Saturday, March 29, 2008

Digi Layout - Family at Yellowstone

I'm gearing up for my next scrapbooking with Photoshop class (Digi in Deep) with Jessica Sprague and went back and practiced a little from our previous class lessons & it's been shared on Jessica's class forums, but don't think that I have shared this layout yet on the blog. (If I did already, I apologize for re-sharing - loL!) This layout is from our Week 3 lesson in Now We're Rockin'. It was so much fun to make!!! We custom created and tweaked existing elements to create the fun elements used on this page and I learned how to blend photos into the background. We layered load s and loads of brushes on top of each other to create the fun effect aroudn the main photo and red brush frame.

These photos were taken at our favorite place in the world to spend time away from home, Yellowstone National Park. We went to Yellowstone with my parents in Sept 2006 for several fun days. I hadn't been there with my parents since I was 9 months old. My dad was our lucky charm that year because we saw TONS of bears, including a way cool grizzly bear crossing the Yellowstone River by Fishing Bridge. ( I need to find the photos to post them, so very cool!)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Midday News & Enabler Alert

First things first. I received a call from Carrie @ Brains on Fire this morning. I did not get through to the phone interviews which means I did not get the DREAM JOB. This is ok, though. I mean, how many folks actually have the opportunity to even APPLY for their dream job? I am totally bummed, but still hopeful that I have a chance to try again after the position comes open again in two years. I am not going to try to guess why or why not, just going to get up and keep on trucking. I guess I have the time now to focus on the other projects that I have on my plate.

Second... this darn cough will not go away and I'm starting to feel miserable again. So, went back to the dr this morning {bright and early} and go another round of antibiotics, stronger this time. Apparently my left lung is happy, but my right lung has become bad again. GRRRR *cough*...... So with Levaquin and a steady stream of mucinex in my body I hope to beat this pneumonia once and for all. Goodness knows that Brent is probably sick of his sweet wife sounding like a cigar smoking bar maid. LOL! *cough*

This brings me to my latest

I got this quote of the day in my inbox this morning from the Foundation for a Better Life:

“Just go out there and do what you've got to do.”
—Martina Navratilova (b. 1956), former World No. 1 woman tennis player

Today I "just gotta go out there" and do some retail therapy without leaving the house (dang pneumonia)... lol! This morning I purchased a couple of way cool Fiskars border punches online and now I am off to do some shopping for some fun masks and cool digi elements at the new sale going on at Scrap Girls. From now until midnight on March 31st, most everything in the Scrap Girls boutique is 18.3% off.

Click here to start shopping the sale!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thoughts for Thursday - Patience

John Quincy Adams said: "Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."

My version is (or has been previously):
"Give me patience and give it to me now."

Well, not really. There was a time in my not too distant past when it was and where I was always in a hurry for everything and got so frustrated waiting... and waiting... I think that my experience in infertility has helped me deal with the "must have now" mentality. While I am not looking for a pity party, I do have to recognize that a heaping dose of humility was dished up for me when I stood in line for little ones... But, good things have come from this experience... One is that I've finally learned to take time and slow down and enjoy life along the way. I feel a lot less stressed out over things and am able to appreciate what is going on around me.

I've been given a lesson in practicing patience over this past month. It's been a loooong month. You may remember the post "Movie Star" that I posted a little over a month ago. Here's a reminder:

I can't keep it in any longer. I've been trying to be all quiet about it because I've been trying to be patient and not be nervous. So far, so good. I have felt confident and at peace about this choice and really haven't been a bundle of nerves until today. I think that is because tomorrow is Big Day #1.

These cool little gifts were made for a few friends (Amaryllis, Liz, Alisha, and Jeanne) who wrote letters of recommendation for me. I am so appreciative that they would do this for me.... and with relatively short notice.. just a few days. (I hemmed and hawed and prayed about whether or not to apply and then just finally took a leap of faith.) I have one more letter to do for Alisha, but I'm having the hardest time choosing papers for it.

{Click on Pictures to View Larger}

Ok, ok, ok, stop twisting my arm! LOL! I applied for my DREAM JOB. The Fiskateers and Brains on Fire put the call out for FIVE (there were originally just our FAB FOUR, but we've been having so much fun as Fiskateers that they are adding a 5th) new Lead Fiskateers earlier this year and boy was it tempting! Like I said, I hemmed and hawed and prayed about doing it... and actually did it! Basically (there are a lot of normal responsibilities and duties - but the most fun part is) I would be a Crafting Ambassador for the Fiskars Craft side of the Fiskars company and help lead and inspire {read HAVE FUN with} the FABULOUS group of Fiskateers.

Tomorrow is Big Day #1 (and possibly Sad Day).... Tomorrow Brains on Fire and Fiskars will announce X number of finalists to go on for interviews. Then, sometime April 22nd, the new 5 Leads will be announced. I am scared, nervous, excited, all at the same time. I figure, I have done what I can (met the deadline for applications, resumes, letters of recommendation, made my video presentation) and now it's out of my hands.

No matter what happens, I am happy that I have had the opportunity to even APPLY for a dream job, have AMAZING friends to help me with it, and be a part of something so amazing!!

My name is Erin Grotegut and I am Fiskateer #1798 :P

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Life is Orderly (Dial Up Users Beware)

I haven't had a chance to post this FABULOUS piece of artwork that was a birthday gift to me earlier this month from my sweet, sweet, friend Alisha Trussell.

My life now has a plan and some order! LOL! I've been searching high and low for a planner that I could glam up and make MINE for ages now. Well, look no further, Erin... this showed up in my mailbox with the remaining cards from this swap from ages ago..... Everyone else had their swaps and I was feeling bummed that I didn't have mine..... then this box showed up with this AWESOME gift!!! I can't believe how much time went into this planner. (Like the awesome scrapbook that darling Terri Howard gave me last August!!! WOWZA!!!) I feel so blessed and humbled to have friends like this.

Alisha made this using her Bind It All Machine, Basic Grey "Infuse" Paper, American Crafts Ribbon, We R Memory Keepers Ribbon, CTMH Photo Hangers & Brads, a Clip from Making Memories, her Cuttlebug machine & the Textile folder, the flower was cut with her Cricut, misc chipboard letters, and vinyl from WalMart for the cover. I tried to get the best pics I could, but pics do not do justice to how pretty this planner is in real life.

The month at a glance pages are separated by being on colored cardstock and they have a cool little photo hanger from CTMH with a ribbon tied on to create a "tab" for easy access.

She even created the inside pages herself and printed them out with coordinating ink on her printer. (Sorry, I do not have the template for the inside pages.) She included a cute little clip from Making Memories that can be clipped at the top of the current week pages so you can flip to your current week easily. SOOO CUTE!!!

Alisha cut a piece of vinyl (the kind you use to make table cloths and such) to fit the front and back cover to protect the planner and attached it with brads on the right corners. The left side has been lined up and punched with the BIA machine and bound with the wires to the planner.

Two pocket pages in the back for slipping little notes and necessities in.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sneak Peek Revealed

SWEET! Korin posted my project up at Sweet N Sassy Stamps so now I can show you here!

Here's a fun and simple card that I made using the Adoption Day Stamp Set from Sweet N Sassy Stamps. This particular phrase can be used for any relationship that you want to celebrate. This is a fun card that I made for my sweetheart (shhhh! Don't tell him!) I've layered up several pieces of textured and patterned cardstock, run some white cs through my Cuttlebug and scrunched up some ribbon for a cool effect. The flower still needs something around the sentiment, but I am not sure what .....

Inky Smiles!

Supplies Needed:

Adoption Day Stamp Set -
Sweet N Sassy Stamps

Berry Sorbet Hybrid Ink - Papertrey Ink
6x6 Berry Sorbet Patterned paper - Papertrey Ink
Garden Green CS - CTMH
Pink & Green textured CS - Pebbles in my Pocket
Misc buttons
Offray Ribbon
Liquid Glass (to adhere buttons) - CTMH
Scalloped scissors - Fiskars
Polka Dot Cuttlebug embossing folder - Provo Craft

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sneak Peek

I have been very sick for the past 3 weeks but have been doing the "just keep swimming" dance but this illness has kicked my butt... argh!

I also thought that life would slow down for me and that I would have more free time when I quit working FT in November. HA! Does Murphy have a brother? ERGH! I swear, I have been just as busy as if I was still working FT... FT sickness and work ( I worked 3 days this week ... supposed to only work 1! It's the busy start up season for landscapers... I m sure this isn't my last 3 day work week....) and church responsibilities and home responsibilities and a strong desire to CRAFT doesn't allow for "slow down" time.

Spent this past Thursday in my recliner watching reruns of "Make Me a SuperModel" (It was awful, btw.) It's sad when you're too exhausted and tired to sit at your desk and stamp. Anyhew.... Thursday night I was feeling a bit more chipper and "normal", so I picked up a stamp and some new paper (droooooool) and started to try to play. Dadgum bedtime hit, so I crashed. Tonight after work (while Brent worked on mudding and taping his workshop walls) I sat down and played a little more and finished a card....

I've got to wait for this to be posted somewhere else first, (most likely some time tomorrow) but as soon as it posts there, I will show you the full thing :)

My Three {3} Me's winner.....

There were only two entries.... waaaaah, but BOTH FISKATEERS (coooool!) It was too hard for me to decide, so I had an annonymous 3rd party crafter help!

The winner of the My Three {3} Me's RAK is : Carlee

Both girls did a fantastic job!!! Thank you for playing!!!! :)

View both entries here:

Monday, March 17, 2008

RAK Challenge: My Three {3} Me's

ENTRIES: Please link your submission in the comments by 11:59 pm on THURSDAY 3/20/2008 * I can't wait to see! :)
UPDATES: Prize Additions added to bottom of this post

I'm getting on here later than I planned on today... long day at work and had to do some billing and shipping for InkStaks for Stamper Storage tonight before I was allowed to play.

So I have been thinking about this idea for a little while now and thought that it would be fun to give someone a RAK as well!

Here's the Scoop: *** Create a 12 x 12" or 8.5 x 11" Scrapbook Layout and include the following items.

1.) You must include 3 photos of YOU (meaning, YOU must be obviously in the photo & recognizable or the main subject of the photo, not hiding behind Aunt Myrtle). Photos must be 3x3" or larger.

2.) Your title should include 3 words that relate to or describe who you are.

3.) Include journaling somewhere on the page and include these 3 themes: Past, Present, Future. You may include Facts, Dreams/Wishes, whatever, but include 3 distinct and separate ideas.

* You have 3 days to complete this challenge.

* You must post your layout somewhere on the internet (on your blog, in a gallery, in Photobucket, wherever) and leave a link to it in the comments section of this post. (If you need help, email me and I will help you out.)

* I will draw a random winner on Friday, March 21st.

The prize is a bunch (20 sheets or so) of 12 x 12" American Crafts double sided patterned cardstock. (Oh, and I am sure that I can come up with some other fun items to throw in, too!)

AND how about this: for each entry we get for this contest, I will throw in another random sheet of patterned paper or cardstock?

AND - each day (T, W, Th) I will throw THREE of something in....


Happy Creating & Inky Smiles!

3/18/08 Tuesday Prize Addition: {over} 3 Yards of RIBBON

3/19/08 Wednesday Prize Addition: 3 Sheets of Alpha Stickers

3/20/08 Thursday Prize Addition: 3 little craft jars full of glitter! (I'm feeling like poodooo and will take a pic of them tomorrow. I gotta shake this sickness!!! Played a little tonight, as much as my headache and earaches would let me. I have the start of a fun card... YAY!)

I Smell A RAK

I think I smell a RAK ! Feeling a little better today but I gotta jet to work this morning for a little while and take care of some new hire paperwork and financial stuff.... Check in later today and see what's RAK'n!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Enabler Alert: Michael's Coupons

I've been taking it easy for the last part of this past week because I've had pneumonia. I've been sick for 2 weeks and finally went to the dr and received and Rx for antibiotics and a lecture on why I didn't go in sooner. Apparently, this CRUD that's been going around the country, starting out as a nasty cold like bug, has been turning into pneumonia and bronchitis for many folks. So anyway... if you're feeling lousy and it won't go away.... go see your dr!

On a happier note, Yaritza over at Fiskateers shared these money saving coupons with us for Michael's Crafts. One is for 20% off your purchase and the other is for 40% off one item. Click on the links to go to the Michael's page with the printable coupons.

I will be back soon with some fun artwork!

Inky Smiles!

Click Here To Get The Michael's 20% coupon

Click Here To Get The Michael's 40% coupon

Thursday, March 13, 2008

HUGE Stamp Set for Sale

ALL 26 CTMH Solo Alphabets: Complete Alphabet Set of 26 Letter Sets
Full Retail Price new ($13.95 each set) = $362.70 (before tax and shipping)

Purchase these all together and they are yours for $ 220.00 plus $10.00 shipping (insurance optional).

I will accept MONEY ORDERS or PAYPAL on this purchase. (I prefer a money order.)

If you are interested in these stamps please EMAIL ME - InkySmiles @ Gmail dot com

View the complete sets (with all the fun pieces in each set) here: (go to pages 89-91)

I do not want to split the set up. They are priced to sell as a full set with significant savings. There are approximately 320 individual stamp images. You will need to use these with acrylic blocks (not included).

NEW SETS (no stamps used in the set) :
A, C, G, I, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, V, W, Y, Z

LIGHTLY USED (one or two stamps used in the set):
B, D, E, F, H, O, U

USED (many stamps used in the set, but still great condition):

Here are pics of the LIGHTLY USED and USED sets. You can view the NEW sets at the link listed above.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

EWE... a Pop Up Tutorial

That's Ewe as in Ewe, not "ewwwww"... LOL! :P

Here's my most recent contribution as guest designer for Sweet n Sassy Stamps.... This is a fun pop up card that I made using Sweet n' Sassy's "Adoption Day" & "Funny Farm" stamp sets. I love these little sheep! If I had some "puffy stuff" to paint on them, they'd be even more darling! Every family has an "oddball" in their family or has welcomed a new person such as an "in law" to their family, or just has someone they appreciate in their family. I thought I'd try being punny with some foam Thickers from American Crafts and the darling sheep from SnS.

Materials list:
Adoption Day *& Funny Farm Stamps -Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps
Patterned paper & Foam Thickers- American Crafts
White & Chocolate brown CS, Ink, Pewter Photo Hanger, & Twill Ribbon - CTMH
Watercolor pencils - SU & CTMH
Blender Pen - CTMH
Stickles - Ranger
Circle Nesting Dies - Quickutz
ATG Gun & Martha Stewart Glitter Glue (for ribbon)

I've also never done a pop out card before and thought I would try my hand at that, too. After several sheets of cardstock "oops' " I finally got it right. LOL! (Hint: If you're new to pop out cards, practice cutting out the pop up part on scrap paper until you get it how you want it.) Pictured here is template for cutting the pop out part of the card & a side view. For my card, I popped out patterned cardstock that I cut 1/4" smaller than the white cardstock base. (Click on the photos for a larger view.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Totally Terrific Tuesday!

I know I said that I was going to draw a random name last night for the TFT prize... (see end of post).... I was crazy busy yesterday and now my sweet husband is very sick with what I have been suffering from for the past week..... I just didn't have time.

Today was a TERRIFIC Tuesday!!! It was quite a busy day, but I had so much fun! I was up early this morning and headed up north. I tried to stop and get my digi camera cleaned, but turns out the black spot on my camera is something on my sensor and I need to drop the camera off tomorrow for a couple of hours so they can do a thorough cleaning. It's $40.o0 but I think it's so worth it considering the replacement cost of the camera. Might as well do some preventative maintenance! :)

I ended up in Ogden today (about 100 or so miles north of me) to participate in a Fiskars Certified Demonstrator Training class, led by our own Jen B #258!

Basically I am now "certified" by Fiskars, but not an employee of Fiskars, to demonstrate how to use their crafting products. I can work out trainings at craft fairs and at local stores to show Fiskars products. We got to use all sorts of fun stuff today: Fiskars border punches, squeeze punches, the Ultra Shape Xpress, embossing plates, the new FREAKING AWESOME paper cutters (MUST HAVE NOW), etc. I also got to meet some of the Fiskateers from the area (Jeri - see photos on right - and Amy and a future Fiskateer, Jen). Jen has a good photo of the group of us... It was a GRAND afternoon! NOTE: If you would like to become a certified Fiskars Demonstrator, please drop me an email and I will find someone in your area who can train you, too! You can also CLICK HERE for more information.

As it turns out, my friend, Amaryllis is staying in Logan for a few weeks taking care of her MIL who has cancer. Amaryllis was able to come down to Ogden to have some de-stress time with the girls. It was so cool to get to see her this afternoon! We had a GREAT time chatting and hanging out.

On the way home, I stopped off in American Fork to visit (more like barge in with a 5 minute warning) my friend, Liz, and see her FABULOUS new craft studio in PERSON! Girls, it is even cuter and cozier in PERSON. You should see her awesome magnet board up close. Oh today was a fun, fun day! I really needed it after having been cooped up in the house for a long, long, sick week and some extra days.

RAK WINNER: I gave each comment a number and used a random integer generator to choose a name.... The winner is Blueicycle! You know the spiel... drop me an email with your deets and I will pop the prize in the mail!

Inky Smiles!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Clean Joke RAK Winner

Thank you all soooo much for the great clean jokes! :) I laughed at them all :) YOu should have heard the insane amount of coughing and hacking that followed.. YIKES! I'm still feeling lousy physically, but your jokes lifted my spirits :) Thank you sooo much :)

The winner of this RAK {and that cute little book} is Linzi who posted:

"How do you get a peanut to laugh? You crack it up..."

LOL! Linzi - drop me an email with your mailing address and I will get this in the mail to you on Monday! Thanks for crackin' me up, friends!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thoughts For Thursday - Life is a Paradise

Today's Thoughts for Thursday is brought to us from Leo Buscalgia, an author and lecturer on love and the human spirit.

This week, think about the things you are passionate about. Share something you are passionate about with someone new. Perhaps your love and passion for that thing will rub off and touch their life. {Brent said I could not say "Practice Random Acts of Passion" because it could be misconstrued as something for a non G rated blog- ROFL!}

I'd love to hear what you are passionate about! Leave me a note here on this post and I will draw a random name to win an "Alphabet Sticker Stack" from Die Cuts With a View (20 sheets of letters & 5 sheets of numbers). I will draw a name on Monday night.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

BONUS - A "Faux Chipboard" RAK!!!

Well, it's 8:30 pm and I still feel like crud.... It's been a while since I've done a RAK here... so let's spice things up a bit. I have an extra little {duplicate} book that I made while making the tutorial. I will leave it without photos and send it to a lucky winner!

Leave me a comment on this post with a funny {clean, G-rated} joke and I will draw a random name {on Friday} to win the prize!

"Faux Chipboard" Mini Accordian Album {With Tutorial} Warning Dial Up Users... Gobs of Photos!

Hey friends! I woke up sick as a dog this morning and just feel like lying around sleeping all day, but I wanted to share this fun project with you. I survived my birthday on Sunday... woo hooo .. 34 years young! The cute pink mat you see under the project was one of my bday presents from my sweetheart! (I'll share the other later in the week when I get the pics off my camera.)

I am a guest designer over at Sweet n Sassy Stamps this month and this is "Faux Chipboard" Mini Accordian album is one of my projects! It was super fun to do and super, super easy!

This Sweet n' Sassy Adoption set does not limit itself to just adoption! It's perfect to use for FAMILY projects as well. This project is a mini "faux chipboard" album that I made to show off my sister's twins, Sidney & Isaac. My sister had a difficult time achieving and keeping a pregnancy, so when these two came along, it was a dream come true times two! If you're hankering for a chipboard feel album but don't have any chipboard on hand, here's an easy way to get the feel and weight of chipboard with regular cardstock!

For this project you will need: (I tried to make this simple... use what you have and order the stamps!)

*4 strips of 4x8 cardstock

*Misc coordinating patterned paper or cardstock (I used My Mind's Eye "Adore")

*Miscellaneous brads, photohangers, & embellishments (I used CTMH metals, *Doodlebug Designs Glitter)

*12" of coordinating ribbon

*Bazzill Basics Paper Flower

*Bonefolder, Paper Piercer, Craft Knife, Trimmer, Adhesive

*Two or more photos in B&W or Sepia

For the glittery center of the flower, I used a plain old button and covered it with Liquid Glass (CTMH) and then generously sprinkled Doodlebug Glitter all over the button and set it out to dry so that it would be ready to stick on when I was finished with the album. You may want to do the glitter part outside away from your "nice space" because you may end up COVERED in glitter :)

I left a blank piece of patterned cardstock on the back of the book for a little private journaling.

I've printed the instructions on the photos for easy following. If you have any questions, please email me at and I will be glad to help you with this project.

Now, read the tutorial and then get off the computer and start CREATING :)