Thursday, December 25, 2008

Where does he get it?

We don't know!?!?!? He just came out of his room this afternoon with a George Washington wig, a spear and a shield. I thought he looked like a Zulu Amedius! He just cracks me up... Life is never boring around our place! This will be a fun "scrapable moment."

Hope you've had a GREAT Christmas! Ours has been wonderful...and full of many strange moments...stranger than the picture of Weston! Remind me to tell you about it someday.

Monday, December 22, 2008

So many :good: things

First of all -- I had a delightful "spontaneous" evening with some girls from my church the other night. One of them called and said she wanted to have us over for some scrapping...then the weather turned bad and we decided not to do it...and THEN -- the weather seemed to pass north of us -- so we went anyway! Because by the time I knew I was going I just needed to "grab and go," I took my tool bag, a handful of pictures and a small bag of random things that were sitting on my scrap table (ok -- one of them was a kit from Jenni Bowlin) and went. It was good to sit and chat with the girls -- scrap a little and laugh a lot. What an unexpected blessing. I finished the layout titled, "It's Good."


I have also discovered the BEST stamping tool ever! It is called a Stamp-a-ma-jig. It is the perfect tool for placing your Stamps exactly how you want them. I have been intimidated by stamp sets that required "perfect placement" like this PRECIOUS vintage stamp (by Pink Persimmon) set I used above...but with the Stampamajig (what a name right?) I was able to put that Christmas tree into the wagon perfectly! Here is a tutorial on how to use the Stampamajig, if you haven't used it before.

And these fun gift tags....so easy to make -- punch a scallop oval (or let your Cricut do it for you) in red, also punch a plain cream colored oval at least .25 - .5 inches smaller. Cut three small strips of ribbon (green) with angled tips. Use glue dots to secure them in place onto the red tag as shown here in the picture. Layer the cream oval on top and secure with adhesive. Use three self adhesive red crystals -- placed as close to the ribbon as possible. Cute, cute!
I hope you and your family are having a wonderful Christmas season!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Let's Have a Scrappy Holiday After Christmas

Christmas is my all-time favorite time of year. I love celebrating Jesus’ birth. I delight in the decorations, the smells of Christmas baking, the chill in the air and of course the wonderful time with family and friends. But as busy as December gets – I sometimes feel like I need a holiday AFTER Christmas – to recover and catch-up. Do you? Well, I have the perfect day planned for you and some of your friends.


Saturday, January 17th Come and crop all day!
Once the packages have been opened and all the pictures taken (and maybe even printed) – come spend the day with me and a few friends. We have scheduled an all day crop at the Holiday Inn Express located near Providence Marketplace in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. This newly opened facility is beautiful and will provide a wonderful place to relax and be creative. It is also located very close to JoAnn’s, Staples, Target and lots of yummy restaurants.

What is included?

The cost for the day is $50 and includes one technique class and lunch. What is a technique class you ask? Throughout the day, Jann Gray will be providing mini-classes to teach you a new scrapbooking technique. When you arrive, you will sign up for the technique class of your choice. Sample classes might include:
· Hand Sewing on your layouts
· Distress Embossing
· Layered Embellishments
· And others


Want to take an additional class?

Yes you can. Jann will also teach an additional class called Christmas Memories (2-page layout). This class will be limited to the first 25 registrants and will cost an additional $15.
Make your reservations now!
I anticipate that this crop will fill up quickly, so please email me as soon as possible to let me know if you would like to attend. I will send you a PayPal request for funds and your seat will be reserved when I receive your payment. Please also let me know if you would like to attend the additional Christmas Memories class.


What else?

You can come early. We have arranged for you to make it a TRUE retreat! You can arrive on Friday night so you will be ready to go first thing Saturday morning. The special What You Make It room rate is $89/room for up to four people. You will need to call the Holiday Inn directly to make your room reservations (615-553-5200). Your hotel reservation includes the hot and cold breakfast bar.

Questions?

Please send me an email at jann@janngray.com or call 615-496-2206.I look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Give Her An Inch


This is what happens when a friend gives you a box of inchies a few weeks ago and they sit staring at you on your work table ....day...after ....day. And finally, in a move to conquer the staring of the inches you wrestle them out of the box and make them do what inchies do....make small things....lots of them. Ahhhh...but the dilemma doesn't end there....are inchies just inchies -- for the sake of being an inchie...or is it proper and polite once you've conquered them to sweep them back together -- and make their small parts part of a whole bigger "thing" once again? See this was my dilemma as I baked pies and bread today...do I just work on a couple and say..."ta done!" and move on...but in the end...my inchies told a story....and the story was told better by letting each little inchie play his or her part. (you know they do all the voices -- they don't just read it in a monotone voice -- if you haven't heard an inchie performance you are in for a treat -- that's all I've got to say about that! So...once completed (and the pie in the oven) -- the following journaling is what brought the entire experiment together. "Mom used to say, 'You give that girl an inch...she'll take a mile. and as I thought about it I decided...."you know...she might be onto something!" Ok....sorry for all the silliness. Just had so much fun playing for an hour this afternoon....just PLAYING...not trying to create anything...just stacking and painting and cutting and pasting....just for the sake of covering up a box of inchies. As I laid them down on the page....the story line kind of came together. From a design point of view I think it needed some softness -- which I tried to do with paint on the edges....don't think that is it...will go back to it tomorrow while some football game is playing and see if I can't punch it up a bit. Any thoughts on how to add softness to this very linear design about a very NON-linear person.... Oh....and if you haven't ever played with inchies...you need to. They tell GREAT stories...but in very small packages!
Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you. I count you among the tremendous blessings in my life.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Do You Chirp?


I do! Well...what I mean to say is -- I LOVE my Cricut Expression. It stays out on my work table -- and I find all kinds of ways to use it in my scrapbooking and just day to day projects. I was fortunate enough to have ProvoCraft (the creators of the Lil Bug and the Expression) ask me to be in their infomercial. I flew out to Salt Lake City and just had a blast with the video crew and the team at ProvoCraft. I have had a few friends start to see it on TV and have asked -- so YES...that is me...in the flesh -- telling everyone how much I enjoy my Cricut Expression. I have provided you a link to see two of the testimonials that they pulled out of the commercial -- if you are interested (you will probably recognize my face on the first one -- the second one is a picture of a pillow *smile*). I think if you go to the home page there is a way to watch the whole thing if you want to -- and have the connection speed.


Ok...so I am not quitting my day job -- nor am I likely to get a job as the SHAM-WOW girl...but it was fun...and it was easy to tell people that I love the product -- because I do...and I use it a LOT.


Drop me a note and let me know what you think.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Deep Thoughts...

I have recently begun attending a women's Bible Study here in Mt. Juliet. I wish you could see the HUGE smile on my face as I type that. I have missed studying God's word alongside other women. When I lived in Dallas, this was so much a part of my every day life -- it was almost like breathing. But with my travel schedule being what it has been the past 5 years -- it has been virtually impossible to make the kind of commitment to bible study group that one should when beginning a new study. It might have been different if there had been a group of ladies that I was already grounded with -- and they could have pulled me back in based on our past relationships -- but, well -- enough about the past...because I am NOW studying with a group of ladies that are just a blessing from God to me.


We are studying the Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120 - 134) with Beth Moore...and these Psalms are just so perfect for me (well each of us actually)...because they were originally written for pilgrims...those going to Jerusalem for one of the feasts...or captives returning from exile. They were to be sung as they walked....WHOA! As Beth Moore says, "I don't get in my car for a long trip without a compilation CD!" Psalms -- which are the songs from the Bible were meant to be sung...songs of praise, songs of remembering, songs of lament...songs of joy, songs of need --- well, in truth there is a Song just about EVERY EMOTION. These days, I seem to have LOTS of those various emotions rolling through me...and the words that I wish to say back to God are right there on the pages of HIS WORD....how cool is that?!?!? Well, to me it is awesome...

Beth said something during our lesson this past week that just stuck with me. In referring to the power of songs she said, "Song is the language our soul speaks most fluently." WOW -- yes...YES! We teach children to remember things with songs (ABCDEFG....you can finish it if you need to -- I can't start that song without going all the way to the end). You can finish a line to a song that you don't even listen to completely...it is just playing in the background on your car radio. I think she is really onto something. When I have traveled to other countries where I didn't speak the language -- but was able to share a song with someone...we had a moment of bonding. Common language. I guess this brought about a LOT of thought on my part -- so last night I had to sit down and create a layout to express it all....here it is... (Used Crate Paper papers, Bazzil Swiss Dots, Tim Holtz masks and a couple of stamps).



a little close up of the "rambler" letters....they are all kind of whacked out....cause I felt like they were on a bit of a "journey" or pilgrimage too...

Thanks for letting me ramble....are you thinking any "deep thoughts" lately? Wanna share? Hope you are headed towards a good weekend and a wonderful holiday next week. I do have a couple of spots left open in the Advent Calendar Class I am teaching on Tuesday, so let me know if you have time or interest in attending.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Christmas Yummies

I have to confess...I have Christmas music blaring at my house. Ok...so, as far as I am concerned Christmas is fair game as soon as Halloween is over! And the music got me in the mood to create Christmas yummies...and I thought I would share them with you. I especially love my little Snow Angel.... She just looks joyful...so I had to put her on a JOY-ful tag!



I really started out making these yummies as part of a gift exchange -- Jars of Whimsey with some girlfriends... So Zorina...or Terena...don't you be peeking here! Just look away! But I found that is was more fun to make them in MULTIPLES...seriously -- as long as you have the clay, glitter, glue and paint out -- you might as well make MORE...right? So I have put a few of them in my ETSY shop...just some fun little embellies for the Christmas scrapbook pages -- or maybe gift tags. I ended up creating special tags for each one too...yes, I know -- I am a bit obsessed with Christmas....it is my favorite time of year. Not that I won't enjoy Thanksgiving...now that is a wonderful holiday too -- smoked turkey, cranberry sauce...stuffing and family....but I digress....this is about Christmas. So this little collection is of four different shapes....there are actually different combos....cause I made, Snowflakes, Gingerbread Men, Stockings, Christmas Trees (with pink lights), Candy Canes and Ribbon Candy.Wouldn't these be fun photo corners? Or....just.....FUN?

And last -- but not least -- "sugar-coated" buttons. I love the sugared fruit that you decorate with for Christmas...so wanted to carry that look over to some of my Christmas pages....

Well...if you're not in the holiday mood yet....it isn't my fault! hee hee! I did just look at these pictures and see that the repositionable double sided tape I used to attach them to the tags is showing up....I don't like that....grrrrrrrrrrr! May have to re-take the pictures in the morning. Oh well. For now -- I am happy they are made...and packaged...and up on Etsy. I am off to do my Bible Study and head to bed. Hope you have a great Friday!

Friday, November 07, 2008

You are Invited

I am teaching a class in November on the 25th (Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving), here in Mount Juliet. We will be making a vintage Christmas Advent Calendar. Lots of fun techniques...and a great way to get ready to begin decorating for the holidays. Details below. The class is probably going to fill up pretty quickly...so please contact me asap to reserve your seat.



This is similar to the calendar we will be making...but updated a bit with new papers and yummy bits.!

Hope to see you there.

And We Have a WINNER

sandra said...
whoa! those are loads of pages-i say 61!!

SANDRA guessed it RIGHT on the NOSE!

Hey Sandra...I will need to get your addy...so I can send you your "prize.

Thanks for playing everyone. I was totally shocked when I sat down and counted them...thought it was in the 40's....am feeling pretty darn PRODUCTIVE now that I ponder the stack...and wondering WHEN I am going to get them put into the album.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Bit Behind....


in putting my finished pages into albums. I even have the albums...and the protector pages...it is just that I haven't sat down to do it -- and the pile just keeps growing and growing...and GROWING! These are pages I have finished since the first of June...so about five months worth...any guesses on how many?
Shall we make it interesting? Post the number of pages you think I have stacked up here -- and I will send a RAK to the person who gets the closest. If two or more of you guess the correct amount -- I will do a little drawing to see who gets the prize.
I should have taken the picture with the ruler in it -- for reference...but I forgot -- so I will tell you (for those of you that are mathmatically minded) that this pile is about 10.25 inches high.
Good guessing. I will give you a week to make your calculations. Next Thursday, November 6th, I will post the winner.

Friday, October 10, 2008

So -- How Did I Do, You Ask?

Lists are good. At least for me!

I was up by 6:15 -- three snoozes felt oh so good! But still up in plenty of time to get everything done before I headed off to my classes at Cumberland. It was a gorgeous day -- and I just felt GOOD driving to class knowing that I had accomplished everything that I needed to before I got to the school.

My students were "on the mark." They all turned their papers in -- and nobody got lower than an 82 on the exam...I am real proud of them. With the new Monday=Friday class schedule, we have had less lecture time -- so I had to rely on them to do more work for themselves out of the book...and they had -- because there were questions on the test I hadn't covered in lecture. YEAH for them!

While they took the test, I got started reading their papers...ok...so I didn't make much of a dent in 63 3-5 page papers..but I got started -- which puts me AHEAD of the list, cause grading papers wasn't even on it. After class, I went over to the library and did the "scantron" thingy -- so all my tests are graded! Mark that one off the list!

I stopped by the post office -- got my packages in the mail...stopped and saw a dear friend -- and actually felt like I had time to stop and talk for a few minutes because I was ahead of schedule.

Came home -- got things started for the evening -- two loads of laundry (again NOT on the list -- but it was fun to write it in and then SCRATCH it off!)....headed out to walk -- 2 miles...great music....dinner...and now I am catching up on my emails, blogging and off to visit the galleries on SIStv for some creative inspiration.

Because I got the WHOLE list done -- and a couple of extras...I am going to go crop with some girlfriends from church and not going to feel guilty or like there is SOMETHING else I should be doing...

Yep....lists are a good thing -- at least for me.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

It's Good to Make Lists

In Jann world that is...lists are what I live by. They guide me from one activity to the next most important activity -- allowing me to lose myself completely in whatever I am doing until the "list" comes and taps me on the shoulder (and with a bit of a british butler voice) says, 'I say, my dear, the list indicates it is time for you to wrap up these activities as you're Sssshhhhhhhhheduled (you know how they make the word SKEDULED start with the hissing sound a snake makes....)SSHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhheduled to be fixing dinner for those lovely men in your lives. We don't want them starving now do we Mam? No -- I thought not...so -- put that down and come along.!"

I know you think that last little foray into my brain was a bit odd...but you might find it totally ODDER still to discover that those voices do in fact reside in my day....and those days that I don't let them come out and be in charge of the "LIST" -- well -- they just don't go very well. Imusst confess I have tried recently to rid myself of my list -- and I have this very day come back to it crawling on my hands and knees asking it to take me back. No -- I am not to proud to beg....if I must. And I must. I need the list....on so many levels.

1. I need to begin walking again -- if it isn't on the list -- it doesn't get done.
2. I need daily time spent in God's word and Bible study...if it isn't on the list -- it tends to be a quick review of the day before I go to sleep -- not a very satisfactory way to keep a strong relationship with my Savior going.
3. I need to eat well...Ok -- just see that one THROWN out the window if it isn't on the list
4, I need to be creative and polishing my craft every day.

It's not that I lack discipline...but the only form of discipline that works for me is for it to be on the list...

And the reward system that comes with the list.. Such exquisite joys! When I have completed an item on the list....I can take a PERMANENT INK Marker and slash through that item. It is finished....complete....done. That is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment....even if that same item returns to the list the next day....for one brief span of time -- I was the conqueror rather than the conquered.

So --I am getting back on track with my lists...which means I anticipate having much more productive days. The goal, you ask? Yes...the goal is to by means of working the list -- to create 8 -10 minutes a day of unscheduled time....where I can drop the list....pick up a mug of hot tea....read a book....soak in a bath...plan the plot for my next great novel....or just go make out on the couch with my lovie. And if that can be attained....I am willing to put myself back in the hands of "THE LIST> for it makes me better than I am by myself

I am starting day one with LIST tomorow...I will let you know how it goes.

Tomorrow's List

1. Arise at 6 am -- light breakfast -- stretching
2. Read devotion and journal
3. Examine projects in process and make notes of what should be done next.
4. Shower, change into "Professor Woman" and go give my lovely students their first exam for this semester.
5. Grade tests
6. Drive home...stop at store for weekend groceries.
7. Mail RAK packages to winners of the Stash Diet Challenge last weekend.
8. Get Dinner started
9. Go walk 2 miles (be sure and take great music)
10, Pack for a day of scrapping with the girls on Saturday.
11. Clean up scrap area...and move more items into the Scrapbook Yard Sale Pile (ok...the actual sale hasn't made it on the list yet -- but I am GONNA DO THIS....have to reduce the stash in a HUGE way.
12. Quiet time...check up on blogs, emails, message boards etc.
13. SLEEP.

Ok....that just tires me out typing it....but it is what I want...I want the discipline of the list to help me get more done in less time.

So...how do you get all that is on your plate done with time left over? Seriously...I want to know!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Make Your Own Foam Stamps


I saw an ad on tv the other day where the main color pallet was bright blue, orange and brown...and I decided I wanted to do a layout along those lines. This is how that turned out. While I was working on it -- I ended up pulling out the foam stamps I made last fall -- for this layout. I needed to stamp some leaves for each of these layouts -- and didn't have the right size or shape of stamp that I needed..so I ended up making them out of fun foam.



If you would like to make some for yourself here are the instructions. I made leaves -- but you could make anything that you can draw and cut out of fun foam. Send me a post and show me what you have created -- I love to see your creativity.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

72 Mosquito Bites...But Worth It

I had the most fun with Beth yesterday afternoon shooting her Senior pics. Obviously, the camera LOVES her...but she just had the sweetest spirit and was a bit adventurous...so we tried lots of fun things. I thought I would share a few of my faves.











If you know anyone that would like to have a photo session done for engagement, senior pics -- or just for fun...please have them contact me.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Don't You Love a DEAL?!?!?





I have found a couple of great on-line shopping spots for scrapbooking -- and I thought I would share with you...






First of all you need to check out PaperCents.com -- cause they always have the latest and greatest and a bargain prices. If you would like to know how to get an even a few more dollars off your order, send me an email and I will hook you up!





For unique rubber stamps -- I am a fan of Catslife Rubber Stamps. What I really love is that you can order them mounted or UN-mounted which saves a lot of money....just use some double sided tape and use an acrylic block -- or use self adhesive mounting foam and keep them in three ring binders (takes up much less space).






And for Digi or Hybrid scrapping -- my favorite these days is A Cherry On Top scrapbook shoppe. Love that they have a wide range of digi papers and embellishments. You know -- even if you just want to add an embellishment to a traditional scrapbook page -- you can use your computer to create it -- so don't rule out a little hybrid scrapping even if you aren't sure you want to go all digital. It opens up a lot of new possibilities.






One last favorite I want to tell you about is my secret on-line flea market....MantoFev. Oh my stars...I have to keep myself from visiting on a daily basis. You just never know what you will find...a scrap of sari fabric...some delightful retro charms...vintage papers...you know -- all the goodies that just add that extra something special to your page. So -- in the spirit of sharing and not hoarding all the good stuff to myself...I wanted you to know about Sara...she is a delightful lady -- who loves to find unique and special items...and has the good grace to share them with us at very reasonable prices. Go check MantoFev out for yourself.


Hope you are having a wonderful Tuesday...my dear son, Weston, turns 18 tomorrow -- so we have big plans in store....


Finally....and totally unscrapbook related...I want to tell you about a book that has held me spell bound for the past few weeks. It is called The Shack...and while I rarely do this -- I want to recommend it to you as a "must read." You can order it directly from the publisher but I am also sure that you can get it on Amazon.com or Borders. It is a story of a man (Mack) -- not a terribly "religious" man who has tragedies in his life that make relating to God a difficult thing. He receives an invitation to visit "the shack" for a weekend...and while there spends time learning that God is not so "religious" either -- but that a RELATIONSHIP with Mack is of utmost importance. I must confess that I was reading it (the first time) on an airplane and was sobbing (tears of joy and healing) and making such a mess that the flight attendant came to check and see if I were ok...when she saw the book....she sat down and her eyes got all watery too -- she said, "Oh -- isn't it just WONDERFUL...I can't think about it without feeling so very good." It is fiction....a page turner...and yet so full of wisdom and insight to that part of us that seeks to understand our Creator...even when it is difficult. I won't say anymore...but I will leave you with a line that is used many times in the book....and I mean it as I say it to you now....

"You know...I am especially fond of you."

Jann

Monday, July 07, 2008

It's not good...

Not good at all when a whole month goes by between postings!~ What could I have possibly been doing rather than blogging? Hmmmm.....let's see. I have been traveling quite a bit...Dallas, Philadelphia, Houston and Kansas City. We taped our 33rd episode of What You Make It. (can you believe it? I still am amazed that we done that many)




I promise more in the next few days...but thought I would share a few projects I have been working on lately
.
These busts are from the challenge that Holly Wood and I did. We found these vintage department store busts...and decided to see what we could come up with -- mine is the one on the left (hers on the right). It was a fun challenge. Mine is called TRUE BEAUTY...based on something my grandmother used to tell me..."Jann -- to be truly beautiful, you need to be as pretty on the inside as you are on the outside." I chose to write my favorite scriptures and quotes and mod podge them to the inside.... The last picture is of some of our silliness during the What You Make It taping Holly and I did with our projects....you can just imagine some of the puns that were flying around....(we were all about to "bust out" laughing constantly).
Several of my projects lately have focused around Weston. He graduated -- and is headed off to college in what seems like just a few short weeks. I did one layout about bits of wisdom I wanted to make sure he knew. The book is an altered book that he and I worked on together for Father's Day -- filled with things that he (Weston) has learned from his Dad. I loved the time we spent together doing this -- and love that he was able to come up with more than 100 things that he attributed directly to his Dad. Some were funny -- some serious -- but all of them show that he feels that his Dad has poured his life into him over the past 18 years. His dad LOVED it...and rarely a day goes by that he doesn't pick it up and read some of it. Us Mom's are kind of allowed to show our mixed emotions when our little chicks begin to leave the nest -- but Dad's think they are supposed to be STRONG...even though they have a hard time seeing them go too. I think this book helps it a little bit.
This final layout is one that just kind of "happened" one night. I was playing with paint (acrylic and alcohol). During one of my recent trips, Weston was there working with me and I found myself relating to him solely as a peer -- not as a parent and it was both a bit of an earth shattering and wonderful moment all tied in together. So I wanted to mark the transition -- from My Boy to This Man!
Ok...I promise not to let it go so long....more later.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Scrap-urday

I have had a wonderful Scrap-urday!

My guys are out of town...it is a long weekend...and I decided I was going to devote myself to just playing! I started out with my May kit from Jenni Bowlin....love, love love it! I always want to try something new with her wonderful bracket die cut page...and this new one has printed journaling lines on it. I cut half of it out -- and placed the red KI lace behind it.











Journaling reads: I'm talkin' 'bout you two...my guys! I look at these two men in my life and my heart feels like it doesn't know whether to skip a beat of just pound riht out of my chest. You both have that dangerous twinkle in your eyes...and mischief in your heart. That same heart is tender and good -- willing to fight for the underdog. You are two independent souls tied together by blood, experience, love and family ties. Sometimes I can't tell one from the other -- and at others, your differences are so very evident. On any given day I think that I couldn't love you more...and then the next day -- I do! I am so very blessed to be loved by you and to love you. And I do love you two -- {my guys}


Weston has long dreamed of being able to drive a Corvette! His dad has taken him to the dealership to sit in the brand new ones and dream. He talks a lot about how "one day" he plans to own one. I think it is great to have BIG DREAMS. Earlier this year, he began talking about how very COOL it would be to get to drive one for his senior prom. I don't think he thought for ONE MINUTE that that would ever happen...just talkin' -- dreamin' -- it would be COOL! His dad heard his grown up "boy/man" dream and decided that if it were in his power to make it happen -- he would. I won't go into all the details -- but he did manage to procure a 50th anniversary "vette for Weston to drive to the Prom...it was a night Weston won't forget anytime soon...(I have some layouts devoted to that too) -- Until "the day" he is able to buy one for himself...he will have memories of the ONE NIGHT it was his.

Hope you all are set for a fun long weekend...