Monday, October 18, 2010

Just another (not-so-manic) Monday

So despite how excited I've been the past two days about my desktop being back in service, today I'm blogging from my laptop. Since I featured some discontinued hostess sets in yesterday's post, I thought I'd post a few cards using a current hostess set. And since I stamped these over the summer, their pictures do not yet reside on the desktop.

The stamp set is called Playful Pieces. It is a level 3 hostess set from the 2010-2011 Idea Book & Catalog. This set is the be-all, end-all of versatile stamp sets! In the picture shown with the set in the IB&C, there are 18 completely different ideas of ways to use this set, and those don't even include some more obvious uses. It is a GREAT set! My advice is whatever you can do to host a qualifying workshop, do it; this set is worth it.

These first two cards were made for a brother and sister whose birthdays are both in July. I decided to make them similar cards using the same stamp set and layout but different stamps from the set and different colors. {Incidentally, I do the same thing for my brother and his wife, whose birthdays are just a few days apart.} I was in a bit of a rush to get the cards done, and I initially forgot to take a picture, but their mom is a friend and has stamped with me before, so she totally understood when I asked if I could have the cards back to take a picture of them. They got a little messy between their creation and the photo op, but oh well. I've got the picture, so I can remember the idea and can share it with you.
For the boy card, I stamped two of the rectangular images on scrap paper and punched them out with two different size square punches. One was wide enough, but two tall, so I trimmed off one edge with my paper snips. Then I adhered the presents to the white panel and stamped the bow at the top. Sorry, but that strip of paper across the bottom is not SU!

For the girl card, I punched my cake pieces out first using square punches and then stamped the curly-que "icing" across the top of each cake layer. {I can't remember if I've mentioned before, but Stampin' Up! now sells clear mount stamps. It was super easy to line up that "icing" in the right place using the clear mount stamp.} The cake pedestal is two separate pieces, the triangle base and the line plate; after I stamped those, I adhered the cake layers and then stamped the candles on top.

My Granny's birthday is also in July. I used the same stamp set for her card. The front is pretty simple. AJ helped make this card, and chose most of the colors.
You may know that in addition to stamping, I also decorate cakes. Granny is diabetic, and lives in another state, so with those two things in mind, I decided to decorate this cake for her:
Now, while I do love my Granny enough to stamp 81 candles with 81 little flames, I did not have to do so, because the stamp set has a stamp with three little lines and another stamp with three little flames, so I just had to stamp it 27 times.

Sweet wishes!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's all back! (almost)

We've got Office 2007 and all our documents loaded back on the computer. One bummer--all my "favorites" from Internet Explorer are not there. I'm hoping they are there somewhere and Michael just hasn't gotten them put in the right place yet. I had TONS of great stamping blogs on there, some of which are in the sidebar here on my blog, but not all of them, and lots of other sites. Anyway, I had mentioned several times about various things I promised to post. Since this is primarily a stamping blog, I'll start with some projects from last fall.

First is an October-appropriate Halloween card. I used two hostess sets from last year's IB&C on this card. I had made up some packages of assorted tags, including the one used here, to give as prizes at my open house, and I wanted to show a completed card sample using one of the tags, so that's how this idea came about. I don't *think* I CASEd anyone! (Those moments are few and far between!)
The next two cards are ones we made at my class featuring the Just Buzzin' By stamp set. There was a third card, but I gave it to DJ's teacher, whose classroom theme is bees, for her birthday last year, and forgot to take a picture of it.
I CASEd this card from Ronda (rondag) over on SCS. You can see her original creation here. She used a neat bubble wrap technique and some added shimmer with her Dazzling Diamonds glitter. My favorite part, though, is the inside, and how it's hidden when the card is closed.
I wanted to show how this set could be used for a non-bee card, so I CASEd the basic idea from this card by Cambria. I changed the colors because I had used the bright red and blue on the third card that isn't pictured.
Well, that's all for now. I'm just so excited to have our desktop computer back! Have a great Sunday!

Sweet wishes!

Friday, October 15, 2010


We've got a desktop computer again!!!!! Perhaps you remember this post (which was a previous, unrelated incident), or maybe this one, detailing our computer mishaps. Our desktop crashed last January, and it finally got fixed TODAY!

It has been quite an ordeal, including downloading all our files to an external hard drive, replacing the motherboard, and ordering and installing an entirely new operating system. We still don't have Word or anything Microsoft Office related loaded on it, and all our files are still only located on the external hard drive, but the computer is working! And I configured the display fairly decently (our pictures are a little wide, but I can hope that I don't look that fat on your computer). ;-)

Just wanted to share my little insignificant excitement.

Sweet wishes!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Happy Breast Cancer Awareness Month!!!

Hey everybody! This is something that is near and dear to my heart. In fact our breasts are near, and should be dear, to the hearts of each of us. :-)

Anyway, I hope you will take the time to visit and click to fund free mamograms every day, but especially throughout the month of October. Click on the button over in the right hand margin to go to

Sweet wishes!

Monday, August 9, 2010

First days

Today was AJ's first day of Pre-K, but we'll get to that in a minute. DJ goes to the year-round school where I teach, so his first day of 2nd grade was 3 weeks ago, but that's not what I want to talk about first either. Because if I don't mention it first, you'll get lost in the cuteness of my kids, and you won't read the extra blurb about ME at the bottom. Today was a first day for me too. Not for teaching or anything school related.

Today was my first day of ballet!!!!!

Yep, and I had a blast! I danced for 13 years, from 1st grade through my sophomore year of college, but that was almost 13 years ago. So when we found a studio we liked for AJ to begin ballet again, I asked about adult classes. I don't have a picture to share of me (that would be scary), but I wanted to tell everyone about it. Ok, on to the kids...

The morning of DJ's first day of school it was POURING down rain, so I had to take a picture inside. It took several tries before we got a real smile.
By the afternoon it was sunny and warm. I captured this shot of DJ and his teacher in the carpool line after school. DJ is tall for his age, but Mrs. Leonard is supermodel tall.

And as I mentioned, today was AJ's first day of Pre-K. The schools around here have this weird staggered enrollment thing to get kids acclimated, so she went today, she'll go again Thursday, then she'll go M, W, F of next week, and finally be full-time the week after that.
Here she is with her teacher, Miss Kim. Btw, I didn't even cry!
Sweet wishes!

Monday, July 5, 2010

I got to stamp too!

Michael and I have begun our Total Money Makeover. Dave Ramsey is our hero. If you are not familiar with Dave or his program, I highly encourage you to check out his website, radio show, and/or books. We have a completely new outlook on life thanks to the common sense he got us to listen to.

Anyway, we've been trying to pass our newly discovered good habits on to our kids, and one suggestion he makes is to put their money in a jar so that they can see it adding up as they save to buy something. So we've been meaning to get jars for them, and of course a plain old jar just would NOT do.
For DJ's this was the first time I had used my Scallop Square bigz die, my So Many Stars builder wheel, or the star stamp that coordinates with our Extra-Large Star Punch (although the stamp set is retired), so I got to play with some new toys.
For AJ's I had the Whisper White oval frame already cut out, so I added the Rich Razzleberry center. Then over on Splitcoaststampers, today's Technique Lover's Challenge was to make a flower embellishment (Paper Posies was the title). I viewed several tutorials before settling on this flower to make.

It is super simple. You take the Scallop Circle punch and punch out 8 scalloped circles. If you desire, sponge your edges [it is important to do this step NOW...ask me how I know]. Then you crumple each one up individually. If you use DSP, then your fine; however, if you're making your flower with cardstock, spritz it with water before crumpling so that it is easier to work with. Next you uncrumple your circles, and stack them all together. Use the paper piercer to punch a hole through all 8 layers and attach with a small brad. Then starting with the top flower, scrunch it together around the brad, continue scrunching each layer until they are all scrunched together in the center. Finally fluff the layers out to your desired shape. Voila! A gorgeous handmade paper flower. (If you still have questions, leave me a comment, and I'll find a video tutorial to link.)
I actually started my paper flower making today with a new daisy for AJ's headband. A red, white, and blue daisy simply would not go with her pink gingham top. I used two of each size flower for this one. More petals and a sturdier embellishment to work with.
I actually stamped a card for my grandmother's birthday too, but I'll save that for another day.

Sweet wishes!

Let the celebration continue...

So tonight we finished off our sparklers. After having so much fun with the "fireworks" setting on my camera last night, I decided to give it a try with our sparklers tonight. It worked!
Here's AJ making circles.
DJ doing squiggles.
Me making a star.
Michael doing his initials (super cool!).
And finally me, again, drawing a heart.

Sweet wishes!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

It's Independence Day

...Let freedom ring; let the white dove sing. Let the whole world know that today is the day of reckoning. Let the weak be strong; let the right be wrong. Roll the stone away. Let the guilty pay; it's Independence Day. ~Martina Mcbride

Hope your 4th of July was a great one. Ours was. Here are my kids outside playing with sparklers.
Even my big kid.
All in their red, white and blue.
Okay, so all day I've wanted to post a holiday-appropriate project, and when we got changed out of our VBS t-shirts (we had our program during church this morning) and put a plain white headband in AJ's newly cut hair--which I cut myself!--I had to add this little flower made with the Daisies #2 bigz die and a corduroy brad. Now that was the perfect accessory for her adorable hair cut.
We finished off the night by going to see the fireworks after the Greeneville Astros' ball game. We didn't make it to the game this year, but we found the perfect place to catch the post game show.
Here's one I took with the "fireworks" setting on my camera. Go figure. Very different effect, but very cool.
When we got home we did our own "grand finale."
Sweet wishes!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I had a plan

I had blog entries lined up for about a week while we were away at camp. I took my computer along and had all my pictures conveniently organized in folders, so all I had to do was upload the pics, write a brief explanation, and post. But I was at camp, and we were at a new location, and the group I was with was responsible for planning worship each day, and we didn’t worship in the same place twice, and I had an allergic reaction to something and spent one whole day doped up on Benadryl, and we had over three times as many youth in our group as we did last year, which was awesome, and I just didn’t get around to posting.

Other than the allergic reaction, I had an aboslutely AMAZING week at AFFIRM, which is where we were June 18-25. We got back home Saturday, June 26, had a Christian rock concert on Sunday, June 27, at the church's community center, and had VBS this past Monday-yesterday. It's been crazy.

Anyway, when I was looking for a picture of AJ in her cast from last fall for my post a few weeks ago, ***NO, this is NOT a new picture!*** I came across this one, where you can sort of see where we used some of Stampin' Up!'s rub-ons to decorate the cast. She loved it. Hey, if you've got a broken arm, you might as well make the best of it. But please, AJ, NO MORE!!!!!

So there you have it. No stamping, but still SU! related.

Sweet wishes!

ps. The 2010-2011 Idea Book & Catalog was released on Thursday. I recently received a bunch of new goodies, so when I have a moment to catch my breath...and stamp...I'll try to post some new stuff for you. I've also got to get an open house planned, so exciting things are coming soon. (I hope!)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

We Saw Rock City!

So the day after we went to Ruby Falls and saw the cool rock formations under ground, we decided to venture out to Rock City and see the cool rock formations above ground. Again, I took tons of pictures but limited myself to 10 for this post.

We got to meet Rocky before we even went in the gate.
Let me just say that posing for pictures is A LOT easier when you're not in a group of 40 people passing through some tiny caverns hundreds of feet below the earth's surface. So we posed for several today!
More posing.
And more.
Oh here, this one isn't posed. It was the first of a few VERY NARROW passage ways.
Uh, back to posing. I think this is my favorite, though.
Here, we're crossing the stone bridge. Jo and I decided that this was good enough, and we let everyone else try out the swinging bridge without us.
Another narrow path. This one's called Fat Man Squeeze...I promise. Zoom in on that sign above DJ's head, and see for yourself.
Another pose before entering Fairyland Caverns.
And one final pose for the day.
So now when we see those "SEE ROCK CITY" signs we just say, "We did!"

Sweet wishes!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I suppose it's about time

...for another Stampin' Up! post. I realize that some of you who may still happen to stop by my blog from time to time aren't all that interested in seeing pictures of my kids or hearing about our summer adventures. And I'm okay with that. So for those of you who are my stamping friends and customers, I thought you'd like to see some stamping projects.

Back in February and March I hosted a series of Stamp-A-Stack (SAS) classes. My main goal was to introduce Stampin' Up! to my co-workers at school. However, I had two other ladies (non-co-workers) attend the class when I originally scheduled it. Then I rescheduled it, and had three other non-co-workers attend and one more pay for the class who couldn't make it. Finally, I offered a day-time make-up date for one of my co-workers, and she was able to attend that alone. Plus, after those three classes I owed two other customers a class, but we couldn't coordinate our schedules, so I made up a few samples for them and gave them all the supplies so they could complete the cards at their convenience. All that to say, I don't think any of the classes had exactly the same 5 cards, but these are the ones I have pictures of.
I CASEd this first card from coriefoster. You can see her original card here. I actually used Basic Black where she had used Chocolate Chip, but this was my favorite card of all.
carole_k was the original creator of the card above. Click here to see her version.
This was my second favorite card. I CASEd Debbie's card, but I didn't have enough Pretty In Pink CS for all my classes, so half way through I switched to an Old Olive, Orchid Opulence & Rich Razzelberry combo, which was just as beautiful, but I don't have a picture of that version.
This Dusty Durango & Soft Suede card was inspired by Dawn Olchefske's card, which you can see here. Since I had ribbon on all my previous cards, I decided to use another stamp from the set instead of the Soft Suede ribbon.
The supplies used for these cards were left over from a workshop I had done in the fall. The original cards used the A Rose Is a Rose stamp set. And while I'm sure I CASEd someone, I don't have access to the file to find out exactly who; however, here is a card by ruthyoung that may have been my inspiration.

Sweet wishes!

Monday, June 14, 2010

First Camp Adventure

Last week DJ went off to camp for the first time. He spent the week at Lutheridge, which is a Lutheran camp just outside of Asheville, NC. He had an awesome time. Below is a picture of him with his counselor, Vincent.
Michael was also at the camp, but was an adult leader for a Campfirmation group of confirmation-aged kids (mostly 6th-8th graders), and had little interaction with DJ throughout the week.

AJ and I took them over last Sunday, and went back to pick them up on Saturday. In the time between we had what DJ called, "girl branding time." I explained to him that it was "girl bonding time." Since AJ had witnessed this exchange, she proceeded to ask, EVERY TIME WE SWITCHED ACTIVITIES, "Is this girl bonding time?" "Is this girl bonding time?" "Is this girl bonding time?" Sadly, I don't have any pictures of our girl bonding time, but it included playing with playdough, painting pictures, attending VBS at a Lutheran church in town, going for walks, playing on the playground, playing games, and the most girly thing of all, painting our finger and toenails. After all, what's girl bonding time without a good manicure and pedicure?!?

Sweet wishes!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ruby Falls

Last weekend, June 3-6, the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) had their annual Synod Assembly in Chattanooga, TN. Since my step-dad is a pastor, he and my mom were there too. We also met up with some friends from seminary.
My friend Julie homeschools her girls, J0, BB, & JB, and they've been studying cave formations, so we just had to go to Ruby Falls. So Friday afternoon, while the dads were in meetings and it was raining outside, the kids and moms ventured into the depths of Lookout Mountain for an amazing adventure.
Now before you go any further, I must issue the disclaimer that I took 94 pictures while we were there, and I've narrowed it down to 10 for this post. You should be proud.
But aren't they amazing? If you've never been to Ruby Falls, it is a must see. Of course, if you are claustrophobic it is not recommended, but it is so awesome. And perfect for a hot, rainy, or cold day because the caverns are always a constant cool temperature.
There are tons of "named" formations that look like certain things like steak and potatoes, bacon, a fish, the rear end of a donkey, etc. The one below is the mirror pool (I think).
And here's the culmination of the tour: the falls themselves.
My mom took this pic of the kids and I walking around the path behind the falls. I wish I had taken the camera with me and gotten a pic from behind looking straight up at the falls coming down, but we only had the one camera, and I didn't realize how cool the other shot would have been until I was back there.
On the way to the falls our guides were rushing us through like a heard of cattle, but on the way out there was more space between the individual groups in our tour, and I had the kids pose for pictures a few times.
Here are all 5 kids over 260 feet under ground.
And here they are again several stories above ground.
Sweet wishes!