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!