New Year, New ME!

Hey strangers,
I know, I know...it's been a VERY long time. I dusted off my craft room, and got my fingers inky today. I think I found my mojo! I think I can start creating again. I am not sure if I will be consistent, but it is NEW year's eve, and I would like to make a New Year's resolution to try!

I have been so focused on my teaching, that I was simply overwhelmed by the thought of being in my craft room. I decided to force myself out of my shell, and make complicated Christmas cards (and stupidly expensive too) They came out perfectly. I was very pleased. They were inspired by Jennifer McGuire's card: here.

 Here is my take:

THEN I decided to add more names and addresses to my yearly (2016 here I come) birthday spreadsheet. When I really looked at the list, I realized that many of the names are male, and OMG! I have no manly cards at all! So, I have to get busy! When in doubt, duplicate a card you have made previously!

That is exactly what I did! I duplicated two different designs all in one day. Take a look!

I even found a bit of inspiration to create one solo card:

Sorry, the pictures are blah......I couldn't get outside to shoot the images.


This year is going to be sweet...

School starts tomorrow, and I get creative. These are gifts to the three teachers that mean the world to me. I thought this would be a kind way to start the year.

 Inside each one is a red candle. Very sweet! If you are interested in creating these apples, click here.


Coming back on-line!

Hello Everyone,
I have good news to share. My husband has a new found employment! In less than a month, he has made a lateral move to another company and starts later this week! I am so excited for him, and am overjoyed that we are financially stable once again.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support. I know our economy is improving, and our family has been very fortunate not to have been affected thus far, but when it hits, it is SO incredibly scary. I don't wish it on anyone.

I still have a few loose ends to pull together, and a craft room to dust off, but I will be returning to the craft world shortly. Again, thank you for your support and love, believe me it was felt!


Unforeseen Life Change

Dear Bloggers and my followers,
Due to an unforeseen life change, I am closing my blog for a while. I am unable to determine if and when I will be back. See you soon. Please keep us in your prayers.


Rubbernecker stamps - Flowers In The Breeze

I wasted no time. I came right home from the expo and had to play with all my new purchases. I whipped out my watercolor paper and a bunch of inks. I even went to the company's web site and watched a video on the new stamp I purchased. The company's name is: Rubbernecker stamps. Take a look:

 Aren't they amazing? I love the frames too! I know these photos are not the best. I had to take the photos inside. I wanted to post these quickly. There are many more to come! Thanks for dropping in! I can't wait to create some more!



I came, I saw, I totally enjoyed myself!

I had a great time at Stampfest today! I found a handful of great products that I just could not live without. Take a look!
Rubbernecker stamps make the best watercolor flower stamps EVER! This is my second flower stamp set I have purchased from this company. I met the man who designed these stamps. I love them! This one image takes four stamps to create. I even bought the frame stamps to go with them (see below) They look like they are hand drawn!

I picked up one more pack of pens, and mini pads. All colors I don't have.

 I wanted the flip flop die from PTI, but I found one from Impression Obsession!

 I needed TINY positive sentiments for my cards. These are perfect!

 I am so tired of refilling the small misters, so I picked up this hefty one!

The endless lines, and arm loads of stamps other customers were buying made me undeniably jealous, but also very sad. I even over heard one woman say "Please, don't tell me the total, I don't want to know." and she handed over her credit card to the vendor. Like.....Really?

I had a great time browsing and seeing some new trends emerging today. I have officially over-spent my crafting budget, but I have SO much card making to get done! Stay tuned to see some awesome creations!


StampFest - Lakeland

I am so excited! I have another awesome crafting event to attend this weekend. (I have to limit my funds because of last weekend.)

My mother-in-law lives in Lakeland, and I hope to drop in on her and spend some time with her before heading home. I will let you know what goodies I come home with!


Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day!

As I mentioned yesterday, I bought a bunch new stuff at the sidewalk sale at Whim-so doodle. The denim background stamp was perfect for Father's day cards! I found a post online that helped me make this card:

I love how this turned out. I think the picture actually helps with the realism of the seam. I totally had fun creating this card for my husband. (I even wrote a mushy love-y dove-y message on the inside of the card)

Enjoy your day and thanks for dropping in!


Sidewalk Sale at ~Whim So Doodle~!

Happy Saturday!

I think I am the luckiest girl in the world! I mean it! I am 45 minutes away from the BEST Scrapbooking/Cardmaking store in the state! Whim So Doodle. Twice a year they hold a SIDEWALK sale, where crafters can sell their unwanted goodies at amazing prices! Take a look at all the items I picked up today!

The photo isn't the best. This top photo is all the paper packs and stacks I bought. Of course many of them are used, a few pages are gone, but some are unopened. Those 6 in the bottom left are UNOPENED Stampin up! card stock. There is more SU! paper on the right in the three zip bags. That pile running in the middle are all mini paper packs (15 packs in total) Most are unopened. Three are Mulberry (never seen those before.....like fabric paper)

This second photo is hard to see. There is: Lots of bling and rhinestone packs, two retired, but new SU! stamps, four acrylic stamp sets, bag of stickers. a days of the week paper pad, a container of eyelets, a bottle of Matte adhesive, two stamp pads (SU! Taken with Teal and Kaleidoscope) and....wait for it..... FOUR NEW MINI DISTRESS INKS!!

Are you ready for the total cost of all these goodies. Both pictures, (placing hand on my heart) ..............I am not lying: .................$41.00!

I know this because I took out $40 at the ATM before I got there, and used four quarters from the bottom of my purse in a pinch.  Can you believe it? What a rush!


Live Love Cards Rainbow Challenge

Hello all!
I created a card that I could use for more than one challenge! (never done this before) I actually posted this card on SCS for their challenge, and forgot to post it on my blog.

I'm also submitting this card to LIVE LOVE CARD'S Rainbow challenge. I know I am about 2 months late, but I would like to submit it anyhow. (the card is just too cute)


Erin Lincoln & a Wish List on PTI!

Hello everyone!
I was cruising around in blog-land, and I came across these cards on Erin Lincoln's blog.

I immediately dashed over to PTI's website and threw all the new dies, stamps and paper I needed to recreate these adorable cards into the shopping cart!

Begrudgingly, I saw the total, and wiped away two very large dinosaur tears and ultimately didn't order. (on a teacher salary, I do this often)

I told myself that I will print out the PTI "wishlist" and if I still want it in a month or so, I would sell a few items to make enough money to afford these goodies.

In the mean time, AREN'T these SWEET???


Masculine Card and Digital Sentiments

Hello There!
As I was trying my hardest to create a more masculine card, I took a hard look at all the sentiments I own.

Each stamp set usually comes with two or so sentiments mixed in with the images. When I am deciding on a sentiment, I always gravitate to my clear stamp sets first, THEN as a second resort I reach into my wood mounted stamps.
I came to the sad conclusion that I do not own a variety of sentiments and even further, no masculine type phrases!

So, as I do, I ran to my computer and researched digital (digi) sentiments sets on google, Etsy, blogs and anywhere else that popped up.  I did not find much at all. I was TOTALLY surprised by this! I thought for sure some stamper would have created pages and pages of downloadable themed (possibly) sentiments in a variety of fonts. I even searched Etsy for a store of sentiments.....nothing.

How hard would it be to put together an Etsy store and sell set of themed sentiments? **gears turning** As a frugal stamper, I would pay a few dollars for a good sized arrangement of handy sentiments that I do not have stamps of. Wouldn't you?

Anyway, I created my own sentiment for this card. I love it! See you tomorrow!


Simon Says Stamp - Color of Fun release - Birthday Circle card

Hello Everyone,
As I check my favorite blogs, many of the artists I follow get the honor of introducing BRAND new products from my favorite store -  Simon Says Stamp!
This video is so whimsical, and her enthusiasm is contagious! I want all these new ink colors. (If only my bank account was bigger!) Enjoy this 3 minute video!


Addicted to CAS Challenge!

Good Morning!

With my blog cleaned up, I tackled my craft room! Inspiration hit me, and I grabbed my distress inks and created a very clean and simple card. I entered it into the Addicted to CAS Challenge!

As I was looking through my Distress inks, I wanted to know EXACTLY which ones I owned and which ones I am in need of. So I downloaded distress labels from here, and created my own cheat sheet to put in my purse for the stamping expo this month.
This chart is nice because it includes all the new ones released each month this year at the bottom. I wrote an "I" for the ink pads I have, and a "P" for the pens I have. The * are for my wish list. Maybe I am a bit anal retentive in the way, but I cannot remember everything!

Thanks for dropping in!


New changes to my blog!

I've been working and tweaking my blog tonight with the help of a good friend, Ching. It feels good to create substantial changes successfully. Take a look:
  • I installed a new template to replace the outdated one
  • Added a horizontal bar that lists 4 new pages
  • Completely re-organized and cleaned up the right sidebar
  • Created a new color coordinated signature

What a learning curve! I now know more about blogger coding and manipulation than I thought I could handle! (lol) Actually, it was very rewarding and (gulp) fun!


Live Love Card Challenge - Vellum

Hello Everyone,
With school out, I have time to join stamp challenges. This entry is for the Live Love Cards June challenge. (it is a membership site by Darlene Devries) The challenge is to simply use Vellum.

Very clean and simple. I believe these are hero arts stamps. The sentiment reads "My heart smiles with thoughts of you". The vellum lays on top of it with a cute ribbon.

I am still working on a list of challenges that I enjoy. One of these days I will win one!  :)

I love my MISTI!

Thank you for stopping in! I have been busy creating! I wanted to share my newest creations.

 This stamp is from rubbernecker.com. It is a beautiful stamp that I could never stamp just right. The outline is not meant to line up perfectly, but it was so frustrating to me when I stamped it WAY off. With the help of my MISTI, I produced 5 different cards with AWESOME results. I simply changed the ink color.

 On these two cards, I used a punch that I adore. It adds a bit of texture without taking away from the image. I can't seem to find a current link to it. It's called Fiskers- Border punch- "In Stitches" One site says it is new, another says it is discontinued.

 I am trying to give a new look to my blog. It is not the easiest task. It seems that each time I fool around with the layout or the template, I create more errors and displeasing results.

My husband and I are toying with buying an umbrella domain name. He wants my blog to be one section of the umbrella domain name. I try to express to him that blogs don't do well that way.

For example: He wants to purchase www.cmjenterprises.com. (short for Cindy Mark Jones Enterprises) That would make my blog name: www.cmjenterprises.com/designingduos.blahblah.  He doesn't understand the issue with that. I will keep trying to get him to see.

Off to create more!


School's Out! - Retirement Gift

Hey Everyone,
What a crazy last few weeks. I have done everything in my power to make time for my blog and craft room. Alas, I simply couldn't do it. As of Monday, I am on summer vacation! Watch me explode with creativity!

I am so excited to get crafting and back into my craft mode! But before I show you some cards I created, I wanted to share a retirement gift I created for a special colleague of mine. 

I wrote a poem about retirement and teaching 35 years. I had friends and co-workers sign around the frame. I has so much fun doing it, I read it to her at the retirement party.

Even though I have not had time to create, I have been following my favorite blogs VERY carefully. I am watching the stamping community evolve and the stamp companies release SO many cool sets and new products. I wish I made more money so I could buy it all! I will post a list of my favorite blogs soon.
Thanks for dropping in!


Happy Mother's Day!

Hello Everyone, thank you for stopping in! I am happy to report that the school year is winding down. I have four more weeks until the last day of school! I am very tired. I need a calm summer.  
  My daughter is coming over to pick me up and take me out to dinner for Mother's Day! How sweet. 

  While I am awaiting her arrival, I have a few moments to upload another few cards for the week.