Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Anna Griffin Creates, Atlanta Georgia

Tag I made Especially for Anna Griffin
One of 11
The Anna Griffin Creates event was at the Ritz Carlton in Buckhead, Georgia, November 13-15, 2015.  This was Anna's first foray into 3 day weekend events and it was a success.

Invitation came surrounded by pink paper lace
created on a Cricut
Mailed Evite for Tour of Anna's facility
also cut on a Cricut
The initial invitation was so beautiful for "Anna Griffin Create - A Weekend of Beautiful in the Making."  Of course the invitation was created on a Cricut Explorer Air.  A couple of weeks later we received another beautiful invitation in the mail informing us that we were going to visit while in Atlanta Anna Griffin Inc.  This is where all the magic is created by Anna and her worker bee's. This would be our final actiity on Sunday, November 15.

Two of  11
I decided that this was an event not to miss. I had purchased so many products including a Cricut Explorer Air of Anna's from HSN over the past year.  In fact, it is the ONLY time I tune into HSN - when Anna and her products are being promoted. It didn't seem to matter to me that I  already owned since 2008 Circut's competitor cutting machine -  the Pazzles. What finally made me jump into the Cricut world was the fact that I could design from my iPad or my Mac or my PC without being hooked up to the computer. Then I could connect via wi-fi my computer to the Cricut.  Only the Cricut has to plugged into the wall. The final jump to purchase a Cricut was because of Anna's beautiful intricate designs.  I first went looking for similar designs for my Pazzles because I felt that my Pazzles could cut theses intricate designs but found nothing close to her designs and  therefore the only way to get Anna's designs was to purchase a Cricut Explorer Air.  I bit the bullet last January and included with the purchase was two of her cartridges that are amazing.

Three of 11
Through the year Anna had introduced another machine in her gold colors called the Minc. I watched fascinated Anna demonstrating on HSN the ins and outs of this machine. Also available on HSN are dies Anna has designed that can both cut and emboss.  These work with a Cuddle Bug.  Of course, Anna has available on HSN a Cuddle Bug also in her gold colors.
Four of 11
When I saw she was having an event where we could get hands-on experience with great teachers like Cara Miller  I thought "this is for me!"  I had already taken some of Cara's classes online that my friends had recommended. They are great.

Five of 11
As November 13 approached, things "out of my control" started piling up. My husband was experiencing some serious medical issue.  Plus,  I had to go to my home town 125 miles away to deal with a couple of issues that only I could resolve.  This was all adding up and I was becoming very stressed.  Thankfully, none of those issues were life threatening. I also realize that this is what life is on a daily basis. Deal with it. . .

Six of 11
What really appealed to me about CREATE was three days of not having to cook, wait on anyone, worry about things that were too far away to deal with when I would be in Atlanta. And, I had never been to Atlanta!
Seven of 11
I am fortunate to have the space to have a weekly playday at my home which starts at 10 am and goes to about 4 pm.  One regular to this weekly "playday" - Dawn -  has started to share the playdays so we can alternate our homes every other week.  I managed to entice Dawn to come with me to Atlanta. I was so excited when she agreed to join me at Anna's event even though she does not "yet" have a Cricut.  She thought, "what a better way to learn all about the cricut and then if I like it I will purchase one".  Yea!

Eight of 11
I had been to several 3 day events like this in the past.  One of the most wonderful events was the one that Spellbinders and A Gilded Life had at the Langham Historical Hotel in South Pasadena a couple of years ago.  There I  realized that at the first nights dinner at these events, everyone at your dinner table - usually 10 per table - makes something to give the other nine.  I had been so embarrassed since no one had told me that before and there I sat receiving and not giving.

Nine of 11
This was not going to happen again to me.  Now, what little handmade item could I make to share with strangers?  Recently I started selling my handmade cards at loved making these cards so much that I ended up with an abundance of them and decided I would see if I could sell some of them to make room for new ones and continue to produce these cards. I needed a smaller version and so I reduced the size of my card from a 5" x 7" card to a 3" x 5" tag and used a single layer  of card stock and started decorating. 

Ten of 11
Since I was going to an Anna Griffin event I decided that I should incorporate Anna's flowers and tags  along with all the flowers I use from various sources, to design theses one of a kind "tags".
Eleven of 11
Interspersed in this blog are all 11 of the cards I made - 9 for the table guests and one for Anna and one for my online Cricut teacher Cara Miller.

Dawn made these creative little books for us.  Each a "one of a kind" book created out of one 12" x 12" piece of paper.
Book made for me by Dawn
As it turned out there were 180 ladies at Anna's event.  Ten to a table and we, Dawn and I, were the only ones who had made something for everyone at our table.  Our table-mates were surprised and thrilled with their gifts and Dawn and I were so happy to perhaps start a tradition with Anna's followers.

In the next blog I will show you "what all" was in our "Swag Bag" extraordinaire that we received when we signed in to Anna Griffin Create's event.  I will also tell you about our four classes we all took all day Saturday and have photos of what we made. So much fun! Lastly, I will tell you what Anna gave away at 3 pm on Sunday.   She made us promised to share and not hoard anything we took home at the close of her event.  I most certainly did and will tell you more next time.

Monday, October 5, 2015

More Specialized Greeting Cards by SillySalCreates

Card Sent to Best Friend's Daughter
after her son, Jake, was born

I have sold two of my cards with envelopes on Etsy for $20.  Plus I have sold three of my cards also for $20 to my cleaning lady.  But, I haven't sold any more.  When I go to my stats on Etsy, it looks like no one is even going to my shop.  When I try to look for my cards on Etsy I put in Greeting Cards, Blank and there are so many, I can't even find my cards to view unless I go directly to my shop at  I have also pinned all my cards to a Board on Pinterest that identifies the board as cards I have created.

I think my cards are too expensive no matter how much work I have put into them.  It was suggested that I should have a sale. That everyone likes a sale. Not sure how to do that either.  I am looking for any advice or help that you can offer me.  I am also looking for criticism.  How much would you pay for one of my cards?

As you can see from the first two "Baby Announcement" Cards, it does make a difference on how you photograph your card.  Neither photograph looks like the card I am holding in my hand.  Plus, truly, all the cards look spectacular in person.  This "Baby Announcement" is one of my best, but it isn't photographed right to show anyone how beautiful and how much depth the card has.  To be fair, non of the photos in this blog did I use my light box.  All the photos on my Etsy Shop, I did use my light box.  Big difference!

"It's a Boy" is just at it's very beginning.  I will make one for "It's a Girl" also.

"Baby Announcement" Card in Progress

"Baby Announcement" Card Finished

"It's A Boy" Announcement Card in Progress
My DH, Ernie, built me a light box.  That is where I have taken all the card photos that appear in my Etsy Shop.  The Cards that are displayed in this blog, I took with my Note4 and then uploaded them to PhotoShop 6S and played with the different corrections you can make in this program.

The two photos of the card below were made and sent to one of my best friend, Julie, when her mother died at age of 95.  I used some of my Anna Griffin backgrounds papers and floral enhancements that I purchased on HSN.  I am so looking forward to going to Anna's first weekend event in November at Buckshead, Georgia.  Should be so much fun!

Sympathy/Thinking of You Card
I made for one of my Best Friend's
Mother's Death

"Ready to Mail" in special envelope
I make to fit each card

I also think I am going to be more specific when I design my cards.  Hopefully, that will narrow the selection on Etsy.  For example, I am in the process of making Baby Announcement Cards.  Also, one specifically for a little boy baby and am starting to work on one for a little girl announcement.  I think I can do Thinking of You, Thank You or Sympathy Cards.  I have made two Happy Birthday Cards. Also for sale on Etsy is a specific card that I think came out great for someone's 70th Birthday.

70th Birthday Card
Dark Brown Bottle Cap
says "Boston Old."
As you can see,  some of my cards were made for specific friends and their circumstances.  

I sure hope you will take the time to visit my Etsy Shop and pin one/some of my cards on Pinterest.  If someone sees it on Pinterest, there is then a link to my Etsy Shop.  Thank you so much.
Birthday Card with Cupcake

Monday, May 11, 2015

Shabby Chic Inspired Cards


It all started with Anna Griffin on HSN and me on "newborn baby watch" trying to kill time until baby would wake up again to be changed, handed to mama to nurse and then back to me - Gramma. My job at the time was to get the princess back to sleep. This is only the second time in my life I have watched HSN!

I started purchasing item after item of Anna Griffin products on HSN and they started to arrive at my home where my husband wanted to know where all these boxes were coming from and what was in them.

When I got home and opened all the boxes, I was overwhelmed.  Too many choices!  Where to begin?  Me? Making cards? On to YouTube!

The card above and the sympathy card I mention below were my humble attempts to combine Anna Griffin's products with flowers I had made or purchased.

I forgot to take a photo of the sympathy card I made for one of my dear friend's who father just passed away.

Angela Holt

While searching YouTube for Anna Griffin cards for ideas, I came across Angela Holt of Angela Holt Designs.  The first YouTube video I watched was called "Anna Griffin/Xron Blog Hop Project". I loved it and was off to the races.  In this video, she combines Anna Griffin's wonderful dimensional flowers with all sorts of dimensional items and ended with a beautiful shabby chic card.  I set out to duplicate her card as much as possible with the items I had on hand.

Card copied as close as I could to Angela Holts 1st video I watched
Anna Griffin/Xron Blog Hop Project
I made this card for my step-daughter's birthday which she told me she loved and was going to frame!  This means a lot to me because she has an artist's eye and is a detailed person.  I also made this card again for my dear Aunt Chris who has been like a mother to me.  Her birthday is right after Mother's Day.

Below is the 3rd card I made which I sent to my daughter.  I had just watched Angela Holts YouTube video call Prima Princes Card.

Card I made for my daughter
Weeks later I see what glaringly is wrong with the card - not enough stuff/flowers!  I feel it could use a few more layers.  Since my daughter likes the clean, simple look of things, she was happy and probably unimpressed with my effort but did call and thank me immediately upon finally going to get her mail.

While watching HSN (I think this is the 2nd time in my life I have ever tuned into HSN for anything) I saw the demo for Crafter's Companion.  Just in time.  I sure needed this.  I needed to create envelopes that were thick and odd shaped that could hold my card(s).  This did the trick.  I think you can find demos of this product on YouTube.  Everything is on YouTube I have been learning. . .

Card sitting in one of my handmade envelopes

Next artist I discovered was Jelissa Mei.  I believe she lives in Singapore, China.  She is also on FB.  What a talented artist! I love altered art and using paper, fabric and anything dimensional.  But, how many book covers and canvas can one make and find a place for in your home? I watched on her blogspot a video posted on January 31, 2015 called "Card Tutorial for Wild Orchid Crafts".

Plus Jelissa had tutorials for canvases and scrapbook pages on her blog using a multitude of products like paint, sparkling H2O's, etc. I was in LOVE!

Card I made after watching Jelissa's Video
Now, I already have a store room (affectionately called my Art/Computer room) in my home.  I have gone to Prima's two day workshops and have tons of flowers.  And of course, there is always Michael's and two local scrapbook stores - Paper Tales in Point Loma/San Diego area and The Making Place just up the 15 to the first off ramp in Escondido.  Off I went to Escondido which was only about 10 minutes from my son's home where I was staying while the baby was sleeping to purchase more flowers and ribbons.  Like I needed more of either. . .

My desire for more flowers in the colors I wanted was satisfied once again by YouTube.  I first watched "How to Make Paper Roses for Your Scrapbooks and Cards Tutorial" Shabby Chic by Shabby Beautiful.

Then onto YouTube "Pettite (sic) Roses Using EK success mini 5 petal flower punch by Scrapinmaniac Corner.

Luckily back in 1998 I purchased this wonderful tool "Power Punch" by Tapestry in Time model PP-200.  I have to idea if it is available anymore but it is hand saver.  With no effort at all you can punch out tons of flower in no time at all.  Perhaps there is something more current that works, but this came with all the plates you see to fit whatever shape your punch might have.  A life saver for sure.

Power Punch

Various punches and die cuts I have purchases
With sticky fingers from either my hot glue gun or glue I preceded to make a bunch of flowers.  They are kind of time consuming but I found the time.  I also ordered a bunch more flowers (which I truly didn't need from High on Scrapbooking shop on Etsy.

I am using five of the cards I made for this coming Mother's Day for some of my friends that I don't see often enough and do not do anything like this themselves.  They are easily impressed :).

How much does it cost to mail theses cards in the 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick envelopes that are either 4"x8" or 6"x6"?  Less than it cost to purchase a card ready made now a day!  I took one of my cards to the post office and for more than 1 oz and less than 2 oz it took 5 stamps.  I purchases a bunch of pretty stamps that were normal size.  I put some tissue paper over that top of the flowers and into my custom made envelope it goes.  The two I have already sent have arrived with no damage.

Another thing that is wonderful for me about making these shabby chic cards is that nothing is precise.  Those who know me well, like Magda Cortez, know I struggle with this skill.  I go way to fast. Other than the base of the card and the envelopes everything else is free style.  Plus, you get to use all your scraps.  So much fun.

I am looking forward to viewing more of Jelissa Mei's project on her website.  She has young children and does many scrapbook pages.  I have been a "scrapbooker" since 1990.  There are only so many occasions to send cards out.  At this point I am looking for any excuse. The scrapbook pages just can't be as dimensional but can have texture and layers and used all my Golden Products I have stored in that Art Room of mine.

Angela Holt has a couple of other YouTube videos that I found inspirational - "Shabby Chic Botanical Tea Card Tutorial" and "Prima Princess Card Tutorial".

There are probably more artists out there and,  of course, there always is Pinterest.  Hope you click on the links I have tried to provide or else google the artists yourself.  The instructions/tutorial are all free because you need and want product!  Support your local stores and the plethora of websites out there to purchase your products.

Other websites I frequented while making these cards:

Crafty City
Blue Moon
Frantic Stamper
Flowers purchased on Etsy from HighOnScrapbooking.

Various cards and their respective custom envelopes

Monday, January 19, 2015

Gramma Sally's "Baby Joy" Shower

Dress Forms Decorated and Displayed

Mine on the right and
my daughter-in-law's mother's in purple

After we learned that my son and daughter-in-law where going to have another baby and it was a girl, I inquired about having a baby shower.  Shannon said she did not wish another shower.  Her first one was so big and she received so much.

Well, I wanted a baby shower.  Besides their first child was a boy and now they were going to have a girl.  So, I decided I would have a baby shower with my weekly playgroup.  Any excuse to have a party, right? 


The baby needed clothes and in the Spring 2013 issue of Mingle Magazine there was a darling article and photos for a "DIY Onesie Party." An idea started forming and I was off to the races to purchase ONesies in various colors and sizes.  The idea was to personalize theses onesies with appliques.  I went to Sarah Stephenson Castaneda's web/etsy and found a wonderful packet in color with directions and patterns for the onesies.  Yea.

Patty, me standing, Georgia, Jackie peaking between
Kat, Margo, Mary, Robin, Magda and
Kathie peaking over at the end.

Next, who to ask - well my playday group that comes once a week to my home and brings their own lunch.  I was going to provide lunch and drinks -  crescent sandwiches, homemade potato soup, homemade kale/brussels sprouts salad and fresh mixed berries.  All sorts of small cans of sodas, water, Perrier and white wine.  Dessert was going to be personally selected cupcakes of various flavors from the local cupcake store in Pacific Beach.

OMG, who could have eaten one of the cupcakes???

The Deluxe cupcakes that were order.  Yummy!


I had outdone myself with the first baby shower invites.  I had to keep up the pace and so I embarked on making a dimensional baby carriage to be mailed out with invite and a dress form that everyone was to decorate and bring with them when they came to the shower.  The pattern for the baby carriage was amazing and found through the Pazzle's website (yes, I have a pazzle that I rarely use, but what a God send for this project).  I had to make enough for my friends, a table sample for me and one for my daughter-in-law's mother, her aunt and her cousin who live in PA and TX respectively.  

I made 14 of theses with my Pazzles


For the first baby shower I had made a trike out of diapers and put a super soft Gund Brown Bear on the seat.  It was so cute and a great center piece.  Now what?

First Baby Shower Center Piece

The Back Story to "Baby Joy"

My son's little boy, comes to my home once a week from 7 am until about 5 pm.  Once he was told that he was going to have a baby sister, I found from somewhere in my stach a little doll baby for him to hold and carry. Plus we could talk about him caring for his baby sister when he was at my home.  Somewhere, no one including Ms. Katy at daycare, knows where my grandson came up with the name "baby Joy."  He would put baby Joy down for her nap when he napped.  When we went to see Santa this Christmas, he said we had to take baby Joy with us and he had his photo taken holding baby Joy.

So the center piece for this shower was going to be either a baby carriage or a bassinet (then I didn't have to deal with wheels.  I researched it on YouTube but they were all making little ones that started with a box from children's shoes.  I needed one big enough for "baby Joy" and her pink soft cuddle bear that I had gotten way before any babies were being born because I had never seen a pink bear and pink is my favorite color.

Center Piece in Process

You would think a trike would be so much more difficult to make than a bassinet.  Wrong.  I struggled and struggled making this thing and decorating it.  I finally was happy with my results.  See for yourself.

Finished Project
Once I purchased the onesies and the packaged quilt squares called Fat Quarters I needed help putting the squares with the patterned onesies.  I sought out one of my oldest friends, Alice Turner, who is a quilter extraordinary and found time for me to come by when I was in La Crescenta to help pull this off.  She also went into her reservoir of fabrics  and added to my fabric.  We put them together and when I got home, I packaged them together so my friends didn't have to spend an inordinate amount of time putting together the colors.  They could always switch amongst themselves when working.  While I was at Alice's I actually appliqued a onesie so that I had a fair idea how to proceed.  I provided thimbles, pins and embroidery needles and embroidery floss in every color possible.
One of the onesie packages
Table Set for 8 friends and
my daughter-in-law, son
and daughter

My friends working away
The day of the party, everyone arrived with their dress forms dressed.  I had got this idea from Somerset Holidays & Celebrations 2014 Volume 8 page 10.  It was an article with photos by Connie Fong called Petite Paper Dresses. The samples were just amazing.  So I scanned the pages of examples and including them with the dress form in the invitation.

The first photos at the top show what all my friends created including my daughter-in-law's mom who has never done paper crafts.  I will get a frame for the baby's room with a cork background and mount all theses beautiful treasures.  

Also, while at CHA, Kathie saw Debbie and Shea of A Gilded Life fame and Spellbound.  They gave Kathie one of the personal decorated ballerina's for my party.  Thank you so very much you guys

Magda Cortez came with two plates of the most darling cookies you have every seen.    Darling. Margo Beatty brought homemade Bourdieu Truffles for the table.

Magda's cookie plates of Onesies and
Little Girl Dresses

Mary Mumford brought for everyone darling ribbon necklaces with a pacifier at the end made from two life savors and a jelly bean.
Mary, Kat and Magda wearing Mary's
Pacifiers necklaces.
Three of my friends had been to CHA the week before and Robin Sanchez brought me a large tag made by my current most favorite artist, Dina Wakley from Ranger and addressed to "Sally."  My friends are all so thoughtful.  We all chatted about CHA and what we missed and what they saw.
Georgia Lichon thought of my first born grandson who is almost 3, and brought me a form to make pancakes for him and some masculine little boy rub-on tattoos.  Always thoughtful!

Devising a lace camouflage for Pyrex soup bowls 

After eating and playing two simple games: write down an androgynous name for the baby girl so that when she applies for college or a job, the person looking at the application won't know if it is a boy or a girl, ie Cassey.  The second game was 14 questions about children's books and movies. I asked each question to the group and if they knew the answers they shouted it out.  They were very hard questions but some of my friends knew some of the questions.
Our pool table doing double duty

They also put their names in a cup which my husband drew from and I had a prize for just coming and helping me celebrate the day.  The prize was  Kaari Meng's French General Book, Treasured Notions.  Margo Beaty won the prize.  I also gave them each the cutest "girlie" tweezers I found at our local Rosie's Calico Cupboard Quilt Shop in La Mesa.

Tweezers Gifts for friends in many different color



Sample I made.  Missing stems
Will do that this weekend

All together but missing Margo's

I had told all my friends that there was no need to bring presents but some did not listen.  Over the top clothes from Kat Baker and my dear and one one of my oldest friends, Patty Henderson.  Magda Cortez brought a huge box of baby wipes and another huge box of diapers.  And then there was Robin's Sanchez' personally hand crocheted blanket, two hats and a darling little grey jacket. 

Here is the jacket and throw Robin made


My friend Jackie Baxted summed it all up with this text of what she learned:  

"It was a GREAT day.  I learned Sally knows how to throw a great party.  I (Jackie) can't see.  Margo makes great truffles.  Patty could be the oldest but she doesn't look it :).  Kathy knows where to get the "bling".  Robin, you're looking good.  Kat finished first so she could enjoy watching us all.  Georgia - fun to sit next to cause she always adds her cents.  Mary working silently and expertly, wondering who there crazy ladies are and Magda's beautiful cookies, sewing and she wants Kathy's "bling" :).  It was great that Ernie joined us along with Mother Dad to be and Sally's beautiful daughter.  Boy or girl - baby's name will always be 'Joy' to me."

Patty, one of my oldest and dearest friends
Ernie, my husband and biggest fan

Thank you all for coming to my party and giving me memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life.  I am also so glad that my daughter, son and daughter-in-law were able to slip by on their lunch hour and meet my friends and "break bread" together and then hustle back to their jobs.  The baby girl is due any moment and yes, mommy is still working.  Crazy.  She is a trooper and hopefully a "glitter girl."
Made in Terri Brush's Class at
Spellbound - Nov 2013
Oh, and on a final note:  the baby will NOT be named "Joy".  Not even her middle name.  We won't know her name until she is born.  It's a secret.  But, mommy has give me and my grandson permission to call the baby girl "Joy" - but, know that it is not her real name. . .
Baby Joy relaxing in gramma's garden