Thursday, December 29, 2011

Birthday Bluebird of Happiness

I hope everybody had a lovely Christmas! We had a nice time visiting with family over the weekend and mostly have been relaxing around the house since.

Some of my favorite presents are a vintage wind-up rabbit toy from my dad (more on that in a later post), a Ninja Pulse from my mum (just finished off a super yummy breakfast smoothie), a Kindle Touch from my MIL (downloaded a ton of my favorite classics right away!), and my brother & SIL got us family passes for the Erie Zoo and the Carnegie Museums in Pittsburgh - unlimited admission for a year! (There will definitely be more posts about that later.)

Of course, I got a bunch of new crafting stuff - two new Cricut cartridges, Distress Ink, Distress Crackle Paint, and lots of embellies and paper. Yesterday, I headed to the craft room to play.
Here's the card I made for my mum's upcoming birthday in January:

Cricut cartridge - Florals Embellished
Stamps - Crafty Secrets - Grand Greetings
Patterned Paper - Brenda Walton (floral); DCWV (vintage text)
Cardstock - Coredinations
Ink - SU! - Night of Navy; Ranger Distress Ink - Tea Dye; Memories Direct - ink daubers
Accessories - seam tape ribbon - Rebecca Sower Designs; vintage buttons; pop dots

Thanks for stopping by today!


Friday, December 23, 2011

A Cavalcade of Christmas Cards

Here are several of the Christmas cards I've made in the past few weeks:

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas & the peace of Christ throughout the New Year!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Twinkle Bright

The Christmas crafting & decorating has begun in earnest now that the remodeling projects have begun to wind down.

I am really in love with Anna Griffin's Twinkle Bright collection - lovely rich reds, greens, and cream with wonderful vintage & retro patterns and images. *sigh*

Here's a card I made using a Crafty Secrets image & sentiment along with Twinkle Bright papers and embellies:
This sweetie is on her way to my mum's house.

Hope your days are merry & bright too!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Treat Bag Toppers

Good morning! I hope you are all looking forward to a peaceful & festive Thanksgiving week. During this Thanksgiving, I wanted to make a little something for my kids' teachers, school secretary, and administrator as a small demonstration of how much we appreciate them. Each one of them is such a dear soul, and we are so grateful for their dedication and the sacrifices they make to work at a small, private, Christian school.

Yesterday, I baked up some batches of sugared pecans. Oh, they made the house smell so good! Then I put them in this little treat bags (from Wal-Mart's cake decorating section in the crafts department) with these bag toppers.

Here's a close up of the toppers:

Cricut cartridge - Celebrate with Flourish
Stamps - Crafty Secrets - Thanksgiving set
Ink - Ranger Adirondack - Espresso; Memories Direct - Ink Daubers
Patterned Paper - K&Company
Cardstock - Core'dinations

Wishing you a lovely Monday!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cricut Forever Young Invitations & Thank You Cards

We celebrated Shannon's ninth birthday in October with a salon party for the girls in her class. They each got to have their hair styled and their nails painted, then we all walked across the street to our favorite coffee shop for hot cocoa and cupcakes. It was such fun to see the girls so excited about getting all fancied up.

I made her invitations and thank you cards using my Gypsy, Cricut Expression, and the Forever Young cartridge.

The invitations:

Cricut Cartridge - Forever Young
Patterned Paper - K&Company
Cardstock - Core'dinations
Embossing Folder - Cuttlebug - D'vine Swirls
Adhesive Rhinestones - Miss Elizabeth's

The thank you cards:
Cricut Cartridge - Forever Young
Patterned Paper - K&Company
Cardstock - Core'dinations
Stamps - SU! (sentiment)
Foam Dimensionals - Darice
Adhesive Rhinestones - Miss Elizabeth's
Seam Tape Ribbon - Rebecca Sower Designs (not sure why the color is so off, it actually matched the dark pink cardstock layer.)

The birthday girl!

Fancy hair:

Hope you have a wonderful day ahead of you!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Crafting with the Kids: Handmade Critters

At school the other day, the kids had free drawing time in art class, and Shannon came home with a drawing of a neat little critter. It reminded me of the kids' Ugly Dolls (love them!), so I suggested we make a stuffed friend for her using her drawing as a pattern. Of course, Ronan wanted one too and quickly drew one up. Look at that smile - seems like a bit of a self portrait to me!

(Ronan with "Venus" and Shannon with "Blurg")

It didn't take long at all to translate their drawings into these stuffed critters, but I did learn some tips along the way:

*Have the kids draw their picture, including any appendages, as large as possible - even after you add a seam allowance, once you stitch and turn any arms, legs, tails, ears, etc. they can be pretty small
*Use a low-pile (micro) polar fleece that won't shed too much
*Let the kids have a say all along the way - have them pick out the colors & any embellishments that are added

My kids were so proud of these creations. They couldn't wait to show them off at school!

Thanks for stopping by today!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Feeling a Bit Bird Brained

Wow, October is just flying by, isn't it? We've been so busy this month with birthday festivities for Shannon, fall activities, and school events. I've been crafting a little, but everything has been pretty hurried and heading out the door with the adhesive barely dry. From the looks of our calendar, it seems that we'll be enjoying a little slow down at least for a couple of weeks.

Here are a couple of projects that I finished recently.

A birthday card for my mother-in-law, who loves feeding the birds with her numerous bird feeders: Details:
Stamps - Stampin' Up! - Nellie the Nest Lady & Warm Words
Patterned Paper - Making Memories
Cardstock - Core'dinations
Accessories - photo corner - Making Memories; felt flowers & brad - Stampin' Up!; markers - Copic Sketch

I found this sweet little wooden set of drawers at the Salvation Army. It was stenciled 1980s style, so I brought it home and "shabbied it up."

Images - Crafty Secrets - Birds & Blossoms and Seasonal Calendar Creative Scraps
Patterned Paper - K&Company
Accessories - rub ons - Hambly Screen Prints; vintage button; vintage spool & thread; border punch - Martha Stewart; Mod Podge; hot glue gun

Thanks for sticking with me & stopping by!

See you sooner!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Find Joy & Birthday Wishes

Autumn is my favorite season - the rich rusts, yellows, and oranges associated with it, the clean crispness of the air, the gorgeous sunny but cool afternoons and slightly chilly evenings. All of it is such a relief after the humidity and mugginess of late summer. In Western Pennsylvania, we're already experiencing some of the seasonal delights that come with the fall season, like trips to our local apple orchard.

Fall colors are starting to ease into my cards and scrapbook layouts too. Here are a couple of the projects I did over the weekend.

A scrapbook layout for my son's book of fall photos from last year. I started this page at the retreat in the spring and finished it off with embellishments this weekend:

Patterned Paper - DCWV - Green Stack
Cardstock - Core'dinations
Title - cut with Live Simply Cricut Cartridge
Tree - cut with Straight from the Nest Cricut Cartridge
Ink - Martha Stewart
Chipboard birds - DCWV - Green Stack Coordinates
Piercing template - Hot Off the Press
Embroidery floss - DMC

Here's a card I made for my best friend's 40th birthday:

Stamps - Crafty Secrets - Sunflower set; Papertrey Ink - Out on a Limb set
Ink - Ranger Adirondack Ink - Espresso
Patterned paper - K&Company
Cardstock - Coredinations (aquas & yellow); Gina K Designs (ivory)
Markers - Copic Sketch
Label - cut with Lacy Labels Cricut Cartridge
Seam Tape Ribbon - Rebecca Sower Designs
Buttons - Oriental Trading

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a great day in store.


Monday, September 12, 2011

DinoMite Scrapbook Layout

Remember that scrapbooking retreat I went to last spring? If you recall, I made a bunch of layouts without the titles, journaling, or embellishments. It has been so nice to have these unfinished layouts on hand for those times when I just want to play for a little while and don't have time for a big project. I just grab a Ziploc bag with a layout in it & finish it off. Such a great sense of accomplishment in a short amount of time.

This layout is for my daughter's book. The kiddos were playing at a park with a lot of dinosaur themed activities, so I used that for inspiration for my layout. I repeated the circles & colors from the background paper using cardstock circles for the journaling and to accent the photos and die cut dinos. The dinos & title were cut using the Cricut Create a Critter cartridge. I really like the way this layout came together. It's so playful and reflects the fun they had at the park together.

I finished another layout, and I have a new card to share, so be sure to stop back tomorrow.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Spooky Time

Have you noticed yet that I am absolutely head over heels for Core'dinations cardstock? I love the amazing colors, the various finishes, the really good prices at Pat Catan's, how well it cuts in my Cricut, and the more you work it - the better it looks! Win, win, win, win, win!

I used Core'dinations Black Magic for my Spooky Time card below. I distressed it, embossed it, wrinkled, and generally beat it up, and it turned out looking and feeling like leather. Looove it!

Main Image & Tickets - Crafty Secrets - Halloween Creative Scraps
Cardstock - Core'dinations - Black Magic & orange
Patterned Paper - K&Company
Vintage Brad - Stampin' Up!
Velvet Ribbon - unknown
Embossing Folder - Sizzix

I am hitting the craft table later on today, to finish up some scrapbook layouts and create a birthday card for a special friend. So I'll see you back here on Monday!


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Violin Practice Chart with Cricut

Well, we made it through the first week of school with flying colors! Both kids are loving their new teachers and classrooms. Hubby is adjusting to a really busy teaching schedule - 6 classes @ 3 different colleges, while I'm getting used to a new work schedule & having the house to myself all day.

In our experience, the key to a successful school year is organization - managing all of the little details & tasks that need to be completed on a daily basis. Even better if the kiddos are given the tools to keep track & complete some of their tasks on their own.

Shannon, our 8-year-old, is starting her second year of violin. She is a very visual person who likes lists, so I thought having a practice chart would be very helpful. A visual reminder, it eliminates me having to nag her about practicing and gives her a sense of accomplishment when she adds a circle to the chart. The circles are attached to the squares with Velcro dots.

The title & violin were cut using the Cricut Quarter Note cartridge. The days of the week (she doesn't practice on Sundays), squares, circles, & music notes were cut using the Cricut Lite Chore Chart cartridge.
Patterned Paper - Anna Griffin - Lizzie Anne Collection
Cardstock - Coredinations (dark purple); Bazzil (aqua); DCWV (light purple)
Ink - Memories Direct - ink dauber
Pearlescent Chalk - Pebbles Inc.

Wishing you a lovely Saturday!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Read to Me

In just a few more days, my kiddos will be heading back to school. It's kind of bittersweet to see the summer end, but it's also exciting to see the kids embark on a new year of learning. This was my mindset when making my sample for this week's Crafty Secrets challenge - ABCs & 123s.

My dad blesses me with all kinds of lovely vintage goodies - both decorative & functional, and one of his great finds was a huge set of old primer flash cards. I used one as the basis for this wall hanging:

Vintage Primer Flash Card
Stamps - Crafty Secrets - Story of Me & Book Lovers sets
Patterned Paper - Basic Grey
Cardstock - Core'dinations
Ink - Ranger Distress Ink - Soot Black; Martha Stewart Crafts (aqua)
Markers - Copic Sketch
Eyelets - Making Memories
Ribbon - repurposed from a gift package & colored with Copic Barely Beige marker to age

Thanks so much for stopping by today!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Card Parade

In between projects at home and the HUGE project of remodeling the kids' new school in time for the first day, I have been getting some crafting in here and there. So here is a little card parade:

For the Craft Secrets' Christmas in July challenge on SCS -

Main Image - Crafty Secrets - Christmas Images & Journal Notes
Stamps - Anna Griffin
Patterned Paper - Anna Griffin - Lizzie Anne
Cardstock - Stampin' Up! (green); Papertrey Ink (pink)
Ink - Adirondack - Lettuce
Button - Jenni Bowlin
Ribbon - Little Pink Studio

Showing off some of our favorite patterned papers on the Crafty Secrets' forum -

Stamps - Crafty Secrets - Thinking of You
Ink - Memento - Tuxedo Black; Stampin' Up - Marvelous Magenta
Patterned Paper - Anna Griffin - Lizzie Anne
Cardstock - Core'dinations
Cricut Lite Cartridge - Lacy Labels
Markers - Copic Sketch
Half Pearls - Queen & Co.

Crafty Secrets' fans embracing our wrinkles with a little distressing -

Images & Sentiment - Crafty Secrets - Little Dolls Images & Journal Notes Booklet
Bingo Card - K&Company - Cut & Paste Die Cuts
Cardstock - Core'dinations (red); Bazzill (blue)
Ink - Ranger Distress Ink - Tea Dye
Seam Tape Ribbon & Bingo Chip - Rebecca Sower Designs

Playing with checks -

Main Image - Crafty Secrets - Sew Nice Creative Scraps
Stamps - Stampin' Up! - Button, Button set
Cardstock - Core'dination (green); Bazzill (yellow)
Patterned Paper - DCWV - Berry Street Farmers' Market Stack (gingham) & Crafty Stack (scissors)
Tape Measure - K&Company - Cut & Paste die cuts
Ink - Ranger Distress Ink - Forest Moss

Looking forward to more crafting time with some new goodies this weekend!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Birthday Bash Cards

Whew! What a busy, but fun, summer we've been having! I've spent very little time in the craft room, partially due to other obligations but also because it's been so very hot up there lately. My daughter and I did do some re-organization of our supplies, so I'll have to share pictures of our new solutions with you soon. In the meantime, here's a picture of the birthday cards I made for the twins, a boy & a girl, in Shannon's class.

These easy-peasy cards were made using the Birthday Bash Cricut cartridge - such a fun, cute cartridge! I used K&Company patterned paper & Core'dinations cardstock (the 6 x 6 packs are the perfect size to have on hand for Cricut cutting - gives you lots of color options too!) I like to use ink daubers (mine are from Memories Direct) for sponging the edges of die cuts to give them more depth.

Thanks for stopping by today! Hope you're having a fun summer too!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Watermelon Fairy

This week for the Crafty Secrets challenge over on Splitcoast Stampers, we are doing a color challenge inspired by our favorite summer treats. Just think of all the dreamy color combinations that those yummy summer foods represent - chocolate-covered strawberries, gelatin salads, fresh fruits & veggies, lemonade, sweet ice cream treats like creamsicles, banana splits, and scooter crunches - yummmmm!

My card was inspired by sweet, juicy watermelon!

Stamps - Crafty Secrets - Fairyland & Mouse Party (sentiment)
Patterned Paper - K&Company - Amy Butler
Cardstock - Core'dinations (green); Gina K Designs (ivory)
Ink - Adirondack - Espresso; Ranger Distress Ink - Barn Door
Accessories - markers - Copic Sketch; ribbon - Pebbles Inc.; Pop Dots

Thank you for stopping by! Hope your day is sweet!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Yesterday I got to spend some special time with my dad. We went yard saling together for the first time in quite awhile. I love going to yard sales and flea markets with my dad, who is a retired high school teacher and an antique dealer. I always learn so much from him. One thing he taught me when it comes to antiques is to buy what you love, regardless of the "book value." That way you have things in your home that you truly like and not just expensive clutter.

Our yard saling adventure resulted in four (count 'em - four!) new-to-me Stampin' Up! sets and a whimsical, vintage handmade doll that will look wonderful with my vintage candy boxes at Christmas time and for Valentine's Day. Most of all, though, I really enjoyed my alone time with my dear dad!

Here's the card I made him:

Stamps - Stampin' Up! - Knobbly Gnomes set (image); Papertrey Ink - Mixed Messages (Enjoy the Moment) & Pond Life (happy Father's day)
Patterned Paper - DCWV - Natural Mat Stack (plaid); K&Company (paisley)
Cardstock - Core'dinations - Chocolate Box (brown); Gina K Designs - Pure Luxury Cardstock (ivory)
Ink - Ranger - Adirondack - Espresso
Markers - Copic Sketch
Border Punch - Martha Stewart

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bunny TV

Scooter's exercise pen arrived the other day, and now he can play in the yard (supervised, of course) when the weather is nice and not too hot.

He definitely has a special affinity for Shannon, "the bunny whisperer."

Taking a peek at the great wide world beyond.

Shannon made this house for him out of Aldi's boxes.

I have a feeling we're going to be watching the Scooter channel a lot this summer. :)

(In case you're interested, this is the Rabbit Run Around by Precision Pet.)


Friday, June 10, 2011


Remember that weekend scrapping retreat I went to awhile back? I'm still pulling out the layouts I made that weekend and finishing them off with embellishments and journaling. It's so relaxing to me to pop into the craft room, maybe put a good movie on, and just play around with these almost-finished layouts. Here's one of the pages I completed last weekend:

Patterned paper - DCWV - Green Stack
Chipboard elements - DCWV - Green Stack
Cardstock - Coredinations (orange); Gina K Designs (ivory); unknown - rust
Accessories - fine tip marker - Sharpie; brads - Making Memories

Hope you have a great weekend in store!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

We Dare You...

go ahead and smile! :)

Summer vacation has officially begun, and smiling is a must-do on our long list of things to do over the next three months!

Here's the rest of our list:

*Remodel the powder room
*Finish building the kids' playset in the backyard
*Go bike riding & swimming as often as possible
*Play with Scooter the bunny
*Go to summer camp & Vacation Bible School
*Have a yard sale
*Paint Ronan's room & install flooring
*Take a family road trip
*Take violin & art lessons (Shannon)
*Practice our archery
*Eat as many meals as we can outside
*Go swimming in Lake Erie
*Help at the school's funnel cake booth
*Attend picnics and summer birthday parties
*Create works of art with paper, paint, clay, and sidewalk chalk
*Participate in the library's summer reading program
*Enter the Great Stoneboro Fair

Let the summer fun begin!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Inspired by Scooter!

Introducing Scooter! Scooter is our new 9 1/2 week-old mini-lop bunny. He joined our household on Sunday, taking up residence in a luxurious tri-level bunny condo in my home office.

The kids were especially excited to welcome him to our family. Ronan provides a running commentary on his antics, and Shannon helps brush & feed him and clean out his cage. He's settling in to his new home quite nicely.

Inspired by our new arrival, I decided to do a black & white challenge for this week's Crafty Secrets' member forum challenge on Splitcoast Stampers. This definitely was a personal challenge for me, as I rarely use black & white in my crafting. Here's my sample card:

Stamps - Crafty Secrets - Chandelier Fun
Cardstock - Gina K Designs - Pure Luxury (white); Coredinations - Core Impressions - Jenni Bowlin; Coredinations (pink)
Accessories - emery board; satin ribbon; rhinestones; hat pin - Maya Road

Wishing you a lovely day - safe from all of the storms!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hello Friend!

This sweet little girl went out in the mail yesterday to one of my dearest friends. One of the things I love about cardmaking is how personal it is. From the selection of images and colors to the handwritten notes inside, handmade cards are all about the connection between the cardmaker and the recipient.

Stamps - Crafty Secrets - Couple of Cuties
Patterned Paper - Anna Griffin - Lizzie
Cardstock - Coredinations (pinks); Gina K Designs Pure Luxury (white)
Ink - Versafine Black; Memories Direct Ink Daubers; Adirondack - Lettuce
Accessories - paper tape & glittered die cut - Anna Griffin - Lizzie; markers - Copic Sketch; half pearls

Wishing you a lovely Sunday, my friend!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Week

Each year at my children's school, they have Teacher Appreciation Week. Each day has a different theme, and the school families are encouraged to be creative in showing their thanks to the teachers for the hard work they do all year.

Here are a couple of the things I made this time around:

A card for Shannon's gym teacher, using Stampin' Up's Just Buzzin' By stamp set: (She loves photography too, so we included a gift certificate for a photo lab in town.)

A gift card holder for Ronan's Kindergarten teacher: (We included a gift card for her favorite coffee.)

Hey...thank YOU for stopping by today!


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mother's Day & New Kittens!

Well, between Mother's Day, Teacher Appreciation Week, and the slew of birthday parties my daughter has been and will be attending, I have been crafting like crazy. Then there's a bunch of home improvement projects underway at our house, now that my hubby's done teaching for the semester, including the long-awaited powder room remodel! Yay! My family room is filled with boxes of flooring and bathroom fixtures. Can't wait to show you those photos! But first things first...

I'll start with Mother's Day crafting today. Here are the cards I made for my mum and mother-in-law:

Stamps - Crafty Secrets - Rose; Papertrey Ink - Pond Life
Ink - Adirondack Ink - Espresso
Patterned Paper - K&Company - Classics
Cardstock - Gina K Designs - Pure Luxury (natural)
Markers - Copic Sketch
Accessories - seam tape ribbon - Rebecca Sower Designs; vintage buttons; embroidery floss - DMC; sponge - Darice

Stamps - Crafty Secrets - Sunflower set; Papertrey Ink - Pond Life set
Patterned Paper - K&Company
Cardstock - Coredinations (yellow); Gina K Designs - Pure Luxury (natural)
Markers - Copic Sketch

While we were visiting at my mum's, we got to meet this new mama:

Miss Kitty is a stray, who showed up at my mum's property with a litter on the way. The kittens are two weeks old now. Aren't they dear?

That's it for today! I have lots more to show you though, so stop back soon!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Useful Little Box

This week it's my turn to host the Crafty Secrets challenge over on Splitcoast Stampers. We are making useful, helpful things for our projects: gift card holders, gift bags or tags, recipe cards, bookmarks, clipboards, tissue box covers, magnets, grocery or to do lists, etc. Anything is fair game, as long as it's useful.

I chose to decorate this little earring box. The box is only about 3" x 2", and it was really fun to work on such a small scale.

I stamped directly on the bottom portion of the box with a vine stamp from CS' Art Blooms set. I decorated the top with dp, added stamped layers from CS' Sunflower set, then adhered the ribbon with red liner tape to finish it off.

Hope you have a happy Wednesday!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Cards

I am really looking forward to having my kiddos home for a long Easter weekend. One wonderful benefit of working from home - even though I have to work today and Monday, at least I still get to be here with them. :)

Here are a couple of the Easter cards I've made recently:

Main Image - Crafty Secrets - Easter Creative Scraps
Patterned Paper - Bo Bunny - Shabby Princess
Cardstock - Coredinations - Core Impressions - Jilly Bean Soup (blue) & Chocolate Box (brown)
Ribbon - Michaels

Main Image - Crafty Secrets - Easter Creative Scraps
Stamps - Papertrey Ink - Mixed Messages
Ink - Ranger Distress Ink - Vintage Photo & Rusted Hinge
Patterned Paper - K&Company
Accessories - scalloped circle punch - Martha Stewart; circle punches - Creative Memories; trims - Little Pink Studio; glitter glue - Stickles; vintage button

Wishing you a blessed & happy Easter!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Keep Your Sunny Side Up!

It's a rainy, gloomy day here in Western PA, so we could certainly use this reminder to keep our sunny sides up!

Main Image & Sentiment - Crafty Secrets - Farm Fresh Creative Scraps
Stamps - Crafty Secrets - Down on the Farm set
Patterned Paper - DCWV - Rustic Stack
Accessories - tag; vintage buttons; paper piercer - Stampin' Up!; embroidery floss - DMC

Hope you have some sunshine in your neck of the woods today!