Thursday, October 30, 2008

my first ATCs

I must admit, I've been afraid of ATCs since I first read about them. But, Jenn's gorgeous ATCs in the October gallery at Studio Calico inspired me to try to make them....along with the swap she organized.

To make 4 ATCs, I used the JACKSON'S ORCHARD add-on, which is still available, if you need some enabling. First, I measured my vintage wood veneer and cut it to 2.5x3.5" using a rotary cutter by Olfa. It worked beautifully, no splitting of the wood or anything.

As you can see, after I drew my lines, I still held the ruler in place as my guide for cutting.

VOILA!!!! 4 perfectly sized cards from one strip of the veneer.
To decorate one of the cards, I punched 4 circles using my new Martha Stewart punch, from a sheet of scrap paper. Notice how I let the circles hang over the edge of my paper?
Using a foam brush and some gold acrylic paint, I painted the circles, using the scrap paper as a stencil. I waited for the paint to dry, then re-used the "stencil" to draw a black border using a fine point American Crafts Slick Writer.

Finally, I embellished using paper from the same add-on and the NOAH alphabet stamps. It's sold out now, but we're making more, so look for them next month, if you missed out.

For the lettering, I stamped on the green Making Memories paper in that add-on in brown ink. Then, I hand-cut the letters and applied glossy accents.

One more thing to add, to make sure my ATCs were durable, I cut a 2.5x3.5" piece of kraft cardstock and adhered it to the back.

If you'd like to read more about ATCs, click here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

a good day

That's what yesterday was.

Lorie and Rich were gracious enough to let me tag along on their family outing to Jackson's Orchard. I loved watching Natalee's reaction to all the new things: the pumpkins (which she called "apples"), the feeling of hay, and all the farm animals.

After we returned home, I had the chance to play around with these photos. Let me know what you think.

Don't forget to go to the Studio Blog for a chance to win one of two Becoming Green collection packs.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

lots of pictures to share

This past week has been jam-packed with activities. Last Saturday was my 10 year high school reunion. I went to North Bullitt High School, in a suburb of Louisvlle, KY -- very middle class. I loved my high school and I've been anxious to go back to the reunion this whole year.

Sadly, I was not able to get my roots dyed before the occasion....lots of white hair poking out all over the place, but oh well, I had fun anyway.

This is us before the event courtesy of mom:

and the shoes I wore....(also courtesy of mom)

Tiffany, the homecoming queen and class president, put the event together. I have to admit, I wasn't sure she'd pull it off, but in the end, she did a wonderful job.

(tiff and myself)

I forgot to mention that Amber wasn't able to make it because of her tonsillectomy. There were 3 sets of twins in our class of 150 (crazy, huh?): myself and Amber, Samantha and Jessica (below), and a set of boy twins (I can't remember their names).

Samantha, Jessica, and I talked about how strange it is that all the "bad" things seem to happen to one of them. Jessica has to have surgery on her left eye, she had a tonsillectomy and several other things. Amber seems to have drawn the "bad" card as well. She had to wear braces a second time, had surgery for a deviated septum, and just last week, her tonsillectomy.

A group picture of 38 graduates. I really expected more to show up because our class was so active. And, I was also surprised at who showed some of the most popular kids didn't come even though they still live in Louisville....not sure why.
And, finally, this is who I wanted to see: Rebecca, my best friend in high school. We went to WKU together, but then lost touch. Now, she's a teacher at North Bullitt, and we have each other's email addresses and we've promised to stay in touch :)

Rebecca, Tiffany, me, Pam, and Andrea (I didn't hang out much with Pam and Andrea in high school, but it was still fun to see them and catch up on old times.)

When we arrived at the reunion, Tiffany had name tags made for us with our yearbook picture on them. YIKES!!! I kind of wish I had saved the name tag for you to see (I can't seem to find my yearbook), but here are some pictures that I had in a scrapbook back in the day....
I'm second from the left and Tiffany is a couple over from me. If I remember correctly, this picture was not from Halloween. The week before homecoming, we had different ways to dress each day. The student council took a count of the number of people from each class who dressed up and the class with the most students at the end of the week won bragging rights. I think this must have been "decade day." Other days were SPIRIT DAY, or PAJAMA DAY, or a day you could wear a hat. It was fun, don't knock it. (BTW, notice the scalloped scissors and page corners....see I was rocking the scrapbook supplies)

A photo from homecoming (were flannel shirts really that popular?). I'm 3rd from the left and Rebecca is on the far right.

ahhhh....graduation day. Didn't we all look good in yellow? (gag me)
And, my favorite of all....wasn't this clever? I'm the "O", Amber is the "N" and Rebecca is the "I". (This must have been SPIRIT DAY). We're standing in front of our hall decoration. Each class got a large section of a wall to decorate and we were given a theme. This theme had something to do with mystical characters because that's Hercules behind us. Anyway, as a class, we would cut, paste, glitter, and paint paper that would be adhered to the wall. Then, the teachers would judge which class was the best. From our Sophomore year on, our class won first place every homecoming!!!

As you can see, my scrapbooking skills have improved, as has my hair-do and my fashion sense.(I hope)
People kept saying, "You haven't changed," and I was thinking, "I really hope I've changed....."
You be the judge :)
All week long was work, work, work.
Friday night we went to a wedding down in Nashville and afterwards, we went to eat downtown at Jack's BBQ. If you are ever in Nashville, go!!!! It's on 3rd street (I think)....whatever the main drag is. The best brisket ever, cooked just like they do in Texas! Rich, Lorie and Natalee went with us and we made plans to attend Jackson's orchard the next day.
The 5 weekends before Halloween, they have a petting zoo, horse rides, a hay maze and playground set up.

and pumpkins of course.....
which Natalee called "apples" (we must have corrected her a thousand times, but in the end, we did see some apples)

I'll have more pics from our excursion later, but until then, check out the studio blog. Lorie is going to post some more pictures from the event as part of her history lesson :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

more sneaks + a talk with mom

I discussed in my last post about secrets, but I must say after talking with my mom later that day (Monday), it's good to get some secrets off your chest. You know, the kind that weigh heavy on your heart and the kind that just need to be told.

I love my mom and I can't imagine being raised by someone else. She was the mom that lived to be a good mom and do her job well. The kind that's always volunteering for everything, at school, at church, in the community. The kind that constantly evaluates what she says and does to make sure it's the best for the family. The kind that values her marriage and who values my relationship in my marriage.

So who better to share a secret with?

Since many of you out there are just like my mom, why not share a different secret with you? Some sneaks of November's Studio Calico kit.
Papers from the HOBSON GROVE add-on.'ll just have to wait to find out :)
All items above in the main kit except the BG alphabet which is in the LOST RIVER VALLEY add-on.
All items from the JACKSON'S ORCHARD add-on.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Do you watch Jon & Kate + 8?

I love that show!!! My twin sister and I compare ourselves to Mady and Cara all the time (she's Mady, by the way). But, in one regard, I'm very much a Mady-girl. Mady loves surprises. She loves them so much, she wants to control the surprise. For instance, the episode in which they were shooting the cover for Good Housekeeping and Kate had the surprise planned to bring a dog to get the children's attention and to make them happy for the photo. It was getting well into the shoot, and the little kids were cranky, so Kate whispered to Leah about the dog coming.

You would have thought Mady's best friend had been shot. Seriously, she about lost it because in her mind, Kate had spoiled the surprise.

As a child, I used to love surprises, too. I never wanted to know what I was getting for Christmas, rather, I loved the anticipation of the morning I would rush downstairs, and open presents in a frenzy.

What made the surprises I received as a child so wonderful was that my parents kept the best secrets. I can remember my 13th birthday vividly. There was 11 inches of snow on the ground on March 8 (in Tennessee, that was unusual), and my sister and I were so anxious to go out and play. Little did we know that mom and dad had gotten us tickets to see the recent Olympians at an ice-skating event that night. At that age, (and even still) the Olympics were a BIG DEAL and we were over-the-top thrilled.

Or, the surprises where I'd come home from school and a new Care Bear was sitting on my bed with a note thanking me for being a good student.

I think my memory of those events wouldn't have been the same had a surprise not been involved.

Speaking of surprises, we had our fair share of them at Studio Calico tonight!!!
  1. The sneak peeks (on the home page slideshow)
  2. A Blog giveaway
  3. The referral promotion with a free mini-kit from American Crafts
  4. The 3 new Design Team members (if you don't already know who they are, click here)

So, a few more sneaky surprises here tonight:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

i suppose it's been long enough

Well, I won't be updating my blog every day, but I can do better than I have been. Just want to post with some pics of what I've been up to lately.

On Friday, 9/26, these friends came for a visit.

You may remember me talking about them before: Jason, Jessica, and Riley. Jessica had Riley 6 weeks early, but now she's a strong, healthy, 8 lbs and travelled from Cincinnati to Bowling Green to see us AND spend the night. We were honored. LOVE hanging out with them, I only wish they lived 3 hours closer.

They spent the night and went to watch Greg coach a soccer game. This was the next to last one of the season, and the last in which all 5 players would be there, so we had their party a week early.
I made these for each of the players, with photos of the team individually in little pouches.

I don't really have directions for the project, but here's the basics:
  1. Use 4x6" photos
  2. You'll need one 8.5x11 or 12x12 sheet of Kraft Cardstock for each pouch (a 12x12 sheet will yield 3 pieces, of which you only need 2)
  3. Cut 2 pieces to 5x7"
  4. Hold together and use a corner rounding punch on all 4 corners
  5. Use a circle punch (you may choose which size you want, but I used a 1.5")
  6. Hold punch upside down (so you can see how much of the Kraft you are cutting), and cut a semi-circle through both sheets at once.
  7. Now, you're ready to sew the pieces together. You may either hand-sew or machine sew, but leave a 1/4" margin.
  8. Insert your pics and voila!

The week after I gave these to the kids, Devon's (the soccer prodigy on the team) mom came up to me and said that last year they had trophies, but this year, Devon was thrilled with the pictures that were all his own. He had strict orders that the pics were to be framed along with his pouch and he was upset when that task took longer than a week. How cute it that? The ultimate compliment for me.

Below are some more pics from the soccer party.

Emily, a sister of one of the players was there. She was also born prematurely (at 27 weeks) but is now healthy and strong. It was encouraging for Jessica to visit with her grandmother and she felt so blessed to have made it as far along as she did with Riley.
Patrick....a ham!
Noah and Woods....competing for position to walk on the rocks. Now if only Noah would have been that competitive on the field!

Later that day, we had the pleasure of attending the annual fish fry in Lafayette, TN (pronounced LUH-fay-et, not lah-FEE-et, don't's country and they can cook fish, so I don't judge).

The fish fry was at the Birdwell's and here's Ronald battering the fish...the secret ingredient?


Step 2 of the process....look at all those fryers!!!

And, the final step.

These 3 sit with my mom (and hence, me when I visit) at church. From L to R (Taylor, Caleigh, Mackenzie). The one on the right is a never know what she's going to say.

And, out in the country at the fish fry, my husband found this:

Yes, and there he is TOUCHING it....don't those things have diseases?
Mackenzie (the spitfire) promptly called this a "chicken snake" and Greg reverted back 20 years and snarkily said, "Well how do you know it isn't a pig snake?" Of course this sent the girls in a full set of giggles....ah, that age.

A week later, we had another busy Saturday.

Before the final soccer game, I had to rush to Carter's first birthday party. Cara (one of SC's kit-packers) had such cute activities for the kids. She had a play-doh table, a face-painting table, a golf activity for the adults. Also, she had arranged to have 4 types of soups and it ended up being the perfect day...about 65 degrees for the party, and sunny. Great weather and great times.

The Birthday boy himself.

Below, 2 victims of the face-painting booth.



And One last picture for sweet cuddle-bugs.
Yes, Jett sleeps with his tongue out. Thankfully, Greg doesn't (at least not that I know of).