Sunday, February 28, 2010

First Video Tutorial: Add Some *Sparkle*!

Here is my first attempt at a video tutorial. Although it is painful to watch myself, hopefully you'll learn something new (and it won't be too painful for you). Please let me know what you think!

The monogram bookmark featured in the tutorial:

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Weekend Report

{If you're not interested in random tidbits about our lives, you're going to want to skip this post! No hard feelings, really!}

Since I am up way too early on a Saturday morning and tired of being the only one awake after enjoying an hour of solitude, I will chat with you. Lucky you! Here's the lowdown from this week...

*Ansley's new glasses (frames at least) came in. She is so glad to have them back, and they look great! (I managed to shut them in the car door and snap them in half, well more like 1/3 and 2/3, after she had taken them off in the car during our long trip to the dentist.) Also, can you tell that I'm teaching fractions right now?

*Sunday's scrap class was lots of fun, and I hope to finish my layout this weekend. I really need to finish my Extravaganza application instead. Nothing like procrastinating!

*Ansley competed in 4-H CPA this week and was absolutely devastated that she didn't place. It broke my heart. She worked hard on her project, and at basically the last minute decided she really wanted to place to go on to DPA (where she earned 3rd place last year). Doesn't it kill you when your child is hurting? I so wanted to take her pain away, but at the same time this is a good learning experience. Life is not always wonderful, is it? You can't enjoy the sun without a little rain and all that? The most frustrating part right now for me is that she doesn't think her project is any good now. I keep trying to explain to her that just because she didn't place doesn't mean that she didn't do well. The others just did better. Ah, those tough life lessons.

*Macey has to make a poster about Eleanor Roosevelt this weekend for a presentation she's doing Tuesday. She's also really excited about already meeting her reading goal for this quarter, and best of all, she's found some new books that she really likes after finishing a series she enjoyed. It is wonderful watching her become an avid reader!

*Logan is sick and tired of winter. The rest of us are too, but he takes it a lot harder than we do.

*If we miss another school day for snow, we're going to have to start making up days on Saturdays or Spring Break. No more snow, no more snow, no more snow...

*My Uncle Mickey has been placed in hospice care and is resting at home. While this is hard, he is ready. Thanks in advance for your prayers for his safe and peaceful crossing and for his wife. She's struggling but doing better. Of course this is really hard on my Mom since this is her big (and only) brother.

*We are sorry to see the Olympics drawing to a close but will enjoy watching the last two days.

*Logan and I are going to go play "corn hole" tonight with my brother, sister, BIL, and friends while the girls spend the night with their grandmother. It will be fun to watch our own "redneck Olympics!" LOL

If you've hung in this far, I'd love to hear the highlights of your week and your weekend plans. Life isn't always easy, but it sure is good! My little sugar lump just got up.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

CTMH One Of A Kind Cards

Since my friend Sarah is considering buying the One Of A Kind stamp set (and has needed a little cheering up), I sent her a little happy mail last week.

This 8"x3.5" card is based on the "Top It Off" sketch from Wishes. This size is great because you can mail them in business envelopes. I figure robbing things from your household makes your crafting budget go a bit further. ;)

The second card is one you're probably getting tired of. It's my open house card AGAIN (Originals Center Charm), but this time it uses the Caboodle colors plus Chocolate. Isn't just about everything better with a little chocolate?

Top It Off Card:
Techniques: sanded card stock; edge distressing; cluster stamping

All supplies from Close To My Heart: One Of A Kind stamp set; That's Amore paper pack; Chocolate textured card stock; Chocolate, Blush, Tulip, Bamboo, Garden Green, and Olive inks; distressing kit; Chocolate ribbon; Sparkles (regular and bitty)

Center Charm card:
Techniques: sanded card stock; direct-to-paper ink distressing; 1st/2nd generation stamping

All supplies from Close To My Heart: One Of A Kind stamp set; Colonial White and Sorbet card stock; Chocolate and Colonial White textured card stock; Chocolate, Sorbet, Sweet Leaf, Buttercup, and Crystal Blue inks; Chocolate brad; Sorbet ribbon; Sparkles (regular and bitty)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

50th Anniversary Card

After 12+ hours at work today, I am tired! We had a parent night tonight, so there was lots to do: get a power point presentation and handout ready with my team of teachers and present it tonight. No, we didn't do all that today; we've been working on it for a while. Today was just one of those days that didn't make sense to go home to turn around and come back. With our crummy weather, if I'd gone home I wouldn't have wanted to get back out! Can you believe they're calling for snow again tomorrow?

Our session was about the reading portion of the state-mandated end-of-year tests that all 5th graders must pass, along with the math portion, to be promoted to 6th. It seemed to go well. I plan to sign off the computer shortly and watch some Olympics before turning in early.

Since I haven't had time to create, I'm glad I still have a few projects that I haven't shared yet. This anniversary card was so much fun to make! Remember, the Piece of Cake stamp set is only available until Sunday.

Originals "Button Trio" 6"x6" card

Techniques: heat embossing, direct-to-paper ink distressing

Supplies from Close To My Heart: Silhouette paper pack; Bamboo textured card stock (Hope for Haiti!); gold card stock (retired); Piece of Cake (Feb. stamp of the month), Say It In Style, and The Works stamp sets; Versamark ink; gold embossing powder; heat tool; gold conchos and square brad (retired)

OTHER: gold (Offray?) ribbon from my stash; NEW Martha Stewart scallop dot punch (40% off!)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy birthday, Dad!

Some may remember and honor one of our Founding Fathers today, but instead we celebrate my Dad! Happy birthday, Grumps!!! We love you and wish we could be with you to celebrate. Enjoy your special day and your steak tonight!
Thanks for being the best Dad a girl could have. I appreciate all the character building throughout the years, the many travels (especially sitting on the seat with no books nor "Intendo"), and so many more fond (and happy) memories! Most of all, thank you for your love, support, and your belief in me.

I couldn't resist posting a few photos of this past year. The first is from our trip to Hunting Island.
Mom and Dad's 41st anniversary

Being silly with the girls

Hard to tell which one's the ham or the turkey, isn't it? LOL

Again, we wish we could celebrate with you today. Know that we're together in spirit at least and thinking of you always and especially on your special day.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

More Cake

These lovely cards are all from my unit's stamp of the month swap. (Hello, Heartprints!) Just looking at them makes me want to plan a little par-tay! No party plans today, but my scrapbook club is getting together here tomorrow. One of the embellishment options will be this same stamp set, and I'm looking forward to everyone's creations. It will definitely be fun. (We'll have to crank up the stereo today as we clean house to make that portion of the weekend fun!)

Read on to find the deets about these amazing cards. Remember, the February stamp of the month, Piece of Cake, is only available for a short time! We all used the Topstitch paper pack to unify our creations for display.

Clockwise in the first photo: Carla R. random stamped "You're the Sweetest Thing" lightly all over the Heavenly Blue base, plus she added some dots of Liquid Glass to the cake itself. Tanya S. heat-embossed the sentiment and highlights of the cupcake image with silver embossing powder. Camy E. paper-pieced her birthday cake. Doesn't it look delicious? Chris H. stamped the cutest cupcake/Make a Wish border across the bottom of her card. So sweet!

Clockwise in the second photo: Bridget M.'s paper pleating is divine! It looks like a little skirt at the bottom of her card. The details of Pam's card have got to be seen up close and personal! She used eyelets and pearls to accent the Vineyard Berry circle, plus she pop-dotted the cupcake image on top after coloring with markers AND paper piecing parts of it. The next card is my creation, which you've already seen if you've been here before. Last but not least is Taralyn's scrumptious cupcakes complete with Liquid Applique "frosting." [BTW, don't you like how I invent craft-related verbs? I am convinced that Webster's needs an overhaul to include "pop-dotting."]

Here's a picture of them all together (from my Open House and for tomorrow's class). Just looking at them makes me happy!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sisters Layout

These are some of my favorite pictures of the girls! They were hamming it up for the camera during the spring of 2006. Look at how little they are! (You HAVE to click on this one and make it larger to see their funny faces and their sweet faces!)

This layout also uses the Floral Tapestry from yesterday, complete with My Stickease and some waxy flax.

Boy, do I love these girls!

{Layout 2010 #12}

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Easter 2007 Layout

Here's another layout I finished recently. It too uses retired papers (Floral Tapestry, also available in Studio J). I'd like to think Spring, but this Easter was so cold the girls didn't even wear their pretty dresses!

Most of the decorations on this page use the My Stickease that came with this set, plus a few Just Blooms paper flowers and brads for some dimension.

{Layout 2010 #11}

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

9th Anniversary Card

My sister and her husband are celebrating their 9th anniversary today. Happy anniversary to them! (That also means that my baby will be nine before we know it, as I was *very* pregnant with her serving as matron of honor.)

This card was (literally) a Piece of Cake to make. It is based on the "Aubrey's Invitation" sketch from Originals. The tag pulls out to give them their anniversary message from us.

Can you see the frosting on the cupcakes? It is liquid applique that hasn't been heated.

Techniques: liquid applique, sanded textured card stock, direct-to-paper ink distressing, coloring w/markers

Supplies from Close To My Heart: That's Amore paper pack; Piece of Cake, Say It In Style, The Works, and All My Love stamp sets; Chocolate ink; Tulip, Chocolate, Baby Pink, Blush, and Bamboo markers; Chocolate Mini Medley accents (retired); Chocolate ribbon

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

In Front of the Fire and Bloom

Crazy title I know! Maybe winter is getting to me! Here is a picture of our cat Franklin enjoying the fire last night. (Yes, that is a real fire in there. You just can't really see the flames or embers in this shot.) I just couldn't resist sharing. {I got the call about 45 minutes ago that school is canceled again today. We have at least 1/2" of snow on top of the icy "goodness" from before. Now I am starting to worry about our spring testing and getting everything taught in time, not to mention spring break!}

Now, onto a little taste of spring. I am sooo sick of this white stuff blanketing our yard. It has been such a damp, cold winter. YUCK. Bring on spring!

This layout itself is another one that I received in a swap. It uses the retired Paper Garden papers. All I had to do was decide on my pictures and journaling. These are from last Spring.

{Layout 2010 #9}

Monday, February 15, 2010

Just A-Swingin'

Did you have a lovely Valentine's Day? We did, complete with the Daytona NASCAR race and the Olympics. Do we know how to celebrate or what? LOL We're out of school today. I am sick of snow!

Our yard is currently still very white, but I had fun adding my pictures to this layout. Does anyone remember that old country & western song, Swingin'? My cousin Beth and I loved to sing that one! Obviously, it inspired my title.

This layout is actually one that I received in a swap. It uses the retired Let's Get Together papers.

Don't you love how the artist heat embossed the flower onto a tranparency and then cut it out? What a cool embellishment!

{Layout 2010 #8}

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love Is in the Air

{Are you humming "The Love Boat" theme song now? I loved that show when I was a kid. I mean, who didn't want to be Julie when they grew up? Since we're walking down memory lane, who was your favorite character?}

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you're getting to spend it with someone you love. Here are my last two Valentine's cards. I think they qualify for Cute Card Thursday's Challenge #99: In the Name of Love. (Now you've got another song to hum!)

This first one, for my hubby, says "Whoo loves you" on the front (saying and owl from the stamp set of the same name). The tree, hearts, flowers, and grass all came from the Grown With Love stamp set. I sponged the background and in the grass so that it wouldn't be quite so stark. The owl is paper pieced to give him some dimension. On in the inside, I stamped "Me" from the Love Birds stamp set.

My last card is the one I mailed to my parents. Both cards use the That's Amore paper pack/color palette (Tulip, Blush, Chocolate, Vanilla Cream, Garden Green). Their card uses images from the All My Love stamp set and is based on the Simple Expression pattern from Wishes. I had to use "cherish" on the inside because that is "their" song. Since I was mailing their card, I made sure to decorate the envelope too.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tweetie Pie

This card is for my Tweetie Pie, AKA DD#1. I LOVE my new Somebirdy Loves You stamp set! If you frequent my blog, then you saw this same card pattern at my open house post. I used some of the extra pieces to create this one. I colored in parts of the image with Sorbet, Sweet Leaf, and Bamboo after stamping them with Chocolate (ink). The little bow added the sweetest little accent to the bird stand. Can you see the holes I pierced in the corners of the focal image?

On the inside, I stamped the "i wuv you" sentiment, plus a large and small bird (thinking they look like Mom and Baby) with a little Sorbet heart. Ansley will be getting a puppy box of the fudge-covered animal crackers as her Valentine gift. I think this one also meets the Cute Card Thursday Challenge #99: In the Name of Love!
Did you watch the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics last night? I admit to falling asleep through part of it- not that it was boring but that I was TIRED! I love seeing all the nations come together, give their best, and have some good clean fun. I don't really have a favorite sport, and I am amazed at how interesting they all can be to watch.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lion and Monkey Valentines plus CPS Sketch #153

My "No Lion" card is totally inspired by Aaron Brown's card HERE, or at least the mane on this cutie-patootie lion is! This card is made especially for my nephews. Can you guess what the lion's mane is made of?

...a Creme Brulee Just Blooms paper flower, sponged with a bit of Cocoa ink!

This 4-3/4"x3" card is based on the Diamond Duo sketch (Originals). I used Cocoa textured card stock (Hearts for Haiti special!!!) and a piece of Creme Brulee B&T (with the diamonds) from the Veranda paper pack. After stamping the lion twice on Creme Brulee card stock, I cut him out and adhered the base image (colored with a Creme Brulee marker for a bit of depth) to the diamond, then the sponged flower, and then the cut out face (also shaded a bit with the marker). I also distressed the edges of the focal image diamond with Cocoa ink and an edge distresser.

BTW, at Wal-Mart last night, I found the cutest round box that looks like a lion's head filled with fudge-covered animal cookies. Of course the boys are getting a box Sunday!

My second card is for my little monkey (DD#2)! (All the animals and sentiments in the post are from the Life's a Jungle stamp set.) I was inspired by the current sketch over at Card Positioning Systems. It took a little work to hide this one from my monkey and to make the card, but it wasn't too difficult. I started by adhering the B&T and Tulip card stock from the That's Amore paper pack to a 4"x4" Vanilla Cream card base. I stamped the sentiment onto a piece of Vanilla Cream card stock and punched the edge with my new spiral punch (30% off @ Michael's!). I couldn't resist adding the little Tulip heart (from the Grown with Love stamp set).

I cut a piece of Chocolate textured card stock (again, think Hearts for Haiti!), sanded it a bit, stamped my monkeys, cut them out, and then adhered them. I thought it would be fun if one of them "hung" from the Chocolate ribbon. Though they didn't have a monkey box, I got her a lady bug box of fudge-covered animal cookies. I can't wait until Sunday!

(Do you think these also qualify for Cute Card Thursday's Challenge #99: In the Name of Love?)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Birds Layout

Our trip to the dentist went well yesterday: no cavities, sealants for Macey, and 2 (of 8 loose) baby teeth pulled for Ansley. All's well that ends well!

This layout was a snap to throw together! It uses two of the four pre-printed layouts from the Elegant Bouquet Level 1 Kit (retired). Elegant Bouquet is another paper pack that will be available in Studio J. I was really excited to get these pictures scrapbooked finally! I embellished with the birds from January's Felicity special (stamped in Cranberry on scrap Colonial White then cut out and adhered) and a few Chocolate brads. Easy peasy!

{Layout 2010 #7}

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hot Chocolate

Today seems like the perfect day to post this layout since we're unexpectedly out of school! (The funny thing is that when my alarm went off, I ran to the front door, looked out, and saw nothing but a dry deck and a few teeny tiny snow flurries. Took my shower as usual but then got the call that school is cancelled. What the heck? Who am I to complain? We'll pay for it later. Plus, since we're headed down toward the Big City for the girls' dentist appointments this afternoon, this "day off" makes our lives a whole lot easier. BTW, Ansley will have at least one baby tooth pulled this afternoon- orthodontist's orders- because the permanent tooth is already jutting out of the gum above. Poor kid! I don't know whose teeth she inherited!)

Anyway, back to the layout: This sketch is featured in the Topstitch Workshop on the Go that we put together last month. (This kit is available through April.) I couldn't resist borrowing Debora's retired "Coffee Shop" stamp set for all the stamped images. I love how it turned out.

The layout will go in our "Things We Do & Love" album. I am so thankful that I am learning to scrapbook the little thing in life that matter to us, rather than just the "big events." (Those big things are important too, but it's sometimes so much fun to capture the everyday, who we really are.)

Now, what is your favorite hot beverage for a cold winter's day? The coffee's on for hubby, and I think I need to go brew myself a spot of hot tea. Earl Grey or Irish Breakfast this morning?

{Layout 2010 #10}

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Altered Notebooks by Ansley

Last weekend, Ansley really wanted to get creative, so she tackled altering composition notebooks. (If I had any more of them laying around, she would probably still be cranking them out!)

She chose the retired Elegant Bouquet paper pack and My Stickease for hers. (Did you know that this collection is available in Studio J?) The only thing I did was help her with the measurements to cut her pieces and help her glue down the first one. After that, she was off and running on her own.

It was so nice to see her cooperating with her sister (a miracle, perhaps?) to create Macey's notebook with the Veranda papers and My Stickease.

She then decided to make one for her best friend, who loves the Jonas Brothers. I found the Jonas Brothers photos online, printed them, and helped her matte the main one. Again, she did the rest on her own. Don't the You Rock papers, well, rock? Isabel LOVED hers, and now Ansley has requests for more notebooks. She is thinking she should start a business. She didn't like it when I mentioned that she'd have to pay me for my papers. LOL

I couldn't resist snapping a picture of her before she left for dance last week. What a teen she is becoming!

Last night, our birthday party was fun. I think the layout presents were a hit.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Happy Mail

In the past week or so, I've received some happy mail! The first is a card from our friend who is currently serving in Iraq. I teased him about finding time to stamp on his tour! (I have no idea who made the card, the materials or anything, but isn't it adorable?)

My other bit of happy mail is the prize I received from Card Positioning Systems as the random winner. It's a set of cool rub-ons and a fun set of clear stamps. Now to find some time to create...

Tonight, we're having a little family birthday party for my sister with her family and my brother. We're having spaghetti, salad, steamed broccoli, garlic bread, and two kinds of cake. :) Supper's at 6:00!

Finally, I am mailing out some happy mail today too. I've got a few more projects to work on and mail before the weekend. You never know what might show up in your mailbox... :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

10th Anniversary Open House Extravaganza

Today I celebrated my Close To My Heart 10th anniversary with an open house. The weather didn't entirely cooperate, but several lovely ladies were able to brave the cold and sleet to attend. It was so nice to see each of them. Our dear family friend Joy brought me a surprise gift: a beautiful bouquet. Isn't she the sweetest? We've had a great 10+ years stamping and scrapping together, haven't we? :)

We had fun creating two different cards using the February stamp of the month, Piece of Cake. The first one is a standard-size card that began with our Colonial White bulk (50) cards and envelopes. It is based on the Originals pattern, "Center Charms." We sanded the Chocolate textured card stock and the Sorbet card stock. After stamping the cake image in Chocolate, we colored with markers and the ladies learned to paper piece an image. (The top layer was stamped onto a small piece of Sorbet B&T from the Caboodle paper pack, then cut out and adhered onto the image.) A brad from the Basic collection and some Sorbet ribbon finished it off.

The second card measures 3"x3". I LOVE these little bitty cards! This one uses the Topstitch paper pack and is based on the Wishes sketch called "Middle Ground." I showed how to pierce the card stock with the piercing tool to create a neat pattern. (I pierced mine from the inside out for raised bumps.) We stamped our images (see inside) and sentiment with Vineyard Berry ink and again used markers to color them in. After edge-distressing the Chocolate textured card stock and gluing the card together, we applied a bit of Liquid Applique as "frosting" and heated it up. Fun, fun!

As part of my celebration, I had TEN prizes to give away! You did not have to be present to win, but you did have to earn tickets. My daughters helped me draw the prize from the prize bowl and the winning ticket from the names, so without further ado, here they are...

*set of 10 handstamped cards and envelopes: Sue T.
*two mini stamp sets and 1" block (collection 1): Ann A.
*two mini stamp sets an 1" block (collection 2): Vickie M.
*mini stamp set, 1" block, and embellishment collection: Joy B.
*Expedition paper pack: Linda G.
*It's Your Day stamp set: Amanda H.
*Tender Tags stamp set: Sue T.
*$25 Close To My Heart shopping spree: Teresa R.
*Serendipity collection (paper pack and stamp set): Teresa R.
*Felicity collection (paper pack and stamp set): Amanda H.

Congratulations, ladies, for winning! I hope you enjoy your prizes!

Friday, February 5, 2010

National Wear Red Day

Did you know that one in three women will die from cardiovascular disease? Wear red today in support of women's heart health. Visit the American Heart Association and Go Red for Women to learn more. Start changing your lifestyle NOW to protect your heart. It's the only one you've got!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Amy's Birthday Presents

Today is my sister's birthday! (Happy birthday, Amy!!!! I hope you enjoyed your trip and have a wonderful day today!) As part of her present, she is getting the layout of her older son titled Throwin' Rocks (shown HERE). Here is the second layout, of her baby.

Isn't he the cutest thing ever?!?
I used my Christmas present, a Pazzles Inspiration Creative Cutter, for the first time on the title. I learned a thing or two but look forward to learning and using it even more.

I just realized that I didn't do any stamping at all on this layout!

Technique: scissor distressing

Imagine sketch: Double Take (mirror reverse of the pattern)
Supplies from CTMH: Animal Cookies paper pack; Clover Meadow and Dutch Blue markers; Tulip Heartfelt Whimsy felt die cuts; liquid glass (as adhesive)

Non-CTMH: Pazzles; button from who-knows-where
{Layout 2010 #6}

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Top 10 at 10!

No, I'm not bringing you a Top 10 radio program, but since today is my 10th anniversary with Close To My Heart (I'm just a wee bit excited here!), I thought I'd share my Top 10 favorites about being a CTMH consultant (in no particular order because they're all the best):

1. I get a great discount on THE BEST stamping and scrapbooking products!

2. My business supports my addiction, NO I mean therapy, NO, um, hobby. [How do you strikethrough on Blogger, BTW?!?]

3. The friendships I’ve made are treasured gifts.

4. Spending time with family and friends while creating is ’da bomb!

5. Helping others preserve their photos or create a card for a loved one is so fulfilling.

6. Seeing someone’s face light up or hearing their heartfelt thanks because you made them something is priceless.

7. The Close To My Heart mission is truly a way of life and how the company operates. "We show you how to celebrate relationships through the art of scrapbooking and stamping. Faster. Simpler. Easier."

8. With all the training CTMH provides, being a consultant is easier than ever. [See "Faster. Simpler. Easier."] I have even earned my CTMH Ph.D, all through online training at my convenience! (Wanna see my gorgeous pin?)

9. I work when I want to. Sometimes I even work in my jammies (when I'm prepping projects, not when I'm teaching others!). [Hmm, a pajama scrapbook party would be fun! ]

10. Play time is work time and work time is play time!

Tell me what you love about Close To My Heart. If you don't already what the fuss is about, let me show you!


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