Friday, December 17, 2010

Colossal to-do list avoidance

What do you do when your kids will be home in three hours (early release) for the holidays and your to-do list is a mile long? Why, make more tags, of course! Sad to say, when my mountain of tasks gets overwhelming, I'm pretty good at finding something really fun but not-on-the list to do...

Tim's original day 5 tag is here. I really love the enamel look of the numbers. Fun technique. I didn't have the same Santa, holly, or sentiment stamps but I think it works. I used some fabric flowers and yellow brads instead of the Idealogy foliage.

The original day 6 can be found here. Tim's video explanations are great! I did struggle with this one trying to get the stamped texture fade image to look right - Tim's looked so nice and crisp and mine was kind of smeared. I tried it a few times (and now have several tags with trees and swirls) but could never get it to come out any clearer.

I was lacking in the aqua paint department and the closest thing I could find was some Claudine Helmuth teal, mixed with white. Mine is pretty dark - I like Tim's better. 

I didn't have any word sticks, so I used a rectangular fragment, drilled a hole (learned my lesson from day 4 tag when I cracked my fragment - the craft pick doesn't work so well on these. My Fiskars craft drill worked like a charm!) and stamped WISH with archival ink and teeny tiny stamps. My star is paper - I had already used the ONE star that comes in the adornments package on tag #1.

And now, seriously, must tackle that to-do list!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tags and trees

Still working my way through Tim's tags. Finished 3 & 4.

The original can be found here. I really like how this one turned out. Followed Tim's directions for the most part, but I didn't have any moss for under the bird. Searching through my stuff, I found this really cool packaging I had saved and thought that a little piece of it would look like a bird's nest. Inked it and crumpled it up a little and I think it turned out rather well. My package of memo pins is missing, so I wrapped my sticker with red wire. I like the memo pin better and may change it if I ever find them. I couldn't find any tiny tinsel garland, but I thought the silver beaded garland was pretty.

The original for #4 can be found here. This tag gave me fits! I didn't have any facets, so I tried using an oval fragment. It took several tries to get it to look right and then when I went to put a hole through, it cracked the charm. At that point, I used it anyway. :) Then my baubles kept falling off the jump ring and I'm still missing one. Have no idea where it ended up. Might be hanging out with my memo pins...

I used some snowflakes instead of Prima bling on the card...and when I was finished, I was looking for something else and found the exact package of bling Tim used in my stash. Oh well... I really liked the original but it is not my favorite finished tag.

It is getting harder and harder to keep holiday traditions as my kids get older. Notice that only half of the children are pictured. We ALWAYS go get a tree together, but not this year. It gets more difficult with teenagers who are always busy, always have something else going on. Micah was gone to the state robotics competition, Matt had swim practice and McKelle is on crutches. I get a little teary when I realize everything can't stay the same - always changing, always growing and probably sooner than I can handle, moving on.

(Just so you know, for any perfectionists that may be reading, I totally redid the ribbon this morning. With kids helping, one ribbon roll ended right smack dab in the front of the tree. I lasted 3 1/2 days before I had to change it...)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday favorites

Just a few things that are making me happy this busy December Friday.

* Making sure I schedule time to be creative. I made another Tim tag!

The original can be found here. I didn't have the snowman die, so I used my EK Success snowman punch. Since I was working with a much smaller figure, the sanding and shading was a little difficult (and dang - I lost at least three of those teeny, tiny carrot noses) but I think it turned out ok. I couldn't find any holly tiny enough for the hat, so I put it up at the top instead. Love the effect of embossed plastic packaging!

* Loving my Soap Sampler from Walla Walla Soap Works. I adore their soap!! And the owners are just the sweetest. The Calendula Baby bar is perfect for kids (or grown ups!) who have sensitive skin. In fact, that is how they started their business several years ago - researching and trying to find soaps that would work for their family and not irritate and inflame extremely sensitive skin. My current favorite is Granny's Candy. Showers never smelled so yummy. And if you're local, free (and very quick!) delivery, even in a snowstorm. :)

* Christmas music!! I force myself to wait til the day after Thanksgiving and then it is all Christmas, all the time. A new favorite is David Tolk's Christmas. Lovely instrumentals! I could listen to Casting Crowns version of Peace on Earth over and over again. 

* Pomegranates! And with this Martha video, getting the seeds out is sooooo much easier. Genius!

* Studio Calico's December kit. Ok, I don't even get my box til next week, but the colors in this are so luscious! And it is still available. SC rocks!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Tried a T!m tag or two (and a layout)

Since 2007, I have been intrigued by the 12 Tags of Christmas done by Tim Holtz. Intrigued enough to buy any number of TH, Ranger, etc. products...but then I always seem to run out of time to actually put together the tags. This year, I actually made two tags! And hopefully, more will follow, but they can get pretty time consuming. I'd love to have a tree or maybe a banner decorated with a bunch of 12 Days tags.

For tag #1 (original found here) I stayed pretty close to Tim's directions until I got to the little extras. I couldn't find any garland in my stash, so I ended up altering an old Mrs. G wreath sticker with distress stickles and a bow. I still need to add some sort of tree, but couldn't justify the hour trip to the Tri-Cities to look at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. Our little Joanns in Walla Walla doesn't carry much...

With tag #2 (original found here) I strayed a bit - I didn't have the pinecone or Happy Holidays stamps, so made do with what I did have. And then, my music stamp came out much darker than his. Not sure why - I did use the same color of ink. Because the background was so dark, I stamped my Merry Christmas sentiment on manilla cardstock, cut it out and attached it to the tag. The swirl is there, but I couldn't get it to show up in the photo. Wishing I had cut my ribbon a tad longer...

The layout is of McKelle and my adorable nephew Ty. He is darling, with a head full of curls. And if you need exercise, just spend a little time chasing him around! My house is no longer very baby proof, so my sister and her husband spent Thanksgiving dashing this way and that to keep him out of trouble.

Made with Studio Calico's On the Easel Kit and addons.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Squeezing in time...

Just a few pages amidst the hustle and bustle (I only just started my Christmas shopping and wouldn't you know it - the ONE thing on five of the six Christmas lists is sold out everywhere. Aargh! Not paying scalper prices...not going to do it.)

Just using up bits and pieces of older Studio Calico kits.

And, super sweet news! Matthew got his acceptance e-mail to BYU-Idaho last night. My son is going to college! He still has a couple of schools to hear back from, so destination is not final at this point but we're super excited for him. And a little shocked at how fast time has gone - I feel like breaking out singing "Sunrise, Sunset!" After all, didn't he just start kindergarten yesterday???

Monday, December 06, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

But no tree. I am not as brave as my sweet cousin-in-law Lisa, who ventured out and got her own tree. With Michael and the bigs in Hawaii all last week, no tree yet. And, since he took such a nice vacation, Michael is slammed with work this week...I'm not sure when we're going to find a time to get one. But the mantles are decorated, the wreath is on the door, the nativity is up...

I may be slightly obsessed with specimen art. I have plans for every holiday. Really.

I saw this gorgeous FREE printable over at eighteen25 and had to have it! I downloaded it from their site and uploaded to Costco and got a 16x20 print. LOVE it!! If you do this, just make sure to have the auto correction option OFF on Costco's photo site. Otherwise, your background will not be white. Yep, speaking from experience...

Santa and his elf have been around for awhile. I made them several years ago and it looks like Mr. Elf is missing some jingle bells. Time for a touch up...

The banner was also a printable at eighteen25 - I just printed it on copy paper and backed it with some thin-ish chipboard. They sewed theirs together with bias tape, but I decided to use some eyelets and jute to string it up.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas season!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Back 40 love

After yesterday's post, I'm feeling the need to use up some of my more current SC kits. I have made pretty good progress on Back 40 (and addons.) LOVEd this kit!

Modified Becky Fleck sketch from her newest book

Another Becky Fleck sketch.

A little hand embroidery with Scrapper's Floss. I even remembered how to tie a French Knot!

A new MS punch - yes, I'm addicted. But this one can punch anywhere!

I'm going to borrow my beautiful niece more often so I can scrap pretty, girly pages!

Ha! The berries are pink, so I get to use pink paper, no matter what McKelle thinks...

These papers could not have been more perfect for this picture. They matched the playground equipment to a tee!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Only 2.5 years!

This could be a problem. It took 2.5 years to use up a whole Studio Calico kit!

My very first one - Newstand - and it is finally gone. Just a few random chipboard letters and maybe a sequin or 10 left. That's it. I used it all! Two and half years....

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lovely Fall, y'all!

November has been a definite improvement. True, I am on a hyper dose of steroids, which comes with its own set of issues, but it has definitely calmed the Wegener's symptoms and I am breathing much easier. I am determined to find a workable tapering solution for the prednisone, but for now, I am just happy to be over the blah that was October.

Oh Autumn, how I love thee. Cooler days, crisp clear nights. The softer sunlight filtering through trees ablaze in their red and yellow glory. Weather perfect for hot soups and fresh bread. No worries about heating up the kitchen to bake cookies and all things pumpkin. Planning the turkey and stuffing and sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving and most importantly, the thoughts of family that will attend. Counting gratitudes and remembering each day what a blessed life I live.

Saw this display and had to make one of my own. I looked all over in my limited little town and couldn't find brown bottles (which I adored!) so I used canning jars instead (these are specifically for crafters - smooth sided with no embossed label.) Picked up some bunches of wheat and cut the vinyl letters with my Cricut.

Jumped on the pennant banner wagon and made this simple one in less than an hour. I cut burlap in triangles, stamped each pennant with Jenni Bowlin paint and some giant letter stamps that I picked up at the BYU Bookstore this summer, attached it to a length of twine with my TH Tiny attacher and added some punched leaves.

And finally, just a frame with mat, backed with some pretty Autumn-ish paper and a simple sentiment in my favorite Thickers font (also colored with the Jenni Bowlin paint.)

Happy, happy fall y'all!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Something's gotta give

And what gave was pretty much the whole month of October.

Struggling to figure out why I feel worse than I did at the end of summer. Seeing the ENT, the nephrologist, the pulmonologist and any other -ist who might have some idea why we're not seeing remission yet. Upping the prednisone after spending last Saturday in the clinic getting chest x-rays and breathing treatments.

I LOVE October. Absolutely, 100% adore it. I love fall and Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. I love the decorations, the food, the costumes! I anticipate the season all year long - adding to my Halloween decor, coming up with and making costumes for the whole family, making spooky food and treats throughout the month, carving pumpkins and roasting the seeds, trick-or-treat. What's not to love?!!

But this October? Most of my projects are still sitting in the bags in my basement. The only thing that got done was a little specimen art.

The outside of the house never got decorated and the pumpkins are still sitting on the kitchen table, waiting to be carved. 

The hardest thing of all? No family costumes this year. No theme, no sewing, no gluing, no CREATING. It seemed kind of empty, you know? Instead, we recycled and the kids threw together last minute (literally!) costumes from the costume box before Trunk-or-Treat last night.

If for nothing else, I have got to get feeling better so I can enjoy my Octobers again. 

Friday, October 08, 2010

Dry wall art

I'm sure gesso is probably the preferred medium for canvas artists, but I'm cheap. And my amazing friend Megan taught me the technique several years ago and she always used dry wall compound. A huge bucket of dry wall at Home Depot? Under $10. A teeny weeny bottle of gesso at the art supply store? $10, and I would need at least 10 for each project.

This is the Seattle LDS Temple canvas I did for Michael for Christmas several years ago. I've shared it here before:

This is my most recent canvas. I used it for a special night at our church for my Young Women, depicting the Tree of Life. I used a Hero Arts Scroll Tree Stamp as a guide and just made it a whole lot bigger. Huge, actually.

That middle canvas? Didn't realize it wasn't true to square until I was almost through with the whole thing. Aaargh! Matthew wants to hang it in his room - I think I can hang it without it being too noticeable but it definitely doesn't work just sitting on the mantle.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Pants on the ground

I'm not sure if we'll all remember the significance of this little phrase 20 or 50 or 100 years from now, but it made for a pretty funny page title.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Currently (a complete blog post steal)

I am a fan of Stephanie Howell's scrapping artistry, but I think what I love most is her journaling. Her words. Such a lovely peek into her life and the life of her darling girls (yep, just a wee bit jealous of all that pinkalicious goodness!) And she does this great post on her blog occasionally called "currently" where she details some of the fun/sad/happy/hilarious things that are going on with each member of her family. I hope she doesn't mind if I steal her idea...


1. is totally loving preschool. He thinks the sun rises and sets with Miss Leanne's words (which became quite funny when he misheard a song she was teaching and insisted that there were 10 days in a week.)

2. likes to 'read' Max's homework over his shoulder. And he usually gets most of the words right...

3. loves to play Quirkle or Memory with mom, at least several times a day.

4. can't wait to be 5 so HE can play soccer, instead of watching everyone else.

5. is much less whiny and screams a lot less now that the kids are back in school. Whew!


1. says pink is his second favorite color, just like Ciera. And he needs a phone, so he can call people. Like Ciera. Hmmm....

2. scored a goal on Saturday at his soccer game, but was more thrilled when the coach called him the Defensive Maniac!

3. is one tough cookie! He has a huge bruise from a teammate mistaking his knee for the ball and his head actually bounced off the ground when an opponent tried to take him out. But he kept on playing and didn't shed even one tear.

4. has the strangest taste buds. He has always been uber-picky, but last night takes the cake. We were making our traditional caramel apples, but he didn't want one because he doesn't like apples (not sure how he knows this as he refuses to even try one.) We offered a banana, but that would have been "disgustinger." He finally settled on a caramal LEMON!! And he ate it!

5. refuses to wear long pants, or a jacket, even on mornings when the temperature dips into the 40s.


1. tries my patience on a daily basis.

2. is raising the decibel level in the house with his new saxophone.

3. is enjoying football, though he doesn't get much playing time and doesn't regret quitting soccer at all.

4. ran faster after the ice cream truck than I've ever seen him run on the field!

5. made it into Rockin' Rhythms for second year. His teacher is fabulous! I wish *I* could be in her class!


1. still loves soccer. And drums. And Scrabble, chess and Robotics.

2. was just made the Deacon's quorum president last week.

3. has the quirkiest sense of humor. Think Monty Python...

4. is going up to the high school for his math class every day. High school!

5. reads just as much as I did at his age. And tends to disappear into his room to do it, just like me.


1. turned 16 last week (umm, yeah, didn't have the right candles, so had to improvise with 4 squared...)

2. has had several PRs in XC this year and dodged a big season ender today when her leg x-ray didn't show a stress fracture. Whew!!

3. is trying to fit in XC, band, 4 AP classes, and so much more, it makes my head spin.

4. skipped a possible first date to Homecoming to go run at Nike pre-Nationals in Portland and was told by a young man in the elevator that she had "attitude." I knew that.

5. adores her new phone.


1. was much better at putting on his boutonniere than me or his date for Homecoming.

2. is constantly reminding me that this is his last (fill in the blank.) His last year of school, his last Halloween with us, his last first day of school photos, etc. As if I need to be reminded.

3. is still dating J, much to her father's dismay. Not that he's not a great young man - I just don't think Mr. M wants J dating anyone at all.

4. has decided to he wants to be a pediatrician. Not sure the full effect of at least 11 YEARS of post high school schooling has sunk into his head. Not sure how he missed that living through 17 years with his dad and me. We support him, though.

5. has finally seen the light about the importance of school and grades. See #4 and #5.