Saturday, February 6, 2016

Disney Pixar Blog Hop

Welcome to the best-ever, original Disney-Pixar Blog Hop.  

It's hard to believe that this Hop has been going on now for 5 years (as has my blog!) and I have had the privilege of participating in every one of the Hops. 

(Thank you, Shawn Mosch, for having me, and for your friendship!)

Now, it's hard to believe that I'm not what I would consider a Disney Super Fan, but I have been to Disney World more than a dozen times, and Disneyland just once.

This year, I'll be in Disney World in late June for the national convention of Close To My Heart, and in October, I and my daughter and her family (including husband Josh and my grandchildren Charlotte and Evan) will be going on our first Disney Cruise aboard the Disney Magic.

I guess we qualify as "Super Fans" after all ... and especially now with grandchildren who can't get enough.

Granddaughter Charlotte turned 5 in December, and wouldn't you know it, her most favorite Disney story "E-V-E-R" is "Inside Out," which is the first movie she actually saw in a movie theater. And here's the surprising part, her favorite character is "DISGUST" -- that's the green one. LOL!!!  Charlotte can really put on that attitude, that's for sure!  
My daughter Emily pressed my papercrafting and graphic arts abilities into service to make the birthday party invitations, favors, decorations and more ... and I share them here for this hop.
In the upper left of this post, you'll see the invitation I designed. It printed 4.25"high and 5.5"wide, and fit perfectly in a colorful standard A2 envelope.  I used my favorite online design software, PicMonkey, to make this invitation, and printed it at home on a color laser printer by Dell.

Next, I created the favor bag tags, using fun "Inside Out" images I purchased on Etsy. Again, I turned to PicMonkey to layout the tag with colorful "thought bubbles" behind the characters, some personalization in the upper left corner of the tag, and a thank you sentiment at the bottom.  I printed these at home on my color laser printer, trimmed them into a tag shape, mounted them on colored cardstock and put an eyelet at the top to tie the tags to the bags. Here they are finished, with the treats wrapped in "thought bubbles" tissue that Charlotte's Mom, Emily, found:

(Sorry the picture's so blurry!  I swear we only had juice to drink at the party at Bounce U in Horsham, PA.)

And then there's the cake ... I purchased the entire cast of "Inside Out" characters made out of plastic/resin, from Each of the 10 characters is about 4" high. I then took them to a local bakery and asked them to create a layered cake, incorporating the figures into their design. Funny -- they never heard of the movie, so I really had to describe the "thought bubbles". I wish the colors were more primary and bright, but still, I think they did a nice job:

The event was a pajama party (9 a.m.!!), so what better than to outfit the birthday girl in "Inside Out" pj's?  Here's Charlotte on the right, with her bestie, Violet.

Charlotte's brother, Evan (age 18 months) is more into pirates, so he wore his treasure-hunt jammies but still enjoyed the party with about 20 other little ones. That's Evan in the center, with big blue eyes to match his jammies:

I also made Charlotte a pretty "Inside Out" necklace, featuring her favorite Disgust-ing character:

To make this necklace, I used Base & Bling charm and glass, dabbed with
CTMH "Liquid Glass" and hung it on a CTMH faux silver chain -- all reasonably
priced jewelry suitable for any age. Charlotte just loves it!  I packaged the
necklace onto a CTMH necklace card that I decorated with watercolored
"thought bubbles", and made a box using a "crayon box" file from the
Silhouette Online store, and cut with my Cameo.  

I also started work on a name banner for Charlotte's room. Here are the first two letters of the nine; they're all done but I haven't figured out yet how I want to string them all together. I used thick chipboard for the base of each letter, and honestly, it's much heavier than I anticipated. It might be better to stand these on a shelf than to hang them, but I wanted you to see them anyway. 

The thick chipboard letters were purchased at Michael's. 
I covered them in gift wrap that I found at the grocery store;
doesn't it look like the "thought bubbles" of Inside Out?
I then cut more colored bubbles from cardstock, and layered
cut-outs of the 10 principal characters from the movie onto the letters.

Have you seen the movie "Inside Out"?  I have to tell you, it's one of my very favorite Disney / Pixar movies. It was full of puns, innuendo and references that only a grown-up would understand, but perfect for little kids to watch and enjoy. Its script is just out-of-this-world wonderful!  I sat there watching it -- with Charlotte, of course, and her Mom Emily -- and kept imagining all of the ways that Disney could design a theme park around "Imagination Land."

I hope you've enjoyed my multiple "Inside Out" projects as much as I have enjoyed being a part of The Original Disney Pixar Blog Hop.  I'll be sending you on to MIRANDA's blog next, but before you go, make sure to enter for a chance to win our prize for this hop . . . a Disney paper pack from Queen & Co.  The "Rafflecopter" entry form is below.

The paper stack will not even be shipping out to stores until late February 2016, so you can have it before the stores are even selling it!  Note: Due to the fact that we received this paper stack so early, it is considered a promotional proof and there could be some slight variations from what will be shipped to stores.

- - - 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
- - -

Good luck, and enjoy the rest of the hop!  Now, move on to MIRANDA's cute blog next. If you want to start at the beginning, jump over to Shawn's blog and follow along; 
the full blog hop line up is below.  

Friday, December 18, 2015

It's a BLOG HOP to celebrate the birthday of a great 16-year old!

Welcome to the very special celebration of the birthday of a VERY sweet 16-year old young woman. Her name is Emily (like my own daughter) and she is the daughter of my friend, Beth.

Over my 5-year (!!) course of blogging, I've met many, many crafting colleagues who I now consider friends.

Several of these are women who joined me in "Banner Hops" where we made special occasion banners -- Halloween, Christmas, and Spring -- for children at a long-term care facility where I used to work.
One of those women, Beth McGee and her young daughter, Emily, made beautiful banners many times, and generously donated them to the kids in need of special love. 
So when Beth asked if I would join with her in celebrating Emily's 16th birthday with a surprise card hop, I am all in.  I decided to make one of my favorite cards, a pop-up, to mark this special occasion and special girl.  Here is the card (front view, at top; side view next; and the back is the third image, below.)
If you're a long-time follower of my blog, you know I've made several of these cards. They're spectacular to receive, and often become real keepsakes. And they're really not that hard to make. If you'd like to see the template I've developed for them, just scroll down to the word-cloud (index) at the bottom of my blog and look for "pop-up cards". Click there, and you'll be taken to other examples, as well as the template.


So now what's a blog hop without blog candy, right?

Last week, I taught a really fun class in which students made 7 Christmas cards using the beautiful CTMH White Pines Scrapbooking Program cards, CTMH Poppy Twine and CTMH Red Enamel gems.  One of the cards was a pop-up. If you'll be so kind as to leave a comment here on this post, and follow my blog if you'd like, one winner will receive the detailed printed instructions for the pop-up card, pictures of some of the pop-ups I've made, and the Close To My Heart products (mentioned above) I gave to my students to make the set!  The products have a value of about $15, and the directions are ... priceless, of course.

Again, the only requirement for my blog candy is to leave a comment on this blog post; follow my blog only if you'd like to.

It's time to move on in the Hop...

You should have arrived here from THIA's blog so your next stop is at JANIS's blogCLICK HERE to be taken directly to Janis's blog post.

If you came to my blog just to see what's up and would like to see more cute cards for Emily's 16th birthday, go back to Beth's blog at the start of the hop.  Beth (Emily's Mom) has GRAND PRIZE blog candy that you'll not want to miss!

Here is the full list of those celebrating this very special occasion:
  1. Beth -
  2. Mary -
  3. Shawnee -
  4. Thia -
  5. Ellen-
  6. Janis-
  7. Jennifer R-
  8. Rachelle-
  9. Krystal -
  10. Cathie-
  11. Connie-
  12. Maria -
  13. Jessica D. -
  14. Georgia-
  15. Julie -
  16. Barbara -
  17. Jessica P -

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Trending Colors # 3 - Hot Pink, Gold and Black

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!  We had a wonderful time with my daughter Emily, her hubby Josh and their kids Charlotte and Evan. I overdid it on dinner -- whew, so many sides, so many pies! -- but we're now enjoying leftovers, yum!!

Today, I was supposed to go to a Christmas card workshop at my friend Anita's house, but really, I just need time in my own craft room to focus on cards I need to make.  Of course, I got few done because the mess is distracting. But maybe tomorrow .... if buying a new washer and dryer doesn't interfere. There's always something, isn't there??

Here is the next card I've made to focus on "trending colors" as shown in HGTV Magazine's December 2015 issue:

The trending colors are: Hot Pink, Gold and Black.  For this card, I used Close To My Heart's "Blessings of Peace" stamp set for the dove and sentiment. I stamped the dove on White Daisy CTMH cardstock in Versamark and sprinkled it with gold embossing powder. I then embossed it by warming the powder with my heat crafting gun. The hot pink paper is from my stash, and the black/white striped is from CTMH's new La-Vie En Rose paper line. The bling is also from CTMH, as is the gold adhesive stripe across the middle (that doesn't photograph well).

These trending colors are shown in the magazine like this:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Trending Colors # 2 - Green, Navy and Light Blue

Hello, CardMonkey Followers!

I'm back today with another trending color combination that caught my eye in the December 2015 issue of HGTV Magazine.  Here is the Christmas card I made today, using the "mint green, navy and light blue" combination the magazine suggests.

And here is a picture of the pages from the HGTV Magazine that inspired this pretty combination:

My card uses Close To My Heart's (CTMH) "Festive Trees" stamp set (#B1493), along with Exclusive Inks stamp pads in Pacifica (large tree), Pear (middle) and Lagoon (right).  I also used a small pieces of blue Glitter Trim and fern Thick Twine.  The images were stamped on White Daisy CTMH paper, stitched onto Sweet Leaf cardstock and mounted with Foam Tape onto Pacifica card-stock. I also embossed the silver star atop the large tree, and applied Wink of Stella Silver glitter to the tree on the right.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pretty Blue Holly -- with pink? Christmas Card

Often, many of those who make cards too where I get inspiration for my designs. Honestly, the answer is "everywhere I look!"  I'm active on Facebook where cardmakers post their work for "scraplifting", and there's Pinterest too. 

I also subscribe to HGTV Magazine, and I just love many of the shows on that network too.  I look to this magazine to see what is trending, as I'm an older dog who until recently never used the term "trending."  (And funny enough, my 85-year old Mom gave me my first HGTV subscription, proving once again there is no such thing as too old to be trending!)

This picture caught my eye in the December 2015 issue:

I'd never otherwise think of pairing these colors together (and grew up thinking pink and red clashed!). But using this as inspiration, I made this Christmas card:

Untraditionally, I used the holly leaf and berries stamps from The Ton Stamps to form flowers on a solid white cardstock.  I stamped using Memento ink ("London Fog" color) and colored using an assortment of Copic markers. This photo makes the berries and ribbon look red, but they're really hot pink. I dabbed the flowers using "Wink of Stella" in silver to pick up on the silver edging on the ribbon by Really Reasonable Ribbon. I matted the card on hot pink and black cardstock and mounted it onto a white A2 card. The sentiment is on the same stamp set as the holly berries and leaves, from The Ton.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Christmas Card Class Using White Pines PML cards

Updated:  What a fun class we had on Saturday, November 21!  We're taking a holiday break over December, but will be back at the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts in January, 2016. Happy Holidays and a Joyous New Year to all!
Three of my card class students helped each other
during another wonderful session at the Scatter Joy
Center for the Arts in Horsham, Pennsylvania.
Thank you (from left) Felicia, Pam and Anna!
Attendees of the CardMonkey's Holiday Card Class made the seven cards shown above, using Close To My Heart's White Pines Scrapbooking Program cards and White Pines paper.  All of the materials necessary to make these cards were provided to the class students. They also walked away with even more White Pines Scrapbooking Program cards, to design more cards or gift tags using the leftovers!

Don't live local to my classes?  Feel free to comment or leave a message if you're interested in buying a kit, which includes the necessary products as well as cut papers and embellishments, and instructions, to make these cards.  I can be reached at

If you are a Close To My Heart consultant yourself and would prefer to buy your own White Pines Scrapbooking Program cards, card blanks, paper packs and twine, I will also provide the instructions and photograph for each, for a nominal fee.  Wouldn't this make a great class in December for your groups?  Just let me know how I can help.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Give Thanks -- for Thanksgiving!

As we head into the week in which we celebrate our gratitude, allow me to share a very personal bit of my life with you.
Thirty-two years ago, on Thanksgiving, I suffered a miscarriage, losing my first baby suddenly. It was heartbreaking, and for years, it was very hard for me to show my gratitude for much of anything. I'd lost hopes and dreams.  The first loss even made it hard to invest a piece of my heart into my pregnancy a year later. I was so worried! 
I still remembered that loss and linked it to Thanksgiving every year for more than a decade. Then in 1994, just a few months after I left my husband of 17 years, my entire feeling about Thanksgiving changed forever...
My husband had my daughter for visitation that Thanksgiving, and I could have been in the dumps as a result. Instead, there was a guy I had just started talking to, on the phone, for hours. We met online (yes! In 1994!! Before cyber-dating, Google, eBay, or in September. And he wanted to know if I'd meet him for dinner on Thanksgiving Eve, our first date, our first meeting. That's John. We met, and it was kismet....we've been together ever since -- 21 years! 
I am forever filled with gratitude for so much! Thanksgiving is now "my" holiday. May yours next week be as stuffed.

"Cupcake Wars" at St. Mary Medical Center, Langhorne PA.  My daughter Emily is pictured at left, along with the fellow members of the "Swirls and Pearls" ER Night staff.  The team took 3rd place out of 33 competitors!
I made the banner above using my Cricut Explore and a Cricut subscription for it. For the base, I used cereal box cardboard. I covered it in Close To My Heart cardstocks (Whisper and Blush), and cut the letters from Bazzill silver metallic cardstock. The banner is to decorate a table full of cupcakes at my daughter Emily's workplace -- there's "Cupcake Wars" later this week, and Emily is using my family's Carrot Cake recipe in cupcakes as one of her entries. Her team name is "Swirls and Pearls" so this banner is heavily embellished in rhinestone swirls and adhesive pearls. The banner in the middle is stamped (using CTMH's new "Jennifer's Hand" stamps) with the competition's slogan. It's all tied together with grey organza ribbon from Wild Orchid Crafts.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Birthday Card Mojo

Hi CardMonkey Fans!

Yes, I said spine surgery. I had a discectomy at C5-C6 with
a fusion (plate/screws). To access the spine, the orthopedic
surgeon made an incision in the front right of my neck with
just a few stitches necessary. "Minimally invasive" surgery
is so much safer (no spinal cord involvement) and it's easier
to recuperate. The redness around the Steri-Strips is from an
allergy to bandage adhesives.  I DO feel much better now!
I had a "wee bit" of spine surgery last week which has knocked me for a loop. It has taken a lot of determination to get up the steps to visit The Paper Jungle and try to find some creative mojo. I'm doing fine ... though I'm in the "sleepy and weepy" stage that makes me just want to sleep the day away.

Luckily, I have many resources and machines that make my cardmaking easy. I owed a few birthday cards to a Birthday Card Club I'm in.  I found this sweet cut on the Silhouette Online Studio; cut out of CTMH "Smoothie" cardstock, I coupled it with some light seafoam green in a cardstock pack from Kathy Davis Studios.