Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I hope you are all having a wonderful New Year's eve and being Safe! I am feeling lowsy, so I'm staying home. I'm not much of a party animal anyway so, that isn't a 'new' thing for me. My kids are all out partying tho. (in a very 'non' party sense of the word)
I finally managed to escape to my craft room for a few minutes today. I need to start on my swaps for Leadership so....I'm going to have to find more time to get in there!
This little card is made from one of the catalog pre-order sets that will be in the new catalog that comes out January 18th. We haven't had any Bee sets in the SU catalog for quite a while. These little guys are just so cute, I had to get them. I stamped the hive with basic black, colored it in with a mustard marker and then added some clear embossing using the Versamarker. Bees are stamped twice; once onto the hive paper and once onto scrap paper. I cut out the bodies from the scrap paper and mounted them over the bees on the hive paper. This is my option for popping up items without having to cut out the little bitty parts, like the legs on these bees. I added some clear stickles to the wings instead of 2 way glue and dazzling diamonds because...I didn't want to get up. Tummy ache. Anyway, I think this may be close to a swap for next week. I will most likely change the colors and add some more bling....we shall see!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

I am so busy with Christmas I have let my blog slide a bit. I wanted to wish you all a very merry Christmas! I will be back with great stampin ideas in a few days. Promise!
I love this time of year. Especially this year since my sweetie managed to get two weeks off of work. yay!! We went ice skating yesterday and plan to do lots more family activities during these two weeks.
Here we are at the rink. Nobody broke! I fell once, and banged my knee pretty bad, but other than that we did great!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mono Love and Cheer

Are you done with your Christmas cards? It's not too late! Especially if you decide on a quick and easy card like this one. Super easy! The card base is 6 x 3 with a rectangle of coordinating DSP on top. In this case, it is all Riding Hood Red. I used my Big Shot to punch out the Peace&Love&Cheer border and then cut it apart between words to use only the Love and Cheer part of it. I cut it out in Riding hood and white so I could layer them. I added some silver mini brads to the bottom corners and jazzed them up a bit with my 2-way glue pen and some dazzling diamonds glitter. The ribbon is Celery. The only tricky part on this card is getting it glued down. It is a bit too thin for the snail so I had to use tom bow or 2 way glue. I don't normally use 2way for cards because it just doesn't hold well. But since this was so fine, I figured it could work. It is still holding so, it must have!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The butterfly room

I have been busy with my organizing business. I am having such fun!! I wanted to share another before and after series with you. This is a sewing/guest room. The room was full to the brim when we started. We did our sort, toss and organize and it came out awesome!! This is another fire client so we put her sewing desk in front of the window. One of my favorite parts of this room is the dresser. It was mostly empty when we started. We changed that! Instead of the traditional clothes in a dresser, we repurposed it for the sewing area. The drawers are all organized and labeled for different sewing tools and accessories. We didn't go out and buy anything! Small clear plastic tubs the client already had were used inside the drawers to house the patterns, ribbons and trim and other notions. She also had a lot of fabric. We used large tubs in the closet to organize her fabric by size and use, ie: quilt fabric, clothing fabric, etc. We also made a tub for current projects that we put on top. TIP: Instead of just stacking the fabric in the tub from the bottom up, we turned the tub on it's side and stacked the fabric in that way. Then, when we sat the tub upright, it is easy to see all the fabric instead of just what is on top.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Taming the tree

I love real Christmas trees. I love the smell, the look, the...'realness' of them. That being said, we have a fake one. I know, but the real ones are so darn expensive! The thing I don't understand about fake trees is...why do they drop their needles? Makes no sense to me.
Our tree has all different kinds of ornaments. We tried to have a 'theme' a few years back but that plan was thwarted when we left all our 'themed' ornaments in our house in Alabama when we moved. (actually, the movers left them, but I've moved on...) I made these cute little package ornaments for our tree this year to house those little gifts that sometimes get lost under the tree. I got the idea for these from the RubberStampDiva. She is the queen of all things punched. Check out her blog. It will amaze you what she does with punches. I went a little crazy with my tree, adding the super chunky glitter from Stampin' Up! with crystal effects. It really sparkles! These triangle boxes are super easy to make. Cut your paper to 8 x 4. Score across the middle at 4 inches, and mark the middle of the short sides at 2inches. Score a line connecting the middle score at 4 to the middle side mark at 2. This should give you a long rectangle piece of cardstock with two triangles scored, meeting at the middle. Are you getting a picture? Fold in the side flaps and then fold it together. Punch holes on both overlapping sides and string some cording through it to hold it shut. Hopefully that made some sense. These are great for those small gifts we all want, or a small key to that new car. :o)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas 'wonder' land

Meaning....I 'wonder' if I will be close to ready for Christmas when it gets here. I don't know about you, but I have lost a few days or even weeks lately. I can think of some things I would rather lose than days....
Sarah had a Christmas concert last night for strings and choir. She did great once we got to the school. She had a bit of a melt down on the way that made us late. Our cafeteria is the size of my family room so, being late means you sit in the courtyard and watch people walk in front of you while you strain to see the show on the small TV hanging from the ceiling. Long story long, I have no pictures to share of her concert. It is sad....but she has another one tonight. Maybe I'll get lucky!

At my stamp a stack last Thursday night we did some fun Christmas projects. One of them was these cute gift tags. These are made entirely from punches. I shamelessly copied them from Mercedes Weber. They were just TOO cute not to! As is usual, I have my wonderful customers that must do projects exactly as they are presented....and then there are the ones that must change what ever I do. I love them both! Here are some variations on a theme. Aren't they adorable?
Check back tomorrow. I have more great things I have copied to share. LOL

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Deck the halls!

I heard someone say that there were only two weeks til Christmas. AAH! I didn't realize we were so close? I know, it is the same every year. It sneaks up on us all I think. I had wanted to make a Christmas garland with my Big Shot when Halloween was here and then I forgot. I don't know...maybe a FEW other things going on in my life. Anyway, I was talking with Shari about our stamp a stack class tomorrow night and she mentioned chipboard ornaments and all came back to me. Garland! Oh yeah! So, here is the garland I am offering tomorrow at our stamp a stack. I know, there isn't technically any stamping on here, is all Stampin' Up! stuff. We are using a very cool thing for our'll have to come to the class to find out what it is! (or email me and I will totally tell you)
Here is another version that I hung on my Christmas tree. I think I will use ribbon next time and just tie it around the top and bottom of the O, what do you think? I love these little letters! You can't see it too clearly in this picture, but the letters are covered with DSP from Stampin' Up!s holiday papers. The letters are tied together with linen thread and there are beads at the top and bottom from the Pretties kit. I used them for the sparkle and also to weigh down the letters so they would hang nicely.
Happy Christmas decorating!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm a pumpkin junkie!

I absolutely love pumpkin pie! I love the fresh kind with the chunks of pumpkin in it the best. I usually buy a lot of pumpkins after Halloween and cut them up and freeze and can them so I can make pumpkin pie all year round. (this could explain my weight gain.... nah!)
Yesterday, during my normal 'Sunday night baking routine' I decided to try a new pumpkin recipe. It was such a total hit, I thought I would share it with all my cyber friends. This recipe is from a 1989 hometown best cookbook, originally from the Parker Ward Relief Society in St. Anthony, Idaho.
Give it a try and let me know if you like it!

Pumpkin Pie Squares:
1 cup all purpose flour ( I used whole wheat....that is all I ever use)
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked ( I used whole raw oats...)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin (from the can!)
2/3 cup sugar
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
2 eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon (don't try the whole sticks...too crunchy LOL)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2/ tblsp butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans
whipped cream (or vanilla ice cream!)

Combine flour, oats, and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a medium bowl. Cut in 1/2 cup butter with a pastry blender (or large fork) until mixture resembles a coarse meal (or your hand totally gives out...this does count for your daily workout!) Press mixture evenly into an ungreased 9 x 13 x 2 in baking pan (pampered chef stone baby!) bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Combine pumpkin and next 7 ingredients, stirring well. Pour over baked crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Place 1/2 cut brown sugar in a small bowl, cut in 2 tablespoons butter with your handy fork (or the sissys can use that pastry cutting thing...) until mixture resembles that coarse meal again. Stir in pecans (there is a reason you don't try to cut in the directions!) Sprinkle over pumpkin mixture. Bake an additional 20 minutes or until set. (mine was done in 10 so, check it!) Cool ...(ha! everything pumpkin is better steaming hot!) and cut into squares. Serve with a dollop (coolest word of the day) of whipped cream. Yields 1 dozen....or enough for my family each to have a small piece and the rest was devoured by mae and me for lunch today!
Enjoy!! Note: this is NOT a diet snack! LOL

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Turkey Hangover

Okay, so I don't really have a turkey hangover, but I couldn't think of any better excuses for being a bad blogger. I'm sure you all have missed me terribly! LOL
We had a fairly good Thanksgiving over here. I was horribly homesick this year for some reason. I've decided we need to go home next year. Hopefully my organizing business will be able to pay for that. Yes, that was a hint! If you need an organizer, please call! Here are some pictures of one of my current jobs. This is a craft room, before

And this is the after shot. Isn't it an awesome room? Because of my clients personality, we put the table in front of the window to give her the light she needed. I tell you, I didn't want to leave! One of my goals is to not spend much on containers. In this room, the only things we purchased were some photo bins (not in this picture, but they went on the shelves) . $33 total! Not bad at all!
We are currently working in her sewing/guest room, so stay tuned for more pictures soon!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Huge Sale at Stampin' Up!

I just had to share this awesome sale at Stampin' Up!! They have put together some great bundles at amazing prices! I will be ordering lots for me, how about you? If you order a bundle TODAY from ME, I will sweeten the deal with FREE shipping! AND, if you order $150, you will get some free hostess benefits! I'm tellin ya, this sale is awesome! follow this link to see the sale email me when you are ready and mention this post for the free shipping!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gifts and organizing

I'll start off with saying, I didn't actually make this project and I'm not sure who did. It is a WOW swap I received at convention last summer. The swap is hosted by Amy Celona and we always have stellar swaps from it! I really like this one and am planning on doing something like it for some Christmas gifts. Since we are all on a tighter budget this year it seems, I thought I would share it with you as an inexpensive gift idea. The base of this project is a CD mailer. You can find these at most office supply stores and even at WalMart on a good day. Since it is a stiff white 'folder' it is easy to alter and personalize. This particular one was altered using the Bella Rose DSP from Stampin' Up! This would be a great gift to give an out of town relative with a disk of pictures from the past year. (that is what I plan to do)
Along those same lines, I have been organizing my photos this weekend. Not the actualy physical photos, but the hundreds of photos I have on my computer. My husband was using my computer the other day and was frustrated because it chuggs along like a geriatric monk and so, being the engineer he is...he decided to 'fix' it. He figured out that the reason it is so slow is because I had approx 14 gig worth of pictures on it. oops. So, I have been going through and deleting and refiling all my photos. I have looked into several different disk storage ideas for archiving my photos and wanted to share some things I found out with you.
*Several online photo developing companies let you order disks of photos for around $7. They limit the number of photos to 100-200 per disk. I have a LOT more photos than that.
* I looked into buying blank disks and burning them myself, but I was a bit leary of having those 'blank looking' disks about in case someone needed any emergency disk for the new Matt Nathanson song they just bought online.
*I called both Walgreens and CVS and both places told me that if I called them before I sent them a batch of pictures via the internet, they would be willing to make me a photo CD for only $2.99. Normally, you can only get a CD of the pictures you delelop but they were totally willing to help me out. The plus of having one of these places make the CD is that they usually print some index pictures right on the CD for you. I think this is going to be the winning option. I will let you know how it turns out.
If you have any other great photo organizing ideas, please post them! I just may send out a RAK Or two!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Challenge #74

Our challenge theme this week was Give Thanks. Today I am giving thanks that my husband is home from his surgery, that my daughter is safe while she is out being onery, that most of my kids made it to school today, and that I don't feel like I 'totally' have the flu yet. I'm also thankful for my awesome Big Shot that I made this cool project with! I don't know if it fits the 'theme', but right now, it will have to do. I plan to fill it with goodies and use it as a thank you gift. How's that? LOL I used the big penant die from Stampin' Up! and stuck two together using sticky strip. They are stamped with the Doodle this stamp set in brown and aqua painted in with Riding hood red and Artichoke. These are way fun to make!
Now, I'm off to see Twilight! yay!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

O Christmas tree...

Here is another super fun project we made at my Big Shot club last week. I found these styrofoam type cones at WalMart for under $2. They are actually green, not white. I think they are for floral arranging. Because they aren't the traditional white and are this horrible green stuff that falls apart in your hands (yeck!) I left the plastic wrapper on. I punched out a bunch of scalloped circles using my Big Shot and the scallop circle punch from Stampin' Up! This particular on uses the retired Dashing paper along with some current papers. I cut all the circles in half and used my snail to adhere them to the cone, overlapping them to completely cover the cone. After I got them all on, I went back and added some 2-way glue to the edges and then dumped some chunky clear glitter all over it. It is adorable in person! It reminds me of a Dr. Suess tree, hence the pom pom on the top. That may or may not stay, is kind of cute. Believe it or not, this was pretty quick to make. If you try one, be sure you use a LOT of ahesive. Sticky strip might even be a better way to go. I am going to make some more of these for gifts. :o)
At my workshop tonight, we had a littl discussion on the benefits of the Big Shot verses the Cricut. I own both and use them both, but I honestly use my Big Shot more. One of the main reasons I like it better is because of all the different materials it can cut that the Cricut can not. For those of you that are not sure if you 'need' the Big is a 'small' list of the materials you can cut with the Big Shot to help you make up your mind.
Thick corkboard * thick chipboard * colored magnet * ruffle board * paper wood * balsa wood * * bass wood * metal mesh * aluminum * tin * adhesive & non-adhesive mat board * drawer liner * shelf liner * vinyl * static cling vinyl * shrink film * fine sandpaper * clear acetate * vellum * cardstock * patterned paper * flocked paper * contact paper * textured paper * metallic paper * linen paper * suede paper * embossed metallic paper * basketball embossed paper * faux * alligator textured paper * self-adhesive glitter paper * fabric * canvas * inon-on fabric * soft plush fabric * burlap * velvet * corduroy * lace * heaveyweight denim * terry cloth * funky fur * thin leather * quilt batting * warm & natural batting * fusible fleece * self-adhesive cork * self-adhesive craft metal * self-adhesive foam * self-adhesive magnet * self-adhesive felt * adhesive & non-adhesive rubber * pop up sponge * poly foam * 100% pure beeswax (cut with parchment paper on either side)

If THAT list doesn't talk you into it...I don't know what will! Amazing, isn't it?

Before you know it...

It will be Christmas! I know, you didn't really want to hear that. I haven't even started on my shopping. Well, okay, I have a tiny stash of stocking stuffers but, that is it!
I have starting thinking about my Christmas cards tho. It is never too early for that. This is a card we made at our stamp a stack and scrap last week. I had wanted to do an envelope card and was looking through my patterns and came across these diecut boxes from Stampin' Up! that I had purchased a couple years ago. Great surprise! I added a green belly band with DSP and some punches for accent and voila! Instant envelope card. For the inside, I layered artichoke and white and added a stamped element. I love this kind of card for the holidays! It is small enough to fit inside a regular or translucent envelope or you can hand deliver it without an envelope. The inside is great for a quick holiday note on one side and a family picture on the other.
Good luck with your Christmas card making, be sure to let me know if you need to order any supplies! :o)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New baby

No, I am not expecting. LOL Wouldn't that be a trip! shudder.... No, my friend Peggy is expecting her first baby in January. We had a totally fun shower for her at my house yesterday. It was a ball. I have to say tho....I was definitely feeling old by the end of it. I had made up a questionnaire for all the guests to fill out with questions like "what is your favorite color, food, etc." One of the questions was "what is your favorite 80's song." Nobody could name one! One person said "cotton-eye Joe" and another said "YMCA." sigh....I truly believed the 80's were still alive and kicking. Kind of like when I was a teen and all the kids listened to the 50's music. Isn't the 80's this generations version of the 50's? Apparently not. Rude awakening to say the least. I felt so old I decided I was going to lose 35 pounds by Christmas even it if killed me and that I was going to at least look and feel younger even if I wasn't 'younger.' Anybody else out there having a hard time with the aging? My husband is loving it, not.
Anyway, I did make this fun baby garland for Peggy to hang over her crib. She liked it so much she took it off the wall before I could get a picture of it. yay! She was kind enough to send me a few pictures so I could share with you all. I really enjoyed making this! I used bashful blue cardstock and designer paper, along with white cardstock. The connecting ribbons are blue gingham and the hanging ribbons are white satin. I stamped animals and bugs with bashful blue onto some of the extra white scalloped circles that I ended up with after all the die cutting and trimmed off the scallop part for the medallions. I used dimensionals on the right and left side of the circle to adhere it to the scallop so the animal would stick out and not go into the fold. Does that make sense? I restrained myself from adding any beads, pearls or glitter on this since it was for a baby boy.
I'm really digging this Big Shot. Just wait to see what I post tomorrow!
Have a good weekend!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Challenge #73

This week our challenge was to use Baja breeze and chocolate chip on our projects. I love those colors together! Since I had my big shot club meeting yesterday, I ended up using that for my project. This picture does NOT do this justice! It is awesome! (if I may say so mysel) I used the big pennant die from Stampin' Up! and cut out three baja pennants. I stamped them with baroque motifs in the chocolate chip and sponged the edges. The scalloped edge along the top was done with the scallop border punch. I added some flat pearls from the pretties kit. The ribbons are fed through double jumbo eyelets. I think it looks great!
I have a baby shower at my house today so I have to run! Be sure to check out all the awesome stuff the other BC gals did!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Simplify your life

As you know, I am working on starting my professional organizing business. I just love helping people simplify their life by brining order to their spaces. It is truly rewarding!
Several of you asked if I would share some organizing tips on my blog. What a great idea! I will start doing that today.
Over the years, I have ready many many organizing books, watched show, practiced in my home and in other people's homes. One of the more inlightening books I have ever read is one my dear mother gave me years ago called "Organizing from the Inside out" by Julie Morgenstern. Julie offers a simple plan for organizing any space you may have. The one statement she has in her book that has not only stuck with me but also shaped how I organize myself and others is this "keep it where you use it." She relates this idea to a kindergarten classroom. The art supplies are in the art center, the books are in the library, the building supplies are in the building center, etc. It makes total sense, yet, I have found that there are a lot of people that get caught up in trying to do things the way they think they have to. Or they are trying to make their house look like that picture in Better Homes and Gardens. People! We LIVE in our houses. Make it yours. Make it liveable. Keep it where you use it and make it Usable for the people in your space.
One major challenge we have had at our house for a LONG time is movies. We love them, but the kids canNOT seem to put them away. It is apparently a very hard thing to put a movie back in it's case. When we had VHS, I cut all the titles off the movie cases and taped them to the actual tapes. Now that we have DVDs, we have the same trouble. Nobody can put them away. SO! my lates home organizing solution has been to purchase a few DVD binders and put all our movies in them. I found them at Target for about $18. Each case holds approx 280 movies. There were several different options for DVD storage to chose from. The way I made my decision was to think about:
* How we would use them
*Where we would use them
I picked these because when open, they display 8 different disks, they fit on my shelves and they have a strap to hold them closed.
If you think this might be a good solution for you, be sure to ask the above questions before you go and buy. I actually bought a couple different options and brought them home to compare and ask the family about before I committed to one.
The best part?? I have LOADS of empty shelves!! It is amazing how much less space the movies take up this way! Love it!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Halloween and catch up

I have never been a big fan of Halloween. I don't like scarey movies, costumes, music, etc. so...Halloween doesn't really appeal to me. My husband LOVES it., over the years I have been forced (encouraged) to participate. A couple of years ago I went all out and sewed some Star Wards costumes for the kids and they have worn them every year since. (good planning on my part, no?) this year, with me being out of town the week before Halloween, we just didn't have much time (or money) to really get ready. Thank goodness I have creative kids. They pulled together their own costumes from what we had around the house. We did also have a Superman costume given to us for Ben so, that helped. Here are Sarah and Ethan. Ethan was suppose to be Darth Maul but his dorky mom put the black on first and then tried to put red over it. aahh....that didn't work. duh! so, he went as a really dark sith Lord. Sarah was a vampire. lovely. As I said, Ben was superman, but he flew around so fast I couldn't get a picture of him. I raided Brad's closet and went as a Basketball Ref. It is a bit sad that I can wear some of his clothes....anyway! The really sad part siseters in Arizona went all out and had awesome costumes! Sometimes I really miss living closer...

In stampin news, I did participate in the Friday Bloggers challenge but, as luck would have it, my computer has been totally freaking out since Thursday night! AAH! So, here is my challenge, a few days late. But, I promise it was done on time!! Our challenge was to either use the same stamps differently or different stamps the same or...something like that. Here is what I came up with . I did two sets, just to try and get it right. :o)

Back from the dead....

Well, okay, I wasn't actually dead or even sick for that matter but....I have been absent on my blog here. Sorry about that. It has been an interesting couple of weeks over at my house. As some of you may remember, I was having issues with my son at the school. Thank you to everyone that emailed me with suggestions and support. It makes such a difference to know that I am not alone in my struggles. I wanted to give you all a quick update. We had two IEP meetings last week with the 'group' at the school about Ben. Things had escalated to where not only was he not doing work and being sent home, he had started running out of the school. Needless to say, the principal and teachers thought that was unsafe. I had to agree. Ben used to run off regularly but since he has been in school, it has been a rare occurance and even when he did run, he didn't do it from the school. I know I said I was frustrated with the school, but after our meetings last week I have to say that I am impressed. This was the first meeting where the behavior analyst was there with data she had from actually observing Ben in the classroom. The psychiatrist had also observed him. It was really eye opening to me to hear what they had to say. I learned a lot. As a mother it was hard for me to see the diabilities Ben has. When I see him, I see all he can do and I have gotten used to what he can do and I guess I don't expect things outside of that. When the analyst starting talking about him, I realized I didn't see things clearly. In the end, we ended up placing Ben back into the VE class room where he wouldn't be so over stimulated and where he could receive more individual help and attention. I have talked to him about it and he is not happy about it, but the analyst warned me it would get worse before it got better so, I am prepared for that.
It just goes to show that no matter what our big plans are and how we think things should be, wer (I) really don't know it all, darn it! Every day I learn something else that I don't know. Does that make sense? I am just grateful there are people that spend their life going to school and learning how to help kids like my Benny. I'll keep you all posted.

Friday, October 31, 2008

I'm turning into a witch

No, my sister isn't contagious. LOL I really feel like I am being forced to turn into a mean person tho! I don't have any cute Halloween projects to share today, you can look back through my posts to see some I have done this month.
I have been too busy fighting with the public school this week to do anything else. I don't understand WHY they can't just do what is best for the kids. Why does it always have to come down to money.? At least, that is what I assume it must be coming down to. All I am asking for is that my son who is "very likely autistic" be put into a regular 1st grade class with an aide. You would think I was trying to re align the stars! Holy cow! They can't possibly do this. They can't possibly admit that they might have put him with the wrong teacher. I don't know much, but I would think that putting an autistic child in a classroom with a teacher that has admitted to having NO training or experience with special needs children.....might not be the best plan? Am I crazy? But, some of you may know....getting the administration at a public (public???) school to 'change' their minds on ANYTHING is pretty nigh impossible. So...I'm getting mean. I'm calling a lawyer. I'm taking a child psychologist to the next meeting. I called the district office and complained. What else can I do? I mean, I don't have a lot of time. The school keeps sending my son home from school early because......hmmmmm.....that is a good question. He isn't acting out, he just isn't finishing all his work. Does this sound right to YOU?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Back from Utah

I had a wonderful time in Salt Lake last week. Not only did I attend a fabulous training seminar, but I got to spend some time with my mom. Just the two of us. I can't remember the last time we got to spend time, just us. She was a great room mate, picking up after me, letting me watch tv til late at was a lot of fun.
I learned SO much! I am ready to tackle the disorganized world! I think I mentioned earlier that I was attending a training seminar to get my professional organizing certificate. There is a lot more to it than you may think. The trainer, Marla Dee, has wonderful ideas and lots of great forms and systems that she shared with us. We had class Monday thru Wednesday, a client on Thursday, and class on Friday. Here are some samples of what I actually did on Thursday. This is a corner of the master bedroom I reorganized. Before and after. I think the favorite part of this room was the Make up drawer tho. One of the gals in the class about passed out when she saw the after shot! If you are in need of some help organizing your space, let me know! I'd love to come help you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Season's greetings

Here is another card I demoed at my workshops this month. I really love the layout and have Shari to thank for the idea. I used this card to show the big shot as well as the aqua painters that are on sale this month. The card base is Riding hood red with Baroque motifs stamps in the same color. I die cut the top notch using whisper white cardstock and my big shot and stamps the greeting and sponged the edges with riding hood red. The ribbon is the new Kiwi kiss two sided satin ribbon. Yummy! I stamped the little flower pot from Flowers for All Seasons onto watercolor paper using the Staz On Black pad. Then I used my aquapainter and ink from stamp pads to color it in. The colors I used are ridinghood red, more mustard, and kiwi kidss. I used the new 1-3/4" circle punch to punch out the bird and pot and adhered it over the ribbon with dimensionals. I added a touch of glitter to the centers of the flowers with the 2-way glue pen and dazzling diamonds.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Sweet Day

Stampin' Up! is having a sale on several of their birthday themed sets. I can't resist a sale...especially on stamps! I had been wanting this set anyway so...I got it! You can't never have too many birthday cards on hand. I made this card using whisper white for the base and layering a piece of pink pirouette DSP on the front. I punched the edge of the front of the card with the scallop border punch and layered a piece of pink pirouette cardstock on the inside so it peeks out from under the scallops. The focal point is stamped with basic black and colored in using the blender pens and Pink Pirouette and Sahara sand stamp pads. I used a real red marker to color in the cherries. I wanted the frosting to really pop so I colored them in with the 2-way glue pen and dumped dazzling diamonds over them. They look awesome in person! The sentiment is stamped with black and punched out with the new jumbo oval punch. I added a couple of pink rhinestone brads for some bling and a pink striped ribbon on the left. I think this might be a "girl" birthday card? You think? :o))

Monday, October 20, 2008

Owl-ways friends

I'm still feeling the love of orange and chocolate. Maybe I can talk my mom into bringing me some when we meet up in Salt Lake. For those of you that don't know, I am going to Salt Lake City to take a course to become a certified Professional Organizer. I am so excited! This is something that I have been doing for good friends for years now. I totally love it! I love helping people find peace and contentment in their homes. It amazes me the difference a little organization can make in someone's life and I love being a part of it! So...If you are in the area and need some help, let me know! I'd love to help you out!
Back to my card.....this is another card using the same DSP as yesterday and the same Owl set. I added some tangerine hearts I cut out using my Sizzix. I sponged the edges with cocoa to soften them and pull it together. The striped ribbon is also Tangerine. This card is for a dear friends birthday. We have been friends forever! We have lived on opposite sides of the country for a long time now, but I still love catching up with her when I can.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Orange chocolate

When I was a kid growing up in Arizona, I remember driving out to Apache Junction where there used to be very little. Now, there is a metropolis out there! One of the places we would go was a fruit stand, I think, and they had these chocolate orange sticks. They were like orange jelly sticks dipped in chocolate. I loved them! I haven't had them in ages! Anyway, one of my few memories....
This card made me think of that. I used close to cocoa and the new background from the Holiday mini. I wasn't too sure about the color combo on these papers...they don't say "winter" to me, but then again, I don't really live where we have "winter" so, it could work! I stamped the Baroque motifs stamp with cocoa onto the DSP and then used blender pens and ink pads to color in my image. The orange color is the Tangerine In Color for '08-09. I cut out the hearts and stuck them on using dimensionals. I think it is kind of cute! This is the first time I used this new set and I love it!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Birthday wishes

I had a couple of birthdays I needed to make cards for this week. Since these cards were for ladies, I decided to go for the super girly look. Remember how I said I liked to think of three different ways I could use a stamp before I bought it? Well, here is another way to use this great flower from the Bella Blossoms set. I stamped the flower onto Pirouette pink cardstock using white craft ink. I let it dry for a minute or so and then gently rubbed pastels over it to give it the soft, colored look. The white also gives it a sort of 'under-shimmer' if you know what I mean. I added a white scalloped edge, greeting and some riding hood red taffetta ribbon. Then, as a finishing touch, I added some dazzling diamonds to the center of the flower. I layered the card onto a piece of ruby red cardstock. It looks great with the pirouette pink, belive it or not! This is the way we used to do the "poppin pastel" technique back before we had the Versamark pad. I like it because it does look a bit different and has more depth than the Vmark way.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bloggers challenge #69

This week our challenge was to use the colors Riding hood red, Old Olive, and Really rust together. The colors really scream 'FALL' to me, but I wasn't really in the mood to make a fall card. so.....I pulled out some naked coasters and made this little photo project for my mom. She LOVES pictures of her kids and grand kids looking stupid. LOL Probably not actually, but I know she has a great sense of humor and will get a kick out of this. So, mom, if you are reading this....act surprised when I give you this in Salt Lake. :o))
I had some pictures from the Grands visit last spring so I printed them out and cropped them down really small. The coasters are only 4 x 4, so...not a whole lot of room. I covered the coaster with old olive cardstock on one side and two different patterns of DSP from the Holiday Treasure collection(Stampin' Up!) on the other side. The red is the riding hood red so that covered two of the challenge colors. The rust was the hard one to get in there. I decided to use rust to sponge all the edges to give it a bit of rustic-icity.
On the outside, I stamped "memories" using rust and then masked off the middle and sponged heavily around it to give it a border. Not too exciting...but I don't know that this side will be seen much anyway.
To do the brads, I punched holes using the large setting on my cropadile and put the junbo brad in from the inside of the coaster book. I used my hammer and eyelet setter to set the eyelet so it would really flatten down. Then I took another jumbo brad and put it throught the first flatten brads from the outside of the coaster book. I set it the same way. Now it looks finished from both side. I didn't do any brads from the very back of the book because....a. I'm stingy with my brads, or b. I didn't think it was necessary. Take your pick. I added some old olive grosgrain ribbon to tie it together some scallop circles, and mounted my pictures on vanilla, sponed with rust. I think it turned out pretty cute! If you are looking for inexpensive holiday gifts, you just can't go wrong with photo gifts! Using these coasters is WAY cheap! You can use them to make ornaments, boxes, name it!
One of the things I LOVE about being a crafter is that most times, I can go into my craft room and come out with a gift of some sort, without having to spend any money. Including the card and wrapping paper! Of course....that may also be a sign that I have been buying too much, but I doubt it!
Check out the other BC gals to see their awesome creations! Happy Friday!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Christmas illuminations

I saw a card on Clair Daly's blog that inspired this one. I loved how she used the C from 'cherish' and turned it into Christmas. So clever! I stamped the Cherish with Artichoke ink and then stamped 'hristmas' using the rough edges alphabet and then layered it on using dimensionals. At my classes, I had the ladies stamp the rest of christmas from the Many Merry Messages set instead of making them spell it out. It looks almost the same. The card base it artichoke, the red is Rose Red, and the DSP is the holiday paper from the Holiday mini. That lucious brown ribbon is from last year.....I wish we still had it! I added some 2-way glue and dazzling diamonds to the C to give it some sparkle.
I thought this card was really classy. I love being able to use stamps for lots of different seasons and times. This C could also stand for Carlson! very cool.....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Charlie Brown Christmas

Do you remember the old Charlie Brown Christmas specials on TV? They were an essential part of the whole Christmas season for me. Back in the day before we had 300+ movies on our shelves at home, we had to wait all year to see our favorites like Wizard of Oz, It's a Wonderful Life, and....the Peanut's specials. My favorite part (besides that cute pianist) was the pathetic tree Charlie Brown always ended up with! My friend Katie has a tree in her front yard that she hangs ornaments from each year and it totally looks like a huge Charlie Brown tree because it is not an evergreen and it totally naked except for the huge ball ornaments she hangs. I love that tree! So, in honor of C. Brown and Katie, I made this cute card for my classes last week. This first one has the canvase background stamped with celery in the background and the awesome new stripey ribbon from the Holiday mini (warning! There is only 8 yards of need to buy two....or three!!) The ornament is actually a 3/4" circle punched from the holiday DSP and the string is drawn in with a brown marker. This next version is the same, but has no canvas in the background. The ladies at my classes had a lot of fun with these cards. Some added snowflakes, birds, more ornaments, different words.....and LOADS of glitter! Just so you know....You can NOT get too much glitter! They all looked great! I am loving this tree set!! You'll be seeing more of it....:o)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hi Hi Hi!

I had a fun card making class with an old friend this weekend in Palm Coast. It was loads of fun! One of the cards she wanted me to bring was one that Shari had done for our stamp a stack a couple months ago. I changed the colors a bit, but the card is basically the same. Everyone really liked it and kept saying they wanted to make another "hi hi hi!" card. It sounded like we were practicing martial arts in the room! Too funny!
Card info: base is kraft, inks-kiwi kiss, bravo burgundy, more mustard. This is the Ronald McDonald house set this year. SO cute! It fits perfectly in the scallop square it was made for it! LOL (I'm sure it was!)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Season of friendship

I was lamenting the other day that Stampin' Up! didn't have any little stamps to make a faux quilt style card with. Then I happened upon a fellow bloggers challenge gal and she had a card that used these little fellows from the Season of Friendship stamp. I was so excited! I don't know how I missed them! My card base is Always Artichoke with a felt ribbon wrapped around it. The ribbon is fairly thick so instead of tying it I used a bit of linen thread and tied a bow around it. I used my 1-1/4" square punch to punch out nine squares of whisper white cardstock and then stamped the images on them. I used More mustard, pacific point, ridinghood red, and kiwi kiss for my images. The saying is actually longer than these squares so I stamped it and then cut it apart and layered it onto some white cardstock. I thought it was a pretty fun and easy card.
In other news, my sweetie is on a trip and I am missing him already. I hate it when he is gone! I hate it when anyone is gone from my family. It feels like there is a big gaping hole where they should be. I have a feeling I'm not going to weather the empty nest thing very well. Thankfully, I have a few years til I have to deal with it. Maybe my kids will get really irritating before then....I doubt it! I have awesome kids!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My sister is a witch...

Ha! You didn't really think I would call my sister a witch did you? she is the most wonderful person I know! She does make a great witch for Halloween tho, check this out! Fake nose, chin.....amazing! She is really beautiful without this make up. She dresses up every year and takes candy to her kids at school. For the first couple of years, they didn't even realize it was her! I'm not sure if know even now. How fun is that?!
This is the layout we did at our monthly stamp a stack and scrap night. The pumpkins, vines, and letters are all from Big Shot dies. The dotted border on the orange is made with the black marker. Other than that...pretty straight forward!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bloggers challenge #68

This week for our blogger's challenge we were given an inspiration piece. Here is the picture. I really like this! Since I obviously have Halloween on the brain, I decided to use these cute skulls from the Ghostly Greetings DSP at Stampin' Up! The squares are all cut to 1-1/4", adhered to a black piece of cardstock and then to a white card base measuring 5" square. You can't really see the white on this picture, is there! I think it turned out very cool and is the perfect birthday card for my brother! It goes great with the book I got him called Releasing your Inner Pirate. LOL I think he is a wanna be pirate. I hope the red ribbon doesn't make it too feminine....maybe he'll think it looks like blood. ;o)
Have a great weekend! Be sure to check back tomorrow to see the Halloween scrap layout I did of my sister....she is such a witch! ;o)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Growing by dreams

It is raining like crazy here! It wouldn't be a big deal, but my car is broken and we are having to walk to the bus stop. We usually do, but if it is raining, we would drive. I can't complain tho, amazing as it may sound, each time we have had to walk out to the bus (twice) the rain has eased up a bit til the kids get on the bus. It really makes me feel like we are being watched over. Rain isn't a big deal, but is comforting.
As you may remember, I made my own background paper for last Friday's challenge. I made a full sheet and have been looking at the left overs for a few days now, wondering what I wanted to do with them. I ended up cutting it into smaller pieces and using it on different projects. This one uses a set I wasn't overly fond of at first. I wasn't sure what "we grow great by dreams" was trying to say. It doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, if you know what I mean. The more I looked at it and thought about it, the more I really started to like it. I am a big believer in goals and really, aren't goals dreams? I think they are. So, my take on this is to set your goals, work towards them, and then you will be great.
My card base is actually purely pomegranate even tho the roses were stamped with riding hood red and regal rose. It actually looks fine together. The DSP is celery. I stamped the focal point with stazon black twice and cut out the "dreams" with the flower from one and layered it on the other with dimensionals. I added a bit of white gel pen around the floral piece just to give it a bit of a border.
Have a wonderful day! I am off to prep for my stamp a stack and scrap night which is tomorrow. If you are in the area, come on over! :o)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

In the leafy treetops

If that opening put a song in your head, you must have been in primary the same time as me. Why don't we sing those songs any more? sigh...I guess we are actually 'learning' stuff these days. Less time for play.
I am learning stuff all the time! Some times I learn the same thing over and over many times. LOL I was thumbing through my newest scrapbooking magazine, could have been Simple scrapbooks....or something else...(I have 6 kids and no brain left) and I saw an article (notice I didn't say "read" an article) on using tools we might have been neglecting for a while. One of the tools was the paper crimper (not for hair!) and I thought to myself "self, we have been neglecting our crimper!" so, I pulled it out. This stamp set is one I HAD to have and today is the first time I think I have inked it up. It has been sitting patiently on my desk for over a week, waiting to taste ink. I feel guilty....a bit.... I love this set! I really do! Some of you may remember the Three Trees set that came out last spring, I think, and I really liked it but, the trees were cut off along the top. This tree is SO much better than that one! So, here is how I did it. I started with sage shadow cardstock as my card base. I cut a square of Sage and stamped all over it using Baja Breeze ink. It looks really cool! I then used my Big Shot to cut out the large scalloped circle and then fed it through my paper crimper. I stamped the tree trunk with chocolate chip and then painstakingly cut it out. My branches were a bit long for my scalloped 'leave section' so I simple cut them down. I stamped several more leaf clusters and cut them out. I used Tombow Liquid glue to glue my scallop, then trunk, then extra leaves down. The tombow is great at holding onto things like this that are not always flat on flat. A saying, bit of paper piercing and an actual chocolate tafetta ribbon and voila! Done! It looks WAY better in person! I need to hire a photographer....