Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Elf Day 12--The BIG REVEAL

Well, first I have to tell you how much fun this has been, and how much closer it has brought all of us! It's true that when you serve someone--thinking about their needs and happiness--you grow to love them. And when you realize how someone has served you, thinking about your happiness, you feel a great love and appreciation for them, too. Here is my last gift from my Secret Elf. Isn't the packaging beautiful?



And inside, one of my big secret wishes:


A sampler of the Pretties Kit!

I am so touched by this gift! I haven't been able to justify ever purchasing this, and I've *really* wanted to! What a sweet, thoughtful thing to do!


Ok, I've made you wait long enough. LOL My Secret Elf is:


Kathy!!!!


Thank you so much, Kathy, for making this a special Christmas! It's a blessing to have such wonderful friends! My heart is truly touched by your generosity and the beauty of who you are, inside and out!


Merry Christmas to all who make the holiday special for others !

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Candy


My Elf is *so* amazing! She seems to know all the projects that I have looked at online and thought, "Ohhh, I like it! But I could never make it!" Look at this awesome acetate box! Do you know how many times I have wanted to make one?? And now I can, because I have an actual sample IN MY HANDS! Thanks so much, Secret Elf! Merry Christmas!

And don't you be worried about that Toblerone. I promise it will *not* go to waste! :-)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

You know you're old when . . .


I don't know if you can read the saying on the tissue pack:
"At our age, swimming is dangerous. Lifeguards don't try as hard."
LOLOL Isn't that the truth! I love you, Elf! That tissue cover is adorable! And I love my new name tag! Now I *have* to go to Convention, right? Thanks for brightening my day!

I needed a laugh today! We had promised the kids a quick trip to Salt Lake City to see the lights on Temple Square. Welllll, the weather intervened. We probably could have made it, but Mom would have been stressed, which would have made Dad cranky, and so we decided to be cautious and stay home. My kids are really sad. So are the "grown-ups." {sigh} We'll try to do something really fun here, instead, but it's not quite the same. We're thinking of driving around to see lights here tonite, then a family trip to the movies to see Despereaux. I'm actually hoping there's a LOT of snow, so the kids can see how wise we were to stay home! If you have any great suggestions of stuff to do, let me know!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

On a cold winter's night that was so deep . . .



Isn't this precious??? My Super-Fantastic Elf just keeps going and going! I have always wanted one of these sets, but knew it was a project I wouldn't 'finish.' These cubes are just absolutely beautiful! I tried to get a picture that would show more of the papers, but this was the best I could do! Thank you so much, Secret Elf! Those cubes are going right on my mantel for Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

On the 8th day of Christmas, my elfie gave to me . . .


How cute is this snowman???? My elf just picks all the right things! And inside the snowman is . . .


8 Hershey Bars with Almonds! Ohhhhhhhh! My elf says they're for my *whole* family, but we'll see. {grin} Thanks, Secret Elf!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A year's worth of love from my secret elf!


I am just overwhelmed by how much my secret elf has brightened my Christmas! And LOOK! Isn't this just GORGEOUS!?! Every month is decorated (I'm just showing December below), and every month has a perpetual calendar on the back, to keep track of special days! A whole lot of effort went into this gift, and I want my elf to know how meaningful that is to me! Thank you! I had no idea how special this experience was going to be!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Super Elf Strikes Again!


Another gift from my "secret wish list!" I just think this little scribble die is *so* cute! But it kept falling off my orders--you know how that goes! The packaging was so clever--she made a gift card holder! Brilliant! Thank you, Secret Elf! You are wonderful!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Elf Gifts 4 & 5


Wow! I really thought I uploaded day 4 yesterday! LOL It must be Christmas and my brain is on vacation! I had listed Heat & Stick powder as one of my "secret wishes." Would you believe I have never tried it? And that box is soooooo cute! My girls were clamoring for who got to keep the box!



Just last night I was envying someone's decorated Tic Tac box! My elf is amazing! I love the little belly window! LOL This is definitely a project I'll be copying in the future! Thanks, Secret Elf! You're wonderful!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Secret Elf Day 3


One of the first things I did this morning was open my Elf gift! LOL And look, look! The cutest basket ever, and one of those amazing bracelet kits! I'm so excited to make it! I can't decide whether to make a Christmas one, or wait till the new catty comes out and have something NEW!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Secret Elf Day 2


Isn't this amazing? I've been wanting to see one of these in real life, and my Secret Elf made one for me! Thanks, Elfie!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Secret Elf Day 1


I've mentioned my Swappers Anonymous sisters before. We met online last spring, before the Stampin Up Convention. We helped each other stay on track with all the (over) swapping we signed up to do! We were able to meet in person at Convention, and we have remained good friends ever since.

Some of us decided to do a 12 days of Christmas "Secret Elf" swap! Is that fun or what? So every day now, I get a little present all for me! LOL Isn't this adorable???? No one has ever given me a pop-top gift before!

This is what was inside!

Woohoo! We had the option of telling our secret elf some things we would like, and this ribbon was on my list! I didn't let myself order any LOL, so this is a special treat! Oh, and I put the bottom of the pop-top in the photo, because I wanted you to see how cute it is with that snow flurry!

Thanks, Christmas Elf!!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

She's making a list, checking it twice (or 3 or 4 times)


Love these Christmas list books! The tutorial is available from Splitcoaststampers here.

My Dad was an office supply junkie, and I inherited that trait in full measure! I have been accused of homeschooling just so I could have all the supplies and equipment. LOL And now papercrafting just adds new excuses for more and better stuff! Anytime I can dress up a notebook and pen, I'm all over it.


Today is wrapping day. I'm trying to make room in my closet for my actual clothes. So far I have wrapped 4 books for the cousins. LOL My sweet 9yo daughter keeps wanting to help, and there are some things I just want to keep a surprise! Normally I can stay up later than the kids, but not on these muscle relaxers. Anyway, I have to write down what I wrap, or my aging 40-something brain will forget and freak out later because I can't find something or accidentally buy two. This notebook is the perfect place!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Go on and kiss da girl!


Here are a few of the *40* lip balm holders we made last week. And still more to go for my daughters to give their friends.

Thanks to everyone for their well wishes! I really am feeling better. It's just driving me crazy not being able to finish my "To Do" list at Christmas-time!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Acetate Pillowbox



I can't get enough of these pillowboxes! This is the version we made at Card Buffet, and probably what my girls will give out to their friends. I purchased the heavyweight acetate at Staples (in the copy center).


Stamps: Deer Friends
Paper: Baja Breeze, Real Red, Ski Slope DSP, Whisper White
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Real Red marker
Accessories: Gold Elastic cord, 5/8" red grosgrain, Scallop Circle punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, 1 1/4" circle punch, Big Shot, Pillowbox die, heavyweight acetate

Friday, December 5, 2008

Not the best day

Have you ever had your feelings hurt when you were down? Ever asked for help, without revealing all the details, and been euphemistically slapped in the face?

As some of you know, I have been extremely ill recently. I had an "adverse reaction" to some asthma medication, followed by some back muscle trauma. I've spent most of my life being rather unwell, and I hate whiners, so I always just cover up my health problems by laughing and saying, "I'm sure I'll be fine." I try to be a very reliable person. I'm not a flake. I always do what I say I will do.

But today, I left a message with someone asking for a little help, and instead I got a lecture for my trouble. A lecture on personal responsibility, no less. So after spending a few hours with my feelings very hurt, I am trying to be a "Big Girl." An emotionally mature adult--"Be the better person" has always been my style. I'm struggling today to even *want* to be the better person.

So to pull myself out of this hurt, I'm trying to think of ways I can be more sensitive to the needs of others. More aware that they may not be telling me everything, but they still need help.

I remember the first time in my adult life when I realized I could be more sensitive. I had a 1 month old baby (my 3rd) and my youngest brother had just died unexpectedly. My sister-in-law had come to pick up me and my kids to take us to my parents' house. As we were driving, she accidentally stopped at a green light. (Much better, actually, than accidentally NOT stopping at a red light.) Suddenly we both realized it, and she said, "Oh, I better get moving!" She was pregnant at the time, and sick. It was a moment of clarity, in all that grief and shock, that perhaps sometimes when people did "dumb" things, there was a very good--but hidden from me--reason for it. I would like to think that I became more compassionate. More willing to give others the benefit of the doubt.

It's a little early for New Year's resolutions, but I hope I can turn this sad day into a reminder to be a little kinder to others. To give them credit for the good things they do and how hard they try.

I hope you'll join me in taking a moment today to give someone a break. Let someone in front of you in line. Be the one who smiles. Remember our Savior who suffered for us whether we "deserved" it or not. In this crazy, busy time of year, take time to do a little emotional good deed.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Vintage Santa


I found these enormously yummy peppermint candies, and I had to figure out a way to show them off! A Christmas candy jar was just the ticket! I decided I had been petting my wonderful Riding Hood Red and Vanilla striped ribbon enough, so it was time to use it. The tag is from the hostess set Punches Three, stamped in Riding Hood Red on Very Vanilla and punched out with the scalloped square punch.

I am more of a Father Christmas person than a real Santa gal, so I love the retired SU set, Old fashioned Christmas. I stamped it in Black Staz-On in the lid and 3 sides.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ho ho ho


This adorable Santa is made with the SU Exclusive Pennant Bigz Die! The die cuts both his hat and the scalloped circles. I used a variety of circle punches to complete his face. Add a little Blush Blossom to his cheeks, and you're set to go!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving


As Thanksgiving approached this week, I have been thinking of all I have to be thankful for. Foremost are my faith and my family. For loving parents and siblings, for an amazing husband, and for the wonderful children who bless my life. It is truly a miracle that we were blessed with 6.

Just a few others:

I am thankful for my old house with all it's beautiful old trees. And for the chickens, ducks, kitties, and dog that roam our little acreage. Just watching those ducks waddle brightens my days.

I am thankful for music, and for the joy that singing brings to me. I am even more thankful that my family finds joy in singing, too!

I am thankful for those who are lost to me now, and for the faith that I will see them again.


I am thankful for my amazing SA stamping sisters. They have become such an important part of my life, and they keep me smiling.


Please share what you are thankful for, if you feel so inclined!

Holiday Extravaganza Sale!



Stampin Up! has a great Black Friday sale going on NOW! Click the image above to order directly from my Stampin Up website, or contact me by email. Call or email me if you need any help. Because you KNOW I can help you spend your money, right? And the beauty of it is, this is Christmas stuff, so it doesn't have to come out of your stamp budget. :-) Don't miss out! Quantities are limited! If you'd like to see the bundle lists, click on the document below!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lip Balm Holders


Somehow I forgot to take picture of the inside of these! LOL

I didn't do the very-cute-but-difficult cuts to hold the lip balm. Instead, the lip balms are just stuck to the binding with mini-glue dots! Much simpler, and still as cute--at least I think so!


Lots of these are going in Christmas stockings this year!

Stampin' Up is having a BIG sale that starts late tonight (midnight Tuesday night). Holiday gift bundles at 20% to 50% off. Just click over to my Stampin Up website to check out the specials and order!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Here comes Susie Snowflake


I can't post what I'm *really* working on these days, because it's for a Secret Sister 12 days of Christmas surprise! And if she saw it on my blog, well, it wouldn't really be a surprise *or* a secret, now would it? {wink}

This is an ornament sample I made from a round chipboard coaster. I saw the idea on a blog somewhere that the large scalloped circle *just* peeks out from behind those coasters! How fabulous is *that*????

I covered the coaster (4 inch circle, medium weight) with Designer Paper. Tombo Multi Glue 110755 is my favorite glue for this. Glue a ribbon hanger on the back of the coaster NOW. Don't wait till later, 'cause then you'll be cussing and . . . well, anyway. Trust me.

Then I cut the large scalloped circle (113468) from Old Olive cardstock to go behind it. Cut the larger scallop circle from Scallop Circle #2 (113469) in DSP and layer on top. I felt like my Snow Flurry needed some bling, so I dotted it with the Multi glue and gave it a bath in Dazzling Diamonds glitter (102023)! It's a little hard to see in the photo, but trust me. In fact, if you were the stampin' CSI, you would *still* find glitter all over me and my craft room. {smile}

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More Christmas Tags!


We made these tags at Stamp Club! The Rudolph tag was designed by Mercedes Weber. The snowflake tag is all me. LOL

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Still, still, still


This is the card we made (by request) last night at Stamp Club. It is totally cased from my friend Angie, whom I met at Convention! Thanks, Angie! You can't see it in the photo, but the trees are all glittery!

There are actually two techniques: shadow stamping and moonlighting. We first stamped the image from Lovely As a Tree in Night of Navy Craft ink, then applied Iridescent Ice EP and heated. Then we re-stamped the image (without re-inking) slightly offset, to give the shadow. Our mask is made from the 1 3/4" circle punch, and we applied it where we wanted our "moon." Then we added Navy Classic ink with a stampin sponge. We layered onto Basic Gray cardstock, added a ribbon to the card base, and popped up the focal image with dimensionals.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wow, that's a big alphabet!



What kind of crazy person pays $150 for an alphabet die set??? You guessed it--ME! I have myself convinced that it will pay for itself soon, so we shall see. LOL

This is my first project with it--for December's Gift Buffet. Click on over to my other blog if you'd like to see the other projects. But most of them will appear here *eventually*. I love this frame! It's going to look really pretty on my wall in December.

The frame is from Walmart, although I can't seem to find anymore, which could be a problem. The letters are cut from textured Real Red cardstock, then rubbed in Versamark and embossed with Iridescent Ice embossing powder. I added some Dazzling Diamonds glitter to the snowflakes with my Mono Multi glue. the little snowflake has Chunky Glitter in the middle. The "snow" at the bottom of the frame is Martha Stewart Snow Glitter, applied with Crystal Effects.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Another Birthday!


Nine years ago, after a long wait, our sweet baby Madelyn was born! She was our first homebirth, and my easiest birth by far. She weighed exactly 7 pounds!



Now she is practically grown up--she loves High School Musical and Little House on the Prairie. {grin} Her best friend is Hailey, and their favorite thing to do is have tea parties! We are so glad to have our Maddy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bag o' Tags


I am really enjoying the Level 2 hostess set Deer Friends this time of year! It is so easy to make adorable tags with it! This was a hostess gift for last month's stamp club meeting. And isn't that striped ribbon YUMMY????


Stamps: Deer Friends
Paper: Whisper White, Riding Hood Red, Old Olive, Ski Slope DSP
Ink: Riding Hood Red, Chocolate Chip, Old Olive
Accessories: Scallop Circle punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, 1 1/4" circle punch, slot punch, Word Window punch, dimensionals, small cello bag, 1 1/4" striped grosgrain, gold cord

Monday, November 10, 2008

What's on your plate for Christmas???


It was harder than I thought to get a decent picture of this! But I think it would look even better with cookies on it. :-) This will be one of the projects for the Christmas Gift Buffet!

Stamps: Snow Swirled
Ink: Staz On White
Accessories: Clear plate

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I bet you didn't know I was SWISS

Sorry, I've been a bad blogger and haven't posted in a few days. I did post twice last Wednesday, though, so maybe that gave me extra credit. {wink} I used to love extra credit. It's a lot harder to come by at my age. LOL

One reason I've been "away" is that we held our Southwest Idaho Splitcoast Swap (SWISS) last night! It was great fun, and we always have wonderful projects. Twenty of us got together for pizza, chocolate, and stamping. What could be better? Here is my uber-simple card for SWISS. You can't see it in this photo, but there's a strip of Kiwi Kiss along the bottom of the inside of the card.




Stamps: Thank You Kindly
Paper: Tangerine Tango, Chocolate Chip, Kiwi Kiss, Frosty Day DSP
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Chocolate Chip 1/4" grosgrain, Scallop Edge punch, Paper Piercer

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's a birthday girl!


This is Emily. She is child #3 out of 6. She is strong. She is beautiful. She is funny. And now, she is 14 years old! She loves theater--she was in "Once Upon a Mattress" this past summer, and she is in rehearsals for Laura Ingalls in "A Laura Ingalls Christmas." She has also developed quite a gift for photography, so she requested a camera for her birthday! I wonder if I can talk her into doing all my pictures from now on. {wink}

My little baby Emily. It's always so sad to see my kids grow out of being my babies, but so exciting to see them become young adults with abilities and interests I could never have anticipated. Love you, Emma!



Time for Swaps, and Time for Cheer

I love Christmas! Right up until about December 15 or so, and then I'm done. LOL But in October and November, Christmas is at the top of my list! So of course, I couldn't resist joining Jami's Christmas Swap! And who doesn't love a Christmas pocket card???



I cut out the holly stamp and covered the "berries" with Real Red brads. Then the holly is popped up with dimensionals on the tab. On the pocket, I used Jumbo Brads and then secured the flap to the pocket with dimensionals.


Stamps: Christmas Classics
Paper: Baja Blue, Real Red, Old Olive, Whisper White, Ski Slope DSP
Ink: Versamark, Old Olive
Accessories: Silver EP, Scallop Edge punch, paper piercer, Jumbo Brads--pewter, Old Olive 5/8" grosgrain, silver cord, silver brads, Real Red brads, Round Tab punch, corner rounder, dimensionals

Monday, November 3, 2008

Star Light, Star Bright, first ornaments I see tonite . . .


Have you checked out the Star Bright Ornament kit??? It's very fun! The members of my stamp club got to make at least one of each ornament, just for fun! There are different sizes and shapes of stars, which I plan to use to decorate presents. They are so easy--just fold on the score lines, and you're ready to go. The other ornaments are just as fun. Give this kit a try! It would make a great ornament party for kids or adults!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Autumn Tiles


We're making these tiles for my November Card Buffet. The one on the left is stamped in Black Staz-On and colored with Sharpies. The one on the right is stamped in Stampin' Up craft inks and baked dry. They make great Thanksgiving hostess gifts!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stamp Club Fun


Oh, I KNOW! It's gorgeous! I can say that because I basically copied it from my good friend Rhonda! :-) When my stamp club ladies saw her swap card, they just *insisted* that we make it. Since I love 'em, I gave them a technique card to go with it! The tree panel is popped up on dimensionals.

Stamps: Snow Swirled, Christmas Classics
Paper: Riding Hood Red, Old Olive, Whisper White
Ink: Whisper White, Old Olive
Accessories: Riding Hood Red 5/8 grosgrain, Designer Brads--Star Assortment, Stampamajig, dimensionals

Monday, October 27, 2008

Using Hodgepodge Hardware


I would like you to celebrate with me--I actually used my new Vanilla Hodgepodge Hardware! Not the big tin, you understand. Yikes--don't go overboard! This frame is from the bulk hodgepodge order a few months ago. And of course, now I won't be able to give this adorable little pillowbox away, because it has hodgepodge on it! Are you frightened that you understand where I'm coming from? You probably should be.

This pillowbox is my version of Shelli's that she did for a Utah morning show! Isn't it cute? And thanks to my hoarding disorder, I had some thick acetate just sitting in my file cabinet, absolutely WAITING for this project! {I knew I'd need it someday. I've had it for about 10 years. LOL Inherited it from my Dad's endless office supply stash after he died. See? It's not my fault!} Don't use regular transparencies, by the way--too flimsy.

I know, I know, the Ski Slope red is Real Red, and I used Riding Hood Red grosgrain. So sue me. :-) I really wanted that stripe in there, and plain wide red grosgrain just wasn't cutting it. After I cut the acetate, I folded it on the score lines. This is kind of important, because the acetate isn't as flexible as cardstock. The curvy lines for the end folds are a little bit tricky. I used Sticky Strip to adhere the flap on the envelope.

I stamped the Merry Christmas in Riding Hood Red (let it go, already!) on Very Vanilla cardstock and layered it over the ribbon. I used the brads to attach the frame to the ribbon. This pillowbox is filled with Christmas peanut M&Ms. These make a great little project!

This picture shows my other sample--I used the gold cord to make it more of an ornament or a little purse. {Cute!} This one is filled with gourmet jelly beans! I kinda made it to see if I could get it to work, so it's just thrown together from stuff that was sitting out on my stamp table.



Stamps: Party Punch (hostess 2007, retired)
Paper: Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, Riding Hood Red, Ski Slope DSP, Christmas Treasures DSP
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Riding Hood Red
Accessories: Big Shot, SU Pillowbox die, Designer Label Punch, 1 inch circle punch, Riding Hood Red 5/8" grosgrain, Gold cord, Vanilla HPH, Sticky Strip, glue dots

Friday, October 24, 2008

Swappers Anonymous Christmas


I love swapping with my SA sisters! Their cards and projects are top-notch, and they have all become dear friends.

I worried about this card, I tell ya. I fell in love with this set when I first saw it in the catalog at Convention! But then, when I had it in my hands, I couldn't figure out a layout. I thought about separating the smaller sentiment, but then couldn't do it. I thought about changing sets for the swap. LOL But I took it as a personal challenge to make this a card my SA sisters would love! And really, what is the secret ingredient????? You all know.

GLITTER! Red Chunky glitter to be exact. And I used almost the whole container on this swap. LOL

My beloved Big Shot came to my rescue. That Top Note die rocks! It was the perfect size! Do you think they planned that???? Anyway, I layered on some of the gorgeous Holiday Treasures DSP, which I think makes it look richer. The corners are punched with the Ticket Corner punch to make way for the gold brads. The striped Riding Hood Red grosgrain is accented with little twists of elastic gold cord (yay to have it back in the Mini Catalog!) to pull it all together. Merry Christmas, Swappers Anonymous Sisters!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Olive You


This simple card really took me a long time to create. Isn't that just the way it goes???? I couldn't get the focal image quite right. The table was littered with cast-offs and disasters. LOL I really wanted to use my new large oval punch, and I couldn't seem to get the look I was after. So I left it overnight. :-)

When I came back, the idea had apparently cooked long enough in my brain, because this is the result! I am really happy with it. We'll be making this at Card Buffet next month! You can't quite see it in the picture, but the scallops are all pierced in the center. If you wanted to make this card more masculine, you could just leave off the scallop-ing (is that a word???) and the felt flower. It wouldn't be NEARLY as cute, but it probably wouldn't offend the man in your life.

Stamps: A Little Birthday Cheer
Paper: Old Olive, Haiku DSP
Ink: Old Olive
Accessories: Scallop Edge Punch, Large Oval Punch, Flower Fusion, Vintage Brads, Corner Rounder Punch, paper piercing tool, sponge

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot . . .



It can't really be time for Christmas yet! But it is! Time to get those "Grandma presents" ready! This is an album I copied from my dear friend Kathy. Isn't it cute? It's made from two business sized envelopes! And of course, any time I can use my Bind It All, I'm *very* happy! Each page is decorated, and each "pocket" has a tabbed insert, too! This would be so cute filled with holiday recipes or pics of cute offspring. :-) There are lots of yummy felt snow flurries scattered throughout this album, too! I just neglected to take a picture of one of those pages.



Paper: Ski Slope DSP, Baja Breeze, Real Red
Accessories: Chipboard, Bind It All, Old Olive 5/8" grosgrain, Real Red 5/8" Grosgrain, Round Tab Punch, Snow Blossom Punch, Button Bouquet, Small Snow Flurries