Monday, August 31, 2009


. . . to love these Sweet Treat Cups like I do! Oh, my goodness, I seem to be addicted to them! This is one of my favorite projects using the cups--a holiday snow globe! Is this the coolest thing or what? The greeting is from the "All Holidays" stamp set, but I used several products from Stampin' Up!'s Holiday mini catalog to create this card . . . the trees inside the "globe" were cut with the "Merry Details" Sizzlits die, the 1-3/4" circle on the front of the card was created with the "Holiday Windows" Movers & Shapers die, and the designer paper is from the "Christmas Cocoa" (specialty) paper collection. The white card stock in the globe (to mimic snow) was coated with Frost White Shimmer Paint, although this photo doesn't capture the shimmer. It looks like I'm going to need another box of Sweet Treat Cups so I can share them with my customers at my September class. Who knew I'd use 'em up so fast???? Ha!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I know some of you are really anxious to get your hands on Stampin' Up!'s Holiday mini catalog, but I'll go ahead and tell you (if I haven't already) that it's AWESOME! Granted, you wouldn't expect to hear a Demonstrator say "I've seen better," but this one really is full of fun, creative new products! One thing that I can say about Stampin' Up! is that the excitement never ends, and they just keep getting better and better! Tonight, I enjoyed creating with some of the new products from the mini catalog. Both of these projects showcase the "Sweet Centers" stamp set and "Sweet Treat Cups." The holiday tag also features "Merry Details" (a new Sizzlits die), "Join in the Cheer" Decorative Strip die, "Top Note" Bigz die, and "Christmas Cocoa" specialty designer paper. The Valentine project features Melon Mambo dotted grosgrain ribbon, "Join in the Cheer" Decorative Strip die, "Holiday Windows" (brand new Movers & Shapers die used to cut the kissing love birds), and the "Fancy Favor" Bigz XL die. On this sample, the Sweet Treat cup is covered with the scallop circle, which makes it difficult to tell that the cup is there. Come to my class on September 18th, and I'll show you a clever way to assemble the Sweet Treat Cup projects so that they can remain intact, and the recipient can easily get to the goodies!

Friday, August 28, 2009


Earlier this week, I needed a birthday card to send to a special lady. For WEEKS, I had been telling myself, "Don't forget to mail Jane a birthday card." And what did I do? I forgot to mail it . . . on time. [heavy sigh] This card is 3" x 6" . . . love this size . . . and it features a two-color glitter technique. The flower is from Stampin' Up!'s "Sticky Cut Sweet," which has 12x12 sheets of double-sided adhesive die-cut shapes that are ready to glitter. I love these things! The sentiment is from the "Flight of the Butterfly" stamp set, and I think it made a perfect stem! Other Stampin' Up! products used include Rose Red, Whisper White, Basic Black, and Certainly Celery card stock, Eyelet Border punch, 1/4" Certainly Celery grosgrain ribbon and, of course, the beautiful glitter! Jane, I hope your special day was just that . . . special!


On Sunday, I taught a Cricut Expression class (which was a lot of fun), and this was the "make-&-take" . . . a card and envelope . . . all cut with the Cricut! I had my grandmother in mind when I designed this card for my class and, on Monday, I sealed the envelope and sent it on its way to her!

Monday, August 24, 2009


This is the view from my front porch . . . a view that's already looking very different. For a few years, I have wanted this area cleaned out because the trees just kept growing, of course, and the limbs got lower and fuller. Each Fall, we have been inundated with a deluge of falling, messy leaves! The shade has been wonderful, but what I think I will miss the most is the privacy. At the time of this writing, they've only cut branches from one of the trees and--already--I feel so . . . exposed . . . like my clothes have been ripped off! Ack! This is going to take some getting used to! Along the side of the driveway, they'll be cutting down another slew of trees and as much as I won't miss the falling leaves, I am TRULY, deeply, madly going to miss my privacy. It's not that I have anything to hide, but our lot is probably the only one in our neighborhood where the house can barely be seen from the road and there have been times when I've loved that. That's what I'm used to, and I wonder how long it will take for me to get used to the new look. You've heard the saying, "Be careful what you wish for." My mind has been made up so many times and, without hesitation, I have wished the trees were gone. Why am I now having second thoughts? I just know my husband will want to put me in chipper if, after a while, I say, "Honey, I've been thinking . . . lets plant a couple of fast-growing trees." I'm really afraid that I'm going to say that, but I'll try to hold off until I've had a chance to get used to the new look. ETA: My yard after the tree removal. All total, 19 trees left the property!

Friday, August 21, 2009


I know this project isn't a real "WOW!", but I haven't quite decided what to do with it. My first thought was to frame it for my niece to put in her son's room. He's still a wee little fellow . . . too young to fish . . . but his daddy and grandfather both love fishing, so I'm sure he'll spend some time learning the ropes. Ha! That's a cute pun for this project! The fishing boy image is from one of ProvoCraft's new Cricut cartridges, "A Child's Year." Mine just came today, and I couldn't go to bed without taking it for a spin. After I cut the image, I didn't like the color of card stock that I had used, so I sponged ink on it. By the time I decided which paper to use, the color I'd sponged on wasn't quite right so there must be four different colors of ink on the fishing boy. In the end, I decided to use a sanding block to lighten him up. Oh . . . I almost forgot . . . the knot is supposed to be a Clinch knot. I searched the 'net for fishing knots, and this was one of them. I hope I did it right!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I've been clearing out a lot of stuff from the stamp room this week and haven't had any fun stamping time, but I found this card during the clean up. It must have been a year ago when my sister helped me decide just how to create this one, and I LOVE it!!!! Isn't the bear just as cute as he can be . . . afraid of the mosquito? I like how the raccoon looks like he'd be rolling his eyes if he could. The two Stampin' Up! stamp sets used to create this card are Under the Stars and Lovely as a Tree.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Went to Ikea on Saturday, and left a few $$$ there but felt that I TOTALLY got my money's worth! For some time, I have been thinking of an alternate way to store my punches and this is the idea that I kept coming back to. It's actually quite similar to the way I had my punches before, but they're all in one place now--and within reach. I kind of hated to give such a large parcel of real estate to the punches, but I use these things all the time so they've earned their new home. These "rails" were only $2 or $3 each, and I think the baskets were $2ish also. Pretty cheap fix, huh? My next order of business is to tame the clutter in this room. It seems that I do that often, but why does it keep coming back???? I'm beginning to think that the problem here is me!


I couldn't think of a title for this post, so I chose "Early Bird" because there's a bird on the card and because it's almost 3:40 a.m. That may be why I can't think. Anyway . . . I am so pleased with this card! My plan was to make the bird house, but that was all I set out to do. I reached into my basket of die cuts and found the lattice and leaves ready to use, but they weren't enough. That's when I remembered this brand new Sizzlit die, "Merry Details" (Holiday mini catalog) that has a cute bird--and he's the perfect size! SU products used to create this card include: Brocade Blue, Soft Suede, Whisper White, Rich Razzleberry, and Old Olive card stock, Texturz Plate (Distressed), Sizzix dies (Little Leaves, Merry Details, Lattice), Large Oval, Scallop Oval, Designer Label, Photo Corner, and Heart to Heart punches, Soft Suede and Rich Razzleberry inks, Stampin' Sponges, and "FYI" stamp set.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I know it seems really early to work on holiday projects, but I have to. I have classes to plan, but I also need to get started on my personal holiday cards. I'm determined to not be working on them at the last minute! Today I wanted to "play" with the "Holiday Lounge" designer paper because I LOVE it!!!!!!!! Trust me . . . the catalog does not give this paper collection its due justice! This photo isn't very good, either! The colors in the paper are Taken with Teal and Sahara Sand, and I like the way it prompts me to use non-traditional colors--colors that I don't often use. I really like the simplicity of this design. Surprisingly, there isn't any stamping on this card! Besides the designer paper, I used two new Sizzix dies and silver elastic cord (found in SU's Holiday mini catalog) and a clear rhinestone brad to complete this 4.25" square card. Yes, I'm still stuck on square cards! Heads up . . . if you already own a Big Shot, this would be an inexpensive and quick design for your holiday cards. All you need is Whisper White, Taken with Teal, and Sahara Sand card stock, "Holiday Lounge" designer paper, a pack of clear rhinestone brads, and the two dies. Assuming you already have the card stock and envelopes, the other products will cost a mere $43.30 (excluding shipping and tax), and you'll be all set to make more holiday cards than you probably need!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


And today was one of those days! I have to tell you that I just LOVE this little project! It was so super easy to make! Now . . . if you have a Big Shot, I urge you to consider purchasing the Fancy Favor XL die. While it's true that I'm a gadget ho and love me some die-cuttin' stuff, the Fancy Favor die is really and truly a great one! You can assemble it as a box (as I've done here) or as a bag w/a closed top, and it's a very generous size! It's hard to tell from the picture, but I used the Manhattan Flower embossing folder on my box to give it a little tactile umph. The clever thought that I had today was to use the Ornament punch (from the Holiday mini catalog) to create the flower and leaves that embellish my bag. I also brushed the edges of the petals with Frost White Shimmer Paint (another Holiday mini product), and the flower center is a Pop-Up Glue Dot that I sprinkled with chunky glitter. And let me tell you . . . those glue dots are STICKY! I think they'd hold a kicking and screaming kid to a wall (teachers, resist the temptation to try this!!). Other SU products used on this project are: Holiday Best stamp set; Boho Blossoms, Scallop Oval, 1-3/8" Circle, 1/16" Circle, and Wide Oval punches; Chocolate Chip, Rich Razzleberry, Always Artichoke, Kraft, and Pretty in Pink card stock; and hemp twine.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


This layout was designed for my scrapbook club's second workshop; however, since it was early July, I opted for a patriotic layout instead. This one became quite a challenge because I had originally used a stamp set in early June that didn't make it to SU's new catalog. So . . . I had to re-create some elements and do away with the stamped images. I still love this layout and may use it for the September workshop but, chances are, I'll get a wild hair and do something else. This project features some really fun SU products . . . punched flowers, Circle Scissor Plus (for the circles that fill the tree), chipboard, scallop edge punch, die cut leaves and letters, linen thread, buttons, and that adorable jumbo grommet! While there is space at the bottom of the second page for hand-written journaling, I placed the leaves by each photo mat for the purpose of recording specific identifying information, if desired. I had a lot of fun working on this layout, although it's one of the most "fussy" that I've designed. Watch out, scrapbook club members . . . you just might end up doing this one after all!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


My plan today was to work on making a wreath, similar to the one on p. 92 of SU's catalog. I had designs of my own, though, that I wanted to try. For one thing, I found a cute rooster/chicken (not sure which it is) to sit in the center of the wreath, and I also purchased some wired twine that I thought would add some pizzazz. Although SU used mostly "Autumn Traditions" designer paper and Always Artichoke card stock for their wreath, I wanted to throw some Soft Suede card stock and other patterns from the designer paper into the mix. I'm definitely not 100% pleased with this wreath--it will need more leaves to fatten it up--but it's off to an okay start. I used gold pins to secure the leaves to the wreath, but I'm at the point where I'm using Tombow Multi Purpose Adhesive now because I don't like the way the little pinheads look--I thought I would like that! All of the leaves were die cut with the Big Shot and Leaves #2 die. So, here it is . . . my not-quite-finished wreath.


"Medallion" is one of SU's brand new background stamps, and it is so pretty! For this card, I inked the stamp with Craft ink and then clear-embossed the stamped image, placed a rhinestone brad in the center, tied the ribbon around it, and called it done.


This is the layout that my scrapbook club made last night. They were disappointed that their layout didn't come with my pictures, but I'm sure--in due time--their spirits will lift. With this particular layout, we used a conservative color palette and some Lattice die accents to go with the heritage theme. On a true heritage layout, I'd be more inclined to use oval frames and mats; however, my photos were "young enough" to remain square. I think. The amazing thing is that I actually included photos on this layout! Now . . . how can I can make myself branch out and start scrappin' color photos?

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I know these petals are different from sunflower petals, but I wanted to use sunflower seeds for the center. While searching for items to use in the sweet treat cups, I have found so many things in my pantry that I didn't know were there! Ha! The "Sweet Centers" stamp set has a hot air balloon, ornament top, heart, and flower petal that lend themselves to the placement of a sweet treat cup to complete them, and there is also a stamp in this set with two leaves. This flower was created by stamping the petal image all around the circle and then stamping and cutting out a few more petals to add dimension. This is truly a FUN stamp set! Best of all, the treat cups are really inexpensive. I ordered two packs because I knew I'd be playing!


My preorder from the Holiday mini catalog arrived today, and you know I had to play! I was really excited about two of the new products . . . the "Sweet Centers" stamp set and the Sweet Treats Cups . . . so my very first project is this one . . . a Halloween treat! The good thing about the cups is that they already have adhesive on them, and they're a very generous depth--approx. 1/2"! To create the circle cut-out in the center, I used a Sizzix die (also from the Holiday mini catalog) that works with the Curly Label Bigz XL die. You probably should start saving a few dollars because you are sure to want some of the new goodies coming your way. The stamp set that I used to create this card has images perfect for Valentine's, Christmas, and everyday events, and they are each designed for a circle center to be filled with one of the Sweet Treats cups. How cool is this? I'm not 100% pleased with this card design, but you can definitely get an idea of how the treat cups work. All the little trick-or-treaters in your life would certainly like to get one of these cards. SU even has padded envelopes just for these projects! The designer paper used on this card is from the Cast-a-Spell collection.


How do you like the new look???? Heather Wright-Porto ( fixed it up for me . . . after just having a baby a few days ago! Is she amazing or what? If you feel so inclined, leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I'm trying to get my ducks in a row to offer a demonstration class this month on the Cricut Expression machine. I was experimenting with the End Caps feature today and decided to use the cuts to create this quick card. The designer paper I used is from Basic Gray's "Stella Ruby" collection, and the "end caps" cut is the white piece with the word "hi" cut out with the layered flowers on the left. The card stock (Ruby Red, Chocolate Chip, and True Thyme) and the rhinestone brads are from SU, as is the retired organdy ribbon. ETA: My Cricut class will be held on Sunday, August 23, at 3:00 p.m. I'll be demonstrating all of the buttons, modes, functions, bells, and whistles at that time. If you'd like more information, let me know. I've attached a new picture of the card I orginally posted here. This revised card has a floral border added to the bottom.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Even though my porch has an overhead light, I don't like to use it because it's like a beacon for bugs. Instead, I use a string of white Christmas lights around the base of this floral arrangement that I put together in the Spring. Aren't the flowers gorgeous? I can't believe they still look as good as they do! My sister cleaned my porch this weekend, and we put a new string of lights around the table. Thanks Renee!!!!!!! You did a FABULOUS job!!!!! I love having Renee around! She doesn't mind pulling weeds and knocking down spider webs--things we have too much of!


Yesterday was a FUN anniversary celebration with my parents, grandmother, sister's family, niece and great-nephew at my house! Isn't the cake beautiful???? My friend, Karin, did a great job decorating it, and it wasn't just pretty--it was delicious! When Renee and I decided that we wanted to celebrate our parents' anniversary, we wanted a nice cake but didn't know who to call. Our mother is the only cake decorator we know . . . until I remembered that Karin recently took a cake decorating class. Boy, did we have a job for her! Ha! Notice the glasses on the table with the etched hearts on them? I used the Cricut to cut a vinyl stencil (with the hearts) and used Etch Cream to chemically etch the design on the glasses. When Karin showed up with the server that also had double hearts, it was as if we'd collaborated on the design! This is just one example of how perfectly everything came together to make for a perfect day!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

50 YEARS!!!!!!

Tomorrow is my parents' 50th anniversary, and we're celebrating the occasion at my house. This is the card that I made for them, and I was very pleased with how it turned out! I used Whisper White (SU) and reflective gold (non-SU) card stock. The stamped images are from SU's "Together Forever" stamp set, and I stamped them with VersaMark ink and then heat-embossed in gold. Since I wasn't sure that I'd like the stamped design, I didn't even use the stamp-a-ma-jig, so I guess this design was just meant to be--it turned out perfectly! The reflective gold border that comes off the bottom of the card was cut and dry-embossed with Spellbinders' "In Spades" borderabilities die using the Big Shot. I think those spades mimic hearts nicely, don't you?