Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year

This is how the gifts were opened on Christmas morning. Mabel helped with all of my gifts, but this one was from her. She loves to lay in my lap on a nice soft robe, so she gave me a new one. I hope you had a beautiful holiday season. We still have a big amount of the white stuff on the ground. Kyle and I are running away to Disneyland for the day to try out the tiny new camera and see some greenery. I love the way they decorate Disneyland for the holidays, so we thought we sneak out for a peek before it's gone for the season. No big plans here for New Year's. I've been reading about things to eat on New Year's for luck. I'm leaning toward fish since we have lots of good stuff from the latest deep sea trip the guys took. Do you have any lucky food ideas to share? Please don't say black eyed peas, ewwww....

Thanks so much for all the kind words about the video tutorial. We had fun making it and will definitely make more soon.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays

Welcome to my open house blog style. Please read all the way to the bottom for a special treat. I thought I'd share a bit about our beloved holiday traditions. Our tree is decorated in no particular theme, but every ornament has a story. Each one was a gift, or handmade by a loved one, or purchased on a vacation. Some have been with us since we were small children. They are all special and sentimental and together make a beautiful tree. At least it's beautiful in my eyes.

We go to the fireman's bonfire and donate toys and eat hot dogs and listen to Christmas music each year. It's corny and small community and so much fun. We also have the world's shortest Christmas parade here in Blue Jay. We missed it this year, but try to get to it every year. Again, small community fun here on the mountain.

We travel down to Knott's Merry Farm early in December each year. It is the real kick off to the holiday season. We ride roller coasters, listen to carolers and see snoopy on ice. Love it, and oh the grand finale is Mrs. Knott's famous fried chicken dinner.

On Christmas Eve, we travel off the mountain to my parents home. We all share a delicious ham dinner and open gifts to each other. This night is for family and friends and the cast has changed from year to year. All are welcome and it's such a fun time of love and laughter.

Christmas morning is a smaller affair. Just the three of us in jammies sharing our gifts to each other and zipping downstairs to see what Santa brought. We all have stockings, even the dogs. That's the last part of gift opening. We usually get some hot beverages rolling along with the gifts followed by a late breakfast. The rest of the day is a quiet day of playing games and reading the newest books we received. Sometimes my parents visit later in the day if the roads are clear. That isn't going to happen this year since we are still covered in snow and more expected on Christmas Day.

And now as a thank you for visiting my blog, I have a gift for you. My sweet hubby spent the afternoon helping me make my first video tutorial. It is the same technique I used to make this ATC. We have much to learn, but hope you will enjoy Painting with Alcohol Inks.

Next stop for the Open House Around the World:
Cindi in Maine

Monday, December 22, 2008

RAK winner

I posted a little RAK on December 9th to celebrate my good fortune with Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. The next new issue is going out to comment #12, Beth Norman. Thanks so much to everyone for taking a moment to share my good news. It seems there was a bit of confusion, my snow people are featured in a newsletter, not the magazine. The snow people in the magazine were made by Sue Pelletier. She is an amazing artist whose work inspired my snow people.

Stop by tomorrow evening for a little holiday open house blog style.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Butterfly ATC

Still working along my journey of making the 12 tags of Christmas in ATC form. This one is based on Day 10. Oh, so many wonderful little discoveries in this one. Have you tried the distress reinker, perfect pearls, and water in a mini mister yet. This was my first real go at this combination. I am in love with the shimmer. It's really amazing. I don't know why I waited so long to try this, but I'm so glad I finally did. I used the mister over the new masks that Tim Holtz has out. I first saw these at a convention and thought they were too big. Fortunately I have a dear friend who thought better and sent me two last week. Thanks Jan. I was able to mask 4 ATC's at once with the large mask. Cool stuff.

The second really wonderful thing about this tutorial was that Tim used snaps in his flowers. I didn't have the ones he makes, but heck I have lots of old sewing stuff around here. These are vintage snaps that I bought in my treasure hunting. Such a fun new twist on a flower center. It's the little things that make me so happy, and using snaps in my papercrafts makes me smile.

The third thing I tried new here is the grungeboard treatment. In the tutorial Tim stamps an image onto plain grungeboard, embosses it and then cuts out the image. I didn't have any plain sheets of grungeboard, but I do have a plain set of nature grungeboard, so I used a butterfly out of the set. Then I embossed a background design over it and painted with perfect pearls and water like he did. Such a fun way to dress up grungeboard.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I've been working on some things to submit with the theme fucshia. That's not a color that I ever work with. It's really a fun exercise in creativity to give it a shot. I haven't done color challenges in such a long time. I love them. Just thought I'd share a peek of what I'm working on.

Hubby is trying to come home after this huge storm. We haven't seen him since Monday and he's on vacation now. I hope he gets here ok. We must have close to 3 feet of snow now. In the 18 years we've lived on this mountain I've never seen this much this early. I'm very afraid of February and March. That's when we usually get lots of snow. It's my goal in life to be a snowbird in the winter. A girl can dream.

Edited to add: My sweetie made it home safe and sound. He brought home groceries including my favorite chocolate donuts and peanut m&m's. Gotta love a man who shows up with food and shovels snow. Thanks for all the good thoughts that brought him home safely.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

so much snow

This is the view in back of the house

The dogs playing in the snow yesterday. It's too deep for Mabel today, she sinks.

The view out my craft room door today

That big lump you see at the end of the railing is my car

This is the back deck. The little corner you see there is the table.

Day 8 ATC

Here is the ATC I've been trying to share with you for days now. It's based on day 8 of Tim's 12 days tags.

Now if I could just figure out how to resize photos in this new photoshop elements 6, I could show you more. Love the new computer, hate trying to get answers. ugh! It's been snowing here since early Monday morning and we are buried. We gave up on the shoveling today and decided to stay in.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

what's a few more inches...

Remember the post a few days ago about the television? Well, it continues to be a bigger is better theme here this week. I came home after another day of teaching P.E. yesterday and guess what I found...a new computer. I guess a huge monstrous television just wasn't enough. We now have an imac with a 20 inch screen. Seriously. After I got done throwing a fit about the expense, I tried it out. Absolute heaven. I can watch video tutorials and actually see what's happening. It plays music and is really really fast and easy to use. I don't know how to download photos yet, but I'm working on it. I have another ATC to show you when I figure it out.

Stop by Scrapbook News and Review today if you have a minute. We are giving away lots of goodies for our Playtime at the Pole Crop. Don't forget the RAK on the snowman post. I'm giving away the next issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

get out! seriously....

I have this little routine of late. I wake up with the sunrise or just before and as I'm thinking about the day ahead, a thought hits me. The new 12 days tag is up on Tim's blog. So I grab my robe and put the kettle on. I get my tea ready and settle in for a nice happy visit to Tim's new tag of the day. I ooh and ahh, and look at every step and dream about winning the amazing prizes he's giving away. Then, I hold my breath, make a wish and read over the winning blog comments from the previous day. I almost passed out this morning when I read the first winner:

did a little math while drinking my tea with you this morning. There were 17, 594 comments and you gave away 64 prizes in the first 8 days. That works out to roughly a one in 275 chance that you might pick me today. Better odds than the lottery and the art is unsurpassed.Posted by: Tami B - December 09, 2008 at 9:04 AM

That's me! I am having the most amazing week. I'll be swimming in holtz stamping goodness very soon. Thanks Tim. Now, it's off to reality. I'm teaching middle school p.e. again today. I'm not sure my feet will be touching the ground while the girls are playing football. I'll be on the sidelines doing a happy dance.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

exciting news!

The snow people that my cousin, Terry, and I created last month are getting their day of fame. Our little snow families are featured in Cloth Paper Scissors e-newsletter today. How wonderful. Thanks so much to CPS for finding our snow people and sharing them with everyone. You made my day. My snow people are so happy up on the mantle sharing space with the rest of the snowman collection.

A big happy welcome if you are stopping by today from Scrapbook News and Review celebration. In honor of my exciting news today I'm doing a little RAK. I'll randomly choose one winner from everyone who leaves a comment here to recieve the next issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. It's my favorite magazine, and I'd love to share one with you.

If you have a need to pay forward a kindness this season, here are a couple of my cardmaking friends that are doing good deeds for others. My friend, Lesa, is a breast cancer survivor who started Little Life Preservers to help bring cheer to other women facing a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. My friend, Sandy, started a wonderful group called Cards for Heroes which provides handmade cards to troops to send home to their families. I'm proud to be able to help these friends with their efforts when I can. Both of these groups always have need for handmade cards, envelopes, and postage. Thanks so much for stopping by today.

Monday, December 8, 2008

day 6 ATC

I'm still working on doing all of Tim Holtz's 12 tags of Christmas tutorials. This is my ATC take on his Day 6 Tag. I gotta tell you I love painting with alcohol inks. I've been meaning to try this for such a long time. I'm so happy I finally did. He does a great tutorial about it on his blog. It's so easy to do and the results are amazing.

I painted behind my colored images with gesso instead of the paint dauber he used, and it worked just fine. I didn't have all the fun embellie goodies he used, but the basic part of this is the same. I added in a rub-on sentiment and some stickles on the ornaments. The stamped image is by Stampington. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

size matters

We bought our big holiday gift yesterday. A new flat screen plasma monstrosity. Ok, so here's how it went down. We decided about a month ago that this would be our big holiday expenditure. Hubby cashes out banked overtime a couple times a year for large purchases. Usually once around the holidays and once around summer vacation. It's a nice way of saving up for things and avoiding those nasty credit cards. So, we went out to lunch yesterday after the guys took a tuna fishing class at Bass Pro Shop. They loved it, and I shopped at Macy's and looked at girly stuff.

After lunch, hubby starts about we should look at TV's and begins to list a multitude of places he wants to look. We are in a huge shopping mecca about an hour away from home. He's already done hours of research online about prices, brands, etc. The last thing I recall before this is he found a 37" one at Sears that sounded perfect. Not too big for our small house and plenty of pixels/definition/lines or whatever for our needs. So I say lets just go to that Sears Grand place and do it. They have what you want. We don't need to go to a million places. He agrees.

I liken shopping for a tv to shopping for a car. No appeal whatsoever. My current car was purchased without me ever driving it. It was similar to my other car but it had more room and leather heated seats. I love that. We bought it through the fleet dealer, no haggling. I just had to go to the dealer and pick the color. That's how I like to shop for stuff. Make it easy.

So, we arrive at Sears. I look around for a few holiday gifts while hubby looks at the TV's. I check in and he's with the salesperson and they are looking at 37" tvs. Good. I take Kyle over to look at jeans. We finally find some in his size, tall and thin. Go back to check in. They are now looking at 40" tvs. They tell me there isn't much price difference and these are really wonderful. That's 3" bigger already. Kyle takes me over to show me all the mature video games he wants for Christmas so I can decide if they are ok as I roll my eyes. We go back and now they are looking at 42" tvs. The salesman tells me it's just 2" more. Ok, it's really 5" more and that's alot to a woman. I just walk away smiling to myself. That's how we got a monstrosity. Hubby's happy with those extra 5", I'm still in shock.

I took the photo above beside the highway near our home last winter. I love the blue skies after the storm against the snow. No snow yet this season.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Taking a quick break from the 12 days of ATC's to talk about cookies. Yesterday I went to the annual cookie exchange. It's been going on for 9 years now with slight differences in co-hostesses and attendees. We each bake 4 dozen cookies and bring those along with copies of the recipes to be shared. I've made all sorts of cookies for the exchange, trying to make something different each year. This year I made gingersnaps. They were not the prettiest cookies, but they sure taste yummy. I now have two beautiful trays of cookies to share for the holidays minus quite a few that the guys yummed up last night. I also met a couple of new friends yesterday, and now that I think of it many of the ladies I know I first met at this event.

I'd like to share with you a bit more about the recipe card part. I figured out how to get 4 recipes onto one sheet of 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper. I'm sure it's not rocket science, but since it took me a while, thought I'd share my tips in case anyone else needs to make recipe cards this holiday season.

  • When you get in the word processing program start a new blank document page.
  • Go to file, page set up, then to orientation, and choose landscape. Now your page is running across the long end of the paper.
  • Next you choose format, then columns, and then number of columns 2.
  • At this point you are ready. Go to the top of the first column and type in your recipe.
  • Copy the recipe and paste it below the first recipe. You will have to play with fonts and sizes now to get two recipes to fit in the first column.
  • Copy the first column and copy it to the second column. Make sure that your spacing is even between the recipes, so the cutting is easy.
  • Print out your page and cut apart the four recipes. to 3 1/2" x 5 1/2". The spacing on my cards is not perfect, but that's why we embellish.
  • I then cut a 12" x 12" piece of cardstock into 4" x 6" pieces, which gets you 6 cards out of one piece of cardstock.
  • Decorate with stamps or stickers and attach recipe to cardstock base.

I hope you can use those tips the next time you want to share a recipe with some friends. I know some folks like to include a recipe card when they share food with neighbors or at a potluck or at a shower. Maybe you'd just like to make a pretty recipe book of your favorites. I keep my cookie recipe cards in one of those small photo albums with pockets that you can pick up pretty inexpensively.

At Scrapbook News and Review's holiday celebration today, I'm the blog-alog link. I'm so excited to be a part of all the fun. If you stopped by from SNR or if you are one of my regular friends stopping by, please leave me a quick note about your favorite holiday cookie memory. I'd love to hear about it.

I'll leave you with just a few quick links of friends whose blogs never fail to inspire me. I hope they inspire you, too:

Thursday, December 4, 2008

day 3 ATC

This was a fun ATC to create. I'm still on my journey with Tim Holtz. Here is the link for his day 3 tag that inspired me. I know mine doesn't have the same image or fragment thingie, but the layout is the same and so are the techniques. Ok, here's the scoop. I have 2 santa stamps and you'd think that would be enough. Well, neither one translated well for ATC size and for this technique. So, I tried out a reindeer that didn't work and then spied these little redbirds. They are perfect because I could color them with the same red and green inks.

Next roadblock was the fragments thing. I don't have those yet. I saw them, but couldn't imagine what I'd do with them. Tim is a genius that way, showing us all these things we need. At first I thought I might just cover with crystal effects and use that. I also thought about those clear bubble stickers, but I only have little ones. Clear buttons came to mind, same problem, too small. Then I remembered I bought a package of mica when the scrapbook store closed. I had to find it first, then play with it. I loved geology in college and thought about it the whole time. I do have an affinity for rocks, collecting them on my travels. So, the mica was a great solution for me. It also cuts really easily if you separate it into thin sheets. If you use it, be sure to put a heavy book over your project to keep it flat as it dries. The paper underneath a tendency to buckle a bit and pull away from the mica. I adhered it with crystal effects.

The rest pretty much follows his tutorial. I didn't add any metal to mine mostly because Terry and I used up most of the wintry words I had on our snow people. I do like that he painted them white to get white in the letters. Wish I'd seen that before we made the snow people. Off to see what day 4 has in store for me.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

12 ATC's of Christmas

I love to read tutorials online, but I rarely ever actually try them step by step. This time I thought I'd give it a go. These ATC's are my take on Tim Holtz's 12 Days of Christmas Tags. I started on Day 2, but am planning to try to give all the days a go. I was fortunate enough to have been able to take a full day of 3 classes with him last year at my local scrapbook store. He is such a great teacher and to be able to have online tutorials from him is amazing. I'd love to know how he got the speckles on his tags without getting the mixative everywhere. I made quite a mess last night with a toothbrush.

Other than the colors of alcohol ink and the glossy cardstock, everything I used was a variation of what he used in the tutorial. It's really about the process, so don't fret if you don't have all the supplies he uses. I used pearl mixative instead of silver because I don't have silver. I used black soot ink with clear embossing powder since I threw out my black embossing powder. I hated getting little black spots in stray places. I used regular brads with my grungeboard pieces instead of the idea-ology line goodies. Of course I used different stamps too. I do love the stamp set he used on day 2, just didn't have it. Ok, well now I'm off to read what he's created for day 3.