Faded Shabby Blogs

30 November 2011

A Christmas Gift revealed

My Gramma Birney was an extraordinary woman with many talents. She was meticulous about many things - quilting, knitting, sewing, stamp collecting, photography, and even scrapbooking. She was ahead of her time. And she created a book for my father's 40th birthday that has become quite a keepsake in our family (I understand that she had the organization intact for the books for her younger two children, but passed before those books were completed). Now that none of us lives near our dad in Michigan, I long for the ability to peruse even some of those photos.

So I asked my dad for a favor. The following Studio J layouts are the result of my dad's agreeing to the favor (loaning me this precious book for an undetermined amount of time so that I could scan photos from it) and then my reconceiving my Gramma's work in a slightly modern (and more cost-effective) way.

I'm pretty sure the recipients don't check my blog. If you do, I apologize in advance for spoiling your Christmas present! I assure you, it will be a different experience to have the item in hand. At least, I hope it will! I'm just so excited about the end results that I want to share right away!

I have more layouts to make, but there were some issues with scanning certain photos (like wedding pictures). One of the great things about a CTMH album is that the page protectors are top loading, so you can rearrange the order of the layouts and pages as needed.

Some of the benefits I'm reaping as a Studio J Member are: half-priced layouts (instead of $12.95 for each layout/double-page spread, I pay $6.50), free shipping once a month on an order of at least 4 layouts (this incentive alone keeps me "up-to-date" on projects; I love saving some money!), free JPG files (large for reprints and web-ready like the images above - these are still large enough to print a smaller size; remember my new home announcement? That was printed from the web-ready images), the option to buy only the JPG files ($3 if no 12"x12" prints are desired), free Memory Protectors for the same number of layouts I purchase, and archived copies of my layouts so that I can order more if need be. This last item was particularly helpful in my most recent order. I wanted to spend some money in November and some in December. I ordered one copy in November and will place the order for another copy of the same project in December! Of course, if someone else I know says, "Oh, JuliAnne! What I wouldn't give for a copy of that terrific layout of Indian River," I can even reprint that!

If you haven't yet given Studio J a whirl, try it out! Go to my website (www.ctmh.com/JuliAnne) and click on the Studio J link. You only need an email address and to create a password, and then you can play away. It costs nothing for you to experiment! (There are some time restrictions for saving the projects, so if you don't make a purchase your experiment will go away eventually.) Nothing to download. Hey, you can even log in to give yourself some ideas for layouts in Classic Scrapbooking. I like to do that sometimes too - log in for the ideas as well as engage in Classic Scrapbooking. :)

24 November 2011


Thanksgiving brings the opportunity to reflect on our gratitude for the many blessings in life. My day has been no different, even as the week has found me scurrying about making preparations for the first Thanksgiving for which I ever cooked the entire meal. I am grateful for my incredible husband who handled all matters with our Vs in the evenings while I worked to finalize the menu, the preparations, the house. I am grateful for our wonderful children who still ask me to sit and read to them and snug with them, even when I'm feeling stressed with time constraints; sitting, reading and snuggling are certain ways to calm me and remind me what matters most.

I'm also grateful for the people we've found in this move. For the second year (oh, my...is this a tradition?!), we gathered with friends through Matt's work and the children of one. While I don't want to derail anyone's healthy eating/living plan, I was flattered by the numerous trips to the buffet area made by those who were adamant that they would be demonstrating restrain and resolve. Because I'm a foodie. As well as a paper crafter. And I'm slipping into food crafting as well!

Here are some images from our day; I think they demonstrate the results of my plans over the last few days. Right now, I'm even grateful that the day is relatively done. I finished the dishes (save the one soaking pan), and my loving husband massaged my aching back. Have I mentioned that I am blessed?

Above: the table set for 10. Below: a closer look at the place settings. I used the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge and coordinating stamp sets to create the place cards, handled boxes, and the napkin rings (these doubled as bracelets for the children!). I made little turkeys out of cake bon bons (pops without the stick), candy corn, whoppers, orange triangle "sprinkles" and edible ink markers. I am no Bakerella, but they are identifiable!

Above: our kitchen table served as the buffet today; not enough room at the dining table. I made Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce, Soft Wheat Crescent Rolls, Corn Pudding, Mashed Potatoes, the turkey (personally, I thought it was dry but Trader Joe's gravy helped that), Roasted Asparagus, Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Pecan Streusel, my Mommers' Sausage and Pine Nut Stuffing, my Aunt Liz's Carrots (with Velveeta and Bacon), PW's Green Bean Casserole, and Matt assembled the Greek Salad (below - but I made the dressing); I wish I had taken a photo before he tossed it. It was positively beautiful, with circles of feta, olives, pepperocini, onion! I forgot to snap a photo of the yummy pumpkin pie our guests brought. Oops! Maybe they'll make another for the photo op?

03 November 2011

November Specials!

Every month CTMH offers an exclusive, limited-edition Stamp of the Month. It can be purchased outright for $17.95 or at a discount (just $5) with any $50 purchase.

This month, they've upped the ante and included the Holiday Wishes D-sized stamp set for $5 with the purchase of $25 in stamps. Both the Stamp of the Month and the Holiday Wishes special offer coordinate with the Cricut Art Philosophy Collection. I just can't wait to show you some of my creations!

Off to create something! Contact me if you'd like to place an order...these are available through November 30!