Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Monster Train Pictures!

Here are the pictures for the Monster Train Books. Some people have been asking for the stories I wrote to go with them. I will upload them here.

I was asked by a few ladies to show some of the monster stories. Here are a few of them:

Lucy is on her way to the store. She has a lot of groceries to buy. She has to pick up food for her cat, milk for her cereal and candy Grapletons, her favorite sweet treat! Lucy loves to try food she has never tasted before. It’s like an adventure each mealtime and she is the explorer! Yum! Yum!

Manny is a mechanic. He is on his way to pick up white rim tires for his car. He got a flat yesterday when he ran over a banana. You might be surprised that a banana could cause a flat but this was a magical atomic banana and it blew a hole right in the tire! Good thing the train was traveling to Derbyshire today, that’s where his tire store is!

Sheldon is a children’s writer. He has just finished a new book about a sea turtle named Tumbles. Tumbles is a treasure hunter who is looking for a Pirate’s chest of jewels on Parrot Island. Sounds like a good book huh?

Fiona is traveling with her husband Doby. They are picking up a new puppy in Craterville. They are going to name her Jelly. Fiona is so happy to have someone to play with during the day when Doby is at work. She can’t wait to take Jelly on long walks in the park. Fiona brought a big bone on the train as a surprise for Jelly.

Doby is hoping the new puppy, Jelly, will like the dog house he just finished building for her. He likes to build things in his workshop. Doby painted the house blue with a red roof and got a pillow for Jelly to sleep on. He can’t wait to teach her to sit, fetch and roll over. Oh, what fun a puppy can be!

Betsy is a Baker. She bakes yummy cookies, cakes and pies. Today she is delivering some rainbow cupcakes to a children’s kindergarten class as a fun treat. They are learning about colors and Betsy thought this would be a tasty addition to the lesson.

Andy is an astronaut who has just returned home from a trip to Mars. He met a Martian named Marty. They decided to become pen pals. He is writing his first letter while riding on the train. He is so happy to have a new friend who can teach him about what it is like on Mars.

Molly is the owner of Right Kites. She builds kites for children to fly in the park. She loves to make them in all different colors and shapes. Her newest kite design looks like a butterfly and the string has green ribbons. It’s so pretty when it is floating on the wind up in the sky.

Bob is grumpy. He is having a bad day. Nothing seems to be going right. He is hoping a relaxing train ride will help change his mood. What do you do to get happy again if you are feeling sad or mad? Maybe we can help Bob turn his frown upside down.

Ronny is a fireman. He has a Dalmatian puppy named Dotty and is training him to be the new Firehouse mascot. He has to learn how to ride on the fire truck and how to slide down the fire pole. He is practicing riding on the train first because there is no siren. Ronny thinks Dotty will make a great mascot when he gets a little bigger.

That is just a sampling of the 24 stories I wrote. The boys love the books and even have favorite monsters! It just made all the work worth it when I saw my nephew ask for his mom to read through all of the monsters as soon as he opened the present. They were so into them! It made me so very happy! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Monster Train Books!

So, in September I thought to myself, "I love that Monster train mini by Laura Dennison! I should make Nate & Evan (my nephews) each one for Christmas this year!" I bought the pattern off her Etsy site ( If you have not heard of this woman - Go, Do Not collect $200 - GO to her blog and check her out!!! Her blog is She has a creative mind like no other! Amazing!

Anyway, I bought the All Aboard train template off her Etsy site. It gives the dimensions and instructions for making a train mini album. I figured I would get started early so I wouldn't be down to the wire for Christmas. Sure I finished yesterday (12/21/10)! But it is finished!!!

I decided I wanted this to be a gift for the boys and not for their mom so I decided to change it up a bit! A mini album with tags, journalling and pictures wouldn't be as much fun for the boys as a Children's book about monsters riding the train! I decided that each monster tag would have a story on the back with the monsters' name and why they were riding the train. I figured this would be an interactive book for the boys! They could swap out passengers and have fun learning about different occupations and activities.

It was challenging to come up with 24 stories, names, not to mention have them fit in a 2" x 3" block when printed! It was fun though! I felt like J.K. Rowling (OK not really but still! LOL!).

I first made 2 trains - I wanted them to be the same but different. I used different paper collections to accomplish this. One is made using patterned papers from the Offbeat Collection from Basic Grey. Fun bright colors! The other train uses the Orbit Collection by Crate Paper. Once the books were completed it was time to start making monsters.

Each train holds 12 monsters - yes that means I had 24 MONSTERS to make! I decided to make things a bit easier on myself and used the 12 monsters Laura designed (instructions included in pattern) and invented 12 new monsters of my own! This was a lot of fun but mega time consuming!!! Each train has a mix of Laura and Amy Monsters. They came out great!

I bound the book with my Cinch from We R Memory Keepers. I LOVE this thing! It is so easy to use and in this case I needed the function of shutting off certain holes. It worked great! I also decided to laminate the tags so no monster parts would come off when going in and out of the pockets. Plus they slide in and out much easier now.

As you can tell, I am just thrilled with how they came out! I know the boys, ages 3 and 5, will have no idea how many hours I spent making these but I hope they will get a few hours of joy from them! Thanks so much for joining me! More train pictures to come soon! Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bad Busy Blogger!

OK, I am slapping myself on the wrist and shaking my head at myself! I know it has been SOOOOOO long since I have blogged. I have been so busy it is ridiculous! What have I been up to you ask???

I have been sick
I have a second job at Sylvan Learning Center
I have a bazillion holiday presents to make
Can't forget those Christmas cards!!!
Making caramel candy with my grandmother
Planning and having the nephews over for Christmas Crafts
Decorating for Christmas
Making kits that no one buys

And so much more!!! LOL!

Yes, I have fallen into the trap of putting too much on my plate! I am almost done and only have a small bit of my nephews' gift left to finish, (4) 10 pack of cards to finish, and a recipe box to alter! Don't worry friends, I have a whopping 4 days till Christmas! Plenty of time - maybe I should make a few layouts too - LOL JK!

Bonus for you...I have so many projects to share with you all! Kids crafts, cards, books, boxes and more! I will post the project that has been in the works since Early September tomorrow! So look out for that!

Hope all of you are slowly crawling out from under the Holiday pile of stuff to do! What projects are you most proud of this year?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ornament Mini Kits!

So I think these are one of the cutest things I have ever made! I love them! I have these kits available on my Etsy site! I have used the American Crafts Merrymint and Cosmo Cricket Jolly by Golly paper collecions. I have one of each a boy and a girl kit in each style. They are super quick to put together and the result are just ADORABLE!

They are also super versatile. They can make a mini album, an ornament mini album that hangs on your tree, (6) ornaments, (6) - Gift tags. Talk about cool! Check out the video below where I share what I created and the other videos where I go through what is included in the kits.

Check them out on my Etsy site! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Specialty Christmas Kits!!

I am so excited to share these (2) - Specialty Christmas kits! These are LOADED! They were designed for the photo tray as well but would also be a great kit for a mini album (just ass chipboard!). These are loaded with Tim Holtz and K and Company goodies. These are designed to be more decorative with only 1 or 2 photos. Check out all the crafty goodness in these kits on the video below! Tons of pictures over at my etsy store of everything included in the kits!

These are available right now on my Etsy site HERE. You can also click the link on the side bar of my blog.

Also, be on the look out because Sunday I will be adding the CUTEST kits to my store. That's right, Baby First Christmas kits for both Baby girl and Baby boy in both non traditional and traditional colors. These will be made using the Sizzix Dress die and the Overalls die. Wait till you see them - they are ADORABLE! These can be either mini albums for decoration or ornaments and will work for children of all ages!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Kits

So I have been working hard on making kits for Christmas! I love this holiday above all others and I just know you will all love what I have come up with for my Etsy store!

I have designed (4) Holiday kits for the 7 Gypsies Photo tray. These are made to capitalize on photos! These include patterned papers, cardstock, photo mats, photo frames, ribbons, altered papers, embellishments etc. These are an economical way to make a gorgeous home decoration for Christmas. Check out the video below for more information. Here is an example of what I did with the kit!

Oops! i forgot to add the part where I show what I did with the kit. Here is the video showing that!

These are available right now on my Etsy site HERE. You can also click the link on the side bar of my blog. I also have (2) - more 7 Gypsies Photo trays in my store as well, just in case you want to pick one up to go with your kit!

The video for the Specialty kits will be up tomorrow! If you can't wait - they are available at the store right now! I hope you check it out and get in the Christmas spirit with some great crafting kits! Thanks!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobble Gobble!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! I am thankful for all of you who read my blog and inspire me. You rock! I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday.

Animations provided by

(Thank you to Myspace for the animated Turkey image!)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fern's BIG Giveaway!

Check out Ferns' Big giveaway! She si giving away a Big Shot!!! Can you believe it! Be sure to check her out and post a comment for a chance to win. Tell her you heard about it from me!!! Thanks again Fern! Find her blog HERE at Her Youtube name is fernlintner65.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Every Girl Needs a Great Dress!

Today I have the cutest project to share! I am sure you all have seen these dress minis before. This was my first. I am so in love with these, you have no idea! It is made with the Dress die from Sizzix.

I made this mini for my friend Laura who is coming over to scrap this weekend. She has the sweetest little girl named Georgia. I just wanted to give her a small gift. I thought this would be a great opportunity to get girly. I don't often go super girly so this was a fun escape from my normal scrapping. I loved playing with pinks!

I had fun with flowers, stickles and ribbon. It turned out so adorable it made me want a little girl of my own! I am making a few of these kits for Christmas for both girls (dress) and boys (overalls). The theme will be baby's first Christmas (would work for any aged children.) So keep an eye out for those in the next few weeks.

I really hope Laura likes the mini. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Calling all Pirates! Here is a project I recently completed. Hubby and I babysat my nephews this weekend. Nate is 5yrs old and Evan is 3. I was looking for things to do with them besides play cars ALL DAY! LOL! I decided to search "Things to do with kids ages 3-5" on the Internet. One of the sites said to do a treasure hunt and make a treasure map. I decided to give it a try. I took a piece of cheap white cardstock 12" x 12". Laid out my parents' house and figured out where I wanted to hide the treasure and worked backwards. I made keys out of grungeboard and flags with a pirate stamp. I had so much fun making these maps and decorating them. I even tea dyed them! I think they turned out great and since I covered them with multi-medium (mod podge would work too), they will last a while and they can keep them. They each had a look out telescope, compass and an eye patch. They looked adorable! Check out the pictures below!

The treasure hunt went great. They both love singing the pirate song (yo ho yo ho a pirate's life for me!). I think Arg is one of their favorite new words. I was their guide - reading the map. Hubby was the gatekeeper of the treasure. They had a ball and it provided a solid 45min of activity. Add to that the pirate themed play after that and we had a day full of adventure. They packed up the ship for a long journey, they played captain and first mate games, they locked my hubby in the dungeon and he tried to escape. Hubby was great with them. I love seeing him interact with kids. So cute!

Anyway, this was a fun activity, I got to play with my scrap supplies in a new way and above all...I am a cool Aunt (or at least my nephews think so!) Love them!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Birthday Present

Here is a birthday present I made for my sister-in-law. I used another one of the 7 Gypsies photo trays. This is made with the Kaisercraft Up, Up, & Away Collection. I made this completely removable as well. I will give my sister-in-law swap outs for Christmas. This project is fast and super easy. I love the final result. I have to start my next theme (Thanksgiving or Christmas) for my swap outs now that halloween is over.

Patty, Happy Birthday! I hope you like it! Thanks for watching!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tim Holtz Mini

So here is a video showing the mini album I made at Absolutely Everything. Tim Holtz was charming as ever! Love him! I also am sharing a few pictures from the classes I didn't take. I wish I had taken the Christmas class but, C'est la vie! I got a cinch instead! Enjoy!

This uses beeswax.

Spooky! There is a section with a piece of vellum with a fake tealight candle behind it so it flickers. Very cool looking.

This one is my favorite! I love the tree! So cute!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


OK, please forgive me for what I am about to share. It will make you jealous. I wanted to share what I did today.

I was crafting with Tim Holtz! What a way to spend the day. I am such a class suck up! I brought him some Brachs candy corn (They were out of the autumn mix!). I will have a video showing a few things tomorrow but I wanted to show you some pictures from my amazing day.

It all started at 6:30am. The store Absolutely Everything is an hour away from my house so I had to get up super early. My darling hubby made me an egg sandwich and coffee to go, LOVE HIM! I arrived and there was already a line. I found a lady to sit with and then started sucking up to Tim. He is so sweet and funny in person.

Here are a few pictures of the class I took: Ultimate Grunge
~Tim Teaching

~A section of the product wall and a MAN (yes, a man took the class!)

~My Mini Pages

~Assembling the cover (Amazing how a small work surface can be a great motivator to keep things neat and clean!)

~Putting it all together

The Finished Product - My mini!

I will have a video tomorrow showing my mini up close along with some pictures of the other classes I didn't take. I will also share some info from the class. Thanks to everyone at Absolutely Everything in Topsfield, MA and of course a HUGE thank you to both Mario and Tim. I had an amazing day!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

TV Time

It's TV Time! If you watch Jersey shore, you will know I am substituting T-shirt time with TV time! LOL! If you don't watch Jersey Shore - don't start - it sucks you in like a Dyson Power Vacuum. Next thing you know you are using terms like Smush. Anyway, since it has been a few weeks of new TV, I thought it was time for a weigh in Wednesday. I am "weighing in" on the shows I watch.

House ~ I have to say I am LOVING House in a relationship. I think it was super smart to add this twist. After a few seasons things can get stale but this story line in feeding my TV soul! I love to see a softer caring side and it is mixing quite well with his manipulating side perfectly. Note to mention the addition of seeing him interacting with a little girl - priceless! I was seriously cracking up this Monday! Snaps to the Writers!

Chuck ~ The Morgan / Casey moments are my favorite of the show! I love them! Hubby and I love watching this show together. It has a great balance of the things guys and girls look for in a TV program.

Mike & Molly - I really think this show is sweet. I love the characters!

Glee - I love this show. The Britney episode was great. I love everything but I need more Sue Sylvester. She makes this show great and she has been MIA lately. I was happy to see her in the promo for next week. I am also psyched to see Rocky Horror Picture show on Glee!!! YAY!

Parenthood - always entertains. I love that this show is pretty real. There are awkward moments and fights that aren't overly dramatic. It keeps it real and I keep watching. I just love it more each week.

So Wednesday holds a few new shows that I have been trying.
Law & Order: LA ~ Not too impressed so far but still watching. Jury is still out.
The Defenders ~ I tried this show and have now stopped watching. i just never chose it from the other options on my Tivo lineup. After accumulating 3 unwatched episodes - I made the executive decision to give it the axe. Oh, well!

The whole truth - I am really enjoying this show so far. I like how when each side makes their case you believe both. They are doing a great job of keeping the secret of who did it until the snipit at the end. I like the dynamic between the lawyers of friendly war. Fun so far. Give it a try if you haven't - it is good!

Always my favorite day of the TV week. Ever since the days of Friends - Thursday is must watch TV!
Bones - Love this show - don't like Sealy's new girlfriend but it makes for interesting TV.
Grey's Anatomy - I am really enjoying this season. I was worried after the explosive finale of last season that they would either just jump into something new or not be able to top themselves. I like how they are showing that a mass murder in a hospital would not be water under the bridge in 2 episodes. They are giving the characters "real" reactions and problems stemming from that extreme situation. I am just really enjoying watching.
The mentalist - Love Patrick Jane - still puts a smile on my face.
Private Practice - I am enjoying this too

SUNDAY - I am back on board with Desperate Housewives. I like the direction it is going so far. the Gaby daughter storyline is great with lots of potential.

So, what are your thoughts on the seasons so far? What is you favorite new show?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Mom's Halloween Kit!

I gave my mom a kit as a gift for being a super great mom! We made it today and had so much fun! These kits are so easy to put together and so cute. You can see that these kits can be adapted to produce different looks. In this video I show how to make the pulls for each square so you can remove the panels easily and switch out for different holidays and event. I also show how we added the creepy moss that makes the graveyard scene.

I love you mom! I had so much fun today and hope you love the kit.

Thanks for watching!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Living in New Hampshire is so great this time of year! Why? Foliage! I love when the trees change. I was driving the other day with my hubby and was just mesmerized by the leaves. I have the Falling leaves stamp set by Tim Holtz and ever since I got it I have been looking at the trees in a whole new way. I have been seeing the leaves in terms of which Distress inks I will recreate them with using that stamp. For instance:

Do you see Mustard Seed and Wild Honey?

Do you see Barn Door or Fired Brick?

What about Mustard Seed and Shabby Shutters?

And of course my Favorite - How about the Spiced Marmalade and Fired Brick?!?

So fun right? I have always said that Foliage is the only time when death is beautiful. Truly a wonder and almost magical. I just love taking drives around this time of year whether it's to the store or all the way to Vermont. It is like looking at fireworks without the noise. Peaceful beauty. OK, you get the point - I love the foliage!

This video is of a card I made for a friend. I used a Cover a Card stamp from Impression Obsession called Branches for the background. The cardstock and ribbon is from Papertrey Ink. It's a simple card but I think it turned out great. I only wish I had a label punch so it would look a bit more finished but all things in time right? You make do with what you have! Anyway, I hope you like it! Do you have foliage near you?