Sunday, February 27, 2011

At Home: Kitchen Details

Happy Sunday!  I have enjoyed a week at home with the family as we all had February vacation.  Tomorrow it is back to work.  I love my job, but I really love my home and my family.  One of the reasons is the new kitchen.  We love coming down in the morning and making coffee.  The kids eat at the island and everyone is happy!  I mentioned last week that I would share details!  If you want to see the pictures of the overall room, go here.

Here goes! 

I used Wedgewood Gray in the kitchen and dining is a pretty blue/gray featured in Pottery Barn and made by Benjamin Moore.  I love how it plays off the white cabinets and black countertops.  When we were building the kitchen, we decided to get what we wanted!  My first wish was a great stove!  I toyed with the 36" ranges, but they were soo expensive.  In the end, I went with a great, professional grade stove by GE...I love it!

That griddle is fabulous for Sunday morning pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches!  As you can see, we varied up the tile behind the stove for interest!  I love white subway tile.

To make the focal wall of the stove and hearth, I had to put my microwave somewhere else besides above the stove.  We decided to build it into one of the cabinets!

My next wish involved an apron front sink!  I wanted a classic white kitchen with a country feel!  I love this is big and wide and pretty!  Steve picked out the faucet and we joke about how it can be a shower based on its size!  We adore it though!

We used cup pulls and knobs on our the shine that they add to the space!  We got them at Ebay for a great price!

I was orginally worried about all the blue and white because they are cool colors.  I have always been attracted to darker colors, but I think I wanted fresh start in this house!  To solve my problem, I used lots of black accents and popped red all over the room.  Red looks amazing with this blue color!

I have a thing for roosters!  I didn't go overboard, but did add in a few rooster themed accessories around the room.  This guy sits on my dining room table:

One of my favorite accessories in this radio.  It came from Steve's grandmother's house!  We play it every meal.  Remember that dancing I comes from here!

I am thinking that the space is a work in progress and will continue to be.  Hopefully, I will bring it vintage touches as times goes by!  We really love it either way!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Now That I Have Scrapped It...

I am done with it!  Talking about winter, of course.  It was funny.  We were driving the other day and Ella gasped a bit and exclaimed, "Nate, look!  I see grass!"  That is not something you hear everyday. 

It is gloomy and cold and the snow is just a dirty mess now!  So bring on spring!

To usher it in, let's give winter one more happy day!  When we in the thick of all that snow, my kids were in love!  I caught some pictures while we were sledding.  It was their first time.  Boy, letting them go at the top of a big hill and even giving them a gentle push was hard.  I worried that it would be too much, too fast.  Thought they might swerve and crash.  Wondered about the possibility of them hitting unexpected bumps. 

But, I had to let them go!  What happened was they flew down happily...discovered how freeing it was and wanted to do it over and over!  Kinda sounds like life in general, huh?  I think I will experience little moments just like those many times throughout their lives... and for things much bigger than sledding!

Oh, the layout...sorry!

I used the sketch from the Crate Paper blog to create this one! Love that chipboard!

See their faces! The joy is written all over their expressions!

I guess winter hasn't been so bad after all!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Home Decor

So, one of my biggest questions with altered what do you do with it!?  Sometimes are too cutesy to use.  I should give it as gifts more.  I get overwhelmed with the thought of it...

I recently made a piece of home decor that is currently living in my daughter's room!  I kept the design simple and the color combo bold!  I adore how it looks with her green walls, white furniture and pink/yellow/blue color scheme!

I repurposed a frame that I received and never used!  It is a shadow box type!  I simply grabbed some Posh papers by Teresa Collins, my punches and went to work!  The silhouette is hand cut from a sheet of paper!  Love the ponytail!

My daughter loves it!  And it reminds me of her!

So let me know what you do with your altered goodies!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mmmm...Can you Smell that?

Can you smell the beef stew that is cooking in the other room?  It is a perfect day for a crock pot meal...we are on vacation and it snowed all morning!  Every one of my family members are in their pajamas as we have all shopped, shoveled, cleaned and worked out earlier this morning.

Perfect snow day!

Thanks for all the nice words about my kitchen.  I find that I really enjoy cooking so much more now!  I am looking for a great chopping knife to add to my tools and a good frying pan...if you have any recommendations I would love to hear them!

To add on to how much I love snow days, here is a recent layout!  My kiddos love going out and tossing the white stuff around.  Especially Ella...she turns as pink as her hat!  Snowed out kids equals tired kids!

The Crate Paper Snow Day collection is awesome and I have used it with all of my winter photos this year...something about the chipboard!

I think I will continue the snow day relaxation with a bit of scrapping, a crusty loaf of bread with the stew and The Bachelor tonight!  Perfect...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

At Home

So...I was thinking about doing something a bit different on the weekends.  Saturday and Sunday are all about home and family!  My thought is to share my home with you!  We did go through a major renovation...I talked about it only makes sense that I would share the results!

So here we go!  Here are some before photos.  Some of you may know that we bought our home from Steve's mom. The original kitchen and dining room were two separate rooms.  My mother in law rocked a primitive theme throughout the house so it was a bit dark and very warm.  It totally suited her style, but I wanted to put my signature on this place.

The kitchen before:

The door on the right moves into the office, their old family room.

 The dining room, with my furniture...

We gutted down to the studs...took down the wall in between the kitchen and dining room.  My ultimate goal was to brighten it all up!  So we went white!  I love a simple, clean, classic design so shaker cabinets were chosen!


The view from the dining room part of the space.

I love the new space.  My kids dance almost every day in the open space in the kitchen.  Cooking is actually fun now!

I will show you the details another time!  Thanks for looking!

Friday, February 18, 2011

One of Those Phases

I am in one of those phases where I am creating...but all for assignments.  And when I am not creating because I have to, I am too tired to do it when I want to...

I know it is potential energy though...ideas and creativity storing up to be used soon!  Considering February vacation is upon me, I think I will start tomorrow!

I do have a share though...a layout I made a few weeks ago using the new Teresa Collins Posh goodies!  I mixed in some blue and yellow elements from my stash!  I think it makes the pink pop!

I love the patchwork quilt, blocks on top of blocks style of layouts!  Adds pattern without being too busy.  Love the large Blingage that Teresa adds just the right sparkle!

Off to see if my potential energy is ready to get kinetic...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I Think the Secret is...

So, I have mentioned before that I don't consider myself to be a very good cardmaker!  What I am lacking in natural talent, I make up for in pure determination.  Overachiever...

I made it a bit of a personal goal to make cards more regularly and try to be as creative as possible.  I think the secret to a great card is having a great ribbon to finish it off!  I also think that having one unexpected element helps!

So here is a recent card using new Teresa Collins goodies!

I used the Posh collection for all paper elements!  The clock is handcut from a sheet of paper using the Timeless collection!  Ribbon from my stash (haven't received the TC trim yet, but if I had it, I would have used it!...gorgeous).  The unexpected element is the color combo.  Love blue and yellow with the Posh collection!

The TC design team has its own blog to show off all of Teresa's great designs and products!  These ladies rock so check it out!

I completed this card for a challenge over at The Nook where we lift one member of our community each week.  The Nook girls...Danni Reid and Ingrid the rest of that talented team...hello, I better improve my cardmaking skills!  Those girls are rocking the card should check it out if you are like me and are looking to improve skills or if you are already a pro!

I am pledging to make more cards and if you don't see me doing that, kick me or something...LOL!

Monday, February 14, 2011

What Is Left Behind

Reflective weekend...based on the recent loss of someone I am aquainted with.  Someone my mother in law was very close too.  A member of a close knit family that I admire. 

Someone I barely know, yet his loss has effected me.  It has me thinking about the life he has left behind.  My heart breaks for his wife and his children.  I see his truck parked in the driveway, evidence that he was just here, and wonder how they are coping.

It has led me down a road of thinking.  Have I said enough to those I love?  Do I prioritize the right things in the right order?  Am I living the life I want to live?

And, of course, it got me thinking about Baby James.  Those thoughts led me to look at the photos from the short week of his life.  So many emotions captured in snapshots...grief to pride to joy to regret that we couldn't know him better.

Life is so unexpected.  Loss is real.  I think it is put in front of us to help us remember to stop and enjoy our journey.  Appreciate where we are for the simple reasons.  I hugged my children with more force and love this weekend.  I stopped to tell Steve how much I love him and what he means to me.  I swear I just wanted to be next to him several times, to feel his warmth and to hold tight. 

I don't know if Baby James or my neighbor know how much they have left behind.  What an impact they have when they move on.  It is widespread and strong.

This Valentine's Day will not be about candy or least not the worldly kind.  It will be about appreciation, gratitude, a "Mommy, can you get me juice." and a look that Steve and I share when our kids do something silly.  It is about these two...

This Valentine's will be about me holding tight and feeling the warmth.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Last Minute Valentines

So, I am not a big Valentine's Day least not these days.  Back in the day when Steve and I were dating, it was nice to have a little romance and special treats.  But now, it seems like more of a chore to celebrate...LOL!  We are going the "get a common gift we need" route this year.  Or the "we just got a new kitchen" direction.

If you are someone who loves it and who likes to leave little treats for the ones you love, or even is an idea.  Quick, easy, cute...

Fill a container you have from around the house with any kind of candy, make it pretty and go!  you needed to come here to figure that out!

I used Webster's Pages that thick black trim that comes in the Hollywood Vogue trim pack!  These goodies were in my Feb. Nook kit...I actually did a class on how to put this together...

I have been very reflective about love the past few days.  I plan to talk a bit about it tomorrow.  It is funny how sometimes the brain and soul are bombarded with thoughts.

Off to find some quiet time...

P.S.  The voting for the Snow Day layout went to the red border, but overall both choices were evenly matched.  Isn't it funny how people see things differently!  I loved to hear your thoughts so thanks!

Friday, February 11, 2011

When It Just Doesn't Feel Right

So, I should have learned by now that when I don't totally feel like scrapping, I should not scrap.  I push paper around for a good portion of the night!  And I can't make decisions.

I made a new layout using the Snow Day line from Crate Paper.  I love chipboard and no one does it like Crate!  I went back and forth between a Kraft and White background.  My photos got lost everytime on the white so I went with Kraft.  But it felt like nothing popped.  I sat on it for a couple of days and made some tweaks.  Now I see it on the computer screen and I still can't tell which one I prefer. 

Maybe you can help me...

Here is the first attempt:

And then with a red border to make the eyes go to the photo.

What do you think!?  Red border or no red honest, but nice...LOL.  I am vulnerable!

Looking forward to your opinions and for that moment when I can make decisions again!  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Things I Shouldn't Admit

I eat the heads off chocolate Teddi Grahams first, then finish off the body.

I sing in my car like I am Taylor Swift.  I am most definitely not Taylor Swift.

I dislike shadows.  Because my mind goes crazy and I make the shadows into shapes.  I used to freak myself out as a kid.  I hope my own kids don't do this too.

I love to watch MTV Marathons...any shows.

I used to do the Paula Abul dance a 100 years ago.

I walk around my house often and straighten all my framed art/photo frames.  I even use the level sometimes.

My hair runs red for a few washes after I get it colored.  Swimming or rain the weekend of a fresh color are big no-nos!

Speaking of hair, I snagged a few photos of myself under the dryer at the salon.  I get my hair done every 5-6 weeks and it is a process.  I drive 25 minutes and spend a couple of hours in the shop.  It is a routine that deserves to be scrapped.  Shouldn't we record all the moments of our lives?

I went outside of my box on this layout!  Literally,

I used the Feb. kit from the Nook for this.  And, you probably have noticed that it features Webster's Pages...each collection comes with an amazing sticker package.  Words, images, journaling spots, borders.  There are also a bunch of frames and if you look closely, negative space images make frames too!  I layered a bunch to make this layout!  I like the freedom of it!

So, I put it on the table.  You tell me, what is something you shouldn't admit...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Still Hanging On I think I have become a part of the inventory over at My Scrapbook Nook.  They can't seem to move me.  Or I might be that oldie that the company holds on to because of the spirit of it all.  LOL!

Whatever the reason, I am sooo pleased to announce that I will spend another term with them.  My fifth...I wonder what the record is?  I am an overachiever so I have to beat it!  I truly love it there!  I look around these days at where I have landed and, wow, has this hobby helped me make incredible friends and connections.  Scrapstreet and the Nook are family and my new gigs have also introduced me to some incredibly kind and generous women.  It is more than paper and glue! 

Over at the Nook, Leah puts together awesome kits that keep me creating...she is a great DT leader...the perfect match of loyal and caring, yet someone with high expectations.  And, the new team is filled to the brim with talent!  That is my other favorite part...I now get to learn alongside some amazing designers.  Each one teaches me something!

Here is the new team!

Leah Killian-USA-DT Lead
Zarah Peterson-Sweden-DT Assistant
Stacey Michaud-USA
Katarina Damm-Blomberg-Sweden
Becky Williams-USA
Ingrid Danvers-the Netherlands
Hilde Aaslund-Norway
Carol Monson-USA
Tanya Tahir-Australia
Nadia Cannizzo- Australia
Danni Reid-USA
Jessy Christopher- Malaysia
Anna Sigridur Eyjolfsdottir -Iceland
Lady Grace Belarmino-Phillipines

and the Guest Design Team for the next term:
Marie-Ange Lefevre (Marinette)- France
Ann Cicilie Fl├ątt-Denmark
Pamella Brown-USA
Carly Robertson-USA
Berdien Weideveld-the Netherlands
Tina McDonald-Canada
Keri Babbitt-USA
Jill Sarginson-Canada
Maria "Mija" Comstad-Sweden
Julianne McKenna-De Lumen -Australia
Lilith Eeckels-Belgium
Sarah Eclavea-USA

Woo Hoo!  I am honored and thrilled to represent such a fabulous place!  Look forward to some great work from this team using the hottest paper lines and embellishments out there!  (Like Crate Paper, which is currently for sale in the shop!)

Thanks, Leah.  It means the world!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Vertical and Horizontal

Last summer at CHA, I had the opportunity to spend some time with amazing friends!  Throughout the show, my friend Bri and I would go off a bit and just explore.  We have this thing for disecting scrapbooking... analyzing what works, brainstorming what would look great.  Everything works at CHA...and I think there is a reason.

I remember sitting in front of the Prima booth, looking at Leena's, Iris's and Jamie's work.  It was so dynamic.  Bri pointed out to me that the designs had both vertical and horizontal lines, usually placed along one of the imaginary lines of thirds on the page.  I saw it...There was a clear "up" and a clear "across" on each, embellishments, papers, photos sat along those lines.  Bri and I talked a bit and she pointed out that a lot of my work was horizontal in nature.  (That is the type A in me.)  She was right.

That conversation stuck with me.  I reflected on it and began to experiment.  And it really changed the way that I scrap.  I started being aware of both horizontal and vertical lines.  And...I think my layouts are more dynamic.

Here is an example...

This layout primarily has a vertical orientation.  The scalloped edge, the long sheet with the stripes, the numbers in the journaling.  But is also has a horizontal line, right around the bottom 1/3 of the page.  I varied it up, using a material other than paper.  I actually fell in love with this chain-like trim from Webster's Pages the instant I saw it!  It reminded me of a fancy, haute couture belt.  So I looped it a bit and gave it a bow like appearance.  I also used a different color and a cursive alphabet to add some movement on that line.

I wonder if you disect your work.  If you are drawn to someone else's you know why?  Think about why you love that person or yourself.  It adds a cool perspective!

Speaking of CHA, did you hear about Teresa Collins and Cricut?  She has designed two cartridges!  And did you hear about Teresa Collins and Core'dinations?  It was such a big show for her and I am very excited to be able to join in the fun!  I can't wait to share my CHA stuff with you!  Head over to her blog to hear all the details!

P.S. What do you think about the header?  I made it myself...first attempt at digital.  Let me know your thoughts...I would love to hear them!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stampin It Up

Yeah...bad title...LOL!  Because I won't be talking about that company, but will be sharing some projects that incorporate stamping!  I am not a natural stamper.  I don't automatically reach for them, but when I am pushed a bit in that direction...I find that I do enjoy it!  Stamps can fill in that empty space on a layout or add a more transparent effect!

I used Unity Stamps as a part of an assignment for Scrapstreet!  Here is what I came up with!

A layout using Cosmo Cricket!

A card using Pink Paislee!  I flocked the stamped sentiment to make it fuzzy!

I created the title card with a stamp and the border along the top!

Can't wait to get my hands on the new Teresa Collins and Webster's Pages stamps...I have a feeling my usage rate will increase dramatically!


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