Monday, November 28, 2011

When was the last time you went on a Picnik?

... not the kind where you spread your checkered blanket under a tree, and Yogi Bear descends to steal your "Pic-nic basket, Boo-Boo."

But, the website --  It's this site where I make the collages and add text to my photos. I love the site so much!  It allows tinkering and, essentially, digi-scrapping and all sorts of neat things. And it's EASY-PEASY to use!! The upgrade to "Premium" and its cost is SO worth it -- and I say that without any compensation or discount or anything...

Check out this Picnik Collage I made of grandbaby Charlotte through the year -- beginning (top left) with birth, then at One Month, Month Two, etc.   Picnik made it so easy to convert each of these pics to B&W, soften the sides, use rounded corners, etc.    Try it, you'll LOVE it!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Feel Better, Brookie!!

Mobile by Julie Tucker-Wolek

Hi Friends!

For those who have followed my blog for a while know these two things about me, for sure: I am deeply touched by the children with health challenges, and I ♥ Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker (NSS) paper.

Well, these two things collided in the Paper Jungle this weekend....

The blog coordinator for NSS's Doghouse is a sweetheart named Julie Tucker-Wolek. Julie enables encourages my addiction to NSS ... I follow her posts on her blog and am inspired by her work.  I also stalk enjoy her posts on Facebook. You should go to Julie's blog just to find such adorable stuff like the magical Christmas decoration at left.  :):):):):)

So while I was following along, I saw the touching pictures of Julie's daughter, Brookie.  Brookie recently had another round of laser surgeries to remove port wine stains. Despite the blisters and pain, dear Brookie continues to smile. 

I asked Julie if I could make and send a card to Brookie, and she said yes! :):):):)  Here's the card I made, using NSS papers for the main part, and a Hambo Stamp digi-image to go with.   

If you too would like to make/send a card to Brookie, please send them to me and I will forward them to the Wolek Family.  (E-mail me at for my USPS address.)

I also plan on submitting the photo of this card (and link here) in the Card Patterns Sketch Challenge #143.  Here is the sketch I followed to make this card... I'm not a sketch challenge monkey (this is my first!) but it was fun to stretch my thinking (and the height of my card!) to participate in this!
FEEL BETTER SOON, Brookie!  Keep smiling!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

First birthday Decorations

My grandbaby Charlotte's first birthday celebration is in two weeks ... it's hard to believe that this time last year, we were on pins and needles awaiting her birth. How much joy she's given our whole family since then!!

My daughter Emily and her hubby Josh have picked "penguins, snowmen and snowflakes" for the theme of Charlotte's first party. 

Today I was able to finish a banner that I've been working on for a while ...

These adorable penguins are GRAPHICS by GOODNESS & FUN at

I printed the penguins out on 8.5x11" cardstock using my HP Officejet, then fussy cut them, added some cardboard support behind the "hands" so I could add eyelets. I tied them together using black satin ribbon, highlighted with white/gold bows. From each of the "hands", I strung fishing (clear) line and hung ice-blue snowflakes cut using Cheery Lynn Designs diesI purchased at a discount from Happy Scrappy.  I embellished each of the lines and snowflakes with rhinestone adhesives from Mei Flower.  The snowflakes above the banner are simply adhered to the wall using Scotch double-sided tape.

Next up, I'm finishing up party favors that are Emily's design. She is gluing one baby food jar on top of another, tying a fleece scarf at the neck, and decorating the jars as if they're snowmen wearing stove pipe hats. In the top jar, she's putting marshmallows, the bottom will hold hot cocoa mix. This is a little sign I made for the treat table!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Monkeying Around on Thanksgiving Day

New York's famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade featured 3 new floats. Leave It To CardMonkey to notice that one is none other than a flying monkey, Julius:

Julius the Monkey makes his Thanksgiving Day Parade premier in 2011!

Side view!

Getting ready for the big day!

Making the Monkey!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Blessings, One and All

... from my favorite ONE (celebrating in less than 2 weeks!), grandbaby Charlotte!

Monday, November 21, 2011

New Projects ... and A Blog Candy Winner!

This seems to be the most popular of my vignettes ...
likely because we all feel the same around this time
of year ... dreamy, sleepy and exhausted!

Thank you, all, for your kind comments about the Disney vignettes I made and donated to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Seashore House, as part of Shawn and Melissa's fantabulous Disney Pixar Blog Hop. 

I'll be announcing the winner of my blog candy later in the post ... but first ... here is a Christmas project on which I've been working:

Like so many Americans, money is very tight in the CardMonkey household this year. John's been searching for full-time work for almost a year now; and, my job covers more things than it ever did -- including our family's health insurance. I'm blessed to have the coverage, so believe me, I'm not whining.

Where Christmases of the past were extravagant in terms of spending, I need this one to be one from the heart. I made these Christmas Cheer Containers and plan to fill them with homemade cookies, or Hershey's Kisses.

The jar on the left is a recycled jelly jar. I've been saving these all year long -- I love their shape and the gingham lid. I used a Waltzing Mouse Stamp for the label, added two eyelets on the sides to secure the ribbon. I hole-punched the holly add-ons, using a Martha Stewart punch, and accented with Glossy Accents and seed pearls.

On right, is a tube that I purchased a while ago. The label inside is also a Waltzing Mouse Stamp. It's embellished using Martha Stewart punches (Laurel leaves), baker's twine and upcycled ribbon off a package.

Now for my blog candy winner from this weekend's blog hop:  CATHY from MN, who said:

"Ellen, I love your wall art! I bet it really brightens up the children's day when they see it. My favorite (and it was really hard to pick because they're all so wonderful) is Roo flying the kite because he looks so happy to be doing it and he looks so carefree."

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Fantabulous DISNEY-PIXAR BLOG HOP! Nov. 19

Welcome to
Shawn & Melissa's
original and most fantastic

If you arrived from Tami's blog,
you're on the right path.
To start at the very beginning
-- "a very fine place to start" --
go to Shawn's blog at

I am privileged to be one of the bloggers who has been featured on all of the Original Disney Pixar Blog Hops. Thank you to Shawn and Melissa for their fabulous hosting of this well-organized hop-eroo!!

For my project featured today, I created wall art that was donated and hung in the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's "Seashore House" to help celebrate autumn.

Each of these individual character montages is at least 12" x 12", and I made 15 different autumnal scenes. I principally used Cricut's Pooh and Friends cartridge, but adapted the designs to include some sort of fall feature such as pumpkins, apples, and falling leaves.

Here are many of the vignettes taped on a wall that is about 10 feet wide:

...and here are some close-ups:

Now, for some info on MY blog candy.

YES, I have blog candy!  The winner here will receive a set including a Cuttlebug/DISNEY embossing plate and die. I believe this set has been discontinued so it's a must-have for Disney fanatics and available only at CardMonkey!! 

How to win the CardMonkey candy? 

The winner will be chosen at random from those who:
  1. Is or becomes a follower here on the CardMonkey blog;
  2. Leaves a comment on this post answering this question: Which of the autumn vignettes featured above is your favorite, and why?
  3. Includes with his or her comment a way to contact you if you're the winner.
AND fabulously, we have a GRAND PRIZE for this Blog Hop donated by ContainYa Crafts! You can have YOUR CHOICE of a Scrap'n Tote or a Scrap'n Easel! 

Each blog in this two day hop has a special letter, and when all of the letters are put together they spell out a secret phrase.

My letter is . . .

Once you have stopped at each blog in the hop and collected all of the letters, simply email the phrase they create to bloghopcontests at gmail dot com

All entries must be in by Midnight on Monday, November 21st. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, November 22nd at
Here is the full line up for today!
Madison <-- Go here next!
Amy Chomas
Amy Voltz

Check back tomorrow for more fabulous Disney Pixar Blog Hop designers!

Now, on to one my very favorite bloggers, the dear MADISON at Tell Madison I sent you for an extra chance to win my candy!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Use a template to line up your dies

Good morning!

A few fellow papercrafters have asked me how I go about lining up my stamped penguins (see yesterday's post) with Peachy Keen's matching die.  Here's how:

The adorable Peachy Keen Stamps Girl Penguin stamp set (PKS-07) comes with
a two faces, a sentiment and a to/from set.  The coordinating die (PKKO-09) is
called a Peachy Keen Kut-Out and is sold separately.

In the instructions for the die, it says:

2. "Die-cut a piece of scrap paper first to create a template for registration. Use a pen to mark the registration circles on your original stamped image." 

I suppose that would work just as well, and I wondered why PKS didn't supply such a template.

However, I like my idea better -- instead of scrap paper, use a scrap piece of acetate. This way, you can very clearly see your stamped and colored image to line up the die:

I edged my cut-out from acetate by running a permanent marker around the cut.

Place your template over your colored
image and mark the holes so you can
line up your die over them.
 I do love my Peachy Keen Stamps and wish they weren't so pricey. They stamp well, are adorable, and now, their dies cut well too.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"I Feel The Love" for Korrine Croghan

Once again, my dear blogger friend MADISON reminds us that our lives are much larger than within our own four walls, and the day-to-day struggles we may have.

Through her "I Feel The Love" project, she has asked for Christmas cards for the parents of Korrine Lannie Croghan to donate to a hospital's pediatric oncology department, in honor and memory of their daughter.

Korrine was an amazing young girl who lost her battle to a rare form of cancer, at age 14. Despite her strong fight and the toll that chemotherapy took on her young body, you'll see something in common with these two pictures of Korrine (before, and after, diagnosis): She's always smiling. Even now. From Heaven.

Here are the cards I made, which I'll send to Korrine's parents for their card drive:

Korrine's parents are raising funds to build a home-away-from-home for parents whose children are hospitalized receiving medical care at Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA.  You too can help, if you'd like, by sending cards and/or cash. 

For information on where to send cards, go to Madison's post about this month's recipient of your cards, by clicking this link to her post: KORRINE

If you'd like more information on donating to the Team KC project, this information (below) was taken directly from the website about Korrine:

After several positive meetings with Kaiser Permanente we are most happy to inform you that all donations from Team KC supporters can be made out to: Kaiser Foundation Hospital the address is: 1950 Franklin Street, 3rd Floor, Oakland, Ca. 94612 and in the note section of your check please put: C/O Institutional and Planned Giving - Team KC

For information and questions regarding your Tax Deductible donations you can contact Kaiser at (510) 987-4000 or e-mail at IPG@KP.ORG. You can also contact Pam Ulmer Director, Institutional and Planned Giving Northern California Region at (510) 987-2123 or e-mail at

Thank you for your generous support of Team KC which allows us to help Kaiser Pediatric Oncology Patients and their families in memory of our precious daughter Korrine Lannie Croghan.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ashley's Blogaversary "Anything But a Card" Hop - November 12

Welcome to my blog buddy Ashley's Blogaversary "Anything But a Card" Hop ... and happy celebration of a year's worth of fantabulous blogging by Ashley, where this blog hop starts. When you're ready to move on, your next stop is MISTY, one of the generous blog candy sponsors for this hop.

My project:

I'll admit, I'm a cardmaker at heart. But when Ashley presented me with an opportunity to join her hop in celebration of her blog's anniversary, she had me stretch out of my comfort zone.  And since then, I have made more non-cards than cards!! 

Today I'll show you some of the decorations I've made to celebrate Charlotte's first birthday.

My sweet granddaughter, Charlotte Grace, through the year.
Charlotte (aka Charley or Cheezer) is my granddaughter who (unbelievably!) turns one in about 3 weeks. Isn't she a cutie pie!? 

My daughter Emily selected "penguins and snowmen" as the theme for Charley's December 6 birthday celebration to be held a few days later.

First up, I made her a wreath and a matching banner:

Here are two close-ups:
The wreath -- paper loops hot glued onto a styrofoam dinner plate, 
then embellished with fussy-cut paper, Sizzix-cut letters and stickers.
I cut snowflakes using a Sizzix die cutting on cereal box cardboard,
then covered with paper and embellished with Sizzix letters and
fussy-cut penguins and snowmen, cut from a specialty paper.
I then Stickled the penguin's hat and scarf.

Next, I decorated the baby's highchair with a complementing banner:

Here are two of the cute pennants on this banner:

Just added (10 a.m.) ...

I almost forgot to show you this adorable additional decoration for Charlotte's party!  My daughter Emily (Cheezer's Mom) is working on this sparkly tree filled with snowflakes that have punches of Charlotte ages newborn and at each of the monthly milestones. On the back of each snowflake, there's a punch with the age on it to help us each remember those earlier days.  This tree will eventually be fuller of course, with sparkly branches with twinkling white lights as well as this kind (from Michael's) with crystals affixed to the branches.

Now for information on the fabulous prizes that Ashley has been able to secure for those who visit this blog hop:  Please jump to Ashley's site (CLICK HERE) for more info on any of these prizes as well as Ashley's GRAND PRIZE, a $20 gift certificate to the winner's choice of either Michael's, AC Moore, or JoAnn Fabrics.

PLUS you can win, if it's your lucky day and you're chosen by Random.Org:

Decade Of Scraps - bracelet
*Must "like" her Facebook page
*Must follow her blog

MB's Treasurista - $10 gift certificate to her zibbet store
*Must "like" her Facebook page
*Must follow her blog

Pink Cat Studio - 5 digi images
*Must "like" Pink Cat Studio on Facebook

Getting Cricky K. Andrew Designs - Positive Thoughts stamp set
*Must "like" K. Andrew Designs: Getting Cricky Facebook page
*Must follow her blog

Scrap Of Art Designs -Packs of flowers
*Must "like" her Facebook page
*Must be a follow her blog

Please leave a comment and follow here too -- I to get them, and you never know when I might sneak in with some blog candy of my own or a R.A.K. to you too!!

Thank you again to Ashley for hosting this Hop, and to you for joining us today. Now hop on over to Misty to see what fun projects she has in store for you!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Blog Hop Winners Announced!

If you're a winner, grab this button!
One of the fun things to do is to award blog candy following the hops I've coordinated.  This weekend, I received generous sponsorships for prizes valued at ~$200 USD!!  See, it pays to follow the CardMonkey!!

A quick reminder inserted here: If you've made a banner for this hop, please send it to me within 10 days (by November 17). My address is listed in the document on our group's Facebook page. If you'd like to try your hand at making a banner to give to the kids at Pediatric Specialty Care, we still need more so that every child has a banner at Christmas!  Please leave a comment below with a way to contact you, so I can provide details and my mailing address.  And thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Congratulations to the following winners. If you've provided contact information, I'll be sending you all e-mails; please respond within 10 days to claim your prizes

My Hop Coordinator's blog candy (an eclectic collection of stuff from my craft room), chosen at random, goes to:

JACKIE who said...
Day2 was just as gorgeous as Day1. You have great banners. Not sure which is my favorite of all. Now, as far as my fav deer I would have to say Nixen is. The vibrant color PINK stands out and those are my fav colors this year the pinks and lime greens for Christmas this year. Love it. thanks for a fab give-a-way too!  Great job again!  another day of hopping and seeing wonderful projects.

Now onto awarding my sponsors' prizes. All of these winners have been selected at random by using
The following winner will receive four free digi-images of
her own choosing from!

This prize goes to:
B~T who said this on the blog of Carol Carlson
I like how you have all different kinds of characters (all reminiscent of the season) in your banner. I especially like how you did it double sided....not only will the child/family get to enjoy it but so will the visitors as they pass by in the hallways; what a great idea! will provide the following winner with a code
valued at $20 toward her purchase from their terrific site!

 This prize goes to:
lindaplus3 who said this on the blog of Janet S
Very very pretty... eye catching Christmas colors :) lindaplusthree at yahoo dot com 

Beautiful ribbons, embellishments, charms and more are on the site.  They'll be giving a voucher valued at 20 pounds to 
the following winner: 

Linda Simpson who said this on the blog of Pam Bray 
Wow Pam this is amazing my friend. I love all the different embellishments you have incorporated into your banner. Beautiful!!!!  Hugs, Linda xxxx

Over on the "Show Me Your Craft Room" blog hop in which I participated, I have a generous prize from Marlo Letterle at ContainYa Crafts -- a Scrap 'N Tote in the winner's color choice. picked:

Edwina who said:

Incredible!!!I love your storage system. I am like you my table is always a mess. Thanks for showing your room and telling about it. Edwina Brown

In addition, everyone who took a peek inside the PaperJungle was awarded a code to receive 10% off any organizing product from my other sponsor, OrganizeMore!  The code is good for 2 weeks and everybody's a winner -- so if you missed the hop, you're not too late. Hop over by clicking HERE.   

Thank you again to all who played along ... but especially to those papercrafters who joined me as Blog Stops by making banners for the very special children at Pediatric Specialty Care. May you be always blessed and rewarded for your many kindnesses to the children who smile despite their vast physical and neuro disabilities. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Banner Round-Up from this Weekend's SUPER Hop!!

Thank you SO MUCH to the 27 women who made banners for the babies, children and young adults who reside at Pediatric Specialty Care in Bucks County, PA.

While you can scroll down and visit each of the sites still, I will post each of the banners here for you to enjoy in their totality. Imagine how festive PSC will look with all of these hung in doorways and over the child's bed! 

Words cannot express my gratitude to each of the hoppers listed on the picture of her banner: