Day 1 of 2011 Holiday Gift Guide + Giveaway

(Hi! If you are a regular reader of my blog, this is a fun link to send to your loved ones – a gift guide to aid them in shopping for you. :) There will be 6 days to this guide with this being day 1. I did this last year and have already had a few husbands emailing me asking for ideas for this year.  So here it is…)

Dear 1
I know it can be hard to pick out crafty goodies for us crafters for Christmas. You never know what we have or exactly what we want. So I am here to help.

If you really want to make us smile on Christmas morning, get us a few crafty tools – ones that can be used over and over again. Many of these goodies are inexpensive… which I know is hard to believe with the usual high cost of our hobby. :)

So, I am here to help save the day. Here are some goodies I know your favorite crafty loved one will adore. These are tools that I LOVE. If you are interested in the price or where to easily get them, just click on the links for each. I listed a lot, so hopefully you will find something to suit your crafter. You could also take this list to your local craft store – they are always helpful!

And! I was telling that sweet Heidi at Simon Says Stamp that I was going to do this post again this year and she offered to hook you hubbies/loved-ones up with a deal. You can get 15% off everything listed here, in addition to their normal free shipping for USA and Canada for orders over $75 and worldwide free ship for orders over $300. Woohoo! No code is needed. Just go HERE to find all the gift ideas.

Let’s get started…

This gift idea is one that will last crafters a lifetime. Why? Because this bad boy has 400 yards. That is a lot, but May Arts Twine can be used very often for a few reasons. One, it is inexpensive. Two, it adds texture without bulk. Three, it goes with any style of project. Always the perfect touch. I recommend the Natural color, but also like the Ivory and Brown. (Click HERE for more info.)

This is one of those tools I thought I could live without… until I got one. Nothing helps with heat embossing as much as this Powder Tool dude. Definitely worth the $5. (Click HERE for more info.)

So for years many of us have been using the original (and very awesome) Corner Chomper that rounds 1/4″ and 1/2″ corners. A definite must-have. And now there is the NEW Chomper that rounds smaller corners – 1/8″ and 3/8.” Between these two, you are set. These are much better then other rounders because it rounds thick stuff easily and can be done after a card is complete, even if you have embellishments in the way. It rocks. (Click HERE for the original Chomper and HERE for the new one.)

OK. This is it. The Silhouette Cameo. The ultimate gift. It is pricey, but worth every single penny and I promise you that. This blows away any other electronic die cutting machine in each and every way. And you don’t have to be computer savvy to use it – it is extremely simple. It cuts fine detailed images and you can even print colored pieces then send it through your Silhouette to be cut. So if you really want to make your crafty loved one happy on Christmas morning, this is the ticket! You will thank me. :) Here is a video showing a bit about it. (Click HERE for more info.)

I will admit, there are a lot of inks out there and many of them are great. But few can compare to Distress Inks. These inks are unique in that they blend well and react with water, making them excellent for techniques and a must-have for stampers. And now there is a new product out called Distress Stains and they are just as fun and just as excellent to have in your crafting arsenal. There is one Distress Stain that stands above the rest – the white Picket Fence Distress Stain. It is incredible. Here is a video that Tim did explaining these products. (Click HERE for info on Distress Inks and Stains.)

Sometimes the best tools come in the simplest form. This White Uniball Signo Broad Pen costs less then a Stabucks coffee and is so much tastier. This white pen is unique from the others – it is vibrant and doesn’t start to run out on you mid-word. Wouldn’t it look so cute tied in the bow of a package under the tree? Hee. Oh, and the silver pen is just as fabulous. (Click HERE for more info.)

Us crafty folks love getting together with other crafty folks to learn a few new things. However, that isn’t always possible for everyone. So I introduce to you the perfect solution: Online Card Classes. I have been leading these classes with Kristina Werner and lots of guests. We keep it all simple, straight-forward, practical and “organic” (as a good friend of mine said – love that). You can come back and see content anytime. We have a few online class options right now:

  • Summer Card Camp – This class includes 8 videos and 45 card ideas, along with color inspiration, techniques and more.
  • Inspiration Showcase – This is a technique-driven class jam packed with 16 videos! The class shares the creation of a technique canvas, along with 32 card ideas. You will walk away from this class ready to try many new fabulous techniques.
  • Holiday Card Boot Camp – This class has 19 videos and 32 cards. And although all the cards are holiday themed, the techniques and ideas will work all year round.
  • The next class will be announced soon. Stay tuned.

If you sign your loved one up for a class and then later find out she already took it, no worries. We can move her into a different class. (Click HERE for more info.)

So this idea seems a bit silly. A ream of paper? Really? But Neenah white cardstock is the best ever. It works really well with Copic markers (more on that another day), Distress Inks (mentioned above) and everything else. This is the only white cardstock I use. (It just makes more sense to have one that works for everything, right?) You can go for the big momma ream or try a smaller pack. This paper is delicious. (Click HERE for more info.)

Ok, I will admit. This isn’t the most exciting present. But if you are looking for another small stocking stuffer or decoration for a package, this could work! Simply put, the T Square Ruler is useful. It is handy for lining things up when creating pages or cards. Another must-have. (Click HERE for more info.)

If your loved one is a crazy photo-taking scrapbooker like me, this idea is perfect for you. Why not do an online photography class? There are two I love.

The first is Clean Color from Erin Cobb. This class is amazing – a complete workflow video tutorial designed to show you the perfect image editing process. I can’t recommend it enough. (Click HERE for more info and an intro video.)

The second class recommendation is the December Daily Photography Workshop from Maggie Holmes. This month-long class goes along with the very popular series from Ali Edwards and would be a perfect early holiday gift.

And guess what? Maggie said I could give away a spot in this workshop! Just leave a comment here by Sunday night for your chance to win a post in the December Daily Photography Workshop! Good luck.

So there are some fun holiday gift suggestions. See you tomorrow with 10 more!

Lawnscaping Challenge, Cool Link and Giveaway

Hello there. Hope you had a good weekend.

I have a few fun things to share today. First up is my second card for the Lawnscaping Challenge. These folks have the happiest blog – you can find it HERE. This is their photo challenge:

So this stunning photo inspired me to actually create a holiday card… using the browns and reds…

I used Lawn Fawn stamps for the ornament and greeting. Love the playfulness of them. Used a new favorite background stamp on the dark brown notecard. For the string on the ornament, I had a bit of fun. First, I stuck some Ranger Foil on some white cardstock for stability. Next I used the Memory Box Crisp Bows die to cut it before adding it to the card. I cut the notecard short so that I could allow the bow to reach above the top and still fit in the envelope. Love the unexpected. Oh, and I used my new favorite Corner Chomper – it rounds corners in the smaller sizes of 1/8″ and 3/8″.

Supplies are below! Be sure to check out the Lawnscaping Challenge, too.

My dear friend Jill Foster has started a great new site with the owner of her LSS, Lisa Joy. Jill is a very talented gal, and this new blog and online store is great – I am so impressed by what they have created that I asked to feature them here. Here are some of the great things about Mementos:

  • Their blog is fabulous. Jill shares tons of projects including step by step video and photo tutorials.  Check out the blog HERE.
  • If you are looking to shop, they have a create rewards program – for every $250 spent you receive 25% off a future order of your choice. (More info on that HERE.) They also have free shipping on all US orders over $75 and Canada orders over $100. And if you want to shop in the month of November, use the coupon code, Be Thankful, it gives customers 10% off of their purchases made through the month of November. (Does not apply to classes DVDs and Bundle of Savings offers.)
  • Jill also has created some great DVD classes, with two new DVD classes each month. These projects are amazing and what really impressed me. Here’s a peek at this month’s Mementos Copic Club class. (It is really great if you are just beginning or have been contemplating purchasing your first Copic Markers).

  • And Jill also offers a Stamp Club DVD class in which students receive the featured stamp as part of their class fee. (For more info on these classes, go HERE.) Here’s a look at this month’s class.

So how about a giveaway? Just sign up to follow the Mementos blog HERE and leave a comment on this post for a chance to win.  I’m giving away a $50 gift certificate to Mementos AND a special release class DVD by Jill “Holly Jolly Stampin’ Party” loaded with techniques and showing the creation of 10 never before seen holiday cards. If you’ve already purchased the DVD and you win, Mementos will provide you with a refund.  More info on this DVD HERE.

Good luck!

I also have a winner from a past giveaway… Helen Schneiderman won the Holiday Card Boot Camp class spot. I emailed you!

Scentsy Fundraiser + Giveaway


I am here today to tell you about a great product… and a great cause.

For years, I have been using Scentsy wickless candles. (More about them in a moment.) And for years, I have supported juvenile diabetes research. (My brother is insulin-dependent.) So when I found out that one of my friends, Shannon Tidwell, now sells Scentsy… and that she said her commissions could go to help another one of my friends, Kristina Proffitt, raise money for diabetes research, I was thrilled. Please consider looking into this – such a great cause and a great product. Would be perfect for teacher gifts!

About Scentsy…

Scentsy sells wickless candles, ceramic warmers, and a variety of fragrance products. A wickless candle, called a Scentsy Bar or a Scentsy Brick, is a highly fragrant wax bar that is warmed to release fragrance into the air. Because the wax is gently warmed rather than burned, it can hold more fragrance oil than a traditional candle. And, because there is no flame, there is no smoke, soot, or lead. Scentsy wickless candles are a safer alternative to traditional candles. (This is the product I use and love. My favorite is THIS one with Cinnamon Vanilla and Baked Apple Pie. Just get a warmer and some bricks and you are good to go! Love love love.)

About the charity…

Kristina started Caylin’s Cure shortly after her daughter, Caylin, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She hopes to raise awareness about type 1 diabetes and raise money for diabetes research. All donations to Caylin’s Cure goes directly to Dr. Denise Faustman of The Faustman Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital to support her & her team in their diabetes research. You can find out more about Caylin’s Cure HERE –  and you can see more about Dr. Faustman and her work HERE. As someone who has a love one with diabetes, I can’t tell you enough how important this research is.

Shannon will be to donating her full 25% commission on ALL sales from this fundraiser party to this charity! This ends on November 30th, so please order soon. This can result in a great amount of money. Love it.

How to order…

To order and contribute to this great cause, simply go HERE and click ‘Buy From Party’ next to Jennifer McGuire’s Fundraiser. (See below.) If you have questions, please contact sweet Shannon at shannontidwell at

And a giveaway…

For doing this “party” for Shannon, I get a few hostess rewards. But I will be giving these all away – including a few Scentsy Buddies that will go to charity and another for a giveaway here! So leave a comment here by Sunday night for your chance to win my favorite Scentsy warmer and my favorite Baked Apple Pie Scentsy Brick.

Thanks for considering purchasing some of these goodies to support diabetes research. Remember – to order and contribute to this great cause, simply go HERE and click ‘Buy From Party’ next to Jennifer McGuire’s Fundraiser.

Thank you!!!

The Great Pumpkin Challenge


The sweet folks at Ranger asked me to be part of their Great Pumpkin Challenge. We all started with a plain pumpkin and used Ranger goodies to turn it into a fall decorative piece. Here’s mine…

Here’s the scoop: I tore lots of strips of Sticky Back Canvas. White heat embossed Hero Arts images all over the strips. Painted them with Distress Inks. And sprayed the living daylights out of them with Perfect Pearl Mist. And thanks to the Sticky Back Canvas, they stick right on easily. For the “M” I just printed it and traced it onto canvas. Fun…

Be sure to head over the the Ranger blog all this week. They will be showcasing several decorated pumpkins by other artists each day. You can find them HERE.

Take care!

Paper Crafts Connection Share + Giveaway


I just wanted to you a heads up about a post I have over on the Paper Crafts Connection blog today. I share a card, a bit about the Cards That Care Card Drive and a giveaway. You can find it all HERE.

We will back soon with more to share. Happy Wednesday.

I am here! … and a giveaway!

Sorry for being MIA for a bit. Took a much-needed relaxing weekend with friends. Soul-refreshing. Ahhhh.

But I am back and have lots to share over the next few weeks!

Today is a pocket card I plan to give to Colin’s teacher this week after parent teacher conferences. I totally admire what she does, so I gotta spoil her when I can.

Just created a sewn pocket on the front to hold a gift card…

See you again soon.

And I wanted to do a giveaway! Holiday Card Boot Camp is currently going and we are having such fun. Lots of ideas, videos, prizes and discounts. And it isn’t too late to join! All the content will be there forever, so you can come in anytime. And as a thank you to all of you who signed up, I wanted to give another spot away today. If you are already in the class, no worries! You can “pay it forward” and give your spot to a friend. Nothing feels better then giving, right? Just leave a comment here by Friday night for your chance.