Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Another Challenge

Did I ever mention that I love challenges? I'm having so much fun working on Melissa Phillips' challenges. Today's card is based on an inspiration piece by Kristina Proffitt. And it can be found here:

I used her heart shape, rolled cardstock roses, and kind of her colors and here's what I ended up with.
The paper is My Mind's Eye, and Basic Grey. I sprayed the heart with silver glitter spray that BTW is less than $3 at the WM. The rub-on is Cosmo Cricket. The ribbon is American Crafts and the jewels are Heidi Swapp. Thanks to Kristina for the inspiration and thanks to Melissa for all of the fun and challenging challenges. I'm loving it. Well, since it's no longer Tuesday, I'm back to the grind and the toilet is needing a little scrub. If I get my work done fast then maybe I'll have a little time before bed to play with my paper. Have a good day!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How About Another Cupcake?

Yes, I know, it's another cupcake. So, I love them. This is based on Laura's Sketch 18 on "2 Sketches 4 You". They are on a cupcake thing over there too. They have some really talented ladies posting over on 2S4U. You should take a look.
The patterned paper is My Mind's Eye, Bazzill, Fancy Pants, We R Memory Keepers. The glitter paper is Doodlebug. The rub-on is Cosmo Cricket. And the toothpick is from my kitchen (in case you were wondering). The jewels are Heidi Swapp and I am almost out. And so is every crafty/scrapbook store in town. I hope they get them in soon. I am finding it difficult to live without bling people. I just need one package before I start to convulse. No, I'm not an addict. I don't have a problem. I'm not in denial. Really. Also, I never thought I'd use the word "bling". OK, maybe it's a little problem.

I Love Tuesdays

How I love Tuesdays. Tuesdays are my "free days". My day to work on projects guilt free because the rest of the week, I work double time to free up my Tuesday. There are several sketches and things that I would like to work on today but first a quick post of another of Melissa Phillips' challenges. This one is based on a card by Mary Macaskill:

Mary's card is awesome. But this challenge is a definate challenge for me because I have a "love-hate" relationship with white. Every layout or card that I have ever done with white has turned out to be my least favorite, which is a nice way to say that I hate it. But I am in love with the white based cards others do like this one of Mary's and I am loving anything that dannisdoodles does with her white cards. So I thought that once again, I would give it a try. It's a little less white than I planned (some things never change, I guess) but I do like how it turned out.

The paper is K & Co., My Mind's Eye, and Basic Grey. The ribbon is American Crafts and the "soar" sticker is Chatterbox. The tree and the bird I drew and cut out by hand. I know this is very old stuff people but I am really trying to burn up my stash. My new project stuff budget is pretty tight these day you know. Especially since I have since discovered that I NEEEEED a Cricut. I never thought that I would utter those words. I naively assumed that it would be a $400 paperweight but I have since discovered the error of my ways. The only snag is that my sewing machine is 3 years older than I am (that means that this is it's 40 year anniversary, no kidding) and really, really, really needs to be replaced. I use that thing almost every day and so it is higher on the priorities right now. I've started a change jar for the sole purpose of replacing my machine and I'm up to approximately $1.47. Only $398.53 to go! Hope it holds out to it's 50 year anniversary at that rate. So I guess it's "draw and cut" for me for awhile longer, sorry Cricut. One day. Well, I'm off to enjoy my Tuesday. Hope you enjoy yours too.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Funny Story

My sweet 7 yr. old daughter was working on her own project last night as I started K. Werner's Color Challenge. She asked me what I was doing as I went through my Stampin' Up catalog to check my colors. So this afternoon, she asked for my Stampin' Up catalog and a pencil. She came back and issued me her own challenge with a list of 4 colors and wanted me to make a card for my blog with them. She asked me several times if I was going to take her challenge, so I just had to take a few minutes and make her a card. The colors she chose were nothing if not adventurous and to be honest, I think this is the hardest challenge I've ever worked on. It is not even my style but I think she will love it. The colors were Chocolate Chip, Ruby Red, Bashful Blue, and Pale Plum. Here's what I've got. Love to see if there is anyone out there willing to take on my daughter's challenge. It's not for the faint of heart.

I Love A Challenge

Right now on Melissa Phillips' blog, she is running a challenge every day. I love Melissa Phillips' work. She is the coolest person I've never met and I love those challenges. They help me think out of my usual box and I have the best time just thinking and coming up with something. Yesterday's challenge was using a card by Dawn McVey as inspiration. Here is the link for her card (I know there is a way to post a link without this big long address, but I haven't figured it out yet):
The paper is all My Mind's Eye. The glitter is Martha Stewart and the "You Sparkle" is Cosmo Cricket. I love this color combo. This is one heavy butterfly with all of the jewels, it's amazing it can fly. Thanks for the challenge, Melissa and the inspiration, Dawn. Even though it was late, I was having too much fun so I started on another challenge.
While checking out Anabelle O'Malley's blog (another person I love whom I've never met...does that sound creepy? Sorry, they are just so talented!), I saw a challenge she did last week and this week too from K. Werner. It's called the Color Challenge and she gives you a group of colors to create something from each week. Anabelle's were so awesome, I just had to find out about the color challenge.

This is the colors for this week, and even though the deadline to post them on her blog was already past, I decided to take this challenge too. Here's my take on the color challenge:

This card uses just about every kind of paper there is. Still using up those scraps. But I love how it turned out and even though I went to bed at a very unreasonable hour, I loved every minute of it and I can't wait for Melissa's challenge for today. Well, I'm off to get some housework accomplished.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Am Loving These

OK, how cute are these? Someone had given my friend Jenny some that were similar but they used a serger and I don't have one, so I had to come up with this design. It's just two strips of fabric sewn together with a loop of ribbon on one end and two long ribbons on the other. A piece of ribbon is hot glued around the ends to give them that finished look.

Then one of the long ribbons goes through the loop and you tie the two long ribbons in a bow. There is four little squares of sticky back Velcro on the inside to keep the headband from sliding around. A really quick little project. In a matter of an hour I had whipped up 3. And they use up that weird little end I always seem to have on my leftover fabric. I have lots of ideas spinning in my head to embellish these. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bright Hope

Today, I have sat in front of my television, unable to turn away from the inaugural coverage. I suppose it is no secret how I feel about President Obama. If it is...I love him. I really struggled with my decision when it came election time this year. I love my country. And I love being the chief judge for my precinct. I am very proud of my involvement in the election process. But I want to make the right choice. I generally find myself voting democrat but I always vote for who I believe is the right person after much prayer and consideration regardless of party. The choice this year was difficult because both Obama and McCain are both good men in my eyes. But I am proud of my country for being willing to elect a man who would have been "unelectable" just a few years ago, based on his race. I love that Obama speaks of hope and I made this little reminder for myself of this day.

It says "Bright Hope" and that is my prayer for those in my country tonight and I continue to pray for President Obama and the other government leaders. Support and unity regardless of who we voted for will only make our country stronger despite our differences.

"The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness." -President Barack Obama, Inauguration Speech

Little Bit of Love

Well, Jenny and I were having too much fun to quit so I came home late Saturday night for church and Alexis' baptism orientation and I turned around and left again on Monday morning. Alexis, Jake and I went for more project fun. I had a ton of old Valentine papers and embellishments and we all know about my scrap situation, so I decided to make some 3x3 little love notes. I plan on putting them in lunches and other secret places to spread a little love during Valentine's. They turned out pretty cute. Alexis decided she would like to join in the Valentine making and she made these cute little Valentine's for her friend and her mom and dad. She's so great. She's quite the creative girl herself. I just love her.

She's pretty excited to have her projects on my blog. I'm pretty excited to put them there for her. Well, I have to go. I have been glued to the inauguration coverage all day and I'll post more on that later.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Cupcake Kind of Day

There was definately a theme forming to my weekend. And that is cupcakes. My sweet husband took the afternoon off to come home early so I could leave for Jenny's earlier. Yes, I know, he's the best. So, as soon as I got the backpacks passed out I was able to get on the road. She only lives 25 miles away but it's a big deal to get to spend a few days to do projects together. We did consume the entire batch of Bolivian Salsa (although Jenny's husband loved it and ate more than us all). He liked it so much, he was a major contributor to our whipping up another batch yesterday. When I got there, Jenny had been invited to a "Simply Fun" party, so we decided to go and the girl who was hosting it had to cutest cupcake napkins which put me in the cupcake spirit. I went back to Jenny's and started a cupcake card. I think I am the only card maker on the planet who hasn't made a cupcake card yet but I think it turned out pretty cute. The patterned paper is Bo Bunny Press, Kaleidoscope, and K & Co. The glitter paper is Doodlebug. The rub-ons are American Crafts. Then yesterday, we went to The Cocoa Bean Cupcake Cafe. Man sakes! I am loving that place. I am glad that it is in Rexburg or I would be in trouble. I had the best hot chocolate I've ever had in my life and a "Better Than Whatever" (Rexburg is so Rexburg) cupcake. It came in this cute little box and it was awesome. They have different cupcakes daily so I'm going to have to hit it on another day to check out some of the others.

I liked mine so much, I had to go back and pick up one for my husband (I owed him big time) and my daughter (they had Pumkin chocolate chip with cream cheese frosting and that's her favorite). I like my cupcake card so much I decided to make another when we got back.

Patterned paper is K & Co., We R Memory Keepers and Daisy D's. Glitter paper is Doodlebug. Button is courtesy of Jenny's Grandma EchoHawk (it's very vintage). And for a little bit of sunshine:
The patterned paper is My Mind's Eye, Fancypants. Letter stickers are Making Memories. Ribbon is Offray. Little ring thing is Karen Foster. Buttons are SEI. Can't remember the chipboard "sunshine"
Gotta put my kids to bed. Goodnight.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ready For Friday

Hoodilly! Tomorrow is Friday. I am so excited. Not only do I get to hand out the backpacks and make some really great kids very happy, but I am going to my BFF Jenny's house for a "project day". And for the first time ever, I am going without my kids. Think of the productivity. I won't even have to stop to eat if I don't want to. However, I know I am going to because I just made the best stuff to take. It's called Bolivian Salsa. I got it from my sweet, talented, wonderful friend, Amanda. It's like nothing I've ever tasted before. Jenny and I usually make and consume an entire recipe (sometimes 2) of Texas Caviar, which is also awesome but I decided to shake things up. However, Jenny assures me that she has all of the ingredients for Texas Caviar if the need arises. The only snag is that we are both on the wagon when it comes to caffeine. I don't know if we will survive our late nights without it but I'm willing to try. Anyways, yesterday, as I was working on my project, I stabbed myself for the 473rd time with the needles floating around in my pincusion. I can't think of too many projects I have done that don't have either machine or hand stitching or both and I use needles constantly. However, I keep them in my pincusion and reaching for them has become a dangerous risk. Plus, my son, who likes to "help" pushes all of the needles into the pincusion and they are lost until one day, when you're in a hurry, wham!! Break out the band-aids. So I decided to make myself a needle book today. I have a ton of wool blend felt scraps, so I whipped this up in no time. It's a really quick little project. I can't wait to pack it in my tool box to take to Jenny's. My sister was amazed that I was actually making something for myself and to be quite honest, so was I. Most of my projects are gifts for others, which is great. I love giving my friends and family cute stuff. But, I've recently decided that I need to remind myself that I deserve cute things too. And I am loving this little gem.

If you're interested, here is the recipe for Bolivian Salsa:
Amanda's Bolivian Salsa
Bring to a boil:
1/2 c. olive oil (I use 1/4 c. Gotta save those Weight Watcher points, you know.)
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. cider vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1 tsp. minced fresh parsley
Set aside and let cool before adding the rest of the ingredients.
1-15 oz. can kidney beans
1-15 oz. can black eyed peas
Add to above with:
2-15 oz. cans white shoepeg corn
Chop and add:
2 oz. sundried tomatoes
1 green pepper (I use red, I'm not a huge fan of green)
1 red onion (I use 5 minced green onions, I like onion flavor but hate chunks of onions)
2 stalks celery
2 jalapenos
Serve with corn chips. Yum!
And in case you were wondering what Texas Caviar is here's that recipe:
J & J's Version Texas Caviar
1-15 oz. can black eyed peas
1-15 oz. can shoepeg corn
1-11 oz. can Rotel tomatoes (original)
1/2 large red pepper, diced
4 green onions, sliced
1 jalapeno, minced and seeded
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, diced
Juice of 1 lime
1/3-1/2 bottle Ken's Steakhouse Light Northern Italian
Combine and serve with Tostitos Scoops
Well, I need to try to go to bed I guess. 5:30 comes awful early but I have to get my little job done and get back to town in time for the big Backpack day. Wahoo! I probably won't be able to sleep anyway.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

More Of My Scraps

Hey there! Just another card for today. This one is cute on the inside too. Once again, it started out brighter but ended up more muted than I expected. That's the fun about being never know what you'll end up with! I'm working through my scrap bin and no full sheets of paper were harmed in the making of this card. The colors in the picture aren't exactly right. I'm still experimenting with my camera. It's not exactly a Cannon 40D. It's more like one my husband won taking an online survey. Like years ago. Turns out people actually do win things with those. Maybe it's time to upgrade the old camera. Or maybe I'll just pay bills instead. Fun! Fun! Anyway, you can get the idea.

The paper is Deja Views, We R Memory Keepers, Bo Bunny Press, and Carolee's Creations (I'm working with scraps remember). The flower is Imaginisce. The jewel brad is Deja Views. The ribbon is American Crafts. Thanks for all of the sweet comments you guys have been leaving. You're the best. You really know how to make a girl feel good. Have a good night.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Turquoise Challenge

Just a little thank you card today. Like I said, I've got a ton of scraps. Over at Emma's Paperie (see link in my blog list) they are using turquoise as the color of the month. I was heading in a whole different direction but this is what I ended up with. I had chosen brighter colors and more turquoise but I usually end up somewhere else than where I started.
The papers are from Fancypants, We R Memory Keepers, and Cosmo Cricket. The flowers are Prima. The letter stickers are Making Memories. The trim is American Crafts. I am loving the turquoise. Think I'll have to do more with that. Goodnight friends.

We Have Food!

After months of working on my biggest project ever, finally there is a reward. I'm so happy, happy, happy today. Ok, so back in July, I started working on bringing a Backpack program to my neighborhood elementary school. Backpack, if you don't know, provides a backpack of food on Fridays to kids who rely on school lunch and breakfast for food. No school, no food. That makes weekends tough and the kids spend a lot of time obsessing about how they can get as much food as they can so they can make it through the weekend. They are unable to think when they are at school about anything else but their next meal and where it will come from. Backpack takes away some of that pressure so they can focus on learning and hopefully learn enough to get them out of that situation when they are grown. Well, today, the truck finally came and on Friday, we are handing out backpacks. I am telling you, I have been doing the happy dance ever since I actually had my hands on that food. I had to see, touch, and put it away just to believe it was really here. There have definitely been many highs and lows throughout the process.

"The Mountain Man Delivery Service" as they called themselves. I thought more like ZZ Top. These guys are the best no matter what they're called. I had to hug them in fact. I was so happy to see them.

We had a few 6th grade boys come and help us unload the truck. They were so helpful. This guy let me take his picture. 6th grade boys are apparently camera shy. Who knew?

The Idaho Food Bank has volunteers fill grocery bags with the food for each backpack. This is what 114 backpack bags look like. That will get our school through 1 month. You can even get a group together and go to Pocatello to fill bags. I think it sounds like a great time. Maybe I just don't know what fun is.
This is what's in each backpack bag. Shelf stable milk (which I didn't even know existed until I learned about Backpack), 100% juice, beans and franks, beef stew, Easy Mac, ramen noodles, 2 cereal packages, applesauce, 2 peanut butter crackers, 2 raisins, and 4 small peanut butters. Not exactly 6 squares but will help them through the weekend.

I'm so excited to finally have it here. I didn't really think this was a big problem in Idaho. I was pretty naive. 93% of this one little elementary school qualifies for free and reduced lunch. That means their families are at or below the poverty line. Of those kids it looks like we will need to provide backpacks to 26 kids so far. But I expect it to go up. That's 26 kids who don't eat! I am working hard to make sure the Idaho Food Bank gets the funding it needs to keep these sweet kids in food. You just never know what a child will become. Some of them just need a little help in seeing and fulfilling their potential. Hopefully their backpacks will provide them with that and most of all let them have hope. Can't wait to see their faces on Friday!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Merry Christmas...uh Sorry!

OK, so I really thought that my last post was going to be the final chapter in the calendar saga. But there was an unforeseen plot twist that I thought I would share. So, I drove to my parent's house to give them their calendars and we walked in the door and I gave my mom her's and I said Merry Christmas and just then, my son threw up all over her kitchen. I didn't even have his coat off yet. He managed to get his coat, pants, shoes, everything really. So in what was intended to be a "drop and run" ended up being a "strip the boy's clothes and wash them while I scrubbed the kitchen floor run". I didn't even get a chance to give my grandparents their calendar. My mom is going to take care of that for me. Can you believe the luck? That has got to be the best Merry Christmas ever. Good thing my parents love their calendars and that we all have a sense of humor. I mean what else can you do but laugh. By the way, my dad bought a new bright red Bosch washer and dryer last year (mostly I think he bought it because it matched the paint on his car and he wanted something else he could wash and wax) and that thing rocks! You need a doctorate to figure out how to turn it on but my mom was able to wash and dry my son's coat, shoes, and clothes in no time flat. If it had been my regular washer and dryer, I'd still be at my parent's house waiting to redress my naked child. I had my doubts but it's cool!

And Now For a Riddle

Question: What takes two bottles of glue?

222 clear hole reinforcers?

150 sheets of cardstock?

75 sheets of patterned paper?

6 binder rings?

2 refills on the distressing ink?

2 months and a stack that looks like this? And yes, the catastrophe in the background is my desk.

The Answer: Three of these guys:
Hallelujah! The calendars are done! I swear these things are kinda like being pregnant. You seem to forget how hard it is until you can't go back. You only remember the joy. And this year was one setback after another. They have never been late before. In fact, I hate late. Late makes me crazy. That explains why I am doing the happy dance now that I am on my way to deliver these little gems to their rightful owners. Now I can see if I can find my desk underneath all of the glue dots, tools, paper scraps, etc. And speaking of paper scraps, since these are 8x8 and paper is 12x12, I am going to have to work on a TON of cards to use up all of these scraps. I have 150 4x12 scraps and 150 4x8 scraps. Look forward to lots of small projects from me for a while. My scrap bin is about to explode and Whoa, Nelly...if that happens my family will be buried under all of the debris. A call would have to made to Search and Rescue. Since I have to clean off my desk before I start a new project, (just a little OCD) I have to get it done because I've got some good stuff floating around in my head that I am needing to get started on. Well, off I go to spread some Christmas joy, in January. Merry Christmas Mom and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa! I love you tons!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Calendars- The Trilogy

OK, I'm almost done. Just two more months to go.
November- The sweetest picture ever!
December- One guess why this guy is Mr. December...hello, Ralphie! He looks just like he walked out of A Christmas Story. And that brings me joy!

Calendars-Part 2

Here's a little more calendar for your viewing pleasure.
June-Everybody except the baby and they're sitting relatively still!
July- One happy baby, with apparently no fear.

August- Race cars I made from boxes for my son's birthday party. Unfortunately, I could never get a picture of my son in his, but here's everybody else.

September- Oh man! Do I love this dog or what? This is one of the most hilarious pictures and if you knew this kid you'd especially laugh. Goofy, is one of his talents.

October- My cute cowgirl (she totally wishes this was not a costume, but real life. Except that her horse was the real McCoy) and my little pirate (Arrrr!). My son had to be a pirate because he sounded so cute saying arrr! By the way, little pirate costumes are hard to come by so I had to sew this one. What I won't do because someone has a cute arrr! Love these two!

New Year, New Calendars-Part 1

So every year for Christmas, I make my parents and grandparents calendars of their grandkids. This year, I had a little paper glitch however and these little gems didn't make it for Christmas. They are 8x8 and when I get them all put together, I'll post it but here are the layouts anyway. Is it bad to give a Christmas gift way after the New Year? Ummm....yes! Anyways, I got my hands on the rest of the paper I need to finish these up so I'd better get on that.

January- I just love these cute boys.
February- My daughter is the only girl grandchild in our family until this spring so making boy layouts all of the time gets a little repetitive. I just have to add something girly when she is in the picture but I try not to go to overboard.

March- Brothers!

April- This is the only other bit of pink you'll find in the entire calendar. Gotta remember the girls.

May- I love this picture of these two brothers.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Handy Dandy Notebook

This is a little notebook I made for my daughter's teacher as a Christmas gift. She has the best teacher. So I wanted to do something nice for her for Christmas.
This is a little "fat" purse sized notebook. Most of the paper is "Dreamy 2" (which I love). So thank you Mrs. Walker! We love you!

Doodle Girls Club

Ok, so while our family was on our summer vacation, I picked up this book by "American Girls", called "Doodle Studio" for my 7 year old daughter to play with in the hotel room. It is a treasure. It is really two books. One has all of these super cute step-by-step doodles and the other is called the "Doodle Diary". I totally got into doing all of these fun doodles with her and doodling with my daughter became one of the highlights of our trip. While we were doodling, my daughter came up with the idea of forming a "Doodle Girls Club" for her and I. She set up a regular meeting schedule for us to follow when we got home. I bought a regular sketchbook for my "Doodle Diary" and some of Sakura's "Glaze" and "Souffle" pens (which, by the way, are so cool) and we doodle. Well, to sum up this long story, my daughter packs her doodle stuff all over now and her "Doodle Diary" is completely full, so I decided to make her a new one and a matching tote to haul it in for Christmas.
This tote was so much fun to make. The pattern is McCalls #5598. The rose and leaves, I had to figure out on my own. I had to come up with a pattern for them.
The "Doodle Diary" is a sketchbook I bought from Barnes and Noble. It's just like mine except mine's not cute. I like it because the pages are thicker so the pens don't bleed through as much. I removed the front and back covers and painted them white. The papers and most of the embellishments are "Little Yellow Bicycle". Anyways, isn't it amazing how many times I can use some form of the word "doodle" in one post.