Sneak Peek!

I just couldn't help myself...I had to give you a sneak peek for what I'm contributing to the inaugural challenge with Friendship's Garden!
The blog hop/first challenge will be October 5th, with blog-candy-giveaway-goodness galore!!

Make sure to follow my blog, as well as Friendship's Garden's blog to not miss a thing!!


Blog Hopping 095

(*Sorry for the weird look of this post before now...I tried mobile blogging, with an obvious epic fail!*)

Yep, this is a remedial course. Don’t worry, though, I don’t have out my red pen and I won’t be correcting any mistakes (except for grammatical ones…that’s genetic and I can’t help it). I’m not sure what I believe qualifies me to teach this course, except that if you’ve never hopped along on a blog hop, I’ve done one more than you have.   Admittedly, this post isn’t going to be for everybody. This one goes out to all of my new blogging newbie friends and specifically all of my hometown peeps who I’m dragging into the blogging world kicking and screaming (ok, maybe not the kicking part, but I swear I’ve heard them screaming from time to time).   Last weekend and this weekend was and will be two big firsts in my blogging career: bog hops. I ‘attended’ my first blog hop with The Twinery, and will be a host site in my first blog hop this coming weekend with the Ghoultide Blog Hop (and I have several more scheduled!). Hops are incredibly easy to participate in and you get tons of great ideas, tip and tricks along the way (and most of the times a chance at a bit o’ candy at the end if you follow all of the rules!)     I’ll run down the basics (given my vast experience, and all…) of the how-to’s of hopping so none of you have any reason not to participate this weekend!    

#1: Start with #1
Let’s start at the very beginning…a very good place to start…(sorry. Showtunes ~even annoying ones~ run in my blood, too) Logical enough, though, right? You always want to start with the first blog in the lineup so you don’t go getting yourself lost in the vastness of the interwebs without your trail of breadcrumbs leading you back home. The easiest way to get to the beginning of the hop is by either clicking the ‘button’ for the hop (located on my right hand sidebar – you know, the one that had the name and date of the hop on it) or by following the link that I’ll post to Facebook the beginning day of the hop. But, if you find yourself here and I don’t happen to be the first blog along the route, the beginning of my post on the subject will direct you back to the starting line. You’re usually allowed to do the blog hop at any time of the day (unless they’re getting extremely specific, which isn’t likely), just as long as you follow rule #3 on the day of the hop. Hops may span over one day, two days, a week or more.  

#2: One links to the next
 At the end of each post, you’ll be guided to the next stop with clear instructions, usually something along the lines of click here to visit the next blog post over at Susie Q’s. This part’s mildly self-explanatory.

#3: Leave some love
It’s usually a requirement, to prove that you’ve at least glanced at each blog, to leave a comment on the post. It’s also really nice when you choose to follow the site (but this might be more of a topic for Blog Hopping 101). Comments and followers to your blog makes the blog owner feel an odd sense of accomplishment and worth, even if it’s just an “I love your LO” blurb.

#4: Finish at the end
Again, hello. Not rocket science here, but make sure you start at the beginning and finish at the end. A lot of hops have what’s called Blog Candy (aka a prize) for hopping along the sites and commenting as you go (Yea! Virtual breadcrumbs!!)    

Want to practice? Here’s the link for the first day of The Twinery’s blog hop (note: the individual blogs might have published another post since then, so the blog hop post might not be the most recent one anymore).  

Like I said, I have a lot of these coming up in the next several weeks, so hit that little follow or subscribe button to get my updates!

Ok, now who’s with me?? Leave me a comment on this post for some practice in leaving some love and let me know if you’re in for the Ghoultide Hop this Saturday!!


Cleaning Up the Scraps

I love using letters. Chipboard, felt, fabric, stickers...I use them all.
I usually buy them in sets like these:
Thickers, by American Crafts
Stampin' Up! Chipboard

But I always end up with this:

and rarely do I want to spell "vwxpk" on a project.
{maybe it would help to learn Pig Latin.} 

I wanted to do a layout using random scraps of leftover letters, even altering some letters to fit the words I could come up with.

This is what I created:

I didn't want a fussy background, so I used a plain sheet of blue 12x12 cardstock and scored a few lines into it using a scoring board.

Here is a rundown of the altered letters:

Not my typical, fancy, frilly, clustered page, but I loved getting all of my spare letters out and actually using them! 
I have to keep reminding myself that it doesn't always matter that a page is magazine worthy, just that it gets what's on your heart onto the paper for generations down the line to enjoy. I hope you did!


Talk about a challenge!!

So it's been quite some since we've chatted! I know everyone says that life just keeps getting busier and busier as the kids get older, but I'm not sure that's physically possible!! I've been running around like crazy between work, teaching dance classes, meetings, deadlines and making sure to spend as much time as I possibly can loving on my kiddos.

Last night I took Bubby Boy with me on a few errands and took him to the library for the first time. He just turned three, and he was thrilled at all of the books on shelves just his size. After the library, it was off to check in on the musical rehearsal, pick up pizza for dinner, and back home in time to feed the masses and toss the kids in bed (which is when crafty time begins!!).

I was given the challenge to make a few cards. I'm a casual card maker, but I mainly stick to my comfortable 12x12's. Just think of a card as a mini-album with one page, right? The only rule for the design of the card was that nothing on the card could be stamped. Now usually you would expect to hear the opposite: everything stamped. Right? But think of the time savings by not getting out all of the stamping supplies! This should be a quick project and still get me into bed at a decent hour.


All went extremely well finding my card base and picking out some Stampin' Up! paper.

I used a little scrap piece of the same paper pack to make some grass: (this is where Martha Stewart's Fringe Scissors come in handy)

I added some ric rac to the top to pull out some of the contrasting colors in the paper, and theeeeeeeeen I needed words.

Without stamping.

My handwriting isn't atrocious, but it's definitely not front-of-the-card worthy.

Looking through my rub-on's, stickers and embellishments, I couldn't find anything that would really tie in to my cards, so I turned to the only other option I could think of:

My typewriter.

So technically, this is a stamp. I guess. Ink onto the page from a molded form. But for all intensive purposes, it's not today's 'classic stamp', so I'm letting myself off the hook for this one. I took a few more scraps of the same Stampin' Up! paper pack, typed away, and adhered them to the card, et voila! Card number one done!

I stuck with the same paper pack for my second card (hey, it was already out. It was getting late at this point. Oh, and look at that...the same ric rac :)

I took a duplicate piece of my background paper and traced one of the houses in my contrasting color: orange. I cut the traced shape out and adhered it with foam adhesive for some depth.

I inked up the edges (as always) of my scrap piece of layering card stock, as well as the scrap I used to type my phrase on. I Glue Dot-ted the ribbons to the top and the button in place, and BADDA BAM! Done.

In all reality, if I were to sit and make these cards again, they might take all of 10 minutes to complete. Stick with simplicity- one paper pack usually will coordinate with itself with endless combinations!

Simple, easy and cute!

*UPDATE* I'm thrilled to announce that this "challenge" was a kind-of audition for a new design team I've been chosen for: Friendship's Challenge! 'Like' them on Facebook here and look for lots more from that soon!!


{guess. what.}




yeah, you.

wanna know a secret??

i applied to be on a design team.
{a what?}
{a design team. kind of like working for a totally sweet company, but instead of getting paid in $$, you get to use their product. and i'm pretty sure i might get an awesome new apron}.

{i think}.

soooooo, without further adieu, I found out today that I was accepted to be......


You regulars know that I'm always using Glue Dots.
Every project, every time.

So if this is your first stop in, consider me addicted! {oh. and welcome}.

I can't wait to see where this awesome road leads; i'm sure there is much, much more to come! Thanks for joining me on the journey!


Creating Keepsakes Sketch Challange

I've been looking at a set of pictures for weeks now, having the desire, but no inspiration, to get them onto a page. I'd lay them out, sort through paper, dig through embellishments, just to put it all away again, getting nowhere.

This is where sketches and sketch challenges spark my motivation and creativity.

Creating Keepsakes (a magazine I love, but the way) posted a call for a family themed page following a provided sketch:

Ok! This I can do!

I pulled out my troublesome (but oh so cute) photos of our family game night and went to work.

The paper I started with was the basic idea of what I wanted, but to make something appeal to my tastes, it has to be distressed beyond recognition, soooo.....

I took one of my small $1 ink pads (that I use more than anything else, really!) and lightly (and accidentally not so lightly in spots!) rubbed it onto the page. There are many, many ways to achieve this distressed look: using chalks you'll get more of a lighter, more controlled look, and using a spray mist is also another option, just to name two.

My Mind's Eye - Alphabet Soup Boy Cardstock Accessory Sheet
I sorted through my embellishments (again, and for the last time for these pictures, I might add!) and pulled out the little darlings that would fit on this page. I found a My Mind's Eye sheet of cardstock accessory shapes that matched perfectly with my newly distressed paper:

I loved the 4x6 frame of circles, but, following the sketch, needed a ditty to go above the pictures at the top of the page. I cut apart the sides to look like this:

The next embellishment I wanted was a pennant banner, and I knew I didn't have any pre-made. Luckily for me, these aren't too hard to figure out.
I took a piece of coordinating paper and gave it the same ink distressing treatment (a little gentler this time!). I cut one inch(ish) strips of the inked paper, and cut the strips into triangles.

With all of my embellishments ready, I started putting all of my elements onto my page for a rough idea of where I wanted everything to go:

This gives me an opportunity to set everything out, walk away from it (ok, you caught me...the kids woke up from their nap, so now I have to wait until bed time!) and come back to switch around anything that looks out of place.

One touch that I added to ALL embellishments going on the page (and on every page I do, really) is what I call 'edging'. I use the broad tip of my pens to ink around each piece on the page, before they're adhered. This gives a great definition to the pieces and adds cohesiveness, too.

I ended up switching a few things around, adding a few more elements, and finally adhered everything down with Glue Dots and with my sewing machine to top the banners, as well.

Completed page

So when you feel like you're getting nowhere, go somewhere!! Ask a friend, look at a website, or, better yet, keep stopping by here to get the best of both!!