Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Graphic 45 and My Little Shoebox Fun...

"Time Flies, So Flirt!"  Photos from our engagement photo shoot... ahhhhhh, isn't Jeff CUTE!? ;-)
  I wanted to share a few quick projects and a link!  I had three projects featured on the Graphic 45 Blog yesterday (November 23rd)!  With as cool as it is to be featured, there is something pretty special going on with the comments over there.  Everyone was asked to write what they are thankful for... a pretty basic request for this time of year.  However, the comments are anything but basic.  Short... yes.  To the point... yep.  But the gratitude and things people are thankful for will hit you in your heart.  Go check it out!  You'll be thankful you did! ;-)
Close up of the hand cut butterflies and the detail on the new Coredinations Cardstock for Graphic 45!
Matthew and Sarah... a few years ago, but this photo was PERFECT for the Holly Jolly line by My Little Shoebox!

Make it a WONDERFUL day!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

We Have a HOPPY Winner...

After a frustrating day of no phone or computer service (AUGHHHHH!!!), I am finally back on-line to announce the Blog Hop RAK winner...

It is Lindy, who wrote...

"I am thankful for all my scrapbooking supplies and friends and the fact that I can document our memories for my family.  Love love love your Christmas projects. TFS :)  O, I'm a follower."

Lindy, email me at with your contact information so I can mail out one of each of the sticker sheets for the current releases (6 lines plus Holly Jolly... 7 sticker sheets!)

Oh, and since several of you asked, here are a few details for the card holder...

The back panel was 9" x 9" and the pocket was 3" deep.  I have sheets of 12" x 12" chipboard that I cut down for the project.  The most important part is how sturdy the pocket is... Christmas cards can get heavy and you don't want your beautiful project to fall apart!  Use something like duct tape to hold the piece together.  It doesn't matter what it looks like under the patterned paper as long as it is STRONG!!!

Thanks for hopping along with My Little Shoebox and joining me here at "Wooooo Hooooo!"  I have more fun planned this week, so grab your latte, cuddle up in the recliner near the fire, and stay awhile! ;-)

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Little Shoebox Blog Hop... Hop... Hop... TUTORIAL...RAK...

YOU MADE IT!  Welcome to the second to last stop on the My Little Shoebox "Thankful" Blog Hop!  If you are following along with the Hop, you just came from Miss Melanie Stanczyk's blog... WELCOME!  If you just happen to be here today, you DON'T want to miss all the MLS Hop fun and prize opportunities!  You can start from the beginning at the My Little Shoebox Blog.

Sooooo... the theme of this blog hop is "Thankful." After going through all the other uber talented blogs from MLS, I'm sure you have seen AWESOME projects and heard all sorts of things the design team gals are thankful for.  You will hear a bit about being thankful from me in a bit, but first, onto the FUN! 

3D Christmas Card Tutorial

Step 1:  Determine the size of the card.  (Easy so far, right!?)
Step 2:  Cut a piece of chipboard that is the same size as the card (across) and about 1/2 the size of the card (up and down).
Step 3:  Cover the piece of chipboard with your choice of cardstock. (So you don't have to try to match it to the chipboard later!)
Step 4:  Use your exacto knife to cut a wavy interior border for your chipboard frame.
Step 5:  Adhere your new chipboard frame to your card with foam adhesive.

Step 6:  After cutting around 100 flowers with your Cricut (because you would be CRAZY to cut them out by hand), take the end of a pen, push it into the center of a flower (be sure to bend the flower petals up around the pen)... 

... and push it into place (of course, you have already put adhesive down on the card. I used Glue Dots.)
We all did this technique when we were kids, didn't we... you know, using the eraser side of a pencil, tissue paper squares and white glue... to make our annual Thanksgiving Turkey... I LOVED those turkeys...

Note:  Place the flowers VERY close to each other, almost on top of each other to get this effect.  Once your raised frame is full, open a few select flowers and place rhinestones in the center.  I also slid my Tim Holtz Distress Ink pad across the top of the flowers once they were in place to add a bit of extra detail, as you can see in the side shot below.

So there you go!  A fun Christmas card to send to your favorite loved ones!  Next, you need a place to display all of the cards that you recieve this year, right!?  I created this fun card holder with chipboard, MLS "Holly Jolly" paper and borders, trim and this antique hanger tied with a bow.  

So... I promised I would be "thankful" as we head into our Thanksgiving holiday!  I decided to share several things about my passion for Scrapping that I am Thankful for...

1.  My Cricut... because there is NO WAY that I could have created that card without it!
2.  My Little Shoebox... (no, I'm not kissing up)... The products they release each season are simply wonderful... high quality... darling designs... bright colors... and embellishments, borders, stickers and alphas that are so easy to use and AWESOME!  And don't even get me started on the fab gals on the Design Team... HOLLA!
3.  My Family... my husband allows me the opportunity to stay home and raise the family (and design on the side)... my kids put up with my ever present camera... and they all support me when I am on a deadline and can't make a homemade dinner, or do the laundry, or, or, or... my family totally rocks!!!

I could go on and on and on about how thankful I am that I found this wonderful community called, "Scrapbooking"... and it doesn't matter if it is a layout, card, altered item, published, or in a frame on the wall... the friends I have made... the passion I feel... the creativity I can express... I am truly blessed and thankful to be a part of this thing called Scrapping!

RAK ALERT!!!... For those of you that are new to "Wooooo Hooooo,"  please join my Friends and Followers over there on the right hand side of my blog.  Once you are a follower (or remind me that you already are one), leave a comment on this post letting me know what, about scrapping, makes you thankful.  I will randomly choose one comment to win a fun MLS RAK on Monday, November 22nd.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!  Now, onto the last stop on this blog hop, Debbie Sherman...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

GRAPHIC 45 TUTORIAL - "Hallowe'en In Wonderland" Inspired Mobile

BLOG HOP ALERT!  Graphic 45 and Spellbinders are CROSS-HOPPING this weekend... starting TODAY!  Be sure to check out all the fun and prize opportunities!!!

I am THRILLED to share with you the steps to create a fun and zany "Hallowe'en In Wonderland" inspired mobile...  as shared on the Graphic 45 blog a few days ago.  As soon as I saw the new line by Graphic 45, this project popped into my head. I immediately thought of the movie scene where all of the card solders were trying to catch poor Alice... the cards were flying this way and that... and little Alice finally got away. I thought a hanging mobile would be a fun way to make those cards fly again!

A few notes... don't be afraid to try "off the page" projects. And don't be afraid to embrace the creative process during a project like this. This project started as a vision in my head... oh... it was spectacular! Although it didn't turn out how I envisioned it at the start, the changes that occurred during construction made it even better! Let's jump into this whimsical and silly Alice mobile!

Step 1... Create your frame. Instead of doing a traditional circle hoop for the mobile, I wanted it to be the shape of a playing card. We used the dimensions from a real card and multiplied it until we had the size we wanted. My darling husband put the frame together for me (thank you, Sweetheart!)

Step 2 - Paint your frame and set it aside to dry. The paint I chose was black, but it actually turned out on the green side, which I totally loved!

Step 3... Creating the roof of cards. I cut a piece of chipboard that was just a bit bigger than the wooden frame because I wanted the roof to hang over the wooden frame just a bit. Then I folded up about an inch on the two long sides to ground the starting and ending rows. (See more detail below) I determined that I would need 4 playing cards per row. Be sure to have the cards overlap by at least 1/2". I knew this project was going to be mailed across the country, so the roof had to be strong! The overlapping of the cards will keep them rigid and less likely to cave in!

You can see in this photo that the two outer rows were adhered to the chipboard that had been folded up. Also, the cards hang below the level of the chipboard for a nice edge to the roof. All of the cards were taped together with my ATG gun...and it worked perfectly!

Step 4... The Roof. The construction of the roof was the most time consuming part of this project. Once the two outer rows were in place, the inner rows could be installed. I used a hearty line of hot glue to adhere each row of cards to the rows next to them. Also note that the rows are not lined up, but skewed just a bit. This is a "Wonderland" project, after all! Don't forget to put down a fun patterned paper on the chipboard before starting to glue down your rows.

I built up the roof to 3 1/2 layers. Several of the rows on the top were different shapes and sizes, again, it is a "Wonderland" project and I wanted it to be a bit odd. I also covered some of the cards with paper from the "Hallowe'en in Wonderland" line, and some I left as playing cards.

Don't forget to add patterned paper to the bottom of your roof BEFORE adhering it to the wooden frame... just trust me! ;-)

Step 5... The Trim. I had originally planned to only put one layer of crystal trim around the edge of the roof. However, as I hot glued the roof to the wooden frame, there were sections that did not lie down perfectly, leaving gaps between the bottom of the roof and the wooden frame... totally not cool! So I grabbed the lacy trim to go over the crystal trim and cover the gaps. Problem solved... and I actually like the lacy trim better than just the crystal trim!

Step 6... The Teapot and Cup (and spoons). I knew that I wanted something fun to hang, suspended, from the center of the mobile and I had a great idea! I went to Toys R Us and purchased an inexpensive plastic tea set. Then I went to Home Depot and purchase silver spray paint and a short piece of clear rubber tubing.

I took the teapot, cup and saucer and 4 spoons from the tea set and gave the rest to my daughter as a special surprise (bonus... embellishments for my project AND thankful kisses from my daughter!). I spray painted the tea set items and set aside. (Surprisingly, the silver spray paint worked beautifully! No dripping and it was very resistant to scratching!)

I used my hot glue gun to secure the tea cup to the saucer. Then my husband helped me drill small holes into the saucer and the top of the spoons so they could be suspended with fishing line.

I used a bit of brown paint to paint the INSIDE of the clear rubber tubing to create the impression that tea was flowing from the tea pot into the tea cup. I added a bit of clear glue on the inside of the tea pot and the "flowing tea" was secure.

To create the whimsical look of tea spraying from the tea cup, I hot glued some green floral foam inside the tea cup. Then I took several feathers and poked them into the foam until I achieved the desired look. The "pouring tea" is not secured to the tea cup (again, because the project was going to be mailed to CHA Chicago and back). However, the tea cup and the tea pot were suspended to be sure that the "pouring tea" would line up properly when hung.

Finally, I cut hearts from "Hallowe'en In Wonderland" papers and black Bazzill Cardstock. I cut out some of the fun "Jabberwocky" cards, distressed and inked them. Each suspended piece of the mobile has double sided hearts and/or cards (double sided so the fishing line could be adhered between the hearts/cards.) I added some fun trim to hang the project (use a staple gun to be sure the trim will hold the weight of the project.) I added some crystals and this project was done!

Whether you create an Alice In Wonderland inspired mobile or not, I hope this tutorial provided you with some tips and inspiration for your next fun project! Make it a curious day!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Project 365 - Our 3rd Annual (and last) OGHS Team Dinner

The annual sunset team photo... with the Del Norte tombstone, of course!
Let me just tell you how much we enjoy hosting one of the Varsity Football Team dinners each year.  We have been fortunate that Chris started on Varsity as a Sophmore, so we have had 3 AWESOME years to feed the team.  We have always hosted the dinner right before Halloween (because we go all out with the decorations), and I have always made my (traditional Halloween dinner) homemade chili for the boys.   

We were SOOOOOOOO honored that Principal Allison, VP Alan Williams and VP Julius Lockett joined AD Jason Patterson and the coaching staff at our dinner this year!
This year, I cooked for 2 days and made 61 POUNDS of homemade chili!!!  The MENU:  Chili served in sourdough bread bowls, Caeser Salad, HUGE baked potatos with ALL the fixings and cake for dessert.

Prince (one of my favorite guys) and Chris LOVING the dinner!
A cool side story... as I was leaving the grocery store with the bread bowls the morning of the dinner, I was stopped by an alumni football player who said, "Mrs. Locher, are you hosting the "Chili Dinner" for the team tonight?"  I didn't remember the player, but he sure remembered (and gushed) over the dinner.  Moments like that make it ALL worth it!!!

These guys knew to show up early... among my favorites (sorry, but after all these years, I do have favorites, #50 Eddie Pietrenka... what a GREAT kid!)
It was a wonderful night with a team of boys that I would host ANYTIME... so respectful... so down to earth... our OGHS VARSITY FOOTBALL TEAM!!!

Project 365 - Halloween (yes... finally!)

It might be mid-November, but I'm finally getting Halloween posted (getting ready for the MLS Blog Hop this weekend... WOOO HOOO!!!) So, letting the photos do the talking, here is our traditional pumpkin carving, we had neighbors the Sisks and Griggs and friends the Seltmanns over for my homemade Chili, Ida's Cornbread, and Marlene's appetizers, and Trick or Treating.  BOO!
Anna LOVES Pumpkin guts... and more importantly, roasted pumpkin seeds (both the garlic and the cinnamon sugar!)
You are never too old to carve pumpkins...
Anna... I'm mean "Alice In Wonderland"... and, of course, my handmade Graphic 45 Trick or Treat bag!!!

Traditional pre-Trick or Treat photo... I really hate that huge spider and web... but the family LOVES it (probably because it freaks me out!)

Kendra and Chris... teenagers always come in last minute to find costumes, so Kendra pulled out a pair of Anna's wings and one of her ballet skirts (yeah, she fit in Anna's skirt) for this darling Fairy costume... Chris went as "Captain America"  Yeah, they are pretty darn cute! :-)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Project 365 - "Halloween Town" at Vail Lake

There is a beautiful campground in Temecula that we (The whole Donnelly clan... Mom and Dad... Mary, John and the kids, and our family) enjoy visiting during their Halloween Spooktacular each October... Vail Lake. For 3 years in a row, we (our group) won the costume contest, but we decided not to go for the past 2 years as Anna and her cousins were at a difficult age to handle while camping. This year, we were READY TO GO!

For the few weekends leading up to Halloween, Vail Lake puts on an EXTRAVAGANZA... they have haunted hay rides, a haunted house, costume contests... all of the campers decorate their campsites (and I mean DECORATE... some people come several days in advance and spend those DAYS decorating their campsites!)... there is trick or treating from campsite to campsite... it is an AMAZING place to enjoy the family... well, it used to be.

I want to focus on the fun that we had during this family weekend, but I feel I would be remiss in my overall story if I didn't warn you about the complete and utter mismanagement of the campground! I'm not going into our story, or the story of 75% of our neighboring campers... just beware if you plan on going camping at Vail Lake during any of their big annual events such as the Halloween Spooktacular or the 4th of July events. It is such a shame because it is SUCH a beautiful place, but if you want to deal with your site being sold out from under you, not being told about it until you show up, and then being told to "run down and claim another site before the paid campers get there," then this is the campground for you. Oh, and confirmation numbers don't matter. And there will not be any compensation as you show up for a fun weekend and are told to go home. This is the same story that we heard over and over and over while we were there... sadly, it happened to us, too. HOWEVER, we were NOT going to let that mess ruin our weekend... we had fun DISPITE the mess the management created and refused to fix.

I am going to let the photos do the talking, but first, just a few notes:

Mom and Dad have an AWESOME trailer, and as a gift, they rented a large trailer for us and Mary's family! We usually tent camp, so having a trailer was a HUGE luxury for us!

Our group costume... I was inspired by the "Hallowe'en In Wonderland" line by Graphic 45 and "convinced" everyone to recreate the "Unbirthday Party" scene from "Alice In Wonderland." I handmade 4 "card soldier" costumes and we had our Alice, Queen of Hearts and White Rabbit.

Please enjoy my favorite photos from our 2010 "Halloween Town!"

John was "crafting" with me... he was making costumes for Mary and himself... they were going as a "Pair of Dice"
Jeff... doing what he does best... fixing bikes so everyone could go on a bike ride!
Mary... posing with the first felt hoodie I made... along with the photo of the "card soldiers" from "Alice In Wonderland"... Loooooooooking Gooooooood!
Yes, I even have a crafting table at our campsite!  And what good scrapper would be caught dead without her ATG gun, scissors, cutting mat, and spray adhesive... (and pre-cut hearts and spades, compliments of my Cricut!!)
Penny and Bob and the kids came up for the Saturday night festivities... Cat and Anna... before the REAL fun began!
Mary and John brought the SILLIEST decorations... like this cross that says, "I TOLD YOU I was sick!!!"
Penny, Mary and Matthew... camping family fun...
Yes, my Brother-in-law can be a TOTAL DORK... notice the black fingers from his crafting time with me!  LOVE YA, JOHN!
Bob didn't want to be a part of the "Wonderland" group... he had his OWN scary outfit... Here he is, posing next to one of the camp site props...
The group... minus Jeff (the other black "card soldier" and scary Bob!)... The Alice Group (without the props), Jessica the Sailor, and the Pair of Dice.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Project 365 - Athletic Booster Booth...

Mindy and Jeff... THANK GOD for good friends!!!
Football season around here has always been a crazy mixture of cheering and volunteering and practices and fundraising and (stinky) laundry... In addition to working in the snack bar and team dinners, this year I was in charge of staffing the snack bar for all of the freshman, JV and Varsity games AND staffing and running the Athletic Booster Booth with buddy, Mindy Seltmann! 

Some of the fun Booster merchandise we have for sale... GO PATRIOTS!
Please enjoy the shots of one of our favorite homes away from home, the new OGHS stadium and the Booster booth! 
For all you PPR (Prep Pigskin Report) fans, our PPR crew was early for this game and these nice guys spent time chatting with us, filming a fun Snack Bar skit for the show, and telling us fun stories about the cast!

Project 365 - Pumpkin Hunting...

Every year, we drive out to Bates Nut Farm for our traditional "Pumpkin Patch" day. We have our annual routine... park... walk over to the farm to see the animals... wait for Daddy to buy some corn at the store to feed to the animals... try to feed the animals (which are already stuffed from all of the other kids also trying to feed the animals)... walk up to the store to buy some yummy fresh nuts... get in line for a freshly grilled burger, can of soda and bag of chips (don't forget the grilled onions!)... swat at several hundred bees (or in my case, RUN from several hundred bees) while you are eating lunch... walk past the blue grass band playing live music... stop for a few minutes so Daddy can enjoy the band... walk through the game/ride area (decide the lines are TOOOO long)... head to the pumpkin patch to choose the most sincere pumpkin (Charlie Brown reference)... TORTURE Anna by making her pose for a minimum of 100 photos in the pumpkin patch... and finally... FINALLY... allow Anna to choose her favorite pumpkin... go home.

That is pretty much how it went this year with a few exceptions...

#1 - We didn't go shopping in the store this year, because...

#2 - We took ABBY for her first visit to Bates Nut Farm!!! She TOTALLY LOVED IT! In Abby's canine mind... "smells... smells... run over here... oh, there is a friend... COME ON, DAD, I must sniff that butt... saying hello, meeting a friend, and smelling a butt... oh... what is THAT?... another new smell... and another friend with another butt... smell, butt... smell, butt... OH, the wonderful new friends that I've met... and FREEZE (scary new friend barking at me)... onto a new smell... and, OH... another butt..." Let's just say that she PASSED OUT for hours after we got home!!!

#3 - Anna and I met a "stalker!" We were waiting to feed the animals (Jeff was buying the corn), when a lady looked at me and said, "You look so familiar. And your daughter looks familiar, too!" I was thinking that she recognized us from school, but funny, I didn't recognize her. She continued..."Oh, my gosh! I READ YOUR BLOG! Are you Tracey... your blog is "Wooooo Hooooo!?" We started chatting... she was so sweet! She is from Poway (if I remember correctly) and she reads her favorite blogs during her lunch break at work. At one point, Anna grabbed me and whispered in my ear, "Mommy! You are FAMOUS!" Anna cracks me up!!! So... if our new cyber friend is out there, please be sure to comment on this post!!!

Time to get to the next Project 365 catch up post... next, we are heading to the football stadium...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Project 365 - Two Homecomings...

Yes, (Dad) it has been a month since I updated my blog. (Bad, Tracey... Bad... Bad!) Over the next week, I will be getting everything caught up... I have all the pictures... lots of stories to share... and so many projects, it is CRAZY! All leading up to another fun My Little Shoebox Blog Hop next weekend... November 19-21!!! So, let's get this catch up going!

Homecoming season... cooler nights... football games... King and Queen... and of course, the dance! Chris (not our budget) was lucky enough to go to TWO Homecoming dances this year. First up, our own OGHS Homecoming... way back in September... with friend, Laney. I don't know how YOU dressed for Homecoming, but OG has a pretty casual dress code... seriously... JEANS!? While every part of me cringed, Chris (and all of his friends) went to Homecoming in jeans... the gals in nice, but casual dresses. Whatever floats your boat, but I wanted to see some high heals, dress pants, and satin (not in that order!) Although Chris was limping from a football injury from the previous nights game, and poor Laney had the flu, they had a nice evening.
Chris and Laney... Nice and Casual photo shoot before the dance.
Chris with friend/neighbor Ryan... in their traditional pre-dance pose!
Homecoming #2 and the Tale of Two Corsages...

The "proposal"... Chris had been spending a lot of time with a very nice girl named Kendra... and she happens to be a cheerleader at rival school, SPHS. Kendra decided she was going to ask Chris to her Homecoming at SP... and let's just say... this girl has GUTS! First, she asked me if it was alright if she asked Chris (SERIOUSLY, how cute is that!?) Let's set the scene... OG and SP have a long standing rival football game called, "The Battle of the Bear." The week before the big game, we had our bye week, so our football team went to watch the SP game.  Chris was in the stands with the OG football team... Kendra was down on the track cheering... then the cheerleaders turned around and used their pom poms to spell out, "#88" (Chris' football number)... and Kendra came out with a poster board that said, "Will you go to Homecoming with me?" Chris came to the front of the stands, Kendra climbed up on something... he said "yes" and they hugged with the metal railing from the stands between them.  I've seen the pictures, and if the whole thing wasn't so DARN cute, I think both Chris and Kendra would have been stoned by their respective teams... but, all's well that ends well. They went to the SP Homecoming and had a fantastic time.

So, onto the Tale of the Two Corsages... Let's make this short and sweet... I ordered Kendra's corsage... the day of Homecoming, Jeff and I took Anna and Abby to Bates Nut Farm for our traditional pumpkin patch experience... we had fun and lost track of time... the florist closed at 2PM... we looked at our watches around 3:30PM... Chris was supposed to pick up Kendra around 5PM... we were 30 minutes away from home (with all that traffic). DRAT! I had already paid for the corsage that was now locked in the closed florist!

So, what does any panicked mom do...? I called our Vons and BEGGED the on-site florist to drop everything and make a corsage that I needed to pick up immediately. Her answer, "SURE! It will be ready in 15 minutes!" So I dropped the family off at the house and flew over to Vons to get the corsage before Chris got back to the house with Kendra. I ran into Vons, thanked the florist about a million times for the BEAUTIFUL corsage she made so quickly, paid for the SECOND corsage and started walking out the door... when Jeff called. When he got home, he checked the phone messages and their was a message from the original florist... the FIRST corsage was waiting for us at the dry cleaners, next door to the florist................................................................................ Yeah, I stopped cold in my tracks... and then started laughing! I went straight to the dry cleaners and picked up the original corsage (they had 3 corsages that people had forgotten to pick up on time!)

We told Kendra and Chris the story and let Kendra chose which corsage she wanted to have. (She chose the orchid... as shown in the picture at the top of this post.)  So, what did we do with the second corsage? We kept it in the fridge, just knowing that we wanted to do something special with it... which we did. On Monday, I found out it was Anna's DARLING Kindergarten teacher's birthday... so I tracked her down and gave her the corsage. She wore it all day and throughout the week, other teachers came up to me and told me how much she had enjoyed her special birthday surprise. What started as a Homecoming tragedy, turned into a beautiful blessing. I hope your day is just as blessed! Make it a GREAT one!

Oh, and I finally got to see some "traditional" Homecoming attire for the SP dance.  WOOO HOOOO!