Saturday, February 27, 2010

Every Cloud has Angels in it

I've got quite a list of cards to make this weekend, and this was first on my list.  Sadly, our dear friend unexpectedly lost her father - such a sad, and very tragic moment for her.  Sometimes it's so hard to find the good when we've lost a loved one, but we know she was blessed to give her father a final goodbye and be with him, as well as, her entire family as he passed.  Losing a parent is extremely difficult no matter how young or old you are, we struggled with this in my own family after losing my father-in-law.

Kudos to whoever started these wonderful sayings inspired by kids at Inkadinkado.  I love this saying, it's simple, yet thought provoking.  Wouldn't we all be comforted knowing there are angels within every cloud?  

Stamps: Fastion Statements, Stampin' Up!, Sentiment - Inkadinkado
Patterend Paper: :DCWV The Linen Closet
Ink:  Stampin' Up! Blue Bayou, Creamy Caramel, Sahara Sand
Accessories:  Two way glue pen, Dazzling Diamonds, Pop dots, Aqua Painter

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fun Phrase Friday - it's gone to the DOGS

Being a dog person, this sentiment stamp just cracked me up!  Dogs are perculiar about who they like and who they don't, I know mine is.  I just LOVE this Hero Arts doggie stamp...he was stamped with black stazon on caramel colored patterned paper and then colored in with an aqua painter and some chocolate chip ink for more dimension.  =)  I handcut the circles for the sentiment just because...I really like the "freestyle" look that you can get with a simple pair of scissors...give it a try!  Good thing we don't meet people the way dogs know what I mean!

Sentiment Stamp: Inkadinkado
Dog Stamp: Hero Arts - Happy Day Animals
Patterned Paper: DCWV The Linen Closet
Ink - Staz-On Black, Chocolate Chip (Stampin' Up!)
Accessories: Ribbon - (Stampin' Up!), Aqua Painter, Chalk, pop dots, scissors

Vote for Blaze TODAY!

We've decided to enter Blaze in the Bissell Pet Photo Contest. Be a fan and vote for Blaze too! 

MVP Pet Photo Contest sponsored by BISSELL, maker of pet vacuum cleaners.

We adopted our four legged family member from the shelter January 2009.  He has been a blessing to our family, we always wonder why he ended up there- our good fortune I suppose.  Blaze is so happy no matter what we do, as long as he is with us.  Blaze loves to hang with me (he especially loves to nap under my desk in my craft room.)  He's a toy freak...loves to play frisbee, catch the ball or with his new alligator squeaky toy!  When we first brought Blaze home, we initially thought he was a black lab maybe mixed border collie, we just couldn't put our finger on it though...and then we had the genetic test the results were shocking:  25% Lab, 25% Boxer, 12.5% Dalmation, 12.5% Akita and 25% unknown.  He's quite the funny guy, looks like a lab, always doing funny things with his feet (boxer), energy like you would not believe (dalmation) and guards the house (akita).   He's a pretty cool dude...thanks for voting for Blaze!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Special Little Memories minibook - Complete

Here is a glimpse of the book I made devoted to our old house in WA.  I'm really happy that I did this book, even the boys enjoy looking at the pictures of where we used to live and the things we enjoyed while we were there.  Remember, it's not just the house, it's the memories that go with it.  Enjoy.
We miss our house and neighbors so much!   
(special note:  Not all pages are shown here)

I love this nifty "open" knob - this hardware is from 7-gypsies, they have some really cool stuff!

I kept this book very simple...a few pictures on each page of what I love, and some notes to share.

After making this book, I wish I had one from my childhood home - I'm going to see if my mom can help me gather some photos so we can put one together.  Hope this inspires you to create your own book of where you have lived and the memories you've created.  

On a "Bento Box" kick

I'm hooked on the Bento Box concept.  My neighbor Emily, who is my original inspiration for assembling bento boxes, possesses super human mom powers, seriously, she makes her kids the most amazing lunches by packing it the "Bento" way! 

I loved the concept and soon began packing my own version of a Bento Box for my boys because I wanted to provide them more variety,  healthier choices and offer greater convenience.  It takes no more time than what I was doing before and actually saves me money, I'll explain.

Opening up one container with everything ready to consume is extremely convenient!  Have you ever had lunch at school with your child?  My oldest son has 20 minutes from the time he sits down to open his lunchbox, get every compartment, bag and container opened and devoured.  I sat for the first 5 minutes helping all his friends open milk containers, go-gurt packs, fruit cups, chip bags, juice boxes, cheese sticks and anything else their little hands couldn't open themselves.   By the time I was halfway through my salad, they were lining up ready to play!

My kids actually do love fruits and veggies, but this was profound...just by simply having the items ready to consume (no bags to mess with) they were more apt to eat everything I packed.  I always throw in items that I know they will love (my little one loves tomatoes...crazy, huh!)

My kids love to nibble on lots of things and not necessarily on the same item.  I've been able to open up their food choices by giving them a broader variety.  By not putting a whole bag of chips or crackers that might have previously filled them up, they will eat all the little veggies, fruits and even get a special snack along with their main course. 

We don't live close to an asian market so instead I found this little Sterilite container at Target and although it may appear to look small, this little guy can pack a perfect amount of food for lunch!  It measures 4 x 6 inches and approx 1 3/4" tall inside.  I like this particular box because it is so simple to open - all four sides have a snap that little hands can flip open with ease.   I found a drink cup that was small, easy to open, without a screw top and leak resistant (I know, if there is such a thing, but this one does work well).  I purchased this little gem at Target too  (in the sporting goods section).

Simply Cutting up some of the foods in different shapes or using cookie cutters, adding decorative toothpicks, special utensils or cups just adds to the fun!  I usually cut the boys sandwiches with either the Mickey Mouse or Flower cookie cutters.  Yes, I do have boys and they do get flower sandwiches sometimes.  I'm just not sure that a lightsaber cookie cutter would yield much of a sandwich after it was used.  *grin*  I also use different things from my kitchen to separate some of the food when it's in the container.  I'll use an assortment of items like mini, medium and large baking cups, doilies, waxed paper, bento dividers and even other plastic cups.  Thank you Emily again for some very fun food decorations!

The best advice I can give, is make sure you are using all the space in your box.  When things start to move around, it can get a little ugly inside and food can start to mix together and the last thing you need is something soggy.  I try and pack items tight and fill in all the gaps.  I do usually put my napkin inside along with any utensils.

We have been really getting creative with our lunch choices.  It's not just a turkey and cheese sandwich anymore.  We've been trying different types of sandwiches, sometimes no sandwich at all, the other day I made pumpkin muffins and the boys wanted those for lunch along with fruit and yogurt.  We do leftovers, pasta seems to be a favorite.  Anything that will tuck nicely in the box and doesn't need to be heated up is a great choice.  My kids don't seem to mind room temperature foods, although most times we've got a freezer pack keeping things cool. 

Save yourself money and consider purchasing the bulk conterpart to the items that you might normally have purchased that are packed for individual consumption.  Not only will you save money, your also saving the environment because now your producing less waste!  Hooray!  Assemble your food smart and you won't need separate bags!   

I hope you enjoyed reading about my version of a Bento Box...For more information and some great recipes, check out some of these websites that I've really enjoyed reading, they are so informative and thorough.     

My favorite Bento Box site is: Lunch in a box (building a better bento).
Great Recipes and Meal Suggestions: Meal Makeover Mom's Kitchen
Amazing Recipes and Great Mom Inspriation The Executive Mom

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My New Toy!

Ok, I have to admit, it's been a really LONG time since I got a new toy for myself!  I know, I know, I can hear it now, "you're always getting new stuff"...  getting papers, stickers, ribbons, etc,is like going to the store for eggs, milk and bread!  This new toy is very special to my collection and I'm so excited to get started!  I got the  Bamboo Craft Tablet & Pen for my birthday and can't wait to use it.  This will allow me a lot more flexibility to translate what I do on paper, onto my computer.  Hopefully there is not too much of a learning curve =) 

Here's my new toy (with my very ancient computer)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fun Phrase Friday

Welcome to "FUN PHRASE FRIDAY"! I absolutely love, quotes, phrases and statements that are thought provoking, funny and well, sometimes just down right wrong. Each friday, I will post something new whether it be a card/scrapbook or just something random! This week's FUN PHRASE FRIDAY is dedicated to my girl "Z" in Seattle, my favorite Starbucks Barista!   

"With enough caffeine, I could rule the world."

I wanted to give this card a clean, freestyle look, one that gave off a little energy.  I chose this zany paper by basicgrey's lime rickey collection which to me screamed "I've just had my coffee and now I could rule the world"  I upgraded the penguin's cup and cut out the setiment by hand (no punches used).  

The sentiment was cut freehand Materials used: Stamp: memory box penguin, sentiment stamp by Inkadinkado, patterened paper basicgrey lime rickey, ink, stampin up!, stampin up markers, rhinestones, doodlebug rick rack

What's in a name?

As I was doodling some ideas today, I thought I would share a little note as to where the name "TheDoodleSpot" originated.
To me, a name is very important, we tend to put a lot of thought into a name.  I remember in my Jr High Spanish class we each got to give ourselves a Spanish name.  My friend Rich chose "Picante".  Hilarious, to this day, his name is the only one I can remember!  I also remember the task of naming our children.  Thinking of names that we liked, names that possessed good meaning, that couldn't be shortened (unless we wanted them to be) that other kids wouldn't make fun of  and names that didn't have initials that created words like "RAT".  Yes, we thought of it all!
So with all of this in mind, creating the name for my blog was an important, thought provoking, personal mission.  I looked up other names; quite a few to be honest that I thought were sooo creative only to find them taken.  As I was doodling (something I do regularly) it came to me - TheDoodleSpot.  It was a name without boundaries, and one that reflected who I am, one that I am proud to say is my own.  I loved integrating the words "doodle" and "spot: since doodling is what I love to do and the spot is where you can go to find it!  And that's the story of how TheDoodleSpot came to be *grin*

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sneak Peak on my Special Little Memories minibook - Under Construction

It's time for me to get busy and complete some unfinished work.  I admit it, I'm guilty for starting and then storing some of my projects to work on new things.  This was a minibook I created to remember our old house back in WA.  I love the idea of creating an album that honors not only where you lived but the memories that went with it.  I'm happy we took some pictures that we can add to this book that will help our boys remember our old home. 
Materials Used:  Daisy D's Patterened Paper and Ribbons, BE House Chipboard, label buddy, key charm, white fibers, 7 Gypsies Open knob (my favorite!), K&co Brenda Walton stickers (I know, I know, can't stop loving K&co)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Handmade Valentines for my guys: Love You, Key To My Heart, Wild About You!

Love You Card - K&Company "Handmade" Specialty Paper and accessories

I raved about this paper pack yesterday, but after using many of the pieces I can't say enough good about it!  I think my husband will love his Valentines Day card this year.  I kept his card pretty simple using some grand adhesions, pop dots, patterned paper and die cut shapes.  I printed out one of my favorite photos to use as the focal point.  Here's a pic of the full card:
Love You Card - K&Company "Handmade" Specialty Paper and accessories

For the boys cards, I added some hand stitching using Stampin' Up! linen thread and used stitching templates from both  Stampin' Up! mat pack and  In Stitch'z by Bazill.  For my photos, I adjusted the color hue and saturation to give them a softer more vintage look.  The "Key to my heart" card features an acrylic overlay that is just magnificent!  Did you get your paper packs yet?

Key to my heart Card - K&Company "Handmade" Specialty Paper and accessories
Key to my heart Card - K&Company "Handmade" Specialty Paper and accessories

Wild About You Card:  K&Company "Handmade" Specialty Paper and accessories 

Wild About You Card: K&Company "Handmade" Specialty Paper and accessories

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

K&Company "Handmade" Paper Pack - What would you do?

Yes, I'm a HUGE fan of K&Company - I have to admit, their collections of paper, stickers, layered accents, embellishments, border strips, ephemera, alphabets, fibers, ribbons and not to mention fabric swatches are simply amazing! Just when I think they couldn't possibly get any better...out comes a new release just to prove they really know how to outdo themselves!  Look at this gorgeous collection called "Handmade"! Run, don't walk and pick this up yourself, you'll be so happy you did!  Or visit  "What's New" on the K&Company website. I'm going to be working on some valentines this evening for my boys using this collection.

PICTURED: K&Company Specialty Paper, Ephemera, Fabric Swatches, Adhesive Chipboard, Layered Accents, Tag Pad, Grand Adhesions

PICTURED:  K&Company Grand Adhesions

PICTURED:  K&Company Ephemera

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dragon Matchbox

This is my finished project for my matchbox swap through swap-bot.  (My boys thought it was pretty cool).  I had read that my swap partner liked dragons so I pulled out this dragon-themed sticker pack from Karen Foster called "My Brave Knight".    Inside, I added another tiny dragon sticker tucked away on the bottom of the box (see images below).  I then filled the box with a skull and crossbones stamp and inkpad (she likes those too).  We don't have to fill the matchbox with anything, but I thought she would like this too (another tip from her profile).  This little dragon will be off on a wonderful journey tomorrow as it's being shipped all the way to Denmark, what an adventure! 

To create the matchbox, I used my Sizzix Die Cut Machine and the Bigz XL Matchbox die.  The patterned paper I used was from Prima Marketing called "Rock Out Boy" and it coordinates so nicely! The green actually has a pattern like scales from a serpant (click on the picture to enlarge to see this better).

As true with the dragons, at least those the boys and I have read about, they are usually guarding their treasure, so I had to add some gems...(rhinestones) *wink*.   I also dressed up the dragon and the flag with some glitter (stickles "star dust" to be exact - my favorite product ever!).  Who doesn't love glitter...I know, there are a few of you out there. 
TIP:  here's a trick I use to get my stickers to look more 3-dimensional.  BABY POWDER.  Yes, rub the sticky part of your sticker in a tray filled with baby powder and it will neutralize the sticker...remove any excess baby powder and then add your pop dot to make it really pop off the page...simple.

Friends Forever Card

Ok, I have to admit, I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE earth tones (chocolate browns, olive green, turquoise, deep reds) and this paper pack is full of the colors that make me so happy!  This super simple card features K&Company's "Wild Saffron" cardstock collection, as well as a nice chipboard element (popped up for dimension).  I added some satin, blue ribbon with a little flair and stitching to finish the piece.   This card is going to find a nice home back in WA to one of my good friends.  Hope she loves it!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Diorama Tutorial

• 1 - Main Body Cardstock 8.5 x 11”
• 1 – Inside Body Cardstock 4.5 x 7.5”
• Additional Cardstock for Stamped Images

• Ribbons, brads, rhinestones, glitter, buttons…the sky is the limit *grin*
• Stamps, die cuts, stickers, patterned paper

Supplies Needed
• Adhesive (mono adhesive recommended)
• Scoring blade
• Paper cutter
• Circle Cutter (creative memories, coluzzle, EK success…whatever you have on hand)
• Scissors
• Pop Dots or dimensional

1. Score 1 ½” from each edge of the 11” side of the cardstock. Next score 4 ½” and 6 ½” of the 8 ½” side of the cardstock. (as pictured)

2. Cut along score lines as indicated in picture

3. Cut a shape out of one side of your box.  Be sure to center your cut out between all score lines and the top of the box. 

4. Score 1” from edge of the 4.5” sides of the cardstock. Cut a circle on the inside body being sure to center that cutout on all 4-sides.  (note:  I used white cardstock so it was easier to share with you all the different pieces, but you can stick with the same color as your main body)

5. Ok, READ THIS: before you go onto the next steps and start glueing away, take this time to decorate - it's so much easier!! I usually cut out all my stamped images, do all my stamping on the box itself, on the inside attach all the pieces where they need to go, etc etc. Sorry I don't have this photographed, but that would actually require me to make another diorama box and I'm rushing to get this posted.

6.  Ok, now that your box is almost complete, go ahead and start adding your adhesive. Add adhesive to 4.5" sides between the score lines of the inside body and the outer edge of cardstock as pictured below.

7.  Add adhesive to the middle tabs of the main body (on the bottom side - see picture).  Also, add adhesive to the very edges of the top side of the box that has the die cut circle.

8.  Wahlah!  Your box should be fully decorated at this point!  Great job, you should be proud of yourself!  I hope my tutorial helped you with this very fun diorama box.  You can even create a lid that covers the opening on the top, although it does not allow much light on the inside making it harder to see....I chose not to make one for this.  email me if you want the lid instructions and I can help you with that.


Happy Everything Diorama

This evening, I had a little peace and quiet in my office after the kids went to bed and while Stacy was watching tv.  I chose to create this charming little diorama.  I had to put this new Hero Arts stamp set (Happy Day Animals) to good use.  This is seriously adorable!  I've made dioramas in the past, but this one by far is so easy and just a joy to create.  I will be posting step by step directions on this style, so you can create a diorama for yourself!  I'd love to see pictures of what you create too, please share =)

front view
front view/top view