Monday, May 31, 2010

CTMH June Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Did you have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend? How about some stamping inspiration? We're blog hopping again already with the June stamp of the month, Wonderful Friend. It is such a great set of masculine images! If you're coming from Misty's blog then you're following the hop. Click on the link to Lori's to see what's next!

My card is based on the Wishes pattern "Simple Expression" on page 40. The cool thing about all of Close To My Heart's how-to guides is that they are guides that you can copy exactly or you can change them up a bit. I altered some of the measurements and flipped the layout horizontally to achieve the look I wanted. I hope my Dad likes it, as this will be his Father's Day card.

Here are the instructions:
I began with a 4.25"x5.5" piece of Brown Bag cardstock. I stamped the houndstooth pattern in the upper left corner and then distressed the edges of this piece (which I later moutned on a top-fold Colonial White standard card). I cut a piece of Colonial White slightly "taller" than the argyle stamp, and then stamped it three times with Brown Bag ink. CTMH's clear acrylix make it sooooo easy to line up and repeat a pattern like this! The next step was to mount that piece onto a piece of Barn Red B&T from the Passages paper pack and then top that piece with the thin Cocoa strip. For both of the sentiment rectangles, I used my stamps as my measuring guide: the cardstock pieces are slightly larger than the stamps themselves. Truly faster, simpler, easier! "Dad" was stamped in Cocoa on edge-distressed Barn Red cardstock and then attached to the card front with Antique Copper brads. For the other sentiment, I inked up the frame stamp in Brown Bag and then rolled it in the Barn Red ink. The rock 'n roll technique really gives this one some dimension! I stamped the sentiment inside the frame with Cocoa ink, mounted it on a piece of Cocoa B&T (also from the Passages collection) and attached it my card.

If you've made it this far, leave me a little lovin' and then hop on over to Lori's blog next! Thanks for looking!

Remember Those Who Served

Happy Memorial Day! As you enjoy a day off today (hopefully), please remember the true reason for this celebration. We are so thankful for the men and women of our armed forces who protect and serve all Americans. "All gave some, and some gave all."
If you have a loved one in the Service, you should definitely check out Close To My Heart's new stamp set, Freedom (C1412). It honors all branches of the military in one stamp set! CTMH consultant Evelyn Penner created the lovely 6"x6" layout (above).
Amanda DesJardins, another talented CTMH consultant, created this card with the A Twinkle stamp set. It is perfectly patriotic for today!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Now That's Entertainment!" Stephanie Grace Dance Center 2010 Recital

Yesterday's dance recital was a smashing success!

Ansley tapped to "Do You Love Me?" and her jazz routine was to "Let's Get Loud." Her class was so cute in both dances, and they really got that fringe shaking!

Macey rocked the house with her jazz dance, "Party in the USA," and she tapped to "Locomotion," another hit.

For her tumbling routine, the girls played orphans in "It's a Hard-Knock Life." (She said all their hard work this year really paid off.)

The adult tap class performed "Clap Hands, Here Comes Charley" from Ben Vereen's Funny Lady.

Everyone danced in the grand finale, a tribute to Michael Jackson.

Longaberger Online Sale!

Just click HERE!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Summer Starts NOW!

Despite what the calendar says, in my opinion Summer starts NOW! I finished up at work yesterday (whew!), so now I'm "off" until August. I'm sure I will go by school some this summer to work on various projects at my own pace, but my official duties for my 17th year of teaching are oh-vah!
This afternoon the girls and I finish our dance season with the Stephanie Grace Dance Studio's recital, "Now That's Entertainment!" It is going t be a great show! (And it's not too late to get tickets if you're in the area!) Macey dances in four dances, Ansley three, and me two, if you count our grand finale, a tribute to Michael Jackson. (You can be on the lookout for photos later this week.)
Tomorrow will be bittersweet as we celebrate our interim rector's tenure with us and his departure to sweet retirement. I know the luncheon will be fabulous, but we will miss Father Yeary immensely. (Father Wilson, our new priest, has some big shoes to fill but will do a great job.)
Today's cards are from a pair of guest CTMH artists. I selected these to help you get into the celebratory spirit this weekend! Both start with the Zippidee paper pack. The card at left, by Patti Arrington, uses the new BOOM! stamp set. How fun! At right, Stacy Gibbs shows how a baby card can be adorable even with untraditional colors. I'm loving Zippidee's primary palette muted with Desert Sand and Bamboo! You absolutely have to have the Happy Holidays stamp set she used: there is something for almost everything throughout the year! It is so versatile.
Have a great weekend, y'all, and stay safe!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Guest Artists: Sweet Cards

Things continue to be crazy busy around here! The girls and I have had scene rehearsals for our dance recital tomorrow (which also means full-on dress rehearsal tonight), plus I have been up to my neck in paperwork during post-planning. (I've also been working on a few "top secret" projects that I can't share for a long time!) Fortunately, I have tons of new artwork to share, thanks to a new catalog swap I participated in. I hope you will enjoy all the ideas over the next week or so! Please stop back by often.

Both of these sweet cards start with the Cherry-O paper pack. The strawberry thank you card at left was made by Penny Kentosh using the Fruitful Delight stamp set. The right card, created by Stephanie Pederslie, uses the You're Sweet stamp set.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Flutter Flower Card

This darling butterfly comes from Close To My Heart's new "A Flutter stamp set. (I paper-pieced it to give this solid stamp three different colors.) The pretty flourish is also from this set. All the "A-size" stamp sets are now only $7.95 each. How cool is that?!? With the economy the way it is these days, where do you see prices being lowered? Way to go, CTMH! (There are several items in the catalog that have reduced prices and are available while supplies last. Check it out!)

Instructions for this flower are in the CTMH Summer 2010 Idea book, only I only used three circles to make a "bud" instead of a circular flower. The cap at the bottom is a circle of Sweet Leaf paper folded into quarters. The stem and "leaves" are Sweet Leaf ribbon. This paper is from the Cherry-O Creative Basics.

Thanks for looking! I made this card "just because," so you never know where it will end up.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Herb & Onion Bread Recipe

Herb and Onion Bread
from the River’s End Restaurant, Nantahala, NC
x 4 loaves (or x 1 loaf)

2 c. milk (½)
6 T sugar (1 ½)
4 t salt (1)4 T butter (1)
4 pkgs. yeast (1)
2 c. warm water (½)
9 c. white or whole wheat flour (2 1/4)
2 onions, minced (½ small)
2 t dried dill weed (½)
4 t crushed dried rosemary (1)

Scald milk and dissolve in it the sugar, salt, butter; cool to lukewarm. In large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add cooled milk, flour, onion, herbs. Stir well w large wooden spoon. When batter is smooth, cover bowl w/towel and let rise in warm place til triple in bulk (45 min.) Stir down and beat vigorously for few minutes. Put in well greased bread pans. Let stand in warm place 10 minutes before putting preheated 350 oven. Bake one hour (½ hr. for single loaf).

Nantahala River and Herb & Onion Bread

These pictures are from way back in '07, and I am so glad that I DIDN'T scrapbook them back then! That may seem crazy to you, but I think what I have now is more meaningful than what I would have had then. Stacy Julian talks about "aging" your photos, and she is so right. By letting them sit and "perk," I was able to go a lot deeper than just the pictures.

My journaling talks about sharing part of my childhood with the girls: rafting on the river and eating at the River's End Restaurant. My mom was able to get their scrumptious Herb and Onion Bread recipe, which she used to make for us from time to time.

Even though my girls weren't crazy about the bread (I don't know what their problem is!), I included the recipe on the backside of the flip-flap.

This layout is based on the Imagine Small Packages layout (as suggested in the Veranda Workshop on the Go).

All supplies from Close To My Heart: The Works alphabet, Live Inspired, Picture Perfect, and Today's Date stamp sets; Veranda paper pack; Colonial White card stock; Cocoa, Juniper, and Creme Brulee ink; Juniper and Cocoa markers; Z1206 Basic Craft Buttons; Z1217 Metal brads; Z1275 Antiqued Copper Mini-Medley; Z280 natural hemp

{2010 layout #25}

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More Congrats

At the Middle School Awards Ceremony, our 6th grader was recognized for Honor Roll All Year (something she has achieved every year so far!) and Perfect Attendance. We were surprised by the perfect attendance, not realizing she hadn't missed a day this year. Way to go, Miss A! We are so incredibly proud of you!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's the Last Day of School!

Today is our students' last day of school! Where has the year gone?!? It has absolutely flown by. (The years are definitely getting faster and faster, and I know I'm not- yet- on the downhill side.) The past few weeks have been C-R-A-Z-Y CRAZY so I haven't had much time to post! (I have lots to share; just no time.)

This day is always so bittersweet for me. I am sad to send my students on, yet excited for them. We're all ready for a break! Though we didn't accomplish as much as we had hoped and planned, they did learn a lot and are ready to move on.

My girls have both had good years. The 3rd grader is sooo sad that today has come! She does not want school to end. This year's teacher is her absolute favorite. We couldn't be happier all the way around!

Yesterday at field day, a young man walked over to me. It was one of my darling former 5th graders who will be graduating tonight! He wanted to come by and say hi (and bye) one more time. It means so much that he still remembers me and our class, and that it meant enough to stop by and share how he's doing, his plans for college, etc.

At 8:30 this morning, I will meet DH at the middle school for their awards ceremony (a little birdie mentioned something about an award for our DD) and then truck back to my classroom for our awards ceremony at 9:30 followed by our class party.

Tonight two friends and many former students will graduate from the high school. Way to go Katie, Ethan, Ben, and the Class of 2010!!!

(Disclaimer: Today's artwork is courtesy of CTMH and not my original art.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thank You Cards

These little cards (2.5"x3.5") were so easy and so much fun to make! I needed a bunch of thank you cards, so I grabbed my Wishes how-to guide, my Caboodle paper pack, and the Fringed Phrases stamp set* and got to work. This card pattern is called "Simple Strips." Some used Crystal Blue bases while others are Sorbet. I used Just Blooms paper flowers and Sorbet ribbon and brads to finish them off.

With my scraps, I designed this larger thank you card. The focal sentiment was actually me trying the different inks on that scrap of Crystal Blue. I couldn't help but think that it would be great on a card. Voila!

*This stamp set is absolutely perfect for cards! It includes 11 sentiments and 12 different frames to mix and match.

We only have three more days of school (w/students)! I cannot believe how fast this year has flown by. I was really excited that we got good marks on our state testing!

Monday, May 17, 2010

More May Stamp of the Month: Cherish the Moment

Here are the lovely cards my unit made for our monthly swap. We all used the Cherry-O collection of papers, with Tulip, Blush, Sweet Leaf, Crystal Blue, and Chocolate. Yummy, right? Please click on each photo to see them a little larger. You'll be glad you checked out all the details.

The talented artists are (clockwise from top left in the top photo): Tonya Stone, {unsigned}, Pam Berry, and Bridget Mahler;
(clockwise from top left in the bottom photo): Taralyn, Camy Eisentrager, Chris Hill, and me.

These ladies create such beautiful work, and it is an honor to swap with them each month! Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the cards or about swapping in general. If you're in the neighborhood, drop by and see them in person.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wishes Blog Hop

Do you WISH you could create beautiful cards in a snap? With Close To My Heart's WISHES how-to guide, you can! Join me in a short blog hop (if you're not already hopping and coming from Helen's blog) to spotlight the Wishes Card Confidence Program how-to book and its 4-3/4"x3" card pattern "City Scape."

I decided to create a gift card, so I started with a piece of 4-3/4"x8-3/4" Colonial White card stock. I scored my card at 3" and then again 3" from that to create three "panels": my card front, base, and flap. Then I trimmed down the flap to the shape you see here, just by using my trimmer and cutting at an angle.

I covered the card front with the cool new Zippidee paper pack and just followed the Wishes pattern for the pieces. I did paper- piece the i-Pod on the front and distressed most of the pieces with Desert Sand ink.

Rather than using a strip of paper on the left like the pattern calls for, I scrunched up Cranberry ribbon and stapled it down. (Is "scrunched" a real phrase?) I also embellished the focal image with more staples and stapled the gift card pocket closed (after covering it with a piece of Zippidee paper and trimming it down to fit). Because the image didn't originally "pop" as much as I wanted, I went back and added some faux stitching with my Cranberry marker.

Do you think I used enough techniques to enter this card into this week's Heart 2 Heart challenge: use a technique?

WISH you could create this card or something that you see on the hop? Try the free pattern HERE. (If the link doesn't work, send me your email addy, and I'll send you a PDF.)
Now hop on over to Melinda's blog to see her great creation!
All materials from Close To My Heart: Ms. Chillin' stamp set; Zippidee paper pack; Desert Sand, Indian Corn Blue, and Cranberry inks; Cranberry marker; Cranberry Designer Ribbon Rounds; staples
Techniques: paper piecing; direct-to-paper ink distressing; ribbon "scrunching"; faux (marker) stitching

Friday, May 14, 2010

Congrats Are in Order!

Today was my little one's end-of-the-year party and award ceremony (held at our local park), and the Divine Miss M is quite pleased with herself for winning eight awards! She was nominated "Most Athletic Girl" by her class (my kid, really?!?), plus received an award for 100% conduct average all year (Logan's kid?!?). She also received a few math and reading awards to boot. Way to go, Monkey Girl! We love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Her teacher has been the best! We love you too, Mrs. Wesche! (And we're also proud of her BFF Leilani, who took home a ton of awards too.)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fab New CTMH Artwork!

Here is some fabulous new CTMH artwork!

{I had trouble getting the slide show to load, but if you click on the bottom right "view all images" then it should open in a new window. Gotta love technology!}

Thanks to the following consultants who participated in this artwork:
Erin Mixon, Jolena Adams, Elizabeth DeArmond, Teri Baxter, Melissa Robinson, Rachel Ventura, Anna Jarnagin, Tracey Sanders, Carol Harris, Tessie St John, Sharon Heckstall, Carolyn Lincoln, Anne Beck, Karilyn Williams, Robin Curtis, Marcia Rieger, and Yours Truly

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Band Concert Recap

Just had to share a few photos from the 6th grade band concert last week. I sure am proud of my girl!

Thank you Grammie, Aunt Amy, da boyz, and Joan for coming! We were all amazed that they played so well.

The three musketeers?

Aren't these two cute too? :)

On a personal note, our church is searching for a new priest. I serve on the vestry, which is like the governing body, and we will be interviewing our first candidate tonight (and the 2nd one one Thursday evening). This is an exciting but stressful time! Please say a special prayer for us. Thanks!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Gifts

On Friday, my students made these photo/note holders and cards for their moms using some Close To My Heart stamps and retired papers. (The ribbon, flowers, and brads were stuff I found in my stash.) They really enjoyed making them, and I hope their moms like them!
Let me know if you'd like directions. These are so easy peasy that you don't have to be smarter than a 5th grader to make them!

On a personal note, can you believe that I graduated from COLLEGE 17 years ago today? (That would explain this year being my 17th teaching, too. How did I get so old?!?)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day! Wishing all the moms of the world a very special day today and always!

My sister, brother, and I fixed dinner for our mom and my sister's mother-in-law Saturday night (spaghetti, broccoli, salad, bread, and "nanner" pudding). At church, the girls are helping to plant a Mother's Garden outside the office. That should be sweet! (We enjoyed purchasing flowers after dance photos Saturday.) We'll treat my mother-in-law to dinner Monday night. Life is good.

I am blessed to have a wonderful mother and mother-in-law and to be the mother of two precious girls! God is great!

All supplies from CTMH: May Word Puzzle stamp set (retired); Splendor paper pack; Topiary, Heavenly Blue, and Moonstruck inks; Just Blooms paper flowers; Summer Mini-Medley (retired)
Techniques: sponging; direct-to-paper
Pattern: Wishes "Lucky Layers"

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Make It From Your Heart

If you love Close To My Heart products, then you will love the new Make It from Your Heart Art Gallery. Go check it out! You won't be disappointed, and you'll want to bust out your stamps and papers. What will you create?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Lifetime 6"x6" Layout

The Passages Workshop on the Go kit is probably my favorite of the Summer Idea Book! Maybe it's my love of travel, definitely my love of watches, the cool keys, and even the screws! I know that I'm a girlie-girl at heart, but this collection really speaks to me. I can't wait to use the stamps for some girly stuff too.

I created this 6"x6" layout using the Passages paper pack and Lifetime stamp set (only available with the Passages WOTG).

Here are clockwise close-ups.

All supplies from CTMH: B1347 Lifetime stamp set; X7126B Passages paper pack; X5644 Brown Bag card stock; 1388 Colonial White card stock; Z2104 Barn Red, Z2108 Brown Bag, and Z2114 Cocoa inks; Z1243 Pewter Mini-Medley Accents; Z1217 Metal brads

Technique: rock 'n roll (two ink stamping)

As always, please let me know if you have any questions.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy National Teacher Appreciation Week!

Say a big thank you to any and all teachers you know! It will make their day (or week or more).
I made these gift tags for the nine other 5th grade teachers I work with to go with the little gifts I got them: Murano glass necklaces. (Centering squares on squares make for quick & easy composition!)
All supplies from CTMH: Cherish the Moment stamp set (May stamp of the month); Splendor paper pack; Colonial White card stock; Topiary and Moonstruck inks; Topiary marker and brads; Topiary sparkles (retired)
Technique: direct-to-paper distressing

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mr. & Mrs. Wedding Gift

My college friend Star recently got married. Wasn't she a beautiful bride? We were so happy that we were able to share their special day with them.

They couldn't have ordered better weather for their outside ceremony and reception (at their home). We had a great time! (All I can say is their neighbors, Richard and Trixie, are terrific! They also had the most amazing duo playing guitars and singing. WOW! I am going to have to ask Star which restaurant they play at because we will have to go see them again.)

Here is the card I made (front and inside) along with the matching frame. What could be more perfect than the Perfect Day paper pack?

The frame will hold a 5"x7" photo. (I put a post-it note on the back to let them know, to make their lives a little easier.)

Here's my sweet hubby all dressed up and the girls (in our yard before we left).


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