Friday, December 14, 2012

2013 Hero Arts Catalog Blog Hop

Hello, everyone!

Welcome to the 2013 Hero Arts Catalog Blog Hop!  You should have arrived here from my amazing friend Stephanie Howell's blog. I know she had something spectacular to share with you and I bet by now you've seen so many gorgeous things! Please remember, if you find a link that doesn't work or if you happened here by means other than the hop, if you wish, you can always jump back to the Hero Arts Blog for a full list of direct links to all the fabulous eye candy on all the blogs in the hop.

AND if you want to see ALL the eye candy Hero is going to be releasing this winter at the Craft & Hobby Association 2013 show, you can go HERE! (I promise it's a MUST see!) 

To create my project, Hero sent me a several of their brand new stamps and I completely fell in love with the two shown below. Not only do I adore wood-mounted anyway, but WHO could resist that sentiment (not me!) and the herringbone pattern had me swooning!

I've been wanting to do something with the sunburst idea for quite a while and the "Special" stamp (K5656) couldn't be more perfect. I stamped the imaged onto cream cardstock, embossed and cut out. Then I emphasized the word "SPECIAL" with a salmon-colored gel pen.
The lime green and salmon-colored rays were both stamped with the herringbone pattern (S5654), but the  green was embossed while the salmon got a tone-on-tone treatment.
I finished up with some twine and ribbon and of course gems along the rays for some shine. 

Supply List: Hero Arts Stamp K5656 (Special), Hero Arts Stamp S5654 (Herringbone background), American Crafts Zing Embossing Powder, Ranger Inks, My Minds Eye & KI Memories patterned papers, BoBunny & Coordinations Cardstock, Zig pen, Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L Adhesive, Xacto Decorative scissors
Other: Twine, ruban, rhinestones, gel pen

Now for the extra "good stuff": The super-generous folks at Hero Arts will be giving away several prize packs with winners randomly chosen from ALL of the blog hop comments received by midnight PST on Monday, December 17 - so be sure to leave one HERE and at all the blogs you visit along the way such as the talented Mariana Grigsby, the next stop on your Hero Arts blog hop!

And again, please remember, if you find a link that doesn't work, you can always hop back to the Hero Arts Blog for a list of direct links to all the blogs in the hop.

Have a wonderful Friday and HAPPY HOPPING!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Little December Daily Share + Holiday FUN!

Hello, everyone! Happy 12-12-12!! (The math geek in me is seriously loving today's date!)
I have so much to share with you today so I hope you'll indulge me just a little. I promise at the end there will be a great reward! Or at least something fun for you anyway! 

Today I wanted to put up a little of my December Daily. If you recall, I have/had? great hopes of finally finishing one - after three attempts! I must admit it's not looking good as it's now the 12th and I've only completed through the 5th but it is what it is. I'm going to try and keep plugging along, cross my heart.

Anyhow, after initially starting my album, I revamped it just a bit. I added a bit more sparkle and bling to the spine as well as some shimmer mist that doesn't show up well in photos but is SO gorgeous in real life. I've been loving my Pink Paislee Portfolio album to hold my DD. It is larger than any I have done before and I'm digging the size AND the divided page protectors it comes with. It might just convert me to a project life gal in the new year. 

For the snowflake, I punched several pieces of paper and glued them together with my Xyron, then sprinkled them with glass glitter. The star is covered with red Stickles and the gems are old Heidi Swapp. The little hook at the top was designed by Janet Hopkins and was a Heidi product back in the day. I've had mine since a Creative Escape years ago and have horded it for just the right project to use it on. So glad I had it for this!

I always like to do a little intro with my December Dailys. I especially love white on white so I had fun with the snowflake punches on the left side of the binder as well as stringing them with twine on the right side. The music note paper is BasicGrey Aspen Frost and the other papers/stickers are Echo Park's This & That. (My album is mostly Echo Park this year :))

This is the completed page one spread. The title was cut with my Silhouette (I created it - my first attempt at my own such design!) and I made the envelope myself out of white Bazzill Cardstock.  

And by flipping the envelope over, this is the the completed Day 2 page spread.
The envelope contains the story of my boy's favorite tradition (I think you can read it in the photo below) as well as a photo of C during it on the other side. There's more Echo Park here (I love love love that newsprint paper) as well as some BasicGrey alpha stickers and My Mind's Eye washi tape. That yellow stripe is just speaking to me right now!

This is Day 3 and Day 4. More Echo Park with some BasicGrey Aspen Frost and the  snowmen from BasicGrey's holiday line a couple years ago (Jovial - my fave ever!). And if anyone is wondering, the awesome snowflake punch is from EK Success. I love the size of it.
Day 3 features the triumph of me getting the boys' holiday photo and Day 4 the littles and I watched Rudolph on TV. I didn't have any photos of that so I relied on images from the internet to show it. 

And finally Day 5, our holiday parade. For this day, I used the Pink Paislee divided page protectors because I had lots of photos I wanted to show (there is the back of the right page as well filled). I made my favorite Santa photo large and then fitted in the photos I thought told the story best into the dividers. (And I swear there is even a selfie of me and the oldest on the next page!) The large star is old Technique Tuesday chipboard and the black metal "5" is I think old Making Memories.

So enough of that ;) Just a couple more things for you today.
First is the new January/February 2013 (WHAT?!) issue of Creating Keepsakes. It hit the newsstands yesterday and it is a wonderful one!

Here is a link to the online sneak peek where you will find one of my favorite layouts I've done in a while. (There's another little peek below.)

And finally, my amazing friends at Scrapbook and Cards Today are once again doing their 12 days of HOLIDAY GIVING!! I promise, promise, promise you that you don't want to miss it. I've never met more generous people or generous sponsors! And as *I* can't win, I would LOVE it if one of you would! So please, hop on over and check it out HERE!

Have a wonderful 12-12-12!

Friday, December 07, 2012

SCT Winter Issue and a Holiday Giveaway for You!


Hello, all!

I have something fun to share with you today! The new WINTER issue of Scrapbook & Cards Today will be LIVE at 10:00 am Eastern which means you can download some absolutely amazing scrappy inspiration just by clicking HERE!

But because I know some of you (like me) adore hard copies of their reading material, I've got you covered, too. I'm going to give a brand spanking new copy of this gorgeous issue to one of you lucky readers!!

And as a little teaser - the talented Amy Heller provided the content for our Easy, Detailed, Expert column this issue and I FELL.IN.LOVE. with this layout....(swoon)

And if that just isn't enough to get you excited, I'm going to throw in a copy of the 2013 Scrapbook & Cards Today/PageMaps sketch calendar too!  

I'm telling you, you'll have just about all you could ever want for Christmas if these two items showed up at your door! So tell me. What do you want most for Santa to bring you this year...if you've been good, that is?!

Leave me a comment in the comment section by midnight (Eastern) tonight and you'll be entered to win and these awesome copies could be coming to YOU!

Have a wonderful day!

Congratulations to MARGIE!! The Winter issue of SCT and the 2013 calendar will be on it's way to you! Please email me using the "about me" contact in the upper right of this blog page. 

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Happy December & the start of my DECEMBER DAILY!

Hello, everyone!

I’m so happy to welcome you to DECEMBER and as such my last post over at Scrapbook & Cards Today's blog for 2012 in my Old New Borrowed Cool series! I can only hope that you have enjoyed this little series even half as much I as have doing it for you.

I thought quite a bit about what I would do for a final project and it just seemed fitting that it take the form of a December Daily album. For those of you that are unfamiliar with one, a December Daily album is meant to document the daily activities of the month of December – all those wonderful holiday traditions that we have – and get them down into one place. And while it may have been someone else’s idea once upon a time, I have to give credit to the awesome Ali Edwards for inspiring me to give it my first try several years ago.

Now that said, I have two confessions. (Yes, I know. Another of my confessions!) The first is that I absolutely despise scrapbooking the Christmas holidays. I know. Shocking, right? I’ve done it tons of times and yes, I know that it might *seem* like I enjoy it, but the truth is…well, I don’t. Maybe it's because I'm  just not happy with the pictures I take because of poor lighting situations or I get bored with the same old holiday papers, or whatever the case it at the time, but it's true. I’m sure at least *some* of you feel the same as me, right?! (Please tell me I'm not alone!)

The other confession is that while this will be my third (attempt at a) December Daily, I have never managed to complete the entire album! I’m trusting you all to keep me accountable this time! But the beauty of a December Daily is that by doing a little something every day, you keep from getting overwhelmed with the larger picture. And when it’s finished (and we WILL finish, right!?!) you’ll have a wonderful keepsake that will be treasured forever. So let’s dive in....

Here is the cover of my 2012 album.

Supplies: Pink Paislee binder and tab, Echo Park stickers, Bazzill Cardstock, BasicGrey bookplate & alpha stickers, twine, EK Success punches (scallop, circle & snowflake), Silhouette electronic cutting machine, Folk Art acrylic paint, twine.

And a little detail shot here - I cut out the 2012 with my Silhouette and layered up the snowflake and "25" circle with some pop dots.
Supplies: Bazzill Cardstock, Echo Park PP * stickers, BasicGrey PP (music), EK Success Punches.

Since this is my 3rd December Daily (and I swear I’ll finish it this year!), I wanted to include a small introduction to this holiday season like I have in years past. I love the look of white on white and since the interior of the album was a kraft that wasn’t in my desired color palette, I choose to cover the inside front and back cover with white cardstock then scattered snowflake punches as if they were falling from the corner. I have also found that sealing not only the outside cover but inside cover is so important, especially if they are going to be handled for years to come.

For more of my December Daily, please hop over to the Scrapbook & Cards Today blog. I'll also be posting more here as the days go by. For now, we're off to a Christmas Parade....Advent Calendar item #1 about to be checked off! :)

Have a wonderful weekend!


Friday, November 30, 2012

It's a Silhouette Christmas Countdown.

Hello there! 

Happy Friday & Happy Last Day of November! What!?! I swear time hits warp speed once Thanksgiving has passed! And even though it was an early one this year so there "should" be more time to get things done, I sure haven't seen or felt it! (Seriously, where did it go?!)
In a valiant effort to stay on top of things, every chance I get I've been burying myself in holiday prep so that I can actually enjoy the wonderful festivities when they do get here! And this is just one project that I was so excited to complete!

Count down to Christmas with the Silhouette advent calendar. This limited edition advent calendar kit comes with a full set of shapes that can be arranged any way you like. Use your Silhouette and your favorite paper to customize the calendar in your own style. With different decorations, the advent calendar can be used for any occasion.

The fabulous folks at Silhouette generously offered to send me one of their new Limited Edition 2012 Advent calendars to play with. I was so excited as I absolutely loved the one I did of theirs last year, but that one was a bit bulky and I was looking for something more streamlined. This one is just PERFECT! I especially love that this year's calendar is more "activity" related than filled with treats. Anything that gets me spending more time with my family is awesome in my book! And of cours this is still going to look adorable holding some Instagram pics AFTER the holidays! I love giving things dual purposes. 

I admit I opted for a non-traditional holiday palette, but I really wanted this calendar to hang in my family room that has lots of kraft, aqua and chocolate browns. By picking limited colors I was able to keep a nice clean look to the project. 
Supplies: Bazzill & BoBunny cardstock, BasicGrey stickers, Stampin' Up Snowflake punch, Fiskars star punches, EK Success circle punches, Bazzill brads, Jute, Silhouette files (banners, etc.)

Isn't it so fun!? Each little pocket or envelope holds a little note with an idea for a family activity for the day. So perfect! Now I have to admit I didn't have the easiest time coming up with 25 holiday inspired things to do, but I gave it my best and some of my close friends on Pinterest (how I love that site!).

Here's the list I compiled that fits into our Christmas plans. Please feel free to incorporate some (or all) into yours!

1. Participate in our town's Christmas Parade.
2. Take time to appreciate the true meaning of the Season. For unto you a Child is born...
3. Drink Hot Cocoa while watching a favorite Christmas movie.
4. Write letters to Santa.
5. Set out shoes for St. Nicholas to fill.
6. Have a family game night.
7. Spend time deciding on a family service project.
8. Make chocolate peppermint cookies with mom.
9. Do something nice for someone...just because.
10. Pick your favorite Christmas carol and sing it at the top of your lungs.
11. Visit Santa.
12. Take a trip around town to admire the holiday lights.
13. Kiss someone special under the Mistletoe.
14. Host a cookie exchange.
15. Attend a Christmas pageant or play.
16. Go ice skating.
17. Make handmade gifts for neighbors and friends.
18. Decorate a gingerbread house...with EXTRA candy.
19. Have the kids (and adults) donate to a bell-ringer's bucket.
20. Wrap presents for each other. 
21. Dinner by Candlelight on this, the longest night of the year!
22. Camp out under the Christmas tree.
23. Open one present from a brother of your choice.
24. Read the full Christmas Story from the Bible.
25. ...who is Christ the LORD. Merry Christmas!

So as a special offer to my awesome blog readers, you can get one yourself for 40% off if you order TODAY and use the code BLACK at checkout!
Here's to a wonderful Holiday Season!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

It's the start of the HOLIDAY Season!


Happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S. friends! I hope it was a wonderful one for you and that you were able to spend it with those you love. We had a spectacular 60+ degree day and spent a great deal of time sitting outside chatting with family. It was perfect. I truly adore Thanksgiving - it's one of my favorite holidays because it focuses on gratitude, family, friends...and food! It doesn't get much better than that....unless you count the kicking off the HOLIDAY SHOPPING season! ;)

Anyhow, in the spirit of the gift-giving, I wanted to share with you what could be a really fun and "not too difficult" project for you to tackle that I'm sure anyone would love. Recently I spent a couple of days over at the Scrapbook & Cards Today blog talking about Pinterest and how I spend way too much time pinning all the eye candy and not nearly enough time "doing." So I decided to fix that. I challenged myself to make at least one item from my many pins that I've been meaning to make for a while. 
This is what I came up with:
After searching in my  “one day when I have time” pin folder I came across these gorgeous stretched burlap letters.  I had hoped that it would be a tutorial, but when I checked further, it turns out that those lovely letters are by a talented Etsy seller by the name of The Virginia House. So I did a little research on her blog and found out a bit of info to help me make some of my own.
Here is what I found I needed:  

Burlap (I went to our local feed store and bought an actual burlap bag for 1.99. I think I’m going back to buy more to turn into pillows using the cool print you can find on them!)
Wooden frames
Reynolds Freezer paper (WHY hadn’t I known about this stuff before?)
Black paint
Sponge brush
Staple gun
Craft knife

Before I get going any further, I just have to talk about this freezer paper. I had NO idea it existed but check it out – right on the packaging it mentions its specific uses in the crafty area! How cool right? It’s basically got a paper coating on one side and a waxy coating on the other. It makes perfect stenciling templates as I’m about to show you!

First, I printed the monogram I wanted onto a sheet of paper. I checked the size to make sure that’s what I wanted, then I laid the freezer paper over it (paper side up) and traced it.

After tracing, I carefully cut out the letter using a craft knife.

After the monogram is cut out, lay the freezer paper (paper side up) onto the burlap cut large enough to wrap around the wooden frame (Trust me, this is important as with my first attempt I cut a piece way too small!) then iron it on. Do not use steam and make sure to really hit the areas that have the fine cuts so that they are extra secure.

Using a sponge brush, paint the letter with paint color of choice. I think a thicker paint would work better so that it doesn’t get the chance to run. However once I did that, I came back with a slightly thinner coat to really make sure the letter was covered. Take caution at the finer areas so that they don’t get over-saturated. Let dry completely. I used a hairdryer to help speed this up a bit as I’m not very patient!

Remove freezer paper template once the paint is completely dry then stretch the burlap onto the wooden frame and secure with the staple gun.

Then display your piece of artwork with pride! (This is a shelf in my scrap room, of course!)

What I learned in the process:
1. Most of this went beautifully, but I didn’t cut the canvas large enough the first time and therefore it was extremely hard to stretch. Give yourself plenty of working space.
2. It can be a little tricky to center your monogram onto your frame once it’s been painted. Practice patience!
3. Gallery wrap the at the sides of the canvas rather than at the top and bottom so that if you want it to sit on a shelf, it sits a little flatter.

I hope this has inspired you to get your creative mojo going and I can’t wait to see what you’ve created! Happy Thanksgiving!


Friday, November 02, 2012

***Giveaway CLOSED***It's MY Birthday, but I want to give YOU a present...


Good morning!

I hope you are having a wonderful day! It's been a bittersweet one for me already as I have just sent my oldest out on his first class trip and on my birthday, too! The house is eerily quiet without him and I think I miss him already!

But speaking of my house and my birthday (what a segue, I know), I am excited to share a little of both with you today. Recently I have had the honor of working with Little Yellow Bicycle and my amazing friend Courtney Walsh in promoting LYB's new release, Acorn Hollow, and celebrating Courtney's brand new Sweethaven book series. 

Courtney's heartwarming novels include themes including friendship and scrapbooking (Hello!!)  and they pair so amazingly well with Little Yellow Bicycle's fall line Acorn Hollow so I absolutely jumped at the chance to work with them both.

Here's a little bit about my challenge from Courtney and what transpired:

From Courtney---One of the most important things in my life is that sense of "home." Perhaps that's why it was so important to include the word "Homecoming" in the title of my second novel... because I think there's something universal about that feeling of belonging that you only get when you're home. It's a common theme throughout the novels as Sweethaven is the place my characters can go and truly feel like themselves...

Having moved around a LOT the past few years, Home is more important to me than ever...which is why for this second Sweethaven-inspired prompt, I asked my sweet and hugely talented friend Kelly Goree to create an Acorn Hollow layout that highlights the things she loves most about her home.

I didn't expect that topic to strike such a chord, but for Kelly, it's the home itself that has the most meaning. Having been in her family for four generations, there's something special about those four walls...and what better way to document it than in the pages of her scrapbook?

And here is the page I created with Acorn Hollow based on Courtney's prompt:

One of my favorite things about my home is my home itself. It was once my grandmother's and four generations of my family have lived here. The layout is a replica of my house and the doors and windows all open to show features of the house as well as provide journaling about why this house is special to me.

The detail shot of the front door pretty much shows you exactly what you see when you open my front door which I thought was fun.

And a couple more images:

And as I mentioned, I can't share pretty paper without having a giveaway. Besides it's my birthday and I want to do something nice and fun for you. So what is better than ONE giveaway? Why, TWO of course! So here is how you can win:

And the WINNER IS:

Congratulations! PLEASE Contact me at kelly(dot)goree(at)gmail(dot)com to claim your prize!

 GIVEAWAY 1 - Hop on over to the LITTLE YELLOW BICYCLE BLOG where they are giving away a copy of Courtney's book A Sweethaven Homecoming. Just tell them what home means to you and they'll will choose a lucky winner from the comments left on their blog.
Screen Shot 2012-08-20 at 7.49.01 AM
GIVEAWAY 2 - RIGHT HERE!! Just leave me a comment letting me know what you love most about fall and you'll be entered to win your own collection of Little Yellow Bicycle's ACORN HOLLOW!

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Happy Halloween & WELCOME NOVEMBER!

Hello, all!!

Welcome to NOVEMBER!! Whoot! So glad to see October its way out the door. It was one doozy of a month, but before we let it go, the Goree family sent it out with a bang - Halloween style!

It's long been known that I freaking adore Halloween!I love the colors, I love the crisp air, I love the falling leaves, and I have the most fun making coordinating costumes for the boys! Unfortunately as always, I was running behind in getting these made and they may or may not have been completely dry when we headed out the door! ;)

This year's theme as thought up by my husband - and executed by me (I have to get that in there!) - was PAC MAN. I have to admit as a true child of the 80's I was a Pac Man champ! It was my game - even above Centipede and Donkey Kong - so this was SO much fun (and relatively easy) to do. 

A couple of moving boxes, a few cans of spray paint and some of my cardstock stash and voila - a video game come to life. Wocka, wocka!

Even Ms. Pac Man got in on the deal. Looks like I got run down by the red ghost, Blinky. Better go eat my large white dot....

And now I get to chase them!

It was chilly, but at least the rain stayed away. It reminded me of my Halloweens of childhood!

 LOL I loved seeing the back of their costumes walking down the street. It made me smile!

I hope your Halloween was just as festive and that everyone stayed safe. Please come back tomorrow because even though it's MY birthday, I'm giving one of you special people a gift and sharing some more fun with Little Yellow Bicycle's Acorn Hollow & the amazing Courtney Walsh!

Here's to NOVEMBER! (here here!)


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wow. Catching up. Big Time. Meet Scout.

Well, hello out there!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! It has been brought to my attention (sometimes not so subtly ;)) that I haven't really posted about anything to this old blog except for work-related stuff and I know even that's been limited. That's been somewhat intentional, but as I got to thinking about it, I realized that I really do love looking back at past posts and seeing what had been happening in our lives at that moment. 

So in a *small* effort to fix that situation, let's start with one of the biggest things that happened to us this summer. 
Meet Scout! 
(Scout is very fitting name for this pup since all my boys are scouts and my husband is a Scout Master! I just can't get away from it!)
Scout is our (at the time) 11-month-old chocolate lab rescue pup. 

Isn't he the cutest?! The story of how he came to us is really very serendipitous (and long!) but I'll condense it by saying both our family AND Scout got really lucky when we found each other. Scout was adopted through the WAY HOME RESCUE ALLIANCE and they and his foster mom, Lori, were amazing. 

Ethan and Me on one of our first visits with Scout.

 He fit right in with the crew if you couldn't tell. In this photo he'd just been with us a few days and already owner & pup were starting to look alike! ;)

One of the first activities we did with Scout was canoeing. I think at this point we had only had him for a couple of weeks. We weren't sure how he'd do, but he was amazing - or at least he didn't roll the canoe which was all we could ask for! 

  I swear this photo should appear in an outdoor magazine which is really comical since I am so NOT an outdoorsy person! This is Dad, Turner and Scout as we first set out. I was in another canoe with Ethan and Carson and trying to take pictures. (Er, that didn't always work out so well.)

This was the day, though, that led to us realizing that we couldn't have gotten a more perfect dog for us. Not long after the photo above was taken, Scout decided he needed to use the restroom. The only place we could find that had a bank for him to get out on also had a giant rope swing. So while Scout did his business, the boys took turns jumping off the swing and into the water. It was great fun! At least the boys thought so. 
But Scout? He wasn't so happy. 
He was so anxious that his boys were in the water and the next thing we know, this happened:

The pup started jumping in the water and "rescuing" them from the river! He grabbed Carson by the shirt first and dragged him back to shore. Turner was next on his list. Just look at the determination in his eyes! Bless him. We stopped after this because we didn't want to give the pup pure fits, but I was so proud of him!

Now he's a true part of the family. The boys love him and he loves them. It's crazy. I guess it really is true that every boy needs a dog and every dog needs a boy...or three.

We celebrated his birthday complete with balloons (okay, so it was really the neighbor's birthday, but we took good advantage of the timing!) and belly rubs around. 

I'm sure you'll be seeing much more of him in future posts and pictures. And before anyone asks, yes, now I have FIVE boys - my boys, the husband and now the dog. sigh.  

It never ends!