Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Highlights!

It's New Year's Eve, 2011 and I am reflecting on the resolutions I made for myself last year. I don't typically stick to the resolutions I set for myself, and almost always, I fail miserably! Not this year... The two things I wanted to make happen were to start running (for exercise and to get back in shape) and to continue submitting my work in hopes of getting published for the first time.

In January, I started running. I started small... 3.1 miles was my first goal and race. By the time spring had arrived, I decided I wanted to run a marathon. The Chicago Marathon. So, in October, with lots of training and hard work, I did it. Cheers!

In July, I got word that one of my card submissions got picked up for the September issue of CARDS. I was beyond excited!
And this was my card... found on page 111 just sayin'
AND... while I'm tootin' my own horn, I may as well let you know that my Paper Source holiday card WON!!! 
Finally, a few of my favorites over this past year:
My favorite layout was this one with tons of little pictures on it from our beach vacation in Hilton Head, SC.
My favorite little project were these tags I made out of scrap fabric and die cut felt.
Last, but not least, my favorite card from 2011, which I didn't send out because I just can't let go.
I am going to embrace the New Year and continue to set goals and challenges for myself.
I want to laugh more and yell less, craft more and clean less, drink more tea and less coffee. Continue running- even if I don't sign up for a full marathon! Go on more dates with my husband. Live more simply and enjoy my own surroundings.
In one word: CALM.
Have a Happy New Year! I wish all of you blessings, good health and an abundance of happiness in 2012!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all... we had a fantastic day that started way too early. The kids were up before seven and in bed way too late the night before. Another day full of celebrating, present opening and... eating. We said our farewell to Lucas Snowflake last night. We knew he would be flying back to the North Pole with Santa (and secretly, I was thrilled to see him go. I was running out of spots to hide the little elf and several times I would forget to hide him, but suddenly remember while laying in bed at midnight).
 Lucas liked to watch me get crafty in my studio!

A cookie box for neighbors and friends

Cookie baking is one of my favorite holiday traditions. Every year, I bake loads of different types of cookies and candies. This year, I found some cookie boxes by Martha Stewart and decked them out with snowflake parchment, a satin ribbon and a cute snowflake label. Sorry I don't have a picture of the finished box, I couldn't get a good one. :(
Anyway, the treats in the box were: oatmeal raisin spice, white chocolate chex mix, molasses spice, toffee and chocolate chip. I also make tagalongs, chocolate covered pretzel sticks with sprinkles, and sugar cookies. It's like sugar overload the last week before Christmas- my kitchen is full of sweet smells and little, chocolate handed helpers! We have to hide the cookies from Stephen... he ate almost 2 dozen of molasses cookies in 2 days and claimed he ate them because they were "healthy."
I hope you all had a very merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Handmade Gift Giving

This week has been quite productive. Since I got all my shopping done before the kids got out of school, it left me with a week of stress free baking and crafting! It has been so refreshing to actually make things that I want to make. I love to wrap beautiful gifts and tuck something handmade inside. It's not what you spend, but the thought.
So, are you wondering what's inside the pretty box? A set of handmade stationery for each of my girlfriends. I added their monogram to the top of each card and coordinated papers for a fabulous envelope liner. I made several sets and each of them are different, depending on the recipient.
All papers, boxes and envelopes came from Paper Source. I hope my girlfriends will love them! The best part? We don't exchange gifts... so they will really be surprised! Merry, Merry Handmade Holiday!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oh Joy!

Like I promised... our Christmas card for 2011. I send out over a hundred cards every year- they can't ALL be handmade! So, I order some photo cards and the handmade ones get the same photo inserted.
I love the most recent comment from someone that received our card, "I love how you don't match your kids in holiday outfits and don't make them pose!" Not sure if I should be offended or not! :) I like to send out photos that express who my children are- not what they are pretending to be, with cheesy smiles and stiff poses, cringing at an outfit that I made them wear for 10 minutes and will never wear again! And actually, they do match! And this is who they are... darling, toothless, playful and full of Christmas JOY!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Paper Source Card Contest

This past September, Louisville got its own Paper Source! I was so excited that they were opening a store here that I was their very first customer! When I found out about their annual holiday card contest, I knew I would enter, but what would I make? The card had to be 100% Paper Source and include an envelope. Oh my... PS has so many delicious items to choose from! How would I decide on just one card to submit?! Waiting until the last day to submit my creation, (because it just keeps life more interesting to rush and procrastinate) I came up with this:
I used the PS colors: red and chartreuse. The stamps are theirs also, and I added red Stickles for the berries. Satin ribbon and gold twine pulls it all together. The envelope liner is their handmade paper: concentric dots- with glitter... yum! And the best part? The winner gets a $50 gift certificate! I could use it!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Festivities!

Merry Christmas, friends! This week has started off pretty good... the kids are out of school, all the stationery and holiday card orders have been placed, signed, sealed and delivered! I always try to keep the week before Christmas for myself. I love to bake and fix delicious cookie boxes for friends, neighbors and family. I try to stop and enjoy the week before Christmas with my kiddos, try to absorb their excitement and anticipation!
Last week, we had Mac's Christmas program at school. He got to play the bongo during one of the songs and he was so into it! He sang his little heart out!
Anna also had her Angel Program at school. She got to sign a solo part and she was very proud! She looked like an absolute angel, despite the fact that she had a stomach virus. It lasted a long 6 days!
I'll be back with our holiday card for 2011! Enjoy the night!

Monday, December 12, 2011

What's Going On...

Hello friends, Season's Greetings to you all! I had to take a blog vacation for the past 5 weeks due to some heavy stuff going on. We had Thanksgiving, a wonderful time spent with family over really good food! Anna lost her first tooth over the break and she was so excited! A week later, Mac lost his first front tooth. He looks so much older with that big gap in his mouth!
I have a client every year that orders an obscene amount of handmade holiday cards- 750 to be exact. So, most of my time has been spent cutting and stitching felt hearts and glittering buttons to look like sugar. Seriously, if I don't see glitter until Valentine's Day, I'll be ok with that.

We got the perfect Christmas tree at Lowe's for a super low $30 eventhough we didn't chop it down ourselves, it still looks nice and smells good. I really do miss the tradition of going to the Christmas tree farm in Indiana and searching for the most glorious tree with the least amount of holes.  
Nonetheless, we still had fun and the boys worked together to tie it on top of the van.
Yesterday I forced the kids to sit together in hopes of getting "the" Christmas card photo for 2011. I had to snap fast and before church, so they were still in good clothes and clean. I got one...  tune in next time! ;)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween Recap!

We had a ball on Halloween night! My brother, Nate and his family always come to our house for dinner and trick-or-treating since their closest neighbor is over a mile away! As usual, the kiddos got loads of candy and were worn out at the end of the night...
Anna was an owl, Mac was The Grim Reaper, and Elan was a hunter.
We watched Goonies with the kids the Saturday before Halloween, so they wanted to carve the pumpkin like "One-Eyed Willie." 
 The sweetest kid being something scary!

Anna looked precious as an owl!

This is Elan's mean hunting face.

Here's a nice group picture of the kids...
My dad is putting Claudia in the photo and really, she wanted to have no part of it. Elan looks like the biggest buck just got away, and the girls, well, they just look so darn cute! They were ready to fill their bags with loot!
I hope you all had a safe, happy Halloween. Now that it's November, I'm frantically getting stuff together for my holiday show and thinking ahead to the Christmas crafts I want to do! Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fleas Navidad!

Once again, I am posting my card for the Jingle Belles prompt "Not a Creature Was Stirring..." with about five minutes to spare. Ugh... how did life get so busy? I struggled to find the perfect animal for my card and while I was in bed last night, I remembered I had the Paper-Source lab stamp. A beloved dog stamp. Yes! Oh, and tartan plaid paper to go with! Excellent!
I know, another CAS card, but hey, that's my style. It works. I know exactly who I'm going to send it to, with a beautiful picture of my big boy, Wrigley.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Sketch

Good morning, friends. Happy first day of November! Can you believe it's already November? I know... Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner! I am trying to squeeze in a little craft time for myself here and there, between filling stationery orders, working on a big holiday card commission, and chasing the kiddos around! It's only going to get busier! ;)
This week, I really liked the Sketchy Thursdays sketch. It was CAS and inspired me. So, I used this picture of my mom and dad that I have had sitting on my desk for months. We were in Hilton Head and also at my cousins wedding. We had so much fun and this picture of them really does show their happiness with each other.   
My parents have been married for over 40 years!!! Sure, they have their moments, we all do, but for the most part, they have a solid relationship that my three brothers and I really look up to and strive to have in our own marriage. They brought us up right with strong values, and for that, I am forever grateful. They make me so happy! 
And, if you want to play along with this weeks sketch at Sketchy Thursdays, this is what you have to play with:
You have until Wednesday night at 10pm to link up! :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

No tricks... just treats!

Happy Halloween! Today, I wanted to share the last of my Halloween cards that I made...

This one is for my crafty niece, Kendall that loves *glitter*! The witch is covered in crystal glitter and her shoes are red. Kendall is also going to be a candy corn witch for Halloween, so "good little witch" was perfect!
These last two are just random... no one in mind and they didn't even get sent! Sheesh... I am bad at actually getting a card in the mail.

Hope you and all the little goblins out there have a happy, safe Halloween! I'll post a picture of my little creeps dressed up tomorrow! Anna's costume is a hoot! ;)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

And the winner is...

Ruth Little!
You are now the proud ower of two Washi Tape rolls from Washi Wishes!
Enjoy your treat! :) I emailed you!

Friday, October 28, 2011

'Tis near Halloween...

I have made several Halloween cards this week! Here is another using the papers from Fancy Pants "Oct. 31st" collection. The vintage image is from an Etsy shop... forgot the name.
Tonight, I have declared it "Family Movie Night." I feel like we have all been going is several different directions pretty much since school started. So, a pot roast for dinner and snuggling in PJ's tonight in front of the TV. Sounds good, huh?! Now, if we can all agree on a family movie...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Hi crafty peeps! I had a super nice gal ask if she could send me some of her Washi Tape to work with to help get her business name, Washi Wishes out there. Well... uh, YES! Please do send it! I *LOVE* working with Washi tapes- they are easy, removable, versatile, and add so much to any project. They are a definite must have for any crafter!
So, this is what I made with the generous package of samples that came my way!
This Thank You card was a snap to make and really packs a punch. The flower was easily made by pleating the tape in a circle making a flower. I added a brad and the sentiment is an SRM sticker.

Sometimes, birthday cards for boys are hard for me to create. Well, using some cute boy paper a stamped sentiment and a little Washi Tape at the top- BAM! Done!

My last project is this Christmas tree card. I used the green and yellow and red and yellow striped tape only on this card. However, I got out my Copic markers and colored the yellow stripe. In the tree, I colored it grass green, and in the gifts, chartreuse and prawn. I finished it of with a glittered button at the top of the tree and some sequins and rhinestones at the top of the gifts. Fun and bright!

And for you? Washi Wishes sent me *two* full rolls of tape to giveaway! Yippee!
 Argyle Print
Bright Stripe

Leave a comment below by Saturday and I will randomly choose two people to get a fun roll of Washi Tape in the mail! In the meantime, visit Washi Wishes site and browse through their selection of tapes.
Use the code: Fall Tape Fun to save 10% on your entire order too!
*If you can only choose one roll to purchase... get the green stripe. My fave!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

PTI October Blog Hop

*If you are here for the Jingle Belles card, scroll down to the post below. I am such a dork... I thought today was Wednesday!
OK... on with the Papertrey Ink Blog Hop for the month! I got this stunning picture via email for the inspiration and I had to participate!
Holy gorgeous! The colors, patterns, stacked fabric, and darling decor just screams "FALL!" I love it. With the inspiration of the photo pumping through my veins, I came up with this card:
I used all scraps on this card! The paper, the fabric strip and the orange twine were all scraps from another project! I hand cut some leave from the PTI chartreuse felt, added a button, the twine and a rhinestone. Then, I repeatedly stamped the PTI sentiment "birthday wishes." An instant fall birthday card. Enjoy!

A "soft" card...

Jingle Belles prompt this week is by a *lovely* guest star... she suggested that we use the term "snow is softly falling" and interpret it any way we like, making *soft* the focus. So, I used some soft felt and die cut my Christmas tree. I decorated with blue rhinestones and used a SRM sticker on the banner for my sentiment. The paper is a new fave... full of glitter! It's from My Minds Eye, lost and found collection.
Ok, off I go in a rush to link up before the deadline! I'll be back with my PTI blog hop entry! ;)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hello, My Pretty!

It's almost Halloween! I have my house decorated with pumpkins, witches and gourds and the kids are always jacked up on the bowls of candy corn I have in the house! It smells good with the candles lit and soup is on the stove. Ahhh... the autumn season is here!
Lovin' this card mostly because of that homemade broom I made with a scrap of kraft paper and my handy dandy Martha Stewart fringe scissors! I tied it together with a bit of twine and inked the edges of the paper. I also glittered the witches shoes in red.
Inspiration for this little gem was brought to you by:
This weeks sketch from Card Patterns:
And, Paper Craft Star's 67th challenge: Trick or Treat!
Enjoy, my pretties!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Happy 7th Birthday, Anna!

My oh my, how fast seven years has passed. Anna, sweet girl, you have grown up so much in just the past year that it is frightening. You are too old for bows and precious cotton dresses, you want to dress like me and have sparkles in your ears. You still have a taste for adventure and excitement and seem to fear so little.
Holiday World, August, 2011
You continue to excel in sports, soccer being one of your favorites. Maybe it's because daddy coaches and your bestie, Molly, plays too:
Fall Soccer, 2010
You are still a great runner and you sometimes ask to go with me on my runs. I hope you still like running in a few years so we can do a quick few together. You'd be great company!
Rodes City Run, March, 2011
All I ask of you is to be the best you can be, by your own standards. Be yourself, be unique. Never be ashamed of who you are and always stand up for what you believe in. Do what's right. Be smart. You are such a blessing, and every time I think of you, I smile.
Layout: November 2010
Happy Birthday, darling daughter. I love you.