Monday, December 30, 2013

Ringing in the New Year!

Well, hello!  Long time, no see!  A faithful friend and blog follower (hello, Star!) pointed out to me yesterday via e-mail that it's been almost a month since I posted.

RCCL Grandeur of the Seas -- one of our favorite ships!
We sailed from Baltimore to St. Kitts, Tortola, San Juan
and Labadee (Haiti)
I apologize!  We all have reasons, and fortunately for me, mine were nothing but sweet ones. Hubby surprised me with a pre-holiday 10 day cruise in the Caribbean ... and that meant not only getting ready and packed for that, but also getting my Christmassing done, as we would not return until Christmas Eve. 
Granddaughter Charlotte, at Christmas, waiting for Santa

So I got no cards mailed. None! For a cardmaker!!  Can you believe it?  To my friends and family who might expect one, I hope to send a personal non-holiday greeting as soon as I can. I'm sorry! 

This bald-headed eagle was spotted in the tree-line behind my
stepson's home in suburban Philadelphia .. .what an omen!
The cruise was one reason, and "life" is just the other. Even good things like the Eagles heading to the play-offs next weekend takes my attention. Such is the life of a diehard fan!


So now we're on the cusp of the New Year, when I really do hope to be more diligent about posting more regularly. I have some tutorials in mind, some ideas ... and would love to hear from you about what you visit here to see. Let me know, will you?

Our New Year's Eve is planned to be quiet. I'm hoping to get another bottle of Yellow Tail's "Pink Bubbles" to celebrate the New Year.  Oh my word, daughter Emily bought a bottle to serve with Thanksgiving dinner, and it's my new favorite.

And what better to serve it in than a champagne flute like this, custom made using The Buckle Boutique's Rhinestone Resin Sheets in ice blue. 

To make this glass (one of a set of four), I designed the 2014 using Silhouette's Designer Edition software, and cutting the resin sheets on my Cameo. The sheets are self-adhesive, just peel and stick. For the little blue resin dots, I just punched standard paper punch holes from the Dazzling Diamonds, and viola!

No matter how you ring it in, I  hope your New Year is filled with peace, love and joy; good health and prosperity, and lots of crafting adventures!! 

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Friday, December 6, 2013

No better bling than a Granddaughter's Smile!

Can you believe this cutie
is three years old today?!
HaPpY birthday
to my dear granddaughter,
 Today, Charlotte and her Mommy Emily and I are going out to see the new animated movie, "Frozen."  It's the first time Charlotte is seeing a movie in the theaters and we think she's ready to handle it. Charlotte is a little bit afraid of the dark so she said she'll bring a glow bracelet and a "fwashlight" just in case. 
Tomorrow is the party with more family -- Daddy Josh, Pot (my hubby John), Bubba (Josh's Mom), Grandpa Steve (..and Josh's stepdad), and Uncles Nick and Matt. The theme will be a surprise to me; depending on the weather I think, Charlotte tells one of us or the other that she wants a Doc McStuffin party, an Ariel party, a dolphin party, a Minion party or a Princess party. All I know for sure is that she wants "balloons" and "cake ... lots of cake!"  (late breaking news: I'm told the cake is MINION!!)
Pot and I gave Charlotte her own "pink iPad" for her birthday. It's actually my 1-yr old iPad but she has more apps and videos on it than I do. So we upgraded the case to a heavy-duty pink "childproof" case and gave it to her last week when she visited.  We have a few other "prezzies" for her, but none is as nice as the gift she gives us all year long.  She gives us life ... joy ... and makes the air so much sweeter to breathe. Being a grandparent is THE BEST!
Now a little bit about crafting, just because that's the reason you stopped here. Charlotte's Mom Emily asked me to make the Age Shirt for kiddo.First I backed the cute bubble fabric with Pellon Light adhesive interfacing. Then, fabric side onto the mat, I cut the fabric using my Cricut Expression 2, and peeled the adhesive backing off the "3" and ironed it onto a shirt from Old Navy. I machine-appliqued the number using a tight zig-zag stitch on my Husqvarna Diamond Viking sewing/embroidery machine.

For the cute sneakers -- Charlotte's "Chucks" -- Emily traced a paper template for the toes. Then she lightly taped the template onto the Dazzling Diamond rhinestone resin adhesive sheets from The Buckle Boutique* and cut the clear "diamonds" using regular scissors. She peeled off the paper backing and applied the sheet -- no individual rhinestones, no choking hazard -- GREAT for kids' and adult shoes alike!
I made the crazy bows and sewed them onto crocodile hair clips. The Chucks were laced with satin ribbons and the removable bows were added for the pictures and party.

Here's Charlotte's month-by-month progression, from 2 years to 3, almost all in 2013.

I have a massive crush on this girl!!

Happy birthday,
darling Charley!!


also known as

Sunday, December 1, 2013

What's in Santa's bag for the Krazy Craftin' Crew? Blog Hop December 1!

Have you been a good girl or boy this year? Are you on Santa's Naughty or Nice list? Better yet, would Santa know what to get the crafters who made it onto the Nice List?  After all, it's the Elves who are really the handy ones, you know.

The Krazy Craftin' Crew comes together today to present things we're either like under the tree, or things we'd make for the fellow crafters on our gift list.

First up, let me show you what's on my Christmas list -- and it's something that I think every scrapbooker would want.

The Canon Selphy CP900 is a very small (the size of a shoebox) wireless photo printer that promises to get the photos off your cell phone or iPad and into those scrapbooks. Optionally, there's even a battery for photo printing on the go. The printer is self-contained, and the consumable is the pack of paper and ink that is purchased complete. The pack that Santa's bringing me will print 108 4x6" photos. There are other sizes available as well. Together -- with the printer and one pack of refill paper/ink, this gift is about $100 USD. 

Use the Canon Selphy in tandem with Close To My Heart's newest Scrapbooking On The Go program called "Picture My Life", due to be released after the first of the new year. With "Picture My Life," I plan to use the divided page protectors to insert designer elements (art, journaling spots, titles, etc.) and my Selphy pics to finish pages quickly and easily -- without the fuss and muss of design, glue, scissors, etc.  The new CTMH Picture My Life program is also on my Wish List!

Now, for the gifts you want to make for your crafty friends, why not get a cute pink "Adhesive Tape Gun" (ATG) by 3M, and bling it up with Dazzling Diamonds adhesive rhinestone resins from The Buckle Boutique?  That's what I did to my own ATG, here:

While I hand-cut (regular ol' scissors) the silver/clear background here and the flowers, I wanted my name to be set a little more formally. Did you know that Dazzling Diamonds can be easily cut using your Cricut, Pazzles, OR Cameo?!  This time, I used my Cameo to cut out the word Ellen (yes, my real name!) for the ATG. It makes me smile each time I sue this gun.

If  you'd like to try out some Dazzling Diamonds, The Buckle Boutique is offering a shopper's special this weekend in celebration of Black Friday - Small Business Saturday - and Cyber Monday.  Go to The Buckle Boutique and enter the promo code happyholiday15 to get 15% off your order now through December 2. 

Would  you like a chance to win a $10 gift certificate to the store of your choice??  Comment on every Hop Stop's post, and follow their blogs. Our blog hostess, Lissa Marie of So Many Crafts is sponsoring the prize -- check her blog for more deets.

Now it's time to send you down the blog hop lane to see what other goodies the KCC would like to see in Santa's bag. Your next stop is:  Robin Lane at Create-A-Latte. 

In case you get lost along the way, do start at the beginning (, or hop into the fun by jumping into this list: 

Ciclily ~ Pink Dalmatian Scrapper
Robin Lane ~ Create~a~Latte
Robin ~ Scrap n' Chat

Thanks for joining us ... and Merry Christmas!

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

You've got to BELIEVE in Bling -- The Buckle Boutique's Winter Bling Party, November 27

Welcome to The Buckle Boutique Winter Bling Party!

Today the Buckle Boutique Design Team will be sharing projects we have created using products available from The Buckle Boutique for your winter holiday crafting.Get ready to enjoy some projects with rhinestones, sparkle and bling!
Today I'll show you one of the many holiday projects I've been making using the fantastic Dazzling Diamonds adhesive rhinestone resin sheets.  In fact, I'll show you more fantastic blinged projects throughout December, so you can make your Christmas the most fantastically blinged-out holiday ever. 

After all, "Bling is the new black," I am told ... and ... 

You've GOT to BELIEVE!

Imagine this framed ... I just haven't gotten there yet ... and hanging in your home. SWEET, huh?  

Or, do you like it better in silver with red letters?  

I made BOTH projects in less than a half-hour, using The Buckle Boutique's cuttable adhesive rhinestone resin sheets. 

To make this, adhere your Dazzling Diamonds sheet bling-side DOWN onto a sticky Cricut mat (the stickier, the better). To make sure the sheet doesn't shift, I added some painter's tape to the corners and sides to hold the sheet firmly onto the mat. 

Next, load your Cricut with the ProvoCraft/Close To My Heart exclusive "Artbooking" cartridge, where you'll find the word "Believe" as you see it here.  I cut the image at 8.5", using the Deep Cut Blade set at 6 on the blade/5 on the machine, speed 3, multi-cut 2. I cut the image once from the clear Dazzling Diamonds, and repeated the cutting by cutting it from the red Dazzling Diamonds. Make sure when you're "weeding" or removing the cut from the mats that you save all of the little pieces inside the letters "e", "l" and "B".  

If you are adhering this onto a surface other than paper, peel back the adhesive backing of the Dazzling Diamond a little at a time, first affixing the background color to whatever you are applying the image. While the product does not stretch naturally, you can yank it out of position by over-tugging, so be gentle and slow. Keep the rhinestone sheet smooth and lines straight as you peel back and apply the sheet. Not quite right? You can reposition it a bit -- but again, first time is the charm.

Once your background is in place, remove the backing from the word "Believe" one letter at a time, and glide the word into place. Just peel back the removable backing as you're affixing it to your image and it will fit perfectly. Then insert the insides of the letters in the contrasting color, and voila, you're done! Easy-peasy!!

Now because I want to frame this for hanging, I wanted to adhere my sheets onto thick cardstock. With the clear DD rhinestone sheets, I wasn't as careful and the sheet really did stick pretty firmly to the paper. Repositioning wasn't easy -- so I recommend LEAVING ON the adhesive backing and instead, using a two-way tape (like Sookwang or Scor-Pal) to affix the image. I did this with the red image, and it was easier and neater for my purposes. 

Which one do you like better?

WINTER BLING BLOG HOP SPECIAL!!  If you would like to make this project yourself and need the ARTBOOKING cartridge to do so, I will give a $15 rebate to the first FIVE people who order the cartridge from my Close To My Heart business page by clicking HERE. Once you have ordered it, please leave me a comment, or contact me at, for your rebate check or PayPal deposit. This rebate is from CardMonkey personally, not through Close To My Heart, and is only good for Artbooking cartridges purchased through my website. 

BUT WAIT! Before you go, I have one more great deal to tell you about.  The Buckle Boutique is offering a GREAT PRE-HOLIDAY DEAL for YOU at their online store!!
The Buckle Boutique is offering
15% off your total order
when you use coupon code 


This offer is good from 
Wednesday November 27th 
through Monday December 2nd

Fine print: Discount cannot be combined with any other offer, is limited to in stock merchandise only and is not applicable on custom or previous orders.

So make sure to head over to The Buckle Boutique and stock up on your favorite products right away!

Now, let me move you on down the road to see the rest of the fantastic things that the Buckle Boutique Design Team has made for you ... head on over to my friend, Lori's fantastic project at "Scrappin' My Stress Away." 

Here is the full hop list of the Buckle Boutique's great Design Team, in case you get lost:

For more info, see The Buckle Boutique's
Website // Blog // Facebook Page // Twitter // Pinterest

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dear Poppy ... You're fine!

I apologize for letting my blog slip a bit. Life just sometimes gets in the way, and some days, it is difficult to post. I have to say, the past week has been like that. I have been worried and tearful. You see, my dear hubby John had a colonoscopy that turned into anything but routine. The doctor struggled to remove a very large polyp (30mm), among many others, and we awaited biopsy results.

They came in today -- and we got the wonderful news that everything is benign. "Pre-cancerous" which means to stay vigilant, but we dodged the Big C bullet. 

Tonight, as John naps (hiding his worry has been tiring for him too), I made a card for no reason ... just to express what is in my heart....

"Poppy" -- or "Pot" to granddaughter Charlotte -- and vibrant colors of "new life". Thank you, dear God, for sparing the man I love of cancer. We are so very grateful.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Wanna buy a piece of the Monkey?

I'm trying a new adventure this weekend: I'm having a table at a local crafts fair.

Now, normally I'd be better prepared. But I stopped into the Ben Wilson Senior Center,580 Delmont Avenue in Warminster, about five weeks ago when I saw signs that their annual craft show was coming up. They had no room, all sold out -- "but would you like me to put your name on a waiting list?"  Sure. Two days ago I got the call that a table could be had -- for tomorrow.  So I'm scrambling.

Friday, November 15 - 5 to 8 p.m.
Saturday, November 16 - 8 am to 2 p.m.

Here are two things I've made to sell, in addition to the cards that I'll have of course!  These are both gift card holders. 

For the owl (left), the gift card or cash can be slipped between the antlers ("on an owl??" hubby asked).

I made this using a modified file from the Silhouette Online store, cut with my Cameo.

This cute reindeer is a gift card holder that we made as part of my Craft Class at Kathy Davis Studios. The file, too, is from the Silhouette Online Store (love that place!!) with just a few extra embellishments to make it fun.

I plan to have these for sale for $3.00 each, or 4 for $10. Do you think that's a fair price?

I plan to sell my cards for the same. After the craft show, my cards will be available exclusively at Domenic Graziano Flowers & Gift Stores. Graziano's has three stores including the Artisan Marketplace in Southampton, PA; in Warminster, PA; and, in Doylestown, PA.  Domenic plans to put my cards in all three locations, beginning next week!  Prices will range from $5 to $10 each, depending on the complexity of the card. Watch for your favorite CardMonkey hitting the stores soon! :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Close To My Heart offers a Fantastic Sign-Up Special! Now through December 15!

Picture this: 

Earlier this year, I signed up to be an Independent Consultant with Close To My Heart, a premier direct sales company featuring ways to preserve your memories and celebrate relationships through scrapbooks and cards. 

Their products and lessons have helped me develop my cardmaking -- my favorite hobby. And, I have made many new friends through gatherings and workshops using CTMH products.

When I enrolled in CTMH, there were two other similar companies for us papercrafters -- Creative Memories and Stampin' Up. Woodblock stamping just wasn't "my thing" so I ruled out SU, as that sort of stamping is their strength and is not mine. And my dearest friend I met through crafting, Susan Bermudez, was a CM Consultant; we supported each other in our businesses, and often crafted and demo'd together.

In April of this year, surprising news rippled through the crafting community: Creative Memories had filed for bankruptcy for the second time in five years. The company hoped to reorganize into a more streamlined company, but made it clear that they would be abandoning their most popular lines of albums and page protectors. This was the heart-and-soul of their memory-keeping business to most crafters, and it was devastating to the CM Consultants who built their business on this line.

Recently, Creative Memories unveiled their new name (Ahni & Zoe) and product line. Gone are paper, stickers and tools but most significantly, the popular album coversets and refills are gone. From what I have heard from former CM consultants, there is disappointment.

"A door has closed for me," said one.
"...and I am looking for a new place to
build my business doing what I love."  

Look no farther than Close To My Heart.

First, to serve those who have built their albums using Creative Memories' unique strap-based albums, CTMH will launch a new page protector specially designed to meet the needs of the clients of the former pre-"A & Z" CM album.  

On February 1st, you will be able to purchase 25 side loading memory protectors for $19.95!  Perfect for your strap designed albums but with the quality and thickness of a CTMH memory protector -- considered TOPS in the industry!  And the new page protectors are an addition to, not a replacement of, the post-bound page protectors for which CTMH is famous. They're an industry BEST!

In addition, Close To My Heart will simultaneously introduce a new product line consisting of a variety of 8 designs for Picture My Life Scrapbooking Program (sample shown below).

Picture Life

Each kit will contain:
  • 10 memory protectors to hold creative combinations of these cards:
  • Forty-four (44) 4″ × 6″ cards (2 each of 22 designs) which come in 14 vertical and 8 horizontal designs.
  • You also get Seventy-eight (78) 3″ × 4″ cards (3 each of 26 designs) which come in 10 vertical designs and 16 horizontal designs.
  • That’s 122 cards in a variety of combinations!
  • And there will be EIGHT choices in themes that will make your on-the-go scrapbooking tailored to what's happening today, in your life -- perfect for the busy scrapper!
  • It's retail price is $24.95 and it's available beginning February 1st .....
.... but you can be the first on your block (even before ME!) to have one of these fantastic kits AND FREE by signing up to be a Close To My Heart Consultant anytime between November 1 - December 15* (Conditions apply.)

This is only ONE design of our *new* Picture My Life scrapbooking kits!  You'll have 8 to choose from.
This is only ONE design of our *new* Picture My Life
scrapbooking kits! You’ll have 8 to choose from.

NOW through December 15th, you can earn one of eight Picture My Life Scrapbooking Programs for FREE when you sign up to become a Close To My Heart Consultant on my team! 

Join for only $49 and receive this kit below containing $155 worth of products, and have the opportunity to earn a Picture My Life Scrapbooking Programs for FREE when you sign up to become a Close To My Heart Consultant on my team! 


Read the Flyer HERE. 

Opportunity knocked for my friend Susan (mentioned above), with the restructuring of CM away from what she and most of her customers wanted. She joined my Paper Jungle CTMH team last month, and she is currently running some fantastic product specials on her blog.

YOU TOO CAN JOIN my Team today -- take advantage of the camaraderie AND the special offers I have outlined above. SIGN UP here on my CTMH WEBSITE.  

If you have any questions, please e-mail me @ or call me at 215-675-3460. 
I look forward to sharing CTMH with you! 

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Krazy Crafting Crew - Gift Card Holder Blog Hop, Sunday 11/3

It is that time of year again when Santa is looking for the perfect gift. And how often do you hear (or wish you heard!?) "gift cards, please." Gift cards sure make shopping easy -- but what do you do if you want to make the gift a little more personalized?

Well, if you were a member of the Krazy Crafting Crew or if you'd like to follow our lead, you will have made some gift card holders to have on hand to make your gift giving all the more special this holiday season.

On this very special Hop hosted by Janet Royer, you'll find crafters' ideas to make your own VSGC's (*Very Special Gift Card) Holders.  Be sure to hop on through and leave comments to be eligible for blog candy sponsored by our hostess. 

My project:
For my project, I made this adorable "library card jacket" stuffed with a sweet reindeer that holds a gift card. The cut is by Silhouette's Online Store. I added the googly wobble eyes, the small pom-poms at the holly and the sparkly pom for the nose.  The holly is punched using a Martha Stewart punch. I tied on baker's twine and a darling jingle bell.
Your Next Stop:
Don't miss it! Your next stop is with MIRANDA at Nana's Scrap Spot.
Blog candy:
You'll be eligible to win a Close To My Heart stamp set (MSRP $17.95), donated by our Hostess, if you'll comment on every post in this Hop, so don't miss any. Here is the full line up:

Thanks for stopping by today!  Please come back to join the Krazy Craftin' Crew on December 1st when the plan is to show off a Desk Set of some sort that we've made.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Random Cuteness

What's this?  A little diversion from papercrafting!!?  Well, there's so many neat supplies in my Paper Jungle, that I couldn't resist.

So here's a little Monday random cuteness:

First  up, let me show you some Twinkle Toe shoes I blinged up for my granddaughter Charlotte. (Isn't she a peach!?), using the fantastic rainbow ombre sheets of adhesive Dazzling Diamonds from The Buckle Boutique.

To make these, I first traced the shoe's upper outline on paper and then cut a pattern to use with my fancy gel-resin sheets.  Once I was satisfied with the pattern, I just taped it onto the paper backing behind The Buckle Boutique's great product. I used regular ol' scissors (nothing fancy!) to easily cut this pattern out. I peeled back the adhesive, and laid the gems adhered to the sheet, onto the new turquoise-colored sneakers. It really wasn't needed, but just for a little extra security, I put a bead of clear-drying, water- resistant glue along the edges where the Dazzling Diamond met the shoe, because you never know when a toddler's feet find puddles.

Next, let me introduce you to my craft-du-jour: needle felting.  I took a GREAT class in needle felting at Kathy Davis Studios last week, taught by the wonderful Janet, an employee of KDS.  With needle felting, you'd use unspun wool and a very sharp needle (like those shown in this picture, next to the mouse) to make the wool dense against itself. It's hard to explain, and far easier to do.

It's fun and the pricking allows you to take out any aggressions you might have. The shaping of the wool is in your hands and in your imagination.  Here are two more projects I made last week:

Finally, congratulations to DONNA of "Indiana Inking" for winning the Blog Candy I offered late last week.  Donna has won the Close To My Heart Sparkle & Shine paper pack, like the papers I used to make the 20 cards in the challenge shown here last week.  Donna, please send me your address, via my e-mail: