Monday, March 31, 2014

Last Birthday for March

Today is the last day of my birthday cards series.  I had hoped to post more, but we’ve had so many events in the works that I didn’t have as much time to work on them as I planned.  I did enjoy focusing on one theme for the whole month, though, so I think I’ll continue that for April to see how it goes. 

Don't forget that tomorrow, April 1, is the beginning of The Craft Squad blog hop.  Our theme for April is “Hoppity Hop Hop”, so you can be there will be some really cute Easter projects hop hop hopping your way!  I can’t wait to show you the projects I made.  I did not one, but three Easter cards, and they are just too cute for words!

After I made my three cards, I had some scraps left over, so I made two more cards, one of which I will share with you today as the last birthday card for March.

If I could remember where the paper came from, I would tell you, but to be honest, I think it was something that came in a multi-pack I picked up at some scrapbooking sale.  I just loved the color combo and had to have it.  The cardstock is Stampin’ Up Bermuda Bay, Old Olive and Very Vanilla.  I also used the Stampin’ Up oval and scalloped oval punches and the Create a Cupcake stamp set.  The rest of the card was a series of Cricut cuts.  The filigree square was cut using the Cindy Loo cartridge and I backed it with a square of Very Vanilla cardstock.  I used Close to My Heart’s Art Philosophy cartridge to cut the rosettes.

I started with just the black rosette, and then decided that the black was too dark and ominous.  In retrospect, I probably should have used the Very Vanilla again, but I added the white and had them glued down before I realized that there was no other white on the card.  The other cards I did in this series (some of which you will see tomorrow) all had a mixture of both white and vanilla, so I’m okay with the white on this one, but I would do it differently if I had to do it over again.

That’s it for today.  Be sure to stop by tomorrow for the blog hop!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

News and Announcements

Today’s birthday card is one I made last summer while I was on my monochromatic kick.  I made a lot of monochromatic cards at the time, but I didn’t want to post too many of them at the same time, so I thought I’d save a few of them for later.  This is one. 

It’s been a while, but I believe the paper I used on this is Stampin’ Up’s Gumball Green, and I embossed it with their Lacy Brocade* folder.  The stamps used are also from Stampin’ Up from the Elementary Elegance* set -- a Sale-A-Bration item from a few years back.

Yesterday I promised some news about upcoming Crafty Neighbor events, and I’m very excited to announce that we have a date for our summer Scrapbook Garage Sale!  So mark your calendars now for Saturday, July 19 at the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Joann Fogg Service Center, 6001 Summerside Drive, Dallas, Texas 75007.  The sale will run from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM.  Seller information is available on the Crafty Neighbor website.

Another big announcement I have for you is that we are currently planning a fall date for a second 2014 scrapbooking cruise!  The date we have chosen for the cruise is September 28, and we have narrowed down our options to 3 choices.  To help us decide which option to choose, we are asking interested persons to take our short survey to tell us what you think.  How short is it?  Just one (1) question!  If you think you might be interested in joining us on a fall cruise, we’d love to hear from you.  The survey is on our cruise page at Crafty

Don't forget that it's almost time for the monthly blog hop from The Craft Squad.  Come back to this blog on April 1st when participating blogs will treat you to the theme of "Hoppity Hop Hop"!  These and other Crafty Neighbor events can always be found on the Crafty Neighbor Calendar which you can access from our website.

That's it for now.  Enjoy!

*These sets have been discontinued.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Birthday Boys

Earlier this month I promised some birthday cards in honor of my two favorite guys who happen to have March birthdays.  Masculine birthday cards are always a challenge for me because I tend to like to use flowers and ribbon and bling on my cards.  It is especially challenging to come up with masculine cards for college-aged young men.  

Luckily for me, this year, my son had a milestone birthday, having turned 21!  And what do college boys do on their 21st birthday, they go have a drink.  So to celebrate my son’s birthday, and also to remind him not to drink and drive, I made this fun little punch-art card commemorating his first official beer.  I personalized it by stamping the emblem of his alma mater on the mug.

Don’t worry, inside the card I reminded him not to drink and drive and not to ride with anyone who does.  It helps that he is my rule-follower kiddo, so once you tell him something like that, he’s pretty good about following through.

My other special guy, my husband Mark, also had a birthday this March, too. 

For his card, I used bits and pieces of supplies from several different sources.  The chevron strip, hot air balloon and small label came from Echo Park’s All About a Boy line.   I can’t remember what stamp set “Happy Birthday” came from, but the two thought balloons are from Stampin’ Up’s Just Sayin’ stamp set and matching framelits dies.  The background paper was a scrap I had left over from another project.  I thought it was from October Afternoon, but I can’t figure out which line, so maybe it came from somewhere else.

That’s it for today.  Come back tomorrow for some exciting news about upcoming Crafty Neighbor events and maybe another birthday card or two!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spring Fling Winners!

Hey Neighbors! Thanks for participating in our Busy Chicks Spring Fling Blog Hop last week!  As you may recall, we had some awesome prizes being offered up by our participating blogs, including one from yours truly!  So without any further adieu, please congratulate 

Vicki Townley

Vicki is the winner of a $150 voucher towards scrapbooking and group fees on any Crafty Neighbor Scrapbooking Cruise!  Vicki, please contact me to claim your prize!  You will find my email address on my website here.

If you would like to see the entire list of winners, please revisit all of our participating blogs or "Like" the Busy Chicks networking group on Facebook at

Now, if you visited my blog yesterday, you know that I've started in on a new hop this month, hosted by The Craft Squad.  This month’s theme is “Brought to You by the Color Green” and you'll see several different takes on that theme as we hop through the participating blogs.  If you want to start at the beginning, please visit Stamp-Patty at  Feel free to comment on what you see!  We'd love to hear from you!

As promised, in celebration of my March birthday boys, here is a somewhat masculine birthday card.  I made this one a while back for a family friend.  The balloon was a Quickutz die cut.  I used some scrap paper left over from a page layout, and the distressed edging on the sentiment was from some roll-on rub-ons I bought a long time ago and never use.  I think what makes this card more masculine is the colors and the simplicity.  By using darker, muted colors, it has a more quiet and subdued feel.  The balloon gives it a little celebratory kick, but since that's all there is, it's not over the top or loud.  This same card can be "quietly feminine" by using soft pastels or other muted colors.

If you're wondering why I've done so many projects using old supplies lately, you should know that I'm a "waste-not-want-not" kind of gal.  I've been on a kick lately to try and use all this stuff I've bought.  I can't just keep buying new stuff without doing something with the old.  So with each project, I'm trying to incorporate at least one thing that I've had for a while, and eventually it will all get used up.  It's become especially apparent that I need to do this as I've gone through this renovation of my work room.  I know a lot of crafters would just toss this old stuff or put it in a garage sale, but I spent good money on it, so I need to use it, right?  

That's all for today.  Don't forget to jump into The Craft Squad blog hop!  The beginning is on Stamp-Patty's page at

Monday, March 10, 2014

Brought to You by the Color Green

Welcome to the Crafty Neighbor blog – Neighborhood Gossip. Thanks for participating in our Busy Chicks Spring Fling Blog Hop last week!  Now it’s time to start the next hop with The Craft Squad.  This month’s theme is “Brought to You by the Color Green” and I’m sure we’ll see several different takes on that theme as we hop through the participating blogs.  If you want to start at the beginning, please visit Stamp-Patty at

March and the color green actually have a couple of different meanings for me.  I know most people think about Saint Patrick’s Day, and being Irish myself, you’d think I would celebrate it, too, but it also happens to be the birthday of one of my most favorite people in the world…my dear husband, Mark.  So we don’t celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with the traditional green beer and pinching.  Instead, we prefer to find a nice quiet restaurant for a family dinner.  So what that means is that I don’t have a cute St. Patrick’s Day project to share on my blog today.

I do, however, have another green, shamrock-themed page to share with you, and I suppose you could use it for your Saint Patrick’s Day photos.  As it so happens, my son Steven’s birthday is also very close to St. Patrick’s Day.  In fact, we used to celebrate Mark and Steven’s birthdays together, incorporating a shamrock theme in our decorations – after all, my maiden name is O’Neal, and I married a Murray – you can’t get much more Irish than that!  So the page layout I’m sharing with you today is of Steven’s 1st Birthday, for which I used a green shamrock theme.

As you can see, this is a very simple page.  I know that it is very popular these days to have very layered and busy pages, but sometimes, I think it’s nice to keep the pages simple and let the pictures shine through.  I just adore these cute pictures of my son and his incredibly blue eyes, and I didn’t want anything to take away from that.  For embellishments, I used some cute little shamrock eyelets (you can find similar ones online at EyeletOutle, Amazon, and Etsy) to tie all the mats together, and I tucked the journaling behind one of the pictures.  That’s it. Easy peasy.  And this is one of my favorite layouts…not because of the layout, but because of the pictures themselves. 

Another big event in the Murray household about this time of year is spring housecleaning.  If you’ve been following us on Facebook, you’ll know that we’ve been undergoing some changes at the Crafty Neighbor Studios (aka, my crop room).  I’ve taught classes here for many years, but over time I have just accumulated so many supplies that the old storage system wasn’t working.  So after several weeks of shuffling boxes and bins around, I finally broke down and installed some cabinets in the studio, and now I can’t wait to finish putting everything away so we can have some crops and classes here.  Sadly, all this mess has put a damper on my blog posts and my ability to get in here and do some crafting.  I’m hoping that will change soon.  Here’s some pictures of my progress so far.

That’s it for today.  I’ll have more pictures of the crop room as soon as I get the rest of the supplies sorted out.  I am the last blog in the hop, so if you started with Patty, you are done.  If you started somewhere in the middle, then Stamp-Patty is your next stop! I hope you enjoyed your time with us and will come back to visit real soon!


P. S.  My little guy is turning 21 this month!  I’ll be celebrating my two best guys all month with lots of birthday pages and card projects.