Depeche Mode Stationery

Depeche Mode Stationery
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I should have called this blog post “Random Acts of Depecheness.” ;-)

Here’s where the story all began. I bought my Cricut Expression machine in 2008 and watched as Provo Crafts released newer, potentially better versions of the machine over the last six years. I was tempted by the Imagine machine, curious about the Gypsy tool and liked the colors of the newer machines. Mine is just cream-color and grey. I’ve always been a little disappointed that I couldn’t cut my own illustrations or clip art with my machine. Sure, there was software out there that would allow you to make custom cuts but I didn’t feel comfortable going down the road of potentially voiding my warranty, so I didn’t research it. Instead, I longed for a Pazzles machine (but it was more than twice the cost of my original Cricut Expression) and later was very intrigued by the Sillhouette machines but never did anything about it.

Fast forward to late January 2014 when I opened a surprise email from Cricut. They were releasing a new machine that would write, score, cut and would allow me to CUT MY OWN FILES!!! How cool is THAT?!? All of the Cricut cartridges I already own and all of the images I’ve purchased from Cricut Craft Room would work with the Cricut Explore. How exciting! I watched the official Cricut Explore announcement video and daydreamed about the possibilities and then tuned in at 9 PM February 11th to watch it debut on HSN. It was nearly sold out by the time the piece aired and the first hour was frantic and not very informative about the machine. In the second hour of the program, more information was divulged. I took the bait. I ordered it. I’d stashed away some “crafty cash” for a moment like this and excitedly ordered the new Cricut Explore!

It arrived late February and I’ve really enjoyed using it. The first custom project I made was a card with three triangles. Look closely and they resemble primitive D M letters. It’s an adaptation of Depeche Mode’s current logo, which seems to change with every album they release. As a very longtime fan of the band, I enjoy creating cards and art inspired by DM for friends across the world who love my favorite band. I’ve never met many of these friends in person, but through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, we’ve become a family of sorts. I lovingly call the group of friends who also love DM “Depechies” and this will be the fifth time I’ve done a special project like this “For the Masses.” It brings me joy to do kind things to others, and I started getting excited about making some DM stationary for some of my Depechies.
Delta Machine card
I had the current address for a few Depechies, but sent private Facebook messages to others to get their address for the first time or to request a current address. It was fun to see the different responses! Some replied IMMEDIATELY. Perhaps they know that when “Cards By Stephanie” asks for your address, something good is going to be sent. ;-) Other friends were very curious about what I was up to but I didn’t give it away. Some haven’t see my private message yet. One made sure it was really me asking for her address (probably because hackers and spammers are so prevalent). Three others generously offered to “pay it forward” and send me something – even though they had no clue what I was up to!! ❤ Finally, some just read my message and did not respond.
Some of the colorful Delta Machine Depeche Mode cards I made
What started out as a mental list of four girlfriends I’d send a few cards to quickly turned into making 94 cards for 29 friends!! After getting to number 29, I concluded there were still a lot of DM friends whose address I didn’t have and I began to feel bad for inadvertently leaving some friends out. I didn’t exclude anyone on purpose, but when I started estimate the cost of postage, I told myself I had better stop requesting addresses. A few more addresses trickled in after my Mailing for the Masses, so I’ll be making more cards this weekend and will send out some more packages on Monday.
62 of the 100 cards, sorted and ready for mailing
I realized I’d committed to doing more than I’d planned! I’d made 64 cards at first and thought I’d have enough for everyone to get at least 3 cards and envelopes plus have some leftovers for me. However, as I started counting the friends who’d given me their address, I realized I needed to make 32 more cards! I swiftly ordered hundreds of envelopes from Amazon, as my supply was nearing depletion with this project. I took a few days to assemble the cards, take pictures of them, stamp the outer envelopes and hand write all the accompanied notes. It took all weekend to finish up, but I was giggling with mirth for much of the time. It sure is fun to work on happy surprises for unsuspecting friends.
Depeche Mode Violator greeting cards
70 sheets of cardstock, at least 125 envelopes, lots of stamp impressions and 29 handwritten notes later, I was ready to take them to the post office! I took my giant tote bag to the nearest post office and smiled as I mentally kissed the envelopes goodbye. My art was headed on a secret mission! I hope my friends will be delighted when they receive their packages and that they’ll enjoy blessing others by sending them some Depeche Mode themed happy mail!
Homemade Depeche Mode Delta Machine and Violator Cards -
Update: I’ve heard back from 62% of the recipients and I hope the rest of the packages get delivered soon! My friends were surprised and happy when they received their surprise.
Happy Mail for Depeche Mode Fans
If you liked this post, why not surprise a friend with some happy mail? I encourage you to do something to make a long lost friend smile. You’ll feel good and they will, too.
Thanks for reading my blog!


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Hand-Cut Paper-Pieced Baby Announcement

Hand-Cut Paper-Pieced Baby Announcement
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Last year, a friend of mine showed me this *gorgeous* custom card an artist created as her birth announcement. Since it’s not my art, I don’t feel that it’s okay to display the artist’s work in this post, so please click the link to see the original inspiration for the card I’m featuring today.

Aren’t the detailed hand cut paper shapes amazing??

After Anita showed me the picture, she asked if she could commission me to recreate that card for her! I was slightly puzzled and wrote her back to ask, “Wait – are you telling me some top secret news that I will not share with a soul??” She said YES! Anita and her husband were expecting their first child!! How exciting! She asked me to keep quiet because no one knew she was expecting her first child. No problem! I was sooo flattered to be part of this privileged secret and would keep my lips sealed!
Anita wanted me to make an official “You’re going to become grandparents / We’re expecting a baby!” card for her parents and in-laws! She didn’t want the card to be exactly like the original, of course. The couple should look like her and her husband; instead of a cat, there needed to be two pugs; and I figured the baby’s hat should be a unisex color since she was only six weeks along in the pregnancy. As challenging as the original card looked, I accepted the challenge and started thinking about how I would make the card. It was a daunting request, but I was excited to make something special for Anita and Patrick and be part of the surprise from behind the scenes.
After several attempts at getting my Cricut Expression machine to cut an oval in cardstock at the right place, I decided I needed to make a larger card than the standard A2 size, so I went up to a card that was about 5″ x 7″, perfect for framing and large enough for her to color copy if she needed to duplicate and resize it for announcements.
I knew what my friend, her husband and their sweet pugs looked like, but I needed to find some pictures for inspiration so I looked at some of her Facebook and Instagram photos. It was important for me to make the sunglasses look like their sunglasses and to make their faces shaped like their faces. I think the hardest part was making their pugs look right! These were the photos I used as inspiration.
Anita and Patrick Collage - photos belong to Anita

Anita and Patrick Collage – photos belong to Anita

It took me 6.5 hours over 6 weeks to make this card. I worked on it here and there as I had time and inspiration. Everything but the oval and card shape was cut freehand with my X-Acto knife. Most of it was free-form, but for some pieces I drew on the paper before cutting. I had a lot of fun hand-crafting their sunglasses and her wavy, pretty hair.   Patrick and Anita and the boys
As I worked on the card, I had fun sending my friend photos of updates. In the end, it allowed me the progression photos to create this collage of the process!
Paper Piecing the Pregnancy Announcement Card

Paper Piecing the Pregnancy Announcement Card

When I sent the final picture to Anita, she wanted me to add something to the bottom. She came up with “…and the boys!” and I added that to the bottom to complete the card. Here is a collage of the finished card.

Final shots of the paper-pieced card!

Final shots of the paper-pieced card!

The inspiration for the silly pugs was found in these three photos Anita took and shared on her Instagram feed. Aren’t they hilarious?! Follow her on Instagram and you’ll enjoy additional hilarious pictures of her furry little friends. :-)

Photos by Anita Kissee

Photos by Anita Kissee

This card was too special to trust sending in the mail, so on a trip back home, I drove up to A & P’s house and hand-delivered the card. Dale took this photo of the presentation of the card. :-)

blog - Patrick and Anita with the Pugs and MeHave a FABULOUS Thursday, and – as always – thank you for reading my blog!

Patrick and Anita and the boys

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How to Save Pinterest Pins to Evernote

How to Save Pinterest Pins to Evernote
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Hey crafters! I’m putting down the paper and scissors for a moment to bring you this this blog post.

Do you use Pinterest? How about Evernote? I started using Pinterest three years ago when a friend invited me during its beta phase and it’s become part of my daily life. Like many of you, I pin great ideas for later and I really enjoy trying new things I’ve found on Pinterest. Two years ago, a friend and I threw a Pinterest Potluck Party and everyone had to make a recipe they’d found and pinned on Pinterest. It was a delicious good time!

Today I’d like to show you what I do to get those good ideas into a place where I can use them. Before I became a daily Evernote user, I used to open up recipes in Pinterest on my iPad and it would keep going to sleep and lock while I was cooking. Not fun! Sure, I could change the settings to keep the iPad from sleeping unless I pushed the Sleep/Wake button, but I didn’t want to do that. I reloaded the previously installed Evernote Food app back onto my tablet and with some tinkering, it has become my go-to app for cooking. It’s my digital recipe book! In this post, I’ll show you the steps I take for getting pins to Evernote, where they’re archived, editable, and accessible on or off-line. I’ll be using recipes as my example, but if you don’t like to cook then just apply these steps to your Pinterest board of scrapbook layouts or something.

First, I visit Pinterest’s website on my computer. Then, I view my pins and boards and select the one with the pins I want to pull into Evernote to save.
Pinterest Yum Board
Next, I click on a pin, then I click the image to open the original website in a new tab.
Salted Triple Caramel Cupcakes - recipe by Sally's Baking Addiction

Salted Triple Caramel Cupcakes – recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction

Then, I come back to this page again and click the X at the top right or click to left of the pin to get back to my board.

I repeat this with another pin, and another, until I have several open tabs.

Lots of Tabs
Finally, I click on each tab and review the blog posts. Is it just a photo without a recipe? Right-click the image and select “Add to Evernote” if you’re on a PC. Is the blog post on a noisy page with a bunch of ads? Use Evernote Web Clipper or Evernote Clearly to select just the article. Clearly is smart enough to know I want recipes clipped to my Recipe notebook in Evernote.
I use both web clippers with Firefox because sometimes Evernote Web Clipper grabs the entire page, ads and all. That’s when I use Evernote Clearly to clean things up, but sometimes the pictures disappear when I use Clearly. When that happens, I revert back to the original blog post to select and copy the selection of the post I want. After I paste it into a new note in Evernote, I also copy the URL I grabbed it from and save the original source info in the note. I like to have the original source of my recipes so I can give credit to the blogger if I mention the recipe somewhere, and it’s nice to revisit the original post to see any updates or helpful comments that may have been posted below.

You may notice that some of the images you’ve pinned take you to websites where someone re-blogged the original post from another website. When that happens and you only see a portion of the original blog post, click through to the original site to clip the recipe. I’ll often re-pin the recipe from the REAL author, or I will edit the link to reflect the correct URL on my pin. I’m kind of a purist that way.

Then I close all the tabs and repeat with more pins until I’ve beefed up my Evernote account with shiny new notes! I build my meal plans for the week in Evernote, so I like having all the recipes right there in the program for me to link to and easily search. It’s also helpful for crafts because I can look at the inspiration for card-making anytime, wherever I am!

The final step in this journey to organizing my new notes is to clean up each note, edit the title, tag it and move it to the proper notebook if it didn’t go there automatically. I don’t need step-by-step photos for most of the recipes I clip. I just want one good photo, ingredients and instructions. I like to read the commentary once, and then remove it for my digital recipe collection.
When I’m ready to cook, I can access recipes in the Evernote app on my phone, tablet or computer. I like opening Evernote Food for the iPad because it pulls in everything from my Recipes notebook and it keeps the iPad constantly on so I don’t get the surface messy with my fingers.This is how recipes display as thumbnail snippets on the iPad:
Recipes in the iPad Evernote App

Recipes in the iPad Evernote App

This is the beautiful way Evernote Food displays each recipe thumbnail:
Evernote Food

Evernote Food

Evernote is free, but if you’d like to create a new account and try Evernote Premium FREE for 30 days, click: Get Evernote Now. That’s a special link that gives you and I 30 days of Premium free, with no credit card info needed.

Thanks for reading my blog post. If you found this helpful, please pin and share it! :-)
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Welcome to My Craft Studio

Welcome to My Craft Studio
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I don’t know about you, but I love to see the craft rooms and studios of others because it helps provide organizational ideas, and I could always be more organized. I’ve moved several times and each time I’ve had an opportunity to redesign my craft room. The home we’re in now has – by far – the very best craft space I’ve ever had. After spending countless hours drawing floor plans on the iPad with Penultimate and then making small cut-outs of my furniture (to scale) and playing with where things would go, I finally had the perfect floor plan! I was excited to discover that I had room for an island in the middle of the room. Sometimes I prefer to stand when I’m stamping, cutting, or need a break from sitting. It’s also great to have additional horizontal space for incomplete projects AND it’s wonderful for inviting others over to craft!

I could have waited until I felt the room was 100% done, but I decided that I’m fine with sharing it the way it looks right now as I sit in this room. Sure, I have ideas for touching up the paint, adding some more art on the walls and adding pegboard behind the desktops, but I don’t want to wait until all that is done. We creative types are known for tearing things down and redoing them or rearranging things until they’re perfect. For now, this room is perfect for me. So, let me take you on a trip to my crafty oasis… my craft room… my craft studio… the place where Cards By Stephanie’s creations are lovingly crafted!

This is how the room looks as you enter my magical crafting space.

The Craft Studio The desk on the left is for crafting and the Cost Plus World market desk on the right is where another friend can craft, but it’s where I keep my computer and printer so it’s often where I compute. I’ll show more pictures of the craft island in a moment, but I want to point out that there is space for storage under there. I keep my empty containers that house craft supplies when I go to a crop to craft with others.

The Craft Studio

Hanging above the window are several special cards and mementos from friends. I don’t have any of my own art hanging up there because I give away or sell just about everything I make. You can see my paper tower, Cricut station and my crafting island in the picture. I love how spacious the room is! Finally, I can have up to three friends come over to craft with me!The Craft Studio

This is the wall that the door is on. There are shelves with special things and some closet built-ins that were already there. I’m storing paper, embellishments and all sorts of things inside them. Why do I have skirts and t-shirts hanging in this room? Well, there was a clothes-hanging bar there and not everything fit in the master closet, so as unsightly as it may be, it’s where I’m storing some seldom-used clothes. On the floor there’s my speaker tower that plays music from my iPod and on the floor is something I made at a friend’s Paint Night party. I really don’t know what to do with it. The red flames look like a giant garlic clove, an onion, or something other than fire.

The Craft Studio

Aren’t those plates cute? They go with the color theme in the room and I found them at Ikea.Their official name is “GRÄDDIG Wall decoration, set of 3, button, assorted patterns.” The wardrobe storage units on the left are full of craft supplies and they’re from Ikea’s PAX line, circa the late 2000s.

The Craft Studio

Here’s the rest of the room. You’ll notice I have a lot of “soft friends,” as I call them. I’m not looking to acquire any more stuffed critters, but these have all been lovingly given to me throughout my life and my whole craft studio is full of sentimental things others have given me. They make me smile when I look up and see them because there’s a story associated with each one.

The Craft Studio

The wall seems to go on for days to meet up with that vaulted ceiling! The room had no lights, so we installed Ikea lights and shades with hooks in the ceiling. Now there is plenty of light when I need it!

The Craft Studio

What’s kept inside the cubbies of that craft island, you ask – well, I’ll show you. I keep my 8.5″ x 11″ paper in magazine holders and I have boxes of projects or little kits I’ve made to keep all of one type of project together. If I’m working on social media app ornaments, I grab the box with the contents inside. Working with rub-ons? I grab that box. I also have a couple of containers of in-progress cards and projects to complete. I also store my current Close to My Heart catalogs here so I know where they are when a customer requests one.

Craft Island

The other side of the craft island has some ribbon, current Close to My Heart embellishments, washi tape, embroidery floss, embellishments, Copic and ZIG markers, my distressing tools, Close to My Heart pigment ink pads, retired CTMH catalogs, Cricut vinyl, Cuttlebug accessories and my Cuttlebug and Tim Holtz Vagabond machine. I LOVE this island. I had pinned several ideas for craft islands my husband Dale could build, but when Fred Meyer had all Closet Maid products on sale for half price on Black Friday, we picked up two of the nine-cubical organizers for the island. A few weeks later, we found the table tops for only $5.99 each at Ikea! This awesome craft island cost about $60-65, which was much cheaper than building something from scratch. It was near-instant gratification! It’s the perfect height, around 36″ tall.Craft Island

I love these ribbon carousels for my American Crafts ribbon. You can find them at Hobby Lobby stores and at Amazon.

Cropper Hopper Wire Ribbon Carousel

I built this Closet Maid shelf (that was 50% off the day after Thanksgiving) to hold some of my favorite photos and mementos from friends and beloved grandparents. My husband made me that really cool picture frame! He is a man of MANY talents.Display shelf

Right above my crafting space are my Close to My Heart acrylic stamps in an easy-to-reach location. I’ll be making future craft videos by placing my iPhone or iPad on the shelf where the stamps are. That way the camera will point down directly at my craft space.CTMH Acrylic Stamps

This is another Closet Maid shelf I built. It holds my Stickles (glitter glue) and other types of liquid adhesive and stamp pad re-inkers. Someday I will decorate the chalkboard on the left. I want to paint the frame and decorate it with flowers and buttons. My shelf of adhesives

This bulletin board is full of some of my favorite things, mementos, photos and key chains. It sits to the left of my craft space where I can get inspiration or a smile.

My bulletin board

Finally, here are the cards and special things strung above the window on a zip line thing from Ikea. Like I mentioned, I didn’t make these things but special people in my life made or gave them to me.Cards from friends

Cards from friends

Cards from friends

Cards from friendsThank you for touring my craft studio! I hope it’s given you ideas and inspiration for your crafty space. This blog post is dedicated with love to my favorite cousin, Mandy-Mo.

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My Mini Album Was Published!

My Mini Album Was Published!
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Last August, I was incredibly surprised and happy when someone from Northridge Publishing contacted me and asked if they could publish the mini album I made my husband for our anniversary! I’ve been a long-time customer of their magazines, so it was exciting to be tapped on the shoulder and discovered by them.

They requested that I package it up and mail it to them, along with step-by-step instructions and a (long) list of all the supplies used. Magazine deadlines are tight, so I had to work quickly to think about how I made the album so I could send everything to them in a couple of days. I didn’t want to part with my mini album because it was a gift for my husband and it was also a nice sample of what the Close to My Heart Cricut® Artbooking cartridge can do. It was a useful sales tool I could show customers. However, I was not going to pass up an opportunity to be published for the first time!

My Close to My Heart Cricut Artbooking Mini Album

I packaged up my mini album in a box, mailed it and waited for the Cricut Mini Albums February 2014 issue to come out so I could see my project published. Finally, February 1st came and these gorgeous photos of my artwork hit the virtual newsstands! I say “virtual” because as of last August, they stopped printing these beautiful publications and they’re now available in digital format only. I sure wish they still printed them in paper format! I would have bought a lot of extra issues and my family and friends have asked where they can get a paper copy for me to sign.

So, here is the link to my original blog post, which I had to take offline between late August and the end of February: Make a Mini Album with the New CTMH Artbooking Cartridge. It includes my how-to video so that you can make one, too! Finally, here are the photos of my project published!

Cricut Mini Albums - Feb 2014  XOXO Cover XOXO Page 2 XOXO Page 3 XOXO Page 4 XOXO Page 5 XOXO Page 6 XOXO Page 7 XOXO Page 8

It’s crazy to see my mini album photographed by someone else! I love the texture and the way the presented my album for all to see. :-) For those wondering if I’ll get this back, yes. They’re returning it to me.

At the beginning of the year, the publisher asked me to send them a card I’d featured on my blog, so after it’s published in June, I’ll reveal which card was published!

Fine print: Paige from Northridge Publishing allowed me to blog about this and publish the photos of my art on my blog. I’m thankful she said it was OK to talk about it and share the professional photos!

Thank you for reading my blog and enjoy your day!

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Banner Thank You Card

Banner Thank You Card
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Hello, friends!

Last weekend, I finally had a chance to sit down and make a card. Sure, I’ve made a few very special book-cards for my husband’s Christmas and birthday gifts (which will be blogged about later), but I haven’t had a chance to make a card for one of the many others on my list.

A few weeks ago I noticed my Cards by Stephanie page was at 199 likes! I’ve never posted a “Hey, friends! Come and like my page!” message on Facebook, but when I got so close to 200, I thought I’d mention it. How fun that my friend Veronica, who’s been the recipient of 3 of my cards before, was the 200th one to like my page!

Cards by Stephanie

I was looking through the January 2014 digital edition of Papercrafts & Scrapbooking Magazine for inspiration and fell madly in love with a gorgeous card created by Asty Purbasari. This was the perfect card sketch to use for making a special card for Veronica!

Here’s my take on the card, which incorporates the trend of banners and chevrons:

Banner "Thank You" cardI love the cheerful colors of the designer paper pad “Oxford Lane” by Kate & Co. for My Mind’s Eye. I just get so incpired to create something beautiful when I grab this paper packet.

BannersI cut the banners with a paper trimmer and scissors and inked the edges to really make them pop. The cheerful yellow banner was cut with my Cricut Expressions machine and the new Cricut® Artbooking Collection from Close to My Heart. The top of the card was made by grabbing a chevron border stamp from my One-Way Borders stamp set and inking it up with Versa Mark ink, then stamping it a few times. Next, I sprinkled clear embossing powder on the stamped images and heat embossed the pattern until the chevrons were shiny and raised up. Using a few Sponge Daubers, I tapped my Outdoor Denim and Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pads and applied color to the embossed images, blending the colors together and fading out the lighter Lagoon color.

Flower clusterI used American Crafts twine, teal blue ribbon, white paper flowers (retired) from Close to My Heart, a button, an epoxy bubble and a sparkly gem to embellish the card.

Up close and personalI just love cards with texture, but they can be tricky to mail. Cards like this need to be hand canceled because they’re too bumpy to go in the machine and require extra postage. I was shocked to learn postage just increased last week to $.49 and special handling is another $.21! I protected the embellishments by placing some cardboard from some packaged food over the card. When you think about, $.70 is actually inexpensive when you’re delivering a smile to someone in the mail. Don’t you smile when you get a card in the mail?

I wanted Veronica to be able to reuse the card, if she so desired, so I attached a note with some coordinating washi tape.

blog-Banner card insideThank you for reading my blog!

What a Weekend!!

What a Weekend!!
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What a weekend!!

On Friday, my mini album was published in the February 2014 Cricut Magazine© Mini Albums Idea Book, kicking my weekend off to a great start!! This was my first time being published, and it was an honor to have them ask me to send my album in for photographing and publishing! My original blog post about the album had to be taken offline from late August until February 28th, but I’ll be able to re-post the blog in March.

After trying a new soup recipe that took my entire Thursday night, only to be a disappointment, I had to redeem myself and make something tasty on Friday. Friday morning,  received an email from Sweet Tomatoes that was advertising their nacho bar would be open all weekend long. That sounded delicious, but I knew I could make better and cheaper nachos at home! So, on Friday night I shopped and whirled around the kitchen making fixins for my own Nacho Night. The result of the evening was a delicious, satisfying plate of nachos, a step-son who enjoyed his nacho-fixins rolled into warm tortillas, and a messy kitchen to clean up.
On Saturday, I finished organizing my craft studio and rewarded myself by starting a project and making a special thank you card for the 200th person to like my Cards by Stephanie page on Facebook. I have a long list of 60 cards to make ASAP and it felt so good to cross one off the list! I’ve been so focused on organizing my house and cooking healthy, gluten-free meals from scratch that I haven’t taken the time to craft much. Tomorrow, I’ll post the pictures of the card I made.
My father-in-law stopped by to take a few jars of the leftover soup I made and rejected Thursday night. He loves spicy food and I do too, but this batch was too fiery hot for me.
The mason jar sealing attachment I’d ordered finally arrived and Saturday afternoon, so I prepared and vacuum-sealed several salads and salad dressing for the work week! I’m so happy to finally have the tools to jump on the brilliant salad-in-a-jar craze. I tested a jar-salad Sunday afternoon and it was so delicious! I’m excited to just grab a jar and go to work in the morning. Maybe I’ll post recipes for my to-go salads on my HomeCooked Recipes blog.
Photo Feb 03, 1 22 46 PM
After church on Super Bowl Sunday, I delivered the rest of the leftover soup to some other friends and then braved the grocery store to get ingredients for another new soup recipe. I enjoyed my salad for lunch, then turned on FOX 12 and cranked up the volume so I could hear the TV from the kitchen. I love that FOX is on channel 12 in my area – so appropriate since I’m part of the 12th Man nation! I spent the afternoon washing, chopping, drying and vacuum sealing bulk amounts of cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage so that weeknight dinners will come together faster. The thing that takes the longest when cooking is all the food prep. I need a sous chef! I’m tired of spending 4 hours prepping, cooking, eating and cleaning on weeknights so I’m taking the weekends to prepare in advance. I also made a few salad dressings from scratch and made beef enchilada soup, then vacuum sealed the left-overs to remove all traces of oxygen and seal in the freshness. I tore apart the kitchen for the fourth day in a row, but it was so worth it! It feels good to have a fridge full of fresh ingredients for quick meals.
Also, did you hear? WE WON THE SUPERBOWL!!! Growing up near Seattle in “the shadow of the Space Needle,” as they say, I was born to love the Seahawks even though they were always a disappointment. I always watched the Super Bowl for the adrenaline rush and the commercials, no matter who was playing football that day. It was surreal and exciting when we made it to the Super Bowl 8 years ago, but those refs sure made the 12th Man angry when we weren’t allowed to win. Yesterday’s win at Super Bowl 48 was a dream come true for Seahawks fans who have patiently waited for a lifetime for a win. WORLD CHAMPIONS!!! THIS IS SO CRAZY COOL!
Photo Feb 03, 1 21 04 PMWhen my step-son got home, I treated us to DQ Blizzards to ease our sore throats. I’d been shouting and cheering and frightening the cats all day. He’d been shouting an d cheering at the party he attended, and we needed some relief!
I just can’t stop smiling… I am SO PROUD of our boys!!
Thanks for reading my blog post. I shall reward you with details about my latest card tomorrow!
This guy helped me with all the loads of dishes I did this weekend!

This guy helped me with all the loads of dishes I did this weekend!

Holidays From the Heart Workshop

Holidays From the Heart Workshop
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Calling all Clark County, WA Paper Crafters! I’m holding a Close to My Heart papercrafts workshop on Saturday, November 16th in Vancouver. If you’re interested, please contact me right away because today is the cut-off for ordering supplies in time to be here for the class. Both classes will be going on at the same time and I will reply to you with the class location and details.

Card Class – Make 10 Cards for $20*

Holidays from the Heart cards by CTMH, made with the new 2013 Sparkle & Shine B&T Duos paper

* Price does not include the $5/person for renting the building. We will have access to the building from 1:45 – 9:45 PM and I will start the class shortly after 2 PM and will be on hand through 6 PM (maybe later) to assist and guide you.

This workshop is for making 10 “Holidays from the Heart” Christmas cards (with envelopes) and/or a gorgeous paper Christmas tree. Please let me know if you’re registering for one or both of the classes.

Use the pre-cut holiday paper I’ll prepare for you (from the Sparkle & Shine Paper Packet) to assemble 5 of each card (10 total 4 1/4″ X 5 1/2″ White Daisy Die-Cut Cards & Envelopes) for $20. Bring your own adhesive and use my Santa Claus stamps, blocks, ink pads and embellishments. I’ll show you how to make the cards & will be there for any assistance. I need to order the supplies ahead of time, so I will need a head count and payment NO LATER than Fri 11/8. How many sets of 10 does each attendee want to make? I will need to collect money via PayPal so I can order the supplies in time for the class.


Make a Paper Christmas Tree for $20* or $10*:

CTMH Trees

* Price does not include the $5/person for renting the building. We will have access to the building from 1:45 – 9:45 PM and I will start the class shortly after 2 PM and will be on hand through 6 PM (maybe later) to assist and guide you.

The cost is $20 to make one tree, and I will offer guidance and provide instructions as we make a tree together. I will pre-cut all the shapes with my Cricut and together we will assemble them. Bring glitter glue, hot glue gun & glue sticks and any extra embellishments you want to use. This price includes using pre-cut snowflakes, red & white twine, red and white ribbon, and other embellishments I will bring. You may also use my stamps, inks & blocks. In addition, I will have some embellishments on hand to purchase if someone really wants to really be-dazzle their tree.

If anyone prefers to bring their own paper, it’s $10 and I will give them instructions so they will know what size to cut their shapes ahead of time. We’ll need to make sure they have the right Cricut cartridges to make the cuts on their own paper before class. They’ll need to bring their own hot glue gun, glitter glue and they can use my cut snowflake shapes, inks, blocks, stamps and embellishments. They may purchase extra embellishments if wanted. I need to order the supplies ahead of time, so I will need a head count NO LATER than Fri 11/8: how many trees does each attendee want to make? Are you choosing the $20 or $10 option? I will need to collect money via PayPal so I can order the supplies.

Thank you!

Happy 30th Birthday

Happy 30th Birthday
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DAY 22: This month I’m blogging daily because there are soooo many cards I’ve never taken the time to blog about. Today’s featured cards are from September 2010 when I had two dear friends who turned 30.

Sometimes it’s more efficient to make multiples of the same card, so when I had two girl friends with 30th birthdays, I made them each the same card and they never knew their card was a twin (of sorts). :-)

30th birthday cards

For anyone wondering how I put the card together, I’ll try to recall what I did. I used some black cardstock and put it into an embossing folder and ran it through my Cuttlebug (which is much older than the new mode featured in the link) to get the raised grid pattern. Then, I took a sanding block from my Sanding Kit and sanded away the raised edges to reveal the contrasting white inner core. I stuck the black cardstock onto a white card base and them added a lacy trim to the left with some pink paper cut with a Stampin’ Up! paper punch and a strip of white embossed paper. I used my Cricut Expression machine to cut the “30″ and stamped my sentiment and birthday hat and hand cut them. I added a pink eyelet to the handmade tag and threaded a pink grossgrain ribbon through it. Using some Copic glitter markers, I colored the birthday hat and added a little pink sparkle to make it more festive.

Thank you for reading my blog! I appreciate having readers – thank you. :-)

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A Geeky Girl’s 50th Birthday!

A Geeky Girl’s 50th Birthday!
A Geeky Girl’s 50th Birthday! No Gravatar

DAY 21: Hello, and welcome to my blog! This is the 21st day of consecutive blog posts. I have so many cards I made long ago that I haven’t shared here yet.

Today’s card was one I made back in June 2012 for a super cool, geeky friend name Laurie. She is one half of the dynamic real estate duo known as the “Geeky Girls,” and you’d never know by looking at her, but Laurie hit the big 5-0 when I made this card!

blog - Geeky 50th Birthday The Geeky Girls logo is black and hot pink, so I grabbed the DCWV “Rockstar” Mat Stack and pulled out a few shades of pink, grey and black for the card. I used my Cricut Expression and some cartridges to cut “geeky” and “50.” I lined the letters with a hot pink colored Copic marker.

blog - Building the Geeky card Then, I cut strips of cardstock and taped them together once I assembled them in the order I liked. I wanted to make sure the words fit properly on the card before attaching them, so I placed them onto the card before adhering them in place.

blog - geeky 50th

After attaching the layers and letters to the card, I hand wrote some words with a metallic silver pen and used double-sided foam tape to make the “50″ pop off the page.

blog - 50th birthday

I added some embellishments to make the card more special. After all, it’s not every day that a girl turns 50! This is something to celebrate!

blog - 50th geeky birthday

For some reason, this came out rather yellow but I wanted to use the picture because it shows the shiny foil paper and metallic ink!blog - Geeky 50th Birthday Card My husband made her some earrings and we mailed her surprise card and gift in late June 2012 to arrive in time for her themed birthday party. She and Lisa are known for looking pretty cool as they wear their Converse All-Stars, or “Chucks” at real estate conferences, so OF COURSE Dale had to make her a pair of “Chucks” earrings! How cute are these?!

Designs By Dale - Geeky Girls EarringsThanks for reading my blog, and have a geeky day!

blog - Instagram 50th Geeky

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