Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Happy (and quick) Halloween Craft

Here’s a quick (and super cute) project idea, whether you’re headed to a party this weekend and need a hostess gift or you’re hosting a frightening fiesta and are in need of a fun favor. It’s a rolled paper candy corn!

Fill the cone with candy corns and tie it up with a little baker’s twine for a cute and creative Halloween treat.

I made these in a matter of minutes with a little white cardstock, a hot glue gun, and a bit of tissue paper. Quick and easy! Download the pattern for free and find instructions for creating this sweet treat here.

Happy (and sweet) haunting!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween Happiness: A Card & a Banner

My creative garden is full of accordion flowers right now. I just can’t seem to get enough of these fun-to-make paper pretties. Here's a spirited assortment!

Another spooky goodie I can’t get enough of is this paper from Making Memories. I love the bitty playing cards. Aren’t they cute? That’s right, I’m calling Halloween ghosts and goblins “cute.”

I recently sat down and made a few projects using accordion flowers and this freaky-fun paper. First, I cut out the bitty cards and strung them on black tinsel, creating a festive little banner, which I hung using a couple of my flowers.

To string the cards, I simply punched two holes in the top of each card and threaded them on the tinsel.

Whenever I pull out my camera, the pups automatically think it’s showtime. Here’s Jack posing with the banner.

And even though Kisses is far too big to be jumping up on this bench, he too decided to get in on the fun! Silly old dog.

It’s not too late to make and send a happy haunt of a greeting. I used the playing cards to make this card. I think it needs a little ‘splainin’. You see the black upside down V is supposed to be a carrot--a tool in editing that indicates you’re inserting a word. “Full Haunted House.” Get it? Yeah, it’s probably not the best card if it requires explanation, but I do like the play on words.

The playing cards pull out of the paper-crimped pocket. I think it would be fun to write little notes on the back of them.

And here’s a look at the inside, complete with a little spooky laughter!

Halloween is coming! Such a fun time to paper craft and watch old-school cartoons. Which cartoon is your favorite? I think I’ll go watch The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and have a little more flower fun.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Another Awesome October Occasion

October is a big month in the Hoeppner-Suggs household. As you know from my recent post, Cory and I were married in Oct. (Thanks for all of the lovely comments on that post. They put great big grins on our faces!)

We also adopted our sweet Jack from a shelter in October of 2007. He’s been a wonderful, bright, bouncy addition to our home and our family.

As you may remember from this post, my sweet Cory took his life back in Oct. 2008 when he checked himself into rehab after being on prescription pain meds (used as prescribed) for several years. This was a HUGE time in our lives. A turning point that we’ll never forget.

But these happy things aren’t why I’m writing today. I’m writing because today marks the 11-year anniversary of the day Cory and I met. We were just youngins when we met at Crapplebee’s on this night, 11 years ago, but it was easy to see that we were MFEO. (That’s a Sleepless in Seattle reference. Do you know what it means?)

11 years later, and I still get lost in these pretty eyes!

Anyway, I’m thrilled to celebrate this special occasion over a delicious oriental chicken salad at Crapplebee’s tonight. Yum! And, if you’re interested, you’re invited to read our silly love story here. With details including an abusive manager, a filthy bumblebee uniform, a bird-flippin’ teen sent from Heaven, and an adorable stranger in a sports car, how can you resist? ;)

This is a pic taken in those early years. It's pretty easy to see why I was smitten. What a cutie!

Also, on a completely unrelated note, I’ll be on Studio 5 again today. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll check it out this morning at 11:00. Here’s a peek at one of the projects I’ll be sharing. More on that in a future post.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Did somebody order a chicken dinner? (Blog Winners!)

Image credit: Associated Press

I’ve had a couple of giveaways on my blog lately, and I’m here to announce the winners! I love announcing winners. It’s SO Bob Barker of me. Somebody hand me my long microphone, and let’s get this show on the road.

First, my three World Card Making Day winners. Congrats to the following friends, who will each receive a box of paper crafting delights, as selected by my buddies at

1. Michelle (from KY):I love finding funny sayings and cute jokes to make people smile for their birthday. thanks for sharing!”

2. Katiebug92: “I love putting corny little sayings on my cards. and I love recieving handmade cards because they are super inspiring if you ask me. :)”

3. Just Us: “I love to find a way to share what makes me happy with others-they know I love to craft and by giving my crafting to others it lets them know that I took time out to do something special and personalized just for them.”

Hip hip hooray, ladies! I can’t wait to send you each some goodies.

Please e-mail me at M2E2G [at] with your full name and mailing address, and I’ll get your box sent your way. :)

Now, on to my Halloween vinyl winners, as selected by the fine folks at

1. Misty Smith: “Oh my goodness This is so beautiful I was going to start working with vinyl today and this just gave that extra umph to do it!! Thank you you were fantastic on Studio 5!!”

2. Noblekatt: “OMG I LOVE the spider and the SPOOKY vase! halloween at our house is all spiders this year! great prize, thank you for the chance to win!”

Thanks to all who left me comments on both posts. I LOVE reading your kind and happy words!

Winners, please expect your prizes soon. Congrats!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Check this out! (Library card not required)

Meet my newest housemate. Okay, so devoting an entire blog post to a piece of furniture is probably a bit odd, but I just can’t help myself. I’m so excited about this new addition. I got it at The Barn, an incredible antique store in Castle Rock, CO. It’s an old card catalog that 50 years ago spent its days in a library in Kansas, and now it sits in my family room!

It still has its alphabet-marked cards in the slots in the drawers.

Naturally, the pups have to check out the new addition and ensure it’s welcome. Like me, they think it’s pretty cool.

Now the big question is this: What do I keep in all of these wonderful drawers? I got it with my craft supplies in mind. (I always need more craft storage.) I’m thinking my fat quarters of fabric might decide to call these long, shallow slots home.

But there are so many drawers, and I’m not sure what I should put in the others. Any suggestions?



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halloween Lighting and Prizes!

It’s starting to look like my lantern decorating is becoming an annual Halloween tradition. Last year I had fun decorating the lanterns in this post and this post. And this year I’ve been at it again. Here are a couple of my creepy creations, each created with vinyl from Stampin' Up! and lanterns (and a vase) from IKEA:

Gone Batty

I was excited to see this blood red lanterns this year, just right for a little vampire bat decor. I vant to suck your blood!

I love the shadow this style of lantern casts.

Spider Style

I couldn’t resist doing another spider lantern, but this time I used a jumbo-size lantern. It makes a freaky statement!

Venomous Vase

My vinyl fun didn’t stop at lanterns. I also adhered it to this tall, skinny vase.

I added some Stickles (glitter glue) from Ranger to the letters for a sparkling finish.

It looks like a spider has already moved into my vase. She appears to be a widow. Eep!

I made this flower with a little crepe paper, a spray-misted doily, and a bitty spider cupcake liner from Martha Stewart Crafts.

Note: Please keep in mind that these lanterns do get hot. Follow product instructions to ensure your safety. Thanks!

Enter to Win

Now’s your chance to bring a little vinyl boo-ty into your home. I’m giving away two sets of vinyl designs from Stampin’ Up! Simply leave me a comment here by Sunday, Oct. 17 and I’ll randomly select two winners to receive the following images:

The Prizes Continue

See another one of my lantern designs on the Creating Keepsakes blog and enter to win even more fabulous vinyl.

See a Demo

I’ll be on Studio 5 today at 11:00 AM sharing my lantern creations. If you’re in Utah, I hope you’ll tune in for the frightful fun! Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Five things about marriage on our 5-year anniversary!

Five years ago today, I married the most beautiful man in the world. In honor of this life-changing event, I’d like to share five things I’ve learned about marriage since saying “I do.” (And I’ll sprinkle in a few wedding day photos for good measure.)

Warning: This may get a bit sappy. I just can’t help myself. ;)

This sign in the hall of the Bellagio announced our wedding as one of their events that day. Fun!

1. Few things are better than falling asleep and waking up next to the one you love. Everything from the way Cor’s handsome face looks as he sleeps to the sweet smell of his pillow, make this one of my favorite things about sharing my life with him.

This is the look that was on cute Cory's face when I started walking down the aisle.

2. A happy home is a full home. We live in a modest-sized house that’s rarely clean and often smells like doggie (ick), but when Cory and I are both here with our two pups, it’s the best place in the world.

Here I am moments before the big event. The necklace I'm wearing was a wedding gift from Cor. Pretty!

3. I hit the husband lottery. Did you know Cory makes me dinner every night? (He's downstairs making breakfast right now.) I can’t cook and he likes to (plus, he’s great at it), so it works for us. He also buys our groceries 9 times out of 10, helps me clean the house (when we get to it), takes amazing care of our dogs (they love him so), and supports my crafting hobby 100% even though it’s pretty much taking over our home. I'd say I'm a lucky girl.

Cor and I opted to include a unity candle in our ceremony. We each took a lit candle and used them to light a bigger and better candle.

4. Marriage is definitely about strength in numbers. The past couple of years forced Cory and me to grow up rather quickly. With things like disease and illness, death, rehab, and miscarriage, we’ve been through a lot, and it seemed to come in a short period of time. This may have been enough to break me, but it didn’t, and I know that’s because I have the strength of two people. Cory is a rock of support, stability, and love, and I couldn’t have done it without him.

With this ring, I thee wed.

5. Marriage may not always be easy, but it sure is fun. Last night after dinner, Cor pulled out our surprise dessert, a package of Halloween Peeps. He knows I love ‘em, so he decided to buy us a bag full to enjoy. Yay! We give each other little surprises like this all the time. We play games (Yahtzee is a favorite), walk the dogs, watch movies (we’re currently into The X Files series--so cool!), joke and laugh, travel, and basically just enjoy our time together. It’s like one big sleepover with your very best friend! Does it get better than that?

You may kiss the super happy bride!

I knew the events that took place five years ago would change my life, but I didn’t realize how much. I thank God for blessing me with such a brilliant, caring, strong, sensitive, funny, and down right hot partner. ;) Here's to five more amazing years!

Happy anniversary, Cory. I love!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Narc Side: Medicine Dilemma

Do you ever feel like you’re in a haze? Almost like you’re disconnected from life? I’ve felt that way lately, and I’m starting to wonder if it has anything to do with my lack of Narcolepsy (N) medicine...

I’ll pause to say that today I’m taking a break from the usual crafty post to talk N. On occasion, I write these “The Narc Side” posts, which are meant to discuss different aspects of having N. If you aren’t sure what this disease is about, you can read more about it in my first Narc Side post, here.

Okay, back to my hazy happenings.

To take medicine or not to take medicine? This is today’s question. N causes you to fall asleep and suffer from severe daytime sleepiness. There are drugs to counter this. Strong drugs. Speed, in essence. They work, but not without a price. I took these drugs for five years and just recently called it quits. I quit when I found out I was pregnant, because you can’t be on them while pregnant, and even though I have since lost the baby, I have yet to get back on them. It’s been almost seven months since being off the meds. At first I was shocked at how easy it was. I’ve heard that on rare occasions pregnancy will counter the N symptoms. Perhaps that is what was happening. But I can now feel it catching up to me. Enter the haze.

I’m torn. Do I take the meds or don’t I? At work we’re fans of Pros & Cons lists. It helps us come to decisions we can feel good about. Maybe that’s what I need here.

Medicine Pros:

  • It keeps me awake.
  • I have more energy to get things done.
  • I have a much easier time getting the words from my brain to my mouth.
  • I’m more upbeat and have more pep.
  • It gives me some control over my life. (Since I’ve stopped taking it, I’ve gained a substantial amount of weight and my house is a worse mess than usual, all because I have very little energy, especially after a day of work.)

Medicine Cons:

  • It’s super expensive ($400 out of pocket each month).
  • It gives me daily headaches.
  • I can’t help but wonder if it had something to do with my miscarriage. (I took it for six weeks before I knew I was pregnant.) If I want to get pregnant again in the future, and I do, I don’t want that anywhere near my system.
  • It’s a HUGE pain in the neck to get--lots of approvals and hoops to jump through since it’s a controlled substance.
  • Did I mention it was hella expensive?

Bleck. Both lists make good points. There isn’t a real runaway winner here.

Why am I writing all of this in a blog? I honestly don’t know.

Maybe I’m seeking the perfect answer, though I know that’s next to impossible to give. Of course, advice is always nice, with or without that perfect answer.

Perhaps misery loves company and I’m hoping someone will come along and say, “Hey, I know how you feel. I have dilemma X and it sucks.” (Though I don’t wish dilemma X on anyone.)

This post could just be my way of processing some of the crap that’s in my head right now. Some of the stuff I have to think about but SO don’t want to. Maybe I’ll just drop the meds and pretend to be normal and everything will be okay. Yeah, that’s not really working out for me.

I hope it’s not because I’m seeking a pity party, because I absolutely know that there are so many things worse than N. At least I have the option to take medicine. At least I have a disease that I can live with and function with (for the most part).

I can’t explain why I’m sharing this. I just know that I was driving home from work today, blasting a little Def Leopard, and I started to cry. LAME! Who cries to Def Leopard? “Pour Some Sugar on Me” isn’t exactly a song that tugs at the heartstrings. When I explored that and the reasons behind my tears, my absolute and complete exhaustion came to mind. People cry when they’re tired, and I’m beyond tired. Does this mean it’s time to start taking the meds again? Will that help clear the haze? Heck if I know...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gift-Card Holder Card

If you’re super computer savvy, you likely know that 100110 is the binary code for the ampersand (&). I don’t speak computer, but my coworker and her new hubby do. They selected 10-01-10 as their wedding date partially because of its binary meaning. Isn’t that romantic? It was my fun job to make the happy couple a wedding card from our entire magazine staff, which meant there needed to be plenty of room for signatures, as well as for a gift card. And I naturally needed to make the ampersand a significant feature on the card. This project is the result. Whether you need a group card or not, this idea is a creative way to give a gift card and show someone you care.

Here’s how it’s done:

Step 1: Fold 6x6 cardstock base and cut a small slit in the center of the card’s spine.

Note: The slit should be long enough that you can fit a strand of tulle through it.

Step 2: Punch a decorative border along top and bottom of card front. Then stamp the front of the card with a giant ampersand stamp like this one from Stampin’ Up!. I used Jenni Bowlin paint from Ranger to ink my stamp.

Step 3: Once the stamped image is dry, feed a strip of tulle through the slit in the spine of the card.

Step 4: Tie a knot in the center of the tulle and position the knot in the center of the card.

Step 5: Secure the tulle in place by adhering to the back front cover of the card.

Step 6: Conceal glued tulle by adhering a slightly smaller card base to the inside front cover, leaving the back flap of the base free. This creates a page in your card, which is great when you have a long message to leave or plenty of people who need to sign your card.

Step 7: Stamp a butterfly to complement the colors of your project. I also added a little color using my Copic markers and some more Ranger paint, and some texture with BasicGrey pearls. Adhere the butterfly to the center of your tulle bow.

Step 8: On the inside back cover, paint a smear of color using the same color of paint you used to stamp your ampersand.

Step 8: Spell “enjoy” over the painted area using letter stickers like these from BasicGrey.

Step 9: Stitch tulle pocket over the painted area of the inside back cover, and insert a gift card. Now, when your recipients removes the card they’ll see the little message waiting for them.

There you have it, a wedding card complete with a slot for that gift card. Ampersand day may be over, but this style will still make any couple happy you thought of them on any day of the year.