Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's time!!!!! Dream Valley Challenge #1!!!!!

It's time for the very first Dream Valley Challenge, and you really can't get any easier than...


That's right...card, layout, altered anything...enter it this week for a chance to win the following:

1st prize: £10 voucher to Lili of the Valley 2nd prize: Fashionista and Dude Simply Sassy set

3rd prize: Windswept Simply Sassy

Yeah, you want to participate in this week's challenge! Here's what I created for this, an altered jelly jar candle holder. I sell these on Etsy, but this one's for a dear friend who has a January birthday like me :) I promised I'd send one her way, so watch your mail, Natalie, this baby is on it's way!

It's pretty easy to make one of these yourself. Clean up an old jelly jar, making sure to get any remaining glue scraped off, as it is quite noticeable through the tissue paper if you don't! I used this adorable snowflake tissue paper I found before Christmas at Target. You can also find cute patterned tissue paper at the dollar store. I recommend tissue paper, as the candle light comes right through, and with this candle, it lights those snowflakes right up! Adhere the tissue paper to the jar using the decoupage glue of your choice (I use Mod Podge.) After it is dry, you can start decorating it!

I used my Stretch Your Imagination cartridge for the snowflake and sentiment, inking the snowflake as it didn't stand out enough on the blue tissue paper. Isn't the snowman sitting at the end of "Winter" adorable? After you get everything in place, coat it with about 3 layers of Mod Podge, assuring it is all sealed good and tight. This way, nothing will peel off while it is being stored with all of the winter decorations in our damp basement! I finished it off by adhering a ribbon around the rim and adding a bow. Simple and oh-so cute!

This picture doesn't really do it justice, it looks even better lit up in person! I love how the shapes stand out even more when the candle is lit :)
Head over to the Dream Valley Challenge blog to check out what our DT has done with this challenge (there's a pretty cool altered artist's palette), and enter your own creation into our challenge! You have until midnight March 5, hope to see you there (and send your friends!)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Toot toot!

Well, today a few (ok a lot) of my latest creations are featured over on the Nikki Sivils blog! Go check it out, and see the other fab creations featured today...there is a gorgeous dress form creation you HAVE to see! Stay tuned for a few more posts from me today...busy busy but I have some creations to share :) And don't forget to check out the Dream Valley Challenges blog tomorrow for our first challenge, it is going to be a good one (and I can't wait to share what I made!) So if you aren't a follower already, get your little patootie over to the blog and start following for some great bi-weekly challenges and prizes (yes, some very very yummy prizes!)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Everybody makes mistakes.

Everybody has those days.
Everybody knows what, what I'm talkin' bout
Everybody gets that way.

Yeah, sorry for the Hannah Montana so early in the morning, but if I have to suffer through it, peeps, SO DO YOU! All 3 kids are bouncing around, and here it is not even 9 am, dancing to the Best of Both Worlds DVD. I don't know if I've had enough coffee to cope!

The title is still relevant to the post however. I got some Graphic 45 paper during my last trip to the craft store, and as you all know (or may not know) have been going through old, old family photos. Graphic 45 is perfect for these, as the vintage designs and soft colors lend themselves to these old photos fabulously!

Unfortunately, I started with a great design, and ended with something I'm not quite satisfied with. The page is gorgeous all over, until I made one design flaw that just screams at me everytime I look at the page...I'll start with some close-ups so you can be brought as high up as I was, only to be brought right back down again when you see the finished product :(

That beauty of a gold circle has a piece of handmade paper behind it, accented with Frosted Lace Stickles. Random lace. Recollections heart brad.
Thickers, accented with Frosted Lace Stickles.
Awesome laser die cut heart, wicked old. Fiskars fan sticker, more Stickles.
That watch image, and all over vintage images used on this page, are all random stuff I've been collecting over the years in a folder. Tim Holtz clasp and chain.
Random dragonfly and "cherish" gold charms. Pebbles Inc. "life" definition sticker.
Recollections glitter brads pinning subtle ruffles to the page.
Repurposed twist tie, twisted up into a heart.
And here it is, folks...the screw up. If I hadn't written on the paper like that, the huge, ugly letters, this page would be perfect. Instead, I will now be trying to fix it by hiding it behind more paper. As soon as I finished writing it, I wanted to turn back time and stop myself from making such a mistake, but at least I can fix it. I'll just not have that rad patterned paper....... I cut this one out of the background paper, flipped it over, and matted it so it would hide the hole. How can you not use both sides of this awesome paper? So pretty!
So I'll post when it's fixed as I wanted to enter this into the current Punky Scraps challenge, and just cannot enter it looking like this!
Snowing here today, so it should be tough to craft for long...the kids are dying to get outside, and I need to shovel!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Some great news and another layout

I received an email yesterday telling me some great news...I made the DT at the Dream Valley Challenge blog!

Pretty excited about that! I can't wait to start working with all of the talented ladies Melly has chosen :) Our first ever challenge (yes, this is a new challenge blog. It's nice to get in on the ground floor!) starts Sunday, so go follow this blog and join us! Great monthly sponsors, which equals great monthly prizes!!!!!!!!

I'll end with this layout I worked on all day yesterday for the A 2 Z Scraplets blog...I spent most of the day sorting through old photos and memorabilia I have in boxes/drawers in the craft room, and found some real treats. It was nice to go through it all, but man, I could have gotten more pages done if I hadn't! Anyway, here's a page featuring MAMBI Coastal Culture, an MME journaling card, random scraps of paper and ribbon from my stash, staples, Bazzill brads, and slightly rolled petal CM punched flowers. I rolled opposing edges of the photo here as well, lifting this technique from my fave scrap artist, Leeann Pearce. I'd seen her do this a few times, and felt this photo would work well with this technique, and I must say I love the result. This is a photo of my mom and dad on their wedding day back in 1978.

I will leave by saying I am awaiting a package from Stuff2Scrap that the aforementioned Leeann Pearce designs chipboard pieces for, and I can't WAIT...too bad it's coming all the way from Australia :( I want it NOW!

Hope you all have a great day...little man is feeling a bit better (but still a booger factory) and the middle kidlet is headed to a playdate with a friend from school. They are going to see Never Say Never, and I'm dreading what is to oldest girl has already seen it with her Grammie, so I'm sure I'll need ear plugs to block out the sound of the dreaded name Justin Bieber, which I already hear too much. I remember being a girl, though, and I loved me some NKOTB back in the day, so what can I really say about it? I just tune it all out while they clip pics of him from the tween magazines to tape to their wall. It's all good.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Croup strikes again

I just don't know what it is about school vacations, but it seems that every year, all of my big plans are dashed to tiny pieces, as someone ends up getting super sick. Last night, it was the little man, falling victim to that wonderful respiritory illness that we call croup. Again. Ugh. I brought him to my bed, as I was sick of going up and down and up and down and up and down the stairs to blow his little nose everytime I'd hear him sneeze (and you could hear the boogers flying across the room, so it was quite necessary!) It was so adorable, he spent the entire first half hour trying to fall asleep by rubbing my cheek with his pudgy little hand. What a little gentleman :)

I made this card yesterday, and with a sick one, I see a lot more craft time. I think I'm going to focus on jar candles for my Etsy shop. This card is for the Some Odd Girl challenge (as it's a Some Odd Girl stamp, it's fitting!) I bought this recently, they are discontinuing some stamps and are having a big sale. This cutie is colored with colored pencils (just haven't gotten myself some good markers yet, it's a big investment!) and Studio G glitter glue. I didn't think to grab my Staz On for the stamp (it's wallpaper, shiny silver and pink wallpaper) so it doesn't look as it should, but it is embossed so it won't rub off. :) This will most likely go to my Rileigh at the end of school, the punk princess that she is. She is matted with Fancy Pants Love Birds, a scrap from the layout in my post from yesterday. Random ribbon, twisted, stapled. She is adhered with pop dots. I'm still lovin this beaded wallpaper, another goodie from my scrap box. White gel pen for the hearts.

So I'm off to create and take care of a sick little one, just wanted to get this baby posted. :) Hope you enjoy your day, and that you are HEALTHY!!!!! TFL!

Monday, February 21, 2011

I joined the Candy Shoppe Designs Blog Hop MEME

Why hello there, you are about to learn some little tidbits of info about me, so get ready! I'm participating in the Candy Shoppe Designs Blog Hop MEME, a pretty rad blog creations, just answer a few (or all) of the questions for your chance at winning this kit from The Paper Trail.

If you become a follower of CSD (which I have been for a while now), you can enter a code at the checkout (details on the CSD blog) for a 10% discount on your total purchase until July 31!!!!!! Super cool!

Anywho, all you need to do is hop along, gathering questions, and then answer them. Simple! Head over to CSD to see how to get started.

So, I chose to answer them all, baby! Oh yeah! It was nice to read answers along the hop, it's helping me get to know the women who inspire me each and every day just by seeing their creations on their blog. So here it is, all about MEMEMEMEMEME.....

1.) What is your fave/most recent Etsy purchase or fave Etsy sellers? Anyone who has followed me for any length of time should know my obsession with The Chip Chop Shop. I have yet to buy anything *yet* as I was lucky enough to receive a HUGE package of goodies from Leeann herself, a blog candy I won, and I'm still trying to use all of that goodness. Her items are amazing, from the small handmade button-like fimo pieces to the chipboard designs! The doilies are stellar, with twine dyed to match perfectly. Head on over and check her out! I have time to browse the stores, but never to buy anything. I'm too busy trying to sell! (Although I check Leeann's shop the other day, and saw so many cute stuff I won't be able to resist for long!)

2.) What would you like to tell a teacher who has changed your life? Ms. Audrey McGlynn, you were such an amazing woman. Rough around the edges, but only to benefit your students, we probably didn't give you enough credit back then. You are the one who switched the math lightbulb in my head to the "on" position, and I thank you each and every day for that. You also taught me that I had to work hard to get to where I wanted to go in life. You were the best! (Amazingly, she is my friend on facebook and I was able to tell her this very thing myself last year!)

3.) Did you marry your first true love? I did! There were others before my husband, but none of them with a love as true as ours. I can't imagine loving anyone else this way, and know that all of the others were just "practice." I really do believe that there are a few select people we are destined to be with, and I'm thankful I found him :)

4.) 4 things you may not know about me... I am a music freak. I always have it playing no matter what I'm doing (I think that's why hubby bought me a new iPod, it holds more music and he doesn't have to hear it when I put the earbuds in!) and I love all kinds of music. Not only do I love listening to it, I love performing it. I play guitar and sing (used to sing opera back in my teenage years!) I think it's hereditary, as my father has been in a band since he was 19. I miss the days of band practice Sundays, when my dad's blues band would practice in the basement. I even got on stage with them and performed a couple of songs my senior year!

I have RIDICULOUS OCD. I mean the "that remote doesn't belong there, it belongs 2 inches to the left and turned about 45 degrees" OCD. The kids have kind of broken me of this horrible habit. If I let it get as bad as it can get, my poor kids would probably hate me for the rest of their lives.

I cannot stand the flavor of licorice.

I used to dream of being a tractor trailer truck driver when I was little. Fortunately for my family, the dream died when I realized my backing up skills were a little less than they needed to be!

5) What was your favorite pet? We didn't have a lot of pets growing up, but I remember Rocky, our boxer, from my late teenage years. He was a big pain in the a$$ at first...he was 6 when we got him, adopted from a lady who inherited a bunch of boxers when her mother passed away. Because he was used to living with a little old lady, he was the type of dog that just wanted to clamber up in your lap, no matter how big he was. He'd start with one paw and if you allowed him, he would put his whole leg up there, then his other leg, and before you knew it he was hopping right on top of you. You couldn't leave the room without him tagging along, as he just couldn't be left alone. My brother used to let the dog lick the inside of his mouth (GROSS GROSS GROSS GROSS GROSS). We left him in the basement once when we were away for the day, and he chewed to pieces the backrest of my weight bench. I am reminded of it whenever I look at it today, as I never got a new backrest. I realized when he passed away that I really did have a soft spot for that dog, even though he drove me insane.

6) What are your favorite word/words that you find yourself using most frequently? I hate to say it, but a lot of my favorite words cannot be posted here. There might be children present. I also enjoy the words: awesome, fab, fantastic, no way Jose, and ready, Freddy? (which drives my 3 year old crazy..."My name isn't Freddy! It's Patryk!!!")

7) Is there somebody out there you once knew/still know that you never got around to sharing your true feelings to? Who is this person, and what would you say to them if they were standing in front of you at this very moment? I have to say that I have been blessed with a big mouth, so if I want to say it, I say it. Sometimes it's a blessing, sometimes a curse. I am happy to say that I have told everyone, regardless of if I should have or not, how I truly feel about them. I have lost friends this way, but it also helped me gain some awesome relationship experience. I highly recommend saying whatever is on your mind to anyone. Don't worry about what they might think...who cares?

8) Have you ever met a celebrity? If so, who? Nope. It'd be rad, but no.

9) Who is your celebrity crush and why? Well peeps, I have to say that I think Zachary Levi is absolutely adorable. I am obssessed with Chuck, I think I love his geeky-cute style...or maybe it's when he flashes and draws his ninja skills from the Intersect and kicks some bad guy butt!

10) What is your favorite guilty pleasure? It's a toss up between red wine and Cadbury Mini Eggs! Love em both (and I'm eating Mini Eggs as we speak! It's too early in the day for red wine hahahaha)

That's that. So head over to CSD and join in the fun :)

School vacation insanity

Gotta love February vacation! An unseasonably warm end to the week last week, followed by freezing temps, high winds, and snow. You just never know what Mother Nature is going to dole out weather-wise this time of year in New England! The kids will be busy crafting and playing all week, along with squeezing in a trip to the movies to see Never Say Never (I am so not taking them! My mother is! I think if I hear the name "Justin Bieber" mentioned just one more time, I'll kill myself!) I'm sure it will be full of Go Fish as well, Patryk's newest obsession. It's adorable to see him sit there with a handful of cards, all fanned out, one hand under his chin deep in thought, "Mommy, do you have any 10's?" I still can't believe a kid who just turned 3 a few short months ago can play Go Fish so well! Even Candy Land doesn't go this smoothly!

So after a weekend filled with sales of potty charts, I had some time to do a couple of layouts yesterday. This first one has been a work in progress since Thursday afternoon, more playtime with Fancy Pants Love Birds after being scorned by a certain sketch blog. I think being forgotten about made this layout super's my best layout this year! I love the mix of textures, and I didn't use a sketch. I was reminded of the N*V*S collage challenge when I created this, full of pinks and flowers, so I am entering it there, I also used it for a ribbon challenge over at s4a, and the ABC Album Challenge at Colorful Creations. I loved this paper and didn't want to molest it too I fussy cut around the flourish-y music-y bird-y design, flipped over the paper that was trimmed off, and used blue side of the paper in the lower right corner (I don't know why but this made me want to make a joke about the cool side of the pillow!) I also cut the flourishes out and tucked a photo behind them. This is little ol' me, back in 1981, enjoying a lollipop at my Grammie's house. It's funny, I look at the first, darker picture, and I see my son's's like he's wearing a wig...and the second picture has my Rileigh written all over it! I never thought they looked like me until I looked back at these old pictures. It's incredible!

The paper is all Fancy Pants Love Birds. A mix of Prima (the red) and SEI (orange and brown, the Claire collection) for flowers. Recollections glitter brads, and that adorable doily from The Chip Chop Shop has a Fancy Pants cardstock sticker flower in the center. The title is done with Doodlebug alpha stickers. Random ribbon stapled down with blue staples (Swingline), I am probably going to be doing this often on my pages. I just love the messy look! Doodling all over this page...

Queen & Co. bling. The Chip Chop Shop chipboard journal box, altered with my own recipe of silver mist and red pen. Fancy Pants papers adhered to back for journaling purposes.
Crocheted flowers provided in RAK, more glitter brads. That blue cloud piece is from The Chip Chop Shop, as is all the beautiful dyed twine I adhered in the shape of flourishes and a heart.

This layout was fun to do, it was for the sketches4all Get Sketchy challenge #1. I chose to use this My Mind's Eye paper, and let the photos take center stage here, the less is more approach (really hard for me to do sometimes!) Thickers alphas, Fiskars border punch, and The Chip Chop Shop for that fab flower. This page features pictures of my great grandmother and great grandfather with my grandmother when she was just a baby. It's so cool having these old photos (these from 1925, I have some from the late 1800's!) This will go in the Mills family album I've been working on off and on for the past 7 years!

Isn't that flower rad?
I never want to run out of these glitter Thickers!

So that's that. I plan to do a bunch of challenges this week, along with creating potty charts to post in my Etsy shop. Right now I only have a custom order only posting, it would be nice to have some all ready to go! I hope you all have the chance to get crafty and that your kids don't drive you too insane if you, too, are stuck at home with them. TFL!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dora potty chart

This beauty was whipped up yesterday, with the help of my Disney Princess, Stretch Your Imagination, and Everyday Paper Dolls Cricut carts, picked up by a happy customer today :) Thought I'd share. Busy busy today, just got back from a baby shower, and now have to tackle laundry and cleaning up after the 3 slobs a.k.a. my kids. TFL!

Friday, February 18, 2011


Bouncing back from my irritation from yesterday, I made this little number with some goodies I won at the Colorful Creations challenge forum during their January birthday celebration. It put a smile on my face, and most certainly inspired me to create! I made a layout to be shared later, as I'm not quite done with it. Just know that I feel it is my best layout of 2011 thus far! This Fancy Pants Love Birds line is just so beautiful! I put so many sheets aside for layouts, but felt this flower sheet was great for the card, made for Stacy's challenge over at sketches4you. The only thing not Fancy Pants: the stamp, a Basic Grey acrylic stamp, and the mist (of course, my own recipe of silver.) I plan on further adding to this card, as my little girl turns 9 at the end of March. It will end up saying "It's your birthday?" The birds reply, "Tweet." Cute, huh?

My paper ruffle is pretty sweet, I'll have to admit. If only that crease wasn't in the paper on the green heart... Just look at the dimension on this baby!
So, I guess the potty chart posted on Etsy and Khristen's Craft Room facebook fan page is a big hit! I already have a custom order, and more inquiries than I could have ever imagined! I went from 2 views in my Etsy shop as of 11:30pm last night to 40 views by 8:30 this morning! Wowza! Patryk is on day 2 of no accidents (except for 1, but when you are out playing in the snow on a 54 degree day, who wants to stop just to use the bathroom?) Another beautiful day here today, but sad to say I'll be up in the craft room creating a Dora themed potty chart to be picked up Saturday afternoon :) I'll just have to open the window!

Off to plan out the chart and get ready to discuss things with Andraia's doctor this morning...she has ADHD, and her grades/actions at home aren't going so well. I think it's time for a little adjustment. I'm tired of seeing 50's and 60's come home on tests when she made the honor roll last quarter! After that, off to the craft store for some Dora colored cardstock :)
Hope you all have a great day...and just wait until I post the layout I did with the Fancy Pants...I can't stop staring at it! It's not quite done yet, I think I'll pick up something special at the store just for the layout :) As my husband said..."You can't be finished yet. Look at all that empty space!"

Thursday, February 17, 2011


That's how I can describe this morning. I haven't eaten a late night snack in forever, and of course I chose to do so last night, and regretted it first thing this morning. My son came in the bathroom as I was throwing up, "Ewwwww mommy, that's sooooo gross!" After a bottle of water, I am feeling a little better. I think it was last night's Fritos LOL

Good news of the day: the potty chart appears to be a smashing success. Haven't had an accident yet in almost 24 hours! Woo hoo!

Bad news of the day: I am a little bummed right now, I won't mention the site at all as that's not how I roll, but let's just say they didn't screw up just once...try twice. I was invited to be a guest designer *somewhere* and last month, they posted my layout and the sketch...only the sketch they posted wasn't the sketch they emailed me, so my layout looked nothing like the sketch. They also neglected to copy/paste the whole entire first paragraph of my bio, you know the "hello I'm so and so, I am married with so and so many kids...blah blah blah." My bio sounded so awkward and it really annoyed me, they didn't even edit the post when I told them they screwed up. No biggie, I was GDT again this month. Well, I submitted my layout a few days early, so I've been sitting on it, just waiting until that moment I could share it with the world, and I see today that they didn't even announce I was GDT. So maybe I should enter it into the current challenge LOL But something inside me wants to just stop doing these challenges, as I'm a little bummed I wasn't featured. Is that crazy of me? Selfish? I mean, I'm a little older than the ol' "I'm mad at you so I'm not going to play with you anymore" routine, aren't I? Seeing as they emailed me a sketch telling me I would be GDT today, and I stressed over completing it as everyone's been so sick here, don't I have a right to be a little upset? Ah well, I'll just go whip out some layouts to make me feel better.

The layout you see above is for the GDT spot that never was. Paper is from GCD Studios, another clearance buy from my weekend shopping trip, a Chic Bebe pad and the papers are like wallpaper, so satiny and shiny! Love the patterns, too! That cute yellow embellie at
the top is from The Chip Chop Shop, I added white DCWV doodle rub ons. The flowers were all received in an RAK. The white doily behind the flower in the title is also from The Chip Chop Shop. Recollections glitter brads. Swingline color brights blue staples. The letter stickers were included in the GCD paper pad. The photos and two of the patterned paper strips are adhered with pop dots. I just love dimension :)
TFL, hope I can get some challenges knocked out of the park today. I'll also be making a girly potty chart. This way, I can post both on Etsy and people can custom order them :) I'm sure I'll be sharing some good stuff later, stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Chuggington" potty chart!

My husband is quick to point out this station looks nothing like Chuggington Station, and the train is most certainly not a character on the show, but it makes Patryk happy and that's all that matters! I have included the steps I took to make it, in case you feel the urge to create a train potty chart for the little man in your life :) Basically, everytime Patryk goes potty, the train advances a space on the tracks, until it makes it to the station. When this occurs, it's time to take Patryk out to buy the new Chuggington DVD!

I found a cute train on the Playtime cart. Having the 12X24 mats for this was helpful. I used My Mind's Eye papers from the Complete Boy stack for this, here using these two patterned papers for different layers of the train...
...and the black for the base, red polka dotted paper for another layer. Two papers at a time: awesome.
The train, assembled. Isn't it so cute?

I cut a strip of light blue cardstock, and sized it to the width of the cookie sheet.

After rounding two of the corners, I adhered it to the cookie sheet where the sky should be.

I did the same with the green patterened paper, making the grass.

Brown cardstock cut into strips makes nice railroad ties...

...after you cut them down to size. (I should be a poet LOL)
I searched high and low for thin ribbon to do the actual rails with, but had to finally settle with this paper wire, purchased almost 10 years ago! If you are stuck using this, you'll want to hold it down a bit (I used Aleene's Tacky Glue as it seemed to be the only adhesive left in my stash that would work with this...I need to go adhesive shopping!) You need to give the glue at least 10 seconds to set up a bit before you go bending the wire around the tracks. I stopped at each bend. It also helps if you bang down on the wire carefully with something after you have it in place. Metal becomes stronger when you pound on it.

One rail is complete...

...and then the other.

I used a piece of wire to give the train some stability, as it will be moved along the tracks, and glued a magnet to the center car.

Here's the train, ready to roll down the tracks!

I numbered the spaces to add to the experience...not only is he working toward achieving his goal (the Chuggington DVD), he is learning number skills as well. I was sloppy in the beginning! Lesson learned for chart #2!

I cut a rectangle out of tan cardstock and used my scissors to make a peak on the top for the roof. Grey cardstock cut into rectangles. Black cardstock strips for the roof....the stamping isn't my best work, but when a 3 year old treats your arm with the stamp in it like a football tackle dummy whilst you are mid-stamp, this is what happens LOL

I felt the station needed benches, so a couple of brown strips did the trick. Black pen for the bench legs. The flag was received long ago from Nikki Sivils, I put the MME paper on top and added "Patryk's Potty Progress." Freehand clouds in the sky :)

Circle punched the sun, then passed the cookie sheet off to hubby waiting with his drill :)

He cut me some holes, I tied up some ribbon. Bada boom, bada bing. Cookie sheet potty chart.
And little man couldn't be happier.
And that's it! So easy! Expect a few of these in my Etsy shop. I know there are more stubborn little boys and girls out there, I'm sure they'll make someone very happy!