Tres Jolie ... C'est Bon!

I can't believe I waited this long to break into the My Mind's Eye papers from their "Tres Jolie" collection! Well, honestly, I know why. The papers are so rich and lovely with a soft vintage feel - decidedly NOT my style. But when I saw them, I had to have them. And today, I finally used them!

The first card is one of those "hey, that's exactly what I wanted" kind of cards. Was going for a sweet little baby card... and I think I got it. This is also the first time I've used a stamp from the Wild About You set... oh the shame... the only person to ink them up so far was my oldest son! LOL!
Personally, I really love the twill tape for baby cards. Has such a natural feel... like a sweet lil' babe all swaddled up...
The sentiment is from The Cats Pajamas, and it's one of my very, very, very favorite stamps - love that little circle dot on the "i" - just makes me smile. I'm still not fully stocked on my SU inks, and would have used Pale Plum (as I did for the card base), but made do with Perfect Plum instead by inking up the elephant and stamping off once before stamping the image onto Very Vanilla cardstock. The sentiment is also stamped in Perfect Plum, and the flower and cardstock mat are both Mellow Moss. I used the Word Window punch on the front panel and was so happy that the sentiment fit perfectly. All in all, I like this card.

This card I like a teeny weeny bit less, but am pretty pleased with it. I feel like I need to find a nice old lady to give it too. :)
This time I used the MME paper for the card itself, then used a contrasting pattern and the solid side of two of the papers for the cardstock strips. Used the corner rounder punch for the sentiment strip, stamped the flower from Bodacious Bouquet with Perfect Plum Ink, cut it out and affixed with dimensionals. Worked pretty well, although admittedly not exactly the style I usually go for.

Thanks for looking! And hopefully I'll have some more creations with these beautiful papers to post soon (I did buy other colors, too!).

Happy Wednesday!

Card Credits:

"Little One" card: Patterned Cardstock - My Mind's Eye, Mademoiselle, Tres Jolie collection; Cardstock - Stampin' Up! (Pale Plum, Mellow Moss, Very Vanilla); Ink - Stampin' Up! (Perfect Plum, Mellow Moss); Stamps - Stampin' Up! (Wild About You), The Cats Pajamas (Welcome Little One); Twill tape, Word Window Punch, Dimensionals - Stampin' Up!

"Thank You" card: Cardstock - My Mind's Eye, Mademoiselle, Tres Jolie collection; Ink - Stampin' Up! (Perfect Plum); Stamps - Stampin' Up! (Bodacious Bouquet, Wonderful Words), Rounded Corner punch, Dimensionals - Stampin' Up!

I'm having a little get-together to say goodbye to the Stampin' Up! stamps that will be retiring on July 1... I don't have a ton of retiring stamps (since I'm pretty new to this), but I do have a few, and we'll be using them to make a few cards. Click on the My Events link <-- over there, on the left for information from my Stampin' Up! website. One lucky attendee will take home this box - somewhere to put all the cards they make! I've been seeing all the awesome coaster boxes people have been making and posting on their blogs, and wanted to give it a try. I was most recently inspired by this box by Sue Mylde. I LOVE those Au Chocolate papers and knew I had to use them.

I didn't have any coasters on hand (in fact, I've never bought any... apparently the only stamper left in the world not to have done so! LOL!), but I did have some 8.5x11 sheets of chipboard I got at A.C. Moore. I cut the front and back panels to 5x4.5, the side panels are 2.5x5, and the bottom is 2.5x4.5. (this works to be a great size for holding a few 4.25x5.5 cards and envelopes). I added the designer paper to each side of the panels, sanded the edges, punched holes with the ol' Crop-o-dile, used Zip Glue (best paper glue in the world) to hold the sides to the bottom, then tied it all togther with SU cream colored grosgrain... I honestly can't believe it actually worked!

I used my Marvy scallop punch with Bashful Blue cardstock, and a smaller oval for the Chocolate Chip cardstock, affixed trim and flowers from the Simply Scrappin' kit I got during Sale-a-bration (I think... honestly wasn't paying enough attention back then) - wanted to add a little color for contrast. I must admit that my ribbon tying needs some work, but all in all, I love how it turned out. Thanks for all the inspiration fellow stampers!!!

Happy Memorial Day!

Credits: Everything to make the box (except chipboard) from Stampin' Up!
Edited 5/29: per SU rules, class information/flyer has been removed from this post... whoops.. still learning all the rules....

Hiking the Audobon Trail

Warning! Very long post ahead!

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous - mid 80's and not too humid. We decided to take a little hike along the Audobon Society Wildlife Sanctuary Trail. The boys were pretty excited!
Before we left, Quinn, Cade and I made a list of things we wanted to look for - animal habitats, feathers, pinecones, poop! I wrote our list on a little piece of cardstock, and took that list and a blank piece of cardstock, punched a hole and threaded some hemp twine through it so I could keep it around my neck during our hike. It worked great! And Quinn was so excited about writing down the "important" things we saw.

Here are my boys, ready to get hiking!

We started at the South Meadow Trail. Couldn't capture it on the camera, but there were lots and lots of birds flitting and flying around the meadow. They were singing and warbling and enjoying the beautiful day with us.

Lots of meadow grass and plants and yummy-smelling honeysuckle. We also found our first poop in the meadow! Not too exciting (except for the boys), as it was only goose poop. Quinn insisted that I take a picture, but I'm sparing you here.

We also saw this dragonfly hanging out in the meadow. I was surprised that we saw him - he was pretty far away (good thing I've got some zoom on the camera!). Quinn was very good at being quiet so he wouldn't fly away. (Cade, on the other hand, was somewhere up the trail, running and whooping it up.)

After the meadow walk, we headed into the woods......... ooh, ahh..

It was pretty buggy in there (lots and lots of mosquitos), but it was so cool and peaceful, until Cade arrived - he was trying to run (not a good idea on a rough trail) and was singing and yelling and shouting about everything he saw.

I did get him to turn around a couple of times so I could shoot a quick pic...

Quinn spent a little more time just looking, and listening and thinking. He was quite observant and very talkative... he would gasp with excitement every few feet - usually over a small hole (snakes, of course) or a dead tree (we actually saw one that looked like fish skin!) or some small bug. He was also very fond of his "hiking stick."

There were lots of little streams running through the forest, and Quinn especially enjoyed "fishing" with his hiking stick.

Cade found the pinecone for our list, and was pretty proud of himself for it.

Later, in the car, when I asked about what they liked on the hike, Cade immediately shouted, "Sticks!"

I was intrigued by all the ferns along the trail. I had recently read in one of the boys' dinosaur books that there were no flowering plants around at the time of dinosaurs, and that basically the plant life consisted of ferns. Don't know much about ferns (racking my brain for a school-days' memory), except that they reproduce by spores...I think. So I wasn't sure what those things were sticking up out of the middle of plants, and thought (maybe) that they had something to with the spore-thing. Will have to do some research. There were also lots of ferns that appeared to be "unfolding" like the one in the second picture. Pretty cool.

The trail led to the edge of the woods to a marshy area. Lots of murky water... but

We did catch sight of these two frogs hanging out waiting for lunch! The boys were beside themselves with excitement.

Then the frogs did the craziest thing! As daddy was pointing them out to Cade with a stick, the frogs started leaping out of the water, trying to bite the stick! I guess they thought it was an insect. Or they were just really annoyed about that stick hovering over them! Quinn thought that was so cool and had to give it a try. Sure enough, the froggie leapt right out of the water and almost knocked the stick out of his hand. I couldn't get a mid-air shot of the flying frogs, but here's a shot of the ripples from the frog descending....

Here's a pic of me for the folks (not my best clothes day, but hey, we were hiking...).

And notice everyone.... I've got ponytails! For those of you who don't know, I've kept my hair super-short for quite some time (like seriously, pixie-cut short). Last fall, I decided to grow it out for Locks of Love. It's taking a while, but it's getting there. I'm certainly in an awkward in-between phase, and for the first time in a long time realizing how hot hair is in the summer. I couldn't get it to stay back in one ponytail because the sides are still too short, but I did get it to stay in two!

So, the hike was a resounding hit! I can't believe the boys walked for almost an hour and a half without asking to be carried! I guess they're finally growing up. We'll definitely be headed back to the "forest" (Cade's characterization) throughout the summer... Hope you all enjoyed the little romp through the woods with us.

Oh, in case you're curious, here's our list from the hike (we didn't find any feathers, surprisingly):
Animal Habitats - Rock, Leaf, Water, Meadow, Tree, Ant Hill, Stream
Poop - Goose
Things we saw - A stick that looked like a fish, Bee, Birds flying, Dragonfly, Ferns, Pinecones, Stream, Frogs Jumping, Spider
Things we heard - Birds Singing
Things we smelled - Poop

P.S. This list was entirely dictated by the boys!

Happy Sunday!

Ebay Thank You Cards

Been clearing out my stampin' area to get ready for my new Stampin' Up! adventure (starter kit and first demo order - expedited - both came today! HOORAH!)...

So... I sold a few of my lesser-used stamps on ebay to feed my habit and make some room. I am happy (and somewhat surprised) to say that I've met some really nice people through ebay. Very sweet and personal, even in this electronic age.

These are the little thank you cards I enclose with each order. Want to personalize the experience a little, ya know? I love making these little 3x3's and have been seeing more and more of them on people's blogs 'n such. You can't mail them, but they're perfect for enclosing with a gift (or a mail order), and you could even punch a little hole through the envelope (or the card itself) and attach it to a gift with a ribbon or hemp twine. Very cool.

Enjoy the long weekend!

Card Credits: Cardstock - Stampin' Up! (Sahara Sand), Bazzill (Red); Watercolor Paper - Archer; Ink - Stazon Jet Black; Stamps - Inky Antics (Bird), Stampin' Up! (Flower from Nice and Narrow set), Savvy Stamps (sentiment); Ribbon - from Michaels; Watercolor Pencils - Derwent


just giving the blog a little makeover... I'll see how this goes - It's one of the few pre-packaged blogger templates that fit my header. Guess I could change the header, but I kinda like it.

Bear with me on technical stuff. Although I have a super-cool computer hubby, does he ever have time to work on my blog? no.... :) Just kidding. I haven't really asked him for too much help. And he's promised to make a photo gallery for me....

Let me know if you like the new look. I kinda wanted a softer color for the background instead of white, which seems a little stark. Was trying for cozy.... not so much.

Enjoy your day!

Happy Birthday, Amy!

Okay, I got out of work a tad bit early today and ran home to change clothes and have 10 minutes for a quick post before I go get the kiddos. I wanted to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Amy, our wonderful child-care provider and the most kind, patient and energetic person I think I have ever known! She makes it possible for me to be a happy working mother, and I thank her the world over for that!
So, today (I think) is not officially her birthday. Last night the kiddos informed me that they had cupcakes to celebrate Amy's birthday, and I said, "What? It's Amy's Birthday?" I had no idea (now for another disclaimer... it is entirely possible that Amy, at some point, informed me that it was her birthday and I forgot. That is certainly par for the course in my scattered brain). However, if she "neglected" to tell me, well, by gosh, I'm telling the whole blogosphere (all 5 of my readers) - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO AMY!!!!
I found this card that I had forgotten about in my emergency card box - I just love it and think it will be perfect! I recently read a post on Taylor's blog that mentioned how great American Crafts papers were for cards - they are heavyweight cardstock with a pattern on one side and a solid on the other. Great for adding oomph without having to layer to keep a "writable" inside. Also love those $1 Michaels stamps for a sentiment whenever you need one. Oh, and LOVE the Stampin' Up! Doodle This set (the large flower) for the main image, too... Guess I just LOVE this card (yep. I do.) It's just one of those simple cards that made me stop when I was done, cock my head and say, "hey. I like this!" So I'm glad to be giving to someone so special.

Card Credits- Patterned cardstock: American Crafts, Solid Colored Cardstock: Bazzill, Watercolor Paper: Arches, Ink: Stazon Jet Black, Watercolor Pencils: Derwent, Stamps: Stampin' Up! (Doodle This flower), Kolette Hall (sentiment, from Michaels), Button Brad: Making Memories, Ribbon: Michaels.

Meet the Boys

On the off-chance that anyone other than my (wonderful) mom and dad actually read this blog (hi, guys!), thought I'd introduce you to (officially the world's cutest) two boys!

Introducing: Quinn and Cade!

Or, as Quinn would say if he met you in the store, or the park, or even in a passing car, "Hi, my name is Quinn and I'm three. This is my little brother Cade. He's two." Yep, that about sums it up! As you can see from the picture, they are actually getting to be quite the little buddies (thankfully) - Quinn is "reading" to Cade. Pretty cute.

But friendship comes with a price, at times - they are definitely learning the value of teamwork. And whispering and staying quiet. All things I ordinarily would encourage. Until it translates into:

Looks innocent enough, eh? Let me set the stage.

Sunday: Five (yes, five) bottles of magic bubbles sit on the table on the deck. Quinn: "Mommy, you get me a big glass I can pour all the bubble soap in?" Mommy: "No, Quinn. That's not such a good idea." Quinn (inevitably): "Why not?" Mommy: "Well, if you put it all in one glass, it will probably get knocked over and spill everywhere, and then all the bubble-stuff will be wasted." Quinn: "No it won't." Mommy: "Sweetie, no glass."

Monday, after work. Nice day. Mommy goes inside to change clothes - leaves the back door open and lets the boys hang out on the deck.

It's quiet. A little two quiet. Mommy sneaks up for a peek through the deck door.

Guess what the two rotten little boys are doing? Yep. You guessed it! They managed to get a large (thankfully plastic) tumbler from the kitchen, open all the bubble bottles, and proceeded to pour them all into the glass before mommy even had her heels off!

Caught ya!

Now, what you don't see, because the camera was quickly being whisked away to safety, is the spilled glass full of bubble water all over the table! Quinn apologized profusely - what a sweetie! As I told him, and meant it, just remember this and know that Mommy is pretty smart sometimes. She even may have a good reason for saying no.

Ah, well... they make life fun.

Okay - for a few cute pics of the Quinn man. Let me take this moment, though, for a disclaimer - although I love my children equally, there is a very good chance that you will see more pictures of Quinn than Cade. This is only because I can rarely GET a picture of Cade. Quinn is, well, a little more deliberate in life. He takes time to think, and rest, and contemplate. Cade, on the otherhand, is pretty impulsive in everything he does. He does not rest. He does not stop and pose for the camera. He just goes, and goes, and goes... Okay, he does have his quiet, self-absorbed moments, they just don't always make it to the camera.

Went to the mall yesterday. Nevermind it's like 50 degrees and raining this weekend - Quinn got new swim gear!!! He wanted me to take his picture while he "posed." So here he is - Supercool Swim Guy!
Isn't he cute?

Isn't he silly?

Isn't he super cool?
Isn't he just too sweet?

Okay, one more gratuitously cute pic. Meet Dobie - one of four (that's right, four) cats that wander about these parts. This is a rare moment of peace between Dobie and Cade - they must have called a truce. Wonder what the terms of that settlement were.....

Well, that seems to be enough rambling for now! Signing off....

Hello out there in blog-land!

Did you miss me? Wait... this is my first post! tee hee

Just wanted to test out the whole blog thing. So some things aren't quite up and running. Like that list of links to other blogs... will get much larger!

Why I started a blog:

I said I would never do it. EVER. But, here I am. Partly I am inspired by other paper-crafting blogs and thought maybe I could add my 2 cents to the crafty world. Mostly, though, I just wanted a place to refer others to who are looking for my recent creations, or information about my Stampin' Up goings on or who want to see pictures and hear stories about my two adorable boys. So here I am. Stay tuned... there's more to come!

Card credits: Latch card - Making Memories; Ink - Staz-on Jet Black; Colored Pencils; Ric Rac - Michaels; Scallop edge scissors - Fiskars; Tree with Tireswing stamp - A Muse Art Stamps, "Miss You" - Inkadinkado