Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Personal Touch...

Happy Sunday!

Today's going to be pretty busy around here and I wanted to make sure to post this cute project for you.  Several months ago I was in a "large...chain....craft & hobby store" and found these adorable little notebooks and coordinating pens in the $1.00 bin.  I bought a couple of them thinking that I'd take the notebooks and dress them up a bit with stamps, ribbon, etc.   I brought them home and.....well....it took a few months but I finally created one of them yesterday. 
Here's what I came up with....




I love the colors!!  They are just so bright and happy.  I chose the monogram "O" and I thought it came out just great.  Now if only I knew someone with a name that starts with "O" who loves pink and green.....hmmmmm???  (*cough* My mom's name is Olive...  *cough*)

I love finding things that are simple to begin with that can be made to look completely different and beautiful.  I used my Big Shot a lot on this project.  If you haven't guessed by now, I love that polka dot embossing folder!  Truth be told...it's the real reason I got the Big Shot to begin with.  Now I have so many other things that I can make and do with it.  The flower was made using the "Fun Flowers" die on the Big Shot and the butterfly was made with the "Beautiful Butterflies" die.  You can see them both and all the other awesome dies on page 221 of the Idea Book and Catalog.  Just click HERE . Oh!  I almost forgot.....  I used one of the stinkin' cute "Designer Frames" Embossing Folders for the monogram.  Love it!

  I added some Pear Pizzazz seam binding, some Rhinestone Brads and Bling and VOILA.  A brand new look for a very plain little notebook.

Well....that's all for now.  I'm off to pack up my girl for college.  Hoping you have a wonderfully relaxing Sunday with the ones you love.

Blessings,
Michelle

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Random Thoughts....

One of the real reasons I started blogging was to have a place to write down my thoughts and feelings.  I know I've said it a lot but I seriously thought my mom would be the only one who read it.  I just looked and saw that the 'counter" on my blog is over 6,500 visits!  Holy cow!  I can't imagine that.  I know that I've been posting lots of new stamp projects and ideas and photos to go along with them and sometimes there are tidbits about our life.  Blogging has been a really great way for me to get my thoughts...good and bad....about autism and other things out of my head and, well...I guess I vent a little sometimes.  (Makes me think of a line that Lucy from the Peanuts yelled once...."It's called survival,baby!")  
So tonight I guess I just need a place to get a few thoughts out of my head and down here...thus the title, "Random Thoughts".

I have to say that this past week was pretty smooth all told.  I'm sure Linz had such a positive outlook mostly because she was in "Smurf" mode.  Hey...whatever works!  The preparations and meetings for her new internship with Project Search went way smoother than I had feared anticipated and she really has been a joy to have around.  I know that change is in the air and that usually means that it's going to be a rocky ride but for now....it's all good.  I need that darn Smurf movie on Blu Ray SOON!  That's going to be a great distracter for her when she's stressed out.  I know chronologically she's 19 but....well....enough on that.  You get the drift.

Zach had a great week....He's so even keeled and really just a big "bull in a china shop".  He doesn't let much get under his skin and it's fun to see him try to make me laugh.  He's such a sweet boy (young man really).  Sometimes....it doesn't matter if we are at home or in the middle of WalMart....he'll walk over to me...lean down...and kiss me on the top of the head.  Now how can you beat that?  He's been really interested in the deck building project in our back yard and has actually gone out there to "help" Mike on occasion.  Mike is looking forward to having him help with all those screws that are going to need to be put in.  Ah....cheap labor!  He was a great sport and went to see the Smurf Movie without complaining.  I never really know if he wants to go or not....we just take him anyway.  (Personally...I think he'd go just about anywhere if there was food involved!)

I didn't really realize...or maybe I didn't let myself think about it...that Britt would be heading back to JMU so soon.  We've been waiting to hear about a job for her that has been in the works.  So it seems that things are happening at light speed.  She was offered (and accepted) a job just yesterday.  She'll be working in the office at the apartment complex where she lives.  She'll be doing data entry, customer service and other various jobs for them.  The only "bad" part (well...for me anyway) is that she has to go back to school early.  She would normally not move back to school before August 15th but she's leaving tomorrow.  Excuse me??  That's July 31st!!!  Not to mention the six weeks she was in Spain for study abroad.  *sigh*  Sometimes this whole "growing up" thing sucks.  I'm sure it sucks for HER too.  (Humor me here!)  So tomorrow will be a day to organize and pack and we'll send her back to school.  I still remember dropping her off freshman year and how I waited til Mike pulled waaay out of the parking lot before I started to cry....and I cried most of the way home.  Poor Mike....that was a long hour and 45 minute drive!  I'm SO much better than that now!  No!  I really am!!  :-)

I love having her here (Shocker...I know!).  I love her smile, her laugh, hearing her bustling around her room....hearing her trying out new poetry out loud when she's in her room...like no one else is home.  I love just watching tv with her (except Frasier is getting old!)  I love talking photography shots and ideas with her and tapping into her amazing creative mind.  I just LOVE her.


But it's ok....she'll come back.  And we'll go visit.  I know all of that in my head....it's just my heart that has a hard time with it I guess.  It's a brand new school year with lots of new and exciting adventures.  How blessed we are that she's ONLY an hour and 45 minutes away.  What can I say....I like having all my ducklings in the nest.  That's just how I roll.

I guess for now I'll just breathe and know that God is in control and He really does hold our family in the palm of His hand.  We are infinitely blessed and we are SO incredibly grateful.

I promise to post a new project tomorrow...  (for those of you...other than my mom....who've stuck around thus far)  For now I'll just wish you a good night and a beautiful day tomorrow surrounded by the ones you love.

Goodnight MOM!!!  <3
M.

Decks and Designer Frames

Well....we've been waiting for the Lowe's delivery truck this morning that was supposed to bring most of the wood for our deck.  They finally showed up about 10 minutes ago with 1/2  of our order.  They will be coming back later today.  *sigh*  In the meantime Mike and Zach are out back doing what they can with what we already have.

So I've been busy doing a few odds and ends.  One thing I did was to try out a couple of new Stampin' Up! items.  Here's one of the projects I made...  It's a SNEAK PEEK of a stamp set coming out in the upcoming Holiday Mini Catalog.  I love Halloween, Fall, Colored Leaves, Pumpkins....ALL of it.  So I couldn't help myself.  I needed to try this stamp out.




It's a covered gum holder.  So fun!  I used a pack of Trident gum.  I'm sure this will be a a project at one of my Halloween Stamp Camps!  :-)  The owl and greeting are both embossed with black embossing powder.  I really love these colors together.  The colors are Rich Razzleberry, Pumpkin Pie (how appropriate!), Basic Black and Whisper White.

One of the other new items I used was the oval frame from the new "Designer Frames" Embossing Folders Set in the new Idea Book and Catalog.  Here's a sample of both images.


You can see them on page 218 of the Idea Book and Catalog or on my website.  Just click HERE .

Don't forget...two important offers that both end tomorrow....

1st:.. If you'd like a way to get all that's on your Stampin' Up! Wish List and get it at a discount, take advantage of the $99 Starter Kit Offer.  You can make it anything YOU want it to be.  Check it out by clicking HERE and then clicking on "Join the Fun" for all the possibilites.  The kit includes $185 in products so you're saving already!  Also, there's a free gift too!  It's the gorgeous "Holiday Keepsake Box" project kit (a $40 value)  The offer ends tomorrow, July 31st.  Contact me for more info...

2nd...**Blog Special**
For anyone placing an order of $25 today through Sunday you will receive the "Summer Splash" set from the Summer Mini Catalog at 1/2 off!!
The regular prices are:  
Wood Mount - $22.95 and Clear Mount - $16.95
Orders can be placed either on my website or you can send me a quick email with your order.
 
Ok...I'm off to get more things done around the house.  We just found out this morning that Bealy has officially been hired by the apartment complex where she lives at JMU to work in the office doing data entry and working with all the residents.  (That's the good news....a paying job! Woot!)  The bad news is that she needs to be there to start work on Monday so she will be leaving to move back to college TOMORROW.  I always dread it....I think I always will.  I love having her here with us and I know that it's only natural that she lives her own life but what can I say....I really do like her.  So we'll be getting things organized and ready for her to pack up her car and head out tomorrow.  
 
I wish you all  a happy Saturday and whatever you do....just enjoy the day. 
 
Blessings,
Michelle 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Worth the Wait....

Happy TGIF!  Or I guess I should say, "Happy Smurfday!"
It's a very exciting day around our house....a  day that Linz has been anticipating and talking about for a very, very long time.  The new Smurfs Movie comes out today.    I wanted to try to get this card on the blog today to share with you because today our schedule is c-r-a-z-y.  I won't bore you with the details but it's going to be busy for sure.
I've been trying to sketch a few new card ideas for new card classes and I've wanted to come up with a baby card.  Doesn't sound too hard, right?  Well...it had me stumped when I realized that I don't own any of the current SU! baby themed stamp sets!  Can you believe it??  Well, I couldn't.  Gotta get a couple of those on my next order.  We have lots of friends having babies and I need cards!

So...what to do....think...think....THINK....  Well it just so happens that I actually got the new "Stripes" Textured Embossing Folder and I remembered hearing about a technique using it at Convention.  So....I tried it out.  Guess what??  It worked!  WOOT!  
Here's the completed card....



I was so excited to see how easy it was to use my brayer to ink up the embossing folder and run it through my Big Shot and then do it again in the opposite direction.  Then...VOILA!.... Embossed Plaid!  Who knew??
So cute and SO easy to do!  I have to admit I was doing 
"the Happy Stamper Dance".  
(Beware...it can scare small children and pets!)  

I used Pool Party, one of the new In Colors to make the plaid piece and used a piece of Pool Party card stock for the card base.  I then used my punches to create the little ducky out of Daffodil Delight card stock.. (A shout out to my upline, Robin Merriman for the "how to's on that! Thanks girlie!!!)  I embossed the card base with the Polka Dot Embossing Folder.  The stamp is from the "Word Play" stamp set that I highlighted earlier this week and then I punched it out with the decorative label punch and then I sponged the edges with Pool Party to make it "pop".  It's a clean and simple card that just has a sweet feel about it.

So...there you have it.  A fun and easy baby card if you don't have any baby themed stamps on hand like me....or even if you do.

The "Stripes" Embossing Folder is on page 218 of the 
SU! IB&C and is $7.95.  
If you'd like a closer look you can click HERE to check it out on my website.

Don't forget my BLOG SPECIAL that's on now through Sunday.  


For anyone placing an order of $25 today through Sunday you will receive the "Summer Splash" set from the Summer Mini Catalog at 1/2 off!!
The regular prices are:  
Wood Mount - $22.95 and Clear Mount - $16.95
Orders can be placed either on my website or you can send me a quick email with your order.
 
Wishing you a Smurftastic day!!
Michelle

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer Splash!

Mornin' Peeps!

Today seems to be filling up with lots on the "To Do" list.  I'm getting the troops organized and ready to roll.
Before I head out I thought I'd share this new card with you.  I used one of my favorite sets from the Summer Mini Catalog.  It's called "Summer Splash".
  
**Blog Giveaway**
For anyone placing an order of $25 today through Sunday you will receive the "Summer Splash" set at 1/2 off!!
The regular prices are:  
Wood Mount - $22.95 and Clear Mount - $16.95
Orders can be placed either on my website or you can send me a quick email with your order.
 


I had never tried doing a "step" card before but I have to say I'm already thinking of others to make!  Woot!
I embossed the surfboards, sand bucket and shells and cut them out.  The "sand" is made from pieces of Sahara Sand card stock that I tore into strips and then sponged the edges with Crumb Cake ink. 


The left panel is supposed to look like a beach towel.  :-)  I just used strips of card stock and adhered them to a base piece and added the flowers from the triple layer punch.  After it was all together I ran the whole piece through the Big Shot using the Square Lattice Embossing Folder.  So fun!

If you haven't taken a peek at the Summer Mini Catalog, you can see it HERE on my Stampin' Up! website.  Here's what it looks like...


Here's the "Summer Splash" set....


It's a keeper for sure!

Have a magical day!
Michelle

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Imagine....

Imagine sitting on the deck having a nice, cold glass of sangria...some chips and salsa...
Or maybe sitting on the deck making s'mores on the fire pit with the kids...
Ok...Keep imagining...it'll happen.  I just have to beeeeeee   patient.  
Imagine my surprise when I saw what's in the photo at the end of this post....

First though....check this out.  I created a card tonight using another of my favorite stamp sets, "Word Play".  I confess I waited for awhile to order it and now I can't imagine NOT having it.

"Word Play" is on page 156 of the SU! catalog.  It's SO big they needed TWO boxes to fit it into!  :-)  Clear Mount - $28.95/Wood Mount - $41.95

Here's the card I made tonight using "Word Play"



I'm really happy with how it turned out because it seems very soft and elegant to me.  I used Sahara Sand and Very Vanilla card stock and the Paisley Petals Designer Series Paper.  The front panel of DSP was embossed using the Tulip Embossing Folder on my Big Shot to add a little texture.  The flower was cut using the Fun Flowers die for the Big Shot.  I crumpled up all the petals and the put them all together with a Vintage Brad...and voila!

If you'd like to check out things a little more closely check out things in the catalog on my website.  Just click HERE

Now....here's what I saw last night after dinner.  Mike went out in our back yard and I heard him call my name.  When I went out there....after laughing for a long time....this is what I saw...


When I asked him what in the world he was doing he said,
"I'm just chillin' on the deck!"
Not to be left out....Brittany decided she wanted a turn too....


So...today....just Imagine!

Have a magical day!
Michelle

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Button Buddies" & Blessings...

I woke up feeling quite blessed this morning.  Blessed being married to an awesome man who loves me....warts and all....blessed to have 3 wonderful kids who love me...warts and all....and actually just really blessed through and through.  Wow!

It was such also a blessing last night spending time with some wonderful ladies who came over to stamp.  I really treasure their friendship and getting the chance to share what I love to do.  It's hard sometimes to remember how important it is to just take time to stop and cherish the little things.  Today I'm doing just that.

I thought today I'd share another one of my faves from the new catalog.  It's called "Button Buddies".  I have an upcoming class with 8 cards and a matching box using this set that will be posted soon...
so stay tuned!

First, here's the stamp set...
"Button Buddies" is on page 71 of the Idea Book & Catalog - Clear Mount: $21.95/Wood Mount: $29.95 It coordinates with the SU! Buttons....It's SO stinkin' cute.

Here are two of the cards we made last night at stamp camp using "Button Buddies".  
It's SO fun to stamp with!





If you don't have a copy of the new catalog yet and would like to check it out, stop by my SU! wepage... 
Just click HERE  Also, keep an eye out here on the blog.  I'll be posting some "BLOG CANDY" very soon!  Don't know what Blog Candy is?  Well, come back and find out! 

That's all for now.  We are actually headed to the pool today and we are very excited.  
I'll be checking in later this evening but for now I'm going to go cherish 3 very special blessings and soak up a few rays.
Hope you have a magical day!
Michelle

Monday, July 25, 2011

"Thinking of You" on the Deck

Happy Monday Peeps!

It's going to be another hot one here today... Wait...  Have I typed that before??  Ew! 
Oh well, that's ok.  I'll be inside cool and getting ready for the "Just Cards" stamp camp tonight.  Here's a sneak peek at card we will be making.


I haven't blogged about what's been going on in our backyard.  It's very exciting.  Mike and I have lived in this house since Zach was a baby and when we moved in there weren't even steps out there.  We've wanted a deck for a very long time but just never taken it on.  Before I left for convention Mike took me out back and surprised me with the plans he had drawn up and walked me through it all. 
I was shocked and BEYOND excited!
Now understand that Mike is a......let's just call it a "methodical worker".  Slow and steady wins the race, right?  *breathe*  So the deck is underway.  Now...the heat has not helped much but he's been a great worker bee none the less.  I'm very proud of him.  Here's the first sneak peek....







I'm looking forward to enjoying lots of time out there with family and friends and especially Marley's paws NOT binging in the red mud!  Woot!

Ok...I've gotta get busy!  The stampers are coming!!!

Have a magical day!
Michelle

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Stayin' Cool!

Whewie!  It's HOT!  It's 6 p.m. here and the heat index is 
still at 101 degrees!! 
So glad I'm inside and cool.  I went down to my stamp room where it's really cool and played around a bit with some new project ideas.  I'm still going through the free stuff I brought back with me from Utah.  Wow!

One of the new stamp sets I bought out of the new Stampin' Up! catalog was "It's A Wrap Occasions".  
It is too stinkin' CUTE!
It's on Page 59 of the IB&C  - Wood Mount $27.95   Clear Mount $19.95
 The really cool part is that you stamp right on those handy, dandy Avery (or brand of your choice) mailing labels....wrap them around Hershey's nuggets for a cute little treat that's sure to make someone smile from ear to ear. I will say that I really prefer this stamp set in clear mount so that I can see exactly where I'm stamping my image.  It was SO easy.  Here are the labels I used....


I used my Big Shot and the "Matchbox Die" and cut out a box from Melon Mambo card stock.  I then embossed the outer part of the box with the Square Embossing Folder.  I added the labels to the candy...a little bling and some ribbon to the box and VOILA!  



I love it!  Such a quick and easy project!  (And here's a little secret....I've got a sneaking suspicion that we'll see more of these wrapper stamps in the future....just sayin'!)

If you'd like to see the stamps a little closer, check them out in the New Idea Book and Catalog.  If you don't have one, you can go take a peek at it on my website.  Just click HERE

Thanks for stopping by!
Blessings,
Michelle

So much talent...

Today I'm sharing some more of my favorite cards from my swap stash from Convention.  Love them!
Hope they inspire you. 
If you'd like to come stamp with me, let me know.
"Just Cards" Stamp Camp this Monday has a couple of spots left.  Give me a shout if you'd like to come stamp and play.  :-)






Happy Saturday!
Michelle

Friday, July 22, 2011

Favorites.....

.....Vacations with my family
...Cranking the radio when I'm in the car alone
...Listening to Marley bark at squirrels in his sleep
...Date night

These are a few of my favorite things....

One other thing that is pretty high on the list is SWAPPING cards!
This year when I left for the Stampin' Up! Convention I had 151 cards and 60 3D items all packed in my bag to swap with other SU! demos.  Swapping is NOT required but if you've ever been to convention you know that you'll see a million ideas you'll want to bring home.  Some people don't swap...they take photos of things they want to remember how to make once they are back home.  I could do that too I guess but I have to say I really love having the card fronts and 3D's here to look at. 
So today I started going through all the things I returned home with and I thought I'd post a few periodically here on my blog.  I will admit (to only YOU and not to Mike...) that I'm sort of a "magazine junkie".  I LOVE buying card/scrapbooking/craft....well, any kind really....MAGAZINES.  You never know where you'll find inspiration and I love going through them again and again. Swaps are the same way for me.  I get so much inspiration from seeing other people's creations.  It might be that you see a color combo  you've never tried or a layout you've never thought of...the ideas are endless!  Therefore....swapping works for me.

So...in case you're looking for a new card layout design or you'd just like to see some really pretty cards etc. stop by here on my blog and I'll post some of my faves that I brought back with me.  Here are 4 of them.....I tagged each with the stamper's name if they included their info on the back of the card.  I have a lot without names.  :-(  Oh well...they're pretty all the same.  Enjoy!





That's all for now....I have SO many more so stay tuned!

Blessings,
Michelle

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Have Your Cake and Stamp It Too!

Well....I stayed in where it cool and boy am I glad I did!  I actually sat down and made a project that had been lurking around in my head for a little while now.....and I really love it!  

I love it so much in fact that I'm scheduling a class to share all the deets.  Here are a couple of photos of the "Have Your Cake..." set.  

At the "Have Your Cake" class you can make the Chocolate Cake Slice Gift Box and a matching card.  The best part for me is that I get to show how to make those cute roses....big and small!  Not gonna lie...I'm kind of addicted!

Here's the Card by itself...

Love, love, LOVE that new Chocolate Chip Polka Dot Ribbon!
.....And here's a close up of the Cake Box....

The photos don't really show the Dazzling Diamonds well but...trust me....in person.....it's magical!  :-)
So...if you'd like to learn how to make this darling gift set, send me a note to reserve your spot!
Here are the class details...

"Have Your Cake and Stamp It Too"
Monday, August 8th from 7-9 p.m.
Class fee - $15.00  - All supplies are included

Please feel free to share this info with a friend.... The more the merrier!

Stay cool!
Michelle


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Friend....

What a HOT, HOT day here in Virginia.  Whewie!  I am feeling blessed to be inside where it's nice and cool.
I'm all set and all the beautiful card kits are ready for my stampin' girls tonight.  This is a really awesome "Just Cards" stamp camp (in my humble opinion).  I had so much fun creating fun, new cards and I can't wait to share them. Here's another of the 5 lovely designs we'll be creating..

I love this monochromatic color scheme with Concord Crush and Wisteria Wonder.  It's the perfect compliment to the Very Vanilla card stock too.  AND...who doesn't LOVE those Antique Brads???


There are 2 spots left in tonight's class and a few left in the "Just Cards 2" stamp camp on Monday, July 25th from 7-9.  Send me a note or give me a call if you'd like to reserve your spot.  The class fee is $15 and all supplies are included.

So if you're looking for a fun, COOL place to just "chill"....come stamp with me!

Blessings,
Michelle

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Perk Up!

It's a busy time around here today.  I'm getting ready for tomorrow's "Just Cards" Stamp Camp.  Here's one of the designs we'll be making....

This is one of my favorite stamp sets.  It just cracks me up!

I love pocket cards!

There's still room so let me know if you'd like to come join in the fun! I'd love to share it with you.

Blessings,
Michelle