Monday, January 31, 2011

I Won Blog Candy at Going Buggy!

Earlier this month Enfys at Going Buggy had a blog hop party when she hit 2,000 followers.  It was a week-long affair and there were contests all week long.  I entered all but one, I believe.  I won on day four -- the contests was to tell your best funny story.  Whomever could make Enfys and her friend Anne laugh the hardest would win one of three prizes.  I WON third prize with the following story -- which, BTW, is totally true:

A number of years ago my friend and I were in charge of a children's program at our church. We started out in church and our minister gave a children's sermon and then we took the children to a classroom for snack, crafts, and other activities.

My friend's three year old daughter loved to sit right next to the minister or on his lap. This particular Sunday happened to be St. Patrick's Day. And being of Irish descent my friend had made matching green jumpers for her daughter and herself. The minister commented on Kaylee's jumper and how pretty it was. Her response -- directly into his lapel microphone -- was "If you like my jumper you should see my Mommy's shamrock panties! They are Daddy's favorites 'cause they glow in the dark!"

It took a long time for the minister to regain control of the congregation and we beat a hasty retreat with the children!

My blog candy arrived today and it is 3 sets of Cuttlebug dies and embossing folders.  The Naturals die set, Welcome Baby die and embossing folder and Love Language die and embossing folder!  Now if only my income tax refund would hurry up and get here so I can buy my Cuttlebug machine!!!!

Thanks, Enfys!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

One year ago today my Mom re-married after being single for almost 36 years.  And I can honestly say that her husband is one of the kindest men I have ever had the privilege of knowing. 

They knew each other in High School -- never dated each other -- and went on to marry other people.  Mom divorced, his wife passed away and they reconnected at their school's 75th Anniversary Celebration in 2009.  After one date they both knew they had found that special person to spend the rest of their lives with and were married about 7 months later. 

So happy first anniversary you two ~ may you have many more!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Minnie Mouse Birthday!

I just had to show off one of Dee's latest cakes!  It is super CUTE!  You regular visitors may remember that she made a Minnie Mouse cake for our youngest niece's 1st birthday last March.  A guest at that party called about a month ago and asked her if she would recreate it for her youngest daughter's first birthday.  The only change was she wanted a hot pink instead of a pastel pink.  And she wanted a "smash" cake that coordinated with the larger cake.

The Minnie Mouse cake is three tiers, filled with buttercream and covered in fondant.  The only non-edible items on the cake are the bow, ears, ribbon borders on each tier and the die cuts.  Everything else is made from fondant.  The smash cake is covered in buttercream and has fondant Minnie heads on the sides.

The die cuts are all from either Mickey & Friends or Mickey Font.  The ears are cut from fun foam (on the Cricut).  I created the birthday border on the cake base using Cricut Design Studio and Mickey Font. (Remember, you can click the picture to make it larger.)


Too stinkin' cute!!  Oh, and the birthday girl LOVED IT!

That's all for now . . . I've got to get back to work on a scrapbook that we're trying to finish to be given as a gift TOMORROW.   Looks like we may be pulling an all-nighter . . .

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cooking With Cricut Challenge: Birthday Blessings

Our challenge this week at Cooking With Cricut was to create a project celebrating a loved one's birthday with the additional challenge of using one of Melin's layout or card sketches.  I chose to create a card for my grandson's first birthday.  Dylan won't be one until May -- so Gramma is ahead of the game for a change!

Here is the card sketch Melin created for us:

This was a first for me -- I've never really used a sketch for a layout or a card before.   So I'm not sure if there are "rules" for doing this . . . do you have to copy the sketch exactly or can you do your own interpretation of the sketch

So after a lengthy internal debate, I decided to stick as close to the sketch as I could without stifling my creativity.  Whew . . . a happy medium, I hope!
And here is the card I created!  Ninety-nine percent of the papers I used were from my scrap stash (love, love, love using my scraps up).  The black paper is a Disney paper by Sandylion from their "Mickey Pack."  The red is from a Recollections paper pack and is cut at 6" x 12" and folded to create a 6" x 6" card. 

Cartridges used:

Mickey & Friends -- Goofy (cut at 5" tall); Swirl (cut at 4 1/2" tall).

Mickey Font -- Gawrsh (cut at 3 1/2" wide x 1" tall)

I've used my Mickey & Friends cartridge many times before but had never cut out Goofy.  Now I know why . . . LOTS of little pieces!  But I pulled out my tweezers and persevered.  I used 3-D Crystal Lacquer on his nose and eyes to make them stand out a bit from the rest of the black card stock.  I used my white gel pen to do some outlining on the letters.  The sentiment inside was created using my computer and reads: 

It's your 1st birthday!
A very special one!
A nice kind of day
for treats and lots of fun.
From the time you get up
'till you go nighty-night,
hope your 1st birthday
is a special delight!

Thanks for taking a look at my project.  Now hop on over to Cooking With Cricut and check out what my fellow Chefs have whipped up.  Try out one of Melin's sketches and join us in this week's challenge -- who knows . . . you might be this week's Top Chef! 

Peachy Keen Stamps is this week's challenge sponsor and they have generously offered a $25.00 gift certificate for the challenge winner!  If you are not familiar with their products click here and check out their web site.  Peachy Keen Stamps have been on my wish list for awhile now -- they are SUPER cute!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

An Equestrian Adventure!

Our six year old's Daisy Girl Scout Troop went horseback riding today.  Most of the girls, include ours, have never been on a horse or around them before.  The girls learned about horses, how to groom them, had a led ride, did crafts, drank hot cocoa and ate s'mores.  They all had a blast!

Demi's horse was the grand dame of the barn at age 28.  Miss Flo was gentle and patient -- even though her rider kept asking if she could please go faster.  It was a very chilly and windy day as mid-central Florida winter days go -- 56 degrees with 10-20 mph winds.  So the hot cocoa and s'mores were a perfect end to a fun afternoon.

Demi had the best time -- in spite of recovering from a cold -- and now wants to take "REAL" horseback riding lessons.  As I knew she would!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Morning Funny!

OK, just had to share this!  Our six year old daughter is firmly ensconced in our bed watching TV because she has a terrible cold and a low-grade fever.  She has plenty of tissues, her cup of Gatorade, her notebook, crayons, silly bandz and lip gloss (after all a girl has to look good even when she's sick).

I'm on the other side of the house working in my office -- making Minnie Mouses on the Cricut to decorate a cake Dee is making for a little girl's first birthday -- when all of a sudden Demi bursts through the door with tears in her eyes, waving a piece of notebook paper in my face that has an 800 number written on it in orange crayon.  She says, "Mom, quick!  Call this number!  We have to save the puppies and kitties!!"

After I get her calmed down, I discover that she has seen the heart-wrenching commercial for the ASPCA that features singer Sarah McLachlin and her song "Angel."  (It makes me tear up when I see it, too.)  I explained to my daughter that it was a commercial -- and that we contribute to the ASPCA when we can.  I also reminded her that we have saved puppies and kitties in the past by adopting animals that no one wanted.

Satisfied with that answer, she heads off back to bed.  A few minutes later, here she comes again.  "Mom, call this number . . .  I want you to order me some Moon Sand."  *SIGH*  "No more cable TV for you my girl, how about we put in a DVD?"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cooking With Cricut Challenge: Three Flowers

Our challenge this week at Cooking With Cricut was to create a project that featured at least three flowers.  I guess Melin is as ready as I am for some Spring weather!  I have been wanting to create an easel card for some time now and decided that this was that time.  (I know, I'm a little late on the easel card band wagon!)  I surfed over to the Splitcoast Stampers website and checked out the easel card tutorial in their "resource" section.  Their tutorials are always so detailed and often include a video for us "visual" learners.

The base of my card is a Bazzill Basics brown and measures 12" x 6".  It is scored at 6" and at 3".  An additional piece, also Bazzill brown and cut at 6" x 6", is then adhered to the 3" scored section to create the card topper. 

Here is a side view that might show you better than I am explaining it -- of course, if you want really detailed instructions go to the Splitcoast Stampers' website!

The top panel is then matted with a light blue marbled paper cut to 5 1/2" square.  The layer on top of that is a solid colored card stock cut at 5" square.  And then I built my scene.

Cartridges used:

Create-A-Critter -- branch cut at 4" wide; bird cut at 1 1/2" tall; cat cut at 2 1/2" tall; and the speech bubble cut at 2" wide.

ZooBalloo -- grass cut at 5" wide.

Mother's Day 2010 -- flowers cut at 7/8" tall; and I took apart a frame using the Cricut Design Studio and used the inner shape and the border for the "inside" of my card.

All paper is from my scrap stash except where otherwise noted.  The center flower on each side of the "inside" of the card is a button decorated with a bit of bling.  This allows the easel to stand up properly.

Thanks for stopping by to check out my contribution to this week's challenge.  Now please pop on over to Cooking With Cricut and see what my fellow Chefs have created to whet your appetite.  We'd love it if you'd join in the fun!  Upload your flowery creation and who knows . . . maybe you'll be this week's Top Chef and win one of Melin's wonderful cutting files or digistamps!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Baby Update #2!

It's a boy!  Happy birth day, Evan!

Evan  Thomas Hudson made his appearance at 3:20 p.m. this afternoon.  He is officially 5 1/2 weeks early and weighed in at a whopping 10 lbs. 2 ozs. and is 20" long. 

Due to his immature lungs, he was whisked away to the NICU shortly after his delivery via c-section.  Except for the expected breathing issues, he appears to be a healthy baby!  Mommy is recovering from surgery and his two big sisters think he's pretty cute.  Daddy says he's a "keeper!"

Baby Update #1!

It's a girl!

Happy birth day, Kylie! 

Kylie Rhyann Branum was born this morning at 10:51 a.m.  She weighs 6 lbs. 4 1/2 ozs.  Mommy, baby and Daddy are doing well!

I'll be back later with news of the second baby who is currently being delivered via c-section.  Who knew that my sister-in-law and nephew's girlfriend would both deliver on the same day?  At the same hospital!  Kylie came two weeks early and Evan is about 3-4 weeks early.

Sneak Peak!

It has been a busy week -- COLD, but busy!  My grandson got his first tooth Wednesday night, with a second one due to break through any minute.  Our nephew, Josh and his girlfriend, Crystal are at the hospital in labor and delivery as I write this, awaiting the birth of their first child.  And I have been prepping for a card making class.  Not for my usual group of adults, though.  Nope, this class is for a special group of people . . . eight 5, 6 and 7 year olds!

My daughter is in a multi-age classroom -- Kindergarten, first and second graders all in one class.  On Fridays they have "clubs" -- clubs are run by volunteers and can be whatever you choose to come in and share for 45 minutes for four weeks.  Demi has participated in a "Fancy Nancy" club (based on the children's books by the same name) and has come home with her nails painted, her hair done up "all fancy", etc; a cooking club where they made dirt cups, cupcakes and other treats; and several others.  Since the beginning of the year Demi has been begging me to come and teach a card making class -- "just like the grown-up one you do, Mom!"  The first two rounds of clubs hit at bad times for us and so I told her I would do one after the first of the year.  And so . . . here we are, it's after the first of the year and it's time for clubs to begin.  

Demi and I sat down and went through the Create-A-Critter cartridge book (her favorite) and she picked out her favorite designs.  Our first class will feature a birthday card and a small gift bag.  Here is a sneak peak at what I'll be sharing.  Stay tuned for pictures of their completed creations!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cooking With Cricut Challenge: Glittermania!

The challenge this week at Cooking With Cricut was to incorporate glitter into our project.  I almost didn't sign up for this challenge because I hate working with glitter.  I love how it looks, I just don't love how it gets EVERYWHERE!  I end up wearing more than is on my project.

Having said that, I decided to create a scrapbook page layout celebrating one of the people in my life that absolutely LOVED anything glittery or that sparkled -- my late Step-Mom, Linda.  She became my Step-Mom when I was eleven years old and we had the typical love-hate relationship that comes when a person who is not your mom marries your daddy.  However, we managed to get past that and we had a wonderful relationship.  She gave me two of the greatest gifts in life . . . my sister, Elizabeth and my youngest brother, Andy!

Linda was a Registered Nurse and was responsible for bringing the ParyLite Candle business to Gainesville.  She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2002 and with surgery and treatment was declared cancer-free.  In 2004, doctors discovered that she had lung cancer and that it was inoperable.  She was given 3 to 6 months to live -- she fought valiantly for two years before she was taken from us. 

My youngest daughter was born shortly before her diagnosis and was 2 1/2 years old when Linda died.  I wanted Demi to remember her Mimi -- not that she'll forget her, we still talk about Mimi frequently and there are still tears shed because she misses her so.  So I created this page to share some of the things I learned from Linda that I know that she would have taught Demi.  She and Demi would have been the best of friends -- 'cause Demi is ALL about the glitter and bling, too!

The 12 x 12 paper is from the Die Cuts With A View Nana's Nursery - Baby Girl paper stack.  Its hard to tell in this photo, but the flowers are glittered.  All of the other paper is from my scrap stash -- the hot pink is a Recollections card stock and the green is the back side of a Bazzill Bling card stock called "Petty Cash."

I used Stickles on the "Remember" and added pink and green rhinestones in various spots on the page.  The purple ribbon represents all cancers and was purchased at Michael's.  The Cricut cuts are as follows:

Pink Journey: 
  • Live - cut at 3 1/2" wide with the flower trimmed off. 
  • Love - cut at 3" wide. 
  • Hope cut at 3 1/2" wide. 
  • Believe - cut at 3 1/2" wide with the flowers trimmed off. 
  • Always Remember - cut at 4" tall and altered.  I cut the curlicue off of the "R" and had to shorten the stem a bit so that it would fit.

Plantin SchoolBook: 
  •  Laugh - cut at 3 1/2" wide.
This was an emotional layout to work on, but I am so pleased with the way it turned out.  Linda would have loved it!  It has all of her favorite colors, just enough glitter and lots of bling!

Make sure you hop on over to Cooking With Cricut and see what my fellow "Chefs" have whipped up -- its sure to be sparkly!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cooking With Cricut Challenge: Snow Fun!

Our challenge this week at Cooking With Cricut was to use any winter time outdoor activity, snowmen, sledding, etc., in our project. 

Now, I have a confession to make . . . I'm a Florida girl -- born and bred.  Heck, I'm a third generation Floridian!  I've only been in real snow once in my life and that resulted in a sprained neck and a concussion (ice and ski lifts don't mix).  I can count on one hand the number of times we've had "snow" in North central Florida in my 45 years of living.  

Having said all of that . . .  I have to admit --I LOVE Snowmen!  But down here in the deep South, we don't see much of that white, cold stuff that they are made from.  So my card for this week's challenge features a Snowman -- Florida-style!

"Mr. Sandman, send me a dream . . ."

Our happy and tanned snowman is wearing a visor and shades, has liberally applied his SPF30 sunscreen and has settled down to enjoy his winter vacation!

The card is a top-fold and measures 8 1/2" wide by 5 1/2" tall.  The base card is by Bazzill and is called "Splash."

Cartridges used:

Doodlecharms - Snowman (cut at 4 1/2" tall).

Create-A-Critter -  Starfish (cut at 3/4" wide); crab (cut at 1 3/4" tall); sun (cut at 2 1/2" tall), "sunny" (cut at 1 3/8" tall), cloud (cut at 1 1/4" tall), and the sand (cut at 8 7/8" wide)

Everyday Paper Dolls - Sunglasses (cut at 1/2" tall), lotion bottle (cut at 1 3/8" tall) and the towel (cut at 1 7/8" tall).

His driftwood nose was cut free-hand.  The alphabet stickers are from making memories ~ Alpha Asphalt and are 7/16" tall.  The sentiment on the front of the card is from Stampin' Up (copyright 2001). 

Thanks for stopping by and make sure to click on over to Cooking With Cricut and see what my fellow Chefs have whipped up for you viewing enjoyment!

Monday, January 3, 2011

2010: Year in Review

2010 . . . what a year!  We started out the year going gangbusters and ended it the same way, it seems.  The other day I was flipping through my photos from this year -- I keep my digital photos stored by the month on my hard drive and on my external drive (can't be too safe!) -- and decided to create a scrapbook layout for my youngest daughter's book.  She has changed so much this past year and there were so many significant events that occurred that I really wanted to document them somehow.

On a recent trip to our local Michael's, I challenged my daughter to find some 12 x 12 paper that had clocks on it.  Score!  She found the best paper and it became the background paper for the layout.  It is by Recollections and is called Time Frame:  Clock Works.  All of the other paper came from my scrap stash and the text boxes were created on my computer using Microsoft Publisher.  (Remember, you can click on the pictures to make them larger.)

Cartridges used:

Calligraphy Collection - text, text shadow, and brackets.  (Text shadow cut at 1 1/2" and the brackets were cut at 3 1/2".  It is actually a frame that I cut apart to make the brackets.)

Tags, Bags, Boxes & More - frame (Cut at 8").  This is the hangr2 cut, on  page 106.  I cut it using the Mirror/ Windows feature and trimmed the hangers off.

Paper Dolls for Everyday - Baby New Year and sleeper outfit.  (Cut at 1 1/4" tall.)

Paper Doll Dress Up - Father New Year, staff, robe, sandals, and top hat.

The ribbon is a 7/8" wide satin edged shear.  I trimmed a small piece and cut the satin edge off for Baby New Year's hat band.

The "bling" in between the photos and text are clear self-adhesive rhinestones purchased at Michael's.

Thanks for taking a look!  

Leave me a comment and let me know you stopped by!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! And my favorite project of 2010 . . .

I hope that each and every one of you had a safe and happy New Year's Eve!  We have a tradition at our house on New Year's Eve . . . my kids call it "Mermaid" Dinner.  If you ever saw the movie "Mermaids" starring Cher you will understand this reference.  For those who don't recall or never saw the movie, Cher's character couldn't cook to save her life and only prepared appetizers instead of meals.  My older daughter loved that movie!  So one New Year's Eve, a zillion years ago, I asked my kiddos what they wanted to eat and Emily chimed in with "A Mermaid dinner, Mom!"  And so began our tradition.  Every year we fix a variety of appetizers, play board games and watch the big ball drop in Times Square.  Demi thinks that this is the best thing ever!  Last night we munched on her favorites -- pigs in the blanket, brie and crackers, chips and dip -- and played Monopoly Jr.  I was the only one this year who made it all the way to seeing the ball drop!  Demi and Dee only made it to about 10:30 p.m.

Over at Cooking with Cricut, Melin asked each of the "Chefs" to tell her our favorite project of 2010 and our favorite cartridge.  I told her, the project I'm currently working on is my favorite, but if I had to pick one from the last year it would have to be . . . . the Winnie the Pooh baby shower we gave our daughter, Emily. 

Here is the original post if you'd like to see the many different things created using one of my favorite cartridges -- Pooh & Friends.

Please take the time to click over to Cooking With Cricut and check out my fellow "Chefs" favorite projects.  These are a very talented group of ladies and I am honored to work on the CWC Design Team alongside them.  Bookmark the Cooking With Cricut blog and check back often -- we've got some GREAT challenges coming up that you won't want to miss!

This has been a year of ups and downs for me personally.  And I, for one, am hoping that 2011 shapes up to be a much better year not only for my family, but for yours too.  We're going to start the new year off right -- we've got two babies scheduled to be born this month -- a nephew and a great-niece.  My baby brother, Andy and his wife, Brooke are adding a little boy to their all-girl line up sometime in the next two weeks and Dee's nephew, Josh and his girlfriend, Crystal are expecting a little girl toward the end of the month.

My Grandmother Hudson had a saying that always resonates with me during tough times, "First things first; think, think, think; and keep on keeping on."  Take care of the important things first; think before you act or speak; and sometimes, when you can't put one foot in front of the other, you just have to keep on going, because it will get better.