BlogHer Life Well Lived: Getting Happy

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

bows,boxes,fotolia,gifts,special occasions,patterned,red ribbons,surprises,wrapped
Hi there!  BlogHer asked me to write a post giving my best tips for surviving the holiday season of parties, celebrations, and family get-togethers. Well, this is something that I've been thinking about a lot lately, like I'm sure we all are.  This is the first Christmas I will be getting ready for with both of my children in school all day.  Honestly, I thought that I would have all of my holiday shopping done before Halloween since I thought I would have all kinds of free time.  Well, that didn't happen.  

This is going to be my strategy to survive this holiday season.  Get things done early! I'm going to write down all of the upcoming events with a sub-list of things that need to be done or bought to make that event successful.  I don't want to be running to the store the night before because I forgot something.

I addition to this I also have a spreadsheet of gifts to buy.  This also includes a budget, what I plan to buy and what I've already bought.  This includes gifts for neighbors, teachers, coaches, etc.  Last year I did something crazy and decided that I wasn't going to give anyone a gift card.  I'm going to try my best to do that again this year.  I think people really like opening gifts rather than a gift card.

I went grocery shopping this morning and really stocked up on pantry staples.  We don't live super close to a grocery store and it's really a waste of time to run to the store to get one thing, but I do it all the time. This is just an example of utilizing time and so you don't waste it later.

The reason I'm getting things done early is so that I'm not rushing around like a chicken with it's head cut off trying to get everything done in time.  I'm also going to be doing some online shopping to save gas and aggravation of crowds.

When you have everything under control, you are not worrying about what's coming next.  You can enjoy the moment and be present with your family and friends, and that's really such a great present to yourself.  

Have a great day!


Clear & Simple Stamps: APP Sneak Peek

Hello!  Just a quick note, I have a card featured on the Clear & Simple Stamps App for the iPhone.  For more info about the App and how to get it, click here.

See you shortly.  I have another post in the works!


A {Welcome Baby} Card...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hello!  I have just one more release card to share with you using Trendy Tags and Taglines from Clear & Simple Stamps.  This card really shows the versatility of these sets. I cut two small tags and stamped them with a tag outline stamp from Trendy Tags.  On one of the tags I stamped "baby" and on the other I stamped the bunny (which I then paper pieced).

One of my favorite features of this card is the bunny tail.  I used Liquid Applique to make it poofy.  If you've never used Liquid Applique, it's really fun.  You dab a little where you need it and hit with a heat gun and BAM! instant dimension.
I filled in the bunny ears with a couple copic markers to make him look a little more finished.  

Have a great day!

{Welcome Baby}
Stamps: Trendy Tags, Taglines (Clear & Simple Stamps)
Card Stock: Kraft Like a Rockstar, I'm a Princess Pink, Coral Necklace, A Blanc Check (CSS)
Ink: Paint the Town Pink, Perfect Little Black Dress (CSS)
Accessories: Tags 1 Die (CSS), Liquid Applique, Foam Dimensionals, Swiss Dots Embossing Folder (Cuttlebug), Edge Distresser, Button, Floss
Copic Markers: R83, R85 


A {Happy Birthday, Dad} Card...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I used to never get crafty on the weekends (unless we have a girls craft night) but I've been finding myself needing last minute cards for the past three weekends.  Yesterday we celebrated my father-in-laws birthday and I only had girly looking cards in my stash.  That called for a special card to be made.  I quickly browsed my pinterest boards for a quick and easy card before I headed down to my studio.  I based my card off of this really cool card by Laura Bassen
This card would have been really fast and easy to make, except I had a caffeine buzz going and it was really hard to line up the alphabet stamps that spell "DAD" with an unsteady hand.  But I can't complain because I didn't have to make the coffee.

Have a great day!

{Happy Birthday, Dad}
Stamps: Essential Messages (Hero Arts), Alpha Varsity (Clear & Simple Stamps)
Card Stock: Kraft Like a Rockstar, Glamazon Green, Dare to Be a Diva Red, Orange You Fabulous, Your Style Blue Me Away (CSS)
Ink: Your Style Blue Me Away, Dish All the Dirt Brown (CSS)
Accessories: Clear Rhinestones
Copic Markers: B95, B99 


A {Sending You Christmas Joy} Card...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Friday!  I'm so glad it's Friday and also a date night with my hubby.  It's been a while since we've been out without the kids that wasn't a function for his work where I had to behave myself.  We are going out with the couple that went on the cruise with us.  We are no doubt going to have blast, if we can figure out exactly what we are going to do.  

Let's get on to talking about about my card shall we?  This is a very clean and simple card.  I've had the sentiment set for a while and keep forgetting to use it.  I did a little masking to the sentiment so I could do it in black and red ink.  I stamped the "string" with black ink and then stamped the lights on a separate piece of  white card stock in red and green.  I then stamped over the lights using versamark ink and then heat embossed the lights with clear embossing powder.  I cut out the lights leaving a little bit of a border and then applied them to the card using foam dimensionals.  It was little bit of work for such a simple  looking card.  Looks can be deceiving.

I hope you all have a fun and relaxing weekend!  

{Sending Christmas Joy & Cheer}
Stamps: Holiday Lights, Stylish Sentiments: Holiday (Papertrey Ink)
Card Stock: A Blanc Check (CSS)
Ink: Perfect Little Black Dress, Dare to Be a Diva Red, Glamazon Green (CSS)
Accessories: Foam Dimensionals, Clear Embossing Powder, Versamark


Blogher Book Club: Sea Change

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sea Change: A Novel
The newest Blogher Book Club selection is Sea Change by Jeremy Page.  I have to tell you this novel is like nothing I've read before.  The plot is really original and the book was captivating.  I'll give you the gist of the book but first wanted to mention that it deals with the death of a child, so that may be hard for some to read, some parts were quite emotional.

Judy and Guy were happily married with a little girl. When the little girl was four years old she died in an accident and Judy and Guy's marriage couldn't survive.  They separated two months after their daughter's death.  Grief stricken, Guy turns to the sea on a voyage to deal with his emotions.  On this journey he writes a diary of what their lives might have been like had the accident not happened, he was still with his wife and they were exploring America as a family.  It's not as idyllic as you would think, there are some dark moments.  Guy says that he is writing the diary to "write a future" for his daughter.  Throughout the novel you are split between his two lives, the one he is living and the one he is writing.  It's such a unique and honest look at grief and moving forward in life.

If you would like to know more about this book, check out the Blogher Book Club Page for Sea Changes.  Join the discussion of you've read this book.  We will be discussing this book for a while so you have time to read it and join in.  


A {Holly Jolly} Card...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hello!  I have a busy day so I made a simple card.  The photo turned out quite dark no matter what I did to edit it, but I think you get the gist.  I took a tag outline stamp and stamped it upside down to sort of look like a label.  For the ornaments I took a light bulb stamp and stamped that upside down as well and then used some black faux stitching for the string.

I cut a slit on both sides of the tag with an x-acto knife and threaded the baker's twine behind and that's pretty much it.

Have a great day!

{Holly Jolly}
Stamps: Trendy Tags (Clear & Simple Stamps), Holiday Lights (Papertrey Ink)
Card Stock: A Blanc Check (CSS)
Ink: Dare to Be a Diva Red, Perfect Little Black Dress (CSS)
Accessories: Corner Rounder Punch, Rhinestones, Black Pen


A Trendy {Let's Celebrate} Card...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hello!  Today I'm sharing one of my favorite cards I created for this month's Clear & Simple Stamps release.  I don't know about you, but I love hounds-tooth.  When I saw this set for the first time, I was so excited by the little hounds-tooth addition that was in the Trendy Tags set.  

If I had to pick a card that showed my style perfectly, I think this card would be up there.  It's clean and simple but graphic.  I also love black and white with a pop of color.
The champagne glasses were colored and outlined with copic markers.  So fun!

I also have a card featured on the Clear & Simple Stamps App for the iPhone (and similar devices) today.  It's a cute Thanksgiving card.  

Thank you so much for stopping by.  Have a great day!

{Let's Celebrate}
Stamps: Trendy Tags, Tag Lines (Clear & Simple Stamps)
Card Stock: A Blanc Check, Perfect Little Black Dress (CSS)
Ink: Perfect Little Black Dress (CSS)
Accessories: Foam Dimensionals, Tags 1 Die (CSS)
Copic Markers:  Y32, Y35, Y38, W1


A Shabby Chic {Thinking of You} Card...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Look at me!  I totally remembered how to make a card. I hadn't planned on taking so long in between posts, but sometimes the mojo or the motivation is just not there.  I took a trip to Michaels on Friday since they had a huge sale on yarn + a 25% off your entire purchase coupon.  Anyway, I stocked up on yarn and lingered in the papercrafting department trying to find something that tickled my fancy, but I really didn't find anything.  I don't know what it is about Michaels, but I can have a gift card and coupons and still leave empty handed.
So, I ended up buying two paper pads by K & Co.  They are totally not my style.  I'm not a shabby chic person really, but I just had to buy something.  I think this card turned out pretty good though.  I really love the layout and the rhinestones.
It's actually been a while since I've used patterned paper on any of my cards.  It was fun mixing and matching patterned again.

Have a great day!

{Thinking of You}
Stamps: Text Style, Polka Dot Basics, Iconic Images (Papertrey Ink)
Card Stock: Kraft Like a Rockstar, On the Catwalk Cream (CSS)
Patterned Paper: Ancestry (K & Co.)
Ink: Brown Leather Satchel, Dish All the Dirt Brown, Paint the Town Pink (CSS), Vintage Cream (PTI)
Accessories: Tags Die 1 (CSS), Sheer Cream Ribbon (Offray), Rhinestones, Foam Dimensionals, Circle Punch, Button, Glue Dots


Clear & Simple Stamps: Group Project

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hello!  Today I'm sharing my group design team project with you from Clear & Simple Stamps.  Now, since this months sets (Trendy Tags & Taglines) are all about tags, it's only appropriate that we share gift sets using these great tags!  Here's my gift set:
 I had some random boxes in all different shapes in my stash, but I unified them by covering them with pieces of patterned paper from the same paper pad.  I also used twine on all of the packages as well.

Here are some close-ups of the tags and packages.

I doubled up the tags using a coordinating paper peeking out from underneath the top tag.  Just a little something extra.  

Be sure to check out the rest of the design team and their amazing creations:

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Have a great day!

{Trendy Gift Set}
Stamps: Trendy Tags, Taglines (Clear & Simple Stamps)
Card Stock: A Clean Slate (CSS)
Patterned Paper: Be-Loved (My Mind's Eye)
Ink: Dare to Be a Diva Red, Glamazon Green (CSS)
Accessories: Tags 1 Dies (CSS), White Acrylic Accents (Ranger), Twine, Markers, Assorted Containers


A {Baby Shower} Card for Maylee...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Oh my!  I've been trying to get this posted for quite some time now and my computer was just not letting me.  I tend to leave a lot of pages open and then my computer comes to a crawl and then freezes.  Ugh, I hate when I have to press the power to shut it down, it just feels wrong.  

Anyway, now that I have my computer back to normal I can share this cute card I made for a baby shower over the weekend.  As you can probably tell they already have a name picked out-- Maylee, a combination of her grandmothers' middle names.  So adorable, I can't wait to meet her!  

I had so much fun making this card (well, it was fun after I tossed my first attempt).  I can't believe I used five stamp sets!  That might be a personal record for me.  I've seen a lot of the other Clear & Simple Stamps design team gals filling the bucket stamp with all kinds of things, so I thought I'd give it a try.  It does require a bit of masking though.  

Since I wasted so much time getting my computer to work, I'm going to stop chatting now.  If you have any questions about today's card, feel free to leave a comment.

Have a great day!

{A Gift For You...Maylee}
Stamps: Trendy Tags, Craft Room, Craft Room Bonus, Alpha Varsity, Holly Jolly (Clear & Simple Stamps)
Card Stock: Paint the Town Pink, Coral Necklace, A Blanc Check (CSS)
Ink: Perfect Little Black Dress (CSS)
Accessories: Foam Dimensionals, Rhinestone
Copic Markers: 0, W1, W5, B93, B95, R83, R85, Y38 


A {Thinking of You} Card...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hey guys!  Do you ever see a card that is so simply awesome that you just have to make it yourself?  You think you are making a card just like theirs but in the end it's just not as totally awesome as theirs?  Seriously, I like this card, but it's just not as awesome as Susan Raihala's card shown here.  Of course I changed it a tiny bit to fit what I had on hand.  It's funny that her card inspired me and she based her card off of someone that inspired her.  It's like an inspiration parade!

Anywho, I used some scraps from an older paper pad I had.  I used 5 different pieces of paper (maybe that was the problem, Susan only used 3).  My panel is popped up on foam dimensionals for a little added interest.  
My sentiment is off center and I used a bow instead of twine, those are the rest of the major differences between our cards.  

Do you ever CASE a card and it not turn out anything like the original?  I do that all the time, but I guess it doesn't matter as long as gets you inspired.

Have a great day!

PS.  This card is being sent to one of my "blog buddies".  Someone I've never met in person but I've been thinking about her and her family that are going through a difficult time.  This crazy blog world is something else.  Who would have thought that I would have formed so many meaningful connections with people that I've never met in person?  Certainly not me when I started this blog in 2008.
{Thinking of You}
Stamps: Thinking of You (Clear & Simple Stamps)
Card Stock: Kraft Like a Rockstar (CSS)
Patterned Paper: Indian Summer (Basic Grey)
Ink: Paint the Town Pink (CSS)
Accessories: Hemp Twine, Foam Dimensionals, Grosgrain Ribbon, Rhinestone Brad, Scallop Edge Punch (SU)


Clear & Simple Stamps: November Release

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hey everybody!  Hope you're not in a candy coma after a fun Halloween.  Today is the first day of November (already!) and that means new stamps from Clear & Simple Stamps!  You are going to love these coordinating sets and they are so timely.  Are you ready?  Here we go!
Aren't they fabulous!?  These sets work so well together and you can make tags and cards for ANY occasion.  I'll show you how throughout the month.

To make things even easier in your crafting escapades, Clear & Simple Stamps created coordinating dies for the Trendy Tags set.
Here's the first card I'm sharing for this release.  It's a baby card using one of the small tags stamp and die to create a banner.
I use one of the circle stamps from Trendy Tags and letters from another CSS stamps set (Alpha Varsity), and then punched them out with the a circle punch to create "BABY".   
Each tag is adhered to the card using foam dimensionals between each layer.  

You won't want to miss the creations from the Design Team:

I also have a card featured on the Clear & Simple Stamps App for the iPhone (and like devices).  It's such a CAS simple card, I love it!
Have a great day!

{Baby Congrats}
Stamps: Trendy Tags, Alpha Varsity (Clear & Simple Stamps)
Card StockKraft Like A RockstarYour Style Blue Me AwayDare to be a Diva Red (CSS)
InkYour Style Blue Me WayDare to be a Diva Red (CSS), White
Accessories: Small Tags 1 Die (CSS), Baker's Twine, Foam Dimensionals, Edge Distresser, Glue Dots

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