Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 In Review...

Well... I don't feel as successful about my personal blog as I have in the years past. 2013 has been a huge year for me, and I feel like there were a lot of other things going on, so here is a little breakdown!

The top three things/events in this year have been...

1) Going from no employment, to part time employment, to full time employment! Hooray for employment! I've currently got the most fantastic new job that has taken me to great places and filled my life with new friends and experiences. I love it, and I'm very excited to see what 2014 will bring! Which leads me to...

2) I went back to school (online), paid for by said employment, and became RAC-CT certified through AANAC to be an MDS coordinator. All those fancy letters mean nothing more than warm fuzzies to me, for finishing up some additional certs for my nursing license, that will last the rest of my career. (see above...) I didn't really see more schooling in my future, so this is a fantastic bonus for me.

RAC-CT certification. Woot!

3) I completed my first full year of treatment for Lupus (SLE) with minimal hiccups along the way. I've learned a lot about living with Lupus and how to improve my life over all. I've learned a lot about my medications and I've learned a lot about making changes to my lifestyle that really, can only benefit me in many ways. Overall, I am pleased and hopeful. And I don't think that I have let it slow me down much!

Top of the mountain to ya!
I'm also participating today in a list of my favorite creations of 2013. Most of these are cards for Operation Write Home, an organization that is more near and dear to my heart as ever. I continue to donate my time and crafting skills and supplies to them weekly, because it is such a fun and worthy cause. I'm glad to say that I'll stay on the blog team again next year, or as long as they will have me, and I've got tons more fun things planned for the future!

There may not be twelve, but here are the cards that I'm just chuffed about this year. My "cards for kids" crusade was successful and I really enjoyed making cards for the children of our deployed heroes. I sure want to do this again in 2014!

I really enjoyed doing a lot of heat embossing and decorative edge elements this year, as well as trying different coloring techniques.

Another favorite, embossing folders... I added more embossing folders to my collection than any other product this year.

I loved, loved, loved following along with deconstructed sketches this year. Their website has got me coming back for more, week after week, or at least as much as possible. In addition to the OWH sketches, I have used these more than any others.

I really did a lot of fancy paper piecing this year. I find myself doing this a lot because I have really enjoyed the "slow down" and spending a lot more time and effort onto single cards, rather than pumping out a big quantity of cards.

I made both of these with a fancy new Cricut cartridge by CTMH. And I love them.

More tiny paper details happened with the Hobbit card.

I made up this punch pattern for the Minions.. I do love the Minions...

And finally, NOT an OWH card, but one I created just for my hubby. All out of punches and hand-cut pieces and a little extra doodling. Yup, I went there!

Probably my most favorite OWH involvement of the year, took me to several churches, scout and school groups in my local area, to make "Hero Letters" for the troops.

My favorite video project of the year can be found just one post back from this one... about "repairing" B-plates for your Cuttlebug. It was a real hoot to make and turned out to be pretty popular...

Resolutions for 2014

More cards, tutorials and product reviews for OWH.
More sending of cards, to OWH and to my own friends and family.

and finally... my office friend and I have resolved to use an entire tube of Chapstick, from beginning to end, without losing, melting, breaking or tossing before it is completely empty. I'll let you know how that one goes.

Have a very safe and happy new year, everyone, and as always, thank you so much for stopping by!

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Monday, December 2, 2013


Heya! So, I really didn't mean to skip over the entire month of November. :(

Things have been crazy busy fun with my new job. I'm getting to travel and learn a ton of new and interesting things! I also got to go to a really nice crop this fall, and I've been busy cranking out the Christmas cards too. I'll share some of my favorites later. But for now, I've got a video to share!

Again, I haven't had much time for new videos this year, but I hope that you'll enjoy this one. I really had a lot of fun tackling the myth about fixing "B" plates for your Cuttlebug. I've seen it referenced in several places, and discussed in lots of forums and sites. It's pinned all over Pinterest... so it must be true, right?

Here's what happened when I filmed the whole process from start to finish. I did let the whole stack cool on the stove top for about 24 hours before the "unveiling" in the second part of the video. What you see, when I uncover the foil, is a live surprise to me, as well.

I've added my own comments about what I think of the whole idea. I hope that you'll watch, enjoy and comment and let me know what you think.

Good luck, and be safe!

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Mini Haunt

I'm not sure if I just have a new thing for making things extra tiny, or if I am trying to make myself go blind. :) Maybe both? I had a lot of fun today making this tiny tea light haunted house for Halloween.

I'm wild about LED tea lights right now, since I found a whole ton of them at the dollar store. I've been surfing Pinterest for tea light cakes, snowmen, pumpkins, and all kinds of cute things. But you know me. I like to experiment.. lol.

I made a 4 inch "House 5" from the Winter Woodland Cricut cartridge. These little houses were meant to make a little snow village, but I thought a haunted house would be fun. 4" cuts the house so small, that some of the tiniest parts couldn't be assembled. I tried. I just couldn't get those tiny rooftop windows to work, so I covered the roof with punch-border strips instead. I cut some pieces of green vellum to line the inside of the house to make spooky windows.

I wanted to add a whole bunch of more decorations, so I used the Paper Doll Dress Up Cartridge to cut a fence, some ghosts, a pumpkin, the little black cat and a bat and a tree. They were all cut at 3/4" except the tree, which I cut at 3".

Assembling all of this took quite some time, as you can imagine, but I do think that it's the most fun decoration I have made out of paper. :)  These photos don't really do much to show the real size of this tiny project, so I grabbed the closest thing I could find to show for scale.

And now, with a little bit of CGI magic, the tea light effect. :)

Thanks for stopping by!
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World Card Making Day 2013!

Truly, no day is better!
Thanks for visiting my stop on the blog hop!

I didn't use an OWH sketch  because the background is just CAS, one blue and one white embossed mat. Then I added my favorite punch people from this year. I produced an entire army of minions in order to fulfill my goal of making tons of cards for kids for Operation Write Home this year. I thought I would try making a "thank you" card with them as well. Did you know that minions even have their own language? Google it! :)

Happy World Card Making Day! Be inspired! Go make some cards. Thanks for stopping by!

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

OWH Perfect Blog Skip - Let 'Er Rip!

Hello, and welcome, blog skippers! If you came here from Lezlye's site, you have arrived safely! I'm so glad that you came to see what I will demonstrate from Perfect Paper Crafting today!

The product that I was so lucky to get to try is called the Perfect Layers tool. These ruler-looking straight-edge tools are just wonderful for making borders and layers for our card making. We all love lots of layers, right?

First off, I was very impressed by the craftsmanship of these tools. I do love high quality tools that are not flimsy because I know that they will be available in my papercrafting arsenal for a very long time! The three Perfect Layers tools shown here make it possible to create twelve different sizes of layers, can you imagine that? Tool #1 will make borders that measure 1/8, 5/8, 1/4 and 3/8". Tool #2 creates borders of 1/16, 1/2, 3/16 and 5/16", and so on. What a fantastic thing, not to have to worry about measurements. Just line up the width that you choose along each edge of your desired mat, and cut away. It's goof proof!

Here is what the tools look like close up. I love how the numbers that you see at the end of the tools show which measurement you will get using that edge. Just place the edge with the desired measurement right side up, and you are good to go. The tools are also made to work for both right and left-handed cutters. Bonus!

I decided to use this week's sketch # 191 to make my example card, because it already has lots of opportunities to make pretty layers.

I proceeded by preparing the pieces that I wanted to layer on some kraft colored card stock. I distressed the pieces of patterned paper first, and then used my ATG to glue them onto the kraft paper, leaving plenty of space to create edges. Perfect edges!


After much consideration, I decided to forego the cutting, which would have meant using the edge tool and a craft knife on a self-healing mat. I wanted to try the tools for something a little more than the obvious, so I used my left hand to hold down the tool, grabbed the kraft paper with my right, and gave it a good rip!

I love this. I love the look of paper tearing but I've never been able to get such a precise edge. In fact, I really doubt if I would have been able to accomplish this look without the Perfect Layers tool because my free-hand tearing would have been a disaster. I really enjoyed creating this look for a shabby-chic kind of card. I can definitely see using these tools over and over to create both straight cut, and torn edges in the exact measurements that I need.

I created three, torn edged mats to complete this romantic card. I hope that one of our heroes chooses it to send to their sweetie!

If you enjoyed seeing these tools today, I know that you will love the other great things available at Perfect Paper Crafting. I was pleasantly surprised to see that there are even more tools, called Perfect Tears, for even more of this look. I can't wait to give them a try, too. If you shop over there today, don't forget to use code OWH5% for an additional 5% off your purchase and leave me a comment today to enter to win the $50 gift certificate to PCC. What a wonderful OWH Birthday Gift that would be. :)

Now hop along over to Paper Craft Planet to see what Susanna has for you today. Or, if you would like to start at the beginning of the hop, you can do that at Stars & Stamps. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

OWH/Hero Arts Blog Skip!

Did you skip in from Mariannes? Welcome!

Hello again, everyone! Wow, the Birthday Bash just keeps on going with another Blog Skip this week.This time, we are celebrating with Hero Arts! If you'd like to start at the beginning, you can sure do that here at the Stars & Stamps blog.

Today I'll share something that I made with one of my favorite stamp sets from Hero Arts. You can get yours here, if you like! 

I wanted to try something different with this cute set, and I think that it was successful.

I kept my base clean and simple and stamped using black, and white embossing powders. Then, I stamped the balloons again using StazOn ink. I stamped onto some scraps of foil paper that I had in my scrap stash.

There are a few things that are helpful when stamping on foil... don't try heat embossing, it will melt the foil. Ask me how I know. :) Don't use too much ink when stamping on the foil... it makes the stamp and ink too squishy and the image comes out smeared very easily - since the foil surface is pretty slick. I made sure to run around the edges of my pieces with a black marker after fussy cutting, since the foil paper has a white core. Marking the edges made them look much nicer.

Getting photos of foil on cards is pretty tricky. I either got too much glare, or the foil didn't show well. I guess that these are one of those cards that look better in person. The foil is really vibrant, I especially like how it looks on the black paper. It feels like a nice way to bling up a card without glitter!

I sure do thank you for stopping by today. Be sure to continue the skip by stopping over at Julie's next. She's always got something beautiful to share! 

Just in case you need some more of this stamp set, here are some old balloon cards from this set that I made last year. Hopefully, they are floating around somewhere in the hands of one of our heroes' loved ones now. I just love these balloons!

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Past Blast

Oh my goodness... leave it to Facebook for reuniting me with a bunch of old friends from the past! I'm having so much fun looking back in time to when I used to do a lot of pixel art. There were a bunch of us who used to be in forums and we would make these little characters, one pixel at a time in photoshop. I did some searching through my old archives and found a few from back in the day but I'm afraid that I've lost a lot over time.

It seems I did these mostly between 2003 - 2005 and my old website, Momma's Dollz is long since gone. I remember working nights and playing around with these in the wee hours on the nights that I was off work, because I couldn't sleep! So much fun. I'll try to post a few. I don't think that I ever got real great at it. It's sad because Facebook doesn't allow you to post .gif files, which I did a lot of.

These last two were called "signatures" and someone made them for me, but I can't remember who or when, exactly. It will be fun to see who I can reunite with. It sure is fun to catch up with old friends, and see what everyone else is up to these days. I'm loving it. :) What did YOU do before paper crafts, scrapbooking and cardmaking?

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