Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christmas: texture

Here are a couple more holiday designs. I used my Cuttlebug to emboss the paper for the frames for subtle texture...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas: made while mothering

Another card today! Special thanks to my friend, Ellie, for watching Natalie so I could roll up my sleeves and get some work done. The going is still slow, however, because I'm currently wearing Naomi. Though I have two hands free most of the time, my range of movement is limited.

It's because of this extra challenge to my productivity that I decided to have a special stamp made for the backs of my cards: made while mothering. Now I can share that I'm doing my best to balance kids, creativity, and care for the cards' recipients.

I had this stamp made by Terbear on Etsy. She also did my rookspaperscissors.etsy.com stamp.

Christmas: two more cards!

I finished two more Christmas cards using the Top Note die cuts... Perhaps this feeling I'm experiencing is, dare I say, that of being on a roll? I won't get my hopes up!

I should note that most of these cards are one- or two-of-a-kind as far as the papers go...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Christmas: one card down

I finished one Christmas card! Hurray!

I was able to use my Cuttlebug and Top Note die to create the basis for about 70 cards. Plus, my mom let me borrow a new Stampin' Up stamp set and matching punch to make dozens of ornament-shaped cutouts. I have no idea how many cards I'll actually finish, and I still plan to enlist the help of Costco's photo center for the bulk of my cards. These handmade ones will largely be for my sister-in-law, who made a custom order...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hero Dad

I made this card for Bret after he and I had to divide and conquer for a couple of days last week. Naomi had a urinary tract infection and had to be hospitalized to get IV antibiotics. I stayed with her the whole time, and Bret took care of Natalie. She couldn't visit me and Naomi because of hospital-wide flu precautions, so she spent time with our best friends when Bret visited.

For more on our hospital adventure, check out my other blog.

Bret was amazingly flexible and supportive and bought all of us gals presents for being brave. He deserved some honor, too, so I made this card as soon as I could. I also got him a gift card to his favorite music store...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Buttons and bows

My best friend watched Natalie so I could finish up these hair bows for another friend -- they definitely require two hands. I'm pleased with the bows overall, and hope they hold up. Hot-melt glue has yet to let me down! Plus, I put tacky glue on the edges to prevent fraying.


I used my Crop-a-dile to punch a hole in each of these barrettes so I could sew the buttons on, in addition to gluing them.




Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fall flower bouquet

With no small amount of grinding, gears have really changed in the Rooks household. I've been challenged on every level as I balance my role as at-home mom, my desire for a clean (at least non-disastrous) house, and my drive to create. I can't say I've enjoyed every moment, but I've enjoyed the outcome of every moment. I'm deeply in love with my girls and am deeper in love with my husband as he grows as a father...

Mushy stuff aside, I have had precious few moments at my craft table, often while wearing and/or nursing Naomi and coaching Natalie in a craft at her own craft table. These fall flowers were commissioned by my mom, and I was able to make them while she played with the kiddos during a recent visit.

I used K & Company papers that coordinated nicely with the printed flowers I used for the centers.

I love putting the colored dew drops in the centers. The half-circle accents make the flowers pop.

In other news, I'm planning to upload three new mobiles to my Etsy shop very soon. One of the mobiles constitutes my 100th item uploaded to RooksPaperScissors! I think I'll add a free gift for whomever buys that particular mobile :)

And a confession: I'm all but 100-percent sure that Costco's photo department will be making my Christmas cards this year. I just don't have the chunks of time necessary to create upwards of 50 cards for my friends and family (let alone any custom orders). I feel free just to have come to that decision.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Silver and ivory mobiles

I recently finished five mobiles, all of varying combinations of subtly shimmery silver and ivory paper. One of the mobiles -- to be determined -- is for a custom order through my Etsy shop. After the customer chooses the desired mobile, I'll sell three others and give one as a Christmas gift to my nephew.

It was challenging to photograph the mobiles in motion while holding the blue backdrop and wearing my baby. I suppose I could have waited for my husband to get home and help me, but I enjoy a good challenge and am happy with the results. Plus, there was the lighting to consider!

It is a little difficult, however, to see the difference between the silver and the ivory -- they're both quite subtle.

• The main wire bars are roughly 6 1/2 inches long.
• The mobiles are roughly 14 inches from the top wire bar to the bottom star.
• The moons are roughly 3 1/2 inches in diameter.

No. 1
ivory moon; silver stars

No. 2
ivory moon; ivory small stars; silver large stars

No. 3
silver moon; ivory stars

No. 4
ivory moon; ivory large stars; silver little stars

No. 5
silver moon; silver large stars; ivory small stars

I've also made a mobile of little girls clothes; a more complete outer-space theme; and various patterns of moons and stars. I hope to create some new themes before Christmas, but my production pace has slowed drastically. Instead of stealing away to the craft room every chance I get, I've been honoring my 2-year-old's recent requests to sit down and play with her.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Birth announcements

Before Naomi was born, I started making birth announcements that I'd send to people who wouldn't get to meet her for a while, family who don't have e-mail, and other special folks. I picked happy, gender-neutral paper and bought both blue and pink ribbon for the top, since we didn't know who Naomi was until she was born...

After Naomi arrived, I filled in the details and assembled the announcements. I finally finished them (more than 40), and am in the process of putting them in envelopes, which always takes me much longer than actually creating the cards!

(By the way, we just found out today that Naomi has gained 2 pounds and now weighs 11 lbs 3 oz!)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Here's how I do it

This is one of the keys to my sanity and ability to craft while mothering: a wrap.

Naomi tends to go right to sleep when I put her in it; I can nurse her hands-free; and it's beautiful and comfortable (and organic cotton). I wear her at home if she's fussy or having trouble falling asleep, and I wear her when we run errands... This particular wrap is from Lovey Duds on Etsy -- she has dozens of gorgeous handmade wraps.

I also wore my first daughter, in a sling and carrier, until I became too pregnant to fit the carrier over my belly. One piece of advice if you're hoping to wear a baby for the first time: don't give up! It takes practice, and the baby may need time to get used to it. Borrow some slings, wraps, and/or carriers, if you can, before buying one...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


It's warms my heart to catch glimpses of the bond forming between my two daughters...

In other news, I have somehow managed to squeeze in some craft time here and there. I've made two birthday cards and nine thank-you cards, plus I've put the finishing touches on roughly 25 baby announcements. I'm amazed by what I can accomplish while nursing Naomi. I'm seriously considering having a stamp made that says "made while mothering" for the back of my cards!