Sunflowers for the Soul

I don't think there's anything on this planet that more trumpets life that the sunflower. For me that's because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that's such an admirable thing.
                  ~ John Clarke (as quoted in Calender Girls)



You know, no matter how old my babies get, I still worry about them when they're sick. One of the most heart wrenching phone calls I ever got was from Ben's Freshman dorm in San Antonio. I picked up the phone to a pathetic voice: "Mom, I'm sick." You could just hear the desperation in his voice. Always the nurse, I had packed him well for all types of medical emergencies, so he was well equipped for his cold, But, still, I offered to drive down from Austin with some soup and nursing. Ben said: "No, I just wanted to talk to my Mommy." I guess, no matter how old my babies get, they still want Mom when they're sick.

Almost ten years later, my babies are still too far away when they're sick. (Yeah, that still freaks me out.) So, I set out to make a get well kit that would cure the cold but also feed the soul.


Here's the before: A little green tea, ibuprofen, alcohol wipes, tissues, and trail mix (heart-healthy nuts, roasted sunflower seeds and Reese's Pieces).


And here's the after.

The bottle on the left holds the trail mix, and the pillow box on the right holds this: a tissue coozie and mini-envelopes for the ibuprofen/tea/alcohol wipes.


Catered Crop follow button

Have you joined the party, yet? I'm getting my project done at the midnight hour before tomorrow's Quickfire, but, as usual, ya'll are knocking my socks off with the entries for Catered Crop FTR8. I'm really loving all the variety, which is why I love this party so much. I followed Dorcas's recipe by using her mini prints, blue and brown colors, ribbon, flower embellishments, die cuts, and even tissues.

Here are a few tips for any of you who want to try this project.

  1. Instructions for the Tissue Coozie are compliments of Stitch Craft.
  2. If you follow Catered Crop (God Bless You), you know I love mixing and matching patterns. Using pattern packs makes it easy, and our sponsor, Paper Garden Projects, has the best selection I know. I used a pack I've been hoarding from Kaisercraft called Peachy Keen. Kaisercraft paper packs include specialty papers (the paper on the front of the Pillow Box has gorgeous flocking) and four sheets of coordinating die cut tags, labels and borders (that's how I got those cute tags on the mini envelopes).
  3. The Clear Pillow Treat Box is also from Paper Garden Projects. When it pops open it's 5.5" long, 4" wide and 1" thick at the center. I cut a piece of burlap 6" by 9" and sewed the short ends together to make a fabric tube to line the inside of the box.
  4. To make a square, 4" x 4" envelope, you can follow the square envelope tutorial at ScorPal.
  5. How do you follow an act like Elaine's Magic Boxes? Well, I tried following her advice by researching gold Aztec sunflowers before coloring the sunflowers. This Heartfelt Creations stamp coordinates with Nestabilities die Blossom Two. Here's a video that gives you some wonderful tips for working with the die and stamp, so fun.
  6. After I colored the Sunflower with Copics, I put a two-sided clear adhesive over it (Be Creative Tape Sheets) and then sprinkled it with microfine transparent glitter. After it was smothered in glitter, I cut it out with the matching die cut. Then, I sponged the edges with Yellow Ochre Colorbox Chalk ink.
  7. I put Crystal Effects clear liquid lacquer in the middle of the smallest blossom and then applied Barbara Trombley's Elements by Art Glitter. It's a wonderful combination of earth textures.
  8. Finally, I used dimensional adhesives to layer the blossoms.

Apparently all this color, glitter and texture worked, because while I was setting up my photo shoot outside, I had to shew away a honey bee and butterfly. 

Here are the details on the ingredients I used.

  • Pattern Paper/CardstockKaiserCraft, Neenah
  • Stamps – Heartfelt Creations Aztec Gold Sunflower, My Favorite Things Banner Alphabet
  • Color MediumsMemento, Copics, ColorBox
  • Fibers – String, Teresa Collins Gingham ribbon, Pink Paisley Ribbon Pleats, Rickrack, Lily & Will fabric for the Tissue Coozie and fabric top on the bottle, burlap
  • Tools – Nestabilities Blossoms Two, Labels Two
  • Miscellaneous – Tissues, Ikea Rajtan Spice Jars, Barbara Trombley's Elements by Art Glitter, Crystal Glitter Ritz Transparent Microfine Glitter, Be Create Tape Sheets, Crystal Effects


Wow, I'm sorry to be so long winded tonight. Thanks for hanging out with me. So, what are you still doing here. Go link up your projects and join the party.





Tip Junkie handmade projects BWS tips button 


Catered Crop Linking Party FTR8

Winston Zeddemore: We have the tools, and we have the talent.
Dr. Peter Venkman: It's Miller time
Winston Zeddemore: I Love this Town!
    ~ Ghostbusters, 1984

Follow the Recipe

Wow, I wish I could award a ton of "Best Bakers" awards. The entries for the Catered Crop Follow-the-Recipe #7 were full of sweet Spring goodness. It was so much fun to host such fabulous eye candy.

Congratulations to Dorcas Perkins of Dorcas Designs. Her tissue box has us looking forward to thinking outside the box about making a box.





I hope you can see all the details and special touches Dorcas put in her tissue box: paper piecing and paper piercing, soft coloring, that lovely sky, three layers of papers in her panels, her handmade crocheted flower, and that amazing machine stitching. It's just gorgeous! Thank you for sharing it with us, Dorcas.

Playing with us at the Catered Crop "Follow-the-Recipe" linking party is easy-peasy! Use any of the ingredients (themes, colors, techniques, shapes, etc.)  in Dorcas 's recipe to make your project. You don't have to use the same brand names, use all the ingredients or even make a tissue box. Just pick a few ingredients and then add your own spices to cook up something uniquely yours. Then, just add your project using the InLinz (froggy) button below and join the party. Keep the party going by clicking on some of the other entries and leaving a comment or two.

Here's your FTR8 recipe.

  • Pattern Paper – Stripes and mini print
  • Colors – Blue, Green and Brown
  • Stamps – Children, Kittens
  • Color Mediums – Prismacolors
  • Embellishments – pearls, buttons, ribbon, flowers
  • Tools – Border punches, die cuts
  • Techniques – sewing, paper piecing, paper piercing, tissue box (or other paper boxes), coloring sky with Prismacolors, crochet flower
  • Theme – Spring, Childhood
  • Shapes – Circles, ovals, scallops
  • Miscellaneous – Tissues 😉

Notice all the hyperlinks in the recipe? Yes, we have the tools! Dorcas provided links to all these techniques to help make following her recipe easier. I'll be back, too, with some ideas for other paper boxes.

Be sure to list your recipe or tell us what ingredient you used from the sample recipe. Don't forget to link back to this post or include the "I Followed the Recipe" button on your blog (see the side bar to the right). 

Paper Garden Projects is absolutely one of my favorite on-line go-to for paper craft supplies. Catherine's goal for the store is to provide high quality, unique papercrafting supplies and kits along with plenty of samples and inspiration. She stocks it with the things she loves and just added her own digital stamps. She's got Copics, stamps (Penny Black, Impression Obsession, Kraftin' Kimmie . . .), paper (Cosmo Cricket, October Afternoon . . .) and way too much more to list here. Her customer service is the best in the industry – no pre-ordering, back-ordering and no waiting. The first item I ever bought from her was a Copic Spica pen. It came within just a few days with a handwritten note on the receipt telling me how to store the pen for long use. Wow! Be sure to check out her blog for her Fourth Friday challenge, and, if you look real close, you might see some of my creations on there from my days on her design team.

While you're checking out all the yummy goodies at Paper Garden Projects, be thinking about what you might do with a $20 gift certificate from Paper Garden Projects. Yep, one randomly picked winner will get to go shopping!


Just click on the link below to join the Catered Crop Linking Party. You have until Thursday, March 31, 8:00 PM CST. Swing back by here next Sunday when our Catered Crop Top Chefs will have their culinary delights to show you using Dorcas's recipe.


Official Snow Taster

The fire is slowly dying, and, my dear, we're still good-bying,
But as long as you love me so, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
            ~ Sammy Cahn, 1945



We have a lot of crazy traditions in the McClain house. One of them is saving snow. Yep, we get snow so seldom in Central Texas that we get pretty excited about it. We always save a sample of the last snowfall in our freezer in a small Tupperware container marked with the date. Unfortunately, our last snow sample didn't survive our move this past summer, so . . . we're anxiously waiting for the next snowfall to restock our snow supply.


I found these great Impression Obsession "Shake It Pouches" at my favorite local stamp store, Stamp Solado. It works like the Stampin' Up! Sweet Treat Cups, but is bigger and a little flatter. I have just a little hint if you use either product. The adhesive on the cups/pouches is not strong enough to keep the glitter in the pouch. So, just add a little crystal lacquer or other clear-drying liquid adhesive to the back of the pouch to give it a stronger bond.

This week's Sweet Sunday Sketch, SSSC94 was a perfect fit.


If you're looking for some great challenges, the Just Us Girls challenge, JUGS61, is encouraging us to add 3D embellishments and One Stop Craft Challenge #108 asks us to use our Christmas Cuties.

Here's the rest of the recipe along with the Copic Markers.

  • Fibers: Stampin' Up! Striped Grossgrain
  • Ink – Memento Tuxedo Black, Tim Holtz Disgress Ink (Fired Brick), Versamark, Stampin' Up! Basic Black Craft Ink, Copic  markers (see below).
  • Paper – Neenah, Stampin' Up! Naturals Vanilla and Riding Hood Red, Cosmo Cricket Mitten Weather paper pack.
  • Stamp: Eat Cake Graphics Official Snow Taster cling stamp set.
  • Tools: .Nestabilities, Cuttlebug Embossing Folder (Dotted Swiss)
  • Embellishment: Impression Obsession Shake It Pouch, Snow Sparkle Glitter, crystal lacquer
  • Misc.:  Ranger Distress Powder (Fired Brick); Stampin' Up! Stampin' Pastels (Prettin in Pink), Super Fine Black Embossing Powder



Stay warm, everyone. And – Let it Snow!