Monday, June 22, 2009

Gift Certificate Giving—Father’s Day Style

Man-gifts are always tougher for me, even when they are going to the man of my dreams. This year the dog-children and I got gift certificates for Sir Henry and then my parents got him one that needed "dolling up" as well.

Inspired by a tutorial from my friends at Split Coast Stampers, I created a mini-pizza box and made tags for each of the gift items. It worked up fast and fabulous which was a good thing since I had to do it all before he woke up on Sunday.

I used Heidi Grace™ double sided print card stock for the tags and WorldWin ColorMates™ cardstock for the box. The top of the box was a layered decoration created separately and then secured to the box after completion. The palm tree is colored using water color pencils with a vellum overlay for additional softness. Stamps by Making Memories™ and Stamp Affair™ were used as tools on this project.

Perhaps because my card stock was a lighter weight than the sample or because I assembled it in such a hurry, the lid would not quite stay down. I just tied a closure with twine to add a finishing touch.

My best laid plans are to keep this idea in mind for gift cards and other small gifts throughout the year. Even though the tin gift card boxes available at craft stores only cost a dollar, they aren’t always laying around when you remember it’s time to give a gift.

Check out other great interpretations of this template in the Split Coast Stamper’s Gallery--


Make your own gift cards and certificates for items like: Two hours of alone time, doing laundry for a busy friend, delivering a homemade meal on a weeknight, babysitting, research, resume writing, addressing invitations, etc.

Hide clues in the box that direct the reciepient to the location of larger and harder to wrap gifts.

Fill with candies for party favors or small treats at the office, gym, or classroom.

Regular Features

Surf stopsweb sites I’ve visited recently:EK Success hosts a relatively new community online with great options for project posting--

Touch of color—what color(s) influenced me--Boy colors—brown, green, rust, with yellow

Most played song- “Simple Love Like This” by Allison Kraus. We set the Ipod™ for all Allison during Sir Henry’s Father’s Day dinner. This one song was the one he walked down the aisle to during our wedding so it got special recognition.

Studio progress--The only possible thing I did to assist in the process this week, and yes I know I’m stretching it, was to set aside a great carrier box to pack full of the stuff I really am going to let go of as soon as I get going more on that…..

In the kitchen— We have family night every week. Sir Henry and I give a standing invitation to his 27 year old son and my 21 year old God-daughter to attend this time around the table. We say Grace, we eat, we talk about our lives. Last week I served one of my “fall back” recipes that is worth repeating.
Step One: Purchase a pork roast on sale at grocery store
Step Two: Gather other ingredients: bottle of honey BB! Sauce (store brand works great), one sweet onion peeled and cut in half, and (optional) some MoJo™ brand or other general grill seasoning
Step Three: Dump it all in a crock pot on high for 3 hours and low for another 2-4 hours
Step Four: Slice or shred with a fork (it’s that tender)
Step Five: Serve with coleslaw on sandwich buns

Austerity Plan progress ($15.00 per month for art supplies and tools)--At least if I’m not up to speed in the clearing department I can say I haven’t spent any more money---not even on books, classes, or digital goodies. I am getting low on some adhesives and inks though so it won’t be too long before I list a receipt.

My opinion and where it may lead-- Being kind to yourself makes you stronger. Stop finding your flaws, there’s plenty other people who can do that for you. Instead, take care of yourself and seek out people, activities, and simple moments that allow you to refresh and renew.
I start work this week for
Anton Aesthetics Academy where I’ll be doing marketing and recruiting. Did you know that almost all spa training facilities offer services to customers at a lower fee than standard spas? If you’re local to the West Palm Beach area-- call for an appointment and treat yourself to a “frugal luxury.” If you’re tempted by the idea of a career as a spa professional, email me today to learn more about working in this elegant and rewarding field.

Monday, June 15, 2009

After arriving home with 100+ photos I immediately began digital scrapping. These are from shots of my niece and her fiancé at their new little home on the lake. Next Henry took off to see our grandson so here’s a quickie of sweet Sam too.

There were no posts while I was traveling because I didn’t want to lug my ancient lap top around and I thought I could use other computers as I traveled. I did get a few moments on other computers, but I didn’t do more than post status on Facebook and return a few emails. After all, what are vacations for if not to get away?

Now that I’m home I’ve already done some digital scrapping and I created three traditional pages yesterday along with four cards last week during my recovery time from my journey. I mailed the cards without scanning, so those are lost to the wind, but I’ll scan the layouts soon. The layouts are nothing fancy, I'm just trying to finish the majority of our wedding book before our first anniversary-wry smile.

My last post before I left was about making handmade journals. I didn’t want to post any of the party decorations I was working on because I hated to give away the surprise. Naturally, I didn’t take too many pictures of those either…sigh. What I did was create some fun digital designs and then layered them onto cardstock, stands, and sticks to make 3-D décor for Katie’s shower.

Pictured here are some the original designs along with a shot of the balloon bouquet I made. Her theme was tie dye and we all dyed white baby things at the shower. I narrowed the field a little and made the decorations with a Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds kit downloaded free from

Regular Features

Surf stops—web sites I’ve visited recently: – Great safe site to watch TV shows and movies. I watched four seasons of “Rescue Me” in May and June and now I have a new favorite TV show. -Feed your addiction with great links to cool sites, new products, and freebies every week.

Touch of color—what color(s) influenced me— I found some color combinations that are hot for weddings this year. I worked with one I liked on digital and traditional scrapping: deep burgundy and orange.

Most played song- Learning to Live on Love by Mike Cross. I couldn’t find a snippet on online, but you can hear some other samples from this gifted artist on his web site

Studio progress: Ashamed to say, it’s a wreck after getting Kate’s shower ready and then coming home with an irresistible urge to create cards and pages. I’ve done 4 cards and 3 traditional scrapbook pages since I got home. It’s on the list this week…

In the kitchen— inspired by the cheesy chowder from one our favorite Ashland restaurants since 1979 when I first landed at Randolph-Macon College—the Smokey Pig. I created my own version.Essentially, sauté onions in chicken broth, add more broth and frozen soup veggie mix plus extra frozen corn and boil for 5 minutes before lowering heat and adding cheddar cheese soup and/or Ragu cheesy sauce or Velveeta. Season as desired, I added all-purpose Greek seasoning and something new to us called MoJo seasoning. Just comment on the blog if you want specific measurements.

Austerity Plan--- progress ($15.00 per month for art supplies and tools): Haven’t spent a penny in this direction so far in June. My opinion and where it may lead: Although it took a lot out of me to drive 2500 miles across six states—I’d do it again in a heartbeat (or at least after a week’s rest) to be with my loved ones. Mamma always said, “Family is family,” and I totally appreciate that.

My opinion and where it may lead: Although it took a lot out of me to drive 2500 miles across six states—I’d do it again in a heartbeat (or at least after a week’s rest) to be with my loved ones. Mamma always said, “Family is family,” and I totally appreciate that.