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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday's Tutorials FCCB

Hi Everyone and Good Morning!

We have a new Thursday Tutorial over at FCCB to check out today.  It's a cute one with some great tips that you won't want to miss if you own or are interested in the Gypsy.  Head on over there and check it out.  Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.  They are always much appreciated.

XO ~ Amy Jo

Thank you for your Time - card for challenges

Good late evening to you my friends!

I created an easel card that I wanted to share with you and enter into a few challenges.  My friend called and said she would like to send a thank you card to her doctor and the gist of it was to thank him for spending extra time with her, dealing with her health issues via email and over the phone, etc. so I thought, what better theme than a "Thank You For Your Time" card.  It just so happened I had ordered a bunch of time themed items from my Memory-Works store.  If you're interested in any of the items I used on this card, you can purchase them directly through me and first time customers get 10% off their entire order!   Check out our products at  I do not have a consultant page set up so if you find anything you want to buy (which you will, trust me), ;0)  please email me or comment on this form and I'll get you all set!  Their prices are truly cheaper than you can find in most stores and we carry Tim Holtz, Bo Bunny, etc.  I used Tim Holtz and Bo Bunny on this card and bought the items at my store!  I'll give you the details later, but for now, here are some pics.  I'm very pleased with the way it turned out and think the doctor will really like it.  Let me know what you think!

Front of card, tucked behind

Easel part

Bottom borders

Closeup of left side and top

Full view of card w/o easel part

This card was made with a 12x12 sheet of Kraft card stock cut down to 6x12", then folded to form the easel.  I added an extra strip to the back (3" strip, pasted at 1", so had 2" remaining at the top) to make the card a 6" square.  Without that extra strip, the card would have been around 4x6", which was just too small for what I wanted to do with it.  I inked the edges of everything, including the background cardstock along all the folds with Colorbox cat's eye ink in Dark Brown and Olive Pastel* I built the card from the bottom up.  I placed a  strip that  I cut from a Tim Holtz 12x12" book*, at the bottom of the front of the card.  Next up, I ran a piece of Bo Bunny paper from the Timepiece Collection 6x6 pad* through the Sizzix Texture Boutique (STB) with a cute little border folder from Cuttlebug.  On top of that I added a piece of wallpaper (can you believe it) that cut to size and tore the bottom edge for a more rugged look.  On the left side of the card, I pop dotted a rectangular print from the same Tim Holtz collection (Lost and Found)* and used stickers from the Bo Bunny Vicki B. Combo Stickers collection* that say "For Your" and I added a metal tag from Tim Holtz that says "Time", adhered with just a brad from the Bo Bunny Time Collection* so it could swing freely.  Above that I adhered a "Thank You" sticker that was from that same Bo Bunny collection.  I think it turned out perfect!  Finally, I decided to make sure that the easel would stay up so I tucked the front cover behind a pop dotted, zigzagged cut piece of Kraft cardstock that I stamped with the cutest Hero Arts Tiny Stamps that have the Chinese symbol for and words Longevity and Health.  Appropriate for a doctor, I think. :0)  I also stamped the two corners with the health stamp.  I used mostly my ATG for adhesives, along with pop dots, of course.   If you have any questions, please let me know!

Originally I bought all of this stuff for a very fun Alice in Wonderland project I have in mind, but I have plenty of extra to use for that so I thought I'd make this and as I mentioned above, enter some challenges.  Wish me luck!

The Altered Alice - Chapter 4, Week 4 - TIME
You Had Me at Craft - Week #2, Made it Myself Monday
Whimsical Wednesday - Week #7, Back to Basics (Cricut-less)
Getting Cricky - Vintage

* = You can purchase this item directly from me at 10% off the price on the Memory-Works website.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Greetings from Colorado Card - Challenge Post for RRR


Hello Lovelies,

First off I wanted to thank you all for the wonderful comments and support I have been receiving from you all lately.  I read each and every comment and if I don't get back to you right away, please forgive me as I literally receive around 800 emails a day.  Some days I don't get on the Internet, if I'm not feeling well from my Fibro, so that really puts me behind in my correspondence.  I will work through the comments and emails as I can and try to get back to each and every one of you and check out your blogs too!  I do a little bit each day that I feel well.  It means so much to me to hear from you all.  Just brightens my day so thank you again! :0)

For today, in addition to my FCCB post, I have a card that I created for a card swap and decided to enter it in a few challenges. I really wanted to use my new Campin' Critters cartridge and the theme of this card was perfect for that.  I found the perfect image to represent Colorado and am very happy with the way it turned out.  At least on the outside, I'm not thrilled at all with the inside.  I stamped some images and the little square edges appeared slightly so I tried to cover them with chalk, but that just made it a muddy little mess.  There was nothing I could really do about it at that point though because the card was already finished! :(  I hope it's still ok and I hope my friend who receives it can overlook that and still enjoy the card.  Does anyone have any tips on how to handle that situation?  Meaning, when you stamp an image and you get ink on the edge of the rubber and it imprints on your card?  I never know what to do when that happens and I don't know if there's a trick to avoid that.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Also, does anyone know a good trick to cover up marker if your marker bleeds a little outside the line?  That's another one I struggle with.  I'm sure I can't be the only one who has these problems, right? ;)

On to the card du jour...
Front of card with jute twine

Top of card - closeup

Bottom of card - closeup

Inside of card - stamped

Side view of card with jute

Side view to show dimension - tons of popped dots were used on almost every layer!

This card is a 5x7" and I decided to round the corners to soften it a bit.  I used some fun colors on this one.  The background is a bright (almost fluorescent) green and on top of that I used this great striped pattern paper with chrome (mirror-like) silver stripes.  I was thinking of using the Imagine for the mountain scene, but I really wanted to separate all the layers so I could pop dot them (used different thicknesses) and make them three-dimensional like it would be in real life if you were looking at the mountains from a distance. There are four layers of color for the mountains... white cardstock for the snow caps, light purple cardstock for the mountains, periwinkle blue for the river, and the trees and greenery are actually a slightly printed patterned paper.  I pop dotted most of the layers. Next, I had to outline the trees with Stickles to show where the trees ended and the grass began because I didn't feel like cutting another layer for the trees.  I just kind of winged it and drew where I thought they should end.  I used Glossy Accents on the river/lake to add some depth and I like the effect it gives without totally filling it in.  At the top of the mountains, I added a cool chipboard Colorbok piece that I thought looked like a sunburst.  I also added a piece of ribbon that I got from the dollar section at Target, I think, to kind of break the scene apart from the greeting   Below that is the stamped sentiment from part of a Stampin Up stamp (it said Season's Greetings so I masked the top part)and a cute chipboard accent from Colorbok.  I then added three fabric colored brads because the gal who gets this card loves brads (or so I've heard ;)).  Then I added some stamped images to the inside of the card, a strip of the same paper I used on the front, outlined with a brown Zig, finished my greeting and inked all the edges and added a few wraps of jute to the fold.  That's it for this one.  Adhesives used were my ATG gun, Zig 2 Way Glue Pen, Red Tape, and some pop dots.  Hope you all enjoy!

If anyone wants details of brands, please let me know and I'll do my best to get them posted.  I just wanted to speed up this post a bit.

XO ~ Amy Jo

Challenges Entered:
Really Reasonable Ribbon (RRR) - Anything Goes #24

FCCB Challenge Me Monday Post - #61 Blue Skies

Good morning!  I'm sure not up yet, so  I created this post last night because goodness knows when I'll actually be awake or not.  I'm having some severe insomnia.  Saturday night I was up until around 6:00 in the morning!  Gave me a lot of time to blog hop and work on cards without the usual interruptions from the dogs, pig, phone, husband... :p  Hmm... I think I just had an epiphany!  I've been having insomnia because it's the only way I get any work done! LOL

Enough of my rambling about that.  We've got a challenge to do!  For today's post, I decided to revamp an old scrapbook page from my first scrapbook from 2002.  This was about the 2nd or 3rd page I had ever done and there just weren't that many tools or options back then so, obviously, not a real pretty page. LOL  I have posted before and after pictures to show you how much the Cricut can help an old page!  Plus, I just had no desire to make a card.

The challenge today is to create a project using at least one Cricut cut, clouds and blue.  We'd love for you all to head over to FCCB to participate in this weeks' challenge.  You might even win a prize from one of our awesome sponsors!

On to the before photo... (Pay no attention to the awful photo of me driving. :p)

(This page was created with some punch outs, photos, a random sticker and some markers originally.)
and now (below) are the images of the revamped page, broken down into sections.

Whole page revision - I kept a lot of the original stuff but just added to it.  I couldn't bear to take everything off and start with a new paper even though this one has holes punched to fit my original album.  I hate wasting anything!

Addition of the sun & clouds.  I used my Gypsy, Imagine machine, Paper Pups, and Imagine More cartridges for this one.  This is all one piece and I think it's just awesome!  I colored in the clouds and half of the sun/moon with my Copics.  I then Stickled the whole thing in Waterfall and Yellow.  Paper pups came with my Gypsy and prior to this, I had never used that cartridge.  Now I'm happy I have it! The frame around the picture was an original element and I still think it's pretty cute since this was a road trip.

I revamped this part by removing the circular photo (luckily it came up easily) and adding a background scalloped circle to it, created with my Gypsy, Imagine machine, Country Carnival, and Imagine More cartridges.  After cutting and printing out the blue patterned scallop, I also created the cute little "Journey" label on the Imagine and used Glossy Accents over the top.  I decided to outline the picture with a brown Zig marker and then add Cinnamon Stickles dots around it, as well as inking all my edges with a Colorbox cat's eye pad.  The little cloud (as well as the rest of the clouds on the page) were created from a Paper Pups cloud border.  I used the insides of the border and had the outside border colored in blue on the Imagine.  I also added Waterfall Stickles and some little dots with my Zig pen.  I pop dotted the cloud on this one.  The pop dotted car was part of the original page.

Finally, I used some more clouds, but no pop dots and on the writing above, I added Waterfall Stickles.  All in all, I think the extras that I added to the page made it so much more enjoyable to look at.  What do you all think?  Hope this inspires you to go through some old pages and try out some new techniques!

Thank you all for checking out my post today and be sure to enter the challenge yourself!  We love to see your work and interpretations of our challenges. :0)

XO ~ Amy Jo

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thursday's Tutorial at FCCB

Hi Again,

Please scroll down as I have one more post today.  It's time again for another fun Thursday's Tutorial over at FCCB this week, hosted by yours truly. 

I have found a really helpful thing that everyone should create to keep organized!  Interested yet?  I hope so!  Head on over there and check it out!

Thanks and have a Fantabulous day!

XO ~ Amy Jo

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Graduation Card for Challenges and a Good Friend

Hi there Friends!  It's been a little while since I've posted a project for my blog and I have a bunch lined up to post!  I've been a busy little beaver, when I'm awake that is.  I still have this overwhelming fatigue consuming most of my days, but for some reason, I'm up all night, every night. 

The card I'm posting today is for my best friend who just graduated with a Master's Degree.  I have spent more time on this card than I've ever spent on one.  I kept putting it together piece by piece until I finally completed it.  It seems every couple of days I would think of something else to add!  I also wanted to enter some challenges so I had to keep adding to be eligible for those.  Her graduation colors were navy and gold so that's what I based this card on.

I used the Gypsy and my Expression for the die cuts on the card.

I will be entering this card into the following challenges:

Scrapalicious - Challenge #3, Graduation
My Craft Spot - Congratulations
HappiLeigh Scrappin Challenge - Faux Stitching
Really Reasonable Ribbon - Anything Goes

There are several pictures because some of the challenges required elements that are in the inside of this card.  Thanks for your patience!

This is the front of the card.  RRR's challenge requires the use of ribbon.  I have used two different kinds here from my stash, plus the gold springy ribbon on the side of the card.  It is tied into a bow, but I didn't take a great picture of that! :p

The background is navy blue cardstock from my stash and I used my Sizzix Texture Boutique with a Cuttlebug folder to create the embossed swirls.  I used deckle scissors for the edge and added a strip of gold paper from my stash to the edge.  I used the same gold paper on the scroll which was cut from the Cricut cartridge, Wild Cards, as was the sentiment.  I used gold Stickles to add some definition to the scroll and the sentiment.  I also used a brown Zig pen to further define the scroll.  This is the first time I have ever tried to cut thin paper on my Cricut.  It did a fantastic job. 

Next is the graduation hat.  I cut one layer of the navy cardstock and then made a slightly bigger same cut for the gold, on my Gypsy.  I then added the tassel.  All of these cuts are from Wild Card as well.  The cartridge didn't contain just a plain graduation cap so I had to tweak it a bit and do some cutting by hand, but I think it turned out pretty well.  Once again, I added Stickles for more definition.  I also added little dots of Stickles all over the background of the card, where the swirls would end.

This is how the inside of the card looks when you open it.  As I said, I just kept adding, and adding... LOL

I really wanted to enter the challenge at My Craft Spot, but they were requiring a "Congratulations" card.  Since mine said "For the Graduate" on the front, I needed to add "Congratulations" somewhere on there.  First I cut a strip of textured paper from my stash and I was just going to glue it to the card, tie it with a bow and write a note on the inside. It could have folded out directly from the card, but then I realized that for another challenge, the HappiLeigh one, I needed faux stitching somewhere on the card so I decided to make a little pocket to put the note in and faux stitch around it with my blue ink Zig pen (shown better in next picture).  I just cut it by hand and used the same Cuttlebug folder for texture.  I inked all the edges with Colorbox ink (dark brown) and on the personal note I used a Stampin' Up stamp (congratulations) and a random stamp with Stampin' Up ink.  I used a Stampin' Up stars background stamp dipped in gold ink for the background of the personal note.

Here's a close up of the pocket with the faux stitching.

The personal note I tucked inside.

Closeup of the front of the personal note.  You can pull it out and read it by pulling on a cute tiny clothespin that I added after the pics were taken.

Lastly, I found this vellum quote that I liked and backed it with that same gold paper.  I added 4 gold brads and gold Stickles (even made my own little flourish)!  I used vellum adhesive, but it still shows through.  That stuff is so hard to work with, but if anyone has any tips on that, I'd really appreciate it!

Once again, the finished project.  The cap and the lettering are popped up with large and small pop dots.

Whew!  That post took almost as long as it took to make the card! LOL  Thanks for hanging in there with me (if you made it all the way through).  I appreciate you all taking the time to check out yet another card by Amy.

Have a great night and get some sleep (like I should be doing)!

XO ~ Amy Jo

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stamps Wanted - Stampin Up Fun and Fast Notes

Hi Everyone,

I have a quick question.  Does anyone out there have the Stampin' Up Set, Fun and Fast Notes?  I'm wanting a set so bad, but can't afford to pay full price for them so was wondering if anyone had a set that you could sell me and if so, what kind of cost?  Please respond to me via this blog or email at amyjrockstar at gmail dot com.  I would b THRILLED to find someone with that set!

Thanks all!  Hope you're having a wonderful week!  Have a lot to post, but my health is still acting up.  Been sleeping all day for some reason.  Broke my toe a few days ago, then tripped over the dog and really messed it up yesterday!  Aaaaah!  Grr.  Hopefully will be back up and running soon!

Amy Jo XO

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thursday Tutorials: Floating Candle Card

Good morning Friends!  I have a really fun post in store over at Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog today.  I found an amazing tutorial on creating window cards with a twist on your Gypsy.  You just have to check it out!

Have a Fantabulous day!

XO ~ Amy Jo

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Yay! Another Awesome Award

Hi there and good morning!

I received this awesome award over a week ago and am just now getting to post about it!

I am so honored that Tiffany from Sparkled Memories (a lovely blog, btw) chose me as one of the lucky recipients of "The Cricut-tastic Award".  She has a great site so please, as friends of mine, pop on over there and check out her blog.  She has some great creations over there!

Now on to the rules. "Your Blog has been deemed Cricut-tastic! Wear this Badge proudly on your Blog and share it with friends! Since Cricut is 5 years old and they have an E2 out share this award with 10 people that you think have Cricut-tastic Blogs! You also have to tell 5 Cricut Related things about yourself."

My 5 Cricut things:

1. I have an Expression, Imagine, and a Gypsy... All of which my incredibly sweet husband bought for me.  I'm seriously thinking about getting the E2 now, too.   I just love Cricut machines so much!

2.  My goal is to have every cartridge made!  I currently own right around 50 of them! 

3. I have won 3 or 4 cartridges as blog candy!
4. When Cricut Machines first came out I knew someday I would want one, but I never thought I'd actually own one b/c I wasn't into papercrafting at that time.  Now,  I would be incredibly sad if I didn't have my machines.  They make all the difference in the world of papercrafting.
5. I can't figure out what my favorite cartridge is.  It changes every time I get a new one.  I think my top five are Create-A-Critter, Simply Charmed, Tie the Knot, Sweet Hearts, and Gypsy Font
Now, I have to choose 10 blogs to receive this award.  I will be back in a few days (hopefully sooner!) to post them and also the recipients of the Versatile Blogger Award.  I have several deserving blogs in mind, just have to get them organized!

Thanks for all your support and for helping me follow my dreams!

XO ~ Amy Jo

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Special Anniversary - My Family History - Dad's Story Part I, A Tribute


Hello Loving and Caring Friends,

I have a little bit of personal information to share with you today.  Today is the 8th anniversary of my dad's death.  He passed away from stomach cancer that eventually turned into a very fast spreading liver cancer.  The stomach cancer is a hereditary type so I have to always be on guard with that.  Anyways, every year this day rolls around and everything comes flooding back to me.  I was there when he passed and that memory will be one that I will never lose.  Every year on this day, I always want to do something special for my dad, but can never think of what.  I'm going to try to create a scrapbook layout later if I can bear to.  I still have a very hard time pulling out the pictures so this will be a real challenge for me if I am able to do it.  There is a lot in this post and if you don't want to read it, I would request that you please skip down to one really important section...What I've learned.  Please take the time to read this as it may help you.  Please ask me questions if you want to know more about any one of those topics.

To start, I wanted to share with you some little facts about my dad and then some lessons I've learned either from him directly, or since his passing.  I hope that's ok with you all and of course, you don't have to read on if you have no interest.  This really is something I'm doing for me so it's ok if you don't want to know all of this stuff.  It is a long post.

First of all my dad was born in 1941 in Chicago, IL and moved to Colorado in 1976, where he lived until he was 61 (age of his death). Had he been alive, he would be 70 his November 26th.  He married my mom at the age of 21 (she was just 16)! My parents had just celebrated their 40th anniversary a few months before he passed. (Feb. 25th to be exact, three days before my birthday). They had my brothers in 1963 and 1965.  I came along quite a bit later (as a bit of a surprise) in 1979!  My dad grew up in Chicago with three brothers and his Ma and Pa.  That's what he called them. :)  I never did meet my Grandpa.  He died around the same age my dad did, I think. I was lucky enough to spend a lot of my childhood with my grandma, however.

Before I was born, my dad was a musician for a while until he broke his arm and it was set incorrectly.  He had a pretty rockin' band I guess and even did opening acts for people like Marty Robbins and Chubby Checker and the Dave Clark 5.  I'm sure lots of you won't know who they even are, but I sure do and I'm proud to say that about my dad.  Other jobs he did before I was born was being a cop in Chicago (of all places!)  It was a rough job for him and I don't even know how long he did this.  I just heard a few stories here and there, but I know he was a cop while my brothers were little.  Later in life, my dad got his music bug back again and started up a band and played all the time for the last few years of his life.  He had a band with his best friend who is now my stepfather!

When I came along, my parents and brothers had moved to Colorado and my dad did mostly electrical work, sign painting, and selling things at flea markets.  We were in the Southwest corner originally.  He traveled sometimes for work until I was 12 and then we moved to Colorado's Western Slope.    My dad was always an entrepreneur and I really only remember him having one job where he actually wasn't his own boss.  He taught us kids everything and we have followed suit!  We are all entrepreneurs too!  My oldest brother took over the flea market business and still does that and is very successful.  He also owns a store.  My middle brother took over the sign shop and became very successful at that (he sold it a few years ago and now does a multitude of things) and my first husband and I took over my dad's electrical contracting company.  My ex still owns and runs it to this day.  My dad taught him everything he knew about the business and my ex is very successful at it!  I learned how to work for myself too and I can't imagine working for someone else unless it's doing something I really love.  He taught us all that we could do anything we set our minds too.  My dad could do anything and was so great at everything.  It was amazing really, how smart and talented he was.  He was an artist as well (as are my mom, middle brother and myself). 

Now I'm making it sound like my dad was just perfect, which of course, he was not.  He had a hot temper and often his children paid the price of that, but as he got older, his temper got cooler.  We all respected him still very much and I loved him more than I ever knew at the time.  Often I find myself wondering about how my dad would handle a problem or a situation that I'm having, in order to get through it and it really works for me.  I always felt so safe with my dad.  Nothing could ever scare or hurt me.  For the first year or so, there were many times when I would pick up the phone to call him to ask a simple question and then the realization that he was gone would hit.  Losing someone you love is the hardest thing you will ever go through in this life, I believe.

On a bit of a happier note, I'd like to share with you some interests and loves of my Dad...

Some of my dad's favorite things in no particular order were:
  • music
  • art
  • creating and inventing
  • woodworking
  • potato chips :0)  & candy (lots of it!)
  • guitars
  • nice cars
  • travelling
  • fishing - we always went and he and my brothers and ex-husband entered many tournaments through the years
  • his garage (it looks the same to this day - I still can't go in there because things are still lying where he left them)
  • TV Shows like - Alf, Bonanza, Dinosaurs, Evening Shade (shows that most people have long ago forgotten, but I never will)
  • Laurel & Hardy - don't know who they were?  You better look 'em up if you're gonna be my friend! LOL ;0) 
  • visiting his brothers - they all lived in separate states - we were in Colorado, his brother Bob was in Chicago, Ray lived in Arizona, and John Jr. lived in Minnesota (fun trips for us!)
I'm sure there's a million more things, but my gosh, I am sure I am boring you all to death!  To finalize this post, I just wanted to share some things that I have learned and that I live by, thanks to my dad.

  1. Never leave or hang up the phone without saying you love someone (if you do of course, love them) or say goodbye or stay safe or whatever, but never hang up the phone even if you are angry.
  2. Life is short.  Don't work yourself to death.  Forget about retirement.  Live now, while you are young and while you are able.  Cleaning and sleeping can be done later.  Don't waste your chances and time you could spend doing what you want to do.  My biggest pet peeve is people who can't go anywhere or do anything because they have to clean their house constantly.  I'm tidy, but not spotless, and I like a clean house too, but I will never let it interfere with my relationships and doing things I want to do.
  3. I learned to lose my anger almost completely.  We have very hot tempers in my family and I used to be horrible!  I have learned to control that and my life is sooooooo happy now.  I stopped being angry and mean almost the instant my dad died.  There is NO reason to treat another person like they are not worth as much in this world as you are.  Every person deserves love, kindness, and respect... especially if they are kind to you.
  4. Never take anyone close to you for granted.  One day they or you will be gone.  It's as simple as that.  Be thankful for the people who surround you.
  5. Life is too short to not do what you really want to do or to stay in a situation because of guilt or fear or whatever it may be.  My motto for the last 8 years has been "Never Settle".  And I do mean that!  NEVER SETTLE FOR LESS THAN WHAT YOU DESERVE, which is true and utter happiness and love in every way.
  6. Don't let ANYONE treat you badly.  Don't allow it to happen.  Don't just sit there.  Tell them you are a wonderful person and deserve to be treated as nothing less than that.  Nobody can walk all over you unless you allow it.  Stand up for yourself!
  7. Be thankful for all you have. 
  8. Don't expect someone to make you happy.  Be happy with yourself, with being by yourself because in the end, all you have left is you.  Everyone is on their own journey.
On that note, I am closing this post.  I have exhausted myself, but in a very good way.  I hope this touched at least one person.  If it did, that will make writing this even more worth it. :0)  Thank you all for hanging in there with me through this day.  It is a very rough one and you can bet I'll be crying more than once.  I miss my dad terribly and no matter what anyone says, that will never ever stop.  I will always cry on the day he died, on his birthday, Christmas Eve, Christmas day and Valentine's day.  Those were all special days with my dad and I want to remember him and honor him with my thoughts and prayers and tears those days.  Thank you again for listening and have a wonderful day/evening.

Extra hugs today,
Amy Jo

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Challenge Me Monday - #59 - Teacher Feature

Happy Monday! (Is there such a thing? :p)

In my world, the days all run together.  I guess since I don't have a full time job, I should be thankful that I don't have to worry about the normal things like getting up at a certain time and doing things on a certain time frame.  It really can be a luxury to not have to be on a defined schedule, although, I do miss having a routine sometimes though.

Anyways, onto today's Challenge Me Monday.... Wait, first a totally silly side note.  So I'm watching Shania Twain's new show and I told my husband how her husband cheated on her with her friend and Shania ended up falling in love with her friends' husband (who of course had also been cheated on) and you know what my husband said?  He said "That don't impress me much".   Ha ha ha ha!  That was the funniest thing ever!  Wonder how long it took him to think up that one?  I dunno, but it truly was cute and funny!  Now, onto the challenge!

For this challenge (yes, you are all invited to play along for prizes) at FCCB, we were asked to come up with a project for a teacher featuring the color red.  Always on FCCB, the idea is to use some sort of a Cricut cut.  I thought this would be more of a challenge for me since I have no young children or teachers in my life, but I happened to have just the perfect paper on hand!  So here is my take!

#1 Teacher Front

#1 Teacher Inside of Card

I had a lot of fun with this one actually.  I used Makin the Grade for the apples and the #1 Teacher part.

  • Background paper, yellow & red cardstock & black corrugated paper from my stash
  • Fabric border, brad and button from stash
  • I used Stickles on the apple leaf, branch, and #1 Teacher
  • I used Joann's awesome glue for the strip of fabric and just kindof squished it up a bit and put i on ther and adhered it a little better with the shiny red brad. 
  • Of course, pop dots - not sure if I've ever done a card without 'em! :0)
  • Finally,  I used my black zig pen to draw a border around the inside strip of paper
Welp, that's it.  Sweet and simple.  Hope you all enjoy and please read on for my other post.  I have a much more serious post coming up, but it's something I feel is important to share with you all.  Stay tuned!

XO ~ Amy Jo

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thursday's Tutorials

Hi Everyone!

I have some more exciting news.  Robin over at FCCB has so kindly chosen me to help out with the Thursday Tutorials!  Every Thursday on the Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog I will be writing up a little feature including an awesome tutorial that I have found on the Internet.  Each week will be something different, but they are bound to be fun and informative.  I hope you all will check it out and give some suggestions as to what other tutorials you would be interested in seeing.  Normally these tutorials will feature the Cricut machine and everything associated with Cricut.  While you're over there, don't forget about Challenge Me Mondays where you can enter our challenges and win prizes!

For those of you that have popped over here from there to finish the blurb about Fibromyalgia and more of my story, here it is...  Fibromyalgia is a chronic widespread pain disorder with no cure and no certain cause. It can be very debilitating to the point of sometimes needing a wheelchair and sometimes not being able to get out of bed, except to use the restroom, for days or months on end. It has changed my life drastically, but not all for the worse. I am extremely lucky to have very supportive friends, family and especially my patient and kind husband. When you develop an illness like this you really find out who your true friends are!

Through this illness I have discovered the joy of paper-crafting. I’ll admit, years ago, during my first marriage and before my father passed away, I used to love scrapbooking and got obsessed with it for about a year. That all fell by the wayside when my life started changing and sadly, I left the craft for about ten years. Then,when I fell ill with Fibro and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), I went from being a very active person, holding down two jobs and enjoying a very busy social life, while attending online classes from the Academy of Art University for fashion design, to gradually being practically bedridden for a very long time. In fact, I still spend quite a bit of my time in bed due to the extreme pain and fatigue associated with Fibro & CFS.

As you can imagine, that gets old real fast.  I needed something to do to keep myself sane so I looked to the past and remembered my long lost friend, my old scrapbook.  I didn’t hesitate. I went right over to the local scrapbooking store and within a week I was signing up for classes (I didn't care how much pain I was in)!  I even took on some part time work at the store for trade in supplies! That was in September of 2010 and eventually I was unable to continue even working my light schedule there so I had to quit, but now I have a home-based business and take custom orders for any type of papercrafting such as cards, layouts, mini albums and very soon, shirts, onesies, aprons, and other fabrics too! (I'm getting a Yudu!)  I realized that to thrive and make it through this disease I needed to get back into my creative self and the more I create the more I come up with and the more ideas I have.  This hobby is limitless!  It's amazing and it keeps me going.  Now don't get me wrong, there are still lots of days where I can't get out of bed to create or do anything, but those are the days when I blog if I can or I come up with ideas and goals and let's not forget... online shopping! LOL I never let the illness get in the way of that.

 No matter how ill I am, when I step foot into my newly converted craft room, which, btw, is pink, black and white and includes a zeba print rug LOL (trying to relive my childhood or something I guess), I get an instant surge of joy coursing through my body. Those of you that love the craft as much as I do must understand what I’m talking about. I’m sure you’ve all felt it too. Just the smell of the paper and looking at all the gorgeous tools and products gets my gears turning and my heart smiling!  So now, here I am, just trying to do what I love and hoping that eventually I will be a success at this and it will become my career.  I have so many dreams and goals and no illness will ever hold me back.  I have too much to do to let it rule my life!

Well, I'll close on that note and I'll thank you all for listening and understanding and again, being on this journey with me.  I know a lot of you have heard all of this in some form or other for me, but I have to keep repeating it so I can remind myself of all the reasons I have to keep on keeping on.

Goodnight to all!  I'm off to finish my Mother's Day cards.  :0)

XO ~ Amy Jo

P.S.  If you know of anyone who needs anything custom made, please think of me and remember, I'm a Memory Works consultant, Amway distributor, Be Young Essential Oils distributor, and soon to be T-shirt designer in need of people who need these things.  Oh yeah, I also make custom jewelry and design fliers, invitations, business cards and just about anything you can think of.  :0)  Thanks all.  Much love.  I believe in paying it forward.  Keep that in mind too. ;)