Thursday, April 25, 2013

AWESOME Silhouette Sale!

Woohoo!!  For those of you who are Silhouette owners, there's an incredible sale going on right now through May 2nd in the Silhouette store!  All of their designs are 50% off, which make the majority of them only 50 cents each!  The only other time of the year I've known them to do this, is around Black Friday in November, so now is a great time to stock up, or use all your Silhouette subscription credit if you have any!

I also noticed today, that they're giving a free file away EACH DAY this week!  Yay!

Happy shopping and

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Mark's Finest Paper Scrapbook Challenge

Wow...I haven't posted in a week *gasp*  I promise vacation is almost over and I will be back to posting and answering emails and visiting in the next day or two.

Okay, on to the reason we're here.  It's time for another Mark's Finest Papers Scrapbook Challenge!  This week, the challenge is to use flowers somewhere on your layout.

I decided to do a double page layout of the day my daughter graduated from her department with her B.A. in Women Studies from the University of Washington.  Was I a proud Mommy?  Oh yeah!!  She was only 20 years old, which made it even more special for us!

I used some old MAMBI papers from my stash along with some solid cardstock for matting the photos and stamped imaged and sentiments.

The papers were part of a kit that also included some chipboard flourishes, so I so I chose one to cover with coordinating cardstock and then trimmed it with an Exacto knife.  NOT as easy as I envisioned!  After a lot of eye-rolling, cussing, and sanding, I finally got it where I was happy with it.  I'm not gonna lie though...NOT one of my favorite techniques to do!!

I used four different sentiments and an image from the Be A Showoff set from mark's Finest Papers.  This set has some beautiful peacock images on it like the one I used in last week's project.

Please consider linking up with us this week at the Mark's Finest Paper ning site.  Make a scrapbook page using flowers and stamps anywhere on the layout.  You can use any stamps you want, but if you use MFP stamps, you get double entries for the prize!  You have until next Wednesday, May 1st at 5 pm (PST) to join in.  See you there!!

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's Another Scrapbook Challenge!

Happy Thursday  Wow, where did the week go?  Sorry for the crickets around the blog this week.  We've had some company in from out-of-state, and sometimes you just have to set your routine aside and party and play a little instead!

So now that we're at Thursday already, it's time for another Scrapbook Challenge at Mark's Finest Papers!!

This week's challenge is a recipe challenge. Here's the recipe...

Main Ingredients – use all 3
Patterned Paper

Optional Add ins – Use at least 2

Directions: Create a layout using your selected ingredients. Add a title and/or journaling.

Here's my offering this week and here's my recipe:

Cardstock - from my stash
Patterned Paper - Kay & Co

Optional Add ins: 
Photos - my babies!
Ribbon - from my stash
Gems - from my stash
Stickles - silver

My kid's big sister is here visiting from Texas this week, and although she's not a papercrafter, she came into the craftroom with me while I was working on this project and we had a blast together.  Her crafting theory: everything is WAY better with more bling!  So she played around with Stickles, outlining the flower on the page with it, and then had to bling up the centers of the other flowers too!  Now I have a sparkly page!

I also went off-recipe a little to add some additional glitz by using Elizabeth Craft's Glitter Ritz glitter on some coordinating cardstock and then stamping the cute little peacock on it with Memento ink.  I love the Glitter Ritz glitter because it actually accepts different kinds of inks and markers, so you can make some spectacular stuff!  You can see some other examples of it here, here and here

Please join is this week at the Mark's Finest Papers ning site for the challenge!  The challenge is to make a scrapbook layout and use stamps somewhere in it.  They don''t have to be MFP stamps, but if you use them, you'll get double chances at the prize!

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Monday, April 15, 2013

Save Some $$$ on Tax Day!

Happy tax day...for those of you receiving refunds at least!  I just wanted to write out a quick blurb to let you know that Joann's is giving us all a break today with 15 cent flat-rate shipping on any order!  Just use the code TAX105.  This shipping code is good through 11:59 pm EST tonight.  So if you're on the west coast, plan early, because it goes away at 9 pm our time.

Also, though it has nothing to do with papercrafting, here's some links where you can find lots of tax day deals and freebies, today only.  Want free Cinnabon?  How about a smoking deal on pizza tonight?  Check out:

Frugal Living NW
Happy Money Saver

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Friday, April 12, 2013

Free SVG Cutting Files!

Happy Friday!  I know I said a few weeks ago, that I wasn't going to continue this segment each Friday, but I also said that I was going to try to figure out how to put all the info below, on my side bar...and since I haven't figured that out yet, I thought you might like to see what's new this week in the world of SVG cutting files/!


New file DAILY - 

Paper Piecings By Nikki offers a free file each day, and I must say, I'm surprised that the quality of them is so high.  A lot of companies that offer free files give you ones that are very simplistic, but Nikki's are not.  They're really great!  Once the day is over, the freebie file gets moved into a folder where you can purchase it for 50 cents.  All of her other cutting files are only 99 cents.  What a deal!  Today's free file is a Cute Lion.

Miss Kate Cuttables actually has a DAILY freebie too!  Today's file is a collection of really cute spring borders.

New file every MONDAY - 

Little Scraps Of Heaven  You can access their freebies through their blog or their Facebook fan page.  This week's freebie is a chunky scalloped border.

KaDoodle Bug Designs publishes new free files on Mondays and corresponding digi files on Tuesdays.  Now it seems they've really been outdoing themselves lately by also giving an assortment of free phrases each week!  This week's freebies are Charlie the Cucumber, and the phrase, "Cool as a cucumber."

New file every TUESDAY - 

For those of you that own a Silhouette machine, don't forget that the Silhouette store has a free cutting file each Tuesday.  You need to download the free program to your computer (even if you don't own a Silhouette machine yet) to access the store.  Please keep in mind that the files aren't SVGs...they will only cut on a Silhouette brand machine, (SD, Cameo, or Portrait) so this will be a great option ONLY if you're planning to purchase (or already own) a Silhouette. You can download the free program HERE.   This week's freebie is a scrapbook page layout kit!

New file every FRIDAY - 

Designs on Cloud 9 They have adorable Teddy bears and other characters.  Lots of cuteness on this site!  This week we're being offered a Sunshine Bear and the phrase, "You are my sunshine."

Pretty Paper, Pretty Ribbons offers a new free SVG file each Friday.  She even offers a newsletter subscription to remind you.    This week's freebie is a treat bag topper with a handle.

My Scrap Chick offers a new file each Friday to her newsletter subscribers.  Click the link to subscribe.  This week's file is called Country Village House Boxes.  She also has a sale going through Monday (4/15) for 65% off any $10 purchase!

RANDOM days, but new files regularly - 

Birds Cards - is an awesome blog with all sorts of amazing freebies!  This week she's offering some beautiful rose cards, just in time for Mother's Day!

SVG Cuts offers TONS of free files!  I believe they have said that there are over 200 of them available right now.  Make sure to sign up for their newsletter too. Every time they send a newsletter, they include a new free file!  The latest free files include a "Thank you" phrase, a trendy triangles background, and a sunflower. 

Happy downloading and cutting!

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Very Cool Christmas Card

It's Christmas Card Catch-Up Wednesday and I almost forgot to post a card today!  Actually this one was supposed to go up last Sunday, so technically, I'm a card behind!  I promise to catch up though!  Have no idea what I'm talking about?  Here's my first Christmas card post to explain more!

I'm really loving this week's card.  Its a Silhouette cut (surprise surprise!) done in very light blue cardstock and mounted on white.  Although it was pretty like it was, I wanted to make it a little more real snow!

So, I went back and filled in ALL the white space (except the border) with Diamond Stickles.  It's sparkly and beautiful and looks really awesome in person!  Not that I'm trying to toot my own horn...I guess I just get excited over shiny things!  Haha!

How are your Christmas cards coming?  Have you started yet?

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Fundraiser, A Great Deal, and A Winner!

You know all those annoying parents and grandparents that are CONSTANTLY posting pics of their babies and kids on Facebook or their blogs or anywhere else people can see them?  Yeah, well, I'm gonna be one of those people!!  I just don't think the world should go without seeing this adorable face at every turn!  (I'm kidding...sort of!)

Being the overly-proud grandma that I am, I'm happy to announce that even though I haven't gotten to see and hold little Lincoln in person yet (we live far far away from each other) I DID actually get to witness a first yesterday while we were all Skyping.  I got to see him roll over from front to back for the first time!!  Now although, I realize that's not nearly as great as getting to hold him and cuddle him and smell his baby smells (the good, not the poopy!) I was super excited that I got to be a part of that little milestone!

When I first announced that my son and DIL were adopting it was in part, associated with helping them to raise money for their's NOT cheap!  They've sold off their second car, my son's beloved bass guitar, and all sorts of other stuff for their adoption fund.  On top of their regular full time jobs, they've cleaned houses, given music lessons, and babysat to earn extra money.  People have been incredibly kind and generous, and really done some extraordinary things.  During a garage sale fundraiser they were having with another adopting couple one weekend, a man walked up and gave Chris $430 for a coffee mug!  YES! A 25 cent coffee mug.  The stories have touched my heart and made me cry and made me proud to be part of the human race.

Several of their friends who own businesses have stepped up and offered to donate proceeds from various sales.  That's part of what this blog post is about.  They still have a few more months to finish paying off the $20,000-ish that it's cost them for the adoption and associated fees.  So, even though Lincoln is home with them and they are in happy land, they're still going strong with their fundraising.  One of their friends who owns a business selling scarves, recently agreed to offer free shipping and a percentage of the sales for Lincoln's adoption fund!!!

Please go to her site, Created New and take a peek around.  If you feel moved to help out, that would be awesome!  If scarves aren't your thing but you would like to help, my daughter-in-law, Erin has a donate button on her blog.  There have been some very sweet, generous donations given through her donate button too!!  If you're interested, while you'e there, you can also read more about their adoption journey....and of course, see more pics of my adorable grandbaby!! Wow...I'm going to be the world's most annoying grandmother...I can feel it now!

In other news and what some of you have been reading through all the other stuff for (and thank you for that!) the winner of the 2 Itty Bitty stamps from unity is Kris B!!!!!!  Kris, I will try to find your email address to notify you.  You have until next Monday April 15th to respond.

Thank you SO MUCH for your sweet words and comments through all my Unity posts last week.  I love the support and kindness you give so lavishly.

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Washi Tape Storage

Welcome to Money-Saving Monday!  This is a post done (usually) every Monday to help find ways to reuse, upcycle, or generally save money in our papercrafting supplies or storage.

Today's tip isn't my original idea, but was something I read about on a Scrapbook and Cards Today post.  They have a tutorial on making Washi tape storage from old wrapping paper and paper towel tubes.  I wanted to try it, but only had tp tubes.  I followed their tute but also decided to cover my tubes with some scrapbook paper to give it a more finished look.  I love the results, and now I have a nice way to display all my rolls of Washi tape and actually SEE what I have when I'm ready to use them!

If you have a tip you would like to share, let me know.  I would love to hear about it!  Also, don't forget, I'll be announcing a winner later this evening from the Growing In Unity week, last week!  Be sure to stop back by!

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Washi Tape Fun!

Things have been pretty hectic around here lately, with the Growing In Unity week (you still have until midnight Sunday night to enter for the stamp giveaway!)  and my big Grandma announcement (!!!!!) so, even though I'm keeping up on my pledge to make one Christmas card a week, I've neglected posting them the last two weeks.  I thought I should catch up on my "catch up" this weekend!

A few weeks ago, I found some Christmas Washi tape on clearance at Michaels.  I've been staring at it trying to decide what I wanted to do with it, and thought, "duh...Christmas cards, of course!"  So I started with a white A2 sized card base.  I  placed strips of Washi tape right next to each other, not worrying about the neatness of the ends (see photo above.)  Then I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut a very simple Christmas tree shape out of a second piece of white cardstock that was sized to fit perfectly on top of my card base.  

Here's the result!

I decided to make two cards; one with the Washi tape going straight across, (above) and the other with it on a diagonal (below.)

I'm not sure which I like better, but I can totally assure you that I loved the fact that these cards came together SUPER quick and easy!

Have you started your Christmas cards yet?

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Friday, April 5, 2013

Growing In Unity - Last Day :(

I've had so much fun this week hanging out with you guys, that I'm sad to see it come to a close.  Alas, this is the final day of my growing In Unity week.  I've had fun challenging myself to create some useful projects and ideas.

Today, I'm ending with my all-time favorite color...PURPLE!  I love it!  I love all shades of it, and I love everything about it! Once again, I've used the Insightful Meadows Unity Stamp Kit (love this set!)   This time, I started with white cardstock, and used Versa mark ink and clear embossing power to stamp and emboss my image.  Then, I went to town with Distress inks!  I used Milled Lavender, Shaded Lilac, Dusty Concord, and just a little Squeezed Lemonade in the center for the sun.  Just like on Tuesday's card , I started on the outside of the cardstock with the lightest color, working my way in.  Then I moved on to darker colors until I got the effect I was looking for.  I really love how it came out!

In case you've missed any of the Unity posts this week, you can find Day 1 here, day 2 here , day 3 here, and day 4 here.  Please leave a comment on any Growing in Unity post on my blog this week, and on Monday I'll pick a random winner from all the combined comments to receive TWO Itty Bitty Stamps of the winner's choice, courtesy of Unity Stamps!

And once again, I would like to invite you to become an email subscriber of follower.  You can also fine the links in the sidebar to follow via Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.  See ya around!

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mark's Finest Paper Scrapbook Challenge

Hello and happy Thursday!  Welcome to Scrapbook Challenge #9 at Mark's Finest Paper.  This week is one of my's a color challenge and the color is PURPLE!  My favorite!  Make a purple layout this week, use a stamp on it somewhere, and join us.

This week, I decided to use two black and white photos of my daughter when she was still a college student.  I love the way black and white photos look against purple or blue.  The grey tones just really go well with those two colors, and I love the look.

I used the All Postal set again (I love that set!) from Mark's Finest Paper.  It's just super versatile and I find myself reaching for it a lot.  This time, I used it to make a faux postcard.  It has the stamp, a postmark...all kinds of cute images and sentiments.  My base cardstock is from Kay & Co. and the rest of it is just solid stuff from my stash.  The row of bling is from Hobby Lobby.  I used a the "4 page layout" cut file from the Silhouette store for most of the cuts.

Don't forget to join us this week to link up your purple layout on the MFP ning site.  You have until 5 pm PST next Wednesday.  See you there!

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Growing In Unity Day 4

Happy Thursday!  Thanks for showing up for day 4 of my Growing In Unity week!  And thank you for all the visits and overwhelming support this week!  You guys are an incredible community, and I'm so glad to be a part of it.

My project today is a card that would be perfect for Independence Day.  I used the Unity Itty Bitty Stamp kit called Celebrate.  When I saw the boat with the star, it just screamed 4th of July to me.  I used the Patriotic Card file from the Silhouette store.  I added a little extra this time too!

When I cut out the blue card front, I took it off the cutting mat leaving the blue stars on the mat, then lifted them carefully with a spatula.  Before adhering the card front to the card, I used it as a template on the inside of the card to individually glue all the stars to the white cardstock.   This way, I would be able to mimic the shape of the oval perfectly.

Then, using Memento ink, I stamped the sentiment on the inside, and the boat to the front of the card, and viola!  A patriotic card ready and waiting for July!

Please continue to leave comments on any Growing in Unity post on my blog this week, and next Monday I'll pick a random winner from all the combined comments to receive TWO Itty Bitty Stamps of the winner's choice, courtesy of Unity Stamps!

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Growing In Unity Day 3

Yay!  It's Wednesday and that means we're halfway through the week!  Welcome to day 3 of my Unity Stamps week. Instead of a card, I decided to change it up a little with a scrapbook layout.  I've had this photo of my husband, his sister, and her family since last summer, and couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with it until I looked at it, and the sentiment from the Insightful Meadows collection at the same time.  The quote about smiles just sums it all up for this photo!

I used  the Summer Page Layout file from the Silhouette Store.  Since I had to make my pic small enough to upload it with my limited storage, you can't really tell, but I did a little dry embossing on the clouds and the photo corner.  I also used Versa Mark ink and stamped some of the flowers from the Insightful Meadows kit onto the bottom part of the light blue page.  It gave the page a nice subtle watermark, without overpowering everything else.

Please remember to leave a comment on any Growing in Unity post on my blog this week, and next Monday I'll pick a random winner from all the combined comments to receive TWO Itty Bitty Stamps of the winner's choice, courtesy of Unity Stamps!  I've LOVED reading all of your comments so far!  I would also like to invite those of you who are new here, to become a subscriber or follower.  You can also find the links above and to the right, to follow via Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.  Hope to see you often!!!

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My Best Money-Saving Tip Ever

For those of you who are new to the blog in the past few months, here's a post I've run before, but updated it to include new goodies.  Happy reading...and salivating!

Here's the BEST money-saving tip I could possibly offer you.   How would you like to get a variety of your craft items COMPLETELY FREE?  Here's a few brand new items I've gotten over the past two and a half years and none of it cost me a single penny...not even for shipping!  How?  Scroll down!

Silhouette Cameo

Teal Silhouette Cameo Tote bag

My first Cricut...a baby bug

Cricut Create a Critter Cartridge

Cricut Designer's Calendar Cartridge

Cricut Groovy Times Cartridge

Cricut Sweethearts Cartridge

Cricut Walk in My Garden Cartridge
Bic Mark-It 36 pack permanant markers

Pentel Waterbrush

Scotch ATG Tape refills (x 3) 

Black Smash* Book

Blue Smash* Book (x 2, I used one for part of a giveaway)

Smash* Like It Washi tape

Red Smash* Book

Smash Stickies

Square eyelets

Staedtler 24 pack Watercolor Pencils

Tiny Clothespins

Uchida Bistro Markers 4 pack

We R Memory Keepers Sew Ribbon Tool

Xyron Create A Sticker Value Pack

And this is just the CRAFT STUFF I've gotten for free!  It doesn't include Christmas presents for family and other assorted goodies, or the nice sum I've already saved up towards my next purchase!

So. have I got your attention?  Ha ha!  A few years ago, I joined Swagbucks.  Basically, Swagbucks is a program where you can earn (you guessed it) Swag "bucks."  You're randomly rewarded "bucks" for doing web searches using their Google Search Engine.  Although I don't normally do tons of searches, every time I go to ANY site, including Hotmail to check my email, or Facebook, or my own blog even, I type it into my Swagbucks tool bar.  You don't have to install their tool bar to join or search, but it makes it a lot more convenient for me.  You can also earn Swagbucks by taking daily polls, watching videos, playing online games, and all sorts of other activities.

Now, here's where the free stuff comes in.  You can save up your "bucks" and redeem them for all sorts of various prizes.  I ALWAYS redeem mine for Amazon gift cards.  It takes 450 "bucks" to earn a $5 Amazon gift card.  (I can usually earn enough points without really trying, to exchange for 3 - 5 gift cards each month.)  Even though we're only talking $5 at a time, you would really be surprised at how quickly it adds up.  There are other increments of Amazon cards you can save up for, but having done the math, the $5-for-450-bucks is the best deal in the long run.

Once I've saved up enough Amazon cards to purchase what I want, I make sure to get items that qualify for free shipping.  Your Amazon purchase has to add up to at least $25 to get the free shipping, but I'm more than happy to do that.  After all, free is free!!

If you would like to check out Swagbucks, click HERE!  If you have any questions or would like more info, please don't hesitate to ask...this is a program that has given me so many free goodies, so I'm happy to help! Oh, and FYI...quite a few blog readers also participate in this program, and I know from one very sweet reader (hi Kristan!) that it works in Canada too.  My understanding is that it works world wide, although some different prizes may be offered in other parts of the world.

One more fyi...this isn't a sponsored post or anything like that.  I just really believe in this program since I've seen it work over and over.

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E