Tuesday, January 29


I don't want to toot my own horn or anything, but....okay, I can't take it anymore....TOOT TOOT TOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!!!!!!!!  Please clicky on over to the ScrapFIT challenge blog today to see my feature.  It was such an honor to have my Ms. Money Bags layout picked as a fav over there, and it was even more awesome when they told me I'd get to have a whole feature posted over there.  I did THE most embarrassing whoohoo-dance, in the middle of my car dealer's service department no less.  Hee hee.  So please click over and take a look:

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, January 27


Boy, I never thought I'd see the day that I was excited to trade in my vroom vroom car for a minivan, but after baby #3 (yeah she's 2 now...I should probably stop calling her 'the baby' huh?) it was undeniable that my sedan wasn't gonna cut it!  Sure there were technically enough seatbelts for all 5 of us, but that didn't mean we were almost fitting.  And frankly, if I had to listen to one more brawl break out over someone 'looking at' someone too long, I was going to lose it.  Finally after a few months of shopping we found the minivan that would work perfect for us, with all the right bells and whistles.  The kids call it my 'mom-mobile'.

The layout follows sketch #13 posted over at My Scrap & More .  I really love the big circle element!! I rotated the sketch a tiny bit to an angle though!  I'm kinda thinking about switching the teal letters to white.  I didn't want them to stand out more than the black ones so I thought that would work, but the more I look at them, the more they blend too much. The other challenge that inspired this layout was Lasting Memories #124 - Borderline.  The paper set I used came with a sheet of die cut borders that I layered a few just below my photo.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, January 20

Gratitude Journals!!

Time for another installment of Anything But a Card challenges!!  This week we are working with the theme of 'TIE IT UP'.  Twine, ribbon, jute, fibers...etc.  For my project, I used twine in several places including to tie a fun charm on the binding!

I'm not sure if I had a chance to 'WHOO HOO!!!' all over my blog that I won one of the big prize packs over at Frosted Designs 12 days of Christmas challenge.  I was so excited when the first of the awesome sponsored prizes showed up at my door!  It was this AMAZING paper set complete with kick-booty Thickers by Amy Tangerine.

The colors are just so bright and fun and as soon as I unwrapped them, I just knew they would be perfect for a layout featuring my middle kiddo.  She is a bright, funky, quirky, fun, ball of sunshine for sure!  Then when one of my dear friends challenged her FB friends to try a gratitude journal together, I had an 'A-HA!' moment!  I thought, what better project for these papers than to sit down WITH my daughter and create gratitude journals together that we can fill out throughout the year.

I've been trying so hard to share with my kiddos a revelation I had this time last year.  We have several people in our lives that just always seem to be unhappy.  I know we all have hardships that seem insurmountable sometimes, but there has to be something to the fact that sometimes people who have it all still manage to be walking around in a daze of sorrow and others have lost everything but still manage to find something to smile about.  I think it all comes down to prospective and focus.  You can choose to dwell on the bad and let it overshadow the silver lining, or you can choose revel in the sunshine peeking through the dark clouds.  You can't control what happens in life sometimes, but you can ALWAYS control how you let it affect you.  Such an important lesson to teach them even at a young age, because it will likely shape the way the have relationships for the rest of their lives! 

Here is are 2 pics of my busy little scrappin' bee hard at work on her journal:

And the finished product.  My book is on the left and hers is on the right.  She's almost as sleepy as she is proud I think...we were hard at work for about 4 hours!  These bad boys are filled with over 50 pieces of fun patterned papers that we can journal on, adhere pics or momentos, etc.  Like our own funky smash books but with a focus on finding the beauty and happiness in every day. 

I'm also sharing this project with AllSorts 'Flower Power' challenge

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, January 17

Best Friends Mini

Hey everyone...back again with another mini album!  I am having so much fun playing with all my chipboard and embellies.  This one has one very special feature that I'm so super duper excited about...a two part cover.  What's a two part cover you ask???  Well I designed how I wanted the cover to be and then I split up the embellishments between a piece of acetate and the main chipboard cover.  They are two separate layers decorated all their own, but yet they still blend well when placed together.  I'm definitely going to have to make that a go-to technique.  Here is a close up of what I'm talking about:

Here is the finished mini bound with my new toy 'The Cinch' by We R Memory Keepers and finished off with a twine bow and butterfly charm.  Below is a collage of all the inside pages.  Eventually this bad boy will go into my etsy shop once I work up the nerve to get me one LOL.  

I'm also entering this into the challenge posted over at Divas by Design: Make It Girly.  Everything about this mini is girly.  BFFs, bling, glitter letters, flowers, butterflies, charms, more bling, and just for good measure...an extra few bling.  LOL

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, January 16

Christmas Joy mini

I have a fun mini album to share with you all today!  I know I always say my first love is scrapbook layouts, but I think a clooooose second is mini albums.  I just love the feeling of completeness that comes from finishing a project start to finish.  I actually made two of these bad boys, one for a friend who asked me to make her something to stick her Christmas morning photos in and one to go in my eventual etsy shop if ever I work up the nerve to hit 'publish'. ;)  I've been making them for friends, family and friends of friends for over a year now and I'm running out of minis I personally need and people I know first hand who need more quicker than I am getting tired of making them.  HA!  

The album is a ornament shaped chipboard base embellished to the point of exploding with spots to hold lots of wallet sized photos.  Several challenges helped inspire me along the way to finishing this bad boy off.  First up, Crafty Creations asked everyone to create something with snowflakes.  Well not only is there one on my cover, but the inside is littered with several too.  The chipboard album is my something 'new' (I just picked it up at Michael's yesterday in the 80% off section WOOT!) and the star is cut from my George and Basic Shapes cricut cart to meet the requirements for the Cut It Up challenge posted last week.  After die-cutting the chipboard, I painted it white and then modge-podged (oh yeah..that's a word LOL) and then glittered it within an inch of it's life.  That fun little star was inspired by workout #83 over at ScrapFIT.  Hop on over to their blogs for some kick-booty DT inspiration after you are all done here.  

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, January 13

Turkey Day

The challenge at Lasting Memories this week is 'Something Old, Something New'.  I took this quite literally and dug through my stash to find something that's been in there for years and to grab a line of paper I just picked up with the scrappy store gift certificate Santa brought me.  The felt leaves and chipboard alphabet have been in my stash for longer than I can remember, but if I had to estimate, I'd say 5ish years.  The paper line is brand spanking new (I'll update with the name in the morning...I'm blogging in the dark because the baby fell asleep next to me). *Edited to add paper line is Harvest Lane by Simple Stories.*

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, January 12

Spread Your Wings and Fly

A few weeks ago, just shy of turning 3, my babiest of sweet babies (can you tell I'm emotionally a little unready to accept this??  LOL) was accepted into a special education preschool program.  I never in a million years would have thought I'd be sending her off prior to preK when she was four and a half, but this opportunity was too wonderful to pass on.  She has an amazing preschool teacher that she loves each afternoon as well as a whole team of OT, PT, Speech, Behavior, etc specialists.  It doesn't help that even for an almost 3 year old she's still just so itty bitty.  I had to go buy her a special back pack because even the smallest one I found in the department store tipped all 27lbs of her over.  It was hard to let her go the first day, but when I picked her up that first day (and every day since) she has been beaming from ear to ear after having just had the greatest day ever...I am sure I made the choice that was right for her even if not for me.  And that's what being a mama bear is all about right?  :)

This theme of spreading her wings and flying was inspired by the challenge over at Anything but a Card this week where I am blessed to be a DT member.  The challenge is ANYTHING WITH WINGS!!!  So hop on over and play along...there's a week left!!!!

I'm also sharing this with the challenge over at Fantabulous Cricut challenge.  They asked you to create something with a tag and a cricut cut.  That inspired me to look to my Create-a-Critter cart when I was stuck digging through my stash for a butterfly embellishment.  :)

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, January 8

Ms. Money Bags

One of my favorite scrappy blogs for inspiration has a series of classes to teach you all kinds of things you can incorporate into your projects.  On top that, ScrapFIT has several themed and technique workouts throughout the month to keep your scrappin' in shape!  This months class was all about layering embellishments.  I picked the following pieces that coordinated with my scrapbook page:

  1. Chipboard borders
  2. Doily
  3. Rhinestone
  4. Handmade hat pin 
  5. Glittered flower
  6. Pattern paper from the set I'm working with      

Then I got to the business of assembling it.  I cut a striped strip from the Echo Park 'Victoria Gardens' paper line I was working with.  Fussy cut a circle from the doily and layered it behind.  Add a strip of the chipboard border, pop up a flower for dimension and top with a rhinestone center and a hat pin I made tucked behind.....voila!  Layered embellishment.  I really like the look of the layers, it gives something interesting to wow you. 

And the finished layout!!!

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, January 5

Yay, for Babies!!!

My very favorite thing to scrapbook are babies!!!!  I'm pretty sure that was a contributing factor in me having three of them.  HAHAHA!!!!  Luckily my cousin's are all getting to the business of having babies themselves, so now that this baby factory has shut it's doors, I still have them to count on.  And boy are they having some cute babies...which works perfectly because there are some awfully adorable baby themed paper lines out there!  This one is Sugar & Spice by Doodlebug.  Well mostly, a few of the pieces were just from my scrap baggie that 'went' well and helped make the papers I'd picked up work.

The sketch I followed is one that has been pinned to my pinterest boards, saved, and printed because it's so fabulous I don't want to risk forgetting to use it again!!  It was posted a few days ago over at Sketchabilities so hop on over and give it a try.  I think the reason I like it so much is because I'm all about clusters of embellishments these days and this one just let me dump a pile of colorful, blingy, and baby-themed embellies all over my table and just plaster them everywhere!  Usually I try to keep my clusters away from the photos so as to not overwhelm the focus, but these pics were less than ideal resolution so it's a welcomed distraction.  But we just couldn't pass up the chance to scrap our newest baby cousin in all her adorable glory! :)

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, January 3

Less than Perfect

Hey bloggy friends.  What do you do when you have an important memory you want to preserve forever (or at least as long as paper lasts!) but the only photos you have from the moment were less than perfect?  Well that is just the challenge posted over at Let's Get Sketchy this week.  Here are some of the most dreaded examples I had to deal with from a week with my family:

  1. Unsightly photobombs (when someone inadvertently, or sometimes intentionally makes a front and center appearance in a photo while you are trying to capture someone or something else.
  2. Less than ideal lighting leading to under or over exposure.
  3. Poor resolution because all you had at the moment was your crappy camera phone.
  4. Mistake in the settings on your camera when trying to snap a quick picture.
  5. Accidentally overcropping or poorly editing the original on your computer...DOH!
I'm sure there are many more, but those are just a few of the troubles I encountered when going through a the 1000+ pictures from our week-long family reunion.  It was impromptu gathering due to a death in the family, but there were so many lovely memories from us being all in one place at one time that I couldn't pass up the chance to scrapbook my favorites.  Unfortunately most of my favorites were less than ideal printing quality, but in all fairness...we had other things on our mind than proper composition.  ♥  So I just picked my favorites and got started the best I could.  

My main solution was to print them wallet sized so that I could make the resolution problems less noticeable.  Then I cropped them all into even sized squares so that I could remove any unwanted visuals from the view.  Then it occurred to me that a pile of square pictures would make a perfect start for a grid style layout I'd been wanting to try.  I was also able to overlap a few embellishments over parts of a picture I wanted hidden.  And there you have it!  

Almost all of this is the uber gorgeous Glitz 'Dance in Sunshine' line.
The Memory LN sign & heart are Graphically Speaking Cricut Cart
The Flower is Prima.
The hat pins are handmade...*SWOON*.
The chipboard letters are by Thickers.

So what do you do when you really want to scrap a memory, but the only photos you have are less than perfect???  Do share.......

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, January 2

Saying Goodbye

This post is something very personal to me and near to my heart.  It's highly unlikely that I'll make it through dry-eyed, but it's important to me that I try.  A love like I was shown by my grandparents is something that would break my heart if it died with them.

As hard as it is to say good-bye to someone you loved and someone who helped make you who you are today, it's no picnic finding a reminder of that person just when it stopped feeling so raw.  Today I was going through a pile of pictures I'd printed and put away from the week of family gatherings this fall leading up to us putting my grandfather in hospice care and then his passing a few days later.  One of my best friends in all the world was my grandma (and his wife of 58 years) and her leaving us while I was 9 months pregnant with my youngest was the single hardest experience of my life.  It hurt so deeply to know that while my older kids were able to have the relationship and memories I hoped with her, sweet Allie would never know her.  That's where her and Bpa's (unable to pronounce Great-Grandpa..she always called him Bpa) bond kicked in.  He told us that my grandmother would have just loved her so much that he felt it was his duty to love her enough for the both of them.  Boy he sure did, because she talked about him all the time and was always thrilled to go visit even though he was in a nursing home and that can be a little intimidating for little ones.

We never really told her what was going on because I didn't feel the need to traumatize a two year old now over something she wouldn't remember 20 years from now.  But there was a magically moment during the middle of the burial ceremony while Taps was being played and we were awaiting the military to make their way across the field so the flag ceremony could begin when she looked off into the distance over my husbands shoulder and waved at seemingly no one and said very clearly, "Bye-bye Bpa."  It still send shivers down my spine to remember, but is a comfort at the same time.  One of my Uncle's who was capturing photographs of the military ceremony caught this moment on film and it's a photo that will always bring me sadness and joy, but most of all comfort.

The sketch I followed for this treasured photograph was posted at Stuck?! Sketches on January 1st.  Click on over to give it a go too!

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, January 1

Punch Art Critters

Boy, I think I have found the most fun part of scrapbooking/cardmaking for sure...  Punch Art!!!!!!!  For those of you who are immune to the call of Pinterest, you may not have ever seen how cute some of these creations are, but let me tell you... It doesn't just result in an uber adorable finished product, the process is soooo fun and relaxing.  Here are two punch art creations I have been working on.  One was an attempt to copy one that came on a card I received and one was following a template I found on Pinterest.

First up: These awesome little penguins.  You can find the original tutorial HERE, but my exact measurements for each penguin were as follows:

  1. 1" white oval for face with eyehole punched out then glued onto black sheet.
  2. Lined up carefully, I punched out the 1" black circle so that the white had the same curve, though you could also cut the black circle first and then layer the white oval on top, then flip over and trim along the black edge carefully.
  3. Cut two 2" black ovals.  One will be the body, one will be cut in half for the wing.
  4. Cut a 2" white oval.  I layered it on the black page then punched out the black oval, but you could do the same as I described in #2 especially if you are using a die rather than a punch.  
  5. The beak is cut from a yellow-orange 5 petal flower.  Definitely get one with the rounded point edges vs the completely round edges.  Another option would be a leaf punch. 
  6. The feet are made of a 1" oval cut in half length-wise which is slightly different than the original tutorial, but made the most of my punching muscles.  :)

For the turtles, you basically just need a varying selection of circle punches and various shades of green from the same tone.  The holes for the eyes and the spots were just punched out with my crop-o-dile tool and then I put a black ink circle in the center of each eye.  For my turtle, I was sure to ink all the edges of my circles before layering to give it a little depth.  The tail is the only part that isn't just a basic circle punch.  For that I started with a 1" circle and cut a small crescent out of it.  I was able to get 3 tails from each circle.  :)  

I know punch art is nothing new and has been circulating through the Stampin' Up community for years, but I had never seen any examples because I don't follow the card making world very closely since I enjoy scrapbooking more.  Have you tried punch art?  I'd love it if you left me a link to some you have created in the comments or even just to some favorites you have saved to try!  :)

Thanks for visiting!