Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Ornaments... Sparkly!


Well, I got a special request from someone to post how I made my wonderful sparkly ornaments. So here you go folks, it's a snap.

I'll start with the pictured items you'll need for this project (click on pictures to enlarge).



  • Pledge Floor Finish with Future Shine
  • Craft Glass Ornaments
  • Fine Glitter
  • Mod Podge (optional)
  • Hot Glue w/Gun (optional)
  • Embellishments (optional)
  • Funnel (not pictured)
  • Bowl for trash/excess liquid (not pictured)

Carefully remove the metal top from the ornament. Don't pull too quickly or roughly as you can chip the glass. Squeeze about a tablespoon of the Pledge Floor Finish inside the ornament, cover the top with your thumb and gently shake until the entire inside of the globe has been covered with the floor finish. Empty excess floor finish into trash bowl. Place the funnel in the top of the ornament and pour another tablespoon of glitter into the ornament. Cover with your thumb again and shake until the entire inside of the ornament is covered in glitter and set (it's about 2-4 minutes of shaking). Replace the metal ornament cap. And you're done!

Now as you can see from the pictures, I added some embellishments. While the glitter ornaments are pretty on their own, the embellishments add a sweet and personal touch. I just bought some mini ornaments and ribbon. I also cut out the word "Joy" on a piece of thin cardstock/patterned paper on my Cricut. I used Mod Podge to "decoupage" the word "Joy" to the ornament. The wonderful thing about Mod Podge is that it goes on white and dries clear (and with a pretty sheen), it's also wet enough to saturate the paper word "Joy" so that it will mould to the ornament and be completely attached when it dries. After about an hour, I applied a second coat of Mod Podge and let the ornament dry over night. I then hot glued bows and embellishments to the metal tops of my ornaments. Super simple and beyond cute! Another wonderful idea is to use glass paints to decorate the ornaments (I love those metallic paints) as well as etching liquid.... just a couple more ideas. Have fun with this and Happy Holidays.

*** Thank you to Happy Happy Joy Joy from Christmas with the Cricut for your wonderful how-to video! You can check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTvq2GPkm9U

*** Also, you can a find a Gypsy cut file for this cute little box that I made that happens to fit this ornament perfectly HERE!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Programmer

There are so many people who make "deposits" into our lives. Things that are said that we literally take to heart and make part of who we are. These people can be our programmers if we aren't careful. It starts with our parents and fortunately or unfortunately, THEY install our operating systems. What our parents and family tell us as children lays the groundwork for who we become down the road and what we believe about ourselves. Being so young, we have no reasoning skills and therefore no control of our mainframes. But there IS a point where WE decide what programs will be integrated and WHO influences our internal connections. In some cases (like in my case) the problem lies with needing to RE-wire the mainframe and upgrade that operating system.

If you're like me, because of bad wiring, it can be a struggle believing that you're good and strong and capable and deserving. But if you are struggling, it's important to understand that the struggle itself is a WONDERFUL gauge. Focusing on lessening the struggle is where you begin taking control of your own wiring. And when I talk about wiring, I'm talking about what you are internalizing and connecting with and virtually becoming. What internal dialogue is happening; what external dialogue is happening? If at any time it's contrary to the programming you desire, CHANGE IT! YOU decide who you are, how you will be and what you are capable of. NO ONE ELSE!!! And that struggle you feel... it's your guide to get you where you want to go. Work on lessening that struggle a little each day and reprogram yourself to give you the results you're after.

Finally, control what "cookies" are attaching to your program. The hackers around you that are trying to infect you with viruses through negative thoughts, words and actions need to be set aside. Instead, inviting positive add-ons will reinforce your wiring efforts eventually producing strong internal connections.... i.e. no struggle. From quitting smoking, to getting fit and healthy, connecting to everything that says you will be successful will reinforce your programing to be successful. Thankfully, I have wonderful people in my life today who are supplying 'good cookies' with positive encouragement and reinforcement that I AM everything I think I am. Luckily, in our technology driven age, our computers can be a major success tool for just about any rewiring you might be working on.

Message boards, social networks, blogs and websites provide an unending source for positive input (as well as output) to shift your paradigms and your focus bringing you closer to the person you want to be or rather achieve success with your goals. Get to know these resources, how to use them safely, and I think you'll be surprised at how easy it is to control the deposits that are being made into your life and how easy rewiring can be. If you think you can't, you can't. If you think you can, you can. That is by far the greatest paradigm of them all.

NOTE: A special thank you to my friend Heather Frey of SmashFit.com for providing input that makes my rewiring easier every day! THANK YOU! Your trainers ROCK!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Edmund Burke Got It Right

"He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper." What a wonderful quote from Mr. Burke. Me thinks Mr. Burke read his Bible... either that or he was married to my ex husband... HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I am so very lucky for all the lessons I learned at a very young age. Those lessons were, in fact, the prelude that would make the stories of the Bible JUMP out at me. I was blessed with bad decisions and bad behavior right from the beginning which lead to a tough run too young.... and too soon after being baptized a Christian. But, I was in effect wrestling... a picture that became crystal clear years later reading Genesis 32:24-28. This is the scripture that came to mind when I read Mr. Burke's quote earlier today.

Genesis 32:24-28 - "And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, Let me go, for the day has broken." But Jacob said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." And he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob." Then he said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed."

Ok, so this scripture ROCKS!!! First off, what's up God?!? You're not winning in your human form so you used some supernatural mojo to cheat?!? HAHAHAHAHA! Ok! And secondly, God totally had to go but Jacob held on. Even after his hip was put out of joint and he wrestled with God ALL NIGHT, he held on... and PREVAILED. Can you imagine being the guy that gets jumped by another guy and in the middle of the fight the dude touches you (probably on the shoulder or something) and your hip goes out of joint? And you're like, "This dude who jacked me is God! And I was kickin his butt so he had to do something Godly like throw my hip out! I SO rock!" But then you're like, "Crap, THIS IS GOD.... and my hip hurts, so now I'm just gonna hold on till he says I win!" That happens all the time on UFC! HAHAHAHAHAHA! What I'm trying to say is, sometimes you CAN win just by holding on. There have been many times in my life that I did NOT hold on, but then there have been other times when (out of desperation... and the want of the blessing if you will) I did. Interestingly enough, EVERY time I've held on, I got the blessing. You all probably already know what happened when I didn't hold on. **** Special note: Be true to yourself. Don't confuse letting go with changing course/direction. Sometimes you are forced to change direction. So change your course and HOLD ON!

I wonder if Edmund Burke had the same picture in his head of the match between God and Jacob? He SO got it right! Who's your antagonist? Is it God???

Crafting Cards For Soldiers

I just volunteered to make cards for our soldiers overseas (click on pics to enlarge). I love volunteering and I love crafting, so when the opportunity to combine the two presented itself... well, of course I was on-board! But I COULD NOT have done it without my Cricut and my Xyron 900. It would have taken me forever!

I spent the day working an assembly line to make these pretty cards inspired by Abby (thanx Abby!). First was the stamping, then the coloring with the water color pencils, then the blending with water, then the drying and embellishing all before cutting out each image.... twenty... 2.... 0.... But it just so happens that while I was doing all those steps, I was also cutting out my card fronts and mats on my cricut. See, the beauty of the Cricut is you can load and cut your paper and walk away while it's cutting. On top of that, I was able to plan out all of my cuts with my Gypsy which saved even more time and certainly more paper. Twenty cards were made in all and I think I might just have to make 20 more. Can you think of a better cause to craft?!? :)

If anyone else is interested in jumping on the Cards for Soldiers bandwagon, feel free to check out their site HERE. Their email address is right at the top of their blog, so feel free to contact them with any questions you may have or if you want to participate... which I hope you do! :D

Nothing beats the heart of a volunteer!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Stitch Ribbon

I FINALLY finished the stitch ribbon Gypsy cut file! It has taken me forever to get those "stitches" just right. My first attempt ended up with "stitches" that were just too far apart, but I'm really pleased with how this turned out. I used a little "hello" butterfly stamp and then colored it in with a green glaze pen. Other than the glazed butterfly and the flower, the "ribbon" is the only other thing to make this card pop.

I used the Plantin Schoolbook Cricut cartridge to make the "ribbon"... I'm hoping that most everyone has that cart (didn't it come with the expression?). Anyhow, I hope everyone likes this. You can find the file for this download at the top right margin of my blog along with instructions to download.

And just for fun... here's a card made with the "ribbon" I nixed. Can't waist those mistakes!<---there's a life lesson in that somewhere! LOL!

To Help You Through The Christmas Holiday

I've been going NUTS with the sweets! It's right before the Christmas holiday, and too soon after all that pumpkin and apple pie, we are well on our way to cookie season. HOW to stay on track during a time when there's bad (but oh so good) food everywhere? The protein shake can stay those cravings and satisfy that sweet tooth. I thought I would take a second and post my favorite Christmas protein shake recipes. Each of them uses the same vanilla protein shake base (I personally use Myoplex Lite, but you can use your favorite brand). Also, since I prefer a thicker shake, I have included the optional vanilla yogurt and ice cubes. Here's to staying good... the BEST way I know! psssst... I heard a rumor that Santa requested my Gingerbread Shake instead of the high fat milk and cookies.

Mochee Mint Shake
  • 1 serving vanilla protein shake powder
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon raw mesquite powder
  • 1/4 tsp decaffeinated instant coffee
  • 5 drops peppermint extract
  • 8 oz. water
  • 6-10 ice cubes (optional)
  • 4 oz. Yoplait light vanilla yogurt (optional)
Blend and serve. Note... if you are not a coffee fan, the coffee can be omitted for a wonderful Mocha Mint shake! ;)

Gingerbread Shake
  • 1 serving vanilla protein shake powder
  • Dash of allspice, nutmeg, clove and ginger (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. Maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup... use grade B organic maple syrup)
  • 8 oz. water
  • 6-10 ice cubes (optional)
  • 4 oz. Yoplait light vanilla yogurt (optional)
Blend and serve.

Coconut Cream Shake
  • 1 serving vanilla protein shake powder
  • Dash of allspice
  • Dash of raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp. Maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup... use grade B organic maple syrup)
  • 8 oz. COCONUT water
  • 6-10 ice cubes (optional)
  • 4 oz. Yoplait light vanilla yogurt (optional)
Blend and serve.

I hope you enjoy my holiday shakes and may they get us ALL through the holidays! ;) A special note: because I'm REALLY watching my caloric intake, I mix ALL protein shakes with water instead of milk. Feel free to follow package instructions when mixing your protein shake, possibly substituting skim milk for regular. Have fun with it... they taste great!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Great Things Come In Small Packages

A couple of nights ago I had the pleasure of going to a Joel Osteen event. His wife and kids were there, his brother Paul was there along with local ministers. I did not pay for my ticket and believe it or not, I was picked up in a white hummer with black tinted windows... "my limo", I called it. This event was literally given to me. I got to spend the evening with two of the most amazing women and we had a BLAST. With all of that to be so grateful for, I find that my sights are set on the greatest gift given to me that night.... Philemon 1:6.

I really hate admitting this, but I have never read Philemon and I don't know why (it's 1.5 pages for crying out loud!!!). I want to say that it's so small and easily missed, but that isn't a reason.... made even less of a reason since I have tabs that extend from my Bible that don't know 50 pages from 1.... no excuses. Honestly, BECAUSE it's so small, it really should not have gone unread. Could ANY book of the Bible be easier to read? Well, all that changed, and changed in a big way, at the Osteen event. The Osteen's theme for the night was A Night of Hope. It was clear that they were there to lift others up in a tough time when our government is in crisis, our economy is in crisis and our families are in crisis. And lift everyone they did! It was a packed house with thousands in attendance singing and laughing, but you could have heard a pin drop when a tearful Joel recited Philemon 1:6. Philemon 1:6 says, "and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ." The King James version words it this way, "That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus." So what I'm getting here is that faith is "turned on" or effectual by knowing, acknowledging and sharing the good within us. What a gift... Negativity stifles faith, plain and simple and nicely packaged within 1.5 pages! I got it Joel! Thank you God for that wonderful message and the incredible gift of that night!

A big thanx to the Osteens for the awesome event and the getting me to read the 1.5 pages that NEEDED to be read. It went directly to my heart!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Attention Cricuteers!

I finally figured out how to use those markers in my dang cricut machine!!! I HAD to figure it out soon because one of the markers from the set that I got FOREVER ago went dry. That's how long it's taken me to figure out! So the key to using them is to not remove your mat from the machine. THE "LOAD PAPER" BUTTON TAKES YOU BACK TO THE TOP RIGHT CORNER OF YOUR MAT SO YOUR PAPER STAYS ON THE SAME X/Y AXIS....Nice! That is it! That is the secret to use the markers! If you look closely, you can see where I messed up the blue marker lines because I removed the paper to change out the marker and insert the blade. When it didn't work out, I ended up leaving it because it added a nice dimensional layer to this little koi fish... (oh and also so I could show you what my goof looks like). Only after I cut the image did I see that the outline didn't work. So instead of removing the mat and paper again, I hit "load paper" and redid the outline with a brown marker and it matched the cut fish perfectly leaving the blue marker lines in all the right places to make this mistake look like an "on purpose"! I love it. So a big thank you goes out to MyPinkStamper.com's GREAT video which I found after MANY failed attempts to use these markers on my own! :) Also... please note that I found that the "repeat last" button is only used when the drawing and the actual cut are the same. Since I was cutting the blackout image and drawing the details of the image WITHIN the blackout image, the only thing I needed was to NOT remove my mat and hit "load paper" button to get me back to the beginning prior to cutting the image that I drew with the markers. I am LOVING this new technique!!!! Now to master the mini gel pens using the gelly pen grippers that I just got at Walmart.... whew!

*** The koi fish came from the new Pagoda cartridge and the "Beauty Within" is from the Gypsy Font on my Gypsy that I welded. I have this cut file saved on my Gypsy, please leave a comment here if you would like the cut file to download and I'll add it to the list.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Craft Project Using Nail Art???

This special gift took minutes to make and is a wonderful presentation for any special person on your gift list. The glass bowl, the cellophane, the ribbon and even the candy came from the dollar store. I simply spent 10 minutes stamping the side of the bowl with these precious candy canes. You can find these candy canes at THIS Konad nail art stamping retailer on image plate M12 (the Christmas plate).

I could have done these in red or gold... even green. That's the beauty of using this nail art stamp on your nails.... you can change things up over and over. Heck, that's the beauty of using this nail art stamping set on ANYTHING!!!!

So now, not only can you use the Konad nail stamping for your nails, but you can also use it for your craft projects too.... those mini details add the perfect touch to so many projects (click on the pic on the right to enlarge see the detail)! For more information on the different types of nail art kits that are available (my recommendations and pricing), check out my post HERE.

Happy Crafting! :)

Ok...... One more. I am working on a second candy bowl that will have a blue ribbon and a snowflake tag that I'm making with my Cricut. But these tiny snowflakes are cute so I wanted to share. The image plate I used for this was #M59.
***No one currently pays me for my product/service endorsements... but they totally should!***

Stuffin Muffins... That Rachel Ray

So I was watching the Thanksgiving specials on Food Network last week and saw Ms. Rachel Ray make "Stuffin Muffins". Ok, let me just say, "BRILLIANT!" This isn't your ordinary, run of the mill brilliant either. This is the "I just discovered that you can put anything on a stick, deep fry it, serve it at a fair and make a mint" brilliant.

A brief shot appears on my TV screen showing the end result of these "Stuffin Muffins" and I'm glued to the set. It's so simple.... instead of preparing a whole casserole dish of stuffing, or even trying to figure out what to do with the left overs from the stuffed turkey, squash them into balls and press them into a muffin pan.

Now she made this apple stuffing that she put into a muffin pan, but this was for Thanksgiving and our house DOES NOT waste a perfectly good eat-till-you-wanna-puke day on anything as healthy as apples. Oh no, for us it's bread crumbs, butter, sausage, butter and butter. And she seemed to fill the muffin pan pretty loosely. I found that my muffins turned out more like muffins by forming a ball with the left over stuffing and then really pressing the "dough" into the muffin pan. I made sure not to smoosh the tops too much as I still wanted the muffins to look like stuffing. Anyhow, here is why I'm so psyched about the brilliance that is stuffing muffins. FOOD SAVER!!!! That's right, I can break out my food saver and EASILY package individual servings and stick them in the freezer. And the fact that my stuffing is now mobile is not lost here. Oh no, I now have visions of mini turkey sandwiches on stuffing muffins (with a dollop of gravy inside of course) being thrust into hungry football game viewer's hands made with a meal that I already slaved over day's or weeks or months ago. NOW THAT'S what I love! I cook once that provides many meals down the road. Now that's working smart! Didn't I say this was brilliant?!? Time to give this idea a go on my bread pudding. Puddin Muffins here I come!!! Just brilliant!

***No one pays me for my product/service endorsements... but they totally should!***