Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sketch Challenge {012}

Here's a little sketch to coincide with today's TFT... Use it as a card, digi layout, a scrapbook layout, etc. I'd love to see what you come up with!

Inky Smiles!

Thoughts for Thursday - Appreciation

I received this quote earlier this week via email.

“Most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragement -- and we will make the goal. ”

~ Jerome P. Fleishman

And then I received this one:

“Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.”

~ Margaret Cousins, author

Do you know of someone who could use a lift? Drop them a note today!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thoughts for Thursday: Happy Pioneer Day!

Today is Pioneer Day, a holiday celebrated in Utah, commemorating the arrival of the Mormon Pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24th, 1847. The Pioneers had quite the journey getting here from the east. Some rode in wagons and some walked with pull behind handcarts. When I think of how they wore out the soles of their shoes, lost loved ones, and endured months of agony I am grateful for the modern conveniences we have today. I am also grateful that Brent's ancestors (in addition to being a direct descendent of William Bradford of Plymouth Plantation, part of his family were stranded with the Martin & Willie Handcart company) were part of the group of people who came across the plains.... I will not complain as we are driving across the barren landscape of Wyoming and western Nebraska on I-80 on our way to Iowa in my comfy air conditioned/heated, soft seated automobile anytime soon again...

Brent had to work today so I spent the morning with my friend, Trish, and the Mini C's up in Spanish Fork at the Fiesta Days parade and then with Trish's family (her parents are Brent's great aunt and uncle) for their annual July 24th picnic. Trish's mom always serves Albertson's fried chicken, smashed spuds and corn on the cob. This year Ellen shook it up a bit and Trish brought coleslaw instead of smashed spuds. It was really fun to experience another family's family tradition and made me a little homesick for my own family way out in Iowa.

What is something that you are grateful for that your ancestors gave you? And, what is a family tradition that you and your family celebrate?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We Have Some Winners!

It's late and I am EXHAUSTED... The bathroom is on it's way back to some semblance of normal and we've got the kitchen base cabinets and appliances back in the kitchen... well except the kitchen sink. I purchased a nifty new black one and the old faucet doesn't work, and you can't use Plumbers Putty on granite... ugh... so back to Lowes we go tomorrow!

The flooring arrived at 1:28 pm. We heard a big rumble and the dog went wild... Sure enough there was the UPS Freight truck with 2,040 lbs of wood flooring for us! WAHOO! 20 boxes that weighed 102 lbs each! (Not so wahoo.) Anyhow... we got it all unloaded from the truck with the help of the UPS man (paying the $29 for lift gate service was well worth it) and with the help of a couple of neighborhood kids we got it unloaded from the pallet and stacked neatly in the garage until we get the livingroom cleaned out and can stack it in the house to climatize to the house. This weekend is jam packed with InkStak building so sometime next week we can start laying down the hardwood. I AM SO STOKED!

The winners are:

The closest guess on the WEIGHT is:
Anonymous Heather H. said...

1.) What time will the wood flooring arrive? I'm going to guess 8:35 a.m. because if it is shipping early it will probably arrive early in the morning too.

2.) How much does my shipment of wood flooring weigh (US pounds)? 2000 pounds

July 21, 2008 8:33 AM

The closest guess on the TIME is:
Anonymous Juli said...

Your flooring will arrive at 1:23pm and I have no idea how much that would weigh, but I'll guess 625 lbs. Good luck with all of your remodling.

July 22, 2008 7:33 AM

CONGRATULATIONS to the winners and thank you to everyone for playing along! Heather and Juli, if you will send me an email with your information I will get these out to you!

Inky Smiles!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's All About Numbers.... A Guessing Game

Well, we're making a HUGE DENT in the house projects and this means I am that much closer to getting back to paper crafting, which I am MISSING IMMENSELY!!! The walls in the basement are patched and drying. The carpet has been re-stretched in the family room and some of the office furniture has been moved from upstairs back down into the family room. (We still have to put the baseboard trim back up, but it was 11 pm when we'd finished stretching the carpet and couldn't run the air compressor.) We need to finish repairing the walls and retexture them and then PAINT... and then we'll work on replacing the flooring down there and hopefully soon we can be back to normal!

The tile is done in the kitchen and the front bathroom is started, YAY! We spent the weekend pushing ourselves hard to get the old flooring ripped out (along with 8 zillion staples from the old subfloor under the vinyl) and hauled to the dump, then we spent a full day prepping and laying down a new Hardibacker subfloor and two days laying out and setting the tile. We're beat! Our furry little supervisor didn't even break a sweat! Must be nice!!

Our wood flooring that was supposed to be here the first week of August is going to be here TOMORROW... sometime tomorrow. We're three weeks not ready for it.. YIKES! Talk about some EXCELLENT customer service! We bought the flooring from and so far we've had a good experience. I'll let you know the final results once the flooring actually shows up.

So, this brings me to the Guessing Game..... I was at the Provo Craft Outlet Store in Orem after work one day last week and picked up a couple of fun things to give away. I picked up some ArtAccentz glitter/mini beads/microbeads by Provo Craft & some "ready to bling out" double sided stickers by Making Memories and I had some packs of American Crafts Velvet Thickers on hand... fun, fun, fun!!

AND....... HOLY MOLY BATMAN! I logged on to write this post and this is what I saw... check out the lower right hand side...

Now back to our regular programming....

Here's how you can take a chance at winning..... I will choose the winners on Wednesday night after we've had some time to recover from the chaos....

Leave a comment on this post with your guesses for the following questions:

1.) What time will the wood flooring arrive?
2.) How much does my shipment of wood flooring weigh (US pounds)?

I have two prizes to give...

This one goes to the person who guesses the closest TIME:

This one goes to the person who guesses the closest WEIGHT:

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Nine Years, Baby!!

Last night we snuck away for a train ride and hoedown dinner/dance trip up in Heber City on the Heber Valley Historic Railroad for an anniversary celebration... mooocho fun and a much needed break! Our anniversary was Thursday and we were incredibly busy with work and tracking down tile and supplies for the flooring and preparing to to tile (but that's another post). I am sneaking away from installing hardibacker board (subflooring) so I can quickly do this post.... shhh!

The train ride was a blast! It was so nice to spend an evening with my sweetheart... away from projects, work and business. We were able to just kick back and relax. We enjoyed a yummy dutch oven dinner and music and square dancing at a platform station. The fresh and cool mountain air was so refreshing.

In 1999 I married the most amazing man in the universe! I am forever in debt to my sister for setting me up on "one last blind date"... Brent is amazing. I can not fully put into words how I feel about my sweet husband. He is kind, unselfish and loving. He is handsome and tender. I can not imagine being married to anyone else. I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for allowing me the gift of this wonderful man!

Happy {belated} Anniversary, Brent! I Love You!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!!

This is way late... well late for posting, but you know how it's been at my house lately... LOL! I made this card for my Mom in May, before The Great Flood. I played around with some Papertrey Ink papers and my Nestabilities Ovals. I also did some real stitching with my old machine across the center of the card. One tip for machine stitching: try to use as little adhesive as possible where your needle will be stitching. The machine needle tends to get sticky and yucky and the thread gets globbed up and the machine doesn't stitch so nicely. Also, you will want to use a Sharps needle when stitching paper for nice, crisp holes. (I'd keep a needle set aside that is only for paper... don't use it on your fabric once you've stitched paper.)


Garden Green & Sweet Leaf CS - CTMH
Patterned Paper, Ribbon - Papertrey Ink
Chipboard K - Maya Road
White Glitter - Martha Stewart
Happy Birthday Stamps - CTMH
Nestabilities Dies - Spellbinders

Friday, July 11, 2008

Digital Delights.... shaZAAAM!!

Today, for her Photoshop Friday tip, Jessica Sprague showed us a WAY STINKING COOL filter/layer/enhancement technique to jazz up otherwise blah photos.

She calls it shaZAM ..... And boy does she mean it!

Here's my photo straight out of the camera {S.O.O.C.}:

I followed Jessica's super easy and clear instructions on her blog.



I have a fabulously shaZAM'd photo.

Here are the before and after shots side by side....

What a difference a Screen layer and an Overlay layer make! And by golly ain't she the cutest dog you ever did see?

Happy shaZAM'ing!

Thoughts for A Day that ends in -day: Color Theory

Yes, I missed my TFT Deadline yesterday, so I'm back today with a thought for you on the subject of "COLOR".

Lately I've been reading about color and how it all works together and then about how colors make us feel, happy, sad, energetic, cold, etc. (Still trying to decide on the "right green" for my studio.) There seem to be a lot of "hard and fast" rules about color, yet still with some room for leeway.

I found this interesting tidbit at

"For a long time, now, there has been a problem that fledgling designers have run into on a constant basis. This problem seems insignificant to most, but in actuality it is quite possibly the most important factor in a design or piece of artwork. Yes, you guessed it...I'm talking about the issue of COLOR.

Color can be a touchy subject. Sometimes artists use colors that evoke certain emotions. Other times artists use colors simply because they like the way they look. While any design instructor will tell you that the latter reason is completely wrong, I tend to disagree
. In my personal opinion, color always has meaning. This meaning can be, as I mentioned, an emotional one or it can be a personal preference on the part of the artist himself, but it ALWAYS has purpose behind it.

There is nothing wrong with choosing a color because you like it because, after all, it is your work. However, when choosing a color you still want to make sure its use does not conflict with what you are trying to say with your work. Proper use of basic color theory can help you decide what colors match, as well as what each color makes people feel."

I read this as: So really, as long as I follow some basic design rules & the colors don't completely clash, I am free to use whatever colors make me happy. YAY!

For more fun information on color theory, do some googling or visit some of these websites:

Color Matters

Kuler - the COOOLEST color scheme generator!!


Tiger Color

{colorful} Inky Smiles!

Monday, July 7, 2008


Remember those altered letters I did for some girlfriends a while back? I made one for mE, too! It's an altered paper mache letter. I painted it with acrylic paints and then covered it with paper and altered some Maya Road flower petals with Cloud 9 Design paper, Stickles, and glitter to make a flower.

Studio Revamp Ideas - His N Hers

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July! We had a very fun evening with friends and family. We had some crazy wind happening and I am surprised we were able to light the fireworks, but thankfully (for the kids) the wind died down and we had a blast! Here's a pic of the carnage in the gutter and the last few ppl picking up to go home at the end & some fireworks shots.

Saturday we did a little revamp (aka worked on finishing one of Brent's projects that has been laying around in the garage since The Great Flood) on Brent's "studio".... He built (and I helped paint) some cubbies to go above his workbench (which will also eventually be painted) in his workshop. He is such a happy boy!

This will be niiiiice so he can put away tools & things so that I can actually park my car in the shop/garage. (B tells me that it's HIS workshop that I can park my car in... lol! Fine with me...) Everything we were working on was put on hold because of The Great Flood and we're sick & tired of half done projects so we're working on getting some of them tied up and done so we can move on as planned. We have 3 weeks to get the tile in the kitchen & bathrooms before the wood floors get here so we gotta get moving.

So this morning I am dreaming up ideas for my "new" studio.... (cuz I want to be able to get going on getting it painted and ready so we can put the flooring in and then build my cubbies from B's bday present to me back in March.)

I've already chosen the "color scheme"...

....and I keep adding to it... less brown and more fun colors. I picked up a couple more paint samples to play around with for the color scheme.

I still want green walls, just gotta find the "right" green. I want this to be a creative, happy place that inspires me to create happy & fun art.

I also found some fun fabric for my curtains... I can't remember if I have shared this pic or not yet, so I will share again. Hehe! The curtains will be a kind of patchwork valance and I will stitch some fun trim into the bottom hem.

What ideas do you have for your crafty space? We all have different spaces allotted to us based on our individual circumstances and I love to seeing what people have done with their spaces! I've perused the internet and have seen some beautiful ginormous spaces and cleverly organized and beautifully decorated small spaces.

Inky Smiles!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

RAK Winner

I dropped some numbers into the Random Integer Generator (

There were 45 comments posted on the post.... generated #17

I counted down the comment list and #17 is:

CONGRATULATIONS ROBIN!!! Send me a private email with your mailing address and I will pop your prize in the mail to you this week!

Oh, and btw.... I have not named the machine yet.... Still thinking...

Hope you all had a marvelous 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Photo Blocks x Six (in lieu of Thoughts for Thursday this week)

It's been a super long day (as usual). I worked today and then came home and went swimming.... not in MY pool (cuz it's still filtering and sanitizing) but the brand spankin' new Payson City Pool! It's an AWESOME pool complex with a lap pool, kiddie - zero entry pool with kiddie slides and games, spill buckets, water fountains, 2 speed slides, a lazy river, bubble couch and vortex pool (whirlpool). We've been anxiously awaiting the completion of this pool and tonight it was open for a trial run with city employees and their families. Since Brent is on the city council, that makes him an "employee" and I got to go and brought Trish and the Mini C's as my guests. It was so much fun and we were so exhausted after just 2.5 hours. SO much fun!

SO anyway, I did promise a tutorial today for something fun and SIMPLE... so here ya go!

The youngest Mini C turned FIVE a couple of weeks ago...

Last year I gave Mini C #3 a set of these blocks with Sadie pics on it and Mini C #4 was all sorts of "all over them". Since MC#3's bday, MC#4 has been telling mom, "Gosh, I sure hope Erin gives me some blocks for my birthday", "I like those blocks, I hope Erin makes me some blocks" LOL! Sooooooo, one day MC#4 came to spend an afternoon with me and Sadie while mom and dad attended a funeral and I quickly snapped some photos of MC#4 and Sadie playing in the yard. We had a blast! (I'm using photos of my original block set as I did not take photos of MC#4's set before it was wrapped and taken to the party.)

Here's a couple of pics of the original set of photo blocks that stays at "Aunt Erin's" house. (These are pretty hammered because they get played with quite a bit.)

These are SUPER easy to make and you can make them even while all your crafting stuff is hidden away in your former guest room. You just have to beg your sweet husband (see photo #1) to crawl up and over everything to fetch your CM photo cutter and your Xyron 500 and hope that the Mod Podge is where it's supposed to be in the closet. :)

Here we go:

1.) Locate CM Cutter, Xyron 500, and SIX of your favorite photos and pray you have some clear space on a counter or table. (Or if you're like me, you push your keyboard aside and do it on the tiny dresser top that is a temporary home to your monitor and printer.)

2.) Don't forget your 2" square wooden blocks. A friend of mine bought these online in major bulk for a Super Saturday project we did last year. I don't remember where, but I am sure you can find these at various craft stores, too. Or, if your dh is handy, you can beg him to do the tedious job of cutting down 2x4's to 2x2 blocks. Good luck. :P

3.) Cut each 4x6" photo into 2x2" squares. I found that the guillotine style paper cutters like CM's works the best for precision cuts.

4.) Place each photo piece on the Xryon platform thingy and line up and run through the machine, several pieces at a time, be careful not to overlap the photo pieces as they go through the machine. Notice I figured that tidbit out after the fact???

5.) Ok these instructions are taking longer to type than it took to make the dang set of photo blocks. LOL. Let's see if I can speed this up and wrap up this post so I can go shower and wash the stinky sunscreen off me and hit the sack!

So once your pics are all glued up, you simply peel n stick to each block. You will probably end up trimming a few of the photo pieces because the wooden blocks are not always perfectly 2". No big deal, just simply pull out your craft knife and slice away on a cutting mat.

6.) Make sure that your photo actually works and that there is only ONE piece of each photo on each block. (Don't ask me how I know this. LOL!)

Sometimes it also helps to stack them by photo while gluing them onto the blocks or move your blocks to a separate pile after you glue one piece of each photo to each block. I found this out the hard way and ended up peeling off several pieces because I had two pieces from the same photo on one block. Not fun and you usually end up reprinting photos. Aren't you glad I made the mistakes first so you don't have to? LOL!

7.) Your final steps are to Mod Podge (a couple of coats, dry between coats) with a small foam brush over the photos and edges of the blocks to seal the photos. You may also want to paint or spray a varnish over the Mod Podge to seal it all in. I usually let my blocks dry really well if I am going to varnish them. As long as you don't have itty bitties chewing and slobbering on the photo blocks you should be fine to just coat them with Mod Podge.

Voila! You have a fun photo block puzzle for all to enjoy! (MC#4 and Sadie hanging out in the photo to the right.)