Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

This is our little guy, Piper, in front of one of our Christmas trees (we  have two trees).  I was very tempted to add a third tree this year to our foyer, but just didn't get to purchasing the actual tree.

Throughout the year I purchased Christopher Radko Shiny and Bright ornaments (Cool Yule, which are retired) in all different shapes and sizes.  I was even able to find the matching tree topper.  I purchased all of the ornaments from Kathies Christmas and Collectibles at a huge discount.  Highly recommend this store, their shipping is super quick.  In the past our 9 foot 'main tree' in the family room was dedicated to a Disney theme, but Cool Yule took over this year.

Our second tree is 7 feet tall, located in our living room, and is all Santa ornament themed.  In fact, the living room is decorated with nothing but Santas.  I love that both trees are on timers and when we come home they are already lit up for us.  Sigh.  I love the white lights!  Now that I have all decorations for the third tree, I need to work on getting that purchased.  I'll need to find a new home for our mascot "Nutty" who has guarded our foyer for the past few Christmases!  We found this huge nutcracker at Costco a couple years ago.  Couldn't resist him.  Our Costco trips are hysterical:  case of tissues, case of paper towels, case of water, one 6 foot nutcracker.
I found a home for some of the extra mini candy canes I did not use while making my Christmas place card holders.  I filled the apothecary jar on the left with store-bought mini balls in red, white and silver.  The jar on the right is filled with clear balls which I purchased and coated them inside with glitter.  I've made a few dozen of them in all different colors and change them depending on the season.
I wish you a happy holiday season and all the best for 2012!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hostess Gifts and Christmas Prep

Those who celebrate Christmas are well into their holiday preparations.  Trees are up by now, gifts are bought (I'm almost done) and cookies are being baked.  What a great time of year.  We have been busy since Thanksgiving.  Every weekend we've been invited to a cocktail party.

I try very hard not to bring a typical hostess gift such as a bottle of wine.  First off, I know nothing about wine - so unless I know the hosts favorite bottle, I just give up.  Second, it seems everyone brings wine as a gift.  Some times I just buy multiples of the same gift, but this year they were all different.  Last year, I purchased a few square shaped baskets from Longaberger and filled them with personalized cocktail napkins from The Stationery Studio.   I found people really like personalized things.  I think it shows you put a lot of thought into the gift.

Two examples I gave this year were: Rachael Ray's Olive Oil Bottle (the hostess' kitchen is orange, I was sure to get her a matching bottle) and a good bottle of olive oil from Williams-Somona wrapped nicely in cello.  She just LOVED the gift.  Last night I gave another hostess a "Box of Wine" soap set from Rinse Bath and Body Co.  Cute little take on the standard bottle of wine, I thought.  I purchased the soaps on our last trip to Disney World in October; they have had a booth in EPCOT the last few years at the Food and Wine Festival.  Their soaps smell yummy good!  I look forward to visiting their booth again in May (again at Disney World in EPCOT).
I've started to plan our dinner and think about the menu, place settings, table cloths and place cards.  I attempted something different today with the place cards.  I used 3 mini candy canes to form an easel of sorts to hold the cards.  I made the cards using Papertrey Ink's Places, Please stamp set and their matching die.  I tied mini bows and attached them to the top of the place card holders.  Something different and it was quick and easy.  I have a ton of mini candy canes left over, so I think I'll fill some apothecary jars as decoration.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner Prep

We are hosting Thanksgiving dinner for a few family members this year.  I love decorating and cooking for Thanksgiving.  The colors we decorate all year round in our house are very similar to fall colors.  I actually find the food we serve for Thanksgiving to be the easiest to cook of all the holidays.  Year after year I go back to Martha Stewart's cheese cloth and wine technique for the turkey.  The side dishes get a little tricky towards the end with the timing, but it all seems to work out just fine!  It's a small group this year, just 7 of us.  I find it doesn't seem to matter if it's 5, 7 or 12 - it's the same about of work....maybe just one or two additional side dishes.

Here is a picture of the dinner place cards I have made.  I use this basic design often and just change up the colors based on the holiday.  This year I decided to make menu cards as well.  I'll place them in the dining room where we eat, on the server and also in the kitchen on our large island for the guests to get a glimpse of what will be served.

The company I work for is closed Thursday and Friday.  I have decided to add to my time off and took Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving!  I'm spending the three days cleaning our house and prepping for Thursday.  Just finished ironing the table cloth!!!!  I scheduled a few annual doctor appointments in there (eye doctor, cats vet appointment) as well.  I figure it's a good time since I'm off work anyway.  I also can not clean for a solid three days, I'll simply lose steam.  For good measure I scheduled a massage appointment for tomorrow morning.  A little treat for myself prior to the feast!

If you live in the US, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Christmas Gift Tags & Tin

Today I bring to you, yet again, another altered Tazo Tea tin...surprise!!!  Obsessed?  Maybe... well ok, yes!

This time I'm using them to hold a collection of Christmas gift tags I have created.  I used my Cricut  Very Merry Tags cartridge for the base tag and the reindeer shapes as well as Papertrey Inks 2008 Holiday Tags Collection for the stamping.  On the back of each tag I have stamped 'to' and 'from'.

I covered the tin as usual using holiday patterned paper.  On the top of the tin I used stamps from PTI; Fresh Alphabet to spell out 'tags' and an image from their 2009 anniversary set which coordinates with the Mat Stack 1 die.

I've given this little gift to family members for the upcoming holiday so they will be sure to have enough tags while they are wrapping their gifts.  This tin is actually my own stash.  I like that I can just pull out my tin filled with tags and they are read to go!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Desk Calendar & Digging Out

Nichole Heady from Papertrey Ink introduced the Calendar Basics stamp set (along with a mini calendar project) back in 2010.  

This is my take on it.  These make great little gifts at Christmas.  Not including the price of the stamps and calendar die used, these little cuties end up costing less than $4 each.
For my calendars this year, I used 

Last year I made one for our friends whom we travel with.  Instead of stamping the pages, I printed out pictures of our trips over the years.  I used the same page dies, mini calendar pages, and Calendar Basics stamps for the titles.  They loved it.  (I forgot to take pictures of the calendar prior to giving it)

Yesterday the North East had some premature weather for October.  My area had about 3 inches of snow.  Our power was out for most of the day.  I was happy to get into my craft room today and get working.  Piper enjoyed it also.  I get great morning sun in my room, so it is the perfect place to start a Sunday.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


My DH and I are Disney World fans freaks! Unlike most people I know, I did not visit Disney World as a child on a family vacation. Our time was spent at the Jersey shore :)  Actually, I am not even sure I knew Disney World existed when I was a child.

My DH and I made our first visit in 1999 and since have gone back 22 times. We are now proud Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members. Being members makes it possible to bring family and friends with us from time to time.  I love bringing people with us and showing them around and telling them things they never knew about Disney World.

We are good friends with another couple that we travel many places with frequently.  They just happen to be Disney fans freaks also. It's been over a year since the four of us went back to Disney World together (although we've been other places since). THIS is our year! I'm soooo excited. Because we go so often, we I try to change it up a bit for each trip. I like to do something special each time.

I was looking around on and found this shop One Great Thing. Cassi does great tie dye designs. I ordered us four shirts in the fall colors for our trip during the Food and Wine Festival. Check out Cassi's site. She's easy to work with and does custom orders.  

We were not sure how were were going to present the shirts to our friends.  Since they now live in another state we decided to mail them to them prior to our trip.  Hope they go for the four of us wearing them all at the same time!  My DH is a very good sport with this type of thing. I did ask him prior to ordering them.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Been Boo'd

I just love Halloween! I enjoy decorating for Halloween, attending and hosting parties, the fall colors and of course handing out treats to all of the pirates and princesses that come to our home on the 31st!!

For the past few years I've been making "Been Boo'd" kits and placing them on several of our neighbor’s doors a few weeks before Halloween. Five years ago, I never heard of a "Boo". If you haven't either, here's the gist:   put together a treat package with Halloween goodies for a neighbor (or two) and secretively place it on their door step (with a Boo sign and instructions). They in turn do the same for a neighbor that has not already been Boo'd. When a house is Boo'd they will place the Boo sign in their window showing they've been Boo'd. The fun starts around the middle of October and by Halloween nearly everyone in our neighborhood has little signs in their windows. There are all kinds of different ideas out on the internet. At Easter-time I shared my Easter "basket" tins. I pretty much do the exact same thing for my "Been Boo'd" kits (as well my Christmas tag gifts – post to come). I have confessed before that I have a never-ending supply of empty Tazo tea tins.

To cover the tins and make the signs I used the following (I make two of everything and boo two neighbors at a time):
1 sheet of patterned paper (We R Memory Keeps Designer Scrapbook Pad - Halloween)
3 sheets of solid paper to coordinate with patterned paper (PTI - Simply Chartreuse)
3 sheets of sold paper to coordinate (PTI - True Black)
30 inches of ribbon (PTI - True Black)
Ghost for sign 6 inches (Cricut Paper Doll Dress Up Cartridge - Page 30)
Boo for sign 3 3/4 inches (Cricut Wild Card Cartridge - Page 68)
Ghost for inside lid 2 inches (Cricut Paper Doll Dress Up - Page 30)
Halloween Stamps (PTI - Been Boo'd)

The tin on the left shows the inside of the lid and the bottom of the tin. I like to cover the entire tin.
Since our development is only a few years old, most people have the same type of front door windows. I took measurements of our window and cut my sign to fit in perfectly.
Here are the poem and instructions I adhered to the back of the sign:

This treat is for you, we hope you enjoy
The idea is simple, one we hope you employ You pass "BOO" along to two other neighbors
Along with any kind of Halloween favors
If we all do our part, and spread the good cheer By Halloween night it will be very clear
We're a friendly bunch, we like to share fun
So please do your part to keep "BOO" on the run!

1. Enjoy your treat
2. Place this BOO sign visible in the window by your front door
3. Make 2 copies of this BOO (including these instructions) and make 2 treats
4. Secretly deliver to 2 neighbors/friends without a BOO
5. Keep an eye on nearby front doors to see how far and fast it spreads by Halloween

Here is a view of what is inside of each tin. I have two families in mind that I'd like to Boo (before someone else does), so I put things in the tins thinking of those kids while I shopped.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Wedding Gift

My hair colorist is getting married at the end of the month. I have an appointment with her tomorrow, so I will give her this little gift when I see her.

I created a stationary set for her. I've posted the same stationary design before. For center the monogram, I used their first name initials and their last name initial. Last month she posted some pictures of her shower on Facebook, so I was able to find out the colors of her wedding without asking any obvious questions. Sneaky! I also got her a gift card which I tucked inside of a holder and stamped Mr & Mrs on the front. I covered the back of the holder with the same paper used in the cards.

I wasn't sure how to package my gifts, so I decided to alter a plain white gable box with patterned paper, ribbon, jewels and the same monogram as the stationary.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I'm a Changed Woman

OK, the title is a little dramatic, but my opinion about ink has surely changed!!!  Two weeks ago I was going through my normal Monday morning routine and visited Kristina's blog.  She has discussed ColorBox Fluid Chalk Ink in the past, but this time she gave a great source where to purchase them. 

I am a huge Papertrey Ink (PTI) fan.  Love their stamps, paper and how everything goes so nicely together, but for the past few months they have been having issues with their ink.  They've stopped selling the colors that match their paper and my ink supply has been, well...running dry.  So I decided to dip my finger into chalk ink.  Since I love my inks to coordinate with my paper, I started to do a search of what colors would go well with my paper from PTI.  I came across the Splitcoaststampers forum, where "Stampintoo" gave a detailed description of which ink coordinates with which PTI paper.   They even have a picture showing the paper and ink together.  (thank you very much Stampintoo).

I quickly placed my order for nine different colors based on her chart.  I am in LOVE with chalk ink.  Wow!  What a difference.  I'm convinced.   The colors coordinate well, but the crispness and great coverage of the stamp are exceptional.

I'm a changed woman. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Little Man Birthday Party

I've been working on party decorations for a friend. Her cutie-patootie son is turning 1. The theme for the party is "Little Man". I whipped out my Expression and the Paper Doll Dress Up cartridge, and went to town cutting out 69 neck ties and 152 mustaches.
She asked me to cut about 7 different sizes of mustaches. She plans to create a bunch of mobiles using 4-5 different sized mustaches, and will hang them from the ceilings with fishing line. I also made about 70 vinyl 'staches to put onto drinking glasses. That will be too cute! Mustaches will also be used for the cupcake toppers. Additionally, I made a "Happy Birthday Jackson" banner using the neck tie shape.
Whenever I blog about the decorations I make for parties, I feel like it doesn't appear like much effort. I will say that since there was very minimal layering for this project, it was pretty easy! I did a final count for her - just in this picture are 241 mustaches and neck ties.

ETA (Edited to Add)  - Since I have received a few inquires about the Little Man party decorations I posted a few months ago, I thought I would share a couple of pictures I just received from the Little Man event!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Stockholm Getaway

My DH and I just returned from a wonderful holiday in Sweden! Although my husband has been there once before for work, it was my first time visiting. We focused this visit to just one city - Stockholm. What a wonderful place. While back home they were having a heat wave, Stockholm was in the low 70's. I actually packed for warmer weather, but it all worked out.
We visited museums (Vasa, Nordiska, Nobel), the Royal Palace, ate at great restaurants and went to local pubs. I really enjoyed the fact that we were able to walk or take the tram to wherever we were going. Very easy city to navigate!
So, I'm going to use my trip as my excuse for not posting the past few weeks :)
I'm currently working on another project for an upcoming 1 year old's birthday. Compared to the John Deere theme, this one is cake. Her theme is "Little Man"; all mustaches and neck ties.

If you'd like to see some pictures from our visit - click here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Photo Carousel Update

Just a quick little update to my Pottery Barn photo carousel post.
It has arrived and I have cleared a little space on my desk. You wouldn't think it would be such a huge deal to just make a little space, but adding anything to my space sends me into a "need to reorganize the entire room" type of mood. It's a never-ending challenge. Right now organization is really all I can focus on when I go in there. Looks like I have some major creating to do this weekend to catch up.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Souvenir Jackpot

My husband travels a lot for work. When I say a lot, I'm really not kidding. He always thinks of me and brings me a little token from his travels. It is usually something like a Hard Rock Cafe pin or shirt, sometimes it's perfume from duty free. When he travels to Asia the gifts are usually jade jewelry.

Well, he was on a short trip this week to visit one of his customers. Yesterday, while I was at work, he sent me an email with a picture. As soon as I opened the odd picture, he immediately called me and said "check your email". The strange picture was what looked like a large shelf with all sorts crafts supplies just piled on it. I couldn't really pick out what was what.

He told me he was given access to his customer's employee store and was able to purchase whatever he wanted. (This customer of his sells all kinds of products, not just crafts.)

I litterly squeeled on the phone! At first he just started rattling off everything he could see asking me if I wanted it (talk about pressure). After a few minutes we both realized this conversation could go on for hours. I told him whatever he could get would be just dandy with me. I said "if you find something you've never seen in my craft room, just get it". Did I just say that?

He got home last night after midnight and I was asleep. The first thing I said when I woke up was "what did you get, what did you get". Well, wowza, oh my! What a stash. Everything here he purchased for around $20!!!!!

Not sure how to use most (all) of the items he purchased, but THAT will be my challenge.

I'm off now to scan the blogs and get some instructions :).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Papertrey Goods

Just received my newest order from Papertrey Ink. Seems like forever between ordering and actually getting my stamps - in reality it's not that long at all (ordered 6/17 in my hands 6/27). I'm just very impatient.

I usually have a rhyme or reason for my PTI orders. Sometimes my 'goal' is to just restock my paper or ribbon. Other times I focus on new items in their release.

This order started because of Christina's Stampin' on Friday video. I am loving her Friday series! I can't wait to try the Newsprint stamp set! I also picked up a few mini stamp sets: Mehndi Medallion (and index label), Think Big Favorites #5 (and index label), Think Big Favorites #3 (and index label) and a full size set: Inside & Out: Birthday. I had to pick up the Baker's Twine too, thanks Christina for enabling me :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Disney Pixar Cars

A coworker of mine turns 40 this week. We don't usually decorate cubes or offices like this on a regular basis (unless someone is celebrating a 'big' birthday). Well, he's 40. That counts!

He mentioned to me last week that his young boys were looking forward to the upcoming Disney/Pixar Cars 2 movie (my wheels started to turn). I don't think he'll keep the decorations up long.....but his boys would probably get a kick out of the car images.

Hallmark knock off

I recently received this card from my mother. I immediately (of course after reading it) thought to myself - 'hey, I can do that'.

This was my attempt. I wanted to see how they looked in different colors. I left them blank on the front for now. Adding a sentiment when the card is needed will be quick and easy. Perfect for birthday, thank you or just a hello card. All supplies are from Papertrey Ink.

Here is a shot of the original card.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Photo Carousel

I have such an obsession for Pottery Barn. It's just not normal. I've been looking at this photo carousel for weeks. My idea is to place this in my craft room to display cards and photos.

I have learned from my prior mistakes with PB. If I really, really, REALLY love something from them, I need to grab it. Too many times I eye something up for a long time and when I go to order it (or get it from the store) - it's gone. sigh

I pressed the order button (while I still had a 10% off code). I was going back and forth between this table top version and the standing one (which as of right now is sold out). My craft room floor space is limited - so it all worked out. Can't wait to get it!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Punch Storage

Christina is asking us to show it off again :) Today is all about our punch storage. I really enjoy looking at what everyone posts. There so many ways organize and sometimes it just takes a new fresh idea.

I actually shared this picture a few weeks ago. I organize my craft room a few different ways. I do have some items out in the open (you can get a glimpse of my ribbon storage just above this drawer chest) but try to keep things in drawers/containers as much as I can.
I purchased this baby from Home Decorators. It's called Stanton and I'm pretty happy with it. It now houses my punches (among other items).

It is 41" tall by 20" wide. This is actually the 'wide' version of a Stanton.
It has 6 smaller drawers (inside drawer size is 2 1/4" high x 16" wide x 10 1/2" deep) and 2 larger drawers (inside drawer size is 6 1/4" high x 16" wide x 10 1/2 deep)

Here's some pictures of the inside, starting with the top drawer. This has my circle punches (also a square and oval punch).

The second drawer is for the scallop circle punches
The third is for my border punches (and crop-a-dial and corner chomper)
The forth is pretty much miscellaneous, not often used punches.
Sadly, I had to use one of the larger bottom drawers to hold my jumbo 2 3/4 and 3 inch punches. I haven't found these two in the new sleek punch design yet. Still looking. So, they sit with my heat gun and mini glue guns.
So, that's it. I showed, show us yours!! If you haven't seen Christina's blog head on over. I've learned so much from her. I hope she continues this little 'show me' series.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Oh Deere!!!!

My friend is having a birthday party for her soon-to-be 2 year old son. She was searching online for some theme ideas (she's a loves a party with a theme - who doesn't?!). She came across images from the Cricut Create a Critter cartridge and fell in love. Those buggers are just too cute!! The critter theme soon turned into a John Deere theme. No problem - we can combine them...just go heavy on the tractors!!!

My friend does not have a Cricut of her own so she asked me to help out. So, this is what I've been doing for the past two weekends. She came up with a list of items she wanted and sent some pictures of what she liked. She will be serving cupcakes - so the smaller images will be put onto sticks and placed on the cupcakes. The larger images will be put into clay pots (she plans to grow grass in them) and again put onto sticks and placed in the pots on each table. I had some 12x24 paper so I thew in a jumbo tractor for good measure.

Doesn't seem like of a lot of work, but here's the rest of the items.
The tractors came from My World Classmates cartridge.
The farmers came from Paper Doll Dress Up cartridge.
The animals came from Create a Critter cartridge.
Not shown in my pictures are two 11 inch square signs with tractors on them - one that says "Welcome Friends" the other "Grazing Ground".
I made her a "Happy Birthday" banner, shown in the first picture. Each letter is mounted onto a 4 3/4 inch and a 5 inch circle. I used the Cricut American Alphabet that came preloaded on my Expression 2 machine as the font (with shadow).

Here's everything bundled up for her ready to go! I'm done!!! That feels good!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Desk

Christina from Creations with Christina has a fun post today.
Take a picture of your crafting table - no cleaning. This is mine :) MESSY!
I'm in the middle of a big project for a friend of mine (making the decorations for her sons birthday).
Go check out Christina's blog!!

Friday, May 27, 2011


Another card set. Seems like I'm stuck on stationary sets lately!! I need to force myself to move on to something else.
The Paper and merci stamp are from Papertrey Ink (Stampers Select White and Raspberry Fizz). The Eiffel Tower stamp is from Michael's Recollections "French Flourish" stamp set.

My View

This is pretty much my normal view when crafting. Meet Piper, our 6 year old Yorkie. He hangs out in my craft room with me (either on the bay window seat or on his little bed next to my craft table). He loves to watch people walk by. His face just makes me laugh.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Finally - SMASH is here!

I've been waiting forEVER! My SMASH order has finally come in today.
I ordered; 2 journals (Pretty Pink and Mod Black), date stamp, travel pad, blue bands and a SMASH stick. I figured I'd need an extra stick to just follow me around. Although I have a feeling that once my sister spots it, it will be hers :)
Can't wait to open everything and look through it. Admittedly, I don't know why I purchased two of them. I know I will use one to store travel related ideas and notes. Not sure about the other one yet.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


A place for everything and everything in its place. Well, maybe not everything.
My new Stanton drawer chest from Home Decorators came...twice.
Received the first one, it was damaged. Called and had them ship a second. PERFECT. (Great customer service people).
The item came with casters but I've decided not to use them yet.