Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas day mention at The Scrapbooking Studio

Hello all
I hope and pray everyone has had a VERY Merry Christmas. Today, I was featured on The Scrapbooking Studio blog. Check it out when you are done with all your family time:


Better go check on all the kiddos and see if they are enjoying their Christmas presents.

Love to you all!!
God Bless

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Simple Stories SNAP!!!!

This month I was asked to design with Simple Stories SNAP!! for my Design Team samples for The Scrapbooking Studio in Bloomington, IL. I absolutely LOVE this line!!! It is so very fun and the primary colors with brown are very ME. (My living room is green, blue, and red) I only had one problem with this line, and it was making a decision. I love every little piece. Each time I did something I found myself distracted looking at all the pretties again. I literally had to tell myself to FOCUS!! And, stop over thinking it!!

Not a bad problem to have to love what you are doing!!

My design team products for this month included the Collection Kit. But, I have to admit, I actually bought most of the rest of the line myself too. Good thing, because when my 16 yr old daughter came home, she began drooling. I think she likes the line as much as me. I may have to hide my scraps from her or she will confiscate them. Oh SNAP!!

This month I designed two cards, two one page layouts, and a mini album with a whopping 12 pages (including 2 insert pages) to showcase pictures and journaling.

Here are the two all occasion cards I made. Great cards to send to a far away friend that you have not seen in a while:

Simple Stories Snap Cards

I also designed two layout pages. One is a "Life is Good" page for some favorite pictures. The other is a calendar page for August of 2012. The pages can be used together for a two page layout or separately.

August 2012 Calendar Layout

Life is Good - Simple Stories Snap Layout

The last thing I designed was a Mini Album. This turned out AMAZING!!! I was originally going to use one of the cute albums that go with the Snap! line.  After looking through everything I was given as a design team member and everything I bought, I changed my mind. I decided to make one with two of the large pockets as a front and back cover and just punch my own holes. This way I can give my album to my niece as a Christmas present. Woohoo!!!! Good thing she is too young to read blogs. She will be so excited!! She will be having a very snappy Christmas!! Woohoo!!

Here are a few shots of the cover and each of the pages in the book. The mini album contains 12 pages (including 2 insert pages). Plenty of place for you to tuck tons of pictures and to journal your story.

Simple Stories Snap Mini Album

Snap Mini Album Cover - Close up

Snap Mini Album - Page 1 and 2

Snap Mini Album - Page 3 and insert

Snap Mini Album - Insert and Page 4

Snap Mini Album - Page 5 and 6

Snap Mini Album - Page 7 and 8

Snap Mini Album - Page 9 and 10

I hope these samples inspire you to go out and purchase the Simple Stories Snap! line. You will have a blast with it, I know I did!!! These samples can be seen in person at The Scrapbooking Studio in Bloomington, IL. Stop by soon and check them out!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Cards

Ok, in years past I have started my Christmas cards in October. There is a reason for that!!! Ugh!! I did not get them started until a week and a half ago this year. AND, to add to my stress, I decided I was tired of mass producing the same card for everyone. The plan this year was to NOT plan and just design. In my heart, it is ME to just sit down and design. It really has been a blast, but I am running out of time. The goal is to get them all done and in the mail by Monday. Cross your fingers!!

Here is just a few examples of the 20 I have finished so far:
(I absolutely LOVE each and every one of them!!)

So very much fun!!!! Two of my LOVES in one major project - Christmas and Mixed Media.

If you are interested in checking out the other cards and my FUNNY thought process as I was designing ALL day, please check out my public Facebook photo album at:


Hope everyone has a blessed Christmas season!!!

As an artist, art is NOT optional. Remember to find time for you this season and CREATE!!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

End of the year thoughts

2012 is coming to an end. (Literally, not because the Mayans say so) As the year starts to play out it's last few days, it always makes me think of the things I did that year. My first thoughts, of course, are always of my kids and hubby. But, this year, I also have been thinking of my designing this year. I took a leap this year and branched out. My life as a designer started  with just scrapbooking and dabbling in card making. This year I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone "box" and started mixed media and painting. WOW!! So very much fun!! I have found me!! Who knew that all those years I was living in the box, that the real me was really outside it. I couldn't be happier. I have discovered, with the help from some dear friends, that there are no mistakes. They have challenged me to find the real ME in my designs, my ART, and keep that my focus. It has been an eye opening journey this year.

Here are a few of the items I designed this year. Some are from the scrapbooking field, some from the mixed media art part of me. All seem to have common trends that I never noticed until I decided to compile them together. One, I use chipboard, distress ink, and paint TONS!! Two, I LOVE what I do. I hope these items inspire you to climb out of your own comfort zone and reach for new heights!

Thank you to those friends that have been a major force in my growth this year. Though I can never list all that have inspired me this year, I want to acknowledge a few.

Melissa - you have been a friend and support in the good times and bad. I love you!!

Jen - you are one of the most talented ladies I know. You inspire me with everything you do!

Tracy - You have challenged me to live without fear. I can never thank you enough!!

Angel - You are what I want to be when I grow up. I don't think you know how much you have helped me this year. 


Carta Bella Christmas Day Design Team Samples

Hello all!!!

Last Month, The Scrapbooking Studio in Bloomington, IL asked me to design with The Christmas Day collection by Carta Bella. This collection is simply stunning. I love the simple vintage feel to all of it. Every last piece reminds me of Christmas past. Think of the Christmas Past ghost from A Christmas Carol and you get the idea of the lovely pages by Carta Bella. You can find pictures of the complete collection at:


The first item I designed was a Christmas ornament for my tree. I loved this little Santa and had to play with him first. I used a small flat Canvas as the base. It is layered with paper and stickers from the collection. All of the edges were distressed with Tim Holtz Iced Spruce Distress Ink. I even added some Ranger Glossy Accents to the stars and lantern to make them more dimensional. The gold ribbon finished the project off nicely.

After the ornament, I decided to make a canvas. Mixed media and canvases is where my projects seem to go toward eventually. This canvas is perfect to display on a mantel or even give as a homemade, from the heart, Christmas gift.

I adhered a piece of the Carta Bella paper to a 6x6 canvas and then painted the edges of the frame and paper with Claudine Hellmuth's Traditional Tan Acrylic Paint. The embellishments on the front of the canvas are all stickers from the collection. Some of them are popped up with Zots to give the entire project more dimension. The edges of the canvas were distressed with Tim Holtz Aged Mahogany Distress Ink. I tied the ribbon around the entire edge of the canvas like a Christmas package.

The next thing I designed was a scrapbook page showcasing my kiddos in front of the Christmas tree last year. I loved the Naughty and Nice chipboard pieces for this project. It hit the nail right on the head. LOL.

You know your kids are getting old when you have to make them sit on the floor and not stand in front of the tree. I'm not sure I would see the tree if they stood up. They are all getting way too tall.

The last items I designed for The Scrapbooking Studio were two Christmas cards. Perfect for anyone on your Christmas card list!!

I hope these items inspire you to stop into The Scrapbooking Studio in Bloomington or Moline and check out Carta Bella and all the other wonderful Christmas lines now in the store. So beautiful and so much fun!!! Now, I must get back to work!!!! I have 50 Christmas cards to design today for my own Christmas Card list. Ready, Set, Go!!!!!!!

Have a very Merry Christmas!!! God bless us, everyone!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Guest designer for Home and Garden Welcome

Oh my!!!! This has been so much fun!!!

Last month, I received my Guest Design Team box of goodies in the mail from Home and Garden Welcome. It was a complete surprise to me what was going to be coming. Bwahaha!! Surprises are exciting!!

As I opened the box, my hubby and I learned we are opposites to the core. As I sat there salivating over the magnificent things I would get to play with, my hubby just sat there shaking his head. You see, all I was thinking about was all the cool things I could design. He on the other hand, turned the box upside down and wanted to know where the instructions were located. LOL. He is cute, even if he is a computer geek!!

The box contained the items in the October Home and Garden Welcome Mystery Kit. I was honored to be asked to be part of Home and Garden Welcomes guest design team for October and asked to keep the contents of the box secret until now. Love secrets!!! (Well, only when it doesn't involve someone keeping one from me. LOL)

The box contained the following:
Ranger Shrink Plastic
US Art Quest Mica Tiles
Kaiserkraft paper
Clear embossing powder
Ranger Distress Crackle Paint
Perfect Pearls Mist Bronze
Tim Holtz Black Soot Distress Ink
Inkadinkado Clock Stamp
Karen Foster black pins

I found it all to be so much fun, because I had seen Mica Tiles and Shrink Plastic used, but never played with it myself.

Here was my thought process and final art project:
1) I knew immediately I wanted to make a canvas. The Kaiserkraft paper had quotes on the dark side of the paper. It took me a while to figure out which quote I like the most. Thankfully, the kit included SO MUCH paper, that I will eventually get to use all the great quotes. The back side of the paper was a fun patterned green. That meant my color scheme for this project would be green, black, and white. (The Crackle paint in the kit was white.)

2) My first step was to trim a piece of the paper and adhere the green side to a pre-primed black 12x12 canvas.

3) I then found some flowers that would coordinate with the canvas and chose my favorite quote from the dark side. The quote was cut out and then adhered to the backside of pieces of Mica tiles. It gave them a cool finish. In the picture below, I am trying to figure out the placement of everything on the canvas.

 Here is an upclose look at the words behind the Mica Tiles:

4) Once I liked where everything was going to sit, I decided to add some details. The first detail was to add some Perfect Pearls Bronze Mist to the paper and Crackle Paint all around the edges of the canvas.

5) After you let the Crackle Paint dry, it leaves the edges looking aged. I love it. Here is what it looks like when you do the next step: More Perfect Pearl Bronze Mist and Tim Holtz Black Soot Distress Ink!! Absolutely LOVE the distressed feel to it.

6) The flowers came next. I layered the flowers with a clock, black pins, buttons and shrinked items. I stamped the clock stamp from the Kit onto a Mica tile and cut it out. The centers of some of the flowers were punched out using my Time Holtz flower die and the shrink plastic from the kit. I then heated the plastic with my heat tool until it shrunk to the perfect size. The number piece was a Tim Holtz stamp stamped onto the shrink plastic and shrunk. The center flower was enhanced by adding clear embossing powder to the petals and heating. It was an experiment that worked. Part of me thought the petals would burn up. I was very happy with the end result.

Up close of the shiny clear embossed petals.

7) The final words were written on with a Faber-Castell Big Brush Pen.

I absolutely LOVE how the final piece turned out. Not only did the kit include gobs of items to make an amazing canvas, but I have so much stuff left over, that I will be able to make even more!!! I am thinking Christmas presents. Woohoo!!

Here is a look at all the items I still get to play with. So much fun!!!!

Thank you Home and Garden Welcome, for allowing me to be part of such a fun Kit Club. I absolutely LOVED designing for you, and hope to do it again in the future. If you are interested in this Kit, please hop on over to Home and Garden Welcome to purchase it. I promise, you will not be disappointed. SO MUCH FUN!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bo Bunny Rejoice Samples

Yesterday, I spent the day making Design Team store samples for The Scrapbooking Studio in Bloomington, IL. I was working with the Bo Bunny Rejoice Christmas line. I simply love this line. Red and green are my favorite Christmas colors. I am a traditional girl and the new more hip Christmas colors just don't look right to me. Pairing the red and green with the beige really made it classic. The samples will be on display at The Scrapbooking Studio in Bloomington, IL, until the line sells out. Stop by the store and check them out while you enjoy the store.

Amy and Bobbi have been working overtime making some changes at the store. They have some new displays for all the inks, embossing dies, and stamps. It gives us SO MUCH more room to display even more items. Come in and check it out!!!!

Thank you, Bo Bunny for coming out with such a classic Christmas line. Rejoice is simply stunning!!

Here are the items I designed:

This first item is a one page layout. I loved the script of the Rejoice and wanted to use it as the base of the layout. There were only a few pictures that I wanted to showcase, so it worked out perfect. I made the entire page pop by adding a white doily, white ink around the edges, and white snowflakes. They are cut using a Vagabond and some Tim Holtz Snowflake Movers and Shapers. The snowflakes are attached using 1/4 inch foam tape so they appear to be popping off the page.

The Santa Claus trinket came with the Buttons that coordinates with the Bo Bunny Rejoice line. The red and white twine and small safety pin added the perfect touch to this tag.

Had to do a close up of this picture. The siblings rarely look this happy together. As mom, I celebrate this when it occurs.

 The card is a 5x7 Christmas Card. I slipped a piece of Tim Holtz Glassine paper in as one of the layers because it went so beautifully with the Bo Bunny Rejoice line.

This is a Canvas Corp canvas that I embellished with burlap, distress ink, and items from the Bo Bunny Rejoice line. I love the way it turned out. A great canvas to display during the entire holiday season.

The last item I design was another one page layout. In this one, I used some Claudine Hellmuth Traditional Tan paint on top of Green cardstock for the base. The snowflakes are stenciled on using a The Crafter's Workshop stencil TCW14 and Ranger's Tim Holtz Fired Brick Distress Ink. Some more twine and another Bo Bunny Rejoice trinket was the perfect final touch to this simple, but unique, layout.

I have discovered, that when designing Christmas items in October, one must motivate ones self by listening to Christmas music. I recommend Five Iron Frenzy's - You Gotta Get Up, It's Christmas Morning!! It worked perfectly. ENJOY!!!