Monday, December 31, 2012

An End of the Year Post

Once again this blog has been neglected. I think if I could type this on my IPad it would be written on more but alas, I do not have a keyboard and will not be obtaining one any time soon.

I cannot believe it is December 31st. This year has FLOWN BY and I am trying to process it. I think as I get older, the months go by faster. I am not sure if I like this or not. It could mean that I am just busier and have more on my plate. It doesn't seem that way, though. I have been really good at saying no to things I don't want to do and making the time for things that I do. It is a never ending balance.

For my last post of the year, I wanted to post some photos of our kitchen that we did over this fall. It was a LONG process and many decisions. I LOVE the way it came out, though. The following photos are not staged. I was going to wait to post them until we had our table in and the kitchen was spic and span. However, our table was delayed and the only time my kitchen is uncluttered is at night and if you think these photos are bad-the ones taken at night are worse!!!

The first photos are of our new mudroom. This was previously an outdoor porch that was enclosed and added onto in the front.

We bought the bench at an unfinished furniture place. My handy husband painted it black and I added to pillows from IKEA to complete it. I just have to get baskets and hang a few things on the wall behind it for this room to be complete.

On the opposite wall from the bench is a new closet. I did not show the inside of this closet as it is not organized at all. That will come later when we can find the exact type of organizers we want...or in our case, it never gets done because that is just what happens. (AKA-Chris doesn't care what it looks like when the doors are shut!)

Here are photos of our old and new stove area. I am not a traditional person so I didn't choose a traditional color cabinet. The color is called Pebble Java and the cupboards were made by Wellborn. It is what the contractor carried so we went with it.


After: (Char was making cupcakes this day so excuse our mess!) Can I say I LOVE this stove!! I have gained 10 pounds since we finished this because I am baking all the time! It is an electric oven and a gas cook top. The oven temp is so even and cakes come out flat on top. And we can finally fit a turkey in our oven. The wall oven we had before was so tiny!

We took our fridge out of the cubby and made it a small pantry. You do not know how much space this freed up in our cabinets. I used to have 5 cabinets of food and now I only have one!



To the left of the cubby, we put a row of cabinets, the fridge and the microwave. Previously this held a useless cabinet and a hutch. The before also shows where our old kitchen door to the front was. That is gone and is now a doorway into the mudroom.



Our big splurge was a garden window. I cannot tell you how much light this lets in!! I LOVE it! I plan to get herbs to grow in this space but want to do it from seed. Here are before and after photos for this too.



One of the things we changed was where our dishwasher was. It used to be to the right of the sink which made it a pain to empty. We had it plumbed so it now is to the left of the sink which makes it easier to put things away.



We also added a breakfast bar. Previously the counter ended with the last cabinet by the door.

We also put in a new back door. The other one was not cut right and it was so cold!! This one is sealed and the new kick plate heat under the sink keeps the kitchen toasty.

This is a close up of the granite. It looks so pretty with the backsplash and the paint!!

This is the tile we put in. I really wanted to put in hardwood but had to settle for tile that looks like hardwood floor. Our dog has "accidents" so we couldn't put in a real one. I really like it, however, it shows EVERYTHING!! I didn't realize how much Zach drips on the floor either. It does look nice with everything, though.

This is how it looks in the hallway that goes into our bedroom and the living room.

I know it might surprise some of you that know me but I am not a decorator. I do not enjoy it. You have to be on the constant lookout for "just the right thing" and I don't have the patience for that. This kitchen is still a work in progress. Thank you for visiting!!


Friday, September 14, 2012

The Mouse and the Halloween Treat Bag

Happy Friday everyone. This week has gone by so S-L-O-W. I do have Monday off, though, because our district honors the jewish holiday. How sad is it that I live for three day weekends and vacations?

Today I am going to post a Halloween treat bag (more specifically, the tag) I created to enter a contest. Alas, as I was finishing my project, I noticed mouse droppings on the outside edge of my white craft desk. There were only two but when I searched around the outskirts of the floor, I found many more. Then I searched the kitchen and I won't go into details there. It was so gross!! We bought poison for some areas and traps for others but still haven't caught any. We are not sure how it came in but we hope it went out somehow and never comes back. We did find a dead field mouse in the garage and I am hoping that this was the critter that had invaded our space. I cannot handle that again. I do not think mice are cute and can live with them if the stay outside!! Needless to say, I never photographed the project in time to enter the contest.

I stamped the image using the circle from Paper Trey Ink's Tag-its #2 and the jack-o-lantern from the Tag-its #7 Mini stamp set. I colored the pumpkin with Copic Markers. I had never colored on Kraft card stock and not sure if I will do this technique again. It was harder to get the colors to blend on the toothier paper.

I was originally going to fill the bag with candy corn but since it previously held paper flowers I wasn't sure that was sanitary. I found these adorable jack-o-lantern covered Lindt chocolates to use instead. Who can resist a chocolate truffle?

Supplies: Stamps, Polka Dot Paper and Dies-Paper Trey Ink, Copic Markers, Tsukineko Ink, Paper Scraps,
 Queen and Company rhinestone
I was going to send this to my niece who went off to college for the first time this year but Charlotte informed me after a taste test that the truffles were melted. I guess I am going to have to buy two more bags. Hmm-that certainly worked out for both Charlotte and Chris. I only like dark chocolate!!

I hope this inspires you to create some goodies of your own. Have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Back to School, Kitchen Construction and Other Fun Stuff

September is here and that means back to work for me. I enjoyed my summer immensely and cannot say that I am all that excited to be going to work every morning. I like my job and the hours but just wish I could get paid for staying home and doing what I want. Don't we all?

We also are going through a kitchen remodel. I spent last week emptying the cabinets, shelves and a hutch. Yesterday the contractors came and gutted our kitchen. They are still working on getting the floor up. Unknowingly we had 3 layers underneath our tile!! It looks like a big mess. I will post photos later on this week.

Our poor isn't liking the construction very much. Stinky peed his crate tonight when we went out to dinner and he hasn't done that for a couple months. I am convinced he had a seizure that was brought on by all the chaos but since we weren't home, we don't know. The only reason I think this is he usually pees so that it is all outside the crate when he is mad. He doesn't like to step in it!! Tonight it was mess inside the crate and we had to give him a bath. Poor thing!

Enough about our chaos and now to the fun stuff! Tonight I am going to show you the gift tag and card I made for one of Char's friends last month. However, as things often go in my life, I had to make the card twice. 

The first card I had created was personalized and had a 12 on it. However, when I went to buy a gift box, the only one that I could have bought that would have matched was bright pink. The birthday girl was not a pink type of girl. So I carefully removed the number and added the cupcake. 

Supplies: Card stock and dotted paper-Paper Trey Ink, Word Paper and striped paper-October Afternoon, Stamps-Paper Trey Ink, Tape-Bella Blvd, Ink-Paper Trey Ink, Die Cut-Paper Trey Ink and Cupcake-Martha Stewart

I have to say that this card was a CASE of a card created by Dawn McVey. I really like the pink and aqua color scheme on this card. I also love how easy the tape was to use. I will be utilizing my tape like this on many cards!!

Since this card was a reject, I had to make another card in the color scheme that matched the box. I liked how it came out and was feeling really good about it until Charlotte told me she thought it looked too much like a boy. I told her too bad because I WAS NOT making a third card!!! Looking at the photo now, I get where Char was coming from but I think it is cute anyway. 

Supplies: Blue Card stock, Polka Dot Paper, Stamps, Dies, Ink-Paper Trey Ink, Glitter-Stickles, Patterned Paper-Making Memories and My Minds Eye, White Card Stock-Stampin Up!, Kraft Card Stock-Paper Studio, 
Tape-Queen and Company

I had to make a matching tag for the gift and I used a fun mix of curling ribbon to decorate the handle. I have not been a fan of curling ribbon in the past for gift wrapping, but I really like the looks of this gift. I will be repeating it for the future.

Supplies-Stamps, Dies, Ink-Paper Trey Ink, Kraft Card Stock-Paper Studio

Here are both the gift and tag together. I know the photos don't look like the blues match the box but IRL they did. It was a cloudy day when I took the photos and I only get so much light in my room when that happens.

Thank you for looking. I promise I will be back later in the week with some photos of what has been going on in my kitchen!!


Friday, August 3, 2012

A Pillow and some Scrapbook Pages

Happy Friday!! I cannot believe it is August and my summer is almost over. I still haven't done everything I planned for this summer but here are a few projects that I created the last few weeks.

My first project is a sewing project. I made a 16" pillow and created this without a pattern. I am NOT a sewer and though this looks like a piece of cake, it took me a long time to make. I wasn't sure how to much extra to cut out to make the seams and the envelope pocket was not in the middle on the back. I have a larger pillow to make and will doing it a bit different when I sew that one.

Here is the pillow with my bedding. The lighting in my bedroom is horrific so please forgive me.

This is a more accurate photo of the colors.

I had so much fun scrapping this photo of Charlotte and my friend Jil's son Noah. It was taken last year at our annual get together in Wickham park. I used Nostalgia die cuts by My Mind's Eye and used spray mist on the background paper. 

I LOVE these photos of Charlotte. Don't they just shout Pre-Teen? A very simple page using die cuts and spray mist.

Have a great weekend!! I hope you all get some time to do something creative!!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

More Baby Cards!!

I don't know what it is about baby cards lately. I seem to be addicted to creating them!! I bought the adorable Sweet Baby stamp set from Paper Trey Ink and I just had to use it. 

The first two cards were inspired by a card from my favorite PTI designer, Dawn McVey

I used some old October Afternoon patterned paper I had, the Sweet Baby stamp set and dies by PTI, as well as PTI Half Note and Border dies.

For the second card I used the same basic design but changed up the yellow. Not sure which one I like better.

I used a TON of different patterned paper scraps for this card and chose to make it especially for a girl. Isn't that elephant cute?

The last card I created for a friend that I haven't seen for a while. All the stamps are from Paper Trey Ink and the lace paper I created using my Silhouette digital craft cutter.

I hope you enjoyed my projects today!!


Monday, July 30, 2012

My Vacation!!

Char, Chris and I took a trip to Chicago to visit my brother last week. Though I don't usually share photos of non-creative stuff on my blog, I decided to post some so that my family can have a chance to see my brother's children. We don't get to see them that often and it was so nice to be able to spend some time with them!!

The boys love their sister. She is fun to squish!!

I could just eat her up!!!

Look at that dimple!!! So cute!

It has been so long since Chris fed a baby!! My niece was so much easier to feed then Charlotte ever was and it was a fun change of pace. I even offered to do it and I would always hand it off to someone else if they were around when Char was a baby.

Charlotte and my brother. Are these two related or what?

My brother and family.

A photo of my brother's children and Char altogether. After looking at this, Charlotte said we need to get ALL the cousins together and have a professional photo taken.

Isn't my niece delicious? She was so squishable and you just had to kiss those cheeks!!!

Char had fun climbing the wall with her cousin at the science museum in Chicago.

I took so many photos over the two days with my brother's family that I only took two more for the whole rest of the vacation and we were gone five more days!!! Charlotte even complained and she is always up for a good photo shoot.

Have a great week!!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Few Projects

I love summer. I have time to do things I WANT to do rather then just what I have to do. One of my favorite things is getting into my craft room to make cards. Here are a few of my favorites that I have made over the last month or so.

The first two cards I created for a challenge at It was to create your own background paper using text.

The first card I chose to only use the text in a small area. I used the Buttercup Collection patterned paper by Lily Bee and a fun Sizzix telephone die cut.

The second card I chose to use the printed text background for the whole card. I printed it out on white cardstock but it looked too stark so I misted it to make the background more like patterned paper.  I used the Sizzix telephone die again and some patterned paper scraps for the circle and the telephone.

I had a lot of fun creating this third card. I used my Silhouette machine to cut out the lace paper, colored it using mist spray and then accented it with some patterned paper circles. The butterfly was an extra that was left over from a scrapbook layout and was a perfect addition to this card.

Though this card has a telephone on it, the die cut is a PTI die rather then a Sizzix. I used some paper by My Minds Eye that I bought at AC Moore and a lace accent from Prima. I think this is my favorite!!

This last card is SO EASY!! I just used die cuts and stickers to create it. You can never have enough thank you cards either!!

I want to thank you for looking!! Have a great Sunday!!