My name, Karin, was pretty common when I was growing up...just not the spelling. Unless you are of German heritage like I am. So, I have spent my entire life answering the question, "What is your name"?... With, "Karin...with an "i"! Who knew it would come in handy all these years later when I went to name my blog.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bits and Buttons

Hi Friends,

Here we are at the end of another year...Unbelievable to me. I think back to last year at this time and the idea of a blog for me personally was not even a speck in my little brain. I am still not exactly sure what made me try and figure out how to do this one random day this past July. Except that I wanted to learn something new. How can you if you don't try, right? I never even kept a journal when I was a kid, but the craftiness and card making seem to fit me and this medium very well. At least for now. I'm looking forward to getting back to my old routine next week. I have missed visiting all the blogs and seeing what everyone is up to!

Until then, here are a few fun cards I made using some new birthday toys. Yes, my B-day is at Christmas time and if you have ever thought a birthday at this time of year would be no fun, you would be right. So, to ease my suffering, I buy my own toys now.

I bought some new sets from Papertrey Ink and I finally got to break out the paper I won as blog candy on Debbie Olson's blog, Thinking Inking, this past fall. (Two sided yummy, Cosmo Cricket paper...How many ways is there to say fabulous? Love it!)

My sister-in-law and her husband have birthdays the beginning of January (yeah, kinda bogus too) so this first card is for her... and this card is for him. Kinda girlie I guess, but he is a bird lover, so I think with the sentiment he will think he will appreciate it. No bow was my manly compromise.
This last card is for someone who is going through a serious illness. I wanted something cheerful, so I thought this sentiment and balloon image would fit the bill. I loved that I was able to curve the sentiment to fit around the image. That is one benefit to the unmounted photo polymer stamps. I have such a love/hate relationship with them :)

Well, I hope you have a fun and safe time ringing in the new year tonight. Rod and I will be at home, having steak and lobster (Hey, it's a holiday!) and watching movies, both of which have a new years eve scene in it. They are not new, (and we have seen both a billion times) but if you like romantic comedies and haven't seen When Harry met Sally or A Lot Like Love, I highly recommend them. Neither one is near as perfect as The Philadelphia Story, but who could compete with Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart and Katherine Hepburn!?

As always, thanks for stopping by and see ya next year!

Details-Stamps:Papertrey Ink, Stampin' Up!, Paper: Martha Stewart, Cosmo Cricket, Ink: Stampin' Up!, button, ribbon and twine from my supplies.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Some Sympathy

Good Monday Morning All,

It seems so long since I last posted. I hope you had a great Christmas holiday with family or friends. We sure did a lot of visiting the past few days...This time of year is always a whirl wind!

Christmas Eve we spend time at Rod's mom's home. She always makes dinner and it's a great time to catch up with my nieces. Then at 9:00 pm we race back home and start preparing for my family, who come over after church. I think it was 1:30 am Christmas morning when we climbed into bed.

Christmas morning I got up and made some food to take over to my cousins for dinner that afternoon. They only live a half hour away, but we don't see them much except for on holidays, so it was great to reconnect with everyone and swap memories from Christmases past.

Saturday was a break in the visiting schedule for us, I actually got outside for an hour long walk! Fantastic to be able to get fresh air and clear the brain.

On Sunday, we met some friends of my parents that we haven't seen in years for lunch. We had a feast at Maggiano's and got caught up on each others lives. It was warm and wonderful sharing stories and stuffing our bellies!

We did receive some sad news too. Our friend, whom Rod has been friends with since childhood, had his father pass away on Christmas day. So the little bit of stamping time I squeezed in on Saturday was spent making sympathy cards. Not even my new stamping toys were that much fun to use when working on making this type of card. Oh well. Here they are with the details on the products used at the end.

Thanks for stopping by today. The Lindsay's Stamp Stuff design team had the week off because of the holiday, but we will be back next Monday with all new projects. In the mean time, if you want to check out some new Valentine's Day digital stamps visit Lindsay's blog or the store.

Details-Stamps: Papertrey Ink, Stampin' Up, Inkadinkado, Ink: Stampin' Up, Paper: Office Max, The Paper Company, Nesties, Cuttlebug folder, Ribbon and button from my supplies.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Merry Christmas!

For unto to us is born this day in the city of David, a savior, named Christ the Lord!

Luke 12:11

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Valentine

I don't know how, but I managed to sneak in some "just for fun" stamping time. I decided to play along with the sketch challenge at Everything but the Kitchen Sink and it was soooo much fun making a non-Christmas card! Even though I need to make a few New Years cards, I had to make a Valentine's Day card for this challenge. I immediately thought of this stamp when I saw the sketch. I have so few stamps that are tall like this one.

I picked that paper up early in the year and never used it. ( I do that a lot. Have some grand plan that never comes to fruition. ) Well, I was happy to have it now.

I used markers to color the stamp and then huffed on it. My trusty Stickles are the bling, and I opted for a button for my corner embellishment.

I hope things are going well for all of you, getting last minute details in order for your Christmas celebration.

Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Details- Stamps: Printworks, Paper: Bazill, Martha Stewart, Susan Branch, Markers: Sugarloaf, Border Punch: Martha Stewart and Crop-o-Dial, button and ribbon from my supplies.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tree #3

Hey Everyone!

In case you thought I forgot to post about my last tree, I didn't. This one is actually my favorite. I consider it "our" tree. Some of the ornaments that used to hang here, have moved to the theme tree and my childhood tree, but these ornaments are special because they have been gathered over the years that we have been married. Lots of them have come from vacations and gifts, and the memories flood back each year when I pull them out to decorate. I love the skinny-ness too, because it fits perfectly in the corner of the family room, and it's also the one with the colored bulbs.

This little wooden ornament of the manger scene (sorry for the lousy picture!) is one that I got when I was 5 yrs old. I received it from my Sunday School teacher for reciting my part in the Christmas program at church. I still remember my mom making me practice it. She would make me stand at the furthest end of the hallway, and she would be in the kitchen. Then she would make me speak it loud enough for here to hear it. This was so she would be sure everyone in the last pew could here me :) It worked, and I still remember it to this day, Micah 5:2.

Candy canes (in the background of the above pic) are always hung on here as well. I love the traditional look of them, but they were hung all over the tree the first Christmas we were married. Mostly due to the lack of ornaments at the time. That tree the first year, was one of only two live trees we ever had, too.

This is the ornament my dad bought for me the first Christmas after my mom passed away. My mom was the shopper, and I can't even remember my dad physically purchasing anything for me himself, ever. So, corny as it is, it is so special. That's pretty much all I'll say about it, any more and I will start crying at the keyboard...Oops, too late.

Yes, this is Myrna Loy. She is probably most famous for starring in The Thin Man series of movies with William Powell back in the day. Fabulous movies, highly recommend them. She was purchased at a store in Times Square on one of our vacations. There are 6 other old time Hollywood stars that came with her. I love that the dog, Asta, is with her too, and the total strangeness that they would be Christmas ornaments. But, we love old movies and it speaks of our slight eclectic sensibilities. That, and the fact that they are at home on the tree with my Bible Story ornaments.

Love that these are all from the Old Testament, and not directly involved with the traditional Jesus, Mary & Joseph thing. I love that Ruth is carrying her wheat. I accidentally dropped her last year and had to frantically glue her back together. She is the lone woman of the group...the others are Noah, Joseph (in the multi colored coat) Daniel (w/the lion) and Moses.

These last ones are more recent, but Charlie Brown Christmas special is one of our favorites. We watch them all, every year, reciting the catch phrases as we go. I guess we still watch them because they were all on all through our lives. This one lights up, and Linus recites the Christmas story just like on the TV special, ending with, "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." Hallmark sure knows how to suck away my money. At least I don't hand them any money for cards anymore!

Last, but definitely not least, a mini version of the "Leg Lamp". This came first, before this one, but clearly it wasn't enough!

There are many more ornaments, but I'm sure you have been bored long enough...Besides, I need to leave some to blog about next year :) Thanks once again for indulging me!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

All Occasion Card

Good Monday Morning!

I can't believe Christmas is this week. I'm really looking forward to spending time with my family and I hope you have a grand time celebrating as well.

No more Christmas cards from me today...At this point, if you don't have an idea yet, I say run to the store and buy some! LOL!

This is an all occasion card that will probably get turned into a thank you card after recieving some lovely gifts this weekend. I used the Doodle Flowers set from Lindsay's Stamp Stuff along with my "go to" layout to make this sweet card. A pearl brad in the center of the flower gives it a bit of elegance.

Don't forget, the Buy 2 get 1 free is still going on at Lindsay's Stamp Stuff through December 23rd. Order your 2 sets, and when you checkout, type the set you want for free in the customer comment box. Easy as pie!

You can see what Lindsay and the rest of the design team has made below:








Details: Markers: Sugarloaf,Bic Mark-its, Nestibilities, Paper: Office Max, DCWV, Ribbon and brad from my supplies.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Tags

Hey there!

This is a quick post of more PTI tags that I have used on, and for EVERYTHING this year! I sure got my moneys worth out of this set of stamps. This happens to be a gift of handmade tags that is going in a bag with the Spice Mix and Snowman Soup from the last post.

The box instructions were copied down from a blog last summer, but I have seen instructions for the same or similar box over on SCS. I made a cover for the box using a piece of acetate, but it was giving me a glare in the photo. I do have one though, I promise.

These were simple to make, but a bit time consuming. I suggest making these in July, and keeping them for the holidays, so you aren't a crazy woman at this time of year. Just a little tip from me to you.

Hope all your holiday prep is on schedule!

Details-Paper: Office Max, Bazill, Stamps:PTI, Ink: Stampin Up, Twine from an unknown source.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Gifts

Hi Friends,

Here are some more of my homemade gifts that I plan on passing out this year. This is my Snowman Soup ( Hot Chocolate ) and I used the templates from Nichole Heady's blog for the hanging tag. The top of the containers are embellished with a snowflake from my PTI holiday tags set.

This is the cocoa recipe that I used :

10 c. dry milk powder

4 3/4 c. confectioners sugar
1 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa

1 3/4 c. non dairy creamer

Mix 3/4 c. boiling water with 1/3 c. mix. Enjoy!

This Chili Spice Mix was a last minute addition to my gifts. My sweet blogging friend and design team mate, Cheryl , turned me on to this site here , and that is where the idea came from.

They even had a link to these cool tags for the top!

Thanks for visiting and I hope this helps someone for a last minute gift idea!

PS- Keep in mind that the sale is still going on over at Lindsay's Stamp Stuff. Stamp sets are still Buy 2 Get 1 free until December 23rd!

Details not mentioned above-Ink: Stampin Up, ribbon from my supplies.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How Do You Know When Someone Is Your Friend?

Hi Everyone!

Quick post of a birthday card I made awhile back. Pretty simple and straight forward, it's a layout that came out of my little brain. However, I did add some shading around the sentiment after looking at the photo. So imagine that when you look at it...LOL!I love the kid phrases in the set from Inkadinkado. So versatile and useful for many occasions.

Busy day for me...thanks for popping by!

Details- Stamps: Inkadinkado, Ink: Stampin Up, Paper: Office Max, Stampin Up, DCWV, Nestabilities, Rhinestones from my supplies.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Quintessential Cleveland Christmas Decoration

Hi Everyone,

I know I have been showing you pictures of my Christmas trees, but we here in the Martin house have another decoration I thought I would share. Just when you thought we were super normal and boring, I show you a photo of this:

Yes, a genuine "Major Award"! Can this be real you ask? Is that really in the front window of this woman's home? Yep, and yep.

In case you haven't guessed, we are fans of the movie A Christmas Story. It was filmed partially in Cleveland ( when I was in high school, my marching band was invited for the filming of the downtown parade scene. They are even listed in the credits.) and the house used in the filming is now a museum dedicated to the movie.

Have I been to see the house? Where do you think the Leg Lamp came from???

Actually, my husband got it for me for my birthday one year...It comes in a box marked "Fragile" and has a Major Award certificate too. Very cute... Don't most women get jewelery or perfume for their birthdays though?

Not sure I want to know what that says about us!

Merry Christmas...And remember, "Don't shoot yer eye out!"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Perfect Packaging

Good Morning!

I hope everyone reading this has started their Christmas shopping by now, because there are only 11 days until Christmas morning! Unbelievable!

With that frightening, I mean happy, thought in mind, I'm excited about bringing you some attractive and inexpensive packaging using some of the products from Lindsay's Stamp Stuff.

This first item is a little box just the right size for treats. It's a pizza box design, I just modified it so that the top and bottom would fit the Curved Rectangles die from my Nestabilites. To decorate it I used the Winter Printables set, added a bow and a...
gift card! It fits perfectly...I love that the recipient will have a gift to open, rather than the more typical envelope that these may come in.

In an earlier post here, I mentioned making some dish soap as Christmas gifts this year. I'm looking forward to giving these small gifts away, but I was concerned about the packaging. Even at the dollar store a small bag is, well a dollar, which significantly adds to the cost of the "small, inexpensive gift".

So, I bought a package of these small bags (40 count) at the craft store for a little over $2.00,

they just aren't so attractive all by themselves...

So, with a little more help from the Winter Printables set, I made this cute holiday bag...

This put me on a roll. Using the snowflake folder, I decided to run the bag through my Cuttlebug and give the bag some texture. Then I used an image from the Warm Winter set, and closed it up with a ribbon.

I haven't even mentioned the best part...Lindsay's Stamp Stuff is having a sale until December 23rd! Buy 2, get 1 free!

Just order your 2 sets, then when you checkout, type the set you want for free in the customer comment box. The 2 purchased sets and the free set must all be from Lindsay's Stamp Stuff at My Grafico.

Gotta love a deal!

You can click here, if you missed my post using the Christmas Potpourri set from Lindsay's Stamp Stuff to decorate my recycled bag...or you can visit Lindsay and the rest of the team and see what creative packaging ideas they have for you.

Thanks for visiting!

Here are the details not listed above-Marker: Sugarloaf, Bic Mark-Its, Stickles, Ribbon and brad from my supplies

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mojo Christmas Card

Hi Everyone,

This is a quick last minute post of the most recent Mojo Monday sketch challenge. I needed to make one more Christmas card and this sketch was on my desk. I decided to use this for the card, so I'm quickly posting it before the day is over. I have been making Christmas tags using PTI's Holiday Tag collection from last year, so they were able to make it on the card as well.
It was one of the quickest cards I've ever made, I think it was just dumb luck that all the pieces laying about happened to fit. This should happen more often. (Wink)
See you tomorrow for some creative packaging using Lindsay's Stamp Stuff! Remember, the current promotion at her store is Buy 2 get 1 free!
Have a great night!
Details-Paper: Office Max,Paper Pizazz, ANW Crestwood, Ink: Stampin Up, Stamps: PTI, Punches: Marvy, Paper Shapers, ribbon from my supples

Edited to correct link.

Friday, December 11, 2009

This-n-That and a Hedgehog Hello

Hello Peoples!

Lately I have been planning my posts ahead of time, since I knew I would hit a time crunch this week, so it seems like I haven't blogged in ages. It's been all good, busy stuff, so I will tell you about some of it now.

This past Sunday we had a family Christmas Tea, hosted by my Aunt Inge at Ashley Place.

It's a lovely tea room,
with a great, big gift shop attached. For those of you that care, they sell Brighton, Vera Bradley, Pandora, Troll Beads and much more;

Including gift-y tea items.

We had a nice time talking and catching up with the cousins, all while enjoying some fabulous treats. Heavenly and festive!

Thanks for a great time Aunt Inge!

On Tuesday, I had the ladies from my Bible study over and we had a great time of food and fellowship. I would show you some pictures of our time together, but I was having so much fun, I forgot to take some! You'll just have to take my word for it, that my house was clean and all the food was yummy.

Wednesday rolled around and I actually went out buying my first group of gifts. I am no where near done, but at least I feel like I made a small dent in my list.

Yesterday I took Aunt Inge out shopping for Christmas and she took me to lunch here. I've been there before, but it's been a few years. It really is a nice place and very historic...Until recently, I didn't know about it's ties to the Underground Railroad. Very cool and my salmon was excellent.

So, that brings me to today. I have so much to do to catch up here at home. (Laundry! It seems like it's always looming.) I want to figure out what I need in order to get my packages to the Post Office, so they can ship out on Monday. I still have to finish writing those Christmas cards that I want to attach a longer note to, and finish making my dish soap. ( I made 25...only 48 more to go! Ack! Then there's the packaging of them...) I really think it's easier to buy gifts, than to make them. (Who said that???!)

Well, if you've stuck with me this long, I guess I should show you a card. I made it awhile ago when I first came across the easel style of cards, and wanted to give them a try. I was hoping to save this to show off closer to Valentine's Day, but what the heck. Here it is:
Cute, huh? I bought this retired Stampin' Up set from someone because I thought it was just darling, but I wasn't so sure how I would do with the coloring part of the open lines of these images. No worries, I like it just fine.

This is the inside...

and the side view.

Well, thanks for letting me ramble on, and be on the look out for some cute packaging ideas from the Lindsay's Stamp Stuff Design Team.

Have a great rest of the day!

Details- Stamps: Stampin' Up!, Paper: Bazill, Office Max and unknown source, Ink: Stazon, Markers: Sugarloaf, Colored Pencils: Koh-I-Noor, Punches: EK Success, Ribbon, Button and Brad from my supplies.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tree # 2

Good Morning!

Here is the picture of my second tree. ( You can see the first tree here.) This formal tree is in the corner of my dining room.

I didn't set out to be a psycho with 3 Christmas trees, but when Target has a sale, and the tree staring at you is $5.00, it must be bought. Yes, that's not a typo... $5.00!

I mean, you can barely buy a cup of coffee for $5.00! How could I NOT buy this??? Are you looking at it? Sheer perfection. I love it. And did I mention, it was Five Dollars! My living room tree was the one with the formal white and gold thing for all the years we lived here, but then my Mom passed away. So, with me being an only child and therefore keeper of all things sentimental, it was a good thing I bought this five dollar tree and packed it away for, "Ya never know when ya might need it."

I even had friends borrow this one Christmas when they were selling their house. They didn't want to do the real tree thing with all the uncertainty, so they loved having this tree that year.

I never got so much out of $5.00 in my whole life.

Have a great day, and if you have a story about a tree or ornament I would love to hear it!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Olive You

Good Evening!

(This is my second post for today, since I will be taking the day off from posting tomorrow.)

The most recent challenge over at Everything but the Kitchen Sink was another crazy one...Toothpicks! If you hop over to this blog, you will be amazed at what beautiful and creative cards these chicks came up with. I was just gonna blow this one off after seeing their samples. No way could I compete with those ideas...or could I???

So, my idea ended up being really no idea, because I decided to use the toothpick...as a TOOTHPICK!

A very CAS (clean & simple) card that I am planning on using as my husbands Valentine's Day card. How's that for being early and on top of stuff?!

This card measures 4 1/4" x 4 1/4" and the olive was made using a circle punch. I just re-punched the green circle and shaved off one side to make it more oval. Then I used a smaller punch for the pimento. I cheated (I didn't have a stamp with this phrase one it!) and printed out the sentiment on my computer... I don't know if I've ever made a card without any stamping at all. This may be a first.

So, is this a cop out, or am I an evil genius? You pick.
Have a good one...
Details-Paper: Office Max, The Paper Company, Punches: Stampin' Up!, Ribbon from my supplies.

Peace Filled Holiday Card

Good Morning All,

If anyone knows where the time is going this month, can you let me know so I can grab some back? Sheesh...I'm at that point where I'm starting to panic!

So, on that note, it's going to have to be a quickie post today showing off a Christmas card I made using another digital Stamp from Lindsay's Stamp Stuff. The dove image is from the Christmas Cupcake Wrapper set.

I like that this set has these little versatile, medallion like images that can be used to complete a card in no time flat. The background and cut-outs were made using the Cuttlebug and the dots in the nipped off corners and the scallops are made with a white gel pen. Of course no card is complete without a little dazzle (Stickles)during the holidays...

To see more inspiring ideas using Lindsay's Stamp Stuff, visit Lindsay and the rest of the design team.



Thanks for stopping by today...Hope you week is full of peace and harmony!

Details not listed above-Ink: Bic Mark-Its, Punches: Fiskars and Stampin' Up, Paper: Office Max and Stampin Up, Ribbon from my supplies.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Dish Soap

Hi All,

Today I have an idea for a gift that is not my own. This was inspired by my friend Holly who made this last year for party favors. She loved the dish soap they sell at Williams Sonoma, so she set out to see if she could make some herself. It turned out great. So....

My friend Laura made some this year, gave it to me, and I decided it was so fabulous, I had to make some too! We got all of our supplies here. They have everything...Scents and containers, different lids, you name it.

I shared some of my Vanilla Sugar scent with Laura....

and she gave me some of the White Christmas scent she had. I'm always so excited to make and give a gift that is not something that has to be eaten!

I printed out the labels on my computer and stamped some snowflakes on them. Then I made a simple tag and attached it with some ribbon.

I'm so happy to have some small gifts at the ready so early in the season!

The ladies over at A Passion for Papertrey have an easy challenge this week...Make something with a Christmas tree on it. Well, I guess this qualifies, so I'm linking this over there to help spread the holiday cheer!

Details- Ink: Stampin' Up!, Stamps: Stampin' Up! and Papertrey Ink, Punches: Marvy, EK Success.

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