Monday, December 6, 2010


***** UPDATE *****
The winner below has yet to contact me as of today, Friday, December 10. If I have not heard from them by Sunday evening, I will re-do the drawing Monday afternoon. I still have the big pink hat filled with all of the comments! Kept them just in case! I will keep drawing a new name every Monday until I hear from someone.

Holy comments, Batman! I had not, in any way, shape, or form, expected that kind of response! Thank you, every single one of you, for your comment(s) and visiting my blog. I've read every single one of them more than once. I wish I could send every single one of you a prize. I'm so happy you enjoyed all of my projects from the past. I do hope you will come back and visit from time to time!

Oh, and Erin Glee, Yes, we can be friends!

Shari, Tim has seen "Darbie" and thinks she's hilarious. His favorite part was the Birkenstocks.


As Mario would say, "Winner Winer Chicken Dinner!!!!"

As I would say... "Well, Pee in my pants, it's time to do the happy dance!"

I wanted to quick say that I didn't want to do a random number generator, as it seems so impersonal. So I printed and cut up every single comment left on the blog; if you linked me to any of your twelve tags or commented on which of my past Tim-spired projects was your favorite, I wrote your name down on another slip (or two extra slips in some cases) of paper and added those into the mix, too. We used our special birthday hat to draw the name from...

AND, you can't blame me if you didn't win. You can blame my special helper, Halle (age 4)... because she was the one that picked the name. Try and get mad at that face!

Alright, Halle.... tell them who the *BIG* winner is!!!!

So, Xanapan email me at your address and I will get your prize out to you with Mario-lightning-speed and Congratulations and thanks again to everyone!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


**********COMMENTS ARE CLOSED*************

Nicole (elociNNNicole) was the last comment I will be counting in the giveaway. Thanks and stay tuned for the winner!

Hello and Welcome! Well, here it is... I hope you all get excited as I am! If you're just coming into the blog this giveaway is in honor of Tim Holtz and the Twelve tags of Christmas going on over at his blog. If you haven't heard about the tags, then go check it out! He makes these super-amazing-creative tags every year for 12 nights in a row. They're to die for! I also have to give a HUGE shout-out to the phenomenal Mario for being so generous in the great big world of twitter. He's supplied some of the fantastic loot you're going to see below!

Well... if you saw my post from yesterday, this is the little somethin' somethin' that I found in the back of my craft closet the other day when cleaning it out. I don't think these are around anymore, because when I bought it it was a limited item already, and that was two years ago. I had attended Creative Escape here in Arizona and we had a class with Tim....

We made this lovely frame with removeable pin. Yup, the heart with wings and idea-ology embellishments can be removed from the frame and worn on your shirt or Tim apron. Now you don't get the one I made in class... because well, I made it already, and I love it. BUT, I happened to get my hands on after class another kit! There were a few kits left from each class at Creative Escape and they went like hotcakes, let me tell you! And you KNOW who's class kit's went first! So, you get the FULL Creative Escape kit from Tim's class...

I will print you full color instructions from the Creative Escape manual and then you get multiple collage papers, the frame, ideaology, full sheet of grungeboard shapes, glossy accents, crackle paint, etc... The only thing you really need on your own is some distress ink... oh, wait a second...

I think there might be some distress inks SOMEWHERE in this stash of goodies!!! Should I spell it all out for you...

-1 package of 12x12 grungepaper
- 1 package of idea-ology word tokens
- 1 Ranger Ink craft scraper (great on your craft mat!)
- 3 Tim Holtz Distress inks; forest moss, chipped saphire and victorian velvet
- 10 Tim Holtz Distress Stickles (TEN!!!!)
- 1 package of idea-ology film strip ribbon
- 1 bottle of Rock Candy Crackle paint
- 1 Fiskars Hand drill (great for your mixed-media projects)
- 1 package of idea-ology hitch fasteners
- 1 alcohol ink/distress ink tool (comes with felt pads, not foam)

And, well.... that's it!!! You have until Monday afternoon to post a comment to win! Also, as an added bonus, if you go through a couple of my previous "Tim" projects from the past (links below) and let me know which one is your favorite, you will get an extra chance in the drawing! AND if you're following Tim's blog and have created ANY of the 12 tags thus far inspired by his, and have posted photos on a FlickR or blog or other online medium, give me a link in your comment so I can check them out and you will get another chance at the prize! I will draw a name and post it around 4pm Monday, December 6, 2010 (Arizona time) and will get the winner their prize out pronto! Happy Holidays and Happy 12 Tags of Tim!!!

(p.s. Leave all of your comments on THIS post! I will try and wrangle in any stragglers, but please leave your favorite project and links in the comments of THIS post! THANK YOU!!!!)

YourStory heat-binded Grungebook

Grungeboard Book and Altered Box

"Darbie," the Distressed Barbie

Altered Curio Cabinet

All Things Tim Pennant Swap

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Grungeboard Meets YourStory & Give-Away

Hello everyone! I know it's been a while and again, I'm sorry. We've had a couple crazy months that I will go further into detail down the road, but I really just want to get to the fun stuff! Is that OK?

Alright...About a month ago Jenny over at Craft Test Dummies asked me to do a review of the ProvoCraft YourStory. I was more than ecstatic, to say the least! I had bought the machine when it first came out and needless to say we've had a love/hate relationship since. I also know this machine has been on the market for quite some time, but if you really take the time to get to know it and get the learning curve, you can make some wonderful projects and gifts. You can read the first half of the review Here. I bombarded Jenny with so much information (and to be honest I could have done twice as much) she had to split the review into two parts and even cut out some parts, so don't miss the second half either!

During the process of creating some projects for the review I binded a book made out of Tim Holtz Grungepaper and Grungeboard using the YourStory. Ummm... in case you're brand new to the blog, you know of my love for all things Tim Holtz. Serious. Love. For. The. Man. If you use Tim's products, you know what I'm talking about; if you follow his blog, you "understand"; and if you've ever taken a class or met Tim, you TOTALLY agree and share the love. And if you've met Tim's Business Manager, Mario, just shut the place down... he's the best of the best of the best. Back to reality, grungeboard and grungepaper have to be in the top three of my favorite Tim products (I really love my distress and alcohol inks). I wanted to see if I could actually bind my own book with this leather-like material. And guess what? You TOTALLY can! You can get the basics of the process from the review at Craft Test Dummies. Jenny had suggested I do a tutorial from start to finish, but let me know what you think! OK, enough with the jabbering... here are some photos from the project...

Isn't it awesome that you can use your Tim and Ranger Ink products with the YourStory to bind your own book? I would suggest if you do heat-bind your book that you do your 3-D embellishing after you bind. I didn't decorate my cover until after the fact; it would have been impossible if I did otherwise. My book is probably about 1/2" width and that was about the max that the YourStory could fit into the binding mechanism. Also, do TWO full heat cycles to ensure that the glue melts between each page.

Now, for some more, and if I say so, SUPER fun stuff... if you're a fan of Tim Holtz, you probably know that today marks the first day of the Twelve Tags of Christmas. If you don't know, basically, Tim makes a Christmas themed tag every night for 12 days using his awesome products and utilizing his beyond amazing techniques. Mario is also doing major behind the scenes work and massive giveaways on twitter, so be SURE to follow him, too! Speaking of giveaways.... let's do a Tim-A-Way!!! (Uh, No, I can't actually auction off the man, as much as I'm sure you'd all like that) I'm going to do a BIG giveaway, in honor of Tim's talent and Mario's massive generosity, and the Twelve Tags! You're all going to have to wait until tomorrow evening (I have a busy day with a kiddo's school function and then two ballet classes) to see just what's up for grabs. But to wet your whistles, there's going to be grunge, inks, tools, and one more super-duper surprise you'd probably never see again... because I found it in the back of my closet and forgot about it from a long time ago. :) We'll see what you think. Photos of goodies will be posted tomorrow (Thursday, December 2, 2010) and the random drawing for the winner will be on Monday (December 6, 2010). It will definitely be up tomorrow night by the time Tim posts his third tag. **Thankfully, I'm in the same time-zone and a night owl so it's easy for me to follow him**

Enjoy and see you all soon!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sketchbook Project 2011

Howdy there, boys and girls! This year I'm participating in something called the
Sketchbook Project through the Brooklyn Art House. In short, you pay a fee and get sent a moleskine journal (and NO it's not, mole skin, like the little animal... sheesh people) with a theme that you pick or have randomly picked. You basically let your mind wander and fill the sketchbook to your heART's content by the designated deadline and send it back to Brooklyn. After that it goes on a magical journey all over the country with hundreds, if not thousands, of other sketchbooks to other museums. People from everywhere and anywhere can pick up YOUR sketchbook and see your creations. I think it's pretty exciting.
I think I mentioned before how much of a twitter addict I am. Well, I've compiled a twitter list of other sketchbook project artists I've found on twitter and it's now at over 100 people. It's so much fun to scroll through everyone's tweets and see what they're up to and the progress they've made on their sketchbook. So, I would LOVE to have you on the list if you're participating! If you haven't already (because, really you should) join twitter. Then find me by clicking on the link in the side bar or search for PlainSaraJane22. You can either follow me and DM (direct message) me or just "reply" to me using @PlainSaraJane22 in your twitter message and let me know you're part of the sketchbook project. You can also "subscribe" to the list and that will prompt me to message you! Make sense? No? Leave a comment and I'll try to help!
So, without further ado, here are my first few pages. Let me preface this with saying, I AM NOT AN "artist." I have never taken an "art" class since high school, other than art history in college. I can't draw. I have wretched handwriting. I can doodle and draw stick figures. I put glitter and buttons on things.
Oh, one more thing, the official theme of my sketchbook is, "Things Found on Restaurant Napkins." I've always enjoyed short stories. I prefer a good book of short stories over a full novel. (Try Aimee Bender's "Girl in the Flammable Skirt") Hmmm... maybe I am ADD. Anyways, I decided since I'm not so good at the "sketching" part of the book, maybe I would focus on writing a bit more. So for each spread, I'm adhering a real paper napkin to one side of the book and decorating it. The other side will be dedicated to telling the story of the person who decorated the napkin on the opposite side. Again, am I making any sense? I hope so! Also, the PDF's are just files that have the journaling at a more easy to read size and font and supplies I used. Please be patient for it to load. Alright... alright...

Inside Cover

First Pages

Story of Steven PDF

Second Spread

So that's about it! Let me know if you have any questions. I'm hoping to start on the next spread tonight. And just to have fun and share, here are a couple other non-sketchbook project pages I've done in my personal sketchbook... Have a great weekend! Come back and visit real soon!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Nope, it's not Christmas time... it's time to go back to school! I can't believe Emma is now in kindergarten and I'm joining the PTA! Halle is still attending preschool and no longer has her big sister to ride with her on the bus. And I think I was almost as excited as them to get their school supplies! I love school supplies!

So what am I doing now that they're back in school? Sitting on my butt and eating bon-bons of course! I'm actually just getting back into the groove and getting my chores done in peace. Have you ever tried to wash dishes or fold laundry with toddlers around? You get interrupted about every five minutes. And I can actually shower with the bathroom door closed and keep all of that lovely steam inside.

What else have I been doing? Well, I'm totally addicted to twitter. And I mean, really addicted. I've met some really super people that I'm going to add into the side bar over there later today. And you'll hear more about them tomorrow (if all goes well). I've also been working on my photography website and it is now officially located at . Take a look! If you're in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area and need some photos taken, hit me up! Mention the blog and get a killer discount, too. And with a new photography website comes...

New Business Cards!

These are what were stacked up in the last post... I made them in different colors. But can I say, because I've said it before, having nice, fancy, crafty tools really comes in handy sometimes! I was able to utilize Photoshop, SCAL, Epson wide format printer, HP scanner, Cricut Expression and Epic 6 Letterpress system. Yes, I have a few toys... it's a bit of an obsession. (And I can NOT wait to get my hands on Tim's new Vagabond!!) I was really pleased with the outcome, and these were so inexpensive. I only had to pay for the cardstock. If you're interested in my process of how I made the whole thing come together, let me know, and I'll be happy to post a tutorial.

I also made some cute little photobooks to send out to previous clients to notify them their photo galleries had changed online locations. I used some Creative Imaginations mini board books which are just to die for and so super easy to decorate... Enjoy the photos!

(Sorry, I had my portrait lens on my camera and was too lazy to change it! The bokeh is fierce!)

So, that's about it!!! Tomorrow I'm planning on posting about the Sketchbook Project through Brooklyn Art House Co Op. It's been dubbed, "A concert tour, but with sketchbooks." I'll explain more about it tomorrow or just go take a look (and sign up!) at it all! I only have a couple pages done but want to share them with you!

Super stuff! Love you all and thanks to all of my new followers!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bauble Ring & Cupcake Cutie

Again if you've known me longer than five minutes you know that I'm insanely obsessed with, "The Wizard of Oz," from the books to the movies. Well, imagine how wildy excited I was when I saw on the Oz boards (Yes, there are enough of us we commune together on message boards) when I read that Tarina Tarantino would be doing her own line of "Oz" inspired jewelry line called, "My Pretty." I quickly ordered the Look Book which was fantastically amazing. I uberly fell in love with the electric butterfly barrettes and pins and the bubble pop collection inspired by Glinda. I'd say about a year or so ago I did some of the butterflies:

Poor things, they're a bit mangled now and this isn't even half of them. But I like to switch them back and forth from rings to hair pins. And if you're feeling a little down, putting on a butterfly will definitely put a little sparkle back into your step!

Well, moving on, about two weeks ago we went to our in-laws for swimming and dinner. My fabulous mother-in-law, Linda, has a little basket of costume jewelry for all of the grand-daughters to play with. I spotted a pink fake pearl clip-on earing and it brought back memories of Tarina's bubble pop line and how I could easily turn this sad excuse for an earing into a gorgeous bauble cluster ring. I thought about pilfering the earing away into my pocket and not saying a word, but my conscious got the better of me. Of course didn't have anything to worry about because when I told my mother-in-law about my idea, she loved it. I kind of frankensteined some jewels from some other pieces around my craft room and I had a small assortment of crystal bicones, silver spacers, etc...

Here's what I came up with:

It's quite a bit chunkier than the Tarina Tarantino one; I think hers had three charm loops to add the beaded pinheads to, but the ring I had on hand had about 16. If I had left any of them blank then the ring would have looked a little funky. I honestly haven't beaded since freshman year of high school. I used to LOVE seed beading little bracelets for my friends. My mom still beads quite a bit and does custom jewelry for friends and family.

On to SUPER cuteness...

Last weekend I had the opportunity to do a photoshoot with a good friend, TeAnn, and her brand new little angel, Jessa. I don't know what posessed me to think of it, but I had a vision of the baby on a cake stand with cupcakes all around her. Crazy, right? I know.... but I baked the cupcakes and I made the cupcake stands. To be honest, they were inspired by Hello Hanna's sweet stands. But, by the time I saw them I didn't have time to order them. Enter my scanner, SCAL, expression and cuttlebug. Gosh, I love tools. Only about two hours of work and they came out pretty well I think. Baby Jessa wasn't thrilled about sitting on the cake stand and she was a bit bigger than I had anticipated. This shot is far from perfect, but I just loved it anyways.

Another few shots from the day...

And one more little sneaky peaky....

Can you guess? Huh? Huh? Alright, well it's probably more exciting for me, but still I love to share! See ya'll soon!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Getting Organized...

If you've known me personally, you probably know that I'm a very disorganized person. It's just not in me. And you may say, "Oh gosh, Sara, it can't be that bad." And I respond with an, "Oh, no, it is that bad. It was so bad that in elementary school the kids used to hate getting set in a desk-grouping with me because I always had the messiest desk and consequently we were generally the last table to get to go to lunch.

Anyways, where am I going with all of this? Well, to be honest, I haven't improved much. But, I have made a severe step in organizing my life with my craft room. To say I have some "stuff" is a vast understatement. I have a poop-load of crafting supplies, mostly scrapbooking. It outgrew our garage so inside I came and searched for the best way to store my ridiculous amount supplies. You can go back to my My Scrapbook Room post to see all the deets. Anywho, I'm continually looking for good ways to store all my supplies and make them more accessable. I kept running into a problem with my Distress inks, especially since I just got the new 12 colors. I have one of the extra large ranger cropper hopper storage bins meant for the Ranger Adirondak inks. I use this to store everything and it's out on a shelf, but it's been kind of a pain in the butt to constantly open and close it, go through all of the colors just to find a couple that I need and then try to match the foam pads to the right ink pad. So, finally I came up with this:

I had some adhesive backed paper I cut into strips and distress inked with each pad I owned then wrote the name of the ink color. I've just decided to keep the whole case open since I use my distress inks so often. I was going to try and take off the front cover, but was hesitant since these storage cases are no longer being produced and are considered gold by rubber stampers.

So the first photo you saw at the top of the post is all of my distress ink pads in little jewelry ziplocs (found at your local craft store in the beading aisle). I used the same adhesive-backed paper to label each little bag, and used my crop-o-dile to punch a hole in the top. I then threaded them through a large 2" loose-leaf book ring (found at your local office supply store).

Ahhhhh... now that makes my brain feel a lot better. Everything has its place and I don't need to be mixing colors on foam pads. Because I've tried to use walnut stain on a black soot pad and it didn't turn out too well... oops.

Thanks for visiting! Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Did You Know Dolphins are Just Gay Sharks? - San Diego 2010

Hi everyone! Last Sunday afternoon we returned from our annual vacation in San Diego with my mom, Aunt Corrine, Sister and her three kiddos. It was a good trip; I'm not a "beach" person. Heck, I'm just flat out not a water person... we don't agree. And sand? Don't get me started on sand... that stuff goes everywhere and sticks everywhere! But we have a great little cottage we stay in that's actually on a pier. In fact, it's called Crystal Pier. They're very small inside, but just perfect for what we need for a week. And the beach is about a two minute walk away. Absolutely perfect. The first night we were there, Matt and I were outside on our little patio/deck and felt the earthquake you may have heard about in the news. My mom, Aunt and sister were freaking out... they were on the second floor and felt the shake more than we did.

We had an amazing few days at the beach and also another two days at Sea World. I'm a total sucker for dolphins, seals, orcas, etc... so I'm just going to forewarn you now about the following gratuitous photos... (oh and the post title is a line from, "glee." Sorry, I couldn't help it...)

** I couldn't get all of the photos perfect on the blog with the html. You should be able to click on them and get the full sized version. If you REALLY like the photos, I can send you a link to my zenfolio/San Diego account and give you the password.**

We also ate at Joe's Crab Shack two nights while we were there. We had the MOST awesome waitress named Laura (I think!). Emma just fell in love with her! Laura would get the girls to come dance with her and showed them how to "roll" and do disco fingers. Imagine Emma and Laura's surprise when we sat another one of her tables the second night. Emma jumped out of her chair and ran over to give her a hug. Too cute! Also, Emma, like her mommy, loves ordering from menus. She would politely tell Laura what she wanted and as always, like her mommy, added, "and ketchup, too please." Laura actually brought Emma her own bottle of ketchup. Emma thought was the coolest thing in the world.

Also, if you've been to the Mission Bay area of San Diego you have probably seen or been to Belmont Park. The girls love it here because there's a dinky little arcade and plenty of rides that they can go on.

Well, that's about it, folks! Just wanted to update you all since I hadn't posted for a while. I'm going to try *really* hard to post tomorrow morning!
Have a great day!