Friday, March 25, 2011

Challenge Card – Floating Butterfly

Today (Friday) Kari Seals sent me an email and asked me to help her bounce some ideas around with a sketch that her CTMH unit was doing.  It is a crazy fun sketch and of course I wanted to play, too!  I immediately had a ton of ideas flying through my brain but had to reign them in a little…

Here’s the sketch:

card sketch

So I got on Skype to chit chat with my friend, Michelle Johns, and she bounced some ideas around with me for this card, specifically the butterfly idea.  Everything on this card is popped up with American Crafts Foam Tabs. Stamps are CTMH.  The butterfly is mounted on a “bent” piece of transparency/acetate sheet.  When you move the card it wiggles and bounces… it’s so awesome!  Thanks, Michelle!

Here’s my card… You can see that the butterfly, gems, bling, leaf, message, mimic the various circles on the sketch.  Stamps are CTMH and paper is Basic Grey – I think Nook & Pantry paper pack.  The scalloped circles looked naked and out of place on the card so I added my own layer and anchored them with the orange strip of paper. Makes mama much happier :)






Thanks for popping in!

Inky Smiles!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Charmed, I’m Sure! A C.U. Recap – The Charm Swap



I’m back with some photos of our Charm Swap from this year’s Creative University.  This year Tresa asked me to be the “Charm Mistress”/head Charm Fairy and organize and carry out the swap.  This year we did TWO separate and completely different charm swaps!!  It was a TON of work and a TON of fun!   I created a Charm School and our Charm Guidelines and posted them on our old CU students site.  Rather than me retype and post pics of the whole shabang how about you just click on over and check it out and then finish reading this blog post?  Click HERE to view the Charm Swap goodness.  A separate window will open up and you can click on the tabs to read all about it and visit my Charm School!



My charm fairies were AMAZING at helping me sort all of the GORGEOUS charms that my Charming Ladies turned in.  I was truly amazed at the creativity and love that filled this charm swap. Many of the ladies were beginners but you would never know it from the fabulous charms they contributed.  One of our Charming Ladies had to step out of the swap due to a death in her family but another Charming Lady contacted me privately and arranged to create both her own and our friend’s charms for BOTH swaps so that our friend could receive some charms back and a bit of happiness in an otherwise sad time.  You see, crafty ladies stick together and help each other out.  It’s amazing. I love it.

My sweet friend, Michelle, helped carry over the big honkin box of bags of charms to our “secret hide-a-way” where we swapped out the charms.  Here she is under the weight of all those crazy charms… and me getting in on the shot.. haha!



What a couple of goofballs! 

Here are my darling charm fairies sorting out the swaps.  We did a “round robin” style swap and it worked out GREAT! We had two tables full of Vintage Victorian charms and one and a half tables full of Under the Sea charms.



I had originally taken pictures of each individual charm but then I decided I did not want to edit each individual charm so here I’ve grouped them on my grubby Fiskars craft mat (sorry for it’s ugliness) and snapped photos of the charms in groups. I figured this would be faster and easier for me and I’d actually be able to get a post up!

Charm Swap #1 -  Vintage Victorian

Theme Guidelines:

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils..."
  ~ Wadsworth

Have you ever rummaged through grandma’s jewelry box or jeweled treasures at a flea market?  Find joy in the beauty of old, well loved and worn baubles and trinkets, sheet music, lacey metals, flowers, gears, and magical beauty.
Colors are soft and muted, pastels, pearls, etc.

Party with antique colored, aged and patina’d metals (not bright and shiny) in this charm party. Think OLD!

Here are the charms that I received in my bag.  I forgot to write names on these pics but I will write who they were from under the pics.

{top loose beads-miscellaneous from a couple of ppl, red and black-Bobie G., pink n silver – also Bobie G, the flowers on the card – Michelle J, cupcake card – Melody P, loose charms on the greenish card – Linda S, the green card charms – Kari S}

{red square – Nichole L, silver and black – Yvonne H, pendant circle on striped paper – Kandi G, rose circle – Tahne T, bottle charm – Charlene W, teapot pendant – Kim G}

{crystal angel –Kathie D, dice and hearts – Marieke H, heart and baubles – Marieke H, porcelain flowers – Wendi H}

Here is my main Vintage Victorian Charm. I failed to take a photo of my filler charm. My charm is created from a scrabble tile which I raided from our scrabble game and drilled top to bottom with Brent’s Dremel tool (gotta love raiding the woodshop for craft projects).   I made a digital design in PSE and then shrunk it down to fit a scrabble tile and printed it out onto cardstock and covered in mod podged on both sides. 


I covered the edges of the tiles with crystal effects and then dipped them into Martha Stewart antique silver glitter and let everything dry overnight.  The next day I adhered the images to the tiles using crystal effects and then poured resin over them and let them sit for several days.  When they were good and cured I finished them up with silver headpins and silver beads which I “antiqued” with a brown Copic marker.



And here they are assembled on the charm bracelet that I made.  I made the bracelet base out of twisted jump rings and silver baubles filled with swarovski crystalss.  I used liver of sulpher to antique the metal base parts.  It was stinky but easy peasy and I love the end result.




Charm Swap #2 – Under The Sea

Theme Guidelines:

“The seaweed is always greener
in somebody else’s lake.."
~ The Little Mermaid

Journey through mystical seas with beads and baubles of blues, greens, purple and silvery tones.

Anything mystical shiny and shimmery goes!  Mermaids and fishies swim amongst the glittery stones and shells in our underwater charm garden.

Party with pearls, shimmery shells, crystals, glass beads, silver (colored) and antique silver metals.

Here are the charms that I received in my bag of underwater loveliness. I did remember to write the names of each artist on the cards with the charms. Whew!



And here are my Under the Sea charms.  My main charm is created from a tiny glass bottle which I filled with sand and a touch of magic glitter and some teeeny tiny seashells and pearls and wrapped with silver wire cuz they looked a little “naked” and needed something else.  Forget a message in a bottle I want some bling in a bottle! Yah baby! My “filler” charm is just a simple shell bead from Michael’s.



Here are all of the Under The Sea charms on a bright silver bracelet that I made from the same twisted jump rings and baubles as I did for the Vintage bracelet base.   I forgot to attach my own charm to it, lol, so I have it attached in a pic at the end.





I LOVED both of these swaps and I am totally head over heels in love with both of my bracelets.  I have worn the Vintage bracelet several times and have received loads of compliments on it and it’s quite the conversation piece.  I can’t wait to start wearing the Under The Sea bracelet now that I’ve got it all assembled! It’s sure to be a great conversation starter!

Thanks for hanging in there with me on this SUPER long post!  Hope you feel inspired to make yourself a little blingity bling.  All of the artists in these swaps did such an amazing job!

Inky & Blingy Smiles!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It’s Not Easy To Eat Green: St. Patrick’s Day Dinner

In our almost 12 years of marriage we have never done the “green thing” for St Patrick’s day but this year I felt like it might be fun to do something for it.  Originally I thought I’d do the whole Corned Beef Brisket with cabbage, taters, and carrots thing, but then I got to thinking about it… the last time that Brent and I made corned beef brisket neither of us cared for it that much so down the disposal it went.. blech.  I made a command decision this afternoon to change the menu plan…

I decided to make GREEN Fettucini Alfredo (homemade sauce) with a GREEN salad with GREEN ranch dressing and GREEN garlic bread.  For dessert, GREEN frosted (airbrushed by the bakery) cupcakes.  It’s fun what you can do with a few drops of green food coloring… tee hee!  Oh, I also picked up some Mt Dew for a green beverage, but then remembered it’s more yellowy than green. (We’ve given up soda at our house… it’s a rare treat now.)    Brent chuckled when I told him what we were having for dinner, but I think he also appreciated me NOT making corned beef brisket…

Here are a few snapshots of our fun meal.




It was VERY strange to be eating green alfredo sauce and green ranch dressing.  I kept anticipating green frosting with the alfredo sauce, lol!  It didn’t taste any different, but it kind of tweaks your brain a little…   The garlic bread burned on one half of each piece (due to it rolling on its side and us not paying enough attention) but it still tasted good.  We just cut the breads into normal slices once it was cooked and tossed the burned parts.)  I printed the cupcake wrappers from the Tip Junkie website because I didn’t have enough time to create my own in MTC and cut them out.

Here are some tips when coloring your food green:

1) Soften your butter to near melted before stirring in your food coloring or you will be chasing it around the bowl forever.

2) Add your food coloring to your cooked sauce at the very end.  For the recipe we made (about 1 qt) we used roughly 22-23 drops of food coloring.

3)  Shake your ranch dressing like mad to prevent streaking. (I use the Tupperware shaker when I make my homemade ranch.)

4)  Buy your cupcakes pre-sprayed at the bakery.  mmm!

Hope you had a terrific St Patty’s day!

Inky Smiles!


PS… Back soon with charm pics. I’m sooo behind in editing pics, but they are next up!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Enabler Alert! Free Photo Book AND Dollar Days Sale!

Hey friends! I’m still “off” for a few days, working on some spring cleaning projects that are driving me out of my mind but need to be done.. lol… but I got some fun info from my blog “sponsors” that I wanted to share with you! {I’m putting both “ads” in one post so that I don’t flood you with emails.}

First off… PICABOO has a CRAZY deal available for new Picaboo X users.  Simply set up a new account with them and you can receive a FREE Classic 20 page photo book!!  (This is a $30 value.) You just pay shipping.  If you have been wanting to try a Picaboo Photobook now is the time to do it!  Hurry!  This offer expires on March 22nd, 2011. 

Picaboo Promotional Banner 
Here’s the FREE BOOK Scoop:

Don't forget! From now until March 22, new customers can receive a FREE 8.5x11 Classic Custom book from Picaboo using code FREECC. This offer is valid for either a hardcover or softcover book but will only work for our Classic Custom style.

The cost of one 20-page 8.5x11 Classic Custom photo book (up to $39.99) will be deducted from the order total. If the book contains more than 20 pages, the customer will be charged for the additional pages at a cost of $0.99 per page.

Taxes and shipping charges are additional.

This coupon is for new Picaboo X customers only.


Also, Lettering Delights is having their DOLLAR DAYS sale on all fonts AND SVG files (those awesome little files that you can use with

Make The Cut (MTC) and your Cricut machine! You can also use these darling SVG files and fonts with MTC 3.0 beta’s new feature “print and cut”. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMAZING little feature!
 Dollar Days

Here’s the DOLLAR DAYS scoop!

Dollar Days starts tomorrow, March 15th!  All fonts, doodlebats, graphics, clipart, alphabets, and paper packs will only be $1.  All SVG's will be $2.  Mini albums will be $3.

In addition to the slamming dollar days deals, you can also receive the following amazing deals:

1) Over $40 in FREE PRODUCT with new account sign up.  We have now added SVG's to the new account product.  If you already have a an account, you will find the new product available in your library.  (image attached)

2) 9 Free Fonts are available to everyone who signs up for the newsletter

3) $5 off if you refer a friend who signs up for the newsletter.  You'll both receive a $5 coupon good on any purchase of $15 or more.

4) Monthly freebies.  This month's freebies are the Modern Miss Alphabet (available through Try Me Now Tool) and the Fancy That Digital Paper Pack.

{Shameless self promotion: on a personal note, I’m saving for something fabulous for Brent’s birthday next month… if you sign up as a new user for Picaboo and click through my links to purchase from Lettering Delights I earn money towards this gift.  I’m way stoked and hope that I can make it work!}

Back soon with another Creative University Charm Swap recap!  Be prepared to drool. I am SO happy with how the Charm Swap turned out!

Inky Smiles!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Winner of The Bauble Earrings

We have a winner! I used to draw a winner!  I took out the double comments and my comment and we had 13 entries in this contest. selected our winner… drum roll please…. tappppity tap tap tap tap tapppp….
Our winner is #2 – Kandi G!!  Shoot me an email with your mailing address, Kandi, and I will pop these little darlings in the mail to ya!

Thank you for playing everyone!

Inky Smiles!

PS.. I’m going to take a couple of days off of the blog and do some cleaning in my studio. It’s quite awful and I’ve got to kill some dust bunnies.  Be back soon with some more fun goodies for ya!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mini Purses – Quickie Party Favor “Bags”

Quickie post today.  I was working on a small project with my friend, Amanda, for a church activity. She needed to cut our some “party favors” - 40 mini purses and tags to hold little candies so we went to town.

I have to say

THANK GOODNESS FOR MTC!!!!!  I don’t mean the LDS Missionary Training Center.. I mean MAKE THE CUT and my Cricut Expression!   I’ve been playing with the demo version for a while and finally a month or so ago bought the full version of it.  I love the endless possibilities of using my existing digital art and most of all FONTS… I don’t have to buy a zillion font cartridges. SO HAPPY!

Now, before you Cricut professional ladies go ape on me and tell me I could have done it all with a cart and my dial, I know, I know I could have…. I specifically needed to resize these purses and tags by scaling them and not just tweaking the measurements on the roll-y dial or on my Gypsy (which I haven’t played much with YET).   I downloaded some FREE images from the MTC forums and loaded them up.  I stamped an image on some scrap paper to figure out the exact size I needed to make the tags.  I loved that I could scale it all on my computer right in front of me.

I cut out 48 purses and Amanda and I scored and assembled them and then she came back over last night and I cut out 40 bracket labels and left them on the mat while I stamped a sentiment in each one. It went soooo fast!   Then we adhered the labels to the mini purses and stuck little flowers on with some Glitter Glue and added glitter centers to the flowers and popped little Hershey nuggets in each one.

These are really super simple and boring but they needed to be quick and easy peasy. Not a lot of Erin Fru Fru on here, but hey they are cute and they will work :) YAY!

IMG_3645web  IMG_3646web IMG_3650web



Sunday, March 6, 2011

Creative University Recap #2 – Cluster Necklace – My Class

Sorry for the delay – I got a little distracted by some things at home.  Back today with another Creative University Recap.

Tresa asked me to be a teacher for C.U. waaaaay back in the fall of last year.  I was so excited and nervous and had a trillion ideas going through my head and then she specified that I would be teaching a Jewelry class. Oh boy… more ideas started swirling around… and then I settled on one idea. 

Here is the cluster necklace/junklace that we made for my CU Jewelry class.


                 IMG_3065web   IMG_3072web

I went to a few gem fairs and jewelry shows with my friend, Valerie, and started collecting goodies that I could incorporate into my project and started making a prototype. I spent a couple of weeks hemming and hawing over the last couple of elements for it.  I had a budget but I liked the rolo style chain better than the “gangsta style” curb chains and I had an idea for a fabulous “souvenir” style charm that I just HAD to squeak into the budget.  Well, I threw the budget out the window and spent a little extra on my project. It was so fun and so worth it. 

Packages of goodies in my studio.. It was like Christmas.. a big, fat, blingy Christmas!




Here I am adding the first sneak peek to the CU students facebook page. Buwahahaha. I loved being just a little sneaky!


I pre made 120 charms for the necklaces.  First, I did 61 (I broke my first one, which is why I premade them) crystal drop charms shown below tied together like a chandelier.


And then I premade 60 of the custom designed mother of pearl CU “souvenir” charms. I designed the artwork in Photoshop Elements and then brought it over to Valerie’s office and she laser engraved them for me.  BUT, laser engraving was not the last step before they became charms.  I hand filled them with silver paint and then cleaned each individual charm and set them to dry. My fingers were painted in silver splotches for a couple of days.  Here are a couple of snap shots of my CU souvenir charms.



Once my two premade charms were completed and ready to go I set out to sort out parts for 60 kits.  Holy moly… this was a LOT of sorting of teeny weeny pieces. 


And then I packaged them all up into neat little bags and topped them off with cute little cardstock “toppers”.



Ready to go to Creative University!


I taught two classes at CU.  One Friday night after dinner and one bright and early Saturday morning.  Here are some snapshots of the two classes.  We had so much fun and everyone finished their projects before they left class!

Teaching wire wrapped loops with Erin’s Pipe Cleaner-Noodle Method.  Not sure WHAT I was saying or thinking or cheesing with that crazy look on my face but I love the sexay apron that Tresa made for us teachers!

I had four FABULOUS teacher’s assistants/Charm Fairies (two for each class) who were amazing and helped keep us all on track with our charms and necklaces.  My Fairies were Kari Seals, Tamara Werderber, Melody Pugh, and Michelle Johns.  I made each of them a special charm as a thank you gift.



Here is a pic of me and three of my Fairies… I’m not sure why Tamara isn’t with us but I went back through my pics and found one of me goofing around with Tamara and Kimberly.



And here are some random fun shots of my classes.









I had such a fun time teaching this class!  I think everybody learned something new or sharpened their skills or opened the doors to a new hobby.  

Inky Smiles!


PS.. If you’ve read through this entire post, thank you!  Leave me a comment on this post and tell me why you need a new pair of earrings  (be creative) and I will draw a winner for a pair that match this necklace!   Winner will be posted on Thursday night after 8 pm mountain time. Winner will have 2 days (claim by Sat 8pm) to claim the prize before another winner is drawn. Please email me your contact info once your name is drawn.