Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Final "Deal of the Day" TODAY!

You won't believe today's final Close To My Heart "Deal of the Day!" To see what it is, click on over to my CTMH website...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hunting Island State Park

We went camping last week to one of our favorite places, Hunting Island State Park. (Feel free to click on the link to learn more about it in case I don't beat the subject to death in this post.) We love it because the campground is right on the beach, and the 200 sites are very shady. Even though that's a lot of sites, the beach is never really crowded. It's a great place for nature lovers, but there's not a lot to do (other than swim, sun bathe, and enjoy the great outdoors).

The only major drawback (IMHO) is the darn mosquitos! They will just about carry you away if you're not careful, and since our little one is allergic to them, we didn't spend much time around the campfire.

For the first several years we visited, the lighthouse was closed for repairs, but in '07 it was open again. We enjoyed the 167-step climb to the top with Grammie & Grumps this year (who camped in the site across from us in their moho).

The interior cast-iron stairs are just beautiful. In these two photos, I'm looking up. Notice the steel reinforcements that have been added to the original stairs.

In the second photo, you can see the iron rings that support the landings of each segment of the lighthouse.

(My beach photos did not turn out well but hopefully with some editing I'll be able t post them later this week.)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wishes Card Class Sunday

Here's a peek at one of the cards we'll be making Sunday at my "Wishes" card class. This particular card uses the June stamp of the month, Tender Tags, and the Moon Doggie paper pack. This sketch can be found on p. 119.

We'll start at 2:00. Hope you can make it!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More Presents

Grammie & Grumps brought the girls these beautiful necklaces back from Ravenna, Italy. They are actually mosaics, so click on the photos to see the intricate work. They are just beautiful!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


As you know, our older daughter turned 11 last week. I am still trying to figure out where the last 11 years went! I used the Boom-di-Ada paper pack to make her a few birthday treats. First, her card uses the "On the Edge" sketch from Wishes (and that's a sneak peek at the August stamp of the month, It's Your Day!). The two candles on top are supposed to represent "11" just in case you couldn't tell.

Her gifts were housed in this 10"x9.5"x3" My Creations Memory Keeper box. You probably cannot see the Clear Inspiration acrylic flowers on the box, but they're there! Inside, she got a new game for ner Nintendo DS, a new pair of earrings, and some cold hard birthday cash. Let's go shopping!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all fathers out there, but especially to my Dad! I think this picture is from Christmas of '76, obviously before my sister was even born. My Dad has always been there for us, no matter what. He has always set such a great example of what is right, and his determination (sounds a lot better than stubbornness, right?) has been passed on to each of us. We have been so blessed in too many ways to count. I hope he knows how much we appreciate him and the sacrifices he's made over the years for his family. I love you, Dad!

I also want to wish my hubby a very happy Father's Day today. He is such a wonderful Dad to our girls. I want to thank him publicly for always being there for the girls and for letting them know that he loves all three of us, unconditionally.

Hope you all have a happy day today. After church, we plan to spend the afternoon on the lake and then we'll all gather at Mom & Dad's for dinner. Life is good!

So Sketchy Sunday #15

This is actually last Sunday's sketch, but I needed a Father's Day card so I waited until today to post. (More about my Dad in an upcoming post!) The card is a 4.25"x4.25" card with a Colonial White cardstock base. I used scraps from the Thursday night Father's Day Memory Cube workshop. All of the paper are from the Back Country paper pack. The square sentiment is from the Just Like You stamp set, and the Dad is from the World's Best Dad set (April stamp of the month). On the inside, I stamped the Happy Father's Day square from the Just Like You set but I didn't scan it. A little hemp tied around the middle and the sentiment square is popped on over that using foam tape.

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there! Be sure to love on your dad today!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Reading Endorsement

Today has been an incredibly gorgeous day, and I am stuck inside working on my reading endorsement class. Yes, I'm whining, so go ahead and move on to something else! The girls spent the night w/BJ last night so I'm trying to use my time without them wisely, but I am sick of this class! This one is the first of three, and then I'll have my reading endorsement tacked on to my teacher certification. This first one is also supposed to be the most difficult, so I hope that is true! I promise this will be my only post complaining about this course. At least I have the annual potluck at the RV park to look forward to for the evening. I am planning to take the evening "off," at least from school work. Okay, back to school work for a bit longer...

Friday, June 19, 2009

My Monkey (Layout #27)

You've seen my little monkey many times, but here's a layout capturing her monkey-ness.
The pictures on the lefthand side are from her birthday, and the one on the right is on her bed w/most of her collection.
I used the Animal Cookies paper pack again, plus my Boutique Alphabet and Life's a Jungle stamp sets. I used the Reflections "Title Topper" sketch for the left page and the "Bottom Border" sketch for the right one.
The detail photo shows you the cool new felt accessories that we now carry. The Heartfelt Whimsy felt die cuts contain a sheet of 12"x12" cut-outs in Tulip, Buttercup, and Garden Green. Liquid Glass holds them to your projects perfectly.

Thank you for the Award!

Thank you very much to Carol and Amy for this blog award!

The rules for this award are:
1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
2. Pass the award on to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Newly discovered blogs are a bit of a challenge, but here's my list:
1. Laura @ www.thecroppersconnection.blogspot.com
2. Karen @ http://karenrussell.typepad.com/my_lifejust_not_on_the_ro/
3. Christine @ http://createwithchristine.blogspot.com/
4. Kathi @ http://www.kathiscreativecorner.blogspot.com/
5. Amy @ http://efridgedoor.blogspot.com/
6. Kelly @ http://lamaisondepapier.blogspot.com/
7. Karen @ http://karenpedersen.blogspot.com/
8. Helen @ http://www.hookedonstamping.com/
9. Judy @ http://scrampalot.blogspot.com/
10. Krista @ http://kristaritskes-simplycreating.blogspot.com/

Okay, so I can't count. But go check these gals' blogs out. You'll love them!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Yum! (Layout #26)

The title of this layout, "we love chocolate" says it all! The photos are from Macey's birthday this year, but the layout will actually go in our "Things We Love" album. (Remember the Library of Memories?)

These pictures totally crack me up! Sorry if you find the one of my nephew gross; I think it's hysterical!!! I ended up choosing the "Leading Lady" sketch from Imagine, the Life's Delights paper pack, and of course my Chocolate alphabet stamps. I would have never thought to pair Chocolate and Cocoa together, but that is something we did at last year's Convention. It works so well here to showcase the scrumptious chocolate.

To create the sinfully rich title, I stamped each letter of "chocolate" in Cocoa ink and then immediately sprinkled clear embossing powder on them. Can you see the shine on the detail shot? In the green file folder, I have included a hand-written copy of the cake recipe that we love (see below).

To embellish the layout, I used some Chocolate ribbon and some of the metal pieces from the Chocolate Mini Medley accents. Do you detect a pattern here?

Now, here's a little something just for you. The girls have requested this cake for the last several birthdays, so here's the recipe for you. I think that it originally came from my Aunt Carolyn, but I got it from my Mom. Betty Crocker we are not, but I promise this cake is easy and delicious!
Triple Chocolate Cake
1 box deep chocolate cake mix
1 sm. box instant chocolate pudding
1/2 c. oil (or applesauce + 1-2 Tbsp oil)
1/2 c. strong coffee
8 oz. sour cream
4 eggs
12 oz. (1-1/2 c.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Grease Bundt pan. Mix everything except chocolate chips for 5 minutes w/mixer. Add in the chips. Pour into the prepared pan and back for 65 minutes. When completely cooled, turn out onto cake plate. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dancing Queen

What do you think of my new 'do? Here we are at intermission at recital on Sunday. Yes, I was in the recital for the second year in a row (after about a 20-year hiatus). You'd think I'd know better at my age, but dancing is so much fun. This year's tap number was to "Thoroughly Modern Millie," hence the flapper get-up.

Ansley danced to "Route 66" (tap) and "I Think We're Alone Now" (jazz). Macey is in her "Puttin' on the Ritz" tap costume. (I didn't get a picture of her in her jazz number, "Video Killed the Radio Star.") She also performed in the Circus tumbling act.
This year's show was excellent. When we get the DVD, you're welcome to come watch. You'll be thoroughly entertained! ;)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Happy birthday, Ansley!

Look who's 11! Happy birthday, dear sweet, smart, original Ansley!

It is so hard to believe that our girl is eleven years old today. Where did my little girl go? She is growing into a delightful young lady, and we couldn't ask for more. Of course, we hope that she holds on to her sweet self as she heads into her teen years. Ansley, enjoy your special day today. We love you!

Today will be a busy day. This afternoon is our dance recital, and when it's over we're having a cookout for the birthday girl.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Birthday Present

You may recall my dear nephew's birthday party last weekend. Here's the little ham mugging for the camera! We had a great time at his party. He did NOT like his cake, and once he quit shivering over the ice cream, he enjoyed it.

Here is the wall hanging I made for his "big boy" room in his new house. (A & J have bought and remodeled my parents' house. Grammie & Grumps built a new house next door.) His big brother says that Scooter is a baby and won't be a big boy until he learns to walk.

Anyway, I used the adorable Animal Cookies paper pack, which coordinates so nicely with his Babar-themed room! The die-cuts are from last fall's special. I used some Liquid Glass to give the letters to give them the cool shine. The ribbon is retired stuff from my stash.

Let me know if you have any questions about this project. Big brother already has one for his room.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Color Me Monday Challenge

Every Monday for the past several weeks, CTMH founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton posts a "Color Me Monday" color combo on her blog. This Monday's combo is shown at left. Her combos are scrumptious! She really has an eye for color.

I can't believe that I am actually going to tell you this, but (as if you didn't already know) I am such a nerd. Not only have I started a Color Combo database on my computer, but I've created a notebook also to record the color combos I find. As a student teacher long, long ago, a wise mentor told me not to reinvent the wheel. I could and should improve it, but I didn't need to reinvent it. I've certainly taken that philosphy to heart. (I think sometimes it's called "work smarter not harder" too.) I can't really claim that I've had too many original thoughts or ideas, but I am definitely inspired by what I see and find in the world around me.
Case in point: here's my take on Jeanette's color combo, using the "Name Plate" sketch from Wishes. See, I told you I didn't have an original idea of my own! I used my new Buttoned Together stamp set for all of the stamped images. The scrap of Tulip B&T Duos is from the Perfect Day paper pack. I am totally loving making small cards. This one measures 3"x6". Some of you will be seeing this card in person soon... Even if you don't, you're still my friend! :) Can you tell how many real buttons I used on this card?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

While the Mice Were Away...

the CATS have played! With Ansley @ camp and Macey gone for two nights in a row, Logan and I worked on their bedroom. Good grief, what an undertaking. I am happy to report that they actually have dark blue carpet under all the junk (and quite a bit less junk now)! M & I are going through her clothes today, so wish me luck.

Anyway, all work and no play makes one dull (since I'm hung up on cliches today), so here is some of my playing this week. I finally finished my layout from last month's scrapbook class. I don't usually do layouts about myself, so this really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I used the May stamp of the month (Be Yourself) and the Tickled Pink scrapbook special, along with the Bella papers. We used the Reflections sketches "Half & Half Combo" for the left page and a simple "Bottom Border" for the right side. If you're following my tally, this is the 25th layout I've posted for this year. I have several more to share from this week's creative frenzy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

So Sketchy Sunday #14 & Wishes Cards

Yes, I know today is Wednesday, but it's the first chance I'm getting to post my take on Mary's So Sketchy Sunday challenge #14.

Since I've been itching to play with my new Post Card- Travel Series stamp set, I made a little 3.5"x2.5" card. My parents, the Traveling Bells (you can check out their blog on my blog roll), are the inspiration for this one. My version uses the Moon Doggie papers, and the matte for the center panel is actually the back side of the Indian Corn Blue piece. I love that there is color and pattern on both sides of the B&T Duos!

While my supplies were out, I had to play a bit more. The tropical card at left uses the "All Stacked Up" pattern from Wishes. I love this 6"x3" size. Since summer is here, I am feeling a bit like a tropical vacation, even if one isn't in the works.
My final card for the night was just a fun one. Those who know me know my love of (most) things French, so here's another reason that I love this stamp set. This 4.75"x3" card follows the "City Scape" pattern, again from Wishes. This book is so awesome!!!

Two Deals Today!

Don't miss out on TWO great deals today!
CTMH if offering a "Great Goodies" box for only $40 plus $6 shipping, so head on over to HaleyD.myctmh.com to get yours today! You'll be getting about $80 worth of fabulous Close To My Heart products!!! (Last week's $60 boxes- worth about $120- sold out!)
If crafting isn't up your alley (or even if it is), you may want to check out the great Longaberger special today only on the Beverage Tub basket (47% off today only). Happy shopping!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Help Wanted!

OK, so I know I need help on many levels, but what I really need RIGHT NOW is a title for the layout I'm making of the kids on the trampoline. You can see my original blog post w/pictures HERE to help inspire you to inspire me. ;) I hadn't really planned on scrapping these photos, but the girls laughed so hard at the pictures that I couldn't resist.

If I pick your title (or your idea inspires me) then I will send you a little thank-you *blog candy* from me to thee, so get your thinkin' cap on and have some fun. THANKS! Leave me a comment, okay?!?

Quote of the Week

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. ~Benjamin Franklin

Monday, June 8, 2009

Blog Candy from Melissa

You've got to go check out the amazing blog candy that Melissa is giving away! WOWZERS!!!! Good luck. ;)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

So Sketchy Sunday

My friend Mary has been creating some awesome sketches over at her blog, and she was looking for people to play along. Here's my take on last Sunday's So Sketchy Sunday #13.

It was fun to give it a try! Since my Animal Cookies paper pack was still out, I decided to use it along with my June Word Puzzle stamp set. As a technique challenge, I only used markers to ink up my stamps. I also used my markers for embellishments: the Sunflower dots on the "Play the day away!" tag, to color the edges of the focal image, to create the "grass," and to add the centers to the bottom band of flowers.

Girl Scout Trip

Yesterday was Ansley's big Girl Scout trip to Gatlinburg. We decided to make a family trip of the event and went up Friday to enjoy a little R&R (not having to meet at 6:30 Sat. AM to go was a plus too). We toured the Aquarium, the Ripley's Museum, and the Haunted Adventure. Lunch was fun at the Hard Rock Cafe. Do you like Ansley's photos of the sea turtle and the shark? You should have heard us "singing" the Jaws theme throughout the shark tube.

Today we'll celebrate Scooter's first birthday and then get Ansley ready for 4-H camp. She'll be gone Mon.-Fri. She is so excited she's about to burst!!! I imagine we'll spend a little time on the lake too in between loads of laundry. ;)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Father's Day Workshop

Here is my sample for the Father's Day workshop I am offering on Thursday, 6/18, at 7 PM. For $12, you will make your version of this cube, just in time for Father's Day. You will learn to use the edge distresser and finishing files while creating a great keepsake for Dad.
We'll be using the Dimensional Elements In Color- Adventure to personalize Dad's gift, plus a few stamped sentiments (not yet pictured on mine).

Won't this look great sitting on Dad's desk? He can leave it closed, or fill it w/pens and notepads for a handy caddy.

Please RSVP for this workshop no later than this Sunday, 6/7. Thanks!


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