Monday, January 25, 2010

Resolutions Are Not For Me!

I love goals but NOT resolutions. Basically, it's the same dang difference but I guess it's just the idea that bugs me. A resolution will be broken by the 14th of January, in my experience, and a goal keeps plugging along during the rest of the year. I like the feeling of goals in January and setting the tone for the year though, so I have a quirky little thing I do. I just write my goals after the 14th of January...that way they are not resolutions! Make sense? Little nutty, I know, but that's the way I think. This year I am writing my top ten goals for the year in a teeny little composition notebook that I have altered. Here is the little doodle I made for the front cover. It's kind of zentangle-y and doodle-y mixed together. I need color in my life so I used my colored pencils to fill it in. Today, I am hoping to work on the back cover but I have a killer migraine so we'll see. Well, my little one is practically BEGGING for a hot dog. Not sure why. I won't even go into how I feel about those gross things but kid's must not have developed taste buds because they seem to think that hot dogs are the greatest thing ever! So I'm off to nuke one for this cute little guy.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm An American Girl!

I have had my eye on the Paper Posies pad from American Girl Crafts for a while now. I admired them at Michaels for a couple of months. Since I was working on Christmas projects, my budget couldn't swing it but I finally got to bring one home a while back (thank you, Heather) and I have been dying to get a chance to use them. Oh the colors, the glitter, the flowers, the butterflies, I LOVE this die-cut pad! It's been a long time since I worked on a 2S4Y sketch and I knew I HAD to use my American Girl flowers. This card is based on Kazan's sketch.
The flowers (three, stacked up) and leaves are from American Girl crafts. The patterned paper is We R Memory Keepers and Cosmo Cricket. The letter stickers are Making Memories. And that's pretty much it. Hope you love those flowers as much as I do. You simply must run out and pick yourself up some. Hurry before the new CHA stuff comes out and your list of "must haves" becomes unruly. The CHA sneaks I have been seeing around are making me giddy. Can't wait!

Monday, January 18, 2010

You Want To Know What Would Make Me Happy?

I'll tell you...although I feel a little exposed saying this...I have always wanted to have one of my little projects published. I have sent in many but thus far I haven't had any luck in the published department. I guess I haven't figured out the tricks of the trade yet, but my favorite magazine ever is CARDS magazine. It is awesome. It's a little pricey, so when I do break down and buy it, it's really a treat. The people over at CARDS even have it available on the internet for much less money but I just LOVE touching the pages and turning them and being excited about what's on the next page. CARDS even has a blog and they post weekly challenges. I've never actually done one before but I've always had it on my "need to do" list (it's one long list, I tell you). Today, I was going to finish cleaning my basement but I just wasn't feeling it. My husband suggested that I work on a project instead (don't you just love that guy?) and I thought about it for about 3 seconds and decided on the project. I mean basement or project, what would you choose?
The CARDS challenge was to use trees and/or branches and here's mine.
I have a crazy amount of scraps left from the calendars project so if this looks kind of like you've seen it before, that's why. The paper is Fancy Pants, My Mind's Eye, Crate Paper, and Doodlebug. The glitter paper is also Doodlebug. All of the letter stickers are from Making Memories and the jewels, hemp and button are just some I had hanging around. My husband thinks it's funny that I just have a "personal stash" of hemp. Sounds a little like the DEA will be dropping by. Well, I better go make some dinner just in case they do stop by. I'd hate for their trip to be a total "bust" (ha! Get it!) At least they can have some speggetti, as my son calls it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I Am Here

A while back, before the calendar project, I started a 12x12 canvas to hang over my desk. It was based on a saying I saw on a canvas that Donna Downey has in her new fantastic studio. Check it out HERE. And a Donna Downey Inspiration Wednesday piece that she posted in November.I love the saying because good, bad, or UGLY...I am right where I should be. I sometimes need the reminder that I need to learn whatever lesson I am supposed to learn and move on. Yesterday did not turn out how I had hoped and I was still doing dishes and clean up after I put the kids to bed. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself because I hadn't had a chance to work on anything. I sat down at my desk and saw the unfinished canvas propped against the wall and decided to play with it a little. I had no intention of finishing it but after a while it just came together and so even though it was late, I finished it.

I'm pretty proud of myself for getting it finished and now it is going above my desk. I've been so stressed out lately about all of the little things that life throws at you and this is a message I really need to see to remind me that even though I may not like some of the cards I am dealt, I am dealt them for a reason and they will ultimately make me a better person.
Everything is a scrap from my scrap bin, a page from an old book I bought at the secondhand store, an old map, or tags from my daughter's jeans. I painted the canvas background and letter with acrylic paint and that's pretty much it. Everything is wrinkled up, twisted, and distressed.
Well, right now where I should be is in the kitchen unloading the dishwasher, so thanks for stopping by.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sweet Relief!

It's official. The last calendar is now completely finished and ready for delivery. I'm so happy. Been feeling ever so stressed about my projects. Plus, the creative part of the calendars has long since been done and so I'm feeling the need to create something, just for fun, just for me. Tomorrow is the day! I'm thinking about working on the 2S4Y challenge. I haven't done one in sooooo long. Would love to come up with a beautiful Valentine's decoration for my little house too. We'll see what happens, but for now the dryer is beeping. Gotta get the laundry done before I can play with my paper.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Can I Get A Hallelujah?!!

They're done, they're done (picture me dancing around), oh happy day, they're done! Well almost, anyway. Here is what I have been working on for the past FOREVER! I made 4 of these guys this year. Three of them use the photos here and one of them I am still waiting on a few photos. I am so happy to have them pretty much done.
Here we have the entire crazy crew! Screaming, trying to run, rabbit ears, etc. Sure it's not a perfect photo but it depicts these guys perfectly! When I'm trying to get a giant project done, quickly, I do two cheater things. One: I try to stick with one manufacturers line so I know matching won't be an issue. I normally use more than 5 different manufacturers on a single card, but going through all of my files to find them takes time. And two: I use Becky Fleck's Pagemaps . When I don't have time to come up with my own layouts, I know Becky's sketches will be perfect. She's a graphic designer and so I know I don't have to worry about scale and proportion and all that jazz. I can just start with the maps and make them my own. I love those things when I'm in a pinch. The above page is BoBunny Press mostly. It's really sunny today (and below freezing) so there are a lot of shadows on the pictures, but I'm sure you can get the idea.
Isn't this a most handsome boy! He is always taking the best pictures. The paper is My Mind's Eye. I love the clear snowflake elements. They are Jesse James I believe.
This year my daughter finally got a girl cousin! We are crazy in love with our little Lexie. Do you know what that means? More bows, more flowers, more bling, and more pink on this years calendars. Wahoo! This is one page that I mixed up manufacturers a little. The brown is Crate Paper. The dots and stripes are Fancy Pants. The red glitter paper is Doodlebug. The cherries are my own design. And the red glitter letter stickers are Making Memories.
There's my cute boy! With a car of course. The paper is My Mind's Eye and the shamrocks are my own making.
Here's my girl. I love this paper from We R Memory Keepers. The letter stickers are Rusty Pickle.
These two are hilarious! I seriously have the funniest nephews. Even though the hemp bow put a shadow on Drew, I'm sure that you can see they're personalities. This one is a little mixed up too. The red dots and sky are Fancy Pants.
Another thing I do to save time is to try not to reinvent the wheel. I use designs I have made earlier in the year for cards. Here is the trusty cupcake. I think I have had at least 20 requests for the pattern this year. The paper is My Mind's Eye. But who cares about that? Isn't this the best picture? Tyler just got finished earning a trophy in a kid's run. He really surprised his mom (who is also a super fast runner) when he just took off and finished and ended up winning a trophy. He was so proud.
My other nephews also ran that race. Here are all but the little one with the rabbit ears. Just can't take a picture without them. Paper is BoBunny and My Mind's Eye mostly.
Here's Miss Lexie. Isn't she the cutest thing? I call her our "Family Fashionista" because her closet rivals her grandma's. My sister in law is the best kid's clothes shopper ever. Don't believe me just check out her boys on the next page. This paper is My Mind's Eye.See? These boys even match. She's awesome! This paper is Creative Cafe and I love it! The bird is my own design.
Who is this? Well it's Spiderman and Superman of course. Paper is Sassafrass.
This is my son, I think. Paper is We R Memory Keepers. Kid is a goofball.
How I love Kasey. He is the sweetest boy! He is always so kind to others. This paper is Imaginisce.

Well, I'm off to punch holes and hopefully deliver some Christmas cheer to my mom (who I think is having a hard day), my dad and my grandparents. Yahoo!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Little Peak

Lest you think that I am just messing with you and not really working on ANYTHING, I thought I'd better give you a little sneak peak of the project I'm working on. Once again, I find myself well into January working on calendars for my parent's and grandparent's Christmas presents. They are ready to have their pictures taken but the lighting is here is the January page (and please excuse the lighting). I will photograph the rest tomorrow and post them. Until then I hope you enjoy Mr. January.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Happy Diversion

Here's a little quiz for you:
What would make me leave my nice, warm house with a fever and a sore throat and two kids who also have the same fever and sore throat? What would make me leave a crazy busy desk and postpone finishing my project for one more day? What could possibly have happened to make me drop everything and head out the door today????

If you said go to the doctor, you'd be wrong. If you said the house was on fire, you'd be wrong. If you said the family was out of milk, well, you're probably right, but that's not it either.

Need a hint?
Nope it's not the guy with the spiffy, yellow's the plane.

That's right Blue Angel number 7 was in town today. My husband called me shortly after lunch with the news that one of the Blue Angels was in town today doing some "touch and go's" and scoping out our airport for their upcoming visit to Idaho Falls this summer. I'm just giddy about that. I LOVE the Blue Angels. I very much enjoy the Thunderbirds, but I LOVE the Blue Angels. It's been more than 5 years since I have seen them and I can't wait. But today after my husband's call, we hopped into the car and headed to the airport. I'm more than certain I am now on the terrorist watch list because my car was seen slowly cruising around the perimeter of the airport gates looking for the best vantage point. I knew when I found it too because there were several other fans (mostly retired military men, they just had that look about them) parked and visiting outside their cars. We waited for about 15 minutes and then in true Blue Angel style, there he was, out of nowhere. He buzzed the runway and did a hard turn and passed right over our car. Happy day! He then did a quick turn around and landed right in front of us.
OK, I'm sure that many of you are shaking your heads wondering why in the world I am so into the Blue Angels and would drop everything to have one fly over my car. Two reasons. One: They are just too cool! And two (and the best one probably): Because of this guy.
That is my brother, Brent. He is a pilot for the USAF. C-130's. And I love this guy. When he was very young, he fell in love with planes and set his sights on flying them. Everything he did was somehow helping to land him in the pilot's seat. And so, each and every time we went to Utah, we had to stop at the Hill AFB museum. Our whole family had the dang thing memorized and we would just sort of roll our eyes whenever we had to go, but you know what, I learned to love the place. Maybe because Brent loved it so much or maybe the planes, I don't know but it is pretty cool to me now. I have even dragged my kids to it a time or two. The last time the Blue Angels were here was the last airshow I have been able to go to with Brent. And we had quite an adventure. Fruit salad and all (long, gross story). He is stationed halfway across the country and spends quite a bit of time in Iraq. But guess what? He just got home from a deployment and is taking leave next week. That means he will be here in Idaho in just a few short days! Wahoo! He is too much fun! By the way, Brent is an awesome photographer and he took both of the Blue Angel pictures in this post. I know, they rock!

So basically, what I am trying to say, is that there will not be a project posted here today either. I really just HAD to go have #7 buzz my car today instead. It's been a good day.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

It's Me Again

I know, I know, two posts in as many days. It's incredible. I've been working feverishly on my (overdue) Christmas projects. For the second year in a row, my calendars are late, but they are turning out super cute. Just waiting for some pictures and I will share with you all. But you just have to check out this fun food blog that my friend Kandice found. It can be found at . It has some awesome recipes there and when I was searching around on their site, I found the cutest little gift idea. I thought that I might make a few for my friends (turn away now Kandice) for Valentines day. They are, are you ready for this, little tiny personal pies that are made in a jar. They can be made and stored in the freezer for when you might need a little pie (and who doesn't) or they can be baked right away. We are talking seriously cute AND there can be no guilt involved if, in fact, you eat an entire pie. It's OK. It's sized just for you. They even have some ready made tags that you can print for them that are really cute, but I'm working on a few ideas of my own specifically for Valentine's Day to give them as gifts. You can find this great post and a link to the tags HERE . And just wait til you see the blog of the talented Lolly, who designed the tag. Be ready to spend some time checking out sweet Lolly's place too. Have fun and you might just want to go make some pie now. I'll be heading back to my desk to work on something that I have actually done to post on my blog.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hello Gorgeous!

Yep! That's what I say every, single time I walk in and see this beauty at my desk. You see, up until very recently, I have been sewing with a machine that is approximately two years older than I am. To save you all from having to do some head math, that is pretty much a 40 year old machine. It's been a great old machine and technically, it's my mom's. It's the machine I learned to sew with in 4-H and it's gotten me through many a project, but earlier this month during the Christmas project crunch, it started acting up a little. I was praying for it to make it through, but I told my dad that it needed some work. And do you know what that most amazing guy did? He called me up and told me to meet him at the sewing machine store and he bought me this!!!!! I kept trying not to cry and the saleslady asked me if I was OK. "I'm just so excited." By the time I got to my car, I was totally bawling and I didn't stop until after I got home and then when I showed my family my gift, I cried some more. My kids were seriously worried about me. I just kept repeating, "I'm just so excited." Honestly, do you know what modern sewing machines can do? Well, OK, you probably do, but I did not. Jan (that's what I call her, when I don't call her gorgeous) and I have been doing some sewing projects and she's amazing. My next sewing project is going to be a sewing machine cozy so she won't get dusty and because I'm not the only one fascinated by her beautiful buttons. My three year old son loves buttons too. He can't resist them either. Is that a little obsessive about a sewing machine? Yep! It probably is, but I don't care! I love her!

I still have a few more things to work on before I have a project to share but I'll be back soon with something cute for you. In the meantime, you have to check out this post by Betsy Veldman. She has made the cutest little scrap cards, but the smartest thing of all is the envelopes she makes for them. Super cute. She's a genius, I tell you. Plus it's another thing that I can sew with Jan!