Sunday, September 29, 2013

Surf's Up Workshop Layouts

I'm back again today with my layouts created for the Surf's Up workshop. First off, I should tell you that when I first saw Surf's Up in the book, I didn't immediately fall in love with it. It seemed too loud and way to 60's for me. But, like other times, the more artwork I saw created with it, mixed in with photographs, I began to see Surf's Up in a whole new way. 
Inspired By Tamytha Jenkins at Paper Heartist
Paper: Surf's Up, Florentine (retired), Desert Sand CS, Crystal Blue CS, Lagoon CS, Surf's Up Gold CS, Sorbet CS, Colonial White CS, Surf's Up Teal CS, Chocolate CS
Stamps: Cricut Artbooking, Surf's Up WOTG, Trinity Alphabet
Inks: Lagoon, Crystal Blue, Honey, Chocolate, Desert Sand
Tools: Cricut Artbooking, 2" Scallop Circle Punch, Micro-Tip Scissors, Paper-Piercer
Other: Clear Sparkles, Surf's Up Complements, Surf's Up Assortment, Chocolate Embroidery Floss

I would like to thank my good friend Heather Jane for so graciously giving me her Surf's Up WOTG stamp set. 

I loved how each one of these layouts turned out, especially the two that I have photos on already. We had a terrific summer, and I've enjoyed looking back in pictures an reminiscing each event and how we truly made the most of it, without spending a lot, either!

Have a great week, my crafty friends.


Babycakes Workshop Layouts

Good evening! We have been enjoying some beautiful sunny weather in Northern Michigan. Yesterday, I learned how to run a wood splitter and assisted my husband in getting some of our wood stacked up for the year. I was feeling quite accomplished until he told me that we only had about 25% of what we need for the winter. Eeks.

Today, I would like to share my Babycakes scrapbook layouts with you. (Please forgive the bad lighting. These look so much better in person.)
Paper: Babycakes, Dotty For You (retired), Kraft CS, Sunset CS, Lagoon CS, Buttercup CS, Chocolate CS, Colonial White CS, Saddle CS, Slate CS
Stamps: You Are My Happy, Babycakes WOTG, Capture The Date (retired)
Inks: Buttercup, Sunset, Lagoon, Chocolate, Slate, Desert Sand
Tools: Cricut Art Philosophy, Cricut Artbooking, Micro-Tip Scissors, Paper-Piercer
Other: Babycakes Complements, Babycakes Assortment, Bronze Shimmer Trim, Mocha Pearl Opaques, Chocolate Embroidery Floss

I am working on a baby shower gift and also plan to use a couple of these layouts for a friend that recently lost her baby boy. I wanted to do something to help keep his memory alive for the family.

Have a great week!


Monday, September 23, 2013

10 Things I'm Looking Forward To

It is a beautiful Autumn Day in Northern Michigan. The colors are starting to change. Cooler weather is here along with daily frost warning texts on my cell phone. The sun is shining, and the trees are gently swaying in the breeze.

This week's Monday Listicles is:

10 Things I'm Looking Forward To

  1. Working From Home Again. I was so happy to have 2 of my 4 working days at home with my children. Now, they are back in school, and there really is no excuse for me to work from home. 
  2. My All-Day Crop. People that don't eat, sleep and breathe crafting, really don't understand what this means. On World Cardmaking Day (yes, it's a real "holiday"), I am planning my first all-day crop. I'm so looking forward to catching up on some scrapbooking and cardmaking projects and spending time with friends.
  3. Volunteering At My Children's School. I consider myself so blessed to be able to have a day off during the school week where I can participate in my kids' classrooms. I met this little girl in my son's class last week that has a learning disability. Each time she would solve a problem, her smile would light up the room. She was so excited and eager to learn and to show me what she could do. I left the school last Friday feeling like I'd met an angel, a true angel, and I said a prayer that this little girl would always have such a positive spirit for all things.
  4. Reading Bedtime Stories. Since my son was 3 years old, I began reading to both children at bedtime. It has become a tradition that we all hold very dear, and I find myself counting down the hours until bedtime when we can pick up a story and get lost in the pages together.
  5. Organizing My Basement. I long to finally get our basement in order and a "room" set up downstairs solely for the purpose of housing my kids' toys and allowing them a place to run around and create as much noise as they want to. The song that always comes to mind whenever I think of this dream is "Let Them Be Little". 
  6. Fall TV Premiers. Survivor and Dancing With The Stars is back on, but I am really looking forward to Grey's Anatomy returning. I miss having a bigger channel selection, but we've found a way to still watch Duck Dynasty on-line, at least.
  7. Making Christmas Cards. I've had a lot of changes in my life over the past two years, and sometimes I have major crafting mojo and other times, it seems to have disappeared. I am hoping and wishing it will return soon so I may be able to get my Christmas cards made. Last Winter, I think I made over 100 Christmas cards, and at least 1/2 were individual creations.
  8. My Husband Returning From Work. I describe this as phases in our life together. When we first began dating, the thrill and anticipation of seeing him at the end of the day was pretty heady stuff. After we had children, I was grateful to have an adult to talk to, or even to take over so I could have 5 quiet minutes to myself. Now, as the children are moving past the needy stages, I find myself feeling that same excitement that I once did so long ago, half my lifetime ago, in fact. The trouble is beating my children to the door. LOL
  9. Christmas. I think this is the one day that I can't wait to wake up for, in the hopes of catching my sleepy-eyed children as they stumble out to the living room on Christmas morning and see their first glimpses of the presents under the tree.
  10. Spending Quality Time With My Family. As winter approaches, we find ourselves less busy with work and more time to share with our family. I long for lazy Sundays where we get to do anything we want. Jere usually watches TV. The kids usually play quietly together or by themselves, and I have extra time in my craft room, or taking naps mid-afternoon. 
I love my family so much. They really are my whole world. I can tell you that I am not looking forward to my kids growing up and moving out, or even away. They are 5 and 7, and my head spins whenever I think of how fast time has flown by from the time they were born to now. I love checking in on them before I go to sleep each night and finding my little boy clutching his stuffed animals close in sleep, or seeing my little girl tucked tightly to the wall, usually with the blankets flung off. I cherish these moments that I have with them, and with my husband. 

What Ten Things are you looking forward to? 


Saturday, September 14, 2013

DS117 Thinking of You Card

I created the following card today for a friend that is dealing with a tremendous loss right now. About 4 weeks ago, she went to wake up her two boys, only to find that her littlest boy, 19 months old, had passed away in his sleep. His name was Jayce, and I will forever remember his dimpled smile and beautiful curls.

I wanted to send her a card to let her know that I am still thinking of her. 
Paper: Huntington, Colonial White CS, Kraft CS
Stamp: Laughing Lola Card WOTG
Inks: Barn Red, Olive
Tools: Paper-Piercer, Micro-Tip Scissors, Needle, Corner Rounder
Other: Chocolate Brads, White Embroidery Floss
All products by CTMH.

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:
1. Deconstructed Sketch DS117 Challenge
2. Color Throwdown CTD259 Challenge
3. Friday Mashup FM127 Challenge 

Thank you for stopping by today.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Baby Girl Album is now complete

I finally finished the baby girl album I began working on last month for the Artbooking Blog Hop.

I will share the pictures of the most recent pages I completed and then link you back to the original post where you can see them all together.
Album Cover

Easter Layout

Spring Layout

Summer Layout

Summer Layout

Birthday Layout
If you would like to see this album in its entirety, please click here, where you can see them all in one place. Thank you for waiting so patiently, while I finished these pages. The hand-stitching took forever, but it was so worth it.

Have a blessed day!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It's All About Going Back To School

Good morning! My kids are now at school for their 5th full day. I kept thinking how strangely quiet my house is as I cleaned up their toys and prepared for my work day from home. As I look out over my living room area, it's nice to have a clean, uncluttered floor and know it will stay that way until 4pm today. (Blissful sigh.) 

My daughter, Izzy, started Kindergarten last Wednesday. I had such mixed emotions sending my baby off to school, even though it's actually her third year of school (she attended two years of preschool at the same school). As she got off the bus and walked up the driveway with me, I asked her how her first day of school was. Her reply? "I don't want to talk about it." After a repeat attempt to find out, with the same reply, she finally admitted with a sigh "Okay. I cried." It was the cutest thing ever. She said she missed me. 

My son, Jack, just started Second Grade. He is now a big boy at the other end of the school building. He was so excited to see all of his friends, and hammed it up for the camera. His first day of school reply went like this: "I didn't EVEN get into trouble today!" He aims high. Yesterday, he surprised me with his first "Be" ticket. Our Elementary School gives out "Be" tickets for "Being Respectful", "Being Responsible", "Being Caring" and "Being Safe". He had the first 3 spots checked off. This is a big deal, and I'm super proud of him. You could see his pride as he showed it to me.

With all of this in mind, I wanted to share with you a cool video that Close To My Heart as put together to showcase "Back To School" layouts. I wish it was the end of the day already so I could get crafting! 
I opened my inbox this morning to find an email directing me to the "While Supplies Last" section of my website. Some new items have been added, and just in time, too! "Scholastic" papers can be your's for just $1.75 plus tax and shipping.
Whether you have babies back in school, or the all-grown up kind, these memories will be cherished forever. Have a happy day!


Monday, September 9, 2013

10 Things I Shouldn't Know About My Family

Good afternoon! I'm sorry for the lack of new artwork on my blog lately. Back to school has been extremely busy and exhausting. To save on breakfasts and lunches, my kids have been taking cold lunches to school, and since breakfast is no longer free (think we got suckered in with this one), this means that kids have to get up extra early to feed their brains before taking the bus to school. And last night, found me in my kitchen canning peaches with my husband until 1:30 this morning. I'm sure we will enjoy the "fruits of our labor" this winter.

So without further ado, I would like to share my list of "10 things I shouldn't know" from Monday Listicles.

10 Things I Shouldn't Know 
About My Family
  1. The gross facts about hickeys. When I was little, my Aunt used to babysit me along with several cousins and even a few of their cousins. At the age of 5, I learned what a hickey was thanks to said cousin of cousin. It's not what you're thinking. She gave them to herself. LOL So now that I knew what hickeys were, imagine my shock and horror at seeing one on my mom's neck while sitting at the breakfast table one morning at the age of 12. It plagues me to this day that I had to ask about it. Her answer? "You're dad got a little frisky with me last night." (Oh my gosh. Gross. Insert fingers in ears right now & close eyes tightly.)
  2. Brother's sock drawer. My brother is in his mid-thirties, and has never really grown up and become responsible. A few years ago, I was looking to make a little extra money, so I started cleaning brother's house. It turns out that instead of washing and mating his socks (like the rest of us do), he goes out and buys new socks. I think there must have been 2 laundry baskets of socks to sort through and organize, which means that brother really has 2 sock drawers now. LOL
  3. Vanilla Envelopes. My job, since I was 12 years old, has been bookkeeping and office management for my father's businesses. Whenever dad needs a big manila envelope, he always mispronounces it. It's funny when he asks for "Vanilla Envelopes" with the new help that have come and gone through the years. They always look at him like he sprouted horns. 
  4. Mean, Ornery and Hateful. I began dating my husband back when I was 18 and fresh out of high school. We are both big on family, so we spent a lot of dinner times dining out with his family. Whenever the waitress would come to the table to ask how we're doing today, everyone would pause as Father-In-Law would say these words "Mean, ornery and hateful." If they didn't ask, he'd say something to prompt them into asking. Now, 18 years later, and I still hear those words. Poor waitresses.... 
  5. Ever Mail a Fish? We used to live in what can best be described as a resort town. One night, a few years after we began dating, my (now) husband went out ice fishing with a high school friend of his. A few (maybe more) drinks later, they got this hair-brained idea to deposit their fish into numerous mailboxes around the lake. The trouble is, these vacation homeowners only came up in the Spring. It's tough to say if the postal carrier or the homeowner was the first to discover this smelly mess. I wonder if knowing this makes me an accessory to a crime(?).
  6. The Maximum Amount of Weight an Elevator Can Hold. This one is thanks to my niece Marie. We took our honeymoon trip as part of a family cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. My brother-in-law got married at Miami port, and then it was off to our first stop of the vacation, San Juan. For some reason, people seem to think an elevator will take a long time to make a return trip to your floor on a cruise ship, so they feel it necessary to pack themselves in like sardines in a tin can. One such event caused my niece, then 11 years old, to notice a digital scale reading of weight for the elevator. We'll just say that 4 of the patrons that stood next to us were of a certain size. Marie took it upon herself to make sure the entire contents of the elevator knew that we were thankfully under the weight limit, but just barely. Many lip twitches and coughing ensued.
  7. Butter is Tastier than Candy. My children have both made various "butter sculptures" as infants and toddlers, as soon as they were old enough to get into the refrigerator. They come from a long line of butter lovers. Grandpa tells a story of when he was about 4 years of age. He was caught hiding behind the sofa eating mashed potatoes and butter meant for that night's dinner. My Mother-In-Law tells a story about my husband at age 3. He had gone shopping in town with his Grandma and Grandpa, and when they got home from town, he was asleep in the car. Not wanting to wake him, they rolled the windows down and went inside for coffee. Jeremiah awoke a few minutes later, and was deeply annoyed to find himself alone. To express his displeasure of the situation, he painted Grandma's Naugahyde leather seats with butter.
  8. Snakes are Slimy and Slippery. My cousin Jason has yet to live this one down. When I was a little girl, I loved to wear dresses everywhere I went. This same cousin's mother babysat us for a couple of summers. One sunny day, I was laying in a hammock enjoying the light breeze, when suddenly this slippery snake was shoved down the front of my dress by my evil cousin. Yes, it was alive, and yes, it didn't want to be put on a screaming girl, either. The only pleasure I get from this particular episode is the fact that my Aunt nearly killed my cousin (okay, slight exaggeration, but you get the idea). For the rest of the day, I got to watch whatever TV shows I wanted to, and have plenty of yummy treats to calm myself down with, all while the boys were locked out of the house. He admits nowadays that he was a rather naughty child.
  9. The Strip and Streak. My children have no qualms about their bodies. I will catch my 7yo son standing in front of the TV naked and in the zone. It usually takes 3 attempts to make him aware of the situation so he can remedy it. If it's Summertime, and Izzy's ceiling fan fails to meet her cooling off needs, she will strip down and sleep in her underwear. We do teach them proper manners and etiquette about this. Hoping they outgrow this by the time they reach adolescence. 
  10. Sitting on the Toilet in Your Birthday Suit. My Jackson is so not going to like me for saying this, but blackmail will get me everywhere. LOL Jack is always afraid he will get his clothing soiled if he wears it while doing his business, so he strips every last inch of it off his body first. I wonder when he may outgrow hasn't happened yet.
I'm sure there are many more items I could list, but these were the first ones that popped into my head. Hope you all have a lovely week.


Monday, September 2, 2013

10 Things I Will Remember This Summer By

This week's topic over at Monday Listicles is "10 Things I Will Remember This Summer By".

Since this has been a really great summer for our family, but especially for Jere and I, I thought I'd share my list with you.

10 Things I Will Remember This Summer By
  1. The Trampoline Gift. The neighbor decided he wanted to rid his yard of outdoor toys that his boys have outgrown, so we were gifted a really nice trampoline, complete with netting and ladder. My husband even drove over and picked it up and delivered it to our yard on Jack's 7th birthday.
  2. A Baker Re-Invented. I have recently begun to enjoy baking again. It used to be my passion before children, but especially before the egg allergy diagnosis my son had at the age of 2. Now that he (by he, I mean we) no longer suffers from this allergy, I have been enjoying baking all kinds of yummy treats for my family. I found this excellent recipe for raspberry cobbler here. I have used this same recipe to make blueberry and blackberry cobbler, as well. 
  3. Picking Berries. Jere and I have been spending extra quality time together, this summer, picking berries. Our state's Upper Peninsula is loaded with wild blueberries, so we found ourselves spending 2 weekends back to back in the U.P. picking them. They are soooo much better than the big blueberries you get in the store. One day in July, Jere discovers a U-Pick Raspberry Farm near his work. So, I spent a Saturday with my Father-In-Law in the raspberry patch picking 8 quarts of raspberries. Even though we arrived separately, he refused to leave until I was finished. He's very thoughtful and loving, and I'm lucky to have him in my life. And the past week, has found Jere and I picking in the blackberry patch. Mosquitoes and humidity can't keep us away. We've had some great laughs.
  4. Jammin' As We Make Jam. We have only canned one other time in our 18 year relationship, but this summer, we started making all kinds of fruit preserves. It started with Strawberry Jam in early June, followed by Raspberry Jam and Blueberry Jam in July, and this month we've been busy making Blackberry Jam. We have even canned extra blueberries and raspberries for desserts and hobo-pie making for the next year. It's been so nice, after the kids go to bed, to turn Pandora on, and sing along to the classics as we make jam together. Home-made Jam will make perfect Christmas gifts for school teachers, family and friends.
  5. Camping. I never thought I'd say this, but I actually love rustic tent camping. There is something to be said for making a last-minute camping trip spur of the moment. We planned out the first one, and while I was pretty unsure of what I was getting into, and even scared crazy that a bear might mistake me for lunch, after the first night, I loved it. I loved camping with my husband where it was quiet and the only noise we really heard was the birds and the occasional ATV. We even foraged for wild blueberries and popped them into our pancakes one morning.
  6. Becoming One With Nature. Okay, so this one has a bit of an "eww" effect to it, but it's really funny. That first time we went rustic camping, Jere went into the woods to use the outhouse. About 2 minutes later, he comes flying out of it being chased by some angry bees. Apparently, he mistook a bee for a mosquito and began swatting at it as he was trying to use the bathroom. You can guess who won that round. Turns out, our lovely cabin in the woods had an outhouse being occupied by 100's of bees. Joy.... After holding it the entire night because I didn't want to be a bear's bedtime snack, I was suddenly struck with the idea that I was going to have to use a tree each time I had to go. Putting on my game face, I said to hubby, "So I guess I just pick a tree, right?" I march to the edge of the woods, check out a tree, see the blueberries growing under it and decide that wasn't the tree for me, I find the next one. Keeping in mind that I had to "suit up" with DEET because the mosquitoes will carry you away in the U.P., I squat down next to a tree, with toilet paper in hand. I'm trying to get a feel for how a girl is supposed to do this without getting it all over themselves, while holding the toilet paper in hand, and trying to keep baggy boot-cut pants aside, when I hear the mosquitoes begin swarming around my area that wasn't covered in DEET. I swear I looked like I was trying to ride Sea Biscuit as I sat there answering Nature's Call, just to keep from getting eaten alive in the process. About an hour later, hubby comes walking back through the woodsy trail and says "You should see the neighbor's outhouse. It's really nice." $@#%!
  7. Growing A Weed Garden. I have already mentioned this that the hubster has put us on a tight budget. He had this grand idea to plant a garden this year to save money on vegetables. Memorial Day Weekend, he plants the seed. 3 weeks goes by without a drop of rain. Needless to say, what vegetables that did pop up, had to be uncovered by the weeds that I would have to fight with just to get to them. Turns out that we were about a week late picking the peas. They were woody. The green beans decided to mature while we were spending our third weekend in a row camping. By the time we got back, they were woody. The corn tassled out before it reached the right height to grow the actual corn. Our pumpkin plants have blooms but no pumpkins. The deer have treated it like a 24/7 buffet, so I'm not sure we will actually have pumpkins come Halloween. But with all of its pitfalls, we've had some fun family moments in the garden. My daughter loves to pick vegetables.
  8. Going To The Fair, Going To The Fair, Going To The Northwest Michigan Fair. That is a song we used to hear on the radio every summer as a kid, and the jingle has stuck with us. A week ago, we had the fair in town, so we met up with Grandma and Grandpa and had many laughs as the kids rode the rides or went through the mazes with a grandparent in tow. Grandma began backing up shaking her head "no" when she realized the only way out of the maze was a giant curly slide. As she came down the slide screaming, Grandpa had to help her up and then walk her to a bench so she could get her wind back. Definitely a "Laugh Out Loud" moment for the whole family.
  9. Meeting Brother's New Girlfriend. Back in July, I opened up Facebook one morning to discover that my brother had a girlfriend, his serious first in many years. Last week, we had them up to dinner and met Jaime and her little girl, Katie. They have won the Bennett Family's hearts. I pray this one sticks around because my children have already decided that Katie is their new cousin.
  10. A Regular Churchgoer. When I was a child, I used to go to the Catholic church in town with my Grandma. In our town, the Catholic church is the biggest and grandest of them all. My mom and dad were even married in that church. I used to sing in the choir with Grandma every Sunday when I was just nine years old. Because mom and dad were never comfortable in a church setting, I fell out of practice with it. I window shopped a few over the years but never really found my niche. In July, my Mother-In-Law and I began attending service together. I feel like I am more a part of the community now. Yesterday, she even told me that it's been so nice going with me to's like going with her daughter. That was such a special thing to hear. I'm lucky to have her in my life.
So that's that. It's been an amazing journey for us, this summer. I feel very blessed. God has given us many wonderful things, but most of all, the love we have for one another has grown this summer, in a more spiritual way. We definitely have much to be thankful for.


September Specials

It's hard to believe that it's already September! And today, we awoke to a chill Northern wind that dropped the temperatures into the 50's. Brrr! 

My babies start back to school on Wednesday, with the tiniest one beginning Kindergarten. Where has the time gone? 

Today, I want to share with you some great specials we have going on for the month of September, which is also known in the stamping world as "National Stamping Month".

Here is our cute Stamp Of The Month, Poster Tidings. It's available only through September 30th. Get your's today for just $5.00 with a qualifying purchase of $50.00.
Next up, we have an awesome stamp trio set in honor of National Stamping Month, which is called "You Are My Happy".
Get an exclusive You Are My Happy stamp set trio in celebration of National Stamping Month! During the month of September, when you make a purchase of $50 or more, you qualify for this whimsical stamp set trio for only $10. You'll love the whimsical alphabet, lighthearted sentiments, and fanciful images for a variety of occasions to give a cheerful touch to your projects, with a full retail value of $47.90.

You can also watch a video that showcases this cute stamp set by clicking here.

If you would like to place an order, you can go directly to my website here, or contact me by phone or Facebook.

Don't forget to check out our free monthly download at Rediscover CTMH. It's super cute!
Thanks for stopping by today, and Happy Labor Day to you!