Sunday, December 30

2012 A Year in Review

I really can't believe another year has come to an end.  Amazing how it seems to start off so slow, but then Halloween to New Years is such a blur!  I wanted to take a moment to look back on some of my favorite projects that I've created over the past 12 months.  You can click the picture to go to the original post. :)

Favorite Card

Favorite Mini

I'm sharing this one with ABAC's year in reviewdesign team project!  Click the pic to go to theoriginal post to see the full series of inside pictures!

Favorite Layout

Favorite Off the Page Paper Creation

Favorite Non Scrappy Project

Favorite Gift

Thanks for visiting!


Saturday, December 29

Twelve Days of Scrappy Christmas

This month at Frosted Designs they decided to break from their normal set of challenges to try a 12 days of Christmas fun! Each day they gave us a different supply that we had to use in that quantity on our layout.  I worked my way down to the last day and now I'm ready to share.

On the right top corner there is a circle made of brads.

The entire layout including the photo hangs on a stitched banner.

10 buttons on the dot!

9 sparkled gemstones littered around the layout.

8 brands are:
1. Sticko - letters 'grade'
2. The Paper Studio - background
3. Paper Pizzaz - circle element
4. LilyBee Designs - lined paper
5. Bazzill - foil photo mat
6. We R Memory Keepers - measuring tape embellie
7. Jolee's - chair
8. Studio 112 - sticker letters 'AUG 2012'
*the rest of the embellishments are unknown from the bottom of my stash

1..2..3..4..5..6..7 sparkly snowflakes!

Click HERE for the tutorial I followed for DIY washi tape!

4 golden snowflakes + 1 golden ribbon = 5

Here are the 4 patterned papers I used:

I used Glimmer Mist on the arrow and letters spelling 'COUSIN'.
I used Distress Ink on all of the patterned paper edges.
I splattered white paint across the entire layout.

Stamp 1 is a month circle stamp in the center of the flower.
Stamp 2 is a flag stamp on the bottom right corner.

A chicken is a bird right?  ;)  

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, December 26

Elf-Capades 2012

I had several people email me and ask if I was going to share the fun that Buddy, our Elf on the Shelf had with us this year.  For those that follow me on Twitter (the link is in the about me tab above), there were daily updates.  I still wanted to post them all in a single place.  :)  Our elf got into a little mischief, had a lot of fun, and even left us several sweet gifts.  The kids miss him, but hopefully he'll be back next long as they still believe!!!  :)

Day 1: Buddy created a hot wheels traffic jam!

Day 2: Played a game of Scrabble using all wintery words.

Day 3: He left us seeds that when planted in sugar became cookie pops.*

Day 4: Yes, he really took EVERY pillow in the house to create his mountain.

Day 5: Teepeeing the entire living room, not cool Buddy!

Day 6: Katie was at a sleepover so Buddy made himself at home in her bed.

Day 7: Recreated the North Pole Village with Little People.

Day 8: Catching up on his fav winter sports with and SportsCenter.

Day 9: How thoughtful, a new ornament frame...with a self portrait.  HEE HEE

Day 10: Taking very good care of Baby Doll Anabelle.

Day 11: He made some additions to Mommy's grocery list...sugar anyone???

Day 12: He left the kids their "Official Elf Reports". *

Day 13: We woke up to a donut delivery, complete with a Buddy sized one! *

Day 14: Crepe paper across all of their bedroom doors.  

Day 15: Having a little too much fun with the copier.

Day 16: Guarding the presents.

Day 17: Playing in the girl's BLING.

Day 18: Scaling the cabinets to his hidden stash of candy.

Day 19: Counting down to Christmas...TEN DAYS!!!

Day 20: Jammin' to Daddy's tunes.

Day 21: We found Buddy in the car with Christmas tunes on BLAST.

Day 22: He brought the kids some of their favorite candy canes.

Day 23: A note to say "Hi".

Day 24: He must have been worried about missing his ride home.

Day 25: Trying to get out to play in our first snow.

Day 26: Fine tuning his Super Mario Bros skills.

Day 27: Tower of cookies!

Day 28: He left us a new movie to watch on Christmas Eve and a goodbye letter.*

*On Day 2 there was a wrapped baggy of seeds (mini M&Ms) left next to his Scrabble game.  We planted them in sugar and woke up the next morning to cookie pops.  Learn from my trial and BIG OL' ERROR....put the sticks in before you bake.  :)  

*Here is the 'Official Elf Report' Buddy left on Day 12.  I downloaded and then made some changes in my paint program to change the year (though I found after she'd posted a 2012 version as well) and to make the checked items things that were important to us and I changed to columns to say Naughty, Nice and Close Call.  Also I didn't want them to think this was it for them, so at the bottom they say Nice List PENDING rather than deciding between naughty or nice.  CLICK HERE to see the original which is a free download and make the changes that work for you or you can right click and save my version if you wish.  

*The Buddy sized donut is simply a cheerio that is frosted with a powdered sugar/water paste and sprinkles!

*I thought the goodbye letter was very important.  One of my kiddos asked how come they would get on the naughty list for making a mess like that, but when Buddy does it we laugh.  So I made sure to explain his mischief in the letter.  I know the original idea for Elf on the Shelf was simply to provide Santa's eyes and ears in each house to help kiddos remember to behave, but our elf has fun each night when he is 'alive'.  To me, getting to see my kids faces each morning race through the house searching for Buddy and lighting up when they see what he's done now is a way to extend the magic of Christmas all month long.  For the letter I just opened Microsoft Word (I'm sure many programs have this capability too, but this came free on my computer) and added a watermark picture of Buddy really faded out.  Here is the text from our letter from Buddy:

Dear ________________, 
I have really enjoyed being your elf the past two years and I am so glad that you adopted me so that I can come back each year to see how much you have grown.  I know I am supposed to just sit on a shelf somewhere and watch quietly so that I can report back to Santa if you have been naughty or nice, but when I see how much fun you all have playing with each other, it makes me wish I could play with you too!  So sometimes when I get a little bored at night, I play with your things and pretend I am playing with you.
You guys were so good this year, but if you could try just a little harder next year that would be great.  I don't like seeing Santa get cross when I have to tell him that you have been fighting or not doing what your parents ask sometimes and there were a few times I was really worried Santa was going to move you to the Naughty List.
I know you have a quiet Christmas Eve planned and I wanted to help you make it a special evening.  So when you are making cookies for Santa (make sure you leave an extra one for me to munch on during my trip back north), brew some hot cocoa and watch this movie together as a family.
Love you all, 

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, December 22

Cards 'For the Record'

I have been hoarding this Echo Park paper collection for months.  It's called 'For the Record 2' and it's filled with some of my favorite color combos ever!  I'd been saving them for JUST the right project, but when my step-mommy dearest asked for me to make her a new set of 'just because' cards for Christmas... I knew they were just perfect for her!!  Hopefully she's too busy working retail in the busiest season of the year to keep up on my bloggy because I just can't wait to share!

Inspired by Karen's card HERE

Inspired by Dawn's card HERE

Inspired by Lisa's card HERE

Inspired by Roree's card HERE

Thanks for visiting!


Sunday, December 16

Christmas tags

Six weeks....that's how long it's been since I blogged last.  What would you know...that's exactly how long it takes to heal from a broken foot....coincidence??  Not so much!  :(  Luckily I didn't have to be in a full cast, just a special little foot boot contraption, and I could even walk on it with minor pain (after about the first 10 days or so), but sitting at my scrappy table was just about the only thing I managed to do that left me with throbbing pain, so I've had to take a short crafty hiatus.  And a non-scrappin' mama is not a happy mama for sure!!!  But I've been back at it a week or so and I'm ready to get caught up on all the fun holiday layouts and projects I have planned and that will surely be created over the next month.

First up is the current installment of Anything But a Card challenge blog, where our DT leader was sweet enough to give me a few weeks off to recoup.  Our challenge running right now is 'Celebrating the Light' or 'Seasonal Holiday'....your choice.  I went with a set of Christmas tags that I'll be giving as a gift soon.  Hopefully said recievee does not follow my blog....haha!  Thanks for looking and make sure you click over to see the rest of week two's creations.

Thanks for visiting!


Sunday, October 21

Halloween mini

Happy Sunday everyone!  It's been a slow craft month around my house because we have all been so very busy.  From Mom and Dad all the way down to the toddler in the house.  We barely have time to eat at the dining room table, much less belly up to the craft table.  That is one reason why I love applying for DT spots.  It keeps your mojo flowing even when you don't have time to go looking for it.  :)  

This week at Anything But a Card our theme is Halloween or Fall.  So if you aren't a big fan of Halloween, you can create anything (as long as it's not a card!!!) that uses beautiful shades of fall.  As for our house, with three little monsters running around, we LOVE spook day!  I had the idea of creating a mini that will let us look back on each year's adorable costumes!  I can't share the inside pages just yet, because I was experiencing photo print fails all over my office, but stay tuned.....

As always, I want to share this with the challenges that helped inspire my project.  So make sure you click on over to Divas by Design to play along with their 'Spooky' theme challenge! :)

Thanks for visiting!


Sunday, October 7

The secret to hairbows....

The reason I say the 'secret' to hairbows in the title is because it truly has been the best kept secret that these things are so easy, so cheap, and so FUN to create all on your own.  You can walk into a super store and pay $3-$5 for a set of these... and if you go into a boutique-type store you will likely pay $3-$5 a piece.

If you are just jumping into crafting you will have to investment in a glue gun, alligator clips, ribbon and fun embellishments.  I found decorative buttons work best (not the kind with the 2-4 holes, but the bulky ones with the shank on the back) and if you walk into a craft store there are literally THOUSANDS to choose from.  If you are like me and have an entire Hobby Lobby's worth of scrapbooking supplies, you will only need to purchase alligator clips.  My local Hobby Lobby and Joann's were both out of stock, but they did sell them and they were slightly cheaper (and had multiple size selections) than Walmart if you used one of their handy-dandy 40% off coupons.  I found the ones I use in the tutorial below at Walmart for $2 for 6.  All of my ribbon is from my stash and a great way to use up pieces that are too small for a scrapbook page.  Every single embellishment I used above is from my scrappy stash as well.  I raid my buttons (you may need to cut the shank off most), my brads (these also require you to snip off the posts), my 'silk' flowers (don't use the paper kind), gems, and felt embellishments that are left over from pages I've created.

Watch my the video tutorial below, but before you get started check out my trouble shooting tips list below it.  If you give it a try and run into any problems, leave a comment and I'll figure out a solution and add it to the list.  If you have any smart tips I've missed, please share that in the comments as well and I'll gladly add that too!!!!  :)

  • You will need to seal the ends of your ribbon with either a fray stop product or carefully with a flame. 
  • You can experiment with any ribbon, but the very best results I've gotten have all been with grossgrain.
  • If you make a mistake, you can pull up an embellishment, but then you need to pick off as much dried glue as possible and what is left behind can be remelted by touching the metal tip of your glue gun to it.
  • The thinner your hair, the smaller the alligator clip you will want to use.  
  • ***IMPORTANT*** Make note of where you part your hair, some embellishments have a definitely top or bottom to them and if you place the clip to the side of your hair, you'll want to make sure you attach the top embellishment facing the correct direction so that it's not upside down when you wear it.  
  • This is a great project for any store-bought clips you may have that have gotten dingy, ruined or lost a piece.  Just pull off everything down to the clip and clean it up smoothly as best you can, and rebuild with pieces from your supplies.  
  • When using these hairbows for smaller kiddos, try to to be cautious of what embellishments you use.  Find things that don't look like they will pose a choking hazard.  My youngest daughter is only 2, but with all of her sensory and texture issues, we can barely get her to put food in her mouth, much less choking hazards!  hahaha
  • Keep an eye out at garage sales and thrift stores.  You will pay on average $3 a package for a set of buttons at a craft store, but can walk out with a selection of them second hand for pennies a piece.
  • *STOP* Before you throw out that cute outfit your child stained beyond recognition, check to see if it has any cute buttons or sewn on embellishment that can be removed to decorate a hairbow.  I JUST cut a glittery embroidered heart off of a t-shirt my daughter put a hole in and it's about to become a super-duper cute clip!  
I created these for my contribution to this week's BLING challenge at Anything but a Card, so I dug out the sparkliest embellishments I could find (that and because my older daughter is the very definitely of a princess and all her things MUST sparkle) , but you put together the ribbon and embellishments that will match what you are trying to create and give the video another play while trying to make one of your very own!  

Thanks for visiting!


Sunday, September 23

8 ways to add texture to your layouts

The challenge this week at Anything but a Card is to add texture to your projects.  Since gussying up scrapbook layouts is something I struggle with, I thought I would tackle that!  I'm always scared to add more and distracting away from my photos, but when I'm oogling the fantastic creations in the magazines, blogdom and on pinterest I almost always gravitate towards the ones that have a ton of little touches that jump off the page.

I started by making a list of 8 things that can add texture to your layouts (or any off the page project as well!) and then I tried to incorporate them into this project.  Wish me luck....

Layer, Layer, Layer: The first step to adding texture to your projects is to layer.  It may seem like you are using an awful lot of papers and even wasting some by cropping down perfectly useful 12x12 sheets, but adding varying layers to your background helps add depth to the basic layout.

Embossing: Whether you are busting out your heat gun, or running some of your elements through your trusty Big Shot (or Cuttlebug), embossing on your project instantly adds texture to any piece you incorporate. 
I used a Tim Holtz gears embossing folder on a tag.
I also embossed and cut out an acetate shape in my cluster.

Stitching: Stitching is something I avoided in crafting for years.  To say I'm inept with a needle and thread is an understatement.  I once attempted to sew a button back on a shirt for my hubby and managed to SEW THE SHIRT CLOSED?!?!?!  Oh yes I did!  But after a few bloody thumbs and tears I realized that stitching is a way to add another pattern to your layout without actually adding to the busyness.
Stiching a grid  was my favorite touch.

Varying Mediums: Yes, this may sound crazy coming from a self proclaimed paper hoarder, but if you create a layout with nothing but cardstock and patterned paper you are missing out on a world of possibility.  It's hard to look beyond that for me because pinterest is filled with 1001 things you can make from paper with a snip of your scissors or crease of your scorpal, but when your embellishing ventures out into ribbons, burlap, cork, corrugated cardboard, etc you will create a visual appeal that you just can't seem to master with paper alone.  ---see pic below---

Glitter: Glitter, sand, or any other kind of literal texture is a no brainer.  Take a basic embellishment or even  lettering and add a coat of glue and glitter and it instantly takes it up a level.  ---see pic below---

Add Dimension: The last suggestion (well, almost) I have is to not stop your layering at the photograph.  After your carefully cropped and matted photos have been secured make sure you add another layer of fun embellishments.  Flowers, buttons, brads, gems, whatever floats your boat....
I used several different mediums, a burlap heart, pearls, ribbon,
glitter, flowers, acetate, flower soft on the leaves, and organza.

Rough It Up: There are so many shabby chic and steam punk layouts in the blogosphere that can show you how to do this right and make it look stunning, but even if you just add a touch of this technique it can add texture to any scrappy style.  Tear your paper, crumple and then flatten it out, distress the edges...just get a little gritty with your supplies.  :)
I distressed the edges of all my paper elements.

Faking It: Now sometimes having a ton of padding on a layout just won't do.  It can make the project a little bulky for an album and definitely can start adding up the $$$ which isn't something you may want to do for every project.  A way to 'fake' a look of added texture is through stamping.  The best kind for this in my opinion is the Tim Holtz-esque looks you can get from taking things you wouldn't consider scrappy materials, inking them up and then pressing them down haphazardly around your project.  
I used distress ink to stamp with bubble wrap for a subtle look.
To make yours stand out more you can use paint even!

I hope some of these tips helped give you new things to try.  It certainly pushed me to create a project that I love by trying things I NEVER would have thought to do if I hadn't made my list of things I was challenging myself to incorporate.  A few other challenge blogs helped me come up with ideas of things to add texture to this project and with our DT leader's okay, I'm going to share this layout there as well.  :) :)

Shopping Our Stash - Embossing (these embellishments are years old except the bling)
Divas by Design - Layering (I used 4 layers of patterned paper on top of my base.)
Southern Girls - Bling (my flower centers and pearl strip)

Saturday, September 22

At the car wash

Today's layout was super fun to create!!!  It started with the challenge posted over at Allsorts earlier.  It said to let a song title inspire your layout.  Well I've had the song "At the Car Wash" stuck in my head all afternoon since my daughter has taken to watching Shark Tale on a loop.  So I dug these pics out of my kiddos washing my car this summer and went to town.  

As some of you might now, I am a newbie to my cricut.  I just got it for Christmas and now I'm wondering why I was a hold out for so long!?!  I love it, but still struggle to find uses for it beyond fonts.  Well mostly because I never remember I have it until I'm in the title phase!  In an effort to incorporate it more, I started following this super fantastic challenge blog called Fantabulous Cricut.  This week's challenge is 'End of Summer' and we were to incorporate cricut cuts that were summery.  From my Luau cart I cut most of my cluster.  The surfboard, the wave, even the two palm leaves.  :)  

Finally the biggest inspiration came from where I stuck all my pieces down on this fun layout.  My sketch!?!?!  I nabbed it over at Let's Get Sketchy and it is a good one.  You know I'm a sucker for circle elements!!  :) :) So click on over and play along with some of these fun challenges before it's too late.  :)