Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Wishing you and your family the MERRIEST of Christmases and a BLESSED New Year!  This is our Christmas card this year… I created it in Photoshop Elements and printed it on 1/3 sheets front and back on glossy cardstock.  This is the digi version showing both sides.


And a little disco funk for your Christmas pleasure featuring the three of us crazies… sure wish I could really move like that!

Merry Christmas!!!


Erin, Brent & Sadie the pooch

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Chinese Crystal Jewelry Set

I know it’s been a while since I promised to show you the necklace I made at my jewelry class earlier this month.  This month sure has gotten away from me as I am sure it has for most of us.  Today we got the last of our Christmas gifts wrapped and under the tree and tackled some household chores before Christmas arrives including Mt Grotegut, the ever growing mountain of laundry.  We’ve been somewhat “lax” on it this past week with all the Christmas festivities and preparations… anyway… it’s nearly done… for now… haha.
So I have had so much fun wearing this jewelry set.  I’ve worn it nearly every chance I get.  It matches EVERYTHING, almost literally, with all the fun colors in it. It’s been particularly festive to wear to various Christmas parties and gatherings.

I purchased these strands of mixed crystals at a gem fair that came through here this summer for a ridiculously low price and can’t wait to see if the gem show folks bring more back this spring. I just love these beads!

Here’s the necklace.  It’s made with silver plated 26 gauge wire and closes with a silver plated toggle clasp.

A closer view of the strands.


I did a very simple strung beads bracelet to go with it. Actually, I made this bracelet about a month prior to making the necklace.  I was anxious to make a necklace to go with it but got busy doing other things again.  The bracelet is strung on tiger wire and closes with a silver plated toggle clasp.
I am most excited about this piece… a handmade ring..  I used 14 gauge silver plated wire with a mandrel to create this 4 wire wrapped ring (say that 4 times fast). I “sewed” the beads on with silver plated wire and secured with “knots”.  I LOVE this ring.  it is fun to wear and catches the light nicely… I love when it catches the sunlight when I’m driving and I am surrounded by hundreds of sparkly dots reflecting on the car surfaces.  It’s magical!

{Pardon my wrinkly grandma hands.  I’ve always had
wrinkly hands…I attribute it to using them a lot. HAHA!}

I’ve had so much fun making jewelry lately and have scheduled a couple more classes for January outside of my home.  Want a class?  Just ask me and I’ll send you the details.

Thanks for stopping by today! Leave me a comment and let me know what you find most challenging about jewelry making… I'm dreaming up some technique posts...

Have a marvelous week!
Inky Smiles!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Denise Macias Please Contact Me

Update:  Denise has claimed her prize!  Merry Christmas, Denise!

Denise Macias -
Please contact me via email by 8 pm (mountain time)on Thursday, December 16th. regarding the prize you won here on the blog.  Because this is a time sensitive prize I will draw a new winner on Friday morning if this prize goes unclaimed.

Inky Smiles!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

O Christmas Tree

Hi all!

We’re busy working on Christmas presents and Christmas goodies (aka TREATS) and enjoying this Christmas season.  I’ve wanted to share pics of my Christmas ornaments for a while now so I’m linking up to two parties:  Thrifty Decor Chick’s Tree Party and Flamingo Toes’ Ornament Party with today’s post.  I am excited to share with you my tree and some of my favorite ornaments.  {There are tons and tons of ornaments on my tree, but I’ll only share some of them.}

                                          Holiday_Home_Button_Sarah[3]   Ornament-Party

Here’s our 7.5’ Christmas tree.  I think this year is our 11th Christmas tree with it. The branches are falling apart slowly and it’s not pre lit.  Every Each year we say we should get a new tree, but we end up either buying new lights or fixing the branches… hehe…   Brent strings those 1400 lights on by hand every year… the set up & light process takes about 3+ hours.   When we decorate the tree we put on our favorite Christmas music (Bing, MoTab Choir, etc) and decorate it together.  I love decorating the tree with Brent. It’s so much fun and makes my heart sing.  Our tree does have some “matchy” ornaments and is mostly red, white, and gold, but is overall a “memory” tree filled with ornaments that mean something to us and have special memories attached.


The tree is 7.5' tall but it was hard to fit presents under the tree, so Brent built a stand which helps our little tree be nearly 8.5’… much cheaper than buying a new tree!  And the skirt drapes nicely over it…  Speaking of the skirt, we shopped all over one year looking for the perfect skirt to fit our tree and decor of our home.  Ultimately we landed at WalMart… $34 later we found the perfect skirt. {The only one like it and we’ve never seen one like it there again.}


Each year we get a few new ornaments for the tree.  This year I added some sparkly leaf branches to poke in the tree and some mercury glass pine cones.  {You can see the pokey sparkly branches in the tree.} I just love how much sparkle these add. I bought six but wish I had bought more!


Every time we go somewhere new for a “vacation” or “mini vacation” we buy an ornament if we can find one.  This year we went up to see the Golden Spike National Monument {on a mini vacation/road trip/date} and picked up this ornament.  We didn’t really go anywhere else “new” this year…


Last year we went to Massachusetts for my Grandpa’s 80th birthday and loved all the covered bridges in New England so we picked this one up at a gift shop that WAS a covered bridge. 


When we first bought our tree we needed some BIG ornaments {aka normal ornaments} because I had only had a little 3’ tree in college and before we were married} and we found these glass beauties at ShopKo.    I love that they have the “nativity scene” on them.  We also have not ever found more of these in gold since.


Last year my sister’s kids made homemade ceramic ornaments and sent them to us for our Christmas present.  We have three, one from each kid, hanging on our tree.  {A star, a tree, and a stocking.} I love them…


We picked this fortune cookie up on the east coast.  I put it on the tree to “bring good fortune”.


Our ornament from when we attended some events at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.  We went to some skiing events {ski jump and cross country} and a medal awards ceremony.


This ribbon candy ornament reminds Brent of his grandma.  She always had those hard ribbon candies in jars at Christmas.  Brent always laughs about how they all think that the candy was the same candy from year to year {meaning it was never eaten, but always there}.  I think my Great Grandma did the same, lol!


This is one of my favorite ornaments… our first Christmas together.  My mom bought it for us.   {The shell in the background is from a fun trip I took to San Diego in college.}


I just LOVE this ornament.  I made it in the 3rd grade at school.  It is made from a plastic cup {the kind you usually get at wedding receptions and parties}, sharpie markers, and cheap plastic beads.  We colored on the inside of the cup with the markers, tossed the beads in and then put the cups on a baking sheet in the oven.   I was really excited when mine came out looking like a butterfly.  I have cherished this ornament.


This lovely glass ornament was Brent’s Great Grandma Stewart’s.  He said that she always had a white flocked tree and lots of blue ornaments on it.  We have a photo of the tree that we keep in the box with the ornaments.  We only have two and I noticed this year that one was cracked.  It nearly broke my heart.


This ornament is a new one for this year.  Sorry for the lousy pic.  I’m too lazy to go back upstairs and retake and edit pics. :P   This ornament has a lovely nativity scene on it.  {Did I mention that I am collecting nativities?}  Oh and hey… there’s some of those sparkly pokey leaf branch thingie.


This nutcracker ornament is one of about 36 on the tree and reminds me of the many (9)Christmases that I spent in Germany.


This ornament has a couple of memories associated with it.  It is one that I made when I was about 7 years old in Primary at church.  The silly picture is me at a church Halloween party. I wore my mom’s “nightgown” {uhm, lingerie jacket thingie} and went as a gypsy. LOL!  I wonder if she even thought about what I was wearing in public. Tee hee!  The backside of it is a felt Christmas tree.  I remember making this and trying so hard to get that gold ribbon perfectly round and to stick flat with that awful Elmer’s glue. I guess I knew even way back then that Elmer’s glue was not my favorite craft glue.  LOL!


I love these pointsettia flowers.  Brent’s mom made them out of wired, beaded ribbon and used some little red berries for centers.  I LOVE these and they are great for filling in holes in the tree.


Here’s a corner shot of the room.  I love my cozy little Christmas.  I wish we had a fireplace to hang stockings from, but they hang perfectly right now on the shelf that Brent built for me for Christmas a couple of years ago. The antique buffet was Brent’s Grandma Grotegut’s and is a treasure to us.


Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed reading about my fav Christmas ornaments!

Inky Smiles & Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Picaboo Book Winner

Ahhh.. running behind tonight, but alas, here we go.  I used to draw a winner for the Picaboo Photo Book giveaway….

Drum roll please….. tappity tap tap tap thumpity thump thwamp……


Counting down the comment list….

#6 is Denise Macias

Congratulations Denise!  Please email me your email information so I can have Picaboo send you the info for your photobook!

Inky Smiles!

PS… Kathy S- I looked into where Picaboo ships and YES, Australia IS on their list!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Simple Christmas: Brownie Box Slipcover - Tutorial

Hello!  This morning I had an email from a friend asking me if I had seen a particular template she had been looking for “a slipcovered brownie mix” or something like that… I did a little searching and found nothing but I remembered that some mixes we bought from Lehi Roller Mills last year had “slipcovers” on them.  So this morning I set out to create my own template.  This is a simple tutorial. I shot from the hip and just snapped photos as I went (on top of the mess I’m currently working on) which explains the messy photos.

Here’s what I came up with.  Lou Faye, I hope this helps!

Slip Covered Brownie Box Gift

This slipcover was measured to fit a Betty Crocker Brownie mix.  I am sure it will work for other similar size cake and cookie mixes.  If not, it is VERY EASY to alter this slipcover… just adjust the score lines.

What you will need:

Your brownie mix box
A scoring tool (I’m using my ScorePal)
Paper Trimmer
Decorative Paper, Stamps, Stickers, Ribbons, Embellishments, etc, to decorate your box

Step 1

Cut two pieces of cardstock to 8”x7 5/8”.  Mark the 8” side with a pencil (a little tick or x will do) so you know which side it is.   Turn the cardstock so that the 8” side runs horizontally.


Step 2

Measure from the left side of the page, not the score lines.  Starting from your left, score at 3/4” and then again at 6 1/2”.    Repeat on second piece of cardstock.   You may fold your cardstock now or wait until later. {I fold mine now and check the fit by wrapping the pieces around the box.} 

Tip: Did you know that when you fold a scored paper that the valley you created by pressing down and scoring should be on the OUTSIDE of the fold? This is because you have already “stretched out” the paper.  Folding it on the inside of the fold can cause the fold line (on the outside) to tear and look yucky. 



Step 3

At this step I start to decorate my slip cover.  Determine which piece will be your “front” and position it so that the folded edges face AWAY from you.  (I had to cut a new piece for this shot because I dropped my stamp on my paper… keepin’ it real here, keepin’ it real!)

Decorate your front how you’d like.  Here I have stamped a Christmas sentiment from the CTMH stamp set, D1440 “Everlasting Life” in CTMH Cranberry Ink. And then I decided it needed a little bling so I pulled out my Sakura Star Dust glitter pen and highlighted the flourished words with it.



Step 4

Lay out your cover pieces like this..


Apply adhesive to the FRONT side of the 3/4” side of the front piece. (clear as mud?)



Steps 5 & 6

Step 5 -Join your pieces like this by laying the wide piece of the back cover over the 3/4” piece of the front cover.  I forgot to take a pic of it so you’re seeing the next “step”.

Step 6 – Apply adhesive to the FRONT of the 3/4” piece of the BACK cover. (clear as mud again? LOL!)

Dang, those brownies are making me hungry….


Realize you’ve run out of adhesive when your tape snaps off 1'” from the top of the cardstock… pull out your super sticky red tape cuz you’re too lazy to change the ATG tape and finish applying adhesive.  {Told you, keepin’ it real here!}


Step 7

Fold the box so that the wide piece of the FRONT attaches to the 3/4” piece of the BACK.  Press to adhere.


Step 8

With both hands, begin sliding the slipcover over the box.  My slipcover fit very snugly on the box and took both hands to gently work the cover down the box. I might increase the score lines by about 1/16” inch next time.



Step 9

Now it’s time to embellish a little.  Look to your left at your mess of ribbons {which you took out of your RibbonStack and put in a giant basket to tote with you somewhere and never made it back in your RibbonStack} and pull out something festive. I decided to go simple and just tie a ribbon around the box.


Not bad, but it could use a little more bling… Let’s try adding a fabric strip and some fru fru glitter foliage.   MUCH BETTER!



Or print a cute little tag like this on some cardstock and layer it up on the front of the box.  You can download a full sheet of labels HERE.  Please note these are for PERSONAL use only. Do not redistribute.


There’s all kinds of ways you could dress up your slipcover!  Tie a spoon or whisk to the ribbon and put it all in a bowl, tie on some berries or twigs for an earthy look, or attach a handmade ornament.  The possibilities are endless!  Let me know if you create a slipcover box! I would love to see what you come up with!

Inky Smiles!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Picaboo Book Giveaway HERE on the blog!

Hey friends! 

Check this out!  Picaboo is giving ONE of my blog readers a FREE book!  Just in time for Christmas, too!  How SUPER COOL is that?  This is not a standard promotion, this is a book just for YOU, dear winner, whoever you will be!!  I will choose a winner and Picaboo will email you with the coupon code to win YOUR FREE BOOK!

Here are the details for what you will win.  The coupon  will be good for THREE different types of books!  YOU CHOOSE!  This coupon is good for one 20 page Classic photo book in any style. It does not cover additional pages over 20 or applicable shipping costs. The coupon will expire on 12/30/10.

Classic Custom hardcover books add a "wow" factor and a professional touch to your book with a completely customized cover that really makes an impact.  Create a one-of-a-kind cover featuring the layout, background, images, and text of your choice on the front cover, back cover and spine.


Our Classic Leather books have a rich, smooth finish and formal, timeless design that speaks to their lasting quality. These covers are easier to care for than the Classic Linen, which can show fingerprints and other markings more easily.


Our Croc-embossed leather books feature our classic design and durable bonded leather with a stylish embossed finish.  Less formal and more "fun", croc-embossed leather can jazz up any photo book. (No – it’s not real crocodile skin! The croc design is embossed on our standard Classic bonded leather).

Our Classic Linen books feature a traditional photo book design with a die cut window on the front cover, allowing your image and caption from the first page to show through the cover when the book is closed.


Not a digital scrapper?  It’s ok! You don’t have to be!  Picaboo has a wonderful, what you see is what you get, interface for memory makers (that’s you) from beginners to experts.   Creating photo books with Picaboo is easy and fun. Photo books can be fully customized by dragging-and-dropping photos and captions anywhere on your pages, and our software allows you creative control so you can make each special page look just the way you want it to.

Photo books make AWESOME Christmas presents and are very fast and easy to do!  No more printing and cutting photos and oodles of papers and embellishments.  Need a gift in a hurry? Did you forget someone on your list? A favorite aunt, a mother in law?  Then this gift is for you!


Here’s what you need to do to enter this giveaway:

1)  Leave a comment on this post and tell me
what your favorite Christmas memory is.

2)  Post about this giveaway on your blog and link back to me,
if you don’t have a blog, tell a friend or two. 

3) Cross your fingers!

Winner will be drawn by on Friday evening by 9 pm MST.