Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Sweet Note Tote" Tutorial Debut!

Hey Stampers!

I'm SO excited to share this brand new video tutorial with you. 
It's a step-by-step tutorial on making the

"Sweet Note Tote".

I hope you like it!  Please let me know if you have any questions...
I love comments too.  :-)
So....here you go.....

I hope you enjoy it and have fun making some "Sweet Note Totes"
of your very own!

Have a magical day!

Monday, November 28, 2011

"Ho Ho Hand Sanitizer"

Hey there Peeps!  Happy Monday to you!
I wanted to share a new project with you that I came up with for the upcoming
"Winter Wonderland Craft Fair" at my school on December 10th.  I've tried to make lots of stocking stuffers and small gift items and this is one of them.
It's the "Ho Ho Hand Sanitizer Gift Box"

This is a new Santa punch design I made tonight and I just love him!  :-)
Here's a side view.....

If you haven't seen my hand sanitizer box before, they are made to hold the cute, little Pocket Bac hand sanitizers from Bath and Body Works.  They make a really quick an easy gift and they're perfect for tons of different designs.  Here are the punch pieces you will need to make Santa....  I then "sparkled" him up a bit using my glue pen and Dazzling Diamonds Glitter and then added a Red Glimmer Brad for his nose...

Here are the measurements...

I hope you enjoy making some of your own...  Be sure to send me photos of your hand sanitizer creations.  I'd love to see what YOU come up with.  :-)

Don't forget....the Online Extravaganza is only available until this Wednesday, November 30th so don't wait....check out the awesome deals at my online store.  Just click HERE

Have a magical day!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Black Friday!

Hey there Friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We sure did.  We had lots of good food and time with our family and it was a fabulous day.  Linz declared it "the BEST Thanksgiving EVER".  (shocker...I know!)

My mom and I braved the craziness last night and went to a couple of stores for the Pre Black Friday Sales.  We got some great deals....even if we weren't "hard core" shoppers like some of the folks we saw.  It's always fun just spending time with my Mom. 

Today we are packing up for an awesome weekend adventure.  I'll be sharing photos and stories so stay tuned.  First, though, I thought I'd share a fun, new project with you to get the holidays kicked off in style.  It's called "Santa's Stache Cocoa Holder".  Here it is....

It's a fun way to share a yummy treat with someone special this Christmas.  Here's a peek inside...

I came up with this "box" idea to hold a large pack of cocoa mix and a peppermint stirring stick.  I found these cute packs of "Polar Express" hot cocoa at a local grocery store.  Aren't they fun? 

As a special treat for you I'm adding the measurements here on my blog.  I hope you can make some to share with your friends too.  Here it is....

Measurements Etc.

Card Stock:  Cut 1 piece 8 1.2" x 8 3/4"
Score on the 8 3/4" width @ 3/4", 1 1/4", 4 3/4" and 5 1/4"
Score on the 8 1/2" width @ 1 3/4" and 2 1/4"
Cut out sections as shown.  Cut slits as shown.
Fold on all score lines and adhere "X" sections to corresponding tabs.
Decorate as desired.  Enjoy!

Don't forget...only a couple more days of Stampin' Up's! ONLINE EXTRAVAGANZA.  So many AWESOME deals....So little time.  Check it out at my Online SU! Website.  Just click HERE.
No crazy shoppers....No long lines...It will rock your socks!  :-)

Ok...I'm off on an adventure!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Stamped Blessings,

Monday, November 21, 2011

Max and Zoe

Meet Max & Zoe

Max and Zoe are getting hitched!  Ok...not really.....but they are cute!  Don't you think?
I created this little photo album this weekend to share at our team gathering.  Here's a peek inside...

The pockets that will hold the photos are made from SU! Clear Envelopes.  I put a piece of Black card stock in each to make it a little sturdier.  The photos load from the back side of each envelope and it's easy to flip through them and relive your memories.  This is a really simple and inexpensive gift or a perfect favor for a shower etc.  It's sure to impress!

Here's a closer look at the happy couple....

Here's a list of the punches I used to make these cutie patooties:

Extra Large Oval Punch - Bodies and Bellies
Stocking Builder Punch - Beaks and Feet
Owl Builder Punch - Bow Tie and Wings
Scallop Circle Punch - Veil

Don't forget to check out the amazing deals included in the ONLINE EXTRAVAGANZA this week.  You'll be glad you did.  Just click HERE to see all the deals at my Online Store.

Stamped Blessings,

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Spicing Things Up!

Hello All!  Happy Sunday!

It's a lazy Sunday afternoon at our house and I thought I'd share a cute, new project with you today to "spice" things up a bit.  Yesterday I attended our RemARKable Stampers Group Meeting here in Manassas.  It was a fantastic gathering with LOTS of new ideas and info.  I came home really inspired to get things going here in my stampin' studio.
I was asked to share a few projects and techniques with the group so I came up with a few new ideas for the occasion.  This project is one of them.

This is the "Spice Cake Hearts Gift Card Holder"...

This project is perfect for any occasion and it's covered in one of my favorite Designer Series Papers, "Spice Cake".  I love it!  I was thrilled to see that they have the same patterns in fabric too.  My mind is spinning with all the crafty possibilities!  Ok....I used the Petal Cone die for the Big Shot and I cut out 2 of them from Very Vanilla Card Stock.  Then I cut out two more from the Spice Cake DSP.  I adhered one of the Spice Cake hearts to the front of one of the Vanilla hearts and one to the back of the other.  Make sense?  Then I used SNAIL adhesive to adhere the hearts together at the very top on the insides.  Once that was done, I set it aside so I could make the gift card holder for the inside. The gift card holder is one piece of Very Vanilla card stock cut at 3 1/2" x 4 3/4".  Turn so the 4 3/4" side is horizontal and score at 1 7/8" and 4 1/8".  this will form the "pocket" for your gift card to fit into.  Here's a photo of the inside...

Adhere the gift card holder to the inside and decorate as desired.  Here's a close up of the holder...

I used 2 of the button brads to make a little closure along with a piece of the Baker's Twine.
It's a really simple way to spiff things up a bit.

Here's a photo of the pocket opened up.

I used the "Three Little Words" Stamp Set.  It's such a cute set!  Here are the images that are included....

Ok...now it's your turn!  Show me what you come up with!

Have a restful end to your weekend.

Stamped Blessings,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Talk AIN'T Cheap!

Hey there Peeps!

**Non Stampin' Post**.....but it's AWESOME one!

I just had to post a quick Praise Report and share some amazing news with you.
Today when Zach came into my classroom after school he said, "Hi!" like he usually does.  He came in and poked around a bit....wrote the names of his favorite rides at Magic Kingdom on the white board....
When he came back to me when it was time to leave I said, "How was your day?".  Now understand that he usually will try to second guess what I'm going to ask and just come up and say, "Good" before I ask the question.  LOL  So when he answered my question he said, "Good"....as usual.  Then I said, "Did you go on a CBI trip today?" (CBI = Community Based Instruction)  Without missing a beat he said, 
"I worked on the hangers at Peeble's"..............................
HOLY COW!!!!  A sentence with SEVEN....count them....SEVEN WORDS!!!!
I couldn't believe it!!!  Well I did what any proud mama would do.  I jumped out of my chair....squealed with delight.....did the Happy Dance then hugged and kissed him like there was NO tomorrow!!!  It was amazing!!
I don't need to win the Mega Millions!  My son said an appropriate SEVEN word sentence!

I'm still smiling!  Praise the Lord!  It may be blustery and cold outside but let me tell ya....the sun is shining at our house tonight.

I'm getting on the road.  I'm headed to see my sweet Brittany perform tonight at JMU.  She is the President of the Word is Born Poetry Club and they are having a big performance tonight.  It's gonna be a late night but that's okay.  It's such an honor to be invited and I am SO proud of her.

Thank you again, my friends, from the bottom of my heart for all your prayers and believing in miracles with us.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Heeeeere's "Duke"!

Happy Wednesday Stampers!

As promised I've got a new Penguin Pal to share with you today.  Penelope definitely needed a buddy to "chill out" with.....so......heeeeeere's DUKE!

These little cuties are really easy to make.  I'm afraid I just might be addicted to making them almost as much as I am the puppies!  It just takes a couple of punches and some card stock and....VOILA!  Instant smiles!
Duke is on this Z-Fold Card and he just makes it "pop".  (FYI....I named this one.  My daughter is a senior at JMU and their colors are purple and gold...they are the JMU DUKES)   :-)

Here's a peek at the card opened up a bit....

I added a "pop" of purple to the inside panel to sort of tie it all together.  I'm sure there are more to come judging by the parts and pieces I have laying here on my desk.  Stay tuned!

I'm down in my stamp room working tonight on a few goodies for our Team Gathering on Saturday.  I'm supposed to present a few ideas and I have to admit I'm a little nervous.  I don't want to disappoint all those awesome stampers!  I'll let you know what I come up with.

Blessings to you and yours,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lovely Penelope....

Hey there my friends,

I have a brand new friend to share with you today!  Since  my puppies have gotten so much love from you guys I thought maybe you'd like these.  I'm sharing one today and her pal tomorrow.  So....I would like for you to meet "Penelope" the Penguin

Doesn't she just make you smile?  I had SO much fun creating her and her buddy, Duke.  He will be here tomorrow so be sure to stop back by and visit.  Penelope seems to love "bling" just like me and she has a cute, pink "fascinator" to make her look a little sassy.  :-)

Just a couple of sweet hearts keep the love going on the inside of the card too.  I hope you like it and I hope she makes you smile.  It's amazing the smiles you can make with just a couple of punches and some card stock.  :-)

Ok....Lindsay wanted to make sure.....actually she said "be absolutely positive to show the new ornament I made to all your friends on your blog". She wanted to know where all the blog people are from....I told her I'm not sure but I'd ask.  If you'd like to leave a comment for Linz and tell her where you are from, she'd be THRILLED.  She's fascinated with countries all over the world and it would be a hoot for her to see that readers from other places saw her artwork.  :-)

So.....  As you know (if you saw my blog post) Linz is going to have her own Christmas tree this year and she wants to put ornaments on it that are her "favorites".  She LOVES the Smurfs and has over 200 drawings she's done freehand of them and they are all amazing.  So I bought some Shrinky Dink and she's made a few ornaments and tonight she added to her collection.  Here's the debut of....

"Sailor Smurfette" by Lindsay Suit....

Here's her ornament before we put it in the oven...

and.....  here it is when it came out of the oven....


Okie doke....that's it from here.  Thanks for stopping by. 
I hope you come back real soon.

Wishing you a magical day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Santa's Stampin' Elf Service

Hey there Stampers!
Boy, do I have some exciting news for you!
It’s tis time for one of my favorite times of the year....
Christmas!  And I want to make it Merry and Bright for you too.
It’s time for my “Santa’s Stampin’ Elf Service”
How would you like to get exactly what you’ve been wishing for under your tree this year?  Are you tired of opening those fuzzy slippers and bottles of Charlie perfume?

(For you young'uns...you might need to Google it!)
Well, I'm here for you ladies!
Here’s how it works....
1.  Sit down and make your Stampin’ Up! Christmas Wish List. Whether it’s a set of ink pads from one color family or a stamp set or two you’ve  been drooling over....or maybe a Big Shot.  Write it all down.
2.  Email me your Wish List
3.  Give your hubby (or other family members too....) my email address/phone number Have them contact me and let me know how much they’d like to spend.  I’ll go through your list and order just the perfect gift(s) you’ve always wanted.
4.  Now here’s the BEST part!
The gifts will be shipped here to me and I will wrap all your gifts up and have them ready for pick up and more than ready to be under your tree on Christmas morning!
How COOL is THAT??
So....can you hear it?  Those sleigh bells are jingling and Santa’s hitching up his sleigh.
Get started on your Wish List and let Santa’s Stampin’ Elf Service do the rest.
Here’s my info:
Michelle Suit
Have a magical day!

The clouds parted....

....and the sun shone through!  It was like feeling the warmth of the sun on my face.  I'm not gonna lie.

This is a "Praise Report".....

Every morning, once he's all ready and waiting for the bus, Zach waits by the living room window until the bus pulls up in front of our house.   Most of the time he'll say "Bye" as he walks out the door.  He doesn't ever leave on the bus without me knowing it.  I'm usually still drying my hair or brushing my teeth and I get ready in the powder room off of our foyer just for that reason.  I can still get ready for work/school and be down there to watch him leave.  It's been our routine for years.  When Mike is home or if he's going in later than usual, he'll walk Zach out to the end of our driveway and wait til the bus pulls up. He isn't able to be left alone b/c we are afraid he'll wander and if there's some change with the bus....the driver....or the schedule he wouldn't know what to do.  Anyway....
So this morning he was waiting and I was drying my hair.  When I finished he looked at me and said, "Be outside".  I said, "You'll be outside?"  And he said, "Yes.  Bye!"  So I said, "Bye.  I love you!"  Then he proudly walked out and walked down to wait for the bus.I was smiling SO big and I, of course, turned the mini blinds so I could watch him. I guess he knows me too well b/c he turned around and checked to see if I was looking and he waved at me.  LOL

I was smiling all the way to work.  It was awesome.


This afternoon when the two of us were leaving school I was trying to make conversation like I always do.....
It's the standard "Did you have a good day?", "What did you eat for lunch?" etc. So I asked him where he's going on his CBI (Community Based Instruction) field trip tomorrow.  He siad, "Bloom's and Giant".  I said, "Wow....Two grocery stores?" And he said, and I quote...

"I put cans on the shelf".........................................

O   M   G!

He was telling me what he was going to do at Bloom's!!!!!  I was SOOOOOO excited!  So I was praising him for "using his words" and told him how smart he is etc.  It was amazing!!! Then we turned into the parking lot by the Credit Union and there was this long line of gorgeous trees that looked like bright red fire with the sun shining on them.  I said, "Wow, Zach!  Look at those beautiful trees!"  Without missing a beat he said, 

"Leaves is falling!"


I still have a silly grin on my face!!!!  I can't stop smiling!  God is SO faithful and He parted those "clouds" and let me feel that sun on my face.  So much HOPE in just a few simple words.  I had to share it with you....all of you who are so supportive and who love us right where we are.  THANK YOU for your positive words of support, your prayers and just being so awesome.  I couldn't wait to share these bright rays of hope with you.
I think you can tell from the picture that Zach is SO proud of himself.  :-)

God Bless You!!!

Much love,
Michelle and Zach

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy Stampers

Happy Sunday All!

Whew....What a busy week!  First I'd like to once again thank all of you for your sweet emails and comments.  Your prayers and kind words mean more to me than I can say.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Yesterday I invited my customers over for a Customer Appreciation Stamp Camp.  I demonstrated several techniques and tips for them and then they made two free projects to take home.  It was such a fabulous time.
I thought today I'd share a couple of Christmas card designs with you that demonstrate different techniques.  I know I'm trying to decide on a design for my own cards this year and I hope these inspire you.

If you have any questions, just leave me a comment and I'll see if I have an answer for you.  :-)

Here you go....  This first card was made using the Dryer Sheet technique....YEP!  A dryer sheet!

It is such an stunning effect when you see it in person.  Hopefully you can see the Dazzling Diamonds sparkling on the image.  I love this technique!

Next we have a card made by inking up the Northern Flurry Embossing Folder with Pacific Point ink and then running a piece of Whisper White card stock through in in the Big Shot.  The result is gorgeous white snowflakes on a beautiful blue background.  The ornaments were embossed using the Silver Embossing Powder and Versamark ink. 

I added a little "bling" to the snowflakes and it just makes them POP.

And the last one I have for you is SO easy.  I made these little Christmas trees using a few scraps of Designer Series Paper.  Just a couple of folds and....VOILA!  I love the effect of using the two layers of Very Vanilla.  It's so elegant.  That pop of color with the Cherry Cobbler ink and ribbon just make the package complete.

So there you have it......  Do you have an idea for your Christmas cards yet?  I love seeing your work so email me your photos!  You never know...you might see your card here on my blog...  :-)

Have a wonderfully relaxing day....and happy stamping!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just ONE Day.....Please???

**This post is NON Stamping related**   This is an AUTISM post  Be forewarned.

I know there are those of you who written me notes saying that you relate to my blog because either, like me, you to have 1 or more autistic children or you have friends/family that do.  I thank you for your kind words but today's post is definitely the "weaker" side of who I am as the mother of two autistic kids.

Zachary....my son......Here are words that I think of when I try to describe him...


That being said, today I sit here pulling my hair out.  I'm sure my mom will read this and say, "Oh....NOT our Zachary!"....  Well Mom....YES, our Zach.  Our Zach is the one who has me sitting here not able to type fast enough to keep up with the thoughts in my head.

Zach rides the bus from the high school in the afternoon and is dropped off at the school where I work (about a mile away)  He comes in and it's right at the end of our day so my students have packed up and are waiting for dismissal.  Zach comes in...keeps his backpack ON.....and goes into our tutorial room and starts his list.  What list??  What the 4 lists that he writes exactly the ssame every day.  He lists all FOUR Disney Theme Parks and then makes a detailed list of ALL the rides at each part.  (Their PROPER names....no shortcuts)  That makes him happy so Woot!  All is well until we leave school to head out for the evening.

Oh things are just fine and dandy IF I am heading STRAIGHT home.  Do NOT PASS GO....  and make the same turns onto the same roads!!!!  He makes comments over and over and over and over if I go different ways.  Well, let me just say that I've NEVER been a mom that takes the easy route all the time.  When he was younger he would cry the entire time we were at a very large shopping mall we frequently visited IF and ONLY IF we didn't park in the exact same lot EVERY time we went.  So I decided I was going to NOT park there all the time....I was going to change it up and try to win a battle for once....."Take on for the team"....you know.  I wanted him to get past it and be more comfortable knowing that no matter where we parked it would be ok and we would still go see his favorite spots inside the mall etc.

Well....eventually....and a LOT of gray hair later....it has worked and that is no longer an issue. (the majority of the time)

Ok....so I digress....but it's important for my rant.

Fortunately for me, the school where I work is surrounded by a lot of the stores, the bank and places that I frequent and it's SO convenient to be able to just stop there when I leave work at 3:15 on my way home to get things if I need them....make a deposit etc.  None of those places are near our house and it seems ridiculous to me to take Zach all the way home and then have to back track.  I mean SERIOUSLY??

So today I needed to stop at ONE place....JUST ONE PLACE.  It happened to be Dollar Tree.  I thought "Ok, it won't take me long and I'll buy him a bag of M&Ms and he'll hang on til I'm done and then we can go home."  SUCKER!!!  Boy, was I wrong.  Now Zach doesn't really "Talk".  He has some vocabulary and sometimes a word or two will come out that almost seems appropriate to the situation but that's not a given.

I have NEVER had a conversation with my son.  Ever.  Not having a pity party.....Just stating the truth.

So when we went to Dollar Tree it was a nightmare.  Now he doesn't scream....he doesn't throw fits....but I can tell when he's NOT happy.  I told him everything....prepped him....promised the M&Ms.....  When I pulled into the parking lot in front of Dollar Tree...before I even got to the parking space....he reached over and unbuckled MY seatbelt.  I said, "Zach!  Don't unbuckle my seatbelt.  You can unbuckle yours when I have stopped the car"  I don't want him to start thinking he can do anything to the car while I'm driving.  I have no clue what his concept is of what goes on in a car but I'm not sure I'd like to risk it. 

Well that started it.  He started repeating over and over "Don't do it!  Mom do it...."  Then he makes these squealing noises that while they aren't "loud" they will definitely draw a lot of attention when we are in public.  All I kept thinking was, "Ok...I only have 6 things on my list....just 6 things....I can do this".  Well he made sure it was NOT easy.  All through the store...."Don't do it!   Mom do it!.....squeal....squeal.....squeal........" etc.  over and over and over and over and over again.  No lie.  So we got lots of glaring looks.  I mean here's this 6'5" towering teenager who is obviously NOT happy.  Quite a sight to see for sure.

I just wanted to scream.  But what good would it do?  He didn't understand what it was I wanted or what I needed him to do.  He only knew that he was NOT happy and I was the cause of it.

I know there are a lot of you who read my blog and you know me personally and you'll understand what I'm about to say and not condemn or judge me for it.  For the rest of you...I hope you can too.

Right now is just a time when I feel mad at God.  What did I do??  What do you WANT me to do that I'm not?  Just tell me!!  I'll do ANYTHING.

I know....some reader's hair just caught on fire somewhere.....  I am...I'm mad.  And I think that's okay because God loves me no matter what and he loves me right where I am.  I just want to yell, scream and cry and get it out so I can just get back up....dust myself off and keep on fighting this ugly beast called AUTISM.

Just a day.....ONE day...... 24 short hours.....That's what I want.  If you can't show me a cure for this dreadful, hateful disease that has robbed our family of so much then just let me hear his voice and let him share his thoughts....his dreams.....his frustrations....ALL of it with me for just one short day.   I don't need a fortune....I don't need to be famous.... I need nothing...I want.nothing....ABSOLUTELY NOTHING more than to talk to my son and have him talk back to me. 

I've often said that when you have a child diagnosed with autism it's not something you mourn once and move on.  There are many, many, many times (and a lot of them will sneak up on you) that will cause you to mourn the loss all over again.  Things you take for granted with your other kids.....the little things.  Today I find myself mourning.  Sorry if that sounds dramatic or like I'm just being a wuss...  it's just the way it is.

Just one day, God.  Please?

Monday, November 7, 2011

NEW Video Tutorial!

Hey Stampin' Peeps!

Well....you asked for it and here it is!  Here's a video tutorial for the

  "Suit"able Holiday Planner

  Here's a photo of the one that I posted a couple of weeks ago...The video will show you a brand new design with all the measurements so you can make some of your very own.  I hope you like it!  There are two videos....Part One & Part Two.  Check them out!

Part One

Part Two

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.  :-)

Have a magical day!

"Holly" Hobby Horse

Hey there Stampin' Pals!  Long time...no blog!  oops.....
Ever have those times when life gets in the way?  LOL  Oh well....

I've been working on some new and exciting projects to share with you (including a couple of BRAND NEW VIDEO TUTORIALS!) Woot!

The project I'm sharing with you today is SO much fun!  I call it the  
"Holly" Hobby Horse Gift Card Holder

Isn't it sweet?  I used the "Stocking Builder Die" for the Big Shot and flipped it upside down.
How easy is THAT?  The ear is made from the "heel" piece that the die cuts along with the collar that I "jingled" up with some Baker's Twine and Mini Jingle Bells.  The mane is a piece of 5/8" Vanilla Grossgrain Ribbon that I adhered and then took my paper snips to just to fluff it up a bit.  :-)  The "halter" and "reins" are made from a little "Poppy Parade" Stitched Ribbon.  The eye is made with a black Glimmer Brad and the "holly berries" are just red Rhinestone Brads.  

Here's the inside....

I made a little "pocket" that holds a standard size gift card and then used the "To/From" stamp from the "Dear Santa" stamp set.  I used one of our handy dandy little cello bags and put in a peppermint stick as the....well...the "stick".  LOL

I hope you like it and hopefully it makes you smile.  :-)

Stay tuned for the new video....COMING SOON....very soon!!  :-)

Have a magical Monday!