Sunday, January 20, 2008

My first tutorial...

This week I finished up my last layout for the monthly contest at Gateway to Memories. We were given some Basic Grey paper, tags, and monograms to work with. I decided to do a rather simple page, but to give it a little kick, I embossed the monogram letters with some ultra-thick embossing enamel (UTEE). While I was embossing, Max took some pictures so I could do a little tutorial. When I first started buying scrapbook magazines, I thought embossing with UTEE was this really difficult process and to be honest, it scared me a bit. One day I went to Michael's, saw a big container of it, and decided to go for it. And it's actually quite easy and forgiving to work with! So, to start, here's the finished layout: To begin, you'll need a few tools. I use regular aluminum foil as my surface cover (very low-tech here!). You'll also need a VersaMark watermark pad, a heat gun, tweezers, and the UTEE. I'm embossing cardstock letters here, but you are certainly not limited to either letters or cardstock!

To begin, press your letters (right side down) until they are covered with the watermark ink. If you've never worked with watermark ink before, it's supposed to be clear.
Liberally pour the UTEE on the newly inked letter.
Once your letter is completely covered with the powder, lift out of the pile. Leave the rest there - you'll need it in a minute.
I tap my letter to get any loose pieces of powder off.
Now comes the fun part! Heat up your letter with a heat gun. As it's heating, you'll notice your powder changes to a gloss.

After you're finished with your first round of embossing, the surface will be textured. It's hard to see in the picture, but instead of being smooth, it has slight bumps and ridges. If you like the texture, you can stop now. Otherwise, you'll repeat the process.
For this part, you need to work fast. While the UTEE is still hot, you want to re-dip your letter into the leftover pile of powder. If your surface doesn't pick up any new powder, it's too dry. To remedy that, just re-heat with the heat gun.
Again, heat up the powder with your heat gun. Many times it takes on a smooth finish after the second round of embossing, but sometimes you will need to complete the steps a third time.

Allow to dry, and your letter is ready to use! The next two pictures show the glossy surface that is created.

The wonderful thing about working with UTEE is that it is very forgiving. If you get an air bubble, just apply the heat gun and work it out. Once the letter is dry, you can actually crack the surface (if you're going for a distressed look). If your letter cracks by accident, just re-apply the heat.

Here is a close-up of my finished project:

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I made a Design Team...

I'm so excited! I have been asked to be part of the Design Team for A Scrappin Friendsy!!! I'm so thrilled and honored to be part of the team, and look forward to working with all the fabulous ladies there! This is such a warm and welcoming site...the name is definitely appropriate! :)

In other scrappy news, my Big Bite came this week! I love this guy! I got the chance to play around with it today, and I give it an enthusiastic two thumbs up! I also think it's pretty cool that it matches the Fiskars orange! ;)

I'm recouperating well...still very tired and sore, but I'm definitely getting better. I'm so impatient - I want to be back to normal NOW, but my body is telling me to wait. Today was the one-week mark and Tuesday morning is my follow-up visit. I'm hoping that I'll be able to pick up the boys again...Andrew is a bit confused as to why Mommy can't hold him.

Speaking of the boys, they are going through some major cabin fever. We really need to get out of the house for a while. Not sure where I want to go though....I'm thinking a trip to Target might be in order this weekend. Don't we lead quite the exciting life? Ha-ha!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I'm home...

Surgery went well on Thursday... I had an amazing ER team (including a former student, no kidding!). Recovery was a bit rough at first (heart rate and BP were elevated), but fortunately everything got calmed down.

I had absolutely wonderful nurses the entire time! I don't think I've ever been able to say that before, but we were really blessed. And, my roommate ended up being my family doctor's grandmother. I'm in bed Thursday night when all of a sudden Dr Orange comes in with his daughter! What are the odds?

Yesterday my surgeon was in surgery most of the day so we had to wait (and wait) for him to come up and release me. Around 5 pm, they finally sent me home...we had Moe's for dinner, visited with Mom and Dad for a bit, then slept!

I'm still quite sore, but they have me on some strong medicine for that! I'm even talking about scrapbooking later today! After a nice hot shower and a nap, of course!

Last, but most definitely not least, thank you so much for your prayers! God is good!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Two days and counting...

Until surgery, that is. I've been a little worried cause I've been fighting this nasty I'm so much better though. I called the surgeon's office this morning (for fear of having to reschedule) and the nurse assured me I'll be fine. So come Thursday, I'll be gall bladder-less. It's been making me miserable so I'm completely ready to have it out of my body, but I'm still nervous about having surgery. I'd appreciate your prayers very much. And knowing me, I'll be back on the computer come Friday! ;)

I just realized I haven't posted any photos from Max's birthday cake. Will and Christian helped me decorate...notice the clumps of candy sprinkles and snowmen! It was quite tasty though!

And yes I did put 32 candles on that bad boy! It almost looks like the fourth of July! :)

Tomorrow at midnight (technically Thursday) HSN is premiering the new Crop-A-Dile. This bad boy looks HUGE and can punch up to 6"... so now an entire 12x12 page is covered! I'm trying to talk Max into buying me one instead of flowers as my post-surgery present. Sounds like a plan to me!

And lastly, here is another layout (Max helped with this one!). I'm participating in the LOAD (layout a day) challenge over at Big Picture Scrapbooking. You can sign up until the 15th and it's FREE! How cool is that!

Friday, January 04, 2008

My little artists...

Will got a CuttleKids for Christmas, and has been having a blast using it with his own little Xyron. He and Christian decided to do some decorating to the's their end result:

They cut out little circles and very carefully placed one in the center of each square on our front door. Christian was adhering scraps to the small windows, but I had to pull them off...they were leaving some nasty residue. My little artists! :)
On another note, Max and I saw National Treasure 2 last night. We loved it! Over dinner, we realized that it's been more than 2 years since we've been to the movies, so it was so fun to splurge. I think we're going to try to see Prince Caspian next summer, but we'll see!
I'm getting some scrapping completed this weekend, so hopefully I'll have a few layouts to post soon! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy Birthday Max...

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday dear Max,

Happy Birthday to you.

I love you so much sweetheart! Happy 32nd!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Making cookies...

The boys and I made pumpkin cookies today. These were a post-Halloween special at Michael's that have been sitting in the pantry for a couple months. Today Will decided that he wanted to decorate cookies...feeling a bit yucky from my sinus issues this morning I agreed (anything to keep the peace!). Here are a couple pictures from their kitchen endeavors. I took a video, but it's not being very cooperative tonight. I'll try later.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year...

I can't believe it's already 2008! Max and I have decided that good things happen in even years (our wedding in 2000 and the boys were born in 2002, 2004 and 2006), so we're really excited for what's in store for us! :)

We're really hoping to simplify our lives this year. We're going to be doing lots of purging and re-organzing, which I'm looking forward to! As of May 1, I should be a stay-at-home-mom...I can't even put into words how much this is a dream come true for me. I can't wait to be home with the boys full-time. We're very excited about all the possibilities that holds for our family. We're going to start homeschooling with Will this year as well...he's so thrilled about having school and learning how to read. It's amazing to watch him learn and see the little lightbulbs go off in his head. And our big move should happen this summer. We'll know definitely in February, so we're impatiently waiting on the news from Max's work.

We're also going to start doing family and couple devotion and prayer-time. This is something we've been talking about for a while, but we're finally going to commit to it. I'm looking forward to growing closer as a family and to the Lord.

And lastly, on a purely selfish note, not working leaves more time for scrapbooking! ;) I'm making it my goal to create more cards this year. I figure it's doubly-beneficial: making cards uses up my scraps while also letting me finish quick projects. I love instant gratification! :)

I hope your year is blessed, and that the Lord makes His presence very real in your life.

P.S. Because they're already edited, here are a few layouts: