Friday, December 30, 2011

What a year!

Re-runs, reminiscence, reminders.  Whatever you want to call them, here is my year-in-review post - and since I only started blogging in February 2011, I'm calling it my

TOP 11 of '11
(click on the month below each picture to visit the original posts)

February, my first card posted to my brand-new blog.

March, pretty in pink.

April, stashing it up.

May, a postcard for you...

June, my first-ever challenge win!

July, summer card camp :)

August, a crittery hello.

September, friends having babies need thank yous...

October, where we learned how to make faux washi-tape :)

November, how to spell s-n-o-w.

December, may your days be merry & bright...

I hope you've enjoyed this look back in time... I'm linking up my post to a fun hop on Karin's blog.  You should join in too!

I can't believe how awful some of the pictures were of my earlier cards ;)  I still have a ways to go, but it's nice to see that I've learned some over the year *grin*.

All the best for a happy new year!  We'll probably be sitting in this year, playing board games with the kids, and setting the clocks back so they can think they've made it all the way to midnight (more like 9pm...) Silly string and blowers for all!  They'll never know the difference :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

mini-album tutorial.

I had a few emails and questions about how I made the mini-album from yesterday.

Click *here* to see what I'm talking about :)

Grab your cardstock and a cutter.  Cut 2 4-inch squares, 3 4x5-inch rectangles, and 1 4x5.5-inch rectangle.

Take your 3 4x5-inch rectangles and score them at 1 inch, on the long side.

Score your 4x5.5-inch rectangle at 1 inch, and again at 1.5 inches (again, on the long side).  This piece will make the cover of your mini-album, which is why we created a spine.

Adhere all of your pieces, as shown, keeping the piece with the spine on the left.

Glue the 2nd 4-inch square over-top, to hide all the mess.

Decorate your mini-album however you wish!

Close it up (yesterday I used an eyelet and some twine, but a little velcro circle on this one), and enjoy!

If you decide to make one based on my tutorial, feel free to link up in my comments section!  I'd love to see it.   Also, keep in mind that if you add bulky items (buttons, ribbon, etc), it won't close up as neatly.  You might try adding more of a spine to your other sides, to allow for more room!

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Here's my "brown paper package, tied up with twine" for the current CAS-ual Fridays challenge.  I'm also posting it to our latest Papertrey princess challenge, which was to create a mini-album.

I love crafting with my 6 year old, Sofia.  We made our mini-albums side-by-side.  Hers was titled "things to do for fun" and she drew pictures and wrote cute little captions on each page.  Mine was all about her.  

I started out with a kraft base, die-cut a white label and stamped PTI's "background basics: hearts" onto it in blushing bride ink.  The "what I like about" was computer-generated, and I then stamped an image from "label basics" around it before cutting it out.

As you open up the album, there is a fun little image and greeting in each section.  I used different lawn fawn stamps and greetings, masked them, and added the same hearts background over-top.  Here, I used the cotton candy image and greeting from "admit one."  The floral embellishment is from SU.

The cutie-pie is from "silly valentine."  The little pink pearls were from Simon Says Stamp.

I love those little socks!  They're also from "silly valentine," and the little grey heart was embossed with an SU folder.

The rocking horse is from "pa-rum-pa-pum-pum" and the little tag is from PTI's "tiny tags" die collection.

Here is the final reveal!  Each section can be embellished further, and you could even decorate the back of each side - it's a fun little album :)  The sections all fold into a neat little package.

Hope you liked it!  Sofia actually didn't notice what I was working on - she was so concentrated on her own project.  I'm thinking this would make a completely sweet valentine :)

If anyone is interested in the measurements, drop me a comment or an email - I'd be happy to do a quick little tutorial.

Have a great day!

Monday, December 26, 2011

PTI blog hop: holiday leftovers.

Hi peeps!

hope everyone's christmas was merry and bright :)  My hubs is trying to keep with all the kids' battery demands for all their new toys, so I have just enough time to join in the hop and then run back to help out!

I used leftover papers from here:

and here:

and cut up an extra of a tag like this one:

and, when I say "cut up," I really mean it:

to create myself a little bookmark:

I thought, now that the rush of Christmas is over, I might indulge myself in a bit of reading... 

but that was before I opened my new and amazing Kindle!  I'll be reading, but I guess I won't be needing my new bookmark for awhile :) hee hee.  

Thanks for looking!

supply list
dies: bookmark, label basics, heart prints
papers: kraft wrapping paper, stamper's select white, SU patterned paper, craft doily
stamps: label basics

Friday, December 23, 2011

christmas wishes.

... to enjoy a break from work, school, blogging, and projects...

... to enjoy holiday eats and treats without adding extra pounds...

... to sip peppermint hot chocolate and talk with family without having to rush on to the next thing...

... to laugh and love with those nearest and dearest to our hearts...

... to take walks out in the snow and enjoy the glowing lights for just a little while longer...

... to celebrate the real reason for the season.  "Thanks be to God for His indescribeable gift."

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

ps, thanks to Tanya Zaleski for taking the photos of the kidlets :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Candy cane tags.

"brown paper packages, tied up with string - these are a few of my favorite things!"

All of the presents are wrapped, and under the tree, and sporting these tags.  I inked up a sentiment from PTI's "merry little christmas" and stamped it to cover the entire tag sale 5 shape.  I cut out a label-basics shape and stamped the coordinating frame in real red ink (SU).  The candy canes and holly jolly leaves took the longest time to assemble, but so worth it!  The whole thing was adhered to a craft doily (so that it wouldn't be all kraft-on-kraft).  I stamped some bold snowflakes from a lawn fawn set onto the actual packages...

It's the final countdown!  My kids have been waking up, opening the advent calendar, and basically jumping up and down at how little days are left!  I'm trying to slow things down for them - it will be over as quickly as it came, right?  So here's to having Christmas fun with family starting right now *raises mug o' hot chocolate*

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

the cram-it-in-before-christmas post.

this is the one where I share more than I should in one post.

no time for chatter - let's jump in, shall we?

First up: teacher gifts and MIM tags.  Oh, and some chalkboard art.  No holiday is complete in our home without a decorative chalkboard... I mean, if we're being honest, that wall-of-chalk is as much for me as it is the kids...

Back to the tags.  I used PTI's tag sale 5 die to cut these tags, and they open up to reveal a little christmas message to each teacher in Thomas' preschool.  The tags themselves are all 1 layer tags.  I had fun using masks and layering stamps to make it interesting, but still non-bulky.

I created 4 designs, and made the little gingerbread tag twice - he's so cute :)

Inside the jars?  A homemade hot chocolate mix, topped with a layer of milk chocolate chunks, mint chocolate, and chopped up candy canes, topped with a layer of jumbo marshmellows - yum!

Thomas also gave each of his little friends a tasty treat - and I don't know if this exists on any blog out there, but I think it's pretty genius.  I made some gingerbread cookies, then melted some hersey's candy cane kisses and spread a layer of the melted chocolate on each cookie.  The mint and gingerbread combo is delicious!  And they look so festive  - although the color scheme is a bit girly for Thomas to be handing out... I only thought about it afterwards... hee.

Not to be outdone, Sofia filled 22 of these long cello bags with holiday-colored jelly beans.

The toppers were simple enough that she could actually do the work all by herself (except the stapling).  I think she did fantastic!

If you made it all the way through, whew!  Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What's black and white, with a splash of teal?

my card.

you didn't expect me to be a cardmaker and a comedienne too, did you?  Hee hee.  I'm entering this card into the Play Date Cafe Challenge.  Yesterday, I shared a last minute card I needed for Sofia's English teacher.  This one is "sliding in" for her French teacher.  Oh!  pulled that one right outta my hat.  Did ya get it?  Sigh.  You may have to see the card first.... scroll on down!

Oh, and also, this card was created for my latest papertrey princess challenge: snowflakes.

I grabbed my white mat and cut 2 mat stack 4 shapes to make this huge opening.  I then embossed it with my SU stripes folder.  The snow drifts were embossed with SU's polka dot foder, and then given a light coat along the top edges with a glittery glue (SU diamond details).  The card-base, PTI's guidelines grid cardstock, was stamped with my "splash of teal" (it's more turquoise, I know, but the point is there are snowflakes.)  They come from PTI's "in the meadow" set.  The matching dies provided my boy-on-sled silhouette.

I used lawn fawn's "sally's abcs" for the sentiment.  The entire stripe-embossed mat was mounted onto the card-base with foam squares.

And so was the sledder.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, December 19, 2011

CAS-ual Fridays - the one with the matching envie.

It's the final countdown!  Less than a week before Christmas, and I have no idea how that happened :)  Luckily, the prezzies are all wrapped and under the tree, the Christmas cards were mailed out, and (for the most part), this week is for relaxing and enjoying.

I did need a few last minute cards for Sofia's teachers, and how fun to create one with a matching envelope for the latest CAS-ual fridays challenge.

I was inspired by *this card* and its outline-copic-coloring.  I started out by stamping the gingham strip (from PTI's "background basics: gingham") onto the card base, the white mat, and the envelope liner.  Next, the snowman and all his accessories (from lawn fawn's "making frosty friends").  Quick tip:  I actually placed my snowman stamp on my paper to judge for placement, then removed him and first stamped the top hat.  A mask I had created for the top hat went down next, and I stamped the snowman body over-top.  Remove the mask, and voila!  perfect placement, and no embarrassing lines cutting into the hat.  The sentiment is from PTI's think big favorites.  At the very end, I sprayed mister huey's calico white mist over the entire card-front... made the little snowman and his gingham border look like they hit a tiny blizzard :)  It's subtle, even in real life, but very cute.

True story: this was actually my first time creating an envelope liner.  A real envelope was sacrificed in order to trace a pattern for it...

The white mat was mounted onto the card base with foam squares, matching up the gingham borders... a little snowman was stamped onto the envelope-front.

What last-minute holiday projects are you doing this week?  I still have to assemble teacher gifts, and create some last minute tag-sets :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

home peek.

I created some advent calendar tags and stocking tags for a friend.  You may remember her gorgeous home from the vintage circus party this past summer, where some cute babies were wearing some cute party hats...

I would have loved to get in there during the day with my own camera, but she was sweet enough to snap a few shots for me to feature here - enjoy!

Thanks for looking!

Supply list
for stocking tags: tag sale 4, background basics: sheet music, antique linen distress ink, computer-generated font
for advent tags: tag sale 1, fresh alphabet, various background stamps, memento black ink, antique linen distress ink