Creativity Challenge Update

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I have been MIA the past few weeks, because as soon as I finished my online CTE course, I had to start gearing up for the three presentations I gave last week. I didn’t get any of my own school work done, so I’m going to have to work very hard in my classroom tomorrow! I decided to use today to get caught up on some of my creative projects.

8/9-15 ~ As I really want to take the Telling Stories Deeply class at BPS, I need to complete my unfinished classes before I enroll for another class. So, I’m going to work on my 52 Card Pick Up class this week. My goal is 2 cards per day starting on Monday.
I didn’t look at my 52 Card Pick Up class once, but I did sign up for Telling Stories Deeply. I have done nothing with that class since I have been so busy these past couple of weeks. I need to add it to my challenge list for this week.

Blog ~ Post my LOs from Kyle’s visit and my two cards each day. Blog “The Great Escape” story!
I did post the LOs from Kyle’s visit, but I still need to work on “The Great Escape” story. Hmm…I’m sensing an opportunity to double dip with my Telling Stories Deeply class!

CTMH ~ Advertise and prepare for my Christmas card workshop; finish my Leadership projects; complete my card swaps. Yikes! It’s a good thing I’m still on summer vacation.
I finished my card swaps and Christmas card workshop. I still need to finish the Leadership projects.


Shhh…Halloween Card Sneak Peek!

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You guys know how much I love CTMH products; I think it is safe to say that I’m addicted…LOL! What I love the most is how versatile they are; in fact, this is the key point they make on the latest episode of CTMH TV. Take a look at these new Grace papers; they are perfect for feminine or masculine projects. The text paper is well suited to Thanksgiving or any other project that expresses thankfulness for family, but what about Halloween?

Well, I say “Yes!” This is a card that I made for a swap using the new Grace papers and Beware stamp set. I used the front side of the text paper for the large circle and the back side for the smallest circle. I speckled the large circle with Black and Olive markers using an airbrush and then added Black Distressing Ink to the other circles using the Black Texture Tool. Using these distressing techniques helped me convert a shabby chic Thanksgiving kit into a spooky Halloween card!

Pattern: Delightful Dots from Wishes (pg. 53)
Paper: Grace (X7117B), Autumn Terracotta TCS (X5669), Olive CS (1245)
Stamp: Beware (D1381)
Ink: Versamark (Z891), Black Distressing Ink (Z1296), New England Ivy (Z2135)
Markers: Black (Z2305) & Olive (Z2337)
Embellishments: Black Embossing Powder (Z670), Black Bitty Brads (Z1218), 3-D Foam Tape (Z1151), Sanding block (Z1294), Texture Tools (Z1298)
Other: Inkworx air gun


Digital LO vs Studio J!

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Well, I received an email from scrapNfonts this morning with some freebies and a challenge. I’m not typically a digital scrapbooker, but I took up the challenge since they included a free Photoshop template. I can’t remember how long it took me to complete this LO, but I’m fairly sure it was close to two hours! It’s cute, and I will print it for one of my albums, but it got me thinking about how excited I am for Close To My Heart’s Studio J!

Studio J takes digital scrapbooking to the next level by providing you with an online scrapbooking studio FREE of charge! The best part about studio scrapbooking is that you don’t have to know anything about digital scrapbooking to QUICKLY…notice I said QUICKLY (unlike my LO here!)…create beautiful pages using CTMH patterns, papers, embellishments, and colors! I saw a demo of Studio J at Leadership a couple weeks ago, and I’m so excited about trying it. Visit the Studio J website and watch the video to see a quick preview. Then come back here and let me know what you think!


Wolf Haven

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Our second day trip with Kyle was a quick visit to Wolf Haven. We arrived a few minutes prior to the tour, so it was perfect timing. Wolf Haven is a sanctuary for many wolves but only 14 are on the guided tour. We didn’t get to see all of them, but the ones that were out were absolutely beautiful. They gave us a special treat about half way through the tour…wolves started howling on one end of the sanctuary and each of the wolves returned the call. It was breathtaking! According to the Wolf Haven website, “Vocal communication among wolves consists of howls, whines, growls and barks. Although all the functions of howling are not known, scientists think that one of the main reasons wolves howl is to assemble the pack. Another possible function of howling is to claim territory. Some experts think that wolves can identify other wolves through their howls.” I don’t know what they were trying to communicate, but I’m so glad that I witnessed it!




I’m aware that the title “High Adventure” makes no sense for this LO, but I was doing a direct scraplift from page 17 of the Summer 2009 Idea Book, and I couldn’t deviate from the design! LOL! All supplies are CTMH: Back Country kit, pewter brads, Adventure Dimensional Elements, natural hemp, sanding kit, and My Legacy Writers.


Mt. Rainier Hike

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I thought I was being kind by letting the boys sleep in, but it ended up being a bad move. By the time we got up to the mountain, the parking lot was full. I couldn’t believe how packed it was during the middle of the week; I would hate to see what it is like there on the weekend. Anyway, we ended up parking a couple miles down the road and hiking back up to the visitor station. We only had a couple hours to spend on the mountain since I needed to get home for the mobile vet visit. We ate a quick lunch and then walked the Skyline Trail to Myrtle Falls and down the 4th Crossing Trail right to our car; it was almost like we planned it that way! It was a really easy, relaxing walk. I’m looking forward to going back and trying some of the more challenging trails.

All supplies are CTMH: Bella WOTG sketch, Back Country, Campin’ Fever, pewter brads and photo hangers, Adventure Dimensional Elements, natural hemp,sanding kit, and My Legacy Writers.

I absolutely love this Back Country kit! I added Barn Red textured cardstock and I’m now wishing I would have used a different color. I had already sanded it, so I wasn’t going to start over. The Bella sketch has the title under the photo, but I placed the title on the photo, so I’m wondering if I need anything under the picture.

Don’t get me started about that picture! I used a great grunge mask from the jessicasprague.com Photoshop class. After I uploaded the photo to Wal-Mart, I checked their print preview option and it looked just like it does here. Well, when I picked up my photos yesterday, most of the top and left borders have been cut off. It looks hideous now, so I adhered it with removable adhesive and am going to print it out at Costco this week. Ugh!


On the Trail at Multnomah Falls

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To celebrate his 2nd week of vacation, Neal and I took a day trip to Multnomah Falls on Monday. Our other option was going to the ocean, but we decided it would be more fun if we could spend the night, so we did something a little closer to home. I don’t think either of us planned on hiking as much as we did, because we did not come prepared with good hiking shoes and were wearing jeans. It was incredibly hot, and I was longing for some khakis! Luckily, we ate lunch at the Lodge before heading up so the lack of trail food wasn’t that bad, but the lack of water about killed us! We probably should have turned around once we got to the top of the waterfall, but we pressed on. It was so beautiful and the next mile was so peaceful since very few people went off the beaten path. As rugged as some of the non-paved trail was, it was absolutely worth it to truly enjoy nature alone with my husband! A little over two miles up the mountain, we ran into a work party repairing part of the path that had been washed away. They would have let us by, but Neal and I are both glad that we turned around. We were both feeling dehydrated and needed to get some water. Unfortunately, Neal was far worse off than I was and developed an incredible headache on the way home. I slept most of the way home, so I felt fine! What surprised me about the trip down the mountain was that it hurt more than going up; my feet were killing me! Neal had me tighten my shoelaces and that made a big difference. Honestly, my feet were the only things that hurt on the trip. My legs weren’t sore at all during the hike or the next day. Yet, my hips were so sore the next day; I couldn’t believe it! I’m only 42 and they made me feel like I was 80…this is not a good sign for my old age.

This LO is a direct scraplift from page 19 of the Summer 2009 Idea Book. I absolutely love this Back Country paper packet and need to find my other outdoor/camping photos to finish off the packet. It’s hard to see, but I added grunge masks on the 5×7 photos and an overlay on one with text that reads, Multnomah Falls. I’m practicing my Photoshop skills!


Slowest Scrapbooker…Ever!

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Seriously, I must be the slowest scrapbooker on the planet. These two pages took me 2 hours, and there is nothing to them! I forced myself to simplify and resisted the urge to stamp on these pages. Yes, finding the photos took a bit of time, but…still! Oh well, they are done, and I completed my challenge for the weekend. That makes me a happy camper!

The first LO is from the current Creative Scrappers sketch. I know…it wasn’t on my list, but I saw the sketch in my blog reader and was inspired. I’m really attracted to circles. The only problem I had with this LO is that my large Coluzzle circle is only 8″, but I went with it since my goal was to simplify.

Again, notice my love of circles! This time I went with sketch #5 over at 52 Sketches…52 Weeks; I’m a little behind! The beauty of being the world’s slowest scrapbooker is that I don’t put pressure on myself to keep up with a LO a week. 😉 That being said, I do want to finish my cruise album this summer, so I do need to pick up the pace. I also need to cut back on the number of pages I create–I’m already at 20 and I haven’t made a dent in my photos…uh…yeah…not a good sign. I’m fairly certain that I don’t want to look through a 50 pound scrapbook!

This LO reminds me that I really need to get a zoom lens for my camera. I also need to learn how to use the manual features of my SLR. I need more time in the day!


Weekend Challenge = 2 Down + a Sketch

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I completed a double-page spread from this Inspired Blueprints sketch. I spent a lot longer on it than planned, but I really like how it turned out. I don’t have a great eye for random brad placement, but I like how it looks on other layouts, so I’ll keep practicing.



All CTMH supplies unless noted:
Cardstock: White Daisy
Textured CS: White Daisy & Dutch Blue
B&T: Tinkerin’ (green) & Laid Back (blue)
Ink: StazOn Black, Clover Meadow, Dutch Blue, Sunny Yellow, Hydrangea
Stickers: Color Ready Alpha (Oxford Caps & Bold)
Stamps: Spot On Backgrounds (D1280), Star Struck (D1237), Circle Around (D1300), Comments (D1359), Connections (D1330), Good Times (B1332)
Pen: My Legacy Writers
Brads: Summer Carnival, Bigger White & Dutch Blue
Other: Coluzzle circle & Fiskars Threading Water punch


I’m back!

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After scrapbooking a layout a day in May, I needed to focus on finishing out the school year strong and getting my classroom in shape. I took a week long teaching course in Kalispell, MT, right after school ended so didn’t finish in my classroom until Monday night at 8:30pm! I still need to go through my filing cabinets, but I’m going to leave that for early September. Another couple days in my room prior to school beginning and I’ll be set.

I was so inspired by cleaning my classroom that I spent a week cleaning and organizing my craft room. I did not dare take any “Before” photos as the room was a hideous mess. There was one path on the floor to one small area on the futon. My desk was a nightmare from the LOAD challenge, so I couldn’t have scrapbooked in June if I had wanted. I still have a little bit left to do, but here are my current “After” photos!

The first is a view from my window seat and the second a view from the door.

Notice that the floor is spotless and the only piles I have are (1) works in progress on the window seat, (2) my school books for the class I’m taking next to the futon, and (3) the magazines I need to go through to cut out scraplifting ideas!

I had to include a photo of my bookshelf as it used to be stacked with books two deep on most of the shelves. I finally made the decision that I was never teaching theatre again, so I donated most of my theatre books to our drama teacher. I also quit hording books I’ve already read and took them to my classroom library. I will admit that most of the books I kept are my favorites and I wasn’t willing to part with them. I do have one shelf that contains the YA books I haven’t read and will take to school once I do. The beauty of this system is that I’ll be able to start buying YA novels again once I start reading them and making space on the shelf.

Okay, now to my organization system. I went through ALL of my scrapbooking supplies and donated several boxes to a friend who is having a garage sale next weekend. It felt good to purge things I haven’t used in years. I even donated a bunch of the wood stamps I never mounted! Someone is going to get a good deal at that garage sale! Anyway, I cleared out all the paper in the rack above my desk and replaced it with CTMH cardstock. This is where I’m storing my page protectors, pages in process, and the non-CTMH cardstock/paper I kept that doesn’t fit in my other paper container.

It holds CTMH paper packets older than a year, papers by manufacturer that I am keeping for specific projects, and other miscellaneous papers in the side trays. I also have a couple black storage boxes that fit nicely under it.

I’m proud of my storage system! In addition to the 4 deep black storage boxes, I got 8 white photo boxes that hold paint, foam stamps, paint trays, and photos. I also got 6 white project boxes (they are under the futon!) for CTMH chipboard, stickers/rubons, embellishments, non-CTMH chipboard, Bind-It-All coils/cardboard, and one box for all my Scenic Route kits/papers!

By placing all of those embellishments in easily accessible boxes, I was able to better organize the cabinet to the right of my desk. I have to move very little to get to items in the back of the top two shelves, and I have pull out drawers for inks, wood stamps/punches, ribbon, CTMH stamps (WOW! I have a lot of stamps!), card, other projects, and CDs/software.

The final bit of organizing I did was clearing off the majority of the paper from the rolling cart in front of my cabinet so there was room for my CTMH ink tower. Getting that off my desk really helped. It also forced me to decide what I was going to do with my CTMH paper.

I finally made a divider for the 5 different paper packs in each season. When the next Idea Book is released, I will transfer the unused Winter 2008 packs to the black paper storage by the bookshelf. Having the current year’s worth of paper packets right next to me will give me motivation to finish them off prior to new product arriving. I have a feeling that this new system will help with my productivity. I guess you will get to be the judge of that as I post my new pages/projects here!

For anyone who made it this far…thank you for reading my very long and involved post! Leave a comment and then e-mail your address to me and I’ll send you a gift pack of handmade cards!


LOAD #25

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I didn’t have much to finish on my LO today, but it still took me awhile since I had to stamp and cut out all the letters for the title. I tell you…I love the Rustic Alpha stamp set! I use it all the time. I’m really excited about it now that I’ve started using my Back Country papers and embellishments; they are so cute! I spoke to my mom this afternoon and am going to look through all our old camping photos when I stay with her next month for my nephew’s graduation. It will be fun to scrapbook my childhood memories. I have a few funny and highly embarrassing camping stories to tell!


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