Wednesday, September 30, 2009 4 comments

Puppy Dog Birthday

Supplies: free digital image (Arthur's Free Clip Art), paper (unknown, Recollections), paw stamp (Stampin Up), brads (unknown), sentiment (Studio G), gold embossing powder.

I have a friend who will be having a birthday next month. When I saw this image, I thought of her. This stamp actually came from a bear set, but I didn't think there was that much difference between bear tracks and dog tracks. :) I added the paw prints to the brads with my BIC markers.

I liked it, and I think she will, too.

Queen for a Day

Supplies: free digital image (Arthur's Free Clip Art) colored with BIC markers, sentiment (Studio G), black satin ribbon, rhinestones ($1 Tree), papers (Fiskars, unknown).

This is another image I've had colored for awhile, but I honestly had no idea what to do with it. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever get a card made out of it. Then I pulled this striped paper out of my stash and got inspired.

The pink band in the middle came from a huge pack of invitations I got at a secondhand store simply for the envelopes. This card is 5x7", and I really like how it turned out.

The sentiment was originally for Mother's Day, but I decided any birthday girl could be "Queen for a Day".

Cabin in the Snow

Supplies: free digital image (Arthur's Free Clip Art) colored with BIC markers, Stardust embossing powder, Cuttlebug Antique corner die, rhinestones ($1 Tree), Nestabilities Labels 8, black chalk (EK Success).

Here's another shaped card. I really like it! You can't tell from the picture very well, but the embossing powder adds a lot of sparkle. I really like the snow effect it gives!

I chalked the edges of the top so it looks like a dark sky against the snow.


Little Boy Get Well

Supplies: free digital image (Arthur's Free Clip Art) colored with BIC markers, Nestabilities Labels 8, sentiment (Studio G).

I printed and colored this image awhile ago, but then I didn't know what to do with it. My nephew is going to have surgery next month, so I decided that, since he was in a robe, this could be a get well card. :)

Autumn Greetings

Supplies: free digital image (Arthur's Free Clip Art) colored with BIC markers, sentiment (Studio G), buttons (SEI), Nestabilities Labels 8, papers (CM, unknown).

I enjoyed coloring this detailed digital image. I've admired quite a few of the more detailed ones over at Splitcoast, so I decided to try one of my own. I like it!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 1 comments

Buck on the Mountain

Supplies: free digital image (unknown) colored with BIC markers, Stardust embossing powder, Nestabilities Labels 8.

This card couldn't be easier. I simply colored the image, added Stardust embossing powder where the "snow" is supposed to be, and then cut it with my Nestabilities Labels 8. I love the shaped cards, and I think this was my first. It's simple, masculine, and I like it.

I don't know about you, but I can't seem to have enough masculine card ideas!

(If I happen to run across the link for the image, I'll be sure to share it.)

Hang in There

Supplies: free digital image (Arthur's Free Clip Art) colored with BIC markers, sentiment (Studio G), grosgrain-look stamp (Martha Stewart), punch-outs from EK Success fleur de lis border punch, Swiss Dots CB embossing folder, Nestabilities Labels 8.

As soon as I saw this image, I knew it would be perfect for sending to someone who was having a difficult time. I colored it and set it aside for awhile, but I actually made the card with it this last week.

It's simple, but I love it.

Just thought I'd clarify that this is not my original image, although you're more than welcome for sharing the link! :) Enjoy!

Lilac Lace

I enjoy flowers. I love to look at them and admire their colors, their shape, their scent ... but I know very few names! So I have no idea what flower this card features, but I named it "Lilac Lace" for the colors I used. If you know the name of the flower, feel free to enlighten me. I really need to start learning! :)

Supplies: free digital image (from Arthur's Free Clipart), paper (Provo Craft), EK Success fleur de lis border punch, Stickles, rhinestones ($1 Tree) colored with BIC markers, dimensionals ($1 Tree), Nestabilities Labels 8 (Spellbinders).

I've had this image sitting in my craft room completely colored for awhile now. I had no idea what to do with it. But the other day I pulled it out and happened to remember a few pieces of paper in my purple scraps, and this card was born.

The background paper was printed with the patterned strip down the side of it, so all I did was lined both sides of it with paper lace. I added Stickles to the insides of the flower, matted the image, and popped it up on dimensionals. Lastly, I added rhinestones I custom-colored with my BIC markers.

This was the easiest card I've done in a long time, but I really, really like it. I chose not to put a sentiment on the outside since the image is flexible enough to be used for almost any occasion. That way, I can use it whenever a need arises.

4 Cards from a Color Challenge

Although I didn't get to post anything this past week, that doesn't mean I wasn't creating anything. I just didn't get time to post it! So here are four cards that were inspired by the CC237 color challenge at Splitcoaststampers (and another challenge or two). I don't have Stampin Up products, so I substituted papers that I thought were close:

Supplies: image (Leaves of Time free digi image), free keyhole shape design by Mel McCarthy, Allegro CB embossing folder, rhinestones (Dollar Tree) colored with my BIC markers, EK Success fleur de lis border punch.

This first card was also inspired by the sketch challenge SC247. I was very happy with this one!

This second one feels like it's missing something, but I can't figure out what, so I'm leaving it. It uses the same sketch challenge.

Supplies: image (free digital image from Leaves of Time), free keyhole shape design by Mel McCarthy, tiny adhesive rhinestones (Dollar Tree) colored with my BIC markers, EK Success fleur de lis border punch, sentiment (Studio G).

This one also feels like it's missing something, but since I suspect I just don't do well with this particular sketch, I'm leaving it "as is."

Supplies: image (free digital image from Leaves of Time), free keyhole shape design by Mel McCarthy, EK Success fleur de lis border punch, sentiment (Studio G).

This one is not for a sketch challenge, but it is for a second challenge called Featured Stamper (FS137), where we choose a card from a certain cardmaker's gallery and make one similar. Here's the card I chose. I changed the sentiment, colors, and omitted the ribbon since I just couldn't get it to look right (even though it's what drew me to the card in the first place). I added rhinestones and fleur de lis punch-outs as well.

Supplies: image (free digital image from Leaves of Time), Nestabilities Labels 9, EK Success fleur de lis punch (for the punch-outs), CM fancy corner rounder, rhinestones (Dollar Tree) colored with my BIC markers.

I thought I'd explain a little something here, too. I don't usually send out Thanksgiving cards. What prompted me to design these (and to begin sending some this year) is the sheer volume of Halloween cards I've seen this year, and a comment from a foreigner asking if all Americans send Halloween cards (she was a bit puzzled, since no one does it where she comes from).

Please excuse my "two cents" here, but Halloween is no longer the "innocent" holiday some people may remember from our childhoods. Look at most houses decorated for Halloween, and I'm sure you'll understand what I mean. Gone are the funny-faced jack-o-lanterns. In their place are decorations worthy of gruesome crime scenes none of us would ever want to stumble upon.

It's pretty bad when I can't take my kids past certain aisles in the stores because they are frightened by displays of dismembered bodies (and parts) and the devilish howls coming from so-called "innocent" decorations. Not many things make me angry, but these displays do. Unfortunately, if I boycotted every store that offers them, we'd starve until Halloween is over.

But enough of my ranting ... I made Thanksgiving cards because most retailers virtually skip Thanksgiving, and it gets overlooked for the wonderful holiday that it is. I'd much rather celebrate giving thanks than to celebrate dismembering bodies. I think we need to give renewed attention to the Thanksgiving holiday.

So this is my personal rebellion this year. Care to join me? :)

Shopping deals today

We had to take my son to get a tooth pulled today, so I was a bit rushed in my drug store deals. That's okay, though, because it didn't require a lot of time this week.
Rite Aid
  • 9 playground (9") balls - $0.32 each on clearance (part of the 90% off summer clearance that I somehow missed last week; going into my Cousin Camp stash!)
  • 2 larger balls (14") - $0.44 each (for my own kids - see the next picture for what these look like, since they were too big to get into the picture)
  • Crest with Scope toothpaste (4 ozs) - FREE after SCR
  • Oral-B toothbrush - FREE after SCR
  • ProFoot Flex-Tastic, Miracle Insole, and Triad Insole - 3/$4 after SCR, sale and coupon (my husband uses these, so I'm loving the deals on them every month)

Here's that picture of the 14" ball, and how it compares to the size of my almost-4-year-old daughter:

  • Herbal Essences Totally Twisted shampoo - $0.99 after Register Rewards (got this for my sister-in-law, whose daughter can ONLY use this shampoo)
  • Oral-B toothbrush - FREE after Register Rewards
  • Reese's peanut butter cups (not pictured) - $0.42 (I had to buy them in order to use my Register Rewards, since the products were just $0.01 shy of the RRs. I was a bit disappointed since my savings were ruined, but my husband loved the candy, so I guess all was not lost!)

There were a bunch more good deals with Register Rewards at Walgreens this week, but my stores were completely out of them already this morning. It seems more people around here are discovering the Register Reward program!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 1 comments

Birthday in a Bag gift

My Secret Sister from church turned 73 today, and I thought I'd share the gift I made for her ... a Birthday in a Bag (once it's put into the gift bag). I'm sure you've seen several variations on this. I know I have! I just adapted it for what I had and what I needed.

Included in the set: cake mix (for cupcakes), frosting with sprinkles, 24 decorative cupcake picks, small baggie of balloons, and a super-duper deluxe party hat. :)

Here's a better look at the cupcake picks, balloons, and frosting container. I decorated them with two different Studio G cupcake stamps - one acrylic, one rubber. (The rubber one was a larger image.) I used my Nestabilities Labels 8 for the baggie toppers.

I didn't include a close-up of the cake box because I couldn't get a clear picture of it. I simply wrapped it in gold wrapping paper and added a decorative and coordinating "belly band".

Now you may wonder why in the world I made a party hat for a 73-year-old lady. Well, I happened to find out that the only birthday "party" she's ever had was for her 21st birthday, and it wasn't as big of a deal as you might think. She's single, so if no one else makes a big deal, the birthday goes virtually unnoticed.

I simply could not let a lady get to 73 years old without having a fancy party hat at least once. So I made an over-the-top one to make her laugh. (My almost-4-year-old daughter loved it, by the way!)

And yes, the hat is all handmade! I simply took a 12x12" sheet of paper, used a compass set at 6" to draw a half-circle at one edge, cut it out and folded it to make the actual hat. The cupcake decoration at the top was first glued onto a toothpick, then inserted into the top and hot-glued. For the strap, I used eyelets in the holes to make it sturdier, then simply added about 16" of string elastic. I had fun creating it!
Monday, September 21, 2009 1 comments

More Rite Aid clearance toys!

If you saw my post earlier, you might have noticed that I got rubber ducks (14/pkg) for $0.99 at Rite Aid. It was a bit of a surprise when I got to the register, since I was expecting to pay $2.50 for them (75% off). It seems that all summer merchandise was marked down to 90% off this morning, and I got first pick! Since I had the kids with me, I wasn't thinking on my feet too well. (Never mind the awful cold I have that doesn't help my thinking process much!)

So after I got home, I got to thinking about some of the toys I had seen there. I had to run back out tonight anyway, so I decided to swing by Rite Aid to see what they had left. Check out what I got for $12:

  • 2 bowling sets - $0.99 each (1 for my kids, 1 for a gift)
  • 2 regulation-size and weight volleyballs - $1.49 each (1 for us, 1 for a gift)
  • Deluxe Toddler Racer inflatable pool toy - $1.29 (for a gift)
  • Jumbo Basketball Game inflatable pool toy - $1.99 (for a gift)
  • Spider Water Sprayer - $1.99 (for my kids, but I'm going to hold on to it for an Easter gift)
  • 2 humongous containers of bubble formula - $0.49 each (less hassle than making my own, and you can't beat the price!)
  • My Bubbling Animals dog bubble toy (automatically generates bubbles - great for little ones) - $0.99 (for a gift)

I think I mentioned before that I have a fairly small gift budget for a lot of nieces and nephews. Well, this will help make the $3/person stretch pretty far! :)

More details on those invitation kits!

You knew I wouldn't be able to resist showing you these awesome invitations, right? They were an even better deal than I had originally thought!

Check out this first set:

It's designed like a diploma holder, with space on the lefthand side for a picture. That "Class of 2009" is easy enough to cover with a decoration that includes a new graduation year!

Notice, too, that the "Thank You" notes do NOT have a year printed on them. Maybe I should save those thank you notes for my nieces and nephews that will be graduating in the next few years??

I won't personally need graduation invitations any time soon, but they would make neat graduation cards, too.

As for those seals, they say nothing about graduation. I can use them on my Christmas cards since they just have the year on them. :)

I really love the "cases" on these! They are designed so that you print the insert card and then place it into the black case. It only opens at the top, and it looks so elegant! Currently there is a graduation cap die cut into the front flap. I'm going to try to figure out a way to cut another design into it, one that will be larger and thus "get rid" of the mortarboard. I'll experiment and let you know what works!

This set is so neat! It's designed to look like a mortarboard from the front. You lift up the top flap and the insert card just lays in there. This will be another easy-to-alter design! I found it online for $25.99. I couldn't find the other styles, but that's probably because they're sold out. I would guess they were all originally around the $25 mark.

For the envelopes alone, $0.25 a box was a great price! Now I get to play around with the invitations themselves and see what I can do with them. That's just an extra bonus. :)

Some good shopping deals today

I took the kids shopping with me this morning, and that was a mistake! It always takes three times as long when they're along, and I don't usually get to all the stores I wanted to. Today was no exception, but I did find great deals and got the essentials, so I guess it all worked out after all. Check out what I got for $25.14, a lot of which doesn't come out of my grocery fund:

Dollar Tree
  • wet floor wipes (16/pack like Swiffer wet wipes) - $1.00 each I had bought these previously, and then they disappeared for almost a year. I really missed them because they're so good at cleaning up spills and in-between mop-ups. So I bought four packs, just in case they decide to be scarce again!
  • 3D tool erasers (not pictured, for my son) - $1.00
  • 3-pack crayons (not pictured, for my daughter) - $1.00
  • kitchen timer (to teach and time teeth brushings and mouthwashings) - $1.00
  • Learning Playground Phonics Tiles ($15.99 at Amazon) - $1.00
  • Eureka Life Cycles bulletin board set ($9.99 at Amazon) - $1.00
  • more farm decorations for later in the schoolyear - $1.00
  • tape dispenser - $1.00 I needed one for that great deal I found on double-stick tape at Walgreens awhile back, and this one is perfect because it's so petite it doesn't take up as much room as a traditional one.
  • decorations/supplies for my son's birthday party (dinosaur theme) - $5.00
  • spreadable butter - $1.00 (because I didn't want to run to Wal-Mart, and it was the only thing I couldn't wait for)
  • balloons (for upcoming birthday parties) - $1.00
  • toilet bowl cleaner - $1.00

Rite Aid
  • 14 rubber ducks (on clearance, using for next year's Cousin Camp) - $0.99
  • mini scissors, eraser, tablet, and markers - $0.12 each (for my kids, except I kept one pair of scissors for coupon-clipping in the store)
  • Electrasol/Finish dishwasher detergent (75 ozs) - $1.49 after sale and SCR

Happy Harry's
  • ThermaCare heat wrap (trial size) - FREE after Register Reward
  • 2 packs Trident layers gum - FREE after sale, coupon and Register Reward
  • Aussie Moist shampoo (my preferred shampoo) - $0.99 after Register Reward

Factory Card & Party Outlet
  • 3 packs butter mints (2009 graduation packaging) - $0.25 each
  • 4 boxes 2009 Graduation invitation kits - $0.25 each

I went in looking for tiny little alien toys my son had picked up in the dentist's prize box. (Weird, I know, but he's a 5-year-old boy. What more do I need to say?)They were going to be a bribe to get him to go to a local dentist, instead of having to drive 1.5 hours (one way) to get his teeth pulled. As it turns out, none of the local dentists will take him because of his age. So much for insurance!

Anyway, they had all of their graduation items $0.25 each. Yes, that includes these packs of invitations! So I got 4 packs of invitations that include 25 invitations with envelopes, 25 thank you notes with envelopes, 25 seals, and all but one also has 25 mini tassels included. WOW! That was a great price just for the envelopes!

I was pretty thrilled with my finds for the day! :)
Sunday, September 20, 2009 3 comments

Recyling old Christmas cards into gift tags

My brother and his wife both have paper routes, so you can imagine they get quite the stash of Christmas cards (and gifts) every year! Since he would usually just throw away the cards when the season is over, my brother donated them to me. :) I'm not sure if all of these cards came from one year, but I'll tell you in a minute how many tags I got out of them. (You won't believe it!)

These range in size from the largest Nestabilities Labels 8 to the second-smallest. I put them in baggies for my mother so she can find just the right tag, according to size. They're not fussy (i.e. no coordinating cardstock backing), but they'll make beautiful gift tags. And you can't beat the price! :)

Now check out how thick these stacks are and take a guess at how many tags there are altogether:

Okay, here's the breakdown, from smallest to largest:

91 smallest (about 1.75x2.5")
52 next size (about 2.25x3")
33 next size (about 3x4")
73 next size (about 3.5x4.75")
81 largest size (about 4x5.5")

For a grand total of 330 tags. This will last my parents a long, long time - even if they share with every relative within driving distance! :)

You know I'm addicted to my Nesties now, right? I had so much fun cranking these through my Cuttlebug. There's something so satisfying about cranking out this perfect shape in five seconds, instead of the minute it used to take me to cut out each shape by hand!

Another thing I absolutely loved was being able to perfectly "center" my image, since the Nestabilities are open in the middle.

And one last tip ... If you want to get the most out of your cards, check the backs for mini pictures or coordinating images. The majority of the smallest tags came from the backs of the cards - the part most people would usually throw out when they do this type of project. And if the back was colored or patterned, I usually got at least two of the smallest tags out of them.
Friday, September 18, 2009 4 comments

Christmas Gift Tags Set

I'm more than a little annoyed with Picasa right now. For some reason, I can't get my full-sized picture of the tag to rotate correctly, so I'm not posting it. You'd have to crane your head around to the side to see it, and who wants to do that?

If anyone knows how to access the web album for your blog, please let me know. If I could find that, I might be able to rotate it there and fix the problem.

Anyway, on to happier things ... Last night I made another project, this time a set of gift tags for Christmas. I used the tutorial here for the box and used her tags loosely as inspiration.

Supplies: paper (unknown), stamps (gingerbread man, sentiment - Martha Stewart; flourishes - Autumn Leaves & Studio G; To/From - DMD?), fiber (from a gift set), Nestabilities Labels 8 (2nd and 3rd largest dies).

When I first saw her set, I thought the tags seemed a bit large for gift tags. Then I made them and realized that you won't need much else to decorate a package if you use these. I really, really like them! (The gingerbread men are popped up on dimensionals, by the way.)

I was able to get six tags into my box.

I think I'm going to make a few more variations of these tags!
Thursday, September 17, 2009 1 comments

Good Things Come in Small Packages 2

Here is another project I made today with my Nesties (I made the first one last night and decorated it today).

It's a cute little purse, although the ribbon looks a bit pathetic in the picture. It looks much better in real life. I chose a wired ribbon because it will stand up on its own. I used my largest Nestabilities (not sure how to spell a single one) for this one. I'm not sure how everyone else does it, but I loved the stability of the box with cardboard in between, so I used cardboard on this purse, too. It made a huge difference!

Here is the inside. For the actual bag part, I used a pink lunch bag that you can get in a pack at the dollar store. (I got two packs for $0.25 each at a thrift store.) You could fit more than it looks like it there!

Have you see those projects by the professional designers that buy the Basic Grey magnets for their projects? I'm probably never going to spend my "fun" money on fancy, expensive magnets, so I wondered if I could punch two circles out of thin magnets and have it work the same way. As you can see, it works great! This is a very thin magnet, by the way. I think it was originally a magnetic frame designed to go on the fridge and "frame" a picture.

(NOTE: Test the magnets before you glue them onto your project. I've had a few times that two magnets cut from the same magnet have refused to go together.)

And so you can see how this compares in size to the box, here's a picture of the two of them together:

Don't forget to check out the "For You" hangtag on it, too. I had a blast with it and probably spent more time on it than the whole rest of the bag. I used charms and beads from my Dollar Tree finds.

Speaking of charms and beads, the decoration on the purse flap is a thick bead cap with a seed bead glued to the middle.

I was inspired by the purse pictured here.

Good Things Come in Small Packages 1

I've been having a blast with my Nestabilities, in case you can't tell! :) I made this little box and absolutely LOVE how it turned out. This is very sturdy and a nice size for gifts of appreciation (i.e. it won't break the bank to fill it).

As I was making it, I thought it was about the size of a box of Dove soap. After I finished it, I brought up a bar of soap and it fit perfectly. That was a good estimate!

I took a picture of it with the soap box inside, just so you can get an idea of the size of it.

I followed the instructions here, but I used my second-largest Nestability instead of the Top Note die. And since I used my Nesties instead, I had to cut the cardboard and paper layers before I put them together, since they are too thick afterward. I also eliminated the ribbon since the design in mine runs a different direction.

Shiny rose card revisited: new colors

I loved that rose card so much that I had to make a few more. I basically just changed the color of the rose and the card base.

However, I did forget the whole "watercolor" technique, since it didn't really turn out like I wanted. Instead, I used a speckly paper that I've had for years and never knew what to do with. I think it was from Provo Craft, in one of those big slabs of paper. It was given to me, so I'm not 100% sure.

I also changed the sparkly embossing powder to the "Star Dust" color, and I love the sparkle! Obviously, iridescent is just slightly different (you get more of a rainbow effect in the sparkle).

I took a picture of it before I attached it to a white card base, in case you're wondering why it looks a little out of shape here and there. :)
Wednesday, September 16, 2009 2 comments

A Christmas card using leftovers

You knew I just couldn't waste any of that beautiful gold paper, right? So I used frame that was left when I cut the shape out for my rose card:

Supplies: gold foil tissue paper (Dollar Tree), Textiles embossing folder (Cuttlebug), fireplace digital image (Leaves of Time), sentiment (Inkadinkado), gold embossing powder, Nestabilities Labels 8 (Spellbinders).

I mounted it onto black paper and added a free image from Leaves of Time that I had colored a little while back. Then I just embossed the sentiment, and it was done. Easy as pie!

A rose card using those glittery leaves!

So you wanted to see what I had in mind for those glittery leaves I bought at Dollar Tree on Monday? Well, I sat down tonight and created a card with the basic idea I had in my head. Here it is:

Supplies: rose stamp (Rubber Stampede), sentiment (SU Wonderful Words), rhinestones (Dollar Tree) colored with my BIC marker (Key Lime), iridescent embossing powder (Rubber Stampede), glittery leaves (Dollar Tree), gold foil tissue paper (Dollar Tree), Textiles embossing folder (Cuttlebug), Nestabilities Labels 8.

If that's not enough bling for you, then perhaps you don't like bling! I could be a raccoon as much as I like shiny things, and this card almost hurts your eyes in bright lighting. I love it! :)

So for a few details ... I used just one leaf to make the two leaves here. Because of the way they're shaped, I cut it off the stem and then in the middle. Then I was able to tuck the middle behind the rose and get two leaves for the price of one. You know I liked that!

I made the rose using the watercolor technique where you emboss the rose on glossy cardstock (I used glossy photo paper) with white ink, then mist it with water and add a few drops of reinker. Mine turned out a little different than most I've seen, but it was still a neat effect.

After it dried overnight, I smooshed my Versamark pad over the top of it, sprinkled it with iridescent embossing powder, and heat set it. It gave the rose a glittery shine without the problem of glitter flaking off. Caution: I don't know that I'd try this with the watercolor technique again, since it did get a smidgen of the color on my Versamark pad.

Since the leaves are 3D, they have a bit of depth to them. I compensated by adding dimensionals to the back of the rest of the rose so it could lay as evenly as possible.

Here's a closer picture that shows the details better:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 1 comments

Just a Note card - literally!

Supplies: mini file folder (Dollar Tree), gold foil tissue paper (Dollar Tree), Allegro embossing folder (CB), note die (CB), slider die (CB), Labels 8 Nestabilities (Spellbinders), sentiment (Studio G), gold embossing powder, ribbon (Michaels $1 bin).

I'm not entirely pleased with how this picture turned out, but I couldn't get it any better, so I'm sharing it as is. The gold foil looks dull and silvery in the picture, but it's a bright, shiny gold in real life.

Another thing you can't tell in the picture is that the base is one of the mini file folders I got a few weeks ago (25/pk at Dollar Tree). It's 4x6", so I'll have to come up with my own envelope for it, or just use it without one (for hand delivery). It was exactly what I wanted, though, so I used it.

Ever since I got my Cuttlebug, I've been on the lookout for an inexpensive source of metallic paper. I've used soda cans in the past, but they only come in silver. I really, really wanted gold! So I was thrilled to see the make-your-own tutorial at Cuttlebug Challenge two weeks ago. She used mylar gift wrap from the dollar store, and it was gorgeous! So I did the same thing, but I had to buy metallic "tissue paper" since the stuff on the rolls at my store was completely see-through. I used a glue stick to adhere my paper to the cardstock, and it worked beautifully.

Since the inside of the file folder is black, I simply cut two more white shapes from my Nesties and glued them to the inside so I could write with a regular pen.

A bundle of these would be perfect as a gift for a music teacher, by the way! :)

Tilda screen door card

Last week, my friend gave me the template and some thin screen for this cute screen door card. It was featured in the August/September issue of Country Woman, if I have it right.

As soon as I got over my migraine last week, I whipped up one of these and then got stumped as to what to put outside the "door". A few days later, I came up with this card. I wasn't sure it was finished, though, so I waited a few more days to share it. I really like how it turned out!

Images: Tilda (by Magnolia), apple basket (freebie by Leaves of Time), sentiment (by Cloud 9 Designs)

You can see my friend's screen door cards on her blog here. It's so nice to have a friend that shares my same passion for cardmaking!
Monday, September 14, 2009 1 comments

Finally - a truly awesome shopping trip!

Did I just say that I haven't been getting awesome deals on groceries lately because I don't get the newspaper coupons as regularly? Well, check out what I got for $34.72 today:

  • Lipton tea (100 ct) - FREE after coupon (mailed to me)
  • Kashi cereal - FREE after coupon (Vocalpoint coupon mailed to me)
  • Always Infinity pads - FREE after coupon (mailed to me with a free sample)
  • 3 Musketeers bar (not shown) - FREE after coupon (from Mars' Free Chocolate Friday promotion)
  • 10 lbs flour - $3.64
  • (2) 5 lbs sugar - $2.62 each
  • Klondike Choco Taco (not shown) - FREE after coupon
  • 2 boxes Imperial margarine - $0.66 each
  • Pillsbury Grands biscuits 5-ct - $0.22 after coupon
  • Sense & Spray starter kit - $1.00 after coupon
  • 4 pkgs Huggies flushable wipes - $0.64 each after coupons

  • Murine ear kit - FREE after Register Rewards
  • 2 boxes Band-Aids - FREE after coupons and Register Rewards
  • True North nut clusters - $1.00 profit after coupon and Register Rewards
  • Icee (not shown) - $1.29

  • 2 pkgs Smithfield bacon - FREE after sale and coupons
  • 6 cartons Yoplait yogurt - $0.10 each after sale and coupons
  • 2 boxes Lipton tea (16 ct) - $0.09 each after coupons
  • 6.5 lbs 93% lean ground turkey - $3.59 for all after sale, clearance markdowns and store meat coupon [I was all out of ground turkey, so it was one of my "look for" items today!]
  • 2 bottles KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce - $0.17 each after sale and coupons
  • 4 pkgs Green Giant Steamers - $0.50 each after coupons
  • 2 pkgs Hormel pepperoni - $1.40 each after sale and coupons

Big Lots
  • 2 cans Chef Boyardee pasta shapes - $0.50 each (not the healthiest thing in the world, but better than getting a migraine from not eating lunch on a too-busy day)
  • 1 can Treet loaf - $1.10 (ditto!)
  • Old El Paso taco sauce - $1.49
  • salsa - $1.00

Dollar Tree
  • cheese slices - $1.00

I stopped by Goodwill and Michaels since I was going right by them. Here are my finds from there, as well as some non-grocery finds from the stores I mentioned above:

  • a Milwaukee heat gun for my friend - $5.00 (reg. $60 in stores!)
  • EZ bow maker for me - $1.00
  • 2 small white Studio G stamp pads (pigment ink) - $0.25 each

  • 2 dry erase lapboards for homeschooling (notice the "primary" lines on them!) - $1.49 each on clearance
  • 2 musical note CB dies - $1.99 each on clearance
  • photo corner CB die - $0.99 on clearance
  • "For You" stamp to fit inside my Nesties - $1.00
  • 20 foam brushes - $1.00 for all

  • 8 wiggly squishy toys (not all pictured) - $0.05 each on clearance (some were originally priced as high as $5 each; the cheapest was $3 reg. price - these will go in my Cousin Camp prize stash for next year)

Dollar Tree
  • glittered leaves - $1.00 for the stem of 18 leaves (to use in crafts projects ... stay tuned!)
  • Veggie Tales video for my nieces & nephews - $1.00
  • gold-colored plastic trophies (for variety) - $1.00/4
  • gold tissue paper (to try in my CB machine) - $1.00/4 large sheets
  • AA batteries - $1.00

Big Lots
  • Westcott craft knife - $3.00 (I've been wanting one, and this one even has the cushion grip.)

Here's a closeup of those glittery leaves:

And a closeup of the $1 stamp that fits inside the smallest of my new Nesties:

Sunday, September 13, 2009 2 comments

Look what came today (+ a project)!

I was so excited to find a padded envelope from Utah in my mailbox today! I got my Labels 8 Nestabilities from Cut at Home!

We had to finish our homeschooling in the afternoon today, since my son went to the Lowe's workshop this morning. [We homeschool in the mornings Tuesday through Saturday, since it works better for our schedule.] I was itching to get in my craft room and try these out!

Typical me, I didn't start out with the easiest project on my list, either. (Ask my dad sometime about the first doll I ever sewed ...) I decided to make the mini dresser I linked to in an earlier post. It took me awhile since I don't have the matchbox die and had to figure out all the measurements for myself, but the end result was quite cute.

Before I show you the finished product, let me show you one of my favorite features of the Nestabilities:

They're an easy way to save paper! I only needed the outer perimeter of this particular shape to be covered with the patterned paper, so I simply used a smaller die to cut out the center to save for another project. It couldn't be any easier - lay it on the paper and crank it through the machine!

Okay, here's my finished project:

I was able to fit two tea bags per drawer. This is going to my Secret Sister since she loves tea like I do. I also designed it in an apple theme since she is planning to redo her kitchen in apples soon. I liked how it turned out!

A few more things I found out about the Nestabilities ...

I was under the impression that you could only cut paper with them, since they're not the steel rule dies (like Sizzix). However, I found out that you can cut cereal-box-weight chipboard with them, too. That's about all the chipboard I ever use, so that made me happy!

To emboss, you need a tan embossing mat that is sold for the Wizard die cut machine (sold by Spellbinders, the same company that makes Nesties). BUT good old plumbers gasket works, too, and I had some of that already. I had cut into it, though, so I will have to buy another sheet to use with the larger dies. It's only around $1 at Lowe's, though, so it's still cheaper than the tan mat from Spellbinders.

These are so fun, I just want to keep cranking paper through my Cuttlebug. I suspect a few more sets are in my future! :)
Saturday, September 12, 2009 1 comments

Good shopping deals today!

I haven't been getting coupons as regularly lately, so you'll notice I haven't posted a lot of shopping deals lately. With school starting, my life has been plenty busy. I really haven't missed the heavy couponing. I guess we can all use a break now and then!

But I managed to get some good deals at Food Lion today, no coupons necessary:

  • California red seedless grapes - $0.99/lb
  • 6 cans tuna - 3/$1
  • 2 cartons salad dressing - $1.89 each

I was pretty happy with all of that for $7.99.

I haven't bought tuna in ages, but I've thought of a few times lately that I would have liked to have some on hand. This was a good price, so I got the limit.

I've also found myself "out of" Miracle Whip twice in the past few months, and I had to buy it at Wal-Mart for $2.50 each. I decided I was going to buy a few cartons the next time I saw them on sale!

We stopped at the Farmer's Market/flea market downtown today. I didn't find any produce worth buying, but my husband did find something for me:

This could very well be the cheapest stamp set ever purchased. This is a $12 clear stamp set (and a recent release, at that) that my husband got for $0.25. It doesn't look like anyone ever even opened the package, since the clear tape that sealed it was still intact. The only thing I can figure is that the people who had it thought it was a sheet of stickers.

I have a well-trained, thoughtful husband, don't I? :)

Lowe's Build and Grow workshops

My son went to his first workshop at Lowe's this morning, and he was thrilled with it, too! If you'll pardon the goofy expressions on his face, I'll share a few pictures of the project. [If you have boys, you'll recognize this stage: see how many goofy faces you can make before Mom pushes the shutter button on the camera. Please tell me they grow out of this!]

He got: goggles, an apron (with a clear pocket to hold a nametag), the project (a drum and drumstick), project instructions, a certificate of completion, and a sew-on badge for his apron. Again, that's pretty generous for being free!

He was especially excited that he got to bring home the goggles. Of course, he's supposed to remember to bring them back in the next time, but I'm sure they'll have more if he forgets.

Here you can get a better picture of his apron. It's quite nice! I'm debating how best to sew the patches onto it. And speaking of patches, here is the one he got today:

I think I'm going to start by sewing them onto the pockets. I measured it all out and decided I probably have room to sew about two years' worth of patches onto the apron, if I "plaster" them on there pretty close. :) That should be sufficient for awhile!

He really enjoyed the workshop. My husband took him and said that he's already getting better with a hammer and nails. Last week, my husband had to set the nails. This week, my son did it all himself. Not bad for an almost-six-year-old!

So the verdict is in: the kids' workshops are a success, and we'll be attending them as often as possible. It's great for homeschooling, too, since I can count that as our art class for the week ... and I don't even have to deal with a mess! [I love to craft, but I don't necessarily love the mess of crafting with kids.]