Saturday, October 31, 2009

**BlOgToBeRfEsT bLoG cAnDy: CaRd GiVeAwAy**

You've already seen this card (if you've been visiting my blog this month), but I have decided to offer it as a giveaway. I will mail it to the recipient of your choosing with your personal message inside. The stamped sentiment reads:
anything is possible. the power is already inside you.

Hopefully this post will stay at the top until the end of the month. Scroll down for my daily ramblings, I mean postings. Thanks!

How can you win? Just leave me a comment saying something to the effect that you want to be entered to win or that you know someone who really needs this card. You have until midnight 10/31 to enter, and I will pick a random winner on the 1st and announce it here no later than 11/2. If you're the winner, I'll ask you to contact me privately with the recipient's info, the message, etc. Good luck!

My Stamp Inventory Notebook

My husband says that I have a problem. Actually, an addiction. He says that I am addicted to Close To My Heart stamps. I beg to differ. It is not an addiction. I don't care if this first step is admittance. It is not an addiction.

I did realize that I had a problem, though, when I couldn't exactly remember every image of every stamp that I own. I think it may be my advancing age. It certainly wouldn't be because I own too many stamps.

Since CTMH's stamps are clear now and require such little space to store, I do not have them all "on display" like I did with my wood-mounted stamps long ago. I am such a visual person, and out of sight is literally out of mind.

I thought and thought and brainstormed and brainstormed on this little problem and decided that I needed a stamp inventory notebook. I have some cheap-o photo albums for a certain supercenter chain near you that is supposed to hold photos. I have painstakingly cut out images of the stamps that I own from my old catalogs. GASP! I know! I cut up a few old catalogs! I do have intact versions of these same old catalogs.

If the image was small enough, I just slipped it into the binder. Some images were larger so I have to cut them into pieces and paste onto a 4x6 piece of old patterned paper in that set's color.

Now what do I mean by that stamp set's color? Each CTMH stamp set has a colored sheet in the front of the plastic envelope that indicates which category that stamp belongs to. I store my stamp sets alphabetically in color groups. Hey, that's what works for me.
Here are the categories:
Alphabet Fonts: Indian Corn Blue
Sentiments: Blush
Frames, Tags and Borders: Lilac Mist
Spring: Buttercup
Summer: Golden Ember
Autumn: Olive
Winter: Desert Sand
Celebration: Amethyst
Everyday Life: Crystal Blue
Animals, Outdoors and Travel: Topiary
Oh, yeah! One more detail: I created the tabs for my binder by cutting out cardstock to fit that I stamped with a file folder stamp and then labeled with the appropriate category.

Do you see the "R" on each of these? Well, these stamps are retired but I still love them.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Quote of the Week/Scrapbook Challenge

God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars. ~Martin Luther

The natural world around us is so inspiring to me. Both of these pictures were taken from my classroom this week. I know, rough isn't it? How bad could a day at the "office" be when you can look out at this scenery? (Winter can be a bit blah, but the mountains are interesting no matter what the weather.)
I challenge you to find a handful of pictures that go well with this quote and use them (photos & quote) on a scrapbook layout. If you complete the challenge and post your layout online, link to it here in the comments, okay?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Frugal Organization

Organizing Your Way is a great blog that I found. If you know me then you know I need help in this area! I am extremely well organized in a few things, but the rest... Anyway, check out some suggestions for some frugal craft storage ideas.

Please share your favorite organizing tip here by leaving a comment! It can be crafty (or not). Anything that makes your life easier and helps it run smoother is something I'd like to learn about. Thanks!

(I will have an original post all of my own in the near future. Until then, enjoy cruising some fun sites!)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Scrapper's Journey (AKA One Scrapper's Process)

Did you miss me yesterday? Boy was it crazy around here! Macey wasn't feeling well Sunday (sore throat/cough) and it turns out she was running a fever, so she couldn't go to school Monday. My MIL is home from her trip to Greece and Turkey, so she offered to keep her which worked out very well. (DH had two generator jobs lined up- yay!) I had a 7:40 conference (my work hours are 7:30-3:30), my first of the last reading endorsement class from 3:30-7:30, and an extremely important church vestry meeting from 4:30-6:30. (I went to the vestry meeting late and left early, but at least I was able to vote on the big issues.) The funny thing was that I got locked out of the middle school and it took forever for me to get someone inside to answer their cell phone and let me in. (The two numbers I had wouldn't answer, so I called a friend who was able to give me another participant's number, and I was finally in.) Okay, that was TMI I'm sure! I ate a bowl of cereal for dinner at 8:30. Whew.

Today's tip comes from the blog Write. Click. Scrapbook. (You can find it on my sidebar at right.) You've probably noticed that I love to scrapbook and record my family's memories. It is also very interesting to me to read about how and what other people scrapbook. Go read Marnie's journey. I'll bet she'll inspire you. What do you scrapbook? I'd love for you to share here what you typically scrapbook or how you like to scrapbook.

I am really enjoying trying to follow Stacy Julian's Library of Memories "system." Each of the girls have their sets of albums, and I will continue to add "their" layouts to their albums. (That is not part of her system but part of mine.) We have a set of family travels albums (and I don't feel totally obligated anymore to add those layouts to the girls' albums. They can fight over those layouts when I'm gone.) I am planning to start a "Places We Go" album for those places that are important in our lives: school, church, dance, etc. I have started a "Things We Do & Love" album and an "All About Us" album for family things or for layouts of Daddy or me. Now, this system may sound like a lot of work to you, but I am really enjoying it. If I could just get my finished layouts into actual albums that would be really good! Dinner is calling, and yep, I'm the "chef."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Twitterpated Workshop Today

This afternoon after church I'll be scrapbooking and making cards with a great group of ladies. Here's a peek at the cards we'll be making. (I'll show you my layouts when I actually get the photos on them.)
Here's a hint about the two adorable mushrooms. The caps are half of a decorated chipboard circle! If you don't have a chipboard circle, I bet you can cut a circle of patterned paper in half. (Have you ever thought of making your own chipboard with thin cardboard? Empty cereal boxes work well! If you think it's too thin, cut and adhere a second layer for more thickness.) If you have any broken buttons they sure would be cute too. (Now I'm going to have to go dig through my button box to see if I have any suitable "mushrooms!")
The stem is actually a stamp, but how easy would it be to draw your own or cut some paper? I challenge you to try making some dimensional mushrooms today! If you do, leave me a comment with a link to your creation so we can all go "ooh and ahh." Thanks for stopping by. Now go get creating on this beautiful day!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halloween Photo Tips

Halloween is one of my girls' favorite holidays (2nd only to Christmas I think). Scrapbooks, Etc. is offering some great Halloween photo tips, so go check them out if you have some ghosts and goblins to photograph this year.

We are busy around the house today and are going to a Western-theme dinner at church tonight. Yeehaw!

Woohoo! 5 Continents!

Woohoo! I've had visitors from 5 different continents on my blog! North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia were all represented at once on my "recent visitors" map (at right). Please leave me a comment if you stop by! Thanks! Merci! Danke! Gracias! Arigato!

(So now you know, how truly simple a person I am since international visitors really make me this happy! Now if they would just leave a comment... Maybe they're afraid I'll stalk them... LOL)

Friday, October 23, 2009

5 Stamps Challenge and Sweet Color Comb

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Today's 365 Cards challenge, #237 Friday Five, is to use exactly five stamps on your card. Mine is obviously modeled after the sample card there, but I just couldn't resist!

My color palette is totally stolen from Stacy Julian's I Love Color post today, Sweet. I used (from left to right on her palette) Blush, Pansy Purple, Orange, and Hollyhock.

My second card uses the same circle stamps and color palette, but I added the Treasure Life sentiment and dotted curvy line from my Angel Whispers stamp set.
All materials from Close To My Heart:
Both cards:
Blush, Pansy Purple, Orange, and Hollyhock inks
White Daisy, Pansy Purple, and Hollyhock card stock
Adorable, Connections, and It's a Party! stamp sets
Card #1 also uses:
Be True stamp set
Blush ricrac
Hollyhock button
(I used my circle punch to cut out the Pansy Purple card stock circle, stamped the cross medallion image on it, and then pop dotted it onto the card.)
Card #2 also uses:
White Daisy grosgrain ribbon
Angel Whispers stamp set
(I stamped the backside of the Blush medallion image in second generation Pansy Purple to get the circle behind the cross medallion image.)

Twitterpated My Stickease & More

Last night my sixth grader had her first-ever band concert!
(She is learning to play the clarinet, like I did at her age.) They've only been in school for about 10 weeks, and the band director said that they have had only 15 practices with instruments. I was pleasantly surprised with their rendition of "Mary Had a Little Lamb!" Then 7th & 8th grade bands also played, and it was amazing to hear the difference a year or two can make.

Today is a half day at school for parent/teacher conferences. Since I have to stay the full day, DH is keeping the girls and crazily enough has allowed them BOTH to have a friend come home for the afternoon. Maybe he'll still be sane when I get home...

Since I haven't had any time to create more artwork, I thought I'd share the adorable Twitterpated My Stickease. They are so cute! (My Stickease are self-adhesive artwork with a matte, cardstock-type finish to them. You get two 6"x12" pieces of artwork in every My Stickease package.) I can't wait to use these on my Twitterpated layouts at this weekend's scrapbook class. If you're in the neighborhood, we'll be scrapping at 2:00 on Sunday, and then making cards starting around 4:00. (You can read more about it on my CTMH website- link at right.)

The very last image shows the back side of the My Stickease: two different two-page 12"x12" layouts featuring the Stickease. How's that for inspiration?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spring 2007 (Layouts #47, 48, and 49)

{Disclaimer: You have seen these photos already but not these layouts. It may feel like deja vu but it's not.}

We couldn't decide on our photos from our photo shoot way back in '07, so we ended up buying the entire proof package. I am so glad that nothing before the Tickled Pink paper pack special ever felt "just right" for these photos, because I love how these work together! It was so nice to make time Saturday to create these layouts.

Ansley's layout is based on the Imagine Personality Presence sketch. I love that Close To My Heart's how-to guides give exact measurements that you can follow (as I did on the left) or customize to suit your photos (as I did on the right).

For once I had fewer photos of Macey than Ansley so I chose a different sketch, the Conclusion Combo pattern, also from Imagine. (Seriously, if you like to scrapbook or want to get started, you have got to check out these books!) I had to pull some Crystal Blue cardstock from my stash to complete her layout, which was no hardship since blue is her favorite color.

Finally, I had to make myself a 6"x6" layout for MY album. I used scraps plus a 6"x12" piece of Crystal Blue cardstock (cut in half). While I didn't follow a sketch, the left side definitely resembles a Reflections Main Frame and the right a Sidebar.

Even though spring is long gone, I will always treasure my memories of my little angels at this age. Having a family portrait really captures the moment for all time.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

All About Us Album Title Page (Layout #46)

This is one of those layouts that I really wish you could see in person. Besides enjoying meeting new people from all over, this layout is so much prettier in person. I may never go back to plain white cardstock! The base for this page is CTMH's textured White Daisy cardstock, and it is so rich.

My photos are from a photo shoot at church back in May of 2007. I finally broke into my Tickled Pink scrapbook kit from this past May. (Sorry, the papers and stamp set are no longer available.) I wish that I had taken a close up of the flower clusters so that you could see the textured cardstock and of the glitter paper too. LMK if you'd like to see it IRL! I'd be happy to show it off. The layout is based on the Reflections Title Topper- Photos (#1h), and it is the title page of our "All About Us" album.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

1st Grade (Layouts #44 & 45)

Here's my baby back in 1st grade. Don't you love the snaggletooth grin? She's now a big 3rd grader. The left side is based on the Reflections Sidebar- Original (#3a) and the right is the Bottom Border- Portrait (#2c), also from Reflections. The great thing about this book of one-page layouts is that it tells you what layout sketches also look good with the pattern if you're wanting a two-page layout. Except for my title/closing pages, I always create two-page layouts. I just have a thing about both sides matching.

I also went ahead and made myself a 6"x6" layout of the wallet photos. I figure the girls' 12"x12" albums will go with them one day, so the smaller albums are mine. :)
Both layouts use the (now retired/unavailable) Whoops-A-Daisy paper pack and the (still available) coordinating My Stickease. Fast, quick, and easy! (No comments about that one from the peanut gallery, okay?)

Monday, October 19, 2009

i-top brad maker giveaway

Head on over to Stacy Julian's blog to enter for a chance to win a cool brad maker! (If YOU win because I told you to enter, you better make me a few fun brads, okay?!?) I know I've met my quota on winning prizes this year (scroll down for Tresa's amazing canvas if you didn't see it already) but it's fun to play along anyway.

It is definitely Monday- though it was a good one- and I am tired. I have one set of papers left to grade to be caught up (at least until tomorrow) but I am going to pull a Scarlett and put off until tomorrow what should be done today. (Y'all know, dahlin's, tomorrow IS another day!)

Scroll down if you're looking for today's artwork post... Happy Blogtoberfest!

So Grateful/Color Me Monday Combo

If it's Monday it must mean back to the grindstone! I hope my students are well rested and ready to get back to work. I'm not sure I am, but boy was it a fun fall break! (I truly am grateful for my job and my students.)

This simple card measures 4.75"x3". I love its smaller size! My color palette was taken directly from a past "Color Me Monday" combo by Jeanette Lynton.

Customers at a recent gathering received this card as a thank you with their order, and I was very flattered when one of them asked where they could buy the leaf paper. I told her that she would have to make it. I stamped it using the colors at right and my November Word Puzzle stamp set. (I am still so sad that they are being retired, but at least you have until 12/31 to get them.)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Twitterpated Card & Alex's Birthday

Today my nephew Alex turns 3! We are celebrating with a party this afternoon. No, we didn't get enough of him (or his brother) on vacation! I'll definitely be posting pictures later of the party and these handsome fellows. (At left he is enjoying strawberry soup on our cruise.)

It is wonderful to be home safe and sound from our trip. Now to get papers graded between church, the birthday party, and getting ready for work/school tomorrow!

This fall card was literally made with scraps, and I love how it turned out! The circles were leftover from my accordian card (see my post on 10/3, World Card Making Day). I had a piece of Chocolate cardstock that measured 4"x12", so I cut it down to 4"x11" to make an almost-standard-size card. I modeled it after the Wishes "Circle Collection" pattern. I did have to cut the striped paper to size, but that was easy. Even the ribbon was scrap.

All the paper comes from the Twitterpated paper pack. The adorable felt leaf came from the Heartfelt Whimsy felt collection. I can't wait to show you more with these cool felt pieces! The cute little bluebird on its branch is from the Whoo Loves You stamp set. Thanks for looking! Hope you find a little happiness today too.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Spooky Sky Cards

Today's challenge over at 365 Cards is to incorporate the sky into your project. Though I still have tropical skies on my mind, the weather here at home has definitely turned to fall. I was trying my hand at brayering a la Michelle Zindorf. She offers some amazing tutorials on her site, so I'll let you go there to learn since I obviously still need help. (I definitely understand now why she clear embosses everything. No matter how small I made my mask I still had a white "ghost" around my tree. I finally traced around them w/my lightest colored marker, and now they "glow.") I also think that sponging the sky would have been more effective, but it was fun to try something different. (It's been forever since I've used my rubber brayer.) The great thing about paper crafting is that the sky's the limit. (Okay, not so "pun-ny" I admit.) Why don't you try something new today, or pull out something "old" and make it new again? I'd love to see what you come up with.

I think I've also qualified for Saturday Spotlight's Challenge #3: Make a Scene. Do you think I've also qualified for Cute Card Thursday's SPOOKY challenge? I wish the green ground actually looked green instead of gray-ish as it does here.

Happy paper crafting! (Scroll down if you have any interest in my first post of the day.)
Both cards use the October Word Puzzle (soon to be retired) and Grown with Love stamp sets on 5"x7" Pansy Purple card bases.
Top card inks: Garden Green, Cocoa, Sunflower, Autumn Terracotta, Outdoor Denim, Pansy Purple, and Black
Bottom card inks: Garden Green, Cocoa, Crystal Blue, Moonstruck, Pansy Purple, and Black
(All supplies from Close To My Heart.)

I'm a Winner! Woohoo!

In between loads of laundry yesterday, I was catching up on some of my favorite blogs and was shocked to find that I WON this gorgeous canvas from my fabulously artsy friend, Tresa! Am I super lucky or what?!? I am sure to have more photos when it arrives and I add my own picture. Now to decide on just the right one...

If you'd like to learn how to make those gorgeous paper roses, just click right here. Check her blog often because Tresa is fabulously talented, and not just in the paper crafting department, although there is no doubt that she is indeed the Stamp Goddess! Thank you so much! Muchas gracias!! Merci mille fois!!!

Yesterday I did indeed get the laundry finished and put away (hooray!). We got most of the household chores finished too, so we're going to our town's fall festival this afternoon. I'm glad we're back in time to go. I'm trying a new recipe in the crockpot (which I love to use) so I'll let you know how it turns out. Have a happy Saturday wherever you are and whatever you're doing!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Highlights from our Holiday

We are home safe & sound from our lovely vacation. (We had thought to go to New Orleans yesterday, but with the weather and the President coming to town, we headed back home instead. We'll hit the Big Easy another time when we can stay a bit longer.)

Here are a few photo highlights of our trip. We surprised our parents with "FFF" t-shirts the first night on board. FFF = Forced Family Fun, a tradition that started way back when I was in high school. We've added several Fs to the list:
Freaky (by Ansley)
and a few other Fs you can imagine...

The grandparents kept the little boys so that the rest of us could tour Uxmal Mayan ruins. They were absolutely incredible, but here are only two of my photos.

We went to a "private club" on Cozumel where we were able to swim and snorkel without any hassle. The girls also got a few Caribbean braids in their hair.

The girls learned to make towel puppies at Camp Carnival.

Warm Chocolate Melting Cake

(Need I say more?!?)

The famous Carnival "fan tail"

Now let the laundry begin!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Holiday Warmth

We leave the Holiday today but the adventure is not over! Stay tuned for more...

This is my final Holiday Warmth card (for now). It is based on the Top It Off sketch from Wishes. One thing I love about the 8"x3.5" cards is that they fit in a business envelope. If you write a holiday newsletter, it would slip into this card perfectly.

Can you see the prisma glitter bling?

I colored this whimsical tree with my waterbrush and Juniper ink. When it was completely dry, I traced the lines with my Juniper marker because the waterbrush had faded them. I love how it turned out!

If you have any questions about this card or any other, just ask me in the comments and I will get back to you. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Holiday Warmth/Just Because Workshop Card 3

While on Holiday, here are a pair of cards using the Holiday Warmth stamp set (Oct. stamp of the month).

Both cards use a card pattern from the Wishes "Just Because" card workshop. I love the simplicity of this sketch and stamping on the white space.

These may be my holiday card this year. I am really thinking that less is more. The adhesive clear sparkles add just the right touch of bling without adding bulk, which is a big plus when making and mailing in bulk.

I'm having a Christmas card class on 12/5 so mark your calendars!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mermaids (Layout #43)

Mermaids will probably not be sighted in Cozumel today, but we are planning to head to the beach to do a bit of swimming and snorkeling.

These photos of my sweethearts playing at the beach were taken Spring Break 2007. They played together so sweetly, and watching them was such joy. Ah, the simple pleasures in life. Enjoy those little moments.

This layout uses the now-retired Whoops-A-Daisy papers. I borrowed my Mom's Daydream stamp set for the images (Chocolate Alphabet Small also used). White ricrac was the perfect embellishment.

I think I may have invented a new technique! See the waves on the lefthand layout (stamped under the picture)? The Ocean ink turns purple on the Watermelon cardstock, so I first stamped my image in White Daisy ink (which I also used to distress the edges of my Watermelon cardstock) and then when it dried, I stamped again with Ocean ink. This was a great way to try to keep the color "true" on the darker cardstock.

Finally, if this layout looks somewhat familiar, it's because it is based on the layout featured in the Grace Workshop on the Go (last month's workshop)!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Today we are docking in Progreso, Yucatan, Mexico. The four of us, my brother, and sister/BIL have booked a shore excursion to visit Uxmal, a Mayan ruin that means "thrice built." We debated between here and Chichen Itza and are hoping for less crowds here. (Grammie & Grumps will be keeping the wee boys on the ship.)

Here are some pictures I found online to whet your appetite (and ours) for the trip.

I'm not sure whose idea it was to book an excursion without looking at what time it leaves! This one departs pretty early in the morning. Maybe a nap will tide us over to dinner.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Holiday Warmth Swap Cards

Since I'm sailing on the Holiday, I thought that I should probably share some more Holiday Warmth cards with you.

These gorgeous cards were all made by members of my Close To My Heart unit. I believe the Juniper square card (top left) was made by my upline, Chris Hill. Pamela Berry made the 3"x6" card at the bottom left. I love her attention to details! Taralyn made the precious 3" square card.

This lovely card by Tonya Stone uses the create-a-shade paint to give it the pearlized finish.

Carla Ramirez made the darling square card at right, Bridget Mahler made the festive card at center, and Camy Eisentrager made the card at right with the metal rimmed tag.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


No, I'm not talking about the October stamp of the month, Holiday Warmth. It's the Carnival Holiday! There is a connection to Christmas, though. We are celebrating Christmas about two months early with a Bell family cruise.

I am sooooo looking forward to spending time with my family! My parents are taking my brother, my sister and her family, and me and my family on a cruise this week. Fortunately, we have Fall Break so we're not even breaking any truancy laws. :)

If you'd like to follow along in "real time," be sure to check out my parents' blog, The Traveling Bells. I will not be posting live from the cruise, but I have scheduled some posts while we're away, so please check back.

Bon voyage!


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