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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lessen my LOAD....

I read a lot of blogs, but have recently gotten a bit behind.  Well today I thought I'd go to some of my favorites and see what's been going on.  One of these blogs is Joy's Obsessed with Scrapbooking.  Here I learned (just today...nothing like pre-planning for me!) about the Layout a Day class, or LOAD Challenge.  You can find out more about this online class HERE.

Now, I am not going to give you a play-by-play of this class.  You can click on the link and see if it's something you're interested in.  I did call up a scrapbooking friend and ask her to check it out, because I know if I have a partner in crime I'm more likely to work harder at it!  So, Laura and I have paid our $30 and signed up for the LOAD 212 Challenge.  It would be awesome to get to the end of February and have 29 layouts complete, but honestly, if I have 10 done I'm still going to be happy.  Trust me...that is 10 more than I would have done.

Another scrappy friend, Toni, has also joined the challenge.  That's 3 wild and crazy Mom's ready to make some scrapbook pages.  I think we'll have to get together at least one night during the month of February, work on a few pages, and maybe even drink a little wine.  Wow...this challenge is looking better by the minute!!!
***END of Exciting UPDATE***

You might be thinking "$30 for an online she nuts?", and yes, I am a bit, but that's unrelated here.  I think $30 isn't that bad.  I probably spend more than that in a month on scrapbooking supplies that I have yet to use, so why not spend the $30 and maybe I'll get moving on the scrapbooking again and use some of those supplies that I'm hoarding saving for a rainy day.

So, tomorrow it begins.  29 layouts in 29 days.  Like I said, I'm not going to feel like a big failure if I don't get 29 done.  Maybe I'll go crazy and get 32 done.  Or, (more likely) maybe I'll get 18 done.  Either way, it's more than I did last year, and quite possibly the year before that combined!  The kids LOVE seeing scrapbook pages filled with the fun and crazy times of their life, so even if each of them have 5 new pages to look at at the end of February, it will be $30 well spent.

Watch for progress on how I'm doing!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Imagine Update

I know...those two words seem to strike fear into the heart of every Imagine owner.  But, I have to tell you, having NEVER had any problems updating my Imagine, I have now joined the ranks of those of you who have had issues, but I must admit, I came through it fine.

I started updating my Imagine on Sunday.  It kept getting stuck at the "content" update.  Part of this is my fault.  I had not updated in a while, so the content file was HUGE.  I won't make that mistake again.

I finally gave up and turned everything off.  I called PC this morning and spoke with a very nice and very helpful CS Rep named Brita.  She talked me through a couple of other options and then I had to end the call and let the machine continue on because I had to run my son to basketball practice.  Brita gave me her e-mail address and told me to let her know what happened.

I got back from practice and the update was once again stuck.  I e-mailed Brita and gave her all of the details.  However, patience is not my strong suit, so I ended up calling back to PC and this time spoke to Tori.  She tried a few things (some of which we had already covered, but hey, gotta try, right?).  We got to a point where it seemed like the update was working, only the upload to my machine was not progressing.  BLERG.....She told me to NOT turn off the machine, but honestly, when everything else we tried failed, I figured WHY NOT....

So, while I was on hold with Tori, I admit...I threw caution to the wind and turned the machine off, while still plugged in to Cricut Sync.  Amazingly enough, that actually worked and the update was uploaded to my machine and now all of my "numbers" are updated.

I'm excited to get to the craft room soon and show you some projects!  I actually worked on our Christmas album while I was on hold and/or waiting for the machine to respond.  Thank goodness for speaker phone! That left my hands free to scrapbook, which I honestly had not done in a LONG time.

So, my advice to you is be patient.  Sometimes updating the Imagine is slow due to your internet connection.  Sometimes it's tedious.  But, if it is not working, call PC.  I have NEVER called there and encountered someone that was not helpful.  NEVER.  And I'm serious about that stuff.  Customer service is a huge pet peeve of mine, and if I get bad CS, I complain.  And I'm talking letter to the CEO and cc's to the Board of Directors serious.

Look for some projects soon...I got a few things done over the weekend and then the scrapbook pages today.  Hopefully now that everything is updated I'll be on a roll!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th...

I have to admit, I'm a bit down today.  And while that might not seem like a huge deal, it is for me.  I'm generally a pretty happy person, and today I just feel blehhhh.

So today my crafty blog isn't going to be crafty.  It's going to be ranty...and ranty isn't even a word.  But I am hoping that once I rant a bit maybe I'll feel a little better and be able to pull out of this bleh funk.

I let someone's words last night hurt my feelings.  I have a possible herniated disc in my neck, for which I had a MRI yesterday.  I am deep-down dreading the call from the doctor, because I am completely freaked out by the treatment options.  My neck, shoulder, and arm hurt like hell today, but I don't want to take the Vicodin because it makes me all loopy and sleepy and I really have work that needs to be done today (including payroll, and trust me, the guys will not be happy if I don't show up at some point today with paychecks).  I got online today, and even though I knew my Design Team submission had a snowball's chance in hell of being chosen, seeing the new Design Team list today with my name NOT on it really made me sad.  Completely silly, because like I need another thing to be responsible to get done, but I guess today I realized how much I really was hoping that I'd get chosen for the DT.  I received orders this week from My Creative Time, my first ever order from Peachy Keen Stamps, and 3 new Cricut cartridges and I have not had any free time to play with them at ALL.

OK...I'm done.  Bleh...purge complete.  I have just purged all the things that are weighing down on me today.  Hopefully now I can move on to my regularly scheduled day and get out of this funk.  This weekend I will get into my craft room and play with all of my new "toys" and get crafty.  I'm going to create some fun new things and take photos and then have lots of material for blog posts.

Blog posts that are crafty and more blog posts that are negative and ranty.

(sorry...just had to use ranty one more time....)

I hope that Friday the 13th is a wonderful day for you, and if it's not, remember....

....tomorrow's another day.......

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

GREAT resource for Cricut owners!

I wanted to let everyone know about the best resource for Cricut owners, in my opinion.

My Cut Search

This website is a MUST bookmark for anyone using a Cricut!  If you are looking for an image, just type keywords in the box and hit "Search".  The amazing site will then give you the names and page numbers of Cricut cartridges that you can find an image with those keyword(s).

So, type in "Fairy" and you get 40 images of possible usable images!


When I know WHAT I want to do but I'm not sure WHERE to find the right image, it's to the rescue!  Not only do they have a great website, but they have a Facebook page as well.  Go check out their Facebook page by searching "mycutsearch" and "LIKE" their page.  They currently have a little over 1500 "likes".  If they get to 2,000 by the end of January they will have a prize drawing.

Seriously...check it out!  It will make your life as a crafter so much easier.  No more searching handbooks for the right butterfly.  Just type in "butterfly", hit "search" and there ya go!

I love it, and I think you will too!

Check it out today!

Disclaimer...Nobody at My Cut Search paid me or offered me anything in return for my glowing endorsement.  It's just a site that I use that I love and thought I'd share the tip.  No entries to contest or personal gain of any kind are being given to me for this post.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


A friend and I try to help in our kids’ classroom by seasonally decorating.  We decided it was time to do a winter bulletin board.  The kids have a reading spot which was formerly a tent.  We are in the process of building an igloo out of empty gallon jugs.  Stay tuned for how that goes!  It’s going well, but we need more gallon jugs!
This week we went in and built what we could of the igloo and then turned our focus to the bulletin board.  I cut these snowmen for the boards.  This first guy is from Gypsy Wanderings.  I used the Gypsy to hide the details on his body.  I made him as large as possible, cutting the shadow, body, and then the hat/scarf.
I ran the hat and scarf through the Cuttlebug to give it some texture.  Then I added Glossy Accents to his eyes and some glitter glue to his nose.  Perfecto!  I had picked up a “sparkle” paper pack at Joann’s on clearance and thought the silvery sparkle paper was perfect for this happy snowman!
Next I cut some of my favorite Imagine guy…from Enjoy The Seasons.  I really love this snowman!  I cut 2 of them using “Fit To Page” to get the biggest image I could.  Then I had some left over from a project in December, so I took those in too.
I need to go in and take a photo of the bulletin board and add that to this post.  It turned out really cute.  Who doesn’t love an adorable snowman, right?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Family organizer

I saw something similar somewhere in the great internet universe.  I wish I could give credit to that site/blog/post, but I really have no clue where I saw this idea first.  The problem with seeing ideas is that I often forget before I ever get the time to actually replicate these amazing ideas!

While doing some Christmas shopping I happened to be in the frame section of Wal-Mart and saw these 8 section collage frames.  HEY!  I remembered there was a project for these.  So, I picked one up.  This is a standard 8-slot 4x6 photo collage from Wal-Mart.  I think it cost all of $5.

Fast forward to last night.  I was in the craft room, cutting some snowmen for my daughter’s classroom when the collage frame caught my eye.  I was suddenly inspired and knew that my Imagine machine was going to come to the rescue!

I chose the Hopscotch cartridge and used the “stock” 2:3 image, sized at 4.  I added 8 of those shapes and filled them with patterns from Hopscotch.
Now I have the backing for each of the 8 holes.  I had to trim them a bit to fit and then replaced the frame backing. 

Next, fire up the Expression with Designer’s Calendar.  I did use the Gypsy to put all of the days as well as “Martin Family” on one mat.  I cut this out of vinyl.  Now, you may be wondering if there is a reason that I used the E to cut the vinyl instead of my Imagine.  Well, yes…I have only cut vinyl with my E, know the settings for perfect results, and it was 11pm, so there was no reason to waste time trying to figure it out on the I!  Plus, I could have the vinyl cutting while the Imagine was printing and cutting my backing papers!
I applied the vinyl to the front of the glass.  If I make another one of these for a gift, I will reverse the image and apply it to the inside of the glass.  Other than that minor detail, I LOVE how this turned out!
When you’re ready to write the week’s activities and appointments, take a dry erase marker, write on the glass, and then wipe clean for next week!  How cool is THAT? 
This is a perfect spot for our family organizer.  This is a little wall as you come inside of the kitchen.  The Creative Memories board hangs above it, holding a few photos and other assorted things (gift certificates, coupons, appointment cards, etc.).  The family organizer directly beneath works well because each of us pass this spot several times per day.  We can take a look to see what is coming up in the week, and it’s within easy reach for anyone that needs to add an event, including our 5-year old. 

DH even liked this project!  I said I might change the papers out for Valentine’s Day or other holidays.  He even suggested putting someone’s photo in the slot when their birthday or other important event was coming up.  Maybe he said that since Sunday is Elvis Day and DH’s birthday also!

Hope you enjoyed this project.  The Imagine made it so quick and easy.  You could get papers from a paper pack, or anywhere in your stash.  I love it that I was able to easily print off 8 papers that I know coordinate beautifully with each other.  It’s easy to change out for a new look, whether seasonally or for a special occasion.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Butterfly Hanging

Once again I find myself re-creating something that I saw on Pinterest.  I love to take 15 minutes to pin lots of different ideas and then when I have time, go back to each pin and actually read the directions and decide if it's something that I want to try.

The original pin that I found was HERE.  She, as you can see if you read her post, found the inspiration from someone else.  I love how Pinterest allows us to "pay it forward" of sorts and pass on these awesome ideas.  I will admit that I picked up the Martha Stewart butterfly punch at JoAnn's after seeing this idea.  Hey, I had a coupon!

I started with a frame that I had purchased on clearance at Wal-Mart.  The photo mat had some strange saying on it and I guess they didn't sell well.  My first step was to take apart the frame and trash the mat.  I then cut a Cheerios box to fit the size of the frame.  Then I cut a piece of cardstock from a DCWV stack that I had on hand.  Now I have the backing for my project.

Next step, choose several papers from the same DCWV stack and start punching butterflies.  Once I had several punched out, I layed them out on the backing.  I messed around until I had them like I wanted.  I only glued down the body of the butterfly to give some dimension.  I used a ZIG glue pen for this.  I did not draw out a grid or anything, just eyeballed it.  I'm sure it's not perfect, but that's OK with me!

I decided to add a band of coordinating paper to the bottom and do her name in embroidery.  I didn't have any DMC floss in my craft room, so I picked up some serger thread and made it work.  I lightly penciled the name on the band and then sewed away.  I adhered that to the bottom with ATG.

Put the frame back together (minus the glass) and Voila!  You have a completed project. 

The colors aren't the greatest in these photos, but I think it turned out really well.

This photo shows the dimension of the butterflies.  I like how it turned out and am happy that I left the glass off.  I gave this to a special neighbor girl, whose dear Grandma recently passed away.  Grandma Mary loved butterflies, so I thought this was a fitting craft to try out and give to Katrina.