Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Where has the year gone?

Woo Hoo! What a ride 2010 has been!  Is it just me or did this year fly by faster than ever? 

I started my blog almost a year ago. I remember exploring blogger over my Christmas holidays trying to see if I could actually figure out how to do this, and trying to decide how much of a commitment I was willing to make to it.  Well, I must say I am sure glad I took the leap. I have joined in a few challenges and have pushed my creative self out of my box.  I have been surprised by how many visitors I have had, and by all the lovely comments that have been left on my posts.  Thank you readers and followers for enabling my craft obsession hobby!

I have been struggling with a back injury, and have been advised to take a break from my job for a couple of months. I'm doing meds, physio, specialists and trying to exercise at home. I'm so glad to have my hobbies,  my Google Reader and this blog as a distraction from all of that.

My kids have been having a great year at school, straight A's for both of them. Getting a dog has been such a good thing to get the kids to take on some responsibility at home, and they have both grown so much in both maturity and height.  My 11 yr old daughter is almost as tall as me already, and my 9 yr old son can wear my shoes (I'm not dainty, 5'7" and wear size 8 shoes!)

My hubby has gone from employee with benefits to independent contractor, without too many glitches. This was a major adjustment for me, and I struggled with so many "what if's".  This also means we now have an accountant and I don't have to do the taxes this year. Yippee!

At my family reunion in August, I was given my Grandmother's family ring as I am the oldest granddaughter.  She had 17 children, so it's a beautiful custom ring with 4 rows of birthstones in it.  She wore this ring every day, but I only take it out for special occasions. I am to pass this on to my daughter, as she is the oldest great-granddaughter. It is the first family heirloom for us, and it was a very special moment for me when my aunts presented me with it. I would much rather have my Grandmother here, but I will always cherish her ring.

All in all, it was a good year.

I am SO excited for 2011!  
I can't go into specifics just yet, but I have big news!  
I also have a surprise for my followers, but I'm keeping it a secret for a few more days.

You'll just have to check back to get all the details. :)

Happy almost New Year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I want to wish all of my blog friends
 a very Merry Christmas! 

I hope Santa is good to you,
and that you have a safe
and happy holiday with your loved ones.

May God bless you all 
with health and happiness!


Friday, December 24, 2010

Dreaming of a White Christmas...

I made this card for my parents, had to make it big (5x7") to include kid's school portraits. I don't know why I don't make big cards more often, they just seem more festive somehow...

I was feeling the white....
Cut the snowflakes on my Cricut using Home Accents cartridge. Dabbed them with liquid glue and covered them with glitter. Arranged the snowflakes in a wreath circle, added adhesive pearls and ribbon. The sentiment is embossed in a silver pearl color (tough to photograph the sheen, but it's real purty IRL), and I used a pearl paint brushed on the edges for some extra shine. 
I like how this turned out, I wanted something simple and elegant and I think this works.
And, it was easy to make :)

Merry Christmas!

All CTMH Products
Cardstock: White Daisy
Stamps: C1281 Card Commentary and C1379 Holiday Commentary
Z678 Silver Pearl Embossing Powder
Z1039 Pearl Paint
Z1336 Pearl Opaques 1/2 pearls
Z134 Prisma Glitter
Craft Heater
paint brush
White ribbon from my stash

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Need a little gift bag?

This is my second post today, can you believe it? I've actually had these done for a few days, but am only getting a chance to post them to my blog now.  I'm sure you are all having a crazy week too!

Need a last minute pretty package for a little gift or stocking stuffers? Why not use up some of that ancient printed paper or cardstock that you have laying around? (Admit it, you have stuff that you bought because it was on sale and have never used...)

Try these simple 2-5-7-10 boxes.  A full tutorial can be found HERE at Splitcoast Stampers.

Each of these were made with a single 81/2 x 11" sheet of double sided cardstock. This particular paper was in a bulk pack from Costco that I have had forever. The stamp is from SU, cut circles out of coordinating cs with my Cricut.  Used a length of twill ribbon threaded through holes to fasten the top.

I needed these to be a bit taller, so I used a 12x11"  sheet of Costco cardstock, used the same score measurements of 2-5-7-10 along the 11" side, and altered the score lines on the 12" side to 2" and 10 1/2" (see tutorial).  I cut the tags with my Cricut and Storybook cartridge, used CTMH stamps C1427 I Believe and C1379 Holiday Commentary with gold embossing powder. To make the fastener for these, I threaded a loop of stretchy gold cord through a pierced hole, and knotted it at the inside so it stays. The loop can be hooked around a gold brad to keep the top closed. Embellished with a bit of gold ribbon, a bit of bling and some punched pine branches.

I think both sizes turned out pretty nice, and these came together very quickly.
Best of all, they were made from stuff I had in my stash!

Merry Christmas!

Holiday Dough!

I have a nephew who is saving his money for a school trip to Quebec, and his mom told me he wanted cash for Christmas. Well, that's just boring. Not the cash part, who doesn't like cash? But I think he should get some presents to open.  I found this adorable little poem by fellow CTMH consultant Theresa Dodd, and I just had to use it!
(Click the pic to get a closeup view)
Theresa's project used rolled up dollar bills (which made for a really nice fat presentation), but here in Canada the smallest paper money we have is a $5 bill, so I got creative with the $1 coins and added some candy to fill the box.

The clear box is recycled packaging I found in my stash. The candies are Hershey's kisses and Mint Candy cane balls.  Now he'll have a present to unwrap with the rest of the kids. This should keep him busy unwrapping his money for a while, don't you think?

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gift Card Presents

I love gift cards!  I know many people think they are a cop out, last minute, haven't-put-any-thought-into-it gift...but for those on our list who have everything and are hard to buy for, they are always perfect.

I came up with a cute way to package those gift cards:
The one on the left is how it looks closed, the right one is open.  This way they still get a present to "open"!

These are very simple to make: 
Start with a piece of cardstock 5"x12"
Score along long side at 5" and 10"
Fold along score lines
Embellish as desired, I used a velcro dot to hold it closed.
That's it!  I whipped these two up in about 15 minutes using retired CTMH Evensong paper pack.

I'm going to share this over at Heart 2 Heart, where the last challenge of the year is an easy one...a Christmas card!

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

My daughter's class is having their Christmas party today, and I was asked to bring something sweet.  Finally! The last couple of class parties I was assigned veggies or fruit...boring! What kid is going to eat veggies when there is sweet stuff around?  Sweet stuff is so much more fun to make, and to eat!

These were very easy to make. I started with 2 dozen cupcakes, and 2 dozen cake balls shaped into cones.  When the cupcakes were warm out of the oven, I used the bottom of a shot glass to press holes in the center, then let them cool.  The cake ball cones were placed into the holes to form the base of the tree.  Then I just spread white frosting around the edges, and piped green frosting onto the cone shape with an open star tip.  Sprinkled on some colored balls and placed a little candy star on top. 
Only took me 30 minutes to frost these, and aren't they cute?

Thanks for visiting my blog,

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Home Made Gift Box

It's gift week at Heart 2 Heart, they want to see what we can make or dress up as a small gift for someone.

Well, PERFECT TIMING!  Who doesn't have little gifts to package up at this time of year? I have many small things, from perfume to ornaments as well as homemade goodies which need to be gift packaged. I like to give things in packaging that can be reused, I've kind of boycotted gift wrapping because it seems like such a waste of pretty paper. I much prefer reusable gift bags, or in this case a gift box which can be used as a decor item as well :)

Here's what I came up with:



And just when they think the house is the gift, they figure out that there is something inside:
Ta Da!! This one is full of cookies! 
I made these White Chocolate Cranberry oatmeal cookies,
and this little house holds them beautifully.

This looks difficult, but really isn't that hard. I've made quite a few of these now, and the possibilities for decoration are endless.  It starts with a template that you just print out onto your cardstock and then cut out.  Then you get to have fun with the embellishing.

The  reusable digital TEMPLATE for this little house can be found HERE.

To make this little house I used mostly CTMH products:
Cardstock in Desert Sand, Holiday Red and Topiary.
 Stamps D1377 Around the Block for doors and windows
and C1363 Beary Best for trees.
Inks in Topiary, Cocoa and Versamark
Z1366 Cocoa Ribbon Collection
 Embossing powder in White Daisy
Craft Heater

The white lace edging is from my stash.
The wreaths were made with paper shavings and Liquid Glass.
The snow is white glitter sprinkled over white craft glue.
I used strong Scor-Tape to adhere the parts together, this baby is going to last.

For more packaging inspiration, head over to the Heart 2 Heart Challenge blog for some fabulous ideas!

Thanks for visiting today,

This little box made the Friday Five this week!  How flattering to get chosen from among all the beautiful entries.  Thanks ladies!  Everyone's projects were so unique and inspiring, must have been a tough one for the judges.

Friday, December 10, 2010

New Year's Day Blog Candy!

Hello readers!
I want to introduce you to one of my cyber-friends. 
Charlene is a fellow design team member at Paper Cubed, she makes stunning paper creations, and she posts the most delicious recipes in her "Foodie Friday" posts.  You may have seen her work at Splitcoast Stampers, where she is known as "cookiebaker".
You can check out her beautiful paper crafts on her blog Paper and Ink Playground or at her Splitcoast Stampers gallery, and you can also find the supplies she uses as well as purchase her one of a kind art at her Etsy shop The Paper Sandbox

Well, today, besides her yummy recipes, Charlene is offering up some yummy Blog Candy to one lucky follower!

Not shown in the picture is a stunning assortment of ribbon from May Arts, which Charlene has available at her Etsy shop.

Pop on over for a visit to Paper and Ink Playground, and be prepared to stay for a while and browse.  Charlene is one talented lady!  Leave her some comments, and while you're there, you can enter for a chance to win this yummy blog candy.

(I really shouldn't be sharing this, because I would love to win this package, and by telling everyone I am only increasing the competition...but I don't want to be a  Paper and Ink Playground bully :) 


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Merry Monday 2010 #4

Aghhhh! I just realized my Merry Monday post (which was scheduled to auto-post on, umm, Monday) didn't publish like I had scheduled!  My apologies! Please just pretend today is Monday and read on...

Merry Monday!
I can't believe how fast Christmas is approaching! I'm so behind this year...haven't even started gift shopping yet.  Well, my cards get mailed out today, so I can at least cross that off of my list.

Just a refresher about the Merry Monday posts:  This year I made bulk cards, 6 of each design, in 12 different designs.  I've kept them fairly simple so they are easily produced and can be mailed with standard postage. I supply some of my family with their cards, they each got a pack of 12 different cards. 

Here are 2 more of my bulk Christmas cards made for this year.

CTMH White Daisy cardstock
CTMH Ink in Sky
CTMH pearl paint
SU Stamp 111690 Snow Swirled
Ribbon from my stash
Techniques: masking, sponging, stamp was covered with ink first then pearl paint

CTMH stamp C1420 Snow Days
CTMH markers in White Daisy, Holiday Red and Sunny Yellow
CTMH Ink in New England Ivy
CTMH New England Ivy cardstock
SU cardstock in Kraft and Naturals
Red ribbon from my stash

Merry Monday!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A few of my Favorite Things...

I love Christmas! Every December, my home is transformed for the holidays. I usually unpack and put out everything in one day, but this year it's taken me 3 days just to get the ornaments unpacked. My back has pretty much incapacitated me...and I store everything in large rubbermaid containers in the basement. Thank God for my sweet hubby who had days off, and did all the heavy lifting for me! And for my kids, who helped me unpack and never broke anything :) My family has really stepped up to help around here since my back started giving me grief...who knew they could be so independent?  I am pleasantly surprised...guess they have been paying attention.

I have several Christmas decorations that I love, and I thought I'd share them with you. You know, as I was taking photos, I realized I don't have any pictures of these things. Why do we not photograph the things that we love more often?  My mind is swimming with scrapbook page ideas for these photos, I think a "My Favorite Things" page would be a great addition to a holiday album!

I really hate the brass accents on the fireplace, and have been wanting to change them, but they actually work with my gold/cranberry color scheme at Christmas. We use this fireplace every day in the winter, this is the coziest room in the house.

My Christmas Countdown Calendar...this has to be my kids favorite decoration. Behind each door is a wooden toy ornament for them to hang on a peg in Santa's workshop. There is also, mysteriously, chocolates in each little door every year.... Tonight they get to fight over who opens the 1st door, after today they take turns each evening.  I found this a few years ago at Costco for $35! What a find!

My Nativity set, given to me several years ago by my best friend, is one of my most cherished Christmas decor item.  Each character is almost 2 feet tall, so it doesn't fit under my tree, so I have it on a bench behind my sofa, it's the first thing you see entering my living room.  Would you believe these are made out of paper?  The faces and hands are porcelain (as is baby Jesus), but the crinkly stuff is paper. Here are some close-ups so you can see the details...

And I just know I'm going to hell for posting this pic,
but my kids giggle every time I put Baby Jesus out because of this:
Is this not the most precious Nativity set you've ever seen?

This beautiful heavy glass bowl was a wedding gift, I used to fill it with Christmas candies on my coffee table, but we really don't need the extra calories sitting in front of the TV all month. This works better:

My Santa collection sits on the TV:

I also have several beautiful ornaments which bring back memories every year when I unpack them: 

My Mom has been giving me these Hummel collectible ornaments each year. I have several now, and I love them!
And of course I'll always cherish these ornaments the kids made at school:
Yep, that's an "antique Christmas light" (according to my kids)

My darling Jenna in Kindergarten. Made with a baby food jar lid.

How cute!

This one made me cry...

My kids know the true meaning of Christmas, they each made one of these in Grade 2, and they bring a tear to my eye each time I read them.  They are called "The Important Book", and on each page is a picture and a story abut each character in the Nativity, and why they are important (in my kid's own words)...

Here's a sample of the inside:

by Jenna

by Shane

My kids have the best teachers in the world!

Do you have Christmas ornaments or decorations that hold special meaning for you? This year, take some photos of them and add them to your Christmas album. Years from now these may become heirlooms, and wouldn't it be nice to know the story behind them? We seem to only take photos of the people we love, why not scrap a page about the things we love too?

I hope you enjoy decorating your home for Christmas as much as I do!

Get Organized! P3 challenge 12-1-10

It's a crazy time of year for most of us. I don't know about you, but I am drowning in lists. To do lists, grocery lists, shopping lists, wish lists from the kids, gift idea lists (and I always seem to forget someone), scribbles of menus being planned etc, etc...

The challenge at Paper Cubed this month is to make something to help us say organized this holiday season, some kind of to do list or organizer. What perfect timing! I made this Holiday Planner for the challenge, and it took all my will power NOT to start writing in it before I got photos to share. Trust me, it's covered in my scribbles now, and how handy to have all my lists in one place!

Here is my pretty Holiday Planner before I started filling it with my notes and lists:

Closed it is the size of a wallet to easily fit in my ginormous purse.

When I open the flap, I find my handy calendar and a pen.

And inside are all my lists, with handy pockets for stamps and receipts.
You can click the pic for a closer look...

How's that for organized? Pop over to the Paper Cubed Challenge Blog to see what the fabulously organized DT has come up with to inspire you.  You have the entire month to create a planner, list, calendar or something else that will help to keep you organized (I suggest you start now, only 24 more days until Christmas!), play along with us and link it up to the December challenge. You could win a prize!

I have seen these file folder organizers before, but I didn't have a file folder so I made one with what I had in my stash. Because it's almost Christmas, and because I love my followers, I made up a tutorial for you!  Actually there are 3 tutorials included, instructions to make the planner folder, a link to a cricut tutorial, and a faux leather tutorial.  This is going to be the longest post in history, so if you don't want to view the tutorials you can just scroll to the bottom to leave a comment :) 

For those who want to see how this was made, read on...


You will need 2-12"x12" solid cardstock for base, 2 or 3 coordinating patterned pages for embellishing, neutral 81/2x11"cardstock for labels, plus a coordinating color of cardstock for matting, a paper trimmer, score board or bone folder for scoring, plus strong adhesive (I used 1/8" and 1/4" scor-tape) and 2 brads plus a fancy brad or button for front. I also used Versamark clear ink, clear embossing powder and a small ball stylus to make the faux alligator front flap.

Take 1st piece of cardstock base, trim off 1.5" from one side.
OK, I am Canadian and do know the metric system,
but for this tutorial I am going to use inches because it's just easier.

Now score along the shorter side at 3.5" and 7"

Rotate the page and score at 8.5"

Fold bottom flap up and press well along score line.

Then fold along vertical score lines as shown.

Now take 2nd piece of cardstock and score it at 3.5" and 8"

Now rotate it at score at 8.5" too.

Now you need to trim out the bottom pieces as shown, the bottom flap is trimmed below the 8.5" score line at 3.5 inches and 7" (that is 1" in from the vertical 8" score line) Hope I didn't lose you there.

Now fold along the score lines as shown.

Measure in 2" from the right flap, make a pencil mark,
do this along the bottom edge too.

Use a round object, line up those marks and trace the curved outline.

Cut out along curved edge to make the wallet flap.

I used 2 brads on the back for my closure, but since I have completed this project I have thought of several other ways I could have done it. Isn't that always how it happens? Well, they are in my pics so I thought I should explain why. I put the brads in at this point so I can hide the prongs on the other side as I am decorating it. You could make a belly band or a strap/buckle type thing to hold this wallet closed as well, if you prefer that, then skip the brads.

Time to adhere the 2 pieces of cardstock to create the folder. Use a strong adhesive so it doesn't fall apart.  I like Scor-tape, but the red line tape would work well too.  Apply the tape to the left flap as shown.

 Place the 1st piece over top of the taped flap, make sure the edges are straight.
Press it down good and tight.

My favorite part is embellishing with the pattern papers. Here, I used 4 pieces cut at 3.25" x 6", don't worry about them being short, the bottom flap/pockets will cover it.

You need a fine strip of glue for the flap/pockets. 
 I used 1/8" scor-tape, but a fine bead of strong glue would work too.

Fold the flaps over and press down. Embellish as desired. I used 3.25" square pieces of coordinating paper, the middle 2 are actually little envelopes to hold small things like stamps and gift cards or receipts.

For the labels, I printed them with my computer, spaced out on the cardstock. I then used the center point function on my cricut to cut them out. If you've never used this function on your cricut, I highly recommend you check out THIS VIDEO on YouTube and learn how to do it. It's fast and way easier than storing a bunch of punches or die cuts. You could use a punch or die cut system, but I spent alot of $ on my cricut and it does all these things for me, once I figured out how to use it.

I matted the labels on a contrasting color of cardstock, also cut (a bit bigger) with my cricut.
I used foam dots to mount them so the paper/list inserts would easily slip under them.

The page inserts are free printables I found at


If using this finish on your Holiday Planner, it may be easier to do before you embellish the inside.

For the faux leather finish on the flap of my wallet, I first masked off the part I wanted to do.

Apply versamark clear ink generously over entire surface.

Cover well with clear embossing powder.

Use a ball stylus or other dull small edge (a dried up ball point pen would work) to drag fine lines through the embossing powder. No need to be straight, irregular lines look better anyway when done.

Gently tap off the big crumbs of embossing powder left over from the dragging. (Don't put these stray bits back into your embossing powder jar unless you want lumpy hard chunks in it)

Now melt it with your heat gun!
I just love heat embossing, the image appears right before your eyes like magic.

I then popped a pretty brad on the flap, and for the closure...I wrapped a piece of stretchy silver cord around the brads on the back so I can do this:
...and wrap it around the front like this:
As I said before, I now have thought of a better way to do this. I don't like belly bands because I always wreck them, but I think a strip of faux leather embossed cardstock to fold over from back to front, with a velcro tab to hold it under the fancy button would work great. I'll try that next time. Maybe you can think of a better way to hold this closed. This stretchy cord works great though, and expands if the contents get bulky (and they will).

Try one for yourself, or make something totally unique to get yourself organized,
and link it up to the Paper Cubed Challenge Blog for our December challenge.

I wish you all an organized and stress free Christmas!


CTMH Products available on my website:

#G1014 Mistletoe Worksop on the Go Kit , contains the cardstock, pattern papers, stamp set and beautiful brad embellishments.
CTMH inks in #Z2114 Cocoa and #Z2120 Garden Green for distressing edges and #Z2116 Cranberry for the ornaments.

Other products used:
Martha Stewart Scoring Board
Scor-Tape in 1/8" and 1/4"
Stretchy silver cord from SU
Cricut Expression and Storybook Cartridge
Red Stickles on the labels
Post it notes
Ruled paper
Red pen

Faux leather heat embossing