Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

Here we are just hours from a new year...2010! I can't believe 2009 is almost gone! It has been a crazy year for our family - lots of changes, two big moves, new job, new schools, new friends and so much more. I think all of us have had our highs and lows this year and have grown so much through it all.

Right now, I am sitting in our new home...surrounded in boxes and a super duper long list of to-do's. There is so much to do and so few hours in each day. But, I'm working working working and in time, we will get it all settled and make this beautiful house...a home. I have so many fun plans for decorating and have been sooo inspired - so I am excited to work on lots of fun projects - soon!

We had a wonderful Christmas - the kids had a blast and got lots of fun toys to keep them occupied while Mom and Dad moved all our stuff to the new house. What a crazy time to move! :)

I have so many plans and so many goals...all which I plan to get off the back burner and put front and center this year. When I started this new blog...I had a fun vision of what I wanted it to be...and I just haven't been able to do it with all the changes the past few months. So, this blog is going to be a big part of 2010 for me and I look forward to sharing lots of inspiring ideas and projects with you. And...the 'ABC Inspiration Challenge' will come back in full force - shortly! :)

In the meantime, Hero Arts posted a layout I recently created using their new designs for Silhouette (digital die-cutting machine). I LOVE my Silhouette! Love it! And I have been so inspired...even more...by all their amazing releases lately! Some of my favs are definitely the new venture with Hero Arts - and the exclusive Hero Arts designs that they have and will have throughout 2010. They are having a great deal, through tonight, on their subscription so be sure to grab it for the new year. Trust me...you'll use it lots! :)

On this layout, I used the Hero Arts Heart Winged butterfly die-cut design and cut it big and backed it with a contrasting cardstock. I punched out a few circles of different colors of paper and added them behind the Hero Arts clear buttons (a must-have!). Two of my boys - I love them! :)

I hope you have a fabulous New Year! We have been sleeping on the sofa for 3 nights and finally got our bed over here - so glad! :) Hugs everyone!


Hero Arts 2010 Catalog Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Hero Arts 2010 Catalog Blog Hop! I am excited to be participating...the new stamps that I have had a chance to play with (and those that I've got to peek at) are amazing! Although it always seems impossible to out due the last release...they always do! So, sit back, grab a Diet Coke :) and enjoy the hop as wonderful artist share their creations, with YOU, using many of the new Hero Arts 2010 stamps.

Let's get started!

As I mentioned in my last post, we are moving (craziness!) and I wanted to do something fun to introduce us to our new neighbors. I always hear people say how their new neighbors brought them treats...or their new neighbors haven't stopped by to say hello...and I just don't want to deal with all that pressure. So, I'm gonna be the first to break the ice and take over these 'Just Saying Hello' notecards to our new neighbors (with a little treat) and introduce ourselves. Yes, this is brave for me to step out and do...but I thought it would be fun.

H5328 Row of Houses
CL380 Truly Appreciated
PS517 White Notecards with Envelopes
CH117 Assorted Crystal Gemstones
Other: ink, thread, pop-dot

I instantly fell in love with this row of houses stamp when I received it - bold, graphic and simply darling! I cut a white notecard down to 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 square and sewed around the edges with a silver metallic thread on the top and a bobbin below with pink thread (it looks so cute with the pink thread pulling through the card). I then stamped the 'Row of Houses' stamp numerous times with different colors of ink, cut them all out and applied 4 to the card front (the pink one is up on a pop-dot).

Using two colors of ink, I stamped the title from the fabulous new clear stamp set, 'Truly Appreciated', added some clear gemstones and moved on to making more. I love the color scheme and the simplicity of the card...it portrays my message just perfectly!

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For the second project, I made some small gift tags to take to my neighbors right now, with a gift to say thanks for all that they've done for us. I simply cut a bunch of circle designs out with my Silhouette Digital Cutting machine, added a cut out house from the 'Row of Houses' stamp, a gemstone on the door, some ribbon and a stamped 'hello' from the same stamp used above. I tied a little string around it to tie it to some goodies.

H5328 Row of Houses
CL380 Truly Appreciated
PS517 White Notecards with Envelopes
CH117 Assorted Crystal Gemstones
Other: ink, thread, green ribbon, staples, string, Silhouette Die-cutting machine

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For this third project, I used a new Hero Arts clear stamp set called 'Speckled Ornaments'. It is a beautiful set that has all sorts of classic images that can be used over and over again...for any type of project. Love sets like that! 

CL401 Speckled Ornaments
CL380 Truly Appreciated
PS517 White Notecards with Envelopes
CH117 Assorted Crystal Gemstones
Versamark Ink Pad
Other: ink, thread, green ribbon, 
Mustard Embossing Powder (American Crafts), Label punch, scalloped edge punch

I took a regular white card and stamped the beautiful damask stamp with green ink on the right hand side. I then ran the card through my die-cutting machine with a dot embossing folder. I took another saying for the set, 'Truly Appreciated' (I love those scripty words in this set) and stamped it with Versamark Ink on the pink paper and then embossed it with mustard embossing powder. I used a paper punch on the edge of the paper, punched out a label from blue cardstock, tied a bow with green ribbon and sewed it to the title. Rounding the corners on the card finished it up!

I had so much fun playing with these amazing new stamps from Hero Arts! Be sure to check out their new catalog today - I can't wait to see everything!! It is a true honor to design for such a wonderful company...they are the amazing!

Thanks for coming by my blog! Leave a comment and say hello! I'd love to hear from you! 

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The next stop on the Hero Arts 2010 Catalog Blog Hop is...
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If one of the Blog Hop links don't work, you can always hop back to the Hero Arts Blog for a list of direct links to all the blogs in the hop!

Have fun!!


Simple & Inexpensive holiday gift: Bookmarks

This is another project from an Autumn Leaves book that ended up not getting published...these holiday bookmarks with some photos of the kiddos. You can personalize them with the initial of the recipient and have fun decorating them with cardstock, sequins, gems...whatever you have on hand. I made one for my Mom and an extra for my own books...all using simple craft supplies that I had laying around.

In other news...we are moving...again! Crazy crazy...I know!! It's been an intense 2 months for us while we have been trying to find a new home and everything luckily fell into place this week. We are thankful for that! We need to be in there and out of here by January 1 so I feel like this whole month of December has just been a whirlwind! Luckily, the move is right behind this house in a great cul-de-sac with a wonderful, bigger home. I'm excited to get in to it and be able to call it out 'own' and get decorating a bit more. I haven't done much in this current home and that's been hard for me...so I look forward to some of those changes.

It should be a fairly eas'ier' move than last time - load things up and drive them over - I'm not going to be having to box things up and all that - just take things over so I hope that it will go smoothly. Busy time to be moving - hectic to say the least - but we'll get it done.

Our Christmas shopping is done...and although the decorating for Christmas hasn't been much this year - there is a little up. I had so many fun projects I wanted to do but with this upcoming move - it just didn't happen. It is what it is...right? :) Are you done with your shopping? We've got lots of family parties this weekend and next week - so much to do - and yet we are trying to enjoy the holidays and the Spirit of Christmas as much as possible! I hope that you are all having a wonderful December!


Inspired by: Melissa Frances

I was honored to be asked to be the Guest Designer for Melissa Frances for the month of December. You can view a little Q&A with me and some cute holiday ornaments that I made all on the wonderfully creative Melissa Frances Blog.

I have more projects that will be going up throughout the month of December - so keep checking their wonderful blog!

I have to say...I LOVE those plaster frames! I think they are plaster...not quite sure. But, I've had my eye on them forever...so I was thrilled to get some to play with! I'm addicted to these bright, trendy colors right now and decided to use them on my Christmas tree this year. So, I lot of fun colors and goodies from Melissa Frances made them so fun!

Thanks to the crew at Melissa Frances for being so kind to work with and for having me contribute to your amazing site this month! Watch for more projects throughout the month.


On another note, I've been cleaning and cleaning and going through tons of stuff! I am going to have the biggest Scrapbooking Sale in the Spring - seriously! In the meantime, I put up a bunch of stuff on ebay (Stampin' Up! stamp sets, a Cuttlebug machine, Cricut cartridges, etc.) and they all close on Sunday afternoon. So, take a looksie and if there are items you want, be sure to snag them up! If you win something and your a blog reader, be sure to let me know and I'll throw in some extra goodies for ya! :)


Hello friends! Christmas DIY

Hello! Wow...where have I been? After the Spark Event I think I collapsed for a little while - sorry about the lack of posts here! I have so much to share so let's get started!

Christmas is coming! I love Christmas and I love decorating for the holiday! We recently moved boxes from our garage into a storage unit and unfortunately, my box with all my Christmas ornaments got thrown in the mix. Not sure how that happened. So sad! I did have some other random ornaments and silver balls in some other boxes so we've put up what we have...simple, but that's okay.

I'm anxious to dig into some Christmas projects and want to get started soon! Check out these amazing projects using felt...

Felt Christmas Ornament

Felt Polaroid Ornament

Felt Rosette Wreath

Felt Circle Trees

I have the Styrofoam trees and lots of great felt so I think I'm gonna make those darling trees first! Aren't those the cutest projects ever!

How is your December and holidays coming along?