Monday, December 27, 2010

Back to the blogging world . . .

Hello everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful Hanukkah, Christmas, or whatever you celebrate at this time of year.

I know I've been neglecting my blog lately and I've been bad about blog hopping and visiting you gals.  I hope to get back to all that soon!  We went out of town last week and now I'm still working hard every day to get my house and scraproom back in order.  Before I put all my scrap supplies back in my scraproom, I'm sorting  through everything and trying to purge all my excess "scrap crap" (as my husband calls it).   How do we scrappers end up accumulating so much *stuff*??? 

I'm way behind on posting projects here.  These are some gift card holders I made for Hanukkah using packaging and other recycled items. I made this first gift card holder using a long piece of printed cardboard packaging from Prima Vines. I cut the stars from Prima cardboard packaging and covered them with glitter.

The piece of cardboard packaging was about 12 x 3 inches long. You could just as easily use a long scrap of heavy cardstock or patterned paper. I simply folded over a little piece for the flap and then folded the remainder in half. I put Velcro dots on the flap so that it stays closed. I added a pocket on the inside to hold the gift card.

I made this next gift card holder using the clear packaging from Prima flowers. I hand stitched two of them together, leaving the top side open so that the gift card can be inserted.

If you’re like me and you save all your scraps of paper, why not use them to make gift card holders? There are so many printable templates to be found online. I found this great little pillow box template on JersGirl's website.  It's the perfect size for holding gift cards. Just print, trace onto paper, cut, fold and embellish. I tied mine up with ribbon and added a little Hanukkah embellishment.

Altoid anyone? Altoid tins are just big enough to hold a gift card. I took an empty Altoid tin and covered it with Mod Podge, then I poured glitter over it. Mod Podge works very well with glitter on metal!

Sorry I'm posting these after the fact. Better late than never, I guess.

I'm hoping to get back to blogging and blog hopping on a regular basis very soon!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winners of the Creating Keepsakes giveaway and a Prima layout.

It's done, it's done!!  Our kitchen is finally finished and I absolutely love it!    I've been busy over the past week putting things away and trying to clean up, but it's been a very slow process.  As soon as I get everything back in place I will take pictures and post them.  Today was going to be "the" day that I finally put away the last of the kitchen stuff, but then I broke/sprained/severely bruised (not sure which it is) my pinky toe last night.  Ouch!!!  I banged it HARD into the corner of the shower tile edge while walking by, and it hurt like the dickens!  It still does. So I'm out of commission for a while . . . no heavy duty cleaning for me today.  You know what they say about the best laid plans.  I guess it's a sign that I need to take it easy today.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!!  I had my daughters help me pick random numbers for the winners of the Creating Keepsakes Special Issues.  Without further ado . . .
The winner of Scrapbooking Everyday Memories is Anabelle.
The winner of Scrapbooking Tips & Tricks: Stamps & Ink is Liana Suwandi

Congrats ladies!  Please email me your mailing addresses. 

I'm behind again on posting projects.  Here's a Prima layout I made based on the December Build-a-Page:

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hanukkah Layouts

Hanukkah is in full swing!  With so much going on and our house in complete shambles, Hanukkah has been a bit different for us this year.  Normally I do all my gift shopping ahead of time and place all the wrapped gifts in front of the fireplace and put up Hanukkah decorations so our house looks very festive.  This year I've had to wing it and buy and wrap gifts as I go each day.  Luckily the girls haven't minded.  And I normally make a couple nice Hanukkah dinners, but with all the kitchen stuff going on, I haven't been able to cook much.  But it's okay . . . we're together as a family, and that's all that matters.  And we've all been enjoying our Hanukkah . . . clutter, dust, and all!

Here are a few Hanukkah layouts that I made for Creating Keepsakes.  The journaling on this first reads: Every year we follow the established traditions of Hanukkah, like lighting the menorah, saying the prayers, playing dreidel, and opening presents on each of the eight nights. But in our family we have a very special Hanukkah tradition. Every night after we light the menorah, we turn up the volume on our favorite Hanukkah music, then Daddy, the girls and I all dance around the living room together. I’m not talking about mellow dancing. I’m talking about anything-goes-build-up-a-sweat-crazy-chicken dancing. This is definitely one of our favorite family traditions – one that we will hopefully continue for years to come. It’s usually just our little family of four, but if you happen to be invited to our house for Hanukkah dinner, you’d better bring your dancing shoes!!!

I used Shimmerz paints on the alphas and the flourish:
As seen in the November/December issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine. Copyright Creative Crafts Group. Posted with prior permission from the publisher.
There, now you know our goofy little family secret. ;-) 

Lighting the menorah:
As seen in the November/December issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine. Copyright Creative Crafts Group. Posted with prior permission from the publisher.
All the papers are Lily Bee, and I used shimmery, Shimmerz paints on the chipboard.

Playing dreidel (with more beautiful Lily Bee papers):
As seen in the November/December issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine. Copyright Creative Crafts Group. Posted with prior permission from the publisher.

As for the shoe template, I'm still working on it!  I thought it would be easy to just trace the cut-outs onto paper, but the perfectionist in me wants it to look pretty and perfect for you all.  So I spent hours yesterday trying to fix the template in Photoshop.  For the life of me I couldn't get the margins right.  It kept cutting off parts of my drawing.  But I *think* I finally got it!  Now I'm working on a tutorial and step-by-step photos.  Hopefully I'll have it all done soon!  

And one final little tidbit:  Shimmerz has extended their 30% off sale through December 20th!  

No coupon code is necessary.  Go take advantage of this great deal!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Creating Keepsakes giveaway

Creating Keepsakes has two new special issues out, and I have one of each to give away!   The first one is Scrapbooking Tips & Tricks: Stamps & Ink, which is filled with lots of creative ideas for using stamps. This issue is perfect for experienced stampers and also for novice stampers like me who own a gazillion stamps but never know what to do with them.

Next up is Scrapbooking Everyday MemoriesIt's brimming with beautiful and inspiring layouts.

 And I just happen to have a couple of my own layouts in this issue!  Here's a sneak peak at my pages:

"Red Light, Green Light," a game my girls and I like to play in our front yard:

Creating a mosaic tile counter in our bathroom (all by my very own self!!):
If you want to be entered to win a copy of one of these issues, just leave a comment in this post before midnight PST on Friday, December 10th, and I'll draw two lucky winners (one for each issue)!  I also have a coupon code to share for the CK Store: CKDT15 (this is good for 15% off all items in the store, and it expires 12/20/2010).

My life has still been consumed with this remodeling project, but we are 90% finished and I'm so HAPPY with how it looks!!   Here's a look at what my kitchen looked like about a week ago (the first picture shows the empty kitchen with the new floors, and the second pictures show the cabinets and the countertop):

Thankfully we've had a functional kitchen now for almost a week, and there are only a few little details to finish up (they're coming tomorrow to finish the molding and a small countertop). Then Monday they start painting.  I get my scraproom painted too. . . yay!  I will definitely post the "after" pictures when it's all done.

Don't forget to leave a comment here if you want to win a copy of one of the Creating Keepsakes issues!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Almost done

These past couples of weeks have been a blur.  The remodeling job has been occupying all of my mind and time.   But I can say that it's all well worth it . . . my kitchen is almost done and I LOVE, love, love it.  We would have been done with the kitchen today (aside from painting), but I decided that we needed to redo something that didn't look quite right, so that's going to delay things a few days.  I'm hoping we can start painting at the end of the week.  I'll definitely post pictures when it's all done.

A girl can never have too many pairs of shoes, right??  As much as I admire them, I'm not one to wear fancy shoes.  Instead you can usually find me in my comfortable flats or slip-on tennis shoes.  But I decided to make a couple pairs of fancy shoes with the beautiful Lily Bee papers.

I added some lace and Prima flowers to this pair:

I attached some fun feather trim to this pair.  I topped them off with two Lily Bee chipboard pieces that I adorned with rhinestones. 

I think I'll make matching purses to go with them.  :)

I created this shoe template myself.  It took quite a bit of trial and error and several wasted paper scraps, but I finally got the soles, heels and upper part just the way I wanted them.  Would you all be interested in a printable template for these shoes?  If so, I can try and re-create one based on these shoes and post it here.  If you're interested, leave a comment!   

Have a great day!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Friday

It's been one of those weeks. With so much going on, I've been doing many absent-minded things -- being late to pick up my girls from school on early out day, forgetting to set my alarm in the morning, misplacing things, turning on the coffee maker but then forgetting to put the coffee pot underneath (what a mess that made!) . . . sigh. My husband lovingly refers to me as "Lucy" ala "I Love Lucy."

On the scrappy front, here's a layout I made based on Prima's November BAP:

Do you love a good sale?  I do!  Prima and Shimmerz both have great sales coming up.  Prima is having a parking lot sale:
  If you don't live in the Southern California area, Prima also has a Virtual Warehouse Sale going on. Enter the Promo Code: POM to receive a 6x6 paper pad from the newest releases.

Shimmerz is having a great Black Friday sale!   The sale will start on Black Friday and run through cyber Monday.  All Shimmerz products will be 30% off and anyone who places an order during the sale event will be entered into a drawing for a Vibez 6 pack!

And the fun at my house continues . . .
Right now there are 5 men tearing up the floor and hammering away at things.  Listen . . . can you hear the pounding?   Half the contents of our house have been moved to the other rooms in our very small house.  We can barely move around.  It's been chaotic, to say the least.  But we have a great crew doing the remodel, and I just keep reminding myself how nice everything will look when it's all done and I've put our house back together.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Construction -- Day 1

Today is the day.  After a couple months of planning, we are finally starting our big kitchen remodeling project.  No, we aren't attempting to do it ourselves.  Trust me, that would NOT be a pretty sight.   Our kitchen was remodeled about 20 years ago with cheaply made veneer-covered particle board cabinets, 70's style Formica countertops, and a cheap linoleum floor that attracts and locks in dirt.  The veneer is peeling off, the drawers and cabinets are broken, and the mottled floor is way beyond cleaning or repair.  And don't even get me started on the broken light fixtures, green mini blinds and chipping paint.  Yes, it's definitely time for a makeover.

This is what our kitchen looked like this morning:
Ba-bye, old kitchen! Today was demolition day, so a nice man came to our house with a hammer, a crow bar and some other manly type tools.  I think a screw driver was also involved, though I try not to get too involved with all that technical stuff.

I couldn't bear to watch, so I stayed in the other room with the door closed while that nice man did unspeakable things to our cabinets and counters.  After lots of hammering and loud noises, our cabinets and counters went POOF!  All gone!  Then that nice man hauled them away in the back of his van.  This is what our kitchen looks like right now:
Oooooooooooh, it's not pretty.   But take a look at these old black and white checkered tiles that were hiding under our cabinets.  And underneath these old tiles is some OLD yellow and green flooring that has probably been there for decades.
The demolition also revealed some old wallpaper and pea green paint on the walls (Hello 1970's!!).    Our house is 80+ years old, so there was a lot of history here before my husband bought this house about 20 years ago. I found myself standing in the kitchen and staring at all these old bits of history, and I wondered what life was like for the families who lived here before us.  And as much as I hated our yucky old kitchen, it does hold a lot of wonderful memories for our family.  It's the sink where I bathed my girls when they were babies, the stove where I cooked countless family dinners (and burned quite a few too), and the floors on which my girls first crawled and then took their first steps.  I will hold these memories dear, but I'm looking forward to creating new memories in our new kitchen.

Wish us luck with the rest of our renovation project!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Busy week!

Whew, what a busy week it's been!  So much happening in the past week:
  • Last minute planning, research and running around for a big house renovation project starting on Monday.
  • My hubby's birthday on Tuesday -- Happy Birthday HHF (Handsome Husband Face)!
  • My daughter's birthday yesterday, which involved three parties over the past week (friends, school and family).  Happy Birthday, sweet girl!
  • Hours of packing up stuff from my kitchen and scraproom in anticipation of the above-mentioned renovation (I still have a lot more stuff to pack up and move out before Monday).
  • Chaperoning a school field trip on Wednesday.
  • Daily work (my day job as an insurance agent).
  • Scrapbooking assignments.
  • My dad just had hip surgery (it went well, yay!), so I'm off to the hospital today to spend time with him.
And I've been waking up at 5:00am every morning thinking about all the things I need to do, so I'm totally sleep deprived.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, Calgon take me away!!   Hopefully next week will be a little calmer.

On another note, THANK YOU for all the sweet comments regarding my new CK Dream Team gig.  I've been so busy that I haven't had a chance to respond or go back and blog hop.  But I really appreciate all your kind words!   Here are a couple recent CK layouts:

As seen in the October 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine. Copyright Creative Crafts Group. Posted with prior permission from the publisher. 

I used Lily Bee papers and Shimmerz paint (on the paper curls) on this layout:
As seen in the October 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine. Copyright Creative Crafts Group. Posted with prior permission from the publisher. 

Speaking of Lily Bee, there's a great warehouse sale going on.  You can check it out here:  Lily Bee Warehouse Sale

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Creating Keepsakes 2011 Dream Team

I can finally shout it from the rooftops . . . the 2011 Creating Keepsakes Dream Team has been announced, and my name is on the list! Working with the fabulous editors at CK has always been a joy (those ladies are the best!), and I'm very excited to be doing it in a more official capacity for the next year. 

Check out the 2011 Creating Keepsakes Dream Team members:

Stacy Cohen  -- that's me, that's me!!!

And the 2011 Creating Keepsakes Contributing Writers:

I'm honored to be working with such a talented group of ladies!! THANK YOU Creating Keepsakes for this amazing opportunity!! I'm a happy, happy girl!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I've been a bad blogger . . .

Shame on me . . . I've neglected my blog over the past week.  I've been a busy little bee.  We're starting a much-needed home renovation project in a couple weeks, so I've been running all over town trying to pick out materials.  And because I'm a very indecisive person (the understatement of the year), I tend to spend many hours (days, actually) researching every little decision.   Then I usually change my mind a few times before settling on my final choice.  But the good news is that once I make a decision, I'm always happy with it and I rarely look back.

My indecisiveness is the main reason why it takes me at least 2 or 3 nights to finish a single scrapbook page.   Should I use this paper or that one?  Should the flowers go here or there?  What color letters would look good?  You get the picture.

Here's a layout I created for the Shimmerz booth at CHA this past summer (yes, I'm behind on posting my stuff here).

I made the decorative background pattern by using a sheet of die-cut KI Memories paper as a mask with Razzle Dazzle Shimmerz Vibez:

I found the embroidered tulip applique at an estate sale. It was originally white, so I colored the petals with Pink Shimmerz and the stems with Peas-Be-Mine Pearlz.

I used a variety of Shimmerz products -- Sea Foam Spritz, Sea Monkey Spritz, and Wintergreen and Tickle Me Turquoise Shimmerz paint to color the flowers, which were cut from Glitz patterned paper.  I made the fabric flower and colored it with the new Pop Art Pink Vibez and Ruby Spritz. 

On another note, I'll have some very exciting news to share in a couple of days!  I've been bursting at the seams trying to keep this secret hush - hush, but soon I'll be able to shout it from the rooftops.  Stay tuned!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Two Peas Guest Blogger!

I'm so honored to be the Guest Blogger on 2 Peas today!!! I was asked to create a Halloween layout for the Two Peas in a Bucket SpookCraftular Halloween event.  From my blog post at 2Peas:

From the time they were toddlers, my girls always wanted to dress up as princesses for Halloween. Sure, there were the standard pumpkin and Elmo costumes that I proudly dressed them in when they were babies, but they didn’t have much say in it at the time. Since then it’s been a parade of various princess costumes every Halloween – Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White . . . . well, you know the rest. Last Halloween my girls decided that they were “over” princesses (when did that happen and why didn’t I get the memo??). After talking about all the costume options and changing their minds several times (it is a woman’s prerogative, right?), my girls both decided that they wanted to be High School Musical cheerleaders. I thought they looked adorable in their shiny, sparkly costumes, and it was fun to watch them as they danced around and cheered with their pom-poms. But I have to admit, I still miss the princess phase. Ce La Vie.

Here’s a Halloween layout featuring my little cheerleaders from last year. As the girls’ candy-filled pumpkins got heavier and heavier while trick-or-treating, my husband and I ended up holding their pom-poms for them. Isn’t that the way it always happens . . . they get the candy and the parents get stuck holding the pom-poms.

I used papers from Lily Bee's new Catching Fall line.

I added a Prima Lilliput rose and some fabric rosettes I made:
To make these fabric rosettes, I first cut long strips of white muslin fabric. To get smooth edges without any loose threads, I folded both edges (lengthwise) in towards the center of the strip, and then I adhered the fabric in place with fabric glue (Fabri-tac). Starting at one end of the fabric strip, I rolled the fabric around itself to create a spiral, twisting and turning the fabric strip as I went along. I added a dab of Fabri-Tac every so often to keep the fabric in place. Once the fabric was all rolled up and secured in place, I colored the rosette with Licorice Shimmerz Spritz and Espresso Shimmerz paint.

I also created a sketch to go along with this layout.  Feel free to use it!

Go check out the Two Peas SpookCraftuler Halloween event where you can find some great projects, lessons and challenges. 

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Prima Friday

Here are a couple Prima projects I did recently.  Playing with Prima's beautiful papers, flowers and crystals always makes me happy!  This layout is based on the October Build-a-Page:

The papers are from Prima's Paisley Road collection.  To get the pearlescent color and shine on the edge of the pink patterned paper, I added some drops of Ranger's Perfect Pearls and rubbed it around with my fingers.  I love getting my fingers messy when I'm scrapping!  It makes me feel like I'm a real "artiste" . . . LOL! 
Here's a card I made last week for World Card Making Day.  I used papers from Prima's So Cute collection to make a little patchwork design.

People have asked me what kind of thread I use when I machine stitch on my projects because the thread  shows up very well.   My "go to" thread for stitching on layouts and cards is Guterman Top Stitch Heavy Duty Thread (I buy it at Joann's).  I love it because it's thicker than regular thread so it stands out better on paper. Of course I also love to hand stitch on my layouts with embroidery floss.

Have a fabulous weekend!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lily Bee Layout and Creating Keepsakes Special Issue Winner

First of all, I have a Lily Bee layout to share today.  I finally got to play with the beautiful new Catching Fall line.  It's so perfect for family pages!  

Have I mentioned how much I love the Lily Bee rub-ons?  The Catching Fall rub-ons include many great sentiments, including one of my favorite quotes by Anthony Brandt:  'Other things may change us, but we begin and end with family.'  I wanted the photo and this great quote to be the focal point of the page, so I went with a clean and simple design (well, clean and simple compared to most of my pages, which tend to have a lot of "stuff" on them).   Maya Road was kind enough to send the Lily Bee gals some goodies to play with, so I added a few of these adorable embellishments to this page.

And without further ado . . . WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER . . . it's time to announce the lucky winner of Creating Keepsakes' new special issue:  101+ Creative Ways to Use Your Scrapbook Supplies:

I used a random number generator and it picked comment number 6, which was posted by . . . drumroll please . . . 
Karen G.!  (   
Congrats, Karen!  You're going to love this special issue.  I'll email you to get your address.  Thanks everyone for playing along!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Creative Scrapbook - two more kit layouts . . .

I have a couple more My Creative Scrapbook kit layouts to share . . . 

There's a great vintage flea market every Sunday close to my house, and I love to hunt for treasures there. After seeing these Crate Paper Restoration papers and die-cuts, I new I wanted to do a layout with pictures from the flea market.  So I made a trip to the flea market for the sole purpose of snapping some photos for my page.  In between snapping photos I just happened to find a few little vintage goodies that I "needed" to buy for my scrap stash . . . . hehehehehe.

I used a CoffeeShop Action in Photoshop to give the photos a vintage look and then I added a Holly McCaig digital border to each of them.

See the little picture of the suitcase on the top right? That suitcase was filled with lovely vintage linens.  I bought a couple of  oversized napkins (small tablecloths?) with a beautiful, detailed hand-crocheted trim around the edge . . . perfect for future scrapbook pages and other crafty projects. 

Here's another layout I did with the fabulous kit.  One thing I love about these Restoration papers is that there are so many pretty flowers and spirals to cut out.

I used the tab from the Prima flower packaging to make a pull-out tab for my journaling  -- a little handwritten love note to my daughter with bits of "motherly advice" from me.  Sometimes I feel more free to write and express my feelings when I know the journaling will be hidden.

It's been wonderful being a guest DT member at My Creative Scrapbook this month!  Pam and her uber-talented  Design Team girls have been so warm and welcoming.  And as you can see, the kit I got to play with is FULL of beautiful products.  Thank you, Pam, for having me as your guest this month!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

'My Creative Scrapbook' - Guest DT Work

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm so happy to be a Guest Design Team member at My Creative Scrapbook  this month!  I got to play with the beautiful October Main Kit, and let me tell you that this is one beautiful kit.  It's filled with Crate Paper's Restoration line, two -- count 'em two -- full packs of Prima flowers (no, I can never get enough of them!), and some other perfectly coordinated goodies.   Here are a couple of the layouts I created.  This first layout features a picture of my mom with her family when she was a teenager.

  I couldn't resist adding a little crocheting around the photo:

One thing I love about the Crate Paper Restoration papers is that there are so many pretty flowers and spirals to cut out.  I cut out a lot of the flowers and used them on this layout:

Paper curling:
I'll be posting the rest of my kit layouts in the next day or so. 

If you haven't already done so, be sure and leave a comment on the post below for a chance to win a copy of Creating Keepsakes' fantastic new idea book, 101+ Creative Ways to Use Your Scrapbook Supplies:

Have a great day!