Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Looking back upon the past year, I'd have to say I am very blessed. I was given a great opportunity on my first design team, sketches4all, and get the opportunity to start of 2011 right, with a chance to be a Lipstick Chick and a guest designer spot at Sketches in Thyme. Amazing! I have met so many great people here in bloggy-land who have provided great inspiration to me. I thank you all, and wish you and your families all the best in 2011, much love, peace, health, and happiness.

In my personal life, a lot has happened. We operate on a very tight budget, and this was the first year we actually enjoyed ourselves! We took family vacations, and the kids had the best Christmas they've ever had. This was the first year hubby and I could afford to get each other Christmas gifts. Not that we ever cared whether we got them or not, it was just really nice to be able to give him something to put a smile on his face after all of his hard work supporting our family. This was the year I had to adjust to his new 3rd shift position, and as hard as it was, I did it.

For my last post for 2010, I'd like to show a couple of things I did yesterday, playing with my new Cricut Expression for the first time, an upgrade from the smaller Cricut I had, which I just donated to a crafty family member, glad to make her day :) I made this card first, using the Playtime cartridge. The friend I made this for loves frogs, so this was perfect (her birthday isn't until the 20th of January, I'm ahead of myself this year, YAY!) Paper used: glitter cardstock (hard to see in the pics), MAMBI Coastal Culture for the frog body, and pale yellow DCWV cardstock for his belly. I cut out a thin rectangle of black cardstock and adhered behind his eyes, and inked the body/lily pad to make them pop.

I saw this idea on another blog a month or so ago (wish I could give some credit here, but the holidays fried my brain, so I won't be able to link to the original project BOOOOO) and after doing my Christmas cards for the year, realized it was time to give it a go, mainly as I was tired of hunting around to find all of the scraps of paper containing addresses. I created this address book (currently incomplete, awaiting the pages to be placed inside and tied together with some ribbon) by cutting out cardboard for the cover/back and adhering kaisercraft Le Chateau papers (I am so in love with the colors of these papers!) The birdcage is another fantastic embellie from The Chip Chop Shop (embellie shop of the year in my opinion), with a twist tie and a Tim Holtz clasp/chain attached to the top. Bo Bunny ribbon. The tag that has "address book" stamped on it using my MM Rummage magnetic stamp set is from The Paper Salon.

Look at the detail on this birdcage...fabulous!

The inside front cover features a mailbox from the Doodlecharms cartridge, again with the Le Chateau kaisercraft papers, and the inside back cover has an envelope from the same cartridge, and a file tab from The Paper Salon.

TFL, and try to make 2011 the best year yet! Stay tuned, January is full of fun contests over at sketches4all, and watch for my new DT announcement post on the 6th. Be safe if you are going out tonight!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Good morning!

So I know I said I was going to play with my Cricut yesterday, but of course, fate would not allow it. What did I do instead, you ask? Well, I baked a loaf of bread in my new breadmaker (delish) and when that was done, started on the pizza dough for dinner, in the same machine. Did I mention this machine also makes jam? Amazing! In between, little man wanted to play his new game, Cranium Cariboo, which he played in occupational therapy (he was born with a sensory disorder) a year and a half ago, and loved. I had been looking for it since, and finally found it right before Christmas. He loves it! The only problem: it's all he wants to play, all the time. As I type this, he is playing it with Rileigh LOL

I wanted to post this page, though, proof that I screw up (a lot!) As you may or may not know, I dabble in making my own glimmer mist/smooch spray. I had used it on elements of a page before, but never on a background page. I decided to give it a go, and omg I shouldn't have. I took a Tim Holtz flourish mask and applied it to the left side of the page, choosing a bronze-y color to mist with. The water contained within the mist (I think my misting bottles allow too much to come out, I need to get the little mini misters) made the mask lift right up off the page, allowing the colors to bleed underneath. You can kind of tell it's a flourish, but not really. Then the flourish got stuck to the page with the glue contained in my mist. When the page dried, it was all wavy, despite the fact I had wet down the back of the page. >:/ So here it is, I allowed it to dry, put it underneath all of the 12X12 paper pads I own to flatten it, and all to no I tried to hide all of the mistakes as best I could LOL. I kind of like the end result, but even hubby told me it was obvious I was hiding lots of mistakes. What do you think?
MME Totally Girl papers, The Chip Chop Shop for the beautiful crochet trim and the blue tissue paper flower (she has the cutest stuff, definitely check her out!) Colorbok rub on definition/"baby." Pebbles Inc I Kan Dee twist tie. Thickers Umbrella for title. Felt/crochet flowers received in an RAK.

Well, I have my mother in law and her cousin coming by, her cousin is the lucky recipient of my old Cricut. I had to pass it on, as she's been wanting one for a while and loves to papercraft. I know she'll love it! Hope you all have a great day, maybe I'll make it up to the craft room at some point *sigh*

Oh, and stay tuned...I have a layout that I can't show yet as it hasn't been released for the big DT reveal, but here's a sneak peek, as I can't wait to show this puppy off :) Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and all that jazz

Wow! It has been so long since I've posted, mostly due to the fact Christmas hit my house. HARD.

After 3 straight days of baking (I'm talking the type of baking that has you in the kitchen from 9:30 in the morning until 8:30 at night!) Christmas Eve dinner at brother and sister-in-law's, delish. Christmas morning: a smashing success! Some of my favorite pics from Christmas morning:

This is what I like to call "Santa prancing." They love to pose ridiculously for pics. Oh, and I have to say: there's nothing better than Christmas jammies! This was taken Christmas Eve.

The tree after Santa's arrival. Note the beds hubby made for their American Girl dolls :)

Patryk's new teddy

Andraia's reaction to the Justin Beiber cd hubby and I got her. Ugh.

Lulu the talking kitty, or whatever it's called. All I know is, this thing meowed in the wrapping paper all the way to the tree...hard to be inconspicuous that way, huh?

Rileigh's big gift, Go-Go My Walking Pup. She was THRILLED as she's asked for this for two years straight!

The only toy Patryk asked for, all three times he sat on Santa's lap: "Handy Manny's toolbox with all of his tools," as Patryk would say.

The Christmas bomb in all it's glory:
There is no picture of it, but my sweet husband bought me an iPod Nano, one of the new 6th generation ones. It is so cool, and will really be great for running, which I do when the weather allows (which means I'll be waiting a few months before I can truly enjoy it LOL) The kids, bless their hearts, got me a wet/dry dustbuster. Love it, as they are all so messy.

So after tearing into 3-kids-worth of presents, it was time to clean up for round 2, the arrival of the in-laws and all their gifts (which was like Christmas morning all over again, honestly. They think we live in a house with endless room or something!) We were quite systematic about it. Each box that was opened for the girls had it's contents brought directly up to the girls' room. Patryk's toys weren't as easy to get out of sight/out of mind, as he's still too carelessly clumsy to be trusted to go safely up and down the stairs, so they ended up as neatly as they could be placed, in the living room. The in-laws arrive, and they bring some doozies, too! Like:

A Breyer horse collection for Rileigh the animal lover
U-Command Buzz Lightyear, the coolest remote control toy, for Patryk, which made his day. He always asks to push the big red button on the display Buzz in Target!
Of course, more Legos (Santa brought those for Andraia, too, as it's her "thing" this year)
Smithsonian science sets for each girl
Buzz Lightyear wings for little man
Mommy got a breadmaker :) YAY! So excited as I try to bake all my bread rather than buy it. No more kneading for this chic! WOO HOO! My carpal tunnel-ridden arms are so happy!

After more present chaos/taking things out of packages, it was time to get cracking on Christmas dinner. My mother is an ER nurse, so she had to work on Christmas, but came by after her shift and helped out, which was much appreciated! I had started the turkey before the 2nd round of presents, but didn't really get to enjoy them playing with the things, as I was slaving away to prepare a meal for my 5 person family, mother and father in law, mother and father, and my brother and his wife. We ate, it was yummy, and then everyone left. I just stared at the mess left behind and drank some wine, amazed at the fact I had cleaned things spotlessly so many times, and what for? LOL

The day after Christmas, we headed up to my parents house for MORE presents and MORE turkey. Again, lots of fun, but the food mess was in someone else's house. HA.

My mom, each year in early December, heads to New York City with all of her friends for a few days of shopping and shows. She ALWAYS hits Macy's, and comes home with Christmas outfits for everyone.

A little pre-opening push ups to get the blood flowing LOL (yes, he is seriously demonstrating how to do a push up. For REAL.)

The BIG gift, the DS. The girls are in heaven.

My brother finds the strangest/coolest toys. He returned from a recent cross-country trip, and found these in TN...Crazy Cat Lady action figure and Lunch Lady action figure. I didn't even want to give them over, or take them out of the box! Pop culture at its' best!

Gotta love his face here. This is a car that he can build and take apart all by himself. He loves it, and didn't even need help figuring out where everything went the first time he built it!

My brother and the hubs, sporting the matching shirts my mom got them. It's a good thing my bro lives in RI, and this is the only time they'll be caught wearing it at the same time!

I got a bunch of stuff that was perfect, like the little sensor you put in your shoe that talks to your iPod, sending it info about your run, like how many calories you've burned and how far you've gone. That was a perfect gift, but none more perfect than the blue Cricut Expression my mom got me! I've been using the smaller Cricut, the first model ever made, for years now, and she found it on sale on black Friday and couldn't walk away (and I'm glad she didn't!) Can't wait to see the capabilities of this model!

Packed up the presents after dinner to head home, as there was a snow storm that came in. It was a doozy of a storm, too...the next day, the kids got to play outside, giving me an opportunity to try to clean up. Here we are, though, 3 days later, and I'm STILL not done. It's been overwhelming to say the least. However, today, I'll be returning to the scrap room for the first time (of course, I need to play with my Cricut!) this afternoon. I need some normalcy back!

One more party for us...each year, we get a sitter and invite our friends over for good old fashioned fun, college style. We have a Beiruit tournament. You may know this game under the name of beer pong as well. The only difference: in our old age, we don't put beer in the cups. We use water, allowing each individual to responsibly control how much they drink. (We all drink too much, though! Gotta let loose at least once a year, right?)

So happy new year, lots of good things in store here for 2011, starting with the Bling It On 2011 event over at sketches4all on January 10th, you won't want to miss it!! Lots of challenges and prizes!

I wish you all the healthiest, happiest year yet! XOXOXO

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Party time!

Today is a secret Santa party at the in-laws, so while I waited for the wings to cook, I made these beauties. Yes, I have finished the Christmas cards I must mail, but I'm doing the cards I will give by hand now.

This first one was for a Sketches in Thyme sketch challenge, I don't have time to post the sketch, but here's the card:
MME paper, except for the green glitter cardstock. Cotton Candy Stickles, Studio G green and clear glitter glue. Random chipboard element from my stash, recently received in an RAK with no identifying info, sorry. Star buttons are also from my stash.

This one is for the Karber weekly challenge, this week, to use a digital stamp. It is, of course, for the hubs :)
I chose this one from Sassy Studio Designs (they have some cute stamps!). MME paper. Lace from my stash. Image colored with colored pencil, and the dress is fine glitter. Isn't it pretty? Tinsel Thickers for "you", and the rest of the sentiment is made using my MM Rummage alphabet stamps which I haven't pulled out in ages! (I was out of r's in all of my black alpha stickers LOL) Bazzill brads.

TFL, have a great day! Off to see who my Santa is and enjoy some great food and wine at the in-laws!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Some exciting news :)

It feels as if I have been out of the loop. I have been so busy preparing the house for Christmas, shopping for the 3 kidlets, making Christmas cards and gifts, and beginning preparations for our holiday dinner and dessert, I have neglected bloggy-land. It feels weird! Nothing to post? HA, right, I have plenty! Before I get to the cards, though, I thought I would share some exciting news: I have been chosen for the XOXO challenge blog as a Lipstick Chick! So excited! So today, besides making a couple of holiday decorations and oops-I-can't-believe-I-forgot-that-person cards, I'll be putting on some lipstick and taking a new pic just for that DT spot. Exciting! Maybe I should buy some new lipstick to celebrate!

Anywho, here are the last batch of mailable Christmas cards...

MME papers, tree is negative image from a tree cut for another card. Stamped sentiment. (Can you tell I was getting a little lazy here towards the end?)

MME Paper. Chipboard snowflake element and ribbon received from a friend in an RAK. Stamped tree border and sentiment.

Stamped image colored with colored pencils and glitter glue. MME papers (dots and green snowflakes.) "Joy" received in an RAK, it is a die cut.

Sentiment is the negative image leftover from another card I made with my Cricut, MME papers. Present I made myself from some MME paper scraps.

MME papers, Bo Bunny ribbon, stamped/clear embossed sentiment, and candy cane element cut with the Cricut on red paper, mounted on white for the stripes.

This is one of my favorites...negative image of tree used, MME papers. Stamped stars on corrugated paper. MM star brad at top of tree, Frosted Lace Stickles on tree. Sentiment cut with Cricut.

And here is Patryk's second handmade card ever...this one is for Rileigh, and it's so cute! Great work, my little buddy!

Off to make a few last minute house decor items, of course I'll share later! Hope everyone has a great day!