Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Ok, I just finished up all my gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week.  I made these earlier this year {here} and decided to do them during Teacher Appreciation week as well.  This time I found Cadbury chocolate bars 4 for $5 and figured they would work great – one of the days this week is *give your teacher something sweet* or something like that.  Perfect!  Now I’ve seen these lots of times using the large Hershey bars…..but I like the size of the Cadbury ones – you get two out of a 12×12 sheet of cardstock.  And they taste good!

Candy Bar Sleeve Measurements: (for Cadbury Bar)

Cardstock – 7 1/2 in x 6 in

Patterned paper – 7 1/2 in x 5 in

I personalized these – they are for people all 3 boys have like Music, Art, etc. – using JustRite products.  I love that you can do that!  Personal, but still easy to make lots!

Here’s the big pile of them!


Up close of one opened up:


And up close of just one of them:


supplies: JustRite Brayton Font; DIY Monogram Stamper block; small letter set; Pure Luxury layering weight white cardstock; various inks; Various patterned papers; Classic Circle nestabilities; Prism Cardstocks; SU punch; and various ribbons.

Now, I didn’t take photos to do a full tutorial, but here are the steps written out.

1. Take 7 1/2 in x 6 in piece of cardstock and lay it face down on your table.

2.  Run red-liner (or scor-tape) alone one end.

3.  Lay candy bar on paper.

4. Wrap cardstock around bar using the red-liner tape to hold it shut.

5. Slide candy bar out of cardstock holder.

6. Punch ribbon holes through one end of holder.

7.  Wrap ribbon around candy bar with ends untied.

8.  Slide candy bar back into holder with ribbon ends at the end with the holes.

9.  Pull ribbon out of the holes on either side of the holder and then tie a bow at the top.  This should allow you to pull the ribbon (not undoing the bow, just hold it to pull) and slide the candy bar up and down in the holder.

10.  Take patterned paper and put face down on table.

11.  Run red-liner tape along one end.  Put a little adhesive on the middle as well.

12.  Stick adhesive side on the front of your cardstock holder.  Then wrap around the holder and use the red-liner tape to hold it around.

That’s it!  Does that make any sense?  If not, I’ll try to do another with photos.

And guess what??  The Stamp Castle has decided to try and make a go of it and stay OPEN!  I am so glad!  I know that they really enjoy what they do and I really hope that they can stay in business.  I’ve even got a coupon code to share with you, they have some more of the newer JustRite products, and they have other goodies there too!  So if you’d like to make some personalized gifts like this, be sure to stop by The Stamp Castle and pick up some of these letter stamps!

The Stamp Castle coupon code:

FREE shipping on orders over $60.

Choose *priority shipping* and you will receive FREE shipping on orders over $60!  Use the coupon code EMILY1

*Only valid on US orders*

Offer ends May 31st, 2009.

Gina K Release

I am really excited about this – my first Digital Paper Pack for Gina K Designs!  I cannot tell you how thrilling it has been to see the other Design Team Members use them and I am looking forward to see what y’all do with them too!  Here is the preview of them:


*created at 150-200 dpi*

They come in both 8.5×11 and 12×12 so you can choose what size you would like!  I have printed them all out and I am really happy with how they look!  I have both glossy and matte brochure/flyer paper I purchased from Staples.  This works really well for printing patterned papers as it’s not too thin or too thick and it has a nice consistency.  Sometimes I like the glossy look – for certain papers it really works!

Also there is a FREE pack of 4 coordinating papers that I am giving away{HERE} – Gina has papers she’s sharing for FREE as well!  Be sure to check those out and give them a whirl!


I have also printed it on Pure Luxury cardstock as well – yesterday’s post used Ivory and it really worked with that paper!  Kurtis Amundson has put together a Tips booklet on working with and printing Digital Papers – I highly recommend checking it out if you are interested in using these.   You can find it here:

Digital Papers Tips Sheet

You can find more about the new releases from Gina K Designs on her blog {HERE}!

I hope you have a fantastic Friday!  I have another episode of A Gnome Saga for tomorrow….and it’s got a HUGE twist – stay tuned!

A quick tutorial…

I’ve got a quick tutorial for y’all today.  I’m sure many of you know how to do this – but since I had to dig out my brayer, I figured I might as well take photos and share it!  But first – Gina K had a NEW episode of StampTV!  You can find it {HERE}!  Again, she uses the Floral Frenzy Kit – and since she did, I did too!

Now this card was inspired by one I saw on SCS by Makiko Jones.   I decided to use some glossy cardstock because I accidentally picked up two packages last year at Recollections – I thought it was plain white that my Dad has asked for.  Ooops!  Anyway – I figured I’d better use it sometime!  So here’s a bit on how did the mask – I’m not sure that’s what this would actually be called, but that’s what I’m calling it!  Or I suppose it would be Reverse Masking….we’ll go with that!

Reverse Masking:


To start – I took a piece of cardstock (yes, yo yo yellow – cause let’s face it, I’m still using that first pack I bought when I started stamping 5 years ago….) and used a nestability to cut out a rectangle from the middle.


Then I taped the white glossy cardstock (glossy side down) on to the back of the yellow cut out.


Now you see the glossy side up through the yellow cardstock frame.


Then I ran the brayer over the kiwi kiss ink pad and onto to the glossy white cardstock. 


And I am sorry this shot turned out so fuzzy – but here it is – all colored underneath!


And since this was a card we made at class – I brayered them all in advance.  And that’s how they look finished!

This is the finished card:


 supplies: Elegant Flowers from the Floral Frenzy Kit by Gina K Designs; black soot distressed ink by Ranger; glossy white cardstock; Pure Luxury Base Weight White cardstock; SU kiwi kiss patterned paper; May Arts black ruffled ribbon; kiwi kiss ink; brayer;  classic circle nestabilities; classic rectangle nestabilities; basic black cardstock; and dimensionals.

Be sure to check out the new episode at StampTV – if you join (or are already a member) you can find my page {here}!  If you’d like to invite me as a friend, it’s easier to find me if you ever have any questions on there!

Stamping Space: New Toys!

So I’ve gotten a few new toys of late – and just didn’t have any place to put them!  I finally managed to convince Matthew that the computer needed to be relocated to a new room – woohoo!  So now the entire *study* is officially mine!

Here is how it used to look on that side of the room:

And now it looks like this!


Sweet, huh?  I finally got my sewing machine out!  It’s been in a box since I got it back in April (a birthday present)!  I am thrilled to have it out and useable….now for those lessons – Oh Jenn!!!    And next to it is my Cricut Expressions!  I picked up some of the black vinyl for the walls the other day and I play to do some words to put around the room – you know – some inspirational ones or something.  I am so excited to have space for these and now that they are out, I am sure I’ll use them more!

It’s still a little rough in there – but it’s coming along nicely!  However, that’s why I haven’t been up to much crafting lately – it’s been in upheaval for a while.  I am really looking forward to sewing on cards though – I’ve been dying to do that for years, lol!

And did you notice the special thing in that photo?  Here’s a better shot:


 Lookee what I found at Target in the $1 spot!  Yep, mailboxes!  In NEW colors!  They had some of the solid white, red and pink – but they had new metal ones and metallic pink ones (with a Strawberry Shortcake tag?)!  So you might want to check your Targets if you want some for this year!  I got mine the day after Christmas here – and yes, I left some at the Mansfield Target – I promise I did not buy them all!

You can find my Mail Box tutorial {HERE}!

All my Tutorials can be found {HERE}!

And all the organization and such for my Stamping Space {HERE}!

Now I am off to prepare for the boys’ NYE sleepover – 6 boys age 8 and under – SERENITY NOW!

Easy Monograms – the Perfect Christmas Gift

By now, y’all know how much I love monogrammed cards.  I think a monogrammed gift set of cards is useful, elegant, and personal.  But on the giving side – they are inexpensive, simple and easy to coordinate colors.  So all around a great gift!  Here are some I made last week – these are teacher Christmas gifts, can you believe I am starting already?!?  I sure can’t!  We’ll see if I get any more done before the day I have to give them….honestly I’d be shocked to not be up until 2am working on them the night before!

So here’s what you need to do these….

Monogram stamps – I get mine {HERE}…there are tons of styles and they are simple and easy to use.

12×12 patterned paper – either double sided with coordinating patterns/solids or two sheets that will work together.

some type of ribbon – I prefer 3/4 in satin ribbon myself.

Nestabilities or punches – I prefer the  classic circle nestabilities, but you can use anything for this part.


How I cut the cardstock:

I choose the paper I want for the bottom half of the card and cut a 12 x 3 1/4.  Then cut that into 3 1/4 x 4 in pieces.  This will get you 3 ‘bottoms’ from one strip.  (On the cards I’m showing here, I cut them into 3 x 4 in pieces…but I prefer the bigger ‘bottom’ card.)

For the tip portion of the card I cut a 12 x 2 in strip.  Then cut that into 2 x 4 in pieces.  You’ll get 3 ‘tops’ from one strip.  (Again, on the cards I’m showing here, I cut them into 2 1/4 x 4 in pieces…)

And here’s what they look like…..


supplies: Brayton Complete Font Set; DIY Monogram Stamper Special Occasions font kit; Classic and Petite Circle Nestabilities; white satin ribbon from Michaels; Pure Luxury white cardstock from Gina K Designs; Spring Moss and Aqua Mist palette ink from PTI; Spring Moss and Aqua Mist cardstock from PTI; and patterned paper from PTI.

And then just for a change of pace – and an excuse to use my bracket dies! – here’s another option!


supplies: Brayton Complete Font Set;  block from DIY Monogram Stamper Special Occasions font kit; Baja breeze cardstock and ink; sponge; Pure Luxury white cardstock from Gina K Designs; Label 1 nestability die; white satin ribbon from Michaels; dimensionals; and Baja Breeze patterend paper from SU.

Totally easy!  And you can package them with a ribbon around them or my personal favorite – in a clear card box!

Here are a few others I’ve done in the past:

Lime Green,  Guava set 1; Guava set 2; Damask; Floral; Pink/Brown; and Mixed.


Tiff’s Monograms

Wow – this was supposed to go up last night – but we spent the whole day at the local Water Park with the boys for my nephew’s birthday. Man were we wiped! And I put sunscreen on everyone every 2 hrs like clockwork – and some of us still got sunburned! Darn that freaky deaky hot Texas sun!

Anyway my SIL (well….really she’s my ex-step-sister-in-law……so we’ll just go with friend) Tiffany asked me to make her some monogram cards. She asked for them to be pink and black, but since she loved the {dress card} the other day – I figured I would make a few to go with that! But first – someone mentioned that they don’t know how to get their nestabilities to line up so nicely on their images. I thought perhaps some pictures of how I do it might help!

So I know the nestabilities say to put the die face up and then lay your cardstock on top of that. Riiiiight – I’d never get my stuff punched out correctly that way! I rely on SCOTCH TAPE! It is my friend! (If I am embossing a card base for a one layer card – I use eclipse strips instead because they are low tack and won’t tear your paper when you pull them up!) Here is how I do it:

First – I stamp the image and find the right size nestability.


Then I line the nestability up with where I want it punched out and tape it in place with a small piece of scotch tape.


That’s it! Then I run it through my cuttlebug – image side down – so that the cutting part of the die is facing up. I rarely get slippage this way – that’s it!

And now for the cards I made for Tiff.


supplies: DIY Monogram Stamper kit – Curlz font; border from Special Occasions Font Kit; patterned paper from LSS; vintage cream cardstock from PTI; black cardstock; olive twill from SU; black ruffled ribbon from May Arts; classic circle nestabilities; kiwi kiss cardstock and ink from SU (one of the new In Colors!); black American Crafts marker for the border; and dimensionals.

And on the second card in the set – I went over the border with a black atyou Spica Glitter Pen from Copic. It has a ton of shimmer in real life, but you can’t really see it in the picture. (it’s the one on the left in the photo)


Anyway – I hope she loves them! I’m off to finish cutting cardstock for my watercolor class tonight – fun times!

But just a reminder on the coupons I had posted earlier this week:

The Stamp Castle coupon:

free shipping on orders $40 or over
-code: SUMMER
-have to select regular Priority shipping
-valid on orders shipping to continental U.S. states only (excludes Hawaii and Alaska)

To shop at The Stamp Castle, click {here}. Enjoy!

Scrapbookpal.com FREE Pen Coupon:

Go to Scrapbookpal.com.

Purchase *anything*!

Add the coupon code freepen on the view cart page (Just type freepen into the box for coupons and click *add to cart* and the free .05 Black Millennium pen will appear! You do not need to add it to your card first!)

That’s it! And in case you need help finding something to purchase – I buy my Mono Multi (you know – best glue ever!!!) there as well as my Nestabilities! (They even have a good price on Zip Dry for those of you who prefer that!) Just remember – FREE shipping if you spend over $25! I love this cause I hate to pay for shipping!

Cuddles & Hugs Sneak Peek and a mini tutorial….

The release party starts at 7 pm Friday night! Not too much longer! My sneak peek today is of Melanie Muenchinger’s new animal set: Cuddles & Hugs! It’s really really cute – and I don’t even like animals! But first I have a little mini tutorial on how to line up words for the ribbon tag dies from Spellbinders.

For my card, I wanted to use two sentiments from Melanie’s set. This is how I got them lined up for the die.

Ribbon Tag Dies Tutorial – using more than one word/sentiment


First I set the die on my cardstock and lightly traced inside it with a pencil.


Remove the die and you are left with the area you will have available when it is punched out.


I put the first sentiment (hugs and smiles) on a block and stamped it in the upper left corner of my “box”. Then I put the second sentiment on the block (across the miles – a card for my nieces in China) and stamped it in the lower right corner of my “box”. You could place them both on the block and stamp them at once if you wanted. I just found this easiest to utilize the tag space well.


This leaves you with the sentiment all stamped. Then erase the pencil lines. This is why it important to trace lightly – that way you can fully remove the pencil lines.


I then placed the die where I wanted it around the sentiment and used a small piece of scotch tape to hold it in place. Then I ran it through my cuttlebug! That’s it! Perfectly aligned and spaced sentiment!

And here’s the finished card!


supplies: Cuddles & Hugs by Melanie Muenchinger for Gina K Designs (coming soon!); white and going gray cardstock; going gray and palette noir ink; sponge; classic circle nestabilities; ribbon tag dies; pink taffeta ribbon; dimensionals; basicgrey patterned paper, koh-i-noor woodless pencils and stumps; prismacolor marker for outline.

For more info about this set and links to all the other sneak peeks by the rest of the Design Team, see Gina’s Blog {here}!

Jody’s ABC’s of nesting….and what’s that number??

I learned something VERY cool this weekend from the ever-fabulous Jody (aka TexasJodyLynn or the ribbon lady)! But first….dude! I passed 500,000 hits yesterday! And I’ve got a FABULOUS prize to give a way later today – so check back to get in on that one! I promise, it’s really good!

Anyway, at the card swap Jody had a really cute scalloped card. I asked her if she used the Nestabilities to make it and if she used a Cuttlebug. She said yes to both and I wanted to know HOW?!?! I’ve tried a bunch of times to make a scalloped card with my Cuttlebug and no dice. I have asked Debbie about it, but she uses the Wizard and said it’s no problem. But I could *not* get my dies to cut through 2 layers of cardstock – not even thin Whisper White!

Well, Jody said she just taught a class at her LSS called “The ABC’s of Nestabilities” or something like that. (Sorry Jody – I didn’t listen very well! I was so excited to learn how, that’s all I focused on!) Anyway – the idea is that you start from the bottom up:

A plate

B plate



C plate

Get it?!? ABC’s! So so easy to remember! Well – of course I ran home immediately after and had to try it out! Actually I left stamp day a bit early because I got really sick and later on Jenn stopped by to drop off some things and show me her swaps. And then I remembered and we both ran to try it out….and it worked perfectly! So here it is in picture form for all you visual learners!

How to Make a Scalloped Card with Nestabilities and a Cuttlebug – from texasjodylynn

(please ignore the mess around my cuttlebug! My room looks like a tornado went through it right now!)


Stack your plates with the A spacer plate, then one of the B plates. (The black part is my thin magnet)


Then place your die – cutting side up – on top of your stack. Place the *folded* cardstock so that the seam is either all the way inside the nestability or half in half out. (This one was half in half out. You can either get a half scalloped fold or a straight fold depending on how you choose to do it.)


Then place your C plate on top of your stack. (sorry that pic was blurry!)


After you run it through – this is how it should come out. It will look like it is still not cut all the way through.


However, you should be able to very easily separate the excess cardstock from your scalloped card! That’s it!!!


And you have a cute scalloped card! I am so thrilled that I can do this with my Cuttlebug! THANK YOU JODY!

And here’s what I mad with those cute cards….just the Thank You notes to go along with the magnets. Now I have to say – I made the pattern on the white panel using PTI’s Anniversary set….and I am so not good at lining things up like that. But it was easy! Yes, if you look, it’s not perfect. But when you just glance at it, it looks pretty good! Very easy to make a patterned paper to go with your cards with the clear stamps.

Now – I tried a few different things on these so here are the ones I used brown on…


supplies: Simple Little Things Anniversary set from PTI; pretty in pink and white cardstock; pretty in pink and close to cocoa ink; sponge; wide satin and tafetta ribbons; dimensionals; classic rectangle and circle nestabilities; A Muse twinkle sticker (left card); Stampendous dot sparklers (right card).

And these are the ones I used black on….


supplies: Simple Little Things by PTI; white and pretty in pink cardstock; pretty in pink and palette noir inks; American Crafts black marker for edging; satin ribbons; dimensionals; classic circle and rectangle nestabilities; pearl from Hobby Lobby (left card); A Muse twinkle stickers (two sizes – right card); liquid pearls (left card).

**the wide satin ribbon used will be the first satin share – this was a sample I got to make sure it was good**

Ok – I’ve gotta do my pilates and then I’ll work on getting that cool prize up here!

Nestability storage tip and a sneak peek…

I’ve been working on some stuff that’s rather time consuming….but I’ll give you a little peek at it for the time being…..


Ok…..more on that later!!

And I talked about the Nestabilities <here> and wanted update the fact that I’ve changed how I store mine. I had issues with the magnet strips not sticking down – the ends would curl up, they would slip sometimes, etc. So I decided to try something else. I saw <this idea> on GinaK’s blog. I don’t have extra DVD tins but I figured I could make it work in CD cases. So I purchased a pack of magnetic sheets – ultra thin little suckers! – at Staples. They weren’t cheap – about $12 for 4 sheets – but I was able to do all 4 complete sets of the nestabilities and still had some extra. I just cut the size I needed and then used mono multi to glue the magnet in to the CD case. They seem to hold them much better than the other magnets I had. Now they do still fall off sometimes, but way less often than they used to! Here’s how they look now:



Now most sets (the large and small of that style) will fit in one case. The scalloped squares I had to use 2 cases for. I will probably move the scalloped rectangles to 2 cases as well. But I’m much happier with this than those silly magnet strips. But don’t worry – I’ve come up for a great use for all that cut up magnet too!

And since I had about a sheet left over, I decided to cut a 4×6 piece off and use it as a magnetic mat for the Nestabilities. It works great! I’m not sure what they one they sell looks like or how thick it is. But this seems to go a loooong way in helping them stay where I want them and it is so thin, it doesn’t mess up my sandwich layering at all.


Pretty handy!

So that’s what I’ve discovered to help me out in storing and using the Nestabilities. I will say that using them for a multiples project is kind of a PITA – I mean, running a scalloped circle die through there a bunch of times to cut multiples takes quite awhile. But really, they are just so classy and nice – I love them! Alrighty – enjoy your Sunday!

Altered Journal Tutorial

Alright – this isn’t the tutorial I am working on to finally cap off the Tips/New Products week, but it’s the only one I’ve got for right now!  This is a journal that has a lot of meaning for me.  I made this to use for the Beth Moore Bible study that my husband and I are doing right now.  I first did one of her studies  last year with Kimberly and I really learned a lot!  So I was really looking forward to doing this with Matthew.  If you haven’t ever done one of hers, I encourage you to try – I don’t think I’ve ever learned so much in a study before.

Anyway – back to the tutorial!  I altered a Target notebook – larger than my usual size – to make this.  I got it in the same section as the other ones, it’s just more of an 8×8’ish size.  I measured it and then opened a blank document in PSE 5 that was the right size then went to work make a journal cover.  I think it’s a cool way to make it something special for you!  But it’s also durable and nothing is going to fall off it because it’s a flat matte photo!  The plus side of digital!  Anyway, here’s what I made:


papers – CRD – Oh So Natural (coming soon!)
frame – CRD – Grunge Frames 3 (coming soon!)
journal pages – CRD – All Layered Up (coming soon!)

verse font – Nueva Std
butterfly – CRD – flutterflies (coming soon!)

paper curl – Marcie Reckinger and Traci Murphy – Curled Border Template/Action
stitches – CRD – Ziggity Mess
label tape alpha – CRD – alpha bits blue
brown grid alpha – Shannon Lee Designs – Basically Brown Alpha
doodle alpha – Weeds and Wildflowers – Doodling Days Alpha (2)
ribbon – CRD – Skinny Minis
journaling tab behind photo – Amber Clegg – Date Stamps
journaling font – Kimberly Geswsein – Emily Script (my handwriting)

Lightroom Preset Peeking by Kelsey Smith

and here’s what I did with it!


Pretty cool, if I do say so myself!  I am very happy with how it turned out!  I know I can use it often and it’s going to stand up to the wear and tear.  You can find my tutorial <here> on the Authentic Artistry blog for Christina Renee’s team.   I hope you enjoy it – or at least find it helpful!

Ok – blog goody to celebrate the 400k tomorrow (or later today – Friday)!