my favorite things

my favorite things

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Favorite Layouts 2014

I truly can't believe how quickly 2014 flew by, I must be getting old! Last year, when selecting my favorite layouts of the year, I actually struggled finding 10 that I LOVED. At that moment, I decided to really put some effort into what I was creating. After all, I have all these beautiful photos and products, why was I being so lazy in creating layouts? This year, it's hard for me to choose just 10!

Looking forward to 2015 and it's possibilities. Happy New Year to you and yours! ♥

Friday, December 5, 2014

December 2014 Album

Wasn't it yesterday that I got all my supplies for my December 2013 album? I know I can't be the only one that feels this way. Ready or not, it's time for 2014's album and I must say that I'm extremely excited about it. The album I chose is Teresa Collins Studio Gold Dot (We R Memory Keepers) 8.5x11. The gold on white polka dots with the aqua binding is so pretty, fresh, and festive - I LOVE it! For the front of the album, I used my favorite wreath stamp from Wplus9 (Woodland Wreaths) and their Merry die (Hand Lettered Holiday) along with some embossing powder, to create a simple embellishment.

For my cover page, I used Hip Kit Club's weekly challenge (Elle's Studio sketch), and really love the end result. Simon Says Stamp's Falling Snow stencil, with some Faber Castell Whipped Spackle was used to created the top portion of the layout. I machine stitched ribbon to divide the page and used AC glitter tape on top of it for a fun pop of red. The gorgeous patterned paper and fun embellishments are from Elle's Studio.

It's been a busy week of errands, soccer, and life. It's not always easy to squeeze in scrapping in December, but it's so worth it, don't you think? Wishing you all a lovely, fun-filled December, with many beautiful moments, big and small. ♥

Monday, November 10, 2014

Flower, Layers, and Gold, Oh My!

So not my typical type of scrapping, to say the least! When I received the Maggie Holmes Open Book ephemera pack, I knew I had to challenge/force myself to use the shiny gold elements in it. It's not that I dislike gold, but I need it to make sense on the layout, if I'm going to use it. I am not known for layering, and I decided I would also give that a try.

Yesterday, I pulled out an album to search for photos waiting to be scrapped. *If you'd like to see how I store my unscrapped photos, click here.* I came across a few snapshots from our niece's wedding and knew the feminine elements from the ephemera pack would be perfect for the photos. I started playing with the layout and layering the pieces - it's harder than it looks! Once I was happy with the overall design, I took a quick pic on my iPad so that I wouldn't screw it up when it was time to attach everything.

I then had to let go and start layering. I have to admit it was fun trying to see how many bit & pieces I could tuck in and still maintain a semblance of my style. Even though flowers, layers, and gold are not my go-to looks, I was surprise how much I loved the end result!

Can you believe I still have a ton of the ephemera left? Those little packages are packed with goodies. What are the products or styles that you find challenging to use in your layouts? I dare you to go ahead and give it a whirl, you may be pleasantly surprised! :)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Challenge and a Scraplift

Just a quick post today showing two of my latest layouts. This first was created for a challenge by Emily at Cocoa Daisy. She threw in some quirky things like folding your paper twice to create a grid as a background. We also had to use both sides of three patterned papers (easier said, than done!), and a few more fun things were thrown into the challenge.

The second layout was created from a scraplift. I lifted the lovely and talented Terry (Cocoa Daisy), I especially love the way she uses distressed edges on her layouts.

I love taking challenges/scraplifting - it forces you out of your comfort zone, creatively, which is always a good thing! The holiday season is fast approaching, so I'm planning to clean up my space and get ready for the wild (wonderful) ride. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


You may or may not have noticed that I took a little break from blogging. It was not intentional, I just faded away. I have been doing some crafting, YouTube viewing, and scrappy soul-searching as the year is winding down. I was even considering closing down my blog. I initially started blogging to have a spot to share my crafty things, then I got caught up in trying to make it on a design team. Now I have come full circle and have decided that I do enjoy blogging (and crafting), for myself - imagine that! :)

I've been doing some craft room purging, and during that process realized that I have a ton of scrap supplies that I truly love and need to use them. I know that sounds ridiculous and obvious, but it's easy to forget all the beautiful things I already have when new products keep arriving every month. lol You all know I am a fan of kit clubs, but I am challenging myself to take a break for a few months and use my stash. I'm really excited to dig into my goodies and have some fun!

During my recent YouTube binge, I discovered a stamp company that I love! WPLUS9 has the most amazing stamps and matching dies. I had a chance to play around with my new stamps last weekend and I'm hooked! Here are a few photos of some quick and easy projects I made with them.

As you can see, they are fabulous! The shipping and customer service is top-notch, be sure to check them out if you love stamps. It feels good to be back, thanks for stopping by my blog! ♥

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Challenges = Quick & Easy Layouts

Just a short post today, sharing my latest layouts created for various challenges at Cocoa Daisy. I haven't had much time to scrap lately, and challenges are an easy way to get focused and complete layouts within small blocks of time.

I can't believe it's almost October - wishing you a fabulous fall, and the fun and cozy things that it brings! ♥

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Strong Girls

This month's exclusive papers from Cocoa Daisy (Stephanie Wheeler), have to be my all-time favorite. As soon as I opened the box, I was inspired to create. The floral paper was my starting point, and although I love the printable by My Mind's Eye, I felt the gold was a little bright for the photo I wanted to use for this layout.

I decided to copy the printable onto vellum and I was pleasantly surprised how it turned out. The only problem was the paper was too busy showing underneath the vellum. I played around for a bit with layers of vellum, cardstock, etc. and then I layered the vellum over the printable and that's when the magic happened. I realized if I offset it just a bit, the gold came through and created the softest shadow.

I stitched the vellum onto the printable and fussy cut some of the paper to add dimension. I knew the quote, "She believed she could so she did" was perfect for this photo of me with my mom and daughter. We are strong-willed, determined, feisty girls! ♥

Friday, August 15, 2014

Simple Scrapping (and I'm good with that!)

Although it's hard for me to accept the fact that my kids are back in school, we are starting to settle in to the routine. It's been a busy couple of weeks with school, soccer, and life.

Today I finally set aside the time to just relax and do some simple scrapping. Both of these layouts were inspired by the gorgeous patterned paper. I love the paper so much that I decided simple would be best and I really love the result. To me, this is proof that you don't need to spend hours on a layout - just let the photo and paper shine, and it's all good.

Today's scrap therapy was just what I needed. The gorgeous patterned papers are from Studio Calico, another benefit of subbing to their kits! ♥

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Finishing the Challenges

This is the first time I have ever completed all of the challenges from a Cocoa Daisy crop! Yay, me! It did help that they reduced the number of challenges, but I'm still proud of my accomplishment. The first one is a scraplift challenge - I scraplifted a gorgeous layout by Martha and here is my take. Nothing like a little Christmas in July project.

The next was a challenge by Anna to create a project about home, without making a photo of your house the focal point. I decided to take a different approach and show our humble abode throughout the seasons. It represents not only the actual seasons, but also seasons of life. It's a reminder to myself that although things change, it's important to embrace the change and enjoy the moment. After all, there is beauty in every season.

I started with a 12x12 mixed media paper and taped off the 4 squares with washi tape. I used PanPastel to create the background. To create the tree, I stamped directly on the backside of my template and used a brayer to make sure the image came through. The leaves were created with a fun, little stamp from CD.

I truly love challenges, they help me think outside my comfort zone and push me to be more creative. Thanks, Cocoa Daisy for another fabulous and fun crop! ♥

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Crop + Empty House = Productivity

Sometimes the scrappy stars align and make for the perfect time to create. This past weekend was one of those... I had an empty house and Cocoa Daisy was hosting an online crop. Seriously, how lucky can one girl be? :) The challenges the design team put forth were fabulous and (luckily), my mojo showed up for the party. The weekend was full of chats, fun, inspiration, and general craziness and I loved every second of it! There were 7 challenges offered and so far I've completed 4.

There's nothing like a crafty weekend to feed your creative soul! There is still time to participate in the challenges, so head over here and check them out!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Challenging Myself

This week at Cocoa Daisy, we've been discussing stamps that we would love to own. I love laurel wreaths and found a chalkboard image on Pinterest with several styles and shared it on the forum. Would you believe a couple of days later, Wilna posted a YouTube video creating a layout with a chalkboard laurel wreath?! After watching the video, I decided that I would make my own laurel wreath cut file. I could have used Wilna's file, but I thought it would be fun to have my own.

The number one thing I learned with this personal challenge: If you're using a photo of your own drawing, draw really crisp, tight illustrations, otherwise you'll spend HOURS trying to clean up the image and closing gaps to make a clean cut file. You can thank me later for that little gem. :) The July Cocoa Daisy sketch was the perfect design to give my laurel wreath vision a try.

I started with a simple drawing and converted it to a Silhouette cut file. A sketch pen was used to created the background image. I then used gelatos to softly color the background image. I scaled down the cut file to make it a little bit smaller than the background image and cut it out on the Silhouette. I then painted the cut wreath. I used 3-D Foam Squares to raise the cut wreath, to give dimension to the layout. To get my journaling even around the circle, I lightly traced around my photo and added the journaling.

Wow, sometimes I even amaze myself! lol I love learning new things and pushing myself creatively. Getting involved in an on-line scrap community is such a great way to learn, share, and be inspired. Thanks to everyone that inspires me on a daily basis!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I'm Not Defeated, I'm Determined!

This week has been wild and woolly in the scrap community. Two Peas In A Bucket announced they were closing and sent scrappers across the globe into a panic. How would we survive without our beloved Message Board (yes, even the NSBR!), and all the wonderful inspiration we find there? I will admit that it put me in a little bit of a funk because 2P's has been a daily stop for me, for at least 10 years. I have now accepted the fact that they are closing. Peas are gathering in different locations on the Internet, reconnecting, so all is well in my scrappy world. Rather than putting my head in the sand to accept this scrappy apocalypse, I am digging my heels in, and finding my passion for this hobby all over again. Disclaimer: During my panic phase, I may or may not have overspent on scrappy supplies this month. Thank goodness, the panic only lasted a couple of days! :)

This week I've had some forced downtime, so I decided to attempt to use my own handwriting to create a cut file on my Silhouette. I watched this video on You Tube and gave it a shot. If you haven't give it a try, you should. I just love that it's my own handwriting, it's so personal and unique! The challenge at Cocoa Daisy this month from Nicole, was to use strips of paper on a layout. I took strips of paper and made fun stars to start my layout. I took my "love" cut file and painted it with a Jenni Bowlin paint dauber to make it pop off the page. Since the handwritten cut files are pretty delicate, I just machine-stitched it to one of the stars. I added a few stamped stars and a few more extra strips/pieces of paper and my layout was complete.

My tip of the day is, focus on why we love this hobby and the reason we started it in the first place. Scrappy sites will come and go, but my love of documenting life moments will never fade. Thanks, Two Peas, for a fun and fabulous 10+ years. I learned so much, and grew as a scrapper because of the community you created. ♥♥♥

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Scraplifting Elements of Design

Scraplifting is such a fun and easy way to get your mojo running. Scraplifting (to me) doesn't mean an exact replica of a layout. I prefer to use it as a jumping point for creativity. Yesterday I scraplifted Just G (Gillian) at Studio Calico. I searched her gallery and found a few layouts that spoke to me. I noticed a few repeating elements in these layouts: photo shapes, repeating elements, 8 1/2 x 11 layouts, and gray backgrounds. Here is my scraplift of Gillian's style.

Since I mainly scrap 12x12, I used a gray background and layered an 8 1/2x11 piece on top to be the main focal point. In her gallery, I noticed lots of photo shapes and I knew I had to give this a try. (One great benefit of scraplifting is trying new things, right?!) To create the heart-shaped photo, I used PicMonkey's new shapes editing tool (it's in the frames section of editing), I LOVE how this turned out. **The first time I tried it, too much sky was showing, and I wanted the focus to be on the gorgeous, turquoise water, so I just cropped my photo first, and then added it to the frame.** I then saved the heart-shaped photo on my computer and printed one large photo. To get the little photos, I just used the contact sheet option on my printer and trimmed around the hearts. I think I just discovered a new favorite technique! One final tip: I printed my main photo on luster photo paper and the small hearts on matte. I wanted the small hearts to feel like embellishments.

If you're in a creative rut, go find someone to scraplift! You may just surprise yourself like I did with this layout! Thanks for the inspiration, Gillian! To see Gillian's gallery, click here.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Silhouette Sunday

A couple of weeks ago, I helped a friend learn the basics of cutting on the Silhouette. I will admit, I'm a little lazy when it comes to using it, but after helping her, I realized how much I love this machine and it's a shame not to use it more. The Sunday Sketch from Studio Calico's blog today, was all the inspiration I needed to fire up my machine. I started with the large star and decided to back it with a couple of circle cuts. The title is from Kerri Bradford's July Fourth collection. Since the title is so delicate, I machine-stitched it to the star. It's amazing how quickly a layout can come together with the Silhouette!

I'm going to challenge myself to use my Silhouette more often, starting with the rest of these photos from July, 2012! ;)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

One of My Favorite Things - Canning Jars

I love canning jars - new, old, clear, blue, I love them all! We are fortunate enough to live in an area where the World's Longest Yard Sale happens every August. Last year, I snagged some old, blue jars for display in our dining area. I know it sounds silly, but these jars make me happy. I just love looking at them and imagine the journey they made to get to my home. When Studio Calico came out with a patterned paper with jars on it, the scrappy stars were smiling on me. This weeks Sunday Sketch was all the inspiration I needed to make a layout about my pretty jars.

Here are a few close-ups of the cherished treasures.

This year I hope to acquire a few more of these beauties. It's fun to scrap "things" we love, I hope many years from now when my children see jars like this, they will remember lots of love and laughter at our kitchen table.