Bento Rd 2 and thanks….

Several of you seemed interested in how the Bento-esque lunch endeavor plays out, so here is Round Two!  We learned after the first day that you cannot put dry and wet things in the same container – if you have pretzel sticks in there and something else that puts off moisture….you get soggy pretzels.  Lesson learned!  Also the paper cups do a crummy job with wet things.  Bento makers use paper cups that are wax-coated.  Apparently those hold up better.  I didn’t have any, but I did remember that we had a few silicone muffin cups.  So I dug those out and we tried that.

For the most part these worked LOTS better.  Adam still isn’t wild about this type of lunch….but like I said, he doesn’t eat much of whatever I put in his lunch.   Alex and Andy seem to really like it though.  I think we will invest in some supplies – I have found two places that carry a wide selection of the cutesy stuff (yes I know about – but that isn’t really what I wanted….).  A store called has  TON, but make sure you stick to the bento section – I don’t know what else is on there, but it has an over 18 side?!?  And then good ‘ole ebay had quite a bit.  We’ll see what we end up with.

Here were the two lunches I sent the other day…


One of them had something else he wanted to take, so he had a smaller container…we also learned that mango is only really good the first day – it gets mushy fast.  Most of this is the same as before, except the pretzels are in a baggie, we used some sliced ham, and I cut some cheddar cheese into little sticks.  I want to get some of the tiny shape cutters so they can have cute cheese!

And now for a crafty item…..another thank you we made at class.  I loved the patterned paper SU had with these large flowers in outlines….but I figured why buy it when I could just get the stamps and make as much of it as I want on my own.  So that’s what I did…..8 mos ago.  I am just know getting around to actually USING the stamps!  That’s terrible, isn’t it?


supplies: 5th Ave Floral; Kiwi Kiss patterned paper SU; Not Quite Navy, Kiwi Kiss, and Baja Breeze inks; Not Quite Navy cardstock; Pure Luxury White Cardstock Pure White in layering and base weights; SU twill; and white satin from Michaels.

Ok, off to make a photo collage for Alex’s homework.


Another Digi Freebie~

For all those that hung out at the Gina K release party last night – thank you!  It was a lot of fun to chat and I hope you all enjoyed it!

Just a quick post today before I head to the library – I wanted to post another one of my digital products for y’all to download.

Essential Textures – a great pack of everyday papers with texture

Download Essential Textures Part 1 HERE

Download Essential Textures Part 2 HERE

Please do not share the link – you can refer others here to download it themselves, but do not share the link directly, thank you!


Gina K Sneak Peek Day 3

I am so excited about what I have to share today!  I absolutely adored the Free set you could earn last month….and this month Gina has expanded on that set!  So now those gorgeous flowers that were part of the  boxes are on their own!  Yay!  If you liked those – you’ll love this Buy 3 Get 1 FREE!

I decided to   use the same colors and papers as last month – but change it up a bit and use the new flowers.  They are bigger and the blooms are separate from the stems to make multiple colors easier to do.  I just love this particular flower – no idea what kind it is, I am NOT a gardener.  But I like it stamped in red, lol!


supplies: Tropical Blooms by Gina K Designs; Graphic 45 papers; Rocket Red, Green Apple and Pure White Base Weight Pure Luxury cardstock; Pure Luxury layering weight Pure White cardstock; riding hood red ink; kiwi kiss and always artichoke inks; SU white taffeta; May Arts red scalloped ribbon; EK Success border punch; Blossom Nestabilities; Classic Circle nestabilities; and dimensionals.

To see more inspiration with the stamps previewed today, visit Gina‘s blog, the illustrator of Tropical Blooms as well as Theresa Momber, the illustrator of Autumn Beauty, and Nina Bracket , the illustrator of Elegant Verses.

For even more projects with tonight’s two stamp sets, these Senior Design Team Members are participating in previews today:

Asela, Carolyn, Cindy, Donna, Emily, Erika Jessica, Kurtis, Lee, Lynn, and Melanie

And our CenterStage Spotlight Design Team members:

Shelly Wilson and Charlene Merrick

Our Release Party starts Thursday night at 7 pm CST. Please join us for contests questions, challenges, lots of chatter as well as a ton more samples shared by the Senior Design team members and our CenterStage Spotlight team too. See you tomorrow night!

Gina K Sneak Peek Day 2

Today I have some cute little cards I made using the newest set by Rupa Shevda!  It’s really special for making adorable cards and gifts for teachers – perfect for this time of year!  I made up a bunch of these little cards (they measure 3.5×5) to keep on hand for any time I need something for one of the boys’ teachers!  Totally easy and the sentiment is absolutely true!


up close…..


supplies: Back to School by Rupa Shevda for Gina K Designs; EK Success dotted wave punch; Blossom Nestabilities; Classic Circle nestabilities; Taken with Teal, Always Artichoke, and Real Red markers; Pure Luxury White Cardstock Pure White in layering and base weights;  Always artichoke cardstock; Patterned paper from SU; stitched ribbon from May Arts;Tim Holtz sanding block; and dimensionals.

For more inspiration with the stamps previewed today, visit Gina‘s blog as well as Melanie Muenchinger, the illustrator of Sports, School, Spirit.

For even more projects with tonight’s two stamp sets, these Senior Design Team Members are participating in previews today: Carolyn, Cindy, Donna, Emily, Erika Jessica, Lee, Lynn, and Theresa

Check out  our CenterStage Spotlight Design Team members: Tina Gilliland and Vicki Dutcher

Don’t forget about our Release Party on SCS starting at 7pm CST on Thursday, August 27th. There will be contests, challenges, lots of chatter as well as a ton more samples shared by the Senior Design team members and our CenterStage Spotlight team too. We’d love to have you join us!

Gina K Sneak Peek Day 1

A quick update on the Bento lunch thing from yesterday’s post – Adam said it was gross.    But Adam never eats his lunch so I don’t give much credence to his opinion, lol!  The pretzels were a bad plan – the moisture in the container made them soggy, we’ll bag them next time.  Other than that, the other two liked them.  Although they said the mango was better the first day and was not as good after it had been in the fridge.  We don’t eat those a lot so I didn’t know how they *aged*.

Ok, now for the fun part!  Gina K Sneak Peeks start today!  Today I have a sneak peek at a new set by Melanie Muenchinger!  Y’all might remember her fantastically popular *Year of Flowers*….well, be ready for another fabulous take on this idea……*Year of Leaves*!  It’s just lovely!  Perfect for any fall projects you might have planned!  Here’s a quick card I whipped up using her lovely leaf images…


supplies: Year of Leaves by Melanie Muenchinger for Gina K Designs; SU watercolor cardstock; Junebug papers by Basic Grey; Blossom Nestabilities; Classic Circle nestabilities; niji waterbrush; ruby red, pumpkin pie and really rust reinkers; Tim Holtz sanding block; dark chocolate palette ink; Pure Luxury Pumpkin Spice cardstock; May Arts ruffled ribbon; and dimensionals.

So I just have to share about the Tim Holtz sanding block thingie – I used the Blossom Nestabilities die and then sanded it with the block – I love how it turned out!  Just kinda roughed up the edges and showed the white core (I used a piece of paper from an older Basic Grey 6×6 pad).  Cool, huh?

For more inspiration with the stamps previewed today, visit Gina‘s blog as well as Melanie Muenchinger, the illustrator of Year of Leaves and Asela Hopkins, the illustrator of Fruitful Harvest.
For even more projects with tonight’s two stamp sets, these Senior Design Team Members are participating in previews today: Carolyn, Cindy, Donna, Emily, Erika, Kurtis, Jessica, Lee, Lynn, and Theresa
And Our CenterStage Spotlight Design Team members: Denise Kelemen and Geri Utterback

Our Release Party will be held once again over on SCS starting at 7pm CST on Thursday, August 27th. There will be contests, challenges, lots of chatter as well as a ton more samples shared by the Senior Design team members and our CenterStage Spotlight team too! You won’t want to miss it!

Bento Lunches and chairs….

Odd title, I know.  So tomorrow is the first day of school.  Before Kimberly came to visit the US this summer, she asked if I would be interested in any Bento lunch making stuff.  I’d heard of it and thought it sounded interesting so I said sure.  She brought a few egg, rice and hot dog molds over for us to try out.  However, none of those things are the boys’ favorite foods (except rice!) so we didn’t give it a whole lot more thought.

Then I was starting to think about groceries for school lunches, while I don’t mind if they buy lunch at school – they usually don’t like the food there, and I figured why not give it a try!  We don’t have a lot of the cute little containers and such (although if it goes well this week, I will put an order in for some stuff….) so we just used some Rubbermaid containers and muffin cups.  I always grab muffin cups after holidays when they are on clearance.  No idea why, I just love them.  I have tons in both regular and tiny sizes.  I thought they would work pretty well for this.

So I talked to the boys about what a Bento lunch is and we discussed some options that they could put in them.  The older two really prefer healthier foods anyway – Adam just likes candy, lol!  So it’s stuff they  like anyway.  They don’t really eat sandwiches, nobody really likes PB&J, they don’t like chips that much, and so on.  This way they could eat some healthier stuff that they chose.  I think it will be quite a bit of effort at the beginning of the week to buy and cut everything, but they ought to be able to last all week after that.  We’ll see how it goes!

Here is a snapshot of the finished product from today’s efforts….


They wanted bell peppers (so we got red, yellow and orange), carrots, fake lobster meat, mango, cashews, pretzle sticks, pineapple, small pickles, peanut butter, cucumbers, and the one has a leftover piece of garlic cheese bread in it.  After I snapped this pic I put lids on and kinda shook them around a bit to see if they spilled out.  The one in the middle was fine, I added a muffin cup of grapes to the other two.

Pretty fun – definitely way healthier than we usually pack.  Plus it was a fun activity to buy and chop things together.  They samples lots of it while we were working – and since it’s all healthy, no problem there!  Now we’ll see if they actually eat it!  If any of you are interested, I’ll kinda update every so often on our progress with this….if not, I won’t bore you with it!

And a card – this was inspired by a card Debbie Olson did with this set during the PTI release that month.  We made this at class this month.


supplies: On My Couch from PTI; pink pirouette cardstock; dark Chocolate palette ink; Oh Baby Girl Basic Grey paper; Graphic 45 patterned paper for background; sponge; Antique Linen Ranger Distress ink; and dimensionals.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow night for Day 1 of Gina K’s newest release Sneak Peeks!  You can see some little tidbits at Gina’s blog {HERE}!

I hope that all your kidlets have a great start to their school year!


Baby Onesies

So this is probably my favorite gift to give at a shower right now.   I just think they are adorable!  My boys always wore onesies….my mom used to make fun of me about it cause they ALWAYS had them on under stuff.  I just wanted something soft as the closest thing to their skin, ya know?  Anyway, I like them.  And I absolutely love how the idea of stamping some personalized ones for a gift!  Even if you don’t use their name or anything, you can easily make them gender specific.

Matthew asked me to make something for one of his soldiers.  His wife had a baby just 3 weeks before they deployed.  Honestly I cannot imagine shouldering that – on either side!  I can’t imagine missing so much of your baby’s life and I also can’t imagine not having your spouse there to help out.  Especially in the middle of the night!  Please keep that family in your prayers.  I know this sort of thing happens all the time with military families – but it doesn’t make it right.

So these are the onesies I made for them.  Some of the images and sentiments I used are the ones I have used before.  Some are new!  For all of this I used Palette inks stamped on Gerber onesies.


An up close shot of one I made using Melanie Muenchinger’s set Wee Tees.  I love some of the cute little images she had in that set and wanted to find a way to incorporate them into a onesie design….so I stamped the onesie on a onesie and went from there!  I think it’s kinda cute!


And to package them, I rolled them up neatly and then tied a wide satin ribbon around them.  Easy and cute!


And I recently talked to someone I had given a set of these to before and she commented that the ink wore quite well.  I think if I wash them first, they would last even better.  But somehow I never quite buy the onesies with enough time to accomplish that before I need to have the gift ready!  I do heat set the ink with my heat gun after I stamp it.   Just to make sure it’s really set in there!


Another Thank You

Just a quickie post today – we’re off to a End-Of-Summer-Laser-Tag-A-Thon.  Fun!  Anyway, I recently had my first card class in about 6 months.   Because I have had a lot of Thank You’s to write, several of the cards we made were Thank You’s.  (Although at class, I get out my trusty box of A Muse sentiments and people can put whatever they like on their cards!)  This is one of the ones we made.

I first saw this pattern made with PTI’s Grid Lines 2 and their Grid Lines papers somewhere in the PTI gallery.  I wish I could remember who made it so I could credit them.  Anyway, I loved the color combo and decided to use it myself.  Only after making one of the cards, I realized there was NO way this was time appropriate for class!  So I decided I would go ahead and stamp the patterned paper for them.  Dude!  That took forever!  I had to stamp 5 full 8.5×11 sheets like this!  Good thing I had some good tv on the DVR!  I do like how it turned out though!


supplies: Grid Lines 2; Ocean Tides cardstock; Pure Luxury White Cardstock Pure White in layering weight; Pure Luxury Chocolate Kiss Base weight; ocean tides, summer sunrise, dark chocolate palette inks; satin ribbon from Michaels; and corner rounder.

Not a color combo I would have put together on my own – and I love to play with colors.  I hope you are off doing something fun for the end of summer vacation!


Nov 17th! Kimberly – this is for you!

I cannot wait for November 17th!  Seriously, can not wait!

Here’s why…..rewind several Christmas’s past……hanging out with the family…..Kimberly and her husband Keith arrive…..PS2 and Karaoke Revolution in hand.    BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!  LOL!

Really, we played and played and played.  So much over that week that I ran out to ToysRUs and purchased another volume because we’d worn out the songs on the version they brought.  So much fun!  And I do NOT sing in front of people.  Ever.  But it was a blast!  The boys were pretty young then, I think only Andy could read at the time – but they all remember the game.
Last night we were stuck in traffic and jamming (ie I was singing loudly and the boys were groaning) to some tunes from my Zen….and Alex asked about this game.  I didn’t think they made it for the Wii, but I said we could look.  Turns out they do have an American Idol version (which reviewers said the songs are great, the Idol part is lame) already!  I might have to pick that up – or at least look for it at Game Stop!

And then I found the above photo on Amazon.  Seriously, I cannot wait.  The boys are stoked too!  Nothing like getting your character to glow with their awesomeness.

Now – when are they gonna tell us the song list!??!  I need to start practicing…..

Card Set

I made this set of cards for someone I go to church with.  Since she is a Breast Cancer survivor, I really wanted to make them as pink as possible.  I used several different shades of pink, several different patterns, etc to create a matching set of cards for her to use with her name on them.  Instead of just using her initials for the center of the image, I used the Small Alpha to spell out her name around the border.  Then I used the Awareness Ribbon stamp from A Muse in the center.  Some I glittered, some I left plain pink.

I really like how they turned out – and I hope she does too!  I blurred out her name in case she didn’t want that shared – but it spells her first and last name along the bottom of the circle.


supplies: 1 5/8 wooden stamper; Small Letter Alphabet; lots of different pink cardstocks from SU and PTI; Different pink inks from PTI and SU; PTI sets: Background Basics Retro, Polka Dots 2, Background Basics Stars; Classic Circle nestabilities; quickie glue pen; Art Institute Glitter; pink satin ribbons; Pure Luxury White Cardstock Pure White in layering and base weights; and dimensionals.

And all products at The Stamp Castle are still 25% off right now, if you want to make something like this  yourself!  It even includes two Brand New JustRite sets that were released today: Autumn Blessings and Witch Way to the Treats.