Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

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Thank You!

Thank you for visiting my blog today and all during this past year!
I've enjoyed sharing photos of my paper art, family, and bits of inspiration occasionally. I hope you visit in the coming new year and leave some comment-love too.

I've been down with sinus and chest congestion since Monday, sleeping 12 hours straight at times, downing Mucinex DM and Vitamins C and D, and lots of liquids. In between, I've started to clean up my studio and prepare for a new year of paper crafting!

These thank-you note cards are a few extra-simple projects I've accomplished, and I want to send my Christmas gift thank-you's soon.

I grew up in a home with parents who emphasized the importance of sending hand-written thank-you notes. I think it's too quickly becoming a lost tradition and a lost piece of etiquette. So I do my best to keep my little part alive and into the snail mail! Don't you get excited about a GOOD piece of snail mail? I do!

Why not take time and help your children (or someone else's) learn to write a thank-you note from their hearts. You'll be teaching them to value a gift and to care about the gift giver too. The note doesn't have to be elaborate. (Although writing with a fountain pen or a calligraphy point is one of my favorite things to do!) Our DD has begun to teach their toddlers the importance of sending thank-you's in the mail--right now the little girls simply add their scribbled pictures. The important point is that they're learning to DO it and talking about what they're making to send.

Won't you join this cause too so that the art of snail mail note writing isn't lost forever?

Happy 7th Day of Christmas! Have a safe New Year's Eve!

(I used the stamps from Close To My Heart's Thanks set for the inside of the blank note cards from H*y*L*y. This is one of my favorite stamps sets, since it's so versatile, and has Gracias and Merci among all the sentiments. Before I get each note ready to mail, I add a cheery ribbon similar to the ribbon tying each set of cards together.)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Celebrate the Occasion

After watching the Art and Soul webisode, I was determined to try the Stazon ink on a clear acrylic card. Wow. It takes practice! I need MORE practice! The trick is to place the stamp and then lift directly up--carefully--to avoid smudging. Next time I'll try the black Stazon.
I used all Close To My Heart products for this man-card. To give the cake image on the front some dimension, I used a lot of pop squares. The cake pops right onto your table (well, almost). All ya need is a fork and a napkin.

It's a good day to stay in and warm. My feet love the warm air vent in my little studio. (It feels almost as good as a furry dog would lying across my feet. I can picture that furry dog, and wait patiently for the new dog day.)

BTW, I mentioned to DH that the studio seems so much smaller lately. He just smiles and flips the remote to another football game. I sometimes wonder if anyone would miss me if I were buried under all the pretty papers and embellies. Please, please call me for dinner.

Happy crafting! Thanks for stopping to visit!

If you leave me a comment, double thanks! (I get many lookers, but only a few faithful commenters.) I do appreciate your taking the time to leave a little love!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pulling It All Together Webisode

Ta-da! Great news from Close To My Heart! As you read, click on each of the blue links to see and hear!

The newest webisode of Art & Soul ("Pulling It All Together") is up on my website and it's one you won't want to miss--

Kristine shows the fun Mix & Mingle album and a new way to use it, along with Stazon stamping on acrylic albums.

Jill shares her marbeling technique using Liquid Glass with some fantabulous art examples.

Monica shows more uses for the CTMH Mix & Mingle Album.

Tiffany shows some super Studio J tips and tricks. If you're a scrapbooker, you'll want to give Studio J a try--it's a great way to digi-scrapbook entire albums or simply catch up on some layouts.

The webisode concludes with CTMH's founder and owner, Jeanette Lynton, showing her beautiful calendar pages.

Make yourself a cup of hot cocoa or tea, take 15 minutes to watch the creative video, and then head over to my CTMH site to order the products you'll need for your own projects! You'll have tons of fun!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Veranda Clear Birthday Card

It's a happy birthday card for a dear teacher-friend -- she's a New Year's baby -- gotta get it into the mail now!

How I wish she and I could sit on a veranda and sip birthday cosmos together! Let's pretend we're doing it and say that we did! Happy birthday, dear Wendy!

I used all Close To My Heart products: clear rectangle card, summer sheer ribbon, Veranda papers, clear buttons, waxy flax, Crystal blue ink (I cut the polka dot heart from one of the CTMH paper labels--love those dots!).

I cut the flower layers freehand, and used the paper piercer to make two holes in each layer so the petals could be bent into a little dimensional flower secured with the larger clear button and waxy flax. Easy peasy.

If you use the clear Acrylix cards, remember to remove the protective covering across the outside and the inside. I stick my paper piercer into a corner to get it started to lift and peel. It's similar to removing a facial masque! Start at one corner, and peel slowly and patiently.

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy 4th Day of Christmas!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Our Family Christmas 2010

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We trust you enjoyed a JOY-filled Christmas Day celebration of Jesus' birthday, and wish you a happy new year!

Here's a slideshow of our family's week of Christmas activities--enjoy!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our Christmas Surprises

Early Christmas Morning!

We awoke to almost 4 inches of snow and it just kept falling so gently and peacefully! Later in the daylight I was able to photograph the reindeer tracks all around our house. NO kidding!

We haven't had a white Christmas in St Louis for quite a while, except for flurries last year that didn't last long. It was so exciting to have snow again. I felt like a little kid!

These two little creatures came in the house with a special person and I just had to photog them near the tree. Aren't they adorable?

What a very special celebration of Jesus' birthday it has been. The family members have all gone home. It's so quiet it's deafening now. We enjoyed a brunch-munching, gift-giving, game-playing, music-making, movie-watching great day together and topped it all off with a dinner and cookie desserts.

Happy birthday, dear Jesus!
You're the best gift of all!

I hope your Christmas has been merry and bright, and I wish for you a very happy 12 days of Christmas too!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cherry Winks

Mom always made Cherry Winks before Christmas, and it's a favorite family Christmas cookie recipe that I made a few days ago to surprise my family this weekend. (Mom also hand-quilted the pretty Christmas tree placemats for us about 20 years ago, and they are so special and festive on our table. I'm so glad she made a set of 6! Thank you, Mom!)

Cherry Winks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Sift 2 1/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Blend 3/4 cup softened butter and 1 cup sugar in a mixing bowl.
Add 2 eggs, 2 Tablespoons milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat well into the butter and sugar.

Then blend in the dry ingredients using a mixer.

Add 1 cup chopped dates, 1 cup chopped pecans, and 1/3 cup chopped maraschino cherries.

Drop dough by teaspoon into crushed corn flakes and roll to coat each cookie.
Place each onto a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
Press thumbprint into center. Add 1/2 maraschino cherry on top in the depression.

Bake 10-12 minutes, until golden.
Store in a tightly covered container to keep moist.

When the Cherry Winks were finished, I tried the Chocolate Peanut Clusters recipe my cousin Dianne shared on The Elling Family News site. Thanks, Dianne!

Here's a photo of some of them. These can easily become addictive. And I've found it's impossible to hide them from chocoholics.

Enjoy, enjoy!

Ice Storm, Thirsty Robins & a Winter Sunset

Last week the ice storm that hit our area kept us inside four days in a row. Schools and businesses were closed. I got a lot of cookies and candies made and did some paper crafting too!

When we finally got out to the stores, there were no de-icers to be found. The sun doesn't hit our driveway and front sidewalk directly, so we had to be patient for yesterday and today's above-freezing temperatures. Meanwhile, hundreds of people visited the ERs because of falls and broken bones.

 Shadows, hungry finches, and a robin on the deck railing ... we do have robins who "winter over" in our area.

 Then ... more robins came to lunch!

 As I watched, a family of robins and a pair of cardinals perched in the oak tree.

A few minutes later, a flock of robins rested in the tree near the deck. Then they flew from the tree to our roof, and back and forth. DH and I watched them for nearly an hour, and at times the flock numbered hundreds, peppering the sky!

The December sunset after the storm ... winter is okay as long as I'm inside looking out.

Thirsty Robins

At least 200 robins have been perching in the tree closest to our deck. When they fly from tree to tree to our roof and back to tree, the sky is as if it's peppered. I {heart} watching these beautiful creatures God made! DH thinks they're thirsty, so we're going to have to look for a heater for our bird baths.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mistletoe & Prisma Glitter

Maybe it's the glitter in my nose?
I don't use it very often -- but tonight I went a bit overboard with it!

I thought I'd bring it out for a special friend's card that I want to hand- deliver with a plate of homemade cookies and candies this weekend.

I'm quite messy, as you can see, and I didn't see all the extra glitter specks until I posted this photo. I had better make sure no glitter has made its way onto the sweet treats. Choke, sneeze, choke.

This is my last Christmas card post for the year. I made more than 250, and no two were the same. What's wrong with me??? I have to be cra-zy. No, I'm not paying postage on every one. Like this one, many will be given in person. Sorry, USPS.

I'm excited to move on to a new project that includes a Mix 'n' Mingle album and the ever-so-wonderful Silhouette papers.

See you later! Thanks for stopping by!

Oh, and by the looks of my visitors' numbers, I had better get myself in gear and offer some blog candy real soon in the new year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Cactus Photo Card

We have a beautiful bloomer!

Our Christmas cactus began to bloom the week after Thanksgiving. I've taken many lovely photos of the blooms, and enjoy using them for floral cards.

This Christmas greeting card is for friends whom we've known for 30 plus years, since moving and making our home in Missouri. Fred and Lois have been wonderful examples and mentors to us as friends, parents, and grandparents. Their children were our children's first and favorite babysitters. They have lived Christmas every day and we thank the Lord for them!

Thanks for visiting and leaving your comment!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

B's First Birthday

It's fun getting back to creating layouts with papers and embellishments--especially when I have a cute subject such as our grandgirl Beatrice.

She's every bit as cute and sweet and fun in real life ... and she's quite the little firecracker, not wanting to sit still too long or to cuddle, always off running to catch her sister Ella. Lately Beatrice has been saying more words (her favorite this past week has been "hat"), and always chimes in to be sure she's heard.

I love these grandparenting days! Yesterday DH and I got to have morning play together with the grandgirls, then take both GGs to their library story times and have lunch AND nap time with them. After nap time we read Mary Poppins and made some story characters who giggled with us and those characters floated straight to the ceiling for their tea time. We laughed and told jokes and they kept bobbing back to the ceiling as Uncle Albert and his friends always do in the story. I think Ella was going to take Uncle Bert to bed with her. (I failed to get his photo! Picture a pleasingly plump, bald, mustached jolly soul who loves to laugh and pop his vest buttons.)

Glad you stopped for a visit! I hope your day is merry and bright!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mistletoe Thank You

One GOOD thing about a cold day outside: I can sit in my warm studio and create and drink hot chocolate, being careful not to spill. The temperature and the wind made today feel very wintery even though the sun was shining brightly. We shopped 'til we dropped and came home to sleep on all the refriges and prices spinning in our heads. I think hope our old one will last through Christmas. If not, we could put our food on the patio and see how many critters we can attract.

Here's a thank you card for a dear friend who surprised me with a gorgeous birthday gift recently. She's also a card maker, and you know how much a card maker LOVES to receive a hand-made card! She also loves to write her own notes in blank cards and receive hand-written notes as much as I do. We are definitely from the "old school"!

I used: CTMH cardstock, Mistletoe patterned paper and ribbon, Itty Bitty Sparkles, and Cranberry Ink for the Thank You stamp sentiment. Also layered two red flowers and sparkle brad from M*'s.

Now have yourself a cozy, merry Monday evening, and thanks for visiting!

Monday, December 6, 2010

You Rock Birthday Greeting

A special friend has a birthday coming up this week, so I brought on the BLING and made this card for her.

I used: CTMH's You Rock papers, Smoky Plum ink and sheer ribbon, Sparkles, Card Sentiments stamp for the inside, Celebration Bouquet stamp for the front; Marvy scalloped punch.

So how was YOUR weekend? Positive AND creative, I hope! Thanks for visiting my blog! Happy Monday!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Passages Man Card

This afternoon I used a 5 x 7 inch aqua cardstock and matching envelope as a starter to begin building a man's birthday card. (After taking the photos, I realize I got too carried away with the ink-distressing. Hope to remember that next time!)

I love the colors in the Close To My Heart Passages paper kit -- by using the aqua, I brought out the aqua in the patterned paper that I used on the card front. Aqua is his favorite color.

Before adhering the front completely, I sized a pullout section for the "Happy Birthday" sentiment. On the back of the pullout, I added a square of ivory cardstock so I have a place to write a short note to the special man who will celebrate his birthday later this week. I didn't adhere the top so that I can insert a gift card as a surprise.

The CTMH Mocha pearl accents are lucious. I started with the second darkest color in the packet and then added the darkest chocolate flavor--I mean color!

I used: Close To My Heart Passages papers; Celebrate the Everyday stamp set; Mocha Gems embellies; Brown Bag and Barn Red inks.

Thanks for stopping by & commenting! Have a GREAT new week!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Football & Soccer Themed Stamp Sets

Recently I've had questions asked about availability of sports-themed stamp sets, and want to share these two, especially during this sports season. Click on each link to take you directly to the Idea Book page for details about each set.

In the Game-- Football:

My Game--Soccer:

Thanks to my upline, Deb Butler, for helping me find these two sets.

Happy stamping!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Amore -- Stamp of the Month

Amore is the December stamp of the month -- click on this link to find out how you can get this set free or at a discount!

(Blogger isn't letting me upload photos right now. I'm getting a message "Cloud Picker isn't available"--I hope I haven't picked up a gremlin somewhere! Will try later!) Thanks, Marie! It worked to go back to "old editor" and then post the blog pic. You're a jewel of a bloggin' friend!

It's not too early to begin making Valentine cards and scrapbooking layouts!

Let the love-fun begin!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Plenty for Twenty

Are you looking for a special gift for a scrapbooker or cardmaker?

Tomorrow (December 1) begins a special Close To My Heart offer:

Spend $20 or more in December and receive a D-size stamp set FREE! (That's a $23 value.) Be sure to order online here and have your order delivered right to your door.

Makin' a list, checkin' it twice,
I can't miss giving (friend's name)
a fun and special CTMH gift
Because she's just so NICE!

I  hope you take advantage of this great shopping offer! No driving to the mall, no lines to stand in, no cold weather, no coughing people spreading their germs--shop at home in your slippers while you drink hot chocolate and relax!

Your creative recipients will be THRILLED with their gifts!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Floral Photo Note Cards

These are samples of my floral photo note cards -- and some Grand Canyon and botanical garden scenes -- most of the flower photos are from our yard and gardens. The Writing Spider lives in my parents' yucca plant. (He's called the Writing Spider because of the zigs and zags he creates in his web, a creative device to help catch more insects. He's claimed his yucca home for almost 6 months!)

Yesterday's Vendor Fair was a success, and I've declared today "My 2010 Mental Health Day." Translation: put away Fall decor; make turkey noodle soup; rest my eyes.

Happy Monday everyone, and may you be successful if you're cyber shopping today!

Thanks for dropping in to visit and to leave your kind comment.

Paper Art from StudioJane

Samples of my created paper art ...

Clear Acrylic Cards

Greeting Cards

Mix 'n' Mingle Album

Gift Albums

Memory Keeper Boxes

Art Keeper Boxes

Thank You Note Cards

Custom Gifts

Christmas Greeting Cards

Pregnancy Journals--Display Albums

For Baby

Floral Photo Note Cards