Wow! One month gone since Last POST! Was in NY City last week & Grandkids in the house!

I can’t even believe that it has been a whole month since I last posted.  I had to buckle down & set my priorities.  I have only learned these last 12-24 months that setting priorities is very important, because time is racing by. I can just guarantee that most of it IS attributed to getting older.  I am not a spring chicken, but let’s just say,  juggling so many balls in the air with high school kids, and trying to craft in your mid 50’s IS getting more challenging.  I have been traveling so much lately so trying to craft and make things is REALLY hard to do when you aren’t at home.  I craft in my RV, but trying to cram a Sizzix Vagabond in your suitcase is getting really hard.  I travel in the last 30 days to Southern Calif, Salt Lake City, UT, New Jersey, New York City, Atlantic City, and leaving tomorrow for Austin, TX.  I have had soccer games, graduations, birthday celebrations and even a Vikette Dance Reunion, hence – my travels tomorrow for Austin, TX.  I graduated from Lanier High School, and we are celebrating the most magnificent Director Mrs. Gayla King that trained,  guided, and most of all – taught us about TEAM, relationships, and faith.  I will always remember before and sometimes after EVERY performance that we would pray and hold hands in the most loving way.  It will be a bond forever and it truly helped develop my appreciation for friendships that has shaped my life forever.

Since Monday,  I have had the pleasure of babysitting two 4 yr old grandkids 24/7 as my oldest son and his family traveled to Calif with his older kids to Universal Studios.  My husband commutes to Tucson, AZ but this week he had to work from home.  The first day we mainly tried to teach these busy little kids NOT to go into the office where “paw paw” is working.  YiYA!  it was so hard.  I am so tired, and being a die hard “forensic file” show watcher,  let’s just say “yawma”  didn’t watch TV at all this week.  I leave tomorrow, and “paw paw” is going to be busy but good thing he has Friday’s off!  And my “Hiding in the Craft Room” Challenge is due tomorrow.  I could barely finish.  Not too mentioned it was SO  hot here in Arizona.  Temperature in the 105-107  degrees ALL week, even 8pm at night!  So the only time I could work on it was late at night.  Check out “Hiding in My Craft Room Challenge #304 – Super Scraps Saturday, featured sponsor: Starz Stampz

I did get it done, and now I am finally able to pack my suitcase and crafting supplies.  I am so looking forward to sharing crafting, card marking and scrapbooking with my two sister in Austin, TX.  The icing on the cake is getting to spend a week with our mama, Alice and eat the most amazing mexican food in the world.  She is our inspiration, strong, witty, AND spicy mother – BUT FUN to hang out with!!!

Grandkids in THE house!!!!!
“Grandma….. Can I play with these?” “yes, Caiden, as long as you put them away” WINE CORKS!!!! lol
I get 22 minutes to go to Safeway to buy stuff….. I am dire straits for a CANDY CIG!!!!
Helping “grandma” with her Crafting Challenge….. She got crayons, and I never showed her my Copics…
Starz Stamps “Sunday Best”… I love Copic coloring but I am probably not the best at it…..
Ran to TJMaxx to return some stuff, and couldn’t resist buying her this tea set she wanted. I miss those days with my two girls who drink Starbucks & stupid Dutch Bros now…. lol
One of my top 10 movies, “An Affair to Remember” with Deborah Kerr & Cary Grant. I FINALLY made it to the top of the Empire State Building!!!! my hubby and youngest son! Aren’t they handsome?!!!
At the Jersey Shore with my youngest girl, son and hubby. We had so much fun!
Teen Magazine featuring my Drill Team “The Vikettes”!!! We won the National Championships in Santa Monica California. A allot of bakes sales, retail inventories & car washes to raise the money. A dream of a lifetime!!! That ME!!! Bottom row doing the splits. Right side, 5th from the right. Look at my long black locks! LoL!

Got to run,  it’s getting late and I am scrambling around trying to stuff more and more crafting crap in my suit

2017 National Scrapbook Day – ON MY BIRTHDAY!

How crazy is that!  MAY 6th,  my birthday!  AND let’s not forget The Kentucky Derby this year! I love to scrapbook and have gotten so far away from it.  I love crafting too, so lately I have been obsessed with making quickie cards (I’m too cheap to buy and isn’t homemade so much better?) and projects for friends.  Again, if I reflect on my latest behaviors,  I am alway up for the challenge of making things for friends, or see an idea and then HAVE to make it.  But – my focus should be scrapbooking and finishing so many scrapbook albums I have started, but not finished,  for all 5 of my kids and family.  Why do we think we are going to have all the time in world to finish these?  I have recently met my mother on a pleasure trip to Salt Lake City this past weekend.  RIGHT before I get on my flight back to Phoenix, AZ,  I left my brand new Galaxy S8+ on the bathroom toilet roll shelf.  Right when I get to my gate, I realize and go back.  GONE.  I just wanted to cry.  It is what it is.  My stupidity and absence mindedness.  I call the airport the next morning, and after panicked calls to several Lost & Found offices,  I find the exact-right person, and someone had turned it in!!! I was elated.  Moments later,  my neighbor (a incredible quilt designer/artist) called me to tell me about a recent car accident involving 4 teenage girls driving to school.  The school that both my daughters attend.  One does NOT survive.  My lame phone issues all of sudden, becomes really petty and non-important.  Only within an hour, my high school freshman texts me to tell me that she lost a classmate in a car accident.  Her Spanish classmate and project partner.  She was beyond sad and distraught.  This horrific car accident really hit me hard.  Here I am…. rushing my 15-1/2 yr old daughter to hurry up and get her permit so she can get her license.  So I don’t have to drive her to club soccer practice after November.  I don’t ever want her to get her license.  It’s always the “others” that we have to worry about, right?  Anyway,  I know that is not realistic,  but we want to protect our kids as long as we can.  So, again – Who promises that we will be here tomorrow, or next year?

My focus for the week just went out the window.  I have a commitment with Hiding in My Craft Room, so here we go.  I tried to resurrect my scrapbook page where three of my kids were in Maui last summer for a wedding that we were so lucky to be a part of.  A very dear friend of mine’s daughter Haley & Austin.  Here is the scrapbook page that hold a special memory for me.  Just holding on to my kids playing on the beach with no worries about life.  Just playing, laughing,  & splashing, like they were small kids.  But, I know they are growing up so fast,  right before my eyes.  MY Birthday wish for all my kids, will always be that they remind close.  As brothers and sisters that they realize that family is a huge part of life and growing older.  That no matter what….. Family will always be there for you.

Technical Info: Hiding in My Craft Room NSD01 MHK Designs – I used the “Sea Creatures” Digital Stamp Set.  The Seahorse,  The Starfish, and the sentiment “let the Sea set you free”.  That’s what I see for my kids,  to always feel free with hope and love.  I used an oldie but goodie “clam shell” with Ranger Perfect Medium & white embossing powder.  I Distress (Tim Holtz) Inked “ground espressso” along most of the blue green paper, and sprayed with water to get the run-off effect, and used my heat gun to dry.  I used copic browns for the Seahorse and again, sprayed with water to get the blurred or distress look. Just replace your printer paper with any fun color to print out your digital stamp sets. One of my newest, fastest application of SookWang Tape makes it easy to apply all the photos and embellishments.  My sister,  turned me on to this awesome product on Amazon. Cheap and so easy to use.  Layer, layer is what works great, as it gives most of your scrapbook pages dimension and depth.  Enjoy and Have FUN!

Final thoughts:  The Kentucky Derby,  one of my favorite past times to watch and experience.  Not to mentioned those delicious Mint Juleps!  There is a horse with great odds this year.  Keep your eye on this one….. McCRAKEN!!!  5-1 odds.  That is the horse I am betting on.  With CrakenCrafts as my blog name,  how can you resist?!!!!  

12×12 Scrapbook Pages

Left Side of 12×12 PageRight Side of 12×12 Page

Hiding in My Craft Room Challenge #297 April 22th – Freestyle “Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps/Images”!

Our family recently purchased a dream RV to travel back and forth to club soccer in Calif.   I took the 5 hour drive time home to create this card, and how fun it is to ride in an RV and CRAFT!  If I read,  I just get sleepy and I don’t mind helping my husband navigate. Our craft team selected one of a few images from the Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamp co.  When I saw the choice of “Peas & Carrots”,  I immediately thought of one of my favorite movies Forest Gump.  When he is always telling Jenny that they are like Peas & Carrots.  It makes me smile so I went with that one.  I love orange and greens,  so this is what I chose.  I used copic markers to shade the images and then multi layered several patterns of cardstock.  I used one strip of Orange bling I picked up at Michael’s many years ago.  Simple and clean,  like Peas & Carrots.  You can make several different cards using this layout of any ole layout you want.  Have fun!

Graduation Candy Bar Ideas

We all buzz around Pinterest or the internet for ideas,  and once I came across this one – I had to take a shot.  My Bestie’s daughter is graduating this year and I thought I would customize her something something and sweet.  I  was inspired from others, but this was what I came up with.  I purchased a few metal divider trays, and used my Pazzle to die cute her school name, and the year “2017”.  I hope you enjoy.  I even had little clear bags so the guests could take some to go!  

Here’s my New Hiding in My Craft Room Challenge #297 April 15th Star Stampz & Tic-Tac-Toe!

Star Stampz & My Tic-Tac-Toe was a Button, Pazzle Die Cut & Copic Blending

I used my Pazzle Electronic Cutter to die cut a cute Bee Hive & additional yellow & black flowers, I used Copic Markers for Blending, and who doesn’t have a few buttons to make the card complete.  Layer with black card stock and a cute yellow/gold sheet from the Jen Hadfield’s “simple life” 6×6 Paper pad I picked up at Tuesday Morning.  I fussy cut the challenge images we were given.  I love bright colors and if you ever want to win free images or craft products,  go to the HIMCR (Hiding In My Craft Room) Button in my blog!  I will be a designer hopefully for the next 5+ months!  It’s been fun so far!  Stay tuned though…. I will be working the next few days on a high school graduation project for a dear friend of mine, Kaitlyn.  She will be off to college next year for Soccer which is really exciting!  I’ll post those photos later in the week.

Have Fun,  I love bright colors!

Not Paper Crafting – But Cooking Meals with a Pressure Cooker!

I have a girlfriend who has a large family that works hard, extremely creative, and so much fun to be around.  She recently shared that she cooks with a pressure cooker.  Of course,  I was too frugal to run out and purchase one from Costco, or online.  But after another friend,  that cooks meals all the time told me about HER pressure cooker – I had to try.  I bought one online and have now had it about 10 days.  I Absolutely love it, and have already cooked a roast in less than an hour,  (my veggies were way overdone,  but I forgot to use the basket), a whole chicken in 20 minutes, homemade beans,  & two teriyaki pork loins.  ALL so quick and they were delicious.  Where have I been all these years?!  I guess the technology has really come a long long way and they are getting popular.  I told my mom yesterday, and she just mentioned about her chicken being on the kitchen ceiling as they weren’t “plug in” back in the day.  Anyway – I had to share, as I am a mom of 5 kids, and I wish I knew about this about 15 years ago, when I had allot of mouths to feed.  Now it is all about saving TIME so I have more time to CRAFT and make things.  Right?!!!!  Work smarter, not harder.  Anyway – I big shout to my friend, Terri!  If you haven’t tried,  you won’t be disappointed!

Hiding in My Craft Room Challenge #296 April 8th – Super Scraps Saturday “My Besties”!

This was scary at first, as I am not the experience Copic artist, but I still love it. I like the sponsor “My Besties”, as they have very details images, and a variety of simple ones. . I like finding the right color palette FIRST. then you can color to match your paper and ribbon/embellishments. If you color first, then I would be scrambling to find the paper,  jewels, etc. and before you know it – my craft area is in shambles. Enjoy the challenges, I am brand new to it, but enjoy it so far!  And never be afraid to stack 3 or 4 sheets of card stocks.  In my “Hello” sentiment,  I used the foam popups to give the card more dimension. Have FUN Craken Crafts of any kind!

Hiding in My Craft Room Challenge #295 April 1st – MY 1st Challenge as a designer

Challenge #295 – Monochromatic with any color, any image.

This was fairly easy but nerve racking at the same time.  I had to retreat back to what I like, and keep it simple for my first challenge for “Hiding In My Craft Room”.  You want it to be nice, but if you just go with what YOU like,  it will come.  I love reds and burgundy’s-  no matter if they are in style or not.  And I just ordered this new stamp online from Unity Stamp Co. after watching a few videos of other cute images.  I’ve only taken one Copic coloring class at my local craft store, The Paper Collage in Phoenix, AZ from Jennifer Dove,  who is fabulous.  I hope you enjoy it, and it is really simple to assemble.  Adding paper or silk flowers for the final touch!

Zeus is Sitting on my TotallyTiffany Divider Tabs

  I told you that this crazy cat,  ZEUS loves to sit and sleep on my stuff.  I just came home from soccer carpool, which requires me to sit at one field for an hour in a half (I don’t, I go to the closest Michael’s), and then drive over to another field and sit for an hour,  which I don’t.  I go to the nearest JoAnn’s where I need another divider for my Scrap Rack.

Christine’s Craken Crafts – The Beginning

Since I was in junior high school I knew I was going to be in the creative world.  Back then, I dreamed of becoming an architect.  I took every class I could in high school and learned to draw technical drawings (drafting) with a T-Square, electric eraser, and mechanical pencils. Life throws you different roads and oceans, so I started working for the private sector and eventually my hand drafting, turned into drawing with a computer.  I took many formal AutoCad courses and worked most of my 20’s and 30’s for large Fortune 500 companies in the design field.  My favorite part of the drawings, was plotting them, and touching that paper.  I got married and had lots of kids, and eventually my husband relocated our family to a new place.  Moving to a new place was a blessing in disguise.  I was lucky enough to stay at home with my kids, and started volunteering at their school.  I had a simple task of cutting out shapes and letters using the industrial die cutting roller.  I was amazed and thought, how cool was this machine and I was hooked.  I always dabbled in scrapbooking when my kids where little, but it was simple.  It was mainly journaling and buying packaged die cut shapes.  So, I started taking classes at my local craft store.  It’s one thing to walk into one of those mom & pop shops and see all the things you can make with paper,  but without some training, sometimes you don’t get the skills to put them off.  Which glue do you use?  Why are some papers heavier than others?  Which scissors do you have?  Which paper cutter do you recommend, and then comes the big one….. Which Die Cut Machine do you recommend?  That was a big one for me, as I am a frugal shopper.  I didn’t want to regret my investment.  I’ve always love the “deal” when it comes to buying products.  The more you save,  the more you can buy, right?  Well,  I became really addicted to crafting— scrapbooking, card making, flower arranging, bow making, shadow boxes, word books, and most recently, custom cigar boxes.  More than making things,  I became obsessive with hunting for craft stuff on Craigslist, garage sales,  and the best place of all…. Goodwill!  Or,  what my mom and sisters call “The GW”.   I was amazed that I could find the coolest Stampin Up wooden & clear stamp set there.  I found a heat gun and xyron machine there to share with friends. More than shopping, discovering techniques, and learning,  I just love creating things for my family and friends.  It’s always challenging,  but at the same time, easy for me.  Most of time,  I can just picture the whole creation before I even start.  I guess it just comes naturally to me for some reason.   My new dream is to continue learning and sharing my love for crafting.  Regardless of what craft it is,  I know the creations are endless, and dwell at the bottom of our hands.

“The Kraken” originated from legendary story of a massive creature that dwells at the bottom of the sea.   When my kids where small and we would snuggle in bed,  I used to grab hold of them with my legs and arms so they couldn’t leave me,  so my husband called me “The Kraken”.  I always liked that silly name, and I just changed the “K” to a “C” so it would sync better with Christine’s Craken Crafts.