Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Something you can never have too much of: Thank You Cards

I’m trying to use up some of my stash of Caboodle paper and decided to force myself to make some always needed Thank You Notes.  It’s nuts (or maybe I’m nuts) but I have a really hard time making a lot of the same type of card unless they are all being delivered at the same time for a specific purpose… so with that said, I had to make DIFFERENT cards even though I know that different people will get these.

boy brag book 014 I really like three of the four.  I pushed myself to try something new.  Ugh.  I don’t like the cut out card.  It needs something really bad, but I can’t figure it out yet.  So if you have any great ideas, send them my way, and maybe I’ll send you a thank you note :)!

Here are close-ups of the cards.boy brag book 013 boy brag book 010 boy brag book 011 boy brag book 012

Don’t you just love this last card!! I think it’s adorable!

All supplies are CTMH and I even used the Wishes Card Confidence program for my card concepts!

Start creating digital scrapbooks today with Studio J!

Studio J, Close To My Heart’s online scrapbook creator opens for business TODAY!! 

For those of you that wish you had scrapbooks but think you don’t have the time or creativity for cutting paper and gluing things, STUDIO J is the program for YOU!!

studiojcom_homeslides_1 With Studio J, all you need are your digital picture files, that’s it!! No special expensive software, no crazy amount of storage space available on your computer to save the hundreds of little picture files so that you can make one layout, no anything.. not even a lot of computer experience or creativity either.

So how does this work?  You first go set up a FREE account from my website at then click on Studio J.  Upload you picture files and then start creating!

You get to choose from lots of different designs, colors and themes.  You can do you titles, make journaling boxes, and even put on seemingly real embellishments.

Once everything is exactly where you want it, you either save the file or send it to print!

It’s just that simple.

And for those of us who like “lumpy” scrapbooks, what’s cool about this is that the papers available for the digital layouts are also available as real 12x2 pieces of paper! Hybrid scrapping just got a whole lot easier.

So no excuses now!  I hope this motivates you even more to get those memories recorded.

And if you have any trouble or want some help, let me know.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A little give-a-way in honor of my 5th Anniversary with CTMH

A few years ago, when we moved to the ville, my across the street neighbor introduced me to CTMH or Close To My Heart ( a scrapbooking and stamping company).  CTMH helped me define my scrapbooking style, taught me to go nuts with stamps and inks and opened the door to all kinds of crazy creativity.

After seeing all of the wonderful things that I could do, use and buy from CTMH I decided to become a consultant. Now 5 years later, I am still a consultant.  Granted, I’m not very active and don’t recruit or anything like that, but I do still teach classes, have workshops and have a website. So you could say that I piddle in it :) I didn’t even know that today was my 5th anniversary , but it was, and CTMH sent me a happy anniversary note :)

In honor of my five years with CTMH I am going to be giving away a goodie basket filled with CTMH products! 

Nope, this isn’t it, but isn’t it cute :)  I don’t have pictures of the actual gift yet… I can’t, some of the NEW PRODUCTS that will be released May 1st are in it.  And, more to the point, I don’t have it ready yet.  I just thought to do this!

Also.. in honor of my 5th anniversary, anyone who makes a purchase on my website or calls me with an order between now and April 30th will receive a very special gift with purchase!

So leave me a comment if you want to be in the drawing for the gift basket! I’ll have the random generator draw for me on April 30th!

And Happy Anniversary :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Family Portraits in Bluebonnets

bluebon family If you are ever traveling down the highway or interstate in Texas during late March- early May, you might see the interesting phenomena of parents and children walking down the busy road looking for a treasure.

The treasure: Bluebonnets, our state flower.

And it’s not just bluebonnets these people are looking for.  Because they aren’t going to pick them. They are looking for wildflowers that have not been trampled by the hordes of families looking for that perfect spot for their yearly family picture!

I don’t know if other states have rituals like this, but in Texas, having your pictures taken in the bluebonnets yearly is a right of passage. 

There is just something about traipsing through the tall grass, looking at the beautiful flowers, and listening for the sound of a rattlesnake that just gets your blood flowing! ( I’m not kidding either).

bluebon kylie

Yep, knowing that snakes could be slithering around, we still put our children down into the grass.  I know.  We are crazy.  However, I can say that I looked very closely before we stepped into the grass.  And, we were at a friend’s ranch and they had only seen one rattler the weekend before… you know how we Texans are!

Okay, kidding aside. Can you blame me?  Take a look at more of these incredible pictures.

bluebon girls bluebon ky2 bluebon lexi bluebon mad

It’s crazy, this last picture isn’t the prettiest picture of me, but I love it.  I didn’t even know that I was in the picture.  We were just having fun :)bluebon me

Oh, and one more thing… Nope, I didn’t take the pictures.  One of my student’s took them.  She’s incredible!  As soon as she gets a blog or website I’ll pass on the information.  Until then, she’s still one of my students!

Friday, April 23, 2010

May Scrapbook Kits

This month's page kits are fun and flirty!

If you would like to come to the class or purchase your own kit let me know.
The kit includes everything you need to make the 6 pages and costs $20.

The hostess for my May class asked that we create summer pages,
but choose CTMH's Daydream papers.
I have to say that this was a challenge for me!! I really tried to create pages that could be used for more than just little girls.  Thankfully all of the pattern pages are double-sided, so there is some built in flexibility.

Here are some closeups of what we are making.

Remember that the pink boxes won't be seen as pictures go on top of those!

Thanks for letting me share!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Warfare

I am not a person that gives Satan much credit for things in life. I think that we like to use the powers of evil as an excuse for our bad decisions and a reason to not to take ownership of our mistakes. But sometimes, you just can’t miss the evil that lies beneath daily situations.

Take this morning for instance.

I recently have made a renewed effort to get up much earlier than normal and spend some time reading my bible and praying. I can honestly say doing this really grounds me and that my crazy schedule doesn’t overwhelm me on days when I get quiet moments with God. The first few days were pretty easy. I was able to get up and get moving and the house was quiet and peaceful.

Well, now it seems that the kids are getting up earlier and earlier. I used to have to drag the kids out of bed, but not anymore. It such a little thing, but it’s not!

So this morning I woke up a couple of minutes before my alarm was set to go off. As I was getting out of bed, Kylie woke up. I fed her and lost 30 minutes. I rushed through a shower and as I was pouring a cup of coffee, Lexi walked into the kitchen. It was almost a full hour before I usually get her up! I sent her to get in bed with Daddy. Not five minutes later I heard Maddie’s alarm. Fifteen minutes before her normal time to get up. In she walks, already talking to me. So I explained that this was my time to read and pray. She said okay, went and made a bowl of cereal, came and sat down at the table and started eating. She didn’t say a word, but I heard EVERY crunch of her Cocoa Pebbles! The CRUNCH and the smunch, smunch of each bite about pushed me over the edge! I’ve never noticed how loud eating cereal was until this morning. I so wanted to just close up my stuff and go finish getting ready. But more than that, I didn’t want to start my day that way.

Today was one of those mornings where I had to purposefully focus on God. I really need to find a place where I can sit and be quiet. I desperately want to hear the voice of God, but the munching of Cocoa Pebbles, the rolling of Kylie’s walker and the mama, mama of Lexi provide lots of opportunities for Satan to come in a steal my joy. This morning wasn’t about the needs of my children, Satan was using them to redirect my thoughts from God. I could feel it. It was tangible.

I did finish reading and amazingly, with all of the distractions, God gave me some incredible insights this morning!

I can’t wait to blog about that!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Prom and the Texas Rangers

Oh Hallelujah!! Prom 2010 is done.  In case you have missed out on the prom drama, I am the prom coordinator at our high school. So with great relief, I can say that Night On The Town was a success and it OVER!prom 011

prom 013

With prom over, I really feel like my school year is just almost over.  Granted it’s not really, but with all of my big events done, I can relax a little and create art myself during class. YIPPEE!

So you might be wondering how THE PROM and the Texas Rangers are related.. well, in my world they are :)  You see, I met my husband while we were both teaching at the high school. It was over talks about the upcoming end of the year banquets and such that he asked me out on our first date.. to a Texas Ranger game.

It also happens to be that I love watching the Rangers and yes, I am a true fan.  I watch even when they are winning. (Which they don’t seem to be doing very often as of yet this season.)

So I’ll leave you tonight with this sweet picture of Kylie!  This is her 34 week old Thursday picture.ranger fan

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Reality Bites

Sometimes reality has a way of sneaking up and slapping us in the face when we least expect it. Yesterday was one of those days.

I had a message from The Pediatric Pain Management Center at Children’s Medical Center. They were ready to make Maddie’s initial appointment.

It’s not that this was a surprise; there have been volumes of paperwork for our pediatrician to complete.

I’m just not ready to walk this road.

I’m not ready to accept that my child lives with chronic pain.

It’s hard to explain it. Given that we live the rollercoaster of Maddie’s health, this next step shouldn’t be a blow, but it is.

Every morning I watch Maddie to see how she’s walking. I check her face to see if it’s puffy. I do the mommy once-over and evaluate the day. I do it in a heartbeat, I don’t even think about. It’s part of the morning routine.

I guess not every mother does this every morning.

Today I am going to call and set up Maddie’s appointment. I asked her about it yesterday. She’s been doing so great the last few weeks that I had hoped she would say that we didn’t need to do it. But she wants me to call. So I will.

My child has incurable kidney disease.

She looks great.

She’s in chronic pain.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Same Kind of Different As Me

I just finished the most INCREDIBLE book! It's Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.  It was amazing.  Life changing. Unbelievable. Moving. Inspirational. and more.

One might ask why I was so moved.  I don't know, I just was.  Maybe it's because I know the exact area they are talking about in the book.  Growing up in and around Fort Worth, Texas, I can see exactly where they are living.  It makes it almost personal.

I think another thing that got me about the book is the willingness or better put, obedience of this couple to go and serve the homeless.  That in doing so, their lives were changed.  Not the homeless people. The "good" people.  Yes, the homeless people where helped and some of their lives where changed, but the ones that went to serve were also impacted. They became true servants of God, the hands of God and by being willing to do that, they saw the face of God.

Can you imagine?  I have to stop and ask myself.  Do I really want to see the face of God?  Do I really want to know Him?  Because if I do, I know what to do. Serve others.  Be the hands of God to the "least of these."

So why don't I make time to serve others? Why am I not willing to serve in difficult situations? I don't know.  Well, I do know.  I'm selfish.

That's not an  easy reality to face and I can rationalize with the best of them.  I'm not saying that I don't serve at all, I just serve in the easy areas.  As long as I don't have to leave my comfort zone I don't mind serving and sacrificing.  Just don't ask me to feed the homeless. or go on a mission trip where I might not have indoor plumbing. or....

Facing this, I am ready to do something about it.  No, I'm not ready to go serve at the Union Gospel Mission.  not yet.  But I am ready to shake up my easy existence a bit.  I'm going to start small, so please don't get your hopes up.  But I am going to start.

'Cause I want to see the face of God more than I want an extra 30 minutes of sleep.  And if I push myself and truly examine my heart, I want to serve God more than I want to wear a size 8. So while I want to start working out in the mornings, I'm gonna start working out my Bible first.

So that's my book review.  Yeah, it was a good book.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Little gifts that made my day!

Sometimes we just need a little pick me up...
I needed one of those today.

So it made my day this morning
When I was left these little treats!

How fun it is to have a secret pal.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hybrid Scrapbook Project

Moving the girls bedrooms around got me motivated to make some new wall art for Maddie's room. She's got a soft green bedspread and almost the same color walls, so we needed to do something with color.

So, what I did was to find some fun fabrics that we will make pillows and a bedskirt from and also make wall pretties!!  In the above picture you can see that I took fabrics and made a digital copy and used them for papers on a layout.  The floral print and a funky paisley print made great papers.  The red also looks great on the computer and in person; however, the stripe did not translate to the computer very nicely, so I kept it in fabric form.

After designing the layout, I printed an 8x8 copy on glossy paper.  Then I took a 12x12 board and covered it with the stripe fabric.  The copper circle is chipboard covered in copper metallic paint.  Finally I used the brads to hold the circle onto the board. 

One of the things I like about this project is that I can change out the picture as I feel like it.  The plan is to make two more boards one saying family and the other saying forever.  I guess we will see how long it takes me to get that done.

Back to the digital stuff for a second.  Look closely at the flower that I used as an embellishment.. Not only did I cut out the flower from the print and add it back onto the layout, but I also used a swirly thing that I embossed via the computer.  It was a ton of fun to figure out.  But I have to say, I'm kinda needing a real hands on embossing fix now :)

Well, there you have it.  One of my recent projects. Of course I have more in the works, but I have our state art contest this weekend and PROM next weekend.  Have I mentioned that I am the Prom Coordinator?? Yeah.  I'm ready for "Night on the Town" to move on! As soon as that's done, I'm gonna have time to craft. Right? :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Caboodle Class

Tonight I’m teaching a scrapbooking class using CTMH Caboodle papers.  I love these colors for spring pictures!
caboodle set
Don’t these colors just scream spring :) And I’m sure you noticed Lexi’s addition to the pictures.. apparently her doll just really wanted me to be included!
 caboodle closeup caboodle closeup2 caboodle closeup3
And here are the pages sitting 2 by 2.
caboodle easter caboodle girly caboodle kites
And in case you thought I might be lazy on my day off.. the fabric for the girls curtains has been washed and I’m working on a really cool project for Maddie’s room!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Nontraditional Thank You Notes

I have fallen in love with making tri-fold shutter cards.  I love how cute they are.  I love how you can use all manner of scrap paper to make them.  I love that I can embellish them like crazy.  I love that they are mini pieces of art :)

Yeah, I love them.  Here are a few that I made for after our crazy art show.

blue thanks6 blue thanks1 blue thanks2 blue thanks3 blue thanks4 blue thanks5

The paper is from a block of paper from Hobby Lobby, sorry I don’t remember what it is.  Stamps are CTMH and the embellishments are from too many stores to list!