Friday, December 30, 2011

Blast from the Past

I've been writing this blog for a long time!  I thought I'd go back to one of my first months of posting and find some cute card I created over 5 years ago.  Do you believe? 

What an awesome way this computer allows us to record history.  How will documenting digital photos and blogs, emails and webs and all the other technology be in another 5 years.  Where will I be then???
I recently caught up with a friend from college.  Can you find me in this dated picture from 1983???? I thought that there was never a picture taken of her and I together... and she told me, yes! just the one for the yearbook.  Good memory.  So sad almost 30 years ago.... documenting 'history' was so odd, cheap cameras, expensive film, expensive developing fees... and boxes full of photos that were blurry or heads cut off!

This is my personal daily diary.  Thanks for visiting and taking this journey with me.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

 Making mini scrapbooks.... these are so much fun and they take time and planning.  I love using my leftovers to create a fantastic page with different do-dads to see and interactive pockets to pull whimsy tags from. We'll call this one a shabby chic with lacey ribbon a fabric flower and some pearlized buttons. You can see a bit of corrugated cardboard, a paper rose bud and a flower pick or pin that is holding 3 little tags and an embossed button with what looks to be a butterfly?
Here's a side view A: because I think it's cool picture to take a close up of all the textures. B: always practicing my picture taking.  This mini is for sale.... not sure what a reasonable price would be for it.  Have any ideas?  Please, please leave me a comment... does the comment section work?????? The size is approximately 4-1/2"H x 6-1/2" W... room for little photos, or a journaling book to jot your favorite quotes.

No snow yet!  It's the big talk around here.... a December without snow!  Yes it's odd, but then the complaints will start flying the first day we get 2".  It's global warming.
Supposed to be a 'warm' weekend... perfect for taking down all the outdoor decor and getting on with the new year!

The answer to yesterday's question....the college boy was picked to go on stage with Blue Man Group!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's in the Bag

Just a paper bag and some do-dads.  I was surfing around and one place I visit often Mish Mash always has super cute 'stuff'.  One is these paper bags that are folded and then sewn around three sides.  They are perfect for a gift of 2 cards with envelopes, or hot chocolate and a special cookie, or a little notebook and pencil.  She has a unique and fun way of putting so many things together and it looks so organized and festive!
Here is a close up version of one, with ribbons and a doily, bows and paper flowers, paper scraps and a button.  The vintage type of tag is perfect for writing the sentiment.  The present is already wrapped and now is ready to just be 'stuffed'
And here, going all monochromatic is a great way to mix and match all the onesy do-dads you having laying around.  I think I'll make more of these and find fun stuff to add to the mix... in a similar color.
500+ people in the audience.  4 members of the Robinson family.  3 Blue Men. 2 audience members get pulled on stage. One person from our family was one of them.  Can you guess who got pulled on stage during yesterdays 2 pm performance of Blue Man group in Chicago Illinois??

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Supreme Gift

What is the old saying... it's better to give than to receive? 

I was so excited about this little gift box.  I truly believe, NOW, that I work so much better under pressure.  I up-cycled the gift box.  Not a very good view here, but it was like half a cereal box that I just formed and glued Christmas patterned paper around.  Then I stuffed the box with some cre8tive greetings!!  A twelve variety pack of cards from a Christmas note to a get well card, to a thank you to a Zindorf specialty note.
On the sides of the gift box I made these 'super' cute tags from Laura at Following the paper trail.  That girl has some very intering and unique ideas.  It's fun to capture her ideas and then make it with what I have on hand.  The tags are interactive, so there is the black base, but then there are pockets on both sides that house other smaller tags, and all the cards match with the same themed paper.  And then cute ribbon bows 'tie' them all together but also make the box look fluffy on full on top.
And then finally, in the back of the box is this bright and cheery mini scrapbook.  Although and of course I love making cards... putting together these mini scrapbooks is ultimate fun. 

It is the challenge for me now to create all the different embellishments.. the tabs, the tags, the pockets, the flowers, the clip the ribbon.

So this ultimate supreme gift went to my husbands awesome WORK SPOUSE.  Have you heard that term?  It could be a Hollywood thing.  But my husbands Admin. Assistant sees him more than I do, and feels the stresses of his job ... more than I do!!!  So she is his work spouse (without benefits) once I got the idea and thought of this gift, I was like a mad woman on a cre8tive frenzy.  I had so many ideas, I was working up a sweat, my work area was getting smaller and smaller and there were more scraps on the floor than in the garbage can.  Finished....I stuck it in his car so he wouldn't forget to take it to work.... da, da da......... she took a few days of vacation .... early.... so he wasn't able to give it to her.  Boo hoo!! Deep breath.  It's the thought..... oh well!

What can I cre8te for you!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day After Christmas Day

I love this Santa card.... I wont be able to give him away unless I make more.  I think this is just the cutest cut out card, and it puts a smile on my face and a twinkle in my eye!  Embossed his beard and mustache and eyebrows, the swirls give him all the cute curliness.  A few pieces and parts are popped out and inked. A little white gel ads some twinkle.

Sometimes you just need a plain thank you card.  A way to give thanks that isn't too pretty it takes away from the message.  So this is basic plaid Christmas paper with a simple sentiment.  Cuddlebugged... or embossed the front of the card stock to make the card more than just basic.
Sending out New Year cards this year.  Happy New Year!! The next holiday.  I wrote a quick newsletter that highlights our year.  Just click on the top picture with the candy can on the leftside of my blog: Robinson Replay if you are interested.

So far, I'm loving our winter, blue skies and sunshine, no snow on the ground.  We had a good Christmas, may wait a few days to take things back that didn't fit or work out. 

Need to purge a few piles and get ready to start a fresh new year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Coast on This

I found a fun way to combine my photo art and my graphic design with a little Mod Podge and some tiles.  A few months ago someone pinned  (on Pinterest) these adorable coasters and the directions how to make them.
I'm hooked!  Simple, unique and beautiful personalized gifts to give.  These happen to have pictures of my next door neighbor's breath taking pond.  This summer I got on my knees and took colorful pictures from every angle.  I've been playing with them in my photo library and thought they would make a perfect gift and I chose and cropped the four most colorful pictures and printed them out. The ink jet printer slightly bled in spots, but it makes the photos look almost watercolor like!
I put felt feet under the four corners so that they wouldn't scratch the table top.  What's funny is after I bought my first few tiles for .16c at Home Depot I was cleaning out from behind our basement steps and found boxes of tiles (put there by the original home owners) FREE tiles!
I took an on-line class learning a few techniques in Photo Shop Elements and one of our projects was creating a page that looked like Subway poster art.  I scaled that down and used my friend's name and a few words about them to create a fun personalized tile (coaster), printed that out 4-1/4" x 4-1/4" and Mod Podged a few coats and then sealed it off with a spray sealant.

Positive reviews on the coaster tile art!!!!  They even 'feel' fun!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wing and a Wish

I haven't made a Zindorf card in a while, but I thought when I saw this tutorial come up, that it would be a perfect card for my mother-in-law who celebrated her birthday yesterday.  Happy Birthday J!!!

This punched bird from Stampin Up! has become so popular that they even have stamped images of the bird, you'd stamp first and then punch.  Cool.  I like Zindorf's techniques though, just adding shading below the wing and the belly.

No snow yet.  Yes it does seem kind of weird, but I will not complain about it, because I know it will happen, one flake ... two.... then before you know it FEET of snow!

Sissy is officially on Winter break ... so once again my routine will change.  Last year at this time we were heading to Florida for our cruise to the Bahamas and Jamaica.

Buy more cards to send as FuN MaiL....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our little round corner of the World

I missed a day yesterday blogging... it kind of felt strange, but you know what, it's okay!
Here's my llittle cyber Christmas card to you all. A few pictures out my corner of the world.
Although I feel the excitement and the thrill around this time of year, I also sense the stress to get everything done and have everything magical by Christmas day.  To those who can do that with a jolly smile on their face and a caring heart bursting with love, I give them much credit for all they do!
Now get back to that wrapping!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Seeing Red

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care... see them in the background?

We had a diversified weekend.  Friday night the hubster got home from work and we turned right around and went back the same direction to the Sears Center to watch the Chicago Express minor hockey league play. (FREE tickets) I had never heard of them before. They aren't even the minor league for the Blackhawks... minor league for some Ohio team... dollar hot dogs and beer night.  Lots of families and young kid hockey teams in groups, loud music and lots of give-a-ways.

We woke to about an inch of wet snow on the ground, easy to shovel and easy to melt. Saturday night we went to a neighbors Christmas party.  Their house is decorated beautifully.  I'm just amazed.  It makes me want to do more around my own house, but then I think... happily that I have less to take down and pack away.

Sunday the Packers weren't being shown locally, we had to listen to them lose on the radio... boo.  But we went out to celebrate dear hubby, dear daddy's birthday... a day early!

I've heard people complain that it doesn't seem like Christmas because we don't have any snow.  It was wonderful being able to run all the errands and not have to worry about other crazy drivers in the snow!
Beautiful day on Jeff's birthday... sunny and 42 degrees.. wishing him a great day!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Present

A great gal and a cyber friend of mine have been writing a blog for a few months.  To give you a sneak peak what we do, here is my post re-typed here today, because it is very special to my heart! ♥

Yesterday's the past and tomorrow's the future. Today is a gift - which is why they call it the present

Every day is an amazing day! And I mean every day!

One of my all time favorite Christmas presents wasn’t actually the gift, but how it was presented to me.

Twenty-one years ago my husband and I were newlyweds in our first apartment together. He was actually still trying to impress me.  That is one of my love languages. Subtle surprises with a lot of thought behind it. I can’t quite remember all the details behind the actual gift but I must say he put a lot of thought into how he was going to give it to me.

Christmas Eve 1990 we were excited to be sharing our first together as a married couple. I was tired after a day of active people watching at the Mall. That was one thing we loved to do. It was especially fun on Christmas Eve because we were done with our shopping and we just sat and watched all the people scurrying around with crazed looks on their faces in a panic to find last minute gifts, something… anything. After our fun day at the mall and a leisure night, I eventually kissed my husband and said goodnight knowing he had ‘something’ to do.

Just like any kid around Christmas time, the anticipation of what gifts I might be getting was killing me, but I was truly exhausted and fell sound asleep. Christmas morning we woke together. My husband is ever and always the cool one, he has this smirk on his face when he is up to something, but that’s all I know. As we got out of bed I noticed from the hallway in our small apartment that there was an extra bright light shinning. I thought that maybe he upped the tree lights in the living room. He kind of shoved me forward out of our master suite and I peeked around the door frame. He was still pushing me a bit and I became very nervous.

Not only was the tree on and lit, but there was a person standing next to the tree with a spotlight on them! I was surprised and turned around into him screaming and stomping my feet slapping him with my hand… “Oh my God, there is someone standing there!!” With a laughing grin on his face, he turned me around and pushed me forward. In cartoons the characters put the brakes on, I was actually planting my feet into the carpeting and he kept shoving me forward.

Now what’s worse is that I have very poor eyesight, I need help from my contacts and glasses. My glasses prescription isn’t always the best, it relieves me from constant eye fatigue that I might get from wearing my contacts ALL the time. So, the person next to the tree was really fuzzy looking from that distance. He finally dragged me literally kicking and screaming toward the tree where I finally saw that it was a full mannequin dressed in a brand new outfit, my Christmas present from my new husband.

I looked at him and we both fell back laughing really hard. I didn’t stop lovingly slapping him in shock and disbelief.

That dear sweet man had gone out and first of all, found and bought an outfit from head to toe that I had commented on while window shopping. Then he placed many phone calls trying to find a store to rent a full bodied mannequin. He then while I ‘slept’, dressed the mannequin, placed it by the tree, set up a spotlight and got it ready to flip the switch so that before I woke on Christmas morning it was styled and waiting for me!

Like I said at the beginning, every day is an amazing day. With the technology available now, it has become a trend to record special moments in a couple’s life. Recently I have been watching YouTube snippets of marriage proposals. The thought and planning that goes on for some of these events is just mind boggling. It would be amazing if my hubby had been able to record his thoughts and ideas of planning my special present. Here he is walking into a rental shop looking for a body, then bringing it out in pieces and putting it in the trunk of his car. Waiting for me to go to bed and the nervousness he felt putting the clothes on and getting the body together. Then as he nudges me to wake up, camera zooms in on my face and I say “what are you smirking about?” And then the reaction of me hitting him in the chest and squealing and dancing around screaming that someone is in our apartment…. As the camera pans to the lifeless mannequin perfectly posed with an outdoor spotlight shinning on her catty wumpus wig!

It’s a good thing to have a memory and be able to articulate and write the stories down. We might not become a YouTube sensation, but the twinkle in my eye is the light to the camera in my mind as I remember what a sweet and kind man that is in my life, giving me the wonderful gift of his laughter and love!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Snowball Fight

I know it's coming... too mild of a December to not think we're going to be hit big time with snow!  This snowman is ready for a good old fashioned snowball fight though!

I used the Cuttle bug to emboss the bubble pattern on the background.  I think it's a bit too much, but it sure adds dimension to the overall card.  I love the bright colors of his hat and scarf... he sure doesn't look like a boring snowman!

You get another look at my card stand, my treasured Flower Frog!

I think it's time to start wrapping some of the Christmas gifts or I'll forget all my hiding spots and then people wont get their gifts.  Taking the Pommy to the vet... he's just seeming to be his old cranky self.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It Takes Guts

Inside the bluesy mini scrapbook I showed you yesterday, are 6 envelopes decorated with pretty snowfall patterned paper.  Each envelope is cut so that there is a separate tag inside for journaling or a cute winter photo.  (I just make the mini scrapbooks, I don't fill it with photos or journaling, or scraps from an event)

I kept the snowflake theme throughout the book.  This is my favorite Martha Stewart punch.
I had fun trying to 'work' the embellishments.  That's one thing in mini scrapbook making that I have difficulty with.  Since I don't purchase the parts and pieces, it's making the embellishment items look like they are unique and that they belong, have a purpose for enlightenment on the page. 

Made lots of mini tags in blues and craft paper brown.  Added white ink smudge marks to the edges. It gives this book a slight grunge look, which is a good thing.
Love this patterned paper by Bo-Bunny.  It comes in a 6"x6" pack, all with designer coordinating colors, so you really don't have to think, all the pages match.  The circle lolly with the 4 snowflakes is actually on a clip that can be removed.  I like creating fun beaded charms with all my left over beads, it adds a great dangle.  Below the beads are a few more layered tags to give dimension to the front cover.  The ribbon is seam binding tape that I learned accepts Glimmer Mist.  So, you can make the white ribbon ANY color of the rainbow and more, if you purchase ALL the colors.  I just happened to have a blue... that worked out perfectly.

Went to a job interview yesterday.  I was not nervous at all.  I feel I've been to so many, but it was the first time I was in a group interview.  Two managers and 5 potential employees, all in one room.  They asked us questions and went around the room waiting for each one of us to give our take on what we would do in a situation.  Hmmm, do I feel good about it....? I don't really know what to think.... Stay tuned to see what happens!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Having the Blues

 Using a mish mash of different techniques and styles I created  a unique one of a kind Christmas gift for a friend and her two daughters, all things match in hues of blue.

Above are two personalized gift card holders. They are about 2-1/2"H x 4"W.  I have a lot of the very large chip board letters laying in my stash so I added some of the patterned paper, roughed the edges and then inked them.  Added them to the top of the white inked tag and topped that on the gift card holder.  I Glimmer misted the white ribbon so that it would coordinate with the blue color scheme.  Topped each letter with the perfect Martha Stewart snowflake punch. The gift card holders close together with velcro.
 When I make a mini scrap book after I use directions fro Following the Paper Trail with Laura, I have gotten in the habit of making  a matching card from the left over scraps.  That way, if I give the mini scrap book as a gift, I don't have to scramble to find a similar card.... one already matches from the scraps.  A snowman who has the blues. You've seen this snowman in a recent post.
Front cover view of the 'stacked' mini album.  I'll show the guts on another post.  I really love how all the elements came out on this mini made with small envelopes.   Topped with ribbons and bows, snowflakes an lolly flowers, tulle and beaded charms and a whole lot of inking going on.

So this is really a gift with a mix, but everything matches.  Gotta love that!  And it's made with a whole lotta loving going on!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Reindeer Pause

I like goofy and whimsical.  They are even both fun words to say!  These reindeer are pretty cute popping up on their paws to wish someone a Happy Holidays.

Last week I was visiting Archiver's and I really love to slowly walk around and capture the ambiance of the place.  I love to look at all the cards, projects and page layouts they have posted above the products.  Good marketing tool.  The one thing I realized however is that most of my CASe-ing is about 3X the size of the actual stamp.  Sometimes I have to do a double take when I see a familiar image. I think wow! that's cute, oh yeah, I've CASed that before.... my is it tiny... I would never be able to draw it so small.

This is just a basic card layout with a framed image and patterned holiday paper.  I put some glitter stickles on the stars to give the card a bit of a pop!

Excitement of the holiday is all around.  You can feel the stress in the air too.  Great Packer win over the weekend!  We Skyped Bubba (aka College Boy) he's got finals this week, give him a little supportive prayer.  He leaves campus for a whole month Thursday night, same bus to Woodfield Mall.  Sissy went to the Winter dance... she dressed at someone elses house, so we don't even know what she looked like.  I have a sick Pom Puppy today :(  Last minute stocking stuffers shopping....

Friday, December 09, 2011

Frogs & Birds

Here's a cutie pie bird chirping away a happy holiday song. 

He is one of my CASe Study projects of the week.  Bright colors are from my new BIC markers.  They almost work like Copic markers.  If I go over the color multiple times I can get that darker shading and it looks like the objects have more dimension. I got 24 pens for $12 at Sam's Club.

Title Frog... you may wonder what that means.  I scored this week while shopping at M's.  Oh the excitement I have I'm sure y'all can't quite understand... but for at least 3 years I have been casually looking for the needle circle thingy that is holding the card up in the photo above Flower Frog.  It is mainly used for fresh floral designs, putting the stems of the flowers in and submerging this in water. 

And for years I have seen card makers using this as a way to display and hold their cards while taking a photo.  I thought I'd have to find one on EBay.....and for $3.99 at M's I saw the last one on the hook and grabbed it with giddy excitement.  It is to me like a little treasure.... to be LIKE all those other 'cool' crafters.  Ta-da!!

Brrrr.... sunny and 16 degrees out.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Small Subway Art

A few weeks ago I took an online Photoshop class and learned to make a grungy piece of word artwork that you might see on a poster in the subway. If you're interested scroll down to find the original poster that I made.... if I followed the instructions, the poster size print would be 16" x 24".  I adjusted the size to print at home on an 8-1/2 x 11 and put it in a frame.

I love the look and the technique and tried to figure out another way to use what I learned in the class, and brought it down on a much, much smaller scale... a drink coaster.

Lots of different fonts, sizes and color blocks.... the giftee's name a ton of times and fun things about them, with a little scruffiness on the edges make this 15 cent tile a great personalized gift.  Found the original tile coaster idea on Pinterest.  After a few coats of Mod Podge I laid my printed copy on top of an almost dried layer and then added multiple more coats of the glue on top to seal the paper on to the tile.  Finished off the top with a clear sealant spray and glued felt circles on the bottom to ease any rough-ness.

I actually found lots of extra tiles under our basement stairs.... Free!!!  Knock on wood.... no floor tiles or back splashes or shower surrounds have broke in the past 5 years..... so, I can use a few of the extra tiles, for crafting can't I????

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Flakey Snowman

How do you like the new Christmas colors and layout for my blog?  It's still a work in progress.  I may change things up if I'm feeling 'more' crea8tive
Another day and another punched art snowman.  Can't get more simpler than two circles and he looks adorkable! Snow gals would certainly have eyelashes!!!

Just pluggin' along, decorating the house, purchasing Christmas presents, talking to friends near and far, crafting in my cre8tive space, cooking new dishes.... life is good!  Stay tuned for any unusual things... I'm due for some excitement, change, balance... winning the lottery? Waiting for opportunity to knock so I can fling open the door!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Color Blocking

Although it's Christmas time, it doesn't mean that all other holidays or special events stop happening. Every day is someone's birthday, or a couple celebrates their anniversary, or a baby is announced or someone should be thought of ... so I keep cre8ting and continually find new paper crafts for my CASe Studies, so I have plenty of FuN MaiL and whimsical gifts ready. Plus, it's so much fun to cre8te!

The color blocking card above could be any color combination (red & green with a Holiday wreath)... with any stamped image... with any sentiment. I'll probably make more cards with this same layout. This one happens to be a birthday card in purples and grey.

Helped the economy and did a little shopping today, and am pleased to report that in most all stores that gladly took my money, I encountered happy and personable sales people. It was almost like they've all been told to be super nice to 'our customers' because it's their money that supports us and gives them a job. Be happy!!! Well, I noticed... and it really made my day!! Maybe it was the shopping high??? Okay, I'll stay home and clean today!!!


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