Monday, December 27, 2010

Birthday Spotlights (the scrapbooker's way)

Both my boys have December birthdays, and both their teachers recommended bringing in about "About Me" poster for their spotlight on their special day.  But with the craziness of December in general and still trying to keep our house spotless at all times for showings, I could not wrap my brain around making a big poster and then trying to figure out what to do with it afterwards.  My solution?  Make a scrapbook page instead!  I used my favorite pics from our recent family photo shoot and interviewed each boy about their current vital information.  I took them to their classes, where they were much admired by students and teachers alike, and now I can tuck them away in their scrapbooks while patting myself on the back for killing two birds with one stone.  (Spotlight poster?  Done!  Birthday milestone scrapbook page?  Done!  Now I'll probably just print off snapshots from their actual birthdays and put them in pocket pages with these in their scrapbooks.)

This is Joshy's:

Materials:  PP -- Basic Grey; Letter Stickers -- Cosmo Cricket; Die cuts -- Cricut Lyrical Letters (letters), Paper Doll Dress Up (rocket ship), Christmas Cheer (swirls) and George (star) cartridges; green strap -- Lil Davis Designs
And here is Sam's:

I was pretty proud of myself on Sam's especially.  I'm a lazy scrapper, and I really like to buy paper in collections so I don't have to stress about coordinating things.  But this layout combines paper from no less than 4 different manufacturers!  Ironically, it came together faster than just about any layout I've made.  Go figure!  Also, I challenged myself to make a boy layout with no stars for accents, because looking back through their pages I realized that had become my go-to shape for boys.  So I made these cute little accordian flowers with the pencil paper and they turned out so cool!  I also added a bottle cap, which is special because Sam LOVES collecting them.  He even made a bottlecap necklace for his cute little best friend at school.

Materials:  PP -- Autumn Leaves (cursive paper), Making Memories (green polka dot and brown houndstooth in the bottlecap), Scenic Route (green paper for the 7), and Cosmo Cricket (pencil/ledger paper -- actually the same paper): Letter stickers -- Cosmo Cricket; Scrabble tile sticker -- EK Success; Distressing -- Cat's Eye chalk ink; Die cuts -- Cricut Billionaire (letters) and Printing Press (7) cartridges

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Easy Nativity Centerpiece

We all know how crazy schedules can be during the holidays, so I really love a timesaver -- especially something that is quick and easy but still looks fantastic.  The ladies in our church congregation were getting together for a lovely Christmas dinner and asked for volunteers to decorate and set the tables, and I wanted to put together something that was classy and elegant, but not too hard to transport.  Solution?  The Christmas Village cartridge from!

I love nativity scenes -- just a sweet reminder to keep Christ as the reason for the season, right?  I cut the Baby Jesus at 5 1/2", Mary at 6", and Joseph at 8".  Then I gathered up some Christmas decorations from elsewhere in the house to put together the rest of the centerpiece -- an amaryliss, an apothecary jar full of ornaments, and a silver-colored charger with spanish moss to serve as a base for my nativity figures.  The red fabric is actually a twin sheet artfully folded, and the striped fabric is just a long strip of material.  The green runner I got on clearance at IKEA for 99 cents. 

Making this little centerpiece set my wheels turning about all sorts of handy reasons you might need a really portable nativity scene.  Do you have a loved one in the military or maybe away at college?  Maybe you're not in a position to buy a fancy nativity scene or you just don't have any room to store decorations through the year?  These pretty figures can be tucked into an envelope until next year, or you could just cut more out next year.

Many blessings to all this beautiful Christmas season! 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Do something amazing tonight! (Or tomorrow... but soon!)

I feel so incredibly, immeasurably blessed.  I feel like God has given me so much more than I ever could have asked for.  Sometimes, when I see the suffering of so many around the world, I feel overwhelmed with a desire to help and overcome by frustration because I don't even know where to begin.

I know many of you feel the same way, so here is a very good place to start.

Julie at Joy's Hope (which, by the way, is a very inspirational and funny blog) is part of a group called Project 320, which is a lot of lovely bloggers raising money to build wells in Africa.  What is more basic to life than clean water?  What would it mean to you to be able to give that to your children?

So, Project 320 is running an awesome fundraiser right now, where for every $10 you donate, you get to enter one of the blogger's amazing giveaways.  We're talking seriously good stuff, too.  When you go to the giveaway page, you can see all the different prize packs being offered (and get all the details on how to donate and how to enter).

My only sadness is that I didn't find out about this until tonight, and the fundraiser closes tomorrow at midnight.  (Well, the giveaways do -- I have a feeling that the Project 320 girls or the people in Africa without clean water wouldn't turn away your donation even after tomorrow.)  So I thought I would spread the word any way I can.  I hope you'll take a moment to go check it out!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My "grown-up" Christmas trees...

When I saw this tutorial on Shanty2Chic (via Infarrantly Creative), I knew I had to make my own ASAP.

See, I had these paper mache trees that I bought years ago from Oriental Trading.  I always intended to do something cute and whimsical with them, but they just sat, unloved and uncrafted, in their box in the top of the closet.  Until now!  I've been loving all the natural, vintage-y Christmas decorations out in blogland this year, so I decided I was going to make myself some Christmas trees just for me!  Pretty much all our Christmas decor is the fun, bright, whimsical variety, which I love, but you gotta switch things up sometimes, right?

For the tallest tree, I cut 2" wide lengths of linen (I think it was 45"), folded them in half, and pressed them.  Then I sewed a basting stitched down the non-folded edge, then gathered each strip, just a little.  Starting at the bottom of the cone, I hot-glued each strip around and around the tree.  I think the big tree took 3 strips.  The star on top is a kraft paper-mache ornament from the craft store.  I was going to do something fancy with it, but I decided it was very happy staying kraft paper.

For the middle tree, I used a border punch to create 1 1/2" strips of paper.  I cut V-shaped slits every few inches so that I could fit the paper to cone as I wrapped it around.  I crinkled up the paper before hot-gluing it on, just to give it more texture.  This one took about 1 1/4 pieces of kraft paper.  After the cone was covered, I hot glue pearl bead "ornaments" to the tree.

For the littlest tree, I used the same technique as the big tree, but instead of fabric I used one of those cheap bolts of lace from Joann's.  I think the whole bolt was a dollar at most, and I only used about half of it.

Now, my intention when I started was to use the little pot bases that came with the trees, but they just didn't have the elegant vintage touch I was looking for.  Luckily I had already scheduled a trip to Star Mill in American Fork.  It's an amazing antique/junk shop, and it is my new happy place.  I found this PERFECT spindle for $1.50, just begging to be turned into tree trunks.  Well, I've never been one to crush the life dreams of inanimate objects, so of course I had to take it home and cut it into three fun tree trunks, which I then hot-glued to the cones.

But then, alas, the trees were so top-heavy they could not stand on their own.  I thought about gluing them all down to a plank of wood, but I wanted to be able to arrange them independently.  I hunted around my craft room for ideas... CD's covered with kraft paper?  Too flat and too boring and not vintage enough.  Empty ribbon spools?  Too much work to unspool ribbon and find it a new home, and then still not super stable.  And so on... Finally, inspiration!  One of my little hobbies is designing and cutting snowflake ornaments out of wood with a laser cutter, and I happened to have a little stack of unpainted snowflakes that worked perfectly as bases for my trees.   

(Happy sigh...)  Don't you just love it when something you've envisioned turns out even better in real life?  These make me happy every time I go through my entryway!

I hope you are all having a delightful Christmas with your families and giving yourself time to create something beautiful!


P.S.  I'm entering this in the Kraft Journal's Holiday Challenge -- if you love kraft paper like I do, you should go check it out!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mega Giveaway on Single Dad Laughing!

Have you guys heard of the blog Single Dad Laughing?  SDL is a hugely popular parenting/life blog written by the amazingly talented Dan, who just happens to be my little brother.  :)  It is a really funny and thought-provoking blog, which is reason enough to check it out, but right now he's doing a HUGE giveaway with over 150 prizes, one of which is a Cricut. There's also an i-Rock tool from Imaginisce and a lot of other really great prizes! The last day to enter is Monday, so check it out! Here's the link:

Tomi Ann

Monday, December 6, 2010

Our 'Muy Fabulosa' Wedding...

If you're a long-time follower, you may have noticed that my postings have not been what anyone would call frequent over the past couple of months... but there's a very good reason, I promise!  My wonderful little sister Emily got married last month, and I was working like a crazy person on all sorts of decorations and goodies for her big day.  It turned out so beautifully -- it was worth every minute!

In the beginning, Em & Luis had chosen to use a damask pattern as the theme for the wedding decor, with the colors black and white with a little red thrown in.  I used that inspiration to create their wedding invitation:

And this is how the wedding reception looked!  (Everyone say "Ooooooooh!" together now!)

We did the reception at Highland Gardens Reception Center in Highand, Utah, which was just gorgeous to start out with. Emily's new hubby Luis' family is from several Latin American countries, so we took a few of those traditions as a jumping off point for our decor.  My sister-in-law Caitlyn's mom Jeralee was the visionary behind all this, and I was so happy I could help make it all come to life.  My mom and Jeralee got these damask table toppers and borrowed all sorts of silver pitchers and containers from generous family and friends and filled them with roses to make these gorgeous centerpieces.

We made approximately a gazillion of those tissue paper pom-poms to hang around the reception area, which was truly a labor of love by several family members and friends who are NOT crafters but pitched in awesomely.

My biggest contribution was the white paper papel picado banners hanging above the tables.  They are traditionally cut by hand out of tissue paper, but I wanted to customize them, make them a little sturdier, and give them a cleaner, more modern feel to match the damask theme of the wedding, so I designed 8 custom banners and then cut each one with my Cricut (using SCAL).  I cut over 200 of these babies, so my Cricut was smokin' by the end.  Here's a closeup:

And, just because I can't help beating a dead horse, here's what the designs look like without background distraction...

I was also in charge of hair accessories for the bride and bridal party.  I made red satin flowers for all us bridesmaids and our sisters-in-law with this tutorial from Stuff & Bits.  This is my beautiful sister Amy and me:

And of course we couldn't leave the little girlies out!  I made these rolled rosette hair pretties for my daughter Eliza (on the left) and my niece Amelia out of the same fabric:

Here's a closer up picture of Eliza with my Dad where you can see the flowers better.  (This is when she found him and asked him to dance -- oh, the cuteness!):

But my favorite was this enormous flower I created for the bride herself, using a technique I actually figured out myself (I know, don't fall over dead...).

 As a fun little photo prop, I made this fun-shaped chalkboard.  They took some pictures with "Just Married" written on it, and then I changed it to "Thank You" so we could use those pictures to print custom thank you cards for them to send out.  (This is not the picture we'll use -- my amazing photographer brothers took "real" pictures for that...)

 Now, I didn't have anything to do with these next couple of photos, but I couldn't go without showing y'all the cakes.  This was their wedding cake, created by my aunt's sister Dorcas Woodward.  She cut out all of that intricate damask patter by hand out fondant.  That is love, people.  And isn't it amazing?

My sister Amy made this AWESOME sombrero grooms cake, also completely by hand:

I also made them a pretty sign-in scrapbook, but my pictures of that didn't turn out AT ALL, so I will have to steal it from them and show you another time.

Whew!  Just looking at these pictures makes me tired, but so very happy.  Thanks for letting me be part of the fun, Em and Luis!  Love you guys!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sing Joyful Tidings --

Looking for the Blog Hop?  Scroll down!

For the month of December, sent me the Christmas Village cartridge, and what drew my eye first were the fabulous vintage caroler silhouettes!  I have a secret ambition to dress up like that some day and go caroling, but don't tell my husband -- he already thinks I'm waaaay to crazy about Christmas...

I have a few vintage Christmas songbooks that I stole inherited from my grandmother, so I scanned in "The First Noel" and printed it out to use as my background.  Then I cut the caroler at 4" and adhered her to this vintage kraft tag my mom got for me at an antique fair in England -- ah, she knows me so well.  It needed a little somethin', but luckily I had also received some Christmas-colored Stickles in my package, so I added a nice big wreath with just a little bit of sparkle.  I distressed everything with chalk ink.  So fun and festive, but still with that elegant vintage feel.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Advent -- Christmas Blog Hop!

Welcome to old and new friends -- it's time for the Design Team Blog Hop!  We wanted to spread some Christmas cheer with a bunch of very fun projects AND give you a chance to win your choice of Cricut cartridges!  Full details below my project -- on to the good stuff!

If you've been here before, you may remember my Halloween countdown calendar project.  I got several requests for a tutorial, so I thought it would make a perfect project for our Christmas blog hop!  Once you see how easy this is, you'll definitely want to make one for your own kids.  (Or just for yourself... I'm not judging...)

Step 1:  Get a muffin tin.  I chose a 12-muffin version, but I've also seen super cute ones done with the 24-mini-muffin tins.  I'm just too lazy to do that one...  The only thing to keep in mind is that, if you want to punch holes for hanging ribbon, you need to get a tin without a big lip on it, as shown here.

Step 2: Punch holes at the top of the tin and set eyelets.  I did mine with a Cropodile, but you could probably also use a drill.  Seriously, though, if you don't have a Cropodile, it's worth the investment.  If you don't want to put holes in your tin, you could always display it on an easel.

Step 3:  Choose a few sheets of paper.  I always use a coordinating set that is double-sided, which takes care of a lot of the work.  Cut 12 squares at 3 1/4" each.  Use a corner-rounder on the corners.  Alternately, you could cut rounded squares with your Cricut.

Step 4:  Lay out your squares on your muffin tin to make sure you like the order and placement of the various patterns.  If you're like me, though, you'll still end up switching them around a little (as you'll see if you compare this pic with the finished product).

Step 5:  Decorate each square with die cuts, trim, and bits and bobs from your stash.  I know we're all suckers for Christmas embellishments, and this is a great project to use them.  I love the fun, whimsical artwork from the Christmas Cheer cartridge, and I always think it's fun to add little touches to tie it into the patterned paper (like the black pen outline on the die cuts).  And of course you have to add some glitter when it's Christmas!  Also, I used my Gypsy to plan everything out before I cut, which made things a LOT easier.*

Voila!  A fun 12-days-of-Christmas advent calendar!  I fill each tin with little goodies from the dollar store, like pencils, stickers, socks, and a few treats.  If the item is too big for the space, I leave a note inside telling what it is.  My kids LOVED the one for Halloween, and when they saw me making this one they were practically beside themselves.  What can I say?  I have them well-trained. :)

Oops, I forgot Step 6 -- Adhere little magnets on the backs of the corners of each square so they'll stick to the muffin tin.  After the holiday is over, you can just put all 12 into a little envelope and keep them safe til next year. :)

Materials:  Die cuts -- Cricut Mini-Monograms (scallop circles), Winter Woodland (numbers), and Christmas Cheer (everything else) cartridges; Patterned paper -- SEI; Felt shapes and ricrac -- Fancy Pants; Letter stickers and jewels -- Queen & Co.; Baker's twine -- Martha Stewart; Metal tag -- DCWV; Glitter glue -- Stickles; Distressing ink -- Clearsnap Cat's Eye chalk ink

Okay, so now I'll tell you how to win a cartridge...

Here's how to play:
Start at the blog, become a follower.  Visit each of the design team blogs below and leave a comment on their blog in their post regarding the blog hop.  When you've done this on all the blogs, go to the blog, leave a comment stating that you have completed the hop.  You can also become a follower of each of the designer's blogs but it is not a requirement to win.  

ScrapbookPal Blog (
Jamie Cripps (
Rowena Valentine (
Crystal Butler (
Amy Crockett (
Tammy White (
Leah Cornelius(
You are here!  ----->Tomi Ann Hill (
Cheryl Walker (
ScrapbookPal Blog (

Happy hopping and Merry Christmas!

*P.S.  If you'd like the Gypsy file that has everything I did for this whole project, please let me know.  I'm not at home right now because our furnace died and it's super cold so we took refuge at my parents' house, but I'd be happy to post a link when we get home!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sorrowing with You...

Why is it that the most important cards are the hardest to make?  I found out a few days ago that a sweet beautiful girl that used to live next door to us passed away unexpectedly.  I used to babysit her and her siblings all the time, and my heart is just breaking for her family.  Her funeral is tomorrow, so I wanted to make a card to take along. 

What strategies do you use for making "tough" cards like this one?  It's fun to make birthday cards and baby cards, but at the times when you most need to communicate love and support, it's harder to get what you're feeling onto paper.  I wanted to make something simple but still beautiful, and I also wanted to communicate something of how beautiful I thought this sweet girl was.  That is why I added the little butterfly with the pearl on it -- it's a detail that might not ever be noticed, but it means something to me.

On to the nitty gritty -- I used this week's CPS Sketch as my jumping-off point.  I embossed the background with my Cuttlebug, using a folder from Quickutz.  The stamps are from Stampin' Up, the ribbon is from Fancy Pants, and the butterfly is a cut file I designed myself and cut in Sure Cuts a Lot.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Times like this remind me just how much I have to be thankful for, and how much others need our prayers in so many ways.  Blessings to all of you!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I have an album specifically for Christmas, but I am woefully behind.  So I was very happy to have my DT assignment to motivate me to dig out some old pictures and get to work.  This month I am working with the Joys of the Season cartridge and Glaze pens.  The only problem was I could NOT decide which cuts I wanted to use!  I decided that if I used the ornament feature, I could use a bunch of my favorite designs without making the layout too crazy.*

I used my Gypsy to plan out the whole layout.  First, I created a sort of sketch on my screen, planning where everything should go and making sure all the elements were the right size.  Then I rearranged the elements into one block for each color so I could cut out all the elements at the same time.  Saves a lot of time!  The row of small ornaments on the bottom are cut at about 1.75", and the big gold ornament at the top is about 2.5".  (The pointy ornament is a chipboard photo turn from this paper collection.)  I cut "Merry Christmas" using the shadow function at about 3", then used my Glaze pens to add the detail of the letters.  I love how whimsical and fun it turned out. I used a white Glaze pen to create the little numbers for the date.  Oh, dang it!  I just realized I put in the wrong year.  Well, I'll be fixing that as soon as I finish posting... :)

When I went to put everything together, the title was really getting lost on that busy ornament background, so I cut a gigantic red ornament to make a nice background for it.  The ornament is about 8" wide, and I added a yellow scallop-edged strip at the top to give it a little detail. 

Other materials: Patterned chipboard -- Daisy D's; Glimmer mist -- Tattered Angels; baker's twine -- Martha Stewart; scallop-edge punch -- Stampin' Up

When you're doing all your holiday shopping, don't forget some goodies to stuff your own stocking with! has free shipping for orders over $25 and they ship same day.  After all, you've been good all year! :)

*Actually, this layout is a little crazy for my tastes.  But isn't that kind of how Christmas is?  All the decorations and the presents and the kids in their bright pajamas?  I'm just going to run with it...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bee-yewtiful Thanksgiving Giveaway

Sachiko at Tea Rose Home is doing a giveaway for Thanksgiving with the most beautiful goodies.  One is a gorgeous necklace, another is one of her beautifully trimmed bags, and the biggie is a $50 gift certificate to M&J Trimmings.  Yes, please!  Go check it out!  (It will even give you a chance to think about something you're thankful for!)

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I really, really love Christmas!  I would seriously start celebrating in mid-September if I could get away with it, but somehow that's not okay... unless you're Costco, I guess.  The people around here want to celebrate things like Halloween and Thanksgiving, the weirdies... :)  But one of the benefits of being a crafter is that you have a great excuse to start your own personal celebrations early -- after all, you've got to be prepared ahead of time, right?

This month sent me the "Joys of the Season" cartridge to play with, and I was very very happy.  This is one of my all-time fave cartridges -- I love the elegant shapes and all the different goodies on the cartridge.  My first assignment this month was to create a card, and I did start out with that in mind, but then I thought, "What good is a card at Christmas without some chocolate to go with it?!"  So I turned my card into a big tag for a jar of Candy Cane Kisses (oh, yum!).

I used my Gypsy to size everything on this tag just right, but I'll give you the basic measurements. I cut the ornament tag base at about 4", then the wreath at about 3 1/2" and Santa at about 2 3/4".  I used adhesive foam to give dimension to all the different layers.  I also used Creamy Brown chalk ink for distressing, and these awesome Glaze pens to add some accents.  The smaller tag is just a die-cut from this Basic Grey paper pack with a couple little paper strips added.

These Glaze pens are so cool, because the create a raised effect like embossing.  I was just going to use them for accenting my die cuts, but then I read on the package that they can write on glass!  Well, that's just cool, right?  So I used them to add some vine-y artwork to my jar, and it turned out beautiful.  They write really smoothly on the glass and dry quickly.  (It didn't show up very well in the first photograph, so here's another with a white background so you can see it better.)

Bonus projects!  Like I said at the beginning, this cartridge is one of my favorites, and I use it for all sorts of projects.  I thought I'd include a little trip down memory lane, sharing some of my favorite Joys of the Season cards and other goodies:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I have mentioned before that I am not a big Halloween person, but I thought this year I would put at least a little effort into it. And now I thought I would share my little projects before the big day is past altogether!

A few of my friends and I got together to make these Halloween countdown calendars.  So clever -- it's just a muffin tin, then we cut 3 1/4" squares and put little magnets on the back to cover each cup.  We used our Cricuts and various other goodies to decorate each square, then stocked them with treats from the dollar store or the dollar bin at Target.  My kids LOVED doing this.  I'm excited to make another set of numbers for Christmas, for birthdays, whatever!  I will switch out the ribbon hanger for the various occasions as well.

Here's what it looked like with just the goodies, just to give you an idea of what I put inside.  If things were too big to fit, I just put in a little note.

When I was redoing my kitchen cabinets, I bought a little cabinet door at ReStore to practice on.  I thought it would make a fun door hanger, so I painted it black, distressed it, and added the little witch girl with cream vinyl.  Then I dressed it up with a few ribbon and fabric flowers.  You might notice that beadboard wallpaper is bubbling up a bit.  They are serious when they say let it dry for 24 hours before painting!  Sigh -- I started this project like a month ago and it sat on my craft table forlornly for weeks while I tried to find time to finish.  Got it up just in time!

And here, I'm sorry to say, is my one sad little attempt at decorating in the house.  I painted this witch shoe thing last year, and this year I added the pumpkins.  They came from the dollar store and I spraypainted them white and then with glitter.  I was hoping the glitter would be much more visible, but I think I had the wrong kind of spray glitter for that.  Perhaps next year!  I just added the bottle because I found it in that very cupboard, still wrapped up in the paper it came home from Joann's in.  I'm sure I had an awesome project idea for it at the time...

Anyway, Happy Halloween!  I hope you all have lots of fun and LOTS of chocolate!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Our Little Getaway...

This past August my dear hubby and I took a little trip all by ourselves to visit friends in Texas.  It was just heavenly, so when sent me Summer Vacation for this month's project, I knew that this was what I would scrapbook with it.  I love the fun luggage on this cartridge and how it looks all stacked together.  Using my Gypsy, it was very easy to figure out exactly what sizes the different pieces should be.  I also used a tag from Once Upon a Princess for the journaling spot and Stamped for the title.  Stamped was actually the first cartridge I ever bought, but the letters are so skinny and hard to cut that I almost never used it.  But I put this title together on my Gypsy, which allowed me to stretch the letters to a very nice thickness.  LOVE that Gypsy!  How did I ever do without it?  I really like the font like this -- I think I'll be getting a lot more use out of this cartridge now.  I cut the big scallop border with Plantin Schoolbook and the little pink photo corners with Jasmine.

I also used my Antique Linen Distress Ink to add some age to the die cuts, then went around the edges with Blackbird Cat's Eye Chalk Ink to make them stand out even more.

Other materials:  Paper -- Scribble Scrabble; Rhinestone -- Imaginisce i-Rock tool; Small flower punch -- EK Success

Ahhhh, why can't it be vacation all the time? :)  I guess because then the USPS man couldn't bring me my goodies from!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hip hip hooray!

I've been dying to use this new "Togetherness" collection from Cosmo Cricket since I bought it last month, and now I finally had a chance!  I wanted to make a fun, happy card to celebrate my sister's big achievement, and this paper + this week's sketch from 2 Sketches 4 You was just perfect.

Materials:  Paper -- Cosmo Cricket; Die Cuts -- Cricut ("Hooray" from Storybook, birdy from Happily Ever After, label shape from Once Upon a Princess); Border Punch -- Stampin Up; Distressing -- Cat's Eye chalk ink

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A favor to ask...

Hey, friends -- would you pretty please take a second and help me out? I'd love to be nominated for a guest DT spot for Cosmo Cricket. If you could just go to this link and put "I nominate Tomi Ann Hill" as your comment, I would be so grateful!  I promise to show you all sorts of fun projects if they pick me! :)
 Cosmo Cricket Honorary DT Spot!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Life's Ups and Downs -- Summer Vacation

This month sent me the Cricut Summer Vacation seasonal cartridge.  I've never tried one of these mini-type cartridges before, but this one turned out to have lots and lots of fun shapes to choose from.  I like the graphic style of it and I'm envisioning lots of fun projects I can use it for.  For my first one I chose the classic ferris wheel shape.  It's all one piece on the cartridge, but my 6-year-old had the brilliant idea to make it so it could really turn (and I couldn't say no to that, now could I?).  To make the ferris wheel turn, I just cut out two in the same size -- one in black for the base and one in green for the wheel -- then trimmed away the parts on each layer that I didn't want.  I then used a big brad to go through the hole in the middle so that it really will turn.  Fun stuff!  I do love an interactive card.  :)  ScrapbookPal also sent me a Tim Holtz Distress Ink pad in Old Paper.  I have to admit, I had to do some googling to figure out how to use it.    Man, there are a lot of cool things you can do with these!  I ended up using mine to add some general distressing to my ferris wheel and background papers.  Old Paper is the perfect color for that purpose.  (You can't tell in the picture, unfortunately, but I also sprayed the green layer of the ferris wheel and the bottom patterned paper with Glimmer Mist, just to make it a little snazzier.  Love that stuff!)

Other materials:  Patterned paper -- Scenic Route (top and bottom), Scribble Scrabble (green with little dots); Punch -- Stampin' Up; Brad - Making Memories; Foam Adhesive -- Thermoweb

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

House Before and Afters

We put our house up for sale almost two months ago, and boy, this market is rough!  We don't have a lot of equity, so we decided to make some changes that would be low budget but hopefully high impact.  I thought you might like to see my two biggest projects!

Project #1 -- The Master Bathroom
I really wish I had taken a true before picture, while the walls were still a gross hospital-gown-green color.  I painted that back when we first moved in and hated in ever since, but I was always too lazy to repaint (plus I could never trust myself to pick the right color!).  Before we listed the house I painted it the same tan as our bedroom, but then it was SOOOOO boring.  It actually made our boring ugly we-had-no-money-for-upgrades-when-we-built-this-house cabinets look even worse, probably because now you had nowhere else to look...



Biggest impact is definitely painting the cabinetry.  It seriously looks like a million bucks compared to what was there before.  I also framed out the mirror, following the tutorial here.  We replaced the ugly mini-blinds with pretty honeycomb shades, and I made super basic toile valances.  My favorite score?  The light fixture was $17.49 at NPS Store, a big overstock/scratch-and-dent warehouse place in Salt Lake City.  The shades were ugly and one of them was broken, so I spent another $12 to replace them with these pretty seeded glass shades.  I even got the lightbulbs at IKEA for 29 cents a box.  Oh, how I love a deal. 

Project #2 -- Repainting the Kitchen Cabinets
I have been wanting to do this for YEARS, but the hubs was not a fan of the idea until he saw the impact in our master bathroom.  Then he realized that yes, I was right and we did, in fact need to transform the ugly cabinets downstairs as well. 



Since we wanted light cabinets and the walls were white, I first had to repaint our whole main floor.  Let me tell you -- the color "Harmonious Tan" from Behr is decidedly green, but it's a very nice green!  It's what I would have picked as a green had I not been completely scared away from green by my disastrous previous experience (see bathroom history above...).  I then scrubbed up the cupboards really well, gave them a light sanding, and went to town on the refinishing.  I LOVED the look of this kitchen redo, so I followed her instructions for adding the beadboard wallpaper to the insets.  I'm not in love with the color of my cabinets -- I think the "Bleached Linen" (Behr) color I picked is too bright white, but it's definitely a huge improvement over what we had before.  I am in love with the stuff up above my cabinets, but that's another post for another day...

I think these projects make the house look a lot more "custom," so hopefully the buyers out there will realize they are just dying to move right in!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hope Your Birthday is Magical!

I am so in love with the artwork on the Once Upon a Princess cartridge that I received from!  It's very cute, with just the right amount of spunky-ness to keep it fun and un-cheesy.  I also received great embossing folders that are made to coordinate with the artwork on the cartridge (what a great idea!) and these neat Smooch inks.  They come in what looks like a little nail polish bottle, and they have a fabulous metallic finish that is great for accenting.

For this card I first embossed the background and then sanded it to bring out the details.  I then cut the little fairy at 3 1/4".  These multi-layered cuts definitely take a while to cut and assemble, but they are so adorable it's worth the extra time!  I used the apple green Smooch ink to add the little metallic dots to the edge of her dress and hat, which was such a nice touch.  The little cloud-shaped label and the phrase "Magical" are also from OUaP.  I used my SU scallop border punch to create the grass below.

Here's another sweet little cut from this cartridge.  I cut this angel at 3 1/2" and paired her with a great quote to create a bright, happy card for someone I know who needs a pick-me-up.  I colored her halo with the Olive Green Twist Smooch, which comes out a nice deep silver color.

Thanks for looking!  This cartridge is definitely one of those that gives you a TON of artwork to work with -- between all the cute little dollies, the great icons, the phrases, the labels, and the alphabet, I've barely scratched the surface!