Tuesday, December 23, 2008

True Meaning of Christmas

Happy Tuesday everyone! Is Christmas really just a few days away? Should I be done wrapping and making gifts?! Nah!! First of all, I wanted to say congratulations to my friends Laura and Neal who welcomed their baby boy, Tyler Michael into the world on December 22. He weighed just 4 lbs. 12 oz. and was 18 in. long. He was born at exactly 11 am. We are all so glad he is finally here and I cannot wait to tell him that I was the crazy lady who was always talking to him through his mommy's belly!

I love getting my mail this time of year. Of course, there is the occasional bill but my box is also full of Christmas cards. I get to catch up on everyone's lives and see pictures of children who are growing up way too fast. As the days have gone on, I have felt a little bit sad because I knew I would not be getting one of my favorite Christmas cards. Every year, our dear friend Lucy would make a card with a photo collage of her family. There would be pictures of her children, grandchildren, and her husband throughout the whole year. It would be like taking a trip through their whole year in one card. Lucy passed away earlier this year and even though I knew it was impossible, I still hoped her card would be there this year. Yesterday, it was! I can guess that her children put it together, but there it was, just as Lucy would have done it. It is full of fun pictures that show that life does go on. There is a quote on the card that says, "Smile, open your eyes, love and go on. You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday." So, even though this time of year is stressful, hectic, and does not always bring out the best in all of us, take the time to love those around you and truly be grateful for each day we are given! Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Joy to the World

I have a secret to admit. I am not really the creative one of my family. My sister Joy is! On Friday night, we were having our monthly craft night. She had finished her thank you cards (sick huh!) and looked at the scraps I had. Her eyes lit up! She took my scraps of various sizes, a 12 by 12 canvas, and some Mod Podge and made this cute little wall hanging. What a cute and easy gift! You can buy the canvases at most craft stores and they come in different sizes. I have also painted them and added pictures. Joy made me one for my birthday that I hang in my bedroom. If you make one, be sure to let it dry overnight. Now dig through your scraps and make a last minute gift that is one of a kind. I must go listen to my Kenny and Dolly Christmas CD. (The best Christmas CD ever!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I hear nothing - no constant talking and giggling, no strange funny noises that often come with a smell, no children. Winter vacation has begun!! I can now think about Christmas! (But, I must say, my students spoiled me this year. They gave me so many wonderful gifts! I made them their own post it note holders with their initials. They told me, "You Rock!")

Tonight, I am having my second craft night. Not too many people are coming - it seems that everyone is so super busy. That is okay - we will still have lots of fun.

Here is my Christmas card. I know pink is not really a "Christmas" color, but I saw the paper and just fell in love with it. I used a stamp from Stampin' Up. I think it is called "Snow Angels." I colored her in with markers and then used some water and chalk to brush a light blue in the snow. The dark green is some paper I ran through my mom's Cuddlebug. Then I glued it all on a white card and attached a snowflake brad. Ah!
And, good luck to my friend Laura. (Remember the train book?) Laura is being induced on Sunday night so hopefully Tyler will be here before Christmas. I can hardly wait to see this little miracle!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Another Baby Gift!

Does it seem like December is just flying by?! Whoa there reindeer!!! Tonight, I made a cute frame for a baby shower that we are having at school tomorrow. (One of my fellow teachers is due any day now. Well, there are actually two teachers due at the same time so we are waiting to see which little boy comes into this world first!) I was not sure what to do, so I had a wooden frame from Michael's and I painted it orange. She does not really like the traditional baby boy colors so I tried for something a little unique and different. Then I covered the front with patterned paper from Basic Grey. I cut out Evan and the stars from my Cricut - George and Mickey Font! I put the stars on chipboard to make them more sturdy and inked the edges. When it was done, I still thought too much wood was showing, so I lined the outer edge and the inner edge with brown ribbon. Ta da! Baby gift. I hope the new mommy to be likes it! Now, if I would just get started on my Christmas projects!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Let the Shopping Begin!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! (A few days late!) Hope everyone had a wonderful day and went shopping on Friday! My mom, sisters, and I went later in the afternoon and I finally broke down and did it! I bought a new camera. My old one kept taking fuzzy pictures and I wanted a Canon Rebel so I just did it. It was my contribution to the economy. I am posting some pictures I took with it. The only crafty thing I have done lately are my Christmas cards and I do not want to post those until my friends and family get them in the mail, so stay tuned. Here are pics of Joey. At least she stood still for a few minutes! (And, oh yes, I saw Twilight for the second time yesterday. We took my aunt. The book is SOOO much better but that Edward can invade my dreams any time.) Enjoy your week!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh Baby!

It has been too long since I have posted anything! That silly thing called work gets in the way sometimes! Why is it that work gets busy as your personal life gets busy too! Oh well - I should just be happy that I have work right?!

To celebrate the good things in life, my sister, Joy, had a baby shower for her friend Allison. We made some post it note holders for all of the shower guests to take home with them. We used the same animal stamps that we used on her invitations. I covered the chipboard coasters with paper from Martha Stewart and used the trusty old Bind - It All machine. Joy said they were a big hit!! Here are some pictures of my sister once they were done. Ain't she pretty!!! (And of course Joey had to get in the pictures too! She loves my sister so much!)

And, if you did not already know, Twilight the movie comes out on Friday! I am so excited. I honestly do not know how I am going to work all day. We already have our tickets and everything. Does that make us lame or what?!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Hangover

Happy Halloween everyone! (A few days late!) And, oh yes, the dreaded Halloween hangover. This is what I call the day after Halloween when children everyone crash from their candy filled night! I am so glad we did not have school! It is worse than Halloween! Ask any teacher. :)

As you can see, Joey is exhausted after this weekend. We passed out candy all night long on Friday night. On Saturday, we got up early to do the JDRF walk with Fox 10 news. My little sis, Heather, was in charge of organizing her group so we went and walked with her. Joey made it through the 3 mile walk and only stopped a few times. She was so tired when we got home but helped take down all of the Halloween decorations and get ready for Thanksgiving stuff.

For the past few weeks at school, we have been having a 13 days of Halloween movie contest. (This was for the teachers and staff to build spirit and morale!) Every day, I posted a movie clue. Those who wanted to participate, had to write down the name of the movie and the characters who were mentioned in the clue. I got the idea from PaperCrafts magazine of all places. Well, six people turned it in and two of those people got all of the clues right! One of them gets the grand prize of lots of Halloween goodies I got at Target. I thought the other 5 people also deserved a prize so I made these post it note holders for their desks. I got the idea from a You - Tube video. I used thin coasters and covered them with Halloween paper. Then I used my trusty Bind-It-All machine and put a pack of post its inside each one. On the outside, I used some Making Memories Clear Shapes that I just had to buy last year and finally found someplace to use them. Then I tied lots of colorful ribbons from Michael's on the top. Not bad for a second place gift. Let me know if you want the movie clues. It was a lot of fun and we are going to do the same thing for Christmas. What should I make then?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's a Jungle Out There!

It is finally Saturday! This has been one of the longest weeks ever! It was Parent Teacher Conferences! I dread Parent Teacher Conferences. My stomach has been in knots and I have felt sick every day! Now a cloud has been lifted and I am happy again. Conferences are so stressful. You never know which parents are going to love what you are doing and which ones are going to snap at you! Thankfully, this year's conferences went very well! No one yelled at me and no one said they wanted to kick my you know what! (Like some dad did last year!) I am just glad they are over. Our school also had our Fall Festival last night. I served pizza and popcorn for hours but we all had so much fun! I love seeing my students dressed up in their costumes. I also saw my childhood friend Cheryl and her daughters. Where does the time go?

This morning, I woke up extra early and finished this baby book for my friend Jillian and her new born son, Trenton. Jillian is our angel who taught first grade with us last year! I asked her what kind of book she wanted and she said, "Oh Holly, you are the creative one so do whatever you want! I trust you!) No pressure there! I knew she was having a jungle theme but I did not want to do an animal book where there would be ribbons hanging out of the giraffe's tush or anything. So, I took a 6 by 6 book and had animals sticking out around the pages! I cut out the animals using my Cricut machine. I used the Zooballo and Animal Kingdom cartridges. Again, I used the K & Company papers. For some added touches, I used the same stamps as we used in the baby shower card and stuck those animals all over the inside of the book. To top it all off, I put quotes about babies and little boys on each page. Jillian's shower is in about an hour so I finished it just in time! I always do my best work when I leave things to the last minute. :) Now maybe I should go do my hair and put on some makeup. I think I need a nap! Have a great weekend! (And congrats to my friend Jamie and his family. They are moving into their brand new house. I was supposed to have a bedroom in the basement but, because of budget cuts, my room was scrapped. His four year old daughter says I can sleep in their playroom. I feel the love!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Those Monkeys!

One of my sister Joy's good friends, Allison, is having her second baby boy in a couple of months. (Where are the baby girls lately?!) Joy is throwing a shower to welcome Baby Ian into the world so I helped her make this jungle inspired invitation. We used clear stamps from Autumn Leaves along with some green fibers. I am going to make some baby shower goodies with these stamps too. Don't they just make you smile?!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Whooo knew????

A couple of months ago, I started noticing owls were everywhere in scrapbooking. What in the world are they thinking? No one is ever going to want to use owls!! Yeah, right! I have caught the bug and now I think they are adorable. I bought a stamp set called Olivia and Pals from Sassafras. (My friend Donna carries them at The Paper Cutter's.) Tonight, I made several projects using my new fowl feathered friends. My friend Mary is turning 30? in a few weeks so I made her a birthday card to send back East with some goodies. (Mary and I have been friends since we met in 7th grade French class.) And my scrapbookin' soul sister Mandy is also turning 30? in a few weeks. I decorated an Altoids' tin with paper, ribbons and some owls. Inside she will find a gift card to one of our favorite places. Mary and Mandy - I hope you think these are a hoot! Get it? A hoot?! Oh boy, time to go and watch the season finale of Project Runway. Make it work!
And on a personal note, my friend Jillian just had a baby boy named Trenton Drew. He has had a rough first few weeks of life. Keep him in your prayers! His big brothers need him happy and healthy!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

All Aboard!

Spoiler Alert! If this is Laura, get off of this blog right now! You will spoil your surprise for Saturday!

Okay, everyone else can keep looking. I know I should post this after the baby shower for Laura but I cannot help it! This train book is for my friend and co-worker Laura who is having a baby boy this winter. Her husband loves trains and the baby's room is all trains so I made a train book. (Good thinkin' huh!?) I thought I would find a train on one of my Cricut cartridges, but no!!! So, I used the Cricut Design Studio and my trusty George cartridge and made my own train. If you want the cut file, just let me know. (I am still trying to find out how to send it!) Anyways, I made the pattern and then traced and cut it out of chipboard. I covered the trains with papers from K & Company. The papers are called Small Wonders and I used the Boy 2 sided-papers along with some of their matching embellishments. I love this book! It turned out really cute and really looks like a train! I hope Laura likes it too! We cannot wait to meet little Tyler who is already a blessing! Congratulations!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


September is coming to a close and October is not far behind! Now if only our 104 degree weather would start cooling down! Enough is enough!
To get in the spirit, I made these Halloween candy holders. I got the idea from the Scor-Pal website. Scor-Pal is an awesome tool that helps you make your own cards and lots of other stuff. (Of course, my friend Mandy told me all about it and I just had to get one. I found it at the convention.) I took one of their ideas and made it my own. Check out the original here! I took some patterned paper and cut it and scored it to make a little box. Then I used my decorative scisors and cut along the bottom front edge. I brought home some magnet tape from school and made each one open and close. To finish, I added some ribbon, a little diecut on a circle, and printed a greeting for the inside. Oops - do not forget the big bar of chocolate. I hope the little ghost and ghoblin I am mailing this to like them a lot! (I was thinking something like this might be cute for a Christmas card. What do you think?) And if you are living in a place where Fall has really begun, send it down here to the Southwest! Boo to you!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


"I've been waitin' all day for Sunday night!" Okay - this is a line from the theme song to Sunday Night Football. I have to post quickly because the Packers are playing the Cowboys. Huge game!!

Fall starts this week. It is a beautiful time in Arizona to get married. I will be going to several weddings over the next few weeks. I made this card for Danielle and Scott who are getting married this Saturday. Danielle's dad works for my dad and we went to his wedding many years ago. (I was just a little girl back then!) We are very excited for Danielle and wish her and Scott all of the best. I used a clear stamp from Autumn Leaves and then embossed it in black. Then I cut out the glasses using my Cricut machine. I found a small piece of ribbon and a cute love sticker.

Now I must leave and go watch the Packers! Have a great week!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Going Digital!

Happy Friday Everyone!!

For my birthday a while ago, my family bought me Adobe Photoshop Elements. Tonight I was looking over Ali Edwards blog and I got inspired to try digital scrapbooking. (Not sure why I felt the need to try this tonight although it might be the strawberry margarita I had at happy hour tonight!!) Digital scrapbooking, to me, is basically buying the background paper and embellishments online and downloading them onto your computer and using them again and again. I almost feel like I am cheating without all of the adhesive and scissors but oh well!! Anyways, I googled free digital scrapbooking and I found The Shabby Shoppe. I downloaded some free papers and embellishments and then I printed out a tutorial they had. The only thing I do not understand is how to add embellishments. Maybe I will try that tomorrow after some iced tea!! What do you think of my layout?! Not bad for a first timer! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


On September 7th, while I was watching football, my friend Jamie's dad was running an Ironman race. Don took part in his third Ironman in Madison, Wisconsin. I did not know much about the Ironman until Sunday when I kept track of Don's race on the computer. It consisted of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run. (I am tired just thinking about it!) My family and I are so proud of Don. I made him this card to let him know!

He did not do as well as he wanted to, so he ran another 9 miles today! That is dedication! (I got the card idea from this incredible website! This lady makes a new card every Monday and gives you video instructions!)

I am getting excited. The convention is this weekend. We are talking scrapbook heaven right here in Downtown Phoenix. I must control myself. Oh, who am I kidding! I will let you know what I find!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008


I loved this series of books and I cannot wait until the movie comes out! I know this has nothing to do with scrapbooking, but this series is incredible!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Happy Tuesday evening everyone! I made a gift for my mom this weekend and I wanted to share it with all of you. Every Wednesday during the summer, my mom and I would go to the movies. (My sisters joined us once - they do have to work - poor things!) My mom had not been to the movies since "Ocean's Eleven" came out so she was very excited. I decided to save all of our ticket stubs and make her a little scrapbook about the movies we saw. The front and back covers are chipboard covered in paper. I copied the movie posters and summaries from the internet and printed them out on cardstock. Then I gave each movie their own page. I bound the scrapbook using a Bind-It-All machine. This is an incredible machine that punches through just about anything. (There are great videos on YouTube about how to use it!) Now she has a keepsake about our summer fun. (And don't worry! I am not spoiling her surprise by posting these pics. My mom and dad are spending the week in Hawaii!!!!! She will get it when she gets back.) Aloha!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

New Shade of Green

Happy Saturday everyone! Yes, summer vacation has officially ended for us Zonies and school is back in full swing. I am teaching 3rd grade again and I love it! It just seems to get harder to get back into the swing of things each and every year. It is supposed to get easier after 12 years, right?!

Today, something momentous is happening. Not the Olympics, although those have been amazing! They have inspired me to get my butt off of the couch and start exercising. (Not that I have done that, but I have thought about that as I get my bowl of ice cream!) No, today Brett Favre is going to put on a different shade of green and start as quarterback of the New York Jets, instead of the Green Bay Packers. Some of you might not know that I am a HUGE football fan! I love the sport and usually get a little bit depressed after the Super Bowl is over every year. Why am I a huge fan? Well - here it goes:

Back in 6th grade, many moons ago, my dad was building our new house. He would go to work every day and then go to the house and work on it. We would stay up late to wait for him to come home. On Monday nights, there was not much on except for Monday Night Football. My mom and I went crazy over Joe Montana and the 49ers. I even had his poster hanging up in my room for most of junior high.

Then in high school, another quarterback named Brett Favre came onto the scene. He was incredible to watch! He was not only good, but looked like he was having so much fun. That is when our obsession with the Packers began. My sisters and I had cheeseheads and officially became fans. Later on in my life, I was lucky enough to become great friends with some geniune cheeseheads. In 2004, the Stoeckly clan let me travel back to Wisconsin with them and they took me to Lambeau Field. (I have been there twice and hope to go many more times!) The place is incredible. I cannot even put into words what it is like to walk into a stadium where 98% of the crowd is rooting for the home team. (Especially since my home team is the Cardinals.) It was freezing but so much fun. These layouts are from that game.

As some of you know, Brett Favre has left the Packers and is now with the Jets. Tonight is the first time we will see him in a different uniform. I am kind of nervous. Not sure why, but I guess the unknown makes you feel that way! I just hope he still has that fun sparkle that he had so many years ago! Good luck, Brett! But as always, Go Pack Go!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Last Days of Summer!

Hello there!

Sorry I have not posted in a while. I spent two weeks back in Wisconsin visiting friends. It was very wet and humid - typical weather for them, I guess. But usually I go back for the summer and LOVE it! My back is like a pin cushion from all the bugs. My friend's boat definitely made up for it! :) And I brought back a great tan, just in time . . .

To go back to work. Yes, it is almost time. I love Summer vacation! Love it! I am so sad to see it all go. While I am excited to teach 3rd grade again, I also worry about what the new year might bring. I think I get as anxious as the kids.

To hold onto summer, I am posting this layout from last summer. I used a mask to do the background and made the letters shiny using Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel.

Hope you are enjoying your days of summer too! Go put on your swim trunks and run around!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Shortie!

Just a quick note to say Happy Birthday to my little sister Heather! Yes - I call her Shortie. She is taller than I am but she is still my little sister so I still insist that she is shorter than I am. (It's a sister thing!) This layout is from last year. She and I did the Pat Tillman Foundation walk out at ASU. It was so much fun and very inspirational. The walk ended at the 42 yard line (Tillman's number) at Sun Devil Stadium. (I even snagged a handful of turf to keep!) We had a great time and I took this picture on our way out. The circle in the upper right hand corner slides to show some journaling. Heather has to work today (no one should have to work on their birthday) so I hope she has a great day!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Acrylic and Vinyl?

Hello everyone,

Years ago, when I started venturing into this hobby called scrapbooking, I used construction paper, rubber cement, and markers. Well times have changed. I just finished an acrylic album using paint, stickers, rub ons, paint samples, die cuts, and vinyl. Yes - vinyl!!! First of all, the album is clear so anything you put on one side, you see on the other side. This was a challenge. I used lots of paint to try to hide the back of things. I had to keep thinking - how will this look from the other side. Then, I remembered a lovely informercial about my wonderful Cricut machine. Use vinyl!!! So - my dad took me to a little place that sells vinyl. My Cricut cut through it like butter!! It is tricky to use and will take a little bit of practice, but it stuck instantly to the acrylic - no need for adhesive. I made the gold diamonds out of it and the yellow crown. Let me know what you think and I can get some for you too! On the very last page, the crown lights up! So much fun! (And the princess in this book is Kate, who is dressed like Belle!)

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Disneyland has always been THE vacation spot for my family and I growing up! My dad loves the place and knows everything there is to know about it. Several years ago, I think it was Spring Break 2005, my two sisters, parents, Jamie, Amy, their one year old daughter Kate, and I piled into my parents' motorhome and headed to the Mouse House. (We stayed at a hotel - we are not that crazy!) I finally started scrapbooking those pictures. I think vacation pics like these are the hardest to do because I get stuck in a rut. I want them all to look different, but still go together. The pink page is Kate riding the merry go round. I actually took apart a gold necklace and then hooked on the pictures with eyelets and string. Kind of different?! Sometimes I look at it and love it and then I look at it and want to tear it apart. The second page is Jamie, Amy, and I on a fast paced roller coaster. I used some crazy Basic Grey paper for the background. I did not think it needed too much else so I just cut out some letters using my Cricut Machine and let the paper do the rest. I have done about 30 pages so far for this album. Then I need to scrapbook our trip we took last October. (This time it was just my sisters and parents. Oh yeah, we took the motorhome and stayed in a hotel!) :) I might take a tiny break and do something else before I tackle another 30 pages. Hope you are enjoying the warm weather!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jamie!

Today is Friday the 13th! Kind of creepy if you believe in all of that stuff! But today is also my friend Jamie's birthday! I will not tell you how old he is - just in case he reads this but I can tell you he is older than me! By a few years! Kind of weird to think about it, but we would not have been in high school together! I know, I know - he is in his late twenties. :) But really, he is truly a great friend and is having a rough day so I just wanted to let him know I was thinking of him and wishing him the best! I also am posting a layout I did last year after visiting him and his family on the fourth of July. This is one of my favorite layouts. Take care, Jamie and Happy Birthday!

Monday, June 9, 2008


Hello everyone! Another Monday already? Time sure flies. I decided to post some of the pages I mentioned in a previous post. A few of the moms in my room had each of my students do some writing and a picture and then they made a scrapbook for me. The kids had to fill out these sentences:

I really like Ms. Hanson because . . .

A funny thing Ms. Hanson did . . .

A favorite thing that I learned from Ms. Hanson was . . .

Ms. Hanson makes me feel special . . .

They then wrote their name in markers (they loved this because I never let them use markers) and they drew a picture of themselves with me. Some of the answers were so cute. I love Jordan's. She wrote, "Ms. Hanson makes me feel special because next year we are going to be smart and if we are bad or good, she still loves us." Tears! Bryce wrote, "A funny thing Ms. Hanson did was when she pointed to the word under and then wear." It was neat, and sometimes embarrasing, to see what they remembered!

I am also including an idea for a card. Do you have any of these clear plastic letters? I think they are cute, but I never know how to attach them. I have tried many different adhesives and everything shows through. For this baby shower card, I just put a little button brad into the top of each letter and attached it to the papers underneath. The letters can move. It is simple, but I think very cute! And finally, I can use those clear letters!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

School's Out . . .

Did you hear all of our screams and cheers last Thursday? Don't worry, it was just my fellow teachers and I doing high fives and cheerleading moves up and down our hallway. School's Out for Summer! I have that song playing in my head. (I can totally play it on Guitar Hero!!) It is my new theme song! This year was a tough one and I am glad it is over. There were some high lights though. My room moms made me an awesome scrapbook that included pictures of each of my students. They all had to write something about me too! I teared up reading it - it was just precious. I should post some of those pages!

Since school is out, I decided to get back to work on my scrapbooks. My friend Barbie, who I went to college with, is expecting a baby girl this summer. Her shower is this Saturday and she will not tell us the name, so I made her this baby book. I hope she likes it! She is such a wonderful friend and deserves all of the happiness in the world. I cannot wait to meet her little one!

Oh, do you like the new background? Thanks to Amy Mikos - volunteer extrordinaire for helping me update my site. Check out her blog! Warning - you will want to get one of each!