Thursday, April 30, 2009

Magistical Memories Blog Hop - Starts Friday with Girl Friday!

Happy National Scrapbooking Day, and welcome to Magistical Memories first ever Blog Hop!

To join in on the fun begin at the Magistical Memories Blog, leave a comment and your email address, and you will be entered in a drawing to win The Magistical Memories Blog Hop Grand Prize, get a second entry when you subscribe to follow the Magistical blog.

Want to know what the grand prize is? Magistical Memories is giving away to one lucky winner an 8GB iPod Nano*!!! (*You will be given a choice of your top 3 colors, and they will do their best to accommodate your request! The iPod will be engraved with Magistical Memories.)

I admit – I am totally drooling over the bright green Nano! I don’t even own one of these things…how un-with it am I? (LOL) From the Magistical Memories blog you will start hopping. Each Design Team member will have a link to the next blog to hop to. Leave a comment WITH your email address at each DT member’s blog – which enters you into the DT member’s own personal giveaway! This will also give you yet another chance to win the Blog Hop Grand Prize!

Are we done giving you chances? Nope!! There's a fourth way to enter - create a layout using chipboard, and upload it to the Magistical Memories Blog Hop gallery by midnight on May 3. Any chipboard – so while you are all cropping like crazy this weekend, be sure to use chipboard and enter it here!

Last, but not least - be sure to check out the Magistical Memories store – with new releases made available just in time for NSD!! The new eye candy can be found here!
Of course, to make room for the new designs there are still many chipboard shapes available at RETIREMENT sale discounts - the markdowns are HUGE folks! Get yours now!

That's not all! Free for the entire month of May with every $25.00 order or more – look at these flowers – aren’t they bloomin' fun!?

Is this a fabulous Blog Hop or what!? Well, now it is time to reveal my project using Magistical Memories chipboard. “Bubbles” uses one of my favorite new lines by Cosmo Cricket, Girl Friday. The colors scream Springtime to me!

With all that is going on above I hesitate to show you detail photos, but I just love the gems, pearls, torn edges, sanded Ready-Set-Chip, and the sparkling monofilament thread – so here are some close-ups.

This is a hybrid layout – I added the journaling to my photo. As you can see, I utilized Photoshop and its layering features to desaturate the photo – it is not quite a black and white picture. I left the dress in 100% of its original color. The photo was taken Easter Sunday. Abby received some bubbles in her basket and could not wait to get outside to blow her first bubbles of the season.

To paint my chipboard scallop circle I used a new paint discovered at Michaels recently. Always trying to find something to use a coupon on, I often gravitate towards the paints and finishes to see what might be cool on chipboard. This time I came home with a 10 oz. jar of Decoart Elegant Finish Metallic Glaze in Renaissance Brown. There are a variety of colors - the jars are $6.99 at full price. It coats the chipboard so well – one coat coverage! I love the warmth of brown shimmer, and even took a fine paintbrush to add some strokes to the large flower.

Ready to hop? Or fly to the next blog? Visit my talented friend Laura
and check out her fabulous project!

Don't forget to comment below, including your email. ANYONE can win a $15 gift certificate to the Magistical Memories store. For those in the U.S. - I am RAK'ing fun Magistical Memories chipboard shapes and a Fiskars Fingertip Control Craft Kninfe - I love this tool for free-hand cutting designs from paper!

Thanks for hopping by, and enjoy your celebration of National Scrapbooking Day. Live to create, create to celebrate life!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spring Has Sprung! Inspiring Quotes! NSD!

We've had lots of rain recently. I thought it was supposed to rain all day today, but happily it did not!

Potholes...they are everywhere this time of year. Of course, we driving the vehicles cannot stand them, but if you are young, or young at heart - splashing in a deep pothole after a rain is lots of fun!

This is a digital layout created with Simple Girl Designs "Touch of Grunge", downloaded from Kjoi Studios. This is one of my favorite digi kits ever, which is strange since I hardly ever scrap with yellow - but it appeals to me MUCH. I think yellow has grown on me just in the past several months.

National Scrapbooking Day is coming up and there is SO MUCH going on. KJOI has a number of events lined up for the weekend. Be sure to check it out here! Also, I posted my May inspiration challenge quotes at Kjoi early - just in time for the myriad of on-line crops happening this weekend.

One night last week I shopped at Kohls', and spent probably 30 min. in the home decor dept., writing down quotes from wall decor that I totally loved. Gosh, sure am glad I had a pen on me, and a sales flyer to use for paper!
I hope you will find inspiration to scrap one of these quotes. Please come back and share a link if you use one of these quotes - I would love to see your work. And who knows...if a number of people participate a RAK will likely come out of it!

Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future. Faith is the courage to dance to it.

Laughter sparkles like a splash of water in sunlight.

A mother holds her children’s hand for a little while, and their hearts forever.

You have already had the teaser for the Magistical Memories blog hop, starting Friday morning! Be sure to come by over the weekend for a chance to win a prize, and enter into a grand prize drawing.

Enjoy the journey God has you on!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Exciting Things to Come!

National Scrapbooking Day is coming up this weekend - and to celebrate Magistical Memories is having a BLOG HOP!!! More details will be coming very soon, but I can tell you that one way to win chipboard will simply be to visit a few blogs.
There is another way to win, as well, and to give you a may want to have a layout ready to upload in the Blog Hop gallery at Magistical Memories - with chipboard of course!

It has been a very busy week in the Shimniok home. Work has been busy as well. In between branch office tasks, I really had to buckle down to finish my training course on Mutual Funds (what a bear - it was SO LONG!), and take the exam. I seriously just wanted a passing score on this longer cared about my over-achiever tendency to want to obtain a perfect score. I have not scored 100% on any exam so far. Mutual Funds was to be no different, as I did get one wrong - I was thrilled, however, as it was my highest score on any of my exams so far. I wanted to celebrate with a Sprecher's root beer...but by the time I got out of work it was a dash to the mother/daughter event at our church on Friday night.

Saturday was spent shopping for necessities (since I rarely get in to Madison now that I work full time), laundry, and attending a benefit concert for the children of McKallies Home of Future and Hope, an orphanage in Malawi, Africa.

I found a little time to continue working on an album for my niece. It's been raining most of the weekend, and was even muggy warm today. Not that I noticed while doing more laundry and such inside. Oh well...another week coming up of studies, administrative work, more studies, and an exam or two. Citywide garage sales start on Thursday...a little bike for Abby is high on our list. Hoping all the rain gets out of the system early in the week. Check back on Friday morning to learn how you can win Magistical Memories chipboard!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Magistical Memories Mobile

Looking for a baby gift idea? How about an adorable "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" mobile made with Magistical Memories chipboard shapes? This project was a hit when I had it hanging in the baby section at the LSS. I relayed how to instructions a number of times for customers interested in making their own.

Basically I covered Magistical Memories moon/star, and Sleepy Stars chipboard with patterned papers by My Mind's Eye and Basic Grey, and coated with sparkle Mod Podge. The hanger at the top uses a Tim Holtz round Fragment.
I cut the rectangle shape myself, and used glitter letter stickers. One side reads "Twinkle Twinkle" and the other " Little Star". This mobile is real cute, and no matter which way a slight breeze blows, it is pretty at any angle.

Here is a close up of my medallion. I actually made this when the Fragments were newly released, and was told the acrylic could be punched with a Croc-o-dile. Not so - it cracks. Stickles to the rescue - the sparkle medium covered my hairline fractures. If you wish to punch a hole in Fragments I highly recommend the Fiskars Craft Drill, and have since read Tim's blog where he recommended the same.

With spring in the air and new life starting to burst forth everywhere, I thought it was high time to share a cheerful project made for the new babies in your lives. Happy crafting as we journey together!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Green AGAIN with Jillibean Soup!

It's Earth Day! To celebrate I am RE-cycling a layout shared in March to RE-emphasize the importance of GOING GREEN.

I love a new manufacturer - Jillibean Soup. The designs are fun, colors are great, and I love the line of products offered on kraft - my favorite layout base. I wish my LSS carried ALL of their stuff, and am always hopeful more is coming in. I was really smitten with the bold combination of yellow, green, white and black in this particular line. Originally I thought the papers were perfect to scrap a photo of our resident "tree" frog...but the frog man cometh... Last week at our son's school a man gave a program on frogs and other reptiles. Kyle learned that our wintering frog is indeed a PEEPER. That explains why he looks different than the GREEN tree frog that resided with us about four winters ago.

I also found out that the man set five LIVE frogs upon Kyle's arm. What a thrill he must have felt, and you can only imagine my extreme disappointment that no photo came out of that moment. Apparently Kyle's teacher does not know how absolutely passionate I am about capturing such moments. I know my new, understanding boss would have let me leave work for a bit to run over to the school with my camera for the frog man. I also love FROGS...and the acronym "Fully Rely On God".

RE-ly on God for all things. He will give you strength, bring you through tough times, wipe your tears, and be your friend. In RE-turn for all the things He has done for us, we are asked to be "stewards of the earth". On this EARTH DAY, consider what you are doing to help sustain the environment, or better - improve upon its current state where you live.

My layout is about the challenges of trying to live a green lifestyle - doing what we can, but knowing we can always do more. RE-cently we plugged the "entertainment" appliances into a multi-strip, and before bed at night we shut off the main power to everything: TV, DVD player, digi box, VCR, etc. Shutting these items OFF when not in use is also a good practice, but I notice we still need to improve upon it. Years ago we switched to the flourescent bulbs in our lamps and ceiling fan light fixtures. We all could step up our efforts to being more green in living style - I for one need to really make a point to use my tote bags for grocery shopping.

I do want to share my husband's favorite GREEN recipe for window cleaning:
1.5 gallon water
1 bottle rubbing alcohol
2 t. Dawn dishsoap
1/2 c. white vinegar

He has used this streak free recipe for years. No, he doesn't use newspapers, but old t-shirts that have been cut up into rags, which we wash and RE-use over and over again for household cleaning.

If you give it some thought, I am sure we can all think of ONE way to improve our efforts in green-living. Have a wonderful and green EARTH DAY!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Yellow & Black - Making A Statement

It used to be that red and black was the combination that POPPED! Lately, however, I am seeing a SURGE in the color combination of black and yellow.

A Cherry On Top has a layout challenge this month where the color yellow must be predominant. When I saw an amazing kit, Touch of Grunge, at Kjoi Studios by Simple Girl Designs I knew it would be perfect for the challenge. As things go, however, I already finished a project for that particular challenge, so instead created a layout with the ACOT April digi-doable template challenge. The template challenges make it very easy to whip a layout together - pop, drop, group, and merge. I changed it up a bit, but pretty much stayed true to the template.

I love the woven ribbon design in the kit and "wove it" along the arrow. There are many beautifully detailed elements in Touch of Grunge. I wanted a touch of torn paper as well, and snagged Sande Krieger's torn paper edge, which I keep in my "often used embellishments" folder in my digital scrapbooking products folder.

The quote on the photo is one of the three I offered up for the Kjoi Studios "JOIful Inspiration Challenge" this month. Check it, and many of the monthly challenges out in the forums, where you can earn gift certificates and prizes.

Whatever you ardently desire, sincerely believe in, and enthusiastically act upon, must inevitably come to pass. Paul J. Meyer

Sounds like breakfast is ready - I was going to share about my upcoming day and how certain plans fell through...but more on that later! I hope you are inspired by my yellow and black layout, and check out Simple Girl Designs at Kjoi - I just discovered her the other night and LOVE her style!

Digi Kit: Touch of Grunge by Simple Girl Designs
Torn edge paper by Sande Krieger
Fonts: Black Jack, Black Widow (large letters with bevel and emboss and texture filter added), Florence HC

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Magistical Memories Retirement Sale!!

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Magistical Memories is having a retirement sale - with many of your favorites, and MINE!, chipboard shapes being offered at crazy rock bottom prices!! If you love the Cosmo Cricket Lil' Man collection the Magistical Memories bi-planes make the PERFECT embellishment. Shop here!

I created this frame
as a gift for my boss' birthday, after capturing a photo of his adorable one year old. I purposely kept the frame design simple and masculine so it would look professional in his office. Three simple embellishments give this frame a timeless look. It was funny when he opened it - he had no idea how I made the frame - thought I had painted the design...whoa - I am NOT that good! (LOL) Told him it was all patterned paper. (LOL)

The side view shows the dimension. To overlap the center button I used foam adhesive squares on the backside, and of course the same adhesive floats the bi-plane and "My Lil Man" card in mid-air.

My two favorite manufactuers, BoBunny and Cosmo Cricket, also happen to have new releases that marry perfectly - the RED Edgy album by BoB paired with Cosmo's Lil Man collection made creating this mini album for our new Godson as simple as can be!

The only challenge in creating this album was cutting a circle out of the Edgy Album front cover - it is SO thick!! I began with my trusty EK Success curvy circle cutter - to create my perfect outline. I then carefelly retraced that circle with my craft knife - several TIMES - it took some elbow grease, but I love the result! I used chalk ink to color the chipboard core in brown, and positioned the photo on the second album page to show through.

Each succeeding chipboard page has a simple band of patterned paper at the end - cut 1/4" wider than the previous. Because the red base color of the album packs a punch of color - I simply added brown photo mats inside the album. I only have the one photo of our new nephew, and my SIL can add favorite pictures as he grows. I labeled each photo mat with the size photo needed in pencil to make the process as easy as possible for a new mother. Of course I am including a tape runner, and an offer to finish the album if she wants to provide the photos later on. A brown marker can be used to write journaling and photo facts directly on the red background. This album, from start to finish, took me literally less than an hour to assemble. A tip on ribbons - to tone down the bright colors I ran my Coffee Bean ink pad across the orange and blue to distress them and tie them in beautifully with the Lil' Man papers. I do believe they are going to love this album! The colors are subtle enough to go with 4-color photos as well as black and whites. Now, of course, I have to gather up baby pictures of our own young man when he was a baby - and recreate this for myself as I totally LOVE IT!!

Remember the saddest and happiest days of the year are only three days apart! Enjoy your Resurrection Day celebration!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Be Glorified In Me

It began snowing this morning. When I first awoke I looked out the window right away, “good”, I thought, “the storm they had forecasted missed us!” But then it began just before 7 a.m. As much as I don’t like to have snow falling in April, the beauty all around us could not be denied as we drove to worship.

During the winter we tend to coop ourselves inside our homes, staying warm, drinking hot beverages, reading books. It’s an easy thing to do when the weather is frigidly cold and the wind takes your breath away. That is how I felt one past winter morning - I looked out at the glittering trees resulting from an ice storm, the shimmering blanket that covered the +12 inches of snow on the ground. How nice it was to be indoors…yet I knew that there were photographs to be captured of unparalleled beauty! I put on my gear, took a piece of cardboard with me that I had painted black, and was determined to capture some of God’s glory in a photograph through His creation of nature and it’s beauty. The photo in “Winter’s Glory” is one of a number of gorgeous winter photographs that make me revel in His wonder as my face stung and fingers were numbed while pressing the shutter release. I feel I have captured a glimpse of God’s glory – His shining radiance - found in the dead of winter.

Having just finished this layout, and hearing a message this morning on “Glory” – I cannot dismiss such a “coincidence” and feel God calling me to share from my note-taking, and my newest layout with all of you. It features a Magistical Memories Fancy Frame blanketed in white acrylic, texture paint and sparkle medium – creating a gorgeous frame for the photo. Papers used in this layout are from Basic Grey, Pink Paislee (Vintage Moon) and The Paper Element (Tinsel Town). A Pageframes snowflake shape is used as a backdrop for the journaling, edged in Ranger "Crsytal" Stickles and red gems by Kaiser Krafts. The silver glitter letters were colored with Ranger “Stream” alcohol ink, and the painted red chipboard letters were toned down with Latte Glimmer Mist by Tattering Angels.

There is a story in Exodus 33, versus 18-24: Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory." And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." Then the LORD said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen."

When Moses came down off that mountain the glory of God reflected upon his face. The people could not look upon him without fear, so he wore a veil to cover his face and hide the radiance that surrounded him. We are called to glorify God in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” I try to do that in my life, but I have many shortcomings. Because of my sins, how can I even be deemed worthy to glorify God, who is perfect in every way?

Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, we can see God’s glory reflected in one another by doing the work God has called us to do, as written in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

Look at what God does with a ball of dirt, called the moon… It shines its light down upon the earth. Many of us will stop and take notice, especially when it is full and “glorious”. We gaze at it, bring out the telescope, and have taken moonlit strolls while we were dating. The moon affects many people, from what I have read. Yet, in all its brilliance – it is simply a ball of dirt. The moon has no light source, it is merely reflecting off the sun.

How we live affects others. We can reflect off of God’s true Son and make an impact as we journey here on earth. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 reads: For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay (aka balls of dirt) to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

So if you are like me, looking out your window this morning and seeing the earth blanketed with freshly fallen snow, consider how God has wiped away the stains of your sin by giving His Son Jesus as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. We are not perfect, but He is. God deserves to be glorified, yet we are unworthy. No matter…because like the branch and shriveled up berries, made dazzling in a new blanket of winter’s glory, we are able to dazzle others with God’s glory when we live to serve Him. I pray that through my actions, in my daily living, God be glorified in me.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Egg Hunt Extravaganza at Kjoi!!!

Do you do digi, or would you like to? Now is the time to check out all the great deals at Kjoi Studios and hunt for prizes too! This is a great time to build your digital collection and try your hand at creating on the PC!

Each month at Kjoi I share quotes for the inspiration challenge. For the month of April I actually wrote these quotes down from a resource at work. I think I am going to keep a mini journal next to my PC should the quote of the day be I thought these were. Other than using a quote - no other rules this month!

Please post your layout in the Inspiration Challenge Gallery at Kjoi Studios and let me know here that you have played along. Come May a winner will be selected to win a $5 GC to the store.

"Whatever you ardently desire, sincerely believe in, and enthusiastically act upon, must inevitably come to pass."
- Paul J. Meyer

"Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny."
-- Author Unknown

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new land, but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

Great stuff, eh? And I just discovered a new inspirational quote site while trying to find an author for the unknown...which it still is. Can't wait to see what you create -share the links here as well so we can all see!

I know I have mentioned previously that brown is my favorite neutral. When I saw the Brown Eyed Ruth collection by Susan Blanton in the Kjoi Store I had to have it! Mix it up with other colors, or create a monotone layout as I did here - with a POP of color. I love the textures and dimension of Susan's designs. Enjoy!