Friday, July 31, 2009

Thank you!

What a nice surprise this morning! My online friend Sarah nominated me for "The Circle of Friends" Award! Thank you, Sarah!!!

Here are the rules: Nominate 5 other bloggers you feel have become part of your circle of friends. Link to your nominees within your blog post. Include these instructions on how to pick up the award in your blog post. Link back to the person who gave you the award in your blog post, to show your appreciation. Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received the award.

How fun is this? I have been so blessed to "meet" so many people online! The ones I've chosen are people I haven't met in person. Here we go, in no particular order:

Mary (Didn't we actually meet? If so, refresh my memories as to where we were! LOL) for all your great sketches and the effort you put into VC, past & present

Leanne for your willingness to help and your great artwork

Debra for your willingness to help others, the CTMHHelp group, and for being part of my virtual swap

Jena for hosting the blog hops

Helen for your great stamping tips, etc.

Top Secret Mission

[Insert "Mission Impossible" theme music here]
I've been working on a top secret project here at Inky Scrapper headquarters. I can't share it with you yet, but I couldn't resist a quick tease. See, I was even working incognito!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Vacation" in Atlanta

My mom, my sister and her two boys, my girls, and I all spent a few nights at my brother's house in Atlanta while he and my BIL are in the Keys fishing. (For some reason Logan did not want to go with us. He used work as his excuse, but I don't think that was the real reason!)

On Sunday, Mom and I took the girls to the High to see the Monet exhibit. Having seen most of Monet's work in France (I mean hanging in the Musee d'Orsay, the Musee Marmottan, at l'Orangerie, and at Giverny), I was looking forward to seeing what was on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Though the exhibit was small, I was not disappointed. Sorry the photo quality is not great, but it was the best that I could do considering I wasn't even supposed to be using my camera! How was I supposed to know that cell phone photography permitted meant ONLY cell phones? I knew better than to use my flash.)

If you're thinking about visiting the Monet exhibit, hurry because it leaves next month. We also toured the final Louvre Atlanta exhibit. I was disappointed in it; it was not nearly as good as the first year.

On Monday, we took all the kids to Fernbank (notice that the boys did NOT go to the High!). They had a blast at the various hands-on exhibits, especially the bubble table.

We did quite a bit of shopping for back-to-school clothes and found some great bargains at T.J. Maxx and Filene's Basement.

Thanks, Bike Dude, for letting us crash at your pad!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blog Candy from Paper Trey

If you'd like to win some free stuff, head on over to and see what they're giving away! ;)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tropical Getaway (Layout #35)

At my "Tropical Getaway" scrapbook class last Sunday we created this gorgeous (as I say ever-so-humbly!) layout following the Moon Doggie workshop on the go layout guide.

Rather than going in our "Places We Go" album, this one will actually go in the "Things We Do" album. I am trying harder to bring more meaning, relationships, and feelings into my layouts. This one could have been part of the trip to the beach, but that's not the focus I wanted to emphasize.

We used quite a few techniques on this layout and two FABULOUS new products! The first product I want to highlight probably jumps out at you when you look at all the photos of my layout: the FLIP-FLAP PAGE PROTECTORS! With the flip-flaps, you can easily add a number of 4"x6" photos and/or journaling to your layouts without adding too much bulk while keeping your photos protected from fingerprints. Best of all, they are inexpensive: only $3.95 for 15 of these self-adhesive flaps. Look for more projects with these babies coming soon!

We actually stuck the flip-flap to the page protector (hence the slight glare). The first photo at right is the flip-flap closed, followed by the flap opened. What a great way to incorporate THREE 4"x6" photos in one space! These are nice and thin too, so there's really no extra bulk.

The other fun product we used were the Journey Journaling Spots. You can find two of them "hiding" on my layout with the postcards under the B&T paper (at the bottom left and the top right). These are another inexpensive item ($2.95 for 34 cardstock journaling pieces in a variety of sizes and designs) that can add some pizzaz to your projects. If you do any traveling at all (or dream of traveling) then you will find a use for these great pieces.

Monday, July 27, 2009

$$ Savings if You're Crafty

If you've ever wanted to save money on crafting supplies or even make money, now is an incredible time to sign up to become a Close To My Heart consultant! Click over on the "Fabulous Five" link at right to see the great signing bonuses. (Hurry, though, because the "Fab Five" deal ends 7/31/09!)

I'd love to tell you more about the many benefits of being a CTMH consultant! Here are just a few:

1. The best products on the market at reasonable prices
2. Great compensation program and discounts
3. Wonderful friends and "co-workers"
4. You can work the business (make $$), be a hobbiest (22% discount), or both!

Of course, you don't have to be a consultant to benefit from all that Close To My Heart offers, so let me show you how! I never knew 10 years ago how much being a part of this great company would enrich my life (and hopefully the lives of those around me).

I would love to hear what you love about Close To My Heart. Please leave me a comment and "share the love."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hammock Layout (#34)

Many of the pieces on this layout are from a layout swap I did a few years ago where we created page elements to swap but not the entire layouts.

The girls and I got Logan this hammock last summer to replace the one that had worn out. We all love lazing in it!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Our Fur Babies (Layouts #32 & 33)

Here are layouts about our fur babies. The layout about Franklin was one that I made several years ago but hadn't finished. Yes, I had put it up and then forgot about it. It was nice to find it though! I added the stamped images and the stamped name title, and then decided our kitty needed some "yarn" on his pages, so out came the Sassy Strands.

My dear friend, now Close To My Heart downline, and savings queen extraordinaire (among other things), made me this layout for our puppy Shadow. All I had to do was add photos and some journaling. She used her Pazzle to cut out the title. She is loving that machine!

Both of these layouts use the retired Pet papers from Close To My Heart. They'll both be going in the "All About Us" album, since our pets are part of the family.

Now that I've bragged about my pets, tell me a little about yours! (I guess this is kind of a "I showed you mine now show me yours" post.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Saving $$ Again

This one is pretty obvious to me, but just in case: visit your public library! While ours is not huge (an expansion is under way!), I have found many, many books to read. They have audio CDs and VHS tapes for check out too. Best of all, it's FREE!

We just had to re-check a few things so it reminded me to add this one to this week's topic.

Please share your free or inexpensive entertainment ideas here! Living on the lake means that we never run out of "free" fun when the weather's nice, but I'd love to know what else there is to do for less.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy birthday, Logan!

Today is my hubby's birthday, and though he likes to lay low on his special day, we still think he deserves to be king (for the day at least!). Happy birthday, honey!!!

We're taking him to the Resort for lunch. They have an awesome soup, salad, and pasta lunch bar Mon.-Sat. This will be our last chance to indulge before school starts, so off we go. I'm not sure what else we'll do today; we'll just have to wait and see what the Birthday Boy wants. BTW, he is (at right) w/his older brother at the family reunion Saturday, and in the other photo he's being his goofy self, hamming for the camera.
I've already posted his birthday card (one of the August stamp of the month sneak peeks) so I won't post it again now.
Last night the girls and I enjoyed the dress rehearsal for Oklahoma! It was especially fun to have a few friends and Grammie go w/us. The volunteer cast did a great job. We didn't know that Ms. Shelley was going to be dancing (during the dream sequence), so that was a real treat.
It was a long show, and before intermission, Macey turned to me and said, "Could they just quit singing for twenty minutes?!?" Um, no dear, it's a musical. Later, when Judd sang his solo, his anger led Ansley to comment, "I think he's got issues." As we snickered, the ladies in front of us cracked up! We all lost it though, when Aunt Joy said that he did indeed have ugly shoes, thinking that was what Ansley had said!
Hope you make time to laugh a little today. It's good for the soul. We'll enjoy some fun family time together as we celebrate Logan's birthday.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Another $$ Saver

Our "local" community theater is about to present Oklahoma!, and tonight, the dress rehearsal is FREE. The girls and I, along w/a group of gals, plan to go. Even if the performance has a few kinks to work out, what a great way to see a show- for FREE!

Mine and Macey's dance teacher Ms. Shelley is the dance choreographer, and friend/fellow stamper/tapper Ms. Nancy (the girls 4-yr-old daycare teacher) is in the show. Break a leg!

My Coupon Organizer

If you're going to use coupons, you have to be organized. I started out with a small accordian file but soon outgrew it. My dear sister made me this awesome binder for my birthday (and yes, I even got some great coupons in it!).

It's a 3-ring binder with labeled dividers (produce, condiments, pantry, frozen, refrigerated, pet, cleaning, personal, etc.) and baseball card holders. They are da bomb for keeping your
coupons in place, plus you can usually see the item, the amount, and the expiration date since you can see front and back through the clear divider.

I am by no means an expert, but it's great to save $$ where you can. If you want to learn more, you really should visit the blog I mentioned in the previous post. If you have any questions, I'll be happy to try to help.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Saving $$

My scrappin' friend and now CTMH downline shares great tips on how to save money over on her blog. I would strongly encourage you to go check out her site if you'd like to save some $$. She and my sister have inspired me to use coupons, and it is amazing what you can save!

Ingles is offering triple coupons this week (up to $0.50), and CVS has a great back-t0-school 3-day sale. Here's how I did today:
Ingles: saved $53.41 (and I'll be back before the week is out to save some more w/triple coupons!)
CVS: $17.54 (and earned $16.95 "Extra Care Bucks" or ECB to spend by 8/19)

At Ingles, I was excited to buy 5 Coffeemate creamers for Logan for $0.08 EACH (will order more of those coupons since they don't expire until 2011) and to save $3 on a $5 bag of Purina dog food. I got three blocks of Kraft cheddar for $0.50 (3/$5 and three $0.50 coupons that tripled to $1.50). Cha-ching! Yoplait yogurt was $0.30 a cup ($0.50 each on sale and then $1.20 off with a tripled $0.40 coupon). There were more deals obviously but those are the ones for which I remembered to do the math.

At CVS, I saved a bunch on school supplies: two packs of notebook paper, two packs of 24-count #2 pencils, and two 1" binders will be essentially FREE w/my ECBs. If the girls don't need the pencils, they'll go to my classroom, because my students NEVER all have the pencils they need. (I had to get a raincheck for the two memo pads that will also be free.) I bought 3 boxes of bandaids for $10.57, got $5 ECB and had $1.50 in coupons for a total of $4.07. Had I tripled the coupons @ Ingles, I wouldn't have done as well b/c bandaids aren't on sale this week. (Some of them will also go to my classroom.)

Some of you may have scored better deals, but I'm happy to be saving money, and it's all on stuff we need/use. Yes, I had to spend money to save money, but is that 8-cent Coffeemate or the inexpensive toilet paper going to go bad?

When I get my photos downloaded, I'll show you my coupon notebook, thanks to my WONDERFUL sister. It's a lifesaver for keeping organized to save $$.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

So Sketchy Sunday #19 and Updates

Part One:
Once again, Mary has created an adorable card sketch to try. My version is a top-fold 4"x5.5" card. By shaving that 1/4" off of a standard-size card, you can cut three cards out of one 12"x12" piece. No one usually even misses that little bit.

Since my Let's Get Together paper pack was out (you'll see the scrapbook page sometime soon), I used 1.5"x4" scraps of B&T paper for this fun card. The Fun Times phrase comes from the Friendship Word Puzzle stamp set. I inked the edges of my stripes in Cranberry, but I'm not sure you can tell in the scan. On the inside I had to stamp the little flower and stem from the stamp set. You do decorate the insides of your cards, too, don't you?

Part Two:

Now for an update about us. The last few days have been busy and FUN. The girls were supposed to leave this past Wed. for St. Simon's Island w/my MIL (who was teaching at the Methodist Women's Conference, kind of like sleep-away Bible School), but she got very sick and they couldn't go. (Fortunately she's doing better.) Cousin Beth (who now lives in Wisconsin) came to visit with a friend, so we enjoyed good company, good food, and a few wicked rounds of Hearts. The girls kept Grammie on her toes with some rounds of Rummy.

On Thursday, we went to the Fair and then Beth had to leave to continue her travels toward home. Ice cream was definitely a cool treat for the kids!

On Friday we went to see the much-anticipated 6th Harry Potter movie. Logan didn't like it at all because "it left more questions than it answered" but he hasn't read the books. (I told him to try waiting a year for the 7th book to come out like I had to!) It also wasn't as "intense" as we were expecting. Ansley and I were disappointed that it didn't follow the book as closely as it could have. All in all it was okay, but not as good as we were hoping. Friday night closed with a covered dish dinner at Vacation Bible School, where Macey has been going this week w/her BFF.
Yesterday, Mom and I took a quick tour of the local Butternut Creek art festival, where we each got some cute yard art. We went to Logan's family reunion, where there were approximately 200 relatives in attendance and more food than you could eat! It was great catching up with cousins (though Macey's favorite cousin wasn't there) and meeting new kin.
After church today I'm teaching a scrapbook class. Our theme is tropical getaway, and I'll share my layout soon. This next week is going to be busy too. I'm trying not to count down the days until school starts back. I think I'm worse than the kids!
What have you been doing this weekend? One great thing about blogging is that when I get my pictures developed and sit down to scrapbook them, I can reread what I wrote when the "event" was fresh on my mind. Thanks for reading along!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

2nd Grade & 5th Grade (Layouts #30 & 31)

These are the girls' spring pictures from this year. On both days, we forgot that it was picture day! You can tell that we had a cool spring this year, too.

I found my inspiration for the actual layouts from the July Page Maps sketches.

The girls picked out stamp sets that they thought represented them. I kind of like the "graffiti" look to both of their left pages- not my usual style but very fun to do! It reminds me of a bulletin board. I used too many stamp sets to name (many are retired), but if you have a specific question, ask away!

For the 5th grade layout, I used the Unforgettable paper pack in Juniper, Sorbet, Blush, Desert Sand, and Cocoa.

The 2nd grade layout uses the Emporium paper pack in Sweet Leaf, Twilight, Buttercup, and Cocoa.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

CK Summer Camp

If you're into scrapbooking, then you probably already know that CK stands for "Creating Keepsakes," a cool magazine devoted to the art and craft. (Even if you're not a scrapper, don't totally glaze over at this point; you may still find this post interesting!) This week, CK is hosting an online summer camp, and one of the features is a new FREE font to download each day. Here are samples of two of the four that are available:

Hurry, though, as they will only be available through Friday (when the 5th free font will be posted)!
So, whether you scrap or not, if you use a computer at all and like to play with fonts, go get them before they're gone.

Your "Breast" Friend

Please hop over to Jeanette Lynton's blog and read her post today about her "breast" friend. Her card alone is worth the stop, but she has a very important message to share.
(I couldn't resist showing off Longaberger's Horizon of Hope baskets, tote, pie plate, and measuring cup! A portion of sales of each go to the American Cancer Society.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Quote of the Week

Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein
My girl is determined to learn to ride her bike without training wheels, and it is really hard for her to understand the whole "balance while moving" concept!
At right, you see my handsome cycling brother (in Switzerland on his way to dinner w/friends) when he was touring Europe solo on his bike a few years ago.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Card Crazy

A few weeks ago I taught a card class using the new Card Confidence Program book, Wishes.
Well, I cut too many card sets (on purpose) so that I could make extras to have on hand. Talk about card crazy! All the cards on the left use the "Name Tag" sketch. (I used that one on my button card I posted a while back.) I just love this 3"x6" and the simplicity of the sketch.

Each card uses the Animal Cookies paper pack and the colors Tulip, Sunflower, Clover Meadow, and Dutch Blue. I used several stamp sets: June Word Puzzle, With Love, It's a Party, and Noteworthy. The Clover Meadow ribbon and Dutch Blue My Accents are retired, but everything else is current CTMH product. Just sayin'.
The right set of cards use the "All Stacked Up" sketch from Wishes. The stars were leftover from class, but all the other stamped images come from the Dream Big current incentive stamp set. The colors of the top three cards are Holiday Red, Indian Corn Blue, and Outdoor Denim on Colonial White bases. The bottom card is my favorite. "Hey Lady" on the ladybug stamp just tickles me. I used a black pen and marker to add details.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Weekend Stuff

We've been enjoying a very nice weekend! Our garden is finally starting to produce. Here are my first grape tomatoes ripening and two baby cukes. The squash are not doing that well but we'll see. I'm also starting to wonder if any of our regular-sized tomatoes will ripen at all!

Yesterday after some house cleaning (YUCK!), we went to our friends' house for a little bit of playing on the lake and a delicious dinner. I have a new recipe to try out now, though I doubt I can make it as well as "Chef" Paul!

Today the house cleaning saga continues. We are really trying to reorganize, purge, etc. I always say that teachers don't do spring cleaning but rather summer cleaning.

On a much brighter note, here are some pictures from our anniversary on Wednesday: a gorgeous flowering pot from my MIL, beautiful flowers from my sweet hubby, and finally the four of us at the Resort before a scrumptious lunch.

How have you spent your weekend? It's always fun to catch up with friends, so leave me a comment!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Laugh Together Layout

(AKA Daddy's Girls)

The photos are from Macey's birthday, but I chose to use them to celebrate Daddy's relationship with his girls rather than her birthday. Surprisingly enough, I've had the layout for a long time (since the Close To My Heart Regional Celebration in April '08 when we made it) and finally had the "perfect" pictures to go with it.

Close To My Heart supplies: Good Times paper pack; Angel Whispers, Friendship Word Puzzle, Celebrate Life, and The Works alphabet stamp sets; Twilight, Chocolate, Buttercup, and Sweet Leaf inks; Twilight and Sweet Leaf markers; Dimensional Elements (chipboard) Fresh Shapes; Clear Inspiration Acrylic Tags; Shades of Chocolate Mini Medley Accents; Cottage Edge Anchors; Hemp

Techniques: Rock 'n Roll stamping; sponge shading; fringed paper; sanding; stamped photo corners (flowers)

Sketch: "Full House" from Imagine


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