Everyone has a story to tell, here's mine sprinkled with some creative projects along the way.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you come back again.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I need your thoughts + a giveway

Hi all.

Hope your winter break is going great and Christmas was very good for you this year.

As I clean up the wrapping paper and boxes my thoughts turned to next year. What's in store for me? and what goals I need to set next?

One of the things that came to mind is what direction I want to take this blog to. I've had this blog for a while now, about 5 years to be exact and I'm amazed at how much followers I have and I enjoy reading or hearing your comments about my posts. I know my family relies heavily on this blog for updates and it's been a great avenue for me to share my love for crafting to each and everyone that will listen.

So with that being said....I want this blog to grow. I want it to be a place where I am proud to attach my name to but at the same time my readers will feel like they have a part of it's content. After all, its YOU the readers that keeps me doing what I do.

In that note, I want your thoughts.......

Please leave me a comment on what you think I should continue to talk about, eliminate or change.

Do you like the tab format on the top? Are my tutorials helpful for you or are they a drag? Do you want me to have schedules on my postings like Monday layouts, Tuesday family story, Wednesday links, etc. etc. etc.

Would inviting sponsors and advertisers be of help to my readers or just crowd the space?

I need your input!!!

and to get you more motivated to "make your voices heard"....I'm giving out two giveaway packs.

Here's some peeks....

I want all my readers to give their opinion so I'm opening the giveaway to international friends as well. :)

Giveaway will be open till midnight of Jan 1st.

Can't wait to hear your thoughts and from the bottom of my heart....THANK YOU for your support.

Till next time,

Monday, December 26, 2011

A few more project shares...

It's the day after Christmas. So did you get everything on wishlist? I had a fantastic time with family. Love it when four weeks of buying, hiding and wrapping gifts can be summed up to a few minutes of pure joy beside the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.

today I want to share my last Holiday themed projects....

Christmas Canvas
Pulled out for publication
I made this canvas for the Glue Arts and October Afternoon team up. We got to play with the Holiday Style collection and I love the vintage feel of the papers but with so much pop of color.

Pulled out for publication
 you can view my step by step tutorial on how I made this project on the Glue Arts blog. :)

To Remember
this one was made with the Noel line of Creative Memories. Like I mentioned in a previous blog post, I was fortunate enough to be a "semi finalist" in their design team search and they sent me some products to make my final entry.
Although this page's theme, I thought it complemented the emotions I wanted to evoke with the photos which is sophistication and classic tones.

and finally, my tutorial on how I made my 2012 calendar for Paper Bakery kit is up today. Make sure you check that out. And if you're looking for some quick creative inspiration, play along with our sketch challenge. :)

So that's it, I'm off to enjoy some family time.

Till next time,

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Spirit of Christmas

Happy Christmas Eve everyone. Just a quick post today. I want to greet all of my loyal blog readers everywhere a very Merry Christmas and to share this wonderful video.....

May we all have the Spirit of Christ in our hearts every day of the year.

Till nex time,

Friday, December 23, 2011

They want to give gifts too!

So before school ended for winter break, they had a program called Penguin Patch where the kids can pick items that they'd like to "purchase" as gifts to family and friends. My kids didn't participate in t his program because at that time I didn't have the brain power to remember the dates of the patch! What a mom, right?

the kids were bummed but I made it up to them by bringing them to the dollar store last weekend. The agreement was that they'll have four dollars to spend on four gifts- one for mom, dad, sister/brother and one for themselves. I was hoping I can just let them loose in the store so I can be surprised with my gift but the time that we went to the store, it was jam packed so I saw everything that went into their baskets.
It was actually better because my kids didn't know what to get. You'd think they know each of the family member well enough but I guess I was wrong.

Above is a look at Maddie's gift choices. Chocolate for Daddy, a buy toy for Marcus, a pot of glittered fake flowers for me and a bubble maker for her.

Although these gifts were "cheap", I wanted to teach the kids to think outside of themselves and get something for someone else. After all isn't that what this season is all about? Giving! No matter how big or small the gift might me, it's the thought that counts. *wink*

So that's our most recent field trip....the dollar store! LOL.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Till next time,

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's "sweets" making time!

***before I start my post today, let me share a wonderful news that I can finally share. Check this out! It's an honor to be working alongside some great names in the industry and I can't wait to get started :) ***

Hi all and happy hump day! We are days away from Christmas, can you believe that?! I can't! It seems like we just had fourth of July yesterday!LOL.

Speaking of the Christmas season, let me share a few pics of what kept me busy for the first two weeks of December...I've been making FUDGE! I made a batch and my husband loved it so he decided that we "should" make more and give it out as gifts to our family and friends. Yeah easier said than done but after hearing all the comments of how delicious the fudge was, it was worth it. Here's a small peek of when it came to assembling our gifts...

Oh, before I forget....we made Pumpkin Spice Fudge, Chocolate Fudge, Orange Dreamsicle Fudge and White Fudge. I added links to each one so you can see where we got the recipes from. Oh and NOTE....I doubled the white fudge so I can have more but bec. it used Condensed milk, the fudge didn't set so I turned to google to fix my booboo and I came across a blog post and in the comments section was a recipe for fudge brownie which I used to redo my white chocolate. It was still soft but oh man was it delectable! :)

Ok so after days of making the fudge, I got my hubby to help me package them up. I have been racking my brain for days thinking of ways to present them and Mitch kept on saying to just place them on a plate and cover them with Saran Wrap. Yeah that was easy but I was thinking, we went through all the trouble of making these treats, might as well present them well. Right?

Some of you will probably side with my hubby here with the easy packaging but some might be on my side so I'm not going to hold it against you which side you choose but I had the papers, the scoring pad and everything so I decided to go ahead and make my own boxes....

Believe me, this didn't take me forever to make. And I was able to use up some old cardstocks that I've been hoarding. It was a win-win situation.
Then my hubby and I went to work, assembly line fashion. I had him place most of the fudge on wax paper while I scooped out the fudge brownie and placed them in a separate paper.
Bec. the brownie fudge was gooeey, I didn't want that to mix with the other batches.

I gave hubby the important job of figuring out how many to give to each family. It took a few tries to get it right but we finally found our perfect number.

So while Mitch was packing the sweets in the wax paper, I was placing them in the box then wrapping and curling the ribbon. I scored a huge bag of curling ribbon at the thrift store a while back and it came very handy for this project.

and voila, after an hour of packing, wrapping and curling...we had boxes ready to be delivered.

I wanted to share this because (a) making homemade treats is an inexpensive way to share some "holiday" cheer this season and (b) there's so many things you can use your papers and ribbons for. They're not just for papercrafting in my home, they're used for school work, activities and in this case, gift giving.

So there you have it. Hope I was able to share a bit of inspiration with you today.

Till next time,

Monday, December 19, 2011

Paper Bakery Dec. sketch #2 + some Creative Memories projects

Hi all, trying to get some loose ends tied up so I can embrace the Holiday season fully with my family. How about you?

Anyways, today I want to share a few crafty projects with ya....

2012 Homemade Calendar
 this is my take on the latest sketch which went up today at the Paper Bakery kit blog. I've been making these pocket organizers for a couple of years now and I love how I am able to customize my organizer with how my brain works. Here's the sketch...

the project is made with the December Add on kit which is SOLD OUT!!! Crazy huh! but don't fret, there's a few of the limited kit and project kit still availabe. Make sure you check them out here.

I was fortunate to get through the second round of the design team search at Creative Memories and they sent me some generous products. Here's a few of the projects I made for my final entry....

Christmas Candy Train
With the new blogger interface, I keep on forgetting to save my images in a bigger file. Sorry about the small pic but heres some photos of my kids making candy trains with their grandma last year. I used the fun and colorful Holidazzle line for this project.

And I used the leftover product to make some fun cards...

Jingle Bells
The line included some fun epoxy stickers which I used here in a grid line.

Tis the Season
I'm in love with the epoxy stickers, can you tell? In here, I layered a couple of the "presents" and added the circles to mimic brads.

So there you have it. Have a great day everyone.

Till next time,

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gingerbread house 2011 version

Part of the Holiday season is building and repeating activities that become traditions. I'm big one this because I know that this is what my children will remember of their childhood. So part of our Christmas tradition is to make Gingerbread houses. There have been years where we deviated from the house and made gingerbread man or candy train but the concept is the same...we build something edible and sweet!

Here's this year's Gingerbread house...

One thing I've tried to remember this year is to be infront of the camera more often and last Sunday while making our house, I did just that. Mitch was kind enough and is a very good photographer in his own right to take the "process" photos for us.

this is my fave....

so after cleaning up our mess and washing all the frosting off my hands, I took some more shots of our creation this year....

as you can see with the strokes of the frosting, we (meaning I) are not the most professional decorators in the world but we were able to get the candies on the house in time before the frosting harden. Than in itself is a success for us. :)

so today is another Sunday and we are planning on adding memories to our Christmas by checking out some lights around the neighborhood. How about you? What memories and traditions are you capturing this Holiday season?

Till next time,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Project share + links

Happy hump day everyone. Things are looking up around here. I can finally see the bottom of my craft table and I'm halfway through my "to-do" list for the week. Doesn't just make you feel great? I know I am!

Today's share are some project I made for the wonderful companies that I work for. First off is a layout I made for Paper Bakery Kit....

I love these photos. They will be treasured forever. Although next time, I wish my sister Gem would be around so we can be complete! This page was made with the December Add-on kit which will be revealed on the 15th, so call this your wonderful "sneek peek" of the kit. *wink*


 Make sure you check out the Paper Bakery kit here for more inspiration.

and then this one is up at the Glue Arts blog today....

Christmas Tags
Since we are nearing Christams, easy and quick tag projects are a must. Don't you think? I made these cute little projects with the Glue Arts and Lawn Fawn stamp team up. I used the "Bows and Holly" and "Bannerific" sets. Super lovely stamps.

and of course if you stop by the Glue Arts blog, you will be happy you did because the blog always have inspirations galore from the talented design team which  I'm feel so blessed to be a part of.

that's it folks!

Till next time,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

some happy photos

This week is my "get Christmas preparations done" week. That means shopping, baking and wrapping done.Crossing my fingers that I will get them all done in time and still have the brainpower to craft. Do you feel like this sometimes? I hope I'm not alone.

Anyways today I was going through some photos and found the following images that I took last week. They were making me happy...

Last Wednesday night after coming home from a church activity, I was greeted by these boxes in my front room. It was a happy scrappy mail. That big humungous box was filled with scrapbook supplies, four issues of magazines I have some work in and my returned projects. It's these things that make me feel super blessed that I get a chance to papercraft as a "job".

Maddie's CLEAN room was making me happy as well. For the past month or so, her room has been a total mess. I'm trying to teach my kids to pick up after themselves and be responsible for the cleanliness of their rooms but after months of seeing the disaster in her room, her and I got to work one day last week, after school to finally tidy it up. I especially love that I can finally see the floor in her room again. And what's better, it's still like this today. :)

and my last photo that's making me smile....pumpkin spice fudge. Recipe is here and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this! Yes my calorie counting is out the door when I bite in one of these. I'm in fudge making mode this week so I'd be enjoying more of this in the next few days. Yum-o!

Thanks for stopping by.

Till next time,

Sunday, December 11, 2011

a Pioneer family

I can't pinpoint the main reason but it seems like this year my family and I have enjoyed dressing up. For Easter we dressed up like this, then on Halloween we were this and this year for our ward's Christmas party we looked like this....

our ward's Christmas party was themed "Christmas in Nauvoo." If you are familiar with LDS history, Nauvoo is an important place to our Pioneers. That's where our early LDS members settled in after being persecuted in Kirtland OH. Anyways they made Nauvoo home and built businesses and homes here and the committee that put this activity together did an amazing job transforming rooms in our building to look like the town back then with toy and candy shops, post office and museums. The kids played games that they would play during that time period and we ate desserts like pies and muffins. We even had a barn dance which was super fun, (if only I was still graceful)! But all in all it was absolutely a well put together activity that I'm glad we didn't miss.

Anyways we were "encouraged" to dress in pioneer clothing. I didn't plan on doing so before this week because, well I just didn't think I had the brain power to tackle that project on top of the already overwhelming list I had, but my husband wanted to do so since he was serving cider at one of the "shops" in the activity. So with a few clicks on google to look for "pioneer clothing" and then heading straight to goodwill this is what we came up with.

 I have to say it wasn't that difficult after all to put together our outfits. The boys had the black pants and white shirts already so we just added some vests to the mix. Mitch had his leather motorcycle vest already so that was good and I got Marcus' vest at the Goodwill. It was a lady's vest so I had to do some adjustment to make it fit him better. I had the checkered brown/red fabric in my stash already and since it looked vintage, I used that for their neckerchief/neck tie thing.

By midweek, after going through a few bonnett tutorials online, I was feeling frustrated because I felt like my sewing skills couln't help me accomplish this task. So I went back to goodwill and browsed for some ideas and what do you know....I found one! I saw this pink valance that had ruffles and the lightbulb hit me. I bought it (for 45 cents), cut it in two pieces and played with it until it "somewhat" resembled a bonnet. After finding the right look to it, I added some ribbons to the end so I can tie it around Maddie and my face.

We got a few remarks with our outfits and that makes all the worry and stress pay off. But I think my most favorite part of this whole thing was how my family and I come together when dressing up. Even if Marcus refuses to put on his "outfit" in the beginning, he does it anyway and that just makes me feel good that we are a "team". Nobody refuses to participate and I love that.

I think Maddie was the most happy with her look,  I mean look at these poses from her.....

she even wore her dress again today at church. Funny girl!

Till next time,

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fabric trees + tutorial

It's Friday and I'm soooo looking forward to ending this week. Loaded has been an understated theme for me this whole week and I'm looking forward to a better, less loaded couple of weeks. I'm crossing my fingers that would be the case anyways.

Anywhooo, today I want to share with you a quick and easy project that you can add to your Christmas decor this year, or get it ready for next year's Holiday :)

Fabric Christmas Trees
I am inlove with milk glass containers and I scored this cake stand a few weeks ago while on a antique shopping day with some girlfriends. I knew I wanted to display it for the Holidays but didn't have anything "fun" to add to the pedestal so the lightbulb went off my head and that's how these fabric trees came to life.

 Know it sits on my lovely cake pedestal and finished off this collage of decorations I placed in my living room.

With this project, I was also able to make use of some Holiday fabric that has been sitting in my collection for over 4 years now (yes I''m a bit embarrased by how long they've been in storage)

So, wanna make your own? Here's my process for this project...

Styrofoam cones in different sizes (I used two in the same height and one taller)
Holiday themed fabrics ( you don't need a lot so if you have scraps better but if you have to get out and buy it, I'd say no more than 1/4 of a yard for each one)
Fabric Scissors
Glue Gun
Toothpick or small sticks
Star punch (optional)
Glittered paper

1. Tear your fabrics into strips. I measured (well mostly eyeballed) the length of my cone vertically then added about 1/2" more on both ends so the fabric can co over and under the top and bottom parts of the cone. When tearing your fabric, use the scissors to cut a small slit and then rip, it's easier that way. Why rip? it gives the edges a more homespun look. You don't have to do it this way. Another variation...use pinking shears to cut the long edges of your fabric strips.

2. Then you add each strip to the cone with a glue gun. Overlap the fabrics onto each other so you can fully cover the white styrofoam. Repeat #1 and 2 for all cones.

3. Then punch out stars from glittered cardstock (if you don't have a star punch or would want to make it look more homemade you can also handcut the star). Make two stars for each cone and sandwich a stick or toothpick between the stars with some hot glue.

4. Finally hot glue the stars to the top of your styrofoam. Initially I was going to just poke the stick through but with the thickness of my fabric and hot glue on the top, it was impossible (for me anyways) to get the stick through all the way to the styrofoam.
and voila! you have made a fantastic and yet easy decor for your home this Holiday season.

A few more tips....
-because I rarely pay full price for anything, it took me a couple of visits to the craft store to purchase my styrofoam so I can use my 40% coupons on both purchases. Make sure you have a running list of craft supply to purchase and buy them with coupons or when they're on sale so that your crafting is easier on the back account.
-for the fabrics....you can also visit your local thrift stores and repurpose shirts, sheets or any fabric typed item you can see there to use for this project.
-You can make a lot of these cones and spread them around your home. I'm sure you can even translate the technique onto stryfoam balls or squares. The possibilities are endless.

So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed our tutorial post today.

Have a great weekend.

Till next time,