Saturday, December 15, 2012

Merry Christmas Blog Hop

The Paper Piecing By Nikki Design Team welcomes you to our "Merry Christmas Blog Hop".  Today we want to inspire you with everything Christmas.  You'll see lots of ideas for layouts, cards, tags, bags, boxes, gifts.....and much more!  Please take a minute out of  your very busy schedule and join us.
If you'd like to start at the beginning, then hop on over to Nikki's Blog (  If you've come in from Nikki's blog then you are in the right spot.   If you get lost along the way, here's a complete list of our Design Team line up:
My project for today are some 'sweet thing' gift boxes.  I love to give a little something to everyone over the holidays - so when I go to the doctors office, or the dentist - the school secretary or the secretaries at my hubby's work.  Just a little something that says, "I appreciate you and am thinking of you."

The gift box is a cut from the Close To My Heart Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge.  I have used this little 'french fry box' cut for so many things!  It holds just enough.   You can get this cartridge from me at . 
This adorable little bear comes from Paper Piecings By Nikki "Christmas Decoration Bears". 
This is the cutest file and so much fun to make.  Even my 5-year old Grandest Daughter loves to make this bear!
Here's the next one I created:
 This file is called "Christmas Polar Bears Trio" and has the three cutest little polar bears to piece!  
I filled each little box with a package of hot cocoa mix, two candycanes and a couple chocolate chip cookies.  Perfect for a little sweet break!
Thank you so much for joining us today on our hop!  Your next stop will be Linda
Thank you so much for hopping with us today.  We hope you've been inspired to try some of these ideas.  Please leave us a comment, we love hearing from all our fans.  We will be picking one fan from all the comments to win some PPBN files.  Tell us what you will be making for Christmas this year!
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to all....

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Scrapping Kids Memories - layout ideas

Good Morning to everyone!  I hope you are all having a great Thursday.  This Thanksgiving, I'm ashamed to say, I forgot to take pictures.  Yes...I forgot.  "How?"  you might ask....well, with cooking and chasing two grandchildren...and well, you get the picture, I simply forgot.  But, all is not lost.  I still wanted to remember this Thanksgiving, so here is what I did.

My 5-year old Grandest Daughter is in love with 'giving'.  She made me this kitty card Thanksgiving morning, which says, "Nana I am thankful for you."

I know it looks a little 'intense', but this next picture shows how the pages open...

And another card!

....and open still more...

and a picture of the two of use together in our garden.

...and open still more.

This is a picture of Lexi in purple and nana in her thanksgiving dress and earrings...notice my crazy hair....but all the hearts (love) between us....
This is Lexi's pieced owl and Nana's.  Also the dog she colored and cut out herself.  The list is one she made all by herself of our Dinner, breakfast and snacks for Thanksgiving.  Her writing is really coming along!!!

In order to put this all in a page protector, I will slit the outside of the page protector for these pages to lie on top and be able to be turned.
So, while I did not have any pictures of he day, I still have lots of memories.  With Christmas coming up, I wanted to show you this layout, so that you can use it with your christmas layouts.  We always have so much of our children's art work laying around - this way we can use it in our pages and journal about what they did....
This cute little owl piecings started it all.  You can get yours at Paper Piecings By Nikki  
Thanks so much for taking a peek!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

CTMH Wednesday Inspiration

Welcome back to another Close to my Heart Wednesday.  I do not have a project to inspire you today - but I do want to tell you about a fantastic sale that is going on right now.

Go to my website and click on "While Supplies Last".  There are paper packs, embellishments, stickers, ribbon - you name it at incredibly low prices.
I will be picking a name from anyone that orders this week to receive a catalog and a stamp set free!!!   Get your orders in before the supplies are gone!
Make sure to check out Diana's page for a really neat project - and a chance to win her blog candy!!!


Friday, November 30, 2012


I don't often climb on a bandbox or even get too vocal about anything.  Today, however, I want to share something that is so very close to my heart.   It's a tragic story, one that I pray no one else ever has to live through.  For this reason, I am telling the tale and hoping everyone takes but a moment to read and make an informed decision for their own children.

This is in honor of you Jodi Lynn Kinney, you left us eleven years ago today, and there isn't a moment I don't remember your laughter and sweet face.  You will always be that 16 year old girl....

Forever Young

"When I grow up, I want to be just like you, Auntie Patti." Giggling and covered in flour, Jodi continued mixing the cookie dough. Just five years old, she needed a chair to reach the counter. My apron wrapped around her tiny waist twice and fell past her toes. That memory, so vivid and clear, brings fresh tears streaming down my face. It is one of more than a hundred memories I think of, as I sit by her side in this hospital room.

My mind flashed to another hospital room, sixteen years ago. The air was thick with excited anticipation. Standing next to the doctor, I was holding my breath as my sister, Cindi, pushed hard one last time. Her husband, Don, whispered encouragement as first the head, then the shoulders and finally our little Jodi made her appearance. I was the very first to lay eyes on her. I remember the shocked silence that followed the doctor's announcement, "It's a girl." Our Jodi was the first girl to be born in her dads' family in generations. We cried tears of joy when she was placed in her parent's arms. It was that very moment Jodi captured a place in my heart that would last forever.

Pulled from my memories, the nurse parts the curtains and sticks her head in. She sees the tears running down my cheeks and she mutters something about giving me a few more moments. I'm alone with my young niece. My sister had left for home to tell Jamie that her big sister was dead and she asked me to sit with Jodi as long as I could. The first to see her when she came into the world, I am now the last to sit with her after she has gone. Looking down at her face, I realize the fun-loving, giggling spirit that was "my Jodi" is no longer here. Letting go of her hand, I wipe away a stray piece of golden hair and silently say goodbye. The nurse reappears with tears in her eyes and takes my arm. I leave without looking back.

I don't remember Jodi ever crying. A child filled with laughter and a dimpled smile that could light the darkest room, Jodi was a practical joker. As she grew, the jokes became more elaborate; she just loved it when she was able to "get you". A favorite trick was to tie elastic around the sink sprinkler. When the water was turned on, the sprinkler would spray the victim square in the face. Immediately squeals of laughter were heard from the next room and Jodi would yell, "Gotcha!" Another infamous trick was to hide with the universal remote, changing channels when you thought you were alone. It could be eerie in the late night hours.

Jodi was a petite blond with fair skin. We used to compare arms to see whose skin was lighter or transparent, as we called it. Though she was my sister's daughter, we inherited the same complexion, crooked little finger and stubby toes from my maternal grandmother. We also shared a love of writing and would spend endless hours on the computer, sharing the pieces we wrote; talking about re-writes, critiques and point of views. I remember a piece she wrote for English class. A teacher assigned theme titled, "What I want to be when I grow up." Jodi had a tough time with this. Try as I might to encourage her to add more detail to her essay, Jodi stood firm writing, "When I grow up, I simply want to be the best person that I can be. If I can be all that I am capable of and all that I am meant to be, then I will be successful and happy." Disappointed with the B the teacher gave her paper, Jodi felt it said all that was needed and was proud of the finished product.

Yesterday she was a sixteen-year-old junior in high school, working at the local grocery store and dating a wonderful young man. Beginning clinicals at the local nursing home, she was rushing around to get her uniform and shoes ready before school. She was burning the candle at both ends, with the zest of life and energy that only teenagers possess. "I lead such a busy life," she told her mother that morning, with a touch of fatigue. My sister wasn't surprised when the call came from school saying she wasn't feeling well. The flu had been going around, and Jodi, run down from doing so much, had probably picked something up, my sister thought, as she tucked her into bed that afternoon. As the day went on, she got worse, complaining of a backache and nausea. Tucking her into bed that night, my sister told her, "If you're not feeling better in the morning, we will go see the doctor."

Jodi never saw the morning. She died at the hospital that evening of meningococcal disease. There was nothing anyone could have done, the doctors said. By the time the diagnosis was made, it was too late. Never had they seen anything develop so rapidly or deadly. One minute she was here, the next she was gone. Jodi had none of the telltale symptoms, nothing that would have alerted them to this disease. The doctor said, it was their worst nightmare come true and they were totally helpless. My giggling niece was dead at the age of 16.

No more beads to string, baskets to weave, ceramics to paint. No more meals to cook, Christmas cookies to bake or skirts to sew. No more shopping trips, funny stories or girl's nights. No more butterfly kisses and little girl wishes. My ambitious niece, who aspired to become a doctor working with children who had cancer, would never grow up.

There were no other local cases of this disease before, and luckily no one else contracted it after Jodi. The reasons why, aren't clear and they may never be. With school beginning around the country and the anniversary of Jodi's death approaching, I want to reach out and tell everyone of this deadly, fast spreading killer. 15% of the population carries the bacteria in the back of their throats. Meningococcal meningitis does not discriminate, and it is uncertain why the bacteria attack some people and not others. In every case, in every death, it is devastating to those family members left behind.

Meningitis is spread through close contact such as coughing, sneezing, kissing, or sharing drinks and cigarettes. There are approximately 3000 cases every year in the United States and 300 to 450 of those cases are fatal. Survivors of this disease suffer severe side effects ranging from organ damage, amputations and brain damage. Groups at risk include infants and young children, household members of patients, military personnel and college freshmen who live in dormitories.

Be aware and educate yourself and others. Meningitis can start out looking like a flu or migraine. Learn the warning signs and act quickly if you suspect even one or two of the symptoms of meningitis. Don't be afraid to call a doctor or go to the emergency room. This disease acts very quickly – sometimes in a matter of hours. Jodi didn't have any of the symptoms until it was too late. The symptoms are:

Numbness – Loss of Feeling
Stiff Neck
Purple Spots or Rash
Disoriented – Confused

A vaccine, Menomune, has been available since the early 1980s. The Menomune lasts for 3 – 5 years and is 85 to 95% effective against meningitis. Sometimes the vaccine can be difficult to find, but as a parent you should be persistent and request it from your health care provider.

If just one person requests the vaccine from their doctor and is saved the devastating pain of loss that my family has endured, then the painful telling of Jodi's story will be worth it.

Please talk to your doctors, your pediatricians, and your public health workers. Ask questions. Become aware of the disease and the threat it can be to your child. Don't take a chance with your child's life. This disease can be prevented. Perhaps this is Jodi's legacy and her gift to all of us. The laughing young women, who wanted to save children as a doctor, can perhaps save children as the child she will always be; my Jodi, forever young.
In your memory, my dear neice...with so much love,  Your Aunt Patti

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

CTMH Inspirational Wednesday

Welcome back to another CTMH Wednesday Inspiration.  Today I have created a gift card/tag - just one of many that I will stick in the Christmas Tree or attach to a present.  Here's a peek:

This adorable little bear paper piecings is from Paper Piecings By Nikki.  I had so much fun making this little guy.  He is attached to the background paper by the twine bow you see in his hat.  When you lift him up, you can put a gift card, folded money or a lottery ticket under him.  Simply write the persons name on the fur of his little hat and you have a perfect gift/card. 

To create the background paper, I used the Close To My Heart stamp set, from the Pear and Partridge Cardmaking Kit.  I used the "Merry Christmas" sentiment and stamped across the paper, inking every third image, to create this look. 

To make the little bulb he's holding shiny, I placed a piece of plastic that I had saved from some packaging over it...but to get a really amazing contour look - you can use the Close to My Heart Liquid Glass.  It is AMAZING and one of my favorite things to use!!!!

Please check out the "While Supplies last" page for some amazing deals on CTMH products - or shop at my store:

Please check out my sister Close To My Heart consultants -

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

CTMH Inspirational Wednesday

Welcome to another Close To My Heart Inspirational Wednesday. Last week I showed you the Christmas Cards I made from the Pear and Partridge Card Kit. This week I wanted to show you some ideas with some past CTMH stamp sets.

Here are two cards I created for this holiday season.
With this card, I just stamped the images, using three coordinating green stamp pads.  But, it looked a little 'simple' to me, so I took it to the next level.


With this card, I dug into my stash and found some CTMH striped paper - added blue and brown to the color pallette, some stickles and some bling.  A bit of ribbon laced through the bottom of the card, finishes it off.
I also want to let you know about a GREAT sale.  If you go to and go under 'shop' to the "while supplies last" page, you will see some amazing sales.  I got the paper for this next project "Believe" from the sale page.  It's a double sided print with the plaid on one side and the diagonal stripe on the other.  Perfect for cardmaking or scrapbook layouts of your Christmas pictures this year.  There are some great deals on other paper packs and embellishments too!  GREAT for stocking stuffers!
I will, of course, be adding some more embellishments and the photos when we set up our tree.  I loved this paper piecings - Paper Piecings By Nikki - to set this whole page off!
Please be sure to check out some more CTMH Inspirational Wednesday ideas at:

Friday, November 16, 2012


Welcome to the Paper Piecings By Nikki Design Team's November Blog Hop, "Thankful Hearts and Warm Winter Wishes".  We are so very thankful for all our fans.  You are truly an inspiration to all of us.  So grab a cup of hot cocoa and hop along with us.  We are hoping to inspire all of you with some Paper Piecing Fun!
If you've arrived here from Nikki then you are in the right spot.  If you'd like to start at the very beginning, you can start at Nikki's blog.
For my project today, I created these cards using the snowglobe file.  I used the same file and made it three different ways.

This is my first attempt.  I printed out the PDF file and cut it out by hand - then pieced it.  I used some velum for the glass globe and filled it with sparkly chunky glitter.   But, I wasn't quite happy with

Next, I tried the print and cut option with my cameo.  I had some thick clear poly/plastic that I had saved from packaging and placed it over the person it is just like glass and I'm pretty pleased with how it came out...but I still wanted to 'piece' the

I cut out the pieces on my Silhouette cameo and then pieced them all together.  I added stickles and some more accents and then placed the same heavy poly/plastic from packaging over it like a globe.  

You can see that what ever option you use in cutting out Nikki's files - you will get a different look.  I'm really not sure which I like the best...but I do know I had a whole lot of fun creating them for you!
Next stop will be Linda .  If you get lost along the way, here is the whole line up:
If you would like to be considered for a guest designer spot in our next hop, make sure you link up a project at - use any PPBN file and let your creativity run wild!  Thank you for hopping with us!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Puppy Love Card

Today I wanted to share with you a card I made with the freebie file from Paper Piecings By Nikki.  This cute little beagle dog was just begging to be put on a card and who was I to say 'NO'. 

I loved making this little guy.  I pop-dotted him on the card - used my new Martha Stewart Ribbon punch and wove ribbon through...I think he's just dog-gone adorable.  Thanks for taking a peek today!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

NEW CTMH Inspirational Wednesday's - Winter

WELCOME to the very first Close To My Heart Inspirational Wednesday. Our theme today is "winter".  

For my project today, I wanted to show you the Pear and Partridge Cardmaking Kit from the new Close To My Heart Idea Book.

These cards are so much fun to create!  The kit gives you everything you need to create 5 cards of each of the 3 designs.  So you can create 15 cards from this kit.  This workshop on the Go Cardmaking kit is #G1043 and at $29.95, it's a steal!  The kit comes with 1 size D stamp set that has all these images, sentiments and more. The workshop guide/directions, papers, gems, ribbon, cards and envelopes!

I used the Cocoa (Z2114), Cranberry (Z2116) and New England Ivy (Z2135) stamp pads to stamp the designs, and a bit of red stickles to highlight here and there.

If you'd like to take a peek at this kit online, you can visit my store front.

Special for the Month.  If you order $50 or more, you can get the stamp of the month set for only $5.  This month the stamp set is called "Save The Date".  Here's a peek:

If you purchase this stamp set, you can also get a stamp set of your choice for 50% off!!!!  Also,  CTMH will be donating $1 of every sale to the Hurricane relief effort, to help those affected by Sandy.

I mentioned that this is the first of a weekly peek at Close To My heart projects.  I'd like to introduce you to the other members of my team.
Linda got me started in papercrafting way back when...and it's because of her, that I do what I do.  She is very talented and I hope one day to be as good as she is!!!  
My Friend, Diana Lynn Martin of
Diana was on the Getting Cricky Design Team with me and I just loved all her wonderful creations.  A super talented and amazing woman!!!

Please check out both these blogs for some more CTMH Wednesday Inspiration and come back again next Wednesday to see what we have for never know when you will get a chance to win some free supplies! 

Speaking of FREE!   This week, if you become a follower AND leave me a message, I will randomly draw one person to win these mylar stickers from CTMH.  They were very hard to take a picture of but these are the best stickers to add to any of your vacation/travel pages!

Thanks for joining us this week.  If you have any questions at all, please contact one of us and we will get right back to you....Thanks again for taking a peek at our ideas and projects!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mini Album and Winner Announcement

Good Morning Everyone.  Here in Maine the snow is falling and I am toasty warm inside.  Even when life is stressful, we can find things to be thankful for.

I want to announce the winner from the Paper Piecings By Nikki Fall Celebrations Blog Hop.  The set of three paper piecings made by me is.....

from Sil's Stamping, scrapping and stuff blog
CONGRATULATIONS, Silvia.  Please send me your name and address and I will get those piecing sent out to you.
I made this mini album and can't wait to share it with you. I got the cut from the Silhouette site, and cut it out with my cameo.  It is a cut by Lori Whitlock and she has a youtube video to show you how it all goes together.  I loved making this.  Here's what the finished album looks like:
The album comes with a little band that holds this accordian file together.  There are so many different ways to embellish.  Here's a look at the back of the album with the band removed.
As you can see the back side has plenty of room for pictures or embellishments.  Here's what the inside looks with all the tags in place.
I love how the Paper Piecings By Nikki animal faces just sit above the journaling space.  Wouldn't this be a great 'brag album' for Grammie?   Especially of party pictures - or halloween pictures...
With the tags removed you can see I left the front a solid blue and then decorated the backs with coordinating paper.  This tiny album has so many surfaces to decorate and embellish. 
Nikki has a jungle file, that I would love to do with jungle papers - all the jungle animals...wouldn't that be perfect for a jungle themed party?   A great little keepsake that would fit in your pocket and you'd have to share.  Or how about the disney files she has.  WOW!   A perfect keepsake for that trip to could store all your autographs, tickets stubs, etc.
Here's a closeup of how I did the pockets.

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  Hope you have an inspired Thursday!
Here are a few challenges I will be entering with this:

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Welcome to our FALL CELEBRATIONS BLOG HOP.  The design team is thinking outside the box this fall to bring you some new crafty inspiration.  Whether you are celebrating a fall birthday or anniversary - birth of a new baby or a Halloween celebration...and let's not forget those of us in the US celebrating our Thanksgiving...there are plenty of ways to celebrate in the fall.  Please hop along with us as we show you ways to celebrate those special fall occassions.
If you arrived here from Nikki's Blog  then you are in the right spot.  If you'd like to start at the beginning, please go back and start at  In case you get lost along the way, here is our complete lineup.
Patti -  (You're Here)
Mindy -
Amanda B-
I went a little crazy for this hop, so I have several projects for you.  Here's the first:
 This is a little sign I made.  I love this little bear from the fall bear file, and the leaves just make this!  The sentiment is from the September "stamp of the month' from Close To My Heart.  I'm sticking this little sign in the corner of the front door.  A touch of fall!

Next, I used the new Cricut Close to My Heart "Artiste" cartridge, to create this little purse treat box.  I'm going to fill it with treats and hand it out at Halloween.  After cutting the box in the dark pumpkin color - I added some halloween paper and the adorable candy corn piecing from Nikki's Fall Characters file.
 Here's a side view of the little purse treat box.
 Another cut on the "Artiste" cartridge is perfect for halloween.  It's a little coffin box.  I decorated it with another of Nikki's Fall Character pieces - the bat.  I added a bit of scrap paper and ribbon and will fill this one up with treats to give away too.
Here's a look at the inside of the box:
 For my last project, I used Nikki's cute little bear turkey's to make some place cards for the Thanksgiving table.  There will be one for everyone - to take home and use on their Thanksgiving scrapbook page!  The decoration that keeps giving.
Thanks so much for hoping with us today.  Please leave a comment and if you'd like to become a fan, I'd love it if you followed me.
Now for some fun!!!  After you've hopped through our design teams amazing projects, come back to and link up your own fall celebrations project.  The rules are simple.
1)  Make a fall celebrations project using a file from Paper Piecings By Nikki
2)  Become a follower of the
3)  Like "Paper Piecings By Nikki" on facebook and join in all the fun challenges and giveaways we have every week!
You may enter more than one project - but no more than three.
We will be picking one lucky person to be a guest designer in our November Blog Hop.  The person we pick will be able to pick the file of their choice - FREE and use it to create a project in our hop.  We can't wait to see what you all create.   You will have one week to link up your project (s).


Please leave a comment and become a follower and I will pick one person to win a set of three (3) paperpiecings made by me!  They will be a surprise for one lucky winner!  So, leave me a comment and become a follower and I will pick a winner in a week!  Good Luck and thanks for hopping by!!!!

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