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!