About Me

I am wife to my wonderful husband, mother to two adult children and Nana to one special granddaughter. I also share my heart and my home with several furbabies. Being creative doesn't come easily to me, but I love to try.

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Cricut Circle

Cricut: The Official Blog
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Friday, September 4, 2015

~Stampingbella rocks!

Hey there friends!  I just love the designs produced by Stampingbella in their cling stamp collections.  I won't mention how many of their recent holiday release I bought {blushing}.  But for these cards, I used stamps I already had.  The first is one of my favorite birthday images.  I even used a little stickles on the crown.  The second two cards are more like Thinking of You or Feel Better Soon type cards and I just felt like coloring little mice.  I also used some of my die-namics dies on these cards. 

Need to shift gears and work on a box and a canvas next.  Hopefully will be able to post those soon.
And HALLOWEEN is coming!  Have I got some cute stamps for that!
Thanks for stopping by!



Saturday, August 15, 2015

~Back to School projects!

Hey there friends!  Here are a couple of relatively quick projects that Tacoah and I just finished for back to school.  She picked all the images for her backpack (from the new CTMH Artistry) and decided the colors.  I did mess up on the flower a bit because I tried to make a 2 layer cut into 3.  Leaves have to be green, ya know?  The extra name tag is for a bag that she will use to go to math class.  In 3rd grade, it's the only class for which she needs to change teachers.  Shelly picked this bag up at Gabriel brother's discount outlet for a couple of bucks. You would not believe that the original price of this thing was $89!!  It's by an artist named Carlos Falchi who turns his paintings into handbags.  I've never heard of him.  Maybe you have.   :-)   Anyway, you know those plastic ties they use to put tags on items require a bulldozer to remove, so I just added Tacoah's nametag on top!  And got in a bit of coloring too!  I used Fontastic Fonts - DJ Smitten.

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope if you are readying for back to school you can incorporate some crafty time into it!

Friday, August 14, 2015

~PopUp Challenge at thedailymarker.com

It's all about the lines.  Over at the Daily Marker, Kathy is hosting a 4 day series of PopUp Challenges beginning today!  This first challenge is all about the lines.  Straight lines, curved lines, doodles lines.  You get the idea.  I used my zig watercolor markers to make this card.  The colors I chose were based on the color of the embossing powder I used on the sentiment (purple).  So I used Lilac, Sugared Almond Pink, Shadow Mauve & Cool Gray 1.  I also used a clear Wink of Stella marker and threw a couple of sequins on there as well.  I began by stamping & embossing my sentiment.  I knew that I wanted alternating widths for my lines so I worked those around the sentiment.  And then it just needed something else, so I added the arrows.  Then it was just a matter of coloring the blocks.  After that was completed, I went over my pencil lines with a purple pen.  I mounted it to pink cardstock and threw some popcorn around it.  That's for the extra goody bag part of the challenge. :-)  Good thing I had some here!

Thanks for stopping by and you can check out tons of loveliness by searching instagram #TheDailyMarkerPopUpChallenge.  There are some reallllyyyy talented doodling type people out there!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

~Summer Swap: Altered Book Box & Tags

Over on the Cricut Circle Message Board, we are just wrapping up a 2 month partner swap where our task was to create an altered book box and 5 tags using a summer theme of our partner's choice.  My partner was Susan and she pretty much gave me free rein to make whatever I wanted.  So I mixed a little of everything in.  There's some beach and some sea and tons of different textures.  I had a blast with this because I got to use paper and ink and paints and fabric and all kinds of little odds and ends as you'll see.
I actually created 6 double sided tags and put a ring through them all making a little tag album, plus I made 1 extra oddball to hold some extra charms I had that went with the theme.  I also included some fabric flowers as a little extra gift. 

And I was so excited to mail it that I forgot to take pictures of  some of the items, so Susan gave me permission to use the ones she posted on the MB.  Here's the stuff I created for her.

The front of the box had a sea floor made of blue stone with fish netting and shells and critters attached.  there was also the requisite message in the bottle  The sun was made from gold flecked tulle with an amber gem in the center.

The back was a little whimsical in that this die cut is from Fun in the Sun and fit perfectly on my background paper.

The spine was make with a brushed velvet type of fabric scrap and I scalloped the edges with a metal die.  Palm trees from Summer Love were added on top.

The inside front cover came from G45 By the Sea and I added some jute ribbon around the edges.  The inside of the book is my pink flamingo, also from Summer Lover, standing in the sand which was made from, what else?  Sandpaper.  80 grit I believe.  I had some fun here with some paint & clear tar gel and wink of stella.  I added a few shells here as well.

The tags were ALOT of fun to make, but I'm glad I was only required to do 5.  I actually did 6, and I made them two sides because I just had so much cool stuff I wanted to use!

Here are the fronts before they were bound.

And here are the backs.

Here they are assembled with the ring & ribbons and the little charm I made to attach.  All of the following pics courtesy of Susan.

And finally the front and back of the extra tag I made to hold the extra charms I did not use on the project.    I'm sure Susan can find a use for them.  I used chalkboard paint on one side.  That stuff is AWESOME!
And a little Timmy Distress Ink on the back.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

~Pop Up Challenge at theDailyMarker.com!

Head on over to Kathy's blog for all the juicy details!  And you might win!
And there is coloring coming again in October!  woohoo!

Pop Up Challenge

Friday, August 7, 2015

~I purred once.....

it was awful.

Yup that's what my little kitty says.  lol.  This weeks MFT challenge (sketch #240) was perfect to use with one of my new Taylored Expressions stamps and my awesome die-namics stax dies!  It also gave me another excuse to use my Zig markers.  And it makes me giggle every time I look at it.

Here's the sketch:
 And here's my take on it.

Thanks for stopping by!

~Picture Day

Well now it's been a little while since I created a layout.  May I think, when Tacoah had First Communion.
I've actually had most of the papers I wanted to use on this picture sitting on my desk for a few months. {{blush}}  I just needed a sketch and since I haven't used Family Album yet, that became my source.  I used Image #15 (Back to School) and resized the focal block to fit Tacoah's school picture.  The Picture Day phrase came from When I Was a Kid and was cut at 1.5" and the school books from  Autumn Celebrations at 2.25" .  Grade TWO was welded and cut from Paper Lace at 1 inch.

The border at the bottom was printed on chalkboard paper with a chalkboard marker using a system font called Return to Sender.  The tags were in my stash and the ribbons on them coordinated with the paper I used.  All of the paper was from my stash.  Makes me smile.  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

~So happy.

Last month's coloring challenge left me with lots of raw materials for some happy cards.  And when I saw this week's sketch (#239) over on the MFT (My Favorite Things) blog, I knew I had to transform one using some of my awesome die-namics dies!

Here's the sketch:

 And here's my card.  This is a House Mouse Designs stamp that is just perfect for a summer card.  Isn't he just adorable? hehe.  And I wish I were laying right there beside him.  I used my cross stitch die-namic circle die and then added a little sunshine.  This sketch is just so versatile I will be saving it for some future cards as well.  So glad I got a chance to play along.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Thoughts on NSD 2015

As the challenges have wrapped up for NSD 2015, I think I'll take a page from my friend Sara (visit her here) and recap what I managed to accomplish with the inspiration and talent of the ladies over on the Cricut Circle message board.

I completed 10 cards (5 of which had tags), 4 layouts, 1 banner, 2 mixed media canvases, 1 tag, 1 framed project and 1 luminary.

For the challenges that I hosted, there were so many beautiful and inspiring projects.  Everyone really outdid themselves and I hope they all had as much fun as I did!

Until next year, happy crafting!!!

Friday, May 15, 2015

All Decked Out!: NSD Challenge 2015

And for my final project, Amy challenged us to come up with a nautical themed project.  She posted an awesome heat transfer vinyl t-shirt with anchors and a matching card that had a cute little crab.  If you are a cricut circle member, be sure to go check it out! 

I had been thinking about this project for about 2 months and Amy's challenge was the kick in the butt that I needed to complete it.  I had several pinterest projects that inspired this.  Some were chalkboard projects and some were quotation pins.  I just put them together into one canvas.  I gesso'd a flat 8 x 10 and then painted it with chalkboard paint.  Then I made stencils for the letters using some system fonts I have, Botanicals and ChalkBoard fonts.  I used a chalkboard marker to create the letters on the canvas.  I added some doodling dots around the words and along the outside edge of the canvas.  I heat embossed the ship with white detail embossing powder.  I was stumped on what I was going to use for the anchor until I walked into Joann's one day and there in the summer section were these 5 inch metal anchors - ON CLEARANCE!.  Providence I tell you!   I wrapped it with jute twine and popped it off the canvas with - wait for it - magnets!  Before I adhered to magnets to the canvas with E6000, I took one of my granddaughter's blue sidewalk chalks and rubbed the long edge across the surface of the canvas and then wiped with a dry paper towel for a really chalked looking surface.   I made this for friend going through some rough times right now.  I think it fits.

Thanks for stopping by and I cannot WAIT for next year's NSD challenges!

Pin It!: NSD Challenge 2015


Colleen's challenge was to actually do SOMETHING with one of the gazillion pins we have pinned on Pinterest!  Like most people, I happily go about collecting those little bad boys and never go back and use them for inspiration!  Colleen challenged us to actually recreate one of those pins, so after I remembered what my pinterest password was, I decided I would recreate this pin from http://davebrethauer.typepad.com/outsidethebox/2012/04/dogwoods-in-springtime.html


and here's my version.

Be sure to stop by Colleen's blog and see the fabulous layout she did based on a Maggie Holmes layout.  And remember to USE those pins to INSPIRE you!  Thanks for stopping by!

Leave You in Stitches: NSD Challenge 2015

Maria's challenge was to add some stitching, any kind of stitching (even fake!) to our projects. 

I happen to get along quite well with my sewing machine and love to add stitching to my cards and layouts, but for the layout I had in mind, gold embroidery thread was on the menu and so this required some delicate hand stitching.  Here I accented the corners of my shiny gold layout with shiny gold metallic back stitching.  I just love how this turned out.  And although David really should have been in the picture instead of me (that's HIS mother), I wanted us four generations of women.  Since my mother in-law in approaching 92, these opportunities for pictures may not last must longer.  This was Tacoah's First Holy Communion.

Be sure to stop by Maria's blog and she has a great project and some awesome tips on adding stitching to your projects.  Thanks for stopping by!

Let's Get Sketchy!!: NSD Challenge 2015

Jenny K's challenge was to create a project using a sketch that she provided from Scrapbook & Cards Pagemaps from their Planner and Sketch Calendar.  I love these kind of challenges because they require me to dig though my paper stash and actually create layouts.  Since I do cards most of the time, this sometimes gets me out of my crafting rut.

Here's the sketch we were to follow.

and here's my take on it.  I just dug through my papers and used stash that matched my picture and my mood.  Be sure to stop by Jenny's blog to see her take on this very awesome sketch.  Thanks for stopping by!

Just Hanging Around: NSD Challenge 2015

Heidi's challenge was to have fun using banners.  Either create a banner or use a miniature on a card or layout, etc.  Unfortunately this challenge came a little too late for Tacoah's First Communion and I really have no other upcoming occasions suitable for a banner, so I decided to create a "just because" banner to hang
over my craftroom door.  It says, simply, C R E A T E.  I also found these really cool scotch 3M clothespins to hang it from!  And as it turned out, Heidi and I used the EXACT SAME PAPER for our base pennants!  How cool is that?  Be sure to hop over to her blog to check our her birthday banner and pennant styled card.  I promise you they're AWESOME!

Thanks for stopping by!

WWW Snackdown: NSD Challenge 2015

Jenny asked us......ARE YOU READY TO C R U M B L E !
She made a darling layout with little bears and lemonade AND a pizza box gift card holder!
Her challenge to us was to make a food related project.  And since I had just discovered where I hid my Easter licorice jellybeans, I'm guessing you can figure out what my layout was about!  And YES!  I ate the whole dang bag!!!  I stuck with a black & white layout to accentuate my licorice jellybeans.  Seems only one of my other circle sisters will get near the things.  That's ok - more for us to eat!
Thanks for stopping by!


Ready, Set, Emboss: NSD Challenge 2015

Erika challenged us to emboss our next project, dry, heat, wax resist, etc or all of the above!  Check out her blog as she did some great projects and even posted link to some helpful videos!

I tried a new technique by painting my embossing folder with an acrylic "wash".  Just a fancy term for diluted paint.  I ran the paper through once to get most of the paint off because I was going for a subtle effect.  It's hard to see in the picture, but I think I achieved what I was going for.  Erika was handing out extra points for multiple embossing techniques AND using cricut cuts, so I also heat embossed my sentiment and made some borders using Paper Lace 2.   I also finished using up my teal and purple paper from my color challenge!  woot! woot!

Thanks for stopping by!

Illuminate Your Creativity: NSD Challenge 2015

When jojoy over on the Cricut Circle MB posted a tutorial on creating luminaries and said they were easy, I was like, yea right.  Nuttin' is easy.  But you know what???  She was RIGHT!  The was the fastest of all the challenges I did.  The longest part was deciding what image I wanted for my luminary and eventually chose this one from Folk Art Festival.

My son happened to be visiting that day and took my luminary on his way out the door.  I guess I will have to create another one.  Which means buying more shimmer paper.  :-)   If you have Monster Bash and Folk Art Festival, you can try one using this file.  I promise they are easy!  And make GREAT bathroom night lights!


Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Crafting With Negative Nelly: NSD Challenge 2015

Sara's challenge to us was to Use the Negative Portion of Our Cut to create a project.  I decided I needed to do something with moons and stars because I snapped this pic of my granddaughter totally immersed in the Weather Channel.  I think she will become a meteorologist or as she prefers, a storm chaser.  We've had a least 5 tornadoes heading towards us in the mountains of West Virginia in the last couple of weeks. :-)   I created this overlay and backed it with some coordinating pattern papers.  I even reused the stars left over from the negative.  This was a fun challenge and I think I will be doing more of this.  Most of the time I just throw the negatives away.  Hmmm...maybe I need another "scraps to save" pile.  hehe

Be sure to head over to Sara's blog to see the awesome project she created for this challenge.  Thanks for stopping by!

Tag, You're It: NSD Challenge 2015

Colleen said Tag, You're IT!  Break out those tags and used them on a project instead of HOARDING them!  Ok, ok.  Now since I am hosting a few challenges myself and will need some Thank you cards to send out with the goodies, I figured this may be a good place for me to use those tags.

My challenge entry ~

This was really fun challenge because I got to play with some bright polka dolts, some baker's twine AND gold embossing powder.  swoon!  And I'll be able to get those goodies out the door that much faster when the challenge times are up.  Be sure to stop over at Colleen's blog and see all her wonderful loveliness.  She's got a great layout using tags.  Thanks for stopping by and dig out those tags!

Picture This!: NSD Challenge 2015

The next challenge that I worked on was a "framed" project. 

These were the rules:

1) You must incorporate a song title, or song verse into the project.
2) This is a "framed" project. The frame can be bought, homemade, paper, wood that is up to you!
3) The lyrics can be vinyl, paper, leather, metal, grungeboard, chipboard, printed with the Explore or Imagine--anything goes!!

Since I have like TWO framed pictures in my entire home (I dislike dusting), it was just a matter of eeny, meeny, miney, mo and then figuring out what verse to put on mo.  Here's what I came up with.

Sherry was right.  This was a really quick project with instant gratification.  You can go to her blog here to see more Picture This! inspiration.  Thanks for stopping by!

Spring Into Action: NSD 2015 Challenge

We have a bunch of creative ladies working on all kinds of challenges over on the Cricut Circle message board.  The first challenge I worked on was actually a timed challenge.  We had about 90 minutes from the time the challenge was posted by the the lovely Jenny D. to create something with a spring theme.

Here's my entry.  A tag is simple enough to make in 90 minutes, right?  lol  Let me tell you, this thing came right down to the wire.  But ~ it sure does wonders to jump start your creativity and prepare you for the challenges to come. 

I started with a #8 manila tag and stamped with embossing ink and heat set with white detail embossing power.  Over that, I added bright yellow dylusions ink.  The embellishments were all from my stash ~ K&C Company.  I even heat set the ribbon.  This was a fun challenge as I just love making tags.  They are little works of art.   Thanks for stopping by and I hope you tried this challenge too!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

NSD 2015 Challenge: Show Your True Colors

 Happy National Scrapbooking Day!

I love beautiful colors, don't you?  I've noticed a recent trend with purple and teal.  It seems to be everywhere.  So your color challenge is to make a project - card, layout, tag, altered item, anything you want! - using this color palette. You can use paper, colored pencils, markers, crayons, gelatos, paint, you get the idea.  Anything goes!

 Not fond of dark colors?  Ok, then I will give you an alternate choice.  How about coral, yellow and gray?
Springy right?  And it also happens to be just PERFECT for Mother's Day!

 Here's my take on both color palettes.  I chose to do cards because I have a lot of them to make in May.  As you can see, my color challenge also includes a little coloring.  I used water color pencils to complete the design on the front of this card.  Who says coloring is just for kids?? lol

And because I was in the mood to do some painting, I decided a canvas combining the two palettes would be cool.

Now it's your turn.  If you absolutely dislike both color palettes, pick one you do like and tell me what your inspiration was when you post your project.  Show me what you got!

Post your project on the Cricut Circle Message Board under the Show Your True Colors thread for a chance to win there. And leave me a link here to your project in the comments for a chance to win here.  If you aren't a Circle member, just post a link in the comments where I can find your project.  Any gallery or forum will do.

Even if you don't have time to make a project, describe to me what your project would be and I'll enter you anyway.

Two winners will be drawn (one each from the message board and blog entries) to win a set of Prisma colored pencils and water brush markers. Make sure I know how to find you!

AND each person who posts a project (either a link here or on the MB), will be entered to win my Canvas! You have until midnight, May 17th to complete this challenge and Tacoah will pick the winners on May 18th.  Have fun!  And if you aren't already a follower, please consider joining.  I always love to see new "faces" and I treasure each one of your comments.

And be sure to check out these blogs over the weekend for even more NSD fun!

NSD 2015 Challenge: Some Assembly Required: A tutorial

Happy National Scrapbooking Day!!

Have you ever made a box card?  If so, did you struggle with embellishing it?  Well, have I got an easier way for you!  And if you've never made one, now is your chance.  They are fun to make and are really great cards for themed occasions.

There are many DS and Craftroom files out there (+ SVGs) to create your box card.  I used one that I got from Narelle on her blog here.   I did modify the size to the full width of a 12/12 sheet.  Her file comes with two types of inserts.  I use a 2 layer insert versus 3, especially when I am mailing.  It creates less bulk.  If you don’t want to use a Cricut, this card is easy to cut by hand.  The dimensions are
11.5 inches wide by 6.5 inches tall
On one of the short edges remove a .5 inch wide by 3 inch section, leaving a tab on the bottom.

Note that this is the inside of my card.  When using paper that is single sided, I always put the pattern
on the inside.  Just my preference because I don’t like it plain on the inside.

Score 3.5 inches in on the long edge starting on the end with the .5 inch tab for 8 inches.  This score line should not extend the last 2.75 inches as that will be the back of your card.  Turn the paper and cut to the score line every 2.75 inches (3 times).   On the opposite side of your cut lines, score, the paper from the edge to the center score line every  2.75 inches (3 times).  Start from the edge that has the .5 inch tab.  It should look like the picture below when you are finished.  

A double insert is 8.5 inches by 2.75 inches.
Score at 1 inch, 3.75 inches, 4.75 inches and 7.5  inches.

Add 2-sided tape in between the center score lines.  At this point it is also helpful to put a little pencil mark at the top edge of this section, directly in the center.  You will use this later to line it up to your card.

Next you will cut any decorative layers.  If you layer each panel with one layer, you will need 9 layers (plus one long one for the back) - 6 for the top 3 flaps and 3 for the bottom outside panels.  You can adhere all layers EXCEPT the back panel at this point. 

 Next, gather and/or make your embellishments.  To give height to the elements inside the box, you can use clear acetate or clam shell packaging like I did here with the balloons and pinwheels.

The next step is to add your inside elements to the box insert.  Below is a front and back view of what that looks like.  After you have completed adding the insert embellishments, you can seal the other end of the insert and attach two-sided tape to the outside of the newly closed end.


Back on the box, find the center of this panel (marked by arrow) and mark it near the score line at the top.  Do the same thing on the panel on the far right.  These are the side panels of your box card and this is
where your insert will be attached.

Peel the tape off of the side that will be attached first.  It should be the side closest to the back of the box card.  Make SURE it is facing the right direction.  Line up the tick mark on the insert with the tick mark on the panel at or just below the score line and adhere.

Wrap the front and side panel around and remove the tape on the other side of the insert.  Align the tick marks and adhere.  Now only the back of the box should be open.

Peel the tape from the tape and close the box – the tab will be on the outside, but that’s ok, you will cover this.

Add your back panel.  Lay on some more embellishments (just be careful if you have to mail that you don’t make it so thick you can’t fold it down!) And your box card is complete!

To fold it, just lay the card on its back and press down on either of the front corners. You can add ribbon under the flaps and attach a little tag with a greeting if you wish.  The beauty of these cards is that you can make them as simple or elaborate as you wish.  And by decorating  BEFORE you assemble, the process goes much smoother.

Now let’s see what you come up with!    And there is  a prize! 

Post your project on the Cricut Circle Message Board under the NSD 2015 Some Assembly Required thread for chance to win some stamp sets.  If you are not a Circle member, you can still play.  Leave me a link in the comments here  to any gallery or forum where I can find your project and you will also be entered in the drawing for some stamp sets.

Even if you can't participate, let me know if this tutorial was helpful to you and if you'll try a box card later via a comment here on my blog and I will still enter you into a drawing

for a small booby prize (why do they call it that???)

You have until midnight, May 17th to complete this challenge and Tacoah will pick the winners on May 18th.  Have fun with it!  And if you aren't already a follower, please consider joining.  I always love to see new "faces" and I treasure each one of your comments.

Also be sure to check out the following blogs over the weekend for more crafty NSD fun!