Tuesday, January 31, 2006

slowly checking them off...

altered ambitions
One more HOF assignment done!!! One of the assignments is to do a layout with 10 pics, 1 title, 1 journaling block, and 3 accents. That's the one that I did last night and get this, it is a single layout...without anything hidden and I actually did NOT use any of my thumbnail sized pics. It's a little mind-boggling to think about, but I am really pleased with the way that the layout turned out. Only 4 more layouts to go and then to put it all together to mail it next Monday...

I know that I gave you an creative prompt/inspiration piece yesterday, but I am going to add to it today. One of my assignments from HOF is to use an inspiration piece to do a layout. I have decided to use this gift that Pam had on her blog that a friend sent her. I want friends like this...isn't this set absolutely gorgeous!!! Red is my all-time favorite color and I adore the french country look to this so this is what I am going to use for my inspiration! I cannot wait to get started on it....just have to find pictures that will work...I am thinking some of my shots from France! ;)

On other news, DS is feeling really well today...amazing what antibiotics can do for you! But he is still contagious so I, once again, am having fun with him today. Seriously he is a good kid and is really supportive...he will give me opinions when I need them on what I am creating. OT...I am a bit worried...his 11th birthday is next week and over the weekend, he had his first zit!?! I am sure part of that was because he was sick, but am I ready to handle a teenager??? Aaaaccckkkk!

Have a good Tuesday!! Tomorrow, the DT stuff at Croppers Cottage goes live. Whooohooo! I cannot wait to share some of the stuff I have been working on!

Monday, January 30, 2006

sick boys and french country

altered ambitions
I am just back from spending the last 3 hours at the medical clinic. UGH! And all of that for them to tell me that DS has strep...I told them that when I walked in the door. LOL! I know the symptoms after 11 years!!! But now we have our antibiotics and a "get out of school free" pass for today and tomorrow which DS is extremely stoked about esp. since he is really feeling pretty good compared to the way that he felt over the weekend. Now, if he could just get out of the homework that I just shoved towards him, life would be good (BTW, NOT gonna happen!)

All in all, it was a good weekend though. DS was sick, but I managed to convince him that I could be attached to his hip in my scraproom where there is also a bed, tv, and dvd player which meant that I got some really quality scrapping done this weekend. I have all my croppers cottage DT layouts done AND half my HOF layouts complete. I am feeling more positive that I can finish HOF now.

But what that means is that, once again, you cannot see the results from the weekend challenge because that layout is committed for something else (HOF) and I am not allowed to upload it. But I am really happy with the layout. I used a photo of my grandparents (your parents, Mom) on it so it is a really special layout. And as a side note for the color scheme...I was reading the Feb. issue of Memory Makers this morning at the Dr's office and they show the upcoming color trends on page 127...the bottom 3 are actually the colors from the color creative prompt from the weekend. See, I am on the cutting edge. LOL!

So for today's creative prompt, I am going to use this Memory Makers issue for inspiration. The cover layout is one of my favorites that I have seen so far this year so I want you to use it as inspiration. You can actually scraplift the entire layout, choose one bit as inspiration, or just go with a french country feel that it exudes. Have fun!


Saturday, January 28, 2006

office supplies and colors

altered ambitions

Now for today's creative prompt. This is another creative prompt that has come out of me actually doing housework this week!?! Do you think that God is telling me that I should do housework more often?!? Surely not, this must be simply my reward for doing it this week...LOL! These were my sweaters drip-drying and I thought that it turned out to be a really interesting color combo so the prompt today is to use this color combo on a project. And if you can't see the colors clearly, they are chocolate brown, blue that radiates from grey-blue to navy, and a really dark peachy/pink color.

One last little tidbit:
I saw this on Karen Russell's blog that one of her students told her and I think that this is the best (and completely logical) tip that I have seen in ages!!!

When using a rub-on, rather than cutting the rub-on off the sheet, simply cut the backing from behind the rub-on that you plan to use. Then you won't have all these random little rub-ons floating around that always seem to lose their backing in the worst places. They will stay as one big sheet. You may need to staple the backing to the front sheet as you cut it apart.

Does that make sense??? That was such a "DOH" moment for me!!!


Friday, January 27, 2006

The scrapbooking industry of the future...

altered ambitions

Yesterday, one of the most amazing stores in the UK, Scraptastic, announced that they were closing their doors. The UK board has been filled with shock and sadness over this change. Mark, the owner, is renowned for his amazing customer service and for knowing exactly where the industry is going. In fact, it was just a few months ago that he changed over from being an online store to actually having a storefront, so the question is, WHY???

That was not stated in the announcement so this is purely conjecture on my part, but there are pages of shocked patrons saying that his was the first place they ever went to purchase scrapbook supplies. Everything is stated purely in past tense... like from several years ago.

Mark absolutely was one of the first scrapbook businesses in the UK and when I moved there 2 1/2 years ago, it was through his site that I found the UK message board. In fact, for the first 6 months that I was there, I entered the board through his storefront that I had bookmarked. But the scrapbooking market is growing phenomenally in the UK and it seems like everyone is starting up some sort of online business. Did this contribute to one of the greats going out of business? So many of these smaller businesses come and go so quickly, but how much are they killing our tried and true scrapbooking businesses? I cannot imagine the scrapbook market in the UK without Mark and Scraptastic, but that is what has happened.

It scares me about where the scrapbooking industry is going, not only in the UK, but everywhere. I just can't see most of these little fledgling companies surviving the next few years and, quite honestly, I don't think that their owners plan on them being a long-term business. But if they drive the big guns out of business, will we have anywhere left to shop in 5-10 years?

It's very disheartening. So the lesson learned here...go shop at your tried and true scrapbook store today or they may not be there tomorrow.

BTW, I have another (rather different) creative prompt coming tomorrow!

never-ending tags

altered ambitions
The rules for this particular tagging are as follows:
Remove the blog name in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. The add yourself to the bottom slot.


Then you get to select five people to pass this on to. I pick:

Here are the questions:
What were you doing 10 years ago?
I had a baby that was about to turn 1 yo. I had just discovered scrapbooking and was having a blast doing that. All the scrapbooking supplies I owned could be spread out on my bed to work on. DH had just gotten back from Panama and I was in great shape because I was able to work out during Jacob's morning naps.

What were you doing one year ago?
We were in England enjoying British winters...NOT. I was working on planning a casino night for the OSC and our spring break to Normandy France. Whatever we were doing, I am sure that there was lots of wine involved. :)

Five snacks that you enjoy (in no particular order, as all snakcs are created equal):
1. peanut m&m's
2. cheesecake of any kind
3. milk duds
4. peanut butter and chocolate ice cream from baskin robbins
5. any drink that involves coffee

Five songs to which you KNOW all the lyrics:
I never remember the names of songs and I refuse to list childrens songs here!! LOL!!

Five things ou would do if you were a millionaire:
1. pay off everything
2. buy a vacation home
3. go to France again
4. start an altered art supply business just for fun
5. buy the entire Stampers Anonymous stamp line

Five bad habits:
1. biting fingernails
2. procrastinating
3. shopping
4. snacking
5. wasting time

Five things you like doing:
1. scrapbooking
2. reading
3. hiking
4. drinking coffee at the book store
5. wandering through Target

Five things you would never wear, buy or get again:
1. spandex
2. curly hair permanent
3. anything from Denny's
4. pregnant
5. cutesy die-cut shapes

Five favorite toys:
1. stamp room
2. laptop
3. internet
4. portable dvd player
5. corkscrew

Thursday, January 26, 2006

creative with office supplies....

altered ambitions
I love the trend of using found office supplies on your layouts. Heidi Swapp does this all the time with notebook papers, ledger papers, and even graph papers and the results are phenomenal! Today your creative prompt is to look at the office supply aisle for inspiration...there are some great finds there that you can incorporate into your scrapbooking.

Just to give you an idea for what's out there, these are some paperclips that I picked up at Target last week. They are so cute and when they hook over the edge, they look like little hearts.

If you have concerns about acidity... for papers, scan them and then print them onto acid free cardstock. For metal bits like paperclips, you can coat them with paint or even a clear-coat so that you don't have to worry about rust.

BTW, I have been tagged a couple of times so I will probably update tonight with the latest tag thread.

Have fun!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


altered ambitions
Well, I can't show you the entire layout that resulted from yesterday's creative prompt because it is actually one of my Cropper's Cottage DT layouts that will be revealed Feb. 1st, but I will let you see a little section of it!


I have been tagged by miss shoppergirl-extraordinaire Jo Thanks, hon!

First time you got kissed. How was it?
We were on a family camping trip for spring break to South Texas. I remember that he was 14 and I think that I was 12. I thought that it was really gross to be quite honest. LOL!

First time you drove a car. What kind of car? gosh, these are a lot of firsts that happened a LONG time ago!!! I don't remember the first time I drove a car, but I do remember the first time I drove MY car. My parents surprised me with a re-built mustang for my 16th birthday. It was a stick and I had never driven a manual transmission. We took it to a school parking lot while I learned.

First time you scrapbooked. When you look at your page do you love it? Jacob was still a baby and I was invited to a Creative Memories workshop so at least 10 years ago. I hate those pages. Serious sticker sneeze and template overload. They make me laugh to look at them! I hope that I have improved a bit since then!

First time you went on a date. Where did you go and with who? Bryan, my high school sweetheart. I was in 11th grade and we went and saw Back to the Future.

First time you fell in love. How did you know? First time I thought I was in love...1st grade...Dusty...he was so cute, but, unfortunately, he didn't know I was alive. Unrequited love!

First time you cooked for someone. Was it yummy? What did you make? Cooking??? I have absolutely no recollection of this which means it either wasn't an memorable event or else, it was so traumatic, that I have blocked it out of my memory.

First time you got on a plane. Where did you go? Were you scared? 1977...I was 6 yo and got to go to Seattle to visit one of my favorite aunts for a week by myself. It was awesome and I actually lied about my first scrapbook page because Aunt Marcia and I created a scrapbook of that trip while I was there so in all actuality, she was the one that introduced me to scrapbooking!

First time you shaved your legs. Did you cut yourself? age 10 and I actually got to wear panty hose for the occasion...it was our Christmas program at school...I don't think that I cut myself.

First time you put on make up. Looking back how did you do? Did you look good or like a clown? hmmmm, this is another one like the cooking...because I don't remember, it could go either way!

First time you moved out of your home. Was it an apartment, house, etc? Texas Tech, baby!!! Freshman year and into the dorm I went. It was awesome!!! I love you mom & dad, but there is nothing better than independence!!!

I'm tagging:

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

even housework can be inspiring!?!?

altered ambitions
Okay, so today I was doing some housework (I know, I was a bit shocked too!!) and thinking about what to do for a creative prompt for today when I saw this box. This is my trash bag box from Target, but I think that it will make a great inspiration piece. Look at those curves, circles, and even the little red tab that says how many trash bags there are. It's a perfect inspiration piece. So your creative prompt for today is to use this box as inspiration for a layout or card. I will upload my results tomorrow.

so excited...

altered ambitions

I got a good review!!! Rebecca's blog I could not believe it when I stumbled upon this wonderfully sweet blog review on Rebecca's blog.

Rebecca is one of the super-talented girls from the Cottage Design Team. :D Thanks, Rebecca!!! You definitely made my week!!! Now, the pressure of living up to the praise!?!?!

a whole day lost!!!!

altered ambitions
I woke up yesterday morning with my head pounding and feeling like I had been hit by a truck. UGH...the flu had arrived!

I made it through my scrapbooking crop and in that two hours managed to die-cut four file folders with my sizzix. Definitely NOT what I had planned. My guests left and I immediately hit the couch with a blanket and pillows. By 2:00, I finally took some medicine. DH was very sweet and kept coming home to check on me, but he showed back up at 4:00...not to check up on me, but instead to give me some really rotten news. UGH!

It was an all-around really bad day, but I have woken up this morning feeling much better. Now to get my scrapbooking back on track and to try to do double the work today.

I'll be back later this morning with today's creative prompt and maybe something to show you too.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


altered ambitions
Today is a day for juggling. I am trying to finish up projects for Simply Cards and The Scrapbook Magazine so that I can mail them tomorrow. I also have to get the house clean for the OSC scrapbooking group that's meeting here tomorrow morning. Tonight I have to attend a budget meeting as part of my job as first Vice for the OSC and for some reason, the guys think that they need clean underwear!?!? I also need to make some headway on HOF and cards for the Cottage as well as DT layouts.

So why is it that all I really want to do is lay down and take a nap?!? LOL! It's going to be a long day...

New creative prompt tomorrow!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

little pics

altered ambitions

As you all know, I am in the midst of trying to complete my HOF entries. One of the challenges is to do a layout with 10 pictures on it. My favorite technique for doing this style layout is to use lots of thumbnail pics and one focal picture.

This is a layout that I did for The Scrapbook Magazine several months ago using this technique.

So your creative prompt for today is to do a layout that features little pictures...lots of them.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Can I do it?

altered ambitions
Things I need to get done by the end of the month:
*7 thank you cards for the Croppers Cottage chats- 1 done
*5 Croppers Cottage DT layouts- 5 done
*10 Hall of Fame Entries- 6 done
*article for Simply Cards & Papercrafts (6 pieces of art plus computer work)- 2 done

I can do this! I know that I can! Stay tuned and I will continue to update my numbers.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

my interpretation

altered ambitions

Here is a card I made using the art as inspiration and the stamps as an accent.

early morning inspirations

altered ambitions
This morning I was awake (with a bit of help from the cat) at 4:00 with layout ideas flowing. I came up with some brilliant ideas...now if I can just get them to work on paper like they do in my head, then I will be doing great. LOL!

I have created a double layout today. Unfortunately, it is not one that I can check off the list of 10 that I need for HOF. This was an assignment for The Scrapbook Magazine, and Wow! I actually have it done a week early?!?! Unheard of in the last 2 months!

It was a much harder thing to do than you would think though. This is just a layout to go in one of the designer galleries of the mag. It didn't have to be anything in particular except for clean-lined, double lo, and sophisticated. When my editor told me about it, she said it would be easy for me because that is my normal style.

The issue is...that is my normal style when I am just creating, but if you tell me that I have to do it that way, then I automatically keep trying to busy-it-up and make it look shabby chic and eclectic. It was the hardest thing today to just create a simple, clean-lined layout (and that is why it took me 6 hours to create--that and the lack of sleep was definitely slowing me down today), but I am happy with it now that it is done.

So how are you doing on the ribbon challenge? I have a new creative prompt today and I know that I haven't finished my ribbon challenge yet, but I really want to combine the two challenges together so I am going to go ahead and post the next one.

Today's creative prompt is an art inspiration challenge. Use this art to inspire your card or layout.
It's your inspiration so pull from it whatever touches you.

I got my DT stuff from Cropper's Cottage today. :D :D Some incredible Heidi Swapp and Sweetwater stuff!!! It's going to be a fun couple of months!!!


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

conquering challenges

altered ambitions
Well, I have decided that, if I can possibly get it done, that I am going to enter Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame competition. I need a goal and I love the complexity of the challenges. I just need to find the extra time to do the 10 layouts required over the next two weeks. So, since I really have NONE of them done at this point, I am going to continue to issue my creative prompts, but you won't get to see my version of the challenge because I will probably be using it for HOF entries. :)

That being said, I have almost completed my triangle challenge, but since I can't post it, I will post an old layout that used triangles. This was printed in Craft Essentials a couple of issues ago for a microscope slide article.

Today's creative prompt comes from my friend Angela in the UK. We were discussing these Hero Arts stamps last night and how neither of us really use them so the challenge today is to use these stamps on both a card and a layout. If you don't have the stamps then you can use the coordinating stitch or ribbon that looks like one of the stamps.

Have a fun and creative day!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


altered ambitions

I have been tagged by Christine...does that make me officially a blogger??? So here it is:
*Four jobs you've had in your life:
-waitress at a mexican food restaurant
-asst. manager at fabric store
-ear piercer at a kiosk in the mall
-freelance paperarts designer
*Four movies you would watch over and over:
-You've Got Mail
-Little Women (with Winona Ryder)
-Under Tuscan Sun
-Pillow Talk
*Four places you have lived:
-Ft. Dix, NJ
-Cloudcroft, NM
-Lubbock, TX
*Four TV shows you love to watch:
-Gilmore Girls
-Amazing Race
*Four places you have been on vacation:
-Austria (at Christmas!!!!)
-Paris, France
-Edinboroh, Scotland (totally spelled that wrong!)
-Utah Beach, France
(we LOVED living in Europe!!!!)
*Four websites you visit daily:
-Cropper's Cottage
-Junkitz Blogz
-still me
*Four of your favorite foods:
-coffee (that's a food group right???)
-peanut m&m's
*Four places you would rather be right now:
-Paris, France
-Lubbock, TX
-in bed
*Four bloggers you are tagging:


Monday, January 16, 2006

all things girly

altered ambitions
My DH is in the air force and my 10 yo DS is constantly pretending to be in the army. We live on a military base and tend to spend our free time going to military museums and sites, which is all good and fine, but out of self-defense, I find myself getting more and more girly as the years go by.

I love shoes, purses, and ultra feminine jewelry, but for the most part, my girliness is only reflected through me, not necessarily my home, but that has changed with my scrap room. First of all, almost all the art in there has been done by me so it is going to have an edge of girliness to it.

But like most scrap rooms, it is in a bedroom which is only lit by a single light in the center of the room which is certainly not ideal for my late night scrapping. So for several months now, I have been looking at other alternatives...very girly ones! And this weekend, I found the perfect lighting!

This chandalier was at Bombay for $47. What a steal and EXACTLY what I was looking for...it is, oh so, girly AND it has 3 bulbs while still being rather smallish so it gives off fantastic light for my table. I love it.

Even DH agreed that it was a good solution esp. after I showed him the difference that it made in my lighting. His only concern was my poor father who will have to sleep in that room when he comes to visit because it is also our spare bedroom. LOL!

I hope that you are having a good Monday!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

not-so-daily prompts...

altered ambitions
My attempt at doodling...all Heidi Swapp Crazy Life line except the doodling, that's me!

Okay, so maybe I should call them when-I-get-the-last-one-done-then-you-will-get-another creative prompts. LOL! But I am determined that these challenges will help me to stay creative and stretch my boundaries and if I start sliding on actually doing them, then it will never happen. So, because I have a life too, we will aim for creative prompts every other day.

Life that got in the way yesterday was all-important shopping in Raleigh...and it was fun!!! We got the motorcycle battery AND I got to go to the stamp store. The store was fun, but a bit of a letdown...I was hoping for more new merchandise, but I still managed to buy a "few" things!

But my big, exciting news yesterday was the mall....no, I don't get out much!!! An awesome mall...with Pottery Barn, Williams & Sonoma, April Cornell, Restoration Hardware, Crate & Barrell, Panera Bread, and Bombay where I found the perfect chandalier for my scrap room (more on that tomorrow!) The mall was mecca and for the first time since we got back to the States, I felt like I was home....aaaaawwwwww, I love a good shopping experience!!!

Today's creative prompt: use a triangle shape (get creative) on a layout.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

going on a grand explore...

...we are off to Raleigh today, on a search for a motorcycle battery, but I am hoping to convince DH that it would be a good day to find the stamp store! LOL! Think he will go for it???

But since I am going to be gone all day, here is today's creative prompt: Doodling is all the rage in the scrapbook world and it is really easy to do to achieve a really different look for your paperarts. Check out Rhonna Farrer's link to see some awesome doodling examples! So, today, add some doodling to your paperart in the form of a border.

Have a good day and wish me luck on the stamp store!

Friday, January 13, 2006

mission accomplished part two

Well, here is my result of prompt #2. I am still stuck on the color challenge of part one, but the chain link-looking piece on this is actually stamped using the letter "X" out of Stamped in Ink's Upper Echelon alphabet set. :) All the papers are from Carolee's Creations, the Love chipboard from Heidi Swapp and the transparency from Rhonna Farrer.

These are my parents from over the summer...I love this picture...they are so relaxed and natural. They have been married for 36 years...Wow!

mission accomplished

This is what I did for the color challenge (we will see if I actually am able to upload it.) It is an ATC (my first one). I hope to do a grouping of these and frame them up for my stamp/scrap room.

So, for today's prompt: use alphabet stamps in a different way...use your creativity!

I feel free! I have finally finished an assignment that has been hanging over my head and getting later and later for two weeks. It is officially in the post. I plan to play a little today (just for me!) and then do the computer work on it tonight!


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

creative pushes

altered ambitions
The art of creation fascinates me esp. the fact that sometimes I can do it and sometimes I can't. LOL! I have considered turning this blog into daily creative prompts just to help get the juices flowing...

Today's prompt: create an item using sky blue/seafoam with brown.

Maybe by tomorrow, I will figure out how to add pictures and show you what I did...given that today turns out to be a creation day! LOL! Have fun!

Hey, I'm blogging!

altered ambitions
Only I can manage to start a blog by accident and really not even realize what I have done! LOL!

I have been reading blogs for about a month now and loving them. I have thought about starting one, but never had the time. Well, yesterday I was posting a comment on someone else's blog...and somehow ended up with my own!?!? In typical Christi-whoiswaytoobusy-fashion, I thought, cool! And posted a blog entry...

But I am looking at my blog, wondering how I ended up with one...and one that actually has entries on it without any kind of "Hey, I'm here!" kind of post...

So this is that post! Hey, I'm here and welcome to my blog! Okay, that's just wierd, but we'll go with it. I am a SAHM that works part-time from home writing articles for UK papercraft magazines. I am usually behind, on my work, my life, and most definitely my housework. But, hey, this is me!

deal with it!!!

I try to stay positive and upbeat most of the time, but ggggrrrrrrr, why should I have to suffer through someone else's negative attitude?!?! That's all I have to say!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

altered ambitions

altered ambitions

So what is it about deadlines makes it so that I cannot finish them early? Life would be so much easier if I would work weeks in advance and actually be able to create without the pressure of needed speed. It doesn't seem that hard, but yet, there is something about me that makes me procrastinate on everything til the absolute last minute. If there is one thing that I need as my New Year's Resolution, this is it...STOP PROCRASTINATING! Which means that I probably should get off of here and get to work on that article that is WAYYY late. LOL!
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