Sunday, October 31, 2010

Zombies & November Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

We had such a good time doing the zombie thing last night I just had to post a photo of my little family in character. We went to two Halloween parties and also walked around the local grocery store just for fun.

I'll have more Halloween photos to share in a few days, but business comes first because it's a new month. November already! And that means a new stamp of the month. And the Blog Hop, of course! November's stamp is called "A Little Thanks" and it's filled with many quotes and phrases and words of gratitude. I know I will be getting a lot of use out of this one. See the image of all the elements of this set in the righthand column of my blog.

And, of course, what better time to qualify for a FREE stamp of the month than November because it's also time for "A Little More Thanks" with Close To My Heart's November campaign. All YOU have to do is qualify for this stamp of the month for FREE (with your purchase of at least $100 before shipping and tax) and you'll also get to select any A through D sized stamp set for absolutely FREE! Check out my website for details.

Now on to the Blog Hop. If you're already hopping, you've come from Georgia's blog. Did you scroll through her blog a bit? She has some really cute things there.

Now check out what I've created below, then be sure to keep on hopping. You'll see a link at the bottom of my photos on where to go to next. Have fun!

I am still in love with CTMH's Veranda paper pack and will surely miss it when it's gone for good. It's so feminine and romantic. With the help of some dies and border punches, plus a little Prisma Glitter, this card will be a perfect Thank You for one of my coffee buddies.

My all-time favorite card template in CTMH's Wishes card confidence program book is "Fancy File" on page 81. It's so simple, yet so impressive no matter what papers or stamps you use. I just love it! I added a sparkle gem, some Buttercup ribbon, and Cocoa ink to pull this card together.

Finally, I needed some really quick Thank You notes for the four fabulous consultants that ordered kits from me last week, so I dug into my stash of extra make-n-take cards, and whipped these babies up. The paper is from good old "Good Times" from last year. (I miss that one too). 

Now, keep on getting inspired and continue on the hop. Let's go check out Katy's blog to see what clever creations she's come up with. I love her ideas!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Army of Chocolate Frogs

Running out the door this morning for the in-laws Estate Sale. Had to post a few quick shots of the chocolate frogs I mentioned yesterday.

My daughter is having a Halloween/Harry Potter party today at school and apparently there was some reference to chocolate frogs in the first book. If you know, please refresh my memory.

Anyway, I hope many middle schoolers are happy with these little treats.

More later. Have a good day!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Treat Holder 2

Today's treat holder is even simpler than yesterday's thanks to my Cricut machine and my newest cartridge "Bags, Tags, Boxes and More" which doesn't need any explaining, does it?

Here's how one looks close up, and the next photo shows how perfectly one of these Hershey's chocolates fits in the pocket.

Let's start off with the actual candy holder part. It's sort of a tag/pocket. In the cartridge's booklet, it's on page 112 and listed as "tgpk11" which I figure must be short for tag/pocket. Ah-ha!

I set the size to 8 inches and this allowed a perfect fit for the chocolate when the pocket was assembled.

For my treat holders, I used all Close To My Heart products: Hooligans paper pack, Pear, Gypsy, Black and Sunset cardstock, plus those cute little felt monsters in the Hooligans Level 2 Assortments. I slid some black grosgrain ribbon through the slit and tied it off with a piece of Sorbet Waxy Flax. (close enough to Sunset)

These little fun treats are for my Cards & More Club which meets tonight. I had such fun making them, I could have done a hundred! But I had chocolate frogs to make last night, so no more time.

More on that tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Treat Holder 1

Quick and easy is what I'm all about during the holidays. Like you, I wish I had more time for more elaborate stuff, but I simply don't.

So for this treat holder, I turned to my Paper Trey Ink dies to create something fun, fast and functional.  The box itself is from a die called "Favor It Box 1" and the inset is "Mat Stack Die 1." The background stamping on the inset is from the coordinating stamp set "Everyday Treats." The bat and Happy Haunting is from Close To My Heart's "Spellbound" stamp set. The circle stamp is from CTMH's set called "Connections" and the cardstocks I used are Black, Pear and Gypsy also from CTMH.

I didn't plan it to work as nicely as it did, but four of those Hershey miniatures fit inside this assembled box perfectly! I love it when that happens.

Watch for another treat holder idea tomorrow!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Flamingo Gals Flock Together

This past Saturday was my quarterly Close To My Heart team meeting with my cherished Flamingo Gals. We met to celebrate and welcome new members, recognize accomplishments, do a fun make-n-take project, and share ideas.

Although not every single "Gal" was present (we are now 18 strong!) we did share the company of the wonderful women in the photo above. Front row, left to right: Debbie Tuggle, Shannon DiGiacomo, and Jacki Tibbitts. Back row, left to right: Harmony Cook, Deb Young, myself, and Tamra Pope. (Note: I had to PhotoShop myself into this picture!)

We welcomed Shannon to the flock by initiating her with the traditional "Welcome to the Flock" hang tag and a pink boa hair clip (standard issue for Convention).

Isn't she cute? What a great addition to the team she is, too. Full of energy and enthusiasm, and smart as a whip!

And she's a go-getter for sure. She's already attained her first level of "Straight To The Top" with Close To My Heart. STTT is a sales incentive for new consultants in their first three months. By making a minimum sales level in each month, consultants earn more and more FREE product credits! She also earned a free stamp set from me and her STTT hang tag.

Tamra earned the coveted Flamingo Gals crown for Top Sales this quarter. (The crown is my newest addition to the silliness at my meetings) Tamra's sales were $1,257 for the quarter!  Tamra also won a Hooligans Level 2 paper pack and her Top Sales hang tag. You might notice the blingy K on her tag. This is my "Special K" award to those who earn at least a thousand dollars in sales for the quarter. Some consultants sometimes earn several Special K's!

Other top earners were Jacki, Deb and Yenisa Jones who couldn't attend.

All consultants received a little gift of a monogrammed tissue pack for taking the time our of their Saturday to attend the meeting.

We covered a lot of new information at the meeting, making sure everyone understood the upcoming November Constant Campaign, the new enhancements and incentives for Studio J online scrapbooking, our latest offering of Online Gatherings, the 2011 Idea Book(s), and next summer's Convention in California at the Disney Hotel.

You'll have to stay tuned for more details on all those topics, right here!

Meanwhile, it's great to be a Close To My Heart consultant. I've never enjoyed a job more than this one, and I've never had the opportunity to meet and make as many good friends as I have with CTMH. If you ever think you might like the idea of joining my team, just let me know and you can sit in on our next meeting in January so you can see for yourself what fun there is to be had. No pressure, I promise.

Now it's time to get the creative juices flowing. Thanks for stopping by! I'll finish off with a few close-ups of those hang tags I had so much fun making...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Two Winners!

Thank you DiAnn Denson and Haley Dyer for playing along in my inspiration challenge. Both have won a stamp set from me!  (Haley, please be sure to send your address to my e-mail:

Here is DiAnn's very detailed card with lots of bling. Be sure to click on the image to get a close up to see all her details. Visit her blog here to see more of her creativity.

And here is Haley's card with a beautifully soft and feminine floral theme. You can visit her blog and see more of her gorgeous artwork and all the details that went into her card. Haley is a fellow Close To My Heart consultant too!

Congrats to you both, and thanks for playing along!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Inspiration & Give-away

Tim Holtz constantly inspires me with his vintage, grungy style. And I love my magazines for ideas too. Probably like a lot of you, I am not always able to dream up ideas out of my head for cards or scrapbook layouts. Sometimes it doesn't come to me as easily as other times, therefore I am always on the look-out for inspiration.

Inspiration doesn't mean "copying" by any means. For me, it's usually a kick-off point and then I add my own spin to it.

Example: This beautiful birthday card by Ingrid Danvers featured in the Nov/Dec Issue of Papercrafts Magazine...

I liked the tag idea and the overlapping papers, and even the unique way she used her ribbon. So, with Ingrid's inspiration and my Tim Holtz stamp set "Mini Halloween" (Stampers Anonymous), this is what I came up with...

I pulled papers from my stash so it's a mixture of My Mind's Eye and 7 Gypsies. The raven brad is from Making Memories, the bat is a Martha Stewart punch, and the black photo clip is from Close To My Heart, along with the twine. The ribbon is from the craft store and was a bright white and black gingham, so I toned it down by rubbing some Goldrush ink across it.

I enjoy sharing my inspiration when I create a card. I think it shows people that they can do anything if they allow themselves to be inspired. Just dig into your stash and use what you have! I know some people who have to go out and buy the exact same stamp set, papers and ribbon and completely copy an idea they've seen. This is not necessary people!

I challenge YOU to create a card inspired by this same card above. E-mail a photo of your card and I'll post it here, PLUS you will receive a FREE gift from me! Deadline is noon this Saturday, so hurry up!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mix & Mingle Kits & Photos

I promised to post these close-up images for the workshop guests who had to leave before they could add the final embellishments to their pages, specifically the placement of the pearl opaques.

For those of you who missed this workshop Sunday and would like a complete kit, I have four available at $30 each (plus shipping for the out-of-towners). Everything will be pre-stamped, papers are cut, photos and directions are provided for assembly. Contact me if you are interested. First come first served!

Here is the project once again...

And here are the close-ups of each page. 

If you are not interested in purchasing a kit, but want to copy my artwork, please honor the designer by giving credit when presenting your creation. Kindly do not use my photos for your workshops, classes or website. Thanks! 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

When Breast Cancer is a Good Thing

It's October and unless you've been living under a rock, you are well aware that it's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Everything is PINK! What an easy and wonderful way to donate a little here and a little there, right? It's a little crazy though, because I was in WalMart the other day and I saw a huge display of pink bubble wrap!

I would love to hear what crazy and unusual things you've seen that are pink this month, so please share in the comments section below.

But I digress... 

This morning I enjoyed having a cup of coffee with my neighbor Patty. We sometimes sit in her beautiful new Florida room and have conversations about baking, decorating, crafting, Halloween, you name it. It's great! We both get excited about the same things. And then there are times when I dump my woes on her about raising my pre-teen. She's been through it all with step kids and her own daughter Jen who is now in grad school.

During our conversation today we happened on the subject of Jen and how she's doing up at the University of St. Augustine. She's currently working her butt off on her Masters in occupational therapy. Patty told me how she's been spending educational time with a hand therapy specialist and thinks she might like this career path herself.

I listened as Patty spoke of her daughter, clearly proud but not overly so, and very pleased that Jen has chosen a profession that she absolutely loves. She beamed with a big smile as she told me how much Jen LOVEs it.

I asked her if she ever thought Jen would have gone into this profession way back when she was younger, like my Jamie.

She said "no way". It just sort of evolved.

As high school came to a close, Jen attended the local community college and thought she might like studying health in some capacity and eventually finished her Bachelors degree at the University of North Florida. It was during her second year there that her mom found a lump in her breast and was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Patty opted to go to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville for her treatments, scans, specialists, etc. When she would go, she would meet up with Jen, since UNF is in Jacksonville. Jen would accompany her to the Mayo as much as possible. Over the span of many hard months for her and Patty, Jen grew to know the staff and to witness the expertise at the Mayo. She was so impressed with the care for her mother and the environment at the Mayo that she spoke with someone about getting an internship and, although it was unheard of to get in that easily, Jen was recommended and admitted to their internship program.

On to the University of St. Augustine where she absolutely loves what she does and is excited about her career possibilities. And Patty is now two years cancer-free.

As Patty and I talked about the connection of her breast cancer and Jen's eventual career path, it gave me goosebumps.

As parents, I think we all hope and dream that our children will grow up to be happy successful individuals. But to absolutely LOVE what you do each and every day? Well that's just the ultimate.

This is clearly one of those instances where being handed something bad in life comes around full circle in a beautiful way. Call it fate, whatever. Things sometimes just have to happen in the order they do, and I don't think we should mess with that.

Incidentally, as I thought about writing this blog entry I was walking Suki just before sunset. My mind was at work mulling through the facts, so I almost missed it. 

I looked up at the sky.

It was a big, beautiful shade of pink. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Skeletons Love Coffee Too

Cricut meets QuicKutz with these whimsical Halloween cards I made last night.

I just posted these four cards on My Etsy Shop this morning. Each card is a gift card holder. Preferably for coffee gift cards!

For some reason, I'm enamored with this skeleton from the October 31st Cricut cartridge. Although he's a bit tedious to put together, I still love him. And my coffee mug QuicKutz die fits perfectly in his boney hand! 

Here's how the inside of each card looks, with a slight variation in each...

The slot for the gift card is easy to create. Start by cutting the card base at 5 1/2 x 11 inches. Score at 4 1/4 inches, 5 1/2 inches, and 6 3/4 inches then fold. I machine stitched the spine closed, but you can use super strong sticky tape or adhesive if you prefer. Then I cut a notched-out slit a little wider than a gift card right on the center fold. 

Here are the other three cards...

These were SUPER fun to make! They would make perfect little thank you gifts for your doctor, nurse, chiropractor or just a favorite friend who loves Halloween and coffee.

And a little humor.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Halloween Decor

The in-laws are settled into their new place and are adjusting nicely. Better than we expected, so we are happy. It's been a very busy few days. So busy, that we completely forgot we had tickets to see the local production of Sweeney Todd. I was so bummed when I saw those tickets sitting on the counter at 10:30 p.m. that night. We were supposed to go to the 7:30 show and simply forgot. I couldn't believe it!

Needless to say I didn't have any time to create this weekend, but I have my Mondays back so be sure to stay tuned for something new and fun tomorrow morning first thing.

Meanwhile, I snapped a few photos of my Halloween decorations in the foyer. I have decorations here and there all around the house, but I concentrate most of it in the foyer where people first enter and trick-or-treaters will see.

At one point in my life, I was more of fabric crafter and loved to make whimsical stuffed things like the goofy pumpkin above. He's got long dangly legs and arms and these huge puffy lips. I made these and sold them at craft fairs. 

I love quilting and sewing, and for several years had my own line of handmade baby items under the name "Nettie's Blankets." My line included double-sided flannel blankets, matching bibs, and burp cloths. One of my most popular items was my whimsical fleece hats, fashioned with fun pom-poms, some in the style of a jester. Super cute on babies. My tooth-fairy bears were inspired by Martha Stewart and were also very popular. 

I'm not usually a knick-knack type of girl, but I do love my Jim Shore pieces! This wonderful pumpkin headed guy is one of my favorites. And even though I'm not a fan of cats, this fat guy in the background sitting on a tombstone with a pickety fence around him was irresistible. 

Some day I know I will return to my fabric crafting days. Perhaps a long way down the road when I have some grand-babies. 

Please let it be a LONG way down the road...