Sunday, December 18, 2011

Rock the Block Starts Monday, 12/19!! Get it along with a free gift!!

My last post had a bit of information on the awesome "Rock the Block" set. I think it's such a clever project for a gift or just as for home decor.  The blocks can be covered with photos or paper, or just stamped, and you can flip & turn the blocks to see the various sides.  So much fun!  If you place an order for $25 or more, you are eligible to get the Rock the Block set (collage block set & exclusive stamp set) for just $15!  Above is a better picture of the exclusive stamp set that is only available with this promotion.  You can earn the Special Delivery stamp set for free (on the right) if you place an order with me before December 30th!!  It's such a cute little set!!  Come on, what are you waiting for?

To see all sorts of clever ways to use this block set, click HERE to follow the Rock the Block blog hop!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rock The Block!

Close to My Heart has a rockin' new campaign that starts on December 19th called: Rock the Block!

When you place a minimum order of $25 from the Autumn/Winter 2011 Idea Book, you can get two valuable new products for just $15: the My Creations® Collage Cubes (a Spring/Summer 2012 sneak-peek product!) and the exclusive My Acrylix® Rock the Block E-size stamp set (available only during this promotion). This Rock the Block promotion represents a retail savings of almost $30! You're going to love the collage cubes and the Rock the Block stamp set, which work together for interactive, fashionable fun!

I'm currently putting one together that will sit on my coffee table!  I'm using the Elemental paper line and some cute pics of my kids & family. I'm hoping to finish it over the weekend so that I can post it next week! It's a fun, home dec kind of project!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Stamp of the Month & Blog Hop!

 The December Stamp of the Month is called "Mad About You" and has some really sweet sayings & images.  Keep in mind that when you place an order of $50 or more in December, you can get this stamp set for only $5!
Follow the Blog Hop and see the many ways this stamp set can be used! Happy stamping!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Crock Pot Chicken Tutorial

I've used this recipe to make a whole chicken in my crock pot...or slow cooker as some prefer.....for many years now.  Ask my family and they will tell you that I make it a lot!  It's one of those meals that I make when I have a crazy day and need dinner to be ready with virtually no prep time.  So I thought I'd share the step-by-step instructions so you could give it try on your next crazy day!!
Rinse your 4 lb bird & pat dry with paper towels. Put her in your slow cooker.
In the cavity of the bird, put in a Bay Leaf, some onion (I use dehydrated onion) and some sage (optional).

Next you'll need: garlic salt, garlic powder, paprika or Emeril's, pepper, lemon pepper, thyme, basil, parsley, 2 Tablespoons butter and a lemon cut in half.

Squeeze the lemon halves over the chicken.

Spread the butter over the chicken.  I melt the butter & pour it over - it seems easier to me :)

Now sprinkle all those herbs & spices over the top. No need to measure!

Cook for at least 6 hours on low.  You could go 7 hours without a problem.

Here's the finished chicken! The meat usually falls off the bone!

I set my rice cooker so that we have rice to accompany the chicken and then make a salad or veggie.

Let me know if you try this and how it turns out!  It just might become your go-to dinner on those super busy days when you need dinner to magically come together all by itself!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Card Workshop This Friday!

This Friday I'll be hosting a card making workshop featuring the following products:
     -Typeset paper pack
     -Corrugated milepost shapes
     -Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge
     -Create a Shade Pearl paint
     -Typeset workshop stamp set
We'll be making 3 of the 5 cards pictured above! It will be a fun night of creativity!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November Stamp of the Month Blog Hop!

This month's Stamp of the Month is one that can be used anytime for anything!!  Use it to highlight certain dates throughout the year. The first idea I had when I looked at this one was to use it for an anniversary card I need to make.  In fact, you could sit down and design one card, then mass produce it to cover all those anniversaries for the whole year! :)

View many more ideas using this month's stamp by following the Stamp of the Month blog hop HERE

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

September Stamp of the Month "Special Edition"

Welcome to September! School's back in and life is starting to return to the oh-so-predictable schedule!  While I'm not bouncing out of bed in the morning yet, I do have a bit more bounce to my step since returning from my weekend scrapbook retreat last weekend! :)  Scraptacular Getaways was great!! (More on that another day tho!)

September has a really cute Stamp of the Month called "Limited Edition" (pictured above).  I really love the notebook paper stamp - it'll be great on school projects!! Two of the stamps coordinate with shapes from the new Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge. I got mine just yesterday and can't' wait to use it!

Follow the blog hop HERE to see many various ways to use the September Stamp of the Month.  And remember, it's only $5 with any $50+ order!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Oh a scrappin' we will go!!

The weekend before last I was in San Jose, with my partner in scrappin crime, shopping at the Scrapbook Expo.  I was frantically searching for adorable page kits so that I have something to put together THIS weekend at the scrapbook retreat I'll be attending! I took a picture of the above layout and purchased the paper needed to complete it.  We'll see how close I get ;)

So my bags are packed, as is my adorable pink rolling tote (too bad she only gets out once a year!) and I'll be off just after 8:00 am tomorrow :)  No kids, no hubby, just lots of time to crop!  This will be the first retreat I've attended where you can literally crop around the clock! Most of the one's I've gone to you have to leave the room around midnight & can't get started until 8 am the next morning.  It is also a MUCH larger group of women attending this event than any that I've been to.  So we'll see how the lack of sleep and the many distractions of games & people milling about affects my productivity.  I've set a goal of 14 layouts this year (28 pages!)  I'll let you know next week how I do! :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Finally, a layout completed!

 I'm getting ready for my annual "Mommy Getaway Scrapbook Retreat Weekend". Which means frantically searching for photos & putting together page kits.  I've been meaning to do a layout for my son's baby book about his nursery. (Yes, I'm 4 years behind!!)  I already had the photos ready, along with a paint chip & fabric swatch.  So I found some cute airplane paper & then cut my title with my Cricut machine.
 I wanted an airplane behind my title, but wasn't sure how to go about that.  So off to the internet I went.  I found some airplane clip art images and was able to blow one up and print it.  I used it as a pattern & cut it out of black cardstock.  Then I cut vellum for the airplane windshield.
I used a journaling spot that looks like a postcard and made a tag to go in it that resembles an old luggage tag.  I even decided to use my own handwriting for the journaling! (gasp!)  I got so carried away that I ended up completing the entire layout in 2 evenings!  (That's pretty good for me & limited scrap time!)  I'm happy to say that with this layout, Ryan's baby book is now finished! I think it turned out "just plane cute!"

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Get an Alphabet Stamp Set - Free?

In celebration of Close to My Heart's newly updated Stamp of the Month program, they are throwing in a little something extra: a FREE bonus stamp set! In August, when you place an order of $50 US or more in products and purchase the August Stamp of the Month set, for just $5, you’ll receive the My Acrylix® A Typeface A-size set FREE (a retail value of $6.95). Think of this as two promotions in one—qualify for and purchase the discounted August Stamp of the Month set and you will get a second stamp set FREE! It's Extra! Extra!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bang for your Buck!!!

Simply put, when you make a minimum purchase of $50 from the Spring/Summer 2011 Idea Book, you can add a bonus item for just $1. Choose from five items, each valued at $8.95 or more (limit one bonus item per qualifying order). To qualify for this promotion, items purchased must be from the Spring/Summer Idea Book.  Let me know if you need an Idea Book or shop the online version HERE.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sticker Shopping Mania!!!

I've been a big fan of Mrs. Grossman's stickers for years!  Ever since the early 80's when she sprang onto the sticker scene with her first "red heart" sticker.  I remember layering one of her teddy bear stickers with one of her heart stickers years ago - I was seriously hooked.

So, when I found out that the Mrs. Grossman's sticker factory was having a warehouse sale, I marked the date on my calendar, informed my husband I would be going, and viciously protected that Saturday morning.  But nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to experience - serious sticker mayhem!!

My friend Rebecca, her daughter and I arrived about 10 minutes after the gates were opened at 9 am.  Armed with shopping boxes we tentatively looked around.  Then we decided we had to just grab things and sort later!  So we filled our boxes in about an hour and then got in line, taking turns returning "go-backs" and sitting in the limited shade to rest our feet & un-sunscreened skin.  I thought it would be cool & foggy like Petaluma is usually.  But no - it was sunny & warm! From the time we got in line until we paid was 2 hours & 23 minutes!!!!  

I did learn a few things about these kinds  of sales:  be prepared for long lines by bringing water & snacks. Also, don't have a place you need to be later that afternoon, it just stresses you out while you're standing in line.  Bring something fun to do, along with a stroller or cooler that you could roll along & use as a chair ;) 

So who wants to go with me next year?

We had a little helper who was very patient in such a long, hot, and boring line! Such a trouper!

This was after we were in line for about 1 1/2 hours - the line made a U shape and we were at the bottom of the U looking at the line to the right which we had already traveled through and the rest of the line in front of us to the left! The blue canopy's in the distance are where we would eventually check-out & pay.

Monday, June 20, 2011

School Flower Fun!!

Another project that kept me busy prior to the last of school - Tootsie-Pop flowers!  Cut out some 5 petal flowers, use a Tootsie-Pop for the center, and make some cute little flower favors for friends!

I used an empty egg carton to hold the finished flowers

Each pop had a "leaf" made of a strip of paper

For each lollipop you need to cut 2 flowers.  Remove a petal from one of the flowers

I just printed the saying on green cardstock, then cut them into strips.  These were wrapped around the lollipop "stem" & glued into place.
 The instructions for making these can be found HERE.  Two warnings: 1)These did take a little longer than I had expected, so try to check your perfectionism at the door before starting.  2)Do not be present at the school when these are passed out!  All your hard work is ripped to shreds in seconds because kids are only interested in the candy! :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Teacher Thank You Nugget Tin

I know,  I have totally been neglecting my blog!  And while I'm deeply sorry, I also have been SUPER busy!!  At least I will have a lot to blog about in the weeks to come :)

One of the projects that I worked on recently is this cute little nugget tin.  I wanted to make something for Ella's teacher & teacher aide, so I put 2 of these together.  I used the Good Work stamp set to stamp the cute little composition book, apple, tag and ruler wrap.  The nuggets were wrapped in paper from the now discontinued Animal Cookies paper pack.  My favorite thing is the little pencil tied into the ribbon!

I also made one of the ever popular Rolo pencils for our car pool buddy Anya! I've been dying to make one since I saw the instructions for it HERE.  I used the same Good Work stamp set for the A+ on the tag.  Ella enjoyed giving these to her teachers & Anya on the last day of school!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mass Cricut-ing Mayhem!!

The last several weeks have found me in the usual chaos that seems to be my normal life now ;)  With sickness continuing to plague both myself & my family, a bridal shower, kindergarten field trip, sick husband, wedding, house guests, sick kids, baby shower, my bronchitis & sinus infection, and the usual daily routines of laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning....did I mention sick kids???

In addition to all that, I also found myself in my craft room mass producing sets of alphabets for Ella's Kindergarten class, and tags for the bridal shower & wedding using my Cricut.  Here are some pics along with a few things I learned about mass Cricut production:

My first tip is to put away any other projects so that you can't look at them and wish that you were working on them instead of cutting, peeling, and sorting... the repetition gets boring & that adorable layout you've been dying to finish is just staring you in the face!  Ugh!!

Using the 12 x 24" cutting mat means your machine needs lots of room! Turn it sideways to allow room for the mat to move.

Peel the paper away from you - not left to right. It seems to help avoid ripped letters/pieces.

The right tools make a BIG difference!

Check your cutting blade periodically. You may need to increase the pressure &/or blade depth as the blade starts to dull.

Do the math BEFORE you commit to a project!! Making 24 sets of alphabets means cutting, peeling, & sorting 624 letters!

Recruit any willing family members! Ella helped me stamp the envelopes that we put the letters into :)

Popcorn is NOT a good snack while paper crafting!
Think of some creative uses for the negative paper....

...of course, some will just have to be put in the recycle bin.

Using 2 cutting mats saves time - while 1 is in the machine being cut, you can peel the cut pieces off of the other mat.

The "A" tags were for shower favors; the "E" tags were for wedding favors.