{Connor Name Frame}

Is this not just the cutest thing ever? It came out so much better than it was in my head - I just love it when it works out that way!
I love to make these for kids - I know it will hang proudly in their rooms and for the younger ones, can help teach them to spell, recognize and know their name. I made this for the same friend for whom I made the leaves giftset. He and his wife adopted a little boy and the nursery was a jungle theme. I just whipped out my trusty Big Shot (though mine is the older, not-as-cute version of the one linked) and Cuttlebug "Zoo Animals" dies and had a beautiful, custom name frame in no time! My friend and his wife were thrilled with it and I hope that Connor is too!

{ Pink & Brown Covered Notebooks}

Maybe I'm a bit biased, but aren't these just the cutest things? As I was saying before, I just love to make gifts and gift sets. These are simply covered plain 'ol composition notebooks with matching pens! They don't take long to whip up and are so adorable!

These notebooks were made for a lovely young college student who I'm hoping is using these to take plenty of notes! Sorry for the blurry pictures, I had to snap them real quick before I tied them up with a beautiful bow and had to run out to gift them!


{I Heart Gift Sets}

One thing that I love to make is gift sets. I think it shows that you were really thinking of that person on their birthday (or whatever holiday it happens to be) with everything coordinated and monogrammed. And, they're pretty quick and easy!

This gift set includes a planner, a notebook and 10 cards. I just love how simple all the designs are and yet the fact that everything is so coordinated and matchy-matchy as well as the very nice Papertrey card box makes it look so high-end and as though it took lots of time! Let's not share that all 10 cards were made from random DSPs from my stash nor the fact that Papertreys Monogram set and letters make monogramming everything super quick and fun! ;)

{Simple Sailing}

Masculine cards are always a bit of a challenge for me and I suspect most stampers!
Generally, my rule of thumb for masculine cards is to keep it simple. For embellishments, I only use metal hardware or plain twill tape. Following those rules, this card came together pretty quickly. It was so hard to resist the temptation to add anything more to it! LOL Overall, I was really pleased with it. Maybe I should mass produce some extras leaving the sentiment blank to be added in as I need it. That way, I'll have some masculine cards on hand any time I need them! :)

{ Leaves Galore }

I made this gift set a while ago for a dear friend of mine from college. As you can tell, he loves leaves, and his last name begins with an "L". I kept everything pretty minimal since, well, he's a guy, LOL. I'm sure he wouldn't be in to fancy border punches, prismas and such. The book on the left is a planner, the one in the middle is a covered composition book, on the right is a spiral-bound blank notebook, in front of that is a matching pen and to the right of that is a decorated short Crystal Light container filled with covered nuggets, which are pictured in the center. He's a teacher by trade so I thought a planner and two notebooks could be put to use somehow! He really loved everything in the set and how coordinated and personalized everything was. That's the thing I love most about stamping - how we can take plain, ordinary things (like your average composition book or even trash - an empty Crystal Light container) and turn them into something treasured and awesome!

{Maddy Bear}

One thing my Sister often has me make for her is invitations. We go back and forth bouncing ideas and after making lots of samples, sending lots of emailed pictures, chatting on the phone and adjusting colors, we come up with something she loves. My sweet niece, Madison is turning 3 next month - 3! Wow how time flies. Anyway, my Sister decided to throw Madison a Build-A-Bear (B-A-B) birthday party and I thought, "Yes!" Stampin' Up just came out with a whole B-A-B line and I, having a thing for bears, had to buy nearly the entire collection! So, my sister and I looked online for inspiration and found this card by "the_tamster" on Splitcoast Stampers and my Sister instantly fell in love with the houndstooth outfit. I took that idea and came up with this:

However, as usually is the case, my Sister wanted to see it in green. Aside from being her favorite color, the party was going to be coed, so since the bear was already super girly, my Sister thought a more neutral colored background might make it a bit more gender neutral. She also prefered the ribbon belt that "the_tamster" used. So, I accomodated and came up with this:

Bingo! Except she wanted the polka dot background back. Easy peasy. So I whipped up 15 of these babies (which is no small feat considering all those tiny die cut pieces) and delivered them to her over the weekend (I usually mail them out for her as well but not this time). She was thrilled with them. They were perfect and adorable and just as she imagined. Madison thought they were pretty cute too. I told her this bear was called "Maddy Bear" and it was her! She thought that was pretty cool. I think I'll have to make her some B-A-B paper dolls!

Even though cutting out ALL those tiny pieces was a bit of a pain, I must admit that I was happy with the way these little bears turned out. I will definitely have to do some more projects with these little cuties!

{Where's Clara?}

Yes, it's been a year but ya know what? I'm baaaaacck!

If anyone is still following this blog you may be wondering where the heck I went. Well, things just got too busy and hectic and although I was still stamping, my internet time was spent elsewhere. Doing what? Well, without going into too much detail, in February of 2008, I was diagnosed with food intolerances and everything about the way I cooked, the way I ate and even my perception of food had to change. My focus switched from stamping to learning everything I could about my offending foods, what they did to my body and how to cook without them. I even started a blog about that journey, Six Food Intolerance Living. Then, after a while, I started writing for an online news source, Examiner.com. I am the Silver Spring Gluten-Free Food Examiner and the National Soy-Free Food Examiner. So, as you can see, between writing for those 3 sources and all my research, learning to cook from scratch, and then actually cooking, I have been quite busy. I still stamped, but I will admit it was in limited quantities, of course my time browsing Splitcoast and my spending didn't change all that much! LOL Well, I am now making a conscience decision to change that! I hope that by reactivating this blog, I will stamp and post more often!

So, with that, I will share one of the favorite cards I've made lately.

This is totally me in the morning, I am a Grumpabella. Except I'm not a coffee drinker. But seriously, don't talk to me, don't even look at me, until I'm fully awake. guess that will have to change once I have kids! LOL Unless, hopefully, he/she is like me and doesn't like to talk in the morning either! With my luck though, I'll have a "morning person" kid who just wants to sing and play in the morning.

So, with that, I am officially back! If you're still checking this blog, hoping for an update, thank you for hanging on! I have lots to share with you!
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