Friday, December 31, 2010

Project 365 Wrap Up

In 2009, I kept my first New Year's resolutions ever!  One was to do something creatively new every day.  It was fun, sometimes challenging to fit in and I really expanded my creatively and knowledge.  I blogged about that more at the time in this post New Year's Cheers

Coming off that success, I tripled my expectations but unfortunately, not my efforts.  I again made three New Year's resolutions for 2010 and kept one of them.  The one kept was to do Project 365 this year.
Project 365 is to take a photo each day and then scrapbook it.  Here is what I discovered along this journey:
  • I took a photo almost every day and did makeup photos for the days I missed.  Does it really matter if I picked out paint swatches one day and then did the photo of me holding them up for selection the next day?

  • My husband is now a little more involved in photography than before.  He'll ask me if I've taken my photo today and sometimes suggest something that would make a good shot.  He has even picked up the camera a few times himself to capture the day's photo.

  • Many people scrapbook these photos in albums with photo pockets or use the same layout format for each week.  I preferred to experiment.  I did weekly single page and double page spreads.  I did some with two weeks together and a couple of monthly spreads.  For the third quarter we had lots of travel and big events so I did those and then 'everything else' layouts to capture the day to day.  And for the last few months, I've done layouts more by subject, like day trips, fall photos, and now some Christmas layouts.  These are still capturing the day to day stuff.

  • The Rest of April
    Weekly Layout
  • I love having a record of our everyday things - many of these things would never have been photographed otherwise.  I so wish I'd done this 10 or 15 years ago.  
Two Weeks in August
So I'm really glad I did Project 365.  Will I do it next year?  Yes and no.  I'll do more every day photos I'm sure.  Like creative thinking, it has become a habit and I'll scrapbook more routine stuff than before this project, I'm sure.  

And all this reminds me that I need to take today's photo and I know exactly what it will be - part of my year end 'got to get this done before the business year closes' list.  It's one of those every year things that will someday be a little memory tucked into my scrapbook.

Have you decided on any resolutions?
Hope you enjoy ringing in the New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tree Time - come and gone

The tree went out yesterday and all the needles are vacuumed up.  Well, not all, I'm sure I'll find stray needles until next July.  How do they hide so well?

Taking down the tree is a mix of "it's time to get back to normal" and sadness.  I just finished this layout on getting the tree.  I take photos every year and I think this is the first time it has ever made it to the scrapbook.  Tree shopping is special because it is something Daddy and I do together - just us.  He loves a bargain (He still talks about the one he got on a roadside stand for $15 one year) and always scouts out potential locations before we go shopping.  This year's tree was $25 and truly fresh cut!  We live only about 40-60 miles from NC's many tree farms but that is a deal even for us.  I loved it because it was the perfect size - tall and trim.

Project Notes:

  • For this quick layout, I placed the 4 photos with one corner together and built everything out from there.  The 'trees' are cut from one of the designer papers and colored in with markers.  
  • I was going to stitch this on the machine but it was so close to done, I just did a little faux stitching with a white gel pen rather than go all the way down to the basement for my sewing machine.  I have an old home sewing machine I could use for this, but I just don't have anymore room in my scrap space.
If you had a tree, is it still up?  What about your other decorations?  I'm leaving the garlands on the mantle and fireplace up for at least a couple more weeks.  It just looks too empty to take it all down at once.  

Thanks for visiting:

Ingredients:  DSP:  Candy cane Christmas by Stampin' Up!
Cardstock:  Colormates Light Spring green (Hobby Lobby)
Stickers:  Two Scoops by Basic Grey and Thickers from American Crafts
Button:  Baja Breeze by SU!
Baker's Twine:  Martha Stewart

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Masculine Note Card

Why are making masculine cards so difficult?  Is it just me?  Perhaps it is that I have so few stamps that lend themselves to masculine cards.  I just love flowers and birds but then my husband loves flowers and likes birds well enough so maybe it is my interpretation of what is masculine.  He must like birds, he waded through the snow to feed ours today, bless him.

Anyway, the Splitcoaststampers color challenge was to use Night of Navy, Old Olive, Daffodil Delight (I had to sub So Saffron) and a button or brad (I used a grommet).  The inspiration was Mary's husband's birthday.  Happy Birthday!

I did two of these cards and will use them as Any Hero cards in my next OWH box.  I thought the yellow ribbon would signify a hope that the heroes who receive them will be home soon.

Project Notes:

  • The branch is embossed in Night of Navy on watercolor paper
  • the background is my favorite technique from Jennifer McGuire's Holiday Thinking Inking class at Two Peas.  If you haven't taken this, it is wonderful!  She used Ranger inks but I used SU!'s inks, even Craft ink worked.  You ink up an acrylic block, spray with water and then coat your paper.  It takes a couple of coats and some dabbing but it is a lot of fun.
  • The edge is distressed in Soft Suede.

Have to be off.  My dad is accompanying me on a business errand this morning.  He is off from work this week and going a little stir crazy.  (I think my mother will appreciate the break, too.)

Ingredients:  Stamps:  Kindred Spirits, Sweet Little Sentiments
Ink:  Night of Navy, Old Olive, Soft Suede
Grommet:  from Stampin' Up!
Ribbon:  So Saffron
Cardstock:  Night of Navy and Naturals White

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

TIPsy Tuesday - Tab Punch Border

Let's get a little more use out of our punches.  Here's a border made with the tab punch from Stampin' Up!

The video shows how the card was made mainly focusing on the border.  I used all one DSP for the tabs but you could use a variety of papers for alternating scallops.  The floral designer paper on top is cut 1 3/8" wide.

Thanks for visiting today!

Here are the materials used in this card:
Stamps:  Cherry Hill from October Afternoon
Designer Paper all from October Afternoon:  Fly a Kite 8x8 Paper Pad, Thrift Shop 8x8 Paper Pad
Cardstock:  Ruby Red, Naturals white (for card base), Very Vanilla from Stampin' Up!
Ink:  Garden Green marker; Warm Red Fluid Chalk Ink from Colorbox
Brads:  Paper Studio
Cord:  DMC

Monday, December 27, 2010

Love You Rose

Anyone who walked into my scrap space would get a very mixed message, if they could see through the clutter that is.  Is it Christmas or Valentine's Day?  I'm still doing holiday themed layouts and I've made a few Valentine's Day cards for Operation Write Home.  The deadline for shipping those is in early January so not much time to pause between holidays.

I made this card last week for the card sketch challenge (#312) at Splitcoaststampers.  I've been really challenged to hop from Christmas trees and snowmen over to hearts so I decided to do a floral theme.  Seemed an easier transition.

Project Notes:
  • The main rose is colored with a combo of SU! markers and watercolor crayons.  Watercolor crayons always come out lighter so there is even some Ruby Red mixed in with these corals and light pinks.  
  • I used my new EK Success edge punch on this one.  It just jumped into my hands one day when I was walking through Hobby Lobby and not wanting to be a shoplifter I had to buy it. :-)  In addition to the bracket shaped edge it embosses.  Works great with these heavy Papertrey Ink cardstock.
  • The background roses are embossed after stamping them on some SU! Sweet Pea paper.  
Thanks for visiting today!

Ingredients:  Stamps:  Fifth Avenue Floral
DSP:  Sweet Pea from Stampin' Up!
Cardstock:  Berry Sorbet from PTI; Blushing bride from SU!

Ribbon:  Source unknown

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Coincidentally, while we were enjoying the gorgeous Christmas Day snowfall yesterday, I was digging into my stash for this layout about our unusually cold December.  After my parents had gone home and the dishes were done (finally!), I got in some scrapping time.  Two unexpected treats for the holiday!

Project Notes:

  • The layout is based on Artfuldelight's monthly challenge
    ( December Sketch Challenge at ).  For the shaped background, I did two Cricut cuts.  The second one in the lighter teal accidentally came out the same size as the first so I decreased the size and moved the cutting blade in and down just a tad - maybe a quarter of an inch - and cut again.  I got a perfect frame!  Just lucky on that one.
  • Rhinestones in the center of snowflakes add a special zing.
  • Also, vellum seems to really go with snow/cold themes, too.

Now that I have dozens of wonderful Christmas snow photos, I'll have to do another snowy layout for my very first white Christmas!

Thanks for visiting today.  Enjoy your holiday week.

Ingredients:  DSP:  background DCWV; teal papers from My Mind's Eye
Ribbon:  Enchanted Cottage in Winston-Salem, NC
Rhinestones:  Hobby Lobby
Chipboard:  American Crafts; "L" from Holly Jolly by Cosmo Cricket
Fonts:  Andy, Times Roman, Lucida Handwriting

Saturday, December 25, 2010

First White Christmas

My first white Christmas!  It started snowing before 10 a.m. this morning just after I filled the bird feeders.  The birdies sure are happy I got out there because it has been coming down all day.  Just gorgeous!  I know it really messes with so many travel plans but it is so beautiful.  We had our own plans to start a new tradition of going to see Christmas lights on Christmas night and I could tell my Dad was disappointed we wouldn't be able to go.  It sounded like he and Mother had been scouting locations.  For now, we will just stay comfortably inside and watch it get more and more like a winter postcard.

Happy Holiday to all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

MME It's A ___ Thing Challenge

I'm not a very competitive person - with other people that is.  So now, I feel like I'm a parent talking to their child - except I'm the child.  "You did your best.  You are a winner for participating."   And I think it is true!  I have never entered an on-line scrapbook challenge where winners were selected based on their results.  Previously I've only done the blog candy challenges with randomly selected winners.  Those are fun, low pressure though I think we all still try to display something we are proud of.  This time I really fussed over my layout and I'm pleased with it.  It wasn't a winner but I had fun, got a great layout for my personal album, and got out of my comfort zone a little.

My Mind's Eye recently had a challenge where layouts had to:  1) use a particular sketch 2) have the title "It's a ___ Thing and 3) use 80% MME product.   I thought the last option made this a very doable product challenge since it is really hard for me to use only one company's product.  In this case, I only had MME papers to start.  I ordered the tinselly ribbon and glittery letters.  Other than ink, the only other non MME items are some gold Stampin' Up! cardstock and Bazzill rhinestones.

Now about the subject of this page.  I'm not a flashy dresser.  Talbots, Lands' End and LL Bean are my favorite sources of clothes.  I like my jewelry discreet and traditional so I'm not someone drawn to sparkly things except....  When it comes to my Christmas decorations, bring on the BLING!

I love all the delicate, shiny, semi-opaque light catching, glittery, weirdly shaped, ribbon adorned baubles I can cram onto my tree and garlands.  I make a few concessions to design but mostly I want them to be shiny, beautiful, and warm the house on cold, drab days.  And we sure are having plenty of cold days to warm up this season!

Project Notes:

To meet My Mind's Eye's requirements to use 80% their product, I had to get inventive with pattern paper.

To get the design for the ornament on the left centered on the pattern paper, I cut a design out with the Cricut.  Then I used the negative space as a template to mark the pattern paper and cut it by hand.  Lots of Stickles gave it that Bling.

I cut the round ornament on the Cricut.  Stickles and Ranger's Glossy Accents glitzed up the polka dots.  The top is embossed in American Crafts Zing silver embossing powder.

To get the bottom layer of the shaped background to fit on my Cricut mat, I turned it about 30 degrees and got a really fun look with the stripe.

The BLING letters are hole punched and strung to the tinsel with baker's twine.

The journaling hides behind one of my photos.  (It let me sneak in another MME paper.)

Click here to check out the other entries over at My Mind's Eye.  There are some very inspiring layouts.  The winner's design and workmanship are awesome!  MME Blog Challenge 18 Winners  There is a link there to the photo album where you can see all the entries at once.

Entering a layout contest is definitely something I'll do again.

Ingredients:  from My Mind's Eye

Lost and Found Union Square Favorite trims
Lost and Found Market Street “Happy Birthday” Glittered Alphabet stickers
So Sophie “Never Enough” Darling Dots Paper for background
So Sophie “Family Ties” Consistent Ledger Paper
State of the Heart “Understated Love” Paper 
State of the Heart “Valentine Stripes” Paper

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Collage Background Cards

Congratulations to Operation Write Home ( for winning $25,000 donation from Jo Ann's fabrics!  Thanks to all of you who voted for them!

These are some cards I'm getting ready to send by the first of the year.  Valentine cards are due in early January.  The background was inspired by a new collage stamp from Hero Arts.  I made my own collage by stamping a butterfly, some office stuff, flourishes and text in the same ink color on a neutral background.  I got a variety of looks.  One was used on yesterday's envelope card and the remainder for these 'love' cards.  It is a great way to use some of those stamps that might not be getting as much exercise as they once did. 

Happy day!  I think I'm going to be braving the stores with my aunt today after her doctor appointment.  A determined lady in an electric wheelchair and her niece struggling to keep up :-) Wish us luck!

Ingredients:  A variety of stamp set including   Text Style from PTI; Flourishes from Paper Studio; Itty Bitty Background, Office Accoutrement, God's Beauty by Stampin' Up!
Cardstock:  Very Vanilla, Cherry cobbler; Scarlett Jewel by PTI
Ink:  Sahara Sand; Tattered Rose by Ranger
Other embellishments:  Ribbon from the Enchanted Cottage in Winston-Salem, Basic grey paper and brads, tags and rub-ons from SU!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Special Day

It's Tuesday and I'm TIPless today.  I'm too TIPsy with love for it is a special day...

Twenty years ago today, my husband and I had our first date.

We agreed to meet at a local restaurant for a drink and then to go to a movie.  Since we had both driven, he asked which car we should take to the movie theater and I suggested his.  Lenny was banking on that.  When he opened the door for me, there on the passenger seat was a single long stemmed red rose.  (Ahhh)

We saw "Home Alone."  I don't know what Macaulay Culken is doing tonight but we are going to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of our first date the closest we can.

Unfortunately, the local restaurant - one of my favorites closed a few years ago.  It is now a bagel shop.  We are going to see Tangled - the 2D version.  Somehow I don't think 3D glasses make for a very romantic date.  I'm wearing the same color turtleneck and pants - of course the old ones are long gone.  Those old black pants shrunk anyway - really, they did :-)

It is another anniversary today, too.  Nineteen years ago today, I gave Lenny our first scrapbook.  It was about 15 pages of our first year together.  There were no fancy papers.  I typed all the journaling on plain white computer paper from a dot matrix printer!  There were some photos.  I suppose I should scan one and share it on the blog but I'm not that brave.  Do you really want to see me with my permed hair?  Do I really want to compare that unlined face to the one today?  Nah.

It's been a wonderful 20 years.   Since it was so long until we married, this day was the "anniversary" we celebrated for a long time.  I'm giving Lenny a scrapbook today of the last year - mostly.  There are still some big events and the month of December incomplete.  Still, it is a tradition.

Here is his card.  I did an envelope card with all sort so mushy prose inside.  I'll just keep that hidden along with those old photos.

Thanks for stopping by today.  I'll have a new TIP next week.  And later in the week, I have a special Christmas layout to share.

Ingredients for scrapbook page:  DSP and rub ons:  Delight by Fancy Pants
Stickers:  Euphoria by Basic Grey, Mini Market stickers by October Afternoon
Chipboard:  Marquis by American Crafts, "Pictures" is in Wilma by Basic Grey painted with acrylic paint.
More on the card in a later post...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cards with Rub ons

After doing the Scrapbook Annonymous challenge for using rub-ons, I decided to just use up the ones from my package.  These were part of Sale-a-Bration 2007 so it was about time, don't you think?  I don't use Rub on's very often and haven't found great way of storing them once I've cut up a sheet quite a bit.  There always seem to be little pieces that float free and cling to other pieces generally making them all useless.  So before that could happen, I took what was left of the white and black sheets and made a couple of cards.

I do like applying them.  It is very simple yet something sort of magical about pulling away the transfer sheet and seeing the image look so pristine.  Of course, they are great on lots of surfaces which is why I think I selected these to begin with.

Speaking of Sale-a-bration, I got my 2011 catalog this weekend with my last order.  It doesn't start until late January.   There are several stamp sets, a paper/sticker combo and my own favorite a ribbon/button combo.  You can also pick stamps under $14.95 from the main catalog as your SAB option. What I'm most excited about is the mini for Spring.  I'm not sure I've ever ordered out of a Spring mini before but I will be this time.  Lots of great goodies in this one!  Several of the stamps and embellishments relate to sewing so that is definitely for me.

Thanks for your visit today!

Ingredients:  Rub-ons Love and Happiness by SU!
DSP:  Jersey Shore from SU!
and Regal Rose, Apricot Appeal and Brocade blue DSP's.
Cardstock:  Basic Gray

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vellum White Flowers

Isn't it frustrating when a card just won't seem to come together?   That was the way with the TIPsy Tuesday card this week.  I did some white embossed flowers on vellum and got them all cut out and then did the background I had in mind.  It was just too busy with the flowers on it. Then I drug out a half dozen other things before going really simple.

So for today's card, I still had those pretty little flowers laying around minus the glitter we were charged with using in today's Ways to Use It at Splitcoaststampers.

I've CASEd the idea for the white flowers from Libby Hickson from her Hero Arts blog hop entry.  I love how she used little pearls in the center of her flower and added a little sparkle. Libby Hickson's blog  Those pretty Hero Arts stamps are now in at Two Peas.  I've already put a few things on my wish list.  (But I've had a sneak peak at the new Stampin' Up! mini and there are pretty things there coming in January.  So much to choose from!)

My sparkle comes from Diamond Stickles.  I put a generous dab close to the center of the flower on each petal and then spread it out with a paint brush.

This card also fits the sketch for this week's sketch challenge.  I flipped it horizontally because my designer paper had a prettier border on the right side.  I wonder how many cards this paper has made!  I'm down to just a little scrap.  It is from the Periphery collection of Basic Grey and it seems to be one of the few soft colored papers I have.  Must make a note to order more light blues and blue grays.

Do you have papers you just turn to over and over again?

Thanks for visiting today.  Hope you stay warm wherever you are.

Ingredients:  Stamps:  Fifth Avenue Floral, Kindred Spirits
Cardstock:  Baja Breeze, Mellow Moss
DSP and die cut: Periphery by Basic Grey

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

TIPsy Tuesday - Tone-on-Tone Strips

With making and sending holiday cards and trying to get a scrapbook completed, I haven't had as much time for general card making.  This one is for the color challenge at Splitcoaststampers.  The colors this week are Going or Basic Grey, Marina Mist and Concord Crush.  I had to sub some ink colors since I don't have these new ones but I got pretty close.  I love Going Gray and was so sorry to see it get discontinued. 

For this card, I gave the gray background a two tone striped background.  Here's how:

Cut strips of paper in even widths.  Mine are 1 1/8" which is the width of the small wheel I planned to use in between my darker solid stripes.  Adhere strips with removable adhesive at even intervals - in my case 1 1/8".

Ink the open spaces with Versamark.  I pressed my pad directly onto the cardstock repeatedly to get a good coverage.  Coat with clear embossing powder.  REMOVE strips to get that adhesive away from the heat.  Heat to complete embossing.

Stamp in between as desired.  I stamped with an unmounted wheel in Versamark and embossed.  Here's the result.

To finish the card, I tried some Chalk Ink on a piece of chipboard.  Boy, did it coat!  Like dye ink, it does dry a lighter finish.  The flower is from the Pretties Kit at  Last I checked, this was still available at a greatly reduced price on their clearance rack.

Thanks for stopping by!

Ingredients:  Stamps:  Baroque Motifs and matching wheel
Ink:  Versamark; Colorbox Fluid Chalk in Prussian Blue; Elegant Eggplant
Flower and pearl:  Stampin' Up!

Monday, December 13, 2010

the life of an Indoor Outdoor Cat's staff

(This layout is for the Scrapbooker's Anonymous December challenge and for another prompt in the Blogging for Scrapbookers class.)

When we got our first indoor/outdoor cat New Years Eve 1997, I had expectations of sharing my home with a cuddly cat who would sit on my lap when I wanted her to and be outdoors each time I wanted to go out, too.  Ha! Ha!   I soon found out that it may say it MY house on the paperwork but when you invite a cat to live with you it soon becomes their house and you are just staff.

We had always had outdoor only cats.  Sure they came and went when they wanted to.  That's what cats do.  Now why did I think it would be any different with one that stay inside for several hours a day?

After Casey passed away, we got our second indoor/outdoor, Jasper and learned another lesson.  Every cat is different.  Jasper is good about sleeping in the garage all night without scratching on the door until sunrise.  Our challenge with Jasper is his insistence on going in and outdoors all day long!  It is particularly challenging on snow or rain days.  He is convinced that if we open the door for him just one more time the weather will have cleared and it will be fun outside again.  Doesn't matter if only 5 minutes have passed since the last time he came in.

The other challenge that I have with him is he won't necessarily go "Out' for me when I tell him to. At least he doesn't run and hide under the furniture like Casey would do - especially if I was running late already. We put him out when we go somewhere, yet there he is in the 2nd photo from the left laying on the floor clearly ignoring my "Out" command.  All Lenny has to do is say, "Jasper, Out" and he dutifully hops up and trots over to the door.  It is sooo frustrating!

So I guess we will continue to be door persons.  The cat loves the arrangement and we want him to enjoy the outdoors - more natural, less furniture scratching.  If only the job paid better...

Project Notes:

Scrapbookers Anonymous challenge ( Challenge Link ) was to use Rub-ons and boy, did I!  I used Sue's layout as inspiration and made borders from the black and white vines at the top and bottom of the page, using buttons for accents to add color.  A few extra rub-ons placed around the photo collage created in Photoshop Elements and that was it.  We also could not use designer paper - I nearly went through withdrawal.  (Thanks to Sue's Friday picks for leading me to this challenge  Sue's Picks)

The Blogging for Scrapbookers class ( encouraged us to post and scrapbook about something routine from our day.  Opening and closing doors for the cat is about as routine as it gets around here.

Thanks for your visit today!

Ingredients:  Cardstock:  So saffron by Stampin' Up!; Black and white from Hobby Lobby
Rub-ons:  Love and Happiness from Stampin' Up!
Chipboard letters: Patchwork by American Crafts, Offbeat collection and Sweets undressed by Basic Grey
Buttons:  Fancy Pants, SU! and stash

Sunday, December 12, 2010

5 Things I'm loving now

Lesson 3 of the Blogging for Scrapbookers class ( encourages us to write a post on 5 things we love right now.  As with all the lessons, I can just post or do a post along with a scrapbook page.  For this one I think I'll leave the scrapbook page of favorite things for later on.  I've got a digi page in progress, a page on my worktable for a challenge and have another page dancing around in my head already.

So here are 5 things I'm loving right now:

Song:  Let Me Down Easy by Billy Currington.  I loved this the first time I heard it on the radio just as I was pulling into my driveway.  Available on i-Tunes.

Favorite Store and recent purchase:  Anthropologie.  I love to walk through this store and imagine that I'm 20 years younger decorating my first apartment.  Of course, in my fantasy I actually have money to do this.  I recently bought this wonderful soap Mistral Soap in South Seas.  It smells heavenly.  To keep the name for fugure reference, I placed the wrapper in one of my desk cubbies and now I get this divine scent every time I open the lid on my antique desk.  Heavenly.

Software:  Google Chrome.  In doing the setup for this on-line class, I got so frustrated trying to make Google Reader work the way I was being instructed to do.  Finally, I figured something was out of date.  All the 'help' screens were referencing Google Chrome so I downloaded it expecting to get a new version of my Google toolbar.  I got a whole new browser!  Of course, I'd gotten messages in the past from the cyber world encouraging me to upgrade to Chrome because it was so much faster.  And of course, I didn't have time to mess with them.  Yes, there is something wrong with ignoring software that runs faster because you don't have time for it.  Isn't this what I used to preach to the students of my computer classes who wanted to duck out early because they didn't have time to learn new techniques.

Anyway, I LOVE, LOVE Google Chrome. It really is much faster than Internet Explorer.  And the screen space is much more efficient.  To give it a try, go here...Google Chrome  Also on this page is a great little 'book' 20 Things I Learned which explains a lot of Internet terms and how things work.

I haven't tried out any other browsers so if you have a better one, please share.  Thanks

Crafting Stuff:  The Hero Arts Blog Hop is going on and corresponds to the release of their latest catalog.  I enjoyed this last year though I have to admit I didn't buy a lot of their stamps.  This year I plan to put my favs in my Two Peas wish list as I go.  Whether you buy Hero Arts or now, you can get some great ideas.  Start here...Hero Arts Blog Hop

Book:  American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld.  My parents returned from a visit to my dad's sister with a box of books she had read and was passing along so this book is about 2 years old.  I love Presidential biographies and thought this one was interesting and would make good reading for a plane trip.  Yes and no.  I really enjoyed the amazingly in depth look at the experiences and thoughts of a woman who would be First Lady.  I kept having to remind myself this was fiction - not the true story of Laura Bush since only she knows and only a handful of women have really lived in the 'fish bowl' we call the White House.  It was so intense that it didn't make the best airplane reading so it took me awhile to get through this as I alternated with other lighter stuff.  The dialogue and thoughts of the protagonist are extremely possible.  And the ending, surprising.   American Wife on

So that's my 5 things.  What do they say about me?  I spend a lot of time on my computer, I love Presidential history, I listen to Country Music, and occasionally buy myself a little sliver of youth with a trip to a fun store.
And speaking of time on my computer, didn't I say I had a layout awaiting me on my worktable?

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

DSP Day - Note cards gift

A set of note cards is an always appreciated hostess or holiday gift.  Personalizing them with initials makes the cards extra special.  Since I was using a dark cardstock, I lined the inside of the cards with a light designer paper - one of those thin papers from a paper pad.  I also lined the envelopes from the same type of paper in a small polka dot pattern.

A little designer paper went a long way used in strips on the card.  The initials are also stamped on DSP using the Stamp-a-ma-jig to guide placement.

Thanks for visiting today.  This will probably be the end of weekly DSP Day posts.  I use designer paper on almost my cards anyway so I don't think I'll highlight in a once a week post.  I do plan to continue TIPsy Tuesday and do some more videos.  So stay tuned...  Thanks

Ingredients:  Stamps:  Baroque Motifs, Lovely Letters by Stampin' Up!
Ink:  Dark Brown by Colorbox, Versamark
Cardstock:  Early Espresso by SU!
DSP:  Nook and Pantry 6" paper pad by Basic Grey

Friday, December 10, 2010

Last of the Cute Christmas Cards

Let's wrap up the Cute Christmas stamp set.  The card above is based on one from the back of last year's Stampin' Up! mini catalog.  That card had cut out snow men from a different stamp set.  I did a lot of masking instead to take off one tree from a 3 tree stamp and add the snowman.  Then I masked the trees and the snowman to do the background.

Why are they always snow "men" and not snow "women"?  Just a random thought that popped into my head.  Oh well!

And this one let me use several of the Cute Christmas stamps and Candy Cane papers:

Just about done getting my cards in the mail.  The post office was being picky yesterday on postage wanting that extra 20 cents on anything with a 'bump' which is most anything I make!

The greeting on this last card is from the Christmas Punch set and it always gets that 'holly jolly' song in my head.  Oh, here it goes again... Hope you have a Holly Jolly Friday!

Ingredients:  Stamps:  Cute Christmas and Christmas Punch  from Stampin' Up!
Cardstock:  Baja Breeze, Garden Green
DSP:   Candy Cane Christmas
Button:  Real Red
Twine:  Martha Stewart Bakers Twine
Ribbon:  Fabric store for white and Paper Studio for red polka dot.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why Remember November?

Most of November seemed like one problem after another.  Many of them minor or at least things we know will resolve themselves.  Others were important on-going issues that seemed to grow more challenging.  Some things were nuisances that just needed to be taken care of.  I started dreading hearing the phone ring - what now???

Because I was sick for over a week, I didn't bother with taking very many pictures for Project 365.  Who wants to capture all this trouble?  Despite a lack of photos, I still thought it was important to capture this month of our lives.  It won't always be November, 2010.  In fact, December has already been turning the tide in many cases.   When we look back on this page someday, it may be a month where everything is going great and we can remember how blessed we are.  Or it may be a worse month and we would give anything to hear my parents on the other end of the phone.  One thing is certain, it won't be this particular month again, and that is one of the many reasons why we scrapbook.

Project notes:

This page is for the Two Peas Challenge to capture a month.  I also used some suggestions from the Blogging for Scrapbookers class at  The class reminds us that we may not want to reveal everything in our blog posts - protect privacy and add a little mystery.  I didn't go into details in either the page or the post about specific illnesses or personal business.  With both blogs and scrapbooks we have to respect the privacy of others in our lives.

The journaling is hidden in a pullout behind the photos of 'honey lemon' as my husband calls our 'miracle' cold cure and a photo of our stove resurrected from the dead.  16 days without a stove or oven is interminable!

A heavy coat of Vintage Photo distress ink toned down the bright colors in these Fancy Pants paper strips for the border.  All the chipboard is left bare so this was a quick page.

There will be one more November page in our book.  We had a very nice Thanksgiving and I'll do a page on that soon.  Thanks for visiting!

Ingredients:  DSP:  Fancy Pants Daily Grind 8" pad, Basic Grey Basics in Kraft
Chipboard:  On Board letters by Stampin' Up!; Offbeat collection by Basic Grey
Letter stickers:  American Crafts blackberry Puffy Thickers; October Afternoon Mini Market; Cosmo Cricket Mini
Brad:  Basic Grey
Buttons:  Fancy Pants with SU rub-on
Stamps:  Define Your Life by Stampin' Up!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Building a Better Blog

I love blogging!  Having a blog has helped me be more creative - not just in trying new things but also in getting stuff done!  The regular features of the blog and the various challenges have really built up a stash of cards - many have gone to Operation Write Home - and a couple of very full scrapbook albums.

Recently, a Christmas class from was promoted over at Two Peas.  As tempting as that class sounded, I found myself being drawn to another class at her site - Blogging for Scrapbookers.  I knew I wanted to do more with my blog and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.  The class was run last year, but you can take one any time.  Since I'm doing this on my own, I'm going to do the lessons (prompts) at my own pace probably 2 or 3 per week.  That way I'll have time to do the scrapbooking pages that go along with  the lessons.  This first lesson was to think about what I want to do with my blog.

Here's the Journaling:

I love blogging.  I love posting my projects, reading comments and reading other people’s blogs.  Over the nearly 2 years of, I’ve made a few improvements, created regular installments– some more successful than others, and recently added videos.  Followers have joined along.  I would like to continue to improve my blog.  What would make it ‘better’? 

·  More instructional videos.
·  Improving photography. 
·  Drop DSP Day
·  Polish my writing style 
·  Rekindle “joys of papercrafting” idea

I would also like my blog to be more of a place to express my views and for others to share their thoughts.  I’ve steered away from opinions and controversy and kept the blog more project oriented and it is getting a little stale. 

Also, I’ll admit I would like more followers or subscribers.  I want to reach more people with my ideas and make new friends. 

One of the best things my blog has done for me is to push me to try new things and get projects completed to post.  I definitely don’t want that to change.

What do I want my blog to be?  A place to share, to learn. I want the photographs to be true eye candy.  I want the posts to make me and other people think, smile, and maybe even shed a tear once in awhile.  

In the new course I’m taking from, I’ve already learned that blogs and scrapbooking are very similar.  So I want my blog to improve and encourage my scrapbooking and my papercrafting projects to continue to fuel my blog.

Project Notes:

For the page I 'built' a grid of modern designer papers from the Offbeat paper pad by Basic Grey. The squares are cut 1 1/4" on a 1 3/8" grid. Basic Grey's Magnetic Mat and ruler makes this go smoothly.  I used a Zig marker because of the fine tip for drawing my chocolate brown lines.

Yesterday's TIPsy Tuesday post talks about the BLOG chipboard letters and getting that great glazed look.

So project 1 is a fairly clean page (for me, anyway) to start a fresh boost to this blog!  If you want to learn more about this class, check out the description at shimelle-blogging-for-scrapbookers

As I said in the journaling, I want my readers to learn something and find a visit here worthwhile.   What would make the blog better?  Suggestions and comments greatly appreciated and helpful!  Thanks!

Ingredients:  DSP:  Offbeat 6" paper pad by Basic Grey
Brad:  Basic Grey Offbeat
Cardstock:  Kraft by Stampin' Up!
Marker:  Zig
Chipboard:  Offbeat collection and Hip by Basic Grey   (see next post on finishing)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

TIPsy Tuesday - Glossy Custom Chipboard

I love undressed or raw chipboard because it is sooo very versatile.  Typically, I paint it. Sometimes I stamp it or even leave it undressed.  When I paint my chipboard, I may add some distressing via ink or more paint.  Another great finish is to give it a glossy look with embossing powder.

To get these glossy letters:

  1. Paint the chipboard with acrylic paint.  One coat will usually do it. You can also color with ink - pigment inks like Stampin' Up! Craft work best.
  2. After it is completely dry, press each letter into a Versamark pad.
  3. Coat with clear embossing powder heat.  You'll get a nice glossy finish to the letters.
I keep an older Versamark pad for this purpose in case a little paint rubs off.  Another option for gloss is either Glossy Accents by Ranger or Stampin' Up!'s Crystal Effects.  I prefer the embossing because your letters are dry and ready to use.  No waiting.

The rest of the layout above will be in tomorrow's post.  I haven't been able to get a good photo of the entire layout in daylight.  Tis the season to be busy, busy...

Thanks for visiting today!

Ingredients:  Hip chipboard from Basic Grey
Acrylic Paint from Anita's
Versamark Ink
Clear embossing powder by Stampin' Up!
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