Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bye-bye diet soda + some Fancy Pants projects

I doing it.  I'm finally doing it.  I'm going to try to kick my diet soda habit.  I've had a major diet soda addiction for more than two decades.  I drink it every day, morning to night. Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi or Diet Rite used to be my sodas of choice, but several years ago I read that the dark colas were more harmful to your health than clear ones, so I made the "healthy" (ha!) switch to Diet 7-Up at home.  I would still have Diet Coke at restaurants.  My husband is a total health nut and for years he's been trying to convince me to stop drinking diet soda, but I wasn't willing to give it up because I craved the stuff and I figured it was my only vice.  Then something just clicked in me last week and I decided it was time to stop because I want to be healthier.

I'm on Day Four of being soda free. It's been a little tough, but I'm sticking with it so far!  7-Up is caffeine-free, so it's clearly the sweetness (aspartame) that I've been addicted to.  I'm just trying to drink a lot of water to get my body used to drinking unsweetened beverages.  Have any of you given up the soda habit?  How did it go?  Did you notice any difference after giving it up?  I'd love to hear from you!

I have a couple Fancy Pants projects to share today.  First up is a layout I made using a mix of Fancy Pants papers from several different collections.  I chose black and cream papers and embellishments, then I added a splash of hot pink and green.
I used the new Fancy Pants stencils to add the pink dots.  I made the roses out of white cardstock that I first sprayed with Dylusions spray ink. 

Here's a "thank you" card I made with the lovely Park Bench collection.

Last but not least, you can check out a tutorial I did for altering the cover of a Brag Book on the Fancy Pants blog.  Here's a little sneak of the project:

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Creating Keepsakes Editorial Meetings

I had an AMAZING week last week!  I traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah for Creating Keepsakes magazine's annual editorial board meetings.  I joined the CK editorial and creative staff and some of my fellow CK Dream Members for the meetings.  We evaluated reader survey results, discussed the issues from the past year, talked about current trends in the industry, and brainstormed about ideas for future issues. It was such a privilege to be part of this process!  I am very excited about what lies ahead for Creating Keepsakes!

Between meetings we had a TON of fun.  I have a few pictures to share.  Here we are at the Creating Keepakes and Paper Crafts office:

That's me, Jana Morton, Gretchen McElveen, Joannie McBride, Jing-Jing Nickel, Autumn Baldwin and Laina Lamb.  These ladies are awesome -- they are just as sweet as could be!   We chatted and bonded and laughed a LOT.  The rest of the CK editorial and creative staff was just as wonderful!

We were treated to tours of Stampin' Up!, American Crafts, and Persnickety Prints. I am so impressed with all three of these companies.  Here we are in front of American Crafts:

A funny thing happened on the way to American Crafts . . . somebody (whose name I won't mention) ran out of gas.  Oopsie!  We will certainly be laughing about this for years to come.

Notice that the faces and the license plate are covered to protect the innocent (and the guilty). Heeeheehee.

We also ate some DELCIOUS meals while we were there.  The food highlight for me were these incredibly delicious maple bar donuts from Harmons Grocery store:

I've been dreaming about these maple bars ever since I got home.  They are topped with maple buttercream frosting!!  How decadent is that?!?

Back to the CK business stuff . . . we also talked about a big change that's coming up.  CK is doing what's necessary to keep up with technology.  Starting with the May/June issue of Creating Keepsakes, a great deal of the content will be in digital form.  If you have a subscription to the print copy of Creating Keepsakes, you also have free access to the digital issue.  If you haven't signed up for the digital issue, you can follow these instructions to sign up. While we can still enjoy the print edition of Creating Keepsakes, the digital issue includes everything in the print edition plus a whole lot more.  And I can share a fun little secret: the Jul/Aug issue is going to contain a Digital Scrapbooking Insert - an entire section dedicated to digital scrapbooking!  Of course there will still be lots of inspiring paper layouts in this issue.

Whew!!  I feel like I need a nap just reliving these fun-filled days with the Creating Keepsakes peeps.  Thank you, CK, for allowing me to be part of it!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Upcoming class at Treasured Memories scrapbooking store

I know it's a little late notice, but I'm teaching a class again at Treasured Memories in Oak Park, CA on Sunday, April 21st from 1-4pm.  If you're in Los Angeles or the Southern California area, I'd love for you to come join me!  I will be teaching a 2-page layout class featuring Prima's new Divine collection plus lots of other fun goodies. We will also make a bonus card using this Prima's Divine line.  Here are few sneak peaks of the layout:



You can find out more of the details and sign up for my class through this link: Treasured Memories April Classes. Even if you can't make my class on April 21st, you should definitely check out this awesome scrapbook store sometime!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fools

Happy April Fools everyone!  It's only the morning time here, and the April Fools jokes have already been plentiful in our house.  Everyone in the family is partaking in the pranks:  plastic wrap on the bedroom door, happy faces drawn on the toilet paper rolls, purple milk, surprises in the cabinets, Barbies in Daddy's briefcase (he'll discover them later when he gets to work), and a fake "present" from the cat on the bathroom rug.  The fake cat ... er, um ..."dropping" hasn't been been discovered yet. Maybe if we're lucky, someone will find it before I finish writing this blog post.  Did I mention I have the sense of humor of an 8-year-old boy? Please refer to my last blog post. ;-)

Since Spring has sprung, here's a very "Springy" layout I did for the Creating Keepsakes blog a few weeks ago.  I was inspired by a plethora of ruffles that I saw on Pinterest.  I grabbed some colorful Close to my Heart fabric and stitched up a few ruffles of my own.  I used them on this layout:

Products used: Cardstock: American Crafts and Close to my Heart; Fabric and patterned paper: Close to my Heart; Chipboard letters: American Crafts; Flowers: Prima; Stickers: Crate Paper and Jillibean Soup; Paint: Jacquard; Die-cutting machine and die: Sizzix; Pen: American Crafts.

There are many different ways to make ruffles using either a sewing machine or by hand-stitching.  To start, cut a strip of fabric that’s approximately twice as long as you want your ruffle to be.  The fastest way to make a ruffle is to stitch along the fabric strip using a simple running stitch, then pull the thread at one end so that the fabric gathers into pleats.  I made my ruffles using a slightly different technique.   I wanted the top edge of the ruffles to lay flat on my page, so I pleated the fabric strip with my fingers as I went along and added 2-3 stitches to the top of each pleat to keep them flat.
Here’s a photo showing how I stitched my pleats:

I used dark thread and big stitches for demonstration purposes, but normally I use a thread color that blends in and I make smaller stitches that are less visible (though if you’re covering up the top of the pleats, it doesn’t really matter). It didn’t take me long to make the set of pleats for my layout (less than 10 minutes total).

Oooohhhhhhhhh . . . my hubby is about to go into the bathroom and find the fake cat "surprise" on the rug . . . wait for it, wait for it . . . and there it is!!!  Got him!!!  Bwahahaaaaaaa!