Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reflections 2011: The Prompts 1-7

These are the journaling prompts I'll be using on my blog in the first week of December 2011. I'll post the next seven prompts on December 7. Each set will continue to be posted on Wednesday nights until December 21, when I'll post the last set of prompts.

1. What word best represents the year 2011? Is it a word you chose in advance, like the “One Little Word” project, or did the word “find” you during this past year? Why does this word represent this past year, and what did you learn in relationship to the word during 2011?

2. At the end of 2012, which word would you like to be able to say represented the year for you? Why do you want that word to represent your year? What actions can you take to make that happen?

3. Which 2011 accomplishment are you most proud of? Why are you proud of that accomplishment? Can you build upon that accomplishment in 2012? If so, how will you do so?

4. Did you go anywhere new in 2011? Where was it - a new grocery store, a vacation spot, a new class, a new website? Describe this new place.

5. Where do you want to go in 2012? Is it a vacation spot, a new direction in your work or hobby, a new restaurant, or something else? Describe where you want to go. Tell us why you want to go there. How could you - or your creative life - benefit from going somewhere new?

6. What held you back from achieving your goals in 2011? How can you make sure it doesn’t stop you in 2012?

7. What are your goals for 2012? What are your obligations in 2012? How can you mesh the two of these together?

No Reverb 11 :(

I received an email last night saying that there would be no Reverb this year. I'm bit heartbroken about this. I loved the prompts last year! I was really looking forward to the prompts as a way of reflecting on this past year. Gwen Bell suggested in her email that we choose our own prompts and post them to our blogs. I feel like I am up for this challenge. I'm going to work on a list of prompts for my personal use over the next few days. I'm hoping to post the prompts here in segments so that if others choose to play along, they may join me without having to wait for a daily prompt to be posted or emailed to them.

I'm going to try to post the first seven prompts later this evening. I hope you'll join along!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Thanksgiving - 11.24.11

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

This week, I'm thankful for:

  • Nyquil & Dayquil & Claritin & hot apple cider: Monday night I ended up with a fever that turned into a bit of a chest cold. I called in sick for the first time as a sub on Tuesday. I'm feeling much better today, but Trevor and I scaled back our Thanksgiving plans significantly.
  • Goodwill: I found a dress in my favorite color today. It was my size. And the previous owner wrote her initials inside -- LV!!! For just under $6, I now have a wonderful new dress that I KNOW was meant for me. :)
  • Publix: We picked up our Thanksgiving ingredients today, and I LOVED how efficient the trip was!
  • Trevor: For taking care of me this week while I was miserable.
Trevor and I will be spending the day alone, as we have for the past two years. We had planned to visit my family this year, but when I fell ill, the idea of traveling as non-revenue standbys became out of the question. My family totally understands, and I'm really okay with this decision. We have really enjoyed taking the day for ourselves, sharing a bottle of wine, and a simple dinner each year that we've lived in Georgia. Two years ago, we bought a precooked turkey breast from BJ's Wholesale and made dinner at our apartment. Last year, we had turkey taco salad at a hotel room in Columbus, Georgia during Trevor's long overnight. This year, we bought a package of turkey cutlets, and we've got stuffing, salad, pumpkin muffin mix, and a bottle of mead. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

A lesson in economical card making

{Supplies: My scrap stash, a sheet of Wausau printer cardstock, Studio 18 gems from the Michael's dollar section, rub-ons from a Making Memories pack, Colorbox Ink, Stamps from Studio Calico, and twine from Crate & Barrel}

This card was inspired by one from Britta Swiderski. Please check her out if you haven't already done so!

This summer, my friend Becca asked me to become her cardmaker. You see, she said she had probably used every single dollar card at the grocery store/Wal-Mart/Target, and our Hallmark just closed. There's one in Peachtree City, but it isn't worth the trip over there just for one or two cards, you know? So she asked me what I could make for a dollar. This card is the result of that. I dove into my scrap pile and pulled out a few coordinating scraps. I knew I wanted to go with the red, black, and white color scheme because I have something like a thousand yards (no kidding) of this baker's twine I bought at Crate and Barrel for $8 last year at Christmas time. 

Whenever I'm stuck for a card design, I go to Britta is a student at the University of Minnesota and a brilliant, prolific paper crafter. I'm always amazed at how often she has new and unique cards to post on her blog. So, when I needed an idea for what to do with these leftover pieces, I turned to Britta, and she did not disappoint me! Her post inspired me to pullout the stamp set that came in my January 2011 Studio Calico Add-on Kit, Mary Jane (and let's be honest here, this particular stamp set is what put me over the edge to become a subscriber). I used my Martha Stewart Score Board to score the lines on the black piece, which was done to help me place the rub-on AND to add some interest to a card that is otherwise void of patterns. I skipped inking the edges because I didn't have a good color to mix into this, and I switched out Britta's pearls for some blue gems to add a little color. 

Have you ever made a card based on a design someone else created? Or have you ever had to do a card on a budget? Let me know in the comments section!

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Kyndra's birthday

{Supplies: PP by Making Memories, Butterfly die by ProvoCraft/Cuttlebug, Cardstock by DCWV, Ink by Stampabilities, Gems by Studio 18, and Stamp by Studio G}

Another quick card share. I've been trying to use up paper pads to make room for new stuff, so when I realized the old DCWV stack that I had bought in college matched this Making Memories stack so well, I combined the two make a couple sets of birthday cards. I made several of these, but this one went to my friend Kyndra on her 40th birthday in August. This card is proof that you really don't need a lot to make a quick and simple card that turns out lovely. 

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

{Supplies: Scraps, Stamp by Studio Calico, Gems by Studio 18, Chipboard Letter by Making Memories, Rub-on by American Crafts, Ink by Stampabilities, Embossing Folder by ProvoCraft/Cuttlebug and die by QuicKutz}

Just a quick share of a card I made this summer for our friends Ryan and Katherine Wermes' third wedding anniversary. The W actually fell off prior to me putting this card in the mail, so I need to figure out a better way to attach it, since the Tombox Mono Adhesive (wet, dual tip model) didn't do the trick. This was a really quick card that stemmed out of me just playing with the stamp and the scraps I had around from some other projects. I really love the cathedral circle row that came in the July Studio Calico kit. I have always loved that design, and I hope someday I might be able to convince my mom to do a baby quilt using some bright tangerine, aqua, yellow, and white fabrics when we decide to have or adopt a baby. 

Today is the day my little sister arrives to visit for the first time! She has only previously been to Atlanta for layovers while traveling to Dothan, Alabama to see her friend Katie, who now lives in Savannah. She and her friend Erica were able to spend one night with us at our apartment about nine months after we moved to Newnan, but on the way back, we didn't get to see her. This time, though, we're going to have a busy six days seeing the sights, getting crafty, and just spending time together for the first time in quite awhile. 

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday - 11.10.11 Edition

{Image courtesy of Elle's Studio}
1. Air travel
2. Shutterfly
3. Sunshine
4. Cookies
5. Vegetables
6. Fruit
7. All of our wonderful couple friends
8. Our community group
9. My discipleship group
10. All of our other wonderful friends

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

All Things Grow with Love

{Supplies: Stamps: Autumn Leaves, Patterned Paper, Cardstock, and Button: American Crafts, Thread: Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread, Ink: Stampabilities}

This is another one of those cards that came out of the tremendous joy of hearing great news. Our friends Dave and Erin found out in August that they are expecting their first child in April! When Trevor called to tell me the news, tears started streaming down my face. I knew I wanted to send them a congratulatory card, but I wasn't sure what to do until I started picking through my stamps. I found the little baby feet that were part of a value box I bought at Ross last year, and I knew they were perfect. A little more searching and I saw "all things grow with love," and I realized it was a perfect sentiment for a "congratulations on your pregnancy" card. I used scraps from an American Crafts page kit that I bought at Hobby Lobby almost two years ago now. I couldn't believe how quickly and beautifully this card came together. 

Last night, we found out that Dave and Erin's baby will be a girl. I can't wait to start working on projects for their Little Miss! I told Dave he would be in all kinds of trouble, and he said, "I'm not in trouble. She just can't date until she's 35!" And yep, there were tears streaming down my face again when Dave told me the news on the phone last night. Since Trevor's brother and my sister aren't married yet, it will be awhile before they and their fiances give us nieces or nephews, so this baby girl is sort of our practice run at being an aunt and uncle! :)
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Welcome Home Card

{Supplies: Making Memories Dilly Dally line stamps, stickers, paper, and diecut paper; ink by Colorbox, 5x7 card blank from Hobby Lobby}

When we got married, a number of really kind people took tons of pictures of our wedding and mailed them to us shortly after the ceremony. I was so touched by this, and many of those photos are my favorites from our wedding day. Since then, I've done the same for nearly every wedding I've been to. I do my best to find out the honeymoon plans and time the photo files to arrive when the newlyweds return home. People are always thrilled to get the photos, and they love going through them. I made this card to go with the photos I took at Mike and Brittany Whiddon's wedding on April 2, 2011. I made it to match their wedding colors: pink and green, just like Trevor's and my wedding!
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PS: If you live in the US and are eligible to do so, GO VOTE! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Country Living Fair 2011

Trevor and I went to the opening day of the 2011 Country Living Fair at Stone Mountain. It was fabulous! We took care of birthday gifts for our moms, got some fun ideas for decorating our house, and made some fabulous finds at this booth:

If you don't recognize her, that would be Jenni Bowlin, with me, in front of her booth. She and her husband were so nice! Trevor and I both picked up goodies at her booth -- I found some good stuff for scrapping and Trevor got a set of three vintage space shuttle prints for his LEGO room. We learned from talking to Jenni that she'd purchased a huge set and gave some to her nephew before reselling the rest. It's kind of fun to think that the stuff in Trevor's LEGO room/airplane room is part of a set that is inspiring a sense of wonder in some little boy's room right now! :)

We also got a cute picture, courtesy of a random couple, in front of this year's rendition of the pile of squash.  An edited version, missing the hipster with the stroller, appears on our 2011 Holiday cards -- I made Thanksgiving cards this year. I posted a preview here a couple days ago. :)

I love, love the Country Living Fair! If you missed it this year, check it out next year, or take a trip to Austin for their fair in April!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Shimelle's Scrapbook Starting Points: The Original One :)

{Supplies: Patterned paper: October Afternoon, Cardstock: Paper Studio (kraft) and Bazzill, Letters: Basic Grey (red) and Sassafras, Buttons: My Mind's Eye Lost & Found, Canvas: Punky Sprouts, Journaling pen: American Crafts}

The origin of this page is from Shimelle's first Scrapbook Starting Point, posted in August. I wanted to try to finish up my January Studio Calico kit, which didn't work -- I ended up pulling out other papers from the OA line I loved so much in the kit. I did use the letters, embellishments, and scraps from the kit, though. I chose my photos by pulling out a few photo sets and choosing the ones that went best with this. Trevor made the final call for me -- it was between this set and a set of photos from our trip to New Hampshire in July.

Have a happy Sunday!

PS: Trevor is wearing the same shirt as in this photo today. It's a "Bovine University" shirt, in reference to an episode of the "The Simpsons." :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

30 Blows!

Cheesy. Funny. Cheap.

These are the adjectives I'd use to describe this project, in that order. Just after we got the invite to Justin's 30th Birthday Party, I stumbled upon some projects like this on Pinterest. I knew I wanted to do something like this, but I was instructed by Jennifer, Justin's wife, to keep it at or under $5.

So we started at Dollar Tree, where I found a foam ring and crepe paper in our university's colors. We picked up the blow pops at Wal-Mart for $5, but since we only used half the bag, we counted that at $2.50. The skewers and white cardstock were already at home, and I can't count the 97 cent bottle of paint because that will be used on other projects, too. Since I only used half of each package of crepe paper, I'm going to say this project cost us $4.50 to make.

If you're interested in making one of your own, it's pretty simple. I wrapped the whole green floral foam ring with one full roll of white crepe paper. Then, I did a candy cane wrap of green over it. I took one of the unpainted skewers and poked 33 holes around the ring, as the suckers aren't strong enough to go through all the crepe and foam by themselves. I then stuck in the suckers. I painted the three skewers by jabbing them through the bottom of an upside down styrofoam bowl, and let dry. I used MS Office Word 2010 to type the sentiments and punched it out with a 2 inch circle punch. I also punched two plain circles from the scraps of that sheet. I used a pair of Glubers for the frills of crepe paper, finger pleating as I wrapped around. I pressed the skewers into the back side of the Glubers, and stuck down the plain circles. On the front side of the crepe, I used American Crafts This to That dot roller to attach the sentiments. The flag at the back was done simply by sticking some adhesive to the crepe paper, rolling the skewer into it, and trimming the ends to look pretty.

Cheesy. Funny. Cheap.

I can't wait to give this to Justin tonight! :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Stationery card

Falling For Fall Fall Greeting
Click here and see Shutterfly's one-of-a-kind selection of announcements.
View the entire collection of cards.

YCU! Masculine Cards Blog Hop!

Welcome to the "Young Crafters Unite! Masculine Cards Blog Hop!" You should be arriving here from Kristy's blog. If you're just stumbling upon the blog hop, I'd encourage you to check out Young Crafters Unite and start from the beginning. There are some fabulous prizes to be won from the hop sponsors, Simon Says Stamp and Paper Smooches!

{Supplies: June 2011 Studio Calico kit (Paper Moon), EK Success airplane punch, Heidi Swapp for Advantus chipboard star, American Crafts Thickers}

This card is based on the latest card sketch from Sketch Support. I modified it by switching out the flowers with the circle, airplane, and star, and I skipped the stitching. Also, I trimmed my papers to a single point instead of the double-point on the sketch.

I chose my papers and embellishments because they were masculine but still fun. I immediately turned to the Paper Moon kit from Studio Calico because it was my favorite kit this year for masculine pages. It's literally in pieces -- there are no full sheets left in the kit. It's always sad to see the end of a kit, but I'm happy because it means I've got the challenge of turning the remaining bits into cards!

The card is intended for our friend Justin, who turns 30 this weekend. He's a pilot, hence the little airplane! He and his wife went to college with Trevor, and Justin ended up being hired at Trevor's airline a month after Trevor. Justin and Jennifer ended up living in the same little Atlanta suburb as us, so we've grown to be good friends with the two of them over the past year. I've got one more little project planned for Justin's birthday, but since it isn't ready yet, I'll probably be sharing that tomorrow. Be sure to check back then -- I promise it will blow you away! ;)

Here's links to a few more masculine cards I've done:

The next stop on the blog is Jessica Yoder-Jones. Happy hopping!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Thursdays - 11.3.11

{Image Courtesy of Elle's Studio}

Last year, Elle's Studio ran a feature on their blog during November called "Thankful Thursdays." I decided I want to continue it this year throughout November because gratitude is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. I'm huge on showing gratitude, and yet, I'm still extremely touched when people show me gratitude for what I've done. I'd like to use this space each week to show gratitude for the people, places, and things I'd be lost without. My plan had been to write down one thing each day in November and blog it on Thursdays, but I realized that would mean only three things today, and seven things every other week this month, with a few things after Thanksgiving that wouldn't get blogged at all. So, it's going to be a random list each week influenced by what I'm writing down daily on my notepad.

Here's this week's list:

1. Antibiotics - Trevor has an ear blockage, which meant a trip to the doctor, a course of antibiotics, and a sick call to work this week. I'm grateful that the antibiotics work so quickly to make him feel better when this happens. Due to his job as a pilot and all the altitude changes, this happens about three or four times a year.

2. My family - My mom, my dad, and my sister are some of the funniest people I've ever met. Maybe I just think that because our senses of humor are obviously derived from one another, but they are awesome. My sister will be visiting me in Georgia in just over a week. It will be her first real visit here -- she was here for about 12 hours nearly two years ago on her way to Alabama for spring break with a friend whose husband was stationed there in the Army. It's been almost 6 months since I've seen my family, so I'm extremely excited to have her here.

3. Publix - Fresh produce, delicious bread, lots of $5 off coupons, a generous coupon policy for customers, and good customer service in general. It's my favorite place to shop. I'd be lying if I didn't say that the proximity to Publix was also a factor in choosing our house. We're less than five minutes away from the closest Publix, which is great for the nights when we forget one little thing that we need for the meal we've already started cooking!

4. Papercrafting - I love that I have this creative outlet. Comparatively speaking, it's a cheap hobby. Yes, the fancy tools and huge stamp packs can be pricey, but all you need is about $20 to get the basic tools and you can create beautiful stuff rather inexpensively.

5. Elle's Studio - The beautiful tags, the quick shipping, and all the lovely freebies that end up in my order each time I place one -- I'm grateful for having such a great company to purchase craft supplies from.

6. Teachers who request me on SubFinder - It's a huge vote of confidence in my abilities, it guarantees me a day of pay, and it takes off the pressure to find a sub job for that day. I'm so grateful for these people!

7. Mrs. Harkey -- a sub coordinator at one of my schools who has never hesitated to call me, tell me how great I am, and suggest me for long-term sub positions. What an awesome lady!

December Daily 2011: Possible Albums

Left to Right: Martha Stewart Crafts binder kit, We R Memory Keepers 8.5x11 Leather Binder, We R Memory Keepers 8x8 postbound linen album, American Crafts 12x12 linen binder, Chatterbox Inc. suede postbound 8x8 album, American Crafts 6x12 corduroy album

I've decided to do a December Daily for 2011. I did one in 2009, and this year feels like the right time to try it again. We've got a new house, we might actually get to see both families for the holidays this year, we've got church activities related to the holidays, and I've got lots of plans for decorating and making handmade gifts. This just seems like the right year to do my second December Daily album.

My previous DD was in an 8x8 American Crafts red linen binder. I did more of a traditional layout each day, using almost exclusively Elle's Studio products with Bazzill Cardstock I purchased specifically to match Elle's 4x4 Christmas papers. I'm not sure that's what I want to do this year, though, so I'm looking for more flexibility than I had before. I'd like to experiment with different sizes of prints and page protectors.

Money is tight for us this year, so I vowed to use almost exclusively things from my stash. Over the past few years, I've gotten quite the stash of mini albums and larger albums. I've pulled a few to consider for my DD this year. I think I know which one I want to use, but I'm still not sure, so that's why I'm blogging about these today.

The pros of the Martha Stewart Crafts binder are that is is alterable, it is a small size, meaning I could do full page photos easily, and it comes with some stickers and embellishments that could work with the DD. The cons are the bright red, which doesn't really match my Christmas products, and that it is a very narrow binder, limiting how much I could include.

The pros of the remaining binders are that they are easy to open and add to out of sequence, and offer larger canvases for telling my stories. I know that I can add a variety of page protectors to this style of album, giving me a lot of freedom in how I tell my stories. The problem is that they might be too large for this project. Also, the bright red binder doesn't quite match up with the other products I'll be using.

The green linen postbound album has been in my stash for a long time. It has a wide binding, leaving me plenty of room for telling these stories, and it has reinforced corners, making it durable. However, it is still a postbound album, making adding things difficult. I also worry that this might have too much space for me to add to as well. Meanwhile, the small red postbound album might be too thin, restricting how much I can add to it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

OLW: 2 months to go!


That was my One Little Word for 2011. Trevor and I agreed on  that one at this time last year. We wanted out of that apartment so badly, and we knew we needed to move into a place of our own. We made sacrifices (like the cable television services and the twice a month trips to Panera Bread Co.). We scaled back on celebrations. We found ourselves in our dream house. The house definitely didn't make life perfect, and it certainly has brought with it a whole new set of problems. We love our house, but there are definitely some challenges we weren't ready for, like a tree falling down six months after we moved in!

There's still so much that I didn't accomplish related to this year's word, but I'm hoping to change that over these next two months. Now is a perfect time to start exercising, reading the books I've got piled up, and moving towards getting my Georgia teaching certificate. I know I can read easily, as I've got plenty of time when I substitute teach. It's the working out and getting the teaching certificate that are the problem. It's hard for me to spend the money on those things right now, especially because getting my certificate means taking a class 45 minutes away from where we live -- that means investing a lot of my time and money, both of which are short right now.

How are you doing on your One Little Word goals?