Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday's Musings: Committment

I made a life-changing decision about a year ago this month.  I was determined to get fit and healthy.  To stop feeling icky in my clothes.  To do something instead of talking about doing something.

Making a committment is hard.  It takes dedication, consistency, will-power and goal setting.  It was not always easy, but I did it anyway.  Who would have thought that a box of discs could make such a difference for me.

I proved something to myself.  I made myself proud.  It became so much more than just fitness.

This past month, I was moving on to part two of what I started.  P90X2 was released and I decided to try it.  I felt awesome, strong, capable.

Maybe too much so because with only 9 workouts left after 12 grueling weeks, I overdid it.  I was hurt.  There was no choice but to rest and be patient.

Life changes in ways we don't always want it to.  It has been hard waiting, going slow.  But I think it is symbolic of life...what we want isn't always what we end up with.  There are bumps in the road and how you choose to go over them is what matters.

You can turn and decide to go in another direction or you can climb that bump, slow and steady. 

I decided it was high time to scrap this topic.  To put on paper what my kids have seen me conquer for a year.  I hope they learn about committment and effort and what effect it can have.

I used the April My Scrapbook Nook kit to create this!  It features Crate Paper Storyteller!

It was time to recognize this...and make myself realize that this is a way of life...

fast and furious or slow and steady...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

At Home: Fairy Party

I love planning the kid's birthday parties!  I take great joy in searching ideas for themes, shopping, and creating.  It was a ton of work...but totally worth it every time Ella would squeal and jump up and down upon seeing a new party idea come to life.

At one point, I heard her friends say to her...this is a great party. 

I went to the dollar store for many of the decorations...I lucked out as their garden items were fully stocked!  I decorated the table for a proper luncheon and made our chandelier the centerpiece!  The dessert table was completed by magic mushroom cupcakes.

Each girl arrived at the door and said the fairy pledge.  She received her wings (from Oriental Trading) and her crown (which I made from dollar store items...).  Ella then sprinkled each girl's wings with fairy dust, aka glitter.  They ran around the yard until everyone arrived.

We headed in for lunch...I made little sandwiches cut into hearts and stars.  We made fairy sticks (pretzels) and fairy moss (Pirate Booty) and fairy berries.  And, of course, tea.

For activities, each girl decorated mini birdhouses, aka fairy houses that I bought at Joann's for a buck each.  We also decorated wands that I got at Oriental Trading.  I jazzed each wand up with curly ribbon from the dollar store and extra ribbons from my stash.  We played musical toadstools...musical chairs.  The last activity was a scavenger hunt where each girl had to find a golden necklace, earrings, a feather, a gold coin and a wishing rock. The put their loot in little gauze bags I got from the dollar store.

The day resulted in this....

This happy face...which makes it all worth it!  Always!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday Trending: Making My Own Stuff

This Thursday leaves me preparing for this Saturday...Ella's birthday party.

This Thursday has me rummaging through bags of goods I bought this past Wednesday.

This Thursday leaves me prepping jobs as much as I possibly can so maybe I can scrap this Friday night.

It is all good.  Busy, full, a bit crazy.

Ella is turning six soon and we are celebrating this weekend with 9 girls from school.  I am so excited for this party.  They will be transformed into woodland fairies!  Pinterest is the best place ever so tonight I was making custom-made fairy crowns.  I could have bought them, but decided to make my own stuff from dollar store headbands, berry garland and butterflies.  Cute stuff coming your way on Sunday At Home!

Making my own stuff makes me happy, creative, energized.  Whether creating a page or planning a party, building a cute vignette with found speaks to my soul.

This Thursday I have a layout.  It belongs to me.  One pattern was designed and I decided to turn it into something else.  Isn't that the beauty of what we do?

This is the beautiful Palm Beach collection from Webster's!  Those ovals are an homage to striped umbrellas.  On the original sheet of paper, they are mixed in with pink flamingos.  They are adorable!  I wanted to use this line for these photos and had the idea to look at these as little mirrors.  Lots of them.

I layered in a doilie and a Perfect Accent Silhouette!  Love the whole cameo theme!  It has a pop, yet is considered clean and simple.

Life is what you make of it.

This Thursday and every day...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Gotta Love Good News

I have some fun things to share!  First, a new design team was named over at My Scrapbook Nook!  Four new and amazingly talented girls were added:

Erika Gasser--France
Aleksandra Gadji--Sweden
Patricia Roebuck--US
Bente Fagerberger--Sweden

And returning members are:

Leah Killian--US
Stacey Michaud--US:  tha's me, hi!
Carol Monson--US
Danni Reid--US
Jessy Christopher--Malaysia
Katarina Damm-Blomberg--Finland
Hilde Aaslund--Norway
Anna Sigga--Iceland
Marinette Lefevre--France
Lilith Eckles--Belgium
Shellye McDaniel--US
Pamella Brown--US
Gina Rodgers--Australia
Deanna Misner--US
Nicole Nowosad--Canada

I love it there...can't really say much else...great kits, great community, great leader, great team, great gig!!

In OTHER news, the May kit from My Scrapbook Nook is here!  This month's kit features Echo Park's This and That "Graceful" collection with additional ruffled trim, Maya Road canvas butterflies, button straight pins, bling/jewels from Petaloo, and some gorgeous coordinating chipboard!


and this month's grab bag:

The last few month's grab bags have all sold out, so you need to get this one while you can! This month's Grab Bag features paper from Echo Park's This and That "Charming". And remember, if you join the club in May you receive the June kit for FREE along w/a free June Grab Bag. You will also receive another free kit after 12 paid months! Two FREE kits and a grab bag when you sign up for 12 months!
Good news indeed!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday Tip: Frame It

Sometimes a design starts with one simple idea...a cute photo with random, non-grounded chipboard pieces along the side.  Because I love random, chipboard pieces.

The problem is that you are left with an empty design that is not quite grounded.  I continued to layer this page...puttting the title and the banner.  I placed the journaling and the opposite side strip...but the eye didn't find the focal point.

So I framed it with these cute metal trinkets from Teresa Collins.  It really closes in the photo and brings the eye right where it should be.

I put that metal crown on her head to add the third metal repeating elements.  Why not make it a banner day...again.

I used the new Sweet Afternnon collection from Teresa Collins to make this news...Keisha Campbell and Suzanne Sergi have joined our team...hello....talent!!  The whole team is really loving this line!  Be sure to check out daily inspiration over the at DT blog.

Hope you have a great Tuesday!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

At Home: It Felt That Way

I am sitting here, typing at home tonight.  Trying to process through so many thoughts and feelings.

While I am home tonight, I spent this weekend in the home state of my biological father...the state where two sisters still live, where a brother was raised.  I spent the weekend in the gorgeous city of Savannah.  I was bewitched by her in every way...the history, the friendly people, the beauty.  She stole my heart and made me feel at home.

Steve and I had a nice get-away together where we shared reflections on life and thoughts for the future.  He is my and always.

Feeling at home happened in many more important ways than just loving a city.  I went to Savannah to celebrate my sister Sara's wedding.  In doing that, I would be meeting my other sister and brother.  I was nervous, a bit overwhelmed.  This is normally a protective girl...I have lived a life of standing behind my wall of anger. 

It has crumbled and has been weakened over time.  It was broken down this weekend.  I don't think it could have gone better.  I got to be a part of my sister's special day.  I met so many of her friends and it is obvious how much they love her.  What a joy to see Sara embraced and cherished by her gracious family as she married the man she loves and the man who loves her.  A family who embraced me, openly, no protectiveness there...

What a joy to meet my sister, Dawn.  To witness her easy nature, her resilence and to meet her husband, Tom.  He was super sweet, caring, and outgoing...they make a great couple.  It was a joy to meet my brother, Chris, and see how smart and funny he is.  His personality reminds me of myself.  His wife, Cynthia, is feisty and full of life...we became fast friends. It is obvious we have a lot in common (wink:)

What a joy to be introduced to many of my biological father's friends.  I heard stories last night.  I realized that I was a part of his history.  It was healing to look through other's eyes.

I don't have pictures to share because I was simply in the moment.  I hope to be able to gather some from others who attended the wedding.  There are pages to be scrapped and stories to be told.

The whole weekend felt like home...natural connections. I didn't feel like an outsider, certainly didn't feel abandoned.  I feel like that part of my life came full circle.  There is nothing left to be denied, to resent, to regret.  There are only hopes for the future.  See, I am bewitched.

I am so thankful. 

Because of this weekend, I am at home within myself. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Behind the Page: String it up

Or should I say, yarn?  I am bringing you a page today using the Storyteller line from Crate is featured in the April My Scrapbook Nook kit.  There are so many cool things in this kit!  I have loved every second of it.

I had this picture of Steve and his friends for a long time.  Once I saw the map paper in the Storyteller collection, I knew I had to use it.  It was busy so I decided to simply cut a few of the images out and place them on the clean, woodgrain paper.  I created the cluster of tags along the bottom.  It was cute, but way too plain. 

So the title came...from all corners.  To me, that black brad represented the center point...our backyard this past summer.  I decided to run some thread from the corners to the brad.  Twine didn't hold enough weight so I found some yarn.

Do you know how hard it is to get the ends of yarn through a small hole.  The hole became a big hole...hence the brads.  This was the end result.

I didn't actually have the red tag or the green one in my original design.  However, after I placed the yarn, the bottom needed more weight.  So I chopped and cut and glued. 

Sometimes, a layout evolves...comes about because one decision triggers another.  I love the process!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Lovely Details

The is all about the details.  What flowers, jewels, hair pins or shoes?  I remember when I was getting married.  My dress was super simple...cream sheath, v neck, low back that had a gorgeous sash that ran along each side.  The sash gathered in the low back and cascaded down.  I had to have a brooch.  An antigue, gorgeous brooch.  I remember finding it and feeling complete.

Even as I travel this weekend to the wedding, I have carefully chosen the details.  Yes, a simple black dress for the rehearsal.  But corral accessories will make it pop.

A layout is the same.  You have the bones, the main features.  But it comes down to the details.  I kept them simple, but classic here.

The small touches speak volumes!

It helps to have a gorgeous bride, my friend Trish.   I used the Webster's Pages In Love collection! 

Super lovely!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Brandin!

I won't forget the day that the Webster's calls were going out.  I wanted an email so badly.  I think I hit refresh one million times...that sinking feeling hit every time there were no new messages. 

Then...on the next was there.  The invite from Brandin.  And it was so warm and personal.  I think I yelled out loutd.  It started me on a different kind of journey.

I looked back at my gallery recently and it has shifted.  Once Clean and Simple came along, it all sorta fell into place.  It was a great match before, but suddenly it was perfect.  I found my true style.  I have shared with Brandin the influence she and Webster's has had.  What a gift it has been to work with Anabelle, Courtney and the other girls.  My scrappy crushes are all on that team.  It has come full circle.

More importantly, I am so lucky to know Brandin and experience how big her heart is.  She gets it right, on every level.  So happy birthday a big cupcake and get your nails done!  Know how many people adore you!!

And a layout inspired by the AMAZING Nic Howard...she is our April guest designer!  How fun to lift such talented ladies!

I took inspiration from all of Nic's layering!  Being more Clean and Simple, I left plenty of white space.  The banner and cluster came to me from viewing her layouts!  Go see what Nic created for her guest designing gig

I used Game On for this layout including the journaling cards, Perfect Accents, Fabric Tickets and Dazzle Me Gems.  I love this line....

I will have one more wedding layout to share with you this week...Webster's style.
See...Webster's is perfect!
Happy birthday sweet Brandin!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wedding Week: Let Them Eat Cake

I have a new wedding layout to share with you today!  This one is all about the cake!  I love to capture all the little details about the special day.  I did the same with my own wedding album...although it was circa 1980's style in its design.

So, it is fun being able to scrap wedding again, even though they aren't my photos. 

I am getting ready to head out to the wedding and I am stressing over my dress.  I had an alteration mishap and can't get to the shop until Tuesday.  It is not the end of the world, but I am freaking.  I have the need to control what I can actually control in this situation.  In this case, it is not about the dress...although, I might need a back-up dress.

Let's move on to this happy event and moment...the point of the night where the bride and groom cut the cake!  I used the Swoon collection from Little Yellow Bicycle to create this one.  I had fun guest designing for them and feel honored to have been asked.

I jazzed up the already gorgeous cake sticker by adding the heart tops...I liked how it mirrored Trish and Chris's cake.

Off to try to not stress...I am going to a place where it is 80 degrees and full of great happiness.  That is what matters.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Favorite: Using Trim

Let's just make a week of wedding related posts!  I have a few layouts I made for CHA that I haven't shared! They feature the new In Love collection by Webster's.  Combine that with the fact that I have been using trim a little bit more frequently and you have a match made in heaven.

It might have something to do with Webster's Pages...they really make the BEST trim and ribbons in the industry.  I often just like to stare and touch, but am afraid to cut.

But lately, that little touch of fabric and texture finish off a project.  I really make the trim on this project into an integral part of the design. It took a clean and simple design to something a little bit more special.

I love how stunning this photo is...clean, simple, moving.  I wanted te layout to be the same way.  I fell in love with the heart trim and just had to drape it, banner style.  I topped off the edges with some Dazzle Me Gems.  I really like how soft and feminine this trim is!  Perfectly romantic!

I like how the trim compliments the hard edges of the Perfect Accent Silhouette.  I used the In Love collection by Webster's to make this one!  I will have two more wedding projects to share over the next few days. 

Since it is trending for me, don't be surprised if they have a little trim!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Be My Guest: Wedding Wednesday!!

Since I was talking about weddings, I thought I would follow up with a different project featuring a wedding collection.  This one is from Little Yellow Bicycle and it is called Swoon.  It is primarily white and cream with hints of gray.  I decided to put the embellishments to good use and make a elegant gift that should make any bride happy. 

This project appeared on the LYB blog last week!  It is a pretty altered notebook.  I bought a set of notebooks in the Target aisle for one dollar.  I knew they would be easy to alter and would be awesome for making lists.

Along with the notebook, I made three inserts.  I figured the bride could take them out and use them for special lists or lists that she needs easy access to!

I love dimension, but kept these relatively flat so the notebook could be carried in the bride's purse.  I am a note-keeper so lovely journals make me happy!

Speaking of journals, don't forget to check out Webster's Pages Blueprints.  Along with the journal, there will be prompts to help you document your life.  Be sure to check it out!!


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