Thursday, October 28, 2010

Warm Witchy Wishes

I was super lucky and won the Lisa Jean Halloween stamps from Lisa and Peachy Keen Stamps at the last blog hop. Thanks SO much to both Peachy Keen Stamps and Lisa. These are so super cute and I just had to use them before Halloween was over. I made a gift card holder for the current Peachy Keen Challenge. I kind of went a little crazy and colored her up with a fair skin tone instead of green. I like how she turned out. Let me know what you think.

Here is a side view, where you can see the gift card holder.

Items Used:
Lisa Jean Halloween - Peachy Keen Stamps
Prismacolor pencils
Provo Craft Paper
Black and White Bakers Twine
Black Button
Pop Dots

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mickey Mouse Pick of the Patch

I've been trying to perfect my Mickey Mouse jack-o-lantern. I think I like this one a lot. Let me know what you think.

Items Used:
Stretch Your Imagination - pumpkin
Mickey and Friends - eyes, nose & mouth
George - circles for ears
American Crafts BOO ribbon
My Pink Stamper Spooky Puns for the sentiment
Swiss Dots embossing folder
Sakura White Gelly Roll pen

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tennis Birthday Card

My nephew loves tennis. So I made him a tennis birthday card. I am also submitting this for Emma's throwback Thursday challenge, since it is Sports related. I don't have Sports Mania yet, so I had to go with my Everyday Paper Dolls. I love that you can find almost anything you need from Paper Doll Dress Up and Everyday Paper Dolls. I had so much fun making this ball and racket look somewhat real. I added bakers twine for the racket and some electric tape for the racket handle and then some fun flock for the tennis ball to make it fuzzy. I love how it turned out. I hope you like it too.

Here is a side angle to see the bakers twine and fun flock a little closer.

Items Used:
Everyday Paper Dolls
Electric Tape
White and Black bakers twine
green fun flock
black ultra thin bic writer
white sakura gelly roll pen
core'dinations card stock

Giveaway Winner

I just picked the winner for my giveaway. I used and the winner was #2 which was Saundra of Luv Scrapping Together.

Luv Scrapping Together said...

Congratulations on your one year blogiversary! This is such a fun giveaway. Thanks for all the encouraging comments and for the inpiration you share.


Congratulations Saundra. Please send your mailing information to - me(at)glorajean(dot)com - and I will get your items mailed out to you soon. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Charlie Brown Can Swarm! Can You? (Review of the Salt Lake City Cricut Swarm 2010)

It was advertised as a big deal. The celebrity crafting ladies (at least, celebrities of the blogosphere) pumped up the big event. Provo Craft was hosting a spectacular, inspiring, dazzling swarm of awesomeness - unlike the entire crafting universe had ever known! It was officially known as the 2010 Salt Lake City Cricut Swarm - 12 hours of pure crafting bliss, with demonstrations, projects, instructions, prizes - and a chance to personally put your hands on all kinds of Provo Craft equipment. Every participant would receive a gift bag "filled-to-the-gills."

At first, only members of the elite Cricut Circle Club could purchase tickets to this swarm. For those who live in a cave, Provo Craft created the Cricut Circle Club program where members could pay $274.99 annually to be a member. As a reward, they would receive four new and exclusive cartridges for their Cricut machine. It might not be surprising to realize that ladies who can afford the $275 annual admission price to the club didn't hesitate to throw down the additional $135 to attend this event. They signed up from all over the country - laying out additional money for flights and hotels to attend.
I was aware of all of this news, but largely disinterested. After all, I'm not a Cricut Circle Club member, and even if I felt like I could afford it, I have other priorities to which I'd prefer to apply $275 a year. Though I admit that I was mildly curious what they would do.
"Just pay me your money and hop right aboard!"
So they clambered inside. Then the big machine roared
And it klonked. And it bonked. And it jerked. And it berked.
And it bopped them about. But the thing really worked!
- Page 11, from The Sneetches and other stories, by Dr. Seuss
I heard that they opened up registration to the general public. Still not too interested. I also learned that they were offering a Gypsy as part of the gift bag for every participant. I already have a Gypsy, so still no real interest. Then my husband suggested that I could sell the Gypsy, make back the all or most of the admission price, and be out nothing.

I became interested.

It happens that I live just south of Salt Lake City, and could travel to this event in about 40 minutes time. My husband offered to take care of the kids, and I could make it a day-off for me. I took the bait and signed up one week before the event, though I still had reservations because I would be attending by myself.

Almost by chance, my friend Simply Pam also signed up at the same time. When she learned that I was going, she arranged to meet up and travel with me. I was excited and relieved to know that there would be someone else attending that I knew.

After signing up, I expected to receive some kind of communication from Provo Craft. Except for the receipt that they automatically emailed to me and a small rather undetailed e-mail message, there was nothing of real value. Pam didn't hear anything either. From looking at blogs and promotional materials, we decided we needed to prepare by bringing ribbon, tags, and treats to trade - although we really didn't know any details about how that might work.

The morning of the swarm arrived. I met Pam, and we took the TRAX train downtown to the Gateway just before 9am, when registration would begin. We took our place in line. It was a very cool October morning, and I was glad I had worn a sweater.

I was even more glad when next, they asked all those who were not Circle Cricut Elite members to step to the side (waiting outside in the cold). This was to allow Circle Club members to register first. Although we were originally about 25th and 26th in line, we waited outside for another 45 minutes until all of the Elite members were allowed to enter. Only then,  did they allow those of us without superior social privilege to begin entering the building. As a side note,  I knew they were going to give the Circle members a 'fast-pass' to the front of the registration, but I didn't know that we would have to wait outside in the cold. Let's just say that we were thankful it wasn't raining.
Then, quickly, Sylvester McMonkey McBean
Put together a very peculiar machine.
And he said, "You want stars like a Star-Belly Sneetch...?
My friends, you can have them for two-hundred seventy-five dollars each!"
 - page 10, adapted from The Sneetches and other stories, by Dr. Seuss
Once inside, the registration process could only be described was slow and inefficient.
As I waited some more, I watched them pack my"filled-to-the-gills" gift bag (apparently it was too much trouble to have them ready ahead of time, so instead they packed them while the registration was being processed). Here it is:

The contents included:
  • Gypsy
  • Two Cuttle-bug embossing designs (one of which I will probably NEVER use and I love my Cuttlebug)
  • Paper Crafts magazine (September / October 2010 issue)
  • Cricut Imagine sunglasses (leftover giveaways from the Chicago tradeshow)
  • A handful of imaginisce Snag 'em Stamps (crab, dolphin, whale, and blowfish)
  • Plain orange bag (to be decorated myself at the YuDu display)
Soon, I began to notice some class-distinctions in the making. As part of registration, they stamped our hand. Circle members received one kind of stamp, while the regular folks were given a different kind. Later these distinctions reminded Pam of the Dr. Seuss book The Sneetches, and I agreed that it described the occasion.

Next I observed that Circle members received two dark-blue tickets for the drawings, while regular Janes like myself received one light-blue entry. Any hope of winning a drawing immediately vanished, because surely the folks in charge will be taking care to draw as many dark-blue tickets as they possibly could.
"We're exactly like you! You can't tell us apart.
We're all just the same, now, you snooty old smarties!
And now we can go to your Cricut Swarm parties."
- Page 12, adapted from The Sneetches and other stories, by Dr. Seuss
This was my first time at the Gateway Grand Hall, which was the former Union Pacific train station. It was a beautifully restored and repurposed building, with tall ceilings forming a large open space. I noticed my friend Pam was shivering. The air-conditioning was running at full steam, and it was colder inside than it was outside. Unfortunately for Pam, the temperature would remain like that the entire day.

"Simply Pam" and me

With all of that space, I was excited to enter the main room and see how beautifully they would decorate it. After all, the ads had hinted at lavish Halloween decorations. I was disappointed to find that Provo Craft's idea of lavish decorations was to hang vinyl in the bathroom and a banner and decorations at one treat table as well as a large scale model of the Haunted Mansion from the Happy Hauntings cartridge. Was this the best that the collective creative genius of Provo Craft could muster?

One lonely decoration to set the mood...

The treat table had some Cheetos and candy. I took a small bag, anticipating that I could return later in the day and get some more snacks. Much to my surprise, within a few hours they took down this table featuring their decorations - though to their credit they did leave soda and water available to grab through the day.
The swaps of ribbon and tags were well underway by the time Pam and I entered the hall, and if there had been any direction given about them we had long ago missed it. Actually, if there was any direction given over these loudspeakers, it is quite likely that no more than a dozen people on the front row of the stage understood it, because their sound system was dreadful. All through the day, we suffered through the audio onslaught where nearly everyone sounded like Charlie Brown's Teacher. There were very few of the presenters who were real pros and figured out how to adjust the position of the microphone correctly to make their voice heard. Later in the day, someone brought additional speakers to try to help the situation, but it didn't really work. Needless to say, the advertised demonstrations that I had looked forward to viewing were very difficult to enjoy.
Charlie Brown Teacher: Any speech that has been slurred from drunkenness, distorted by lousy loudspeakers, or rendered incomprehensible by other means.
To make matters worse, the hostess was trying to play games with the ladies who were winning prizes, including having them give their best witch cackle into the already struggling sound system. The sound system was already distorting everything so badly that at one point, the hostess was roaming with a wireless microphone, and was standing five feet behind me. And I still couldn't understand what she was saying! But those witch cackles came through really well!

They started with a Yudu demonstration and then we were able to use the YuDu to decorate our orange swag bags. We glanced around to see where the YuDu projects were taking place. They were not too hard to find. I soon discovered the long line of ladies who were waiting to use the two machines that Provo Craft had so thoughtfully provided. I had to wonder to myself how Provo Craft expected 2 machines to serve over 200 people? Since I had already waited in the extended registration line, I had no desire to stand in this line as well, and so my bag was never properly decorated. I soon discovered that the same planners had brought equally pathetic numbers of Cricut Expressions (2), Cricut Create (1), and Cricut Imagine machines (2) for use too. This was no less than an EPIC FAILURE on the part of Provo Craft, who knew how many people had registered and prepaid, yet planned such a dismal number of machines for such a large group. Later in the afternoon, they must have recognized the short sidedness, because they brought in two or three more Cricut machines (in fairness, those might have been there all along on the other side of the room and I hadn't noticed). But even with those few extras, they still didn't have enough to properly satisfy their frustrated paying guests. Especially those (me) who hoped to try out the Cricut Imagine for the first time.

Provo Craft brought in the Home Shopping Network girl for a special guest appearance. I know a lot of people just adore her, but that girl was full of more bologna than an Oscar Meyer warehouse. Living not too far from the Provo Craft warehouse, I've met a few employees over the years. I know some of the inside stories. This girl on-stage was spinning out lies faster than a politician that is 20 points down in the polls. (I suppose they are not called lies - they are marketing embellishments.) I was glad when she took her painted-on-clothes and made-for-tv glossy smile off the stage. After her heartfelt speech about being "one big Provo Craft family," I was amused at how quickly she found her way out the door and away from the beloved and adoring fans. Maybe it was just a bad first impression, but I wasn't about to kiss the ground she walked on.
"Wah wah woh wah wah" - Charlie Brown's teacher.

To create a little Disneyland-like atmosphere, the Cricut and Cuttlebug walk-around character were on hand to pose for pictures. That is, if you got in line in the first 5 minutes, they were no where to be seen after about 10-15 minutes tops. They tried to make their appearance as brief as possible, making many people wonder why they even bothered to dress up and come? My daughter would have like to see a picture with me and the bugs, but I didn't catch them at that time.

Unfortunately, as we sat at our tables and worked on projects, yet another short-sided provision came to light. The brass at PC had set us all at round tables. Those may be good for conversation, but are not so good for providing space to work on crafting. We all balanced our projects and tried not to bump elbows as we made the best of it. But it sure would have been better thinking to have the round tables for dinner and conversation, and use square or rectangle tables for crafting.

The best parts of the day occurred when anyone except the disorganizers from Provo Craft were in charge. American Crafts took the floor and shared their make-and-takes, of which they were well planned. The man distributing parts was working hard given the poor constraints that he had been placed into by Provo Craft. Even in the air-conditioning, he was working up a sweat running back and forth to satisfy his customers.The food from Le Croissant Catering was delicious, and dinner was a highlight of my day (I wonder if they sell their raspberry poppyseed salad dressing? If they do, I'll be stocking up my pantry).
Then, of course, from THEN on, as you probably guess,
Things really got into a horrible mess."
-Page 19, The Sneetches and other stories, by Dr. Seuss
Besides Pam and me, the other ladies at my table had all traveled great distances to attend this let-down of a party. I asked my table how they felt about it, and everyone agreed that Provo Craft did not deliver what they had promised. Provo Craft insisted on dragging the party out until the very stroke of 9:00 pm, and most people did stay until the end because they stretched out the prize drawings until then. The hostess was not just drawing tickets out of the bowl, but was also trying to play games with the winners (or as she put it, "You've gotta earn your prize!") by making them dance, sing, strut like a chicken, or other things. Eventually the people closest to the stage must have yelled at her to just draw the stupid tickets and get on with it. She seemed genuinely disappointed that no one wanted to play along, and she started awarding some of the prizes without strings attached - but not all of them. She insisted that the largest prizes still needed to be earned. One lady at my table left about an hour early, admitting it was not worth it. She left her tickets with us, and said if she won, we were to put all of our names into a hat and draw to see who at the table got her prize. It didn't matter - ultimately, nobody at our table won anything.

My table of new friends

At any time during the last half of the day, I looked around the room to see people leaning on the table, resting their heads in their arms, zonked out. I wish now that I would have taken some pictures.

At the end of the day, we found the reluctant Cricut running around the hall avoiding everyone. I managed to corner him in the parking lot, and I did get that picture for my daughter, although he was acting so silly I don't know if it was worth it.

In the end, I'm glad I went and satisfied my curiosity. Even though it was disappointing, if I had not gone, I would have wondered and thought that I missed something great. I'm also really glad that I didn't waste much money traveling there, or I probably would have been truly upset over the way things turned out. Since I did go, I know that it wasn't that spectacular. I know never to go to another Provo Craft sponsored swarm, and I won't feel one bit of regret passing up the next invitation.

P.S. I emailed Le Croissant about the raspberry poppyseed salad dressing. They send me back a reply right away apologizing that they don't sell it separately, but appreciated my comments and invited me to attend more events catered by them. I'll be glad to, as long as Provo Craft isn't hosting the party.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Giveaway - Disney Style

***This giveaway is now officially closed***

I have a giveaway for all of you. My blog officially started one year ago today. I did take a 2 1/2 month break in there but it is still officially my one year anniversary of blogging in the craft world. So here is the scoop. All you have to do is make a comment on this post to be entered. Pretty easy, huh? You do not have to follow my blog to enter. This prize is only available to residents of the United States and Canada because of shipping costs. I will randomly choose a winner on Tuesday, October 26th, 2010. Here is a picture of the prize.

Here is what is included:
Princess Cuttlebug Combo embossing folders
Mickey Celebrates Cuttlebug Combo embossing folders
25 pack of Mickey Eyelets

Non-craft related but fun items:
2 princess silly bandz (Aurora & Belle)
2 mickey and friends silly bandz (Donald & Pluto)

Smiley Cards Cartridge

Anyone interested in seeing a super small sample of images from the Smiley Cards cartridge? Follow the link below, it shows about 6 images.

They look pretty cute, and would be super cute with some Peachy Keen Stamps.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pink Hippo Card

I made this pink hippo shaped card and I'm going to send it to a 6 year old girl named Madison. She was in remission from cancer and they have just found out that the cancer has returned. She loves pink and so I hope this bright pink, happy and girly hippo makes her smile.

Items Used:
Animal Kingdom
Peachy Keen Stamps Everday Face Parts for the eyes and nostrils (I hand drew the mouth)
Ultrathin black Bic Writer for the doodling and accents

Cricut Swarm Make and Takes

Only a few things were highlights from the Cricut Swarm in SLC. The first one was meeting Pam from Simply-Pam. She is as sweet and wonderful as I imagined her to be. The second was the super yummy food from Le Croissant. The third was making friends with a table full of sweet ladies. And the final was American Crafts and their make and takes. Here are pictures of the projects we made. Thanks again to American Crafts.

A Halloween Tag.
A cute little Halloween scene. This wasn't a card, but could be made into one easily.

The haunted house is pop dotted and the ghost has a neat little Action Wobble spring thingy. My girls have loved making the ghost spring up and down. Below you can see the Action Wobble better.

Last of all was a cute little treat container made with a 12x12 piece of patterned paper hand scored at certain spots. It was pretty easy to put together. I think I will be making more of these in the future.

And here is a side view.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Make a Wish Birthday Card

One of my darling nieces just turned 3 years old. This is the card I made for her.

Items used:
Peachy Keen Stamps - Critter Faces Medium
My Pink Stamper Friends and Family Stamps
Everyday Paperdolls Cricut Cartridge
Create a Critter Cricut Cartridge
White gel Pen

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fall Pencil Holder

I recycled a soup can to make a pencil holder for my daughter's colored pencils. I have a Pampered Chef smooth edge can opener that makes it easy to re use old cans and make them into other useful items. I like it because the edges come out smooth instead of sharp or jagged. Who knew that a kitchen utensil could make such a fun crafting and organizational help. I am submitting this container in the Peachy Keen Stamps Challenge #38. The challenge was to make something other than a card with a fall theme. The PKS face stamps make these Create a Critter leaves so much cuter. I love my face stamps.

I used Peachy Keen Stamps Basic Paperdoll Face parts and Funshine Face Parts.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Feeling Crabby?

I made this card for a sweet neighbor who has shingles for the second time in a month. She has been asking for some crab and lobster. I have never had crab or lobster and know nothing about preparing them. However, I can make them out of paper. So, that is what she will get, along with some cookies. I am submitting this for Emma's Throwback Thursday and My Pink Stamper's random act of kindness challenge. This is the outside of the card.

And here is the inside flap of the card

Items Used:
From My Kitchen
Peachy Keen Stamps Everday Character Face Parts
Peachy Keen Basic Paperdoll Face Parts
Sentiment computer generated
Coredination cardstock
Glossy Accents
Black Zig Marker
White Gelly Roll pen


I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for a wonderful family. I am thankful for this beautiful time of year. I'm thankful to be able to create things that make me and the people I give them to happy. And I am thankful for you sweet people and your thoughtful and encouraging comments.

I had this thought of making some cute little Thanksgiving hangings. It's just waiting for the perfect frame. I'm planning on making one with the bears dressed up as pilgrims too.  There just aren't enough cute Thanksgiving decorations.

Items Used:
Create a Critter
PaperDoll Dress Up
Peachy Keen Stamps Critter Faces - Medium
Black Zig Marker
White Jelly Roll
Sentiment stamp - Fiscars
Swiss Dot Cuttlebug Embossing Folder

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Puppy Love

I made a scrapbook page! I can hardly believe it. I haven't taken the time to scrapbook for a while. The Peachy Keen "Let's Face It" challenge was to make a card or scrapbook page showcasing your muse (inspiration). I have inspiration that comes from all sorts of people, things and places. However, my greatest source of inspiration is my husband. He inspires me and he supports me in everything I do, and I love him SO much. So, this is for you, sweetheart!

I'm also entering this in the My Pink Stamper challenge. It was to make something cute. I think this turned out pretty cute.

Items Used:
Sweethearts Cricut Cartridge
Peachy Keen Stamps Simple Sallies
Peachy Keen Stamps Everyday Character Face Parts
Hot Off the Press Paper
Ink, Bling, White Gel and Brown pens, and ribbon

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Paper Playtime Challenge #19

I made this pretty simple, but kind of elegant thank you card. I added little adhesive pearls for my embellishments. I hope you enjoy and have a good evening.

The thank you is from storybook and the cute scalloped edge is from Once Upon a Princess.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Candy Corn Treat Bags

These little treat bags are for a treat swap up at the Cricut Swarm. I love candy corn and I hope some of the other ladies do too.

The little shape at the top is from Gypsy Wanderings and the candy corn is from Doodlecharms. The cute stamp Sweets for the Sweet is by My Pink Stamper's Spooky Puns. Below is a picture of the treat bags together.

Halloween Tags

I am going to the SLC Swarm tomorrow and they are doing some swaps. One of the swaps is a Halloween tag swap. I had a few different ideas and made six of each and then I ended up choosing my favorite and made an extra 10.

This idea was a pretty traditional tag with a cute bat shape at the bottom and the sentiment bats about you! This one turned out to be my favorite. The bat is from Paper Doll Dress Up. I couldn't decide which way I liked the ribbon best so there are some of each.

One idea was a simple jack-o-lantern tag. The treat pail is from Happy Haunting and I hid it's face and replaced it with a jack-o-lantern face from Everyday Paper Dolls. Then I stamped a Happy Halloween sentiment on the back. I tried adding ribbon and didn't like it, so this is how it ended up.

The next tag was an idea I had about a full moon with the silhouette of a witch flying by. I liked the idea, but since making it have seen several others with the same idea and theirs looked a lot cuter. The witch is from Happy Haunting.

Sending batty hugs your way and best witches for a great day!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It's Your Birthday!

I made a robot card for nephew's birthday. I can just hear it saying "It's your birthday!" I don't have the Robot's cartridge, so I just designed one of my own using my Gypsy and the George and Basic Shapes cartridge. I think it turned out pretty good, there are a few things I will probably change up next time I cut it. Have a good day!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bon Voyage

I have a friend that is going on a trip to PARIS. I'm so excited for her and wanted to send her a card wishing her a happy trip. I lived in France for about a year and half and spent about half of that time in the suburbs of Paris. I miss it so much. Some day I hope to return for a short visit, but for now I get to be happy that my friend, that has never left the United States, gets a chance to visit. Bon voyage, mon amie!

Here are the items I used for this card:
Provo Craft Fleur-de-Lis and Antique French papers
Coredinations cardstock
Destinations Cricut Cartridge
Beyond Birthday's Cricut Cartridge
Black Ink