Sunday, August 31, 2008

A thank you and Back to school

First... the thank you:
Thanks to the Priemer family for making my daughter's day!! We love to get packages from our favorite family in England and we love to send them too!! This cute penguin mask was in the latest batch of goodies. Addison loved it!! Thanks for making our day!

My hubby and daughter were gone for the weekend. They left early yesterday morning and as of 3pm they are not back yet!! They'll be home soon so I thought I'd update the 'ole blog before they arrive.

Yesterday was my first of 2 open houses- I had a great time and am so grateful to my customers for helping me clear some room for new product ;)

Having the house to myself was such a nice change!! I figured out how to can jam last night. It's something I've been planning for a while and thanks to my friend Tonia I had a whole lot of peaches to use up... Actually- I still have a whole lot of peaches to use up but with the first bit I made 1 batch (5 jars) of peach jam and 1 batch (4.5 jars) of Triple Berry Peach Jam... MMMmmmm!! Yummy!! The half jar is too little to can so when it was done cooking I poured it in a jar to store in the fridge- when it was done cooling I did a taste test and it was gooood!! I used an even amount of crushed peaches, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. The only problem with this one: it only used 2 peaches out of a bushel!! If I keep up with this recipe I'll never be done! Tonight I'm switching gears to freezer jam.
In other news: I designed the September Kit for my customers in time to include it in my September newsletter which I'll finish up tonight. Here's the layout:

I opted to go the School route for obvious reasons... but not so obvious is that this layout is actually gender neutral. The wonderful part about the changes to the CTMH product line is that they've started printing patterns on both sides of their paper. So the back side of this pink dotted paper... is a monochromatic blue dotted pattern. By simply flipping the paper over my customers can choose to make it more "boy" or "girl" simply by changing the color scheme. They'll also receive all the numbers pre-stamped so they can choose which grade they'll use this for. Thinking about school starting next week has me thinking that in one short year I'll have a kindergardener...that's why for the grade on this layout- I used a "k"... I'll set this sample aside and use it for next year!!!

The left page is meant for an 8x10 photo (great way to use up that large photo that you get when ordering school photos) but can easily used with a small photo by adding a photo mat (the kit includes a half pack of the Notebook paper pack so they can use the leftover cardstock for a photo mat) and switching the position of the photo clips. I am really happy with this paper pack and can't wait to use the rest on some heirloom photos I've got hanging around.

I have a few more open house pictures I'd like to save till next week after the last open house- but I think I'll go ahead and share this one:I used a cool little "band-aid tin" and decorated it with paper from the Enchanted Set. I stamped snowman "parts" from the November Stamp of the month "All Decked Out" (it's an AWESOME build-a-snowman stamp set that has so many options!! really fun.

I made some fun Holiday gift tags using this stamp set as well as the October Stamp of the Month "Annotations" I used another set as well but those tags are not showing in this photo.

the "to" and "from" are from Annotations- so are the cute labels used as tags!

Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend! I will be busy with swaps and designing my daughter's birthday invitations... so I'm sure I'll be back with more tomorrow!

Friday, August 29, 2008

sneak peak!!

AS I mentioned yesterday, I'm offering a sneak peak today of an acrylic album I made this week. The arylic album is a new product of Close To My Heart as of the new Autumn/ Winter Idea Book.

I've wanted to try one of these for a long time but never ran across an acrylic album in any of the stores I frequent- and I am not a big on-line shopper. I was THRILLED when I realized that not only can I finally make one of my own- but that I actually sell these now!!! Cool!

I'm showing a sneak peak today- because I just can't help myself- but I'll show the full album- page by page- after my final Open House for customers on Sept. 10th. I can honestly say that everything on this album is CTMH except the photos!! The album took about 6 hours to complete and I can't wait to show you the rest.

In the meantime- Tresa Black presented these albums at the CTMH convention (wish I could have been there!!) and she has a couple versions here on her site!
I sort of stole the "she is" theme from her- but how could I not? I had the perfect subject matter for an album like this :)

Have a great weekend- I'll likely be back with more after my first Open House ends tomorrow- I have to pick and choose what I show you because my other open house is a whole week later and I don't want to spoil the surprise for my other customers!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Trying again...

This is the layout I attempted to post the other day... we'll see if the photos load:
Ok- I'm dumb. I just realized I'd been trying to load the super big original photo- not the re-sized, smaller photo!! No wonder! Oh well- It's here now. This layout is sooo simple (Hey- I've got to hit that 100 layout mark somehow!)
The green background of the second page looks lighter than the first- but it's just my aweful lighting where I take photos- they are both the same in real life- I needed a layout to go on my September stamp of the month display board for my open house this weekend. I'd already used the Paper Garden paper with some of these photos for my album but needed a layout for my daughter's album. The left side of the layout with one photo is a spin-off of the CTMH layout with this stamp set shown in the new Winter Idea Book. I didn't have any enlargements from this batch of photos (I almost always have at least one enlargement made from each set of photos to give me a focal picture to start with) So instead- I started with a much larger mat- the yellow. The Colonial White frame around my picture is just that- a frame- I had already matted my photo with the chocolate and there was too much "space" for my taste-
So I cut a slightly smaller Colonial White piece and cut out the center leaving a half inch along the edges. A little hemp filled in the open area under the photo. I attached the journalling with brads to hold it in place as the hemp is too thick to prevent good contact with adhesive alone.
On the second page- there's not much to note except that I carried my scoring/sanding over and cut out a few of the flowers to coordinate with the left side. I added a purple flower along the bottom because the left page (lower left corner of the photo) is full of these purple flowers!! I rounded the upper corners of my journal boxes and attached with brads. I've been doing this with a few layouts lately and I really like the look of it.
If you are anywhere in or near Michigan- I recommend a visit to F. Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids- they have the coolest sculptures and gardens. They have a Butterfly Garden and if you attend in the spring you can watch the butterflies "hatch" We haven't been there during the Butterfly events but hope to attend next spring!!
Come back tomorrow- I'll be showing a sneak peak of an awesome acrylic album I finished this week!! I will show the full thing after my last open house on September 9th but I just can't wait till then- so you'll get a peak in advance- It was a 6 hour project and turned out awesome!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

wacky posting

I tried to start a post yesterday to schedule for today- but one of my photos won't load so I'm going to skip over that post for now and try this one.

This card will be the make and take for my open house- I had so much fun designing it and can't wait to have my guests give it a whirl.

The more I play around with the 4 new CTMH colors the more I fall absolutely in LOVE with them!!

This card uses two of the colors: Sorbet and Juniper.

Supplies: Perfect Day paper pack, Notebook paper pack, Sorbet cardstock, Just blooms white flower, spring blossom brad asst, Sorbet and Juniper inks, September stamp of the month.

I am really pleased with this card!! Have a great one.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Monday :)

Wow- it's been nearly a week since I've posted. My camera batteries had just enough life in them to take an occassional photo this past week- and 5 on Saturday. Last night however, they couldn't even keep the camera on. Luckily I use rechargeables, so last night I put the batteries on the charger (finally!) and this morning I'm back in business. Good thing too because I was in full Open House Preparaton mode this weekend and really got a lot done!! I have a lot more to do this week too so be prepared for some posts most of the week!!

Today's post I'm showing something I actually made early last week in preparation for a Craft Show I'll be vendoring this fall. It uses one of the cool "nugget tins" sold by Specialty Bottle. I saw a post on Debbie Olsen's blog recently about using unruled index cards to create a little notebook with your Bind It All... and since my BIA hasn't seen much action lately I decided to give it a whirl. I have to say that this little set came together rather quickly and I plan to make about 10-12 more for the craft show in a variety of styles. This particular set has a little magnet with it. I just recovered a magnet I received from my dentist :)

Supplies: All from CTMH except the magnet and hinged tin (oh yes- the covers are cut from the sides of a fruit snack box!! I love to recycle the chipboard boxes to make notebooks!!) Notebook Level 2 Paper Pack, Black reinker,
Big Pink Just Blooms, Black Stamp Pad, Spring Buttons, white Embroidery Floss (silver coil from The Angel Co. for BIA).
That's it for today but I'll be back tomorrow with some sneak peaks of Open House projects and September stamp of the month artwork!!
Have a great day!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I scrapbooked!!!

holy smokes- I have a layout to show you. The design is the one that I came up with for my club this past weekend. It can be used for beach layouts (like I did) or any outdoor summer layouts -really!
While my last club member of the day was finishing up I was digging through my photo box and realized that the colors of the layout would work perfect for our recent trip to the lake in June. I popped them on and will add this layout to the pile for my daughter's album

Supplies: Whoops A Daisy paper pack, Big pink flower (dyed with hydrangea ink and rubbing alcohol), Chipboard flower inked in Ocean, Classic Caps alphabet set, Rustic Alphabet set, Paradise Stamp Set and August Word Puzzle stamps. I also used rhinestones on all the flip flops (even the one in the square on the right where you just see someone's leg on the hammock), and one on my flower on the right page..

so much fun... so little time!

The weekend was crazy... just like I knew it would be. Saturday I was so tired after the drive across state, the shower and then my scrapbook class that I actually fell asleep before Michael Phelps won his 8th gold medal of the games... how disappointing that I couldn't stay up to see it!! Oh well- I've moved on to track and field- although I haven't seen much of that either!!!

The bridal shower was so much fun!! My sister in law didn't have a babysitter and so she brought my nephew along - I don't get to see him often so this was so nice!! He and my daughter played so well together. Here's a photo of them posing with their "chocolate mustaches" there was a chocolate fountain as part of the dessert and they couldn't resist!! I love this photo of them- it's a rare opportunity to get their photo together- and especially hugging!! So sweet.

Since I had to leave early to go teach a class- my daughter went home with my mom and spent the day at the farm. One of the sights of the day was the baby calf with his mama. She had so much fun that day and was as worn out as I was... I can't wait to scrapbook some of the photos from the weekend.
As for scrapbooking...
Leave it to me to forget to upload my artwork photos before blogging- I think I'll just post this and go get the other photos now... be back soon!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

It's Friday!!

On one hand - Friday is a good thing. It's the end of the work week and the thought of a nice weekend at home is always good. Except- there is no quiet weekend in the works for me :) Tomorrow I leave early in the morning to drive across the state for a bridal shower and then a 3 hour scrapbook class for my customers. I have about 8 people coming. I'm not quite ready for this class- I have a little more prep work to take care of tonight. Sunday I'll be leaving my parents early in the morning to arrive back in time to host my stamp clubs at my house. I've spent a good deal of time putting my basement back in some sort of order since I've hosted club in my main level all summer. Most of my club meetings were short on people due to the awesome weather and family vacations. This month we'll start getting back towards normal numbers so I'll need the extra space of my workshop area. I made good progress this week- enough so that they'll all have a space. I'll have to really pick up the pace for next month though!!

The other night I was looking through some old magazines- tearing out the ideas I wanted to try and came across one that was perfect for the new September stamp of the month- here's my inspiration page from (I THINK it was Stamp It Cards). The original card was designed by Ana Wohlfahrt- please forgive me if I spelled that wrong or got the magazine wrong but once I took the photos I threw away the magazine page and my trash went out yesterday- so I totally forgot to record the info and only have the photo!

Here's the card I came up with. Supplies Used: All by CTMH Co: Garden Green, Chocolate, Colonial White and Autumn Terracotta Cardstcok. Chocolate, Olive and Autumn Terracotta Ink Pads, September Stamp of the Month, Twill ribbon. The smaller flower/ weeds at the bottom are second generation stamped with chocolate. I enjoyed taking a card froma magazine and re-making it with what I had on hand... I think I'll try that with a few other ideas I tore out of magazines last night!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

that was quick...

Don't know how I fixed it... but it's working!! yippeee.

Here's the photo I tried to post REALLY early this morning... about 12:05 to be exact. I've got a few photos to show over the next few days but here's one to get started with. This card uses the August stamp of the Month "Today's Date" and a few new CTMH products that I'll list below.

The final size of the card is 4.5x4.5- It's sort of an oddball size for me but it was fun to make. The new colors are fabulous!!!

I wasn't totally crazy about this stamp set so it was hard to come up with something- but once I came up with the idea for a "medal" it wasn't so bad!!

Supplies: CTMH Co: Tulip Cardstock (new), Bamboo Cardstock, Perfect Day Paper Pack (new), August stamp of the month (Today's Date) Tulip and Sorbet ink pads (new), Sorbet Ribbon Rounds (new), Juniper brad (new)- the scallop punch is Stampin Up!
My club members will make this card this weekend and they'll be able to plan ahead and pick which month they'd like to stamp. I chose September and marked the 30th because that is my daughter's 4th birthday!!
Have a great one!!


I have photos to show but the upload photos option is NOT showing up... Hopefully I'll be back later with artwork photos!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's like Christmas in July...errr.. August!!!

Today the first of two packages (for now!) of new CTMH product arrived!! Today I received all of the new embellishments that I'd ordered. It was the second order I'd placed but the first to arrive- go figure! Since many of the items deal with the 4 new colors being released- and my new papers and inks don't arrive until tomorrow- there wasn't a lot I could use tonight.... but don't fret- I picked up the new naturals embroidery floss which will pretty much go with everything!! I had no idea the embroidery floss came with a needle threader in each package!! That was awesome as I hadn't thought about that when I'd originally ordered the floss.

Last night I'd wanted to create a card with the new Sept. Som but needed to design the swap card instead... tonight I needed to complete all of my swap cards and designed with the Sept. stamp of the month instead! I think I'll work on the swap cards in the morning before work.

Here's the result of playing with my new stamps... This card took about 20 minutes and that included the stitching time... I had the idea in my head and just needed to choose paper and find the supplies. I had taken a better photo but I couldn't crop all the paper scraps from the photo... so I'm using this one instead :)

Supplies: All by CTMH- Enchanted paper pack, Sept. Stamp of the Month, Piercing tool, white floss. CTMH Dye Inks: Pansy Purple, Sweet Leaf, Honey. CTMH Pigment ink: white daisy

Other: EK Success corner punch with guard removed to make scallops(sold by CTMH), crop o dile (from Michaels)

Hope you like it!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Masculine Card Swap

I mentioned in my last post that I had a swap to take care of so that it could be mailed by the weekend. Well- it's hotter than molasses here since our AC is on the fritz... and I was feeling too crabby to sit down and work on the swap... then I remembered...

Back in the spring hubby switched from a night job to days... same job actually- just different hours. I felt that I needed to spend more time with him and started doing all of my crafting at the kitchen table at night... well- my habit of leaving things where I left them made it difficult to eat dinner :) so I had to start clearing the table every night... that's about the time my creativity started to feel non-existent. So, as I was boiling tonight I remembered... I USED to work in the basement every night while hubby worked. I have a whole, cool/ cold basement FULL of stamping/ scrapbooking supplies that didn't really belong in my kitchen. I have stuff I haven't seen/ played with for MONTHS!! So I snuck off to my happy place and started working on my swap. As hubby went off to bed I reminded him that I had some of my crop tables in the garage and needed those brought back in tomorrow- I have a million things I SHOULD be doing... but what I AM doing is re-claiming my space!!

Here's the first card created in my happy place in MONTHS!!!
All supplies are from Close To My Heart.
Sasaparilla Paper Pack, My Farm Stamp Set, Cocoa, Ocean and Barn Red Paper and inks, Antique copper Brads.
I think once I get everything carted back to my basement (besides the kitchen there's a fair amount of "stuff" in my bedroom and spare bedroom!!) I will pick up some new organization.. I just have too much stuff!
Hope you have a great day tomorrow- I'll be making the rest of the swap cards to mail in!! The paper is cut but that is it!

an easy one!

Saturday I sat down to design two cards to be included in this month's kit available to customers. The catch is that the cards have to use the leftover papers provided in the Game On paper pack. Since last month's cards provided with the kit were masculine in nature- I really wanted to try creating some more femenine cards this month. Also- I have a budget with these kits that I need to stick to. I've decided to only show one of the cards because the 2nd was cased from the consultant boards and I feel like I've been showing a lot of artwork lately that was cased from others. I really do create my own too!!

So here's one of the two cards for my kit of the month for August:

It's pretty simple but they can't all be fancy :)

I had originally planned to post this over the weekend but I ended up spending the weekend sprucing up the outside of the house - lots of painting!! Yesterday at work I was so sore- my back kept seizing up on me! It feels like it is on the mend today... but my arms are pretty tired!!

Yesterday I received my new shipment of Close To My Heart Idea Books and the Sept-Dec. Stamp of the Months- I want to play with them so bad but I just remembered I have a card swap that needs to go in the mail by the weekend so I'd better work on that first! Have a great day!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

up and running

For those of you trying to view my blog last night or this morning- you probobly noticed it wouldn't open if you were using Internet Explorer... apparently the problem was with my sitemeter counter... because you can't open the sitemeter site itself either!! I've removed that counter and am now on my 4th!! Sorry for the problems... I'll be back later as I woke up early and am making cards right now- just took a quick break to fix my blog :)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Where does the time go?

Wow- I had great intentions of posting a lot this week... but in order to do so I would have had to create some artwork...hmmm... Well- I have one layout to show. I made it Monday and since then have not created one piece of art.

The beginning of the week I was sort of lazy and shirking all responsibility in the art dept. However, since hearing all the great news coming from CTMH convention in Orlando- my brain is FULL of new artwork ideas. I'm about to head over and place my first order from the new Autumn/ Winter Idea Book and I can't wait!! I think i've got the order all planned out- I'll be picking up our new owl/mushroom stamps, winter and vintage themed papers, the awesome new fibers and embellishments and of course- I'll need all 4 new color ink pads and cardstocks to go with it!! I'm very excited and can't wait to get started playing with it all!

For now- I've got one lonely layout to show you (well- it IS 2 pages ) The original design is from another consultant on the consultant artwork board ( will insert her name here when i locate it). She used the same design, same paper pack BUT her's had a different theme and title. Although we used the same pack of paper- we chose completely different patterns- her's was more generic in nature while mine is sports related. This is a kit I'll be offering my customers this month. I hope they like it!!
The supplies used are: Game On paper pack, Building Blocks Stamp Set, D. Sand ink pad and Twill ribbon. The cutting knife was used to cut out the title. All circles/ half circles were made by tracing a variety of sizes of plates and bowls.
The layout is super cute when the pages are side by side.