Friday, January 30, 2009

Scraplifting and Vacation Time

Good Morning Everyone :-)

We are leaving for Anaheim in about three hours so I'll probably not be online much until the tenth of February. We are going to Disneyland to celebrate Chris's 40th birthday (tomorrow), my 36th (Friday) and our 14th anniversary (Wednesday). It should be a ton of fun.

All month at TSR there has been a faves challenge where you choose a LO from your favorites folder that meets the requirement (like "strips" or "hearts") and then copy it. I was able to play a long twice this month. The first LO I lifted was by Shawnna, here's her LO:

and here's mine:

The second was by Jenny Price:

And Mine:

I even met one of my goals of using stamps more often on LOs.

Have a great week everyone! If I can I'll post some pictures from the trip.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hostess Gifts

We leave for California tomorrow morning and we hope to catch up with our friends while we're in the neighborhood. I like to bring a hostess gift when I visit someone and usually make something myself, like homemade bread. Time and health has not complied but that doesn't mean I can't still bring something from the heart.

Some of my favorite hostess gifts are gourmet food (salsa, jams, jellies, sauces), ice cream and sundae sauce, candles, soap, tea towels, wine or flowers. An important rule of thumb is to not offer something your hostess feels inclined to make use of immediately or something they have to fuss with. For example, cut flowers are gorgeous but they require your host to find a vase, arrange them etc.

To make our gifts personal I decorated my own gift bags. You can find a pack of thirteen large kraft colored gift bags at stores like Michael's for around six dollars. With those ever-present 40% off coupons it amounts to about thirty cents a bag. What a deal. These are the ones I use:

I rounded up my paper scraps and decorated the fronts and have a nice gift. Here's how they turned out:

Note: If you are like me and use partial sheets of paper you will probably have two different sides. Most people don't notice and those who do usually think it's a good thing. So no worries.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CASE Yourself

In scrapbooking we call it a "scraplift" and in card making they call it CASE (Copy and Share/Steal Everything) - either way, the idea is taking someone else's work and either copying it outright or using it as inspiration for your own. Did you know you can lift your self? Yes you can!

Yesterday I made a blue card (scroll down to see a nice, clear, sun-filled picture) and really liked how it came together. So last night when I was making a LO I used my card as a guide for the LO design. Obviously the dimensions change but it's a great way to do some scrapping without having to pick colors, paper, embellishments etc.

Here they are side by side:

This technique is often done the other way, using your LO scraps to make a card, but people seldom take the next step and copy the design too. Try it, you might like the results.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I just love the new Making Memories Poolside flocked paper. Here's a card I made:

Walls, Boys and Miss May

Anyone know what this is a picture of:

When you have boy children, or children for that matter, inevitably their knobby little knees take out all those beautifully rounded corners that the builder so nicely installed. What you are seeing in the above picture is all our interior corners being repaired and repainted. I know we could add moulding caps over all the corners but it really wouldn't suit our decor.

Speaking of decor, the back of our house has slowly morphed from expensively framed fresh advertising art to maps for school and Rock Band drum sets:

The nicer elements stopped fitting in as well so Chris and I thought it was time for a change so we did this:

It's a much better match for the rec room feel of that space.

In other news ~

* Shannon over at Bombshell Stamps asked me to be Miss May, you can see the whole design team here.

* Memory Makers picked up one of my layouts, it'll be out in their July/August issue.

Hopefully I'll get to make some cute stuff today and I'll post more later.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Baby Layout

It's fun doing baby layouts when your kid is twelve. Walking down memory lane, remembering how the squishy little fella smelled so good and how his smile was truly the highlight of my day.

Said child is in his room on time-out right now ... until he's older. But enough about that, here's the page:

This started out as a direct lift from the uber-talented Brenda Carpenter for thr title page of my 2009 album. I just wasn't feeling the coral and flowers with my large boys so I pulled off the pictures and title, rotated the page to it's side and added two baby pictures. I think it works better for me this way.

Did you see the ribbon treatment? I've been wanting to try that technique for ages but hadn't. I can see over-using this in the future *grin*

It's good to remember that if a sketch isn't working for you to try rotating it, replacing one large picture with a collage or two photos side by side etc.

Tags and Awards

My dear friend Angela presented me with this blog award:

Thank you so much, Angela. You're too kind. Ladies be sure to check out her blog, she makes the cutest cards and has a shop on Etsy.

Now to fulfill my blog award duties *grin* List 5 of my addictions and tag 5 worthy winners.

1. Hummus

2. Trashy books (Sookie Stackhouse, Anita Blake, Carpe Demon Series, Hannibal... you name it)

3. My computer

4. Paper crafts - I'm a scrapbooking, card making, altering fool.

5. Long sleeve shirts under plain t-shirts. Comfy, warm and washable.

Now to my choices for winners. And they are.......

1. Laura O ~ Talented, sweet, cool.

2. Godelieve ~ her blog is where I go when I need inspiration.

3. Sparkle ~ you have to check out her cards... WOW!

4. Tiff ~ again, awesome card maker and you must check out her Etsy inspired challenges. So cool!

5. Lauren ~ Oh my heaven, this gal is FUNNY and overflowing with creativity.

I was also tagged by Heidi for a photo tag thingy (yes, thingy is the technical term) Here's how it works:

1. Go to your Picture Folder on your computer or wherever you store your pictures.
2. Go to the 6th Folder, then pick the 6th picture in that folder.
3. Post that picture on your blog and the story that goes along with the picture.
4. Tag 6 other people that you know or don’t know to do the same thing and leave a comment on their blog or an e-mail letting them know you chose them.

So here is my picture:

Years ago I had ipopmyphoto make a pic of my boys into an ipod style image. I still think it's way cool :-)

I'm going to tag Cindy, Claudette, Sarah, Barbara and Laura.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Went to a Movie and Snow!

After days of rain, our once impressive snow piles were sorely lacking. I watched, decidedly unimpressed as bare ground began peeking out in spots - this isn't a proper Utah winter! Last night on our date Chris and I were drenched in rain. I hate being one of those people that complain about weather but that is just not okay in January.

But blessed winter goodness arrived around midnight and my world is once again blanketed in snow. Woo-hoo!

Anyone who read my Diva interview knows my "embarrassed to admit it" secret that I am a die-hard fan of gangster rap. I just haven't been able to completely give it up as it was the soundtrack of my teen years. Yes, it's dirty, foul, angry, sexist... you name it. But wow, it's also fun and raw and real. I've always kept a few albums hidden away to listen to when I need a pick-me up and only Snoop Dogg will work.

Chris surprised me last night with taking me to Notorious the movie about slain rapper the Notorious B.I.G aka Biggie Smalls, Christopher Wallace. It was made by Sean Combs who was his manager, started a label around him and was his closest friend who inspired him to give up hustling drugs and use the gift he was given.

Tupac (2pac) Shakur was his mentor and closest friend until he blamed Biggie for setting him up in 1994 when he was shot five times. The shooting severed the friendship and started the war between the west coast rappers (Death Row Records, notably, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Suge Knight etc) and the East Coast Bad Boy Record label (among others, Lil' Kim, Combs himself, Notorious B.I.G. etc.) headed up by Combs.

The movie was incredible. If you are or were a fan of gangster rap or followed this feud it is a wholly honest and gripping portrayal of one man's life through the lens of those close to him. Written and produced by Combs, it also has Biggie's mom as one of the directors and CJ, Biggie's son plays young Christopher Wallace.

When the movie was over, Chris and were upset that the lateness of the hour meant we couldn't buy another set of tickets and watch it again. It was that good. I'm not sure if the movie would be accessible to people who didn't like that sort of music or to those offended by the constant misogyny and violence. Personally, that's the currency they dealt in so it was no more offensive to me than violence would be in a war movie.

It is definitely R for language and sexuality and the shootings were predominantly off screen and very tasteful.

I'd throw my hands in the air for this movie.

P.S. I didn't add in a lot of links to this post. I figure a lot of you will be wondering why a nice card-making christian girl is posting about this anyhow and the links won't be of interest. For those of you who were fans of Biggie you don't need links to know who the key players were.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

An Excursion

We went to the Open House at the new Draper temple last night. We aren't Mormon and have no interest in becoming so but once the temple is consecrated it's closed to the public for ever. Since people travel from all over the world to see these things and the best of everything goes into the structure we thought it would be an interesting learning experience.

Over 900,000 people have already trekked through in the weeks it's been open and our turn came up at 6:00 PM last night. We arrived at the church and were directed to the gymnasium where we waited for half an hour. I regaled the boys with tales of floor hockey games, school gym class and broken bones; the time passed quickly and then were ushered into a sunday school room to watch a twelve minute film about the significance of the temple and the eternal family. What was most interesting was the history of Draper itself. I didn't know much about the Draper family or how the area looked before it was developed. It was fascinating to see the familiar contours of our mountain in it's natural state.

Next we boarded a bus - one of those luxury travel schooners - and headed back up the hill to the temple. This was the highlight of our trip. The boys were fascinated with the personal reading lights, fan and the bathroom on the bus. Much laughter erupted as we discussed how cool it is to pee on the bus - and how perhaps "peeing in a bathroom on a bus" painted a more accurate picture. Boys are so funny.

We were instructed to remain silent inside the temple as an act of reverence for the sacred place we were entering. The boys were totally on board until one of the first ushers we saw leant forward and asked Brayden how his evening was. He looked at her in full horror and walked away quickly. Poor kid, all that "house of God" talk was something he took seriously and he thought it was a trap.

We were lead through many waiting rooms and ordinance rooms. I mean no disrespect but it had a very Parade of Homes feel to it and a lot of the areas reminded me of well-appointed lawyers offices, not particularly special or holy. The changing rooms and laundry were pretty cool but it was odd being on a tour through them. The baptismal for the dead was neat - it's held up by twelve oxen carved from rock. When we got to the brides waiting room I was enchanted by the crystal sconces and chandeliers. A huge tri-fold mirror graced one side of the room and a twenty-foot bank of mission style stained glass filled the other wall. I must have been looking impressed as the usher leaned over to me and said very passionately, " I *SO* want to get married here." She was cute.

The celestial room was equally impressive and I stood looking up at the decorative ceiling long enough to get a crick in my neck. I like the idea of having a room that turns your mind to God. I'm not sure that one did it for me, but the idea was a good one. The boys were most impressed with the ordinance rooms that had murals covering three walls. They depicted the local scenery, complete with mountain lions and deer.

There are a lot of stairs in the temple and Chris and I got into a disagreement about whether I should take the stairs or go in the elevator with the wheel chair crowd. I adamantly refused as I want to use stairs as long as I can. After the third flight I was starting to fall and I asked an usher to get me some water so I could take some medicine. He was so nice and utterly compassionate to my plight. Quickly several folks sprung into service and a small bottle of water appeared in minutes. It reminded me of a friend who has recently gone through a difficult divorce and the LDS church was an amazing support system to her. Everyone we dealt with last night was as helpful and caring as her stories implied. The stark contrast between last night and our neighbors who won't let our kids play with their kids and won't even talk to me was a lot to process. But then I decided that how folks act in church and how they act at home can be two very different things. And that is just as much a Protestant problem as it is any other religion.

We wandered through several more administrative rooms and then headed to a church for cookies and water before getting back on the bus. Again, the bus ride home was the highlight of the evening.

Last night was a good opportunity for me to challenge my tolerance for religions I don't agree with and to model respecting others to my kids. It was so odd to be treated well by people who have been for the most part incredibly rude to us for the last three years. I wish the goodwill so evident at the temple extended to the post office and the grocery store.

I'm excited for the LDS in our area to have such a lovely place that is so meaningful to them to worship in and I am really glad we went. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Things To Do When You're Stuck at Home

1. Make cards in fun shapes

2. Embarrass your dog:

3. Enter A Challenge:

This is for the current challenge at Tag Your It. The theme was Sugar Candy Kisses. All Stamps are Just Johanna's Odd Bird planet: Birdie Cake and I love Cake.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Making Hay While the Smog Chokes

*grin* Couldn't help myself. Thanks for all the well wishes yesterday. They were good for the spirit.

Since I was seriously limited in my mobility yesterday and the whole gasping for air thing was getting me down I decided to try to make something but only use what I could reach. I had a pad of Black Magic Core'dinations (In case you aren't familiar with Core'dinations, it's cardstock with a different colored core. I'd accidently bought the black magic pad which is all black with bright centers.), cuttlebug, a stack of images I'd stamped for other projects and my bag of recyclables for altering. Knowing I ruin everything I touch when I'm feeling this bad made playing with my trash a good choice.

I fetched my Sassafras Lass Hog Heaven page kit too. How I love those papers but cute pink stuff - or even cutesy blue stuff - just doesn't make it into my scrapbook pages so it was in the "okay to wreck" group. I sifted through my giant stack of stamped images I realized I needed a system. When I stamp I always make four or five of each image in case I mess up coloring. That usually means I get at least two spares per image. So far they'd been stacked in a "to do" pile. Not pretty. So I made this:

Pretty! And it follows my rule about making things pink if I want them left alone.

Then I decided to tackle my desire to have my Bombshell Stamps neatly organized and separate from my other unmounteds. I found a recipe folder in my junk bag made this:

I wanted to do the CPS challenge this week but was still stuck with what was within arms reach so I made this card for Sketch 79 with the core'dinations cardstock and an image I colored months ago:

All in all, I had a lot of fun and my house is a little more organized for the effort.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Utah: Nation's Dirtiest? And a card

Air. We have the dirtiest air in America.

In Utah -especially the Salt lake Valley - there is a nasty phenomenon called inversion. The definition of an inversion is the layer of air near the earth is cooler than an overlying layer. What it means is that pollution gets trapped and can't go away until the next storm. We get this in the winter and there are regular warnings for asthmatics (me) and people with compromised immune systems (me) to stay indoors. This inversion is so bad it's effecting healthy people and the warnings extend to all people, not just the weak. I haven't seen any of the mountains that ring this fair valley in days. In the valley itself people say it's like walking through fog...ON THE GROUND! Environmental compliance agents drive through neighborhoods to police the rules. If you are caught burning wood or a variety of other things you'll be fined. It's really bad. Strong people can't breathe well, are coughing and many are too worn out to function. When air particulates get this high heart attacks and strokes go up as much as ten-fold. The hospitals have to over staff like crazy to deal with it. It's scary.

For me, as one suffering an immune disorder, this is a hard, hard thing to manage. I'm mostly sitting still, trying to breathe. My chest aches like pneumonia and the tiredness is like a heavy drape. My back swells in response to my immune system fighting the bad air and the swelling presses on my insides, causing internal bleeding. So I add low blood pressure and anemia to the mix. Ugh. It's hard to function like this. Each hour seems to bring with it a loss - mostly of motion.

Fortunately I'm more angry than depressed and as soon as this terrible air blows away (and it's safe to leave the house) I want to get involved with the Mother's for Clean Air group and see what good I can do. This is unacceptable. Utah needs to put better environmental laws in place. You can read the latest inversion story here if you're interested. It's supposed to blow over on the weekend. I'm trying to ride it out but if things get much worse, Chris is going to drive the kids and I somewhere else - Wendover, Vegas... anywhere with clean air.

I made this valentines card before the inversion:

It doesn't show up well small, you can see it bigger here

Dianne's Pumpkin Claire Flamingo Right (SALE)
Dianne's Vampire Claire Flamingo Left (SALE)
Flower Curl Heart
"Be My Valentini"

Monday, January 19, 2009

Paper Flower Tutorial

I made this tutorial for the cyber crop at the Scrap-room this past weekend this past weekend and thought you might like it too. These also look great on wrapped presents in lieu of a bow. When we were kids we'd make dozens from newspaper and attach them to our barrettes, headbands, make costumes with them - they're so fun.

This is so easy it feels almost silly to make a tutorial on it but just in case you aren't familiar with the technique, here goes:

1. Get ten pieces of thin (not card stock) two sided paper - anything from newspaper to fancy patterned paper works. I used book pages

2. Stack them up and cut out a circle.

3. Cut spokes into the paper. I made this pic big so you can see what I mean.

4. When you're done it should look like this

5. Separate you circles. This step is vital as it won't fluff if they're stuck together

6. Re-stack pile

7. Staple through the center of the stack

When you're done it should look like this:

8. Don't panic. I want you take your nice little stack and crumple it in your fist. Trust me, it'll be okay.

9. Now do it again a few times

10. Voila! You did it! Told you it was easy!

11. But we're not done yet. Find the back of the staple. You might lose some petals doing this - no biggie.

12. Press the back of the staple side down against your table to make a flat bottom

Some Options

Sprayed With Glimmer Mist:

Sprayed from mister with water and dye re-inker and added a button:

All Done:

Tip: These are VERY dimensional. If you want something flatter use less paper.

Here are some projects I've made with paper flowers:

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Just a little reminder to everyone to do your part. We have been shifting to a greener lifestyle over the past eighteen months and our trash and power consumption has plunged. We buy offsets to make up for the 4x4 we need to get up the mountain and even have a doo-dad hooked up to our AC so the power company can turn it off if there is too much drain on the grid. I was feeling pretty good about that. As I read more about eco-issues I heard time and time again about how not eating meat is one of the best things you can do for the planet. Somehow my twisted, lazy mind took that to mean that as a vegan I'm doing pretty darn good (if I do say so myself) and I can let up on the reigns a bit. It started with apples. I fell in love with expensive gourmet apples from New Zealand. I winced at the thought of the energy required to get them to my plate but decided all the good I do cooking from scratch, not eating animal products, being a one car household etc. surely made up for a few apples. Then it got cold and our thermostat has crept higher and higher. Yesterday we got a power bill that rivaled our old pre-concern for the environment days. How the prideful have fallen. So with this post I'm back on track. We're good at reuse and recycle but reduce still needs a lot of work. And I'm dialing the thermostat down again.


Paper: bazzill and Crate (I even used the strip that says "Crate" it's the yellow bit at the bottom)
Stamps: On Sale: Mushroom corner right and mushroom corner left, Take Care of Our Earth
Tim Holtz Blending tool and Tea Dye distress ink
EK Success Corner Punch
Autumn Leaves Button tied with karen foster floss

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Chinese New Year Sale at OBP

Hey Everyone. I hope you've scooted over to Odd Bird Planet to pick up some stamps during the awesome sale that's going on right now. Here's some cute stuff I made with the sale items:

This bow is so versatile. It makes any image immediately festive.

Sale item: cathrine's bow 1795AA
Other stamp: Earth Topiary

Sale Item: birdhouse a frame (103C) 1751C

These are just a few of the stamps that will be discounted by 25% off! You don't even need a coupon code - the sale items will be set already with the sale price.

During the sale, the Fairytale kit will be on sale at 20% off!

Here is some cute stuff Tiff made with the kit: