Mar 26, 2013

Top Five Tuesday: Scrapbook Challenges

Hello! So I have to abort my plan to post the second half of my scrapbook pages from Sunday.... at least for today. Because I forgot about Top Five Tuesday! I'm a little late in getting here today and don't have any photos loaded on my laptop to share with you today, but I thought I'd give you some challenges for Top Five Tuesday this week. You can do one or all five... sound good? Excellent. Here we go:

Challenge #1: Scrap a photo from your childhood.
Challenge #2: Design a monochromatic page
Challenge #3: Use the title "Going Places"
Challenge #4: Think spring... make a page with flowers or that celebrates the warmer weather
Challenge #5: Make a "top five" page

How's that? Any of them sound like fun? If you participate be sure to leave me a comment with a link to a photo. I'd love to see what you come up with!

I'll be back soon with the other two pages from the Merry Moments Simply Scrappin' kit. Did you miss it? Click here to read that post and then come back soon to see the two other pages.

Mar 24, 2013

A Scrapbook Page!

It has been a ridiculously long time since I posted a scrapbook page. Honestly, it's been a ridiculously looong time since I've scrapbooked! That is so going to change for a couple of reasons that I'll explain in a moment.

This page is actually one I did several months back. In fact, I used the Merry Moments Simply Scrappin' kit from the Holiday Catalog last year.

How about I show you the first two pages I designed with this kit today and the other two in my next post? Sound good?

So back to why I will be scrapbooking more... first, is because I just signed up to attend a scrapbooking weekend in June for the first time in years (as a scrapbooker NOT a vendor)! To say I'm excited is an understatement. I miss scrapbooking. That was my original passion and now that I've inherited hundreds and hundreds of photos (honestly it's probably more like thousands), I can't wait to start making some pages!

The second reason why I'm going to be doing some scrapbooking in the very near future is because I'm launching a monthly Scrapbook Club! I'm so excited about this. I tried this years ago, but didn't have any consistency and got discouraged because I had low interest. I know now after launching a successful card class a few years ago that it takes time to build up an audience -- particuarly with scrapbooking. It's a committment... but it is SO worth it!

Well, I'm totally re-energized because I met up with the wonderful Jennifer Williams from the Osterville Historical Society Museum and she has invited me to host my scrapbook classes at their building! It's this adorable old building in the heart of Osterville. The grounds are beautiful and so inspiring. What's so great about it is they are launching a new exhibit about heritage photos in the museum so it ties in perfectly with all of the heritage photos I need to pull together, organize and use to create some family pages. I'm totally excited. Although, I'm not so excited about the major spring cleaning that needs to happen in order for me to begin scrapbooking! But... it will be good!

Ok. On to the second page of the four pages I made with this super cute kit.

This one has a little more of a Christmas feel, but still could be used for photos that are not from the holidays. I love using the Simply Scrappin' kits for scrapbooking because it makes coordination so simply. Each kit has eight solid pieces of cardstock, six pieces of patterned paper and three 12 X 12 sheets of self-adhesive die-cut stickers that all coordinate perfectly.

I think the pages I made with this kit will actually work well with some of my heritage photos, too -- although I'll probably have to adjust them a little bit as most of the old photos aren't 4 X 6 in size. I'll probably use the extra space for journaling on this page as I didn't really leave a whole lot of room for that on this one. Although, one of my favorite techniques is to journal around the outside edge of a page. Do you ever do that?

Want to see what we have for Simply Scrappin' kits right now? Click here to jump over to my online store and check it out. There's also this kit and coordinating products from the spring catalog. What do you have on your scrapbook "to do" list? Never scrapbooked? What questions do you have? Maybe I can do a Q & A series as we get closer to my first class!

Mar 19, 2013

Top Five Tuesday: Tools of the Trade

Hello there... Welcome to Top Five Tuesday!   This week I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite card making tools.

Big Shot - Right out of the gate I have to start with my beloved Big Shot. While this machine is wonderful for all of it's nifty possibilities -- one of my absolute favorites for card making is embossing with the textured impression embossing folders. Exhibit A:
This adorable little monkey card wouldn't be half as cute without that fun vine-embossed old olive cardstock, now would it? (speaking of that... this is the last week you can earn the vine embossing folder for FREE with a $50 order -- a Sale-A-Bration bonus!)

Punches - I absolutely love Stampin' Up punches. They are a must for any card, but take this sample -- all of the layering was made so, so easy and impressive thanks to all of our circle punches. Love that!

Ribbon Scissors - I know this seems silly, but these truly are THE BEST scissors for cutting ribbon and what card is finished without ribbon?? Seriously, they are a must have, but keep them away from paper -- these scissors and paper don't get along... like oil and water people. (OK so I just noticed when I went to link these little scissors that they are called Craft & Paper scissors -- it just must be my OCD that doesn't want them used for paper -- or it could be the voice of my Mom in my head -- she had a pair of scissors like these that she was always chasing me around telling me not to use them for paper! Got it, Mom. That is successfully drilled into my head :)

Color Spritzer - this is an oldie, but oh so beautiful on vintage-y style cards. Just slide your favorite Stampin' Write marker into the marker barrel, take off the marker cover and squeeze until your heart's content. Close up make a larger impact -- further away gives it just a minor speckle. So fun and oh so addictive!

Stampin' Dimensionals - if you have ever taken a class with me, then you know that I cannot... I mean can. not. make a card without a bunch of these little helpers. They just add an extra little lift (ha ha pun intended!) to everything. Seriously... run to the store and scoop up one, two or ten packages of these little beauties... you won't regret it!

There you are... there are five of my favorite card-making tools. Now, do tell. What do you have to have when you are card making? Share in the comments below -- inquiring minds want to know!

Mar 16, 2013

All Dressed Up with Stampin' Up!

Oh my goodness... can I tell you how addicted I am to making these adorable little dress up cards using the All Dressed Up bundle from Stampin' Up? So stinkin' cute!

If you'd like to make some cards like these and you live local (Cape Cod) e-mail me so we can get you on the attendee list for my Stamp Night next week (March 21) at my house. We'll make four of these adorable cards (not sure if it will include these designs or new ones, but you will fall in love... promise!).

For these two beauties I used the Flower Trim from the spring catalog. We will certainly be using some of that during class! It's just so girly and fun! :) I also used our silver glimmer paper -- that stuff is blinding and oh so pretty. Of course none of these "outfits" would be complete without some pearls!

What's great about this bundle -- it includes the framelits for the Big Shot and the All Dressed up Stamp set and if you purchase them as a set you save 20% on the full cost of the product. I love that Stampin' Up has started offering these bundles.

What I think I love about this bundle the most is that it reminds me of my Mom. When my sister, brother and I were kids... if we stayed home sick from school it meant we. were. sick. No tv. No games. Not even lying on the couch was allowed.

This one time when I must have been really, really sick (I never voluntarily stayed home sick) I was home from school and laying in bed when my Mom came home with a little booklet of paper dolls. I was so shocked (and thought maybe I was dying or something since my Mom did not encourage play time when we were sick!) that she brought these home for me after returning from her errands. I played with those paper dolls for weeks and weeks after my recovery.

Playing with this kit totally makes me think of my Mom and her out-of-character good deed so, so many years ago.

Be sure to check this kit out -- I think you will totally fall in love with it and maybe make some fond memories of your own!

Mar 14, 2013

You're Number "1"

Hi there! I thought I'd share with you a card I did as a custom order for a friend.

I used the World Spectacular Suite of products including the Designer Series Paper, Blue Ribbon Stamp Set and Island Indigo ruffled ribbon. (Ok.. so this ribbon isn't technically part of this suite -- but it coordinates so well with it!)

I love the few extra details in this card... the layered ribbons, the "popped up" blue ribbon, the rhinestone bling. When I set my mind to really making masterpiece -- it always comes down to layers for me... I love that I can pull a pile of SU products together in such a cohesive manner because everything coordinates. It makes creating so easy... and so, so fun.

What's funny is this suite was not one of my favorite when the new catalog first came out (I was more of a Floral District of Fan Fair Fan... ha! no pun intended!) But once I started playing with this and thinking outside of the "circus" theme I really like this suite, too.

It's so hard to believe in just a few more months we'll have a brand new catalog to "drool" over. I have to get in all my "playing" with this year's goodies so I can  make lots of room for new stuff in May and June!

So how about you... do you have a favorite suite from the 2012-2013 Idea Book & Catalog?

Mar 12, 2013

Top Five Tuesday: What I love about SU!

Happy Tuesday! I hope you enjoyed a nice weekend. My weekend was extended a bit, but not in a very good way. Had a bit of a stomach issue yesterday, but thankfully feeling better today.

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you likely know that I am a proud supporter of Stampin' Up. I think it's such a great company and has offered me so many opportunties over the past seven years.

This photo was taken at the Manager's Reception (held at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios) this past January in Orlando. It was the first year I qualified to attend a Manager's Reception and I had a blast!

I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite things about Stampin' Up for my Top Five Tuesday post today.

Travel Opportunities - Probably one of my very favorite things about Stampin' Up lately is the opportunity to travel. I earned the Hilton Head incentive trip for the first time last year (it's a different trip each year -- last year it happened to be Hilton Head, South Carolina). It was a fantastic trip for two - all expenses paid! Yippee! I also love having the opportunity to see other parts of the country when I travel to the Leadership and other training events. So far I've been to Phoenix, Orlando and Providence (not too far of a trip for me!)

Inspiration - One of the highlights of my job with Stampin' Up is being exposed to thousands of project samples and product training videos (you don't think I'm this creative on my own, do you?). I was the type of kid that loved Staples... the paper, pen and calendar aisle mostly. So imagine my excitement when I discovered the world of scrapbooking and rubber stamping -- I can literally spend hours looking at my Stampin' Up catalog (and have!), our demonstrator website or snapping photos at one of our training events . This photo (below) was taken at Leadership in January. Isn't this layout beautiful? It just screams spring and I'm so ready!

Friendships - I have met some of the. most. amazing. people ever because of my connection to Stampin' Up -- not just fellow SU demonstrators, but also customers, fellow paper crafters and people who have ultimately become incredibly good friends -- all because I picked up some paper and a rubber stamping habit!

Product Sneak Peeks - I'll admit it. I'm one of those people who does NOT like to be left out. Which is why I get so excited for the new catalog release each year. As demonstrators we get to view the full catalog and pre-order some of the items a full month prior to the general public (not to mention the opportunity to earn FREE stuff from the catalog each year before people can even look at it never mind order it!). May 1 is just around the corner and I. can't. wait! I literally stalk my UPS driver for the week after I order my catalog/sneak peek items. It's not pretty. :)

Money - Now of course, having this job pays me in more than just stamps! For well over five years now I've been earning income from this "hobby" of mine. (The first couple of years I was more interested in collecting one of everything!) I haven't used any "house" money to buy stamps in at least that time frame and in fact have a nice little savings account for rainy day activities now. The great part about it is I can control not only how much I take out of that account for my *ahem* addiction, but also how much I put into it -- the more I work, the more I make.... and it's such fun work! Who wouldn't love to get paid to come up with cards and scrapbook pages??

Anyway, that's my top five post for today. If any of this interests you, be sure to check out our starter kit special for Stampin' Up's 25th anniversary. New demonstrators get to select $156.50 (25% more than the usual kit offer) worth of merchandise of their choice for just $99 and no shipping costs! Awesome. Hurry, though, as this deal is only good through March 22nd.

Not familiar with Stampin' Up products? E-mail me and I'll send you a free catalog. Interested in the deal, but have questions? E-mail me and I can help with that, too.

I hope your week is off to a great start... I'm hoping my week only gets better from here (no more belly-aches for me, please!)

Mar 9, 2013

Hello there and happy Saturday! I had a productive day yesterday... I got my Stamp Club To Go projects all packed and ready to mail first thing this morning and planned another class using the Sent with Love bundle... but more on that another day.

This is one of the cards from Month 2 of Stamp Club To Go using the "Henry Says" stamp set from the spring catalog. I think this is my favorite project this month.

I have one more month of projects with this stamp set (for a total of 12 projects!) before I start another round of Stamp Club To Go -- want in on the next round? E-mail me and I'll be sure to include you in the next announcement.

In the meantime, have you heard about Paper Pumpkin? It's a simple crafting project delivered to your door each month! All the supplies you need to make the surprise project are included in this kit (except adhesive)! All for just $19.95 (and that includes shipping!). Hurry to to subscribe... be quick... if you sign up before March 10 your first kit will ship on March 15. It will be like a creative escape each month -- 30 minutes of uninterrupted crafting time (well, I can't promise the uninterrupted part).

Have a great weekend...

Mar 7, 2013

Let's Be Honest

I know I haven't been very consistent here on the old blog recently.... and I apologize for that. But I'll be honest. February is a tough month for me. The last few weeks have been downright hard. Most days getting out of bed was a monumental achievement.

Nine years ago on February 27, 2004 I lost my Dad. One year ago President's Day weekend my Mom went into the hospital for the first time and my life began to unravel... again.

I sometimes feel guilty that I hit rock bottom like this because obviously I'm not the only one in the world to have lost both their parents. In fact, I'm very fortunate that I had them for as long as I did as I'm certain there are others that are not so lucky. But right now there's no reasoning with myself. I'm simply sad. I'm simply angry. I'm simply lost.

I still long to hug my Dad. I still desperately long to talk to my Mom because she was always my biggest cheerleader. With her missing, my drive, my motivation, my determination... it's all buried with her. I'm trying to dig it up, to reach down and pull up all these traits I learned from her and put them back to use... because I know that's what she would want. But frankly, I don't care what she wants. I don't care what anyone wants.

There have been some nights I have found her wandering through my dreams and I wake up and feel like I'm re-living a nightmare as I slowly remember that she is actually gone. No more birthday dinners. No more Red Robin Patty Melts. No more trips to Sturbridge. No more Wednesday "I'm alive" calls.

It's hard. And I'm learning. Thank goodness she was strong-willed and detrmined because I learned those traits, too. And even though I want to hide in my bed (and sometimes I do), I know I have to get up. I have to keep going. And I will. Because I am her legacy.

Mar 5, 2013

Top Five Tuesday: Book Inspiration

I went a little crazy on the other day. In addition to being utterly addicted to scrapbooking supplies, I also have a ridiculously powerful addiction to books. This isn't a new thing - I've had this problem since I was a young kid. At any one time I usually have 10 or more books on my bedside table waiting to be read. In fact, I don't have a beside table -- I have a bedside bookshelf because the problem runs that deep! It's OK, though, because my Mom always told me that money was never wasted on a book. I have to agree.

So I thought for Top Five Tuesday (sorry for the hiatus -- I'll explain that a little later this week) today I'd focus on my Top Five "to read" books currently sitting on my bookshelf. All five of them are from my recent purchase or from a trip I took to the book store a few weeks ago. (Yes, this is the sign of addiction -- buying new books when you still have other new books waiting!). The books on my bookshelf actually range from fiction to non-fiction, but all the books I'm featuring today are non-fiction books. Here they are in no particular order:

Pinterest Power, by Jason Miles & Karen Lacey -  This one isn't as colorful and engaging as many of the other books currently on my top five list, but it is completely practical. I love Pinterest and found it pretty early on in its life, but I've sort of forgotten about it recently. I think it has enormous potential to meet other like-minded creatives and that's why I want to focus my attention a bit on how to use it effectively.

Happy Chic Colors, by Jonathan Adler - This book is complete eye candy! I'm on a mission to do some re-design work in my house -- it's feeling a bit dated and lackluster to me so there's where the two design-themed books came from in this stack. Although I must say this book is also inspiring some card and scrapbook design possibilities... flipping through this one makes me drool. (Now isn't that a visual!)

Desire to Inspire (Transforming the World), by Christine Mason Miller - OK, so I think this one is number one of the top five. I'm not sure why, but recently I've just been feeling the need to do, be and offer more to the world. Perhaps because I've been so withdrawn and reserved lately (you'll read more about these feelings on Thursday), but I think inspiring others, having a self-proclaimed purpose and just reaching out to others speaks to me right now. That's why I am so excited to tackle this book first.

The Creative Entrepreneur, by Lisa Sonora Beam - While I want to give back in some way, to inspire and engage and influence - I'm not quite sure how I should do that... writing? stamping? scrapbooking? Something else? I'm hoping this book will be my assistant as I brainstorm how I make a difference and what my role is now in 2013.

Decorate Workshop, by Holly Becker - This one is purely about style -- from inspiration to techniques. Just what I need as I start from scratch in many of the rooms in my house. First up for renovation? The craft room. It is so difficult to get (and remain) inspired in a room that's just "eh." I have a vintage vibe I want to go for with robin egg blue and a sage-y green in mind, but I'm looking forward to digging into this one to find some other concepts or ideas that might work, too.

I am so excited about all five of these books (and a few others that didn't make the list!) that I'm having a hard time picking just ONE to read at a time! So tell me... what is inspiring you right now?

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