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Cosmo Cricket

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

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Thrifty Thursday: Masking Tape Love

For a couple bucks you can buy a roll of masking tape. In fact, it's quite likely you have some in your drawer right now. If you do, go dig it out because we have some fun ideas we hope you love!
Masking Tape Background | Cosmo Cricket
(I used the top of an Element tag from 2wenty-Thre3 and our Ready, Set, Chip alphas for the above card.)

You can use masking tape to make interesting texture backgrounds for inking (as I did here) or even painting. If you use a water based ink, you can put it on dark and then wipe off the top with a wet cloth leaving darker areas in the grooves and on any exposed paper that absorbed the ink.

I was too lazy, but originally I thought it would be fun to cover the letters in tape bits too. I'm keeping it in mind though for when I have to mix an alphabet and the colors don't look good together. Afterall, we all know what it's like to try spelling a word for a project and finding you are missing a letter right?!
Creative Girl Problem #28 | Cosmo Cricket
You can also use masking tape like Washi tape. In fact, with a couple Sharpie markers (I have a set of colored ones) you can add stripes, dots or other doodles to make fun border stickers.
Marker on Masking Tape | Cosmo Cricket
(This card uses Art Angel papers, the bottom of that Element card I used in the top photo and a chipboard sticker from S'more Love.)

Did you know that masking tape comes in colors? My mom bought us tons of it when we were kids because it entertained us for hours!

I didn't have any, except for some very expensive painter's tape. But, when Eric wasn't looking I "borrowed" just a tad of it. Putting it down on a backing paper, I filled in enough space to cut out a heart. I used watered down Distress Ink on the heart to get the water staining effect.
Masking Tape Heart | Cosmo Cricket
(All you need for this card, besides the tape and base is a bit of paper from S'more Love and a Tiny Text sticker.)

I hope you feel inspired to get crafty! If you do, let us see what comes of it by posting your projects to our fan page.  

PS: Thanks for the "pep-talk" comments yesterday! I have actually read every book I can find on overcoming social anxiety. Have they helped? Well, I did agree to meet for coffee with some women this Friday and that's actually a really bid deal for me. I will be wearing a lot of deoderant and a black top. Wish me luck!!!

My kids are starting to make some friends, expect for one of them. I'm losing sleep over it and will feel so much better when a friend is found!

8/30/2012 9:22:06 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Confessions of a Wall Flower

My children have been asking me for tips on how to make friends at school. Ughhhh, the one area I am least equipped to help them with! 

Here's why:

1. I share too much information. Hey, I can hear you laughing!

I know, you must have realized that just by what you've read so far. Ask me a question and I'll give you an honest and complete answer. Not a politically correct answer mind you, an honest answer. 

As soon as I have a TMI moment I freak out. Any level of comfort I had established that allowed me to forget myself and make such a statement is obliterated. From that moment on, it is like starting over from day one.... or wishing I could!

"Hi, my name is Julie. Please don't ask me any personal questions unless you really like personal answers!" 

There is even one blush-inducing memory during a discussion about religion where I found myself telling the president of Advantus my method of birth control. Oh heavens!! I've done it again. TMI, TMI.

2. I get too nervous.

The thought of socializing sends my heart racing. Immediately after, I start sweating like a gym rat, but mostly from my right armpit which seems to sweat twice as much as my left (see number one).

Then I start to worry that people will notice. I start to worry about how to hide this embarrassing problem.

All the while, the person I would like to be friendly with is telling me something, but I have no clue what they are saying because I am so focused on my sweating right pit. Usually, at some point the would-be-friend thinks I don't care about what they are saying or I dismiss myself and realize I can't even remember their name or anything about them.

"Hi, my name is Julie. Please don't give up on me quickly, because I can't focus on you until I am comfortable enough not to sweat profusely while you are talking." 

3. I have a hard time believing people want to be my friend.

I don't know when, I don't know where and I don't know why, but at some point I began feeling surprised when people wanted to be friends with me. Just the other day, I came home excited because some moms at the school invited me for coffee. 

This was not without its awkward moment. First mom says to me, "Hi." I am surprised she is talking to me because why would anyone talk to me, right? So I ask if I know her. She now looks surprised and says "No, but since our kids are in the same class I thought we should be friends."

The very next thought I have is, "She doesn't know I'm weird yet.... well except for my first response, but that wasn't too bad was it... I don't know... I think I'm sweating...."

"Hi, my name is Julie. Please be OK with the fact that I am weird."

With all these things in mind, I can't just tell my kids to relax, not to try too hard, to just be themselves. It makes me feel too darn hypocritical! 

What do you recommend? Any advice is welcome since the empathy I have for my kids doesn't make them any friendships.


8/29/2012 9:44:32 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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DIY: Ombre Tissue Paper

Creative Girl Problem #42 | Cosmo Cricket
If you haven't thrown out the tissue paper wrapping from your last gift, don't! You will need it. If you have, I'm sorry, because the above "creative girl problem" now applies to you.

Yesterday, I got the idea to bleach colored tissue paper. I had wanted to dye the edge of white tissue paper, but I didn't have any. So instead, I took my colored paper, folded it up (fan fold style) and then dipped the ends in bleach.

After it dried, I opened it up to reveal this.
Bleaching tissue paper for ombre effect | Cosmo Cricket
 Isn't it so pretty?

The ideas startled swirling in my mind and I haven't even had more than a minute to get started on them. Except to make these Gluber flowers and ruffles. I can't wait to use them on girlfriend cards. I love the pink. I love the ombre look. I love it when an idea turns out to be great!!!
Ombre flowers & ruffles | Cosmo Cricket Glubers
Happy crafting everyone. 

PS: If you are interested in how my kids' first day of school went.

Jack: Didn't make a new best friend, but will keep working at it. He doesn't like that the kids in his class are noisy and they think they are being funny. "Mom, it's not funny because I think it hurts the teacher's feelings."

Abby: Has made dozens of new friends already. One of them doesn't speak any English and they just "act out what they need to say."

Kate: Has one friend to eat lunch with, but she is Eastern Indian and Kate can't understand her name when she says it. Today's plan is to have her write her name and number down so Kate can call her.... and find out how to say her name. Also, Kate's Spanish class is full emersion and she can't understand even una palabra! 

Ethan: Worst first day ever. Ethan is dyslexic and transposed the numbers of the first classroom he was looking for (1236 to 2136). He wasn't even on the right floor and ended up being late to his first class.

His second class, he was looking for the right room, but when he found it he misread the numbers on the door and thought it was the wrong room. He was late to his second class.

He thought his third class was Properties of Exercise, but it was really Physical Education. His third class determined which lunch he was to attend. He went to the first lunch when he should have gone to the second lunch. He was an hour late to his third class.

To finish it all off, he missed the bus home because he couldn't remember the new bus number.

We are hoping for a better day today, but we are so glad that Ethan is the kind of kid that just rolls with it all!!!

8/28/2012 10:57:39 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Blog Post

The First Day of School in Austin

The house is quiet. I just made myself the perfect cup of coffee. Suki is at my feet and Eric is cleaning my kitchen.

My four children are at school full time and you would think my life couldn't get any better right?
Jack and Abby first day
(In Austin, the young kids leave first. Here's Jack and Abby ready to catch the bus as the sun is coming up.)

The truth is, I have been dreading today. I haven't slept in four nights with worry over it. Instead of planning out what I would be doing with the empty house and all my new free-time, I have been fretting over whether my kids will make new friends, have good teachers, get lost in their new schools, be bullied, lose their lunch money, etc. I have been wishing for more summer days braiding their hair on the deck, playing board games at the dining table, watching movies in the evenings and swimming at the pool. 
Kate first day
(Here's Kate all ready for her big day. Ethan didn't want to have his photo taken, or to even let me outside at the same time as him. Am I really that embarrassing?!?)

Why can't I keep these people by me all the time? I like them around. I like knowing they are safe and happy. I like seeing what they are doing.

Could 3:00 get here already so that they can tell me how it went!!!! 

PS: Hop on over to Moxie Fab World today for your chance to win some S'more Love goodies! Say hi to Cath from Julie while you're there. I love her!!! 

8/27/2012 11:12:30 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Paint Can Gift Boxes

If you find that you have run out of tins for upcycling, you can get empty paint cans at your local home supply store for 3-4 dollars. They are super fun to make into gift containers.

I really love ideas that incorporate the lid of the paint can. Personally, I find the lids as useful as the cans themselves. This is the lid that I use as a paint pallet for small projects. It sits on my desk next to the tin that has all my brushes in it.
Paint can lid pallet | Cosmo Cricket
So, with this idea in mind, I took four sheets of Tiny Text stickers and using about half of each of the sheets, I covered a paint can.
Paint can to painter's gift | Cosmo Cricket stickers
The sentiments on these stickers are perfect, especially if you fill the tin with art supplies. I picked out some of my favorite colors of craft paint.
Paint can to artist gift | Cosmo Cricket
Now you have something to hold art supplies, and a small pallet that you can use for painting.  (PS: Acrylic paint simply peels off the tin when it dries.)

But, you don't just have to use paint cans for painting themes. Here's one I did for a friend that is just getting introduced to tea.
Paint can to tea gift basket | Cosmo Cricket

There are some really great flavors of tea out there and the Steeping Room in Austin has hundreds of them. I picked a bag of Beautiful Coconut Green Tea and a steeping spoon.  
Then, using Art Angel papers and embellishments, I decorated the tin and the lid. This lid works as a coaster. After I decorated it, I sprinkled UTEE over the top and melted it so that the paper and stickers are sealed. Now, every time she sips her tea, she'll have a sweet message and reminder of our friendship!
Paint can to tea with coaster | Cosmo Cricket
(Note to all crafters that like to rush things.... if you get UTEE too hot, it will bubble and turn yellowish. This is great if you want the antique look of yellowing, but if you don't then melt the UTEE slowly at a low heat!)

8/24/2012 12:45:25 PM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Kate: A Brand New Teen

Yesterday was a big day in our house. Not only were the last fans and dehumidifiers removed, but Kate turned 13.

Personally, I love the teen years and we had a great time celebrating Kate's entry into them. At 6:30am, Eric and I kidnapped her.
Image 6
Isn't she beautiful even straight out of bed?
Image 4
We took her out for breakfast and to my surprise, she wanted to try a tofu breakfast taco. She loved it! That's definitely a sign she is no longer a little kid although she did wash it down with a hot chocolate.
Image 5

Kate wanted a spa day for her birthday and one thing on her list was a mayonaise hair treatment. All I can say is that you have to love someone very much to do this for them. It is disgusting! But apparently, according to Youtube videos, this will make your hair shiny and smooth like nothing else.

(If I thought doing Kate's hair was bad, when it was Abby's turn it was much worse. Her hair is twice as thick and four times as long. I think we used half a jar of mayonaise.)
Image 1
You are suppose to let the mayonaise set for 20 minutes, so in the meantime, we made a face mask with oatmeal, honey and yogurt. What pampered children I have!
Image 7
Shortly after her photo was taken, Abby ate her cucumbers.
Image 2
Next came ombre manicures. Apparently, you can find tutorials for everything on the internet!
Image 8
And after all that, there was just time left to make her favorite dinner, open presents and have cake and ice cream. Happy Birthday Kate!

8/23/2012 8:59:38 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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10 Tips for Raising Creative Kids

I was inspired to write this post on raising creative kids after reading an article on the decline of creativity. These are my tips as a creative parent and mother of four creative children.... those are the only credentials I've got, so take it for what it's worth!Awesome tips for creative kids
10. Celebrate differences. When a child asks you which child is your favorite, resist the urge to tell them that you love them all the same. Instead tell them that you love them all different. Tell them what you love about each one pointing out how they are unique and you are glad that they are because it makes the whole family (and world) a better place. The permission to be different is one of the biggest challenges in my opinion to creativity. It can be scary and is often not rewarded by peers or society. Tell them you love them for being different!

9.  Don't say yes right away. When my kids come asking for things like new toys, treats or clothes, if it's something I may say yes to (cell phones need not apply) then I like to have them make a list of all the reasons I should say yes. This is a great activity that can keep them busy for hours, but it also teaches them persuasive argument skills and creativity! Did you know that a case can be made for how new clothes can positively impact school performance?

8. Give permission to be wasteful.
 As thrifty as I try to be, this really sounds like bad advice. But NEVER give a child art supplies and tell them not to waste them! The fear of messing up a sheet of paper or using up an expensive bottle of paint on a failed project can make even the most daring child retreat. Wasted art supplies are not the end of the world. When a project goes awry, point out what was learned from having done it and tell them that all the supplies were worth that lesson.

7. Ask them their opinion on important things.
 When asked their opinion, children think. I like to pick out stories from the news and ask my kids what they think about them. If your children are younger, you can ask them what they think about the rules in your house. This is always fun. When they tell you what they don't like tell them why you have the rule, listing out all the reasons. Then ask them if they have an idea of a different way to get the same results. 

6. Empower them. My mom always said that you should never do for a child what they can do for themselves. It worked for her because her kids were perfect. ;) But, my kids whine, "I can't do it, I need you to." They have this down to an art that rivals any torture technique invented! So we have a rule, "If you try three times and you still can't do it, then I'll help you." Now that they are getting older, this rule applies to things like friendship problems. When they ask me how to solve their problem, I tell them to come up with three ways they could handle it.

5. Come up with lots of ideas. When a child tells you they are bored, say, "If you could do anything right now, what would you choose? Make a list of 10 things." I did this just yesterday with Jack. He was so bored, it took him an hour to get to 7. I helped him come up with the others by giving him prompts like "go look around your room" and "what things do you like to do outside." Coming up with lots of ideas is great creative practice.

4. Play creative games. One of our favorite creative games to play is to take two completely different things and try to find ways to tie them together. For example, what do a dog and a toothbrush have in common? Another game we love is telling stories where each person adds one sentence on their turn.

3. Be inventive. Let your kids see you solve problems creatively and they will too. I'm not great in the kitchen. We experiment a lot and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. My kids have seen me come up with many creative culinary solutions like washing off salad when the dressing turned out awful and making a bundt pan by placing a glass in an oven safe bowl. In fact, I use glasses a lot since I don't own a rolling pin or any cookie cutters.

Yesterday my girls made peanut butter bars and the cookies sheet they choose was too big for the recipe. They called me to the kitchen to help out. I asked what ideas they had since we didn't have a smaller pan. Kate suggested making more to add to it. Abby suggested just using half the pan and making a decorative edge.

2. Upcycle and fix things. Is it an old tee-shirt with holes and stains, or a new headband with ruffly flowers? Teach kids to see the potential in things and find new uses for what they no longer need.

1. Change the game. One of our favorites things to do is paint with our kids, but pick out something besides a brush for them to use. How can you paint with a credit card? Can you paint on fabric? Do your favorite things, but in new ways. It gets them thinking, keeps them from being bored and is a lot of fun.

PS: Thrifty Thursday will be back when my home doesn't have 18 fans blowing!

8/16/2012 9:42:02 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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A Mini Album Keepsake and New Adventures

Hi everyone!

Thanks for dropping by yesterday to see Lowri's post. Today we have an awesome project from our CHA booth. This one comes to us from Donna Budzynskij of Meme's Artplace.
Image_2485 (1)
Donna took a wooden box, added some feet and then painted and decorated it with Art Angel. When you open up this box, you find a hidden mini album inside.
Image_2489 (1)
I think this is so fun! It's almost like a time capsule. I have plans to make one for Abby with photos I have of her friends she left behind when we moved to Austin. 

And speaking of Austin, did you know there was flooding here last weekend? Well, when I say here, I literally mean in my house.

It was just before midnight, Ethan had stayed up late to watch a movie. Since the dishwasher was going, he turned the volume on the TV up a bit. He didn't hear the water running from the broken bathroom valve, down the hallway, through the kitchen and over the steps into the front room where he sat on a rug, on a pillow. When the water level was high enough to have soaked through the rug, the pillow, his jeans, his underpants and then meet skin, we heard, "DAD, DAD, DAD" being screamed at length.

It took about an hour to get all the water up. Fortunately for us, Ethan hadn't gone to sleep yet. Fortunately for us, our older house has uneven floors that sent water away from our computer equiptment and most of our furniture.

We called our insurance company and I'll tell you what, they don't mess with water in Texas! No, unlike Utah, Austin doesn't just dry out. It's much too humid and mold really loves it here. So, my floors have been ripped out. My baseboards are gone. I have 2" holes drilled in my sheet rock and our home now hosts 18 fans and 3 de-humidifiers.
House_after flood1
But hey, we have great air circulation! And, we were going to re-do those floors eventually anyway.

Seriously though... my life... you can't make this stuff up!

8/15/2012 9:03:52 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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A Guest Visitor: Lowri McNabb

Hi Everyone - Lowri from PaperVine to share a couple of quick and easy ideas using the Twenty Thr3e Collection. The colors in this collection make it so versatile - and this little set was sent to accompany a handmade gift I created so the recipient can add their own message when they give the gift.
Image 5This card is a "swing" card. I actually used this file and my Cameo to create it - but there are heaps of great online templates too - try this fabulous one here from Beate Johns.

Image 6This is what you see when you open the card - plenty of room for you to hand write your message along with this fabulous sticker from the Tiny Text, Together stickers.

Image 4This tag is so simple and I love the look of the bold, black sentiment. To create this shape - cut a rectangle of paper and use a circle punch to snip off the corners and create a tag shape on the two top corners. Punch a small hole in the top and add some bakers twine - super easy!Image 7
I am still very much in the honeymoon phase with my Cameo machine - so I cut this matching envelope too! To turn it into an "office style" envelope I put in a couple of brads so you can wrap twine or cord around it to close. It also means that you can seal and open the envelope without damaging it.
Image 8This little chipboard piece made me smile - it's so cute! I think these projects really show that when you have great basic design in a collection, it's easy to put together simple pieces that look fab! 

Image 9
I hope you have enjoyed these ideas - swing by my blog PaperVine where you can find heaps more and lots of fun tutorials too. I am also giving away a selection of Evangeline goodies this week – so come on over and take a look!

From Julie: Thanks for the guest post Lowri! My house flooded after a valve under our bathroom sink broke so this was really so helpful. And for those of you that are wondering if we were punished for moving.... our house if Providence flooded to. So, we would have gotten it either way!

8/14/2012 9:00:19 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Kate Gets Braces

I guess what they say about an apple's falling distance from the tree is true.

Kate has my same hair style from when I was a teen.
She loves wearing tank tops. (Something I did too, much to my mother's dismay). 
She loves 1980's hoop earrings.
And, now she's got braces.

I feel like I'm looking at photos from my past whenever I see her.... A past where I'm tanner, have way better skin and a whole lot more social grace!
Image 1
Image 2
In other photos from last week, I can't decide whether this is kind of cool, or completely horrible. What do you think?
Image 3

8/13/2012 9:41:40 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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3 Takes on DIY Coasters

We found our new-to-us dining table at Hog Wild Vintage in downtown Austin and fell in love! It has a great mid-century vibe that goes well with Eric's George Nelson lamp. What really got us though, was the funky desing of the chairs.

The current fabric on the chairs takes me right back to the seventies. In fact, I think my mom had bath towels in a very similar print and color. I have plans to recover the seats in bright solids, after the walls in our home are painted white.
Dining table_esmerelda
We have name the table, "The Esmerelda" because it just seems like something Esmerelda from Bewitched would sit down to. Knowing that this has been kept in great shape for 40-50 years, we don't want to be the ones to ruin it. So, I have a new fascination with coasters because the temperature and the humidity in Austin make an iced-drink sweat even more than myself... and that's saying something! 

Last week I put Kate and Abby in charge of making some coasters. Four sheets of scrapbook paper kept them busy for an entire day. They cut S'more Love papers into 1/2" strips, folded those strips in half lengthwise and then glued them into a coil. After they had coaster sized disks, we put them on aluminum foil, topped them with UTEE and popped them in the toaster oven for about 10-15 minutes.

You could win some S'more Love today on the Papercrafts blog. Then you could make these and the stamped ones below!
DIY coaster_Cosmo Cricket_scrapbook paper

DIY coaster2_Cosmo Cricket_scrapbook paper
Next, we took a 12" sheet of cork. (You can find them on sale at the moment for back to school students to use as bulletin boards.) We cut this into 4" squares, stamped them with our S'more Love owl stamp, painted the inside and then stamped over the top of the paint. 

These would so cute for a cabin or as neighbor gifts. Be sure to use a waterproof ink so that it won't blead.
DIY coaster_stamped cork_cosmo cricket
DIY coaster2_stamped cork_cosmo cricket
S'more love stamps_cosmo cricket
For our last set, we wanted to try something completely different. We were thinking bright and shiny since we had found these simple bath tiles at Home Depot for 13¢ each.... I know, right!!!

We took a multi-pack of Glubers and pressed the different sizes onto the tiles. Then we sprinkled them with glitter to make super fun floating bubbles. I love the effervesent look! These would be perfect for wedding or party favors. Be sure to place some felt feet or backing onto the tiles so that they won't scratch your table! 
DIY coaster_Gluber™ w Gitter on tile_Cosmo Cricket

DIY coaster2_Gluber™ w Gitter on tile_Cosmo Cricket
Wow, it's 9:30 already? I think I'll have to grab a coaster and an iced drink... I've been working so hard! Happy weekend everyone!!!

8/10/2012 10:25:19 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Thrifty Thursday Brought to You By Bottled Wine

How can wine possibly be thrifty you ask? At $10 for a cheap bottle, it's not exactly what I'd call a frugal expenditure. But, if you're drinking it anyway (for the health benefits, of course) you may as well do something fun with the corks.

There are a ton of ideas out there for wreaths, and hearts made out of lots of corks, but I wanted to try stamps.
Cork Stamps
I cut a heart, chevron, mustache and x/o stamp into four different corks.
Cork Stamps2
Here's how I did it. 

First, stamp the end you'll be using to make sure all the surface touches well enough. If it doesn't, you can cut the end or sand it down a little. Then draw your icon onto the stamp.
Making a cork stamp
Use the tip of a craft knife to go all the way around the line you've drawn. Press the knife down deeply all the way around the shape. 
Making a cork stamp2
After you have made your cuts around your shape, come in from the side with the knife flat. Cut in to remove the excess cork.
Making a cork stamp3
Clean up any edges and start stamping.
Cosmo Cricket_Art Angel_boy layout
You can try different inks and even paint. Just have fun with it.
Cosmo Cricket tag
And, if you go letter boxing in Zilker Park... or anywhere else, what could be cooler than a wine cork stamp? 

8/9/2012 9:21:13 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Holding Onto Summer

We are trying to hold onto the last weeks of summer. When the kids get back into school, I'm going to have some great pics to scrap.

A stick on fuzzy mustache can make for hours of entertainment by the way.
Image 5


Or, an afternoon at Barton Springs with our friends the Hecks. Although the older kiddos were too far away in the water. It looks like Jack will be the scrapbook star for a few pages.
Image 7

Image 1
But Eric with his long arms, did snap a couple of the two of us that should make a fun page.
Image 6

Image 3
Now, I'm off to meet with Ethan's school counselor. As much as I hate to see my kids get back into their busy schedules, the free time can be nice!

Congratulations go to Myra who said, "Art Angel is my new favorite line! But I'd say that about every new line you introduce." Myra, send your info to me, julie at cosmocricket dot com and I'll get your prize to you. Thanks!


8/8/2012 8:44:08 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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DIY: Glittered Bottles with Vintage Labels

Who's excited for Art Angel to hit the stores?
Art Angel_Glitter Bottle2_Cosmo Cricket
When it does, you may need to pick up some of Sulyn's new vintage glitters to go with it.

I saw these jars all done up at the CHA trade show and had to get pictures of them to share with you. The Sulyn crew took their awesome glitters, coated the insides of jars and added in the whimsy of Art Angel to make the most beautiful things!
Art Angle Glittered Bottle_Cosmo Cricket
I was wondering how they got the inside of the bottles all glittery. Well, there is a trick. You need floor cleaner. Yep you heard me right, the stuff they make to clean linoleum. All you do is fill your glass object with floor cleaner, dump it out (back into the original bottle, let's not be wasteful) and then add enough glitter to shake around and coat the walls of your glass object.

Super awesome right?!?!?

If you think so, let us know and I'll pick a random winner from the comments to get the stickers, chipboard and Element tags from Art Angel so you can make some vintage and glittery labels to go with your beautiful glittered glass.


8/7/2012 8:49:01 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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DIY Doll House: Free Pattern Download

Game Board to Doll House_Exterior_Cosmo Cricket & Julie Comstock
Making a doll house is a really fun thing to do! Ours is perfectly sized to fit on a bookshelf or in a small tote bag and work with our Lucille Doll or other small dolls like Strawberry Shortcake and Polly Pocket.

For our version, you will need an old game board. If you don't have one, you can get one for about $2 at a thrift store, at least in my area.

First, cut your gameboard in half, perpendicular to the fold that goes through the middle.
Game board Cut
Fold the two sections in half like a book, then glue one on top of the other. You will have a single layer of gameboard on both covers, and a double layer of gameboard as the middle "page."

Paint any edges of the gameboard you don't want to show. These include the outside spine of the "book", the folding seams between pages and the raw cut edge if it bothers you. (You won't be able to cover the folding parts of the book with paper and still have it open and close properly.)

Can you see the black paint I used? I should have got a better pic to demonstrate this. Sorry!
Game Board to Doll House_Exterior2_Cosmo Cricket & Julie Comstock

Game Board to Doll House_kitchen_Cosmo Cricket & Julie Comstock

All the pages will still open completely flat for cutting doors and windows so you can add those to any rooms you like. You would have to cut through two layers of gameboard on the center room though. (Too much work for myself!)

Now that your base is assembled, it's time to decorate! 

You can use my pattern:  Download Doll House_Julie Comstock_free pattern
Doll House_Julie Comstock_free pattern
Doll House_Julie Comstock_free pattern2
Doll House_Julie Comstock_free pattern3
Doll House_Julie Comstock_free pattern4
Doll House_Julie Comstock_free pattern5
Doll House_Julie Comstock_free pattern6
Or get creative and come up with your own!

PS: Feel free to share this pattern with your friends, kid's groups, Pinterest followers, your second-cousin-once-removed's girlfriend, etc. We just ask that you not use it for any commerical purpose. If you notice anyone selling our freebies or using them commercially, please let us know. Thanks!!! 

8/6/2012 9:45:28 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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DIY Lucille Doll Pattern: Free Download

She's charming.
Lucille Doll_Julie Comstock_Odds and Ends fabric
She's sweet.
Lucille Doll3_Julie Comstock_Odds and Ends fabric
She never has a bad hair day!
Lucille Doll2_Julie Comstock_Odds and Ends fabric
She has a best friend who took her shopping.
Lucille Dolls_Julie Comstock_Odds and Ends fabric
And a sweet cousin made by my daughter Kate (all by herself and without using any face pattern... just free-handing it).
Lucille Dolls2_Julie Comstock_Odds and Ends fabric
So, you've got this!

Here's what you'll need:
The pattern (it's at the end of this post)
Scraps of fabric for skin, hair and dress (I used our Odds and Ends fabrics.)
1 button, at least 1" in diameter
Scissors, sewing machine, iron
Needle and thread
Fine point permanent marker
Paint: white, eye color, lip color
X-acto knife handle, paintbrush and pencil with fresh eraser on top

Here's what you'll do:
Cut out all the pieces. Then we will paint the face (I did this after sewing the front of the doll, but if you do it first there's less risk. But I don't mean to scare you it's simple!)

First trace the pattern onto the fabric. I did this so lightly, I hope you can see it!
Doll face tutorial by Julie Comstock1
Next, paint the whites of the eyes. Use the end of your X-acto knife, dab it into the white paint, remove any excess and then press onto the fabric. If the center doesn't fill in completely, use your paint brush to smooth it out. You can see my edges are not perfectly smooth, this will be fine. No worries, no stress... we are having fun!
Doll face tutorial by Julie Comstock2
You must wait for you white paint to dry. If you are like me you will totally disregard this statement, but for best results, please wait. While you wait, how about we paint the lips. Use the tip of a narrow paintbrush and dip it into the lip color (I used pink because the black outline makes it look darker when it's finished). Make two small dots for the top lip and one larger dot for the lower lip.
Doll face tutorial by Julie Comstock3
Wait for all paint to dry and no, the white paint won't be dryed in the time it took to paint the lips. When the paint is dryed add the eye color by dipping the end of a new pencil eraser and doing the same thing as before. You can make your doll look up, down, to the side, etc. I made my two dolls to look at each other.
Doll face tutorial by Julie Comstock4
After that dries, you can use a pen to finish the face. I tested Micron, Uniball, Tombow and Sharpie (all in fine point styles). I liked the Sharpie fine point the best for the dark black line and less bleeding.

Using your pen, go around the outside of the eye, then the eye color. Now you will draw the pupil and fill it in. Then trace your nose, lip lines and eye details. See, you did it!

It's really charming to add a couple white highlighting dots on the eyes.  These are made with the end of the paintbrush again. Just dab them in like you did the lips.
Doll face tutorial by Julie Comstock5
Now we just need to sew her together.

Using a short stitch length, with right sides together and a 3/8" seam allowance sew:
Bangs to forehead
Neck to dress
Hem to legs

Then sew back hair to back of neck
and back of dress to back of legs.

Then stitch arms leaving short end at shoulder open for turning. The arm seams will need to be clipped before turning to reduce bulk and allow for smoother curves.
Doll tutorial by Julie Comstock1
Press each unit you have just made. Make sure to have the seam allowance fall under the darker fabric and not under the skin.

Pin arms as shown on pattern. 
Doll tutorial by Julie Comstock2
Then with the same settings as before sew the front to back, RST, starting at the "feet" and leaving the base of the doll open. Clip your threads and seams and turn this cutie right side out.

After you fill her with stuffing, take a needle and thread to cinch in the base. You will fold over the end slightly as you go around the bottom of the doll with a running stitch. If you have ever made a yo-yo, it is the same idea. If you haven't, then this pic should help.
Doll tutorial by Julie Comstock4
After you've gone all the way around, gather your stitches in and knot off. 

To cover up our gathering and to give Lucille some "shoes" all you need to do is glue a button to the base.

I am using some buttons Tim Holtz gave me for a CHA demo. They are fantastic because they are large (1.25") and they have a slight curve which is convex on one side and concave on the other. I like to glue the doll into the concave side. Then, when she stands, she wobbles slightly, until she finds the center and balances. It is very cute!

Should you make a doll, upload it to our facebook fan page because we would love to see her!
Download Lucille Doll_Julie Comstock_free pattern

Update: The download link isn't working for some of us, myself included. I'm not sure what is wrong, but I thought I would add this jpg of the pattern too. I added a couple measurements, so you can make sure you have the sizing right. Or, you are welcome to email me, julie at cosmocricket dot com and I'll email you the pdf. THANKS!
Lucille Doll_Julie Comstock_free pattern

8/3/2012 10:39:39 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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Thrifty Thursday: Game Board to Doll House

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with Fisher Price Peoples. I had the little ones that are now classified as a joking hazard, but no worries, I didn't eat them!

I remember once, my mother took me to be watched by my grandma. To keep myself occupied, she let me bring the doll house filled with peoples and furniture.

I was having a great game of pretend play in which there were children, parents and grandparents. Everytime the little people children referred to the little people Grandma, my grandma would say, "what do you need dear?" I would reply, "Nothing grandma, I mean the people grandma."

After a few times I really began to wonder about my grandmother's intellect and my grandmother began to get frustrated with me continually calling her. That's when grandma had to go to the elderly care facility where no one visited her for the rest of the day.... I mean the people grandma!

Here's my version of little people's DIY style! Her name is Lucille and she is much too large to choke on. What's even better is she has an awesome doll house made from an old game board that was missing most of the pieces.
Game Board to Doll House_Cosmo Cricket & Julie Comstock
The doll house folds flat like a book which is perfect for storage. For play, you just open and stand it up. The curb appeal is awesome featuring a S'more Love exterior and window box full of Evangeline chipboard flowers.
Game Board to Doll House_Exterior_Cosmo Cricket & Julie Comstock
Game Board to Doll House_Exterior2_Cosmo Cricket & Julie Comstock
Step inside to a comfortable living area, the perfect place to host Tea for Two.
Game Board to Doll House_Living_Cosmo Cricket & Julie Comstock
If you love entertaining, you'll appreciate that the kitchen is nearby.
Game Board to Doll House_Living2_Cosmo Cricket & Julie Comstock
Unfortunately, it seems Lucille hasn't done any grocery shopping yet.
Game Board to Doll House_kitchen_Cosmo Cricket & Julie Comstock
Maybe she has something hidden in her cupboard?
Game Board to Doll House_Kitchen2_Cosmo Cricket & Julie Comstock
Oh well. I guess we should just retreat to the master bedroom with the on suite bath.
Game Board to Doll House_Bath_Cosmo Cricket & Julie Comstock
Lucille has impeccable taste. Notice the gem drawer pulls and ornate headboard.
Game Board to Doll House_Bed_Cosmo Cricket & Julie Comstock
But what she does best is relax. Bubble bath anyone?
Game Board to Doll House_Bath2_Cosmo Cricket & Julie Comstock
I'm drawing up the pattern to the doll house and will post it soon. I recommend beginning with the doll though so if you want to make any changes to the house, you can use her for sizing. On that note, I'll post the free doll pattern and instructions tomorrow. You will be amazed how easy she is to make and paint too. There is absolutely no artistic skill needed, I PROMISE!!!

On Monday I should have all the details and patterns for the doll house. Hang in there with me!


8/2/2012 8:13:04 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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A Couple Cards By Debbie

Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone!!! Reading all the comments on our blog and on facebook made for a very fun day indeed. So, even though I turned "almost" forty and even though the strap on a favorite pair of shoes broke, I had a great day. Besides, now I have to buy myself a new pair of shoes! What can I say, life is full of trials. ;)

One of my very favorite things about my job is being emailed photos of projects people have created with our products. I love trade show season for this very reason... I know I am sure to get some very pretty and happy emails!

Here are two more cards by Debbie Olson using our Art Angel line. The first one, was sneak peeked on our facebook fanpage yesterday receiving a huge response! How could it not, though? It is sooooooo beautiful!

Debbie used the papers from the mini deck, the new stamp set and one of the cardstock stickers for the sentiment.
Cosmo Cricket_Art Angel collection_card by Debbie Olson
Next up is a card that I don't think you will have seen unless you were in our trade show booth at CHA.

For this one Debbie stayed with the Art Angel mini deck and added a tag from the element deck too.
Cosmo Cricket_Art Angel_Card by Debbie Olson
Now I am off. I have the most awesome idea for a Thrifty Thursday yet! You definitely won't want to miss this one. In fact, maybe practice pinning a few things today just to make sure your pin it button is all warmed up and ready to go.

And, now that I have said that, I am feeling a teensy bit of stress that it all works out like I am imagining!!!!

8/1/2012 7:44:27 AM | Comments (0) | Send a Message (PeaMail) | Vote for this Blog Post

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