Monday, November 29, 2010

Scrappy Contentment

Ahh...feeling content, secure, and excited.  I feel like I am back to telling stories again.  Back to recording all the big and small moments of my life.  Maybe I am just settling into life more, enjoying our home.  That is rubbing off on to other things. 

I feel lucky to be designing where I am designing.  Writing for a great ezine, designing for an amazing kit club, being on the team of my dreams...making Pink Paislee still makes me smile.  And now, Teresa Collins.  I swear the girls are the nicest people and it already feels like home (and we haven't even really started yet).  That in and of itself makes me want to make great things, to revel in creativity. 

It sounds corny to many, but this hobby brings me some peace.  Helps me to reflect and to get to know myself better.  KWIM?

Here is a recent layout I made just for fun...using the Pink Paislee Hocus Pocus collection!  Notice how it is not a Halloween or even a fall layout.  It just has the right colors to coordinate with the collection...The polka dot paper is so much fun and versatile!

The Past, Present, Future saying is one of the rub-ons.  Love the Felt Doodad!  The base ledger paper is from the Starlight collection!

Speaking of Pink Paislee and excitement, the 12 Days of Christmas feature starts in just a couple of days!

That is a peek of my project all the way to the left...squeal.  You can't miss this event...the projects are simply amazing!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Never Too Old...

Never too old to play Chutes and Ladders.

Never to old for great animated kids movies.

Never too old for Lucky Charms cereal.

Never too old to dance.

Hopefully never too old for skinny jeans as I just bought some yesterday.

And never too old to play dress up! I went away with some girlfriends this past September and we had a day of shopping.  Every shop we went into, we tried on funky, dorky and sexy hats!  Lunch at the pub and a wonderful grown up was great!  And I have the photos to prove it!

I used the November kit from My Scrapbook Nook to make this layout.   It features the amazing Circa 1934 line!

Never too old to use paper and glue, right??

Friday, November 26, 2010

Even though I am Nursing a... hangover right now, I feel incredibly lucky and blessed!  We celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday with family and friends.  Started the day with our annual tradition of deep frying turkeys and moved to having a large meal with our loved ones.  I am thankful for...

This sweet girl:

This adorable guy:

Steven, our family and friends....

Our home, our many blessings! 

I spent Black Friday with my girlfriends...started at Target at 4:00 a.m. and stood in the electronics line for 2 hours.  We did get the Wii Fits we wanted and I think I will need it after all this eating!

Here we are in all our shopping glory!  Yes, we asked the sales lady to take our photo.  She thought it was funny...her first time taking one inside of Kohl's.

Ugh, the dark circles are terrible.  But huge meals and no sleep will do that to a gal!  It was all worth it!

So much to be grateful for and I am saying a thank you for all of my blessings!

Monday, November 22, 2010

What is your Starting Point?

I often wonder how people go about the scrapbooking process.  I know many begin with sketches, but that really has never worked for me.  If you don't use a sketch to help you plan, then what is your first step?

The past few months, I have found myself starting with the photo cluster.  I build it first, adding small details before I move to the rest of the layout.  This is a shift in thinking from me...moving small to big was not my usual approach.  I think it is helping me be more creative and free when I am making a page.

Here is an example of what goes on in my head...

For this layout, I started with one small picture.  I was afraid it wouldn't be able to stand alone, but the bold red in the background helps with that.  I figured out this cluster first and it was feeling right!  (Yeah, don't look at my mess either.  I am like a tornado when I am making stuff!)

Here is what I ended up with:

I love the whole 1/3 vs. 2/3 ratio when making a background mat on my layouts.  I usually have the small (1/3) portion along the top but for this layout, I flip flopped.  I love how the black and very bold pattern offsets my red photo. 

I added details and some journaling...done!  And done quickly, I might add.  All because I got off to a good start!

So...give the details.  What is your starting point?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Let Go

I found myself at the Team Ewan blog the other day and was compelled to hear his story.  The second that I saw the first photograph, I stopped and wondered if I should go any farther.  My memories of Baby James, my sister and all the emotions came pouring in.  I decided to keep reading, mostly because I couldn't help myself.  I wanted to root for a happy ending for this precious newborn baby, even though I know the truth.  Her writing and her photos resonated.  It was beautiful, tragic, and touching.  Unfortunately, I could relate.  I thought of my sister and Jimmy and how hard it was.  A year and a half later and it still seems a bit surreal.  How could that have happened?

I cried my eyes out for a while.  Felt the pain. I actually went back to my old blog moved me to read the stories that I had written and I am glad I have shared them, as difficult as it was.  I honored those feelings and gave that part of me that will forever be scarred a chance to express herself. 

Then, I thought of how well my sister and Jimmy are doing now.  They have bought a house of their own and are both working in stable jobs, beautifully raising two fantastic girls.  It will never leave them.  They still have the new bedding, clothes and diapers that were given at her baby shower.  I know they still grieve, but they are healing.  I hear my sister talk about the things she looks forward to and it is nice to hear.

Reliving that experience reminds me of how precious life is.  How we just don't know because we are not in control. 

We should shake off the negative things that happen to us every day.  Go to work and pour 100% in to it.  And then leave it at the door.  Take time to enjoy family and make phone calls we keep meaning to make.

For me, I need to lighten up.  Really.  So what if my kids have a few chocolate chips in their bowl of Apple Jacks.  It is time to enjoy life...appreciate what I have. Be more loving.  Laugh.  I am going to give it a try.

Supplies:  Pink Paislee Parisian Anthology (check out the blog for more).

To find out more about Team Ewan and hear his story, visit the Team Ewan blog.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

And I am Still Smiling

...Well, beaming actually!

I waited all day for the Teresa Collins announcement.  Would I be on the list?  Would many of my fabulous friends be on the list?  I kept checking my email and wondering.  Nothing.  I figured, well, maybe not.

I got home from work and my machine was blinking.  I pushed played like I have a million times before, except this time...the message was from Teresa Collins herself.  OMG...really???  She was coy.  I tried to call her back but there was no answer so I left a message.

Yep, I played phone tag with Teresa Collins.

Then, my phone rang and I saw the caller ID.  I ran upstairs to talk because my kids typically fight, yell and bother me when I am on the phone.  Didn't want Teresa to think she had just chosen a woman with the crazies.

I was pacing and talking.  She is sooo sweet and genuine.  I have seen her many times at CHA and she is hard to get close to...there is usually a crowd!  And there she was having a conversation with me.  And it was a heartfelt one at that!  I gushed...paced...

and then smelled the smell of burning toast.  I forgot I had put in a few pieces of swirly bread in the toaster oven for Ella, pre phone call.  I raced downstairs and thought...oh gosh, please don't let there be a fire. 

There wasn't, of course.  But I did have to make a new batch because it was burnt...nice Stacey, nice.

Shh...don't tell Teresa! 

LOL!  I am looking sooo forward to this term on this amazing team!!!

Still beaming,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Well, That Sure Made me Smile

I awoke this morning and ran over to the Teresa Collins blog and was quite thrilled to see my name on the list of design team finalists.  I first came across her products a couple of years ago when some were sent as a Scrapstreet Magazine assignment.  I fell in love with how versatile and easy they were to use.

See, I have to scrap layouts and project that mean something to me.  Even if I am designing for an assignment.  It is just how I am...there is a story to tell or a moment to capture.  I want to keep the joy that I have for this hobby so designing for teams that fit my style is so important to me.  Her products allow for that to happen and my mojo explodes!  I love the ribbon, the journaling cards, the sentiments...

The team from Scrapstreet including myself were blown away by her booth and her Summer CHA releases.  We immediately ordered the Celebrate line because it was an adorable birthday line, but also because it could be used for so much more.  I started projects with it for pleasure even before the call was posted.  So when the opportunity came up, I figured why not as I would be thrilled to showcase her lines on a regular basis. 

Here is a layout I created!  I created a packaging bow from the ribbon!

And yes, I did submit a layout where I have frosting on my nose.  Teresa talks of scrapping meaningful moments and real life, so why not?

I am honored to be a part of that impressive list of girls!  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Banner...turned about

Without doubt the biggest trend for me this year has been the use of banners.  Need a corner filled up...put a banner.  Want a place for your about a banner?

It is a bit ridiculous how much I use them.  So there I was a few days ago, sitting and staring at the awesome Cosmo Cricket Circa 1934 chipboard and there were the perfect pieces to make a banner.  I built the layout and then put my foot down.  No arching or draping banner on this project.  I might have even said it out loud.  Thank goodness I scrap at night where no one but the cats can hear me.

So I used those perfect banner pieces, but I laid them out vertically.  In a straight line.  And here is what I came up with.

The theme of this layout celebrates how alike Ella and Auntie Sara are.  I am so lucky to have such an amazing family.  My immediate family and my in laws.  We had a family party this weekend and Aunt Bippy noticed Steve and I with our arms around each other.  She talked about how we are on a journey together.  Some will be good, some will be bad.  But we are in it.  It really touched me.  Because I see it like that and I know that those family members are there to support and guide.  The best part is that my kids get to grow up with in that environment.

And that certainly deserves a banner!

Friday, November 12, 2010

White Space

No, I am not talking about the space that is currently occupying my tired brain!  LOL!

The white space I am thinking of relates to scrapbooking.  I have found myself loving it more and more.  The design theory behind it is that it allows the eye to rest and take in the other aspects of a graphic design or scrapbook page. 

I used lots of it on this page.  And it is truly white (well, cream to be exact).  I am typically a kraft lover, but the Cosmo Cricket Circa 1934 has a gorgeous cream undertone that I wanted to pull out.  I started laying this page out by using the chipboard and the Jenni Bowlin calendar card.  The Family and TLC pieces were added next and before I knew it, I had a layout.  It is as if I get possessed when I use just falls into place and feels right!

Of course, throw a little Pink Paislee in the mix and you have some of my favorite companies!  I love the new Artisan Elements...they are super detailed and intricate!  I simply rubbed some Straw Distress Ink over the top and added touches of Olive Green!  It is that easy!  These little circular details were placed down in an effort to create more movement on the page.

All supplies are from the Novemeber kit at My Scrapbook Nook, which is sold out!

I adore these photos of Steve and Ella.  I captured the moment at the apple orchard.  She tripped and was dramatic (surprised?) so a hug from Daddy was warranted.  No need for white space there.

Happy Friday all!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How We Rely on our Friends

It is amazing to me to think about those people who are in my life and mean so much to me.  Sometimes you are not even aware of the bond you have with someone until something difficult or something joyous happens.  I work with so many fabulous women...they know so many sides of me.  But when you are alongside them day in and day out, you fail to realize what they mean to you.  There was a terrible tragedy in my town and we lost a young man who was a former student.  It is so heartbreaking for our entire community.  I attended the services this evening and could not have done it without those friends. 

This past weekend I attended my high school best friend's baby shower.  Triplets...triplets...triplets.  I am overjoyed for her.  I had an interesting conversation with her sister, another fabulous woman I would call a friend.  She reminded me of a time in my life where we were all so close.  Single women, finding was a powerful time.  I wouldn't trade where I am now, but those times made me into the person, wife and mother I am now.  I guess you can't hold on to something like that forever...but it is bittersweet to have moved on to finding myself and then finding love.

I recently had my 40th birthday party and was surrounded by many friends.  People I see everyday, people I see every now and then,  all of them powerful influences...time means nothing as it all just falls back into place.

So tonight I celebrate those friends...the ones shown in this layout and the ones who are not.  To all of you fabulous women, you make a profound impact on my life. 

I thank you for that. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Where do you find inspiration?

I find myself looking for inspiration everywhere these days.  As I flip through the Pottery Barn catalog, in advertisements and even on my clothes.  I think it comes from a need to continue to be inventive...keep things fresh!

I recently bought this sweater from Old Navy:

I love the cute little flowers...they are so simple in construction!  The minute I saw them, I knew I wanted to recreate them for a project.  Enter the Parisian Anthology collection and my November assignment for the blog.  The collection has a very cool, thick roll of tickets.  I thought...wouldn't those make great petals.  So an idea was born. 

I actually  made the flower on this layout first...I needed to have an idea of the size and scale before I planned the rest.  Once it was constructed, the rest of the layout came together quickly.  I am pleased with the end results mainly because I adore these pictures of my daughter!

To see how I made the flower, head over to the Pink Paislee blog

Isn't the Parisian Anthology paper so pretty.  I found it best to just dive in with your ink and see where it takes you!

Talk about inspiring!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thanks for Listening

Just wanted to say how much I appreciate all the kind and very supportive comments that were made on my blog post yesterday.  So many of us feel the same way and knowing that we are all in it together makes a difference.

I spent last night scrapping a layout because I felt inspired to be creative.  Not for publication or for a team tryout!  But because I love this hobby.  And having an amazing kit delivered to my door helped too.  Designing for the Nook never feels like work and that is a good thing!

Here is the amazing November kit featuring the brand new Cosmo Cricket (oh, how I still love thee), Maya Road, and JBS goodies!

Gosh, it is pretty!  I dove in and have two layouts made.  Here is one for now!  I created the flowers using rub-ons from JBS and mixing paper, chipboard and My Mind's Eye brads!  I have a class on how to make them here at the Nook.

I have to share with you that the Leah is having a promotion and is giving away two kits.  Go over to her blog to check out the latest deal on the Nook subscription too!  (This was edited due to some misunderstanding on behalf of the Nook girls...sorry if you read the orginal and are confused!)
Thanks again, my friends!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Could Give You a Lame Title

or I can just admit that I don't have one...LOL!  I am feeling down a bit...putting pressure on myself in this crazy industry.  Thought I sent some GREAT pages, but I was off in my assessment...Why must we all be overachievers?

The rational part of me knows that it doesn't really matter because I scrap to celebrate my family.  In the end, they are most important in all of this.  I will keep repeating it.

My husband says that I put myself in positions where I am being judged by others.  Even when I was coaching cheerleading, our competitions were about being judged by a panel.  At the end of the day, people look at things with different eyes from a different background.  Personal likes have to factor in.  Maybe I am constantly looking for others to like me...he keeps telling me to explore it.  He might be right.

So I share a page with you.  One that I love.  It tells a story and records my family history. 

I used a wonderful stamp from My Favorite Things to create the background.  It gives the circle a place to rest and makes me title feel balanced.  This was in the October issue of Magazine!  Be sure to check out the November issue...good stuff!

Off to lick my wounds and then to realize what really matters...

Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sugar Overload Anyone

Why oh why does sugar have to be so delicious, so yummy.  Addiction is a good word to sum up my feelings toward it.  And Halloween is not helping.  Those candy companies are super smart...they make teeny tiny Snickers and Milky little that you don't feel bad having one.  Which quickly turns into two and downhill you go! 

I try to keep all things like that out of my house because I don't have willpower, but between birthday parties and Halloween, I am a junkie!

Speaking of birthday parties, I got some great shots of both my party and Nathan's.  I don't typically scrap birthdays, but this year, I am going to do that!  Maybe it is the fact that many were taken outside with natural light.  Maybe because Nathan had his first "friend" party.  Whatever the reason, I am enjoying scrapping those special days.

Here is the first!  I caught this shot of Nathan in his homemade cape (I used my Elmer's Exacto knife and fabric glue), looking all superheroish.  Yet he is holding a cupcake.  Hence the title:

I used the triangular shapes from a sheet of patterned paper by Teresa Collins to make this star...then carried the stars all around the page!   Most were handcut from a sheet of the Celebrate paper. I also used smaller wooden stars as stencils to make the hand drawn ones.  I must say that I am a huge fan of the star!  I am totally enjoying making layouts using strips of paper as opposed to large blocks...change feeds the creative soul.

Kinda like cupcakes and chocolate feed the inner sugar demon...anyone have an intervention for me?


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