The Lord God made them all

It’s already time for the June Sketches With a Twist challenge—the last design of my term with them. I am very proud to have created this sketch, although I’ll admit that it’s a little harder than usual, which is why I’ve included a tutorial below for making the Cathedral Window quilt pieces! Here’s a little peek at my new sketch:

The Sketches With a Twist June sketch

The twist this month is to incorporate fabric into your design. I’m not a seamstress (yet), so I used felt! Felt is fabric, isn’t it? ;-)

Rescues_Daquila-Pardo

Every animal we have rescued stays in my heart.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

~Cecil F. Alexander, Hymns for Little Children, 1848

Matt and I are rescuers. Animals in need find us, and we can’t turn away. It’s added a lot of joy to our lives to open ourselves to this avocation. And of course, with the joy comes a bit of pain because not all our rescues can be saved. As in most things that matter, though, the joy makes the pain worth enduring.

This layout features photos of just three of the animals we’ve helped:

  • The possum we named Head (after a character with a large head in So I Married an Ax Murderer). Sadly, Head was too injured by the car that hit him, and he did not make it.
  • The chicken Matt rescued from Mopac Highway and was promptly named…Mopac…before we found her a home on a little farm in Buda, Texas.
  • And the German short-haired pointer who we named Budro (for the dog in Grosse Pointe Blank) before placing him with the local German short-haired pointer rescue group.

My layout is intended to celebrate all the animals we’ve rescued and to symbolize the way they each add themselves to the quilt of our lives.

The tutorial

So you think this sketch looks intimidating? I’m here to help! After creating my layout with this sketch, I realized that I could probably help others use it if I revealed a few of the measurements and techniques I used.

The three photos on this sketch are 3 inches from corner to corner, not 3 inches square. A square that measures 2⅛ will have a diagonal measurement of 3 inches, so that’s the size to which you should crop your photos.

For the nine Cathedral Window quilt pieces you see on the sketch, you’ll need to punch either nine 3-inch circles of double-sided patterned paper OR nine 3-inch circles of single-sided patterned paper and nine 2-1/16-inch squares of different patterned papers. I wanted all my folded pieces to be the same pattern, so I used the second method for my quilt pieces.

Here's a template for the Cathedral Window quilt pieces you'll need to cut.

Place your 2-1/16-inch squares centered on your circle and score around the outside edges. Once you fold up the four edges you’ll have a 2⅛-inch square quilt piece.

Here is a template I created to help you place your quilt pieces (if you want to follow the sketch exactly). I used these measurements, and everything lined up just right! Click on this smaller image to download the full-sized version.

Here's a template for placing the Cathedral Window quilt pieces on your layout.

I really hope this tutorial is helpful to those of you who want to use my sketch. I am very happy with how my layout looks, so I hope you’ll try it with a few of your photos, too. And don’t forget to link up your page to the Sketches With a Twist challenge.

I’m lucky to have a friend like you

Happy May Day! The May Sketches With a Twist sketch and design team sample layouts are now live on the blog. I am very proud to have created the sketch and really love all the design team’s samples based on it! Here’s a little peek at my new sketch:

The Sketches With a Twist May sketch

The twist this month is to incorporate hand or machine stitching into your design. So I did a running stitch around the edge of my title treatment, which set it off nicely. You know, I don’t often use word/sentiment stamps on my layouts (like I mean to do when I buy the stamps), but as I was working on this page my glance just happened to fall on the Hello Friend stamp set from Lawn Fawn, and it really was perfect for my subject! So the lesson here, boys and girls, is that there are benefits to having a messy scrap space. ;-)

FriendLikeKathy_Daquila-Pardo

I created sketch #5 for Sketches With a Twist, on which this layout is based.

Kathy was my best friend for several years in grade school. We were in classes together, in the same Girl Scout troop and spent nights over at each other’s houses. She was the kind of friend that I could be my nerdy self with and not feel nerdy. She was fun, kind, studious and athletic.

Out of all the time we spent around each other, it’s little tidbits that leap to mind when I think of her. Like the time we sat under a tree and drew our versions of our future dream homes. Or when we went shopping at the mall together, and even though she was a head taller than me (lucky girl), we insisted on buying the same exact outfit and wearing them on the same day. That had to have been hilarious to our families! Or when she showed me her new Loverboy Get Lucky album, (the one released in 1981 with the red leather pants and the crossed fingers) and that made her even cooler in my eyes.

Well, after grade school Kathy and I attended different high schools and then went off to different universities, so we didn’t see each other for years. We all know how that happens. But after college we reconnected by attending each other’s weddings, which was wonderful, and we send birthday and Christmas cards. But recently I had the opportunity to spend an entire day with Kathy and her family. Her younger sister, Jean, recently moved to San Antonio, which isn’t far from Austin. So when Kathy’s family flew in to spend spring break with Jean’s family, Matt and I made plans to head to San Antonio for a visit.

We had a wonderful day together. We all went to the Poteet Strawberry Festival, which is a huge event in the SA area. It was a hot, sweaty, windy day, which is why we look a bit disheveled in these photos. But it was just so nice to catch up! You know, a lot changes about people and their lives over the years, but a lot stays just as it is in grade school, too. Kathy is the same kind of person she was back when: she’s fun; it’s obvious she’s a kind and generous mother to her two girls and wife to Wray; and she cares passionately about doing her work well. She’s a very good person, and I am lucky to have a friend like her.

I hope you’ll head to the Sketches With a Twist blog to get the printable version of my sketch and play along (there are two prizes available each month).

Your life is an occasion

RiseToIt_Daquila-Pardo

I created sketch #4 for Sketches With a Twist, on which this layout is based.

The April Sketches With a Twist sketch and design team sample layouts are now live on the blog. I am very proud to have created the sketch and really love all the design team’s samples based on it! Here’s a little peek at my new sketch:

The Sketches With a Twist April sketch

You know when you hear a line in a movie that makes you suck in a sharp breath? That’s what happened to me when I was watching Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium a few years ago and heard Dustin Hoffman say to Natalie Portman, “Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.” I love this simple twist on an old saying. It has stayed with me and inspired me when life feels like…less than an occasion.

The twist this month is to use some kind of mesh on your page, and I’ll admit that this one stumped me at first. I had never used mesh before, and I couldn’t imagine where I was going to incorporate it. But once I had cut the red mesh from our bag of oranges and started playing with it, it just came together. When I tucked it under the top scalloped edge it created a bit of an awning look, and I like it! And isn’t that new BasicGrey patterned paper (from the Konnichiwa collection) darling?

Please head to the blog to get the printable version of the sketch and play along (there are two prizes available each month).

Tickling the ivories

The March Sketches with a Twist sketch and design team sample layouts are now live on their site. I am very proud to have created the sketch and really in love with all the design team’s samples based on it!

Sketches With a Twist is a new sketch challenge site where each comes with an extra requirement (for example, this month’s twist is to use 3 identical embellishments somewhere on your layout or card.

Here’s a little peek at my new sketch:
A peek of the new sketch

And below is my design team layout based on the sketch. Please head to their blog to get the printable version of the sketch and play along (there are two prizes available each month).

TicklingIvories2_Daquila-Pardo

In this first photo I was 6 years old, and in the second I was not quite 10.

I was very fortunate that as a child I took piano lessons. My mother had always wanted to know how to play, and I think her enthusiasm for the idea must have made me want to do it, too. When I was really little my parents would walk into a room and find me sitting sideways in an overstuffed chair “playing” the arm. I think they must have told Santa Claus about this because in 1972 he left an electric organ (that’s what they were called then, instead of keyboards) under the tree! Boy howdy, was that a great gift.

The whole family played the organ, but perhaps I played it the most because when, in 1976, my parents finally fulfilled my mom’s dream of owning a piano, I was the first one to get lessons. Eventually Phil and Mom also took piano lessons from my teacher, Alice Shimmels, but I took lessons the longest (until I was 18, I think). Unfortunately, at that point in my life I didn’t think I had time in my busy teenager schedule to continue with lessons and practice, so I let them go.

It’s a lovely thing to have had music lessons in my past; it’s such a great skill to have and is a practice rich with opportunities for developing personal discipline. I now have that piano in my home, and I love to play carols in the winter on a cold evening when I’m full of Christmas spirit. So, another debt of gratitude is owed to my wonderful parents for filling my life with the ability to make my own music.

Shades of green

The February Sketches with a Twist sketch and design team sample layouts are now live on their site. I am very proud to have created the sketch and really in love with all the design team’s samples based on it!

Sketches With a Twist is a new blog that debuted just last month—a sketch challenge site where each comes with an extra requirement (for example, this month’s twist is to include something green on your layout or card).

Here is my design team layout based on the sketch. Please head to their blog to get the sketch and play along (there are two prizes available each month).

ShadesOfGreen_Daquila-Pardo

Matt and I have been making a concerted effort to be more green in our daily lives.

When I read that the twist was to use something green on our layout, I decided to dedicate a page to the efforts Matt and I have been making toward being “greener” in our daily lives. We have always been passionate about living in a way that is good to the environment—recycling, consuming responsibly, rescuing animals in need/danger. However, in 2011 we recommitted to doing more. We are now recycling everything that our city allows, we have become vegetarians (it’s hard to love and rescue animals and then be completely comfortable eating meat) and we finally bought a hybrid car. We had been planning to go hybrid once it was time to replace our older car (it’s funny, I was still driving the first car we bought together when we got married in 1997!), and we were fortunate to need a new one just as the Prius V (the larger version of the Prius) was being released. Happy timing for us because we love it.

Because I was going for an earthy/environmental feel on this one, I turned to the American Crafts City Park and Hello Sunshine lines. I like the result because it’s bright and earthy at the same time.