Saturday, July 30, 2011

It's time again for the Saturday Paper a la Mode Challenge at The Outlawz

Saturday again already! The time is just flying by despite the fact that I can't do anything outdoors due to the heat wave we're having.  I know, I complain a lot about that, don't I? Well, I can't help it. This heat is worse to me than if it rained all the time. Okay, I'm done whining for today. Now it's time to show you a couple of little projects I completed for The Outlawz Paper a la Mode challenge. In case you haven't ever visited that challenge site, there is a different challenge each day of the week and the design team is divided among those 7 challenges. I'm on the Paper a la Mode team and our challenges run from Saturday through the following Friday. We have some absolutely wonderful regular sponsors, among which is Oozak. I won a $50 gift certificate for Oozak when I first joined The Outlawz! I was so thrilled to be able to do some online shopping for free and you'll never guess what I bought with it.... if you said Copics, you were correct! There are prizes for each challenge and a grand prize winner for the whole month. We also have a gallery where members can enter photos of their projects and from those photos, several entries are chosen to be featured each month. It's an awesome site and I'm so honored to be on their design team.

The theme for this week's Paper a la Mode challenge is gift bags, tags, boxes and gift card holders. I had a really hard time deciding what I wanted to make so I made 2 projects. The first one is a gift card holder.
I scrap-lifted the design from a StampTV video on You Tube. You can see the video here. It's an excellent step-by-step tutorial presented by Gina K and I just love the way mine turned out. I'll be making lots more of these in the future.

I just love the way it turned out.  Here are the details:

Card base - Best Occasions textured cardstock in royal blue
Mats - DCWV Shimmer card stock in bright gold
DP - DCWV Royal Garden (6.4"x4.5" mat stack)
Mat for message spot - DCWV Glitter cardstock in turquoise
White cardstock for message spot - Recollections
Page Pebble on belly band - MakingMemories (extra large circle)
1" circle punch
Martha Stewart corner punch from one of her Punch Around the Page sets
Super strong double sided adhesive tape

My second project is a little gift box set.  Each box is 2" square and is made of double-sided cardstock.  I made a double gift tag to attach to the ribbon from the same cardstock.  These are a cute size to hold some small sweet treats or little small gifts like bracelets, earrings, etc.

I'm afraid these pictures don't do it justice as they're prettier in person but at least they give you an idea.
And the recipe:

Double-sided patterned cardstock - Stampin' Up! 6" square Designer Series "In Color" stack
Ribbon - purchased from Michael's
Martha Stewart small butterfly punch
tiny pearls for butterfly thorax - Recollections and colored orange with Copic marker
Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue to adhere the folded corners of the boxes

There ya go!  Two projects in one day.  I had a lot of fun making these and I hope they inspire you to make some of your own gift packaging.  I can picture lots of variations on these designs in my mind.  It's all in the papers and colors you choose.  I'll be posting a mini album on Monday and it's one I think you'll really enjoy so I hope you'll stop by again to see it.  Until then...

Happy crafting!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Friday and Another Project for JustWordz

Another week has come and gone as we edge just a little bit closer to autumn. I am so ready to be rid of this scorching heat, I can't even tell you! We have had temps over 100 degrees for 27 consecutive days as of yesterday, the third most in history. But they're saying that we may get a temporary break if a storm system (not the tropical depression Don) manages to hold together long enough to reach us. I've been doing a rain dance all day! Even if it does get here, it will only drop down to the high 90s during the weekend and then will go back up early next week. I'll take every little degree I can get though.

Today is the JustWordz Design Team's second presentation and therefore, another chance for you to enter the giveaway for a set of JustWordz Stamps. Visit the JustWordz blog for details on entering the giveaway. For my project, I made another easel card. This one uses an awesome digi stamp by one of my Outlawz teamies, Anne Fenton. Anne has a number of her digi stamps available at no charge to all members of The Outlawz so if you like this one, you might want to consider becoming a member so you can pick up some of the freebies that are offered on the site.

This pretty teacup and napkin are colored with Copics and coated with Diamond Glaze to give it the appearance of fine china.

The recipe:

Card base -  Best Occasions textured cardstock (berry pink)
DP - K & Company (Jubilee and Que Sera Sera)
Image - Anne Fenton
Flowers - handmade by me
Butterflies - MS punch
Pearls - Recollections (centers of small flowers are colored with Copics)
Button and ribbon from my stash
Paper doily and mat behind cup - purchased from Jo-Ann's
Leafy vine - Sizzix
5-petal retro flower punches by Fiskars (large) and EK Success (small)
Large Scalloped circle - EK Success
Greeting - JustWordz Clear Stamps
Inside sentiment - my own words
Glimmer Mist - Viva Pink

So, there you have it!  As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated.  Don't forget to stop by JustWordz to enter Kim's giveaway and visit the blogs of the other JustWordz design team members to see what awesome creations they have displayed to inspire you!   You can find links to their blogs in my left sidebar.

I'll have another project to show you either tomorrow or Sunday that I have been working on the past few days.  It's about 3/4 finished so if the rest goes together smoothly, it should be finished some time tomorrow.  Until then....

Happy crafting,

Welcome to the Official Launch of JustWordz Stamps!!

Please note: This post will remain on top through July 29th.  Please scroll down for the most recent posts.

Good morning, everybody! Today is not only Friday but is also a day of celebration and great hoopla.... for me and for a new stamp company called JustWordz Clear Stamps for which I am a designer. Kim, the creator and owner of JustWordz released her first stamp set, called Everyday Sentiments. This is a mix-n-match set of 69 (count 'em... 69!) stamps that can be combined in various ways to create unique sentiments for all of your cards, layouts and other paper crafting  projects. The full set comes on a 6" x 8" sheet instead of the standard 4" x 6" sheet. And guess what!! To celebrate this auspicious occasion, Kim is offering her first set at an introductory price of $18.99 USD during the launch PLUS she is going to give away a set to a lucky visitor who leaves a comment on her blog between now and August 21st! There are several ways you can multiply your chances of winning so please take a few minutes to visit her blog and find out how.  

I have created my first project using JustWordz stamps and let me tell you... they create such clear and crisp images and are really easy to use. I made a "Congratulations" card and because, as many of you know, I have been unemployed for 11 months as of yesterday, I thought it would be a good idea to project my desire to find a new job out into the universe through my card!! The power of positive thinking, ya know...  I need all the help I can get! LOL!

The card is a bit masculine in appearance but that's okay too because my younger brother is also unemployed (yeah, I know, right?)  and I'll give this one to him when he starts his new job. Hopefully he won't be off as long as I have been. So without further ado, here's my little bit of inspiration for your viewing pleasure.

I used Core'dinations chocolate brown textured cardstock for the card base and The Paper Studio dark beige cardstock from their Simple Elegance stack for the matting. The white cardstock is by Recollections. All of the dp is from my favorite, K & Company's Que Sera Sera collection and the gold glitter cardstock is from DCWV's Mariposa collection.  The image is from Stampabilities and was colored with Copics.  I used dark brown adhesive pearls from Recollections in the corners of the mat behind the image as well as on the sentiment flags. The clear skittles were courtesy of our sweet Kim. Thanks again, Kim... you rock, girlfriend! And the key, which is supposed to signify the tradition of the washroom key given to newly-promoted executives at big corporations, is from K & Company's Life's Journey collection. 

Each of the other design team members has a project posted on her personal blog too so stop by and see what they have made and leave them a little love while you're at it.  I have provided links below to take you there:  

Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you all back here every Friday for a new JustWordz project!  And don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a set of Kim's stamps for yourself.  I just know you're gonna love them!  Until then....

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Another quick card... clean and simple design

Ever have those days when you have to run out to Hallmark and spend 3 or 4 bucks on a card that you forgot you needed or didn't know you needed until the last minute?  I used to have days like that all the time but I don't anymore!  Why?  Because I make cards in advance and store them until I need them.  Besides, I just really enjoy making cards... it's therapeutic for me... so I probably have at least a couple dozen cards on hand at any given time and parts ready to make about the same number more.  By parts, I mean that I have some pre-cut and scored card blanks in several different colors and images that I have already colored to go on them.  I also keep embellishements on hand all the time so it takes between 15 mintues and an hour to put a very pretty card together and have it ready to go to a party or into the mail.

My regular followers know how much I love K & Company.  Well, their dimensional stickers are just the best when it comes to building quick cards.  The one I am showing you today took about 35 minutes to put together and most of that time was spent cutting the paper and punching the corners on the inside mat.  This clean and simple design uses 2 K & Company dimensionals, a piece of ribbon, 5 different papers and a stamp and that's it!  I love this clean and simple style of card making but it's not really my nature.  I have always been a "more is more" kind of girl as you can tell from most of my projects.  However, the elements I use, be they few or many are always strategically placed on my project to create an artful composition that is pleasing to the eye.

I think, with the exception of the papers, the photos are pretty self explanatory so I'm not going to list the deets this time.  As always, if you want more information or have any questions, you can feel free to leave a comment or email me directly and I'll gladly get back to you.

Thanks for dropping by my blog today.  I'm working on a couple design team projects as well as a baby gift for a friend but if I have time to take pictures later, I'll post another card tomorrow.  Friday I'll be posting my second project for Just Wordz Clear Stamps and I'm excited for you to see it.  Kim will have sneak peeks of it, as well as the projects of the my teamies on her blog.  You'll also have another chance to enter her giveaway for a set of her Everyday Sentiment stamps.  Until then....

Happy crafting!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Christmas in July Paper a la Mode Challenge at The Outlawz.... a Christmas wall banner

Happy Saturday, everybody!  This sweltering summer heat is about to do me in so today, I'm bringing you a project with a winter theme.  In keeping with the promotions that many businesses are currently doing, the theme of this week's Paper a la Mode challenge at The Outlawz is Christmas in July.  I was looking forward to this one as a means to provide a little mental relief from the unbearable heat wave and drought we've been experiencing.  It has been over 100 degrees for the past 21 days and I think I may melt if we don't get some relief soon.

This wall hanging/banner is made of chipboard plaques covered with scrapbook papers in different holiday patterns and embellished with felt flowers, pearl flourishes and paper shapes.  The basic pieces were a kit that I won as candy from a blog hop last year (I can't remember who the sweet blogger was who sent it to me but if she sees it, I hope she'll refresh my memory!) and I only recently put it together and added my own personal touches.

I think it turned out very pretty and has a bit of a vintage feel to it.... not 1800s vintage but maybe mid 20th century, if you know what I mean.  I love the colors.  After making this one, I'm in the mood to do some Christmas crafting and I'm thinking I might make more like this using different shapes, holiday words and paper patterns.

The individual panels are attached to one another using Hang-It-All connectors from Zutter, the company that makes the Bind-It-All.  These little do-dads are aresome and sooo easy to use and I think they give the piece a finished appearance.  Plus I like the fact that it can be easily taken apart and stored compactly.  The paper ornament haning from the bottom is a cut from Cricut's Christmas Solutions cartridge, which is now retired and is attached to the bottom connector with a red velvet ribbon bow.  I'm considering taking this back off and glittering it to make it look more like a tree ornament.  I colored the pearlflourishes on the "J" and "Y" panels with Copics to make them pop.  I also used the chisel tip end of a W-5 Copic to enhance the shadow created by the letters, which are embossed using the Swiss Dot Cuttlebug folder.  I added a thick layer Crystal Glitter to the branch on the "J" panel to give the effect of snow.  It's hard to see in the photos but it's very sparkly!

I hope you'll visit The Outlawz to see what other cool challenges are going on right now and perhaps even to enter your own creations.  You have to be a member to enter but it's easy to join and you can quit if you ever decide it's not for you.  There is a different challenge for each day of the week and the prizes are awesome!  We'd love to see you over there.

So, that's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by.  As always, your  comments are welcome and appreciated.  Have a wonderful weekend and don't forget to enter the JustWordz Stamps giveaway!  Until next time...

Happy crafting!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A quick post

Good evening, all!

This is going to be a really quick post because I have lots of things to do to get my post ready for tomorrow's launch of the new JustWordz stamp line.  You may recall my announcement a few weeks ago about being chosen to represent JustWordz as a member of their Design Team.  Well, tomorrow is the Official Launch of the stamp line and the design team AND there is going to be a celebration and giveaway to coincide with the occasion.  Each one of the DT members will display a project using the stamps and I'll have links to each of their blogs posted here so don't forget to stop back by tomorrow to see all the pretty things we have created to inspire and encourage you.

Today, I'm going to show you a card I made with a digi stamp from Pollycraft, called "Blue's Branch"  I thought this little guy was so cute and they were offering him for free at the time to entice people to apply for a position on their design team.  I considered applying because they have some really cute images but after careful consideration, I decided against it.  I'm sometimes stretched pretty thin with the 3 design teams I'm on already.  So I decided to make this cute little get well card with the adorable Blue.

Strangely enough, I forgot to take a picture of the inside pf the card but it says, very simply, "Get Well Soon!"
I layered the flower and leaves on image to create the illusion of dimension.  I'm not going to publish the deets this time but you can leave a comment if you have a question and I'll get back to you with the answer.  As always, I appreciate your visit.  Don't forget to come back tomorrow for the JustWordz launch!  Until then....

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Happy Tuesday and an Anniversary card...

Hi, all!  Today, I thought I would show you the card I made to go with the photo mat I featured here a couple of days ago.  This card was made with a digi stamp designed by one of my fellow Outlawz teamies, Sandi Huggett who offers some of her fabulous digis to the entire membership free of charge!  If you'd like to see her designs and take advantage of her generosity, visit us at The Outlawz Challenges, become a member and look in the freebies tab. We host a different challenge each day of the week and offer some really cool prizes, with a great prize for one lucky person at the end of each month. Come check us out!

Anyway, back to my card. This pretty pitcher is graced by a bunch of beautiful pansies, one of my favorite flowers. I decided to be a little adventurous and made a gate-fold card this time. As I mentioned on the post for the signature mat, my friends celebrate their 33rd wedding anniversary on the 26th of this month so I wanted to make a special card for them. Their wedding colors were dark yellow and white (eek!) but I just couldn't make myself use that color scheme so I included a bit of the dark yellow on the pansies. My niece, who is a cake decorator, recreated their wedding cake, complete with yellow roses, so they had plenty of that color to remind them of their wedding day. I love purple in nearly any shade and decided to use it as a contrasting color to the yellow. Here's how the card turned out. You can click on the individual pics to enlarge them.

The closed card is 6" square and opened up, it's approximately 14 1/2"! The image is colored with Copics and coated with a couple of layers of Diamond Glaze to make it shiny like hand-painted glazed porcelain. I also added an extra layer of the glaze over the pansies to raise them and add texture. The card base is Core'dinations cardstock in an almost dusty plum color with the mats, also Core'dinations, a shade or two lighter. The dp is from my stash but I think it's an older pattern from K and Company. I found the ribbon in Michael's dollar bin and the green mini ric rac came from Jo-Ann. I cut a paper doily in half and folded the cut end over to give the appearance of a tabletop lace doily. The little purple flowers are Flora Doodles and the purple pearls are from Recollections. I used Martha Stewart's Eyelet Lace Punch Around the Page set to create the inside mat. The Happy Anniversary greeting is by Stampendous and is stamped on white smooth cardstock, layered over gold glitter and medium purple cardstock and popped up to add dimension. Not shown in the pictures, I stamped the inside mat with a passage from Corinthians13:13 that says, "There are three things that last... faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love. I thought this sentiment was appropriate for a couple who is in as much love today as they were 33 years ago.

Don't forget to check out Sandi Huggett's free digi stamps, as well as some other beautiful ones from Anne Fenton (another of my Outlawz teamies) on the challenge site. These two ladies are so sweet to share their talents with us and they are constantly changing out and adding new images.

Thanks for stopping by today. As always, I love reading your comments. I have an engagement tonight but if I get home in time to type up the post, there will be another card tomorrow for your viewing pleasure. Until then....

Happy crafting!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Creating From the Heart 3rd Blogaversary Giveaway!

Melissa, at Creating From the Heart is celebrating her 3rd year in Blogland with an awesome giveaway!  Among the prizes are:

-  a $150 Michael's gift card   

-  Spellbinders Grand Labels 11  

-  A Spellbinders Grand Caliber machine

Wow!!!  What an awesome way to say thanks, right?  Her giveaway closes on 7/24 so you had better get on over there and enter to have a chance at winning these wonderful prizes.  

Have a great week, everybody!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I'm back at last with a new project

First off, I want to apologize for not having posted something to let all of you know what was going on with me and why I wouldn't be around for a while. The reasons I have been MIA for the past 2 weeks are two-fold.  The first thing was that I contracted a severe case of poison ivy and the itching and burning nearly drove me mad!  I had never had a reaction to it before so I didn't even put 2 and 2 together until the rash was full blown over both legs, both arms, back and chest. I even had a few blisters in my ears and on my face. I suffered with it, smearing Calamine Lotion all over me, for days but the rash continued to spread despite my efforts to contain it.

While all of this was going on, I was commissioned to make a word book for a former co-worker's granddaughter who just turned one year old.  Because I needed the money so badly and it had been a while since I made one, I took the job. Immediately after that fateful decision was when I began to break out with the rash and the incessant itching and burning ensued. I only had a week to complete the 8-page book so I had to work on it several hours each day.  It turned out beautifully and was delivered on time. However, I didn't have time to take pictures before I handed it over so I asked my friend to take pics of each page and send them to me. Her daughter and granddaughter live in Corpus Christi so she drove down for the baby's birthday and should be back some time tonight. I really hope she got the pictures because it turned out to be my favorite mini that I have done so far. It's all fairies and butterflies and is so fanciful and sweet. By this time, the rash was taking over my poor ravaged body so I took all the money I made from the job and went immediately to the doctor on my way home from delivering it. I hated spending my hard-earned money on the doctor but I hadn't had a good night's sleep in over a week and I just couldn't stand it any longer. They gave me a prescription for Predisone which has helped tremendously in starting the healing process and eliminating the itching and burning.

I was also commissioned to make a signature photo mat for the daughter of some of my friends who are celebrating their 33rd wedding anniversary at the end of this month. She had a surprise party for them last night about 50 miles from where I live. I managed somehow to finish that on time too and delivered it yesterday a few hours before the party.

So, now that those things are behind me and I'm on the mend from the poison ivy, I'm back with a few new projects that I worked on in between the other jobs. At the request of one of my devoted followers, today I'm going to show you the photo mat I made for my friends. I have two different versions and I ended up not using either one but because I finished it just minutes before I had to deliver it, I didn't get a photo of the final version. I will try to get my friend to take a picture of it after she gets it framed so you can get the full effect.  In the meantime, here are the other two versions I had started with.

I added the black frames in Photoshop so you can see how they look completely finished. The version I ended up going with, looks more like the second one here except that the little title jacquard is a quote from John Keats that says "Two souls, with but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one." I stamped it in Mememto Tuxedo Black ink onto smooth white heavy cardstock and layered that onto black smooth cardstock and then onto textured silver foil cardstock and popped it up on the bottom of the photo mat beneath the flourishes as seen in photo 2 above. It turned out very pretty and the happy couple loved it.

The photo mat is 16' x 20" and the opening for the photograph is 8" x 10". These are available as ready made items in the framing department at Michael's in a few different sizes and come with a black pen so that each of the guests can write a short personal message of congratulations on the mat. This particular mat is a double thickness and the inside opening is beveled to add a dramatic effect and costs around $22 unframed, of course.

I had several other ideas which included white paper roses, clear or smokey crystal flourishes and similar title placquards. But those options would have required special framing due to the dimensions of the embellishments. I decided to maintain a minimal profile and classic appearance so that it would fit into a standard frame with glass insert.

Have a super week, all!  I'll have another new project for you tomorrow.

Happy crafting!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I'm baaaack! and a Patriotic theme Paper a la Mode challenge at The Outlawz this week

Hello, my crafty friends!

Things are starting to settle down a bit so I'm back with a new card for you. I have been making some new ones today because I have almost run out of the ones I made in the last large batch 3 weeks ago. I made a card to celebrate Independence Day for a card swap. I paper pieced the American flag and let me tell you, it was quite a challemge! I really liked the way it turned out and I have no idea who ended up receiving it but I hope that whoever did enjoyed it. It took several attempts to get the pattern the way I wanted it and by the time I got all of the pieces cut (and there were a BUNCH of them, it was pulling my hair out!! As I told some of my Outlawz teamies, I try very hard not to curse but I slipped up several times while I was making this card. It is my sample card in the Paper a la Mode challenge this week, where the theme is Patriotic, in keeping with our 4th of July celebrations, but anybody can play along as long as they celebrate patriotism for whatever country they reside in. It doesn't have to be American patriotism and our neighbors to the north celebrated Canada Day on Friday so we're hoping to see a variety of projects from around the globe.

Here is my first sample card for my new design team! I was so excited to be able to contribute something I was really proud of, even if it did cause me some major grief in its making. All the little stars were made using a corner punch that has a star on it and the stripes were just sketched to look like the flag is flying in the wind.

Even though thetow sections which comprise the flag are relatively flat, I was able to use foam pop dots to make them appear more 3-dimensional. The stars behind the flag were dry embossed using a Cuttlebug border folder. All of the solid color cardstock is from Recollections and the patterned paper on the inside is from DCWV's All About Boys stack. I thought it worked perfectly for this card.  The frame is gold glitter cardstock, from DCWV's Mariposa Cardstock stack. The red glitter letters/numbers as well as the blue letters are cardstock stickers that I bought at Hobby Lobby. Even though I wish I had made 2 of these while I was at it (so I could keep one), I don't think I will ever attempt this pattern again unless I have a lot more time to mess with it.

So there you have it. If you enjoy great challenges with awesome prizes, come join us at The Outlawz. There is a different challenge each day of the week so there should be something that appeals to you no matter what part of paper crafting you enjoy most. Happy July 4th if you live in the U.S.; otherwise, have a wonderful week!  Until next time...

Happy crafting!

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's Official!!!

Hi, everybody!  I just wanted to let you know that I received the official phone call from Oriental Trading Company, notifying me that I was the winner in the paper crafts category of their Get Crafty contest!!!  I won by a super slim margin of 2... do you hear me?  TWO votes!!!  That just blows my mind!  If you voted for me and/or encouraged others to vote on my behalf, you have my undying gratitude!  Without the help of a large network of family, friends and online friends, I never would have been able to recruit enough voters to win the contest, the selection of which was determined by popular vote.  I'd like to thank Oriental Trading for sponsoring this awesome contest and I hope they'll do it again in the future.

I'll be back with my regular posting tomorrow.  It has been a hectic 3 days and I'm exhausted but exhilarated too.  Right now, I need a cup of coffee!  I hope you all have a lovely weekend, a safe and happy 4th if you're in the US, a fantastic Canada Day if you're one of our northern neighbors!  Until next time....

Happy crafting!

Asking for your help... (UPDATED)

This will remain on top until voting ends at midnight on June 30th.  Thank you in advance to all of my followers and visitors for voting for me and hopefully for helping me win this contest.  I'll be forever grateful for your help!  Please scroll down to see more recent posts.

6/30/11 UPDATE:  I'm sorry to have been MIA for a couple of days.  I have been consumed by this contest I'm in and trying to recruit people to vote for me.  There is one other entry with which I am competing for the prize.  As of 12:54 today, I am trailing by 6 lousy votes!!!  If any of my followers can help by posting a link on your blogs and asking your supporters to help out a fellow crafter, I would be forever grateful.  As I said before, if I win, I promise to post some blog candy to celebrate!  Here is the current link to my entry.  When you access the contest site, a message may be displayed asking for access to your computer.  This is only to verify that the vote is coming from a real person with a real email address and not some automated voting machine.  It doesn't collect personal data.  Then just click on the vote button and you're done!  Trust me when I say that I wouldn't ask for this big a favor if it wasn't important.  That prize money will help me pay some bills while I continue to look for a job.  Thanks so much for every one of you who is helping me.  This is a special community and I'm so proud to be a part of it.  Voting ends at midnight tonight and I'll post the outcome as soon as I know what it is.  Thanks so much and have a safe and happy 4th!  

Good Monday morning, friends!

I don't have a new post up yet (that will come later in the day) but in the meantime, I'm asking for your help. I recently entered a contest with Oriental Trading Co. called Get Crafty and the voting phase has just started.  The grand prize is $1000 Visa gift card!  I don't think I have to tell you what that kind of money would mean to someone who has been out of work for 10 months!  Being single and the sole provider for my household, it's been a long dry spell and even with my diligent searching, I'm having a very hard time finding a new job.  Even though unemployment benefits have kept me in my home so far, it just isn't enough to cover all the household expenses and with summer electric bills hanging over my head, winning this contest would provide a few months reprieve while I continue searching for a new position.  I don't like to dwell on the negative, as I believe things happen for a reason, but I'm beginning to worry a bit that I haven't even received an offer after all the applications I have submitted and interviews in which I have participated.

Anyway, I am asking for your votes on my entry to this contest. It's a project that I posted on my blog some time back and it's one of my favorite creations. There are pictures on the contest entry page but if you're interested in the details and lots more pictures, you can see it here. It shouldn't take but a minute of your time to cast your vote and I would truly appreciate your support.  I'll provide a direct link to my entry to make it super simple for you.  Here's a picture just to show you what you'll be voting on.

Click here to be transported to my entry.  Again, I appreciate your help and support very much.  If I happen to win, I promise that I'll post blog candy to celebrate! Thank you and have a wonderful day!

Please Note:  I have been contacted by a couple of my blogger friends saying they had problems accessing the voting page.  I just wanted to let you know that the contest is on Facebook and you have to have a Facebook account to be able to vote.  If you have problems getting the page to load, check your settings.  If you're in secure mode, turn that off temporarily and turn it back one after you have voted.  I apologize for the confusion and any inconvenience this may have caused you if you tried to vote and couldn't.  I have tested the link and it seems to be working fine for me so let me know if there are any issues other than these.