Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday gifts part 4

As you read this we are on our way to visit my family in Missouri. If it's after 9am central time, we are in Oklahoma. If it's after 5pm we are in the home stretch and the kids are driving me positively batty!

***ETA Due to Mother Nature's Winter Wrath we have not been able to head off for our Christmas visit. I have my fingers crossed that I will be able to leave this afternoon, stay half way and then do the rest of the trip tomorrow.

I have another handmade gift to share could be used in several different ways, for numerous occasions. My brother-in-law is a newlywed. His bride expressed a desire to start entertaining now that they are married. She wanted to stock her bar and have a party. I got them a set of martini glasses to get their bar started. I also created a book of martini recipes. I put some standards, the 007, the appletini and some fun and funky drinks--wedding cake martini, milkyway martini. They're on a ring so that they could just pull one out and have a signature drink for the evening. I made sure some major holidays were covered (Ouija tini, Mayflower tini, Nutcracker martini) so they'd be set for any party need. This same gift idea could be used for a coffee lover (mugs and a ring of fancy coffee drinks) or bakers (ring of recipes and some neat baking utensils).

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas. We are off to visit family tomorrow. I have a couple of posts scheduled but I'm not nearly on the ball enough to have the entire time covered!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Gifts Part 3

Happy Christmas Eve. As a child I loved Christmas Eve as much as Christmas Day. We always went to Grandpa John's house and had all the yummy snack/appetizer type foods. His house is small and there were a lot of us but I loved it because I got to see everyone. I don't usually go back to visit my family until after Christmas Day now so we always miss the Christmas Eve festivities.

I have 2 more quick and fun gifts to share with you today. The first idea actually came from Michael's. It's a ribbon book mark with charms on each end. I could not find the right kind of beads, you need a ribbon crimp with a hook in the center. I ordered some from Ebay but they were shipped to the wrong address. I did find some large crimp beads and that's what I ended up using for these.

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Basically you put a crimp on each end of a ribbon 8-10" long. Then you can use jump rings to hang charms, beads, gems, etc. off each end. The ribbon lays between the pages of the book and the charms dangle on each end. I must say there is quite a selection of gems and charms out there. I must stay out of those isles before I pick up another expensive habit..err...hobby!

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The second gift I have to share with you is an altered found item. A couple years ago, Electrasol came in these Jetson's tins. They were the same price and the tin was neat so I kept all the tins in bin of trash to treasures.

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I turned the Jetson's tin into a dog treat tin with a little paper, adhesive and ribbon. The blue line that says limited edition was part of the original tin. It matched and I thought it was kind of neat to mark my work as a limited edition. The treat tin is for my brother and his semi-new puppy. He is quite smitten and I'm sure will love having something to put Charlie's treats in.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Gifts Part 2

I am still plugging away at my list of things to finish making for Christmas gifts. Later today I have some food gifts to make but last night I was up until after one completing a few gifts. I have a couple quick and easy photo gifts to share with you.

The first is a flip book from Snapfish. I normally would not order one of these books because they're a little pricey for what they are but I had a credit for a free one so I thought I would give it a try. I filled the book with Halloween pictures to give to my mother-in-law. The book came with the photos on a mat and spiral bound with a cover. It was kind of plain so I pulled out some Halloween embellishments that I've been hoarding and "gussied" it up.

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Now that I've altered the snapfish book, I think this would make a quick and easy bind-it-all project.

The second gift I have to share with you was found in the dollar spot at Target. These photo cubes are going to be perfect stocking stuffers. All of my photo cubes are going to men but for a lady I would add rub-ons, gems, flowers, ribbons, etc. to the sides after the photos were inserted. You could also put journaling in one of the spots instead of a picture. The possibilities are numerous all for $1.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Handmade Christmas Gifts

This year I have created a lot of handmade gifts. In fact, other than toys/clothes we purchased for Simon and Lizzy, all of our gifts are all or semi-handmade. Some close friends received boxes of cookies. I posted here about the digital calendars I made--six people on our list received the calendars. Since one of those calendar recipients was my dad, I didn't want to give my mom the same thing but I also wanted to craft something for her.

I saw a perpetual calendar on a cookie sheet several years ago. I've wanted to create one (for myself!) ever since then but my mom is going to be the first recipient. I started with a cheap cookie sheet I found at Wal-Mart. Many websites have indicated that you should not get the non-stick sheets or the magnets won't stick. I tested the non-stick sheets at the store and the magnets stuck to it just the same as the non-coated cookie sheets. For my project, I selected the non-coated. They came in a set of 3 sizes for $3.79. I used the largest size for her calendar. I have plans for the other 2 in the future.

The reason I chose the cookie sheet that was not coated is so I could utilize my Ranger alcohol inks to give it a distressed look. Of course I could have pulled an old cookie sheet out of the cabinet and achieved the same result but 1. I wouldn't get to use my very under-utilized alcohol inks and 2. I couldn't part with one of my well-loved, seasoned pans.

The ink colors I used are Ginger, Latte and Cappuccino. I believe they came in a set. If you have never used alcohol inks, they're really fun and easy to use. Ranger has an applicator that you place a piece of felt on and then add a couple drops of ink. The ink will stick to anything non-porous. The great thing is if it's too dark or you want to fix a mistake, there is a blending solution that will remove/lighten the ink.

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I tested my colors on the inside of the cookie sheet. I put all my elements on the backside of the cookie sheet. After distressing the cookie sheet, I added my blank calendar page, the section for the months and the section for pictures with decoupage. I found that it was easier to apply the decoupage to the cookie sheet and then place the paper. Otherwise, the paper absorbed a lot of the glue and the edges wouldn't lay down correctly.

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After the base of the calendar was created, I made all the elements. I cut 1x1 squares of chipboard and paper for each number. The numbers are stamped and then some of the squares are embellished with buttons, flower or ribbon. The letters for the months were created in the same manner but with my Sizzix machine. I cut the letters in chipboard and paper then glued them together. Each element has a piece of magnet on the back of it to make it stick to the cookie sheet. The magnets I used already have adhesive on them and come in strips. They are like $1 for a package and they go a really long way. The great thing is they are heavier than the magnets for business cards but still thin and really cheap.

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The calendar can hang on a nail under the cookie sheet or you could drill holes and hang it by a ribbon tied at the top.

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Paper: Webster's Pages (Patterned papers and calendar page) Papertrey Ink (Dark Chocolate card stock)
Embellishments: various buttons, ribbon and flowers
Ink: Stampin' Up! (Dark Chocolate) Ranger alcohol inks (ginger, latte, cappuccino)
Cookie sheet, magnets, chipboard

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas cards

So I still haven't finished my Christmas cards. They are on the top of my list this week! I attended the crop at Felicia's Scrapbooks last night. It was the first time in her new location. Since everything was moved around, I of course found many things that I had not noticed or wanted before. One of those things were packets of 6 cards and envelopes by Kaiser Kraft. The cards and envelopes were shimmery and a great bargin at 1.99. I'm not sure I could buy paper and envelopes (especially colored envelopes) for $2.

I received a prize from Paper Crafts Mag a few weeks ago when they had some blog candy for World Card Making Day. The prize package was the full line of Alpine Frost by SEI. The papers are so beautiful and they came with a ton of embellishments to choose from. The colors were not colors I normally use for Christmas but they matched a couple of the Kaiser Kraft card sets mentioned above.

This is what I created when I combined the two. The papers were just perfect so I didn't feel the need to embellish much. Once I got the basic sketch in mind they all came together rather quickly.

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and the finished inside...
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I also added a small scroll rub-on to each envelope flap. Now I only have 20 more cards to go!

Cards and Envelopes: Kaiser Kraft
Patterned paper, rubons, accents and ribbons: SEI Alpine Frost.
Stamps: Inkadinkado, Hobby Lobby (cardinal), Papertrey Ink

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas treat holders

I am always looking for treat holders to put little gifts or candy in. This year I created five different treat holders. A couple of holders will be perfect for my holiday table and one or two will be great for stockings and gifts for people like school bus drivers and the librarian.

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A closer look at the snowman...
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and my favorite, the sleigh...
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The pillow box was made with a template from the cutting cafe. The other items were from various templates I found.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Gift Card Holders

I've been busy creating gift card holders. I created five holders. Three of the holders have hangers so you can hide them in the Christmas tree, hang them over a co-worker's monitor, on a door knob or over a loved one's rear view mirror. The first three holders all have Scenic Route papers and pockets to hide a gift card in.
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The stocking and the mitten both have a pocket inside to tuck the gift card into.

I also created a matchbook style gift card holder. I used the snowflake embossing folder and a snowbird by Inkadinkado.
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and inside...
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The last gift card holder looks like a wrapped present with a pull out that hides the gift card away.

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If you want to create your own gift card holders, I'll be at Felicia's Scrapbooks on Saturday the 12th. Class runs from 12-2.

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Family memeber

We have a new family member as of last night. My husband came home from work with Mocha. She is a chocolate lab/blue heeler mix and is very excited to have children to play with. Lizzy is head over heels smitten with her. I expect she and Mocha will be having teas and dress up dates soon.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Christmas Picutre Time

Every year I pose Simon and Lizzy somewhere to get our Christmas picture we send in the cards. I used to go to the photo studio and get them done but after my Christmas season of working in the photo studio I can no longer stand to do this. I think it's easier to capture their personalities at home anyway. Normally they were a Christmas shirt of some sort but this year we were all in my brother-in-law's wedding so we had fancier clothes to wear.

I like to print a 4 x6 picture for everyone with some sort of Christmas border/design that they can put on their fridge if they want to. Since I've been practicing my digital skills, I created my own this year rather than the pre-loaded ones provided by Snapfish.

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I always take about 3 times as many pictures as we actually need. Even when I think I got the right shot, I take a couple more. Many times I have found out after the kids have changed clothes that Simon closed his eyes or Lizzy put her hand in front of her face. I do think the pictures turn out the best if you can be outside when it's sunny. I didn't have that option this year.

A couple of out takes:

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No smile...

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too far back, angle too wide...

christmasposes 025_edited-1Way over exposed by the flash. This is where the great outdoors and Mother Nature's light would be an improvement!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

My turkey is in the oven, the rolls are rising, the pies are baked, the potatoes are ready to mash and my husband is still in bed. Typical Thanksgiving around here and I'm sure in many other homes around the country.

I didn't get a chance to make many fall or Thanksgiving cards this year. I was busy making thank you cards for my brother-in-law's wedding that is this Saturday. Their colors were black, ivory and burgundy but they are using red roses.

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I created a pocket card in black with an ivory insert. I punched out a peek-a-boo window with a 1 1/2" punch. I would have loved to make the window a little bigger by using my spellbinders but I had 50 thank yous to make and my arm could not have taken all that cranking! I stamped thank you at the top and used the Damasks with the elegant font on the 1 5/8" Just Rite Stamper. I finished the cards with a simple sheer red ribbon knotted at the side.

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I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am off to finish up Thanksgiving and start on the fajita dinner for 20 that is tomorrow night. Don't forget all the great shopping to be done as well.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hapy Birthday To Me!

Today is my birthday. I'd tell you the number but well, I quit counting a couple years ago! Simon is out of school today for the Thanksgiving holiday. He asked if we could go to Chuck E. Cheese or Inflatable Wonderland for my birthday. He did offer that we could stop by a scrapbook store on the way home. He's such a thoughtful kid.

I have been working on the digital calendars for my family. I finally completed them all. They were all made in a 5 x5 size. prints 5x5 sizes for just a quarter which is how I chose my size. All of these pages were created with digi freebies. Mostly from Shabby Princess and Emily Giovanni. I am by no means very good with digital scrapbooking. I do like being able to re-size things quickly and for this project it was the perfect medium because I created once (a few months 2 or 3 versions) and I'm able to print out 6 presents.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Digital Calendar

I always make or order a photo calendar for my dad for Christmas. The first few years I just plugged pictures into the calendars on Snapfish. Last year I made one with a kit. This year I wanted to try making a desk calendar with digital layouts. I am not a digital scrapbooker. My skills are VERY limited. When I digi-scrap I usually have the link to some sort of tutorial open in another window to get me through my project. I like working with paper but for this project, digital is a great medium.


All of the elements are from Shabby Princess.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Simple Holiday

Today I have 2 rustic but clean and simple cards to share with you. Both of these cards could be created in about 10-15 minutes each. If you were mass producing, it would probably be less. Both cards feature stamps by Hero Arts and kraft card stock. I love the look of kraft card stock. It goes with pretty much every color and it has a softer look than white and a more rustic look than cream. I use kraft card stock from Papertrey Ink. I love the weight of their card stock. I also pulled out some long neglected chalks. I have both the plain chalks and the shimmer chalks. I used the white of the plain chalks to get a good base of "snow" and then added some shimmer on top for more dimension. The shimmer is hard to see in the pictures but it pops in real life.

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For this first card I cut rectangles with my Nestabilities for the owl and the scalloped mat behind the owl. I started by stamping the owl in Chocolate Chip ink and then I colored over the brown with an orange stardust pen for his feet. I used the same pen for his beak. The eyes are shiny courtesy of a clear glaze pen. The scarf is finished with a green sharpie and a red stardust pen.

The strip of holly leaves was created by making score lines 1 1/2 inches apart along the lower part of the card and then I stamped the leaves randomly between the lines. The holly berries are filled in with the red stardust pen again.

I always like to finish the inside of my cards. When possible, I repeat and element from the front of the card. For the owl card I used the holly leaves again.

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My second card is finished similarly to the first card. For this card, I used a strip of patterned paper by scenic route instead of stamping my own design. When mass producing cards, this saves a lot of time. To add a little dimension, I inked the two edges of the paper. I put my stardust and glaze pens to work again on the reindeer.

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Card Stock: Bazzil (red) Georgia Pacific (white) Papertrey Ink (Kraft)
Patterned Paper: Scenic Route
Stamps: Hero Arts (reindeer, owl, holly leaf) Martha Stewart (sentiment)
Ink & Pens: Stampin Up (chocolate chip) Memento (bamboo leaves) Chalk Inks (warm red) Sakura of America (star dust pens & Glaze pens)
Embellishments: Wal-Mart (buttons) Felicia's Scrapbooks (twine) Recollections (red pearls)
Tools: Spellbinders (rectangles and scalloped rectangles)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

ISC Blog Hop Day 3

It's here, Inspire Swap Chat’s first official blog hop. Along this journey you will be introduced to some amazing Birthday Themed projects. Hopefully you just arrived here from babyjsmom! If not, I'd like to guide you back to the beginning at Inspire Swap Chat so you can hop along, and enter to win an adorable birthday themed basket filled with goodies to make scrapbook pages or cards!

Today is the last day of the blog hop. I have a short tutorial to share with you using Just Rite Stampers. I love using the Just Rite Stampers to create a personalized card. The card I'm sharing with you was created for a card order. My customer wanted something for her son's teacher. I suggested something personalized with NO APPLES. As a teacher I can tell you that we don't all LOVE apples but everyone loves something made especially for them.

I immediately pulled out my Just Rite Stamper size 2 15/16 circle, cupcake center and 25pt. Times New Roman font set. You can get all three of these in a set. The font has fewer letters than a full set would have but I can usually make it work for short sentiments like this one.

I began by lining up my letters and snapping the cupcake in the center. It does take some work to get the letters just right. I find the easiest way is to find what letter is the center letter, place it and then work out both ways. You also have to spell from right to left for the image to print correctly.

Once I have the stamper loaded, I always do a couple of test stamps. I find the stampers get the best, even impression if you use a stamp mat. When I test stamp on scrap paper I'm looking for a couple things. First I'm checking for letter placement to make certain I'm not too far one direction and it is overall pleasing to the eye. Secondly I'm checking for any areas that have ink where I don't want ink. If I find an area with ink, I dab it with a baby wipe before my final stamp. Lastly I'm checking to see if all the letters stamped correctly. Occasionally if you don't push a letter in until it snaps or if you rubbed too hard against the ink pad, you'll get uneven coverage. It's simple to fix by pushing the letter back in.

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Now that you've tested your image a couple times, re-inked and cleaned up any edges with stray ink it's time to stamp. I highly recommend checking your fingers for ink (I often have fingerprint smudges from adjusting the letters) and putting your circle on a stamp pad. After stamping the image I used a couple of markers, a gelly roll stardust pen and a gelly roll black glaze pen to color my image.

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Finally I adhered all my pieces together. The circle and scalloped circle were both cut with Nestabilities. I used a corner chomper to round the two opposite corners of all the layers and finished off with some sparkly twill tape knotted in the sides of the circle.

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Patterned paper: Imaginece

Card Stock: Stampin' Up!

Stamps: Just Rite

Other: Purple ink, gelly roll pens, markers, hole punch, nestabilities, crop-a-dile

Today is the last day to leave a comment and enter for a chance to win my blog candy. I'll choose 2 random winners from the hat tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by!

I hope you are enjoying the blog hop so far. The ISC members are so creative that I know you must be. But it is not over yet--you still have five more stops and then the final stop at Inspire Swap Chat! Next is craftygirlfrommg. Believe me you will be happy you stopped by to see what she created. Enjoy the rest of the hop and don't forget in order to be eligible for the great prize package you will need to leave a comment on all the members blogs along with a final comment on the Inspire Swap Chat blog letting us know what your favorite project was.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

ISC Blog Hop Day 2

It's here, Inspire Swap Chat’s first official blog hop. Along this journey you will be introduced to some amazing Birthday Themed projects. Hopefully you just arrived here from babyjsmom! If not, I'd like to guide you back to the beginning at Inspire Swap Chat so you can hop along, and enter to win an adorable birthday themed basket filled with goodies to make scrapbook pages or cards!

For the second day of the blog hop I have a masculine card to share with you. For this card I tried out the tri shutter technique. The technique can be found here if you want to try it out yourself. I love making technique cards and cards that are interactive. I think they have a wow factor to them (especially for guys and kids) that pretty cards don't always get (unless it's a fellow crafter!) Without further ado, here is my card.

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Now for a chance to win some blog candy, please leave me a comment. You can enter a comment for yesterday's post, today's post and one tomorrow. I'll choose 2 random winners out of a hat.

I hope you are enjoying the blog hop so far. The ISC members are so creative that I know you must be. But it is not over yet--you still have five more stops and then the final stop at Inspire Swap Chat! Next is craftygirlfrommg. Believe me you will be happy you stopped by to see what she created. Enjoy the rest of the hop and don't forget in order to be eligible for the great prize package you will need to leave a comment on all the members blogs along with a final comment on the Inspire Swap Chat blog letting us know what your favorite project was.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

ISC Blog Hop Day 1

It's here, Inspire Swap Chat’s first official blog hop. Along this journey you will be introduced to some amazing Birthday Themed projects. Hopefully you just arrived here from babyjsmom! If not, I'd like to guide you back to the beginning at Inspire Swap Chat so you can hop along, and enter to win an adorable birthday themed basket filled with goodies to make scrapbook pages or cards!

For the first day of the ISC Blog Hop I created a birthday card for my dad's birthday on the 30th of this month. Normally I make him a Halloween birthday card but this year I wanted to utilize the birthday stamp set I got by Inkadinkado. Each stamp in the set is an image with a humorous sentiment. My dad is really a big kid at heart and he loves to get funny cards. The card I created will be especially funny to those of us who actually know his parents.

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I colored my card with a combo of Sharpies and Prisma color markers. I would love to have a set of copics but my children also need a college education so I have compromised. I have a set of Sharpies that I fill out with the Prisma colors to get the shading options of having lighter markers. I finished off the glasses and boots with a black glaze pen to add a little shine.

If you would like the opportunity to win a little blog candy, please leave a comment and come back for the next 2 days to leave comments on my two new projects that will be posted. I will randomly draw 2 people out of the hat to win! Be sure to check out the rest of the blog hop.

I hope you are enjoying the blog hop so far. The ISC members are so creative that I know you must be. But it is not over yet--you still have five more stops and then the final stop at Inspire Swap Chat! Next is Craftygirlfrommg. Believe me you will be happy you stopped by to see what she created. Enjoy the rest of the hop and don't forget in order to be eligible for the great prize package you will need to leave a comment on all the members blogs along with a final comment on the Inspire Swap Chat blog letting us know what your favorite project was.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Clean and Simple Christmas Card

I just finished my card for the Christmas Clean and Simple card swap on Inspire Swap Chat. I love how beautiful the clean and simple cards turn out. I think they really need a wow stamp or embellishment that pops. For my card I pulled out the Christmas stamps by Inkadinkado. All the stamps in this set are fairly large and very ornate. The reindeer is definitely my favorite of the set. I also had some pomegranate card stock that I wanted to use. I think the pomegranate is one of my favorite colors for Christmas. I rarely use the straight up red and green. I like darker and lighter shades for Christmas.

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Card stock: Pomegrante (Stampin' Up) White (??) Gold (Bazzil)
Stamps: Inkadinkado
Ink: Gold

Friday, October 23, 2009

Budding Artist?

I would not call myself an artist and there are far more talented people out there than myself; however I do enjoy expressing myself creatively. The first time I can remember someone remarking that I was creative (my mom has assured me that my creativity was very apparent long before this as I always had creative ways of doing everything) was when I was in the third grade and I started writing short stories and poems. They were silly and very childish but I had a way of describing things that was quite creative. As the years went on I started adding other mediums and outlets to my creativity like sewing, needlepoint (never could follow the lines!) and photography before settling into the paper crafting world.

I see a lot of that same creativity in my daughter. I am determined to nurture it rather than curb it. Her current obsession is photography. Thankfully we are in a digital age and it's ok when she takes 100 pictures of her feet (see example 2 below) or fifty pictures of the ceiling. Some of her photos are quite put together. A lot of her pictures are My space worthy (see example 1 below)

Example 1

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Example 2

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Christmas 2009

Edit to add: Sorry about the background noise. I had the speakers off and didn't realize the kids were so vocal while I filmed. I also changed the video format as it was working on Firefox (what I use) but not Internet Explorer.

Last year I really wanted to make an album I could put lots of Christmas pictures in, but my dad fell ill and I just couldn't bring myself to put the hospital pictures in an album.

I decided to get a head start this year. I wanted something different, something the kids and I both would like. I ended up with a flip book/waterfall album of sorts. I used papers from an 8x8 pad of Making Memories Fa la la la paper that I found at Tuesday Morning for the bargain price of 2.99 and a little Bazzil card stock that matched. I altered the waterfall technique to fit the needs of my book and ended up with lots of slots for cards.

Supplies: Card stock: Bazzil Patterned Paper and embellishments: Making Memories Fa la la Embellishments: ribbon from my stash, jumbo eyelets and lots of ranger's glossy accent Binding: Bind it all

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy Halloween Digital card

I'm not a fan of digital least not for my own personal scrapbooks. I think they are great for mass production, gifts and for little things to send out like this digital layout I made to mail to family members. Most of my family is still not connected to the Internet so emailing pictures doesn't work. I always have several shots I'd like to share but I don't want to send 10+ copies of each picture. I started making these little "layouts" or photo cards last year. I have seen them displayed on the refrigerators of the recipients. The elements were a freebie found here on Stamping and Stuff blog. She has a lot of great freebies. That is the other benefit to digital stuff....there are so many freebies to use out there.


Of course the subjects of my photos don't always cooperate--especially Simon.

The Out takes:

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