Thursday, December 31, 2009

January Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Welcome!  This month Close To My Heart consultants are showcasing the January Stamp of the Month- True Friends.  This set is Item number D1406 and sells for $22.95.  It includes 11 images.  Did you know you can earn awesome discounts on the stamp of the month?  With a $25 purchase- earn a 25% discount ($17.21).  With a $50 purchase earn a 50% discount ($11.48).  With a $75 purchase  earn a 75% discount($5.74) and with a $100 purchase- earn it FREE!  Yep- you only pay shipping which is only $1 or 2 for this $22.95 set!

Here's my card using the new Veranda paper pack and January Stamp of the Month- colors are Creme Brulee and Juniper.  I also used a flower and butterfly from the new Just Blooms Spring Blossom Collection. My sentiment is darker in person but for some reason shows up light in the photo- it says "Side by side or far apart, true friends live within our heart"

I had my sewing machine out so I added a little stitching.. I made eight of these and just remembered my flower wasn't centered on my stem very well on this one... the others were all centered better but this was the first one I made and I really wanted that flower in that spot- so I stitched the other stems over a little bit so it all matched nicely.  I edged all the papers in Cocoa ink, to match the cocoa frame image from the stamp set. 

The stamp set includes four different frames, 4 sentiments and 3 different brackets -  The other sentiments are  "For my Friend" , "To a special friend" and "Real friends listen with their hearts"  which would be great for gift tags, cards etc.

Your next stop on the hop is a visit to Nancy Brown's blog.  If you get lost along the way due to missing/ broken links- go to Jena's blog to find an entire list of hoppers.

If you like what you see and don't have a CTMH consultant of your own- feel free to e-mail me or shop on-line at my website,

Check back January 2nd to see a combined Acrylic/ All sorts chipboard album I created for my in-laws for Christmas!



Wednesday, December 30, 2009

holiday gifts


I spent a LOT of time the last few weeks before Christmas working on gifts for our parents. My dad received a calendar that I had printed at the local Meijer store- but it was made using photos of barns that I took on a back road drive last summer. (Hubby and I like to pile the kids into the car and just start driving... we usually have a basic direction in mind- usually towards some town we've never been to - and we just see what we see along the way. That day our purpose was to hit as many back roads between our home and the Indiana border (only 30-40 minutes from home) and take photos of barns for this calendar. We did get lost that day... in Indiana... I guess they don't post "Welcome to Indiana" or "you're leaving Michigan" signs on dirt roads... wonder why- lol. While I didn't take photos of the calendar I had printed- here are 2 of my favorite photos that I included in the calendar.
Our love for "back roading" trips came from my parents- that's pretty much how we spent vacations growing up- we left when we wanted and never had hotel reservations. We just stayed wherever there was an open room. My mom and dad bought us a TomTom GPS system this year... so we don't get lost in Indiana with two little kids- especially one that requires clean bottles and diapers!

Next up today, as promised yesterday, are photos from my mom's album ( I think that's what I promised yesterday ;)...

These photos are only of the first half of the album because I didn't have time to get the rest, I have to finish 2 pages towards the end, and because the second half includes very personal letters from my siblings and I to my mother and it's certainly not my place to post their letters on-line. There are some letters here from my mom's brothers and cousins- but I don't think they are legible in the photos due to taking the pics behind plastic. I kind of took some of them so the flash blocked out the writing.
The album is 9x9 and to save time and money I used mostly the Magic Moments kit that was available several years back- they were all Level 1 pages (it was a large kit including lots of stickers and tons of pre-printed pages) I just looked at the Level 1 pages and trimmed them to 9x9 in orientations that would fit my photos. I also used some Caprice Level 1 pages and even plain old cardstock. All the papers and stickers and embellishements were things I had on hand except I did order one package of Silhouette My Stickease for use in this album.
My mom as a little girl:














My mom - the right page upper left photo is my parents on their wedding day! so cute ;)















My mom's mom- better known as GG to our children- unfortunately she passed away and while the nephews were old enough to remember her- my daughter doesn't. She lived next door to us and we always celebrated "Happy Hour" with her- lol.

















My mom's dad.

















My mom's family

















My mom and her siblings. The large photo on the right is from just this past summer when my parent's hosted her family reunion. Why didn't I do a page on the family reunion? Maybe I'll add that to the book later.

















My Mom's grandparents (Her dad's parents) She has the most memories of this side of the family and we had LOTS of photos of them.



















This last one has photos of my Grandmother's mom (I didn't have any photos of my Great-Grandfather) and my mom with several cousins- two of whom also wrote letters to my mom!.
I didn't get any photos of my pages and sibling pages of our children etc... We'll see if I remember next time...
Hope you enjoyed that little snippet of my mom's book. The letters to her were all so nice and made her a little teary- she wouldn't look at the book till the house was empty.. literally. We left the day after Christmas to take the kids out to lunch and shopping at her local mall- she finished perusing it while we were out.
Remember- tomorrow is the Stamp of the Month blog hop- it starts at 9pm EST but you may want to wait till New Year's Day to hop through to make sure all the links are up and posted.






Tuesday, December 29, 2009

winding down...

What a busy few weeks! It was hectic to say the least and now that I'm enjoying a quiet week off with the kids I'm doing some major cleaning and catching up the blog... I'm also mailing out Spring Idea books and getting ready for upcoming classes, parties and crops... I wonder how much I can really get done in one week? I'll find out soon enough.
For now though I thought I'd post a couple of cards I made for the holidays.

This first one is along the same lines as my Candy Cane Card. I used my Copic Markers to color her in but everything else is CTMH... and all paper is from my scrap bin- I used a LOT of scraps over the holidays for my cards and projects but you know... there were so many to start with that you can't even tell- I hate when that happens!

This particular card went to the woman who works in Addie's Young 5's class as well as the Kid's Corner program where Addie goes after school. We gave her a Barnes and Noble gift card which slipped into the pocket nicely.


The second card uses an absolutely adorable stamp I purchased from La La Land Crafts the day after Thanksgiving. I'd never purchased from them before but they shipped quickly and I was happy with my purchase. I happened to see a card on another blog (I'm so sorry I didn't keep track of which blog and it was the day after Thanksgiving so it would take forever to go back and track it down) and instantly ordered the stamp! My dad grew up on a dairy farm and my parents bought the farm from my grandparents when I was going into the 5th grade. While we never raised dairy cattle- we did raise beef cattle and this stamp was just too adorable to pass up. I am planning already to use it on my family Christmas cards next year.

I used more scraps from my bin on this card and colored with my Copic Markers- except the black marker is CTMH because I somehow misplaced my brand new Black Copic marker... darn it! The paper and black ink are all CTMH. I made two of these cards and gave them to two co-workers with whom I exchange gifts with. I'll post the cards they gave me later- I forgot to get photos of them.

Speaking of gifts... I hope your Christmas was great- my hubby (and everyone else!) spoiled me this year. I got a Nintendo DS and my first game- Professor Layton and the Curious Village... I finished the game but I think I missed a couple puzzles because I didn't find the last couple of items for the rooms at the Inn... I may try to go back and fill in a few things if I can. Golly the puzzles were fun!!
My kids had an awesome Christmas- my daughter was even an angel in the Christmas pageant at my parents church!
Here they each are- playing with their gifts from Santa-




















I'll be back tomorrow showing off a few pages from an album that my sister and I put together for my mom. Thursday is the CTMH consultant blog hop using the January stamp of the month and Friday I'll show you an album I made for my in-laws using photos of all the grandkids... so stop back in when you get a chance!



Thursday, December 17, 2009

school parties...

Today is the big day for both kids, with holiday parties at school and daycare. My daughter needed a small gift for each of her classmates and we went with the snowflake crayon idea I posted previously . We changed things a bit so we could make one crayon per kid by adding several different colors per snowflake.
Addie helped unwrap and break crayons- plus she wrapped them all! It was a fun project- I think next year we'll try soap!


Friday, December 11, 2009

a little sneaky peek!



In the midst of holiday crafting I needed to make a retirement card for an admin who is retiring in January... about the time i needed to get it finished- my order of new product arrived!

Does this card look big to you? It is! I folded an 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet in half to make this card! But that's not all! We are talking about a well-loved admin who has been involved in a LOT of teams at work - paired with co-workers who tend to write more than "nice knowing you" lol!


This isn't just a card... it's a book! plenty of space for writing.


And what are these awesome products you ask? (are you asking?) The pretty printed die cut paper is from the Beautiful Felicity pack that is part of the National Papercrafting Month which begins later this month through January ( that paper was a die cut circle with the fancy edging all around and the flowers on the paper are pre-printed- it's gorgeous!) I paired it with Colonial White and Desert Sand Cardstock underneath along with Desert Sand and Bamboo under my paper flowers. Speaking of paper flowers- This is a BRAND NEW set of Just Blooms by Close To My Heart which includes flowers and BUTTERFLIES in Tulip, Buttercup and Colonial White (available to customers starting January 1st)!! They are awesome!! The three buttons started as Colonial White but I added color to two of them with Copic Markers so they added a little more color!


My "book" was created by trimming 1/2" off each end of 2 sheets of colonial white cardstock. I lined the short sheets up centering them inside my card "cover". I used my crop-o-dile to punch small holes on each end- maybe about an inch in. I used a cutting knife to cut a 1/4" slit in the center- lined up with my holes (holes and slit on score line of card fold).


I used some sorbet ribbon to bind it all together- I did not take photos so I'll try to explain. On the outside of your card... put each end of the ribbon into the punched holes so both ends are now on the inside of your card. Feed each end through the center slit that you made with your cutting knife- and pull each end on either side of the ribbon on the outside of the card. Tie the ends into a knot around the ribbon "spine". This secures your book so the pages are in tightly in place and don't slide around. If you need a picture of this- leave a comment and I'll add one over the weekend. I did add two more pieces of ribbon for decoration.


My flowers and buttons were all adhered with liquid glass. The word is stamped in Tulip ink and that alphabet stamp set is part of the Felicity kit (the stamps also have a pretty flourish and neat designs like birds and a flower that matches the flower design in the paper! Watch for more details on that kit soon as the special starts around Dec. 15th or so!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Noel banner



Hello! I had planned to post a treat holder today but as I write up that post I realize I need some tutorial type photos or you will never understand it!! Since school is closed today for snow... I will work on those photos today. In the meantime- here's another project for your perusal.



This banner is so dang cute and I first saw the design from Melissa Laverty's blog. Most of the other consultants who used this kit for a banner used 6 letter words "Joyful" is what I saw most often but I opted for "Noel" so I could sell my kits for a little bit less at craft fairs. I do have 3 kits left if anyone is interested. They are $12 plus $5.00 for priority mail. They have everything you need plus printed instructions (in color!). If you are local to the Kalamazoo, MI area and are willing to meet me for delivery- then there's no cost for shipping.


The chipboard letters were made with my sizzix using the CTMH chipboard sheets. You can't tell in that photo but they are a little sparkly. Here's a close up of one letter. You can see some silver embossing powder stuck to the letter- I sponged each letter with versamark and embossed with a mixture of clear and silver emb. powder with prisma glitter mixed in. You can see that the letter and tree are pop dotted. The banners are really pretty!

If you are interested in purchasing a kit- e-mail me at tracikeagen@msn.com . I do take paypal!

Monday, December 7, 2009

more holiday cheer!



see.. I told you I'd be posting more often! I am having a blast creating projects for the holidays. I was able to spend considerable time in my craft room this weekend and can show you a few of those projects (some will have to wait till Christmas!). Until I get those photos taken...here's a card I made last weekend.



Part of my holiday creating rule this year is to use scraps as much as possible... This card was perfect for using up a lot of small pieces- I actually made two of them! The snowflakes are more of the paper snowflakes that I die cut previously and used on the gift card holder candy cane card I posted a few days ago. The "Joy to the World" is from the Festivities stamp set by Close To My Heart. The center of each snowflake is dotted with liquid glass and prisma glitter. For some odd reason I'm stuck on cards that open "up" right now- like this one. Just in the mood for something different I guess. The design is similar to one that was in my idea pile...
have a great Monday and I'll be back with more soon!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

you wouldn't know it...


... from this card but it is cold and white outside. We weren't bombarded with heaps of snow but at times yesterday- it was hard to see outside!!

This card is part of a set I'm making to give as a gift- I have one other done but want to make a few more so I'll post the rest together.


I messed up my shadow a little- but the person I am giving it to won't notice... it's not bad and I love the rest of the card enough to forget!
{supplies: from Close To My Heart: Tulip and White cardstock; Jingle Level2 paper pack, Black ink pad; chocolate ribbon from Stampin' Up: stamps all markers are from Copic}


Thursday, December 3, 2009

first gifts!



The kids received their first gifts of the season... their annual Christmas ornaments from "Aunt Vickie" My friend Vickie paints ceramics and each year she paints ornaments for quite a few kids- including mine! This year baby Kaden was included and we have two new ornaments hanging from our Christmas tree!



Addie loved hanging the ornaments one by one this year- one of her all time favorites is last year's! Can you see all the sparkly pink glitter on the ears and toes?
I've been a stamping fool the past few days so check back in over the weekend as I'll be posting a few more things!



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's looking a little bit like Christmas!



golly I've been busy! Now that my clubs and parties are over for 2009 (yes.... I take the month of December off from actual events- but I do spend the month planning my spring events, clubs, gatherings etc as well as contacting past hostesses to book shows and signing up for crops and vendor shows... By January 1st my plan for Jan- April is all laid out!)




where did I leave off... oh yes- I've been busy working on cards and gifts for the people whom I make presents for (most of my store bought gifts are done- having started that way back in August or September since I like to think out my gifts and not buy at the last minute and end up giving gifts they aren't fond of...) ok... another tangent.




Here's the card I made for someone ( this one will either go to daycare or my daughter's teacher.


It's a gift card holder and I LOVE it!! I would have used a chipboard snowflake but had cut all of these snowflakes out and had to start using them up. Using the Jingle Creative Basics striped paper to create a candy cane and then using a snowflake to decorate said candy cane certainly wasn't my original idea... but the finished product is mine for sure! I had a lot of fun with this one. I created the pocket base with Desert Sand cardstock and the green pattern is the back side of the second pattern in the Creative Basics set (the first being the striped paper)

I drew a candy cane on white, cut it out, traced onto the stripe, cut and adhered them together for extra thickness. The snowflake and tag were both diecut with sizzix dies. I used liquid glass and prisma glitter on the snowflake and white daisy ricrac for decor. Stitched up the sides and a small circle punch at the top made a nice little opening for my insert tab.
The second photo shows the insert. I adhered a white punched circle to the back of Desert Sand cardstock as my "pull out tab"
I die cut white cardstock with the Top Note die from SU! and cut it in half- only one half was adhered and it was only adhered on the top, bottom and left side. The right, straight edge is loose so you can slide a gift card in. It works really well and my hubby was quite impressed... considering he rarely comments- he must have really liked it!