticks
Graham Crackers
Chocolate Bars
Grill (campfire s'mores are done exactly the same, but over a campfire, of course!)
Backyard Smores1
(I guess I should have not switched between flash on and flash off. Sorry.)
Ourdoor Smores2
Light your grill and keep the flame high. Put your marshmallows on the roasting sticks and crisp them over the grill. If you are like me, every other marshmallow will catch on fire resulting in squeals until someone with sense blows it out. No worries though, burnt marshmallow tastes great, in my opinion, so just roast another one for your s'more and be a bit more careful.
Backyard Smores3
Take your roasted marshmallow and sandwich it along with some chocolate between the graham crackers. That's it. Now you can enjoy!
Backyard smores4

Backyard smores5
If you don't have a grill, here's our technique for indoor s'mores.
You will need:
Mini Marshmallows
Chocolate Chips
Graham Crackers

On a plate, place one graham cracker. Then create a mixed arrangement of marshmallows and chocolate chips. Place in microwave. The marshmallows will grow amazingly large. Stand by the microwave at all times in case they start to fall off the graham. 1-2 minutes will do it. Take it out of the microwave and top it off with the other half of your graham cracker. These are pretty good, but not nearly as good as with the roasted marshmallows! Still, in a pinch they'll hit the spot.

TIP: S'mores are great with chocolate dipped cookies... especially the mint ones... as a substitute for graham and chocolate.

7/24/2012 8:49:55 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Blog Post

CHA Recap and Austin

Hi All!

I'm back from Chicago. This was the first trade show that I was not accompanied by Eric and Lindsay. It did indeed feel different! In fact, with the overwhelmingness of set up, I thought I may cry.
Cosmo Cricket booth set up1
Then I thought, "What is a little trade show booth? Didn't I just move an entire family halfway across the United States? Pull it together Julie... put on your Wonder Woman pants and get going!"
So that is what I did.... along with extensive help from the Advantus team.

Kenny knows how to hang anything to a wall with a couple screws.
Victoria can assemble a cardboard deer head in the dark.
Sarah can't stomach second hand thermoses, but totally rocks when it comes to hanging picture frames!
Angela and Nikki are just so sweet hanging product when you're not looking.
Tracey uses double stick velcro well enough that I fear Kenny's job with the drill is slightly at risk! 

Together we made the booth look like this.....
Cosmo Cricket booth1
(I apologize for the cell phone photos and warehouse lighting... it's all I had to work with.) Cosmo Cricket booth2
Thanks to everyone, I had a great CHA. I went to a Cubs game, caught up with tons of old friends and tried calamari for the first time ever.

When I got back I slept for an entire day just to catch up from all the fun. Then I went for a ride on my super cool, second-hand bike down the streets of Austin.
Julie's Commuter Bike
This is what I looked like after my ride. You can see a mix of happy, sweaty and proud. I was very afraid of riding my bike on anything other than a residential road, but I have conquered that fear and can ride down to the grocery store or coffee shop now.
Julie's bike ride2
I am still not in the best shape and my helmet leaves a funny red line on my forehead so I have to say, I do look beautiful upon arrival. But hey, I am definitely doing my part to keep Austin weird and I LOVE it!
Julie's bike ride
Coming up this week on the blog, a new Thrifty Thursday idea, projects from the new CHA releases, and more. Stay tuned, I think it will be fun.

7/23/2012 10:12:39 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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CHA 5 Tips for Those Attending and Those Not

Are you going to the CHA trade show? Well, if you are, or if you're not... here's my tips for getting the most out of it.

1. Get tons of great inspiration like this card Debbie Olson made for our booth. (She has three more on her blog Thinking Inking.) At the show, all the booths will be stocked with fabulous projects for you to see. If you're not at the show, don't worry... they will all end up online, like the card below.
Debbie Olson using Art Angel for Cosmo Cricket
TIP: If not in the Cosmo Cricket booth, ask permission before snapping pics or you may get the evil eye, yelled at or worse... reported to CHA staff which may require flirting, bribery or apologizing. If in the Cosmo Cricket booth, snap away and then post them for all our friends that couldn't make it!

2. Have fun making the make and takes. Many companies offer them and the wait can become lengthy at times, but they are fun, free and a great way to experience the new products while getting a momento of your show experience. We'll be making the flower below with Glubers and our new wooden buttons.
Cosmo Cricket flowers with their Glubers and Wooden Buttons
If you're not at that show you'll have much more time for crafting! Celebrate by planning a craft day with your friends, completing some projects in progress or trying out some of the tutorials we've shown on our blog. 

TIP:  Reciprocate the generousity of the make and take. If you love the project, show it off while on the CHA floor, talk it up with your friends and online, and tell the person that helped you with it thank you. I normally don't advocate the asking of extras, but I think one could make an exception and ask for two of our make and takes... if they are willing to wear them as pasties on the show floor.

3. Free handouts. Many booths will have things they are handing out for free. Bags are great because they are useful to hold all the other stuff you'll accumulate (we'll have them while supplies last). If you're not going to be at the show, follow the blogs for tons of contest giveaways. We've had 8 winners this week alone!
Recycled Plastic Bag by Cosmo Cricket
TIP:  Free catalogs and printed materials are awesome... if you are ordering product. If you're not, they are just plain heavy! You won't want to carry them around with you whilst browsing the show nor will you want to have the weight in your suitcase on the way home. Besides... all the good stuff is online already anyway!

4. Get some pics with your friends! Never be afraid to ask someone you admire to have your photo taken with them. They will not think you are silly or an inconvenience. They will love you for being a fan and supporting their work. If you can't be at the show, download some pics of the people you admire and photoshop yourself next to them ;) Or, you could send your a photo of your head on a popsicle stick.
Julie Eric and Ashley_CHA Winter_ Cosmo Cricket Booth

Fans with Julie Comstock CHA Summer10
TIP: Wait until they are not busy helping a buyer or they may be sporting a frowny face and holding bunny ears up behind your head. I'm JOKING... I would never even think of that!

5. Have fun! Sure it's business, but that doesn't mean it can't be a great time whether at the show or at home.

TIP: Repeat this step as often as humanly possible everyday of your life.

Congratulations go to:

Shelly J who said, "oh lovely! ... those brads are awesome!"
Sherry Tasker
Martha Lowry

Ladies, send your info to julie at cosmocricket dot com and I'll get you some fun new things to play with! THANKS!!!

Here's to a great show everyone. Keep your fingers crossed for me!


7/13/2012 10:26:08 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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CHA Summer 2012 Cosmo Cricket Release... and prizes!







The Mini Deck is now 8" square... 2 more square inches to LOVE!

Artangel_rsc_cosmo cricket

Artangel_stickers_cosmo cricket

Art Angel Element Deck_cosmo cricket_tags

Friendship stamps_cosmo cricket_art angel







Smorelove_rsc_Cosmo Cricket

Smorelove_stickers_Cosmo Cricket

S'more Love Element Deck_cosmo cricket_tags

Smore Love Stamps_Cosmo Cricket
COS68157_-_S'more_Stamps Jollydays_banner







Jollydays_rsc_cosmo cricket

Jollydays_stickers_cosmo cricket
Jolly Days Element Tags_Cosmo Cricket

Jolly Days stamps_cosmo cricket
But wait.... there's more and you're not going to miss it!

Canvas wrapped brads in natural and black.
Black canvas brads_cosmo cricket
And natural with red.
Cheer canvas brads_cosmo cricket
Wooden buttons in natural with black.
Natural wooden buttons_cosmo cricket elements
And natural with red (notice a pattern here?).
Christmas wooden buttons_cosmo cricket elements
Framed art ribbon slides... well you get the idea.
Natural ribbon slides_cosmo cricket elements

Cheer Ribbon Slides_Cosmo Cricket_framed
And a contest. Tell us what you think. Well pick three winners who will be promptly sent a smattering of lovely newbies! 

Congratulations go to Keriann who said, "Oh my gosh I can't wait to see all the new stuff from CHA!! And I LOVE your fabrics! I used the "snorkel" line to make our boys bedding and all the stuff for our nursery! I am SO in love with it all! Thanks fr the chance to win more of your amazing fabrics!"

Keriann, send me your info and I'll ship you your fabric. THANKS! 

7/12/2012 9:54:10 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Jolly Days Sneak/ Huge Prize from Moda Fabrics

To celebrate today's sneak of Jolly Days and the full reveal happening tomorrow, we'll be giving away these Odds and Ends fabrics.
Bundle_jelly roll_moda_julie comstock_odds and ends
But before we get to all that, let's take a quick peek at Jolly Days. We asked our facebook fans what type of Christmas line they would like to see from Cosmo Cricket and the overwhelming majority choose "vintage, whimsical, fun."

This line is super fun with loads of quirky characters, but I was really drawn to the gold tones. That's what's so great though... Jolly Days can be all grown up and fancy or young and fun. You'll see what I mean.

First up some altered glass ornaments. Like I said, I really love the golds. The glitter patterns were made with Glubers...  yep they come in strips now for making ruffles.  You actually saw them on yesterday's layout too!
Ornaments glittered with Glubers
But the line isn't just golds. And, with these fun embellishments, you'll definitely want to use the other colors too!
Christmas greeting card_jolly days_cosmo cricket_chas12
We can't create a whimsical line without a few quirky characters... we are Cosmo Cricket after all! Take a look at Eric's Santa, Elf and super cool blue reindeer!

I have to be honest, I have no idea where any of my Christmas photos are. Well that's not true, they are in a box. I just don't know which one. That made this project a bit more difficult to complete, but I wanted to give at least one layout example to you all!
Christmas layout_jolly days_cosmo cricket_chas12
I'll let you in on another secret. There are stamps with all the lines. I tried one on this card and ended up smudging it a bit. Stamping is not a technique I am skilled in!
Winter greeting card_jolly days_cosmo cricket_chas12
Leave a comment today to be entered into our random drawing for the fabric. We'll announce the winner tomorrow morning when we reveal the full paper crafting release for CHA summer. I'll bet we have some prizes too!

Congratulations go to:

Tami McDaniel
Silvia Diaz
Stacy Allen

For being the lucky winners of our Gelaskins gift certificates. Ladies, send me an email and I'll get you your prize! (julie at cosmocricket dot com)

7/11/2012 9:26:36 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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We're in Our New House, Let's Celebrate!

If you plan a long distance move:
Do it when your husband is in bed recovering from surgery. I call this the "Man Work Diet" because doing all that heavy lifting under an enormous amount of stress helped me lose about 10 pounds.

When you move your belongings out of the moving truck and into your home:
Do it on the hottest and most humid day of the year. It will be twice as hot in the truck and this will really open your pours. It's like a free facial.

Before you move into a home in Austin:
Take out the old air conditioning units. Don't have them replaced just yet because then you and your kids can camp in the living room with the windows open and fans blowing. It's great family fun!

Here's some pics of the home we are now moved into (I say that in the loosest sense of the word, since we are still a jumbled mess of boxes.) These photos are from the previous owners, who had it all looking nice.House1
To celebrate will be giving away awesome stuff including a wall mural from Walquest
Gift certificates to Gelaskins
Rose 13MacBook 7 1045
Calligraphy Kindle4 228 1048
our latest fabric collection from Moda
Bundle_jelly roll_moda_julie comstock_odds and ends
and new CHA summer paper crafting products that we'll be sneak peeking soon.


Enjoy your fourth of July weekend. Then check back next Monday for the giveaways, sneak peeks and all sorts of fun!

7/10/2012 4:50:01 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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S'more Love Sneak/ Walquest Mural Giveaway

After falling in love with Mr. Campy, who doesn't crave a little S'more Love?

We've taken your favorite marshmallow and his chocolatey pal and updated them with a bit of Mad-Men inspired mid-century styling. They are sure to melt your heart faster than a roasting campfire!
Family reunion fishing layout_cosmo cricket_smore love Fishing layout smore love cosmo cricket detail chas12
Get the family reunion shots out, press the scout uniforms or jump in a lake... whichever you choose, be sure to bring along a camera for some awesome, outdoorsy scrapbook layouts!

If scrapbooking isn't your forte, invite your friends over for s'more good times!
Smore love card cosmo cricket chas12
Smore love card_detail_cosmo cricket chas12
Afterward, they may even send you a card like this!
Smore love owl card2_cosmo cricket_chas12
Smore love owl card_cosmo cricket_chas12
But, if you're not the type to venture into the great outdoors, no worries. We have two more collections coming up plus some other really fun goodies. Besides, if you leave a comment today, you could bring this fun forest scene right into your home (this is as outdoorsy as Eric gets!).

Walquest mural by the comstocks
Walquest has produced this mural using our artwork from Togetherness, along with some other fun creatures Eric created. What's really cool is that some of the leaves are dimensional and the woodgrain on the drawers... that's another one of their products. Go ahead, leave a comment, pin it to pinterest, tell your friends, etc. We'll announce the winner of the mural tomorrow when we sneak peek more of our upcoming CHA Summer release and offer another prize. 

7/10/2012 4:49:38 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Art Angel Sneak/ 3 Gelaskins $60 Gift Certificate Prizes

Today we get to see some projects featuring Art Angel and we have awesome prizes from Gelaskins!

Let's start with a box I picked up one day at a yard sale in St George, Utah for 50¢... because really, who can pass up any type of wooden box at that price?
Artist pen box_art angel_chas12_cosmo cricket
I really love the chipboard that goes with Art Angel! They are the perfect elements for this project since my little pipe box, fits my art pens perfectly. 
Pen box detail
Did you notice the printed canvas brad on this box and the one in yesterday's post? Our facebook fans learned yesterday that these are part of a fun set of embellishments I think you all may go crazy for! 

Here's a look at a couple of the 12" papers and more of the chipboard. If you are really observant, you'll notice a couple Element Deck tags, another canvas brad and maybe one other type of embelly that is part of the newbies!
Art Angel_scrapbook layout_cosmo cricket_ chas12
Did you spot it? If not, check again, because it's a bit blurry in the next image.
Scrapbook layering detail
Here's a great peek at the shape of the tags with this line. I love it!
Friendship card_cosmo cricket_art angel_chas12

Card making layering detail
To celebrate Art Angel, we are giving away some digital codes for $60 of product at Gelaskins! You can cover your phone in Salt Air's Sea Garden print:
Cover your laptop with Evangeline's blooms:
Deck out your kindle with a vintage alphabet:
In fact, Gelaskins has more than a dozen patterns I've designed for every digital device from your MP3 player to your kid's gaming unit and even the remote control! If you think that's cool, comment, pin it and talk it up to your friends! 

We'll pick three random winners tomorrow morning for the $60 gift certificates. So be sure to leave a comment. Good luck everyone!

And finally, congratulations go to Theresa Grdina who won our Togetherness mural from yesterday. Theresa, please send me your information (julie at cosmocricket dot com). I'll make sure you get your prize. 

PS: We know of two prizes that didn't get shipped in the craziness of our move to Austin. This is being taken care of. So, if you haven't gotten your prize yet, keep a look out. We apologize for the wait and will make it up to you! Thanks for your patience with us!


7/10/2012 7:49:32 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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