Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!

Well, we are about to usher in 2009 and I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! May 2009 be a blessed year for you all!

Just wanted to post a pic of my kiddos from Christmas. We asked them to give us a pose with an attitude, and they sure came through. If it were a scrapbook page, I would title it "In the hood(ies)". The hoodies were made for the kids by my mom. She is seamstress extraordinaire! (Hi Mom!!!!) The kids love their hoodies and fleece stuff from Grandma!! (Even if they don't look like it in this photo!)

I will be back after the first of the year with more pictures of projects! Have a safe holiday!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Is it gone yet??

Is Christmas done yet?? Well, after downloading the pictures from my camera's memory card, I am quite convinced that it is. Between photos of projects I did for gifts (and I didn't photograph all of them...) and the photos we took of the Christmas season, there were 314 photos to be moved around. Yikes.
I looked back at the photos I had taken and thought about what kind of projects I had done this year. I have done 15 mini albums and one 12 x 12 album. I didn't count the cards and DT projects or the pages I did for my own family. It was a productive and busy year. (Can you hear the pride in my voice???? hee-hee.)
Below are two photos from an album I gave as a gift. The recipient has a daughter that plays soccer, so I added some soccer pages. When the album is folded up it is approximately 6x12. There are two sets of binding rings (Zutter) on each side because the book opens on both sides. (Making the album approximately 18x12 inches.

This photo is of two 6x12 panels. They work together to form a layout. The mats for the photos were run through my Sizzix Big Kick using a Cuttlebug embossing folder. The soccer ball on the bottom right was an Accu-Cut die that I used from the workroom at Archiver's. The grid behind the photo mats was done with magic mesh. (I don't really know the brand name, sorry Peeps.) I is a canvas mesh that I layed on the cardstock and then dabbed green Makine Memories craft paint over it. Then I moved the mesh and it left this negative image. It reminded me of grass and a soccer net. (Yep...that's me. All about the symbolism.)

This photo is of the album with all three panels open. The panel on the left is the same as the left panel in the top photo. The right panel in this photo is the back side of the right panel in the top photo. The middle panel was underneath the right panel in the first photo. Confused yet?? The soccer girl is a die cut from the Quickutz Silhouette and the word "life" is a Making Memories rub on.

I was so pleased with how this album came out. It was fun and funky. I love that! I will have more photos of this album in the days to come. It has some really fun "features" to it. I have enough photos of all those gift albums to last me a couple of months of blog posts. (aren't you lucky!??)

Well, Peeps, I hope you had a great Christmas and now are anticipating heading into the new year. I am excited to see what it will bring! At the Gem house, we always pray that it will be a good year with good health and that God leads us to make wise choices. We found out last week that my DH's employer changed health insurance carriers. That is always a big, big deal for a family that has two people that have a rare, chronic illness. On another note, however, my DH graduated with high honors with his accounting degree in December. He has worked 2 1/2 years to get to this point. Now we are just trusting God to provide the right job for him.

Hope you have a great New Year's week. I still have a list a mile long to do before the kiddos start back to school here at the Gem house. They are at loose ends because of all their free time. Next week we will be getting back on schedule with school to do every day. This mom is not sure she is quite ready for that! yikes!

Be safe out there and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Candy alert!

Newsflash! Hurry, hurry! The opportunity to win only exists until 3 p.m. (EST), Monday, Dec. 15. Your chance to win over $200 in prizes. Check it out at

Sunday, December 14, 2008

hurry, hurry.....

Oh, my. Is Christmas almost here? We have been invaded by sickness at our house. The kids have snuffly noses, I still have traces of a cough and my voice isn't back to full strength, and my husband has an all out congestion/cough problem. I wish it would all go away. However, we will just get to deal with it while it is here!

I can't believe Christmas is so close to being here! Do you all have your shopping done?? I am close to being done, but still have several gifts on the table to make. One more week of schooling the kiddos and then we will be on Christmas break. I am so much more ready than they are for this to happen! It's a long time from Labor Day to Thanksgiving without a break from school. (If you hadn't thought about that...I ASSURE you it is true!)

This is the last of the Christmas themed cards I will be posting. I have a bunch of photos taken, but just not any uploaded to my computer. (I don't have time to do that right now...I am too busy making the projects and photographing them.) I am in survival mode...

The wreath image is from Prickley Pear. The patterned paper is Basic Grey. It is actually NOT a christmas paper, but goes so well with the card that I couldn't resist. Speaking of Basic Grey, have you checked out their new Wassail line for Christmas?? Oh, it's luscious. It has paper that is very "christmasey", but it has some that could be used all year long. It's very versatile and quite lovely. My DD and I did some little gifts with that line of paper and they turned out fabulous! Oh, and I digress... The image here is simple and straightforward. Therefore, I have no more deets to add.

Hope all your holiday preparations are going well. I am off to work to teach a class this p.m. It's snowing here in Idaho today. You probably just think that is normal. However, we don't live in the mountains. We live in the the valley. In the middle of the desert. We really don't get a lot of rain and snow here in southern Idaho. My kids are outside with their "snow gear" on. They love this!!! I am trying to imagine what our life would be like if they lived in a place that REALLY got snow!?

Hope you have a great week! Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen...

Well Peeps. I am looking forward to my weekend off. Yep. One whole weekend. Well deserved, since I worked four out of five Saturdays in November, including Thanksgiving. (cue violins here...) Anyway...I am also working on a chest cold with laryngitis. (My husband LOVES when I get laryngitis...just one more reason to tease me.) The only house cleaning chore on the list is to clean the bathrooms. A job I really, really detest. However, I am glad that no one else sees the condition of the bathrooms...because I would truly be embarassed!!!

Then, other than that little chore, I am going to scrapbook. And scrapbook and scrapbook. Oh, I might throw in some cards too. I do have to do some tags and cards to go along with the gifts I have been slaving away on. (I had better get busy. I think I will scrapbook for a while and then clean the bathrooms....hee-hee.) If you want to see some festive and beautiful christmas tags, you ought to hop on over to Tim Holtz's blog and check out his "12 tags of Christmas". They are fabulous.

As for my card, well, the reindeer and believe stamps are from Prickley Pear. The reindeer is stamped in Versamark, the "Believe" is stamped and then I used white embossing powder on it. The patterned paper is from Chatterbox. I love the simplicity of this card. I don't do my own Christmas cards. I used to, but it got to be such a chore that it wasn't something that as enhancing my holiday I just quit. It takes a lot of time to put together 60 or 70 Christmas cards. I love them, but after the kids were born, it was just too much. However, I did this card for the Prickley Pear design team. Since it is the Christmas season, after all!

Okay, Peeps! Have an excellent weekend. I am off to scrapbook, make cards and then photograph them so I can share them with you later!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside...

and this penguin doesn't seem to mind! I did this card as a "thank you" to a friend who has gifted me several times this month! She is very generous and has such a giving nature. I wanted to thank her with a special card.

The penguin is an Archiver's Exclusive die from Quickutz (still available at your local Archiver's stores). The stamp sets are: Snowflakes (Hero Arts-Warmest Winter Wishes), flourish on left (Stampendous-our of their Jumbo Tree set), Flourish on the right (Autumn Leaves-double scroll) and the sentiment is from Hero ARts). The snowflakes and flourishes were stamped with Versamark and embossed with white embossing powder. Then I added some bling and ta-dah!!! The penguin has a happy home!

It is still in the middle of the day here at the Gem House, so I must be off to teach my kiddos. History and Phonics are up next! Have a great day, Peeps...thanks for stopping by.

Monday, December 1, 2008


that I will finally post a project again!! And here it is! Okay...this is just ONE of the many projects I have had going on, and now am finally getting posted!

This is a card I did for my design team project over at Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps. Nicole has some lovely Christmas stamps. You ought to head on over and check it out! She also has asked another lovely lady to be part of the design team there, so you will want to watch out for Sally Lynn MacDonald.

On this card, the "believe" was stamped with white ink on a dark blue cs background. Then I used a totally "un-Christmas" background. It is a shimmery paper from the Luxurious Line from DCWV. On that icy looking paper, I used Versamark and stamped those little snowflake/twinkles using another PPRS stamp. I used a tinsel embossing powder on the Versamark. My embossing poweder had some silver glitter in it, but was mostly clear. It worked perfectly for the look I was trying to acheive. (See close-up below.)

Those are pretty much the details. I did add some bling to make it a bit more sparkly.

I must tell you that here at the Gem house, things are wild and crazy. With two young children, how can Christmas be anything but crazy??! This Gem mommy is close to losing her mind today, in fact. (That started LOOONNNGGGG before the kiddos arrived, however.) Lots of working at my part-time job, doing school with the kiddos, extra projects and just added stress seems to be taking it's toll. It might end up being one of those "Calgon, take me away!" weeks. (Okay...I am showing my age. How many of you out there remember those Calgon commercials.)

I will be back soon to post more projects. I have several already dumped to my hard drive now, so life will be easier for a while. Or not.

Have a great week, Cyber-Friends!!

Enablers, Be Aware!

Okay, is another blog candy alert. And ya' all might want to order some Shimmerz Paints while you are over checking out their sight. They are celebrating the Grand Opening of their Online Shopping Cart!!! Hop on over there and check out how you can win some Shimmerz, and if you don't win, you will then know how you can buy some! ( is such great stuff that you might want to purchase it regardless of whether you win or not!)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Attention all you Penny Pinchers!

Check out this blog and leave a creative/money saving gift idea and win a chance for a $500 Walmart gift card!

And Peeps, I know you think I have forgotten you out there, but I haven't. I have been so busy working, eating Turkey, scrapbooking, eating Turkey, making Christmas gifts, eating Turkey, taking pictures of my projects and eating Turkey...that I haven't taken time to blog lately. Sorry. Pictures on the camera is scheduled to be downloaded SOON!

Have a good start to your week!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Blog Candy ALERT!

Hello, Peeps! Sorry that I have been away so long. Between life and making Christmas gifts...I haven't had much time! I am planning on taking some photos over the weekend and then posting them. So just a few more days. The closer Christmas gets, the more things there seems to do. (And the higher my pile of projects gets on my desk!)

So I wanted to assure you that I haven't forgotten you out there.

During my daily round of blog hopping I found a great blog that is giving away some candy. Whimsy Stamps, a new stamp company about to debut their new lines of stamps, is giving away some blog candy. Click on over there to check out the details. The stamps are ADORABLE!!!!!
Check it out: Whimsy Stamps blog candy

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great FRIDAY!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm evidently not above bragging....

about myself. I guess I am going to go ahead and do it. I have a secret. One I am about to tell you. I work at a scrapbook store in town. I work at Archiver's. ( you know!) Recently we had a little healthy competition within our 44 stores for calendar layouts. Each employee could submit and I did my standard 8x8 page. I got my layout back a couple of weeks ago and nothing was said. So I didn't think anything about it. Until we got the pages in for our Holiday Gift Ideas book that is displayed on the counter in the store. And guess what? My layout is in that binder! Yeah!!! Well, since I am also such a well-informed employee, (insert a snort here...) I knew that the ideas and layouts from the pages in the binder were also supposed to be on their website, I checked it out. Well, there was my layout again!!! So if you are all interested in viewing it, here is the link:

Okay. Now my back is starting to hurt from all that patting I am doing on my own behalf. Also, my arm is starting to I will move on!

My husband (accounting student extraordinaire) is about to finish his degree. On Dec. 1 is his last class. We have been working towards this for 2 1/2 years. Not only has he been going to school full-time through the University of Phoenix, but he has been working full-time. If that is not enough, he constantly battles fatigue and other physical ailments due to a rare genetic disease he has. So let me brag him up too, while I am handing out kudos! He is going to graduate with honors! Way to go, Darling Husband!!! But along with the degree is also the stress of finding a new job. One that will help pay for this wonderful degree. And in case ya' all haven't noticed...the economy is in a "bit" of a slump. So he is stressing. So for all you prayer folks out there...we could use a few sent up on our behalf. Thanks so much for that. God is good and even when we don't hear his voice...we know He is there.

That is a lesson that we could probably take to heart concerning the recent election too. Whether your candidate won or lost...God is still sovereign and He is still answering prayer. Whew. I am relieved about that. I remind myself frequently of that also.

So with that, I close. Hope you are having a good week!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Amateur photographer.

Last week we went to the park and took some photos. We had decided that the kiddos needed some "school photos" and since we school at home...we either had to pay someone at a studio or do it ourselves. So, since I am very frugal (translate that to "CHEAP") and since we invested in a nice camera last year when our previous one was dying a sloooowwww death, we did it ourselves.
I have always been a little hooked on photography. I had a very nice 35 mmm SLR in college and had acquired several Nikon lenses for it. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!) So when I looked at a digital camera, I wanted something that would work with the lenses I already had. Okay...back on subject. Sorry.
Anywhooooo....we went and took some photos. Some of them turned out fabulous, some turned out okay, and some were just goofy. Then there we a few that were just, well, bad. I had learned in a college photo class that only about 10% of the photos you shoot will be good ones. That statistic seemed to hold true in this case. So any of you photo buffs looking for the perfect shot...just feel assured that you will get it, but may have to shoot a lot of photos!
So here are a couple that I took. They are okay. I haven't had much time to do much more than go through and look at the pictures. We will be choosing the best ones for "school pictures" and when those are chosen you will probably be subjected to seeing them also!
We also took some photos at Halloween, so I will get some of them posted...or I will get scrapbook pages done and post those. I may not get those done until Valentine's Day...ya' know I am really very prompt! hee-hee!
I continue to work away at those Christmas projects. I guess you all have to take my word for that, since you won't be seeing any sneak peeks for a while yet. Hope you all are progressing on any Christmas gift projects you are working on. I know there are a lot of you out there because we see you in our local scrapbooking store where I work!
Hope you all have a warm and wonderful week. Don't forget to get out there and vote!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Shimmery goodness and Blog Candy!

Hey Peeps! Go on over to the Shimmerz bolg ( and check out the blog candy they are giving away there. Your chance to check it out ends on 11:59 p.m. on October 31st! I have tried Shimmerz (but don't own any!) and they are fab!!! Maybe now is my chance to win some! (and you too!)


Well, Peeps...I know it is a bit early for Thanksgiving...but I am not into Halloween. Yeah...we do the "cutting of the pumpkins" for the kiddos and they dress up and go out trick-or-treating. However, I am not into the Halloween decorations and definitely NOT into Halloween cards. Nothing wrong with all that...I just don't do it. So while I skipped Halloween, I did do this Thanksgiving card. The details? Well, the paper is Bo-Bunny, the stamps are Prickley Pear, and the coloring? Prismacolor pencils. The image is stamped in brown ink and then colored in.

Life is still zooming me by here at the Gem House. Since we school at home, trying to decide about school pictures for our kiddos is always a chore. In the last several years, our Virtual Academy does have a nationwide studio (LifeTouch) take photos of our kids. However, the COST is significant! So me being frugal, (translate that to "CHEAP"!!!!) I decided that we could take our own. Well, 150 shots later....we have done that. We have been experiencing some awesome fall days and on Monday afternoon (since DH doesn't work on Mondays) went and shot a few photos. We also set up the tripod and got a couple of family shots. Most turned out okay. However, that is mostly speculation, since they are still all on the memory card! We also shot a few photos of the pumpkin carving experience at the Gem House. That happened last night. So when I do get them off the memory card...I will be back to post a couple of them. Just what kind of exciting life do we lead?! hee-hee.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The sky is falling!

Okay...maybe it is only the leaves in our backyard. However, it seems that fall is finally here! Beautiful autumn days with nice breezes and falling leaves. Here in the Treasure Valley, Idaho, we are seeing more oranges and reds (vibrant colors) than we typically do.
The card above doesn't have those fall is much more subtle. I used Twinkling H2O's to color in the leaves on the card. The stamp is a background stamp from Prickley Pear. The tag at the left is from Prickley Pear also. It's a clear transparency and I colored the backside with Twinkling H2O's. They work well, but I found you want them to be more pastey (don't add much water) and you will still want to work in layers...building up layer on layer of colors. It is still a very subtle process. The base of the card is a paper from Basic Grey.
Anyway...besides doing school with the kiddos, we are all about enjoying the fall day. Our kiddos have been out "raking" leaves. Mostly they have been puting them in a big pile so they can jump in and mess them up again. Aahhh...the joys of childhood. Anyway...I hope you all can take time and enjoy the days of fall. Have a great week, Peeps!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pop your top!

While looking through Paper Crafts Magazine recently, I noticed that Kim Kesti made the cutest little Matryoshka Doll gift card holder. I however, didn't actually think about making it until I realized that I could do the same thing with a different subject. My DS LOVES it was one of the firsts things that popped into my little brain. I tried to download the template off their website, but it wasn't posted yet. However, not one to give up easily...after several "versions", I came up with my own. Here is a picture of the penguin with his head popped off. The gift card is hidden inside! You just pull his head off and that secret is hidden inside. (kinda' like brains. Or not.) The possibilities are endless. You could make him wearing a Santa hat and holding holly. He could hold a small Christmas tree. The penguin could be made out of patterned paper also.

I used my Nestabilities to cut two circles for his belly out of black cardtock. (You will want to adhere them carefully together around the outside edges, leaving a space for the gift card to slide in.)Then I also cut a smaller circle out of white for the contrasting part of his belly. I will admit that I drew the head, (which is two pieces stuck together with adhesive around the edges) the feet, the flippers and the beak, freehand. I also used my Chestnut Roan Cateye ink around the edges of feet and beak, white ink around the penguin body and pink ink around the edge of his white belly. The gift you can make out of any little scrap. The bow was a Cuttlebug die of a flower that I cut in half.

I will admit that I tinkered with several versions before getting one I was happy with. I also want to try making a snowman and a santa gift card holder. If you come up with one I would love to see it!!! Just leave a comment and put your blog or a link to it so I can rush over and see it! I hope you are inspired by this little project.

I must tell you that I am entrenched in working on Christmas gifts now. I knew if I didn't start early that I would never get done. I work on them as I have time...thus it is a painfully slow process! LOL! Every time I go to Archiver's I see more and more things that I think would make great gifts. Hopefully, you will be seeing some of those posted here in the near future!

Thanks for checking in and seeing what is new! If you have any inspiring projects, don't hesitate to leave me a link! Have a rockin' good week, Peeps! Oh...and if the election isn't enough to scare ya' is another fact: Only NINE more Saturdays until Christmas.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wow. Time flies.

One thing I have realized Peeps, is that the older I get, the faster time goes. Truthfully, I haven't felt well for a couple of days. I got the "stuff" that has been going around. And I can't just crawl into bed and stay there for days. I have school to do with two kiddos and work to go to at night. I also have a long list of things that I need to get done. And that list is still looming in front of me. Projects to complete for Prickley Pear design team, Christmas gifts...things that I just want to do. I need to get online and post photos here at my blog (AKA dump tank) and also get pics ordered from Shutterfly. The only day I had to do some of that this week was Sunday. Guess what? I felt like a piece of gum someone had stuck to the bottom of their shoe. ugh.

So, here I am whining about it. I need more hours in the day. (okay...more money and more beauty would be fun too!! hee-hee.) But since I am not God and can't extend the day...well...I am doing the best I can. ;D) So bear with me out there, okay? I know that what I have posted is mostly pictures of projects, but I do want to post other things too. I have been a bit afraid about posting too much personal stuff. However, since it is my blog...I guess I am in charge!!!
So, here it goes. Here is a pre-Halloween photo of my two kiddos dressed in their Halloween costumes. My mom made the costumes. I will take an "official" photo at Halloween when they are all decked out with their candy "catchers"/bags/bowls.

My son LOVES penguins. We don't know why...but he has quite a collection going. We have noticed that he loves any stuffed animal with black/white color combo and contrast. Because of that, my mom made him a penguin outfit for Halloween, and well, my daughter got one too. She doesn't seem to mind!!'s time for me to trundle off to get ready for work. Oh, and take a detour to fold some laundry! Have a great week, Peeps!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fun little project.

Well Peeps, I did spend the whole afternoon scrapping, stamping and cardmaking yesterday. I did so much, in fact, that I had a cramp in my shoulder for an hour. (insert violins and sniffles here.) However, I didn't get photos taken. So that will be a job for this afternoon. I will whip out that camera and snap a few shots!
However, this is a little project I did for my submission for the Bind It All design team. I didn't make the team, but sure had fun trying. (insert more sniffles and violins. Oh....and please hand me a kleenex.) Okay. Anywhoooo..... I covered four rectangles and the bottom in lovely floral paper by American Crafts. I then used the BIA to punch the rectangles around three sides of each piece and all four sides of the bottom. (that you can't see in this photo.) I lashed the pieces together, doing the bottom piece last. I then had an open topped box. I used my Goosebumps 4x8 alpha plate (from Quikutz) to die cut the letters and ran them through the Xyron "X" to put the adhesive on them. (If any of you work with small embellishments or die cuts or ribbon, the X is a must!!! It puts an even coating of adhesive on the back of anything that will fit in the 1 inch mouth of the machine.) After all that, I added a few floral embellishments and the pen/pencil holder was ready to use!
Okay, Peeps. Hope that was an inspiring little project. Maybe you know someone who could use a gift like that for the holidays. The size could be changed and it could make a great candy holder. Peppermints or peppermints sticks for Christmas (it would look FAB in green and red) or covered with beautiful autumn paper for butterscotch candy for Thanksgiving. It would also make a cute open-topped gift box for a special "someone". Enjoy your fall weather and have a great week!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The best plans...

Sometimes get changed. Sorry, Peeps...I know I haven't posted in a while. I keep thinking that I am going to scrapbook or make cards or rubber stamp. Ha. I have so many things going on right now. I am hoping that I will get to sit down and play today. Maybe. Hopefully.

Please be patient with me! I want to create something fabulous. And to be truthful, last Sunday (and that was a million years ago!!) I worked on a gift I will be giving at Christmas. I knew it would take from now until Christmas to get it done! However, I obviously can't show you photos of that. Ho-hum. Maybe I will pull out all the stops and post a winter/christmas card that I have an idea for! (Oh yeah!) So, I will be back soon with a little "inspiration" to spice up your scrapping/cardmaking projects!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hoot, hoot.

Whoooooooo knew that an owl could be so cute?? I just love this little owl! I stamped him on some DCWV "Once Upon a Time" Cardstock and then cut him out. I added some sparkle to his eyes and beak with Gelly Roll Stardust pens. The chipboard flourish (translate that into "owl perch") is from May Arts. I painted it a "gripping" green and then stamped over the flourish using Chestnut Roan ink and a Prickley Pear image. I used a background stamp on the tag and added a matching green polka dot paper for the sentiment to be stamped on. It turned out pretty a-okay! All images are from Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps. (Including that cute little owl!)

Well, Peeps. Not much exciting happening here. I am getting a really late start on the old homeschooling thing today. This mommy is tired. I am so glad that tomorrow is Friday. I even have Saturday off. (No work at my place of employment!) However, the morning will be filled with soccer, soccer and more soccer for my Darling Daughter. (and Me too!) Maybe I can even wedge in some scrapping/stamping time in the next few days. Or at least I can hope!!

I don't know if any of you other Moms out there have ever had problems with this, but my loving son is 6 1/2 and we are still having trouble with telling which hand is his left and which is his right. It's an ongoing struggle. ( least it is a small struggle. Not one of those huge ones like getting him to tie his shoes! ha.)

Well, Peeps. I hope that you finish your week with a bang! Have a good one!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The last of Summer.

Well, Peeps. I think Autumn has officially hit the high desert. I have doubts about whether we will see any more really warm days. Thank Goodness. I am all into enjoying the cooler weather. And not sweating. Soon you will hear me whining about how cold I am. This is your warning!

This card is one that is hot off the presses. I will be sending on over to Nicole at Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps. Ya' all already know that I am on her design team and create "stuff" for her every month. (Some months in a more timely manner than others. ;o( ) However, this was a last attempt at holding onto summer. The patterned paper (swirls) is from American Crafts and the polka dots are from Prima. The image is ALL Prickley Pear.

However, I did a little trick on the leaves. I put two different thicknesses of pop dots under the leaf on the right. That way it looked like the leaf was curved a bit. I thought it was a fun little trick.

Okay, Peeps. It is just the beginning of the week. However, it has already been a long day at the Gem House! Hope the week gets more fun and easier. Of course, I hope you are having a great week out there in cyberspace! Check back again! Thanks for checking in.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Road Trip

It would be a great weekend to take a road trip. What is the weather like where you are? Are the leaves turning? Is it cooling off? I wish I could take a road trip. However, I have to work this weekend. Friday, Saturday AND Sunday nights. I am hoping to wedge some fun time in there create and do some enjoyable projects. Maybe between darling daughter's soccer game and cleaning the toilets some time for fun can be found!
However, this is the deets on this project. This little page is out of a mini-journal/album I created several months ago for Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps Design Team. Nicole, over at PPRS, ( has created some rockin' transparencies. (I used one of them for this page.) I distressed all the layers here and sewed ( in SEWING MACHINE) the layers together. I am pretty sure that the patterned paper is from DCWV. I did use Ranger's Distress Ink in Brushed Corduroy on this page too. It takes a long while to dry on smooth surfaces but it does work!
Okay, Peeps! Have a perfectly enjoyable weekend and make sure to get out there and do something fun!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Oh Brother!

Last month I posted a layout from an album I did for my lil' brother. Well, here is another page from that same album. I love the paper and the format for this album. I love the tall 6 x 12 format for this album. It also uses my favorite paper...Kraft cardstock!! woo-hoo. The stamps were from Zach's Life from Little Yellow Bicycle and also Prickley Pear. I wish I could remember what company the patterned paper is from, but I will freely admit it, I am too lazy to get up and go look for the scraps tonight. Please forgive my laziness. Also, since this album was a gift, I left the mats blank so that my lil' bro could put in his own photos.

Things have been rockin' and rollin' here at the Gem house. My darling husband has an extra day off this week and is helping with schooling the kiddos. Today, we planned to get a bunch of school done and plans changed all day long. My darling son, who just tested in Tae Kwon Do for his yellow belt got to wear his black belt during his class today. (It was a reward for good leadership during his previous classes and he got to wear it for just one class.) He earned enough special points to do that and he was so excited!!! He got to lead some of the drills during class and did a great job! Darling daughter had soccer practice and then after practice fell off the monkey bars on the playground. She wasn't badly injured (PTL!) but enough to make her tired little body hurt. After a nice shower, she was easy to get into bed!

Well, Peeps! Hope you have a rockin' good week. Check back for more inspiration later in the week and thanks for stoppin' by!

Friday, September 12, 2008


How many weeks have I been promising new pics??? Well, here is one! Finally. I have had a couple of really busy weeks. Blah, blah, blah! I know you have been busy too, Peeps. I want to thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to check out my blog. I hope you all will keep returning again and again!!!
Well, darling son tested for his yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do last night. He was so excited and Mom and Dad were so proud! He tested before a TKD Master. His instructor told them that many people practicing TKD don't ever get to test before a Master, so it should be considered a privilege. Otherwise, we have been busy doing tests and assignments in school. We school at home and the kids attend a virtual academy. We have had some problems with our online school in the past two weeks so the schooling has been going kind of slow. It's hard to get anything done because we haven't known whether the school will be online or not. Such a major frustration! is Friday and tomorrow will be the weekend. No worries then!

Well, Peeps... here is a project I have been telling you about! This is a layout from an album I gave as a gift. I finally got it "given" and the receiver has "received" it so I felt okay about posting some photos. This is one of my favorite layouts from the little album and the patterned paper is from DCWV. I cut the circles with my Nestabilities circle die cuts. (Which I won from Vicki's blog! Thanks Vicki!!!)

The album is 6 x 12 inches when folded, and then when you open the pages out, the album is a 12 x 12 size. I used my trusty Bind-it-All to create the binding. I used my Sizzix Big Kick to die cut the stars. The "AWESOME" stamp is from a set from Little Yellow Bicycle. After I got the layout done, I thought it needed a little "bling". What better for a little boy than rhinestones...oops, I mean, BUTTONS! So I added a few assorted ones. I like the way the stars, circles and buttons look like they have been tossed on there! Really, it is more like controlled chaos!

Okay, Peeps. Another important day of school is about to start here at the Gem house! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Chess, Anyone??

Well Peeps...I have been busy, busy, busy. Yeah, I know that I keep telling you that. I have told you and told you that I am going to post new projects. Truthfully, I have been working on some, but boy, are they slow in coming. I have photos taken...some of a project I just submitted to a magazine, some of a gift I am going to give. I will post the photos of the gift, but want the "giftee" to receive it before it gets splashed all over cyberspace. So, here is a card that I did a while back for Prickley Pear. I love the black and white paper, and the chess piece!? Fab!!! I love the black/white contrast of this card. Nicole continues to knock my socks off with some of the rubba' she is putting out over there at Prickley Pear. Go on over and check it out!!!
However, let me tell you...I have been trying to find time to post more regularly. However, we have had some miserable days here at the Gem house. Yesterday was bad, bad, bad. Our online school provider was offline. We couldn't access our school curriculum. So the whole school day was pretty much a wash. I listened to my kiddos whine all day about having to "do" school. I don't know how many times I have had the "you need to accept summer is over" speech in the past two weeks. We seem to be slowly dragging ourselves into the school year.
However, I must admit the weather has been glorious here. My DD is back at soccer practice. She started last spring and loves it! I look at her out there on the field and think how much she resembles a gazelle. Long legs...running like lightning. Totally opposite of dear ole' mom. My son is getting ready to test for his yellow belt at tae kwon he is getting geared up. He will have the privilege of testing before a "Master" from Las Vegas. I know so little about TKD, but do realize it is quite a privilege for this to happen. However, being my six-year-old, lovable, down-to-earth boy, he was more concerned about whether Daddy was going to make it to testing to see him that whether Master Brandon was going to be at his particular test time. Guess that puts it all in perspective, huh?
Okay. Here are the deets about the card. Patterned Paper-The Paper Co., A Great Year. Stamped images: Lino block background print, congratulation stamp and chess piece. Chess piece is embossed with Ranger's Seafoam white embossing powder.
Well, Peeps. Hope you are enjoying each day as the week winds down. Be safe, have fun, enjoy life.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's my birthday...

And I will cry if I want to. But Peeps, I don't want to!!! I am having a fun birthday. Here at the Gem House we are trying something new. I am having an "Opposite Day". The kids get to choose what subjects they want to do in school, we are still in our pajamas (it will soon be noon!) and the kids are going to open my birthday presents for me. (They are plenty excited about that!!) We are going to have dessert first at my birthday supper too. (That will be chocolate chip cookies. Which is even opposite....since normally you celebrate with cake!)

I will be working on projects this posting will follow with what I have been doing! Have a great beginning to your last summer weekend!!! Be safe!

Monday, August 25, 2008

New, new, new!

Hi there, Peeps! I did manage to get a bit of time working on a project, it just isn't photographed yet. However, I have a photo I do want to share. Last week was busy, busy and this week is shaping up to be the same. I didn't do anything productive on Saturday. (Except clean the bathrooms. Let me tell ya' that was a boatload of fun. ha.) However, yesterday I finished a little gift project I was working on. I will post the photos soon, after they have been taken and the gift has been given.

This photo is of a little album I put together for my Prickley Pear design team. It was very whimsical and fun.

Mini-albums are a fun way to try out new techniques and experiment with new tools and "toys". This album is made up of A2 sized envelopes adhered together in an accordian album. It created flat spaces to decorate, but also the pocket was handy to stick decorated cards or pictures. I got to play with some new bird stamps (from Prickley Pear, of course) and also a new die from Quickuz. (A 12" flower border die, seen at the bottom left of album in this photo.) I also dragged out some slide mounts that I acquired and had some fun with them. They make a great mat to put around something small that you want to draw attention to. I have found that mini-albums are also great ways to use scraps of paper. One thing I love about mini-albums is that they go together quickly and are so easy to fit into a "theme". The theme can be an event, a certain series of colored or patterned paper.

I do have some ideas I want to try out for other mini-albums, so stay tuned for that! I have a couple of inexpensive ideas for small albums that would make great Christmas, birthday or thank-you gifts too!

Well, off to do more school with the kiddos. History and science this p.m.! Have a great week, Peeps!

Friday, August 22, 2008

School time

Well, CyberPals, I am not posting a project today. This week has certainly been a whirlwind and not necessarily in a good way. Starting two kids in school. Teaching full days to two different grade levels and teaching three evenings this week at my evening job has left my poor brain in a pile of mush!

However, hope is at hand. Tomorrow, is SATURDAY!! I am still trying to get used to a new schedule that doesn't include much Mommy time. The first few days of school have been less than stellar at the Gem House. The kiddos and I are dragging ourselves into the new school year and kicking and screaming about leaving summer behind. (literally.) Yesterday, in fact, I threatened to enroll my kiddos in brick-and-mortar school. Three times during the day. Today, I am still searching for the reasons that we decided to school at home in the first place. However, there is always hope that in the next 177 days of schooling at home I will find those reasons again!

I plan to post a project over the weekend. If I even decide to get up tomorrow morning. Have a great weekend, Peeps!

Monday, August 18, 2008

What a Hoot!

Well, it's time for me to be posting my Prickley Pear design team projects. I have them done, but just have been dragging my feet about getting them photographed and posted. But CyberPals, you are seeing it here first! Right after I am done here, I will get it posted to where it needs to go in cyberspace for the design team.
We are busy here at the Gem house finishing up our last two days of summer. Wednesday starts another year of the madness of schooling at home. I wish I could say that I am enthusiastic...but I am not. Yet. I will come. However, I am still lamenting the passing of summer. Where exactly did it go?? While most parents are whooping it up because their little cherubs are off to school...I am one of the stay-at-home moms who is dragging her feet into the next school year. After we get started, things will pick up speed and we will be flying along. My little cherubs brains will grow and this Mommy will be happy to see them flourish. However, we are trying to gear up and enjoy our last summer day tomorrow. What will we be doing? Nothing. Relaxing for one more day. I will be trying to cram all the things that need to be done (laundry, posting pics, scrapbook projects, cleaning the bathrooms...) into one day. And life goes on.
On to the project. The tree is a design from the Quickutz library. It is cut by the Silhouette. The leaves that come with the design were microscopic after we reduced the tree, so I substituted buttons. The patterned paper is from Basic Gray and the images (that cute owl and simplistic sentiment) are from Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps. Nicole has such good stuff over there. Sneak on over to Prickley Pear and take a peek!!
Anyhoot....I am off to put the kiddos to bed and fold laundry. Fun night at the Gem house! Have a super week!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

So Many babies...

Well Peeps...hope you are having a great weekend! Most of the Gem family is off camping in the wilds of Idaho! (with A/C and electricity...none-the-less! My in-laws have a rockin' camping trailer.) So I am left all by my lonesome here at the Gem home. Thursday was a great day and I got a bunch of projects done. However, I am now left to photograph them all. So that is on the agenda today. I will post a few photos of what I have been up to when I get those taken.

However, I found this card in my archives and thought I would post it. As I think I posted before, quite a lot (okay....THREE) friends/family had babies this summer. So while I was in "gift making mode" I whipped up this card also. The card base is from Archiver's Yours Truly line. The paper is from DCWV Stack III and the images??? All Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps. One thing I would like to point out is on the sun figure, I got those gold, shimmery highlights on the lips and "rays" by using a clear Gelly Roll Stardust pen. It's a ballpoint pen, but the ink is so shimmery. It's to die for!!! It allows me to highlight small areas and add some sparkle and bling! I love my Gelly Roll pen by Sakura.

Well, now I am going to rush out to work on some more projects. I am having lunch and a movie with some friends from work. (matinee= cheaper. I am all for CHEAP!) However, I have a project I want to start before I go. (and it is NOT taking those photos I need to take of my projects!) I must say it is playing with some goodies I got as free blog candy over at Vicki's blog. ( Maybe I will have some projects from those goodies to take photos of too.

Have a great day, Peeps! Enjoy the last days before school starts!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Relax time.

Well, today starts a little vacation. My husband, who is on vacation this week, took the kiddos camping. They are going to meet some other family members and have some fun with them. However, that leaves several days at home for me. Alone. With "nothing" to do. Wahoo!!!! My husband asked me what I was going to do with "all" my time. Well, a few days is not like two weeks by I will have to manage. However, I do have some fun things planned. Okay...well, there is the usual "catch up on housework" and some things like that. I plan to catch up on some scrappin' projects too. I can't wait. Tonight though, I will be jettin' off to work for a while. But I am planning on making this quick, quick, quick, so I can go have a little fun before I have to head there!

So, in the photo I have posted, you see a layout for a small album I made as a gift for my brother. We live quite a ways apart. (Idaho and Minnesota) But I made a little album so he could add his own photos. This album is 6 inches by 12 inches. I used the Bind-It-All to add the binding so when the book opens, it is almost 12 x 12. The tree stamp is from Cornish Heritage Farms. They have absolutely fabulous background stamps there!! This is absolutely one of my faves, too!!! I left the photo mats blank and added an envelope at the bottom. It was stamped with the background stamp also, but when you open it, there is a card for journaling. The righthand page is actually a 12x12 page folded in half. It opens to reveal more places to add photos. So after opening that up, that whole layout would measure approx. 12x18 inches. What a fun way to add extra space for photos, if I do say so myself!!

Okay, Peeps. Time for Momma Gem to have more fun at the Gem house!! Have a great evening!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Oh, Baby!

Hi All! It was a busy weekend here at the Gem house. I worked late into the night on Saturday and then experienced yet ANOTHER night of insomnia. My mind wouldn't slow down and kept going and going. (I think my one brain cell was out looking for the other one.) Then yesterday (Sunday) I worked again and boy, were we busy at the scrapbook store. So busy, in fact, that at one time I wanted to crawl under the table, curl up and cry. ugh. I was mentally wiped out when I got home. (insert mental picture of blubbering idiot)

Today is another day, however. I have several things to do. I take my darling son to Tae Kwon Do and then will come home to have some Mommy time. I am going to scrapbook since I have approaching deadlines coming up. I have several projects to finish for my Design Team as well as a couple of things to wind up for magazine submissions, not to mention a couple of new projects in the works. My darling Hubby should return around 4 p.m. Today is actually his day off, but he goes every other Monday for a life-saving (no exaggeration here...) medical treatment. It's an all day thing...and our lives revolve around it. Someday I will explain. However, now on to the project I wanted to share.

This summer we had friends and family have a lot of babies born. Okay. Three. But when you wanted to do special albums for all of them...that is a LOT. This is one page from the album I did for our new niece. She is adorable. Some of the actual flowers are punched with my Whale of a Punch (Retro Flower) and some are punched with my Circle punch. Then on some of those circles, I cut them up. (The tulip on the left is a circle with the top cut off, and the flower next to it is a circle with wedges taken out.) I pop-dotted some of the flowers to give it a more dimensional look and drew in the stems with my archival safe marker. The photo mat was inserted so Elizabeth's mommy could add her own photo. I must tell you that the little dragonfly stamp on the bottom by the word "Amazing" is from Daisy Bucket. If you haven't checked out their products, hurry over to do that. You will find them online at

Okay. Precious time is a tickin' and I need to get a movin'!! Have a super smooth start to your week!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Well, this isn't what I planned to post today. I looked through all my photos yesterday and thought that I had several that I wanted to post and yet, today none of them looked "suitable". So I am posting another layout from that little journal I did for the Prickley Pear design team.

On the left is the back of a tag that I inserted into the book before binding it. The layout on the right is done on a kraft paper base. I used Twinkling H2O's (the kind that come in a little spray bottle) in Pink Grapefruit and then layed some blades of grass in the right-hand corner before spraying. It was an easy-peezy thing to do clean up that way!! When the Twinkling H2O's had dried, I flicked off the grass blades and it left a negative image (and a little contrast) in the corner of the page. I then used Twinkling H2O's (the cakes that you wet with water) and applied it to the corner of the page and the corner of the envelope. I also embossed the corner of the envelope with sand colored embossing powder. That vellum envelope is so cute and I got it in a kit off the clearance table at Joann Fabrics. I stamped a small rectangle of cardstock and inserted it into the envelope. Such a great way to incorporate journaling tags into a layout! You could do it with other small envelopes too.

Okay. Well, I had a fierce case of insomnia last "Yawn...." I am getting a late start. I am enjoying my last few days before the kiddos go back to school. It takes me a few days to get geared up, all the while wondering why in the world we choose to school our kids at home!! Then school starts and I remember all the reasons...but the days before leave me wondering about my sanity! Have a great weekend, Peeps!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Something a bit different.

Well, I will probably post a couple more photos from that journal at a later date, but I will move on to something else. I have lost my creative momentum. It was left behind when I got bogged down with preparing for school (and the dozen boxes of curriculum that have arrived on my doorstep. That isn't even ALL of them. Some of the workbooks have been back-ordered until September!) and runnning errands. Hopefully, I will find my creativity again soon. It is probably hiding...or maybe if I would look it would be right where I left it. (Probably not though. One of my two kids could have moved it! hee-hee) Until then, I will drag out a photo of something created long ago. (okay...not that long ago, just not very recently.)

This card uses a couple of techniques I want to share. The first one is the grid pattern in the background. I acheived it by laying mesh over the card and then dabbing my ink pad across it. When the ink dried, I removed the mesh and it left the negative image. Cool, huh?? Also, the mat around the "photo" is stamped with distress ink on vellum. I found that you can do that, but it takes a LOOONNNNGGGGGG time to dry. The edges of the card are rubbed with versamark ink and then I added embossing powder. After the powder was applied, I rubbed some off with my lil' ole' finger, giving it a more worn look. And lastly, the photo really isn't a photo. I took one of those fabulous transparencies from Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps, scanned it, printed it out on my laser printer onto cardstock. Then I colored it with my PrismaColor pencils. It allowed me to match the colors of the paper and also gave it that black-and-white/aged look.

Well, Peeps. It is a hot one here in the desert of Idaho. I am taking the kiddos over to a friend's house to swim. They are excited, let me tell you!! They will come back cooler and happier. (And more TIRED!!!) Hope you have a cool day! Hold fast because your weekend is approaching. I know the time before school is slipping through our fingers like water! Enjoy every last minute.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Just a reminder...

Hey there! Just a reminder that Vicki is giving away some AWESOME blog candy over at . I must say that I selfishly hope you don't go over there because that means that I have a better chance of winning! hee-hee. LOL!!

Have a great day, cyberfriends!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

More Journal

Hi All! Hope you are having a knock-out beginning to your week! Here at the Gem House, we often are required to work on Saturday and Sunday (gasp!) so Monday is usually one of our "official" weekend days. Today sure has been the case. Running errands and doing household chores. I purchased a bottle of "Nice n Easy" # 110 the other day and used it on my own head this morning. All the while multi-tasking, of course. I also ate lunch and worked on laundry while that color was setting. I have to utilize my time so that I have more time to do the things I really want to scrapbooking and crafting!
Well, here is another photo of that little journal I did for the Prickley Pear Design team. The litte page that is "tilting" on the right (kraft paper stamped with PPRS Lino block in Ranger Distress ink) slides into an envelope that I cut in half and used the Bind-It-All to punch the holes before putting it in the little journal. On the outside of the envelope I not only stamped, but I used one of those fabulous transparencies. However, the reason it doesn't look like the transparency from my previously posted project, is that I copied it in black and white on cardstock. It gave it that black-and-white/aged photo look.
Well, it is time for me to multi-task myself into doing something please check back again and see what I have going on next! Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Hello, Peeps! Just a quickie post here. We are ready to put our lovely little Gems to bed. Tomorrow is church day, after all! I did want to fit in a quick post tonight. I have been teaching classes at the scrapbook store during the day over the weekend. I am usually a night-time worker since that is the schedule that works around my husband's work schedule. However, sometimes they need me for classes during the day. So I haven't had a lot of time to post any new little projects.

Here is a page out of a little journal I did for Prickley Pear. The journal size was approx. 4x6 inches. I used kraft cardstock for the pages and used my Bind-It-All to bind it together. It is one of my ALL TIME fave tools!!! I stamped the background with a swirly stamp (from Prickley Pear) in Versamark and added the image. This photo really isn't a photo at all. It is a transparency! Prickley Pear has some great images that can be downloaded and printed off as transparencies. Some of them are very vintage. I just love them. To make this image pop, I backed it with a little rectangle of white cardstock. Head on over there to Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps and check those out!! I have some other projects that I will show you at another time that use more transparency images. Come on back and check those out in the future! Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Peeps!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Check it out!!!!

Hey, Vicki is having an absolutely awesome Blog Candy giveaway over on her blog! Be sure to check it out and leave a comment!!! She will choose the lucky winner on August 7!!! Hurry on over!

Shabby chic or just distressed??

This card was an experiment from the start. I was so happy with the way it turned out. Let me give you an idea of how I did this.

I started with the card base in Kraft colored cardstock. I love that color!! Then I stamped background images (all stamps are from Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps). I stamped the swirls in Vivid dye inks and then used my lino background stamp using Ranger Distress ink. After doing that, I used Twinkling H2O's to paint on a layer of Mallard Green in the right-hand corner. Then I proceeded to stamp and emboss the sentiment and the eagle. I love this eagle image! It is great for artsy projects, as well as masculine cards. After I used the heat gun for the images, I used my Versamark pad to distress the edges of the card and then sprinkled gold emossing powder on it. After tapping off the extra and rubbing some of it off with my finger, I then heat embossed the edges too. I loved the look that it gave to have that final touch of gold around the edge!

Well, peeps...guess it is time for me to hop on over and do some household chores. I have spent quite a lot of time at the computer this a.m. and my kiddies are beginning to wonder what happened to Mom! Have a good day out there in cyberspace!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I am a Prickley Pear Girl!

Greetings to all you peeps out there in cyberspace. Hope you are having a good week. I am rather weary this a.m. My kiddies spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa's and I am sure they had a rockin' good time! However, this mommy had to work last night. I taught a class at the scrapbook store that went very, very smoothly. Just the way I like them! So not only is my brain a bit weary, so is my body.

However, I just wanted to post a picture for ya' all. Since January, I have been part of the design team over at Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps. If any of you have never heard of them, you should head on over there! They have a great selection of artsy, yet whimsical stamps. I know Nicole has added quite a few NEW stamps this summer and will be adding some more very soon.

Anyhow....I am part of their design team. So today, I am going to show you a card using NEW stamps from Prickley Pear.

The patterned paper for this card is from Deja Views. The ribbon is from a roll I picked up from the dollar bins at Target. Cute, huh? However, the images are all Prickley Pear. The sentiment and the birds. Here is a quiz. There are two birds, can you find the second one?? The first one is obvious, being stamped in ultramarine Vivid dye ink from Clearsnap. The other one is more carefully hidden. Does it help if I tell you it is smaller? How about that it is done with white embossing powder?? How about is perched on top of a flower in front of a green, white and magenta stripe?? Ya' didn't know you were going to have to go hunting today, huh?

For added dimension on this card, I used pop dots under the pink piece with the blue bird on it. Doing that also allowed the piece to lay flat and not have a bulging area under the ribbon.

Okay, peeps. I gotta' fly! (chirp, chirp) I have to go save Grandma and Grandpa, oops, I mean pick up my kiddies from Grandma and Grandpa's house! Have a great day and be sure to see what Nicole has over there at Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

At last...

Well, Peeps...this will be the last post about darling daughter's birthday album. We will move on to other things next time! However, I have one more photo I wanted to share.
Hope you all had a rockin' good weekend. Here in the middle of the desert it was a hot one. However, we run our A/C all the time because of my husband and daughter's extreme intolerance to the heat. When it's a 100 degrees, even 75 degrees inside is a huge difference!

On this layout I used swirl stamps and stamped swirls on the background (left) using versamark. Then on the purple photo mat I stamped more swirls, running them off the edge. I also embossed them using Ranger's white embossing powder. I took it a step farther and used the Versamark pad to "edge" the paper. After using the inkpad on the edge of the paper I sprinkled more embossing powder on it. I didn't want there to be a heavy border, so I ran my finger over the embossing powder and removed some of it. It gave it a fun distressed look.

On the right page, which is really not a full page, I adhered a vellum envelope (cut in half) that had been embossed with white embossing powder and the edges inked with purple VersaColor ink. I added tags to the envelope with plans to journal and maybe have my sweet girl write something about her own birthday party that she would like to remember. One of those tags also has some Prima flowers adhered to it and a pink tab (done on the Silhouette) added to the top corner. A great way to customize tabs is to stamp on them.

Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what ya' think! I would be great to hear from you! Have a great start to your week!

Friday, July 25, 2008


Hi there Cyber-Friends! Greetings from the Gem house where I am slamming out a quick post before going with my fabulous hubby to another doctor's appointment. Sometimes our life seems to revolve around how many doctor's appointments we can fit into a week. I kid you not, between the end of January and the middle of March we had at least TWO every week. I guess that is what you get when you have a husband with a chronic illness. Anyway, I snuck in (using my stealth-ninja powers) and am going to make this post super fast!
This is another layout from the birthday album I did for my little sweetie. One thing that I have done with several of my mini-albums is to make the pages different sizes and shapes. This allows you to see parts of the previous (and future) pages when looking at a layout. I love the look of that! It gives it a shabby chic/altered book kind of feel. It's so fun to get to see some of what you looked at a few pages earlier, and also get a little peak of what is to come. Also, it is a bunch of fun to add envelopes and tags. That way you can journal or stick in a little photo or have pockets to put other fun memorabilia too!
Hope you enjoy today's tidbit! Have a great weekend peeps!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

All Flowery

Well, for this post, I have chosen a page from an album I did for my sweet daughter's birthday. I have since gotten photos put in the album, but not until after photographing it. So there are no photos placed in the album in this picture. It is, however, one of my favorite pages in the album. Sweet daughter likes it too!!! (Boy...she must have good taste, huh?? LOL!)

It's been fairly busy this week here at the Gem house. Family in town, doctor's appointments, work and of course, much needed relax time. Not much scrapbooking or card making going on, however. I have lost my mojo and can't seem to find it. I am going to have to keep looking, I guess!

I used my Whale of a Punch retro flower punch to punch all the flowers then arranged them around the mat. When I was ready to place the photos, I simply slid them under the flower petals after adding adhesive to the back of them. That way the flowers overlapped and created depth to the pages. The lime green tab with the window was cut from the Quikutz Silhouette. (very versatile!)

The cover of this album was created by folding a manila file folder. I covered it with patterned paper and on the inside of the cover and back cover are pockets to stick tags and cards in. It created a very fun album for my daughter to hold all her birthday memories.

Monday, July 21, 2008

One last time...

Well, I think this will be the last post from this album. I have had the photo ready for a couple of days, but we have been spending some quality family time together over the weekend with our extended family. It has been a lot of fun.

We have had quite a bit of family related issues concerning family members in the if you would remember us in prayer it would be so appreciated. My husband's family and mine both.
Okay. Now on to the photo.

I love this close-up photo of my son. It shows all the freckles on his nose. (Can't see those in this post, however!) I did print it in black-and-white, which lends continuity to the layout, but the unfortunate thing is that ya' don't get to see his sparkly blue eyes. Aaahhhh....another time.

Since I wanted the focus to be on his face, I zoomed in really close for the 4x6 photo. The actual photo was taken pretty close, but I still wanted to lose some of the background. The word "His" on the left layout is made up of sticker letters from Doodlebug Designs. The white "bullseye" embellishment is from that Creating Keepsakes scrapbook kit I got for a whooping $5, and the patterned paper (both striped and dots) are from the Bo-Bunny Shabby Princess line.

I adhered the photo on three sides (making it a pocket) and stuck in a tag. That is a trick I often use to hide my journaling. That way the journaling is still there, but I don't have to worry about finding a place on the page to put it!

Hope all you cyber-friends have a great day!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Still Learning.

Well, I have spent some time trying to practice watermarks for my photos and also trying to decide what format to save my photos for posting them to this blog. Oh my! I have done watermarks before, but it has been a while. Learning a new program is always a challenge! Sometimes it takes time to get it to do what ya' want! And I know almost nothing about posting things to the web and to my it is going to be learning as I go!

However, I did get a photo ready and have a scrapbook page to show you.

This is another layout from my son's mini-album that he loves so much. This is from a special time he spent with his cousin. (who is now FIFTEEN! Where does time go?)

The patterned paper is again from the Bo-Bunny Shabby Princess line. The circle is cut with the circle cutter using The Paper Company's Papaya metallic cover stock. After adhering most all of the edge of the circle, I did leave a place that I could stick a couple of tags down behind it. That is where I "hid" my journaling. The letters are from Reminisce. (I think!) and the frame for the photo is kind of a cool little thing. It has a story behind it too! I was at a scrapbook/craft store and they had a scrapbook kit on sale for $5. It included an 8x8 album, embellishments and paper!! Wahoo!!! Well, in this Creating Keepsakes album kit were some metal frames covered with paper. So what I have done here is paint over the frame using Making Memories Scrapbook paint (Funking Vintage Chartreuse) and then stamp on it using some Verve Visual star stamps in Clearsnap's Chestnut Roan Chalk ink.

Also, if you get out your magnifying glass or microscope and look at the left side of the layout, you might be able to see some alphabet tabs that I adhered to the edge of each of the pages. One tab per page and it spells out my son's name.

Have a great weekend, cyber-friends!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blow out!

This is a scrapbook layout I did for my son's mini-album. He loves it because he knows it is all about him and it is all HIS!
On the left page I used Jack + Abby Cupcakes by Else Flannigan for the background paper and then sanded off the top of the embossed images. The small rectangles of polka dot paper on both pages is from the Bo-Bunny Shabby Princess Collection. All the papers from that line are oh-so-cute!!
The ghosted photo I used for the right-hand page was created by printing my photo out on a sheet of cardstock using my laser printer. I then adhered a sheet of vellum over the top. I then added my embellishments over that.
The pages in this album are all different sizes and so added a lot of dimension to the book. It is a very fun way to scrapbook!

Here it Goes!

Well, I am here. I have said I was going to do this for months. over seven months. Things keep getting in the way. Work, kids, schooling my kids at home, scrapbooking. But here I am.

I don't know exactly how to explain what I anticipate this blog becoming because I don't have any pre-conceived notions about it. I want it to be a place to post some of my scrapping, cardmaking, artwork-type stuff. However, it might also be a place for me to post some of the other "stuff" going on in my life. Perhaps it will turn out to be a "brain dump" also.

I know there are some blogs out there that I really love and I love each of them for different reasons. Some of them because they have some great artwork/scrapping things going on. Some I love because of the personal nature of the blog. I have come to the conclusion that I don't have time to do a blog for my personal thoughts and one for my it is going to have to be a combined thing. And here it is!

So, forward on! I will be posting semi-regularly. At least that is my heart's desire. However, life has a tendancy to rush on leaving me behind. I guess I will just roll with the punches. Thanks for visiting and hope you stop again soon!!