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 www.beckiecarlson.stampinup.net 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!
:o)

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, but...it 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 Shot...here 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, I...am 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. sigh....so, 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 is...my 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.