Thursday, May 28, 2009

Looky Here! Basic Grey Lime Rickey!

Yes, it has been a while since I have shared on my blog. My apologies! I have been pretty diligent in focusing on uploading photos for development. I realize that our hard drive could, and probably will, crash anytime now. I DO NOT have time to back everything up on CDs - it would take a large spool and then some! Instead, I am going back through the 2008 photos and uploading those with the greatest meaning and those begging to be scrapped, to

I love Scrapbook Pictures for their excellent quality, customer service that surpasses all I have encountered, AND for the fact that they offer metallic as well as matte print finshes. I am having some floral, fauna and landscape pictures printed for framing - and the macro shots are magnificent with a metallic photo paper. Plus, through end of the month they are having a volume discount sale. It looks like I will be having about 300-400 photos printed - so my percentage off should be pretty decent!

For the creative visitors I want to share the layout I decided to enter in ACOT's May recipe contest. When I first spotted Lime Rickey by Basic Grey, I knew it would be perfect for so many things - whether it was scrapping our pet parrots, or our passion for birdwatching. When I spotted the Magistical Memories chipboard border in my stash - I thought of binoculars! To bring the idea about I painted the chipboard 2 colors, and punched circles from Lime Rickey for the accent circles. I also used my Fiskars squeeze punch to punch out the same blue bird image from the patterned paper to place in the "lens" of the chip binocs. The third circle in the border highlights a not so large image of an indigo bunting on a distant tree. It was the best I could get for a photograph with my camera at the time - the chipboard framing really helps it stand out. The border turned out to be a fun element for this layout!

Two ingredients in the recipe were to include stitching and at least 3 hearts. I accomplished that by covering a Magistical Memories bird shape with Patterned Paper, and used my folk heart punch to layer the shapes and create a wing on the bird. Orange cardstock from Basic Grey's old Gypsy collection helps to set the bird off the page. I stitched around the circle and used a micro tip scissors to cut into the seam, to create fringe for dimension.

When we go birding as a family we all pretty much have our own binoculars. When someone spots a bird we describe the tree or area it is in, and use the clock as a part of our dialogue to help direct the others to the spot. We were at the lookout point at Festge Park when Jesse spotted this seldom seen bird, and helped the rest of us find it with, "bunting at 2:00". I found clock stamps by Sandylion at Michaels a few weeks ago - I snatched them up, with my coupon of course, knowing that there have been so many times I had wanted a clock embellishment on my layouts. This stamp set will be well used, I am certain.

It's been a huge week on the prayer front. So many friends seriously ill, having major surgeries, tragedies it seems, everywhere. This evening I met with four wonderful lady friends for bible study at Crossroads Coffeehouse. Mary, the owner, is so gracious. She locked the door at 8 and assured us we could continue our conversation as they would be working a while yet. Well, two of us had yet to share! We didn't end up leaving until 45 min. past closing! Oh my...we will have to figure out how everyone can have equal share time and be considerate of the workers. Five women can seriously talk forever, if allowed. (LOL) This evening provides such clear evidence of why we need community with fellow believers. We give encouragement, draw strength from one another, and lift each other up - it is just an amazing gift God gives us.

This weekend Kyle heads off to bible camp. It's going to be a growing experience - he is not real keen on this night away. My goal is to have a room makeover awaiting him upon his arrival home. I don't know how it is going to go - the wallpaper border is off, but there is plenty of adhesive residue to scrub off. I was hoping to start painting Friday night, and instead I will be wall washing. Oh well!! It won't be a surprise as I had hoped because we had to start the prep work this week.

Well, off to continue cropping and selecting photo sizes at!! I just wanted to pop in before everyone wonders what happened to me! Tomorrow is Friday - enjoy the weekend! Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Turtle Love for BoBunny "U Bug Me"

Warning: AI spoiler at bottom if you are reading this and have not seen your finale recording!
Years ago when we raised exotic parrots we learned how difficult it was to find a good veternarian - one who knew more than cats and dogs. Kyle's going into 6th grade, and is holding fast to his desire to become an animal veternarian. However, I suspect there are plenty. I suggested he either specialize in exotics, whether it be avian (that would be birds), or herpetology (study of reptiles) - or even large animals - such as COWS. I hear so many students want to take care of Fluffy and Spot that there is a shortage of farm vets. This layout is dedicated to our son's future - his potential vocation.

I created the journaling block on my own in a program similar to Word - using a few circle borders/frames that rather mimic the BoBunny paper design. I added dashed rules, and admit - I love teacher sites that offer free coloring book pages - which is how I found the turtle clip art. I colored it in with pencils - a nice, little finishing touch, don't you think?

Want to get more scrapping done? Pull out a multitude of photos that go with one line you may have purchased. When I bought Bo Bunny's U BUG ME I had both the toad and turtle photos in mind. The mess from my toad layout was still quite prevalent on my table, so I figured I may as well scrap the turtle photos as well.

This time I followed a recipe for the May ACOT contest - in this layout the color black is used, there are three hearts (note the one roughly cut from cardboard scraps), stitching (albeit my sewing machine broke and there are only a few real stitches), stitched holes with no thread, and plenty of faux stitched circles; mixed alpha letters, and of course the animal is the turtle.

When it's late at night I sometimes get a little punchy while scrapping. I had the orange paint out for the chipboard, and more than once I find myself using my leftover paint to just splat some here and there with a "dry" brush. Hopefully you don't think I went overboard - I was just going for a grungy, boy look.

More detail close-ups - card board scraps begged to be used and give rugged dimension to this layout.

See the rub-ons used on the copper large brads? Those would be from BoBunny's Grease Monkey line - I love it when mfr. collections overlap colors!

Is this layout contest worthy? I am not sure - the basic design seems rather plain - a vertical strip of patterned paper and another cut in an arc to create a "turtle path". I made certain that this project also works for the "cluster challenge" - I have two more animal themed layouts in my head, so we shall see what else I accomplish before the end of the month.

Tonight marks the end of a long journey for a couple of Idol contestants. WARNING: If you have not seen the finale - click off this blog!

I love an upset. I love humble winners. I love Kris Allen! He truly expected Adam Lambert to be in his shoes - he had no words. Just thought it was crazy that after 100 million votes - he was named the new American Idol. I love singing - American Idol is the ONLY prime time show that I spend time watching, although early in the season I am often doing something creative while sitting in front of the television. I took some photos last week of the top three on television. They're not that great - I was watching the results show on the older television in the basement - and a flourescent ceiling light puts a rectangular mask on the photos. But I plan to scrap them - AI is definitely a part of American Culture. It demands my Tuesday nights, and record only as a last resort. Another season has come and gone. The journey is really only beginning for Kris - God has some big plans for him I am sure!

Seeing Simon's rather stone face -afterall, his boy Adam - talented but so overly touted by the judges - did not make it. Adam will be successful for sure, I just think AI wanted him on their label. Back to my point - seeing that Simon really seemed to share no joy in Kris' victory, the news that Simon is moving on is probably a pretty good idea. I admit, I often agreed with Simon's critque, although it can be delivered with a less crushing spirit. It will be interesting to see who the judges are for next year.

I can't wait to hear what Kris puts out on his record. And I am sure Adam's record will be out first, as seems typical for the AI runner up. Congrats to both Kris and Adam. AND btw, I cannot wait to get my hands on Danny Gokey's record - his voice is unique - and he remains the personal favorite in our household from the top three. GO Gokey - cut a record after God's own heart!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

BoBunny's U Bug Me is Toad-ally Cool

I finally got out my BoBunny "U Bug Me" papers that I've had for a while. I bought them just for the pics of our son with creepy crawly things - not so much the insects, although there are plenty of those photos as well, but for the reptilian types that BoBunny included in this line. BoB issued a May challenge to use the word "may" in a layout - easy enough assignment - I worked it into my journaling.

For this layout I had awesome toad pictures, but they did nothing for me simply cropped, so I had to cut them out. One just happened to be the right size to "tuck in the pocket" of the journaling card.

I love to use jute and other natural fibers on outdoor theme layouts. On this one I decided to use a hole punch to put little holes in around my circle before weaving the jute in and out and having two ends meet to tie a bow. I used some leftover pieces and threaded the buttons, and used floss for the remaining buttons. By using all those buttons I managed to work this layout into the May element challenge at ACOT.

As I contemplated where to place my title I realized this layout needed something more. There are always plenty of cardboard boxes on hand, so I decided to pull a flap off of one and utilize it on the layout. Cardboard, with exposed corrugating, is another element I love to use on outdoor boy layouts. Now, if you are a purist and concerned about acid-free only, don't use cardboard. I do believe there is a manufacturer creating corrugated patterned papers that is acid free - don't quote me, but I am fairly certain it is The Paper Co. as I have used it in the past.

Good ol' copper staples help hold the title and cardboard together on this layout. Don't be afraid to use the negatives in your chipboard letters - they can really change up a title so it is not so predictable. I also used my trick of taking a brown marker around the outside edge of the chipboard letters to give them a nice, crisp edging.

I so clearly remember the day Kyle found this toad. Jesse was mowing the lawn and the big guy made a smart move. Kyle placed the toad on the deck and lay down to watch and stand guard until the mowing was done. The toad was then released into the garden where I love to have them go for lunch. Finding a toad or a frog - few things make Kyle more happy, other than perhaps his favorite flavor of the day at the local frozen custard hangout. Now I know what you're going to say about this layout...

"ewwwww!" But thanks for looking anyhow. Be sure to discover all the little things in your journey that God has created for your enjoyment. When you smile, He smiles!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

BoBunny's Love Shack "Makes Me Smile"

Another layout from NSD weekend - based on an ACOT challenge with the theme "what makes you smile", and Fiskateer challenge to use the word "bee" in your title. Those two challenges coupled with the "Outside the Bubble" frame by Magistical Memories provided the mojo for this layout.

I knew I had to reach for Bo Bunny's Love Shack collection. Bright colors alone make me smile, and there was plenty of it in my favorite shades of pink, green and blue in this collection! I love the cardstock stickers as well, and have lots of fun layering them. Pop dots are a MUST have in any scrapbooker's stash - it seems I seldom create a layout without them. I am not simply referring to glue dots, but the 3D 2-sided foam adhesive that gives your product a boost by about an 1/8". Granted, I have yet to find a good "in the box" album that can hold more than 20 of my layouts, but I simply love dimension on my projects.

In the flower below I used a flower punch with Love Shack paper, and layered a cardstock sticker on top, topping that with a pearl.

In this next flower I started with a Heidi Swap white flower base (inking edges in green), topped with a large Love Shack sticker, topping that with a Prima and gem sticker. The foam adhesive placed underneath in several spots will help prevent your flower embellishment from compressing when it is placed in an album. Note the new flourish shape, which is one of the new releases from Magistical Memories!

The real challenge in this layout was creating a "bee". I did not simply want to spell out the word, but make it come to life. I used the Magistical Memories scallop oval plate, cut off one end, and covered it with yellow paper from Love Shack. I used craft wire to shape wings, wrapped with tulle and secured under the "abdomen", and added pearls and beads to short antennae (afterall, this is a bee, and not a butterfly). I don't believe I have created any winged insect other than a butterfly before, so this was a bit different for me. To create the stripes I simply used a black Sharpie. Pretty cool embellishment, don't ya think?

I love craft wire
- if you don't have some on hand I strongly recommend it if you have any desire to make bugs. Having two children who adore bugs, it's a necessity in my stash. If you are curious about the finish on my frame, I started by painting a base of Gecko Green, coated with DecoArt Crackle Finish, and applied a top coat of black acrylic stroking in the opposite direction. A tip for those of you who desire more crackle than you sometimes achieve - simply take an exacto knife and slightly scratch your top coat, being careful not to scratch into the bottom color.

I finished the layout with my journaling using a Love Shack journaling card - the set has a number of gorgeous options! I added some Itty Bitty Primas and more pearls to add some dimension to the card.

I admit this layout itself makes me smile - I just love the bright colors, am crazy about circles, and it contains the faces I love. Other things making me smile this week is the fact that I have only TWO modules left, plus exams for each, in my new job training. The end is in sight, and that makes me smile, knowing I can turn my attention more to the marketing aspect of running the office. Another reason to smile is that today, for the first time, my entire family pitched in with helping me work in the flower beds for spring clean up. We pretty much finished every planting group in the front yard in 3 hours, and it would have taken me several days to accomplish it on my own. It's great that the kids are old enough to help now. Of course Abby is ever so helpful. She finds a pulled dandelion (which she loves), and takes its bent stem and "plants" it again in the lawn. I try explaining that that won't work -does she get it? I don't know, but it makes her happy. Kyle is doing a lot of the lifting I would have done in the past, so as of this moment my back is feeling pretty good. Despite the heavy winds the song birds were singing - we enjoyed orioles, bluebirds, grosbeaks, mourning doves, the wren (still have not seen his girlfriend, but surely she is here), thrush and something I could not make out on the edge of the woods. Family and song birds, passed exams, bright colors and that makes me smile as I continue along this wonderful journey - what a blessing it is!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cosmo Cricket - "I Used to Be Normal"

Thus were the words in one of Cosmo's word strips in the new Girl Friday collection, and thus the title inspiration for this layout. I realized it packed great potential for a fun All About Me layout. When is the last time you did one of those? Don't forget, while creating and preserving memories of your children and family members, events, etc. is wonderful - be sure that you will leave behind a piece of yourself and what makes you tick. Too often we fail to scrap ourselves, and our children are sure to treasure our own stories and outlooks on life as well. If we share what we learn in life, it could even help them!

This layout is another from the NSD weekend challenges, and features Cosmo Cricket's Girl Friday line. I really let the product play a role in designing this layout, and it sure turned out fun. Especially with the painted and embellished Magistical Memories tiara. When is the last time you felt like a queen? Grab a chipboard tiara, fancy it up and place it on your head!

The photo was edited in Photoshop to alter its "normalcy" (LOL) The Cosmo patterned cardstock alphabet letters were cut out, and every other one mounted on chipboard to lift it off the page - if you have seen my projects you know I love dimension!
And here is a tip: test print the journaling on scrap so that it lines up correctly on lined paper. (This took me several attempts, holding it up to the light each time to see where I needed to adjust, but it would have looked silly if my text lines had fallen ON the lines.)

Here is the journaling for "I used to be normal..." Many have shared that they can relate, and are eager to scraplift it. Show me the links when you make your own!

Before I began scrapbooking, I was pretty normal. I enjoyed cleaning the house, trying new recipes, reading novels and watching T.V. All that has changed.
Now, when I clean, the trash may become useful on a layout, my husband has become a good cook, I read SBing message boards, and watch the LSS for new product arrivals. Idea notebooks abound; I have more scissors than shoes; my mind is churning ideas 24/7; and I dream about projects. As far as sleep goes, I have no idea how I function on so little- I am the queen of creative energy.

On my To Do list:
- 12 mini albums
- org. brad drawer
- blog new project
- buy more storage
- challenge Layouts
- cards for swap
- print photos
- get some sleep!

I am happy to say I have been working diligently on the "print photos" task on my to do list, and catching up with getting scrapable photos printed from 2008. I fear our PC may crash at anytime, and I want to be sure I have hard copies of my favorite photos and scrapable moments.

I was about to throw some packaging away while I was in the process of creating this layout, and thought - "hey, why not cut out my favorite mfrs. that I stalk the local scrapbook store for, and cluster them on my layout?!" Recycle, reuse.

Has something happened in your life that has changed its sense of normalcy? Perhaps it is an illness, job change, or other life change. I know of one young lady who has found herself stationed in Bagdad, talk about normal American life being distant! My sister told me about her last night, and this morning I decided Abby and I would adopt her. I am certain some drawings from Abigail will brighten up a young soldier's situation in a far off land.

Also, this Tuesday, if you live near Madison, Wisconsin, I am leading another "Cards for Soldiers" day in Cross Plains, WI at the Crossroads Coffeehouse. Between 2:30 and 5:30 you can come and make a card, and write a note of thanks for our military personnel. Paper products have generously been donated by Cosmo Cricket and Fiskars Crafts - I really appreciate it! I have much of it pre-cut to make the card making easy for people who walk in. The American Legion has a goal of over 200 cards to be made as they would like blank ones at the Legion Hall for the community to sign after the parade on Memorial Day. Want to come help?

This is one reason I love my new job so much. My new boss actually lets me do the prep work for this undertaking primarily on company time, and while I am at the coffeehouse assisting with card making, he is right there pitching in as well. It's all about supporting our soldiers, and remembering that freedom is never free.

Have a great Friday - I am off to a Civil War Re-enactment with our son's class. A great field trip that promises lots of photo opportunities!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cosmo Cricket's Girl Friday + Girlfriends = FUN layout!

If I posted all my layouts created for NSD weekend you might note a trend...Cosmo Cricket's Girl Friday collection. I love it!! Flowery, yet vintage-y, and FUN - all in one great collection. You will see them all eventually. As a matter of fact, I plan on making a blog for Cosmo Cricket creations just as I did for Reminisce, in order to provide easy access for Cosmo fans looking for some inspiration. I hope to get to this in the not so distant future - I piled up my Cosmo projects - it's quite a stack!

Although most of my layouts are inspired by photos first, I have to admit, this layout came out of my desire to cleverly use the vintage image stickers in the collection. I came up with the idea to incorporate the stickers into my journaling - reminiscent of some of our daughter's first board books.

(sorry - watch for Creating Keepsakes October issue - the journaling technique is lots of fun!)
Is this what they call a "cryptograph"? I am sure you can figure it out, but I did have to point out to my 6 yr old that the word was "high heels", not shoes. (LOL) She's never seen me in high heels, probably never heard of them.

(again, sorry. this ribbon flower is WAY COOL - check it out in CK October!)
I also played with the wider ribbon in the Girl Friday ribbon pack. I know Julie Comstock likes to experiment with homemade flowers, and I came up with a fun ribbon flower using staples. I wanted a ribbon flower with dimension. All you need to do to make this flower is fold a piece of ribbon lengthwise, staple in the center near the fold. Repeat this with additional pieces of ribbon, determined only by you and how many petals or layers you would like. I used three pieces of ribbon. Once stapled I criss-crossed them, while depressing the center to "fan out" the center of the ribbon, and carefully stapled them to hold the layers together. I then finished the flower off with a button center and gem sticker. I would have liked to have taken a picture for you before I covered the center, and given you step by step photographs, but as I recall it was 1 or 2 in the morning while I was making this. Definitely did not have the gumption to go up and get my camera...besides, the moon was not providing enough natural light for a good photo I am certain. (LOL) I really love how the flower turned out, rather ginchy, don't ya think? I definitely plan to make more of these. I've always reached for 3/8" ribbon in the past, but now I am eyeing the wider styles in a whole new light!

I hope you try making these flowers - super simple with a stapler on hand. Actually, I have to admit, I hope this is a new technique and not a "been done" ribbon flower. I don't have a lot of time on my hands to hop all over the net to see who is making what, but at the very least - I hope you are inspired. If you need step by step photos just holler and I will be happy to take pictures at a decent time of day. (LOL)

Oh, and I would be remiss not to wish my GIRLFRIEND Lisa, in this layout, a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We met for lunch and she is just so much fun! The chipboard clock is, of course, Magistical Memories - find them here! I simply drybrushed pink paint on the raw chipboard and distressed with a cat's eye charcoal ink pad.

I cannot end my entry today without expressing my sadness at the news that Memory Makers magazine is ceasing publication. The Great Idea gallery issue coming out in September/October will be their last. I was hoping that Memory Makers would survive the economy simply because they only feature never-before-seen projects. No one else does that! I love the editorial team - they have been super awesome to work with. I will never forget attending CHA a ways back and Beth Williams said hi to me, and acknowledged me by name on sight. She and I have certainly emailed back and forth a number of times over the years, and I have been so blessed that she enjoys my projects. It really caught me by surprise that she knew who I was, and can only figure she has a rock solid memory from meeting the previous year. I could always count on Memory Makers for picking up a number of pages every year! In fact, the last issue in September/October is going to feature one of my all time favorite Cosmo Cricket layouts called "You Rock", and a second layout that is digital. Hey - to all my friends who keep saying they want me to autograph their magazines with my work (ha ha) - this last issue of MM could be a collector's item - the Idea Gallery is always an awesome issue, and I am proud to say I have had layouts featured in it for four consecutive years.

Ok, I need to break my melancholy mood. Here is a sneek peek of another Girl Friday layout - it is a little weird (thanks to Photoshop), the journaling is not only amusing and truthful, but those who have seen it so far said they can so relate, and are going to scraplift it. Large, multi-shots coming to this blog soon!

Thanks for stopping in! Keep on creating, caring, loving and sharing in the journey!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Prayer Request Across the Ocean

George, the man on your left in the above photo, is barely hanging on this evening. George is the director of McKallie's Home of Future and Hope, an orphanage in Malawi, Africa.
McKallie's home has made great strides in giving hope to children who are orphaned, mostly due to HIV/AIDS. Satan does not like the progress and the joy of the Lord that abounds at this place - he would much rather see God's people suffer and stricken by disease and poverty. The prince of darkness is striking out - Malaria overtook George's wife a few weeks ago, while George was clinging for life. Their five children need him, the MANY children of McKallie's home need George. Please lift him in prayer for strength and recovery. We trust God is in control, whatever the outcome.

No project to share this evening. I simply wanted to request prayer. Tonight I am feeling especially blessed. I, we - have our health. We have wonderful family members - no drama or overly reactive parents/in-laws. I won't go into too much detail, but some of my dearest friends are going through major trials: cancer, defib'd, mental health ... I am reminded how easy it is to take our blessings for granted. This journey we are on had no guarantees from one day to the next. Be grateful for today and the love you have, as George reminds us...there may be no earthly tomorrow. Thanks for lifting him up!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Blog Hop Winner and Cosmo Cards!

Did you survive NSD?? To be honest, I am seriously lacking sleep. Our weekend was jam packed with activities and goings on, but I seriously wanted to participate in NSD challenges. What's that mean means that I burned the midnight oil - staying up past one 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday night I scrapped until 2 a.m.! My eyes were red by Sunday night - Kyle said I needed to use his drops. (LOL)

I spent much of my creative time with Cosmo Cricket - playing with more of the Girl Friday line. I am excited to show you the layouts I created, along with the details and some how-tos, BUT I am tired. So for this evening I am simply going to show you some cards I whipped out for challenges, in the interest of announcing the winner of the MM Gift Certificate (with an entry into the MM Grand Prize drawing), and my blog RAK. Thanks to EVERYONE who played along on the Magistical Memories Blog Hop - I enjoyed each of your comments; it's been a long time since I have had over 100 comments on a thread! Really, really - I DO appreciate it. Please don't become a stranger!

The card created above was for a challenge at Create My Keepsake, to use a journaling card on the front of a greeting card, from a fave mfr. I reached for my Cosmo paper packs right away as they always have great journaling cards. With "thank you" already done, this card was pretty fast to pull together. It is a gatefold card, for which I cut a 5.5"x12" piece of Cosmo Cricket paper. The paper is two sided which makes it perfect for these cards - pretty inside and out! A Fiskars border punch with contrasting cardstock add definition to the edges. I sewed the journaling card on the right side to overlap the "gate", and to keep the card closed I used my craft knife to cut a "point of entry" on the left side of the card, so the journaling card could slide in, like a closing tab. Note that on the backside of the journaling card I covered it with black cardstock, since the card recipient is able to see a portion of the backside of the journaling card. Gorgeous papers, border punch and journaling card - with these ingredients you can whip this card up in 15 minutes!

I discovered a new site this weekend - Cuttlebug Challenge Blogspot! They also had a challenge - to create a card with an embossed piece using the Cuttlebug, and sand for definition. I recently purchased my Cuttlebug, and have had Coredinations cardstock waiting for its arrival. This is a definite guy card, or for the cowgirl in your life. I used jute to tie on a silver cowboy boot button - cute, eh?

And now the winner of the $15 Magistical Memories gift certificate...

Congratulations to Charisma3103!!!! Her comment was #52 - drawn randomly. I will be contacting her shortly once I have the information on the gift certificate. Charisma will also be entered in the grand prize drawing to win the iPod Nano!

Winner of the Fiskars Fingertip control knife and a few Magistical Memories chipboard shapes is KIMBER!! I know I had said my personal RAK would be limited to within the U.S., but Canada is really not that far (can't cost that much to ship!), and she really sounds like she wanted that Fingertip craft knife. I didn't have the heart to redraw with such "want" in her comment. (LOL)

Please visit me again soon - I am excited to share some of my weekend projects - and I really think that a couple of my layouts are my most fun and creative ever!