Friday, September 30, 2011

Holiday Magic - October Stamp of the Month Swap

Here is my card for the October Stamp of the Month swap. I didn't want to have to cut out all the stockings by hand, so I cut them out using the Close to My Heart Art Philosophy cartridge, but slightly smaller than what the stamp image size is. The image still covers all of the shape, but I didn't have to worry as much about it lining up.

These are the cards made by our entire swap group. The designers are from top left (with the paper packet they used in parentheses): LeAnne Dudley (Typeset), Jodi Frank (Dreamin'), Randa Wacaster (Elemental)Julie Nilsson (Roxie)Angie Petersen (Wonderland), Vicki Price (Believe), Bertha MacMillan (Sonoma), Cathlene Burk (Mischief), and Krista Staton (Roxie). (I have to note here that Bertha actually put ink on her lips and kissed the rim of that adorable coffee cup!)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Which Came First?

What inspires you when creating a new layout? Do you take a must-scrap photo of your kids and choose paper to go with it? Do you find paper that you fall madly in love with and then find photos to go with it? Maybe you see a layout in a design book or magazine that you really like and want to recreate it? I think I've used all of these as inspiration. I've also "staged" photos to go along with a paper pack!

I think I'm going to be guilty of the latter again soon. You see, Halloween is my favorite holiday. I find it so much less stressful than other holidays, and I certainly think it's more fun. I'm one of those silly grown-ups who loves to dress up, and I do - every year. But what I love most is helping my son find just the right costume. Now normally I leave it completely up to him, and I'm always happy to invest in his costume because I know he'll wear it again and again until it either falls apart or no longer fits. This year, though, is an exception. The moment I saw Close to My Heart's new Mischief papers, I knew I wanted him to dress as a pirate. Sure, if you look at the layouts in the Idea Book you'll see vampires and seemingly scarier things than pirates, but I saw my son the pirate on those pages. So, when it came time to start deciding on a costume, I had to break out my best mom-negotiating skills. The first thing he said he wanted to be was a gangster because the catalog we were looking at had a costume with a toy machine gun, and he wanted that gun. (Boys!) Not so fast! "I think you should be a pirate," I told him. He wasn't convinced, but this is where my negotiating skills kicked in. "How about I'll only buy you that machine gun if you dress as a pirate." (Okay, maybe this wasn't actually negotiating. Perhaps it was more like blackmail or extortion, but we moms have to do what we have to do, right?) And you guessed it, he's going to be a pirate.

Halloween is pretty much the only thing that has me excited about it being fall. I can't wait to snap those pictures on All Hallow's Eve and then get them on my layout. (That should probably say "layouts" because I love the Mischief paper so much that I'll have to do at least two.) I'm definitely going to use the Mischief Workshop on the Go (below) for one of them. Happy Haunting!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shoebox Swap

Every time Close to My Heart releases a new Idea Book, our local unit has what we call a Shoebox Swap. The rules are that you can use any new stamp set and any new paper packet to design a card. You must also use current embellishments to make it a Level 3 card. Once those who want to participate have signed up, they create and put together just one card, and then they cut all pieces needed for each of the other participants. On the day of our monthly unit meeting we all show up with some sort of box that contains all the supplies needed for everyone else to create our card, including all stamps, embellishments, ink pads, sponges, etc. We generally start by passing our box to the person on our left, and then the madness begins! It's really a lot of fun, and we all end up with a great selection of cards for everyone to see and get an idea of what's available in the new catalog.

We had two new ladies join us this time, and their contributions were terrific! Those who participated were: Kimberly Deines, Randa Wacaster, Julie Nilsson, Vicki Price, Jodi Frank, Cathlene Burk, LeAnne Dudley, and Deb McNett. Thanks for all the great cards!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Boys and Big Boy Toys

My boys have been playing with power tools almost all day. I have wanted a second shelf for our son's room for two or three years, and they finally started working on it today! (My husband built the first shelf the same two or three years ago, but at the time we didn't have the additional material to build two, and ever since he's hardly had time to play in his garage.) They got the shelf built, and while the glue was drying they started working on a project my son brainstormed last night - a wooden stool. It's really a wooden step stool rather than a stool to sit on, but it's his stool, so we're going to let him call it whatever he wants.

I'm excited to scrap these photos for a couple reasons: 1) my son learned about all sorts of new power tools today, and he even gave using most of them a try, and 2) when he was designing his stool last night he made several small drawings on a piece of paper, and he even included some measurements he took with his own tape measure. I will have the design plans to scrapbook too.

Now that the stool is all put together, my son has decided it needs stained. He's got it all sanded down and ready to go. I'll get pictures of that process tomorrow.

Limited Edition Cards - September Stamp of the Month

Here are the swap cards our local unit made with the September Stamp of the Month Limited Edition. I photographed my card back at the beginning of the month but completely forgot to do the group. Better late than never, right? The talented designers are (top row): Vicki Price, Cathlene Burk (below mine), Krista Staton, Jodi Frank, Julie Nilsson, (bottom row) Angie Petersen, Randa Wacaster, LeAnne Dudley, and Bertha MacMillan. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Back-to-School Cards

I've been making back-to-school cards for my son, his friends, and his teachers ever since his second year of preschool. It's something I love to do. The moment I saw the Typeset paper, I knew I had to use it to make this year's cards. The School Rocks stamp set goes with the paper perfectly, and I love the results.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What's Included in Close to My Heart's Art Philosophy Cricut Bundle?

Watch this informative video from Close to My Heart to learn about what's included in the Art Philosophy Cricut Bundle. The video also features a tiny sampling of some of the cute shapes and 3-D items on the cartridge.

I am surprised and honored!

I was browsing my friend's blog earlier today and discovered that she'd given me a blog award! I didn't even know there was such a thing! Thank you so much, LeAnne Dudley!

This award recognizes the little bloggers out there with fewer than 200 followers. How fun to share the love and boost each other's followers. LeAnne has a terrific little blog too, so be sure to check it out!

Now I get to pass the award on to five of my favorite blogs with less than 200 followers. I hope to find a few more followers and help others at the same time. If you haven't already, click on the link to follow me, and then take a look at these other creative blogs and follow them as well.

I had a hard time choosing only five because there are so many great blogs out there! However, if you see your name/blog listed below, please pass on the award so we can keep boosting each other's followers:

Make and Take Time

Isom Cre8tions

Stamped & Papered

Stampin' Buds

Clearly Stamping

Now, if you visit each blog and follow the ones you like, the numbers will increase dramatically and you will have made numerous new friends and contacts!

Limited Edition - September Stamp of the Month Swap

This is my Stamp of the Month swap card for September. I used the Mischief papers along with the Limited Edition stamp set, and I also used the Key Moments stamp set to add another decorative element. The border down the side was cut using the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge. (Card size: 3x6)

Washer Necklaces

My very talented downline LeAnne discovered washer necklaces last year, and after she made a bunch of them, she posted a tutorial on her blog. Click here to see how to make these gorgeous necklaces yourself. They're the perfect project to use up some scrap on, and they make a great gift!

(Many thanks to LeAnne Dudley for allowing me to link to her tutorial.)