Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Where have I been…?

During the second week of school, the high school-er was asked to the Homecoming dance. She seems to be adjusting fairly well to the bigger crowds, more homework, but she mostly loves the later bedtime!

At the start of the school year we learned that the school our kindergartner attends had a vacancy on the PTA board for the VP of Special events.  Without a person in this position, there was fear that many things the PTA wanted to accomplish this year would not happen.  So I got to thinking, and decided it was something I wanted to do.

Once I was voted onto the board, I was tasked with pulling off the first Donuts with Dads this school ever held.  With no previous event to take numbers from, I was kinda out on a limb.  It turned out to be a smashing success! (Whew!)  But me being me, I had to do a little thank you for the adults (there were some grandpa's there) who decided to show up that morning and make their Cool Spring ‘Penguin’ feel special.

Just a simple bag with a few golf tee’s (I know cliché, but…) and some candy.  Since out mascot is a Penguin, I pulled out the only penguin stamp set I have and fell in love with it!  I knew from the second I looked at it, this was perfect!  I loved the child penguin riding the (in my opinion!) Daddy penguin.  It embodied the bonding that this event gave our kids.


Enjoy <3

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Little Thanks for a Big Job


I have discovered that I am a ‘repurposing upcycler’ when it come to my crafty gifts.  I love to take ordinary things and make them unique and special. 

Unique and special are a the exact words I use to describe the 4 people I made these gifts for recently. The teachers at the preschool that my now kindergartener had for the last 2 years, and her little sister and brother will have for the next few years, have gone above and beyond for us, and I wanted to say ‘Thank You’.

Now, we all know I can’t just say ‘thank you’ and call it a day. Oh no way!  I had to get cutesy with it. So I decided to make some “Preschool Teacher First Day Emergency Kits”.

I know, I know, you’re thinking, “What the heck in the world?” is in a kit like that.  Here’s a list of the few goodies I was able to fit in the tins I had on hand. (To be honest, I could have filled a container at least 3 times the size of these tins with all the different ideas of things I wanted to include, but you deal with what you have I guess.)

  • 1 package of 20 anti-bacterial hand wipes
  • 1 ‘package’ of 6 crayons
  • 3 pieces of Hershey’s chocolate
  • 1 tea bag
  • 1 ‘package’ of Band-Aids with Neosporin


These tins were incredibly easy to put together, and yet look so stunning.

I am going to put some more together over the weekend, and I will put a quick tutorial together.


Until then…



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Getting ready already!

The kids will be returning to school in a few days (insert the Mommy happy dance here!) and you know what that means.  Yep, time to start thinking about the impending holiday season.  Now, everyone of us will say “This is the crazy time of year for the family.” For our house it is a very true statement, what with back to school, countless birthdays (we celebrate 3 in a month and a half, and that’s just out of the 6 of us in this house!) from now until December, not to mention Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.  It can get overwhelming to say the least.

Here is a picture holder I put together recently.  I know, I skipped a few holidays, but I love red and green so much more than orange!

family photo holder

It’s going to be hard to gift this one as I have really started to fall in love with it!

The great thing about this picture holder is the fact that you can decorate it for any of the holidays.  I’m currently working on a way to have interchangeable embellishments so you can keep the base, but change out a few little do-dads and decorate in minutes for any holiday!



Friday, July 8, 2011


What woman likes a birthday?  I mean, sure we like to hear the ‘you don’t look a day over…’ and of course the presents, and a day to eat cake without having to count calories. But no woman enjoys facing the fact that we are another year older.

My best friend just celebrated her 35th, and leave it to me to bring my unique sense of humor to the occasion.


I love word play.  Yes, turning 35 might ‘suck’ to some, but I say celebrate instead with 35 loli-pops to ‘suck’ on!

Can you imagine this sitting on a desk at work?  Yeah, I got to thinking about that too…possibly offensive to some.  So then you just turn it around to see another birthday greeting.


I painted a small box white, stuffed it with floral foam and added some paper.  I used the Fanfare paper from CTMH since Sunny’s special day is the 5th of July, the red white and blue of it all just fit her.

I decorated the top as well with some paper, then added red white and blue buttons with some string to create a handle.  So once the treats are gone, the box can hold things like paper clips on your desk, or potpourri around the house.


Give it a whirl, it’s fun quick and easy. But it also lends a little humor to a touchy subject for women.



Saturday, May 7, 2011


Such a simple word that holds much depth and complexity.  Here is a little photo holder that I added a few things to.love pic holder

(So just imagine some of your favorite pictures where I have business cards.)

You can see a couple of different ribbons have been tied into bows, I punched out a scalloped heart and also added three paper roses.

(Item available in my etsy shop.)



For my friend, mentor, partner in ‘crime’, inspiration…my Mom

This Mother’s Day present was a year in the making.  Last year I made a 3 panel wall hanging for my Mother-In-Law.  My Mom has been hearing for the past year about all the ‘wall art’ with pictures I have made for family members.  This year for Mother’s Day, I hope she will be surprised to be getting one of her own.  By using a 20x20 canvas I was able to get an 8x10 group shot of my four kids, four individual 5x7’s of my kids, and a 5x7 of my brother’s two kids, so that all six grandkids were together (even if we couldn’t be together for picture taking). 

All products are CTMH unless otherwise stated.

20x20 canvas (local craft store)

Deckle edge scissors by Fiskars (craft store)

Glimmer thread (Sulky metallic thread found with the sewing notions in my local craft store)

Matte Mod Podge (craft store)

Scotch Advanced Tape Glider adhesive (craft store)

Paper retired Veranda paper pack

Sunflower and Daisy White cardstock

Edge Distresser (Z1090)

Stamp sets Bohemian Alphabet (E1019) and Simple Blossoms (C1247)

Colonial White buttons (from the mini medley Z1276)

Two sizes Bitty Sparkles (Z1104)

Black and Sunflower Exclusive Inks

Liquid Glass (Z1313)


I took a nontraditional approach to putting this together.  Most people would dive right in from the beginning using Mod Podge.  I however decided to play it a little bit safe because, let’s face it, a canvas this size is not cheap!  So I adhered the paper with my tape gun first, then put some matte Mod Podge on top to seal it.  I then used the tape gun again to adhere the pictures.

For the title I used the Boho alphabet and Sunflower ink, used my edge distresser then added some sunflower ink for a little ‘pop’.  It was still looking a little naked, so I decided to add some of the smallest Sparkles to the center of any flower in the Boho stamping.  I then stamped the bunch of three flowers, cut them out using my deckle edge scissors and again distressed with Sunflower ink.  I had to add a little bling and it fit perfectly where the stem and the flower meet.

I next moved onto the paper rose. (Compliments of Michelle Auten)  BACKSTORY ALERT!  My moms dad had the most beautiful peace roses I had ever seen.    I struggled to get the shading just as I had remembered, but in the end had to settle for more subtle shading.

I have found myself addicted to adding this thread to any and all buttons I use on my projects.  It’s very fine and almost hard to see, but gives the buttons that little touch of attitude.  But they too still looked a little naked, and when in doubt I turn to bling, in this case Sparkles.

I attached the paper rose and the buttons using Liquid Glass, and finished the whole thing with more Matte Mod Podge.

Happy Mother’s Day to the woman who showed me: how to be soft and strong at the same time; how to love with all my heart; and to this day inspires me to be better than the day before.

I love you Mom.

2010 mothers day 2010                               20x202011


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Since it is customary to give teachers flowers for Teacher Appreciation week, I thought “How can we do something that won’t die in a week?”.  One of my CTMH team mates Michelle Auten (our resident paper princess) shared some fantastic paper flowers with us at the last team meeting.

I decided to go with small painted terracotta pots instead, I like to have the kids have their hands in on gifts that are to be from them.  This project was perfect in my mind for the teachers because now they keep their flowers forever with no digging, planting, or watering to worry about.

I have to say that the one thing I did forget was to put the year and my daughters name on them…oops! And just like at Christmas time, Jilly reminded me “Mommy I have four teachers.  I may not see Mrs. Cohrs and Mrs. Monarch everyday, but I do still see them.”  So again we made them for her current teachers and her teachers from last year.

teacher app


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April showers bring May flowers/ Heart 2 Heart blog challenge

This is my first entry in a contest, and hopefully not the last!

Here is a little wall hanging (I see it for Mother’s Day…) that I put together yesterday.  The base is a wall plaque that was purchased at JoAnn’s, and everything else is Close To My Heart.  I used what paper was left over from my Sophia Workshop on the Go.  I measured, cut then adhered the paper to the plaque, with the exception of the cardstock that I stamped on.  The flower and sentiment are from Friendship Blessings (D1191), the “&” is from Sophia (B1379).  I used some buttons from the pink assortment ( Z1370, again left over from my WOTG) added some Opaque Pearls (Z1336) in two different sizes, and finished with some of the pom-pom ribbon from the Designer Ribbon Pink Collection  (Z1384).

sophia wallhanging 2sophia wallhanging


Sunday, April 3, 2011

A few odds and ends

I love this part of scrapbooking. Once I have completed all the layouts I want with my CTMH paper pack, I move on to cards. But then I still have bits and pieces of paper packs or workshops left over. I have taken to using those last odds and ends to make some coordinating home décor sets that I am now selling on Etsy (because, let’s face it…my house is only so big!).

The base for all three of these pieces was some CTMH pearl paint mixed with Olive re-inker.

mayberry clothespinI love doing these clothes pins! They are super fast to slap some paper on, add a few embellishments (like a canvas button for instance) and boom instant hit. They are one of my favorites because they can serve multiple purposes. First, they can hold a picture on your desk, coffee table or mantle. Second, they are great in the kitchen for holding your recipe so that you don’t bury it under ingredients, or spill something on the recipe.

mayberry small signThis is a small wooden sign that has also been done in Mayberry paper from CTMH. A strip of paper, one large stamp, an accented word, and a few buttons, and done! I used some Topstitch to make similar signs for Holiday gifts last year.

mayberry friend pic frameThis is my favorite from the past few days. The frame is 6.5 inches by 8.5 inches, with an opening for a 3.5 by 3.5 picture. I stamped, distressed and mounted the sentiment, popped some paper on the frame, and stamped a few images. Final touches, ribbon, and a few little heart shaped buttons.

I started these 3 projects Friday night, and have three more bases (pieces of wood I painted with my olive mixture), and think that the largest chunk of time I was able to devote to these was roughly 3 hours. I love projects that I can walk away from, but be able to pick right back up when I get the chance.


Thursday, March 31, 2011

And so it Begins

It is almost 1 o'clock in the morning, but I now have an item listed in my Etsy shop for sale.  I will add more in the following days, for now enjoy this lovely altered memento box.


sweetheart box





Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Trying something new

There comes a time when you have to listen to the people around you, and for me that time is now.  It started back in December when my Team Leader Melissa Laverty told me once she opened her Christmas present that I should open an Etsy shop.  Since then, most everybody who has seen any of my home décor items has said the same thing.

Now after much research and a little questioning of my faith in myself, I have decided to take the plunge and do it.  Here are a few pictures of the the first listings I will be offering.  I will be happy to put a link on here once I finish the setup process.

miracle setsweetheart setwings set

Wish me luck!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

So Thankful

I am happy and proud to say that yesterday I held my first ever fundraiser.  And it was a success.  I was able to raise money for the Douglass Community Center while enjoying an entire day of scrapping and gabbing.  I cannot thank the attendees enough for their support, not only for the Community Center, but also for me.  I also have to thank my donors of gifts, BugnBeanstore.com for the king size quilt(owned by Pattie Bartell who also donated some gift cards for JoAnn's), and the Hair Cuttery in Landsdowne (in particular Mandy Byrd the salon leader for the wonderful hair care products).  

But there is not much time for resting as I have been asked to participate in another fundraiser in mid April.  I hope to be holding many such events in the coming months, and will hope to see your smiling faces to help your local community.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sneak Peak

Here is a quick picture of the King size quilt that was kindly donated by Bug N Bean, that will be available in the Silent Auction next Saturday.


We also have some great products from The Hair Cuttery in Landsdowne, donated by the salon leader and Master Stylist Mandy Byrd.  I will have to post those pictures in a little bit, along with some of the other fantastic items being offered to raise money for the Community Center.

There is still limited space available, so if you’re interested in scrapping with us give me a call and we’ll get you registered.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spread the Word

We have two and a half weeks until the 12 hour crop to raise funds for the Douglass Community Center. I hope you will be able to join us, it’s shaping up to be a blast.  Ask your friends if they would like to join you in scrapbooking, laughing, hanging out, and just plain having fun.  This is a great way for a mother daughter duo or some sisters to spend some quality time together while still being productive. Register today by calling me 571-277-4215.  I am not sure how long space will be available, so register today.


The theme of the crop is “Do you believe in ‘Magic’?” The Grand prize for the all day raffle will be a copy of the how-to book “Magic” from Close To My Heart. This book is packed with so many wonderful new ways to (literally) make your pictures jump off the pages.


I have some more pictures headed your way soon to inspire you to join us for a day of scrapbooking for a good cause.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One Man’s Trash….

is my treasure!  I recently found myself with more time on my hands, and honestly what girl doesn’t like a little retail therapy? But with funding a little short, I decided to hit some of my local thrift and second hand stores.  Some items were down right scary, while in others I saw worlds of potential.  I found this small wooden box in one shop and it just spoke to me. “I can be pretty again, I just a face lift and some TLC.”  For $2.50 I could not walk away.  So, I came home armed with this box and a head full of ideas, and went right to my CTMH ‘Sweetheart’ papers.  The brown of the box fit perfectly with the tulip and other pinks in the paper.  I threw some ribbon on, a few 3-D flowers complete with a butterfly, and finished with some buttons for good measure.

Once I was done, I looked at this box and was truly moved.  With just a little time and attention something that was doomed for the trash was once again beautiful.  I was staring at the box trying to think of the perfect place for it, and I had an epiphany. Just by slapping some paper and a few embellishments on this silly little box has changed a small part of me, and I a person who loves to share.  So I will be offering the box in the Silent Auction for the DCC crop on March 26th.  I can only hope that it will bring some magic into someone else's life, as it has done mine.



Do you believe in “Magic”?

We have just under 4 weeks until the 12 hour crop to raise funds for the Douglass Community Center. I hope you will be able to join us, it’s shaping up to be a blast.


The theme of the crop is “Do you believe in ‘Magic’?” The Grand prize for the all day raffle will be a copy of the how-to book “Magic” from Close To My Heart. This book is packed with so many wonderful new ways to (literally) make your pictures jump off the pages. magic

I have some more pictures headed your way soon to inspire you to join us for a day of scrapbooking with a good cause.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Fundraising All Day Crop

I happy to announce that I will be holding an All Day Crop on March 26th to raise money For the Douglas Community Center Preschool Program. 8am to 8pm at the Community Center 407 E. Market Street Leesburg, VA 20176. Look for more details to be released soon!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Birthday Card

Here is a birthday card I put together for my daughter to give to one of her friends.  Being 14 can be tough, and when all you want to do is stand out from the crowd it helps to have a mom who can ‘bling out’ anything!  My daughter loves to craft with me, but she has been terribly busy as of late with school and her horseback riding so I had to do this one solo.


I used the ‘Wings’ paper pack from CTMH.  What 14 year old girl these days doesn’t like butterflies and green? I wanted to do a more sophisticated look for a young lady, but keep it hip and fun.

I also have a habit (good, bad or indifferent!) of decorating the envelopes as well.  it takes an extra 5 minutes, but I think it makes it eve more special for the recipient.




I had the opportunity to spend my morning doing something I love, crafting.  I was asked by a dear friend to demonstrate a little card for a crop that she held to raise money for her kids elementary school.  I had a blast!  I was only able to spend a few hours there, but I got the chance to share a few of my favorite tips, and personal tricks with so many people.  Here are a few pics from the crop.

003Here is the table Danielle had. 

004This was my set up for the create and take.  Everybody loved the 3x3 card that if they wanted could be turned into a gift tag.



Friday, February 11, 2011

Just a Little ‘Favor’

This is a super quick project that is sure to brighten up any goodie bag!  I used a stamp from CTMH Boutique Borders for the background, and in the middle of my standard mailing address label I stamped the sentiment from a Stamp of the Month set that will be available later this year. After letting the ink dry (honestly all I did was put some wash from the washer into the dryer) all you have to do is peel and stick the label to a Hershey’s Nugget candy.

These I put together for my friend to pop into some goodie bags for a fundraising crop she is holding this weekend.  All told, to do 50 favors it took me almost 20 minutes (and yes that’s with the drying/laundry time).  And the great thing is that with so many stamps available from Close To My Heart, the theme possibilities are endless! 


004 008


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Quick and Simple

Just a little 3X3 card that I have been invited by my very dear friend Danielle Valentino to demo at a fundraising crop she has organized for this weekend.  Just a little note for that someone special to show you care.



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Just for Him

Have you ever thought of starting a scrapbook of your kids, but don't know where to begin? Now is the perfect time to dive into the world of preserving your memories while making new ones with friends. I will be holding a monthly workshop that will focus on building a scrapbook of your kids for you to be able to give the Hubby for Father's Day in June. We will discuss techniques, color, balance and proportions. So grab a few of your BFF's and let's make this Father's Day one your Hubby will always remember!

Feel free to call me at (571)277-4215 or email me at curtis.chrissy@yahoo.com for more details.


Monday, January 31, 2011

Made with Love

This year for Valentine’s Day, I decided that my four year old, Jilly, and I would make her valentines for preschool together.  Her little face had the biggest smile.  All told it took about 4 hours, but I’m pretty sure if I had done it all myself it would have been under an hour.  The total cost was roughly $2.50 to make 20 valentines, with extra materials left over.  For me the joy was spending the time creating with one of my daughters.


This project was super simple to put together.  First, we embossed 5 sheets of Cranberry cardstock from Close To My Heart, next we cut that into quarters.  Then I cut (using the paper trimmer…for those of you who know our cutting issues!) the white inset.  I let Jilly pick the heart she wanted, and let her have at it.  Then I set the stamp up for the back with the “from: Jilly” and again, let her at it.  I let her have a turn putting the adhesive on, and I went back and filled in where necessary.  Then we popped the white onto the cranberry.  The next step was to punch a hole and lace some string to tie the lollipop with.  And just like that we were done. 




Sunday, January 23, 2011


Just a quick project for my oldest daughters God parents.  I love to put these together!





I thought to my self, how can I best honor a mother of 4, grandmother of 8, and great-grandmother of 10?  The answer was by giving her a piece of art to hang on her wall that features the 6 great-grandkids that live the furthest away from her.

I covered a 12 x 12 canvas with some Close To My Heart paper from the Wings paper pack.  I painted some wooden words then stamped them and finally added some Opaque's to give that little ‘pop’ of dimension.

This is the final product I came up with…this is actually the best of the 16 shots we were able to pull off in 90 seconds!




Sunday, January 16, 2011

Made from scratch.

I love to deconstruct something and rebuild it and make it more me.  I love to journal.  I must have 30-35 journals sitting around half full at best.  To me, a journal is like a pair of shoes.  I will buy something that is ‘close enough’ instead of looking all over hither and yon to find the ‘perfect fit’.  Then it hit me, why not make the perfect journal? And that’s just what I did.


For this I used paper from the Close To My Heart paper pack Magnifique.  What sets this journal apart is that the matching pen fits into the spine.  I choose to use unlined paper (I tend to not like boundaries when pouring out my heart.) and rubber cemented the paper together and attached that to the spine. 

This project took a total of an hour start to finish, including drying time!  You have to love that.



Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy little accident

One of the newer trends is to use decorated oversized clothes pins.  I spent a lot of time trying to hunt them down, and when I did find some I scooped them up in a heartbeat.  Once I got home I realized that I had no clue what I wanted to do with them.  The next thing I knew Christmas was upon us and I went with projects that I could at least envision a final outcome for.  I have no idea how or why, but I had a flash of brilliance earlier today, and was inspired to use the clothes pin with some of the new CTMH Wings paper to create a magnet that will hold a recipe to your range.


But here’s where the happy little accident comes into play.  I have the project all put together, and it hit me while taking pictures to show off the dimension of the butterflies, that this would also look amazing sitting on a desk holding a favorite picture that you want to show off to co-workers. And, BOOM, now you have two uses for one oversized clothespin.



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Just sitting around

And I’m not talking about myself…I made a few cards from the already cut scraps from my attempt at the Wings WOTG.  I took a CTMH photo box and converted it into a nice little card holder for a workshop last year, and I promised myself that I would always try to keep on hand one of any kind of card I could possibly need at a moments notice.  So these cards will be joining those. 



Holiday projects part 2

Funny story. I had my 4 1/2 year old help me make the presents for her preschool teachers. She helped me pick out the paper and ribbons, and then I put them together. So we had two gifts, and Jilly looked at me and said "Mommy, I have four teachers...remember?!?" (And she said that with a teenager like attitude complete with one hand on her hip!) What I was able to get from talking with her more, is that she wanted to give her two teachers from last year (that she still gets to see and play with) presents as well. So we went back to my CTMH stash, picked out more paper and put together some more gifts. It was great getting to craft with my daughter, and yes I did actually let her help, even if it was just putting the pop dots on the paper and choosing which papers to use, she did have a hand (or two) in these special gifts.

We made 4 signs covering wood with CTMH papers, painted then stamped wood letters, and added a few embellishments. We used some old beads to decorate the wire handle, and it took about a half an hour to do start to finish.

Her two current teachers were given little jars filled and topped with candy. We punched out a bit of paper, and stuck a sentiment to it, added some ribbon, and boom!

Her previous teachers we put some bath salts into a little vase and used the same design of paper and sentiment, more ribbon and a decorative straight pin with a bead on it and topped it off with a cork. 031

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Holiday Projects pt 1

I was a very busy little bee during the holidays. I was making gifts left and right for my nearest and dearest. Here are a few of the things that I had a blast putting together.

This is the most precious piece of art that I have had the privilege to create. I adhered a piece of paper (that coordinates well with Zoey's room decor of little birdies that her Mommy painted)to a 12x12 canvas,painted and stamped wood letters for her name, placed a 8x10 picture and a few embellishments, and viola.

Wings WOTG part 1

I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person (I was accepted into the nuclear program for the U.S. Navy for crying out loud!) but for some reason I can not figure out why my spray pen for the Wings WOTG will not work. After pouring over CTMH bulletin boards and trying all the different suggestions, and a total of close to 3 hours lost messing with this, I am about to chalk it up to a defective pen. I have to say that I love the look you can achieve (it reminds me of the Blow Pens my kids use) the sparkle from the paint is a very soft accent that adds a bit of bling without being 'in your face'. I am currently only happy with the left page of the WOTG that I have been able to finish. I think I am going to move on to some cards and come back to the right side of the layout once I get my mojo back. I hope you like what I have so far.

Why I do what I do.

People often ask me once they find out that I love to craft and create, "What is the one project you are most proud of?" My answer is always the same, "My five kids!" They are the reason I have been scrapbooking for so many years. I want to be able to capture their childhood through pictures, and evoke emotion through the art of scrapbooking. I found a wonderful company, Close To My Heart (CTMH), that allows me to do just that. Their breathtaking line of paper packs with coordinating embellishments and stamp sets take the guess work out of scrapping, and they are a huge time saver. And let's be honest, when it's fun it's easier to get a project done. Once I discovered CTMH, I decided to become a consultant so that I am better equipped to share the joy I feel when preserving memories that will be passed on for generations to come.

Another benefit to using Close To My Heart products is the versatility they offer. Not only do you get to create and protect your precious memories by scrapbooking, but you can also use the paper packs and embellishments to create personalized and unique cards as well as sprucing up your home decor. I love having the ability to transform a simple photograph into a piece of art I am proud to display in my home or give as a gift to a special person.

It is not the amount of 'creative talent' but rather the level of interest and passion you possess that will determine what we are capable of accomplishing together. Let me show you how simple, quick and most importantly fun scrapbooking and paper crafting can be.