Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Countdown to WCMD...a challenge and a giveaway!

Why limit your card-making supplies to items you can find on the scrapbook aisle? It’s much more fun to mix creative mediums.

On this birthday card, I hand-stitched brown flannel fabric onto my cardstock base to create my cupcake top. But before I finished stitching, I stuffed the cake with fabric scraps to give it a bit more dimension. To add to the sweet look, I cut a real cupcake cup (Martha Stewart Crafts) in half and stitched it to the card. I first tried adhering it with glue, but its no-stick surface wouldn’t cooperate, so needle-and-thread it was.

Here’s a little card challenge for you: Create a card using something other than the scrapbook basics. Maybe that’s making a cupcake card of your own, using beads as sprinkles. Perhaps you forget the chipboard letters and spell out a sentiment with yarn instead. Or, one of my personal favorites, use fabric in place of patterned paper. If you decide to take me up on this challenge, please let me know where your project is posted so that I can check it out.

OK, on to what we’ve all been waiting for, today’s World Card Making Day giveaway...

Leave a comment on this post, stating one of your creative outlets. You don’t have to be a card maker to be creative. Maybe you can play a phat guitar lick. Maybe you express yourself through watercolor. Maybe baking is your expression of choice. Whatever it is, I’d love to hear about it.

From comments I receive by this Friday, October 3, I’ll randomly select a winner to receive a box full of craft-store goodies. I’ll throw in some fun fabric pieces, a few sparkly beads, even some yarn – tasty things to consider using on your next creation. Yum!


Funny story about where the inspiration to create my card came from. I baked these cupcakes. OK, that's not so "funny" unless you know me well enough to know that I don't really get along well with kitchens. Baking and cooking are not exactly strengths of mine. These small cakes in cups look easy enough, but they actually took me hours to complete. Why? Because I didn't want to drip any frosting. Transporting frosting from a bowl to a cake top without drips is a looong, slloooow, ridiculous process that I wouldn't recommend. Good thing the end result was a sweet one. :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Countdown to WCMD...Card Club and a Giveaway


A card club is a little bit like a book club, but instead of getting together to discuss the latest literary conquest, you get together to create and/or exchange handmade cards.

The members of our club would get together once a month to create and exchange. It was so fun to share our designs and go home with a basket of greetings to enjoy.

Sadly, the club has come to a close. Little by littler, our group of ten dwindled down to 4 or 5 regular members, so the club hostess, Ashley, decided that it wasn’t something she could continue giving her time and energy to. It was A LOT of work for her, and nobody in the group blames her for making this call.

P. Kelly is one of the groups lasting members, and her cards are always stinkin' cute. Ironically, this self proclaimed hater of gingham used red gingham paper on her final card exchange. She's just full of surprises.

Ashley (on the left) and Danielle, sitting down for our final make-and-take project. Thanks, Ash, for all of your hard work and for making this club happen!

Since I’m celebrating World Card Making Day on my blog this week, I just wanted to share a few pics from my card club and encourage my fellow card makers to consider forming clubs of your own. They’re a great way to connect with other creative people and take a break from the routine. Plus, once you join a club, you’ll never find yourself without a handmade card on hand, which is awesome!

Here I am with Ashley, holding two of the many cards I went home with on Saturday. It's hard to see in this bitty picture, but these cards are A-for-Awesome!

So, here’s to the card clubs and their members out there. If you’re ever in UT, look me up. We can go to a private club and exchange cards over cocktails, eat a few club sandwiches, and, if necessary, swing a few billy clubs if/when the locals get restless. (You know how rowdy those UT natives can be.) ;)

Speaking of card-making, how about we get to today’s World Card Making Day giveaway?

Are you a member of a club? If so, I’d love to hear about it. If not, you can leave a comment stating where your favorite club sandwich is served. (Mine happens to be at a local dive called Village Inn – great clubs and great pie! Mmmm….pie!)

From the comments I receive on this post (between today and this Friday, Oct. 3), I’ll randomly select 2 winners to receive a few of my handmade cards (in the spirit of card-club exchanges), as well as a copy of Cards, Gifts, & More, a super-fun Paper Crafts special issue. (I helped with this project, so I’ll even autograph the issue if that sweetens the deal. Not sure if it will, but, hey, it’s worth a shot, right?) ;)

Let the commenting begin!


Note: Cards shown may not be the same cards winners will receive.
Also, note
P. Kelly's red gingham card above. So cute for a gal who hates gingham. LOL!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Count Down to World Card Making Day...and a giveaway!



Did you know that World Card Making Day (WCMD) is less than a week away? That’s right; there’s a day dedicated to making cards that is celebrated the world over on the first Saturday in October. Cool, eh?

This particular holiday is near and dear to my heart. You see, last year I, along with the rest of the Paper Crafts magazine team, busted my hump to make this day happen. (PC founded the day, so there was a lot of work to do to spread the word.) As most of you know, I’m now an editor with Simple Scrapbooks magazine (sister pub to PC), which means I haven’t been involved with the WCMD work this year. I can’t lie; this has been a slight relief – it was A LOT of work last year – but I have to admit that there’s a part of me that misses that involvement.

No worries. I may not be involved as a PC editor, but I’m definitely still celebrating as a card maker. In honor of WCMD 08, I’m going to post a new blog every day this week, complete with card-making tips, giveaways, project ideas, and more. Please check back; I'm giving away card candy with every post. Yum!

Let the countdown to WCMD begin with the first prize...


Win this fantastic Technique Tuesday stamp set, perfect for making card sentiments! Simply leave a comment on this post between now and this Friday, October 3, stating your favorite thing about cards:

Maybe it’s the feeling you get when you receive a card;
Perhaps it's the happiness that comes from giving a card to someone you care about;
Could be the creative inspiration you get from walking down the greeting-card aisle at Target;
Or is it the joy you find in making your own paper pleasure?

From the comments received, I’ll randomly select a winner to receive this clear stamp set. I’ll list the winner on my blog this Saturday, WCMD! I can’t wait to read your responses!

Megan

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Thanks a Bunch!



Yesterday was Nat’l Thank-You Day. In honor of the ocassion, I’m posting a thank-you card to thank you.

This card is super simple to make. I just added a rub-on to a glitter chipboard buckle (from Scrapworks) and attached some foam flowers (American Crafts) with brads (and a little bling for good measure). To add to the sparkly feel, I drew the stems and leaves with a purple glitter pen (Copic Markers).

Thank you, blog friends, for welcoming me to the blogosphere so warmly. I LOVE reading your comments and sharing my silly vantage point with you!

And another thanks to those of you who post blogs of your own. Blog hopping is one of my favorite e-things to do; I find all of you to be so inspiring and fun!

Happy Nat’l Thank-You Day (a day late)!

A card that's this quick and easy to make is an easy one to turn into a card set. Make a few and give them as a gift to someone you want to thank! Share the love, people. Share that love! :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sweetness!

How sweet it is…the Oh, Sweet Sadie Art & Gift Show, that is. It happened to be in my neighborhood yesterday, so I went for a little shopping and creative inspiration.

This is a huge craft show. So big, in fact, that it filled an entire model home on Suncrest in Draper, and these aren’t homes to sneeze at (whatever that expression means). In words that make more sense, this was a big house packed with hand-crafted goods. Yes!

Everything from sewn crafts (baby stuff, clothing, home d├ęcor, etc.) and wearables (scarves, purses, gloves, hats, etc.) to paper crafts (cards, gift wrap, tags, etc.) and beaded beauties (necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, rings, etc.).

I like to consider myself a creative gal, and there are few things I like more than surrounding myself with other creative people. If you fit that description, or if you just want to go for some one-of-a-kind shopping, I suggest you check out the Oh, Sweet Sadie show next weekend. I’ll be there doing some more shopping, so please say hello if you see me.

Here are a few of the yummies I found at the show yesterday:

A trend I've had my eye on for a while is blending fabric with paper-crafts, and a lot of these projects do just that. The little paper notebooks have fabric strips stitched down the side, ad the greeting cards have a stamped image with fabric scraps added for a splash of color. Delightful!

These are some cutie-patootie handmade baby accessories (bib, burp cloths, and a squishy toy, complete with a jingley bell). It seems like I have a friend getting prego every other day these days so I'm always on the lookout for unique gift ideas. These are perfect for my friend who's about to have a little boy. :)

Get out of town! This little sock pup is stuffed happiness, complete with a spot around his eye. I have a feeling he'll stay in the hope chest vs. the gift box. I just don't think I can part with him.

And I couldn't go home without a little something for my closet. This red t-shirt has a fabric birdie stiched on. So simple, yet so fun!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful



No, I’m not modeling the latest fashions for Vogue, but I am a cover girl. Well, my card is, to be exact.

The fine folks at Paper Crafts magazine put my happy little owl card on their October cover. Isn’t that exciting? I was thrilled when I heard the news and even more excited when I got my copy of the issue. If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out. It’s full of adorable designs and creative ideas. My favorite feature is the "Enchanted Forest," which is full of projects featuring cute woodland creatures – owls, furry friends, deer, shrooms, trees and more. So fun!

My card is actually in the feature about using rub-ons, which is also very fun. The owl is a large journaling block rub-on from Glitz Designs. (They have great products!) The minute I saw it at CHA winter last year, I knew I wanted to turn it into a card. I simply rubbed the owl on kraft cardstock, folded it in half to create the card base, cut around the owl to make the shape (leaving the left side connected for the card seam), and cut the journaling block lines out of the owl’s belly with an Exacto knife and replaced them with some cheerful green paper. Talk about an easy design! You can read more about the card and see all of Glitz's amazing products here.

Thanks, PC team, for giving me the easy, breezy, beautiful opportunity to be a cover girl. I’m beyond delighted!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Fair to Remember

OK, maybe Cary Grant wasn’t at the Utah State Fair, but I did have a celebrity sighting…



That’s right, Kevin Costner was in attendance…selling pans. In response to seeing him, Cor said, “Oh, how the mighty have fallen.” I don't know how "mighty" Costner ever was, but he does a mean job of selling pans now.

But who needs celebrities when you have the fair-ly awesome food? We had pork sandwiches, mine was complete with a hair garnish. (I always seem to find hair in my food, but that’s a story for another time.) We washed down our hairy meals with some good, greeeezy funnel cake. Excellent!





On to the rides. Well, the ride. We took a slip down the Giant Yellow Slide, which is a fair tradition of mine. Cory won, but that’s only because he cheats…that and I was busy snapping pictures, which made me late off the starting line. Trust me, had the camera been out of the equation I would have won that race, no contest!


Finally, the exhibits. The arts and crafts room was my favorite – big surprise. Can you believe they actually had a Wendover Fun Bus made out of yarn? It oozed awesomeness! (For those of you who don't know, Wendover is a town on the UT/NV border. Some say it's a ghetto Vegas. I say it's easy access to the MegaBucks. It will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine!)


Naturally, Cor was more enthralled with the steam motor (or whatever this thing is) that somebody entered. Yeah, great!


Then there was the scrapbooking. Talk about an assortment. Here's one of the Best in Show layouts.


And the animals are always fun. Isn’t that baby pig sweet? Then you walk outside to benches that say “eat pork” on them. Yikes! Yes, I know that’s what the fair animals are raised for, but it’s still a little hard to take. Good thing I ate my hairy pork sandwich before our jaunt down pig row.


Inspired by my cute friend Cathy’s blog, I’m going to leave you with a few more fair pics to enjoy. This was definitely a fair to remember.

Some canned goodies.




Only the best ride EVER!


My favorite frozen treat!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

This is the desk that Jack built...




...with a little help from Cory, Kisses and me!

That's right; my famiy and I built me a desk. A super cool, large, adjustable, new desk. It’s for my craft room. Sure, it’s just a desk, but the fact that my DH and the pups helped me build it makes it the best desk ever!

I also have my sassy friend Wendy to thank. I got the idea for the desk on her blog, and she gave me great tips for making the desk. Thanks, Smed!

Here's how the desk came together:

Step 1: Buy the desk legs and fabulous pink chair from IKEA. Only, they’re completely sold out of the legs, so I’ll have to come back for them.

Step 2: Go back to IKEA for the legs, because I’m told they’ll be in now…but they aren’t, so I’ve just wasted a trip. Well, not exactly. I did get a cute, pink shelf out of the deal.

Step 3: Go back to IKEA AGAIN for my desk legs. At last, success.

Step 4: Build the legs and chair. A word of caution. DO NOT build your stylish desk legs when you’re angry. It’s not the desk’s fault. Take it out on something else…something a little less expensive. Now my desk legs have permanent hammer damage, but at least the damage is somewhat hard to see.

Step 5: Take a little break! Have a seat at the desk without a top, in the chair without legs. This is hard work, after all.



Step 6: Give my new legs a squishy new home on top of a squishy pink carpet. Love it! (Leave it to Jack to immediately move in and make this his resting place. It’s soft. It’s on the floor. It must be for him.)


Step 7: Measure how big the desk top needs to be and go to Home Depot. (Thanks for the tip to measure BEFORE buying, Smed!) This is where Cor and I had a big piece of melamine cut into thirds – leaving me with three desk tops. Three tops for $30? That’s a steal! As any crafter will tell you, cute, white desks don’t stay cute and white for long. Between painting, stamping and gluing, they’re bound to get messed up, so now I have two backups for when that happens.

Step 8: Iron the melamine siding on the rough edges of the desk. (Thanks for another great tip, Smed!) This siding stuff can also be found at Home Depot.

Step 9: Attach a lip to the end of the desk to keep things from rolling off. This was my sweet Cory’s idea. You see, the desk legs are designed to lift and lower the desk top, which includes lifting just the back half for a cool architect feel. Since it slants, Cor bought some white board, had it cut to the desk size, and hammered it on. He had a little help from the pups, of course.



Step 10: Step back and enjoy the results of our hard work.

I’ll show you more craft-room results soon, so please stay tuned.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Today is Sept. 11th


On this day in the year 1911, my Gram was born. She passed away last August, but for nearly 96 years she made this world a better place. Instead of focusing on the other important thing that this day is known for, I’d like to focus on this amazing woman!

My Gram’s name was Margaret, which is where both my Mom and I got our names – Peggy and Megan are derivatives of Margaret. This is a tradition that I’d like to carry on if I ever have a girl. I’m thinking Maggie is the name for her – Maggie Christine after her great gram!

My Gram was without a doubt the funniest person I’ve ever known. She had a way of making people laugh out loud, even in moments of extreme sadness.

My Gram made friends everywhere she went. It didn’t matter what the circumstance was, she would always strike up a conversation with a stranger when we were out and about. People liked her, and she liked people!

My Gram was born, lived and died in the same town of Montrose, CO. She did move out of town once or twice in her 96 years, but that meant living outside of the “city” limits by a mile or so.

My Gram hated snakes! She lived and worked hard on a farm. Whenever a snake would slither across her path, she’d grab her irrigation shovel and chop the shiz outta him. To make sure he was good and dead, she’d then throw him in the trash barrel and light a match. A woman after my own heart!

My Gram was an award-winning canner. And boy were her canned goods delightful!

My Gram was known for saying slightly odd expressions. Some of my favorites are “For cryin’ in the sink!” and “He’s a strange bird!” Her way with words would make anyone smile!

My Gram looked adorable in hats. Ever since she was diagnosed with skin cancer on her nose as a young woman (which she survived), she would wear darling hats when she went outdoors. Hats seeemed to be made for her, as there’s not a single one that didn’t look good on her cute head.

My Gram was a strong, intelligent, brave, beautiful, talented, loving force in this world and I miss her terribly. Today is September 11th…today is her birthday! Happy birthday to you, Sweet Gram!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The School Bell is Ringing


I’m a college professor! Okay, not exactly, but I am teaching a class for the University of Utah’s Lifelong Learning program. Isn’t that exciting? I’m thrilled!

If you live in the Salt Lake area, I would love to have you join me for three nights of holiday paper crafting. I guarantee you’ll walk away with new ideas for cards (basic and the photo variety) and gift wrap. But perhaps even more fun than the ideas and the creating is the number of finished designs you’ll take home. We’ll be creating maniacs!

Still need some convincing? How about the fact that you’ll also leave the class with some new paper-craft supplies to add to your collection?

Need more? Just take a moment to consider who your teacher will be. That’s right, friends; I promise to make the class entertaining and fun!

If you can’t sign up, I’d still very much appreciate your help spreading the word. This is my first time teaching with the U, and I want it to be a great success. Please tell your creative peeps to come spend some time getting ready for the holidays with yours truly.

Thanks, friends! I hope to see you and yours in class next month. Let’s ring in the holiday season together in style!

Click here for more information on the class, including the dates, times, price, location, and a class description.

Click here if you want to read my silly bio. It makes me feel so official. ;)

Cheers!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Pop Goes the Puppy

Anthropologie rules!

No, I don’t mean the culture-studying, social science stuff, though that form of anthropology is cool. Instead, I’m talking about the divine retail store where I got this super-terrific Jack in the Box.

The Jack Dog in this tin box looks an awful lot like my own Jack dog, complete with a red collar, one brown ear and a spot over one eye. Naturally, I had to buy the trinket (even if my only children are pups), and naturally I want to share it with you. I hope its cuteness puts a smile on your face the way it did mine. Enjoy!


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Little Something

Yo, yo! What up, dawg?

Tonight was the two-hour season premier of Bones, one of my favorite shows, so I grabbed my creative supplies and sat back for some TV and crafts.

I’ve been practicing my sewing and finally think I’ve figured out how to sew a yo-yo. Yes, this is a relatively simple exercise, but it took me some practice to figure out…sad, I know.

Tonight I made a bitty yo-yo fabric flower that I decided to put on a card. I cut a canvas circle and hand-stitched it to the front of my card. Next, I fussy cut some leaves from patterned paper and added my elements together to make this thank-you. I used patterned paper and Rip Strips from Tinkering Ink and foam Thickers from American Crafts.

It’s not much, really, but I am proud that I now have a new flower option to work into my paper crafting. Maybe next time I’ll make a bigger yo-yo flower (by cutting a larger circle) and add it to a layout or frame. Good times!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pink-a-Boo













We didn’t hit the road last weekend, so I spent my holiday laboring away in my home…but it was a lot more fun than it sounds. Sure, there were a few loads of laundry and dishes. Yeah, I did a little vacuuming. But that’s not the fun part. Are you ready for it?

I finally started assembling my new craft room!

It's an inspiring, girly oasis, tucked away in the corner of a house full of guys! (OK, two of those “guys” are dogs, but still…)

I’m not done with this BIG project of mine, but I do have a pink peek to feed your creative curiosity. Please check back soon for the grand reveal. It’s going to be yummy! :)



















P.S. In the spirit of my favorite color, you should also check out this freakaye video by Aerosmith. (Warning: It does show a little nip.)