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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Card Challenge

I hope that you are enjoying time with family and friends and celebrating all the blessings of Christmas.

Today also starts the next 2 week Card Caravan Challenge at The Hybrid Chick. The final one of this year!!!

The theme this time around is "metal".  Open to your interpretation.  You can use some type of metal on your card, a brad, a staple, sheet metal, aluminum foil, tinsel!!!  I used a sheet of plum colored metal and embossed a poem on my card.  I thought the wording was perfect for a "New Year's" card.  The poem reads:
The blink of an eye, The time it takes to have a deep thought, The time it takes to decide if you should or should not, The time it takes to love and the time it takes to hate, The time it takes to smell something you like but never ate, A bright idea can come and a bright idea can go, Life can become high and life can become low, A bird's little chirp can turn into a beautiful song as life comes and goes Ten Seconds Long. by Geoff Darrow

My card is a type of gate fold card.

Merry Christmas to you all! 

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Last Minute Christmas Card Inspiration

Can you believe that it is 5 days until Christmas? Nope, me either!  I'm done all of my gift shopping (I think). I still need to get the perishable food items for the big feast!   I've still got a few gifts to pull together as far as wrapping and such.  So I've been busy making cards and wrapping what-nots.

Thought I would share a few projects with you for inspiration.

This first one is a gift card holder that can hang on a tree or be added as a embellishment to a gift.  When you open the flap......

... the pocket holding the gift card slides up!  I used some tiny magnets to keep the flap closed.  I also kept the design generic with no names or dates on it. This way the recipient can re-use it if they would like.

Wouldn't this be sweet on your tree with a special note tucked inside?  I'm making a note to add this as an Advent activity for my family next year. We'll each have a pocket that we can tuck special wishes in to be read on Christmas Eve!

Does the paper look familiar? Yep it's from the same digital kit that I used for the sliding gift card holder.  The kit is called Christmas Wishes and is by WM Squared Designs. More on that in a little bit.  This card has a nice lacy scallop edge and a very blingy glittery snowflake!  a simply yet elegant design.
Now about that digital kit.... You can find it at Scrap Orchards. And if you hurry - you can get it at 50% off today!!  In fact Wendy's whole store is 50% off today!

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Digital Kit: Christmas Wishes by WM Squared
Twine: EK Success
Ribbon: Michaels
Glitter: Doodlebug Designs
Gift Card Template: Lori Whitlock

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Star Wreath

Hello!  My name is Cathy and I am addicted to Christmas papers.  I love them. Every time a new line of Christmas papers comes out, I seem to be drawn to them and want to have them. Mind you it is not that I have a project planned for them, I just want to collect them so that I can gaze upon them at any time!  There, I've admitted it. Now perhaps I can move on to over come my addiction!  Or not!!

I have been really good this year, the only new Christmas papers that I acquired are digital sets that I was doing Design Team work with. However, I have so much Christmas paper left over from previous years, that it has it's own bin in my storage!  I love it so much I even save the scraps!  As I was going through that bin of scraps, I decided that I needed to use them on a project that would allow others to enjoy them as well, rather than keep them hostage in a drawer where I was the only one enjoying their beauty!  And this is what I made:

Here's how I made it. I took a bunch of the scrap pieces of Christmas paper that I had and cut a whole bunch of star shapes. I cut a circle frame from a piece of cardboard to be the base of my wreath.

I cut a bunch of stars out of plain green cardstock for the base and adhered them to the cardboard circle.  I then cut a bunch of stars out of decorative cardstock for the wreath design itself.  These stars I scored from outer point to inner point across all 5 points on each star.  I formed them to create a 3D barn star shape at the score lines.

Carefully placing hot glue at the corners that will rest on the wreath base, I adhered the decorative stars to the wreath.

Continue to adhere each of the decorative stars working around the wreath until you've adhered 2 layers of the decorative molded stars.

Add embellishments such as bows, a ribbon hanger, buttons or gems as you desire to complete the design of your wreath.

Mine looked great on my front door, but I've decided to hang it over a cabinet door in our kitchen.  Since I had originally created a looped hanger to go on an over-the-door wreath hanger, I added some additional ribbon loops to extend the hanger to fit the cabinet door.  It has really dressed up our kitchen and now we can all enjoy those gorgeous Christmas paper scraps that I've been hoarding!

I gained my inspiration for this project from Little Birdie Secrets.
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Penguin Pals and Card Challenge

This sweet little card is brimming with cheerfulness.  The cute little penguins are a part of the digital collection by Paper Garden Projects called Penguin Pals.  I also used the coordinating papers from the collection to make the hybrid card.

The sentiment is from Christmas Sentiments Digital Stamps by Arty Pants Digital Stamps. I love working with these digital stamps. I can color them however I want to match my cards and size them to fit the design of the card. I really wanted the sentiment to be subtle and small on this card.

This card was created for the new Card Caravan Challenge at The Hybrid Chick. Our current theme is "two". You can interpret it any way that you would like.  Go check it out!

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Advent Calendar

I just made this Advent Calendar for my family to count down the days until Christmas. And to help keep us focused on some really fun family activities during this season.  I'm sharing more details about this project over at Ideas For Scrapbookers today.

Do you use an Advent Calendar in your house?  Leave me a comment and tell me how you prepare for Christmas! I'd love to hear about your traditions.

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Six Sisters

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A New Card Caravan Challenge with Bling!

Today starts a new 2 week Card Caravan Challenge at The Hybrid Chick.  In this challenge we ask that you use glitter. How fun is that?  And simple too!  You can make any design you'd like, just use some glitter. Then link up your creation at the Card Caravan Linky party here.
I used the Wish List Letter to Santa kit and Word Art by Etc. by Danyale for my card.

  The snowflake on my card is coated with shimmery crystal white glitter.  I love that pop of bling!

I love the little peeking Santa in the kit so I just had to include him in my design.  

Thanks for looking at my card. Hope you can share one of your own at our challenge!

Digi Kit: Etc. by Danyale
Paper: Red River
Glitter: Glitterex
Ink: Colorbox
Ribbon Michaels
Adhesive: Glue Arts, Xyron

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Totally Gorjuss
Crafty Hazelnut Christmas 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful for Dirty Dishes

The day after Thanksgiving. I cannot even believe it!  Time is flying by this year.  While lots of people are out and about shopping on Black Friday, I was reflecting on all my blessings.  I really am thankful for dirty dishes!

All those dishes that needed to be washed after the feast yesterday represent so much. We would not have had the dishes with out having family and friends that gathered to enjoy time and a delicious meal together. We would not have had the food for the feast without the job to have the money to buy the food, or the store and the workers there to get the food from the shelves.  The food would not have been at the store with out the farms, farmers, and companies that prepare and package all the foods. We would not have had the freedom to celebrate without our troops fighting to protect our freedoms.  A heartfelt thank you from me to all involved in helping my family and friends be able to have the blessing of a wonderful Thanksgiving gathering!

Here's a little bit from the preparation of the feast at my house. Of course there was the bird.  All ready to go into the oven.  After 24 hours of soaking in an aromatic brine, this beauty was all washed and rubbed and ready for roasting.   Despite careful calculation of roasting time, the turkey managed to be done nearly 2 hours in advance of the predicted finish time!  And I was not the only one to have that situation. It happened to my brother and sister-in-law as well!  I think there was a turkey conspiracy.  Perhaps it was started by the beef industry!  Lucky for us, the meat was still super moist and delicious!

My kids are always sating that there is never enough stuffing. So this year I doubled my grandmother's recipe for stuffing.  Needless to say, we have quite a bit for leftovers!

For dessert, my sister made one of her scrumptious pecan cheesecake pies!!!  Oh yummy!!  I made some Pumpkin Spiced Latte Cupcakes.  Here I am brushing them with some coffee.  My son has nicknamed these "Pumcakes". It's what rolls of the tongue when you try to say Pumpkin and Cupcakes all at once!  Never did get a photo of the completed iced cupcakes!

Speaking of my son, One the most special dirty dishes that I am thankful for this year is this cute bowl that he created.  Can you tell he loves the Pittsburgh Steeler's??  I really appreciate his creativity, enthusiasm and team spirit.

Shame I never did get any photos of the finished goodies. But that's how things go in our house, mayhem and chaos settled in.  Time to capture the "after" photos went out the window!  Maybe next year!

I hope you've had a chance to be grateful for your blessings. If you ventured out to do some shopping, I hope you got some great deals. Hopefully you've had a wonderful time enjoying family and friends. And as I reflect on my blessings, I give thanks to all of you that follow along on my creative journey. Thanks for sharing your time and talents with me!

I've got to get back to washing those dirty dishes.  Until next time!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas Organizer/Planner

It's time. Or maybe it's past time. Time to get organized for the holidays. Each year I try really hard to be more organized than the previous year. I try. In reality, I do get a little better at it each year. There is just so much that happens in the short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, that you can't do it all. And that is OK!

To help me stay organized on the things I need to get done for the holidays, I keep a planner. I used to just do this by jotting notes on a pad of paper. Then a few years ago, I discovered this most awesome web site called Organized Christmas. Then I started printing out the organizer pages and keeping them in a binder. If you haven't been to this site, you really should visit. Oh my! They have all sorts of ideas to keep you on track and on budget for your holiday planning. Whether you just need a little help keeping your shopping in order, or if you want to go full tilt on sprucing your home, planning your meal, tracking your cards, gift purchases and staying within a budget, you can find the right help at Organized Christmas! And the best part......... it's FREE! Yep, it's all there to help you! You can find some of the planners here.

Last year I bumped up my organization another notch when I switched from just the printed out organizer sheets, to actually decorating my organizer!  I used digital scrapbook kits to design my cover and inside pages.  I didn't get all fancy with my materials. I used a 1" 3-ring binder with a clear pocket for the cover. This made it easy to design am 8.5" x 11" page for the cover and just slip it into the pocket.

Inside the binder I covered some plastic notebook dividers with pockets with matching papers.  This gives me a great place to store notes, receipts, gifts tags, a pen and other things. I don't need to make my organizer any fancier, it's not really going to be seen by anyone. Especially since I keep my gift buying plans in it!

I have 3 sections to my binder. Calendars, Cards and Gifts.  The Organized Christmas website has card trackers you can print out. I keep track of my cards, complete with addresses that I can mail merge to labels, in an Excel spreadsheet. So I keep a printed copy of that in this section. It allows me a place to make on-the-fly adjustments to addresses and such. I can then use that to update my spreadsheet when I have time.

In my calendars section, I keep monthly calendars for the months surrounding the holidays. This way, any special things I want to jot down, and don't want included on our family calendar, I have a separate location to keep them.  I set deadlines and reminders here for myself too. Like when I need to start thawing the bird!

The gifts section is the most active section for me.  I keep several of the printable planner pages here. This really helps to keep me on target with my gift planning, purchases and budget.

  It also helps me track and plan  for gifts I am making.

I love this planner page. I can keep track of all my orders in one location. I do a lot of Internet shopping. I print out the receipt, keep it in one of the binder pockets, and track the deliver of the item on this page.

This page is hands-down, my absolute favorite!!!!!  As I buy gifts, I stash them away. In crevices and hiding places.  Sometimes I forget where I've hidden them!  So this page is a HUGE help!  I use one of the columns as my location, to remind me where I've hidden the treasure!

Last, but certainly not least, I keep track of the little stocking stuffers, and housewarming gifts on this planner page.  No more Christmas mornings of forgetting about filling the stockings!  Yes, yes, that really did happen in my house once!  Never again!!

Reduce the stress in your holidays. Head on over to Organized Christmas get some great ideas, print out the planners that will help you most and put your mind at ease!

Here is to a happy and stress-reduced, holiday season!

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Being Thankful

It's nearly Thanksgiving!  Oh my!  I'm still not ready for the summer to have ended. We've already had our first snow fall too.  You would think I'm into the season by now.

This is one of my favorite times of year. I love the feeling that flows at the holidays. Woven in with the hustle and bustle is a wonderful feeling of compassion, faith and spirit.  It renews my belief and trust in the world.

As we get ready to enjoy Thanksgiving and the the build up to Christmas, we decorate the house with special items. This centerpiece is one that I made for our table.  It is made with recycled cardboard, some digital papers that I printed and cut, hand made paper flowers and some pre-made embellishments.

Our house always smells so much better at the holidays too with all the baking we do. And of course the yummy scented candles!

Another one of our Thanksgiving traditions is the wall hanging that I made several years ago. I really should get  a better photo of it!  There is a pocket on it for us to write the things we are thankful for.  The clip on the right keeps scraps of paper handy.  Then on Thanksgiving we read all of the things we have written.  I can then use these as journal strips on scrapbook pages.

Over at Paper Issues our theme is Thankful for Fall.  Won't you come link up some projects you have created?

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Tip Junkie handmade projects

New Card Caravan Challenge and a Seam Binding Tutorial!

This is the card I made for our new Card Caravan challenge over at The Hybrid Chick.  The challenge is to do something birthday. I used the digital kit Every Day of the Year by Sugarplum Paperie.

Come join in on the fun at our challenge at The Hybrid Chick!

I didn't have a ribbon to match, so I died some seam binding using Glimmer Mist.  Such an easy technique.  Here's how:

Supplies you'll need:
Neutral colored seam binding or ribbon
small plastic zip closure bag
ink spray

1. Using a neutral colored seam binding (or ribbon), cut it to size.
2. Spritz some of your ink spray into the plastic bag

3. Add your seam binding and close the bag

4. Knead between your fingers until the color is absorbed by the fabric

5. Remove the seam binding from the bag and allow to dry before using on your project.

Simple, easy. And now you have a ribbon in the color of your choice. And the seam binding is crinkled to boot!

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