Author Archives: Elizabeth Kartchner

Happy Desk

Nothing too exciting… Just spending some time at my desk today to catch up on worky stuff since I was gone last week in Mexico. The price you pay for a week in paradise.

Good thing my desk is a happy place with some new additions. Wood stapler, tape holder, tickets, books: Present & Correct in the UK.
Brown paper packages tied up with string… The bottom image is a little gift I wrapped up for my brother. I added wood cameras to the string and washi tape.

I get all my WASHI TAPE from: Two Peas 
Love all the wood veneer shapes from Studio Calico: Two Peas 

PS Another CHA is just around the corner. I cannot wait to share my newest Dear Lizzy craft collection and new book. Thanks for reading this blog. Group hug!

Hola!!! a vacation recap

Pull up a chair and maybe even pour a bowl of cereal or better yet a pina colada because it’s a long one…!
We survived the flights with our 3 dramatic darlings and had a blast in Cancun! An all-inclusive resort is the way to go because once you get there your schedule looks like this: wake up, eat, swim, eat, beach, eat, swim, eat, eat, sleep, eat. I even think when we weren’t eating we were thinking about when or what we will eat next. Seriously I might as well have hooked up the guacamole to an IV or used a straw… it was sooooo good. We were quite spoiled that I literally didn’t know what to do this morning when it was breakfast.  ; )

Some of my favorite moments: the mariachi band, the waving parrots, the hurricane rainstorm, smash ball on the beach, late night talks in Charity’s room, Fanta, ice cream cones all day, cousins, Avery singing, crepes. The girls learned to hold their breath underwater!
The nice lady who saw my panicked face as we were boarded for a long flight and our seats were literally in 4 different rows—offered her family’s four seats to our family. I literally started crying it was so kind!
And another one of my favorite moments was going through security and Quincey was fussy and wanted me to hold her, to which I reply, “I’ll hold you in a minute, baby.” The officer checking our passport couldn’t see Quincey standing below and asks… “Excuse me?” Me:”Oh, I was talking to my daughter right here.” haha… almost peed my pants trying not to laugh.

This glorious trip was to celebrate Collin’s dad’s recent marriage and it was awesome to spend time with our family who live across the country!
I only took my big girl camera out for one day and wanted to share some photos that caught my eye.

Probably thinking about eating more sand… yuck.

 

Probably my favorite shot. Leaving the beach for the last time.

Love a good photo bomb! Thanks Tim!

Drama.

On our way home.

Can’t wait to jump into a mini album tomorrow with these pics! That’s right people you heard correct. ; )

10+ bonus points for making it to the end!! xo, Lizzy

Favorite Camera Gear

As I was getting my cameras ready for our trip to Mexico… (Yes, as you read this I will be sipping pina coladas and sitting by the beach… not to rub it in ; ) But I want to share a long over due post about my favorite camera gear and what’s in my camera bag. Since a common question is what camera and lens I use.
I shoot with the Canon 5D Mark 2 and I really love it. I’ve yet to name it but it’s definitely my pet. Over the years I’ve upgraded my cameras to that one. If you are a beginner I would suggest getting a Canon Rebel or the equivalent in Nikon. Then as you learn and are ready to upgrade you can sell it and get a step up. That’s what I did. I started with the Rebel, then upgraded to the 50D then sold both of those and got the 5D. I also really like the 30D and the 7D cameras.
(Camera bag c/0 Jo Totes)

My favorite lenses are:
Canon 35mm 2.0: A great lens for the price. I travel with this one and used it everyday before I upgraded to the Sigma. It’s a light weight, fixed lens and since it’s a 35mm you can get in close on your subject. I love getting in on the action. Use for portraits and macro shots.
Canon 24-70mm: A great, versatile zoom lens. Perfect for a setting where you need to zoom in and out quickly and want to get more of a wide angle shot of your setting. It’s a bit heavy but produces beautiful shots.
Sigma 50mm 1.4: An incredible portrait lens! It is fixed at 50mm so you are not able to zoom in or out. Great for portraits, sharp and goes down to 1.4 in the aperature setting which produces great macro shots. I use this very frequently.
Diana Super Wide Angle: This is a toy lens that I bought to mess around with. It’s pretty cool but I am not super impressed with it yet. It’s fun because there isn’t much to it and it produces an instant dreamy effect.

 

My second favorite camera is the Fuji Film Instax Mini. I’ve had it for a few years now and I love it! It’s instant gratification at its best! I am not the best at printing out photos so when a photo appears in minutes, I love it! The photos are the size of a credit card, and probably cost about .75-1.00 depending on where you buy your film. Sometimes the subject your are photographing may show up off center on the photo but I think that adds to the fun. Fuji Film also makes another version of Instax. It’s Instax 210 wide and the pictures are twice the size of the Mini pictured here. I want to get that one next.


You can also purchase a creative filter and lens kit set that comes with colored filters, glass shapes filters, ombre colored filters that jazz up your photos.

 

 

I have a couple toy film cameras that are very fun to shoot with. I took the white glitter Lomography on our trip to California and since it’s film the first thing I did when I woke up the next morning from our trip was develop the pictures. Seriously, it was so fun to see what we captured and especially to have the physical pictures in my hands instead of sitting on my computer.
The other cutie is a Golden Half. It’s a film camera that I recently purchased for this trip and am excited to see the results. What’s cool about it? Well, it takes a photo in half the frame and then pairs it with the next photo in the same frame. You get two photos in one. I’m going to experiment taking photos together to tell a story and see what happens when I don’t think about it and how the photos turn out. It also comes in some other cool designs.

(I mentioned this camera above.) This particular camera is a fisheye lens. It gives you an ultra wide angle and distorts the edges of the photo to achieve this artistic look.

 

It was a sad day years ago when polaroid enthusiasts heard that Polaroid wasn’t going to make film anymore. But in 2008 The Impossible Project saved the last polaroid production plant for instant film and started making new film for polaroid cameras. How incredible is that? I need to order some film, since I’ve been talking about doing just that for months!

 

The cameras I decided on taking for my trip. Of course that will include my phone… for the love of Instagram.
Golden Half//Lomography Fisheye//Instax Mini// Iphone 4

This is Collin’s fun, little toy for our trip. You probably cannot tell the proportions from the photo but this camera is tiny! It’s called GO PRO and is a still photo and video camera. It’s in a waterproof casing and you can buy all sort of attachments. The one on the right is a suction cup that we stuck to our car during a road trip and even though we were scared it would fall off and die on I-15 somewhere it didn’t even budge. The cool thing about this little guy is that you don’t worry about lighting, manual settings, shutter speeds etc there’s one setting and you just have fun messing around with framing, angles, compositions instead. A very discrete, cool camera.

 

 

DIY: Fringe Banners

A quick how-to for one of my favorite party decor ideas… FRINGE! All you need is a rotary blade and any paper or supplies for the banners.
I used plastic table cloths for Avery’s Birthday party, mixed in with some gold tissue paper.

Cut to desired height and make sure you fold it in half, keep the fold at the top.
Cut it to the desired height then use a cutting mat to know how far you are spacing the fringe. (Loving my new cutting mat from American Crafts!)
I spaced out my fringe to about 1/4″ and left about 1/2″ from the top.

If you make one out of tissue paper follow the steps above then to lengthen the banner I sew all the pieces together along the top.


Another one of my glitter word banners. For those of you who emailed me requesting one–I will email you next week after my trip!!! I apologize if that is too late and I missed your party! xo

I must be having party withdrawls from the back-to-back birthdays so I added a little festive Be Nice banner. Seriously, maybe my kids are bored with it being summer and school is out but my two oldest girlies have been really quick to hit or not share. This was the appropriate saying for the occasion.

Actually a nice reminder to all of us. ; )

 

 

Fairy Birthday Party

Running around in wings with your face painted must be pretty magical. And hearing her say, “this is the best birthday ever” sealed the deal. Although I did have to force her to wear her birthday dress and bribe her with cake!
A couple days before her birthday we decided to do a fairy birthday theme… This meant running a few errands one night getting most of the stuff at Zurchers and Hobby Lobby. It was a pretty simple party with a few fun details.

Punched butterflies with my Neapolitan collection paper and cut two slits in the center of the butterfly and attached to the straws
Jars with Pixie Dust and candies
Donut Holes with sticks and punched papers with butterflies
Magic Wands aka suckers
Cake from Piece of Cake
Collin cut the grass and I made flowers from crepe paper.
Tiny fairys on toothpicks: Meri Meri Fairy Magic 

 

I’m having way to much fun with designing the cakes for these littles’ parties. For this one I decided on ruffles, flowers and ombre pink cakes inside. Pretty dang girlie!

One of the highlights of the party was having a face painter come. A couple nights before the party mentioned the idea and so I google searched local face painters and was so happy to find someone. She was great and it was awesome to watch her paint butterflies, tigers… and a sunset on Collin’s forehead.

When Quincey woke up the next morning the first thing she sleepily asked, “where’s my face?” Cracking a smile I told her it’s still there… all smudged from sleeping. She fell asleep while our family was still over on the couch and so we didn’t wash her face off yet. Her dreams were sure to be magical that night.
The picture below makes me laugh every time I look at it. Her first look at her wings.

My darling fairy niece.

 

A stack of donuts and tiny fairy: Meri Meri Fairy Magic

There was a kids’ craft but my sister laughed because we never get around to making those… another day I guess.
Birthday party madness is the best! Thanks all of my family who came. Love you all!

 

 

Some Instagrams of the day.

Stolen Instagrams from my familiy:

xoxo, Lizzy

Some of my Dear Lizzy collection I used:

 

Hello, Hello

Hello hello. Wow, I’ve missed all your cute faces!

The last few months I really needed to realign my life in a way that incorporated more things I enjoy. Things that were pushed aside because life was busy. For instance, I actually read a book last week!!! With words and chapters and not just pictures. haha! I also haven’t eaten sugar for like 2 weeks. gasp! Seriously? What has become of me? This is coming from the girl who would eat a bag of sour watermelon candies for breakfast and finish off that pan of brownies for lunch. I plated a garden including tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, rapberries, watermelon. Carrots and peas I planted from seeds and they are growing-it’s a miracle. Let’s see if they survive my black thumb. I’ve also been going to the gym almost everyday. It has babysitting and my computer sadly doesn’t… 😉 But I am definitely feeling refreshed & inspired! Not to mention itching to make something with paper.

I’m grateful for the last few weeks where I stepped back and refocused. I was feeling detached from my own life. I was feeling claustrophobic with stuff to do. I wasn’t feeling myself so I didn’t feel like my blog was real. I have so many things in my mind I want to do and make… like video tutorials and fun posts but I didn’t have the time to do it so I didn’t want to blog about the same old thing. And then I realized how much I enjoy posting to Instagram and it’s exactly that… the same old thing. There’s something about the spontaneity of capturing our ordinary life that inspires me. So I hope you don’t mind if I share my favorite pics…

 

Having barely recovered from Avery’s party to-do list last week then Quincey’s birthday is today!!!! It’s party mode full speed ahead. Last night Collin helped me hang decorations and after morning cuddles Quincey ran out to the living room and was giddy knowing that all the hoopla was for her. “It’s very perfect!” She yelled so loud even the neighbors could hear. Collin thought it was important to make sure her day was just as special as Avery’s last week… even though it’s a lot of work… and I totally agree!! Especially with 3 girls I am constantly making sure that I am fair with how I treat them.

Happy Birthday Quincey Rose!!
Seriously, this girl is quite the character… She’s such a bright light in our days!

① It’s important to accessorize.
② Her cake today! Q literally gasped when she saw it. I drove 2 miles per hour all the way home… so freaked out it was going to tip over.
③ Being exceptionally lazy last Sunday on our new trampoline.
④ Morning hours with her are my favorite. She’s so harmless as she wakes up.

 


① Please tell me what she does in her sleep to accomplish such amazing hair?!
② Playing on a swing after a photo shoot with me for my new book. I only braved bringing one child.
③ This no sugar game I’m playing sucks when you are making cupcakes for someone’s birthday.
④ My favorite part of Quincey’s graduation was when she picked a booger then ate it. #proudmoment

 

⑤ Collar Love
⑥ Passport photos for our trip next week. It was quite the challenge to get one shot stinking shot.
⑦ Greek yogurt, agave, and blueberries. #ineedacookie
⑧ My grandma’s vintage heels were apparently the right shoe of choice for an arena football game.

PS Are you on Instagram? Let’s connect. My username is @dearlizzy

xoxo, Lizzy

Birthday Party Pow-wow

Thanks for your emails, messages and reaching out to me during my blogging hiatus! I’ll share more thoughts soon but I just needed a break after working on my next Dear Lizzy collection and a book. I sure missed you!  xoxo, Lizzy


A Birthday party pow-wow came about for one reason. I wanted to make a tee-pee! Avery was thrilled for the idea because one of her favorite movies is Peter Pan and she insisted on being Tiger Lily & she knew there would be cake involved.
Here are some of the details:
-Chocolate dipped huge marshmallows topped with rock candy (nerds), gold rock sprinkles, grated cookies etc
-Jars with diecut lids and striped straws
-An arrangement of mini succulents each in a pot then in an wood Ikea candle holder
-Felt Fox stuffed toys for favors
-Made my own arrows with wood, washi tape, and felt
-A pretty plant from Home Depot. The leaves reminded me of feathers.
-Burlap Tablecloth
-Dip dyed bags with favors

ARROW CUPCAKES

PARTY HATS FOR INDIAN FRIENDS

 

THE CAKE: was my favorite part! I found a local cake extraordinaire and I told her what I wanted. Chevron stripes, flowers and make even a fox somewhere. It turned out amazing. It’s called Piece of Cake. Do you like the little pokes in the frosting from anxious, drooling indians?

RIBBON WANDS:

PARTY HEADDRESS & FRINGE

FELT FOX FAVORS AND SUCCULENTS

 

What I used to display the Roasted Marshmallows (chocolate dipped mallows) A canister that I spray painted and filled with white beans. Wrapped with fabric and added a diecut feather from Silhouette and a real feather with yarn. You can also see the diecut jar lids and straws.

Her headdress was so fun!
I cut a piece of felt. Sewed some vintage lace at the top and elastic in the back. Put washi tape around some pasta noodles and some string. Added feathers inside the noodles and along the felt.

Yesterday

Mother’s Day was quite eventful this year with this blondie falling out of our tree, that they love to climb, and cutting her head open. I was inside and you know how head’s bleed a lot? Well, my sister approaches me, “don’t freak out… quincey’s okay… she’s fine… she got hurt… and we need lots of paper towels.”  : ) Despite the warning I still freaked out. But she is fine and one tough cookie.
Also Lola has some sort of rash that looks like chicken pox so we are off to the doctor’s office today. Oh, and last week Quincey broke a bracelet while he were driving and put one of the beads up her nose. My life would be pretty boring without kids. ; )

 

 

 

Someone’s excited about Mother’s Day!

Each year I’ve been a mother Collin has given me a corsage to wear. Even when he ran to the store at almost midnight cause he’d forgotten to get one.

 

 

 

Hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day!! xo, Lizzy

PS Finalllllllyy my Dear Lizzy roller stamp is back in stock:

 

 

Dear Lizzy Giveaway// Blowfish Shoes

As we drove through Death Valley on our way to California it was unexpectedly raining! The clouds were amazing and so we couldn’t resist stopping while the kids happily watched Chipmunks to take some pics with Joshua and me.
These are not my typical road trippin shoes but seeing that my box from Blowfish arrived as we were running out the door they somehow ended up on my feet. They actually are really comfy since they are made out of this cool textured fabric. 
   
Blowfish wants to giveaway a pair of shoes to one of you!!!! I am loving the chunky wedges and heels released with their recent collection and check out their darling flats. 
Leave a comment to win a pair of shoes from Blowfish. Whichever style suits your fancy! There’s something for everyone.

Extra comments for Facebook//Twitter//and Pinning the giveaway.
Photobucket
 

Paper Pretties

Some of my favorite paper pretties that have caught my eye and that I want to make or make something with!

When I launched our Something Splendid site I made a few custom wood handle stamps to use with our packaging. They are my favorite and I am itching to make some more… or pick up some of Ann Marie’s Wood Stamps!! Love her clever sayings! I have that song stuck in my head now…! (I know what you are thinking? What’s with all the exclamation points? I guess stamps with lyrics from my favorite hip hop song in ’95 will do that to me. ; ) Also pictured some of my Dear Lizzy vellum. Cute cute.

Make your own decor with paper lanterns and paper circles. Since I have two birthday parties in the next mont this project is definitely on my list to-do. Via Martha Stewart  Don’t you love a project where you think, I can do that!!

 

Such a darling and simple project! I am loving the unique ways to dress up some twinkle lights. Via Hey Gorgeous