Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone! We're going to have an extremely hectic schedule over the next week so I won't be posting. I'll start up again January 1st! Hope everyone has a fun, safe, holiday season. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Best Laid Plans...

Just when I thought I had a handle on Christmas shopping, just went I was nearing the end of my baking, just when I was beginning to dare to imagine that I would be ready in time.... CRASH! My van decided to attempt suicide. Nobody was driving- it was just parked in the driveway like any other ordinary day and it decided to roll it's way over the driveway, down the hill and into a little tree.
The tree is fine.. barely a scratch. The van needs thousands of dollars of repair.
So instead of crafting or baking or shopping I am now getting estimates for auto body work and paint jobs. I was angry and feeling sorry for myself...but, then we got a phone call that changed everything.
My husband is on vacation this week- but, his work keeps calling him on his cell phone to ask oh so important questions. Yesterday after an auto body trip his phone went off and he ignored it-- "Oh, go ahead and answer it", I said, knowing full well that he wanted to- a man on the other end wanted to know directions to a job site and didn't realize Don was on vacation. I asked who he was and Don told me a little about him.. things like "Nice Guy" and "Good Worker." This morning my husband got a phone call that, that same man passed away last night. Talk about putting things in perspective. I think I will feel blessed no one was in or in the path of my van when it decided to take it's stroll and be happy with what I do get accomplished for Christmas instead of being frustrated with what isn't done. It's going to be a very Merry Holiday as we are all happy, healthy and together.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gifts for Friends

The inside of the lunchboxes are home to a Moms Emergency Kit.

Each kit has Vaseline, WD-40, Balloons and Hairspray and a list of what you can do with them.

Vaseline- It's an instant lip-gloss and moisturizer, soothes sunburn or diaper rash, shines shoes, removes adhesive bandages painlessly and helps stuck zippers glide.

Aerosol hairspray- Halts a run in panyhose, removes ink stains, laminates kids artwork, doubles as a craft glue, and will exterminate the bumble bee that refuses to leave your minivan.

Balloons- Fill with cold water for an instant cold pack for bumps, bruises or broken bones. Makes an instant game of impromptu soccer or volleyball or a science lesson on static electricity.

WD-40- Quiets a squeaky stroller wheel- Fixes a bum wheel on a shopping cart. It also removes chewing gum from hair, crayon marks from walls and stickers from just about any surface.

These are small enough to tuck into a purse, beach bag or leave in a glove compartment.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Today I'll be busy baking cookies with the help of both my son's and my oldest sons' girlfriend Anna. We are planning on being a baking machine. I love taking baked goods to friends and neighbors. I've been doing it for years and last year when I just didn't get them made there was almost an uproar as people have come to depend on me bringing them. Who knew?
Over the years I've made cookies out of paper too! For the title above I used seed beads as "sprinkles" and a product called Glass Effects to hold them in place.
For the recipe page below I used paper clay. I used real cinnamom on them before I baked them then sealed them with a clear sealant. I loved the way they turned out and while they make a big impact on my layout they weigh next to nothing. Really Fun!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Plan Ahead

For really great holiday layouts think about photographs you'd love to have before the big day arrives and make a mental list or even write it down. It's so easy in the excitement and hustle of the day to forget to take some of the shots you were hoping to snap.
For the layout above I wanted to scrap about my Father In Law and how all his Grand kids gather at his feet as he reads about the first Christmas from the Bible. Shots on my list for this year include:

1). Cookies - there are a bunch of cookies that have been holiday traditions in our
celebration and this year I want to get pictures of the actual cookies themselves
and of people baking them.

2). Santa's cookie plate - cookies partially eaten, crumpled napkin and all.

3). Kids sleeping in their beds on Christmas Eve.

4). Stuffed Stockings along the mantel.

5). Special ornaments hanging on the tree. I may have everyone hold up their favorite
ornament and tell me why they love it so much.

6). The piles of wrapping and bows that collect on the floor after the unwrapping

Think about what makes your holiday celebration uniquely your own- in my opinion this is what makes a layout truly great!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I've been making things from felted wool for years. It's a craft that I am drawn to again and again. This week while watching TV in the evenings I've been making these
cute snowmen! I will use them on packages tied in with my bows, they can be hung as ornaments, or used for embellishments on Scrapbook pages or Christmas Cards.

I purchase wool clothing (skirts yeild the most wool) from Thrift stores, bring it home and felt it and then use it for my wool creations. The pattern was found in a Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Crafts magazine.

If you like the look of felt in your scrapbooks I think this takes it one step further- with a much more professional, finished appearance. Better yet, the average
skirt can be purchased at a thrift store for under $3.00! Making it a very thrifty craft material.

Best of all - you'll have darling embellishments made by you!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Magic

Last year I made globe ornament cards for my Mom and my In-laws. They were so much fun to make. Inside each ornament is a rubberband that makes the "magic". The WOW factor is that the ornament card folds flat into the envelope- but, when you pull it out - it magically springs into a globe or ornament form!

To decorate the outside of the card I used my Cricut to cut out a variety of cute
Christmas related characters and used flat embellishments so that when mailed I wouldn't have to pay for hand cancelling. Which not only is more expensive, it causes delays in mailing. I also used rub-ons for the greeting, but a rubber stamp
would have worked just as well.

The globe ornaments were a big hit with both families hanging them on their trees.
I would love to make more of these in the future- but, with family photographs and a more elegant theme. I think it would be awesome to make these each year with photographs of the years' family highlights.

My cards this year have a different kind of WOW - thanks to my husband who last weekend suggested that we stop in the town of Bethlehem, GA and mail my cards. There they postmark them with a big cancellation from Bethlehem, complete with a Nativity

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Paper Piercing

I am constantly amazed by all the different ways to work with paper and nothing thrills me more than learning about and trying new techniques. This morning I tried my hand at paper piercing for the first time. I am astounded that something as simple as pushing holes into paper can produce something so delicate and beautiful.

To make this dove ornament I used your run of the mill white cardstock that you buy where copier paper is sold. It's acid free and you get 400 sheets for under $5.00.
I could have cut the pieces for at least 2 birds from a single sheet! Now that's a bargain.

To make the holes I first tried using a regular sewing needle- but, my gripping fingers quickly tired. Then I tried using a push pin with more comfort
and success.

An important thing to remember is that the "right" side isn't the side
of the paper where you put the pin in- but, the back side where the little bump is
formed. I also ended up putting a cork coaster underneath the paper while I was piercing, a mouse pad would work just as well.

I really enjoyed this technique and can see it being used in to many ways. Subtle and elegant- perfect for wedding layouts and embellishments. With a zero cost factor
paper piecing is a keeper in my bag of tricks.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Little Gifts

This weekend I started concentrating on "little gifts". By little gifts I mean those for people you want to say a little thank-you to or for those you want to do a little something for to show you care. This weekend in between a zillion Mom's taxi runs I worked on making Santa Candy Bar Jackets.

I'm tickled at the way they turned out. The pattern for the Jacket is by Windows of Time. I used Cadberry Dark Chocolate bars- removed the wrappers and got busy. It felt like Santa's Workshop with a dozen bars all lined up in various stages of production. Don't you love when you have a gift you are excited to give? I have to warn you - making these becomes an addiction. The more I made the more people I thought of who deserved a little chocolate. I see another Candy Bar Jacket Day in my near future.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

"Tis the Season to be Crafty!

Whew- I've been busy lately making all sorts of things for the holidays.
Including these cool chipboard ornaments. The chipboard and paper is
by Cosmo Cricket. I just glue the paper to the chipboard, trim and sand the edges with a fingernail file and add some Tim Holtz Distress Ink to give them a look of age. Then I add a little copper glitter and a cool copper hanger. I bought a box 1000 copper "fasteners" at an estate sale for $1.00. I have no idea what they are really for... maybe paperclips. But, I think they give my tags an extra cool touch.

I am thinking of using them as gift tags on my packages and wrapping my packages in brown shipping paper instead of printed gift wrap and using torn strips of fabric in place of ribbon. We'll see. Time is ticking and I have yet to purchase gift 1! Eeek.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Dreary Winter Day

As soon as the sun came up this morning you could tell it was going to be one of those day gray days. Winter is definately here. Part of me is glad because it has been so warm and sunny that I can't get into the Christmas spirit. Another part of me misses the sunshine. So I thought I would bring a little summer to my blog today.
This layout is from a trip we took to the beach. We love to catch blue crab! As a scrapper I have always done my own layout and design work.

This crab layout is the first time I have ever worked from a sketch and I loved it! Using the sketch allowed me to focus more on my paper choices and embellishments and took some of the guess work out of designing. If you've never used a sketch you should try it. You can find a bunch of awesome sketches here:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

What a Hoot!

This year for Christmas Cards for a swap group I participate in every year I made Santa Owl Cards. Over the years I've done everything traditional and wanted to make something different that nobody else would do. I tried to jazz him up a bit- with a glittery beak and by using velvet paper for his hat, wings and legs and a faux leather paper for the branch. I like him- he makes me grin. The inspiration for the card came from a lone, wrinkled old bar napkin, probably from the 70's I found when helping my Mom move. You never know where an idea will come from if you alway keep your eyes open.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Gift Scrapping

I think we often forget that scrapping isn't just about fabulous layouts and clever design. We need to remember that sometimes the most special ideas are about the way we group and preserve memories. This year for Christmas I am giving my sister a small album full of nothing but Christmas memories and traditions. It dawned on me recently that no matter what has been going on in our lives, no matter where we have moved that we have spent every single Christmas together- even if it has been just for a day or a few hours. This is quite a feat considering we live over 700 miles apart from one another!

For this small album I don't have time to put together intricate magazine worthy layouts- but, I do have time to include photographs of everyone in the family- those that are with us still and those that we have lost and a little something about them and how they have made our holidays special.

In between certain pages I've also included recipes from family members featured in the album that have become a special part of our tradition.
I made sure to make the album expandable so that I can add pages as our family continues to grow and as new traditions are formed.

Using binder rings as my binding allows not only for expansion, but the book can lay flat when opened and recipe cards can be removed when being used.
It may not be my best scrapping as far as critics are concerned- but, it is definately one of my favorite things I have ever scrapped. I'm hoping my sister will love it as much as I do and that it will become something she will pass down to my neice so that she can carry on some of our traditions and will remember exactly who they came from and where they started. For me- this is what scrapping is truly about...this is why I scrap.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Rick Rack

I love Rick-Rack! There is just something about it that says handmade. Usually we use it in a straight continuous line. But, what happens if we cut it apart? For some of my Christmas Cards this year I did just that... cut and cut and cut in the center of every other "bump" (or are those ricks??)

By staggering them I was able
to create what I think is a very charming Christmas Tree. It takes 10 ricks per tree. I kind of like the plain, simple country look of my card- but, there is a part of me tempted to decorate the tree. Maybe some sequins? Or maybe some packages under the tree. My youngest son thinks it needs a star at the top of the tree. For now I am content with keeping it simple.

Sometimes less is more!