Friday, September 18, 2015

MFT Superstar! Card Contest Entry 5

This is my last entry for the contest. Fingers crossed! MFT has a crap load of product that I would love to own!
I basically layered a whole bunch of MFT dies for this card- the stitched background, stitched circle frame, and the window pane looking element is from the Die-namics Blueprint #20, it is the quilt looking die. I just took the quilt parts out.
I wanted to show a technique I use quite a bit with label shapes. Cut both ends off at equal lengths:
Round the bottom corners of the cut ends- and the top corners of the larger intact piece.
Stamp a sentiment, and then layer the parts back together using cut pop-dots and offsetting the pieces slightly.
Then it takes the look of a waving banner. :)
Here is a closer look at all of the layers:

MFT Superstar! Card Contest Entry 4

This card was a fun one- I took some creative liberty with the dies.
I used a Die-namics Stitched Frame that was cut (where the brads are) to make it shorter. I didn't want the frame to fill the whole card. I embossed the corners of the frame to make it appear mitered.
I cue Die-namics High Rise Alphabet from Tim Holtz Metallic Core to make the hanging zinc-looking letters.
Here is a closer look:
I also used a Blueprints kit for the stitched background piece and the bottom border.
Here is a tip whenever using border dies.
Dies tend to slip even when used on a magnetic platform. Nothing drives me crazier than a crookedly cut die!
I frequently use washi tape to hold dies in place.
It runs easily through die cut machines, and the low tack of the tape makes it easy to pull back up without damaging the surface underneath.
Perfectly positioned border die! And the bonus? The tape also picked up the tiny perforated dots that were cut. :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

MFT Superstar! Card Contest Entry 3

This card utilizes: MFT Square Stitched Frame Dies, Die-namics Heart Border die and Blueprints No. 20 stitched border. Core'dinations Tim Holtz Metallic Core cardstock.

One of my favorite techniques is using silver metallic cardstock, and using black ink to give it a pewter look. This card looks like it was stamped out of sheet metal. This card came together super fast- but it looks sophisticated and a little masculine, no?

A closer look:
I love how the black ink got right down into the "stitched" areas of the square frame die.

MFT Superstar! Card Contest Entry 2

This card utilizes: MFT Die-namics Stitched Rectangle Frames, Die-namics Button Quartet, Various Flower Dies, Core'dinations Pearl, Glittersilk and Core Couture cardstocks.

I cut an MTF stitched banner out of vellum for the title and hand wrote the sentiment. Clearly I need stamps in my life, hence my entries into this contest! :)

A closer look:
I am loving the glitter, pearl and metallic papers. They cut like butter with MFT dies. Again- notice the faux stitching on the rectangle border and vellum label die!

MFT Superstar! Card Contest Entry 1

This card utilizes: MTF Blueprints Stitched Rectangle from set 20, Die-namics Peek-a-boo Trio, Die-namics Tag Talk, Die-namics Flower and Leaf Trio, Die-namics Button Quartet and Core'dination Cardstock and vellum.

A closer look:
I like the look of stitching on my cards, and I did stitch the vellum three hole border. But- if you will look closely at the border of the card overlay, the "stitched" areas are die cut! You can't tell the difference! This is the main reason I fell in love with MTF dies. For the faux stitched look. So long, sewing machine, with your temperamental tension and thread that runs out in the middle of projects.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Core’dinations Design Team Call

Core'dinations is having their annual design team call. I really love working with their cardstock- and I especially love the new "Chalk Core" line. It is a smooth-textured cardstock with a black surface; and a white or a colored core. When the cardstock is embossed, sanded or torn the core color of the cardstock comes through and gives it the look of a chalkboard.
If you click on the layout, you can see the detail of the cardstock better. I used a chalk pencil to create the swirls on the layout.
The colored core Chalk Core pairs well with the previously released lines of Core'dinations. I added some of the Whitewash collection to this altered frame.
Here is a look at the frame closer:
And a couple of close-ups of the flowers.
Chalk Core is especially perfect for Halloween, which is coming soon. Please shoot me.
Here are some really quick and easy treat holders that I whipped up using Chalk Core and Core Essentials from Core'dinations.
You can see the wonderful texture of the Core Essentials here:
And you can see that when Core Essentials cardstock is sanded, the cardstock reveals a lighter color core that really adds dimension to projects.
So there it is. My design team entry, and a quick look at the new cardstock line "Chalk Core" from Core'dinations.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Freebie Friday- okay, it's Thursday, but that didn't have the same ring to it.

Hey everyone!
Just popping in to the-blog-that-has-been-neglected to hook you up with a free digital cutting file download to create these cute pocket tissue holders.
Sometimes you want to give someone more than a card- but not quite a gift. These pocket tissue holders are great- for funerals, get well wishes, attending a wedding, crying over the kids getting out of school...
Click HERE to get all the details.
And a shout out to Kerri Bradford for her digital file creating expertise.
I can't create digital files- and I don't want to learn.
Old dog- new tricks.
So grateful to people like her who have brains that do not glaze over when they try to learn complicated stuff.
Makes life easier for folks like me, who can just download their goodness, and mass produce.
Hop on over, and download your file!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

“My Core’dinations Creative Frenzy”

Hi. So, I haven't posted on the blog since August, when I turned 40.
Here is a funny- I forgot my blogger log-in. Took me three tries to get in here!

I guess part of getting old, is that your kids get old too.
I find myself with less and less free time, and when I do get an hour or two to myself, you know what I will do with it?
Every. Time.
One of these days I will get back to updating my life on this thing.

Today, I wanted to share some projects I made for the Core'dinations cardstock design team call. I have been on the team for a while, and if they have room for me on the team again, I would be a happy girl.
I think I will end up dying with cardstock scraps in my lap.
I made a Mother's Day layout.
This project features their Jillian Dot cardstock. It is the pretty polka dot paper you can see. It comes pre-embossed in 12x12 sheets, all you have to do is sand it. It is usually my go-to cardstock, mainly because I love the bright colors.
Just a little reminder here, if your eyes are getting bad, like mine, or if you want to be nosy, like me, and read the journaling- you can click on any of the photos, and they will pop up bigger.
You could even steal the image, and photo-shop your face on it.
I don't mind.
The frame on the page is from the Core'dinations Core Cuts collection. This paper pad has pre-embossed AND pre-die-cut pages. Really easy to just punch out elements and crank out pages. Speedy layouts leave more time for naps, I always say.
Here is a close-up of the sanded cardstock, and also the cute ladybug.
The "frame" of the page, was adhered to the background to make a shadowbox look. I like dimension in my layouts. Until I try to shove the layouts into a page protector, and need a shoe-horn.
Does anyone remember shoe-horns?
My grandpa used one.
Referencing that word might be dating me, a tad.
More close-ups:
The yellow pennants are cut from glittery Core'dinations Core Couture.
You either like glitter...or you are wrong.

And the last detail shot shows that even the clouds are embossed. The purple flowers are cut from Core'dinations Vintage Collection. This collection looks like worn jeans. I love it. Lots of texture.
Next up, a couple of cards.
I was in an owl-ey mood, apparently.

You can see how nicely the cardstock works with embossing folders. The brown card was made from Core'dinations Chocolate Box Collection. Shades of brown, with colored paper core. 

The other card was made with Core'dinations Black Magic. A collection of black cardstock with colored core. I tore the hole the owl is peeking through. You can see the gray core of the cardstock pretty good in this close-up.

My last project was harder than heck to photograph.
Bear with these next craptastic pictures.
I have a "gallery wall" in my family room. This is a fancy way of saying "display wall of thrifted crap."
In the middle of the wall, I have a frame inside a frame.
Hey-pinterest said it was cool.
I wanted to have a pennant banner to hang over the family photo.

Another view:

I made the banner with cardstock. Black Magic for the bases. One sheet of it- and six different embossing folders! Gives the cardstock a whole lot of variety, no?
Then I made some time consuming rosettes out of pearly vellum.
I have no idea where I got the vellum. When you have been crafting as long as me, sometimes you pull unexpected treasures out of your stash.
Then, I cut letters, and embellished them with a mixture of all of the glitter cardstocks Core'dinations makes.
I love glitter with a love that is true and deep.

Here is a close-up:
That glitter is good stuff.
Glitter silk cardstock is for serious glitter addicts only.
So that it is.
Core'dinations is having their design team call, right now. If you are slightly crafty, you should give it a go! They are a really great company with awesome product. Win/win.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What Happened When I Turned Forty

I just want to warn you, that this might be a little lengthy. I have a lot to say about turning forty. It wasn't so much the age, I don't really care about a number--it was more about everything that comes along with it.

When you turn forty, society makes it such a milestone, that you can't help but spend part of that day reflecting on where you are in your life.

I think my younger self would be okay with where I am today, I really have been blessed. That is the plus side. We are all healthy and happy, and I realize that is a privilege denied to many.

I feel obligated to also recognize the sucktastic things that happen at this stage in life.

Keep in mind, these are my own observations. Maybe when you turn forty, you will bypass some of this crap. I hope so, and I also hope not. Misery loves company and all that.

1- Rage Issues. I am sure this is a product of hormones. There are some days, when I wake up, even after a fairly good night of sleep--feeling like Bruce Banner.
There is no reason for it. I just have vast amounts of pent up anger. I wake up this way. I feel like I could punch a wall, or a person, and just not care. I don't even like myself on Rage Days. I can't sit quietly and read a book, waiting for it to pass. It doesn't pass. It gets worse as the day progresses.
Usually on these days, not a lot goes right. Like I will drop the hairbrush, and bend over to pick it up, and miss it, and bend over again, and miss...and then #$@^%@!!! GET IN MY HAND, @%^*&*@ HAIRBRUSH!!! Rage.
I found a pill for this. Completely by accident.
Costco was pimping out samples of it one day. I didn't need it, but I took it, cause Hey! Free Sample!
I stuffed the sample in my pocket, and saved it for later, like the good little hoarder that I am.
One Sunday I woke up to a text that my Primary teaching partner wasn't able to make it to church that day. We have a needy class with a handful of turds. One of the kids in the class is my own daughter, so I feel like I can call them that. It takes two to teach them. One to present the lesson, and one on crowd control.
Well, I was having rage issues that day, and I knew it was going to get ugly.
I remembered the pills, and took one.
I'll be darned if 20 minutes later, I felt at peace. Calm, level, easy-going.
Hulk in check!
There weren't weird side effects, in fact, the bonus is that the pills are an appetite suppressant. Win.
I normally don't promote drugs on my blog, but these happy pills are the best thing to hit my system.
7 out of 7 people in our household agree.
I don't take them every day. Just those days when I feel murderous.
Thanks hormones!

2- Shedding Hair. Again, I am sure this is a hormone thing. The text books say that with older age, your hair will thin. What they don't tell you is the manner in which it will thin. In horrifying clumps.
You will fill up hairbrushes, and shower drains. Every. Day.
And the worst part of it, besides the panic of possible female baldness, is the hairs themselves.
They will stick to your back, and work their way over to your arms, where they will tickle you insane.
I spend the bigger portion of my day contorting my body to find almost invisible hairs.
Unchecked, they will also show up in your bra, and that is always a good look--digging around in your cleavage for a stupid tickly hair.
I bribe my nine year old to pick me clean after I do my hair for the day.
"Mikayla! Hairs!!" And dutifully she harvests the crop.
I am not sure what I will do when she is not available.
Probably be the creepy lady who pays a child in the neighborhood. Not for the cleavage hairs. I do have standards.
Thanks hormones!
I started taking a pill for this too.

The Internets said that supplementing with Biotin will help with hair growth. And the Internets are never wrong.
I am not sure if it is working on my head or not, but my leg hair is out of control, as are the witch hairs on my chin.

3- Witch Hairs on the Chin. (Well, really the whole face, let's be honest.) If I have any advice to give someone approaching 40, it is this: Invest in some damn good tweezers. Not the $5 kind, but the $20 kind.

Trust me. You need precision. And get two pairs. One for the bathroom, and one for the car. I am not sure what kind of magic light filters in through a windshield, but that is when the hairs will manifest themselves.
Most of the time you can feel them before you see them.
That is where the precision tweezers pay for themselves.
Good tweezers can nab a chin hair when they are barely out of the skin. Bad tweezers take some digging. Sometimes the digging makes you bleed, and then the hair looks like a zit. Good tweezers, Internets.
I can't go one day without tweezing something.
Thanks hormones.
There is no pill for this.

4- Weird Zits. I am sorry about the gross factor on this one. I like a good pimple. The kind that satisfactorily pop, and go away. When I turned 40, I got zits that look like they can pop, but nothing ever comes out, and they never go away. They scab up, and won't cover with makeup.
Some lady at the Health Food Store suggested I try Tea Tree Oil.
It has helped, but now I smell like the old lady that I guess I am.
Well played, hormones, well played.

5- Fat Stomach. I can tell when I gain five pounds. Why? Because my jeans feel like sausage casings. All my extra weight goes straight to my waist. I can usually tuck it into my pants, but I hate it there. When I lay on my side, it lays next to me. I am not sure why my fat has taken up residence at my waist, like a flab belt, but there you go.
Thanks 40.

6- Parade Arms. The other body part that seems to be affected at 40 are my underarms. I suddenly have swinging triceps. Not like a bodybuilder.

I had to be in a parade this summer, and when I would stop waving, my arms didn't. It felt awesome. I work my triceps at the gym, but I guess they are just plain tired. Which leads me to number seven...

7- Tired all the Time. Most mornings when I wake up, even after having slept a good solid 7 hours or more, the only thing that gets me out of bed, is the prospect of a nap later. How sad is it to wake up, and crave a nap? And a lot of days when I go to the gym, it is like all the energy that I had allotted for the whole day was expended in that hour-long workout. Maybe I need more protein. Maybe I need more recovery time. Or maybe, just maybe, at 40, the tires have been rolling for four decades, and they are just bald. Nothing left to give.
There are pills for that.
I just can't take them.
I did once, and I felt like my heart was going to explode like that bird in "Shrek."
 8- Teenagers. I like my kids, I really do. Teenagers have a lot of good points. They are fun, and deliciously funny! However, they make you feel like a straight-up loser. All I am good for is a ride to somewhere else, where the parents are cooler, and the food is better. I am also good for specific laundry detail. Football jerseys that need to be washed for practice this afternoon, or a shirt that can't be dried in the dryer.
I am useful to them for runs to Walmart at midnight because they suddenly remember they need fabric for sewing class in the morning.
"We are out of milk." is a phrase I am sick of hearing.
I know my kids could and probably should be doing their own laundry, taking a lesser grade for not remembering their fabric, and sucking it up when it comes to not having cold cereal available 24/7, but you know what is worse than being their thankless slave?

Not being needed at all.
At 40, that transition had been the hardest.
No one needs me.
I used to fill my days to capacity taking care of the needs of five babies.
Those five babies are independent mini-adults now, and my day is not filled with much of anything.
Thanks, 40.

9- Boredom. Forty is boring.
I should probably get a job to occupy my time. I just don't think I have the energy for it. Or desire. Or clothing that would be remotely appropriate for a professional.
With all of our free time at night (the kids out and about living their "lives") you would think Sam and I have finally landed the life we always dreamed we would have back again!
Free from kids!
We can go anywhere! Do anything!
You know what you do when you are forty? Sit home in front of the TV.
You know why? Because it feels nice. Going out takes energy. And requires pants.
Truthfully, I am perfectly content being boring, but my teenage self would die if she knew this is what her future would eventually be reduced to.

10- Reading Glasses. "I don't need those, yet." I said.
Until I tried them on.
And I could see. I never knew. I dare you, if you are about my age (Squinty McSquinterton), try some on at the Dollar Tree. And the Dollar Tree is the only place to buy them. You know why? Because you will lose them...

11- Your Memory Goes to Crap.
At first it is kind of funny, and endearing to be a little absent minded. And them it becomes alarming. Like that feeling you get when you are swimming in the ocean, and can no longer feel the bottom.
If it doesn't get written down at my house, it doesn't happen.
I make the children write on the calendar when I ground them.
"You are grounded, mister! Go write it on the calendar!"
Or I will forget.
I will forget writing things down too.
I am sure there is a pill for this, but I would have to remember to take it.
Thanks, 40.
I forget why I go downstairs, until I am all the way back upstairs again.

I forget what I am doing in the shower. "Did I condition my hair yet?"
I forget what else I forget, but it is a lot.

I told you I had a lot to say. There are other things too, like age spots and wrinkles, lack of interest in adult relations (since this is a family-friendly blog), not being able to weekend binge on junk food because it wreaks havoc on your system. Suddenly enjoying elevator music. Choosing comfort over fashion. Deodorant that stops working for no reason.

I have had a lot of people tell me things will look up when the grand kids start coming.
I am offended they would think I am "that age!"
In my head I am not that old.
But everything else tells me different.
Thanks 40!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The rest of our England Trip Pictures

So, it is my favorite and least favorite time of the year.
The kids are back in school! (Win!)
But a cold, Utah winter is creeping up on me again.
They say it is going to be one of the coldest winters we have had in years!
I am slowly dying inside.
Not looking forward to another round of Seasonal Depression.
On the other hand, I *am* looking forward to another round of elastic waisted track suits and hoodies.

I have been pretty busy this summer, and I want to tell you all about it!
But I feel bad cutting my England trip off in Baaaath.
And I wanted to share my favorite part with you-- Lavenham.

Mike and Heidi wanted to make sure we saw this place, and I am so glad they did!
It was just like stepping into the pages of a Hans Christian Andersen storybook.

When the town was settled, they used whatever timber and materials they had on hand to build the houses. As a result, the houses are very crooked.
It was hard to really show the crookedness with a camera--but I got a few pretty good shots.

My dad was a contractor, and it made the apprentice-contractor in me cringe.
I remember going with my dad to the lumber store and he taught me how to eyeball straight 2x4's.
No one in Lavenham did that.

Do you remember the nursery rhyme:
There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.
It originated in Lavenham.
Here is the Official Crooked House:
It is now an Art Musuem.
Here are my crooked kids in front of the Crooked House.
It was such a pretty little town. I half-expected Snow White to come waltzing down the street. We loved it there.

I kinda wish we would have been able to go inside one of the houses. I wonder if the floors sloped on the inside as bad as they did on the outside?  If they literally had to roll out of bed?  Could they never eat soup? These are the questions that keep me awake at night.

You all know what a freak I am about old cemeteries.

Well, England did not disappoint.
We found this gem.


Crumbling headstones? Check. Moss covered vaults? Check! Creepy old Mausoleum in the background? Yep. Dates back to the 1600's? Check and check.
Isn't it fantastic? And also, aren't we glad it was broad daylight?
My favorite epitaph I have seen so far was from this cemetery. Most of the names and dates were worn away, but this one was still clear. I totally love it.
You might have to click on it to read.
Or put on your reading glasses.
(I turned 40 this year, which deserves its own post...later.)
"Say what a Wife should be and She was that."

Guy covered all his bases there, didn't he? He says so much, without really saying anything at all.

We drove into Wales. Why not?

We walked around for a bit.
Apparently there was a big game that day, or maybe the people of Wales are just very patriotic.

We had a Cornish Pastie. This is pronounced Pah-stee.
Not Pay-stee- which conjures up in my American mind something completely different.
Don't google it.
Just don't.
Cornish pasties were quite good.

Sort-of like a little hand-held meat pie.
I had pictures of us tasting them, but we had our ugly food faces on, and they matched the American pastie photo more than the Cornish ones.

We walked around a bit, and saw the Cardiff castle.
The moat had some stagnant water in it, but sadly, no killer alligators.
I am telling you, tourists are disappointed at the lack of moat alligators in England and Wales.
Why no alligators? Piranha? Laser-tipped sharks? Menacing looking Koi? Nothing?!
The grounds around the castle were pretty cool. I was digging the trees.
More Wales pictures:

Aaaaand back to England!

Some of our other highlights:
This is Englands smallest pub. And possibly the smallest pub in the world.
The Nutshell.
It seats four people.
 There is no back room. This is all of it.

You can see that my kids are clearly thrilled to be posing for me. Again.
You can imagine my surprise when they came running up to me all excited "Mom! Come take a picture of THIS!!."
"This" happened to be a head in a plastic pot.
I am not sure who hefted that 500 pound stone head into the pot, but my kids solidly approve.
They were literally cackling, like escaped mental patients.
Might I remind you, internets:
My kids at Stonehenge:
My kids looking at a head in a plastic pot:

Awesome.I am raising up some weird ones.
But I guess I know where they got it from.
This gave Sam and I some serious mileage:
And if a whole pub weren't enough, there were also rolling fields!
Sadly, it was not harvest season for the Cockfields.
And on that classy note, thus ends our trip to England.