3 Ways to do Bokeh Technique

bokeh techniqueThe Bokeh technique is all the rage right now.  Everyone’s doing it.  Like the time we all wore spandex and tried to do our hair like Cyndi Lauper.  Oh, was that just me?

Anyhoo, this technique takes your card marking to a whole new level, but with very little work.  Let’s dive in so you can see the three options you have in making this amazing card background.

1) The Sponging Technique.  You could create the bokeh technique by using stampin’ sponges, dipping them in ink, and smearing them in circular motions.  You will get this look.

bokeh technique


2) Use sponge daubers.  You can purchase sponge daubers here.  They work for so many things besides stamping.  I admit I have put make up on with a sponge dauber. Don’t judge me.  Simply dip the sponge daubers into the ink and swirl them.  They give a much darker and textured feel to the background.

bokeh technique


3) Ok this one is my personal favorite.  I love anything that includes water and ink.  I did a watercolor background for this one and it turned out stunning.  Please watch the video tutorial below to see all three of these techniques in action.

bokeh technique

Here is the video to show you how I created all three of the bokeh technique backgrounds.  Grab a cup of coffee or tea and hang out with me for a bit.

If you want to get free tutorials, stamping tricks and tips from me make sure you sign up below.  You can also sign up at the top of my site for my free tutorials and to stay up to date with me.
Here are all the supplies I used to create the cards above.  Order these supplies today so you can get started making these amazing backgrounds.

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What does Garth Brooks have in common with Michaels?


It all started in January.  By chance I found out that Garth Brooks was going to be touring in Sacramento.

To give you a little background.  I am a HUGE Garth fan.  I mean I had a scrapbook all things Garth related when I was 13.  I still have it.  I am not embarrassed to admit this.  It’s packed away somewhere.

Shannon loves to tease me about this fact, but I don’t care.  It’s history man!



As soon as I found out the date and time that tickets were going on sale I marked my calendar.  The night before they went on sell I actually had trouble sleeping.

I wanted to go DESPERATELY.  I have had the pleasure of seeing Garth live one time, when he did a fundraiser 6 years ago.  I knew I had to see him again.

The long awaited day finally arrived to purchase tickets.  As I sat in Starbucks with my laptop ready to go and my phone in my other hand I was nervous.  Not only did I want to go but by now I had a whole slew of people that asked me to get them tickets too.  How did I end up with such a big responsibility?


The clock struck 10am.  CLICK… CLICK … CLICK…. “We are searching for the best available seats”  The gray wheel of death just spun and spun.  For what seemed like forever.  Finally after 25 minutes of waiting the screen says “We are SORRY no more tickets are available for this show”

WAAAAAAAAAAA………  Shock.  Dismay.  Frustration.  All overcome me.

Then I get a text from my Aunt.  Two more shows are released.  WHAT!?  Two more.  The clicking starts again.  For another 35 minutes the stupid gray wheel spins… and then suddenly… when I thought all hope was lost.

“5 Tickets are available.  You have 3 minutes to claim your seats.”

JOY.  TRIUMPH.  I’ve done it.  I’ve saved the day.  Everyone will be so happy.  I clicked the check out button and then, and only then did I look at the time and date of the tickets.


Saturday March 28th at 10:30pm…. LOL…. 10:30pm.  What in the heck?  He is going to do a concert AFTER his first one on Saturday at 7pm?  You’ve got to be kidding.  My bed time is 10:30pm.  How will I survive this?

It didn’t matter.  It’s Garth.  The nosebleed seats don’t matter, the time doesn’t matter.  It’s Garth.  Where Garth goes I will go.

Fast forward.  We decided the day of the concert we would go early.  Have dinner and do a little shopping.

Since I live so rural I thought this is a perfect opportunity to go to Michael’s and go shopping before dinner and before Garth.   Here’s the Garth crew.  We went to On the Border to eat.


So what does Garth Brooks have in common with Michaels?  Well nothing really, except that THIS GAL is HUGE fans of both.


Hope you enjoy the haul video and all the photos.



Michaels haul.


Who is your favorite singer?  Leave me a comment and let me know.


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Friendship Friday DIY Chalkboard Banner Tutorial

diy chalkboard banner

Friendship is a funny thing, isn’t it?  You find this person that you know nothing about, you have been raised by totally different people.  Your demographics may or may not be similar.  And you make a conscious decision to like this person.  And eventually, you may make a decision to then divulge the inner workings of your mind, heart and soul to this person.

Well at least this is how it is for women.  I am pretty sure guys just grunt and scratch and sometimes punch each other, and that is the extent of their friendship.  No deep thoughts shared.  Surface stuff. (YES I KNOW, not ALL guys, I am referring to my sampling of the male gender.)

diy chalkboard banner

Creating a DIY Chalkboard banner seems like the perfect gift to give to a friend.  You have complete creative control.  You can put any word you want on the banner to express your gratitude, love or thoughts on  your friendship.  I knew a BLESSED banner would be a great gift for my friend Katina.

Step one:  I created the chalkboard banner pieces using chalkboard paper from Stampin’ UP! and the Party Pennants Biz L Die.  I wanted a banner too.  So I cut enough for one banner for myself and one for my friend Katina.

create chalkboard banner

 Step 2:  Stack your chalkboard banner pieces together and then punch them out using a cropadile.

step two chalkboard banner

 Step 3:  Use ribbon or twine to string your chalkboard banner pieces together.

step three chalkboard banner

 Step 4:  Add your decorations.  I used the Calypso Coral Pom Pom’s from Stampin’ UP! and some Coastal Cabana ribbon also from Stampin’ UP!

step four chalkboard banner

Step 5:  Use a piece of chalk to write your letters on your chalkboard banner.  I would reccomend going online or on your word or pages program and finding a font you like and typing the word out and then trying to copy the letters.  This is a great guide so your letters don’t look weird.

diy chalkboard banner

Now hang that beautiful chalkboard banner up for everyone to see.  Don’t forget to make one for a friend in the process.

diy chalkboard banner

In case you’d rather see a video…. I made you one :)  You can check it out below.

This is a list of supplies I used to create this DIY Chalkboard Banner.  HOWEVER, if you aren’t into figuring it all out yourself I get it.  So you can just purchase the chalkboard banner kit below and EVERYTHING comes in one cool package.  No need for any other supplies.

Just click on the images below to purchase (please not the pom pom trim is not available at this time, sorry)


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13 Amazing Sites with Phenomenal DIY Crafts


DIY’ing is a world of it’s own.  I have compiled a list for you of 13 phenomenal DIY Crafting sites.  There are all kinds of DIY ideas and projects to be found here.  You are going to love them.  Don’t forget to sign up for my FREE EXCLUSIVE TUTORIALS HERE.  Enjoy this post and I hope you get a lot of great ideas from all these awesome sites.

Here we go.

Alpha Mom

This is a great site for moms.  Thus the name, Alpha Mom.  There are tons of family friendly paper crafts on this site.  Great ideas for small children.  One post in particular is really awesome.  DIY Holiday Hats for All Holidays.


Crafty Morning

Crafty Morning is a wondrous blog full of creativity, ideas and inspiration.  You do not want to miss out on this blog.  One of my favorite blog posts from this blog is the reindeer out of a paper plate.  You must check this out if you have kids or grandkids.  But don’t worry there are a lot of ideas on this blog for all ages.


Splitcoast Stampers

Splitcoast stampers is for the AVID card maker / paper crafter.  It’s full of glorious inspiration.  Endless card making techniques and fantastic tutorials that are easy to follow and printable and FREE.  The 2-5-7-10 box technique.  You do have to have a free account with splitcoast stampers to access the forums and tutorials.


BHG (Better Homes & Gardens)

Probably not a site you would think of for paper crafting.  It’s FULL of sensational ideas.  Not just paper crafting but all around DIY, Home Decor, Card Making and so on.  There are loads of free tutorials on this site.  It’s a perfect site for getting ideas and inspiration for anything and everything you want to do yourself.  This is one of my favorite tutorials. Scratch Off Heart Card for Valentine’s Day.



WOW.  One word for this site.  WOW.  It’s FULL of exceptional DIY crafts.  Everything from wood crafts, to paper crafts, home decor.  It’s just endless.  I love christmas crafts.  One of my favorite posts on this site is the DIY Christmas crafts post.


Martha Stewart

What DIY Crafts blog post would be complete without Martha Stewart.  Regardless of Martha’s criminal activities, she really is the pioneer woman of all DIY’ing.  I forgive Martha.  LOL.  Her crafty brilliance is amazing.  This is a great DIY Homemade Bath Salt tutorial.  These are so much fun to make and give as gifts.  Any of your girlfriends will feel treasured when they receive homemade bath salts from you.


DIY & Crafts

SO… DIY & Crafts… pretty much sums it up.  This site is full of super amazing stuff.  I love this tutorial from them.  How to transfer photos to wood surfaces.  It is such a cool look.  Now I just need to find a great piece of barn wood to put a photo on.


Woo Home

This site is very specific to home improvements and home decor.  I like this site because a lot of their ideas and tutorials are out of the box.  They are not what you normally find on other sites.  Wood Pallet furniture is all the rage these days.  This blog post has 38, yes 38, DIY Wood Pallet Furniture ideas.  LOVE IT.


Craft River

Trendy, Fun, Unique.  All words I would use to describe Craft River.  There are endless ideas on this site.  A lot of them catering to holidays and children’s crafts.  I am particularly fond of children’s crafts, since I have a little lady running around here that constantly wants to craft.  I really enjoyed this post, 35 DIY Fall Decorating Ideas For the Home.


Tatertots and Jello

You will never be disappointed by the ideas and creativity this blog has to offer.  Lots of gift giving crafts and DIY Gifts on this blog.  One of my favorite tutorials they offer is the 5 Minute Hot Chocolate Gift.  Now they say this is a holiday gift, but I say I don’t need a holiday to give hot chocolate as a gift.  Even on a cool summer night I enjoy hot chocolate with marshmallows.


36th Avenue

DIY, Crafts, Kids, Recipes, they’ve got it all.  This is your one stop shop for inspiration and tutorials.  You can rest assured that if you visit this site daily you will have creative inspiration and recipes coming out of your earballs (yes, I mean EARballs, not eyeballs) These Baked Oatmeal Trailside Treats are TOO DIE FOR.  Healthy and delicious.  YES, this is a DIY item… It’s a DIY Trailside Treat ha!  Make these, you won’t regret it.


I Creative Ideas

Creative Ideas and DIY Projects to inspire your life.  This is the tag line at I Creative Ideas.  And it’s exactly what they do.  I am always looking for ideas to do my daughters hair.  And while this blog is full of all kinds of paper crafting ideas, and kids craft ideas and home decor ideas.  I found them through this DIY Hairstyle idea.  The Unique Braided Bun idea is AMAZING.  I have only done this on Macie’s hair once because it’s time consuming.  But it’s so pretty.


I Heart Naptime

I follow this blog regularly.  I love it.  I just love Jamielyn.  She seems like such a fun person.  If you don’t follow this blog you should.  She has freebies, recipes, diy and crafts.  This DIY is pretty unusual but I thought it was interesting.  Have you heard all the rage with all the skinny wrap stuff?  You buy this thing contraption to wrap around you and then you supposedly lose weight or inches from wearing it.  I’m sorry but I just don’t buy it.  Something Truvy and Clairee might buy into though.  HOWEVER, being the skeptic I am I would try Jamielyn’s idea. LOL.  Because it wouldn’t cost me a dime and I could try it and see if it worked.  Here is the DIY Body Wrap that she came up with.  If you try this let me know if it works.


That was so fun.  I really enjoyed putting this list together for you.  DIY’ing and repurposing can be so much fun.

You can check out some of my own DIY projects HERE.  I really enjoy using Stampin’ UP! paper and ink to design or repurpose something that I might have otherwise thrown away.


If you want to make your own cards you can check out these phenomenal all in one kits.  They provide you the ease of NOT having to pick out any products and figure out how to put them together.  Everything comes in one handy package and you are ready to go.  Stamps, ink, cards, envelopes all together and ready to go.  Click on the images below to order.

If card making isn’t your thing (and I get it, I use to not care for it).  I also have these awesome party decor kits.  Again, all in one and ready for you to create.  I personally love the chalkboard kit because you can reuse it over and over again.  Just erase your letters and write new ones.  Your small investment gives you BIG results.  Click on the kits below to order.
diy craft site
All the kits mentioned above are great options for letting the kiddos help.  My six year old loves getting kits from Stampin’ UP! and putting them together.  Photo instructions are always included and that makes everything easier for the half pints.
Thanks so much for hanging out with me today.

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Do You Have Paper Crafting Contraband?

stampin up contrabandNot the kind of contraband you get pulled over for.  Geez, what kind of hoodlum do you think I am?

In the Stampin’ UP! world we refer to any products that are NOT Stampin’ UP! as contraband.  Kind of funny right?

This is the only kind of contraband that I have ever, or will ever have in my house.  Just so we are clear. LOL.  Remember, I am ruler follower.  I can’t help but be a goodie two shoes.

This is the second time in two weeks I have made references to drugs (see here).  I am not sure I am super comfortable with that.

Simon Says Stamp! is one of my favorite contraband companies.  I love their stuff.  My friend Katina gave me this stamp set with the matching framelit. (Make sure you go to Katina’s blog and check out her stuff today)

simon says stamp If you recall, it’s FAVORITE THINGS week.  This is a week once a year that I share some of my favorite things.  Doggies, are my favorite animal.  As I type this blog post I have Hank, the new dog, nestled uncomfortably (for me) up under my left armpit and Buddy, the other little dog, curled up on my legs just below my laptop. I love these little turds.  They are so stinking cute.

stamping dogs

Moving on to my project.  LOVE LOVE LOVE how this card turned out.  I am putting one of the cards in Macie’s mailbox that she has on her bedroom door.  She will love this card.

stampin up simon says stamps

stampin up simon says

Here is a really fun and easy trick to make your cards super fun.  I just love how this idea turned out.  There is a video for you below to show you how I created this fun envelope.


Below you will find a list of supplies that I used from Stampin’ UP!  Sale A Bration ends on March 31st (don’t know what Sale A Bration is?  It’s a promotion.  Stampin’ UP! will give you a free Sale A Bration product of your choice for every $50 you spend, see all the catalogs by clicking here: SAB 1, SAB 2, SAB 3)

Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog


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Got PMS?

baby wipe technique stampin up

Got PMS?  Us too… but not the one that bloats you and makes you feel like crud.  POPCORN, MOVIES & STAMPING are on my agenda for this week.

Once a month I host a class in my house.  The ladies that come enjoy stamping as much as I do.  I made this banner, because I had the kit and I could not resist.  I decided to decorate the room up really cute.

chalkboard banner kit stampin up

This month instead of regular old stamp club I spiced things up by doing a PMS event (Popcorn, Movies & Stamping).  This idea was inspired by a special week that I celebrate once a year.

This week is MY FAVORITE THINGS week.  Every year my dear friend Katina and I spend a week celebrating our blogging journey.  We started WAY back when together as Two Chics & A Cricut.


Today, Katina has her own blog, Loving Lifes Little Blessings and of course I have mine.  But we still spend time crafting together and working together on new and fun blog ideas.

We both thought it would be fun to share our favorite movies with you.

I tried and tried to come up with one movie that was my all time favorite and ultimately decided, I just couldn’t settle on one.  HOWEVER, I could settle for one movie in each genre.  Ready for this!?

Luvin' Stampin'Favorite Movie Picks!

ACTION:  Bad Boys … mild language.  But one of my all time favorites.  Martin Lawrence and Will Smith are hysterical in this movie.

DRAMA:  A Few Good Men.  If you haven’t seen this movie, you are seriously missing out.  It’s an all time fav in my house.  “You want the TRUTH, you CAN’T handle the TRUTH”

ROMANTIC COMEDY:  UGH, this is my favorite genre so I couldn’t pic one.  The Proposal, 50 First Dates and Just Go With It.

STUPID COMEDY:  Happy Gilmore (don’t judge me)

THRILLER:  Sleeping with the Enemy.  I don’t care how many times I see this, it makes me jump.  It’s a great thriller movie.  Don’t watch it alone.

DISNEY:  Tangled and The Little Mermaid

OVERALL FAVS:  Steal Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes

Movies and stamping would not be complete without popcorn. YUMMO.  I found these popcorn bags at walmart for $1, they were in clearance.  I decided to make a cute tag for them and put them at each of my stampin’ gals stations.

luvin stmapin popcorn bags

At our class we are going to focus on the technique using baby wipes.  You can see the video on how to do that technique here.

baby wipe technique stamping

Thanks so much hanging out with me today.  Make sure you go over to Katina’s blog and check out her favorite movies.

Below is a supply list of the items I used on today’s projects.

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Hey All,

Things look different to you??  It’s because I am moving.  Yep I am moving from Blogger to WordPress.  Special thanks to Amanda at http://www.amandacreekcreative.com for helping me do this.

It will take a while.  In the mean time if you don’t find what you are looking for or you have a problem clicking on something.  You can go back Luvin Stampin HERE.

Moving to wordpress is going to allow me to provide so much more for you all!  I can’t wait.

Hang tight with me











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Stitching + Paper + Pumpkin = AMAZING CARDS

It’s been a busy week!  I am sure you have noticed.  I haven’t had much on my blog or you tube. 

I AM SORRY OK! I AM SORRY!  Family first though, you know that’s how I roll.

This months Paper Pumpkin kit has to be one of my favorites so far.  Holy Hannah!  I love it. 

There is stitching involved people.  Instant turn off for you?  NOT I.  I love it.  It’s therapeutic in fact.

I sat at my nail salon waiting to be fixed up and prettied up and made some of my Paper Pumpkin cards.  

All I had to take with me was the kit, and a clear block.  (oh and instead of opening the little sample ink, I brought my own)

That was it.  How simple and amazing is that?

I am telling you friend.  I know you are busy like I am.  I know you have a million irons in the fire and not enough time in the day… 

JUST TRY IT …. I am your dealer and Paper Pumpkin is your drug of choice.  (anyone else having high school flashbacks about now)

You want this.  You need this in your life.  I promise you won’t regret it.

It’s the most fun $20 a month you will spend (ok it’s like $21.59 with tax)
Check it out… RIGHT NOW until March 31st you can order 3 months of Paper Pumpkin for a reduced rate of $54.95 plus tax.  You will get Paper Pumpkin for 3 months and then you are done and you get a FREE SALE A BRATION ITEM when you order the 3 month prepaid subscription.  CHECK THAT OUT HERE.

Don’t like surprises in the mail?  What’s wrong with you.  Ok, I get it some people don’t.  If you don’t … then Paper Pumpkin truly is not for you.  However, I will say, you could try it for a month and see if you like it.  If not cancel it.  There is no risk involved.

It’s like a Birch Box of Craftiness.  Who needs cosmetics when you can craft!?  I mean really.

Check out the video on how easy the stitching is.  Love it.

You’ve gotta try this.  Try it for a month and see if you like it.  I bet you will.  (oh and it’s super easy to cancel, I hate when you sign up for something then it’s a big pain in the butt to cancel it.)


Here are your FREE SALE A BRATION ITEM OPTIONS that I know you will love if you are busy and need quick fixes.


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Spring Break & Family Time

WOW!  This week is crazy.  I am writing this on Monday night, for tomorrow.  In the world of blogging this is a big no no. 

I should have blog posts prepared way in advance for you.  And they should be proof read a few times before publishing.

However, I live in the real world.  Where life happens, and I can’t do everything the way it’s SUPPOSED to be done all the time.

That said.  If this blog posts is full of typos, I apologize in advance.  I’ve been at the lake all day and I feel like I am still on the boat.

SHANNON CAME TO VISIT!  She will be here all week.  (For those of you that are new here, Shannon is my cousin, my kindred spirit, my confidant, my partner in crime) 

Here we are together.  Being, well, us.

Here’s a run down on what’s been going on with me.

My sister decided on Thursday of last week that she would get married on Saturday, while Shannon was here.  Friday I got ordained to perform her ceremony, and she and Chris got their marriage license and on Saturday at 1pm I married them.  YAY!  Congrats Katie & Chris.  

What was it like to marry someone you ask?  WEIRD.  But amazing.

Who do you think you are marrying someone, you ask?  Um, when I know the answer to this I will let you know.  

Alright.  Then because Shannon is here, we decided to move Easter up to Saturday March 14th. 

Don’t panic.  This was not meant to be irreverent of the actual Easter or resurrection, we just wanted Shannon and her family to get to be with us for Easter. 

This will make my mother in law happy because usually we spend Easter with my family.  Since I already got that out of the way I will be able to spend Easter with my hubs family.  WIN, WIN, WIN! 

Look at this spread.  This is only half of it.  It was delicious.

Here is Gramps being his spry self.  At the young age of 91.  I still can’t believe he is 91 when I look at him.

This is about half of us.  My fam is big.  Where there is food my family will be.  We love to eat.

Easter egg hunting time! Fun fun fun.

We are missing about 8 people from this photo.  They couldn’t make it for one reason or another.  Shannon requested this photo and I am so glad she did.  All my family (almost) in one picture.  Grandma couldn’t get in the photo because her arm is broken, and well it was going to be too hard to move her.  So we decided I would photoshop her into the photo later. LOL.  I haven’t done that yet.

Today we went to the lake.  We had such a nice time.  It was very overcast with a slight breeze.  That really bummed me out because it has been perfect here.  But it was still nicer weather than Shannon & John get in Montana.  They were pleased.

Ok amid all this craziness.  We got a new dog.  Meet Hank.  He’s 8 years old and such a sweet boy.  He has a sad story, and I am going to spare you from hearing it because it will make you super sad.  

Just know that NOW Hank has a loving happy forever home.  He’s getting settled and we are already so in love with him.

There you have it.  

I’ve just been sitting around eating bon bons and watching TV.  You know like all of us stay at home mommy bloggers do.  

Nothing much.  Just officiating weddings, cooking, taking family to the lake, adopting dogs, ending world hunger and bringing peace to the middle east. 

Oh wait… maybe that was a bit much.  I have a flare for the story telling you know.

ALL of that mumbo jumbo to say, I may not be around much this week.  I will do my best. 

Leave me a comment and let me know what you are up to this week?  Do your kids or grandkids have spring break this week?  Plans for easter?  

Talk to you soon.

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7 Easter Mason Jar Ideas

1} Two of my favorite things… MASON JARS & HYDRANGEAS.  What a gorgeous combo for some really beautiful easter decor.  AND I happened to stumble upon a new fav blog I Heart Nap Time.  So cute.

2}  Mommy Hates Cooking is an awesome blog.  I love the chick mason jar that she created below.  You will have to check it out.

3} Crazy For Crust is a yummy yummy blog.  Oh the delicious treats she makes.  Coconut cremé pie is one of my favorite desserts on earth.  I could eat a whole pie by myself.  This is the perfect portion amount.

4}  No. 2 Pencil how cute are these mason jars.

5}  Ok this is genius.  I saw this on Pinterest and then it linked to an etsy store but it couldn’t be clicked on.  I don’t know what the deal is.  So let me tell you how easy this is to make.  From the country girl.  The bottom of this is just a chicken feeder.  Yep you can get one of them at any feed store.  No feed store near you?  All you have to do is go online.  Very adorable.

6}  Here is one of the mason jars I came up with.  I found these cute eggs at Walgreens on a mini shopping spree.  It was so fun.  I put the eggs in the bottom of the mason jars.

7}  I used my Silhouette cameo to put these bunnies around the mason jar.  Was so easy and isn’t it cute.  I am trying to decide what to fill it up with.  What do you think I should put in there?  (You can see my Silhouette video HERE)

Thanks for stopping by today!  Make sure you sign up to get FREE EXCLUSIVE TUTORIALS from me.

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