Monday, December 6, 2010

Express The Moment - A Year In Review!

I have to confess, I am one of those crazy people who loves to fill out those Facebook and e-mail games about all of the things that you did or remember best about the last year. I love New Years!!! Last week, when I picked up my December Expressions kit from Kim over at Express the Moment I had a fun thought, why not think back about the year and revisit some of my favorite cards from the 2010 kits???

I also thought that this would be a really fun reference for those who are new to Express the Moment or who might want to snag one of these kits - I will also link to all of this years' posts so if you pick up any of those past kits you can see some ideas of what to do with them. I love to pick up extras of my favorite kits, and I am sure that this December kit is going to be one of those!! The December kit features papers and embellishments by Fancy Pants Design - it's a line called Christmas Magic and I love the rich browns, reds, greens and blues. There are TWO acrylic stamps inside, and an entire book of journaling papers that make great card liners! So here is what I accomplished with the December kit, and a little year in review for you too.

In January we used adorable bird paper and there was a video about things to do with chipboard.
Febuary kits were Valentines, and I made a video about making pocket cards.
March kits were full of flowery, butterfly goodness and there is a video for stair-step cards.
For April kits I made the slider card tutorial.
May's google-eyed birds still have me giggling. I loved that paper!
June kits were a favorite of mine, and I made a video about what to do with letter stickers. You don't want to miss this one!
July was worthy of two posts, here and here and featured the awesome Close to My Heart 3-paper 16-card trick. . . and lots of reference to Operation Write Home!
August cards were also done using this template and there are also instructions for making money holding pocket cards.
My September post includes a lot of fun altered projects like a pencil holder, a notebook and even some cute quick bookmarks. This one was also a very fun kit!
October was another fun month for cards and more altered projects, a boo  bucket, candy bar wrappers, tubes, candles and of course fun spooky cards!
November was fun with the owl paper. . . I think that Kim had a thing for birds this year, don't you? What a hoot!

I have had more fun this year being on the design team for ETM. . . I can't call it work because all I do is create cards. . . so a big thank-you to Kim for the awesome kits this year!!!  Now would be a great time to pick up some of those older kits or sign up for the kit club if you are interested. . . isn't a $15 a month kit a fantastic Christmas present to yourself? And just think of all of the leftovers you will have for making those cards for the troops  (go Operation Write Home!!!) . . . not all of the kits are glitter free, but all of them have something inside that can be used, and all of them are such a great value! Merry Christmas Express the Moment, and Happy New Year too! 

In 2011 I would like to make the following resolutions. . .to work on my software and editing so that I can provide even more fun video tutorials and templates and to organize things so that they are easier to find rather than searching the archives!!!
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Brew Holders Revisited - Cocoa Style!

One week later, we are still shovelling out from at least a foot of new fallen snow. I shouldn't complain, areas nearby got several feet, and "it doesn't show signs of stopping. . . . "  lalalala....

So maybe back in September you got to see the Brew Holder template that I originally designed for Halloween treats. . . I put apple cider in them and mentioned at the time that this would be fun to do for Christmas with hot cocoa instead. . . well this morning I gave it a go and other than a slight difference in size of the cocoa packets, it was a success!!

This packet was made on a red cardstock base and I used a couple of different Imaginisce patterned papers and my cricut cartridge called "Joys of the Season" to cut the mug and snowflake. As you can see I also added a candy cane (because candy cane in your cocoa is just YUM) and here are a few other tips and tricks if you want to try this yourself. Again, what a fun little inexpensive suprise for a friend, teacher or maybe a secret pal.

Tip number one is that cocoa packets (especially the kind with marshmellows) are thicker than the packets with cider. So make sure that you glue the envelope shut AFTER adding the packet inside. Also, use a lot of good quality high-tack glue or scrapbooking tape.

You could design the front of your brew packet with whatever kind of stamp, die cut or other embelishment that you want. . . I just loved the look of this mug. Other ideas for things to put inside include tea, cider or any other Christmas drinks. . . I'm not really sure what Wassail is, and I'm not sure that there is a drink mix for Hot Buttered Rum, but there you go. Have fun with it!

Here are links to the video and the template again if you would like to watch and print again.

To print the template - left click on the template above. It should open in a new window as a larger size. Right click on the template and select "print". If you need me to email this template to you, the best way to reach me is at nancykeller at myctmh dot com.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Award? For me??? :D

What a nice suprise! I just got this cute thing from Miss Adri over at Ma Cherie Creations. Isn't that the sweetest thing ever? It definitely brightened my blustery, snowed-in blizzardy day. :)

And now I will play along with the game that goes with the award. . .

These are the rules for accepting ...

When you accept the award, you must:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this.
2. Share 8 things about yourself.
3. Pay it forward to 8 bloggers that you have recently discovered
4. Contact those bloggers and tell them about their awards

I also follow a ton of blogs and I really enjoy surfing around to see what is out there. . . but I can only pick eight, so here we go!

A must stop for me. . . there is always so much inspiration coming from Sandy, not to mention that she is the Queen of Operation Write Home, a cause that I am very passionate about!

A blog that I found on one of the OWH blog hops originally, I can't get enough of Seongsook's creations.

I don't often pay real money for things online like digital stamps and such, but I have collected many from Dustin Pike and they are worth every penny. . . he is my favorite Doodle artist! I can't even tell you how much I love creating cards with his designs.

Nikki is another artist that caught my eye a long time ago when I was introduced to Operation Write Home. Her cards and creations are so unique and I always love to peek in and see what she has been up to.
My morning browsing usually starts with a cuppa joe and some blog surfing - it is only appropriate to stop by here and see what Heather has been up to. It's ALWAYS something cute.

I can't get enough of Kim and her cute family and the fun links and ideas she comes up with. Kim is the Commander in Chief of Express the Moment and I will also always be grateful to her for the fun times that I have with ETM!

Cindy - another fellow OWH bloghopper - is responsible for my addiction to Close To My Heart products and I completely blame her for the burn on my table caused by the heat embosser. JUST KIDDING CINDY! I love you!

When I grow up, I want to be able to create beautiful things like Windy . . . I'm pretty sure I found Windy along the way at OWH but it could have also been from magazine surfing. . . Windy's work has been featured in CARDS magazines and I am always looking forward to seeing what she has been up to.

And now eight things about myself...

1.) I love those Dancing shows on TV, I save them all on the DVR and watch them while I am stamping. . . Dancing With The Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Dance Your A$$ Off, etc. I love them.

2.) I love animals and share this love with my son - we have been blessed with several fun different types of pets over the years - dogs, cats, tortoises, birds, hamsters, fish, and our current furry creature is a ferret. We love him! I have promised my son that some day we will travel to Austrailia to see the zoo where Steve Irwin used to do shows.

3.) I have been working in health care pretty much all of my life. I started as a habilitation tech, worked as a CNA, and got my nursing license in 1994. I currently work in orthopedics. Hospital shift work is hard, but seeing broken people get better is very rewarding, and I have met a ton of lifelong friends along the way.

4.) I am a big Star Trek geek and I love anything "Trekkie."  Hubby and I are sad that the Star Trek Experience is no longer at the Hilton in Las Vegas. What will we do for vacation now? My favorite series? Voyager. No wait, TNG. . . ack, I love them all. Live long and prosper! Make it so!

5.) My underwear has to match my outfit. This poses a problem for the new "standardized scrubs" rule at the hospital. We are being forced to wear navy blue. Hmm.

6.) My favorite movies are the Epic historical adventure types like Braveheart, Gladiator, and such.

7.) I used to play Dungeons and Dragons with dice and paper and a pencil. :) My favorite part though, was doodling sketches of the characters in the margins.

8.) I live only an hour or so outside of Yellowstone National Park. I love where I live. I love to go to the park, I live to camp and ride and enjoy the outdoors. They say that Yellowstone is one huge cauldron or ancient volcano that is going to blow up and kill us all some day. I am ok with that. . . what a way to go!

Hey thanks Adri for the cute award. . . and thanks for stopping by. We are snowed in today. All of the roads and schools are closed. There is a blizzard moving in. We only have a foot or so here in town but in Island Park (just outside of Yellowstone) they are measuring the snowfall in feet instead of inches. I am spending the day working on my Christmas cards. :) Cheers!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Make-It Monday!

Here is a little post for the locals. . . Next Monday the 22nd I thought it would be fun to have a little make-it and take it project to get you ready for making your Christmas Cards! Just stop on by my place any time Monday 10am-2pm or 4pm - 6pm  (I need a little break in the middle to go get A.J. from school)  :)

I will have all of the supplies you need to make a tri-fold Christmas card. Don't be intimidated. . . they are super easy! I have been hoarding some of my favorite Christmas papers and supplies for this project and everything will be provided for you to make one similar to the card above. I have a variety of paper and stamps to pick from so you can custom make your own.

Thanks for stopping by! :)

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Victorian Valentines . . .

No, you have not stepped into a time machine. . . it is November, 2010 and not February, nor is it the Victorian Era, although I have been doing some studying of that time period and I have such fun things to share! Thank you for stopping by my blog for the Operation Write Home Valentine's blog hop - this Veteran's Day weekend we are celebrating by making Valentines for the troops! If you have come here from Ronda's place - Musings at the Button Box -  then you are on the right path!

Here is my little goody to share and a little lesson too. I got this fantastic book of Victorian clip art from my good friend Janice in Texas. I haven't done much with Victorian style images, and so I started doing a little research. What I found has entertained me for weeks - here are a few tidbits about Valentines in the Victorian era!

  • Handmade Valentines were HUGELY popular in the Victorian Era (1830-1901) - so much so that they were more of a big deal in their time than Christmas cards. The people of Victorian times would spend hours, even days. . . and sometimes a small fortune making these very special cards for their loved ones. New technology during this time - like beautiful embossed and sanded papers, colorful lithographs from Europe, and fancy calligraphy were all beautiful parts of these early hand made cards! Victorian Valentines were such a big deal that it was common for ladies to recieve one as the means of a marraige proposal. . . elaborate Valentines that were several inches thick were sometimes given in boxes along with gifts like gloves, pressed flowers, or if you really wished to show someone your affection, you included a lock of your own hair!

  • Girls made Valentines for their sisters. Mothers made Valentines for their children, and young men made them for ladies who were the object of their desire. It was not considered to be proper for a young single lady to make a Valentine for a man - but if she recieved several, she might have to choose which suitor's Valentine was the best! There are tales of ladies sending Valentines to their husbands who were gone to war - and of sailors making Valentines for their wives using sea shells and coral. What a fantastic likening to our cause at Operation Write Home!

  •  I spent a lot of time pondering the other materials of the time -  Victorian Valentines would have been made from pieces of  tissue, exquisite lace, satin ribbons. . . I found references to the use of balsa wood, feathers, beads, gems and gold leaf. . . a card makers' stash of supplies must have rivaled what we have available even today! Oh what I would give to travel back in time to see some of these things! Victorian Valentines could include pop-ups, spinning parts, birds' wings that flutter - a mirror in the center to reflect the face of the recipient, and verses and sentiments - lovingly penned in a time when penmanship was considered to be in itself, a work of art. 
So here is my take on a Victorian style valentine (sans lock of hair). I encourage you to try this style yourself by using any number of Victorian style embelishments that are available right now, there are many! To give a few ideas, I did shop in the cake decorating aisle of the craft store to buy some different sizes and shapes of doily kinds of papers. Mount these by cutting them into strips and using paper and foam squares to add dimension. Other things to use from your stash: dried flowers, feathers, beads, pearl accents, gold foil papers, ornate buttons and pieces of velvet and silk ribbons - hat pins are also a lovely accent. I would love to see what you come up with!

A little blog candy: leave me a comment today if you have enjoyed your stay and in return I will choose randomly one winner to get a Victorian Valentine Kit. Be sure to leave me a way to contact you via blog or email. Due to cost I will only be able to provide shipping within the USA. 

Now off you go Boni's page - Dude Time Doodles!!! . . . and thank you for stopping by!

If you have a moment, stop here to see some more examples of some beautiful Victorian cards. The Candice Hern website itself is amazing, I could spend forever just reading and learning . . .

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Be Not Afraid! Of the heat embosser.

Today I took on a project that I have really been meaning to do for quite a while. I keep hearing and seeing things about heat embossing with stamps. I even experimented with it a little at card day once. Usually my results were not so good. I am also one of those types of people who. . . if there is some sort of accident to happen. . . it will happen to me. So, I have lived in fear of the heat embosser for quite some time. Facing your fears - however, can be the best way to get over them, or so I have heard. So armed with New Heat Embossing Tool. . . I gave it a go today. . . with help from Tiffani who is my heat embossing hero!

Here are the results, and a few extra goodies that I have been meaning to post for Stars & Stamps. I really am that far behind. Sorry :(

I used some navy blue cardstock, some lighter blue cardstock, some white cardstock, my snowflake embossing folder for Cuttlebug, and the stamps are from the Close To My Heart set called Nature's Gift. (Pg. 40, C1424) I embossed with a white embossing powder on the dark blue paper - I LOVE the look of this.

I used a stamp set called Ice Crystals (Pg. 42, C1428) that Tiffani bought. The set comes with 13 pieces of snowflakes, you build the flake however you want. I stamped and embossed with gold, white and silver as I added pieces to the flake, starting with the gold, then white, then silver tips. I love how this works out too!

Another from the Ice Crystals set, and a Tag from Christmas Melodies (Pg. 50, D1324) I did also add a little bit of stickles to the flakes after embossing to give them even more dimension and sparkle. I love snowflakes! This stamp set is so much fun to work with!

Here is another Moose from the Nature's Gift set . . this set is one of the lesser expensive stamp sets in the catalogue this month, and I love it. This is my set of choice for my own cards this year I think. :) And also, because I am not completely exclusive, I added a strip of paper with the snowflakes stamped and embossed with white to the bottom half of the card - that little snowflake stamp set is from Michael's dollar bin! Love the dollar bin.

More moose - this one was done on a pretty metallic brown paper and I used a metallic red paper to mat the moose stamped and embossed with a pretty copper color. The colors didn't turn out as well on film as they do in person. This card looks like a cherry chocolate card - it's actually one of my favorites!

To show the detail of those Nature's Gift stamps - here is an example of one done with ink (New England Ivy green) instead of embossing powder. I guess I was afraid that the heat embossing would take away a lot of the detail of the stamps, but I was really excited to find out, that heat embossing leaves as much detail as stamping alone!

Here is one for Stars & Stamps that I finished a few weeks ago and I am sorry that I took so long to post it.

Inside. :)

And another for Stars & Stamps. I love their layout ideas. This one was fun!

Thanks for checking out my cards - I think that Tiffani finally ran screaming from my house because I was going so crazy with the Christmas cards. I also had the TV tuned in to the "Sounds of the Season" music channel in the background - maybe it's a little too early for all of the cheesy carols? Sorry Tif!!!

(Don't forget, if you like any of the stamp sets, you can get them here or through your Close To My Heart consultant. . . there are so many beautiful Christmas sets to chose from this year!)
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Saturday, November 6, 2010

November Expressions

Well hello! I was so sad to take down all of my Halloween layout today. I'm so excited to jump into the holidays! I spent a little while this morning wandering around in the craft store oogling all of the Christmasness. . . I found my supplies for the Veteran's Day blog hop coming up for Operation Write Home. . . don't forget to sign up for that! It's going to be great!

The start of a new month means great new kits from Express the Moment and the kits are beautiful this month. The Expressions card kit has a page in it that I just love. It's probably one of my favorite kits of the year - one of the 12x12" papers is a page that can be cut into 3x3 sentiment cards. They are so cute and fun! Owls are a favorite thing of mine too. . . here are some of the cards that I made with this month's kit. Be sure to stop by Express the Moment for ordering and more information. . . you know, I was just thinking what a fun gift a monthly card kit would be for somebody that you really, really love??? 

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P.S. Adding another - here is a good example of how I love to use my ETM kit to make cards for the troops - I always have TONS of scraps left over to make cards to send to my heroes. :)  This one is for two challenges for this week. Hurray!

Friday, October 29, 2010

OWH Blog Hop Time!

Hey everyone - I wanted to leave a post although I have been sicker than sick. . . I don't even know what kind of crud I have, but it is something evil and nasty! I got my flu shot about three weeks ago so I am pretty sure that it is not the flu??? Whatever it is, it has me down and out and I haven't even been able to make any cards lately (now THAT IS SICK.) Today, I think I might be feeling like half of a person again. . . and this is some TERRIBLY IMPORTANT NEWS. I have drug myself, snot and all, to the keyboard to post this just for you.

Won't you please stop on by Operation Write Home  and sign up to participate in their Veteran's Day blog hop (if you are a blogging type of person, that is. . . ) This is exactly the kind of blog hop that got me inspired to be a part of OWH and it is one of my favorite activities of the year. Lots of fun things will be going on here for the hop - so look forward to that. Meanwhile, Happy Halloween to you all. . . my Halloween is going out with a whimper and a whole lot of snot. Maybe I should be some kind of mucous monster . . . I wouldn't even need a costume for that.  Being sick sucks.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Card Day Club!!!

The meeting of the Card Day Club is back up in full swing again for the fall / winter season and I couldn't be happier. . . what could be better than a bunch of card-making friends getting together for cards and coffee and yacking and more coffee and making cards and talking and glitter and coffee and making more cards? Here's how it works - everyone brings an original card and enough kits for everyone to make one of their card. . . in the past we have each brough up to two or three cards with kits and we have made everything from cards to tags and even gift bags - when you go home you have a treasure trove of great creations. . . the hardest part about this is sending those cards away. :)

Here is this month's takings and a little bit of how they were made.

This is one of Jan's cards - the front is a patchwork pumpkin cut with Cuttlebug and the sentiment "Sew" and inside is "Thankful for You!"  I was thankful that I didn't have to cut and piece all of those pumpkins. :D Jan did that for us! What a fun card, very fallish!!!

This is one of Hanna's "Thanks" cards - very pretty autumn colors and the ink pad that she brought to share was AMAZING - it has several different colors that separate and then slide together when you use them to give a fusion of different colors to stamp with. . . I forgot to ask where I can get my hands on one of those stamp pads. . . they are very cool! Zoom in on those stamped leaves on the envelope to see what I am talking about. They turned out so pretty!

This one is Tiffani's cards - perfect for a friend. The inside reads "While taking a moment to count my blessings I thought of you and what a blessing you are in my life!" What a neat card - card day just wouldn't be complete without a pink and brown Tiffani card. This one is actually more of a deeper reddish pink than is usual for Tiffani. . . way to go Tif, I am proud of you!!! ;)

Here is Tiffani's Halloween card made on this great black and purple glittery paper - adorable! Those bat wings were cut from an oval shape - one wing from each side of the oval. Google eyes. . . they are the best!

Stephanie made these great witchy cards with a digi stamp she found of the shoes - The background papers are embossed with Cuttlebug and Steph used her iRock tool for the little blings on the sentiment . . . so cute! I love this card!

Hanna has been holding out on us. She found these card bases at Artco and bought ALL OF THEM. :)  The embossed leaf paper base is beautiful - and the inside leaf paper is vellum with a sentiment stamp "So Thankful For You."  Hanna always finds these cool little touches like the leaf punches that are tied to the tag on the front. I am going to have a super hard time sending this card away. Thanks Hanna!!!

Here is another of Jan's cards. Since October is breast cancer awareness month, Jan made this card with the pink ribbons. The sad part about this card is, I think that each one of us has someone appropriate in our lives to send this card to. I wish it weren't so. Jan was inspired by her very own Mom who is going through her own struggle right now, back in Minnesota. Big hugs to Jan's Mom and to Jan for bringing this card!

Here is my card - I printed a digi image of the Grinch and was inspired by my stamp set from Close To My Heart called "Peace On Earth."  The sentiments read "What if Christmas doesn't come from a store. . " (front) and "What if Christmas means a little bit more? - The Grinch"  (inside)

The next meeting of the CDC is slated for Friday November 12 at Jan's house - there has been talk of having a "Mom's Day" at the CDC which means that you get to bring your Mom to card day and they get to take part in the fun. My Mom is in Tennessee, and i'm not so sure that my Mom-In-Law is the card making type, so I will be needing a Mom to borrow for the occasion. Any takers? :)

Thanks ladies for a fun day!

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

October Expressions!

It's time to showcase some projects done with this month's Expressions kit from Express the Moment!

First a few cards - quick and easy to make with this cute papers and embelishments from the We R Memory Keepers Black Out collection!

I have to admit. I am loving the papers and colors for this month but I am soooooooooooo carded out! I don't need any more Halloween cards! But Halloween is a great time of year for treats and small gifts for friends, co-workers, teachers, family members. . . so here are a few embelished project ideas that are quick, cheap and super easy to assemble. Just add candy!

On the left is a "test tube" or plastic container that you can get at the craft store for about a dollar. I wrapped the tube with a strip of leftover paper and added a pre-made chipboard tag from this month's kit. A little ribbon and some candy inside - what a fun gift. :)

To the right is a glass candle holder. I added some of the rub-ons to the candle holder and added a great autumn scented candle to the inside. Fun for someone who isn't into candy. Sugar free! Woot!

Here is a simple 8x8 page for my album this year. On the backs of the WRMK papers, there are squares of 6x6 patterned papers - I thought this one would be fun for a photo mat.

Those 6x6 papers are also the perfect size to wrap candy bars with - this makes an extra special treat for someone for Halloween - just buy some regular or king-sized candy bars and cover them with the 6x6 papers by taping the paper first to the back of the candy bar and wrapping around. Add some ribbons and tags and you have a really fun treat for your favorite monster!

Here is a "You've Been Boo'd" bucket made from a paint can - also available from craft stores for around a dollar. You could also use an empty coffee tin or mason jar. Decorate the outside with patterned paper, and attach a pocket or envelope for the "Boo'd" poem. Attach tags, buttons, brads, ribbons or any other embelishments. Fill the jar with candy and you have a really fun thing!

The "You've Been Boo'd" project is something that has been going around for quite a while - every year neighbors and friends exchange little tins or baskets of goodies for Halloween - the idea is to leave the gift for someone without them knowing that it was you - the recipient then has to "boo" two other neighbors and so on! You can find instructions for the game and templates to print the poem from lots of websites by searching Google - You've been boo'd. There are lots of different variations of the poem but here is one that I have kept in my files because it is one of my favorite versions - I'm sorry I do not know the original author!

You've Been Boo'ed!
Since this is the time for goblins and bats
Halloween spirits & ghosts & cats..
Weird happenings & witches brew...
These are the things I wish for you.

May the only spirit you chance to meet
Be the spirit of love and warm friends sweet
May the only goblin that comes your way
Be the neighborhood phantom, whom you'll want to give away.

So by tomorrow, pick two friends sweet
And give them each a Halloween treat.
You only have one day so hurry!
Leave the treat on the doorstep then flee in a flurry!

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