Saturday, November 22, 2008

Let it Snow!

The view from our office window....................................

I love the snow! There's snow forecast for the entire weekend here and I woke up to a thin layer of snow in our backyard. Our family loves to go sledding and both Joe and Alex enjoy skiing so we're always excited when the snow starts falling. We don't have many good places to go sledding in the Ramstein area, which means we invariably end up in Garmisch at some point in the season to hit our favorite sledding spots. Have a lovely weekend!

Friday, November 21, 2008

School pics from a proud mommy

I know all mamas out there are prejudiced regarding their children, as they should be, thinking their kids are the smartest, the handsomest, best kids in the world but I have some wonderful children! They aren't perfect but I've been extremely blessed with two beautiful, fun-loving children and I just had to share my son's school photo. This is one of his best school photos ever, showing his sweet personality and that cute dimple on his left cheek! Of course, we won't mention the teenager who forgot to bring her photo packet home and now has to have photos done somewhere else...ahem, I think I mentioned something about my kids not being perfect?! Ha!

Deja Moo!

Last month my sweet hubby recruited a couple of ladies to help him throw me a surprise party at our church. It was so much fun! One of my absolute favorite games to play is Bunco but it's difficult to get a crowd of 12 or more to play. Well, we had enough to play and I had one of the best birthdays ever. I didn't take a picture but my birthday cake was an enormous sheet cake meticulously piped in a black and white cow pattern, complete with pink udders on the bottom! Anyhoo, in case those visiting my blog haven't figured it out, I'm into cows :) The cows I collect have personality, with distinctive character and are rather kitschy: no dollar store cow figurines for me! In my dining room, I have my own "cow gallery" of postcards, pictures, etc. of all things cow and my dear friend Marilyn designed and made this fabulous cross-stitch cow for my birthday this year. The saying says, "Deja Moo: That feeling that you've heard this bull before." What a hoot! I'm sure all of you reading this are terribly excited about the latest addition to my cow collection (not!) but I just had to share. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Embossed Ceramic Jar

As usual, the pics aren't the greatest but I'm working on getting a new camera and a photo tent for Christmas, with lots of hints to the hubby!

Once a month a few local Stampin' Up! demonstrators get together to encourage each other, share some goodies, and craft. Now that's my idea of a good time! We each take turns sharing a project and this lovely embossed jar was featured by Donna Way (thank you, Donna!) as our project this month. The pictures don't do the embossing on the top justice, since you can't really see the raised detail and the sparkly irridescent ice finish. Here's a few tips Donna shared with us to help complete the project:

*When embossing on ceramic, make sure the surface is clean before stamping your image.
*For embossing with color, stamp your image in Versamark and then Classic ink to create the colored pigment needed to emboss.
*Have a towel handy for wiping the ink off in case you make a mistake when stamping.
*The surface is slick so have a steady hand when stamping to preserve the detail of your image.
*While heating on a ceramic surface, the image will take more time to melt so have patience and allow the image to fully cool before touching.
*If you make a mistake when heating the image, use your fingernail or a Pampered Chef stone scrubber to remove the image and start over.

Happy stamping!

Supplies: SU! Winter Post stamp set, SU! Ski Slope Designer Series paper, SU! Baja Breeze cardstock, SU! Chocolate Chip classic ink, Versamark, Irridescent Ice embossing powder, American Crafts stitched ribbon, chocolate brown twine, Scor-tape, SU! tag punches, ceramic jar.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas Advent Calendar-in-a-Bag

Two years ago I purchased a bag similar to this one and created a "kid friendly" set for my kids for Christmas and they absolutely loved it! Each night in December they took turns opening a bag from the Advent Calendar-in-a-Bag and shared whatever was in the bag (I put enough for two in each bag so there was no fighting!). I decided to create a simple version for a class and this is what I came up with. We had the class at my house last night, which I tried "production" style with everyone completing different portions of the bag for the entire group rather than working on their bags individually. The white glassine bags, which are German fruhstuck (breakfast) bags, are a good size for putting several small items or one mid-size item and can be altered for any age and interest. This would make a terrific gift for a crafter: each bag containing small embellishments, tags, card candy, adhesive, stickers, and more! If you don't want to put candy in the bags for kids, try small things like cards, cars, balls, or crayons. Creating 24 bags and finding treats to put in them can be time consuming but imagine the delight you can bring someone for each day leading up to Christmas!
Supplies: Cub Kraft bags (Packaging Source), SU! Ski Slope Designer paper, SU! Real Red, Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, and Whisper White cardstock, SU! Real Red and Old Olive markers, SU! Chocolate Chip ink, Merry Christmas stamp from SU! retired Painted Poinsettias stamp set, SU! Winter Post stamp set, Oriental Trading typed alphabet stamp set, American Crafts chocolate stitched ribbon, Listmann's chocolate twine, glassine bags, Marvy Uchida Super Jumbo Tag, SU! slot, designer label, scallop, hand-held circle and 3/4" circle punches, dimensionals, adhesive, SU! clear embossing powder, Versamark, embossing gun, and 1/4" Scor-tape.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Move over, Vanessa Hudgens!

Alex and a few of her friends plotted at church last Sunday and convinced me to take them to see High School Musical 3 between services. It isn't the most intellectual of movies but we still had a great time! Jordan spent the afternoon at a friend's house so Joe opted to go with us and he barely managed to endure all the girlie talk in the car. In my viewpoint, it's a good way for me to know what's going on with Alex and her friends but Joe can only handle so much before he needs manly bonding. Anyway, I convinced Alex to let me snap this photo of her with Zac Efron...poor Vanessa doesn't even know Alex is moving in for the kill :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Another Stationery Box

This past weekend I demonstrated the Stationery Box to my Sunday stamp club and while this project is labor intensive, it's worth it in the end! I originally got the tutorial from Jackie Topa on (you guessed it!) Splitcoaststampers, with the link posted in a previous blog entry. The colors and style of the designer series paper "Parisian Summer" by Stampin' Up! are not my typical choices but I rather liked the paper once I began to play with it. There were several guests at the club this month who were "virgin" stampers and I felt badly that they might have been intimidated by such a lengthy project the first time out but they rallied and did well for having so much thrown at them. Hopefully I didn't scare them away from stamping!

I'm still not sure that I like the embellishment on the outside. I admire the work of Beate Johns and tried to layer this in a similar fashion. I'm still mulling over how I would change it but inspiration has left me for now! Some of the keys to making this project work: patience, commitment to finishing it to the bitter end, and a Scor-Pal!!
Supplies: SU! Parisian Summer Designer Series Paper, SU! Pink Pirouette, So Saffron, Bravo Burgundy, and Whisper White Cardstock and Classic inks, SU! Dreams Du Jour and Cute and Curly stamp sets, miscellaneous punches, twine, ribbon, Scor-Pal and Scor-Pal tape.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

M is for Memories....

Isn't this project sweet? It's just four chipboard coasters held together with a loose leaf binder ring to create a mini keychain album. I've been meaning to make some of these for gifts but only got as far as designing a set for my Sunday Stamp Club.
Isn't the owl adorable? Owls are very trendy in paper crafting right now and this set from the latest Stampin' Up! catalog is one of my favorites.

This is the front of the album with the M for memories. You can't see it but the yellow circle says "memories" as well. The project can easily be completed in an hour and a half, complete with photos and journaling on the tags. The coasters are 4x4", which is perfect for using with designer series paper. I purchased these through Eclectic Paperie. Thanks for viewing!
Supplies: SU! Autumn Vine designer paper, SU! Owl Together Now and Totally Tabs stamp sets, SU! More Mustard, Really Rust, Chocolate Chip and Sage Shadow cardstock and inks, Office Depot 1"looseleaf binder rings, SU! Chocolate Chip stitched ribbon, mini cotton cording, SU! circle brads, Prima flowers, Cricut Plantin Schoolbook cartridge, paper piercer, circle and tab punches

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I've promised and promised to post this project and here it is....finally!! I designed this project for one of my stamping clubs using SU!'s new Urban Garden designer paper and absolutely love how it turned out. This is such a fun project and very practical, as most of us need a gift bag at the last minute that's original and inexpensive. I've included a link above to a step-by-step tutorial by Diana Gibbs. The only change to her tutorial that I would recommend is using a scallop punch rather than the corner rounder for the scalloped outer strip, primarily to save time. Using the corner rounder can be time consuming and tedious so invest in the scallop punch if you can. Happy crafting!

Supplies: SU! Urban Garden DP, SU! Baja Breeze and Very Vanilla cardstock, Very Vanilla taffeta ribbon, tag punch, Crop-A-Dile, SU! Say it with Scallops stamp set, 1 1/2 and 1 1/4" scallop square punches, Scor-tape, and Scor-pal.

Alex's Homecoming Dance Photo

Curse my camera and the terrible lighting in my house! I had the worst time getting good photos of Alex before the Homecoming Dance and this was the only one that really came out. Alex looked just lovely and you wouldn't believe what we went through to find her a dress! The picture doesn't do the dress justice, which is a black satin with deep teal appliqued flowers down one side of the skirt. Alex's two friends Kati and Courtney came over beforehand to get ready and I ended up assisting all three girls with getting ready. It made me feel like a teenager again, hanging out with the girls, singing loud to the music Alex had playing in her room, and helping with hair and make-up. My parents were always supportive of all my friends and this was a good way for me to know what Alex's friends are like. Looking at the picture, I can scarcely believe my first baby is already 15 years old! Where does the time go?!

Christmas Swap

This past Saturday I co-hosted a Christmas-themed shoebox swap with my friend Tasha and this little tag tin was my contribution to the event. For those of you who may not know, a shoebox swap is a project designed to be swapped with other ladies, but rather than making it ahead, you provide all the pieces for the participants to actually make your project. Typically the project and pieces should fit in a shoebox sized container. At the end of the swap, you've made the designs of all those present, which can take awhile if you have a large group (we finished in about 4 hours, not including the yummy potluck lunch we had before starting). We had 12 ladies participate so I tried to keep the details on the tin simple so it wouldn't take too long to complete. I wish I could say the design was original but it was inspired by Nichole Heady's blog Capture the Moment. Nichole Heady is a terrific designer and owner of Papertrey Ink, one of my favorite stamp companies. The link to her blog is listed to the right, complete with a tutorial on how to complete the project using Papertrey's nugget tin. I thought this project was a perfect idea since I'm always reaching for tags at the holidays and this cute little tin keeps them organized, complete with baker's twine and adhesive tags. If you want to see some of the other fabulous swaps from this event, visit Angi Crandall's blog, also listed to the right. Enjoy!
Supplies: SU! Real Red, Whisper White, Bashful Blue and Old Olive cardstock and ink, retired SU! striped wrapping paper, Crystal Effects, Baker's Twine, Xyron, Hero Arts snowflake stamp, Papertrey Ink Boxes, Bags, and Tags stamp set, SU! Season of Joy stamp set, glitter, Oriental Trading rhinestone brads, tins, Scor-Pal

Gasp! I'm actually posting!

I'm sorry the pictures are a tad fuzzy but I still haven't worked out good lighting for taking photos in my house at night. I know those of you reading this are in a state of shock since it has been quite some time since my last posting. You'll be sick of me after this because I have several posts to make! The photos are a sampling of the projects I actually completed today!! My sweet hubby threw a surprise birthday party for me early in the month and I've been needing to make a batch of thank you cards to send to all the generous folks who gave me gifts and my card box was empty...wahhh! This first card is one I designed for my friend Marilyn's Stampin' Up! show a few months ago and I've had the extra pieces laying around, begging me to put them together, thus giving me a head start in getting my cards together. I managed to crank out 15 of these today!

The rest of the cards came together in part because another good friend of mine, Tasha, has been after me to organize my scrap box. I hate to throw paper scraps away as I invariably try to use my paper as frugally as possible. Tasha has enjoyed teasing me about my bottomless scrap bin so I finally buckled down and tackled organizing all the pieces. With Joe's help, I sorted the whole box in one night and realized how many scrap pieces I have that matched the first card so I designed smaller cards to use up the smaller pieces. The smaller cards are perfect for jotting a quick note or tucking in with a small gift. Not bad for a day's worth of work, eh? On to the next posting :)

Supplies: SU! Soft Sky, Blue Bayou, Whisper White, and Very Vanilla cardstock and ink, Scallop and circle punches, paper piercer, silver brads, SU! Stitched background stamp, SU! Priceless stamp set, SU! retired Blue Bayou stitched ribbon

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Isn't she lovely?

I'm sure she'll be embarassed when she finds out I did this but isn't my daughter lovely? Alex and a friend went to dinner Saturday night and she asked me to take this photo before we left the house. Unfortunately Alex inherited my genes and will never be stick thin but she's becoming a beautiful young woman regardless of her genetics. It's hard to believe she's almost fifteen! My baby just isn't a baby anymore. Okay, I'm gonna go have a good cry now!

Thank You Card

This summer I decided to participate in an online swap and had a lot of fun finding different craft supplies to mail to each of my two Mystery Sistah's. This week I received this lovely thank you card from Debra Harrison, aka disneydeb25 on Splitcoaststampers, who was one of the ladies I sent goodies over the summer. Look at the detail on this card! The dry embossed top, the felt butterflies, the scallops on the bottom: that's alot of work and she chose to send this to me! :) I love being inspired by other crafters and this beautiful card has certainly done that. Thanks, Deb!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

3x3 Mini Notecard Box

This latest project was featured in the Weekly Inkling newsletter, produced by Splitcoaststampers, and was the main project for my September Paper Junkies Club at the Ramstein Arts & Crafts Center. There is a tutorial on the SCS site with step-by-step instructions on how to complete the project. I've been trying to use up my new SU! Designer Paper and this project was perfect for doing just that! Here's the link to Laurie Schmidlin's tutorial:

Supplies: SU! Riding Hood Red, Pirouette Pink, Kiss Me Kiwi, and Whisper White cardstock, SU! Riding Hood Red, Kiss Me Kiwi, and Pink Pirouette Classic ink, SU! Bella Rose Designer Paper, blender pens, ink, ribbon, scallop edge punch, dimensionals, and crystal glitter.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Recently we had the opportunity to take a day and visit Legoland AGAIN! While we had a great time, we've come to the realization that our family is outgrowing Legoland. Many of the rides are geared for Jordan's age and while there were some rides which appealed to Joe and Alex, they don't have the same appeal as rides at Six Flags or Knott's Berry Farm. As you can see by the first photo of Joe in the SUV, I think we laughed more hysterically trying to flip Pringles in our mouths on the drive to the park than the wet, overcast weather we enjoyed during our time actually in the park. We'll have to check out Europa Park and see if we like that better but I think we'll do it on a day with better weather!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Altered Mini Notebooks

I finished these altered mini notebooks yesterday as a small gift for my club members and I'm rather pleased with how well they turned out. This project was inspired by a tutorial I viewed on Angie Kennedy Juda's blog, Chic'n Scratch. I've put the link to her site in the resource bar to the right of my blog for your viewing enjoyment. She has some terrific projects on there and the tutorials are fantastic! I made a template for the covers by tearing out a sheet of the notepaper, cutting a piece of cardstock the same size as the cover and then overlaying the notepaper on top of the cardstock and using my Crop-a-Dile to punch the holes. To fit the paper on top of the cover I cut tiny slits at the top of each hole and fit it around the spiral wire, then adhered the cardstock or designer paper to the cover. I kept the cover design simple and was able to crank these out pretty quickly.

Supplies: Ginger Blossom and Bella Rose Designer paper, SU! Riding Hood Red, Groovy Guava, Real Red, and Old Olive Classic ink and cardstock, scallop and circle punches, Groovy Guava double stitched ribbon, Certainly Celery twill tape, and Pink Hedgehog Papercrafts red/white stripe ribbon,Papertrey Ink Trajan Monogram and Boxes, Bags, and Tags clear stamps, and generic memo notepads.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Chalkboard Technique

I'm finally getting caught up on past projects so I thought I'd post a few of them for your viewing enjoyment! This card utilizes the chalkboard technique featured by Beate Johns in the Splitcoaststampers Resource library. The link is listed below if you're interested in experimenting with this technique.

Card Resources: SU! Heartfelt stamp set, SU! Close to Cocoa, retired Groovy Guava, Rose Red, Very Vanilla cardstock, retired Groovy Guava double stitched ribbon, vintage brads, SU! Craft White, Classic Close To Cocoa ink, Certainly Celery and Rose Red Chalk, retired Ginger Blossom Designer Paper, and misc. punches.

RAK Winner's Gift

As promised, here are photos of Nicole's RAK gift, which she will receive Friday during our monthly Stamp Technique Club. I've been cruising the web for different but inexpensive crafting items to use as hostess gifts and found these cute bags at The pink was a little lighter than I anticipated but it's still a cute little tote for carrying crafting supplies around. The checkered ribbon is leftover clearance ribbon from Verve Visual and the tag was made with Marvy Uchida oval punches, Papertrey Ambassador Monogram Stamp Set, and SU! Pretty in Pink/Close to Cocoa Ink, SU! Bella Rose DP, and the butterfly from the new SU! Dreams DuJour set. I'll have to come up with something more spectacular for the next contest!

Monday, September 1, 2008

And the winner is.....

Through a highly scientific process, (I wrote all the participant names on notepaper and dropped them in a bucket for my husband to select. Isn't he handsome?) the winner of the RAK gift is.....Nicole Apel!! A huge thanks to everyone who took the time to visit my blog over Labor Day weekend and leave comments. You were all so generous in your compliments and I appreciate the time given to checking out what's posted. Nicole has won a customized scrapbook mini totebag, of which I will post a photo by Wednesday. Thanks for playing along!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Onesie Card Tutorial

Isn't this card adorable? Our local SU! demo group met last week and this was the project demo'd by Ally, one of our newest demonstrators. The card is super easy and would make a great baby shower invite, gift card or announcement. I used Barely Banana and Whisper White cardstock, retired SU! DP paper and the Announcements retired SU! set, as well as the 1 3/8" circle punch and scallop punch. Trying to use up my retired stuff! Of course, everyone got a good laugh at my expense when I pulled out my stamp set and mounted one of the stamps right there in class. It was a set I just "had to have" and then never used it! Okay, so I'm a supply hoarder but who isn't?! I've attached the link to a tutorial by Lauren Meader, who created this sweet card:
Happy card making!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Altered Tin II

As promised, here is my latest project! I bought more Tchibo biscuit tins for a Mystery Sistah swap on Splitcoaststampers and created this design for my August gift. The color combination is unusual but it's always fun to go outside your "comfort zone" to see what comes of putting different colors together.
The paper is from the same K & Company paper pack I used from the last tin I completed and I managed to buy the last of the matching fabric brads at the Heidelberg Arts & Crafts Center. The flowers are a combination of two types of Prima flowers and a set from Oriental Trading Company. The burlap ribbon
is a common staple used in German decorations. I used the SU! Priceless stamp set for the tag and Sage Shadow, Close To Cocoa, So Saffron and Very Vanilla cardstock, as well as SU! twill tape for the edge of the lid. The butterfly was cut from the same paper used to line the inside of the tin and accented with Stickles Bronze glitter glue for a little added bling.

For those of you checking this out over the weekend of August 30-31st, leave a comment on this project and I will randomly select a winner for a special gift. This is just a little RAK (random act of kindness) for all the folks who've taken the time to visit my blog, which has received over 500 hits! I'll be posting more over the weekend and hope you enjoy the latest project.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tool of the Week: The Scor-Pal!

This is my latest favorite toy: The Scor-Pal! I purchased one of these beauties a few months ago as part of a bulk order I put together for demonstrators overseas so we could receive free shipping and free goodies. When you live overseas, free shipping to an APO sends people running to a company's website! This wonderful tool makes scoring cards and projects happen at the speed of light. (Well, maybe not that fast but pretty darn close!) The Scor-Pal also embosses and makes some really cool projects! You can also see the Scor-Pal bag, which is perfect if you travel with your craft projects alot, the Scor-Mat that features a self-healing mat on one side and a work surface on the other, a extra Scor-Tool, and the wonderful double-sided Scor-Tape. The Scor-Mat fits perfectly in the groove of your Scor-Pal so it can stay out and not detract from your work surface.

This pull out album is available, with directions, on the Scor-Pal website gallery: These would make great gifts (my family is probably asking themselves why they haven't received one yet!)

For those APO folks out there, I'll be doing another bulk order in September so check out the website and e-mail me if you want to get this amazing tool with free shipping and more! Cost of the Scor-Pal is $39.95, the bag is $16.00 and the mat is $15.00. Place a bulk order with six people, you get a free Scor-Tool along with free shipping and with 12 you receive the aforementioned plus an extra roll of Scor-Tape. I don't make any money from doing this...I just love to share the tools I love with others so that they can improve their crafting experience and it's always nice to pass on a good bargain to someone else!

Cuttlebug For Sale!

Now that Stampin'Up! has released their partnership with Sizzix Die Cut machines, my gracious husband has agreed to let me purchase the new diecut machine as long as I sell my Cuttlebug. I'm ashamed to say I only used my Cuttlebug once (I have the Cricut Expressions so that's what I tend to use) so it's in almost pristine condition. Average cost for a Cuttlebug is $89.99 but I'm selling mine for only $65.00! It comes with four mini embossing folders and one diecut, as well as all the layering mats. Let me know if you're interested and it's yours!

Friday, August 8, 2008

August Stamp Club Project

This is one of two projects for this month's August Stamp Club. Beate Johns of Splitcoaststampers featured the Joy Fold card for this week's tutorial and I fell in love with it. I tried to showcase some of the new Stampin'Up! products coming out on the 11th. (Available on Monday...eek!) The card features two new SU! stamp sets: Dreams Du Jour and Fresh Cuts, as well as Designer Paper from the new Bella Rose DP set. I snuck in the retiring Purely Pomegranate and Wild Wasabi In Color ink and paper as a fond farewell to two of my favorite In Color inks.

For a step-by-step tutorial of this project, visit

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Stationery Box

This is my last posting for today, I promise! I made this for a class a few weeks ago and have gotten so many rave comments on it, I just had to post it for all the world to see. If you want to see other styles of this same project, visit for more ideas. The base of the box is made from Bazzill Basics Bling line of pearlescent textured cardstock. The lid is paper from K&Company and the Sage Shadow cardstock and stamps are Stampin'Up!

Isn't this gorgeous? The project is not as difficult to make as you'd think by looking at it. There's a tutorial by Jackie Topa that I can e-mail to you if you're interested in step-by-step instructions (I'm still figuring out how to link files to my blog. I'm so technically challenged!) or you can Google "Stationery Box" and find numerous links to this project. The monogram stamps are from Papertrey Ink, scallop punches from Marvy Uchida and EK Success, and the adhesive pearls are from K&Company.

Holiday Park

Here we are having family time at Holiday Park! The park is more on the scale of Knott's Berry Farm, with one or two "thrilling" rides, and the rest more on the family scale or Jordan's level. Here's our two hooligans enjoying a moment together at the beginning of the day.

Say cheese!

Joe and Alex went on this very fast, lots of twisties and turnies kind of ride together while Jordan and I enjoyed a moment sipping on a Blue Raspberry Slushie. Can you say blue tongue?

Joe was given permission by his command to take a day off to spend with his family. I think he's asking himself why he took the day off if he was going to be subjected to such humiliation!

We rode this water ride three times and each time, Alex kept changing seats to avoid getting wet and still managed to sit where she got the most water. You can't really see it here but most of her left leg is soaked! Thankfully I had control of the camera for the day or Joe would have taken a picture of my seriously wet hindquarters.

Number of cows visiting my pasture...


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