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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And into the New Year.

I have a confession to make. I am not much of a blogger. I get excited and do it for a while- then the thrill wears out and I'm done. So I did want a chance to post one last time for 2008. Hasn't been a very momentous year or anything. Well- I guess I DID become an auntie for the first time x 2. Both my sisters each had a daughter. I get to see Laura's little girl all the time cuz Laura and her baby live with my folks and they live ten minutes away. Crystal and her baby, however, live all the way on the islands of B.C.- a good hike away from where I live! I got to throw Laura's baby shower and that was fun! I did up annoucnements, favours, thank yous and a LOT of baking. For the record?- DON'T try to put candy clay flowers on mini angel food cakes. Yea- the cake is too delicate and the flowers too heavy!
So my not-so-baby celebrated her EIGHTH birthday yesterday.
Here she is in her brand new duds from Grandma and Grandpa. She looks all grown up and beautiful... time really does fly quickly. I can't even remember baby moments with her. Eight years in my life time is alright, not much and it seems smaller and smaller the older I get, but eight years is HER entire lifetime.
Okay- so looking through the computer- I apparantly don't have a pic of her as a baby- weird. I thought I had one saved. Hmmm.
She got some really cool gifts. This outfit being one of them! She also got a Bratz doll. That was funny. My dad called and asked what Lexie wanted. I told him that she wanted Bratz dolls- but no BLONDE ones cuz she already had two Cloe dolls. Well what does he get? A BLONDE ONE!!! I say "Dad- I said NO blonde ones- she's already got two!" and dad was like "No- you said no BLACK ONES!!"- No I did not!!!! It's kinda funny but it makes me sound like a bigot- and I'm SO NOT!- so thanks. Thanks alot dad.
ANYWAYS! I also ordered some stuff through Schoolastics. Lexie is in love with reading and Santa already brought her a bundle of Geronimo Stilton books for Christmas, and I was able to also order a pack of Rainbow Fairy books WITH a painting fairy artset for only 20 bucks WOOT!!! I also went and put alot of work into her other birthday present:
What a RAK eh? She likes making cards and it's heartbreaking cuz everytime I'm busy with a project, there she is asking if she and I can make something together. Which simply means she sits and MY desk and uses MY goodies- LOL. So she got her own. I went and bought some different things- ink, stickles, rhinestones, brads and those dollar stamps from Michaels. They didn't have any acrylic blocks so I gave her one of mine. Then I went through my stash and cut some of my scrap paper up into squares and cut and scored some cardstock for her to have pre-made cards. Then I put my Cricut and new Storybook Cartridge into good use and die-cut her some Storybook shapes. I also thinned out my prima stash by putting some in a baggie and making a little label for it. OH- and glue and ribbon too!! She was really happy and instantly made her teacher a 'welcome back' card, as she was in Australia for a year on a teacher's exchange.
So it was a great birthday. Poor kid tho, being as her b-day is RIGHT in the middle of Christmas vacation, it's pretty pointless to throw a party and invite her friends. They are gone and right after Christmas is not a great time to go birthday present shopping. So I'm going to do what I did last year and wait a month. I figure as long as her family makes her day special, then her friends can come over when ever and it's just a bonus :D She wants a Camp Rock theme birthday party tho- I have no idea how to go about that- so we'll see what I can come up with.

SO Project- been a little while :D I am very happy with this one. These were my Christmas cards that I handed out to my church family this year. I got the idea from Lauren Meader (she IS my creative brain :D) and made a sort of bag/card. I usually make chocolates to give away- and I thought this was an awesome way to give a card AND chocolates. So here's the card:
I just love it! It's so cute and simple- tho I do think I have now overdone the pink/white/silver colour combo!!! It was an 5x11 peice of cardstock, scored at 4, 4.75,8.75and 9.5. I found some clear plastic baggies in the party aisle at Superstore and they were the perfect width, but I had to cut them down height wise. It was awsome cuz I got 30 bags for $2- and I do love a deal!
I scalloped the edge, punched and stamped some snowflakes with my new snowflake set from Inkadinkado and punch from Martha Stewart. I made the PP by stamping pink and silver snowflakes on white cardstock. Used some sheer ribbon for a bit of elegance. AND I love the lable!! Another awesome trait of the Storybook cartridge ;) I did stamp a sentiment in silver- you can't really make it out on film- but it was really pretty in person. And then my new addiction- stickles around the edge to highlight it!
So here it is all opened. Very simple- I wrote on the inside. That was the only thing I found a problem in giving this as a card- was where to write a greeting? OH- and you can't use an envelope! But I filled these with homemade Eatmore candy bars. It was a simple recipe (took two hours tho- make sure you have a LOT of time) and they turned out gooey-er than the store-bought ones. But any other recipe I looked up contained cereal and I was looking for the chocolate bar. Then one day while eating and Eatmore, I noticed it was called Dark Toffee chew, so I searched for chocolate toffee and I found the recipe I used! Next year tho, I am sticking with truffles- LESS WORK!!! I love how simple this was tho, and how it can be used for different occassions. I think I may lift this again for favours for Lexie's birthday party!
Well- that's about the it. I hope you all have a wonderful new years eve- be careful and be safe to not drink and drive!!! Take care and I'll see you all in 2009!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

All is Well and I'm Rested!

Wow- yes. I am Christian. I love God and there is some awesome Christian music out there. But I am a metal head/alterna girl from way back. So I am really grooving while updating my blog and headbanging away to Pantera- that's just me :D
So - holiday's are over, the frenzy is finished. I shared what I learned about the importance of family and now I can share the other very important thing I learned: START EARLY!! LOL no more procrastinating for Brandie. There was so much that I wanted to do and didn't get a chance to do. It's my own fault for being a poor time manager- even with my gads of lists- but it's over and there is no sense cryin' about it. I can do them next holidays or just sketch them out and keep them for a refereance when I want to try something new.
So- I didn't get much Christmas crafting done as I was busy with another important project :D My old friend from High School became an auntie -not for the first time, but it was a first time for her sister to become a mom. So it was neat to make something special for the new mommy. She asked if I could make some baby annoucnements and I hadn't done a flip card yet- so I thought, can't be too hard right? AIGH! It was easy after you got the cutting and scoring and measuring all done! I didn't bother with my paper trimmer tho. I just used my cutting mat that doubles as a grid and my ruler, bone folder and exacto knife. Worked just fine! So here's the results:














YAY! I do love the punch outs. I've seen some really cool flip cards on SCS and when they were a bit different than the norm I'd save them. There were some that had ovals instead of rectangles (I have NO CLUE how the talented folks pulled that off!) and so to do mine up I just used my corner punch and scalloped the edges of both the card and the flip. Then to add a bit more intrest I used my Marvy small daisy punch along the edges. When it's closed on the one side (the front) the little diamonds fit nicely into the centres of the flowers :D Before I cut scored and punched I stamped with a flourish. I tried with flowers but-meh, didn't work for me. So my pal wanted 30 of these suckers and needed something to put them in. So - I'm not the best at doing diaper totes as I've only done ONE before, but here's the second and third ones I ever made:

I have no idea how people do the straps all the way down to the bottom. I really don't. I tried 11 inch peice of paper and 12 inch peice of paper and neither reached all the way across and down. This was a larger bag tho. I used a whole sheet of 12x12 and scored on 3 inches each side and 4.5 inches up and down so the interior was 6x3 and fit 30 annoucements but NO envies. I made them seperatly. I was so tired that I just made some plain enevelopes. Usually I like to stamp them for a little intrest. Oh well- I did make some closing tabs tho- they are fun and easy. You can just use any 1 inch or 1.5 inch stamp and stamp or emboss and then cut them out (no larger than 1.5) and then you can just run them through your Xyron 150. That's all I do. I keep them on the backing and staple them together- looks cute.
So now that the holidays are officially over (somewhat) I am looking forward to thing going back to normal in the Nellis household and sitting down for the fun of it with my new toys! I've got some ideas- birthdays and a post-Christmas party and Valentine's day all coming up! So stay tuned :D

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Merry Christmas

Well- it's a day late- but I want to wish anyone and everyone who reads this a very merry Christmas and, of course, all the best in the new year. Despite my bravado and anxiety mixed together this year, I had an amazing and humble holiday. It wasn't spectacular and loaded with gifts that would just collect dust as the years go by. I only got three presents- three inexpensive presents I may add. But I am happy and was grateful for what I recieved. The kids made out like bandits with only a handful of meaningful gifts themselves. They didn't get bogged down and overwhelmed with heaps of packages that I'd just be going through in a years time to thin out their toy heard. We were able to focus on the reason for the season and all the wonderful things and ways the Lord has blessed us that aren't wrapped in silver paper with a huge bow on it. We had a feast and learned what the true meaning of family is all about.
Allow me to wax philosophically if you will ;) (LOL)
I come from a broken family. My brother and I share both father and mother, while my younger sister has a different dad. My real dad went on and had another family of his own with two new children. My mom had been re-married before and that man is now deceased, but had three kids too. So growing up, I was really really (REALLY) against the whole idea of a mixed family. I hated "Half" this and "Step" that. I loved my sister to peices and didn't think of her as a 'half' sister- but it was hard when her dad married my mother's sister and had a son- so now my cousin was her brother and they saw each other as brother and sister as the families still remained close. When my ex-step-dad died, his son that moved out here to be closer to him and, and his wife and children moved back across the country- so I no longer had an 'step' siblings. I didn't talk to my dad's side of the family much and it was hard to talk to these 'other' siblings of mine because I only met them later in life and they were strangers to me.
The Lord works in mysterious ways!
I began talking to a friend that I hadn't spoken to since high school and she wanted some baby annoucnements for her sister as a gift (post to come later). In talking with her- she shared her amazing, and rather large, family story with me. Now she has steps and halfs all over the place - but she doesn't see them as that- even tho her mother isn't with the men who were father's to some of these 'step' siblings. They were all family. It didn't matter where they came from or who their parents were- they were family. Plain and simple. Even this 'sister' of hers wasn't a blood relative, but her ex-sister-in-law- and that didn't make HER any less family either. It was her sister. My friend really opened my eyes to what family really was and what it meaned to be in an extended and crazy family. Sure, it was hard explaining who was who and it wasn't picture perfect June Cleaver type of stuff- but family isnt' that way. Even the most un-divorced, un-halfed families out there can be quite dysfuncional. So here in my small minded stance of "family is what my mother bore", I was quite humbled. Now- I am happily married, don't get me wrong, but I was so against it that I would get 'fixed' in order to not have children that were half siblings to my existing kids. It would've really bothered me if Chris went out and had more children. But don't worry- all that is moot. We are very happy!!!
So my wonderful Christmas gift this year was from God Himself (well- other than Christ of course!) and it was peace. Contentment. I get so wrangled up in what to get others and what I want that I forget the wonderful blessings. This was an amazing year. We spent the day with my family- and what a family it was!!! My mom and step-dad (whom I call dad as he's been like a father to me for the past few years and I love him as such), my brother, sister, grandmother. And then it got crazy!! My aunt and uncle- their son (my sister's brother). Another aunt and uncle who've been pretty reclusive for years - it was so nice to see them and include them. Then my ex-step-brother who has moved back with his wife and children. First thing he said when he saw me was "how's it going sis?" The fact that it's been seven long years and he still looks at me like a little sister resonated in my mind. I liked it. And it made me realize that despite everything that happened- they were still my family.
Times were tough on my parents this past year. They were in a pretty bad accident last year and finances weren't really great. They weren't able to give gifts this year and it really bothered my mom until recently. She was given a peace about what Christmas means-not the gifts or the meal and all the trimmings. But Christ and what He stood and still stands for. She opened her door to many and her peace hit us all. Chris and I were in a bit of debt ourselves and weren't able to buy oodles of gifts for the kids. We fought like crazy over this and have every Christmas we've been together and have had kids. We spent a few hundred on our brood and they got a ton of gifts- but they were becoming materialistic and overwhelmed at it all. This year we could only get them a few gifts each- and you know what - they were HAPPY!!! Content. Playing with their goodies and not having to un-wrap and run and get shuffled from place to place. The day was so slow and casual and enjoyable. I can't wait til next year to remind myself of this and cut out fighting over finances. Stressing over the perfect gift. Giving myself enough time to do meaningful this for the people I love. Sharing and giving to those in need and teaching my children those values. NOT fighting with my husband- and being able to enjoy the holidays for what it is. So in our humble, present-less state- we had a better and more merry Christmas than one I could remember.
Back to the idea of family and contemplating all these things on the ride home, I thought of my real father, who I haven't spoken to in months and seems that I am always the one calling him. I can be bitter and turn my back on him and his side of the family - be content in my 'perfect' bubble. But God put it on my heart to call him- wish him a Merry Christmas. Now that I did it on Christmas and not before shows him I expect nothing from him, and in our conversation showed him that he always has a place in my life. Another hard thing was calling my 'half' sister. I always felt so awkward around her and my (ahem) 'half'brother. I liked my little bubble with my little 'perfect' family. But my, OTHER sister once said that she always wanted an older sister and when she heard she had one, she was ecstatic. But it wasn't what I wanted or what she needed- then again, God put it on my heart that it isn't about me and what I want. It's not even about her and what she wants. It's about HIM. This season. The family we have. The things we do. It's all to share His message and to glorify Him. So I called and wished her a Merry Christmas too and had a wonderful talk.
So if you read this, my dear friend with your rather large and complicated family, thank you for putting it all into percpective. I have THREE brothers. TWO sisters. A SISTER IN LAW and more neices and nephews than just the little one I chose to acknowledge. I have a large family - not a half family- but a WHOLE one because I love them all wholey. This was the gift that God gave to me this wonderful, precious season. Better than any present under the tree or trinket in the stocking. It was wonderful, magical and spiritual.
Now that I shared all that with you- I hope it can open someone's eyes to the wonder and magic of Christmas not found in any parcel- so may all your Christmases be like mine. Full of love, family, laughter and peace.
Love always: Brandie :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

'Tis the Season

...to be BUSY!!! Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. I've been working my caboose off- and not all of it Christmas oriented. I find myself in the exact same prediciment as I do every year. Too many ideas - not enough time or money.
1st. I wanted to do mini paper stockings by scanning and printing Lauren Meader's Stocking Stuffer template down to 75%- I thought it would be cute and I could fill it with homemade candy canes. WELL- the candy cane syrup (you have to be so careful and this was my first time and the thermometer never did read past 200!!) - yeah, BURNT. So okay- no go to the candycanes. Then I was so overwhelmed with time constraints and such- plus being worried that I'd run out of adhesive- that I just nixed the whole idea. My thought was for pre-school and third grade children- they aren't going to save the cute little things I made them- they'll wind up in the trash all torn and crumpled and all that work would have been for waste. So I decided to make carmel corn instead. Turned out SO GOOD I didn't want to share with the kids- I did tho. And to make it a bit festive and put my papercrafting spin on it, I did make quick and cute paper tags!
So I just put them into the 2 dollar goodie bags that you use for birthday favours. Darned those things are handy! I made 30 bags of them- plus a few extra for home! Needless to say, they are gone now- and will be making some more for Christmas day!
The second thing I wanted to do- and still plan on it, tho not for Christmas, was to make a train out of paper. I already made one. It's pretty cute- but not finished. My son's birthday was in October, and I wanted a cute and inventive way to have a centerpeice and party favours. He loves trains so I crafted a train out of paper and wanted to make the coal cars the party favours for the guests. Well- expenses and time got away from me (story of my life this past year) and he didn't have a big party with his friends (not to worry- he still had fun with mom and dad and grandparents). So I thought I'd make another one and use it as a Christmas decoration and use the coal cars to store candy in. Well- time got away from me again. Turns out doing 30 baby annoucnements flip card style is a lot more work than I thought. Thought I could get them done in an afternoon- try three. AIGH! So another project down and gone! Don't worry- I plan on doing another one and having a tutorial. I want to see what I can come up with for it and I think Christmas decor and birthday centerpeices can be just the begining.
Then there was my Christmas cards for the year. I wanted to make purse cards for my friends that held four cards and four envies so they could have their own cards to give away. Yea- that didn't work either. SO I wound up just quickly throwing together some cards in an afternoon using Ms. (Miss?) boo's idea off of SCS:
And of course- it's blurry!!!! I is a bit plain on the outside- I'm not sure how to compensate for that. They were pretty quick- save the flowers. I had this BRILLIANT notion to ink up a bunch of red cardstock with red ink and then emboss flock all over it so it was textured. Then cut that out along with some vellum that I dyed red using alcohol ink. Then I used my flowers off of the Olivia cuttlebug alphabet set and stacked them together. Cute- very pointsetta like- then squeezed on some stickles and smudged it around. They are pretty in person- but alot of work for one tiny embellishement. THEN I ran outta supplies so I had to make a few 'extra' cards. Instead of red and pointsettas- I went back to good ol' blue and snowflakes (prepare youself for another blurry card):






Aigh- really a very not good picture. I wish I had known that BEFORE sending them out. Ah well- at least they look okay in person.
So okay- kids' classes and friends cards. Mailed last week so they MAY arrive today for Christmas. I don't know. I hope so. So then I wanted to make a cute backpack for Lexie's teacher as she is from Austrailia and here on an exchange program. It was her last day on Friday and I wanted to send her something special. WELL- time constraints again- and so I was whipping up something on the morning of the last Friday! Well- that's a tad better than Gabe's teacher. I just used a box that I had lying around. The one that held cards that I had made for a friend of mine and never did get around to mailing to her. I did apologize- so no worries- but oh-my-goodness has this been a bad year for me this season!!!
So here's the goody box that I whipped up for Lexie's teacher:
It's okay. I thought the silver and red and green and gold would look good together- now looking at the picture, I think it may have been a bit much. I DO love the red and gold tho- here's a close up of them:



I DO like the red and gold- looks prettier in person. I do need a better camera.
So that's the it. I have more to post but it's practically midnite. I just can't believe how unorganized and lazy I've been this year. Oh my gosh! See folks this THIS is where procrastinating leads you- don't even GET me started on my diet- as any who've kept track with my other blog will tell you- it aint going so well. The fact that I haven't even written in it in a few weeks is a bad enough sign. To top it off, I'm still trying to maintain life as a wife and mother- laundry, supper, bathing, cleaning. I do this to myself every year- and every year I say the same thing. I am so tired of the last minute CRAP I put myself through. To top it off, I haven't made time for the Lord at all this season- and isn't HE what this season is all about? So it's no wonder I'm moody and tired. *sigh* No sense in beating myself up about it. It wont accomplish anything. To top everything off I FINALLY cleaned up my place today- and now I have the desire to make my parents and in-laws and siblings gifts. Just a small brandiecrate with some chocolates. So there will be baking and candymaking and papercrafting tomorrow. I just don't know how some people do it- I really don't. They have all these beautifully made projects and then their children and their homes- possibly a job on top of all that and then if the kids are older- running them around to extra ciricular activities. Oy- it makes my head swim. HA- to top it all off- what I WANTED to do for my folks for Christmas, I'm not going to have the time for either! *sigh* one step at a time. Breathe... right?
Sorry to vent all this to you in the cyber world. Maybe looks are decieving and I have no clue what is going on behind those closed doors. Maybe they are just as lost and confused and busy as I am- or maybe they have better organizational skills. Man I tell you- when it comes to setting up a desk or a room- organizing that way- I have nothing doing!!! But when it comes to time managment- I'm a complete loss!! I just want to sit back and relax and enjoy the season. So with all that being said- I'm going to try to relax tomorrow and do what I can instead of what I think I 'have' to do. Y'all have a very Merry Christmas full of love and laughter tho- and don't do too much if you don't have to either tomorrow :D

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Stockings and Birthday Surprises

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!- yesterday! So I am officially 29 this year. Now I'll be 29 and holding. Someone asked me what exactly we'll be holding- I figure that after 29 we'll be holding everything- UP! Stuff starts to sag and droop and we gotta hold it up! LOL. Actually, age really doesn't mean anything to me. It's not my age that makes me feel old- I am actually quite excited to become 30. It always seemed so mature and distiguished as opposed to 'old'. I figure if I start now, I'll have a house in my thirties. I'll be healthier and thinner in my thirties. No more poopy diapers in my thirties (well- maybe. The jury's still out on this one!) But it's not the age that makes me feel old- it's the age of my children! The fact that I remember so vividly each of them as a baby- and now my 'baby' is potty trained, talks and walks- and will be starting kindergarten in a couple of years. My son is in pre school and can do practically everything for himself. My eldest is in third grade and learning all about stuff that seems so mature for her age- her level of reading and the planets and everything. Thankfully she's not learning TOO much yet- that will come soon enough and far before I'm ready for it! If this is how I feel- I feel bad for my mom whose oldest just turned 29 yesterday!
So- what did I get? The million dollar question- A CRICUT CARTRIDGE! nothing big or extravagant. Like I said, we're a cheque to cheque family and don't have LOTS of extra cash on a one income family for really expensive gifts- but this one was great :D
Here she is!
Now- up here in Grande Prairie, we don't have a huge variety of Cricut supplies. Our major retailer is Michaels, and they really don't have a huge selection of cartridges. Tho I am excited because next year I'm getting the Cricut Create so I can cut at every 1/4 of an inch- I am SO Excited about that :D SO- I saw this on the ProvoCraft website. I saw the cartridge case and was like "whatever- it's kinda ugly". Look at the letters- the colours- not my style. Blech. BUT I, out of bordom and looking for a cartridge that I could cut scalloped shapes out of so I wouldn't have to buy the punches or order the spell binders- because again, we'd have to order them. No place here sells them. I looked at the online booklet and WOW. I mean WOW. The detailed corners and borders were so elaborate and pretty- I wanted this one so bad! BUT we'd have to order it through a retailer (we don't own a major credit card. Trust us- that's a good thing!) and there was no guarantee that it would be in for Christmas, let alone my birthday. Chris told me it wouldn't be in on time and he couldn't remember the name of the cartridge anyway (what a liar face :D) He called Keepsakes (our LSBS- and a great one at that!) and they had ONE. ONE! They ordered for themselves (as they have a Cricut studio that you can play with their goodies in) and they let him order it and even held it for over a week until we had the money and he could pick it up. I opened it and had no idea. I had ordered some EK Success punch stampers (check them out- too cute!) and I thought, maybe they came in and he was going to pick them up and surprise me with them. No- they weren't in- but THIS was my gift. So awesome, so thoughtful and so AMAZING! I re-went throught the book and I can make scalloped squares, ovals, circles and rectangles. I can make two beautiful alphabets. I can make gorgeous borders and corners. AND lables! The lables that are so hot at Stampin' Up! Right now? Yea- like those! I know I'm behind the times as I have never had a Stampin' Up! order- but I want to and when I get my lisence (no- I can't drive yet) I am signing up to be a demonstrator. So excited. I'm more excited about teaching other people techniques and getting discounts than I am throwing the parties and making extra money. BUT- that will come later :D
SO- do I even have a project for you, or am I just rambling about my present? Nope- I do have a project! I teach teenaged Sunday School at my church and in a class of six teens, I wanted to do something special as yesterday was my last day to teach until the new year. SO I downloaded Lauren Meader from Papertrey inks FREE (yes- FREE!!!) Stocking Stuffer template. I did say we don't have a major credit card- and it's good cuz I'd go broke and put those guys in top business LOL- but someday I'd like a prepaid credit card to order some of their awesome products. The only thing is, being in Canada- the postage is as much as the product. That part sucks. :( But I would love to order some of her other templates. They seem to rock and are very versatile. So I took advantage of the freebie and made these: for my class!

I have two guys and four girls. I filled them with chocolate christmas balls, werthers and candy canes. They were well recieved and that always makes me feel happy. I mean, crafting really is an outlet for whoever is crafting- I'd go insane if I didn't have this hobby, but the bonus is making gifts for people that are so much more heartfelt than money or something from a store. Especially considering that can be pretty costly! So papercrafting and candymaking combine perfectly for me during the holiday season- tho I cheated this time and didn't make my own candy :). So I just cut out one template from the printer and traced it onto other cardstock to assembly line it. I stamped with co-ordinating ink and embossed with glitter powder. I did the heels and toes with silver and smudged them- and the cuff! It's all snowflake patterns. Then, lifting the idea from Ms. Lauren herself, bought some cute fuzzy trim found in the mask and boa aisle in Michaels and used that for the cuffs too! I found some really cute adhesive rhinestones for really cheap too and decided to add some extra bling on the heels and toes. I like how they turned out. I am going to do these this year for my kids' classes. I am excited because I printed it out at 100%, put it in my copier and copied it at 75% so I have smaller stockings that look so cute! These aren't it, but when I'm done I'll post a pic of the larger one (for the teacher) and the smaller ones so you can see the comparasion.
Well- that's about it for now! Thanks for stopping by :D

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Finally finished... for now

Okay- I am LOVING my new background courtesy of the Cutest Blog on the Block BUT I have no idea how to change my title bar to match or make a signature- so anyone with ideas would be great :) if not- I'll figure it out. I DO have a computer tech for a hubby!
SO- I FINALLY finished my mom's birthday gift. Finished them all on Saturday night and was able to give them to her on Sunday at church. She hadn't looked through them all yet, but every time we had prayer sisters at my house I'd show her what new thing I'd made. Not a great surprise- but I get so excited that I want to show someone! So after an evening of making 16 envelopes and re-making a magazine holder cuz I didn't like the first one, I was done done done! And able to, with a clear conscience, go onto making my Christmas crafts- more on that later :D

SO: I cased this one from Miss Boo (I think that's how she spells it) from splitcoast. Hers is so much nicer and I fell in love with the simple composition that I used it for a couple of feminine birthday cards for my mom. You can't see it, but for the inside I just used one sheet of light pink and had the sentiment printed in the centre and used the Paisly embossing folder on the top and bottom of the insert to bring consistency through the entire card. For my flowers, I used the ones from the olivia set from Cuttlebug. I cut from glitter paper (NOT cardstock) and pink vellum. It was still missing something so I squirted some Fruit Punch stickles on them and spread it out. The flowers got hard and 3-D like and I loved the effect so much that I am lifting the idea for Christmas cards. I think with red instead of pink, it would make a very pretty pointsetta.




The next one in the birthday set was supposed to be more masculine- but I don't have a huge stamp collection and I can't seem to stear away from ribbon and flowers. What can I say? I am truly a girly girl! I loved cutting inch scallopes with my Cuttlbebug scalloped squares and double side adhesive. I then used some We R Memory Keepers flock sheets and rubbed them on. It works just like it does for the rub-ons- but you have to make sure you got the whole image and be careful when you peel the sheet up that you don't tear your adhesive. The foil sheets work as well- but be careful cuz the foil flakes. I haven't tried the glitter sheets yet- but that's because you can just pour glitter right on the adhesive and stick it! So I stamped right on the flock and just worked something out with the layout. Not my favorite- but I like the flocked images and the layout- may use it again but with different colours and stamps.





I made a couple of types of baby cards for mom too. I made her a bunch of Congratulations cards last year- and she's been using them when someone would have a baby. She wanted specifically for a baby this time, so I decided to give waterfall cards a try. Instead of the traditional directions found on SCS- I made my tab longer (can't remember how much longer- sorry) and only 1.25 inches wide. The squares are actually inches :) I also put six squares on them so I could spell BABY in blocks and have the train and caboose. The trains are from the New Arrival cartridge from Cricut and I cut them at one inch. I layered them (as you can choose 2 different layers). They still needed something, so I added some stickles (darn those things are addictive!) for 'smoke', 'cargo' in the train cars and on each of the wheels.



I did the same idea for the girly cards, but used the outfit selection for something girly. I also made 'sugared' brads by adding stickles to them and rubbing them over the surface and letting them dry. I embossed the main paper and it still looked plain so I added a couple of different things. I tried putting a peice of paper behind the waterfall- but the squares kept getting stuck on it. So I just made two strips on either side, stamped and inked the edges. Added a ribbon and put stickles along the side. I wasn't too sure about these either- but everyone who saw them assured me they turned out just fine.

So there's the sets! I put them into the magazine holders (that, of course, don't match but whatever. Mom liked them and the organization concept!) I did have fun doing that and I think it would be cute to make a 'set' for cards and a holder. So if you haven't tried making a mini magazine holder yet, go and try it out- they are loads of fun and a great way to present your masterpeices!




Thursday, December 4, 2008

Backpacks

Mmmmmm. Mornin'. What a slow start to the day. I'm usually up at 7:30am, and that's all well and good- I only have one in school in the morning and she can get herself dressed and make her own lunch. My mornings are always so laid back- for now :D it's nice... but my afternoons and especially the evenings are so chaotic, that they make up for it. So all you busy morning bees don't envy me- cuz after the noon I don't really get to relax til the kids are all in bed :D And I know that this will change when my other kids are going to school and I may get a job outside the home then. We'll see. God's timing. Tho it was all my timing this morning when I dozed on the couch for a bit cuz I was soooo sleeeeepy and woke up last minute to wake up hubby, feed and dress kids and try to get all who needed to out the door on time.
Aigh.
So I made those two backpacks for a friend of mine. There are alot of tutorials and sizes out there- but the one that suited me best was found here: http://tracysstampinschool.wordpress.com/category/back-packs/
She has a video tutorial as well as a pdf file for the cutting measurements. I liked it because it alloted me creative liberty, only took 2 sheets of 8.5x11 cardstock and didn't take very long to make, but turn out so cute!! So thanks to Tracy for doing all the hard work :D AND she had some other cute video tutorials on there too- so check her out!
So yea- I made one back pack and I got mad. I dont know about you all- but I try to get everything just so- and if it's a gift, or especially if someone is buying it, I want to get it close to perfect as possible. Now to for-warn you, you'll need velcro for the backpacks. I don't have any. I didn't know where to get any, and being as hubby and I are a paycheck to paycheck family and we're in between paychecks- I didn't even have the cash to pick some up if I wanted to. So I had to be inventive with closures. So I tried putting a brad on the inside and a hole in the flap. I don't have very many circle punches (I have 1) and so I used my eyelet setter and that didn't work too well. I used my hand held hole punch and the brad just didn't fit in properlly- but it worked. Then I tried it with the pocket- was off mark- and it didn't work at all. Needless to say- that backpack found it's way to the garbage.
Now I have a notch set from Making memories- and darned if I could ever really figure that thing out. So measuring on my new backpack, I thought I could tuck the flap into the notch. AGAIN with being off the mark and now I had a half mood slit hole in the backpack. sigh. So I covered it up and did the best I could. Now my setter is broken (it's been on the fritz for a while) so I think I may invest in smaller circle punches for notches and I asked for a crop-a-dial for Christmas- I've wanted one for a while so YEA!!! I never really use my notch set anyways- or my grommet set. Again- I've never been able to figure them out. Oh well. Work with what ya know.
SO here is the backpack that has caused me so much grief:
I love the 2.5x2.75 notecard for the front pocket. I really had no idea what I would do. So I took some bright pink cardstock (again guys- I don't have Stampin' Up! I use the Paper Company and they just come in nameless packs- don't worry- I'll hop on the train someday :D) I stamped the cardstock using my clear and woodmounted inkadinkado snowflakes in clearsnap Pink and White- I feel it gave it a snowflurry feel with out being overwhelming. I then added Fruit Punch stickles here there and every where for a bit of bling. I did the same for the pocket. Now- idea!! I think a person can alter the size of the pocket a bit and put a giftcard in there!! Too cute. ANYWAYS!! I took some white cardstock with a random snowflake, stamped in pink and embossed with glitter powder (my new term for glitter embossing powder!) I added some buttons and made the card. It was still missing something, so using my glue gun and some trim I found at the dollar store, I added the trim around the flaps to match the notecard. I thought it was just the finishing touch. y'know how sometimes something you make is okay- it's just missing something? Well the trim was it- I love it!! And so does she :D I decided to do the exact same thing, but in blue so both teachers weren't getting exactly the same thing. So here's that one:

So it's the exact same thing- only substituting blue for pink!The notecards were so simple- and like I said, I had no idea what I would do. I like making ellaborate cards- so a simple notecard has kinda evaded me. But I just stamped the paper to match the flaps on the backpacks and stamped a sentiment from this cute circle Christmas stamp set I found on vacation this year (I have no clue who makes it- I need to start remembering so if people see stuff they like they can go and get it too!) and added a scallop. Now- unlike most of the crafters out there- I don't own Spellbinders nor do I have all of (well, none of) Stampin' Up or Marvy's scalloped punches. I use Cricut's Mini Monogram cartridge. The circle is so nice. The square really isn't the same, the scallops are a bit too far a part. I want to order the Storybook cartridge because they have scallops (and some awesome trims!) on there. I'd also like to get a Cricut Create so I can go every quarter of an inch instead of every half inch! Christmas is around the corner- so who know's what Santa will bring :D
So, there they are. I've always been a tradtitional Christmas person with the greens and reds and golds. It was fun getting out of the box and trying something new- a new template. A new colour scheme. A new technique.
So go out there and try something new today!! Thanks for stoppin' by!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hey Guys!!

Sorry that I have been a bad poster lately. I have so much on the go that I've kinda gone robot and just shut down. Now I've got so much on my plate and I wonder how I'll do it all? I need to stop procrastinating on this damned thing (facebook is a baaaaaaaaaaad vice of mine!) and start sitting at my OTHER desk and getting some of my artwork done. There are some to come- some I am really excited about to share and even a cool tutorial that I can't wait to make and share :D I just want to make sure that I get it all done. I don't know WHY I do this to myself. Every year it's the same old thing- I put off everything until last minute and then WHAM, I am scurrying around to finish half projects. I just wanted to let anyone who reads my blog to know that I haven't forgotten about them ;D.
Being as I am a chronic list maker, I will share my list one here- and if ANYONE has any ideas on how to get more time-organized- please share. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE share- LOL!
I have 2 mini backpacks that a friend of mine ordered for her child's teacher and needs done by the end of the week- not too bad.
I need to finish 8 cards and 16 envies for my mom's WAAAAAAAAAY belated b-day present- not too bad either cuz I have plans in place for those! - and I want them done this week so I can give them to her at church on Sunday.
A friend of mine wants 30 baby invites and 2 diaper bag totes- now we're getting a bit stressed. I need to wait til the baby comes to even start- cuz I don't even know what the gender is!! And I don't know about you guys, yea- pink and blue DO get overdone- but when you don't know the gender and go neutral- that gets a bit old hat too! PLUS I want to try doing them flip card style- something I haven't done yet!
Tutorial 1 is something I have cookin' that I want to do for a: my friend's son's birthday for a centerpeice/party favours. I don't want to get choo choo choo much away (wink) but I think it'll be awesome!!
Tutorial 2 is kinda lifted from the Martha Stewart line- and I will need to make 2 large and 4 small ones as Christmas gifts.
I have a free template for Lauren Meader's (good lord that girl has skills!!!) Stocking Stuffers- so I will shrink mine and make favours for the kid's classes- that'll be about 35 of them due by the 18th...
Another friend wants some brandiecrates as Christmas gifts... again, I wont know til later!!
Again- lifting from Mrs. Meader- I saw a cute box card thing and I though of lifting it and using it for my Christmas cards this year- as I tend to make candy as well. When I post this, I will also post the link to hers on her site so she gets the cred for this brilliant idea. I need to make 10 of these.
And some regular Christmas cards to mail out.
AIGH!!! Not to mention sleigh ride at the church, Christmas decorating this Saturday at my house, my birthday coming up AND the fact I have stuff for sale on facebook. I think I may bow outta that soon cuz only one person ever bought anything. Or I'll give a due date : "orders have to be in by December 18th" or something. Last thing I want is for all my list up above to be crowded out by other people's orders. Aigh. I've done it again tho- bitten off more than I can chew- here's hoping that next year I'll be a bit better organized- and ladies (gents?) again, any ideas KEEP 'EM COMIN'!! Thanks for stoppin' by!!