Hello, Friend

Hi blog friends!

Thanks to everyone for the kind comments over the past few weeks! Really brightens my day to see people enjoying my cards and/or stories.

Sorry for the little absence, but we went on a mini-vacation this week and just got back. While away I spent my time on the beach, playing with G and the husband, reading, and relaxing with family...since being home I have spent my time doing laundry, unpacking, and cooking.  Back to reality!  It's amazing how much I missed being able to check out what all my crafty friends have been up to this week.

Just wanted to share a quick card I made using some Hero Arts, Lawn Fawn and Papertrey Ink.  (It's also a Paper Crafts reject, so sad!) I usually don't do supply lists, but I've had some people ask me about what stamps sets I use, so I'll always try to include those at the end of the post. If you ever have a question about a product or technique, or anything, just shoot me an email.

For now I am off to make some hot chocolate and watch tv before crashing in bed.  Yes, I know its like 85 degrees out, but I'm pregnant and want hot chocolate. Night friends!

Stamps: Judy's Blooms (Lawn Fawn), Think Big Favorites 3 (Papertrey Ink), Happy Definition (Hero Arts)

PTI Blog Hop

Been a while since I've done the PTI Blog Hop.  I struggled a bit with the photo, I typically approach things from a color standpoint, and man was that orange throwing me off.  Hoping I get an A for effort.

Thanks for looking! Be sure to check out the rest of the Hop.


Sunday Night

I'm so tired it's not even funny...all I can think about is passing out in my bed! Wanted to share a quick card for the current challenge over at Lawn Scapings.  You would think with how much I love LF I would be doing all of their challenges, but for whatever reason I never do! This is probably my second time participating. Must make a point to do it more.

I also mixed in some Hero Arts and PTI patterned paper.

I'm hoping to have a card for the PTI blog hop tomorrow, but I'm really struggling for an idea. It's only 10:30pm...can I stay awake long enough to think of something? Maybe in my sleep delirium I'll have a stroke of genius.

Stamp-a-Faire + PDCC

Sadly, I was unable to attend PTI's Stamp-a-Faire.  They have been running challenges throughout the day for those who could not attend.  Per usual, we had a super busy day running errands, hanging by the pool, and getting ready for a little beach trip.  I managed to squeeze in time to make a card for challenge #2 (I pretended I was downstairs doing laundry, hahaha).  It also works for The Playdate Cafe's current challenge.

You'll see me using a lot of this Hero Arts Flower Dot Pattern background stamp. Seriously what's not to love about it? 

Well, it's late and I'm exhausted!  Hope you're all having a great weekend. Night!


DIY: Light Tent

Currently, if I want to take a half decent picture with my dinky point and shoot camera from 1895 I have to go outside. This is terribly inconvenient on days like today when its 98 degrees outside.  I am looking to upgrade to a new camera, but not for a few months. So, I needed a quick fix because I don't have time to fool around with Photoshop (nor do I really know how!). 

Enter my attempt at making a light tent. I did some research online and discovered this is in fact relatively quick and cost effective. Here are the two main sites I referenced: Strobist and Digital Photography School

So here is how it went down.

- Cardboard box 
- Box cutter
- White tissue paper or white muslin fabric (I used muslin)
- Tape (I used the only thing I had, clear packaging tape)
- White posterboard
- Lights (I used a desk lamp I had, and bought two 8.5" reflector dishes from Home Depot)
- Daylight light bulbs (I am using 60 watts, but would probably rather have something brighter)
- Scissors

1. Cut windows in box (see pictures). Easy enough right?  I'm not too handy with the box cutter, so this was risky business.  I managed to make it through without stabbing myself. See captions under picture.

This is where I threatened husband with the box cutter because he didn't think I could handle cutting it and kept asking, "Are you sure you don't just want me to do it?" For none regular blog readers, I'm pregnant, not hiding a basketball. Also, we are repainting the kitchen, they yellow is a bit much.

Success! I cut 2 'side windows' and 1 'top window'.  I only left about a 1" margin around each window, and should have probably left 2" to make it a little more stable. My windows are a bit flimsy. I also eventually cut off the flaps. See those big bottles of ketchup? Need plenty of it since G insists on dipping everything in it at most meals.

2. Now it's time to cut your fabric or tissue paper to cover the windows. Again, I used muslin fabric from Joann's. I got 1 yard and it cost me something like $7.
That's the fabric sitting on the corner of the box. No, you don't need kids books or puzzles to complete this step.

3. Attach fabric to windows using tape.

4. Attach posterboard to inside of box (this will act as your backdrop)
Your box should look something like this, perhaps a bit better if you can find someone over the age of 2 to help you assemble (unlike myself). 

5. Set up your lights. The arrangement you see in the picture below was temporary. I was impatient and wanted to test out the tent without having a permanent home for it.
Fool around with the light set-up until you find something that looks good. I'm using 60 watt bulbs right now, but would recommend something higher, maybe 90 watts?

So far, so good. The quality of my pictures is much better. I have found that I can go straight from my camera to blog without making adjustments which is a time saver.  It has also been nice because I don't have to rely on the weather gods to give me nice days to shoot pictures, and I can do it at night (which is when I have the most free time).

All in all, I probably spent about $25 since I splurged on the reflector dish lights.  

Well, it's the weekend again. Yay! Hope you all enjoy it.  We don't have any real plans, which is nice because I feel like we're always on the go and I could use a few days to just relax.

Keepin' it CAS

Thank you everyone for your kind words regarding my 'incidents' Monday night. While I wanted to cry in the midst of it, I now can look back and laugh. There will be no shortage of stories to tell!

I finally got around to playing along at CAS-ual Fridays again!  It's been a couple of weeks. Needless to say, I was happy because I got to use one of the new stamps sets I got from Hero Arts last week. Did I share my little haul from Simon Says Stamp with you? No! Well, here's a picture.

Here's the challenge for CAS-ual Friday,  I also used the color combo from camp this week

And my sweet little card. Glad I got to use up some scraps too.

Hope you have a sweet day!  

PS- I got to use my new light box too...amazing the difference it made in the quality of my pictures!

Monday Funday

Do you follow me on Twitter? If you do, then you'll know how my day ended yesterday.  After a long, hot, busy (but fun) day, my husband went out to a baseball game, and I was in charge. Things were going well, and then it all just took a turn.  Little G pooped in the tub. This was partially my fault because I was busy reorganizing the bathroom closet and missed him saying he had to go potty.  So I pulled him out and got to cleaning.  This prolonged bathtime by about 30 minutes. I was exhausted by the time I had gotten him dressed, book read, and into bed.  I came out to the living room, looking forward to plopping down on the couch and passing out when I discovered that my darling dog Lucy and vomited all over the couch.  This was not my fault, since she decided to dig through the trash earlier that day.  I'm sure all the old leftovers she consumed contributed to her sick spell.  I spend the better part of an hour cleaning up the couch and showering (again, since I had been sweating so much between cleaning up the tub episode and the couch).

This is a quick card I whipped up for the Playdate Cafe Color Challenge for this week using my new favorite Hero Arts background stamp.

Here are the colors:

Here is my card:

Oh, and check this out....Ikea furniture arrived!  My poor husband is going to be very busy.  We also picked up the baby crib and dresser today. Lots of assembling on his to-do list.

I also successfully built myself a light box.  We shall see if it actually helps to improve my photos. I took pictures of the process and will do a step-by-step for those of you interested in making your own.

Hope you all have a great day!


A Little Message

Another day, another card with Lawn Fawn.  Hero Arts this time too.  This is one of those cards that came together very quickly in my mind. Took a little longer to execute, just because of the cutting. I really love the vintage feel of the Lawn Fawn set, and the Variety and Quality from Hero Arts just seemed like a perfect fit.

In other news, I see the finish line with my stamp cataloging. It will be worth it in the end.

We saw Harry Potter yesterday and it was amazing. I felt they did a really good job with wrapping everything up and staying true to the book. Sad that it's over! I've been reading the series and watching the movies over the past 10 years.  

I also just realized this week coming up is the last of Camp...so sad :o(  I've really enjoyed it and learned so much!

For now, I'm off to get some lunch, nap, and head to the pool. Rough day ;o)


Thanks a Latte

Hello, friends.

Lovely Thursday over here.  Got a lot done over here.  Organized my inks, paper, and embellishments.  Can't wait for my furniture to get here so I actually have somewhere to put it! Right now I'm crafting on the floor and a small box.

Here's another little card for Week 3 of camp...this one is actually going out to a blog friend!

Funny thing, when I took the picture that cup wasn't really attached.  There was just a smidge of adhesive on the back by accident. I had intended to use a dimensional.  I did change it, but was too lazy to retake the picture.

It's almost the weekend! Tomorrow afternoon the husband, some friends, and I are going to see Harry Potter.  I'm a nerd like that. Any other HP fans out there?

Camp Week 3

Another day, another card using Hero Arts and Lawn Fawn. Sometimes I get on a kick of using certain stamps, and right now these are it.

Truth be told I'm cataloging all my stamps, and just started my Hero Arts and Lawn Fawn stuff. Who's God awful idea was it to catalog all my stamps? I feel like it's going to take me a lifetime. Sadly, I only have myself to blame. I plan on doing a post on that later this week.  Slow but not really steady is definitely the way it's going.

Any way, here is this week's color combination.


 At first I thought I'd hate it, but truth be told I love it.  It makes me think Fall and Christmas for some reason.  Maybe because I'm over the 90 degree weather and 80% humidity.  I actually started burning some of my  Fall scented candles yesterday, trying to think cool.


Well, must go get ready. We're off to the pool! 


A Sunday Challenge

It's been a busy weekend over here, as usual. Luckily this morning the husband took G out for a bit so I had lots of time to make a mess of my room get crafty.

It's been a while since I've done a challenge, so I figured I'd try for The Playdate Cafe this week.

The color combo screamed 'BABY' to me, but try as I might I just couldn't do a baby card with the colors.  To be honest, I struggle with pastel colors in general.  I tend to gravitate more towards bright and bold.  I gave it my best shot. Yes, I know the colors may be a wee bit brighter, but it was the closest I had to the ones listed. And YES there is taupe in there - don't you see that ribbon all the way to the left??

Hope you all had a great weekend!  We did, lots of swimming.

Also, I went to Michael's today. Scrapbooking storage was on sale 40% off, and I had an additional 20% off my entire purchase coupon.  Needless to say, organization and storage for my office is just about complete.  My tables from Ikea are due to arrive around the 20th. I cannot wait to get everything done!  I'm having some major anxieties about getting everything done before baby #2 gets here.

PS- The husband is putting together one of my Jetmax storage cubes as we speak. I just heard a loud sigh, inappropriate language, and some mumbling about not doing the directions in order.  Poor dear, he still has 3 cubes to go.

Card and a Confession

Here's another card using the current summer camp color combo

LOTS of Distress Inks and blending for the background.

I was upset after G's little adventure yesterday so I took part in some retail therapy.  Let's just say, I have lots of new Hero Arts stamps coming my way.  I would have ordered PTI too, but I'm waiting until the 23rd to do that.

Oh, and in case you were curious, I snapped a little picture of his arm this morning (a day later).

How To Make a Mother Mad

I know a lot of mommas read this, so any feedback would be appreciated.  I'm sure many will think I'm overreacting, but please keep in mind this is my first and only child (at the moment).

For the past (almost) 2 years little G has been home with me. He does not go to daycare. The only babysitters we have are family (we are so lucky that they are all within 5 minutes).  I openly admit that I am a paranoid mother.  I have watched too many news and Oprah specials to even consider having a stranger babysit my child.

Today was a big day for me.  I decided I would take G to the little drop-in daycare at our YMCA while I worked out (aka did my pregnancy waddle on the treadmill). I see moms do it all the time. The kids seem to have fun. What could be the worst that could happen?

So we get all ready, head to the gym.  I walk him to the little daycare down the hall and sign him in. I'm a little disappointed that signing in involves me simply stating our names and where in the building I'll be. No showing I.D. or anything.  To pick him up all I do is walk up to the door and tell them the name of the kid I'm getting and initial next to it.  I feel like anyone could just walk up, look at the sign in sheet, and say a name.  Therefore, I position myself on a treadmill right at the window so I can see every kid that leaves the building. You know, just in case someone tries to swipe him.

I peek in on him after 20 minutes, fearful he will not be handling it well since he's with a bunch of strange kids and adults.  He is sitting playing by himself, all seems well.  I go back to working out for another 20 minutes.  When I go to get him he is standing at the plexiglass window(before he even sees me) saying 'Mama, mama, mama, all done, all done' and starting to cry. My heart is breaking. His chubby little hands pressed on the glass looking frantically around was the saddest thing I've seen in a while.

I 'sign him out' amidst a stream of chaos at the daycare door (kids running in and out, parents yelling, etc.), and head to the car.  I lay him down in the backseat to check his diaper when I notice a big red mark on his arm.  I look at it....

It's a bite mark. Some stinky little brat bit my child. Not only that, but no one told me. I picked up G and headed back into the Y to ask what the heck. The worst part was that when we approached the door for the daycare G grabbed onto me for dear life and said "All done all done!". Poor kid seemed a bit traumatized. Upon further inspection with the 3 employees that were 'watching him' he also had bite marks all over his finger.  I did a good job of keeping myself together. The look on my face and tone of my voice was frightening I'm sure, somewhere between trying not to scream and trying not to cry.

 I know stuff like this happens, but I think I was so upset because they had no idea what happened. The best they could tell me was, "We don't know, we didn't hear him cry...sorry".   I imagine stuff like this happens at daycare frequently.  I expect someone who is watching my kid to be a little observant.  The bite just about broke the skin (definitely will leave a mark for a few days and it's already bruised), so I'm going to go with G probably cried or made some sort of noise indicated distress when it happened.

I was so upset when I left and got in the car. I called the husband on the verge of hysterical crying(pregnancy hormones don't help the cause).  My first time I try, and this is what I get. Seriously not doing anything to help me be less overbearing. I know he thought I was overreacting about how bad the mark was, so he asked me to meet him at a Wendy's near his work (he was out to lunch, so fancy!) to see for himself.  He asked me for the phone number for the Y, and left a message for the director of the babysitting stuff. Nothing mean, just letting her know what happened and that we were disappointed with our first experience.

Now, I am perfectly aware G could have done something to provoke a bite. Maybe he took a toy, or tried to play 'tackle' like he does with Daddy. Who knows. Honestly, I feel like the people watching my kid should know.  If he did do something, let me know so I can talk to him (not like talking to a 2 year old well after the fact accomplishes a whole lot). My instincts doubt he did anything seeing as how he is  shy when in a new place with new people.

We are going to try again on Friday when husband as off. It was hopefully just some freak thing and won't happen again. I really enjoyed having the little bit of time to myself, and I do need to get comfortable with the idea of someone else caring for him (aka preschool in a little over a year). But I just don't have the strength to send him in there again by myself.

Camp Week 2

Phew, what a weekend! It was a lot of fun, but also very busy.  We had a lovely little cookout yesterday with some friends and family.  G gave us the gift of sleeping in until after 9 today, which was much appreciated.

I wanted to say a quick hello and thank you to all of my new followers, and those who have left such positive comments!

This week starts week 2 of Camp. I struggled a bit with this color combination.  I'm not huge into orange/red so I think that's where the challenge came in for me.  But I gave it my best shot.



Other exciting news...I wanted to get some Prismacolor pencils this weekend.  I had a 50% off coupon to A.C. Moore, so I was really looking forward to using it.  Sadly, after waiting forever, they told me they didn't have the set of 72 in stock. I cried a little and then went home. (Actually I was really irritated that they had me wait so long and then they couldn't even tell me when they would be getting more in).  I am a very impatient person, so when I got home I hopped online and found the set on Amazon.com for under $50, better than what my coupon would have gotten me.  Take that A.C. Moore!


Later this afternoon I am going to catalog all my stamps (while catching up on Real Housewives of New Jersey).  Wish me luck.  I also need to finish moving all my craft stuff to the basement.  I'm trying to be positive about the 100 trips up and down the steps I'll have to make - it's exercise! 

Young Crafters Unite Blog Hop

 Welcome Blog Hoppers!Thanks for heading on over here from Lynsey's blog!

A few weeks ago Britta posted about what it's like to be young in the world of paper crafting. So she got together with Marie and came up with the Young Crafters Unite Blog Hop.  This was perfect for me, since I consider myself young (27), although somedays I feel like a 90 year getting out of bed with my ever growing baby belly and aching joints. Luckily, it doesn't really matter what age you are in the world of paper crafting. The world of paper crafter's is probably the most accepting and supportive out there, and I'm so lucky to have become a part of it!


The theme for the hop is Favorite Things. So I created a project using (one of) my favorite stamp sets from one of my favorite stamps companies (Lawn Fawn). I also kept with the favorites theme and used my absolute favorite cardstock from PTI.

*Before I forget!! Be sure to comment as you hop. Randomly selected commenters will have the opportunity to win a $20 from Simon Says Stamp (1), their choice of stamp set from Paper Smooches (1) or their choice of stamp set from Lawn Fawn (1)*

So here is a new project using some of my favorite things

Here is past favorite project of mine, using the same stamp sets.

Be sure to head on over to Donna's Blog to continue on the hop!
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