Handmade Journal

Here's a sneak peak at one of my HANDMADE journals.
I made this one for a certain someone for Christmas this year.

All are handmade by me using various art & paper crafting techniques.
Each one is unique!
I scour various art, craft, charity shops, yard sales &
flea markets for just the right papers & embellishments.

I will also make journals with recycled papers for those
who want to give with an environmental conscience!

This one allows you to keep a record of names you wish to give to.
Whether you make something handmade yourself or buy -
it has pages to keep your Holiday giving organized.
There are separate sections for family, friends & others.
There's even a section for shopping for your HOLIDAY dinner -
including a meal planner.

It's a handy size for putting into your purse and opens nicely for writing down your entries. I have included a pocket with old fashioned closure that you can put receipts into, as well as a library pocket page for you to slip coupons into!

What a unique way to record a Jolly Holiday!

I can personalize the back cover too!

If you want to CUSTOM ORDER one or more for yourself, I will be back
in the workshop right after the Holiday festivities are over.

These are labour intensive, take time and care and
I only make personalized ones on order.

PLEASE order well in advance of Christmas,
so I don't get a rush right before Christmas -
I would hate for you to be disappointed!

send me an email @


Here's a tree I designed a while back just fool in' around. I endearingly nick named it my Fugly Christmas Tree.

I would love to see how you use it! :)

Will you make gift tags, place cards, stickers, a card?

Please share with us what you do with it I would love to post pics in a future post.

While this Digi is FREE - I ask that you credit its use back to
cathies pARTies.

Please do not copy/share prints/files of this digi - anyone who would like a copy should be referred to my site and leave a comment so I can get an idea how everyone likes my freebies and if I should continue to make more.

Bloggers are asked to refer those that want it to get it directly from my blog post via a link.

While honored that you may consider entering my free digi in a handmade card you'd like to enter into contests or for publication, Please do not publish without proper credit.

This FREE DIGI STAMP is intended for personal use only -
DO NOT MASS PRODUCE or claim as your own and turn it into a clear/rubber/other stamp!

COPYRIGHT 2010 by cathies pARTies - a.k.a. C.Thompson


Penguin Card

I made this card last year.

I think the bright non-traditional colors gave it a modern twist.

I love the hit of orange in the striping and the juxtaposition
of the cold climate penguin standing on sparkling icicles.

I still loooove this card!! :)

Little Elf Holiday Card

This little Elf Holiday card was snagged for an ETSY Treasury tagged:

Will your gift wrap be remembered

To purchase it or other handmade items by myself click on any of my etsy shop photos at the top of my current blog page. This will take you to MY ETSY shop with all the details.


Here's a FREE digi stamp for all!

Simply click on the picture below to save as a jpeg or however you like.

PLEASE CREDIT: cathiespARTies when you share it with your blog/etsy or other friends as well as when you use it in a project you submitt for publication or sell.
This free digi is copyright 2010 by cathiespARTies (Cathie Thompson) intended for personal use.
I would love to see what you do with it. Send me photos of your creative use of this digi and I may share it on my blogs.
Watch for more digi's to come!

Christmas Cards All Year 'Round - Challenge

These cards are my entry for the Christmas Cards All Year 'Round(Blog)Challenge.

The challenge was to make cards with snowflakes as the main theme.

FREE Apple 8GB iPod

I had gone shopping for a few things Thursday night @ PriceSmart foods and upon paying for my order found out I could get a FREE Apple 8GB iPod if I cashed in 50,000 Save On More points. If only I had that many!

In the current rewards book you need 99,000 points but the hot offer for the current week was only 50,000. Well I had 37,000+ to date; but I did need more groceries. So what did I do? I went home Thursday with flyer in hand to do some brain storming.

Went back to the store early Friday evening bought 10 boxes of Kellogg's cereal with a bonus points coupon so I got 10,000 points there alone; that brought our current points to 47,000 - still need to hit 50,000(we go through a lot of cereal and with school start up just around the corner, we'll be prepared for early breakfasts).

Next We buy some frozen meat cause we have to have protein! Well that added another 2,000 points bringing us up to just under 50,000 points as we total our bill. HUH?! For sure I thought we had over 50,000 points.

DUH!! I forgot that I had an extra points coupon in my purse when my points card was scanned at the door before shopping this gave me an additonal 1,000 points for spending at least $75.00 on my groceries! BINGO ! Over 50,000 points! Cha Ching!

Hubby & I go over the Customer Service Counter to cash in our points and order our FREE iPod. "Would you like one now?" asks the girl at customer service "We just got a bunch of them in!" "YA, WE WOULD!"


I made this card for my hubby for our Anniversary last week.

He never clued in when he saw the handmade envelope I made to put the card in and left out on the computer station. He just asked "What's this?", and I replied "You have to wait till fridayto open it and find out!" Perplexed till then.

Friday rolls around, and I get a call from him at work -
"Guess what?" he asks.
"What?" I reply.
"It's Friday the 13th!"
Oh, yeah, I already knew that" I say.
"Oh, yeah, uh and it's our Anniversary - HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!"


He finally clued in when he and his coworkers were discussing special days/events in their lives that fell on a 13th, and that day would sometimes fall on a FRIDAY the 13th.

Usually he's the one that remembers and he makes me a handmade card or photo impressed luv mug - sweet stuff like that!

Using the Cindy Loo cartridge in my Cricut Cutter I made the deer frame, using pink paper with brown polka dot print and used the GYPSY design studio to tweak the size of the 2nd deer (overlay), using pink paper.

It took a while to get to the right size, and when I found it I saved it for future reference. I have more card ideas for future projects using this image.

The frame was adhered using 'sook wang' tape to printed cardstock with soft hues and dainty daisies. I added a line of glitter to the upper lid of the eye for little extra sparkle and a tiny star that was in the glitter was used to highlight the eye.

I created the sentiment on my computer, printed it out and adhered it too with 'sook wang' tape. The "LOVE YOU" sentiment was included in the GYPSY hardware.

Check back to my blog for more of this adorable deer.

FATHER'S DAY - free printable

We have had many a car ride with the stereo blasting out hits while a game of 'punch buggy' is taking place. Our son played it for years. These cards were inspired by our love of music and 'Punch buggies'.

Just click on an image above and print it onto cardstock using your home printer.
You can also save the image and email it to your local copier to print.


Another Birthday Dinner

Saturday three of our BFF's showed up with a new

modernist white (my fave)chip and dip dish

for my Birthday complete with munchies and dip,


Later they took us out for Butter Chicken Smiley

@ Ashokas and it was sooo good.

We headed over to their place for Chocolate cake

and a late night movie Smiley

- 'The Eye', not too scary for our 12 year old

Smiley(I really mean myself).

I think the background sound effects

Smiley from hubby snoring

(cause he was up since 3:30 am)

was real scary for all of us. Smiley

ha ha ;)


Yesterday was my BIRTHDAY & I went out for dinner with my hubby & 12 year old (he turns 13 next Saturday, yup he will officially be a TEEN, YIKES!) Aynway we enjoyed my favorite dinner - Sushi, yum. We had our usual favorites and tried some new ones - sure glad we did cause now we have new faves!

There were just four pieces left-over; just the perfect amount for little ol' me for lunch today. I will enjoy, till the next Sushi night. We have to have them more often!

Sweet & Simple Folded Birthday Card

This Birthday card was simple to make and turned out pretty sweet.

I used a 12 x 4" piece of card stock, scored at 4" & 8". Then scored diagonaly from corner (at fold line to corner at edge of paper) on each end. These corners are folded back so when the card is closed they come together to close the gap and together create the front of the card. When you have constructed the mechanics you will decide were to put you embellishments. My butterflies were folded and attached with sook wang (double sided) tape. Then placed within the confines of the folded card so it wouldn't stick outside the card when closed. When opened the large butterfly unfurls its wings.

Sound complicated! Na! Trust me you can do it!

I used pretty floral card stock that coordinated with the sticker I used on the inside of the card.

The butterflies were stamped, embossed and colored with chalk pastels.

Captions were stickers & die cuts layered on card stock.

Final card was wrapped & tied with a ribbon that was secured with brads, so the ribbon won't get lost.

Now that I've taken pictures of it to post I can give it to my friend. :)

Hope she likes it!

Hope you enjoy making one yourself, and if you do; link back to my blog in my comments and show me how yours turned out. I would love to see them! :)

Reusable Lunch /Loot Bags

I have to give credit to Heidi one of my BFF's for this one.

She had a party for her five year old,
and browsing the dollar store for goodies to put in
loot bags spotted these lunch bags for a buck.

WOW, was I impressed!

They came in an assortment of gorgeous bright colors,
very sturdy, and I'm sure completely waterproof.

Perfect for all who attended, as most were
attending kindergarten next September!

An excellent choice for those who care about the
environment too, as the loot bag gets used indefinitely.

How to Bake Cupcakes and Eat them too !!

Add extra nutrients with healthy additions to your mix.

Heres a photo of my Banana Chocolate Cupcakes.

I make most of my baked goods by memory and experience;
so I don't always need a recipe, I just somehow know
what ratio of everything I'm going to need for success.

Start with:

1 over-ripe banana, stirred well.

A basic cake recipe
To your dry list of ingredients add:
1/4 cup of sifted cocoa powder -
chocolate is good for us!!
*Sift your dry ingredients for a lighter fluffier cake.

*Don't skimp on the eggs called for in your recipe -
they add so much nutrients, and lightness to your cupcakes.

Finally add:
yogurt in place of water/milk

Mine were frosted, then sprinkled with sifted coacoa powder.

You don't have to tell anyone you added 'good-for-you' ingredients.

Just let them enjoy !!


Above photo: Cathies Easter Bunny Sugar Cookies...


Butterfly Cupcakes

Here's a fun cupcake...
perfect for celebrating your special occasions in Spring or Summer.

They're so simple to make, but oh so hard
to resist eating before they arrive to their special occasion.

Start with your own recipe for white/yellow cake or take a shortcut
like I did here:
Use a boxed cake mix and follow the directions on the box, but
add some extra nutrition by substituting yogurt
(plain, vanilla or lemon flavored) for the water measure called for
in the instructions, and fill cupcake cups only halfway.
The yogurt gives the cake an nice texture, and keeps them from
crumbling onto your lap as you enjoy them. My boxed mix made 24
generous sized cupcakes.

Bake as per instructions.

While Cupcakes bake, use this time to prepare lemon pie filling.
Use your own recipe, or again use a box of lemon pie filling -
cook on the stove, as directed.

When cupcakes are cool, cut off the tops and cut each top in half
(so you end up with 2 half moon shapes from each cupcake top).
Set these aside.

Slowly pour a large spoon full of prepared lemon filling over
bottom half of cupcake; this will seep into bottom of cupcake
to add flavor and moistness. Add an additional spoon full of
filling and before it sets, angle your 2 half moon shapes
(you made from the cupcake top) onto bottom half of cupcake.
You may have to hold for a few seconds to help them set without
falling over.

Sprinkle with sifted Icing Sugar.

Oh Yeah - and remember to share!!


Here's a couple of clean, simple and SWEET Easter Cards I made with my scrap paper stash and a wee bit of VELVET paper I've been waiting to use for this very occasion.

I started with pulling out a couple of pieces of cardstock scraps in Easter egg blue. Followed by small scraps of white cardstock to stamp the sentiment. I also pulled out green bits to use for the grass in the forground of each card. I already had the vision of what kind of scene I was going to create, so this made the color choices easy.

I also pulled out a wee bit of striped cardstock you see in only one of the cards. At first I thought the stripes might become stems for flowers, but I nixed that idea because I wanted these to be fuss-free cards.

I had gone through my scrap stash just recently and punched a bunch of flower petals with my (Martha Stewart) hydrangea punch, so I had these handy in case I wanted to use them. I ended up only using one on each card as leaves for the single flower you see on each card.

To create the card:

I started with the blue cardstock and clipped the corners at the narrow end to make tags.

Then I trimmed the green grass papers to the width of the tag, and used a pair of edge cutter scissors to create the look of grass. This was attached to the bottom of the tag with double sided tape.

On one card I added the striped bit of paper next to the grass and attatched with double sided tape.

With a narrow scrap of white cardstock trimmed to width, I punched it with the Martha Stewart - Picket Fence punch. Then adhered with double sided tape behind the grass on one card or striped paper on other card. (See photos)

The sentiment was stamped on tiny white scraps with Happy (A single stamp from what maker I don't know cause there wasn't a name on it that I could find; you could find one by many makers I'm sure) and Easter (individual letter stamps by Fiskars). It was then layered with a slightly larger piece of green printed scrap paper just to help it- pop. This was adhered to the top of the tag, leaving space for a hole to be punched at the top of the tag. One card I added an addition of stamped flower in the corners ( here again I don't know the make - If you buy clear stamps secondhand like I do at stamp swap & sales you don't always get them in the original packaging; so use what you have).

The tag was puched with regular punch at top and a reinforcing circle (found in stationary supply shops) was placed over hole. A small piece of Amuse dot ribbon in a beautiful shade of spring green was looped through through the hole.

A tiny hole was punched lower on the tag to allow a velvet flower brad (Making Memories) - backed by a single green punched paper flower (Martha Stewart hydrangea punch) for leaves.

The Sweet Velvet Bunny was created using Velvet paper and bunny shape cut at one inch size - you can recreate using your own personal die cutting machine or punch. The eyes are brown pearls by Recollections and came in a pack with various sizes. On one card the bunny was tucked behind the grass. Both are stuck on with double sided tape.

Finally the tags were stuck on cardstock folded to about 3x41/2".

The Olympic Torch comes to our community...

Here's a picture of me and my youngest son at the Olympic Torch Event in our community.

Hubby took the picture, and as you can see I am the official flag bearer
of our group. We all had a myriad of flags - Canadian Flags, BC flags, even
Coke flags etc. I ended up with so many at any one time because they were
handed off to me for picture taking, picking up kids to see the entertainment
and the flame etc.

The flag waving was so wild that they didn't all stand up to the day, but we did! We had a great time!

I even spotted a Torch bearer and got a picture of our son and our friends son holding the torch, what a thrill for them!! Go Canada !!!

Sweet Storage Idea

I love... an organized space and everything in its place;
and I also like my storage to look good too.

Here's an idea I hope you find sweet.

To store an assortment of cardmaking, scrapbooking,
or other craft supplies; try using take out boxes
sold at party supply, craft and dollar stores.

You can jazz them up with your personal style.

You can even buy seasonal/holiday themed ones
which can help you easily identify what's in the box.
Otherwise add a label you made yourself or purchase
some at a stationary supplier.

What you store in them is up to you.

For example: you might store embellishments, ribbon,
small stamps, ink pads or a combination of all in a
theme that matches the box if you are a cardmaker.

You also have the added benefit of hanging these boxes
from their metal handles; which frees up space in your
work area.

If you buy these at the end of the season/holiday they
go on sale by 50 % or more - BONUS !!

If you use this sweet storage idea would you be sweet
enough to email me your results. Whether you decorate a
plain take out box or use a printed take out box that's
pretty enough as is - I myself, and I'm sure others; would
love to see yours.
The Olympic Torch to light the cauldron at B.C. Place Stadium.

I think it should be Terry Fox's Mom along with Michael J. Fox. Perhaps Michael J. Fox passing it to Terry Fox's mom. Or as I heard mention of holograms how about a hologram of Terry Fox - how about he passes the torch to his mom who then lights the cauldron, or they could make it look as though they are doing it together at the same time. Preceeded of course by Michael J. Fox handing it off to them. Isn't technology great!? Let's see who it will be?
It's finally here the day of the Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver, Canada. My home town. I am hoping we do Canada proud. I have seen some - what I would call - surreal and spectacular opening ceremonies of past Winter Olympics. I only hope the visionaries of this one can live up to my expectations. I don't know what to expect, except that (if we could harness the energy in that stadium) it should keep the roof of B.C. place stadium up without the use of electricity for the duration of the Olympic Games. My vision would be for the opening ceremonies to include all of the native tribes each to represent a color of the olympic rings. They would come in - each first representing the sun, sky, sea, land, and maybe a cloud to represent snow. They would circle the stadium as these elements as a narrator begins to tell a story about 'the begining' starting with the sun; followed by the other elements each with their own story. Each element would be members of the tribes moving in unison to portray their element. For exampe the sun - each tribal member dressed in reddish/orange native dress with the tone on tone Native Olympic apparrel available on some clothing that we have seen already; they would join together as a circle to represent the sun. The sky would be represented by another tribe in sky blue tone on tone Native Olympic robes moving as a block of color or rows of alternating shades of sky blue. Land would be represened by green, much like the sky. Sea would be a combination of green and blue waves made by rows of people walking in alternating colors of green & blue each color in a wavy row. White would represent a cloud bringing rain and snow and could be represented as a cloud by people holding hands in a cloud shape followed by a number of members outside the group with more space around each so they look like snow coming from the cloud. After they pass around the stadium once they would enter the center of the stadium each changing into an Olympic ring of the same color. To continue - a native group would enter into each ring same colors again as the ring itself and proceed to drum, dance and sing in their native voice, with a colored ring dance in each as well (if you have ever seen their ring dances, you know what I am talking about). This is what I dreamed up as a beginning to something awesome. Lets see what happens!

easy & economical VALENTINE cards

You know those packs of 8 1/2 x 11" cardstock available @ Michaels and other craft stores that go on sale for sometimes 2 packs for $5.oo can really give you a lot of bang for your buck. For those of you who have been spending upwards of $1.oo for a sheet of cardstock for a 'card base' consider this - I made four cards from one sheet of 8 1/2 x 11". They were quick, simple and economical.

Here's what I did-

I took one chocolate brown sheet of cardstock cut it in quarters. So each card came out different; I folded some to open horizontal others vertical. Some were folded at the center point, others off center (these ones I added scraps of coordinating printed paper with or without a fancy edge cut made with decorative trimmer. Some corners I rounded off with scissors. All pieces went through my cuttle bug using the same embossing folder for each. Some I placed only the card front into the embossing folder (fold the backside around to the back of the folder so it doesn't get embossed) others the whole card got embossed front and back.

Although each used the same embossing folder to speed up productivity each one came out looking different with various finishing touches. I used a white gel pen to highlight some embossed areas and added some hand written words; one I rubbed a white ink pad over the embossing to give it a slight highlight. Finally I added a coordinating printed trim, ribbon, heart shaped brads, pink pearls, or paper flower here and there - and voila! I had the most productive & quick card making stint ever. All four done in record time.

I would love for you all to try this method -

1) one piece of 8 1/2 x11" card stock
2) one embossing folder
3) paper scraps for trim/embellishment
4) a bit of ribbon (optional)
5) one or two brads, buttons, grommets or other bits
6) each one different, while using same techniques

and email me your results to share with other viewers to my blog.

WANTED: KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Wanted, Waited, Finally got one ! :)
I have wanted a KitchenAid stand mixer for soooooooooooooooo looooooooooooooong !!

I have waited years for a KitchenAid stand mixer.

I had been saving up points by shopping @ Overwaitea - Save-on-Foods -Pricemart grocery chains, and was well on my way to getting one for free. Then one year we decided to use points instead of cash for our Christmas shopping for our son.

Needless to say I have slowed down on making home made goodies because I have been doing it all by hand. Seriously, I have been mixing primitively by hand with nothing but a bowl and wooden spoon in hand.

Finally I have a KitchenAid stand mixer!

My New KitchenAid stand mixer!

Yes I am the proud new owner of a gleaming new KitchenAid, even my husband is beaming! We carried it out to our car like a baby when we purchased it. Okay seriously, we carried it out like that mostly because we found it on clearance and it didn't have a box. That turned out to be an extra bonus - no box - an extra $25 bucks taken off! Great! It was on clearance because new ones were coming in for the Christmas season.

We priced out our mixer to find we had saved well over $135.oo. Plus we saved more on taxes that would have added up significantly to the regular priced ones. Yeah, I love a deal ! ;)

While taking a picture of our new KitchenAid & Banana Bread I had whipped up in it - to post along with this entry; my 12 year od son asked what I was doing taking a picture of it? "I'm taking a picture to post it on my blog". "Isn't that boasting?, he questioned me. "I'm not boasting" - I reassured him. "I'm just writing a blog entry about it, like an essay - but not to boast."

"Now can I have a piece of banana bread" he asks? "Not until I've taken a picture of it to add to my post, sorry!" 'click' "Here you go." Handing him a piece of banana bread. "No nuts in it?" "Nope, NO - NUTS, just the way you like it! :)
"Thank You!"

*Watch for future recipes w pics on my blog !