Thursday, October 29, 2009 2 comments

Fun gifts for boys who travel a lot

Our friends' boys range in age from 10 to 3, but I think they were all tickled with the little gifts for them. First of all, I made them each a decorative personalized notebook using old calendar pages:

Their dad and grandpa love to hunt, so I guessed that they'd enjoy these animals. I had to laugh after their son pointed out that the trophy buck had a nice 10-point rack. I hadn't thought to count! :)

I wanted to make them a little something to "play" with, too, so I finally got around to using an idea I've had for years ...

Traveling car tins ...

You can find these mini cars at Dollar Tree, 8 in a pack. Not all of them are from Dollar Tree, though, because I pick these up secondhand whenever I can find them. My first idea was to add magnets to the bottom of the cars, but I was out of magnetic strip and couldn't run to the store for more. So I just put 3 cars and a road sign in each tin and called it done.

They were thrilled! I didn't realize it, but the middle boy had been asking his parents for these tiny cars for months. They hadn't been able to find any, so he was especially thrilled to finally get a few.

I really enjoy making little gifts for children. They are always so appreciative!

A fun gift for a girl that travels a lot

We had another missionary family at our house last night, so I didn't get a chance to post these pictures. I went to college with these friends, and it's always nice to reconnect with college friends!

They have four children who are doing a LOT of traveling while they're back in the States, so I wanted to make them some little gifts that are portable and fun. I changed a few ideas more than once, but here's what I decided on for the girl (8 years old) ...

This is what the tin started out looking like. I had picked it up at a thrift shop filled with the original contents for $0.25. My kids had fun with the pipe cleaners and yarn, but I wanted it for the suitcase-type tin. It's not a tiny thing, either. It could almost hold a regular-sized sheet of paper. After I decorated it, it looked like this (personalized with her name):

And then, of course, I filled it with fun things ...

There are ten notecards and envelopes inside. I left them black and white so she can color them (with the provided crayons) and send them to her grandparents - or anyone else she'd like. I also put a few mini gel pens in that small tin on the left, along with the crayons. That way, she can write inside the cards, too.

The tall journal is for all the secrets girls her age like to write down. I didn't do anything to it, other than stamping her first initial inside the flower. It matched my patterned paper quite well!

And then there is the magnetic paper doll set. I had this set all made up to go into a different container, but the magnets in the other container weren't strong enough. After I finished everything else, I happened to think about this being tin and the fact that the paper doll would stick just fine inside. So I attached her and most of her accessories to the lid of the tin. I experimented, and they stayed on even when I toted it around for awhile. For the fussy little accessories, like the shoes, crown and stuffed animal toys, I decorated a second Altoid tin and put them inside. That way, they won't get lost.

She seemed pretty happy with it, and I was happy with how it turned out!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009 4 comments

Anniversary card for my parents

Saturday is my parents' 39th wedding anniversary, and I wanted to send them a special card. [Yes, they married on Halloween. Don't ask me why they chose the date because I still haven't gotten a satisfactory answer on that one! ;) ]

Supplies: digital image (Super Coloring); paper (Serendipity by ATD, Recollections); Vintage Corners die (Cuttlebug); satin ribbon, rhinestones, image coloring with oil pastels and blended with baby oil.

Now you're probably wondering why on earth I chose this image for this card. Every couple seems to have "their song." My husband and I have "Only God Could Love You More," and my parents have "Like A Bridge Over Troubled Water" (by Simon & Garfunkel). I wanted a bridge image, and this was the nicest one I found as a digital image. I really wouldn't have minded buying a digital image for this card, but there are no bridge digital stamps that I could find.

I had fun coloring this image! I bought a small set of oil pastels at Ollie's last week for $0.49 because I had been told they created a lovely effect. I was not disappointed! I put the boldest strokes on by using the sticks directly on the paper, and then I blended that out to the edges to create that nice, soft effect you see. It looks really "artsy," but it's incredibly easy!

I couldn't think of a perfect sentiment for the outside, so I decided to save the words for inside.

Supplies: digital image (Leaves of Time) colored with oil pastels and blended with baby oil.

This is one of those graduation announcement cards, so I "had" to decorate both sides of the inside. On the left, I used this digital image and printed the words to the song underneath. I had to cut out a line or two of the song to make it even, but I chose the words that will mean the most to them right now.

They've gone through some hard times the last five years. Dad lost his good-paying job right about the same time Mom developed health problems that cost a great deal of money. That would be enough to send a lot of couples to divorce court, but not my parents. They're committed, and they love each other. They've been through hard times before, and they're in it for the long haul.

So I continued the last few lines of the song onto the other side of the card and finished with the traditional "Happy Anniversary" sentiment:

Oh, when you need a friend
I'm sailing right behind.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind.

I really like how it turned out, and I think they will, too. I like making cards that are meaningful on many levels, and this is probably the most "meaningful" one I've created to date.
Monday, October 26, 2009 1 comments

(Mostly) monthly grocery shopping again

Lately, I've been overwhelmed by the number of things I need to do on my "day off" from homeschooling. So I decided to revisit the idea of shopping for the bulk of my groceries once a month.

I already had a monthly menu made out, so I just pulled out the shopping list, checked off the items I already had (i.e. ALL the meat and vegetables!) and went shopping for the rest. I was pretty happy with how I did, but first let me show you my drug store deals for the week:

Rite Aid
  • Kotex pads - FREE after SCR and coupon
  • 2 GE light bulbs (2-packs) - FREE after SCR
  • Vaseline Intensive Rescue (or something like that) lotion - $0.50 profit after SCR and coupon
  • 4 Reese's Peanut Butter cups (8-packs) - $0.33 each after sale and coupon [These are my husband's favorite, and it was a "can't-miss" price!]

TOTAL: $1.44, including tax

2 Dickinson's witch hazel toner - $0.49 each after sale and coupon
Dentek flossers - should have been* FREE after coupon and Register Reward
Trident gum - $0.54 after coupon

TOTAL: $0.26 since I used up the last of my Register Rewards

*Once again, the Register Reward didn't print, and I have no idea why. I'm more than a little tired of this happening, and I'm not the type of person that enjoys pointing out these kinds of things (which seem to happen on every shopping trip). So I have decided to quit actively pursuing Register Reward deals at Walgreens. If they ever decide to go to the "club card" like CVS - which they supposedly were going to come out with around August - I might get back on the bandwagon. Until then, I'm not "biting" on Register Reward deals unless it's a must-have at our house. It's not worth my time and effort anymore.

On a brighter note, here are the monthly groceries I got for $57.24:

Now before you have a heart attack that there is almost no meat here, let me assure you that my freezer is almost overflowing with chicken breast, ground turkey and beef, pork chops, ham and roasts that I'll be using in conjunction with these groceries this month. We eat very well around here. :)

That's also the beauty of once-a-month shopping. I can use my stockpiled meat that I got at rock-bottom prices, and then use the rest of my monthly grocery budget to restock as the good sales pop up again. And, to reduce the time in the stores, I'm hoping to be able to limit myself to one grocery store a week. If I get desperate, I just might do price-matching at Wal-Mart, but that's last-ditch desperation here since I like to give my business to others when possible.

So let me just highlight some of the best deals of the day ...

Food Lion
1 dozen eggs - $0.23 after store coupon
nacho tortilla chips (11.5 ozs) - $1.00 after store coupon
2 packs hamburger rolls - $0.27 each after store coupon
Tyson chicken nuggets (2.5 lbs?) - $2.49 after sale and coupon
Jose Ole Taquitos (15/pack) - $1.59 after sale and coupon
Jamestown (?) bulk sausage - $1.00 each on sale

Friskies cat treats (for a friend's cats) - FREE after coupon
Huggies flushable wipes - $0.64 each after coupon

Oh, and before I forget ... Did I ever mention buying bubblegum-flavored flouride rinse for my kids at Dollar Tree? Well, there's a good reason you see another brand of flouride rinse in this picture (Hector Inspector - $1.99 after my coupon).

You see, I don't think I have ever been disappointed in anything I bought at Dollar Tree until I bought the flouride rinse. Please don't ever subject your kids to that stuff! "Toxic waste" doesn't even come close to describing the taste. It's so bad it would have probably been better if they hadn't tried to make it taste like bubblegum. I tried it myself, so I know what I'm talking about.

If you know me, you know that I try not to waste anything ... but that flouride rinse was promptly thrown in the trash! When my son woke up the next morning, the first thing he asked me was, "Are you going to make us use that mouthwash again, Mommy?" I'm not joking!! Of course I told him that would be bordering on child abuse and that brand would never come into our house again.

But you can understand that my kids were a little nervous about trying Hector Inspector bubblegum-flavored flouride rinse from Wal-Mart. :) However, it passed their taste test, and I tried it, too. This flouride rinse actually does taste like bubblegum, except that you get most of the "taste" after you're done.

... Just a little "word to the wise"! ;)
Saturday, October 24, 2009 1 comments

More cheap stamps!

I'd sure like to know what stamp store went out of business that all these closeout stores are getting these wonderful rubber stamps! :) Look what I found at Ollie's today:
I put a ruler by them so you can tell that these are not the teeny, tiny things you'd expect for $0.99 each!! I got these for my friend who doesn't get to this area more than once or twice a month. I knew she'd want to see a picture, so here they are! :)

As for myself, I got two stamps. I've been eyeing that lighthouse stamp at Michaels for awhile now. I couldn't resist the elephants, either, since they are one of my favorite zoo animals. They had a few more stamps, but they weren't that great.

So if you live near an Ollie's, you'll want to check them out!!

"Baby Animals" for My Kids

My daughter just had a birthday, and my son will have one within the month, so they have been receiving birthday money. A few weeks ago, they saw FurReal Friends at Wal-Mart and wanted them desperately. I think they liked the idea of bottle-feeding puppies! At any rate, we're used to thrift store prices, and there was no way we were going to just buy a $12 toy on a whim. (There's nothing wrong if you do, but our kids have plenty of toys already that we've gotten for much, much cheaper.)

We told the kids to start saving their money until they had enough. That way, they learn to save for special things. They have been trying to think of every possible way to earn money, and they finally earned enough. Added to that, they both had $3 birthday club gift cards to Toys R Us (free from the store) and my son's came in the mail yesterday. So we were convinced to go see if Toys R Us had them for a better price, after the gift cards.

Sure enough, they did. (Surprise, surprise!) But I was especially surprised that they had more than the usual run-of-the-mill puppy and kitten. They had a chipmunk, brown bear, chimpanzee, parrot, duck, kitten and two kinds of puppies. Both of the kids changed their minds about what they wanted when they found out that the dogs don't actually open their mouths to be fed. So here's what they got:

A chimpanzee for my little girl. Out of all the FurReal Friends, this and the baby beagle are my favorites. They are the cutest!
And a chipmunk for my son. It's a boy thing, I guess. He and his daddy both agreed on this one, while I tried to talk him into the baby beagle. :) He's happy with his choice, so I am, too!


Another "Hope" Card

Supplies: digital image (Fun Draw), sentiment (Elegant Word Art by Bethany); Nestabilities Labels 1 and 8; Textiles embossing folder (Cuttlebug); ornamental die (Cuttlebug); paper ($1 Tree, Recollections, gold tissue paper); Krylon gold leafing pen, satin ribbon.

I can't tell you just how much I love this card! I think it's one of my all-time favorites. Would you believe that it was also one of the quickest cards I've ever made?

My creative process went something like this:
1. Get out the ribbon and make another beautiful Becca bow.
2. Find an image I'd like to use it with, then grab coordinating papers.
3. Let my mind mull over the details while I put my daughter to sleep (about 30 minutes).
4. Make the card.

I think step #3 was the key this time (and for the last card I posted). I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I got into my craft room, and it was done in no time.

Do you recognize that gold-embossed frame? It's the leftovers from a previous card. I was going to throw it in the trash after I made that card, but then I thought it might make a neat frame sometime. I'm glad I kept it!

As for the card base, it's another of those almost-free graduation invitations I picked up a few weeks ago. This time, I didn't turn it inside-out. I decided to keep the "frame" part inside and use it to frame a suitable Scripture verse when I have occasion to use the card. Since this card could be sent for many occasions (thinking of you, discouraging times, death of a loved one), I decided to pick the verse when I send out the card.

I happened to think that I should start sharing the size of my cards, too. It does make a difference when you're trying to figure out how I fit all of that onto a standard-sized A2 card. :) Well, I didn't. It's 5.5x8.5" - the size of a regular sheet of cardstock folded in half.

I hope you enjoy the card as much as I've enjoyed making it!
Friday, October 23, 2009 0 comments

Pink and Girly!

Supplies: stamp (Studio G); paper (Making Memories, unknown glittered vellum, Recollections); ink: Colorbox and pink dye ink; Nestabilities Scallop Circles Large (Spellbinders); butterfly die and embossing folder set (Cuttlebug); Vintage Corners die (Cuttlebug); satin ribbon and kaleidoscope embossing powder.

This card was completely inspired by the bow and paper. This is some of the patterned paper and satin ribbon I got yesterday from Tuesday Morning.

I love the way Becca does those huge, gorgeous bows on her cards, so I recently watched her video tutorial and determined to get some beautiful, big satin ribbon and do some of them, too!

I got 10 yards of this ribbon for $3.00. After I did the math, I realized what a rip-off those $1 ribbon spools are at Michaels (for only 3-4 feet)! This is much prettier, and 1/3 of the price. That was a real eye-opener!

Anyway, it was wire-edged, but I remembered reading someone else's blog and they mentioned that you can just pull the wire out of the edges and use it like regular ribbon. I tried it, and it works beautifully. You can't tell there was ever wire in there.

I was inspired to try the big flower when I saw the scalloped flowers in the background paper. I cut the largest (about 4") out of glittery vellum, cut it to make a flower, inked the edges, and then backed it with a pink one I had done the same to (minus inking the edges). I initially planned to put it on with no backing, but you couldn't really see it.

When that was all done, I picked up my iridescent Stickles and glittered the edges of the scalloped circles in the background paper. As that was drying, I caught sight of another of those beautiful butterflies lying on my desk, and decided to use it, too. I rubbed my inkpad over it to catch the embossing, let that dry, then rubbed it over my Versamark pad and added the kaleidoscope embossing powder. After it was heat-set, it was a perfect match to the rest of the card.

So there you have it - a peek at some of my finds from yesterday, and a card that says a lot about my personality. I'm a pink, frilly, ruffles and lace kind of gal. :)
Thursday, October 22, 2009 2 comments

A very special birthday card (and cheap stamps!)

Supplies: mother image (Victorian Traditions), rose (Birds Cards), sentiment (Elegant Word Art by Bethany); paper (unknown, Recollections); fleur de lis border punch (EK Success); D'vine Swirls embossing folder (Cuttlebug); pearls, ribbon (sheer and grosgrain), rhinestones.

This whole card started with the roses. I love this digital stamp since I am such a "roses" person! I printed them onto the peachy-orange paper, then shaded them with my colored pencils and baby oil. It was really easy and very impressive! I don't know if you can zoom in enough to see them in any detail, but they are exquisite!

Then I wanted to put them on a very special card, and I thought of my mother's upcoming 60th birthday and this image I had printed out with her in mind. Everything just fell into place from there, and the card came together rather quickly. (If you read this, Mom, just forget what it looks like for a few more weeks! :)]

Do you like those tiny pearls at the edge of the paper lace? I've seen other people do it, but they used half-pearls. I've seen them at Michaels and almost bought them a few times, but there have always been other things I was more willing to spend my money on, and I've never bought them. Well, I had this string of tiny fake pearls (like you can get by the yard in a fabric store) from a banquet we went to in September. I simply cut the pearls off and glued them to the card. They are so small that it doesn't matter that they aren't half-pearls (i.e. flat-backed). They add very minimal bulk to the card.

And in case you can't see the sentiment well enough, it says, "The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example." My mother has always been a great example to me and has always had a great reputation. She embodied the lost art of motherhood, and I will always be grateful for her!

Now ... check out these stamps I picked up at Tuesday Morning today. They were only $0.99 each! That's even more impressive when you realize that they are 3x3" and 2x3". They had a few other stamps, but these were the only ones I was interested in. I also picked up a pack of 12x12" paper and some wide satin ribbon for my cards, but maybe I'll get to share those when they're used in a project soon!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 2 comments

Not my usual color scheme ...

Supplies: sentiment stamp (PSX); dies: Vintage corners and butterfly (Cuttlebug), Labels 8 and Scallop Circle (Spellbinders); Swiss Dots embossing folder (Cuttlebug); paper (unknown and recycled packaging); stardust embossing glitter and iridescent Stickles

I was really surprised by how this card turned out! I have never in my life combined pink and orange before, but I really like how it turned out on this card. I just had the flower sitting on my desk with a different center. For some reason, I thought to pick up the banded white card base, and it went from there.

I love the sentiment. It was one of the first rubber stamps I bought 10 years ago or so, and I still love it. I'm thinking of sending this card to my grandmother, along with a nice, long letter. It's been ages since I wrote her a letter!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 1 comments

There's a big blue sky ...

Supplies: digital image (Arthur's Free Clip Art), sentiment (Elegant Word Art by Bethany); paper (unknown, Recollections); ink (BIC Mark-Its); Nestabilities Labels 8 (Spellbinders); ribbon (Michaels $1 bin); dew drops (?? I got them as a thank you gift with an online order).

Supplies: digital image (Arthur's Free Clip Art), sentiment (Elegant Word Art by Bethany); paper (unknown, Recollections); ink (BIC Mark-Its); Nestabilities Labels 8 (Spellbinders); dew drops.

Here are two cards using the same sentiment ("There's a big blue sky waiting just behind the clouds"). I thought the images were perfect for the sentiment, and I liked the bubbly blue paper with them, too. They're simple, but they make me smile! :)

Lots of excitement at our house!

This past weekend brought lots of excitement to our house! A few hours before my daughter's 4th birthday party, my son's first tooth fell out. (He's had a few pulled, but this was the first that fell out all on its own.) Please excuse the slightly gross picture, but my family will want to see the missing tooth! :)

We had my daughter's 4th birthday party with our close friends. She wanted a Hello Kitty theme, and you didn't hear me complain. I think this was the easiest cake I ever decorated, and I didn't need any special pans or even decorator icing (which is too sweet for my liking).

It's a little hard to see in the picture, but you can get an idea of what her homemade party hats looked like. I made them all basically the same, except the birthday girl's had glitter on Hello Kitty's dress, as well as a number "4". (By the way, it's incredibly easy to make your own party hats. Just cut out a half circle from cardstock, wrap it into a cone, and decorate!)

And then I got really "lucky" and found the perfect party favors at Walgreens:

I didn't have to do a thing to them, and they matched perfectly! My kids have been bugging me to buy them one of these marshmallow pops for ages, but I wasn't about to spend $1.25 on one, unless it happened to be for a special occasion. :) It certainly didn't hurt that I was able to use some extra Register Rewards to help pay for them!

So now you see what has kept me busy for the last few days. Never fear, though, I just discovered two more card pictures on my camera that I haven't shared yet. Apparently, I took pictures of them right before the party and just forgot about them in all the excitement. I'll share them in the next post.
Thursday, October 15, 2009 0 comments

Children: Our Best Hope for the Future card

Supplies: digital image (Arthur's Free Clip Art), sentiment (Elegant Word Art by Bethany), background quilt stamp (Outlines Rubber Stamp Co, Inc); Nestabilities Labels 8 (Spellbinders); border made with leftovers after using a Martha Stewart lace punch; Stickles iridescent glitter glue; papers (Recollections); ink (BIC Mark-Its).

This wasn't the most outstanding card of the day, but I liked it alright. The border could have been lined up better ... if I had fiddled with it for an hour. I just wasn't in the mood to fiddle that much, so it is what it is. :)

Classified Antique masculine birthday card

Supplies (outside): digital image (Fun Draw), sentiment (Elegant Word Art by Bethany); paper (ATD World Travel, Recollections); square Vintage Corner dies cut in half (Cuttlebug); Nestabilities Labels 8 (Spellbinders); rhinestones, grosgrain ribbon, BIC Mark-Its to color.

This is another card using one of my super-cheap graduation invitation/announcement cards. I turned it inside out, just like the "Hope" card I featured previously. Here's the inside (covering the "Class of 2009" logo):

Supplies: same digital image; Nestabilities Labels 8 (Spellbinders); paper (Recollections).

I simply resized the truck and colored it a different color. I'm hoping they look different enough that they will look like someone's antique truck collection.

This is a perfect card for those milestone birthdays: 30, 40, 50, 60 ... You get the idea. :)

Hope Is Not Knowledge ...

Supplies (outside): digital image (Arthur's Free Clip Art), sentiment (Elegant Word Art by Bethany); papers (unknown, Recollections); Nestabilities Labels 8 (Spellbinders); "Believe" brad (Dollar Tree); medium daisy punch (Marvy Uchida); Swiss Dots embossing folder (Cuttlebug); grosgrain ribbon, brown inkpad (SU Chocolate Chip), BIC Mark-Its for coloring.

This is a large card. I used one of the graduation announcement/invitation cards I bought a few weeks back ($0.25/box). Since I didn't need the 5x7" photo holder on the inside of the card, I simply turned the card inside out and adhered my card front over the opening. No one will ever know! Of course, then I had to hide the "Class of 2009" that was now on the inside, so check out what I did inside:

Supplies (inside): Nestabilities Scallop Circles Small (Spellbinders); Swiss Dots embossing folder (Cuttlebug); paper (unknown); brown marker/ink.

Now that I've shown it to you, let me give you a few little details about the card.

First of all, that "Believe" brad came in a larger pack from Dollar Tree. I used my darkest brown BIC marker to color the edges and make it match my card better. I thought it was especially appropriate with this sentiment ("Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us").

For the flowers, I cut/punched them out, ran them through the Cuttlebug with the Swiss Dots embossing folder, then ran the brown inkpad lightly over the top. I really, really liked the effect! And yes, that flower inside is enormous - about 4" wide. It had to cover the "Class of 2009," and besides, it's a BIG card.

An extra bonus with these cards is that there are insert tabs inside to attach a custom sentiment. That means the original recipient could easily reuse the card if they wanted to. How cool is that?

Another Thanksgiving card

Supplies: digital image (Leaves of Time), sentiment (Elegant Word Art by Bethany); papers (unknown, Recollections); fleur de lis border punch (EK Success); Labels 1 Nestabilities (Spellbinders); brown chalk, BIC Mark-Its for coloring.

This is another simple card, but the decorative paper is what really made it so nice. I really, really liked how this one turned out! And since we won't get to be with our families again this year at Thanksgiving, I actually have a use for "Happy Thanksgiving" cards this year. :)

Imagine, Believe, Achieve card

Supplies: digital image (Free Coloring Fun), sentiment (Elegant Word Art by Bethany); papers (Dollar Tree, Recollections, unknown); ink (BIC Mark-Its); Nestabilities Labels 8 (Spellbinders); scallop scissors (Provo Craft); die cuts (leftovers from Cuttlebug Vintage corner dies).

This is a simple card, but I thought the inchworm was especially appropriate for this sentiment. I thought it would be a nice card to send to a niece or nephew who got a good report card. :)

Miss You frog card

Supplies: digital image (Arthur's Free Clip Art), sentiment (Elegant Word Art by Bethany); papers (Recollections, Creative Memories); ribbon (Michaels $1 bin); charm ($1 Tree); die cuts (Cuttlebug Vintage corner dies); Nestabilities Labels 8 (Spellbinders); dimensionals ($1 Tree); ink (BIC Mark-Its).

Doesn't this frog look hopelessly sad? I'm not sure if that's what the original artist had in mind, but I thought it was perfect for a "missing you" card. Lest you think I have a "thing" for frogs, I really don't. I'm not afraid of them, but they aren't my favorite animal or anything. I just happened to make the frog cards back-to-back since they used the same colors. :)

I popped the main image up on dimensionals since the ribbon created a little bulk underneath it anyway.

I made more cards today, but I'll have to wait until tomorrow to share them since I didn't get a chance to photograph them in daylight.

Wear a Smile!

Supplies: digital image (Coloring Fun), sentiment (Elegant Word Art by Bethany); papers (Recollections, Creative Memories); mini rhinestones (unknown); ink (BIC Mark-Its); Labels 8 Nestabilities (Spellbinders); die cuts (leftovers from Cuttlebug Vintage corner dies).

I loved this sentiment, and I paired it with lots more images that I thought would be a bit amusing - to hopefully bring a smile to someone's face. It says, "You're never fully dressed without a smile." Obviously the frog is NOT smiling. It's humorous in an odd sort of way, I guess. Most of the people I make cards for would like it, so I went with it.

When life gives you lemons ... (2 cards)

Supplies: digital images (Arthur's Free Clip Art), sentiment (Elegant Word Art by Bethany); papers (Recollections, Creative Memories); buttons (SEI); ribbon (Michaels $1 bin); ink (BIC Mark-Its); Labels 1 Nestabilities (Spellbinders).

These cards are exactly the same, except one image is part of a slice of lemon, and the other is a whole slice of lemon. I liked them both, so I made two cards.

The sentiment is a little hard to read on a computer screen. It says, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."
Wednesday, October 14, 2009 1 comments

Another lighthouse card

For the next week or so, I'll be highlighting more cards that I made by pairing digital images (most of them free) with free word art from the ever-talented and generous Bethany.

I love this lighthouse image (a digital from River City Rubber Works), and I'm thrilled that I bought it. It was worth all 100 pennies! :) This sentiment was another free Word Art by Bethany.

I printed and colored this image much the same as my other lighthouse cards, but I got it too close to the edge of the paper, so I couldn't use the Labels 8 Nestabilities like I had planned to. Instead, I cropped this one into a rectangle and made this simply-laid-out card.

The black circles are not brads. They are simply circles I drew on with a black marker.

It's a simple card, but I love it!
Monday, October 12, 2009 0 comments

Food Lion and Rite Aid deals today

Our company left around lunchtime, so I had a little bit of time to do some quick grocery shopping this afternoon. I did it all at Food Lion since they had the most outstanding deals this week. Here's what I got for about $25 (rounded to the nearest dollar, since I threw away my receipt!

  • 4 cartons Breyers ice cream - $1.99 each after sale and coupons
  • 4 lbs Smithfield kielbasa - $1.50 each on sale
  • 2 bottles (32 loads each) All detergent - $1.75 each after sale and coupons
  • 4 pkgs Old El Paso taco seasoning - $0.16 each after sale and coupons
  • 2 boxes Food Lion Raisin Bran (17 ozs), 2 boxes Food Lion Frosted Flakes (20 ozs) cereal - $0.99 each on sale
  • 2 pkgs (12 ozs each) Food Lion bacon - $1.49 each after sale and coupon
  • 2 lbs split chicken breast - $0.88/lb

Then I stopped at Rite Aid, which seems to be having another stock-up-for-cold-season week this year. I got all of this and netted a profit of a few cents shy of $10 (thanks to a $5/25 coupon, as well as a few coupons for the products shown). Not only that, but these "free after rebate" items took my total for the "Rake in the Savings" promotion to the level to earn a $20 gift certificate to Rite Aid. Not bad, considering the only things I bought at Rite Aid during this promotion were "free after rebate" items, 90%-off summer merchandise, and the one toy my daughter requested for her birthday! It's like getting my daughter's toy and all the clearanced summer merchandise for free. I can handle that! :)

I won't bother going into all the details of this, since they're all "free after rebate" items. I got all of the freebies for this week, except the Chloraseptic Allergen-block (which I couldn't find and didn't really need anyway). I was especially surprised that the Carmex 3-pack was a freebie. I love that stuff - it works so well! When I used to have to buy "chap-stick", that was the exact item I always bought.

We also stopped at two thrift stores, where I found a Pampered Chef stoneware mini bundt pan (6 minis on it) and a Xyron 500 sticker machine, both for $5 each.

All in all, it was a good "deal" day!
Thursday, October 8, 2009 1 comments

Lighthouse cards

Here are two more of my digital image/word art pairings made into cards. The lighthouse is one of the few digital images I've purchased, and I bought it when it was 50% off at River City Rubber Works. Both of the word arts are freebies from Bethany.

They are exactly the same, except for the sentiment. I printed them onto blue cardstock and colored the light, rocks, dirt and grass with my BIC markers. I used a white watercolor pencil (direct to paper, after dipping it in water) to color the lighthouse and other building. Then I used Stardust embossing powder on the water to make it sparkle. After I mounted it onto the shaped card, I added silver Stickles around the edges.

If you're wondering how I added that embossing powder to a digital image, it's really quite simple. I applied liquid glycerine lightly with a paintbrush, added the embossing powder, and heat-set it. The glycerine makes it stick. I understand you can also buy refills for the VersaMark pads and use the refill bottle exactly the same way, but I had glycerine on hand. A little bit goes a long way!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009 1 comments

A quick share!

Okay, here's a really quick post with some of what I wanted to share! I've been playing around with some digital images (especially the free ones) and combining them with some free word art I got from this wonderfully talented (and generous lady), Bethany.

I came up with this 5x7" ocean-themed notecard set to give to the evangelist's wife that is visiting this week. She was raised around here, so she shares a love for the ocean. I wanted to make them with a high-end, by-the-ocean boutique feel. I used some nice thick cardstock with texture, and I really LOVE how they turned out. These are something you really need to see in person to appreciate. But since I can only show you pictures, here they are:

This first picture doesn't look too great small. Click on it to see the detail better. The footprints were from a free PhotoShop brush, and the sentiment (as all of these did) came from Bethany. I added glittery embossing powder to the footprints.

This sand dollar came from Arthur's Free Clip Art site. The glittery embossing powder gave it a lovely effect, with no coloring needed!

This sea horse also came from Arthur's Free Clip Art. I simply colored in the seaweed and added glittery embossing powder to make the sea horse stand out.

This lighthouse image came from a free PhotoShop brush called SS Beach Sketches. Since lighthouses are usually white anyway, it didn't require much coloring, either.

And lastly, this starfish came from the same PhotoShop brush set (SS Beach Sketches). I added glittery embossing powder to the starfish, and I really liked the effect.

I'm working on tons more word art/digital image pairings, so maybe you'll see more of them in the near future. I'd love to offer to share them, but I don't think I'll be able to since they're not my original works. However, feel free to go collect the word art and digital images yourself and pair them up. :)

Look what I got today!

While I was finishing up homeschool for the day, the doorbell rang and I knew it was Fed Ex with the first set of Nestabilities I was expecting. I was so excited, I couldn't wait for my son to finish his work. [At least we agreed on one thing today!]

Then my husband checked the mail a half hour later, and there was the second set of Nestabilities I was expecting, as well as a thank you gift of dew drops (I assume that's what they are since I've never seen any in real life), a nice thank you note, and a coupon for a future order. That order came from SecondChildhoodCreations, in case you're interested.

Then after my husband left to get his hair cut, someone rang the doorbell. It was too early to be the evangelist we're expecting tonight, so I wasn't sure I wanted to answer the door. (I rarely answer it when my husband isn't home.) When I peeked out the window, though, I saw a lady standing there with a bouquet of flowers. I recognized the Jeep from the local florist, so I opened the door.

See what my Secret Sister sent me? Isn't it beautiful? It's also perfect timing, since our company arrives tonight. We'll have a nice, fresh floral arrangement to enjoy this week! :)

I'm not sure how much I'll get to post this week, but I have a few things I'm just dying to share. So we'll see if I can sneak in an extra minute here and there between homeschooling, entertaining and church. :)