Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Clean and Simple Birthday Card

I love a good clean and simple card and layout, but often times I find myself over-doing a card. You know what I mean...adding too many layers, too many embellishments, or too many colors. Sometimes it is best to follow the clean and simple method. This is difficult for people because it requires you to feel okay about leaving LOTS of white space.

Delicate Doilies, Clean and Simple card

This is a card I made using Design Seeds color selection (well a couple of them) and my new favorite stamp set...Delicate Doilies.

This is a birthday card for one of my teaching team members whose birthday is the day after mine. It was quick, simple, and beautiful. Well at least I think so.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gently Falling Thank You Card

Today was our all staff meeting for the school district. It is electrifying to see and hear hundreds of teachers buzzing about the upcoming year. This day is humbling and exciting. It is amazing to me to see lots of people in the same place, with the same passion, and the same excitement for learning and children. I always cry (if only a few tears) at something that is said or presented. Today a quote popped up that made me shed a few tears... Some people only have five or six people in their life that truly remember them, but teachers have thousands who remember them and what they have done. It makes me feel so small in the big scheme of things.

I have some great teaching partners and they have been through thick and thin with me. One team member in particular has been through a lot with me and I wanted to show my appreciation for the shoulder to cry on, belly laughs, and talks that require a glass of wine. She is an inspiration and she keeps pushing me to do great things and be a great teacher every single day.

Gently Falling, Holiday Mini Catalog 2011

I made this card for her which features the new Gently Falling stamp set from the Holiday mini catalog. I am excited about this set because I love fall and leaves. Perfect-o! I also used Karen Giron's Sweet Sunday Challenge 132 and the Color Throwdown 156.

Halloween Treat Bags

The first day of school is just around the corner. I can say for the first time...I'm not ready to go back. I love school, don't get me wrong, but this summer has been so relaxing. The beginning of September is always exciting for birthday, school beginning, and the start of my favorite season...FALL! I love fall because of the cool weather, apple picking, carving pumpkins, leaves changing colors...I could go on forever.

I have been on top of my game lately and I have a cute Halloween idea. Yes, I said Halloween! I used some old Stampin' Up DSP and whipped up some cute treat bags for the neighbor kids. I think they are adorable and I think the kids and parents appreciate the personal touch.

Halloween, packaging

I'm making a variation of this for my September stamp club for our Trick or TREAT class. We will focus on treat packaging. I'm so excited to share other goodies with you this week for my 30th birthday! Cupcakes are on the horizon.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Message Monday

Aren't we all a bit of an explorer in our own way?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Another Egg Carton Revamp

My sister gave me a couple egg cartons that hold 12 eggs. I decided to package the Banana Cupcakes that I spoke about yesterday in these egg cartons. Not only are they the perfect amount to give as a gift, but they hold mini cupcakes so nice so they don't plop right over and smush the frosting.

These egg cartons also allowed me to customize them with whatever Designer Paper I might have on hand. This was some extra Stampin' Up designer paper I had from the last catalog. I can't use it for stamp clubs anymore, but I can use it for awesome gifts of goodness.

I made a matching thank you card and attached it to the egg carton using twine. I am in love with Crumb Cake cardstock right now.

Needless to say that my school secretaries, Carol & Anita, loved the cupcakes and the packaging. Glad I could be their little ray of sunshine.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Banana Cupcakes

Last week I hepled with registration at school. I watched earlier in the week as our two wonderful secretaries pulled everything together for these crazy and long days. As a treat of appreciation, I decided to make some mini cupcakes for them. They always support the staff and students and I figured it was the least I could do for them. Plus it gave me an opportunity to test out a new cupcake and frosting flavor.

This recipe consisted of banana cupcakes, which tasted a lot like banana muffins, and honey cinnamon buttercream frosting. The sweetness of the frosting balanced the mild flavor of the banana cupcakes. I was really happy with how this turned out.

banana cupcakes

banana cupcakes

Tomorrow I'll share the egg carton revamp I did for this thank you gift as well as a cute and simple card that accompanied the cupcakes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August Card Workshop

Well it's August and not only am I gearing up for school to start, I'm gearing up for my monthly Stampin' Up workshops. I decided to do something different this year when it came to my club.

I have always relied heavily on the seasons/holidays to drive my card designs. This year, I realized that I needed to have a different focus. I decided to design my months around different themes. Most of these themes have something to do with maximizing your products. We all know that stamping and scrapbooking are not inexpensive hobbies. Why shouldn't we do our best to save as much money as possible and use our products as effectively as possible.

Thiis month I took one stamp set, Delicate Doilies, and used it three ways on three different cards. If we are going to spend the money on stamp sets, we should know how to use them to the max. Get our monies worth, don't you think?

So on the first card I just used the stamp as the main image. I love these big doilies and how they take up a lot of space.

Delicate Doilies, Stampin' Up, In Colors

On the second card we created our own textured DSP using the Big Shot and Square Lattice embossing folder.

Delicate Doilies, Stampin' Up, In Colors

On the last card we created our own 3-D embellishment. We all know how expensive these are in the store, so we made our own. We used the Perfect Pennant die and Big Shot to create the cut out doilies.

Delicate Doilies, Stampin' Up, In Colors

Next month...preparing for Halloween with Tricks & TREATS. Our class will focus on treat packaging.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Message Monday

Something I remind my students of all the time. I'm amazed of how little integrity there is in the world these days.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Baby is Born

Before my sister left the hospital last week she called me and asked if I would make a special page for baby Sawyer's scrapbook. She said I was the best woman for the job and I was honored that she would ask me. Since she was there, she wanted the nurses to get a foot and hand print for his book. I quick whipped up these two coordinating pages for the front of his book. The first will include his picture and his information. The second page is for the prints. I decided at the time to leave the pieces off the page. I thought this would make it easier for the nurses. Lindsay was thrilled with the results. I was too. I liked the classic look that the Celebrations DSP provided...perfect for our new little guy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Welcome Baby Sawyer

Last week was crazy indeed. My sister, Lindsay, ended up going to the hospital twice with contractions only to be sent home both times because they were "bad enough." This for the girl who had a scheduled C-section at the end of the month. Should she even be having contractions? Everytime the phone would ring or I would get a text, my response was always, "Are you having a baby?"

Well the third time was a charm. The doctor ended up keeping her in the hospital on Monday morning (August 8, 2011). I was there when she went into the operating room. It is one of the most exciting and scary watch your sister wheeled away. About an hour and a half later, my sister and her new son, Sawyer, were wheeled back in. He is a dream and my sister is amazing. Here are some hightlights:

I couldn't be happier that my sister's little family is growing and I couldn't be prouder to be an auntie to such wonderful boys.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Message Monday

This rang true today when one of my teaching partners broke down in tears about a family issue. She felt guilty talking about it because she didn't want us to feel bad for her. She said that she shouldn't feel bad because there are people out there that deal with worse. When will we realize that we all have hard times and sometimes it's okay to be vulnerable.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Message Monday

I think it is important to be a childlike once in a while. This I believe is different than being childish. My husband would disagree and say that I never have fun!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Little Cutie

I am a very proud auntie. I have three nephews and another on the way any day now. I love taking pictures of my little man, Austin. He is two and is my sister's oldest son. I have been getting in Austin's face with my camera since he was born. I like that he is getting older because he makes cute faces, but he is also more of a wiggle worm that before. I captured this picture one day while we were swimming at my dad's house. It is one of my favorites so far. I did a little editing on Picnik, which is a free photo editing site.

How can you not be in love with that face?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sweet Tea Card

So yesterday evening I discovered another challenge blog, as if I need any more. It is called
CAS-usal Fridays and the premise is to make CAS (clean and simple cards). This is right up my alley because I don't really make fancy cards.

Unfortunately, I missed the deadline to submit my creation, but I decided to play along anyway. The challenge was to created a long card (4" x 9") and keep it clean and simple. This means don't fill up all the space.

I also decided to use Color Throwdown's color combo for this week as well.

Instead of using my Stampin' Up stamps, I broke out my Papertrey selection from last year. I am in love with the Mason jar in the Friendship jar set. I made a glass of sweet tea as my main image. I love how well their dies go along with their stamps. It made putting this card together a breeze.

PTI, Friendship Jar, Stampin' Up, Woodgrain, Mason jar

(All supplies Stampin' Up unless noted)

Paper: Whisper White, Old Olive, Pool Party, Crumb Cake
Ink: Soft Suede, Chocolate Chip, Crumb Cake
Stamps: Woodgain, Friendship Jar (PTI), Cupcake Collection (PTI)
Accessories: Mason Jar die (PTI), Little Label (PTI), Dotted Scallop Ribbon punch

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wisteria Hydrangea Card

My goal this summer has been to blog everyday...or at least ALMOST everyday. I think I've been doing pretty well. Today's post is another card layout challenge (Sweet Sunday Sketch #128) that I decided to participate in courtesy of Karen Giron at The Sweetest Thing blog.

I came up with the color combo all on my own today. I was organizing my marker and sponge drawer yesterday when I set down these four colors next to each other and fell in love. The main color is one of the new In Colors...Wisteria Wonder. The supporting colors are Bashful Blue, Basic Gray, and Whisper White. I used one of my favorite sets, Because I Care, for my main image and sentiment. I am really happy with the softness of this card.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Butterfly Baby Card

My cousin Crystal recently had her second child, a little girl named Brooklyn. I decided to send Crystal and her husband Rob a card congratulating them on their little bundle of joy. This was also the perfect opportunity for me to use a couple challenges to make the perfect card for them.

I used Color Throwdown's color challenge #152 from last week. This was the perfect backdrop for a cute baby girl card.

I then picked The Paper Player's simple layout challenge #57 to put all the pieces together.

If only they would pick out the stamp set for me and then I wouldn't really have to think at all. I did some embossing, sponging, and distressing to the background paper on the card. I am in love with vintagey things right now and this reminded me of old wallpaper. Next, I used the Top Note die and Big Shot to frame my image. That was the most difficult part. I finally settled on the stamp set Flight of the Butterflies. I used the small butterfly and stamped them off to the side, leaving some empty white space. I then punched out one big buttterfly for a little embellishment. I used some rhinestones to bling the butterflies out, cause every girl needs a little bling.

(All supplies are Stampin' Up)

Paper: Rose Red, Whisper White, River Rock, Soft Suede
Ink: Melon Mambo, Rose Red, Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose, Soft Suede
Stamps: Flight of the Butterflies, Friendly Phrases

Accessories: Butterfly punch, Rose Red double stitched ribbon, Vintage Wallpaper Embossing folder, Big Shot, Top Note Die, Rhinestones, Dimensionals

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Mini Minneapolis Adventure

My mini adventure to Minneapolis with my friend Michelle was a blast. The four hour car ride...not so much! I don't have many pictures to share because surprisingly I didn't take that many.

Before I can show you any pictures I must explain why I'm not in most of them, but a little gnome is. Last summer my dad and I traveled to Europe to go to a wedding and then travel around a bit. I planned to buy a little Travelocity gnome to document our travels to famous places. My sister beat me to the punch. At first I hated the little gnome because I didn't think he was as cute as the one I would have purchased, but now I'm glad that this ugly little guy is traveling around the world with me.

Mr. Gnome is a bit fuzzy because I wanted the "Welcome to Minnesota" sign to be clear.

We went to the Mall of America because we couldn't check into our hotel until later in the day. First on our list of things to do was get something to eat. We stopped by the Rainforest Cafe. Mr. Gnome took a photo opportunity as we waited. See him there on the rocks. Our waiter/bartender was super nice, but found it interesting while asking the story of the gnome that I had visited Europe before Minnesota. I'm glad I gave him a giggle.

On day 2 we took the train into the city. This was the best shot I could get while in the train. Minneapolis was a beautiful and very friendly city. Everyone was Minnesota nice!

Michelle and I on the train. We are preparing ourselves for lots of train travel next summer in Europe.

This photo was taken for a collegue of ours who makes fun of Michelle for being from Minnesota. He makes fun of her and says that they all say "eh?" I thought that was the Fonz...and he was from Milwaukee.

I really liked this picture because you could see the reflection of other cool buildings in this building.

Mr. Gnome posing with the cityscape in the background. This little picture has yet another story. As I bent down to take this photo, I gashed my knee on the metal base of the lightpost. I started gushing blood. Michelle said I was fine as long as it wasn't dripping down my leg. My statement from then on was, "Minneapolis chewed me up and sit me out."