Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Win a FREE Jessica Sprague class!

Positive Psychology, Gratitude, Character Strengths (and Winning!)

"If you have some time this weekend, I recommend taking the VIA Character Strengths assessment. It’s a very interesting look at 24 different character strengths that have been identified by researchers in a field called Positive Psychology. The idea is that after you discover your strengths, you can work to improve ones you’re weaker at, but also play to the ones you’re stronger at. It’s been truly enlightening for me to have my top 5 strengths posted at my computer so I see them every day. One of the secrets to happiness - and I really believe this - is finding ways to be able to operate in areas of strength as much as possible.

Here is the link:

You have to create an account so it will save your assessments. After you make your account, click on the test called “
VIA Survey of Character Strengths” to take the test. It’s 240 questions long, but it goes fast, and I promise it’ll be worth it!

After you take the test, please share your strengths with me in the comments. I’ll pick a lucky commenter to win a FREE CLASS from
JessicaSprague.com - your choice! I’ll pick the winner on Tuesday night, so you have until 6 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday to take the assessment and post at least one of your top 5 strengths here in the comments. :)"

I took the test myself, and found the questions and results quite intriguing. Make sure you post your results here (on Jessica's blog post) for your chance to win a FREE class. And in case you're interested, here are my results:

1. Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith
2. Zest, enthusiasm, and energy
3. Citizenship, teamwork, and loyalty
4. Curiosity and interest in the world
5. Industry, diligence, and perseverance

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jeanette Lynton's Color Me Monday

"You probably think of Juniper and Tulip as great colors to use for cheery spring projects (and they are!). But they also make for fun and cheery WINTER projects, too, with just a little help and inspiration from great stamps! I’ve added Cocoa and Desert Sand to these two blooming, traditionally-springy colors for warm winter results.
The snowflake designs are stamped in Versamark and heat embossed in clear for a great resist pattern. Then, using a mix of pearl paint and Juniper reinker misted from a spritz bottle right onto Colonial White cardstock, you’ll get a magical, shimmery result. Beautiful! Where did we get the spritz bottle? You can choose: an emptied Spritz Cleaner bottle works great, and so, too, does our brand-new Spray Pen—it’s coming out in our new Spring/Summer 2011 Idea Book, so you don’t have long to wait!"

Sunday, November 28, 2010

PSA - FREE Jessica Sprague class

"Every six months or so, as a way of giving back to the community that has given me so much, I like to offer a FREE CLASS. I've done scrapbooking, photo editing, cards, prompts, holidays. This time I wanted to call ALL CRAFTERS & CREATIVE SOULS to join me on a Journey of Inspiration.

In our 10-day class together, we'll make projects to help us gather and organize inspiration in five different categories. For each of the themes we'll have a project to make, and different crafty techniques to call your creative muse, no matter WHAT kind of art you make!"


I've registered and will be following along with the class to learn some new techniques and get my inspiration flowing. Anyone joining me?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

IKEA 2x2 Expedit

I finally took some photos of my new IKEA 2x2 Expedit bookcase. This has been a long time coming and I'm excited how well it's working in my scroffice. I needed additional lower-surface space to move my base-only Clip-It-Up from the 4x4 Expedit. Now that the CIU is more accessible, I've ordered the top-tier unit to expand my storage. The Cuttlebug lives on the bookcase and visually prompts me to use it more often.

The top 2 cubes hold my growing yarn stash, a few fiber art books and my pattern binder. I moved my set of storage drawers containing embossing supplies, specialty inks, Stickles and glitter, and paints to one bottom cube. The last cube now holds my albums and extra page protectors.

And yes, the box on the left is Becky Higgin's Project 365, released two years ago. Love the kit and the idea behind the inspiration, I've just been too overwhelmed to start a daily photo and journaling project. Maybe 2011 is the year since my scroffice is finally taking shape ;)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new

Black Friday shopping is not for me. At least not in the past 10 years or so. I did partake years ago, when my oldest daughter was very young and my mom and I could shop ... childless. At some point, the crazy hours and mass of people just became more uncomfortable than paying a "really great sale price" over a Black Friday deal.

Instead of spending money shopping, I took an early morning loan closing to earn money (I'm a self-employed signing agent). I stopped in Staples on the way home to recycle some ink cartridges and I just had to take a look around. At 10:30 AM, the store looked normal. No hoards of people, no ridiculous lines and tons of helpful Staples employees just waiting to assist a customer.

Since my 8th-grader has declared our laptop "slow", I decided to search-out the new laptop deals of the day. Granted, our existing Dell laptop was purchased in 2004, but DH has upgraded it over time and it still serves its purpose. But oh my, the new laptops are light-weight, have huge screens and seem lightening fast. And, I admit, I'm not the computer person in our family. I leave that area to my DH. My computer skills are exactly what I need to run a successful closing business, maintain this blog and surf the net for all things fun or necessary. I don't know (and don't want to know) the inner workings of computers or the different processors, memory sizes and hard drive things. I've got enough on my plate.

That said, Ryan (helpful Staples guy) was patient and knowledgeable. And was willing to speak with DH on the phone to determine the best laptop purchase for us. I walked-out with the last Black Friday deal on an HP G72-B66US laptop. No, it's not the latest and greatest, or the fastest, but it is a huge step-up from our older Dell. It's more than what we need and will serve this family well.

And I didn't have to get up early to stand in line with a bunch of crazy shoppers!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts."
Colossians 3:15-16

Take a minute to watch this "Attitude of Gratitude" video.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Silhoutte Giveaway

Sara and Kate are having another great giveaway over at Our Best Bites. The Silhoutte Giveaway is valued at $299 and includes all of the following: the Silhouette SD machine, software for Windows XP/Vista or Mac, power cable and USB cable, 2 cutting mats (1 for thick media and one for thin media), 1 cutting blade and 1 $10 gift certificate to the Silhouette download store. WOW!

Important contest info:

~ due to customs and shipping, the Silhouette cutter and all the accompanying loot can only be shipped to addresses within the U.S.
~ one entry per person
~ contest will close on Sunday, November 28th, at 8:00 Mountain time
~ winner will be announced on Monday, November 29th

Here's hoping I win!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Color Me Monday: Rites of "Passages"

"Today’s artwork centers on using kit papers you know work well in one theme, but using them in a completely different way. The kit in question? Passages, one of my favorites. It’s a great paper collection with an old-world travel feel. Aged documents, maps, and weathered leather-look papers make you want to pack your bags to discover a new exotic locale.
Except today, where Passages has been completely reinterpreted for Thanksgiving artwork. Its Brown Bag, Crème Brulee, Garden Green, and Smoothie color palette make it ideal for the holiday, right down to a great recipe box perfect for holding Grandma’s secret roll recipe! (My favorite touch: the Opaque pearl accents used to dot the “i” in “recipes” and for the mantel accents on the “warm welcome” card. They’re a perfect match!) Add in a few other seasonal colors for the hearth and the cornucopia, and you’ve made Passages pass for Thanksgiving!"

Sunday, November 21, 2010


F - Foresaking
A - All
I - I
T - Trust
H - Him

As Nike would say ... JUST DO IT!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More from Jon Schmidt - Waterfall

I've added some Jon Schmidt CDs to my Christmas list. He has some "Holiday Highlights" posted on his website that would make wonderful gifts. Enjoy the YouTube video.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Art & Soul: Stencil, Sparkle, and Shine

Stamp stenciling is the featured technique on CTMH's latest Art & Soul webisode. Products shown be found, and purchased, at my CTMH website.

"Need a little inspiration this season? You’ll find it right here! Get amazing shading and dimension using the stamp stenciling technique. Save time and money making holiday creations using a circle punch and any one of a number of stamp sets. And trim the tree with beautiful Dimensional Elements Ornaments. It’s all right here on Art & Soul®!"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker, MD

I found this book at BJs and was intrigued enough to read the entire first chapter while standing in the book aisle. As the parent of three daughters, this book provides some powerful insights surrounding the importance of a strong father figure for every daughter. This will make a perfect Christmas gift for my husband.

"The most important person in a young girl’s life? Her father. That’s right-and teen health expert Dr. Meg Meeker has the data and clinical experience to prove it. After more than twenty years of counseling girls, she knows that fathers, more than anyone else, set the course for their daughters’ lives. Now Dr. Meeker, author of the critically acclaimed Epidemic: How Teen Sex Is Killing Our Kids, shows you how to strengthen-or rebuild-your bond with your daughter, and how to use it to shape her life, and yours, for the better. Directly challenging the feminist attack on traditional masculinity, Dr. Meeker demonstrates that the most important factor for girls growing up into confident, well-adjusted women is a strong father with conservative values. To have one, she shows, is the best protection against eating disorders, failure in school, STDs, unwed pregnancy, and drug or alcohol abuse; and the best predictor of academic achievement, successful marriage, and a satisfying emotional life."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Color Me Monday: A Perfect Sunset

A Perfect Sunset
"If you’re relatively new to the art and science of creating color combinations, let me suggest starting with neutrals. They’re easy to work with and tough to misapply. Then, you can select virtually ANY color as your 'pop' color to breathe life into a fun and functional combination. For today, my base color palette is all in browns—Bamboo, Desert Sand, and Cocoa. My pop of color? The perfect Sunset. It’s great for making the combo a delicious fall flavor, but this combo would look great if the pop were Hollyhock or Pear for spring, or Lagoon or Sunflower for summer, or even Cranberry for winter.

The layout features our Creative Marketing Manager Kristy and her four smart, great kids. One unique trick you might want to notice in the layout (and in the cards, too) are the great bracket shapes. In the layout, the bracket is used as a journaling box. For the 'Blessings' card, the bracket forms a dramatic card edge, and in the 'Thanks' card, the bracket is used to contain the sentiment. Where did these great shapes come from? Here’s the trick: They are all templates from the 'Magic' book! The templates come on an included DVD, and you can easily re-size them and print them to use smaller or larger than suggested for the layout patterns. By making the templates smaller, these bracket shapes became ideal templates used to create the journaling box, card front, and sentiment holder. Voila, it’s Magic!"

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Movie Trailer for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Here's a recap of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and the official movie trailer.

"Return to the magic and wonder of C.S. Lewis' beloved world - via the fantastic Narnian ship, the Dawn Treader. In this new installment of the blockbuster 'The Chronicles of Narnia' motion picture franchise, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, along with their cousin Eustace, their royal friend King Caspian, and a warrior mouse named Reepicheep, find themselves swallowed into a painting and on to the Dawn Treader.

Their mission - on which rests the fate of Narnia itself - takes the courageous voyagers to mysterious islands and a river that turns to gold, to fateful confrontations with magical creatures and sinister enemies, and to a reunion with their friend and protector, the 'Great Lion', Aslan."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Chronicles of Narnia ~ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

I was thrilled to learn about the upcoming release of the third installment in The Chronicles of Narnia series. I am a huge Narnia fan! This will be a great holiday movie for the entire family. Having read the series multiple times as a child, and again just a few years ago, I'm going to invest in a hard cover set for my girls.

I'm also going to pick-up a copy of A Family Guide to Narnia by Christin Ditchfield.

"Do you read The Chronicles of Narnia sensing that the stories are full of biblical parallels, even if you're not always sure what they are or where to find them? This user-friendly companion to The Chronicles of Narnia is written for C. S. Lewis readers like you who want to discover the books' biblical and Christian roots. Read it, and you'll find that this chapter-by-chapter, book-by-book examination of The Chronicles will widen your spiritual vision."

"Looking for a new direction for your family devotions? Why not visit Narnia---a land that will capture your kids' imaginations and help them understand the gospel! Brimming with Scripture references, Ditchfield's practical chapter-by-chapter guide helps you understand the rich biblical imagery in all seven chronicles so you can share these treasures with your children."
Family Christian Stores

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Perfectly Placed ...

I'm speechless. And that hasn't happened often in my life!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Enabler Alert!

Celebrate this holiday season with friends and family 2010! Get 20% off your entire purchase during any one visit between November 9-16, 2010.

I love Christmas Tree Shops! Leave me a comment with your email address and I'll forward you the coupon link.

Don't you just love a bargain?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Jeanette Lynton's Color Me Monday

"Today’s beautiful color palette is inspired by the brilliant Goldrush leaves (now falling on lawns everywhere), along with the shorter days and deepening blue skies of Lagoon, Outdoor Denim, and Pacifica. These are such perfectly seasonal colors; I’m surrounded by them when I look out any window. Every year, when these colors start invading the landscape, it triggers my “gratitude reflex” and I always become profoundly reflective on my blessings as we approach Thanksgiving.

Note, too, that the cards I’m sharing today focus on using cardstock—with a little distressing and some just-right stamping, cardstock really is all you need to make a simple but bold statement. I hope you enjoy playing with this color palette—and that you’re enjoying similar seasonal colors wherever you live!"

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Only God Can Give You Financial Security

Only God Can Give You Financial Security by Rick Warren

But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.

Deuteronomy 8:18 (NIV)

"When I turn on the water, I don't really think the water comes from the faucet. In the same way, the source of my finances is God, not my job."

As you enter your Decade of Destiny, it is important that you trust God with your finances. If you want God to bless you financially, you must remain focused on the truth that he is the source of your finances and he is the one who supplies your needs.

What does that mean? It means I'm not looking to an employer for my security. I'm not looking to my savings for security. I'm not looking to anyone or anything other than God to supply my needs.

Let me illustrate it this way: When I turn on the water, I don't really think the water comes from the faucet. I know that the water really comes from a reservoir. It just comes to me through the faucet. In the same way, the income that God wants to give you may come through a job or through something else.

But the source is God.

If you trust in a bank account, the bank account can be taken away. If you trust in your savings, you can lose it. The only true security you can have is when you put your trust in God. He is the starting point of your finances. He is the one and only true source of your finances.

This means you don't need to worry about which faucet he uses to supply your needs. In a sense he says, 'If I turn off one faucet, I can just as easily turn on another. If you lose one job, I can give you another. I am your source, not your job. I am your source, not your bank account.'

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Little MORE Thanks from CTMH

FREE stamps to say Thank You in November ...

During November we're expressing our gratitude to you by helping you earn 2 fabulous CTMH My Acrylix® stamp sets for FREE! When you place a minimum order of $100, you will not only receive the November Stamp of the Month set, A Little Thanks, for FREE*, you will also receive one stamp set of your choosing from the 2010 Autumn/Winter Idea Book for FREE! This means you can increase the value of your purchase by up to $45.90—that’s almost 50 percent more in value! It’s just our way of imparting A Little MORE Thanks to you for being a great customer.

*Free stamp sets include A-D size sets. Stamps that are not available as the free set include Workshops on the Go,™ Stamp of the Month retail, E-size, and customizable K-size. Tax and shipping/handling may apply. Offer good November 1–30, 2010.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Color Me Monday: A Breath of Fresh Air!

"Today’s magic color in my combination is Sky—even though it’s November now, we can all use a breath of fresh air! I absolutely adore this palette, which feels like autumn, but is also bright, cheery, and inspiring. Cranberry, Sorbet, and Bamboo make a great backdrop for this November calendar page with its seasonal leaves (don’t you love the corner-rounded “petals” for each date? This is one of my favorite tool techniques; easy and impactful). But it’s the touch of Sky that really elevates the whole look."