Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thrifty Thursday-Zulily Finds

Happy Thursday! I really like today's thrifty treasures. I would like to share a couple of fantastic Zulily finds. Zulily's tag line is "Deals for moms, babies, and kids." Does being a pet parent count? Posted today on the site are some totes and jewelry from artist Kelly Rae Roberts. I had never heard of her before so I did some Googling. Where have I been? I love her artwork and I especially love her story. She calls herself an "accidental artist" and embraces a "possibilitarian" attitude. I may have just found a religion. She didn't find her true joy until the age of 30 which I think is pretty good considering I'm 37 and still trying to figure out mine. She is a former social worker and I am a former Special Education teacher. Can you tell that I may have found a kindred spirit? You can read her story here: I started thinking about all of the wonderful artists that must be out there, just bubbling below the surface of consciousness. We all discover things at different times and in different ways. I'm so glad Zulily brought Ms. Roberts in my line of view. Her art is full of whimsy, inspiration and well, just downright gorgeous! And it's on sale. :) Here are just a few items from today's Zulily postings.

I NEED that Create tote. Gorgeous!

Also on Zulily, posted a couple of days ago, are some My Mind's Eye paper and washi tape. These are on sale as well and it looks like they are going quickly. Some of the sales are ending in the next 24 hours.

Here are the direct links to the Zulily pages for Kelly Rae Roberts and My Mind's Eye products.

Thanks for stopping by and stay scrappy!

-Gina & the Hounds

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hump Day with the Hounds-Handsome's Update

Happy Hump Day! At the risk of sounding like the worst pet parent in the world, I will recap the last several hours of Handsome's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  So, I couldn't stand seeing him in the cone. He was bumping into walls, couldn't eat out of his dishes (even when I raised them), and overall, looked miserable. As mentioned yesterday, I ran to the store to grab some no-lick bandages.  Little did I know, I purchased the bandages from hell. The outside of the package read, "Will not stick to wound or fur." I opened the package, pulled one of the bandages out (there were two) and peeled the paper off the back of it to expose the sticky side (just like a Band-Aid). I then proceeded to wrap the bandage around the wound. You would have thought that I was cutting his tail off with a saw. I was in a panic, not knowing what the heck was going on.  I notice that there is a small instruction sheet behind the second bandage.  It read, "Do not stick directly on wound. Place bandage directly above or below wound. Contains cayenne pepper." In my defense, looking for instructions on how to apply what is essentially an over-sized Band-Aid never entered my mind. I wish it would have. I felt terrible for causing my tiny Chihuahua man so much pain.  It must have been excruciating (imagine pouring jalapeno juice over an inch long laceration with muscle exposure). No bueno. Furthermore, the bandage from hell did stick to the fur so I had to ease it off today with some Aquafor. I tied the cone back on pobrecito Handsome and ran back to the store to find something more suitable.  I settled on this:
Upon returning home, I found the cone on the floor and a very excited Chihuahua. I inspected the wound and despite it looking a little red, (I'm assuming from vigorous licking), everything looked okay.  After some gauze and a few wraps of the self-adhesive bandage and a lot of praise, kisses, and treats, Handsome appears to be comfortable and much happier. To recap:

Unhappy Chihuahua

Happier Chihuahua

Are you a happy boy?  You are?!?!

In other news, I am very excited to be going on my first Scrappin' in the City Retreat in beautiful Sevierville, (close to the Smoky Mountains and just behind the Scrapbook Superstore...eeek!), Thursday night through Sunday evening. I have stocked the fridge with Giant's favorite foods and have packed my overnight bag. Hopefully the animals will all still be alive when I return and I won't find the Giant lying in a pile of his own filth. ;) I will be posting some of the pages I complete throughout the rest of the week and if the rest of the crew isn't camera shy, some pics of the attendees doing what they do best...scrappin'!

Thanks for stopping by and as always, stay scrappy!

-Gina & the Hounds

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tools of the Trade Tuesday-Fiskars Sure Cut Paper Trimmer & Hound Drama!

Happy Tuesday!  Before I begin on today's product review, I must tell you about the hound drama this morning at the Bates Motel. The whole family was snuggled in the bed this morning as it started out to be a chilly, overcast day.  Handsome jumped up on Giant's chest as he usually does and Bax was sandwiched between the Giant and myself. Handsome began licking Giant's face and inching toward his nostrils. As he did so, Giant rolled him off, (not knowing that Bax was right next to him and belly up I might add). What ensued can be best summed up this way:

$200 and 3 staples later, Handsome is resting comfortably from his minor surgery to close up an almost inch long laceration on his right front leg. I was so upset to see him in a cone and bumping into walls, that I went out and got him a bitter, no-lick bandage instead.  

We'll see how the bandage works...

Now onto today's product review, the Fiskars Sure Cut Paper Trimmer.  I decided to review this product because it is a question that comes up often at crops.  I have owned paper trimmers from Cutter Bee, American Crafts, We R Memory Keepers, Purple Cow, and have used a variety of guillotine trimmers in teachers' workrooms.  Whenever I am asked which trimmer I think works the best, I always recommend Fiskars.  I have both the large and the smaller version, one for the scrap room and one to bring on crops.  Both cut 12 x 12 sized paper and both have swing arms for larger measurements.

What I like most about the Fiskars trimmers is that you can see where you are actually cutting which allows for more accurate cuts and fewer mistakes. It is able to cut card stock and chipboard with ease.  The replacement blades are easy to find and install as well as inexpensive.  If you are looking to cut other types of material like thin foil sheets, these paper trimmers are not suited for that (as I learned first-hand).  It will shred the cutting wire, rendering your trimmer useless.  You must use a rotary trimmer for those kind of cuts.  I have not tried cutting fabric but I assume that a rotary trimmer would be best suited for that as well. 

Amazon always has a variety to choose from depending on your needs.

And you can't go wrong with a 40% off JoAnn's coupon! has a decent selection great prices as well. 

Thanks for stopping by and stay scrappy!

-Gina & the Hounds

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mixed Media Monday-Stencils, Gesso, & Ink, Oh My!

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend.  The family lived outside most of the weekend because we were treated to two beautiful, sunny, and cool days in a row.  The Giant and me took the hounds to the dog park on Saturday and I swear I have never seen so many small dogs in one place. There had to be at least 25 dogs if not more. We were very proud of how the hounds behaved with only one quick mount/hump incident (everyone is fixed but Handsome seems to want to demonstrate his alpha status outside of the home).  Long story short, he got "told off" by a curly, white Bichon and promptly stopped.  Baxter was happy to keep jumping on all the human's laps, (lots of "off" commands sternly given; some people wear their best pants to the dog park and don't appreciate paw prints on their tan khakis), and Bailey was content staying close to us and observing the flurry of activity around her. All in all, it was a beautiful spring weekend and I am feeling recharged (even got some vacuuming and dusting done!)

Today, I am introducing a new "segment" to the blog called Mixed Media Monday.  This is an attempt to finally get me to experiment and play with mixed media techniques which is something I have wanted to do for a long time.  I have always admired scrapbookers who have incorporated mixed media elements to their layouts. As a beginner in this area, I will share my triumphs and lessons learned along the way.  Hopefully, I will inspire you to experiment with the many colors, textures, and materials that are widely available.

Recently I purchased the Tim Holtz Rays layering stencil from my local scrapbook store in hopes of adding some color and texture to a 12 x 12 layout. First, I used washi tape to hold down the stencil to a piece of white Core'dinations cardstock. Masking tape will work too but this is what I had on-hand.

Next I added a liberal coat of gesso over the stencil. There are many brands on the market.  This one is by Ranger-Studio Gesso by Claudine Hellmuth.

I used a heat tool to quicken the drying of the gesso.

Next, I added a second coat of gesso, ( I wanted a nice, thick texture).

Then, I gave it a another quick shot from the heat tool. Now, time to add some color! First, I applied Holtz's Distressed ink in Vintage Photo with my Ranger Ink blender tool.

I wanted to darken the color so I decided to add a few spritz's of Mr. Huey's in Classic Tan.

I had a Studio Calico box handy that worked great as a spray box. I used my blender tool to apply the ink over the entire stencil.

Another blast of the heat tool...

Lastly, I carefully lifted the stencil off of the paper.  Due to using the heat tool, the stencil stuck in a few places so I had to shimmy it off to avoid tearing the paper. This was the result.  Look at that beautiful texture!

Somehow, a bit of color found its way in a couple of spots under the stencil so make sure the stencil is flush with the paper before adding the second layer of color. I believe the heat made the stencil pucker up a bit. I really liked the aged look that this technique gave.

Now for my second attempt, (after cleaning the stencil with warm water and a bit of Dawn), I began as I did with my first attempt by taping the stencil down to the paper.

This time I lifted the stencil up and zapped the gesso with the heat tool.

Look at that gorgeous texture! The way the stencil is cut adds elements of texture as well.

Next I taped the stencil back down over the dry gesso, making sure to match it up exactly with the image in the paper. I applied the Distressed Ink only with the blender tool.

I gave it one last quick hit of the heat tool.

And volia! Look at the beautiful texture and color!

Here is a side-by-side comparison of both attempts.

I cut the paper and wrote down the techniques I used to be included in my technique book.  Creating a technique book will help save time as you can quickly look up the effect you want and then simply follow the instructions. It's also a great place to keep techniques you find and want to try... like a recipe book. I hope to incorporate these into a layout or card in the near future...stay tuned! :)

Thanks for stopping by and as always, stay scrappy!

-Gina & the Hounds

Friday, February 21, 2014

TGIF-Winner Announced!

We have a winner! Congratulations to Katalina-Marie. You are the winner of the Prima milk bottle and a small scrap pack! Please contact me at

Today for TGIF (still structuring this blog and I'm sure I will land on something I like!) I am sharing this Graphic 45 layout from class yesterday at Scrappin' in the City. It is the Place In Time line. I tweaked a few elements but mostly followed the given design. I am loving the heart pins and doilies. I especially love the paper flowers that were "watered" by the owner's 4 year old daughter. She must be a born designer because the flowers looked so much better having been wet! This layout features the inspiration behind Gurl with the Curl Designs...Bailey Bates, the Doxie mix. Enjoy!

Stay scrappy and have a great weekend! 

-Gina & the Hounds

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Thrifty Thursday-Tuesday Morning Treasures

Happy Thursday! Yesterday, this blogger went on a field trip to Tuesday Morning in search of thrifty treasures.  I was not disappointed.  I couldn't help but hum this non-overplayed, under-appreciated tune as I was entering the store.

I'm gonna pop some tags
Only got $20 in my pocket
I-I-I'm hunting looking for a come-up
This is f%@*in' awesome!

Let's begin with the Tim Holtz Configurations I found for $2.99!

I can't wait to begin some design brainstorming. Something for the Etsy store perhaps?

Next up are these grunge letters, again from Mr. Holtz, (by the way, did anyone think his name was Jim when he first came on the scene? No, me neither. :)) $2.99!

I found some Dear Lizzy ribbon from American Crafts...$9.99. Loving the minty color and pink combo!

Next up, some adorable charms from Martha Stewart which will make great page embellishments ($1.99 each). Also, some Everyday die-cuts from American Crafts ($1.49).

Who remembers these? The Prima milk bottles! $1.99 each!

And last, but not least, drum roll please...

A We R Memories Keeper D-ring binder for $7.99!

Lucky for me, or unlucky for my husband, (a.k.a. the Giant), JoAnn's is right next door and I had a 15% off sale and regular priced coupon queued up the phone.  They have extended their President's Day sale through Friday so I got these babies for 50% off + an extra 15%. Final cost: $7.39!

These will end up on that Configurations display somehow.

I go back and forth between purchasing new, trendy product from my favorite local scrapbook store ( and grabbing awesome deals from the big box stores.  I noticed that JoAnn's has started to stock some brand new product, (I've got my eye on some Jillibean Soup wooden banners and Holtz's Picket Fence distress paint), so perhaps I will make my way back there on Friday--Giant, this is your official heads-up. ;)

That's it for this Thrifty Thursday's haul. To celebrate my success, I will be giving away a Prima Flowers milk bottle and a hand-picked, color coordinated mini scrap pack to one lucky reader!  Just leave a comment below and the hounds will randomly choose a winner. Winner will be announced on Friday's blog post. Good luck!

Thanks for stopping by and stay scrappy!

-Gina & the Hounds

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hump Day with the Hounds-Baxter & Alison Kreft's Sprinkled with Love

Hello and happy Wednesday! I have switched over to Blogger from Tumblr to host my blog as of today. I like this interface so much better and maybe I will actually start to see all of your lovely comments.  I believe you can't comment on Tumblr unless you are a subscriber. I was beginning to feel very lonely!

Today's featured hound is Baxter "the Baxman" Bates. He is the resident love bug of the family.


I just finished playing with some of Webster's Pages Sprinkled with Love by Alison Kreft. I love the patterns, colors, and embellishments of this line. Speaking of which, I entered Scrappin' in the City's design team call with a Sprinkled with Love layout (fingers crossed).  It would be a great learning experience for me in my quest to develop my scrappin' skills. (I even included the paper line name in my layout to show my savvy retail skills). ;) Photo to come soon...
Without further ado, I present to you, You Are Loved Bax.





Materials Used (all Sprinkled with Love unless otherwise indicated):
12 x 12 paper (including the black love card and paper underneath love arrow transparency)
paper straws
arrow clip
12 x 12 Core'dination cardstock (mint background)
pink polka dot vellum by Dear Lizzy Neapolitan Sparkling
transparencies (heart strip and love arrow)
hot pink twine
lime green twine
light aqua blue ribbon for rosette tails

Thanks for stopping by and stay scrappy!

-Gina & the hounds <3