Monday, December 31, 2007

January Inspiration Challenge

Did you know that every month I post an "inspiration challenge" at

Well I do!! I would love to see you participate. Even if you are not a digi scrapper maybe this challenge will give you some ideas. Please do share them in the Kjoi gallery or send me a link to see what you have done! Note - Kjoi has a wonderful challenge prize vault and the person who does the most challenges receives some great product!

In honor of the NEW year, I thought this month's inspiration challenge could be one that makes us reflect on the New Year. There are a couple of "catches" to the challenge, however. One is that BLUE has to be the predominant color in the layout. (just because it blue and new rhyme - forgive my reasoning!)

Secondly, I would like to see you incorporate ONE of these many new year quotes that I found. Easy as pie, right?

Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to. ~Bill Vaughn

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. ~Bill Vaughan

Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits. ~Author Unknown

A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other. ~Author Unknown

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin

No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam. ~Charles Lamb

New Year's Day is every man's birthday. ~Charles Lamb

Never tell your resolution beforehand, or it's twice as onerous a duty. ~John Selden

Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. ~Hal Borland

I have a couple of ideas milling around in my head and hope to show you my layout real soon. Originally I had antoher layout I wanted to share with you, but I have decided to keep it under wraps. Yesterday I said I was not going to try out for Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame contest. 6 weeks to go - I need to start but NO time. Well, then I remembered I have been holding a couple back, and digital scrapbooking makes this more possible to accomplish in little time. After showing some friends my late night creation with a photo I took last night - it is going into the HOF contention pile...just in case I can pull this off by first part of February.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Holiday Invasion

Do you feel it? I sure do about now. I am so ready to reclaim our living room... take down the tree and Christmas village that adorns my grandmother's buffet. It might even be put away by now, but that our son is having a friend over and he wanted to sleep "under" the tree in sleeping bags. So that is what two ten year olds are doing now as I type this. (or, at least they better be sleeping!)

Our home is small and the living room gets a wee bit crowded. I bought a HUGE artificial tree about ten years ago. Back then, it was wonderful. Back then we had a love seat, small television cabinet, and little else for furniture. Nowadays, our living room sports a full size couch in lieu of the loveseat, my grandmother's old buffet, and a friends upright piano. Even without the tree it is a tight fit. We had hoped to purchase a new slimline tree at some after-Christmas day sale, but with our work schedules and the kids on Christmas break there has been no time to shop.

I had a hard time getting motivated to decorate this year. The over commercialism of Christmas just made me groan and frown at the entire holiday season. Seems hardly anyone remembers the real reason for the season. However, we do have younger children, and I was reminded by their enthusiasm that Christmas is really all about children...from the very first Christmas when God sent a little baby to carry the weight of the world, to the two beaming faces lit with excitement as they helped decorate the tree, and open gifts on Christmas morn.

At our son's request, I had set up the Christmas village. Little did I realize that it would soon be overrun by a platoon of dinasaurs, medieval battle equipment, and green and tan toy army soldiers. A few years ago I would have been annoyed to a certain degree, wanting MY Christmas village to look perfect. This year, when tampered with, I just took it in stride and began to shoot pictures. It seemed I may as well capture our son's tendency to take over the village on a scrapbook page. "Little Green Men" is a digital layout created with Susan Blanton's Christmas Cheer kit downloaded from

Something happened when I saw close ups of the Christmas village and its little soldier men. With the nativity in the background it made me think of Israel. It made me think of unrest and war torn villages. I think of our troops and all the loved ones separated by war this Christmas season. I think of all these things, pray for them, and find I am so very blessed, so very grateful to be living where I am.

Today I just want to bring a smile to your face by sharing "Little Green Men". Playing war games is all a part of growing up for little boys. If you have one, you may know what I mean. Enjoy the rest of your Christmas vacation, work less, and play more with your children. You will be glad you did.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Joy is what the Christmas season should be all about. Children are full of joy as they anticipate Christmas. Watching them, as I did my daughter as she danced in the hall after worsihp one Sunday, filled my heart with joy. As pastor had said that day, "each time we experience joy we have placed one foot into heaven."

Often, the Christmas season it is filled with stress – I know it has been for me these past several weeks. Working for a church can be especially difficult during this time of the year. My plate is extra full with holiday worship services, end of year reports, and the ever forthcoming monthly newsletter to do, which adds up to working more hours. I have the family “Christmas” to accomplish - ya know… purchase the gifts, wrap them, MAKE them, wrap them, send out the cards, maybe MAKE them – but I put up the white flag in this regard earlier in the week and made a digi card and sent it via email to many. The weeks before Christmas I am focused on making sure that my family and loved ones experience “joy” on Christmas, and I am so glad when Christmas arrives.

Praise God for His words in the bible. Through all of the Christmas hustle and bustle only He can offer a calming presence. Joy – the feeling God most wants us to experience. The joy He has planned for us is indescribable. It goes beyond the few moments of joy one has while opening a special gift. It goes beyond the feeling a parent has as they hold their newborn child for the first time.
We’ve been getting a descriptive of this joy recently as we are led to bible verses on Monday nights through the season of Advent.

Isaiah 35:1-2, for the Joy of the Redeemed, reads: “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God.”

Psalm 98 verse 4 paints a wonderful metaphor of the earth filled with joy when we experience God’s salvation: “Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music…”

1 Peter 1:8 "Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,"

The photo of my daughter dancing at church brings to mind this verse from 3 John 1:4 "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." Also the promise revealed to John in Rev. 21:5 "He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Oh what a glorious day that will be! Like the Monarchs we raise in the summer, transforming from caterpillar to glorious butterfly, we will be made NEW in heaven!

On Sunday our family traveled south for about an hour drive to the gathering on my side of the family. Roads were not good, and we considered turning back about half way there…but since we had made it that far we kept going. I did not want to miss Christmas with my family. As it turns out, we had an unplanned spending of the night as ice covered roads and there were white out conditions. For the first time in a couple of decades I slept under the same roof with 5 of my 6 siblings. The only difference was many of us had families with us. My sister’s home had to come up with sleeping arrangements for nineteen people! It was not a great night’s sleep for sure, but what was great was staying up late with my family for the first time in more than a decade, playing games, laughing, and talking. Despite the weather, we were all joyful.

As you gather with family, watch children open gifts, see the joy on their faces - may you experience the true joy of Christmas, which is the feeling God wants us to feel most of all. Not just at Christmas, but always. True joy can only come from having the love of Jesus in your heart. I pray that you know, or are able to find that joy as you seek Him, the Christ child, on Christmas morn. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Dear Santa...

Ah...the final days. Working for a church, I am so relieved the Christmas worship bulletins are "put to bed". I am way behind on all the end of the year stuff, and newsletter, etc. - but I am not going to think about it and have it ruin my Christmas. I am going to enjoy my four days off with family, and finish getting ready for Christmas.
I've been scrapping like crazy making gifts. Shopping is done, but nothing has been wrapped, but for the teacher's gifts which had to go out the door this morning. I've been up into the wee hours for weeks, so tomorrow morning - I am sleeping in - YEAH!
Last night our son wrote this letter for Santa - said it did not need to be mailed, but wanted to leave it by the tree. I thought it was pretty cute. Can you read through his mis spellings? Don't ya just love that last line - ah yes, the truth!!

I admit - we are not traditional when it comes to leaving Santa Xmas cookies and milk. Kyle has always had Santa's health in mind and figures all those cookies are not good for him. In reality, I think he is more concerned that the reindeer are treated as well. We have always left baby carrots and a water bottle near the tree for Santa. The way Kyle sees it, the reindeer like the carrots too, and the Vit. A will help Santa see in the dark so he doesn't trip over things. I love the way kids think!

Want to see some samples of what has been keeping me up these past few nights? I decided to make some bookmarks for co-workers, which blossomed into bookmarkers for teachers, child care providers, etc. For such small things - they are time consuming. Mostly because I really have to fiddle with the kerning, etc. on the Scriptina font to get it just so, and coordinating products and attemping to use scraps of PP or cardstock when possible...well, the minutes tick by! Even my husband commented on how much he likes of course I need to make him one as well. I am sure he doesn't read my blog so it is safe to say that.(LOL)

Maybe this little project will inspire you to get out your nature photos and create some inspirational bookmarkers for the readers on your giving list. In these last few days I wish you, and myself, as little stress possible as we juggle all on our to do list. 'Tis the season!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A winner and childhood memories

This comment posted on the first day:
>> dstandard said...
Beautiful ornament Rita!<<

Congratulations! Thank you everyone for your comments. I am still creating for Christmas and will be sharing on my blog as I accomplish things. The ornament shared today is for our daughter. An ABC ornament, of which I had to be sure to include pink, her favorite color. The 1/5" square block is from Michael's which I painted white. I cut patterned papers from KI Memories and Scenic Route, glued them on and distressed the edges with a dry brush. Sparkle mod podge adds some glitter, and used chipboard letters by Heidi Swapp. Snowflake rub ons were added here adn there.

Right now I have about half a dozen more ideas in my head for creating ornaments, but I seriously need to back can become addicting ! Focus. I have yet to write the annual holiday letter and I need to get that done and mailed out asap. I also have a few cards to make for neighbors and family. I cut back on my Christmas card making about two years ago and opted for a letter instead.

I should have posted the container in which I had placed all the names for drawing. (I printed all the comments, cut them out and our 5 year did the honors). A few years ago my mother sent me the platic nativity set pieces I had grown up with. I wanted something not breakable that the kids could replay the Christmas story with. She sent them in an old King Edward cigar box. My father used to smoke these when I was little. I was pretty excited over an old cigar box. It holds memories of cherry scented tobacco and my dad sitting in his old recliner reading and smoking a cigar. I am glad he stopped smoking years ago, and he has asthma now, unfortunately. BUT what would you do with that cigar box?
It is not exactly a show piece. I thought about covering it with PP, but then I would lose the memory the image of that box conjures up. My only thought is to make a mini album with pictures of my dad, and use that cigar box as the container to hold it in. Any other ideas? My mind is a churning with this thought. Hmmm....maybe some Tim Holtz distress ink....
I would love to hear what you have done with old items from your childhood! Please offer a link if you have one to a project that brings back childhood memories.

NOW - off to get ready - I am taking THE photographer at my friend's wedding today and a might bit nervous! (LOL)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Flakey Friday!

You know the drill by now. Paint your chipboard shape white, use mod podge as adhesive and coat that baby with sparkle glitter! Today I will just show some other options and ideas for finishing off the centers of your chipboard shapes.

Rudolph with your nose so bright! Bright red gems really capture the glow of the Christmas tree lights and adorn the tips of this snowflake. A silver medallion snowflake (my Target find) takes center stage and is secured with a Making Memories red gem brad.

Brilliant Blues! The turquoise Stickles combined with deep blue gems make this ornament stand out. It is simple, but the colors pack quite a punch of brilliance. The guys in my family are really lovin' this one.

Pink Splash! Get our your snowflake punches (we all have those, don't we? I have snowflake punches and stamps and whatever else - I have always loved snowflakes!) I used iridescent pink paper from The Paper Company to take center stage on this flake, making it a wonderful gift for the pink lover on your gift giving list.

Purple Passion. Do you have it? I am surprised by the number of friends I have that love purple, and this snowflake is for the purple lover on your list. The faux flake covered circle chipboard shape really creates an impact as a backdrop for the snowflake shape. Purple gems and highlights are sure to delight!

Today at the Scrapbook Playground you can find instructions on how to recyle old cards and textured paint chips to make this ornament. I call this ornament "Love Came Down". Not only does God send down snowflakes to delight us on the tips of our tongues and turn the world into a blanket of white beauty, but He sent His only Son down to earth on that very first Christmas. A babe born of humble beginnings, who was sent to save us all from sin and offer Himself as a love sacrifice. The next time you feel a snowflake fall gently on your face, think of it as a kiss from God, and a reminder of how much He loves you, that He sent His love down in the form of Jesus, the Christ child.

Thanks for all your comments this week. A name will be drawn over the weekend (in between Christmas goings on and a wedding on Saturday of which I am the key photographer - YIKES!) - and I will post the winner here by midnight Sunday. Your ornament will be a surprise. It may be one you have seen, or something brand new.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Blue Christmas Without You!

Seriously, if you weren't visiting this blog I'd feel like, what's the point!? It is great to have everyone stop by, and I am still pondering which ornament will be RAK'd by week's end, or if I will be making something new. I still have more ornaments to make!

Everyone likes Prima flowers, right? Well, for the scrapbooker on your list, why not work one into an ornament? The beauty of snowflakes is that each one is unique and special, and today's ornament adds a touch of warm weather daisy to cold weather flakes.

Magistical Memories 4” snowflake shape
• Prima flower
• Perfect Pearls by Ranger Industries
• Sparkle Mod Podge
• Stickles by Ranger – Diamond
• Blue, fine glitter by Martha Stewart
• Gem Brad – Making Memories
• Acrylic Paint
• Ribbon

How To:
1. Paint chipboard white
2. for 2nd coat add white Perfect Pearls to paint and recover snowflake for shimmer
3. Use foam brush and paint on sparkle mod podge
4. Place glitter in a shallow dish and place ornament wet side down, pressing lightly
5. Shake off excess and return glitter to original container
6. Allow to dry completely
7. Punch hole on one branch to allow for hanger
8. Feed ribbon, or other, through and tie into a bow
9. Punch hole in center, and attach coordinating flower with gem brad
10. Use Stickles to add a tiny touch of bling to the flower petals

Today, in the DT Classroom at the Scrapbook Playground you can find instructions for this unique ornament featuring a tie-dye look. Take my word for it, it looks spectacular on the tree with lights dancing behind the Pageframe shape colored with Ranger Adirondack inks. Check out complete how to HERE.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

White Simplicity

Today's snowflake ornament is simple, and mimics a true snowflake, of which we saw many today. We had a snow/ice day, and although I thought I would find time to write up instructions for all my ornaments, it did not happen. BUT I did finish a few more that I look forward to sharing later on.

Simplicity lends itself to mass production if needed. Our 5 year old assisted with making a number of white snowflakes, and they will be used for school and Sunday School teachers. When you do not know a person well enough to know their color preference, white is always acceptable, and adding sparkle for Christmas mimics that which we see in nature.

• Magistical Memories 4” snowflake shape
• Silver snowflake medallion (Target -stationary aisle – by Garner Industries)
• Acrylic Paint
• Perfect Pearls by Ranger Industries
• Sparkle Mod Podge
• Crystal fine glitter by Glitterex Corp. (Michael’s)
• Silver wire ribbon - Offray

How To
1. Paint chipboard white
2. for 2nd coat add white Perfect Pearls to paint and recover snowflake for shimmer
3. Use foam brush and paint on mod podge
4. Place glitter in a shallow dish and place ornament wet side down, pressing lightly
5. Shake off excess and return glitter to original container
6. Allow to dry completely
7. Punch hole on one branch to allow for hanger
8. Feed ribbon, or other, through and tie into a bow
9. Add metal snowflake shape to center

The DT Classroom for Scrapbook Playground on Wednesday will feature this Pageframe ornament:

Monday, December 10, 2007

Have a pink Christmas!

Wishing everyone a very pink Christmas! Go beyond traditional Christmas colors - there are no rules! If a friend's favorite color is pink, make them a pink ornament! When it comes to snowflake ornaments - it is all about layering. Look for products that can be layered, but also keep in mind the style of the snowflake to ensure that overlapping parts will work well together. For the pink lady on your gift giving list - try making this memorable pink ornament. A great gift idea for someone battling breast cancer as a symbol of hope for their Christmas tree.


• Magistical Memories 4” snowflake shape
• Imaginisce foam snowflake sticker
• Perfect Pearls by Ranger Industries
• Sparkle Mod Podge
• Pink, fine glitter by Martha Stewart
• Gems – The Beadery
• Acrylic Paint
• Organdy Ribbon


1. Paint chipboard white
2. for 2nd coat add white Perfect Pearls to paint and recover snowflake for shimmer
3. Use foam brush and paint on mod podge
4. Place glitter in a shallow dish and place ornament wet side down, pressing lightly
5. Shake off excess and return glitter to original container
6. Allow to dry completely
7. Punch hole on one branch to allow for hanger
8. Feed ribbon, or other, through and tie into a bow
9. Add foam snowflake shape to center
10. Use KI Gloo to add gems on top of glittered snowflake – to center and also to each snowflake arm

Note: When punching hole for ribbon or hanger place near top edge to allow placing a gem below the hole punch. Without having a gem on the hanging branch, the design looks off balance, so consider hanging materials that are thin or will allow gems to be added.

Today, in the Scrapbook Playground classroom I am offering how to instructions for this festive ornament, featuring a Pageframes 3" circle and Magistical Memories snowflake shape.

Celebrating More Ornaments

Our Christmas tree was put up on Saturday, and both of our kids were excited to be a part of the decorating process. As each child took their ornaments from their personal storage bin, they asked questions. “Who was this from? Why did I get this ornament?” It was fun to retell the stories…Yes, I am trying to recreate those Hallmark commercials seen often this time of year.(LOL)

Finding commercially made ornaments, however, that tell a story or reflect something personal in our children’s lives has become more difficult, and a couple of years ago I decided to make them, if possible. So this week I am going to showcase a rainbow of ornaments – most of which I made this Sunday evening. These ornaments are not so much for my children as they are created as friendship gifts, and as gifts of appreciation for teachers,postal carriers and such.

The ornament above symbolizes my love for my husband, and features Basic Grey papers and a Lil' Davis scroll chipboard heart, which covers my own shape cut from chipboard.

I also want to point you in two directions – first, to Creating Keepsakes,
which has complete instructions for my snowflake ornament featured in the January 2008 issue (click back a page to see this one), and for my personal favorite – the flocked Pageframes snowflake shape layered with a Magistical Memories chipboard shape and Imaginesce foam snowflake sticker. This was my first time flocking, which is so velvety cool on a Pageframe, and there nothing like Ranger’s Stickles to add bling in record time.

Secondly, this week at the Scrapbook Playground I will be showcasing a new ornament each day with how to instructions. Other than Monday’s ornament, I do believe I have enough Pageframes shapes to make an ornament to feature each day. Pageframes is the December sponsor at the SBPG and I have had a lot of fun working with their products. Thank you Tara, for sending Pageframes our way! Stay tuned all week long for samples of what I have created using these fun, clear shapes.

For everyone who leaves a comment here this week, I will put your name in a drawing and at the end of the week, I will have one of the kids draw a name, and mail you out an ornament all ready to hang on your tree, or for you to give away (check another gift off your list). You may leave a comment each day (M-F) and have your name in the drawing up to 5 times. Good luck!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Pageframes Keepsake Ornaments

As a December sponsor for the Scrapbook Playground PageFrames sent the team some amazing shapes to play with. My package arrived over the weekend so I only had a few days to get creative for the first upload - and man, have I been having fun! I am going through my supplies to see what I might try that I hadn't thought about.

Every year I buy each of our children an ornament for the Christmas tree. The ornament is supposed to be somehow relavant to an activity or event in their life of that year....ya know, trying to recreate the Hallmark commercials all over again.
The only problem is that I usually have an idea for theme but often cannot find it. The past few years I have resorted to making my own ornaments.

Using Pageframe ornament shapes I created an ornament for each child in their favorite color.

Kyle's ornament is green, with 3D dots of red glitter created by topping a large blob of dimensional glaze with glitter. The green paint itself had sparkle mixed in, sponged on, and coated with sparkle mod podge. A silver Krylon paint pen was used around the edges, and a "FAITH" charm hangs from the ornament.

Abby's ornament is all about pink and bling. I applied a fairly thick coat of dimensional glaze to the entire ornament and then sprinkled a generous amount of micro bugle beads on top. I edged with Stickles. The charm that hangs from her ornament reads "HOPE".

This year we found a new church home. The kids are learning so much, growing in faith and learning about hope in the Lord and promise of heaven, that I want them always to remember 2007 as the year we made this big move in our lives.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Introducing Robo-Elf aka Magistical Memories

Now that our family has returned to relatively good health I am scrapping again! Having so much fun,too, playing with Pageframes I received for December's featured sponsor at the Scrapbook Playground, and still playing with Magistical Memories chipboard!
Lsst week I had a vision for one of the Magistical Memories robots - they are just adorable and designed by the talented Susan Rodriguez. Kyle loves green, so I wanted to make a green robot. Then I decided to create it in the spirit of Christmas, and outfitted him with a Santa style hat made from felt and polar fleece, and used some aluminum foil laying around to give him that metallic, robotic look. Lumiere paints and dimensional glaze also were a part of achieving his highly polished, top quality steel look. (LOL)

Rather than a layout I decided to make a Christmas card for the young man in my life. He is so into robots, Star Wars droids, and such. He will love it! And what is a robot without speaking robot? Do you know your binary code? I recall this being touched upon ever so little in school, but thanks to google I was able to find a language resource that allowed me to type a holiday greeting in robo-talk.

Want to see the rest of the card?

Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Dream Street Delivers Dreams!!

So it was a HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY mail day!! A substantail box arrived from Dream Street. I had to why did I get a box from Dream Street?

I wondered, did I put a comment in their blog, thus getting in their drawing? A possibility. Do they remember my admiring their products at CHA and drooling... Not likley. hmmmm

Then - my memory jogged. I rememberd my Be Still layout. I remembered the Scrap4Life contest I won in September. That must be it!!! AND WOW - was it worth the wait!! Sorry for the poor photo, but it gets dark early here in Wisconsin this time of year and flash glares off the packaging.

First, gotta say how much I adore Jack and wished I had had it for an AAM for DS that he and I worked on over thanksgiving weekend. I really wanted stars, and it is suprising how few mfrs. do stars. Or at least available at my LSS or in my stash. Did I say I love the Jack line? And then, in no particular order... I love love Forget-Me-Not (which is what I used for my winning layout), Bright and Sunny (now I am in the mood to scrap some beach photos from late summer!), beautiful Gracie, Sweet Confection - oh, how will I ever cut up that yummy large print design :dontknow: , alpha stickers and their chipboard album with pre-cut forget-me-not to fit - for an album in a flash. I feel like it is my birthday!!!!!
Here is my winning layout. May have shared it before but I still love it.

With all that has been going on here happy mail really lifts my spirits. BUT our daughter is finally feeling better and the last cast goes on on Wednesday. Then she can take a nice long bath and play as it will be waterproof. This morning the PC at work almost died. I got the blue window of death twice, but on the 3rd reboot Windows came to life. AMEN! I spent the my work day pretty much cleaning out files and backing up, at least everything critical for the CHristmas season through year's end.
Thank you so much to Jodie at Scrap-4-Life and the Dream Street gals for brightening my day!