Sunday, December 30, 2007


My stack of layouts outgrew its home, so I decided it was time to find albums for some of those layouts. I still have some layouts I need to retrieve from Keepsakes, but for the most part I've got Ellie's 2006 album done. Or so I thought. I sort of forgot about my list of layouts to do. So for now, these layouts are bumped up to priority 1:
  • 3 months
  • 4 months
  • 5 months
  • Meeting Uncle Robert
  • Tummy Time
  • Fall Leaf Pictures
  • Mirror Mirror on the Wall
  • Mobile Watcher
  • Ellie in the Air at the Concert in Big Sky
  • Smirk
  • Mommom and Poppy's Last Morning
  • Why we chose cloth diapers
  • First hospital pictures
  • Burrito Baby
  • Helping Mommy Unpack in TX
  • Reading with Poppy
  • Playing with Mommom in TX
  • Ellie's first ride in a small plane
  • Sleep in Heavenly Peace
  • First Solid Food
  • Naughty or Nice
  • Ellie with Grandmas
  • So this is love

Favorite Recent Scraplifts

People have differing opinions on scraplifting. I, personally, am of the opinion that so long as I don't claim others' ideas as my own, it's okay. Scrapbooking for me is about preserving my memories in a beautiful and creative way. Sometimes the creative juices aren't there, so I look to others for inspiration. Other times I see a layout that I have perfect papers and photos for, so I use that layout as a starting point. Sometimes my final project diverges quite a bit from the original I lifted. Other times my layout ends up being basically the same. I'm okay with that. And I'm flattered when someone else wants to use my work to inspire their own creativity. So, in the spirit of scraplifting, here are some of my favorite recent scraplifts:

This one is lifted from a magazine. I don't remember which one, and I'm too lazy to wander down to the craft room and check. So for now we'll just say that I got this idea out of a magazine and call it good. =D

This layout idea I got from the Sweet Pea Scraps gallery. I always look through the gallery when I get my new kit so I can see what cool things the DT members did with their kits before I break into mine. This particular layout was scraplifted from Jenn Claar's, whom I happen to be on the DT at Keepsakes with! And while I didn't intend for mine to turn out so much like hers, they look pretty much the same. And I love how it turned out!

This layout was lifted off 2ps. The original was a digital layout, but I thought it would be perfect for this photo. And so it was! I pulled out my paper and glue and this is what I came up with!

This last lift is also from 2ps. Sometimes when I need a basic idea for a layout I will turn to my Book of Scraps and look at the layouts I have filed under "__ number of photos." In this case, I looked under single photo layouts and found this one, which I thought was great! When I combined the design with the October SPS kit and the photo, it all just went together perfectly.

So I won't be submitting any of these for publication - they're not my own original ideas. But I will put them in my albums and cherish the memories these pages hold. I will also be thankful that others are willing to share their artwork with me so that I may find inspiration in their work and have beautiful pages, too.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Another Challenge...

Another one of the challenges over at Sweet Pea Scraps was to make a transparency card. I have been wanting to do this, so tonight I sat down and got to work on it. And I like it!! It's very wintery and I like the blue/brown combo with the snowflakes. For more pictures of it, go to my 2ps gallery here.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Scrappin' Again!

So despite the utter destruction of the craft room, I got some scrapping done tonight. I'm participating in a couple challenges with this entry, but mostly I'm happy that I finally got a little more scrapping in!

The first challenge is to scrap a layout about any New Years Goals (or Resolutions!) that you have for yourself for 2008. The second challenge is to create a 2-page layout, any size, about you. Journal your thoughts, your dreams, your accomplishments. Or... make it a layout about your 2008 goals and/or dreams. So... I decided to kill two birds with one stone and call it all my creative processing since, for the first time in a long time, I actually have a resolution this year! The journaling reads:

She is a toddler and I am her Mommy.
At 17 months old she imitates everything.
Everything I do and everything I say
is seen by her little blue eyes
and shapes who she becomes.
I am her model of compassion
and faith and patience and love.
I am her example of what is right and wrong.
From me she learns how to speak to those around her
and how to act when things don't go her way
and how to believe in a God who is bigger than all of us.
Who I am shapes who she will become and so I resolve in 2008 to live deliberately.
I resolve to model for my daughter words that are thought through before they are spoken,
actions whose consequences have been weighed before they are done,
and a life that is lived before her on purpose.
The way I live my life shapes the way she will live hers. And so I resolve to live deliberately
because I am the one she imitates.

New Items!!

I've got some new items up in my etsy store! It's been a while, so I'm getting some Valentine's day stuff listed. There will be card sets soon, but these are up now and a new item altogether for me:

I made them for the craft fair in October and then never got around to listing them on etsy until now. I thought the pink ones were good for Valentine's Day and the blue and green one is just, well, fun! I'm hoping to get the cards and other notebooks listed soon. In the meantime, these are the newbies!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Tag - You're it!!

I've been tagged!! Thanks, Sandy! Here's how it works:

  • Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog, we all want to know them.
  • Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
  • Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
So let's see... 7 random weird facts about me:

  1. Before my daughter was born I spent 3 years teaching Latin - a job I was hired for without actually knowing any Latin. (And yes, I'm talking about the language, and yes, I did learn it.)
  2. My middle name is Bitikofer. 'Twas once my maiden name, but when I got married I ditched the mid' in favor of the maid' name. (My middle name WAS Ann.)
  3. I'm somewhat synesthetic though until recently I'd always just assumed it was an overactive imagination. I also thought everyone was like that until my husband told me he thought it was weird that I associated colors and sounds...
  4. When I was in college I took a class in aviation and one in computer programming just for fun. (I was an English major) I got high A's in both classes.
  5. I always wanted to be a gift wrapper for Neiman Marcus. I love wrapping gifts.
  6. I am a nerdy sci-fi junkie and my favorite shows (Farscape, Firefly, BSG) are sci-fi. I've seen the entire Farscape series (4 seasons and the miniseries) at least 5 times through. (It's sort of embarrassing.)
  7. Until about 2 years ago, I couldn't wink my left eye. I tried for years and could only blink both eyes if I tried. I could wink my right eye, just not my left. Then I went to the dentist and they numbed my mouth, all the way up to my right eye!! I had to manually blink my eye (I poked myself in the eye so many times that day!) and the anesthesia took forever to wear off, but when it did I could wink my left eye. And I've been able to ever since!
Okay... there are my weird secrets. Now... how 'bout yours? I tag these seven people....

Jaime, Dana, Tam, Lauren, SusanBeth, Andrea, and Claudine!

Tag... you're it!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Starting off with a BANG!

To celebrate the new year, My Inner Martha challenges will be BACK! I have had a couple requests for them and decided that the new year was the perfect time for their return! I haven't figured out all the details yet, but wanted to let you know that you can look forward to them! It's gonna be good...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

CD Label Tutorial

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I burned a DVD of photos and videos to give my grandparents for Christmas. One of my favorite things about it, though, was that I figured out an easy way to make labels for CDs and DVDs! I know you can buy the ones you run through your printer, but I want to be able to tailor them to a specific project. So here's how I did it...

1. Choose a piece of patterned paper (not the cardstock weight). Using your circle cutter, cut a 4.5 inch diameter circle. Then cut a 1.75 inch circle from the very center so you have a ring. (One of the things I like about my Curvy Cutter is that I can adjust the cutter without moving my paper or the track - it makes cutting rings super easy!)

2. Stamp your design on the patterned paper. I have been using a lot of this Autumn Leaves flourish - it fits perfectly three times around! Add any hand doodling or labeling at this point. **Make sure you don't use any dimensional products (such as embossing or heavy paint) in your stamping or writing. They will throw the balance off the CD/DVD and can potentially ruin your disc and/or machine!**

3. Run your finished design through a Xyron so that it is sticky on one side. If you choose an alternate adhesive for your label, make sure that it provides thin, even coverage so the disc is not thrown off balance and the label doesn't get stuck in the player.

4. Peel off the backing and adhere the label to your disc. Congratulations!! You're done! How easy was that??

As mentioned before, DVDs/CDs fit perfectly in the back of a paper bag album. If you don't know how to make them, or don't want to take the time, you can always get one (or have a custom one made) at Wickland PaperCrafts. (yes, that was a shameless plug)

They make great gifts (last minute Christmas gifts, anyone??) and are easy to mail. Especially since I found these cool bubble mailers at Walmart that are the PERFECT size:


Christmas is just not the same without peppernuts. They're little German spice cookies my grandmother always used to make. They're perfect for dunking in coffee and great by the handful. And Christmas is just not the same without them. So... today is Peppernut Day! I started making them yesterday, let them freeze overnight, and baked them this morning. Well, I baked half of them. The other half will have to wait until later because I have plans in a little over an hour and I don't want to pull out the other pan of frozen dough.

There are dozens of recipes for peppernuts, and it seems that every Mennonite family has their own version. I've tried a couple other varieties, but nothing beats what *I* know to be peppernuts:

1 C. shortening
1 C. white sugar
1 C. butter
1 C. evaporated milk
2 C. brown sugar
1 egg

Mix ingredients together. Add in:

1 tsp each:
black pepper
baking powder
baking soda

1/2 tsp each:
anise oil

6-7 C. flour

The dough will be thick, kind of like gingerbread. Refrigerate dough until chilled through. Roll chilled dough into long 3/4 inch diameter ropes. Freeze.

Cut ropes into 1/4 inch cookies and place on baking sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Makes a few hundred cookies...

That are perfect for gift giving!! Wrap them up in the cutest way you can think of and hand out to everyone you know!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Quick Christmas Gift

I was inspired by something I saw on another blog (which, sadly, I cannot find now) and decided to put together a quick little Christmas gift this afternoon. It's a simple notepad and pen holder with a pocket in the front flap. The notepad slips out so it can be refilled; a feature I thought was most helpful. I think I'll work on perfecting my design, but it was fun and quick. AND I got to use one of my cute ribbon flowers from Wickland PaperCrafts. I hope the recipient likes it. Happy Crafting!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Goodies will go out soon to the next two players....


I got your packages all ready to go, so I hope you enjoy!! Thanks for playing!


Well, I'm making progress. I got some scrapping done in TX and I scrapped at Craft Night last night, so here is the updated list:

  • Crystal Flowers


  • DONE! That frown
  • DONE! First Plane Ride
  • Meeting Uncle Robert
  • Tummy Time
  • Fall Leaf Pictures
  • Good morning Sunshine!
  • Little Angel
  • Mirror Mirror on the Wall
  • Mobile Watcher
  • Ellie in the Air at the Concert in Big Sky
  • Smirk
  • DONE! Screaming Foot at the Camera (Mad Little Girl)
  • Mommom and Poppy's Last Morning
  • Labor
  • Why we chose cloth diapers
  • First hospital pictures
  • Burrito Baby
  • Helping Mommy Unpack in TX
  • Reading with Poppy
  • Playing with Mommom in TX
  • Ellie's first ride in a small plane
  • Sleep in Heavenly Peace
  • DONE! It was a Merry Christmas Indeed
  • First Solid Food
  • Naughty or Nice
  • Contractions!
  • TX Christmas
  • Ellie with Grandmas
  • So this is love
  • The world awaits
  • Great Minds Think Alike
  • Bar 3 BBQ with Dave and Tam
  • DONE! Teaching Latin

  • DONE! Trick or Treating
  • DONE! Ellie's Fairy Costume
  • DONE! You are my dream come true
  • Car Accident*
  • Climbing to turn off the light
  • DONE! Fall Family Pictures
  • DONE! Conversation with Ellie about playing in my purse (titled: "you said")
  • Hat love
  • DONE! Mistress Mary
  • DONE! Leaves
  • Cheesy Grin (Say cheese?)
  • Peas - IN PROGRESS
  • Rocky Creek Farm*
  • Apple Eating
  • Ellie's First Trip to Yellowstone*
  • Grand Prismatic Spring*
  • Words (for various months)*
  • DONE! Reading to Ellie (Reading with Daddy)
  • READ (scraplift with Ellie in rocking chair)*
  • Ellie needs cookies
  • DONE! Grotto Falls in the Fall (Hyalite Creek Trail)
  • Hyalite Reservoir in the Fog*
  • Little Monster*
  • Ellie with Grammee and Grandad*
  • Uncle Rob and Ellie*
  • DONE! Run Run Run! (Sweater Weather)
  • DONE! Montana Girl (Montana Beauty)
  • Ellie BELLY!
  • Nicknames
  • DONE! Ellie and Grandad
  • Early September
  • Class Reunion*
  • The Tweaksters
  • DONE! Dance (She's got music in her soul?)
  • Hiking with Ellie (Lava Lake pictures)*
  • MSU Duck Pond*
  • Turkey Leg!!*
  • Papa-razzi*
  • My Shadow (poem)*
  • Blue Angels*
  • Ellie's Kitty*
  • Need for Speed (ski boat pictures)*
  • Angler (I love MT)*
  • Dara's Wedding*
  • Cliff Lake*
  • Kayak Ride*
  • Ellie and Mommom*
  • 12 month stats*
  • 15 month stats*
  • The look.*
  • Let Her Eat Cake!*
  • Birthday Suit*
  • 1st Birthday*
  • Birthday Party*
  • 4th of July*
  • Ousel Falls*
  • Patriot Baby*
  • 1st Trip to the Zoo*
  • Bedhead!*
  • Playing the Piano with Lily*
  • Palisade Falls*
  • Fairy Slipper Orchid*
  • Little Mover
  • 9 month stats(*?)
  • Sandpoint with LU folk*
  • Li'l Friends Outfit
  • Drooling Machine
  • Smiley Girl on Maroon Pillows
  • Musical Table Love
  • Piano Player
  • KhKhKh
  • Christmas Coats*
  • Push Ups*
  • My Valentine*
  • Cry Baby*
  • Stolen Keys*
  • How was your breakfast?*
  • Sandpoint with the Claridges*
  • DONE! Walker in TX (i *heart* walkers)
  • Salpingectomy/The Unexpected
  • Ellie and Mommom at Easter
  • Dopey McDopester
  • DONE! TV Addict
  • In the Yard
  • Lily
  • Broken Plant
  • Peek-a-Boo!
  • Vanity
  • Wii!
  • Curiosity
  • I know I'm cute!
  • Play with me Daddy
  • Pulling Up
  • DONE! Mommy and Ellie at the Gallatin River
  • DONE! My Pumpkin
  • DONE! Ellie and Daddy at the Gallatin River
  • DONE! Ellie and Mommy Swinging
  • DONE! Bogert Park

  • Ellie's baby book - IN PROGRESS
  • Fall Family Picture Mini Album (I think)
  • Finish Weight Loss Album from this summer
  • Ellie's Friends Mini Album
  • DONE! Pregnancy Album

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Card Tutorial

These are our Christmas cards this year, and as an added bit of Christmas cheer, I thought I'd share instructions on how to make them! The instructions and supplies below will make 12 cards. Merry Christmas!!

What you need:
  • 2 sheets Hambly Frosty Snowflakes overlay
  • 3 sheets snowflake patterned paper (I used a spotted plaid) 12x12 (any)
  • 6 black and white 4x6 photographs
  • 2 yards medium width ribbon
  • 12 of each small letter needed to spell "snow" (any letter types - brads, stickers, die cut will do)
  • 3 sheets (or more as needed) printer paper
What you do:
  • Cut each overlay into 6 panels measuring 4x6 inches.
  • Cut each sheet of patterned paper into 4 panels measuring 4x8 inches. (hint: cut a 4 inch swath across the bottom of the paper and trim it to 8 inches, then cut the remaining paper into thirds.)
  • Print your letter or greeting in a text box measuring 4x5.5 inches. (You should be able to fit four on a sheet of printer paper and cut them apart.)
  • Glue your letter to the patterned paper panel approximately 1/2 inch from the top.
  • Layer your photo and overlay panel on top of the letter, also 1/2 inch from the top of the card.

  • Punch two holes in the top of the layers, approximately 1 inch apart.
  • Thread 6 inches of ribbon through the holes as desired. Trim ends on the diagonal.
  • Adhere letters "SNOW" to the bottom of the card

These instructions make 12 cards and can easily be doubled or tripled for more! Cards fit into a business size (No. 10) envelope for mailing and do not require extra postage unless you used dimensional letters. As with all handmade cards, if you are unsure of the need for extra postage, ask your post office. I had mine hand canceled (which costs a little extra) to ensure they wouldn't get torn up in the mail and they arrived beautifully!

When the cards are all said and done, you will be left with 3 4x4 squares of snowflake paper. Use them to make a few gift tags or enclosures to spruce up your gifts this year!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Pay It Forward

Anyone wanna play?? Here's how it works...

Leave me a comment saying you want to play. From the comments, I will pick 2 to send a goodie package to! In return, once you receive your goodies, you post a PIF on your own blog and choose 2 people to send goodies to!

I received my PIF goodies today from Melissa including Christmas stamps, epoxy stickers, and ribbons. Thank you!! Thank you!! And tonight I'm gathering goodies for the next 2 players...

It's the holidays... so come on and share the love!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Headin' South...

Well, tomorrow Ellie and I are heading to TX for 2 weeks. I'm not taking my computer and I'll be the mercy of my parents' dial-up connection, so this may be the last you see of me for a while. (Except for you Longview-ites, but we'll get to you in a minute.) I'm hoping to backlog a few blog posts so I can just publish them while I'm down south, but we'll see how much I get done today and whether or not that happens. In the meantime, here is the layout I did of Ellie's FIRST trip to TX last October. I had a third picture with a close up of the hidden journaling, but I accidentally deleted it, so you'll just have to remember reading about it from last year instead. =D

Now... for all you Longview-ites... I'll be in Texas for 2 weeks. Wanna play?? Email me and we'll make plans!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Card Tutorial - 6 cards: 1 paper


  • Heidi Grace 12x12 Paper – Frost Blvd / Patch (1 sheet)
  • 8.5x11 Cardstock – White (2 sheets - halved and folded)
  • 8.5x11 Cardstock – Powder Blue (1 sheet – halved and folded)
  • 4x4 Cardstock – White (1 sheet)
  • 6 rhinestones
  • Snowflake Brad
  • 3 feet sheer white organdy ribbon
  • Snowflake (Christine Adolph) and sentiment stamps
  • Embossing Powder – silver
  • Diamond / Icicle Stickles
  • Fiskars decorate edge punch
Here is a reference guide to give you an idea of where the parts for each card will come from. The exact dimensions and cutting instructions are found below for the individual cards.

Card 1:

1. Holding the paper with the title strip at the top, cut a 5¼ x 4 rectangle out of the bottom right corner, careful not to cut into the larger flocked snowflake on the striped panel.

2. Stamp and emboss sentiment and snowflakes onto the rectangle.

3. Tie ends of organdy ribbon together and cut to approximately 6 inches, with the knot off center. Adhere to rectangle, folding ends under.

4. Adhere rectangle to white card front.

5. Apply Stickles around the edge of the card.

Card 2:

1. Holding the paper the same orientation as for Card 1, cut a 2¼ x 4 rectangle immediately left of the larger flocked snowflake on the striped panel. Be careful not to cut into the snowflake or the flocked swirl above.

2. Tie ends of organdy ribbon together and cut to approximately 5 inches, with the knot off center. Adhere to long side of the rectangle, folding ends under.

3. Adhere rectangle to the top of a blue card front.

4. Edge punch the 4x4 white cardstock panel.

5. Stamp snowflake and emboss sentiment on bottom left corner.

6. Adhere to the bottom card front.

7. From patterned paper, cut a small snowflake from near the upper swirl.

8. Use a pop dot to adhere the snowflake along the punched cardstock edge.

9. Adhere a rhinestone to the center of the snowflake.

10. Apply Stickles around the edge of the card and to the snowflake.

Card 3:

1. Closely trim lower swirl from patterned paper, careful not to cut through excess paper as it will be used for other cards.

2. Adhere swirl to front of white card.

3. Stamp and emboss snowflakes and sentiment.

4. Apply Stickles along the top edge of the swirl, as if it is snow on a branch.

Card 4:

1. Cut out the largest felted snowflake from the patterned paper. Be careful not to cut into the other felted snowflakes.

2. Fasten snowflake brad to the center of the snowflake.

3. Adhere a rhinestone to the center of the brad.

4. Emboss sentiment in the bottom right corner of a white card.

5. Adhere snowflake to the card.

6. Apply Stickles to the edge of the card.

Card 5:

1. Closely trim upper swirl from the patterned paper. Cut the end of the swirl apart from the rest where it joins the middle swirl.

2. Adhere swirls to the front of a blue card, one from each side.

3. Emboss sentiment in the bottom left corner.

4. Trim three partial snowflakes from the patterned paper and use pop dots to adhere them to the front of the card.

5. Apply Stickles to the edge of the card.

Card 6:

1. Adhere a length of organdy ribbon along the bottom inside edge of a white card.

2. Cut a ½ x 5½ strip from the bottom left corner of the patterned paper.

3. Tie a length of the remaining organdy ribbon around the end of the paper strip and adhere the strip to the top edge of the card face, about 1/8 inch from the fold.

4. Cut a wave along the bottom edge of the card front, so that the organdy ribbon shows through to the front.

5. Emboss snowflake and sentiment.

6. Add a rhinestone to the center of the snowflake.

7. Trim several whole snowflakes from the remaining patterned paper and adhere them along the bottom front edge of the card, following the wave.

8. Adhere 3 rhinestones to the bottom ribbon so they are seen from the front of the card.

9. Apply Stickles along the paper strip at the top of the card and in the centers of the paper snowflakes.

Holiday Self Portrait

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Christmas Gift

My grandparents live in a nursing home in Kansas. I haven't seen them in a year. The last time I saw them, they met my daughter (who was then 5 months old) for the first time. She is their first and only great grandchild. I won't be seeing them this year for Christmas and I know they are sad that they will not be seeing Ellie. So my Christmas gift to them is a DVD with pictures and videos of Ellie. I spent practically the whole day at Taylor's house making it and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I hope they enjoy it.

While we were waiting for the DVD to finish burning, I had the thought that maybe the disc was just the right size to put in the back pocket of one of my paper bag albums. I got home and tried it, and sure enough it was. A few stamps and photos later I came up with this! A DVD holder, mini album, and card in one!! The front stamps are a Rhonna Farrer flourish and Christine Adolph image (December 25). The sentiment on the pull out card comes from the Snowflake Serenade set by PaperTrey Ink. This is the first time I've used it and it did not disappoint! So, without further ado, here is the gift for my grandparents (please excuse the Christmas light glare on the photos):

Class Cards

So these 6 cards I made for a class I'm teaching at Keepsakes. The idea is to make 6 cards from a single sheet of patterned paper (plus cardstock and embellishments). I *really* like how these turned out. I used a shimmery, flocked sheet from the new Frost Boulevard collection (Heidi Grace), some stamps and silver embossing powder, a few rhinestones, some ribbon, a LOT of stickles, and... voila! Six cards... perfectly suited for winter or Christmas! What do you think?

I've taught this class once already, and my second class is on Wednesday night. I usually enjoy the second class better because I make a few tiny adjustments based on the first go round. I will make a couple adjustments this time around, too (to help the class flow a little better - it was fine before but took a little longer than I expected), so I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes!