Cards from Cards

A.k.a. FREE Love Notes...a.k.a. A Frugal Scrapbookers Dream...a.k.a. Beat That, Hallmark...whatever you wanna call it, this here's a post about what I concocted last week during my painting-while-I'm-pregnant-need-to-sit-down breaks.  First of all, let me explain my situation/thoughts.  If you're anything like me, you have a shin-dig (birthday, wedding, baby shower, etc...), you get all these pretty, heartfelt cards, and you save them to write heartfelt thank yous back to their authors, then tuck them away because if you throw them away, what with all their lovely words and encouragement, you'll feel like a bad person.  (Keep in mind I'm not saying you are a bad person if you throw them away, I just feel like I can't...maybe it's just me.)  So then you find yourself in a situation like this...
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…and you have all these great cards taking up space that could be used for other things.  By the way, I still have every single wedding card (the majority of the pile shown above) we received taking up half of one dresser drawer.  Now, in another part of that same dresser drawer I have a stack of postcard-style cards with envelopes that I scored from Target for like $2 or something a year ago. 
mar302012 002 I’ve used them here and there but really haven’t used them to their full potential…until now.  My thought, while looking from one pile to the other, was “Hey, why not use each baby shower card to make a custom thank you card for the person who gave it?  That way, our thank yous will not only be cute and one-of-a-kind, but I’ll have the peace of mind that I didn’t simply throw away each persons affections AND it’ll allow me to get out some of this creative tension building up inside AND it'll be free AND it’ll be more cherished by the receiver (if they even realize I used their card to make their thank you).”  :) 

So in between sanding sessions and waiting for coats of primer or paint to dry courtesy of our mini kitchen remodel, I sat my rear down and played with paper.  Here’s a basic run down of what I did:

First, I grabbed a card.
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Then I cut out anything I liked that could be used to construct another card – words, blank parts of paper, designs, and pictures.
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Last, I grabbed a blank postcard (pink, purple, or yellow for this project) and created away.  Using this particular card, here’s what I came up with:
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That’s it.  That’s all it took – a little time and effort and some supplies I had laying around.  Wanna see more?  I didn’t take before shots of each card but I definitely took afters so that I could remember and use each design for inspiration in the future. 
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I didn’t buy a single thing to make these cards, just used stuff I had laying around – a decorative corner punch, scissors, glue, a silver sharpie, and some random things like the top to my lotion bottle used as a circle stencil.  As for some of the geometric patterns, I just free-handed them first using a pencil (in case I messed up) and then traced over them with the sharpie.  All of the shapes I used were free-handed onto scrap card stock and then traced…and then saved to use in the future. 
  After all was said, done, and mailed, I had these pieces leftover to use for future cards:mar302012 036

I also re-used an almost empty card organizing box I’ve had for years to store my new-found hobby:mar302012 039
I’ll sort pieces of cut-up cards I can reuse based on what category they fit into here.  As for the unusable remains of the cards I mutilated, they’re now laying in our paper recycling bin and I’ve got less paper clutter – both of which score me at least 10 points.  :)

Needless to say, I probably won’t ever spend money on a card again, unless I’m in the market for a sound-making one or something.  I even found a pack of 50 white, blank, single-fold cards for about $17 at Target with which I plan to make everything from birthday cards to sympathy cards using our stockpile of received cards yet to be “reinvented”.  Such fun!  I’m sure I’m not the only one to hatch this crazy plan – anyone else into becoming Edward Scissorhands with used cards?  Do tell!  I have a long life of card making ahead and more ideas I will need.  :)

Oh yes, and by the way, the kitchen?  Painted.  Show-and-tell next week.  :)

Tulle-ing Around

If you've been a Bean In Love reader for awhile, you might remember when my sis and I made her mantilla veil.  On the blog front, that post has actually been one of the most popular.  Recently, I received a request asking to detail the "step-by-complicated-step" process on how we cut the tulle.  So, there's no time like the present to write a post about it and no time like now considering I probably should have explained myself awhile ago.  Anywho, meet my subject:

A piece of computer paper stepping in for a piece of tulle today.  This is actually how the seamstress at the bridal shop we inquired at instructed us to cut the tulle - a little piece of processed tree.  :)  If you are cutting your own tulle following this tutorial, I'd recommend practicing on a piece of paper first, that way, you'll have a guide of your own.

When you arrive at home with your tulle and lay it out - preferably on a large, flat, clean surface (we used the floor), it should just look like a big rectangle.  Before you start cutting out the rounded shape that will be your veil, you need to cut the tulle to your desired length.  For example, my sister is about 5'6", so we cut hers at 8 feet.  Tip:  Put your wedding dress on and hold the top of the tulle to the desired place on the top of your head, then make a mark on the tulle at the point you'd like it cut - my sister wanted hers a couple of feet longer than her dress' train.  So, after this step, you should once again have a large rectangle.  Side notes:  1)  If you had it cut at your desired length at the fabric store, there's no need for this step and 2)  we left the tulle the width it came, if you'd like it narrower, you'll also have to cut down the long way.

And now we get to the possibly complicated part...I'll try my best to show you exactly how to cut.  First, fold the tulle/paper in half longways (along the dotted line) like so:

Then, fold it again (along the dotted line) so that the bottom meets perfectly with the side (you should now have a triangle):

(Realized after posting this pic that my wedding ring is still sitting in the tray by my sink after I took it off to paint yesterday...oops!)

Now comes the critical part - cutting.  To get a perfectly rounded bottom, you'll need to cut a slight curve from the top right edge of the triangle to a point about 1/4 of the way up the left (angled) side of the paper/tulle.

The hard part is over!  Unfold your tulle/paper and you should have this goin' on:

The reason I emphasize cutting a slight curve is because if you cut anymore than that, you'll get this shape at the bottom of your veil:

Cute shape, not so cute for a veil.

However, if you don't cut enough of a curve, you'll get sharp edges and a rounded square, in which case, just go back and cut a little more. 

Unfortunately it's hard to give approximate measurements on how far up you should cut since I don't have an actual piece of veil tulle in front of me nor did my sister and I measure.  The best advice I can give is to cut a little and then cut more if, after unfolding your cut veil, you'd like more of a curve (in which case you'd need to go through the folding process again, no biggie though).

So, after following those steps, you should have a rounded bottom.  Now we move up to the top rectangle.  In order to get that cascading look down the front, you'll need to round the upper two corners so...

First, fold in half (longways again):

Then cut off those corners:

If you've stuck with it and followed these steps and your tulle/paper looks like this, then well done!

Onto attaching the comb.  For my sister's veil, we gathered a small section of tulle at the top in order to attach the comb.  The red pen shows what I mean:

On my veil, the entire top width was gathered (using a basting stitch - which is just a very wide, straight stitch - usually temporary but in this case, permanent) and then attached to the comb.  For a mantilla veil, you want part of the top edge of the veil to fall on each side of the face and upper body, then flow into the rounded corners, and cascade down.  Make sense?  I hope so...

So, after you've attached the tulle to your comb (we just hand stitched that baby on there with strong, clear thread), it's time to attach the lace.  My only recommendation regarding the lace is to have the ends meet in an inconspicuous spot, like the side of the veil where it cascades, and therefore 'hides' the ends. 

 As far as attaching the lace, we simply used a basting stitch and clear thread and it worked like a glue required.

If you've got the time (and good family/friends to help), it's so worth trying to make your own veil.  The mantilla veil my sister wanted at a bridal shop was priced at $750 (not including tax!) and for under $100 (85 beans to be exact) we made our own and, in my own honest opinion, it looked just as good and is fully loaded with lots of love, sisterly bonding, and great memories.  I hope this tutorial helps anyone who's up for the well-worth-it challenge.  Of course, feel free to email me at with any questions and/or pictures of your creations!  Happy cutting, sewing, and wedding planning! 

Farrah and Patrick's wedding pictures were taken by the incredible Sean Lata.  :)

Twins: 22 Weeks

(Sorry for the subpar photo...we are working on getting our nickels and pennies together to purchase for ourselves an slr camera.  Hopefully we'll have one before I look like I swallowed an elephant so that you can see just how big those two girls are getting.)

Yes siree folks...22 weeks.  Time is flying...and so are the eight little limbs inside me.  It's funny to get kicked way down below the bellybutton, at the bellybutton, and way up under my upper right abs all at the same time...particularly at night...please moms out there, tell me that the active moments of baby under zee skin don't translate into future active moments outside of zee skin.  If unfortunately so, I'll be up nights and sleeping days...which I know is already bound to happen anyway.  When I informed Anthony of my concern this morning, he simply said "well, if that's the case, you just have to keep them up during the day so they sleep at night".  Great!  It's easy as pie then!  ;)

Real Time

As I type, literally it's 10:13 am and I've just rolled out of bed.  Gotta love Saturdays. However, I must say I don't usually sleep in this long.  Insomniac-for-some-reason me and both of the twins, kicking away, were up until 2 am last night.  I tried and tried to fall asleep but in the end, my eyes were wide and I started hunting down fabrics for the nursery online.  Fun stuff I'll share another Saturday for sure.  So anyway,  I'm sitting at our kitchen table which is full of a conglomeration of things taken from underneath the being-painted kitchen cabinets, eating a huge bowl of CTC (Cinnamon Toast Crunch that is) and gearing myself to paint on this sun shiny, gorgeous day.  When I turn around, this is exactly what I see:
If all goes well, they'll get completely painted today and we can start on the backsplash next week.  I know you can't actually hear my excitement but it's taken me WAY too long to get this finished, being prego and all, and so I'm elated that it's almost done and I won't have to do anymore major painting until after the girls are born.  After it's done I can work on little projects like the picture collage going up on the wall to the left in the above picture and possibly diy-ing a rug, not to mention blowing the dust off my sewing machine and getting my maternity sew party on.  

Welp, it's now 10:25 and I'm due for a teeth-brushing and a paintbrush is calling my name so adios people!  I will be back this week with the 22 weekers photo and next weekend with a side project I've been working on slowly for the past two weeks (in between sanding and painting) that I'm so very excited to share!  It involves lots of pretty paper, glue, and scissors and you won't want to miss it if you're at all in to being crafty!  

Twins: 21 Weeks

I'm feeling pretty darn good as my abs have either become used to stretching, stretching, stretching and/or the baby girl's head that was underneath them has moved to allow mommy relief.  :)
However, despite exercising and eating, eating, eating, I'm always tired.  It's probably due mostly in part to the fact that comfortable sleeping positions are playing hide-and-seek with me and my dreams are extra spicy these days (as in the acid reflux that plagues me is somehow tainting my dreams), not to mention that fact that I have two children usurping all of my energy, which I gladly give.

Anyway, my rear has taken up residence this morning on our comfy couch, right where it moved after a lone breakfast at the table before which it was in bed, so I'm feeling like maybe I should get up and movin' on the kitchen...priming today.  Not to mention the fact that the only thing on basic cable at the moment are those dumb judge shows that make you wanna bash your head into the wall thinking "are people really this dumb?" and the we're-gonna-show-pictures-of-sad-looking-animals-that-need-help-please-send-us-money commercials, which I totally respect, but feel like maybe there are babies at the risk of being torn out of the their mothers wombs right now that I should be more concerned about.  But, before I go off on a long tangent I'll leave you with a must-read guest post link from Grace's blog about NFP (Natural Family Planning).  Kick out those pre-concieved notions (or find out what it is) and read is awesome.  :) 

Have a good one!


Well, it's taking what feels like months and months (yet only weeks and weeks) but last night we finally finished putting up the doors to the newly painted, upper right side of the kitchen.  It's really looking so good and that looking good part is the sole motivation right now for me to sit on my pregnant bum and start sanding down the entire lower half of the     

I know I've unloaded our plans about the void above the stove in the past but just because it was probably months ago, here they are again.  First, here's what used to be:
Here's what is now, after Anthony took out the vent hood (craigslisting shortly), removed the cabinet doors, took out the bottom shelf of the cabinet, and of course after I painted every part that will show once it's donzo:
Our cabinets, put in in the 80's, were actually built in place so there wasn't a whole cabinet to just unscrew and remove.  The sides of the cabinet that was were also the sides of the two cabinets on either side and the shelf was made from a sturdy piece of wood that was wedged in and rested on two routed out ledges.  Our lives would probably be a little less crazy if all we had to do was take out an old cabinet and rebuild it to the new dimensions but cest la vie.  Because of this whole scenario, here's what we're doing instead of simply putting in a new cabinet (thanks to and my mean photo-altering skillz):
What you will see is a new shelf installed that will support the new above-the-range microwave (currently sitting on the floor in the twin's future nursery), and then an open space above where I plan to store cookbooks and some decor and maybe even add a little touch light for ambiance...because who doesn't want a little mood lighting above their stove, right?...

So anyway, that's the plan Stan.  As I sit here, all comfy and cozy on the couch, my dearest is working on the shelf and I feel the urge to help so up I go.  I hope to have an entire, newly painted kitchen to show you next week...but don't hold your breath.  Pregnancy has turned me from the hare I used to be to zee turtle.  However, I WILL have progress to show at least!  Stay tuned!

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P.S.  I had my first dream about birthing the twins last night.  I was in my current state of progression - 21 weeks - and they were born via a form of c-section called a reversal (of course I totally made that up while dreaming...which is actually pretty impressive), I felt incredibly normal and pain-free after, and, the kicker, they were the size of five month olds, dressed in pink, and with as much dark brown, curly hair as their daddy I crazy in wishing maybe this could be real?  :)