i {heart} handmade

Have you guys checked out Scrapjacked yet? Dude! You totally need to! It's awesome and the designers pretty much just rock the house. So, anyway...I decided to make an attempt at this months jack and give it a shot!

Check out the blog to see the challenge. The designer is Melissa, and she made the CUTEST mini album using all sorts of fabulous stuff! What I particularly loved about her mini was the textures she used! We are talking fabric, paint, staples, and paper...enough to make any good crafter fall over with glee! Thus, that is what inspired my layout.

So, here you have it....this is my jack!

i {heart} handmade

i {heart} handmade closeup


Fabric: Anna Griffin
Paint: Making Memories
Transparency: Hambly
Pencil: Dixon Ticonderoga
Embroidery Floss: DMC
Buttons: From My Stash
Staples: Sanford

I'm A Rather Visual Person...Can You Tell?

Yeah, so I really like to be able to SEE my stuff. If I can't see it, I pretty much forget that it exists, leading to it never being used and me, wondering years later why the HECK I thought that was worth buying in the first place....Ahhh....the joys of trendy crafting....SO...my system is set up in a manner that allows me to see EVERYTHING! Well, at least most of it. It also let's me get to things quickly and easily and put things away without a lot of fuss. That's important, because if it requires much in the way of effort to be put away...it's quite simply not going to happen. So, I have a scrapbook room that is designed around the person who uses it. I love it. It makes me happy. That's a good thing.

Recently, I was affirmed in my personal organizational methods by a fantastic article in the March issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine. The explored different styles and the last style was the Creative Chaos style! Yup! That is SO totally me! And I handed my husband the magazine and I said, "You totally need to read this." So, being the wonderful husband that he is, he willingly picked up the scrapbook magazine and read the article....TOTALLY should have taken a picture of THAT, but alas, I did not. LOL! He laughed when he read it, because, quite simply, the article described me so well, that I should be collecting royalties or something! LOL! BUT....the good thing is....knowing that I am not alone in my methods and that they are 'normal' and 'acceptable' methods! See, I actually LOVE to sort stuff, organize, and create wonderful, workable spaces! The problem is...a lot of people don't believe that when they see my room because they don't 'get' the system. HA! Guess what! They don't HAVE to 'get' my system because it is my stinking system and it is for ME! ME! ME! Hee-hee. Yes, that makes me happy. I love that I can do it my way and be successful in my creative journey. LOVE IT!

Thus, I decided to share my system in hopes of inspiring others who dwell in the glory that is Creative Chaos! My friends...there is no guessing what gets done in this room! It's all out there!

This is my desk. It is my only work space and it has my BG cutting mat, my rulers, my Mac, and my Purple Cows cutter on it at all times. Most of the time it has a stack of photos, my camera, and my ATG on it, as well. I also keep a small jar (that I shared with you awhile ago) where I slide in slips of paper with each project to track my creative journey.


This is my IKEA Expedit shelving unit. It's my hero. LOL! No, seriously, though. I wanted it for SO long and when I finally got it I knew I would never regret that purchase! I have my embellishments sorted by color and kept in their color-coded cube. That's pretty darn inspiring and SO STINKING CUTE! I love it! then, on the bottom shelves, I store my albums, my card box, a few of my older idea books, and random tools that don't get used as often like my light table, postage scale, and other stuff that's not very pretty, but I need it. LOL! In the middle I keep my stamps, glorious stamps; paper, fabulous paper; punches and cutting tools - yummy!!!!; my photo boxes; and a shelf of random cool stuff that I SO need to alter someday because I love it. Yes, I have a shelf for that.


This is not a big section of my room, but it is important. And...a mess. Usually. I don't want it to be a mess, and I am working on that, but you know how it goes....

On this gross table, that I hope to rid myself of someday and replace with a beautiful 2-up, 4-across IKEA Expedit in espresso to match my other one....(oh...there's that digression again...bummer)...I keep a very cool 'box' of four drawers that I picked up at a consignment shop that sadly burned down. It is just a freak'n awesome wooden box with wonderful label holders on the front and luscious handles that make me smile. I need to add labels, but I am just now determining what will finally be kept within the compartments, so, I'll be getting to that eventually. I have my Studio G and other small stamp sets in one drawer, fabric scraps in another, metal embellishments - the ones that just aren't pretty colors and stuff - in one drawer, and my BIA supplies in the last drawer. I keep my BIA on top of it, so that keeps all of that stuff together. I also keep a basket of my PrismaColor markers (flat, of course), a jar of Pixie Stix - because they are just plain pretty, and my dress form because I love it. I also keep a couple of cards that I have made recently up there until I give them to someone and put up new ones. Beside the wonderful wood box is a black melamine tray...you can't see it very well due to the disaster which is set upon it, however, know that this is where I drop partially completed projects and completed pages prior to condemning them to an album sleeve for all of eternity. There is some other stuff up there right now, but mostly that is that.


The final photo shows my giant bulletin board. It is HUGE. And I was keeping all of my stickers sheets, rub-ons, tags, and other embellishments and lovelies. I hung them there so that I could see them, easily get to them, and easily put them away. It was a wonderful inspiration, however, if you have noticed, I am speaking of this in the past tense. Alas, I am ready for a change. The article of which I spoke earlier inspired me to make some changes in my own space, and I've been feeling a bit cluttered in here, so I am in the process of moving all the items form the bulletin board into other storage options and removing the board altogether. I have a conundrum of sorts, however...I am not sure if want to keep the board up and paint it a yummy caramel color or if I want to take it down and have wall space! Something of which I have little to none at the moment. I am leaning toward removing the board. If I leave it up, it will have to be sectioned and part would be used as an inspiration board, part would be used for useful info and part would have to be left blank for my personal sanity. Because I'm in an apartment, I don't really want to paint the wall, itself, because I would have to paint it back to the original color when we move out and that's just a pain in the neck! LOL! So....I am probably gonna lose the board. What do you think?


So, there is a tour of my space! I really love this room. It is just wonderful! It makes me happy. It is my play room! And....I'm allowed to have creative chaos. That is a very good thing.

Q&A: What does your space look like and how does it reflect who you are and how you create?


These are a Few of My Favorite Blogs...

Okay, so maybe Julie Andrews won't burst into song about my absolute favorite blogs, but alas, I, indeed will! HA! And you are stuck listening!!!!

...(Just in case you were wondering this is the point where you should be extremely grateful that I don't yet own one of those beautiful little Flip cameras because, if, I indeed, DID own one of those beautiful little flip cameras...in red...I would, indeed, have been tempted to actually present these blogs in song. Those who may have had the 'privilege of ever hearing me sing, are likely even MORE grateful from those of you nice enough to be thinking..."Oh, that would be cute! LOL!" No, indeed, my friends, it would not be cute. It would be tragic. Pure, unadulterated tragedy. But enough on that.)....

So, I guess I won't sing them, but I do want to share them. Partially because I'm just nice like that and partly because Audrey over at Barking Mad is offering a $250 gift card as a prize! Now that somehow makes it worth sharing my secrets! LOL!

So, for the contest I have to share five, but out of over 400 in my reader...that's not going to happen, so I'm going to share more than that! LOL!

Scrapbooks in White Dresses (Umm...or just blogs about scrapbooking and the like....)

* Bo Bunny - They post SO many layouts on their blog and they have great designers who come up with great ways to use their products! I really enjoy it!

* Much Ado About Nothing - Pinky is just plain fun! She posts cute layouts and does giveaways just because she's sweet like that!

* My Organized Chaos - LaVerne can just make you smile, and...as it turns out...she's an amazingly talented scrapbooker, too! Talk about well-rounded! ;-)

* Scrapbook Update - Want all the news in a clear, thought-out manner that often discusses ONLY the facts, rather than the random speculation that runs around the boards....this is the place to go.

* Works For Scraps - Chris is another very talented scrapbooker and I think she gets overlooked too much! Her work is amazing! And....I LOVE her blog banner and I'm hoping some day to bribe her to do a makeover for my blog! LOL! (Just kidding, Chris.....sort of.)

Cupcake in brown paper packages tied up with string! (....or jut great blogs about cupcakes!)

* Bakerella - Okay, so she's not strictly cupcakes, but she is pretty much the SuperHero of baking bloggers!

* Cake Spy - With regular visits from Cuppie and just plain yumminess, this is a go to for cupcake lovers!

* Cupcake Artists - Yup! It's just that, too! Pure cupcake artistry!

* Cupcakes Take the Cake - With a constant feed of cuppycake related posts, this one will keep you happy!

* Zen Cupcake - We go way beyond the food here, folks! Even her header rocks with cupcake goodness!

Raindrops on Savings (....or just great blogs for great deals and such....)

* My Good Sense - lots of great articles and tips!

* Mimi's Jewel Box of Tips and Treasures - Mimi keeps you on your toes with several posts a day with the latest deals!

* Be CentsAble - Want to know what is on sale and where as far as groceries go? How about where to use your coupons for the best value? This is where to find out!

* Thrifty Chic Mom - Lots of Great deals PLUS tons of giveaways!

Eco Blogs (....okay...I'm done with the whole Sound of Music thing...it's harder than it looks! LOL!)

* EcoEtsy - Yup! Crafters who are creating beautiful things while maintaining our beautiful home! LOVE THAT!

* Clean Technica - Lots of really cool stuff.

* Crafting a Green World - This one gives you great ideas, links to tutorials, and just fun eco friendly crafts!

* EcoScraps - Current Eco news - but REALLY fun and interesting kind of stuff - not the boring kind.

* Green Your Decor - Love this one! Gorgeous home dec ideas with a green focus!

Brilliant Blogs of Inspiration

* Blah, Blah, Blahg - She's amazing. Really. Read it. You will be inspired.

* Kris' Color Stripes - Beautiful color combinations found in every day life.

* Karla's Cottage - Victorian Beauty coated with glitter! Really, does it get any better?

* Lolly Chops - She is walking and talking inspiration! It's all good - everything she puts out there...it's worth the time!

* Koala Fuzz - Another one just chock filled with talent! In all kinds of arenas! Love it!

And finally...just a few random ones that I really enjoy reading....

* The Look for Less - Fun fashion stuff.

* IKEA Hacker - Take way fun, way cool IKEA stuff and make even funner and cooler stuff with it. Yeah, I said funner - gonna make som'th'n of it?

* Expensive Mistakes - She is an excellent writer and has stories to tell, but I should note that this blog is not for everyone as it is not censored. She is very real. That's part of what makes it good. She doesn't hold back.

* A Novel Mnagerie - Great book reviews!

* Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes - Love this one! I have a bunch of cooking blogs in my reader, but Gina makes it easy by doint the POINTS calculations for me! She makes good stuff, too!

So, alas, there you have it! Just a Few of My Favorite Blogs! I chose to give you 5 categories with 5 blogs in each so you would have lots to explore so go forth and BLURF! Have fun!


Anthropolification Boyer Cream Cardi GIVEAWAY!!!! GIVEAWAY!!!!

Anthropolification Boyer Cream Cardi GIVEAWAY!!!! GIVEAWAY!!!!

Okay, so I am totally in love with this and I want it really bad! Seriously, though, folks! Wouldn't I look ADORABLE in that? I even have glasses .... and BOOKS! If you think you would look cuter than me in it, you should head over and check out the giveaway! ;-)

**Don't forget to read my other post for today!***

Orange Marmaladae and Ricotta Cupcakes

Okay, so you know how I told you that my wonderful husband gave me that wonderful Cupcake Doctor book for my birthday...well, I got to play with cupcakes this weekend!!! I wanted to make a 'dessert' quality cupcake...you know...something really good that counts as a whole dessert rather than just a 'snack,' per say. So, I chose to make the Orange Marmalade and Ricotta cupcakes. Wow! First of all, I had a total blast making them! They were easy, but not too easy as to make the experience boring, you know? The base is a yellow cake mix, which I rarely use, but it worked really well with this recipe, along with ricotta cheese (I chose fat free), Orange marmalade, orange juice, and some of the usual stuff...eggs, oil and such. The cupcakes took a tad bit longer to bake than the recipe suggested, but other than that, they came out beautifully! And they were OH, so good!

For the topping I melted down a bit of the marmalade in a sauce pan and glazed each cupcake before loading on the Marmalade Buttercream frosting!

Okay...I have a confession to make...I'm not a big buttercream fan. I KNOW! I KNOW! How can I possibly call myself a cupcake fan and not be in love with buttercream, well...the way I see it...you gotta make the cake awesome and if you are really good, I'll like whatever you put on it because it will compliment the cake well. That being said...this was some GOOD buttercream! It was best when fresh - that being the same day I made them.

I know you are drooling enough now, so I can share a photo of the yumminess with you!

Orange Marmalade and Ricotta cupcakes

Can you see how moist and soft and wonderful they look? Yup. They tasted that good, too!

KitchenAid and cupcakes

And this....is one of my favorite pictures EVER! Check out my absolutely GORGEOUS RED Kitchen Aid with the beautiful reflection of none other than CUPCAKES in the metal bowl! Now, THAT, my friends....THAT is good stuff. That's all I'm say'n.

Reflecting on cupcakes

So talk to me folks....talk to me! What great cupcakeness have you come across lately? Any other REALLY yummy recipes? You know I'd love to hear about them!


Slumdog Genious!

Yup! That movie deserved every single award it got! I don't have a big post for you, but if you haven't seen Slumdog Millionaire yet, I highly encourage you to do so. It is really an amazing film. And I was excited that it won best song, because, well, let's face it...Indian music totally rocks and is way better than ours! LOL! Here is the trailer is you aren't familiar with the film yet.

I didn't watch the awards, so I will have to catch up this week on Youtube, but I was thrilled to see that this movie won! It really is worth every dime you spend and every moment you sit to watch it!

Oh....and this one is great and deserved the win, too!!!

Have a Happy Monday!


Piles of Paper, Stacks of Cans, and a bunch of Tulips

Okay...here you go:



Yup! That was my paper scraps! A tad bit out of control, one might say. If one was being judgemental and all. But I know you wouldn't do that to me! Your all such nice folks! No judging around here! But, alas, sometimese the truth is simply that...the truth. And one must deal with the truth by finally sitting one's rear down with the giant bin of insanity known as the paper scrap "file." HA! I actually thought it was 'filed!' LOL! Now THAT is funny stuff...anyway...I digress...as I was saying...One must sit down on one's rear with the insanity that is the paper scrap sorting system and actually, oh, I don't know...SORT IT!!!

The thing is, as you can obviously see by the afore noted photographs, this is not an area in which I would like to invest copious time whenever I am crafting. THUS...the simplest system possible is what I was looking for. So....



I grabbed some 13x13ish plastic bags and sorted my paper into patterns and solids and then I sorted each of those into two sizes - big and small. I realize that those are rather ambiguous size descriptions, but basically, I didn't want the tiny stuff getting lost in the almost full sheets and I didn't want the almost full sheets getting bent and wrinkled by the small pieces at the bottom, so that is my system. I had to use more than one bag for a couple categories...patterns in small and big, but I really like how easy it is for me to put scraps away after I create and also how easy they are to look through when I want to use them. Even when I had that afore mentioned disaster I was using scraps almost every time I sat down to work, so now it is faster and easier and I LOVE THAT!!!!

Okay...on to the stacks of cans. It's a good thing I title my posts first, otherwise I would forget what I was supposed to be posting before I ever got there! HA!


This is the beginning of what is to become an installation art piece in our kitchen. I love it! LOL! It's against a small partial wall right next to our sink. The stack is growing and it looks WAY too cool! I want to glue them together to make it an actual installation piece! Seriously! No...really...it's cool...trust me on this one. It will be fun to see it grow to cover the wall!



These are just to brighten your day and remind you that it is FRIDAY!!!! My Mommy and Daddy gave me these for my birthday last week. They are all gone now, but that's what I love about photographs! They last forever!


From the Archives

I decided to dig into the archives to share a couple of older projects with you today. Just some stuff I loved then and turns out...I still love! LOL!


i {heart} u

Thinking of You Butterflies

Best Ever.

Artsy.Licious Dress

And with this, I encourage you to glance at some stuff you've done in the past year or so. Isn't it fun to fall in love with it all over again? Link me up to some of your old faves! I'd love to see them! Just add a link in the comments section! (Which...if you want to see others comments, just highlight the area and they show up...I don't know how to make it so that they aren't black on black! LOL!)


The Wonder that Is Lolly Chops

I was fortunate enough to stumble upon one of the coolest blogs a few months ago. Lolly Chops. Lolly is one of the most amazingly talented people I have come across! She does all sorts of fabulous crafting and she awesomely shares her crafting knowledge with others through tutorials and project descriptions. And she will even share her mistakes so that we can learn from them! How cool is THAT? (Of course...her mistakes look better than my joyous successes! LOL!)

Lolly held a contest on her blog a few weeks ago for some beautiful handmade jewelry. Well, I was lucky enough to be one of the winners of that contest and I just HAD to share with you the pieces that Lolly made for me and sent my way. They are simply exquisite!

This is the necklace that she made. The quality is STUNNING! I mean, really. Her work is so meticulous!


I apologize for the fuzzy picture, I'm having some lense issues on my p&s for some unbeknownst reason. Isn't it gorgeous, though? I love this piece!

Here is a close up so you can see the detail work:


She also made a beautiful pair of earrings to match! Love them!


And, to top it all off, she sent them all in this SO pretty little embroidered bag that, she, of course, just whipped right up, I'm sure! LOL!


I absolutely love this stuff and I've already worn them several times! Thanks, Lolly, for doing such awesome work!!!!


P.S. This is really just here in Lolly's honor. If you check out her blog, you will understand.

P.P.S. OH! I do believe that Lolly is also starting up an Etsy shop, but it appears to not have any fun stuff to buy yet, so jump over to her blog and tell her you want her to fill up the shop so you can get some of her amazing handiwork!


Frog Prince, Strung Ribbon, and Toilet Paper

What? That's what is on these cards that I have to share with you today! LOL!

The first is the Valentine's Card I made for Sean. He pretty much loved it. Afterall, boys like frogs, right? LOL!


This is a closeup since that frog is so STINKING adorable!!! The stamps were just sent to my by a friend (Thanks, Anne Marie!!!) and I loved them so much I had to use them right away! I colored them with Prismacolor pencils and used mineral spirits to blend the colors.

Frog Prince

This second card was made for this months Use Your Stash challenge. We (the design team) each created a card using the scraps from the layout that we created earlier this month! This is a great way to use up those scraps right away and always have cards ready when you need them! Remember...if you want to participate in this months challenge you have until Feb. 20 to upload your layout and link it to the UYS blog post!

I used Toilet Paper Casting to create the butterfly and then sprayed it with a bit of glimmer mist and used these cool Japanese Puff Pens that I got from the wonderful Laverne for the body portion.

Forget Me Not

I hope you had a wonderful long weekend! We really did in our house! It was great! Really great, actually! I like weekends like that!


I Will Follow You - Love Your Blog Followers Day!!!

I have decided to declare today, February 14, 2009, Love Your Blogosphere Followers Day!!!

That's right! I am thrilled to have so many fabulous people following my blog and I want to show them that I appreciate that! So....here is my proposal...See that little fun gadget over there


Yeah, that one.

I am going to click on each of those pretty faces and I am going to go check out their blogs and comment! I would like to encourage each of you to do the same!!!

Let's FOLLOW!!!!

If you decide to participate please add your blog Link (directly to your "Love Your Followers Day" post) to the comments section of this post! Let's have some fun!!!


I'd Like to Thank the Academy....

Okay...so actually the academy had nothing to do with it...it was all YOU! And you deserve a HUGE thanks! I truly appreciate all the birthday wishes that were sent my way yesterday! Between Facebook, Twitter, All Moments Remembered, and my blog readers, I got more wishes than I ever have on my birthday before. I LOVED it!!! Thank you all SO SO SO much!

I also received some absolutely wonderful gifts! I really wasn't expecting all of this, so I was pretty much floored! LOL!

My dear parents got me a really cute cami and long cardigan that I love with a matching scarf, which is just totally fun! I don't have a pic yet because I haven't had a chance to try it all on, but trust me when I tell you it is cute stuff! LOL!

My Mom was AWESOME! We went to their house for dinner and Mom made me meatloaf and mashed potatoes (per my request...I love it and I can't get it at home...Sean HATES meatloaf! LOL!). She even sacrificed and broke out of her 'tradition' of always making oven baked potatoes with her meatloaf (also very good, mind you) to make the mashed potatoes for me because I LOVE her mashed potatoes. They are right up there with ice cream and cupcakes as far as my favorite foods go. SPEAKING of CUPCAKES!!!! She also made me Red Velvet cupcakes from scratch!!! Complete with REALLY CRAZY YUMMY cream cheese frosting!!! MMMMMMM GOOOOOD!!!! They were great! I have some next to me for later today. I'm supposed to share. We'll see how that goes! HA! (TOTALLY kidding...I'm not going to eat a dozen cupcakes all by myself...I don't think....)

AND...to top it all off...she gave me a pretty little jar with tulips in it all tied up with a bow! They are such a pretty color! I have pics of the cupcakes and the tulips, but they haven't been uploaded yet. SO....you will get those later. I promise.

My wonderful husband...being his usual thoughtful and fabulous self, gave me SUCH a wonderful gift! First of all....it looked like this:


He used my favorite wrapping paper (project RED) and yes...you are seeing the top correctly:


Isn't that the CUTEST????!!!! I love it when he uses my scrap stuff to make me wonderful things!!! He is just amazing! And that was all before I even opened it! LOL!

This was what was inside:


Yup! CUPCAKES from the Cake Doctor!!! I am SO STINKING excited! Do you think he knows me much? LOL! And...the other is a wonderful Newbury award winner. If you haven't read it you totally should...I don't care if you aren't a kid anymore, it is still worth reading! I have a goal to collect every Caldecott and every Newbury book out there, so this was a great choice!

My parents also gave me this book. A favorite of mine that I thought I had, I didn't, and Mom remembered that and bought me a copy for my birthday! Isn't she grande?


Finally, a HUGE thank you to my dear friend Harley over at Koala Fuzz! I told you all about her awesome shop before! She is super talented and she is super sweet and super nice! She sent me these for my birthday and they got here ON my birthday making it even cooler!!!

That is a super cute t-shirt that I am wearting right now! She MADE it for me! How adorable is this??? I love it!!! Thanks, Harley!!!!
She also stuck in one of her FABULOUS stick pins and, of course, it is a CUPCAKE!!! I really love it!!!


So, overall, I had an awesome day and I am so glad that you are all awesome enough to stand me talking about it so much! LOL!
Have a happy Friday and a wonderful weekend!!!


Do These Jeans Make My Butt Look Old?

Well, this is it, folks. I have officially moved out of my twenties. I am thirty. Boy does that sound weird! No, seriously...the number itself sounds so odd to me. I guess it's probably more because I remember both of my parents 30th birthdays. It was a big deal, so I actually remember them. That's weird. I can't be as old as my parents! LOL! (Yes...I understand that they are no longer 30, but you get the point! LOL!)

Do I feel older? No. Do we ever? I mean, really. I have progressed exactly one day from yesterday, and I do that on a daily basis, so no, I don't feel older.

Is it still weirding me out? Absolutely! I'm not depressed or upset, it just seems ODD, that's all. Does that even make sense?

Do I look older? Well, what do you think? I took this shot this morning. Do these jeans make my butt look old?


I can tell you ONE thing, however! I am smarter! Yup! I discovered that with my age I gained INSTANT wisdom! Would you believe that this morning at around 5:45am I had this thought for the first time in my thirty years: "Hmmm...I bet the full length mirror would be better for taking a self portrait than the bathroom with the sucky lighting!" So, there you have it, folks. If you haven't turned thirty yet...know that you will be wiser! We aren't going to discuss what I was prior to making this realization because....well....ya....moving on.

So, there you have it. The thirty year old version of me. I'm pretty happy with it, actually. As a matter of fact - I down right LIKE me. I guess that's a good thing!


I hope you have a great day! Happy My Birthday!!! (And Happy Abraham Lincoln's Birthday, and Charles Darwin's Birthday! - I get to share my day with some pretty cool people! LOL!)

Have a cupcake for me!!!! (You KNOW I'll be having some!)


Wordless Wednesday

So, I've never done one of these meme things before, so I figured I'd jump in and give it a shot today. Although, I think I just failed because these are words and I'm doing Wordless Wednesday. Oh, well. It's the thought that counts, right? LOL!


What? You really should have expected this from me, you know! LOL!


Gotta Light?

Do you ever stop to look around you? I do it a lot. I love it. I really enjoy capturing little pieces of beauty in things I see regularly. It makes me happy.

On Friday night we had the privilege of going to see my sister preform in Waiting for Lefty at Providence College. Being that she is a theater major and that this is the second semester of her senior year, this is hardly the first show that we have attended in the beautiful building where the play was presented. However, I never bring my camera! You can't take photos of the show, so I generally avoid having the extra "stuff" to carry and to hid under my seat and such. Well, this time I grabbed it! Not only did I get lucky and sneak a couple of shots of the performers prior to the start of the play, but I also was able to capture some of the beautiful lighting fixtures in the lobby outside of the theater. I have always admired them, but this time, I captured them!




Aren't they just glorious?

I challenge you to capture something today. Commit to it by telling me what you want to capture in the comments! Look around and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us!


Good Morning, Good Week, and Good Day!

Well, it is Monday. And it feels a bit like Monday, but that's okay. I'm sure I will wake up eventually! LOL!

So, anyway. One thing has already begun to brighten up my morning. As a member VocalPoint I am occasionally given the opportunity to try products out for free. Awhile ago they sent me this fun little Splenda Spray bottle to try out.

Let me begin by telling you that I am a HUGE fan of artificial sweeteners. Yes, I am aware of the many arguments against them, however, when you have a sweet tooth like mine and the ability to gain weight without ANY trouble at all, they come in amazingly handy! LOL! One of my favorite treats is a Weight Watchers version of Monkey bread that uses Splenda Brown Sugar blend! Oh, my GOODNESS it is SO sticky, yummy and perfectly wonderfully good!!! I actually like it better than regular monkey bread! LOL! It's THAT good! So, this being the case, I was already a Splenda fan upon receiving this handy little product. However...a spray bottle? Why the HECK would I need sweetener in a spray bottle?

Well, I mean, other than for the occasional direct shot. LOL! NO...I have not actually done that...


SO....it sort of sat in the cabinet looking cute and being the neat little product that it is, but it didn't get used much. UNTIL NOW!

The other day we were forced to purchase an Air Popper popcorn popper since our old popper was no long able to be used. The one really nice thing about air poppers is that they make REALLY healthy popcorn! Right up to the point where my dear (and couldn't gain a pound if he tried) and wonderful husband drops a cube of butter into a pan on the stove and then proceeds to pour said butter evenly and beautifully over the fluffy white puffs of goodness. Hmmmmm....tastes good? Yes. HOWEVER...not exactly super high on the healthy list at that point, know what I mean? So, he kindly takes some out before doing this so that I can eat my yummy healthy version of this favorite snack. Now, don't get me wrong...I love plain popcorn. I actually think it tastes good that way, but, every now and then you want something a little more flavorful...that's when I remembered that little diamond in the rough sitting in my cabinet!!! Spray sweetener!!! Yup! It's fantastic! A couple quick spritzes over a couple of cups of popcorn and you have a tasty slightly sweet low-calorie treat! I love it!

I also used it in my tea this morning and I like it even more! My office keeps the good 'ole fashioned pink packets around, but I just don't like those as much as the yellow and the blue, so I figured I'd forgo the free pink and spritz on some yellow. Two spritzes and my tea was perfect! Simply magnificent!

So, overall, I have to tell you that this is a great little product! I know...sweetener in a spray bottle? TOTALLY weird, but obviously somebody on a marketing team somewhere was thinking because it is innovative, new, different AND useful! Go figure! PLUS - it is so small you can keep it in your purse and whip that sucker out whenever you may need it! Gotta love convenience!

I hope you find some and use it! I love it!!!

That is what I'm excited about this morning, so that is what I posted about! LOL! I am in no way being compensated for the information I have given you today.
I hope you have a happy Monday!

Oh...and thanks to all of you bloggers out there who do weekly menus and stuff...Sean and I started doing this and have now done it for one month and I can't believe how much money it is saving us! Thanks!


Ribbon Cupcakes, Anyone?

Yup! Yesterday the February Challenge was posted over at Use Your Stash and the Design Team layouts have been posted for your inspiration!!!

The Challenge this month is to pull RIBBON from your stash and USE it!!!

Who doesn't love it? who doesn't have TONS of it in their stash? now is the time to pull it out and get creative!

The prize is pretty cool, too! If you post a challenge you will have a chance to win a subscription to Ready, Set, Create Ezine starting with the April/May issue!!!

Here is my layout for the challenge! I created a cupcake inspired by an awesome digital image that my friend, Nicole had pointed out to me! I think she is trying to convert me, but SHHHH! I won't go!!! LOL! No, I love digital, but I struggle with digital organization, so I'm not ready to go there yet! Anyway, moving on to the layout:

We are Sisters

To create the cupcake I rolled small pieces of ribbon for the frosting and topped a paper cupcake bottom that I dry embossed using my Empressor and Empressor Guide. It was REALLY easy and came out SO adorable!

Ribbon Cupcake

I hope you have an awesome Friday! We are off to see Waiting for Lefty tonight because my super awesome little sister is in it! She is pretty much the most talented person in the PC Theater department and it is always great to see her preform! What are you doing on this very cold Friday night?

Just Deal.

First, let me tell you a little something that followed yesterdays post....You know...that one about how things aren't always great, but you just have to deal and then enjoy the rest. That post. Yeah, well...I guess now is when I get to 'deal.' LOL! I got 'bumped' (read...slightly rear-ended) on my way home from work tonight. Not fun. Had to deal. Not a big thing, everyone is fine, the car is okay, all is fine, really, but still SUCH a pain! So, I dealt. Then, this very morning, guess what happened! My stinking windshield decided to crack! Okay, so it got 'knicked' by something on the road and when it is 3 degrees out (it was below zero overnight) and your windshield gets knicked, guess what?! It CRACKS!!! GRrrr.... So, anyway, this crack started out as a knick and, as windshield cracks are wont to do, it spread to about 8-10 inches long. Now it is at least 2 1/2 feet LONG!!!! So, I'm dealing. Yet again. Seriously, folks? REALLY? I may be a bit more careful what I post about in the future! LOL! I guess those who claim that they can just 'deal' get to! LOL!


This is the End.

Yes, the time has come. In one short week it will all be over. 7 days. Only SEVEN short, simple, ordinary days.

Have you ever thought about how much we take advantage of time? I mean, really...we know from the get go that we have a finite number of days on this Earth. We know that each decade only contains 10 years, each year, only 52 weeks, each week only 7 days, each day a mere 24 hours, each hour a few 60 minutes, and each minute a precious 60 seconds. That's not all that much time when you break it down, now is it?

It makes you stop and wonder. What are we doing with the finite amount of time that we have? Are we embracing those moments? Now, don't get me wrong...this is not a post to encourage you to quit your job and go pursue all that is right and just in the world. While I would be the first to jump on that bus, I am also altogether far too aware of the reality that is life. But...that being said...is it really worth it to just let these seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, and decades pass without really seeing that they are there? No. It's not.

Last year I decided to adopt a "word for the year." I have talked about this before, and I know many of my readers also embrace a word each year. My word last year was 'enjoy.' It was a phenomenal choice and I didn't really even realize it at the outset. You see, I chose the word because I guess I started to think about these things then, but boy did I discover something wonderful! You can actually do it! It is possible, even when it doesn't really seem like it, to enjoy your time. I truly embraced that word last year and in that I was able to uncover what it truly meant. Was I happy all year long, hopping along with smiles and pigtails and pretty bows and flowers in my hair? Hell, NO! Last year sort of sucked, actually. My hair is short so I can't even do pigtails, and while I'm known to put a "little hop in my day" every day, it is a bit more subtle than a joyous jaunt. Plus...I'm allergic to a lot of flowers, so I generally avoid real ones of any kind. BUT...this does not preclude one from enjoying ones time.

This year has started out pretty sucky, too, actually. My husband is still searching for a job and being that he is brilliant (no, not by my standards, but rather by those who know these things), has experience on multiple levels, is incredibly hot, works hard, is flexible, and is a genuinely all around great person, it doesn't make much sense that he doesn't have one yet. Personally, I blame the 'boomers. (Sorry, guys...but really...you are causing anguish among may. I don't make this stuff up!) The thing is, even with all of that and the repercussions of such a thing in such an economy as that in which we currently stand, I am still finding that I can enjoy my time.

I embrace moments. I do things that I want to do. I don't do things that I don't want to do. If I have to do something that isn't all that pleasant, I spin it and find the good parts. You know...like the paycheck that shows up even if I wasn't too excited to go to work on a particular day. I'm also not trying to convince you that "there is good in everything and the world is filled with sunshine and roses." Yes, well sunshine and roses bring sunburn and earwigs! There is gonna be a down side, folks, there just will be. But we don't have to embrace the down side. You just deal with that part. Move on. Go forward. Yes, you can wonder what may be next and maybe even worry a little now and then, but don't forget to enjoy.

Last night I was exhausted. For some reason I had a really tired kind of day. I got home and sat down at my incredibly messy desk in my insanely disastrous scrapbook room and looked at my computer. The desktop was .... well, let's just say a 'bit' out of hand. It was not a happy thing. I was not 'enjoying' the state of my computer. So...I fixed it. I went through and set up folders and completely cleared my desktop of all folders and files. I trashed a ton of stuff that I did not need and I sorted and organized the rest. Then, I went through my documents folder for the first time since I graduated from college (yes...it has been transferred from machine to machine all along the way...) and I actually organized all of THAT, too! We are talking a span of, well, at least eight years here folks. I had just never taken the time to do it. It's done. It's all sorted and organized and I am a happy girl who is enjoying the ease of using my Mac in its wonderfully organized form. I then was in the mood to 'fix' clutter stress, so I cleared the countertop in the kitchen of the various mail and recipes and other sundry items that had somehow managed to accrue. That felt good, too! I ENJOYED it! I was still in the mood to organize, but, as I previously stated, I was tired and I also wanted to just sit. So I did. We sat and ate dinner and watched a movie (an old Jim Henson movie done entirely with Muppets, but the really cool ones that aren't funny and weird. It was interesting.). My scrapbook room is still a mess, my desk is still unworkable, but, I enjoyed my time.

You see, I began this post telling you that this is the end. Only one more week. Seven more days. 168 more hours. 10080 more minutes. 604800 more seconds. This is the end of my twenties. This is it. In one week I will be thirty. I didn't think it would hit me, really at all, but I have found that it is hitting me, just not in the way that birthdays usually hit. I don't necessarily feel 'old.' I simply feel like I need to remember to enjoy. From little to big. From black and white to red and yellow. From second to decade.

This is it. Enjoy.


Fancy Felt Fancies


Aren't they just the CUTEST little brooches you ever did see? I think so, even if I do say so myself! These will be heading off to my prize winner this week, but I am SO going to make more!!! (I hope you like them, Angie! LOL!)

Here is each one on it's own:
Flower Power
Cupcake Cuteness
Madame Heartsalot

Seriously, these are a blast to make and I am totally addicted now! SO stinking much fun!

Now, I have a genuine question for you guys and I REALLY want to know what you think, so please....all of you who lurk, follow, stalk, read, etc. please consider taking a moment to leave a comment on this post in response to the following question.

I am seriously considering beginning to do reviews on my blog. I would like to do several different types. I would like to know if a.) this is something you would be interested in reading and b.) if so, what kinds of products would you like reviewed?

I will continue, of course, to post my crafty stuff and my occasional personal posts, but I would like to add reviews to the mix. What do you think? What should I know? What do you have to say about the matter? If you don't want reviews what WOULD you like to see more of around here? I would really like to make you all happy. You know I like smiles!....and cupcakes. But since I can't send you all a cupcake, I'd like to work on the smiles.

SPILL! Thanks! I really do appreciate it!

Have a great day!!!


I thought I would share a few fun stamping techniques with you over the next few days. These were a part of a class that I did over at AMR.

The first one is called Joseph's Coat and is a great way to play with color!


Glossy Cardstock (I used a piece about 3 3/4 x 3 1/2)
2 or 3 coordinating ink pad colors (bright or dark work well) OR a rainbow ink pad (best option)
Black ink pad
A stamp or a couple of stamps with solid area on them
VersaMark pad
clear embossing powder
heat gun
Rubber brayer
Make up or wipe and swipe wedges


The idea behind this technique is to create a layer of multiple colors that will pop through your stamped images beneath a blanket of black! Some of my photos were taken in the evening with a flash, so let me tell you that the black covers better than it appears in these photos. If you use a strong black like StazOn you will get excellent coverage, but you will stain your brayer! LOL! Mine is purple from all the use it has had!

Here is the finished project using this technique:


Step 1:

Use either a rubber brayer on a rainbow ink pad or make up wedges to apply multiple colors of ink to your glossy cardstock. Allow to dry.



Step 2:

Stamp your image with VersaMark over the colored surface.


Step 3:

Cover the VersaMarked images with clear embossing powder and heat until embossed.



Step 4:

Using your rubber brayer, cover the entire panel with black ink. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes to dry.


Step 5:

Use a tissue to remove ink from the embossed areas. (If using a solvent ink do this quickly, as it will stick to any surface.)

(You can see through the black ink in this photo due to the lighting when I took the picture. In real life the black looks much stronger.)

Step 6:

Add your panel to your card or layout and embellish as desired!