Saturday, November 29, 2008

Time is running out! Hurry to enter!

November - wow, did it fly past! There are 24 hours, as I type this, to get your layout entry into the Magistical Memories contest for a chance to win fabulous chipboard shapes!

All you have to do is create a layout about a person and list 5 things about them for which you are grateful -AND use a piece of chipboard of course, but keep in mind it does not specify Magistical Memories brand if you don't have it.

Look at how fun chipboard is - even in seconds you can dress it up. I was on the PC much too late last night. I hopped over to Create My Keepsake and looked at a challenge sketch. Instantly inspired to meet the challenge, AND get a layout done for the MM contest. My layout turns out to be totally different from other projects I was considering doing for the contest - but I whipped it to together in 30 minutes or less. I knew my Piggy Tales stash had papers with the color blue of my hubby's sweatshirt, and I love their 2nd generation barndoor - which allows me to put a private, mushy message inside.

Ink is always a fast answer to dressing up raw chipboard. I used Brilliance Coffee Bean by Tsukineko, and as an after thought - swiped some Colorbox Fluid Chalk Ink on the chipboard for contrast, in the bright blue. It adds a lot more interest than had I left it with the brown colorization only.

Speaking of contests, there are 24 HOURS to vote at FocalPress
If I could secure 2nd place I will be in the drawing for the Nikon D60. Pretty pretty please help me out and vote. You do have to register at the site, and it seems you can vote more than once. Feel Free! Believe me, you would not be the only person doing that. Again, my photos are the bluebird, baby robin's in nest, and hands clutched in prayer -and they are found on page 21 of the entries in the contest. Have to say "pray" is my favorite in keeping with the LIFE them. That is my hand holding one of my dearest friends while she lay in a hospital bed. I wasn't sure she was going to make it - we prayed fervently! God is so faithful, heard our prayers, and a year later my friend is still here with us. Praise God!

See that? My friend Debby gave me a blog award today - she is so sweet! And I will add she "runs with big scissors" as one of the very special Fiskateer of the Year recipients. You can visit Debby's blog here:

And here are other blogs I totally love and owner with this award! If you are listed here please snag that award icon and post on your blog. Link back here and add 7 others you love to visit. FUN to share blog love!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Please vote - LIFE photo contest

I just found out about a photo contest - and learned the winners of contests held throughout the year, including the 1st and 2nd place WINNER OF THE NOVEMBER contest are eligible to win a NIKON D60!!! Since I have been saving for a couple of years now and it may yet be awhile - I would love to win this camera!!

There are only a FEW days left in November. If you would be so inclined to visit:
FocalPress Contest. However, it does not look like my submitted entries, shown below, are uploaded to the site yet.

And please vote for my photos (if you like them best) I would be so appreciative. I think you may have to register to vote. Note the cutie patootie in pink - obviously my biggest competition. She has lots of friends and family going to the site to vote. (LOL)

Coming in at the end of Nov. I have a very slim chance (with so many away from PCs for the weekend) of getting 150 votes, which is what i predict I would need to win. I am sure you can vote more than once, and probably entering three pics instead of 1-2 hurts my chances as I realize now it reduces my odds. Oh well... vote for your favorite. I am hoping my choices appeal to more than family and friends visiting the site.

The photos I entered are called "pray"-hands, "open wide"-baby robins and "sing a new song"-male bluebird.

Vote here if you have a moment - and do pick your favorite.
Thanks to all of you! I hope you had a very blessed Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Thankful List

Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends in the U.S. and happy blessed day to all! The bread maker is baking, potatoes are cooking and the turkey, cooked yesterday, is ready to be reheated in the roaster. Shortly family will arrive and we will play games until later today when we gather around the table to thank God for another year of providing for us.

I couldn't post without some sort of project for you, so chose a gift bag I created that features Fiskars "Leave it to Weaver" border punch. It would be a great way to offer homemade bread or preserves to someone you are truly thankful for.

I hope each of you take time today to reflect upon the blessings in your life. I thought I would share a bit of my thankful list – which will be added to The Blessing Box that we get out each year (published in Creating Keepsakes last November).

First, nothing brings me greater peace and joy than knowing for certain that I will be going to heaven when this earthly journey is over. Because Jesus died for me all of my sins are forgiven. I don’t need to contribute X amount of $ to a church, I don’t need to work laboriously to earn my way to heaven – GRACE IS A GIFT GIVEN FREELY BY GOD FOR ANYONE WHO ASKS JESUS INTO THEIR HEART.

So tops on my list, I am thankful for:
1. Jesus and the gift of everlasting life
2. My husband, who is an awesome man of God. He is cooking more and working so hard on our behalf, and is just the best dad ever.
3. Kyle, who will soon be taller than me - pitching in and cleaning the house and getting good grades.
4. Abigail who is the sunshine in my life- I love to laugh with her about silly things that girls laugh about.
5. Health – we have been so blessed with good health and as friends are struggling with theirs I appreciate mine all the more.
6. Convenieces – our dryer may not be working but it is repairable or replaceable. I am grateful not to have to wash clothes in a dirty river or stream.
7. Food – we will eat our fill this day, we don’t go hungry. Yet so many do, and it is a time to remember the food pantries and help them with needs so they can help others.
8. My new job – which is allowing us to pay the bills for the first time in 8 yrs. and removes a whole lot of strain from our household.
9. Family and friends – old and new, so many who bless and touch my life daily.
10. Freedom – we owe it all to those who are willing to fight to keep our country free from hostilities. Veterans from past, and soldiers of today, and their families, sacrifice so much. Because of the great leadership in our country we have not had another terrorist attach since 2001, and I am certain it is not from their lack of trying.

My list continued to grow as I typed…and it seems I have the journaling complete for yet another layout.

But I return to number one. Salvation is free to anyone who believes, and heaven will be more beautiful than I can begin to fathom. I am glad I am going there – not into the fiery pit, not coming back as a cockroach or horse or prince – but to a place where the sun never sets and our bodies are made new.

We give to the food pantries, donate clothing, and volunteer not because it is required for our salvation, but because we love the Lord want to please Him by serving and caring for His children all around the world. The Christmas shopping season is in full swing…consider spending less, giving more, loving all and worship fully. I will return to this thought as I talk about a service project our family is doing this advent season.

Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving – may your make memories to treasure and pages to preserve them.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

3 Cards = 3 Mfrs. + Magistical Memories

Perhaps one reason I love chipboard so much is because you can dress it up to go with any paper line. Today I would like to share 3 cards made for Round 2 of the Magisitcal Memories Design Team search.

The first card I made took me back to the days of paper dolls. Anyone reading this remember those? I didn’t play with paper dolls a lot but do remember having them. They certainly traveled well in the car. (LOL)

For this pretty wedding card I dressed up Magistical Memories Potty People with products by “fashion designer” Tim Holtz. The bride is wearing white dress with an underslip of white acrylic paint. The bodice sparkles with Frosted Lace Stickles, and the A-line skirt is created with layered tulle. The empire waist and veil feature pearl beads for added elegance. The groom wears a dazzling tux created with the latest hot new “fabric” – Black Diamond. Sakura glaze buttons adorn his shirt, and his velvet covered hat created by Doodlebug flocking gives him a distinguished appearance. Wouldn’t you like to marry him? (LOL)

The card is made complete with Heidi Grace Midnight Kisses floral, Bazzill Swiss Dot cardstock and a black strip of cardstock punched with Fiskars Threading Water punch, and coated with flocking. A Magistical Memories white scallop frame showcases the lovely couple to send greetings of congratulations to any bride and groom.

The second card also uses a Potty “guy” paired with a MM Window Tab. When I looked at the window tab thinking outside the box, the thought of Star Wars droid came to mind. But both guys in my household thought I was crazy if I could make a real “Storm Trooper” out of chipboard, so I opted for a robot so as not to have my creative efforts guffawed by the guys. The little robot man was a blast to create – and is perfect for an encouragement card for my almost teen son to celebrate his good grades in school.

Fun details include green gem stickers that make the robot look like he is plugged in, and a glass visor behind the helmet from a package of Heidi Grace glass tiles I have had for eons. Of course you may recognize the fabulously fun Cosmo Cricket Cogsmo line, which was the inspiration for the colors used in my robot. Pretty cool, huh? Now, if I could only get him to wash our dishes…

Isn't he cute?

The third card is an interactive fun piece featuring a Piggy Tales Sliding Barn Door and their line of Baa Baa Black Sheep papers. Working three nights a week now, I really miss the bedtime ritual with my daughter – which was always the favorite part of my day. She enjoys reading with her dad before bedtime, but I know misses me, too. Sometimes work is so busy I only get 30 seconds to talk with her on the phone and wish her goodnight while on my 2 minute dinner break. To help her know how much I love her, this little card can sit on her nightstand and she can slide the door each night to get a hug from her mom.

I know she will love the sparkles, texture of velvet puff paint (butterfly dots), and squishy gel frame. The chipboard pieces include a Nesting Heart and smallest of the Flutterby butterflies.

I hope you are inspired by these 3 cards and that there is an idea or two you can lift. I want to share that I had a super happy mail day yesterday! First, a package from The Paper Element - and inside was the gorgeous reds of Tinsel Town. A complete surprise as I did not know they were sending me that to work with. When I contacted Ann, the design team coordinator for TPE, apparently I was supposed to get sheets of cardstock stickers to go with the Blue Flannel and Hot Cocoa lines I am already working with (these were delayed from the original shipment). The labels must have been switched and Ann is so sweet - she is letting me keep Tinsel Town as an early Christmas gift. Abby's grandmother bought her a pretty red dress for Christmas - and I cannot wait to scrap her in it.

My second happy package came from Giboney Sparks of Piggy Tales - a thank you gift for my "Wise Guy" mini album being featured on their blog. She sent me a package of Bill Goats Gruff (somewhere I have pics of Kyle learning to ride his trike and bike not yet scrapped), and the awesome 2nd generation barn doors and piggy tails (no more springs from the copier machine staple cartridges -these will be so much easier to use for my interactive pop-up cards!)

I look forward to playing with my happy mail and sharing with you all the projects I make that will forever preserve the memories we make as we enjoy the journey. I hope you are making wonderful memories with your loved ones this Thanksgiving. Remember to not only count your blessings, but give praise to the One who gives them to you.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Looks Like Christmas!

We woke up to unexpected accumulation this morning – man were the kids excited! (Abby is shown before school - we scrambled for snowpants!) I was excited because I didn’t have to scrape the car off for work. Enjoyed some coffee while snapping lots of pics of the birds at the feeders, with beautiful boughs of snow covered bushes behind them. They’re so active not sure if my little camera captured any good photos yet, but it was fun to watch the birds!

Entries for Round 2 of the Magistical Memories Design Team contest are blowing my mind – there are many amazing designers vying for the positions. Check out their fabulous creations here – I admit I have never been so inspired to scraplift, and that is something I rarely ever do.

The PC is really acting up today – it has locked up more than I care to count so will type little and quickly show you a layout very appropriate for this snow covered day. Kyle totally enjoyed our record snowfall last year and never tired of shoveling. The Paper Element Blue Flannel is gorgeous for winter layouts. I made the tape measure on the PC and simply printed on white cardstock.

Ideas to Note:
• Snow covered frame effect achieved with multiple layers of paint (white, black and blue glaze) with weathered wood finish in between coats. Then lightly dry brushed with white acrylic, and smeared with white dimensional home d├ęcor paint, allowed to dry overnight. Once dry the frame was coated with sparkle mod podge, allowed to dry. And finally mod podge was placed on high points of dimensional paint only, sprinkled with fine glitter and allowed to dry.

• Snowflake chipboard shapes painted white, edged with chalk ink which was then smeared inward with fingertip (nub can be used), layered with punched snowflakes from patterned paper topped with sparkle, secured with silver glitter brad and pop-dotted
• Ruler is my own creation – marker indicates amount of snowfall

Snowflakes are one of my favorite shapes and Magistical Memories has a variety of styles if you really want to mix them up on a page. Great for ornaments, too!

Supplies for “Snow Happy”:
Patterned Paper: The Paper Element – Blue Flannel collection
Cardstock: Worldwin
Chipboard: Magistical Memories – Fancy Frame, Window Tab and Solid Snowflakes
Glitter Letter Stickers, rub-on letters, flat clip, glitter brads: Making Memories
Brads: American Crafts (black)
Snowflake Rub-ons: The Paper Element
Stamp: Inkadinkadoo (bracket)
Ink: Colorbox Fluid Chalk Ink
Pen: Marvy LePlume
Crackle Medium: DecoArt (Weathered Wood)
Dimensional Paint: Delta Texture Magic
Acrylic Paints: Liquitex, Making Memories Blue Glaze, Krylon Silver Metallic
Sparkle Medium: Sparkle Mod Podge and Martha Stewart Crystal Fine Glitter (white)

The Window Tabs work great as ribbon buckles in addition to showcasing a date or other text on a layout. They even make for great helmets – but I will show you that idea in the next post!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Frog Blog!!! Oh my - a house guest!

We found it!!! For about a month now I have been hearing a noise in the basement when I am creating in my space. No, not the skritch scratch of a mouse...more of a melodic sound...a croak if you will. Yep...I highly suspected we had a tree frog semi-hibernating in our basement for the winter!

One reason I suspected this is about five years ago we found a tree frog in our basement in February. Apparently the guy got indoors in the late fall to hibernate. I contacted my friend Tom Curro, DVM who had moved to Nebraska, and being the herp specialist that he is - he told us how to take care of it until he could be release in May.

Really, these things are small and if a mouse can get in a tree frog can get in. We had our house fairly opened up in October when we had a new roof put on. No doubt that is when the frog, and other critters got in. The others are gone now...but every once in a while I heard a strange noise and investigating by the drain - searching futilely. BUT today we prevailed! It's 1 a.m. Saturday. The guys just got home from playing laser tag, came to the basement to tell me how they did..and we heard it. Kyle found it - go figure. That kid has an eye for critters. He was under a plant pot base - right next to the drain. I was looking for something the size of a quarter, but this fella is nickel sized and blends RIGHT in with the floor.

Now the problem... I have lost touch with Dr. Tom - will have to google and see if I can contact him. Anyone want to hop over to the Omaha Zoo and see if he is still operating on lions? (LOL) We need to find someone as I have almost forgotten instructions on "tree frog care through winter". We brought in the aqaurium - he probably does not even need a 10 gallon. I remember Tom said paper toweling for flooring substrate. Guess we need to make a trip to the pet store to find those small baby crickets. It was funny - Kyle found the frog and a bug next to it was even bigger. (ewwww - I know, a bug!)

Our family now has a guest for the winter. If the aqarium goes on the buffet that means no place for the Christmas village...oh well. Maybe he doesn't even need a 10 gallon -afterall, isn't he supposed to be hibernating? Maybe we can just make him a little bed, with green satin sheets and canopy top - bet he would be a happy frogger!

Ok - for those of you expecting a layout with the Paper Element - you will now have to wait another day. That was my plan before our discovery was made! (LOL)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Have Gratitude? Win product!!

November is a month to reflect on our blessings and give thanksgiving. This week at The Paper Element I would like to offer you an inspirational challenge, simply use one of the quotes on the subject of gratitude offered below on a layout. The new "Hot Chocolate" line has wonderful warm colors for your fall photographs and Thanksgiving day pictures. And if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving where you are reading from - every day is a good day to count your blessings and scrap about it! Visit the Paper Element - have fun with the challenge and be sure to share a link in your comment!

"Nothing purchased can come close to the renewed sense of gratitude for having family and friends. " - Courtland Milloy

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." -John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name." -Hebrews 13:15

"Love wholeheartedly, be surprised, give thanks and praise… then you will discover the fullness of your life." - Brother David Steindl-Rast

I treated the chipboard Fancy Frame by drybrushing green paint, misting with Terra Cotta Glimmer Mist and stitching around edges. I printed out the journal strips, and traced over the word "Gratitude" with a glaze pen.

Who makes this awesone brad? Any idea? It came in my kit from The Paper Element and I am drooling heavily over this wonderful brad, and hope it comes in smaller sizes too!

The Magistical Memories scroll is definitely very cool! I dry brushed the chip with iron oxide paint, and misted heavily with Terra Cotta and Latte. I doodled some around the edges with a brown Zig Writer to add definition. Don't forget about the free shipping offer at Magistical Memories this month!

The Paper Element - check it out!

Hi all and welcome! Some of you already know that this month I am a guest designer for The Paper Element. Be sure to check out their blog for weekly challenges, and have a chance to win prizes! I love working with their papers, and I will be showing you much of what I have been doing these past 10 days with The Paper Element, as well as Magistical Memories chipboard. I will include design tips and ideas that I hope will inspire you, and maybe you will even give some a try. I love to play – and don’t mind getting ink stained hands and paint on my clothes – as long as I am wearing my “scrapping sweats”!

October Memories, the hybrid layout I am sharing today, was an idea I had in October, but frankly did not have time to scrap it until now. (If you understand the LO you will understand why October was so busy!) This layout stems from a TPE challenge to scrap your favorite part of Autumn. For me, it is the month of October. I love this month – and why not? It is the month I married my BFF, and it is the month in which God brought both of our miracles into the world. It is a month of celebration!

I created a photo collage in Photoshop (PS Elements works just as well.). To create my collage I scanned in the Magisitcal Memories Jumbo Fancy Frame, and saved it as a jpeg file. I opened a blank document in Photoshop, brought the bracket into a new layer, using the eraser tool to remove most of the white background. I then opened each photo file that I wanted to use, reduced it’s size, converted to sepia tone if desired, and then brought it into my new document, each on their own layer. Once the photos were positioned as I wanted, I used my Scrubble, my favorite “stamped look” font to stamp the appropriate date on the photo, i.e. our anniversary date, and that of each child’s birthday. I also added digital ribbon found in the FaithSisters “Autumn Harvest” collaboration kit by D. Ballance.

I simply googled for the calendar, downloaded the jpeg file and added in our special dates.

Chipboard Treatment:
The Magistical Memories Jumbo Frame (this could be my very favorite MM chipboard!)was painted brown, spritzed with two coats Latte colored Glimmer Mist, and stitched with a sewing machine. You can see a bit of that glimmer in the photo below, but as happens so often, photos do not do the treatment justice.

The chipboard White Oak Leaves were colored in maze pastel chalks (smeared around with my finger), then colored with gold Cra-pas oil crayon, and top coated with Diamond Glaze to give the look of fire glazed pottery. (photos do not do these leaves justice!) I have to say I was searching for my velvet puff paints when I came across my pastel chalks and Cra-pas from highschool art class - woot! woot!

Do you love the chipboard? Magistical Memories has a great special going on right now - purchase $25 in chipboard and get free shipping!! Check it out here!

The Paper Element was very generous with embellishments and such they sent along with their papers. THANKS TPE!! I am not positive on the orange, ric-rack ribbon but pretty sure it is Maya Road.

October Memories Supplies:
Cardstock: Core’dinations
Patterned Paper: The Paper Element “Hot Cocoa”
Chipboard Shapes: Magistical Memories (oak leaves and Jumbo Fancy frames)
Color Mediums: brown paint (frame)Folk Art, gold paint: Liquitex, pastel chalks and Cray-pas
Sparkle Medium: Glimmer Mist by Tattering Angels Latte
Dimensional Glaze: Diamond Glaze by Judikins
Buttons: American Crafts
Floss: DMC
Leaf Stamp: Close to My Heart
Ink: Brilliance Coffee Bean by Tsukineko, Colorbox Fluid Chalk Ink
Fabric Sticker: EK Success
Pen: Ranger Inkessentials White Opaque, EK Success Memory Writer
Ribbons: Maya Road, Basic Grey and digital ribbon from FaithSisters “Autumn Harvest” Collaboration kit, designer D. Ballance.
Thread: Wright & Co.
Font: Jayne Print
Software: Photoshop 6.0

Again, I am honored to be designing with the new Hot Chocolate and Blue Flannel lines from The Paper Element. AND I am thrilled to announce that the stores are now getting this paper - the Scrapbook Superstore in Madison just got their shipment. Woo hoo! I cannot wait to get my hands on the Safari Spots line! Stay tuned for a new layout tomorrow, and the chance to win a prize package from The Paper Element!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's the Little Things

I created this layout to remind me of my blessings. When I get to thinking how tired I am of picking up shoes, socks and doing laundry - I am reminded that at least I have shoes and socks to pick up and laundry to do. There are dishes to be washed because we have food to eat. And best of all, I have great family to love.

As we approach the holidays I am reminded of so many who don't have such tasks because they are without. As you shop for holiday gifts consider buying one less gift and making a donation to an area food pantry, an orphanage such as McKallie's Home, or even an adoption agency. I mention the latter because November is Adoption Awareness Month.

My family is made complete through adoption. There are so many children who only "want a family for Christmas", and I know there are want-to-be parents out there with an ache in their heart for a child. Money is a huge factor - and you can help lessen the debt often incurred with adoption. Consider making a contribution directly to a couple towards adoption expenses, or make a donation to an adoption agency so they can continue to offer their services. Many have funds to help families who wish to adopt.

Before I leave you today I want to share that my friend Lisa is offering a great class on making an explosion box. I love these boxes, some of you may remember the "Blessing Box" featured in Creating Keepsakes last year. When I make explosion boxes and give as gifts they always blow away the recipient. If you have not yet made one I encourage you to take Lisa's great class - your project will be a treasure for years to come!

Let your love explode this Christmas, and let it make a lasting impact in this world. Think about it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Holiday Gift Giving and Making

Long after the i-pods are broken and Wii games lose their interest, homemade gifts from the heart create lasting memories. That is my motto this year...thanks in part to Pastor Chris talking about the materialism of Christmas and what really matters. 20 years from now my teenage niece probably won't remember the iPod she got from whomever, but I bet she will still enjoy the memory album her aunt made for her. I am planning on a homemade Christmas, and daresay I don't want to start a countdown! I have the materials, made a little bit of progress, but today I want to share an idea that is wonderful for a mom, teacher, hostess, etc.

I shared a serving tray earlier in October for a teacher, but had to take it down due to it being picked up for publication. Yeah! Anyhow, the tray I am sharing today uses similar techniques, but this paper. Good luck finding it if you want it, I just posted the first site I googled. I know our store sold out and it cannot be reordered.

Since several of you asked for directions, I thought I would share on my blog. The trays are made by Creative Imaginations and are called the "Ian Serving Tray".

Tray – Creative Imaginations, approx. 14x14”
Patterned Paper: SEI Alpine, or patterned paper of choice
Paints: Making Memories: black, chocolate, evergreen
Sparkle Medium: Glimmer Mist in Latte
Ribbon: Offray Simply Sheer Asiana - brown
Matte finish: Mod Podge (see option below)
Adhesive: Scotch Quick Dry Tacky Glue (use foam brush to apply)
Tools: Foam or flat bristle paint brushes
Optional: 12x12 clear acrylic sheet by Bazzill

How To:

1. Prime wooden tray with base coat of black
2. Dry brush chocolate paint going with the grain of the wood (note: you do not have to repaint inside base of tray since it will be covered with patterned paper)
3. Dry brush coat of evergreen paint, ensuring that base colors show in places. Allow to dry completely.
4. Spritz all sides, in and out, with Glimmer Mist. The product will run – use a sponge brush to move it around to cover all areas.
5. Trim 12x12 patterned paper to fit tray bottom, approximately ¼” from side to side, top to bottom – make sure patterned paper lies flat in tray bottom before going to next step.
6. Brush light coat of Scotch Quick Dry Tacky adhesive onto inside base of tray, work quickly as glue dries fast – carefully position patterned paper and gently burnish to wood to ensure there are no wrinkles or bubbles. Allow for glue to completely dry – 15-20 min., checking for and working out any bubbles that occur. (Note: Matte finish mod podge may be used as an adhesive, note that the higher moisture content may cause more bubbles/wrinkles to be worked out.)
7. If desired apply a light coat of matte finish mod podge to inside of tray – this will allow the surface to be wiped with a damp cloth if there are spills. Another great alternative is to purchase a 12x12 clear sheet by Bazzill, trim to inside tray dimensions and lay over the top of the patterned paper.

1. Drill ¼” holes if desired to add ribbon for handles. A craft drill works well, but recommend using a clamp to keep tray in place while drilling. A dremel tool works real slick, and hubby drilling the holes for you even slicker. (LOL)
2. Fold sheer 2" wide ribbon in half to make a double layer approximately 15” long. Roll one end tightly and feed through hole from outside (use blunt end tool to assist, Making Memories tweezer tool was used to push ribbon through hole, and to pull it out the other side). Once through feed through second hole from inside, bring ribbon ends together and tie a knot to create a handle. Using the wide ribbon folded creates beautiful gathers and adds to the elegance.

Idea to Note:
Place a clear piece of 12x12 acrylic in the bottom of the tray to use while serving. (Skip the protective mod podge coating.)

If you find the apple paper the paints I used are:
1. base coat of black
2. Dry brush with Making Memories Nutmeg (be sure that some black is left showing)
3. Light dry brush with Making Memories ruby glaze (the glaze takes on different colors, found in the papers, when brushed over both black and nutmeg)

A note about dry brushing as many are not sure what this technique is. It is simply a matter of putting very little paint on your brush. My preferred brush is a flat brush, about 1" wide for a project as large as a tray. I put a little paint on my brush and dab off onto a plastic lid, and then use a sweeping stroke, going with the grain of the wood, over my base paints. You can also use a foam brush, but be aware they absorb paint more readily than a bristled brush. Crystle from Magistical Memories shared a great tip with me - don't throw away foam brushes that have become hardened. They work great for dry brushing!

I hope you enjoy this project and consider making homemade gifts this Christmas to create memories that are truly special and from the heart.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Free Chipboard Giveaway

Win Some BBQ Chipboard!!

How is every one doing? What a busy week it has been. Worked lots and went Xmas shopping 2x!! Well, actually got a great scratch off coupon at Kohl’s – so shopping consisted of buying the kids shoes for when they outgrow current, those unmentionables I won’t mention…and yes – some fun stuff, too. I was able to cross a couple of things off my Xmas shopping list.

I am thrilled to say I made it into round 2 of the Magistical Memories DT contest. The list consists of 27 talented ladies – and each of us have received (or soon will be) a package of the SAME chipboard to play with. The new DT will depend upon how creative we are with the same chipboard – should be a blast to see what everyone does with it. To win free chipboard just visit the MM blog and leave a comment.

I especially want to give a shout out to my ol’ friend Betsy (aka pharmgirl) who served with me on the Scraptalk DT a couple of years ago – it is great to see her name on the same MB again; and my sweet friend Kristi Bergin-Smith from the Playground – I would love to work with both of these gals again on the same DT- both are super talented.

I want to share a “Peek-A-Pumpkin” mini album I finished this week using Magistical Memories wire pumpkin book and “handful of leaves”.
Our son’s birthday is in October, and I had these portrait proofs sitting around from his age 2 session – fall themed with pumpkins and such. He was so gosh darn cute at 2 – decided to make a peek hole to glimpse of his face from the front cover by sliding the “peek-a-boo” interactive chipboard leaf.

How To:
1. Paint all pumpkin chipboard in orange, and mist generously with Terra Cotta Glimmer Mist, allow to dry.
2. Use pumpkin outline shape to trace shapes onto patterned paper and cut out, position peek hole as desired and punch with circle punch or cut with circle template
3. For backside of pumpkin outline trace shape onto cardstock or patterned paper, cut out and glue to cover paper piecing
4. Dry brush green paint onto leaves –mist lightly with Glimmer Mist and use copper paint pen to outline leaf shape, embellishing with copper glitter glue if desired; add sticker letters to read “peek”
5. Add photos, patterned paper and journaling to inside as desired
6. Use journal block stamp as base for front cover title, use 3D foam adhesive to set off the album cover
7. Use brad to attach sliding door leaf
8. Use copper wire to bind album together, adding 2nd leaf onto end of “copper vine”

Because I used lots of glimmer mist on my painted chipboard, it was too pretty to cover with PP. As you can see, I only used bits of My Mind's Eye papers to make tabs and for journaling.

I used one inspirational message which I had read a couple of years ago, and found again a few weeks ago at The story of a Christian being like a pumpkin was perfect inside this mini album.

Thought you might have a little pumpkin to scrap... hope this project inspires you. I love Mondays – my day off. I am looking forward to creating! Don’t forget to leave a comment on the Magistical Memories blog for a chance to win some chipboard!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Gratitude for Liberty

Today the kids at Kyle's elementary school gave an awesome performance called "Spirit of America" - celebrating the history of our country. Words in one of the last songs spoke to my heart "gratitude for liberty". How often we take that for granted. I hope everyone who reads this blog exercised their right to vote.

Even our kids had the chance to vote today in their school. We've discussed the issues with our children and they know which issues are most important to their parents. They notice the bashing commercials, and people-slamming mailers that filled our mailboxes these past months attacking another candidate. Kyle spoke wisely when he said it is too bad that election campaigns can make people "war" with one another. Tonight I took the kids to dinner at Culver's, where a gal was out picketing with her candidate of choice along the highway. Kyle saw the sign and wanted to leave, but I said, "No, we came here to eat and a difference of opinion on an election is not going to change our plans." I explained that the sidewalk is public property and in this country everyone has the right to voice their opinion.

We've been praying a lot for the candidates over the past few days, and for the result of this election. The journaling in my layout reads:
"No matter the outcome, we cast our vote and know the One who commands the stars and the heavens is surely in control - even of this election."
God, who created the heavens and the earth, who made every creature, mountain and ocean - surely one who creates such greatness is in control of something as small as this election. We've explained to our children that even if this election does not go as we voted and hoped for, the Father above is really in charge and will put the person in charge of this country that He needs for such a time as this.

In our nightly prayers, in addition to local concerns and that of family and friends, we lift up our nation, our leaders - present and future, world leaders, soldiers and their families. We pray for the unborn, children without families, and those suffering at the hands of corrupted government. AND we have been praying for the God-guided discernment of the American people as we select our next leaders, may God's will be done.

I hope you have voted...and remember that our next president is really a tool, if you will, and the Master Maker is going to use him for what needs to transpire as our earthly journey continues towards that end of times. Until that glorious day when the Lord returns - always remember to pray for our leaders, even if you did not vote for them. Your children are watching.

Digital Credits:
Backgrounds, torn paper template by Mique Walcott at Kjoi Studios. Photos by Kyle and his mom.:-)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Skull Album Winner!

Congratulations to "comment leaver" #27 on the "Please Help Me Choose" thread. Stephanie is the winner of the skull album! Please send me your addy so I can mail it out to you. Thanks to everyone for playing along.

In October Scenic Route had a challenge to use multiple collections on a layout. I hardly had any SR in my stash - when I get that paper I USE it - love it! I literally created a LO from scraps - the papers shown here were pretty much all the size you see - I just laid them down until it looked right to me, and added DCWV scalloped cardstock. The Pumpkin Vine Frame is by Magistical Memories. The frame is a perfect way to direct the eye to the focal point photo of your fall layouts.

I used inks on the frame, Making Memories Evergreen paint on the leaves and SR letters, and spritzed Glimmer Mist in Old Lace on all the chipboard, and also the larger flowers cut from the old SR Harvest Collection. Talk about stash, eh? I do believe the Harvest Collection was my introduction to Scenic Route and I have been in love with the company's papers and products ever since. I never stop loving the paper...even when it is not so new.

Not sure if this close up helps you see the Glimmer Mist - in the right light it just sparkles and shimmers. I spritzed GM on the flower petals of the cut out daisies as well, and put Stickles in the center. Trust me, this LO is gorgeous IRL - wish you could all see it in person. We received a large shipment of Glimmer Mist in the store last Friday and when I went to work again on Wednesday it was pretty much all gone. (LOL) It is perfect for dressing up your chipboard and papers. I am working on another gift giving project idea I hope to share with you soon!