Sunday, August 31, 2008

Wisconsin Humor

We passed this sign on our way to the Outlet Mall yesterday. I thought it was hilarious, so I had to go back today and take a snapshot. Seriously, only in Wisconsin!!

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Happy Day!

Here is another of the Unity Stamp Co. images that Jessica sent me. Unity offers a Kit of the Month club, and this is a stamp from their August kit. I just think it is too cute! I started by coloring the birds, and decided to go with a different color for each one. From there, I decided the birds kind of matched that bubble paper (a gift from Lorie, my summer sister), and the rest kind of fell into place. It's very eclectic, but I think it's cute.

The only thing I'm not quite sure of is the sentiment. Because be honest... does it not look like I am implying that the bottom bird should poo on someone's happy day? LOL! I really need to think about sentiment placement a little more next time. ;o)

Last but not least, if you are a member of the Bellaholics Anonymous group on yahoo, be sure to vote in the current poll. I have my B is for Bella card on there, in contention for homepage honors in September. The poll closes tomorrow.

Stamps: August Kit of the Month (Unity Stamp Co.), Flower (Clear Dollar Stamps)
Ink: Memento Black, Bashful Blue
Paper: Gable Green, Bashful Blue, Dotted DP (DCWV), Basic Black
Other: Black and White Gingham Ribbon (SU!), White Gel Pen, Copic Markers

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hot Daas!

Henry loves him some hot dogs (or "hot daas", as he calls them!). Every day he asks for them, though I try my darndest (is that a word?) to not give them to him that often! And then one time, when Jack was sleeping in the living room, I tried to keep Henry in the kitchen while he ate. The only way I could do it was to sit him up on one of our high bar stools (of course I held him and watched him like a hawk the entire time). Now he always associates his hot daas with that dang stool. Argh. :o)

He's been back up there a few times now, and he does really well with it. I tell him he has to sit very still and not wiggle, and he actually does. He doesn't move a muscle, other than his hand going from the plate to his mouth and back again.

Here are some pics, taken toward the end of a recent meal.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

So & So Loves...

Have you seen this single stamp from the Unity Stamp Co.? It's called "So & So Loves..." and it's just perfect for any sort of romantic card you might need. In this case, I'm using it for an engagement card, but it could easily work for an anniversary, valentine, random hook up (<--ha, just seeing if you're paying attention!), etc. I lovvve birch trees. And I lovvve this stamp! But do I own it? No. I will though, just give me time! My new blogger friend Jessica Russell over at Kindred Arts was kind enough to do an image swap with me so I could get my hands on some of these and other Unity images. Kind of a "try it before you buy it" thing, ya know? Be sure to take a minute to check out her blog. She is super creative, and loves her some Unity Stamps! And honestly, who can blame her? I have only just recently found that company (well, I've known about it for awhile, but only recently decided to really check it out) and I'm in love with just about everything I see! Oye. Not good for the ol' pocketbook.

Anyhow, as I said earlier, I made this card for my friend Jenn who announced her engagement a few weeks ago. I'm late, I know, but I was waiting for the perfect stamp (or image in this case) and this was it! I wrote their initials in one heart, and the wedding date in another. Did I mention I love it? Because I do. A lot. As for coloring, I just used two shades of brown copics (E31 and E33) to go over the lines. I used E31 on every line, and then E33 at random. I sponged the edges of the main image with chocolate chip ink, and that was that. I really wanted to get some pink buttons on there somewhere, but no matter what size I grabbed or where I put them it didn't look right, so I just went without. I still love it though, so it's all good!

Oh, and I have to tell you I've found a way to sleep at night. Here's what I've decided. The one shorter leg in the rear is bolted to the floor, and has a small platform at the top to sit on. Bella sits, and then two Fella's carry the desk to her. The desk is then balanced on those two front legs and her two tiny thighs. ;o) And don't even get me started on a power source. lol. Ok, I'm done with this topic for good now. I promise!

Stamps: So & So Loves... (Unity Stamp Co.), Warm Words (Stamping Up!)
Ink: Memento Black, Chocolate Chip
Paper: Whisper White, Rose Romance, Chocolate chip, Close to Cocoa
Other: Cuttlebug Embossing Folder (edging), Brown Grosgrain Ribbon, Copic Markers, Doodling

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Frankie Say Relax

Ok, is this not the cutest card EVER?! I just love it. Unfortunately, I can take no credit for it whatsoever. It is a case. In fact, it is a case of a case. I knew as soon as I saw it that I had to try it, and then I debated whether or not to share it here, but figured maybe someone out there hadn't seen Frankie yet so I went ahead and posted it.

And speaking of Frankie, do you like my post title? lol. Did you have that tee shirt back in the day (and yes, it's supposed to read "Frankie SAY relax"!)? That's all I could think of when I looked at my little Frankenstein (even though one really has nothing to do with the other).

Your comments on yesterdays post were seriously cracking me up. Apparently no one ever noticed the missing chair. I've looked at that image again and again, and I just can't wrap my mind around it. Maybe a few of those table legs on the right are actually legs for a tiny little stool... but I doubt it. Because really, that solves nothing. Then I'd be all worked up about what is holding the table up. I told you my mind would linger on this for a few days, and I wasn't kidding. :)

Finally, have you seen the blog candy up for grabs over on Mary Jo's blog? You can win $200 of new stamps! That's CRAZY! I have kind of given up on entering these things because I never win, but I thought I'd make one final effort for this motherload!

Stamps: Ugh. What the heck is the name of that SU set? I can't remember.
Ink: Basic Black
Paper: Kiwi Kiss, Orchid Opulence, Basic Black, Whisper White
Other: Black Gelly Roll Pen, 1 1/2" Circle Punch, 1 1/4" Circle Punch, 1" Circle Punch

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008


How many pearls are too many? Since I managed to use ten on this card, let's say the answer is eleven, eh? *wink* And if anyone reading is a fan of Project Runway, this post title is for you... and Blayne. Because with Blayne, everything is "licious". His dress is "girlicious", his drag name would be "Neon Licious". Frankly, he's annoyalicious, but I digress. And then there's Suede. Suede likes to talk about himself in the third person. Sarah thinks Suede needs to get a grip.

Ok, why do I watch this show again? Oh yeah, because Heidi Klum is hilarious. Not necessarily on the show, but have you ever seen her on Ellen or somewhere similar? Too funny. I love her. And I love Tim Gunn. And Michael Kors. And Nina Garcia. And the way Heidi says, "Nenagahseea" like it's one word. Ok, enough of that. hee hee.

Anyhow! Both the image and the sentiment were sent to me from fellow stampers. The image in a Bella image swap, and the sentiment from the WRAK forums on SCS. I couldn't even tell you who the sentiment is by, but I thought it fit the image perfectly with the little flowers on it.

And about that image... do you see anything missing? Anything, oh, let's say, slightly disturbing? As I was coloring the image, I was debating what to do for a floor. I usually like to do something at the bottom of the bella to sort of ground the image, rather than leaving it to float in space. As I looked at this, I considered my options. First I thought about drawing in a floor line, and then I thought maybe I'd just do a little shading around the base of the desk and chair... wait... where's her chair? What is she, glued to the desk by her upper thighs? I love this stamp, but I'm not sure I can get past that. It really bothers me. As you can see, it bothered me so much that I left her floating. lol. You think I'm kidding, but my mind will linger on this chairlessness for days.

Other than that though (lol), what do you think? Is it in, or is it out? ( <---another Project Runway reference.... my last, I swear.)

Stamp: Clickabella (Stamping Bella), Sentiment (unknown)
Ink: (Unknown)
Paper: Pink Pirouette, Baja Breeze, Basic Grey DP, White (unknown)
Other: Pink Satin Ribbon, Lots of sticky Pearls, Scalloped Punch (SU!), 1 1/2" Circle Punch, Copic Markers

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Ready? OK!

It's Tuesday, and that means it's time for another CBC Challenge! This week's challenge is to make a 3x6 card. Yes ladies, that's right, size really *does* matter. ;o) HA. Here is my card for this challenge. I didn't realize just how big this bella was until I tried to put the card together, but thankfully everything fit. I made this for my niece who is on a dance team called "The Blue Revue". Hence the color combo. The pom pons actually are almost identical to the ones the kids use, I just wish I hadn't colored them blue on the main image first. I debated leaving them white, and then thought blue would be better. Now I wish they were white. Oh well, minor detail! Anyhow, be sure to click the links to the other CBC Challenge Chicks on the right to see what everyone else came up with!

To make the pom pons, I punched four holes in each one with my 1/16" circle punch as shown below (blurry, but you get the idea):

I used this fun wired ribbon...

...and cut the wire between each burst (or whatever you want to call it), then threaded the two ends of the wires through two diagonal holes. Then I took a second one and threaded it through the other two holes, over the top of the first one. Get it? I thought it was a fun, and maybe unexpected, addition to the card.

I also finished my second set of swaps tonight! Woot! So here they are, all ready to be packed up and shipped to Virginia tomorrow. You can see a close up of the frog card here. I posted it a few days ago.

I also need to thank my blogger friend Jacquie for this great award. She created the award herself, and I was in the first group of recipients. If you haven't been to her blog yet, take a minute to check it out. She has some cute cards and some cute kiddo's! As much as I'd like to play along, I just don't have time. I've been putting off even posting this in hopes that one of these nights I'd have some free time but it just hasn't happened. And y'all know I love awarding these dang things, so you also know I'm not just blowing it off!

Jacquie and Holly also awarded me the "I Love Your Blog" button recently. Big thanks to both of them for thinking of me. Be sure to check out Holly's blog too. She is very talented and also has a card give away every Wednesday on her blog! Oh, and did I mention her daughter is designing a few sets for My Favorite Things? Yeah. How cool is that? I guess they'll be released some time in September (correct me if I'm wrong, Holly!). I'll keep you posted!

Finally, I leave you with this.... Remember those cupcake links I shared yesterday? My slightly twisted blogger friend Debby (totally the reason I love her - lol) introduced me to a blog called Cake Wrecks. You seriously have to check it out. All of the cakes were made by professional bakers, meaning people actually paid for these gems. Some of them are hilarious.

Ok, I'm done now! :)

Card Details:
Stamps: Pompomabella and sentiment (both Stamping Bella)
Ink: Adirondak Pitch Black
Paper: Shimmer Silver (SU!), Brilliant Blue, Georgia Pacific White Cardstock
Other: Copic Markers, Wired Ribbon, Black Grosgrain Ribbon

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy For You

Well, I was hoping to show you a Mojo Madness sketch today, but that didn't really work out the way I planned. I had the card almost done, and just didn't care for it, so I scrapped the idea and thought I'd show you this instead.

This is a sample from one set of cards I made for the swap I am in. The swap is for cards with an "alternate opening", and this is what I came up with for mine. Forgive the glare. I took the bottom picture first, then sealed them all in clear envies before realizing I never took a picture of the front. Rather than opening an envie, I opted to just take a pic. SO, here is the front of the card:

And this photo shows the alternate opening:

The card is made with the Petals and Stems set from Verve Stamps. I just love that set. It's so pretty and versatile. The sentiment is from an old Stampin' Up! set called Happy Everything. I'm pleased with how the card turned out. I really think the copper cording over the ribbon is the perfect addition for the otherwise simple card. It really seems to add just the right amount of oomph (if that's a word). What do you think?

This is a bit off topic, but I can't keep these gems to myself anymore. For those of you who bake, or like to eat baked goods *wink*, or simply drool over pictures of baked goods, I have to share some recent finds. Did you know there is a whole universe of bloggers out there devoted to CUPCAKES? It seems to be similar to our little stamping world where there are design teams (mostly challenge teams), blog awards, etc. etc. etc. I don't know why I was so surprised by this, but I was. I think it's cool though, and everything I've seen so far looks sooooo good! Ugh. I think I've gained weight just looking! Two of my favorites so far are:

Bakerella - I saw this girl on Martha Stewart (a rerun) a few days ago, and was completely intrigued by these little cupcake pops she was making. Here is a sample (same recipe, different decoration from what was on the show, but SUPER CUTE!). She clearly has a killer sense of humor, given posts like this (LOL!), and seems very down to earth based on what I saw on Martha. You really need to check this blog out if you haven't already. I already have it saved in my Google reader so I can keep up with her.


No One Puts Cupcake In A Corner - First of all, the name of the blog totally cracks me up. :) I found this through a link on Bakerella's blog and was surprised to find that the owner blogs out of Milwaukee, a mere 45 minutes from me! And she has these fabulous Iron Cupcake Challenges (Love it!) at Fratello's, one of my favorite restaurants (have you had their White Chicken Chili? To. Die. For.)! I haven't had as much time to drool over her blog yet, but I know it is view worthy from what I've seen so far, so be sure to check it out!

I was explaining all of this to my hubby and he said, "so does this mean you're starting another hobby?" LOL! No, not quite, but hey... I did make these cupcakes for Henry's first birthday, and these for his second birthday (open the smilebox to see them), and I *have* met Martha Stewart. Just sayin'...


Card Deets:
Stamps: Petals and Stems (Verve Stamps), Happy Everything (Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Always Artichoke, So Saffron, Rose Red
Paper: Always Artichoke, So Saffron, Very Vanilla
Other: Vanilla Grosgrain Ribbon, Copper Cord (SU!)

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Glacier Ridge Animal Farm

If you've ever taken a trip up Highway 41 in NE Wisconsin, you've seen the buffalo roaming along the east side of the road between Fond du Lac and Oshkosh. We've enjoyed watching them from the road for years, and just recently learned that the Glacier Ridge Animal Farm was open to the public. We took the boys there today, and we all loved it (well, Jack slept through it, but you know what I mean!). It's $6/adult (not bad!), and when you pay they give each person a loaf of bread to feed all the animals with (you can get more bread if you want it).

There were all kinds of animals. Monkeys, cows, bison, buffalo, turkeys, chickens, ducks, geese, camels, emu, ostriches, horses, alpacas, llamas, shetland ponies, swans, turtles, bunnies, and probably a few more I can't think of!

Here is a Smilebox of our day. Most of the pictures are of the animals. I was amazed at how close we could get (they all eat right out of your hand). And there was a resident dog that followed us every where. Henry LOVED the dog. She brought us a big branch and we'd play fetch with her. Then she lost her branch, so she ran ahead of us on the trail and jumped up on a low hanging apple tree and pulled a fruit off. I thought she was hungry, but she brought it and dropped it at Darrin's feet to throw for her! It was so cute. There is a picture of her in the slideshow too. I really enjoyed myself, and can't wait to go back.

Click to play Glacier Ridge Farm
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Courage to Continue

I am so far behind on the cards I am supposed to be making (read: those swap spots I signed up for) that I didn't think I'd have time to participate in the fun challenges this week. Today was a banner day though. not only did I start and finish all of the cards for one of my swap spots, but I also managed to finish a card for Taylor's Cupcake Challenge. Here is her sketch for this week:

And here is my interpretation of it:

My husband has been asking me to make him a card with this stamp ever since the day it came into the house some two years ago, so I finally decided to get the job done. Part of the problem was that I knew I wanted to use camo paper on the card, and I only just recently found some I liked at Hobby Lobby.

If I had to do it over again, I think I might run a stripe of chocolate chip grosgrain under and above the sentiment rather than doodling the edges, but then again maybe not. This is a majorly alpha male card and I don't know that ribbon is appropriate for such a card! I'm lovin' the brads though, they remind me of ammo. :) My military-history-loving-husband thinks it is too cool and is taking it to work with him on Monday to hang in his cubicle. If he is happy, that's all that matters!

I'm going to try to be back tomorrow with a late (or early, depending on how you look at it!) Mojo Monday sketch since I've missed a few weeks of those now. Hopefully all of the stars will align and the boys will cooperate and I'll have another good stamping day!

Stamps: Stampin' Up!
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Paper: Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, Creamy Caramel, The Paper Studio DP
Other: Tarnished brads - two sizes

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Joys of the Season

Well, as you may remember, as of September 1 the 3 Little Dreams company is no more, and with it goes my design team opportunity. One of the DT girls decided to start a weekly challenge on her blog, and some of us are going to be helping her with that. The challenges are actually going to be on Tuesday from here on out, but this week it was on Friday (don't worry - the kinks are all ironed out now!), and I'm a day late anyhow!

This week's challenge is a sketch challenge. Here is the sketch:

And here is my interpretation of that sketch:

I bought this cute little Whipper Snapper snowman stamp the last time I was at the Creative Pals store in Milwaukee. Isn't he just the cutest? I love how he's looking up at the falling snow. I just love Christmas/winter period. :) This was actually a pretty easy card, all things considered. I might have to make more of these to send to family and friends this year.

Anyhow, you will find blog links for the rest of the CBC (short for "Creations by Courtney") Challenge Chicks (I totally just made that chick bit up, but it has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?!) near the top of my sidebar so start clicking to see what everyone else came up with. If you want to play along, post a link to your card in the form of a comment on Courtney's blog and I *believe* there will be a little prize going out to a random winner. We'll have another challenge posted on Tuesday and then every Tuesday thereafter. This was just a wonky week as we got everything figured out. :o)

Stamps: Snowman (Whipper Snapper), Sentiment (I can check if you'd like, but don't recall off hand)
Ink: Adirondak Pitch Black, Going Grey
Paper: Baja Breeze, Mauve Mist, Old Olive, Georgia Pacific Cardstock, Basic Grey DP
Other: Buttons (The Paper Studio), Dazzling Diamonds, Copic Markers

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hoppy Birthday!

Have you met Billy? Isn't he just the sweetest little boy? I'll bet he doesn't have tantrums and insist on eating at least one hot dog per day. *wink* I actually got this image in that image swap I was part of, but before I even got it I knew I wanted this set. Shortly after that I ended up buying the set from Mandy over at Limelight Papercrafts during one of her sales. (Note: there always seems to be some kind of sale/special/deal going on over there, so be sure to check often!). I've said it before, and I'll say it again... I'm a sucker for a sale. Sales and free shipping offers are my biggest downfalls in life.

I love this card, especially the way the lily pad is the flap. I'm kind of on a lilypad kick lately, in case you haven't noticed! The base of this card is Garden Green. Then I traced a circle tin onto part of the top of the card, and cut out that curved edge. You really could use any circle for this, as long as it is slightly bigger than your card. I'm guessing the Coluzzle would work great too, but I don't have one so I improvised. Then I cut a 4.25x5.5" piece of Not Quite Navy to adhere to the inside of the card for water. Before I adhered it though, I made a slit for the ribbon in the fold of the card, and ran that under the blue paper.

The Billy image is stamped on Papertry Ink's (PTI) White Stamper's Select paper (I know this because the images came in a little baggie that told me what kind of ink and paper was used). I was kind of excited about that because I know that is the paper of choice for a lot of people when it comes to blending with Copics. Until now, the only thing I had used my markers on was SU's Whisper White... which does ok, but not spectacular for blending. I have to say the PTI paper ROCKED for blendability! You can probably tell just by comparing that image to some of my previous cards, but it was much easier to blend the colors on this cardstock than it was on SU's.

I thought about ordering some of the cardstock from PTI, but decided I'd wait and use up my Whisper White first. That was Tuesday. lol. On Wednesday I found myself at WalMart (I hate it when that happens... seriously), and happened to go down the school supplies aisle where lo and behold, I found a ream of Georgia Pacific cardstock staring at me for $5.96. I know a lot of people use that cardstock with their Copics with good results too, so I had to buy it and try it out. I tried it today, and it's fabulous. Honestly, the blendability of the GP paper is equal to that of the PTI paper in my opinion. The only advantage to the PTI paper that I can see is that it is much thicker than both the GP paper and the SU paper, which is awesome for when you want to use a white base on your card.

SO, there you have it. My card, and my take on copic paper options. You're welcome. ;o) LOL.

Stamps: Billy Plate 1 (Pink Cat Studio)
Ink: Momento Black, Basic Black (Sentiment)
Paper: Garden Green, Not Quite Navy, Stampers Select White (Papertrey Ink)
Other: Fish button, embroidery floss (on button), Mellow Moss Grosgrain Ribbon, Copic Markers, Stampin' Pastels (cheeks), paper piercer

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Love of a Lifetime

Ok, have you ever gotten a little punch happy? That happened to me tonight. And I have to be honest... it's all Taylor's fault. Remember how I said those lilypads on my Oh, Hoppy Day!!! card reminded me of Pacman? Well, that's where it alllll started. My mind has been working overtime since then and this is what I came up with.

I used my 1 1/2" circle punch on PacMan and Ms. PacMan. I used the ID tag punch for the ghosts, and trimmed each one about 3/4 of the way down, then used my scissors to cut notches for the bottoms. The eyes and dots are smaller circle punches too.

The sentiment is from the Feeling Groovy set over at Verve Stamps. I stamped it with my Craft White pad, and then tried to heat emboss it with clear EP to get it dry quick and the embossing process kind of disolved my ink. Very strange, but that's why the last word looks lighter. Live and learn!

Anyhow, I think it's cute! What do you think?

Stamps: Feeling Groovy (Verve Stamps)
Ink: Craft White
Paper: Not Quite Navy, Summer Sun, Pink Pirouette, Almost Amethyst, Bliss Blue, Whisper White, Basic Black
Other: Red Ribbon, Black marker (eyes on Ms./Pacman), Stampin' Pastels (her cheek), Clear Embossing Powder, 1 1/2" Circle Punch, 1/4" Circle Punch, ID Tag Punch, 1/8" Circle Punch

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Blog Candy Alerts, etc.

Things have been a little hectic here. We have family visiting from out of state, and tomorrow is my night to play hostess, so I've been busy trying to get the house in order. Have you ever tried to clean and organize 2600 square feet with a toddler and a baby in tow? Not fun. Thankfully I try to keep it picked up on a daily (sometimes hourly if I'm being particularly OCD) basis, so it wasn't *too* bad, but still... I feel like whining. lol. :) Oh, AND, I baked a choco-cherry cake! It's a new recipe for me, and if it tastes as good as it looks I'll share it soon!

Anyhow, the point is, I have nothing new to show you today. BUT, I do have a few blog candy links to share!

Holly, over at Hog Wild About Stamping, is giving away a clear stamp set from Cornish Heritage Farms.


Trina, of Trina's Timeless Treasures, is giving away oodles of images, stamps, paper, ribbon, etc... but the catch is you have to work for it. There is a sketch challenge involved for this one, but it's a small price to pay when you're going to be stamping anyhow! I am planning on entering, but haven't quite gotten there yet. You know how it goes.

So, that's my story for today. Stay tuned for some fun cards coming up in the next few days. My Billy stamps need some lovin' and I have a fun idea in my head for a certain Verve Stamps sentiment as well. AND, last but not least, I signed up for two swap spots that are due at the end of the month. Ack! I hate deadlines. Well, actually I thrive on them, but I hate them until I get to the point where they start to motivate me. Ok, I'll stop typing now. :o)

Enjoy the day,

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wouldn't it be nice?

Wouldn't it be nice if stamps grew on trees? And I don't just mean the wood handles, I mean the whole stamp. I'd buy a Whipper Snapper tree, and a House Mouse tree, and a Verve Stamps tree, and, and, and... well, you get the idea.

Here is the much anticipated altered item using my September 3 Little Dreams kit. There's really not a whole lot too it, but I think the end result makes for an adorable little gift. I bought this cute little bucket in the Target dollar spot, and decorated it with strips of paper from the kit (excuse the pic - I had to use flash as it wouldn't fit in my usual, well lit, photo location). In real life the blues are a perfect match, but with my flash they are different - the metal must reflect more of the light from the flash or something. Anyhow, I adhered those to the bucket and then tied a bow in the ribbon and adhered the ends of the bow around the back of it (hence no little "tails" on the bow itself). Then I added a SU Cellophane bag filled with blue Easter grass and some stamps and added some twigs from the birch tree for a little dramatic flair.

I think it makes for a cute little gift, don't you?

Stamps: None
Ink: None
Paper: All from 3 Little Dreams kit
Other: Ribbon from kit, Cellophane bag (SU!), Birch twigs, Easter Grass

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy b-day!

This is a quick card I put together today for a birthday I'm pretty sure I missed. I have to double check the date, but I think it's over. Oh well, it's the thought that counts, right?

I received this cute little Changito image in an image swap a few months ago. Those image swaps are so handy for having quick-card fodder. I colored the image with my Copics and layered it on Rose Red, over some dp from Hobby Lobby (cut in thirds, but it's hard to tell with all the stripes), over some Basic Black, and finally over some Rose Romance cardstock. I finished it off with a ribbon and some doodling and called it a day! I'm kind of wishing I had left the sentiment box white, but it's too late and I didn't want to scrap it and start over since I only got two of these images in the swap.

The past few days I've been telling you I would be posting an altered item using my September 3 Little Dreams kit, and well, I haven't done that yet. A few days ago I got an email from Katie, the owner of 3 Little Dreams, saying she would be discontinuing her business and therefore September will be the last month kits will be sent, and also the last month of design team work for me. I have to be honest - I was kind of bummed about the whole thing, and sort of lost my altered item mojo for a few days as a result. I wish her well though, and am sure the closing of this door will open a window for all of us involved.

In other news, I think I'm going to be getting a new digital camera soon! Woot! I told dh I was going to ask Santa *wink* for one for Christmas, and he suggested that I sell my iPod (which I've had for 3 years and never used) and docking station (ditto) on ebay and use that money towards the new camera now. Smashing idea! I can't wait! Does anyone have any recommendations on what I should get?

Stamps: Changito Birthday (Stampendous)
Ink: Unknown
Paper: Rose Romance, Rose Red, Basic Black, Hobby Lobby DP, White (Unknown)
Other: Copic Markers, Black Grosgrain Ribbon (SU!)

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Cookout

My Aunt Jeanne and Uncle Leon are in town from Tennessee, and they invited us over for a cookout at the campground they are staying (read: parked) at. We had a great time visiting with everyone this afternoon. I took a few pictures and tossed them into a Smilebox for you to see if you're interested. There are some of the boys, and some of the family.

I just love the area around this campground: south of town, and smack in the middle of no where. I'd love to have a house in the country some day. Seriously wouldn't it be so cool to open your door to this every day?

Seriously, that's my idea of heaven. :)

Here are the rest of the pictures:

Click to play Cookout
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Oh, Hoppy Day!!!

I am so addicted to these cupcake challenges lately! Here is the sketch Taylor dreamed up for this week. When I first saw it, I was totally overwhelmed. I love me some circles, but NINE? What in the world do you do with nine? I promptly decided I'd be skipping this week's challenge (lol!), but the more I thought about it, the more I started to develop a little idea of how to make it work.

And here you have it, my Frolicking Frogs!

The lily pads are circles punched out of Green Galore, with a notch cut into each one (freehand). Then I doodled a ring around the edge with my Green Galore marker, using the same line-dot pattern that the frog images are drawn with. The frogs are all part of one long border stamp that comes with the set. There are three different frogs on that stamp, so I had to use one of them twice. I did some paper piercing on all of the white space rather than coloring it, and added a prima to one lily pad for some dimension and a splash of color. Doesn't it make that lily pad look a little like Ms. PacMan though? lol.

Here are some close ups of my frogs:

As you can see in the photos, I added stickles to the waves to give it a little sparkle.

The background is dry embossed with a Cuttlebug folder. It was a bit of a trick because I had to run the paper through twice without getting too much of a "seam" in the middle (the square card measures 5 3/8" square, bigger than the embossing folder), but the line is covered well by all the circles.

So, tell me! What do you think?

Stamps: Frolicking Frogs (Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Adirondak Pitch Black
Paper: Taken With Teal, Green Galore, Whisper White, Gable Green
Other: Copic Markers, Stickles, Prima Flower, Yellow Brad, 1 1/4" Circle Punch (SU!), 1 1/2" Circle Punch (SU!), Cuttlebug Embossing Folder, Green Galore Marker (SU!)

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Chickadee Greeting

Here is my third and final sneak peek card for the September Sweet n' Sassy Stamps kit from 3 Little Dreams. I promised a bird that needed no coloring, and here you have it! The chickadee image in this set is large enough that it can hold its own as a background image. Not much to say about construction on this one. Just lots of layering and some brads. The bird and sentiment are stamped with Close to Cocoa ink, and the sentiment has Tim Holtz ink sponged around the outside edge. Everything used on this card, with the exception of the Close to Cocoa ink, was included in my September kit.

I think tomorrow I might have to show you the card I made for this week's cupcake challenge over on Taylor's blog. It turned out super cute, if I do say so myself! I still have to show you my 3LD altered item too but to be honest, I'm kind of having a bit of crafter's block on it so it might have to be bumped back a day for "fine tuning". *wink*

Enjoy your weekend!

Stamps: My Lil' Chickadee (Sweet n' Sassy Stamps)
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Tim Holtz (included in kit)
Paper: All from September SNSS 3 Little Dreams Kit
Other: All from September SNSS 3 Little Dreams Kit

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Jabber Jack

I feel like this blog is pretty Henry-heavy lately, and wanted to take a moment to share a little love from Jack. He's such a sweet boy, and he jabbers like crazy. Far more than Henry ever did at this age. My Mom is a talker, and I am not... it drives her CRAZY because she will talk just to fill the silence and I'd rather stay quiet unless there is something meaningful to be said (I'm told I take after my grandpa and Uncle Don in this respect... Aunt Jane, are you reading this? What do you think?). Anyhow, Mom is THRILLED at the idea that Jackie might be a talker too.

Here's a video I shot a few days ago of him jabbering a little. You can hear me whispering in the background. I was on hold on the telephone at the same time and didn't know if they actually had my on hold (i.e. silenced) or not, so I was trying to keep it down a bit. And this is nothing compared to his norm. He'll literally go on and on and on (and on - lol)!

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Destination Unknown

Ok, I don't know about you, but I need a break from the bird. LOL. :) I do love that set, but I needed to lighten things up for a day. Today is another 3 Little Dreams challenge day, and the challenge this week is to use stitching on your card. Here is my take on the challenge, using materials from my August Globetrottabella kit. I just love that map paper (It's called Passport, and it's by Making Memories... I checked. *wink*), and I thought the little puffy tag was just perfect for this image.

Now I really want someone to make that sentiment into a stamp so I can use it with this Bella. Em, are you reading this? Wouldn't that be fun? Yeah, I thought so. ;)

As for the card, I adhered everything together except for the base, and then drew little dots where I wanted my punches. My long reach punch didn't fit over all of the layers of cardstock though, so I used my old paper piercer for setting brads (you know, the one with the hammer) to punch the holes. It worked great, and thankfully both boys slept through all of my banging. hee hee. I thought the holes looked a little too big, but in the end I kind of like them that way. Then I just threaded the hemp cord through by hand, and secured it at either end. I also stuck the tag down with a mini-glue dot so it didn't flop around.

And there you have it! What do you think? I kinda think I love it, personally.

Want more samples? Check out the rest of the design team blogs (links at right), OR looky here... Lauren Meader herself played with this very same kit and made some super cute things too.

I'll be back tomorrow with my final sneak peek card, and then an altered item on Sunday... that I shoplifted from Target. *sigh* It was under the carseat, and I didn't notice it until I got to the parking lot. So now I have to go back and let them look at me like I have two heads for coming back to pay my $1.05 for a dollar spot item.

I love being a mom. I love being a mom. I love being a mom.

Stamps: Globetrottabella (Stamping Bella)
Ink: Adirondak Pitch Black
Paper: All from 3 Little Dreams August Bella Kit
Other: Tag from kit, Staples, hemp cord, copic markers, stickles (on scarf)

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Little Chickadee

Here is another sneak peek from my September 3 Little Dreams kit, featuring the My Lil' Chickadee set from Sweet n' Sassy Stamps. This is the front of the card:

And this is the inside:

I used one of the notecards that come in the kit for my white paper, and had a hard time getting my copics to blend on the paper, but it's weird because they seemed to work just fine on the bird's tummy, but not on the sky. Strange. It's still cute though, no?

I cut the window on this card with my Fiskars circle cutter (seriously, how old school am I?), and all of the materials used are from my kit with the exception of my copics and ink (black on bird, close to cocoa on sentiments). The brown piece of cardstock is the traditional A2 cardfront size (5.5x4.25) and the notecard was trimmed down a little bit to layer on top.

So I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Geez Sarah, that's great, but I hate to color." I can't tell you how many times I've heard stampers say they hate coloring. Well, don't you worry! Stay tuned to my blog and on Saturday I'll post another super cute sampler card from this kit where the Chickadee isn't colored in at all. Not even a tiny bit! You'll love it! It has to wait for Saturday though because tomorrow is another 3LD challenge day. ;o)

Now I have a little business to take care of! I was blessed to receive this blog award from two people this week... Kimberly and Sarah. Thanks girls!

In the interest of paying it forward, I thought I'd play along.

The rules...
1. The winner can put the logo on their blog
2. Link the person you received your award from
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the girls or boys you’ve nominated.

There are lots of blogs I visit regularly, so for this list I've decided to go with blogs that I truly do love, AND blogs that I haven't already nominated for a different award in hopes of exposing you to some new art that you maybe haven't seen yet (although seriously, how could you miss them?! They're fabulous!)! Here are my picks:

1. Jennifer Love's Cuppy Cake - she has some super cute cards on her blog, and she always has such nice comments.

2. Dawn's Stampin' Thoughts - Stampin' Up! fans, this blog's for you! She has tons, and I do mean TONS of fun ideas and videos to boot. So cool! I have her in my reader but rarely comment (I'm a bad blog fan, I know), so I thought I'd give her a shout out here!

3. Gina's Stampin' Blog - I think I've told you how much this girl rocks for all of her volunteering on SCS. Be sure to check out her blog and give her some love. She has some super cool stuff out there!

4. Mandy at Limelight Papercrafts - I'm a little bummed that she didn't pick me for her DT, but I got over it quick *wink*! Mandy is super creative and she has an awesome store (with super fast shipping, btw!). Be sure to give her some love!

5. Sparkle Smith's My Life, Creations, and Tribulations - Sparkle is on the 3LD design/dream team with me, but I followed her blog long before that. She has great cards (lots of bella's, if you're a fan!) and just posted a super sweet sb page honoring her Mom. Take a peek!

6. Suzanne J. Dean's Scrapbitz - This is another case where I drool far more than I comment, but that's not the point, right? I stink at commenting, but I love to look and learn! Suzanne is uber-talented to say the least. Go on, click her blog link, you'll see what I mean!

7. Kimberly Geswein's Life in China, Unscripted - Ok, so this is not a craft blog, but Kimberly *is* most definitely a crafter. She just happens to be following her heart on a not-so-little journey to China, and this blog is her journal of that journey. I read it daily, and would highly recommend you do the same! I know she won't play along, but just wanted to remind her that I do love her blog!

And FINALLY (man this seems like a long post!), big thanks to Monique for nominating me for another Brilliante Weblog award. I really appreciate it. I've already played along on that one though, so I just thought I'd give her a little love here. :)

Card Deets (is anyone still reading? lol):
Stamps: My Lil' Chickadee (Sweet n' Sassy Stamps)
Ink: Basic Black, Close to Cocoa
Paper: All from September 3 Little Dreams kit
Other: Copic Markers, the rest from September 3 Little Dreams kit

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

At the fair

We took Henry and Jack to the county fair last Friday. Jack pretty much slept through it, but Henry had a blast! Here are some pictures:

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He loves that dog. He's been carrying it around everywhere. Unfortunately, it's pretty cheap, so I don't think it's going to last too long. The other day he was carrying it and both ears fell off. He wasn't even touching the ears! So, we rushed it to the emergency room and thankfully the pup pulled through the delicate surgery. ;o)

We didn't take Henry on any rides this year because we're cheap. lol. It was $10/person to get in, but kids under 3 were free as long as they didn't go on rides - otherwise they were $10. We weren't really sure if he'd even like the rides, so we didn't want to waste the $$. We figured we'd wait until next year when we know for sure he is interested. As it was we tried to put him on a pony ride (you had to pay separately for those) and he wanted absolutely nothing to do with it.

He still enjoyed himself though - even without rides.

If you are reading this and don't stay on top of my craft blog, sneak over there to look at today's post. It's a frame I made with a picture of Jack in it. :o)

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My World

The other day Katie issued a little challenge to her 3 Little Dreams Dream Team members to create something with the little container that holds the brads in the August kits. I thought it was going to be one of those round, hard, plastic containers (do you know which ones I'm talking about?), and had all these visions of a pretty Christmas ornament dancing around in my head. I was so psyched to get my kit so I could start creating. Then my kit came, and this is what stared back at me:

Ummm, what? What is THAT? That's not a brad container. LOL. Ok, so maybe it is, but it's not the one I wanted! hee hee. So, back to the drawing board. I thought about it for a bit at my desk and then thought I really should get busy doing some of the things I've been neglecting. Like mailing out the kid-pics that were taken in the beginning of July. I have to send some wallets to Jenn, and.... wait a minute.... wallets.... hmmm... that looks like it might be big enough to hold a wallet photo.... (seriously, this is a real time conversation in my head people! Don't you feel enlightened? LOL!).... And then the light bulbs went on and the clouds parted and the angels sang and well, it was good. *wink*

A few layers of cardstock later, this is what I came up with:

I measured each layer of Cardstock and then cut the rectangles out with my exacto knife (Note to self: Buy Nestabilities). I stamped the sentiment and cut it apart, then layered it and freehand cut that as well so the edges are all a little angled (on purpose... honest.), then stuck each word to the front of my frame in a random pattern. I adhered the whole thing to the back of the brad container with dimensionals, and then had to adhere a 1/4" strip of white paper around the inside edge to finish it. Everything I used is from the August kit with the exception of the Riding Hood Red (SU!) paper I used behind the sentiment words. Oh, and just so you know, the wallet photo fit PERFECTLY with no trimming needed!

Is that not the cutest stinkin' baby? That's my Jack at 3 mos. :o)

Once the frame was done I added a piece of adhesive magnet to the back (no idea what brand it is as we've had it forever, but it comes in a roll and you just cut off what you need and adhere it to whatever suits you), and popped it up on the fridge.

Here's a pic of my messy freezer door:

That's my Henry in the bottom left pic (taken awhile ago - around 9 mos old, maybe?), and those magnets in the top right corner are made with SU stamps on tile. They're sooo cool. They were a gift from my first secret sister on SCS. She spoiled the daylights out of me. Some day I'll show you some of the things she sent me in a close up when I need blog fodder. :o)

Meanwhile, tell me how you like my frame!

Stamps: Sentiment (Stamping Bella)
Paper: All from 3 Little Dreams August kit
Ink: Basic Black
Other: Stampin' Dimensionals, Brads from 3LD August kit

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Chirp Up!

My 3 Little Dreams kits arrived today! Woot! I was so excited to start playing, and thankfully the boys went down for their naps at the same time so I was able to whip out a card this afternoon. Here is my first creation with my September kit, featuring the My Little Chickadee set from Sweet n' Sassy Stamps. Click HERE to view the contents of the September kits. Pre-orders are ending in a few days, and they sell out super fast after that (seriously, I'm not just saying that!). And let me tell you... they sell out for good reason! These kits really are a killer deal. The paper, stamps, and embellishments are top quality, and very well coordinated. I really couldn't ask for anything more. I love it! Now, on to the card. What do you think? I stamped the image with my Adirondack Pitch Black ink pad, then colored it in with my copic markers. Then I was going to sponge some of the Tim Holtz Distressed Ink around the edges of the main image, but as I did I started to wonder what it would look like if I sponged the entire white space. So all that tan paper you see behind the bird - that's actually white paper covered with Tim Holtz ink using the sponge dauber. The ink covered so nicely - much better than SU! ink would have using the same application method (I am a *HUGE* SU! fan, but it's totally true). The rest of the card is pretty self-explanatory.

I had the hardest time deciding where to put that flower, but I thought having it there at the end of the branch was my best bet. Everything I needed to make this card was included in the September kit, with the exception of the ink I used on the image and sentiment and my copic markers. Even the sponge daubers were in there (from the optional add-on).

And as much as I was looking forward to getting my hands on this set, I thought it was kind of funny that once I stamped the image I couldn't for the life of me remember what the coloring looked like on a chickadee. Go figure. Not bad for "winging" it though, eh?!

Edited to add: I don't know why that ribbon looks so dark?? In person it's a deep chocolate brown that coordinates nicely with the rest of the card. On my screen it looks almost black though. Weird.

Stamps: My Little Chickadee (Sweet n' Sassy Stamps)
Ink: Adirondack Pitch Black, Close to Cocoa (sentiment)
Paper: All from the September 3 Little Dreams kit
Other: Ribbon, Flower, Brad, all from the September 3 Little Dreams kit

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Two Little Monkeys

The other day one of my girlfriends brought over Henry's birthday gift and Jack's new baby gift. She bought Henry a huge book of stories and got two super cute frog outfits for Jack. :o) I needed to make a thank you card for her, and this is the card I came up with (I don't think she reads my blog regularly, so let's hope I'm right!).

Here is the front:

And here is the (handwritten) inside:

Cute, right? I absolutely love this Circus Train set, but did I buy it before it retired? Nooooo. Why would I? I did, however, manage to score it on the BST forum on Splitcoast, so that was exciting! This is the first time I've used it. My summer sister Lorie sent me a short stack of DP, and that train paper was in the mix. I knew as soon as I saw it that it would go great with set. I goofed a little on the front where I made my period look like a comma (thanks to a sneeze - lol!), but oh well. She'll still love it! What do you think?

Stamps: Circus Train (Stampin' Up!), Many Thanks (Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Adirondack Pitch Black, Close to Cocoa (pad and marker)
Paper: Close to Cocoa, DCWV Glitter Stack (pretty sure anyhow - it was a gift)
Other: Tarnished brads, Copic Markers, Black Stickles

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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Butch & Mimi

Ok, so I know I said I was going to take a little vacation from blogging, but I really wanted to get this challenge posted since technically it was due yesterday. This is our second 3 Little Dreams challenge, and this week we have a sketch challenge. Dream Team member Dani Marcus drew up this nice little sketch for us:

If you don't have a 3 Little Dreams kit, we are asking that you please use either Stamping Bella or Sweet n' Sassy Stamps on your creation. You can load them in our yahoo group, or to SCS (with keyword 3LDAUG) for a chance to win a little something from Katie at the end of the month. You know you're going to be stamping a card soon anyhow, and you know you own at least one bella *wink*, so why not play along?!

Here is my take on the challenge, using Stamping Bella's Butch and Mimi stamp:

Aren't these dogs just adorable? I actually don't have this stamp, but my good friend Lesley (SCS: Hoosierstamper) was kind enough to send me some images of it in a bella image swap we did recently. Thanks Lesley!

I opted not to use a sentiment on the front of the card because there were already so many words on the DP and it just seemed so busy already. I'm thinking of something like "for my best friend" on the inside, but haven't gotten quite that far yet.

I did a double row of paper piercing at the top of the page and drew in some faux stitching with my Chocolate Chip SU! marker. The rest is pretty self explanitory. Ok, seriously now, I probably won't be back until at least Monday. I need to spend some time getting things done around the house that have been neglected in favor of stamping. Like what? Oh, you know, little things... like laundry, dishes, etc. All of that fun stuff! :o)

Enjoy your day!

Stamps: Butch and Mimi (Stamping Bella)
Ink: Basic Black
Paper: Chocolate Chip, Rose Red, SU DP, Whisper White, Dog DP (The Paper Studio)
Other: Pink Satin Ribbon, Paper Piercer, Pink Brads, Copic Markers, Stampin' Pastels, Signo White Gel Pen (SU!), Chocolate Chip SU! Marker

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Featured Cupcake Sampler

For those who aren't aware, Taylor Van Bruggen hosts a Cupcake Challenge on her blog every Friday (fyi: cupcake not required!). Then, on Monday, she choses her favorite card and the artist is the featured cupcake sampler for the following week. Last week she chose lil' ole me! (Woot!) So she emailed this week's sketch to me on Monday and I had to get my design to her by Thursday so that it could be featured on her blog today.

The sketch for this week is below. I don't know about you, but I love a sketch challenge. I always need layout ideas and sometimes these things are absolute lifesavers. Never tried to do a sketch challenge? Why not start now with this one?!

When I saw that long image area, I immediately thought of my Star Santa set. I wanted this set in the worst way when it was in the catty, but never bought it. Then a friend of mine decided to get out of stamping, and had it at her rummage sale for a few bucks. Score! That was about four years ago now, and this is the first time I've inked it. Sooo typical!

Here's what I came up with for this week's sketch:

The base of the card is So Saffron. On top of that is a piece of Crate paper called "Snowing". The paper is double sided, so I cut it just a little longer than I needed and tore it in half and flipped one piece over to show the other side. I sponged all of the edges of both of those pieces with Close to Cocoa ink and adhered them to the card base. The main image is stamped on Very Vanilla (again, sponged all the way around) and layered on Mellow Moss. I colored Santa with my Earth Elements watercolor crayons and aquapainter. The three lines at the bottom are Very Vanilla grosgrain, Making Memories ribbon, and Mellow Moss grosgrain. The star is chipboard from The Paper Studio. First I colored all of the edges with my Mellow Moss marker, then I traced it onto a piece of So Saffron, cut it out, and adhered it with ModPodge. I sponged all of the edges of that with Close to Cocoa as well, then punched a hole through the center with my crop-a-dile, added a bronze brad, and adhered it to my main image with mini glue dots.

I'm not gonna lie to you, it was pretty time consuming for me! I usually don't go into this much detail on my cards, but I wanted to do well for Taylor since she was kind enough to pick me so I really gave it an extra effort this week. I'm really very happy with the results, so maybe all the extra work is worth it!!

Now I want to talk a little about yesterday's card. I gave it to dh last night after finishing that post (yes, we're a couple of night owls!) and he read the front and said, "When were you crabby?" What a sweetie! Tonight he thanked me again for the card and said he really appreciated it because it has been a rough week (which is totally true). So it was a hit, and it sits in his craft area by all of his little war gamer dudes that he paints. hee hee.

Debby asked about the sentiment on the stamp... that's all one big stamp. Sentiment and crab and all. The only thing I added that wasn't part of the stamp was the sand. FYI, Debby has some stampin' stuff for sale on her blog if you scroll down a bit. I've already laid claim to some of her stuff but there's lots left!

I also wanted to let y'all know that I might be taking a blogcation for a few days. We're heading to Chicago early tomorrow morning to meet two of the gals I chat with regularly on SCS (one will be in town from SD, the other from VA) for lunch, so I don't know how much crafting and/or computer time I'll get this weekend. I'll definitely be back on Monday though, if not before, with another 3 Little Dreams challenge to share.

Stamps: Star Santa (Stampin' Up!)
Paper: So Saffron, Snowing (Crate Paper), Mellow Moss, Very Vanilla
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Close to Cocoa
Other: Vanilla Grosgrain ribbon, Mellow Moss Grosgrain ribbon, Making Memories ribbon, Chipboard star, Bronze Brads, Earth Elements Watercolor Crayons, Aquapainter, Stickles, Copic Marker (on face), Stampin' Pastels (pink on cheek)

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