Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

It is looking a lot like Christmas at my house!   The snowmen are standing guard in the front year, the perfect lawn decor for the woman from Michigan who now lives in SC.  The palm tree is wrapped in lights.  The inside of the house is decorated.... And now the baking us underway!

So far I have made five pounds of fudge, a batch of magic bars, and 6 dozen yeast rolls!  On Christmas Eve I plan to make cream cheese spritz and divinity!!!  Yummmm.

Our packages are all wrapped and the stocking stuffers are all sorted by person and ready for Santa.  And with so much finished, that gave me an opportunity to abuse my scrapping girlfriends and create a new elf video featuring Beth, Pat, Suzanne, Kathy and Me!  

I wish you and your family a lovely Christmas, happy holidays, and wonderful new year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Getting Ready for Christmas

 Happy Monday - only six more days until Christmas!   Are you ready for the big day?  I have not been paper crafting, unless you count wrapping packages, so today I am sharing a few photos of a few of our Christmas decorations.

I am going to confess that for some reason I decided to cut back on our festive decor this year. It usually looks like Santa sent the elves and they went crazy decorating.  For some reason I chose to go with festive, but not over the top.

Above is our tree.  Yes, only one.  Usually there are two or three Christmas trees. This year I did not put up the other two. I did, however, put all of my favorite ornaments on the large tree.  What I love most about our main Christmas tree is the years of memories that are associated with each ornament.  So many of them bring to mind special memories and events. Our ornaments are a mix of handmade, purchased, girl scout made, preschool projects, ornaments from school through the years, Waterford, Wedgwood, china, crystal, etc.  And it all blends to create a fun and festive FAMILY tree.

Elsewhere in the room the stockings are hung on nutcracker stocking stands.   We have two large Christmas collections - nutcrackers and Santas. I thought the nutcracker standing hangers would blend nicely with our other nutcrackers, which are on the shelves above the mantle.

I set up an iron tree (oops, does that count as #2) in the entry way, along with the advent calendar and festive snowmen. 

There are three nativities on display this year.  This one is on a shelf with a wax tree and a palm tree (edited out of the photo). Clearly I need to find more desert-ish accessories!

I do hope to get back to my scraproom this week - especially as I cleaned it on Friday.   But there is still baking to be done, more wrapping to complete, and some stocking stuffers to pick up (for my hubby and my 21 year old son - why are guys the hardest??).  I do have a few projects designed that I would like to cut and share with you, but I have decided to make no promises until after the holidays.

And finally, one last look at the tree by night. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Travel Cold Beverage Cups

I have one final post about our anniversary cruise.  My friend Peggy gave us few really good tips on useful items to take along.  One of Peggy suggestions was Acrylic Tumblers to use with our soda/juice plan.  Peggy told me that if you take along you own larger tumbler that the bartenders would fill them with soda or juice instead of the smaller on-board glasses.  She was right and the tumblers were sooo useful!

Doug and I each purchased the "bubbles" plan where we had unlimited sodas and juices on board ship.  For me this was more of a virgin cocktail plan than a soda plan.  I drank a lot of  pineapple juice, orange juice, grenadine, and sweet & sour mix drinks.  I am not a huge soda drinker, but I did have a few of those.  I did not want the inevitable "I am a 51 year old woman hot flash" that comes with true cocktails, so the virgin cocktails were perfect for the cruise. Two of the bartenders enjoyed creating new juice concoctions for me to enjoy.

The night before we sailed I went to Target and found these two acrylic tumblers. I used vinyl that I had on hand, along with three cricut cartridges.  For my tumbler I cut my initials and two sizes of pink and green circles.

For Doug's tumbler I cut green, white, and black circles as well as his initials in black vinyl. I also cut the skull and crossbones from Indie Art in white vinyl.    I think Doug secretly liked his pirate motif tumbler because he used it the entire week!!!

Thanks for coming by today.  I will be back tomorrow with an Imagine project to share.

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One final note:  Remember that THIS FRIDAY is the last day to order Close To My Heart products and receive them by Christmas!!!  You can shop CTMH by click HERE for my on-line store!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

'Tis the Season Tag with Winter Frolic

Happy Bitten by the Bug 2 Monday! At long last we are back from our Thanksgiving break!  This week my very talented design team sister Lori Warner chose the weekly challenge cut. Lori chose "any Christmas tag from Winter Frolic cartridge".  I decided to use this pretty shaped tag and the 'Tis the Season (tree4) cuts from Winter Frolic.

I cut my base tag in two layers, a bright pink metallic cardstock, and the top, smaller layer in a white on white print from SEI.  I used heavy white sparkled cardstock and cut the snow for the bottom of the tag - under the dancing trees!

I used the Close to my Heart Art Philosophy cartridge and cut the circle and scalloped circle to/from tag.  I used three Close to My Heart stamps, all from the December 25th (C1469) set, to stamp the circle. 

I love the festive look of the dancing trees.  My daughter told me that she loves the fun, non-traditional colors used on this tag.  I finished the card by adding a green tulle bow to the top.

I found several colors of 6 inch tulle at Joann's and have enjoyed using the red and green through the holidays.  I also have black and white.  The black was great during Halloween.

I hope that you have a great Monday. I will be back tomorrow to share a quick vinyl project. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy Holidays Card

I know you are never going to believe this, but I am finally, FINALLY feeling better!  I am down to just a bit of sniffing & snorting - you know, the joyful sounds of winter!! 

I am feeling so much better that I have not only finished my holiday decorating, I also had a Close to My Heart gathering at my friend Beth's house on Wednesday night.  Thank you, Beth!!    This is the card that the ladies made during the gathering. 

I took pre-cut kits along with ink & stamps, ribbons, pop dots, and gems for each of the attendees to use to create their cards.  Each of the card kits was cut using only the CTMH Art Philosophy cartridge.  The ladies especially liked the shape of the base cards, which I cut with red cardstock. 

Each of the ladies stamped their holly leaves using the A Holiday stamp set (A1115) and they stamped their tag using the Holiday Cheer stamp set (B1381). 

The printed cardstock on the cover of the card is also a CTMH product - it is from the "Believe" line.   The sentiment on the inside of the card was stamped on smooth white cardstock with holiday red ink.  The stamp is from the Christmas Love (D1492) set.

I took an assortment of ribbons to trim the cards as well gems, brads or buttons to use on the holly leaves.  I chose red gems, though in this photo they look more pink/purple than red.  The card was a hit because not only was it easy to assemble, it is also mostly flat so it should mail nicely.  Not to mention that it is a cute card!!

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Rock the Block!
Join the craze BEGINNING DECEMBER 19th! When you place a minimum order of $25 from the Autumn/Winter 2011 Idea Book or from my CLOSE TO MY HEART ON-LINE STORE , you can get two new products for just $15: the My Creations® Collage Cubes (a Spring/Summer 2012 sneak-peek product!) and the exclusive My Acrylix® Rock the Block E-size stamp set (available only during this promotion). That’s a retail savings of almost $30!

You’re going to love the way the collage cubes and the Rock the Block stamp set work together for interactive, 3-D fun.
I just received my rock the block kit so I will craft my own Rock the Block project to share with you next week.
In the meantime remember the cut off  to receive orders by Christmas is December 16th.  You can place an order through my on-line store until next Friday and still receive your products in time for Santa.  Have your significant other email me if he/she needs guidance!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Studio J Digital Scrapbooking

I expected to have a "happy Bitten by the Bug 2 Monday" post for you today.  However, the design team decided that we needed a second week off to focus on the holidays and try to catch up in our lives.  I had already designed my project for today so as my friends and DT sister Donna said, I am ahead for next week. 

So instead of a Christmas-themed BBTB2 post, I am going to share one of my first attempts at digital scrapping.  But first, I have a confession.... I have been a scrapbooking snob!  Truly, I have been.  I thought of Digital scrapping as inferior and not "real" scrapbooking.  I am willing to admit that I have amended my opinion.  In my winter of on-going illness (I now have a nasty head cold) I have had lots of time to sit with my computer  and I decided to check out digital scrapping.  What I have learned is that digital scrapping has its merits and its place in the scrapping world! 

Since I am a Close to My Heart consultant, I decided that I should learn to use the CTMH digital scrapping program, STUDIO J.  I purchased a three month membership to Studio J and found the on-line program to be SUPER EASY to use.  

In brief, once you enter the program you will select the "paper" pack you want to use, then you will select a layout made with that paper.  The membership opened up a lot of extra choices for layouts and other details.  Once you begin "scrapping" you may change any paper element, add or remove elements from your pages, change a photo box to a text box or vise-versa.  You can color your elements and embellishments, add stitching, borders, tags, etc.  The layout above was made on only my second time playing with the program!! I was especially excited about how nice the digital paper looked with my photographs!

On the left page, above, I made several changes to the base layout I selected.  I add "matting" to each of the layouts, I changed two of the paper patterns to there papers within the package, I added the scroll border at the bottom as well as the white stitching and I added the flower to the left edge.  I changed the buttons and added a ribbon to the buttons.  I also changed the font and font color.

On the right page, above, I made a few of the same changes - paper selections, scroll border, stitching, and photo "mats".  I also added the "sticker" to the lower right corner, the text box with the date, the scroll design and flower embellishment to the top of the page.

Once I finished my pages, I clicked the links and purchased my pages.  I purchased the JPEGs so that I could share them on my blog, but I also purchased the printed papers.  For $13 I was able to purchase the printed 12 x 12 pages, the JPEGs, and cover shipping.  If you order more than two pages at a time, the shipping could be shared (the base price for the printing and JPEGs is only $6.50) and that would bring down the total cost of each double page layout.  I think my Mother-in-law is going to love a digital book for Christmas!

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If you have no interest in STUDIO J and would like to continue with your paper crafting, consider purchasing CTMH's Art Philosophy cartridge set.  The set comes with the Art Philosophy cartridge, three LARGE sheets of coordinating chipboard sets, and three coordinating stamp sets.  A $125 value for $99!

And as a bonus, when you purchase the Art Philosophy cartridge set or any $50 in CTMH products, you will qualify to purchase the December Stamp of the Month set, MAD ABOUT YOU, for only $5!!  And after the holidays you will have a new stamp set that will enable you to get a jump on Valentine's projects!!! 


1. Do not add the Stamp of the Month to your cart - wait until you are prompted during check out in order to receive  the special $5.00 price.

2. The ordering cut off to receive orders in time for Christmas is December 16th.  Give those Santa's a nudge if you are hoping to find CTMH products under the tree!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Package Trimming with Cricut AND a Cricut Stocking

I am participating in a Christmas swap and I spent part of yesterday wrapping my swap items and embellishing my packages with Jingle Bells, stamped Cricut cuts, ribbons and twine.  I wanted to dress up my stocking stuffers so that they were more fun for my secret sister, as well as featured Cricut cut. 

I started with the Lindor Truffles at the top of this post.  I cut two holly leaves from the Art Philosophy cartridge and stamped with with the CTMH stamp set A HOLIDAY, which features the holly set.  I then added a knotted ribbon and two jungle bells.  Yes, I truly did hand sew the bells onto my packages.

Next I cut some of the same snowflakes that I used on yesterday's Christmas card (cut with the Art Philosophy Cartridge) and stamped them with the same snowflake stamp.  I sewed a bell in the middle of one of the snowflakes but not the other.  Using glue dots, I affixed the snowflakes in the middle of red and white ribbons.  Such a nice finishing touch to a simple wrapped package.

My next package was trimmed with a Christmas tag cut using A Child's Year cartridge.  I designed these three layer tags last year, and we loved them so much that I decided to make more of them for this year.

Finally, I wanted to share a couple of photos of the stocking I stuffed for the swap.  The swap originated on the Cricut Circle message board.  I thought since the circle brought me into this swap, my stocking should be decked out in Cricut circles! 

I used iron on flocked fabric and cut the Cricut Circle logs.  I then ironed them onto the stocking.  I welded a border of Cricuts for the top of the stocking.

The last thing I am sharing is a photo of the top of the stuffed stocking.  I have packages that will not fit inside the stocking, but over all I think the stocking is cut with the decorated stuffers peeking out of the top.

For more information on the Close to my Heart Art Philosophy cartridge set, visit my
 CTMH on-line store by clicking this link. 

Rock the Block!

Join the craze! When you  place a minimum order of $25 from the Autumn/Winter 2011 Idea Book  (until January 31, 2012), you can get two new products for just $15: the My Creations® Collage Cubes (a Spring/Summer 2012 sneak-peek product!) and the exclusive My Acrylix® Rock the Block E-size stamp set (available only during this promotion). That’s a retail savings of almost $30!

You’re going to love the way the collage cubes and the Rock the Block stamp set work together for interactive, 3-D fun. Watch this video to get more details from Kristine Widtfeldt, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Season's Greetings Christmas Card

I am pleased to report that I am finally feeling better.  My tummy is still a bit uncomfortable but overall I am soooo much better!!!  In fact, I finished straightening my scrap room and made a card today!  The card took longer than it should have as I had to update my cricut's firmware, but whatever.... it gave me more time to plan.

Do I even need to tell you that I used my favorite cartridge - Close to my Heart's Art Philosophy?  I used a standard 5.5 x 4.25 inch card.  I cut three snowflakes cut at 1.7 inches in white cardstock.  Using Close to my Heart Believe cardstock, I cut the plaid strip at 5.5 x 2 inches, and the background striped piece at 5.5 x 3 inches.  I sewed the plaid strip to the striped background and affixed the layers to the card front.

I used sets of Close to my Heart stamps on this card - SNOWFLAKES and HOLIDAY COMMENTARY.  I really like both of these stamp sets!!  I used the Season's Greetings phrase and stamped it in red ink onto the bottom of the white base card. 

Using the same CTMH red ink, I stamped the snowflakes onto the shadow snowflake cuts. After adding twine to the middle of red buttons, I used glue dots to affix the buttons to the middle of the three snowflakes.

Today is the first day of the December Stamp of the Month set, titled Mad About You.  The set normally retails for $17.95, but this month only, with a $50 purchase you can get the Mad About You stamp set  only $5.00. 

If you are still making your Christmas list, don't forget about the Close to my Heart Art Philosophy cartridge and the stamp of the month set!!!  You Santa is welcome to shop at my on-line CTMH store.