Friday, August 31, 2012

Technique Friday: Amp Up Your Stickers

When it comes to scrappy supplies, I love stickers.  They are so versatile.  You can stick them directly to a page or even a photo.  Many times, I stick my stickers to a piece of cardstock and then use pop dots to elevate them on a page.

There is a trick to using stickers. Like many others, I tend to cut my stickers out from the packaging so as not to remove the backing.  This allows me to move the stickers around my page before committing.  I like to be sure before just jumping into things.

For a recent layout, I made the stickers a part of my design.  Yep, they became my journaling. 

I used each of the sayings as a part of a sentence.  It was fun to plan this one out...I just started with one sticker and came up with the words to lead to the next.

To give the last sticker some pop, I used my foam squares!  I also topped it off with the white Perfect Accent.  This is the Once Upon a Halloween collection by Webster's Pages!  Love this collection.  I hand cut the orange artisan shapes from a sheet of paper to add some variety.

Before I go, I want to let you know about a new product from Webster' is called the Sprinkles Craftbox.  Each month we will feature a new box filled with some special treats! 
It is only $10.00...OMG!  It goes on sale Monday at midnight...these won't last long so be sure to get yours! 
I created a project using this'll get to see it next week...the product really inspired me!  To win October's Sprinkles Craftbox, head to the Webster's blog and follow the directions.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Behind the Page: Write on the Lines

Many scrappers are afraid of journaling...they don't like their handwriting or don't consider themselves strong writers.  Honestly, it doesn't have to be about those things.  It can be just about the stories that need to be told.  Expressing yourself in words along with glue and photos can be powerful.

One barrier involves journaling placement.  I am an avid journaler on my layouts, but I sometimes struggle with the placement.  Then...there are times when the lines are simply there, begging to be written on.

Take this collection by Amy Tan.  The is a perfect place to tell a story.

I love those boy/girl signs and knew they needed to be featured.  I went with a horizontal line and added the scrolled mirror and saying.  Since the design was so simple, I didn't know where to put the journaling. 
The journaling was key needed to be there.  This layout is about where Steve and I might retire someday.  It is a conversation we have had a couple of times lately. 
Those zig zags called out to me so I went with it.  It might look a bit messy, but I like it anyway.
I encourage my kiddos to sometimes color outside the lines.  Other times, staying within them works too. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday Trending: Can I Do That?

It is usually Thursday know...the T's at the beginning.  But I wanted to share a layout using a trend, is Saturday.

The trend...hexagons.  These buggers are still hot.  I get excited when they come pre-cut in the form of stickers...makes designing easy.

I used them on a recent layout.  Amy Heller, Garden Girl, shared this up at the Two Peas in a Bucket blog...go check it out as well as some other awesome work!

Here is my layout:

I grouped a bunch of hexagons from this sheet of stickers by Teresa Collins.  I placed several on cardstock and then used pop-dots underneath to give it all some dimension. 
They are just so yummy...I like to admire them.  I used products from Tell Your Story...including chipboard butterflies and flashcards.  This is one pretty collection.
A fantastic trend on a very happy Saturday.  It works.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Farewell: I will miss it

So the news hit a few weeks ago that My Scrapbook Nook was closing its doors.  This special place has been my home for the past four years.  I served 8 consecutive design team terms there.  That is after Leah gave this newbie a chance back in 2008.

I remember trying for so long to make a kit club team.  It was heartbreaking to get rejected over and over again.  I found the Nook and was so welcomed by everyone.  I decided to try again.  There was so much competition. 

I remember a funny story...I was on the boards reading about how emails for the short list were being sent.  I waited.  Checked.  Checked again.  I did not get one.  Totally bummed does not describe it.  But then...I saw my name on the short list up on the boards.  Oops...that was the first heart attack Leah gave me! 

The next one would involve a happy invitation to join the team.  She saw talent in me, embraced my work, encouraged me and spoke kind words.  She gave me a chance in an industry that seemed to have closed doors.  So many opportunities have come since and I owe much of my success to my time at the Nook.

The community has been amazing.  In an industry that can be full of drama, we took a different route.  We built each other up and supported each other.  It is like having your own cheerleading squad, rooting for you even when you don't believe in yourself.  I will miss the dear friends I have made.  I know we will stay in touch in other places...but it stills feel weird.  It is like moving to a new town. Some of my favorite moments involve welcoming the new girls on to the design team be a part of that excitement and then to build relationships...great feeling. 

The Nook will be open until the end of September and Pam (who has been so generous and wonderful to work for) has a great kit planned.  I have designed with the beautiful August kit featuring Carta last kit.  Here is my tribute to the Nook.

I view my time at the Nook a true blessing.  It was a place that helped me through rough times, celebrated each joy and pushed me to achieve my goals.  I will miss it more that words can say.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tuesday's Tip: Layer it Up

Today...I celebrate the summer.  The family vacations, the pool, the backyard parties, the afternoon naps, the sleeping in late, the time with has been a good one.

Bittersweet now that it is coming to a close.  But I think it is time.  The kids are bickering and we need a routine.  I am hoping for a less stressful goal is to make that happen.

But, today...I share a summer page.

I love these shots...Instagram rocks!  This is our pool and our happy kids jumping into said pool.  That is pure joy!  I swear they jump off the side about 45-50 times each day.  Jump in, swim to ladder, climb out, jump in again.  Over and over...
I used a lot of layering on this layout.  Easy to do with Bella products.  There are so many stickers and chipboard pieces.  If you look at the top of the layout, I actually used the chipboard yellow border to trace the same scallop on the yellow paper underneath.  It adds that texture I love.  You can see above that I used a black and white frame and then put another chipboard word on top. 
I layered to create my title too.  The Happiness tag was cut from a sheet of paper.  I then put the Joy chipboard at the top and added the sticker &.  To give it even more layering and draw the eye, I put the flag in.  It is so fun to create titles using different stickers, chipboard or other materials, all mixed up for interest.

In some ways, as summer ends...layering it up will take on new meaning.  Leggings, sweaters and boots.  Warm blankets, the fireplace and a good book. There is much to look forward to...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday's Musings: On the Mend

Turning forty a couple of years ago forced me to look closely at my fitness and health habits.  I decided to stop complaining and begin doing.  I went on quite a journey with fitness and changesd many habits.  As of March, I felt strong, I was in the best shape of my life.

April hit and with only five more P90X2 workouts left, my body shut down.  It had enough.  I didn't really listen and tried to continue working out.  Not enough rest, bad posture and a stressful end of the school year caused a perfect storm.

I had to stop working out.  As in, even walking caused pain.  I listened and went to the doctor, chiropractor and finally, PT.

After time and hard work, I would say that I am on the mend.  Some days, up at 99%.  Other days, pain is still present.  I can see the end of it though.  I am visualizing being strong again.  I have learned that I can simply maintain now.  Fitness can occur without pushing like I am a world class athlete.

It has been a long summer, especially in the beginning when I was in constant pain.  It effects mood.  I couldn't get any projects done.  Through it, Steve has been understanding. Hour and a half long therapy sessions twice a week and he has supported me. 

I want to get back to being the old me again, fit, happy, strong.  I just plan to get there with a bit more moderation now.  I want to be the best me, pain free.  He will help me get there.

I used the Park Drive collection from Webster's Pages to create this layout.  Super pretty stuff!

I believe in the power of positive the power of love...I have visualized the future.

New, happy heights it will be.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Finally Friday: My Little Hams

I love sitting back and watching my kids love their family.  Nathan can't get enough of his cousin and best friend, Christian.  Ella has discovered how to use the phone and has called Nana 8 times in the past two days (with our permission, of course).

They are so loved and really love everyone.  It makes me happy because family is what life is all about.  They are there to support and to set straight.

My sister-in-law is making fun of me a bit lately.  We had a night out this month and I got blurry and sentimental.  I talked about how well she knows me.  It is true.  I will say it with a clear head.  She gets me.  Sees right through me.  She loves me in spite of it all...LOL.  There is real power when someone accepts you totally.  When someone can call you out, but do it with so much concern.

That is family.

I know these guys will have the same experience.  They will be honored and loved and guided.

How could you not love those little faces.  Both of them know how to play it up and get that family loving.  I used the Tell Your Story line by Teresa Collins for this layout.  Seriously, I love the colors in this line...very fresh and different.

I made these tickets the star of the page by dressing them up with embellies or journaling. 

They are my little hams and I adore them.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Welcome: Webster's Pages Blog Hop

Hi everyone!  So happy to see you here!  As you can see from the banner above, we are celebrating the new Webster's releases!  They begin shipping today and we can't wait to see what you create with all the new goodies!

I am in love with Webster's because they help me to tell my stories.  I scrapbook for many reasons, but the biggest one is so I can document my family history.  Journaling is key as I want to record milestones as well as small moments.  I don't have many photos from when I was growing up.  I wish I did so I go out of my way to capture my life and the lives of my family members.  Scrapbooking allows me to do this in a creative and beautiful way.

So, today we celebrate the art of scrapbooking and the new releases!  I have the pleasure of sharing the new Story Markers.  These little beauties add so much to any page.  Here is a project using one of the Once Upon a Halloween Story Markers.

I hung one along the right side of my layout.  To highlight the charm at the bottom, I punched a circle in my striped paper.  I think it makes the charm pop!  I also hung a smaller butterfly charm along the top.

I used the Once Upon a Halloween papers to make this layout...yep, these are Halloween papers.  But, they are not just for Halloween!  I handcut the trellis triangles and added lots of trim to give the somewhat monochromatic layout some texture.

It is all so lovely, isn't it?  So are you ready to win some prizes?  All you have to do is leave a comment on all the participating design team members' blog to be eligible.  Winners will be randomly chosen from several of the blogs. 

Start by leaving a comment here and then hop on to Gerry Van Gent's blog.  If you stumbled here by chance, go back to the beginning over at Courtney Walsh's blog

Have fun will see some beautiful things along the way!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

At Home: Family Vacation

When I use the term "family vacation", I mean it in so many different senses.  Our family of four decided on Washington, DC per Nathan's request.  He has a thing for the presidents and history.  A big thing.  So he asked, and we quickly agreed.  We planned the itinerary together.  I asked them to tell me their top five places.  There we went.

It was amazing to see this:

It was amazing to see this:

His face and reactions were simply priceless.  I stopped many times and just watched him.  It made me stay right in that moment and appreciate how thrilled he was. 

How great it was to be at a place where we are all mobile and can take in life as a unit.

Our family vacation was also about a different family...a family of soon-to-be-four.  My brother and sister-in-law invited us to stay with them for a few days.  Cousins met cousins.  Forty-two years old and there is still healing to be found in my life.  I never thought it possible...but after thirty plus years, I have connected with my sibliings from my biological father. 

We told stories and shared history.  I have really enjoyed putting different pieces of my life puzzle together.  I have to say that nothing really scares me at this point.  It all just makes me rethink the power of forgiveness and the power of being open.

We got to meet spunky and sweet Riley.  Ella and Riley became fast friends.  Or Frusions (friends + cousins) as my kids call it.

Funny, because Cynthia and I have had the same experience.  For the record, we are both Big Brother fans...and Bachelor Pad watchers as well.

I got to see Chris in action.  We are alot alike, which is cool to see.  He cooks a mean meal and is a devoted dad. I loved watching my kids and him interact. I am lucky to have had this time and hope there are more times in the future...and more siblings involved.

Our family vacation...this is what is looked like.

What it felt amazing journey was worth every second. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Nothing Like Home

We had an amazing week...

Hanging out with my brother Chris, his wife, Cynthia and my niece, Riley was so much fun.  Easy, good connections...many things in common.  He cooked us a fabulous meal and we just all hit it off.

Washington, DC was fabulous.  I loved the amount of learning that took place.  Culture everywhere, facts and nonfiction abound.  It was funny how much we relied on Nathan, our 7 year old, to give us direction.  He could name the different buildings when we couldn't figure out the map.  We walked for miles and shared a great experience together.

But it is good to be home.  To wake up in your own bed and have that cup of coffee.  Even to mow the lawn or do laundry.  Our home is our haven.

I did this layout recently for a challenge by Courtney Walsh.  I just finished her second book, A Sweethaven Homecoming, and it was awesome.  There were many themes involving "home".

I had this photo of our green chair via Instagram.  I kept wanting to scrap tell the story of its importance.  This challenge by Courtney was perfect!  Here is why this chair means so much:

Can you tell that I love these Bingo cards in Teresa's new Vintage Finds line.  This collection is so amazing!  I can't stop using it!  I am digging 8.5 X 11 lately!

Home involves the things that are found on the inside, but it is more about a feeling.  It is about the stories that the walls and hallways have to share. 

We are so happy to be home.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Behind the Project: Altered Tart Tin

So, I have a secret to tell.  When asked which assignments I would like to have for Webster's this month, I inadvertently chose an off the page tutorial.  I meant to pick a layout assignment.  It is what I am used to...what I trust.

But, I had to live up to my sign up erro and go for something off the page.  I quickly remembered these adorable tart tins I had been hoarding.  I meant to alter them at some point so why not now?

I decided to make a vintage ornament.  Something I could hang from Ella's mirror or the knobs of my jelly cabinet.  Something that would look vintage and pretty.

Using Webster's pages products makes home decor projects easy to make.  There are so many gorgeous options to include in any project.  This is it:

The tart tin is at the top of the ornament.  I kept it simple with a piece of trim and a Perfect Accent. 

I made the orb and strung the new gorgeous charms from Webster's.  It came together easily and is just what I wanted it to be. 

To learn how to make one of your own, head over to the Webster's blog for a step by step tutorial.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday's Musings: Happy Life

So happy right is about big and small moments. 

Watching Nathan's eyes widen when he saw the Jefferson Memorial.  He read the walls and just took it all in.  I sat back and watched him as he absorbed it all.  He is a learner.  He is a dreamer.  He wants to be the President one day.  I love that he has big dreams, where ever they take him.

Watching my children play with their cousin, Riley, who they just met.  Riley runs around calling out Ella's name and it is the cutest thing. Ella is so helpful with Riley, which warms my heart.

Cooking dinner with my brother and hanging out in the kitchen with both of our families.  Because in his words, "that is what families do."  I am so lucky to have delved into this part of my life.  I really feel blessed and thank Sara for opening the doors.

Life is about talking and realizing how much you have in common.  Having people open their doors and hearts to us as we do the same. 

It makes me happy.

A recent card that fits the situation...

 It makes me realize how life really can change if you change in big and small ways.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Summer Favorites

So many things I love about the summer....sleeping in late, morning coffee in my favorite chair, having time to complete projects, sitting by the pool, catching up with friends, no stress from work.

Summer is a time where Steve and I are both with our kids...24/7.  It works for us to both be home all summer.  I miss it so much when the school year starts and all the demands pile up.

So, I will hang onto summer for as long as I can.  No going to Target to back to school shop yet.  I won't go into the floral section at Michael's where all the fall decor is out and on sale.

I will enjoy those morning cups and will take a small nap each day.  Before we know it, this will be here...

Autumn, pumpkins, jackets, beautiful hues...

This is one of the layouts I made for the Lily Bee booth at CHA.  I love this Autumn Spice collection!  I fell head over heels for the honeycomb paper and had to cut it!

See the new stickers and all the beautiful patterns?

A cluster using stickers and a stamped sentiment.  Yummy....

Although I think I will focus on sunny summer days just a little bit longer...


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