Cards, Cards and More Cards

Believe it or not, I’ve been pretty busy lately! In addition to the terrible weather Texas has been having (I work in the insurance industry), I’ve had a ton of cards to make…Mother’s Day, birthday’s, graduation and unfortunately one condolence card. I know a solution to this would be to keep more cards on hand, but I’m not there… yet.

I had a lot of fun with the Mother’s Day cards. I didn’t feel to comfortable with the Altenew layering stamp sets I bought a couple of weeks ago, so I figured what better way to master something than to get practicing. And practice I did!  I ended up making eight cards and only screwed one up 🙂 The stamp sets used were Beautiful Day and Vintage Roses. I also used Altenew inks in the Red Cosmos, Green Fields and Cool Summer Nights mini cube sets. I had a bit of trouble getting a smooth look with the Ocean Waves color since I was using a cube and my stamp was much large. In the end I then it turned out pretty good though.

My oldest niece just graduated from the University of Southern California. Go Trojans! We are all so proud of her, so of course she was getting a one of a kind graduation card. It took a bit for me to figure out what direction I wanted to go in for her. In the end I used a skyline from Avery Elle’s Super stamp set, and raised some balloons over a Congratulations sentiment. Getting the same letters from the sentiment to match up on the balloons was a lot of fun. I used my MISTI and it worked perfectly. I’ll definitely be using this techniques again in the future. I put some Glossy Accents over the balloons to give them a nice shine, but they weren’t as sparkly as I would have liked. I think I’ll use my Wink of Stella glitter pen first next time. The inside was simple. I stamped “Happy Graduation” and added a personalized note.

We had a sudden death in our family recently. I was unable to attend the funeral and wanted to send something with a personal touch. In any situation, a handmade card shows the recipient that you cared enough about them and their situation to take the time to create something for them. I wanted this card to have a different feel than some of the other condolences cards I’d created in the past. I saw this post on Jennifer McGuire’s blog and used her masking technique to create my card. I used silver embossing powder for the main sentiment and the Altenew Beautiful Day stamp set (told you I needed to pratice). I think it turned out beautifully.

Of course I don’t have pictures of the birthday cards I made for my niece and nephew! I do however have pictures of the cake and ice cream I had those days. Gotta keep my priorities straight!

I’ll be back soon with some of my latest projects. Until then, keep crafting and stay sane!



Playing catch-up…

I’ve been incredibly busy lately and haven’t had much time for crafting. Yes. Very sad. I’ve gotten a little Copic coloring in here and there (check out this new class being offered by Sandy Allnock in May) and done some playing with my new Distressed Crayons, but not much else. I hadn’t posted in a while and just wanted to say “Hi”, and give you a little sneak peek at my next project.

The plan is to get started on this next week, but you know how life is. So far I got the layout done in ScanandCut Canvas (to use with my Brother Scan and Cut). Simple lettering and found the Batman logo through a Google search. I don’t know if I’m going to do this on canvas or wood, but probably canvas since I already have it. This is going to either be a belated birthday gift for my nephew who just celebrated his 1st birthday, (he’s a huge Batman fan… as big as a fan a 1 year old can be), or I’m getting his Christmas gift done REALLY early.

Until next time…

batman screenshot

Planner Follow-up #1

This is labeled Planner Follow-up #1 because I’m sure there will be plenty other follow-ups over time…

We are moving into our busy time at work and I have so many hold files for so many projects it’s making my pretty little head spin. I decided to add a work calendar to my planner to help me keep track of things a little better. Currently my to-do lists are written on a giant post-it, which isn’t very portable… or organized.

I didn’t want the bulk from adding more of the Arc branded calendar inserts, plus I didn’t want to pay for another set. I did a little surfing in the web and found someone offering a plethora of free templates. You can check it out here if you’re interested.

Now, I haven’t dropped the $40 for an Arc punch, so I did the next best thing… headed to YouTube. And of course I found a walk through by MyMommyLife where she punched her own papers. Check it out here. I tried it out and it worked perfectly. I will tell you it’s a slow process, but it’s an argument of time vs money. It seems I don’t have much of either, but I was able to get this done while catching up on some tv. Killed two birds with one stone.

Looks just as good as the Arc branded pages!

And I haven’t forgotten about my promised dashboard post. I ordered some pictures to use from Shutterfly (I don’t have one of those fancy Fuji Instax cameras or printers… yet), so I did it the old fashioned way. At the time I ordered them, they were running a special where all 4×6 and 4×4 photos were free, you only pay shipping and handling. I’m waiting on those to arrive before I can put the dashboard together.

Savings Jars

I went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University a couple of years ago. During that few months, not only did I learn how to improve my financial future, I also learned the importance of teaching good money habits to your children while they are young. Since then, I’ve picked up the book Dave co-authored with his daughter, Smart Money, Smart Kids. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, I highly recommend it!

One thing I learned from the book is to teach children to separate their money into three categories: Give, Save and Spend. My kids are 11, 9 and 6, and especially with my 6 year old, being able to visualize this is very important. Cut to the savings jars…

I will preface the remainder of this post by saying I did not create this idea. It’s all over Pinterest, and Dave Ramsey even sells something similar on his website. With that being said… onward ho!

I found this candle holder at Kirklands, (sorry, link says it’s no longer available), and purchased coin jar lids from Michaels. And yes, I used coupons at both locations! 🙂 You could call it a day and have a finished product, but of course I had to spice mine up a bit.

I pulled out my Scan N Cut and made vinyl labels that read: Give, Save and Spend. I then transferred those to the mason jars. See how much that little label kicked it up a notch? I finished off each set with a personalized chalkboard name tag and we were done! Now the kids can watch their savings grow!  

 Please keep in mind these are glass jars and therefore are very breakable (I know this from experience and have had to replace one of the jars).

30 Second Stamping

Okay… 30 seconds may be a bit of an exaggeration, but this did not take very long at all. The rule at my house is: if you forget your lunch bag at school you take a paper bag until you bring it home. I have a 6 year old that takes his lunch, so this happens probably once a week.

I felt sad when I saw this boring paper bag lunch sitting on the counter this morning. Yesterday was party day at school, we all wore Valentine’s Day inspired clothing, decorated mailboxes… and now… blah.  Then inspiration struck! I grabbed this Valentine’s Day stamp set and some Hero Arts ink and jazzed that boring bag up in a matter of minutes.

Now my little guy will have a sweet surprise come lunch time.

Happy Valentine’s day everyone!  

New Year, New Planner

I use to have a planner, back in junior high and high school… before planners were cool. My friends actually used to make fun of me and my organized ways! I’d write down test days, study groups, cheer-leading practices, movie dates… everything. To me it just made sense.

Fast-forward 20 years and a lot of technological advances, and my planner is now on my iPhone. But oddly I’ve found myself carrying around random pieces of paper with list or ideas, and I have physical calendars both at home and work. I actually carry around a file folder in my purse! Is that weird? So, it recently hit me, why not just go back to a planner? And so I am…

I’ve done a bit of research, because that’s who I am. I don’t make purchases without researching things first. I finally decided the discbound planner system would be best for me. There were three discbound systems I looked at: The Happy Planner from Create356, M by Staples Arc Planner System and the Levenger Circa. I really like the Circa, but wasn’t quite ready to pay the Circa price, and I felt The Happy Planner was too big. Yes, this coming from the girl who carries a file folder and a legal pad in her purse. That being said, I was drawn to the Arc and thought it would work out perfectly for me. Since all of these planners are on the discbound system the pieces are pretty interchangeable. Which means I can easily change to the Circa in the future if I want.

What I like best about the discbound system is that I’m able to remove pages, decorate them, put them back, or move them and put them elsewhere. Plus I find the pages don’t tear and stay put better than the Fileofax style (the six hole punch planners). You can also make your own planner inserts, but you have to first purchase the discbound style punch… which is the only downside since they are pretty pricey. The Arc punch is about $40, the Circa punch is $50. There is version of the Circa punch that cost significantly less, but I haven’t decided to go that route yet. I can’t speak from experience, but some reviews I’ve read say they can’t tell a different between the punches from the two brands, and others say the papers using the Circa punch are a little tight in the Arc. If you’ve had experience with the Arc style planner please share your thoughts.

My favorite part of having a planner is decorating it! I like to take my time and see what does and does not works best for me. Right now I’m all about washi tape! I share custody of my son with my ex-husband. For the most part our parenting schedule is set, but there are times when it changes. I mark the weekends I’ll have my son, with washi tape, and if any changes arise, I just move the tape. I use the same concept for my work on-call schedule, social and school events, and the kids sports schedules, using different colors of washi tape. Then I add in fun little stickers for other things like PTA meetings, birthdays, or days I am scheduled to teach Sunday school. I also love to use stamps. I’m currently using the Kelly Purkey stamps from the December 2015 My Monthly Hero kit with plans to expand my collection soon.

Right now I have four sections in my planner separated by tab dividers: Calendar, Work, Budget, and Blog/Create. Each section has a folder for any random pieces of paper I may need a place for. I also purchased poly zip pockets to hold my various planning stickers and coupons, and sheet protectors. I plan to use the sheet protectors to create a dashboard with my WRMK Fuse tool… more on that another day.

I am really excited about getting my planner where I want it, but I’m sure in six months it will look different than it does today. So… in summation, I have one more way to stay organized. Why? Because my sanity depends on it! 


Coloring Challenge

I came across The Daily Marker 30 Day Coloring Challenge on Instagram a couple of weeks ago. She is offering fun giveaways and a blog hop featuring some of the best “color-ers” in the industry. The point is just to take a few minutes each day and color something. You can color anything with any medium! I missed Day 1, but joined in Day 2 with a quick sheet I printed from the internet, and colored with Sharpies on my lunch break.

For me, coloring is so relaxing. And in this crazy world who couldn’t use a few minutes to relax?

I don’t carry my Copics around with me (I don’t have that many, but my collection is slowly growing), so I’ll complete my Day 3 coloring tonight when I get home from work. I’ll be posting whatever I color over on my Instagram feed for the remainder of the challenge. Remember, this is for fun, so do just that… have fun!

Be sure to check out The Daily Marker blog for more details if you’re interested in joining the challenge. You won’t regret it!