Please note that every challenge in this blog can be entered with any form of art work, not just cards. Themes may have to be slighly altered, but as long as they represent the general idea, feel free to enter.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mondays with Mel

I was on the road most of the day yesterday and was just too tired to get to my scrap desk. So, I got out my cell phone, my trusty notebook and my comfy blanket. I looked at my Pintrest pics and sketched out a layout or two for calendars I am making. This saves me time when I actually sit down to make them as I already have the layout planned. Time saver!!

I sometimes feel so guilty because I don't have the energy to do anything. But I've come to the realization that I need to listen to my body. Then my husband gently tells me that I need to “listen to my brain and heart, too. Just try to do a little something each day just for me.” So I took his advice. That's why I wanted to post these little tips and projects. It may not be momentous or great every day, but it's therapeutic for me and I hope it inspires you.
Hope you stay tuned to my little journey. Have a creative day!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Its a Sketch with a Twist

I love sketch challenges because I like to have a pattern to follow. I don't seem to have any real artistic ability so it makes things harder to do. The sketch I am using here is stolen from a fellow crafter. It is a simple sketch but its the twist that will make the challenge.

The twist is to add a tag. You can't use any of the sketch pieces, but it can be any size and shape that suits you. It must have a hole with ribbon/fiber and be on the front of the card. Removable or stationary, your choice.  Five pieces plus a tag. Have fun Ladies.

YOU MUST LINK BACK TO US on your blog to be eligible for the drawing.  Please double check that the link is valid.  Thanks everyone!  Our guest sponsor for this challenge is Creative Bug Digis offering five digital images of your choice to the winner of the drawing:
"I am a proud mom of 2 amazing boys. I am in love with motherhood and love life to the fullest (although you know we all have our days, wink wink) I started out as an avid scrapper (not the fightin’ kind) which led to making cards, then I found my true passion “Creating Digital Images”. I have been sketching people throughout my life yet could never draw an animal; for example, a bear would end up looking like a mouse. In 2009 I took a Graphic/Web Development course that enabled me to hone in on my creativity so today a bear looks somewhat like a bear, lol. I enjoy making websites with Dreamweaver CS4 and learning more each day about HTML and CSS. We all have our favorites to work with when we get the “Creative Bug”, mine is without a doubt working with stamps. My favorite tool would have to be the scoreboard which I use to make envelopes, boxes and creative designs on the edges of my cards. I am a working mom, a social butterfly (I am told) and love to sing, play guitar and compose music but most of all I am a loyal friend, a little eccentric at times, sincere, honest and love love love to have fun!! There is always laughter in my home, I believe life is what you make it for it is in the way we perceive every little thing"

And now for some inspiration using our sponsor's images:

Virginia M. using Time Well Spent
Pat Martin using Bed Jumping Sock Monkeys

Just Me using Marcella
Kathy B. using Bed Jumping Sock Monkeys and Marcella
And Kathy's tag. I forgot to tell my DT to put their tags on the front of their cards.
Karissa used Twigs

Please remember, you must link your entry back to Your Scrapbook Place to be eligible in the drawing for five digital images from Creative Bug Designs.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Who's That Girl?!

Looking for the Anything Goes Challenge??  Click HERE.

Welcome to another Throwback Thursday featuring a member of our little Yahoo group, someone you may not recognize in this first picture but you will as you scroll down...
1985 (bartender by night and accountant by day) - Yes I loved the local car races but I never drove - this photo is from a camera shop in the Dells!
2012 - happiest day of my life as granddaughter marries
 2013 - church photo - hair really was silver tho!
"Welcome to Linda's world - just a peek into lil ole me!  Basically I love nature, people and crafts, but my entire life centers around "My God".  Yes, I do pray daily at all times, I thank the Lord for all the wonderful things he has allowed me to see/touch/do.  Now please read on - you'll see why.
I loved grade and high school, especially my Home Ec and art classes.  Oh yes, I loved math, science, English, German, even took summer classes to keep thriving....always maintaining high grades.  But at age 9 and the oldest of 4 children, my father passes away at only 34 years old of a massive coronary and pulmonary embolism they told me - didn't know what that was at the time.  Would learn later the entire family was basically under the cloud of this thing called FACTOR V LEIDEN from congenital issues.  But now I'm active as mom's biggest helper, have to babysit other kids, do errands for townspeople while mom survived with us on only dad's vet pension.  I learned to pin and draw chickens for the freezer at that ripe age of 10.  Little time for crafts, I survived on school - it drew me into another place in time where I loved to read and dream etc.  
But now mom passes away only 6 years later in a diabetic coma just leaving all 4 of us - me at age 15 didn't even know how to drive.  But we made it into fine occupations.  I've worked as secretaries, property managers, a university professor private secretary, a paralegal for many years and my final fun job was in marketing for both Lands' End and then my husband and his brother's hovercraft manufacturing.  I did the marketing, the bookkeeping, the gophering, and yes the lectures at the schools as we took them around the country.  We sold 150 and retired happily.   And now I had a lot of pictures from all those adventures and my daughter told me about SCRAPBOOKING!  OMGoodness, I am still thrilled when I think of that first page she gave me!  
I am the first female to fly a 'flying hovercraft' (a/k/a WIG) which normally hovers/flies 7 ft. off the surface of a river/sandbar/logical surfaces!  One day the guys couldn't get the latest model to fly under their light weights of 170# - so I begged.  My heart was in my throat hoping I could be the person to do it!  AND IT FLEW!  20 FEET off the surface of the Miss. River.  When I flew near tree tops I remember wondering how to get down so gently let up and up but then accidentally killed the switch and pancaked about 5 ft. off the surface.  Nothing hurt but a tailbone!  :)  Here's part of my huge website that I still maintain the huge website for Star Cruiser.  
Now that I'm retired, I am a design team member on SEEMS A LITTLE SKETCHY, OUTLAWZ GREETINGS CHALLENGE, and SQUIGGLEFLY DESIGNS, as well as designing cards for a friend in northern WI so she can take them to wholesale shows.
I mentioned in the beginning 'around My God' ... well not to get too religious on you, but I was all set to become a Benedictine nun at the time of my mom's death! What a change in events in my life....especially drawing on my faith later as I survived a heart attack and a stroke - thanks to today's medicine as well.  Sadly, it haunts me tho that my dad did not have that opportunity and being a veteran of WWII it would've been marvelous to give him the Honor Flight to Washington!  
I do all I can to inspire my 4 great grandchildren, who are the apples of my eye.  I see 3 grown young men and a lady there someday, I only hope I leave them that artistic inspiration!   Right now they are my Achilles Heel - I'll listen and love every quiet moment and secret they share with me.
I want my children, granddaughter, and great grandchildren to remember me as having helped this precious earth, that I loved people and saw the good in all people, and in everything I've touched I gloried in what was given me...nothing huge, just life."
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Linda. You sound busier now that you're "retired" than when you were working!!  (Yes, I am - is it necessary to slow down tho?)  :)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Mondays with Mel

AWWW scrap! Yep, today I worked with scraps. Today was one of those days that I felt horrible and didn't want to get out of bed. I figured I would work with some of my scraps. I keep a little cardboard box (a bottom of a Velveeta cheese package) on my desk to put my scraps in when I'm done with a project. 

If the scraps are larger in size, they go in a three-ring binder. I'll show that another day.
The little scraps go in the box for me to go thru at a later time. I usually pre-stamp sentiments - thanks, happy birthday, for you, etc - and put them in my images basket to be used when I'm making Batches of cards for the troops. I grabbed my box, Black Soot and Walnut Stain Distress Inks and my three CTMH sentiment sets.

Just do a little trimming and put in a clear baggie. You have instant sentiments! I usually only do it on white or ivory cardstock so that it can be used with almost any theme.
What about the patterned paper and colored cardstock small scraps? For those, I get my Martha Stewart butterfly punch and my SU Petite Petals punch and go to town!

I separate each pile and put in a little baggie for use later. I can use these for embellishments or send them as RAKS! Now I need to get my hands on a leaf punch, a star punch and a heart punch!
There is my creativity for today, all brought to you from my bed. Hope that helps you figure out what to do with those scraps and how small you should keep them. Let me know how small you keep your scraps, if you keep them at all! 
Have a creative day!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Midway Point in the Anything Goes Challenge

The weather is finally warming up, and so is our Anything Goes Challenge! Just six more days before we pick a winner, so pull out those stamps, photos, paints and crochet hooks and link your project up HERE for your chance to win a set of Fiskars Embossing plates and the Fiskars embossing tool. Here to inspire the home stretch is a project from Virginia, who shows us what a crafter can do with a few well-placed cuts.
Here's an explosion box from Karissa in elegant black and white:
And just so there's no doubt about the ANYTHING GOES challenge, here are a few "other" crafting projects, like an altered key:
a water color page from my art journal:
and finally a scrapbooking layout page:

So where are your projects? Please share with us!!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Is it any wonder that so many movies are remakes of those we watched when we were kids? Some of our strongest memories are of childhood. Cartoons, dolls, snacks and toys like the one this cute little one year old holds in her hands in the photo below. My sister used to have one, too!
Meet Gemiel Matthews, a member of Your Scrapbook Place Yahoo group and our Throwback Thursday featured crafter today. She's a little older nowadays and loves to craft:
"I’m Gemiel Matthews.  I live in Yorktown, VA with my husband Tim and teenage son Tim Jr., who we call TJ.  I started scrapbooking in 1997, shortly after TJ was born.  My plans were just to scrapbook his first year, but after completing my first layout, I was hooked and have been an avid scrapbooker ever since.  Besides taking care of my family and scrapbooking I work outside the home as the Director of Religious Education at my church.  I also volunteer in various other ministries at church, and am the PTSA Vice President at my son’s high school.
I have served on design teams for scrapbook manufacturers, magazines and scrapbook stores in the past, but several years ago I decided to take a break from “professional” scrapbooking.  After my break, I started a scrapbooking blog, Gemiel’s Gems, and was invited to join a couple of design teams.   Currently my blog is on hiatus but I hope to be back to blogging again in July. 

Scrapbooking is such a relaxing hobby for me.  I find inspiration everywhere, but my main inspiration comes from the photos. The memories that the photos evoke are my inspiration to create.   I love trying new products and techniques, and “scrapping my stash” for forgotten treasures.  I am so blessed and appreciative that my family loves what I do and supports my passion for scrapbooking wholeheartedly."
That layout is awesome, Gemiel! Thanks for sharing with us! 
Since the new challenge is Anything Goes, maybe Gemiel will link up one of her layout pages. You can too, whether you like to make cards, paint, crochet, or scrapbook. Just click HERE to link your project!!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Take Your Licking

I love to find recipes online, don't you? What's even better is to find them for those expensive craft supplies we need. So I wanted to share a few recipes you may like to try to save your budget for more imprtant things like PAPER, adhesives, MORE PAPER, digi images, and LOTS MORE PAPER! LOL
Here's a recipe for those of us who make our own envelopes.  It comes from one of our DT members, Virginia:

You will need:
6 TBS. pure white vinegar
4 packets (1 once) unflavored gelatin
1 TBS. flavored extract (it says peppermint, but I found that was very strong and a bit overwhelming). I suggest another flavor not as strong.
How to Make it:
1. Bring vinegar to a boil. Add gelatin and stir until complete dissolved.
2. Add extract. Stir until well blended. Makes 1/2 cup.
Use a brush to spread glue thinly on back of a label or an envelope flat. Dry. Moisten to seal.
Store in a capped bottle---will keep for several months without spoiling. It will set when cooled; however, to use again, melt by setting bottle in a pan of warm water.
Virginia M.

Anyone use FlowerSoft? I have a recipe to share for this type of medium. While I haven't had much luck with coloring the stuff, it looks fabulous on winter cards!

You will need:
Two styrofoam balls
large sheet of paper to gather up your homemade FS
How to Make it:
Hold a ball in each hand and rub together, causing flakes to fall off the balls.
Move them around in your hands to get the most out of them.
When finished, make a funnel from the paper holding your flakes and pour into baggies or containers.
Apply wet glue or Liquid Glass to the area on which you want to apply the Soft Snow (that's what I named my faux FS) and drop onto it, pressing slightly into the glue. 
Let dry and your winter scene has come alive with dimension!

Have you found a crafty recipe that you like? Share with us because we all like to save a little money (and you know where mine goes!). Since the challenge is Anything Goes, link your recipe and a photo of what you used it on TO DOUBLE YOUR CHANCE to win a set of Fiskars Embossing Plates and the embossing tool.
Click HERE to go to the challenge post.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Recipe challenge has a Winner

Congratulations Holley, you are the winner of the May 15 Recipe challenge.

If you would like to know the make-up of this cute card, go to Holley's blog post. If you would like to check out more of Holley,s blog, go here. She does some beautiful work and there are lots of activities going on. Congratulations again, Holley.

Mondays with Mel - DIY Acrylic Dots

I have decided to attempt a 30 Days of Creativity challenge. Creativity can come in many forms. When I can't sleep or am stuck in bed, I am patrolling Pinterest and Facebook, writing down ideas in my trusty notebook. I think that is a form of creativity, to me at least.
I am going to post my daily creativity doings here on Mondays. Maybe it spark some of your own creativity. My ultimate goal is to have an end product everyday (cards, etc) , but in my life, I think that is almost unattainable. But I will try my best!!!
My creativity for today, so far, is a DIY project. When I can't sleep (which is most nights) I am on Pinterest looking for ideas. I saw a DIY project for enamel dots using beads. I really like the look of enamel dots for embellishment and they are really popular right now. So, I watched a few You Tube vids and checked out some blogs and thought, "I could do this!"
First, I did a little research on price. Doodlebug enamel dots are $4.99 for a pack of 54 at That's not including shipping. That works out to be .09 before shipping, per dot.
Second, in my research on the different beads you could use, the best choice was perler beads. I went to by local Hobby Lobby after a vampire visit (bloodwork). A box of 2000 perler beads was $9.99. I used a 40% off coupon to make it $5.99. Total was $6.53 after taxes. That would be .002995 per dot. AND there was around 12 different colors.
Now this is the part I did today. I got out the trusty cookie sheet (no airbake sheet, just a regular cookie sheet) and a silicone mat that I designated just for this project. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. That seemed to be the average temp that most of the tutorials used for this project. I had to place the individual beads standing up, leaving a little room between each bead. They don't spread very much.
I think I put about a hundred on the mat. This was not an easy task for me. I am shaky most of the time. Then I was very careful to slide the cookie sheet in the oven as to not have any of the beads fall over.

Most of the tutorials vary in length to keep them in. I've seen as little as 15 min to as long as 30 min. At the 15 min mark, they were melting nicely. At the 20 min mark, some looked done. I took them out and let them cool before I took them off the mat. Now, at this point, some still had little dimples in the middle. I took the ones that were ready off the sheet. These were the pastel colored dots. I put the sheet back in for 5 more min and the medium colored ones were done. Took those off when cooled and noticed the black and dark blues were still not done. Those went in for 5 more min and came out perfect.
Now you ask, "why not just leave them all in there for 30 min?" If you "overcook" them, they won't be shiny and tend to brown.

Voila! DIY enamel dots. I almost squealed!!! 

Next step is for me to try to combine two to make the bigger dots and to make Mickey heads. For those I will need the help of my steady-handed husband. I guess that will be on next weekends agenda.
I hope this helped you or at least make you think of alternatives to high-priced supplies.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Anything Goes is the New Challenge!!

The sky's the limit, crafters! For this new challenge, you can make a card, any card, just pick one; OR you can watercolor, paint, or throw mixed media onto canvas ala Picasso; OR you can scrapbook to your heart's content, making memories as you play in the challenge; OR you can knit, sew, French knot or crochet with fingers flying; OR you can alter something, upcycling it from its original form to something faboo; OR you can create those Invitations, favors or decor for that Grad party you've invited everyone to!!
IT'S A CRAFTING FREE-FOR-ALL, with a chance to win a set of Fiskars Embossing Plates and embossing tool to one lucky random winner.
Now that we've set the mood, it's time to inspire:
Virginia has created a cuter than cute card today. She makes magic with diecuts! Love the colors in this card.
Here's a beautiful DOUBLE tri-fold shutter card from Karissa. I'm still finding things in this card that blow me away. Maybe we can get her to give us a tutorial on how she made this!
I created a mixed media canvas called "Penny for Your Thought." and yes, I title my canvases! I used an image from Ike's Art and an idea from Pinterest for it.
So, now that you've been inspired, get out those markers and paints, your hooks and needles, hubby's hammer and nails, and let's see what you can create with an ANYTHING GOES challenge!

Let's See What You've Created:

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