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Category Archives: starting a project

Today I had my niece over to work on some Christmas “projects”. It all started out when her cousin (my goddaughter) decided that she wanted to make necklaces for her mom, Nona and Mom-Mom, with picture frames for her dad and two Pop-Pop’s, plus gifts for her cousin and assorted animals. I tried to redirect my goddaughter into making things for everyone instead of buying. Well, I guess I am a convincing salesperson because she bought it and I have been helping the girls make gifts for everyone!

A couple of weeks ago I had Allie over and we started making the “shells” of her projects. We first went shopping and she picked out what she wanted. I love that when we got to a certain point she looked at candles and said $5??!! I can’t buy that! Between the two of us and some 55% off AC More coupons, we got really good deals on presents for all the adults on her list!

Two weekends ago, I had both of the girls over. Bella is a little younger and I wasn’t sure how she was going to take to making crafts. I know Allie loves to make things, but it seems like both girls got the creativity genes!! I was so impressed with their selections and how good they were at working with my crafting things. Of course there were things that they needed help with, but overall they were the lead designers. I was just there to do the things that they couldn’t.

Today was just Bella and I and it was great to work with her one on one. They are both so funny and have big personalities, but at the same time are different in so many ways. Bella tells stories like no other kid. She loves to gossip and give her opinion on everything. Bella rolls her eyes a lot and can be dramatic in a more subtle way than Allie, if that makes sense!

Tomorrow is my day with my goddaughter. We have a lot to do because she is super ambitious! She was so thoughtful to have put together a list of people she wanted to buy for that she loves. (I did notice that my name was missing, but I am assuming that it’s just because she and I were creating the list together and not because she didn’t think of me. HAHA. I know it was!) I can’t wait to see how her projects turn out. She loves to craft almost as much as I do. I love when she asked me when she can come over and make something. She’s like my rent-a-kid! I get to do the fun things with her and then send her home. : )

Crafting with both of them has taught me patience. I am usually a perfectionist. This time, I sat back and let the girls pick what they wanted. At some points I asked, are you sure? But, I needed to keep in mind that this is their present. Crafting with both of them has taught me patience. I am usually a perfectionist. This time, I sat back and let the girls pick what they wanted. At some points I asked, are you sure? But, I needed to keep in mind that this is their present. I learned to let go and just watch them have fun. If they messed up, they just used a different color or added that “carrot” so they could put in the word they forgot. It was so simple. I need to be more like that in my crafting.

And I have. Yesterday, I went out of my comfort zone and did some more water coloring. I had done a piece for my mom for her birthday. When I saw it on the mantle with the other cards I actually said out loud, wow – it almost looks as good as a store bought card. Of course, my mom being the smartass that she is said to me – you’d give me something that isn’t good?? But, she knew what I meant. It’s hard for me to praise my work. Maybe because it’s so personal? Not sure. But, since I went out on a limb earlier in the month, I decided to try again. So, here is what the card front looks like so far. I have to mount it on some scrapbook paper and then put it on a card. (I know, what am I waiting for???)


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Playing catch up!

I feel like lately I have been playing catch up. My day job has been crazy, so I haven’t had as much time to work on projects as I would like. I had an amazing client ask for a custom order at the craft fair that took me awhile to work on. I loved the idea that she proposed so much that I actually did the same thing for my brother and sister-in-law for part of their wedding present!

For the custom order, I was asked to make one wedding card and eight Christmas cards from the couple. She wanted teal, white and silver as the colors incorporated into both cards. For the wedding one, she wanted starfish and sand dollars along with the colors. It took me awhile to come up with the concept for the wedding card – the Christmas one was easy!

For the eight Christmas cards, I took a white card base and cut a black sheet of card stock to fit over the front, with a small border of the white showing around the edges. I then used a snowflake background stamp inked up with VersaMark and silver embossing powder to create the front piece of the card. Using the Cricut cartridge Elegant Edges, I chose one of the circles with a scalloped edge and cut the top layer in white and the bottom layer in teal. Then I took a monogram stamp that I got from the AC Moore dollar bin and inked it up with teal Stazon ink and placed the “k” monogram in the center. I had some teal see-through ribbon that I thought would look great behind the monogram. I glued all the layers together and then onto the front of the card base.

For the interior, the customer wanted it to say “Merry Christmas from Mr and Mrs. (last name)”. Since I don’t really like printing sentiments from the computer, I had to find stamps that had the correct saying and were size appropriate. The first one I chose was a sled and two reindeer that said Merry Christmas underneath it. Then from a word stamp set that I got at Hobby Lobby I took the word “from”. The Mr and Mrs also came from a stamp I picked up at Hobby Lobby, but this one was a wood mounted stamp. (The other one was a clear stamp.) The last stamp I chose was a sign stamp where I could print their last name.

I inked up all these stamps with the same teal Stazon ink I used on the front and stamped them onto a piece of white card stock. I backed that with a piece of black card stock that was a little larger and then placed them onto the inside of the card.

The wedding card was another story. It took me so long to come up with a concept I wasn’t sure I would get it done in time! I knew that I had sand dollars and starfish on the Life’s a Beach Cricut cartridge. I also bought a stamp set when my sister got married on the beach that featured beachy items. I just couldn’t get a background image together.

I went through all my paper (which is A LOT!!) and came across this beach scene – sand, palm trees, beautiful blue sky with clods and the water. I knew I had a stamp of a couple dancing, so it was coming together. What if they were dancing on the beach with some sand dollars and starfish around them, with the beautiful sky and ocean in the background? I cut the paper so that it was mostly the beach and then adhered it to the front of the white card base, with no border. Then, I cut out the pieces from the Cricut and I believe they were 3/4″ or 1″ at the most from white card stock. I inked them up with tea dye distress ink so that they wouldn’t stand out on the beach as much.

Next,  used the same teal Stazon ink and stamped the image of the couple dancing onto white card stock. I did some fussy cutting and then attached it to some silver paper. I also stamped “Best Wishes” onto a piece of white card stock with silver ink and then attached it to some silver paper as well. I adhered the sand dollars, starfish and sentiment right to the card base, but for the couple, I used pop dots so that they would stand out.

For the inside, I used some teal paper and a Martha Stewart deep edge border punch with hearts. The teal paper covered the interior of the card and then I placed a piece of white card stock right underneath of it. On that, I used a stamp that said “May your new lives together abound in love today, tomorrow and forever”. I used some of the hearts that were left over from the top cut out to adorn the corners of the white paper and I was done!

Here are some pictures of the custom order!


Thanks for stopping by! As always, feel free to leave comments or questions.


Sneak Peek

As you know, I’ve been working really hard to try to get some new things done for the craft fair at the end of the month, which will be my first ever! I know I talk about it a lot, but I am excited and nervous. When I was trying to come up with ideas for new things to make, I watched some YouTube videos. There’s one particular YT channel I watch to get inspiration and it’s called CardzTV.

I was looking back at some of her older videos the other day and saw the cutest idea for a project. After watching the video, I realized that I didn’t have the proper Cricut cartridge to complete the project, so I went to Amazon and ordered it. Well, it came Friday night and I couldn’t wait to use it on Saturday! I was trying to keep the things I am working on more of a secret / surprise until the show, but I couldn’t wait. The first one I did turned out better than I expected, and I am still working on the second one.

Here’s a sneak peek of the recipe book….

It’s not finished – I want to add ribbons and maybe some charms on the side and decorate the inside pages a little more, but for right now, this is what I have. Leave a comment and let me know what you think! Thanks for stopping by!


VersaMagic Spanish Olive ink

Darice embossing folder – Dots

My Mind’s Eye paper

DCWV Christmas paper (from a couple of years ago)

Red cardstock

This and That Pop Dots (from AC Moore)

The Paper Studio 1″ Binder Rings (from Hobby Lobby)

Light blue card stock (From AC Moore – comes in a variety pack)

ATG gun

Some scrapbooking tips…..

I just spent the past couple hours scrapbooking. And while it wasn’t me that was actually doing the scrapbooking, I had such a great time. One of my best friends from high school recently finished her basement and had sectioned off part of the basement for a craft room. Since she is the queen of organization (and if you don’t believe me, check out her blog –, I wanted to get some tips on how to better organize my scrap room. She wanted to get tips on new scrapbooking ideas, so we decided a wine and scrapbook night was in order!

If you scrapbook solo, I highly recommend that you work with a friend or find a scrapbooking group and try to get together once a month. I know when I work by myself that time flies by and I always enjoy my crafting time, but I found it to be much more enjoyable – and not just because of the wine! My friend Amanda and I have known each other since the 4th grade (I won’t even tell you how many years that is, but when we found a pencil that she had from elementary school, we figured out how many years it’s been!!), so there’s a lot of history in that friendship!

Anyway, back to scrapbooking – I was teaching her some of the tricks that I have learned over the past couple of months. It’s easy to get stuck in a scrapbooking rut, especially if you do more than a couple of pages in one day/night. I wrote a blog on some ideas of how to get out of the rut, but that’s not what this post is about. I gave Amanda some tips and she said that I should write a blog about things that I’ve picked up that will maybe give others some new ideas for when they feel like all their pages look similar. And believe me, I definitely have days where mine do!

So, here’s a tip that I found is helpful for before you even start scrapbooking. Once I get my pictures printed (which BTW – snapfish is doing a 99 prints for $.99 sale right now – best time to buy prints!!), I put them in order. I’m a scrapbooker that likes to (try to) keep the book in chronological order. Since I’ve been doing so many other side projects, when I finally get a chance to scrap my pictures, I may not remember what happened when. I usually keep them in the envelope that they come in once they’re in order, but I saw something at Amanda’s house that I liked better. She got these plastic picture containers (from The Container Store I believe) and she keeps hers in there. That way dust and dirt (or wine!) can’t get to them.

After my pictures are in order, I eventually pick a scrapbook for them to go into. Once I’ve picked the book, I start dividing the pictures up into how many I want on a page and then place them in the sheet protector. I also choose the background paper that I want to put with the picture. The reason for this was, when I first started I didn’t do that. I would work on one page at a time and then I would get to a certain page and say, oh, that background I used would have looked better with this set of pictures. I tend to be a perfectionist in some respects (eyeballing it Amanda?? Really??? lol) and I don’t like when I think I could’ve used my paper better. This works for me, I don’t know if it will work for you. Also with this, you can make sure your pages that are next to each other coordinate, if that’s the style you are looking for.

Now that you have divided up your pictures and are starting to work on your pages, my second tip is about multiple pictures on a page. Often we will have some of the same pictures, just at different angles or with one subtle difference in them and we want to include all of them on the same page. So, how do you get 5 or more pictures on the page without cropping  them? Simple – mats that open!! This was a trick that I taught Amanda and she loved it! She was working on her daughter’s first trip to Disney and was scrapping the Character Breakfast. She had a bunch of pictures of her with the characters and I thought this would be a good way to show her how to do this neat trick I learned.

First you take either 3 landscape or 3 portrait pictures and determine how much of a mat you want them to have. We decided on 1/4″, so I had her cut the mat to 6 1/4″ by 8 1/2″. NO EYEBALLING AMANDA!! Then I told her to score the 8 1/2″ side of the paper at 4 1/4″. We then folded it and attached a ribbon to the middle of the left side of the paper when it was open. This will allow you to easily open and close the picture mat. She then took the three portrait pictures she picked and attached them to the three sides of the paper, leaving the back blank so that she could attach it to her background paper. She did the same thing for the landscape pictures. There was a single picture left over and so we matted that one so it looked similar to the other two sets of pictures and then glued it to the background.

This technique works best when you have one event and multiple pictures, or even one theme and multiple pictures. Recently I did this for my brother and future sister-in-law’s album and I did it for shots of the cousins over a couple of Christmases. The good thing about it is if there’s a picture that you like and tells part of the story but it’s not perfect, you can still include it by having it “hide” in the inside pages. Here’s an example of how it looked for the book that I made for my brother and sister in law. Instead of using ribbon to open them, I used a heart punch and a scrap piece of paper to create a banner.

Home pageOpened

My third tip is how to mat two pictures that are so similar. Say you have two pictures of almost the same thing – it happens a lot to me now that you can do rapid shots with digital cameras! You love both of them and they catch basically the same moment and you can’t choose between the two of them. What are you to do? Use them both!!

For my brother’s album, I did just that with his birthday pictures. There were two pictures of him blowing out his candles and I wanted to use both of them. I put them over and under (you can also do side by side) and matted them. Usually I’d mat each one individually, but this makes it look like one big picture in sequential order.

double mat

My last tip is for using multiple pictures of the same subjects, just at different times. I had two professional photos and one candid shot of my brother, sister and myself that I wanted to include in one layout. I wanted them to be in a cluster under the word Family (that was part of the background paper), but I wasn’t sure what to do. I matted them on shiny brown card stock and played around with the positioning on the background paper. When I was playing around, I realized that I should layer them! I had bought some shaped foam board cut outs awhile ago from the dollar bin at Target. There’s lots of excess around the shapes, so I cut that off and made foam tape layers. I adhered the bottom picture right to the background, the picture on the right with one layer of foam and the left picture with two layers. It gave the page dimension and I thought it came out well!


Hope these tips are helpful when you are looking for some new techniques. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of moving pictures or embellishments around on the page to come up with a new idea! Please feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for stopping by!

Now that I have some free time…..

HAHA – yeah right! Now that my sister in law’s shower is over, it’s on to making things for the craft fair. I am currently working on tags for Christmas presents and then going to start on some cards. But that’s where my problem lies – I can go in so many different directions and I’m not sure which one to go in! For a person who gets distracted by shiny objects, this is never a good thing! : ) That’s why I am asking for your help!

Please vote in the poll I created

Feel free to write your own suggestions, as I am sure there’s an occasion (or two) that I missed! Thanks for your help – I appreciate it! I will post pictures of some of the designs I come up with from your recommendations. Thanks for stopping by!

Tired of not being able to find an image on your Cricut cartridge?

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ll know that I have a paper problem. Well, now I have a new problem – The Cricut. No, not the insect, the machine. I have way too many cartridges and I can’t always find the image I am looking for when I need it. I know what I want, but I can never remember which cartridge contains that image. Very frustrating!

A couple of months ago, I came up with what I thought was a good idea. I decided to make my own directory of all images and phrases. I started with one cartridge and it took so long to complete, all I did was that one cartridge. So, that really didn’t help at all. It was back to me flipping through all the booklets to find that one image!

Until yesterday. I was watching some videos on Christmas cards while I was working on my rather large, special project (pictures and more to come later! : ) ) and came across this woman whose videos I love! She makes the cutest cards and has some great ideas. At the end of one video, I got the solution I had been waiting for – there’s a website where you can search for an image or phrase!

I went to the site and it does really work. The site is It’s fantastic! I wanted to see if some keywords that I wanted to cut out were in any of the cartridges that I had. You plug in a word and all the images or phrases associated with that word comes up with the name of the cartridge and a picture of the page where you can find it!

There are a few caveats though. It works best if you use the singular form of the word you are looking for. For example, don’t use circles – type in circle. Also, use a single word and not a phrase. You will get more results back. I am sure that there are more, but these are the ones I have experienced so far.

I am so glad that I saw that video, so thank you Mary from CardzTV. If you are ever looking for inspiration for a card, check out her adorable cards on YouTube. Hope this website helps you as much as I know it’s going to help me.

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave a comment, especially if you have any other Cricut cartridge tips!

Creative inspiration

I was thinking about where I get some of my ideas for projects for. Some come from the little books that come with the Cricut cartridge and then I design my pages around whatever image I am creating. Others come from the photograph itself or a certain background paper. I also use YouTube for some inspiration – type in a specific category that you are looking for and sometimes 40 or 50 videos will appear!

But recently my source of inspiration has been a little different. Awhile ago I signed up for Pinterest and began to pin a few things – a Scrapbook Wish List board, a Dream House Board, an If I ever learn to cook, I’ll make this board [if you check mine Pinterest site out, you will notice that this board only has one pin. I don’t ever really plan on learning to cook : ) ]. But recently, I started pinning some items that have turned out to be sources of inspiration.

Like I have said in previous posts, it’s very easy to get stuck in a creativity rut. Especially when you have a ton of projects going on like I do right now. Some have deadlines in the next month or so and others are a few months off. When I start to think of all of the things I need to accomplish, I get overwhelmed and the creative part of my brain shuts down.

So, just spending 10 or 15 minutes on Pinterest can give me some new ideas and help me get back on track. But, who am I kidding? Like I only spend 10 or 15 minutes on there? So, maybe more like an hour! I get wrapped up in things – I get creative ADD! HAHA. In all honesty, I have found the site to be very inspirational. I don’t want to copy other’s work, but sometimes I see a new technique or product that I’d like to try.

If you haven’t signed up for Pinterest, I’d say give it a try! We even got my mom to sign up and I taught her how to pin things the other day. It’s great for party planning ideas – especially for weddings. You can easily show bridesmaids a variety of dresses without having to send emails (no attachments to open up!!) or see what flowers would go best with your table linens or centerpieces. The possibilities for Pinterest boards are endless. I love to see what people have pinned!

Thanks for stopping by!