my favorite things

my favorite things

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Heart of the Home (Kitchen Renovation)

The holidays are upon us and I'm thrilled to be finished with our kitchen renovation! Today's post is just a quick before and after. We took out a wall and fireplace between the kitchen and great room to create an open floor plan. As you can see, it was quite the construction zone and I almost lost my sanity trying to live here through the process.
Now we have a bright, cozy kitchen to enjoy. I've been inspired to cook, bake, and don't even mind cleaning the kitchen now. My favorite thing is when the family gathers around the island for chats or just to keep me company while I'm working.
Feeling grateful and blessed beyond measure - I'm ready to settle in to our new space and make lots of memories. Happy Holidays! ♥

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

House Renovation (Dining Area)

Hello, Friends! It's been ages since I've blogged because life has been crazy (and exciting) with a house renovation. I thought I would share some before and after photos of rooms, as we complete them. We bought a house mid-August and started renovating immediately. We loved the house, but needed to open up a couple of rooms to make it work for our family. We tore down walls between the kitchen and great room and between the kitchen and dining room. We love big, eat-in kitchens because everyone always wants to hang out there. This photo shows the space during the tear-out phase. If you know me at all, you know I don't do well with chaos, so this is not my favorite stage of the process.

This is the space now. The wall color is my new favorite - It's so fresh and pretty and it just makes me happy! (Benjamin Moore North Shore Green #456) Since the kitchen and dining area are one space, we also painted the kitchen the same color.
We are thrilled with the end result. It's warm, cozy, and inviting. This (and my craftroom) are the only 2 rooms completely finished, so that's where I tend to hang out. The kitchen will be completed next week and we're hoping the great room will be finished shortly after that. We are beyond ready to get back to our "normal" lives and kick back and enjoy the holidays.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Happy Labor Day from a Happy Camper!

Hello, Friends and Happy Labor Day to my fellow Americans! Although it appears from by blog that I have dropped off the planet, that is not the case. We moved to a new house last week and needless to say, life has been a bit cRaZy! Today I am thrilled to be a guest designer for The Cut Shoppe blog! Cut files are such a great way to add impact to your layouts. Ashley creates the most fabulous and versatile cut files; be sure to stop by her shop! Here is a little snippet of my layout on the blog today.

Thank you, Ashley, for this opportunity! I'm hoping to get my craft room set up in the next couple of days... I'm getting the urge to be creative!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Coming Full Circle

Many years ago, I signed up for Shimelle's class, "Blogging for Scrapbookers 2", and it gave me the tools I needed to develop my blog... I even created my first YouTube video for that class. It definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone but it was so worth it in the end. I also participated in her "Journal Your Christmas" class starting in 2010, and I've completed a December album every year since then. Her "Pretty Paper" class taught me to use product while I love it and quit hoarding it for the perfect layout. As you can see, Shimelle has been a great influence in my scrapbooking journey and I thank her for that.

Fast forward many years and I am a Guest Designer on Shimelle's blog!!! I was lucky enough to get to pick my date and subject so I chose stars and July 4th (of course!) Click here to see the post and layout.

It's an honor (and a bit surreal) to be able to design for someone that has had so much impact on my creative journey. Thank you, Shimelle, for your inspiration and this opportunity. I've definitely come full circle and it's a great feeling! ♥

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Inspired by Nature - Challenged by Paper

For the past month, I've taken many photographs of nature's beauty (mostly flowers), because the blooms and colors have been so breathtaking.

Last week, Melissa from Clique Kits, challenged us (Clique Kits Facebook group) to use the bold and beautiful Fancy Pants Attwell floral patterned paper. Although I love the paper, it's tough to use as a background because of the scale of the flowers and the explosion of color.

In my opinion, the best way to showcase patterns like this is to fussy-cut the flowers. That way, you get the effect of the big blooms without it taking away from your photos. I cut a few flowers out and played around with the composition until I was happy with it. Bold titles cut from these types of papers is another great way to let the paper shine- I'm thrilled with the impact it gives. I used a strip of photos so that your eye would still be drawn to the photos.

This is now my new favorite layout! ;) My advice is to take photos!!! Eventually inspiration or a challenge will come along and you'll be ready for it! Thanks for stopping by my blog! ♥

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Bloom Where You Are Planted

When I saw Hip Kit Club's May kit, I was smitten and had to have it. Computer photos don't do it justice; it's absolutely gorgeous and I was instantly inspired to create with it. This year has been a year of learning to be still, learning how to handle things that are out of my control, and most importantly, learning how to thrive under those circumstances. It wasn't easy (at first), but once I "let go" my attitude shifted and I started focusing on things that bring me joy. This layout represents this little chapter in my life.

May's cut files (designed by Ashley H.) were the perfect starting point for my layout. I cut the bloom cut file from the She Blooms paper and also from Bazzill ombre' cardstock. For the background, I created a cut file with the phrase "Where you are planted", and used it as a stencil with Ranger Texture Paste. I love the light and airy look of it. I layered the bloom cut file with some of the die cuts from HKC's exclusives and some She Blooms chipboard. I really love the end result of this layout and I love the reminder, to myself, to focus on good things and something wonderful can happen.

Thanks for stopping by today - I hope you've been inspired to bloom where you are planted! ♥

Sunday, May 15, 2016

"Inspiration Exists" So Get Busy!

Hello, friends! I know it appears that I have been doing nothing lately, but that is not the case! My Design Team term has ended and although I was a bit bummed (initially), I decided to delve back into creating art. You know that famous quote by Picasso that says "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working" - I have found that to be the absolute truth!

A few months ago, I kept fighting the urge to take an online class from D. Downey. I've been to her studio for workshops a couple of times and loved every second of it, but I couldn't hit "buy" on the class. The deadline to purchase the class passed and I felt such a sense of sadness, like I was supposed to be taking it. I humbly reached out to them and begged to be let in the class and they agreed! I soaked that class up, like a sponge, and started painting. Would you believe that I already sold a large canvas? I'm still pinching myself. Lots of babbling and rambling to announce that I'm reopening my Etsy shop!

Of course, I have continued to scrap but I'm excited to see where this path leads! Thanks for sticking with me and I promise to have something scrap related here very soon! ♥