Sunday, December 30, 2012

Anything But a Card Challenge #9- Sisterly Love...

It's time for week 2 of Challenge #9 at Anything But a Card.  We've made it so easy for you to play along with this challenge! The challenge is Anything Goes or Your favorite project from 2012. Now how simple is that! I hope that you will find time to link up a new or favorite project this week.  The design team has done a wonderful job with their submissions as well, so be sure to stop by and check them out.

I had something of a crafter's block going on the week before Christmas.  I managed to complete all of my projects but kept putting off my gift for my sisters.  I really wanted these to be special and was hoping my mojo would return before Christmas day.  I finally broke down on Christmas eve and decided these had to be finished one way or another.  I printed out the pictures I wanted to use and noticed that red was a focal color in both photographs.  Then I started the daunting task of choosing papers.  After discarding several options, I settled on the retired Sending Love DSP. I love the glittery accents on this specialty paper! Apparently this was just the jump start I needed. As I played with the paper patterns I started visualizing each little frame and the whole project fell into place.

I even manage to squeeze some sneak peeks of new products onto this! Of course, using the retired paper helped reduce my growing stack of DSP, and that's always a good thing. Gotta make room for new stuff!

The flower trim in this picture is one of the new products
available in the spring catalog, available January 3rd!
Vintage yumminess!!

I used three glimmer paper hearts symbolizing the 3 sisters.

Another new product-Real Red Core'dinations paper!

Well that's it for me!  I'm off to do a little more organizing of my crafting table (imagine an explosion in a paper crafting store...)  and then hopefully work on a few ideas that have been floating in my brain.  I hope you had a wonderful December and managed to share some crafty goodness with others!  May your new year be filled with happiness, health, and peace! 

Project Recipe: Cardstock-real red core'dinations, very vanilla, Sending Love DSP (ret), red glimmer paper, Stamp Sets-Joyous Celebrations (oval frame), Fabulous Phrases, Ink-real red, chocolate chip, Accessories-frame from Hobby Lobby (1/2 price sale!!), full heart punch, large oval punch, Holiday Frame embossing folder, sanding system, vanilla flower trim, Victoria crochet trim, 'sisters' metal embellishment from my stash

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Anything But a Card Challenge and another little gift

I am such a naughty design team member! With all of my Christmas preparation, I completely forgot to post the new challenge at Anything But a Card!!  I know everyone is still reeling from all of the festivities, so this is a super easy one that all of you can join in!

Anything But A Card Challenge 9- anything goes OR Your Fave project from 2012

This two-week challenge we have an easy one for all of you- Anything Goes OR Show us your Fave Project (non-card) from 2012! 

 So, even if you don't have time to create anything new, you can still play along!  I will be posting my new creation for this challenge on Sunday, so be sure to pop back in and check out what my absolutely wonderful sisters received for Christmas! Here's a hint... it's not a card!! Hee! Hee!

The design team posting this week have some wonderful projects as well and I hope you find some time to check them out and leave them some love!

I also wanted to share another little gift that DD#2 and I made for her classmates.  Instead of a gift exchange, they were asked to bring in a little something for each child.  Since DD#2 loves to read, she really wanted to make some bookmarks for her friends.  These were super easy to mass produce and a lot of fun for both of us to put together (my favorite part!).

I used the Two Tags Bigz die for the bookmark form and then added some Christmasy images using the Scentsational Season stamp set.  We came up with the 'punny' sentiments on our own and typed them up and printed them out using the computer. I had to resist blinging up the gingerbread man and tree, since they were bookmarks!

Project Recipe: Cardstock-gumball green, real red, whisper white, Stamp Set-Scentsational Season, Ink-real red, garden green, soft suede, Accessories-Two Tags Bigz, Holiday Collection framelits, 

Merry Christmas! Even if it is a little late...

I had every intention of setting up a few posts on my blog to magically appear on Sunday and Tuesday, but somehow in the life of a procrastinator, there were other things that managed to take precedence over my blog.  You know silly things like making sure I hadn't forgotten anyone's gifts, wrapping til the wee hours of the morning, making special dishes of food, taking a nap... Important things!

So here is my Christmas post a day late, but still filled with the holiday spirit!

This is a picture of the Nativity scene at our church. No matter how much (or little) Christmas spirit I seem to have, taking a moment to remember how it all began really sets everything right for me.  After all, if Jesus can be born in a barn among the animals to bring new life to all the world, then does it really matter if I've found the 'perfect' gift or managed to finish my 'to do' list?  Food for thought...
So for all of you who celebrate with me, Merry Christmas! And to all of my blogging viewers and friends, I wish you peace, happiness, and all the love your hearts can hold!

**On a side note, I have many blogging friends in the south and in other parts of the world who were wanting snow for Christmas.  This is what we woke to early this morning...and it's still snowing!

So to all of you 'warm weather' friends, here is your snow!! From our home to yours...  No, really...feel free to come on over and scoop up all you want!!  I'll have the hot chocolate and coffee waiting for you!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Flashback Friday- Naughty? No problem!

Do not adjust your screens! Yes, it is a Flashback Friday!!  After a super crazy month filled with family in the hospital, and preparing for Christmas, on top of the normal chaos that is my life, I am finally managing some time to tend to my very neglected blog!  Bring on Christmas break!!!

I generally do not spend a lot of money at Christmas and prefer to share my holiday spirit with little handmade gifts.  Now granted, my paper crafting supplies are not free, but when I don't have to go out and buy something specific, it doesn't really count as a purchase in my book.  I work with a wonderful group of ladies at the daycare and I always give them a handmade Christmas card.  This year has been a bit crazier than normal and I wanted to do something a little more special.  I found these adorable little chocolate dipped candy cane stir sticks at Big Lots and had to buy them.  I thought they would be especially yummy in hot chocolate.

*Time for a little background information.  I am a die hard coffee drinker.  I will drink the occasional cup of tea, but usually my morning drink is a nice big mug of java. This is not the case with most of my co-workers.  In the winter months, the coffee pot downstairs is usually filled with hot water for tea and hot chocolate (good thing the coffee drinkers have their own coffee maker upstairs!).  So I thought a packet of hot cocoa and a stir stick would make a cute little gift that everyone would appreciate.

This also gave me a chance to use quite a bit of my 'stash', which is always a good thing!  I'm not sure why, but I had a ton of 12x12 paper in various shades of green.  This were quickly put to use by cutting them in half and then scoring each 6x12 piece at 2" and 6".  I stamped the holly leaves, then folded the paper at the score lines.  I also found a spool of Christmas tree ribbon that had never been used, so I adhered that to the 2" strip.  Then I sealed the edges using sticky strip.  A long time ago, I had bought a package of various glitter glue bottles and I pulled out the red to make some glittery berries.  Of course, me being me, I had to add the fun little sentiment to finish it off properly.  These were super quick and easy, and best of all, everyone loved their little gift!

Well, lots to do in the last few days before Christmas! I still have a few last minute gifts to buy and also need to get some groceries (silly family thinks they need to eat during our Christmas break...).   Be sure to stop by to see the new ABAC challenge on Sunday! Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you find some time to be crafty!

Project Recipe: Cardstock-real red, whisper white, Ink-crumb cake, black stazon, Stamp Sets-Tags til Christmas, Bells and Boughs, Accessories-1 1/4" square punch, scallop square punch, Flashback Items-green paper, ribbon, red glitter glue

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Special Teacher Gift (that's not a candle!)

Hello! I am squeezing in a few moments to post on my blog!  My life has been a bit busy lately and while I have be making things, there hasn't been much time to blog.  But it is almost Christmas and I thought I would share a special little gift idea.

I have been a preschool teacher for over 15 years.  In that time I have accumulated more than a few mugs, ornaments, apple decor, candles, and bottles of hand lotion. Don't get me wrong, I am ever so grateful that my families choose to add me to their gift giving lists and I really appreciate their kindness.  But after a while, I started cleaning house on all of the 'teacher gifts'.  They were either regifted or donated to a charity thrift store.  So when my girls entered school, I tried to make the gifts for their teachers a little more personal and practical.  The girls always make a card thanking their teacher and we usually make a tin full of goodies and store bought chocolates for the teachers to share with their families.  I often include a little hand made gift like post it note holders, or bookmarks.

This year, there were two people that really spent a lot of time working with my daughter and I wanted to make them something extra special.  DD#1 is in her second year of choir and was chosen for Circle the State with Song last year.  She also tried out for the state's Honor Choir, but didn't make it.  This year, her choir director and assistant (who also worked with me for a short while at the preschool) worked with her quite a bit to get her ready for her audition.  All of the extra work paid off and she was accepted to both the Honor Choir and Circle the State this year.  To show our appreciation, I made some personalized wall hangings for them. It's a little hard to see the paper, but when I tried for an overhead shot, the glare from the glass was horrid!

Vintage looking sheet music dp and the director's name

A gorgeous vintage piano was on the flip side of the sheet
music dp, perfect since Lauren is also their accompanist 
for concerts and contests 

I bought the frames at Wal-Mart and I LOVE this size! The opening is 5x12 when you remove the matting that is included, and I loved the antiqued look.  The music paper was purchased at our LSS and I thought it was perfect for this project. I managed to make both frames using the one page! BONUS!  I used my cricut to cut the letter for the names and these literally came together in minutes!  I think I spent more time wrapping them than I did making them! I am hoping they will really like these and if all else fails, I know they won't be regifting them to just anyone! :)

I hope this inspires you to bypass the mega-stores for all of your holiday shopping and create some hand crafted goodness instead! Have a terrific rest of the week and be sure to take a break from the madness and do some craft therapy! It's good for the soul!!  Happy crafting!

**PS-If you are looking for other teacher approved gift ideas, here are a few suggestions...
--gift certificate to a teacher's store, discount store, or book store (We often spend a lot of personal $ on our classrooms and this helps a lot!)
--gift certificates to restaurants
--a card with a heartfelt note. I don't always keep all of the cards I receive, but I do save the ones with special notes written inside. It's a great 'pick me up' and reminder of why I love what I do.
--a gift hand made by your child.  Again, a wonderful reminder of the joys of teaching! Plus it teaches your child that you can spread love without spending money! I have to admit to saving every hand-made ornament with the child's name recorded on it somewhere.  I even have a special little tree for them!
--a favorite treat. Coffee, tea, hot cocoa, candies or chocolates, etc. are very practical, and a family specialty can be a wonderful surprise. You might want to check for food allergies first!
--ask the teacher if you can purchase something for the classroom.  This is actually my preferred gift! I post a 'wish list' of new and gently used items we can use in the classroom to give the parents some ideas.
--Unless you know the teacher loves a particular scent, you may want to stay away from candles, lotions, and other scented gifts.  This can be particularly bad if there is an allergy or sensitivity.  I have a sensitivity to most floral scented items and had to immediately pass on many bottles of lotion and candles to prevent a migraine from occurring.
--Of course, if you know that your child's teacher loves candles, or lotion, etc., then by all means this can be a wonderful gift!

Project Recipe: basic black and cherry cobbler cardstock, dp from LSS, frames from Wally World

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Anything But a Card Challenge #8- Frosty the Glowman

Hello and welcome to week two of the current challenge at Anything But a Card.  We are celebrating the light or Seasonal Holiday.  You are free to interpret light however you like, as long as it's not a card.  We would love it if you would join in our challenge!

I am neck high in planning and making gifts for Christmas and knew that I would combine my design team project with something that would make a nice little present as well. It's multitasking by only doing one thing!! Gotta love that!!

I have been on an ornament kick lately and enjoy giving them as gifts because most people have a Christmas tree and who doesn't love a gift made with love?!  I first saw a snowman using a tea light, at Stamp & Scrap with Frenchie and thought it would make a cute idea for a little gift.  Then I saw another version that had a body as well.  Debbie's snowman is part of her 12 Days of Christmas Ornaments and she has a great tutorial, and some absolutely wonderful creations displayed on her blog!  I loved the hat on France's snowman and decided it had to go on my snowman too.  Of course, I took a little artists inspiration to change things around a little and make this guy my very own...

This was so easy to put together that I made 6 of them using up the tea lights I had left over from DD#1's birthday party a few years ago.  My girls liked them so well, they immediately laid claim to them as gifts for their teachers.  Good thing I made six of them!!

If you would like to recreate my little snowman, he really is super simple to put together.  Just layer the two larger circles and then use the 3/4" circle punch to make a hole for the switch to fit through. A little sticky strip around the base hold the ribbon in place and also attaches the tea light to the circles.  The eyes, buttons, and mouth are pearls that I colored with a black sharpie.  If you need a more visual description, I suggest a visit to Debbie's blog.

Well, that's it for me today! Only three more school days until our Christmas vacation begins.  Woo! Hoo! I am planning on doing a lot of crafting during my break and am looking forward to some 'not busy' time with my family.  Have a wonderful week and happy crafting!

Project Recipe:  Cardstock-basic black, whisper white, red glimmer paper, Ink-Baja breeze, whisper white, black sharpie, Punches-2 1/2" circle, 3/4" circle, Boho blossom, modern label, word window, Accessories-3" circle die, basic pearls, neutrals brads, old olive grosgrain ribbon (ret), sticky strip

Friday, December 14, 2012

Clearance Rack Blitz!!!

Just in time for your holiday shopping, Stampin' UP has added lots of goodies to the clearance rack, including retired stamp sets!!  Usually, the goodies added go pretty quick, so be sure to pop over to my online store and check out the special deals!!  Have a great weekend!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Anything But a Card Challenge #8-Let there be light!

Hello! Long time no posting... Tis the season!  I decided to take a bit of a hiatus from blogland for a little bit, but now I am feeling recharged and ready to be crafty again!  Which is perfect since there is a new challenge at Anything But a Card!  I really love that while there is an obvious purpose to each challenge, there is always the underlying ability to take this in a completely different direction than expected.  This week is no exception.

Anything But a Card Challenge 8: Celebrating the Light or Seasonal Holiday

You can take the Challenge's light aspect and do something that represents light- candles, fire, sun, etc. lights, lamps, etc or do something related to a Winter Holiday- Channukah, Yule, Christmas, Kawanzaa.  The choice is yours! 

Be sure to check out the design teams inspiration for this wonderful challenge!  There is such a variety of ideas from the typical (Christmas) to the unique (an actual light bulb!) and all of them are wonderful!!  I hope you find time to play along and link up your de-light-ful creation too!  I will be there next week with my version of light.  

Until then, happy crafting!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Anything But a Card Challenge #7 By the Sea

Deck the halls with sailboats and sunsets! Fa la la la la la la la! What?! You've never heard that version???? While others are dreaming of a white Christmas, I'm sharing visions of sunsets and sailing for the current challenge at Anything But a Card.  We are challenging you to share a creation with the theme By the Sea.  This can be anything sea or ocean related, the colors of the sea, marine life, beaches... get the picture? 

I originally thought about doing a vacationing Santa theme, but that lent itself more to a card, which would have been a BIG NO-NO at Anything BUT a Card...  My inspiration came as I was looking for a sentiment stamp for another project and I spied my Sail Away stamp tucked in the 'retired' tote.  I LOVE this image and have always dreamed of spending a day on a sailboat soaking up the sun.  I decided that this image would work well for a little gift for my DD's teacher, who happens to be a man.  Every year we pack tins full of homemade cookies and treats for the teachers and I like to include a little handmade gift as well. I always struggle with the male teachers' gifts and what makes it even more difficult is that this is the same teacher she had in 3rd grade,so I can't 'recycle' my idea from the last time...  I finally decided on a desktop post it note holder and thought the sailing image would work well to dress it up.


It was a lot of fun to pull out my pastels again to create the scenery for the sailboat.  This was a pretty simple little project and I enjoyed using some supplies that had been sitting idle for a while!

I hope I have inspired you to join my by the sea and share your creation with us!  Be sure to sail by and check out the rest of the team's fabulous projects too!!

Project Recipe: Cardstock-sahara sand, baja breeze, whisper white, Ink-black stazon, pastels, Stamp Set-Sail Away, Extras-post it notes