Friday, May 25, 2012

CropChocolate's Design Team

Those of you who visit me here or on Facebook have heard me mention CropChocolate.  CropChocolate is my favorite place for not only getting my scrappy supplies (which, by the way, have grown tremendously in the year since I discovered this sweet site), but also for inspiration from both their members and their awesome Design Team.  And, most importantly, for the friendships I have found there.

It all started about 6 months ago, when Amber put out a call for a Focus Group.  We had a sketch by D2 (DeeDee) to interpret into a project.  At first, I was like "Nope, I don't do sketches".  But after some encouragement and some thought, I put together a layout and turned it in.  And that was the beginning of a wonderful experience.  Being part of the Focus Group encouraged me to do things I had not done before, with one of them taking part of a Blog Hop. We were given monthly challenges to do and I enjoyed doing all of them except for one (1) and that was because I was out-of-state for a funeral and didn't have time to shop for supplies.  We answered questions from Amber, Jon, and even each other.  Some were crafty related and some were not so much.

Anyway, I'm getting off subject here . . .  So recently, there was a call out for CropChocolate's new Design Team with the term being July 2012 - December 2012.  Once again, I was like "nope, no can do".  I mean, have you seen the work of the current Design Team?  There would be some pretty big shoes to fill.  But after some thought and my asking my favorite question "What's the worse that can happen?", I took a leap of faith and submitted two (2) projects for consideration.

One of the requirements for being on the DT was to have a blog . . . so that pushed me off the ledge and here I am.  You have seen a few of my projects posted, but so far they have only been for NSD challanges on CropChocolate.  But the DT call was going to be different because my projects would be judged based on criteria determined by the sweet folks of CropChocolate (Jon & McCall) along with a 3rd person who had yet to be decided.  And there would only be 10 spots to fill on the DT.

I would like to take a minute or so to say that the current design team has some super, duper :) talented ladies on it.  I have been so inspired by them and their projects.  So I want to say a big "THANK YOU" to all of them for all of your time, effort and creativity you gave this past year.  You have left some pretty big shoes to fill.  You can check their work over at The Crop.

Okay, so I had to submit two (2) projects - one (1) that reflects me as a crafter and tell how does it reflect ME; and one (1) that was "out-of-my-box" and why I chose this as my out-of-the-box.  For both projects, 50% needed to be CC products. I also had some questions to answer - "Why do you feel you would be a good fit for the CCDT?" and "What inspires me?".  My projects and answers have been submitted. But before I tell you who was picked, I'd like to share my projects and how I came about them . . .

My first project - "1 that reflects ME as a crafter . . . tell how it reflects ME"

My first project is a layout titled "Time Flies".  When I was thinking of who I am and what made me who I am today, three (3) things came to mind . . . I'm a 2x cancer survivor, a mom & a wife.  As I was thinking of those, it dawned on me that it's been 16 years since my 1st cancer diagnosis, 9 years since diagnosed with Leukemia & my stem cell transplant, my daughter would be turning 16 years old at the end of May, and I've known my husband for 20 years . . . oh, my, how "time flies".  So I had my title.  Since I still had difficulty looking at pictures during my cancer years, I decided to use my daughter as my subject for my layout.  Here's what I came up with:

My 2nd Project - "Something that is completely out-of-your-box" and why I chose this project as my Out-of-the-Box project"

My "out-of-the-box" project is along the same line as 1st project . . .  "Thru the Years". 

A few years ago, I saw at a craft show some wood block w/ sayings along with smaller blocks for pictures.  I always wanted to try decoupage (Modge Podge) and wood but was intimidated.  So it was filed away in my head as "to try someday". When I had to chose an out-of-the-box project for my DT submission, I immediately thought of that because I was still intimidated by decoupage (Modge Podge) and wood . . . and had yet to try using either of them for a home decor item.

You can say my project progressed from one idea to another.  Originally, I started out w/ a 2x4 and a 2x6.  I cut them to the sizes I wanted (3.5" squares from the 2x4 - because a 2x4 is actually 1.5"x3.5"; and 5.5" squares from the 2x6 because actual measurements are 1.5"x5.5"; and one piece that was 2x6x20").  But as I went through my pictures, I couldn't choose just 4-6.  So I ended up cutting my wood down to 1.5" blocks instead  . . . ended up with dozens blocks. :)  So I was able to use dozens of pictures throughout the years.  One thing I love about this project is how I can arrange them differently to fit my mood or where I 'm going to display them.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my projects as much as I enjoyed doing them.  (I'll get tutorials posted next week for both projects.)  And as I've said many times to friends and my hubby, even I don't get chosen for CCDT, I learned how to do decoupage thru trial & error and now have a great display of pictures which I can add more blocks to "thru the years". :)  Here's my 2nd project:

1st arrangement
Another arrangement . . . 

and another arrangement . . .
Well, those are my project submissions.  What do you think?  I think I did okay, but . . . .

Okay, I won't keep you in suspense any longer . . . I am now part of the most amazing Design Team.  I am a CropChocolate Chocolatier!!!!!  You can not even imagine how excited I was when I got the news . . . I jumped around doing my "happy dance", clapping my hand while my daughter just looked at me and rolled her eyes. :)  I am still in a bit of shock, but so very excited.  I am also a little intimidated by the talent I have to follow . . . as I said before, we have some pretty big shoes to fill.  And, even though I am a little intimidated, I am looking forward to the challenge.  I hope I don't disappoint!

So "Thank You" CropChocolate for selecting me and "Thank You" Amber for being such a great leader and a pleasure to "work" with!!!

Till I'm up in the night. Kathy

PS  I'll be posting tutorials for both projects later this week. :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

And the winners are . . .

Before I announce the winners of the drawing, I just want to express my thanks to each and every one of you who stopped by and gave me some lovin'.  I apologize not getting this posted sooner, but for some reason my "timed" post didn't work . . . but I'll figure that out later.

So on to the winners . . .

{{drum roll, please}}

1st name is . . . sweet3blue

2nd name is . . . pboszko

3rd name is . . . Jenny

4th name is . . . MomCleo

5th name is . . . mememeow

and last but not least, the 6th name is . . .  SharonDoesBaskets

Congrats to everyone . . . Please send an email to me @ with your name, addy and favorite color/paper and I'll get your blog candy out in the mail by the end of the week.  Please put "Blog Candy Winner" in the subject line of the email, so I know it isn't junk mail. :)

Again, congrats to everyone . . . I wish I could give EVERYONE some sweetness.  I will be giving away more at a later date, so keep an eye out because I never know when I'm going to give away more . . . sometimes to celebrate special times and at times "just because".  A hint - my daughter turns the big 1-6  in the next week or two. :)

Till next time I'm up in the night.  Kathy

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Paper Bag Tote

I'm so excited about posting my "1st Official Step-by-Step" instruction post.   But before I share, I want to let you know about some blog candy I'll be giving away.   Since this is my  "1st Official Step-by-Step" instruction post, I will be giving away some scrappy goodies to 3 lucky people . . . to be eligible, please become a follower and leave me a comment that you did so or that you already are.  I love getting some lovin'. :)  You have till Sunday at 11:59pm Central.  I will be drawing three (3) names and posting the winners here on Monday, May 21.  And who knows, maybe I'll give an extra one (1) or two (2) blog candies for "just because". :)  I love giving away blog candy.

Today, I decided to share with you how to make a paper bag tote that I did for one of CropChocolate's NSD Challenge #6 "Wedding Colors". For this, we were to use our wedding colors or favorite colors to make an altered project and had to use 50% CropChocolate products.  I chose to use my wedding colors of maroon and black and altered a paper bag.  Here's what the final project looks like:

(my supplies)
Here's a list of what I used for my bag.
CropChocolate Products:
"Sincerely" by Trinity Paper Arts
Black & White flowers by Celebrate It
Red Stickles
Black ribbon by Jillibean
Black Soot Stain by Distress Inks
Snake Tape
 Non CropChocolate Products: 
white paper lunch bag
Maroon ribbon/silk from stash (leftover from bridesmaids' dresses and flowers
magnetic discs

Here's a "general" supply list for your own bag:

Paper sack (small one about 5" wide)
5.25" x 12" Cardstock for base and front (will be cut into 2 pieces measuring 5.25"x5 and 5.25"x7")
5"x4.75" Patterned paper for front
5"x1.75" Patterned paper for flap
3.25"x4.25" cardstock for overhang**
notecard  (approx 3"x4") for front of overhang/front attachment**
12" ribbon for handle
magnetic discs (or you can use Velcro)
Optional - Ink (distress your papers with ink of choice) You can do this at any time during construction, but I preferred to do it at the very beginning.

(1)  Trim paper bag to 5" (from the bottom of bag)

(2)  Cut cardstock for base and front into two (2) pieces measuring  5.25"x5" and 5.25"x7"

(3)  Score the 5.25"x7" cardstock at 2" from the long side and fold.  Attach the 5"x1.75" patterned paper to the folded end.n 
(4)   Make two (2) openings in the fold with craft knife and insert handle.  (Once you have ribbon poking thru, apply a little adhesive to the ends poking and press down onto the wrong side of your back base to make it easier for when you do the next step)
(5)   Attach the bag.
(6)   Adhere front patterned paper to front base and attach to other side of bag.  (the picture shows attaching the front base first, but do whichever is most comfortable for you.)
(7)   Attach one of the magnetic discs from the pair (I did the + one) to the back of the notecard**.  Then attach the notecard to the 3.25"x4.25" cardstock.**   Adhere to bag flap.
(8)  Take the other magnetic disc and let it attach itself to the back of flap. (This will not only help you position it for attaching it to the front of bag, but also make sure you adhere the magnetic disc with the correct side up . . . I didn't do this the 1st time round and my discs ended up "repelling" each other.)  Adhere a mini glue dot or any strong adhesive.  (I hope that made sense.)
(9)  Close flap and firmly press against front of bag.  Gently open and  you'll see your magnetic disc adhered to the front of bag.
(Sorry, for the sideways view . . . not sure what is happening because it's the right way up both on my camera and in my file.  So don't know why this pic out of all of them decided to turn sideways.  But I hope you get the general idea as to what happens with the magnetic disc.)

(10)  Adhere any embellishments to flap and elsewhere on the bag.  And, voila . . . you're done.
(Front view)

(Side view)

**If you don't want to use or have a note card, you can cut cardstock to whatever size you want.  I did one where I cut the cardstock for the overhang at 3.25"x3.25" and patterned paper for front attachment at 3"x3" and embellished with a 2" rosette.  It all depends on how you want your tote to look. :) **

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope you have as much fun as I did making this paper bag tote.  Please remember to become a follower and leave a comment (as I said before, I love getting some lovin') to be eligible for some great blog candy.  And check back Monday, May 21, to see if you are the winner. :)

Till the next time I'm "Up in the Night" - Kathy

Monday, May 14, 2012

What a week . . .

What a week this has been . . . not only did  I have challenges to do for CropChocolate, but I also had to finish up my Design Team submissions for CropChocolate's Design Team.  I had to do 2 projects . . . 1 that reflected me as a crafter and one that was out-of-my-box.  I'd love to share them with you, but I can't until I know the decisions of the "powers that be" from CropChocolate. :0

In the meanwhile, I'd like to share with you 3 more projects I did for the NSD challenges.

NSD Challenge #2 - "Something New"
"We’ve all bought something that we’ve never used before, and if you’re like me – it’s probably still sitting there waiting for you to use it. So break out that new product and get crafty with it!!!"

So this is what I did (Sorry, it's sideways . . . I've tried everything and can't get it to turn . . . it shows correctly on my computer and camera, but not here. Hmmm?)

I chose Lush in Pink.  I bought it from CC and knew I wanted to use it for these pictures even though I had already scrapped them years ago.  This challenge gave me the incentive to use the paper along with other "new" items.

Here's what I used:
CC Products:
Lush (pink) by MME (paper, rhinestones, alpha)
Walnut Stain distress ink
Snake tape (this has become my "favorite" adhesive"
NonCC Products:
"Say it with pearls" by Prima
Bo Bunny Trim (I cut it apart for middle of flower)
KiwiLane Templates

NSD Challenge #6 - "Wedding Colors"
"Choose your Wedding colors or your favorite colors to create an altered art project."

For those who remember (I know it's been awhile), my wedding colors were maroon and black.  So for this project, I chose to alter a white paper lunch sack.  (check back tomorrow for step-by-step instructions on how to make one of your own and to be entered into a drawing for some blog candy . . . details tomorrow.)

Here's my "Paper Bag Tote":
CC Products:
"Sincerely" by Trinity Paper Arts
Black & White flowers by Celebrate It
Red Stickles
Black ribbon by Jillibean
Black Soot Stain by Distress Inks
Snake Tape
 Non CC Products: 
white paper lunch bag
Maroon ribbon/silk from stash (leftover from bridesmaids' dresses and flowers
magnetic discs

Again, check back tomorrow for step-by-step instructions on how to make your own "Paper Bag Tote" and to be entered into a drawing for some awesome blog candy. :)

NSD Challenge #7 - "Strike up the Band"
"Strike Up the Band Create a project using an accordion base."

For this project, I can't take all the credit myself.  I did something similar in a class at my LSS, but I did change a few things for it.  I used paper lunch sacks for my "accordion" base.  Here's what I came up with:
(front view)

(side view)

CC Products:
"Note to Self" by Echo Park
Walnut Stain Distress Ink
Snake Tape
NonCC products:
brown paper bags
elastic string & eyelet (both from stash)

I"ll check with my LSS to see if I can post instructions on this.  If I can, look for it later this week.

I did do a couple more challenges, but the pictures didn't turn out so I didn't enter them.  Once I get some decent pictures, I'll still share them with you here. :)

Thanks so much for taking a look at what I've been up to this past week.  I do wish I could share with you my Design Team submissions . . . I'm really happy/excited about them.  But until I know if I'm selected or not, I can't post them . . . and, if I am selected, you'll have to wait till after they are shown on CropChocolate.  

Till next time when I'm up in the night. Kathy

Sunday, May 6, 2012

National Scrapbook Day - Challenge #1

Yesterday was National Scrapbook Day and my all-time favorite on-line store (CropChocolate) was having an on-line crop.  The themes for the challenges had to do with their "marriage" to another great online store (Oh My Crafts).  Here's what the challenges were for yesterday (Saturday, May 4):

NSD Challenge #1: "Something Old" -  "Use your OLDEST scrapbook product to create a one of a kind project."

NSD Challenge #2: "Something New" -  "We’ve all bought something that we’ve never used before, and if you’re like me – it’s probably still sitting there waiting for you to use it. So break out that new product and get crafty with it!!!"

NSD Challenge #3: "Something Borrowed" - " Let’s celebrate the creativity of all of us!! I’m sure there’s a LO or project that someone else has done that’s totally caught your eye. “Borrow” it as inspiration and create your own! **Please try to use someone here at CC's work! You can search back through contests and profiles. :)**"

NSD Challenge #4: "Something Blue" - "There are SO many amazing shades of blue in the color spectrum. Incorporate 5 elements of blue into a project."

So far I have #1 completely finished and #2 & #3 almost done (just need to get pictures printed, but have to get a new ink cartridge first).

Here's what I did for NSD Challenge #1:

CC products:
"Splash" by EP
"Lime Twist" twine by MME
Making Memories Alpha rub-on (2011)
"Beach Babe" by Fancy Pants
"Summer Days" rub-on by EP
orange lines are a rub-on by Fancy Pants (I cut it apart and made them the width & spacing I wanted)
Snake Tape
Xyron photo tape
Walnut Stain Distress Ink

Non CC: 
My "old" are Creative Memories photo trimmer (the blue one)
Making Memories automatic setter
mini brads by Doodlebug Design

Other non-CC products: 
misc. flowers from stash
"Fun in the Sun" ribbon by American Crafts

Today, there will be more challenges (#5-#8).  So of you haven't already, stop on by CropChocolate and join in on the fun.  All challenge entries are due May 13, 2012 by 11:59pm MST.

Till next time when I'm up in the night!  Kathy

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hi, everyone!  Happy NSD!!!  Just want to tell you about a fellow CCer who has just started her own business . . . making homemade badges.  Check it out at  Also, go to Laci's blog "Serious Scrap" and leave her some lovin . . . she's also having a giveaway today.

Till next time when I'm Up In the Night.  Kathy

Friday, May 4, 2012

2nd testing . . . 1, 2, 3 . . .

While I'm waiting for my daughter to come up with a design for my "Up in the Night with Kat" blog, I found this current template on Leelou's blog.  After some help from Brenda (centralnyscrapper), I was able to get things arranged much better . . . what can I say?  I need a book called "Blog set-up for Dummies". :)  But Brenda was able to answer my questions in great detail that even my kitty could probably set-up a blog.  lol  Anyway, a big "THANK YOU" to you, Brenda!!!

Now that I have my blog set-up, I wanted to do a "practice" post.  So I decided to use what I did for CropChocolate's 2nd Annual Blog Hop.  At the time, I didn't have a blog, so Brenda let me post as a guest blogger on her blog "Crafting for Sanity? or Insanity?".  The following is what I said and did:

Thank you, Brenda!  I'm so excited to be a part of of the 2nd Unofficial Crop Chocolate Blog Hop. And since this is my first time being part of a blog hop, I will be giving away some scrappy goodies to 3 lucky people . . . just leave a comment for me and I'll draw the names on Wednesday after the Blog Hop.

When I first heard about the Blog Hop, I was like "Nope . . . No way . . . No can do" because it would be way out of my comfort zone. :)  But after some encouragement from others and thought on my part, I decided to give it a try.

I had a few ideas but lacked a lot of time for most of them.  I knew I wanted to use one of my new Lucky 8 punches by We R Memory Keepers.  And since it's been so Spring-like the past 2 weeks, I wanted to use "Walk in the Park" paper collection by Echo Park.  So after playing around, this is what I came up with:

I used my Lucky 8 punch "Tatted Doily"; Friskars' scallops w/ dots edge punch for turquoisse strip; and butterfly punch by Martha Stewart.  For the butterflies, I punched 2 from 2 different colors, folded up the wings and layered them.

Here's my final layout:

CC products used:  
"Walk in the Park" by Echo Park
Walnut Stain distress ink
Snake adhesive

Non-CC products used:
Orange flower & green brad (from stash)
pop-up glue dot

Please take time to comment, so I know I did this right. :)  Once I've checked to make sure everything is working the way I want, I'll be posting my "First Official" Blog Post.  Keep an eye out for it . . . for I'll be having a drawing for some awesome blog candy since it will be my 1st Official blog post and as a "Thank You" for visiting.

Till the next time I'm "Up in the Night" - Kathy