Friday, January 29, 2010

My dear FWF...Enjoy Your Day!

hey there!

Welcome to another FWF. I love being able to break out my Unity stamps and create for this post every Friday...and since I love playing with Unity so much, I will be showcasing Unity all next week for Growing in Unity...all week long. So, all you need to do is stop by each day next week (Mon - Fri), check out the Unity goodness I will have for you (and boy do I have plenty), and leave me some love. Everyone who leaves me a comment next week will get a chance to win some Unity rubber! How cool is that????

Hope you stop by next week, but until then....please enjoy your day...with this fun & happy card. The colors are very cheery together and it makes me warm and fuzzy...which is good as it is quite cold and blustery here in the Northeast today, wouldn't you just love to be able to give someone a jar full of happiness, bliss and joy on a day like that...or any day for that matter?

Don't forget to check out Angela's blog for the entire list of participating FWFs (live at 10:00 am CT)...and have a wonderully happy day.


{enjoy your day}:
Stamps - Unity Stamp co. ~ Simply Magical Nov '09 KOM (Jar), Savor the Journey Jan '10 KOM (dot background), another sweet day May '09 KOM (sentiment)
Paper - CTMH - Ocean, White Daisy, Gray Flannel
Ink - CTMM - Ocean, Black
Other - Offray Lemon Ribbon, Natural Hemp (CTMH), Button and polka dot ribbon...scraps from my stash

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Weight Watchers Wednesday

hey there!

It is that time of the week again...a little update about my life long struggle with those few {ok, many} extra pounds. I honestly have not been able to get to a WW meeting in a few weeks now so I can't really report the progress that the scale shows, because I don't even own one! I can tell you though that despite not getting weighed in, I have tracked and stayed on plan and am moving right along...or so I hope. We will see, I should be able to get to a meeting to weigh in on 2/8 (good thing I have that 3 month tracker!)

So without anything new to report, I thought maybe I would share with you how I am keeping on track. Simple, I eat! I have found that eating every few hours really helps curb the feeling of being hungry. I also drink alot of tea...something about just holding the cup and sipping the tea not only brings me comfort but keeps me fuller longer.

I have also found that advanced planning is the key to my weight loss. I am not a "wing it" type of girl. If given the option I will eat and not even consider what the best choice is for me - I will eat what I want, I don't have the will power to say no when it comes to food. I have started doing a monthly menu. Not just dinners, which I have always done because I really can only go to the grocery store once a week, but also my breakfast, lunch and snacks, that way I know what I am eating and how many WW points I am eating in a for me.

I have had so many people ask for my menus or tell me I should do one for them. That is a great idea in theory but I very rarely make easy things like mac n' cheese or something that I could just list and have people figure out on their own. Like I said, I don't wing it...I cook from recipes, sure I might alter it a bit to fit my family's taste or make sure it is healthy, but I couldn't put something like Ancho Pork & hominy stew with jalapeno cornbread or Szechuan green beans with ground pork down and expect anyone to be able to follow my meal plan without recipes...and I am NOT typing all those out. So, since I really do want this blog to be a little bit of everything I am going back to posting a fav recipe once a stay tuned to see what tasty treat I will be highlighting next.

Thanks for stopping by -


Friday, January 22, 2010

Thank whooo? Thank you...all my FWF!

TGIF! Not only because it is the start of another fun weekend on the slopes, but because Friday means Friends with Flair...Unity Style.

Speaking of Unity I was super excited to open my mail box yesterday and see a package filled with a whole sheet of new Unity rubba! Got to love the middle of the month 'cuz I know there will be presents waiting in my mailbox for me. The January 2010 KOM is super great and I can't wait to ink up that rubba and create...and the incentives to be a KOM member are just too good to pass up...
check them out.

Ok, so I didn't use my January KOM on my little card today, but don't fret....I will be showcasing Unity all week long starting Feb 1st and I am sure I will be throwing in a few of the images here and there. This week I pulled out one of my fav images (the little owl) to create thank you cards from my daughter's 10th birthday party (they are long overdue). I wanted something fun that could be used for a 10 year old or could be pulled out if I needed one too ('cuz you know I made a few extra to add to my stash)...I think this fits the ticket:

I love the green and brown together (although I really think I need to invest in a set of Copics after looking closely at my little owl). Since the card base is dark, I adhered a white piece of cardstock inside with the sentiment Thank you printed on it.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my crafty creation today. I would love to hear what you have to say and don't forget to go over to Angela's blog for the list of all those participating in FWF today!

Have a super great weekend ~


"Thank whooo" details:

Stamps: Unity Stamp Co. (branch - Aug 09 KOM; Owl - Mix Up of Cuteness; Stems for background...sorry, I can't figure out where this one came from but it is Unity!)
Paper: CTMH (white daisy, Cocoa)
Ink: CTMH (Cocoa, Oak Brown, Seafoam)
Sentiment: Microsoft Word Tennessee
Embellishments: CTMH - Button; Offray - Ribbon

Friday, January 15, 2010

1st Ever! CTMH Product Spotlight Blog Hop

Welcome to the 1st ever CTMH product spotlight blog hop. This is a brand new hop which will take place on the 15th of each month and feature a current CTMH product.

Since January is National Papercrafting Month, it seemed rather fitting that this month we are featuring Imagine. This super cool how-to book makes scrapbooking easy and let's you concentrate on getting pages done fast. Filled with 50 2 page layouts complete with cutting instructions and diagrams, this full color, hard covered book is sure to take your scrapbooking to the next level.

Ok, so that is the sell...but what do I love about Imagine? You did ask didn't you? I love being able to have my pictures out in front of me and flip to the Quick Reference Guide in the front of the book and choose a layout based on the number of pictures I have to work with. I love that I can pull my coordinating papers and know exactly what size to cut them and where to place them. I love being able to mold the layout to accomodate my style. I love that I can start with a template but make the page my own.

So here is what I have to share with you today using Imagine's Three-Part Harmony found on pg 44. The original layout called for 2 vertical pics on the right hand page, but since I was working with horizontal pics I changed it up a bit...and it works for me. It is almost complete...I have to add the journaling (which I am so bad at...I usually sit down and journal 5 pages at once). The journaling will go on the Colonial White stripe at the bottom of each page. (and please excuse the photos...I am great at shooting cards, but still learning the fine art of shooting pages...if only I had a 12x12 scanner....)

and a little close up....I love the white letters on the blue! {plus, JT is too cute in this pic}
So, in keeping with traditional blog hop fashion, if you came from Laurie's blog you are on the right track and can continue on to see what fabulous creations Cindy has in store for you. If you were just stopping by and happened upon this hop, just keep on going and you will eventually end up back here with me. You don't want to miss any of the fabulous inspiration that is in store for you today! Before you go though, I would love for you to leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

Everyone {hearts} a parade products (all CTMH unless noted):
Layout - Imagine, Three Part Harmony
Paper - My Reflections Blue Ribbon Level 2, White Daisy
Ribbon - White Daisy Ric Rac
Ink - Outdoor Denim, Cranberry
Letters - Parade Color Ready Alpha Oxford Caps, others - QuicKutz Metro S
Stamps - Stars Vintage USA, Heart Celebrations Solid (retired)
Other - star brad - unknown, from my stash

I hope this gives you some inspiration and ideas!

Happy crafting - Tracy

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The countdown begins....

In just a few short hours the 1st ever CTMH Product Spotlight will begin and you will have the opportunity to feast your eyes on 14 layouts using CTMH's how-to book Imagine as our starting point. I wanted to take this opportunity to post the participants in today's blog so in case you get lost or hung up on a blog you can check back here to see where you are going to next (or where you have been).

The hop will go live at 12:00 am MT, 2:00 am EST.

Wendy K.
Kristie Herdener
Laurie Flannery
Tracy Oleksak
Cindy Leek
Jenifer Benner
Carol Loftus

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

{1.2} and some fun to come!

hello, hello...

Just wanted to take a quick moment to post my WW update from Monday and let you know about all the fun things that are coming up soon right here on the old blog-o.

ok 1st. I weighed in on Monday after a stellar week of tracking, counting points and being really good and lost 1.2 lbs {insert pat on back here}. I was expecting a little bit more thinking I am right back on track starting from scratch lets get a big old loss, but you know what? I don't care! I lost 1.2 lbs, that is a loss, that is 1.2 lbs in the right direction, that is 1.2 lbs closer to my goal, that is AMAZING! So this is week 2, of tracking, counting points and being really good and so far, I am doing A-OK.

ok 2nd. Lots of amazing things happening right here in the very near future. I can't post too much more today as I am supposed to be on the other side of my craft room putting the finishing touches on a layout for Friday's blog hop. This Friday (January 15) I will be participating in the first ever monthly CTMH product hop. I have participated in the SOTM hop before (and will again) but this blog hop is new. Each month on the 15th, we will be highlighting a CTMH product. Could be a stamp set, a paper packet, an get the hint. The basic premise is to showcase something we have, our customers have and give you different ideas on how to use it. This month we are featuring Imagine, so I have been hard at work creating a page to feature using this amazing book.

cool huh? Oh, but there is more. Since I am tied up with the blog hop on Friday, I will be sitting out Unity's FWF this week...but, since my kit of the month (KOM) should arrive Friday too...I will be sure to be back next week for some more Unity fun! I will also be showcasing Unity all week starting Feb 1st...with your chance to win some Unity stay tuned. Oh, and hopefully we might have another Raspberry Suite Color Challenge thrown in there too!

Off to play...


Friday, January 8, 2010

Unity Friends with Flair & a Raspberry Suite Color Challenge

hey there ~

I hope this Friday morning is finding you well, and warm! There is a light snow falling here in Western MA, and it is so pretty to look at. I am so glad to be back in my craft room and participating in FWF once again. It has been so long since I sat and did anything crafty...but I have a whole bunch of craftiness up my sleeve for weeks to come!

Make sure to hop on over to the Unity Blog for a list of all the blogs participating in FWF today. You are going to want to visit each and every one for your chance to win some Unity rubber! All you need to do is find the special Unity Blinkie on one of today's blogs and leave a comment to be entered to win...of course, I would love for you to leave a comment here too!

Oh and I have a double whammy for you today. Not only did I make a cute little card using one of my fav Unity Stamps, I also doubled up my creative efforts and am taking part in Dawn McVey's Raspberry Suite Color Challenge. I have wanted to take part in this for so many months now and just never I am so excited to be able to today.

So here is my fun little card:

Stamps (all Unity) ~ August 09 KOM Following my Heart (Bicycle); May 09 KOM another sweet day (sentiment)
Paper ~ CTMH (Colonial White, Crystal Blue, Chocolate)
Ink ~ CTMH (Black, Chocolate, Crystal Blue)
Paper Flowers ~ CTMH Just Blooms Summer Posies
Ribbon ~ American Crafts
Brads ~ found in my stash

I hope you enjoy your day!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Weight Watchers Wednesday

So I thought I would get back to the theme day concept as it worked for me last time. I really don't know what the theme is going to be for each day, but figured since I have had many people tell me that they enjoy reading about my weight loss journey and struggle that I will dedicate Wednesdays to that.

I can update you all here and tell you that my weight loss to date has been pretty much non-existant...but...that is all going to change. Think back to my goals that I posted at the end of December 2009(...and oh, yeah 2008..shh!) finally loosing my weight is one of those, and basically, I am making it #1. I have struggled with my weight all my life, whether I needed to or not, I have. I was thin when I got married until I got pregnant with my daughter (7 months later) and then gained 64 pounds ( read it right!). I lost about 20 after and then only gained 13 with my son 2 years later. In the meantime I have lost and gained, lost and gained again. I started Weight Watchers 2 years ago this past July and since I started have lost just about 16 pounds total (I was up to 25 once, but gained it all back a few times now).

I like food. I like to eat. What I don't like is being overweight. Not being able to wear stylish clothes, not feeling good in my skin. I have tried, really to be comfortable with who I am no matter what I look like, but I can't and unless you have had a weight problem and know what I mean....then you really can't understand. I know there are people out there heavier than me, I know I am not "obese", I know it could be worse, but I really just want to be happy with me and I want to be thin. I want to go into American Eagle or the Gap and pick clothes out that fit. I want that second look...I have been told that I have such a pretty face, well I want people to look at the whole me.

OK, so I have it off my chest...out in the open and you know where I stand. Wednesday's will be dedicated to my weight loss journey...out in the open for all to see, the good and the bad until I am where I want to be. I will not post my weight here, because it is only a number after all and you can take 5 people who all weigh the same and they all look different at that weight. Let me just tell you that I plan on loosing 44 pounds give or take a all depends on how I look and feel when I get there. So, in between recaps of my daily life and the artwork that I hope to continue to post, I am taking my faithful readers on a life's journey with me, my journey to being thin and rediscovering who I really am.

Take care -

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday Treats

hello hello!

How are you all doing today? I have a few treats for you today...a few things to share and a cute card that I created.

The first little treat I wanted to share is a wonderful video on how to tie bows and knots on your cards. Seems simple but I know I have struggled endless times and from doing Gatherings with bows involved...I know for a fact other people do too! So Dawn McVey has created a great video on how to tie bows...and let me tell you, if you haven't checked out her blog and work before, you are missing out! She is one of my fav card designers out there. I have linked her name above directly to the post...but be sure to check out the rest of her blog when you have some time...wonderful, wonderful!

Second is a little promo CTMH is running this month for National Papercrafting Month. There is an exclusive kit for sale that you can check out here, but the most fabulous part is the daily blog they have started with tips, techniques and a chance to win a free kit each day! Check out the daily fun at! and if you haven't snuck a peak at CTMH's newest Idea Book you are in luck, just click on the Idea Book cover to the right of this post! now for the crafty goodness. Kelsey came home from school yesterday wearing a pretty beaded necklace one of her classmates had made for her. She set to work with her Pixo machine and bead kit creating a masterpiece in return and asked if I would make her a thank you card to go with it (I am raising that one right!) so I gladly took the excuse to start creating. I was going to save the card to post the firt week of February when I will be showcasing The Unity Stamp Co. stamps all week long (with blog candy!) but I just couldn't that gives me more excuses to create (but who needs that...right!). So I will leave you today with this cute little Tuesday Treat....enjoy!the goods: stamps ~ Mix up of Cuteness (Owl), Following My Heart Aug 09 KOTM (Branch) - Unity Stamp Co.; patterned paper ~ Basic Grey; Cardstock ~ Dessert Sand, Cocoa, Crystal Blue, White Daisy - CTMH; ink ~ Cocoa - CTMH; markers ~ Hollyhock, Honey, Crystal Blue, Oak Brown - CTMH; ribbon ~ Blush Polka Dot (ret) - CTMH.

Tootles ~



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