Sunday, December 30, 2012

CARDIO 8 For Paper Made Bakery

It time to cook up something good with the kit from PAPER MADE BAKERY!

I made a video for this card, only problem was some of the supplies were one of a kind.  So I had to make a Wida version. To see my version of this card, click HERE.

and now I present CARDIO 8!

My new years resolution is to bring you brighter better and more frequent videos for 2013! YIPEE!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saturday Afternoons #2

It's Saturday...which means I get to share another creation make with October Afternoon products...

Using Rocket Age Collection

I live in an area of affluence and it is so hard to not lose my financial compass sometimes. Seems like the kids here have lots of nice things and I want my kids to have those nice things too. It's a classic case of keepin' up with the Jone's. The other reason is that I grew up lower middle class. I didn't get very many things that weren't necessary. So in an effort to "do better" I have given my children many things I could have only dreamed about getting at their age. 

To keep them from getting spoiled, I try to teach my children to say "maybe next time", which is very hard especially when I look into their sad faces, but I am trying to get them to understand the bigger picture. There may be a day we might not have the money to buy them what we can now and I don't want to feel bad or embarrassed that I said no. In life you don't always get what you want. You know? 

So now when they ask me "Can I have this?" My answer is "Maybe next time". They think there might be a next time and I don't feel like I have to buy everything or guilty for not. 

PS. going to link this one to Annette Allen's blog, she is giving away a sweet prize for anyone that links up as a celebration of achieving some great blog milestones! YEAH Annette!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Top 12 Cards of 2012 by Bloggers

January 1, 2013, I will have been blogging one year, but for many years before, I was a fan of cards and now the cardmaker as well. I remember in December of 2011, Cristina Kowalczyk did a post like this and I loved it so much. So this post is dedicated to her for inspiring me to start blogging, enter challenges, and without realizing showing me the ropes.

PLEASE..if you pin these from my blog, give credit to the designer. I have linked to their blogs.

Here is my top 12 cards of 2012 in NO particular order. It was SO SO hard to narrow them down. I could have listed about 20 more.

Mish Mash-Michelle Wooderson

Michelle has a country way of putting cards together that are embellished, but not crowded. She uses the latest trends in technique and manufacturer to design cards you want to buy and receive that anyone would appreciate.

 Just Made From Paper-Aga

This card needs to be in a museum. It is a masterpiece work of art. BOLD and FEMININE all rolled up in one.

The Creation of Creativity-Angeline Yong


 Our Change of Art-Jennifer Rzasa

Crazy. Colorful.  Awesome.

Ribbon Girls-JJ Bolton

Never have I seen anyone take die cuts and create something so cool. She, in my opinion, invented a new genre of card making. The die cut was brought into focus single handedly thanks to her.

Waffleflower-Nina Yang

This is how design and embellishments working together in harmony looks like.

Doublestick Heaven-Laura Bassen

There are so many ways to make a mistake on this card, yet this one has not a single one. Its beautiful.

My Paper Secret-Cristina Kowalczyk

This card has brilliant written all over it. Trying to pick a favorite for Cristina was the hardest of the group because there was no single standout card, all her cards were equally stunning in design and execution. 

Simply Stamped-Maile Belles

This card was the one that made me realize what I had been missing in Maile Belles. Haven't missed a post since. I get it now. I get it.

Lime Doodle-Debby Hughes

I might be her biggest fan. She makes me buy things. That is what a great designer does. SOLD on her and her work. 

Random Acts of Creativity-Iwona Palamountain (Chupa)

I could probably pick about 100 of her cards. She makes the prettiest things EVER. Just the right amount of embossing, color, embellishment, stamping, buttons, brads, and pop ups,  ALWAYS.

At Danbury Lane-Sophia Miller

My daughter Sophia makes cards too. She has an amazing style age 9. I am her biggest fan. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Papertrey Ink December 2012 Blog Hop

It's Papertrey Ink Blog Hop time! This months theme is white on white. I chose the woodgrain impression plate to showcase today. I embossed it and then embossed again with a medallion image! The sentiment is from happy trails. GREAT FONT on this set by the way!

And the inspiration board...
The photo kind of reminded me of when I got married AND how far crafting has come since then. I would do so many things different. But I would still marry this guy, that would stay the same :) Thought I would pull out my wedding photo (August 28, 1999) for you all. Haven't seen those clavicles in quite some time!

Hope everyone had a great holiday!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Paper Made Bakery Sneak Peek

My holiday card this year was one I TECHNICALLY made, even took the picture myself. Does that count? These are my babies and the biggest gifts I ever received. 

You know those metal key tags that people use as tags on cards and tags that cost like a dollar each? well I made my own version and made a card using this months kit from PMB. Come over to the Paper Made Bakery Blog and see!

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday,


Saturday, December 22, 2012

New Feature: Saturday Afternoons

Hi Everybody!

So my one year anniversary of blogging is coming up January 1, 2013. In that time I have come up with a few ideas for my blog: CASADIA, The Wida Way, Diagnosis Design, and Cardio. Since I survived the end of the world, I thought it would be a good idea to start one more new feature on my blog because:

  1. So far blogging has been pretty FUN
  2. I wanted to start making things just for FUN
  3. I love October Afternoon, their stuff is FUN

Since I have bought so many October Afternoon stuff and simply hoard it because it is always too cute to use. It's kind of like fine china. You always save it for a "special" day and well, being how I almost died with the rest of you and never got to use my stuff, I figured now was as good time as any to start!

Posts will go up every Saturday.

Here is my inaugural creation on this Saturday before Christmas.

this uses Sidewalk Collection

Since October Afternoon has a sweet vibe of vintage childlike images, I thought it would be fun to include a story with each post about my life.

When my kids began to misbehave, I read and asked how to best approach discipline. I have put kids in the corner for time out, taken things away, sent them to their room, and other measures to get them to be good. It worked, sometimes it didn't and mostly it was just exhausting. Until...

I came up with a discipline technique that WORKS FOR ME. When my kids talk back, argue, don't listen, etc. instead of doing the above, they now CLEAN something. It's fantastic! They hate to clean so they  stay good and when they don't, I get the benefit of getting a chore accomplished and a clean house!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Moxi Fab World Tuesday Trigger

this is my second post of the day. for my Mama Elephant Challenge post, click HERE.

Being the analytical person that I am, and in hot pursuit of a Moxi Fab Win, I decided that a inspirational approach was better than a literal one as I have done in the past. You can see my other recent attempts at Tuesday Trigger HERE, HERE, and HERE. 

I used my new Mama Elephant Trifecta stamp set for grass. Paper Trey Ink die cuts, Studio Calico papers, and Jillybean Soup wood banner, Lawn Fawn Twine.

and here is the trigger photo. 

Want to see the fabulous competition or enter yourself? Click HERE.


Oh Mama Elephant!

There is a new stamp company in town! I think this company fills a design void. It's fresh and right on trend. So when the challenge came up and it was all about color and GLITTER...I was in!

First I am going to show you my card that bombed. I have these little tags from October Afternoon Jolly By Golly Collection that I have hoarded for a few years and decided it was time to use them and let go.

**This was hard and I almost needed therapy to do it!**

I don't know if there was static in the shaker part or what but the glitter wouldn't settle and I also didn't put enough it. So hard to know what's enough glitter. So the card kind of looks like a REAL winter wonderland indeed!

Thinking to myself, "this is NOT a winning card", I went on to try again. I am pleased with the results. I used the trifecta set (a GREAT set by the way). Clear embossed it onto the white card stock.

If you are interested in seeing really cool designed stamps and a fantastic design team, head on over to Mama Elephant!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Diagnosis Design #2 Elena Roussakis

First an intro...

In medicine, we document using SOAP notes. It is an abbreviation to help keep consistent format when logging information. 

S=Subjective. What does the patient report. Subjective Data. This also includes the Chief Complaint (CC) which tells what the patients main problem is and History of Present Illness (HPI) a history of what happened to bring them in.

O=Objective. What exam findings do you gather. Objective Data.

A=Assessment. What is your Diagnosis, what differentials could there be (alternative diagnoses)

P=Plan/Education. What is the plan for the patient. What do you want them to learn?

This is the format I will use also.

Now, let's begin. This is Elena Roussakis

a mommy of 3...and that gorgeous chalkboard in the background that she uses on her posts sometimes.

 and this is Elena...
a wife with a sweet love story that continues to this day

and this is Elena too...
with family and all the joy that it brings...

CC: Lovin' Lawn Fawn too much (and if it's wrong, she don't wanna be right)

What is your favorite color and stamp of 2012? 
I've been a huge fan of aqua blue this year. And, my fave set of the year has really been my FAVORITE set of the year: lawn fawn's "cozy christmas." I crafted last year's Christmas cards with that set, then used it for decor at my daughter's "milk & cookies" birthday party, and also had my first Paper Crafts magazine publication with that set in the November/December issue - milestones! 

Elena's published card:

HPI: Elena is a stay at home mommy who likes to create the perfect party atmosphere for any occasion you want her to! She even has a business doing just that! She has been blogging since February 2011, you can find her first post HERE.

When was your design aesthetic clear to you? 
I would say that it took a full year of photographing my cards for my blog to realize that I actually had a style. Seeing them in person didn't give me the same perspective.

How would you describe your design? 
other than to say that it's me, it's hard to pinpoint my style. I love cute, and I love simple, but not too simple... I love layered, but not too layered. I'd like to think that my designs are just sweetly me :)

Who do you feel has a strong design aesthetic and why? 
Anyone who gravitates strongly to one end of the "design spectrum" is easy to spot as having a clear style: Melissa Phillips is strongly rooted in her amazingly beautiful shabby style, and on the other end, I love Maile Belles for her uncompromising CAS leanings.

Where do you get inspiration from? 
I gain inspiration from (obviously) other crafters, but also from fabric patterns, graphic prints, packaging, etc. I once created a card based on a pair of Gap Baby pyjamas ;) (see it HERE)

What is most important in creating a card? 
uh, having fun? being pleased with the end result? haha. If my card is balanced, and I've stretched myself creatively while making it, then it was worth making.

The perfect card making blogger is one who...
one who makes inspiring, well-executed cards, and one who is engaging with their photos and their write-ups.

If you could interview anyone for DD, who would it be and why?
Kim Duran. She has that sweet style that I adore (even though it's more vintage than my own), and I'd love to get to know her better.

What is your favorite card you ever made? 
I still adore the sets of russian-doll cards that I made for our post-gallery-idol blog hop. They still make me smile :)

Do you have a craft budget? 
when I got hooked at a stampin' up party, my husband and I agreed that I could spend whatever I made from crafting. I was an SU demo for a few years, and now I craft party decor and teach card-making classes to feed my crafty habits.

How did you start blogging and why do you blog? 
I create party decor and invitations on the side, and I needed an online portfolio that I could show off... and then, there were all of these crafty challenges I wanted to try out!  I still blog for those reasons,  and more: I'm honored to be designing for a few great companies: CSS and Precious Remembrance.

Blog header: how did you come up with the idea, and how often do you change it?  
I've only changed my header once since I started blogging.  The original blog had the words "just me" typed out very plainly... my new logo is a bit more dressed up with sweetness.

Do you keep the projects you make? gift them? sell them? 
A bit of everything.  I obviously keep the ones I love!  I sell less individual cards than party decor, but still a few here and there... I gift out quite a bit: last year, I had my hubs walk around church like a little cupid, slipping a valentine's day card to about 15 different men, so that their wives could have a special little card on love day.

The best way you can see a persons style is through a body of work. Let me show you what Elena can do. These are some of my most favorites...

Yup, she sews!

Her creative space:

She is creating a mood when she creates a scene whether it be on a card, on a photo, or a party ensemble. The mood is sweet and lovely. She chooses sweet stamps and lovely papers, sweet embellishments and lovely colors to make you feel like you are in a new place of wonder. It's just special always.

In asking the community what makes Elena stand out amongst the rest and what they like about her work...

VERONICA ZALIS (Stamping Royalty 2012, World Card Making Day Winner 2011, fan, blogger)What I like best about Elena's work is her amazing attention to detail. She puts so much into everything she creates, and she has a fantastic eye for design. And if all that weren't enough she is great about posting directions with step by step instructions to re-create the paper crafted item on your own. She is a crafter, a teacher, and she shares what she loves. To me that is what makes her stand out in a crowd.
LAUREL BEARD (Lawnscaping Challenge Owner and DT member with Elena): What I like best about Elena's cards is her style and keen attention to detail. Her cards/projects are always flawless and appear to be effortless even though you know a lot of time and detail went into each one of them. Her attention to color palettes and layouts are always unique. There is never too much or too little on her creations.  Her writing style on her blog shines thru with her amazing and bubbly personality!  It's like we are there with her.... The staging she does for all of her photos draws us in every single time. Her creativity and cleverness with how she uses stamps blows me away. She comes with unique ideas with the images I would never dream of. She combines cards/tags with other party ideas to the point where I have a notebook to write some of her ideas down!  She is at the top of my blog roll as I am inspired by her with every post she makes. Some projects that Laurel loved...

KELLY MARIE ALVAREZ (Owner of Lawn Fawn Stamp Company): There is something so fresh yet so charming about Elena's cards. I love the way she combines colors. It gives her cards such a soft feel that I absolutely adore. It is rare to see someone that can combine a cute look with a vintage feel seamlessly. That makes Elena unique and wonderful!

NICKI JACKSON (Owner of Clear and Simple Stamps which Elena is on the DT of): Elena has an amazing work ethic.  I'm inspired by what she can do before 6AM, and every detail is flawless. But before I can discuss her talents, let's talk a bit about Elena the person. She has a truly genuine and caring heart, is a loving wife, and I'm sure her kids would also agree - a super cool mommy! She definitely stands up for what she believes in, is rooted in the word, is a supportive friend, and all around wonderful person. All these things I can say after only knowing her one year - it's every aspect of Elena that makes her stand out amongst the crowd personally and professionally.

We first discovered Elena's blog through another CSS designer, Denise January, of  the blog Sassy Stampin'. Denise shared a strong recommendation that left us curious to see more. It just so happened that the day we visited Elena's blog was a sweet post about her discovering a new-to-her stamp company and that she was trying out their stamps….it was the Taglines: Critter set from CSS. Needless to say we loved it. A little time went by, more CSS posts that were equally cute and clever popped up in our inbox, that we eventually reached out and made an offer.

Like those that follow Elena's blog (if you are not a follower of Just Me, you are missing out…take a quick time out, head directly there, visit for a while, then come back so I can say "told you so") you are immediately smitten with her innovative uses of stamps and jaw-dropping parties. Behind the scenes, she is a perfectionist. She is open to critique, and is no stranger to hard work - her blog is a true testament to how committed Elena is to her craft. We appreciate how generous she is with her time and talents, as we all know when you are creating for a team you are spending time away from family to create projects to blog and submit to companies like ours. We do not take this sacrifice lightly and are forever grateful to all of our amazing designers.

You can find the post that won Nicki over and got Elena a design team spot with Clear and Simple Stamps HERE

Think you want to join this genre? 
  • Take your time: I think I must spend about 10 hours a week crafting... (more or less depending on if it's gearing up for a release week with CSS, or making decor for somebody's party)
  • Chose your stamps wisely: Elena choose mostly sweet and cute stamps. Usually they have images of animals or images to create a scene. The fonts are cute too. 
  • Keep it pretty. REAL pretty: Colors are important as is pattern. Most of Elena's work has some sort of patterned paper in pretty colors. Nothing is bold, harsh or too masculine. 
  • Create a scene: Elena's favorite thing to do is use masking and paper piercing to create a scene on her cards. She spends time cutting and trimming to make you feel the love...and it shows.
  • Listen to music Elena does: Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, Adele, old school Lauryn Hill... 

If I had to pick a song that represented Elena to ME, it would be this one:
What manufacturers do you love?  my favorites are Clear and Simple Stamps, Lawn Fawn, and Papertrey Ink. I'm quickly becoming a huge fan of Mama Elephant stamps as well.
If someone wanted to design like you, what would they need?  uh, my eyes? a big shot machine? a dark, cluttered basement to create in? hee hee. THEY WOULD NEED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. and there you go.
Thank you Elena for taking the time to answer the questions and giving me full access to your blog "Just Me Prints"
Next Diagnosis coming January 3rd!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Runway Inspired Snowflake

It's that time again. Time to get inspired by fashion. Runway Inspired Challenge has a beauty today. Looking at this woman, I kind of feel guilty having nutella this morning! And if you really want to know me, my favorite color is chartreuse! 

That dress reminded me of a snowflake, so I went with it. Hero Arts has these cute die and stamp combo's and I really like them. They are worth the money. This set only set me back 6.00! (It was on sale).

The prize this time is from Freckled Fawn! AND you have 2 weeks to enter!

I am very pleased with myself on this one folks! Won't you play along? got a snowflake? gray card stock or ink? If the runway photo scares you, why not CASE my card or another one of the design teams? There is a lot of beautiful cards to choose from. Check it out HERE.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tuesday Trigger and It's In the Genes!

This is my second post of the day. To see my Paper Made Bakery Card, click HERE.

Moxi Fab World is a great place for inspiration. I love everything Cath posts. I like the triggers, the Oh My Moxi Fab images, and the cards she chooses as features either from the magazine or from blog land, and I am hoping to one day be one! LOL, no seriously. 

I now present to you the trigger

and my card...

Speaking of, my kids got into the card making spirit last night too, and I would now like to share some of their talents too.

Sophia, Age 9. She has her own blog if anyone wants to see the creations of a sweet girl with loads of talent. It's called At Danbury Lane. She always has an interesting choice for color combinations. This card spins! And when she wakes up, she is going to post this card for my blog buddy Annette Allens' link up blog celebration, found HERE

Ben. Age 6. What a champ at composition. He made this for his 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Dew. She is funny and a great teacher too!

Anya. Age 3. How does she get it already?

Karina. Age 2. well she is still an apprentice.

Thanks folks for letting me share my children's talents with you. After what happened in Connecticut, I am grateful for time with my babies.