Tag Archives: Birthday

Things That Happened When I Was 24 in Photos

My 25th birthday was last Friday (November 28th), so I wanted to make a list to commemorate some of the things that happened while I was 24.

1. My birthday was on Thanksgiving. I made the entire meal for the first time by myself, and I decided once and for all that Birthday Pie is the best kind of pie.

1. My birthday was on Thanksgiving. I made the entire meal for the first time by myself, and I decided once and for all that Birthday Pie is the best kind of pie.

2. Radiant Orchard was picked as the color of the year by Pantone. I was a fan. I feel like purple doesn't get enough credit in the color world. 

2. Radiant Orchard was picked as the color of the year by Pantone. I was a fan. I feel like purple doesn’t get enough credit in the world of color.

3. We learned (okay, confirmed) that Leia Batman does NOT like to wear costumes.

3. We learned (okay, confirmed) that Leia Batman does NOT like to wear costumes.

4. I might have went a little overboard on holiday and winter decorating. Just kidding... that's not possible. ;)

4. I might have went a little overboard on holiday and winter decorating. Just kidding… that’s not possible. ;)

5. I worked seasonally at Sephora and absolutely loved it. I also worked at an art store and absolutely hated it.

5. I worked seasonally at Sephora and absolutely loved it. I also worked at an art store and absolutely hated it.

6. The inaugural Friends Christmas happened, and it was both adult and awesomely kid-like all at the same time.

6. The inaugural Friends Christmas happened, and it was both adult and awesomely kid-like all at the same time.

7. I went home for Christmas for almost exactly 24 hours and drove 5 hours both ways to get there. Retail - ugh.

7. I went home for Christmas for almost exactly 24 hours and drove 5 hours both ways to get there. Retail – ugh.

8. I had my very first trip ever to the Emergency Room. It was a complication of IBS and my stomach hurt excruciatingly bad, but the amazing part was that three of my friends showed up to take me and stay with me in the ER while Jake was out of town. I can never thank them enough for being there for me. <3

8. I had my very first trip ever to the Emergency Room. It was a complication of IBS and my stomach hurt excruciatingly bad, but the amazing part was that three of my friends showed up to take me and stay with me in the ER while Jake was out of town. I can never thank them enough for being there for me. <3

9. I chose EXPLORE as my word for 2014, and that was the driving notion for a lot of things I did throughout the year.

9. I chose EXPLORE as my word for 2014, and that was the driving notion for a lot of things I did throughout this year.

10. I had long, brunette hair.

10. I had long, brunette hair.

11. I jump-started a car for the first time. And a second. And a third... Also, I learned that battery corrosion is very not-good thing.

11. I jump-started a car for the first time. And a second. And a third… Also, I learned that battery corrosion is very not-good thing.

12-03-14 About Being 24 by Britta Swiderski-9

12. I went to DisneyLand for the first time, and it was just as amazing as I’d dreamed. Also, I think Thor digs me.

13. I went to CHA Winter and got to see so many of my very best friends in the entire world.

13. I went to CHA Winter and got to see so many of my very best friends in the entire world.

14. I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time.

14. I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time.

15. Melissa (Jake's sister) and I became really, really close friends. I don't hesitate to call her my sister now. We're both so weird in all the right ways.

15. Melissa (Jake’s sister) and I became really, really close friends. I don’t hesitate to call her my sister now. We’re both so weird in all the right ways.

16. I had good days and I had bad days. I learned more coping mechanisms to have in my tool box so that I can deal with my anxiety and depression more effectively. Art journaling helps me when I feel frustrated and down.

16. I had good days and I had bad days. I learned more coping mechanisms to have in my tool box so that I can deal with my anxiety and depression more effectively. Art journaling helps me when I feel frustrated and down.

17. I tried Wood Burning for the first time to make an invitation to the second annual Feast of Thrones. Everyone brought a dish and beer to share, and we had a huge feast before the season preimere of Game of Thrones.

17. I tried Wood Burning for the first time to make an invitation to the second annual Feast of Thrones. Everyone brought a dish and beer to share, and we had a huge feast before the season preimere of Game of Thrones.

18. I lost two very important people in my life. My first deaths of close loved ones. My grandma passed away after a long battle with a rare form of Parkinson's Disease. But I knew everything would be okay because she's at peace now.

18. I lost two very important people in my life. My first deaths of close loved ones. My grandma passed away after a long battle with a rare form of Parkinson’s Disease, but I knew everything would be okay because she’s at peace now.

19. The second loss was gut-wrenching. One of my best friends, Tim, lost his fight to depression. He took is own life in June, and I will never be the same. (You can read more about losing Tim here.)

19. The second loss was gut-wrenching. One of my best friends, Tim, lost his fight to depression. He took is own life in June, and I will never be the same. (You can read more about losing Tim here.)

20. I became an all-in, absolute advocate for Mental Health awareness and suicide prevention. My friends banded together to mourn, help and transforming our pain and loss into effort to help others.

20. I became an all-in, absolute advocate for Mental Health awareness and suicide prevention. My friends banded together to mourn, help and transforming our pain and loss into effort to help others.

21. In the summer, I ate more Greek and caprese salad than I knew was physically possible for one human to consume.

21. In the summer, I ate more Greek and caprese salad than I knew was physically possible for one human to consume.

22. I officially became A Person Who Buys Chairs At Garage Sales.

22. I officially became A Person Who Buys Chairs At Garage Sales.

23. I went to 4 MLB games, 1 Saint Paul Saints game, 2 Gopher Basketball games, 1 Gopher Hockey game (outdoors!) and 1 Gopher football game.

23. I went to 4 MLB games, 1 Saint Paul Saints game, 2 Gopher Basketball games, 1 Gopher Hockey game (outdoors!) and 1 Gopher football game.

24. I lost 40 pounds by moving more (walking to hit my fitbit step goal and exercise bike) and focusing on eating more healthy than I already did. I also gave up soda (except on vacation, because vacation doesn't count). I don't have a fitbit anymore since the recall, but I highly recommend getting a pedometer to keep track of those numbers. Steps are so much more forgiving than pounds.

24. I lost 40 pounds by moving more (walking to hit my fitbit step goal and using an exercise bike) and focusing on eating more healthy than I already did. I also gave up soda (except on vacation, because vacation doesn’t count). I don’t have a fitbit anymore since the recall, but I highly recommend getting a pedometer to keep track of those numbers. Steps are so much more forgiving than pounds.

25. I went with five friends on a crazy adventure to Seattle, Vancouver and Portland. We called it #FriendFestNW and it was worth absolutely every cent I spent to get there.

25. I went with five friends on a crazy adventure to Seattle, Vancouver and Portland. We called it #FriendFestNW and it was worth absolutely every cent I spent to get there.

26. I started playing bass. I love my bass. We're working on a band name, but someday we'll write a song, and it will be magical.

26. I started playing bass. My friend Steven and I formed a band. Still working on a band name, but someday we’ll write a song and it will be magical. We’ll be doing our first open mic soon!

27. Jake and I celebrated our 3-year anniversary and tried to go on as many day dates as possible when he had off work. I love him more every day.

27. Jake and I celebrated our three year anniversary and tried to go on as many day dates as possible when he had off work. I love him more every day.

28. We dressed up as heroes and went to a beer fest at Midway Stadium before it was torn down. We ended up getting featured in CityPages twice - once in photos from the event and once from the September Highlights.

28. We dressed up as heroes and went to a beer fest at Midway Stadium before it was torn down. We ended up getting featured in CityPages twice – once in photos from the event and once from the September Highlights.

29. Leia continued to be my ever-loving furry companion, and our apartment is still undoubtably Leia's Castle.

29. Leia continued to be my ever-loving furry companion, and our apartment is still undoubtably Leia’s Castle.

30. I went back to short, blonde hair (my natural color).

30. I went back to short, blonde hair (my natural color). (And I like it. I also like silly faces.)

31. Jake's cousin, Chris, married Taylor, and it was the most beautiful wedding I've ever attended. I cried. A lot. I'm so grateful to be considered part of their family.

31. Jake’s cousin, Chris, married Taylor, and it was the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever attended. I cried. A lot. I’m so grateful to be considered part of their extended family.

32. We, as a friend group, drank ALL the craft beer. This included too many brewery taproom visits to count, a tandem bike brewery tour in Portland, attending four beer festivals, attending the grand opening of a taproom practically in our neighborhood and, of course, excessive use of my favorite-ever

32. We, as a friend group, drank ALL the craft beer. This included many brewery taproom visits, a tandem bike brewery tour in Portland, attending four beer festivals, attending the grand opening of a taproom practically in our neighborhood and, of course, extensive use of my favorite app, Untappd.

33. I participated in VEDA (vlog everyday in april) and #Inktober (draw everyday in october).

33. I participated in VEDA (vlog everyday in april) and #Inktober (draw everyday in october).

34. I had this not-so-crazy idea for a business, so I made it. ThingsCrafted launched November 13th, and it was terrifying. I have so many more plans and dreams and can't wait to see where that road takes me.

34. I had this not-so-crazy idea for a business, so I made it. ThingsCrafted launched November 13th, and it was terrifying. I have so many more plans and dreams and can’t wait to see where that road takes me.

35. I got a real, adult job working with kids at a local elementary school with before- and after-school care. I work early in the morning, come home for 6 hours to work on design business stuff and then go back to work in the afternoon. It's difficult and exhilarating and exhausting and wonderful all at the same time, every day. I get paid to talk to kids, teach them things and do craft projects. It's a perfect fit.

35. I got a real, adult job working with kids at a local elementary school with before- and after-school care. I work early in the morning, come home for 6 hours to work on design business stuff and then go back to work in the afternoon. It’s difficult and exhilarating and exhausting and wonderful all at the same time, every day. I get paid to talk to kids, teach them things and do craft projects. It’s a perfect fit.

36. I saw one of my favorite musicians ever, Watsky, preform live for the second time. It was just as amazing as the first time I saw him and also 100x better and I can't explain why. His music inspires me every day.

36. I saw one of my favorite musicians ever, Watsky, preform live for the second time. It was just as amazing as the first time I saw him and also 100x better and I can’t explain why. His music inspires me every day.

37. I celebrated my birthday in two places - at The Farm (Jake's cabin) with Jake's family and in Neenah with mine. It was Black Friday. We had steak and green bean casserole for dinner, and I wrapped ribbon around my head. It was wonderful.

37. I celebrated my birthday in two places – at The Farm (Jake’s cabin) with Jake’s family and in Neenah with mine. It was Black Friday. We had steak and green bean casserole for dinner, and I wrapped ribbon around my head. It was wonderful.

This last year was so many things. In a lot of ways, it was the hardest year I’ve ever faced… but with the lows come the gratefulness and joy for everything I have and love. I’m so thankful for everything, and every day is a new learning experience. I’m also thankful for you for sticking around and reading my blog. I know I haven’t been a consistent blogger this year, but this blog isn’t about just crafts – it’s also about my life. Thanks for being part of it. :)

Love,
Britta

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Distress Ink Dinosaur Tutorial – World Cardmaking Day!

Happy World Cardmaking Day! Today I wanted to be sure and stop by with a tutorial – so I made a card today and have this video for you along with a couple of fun links. :)

Video Tutorial

I had several requests to do something with Lawn Fawn stamps, so I decided to pull out my Critters from the Past + my Distress Inks and make a masculine birthday card.

10-04-14 Distress Ink Dinos Card Video Tutorial by Britta Swiderski

Enjoy the video! This features making your own dinosaur skin with distress ink by using some water techniques to add depth and shine. If you want to see more of my favorite Distress Ink techniques, check out my No-Stress Distress Ink course here.

watch here | watch on youtube | subscribe to my channel

Here’s a closer look at the finished card. I love the play of the different heights of the dinosaurs and depths of the elements. I used foam adhesive to adhere the sentiment and the front hill and then foam adhesive to adhere the tops of the stegosaurus and right palm tree (keeping it from popping off the card too much). Side note: I love love love this Let’s Polka paper pad. It’s wonderful.

10-04-14 Distress Ink Dinos Card Video Tutorial by Britta Swiderski

I have to say, I’m really enjoying the cuteness of the Distress Ink minis and highly recommend starting out with them if you haven’t delved into the world of Distress Ink yet (or if you are looking to build up your collection of colors). I mostly can’t resist them because they’re adorable and there are tins to store them in. Tins! To store cute tiny ink pads in! TINS!

10-04-14 Distress Ink Dinos Card Video Tutorial by Britta Swiderski

Here’s a good look at the pearlescent shine from the perfect pearls + water droplets on the distress ink. It’s a subtle effect that really shines in juuuust the right light. This way, you get sparkle without a whole lot of shine. I guess the only problem I have now is what I’m going to do with that adorable brontosaurus. ;)

Supplies used on this project: Click below to see where you can buy the products used on this project. Click on “SS” for the product at Simon Says Stamp and “EH” for the product at Ellen Hutson. I only link to products and shops that I know and love. Thank you for your support!

Critters from the Past – Lawn Fawn
SS | EH
Year One – Lawn Fawn
SS | EH
Mowed Lawn Distress Ink – Ranger
SS | EH
Peacock Feathers Distress Ink – Ranger
SS | EH
Seedless Preserves Distress Ink – Ranger
SS | EH
Gathered Twigs Distress Ink – Ranger
SS | EH
Distress Inks – Ranger
SS | EH
Distress Ink Mini Pads Kit 1 – Ranger
SS | EH
Distress Ink Mini Pads Kit 2 – Ranger
SS | EH
Distress Mini Ink Pads Kit 8 – Ranger
SS | EH
Distress Mini Ink Pads Kit 11 – Ranger
SS | EH
Mini Distress Ink Storage Tin – Ranger
SS | EH
Distress Watercolor Paper – Ranger
SS | EH
Let’s Polka 6 x 6 Paper Pad – Lawn Fawn
SS | EH
Solar White Cardstock 25 sheets – Neenah Paper
SS | EH
Solar White Cardstock Ream – Neenah Paper
SS | EH
Memento Tuxedo Black Ink – Tsukineko
SS | EH
Mister Bottle 2 Ounce – Ranger
SS | EH
Non-Stick Craft Sheet – Ranger
SS | EH

Essentials by Ellen

I have been SO EXCITED for this Essentials by Ellen product launch all week and am so glad the day is finally here! Ellen Hutson is releasing a new line of stamps and dies, and I couldn’t be happier. Julie Ebersole’s style is right up my alley, and her designs for Ellen are absolutely scrumptious. I can’t wait to play with everything!

 

A few of my absolute favorites:

Happy, Happy, Happy

I just want to say thank you again for all of your love and support over the past several months. The walk went so well (and I still need to send out thank you emails to all the donors – thank you all SO MUCH!), I’m making huge steps of progress in my career and job search and I’ve even started a band. I’m working incredibly hard on balancing work with life and fun, and every day is a different challenge or puzzle to solve. I’m so grateful to have such a loving support team, a fantastic boyfriend (our three year anniversary is tomorrow!) and creativity that just wont quit even when my body wants to give out.

Jake & Me at a wedding in Milwaukee two weeks ago. It was an amazing weekend!

Jake & Me at a wedding in Milwaukee two weeks ago. It was an amazing weekend!

I have several fun projects to share with you in the coming weeks as I’ve been finishing off my living room to my liking with a huge Cat Tree Wall and a fun Man Cave in My Living Room and have been making something inky every day of this month so far as part of #inktober.

Leia sitting happily in her new Cat Tree - officially claiming one entire corner of her living room as her own.

Leia sitting happily in her new Cat Tree Wall – officially claiming one entire corner of the living room as her own.

Long live this creative streak that has me going right now! Let’s hope it translates into a real, long-term creative job at some point. ;) Whenever you’re ready, life, I’m ready.

Thank you so much for stopping by today. See you again soon!

Love,
Britta

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Filed under Cardmaking, Life and Health, Links and Shopping, Tutorials

Gradient Texture Paste + A Copic Cupcake Video Tutorial

Welcome to another video tutorial day! I know, I can barely contain my excitement either. ;) Today’s card is focusing on two things that I’m in love with right now: adding a ton of texture with the brand new Texture Paste from Ranger (or Embossing Paste from Wendy Vecchi) and layering stamped images. I hope you’re ready for some serious happy!

Gradient Texture Paste and Copic Cupcake Video Tutorial by Britta Swiderski

The main part of this project? Making an awesome gradient background using Texture Paste, Distress Ink (Broken China, Salty Ocean, Chipped Sapphire and Dusty Concord) and this Mini Mod Checkerboard stencil. I also really enjoyed putting the Distress Watercolor Paper to the test – this stuff is awesome! Enjoy the tutorial!

watch here | watch on YouTube | subscribe to my channel

You can see here how all the layers (and making sure to color them all!) adds so much dimension to the project. Any of the blueprint stamps from Tim Holtz are a dream for this type of project, but I’m particularly in love with the Birthday Blueprints set that I use here. I also augmented the image with a simple “cheers!” stamped in Claire’s ABCs from Lawn Fawn.

Gradient Texture Paste and Copic Cupcake Video Tutorial by Britta Swiderski

I used the following Copic markers for each area of the cupcake image: Frosting – R20 Blush, R21 Sardenya & R22 Light Prawn – Candlestick – Y11 Pale Yellow & Y13 Lemon Yellow – Flame – Y38 Honey, YR16 Apricot & YR68 Orange – Wrapper – Y18 Lightning Yellow, Y19 Naples Yellow & Y35 Maize. Click here for more about my Copic collection.

08-28-14 Copic Cupcake Colors by Britta Swiderski-1

Supplies used on this project: Click below to see where you can buy the products used on this project. Click on “SS” for the product at Simon Says Stamp and “EH” for the product at Ellen Hutson. I only link to products and shops that I know and love. Thank you for your support!

Texture Paste – Ranger
SS | EH
Mini Mod Checkerboard – The Crafters Workshop
SS | EH
Birthday Blueprint Stamps – Tim Holtz (Ellen)
SS | EH
Claires ABCs – Lawn Fawn
SS | EH
Broken China Distress Ink
SS | EH
Salty Ocean Distress Ink – Ranger
SS | EH
Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink
SS | EH
Dusty Concord Distress Ink
SS | EH
Distress Watercolor Paper – Ranger
SS | EH
Blocks Stencil Dylusions – Dyan Reaveley
SS | EH
Non-Stick Craft Sheet – Ranger
SS | EH
Hero Hues Sea Layering Papers – Hero Arts
SS | EH
Copic Sketch Markers
SS | EH
Memento Tuxedo Black Ink – Tsukineko
SS | EH
Design Ruler – Tim Holtz
SS | EH
Corner Chomper 1/8″ and 3/8″ – WRMK
SS | EH

For those of you interested in what the inside of the card said – this is all of Jake’s wisdom to his little sister. The beers we picked out for her as a starter were Sweet Child of Vine by Fulton (IPA), Hefe by Widmer Brothers (Hefeweizen), Amber by Alaskan (Amber/Red Ale), Obsidian Stout by Dechutes (Stout), Purple Haze by Abita (Fruit Beer) and Coffee Bender by Surly (American Brown Ale). And yes, we’re super huge nerds.

Gradient Texture Paste and Copic Cupcake Video Tutorial by Britta Swiderski

A big belated happy birthday goes out to my (honorary) sister, Melissa. I actually had the opportunity to head down to Milwaukee and see her during the beginning part of this week; it had been wayyyy too long since I’d last seen her, and a sister weekend had to happen. Now continues the campaign to convince her to move up to the Twin Cities. ;)

Melissa & Me at Lakefront Brewery (her first visit to a brewery!) on Monday <3

Melissa & Me at Lakefront Brewery (her first visit to a brewery!) on Monday <3

Thanks so much for stopping by today and for the AWESOME response to the new planner printables! You guys rock. :) I hope you’re loving all the videos as much as I am. What should next week’s tutorial be?

Love,
Britta

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