Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happy Thoughts - so many happy thoughts

Happy Thought 1: In the words of my friend, Joy, I'm "crazy and a mess." I know this to be true. For the past two weeks in my spare time I'm not only doing my normal scrappy challenges, but I've also started working on some card kits. She and I are hosting a little card party for Operation Write Home right after the first of the year. 

I'm so stinkin' excited!

Happy Thought 2: I'm also excited because I'd seen a version of this card on Pinterest the other day (and go figure, I didn't pin it so I can't link back) but I liked it and wanted to make one like it so I could use my favorite Black Friday purchase - Big Kick!!! Eek!

Happy Thought 3: It gets better. The post from Use It Tuesday this week (#44) was to use a previously uninked stamp with your hoarded product. So I proceeded to make this super cute card using my new toy, a stamp and some twine that I won several months ago, a MME pre-folded card I bought over a year ago, and lots of scraps. I also got a start on cutting out the duplicates for the kits. 

Happy Thought 4: With the completion of this batch of cards, I'll have 50 cards for our party. All of it on hoarded bases with lots of older papers. Woot Woot! 

Rabbit Trail 1: Hopefully lots of friends can play, otherwise I'm gonna get really bored putting these babies together. 5 nearly identical projects is about my max. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I don't know what inspired my choice to use a photo of myself, but I did it. It was probably a lack of printed ones of the kiddos that I felt were scrap-worthy. Anyway, for the Let's Get Sketchy Week 4 challenge I use photos that I think were from my parents bringing me home from the hospital. I'll check on that before I journal it.

I'd been seriously inspired by Stephanie U.'s interpretation which used a slew of buttons as part of a shape element in the background. I have tons and tons of buttons - and I never seem to use them.

And once I saw the pictures I knew that the title had to incorporate "jeans" in some way so I could use my gorgeous Authentique Original (and then enter the page into their Inspiration Color Challenge).

Authentique products used:
Original Organized,

Other products:
AC Thickers,
stash buttons,
Ranger Distress Inks,

Kiwi Lane Templates (Aspen Court mini 2A/2B, Tags 3, Nature 3T/5T),
sewing machine

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

MWM Coral 9 - Trucks Up Close

I don't often push these things to their deadline, but with Thanksgiving this week I sure squeaked under the wire to finish up my Coral 9 on time. I loved the sketch when it was posted - especially when I saw the initial interpretation. The papers just screamed at me to buy them. I resisted, partly because I was to busy! So here I am, blogging after the deadline so that I can find the link easily because at the end of the series there's always a little drawing for those who completed all ten. Sweet. I've never won it, but the prizes are normally

Favorite thing about this layout?! That I  used up a lot of  bigger scrappy leftovers from various collections. Don't get me wrong, I still have scraps from these scraps...the scraps seem to be neverending!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Advent Calendar done, ready for Christmas!

Last spring I purchased one of the Limited Edition Silhouette Advent Calendars (actually two of them, one is used to hold my washi, glitter, button spice jars, and other odds and ends). I'd seen a lot of crafty inspiration and loved that they were fillable with whatever my little heart desires! 

It's been fun cutting it out and decorating all the little boxes. Now I just need a trip to the grocery store so I can find tasty treats. I'm guessing I can get a couple years worth of use out of those boxes, so the goal is to find non-candy options for next year.

I used MME Dear Santa and American Crafts Thickers and Flower Shoppe flowers.

May this be the start of a fun holiday tradition!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Love those guys

I have a love/hate relationship with grids. I LOVE how they look when others do them. I HATE making my own, they never turn out "right." Read as "I can't keep the lines straight without going crazy with measuring so I give up."

So this week's Let's Get Sketchy's dominant element, in my opinion, was the grid background with a banner under the picture. I tried to keep with that and just make it look a little extra homemade to mask some of my less than perfect-ness. 

You can see threads dangling where I just stopped sewing, or where the thread tension was off and I lost stitches. Nothing is centered or straight, though the columns are fairly close. Close enough to call them columns. 

I think I might have to start an album and call it "Grandparents," and store all those pics in it because that's where this one belongs! And I have more of the other grandparents to scrap soon - and that doesn't include all the holiday events that loom in the near future.

Better go charge the camera!

How do you album your pages? So far I've got a book for each of the boys' years of life, plus one for things about me. I'm thinking to pull the Christmas pages from older books and start Christmas books for the family in general. Plus this Grandparents book. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Kiwi Lane November Doodles

I've never done the Kiwi Lane challenges before. I have to say that the November Doodles were fun to play around with!

There were two page sketches (a single and a double) and a card sketch. 

My single page interpretation. Never one to leave a sketch alone, I flipped it so I could use vertical pics. My templates here are Tag 4, Nature 1T, Madison Avenue mini 3A/3B and Bracket 3.  I used My Mind's Eye Indie Chic Nutmeg and American Crafts Amy Tangerine Thickers.

For the two-pager (side-note, my roots in journalism would call this a Double Page Spread or DPS, so if you ever "hear" me call them that, that's why) I used Scallops mini 1B, Madison Avenue mini 3A, and Bracket 2. And that dear Nutmeg was still out so I plunged right into it for this spread too. And check out the cork board Thickers?! In person, they give such a naturalistic texture to the page. Cool.

For the card I used a couple pieces of scrap paper, including some MME Dear Santa. My favorite part is my attempt at altering one of the Holiday templates from a poinsettia (7T)  to a small star, eh my downsizing ability left a bit to be desired, BUT the tinsel with glossy accents over it is way fun! I also used the Holiday 8T for the tree. The rub-on is from Pebbles.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Winter Paper Girls

I have knowingly skipped most of November, in favor of my favorite time of year. And I know that thankfulness is important, but as I like to tell the hubs, "I can be more thankful for my turkey with carols playing and a pretty tree than I can with a cornucopia and drab brown." It's all in perspective, I guess.

Well, this week the Paper Girls happen to agree with me. The challenge (#20) is to make something Christmas or winter themed.

I made some more Christmas thank you cards for my mom to use.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

More Christmasy thanks

My mom asked me to make some Christmas themed thank-yous for her. Their jobs lend themselves to a lot of "teacher" gifts so she wants something appropriate and nice to send back.

These cards are based on one my friend Michelle posted to Facebook/Paper Girls Challenge Blog the other day. Her post said it was an old Two Peas sketch, I didn't go looking for the original but knew that reproducing her card would be a good way to make some of the cards needed for my mom. I had been racking my brain for an idea that used a lot of strips of patterned paper - her post was perfectly timed! Thanks friend!

Needing a little sunshine today?

A couple of weeks ago the dynamic duo over at Contagiously Crafty awarded me the Sunshine Blogger Award.  I was, of course, gushed that they thought of me!

Now, what you need to understand is that the Sunshine Blogger Award is a chain-letter type award that is spreading across the blogosphere. Type it into your search engine and you'll find a lot of blog posts about receiving it! And a lot of different methods of responding to it too.

I hate chain letters. I never did the snail mail kind. Or the email kind. And I didn't really want to add it to my blog. So what to do? Those girls are my most frequent source of encouragement around here and I wanted to acknowledge it in some way.

So here it is ladies. A heartfelt thank you for thinking of me. For thinking of me. For commenting on my craftiness. For being an encouragement.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Building Words

I spend much of my day considering words. Not because I'm a blogger. Nope, because I'm a mom of an almost preschooler who has discovered spelling. We spell all day. I felt that that needed to be captured somehow so when Paper Secrets' newest sketch went up I knew it would be a good time to use the picture of our refrigerator. 

Clearly the most dominant element in the sketch was the starburst. Ohhh, how I hated trying to piece that together!!! But I think it turned out pretty good. Around the top of the page I did a little journaling border - those are all words he's made us spell most frequently. Frequency determined by number of responses to a text sent to family and friends asking them to tell me what they have to help Vance spell! These are clearly the impacting words in his life right now.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

MME gratitude challenge

It's been a while since I played along with My Mind's Eye's blog challenges. Mostly because I didn't have the right stuff for the last couple. But the second challenge for November is to create something showing gratitude. I wrote a little message on this layout, thanking my guys for their genuine passion for life and joy of everyday moments.

All of the papers and embellishments are from Follow Your Heart. When it showed up on again recently, well I just couldn't help myself! I had to get more ! I adore this kit and it was an awesome price. 

Friday, November 16, 2012


I love that my scrap challenge repertoire is expanding - more to keep me busy, busy, busy! I found out this week about Use it Tuesday. Their premise is to encourage you to use up your stash by using hoarded items, and for obvious reasons they don't give away prizes! Prizes or not, giving me some sort of direction is tremendously helpful. That's part of why I've loved using sketches for a little over a year. Now I have someone telling me to use up the forgotten stuff creatively. Sweet.

This week is all about thankfulness, and you can use anything hoarded. That I can do! I may have only been scrapping for three years but there's some kit leftovers hanging around the room.

The oldest thing on the page are the chipboard letters. They vary in ages but have all been in my stash for plus or minus two years. Check out the BasicGrey Oliver letters, those are the oldest and among the last of their kit. (It was a very sad day for me when I used up all the papers and stickers from it!) The paper is a hold-over too. I bought that Imaginesce kit while pregnant with Rylan - and it was sitting in my stash at the point I planned his first birthday party and was the inspiration for the party decor.
So what's not old here? The letter "C," I got it at a crop a couple of weeks ago. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I was super bummed last week, my favorite challenge was cancelled for a week! Eek! I really did miss the MWM and am super glad that it made a reappearance this week with guest sketcher Venetia Holbrook. 

She was given Authentique's Carefree to work with, and while I don't have that particular kit I did decide to use her sketch with the same company, different line. I mean, you have to chose paper somehow, right?! 

I went a-googling for something about pretend play, hoping for something awesome about it teaching you about yourself and found this quote and loved it! It sort of sums me up so I had to include it on the page. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

You are my sunshine

I often talk about the connection that my sons have with my father. In reality, they love both sets of grandparents, I just happen to photograph them playing with my dad more frequently. Part of that is that my mom loathes, hates, is passionately against being photographed. 

I happened to catch her hugging Vance one day and snuck a pic. She has seen it and of course hates it, but she's part of his story too so I wanted to document it. Hopefully she thinks the page is cute at least. 

I used the November week 2 sketch from Let's Get Sketchy for this page. I also got inspiration from last week's Practical Scrappers about using embossing powders - Charity had "inked" with it and I thought it gave a nice touch to this layout. 

Speaking of my mom, I was at her house over the weekend and "stole" back my Kiwi Lane Design templates. I've kind of missed them. See how cute they can be?! Especially when paired with Amy Tangerine Sketchbook!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Authentique November Sketch Challenge

Nothing beats wandering over to a vendor at a crop, buying paper, and then logging into Facebook and seeing that the manufacturer you'd just picked up had posted a new challenge. YES! An excuse to use my new paper immediately. 

Here's what I did for the November Sketch Challenge at Authentique.

Authentique products:
Original Compound
Original Details
Original Secure
Original Independent
Original Elements

Other products:
Ranger Distress inks, broken china and walnut stain
American Crafts flower and rub on letters
Silhouette Cameo, oval and sketched on doily
MME Indie Chic designer tapes
Teresa Collins Celebrate Stamp, Martha Stewart gold ink

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thank you card

Thank you's are in order - it is November after all! This is the second thank you challenge I'm participating in. This time it is for the Paper Girls Challenge Blog. I must already have Christmas on the brain because here's a Christmas themed thank you. Guess there'll be plenty to be thankful for in a month, it'll just chill in my stash until the colors are a bit more appropriate.

Lots of Authentique paper love here. And I got the inspiration for the line of brads from something a friend posted on's FB page - thanks Sheryl Kloke!!! And the faux pleating was another Scrapbooksteals MWM lift, Judy Koets had them on her last page and I loved it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Crop cards

The weekend after Halloween I happened to discover there was a local crop going on. And yay! the hubs said I could go. I spent quite a bit of time working on some cards, these among them. Hopefully I can get back to making cards more frequently so I can ship a box to Operation Write Home before the end of the year. These will pad my personal stash up a bit. Even better, all the papers were from my scrap stash!

So you keep a card stash or do you just make them as needed?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Camera at the ready

With our close-ish proximity to the zoo we have taken the boys several times. It has been awesome to see them take in everything new and afresh each time, always discovering new aspects. My favorite trip is nearly always our most recent one, and this holds true yet again. 

New this time was the perspective we gave Vance. Armed with an old point and shoot (with an already scratched lens) he walked around the zoo grounds looking at the display and pausing frequently to take pics. None of them are really in focus or zoomed correctly on the animals, but he loved it!

I used the November week 1 Let's Get Sketchy sketch for this one and was so proud of myself for using a bunch of my washi.

Partay time

While in Utah for the Scrapbooksteals Retreat I had the honor of sitting with Kerys for two days and watching her scrap and while I'd followed her blog for a while I hadn't realized that she has her own challenge! I am hooked. A couple of her friends are part of it too and you can combine elements of all four blog challenges into one for bonus entries. This is the page I did for the November challenge.

So here we are:
I used Kerys' colors, the provided sketch, a pocket (I ended up journaling around the edge of the page so the pocket has extra photos behind each playing card), chevron (formed from two layers of washi under the library pocket and photo), a metal element, and a shape outline created from embellishments.

Friday, November 9, 2012

MCM 108

These cards are nearly identical, but I like their differences. Such different statements. 

I made them based on the MCM #108

The paper is Fancy Pants Designs. I used my WRMKSew Easy to help line up the banners for stitching. The stamp is from Teresa Collins. The brads were from a goodie bag at a crop I went to recently. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger and Rocket Age

This is the first time I've played along with Paper Secrets' sketch challenge. I couldn't help myself after meeting Kerys

A bonus element to their sketch - I used October Afternoon paper for the first time! Rocket Age was a perfect match for these photos of Vance and his Buzz wings. A big thanks  and virtual hug to my friend, Staci, for hooking me up with this paper. 

The black paper is a liner page from a scrapbook album with silver pen dotted into a starry sky, the banner pieces are 3 Bugs Blast Off!, and the Rocket Age papers are from an 8x8 pad, the large alphas are American Crafts Thickers and the smaller ones are October Afternoon.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

October Color Inspiration Challenge - Authentique

This month's Authentique Color Challenge palette was ivory, mountain pine and blackhearth. Thankfully, I've been building my stash over the last month because I was down to just some Blissful and Gathering.

I used several pieces from Festive and a little bit of Glowing for my card. 

Authentique Products:
Festive Elements, Jolly, and Yuletide
Glowing Diffused

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

G45 November Challenge - Thank you card

I've been following the Graphic 45 challenges and Facebook page for some time, but either forgot to complete it or didn't have the specific papers required. Thankfully, this month's challenge was to make a thank you card. Did you catch that? Thankfully. Sorry. 

Anyway, I happen to have lots of papers that work well for thank you cards. All of it! So I sat down with the first G45 kit I ever bought and started fussy cutting Botanicabella. I love the colors in this collection! They remind me of my childhood, these colors are all over my mom's house, very comforting. 

A little inking, a little distressing and a bunch of layers and I was very happy. 

I made this one too using the scraps from the other card. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Buds and bros

Normally, I just do pages about one or the other boy, or at least where one was very much the dominant kiddo. That's my attempt to make sure they realize they were equally important to me (let's just say a lot of my childhood pictures have me in them but aren't necessarily a picture of anyone in particular).

But every time I looked at this picture I was struck at how into each other my boys were/are. Truly enjoying each other's company and liking each other. So I wrote them a little note talking about how much they loved each other and how a lot of times the "fighting" was because they were trying to enjoy the same things. Maybe when they grow up they'll look back at this moment and see that for themselves.

For this page I used some American Crafts Thickers and the last of my Fancy Pants Rough and Tough. I'm kind of sad to see that one go!

Maybe now that I'm back into a crafting groove I'll be able to start adding to my card collection and doing some challenges again. Anyone have a favorite challenge that I should try?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

oh boy! did I get a lot done

Every so often I sit down to craft and a page takes ten years. Most of the time I get one done during a 2-hour nap. On the day I made this page I did four during naptime! Granted naptime was a 3.5 hour affair that day, but it felt good to get a lot done. 

I used Fancy Pants Rough & Tough and a bunch of Helmar Zapdots to pop up some of the fussy cut stars. I also used one of my journaling pens to trace the background paper and help add depth and color.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Boys will be boys

Rylan is non-stop action. I know that boys "are" but this kid is far more so than his older brother! When we just can't take it anymore we go to an indoor climbing gym thing and let the wild things free to climb, slide, and climb some more. This was the first time he was big enough to leave the toddler area and hoist himself through with the big kids (notice that the biggest kid in the world, his dad, is behind him). 
Fancy Pants Rough & Tough used here. I really like the layers that the 12x12 transparency created but taking a picture of it was a bit Rough & Tough. Sorry, couldn't help it.

Friday, November 2, 2012

MWM - Coral 7

This week's MWM, Coral 7, was provided by a Steals team member, Karina. And what a fun sketch it was! She used Authentique Enchanted and Glowing and I just have to say I was a little crushed to get home from work and find it sold out!  BUT at least I got to play around with the sketch right away because the little guy pictured below went down for a nap right away. Silver lining. 

The background paper is WRMK, but I forgot which line (it's a school themed one!) I  used a bit more of my Glitz Happy Travels for this page about Rylan's first zoo train ride. The flowers are Imaginesce, brads are Girls Paperie, and some American Crafts Thickers. And how about my faux Kiwi Lane borders?! 

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