Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Taylored Expressions June Studio Challenge

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to the monthly Baker’s Dozen Studio Challenge from Taylored Expressions! This is a monthly opportunity for the Taylored Expressions team to share what makes our stamping studios hum. Each month we have a fun crafty question so we can share our favorites, some tips and tricks, stamping advice and more!

The question for June is:

What's on your summer reading list?  Are you a big reader or not?  If you are, what books have you read lately that you would recommend?  Do you have a favorite author or genre? How about something for sitting out by the pool, or the beach, or even just the backyard...some nice light summer reading? 
Do you use fancy bookmarks or do you dog-ear your pages?  Or, do you use an e-reader? Everyone can use bookmarks and they make great favors and gifts.  Let's see a little inspiration!

Growing up, I have always loved to read - especially during the summer! I remember going to the library and seeing the summer reading challenge and getting so excited! I would get 20 books at a time and set them in a corner of my room on a green chair and start reading in the morning and go into the night - only stopping to eat (as I was reading) and to play soccer in the evening with my friends on the block :) 

There is something just magical to me about getting lost in the story of a book and its still amazes me how you can be reading a book and suddenly start laughing out loud, or crying, or hold the book so tightly in sheer terror - just by reading some words put together so magically by the author! Books truly transport you to another realm and I always feel disoriented after I am done with one. I was excited by this studio challenge because I love books and wanted to make some bookmarks for my family :) We are on a reading challenge!

Our family's reading challenge:

So a few months ago my 8 year old kept pestering me and pestering me for his own iPod. Ummm.... hello, I would say to him - You are only 8. You still forget parts of your uniform at school, you are still learning to read and write, you can barely remember where you threw your soccer jersey after you came home from the game - umm... no you are not getting an iPod because your 8. 

And because you should be reading books and playing outside and getting muddy and catching frogs and lying on the grass watching the clouds roll by and pestering me to take you to the pool and riding your bike with the wind in your hair and making forts and because you are 8. And 8 year olds need iPods of their own like …hmmmm…. To quote U2... like a fish needs a bicycle.

One thing that an 8 year old has is persistence - and he kept pestering and hounding me over and over .... and I would roll my eyes over and over - until i thought that my eyeballs would be permanently stuck to the top of my skull - and I caved.... kind of ;) !

My challenge to him was this... Ok, I will buy you your own iPod if you will do the following - keep your room tidy (at the end of the day nothing on the floor, bed has been made) and after you read 200 books on your own. Mom approved books. Not books that you can finish in 2 minutes and have 15 pages in them. And he agreed jumping up and down in sheer happiness! I don't think he understands what a mom approved book will look like ;) - and with his reading level and 200 mom approved books - I am thinking it will be a couple of years before he will actually hold an iPod of his own in his hands :) 

So wanting to be fair, I told him that I would join him and read 200 books myself - and he can approve them - he was so excited to approve something that I do - and we challenged his father, my DH, to read 1 book this summer. That's right you heard right - just read one book. Not 200 books like us... just read 1 book! He is not a book reader - more like an online surfer... and he has accepted the challenge and has a book sitting by the night stand in the bedroom that I am hoping he will finish in this lifetime :)

So today's challenge was so perfect! I made a set of 4 bookmarks - one for each person in our family as we join this challenge (our 6 year old is also joining in by trying to read 20 board books this summer). Here is my set of 4 bookmarks made using the Mark Your Spot Bookmark Die from Taylored Expressions with the stamp set Mark Your Spot:
Card Ingredients:
StampsMark Your Spot from Taylored Expressions
Inks: Memento Tuxedo Black and Ladybug Red
Paper: Choice Snow White card stock from Taylored Expressions and DP scraps for the hill
AccessoriesMark Your Spot Bookmark Die and Cloud Border die Taylored Expressions, eyelet, ribbon, copics, sponger and dimensionals

Here is a closer peek at one of the bookmarks that has my favorite quote from Dr. Seuss: "The more you read, the more things you will know, the more you learn, the places you will go." Oh, Dr. Seuss - you are so right and awesome!! 

I made a set of these bookmarks only changing a few things - the color of the car and the paper pieced hills:
And did the same in the second set of bookmarks - changed the paper pieced hills and the color of the arrows:

For all of the bookmarks:
1. I die cut the bookmarks with the Mark Your Spot Bookmark Die from Taylored Expressions
2. Sponged clouds using the Cloud Border die from Taylored Expressions
3. Stamped the sentiment ontop of the clouds
4. Colored in the hills with copics as well as paper piecing them
5. Popped up the car with dimensionals not the bottom left corner

Tips and Tricks
The only tip that I have in making the bookmarks is to do one thing 4 times - so cut out all the bookmarks at the same time, stamp and color and 4 hills at the same time, stamp, cut and color the car all at the same time - makes everything so much faster. Not much of a tip I know, but definitely makes it speedy in making a set of bookmarks :)

And here are some of the 400 summer reading books :) 
For my 8 year old - he really wanted to start with the Hobbit - I told him it might be hard - but I would sit with him and listen to him read it aloud and help him out - so we are starting his challenge with the Hobbit!! And then he wants to read A Wind in the Door by Madeline L'Engle and he also wants to read the Harry Potter series - which I think is okay unto book 4 and then I think he should wait for a little bit till he is older to read the rest because he is still a bit young. And also on tap for him are the Magic Treehouse books - which he just loves and I do as well!

As for me, I am re-reading some of my favorite books: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - one of my all time magical realism writers and a book of writings and poetry from Emerson - who is simply sublime and inspiring. Along with this I am reading the Palace of Illusions (which is the story of the Mahabharata as told through the perspective of Draupadi) and a book called Being Different (An Indian challenge to Western Universalism)- which I have been meaning to read for the last three years.

What is on your summer reading list? Any recommendations for my 8 year old and for me?

I can't wait to see what the rest of the design team has created with today's studio challenge and am excited to see what's on their summer reading list! Please hop around with me and check them out:

Thanks so much for stopping by today!
Big hugs,


Kerri said...

I just love your bookmarks, Sankari! So much fun! When you said he had to read 200 books, I never imagined him starting with The Hobbit LOL! With those kind of books, my 8 year old would be an adult before she finished!

Wanda G (stampcat) said...

Oh my gosh! GREAT story Sankari! I was cracking up reading about your 8 year old. You are a good mom to encourage him to read all those books! Love your bookmarks - so fun and cheery! Happy reading!

Tammie E said...

Love your bookmarks, Sankari...sounds like they will be put to good use this summer! Maybe by the time your little guy gets through his 200 books, he will have forgot what the bet was about in the first place! Enjoy! xo

Charmaine (CharmWarm) said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous bookmarks, Sankari!! And I LOVED the story about the iPod! LOL Too funny!

carole (TruCarMa) said...

LOVED your post, Sankari, and GMTA on your choice of stamps for your bookmarks! I'm totally impressed your little man is starting with The Hobbit - that is quite a challenge for 8! Mr. Carter (another 8 year old male reader) highly recommends the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' and the 'Roscoe Riley Rules' series. I'm going to look at some of your titles - I'm a huge Garcia Marquez and Emerson fan, too. We really need to get together, you know? We have sooo much in common!

Karli said...

200 books! Wow! Hope he's got Accelerated Reader at his school & earn loads of points there too. My oldest son didn't like reading on his own (loved being read to) but he absolutely loved the books Holes and where the red fern grows. I think if he can handle the Hobbit, he can handle Hogwarts *Ü*

Stephanie Kraft said...

Absolutely LOVE your bookmarks, Sankari! And your reading challenge is fabulous -- what a great way to encourage your 8-year-old to keep reading and truly earn the iPod (it sounds like there is no doubt that he will.. and VERY soon)!!

McStamper said...

Sankari, I love, love your bookmarks. I am definitely making some for my grandsons. I always tell them that they can learn anything if they just read. I am glad you are encouraging your son. Hope he loves the Hobbit.

Shelly said...

Holy cow, woman, you're not only an awesome crafter, you're an awesome mama! I love that you agreed to it after he read 200 mom approved books...and to join him in on the challenge is so fun and inspiring! Big hugs, reading this made my day! xoxo

Shannon White said...

Oh!! I Just need to tell you!! You are my Hero Lady!! Seriously Wonderful reasons that your 8 year old should not have to have an i-Pod.. I couldn't agree more!! 8-) Super challenge too! And I must commend your Son for wanting to start with The Hobbit too! ( one of my most Beloved books of all time! Though I didn't read it till I was 12 for the first time, lol ) Good for him! And your Bookmarks are Darling!! Super incentive too! 8-)

Big hugs

Julee (Vervegirl) said...

Sankari!!! These are jaw-dropping amazing. You are seriously awesome!!! Hugs, sweet friend!

Joan Ervin said...

WOW!! 200 books...that is quite a challenge, Sankari!!! You will have to keep us posted on your progress!! I love your adorable bookmarks...the little scene at the bottom is just precious!!!

Cynthia Clark said...

I have these stamps and dies. Love bookmarks. I collect (and loose) them. LOL So very cute. I love the paper piecing.

Sandy said...

Oh, the posibilities!!! I love to read and so does my daughter. She recomended anything by Beverly Cleary. She is amazing. I also loved her. I actually used to sneak the books from her when she was reading them and read them myself. Have fun. Sandy

Radha said...

This post made me smile!!! Love it good mom! Love the new ipod owner:)) and the challenge of reading 1 book... and 200 books... Keep me up dated:)) Honestly u should up date me on this:)