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My world has turned upside down……

by two little, barely over two pound little girls! My sister had her twin girls at 28w6d and they were only a little over 2 lbs each. So, if you have been wondering where I have been, the answer is simple – at the hospital during my appointed times to see them or making things to help decorate their NICU “houses” to make it feel like home. When something (or somethings in this case) that small come into your world, you feel helpless and the only way I felt like I was contributing was to make them decorations. (Pics are at the end of this post!)

The other thing that hasn’t changed for me is traveling for work. I have been training like crazy and then the past two weeks have required me to be in California for a week and North Jersey for several days. It feels good to be home and in my own bed for more than two nights at a time! It also feels really good to be able to start crafting again.

One of my friends sent me an application for a craft fair November 1st at a school close to her. I also applied to the craft show at my old high school and am hoping to do the same show at my cousin’s son’s school this year. School craft fairs are where I seem to excel at, so bring them on!!

I’ve also entered 2012 (ha) and got myself an Instagram account! Very exciting news. So, if you have an Instagram account, leave your info below and I will follow you! I am planning on doing a giveaway once I reach a certain amount of followers. I’m really trying to be better about all these social media sites, but there are just so many to keep up with.

I have been trying to do more scheduling so that I can get things accomplished in a day. It’s tough but I look at my list several times a day to see where I am. Things are calming down here, which makes it a lot easier to get something accomplished for the day!

Btw – the girls are doing great. They are five weeks old and have gained over a lb and a half each. There seems to be a new, amazing update every couple of days with them. They are two little fighters and already have all of us wrapped around their incredibly tiny fingers! Work should be slowing down soon with only one more trainee on the horizon and I have some time off scheduled so that I can do some crafty work for my shows!

Thanks for bearing with me during this incredibly hectic summer. It’s one that I will never forget!! And don’t forget to leave your Instagram info below so that I can follow you!


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Some of the animals I made for the girls’ NICU home:



First Cut with the Explore

I finally was able to hook up my Explore last night. I was so excited to finally feel good enough to create a project. (I’ve been exhausted from my day job – I’m training a new hire). I set it up and then did the first cut that they use as an example, a Thank You Card. It uses the pen that comes with the machine, as well as the cutting feature. 

SInce that was a “hold my hand” project, I decided to try to make something on my own. From the comments I read, the advice I got was take your time and do a basic project and work your way up from there. I have to make my goddaughter’s book, so I thought I would start with something from there. 

I have a whole page dedicated to my goddaughter on different swings. I simply typed in the word swing and got a bunch of images. Since I bought the Explore with a three month subscription, I get a ton of images for free! Most of the ones that I saw were free so I was able to pick the one I liked best. I learned how to change the colors on my image so I could tell exactly what would cut on each mat. 

I know that the Explore can do so much more than I am even ready to start to learn! There are so many YouTube videos that I need to watch to learn how to import SVG files (and what to do with them after I have imported them!!), how to edit pre-made projects, how to upload my cartridges, etc. I am having fun learning to use the program and hopefully it won’t be too tough of a learning curve. 

I still have a ton of projects to do, both Cricut and non-Cricut related. So hopefully I will have lots of good things to share with you soon. Here’s a picture of the swing set I used:


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Excitement and disappointment

These past couple of weeks have been sheer craziness! I have been training new hires at my day job since the beginning of June, so I have been traveling non-stop. I finally was able to take a week vacation, which wasn’t really a vacation. I got text messages and phone calls from people all week – not very relaxing! I also spent a lot of time with my sister in law, shopping and making things for my sister’s shower. 

I took off on the 23rd so that I could get some furniture delivered and it just so happened to be craft day on HSN. I have been thinking about getting the Explore for awhile now and I knew it would be on sale that day. I ended up buying the Anna Griffin bundle, which was on sale for less than what I have seen it in stores for. I think it comes with two cartridges, some vinyl and paper, a mat and two months of free images on Design Space. 

I was all excited the other day when I got the email from HSN that it was shipping. I was even more excited when I got the tracking email that said it should be here some time this week. 

And then I went to turn on my computer yesterday. It was dead. Well, not dead, but I got what some call the “gray screen of death”. I was devastated. This happened to my last iMac. These things aren’t cheap. I got them from my hard earned points at work and wanted them to last more than two years. 

The reason that I am so upset about the iMac “dying” is because you need the new Explore to be hooked up to a computer to work. My plan was to bring the computer downstairs and put it on my new desk and then to have the Explore down there. But, apparently it had other plans. 

I found this out on Sunday when I came home from the shower and tried to upload the pictures from the shower. I freaked out and immediately googled “gray screen on iMac” to look for solutions. Nothing worked. I stopped and then tried again today.

After trying ALMOST everything, I found one solution that sounded like it was going to work. I turned the computer off and then back on and before the chimes, I held down the Option button. It brought me to a screen that asked me to connect to my wireless router and then after trying that twice, it actually worked! (There was a gray bar underneath that would only get about halfway done before a spinning gray wheel would pop up and nothing would happen). 

I was back to being super excited again. Hopefully my Explore will be here by the end of this week and I can start creating some things with it!

I have uploaded the video on the shower decor I made – I’ll write a post on that as well with the link if you guys want to check it out!

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Exciting News!

Today, I had my first ever bridal invitation consultation! I was so nervous because I didn’t know the bride (I know her daughter though) and it’s always nerve wracking to show someone your work. Plus, this is only the second set of invitations I’ve ever done. 

I was having the hardest time coming up with a design that I liked. I was playing around with fonts and layouts on the computer, but nothing was looking the way I wanted it to. The bride was anxious to see what I had created and we decided to meet today. Well, until lunchtime, I didn’t really have much to show her. 

True to form, like in other aspects of my life, I work best under pressure! I came up with a design that I loved and as it turns out, so did the bride! Which thrilled me because if she didn’t, it was back to the drawing board for me. And after going through my supplies and playing with fonts and margins on the computer, I wasn’t sure that I could come up with something better. 

Part of the problem was that I was trying to do a lot of the invitation on the computer, but that’s not where my strengths lie. I enjoy creating things on my Cricut or with stamps and stencils. Once I decided to incorporate the Cricut with the computer, I came up with the perfect design!

So, now I am off to work on the invitations. I have cut out all 25 bases and now have to print out the actual invitation. I will post pictures after the bride tells me all the invitations went out. I also have lots of baby shower things to work on, along with a Thank You card, Welcome Baby Boy card and my goddaughter’s birthday present (which I haven’t started yet). AHHHHH. Lots to do so I’m off to get it done!

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Using the new Disney cartridges

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I made a Mickey head the other day from the Mickey and Friends cartridge. Of course I can’t find it now to take a picture. One of my new followers was asking about the Disney cartridges I got recently after she watched one of my videos. She wanted to know how difficult it was to make some cuts from the cartridges.

I watched other people’s videos and learned some tips and tricks. I leaned that if you used the slowest speed, the cuts come out better. Also, make the cuts the biggest size possible. I made a video of all the tips and tricks and posted it on YouTube. if you want to check it out!

Tonight, I decided to tackle the Disney Classics cartridge. I broke one of my own rules and made the cuts at 4 inches. I should’ve made the cuts bigger because a lot of them didn’t cut out properly. I made adjustments, however, and made due with what I had and salvaged as much of the cuts as possible. (Having a white and a black gel pen doesn’t hurt either!)

Im not overly thrilled with the way Alice turned out. You can recognize that it is her and I’m sure that most people wouldn’t notice the things I did notice. I did have fun making Alice in Wonderland though and I can’t wait to make the other characters on the cartridge.

Yesterday, I made two characters from the Mickey and Friends cartridge. I made a Minnie Mouse and a Donald Duck. When I was at AC Moore a couple of days ago, I bought a bunch of the $1 bin stamps. One of them said “Oh Heck! I missed your birthday”. I made the Donald cut of him jumping up and down, where he looks like he’s mad.  I thought that it would be perfect for that sentiment.

The Minnie Mouse cut I used was the one of her jumping in the air. I used one of the My Pink Stamper stamp sets that has the stamp “Kick up your heels”.  The interior of the card is blank so it can be a thinking of you or a get well card. I am really happy with the way those two cards came out.

The last card that I made was one using a new stamp I got from AC Moore and a new paper pack I got from Joann’s. I also used a Fiskar’s edge punch that I never used before that I thought mimicked the bubbles in the “Hello Friend” stamp I used. It was from another stamp set that I got from the $1 bin. I used VersaMark and some Stampendous white embossing powder on the sentiment.


Here are some pictures of the four cards. I am off to make some more cuts from those (and my other) new Cricut cartridges! Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave a comment or question and subscribe.


South Jersey Etsian Mother’s Day Blog Hop

Welcome to the first official South Jersey Etsian blog hop! Thanks for joining us. There are five great projects today, so please be sure to visit everyone’s blog to see what was made. If you don’t know about us, we are a team of local, Southern New Jersey artist who sell on Etsy. We have marketing mixers to help promote each other and our shops, give ideas on new ways to tag and list items and brainstorm on ways to drive traffic to our shops. And the SJE blog hop was born!!

Since we each sell very different items (from jewelry to up cycled coasters to cards), we decided that we would “hop” around certain themes. With Mother’s Day not so far away, what a perfect theme for our first hop. So, here it is!

My project was a Mini Album for the new mother. It seems all of my friends are having babies (while I’m just getting awesome! Check Pinterest for this awesome ecard!!), so I decided to use my new Mini Album Cricut cartridge to create a baby boy book. First, I went through the paper stack I used – Me and My Big Ideas Baby Boy Paper stack – and picked the patterned papers that I liked and thought would go well together. Once I selected those papers, I went though the booklet for the cartridge and selected the cuts that I wanted to include in this album. I didn’t use the smallest cuts (Horizontal 9 and Horizontal 14) because they come out really small and you can’t put much on them.

Once I had all my cuts done with designer paper and some other blue card stock I had in my stash, I started assembling. The directions in the back of the book are easy to follow and once you’ve made one book, it’s easy to see how the other books will come together. (There is also a Vertical and Square Mini Album option). I used a light baby blue ribbon to hold all the pages together.

Then I started decorating. I used two of the baby cartridges I have – New Arrival and Baby Steps – to make some of the embellishments. I also used some of the stamps in my collection to add some quotes. I used a variety of inks including distress, Stazon and Versa Magic.I used coordinating colored card stock as mats for pictures.

Overall, this particular album can hold approximately 21 4 x 6 photos, with some room for additional smaller (3×3) photos. There are plenty of journaling spots – just turn some of the images over! The album is very interactive.

Here are some pictures of the album:

The Cover:


Inside the first pocket – a bottle that has journaling on the back and baby’s info with a spot for photo on the back:DSC_0829

The back:


One of the tags:


The crib, which houses the bear and the onesie:


Front of the bear and onesie – goes in the crib:


Back of the bear and oneseie:


One of the 4 x 6 photo pages. The baby is only partially glued down, so a picture can easily fit under the baby’s head!


Same for this camera icon. It’s partially glued, so a picture can easily slip into it!


Baby’s binky holds a journaling spot:


Cute train page has room for one of the 3×3 photos:


Another 4 x 6 photo mat:


The back cover:


Thanks for hopping along with us. Please visit the following blogs and see what they have made for Mother’s Day!!

Michele – YOU ARE HERE
Jaime –
Lisa –
Heidi –

No one was watching me….

And I bought TWO more Cricut cartridges! I am out of control!! I bought Mickey and Friends and Disney Classics from Joann’s two weeks ago because they were $30 each. I looked on Amazon and people wanted $50 or $60 (or more) for them!! So of course I had to buy them – and more. I bought some cute stamp sets, Hero Arts neon inks and distress inks as well. I swore that was the last of my shopping spree because earlier in the week……

I bought stamp sets from Gina K Designs. And not just a couple. She was having a 50% off sale of all her duo sets. If you buy 6 sets of stamps (you have to buy 2 or 3 duos to count as 1 stamp set), then you get a FREE set. Of course I had to buy enough to qualify for the FREE set! So, I did. But then, even earlier in the week……

I bought from Simon Says Stamp. I just NEEDED those Hero Arts shadow inks. I had to have them. So many people who make videos on YouTube have them that I decided I had to get them. And, since at this point I didn’t know I was ordering from two more stores that week, I decided I had to get some new stamps. I got some Lawn Fawn, Technique Tuesday and Paper Smooches stamp sets, along with a Simon Says Stamp exclusive stamp and die set.

Although this seems like a lot of things (and it is, don’t get me wrong), I have been using them. I would say I used about 50% of the products overall so far. And it’s only been a little over a week since I got most of them. I’m having a great time making all kinds of projects and coming up with new ideas for these stamp sets and Cricut cartridges.

Before I forget, I did do some major damage at Michael’s a couple of weeks ago. I got a TON of new papers and I also got the Cricut Mini albums cartridge. Stay tuned to tomorrow’s post for a blog hop that features one of the projects that I have made with this album. (Plus, you will also get the chance to see four of my fellow teammates’ projects – you won’t be disappointed!!)

I think that I am done with shopping now. I need to get back into my craft room and create. I posted a lot of new projects yesterday to my Etsy shop. If you want to see what I bought or made, check out these sites: (Joann’s haul – other haul videos are listed on my channel) (my Facebook page, where I have posted pictures of new projects and links to my YouTube videos)

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