Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thankful 2012

In 2011, I decided to take all of my "Thirty Days of Thanks" posts on Facebook and make a layout.  Remember?

I participated in this daily reflection in 2012, with my page looking like this:

Just can't stop using that Dill Blossom, I tell ya. 

Here's the Pinterest CASE for this layout.  Ca-yute:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Page Deux

Cranked out a second page, which was much simpler in style than my Rick Springfield page. I find stickers to be a very helpful way to quickly wrap up a page. For this page, I wanted to capture the idea of motion, as the photos of Max finally taking off on a two-wheeler were full of wonderful blur. Hence the chevron background and word stickers from Simple Stories. I have had the First Bike sticker from Sticko for what seems like forever.

What you probably should realize: this is a "first" that not all parents of children with autism get. In fact, Son #1 took until age 13 to ride a two-wheeler. So Max riding one now is a HUGE deal for us, as it is for any parent, I am sure. We bask in our amazing luck with this one, and his persistence paying off.

Happy Thanksgiving!

As a treat to myself, I am scrapbooking a little today. Here is post #1: The Rick Springfield Concert. This idea has been in my head for a while, and I was still a little fuzzy of what I wanted to do when I started it, however, I really dig how it came out. I wish I had taken that picture of Rick, but my pictures did not take: too far away, using a cell phone, spotlight was not my friend...

I mounted this on BasicGrey Periphery Pinot Noir paper, then layered some sheet music of Rick's (Jessie's Girl, I've Done Everything for You, and Human Touch) and a piece of Tim Holtz Grungeboard angel wing.

Memory preserved!

Sunday, October 28, 2012


This page has been in my head for quite some time, I was just trying to hash out what I wanted to use for it.  There were a few things about my grandmother that were "signature."  I knew I needed pearls, and I knew I needed something resembling the doilies she would crochet.  I found a few other pieces that would complement these things as well.  Here's the recipe:

  • American Crafts textured 12 x 12 paper
  • Maya Road Vintage Trinkets (the pearls)
  • Melissa Frances 1962 Embellishments (the crocheted trim)
  • Prima Vintage Trinkets (the bird medallion...there's meaning in that, but that's a whole 'nother story)
  • Teresa Collins Vintage Finds: Bingo cardstock
  • Studio Calico Fab Rips (chevron flags)
  • Thickers
  • Simple Stories letter stickers and sentiment
I'm quite happy with how this turned out.  Here's the journaling:

Always a stitch.  Literally and figuratively.  This was Nanny, all “dolled” up, horsing around with Pappy.  I loved this picture when I saw it because it was so her.  This song was one that, whenever I hear it, reminds me of her, as she frequently mentioned her fondness toward it.  I am blessed to have memories and a few crocheted doilies to remind me of different parts of her.  But the biggest part of her lives inside me—her humor, her tenacity, her low BS tolerance, her ability to tell it like it is.  Because of all of this, it’s hard to miss her, as she’s still around every day.  And now, she’s up in heaven horsing around with Pappy.  Always.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Shoe Box Swap

Because so many in my crafting circle of friends are involved in education, we have {somewhat} annually had a Shoebox Swap in the summer.  For this, we design a card or two and prep all the materials needed for the persons involved to create two cards.  This year I opted for one design.  In previous years I have done more than one.  I seem to never have sympathy cards when I need them, so I used my new So Sorry set from SU! and some patterned paper from SU! that I had sorted in with my other papers...and could not believe I had forgotten about it!  I LOVE the colors and designs.

This card is a wee smaller than A7: it's 5.25" x 4".  It would still fit fine in a standard invitation envelope.  It is smaller because I uses the Cuttlebug embossing folder and it just did not cover the whole area.  And that drives me nuts.  It is important to note that the So Sorry sentiment comes separately from the other sentiments you can choose for your sorrow.  You want to have slightly different darkness of inks for this to work out without being illegible.  I used SU! River Rock and Sahara Sand.  I started to use Basic Gray, but I could not find my Going Gray pad (I think I gave it away, in truth), so that did not work out.  Plus, the Basic Gray was pretty harsh, and I like how these colors soften the sentiment. I have the main sentiment oval (cut out with Nestabilities) in some SU! version of yellow and inked on the sides with Sahara Sand.  This is raised with Dimensionals.  Then, a snip of ribbon is placed above the next oval of patterned paper.  I am taking all of my sentiments to the swap, as well as several choices for the inside sentiment.  The one I used is a Hero Arts stamp I bought years ago that never gets old with me.

I am really liking this design as well as the colors of this card!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Jawhol, Mein Kommandant!

My crafting buddy and all-around pal, Ann, and our dealer, um, demonstrator, Karen, and I were joking about giving each other challenges.  Or so I thought.  Ann was bemoaning that, while searching for a challenges,  she found many ways to spend her crafting dollars.  Thus, the challenges joviality began.

So I told her, my clean and simple friend, to create a card with at least 3 layers and 3 embellishments.  She threw in that she would do that AND make it a masculine card!  Well, she whipped that challenge off pretty quickly.  My challenge from her: pink.  I had to use pink.  I rarely use pink (except I sure did use it for a little six year old's birthday card just last week, but did I take a photo?  Why no, I did not.).  Then, the day after we discussed this challenge, CAS-ual Fridays announced this week's challenge: to use pink in honor of National Pink Day (Saturday).  Oh my.  All roads were leading to pink.  

It is my last, YES LAST, week of taking two classes at the same time (insanity).  I have two papers due this week.  Yes, that's right, time to procrastinate.  While doing very important business on Facebook and Pinterest, I get a wall post...a demand that my challenge be tended to, by--yes--Ann.  Suddenly, I am flashed back to one of my dad's favorite shows, Hogan's Heroes, where Sgt. Shultz (shown right) is known for his buffoonery and his cheery and bellowing, "Jawhol, Mein Kommandant!" to his leader, Col. Klink.  So, for you, "Mein Krafty Kommandant," here is my pink card.
I first started with patterned paper, as I figured that's where I could sneak in some pink.  I found this sheet from SEI that had pink as an accent color.  I saw a very cute scrapbook page design today using circles, but they were hand cut and full of whimsy, and I was not feeling that way, so I used circle punches.  {A side note: holy cow, do I have a large amount of circle punches!}  I decided to ink up my PTI Signature Greetings set and I wanted to do two colors of the "So Sweet of You."  That was interesting.  The SU! Pretty in Pink marker did not want to work well with that, but Baroque Burgundy did.  So,I ended up using the Pretty in Pink stamp pad and coloring over the "of You" with a marker.  I am not 100% in love with the sentiment treatment.  I was going to stamp in white without a panel, but I wanted to add that one more kick of pink.  I did an accordion fold above the sentiment panel.  If I could work my sewing machine, I would have added some stitches to that for good measure.  

So there you have it, a circuitous explanation (ha! get it?) of a pretty simple card.  Thank you for reading this far.  Challenge complete! :)  Now, back to my comfort zone...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Bittersweet. Every year. Happy Father's Day to all fathers! This is the card for my hubs this year.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Obviously June

As of late, I have been enveloped in all things related to School Law and School Finance, the two classes I am attempting to simultaneously juggle.  However, necessity is the mother of creative time, and it's June.  Those who have followed this blog know that June is a big month as far as cards are concerned.  Many birthdays, Father's Day, my anniversary... you get the picture.

I shall start on a somber note.  The following card from Cheryl Ann Robinson...

was a pin on Pinterest.  I used it as the inspiration for this card...

created almost entirely of Stampin' Up! products.  My card was made in response to the sudden death of a co-worker of my husband and her six-year-old daughter in a car accident last week.  It is things like these that remind you how very precious life is, and that none of us is guaranteed the next breath.  

The white cardstock is Papertrey Ink, and I will strongly advise you that if you plan to use an embossing folder of any type, Papertrey's white cardstock is a must.  It's heavy enough to withstand the embossing and still be a fairly sturdy card.  Using SU!'s white cardstock, I would probably emboss, but glue a panel to a card base, as the embossing folder will substantially weaken the cardstock.  I used SU!'s Square Lattice folder for Big Shot with my Cuttlebug.  I used SU!'s wide satin ribbon in Chocolate Chip, which I am not sure they make anymore, but it is one of my favorite ribbons to work with.  I used Kraft ink for the sentiment (SU! Close as a Memory) and Close to Cocoa for the inside (SU! Thoughts and Prayers). Clicking on the photos will give you a closer view of the sentiments.  I used my Cuttlebug and a Spellbinders die (no idea which one!) for the cardstock shape for the sentiment.  I used Tacky Tape to adhere the ribbon treatment and a pop dot to adhere the sentiment to the ribbon.  I loved the simplicity of this.

On a lighter note, the hubs turns 47 tomorrow.  Woo hoo!  Here's his birthday card:

You might be asking yourself, "What's up with Edward hanging out back there?"  Well, the gift was from my Secret Santa a couple years ago when I was in a deep Edward phase.  My girlfriends and I used to discuss how it really wasn't Edward himself, but was the concept of an Edward that was appealing in the Twilight books.  Someone who would do anything to protect and save.  Someone whom you felt would love you in a way that transcends the normal "human" thing.  My card was misbehaving and would not stand up for the photo, so I enlisted Edward's help.

I had a little starter help from my dealer, Karen, with this one.  At some point, she had a Stamp-A-Stack or something that involved the patterned paper and the colors/layers, as I had them around in a Ziploc bag awaiting the right card.  Today was the day!  I then put some marker ink (SU! Brilliant Blue and Almost Artichoke) on some long neglected stamps (SU! Patterned Party and Bring on the Cake).  I topped it off with a few twists of Baker's Twine (red...what a departure for me!), and voila!  Birthday card for the man!

Two cards in one day.  Sigh.  I went through the new SU! catalog today and was greatly inspired and excited.  Now all I need are 26-hour days, and I will be set!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Challenge 4: Baker's Twine

Definitely a challenge to use baker's twine.  I like the look of it, I am just not always adept at how to make it work well in crafting without it saying, "Oh look!  I used baker's twine!!"  I dig subtle.

I have had these "Max-isms" written down for a while.  Ignatius and I added a few from 2012 as well.  This Jenni Bowlin paper was super easy to write on, and, as a teacher, I loved that it was handwriting paper.  I stitched baker's twine on the side of the journaling.  I also used to to seemingly anchor the photo to the page.  Digging the Thickers, as always, and it's been a long time since I did a picture framed with several layers.

Page Deux

This page comes from the "Reflection" challenge of the Creative Crop.  For those keeping did not take me hours...I had some family/nap time in between.

This is a page of the 8.5 x 11" variety.  My photo is of my page hanging from my Ikea display rack.  I love it, and it is so underutilized!  I really love the concept of displaying scrapbook pages for a bit rather than stuffing them in a book and forgetting about them for a while.

 And here's a bit closer, for those who might wish to read the journaling and see the elements.

Love the Amy Tangerine Thickers, as well as the Echo Park letter stickers.  Yellow and gray (tones) are quickly becoming a staple of mine, too.  So cheery!  

Creative Crop begins

Happy National Scrapbooking Day!  This year, I am consciously trying to mark the event by participating in the Creative Crop sponsored by Big Picture Scrapbooking.  Here is my contribution for Challenge #2 (there's a challenge offered every hour by some of the big names in the biz).  Ali Edwards presented this challenge, which allowed me to make a page I had been thinking about for a while regarding Ignatius and running.  The challenge was to compare/contrast a photo from a few years back to a photo from today.
I chose a pic from a 2006 Fun Run and one from Ignatius's first high school track meet.  I really like how it turned out, although the asymmetry was challenging for me, that's for sure.  I had seen and worked a little with pages that have a lot of white space, so I thought I would give it a whirl.  I love the bingo card, because it had both of the ages from the photos that I stamped in blue.  I framed the page (textured SU! 12 x 12 cardstock) with some twine.  The paper ribbon that says Saints is paper that I bought at The Scrapbooking Studio.  I love that they have papers for the local schools.  The sticker "In the blink of an eye..." was from a package I got from my secret Santa this year.  I also placed the years of the photos in Thickers.  On to some other challenges.  If you have a chance, check them out.  It's free and there are prizes.  Plus you have more than just today to complete them.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Strength: February's Edition

February came and went.  I had in my head what I needed to do for the One Little Word album, but had not gathered and printed.  Lucky for me, Ali makes these months intentionally simple.  I did not feel like I would not be able to catch up.  So, here's the spread (a little grainy for whatever reason):

We were asked to focus on images that related to our one little word.  We came up with nine smaller images and one larger image.  Although the scrapbook does not require explanation (again, intentionally), I shall explain for the inquiring minds, starting with the upper left photo.
Upper left: Ignatius at a Cross Country meet in Fairbury.  He is in pain and coming in dead last.  But he finished.  He persevered.  That's strength.
Upper center: Scott and I.  I used this photo for my/our Move More Eat Well album.  Basically, it comes down to this: We must be strong for each other.  When one is weak, the other must kick in.  We must balance.  Our family stability requires it.  A symbol that relying on someone is not a sign of weakness, but rather, of strength.
Upper right: The running ladies.  All of us comes with our different histories and our different roles.  That day, I ran the first 5K in under 40 min. that I have run in years.  It was Sally's first 5K.  The run was the Autism Run, which represents a whole additional level of strength needed in my life.
Middle left: That is Ignatius.  Breaking a board.  With his foot.  The innocent bystander might think that such a task requires physical strength.  To a degree, it does.  It's also about practice and hitting the board at just the right spot with the right part of your foot.  As I stood there with my camera, I had my doubts as to whether it would happen.  Then, the camera and the break snapped at the same time.  Serendipity.  
Center: An ice storm in Central IL.  Ice storms always make my trees bend and look like they are bowing to God.  Love the symbolism.  Who else can make a tree bow?
Middle right: Max decided he wanted to climb the rock wall at the Irish Pumpkin Festival.  No fear, no second thoughts, despite the fact that I was soooo nervous.  He did not make it all the way up, but he sure did try.  Inner and outer strength was evident on this day.
Lower left: Ignatius' Confirmation night, with his godmother and grandmother.  Each of them is a multi-layered symbol of strength.  The sacrament of Confirmation bestows the seven gifts of the spirit in symbolic ways.  Fortitude is my favorite gift of the spirit.  Moral courage.  Ignatius wondered why he didn't feel differently after his Confirmation.  Little did he know that, just like the characters in the Wizard of Oz, he had the seven gifts.  Each of them is realized in its own way.  Ignatius is always the bearer of what is "supposed" to be.  He points out right and wrong.  While that can be an annoying trait of his Asperger's, I think most people (including me) are annoyed because we know he is right and what we are doing at the time, well, isn't.  
Lower center: Max and Dad.  Symbolic of my husband's strength to be the father my kids need.  Their autism pushes him out of his comfort zone at times.  It requires each day to be handled in a different way.  Nothing is for certain, and nothing is consistent, except we must he ready for inconsistency.  Takes a strong man to stay and not walk away.  He will do anything for the kids.
Lower right: Ignatius at Scout Camp.  That photo was snapped on Family Night.  Scout Camp was the first time he was ever away from us for a week with neither of us with him, no cell phone...and he was on depression meds for his anxiety.  I was so proud of him. He hated it, but he made it through.  And he learned that camping was not his gig.
Larger photo: Planking, Plato-style.  This photo represents my quest for physical and emotional strength.  When holding a plank, the entire time, I am tensing my core and telling my body, "If you don't plan to hold yourself up, whom do you think will?"  I just felt that would be the best shot representing many ideas central to my one little word.

In March we are charged with something a bit simpler.  More to follow!  I have to print some things off for Move More Eat Well!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Oh Baby, Baby, La, La, La, La, La, La, La

I thought I would post some baby cards I just made for a few work friends.

Note, the yellow and gray patterned paper (Teresa Collins) makes another appearance.  Intervention needed!

For this card, I thank Karen Kelly for her choice of patterned paper. I would not have chosen this for myself, but once I opened the packet, I LOVED the patterns.  Sometimes, you gotta see the paper in real life.  I also adore the new ribbon.  Woot!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cranking out the crafties

I have this newly acquired bad habit of proclaiming that I will be crafting, but, instead, finding 20 other things to do before I craft, and, therefore, run out of time in my day.  Well, technically, I am writing this the NEXT day (after midnight).

Today I caught up with some Move More Eat Well February printouts and such.  Then, after having this frame sit and stare at me for months, I have finally created a mantle-piece with it.  The photo I have is from Christmas 2011.  Today, I picked up some delightful yellow and gray patterned paper and decided to use it and a few other embellishments I had hanging around here and there in the craft room.  I dig it.  And I have the larger frame, also, so who knows what will come next?  I am showing a couple different angles, as the lighting at midnight is not very helpful.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

OCD and the Torture of Pinterest

Here you have it, craft fans.  The reason why I don't run out and do everything I see on Pinterest: it inevitably takes me MUCH longer to do than the average human being.  Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I offer you Exhibit A:

Gotta tell ya, many parts of this fell together nicely, but none of them went together easily.  First, there was my Cricut, which I am about to violently throw against a wall.  The mats I have just do NOT want to hold cardstock, so redoing these numbers was something that occurred quite frequently.  Then, there was the issue of font. I used Jasmine, after trying George, and realized that honestly I might defect to the Silhouette, where my font choices are far more expansive because I can use the fonts on my laptop.  Then, when it finally did cut, it just wasn't clean.  I probably should be looking at a new blade before I defect completely.

After that craziness, I needed to adhere these very skinny letters.  Not sure if the Tombo adhesive will stay, but I wanted to use something I could move around.  As I look at the pic, I still am driven a little nutty by the number placement.  I wanted to make the date of our wedding stand out, and found these brads that I had from Stampin' Up!'s Hodgepodge Hardware.  You might want to click on the pic for the close-up.  They say "Genuine" on them.

Then, I was left with doing something at the bottom.  I looked through all of my fancy swirls (man, I have some cute stuff, especially chipboard).  All too big. I thought about paper punching or sewing, but it just did not work with this.  So, I opted for linen thread wrapped around the paper.  Loved it!

I thought it needed a "P"  of some sort to tie it all together.  I had these Scrabble letter delightful that the P is 4 points, eh?  Total luck.  And the paper clip is from a different alpha set, from which I had already used the P.  I loved it.

So, then, I go to frame this sucker. Crafters reading this know what happened...the glass in no way, shape, or form wanted to work with me.  I was using some bulky accessories.  So, I left the glass off, and I am A-OK with that.  I worry about what that will do for this piece in the long haul (dust, little curious fingers, etc.), but for now, it works.

I used my 7 Gypsies easel that I bought for a completely different project to display this for now.  Perfect fit!

Here is the "pinspiration" piece:

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Altered Trays

I have been meaning to photograph my craft room trays for some time.  I purchased these wood trays from Hobby Lobby. I traced the sides onto scrapbook papers that I liked.

I sanded the trays and painted them with some acrylic paints, then let them dry.  I cut out the scrapbook pieces, and used Mod Podge to adhere them (note: I chose to use it only on the bottom of the paper with a brush, as I did not want a shiny sheen to the sides).  I then sanded the edges of the papers so that the finish was relatively smooth, and a little "weathered."

I decided which things in my craft room really needed their own space.  I seemed to be acquiring a bunch of photo paper, so I chose that as one of the trays.  I also use one for cardstock and one for random scraps for after I am done with projects. (eventually, the scraps go into my scrap drawers, but this gives them a place in the interim)

I had fun with my VAST and ridiculously large collection of letter stickers when labeling.  These trays fit well with my modular shelving in the room.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Closer Peek at OLW January

I just put the finishing touches on January's layout for the One Little Word album.  I love it.  It's amazing to look at the gallery for this.  There are so many different takes on the same instructions.  Pretty cool.  The digi scrapbookers are making me wish I had more time to invest in that.  Still, I liked cutting, gluing, inking, and writing all the same.  It's all good.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Tale of Two Scrapbooks

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...oops, wrong tale...

I finally have most of the supplies needed, along with a cooperating printer, for my year-long scrapbooking adventures from Big Picture Scrapbooking:

The We R Memory Keepers albums arrived.  I tried to get them locally, but the 8.5 x 11" variety are not that plentiful, and it would have taken the local scrapbook store a few weeks to get them, so Barnes and won out.  However, do not be lured by their promise of free shipping for orders over $25...these orders did not qualify.  I love the variety of color choices of these "faux leather" albums.  When creating albums, I appreciate the three-ring binder option, as these are, however, I am learning that gravity is unkind to these types of albums as they sit on shelves.  Just giving perspective to people considering these projects.  No one says these are the albums you MUST use.  It's just nice that all of the printouts fit the specs for the page protectors.

Each album required different divided page protectors.  I am a huge fan of divided page protectors, as they eliminate the "layout" part of the equation, which is usually the part that extends my time on task.  The Move More Eat Well album requires these page protectors:
The One Little Word album required these page sleeves:
It also requires these adhesive sleeves, which I am awaiting the arrival of any day:

I was introduced to mixing page protector sizes during Cathy Zielske's Design Your Life class, and I must say, I like the idea that the book can be filled with many sizes and still look unified.  The C-Line protectors are self-adhesive, which adds another interesting dimension.

Here are some shots of some of the things I have done thus far:

Move More Eat Well:

One Little Word:

I am very much enjoying both classes so far, and do not feel that either is asking us to do too much too fast.  Very doable.

MMEW has included a written statement of intention, some photos, some quote cards, some measurements, and a reflection on our personal stories with healthy (or unhealthy) living.  We also were asked to come up with 5 things that we rocked at, and ONE thing for the month that we would focus on.  Cathy has also included some great links to some good resources and articles.

OLW has included the opening page (which is awaiting the CLine protectors) backed by a 4 x 6" photo of us with an overlay.  Here's mine:

We then needed to focus on our word on small cards.  We were asked to define it, to look in a thesaurus for synonyms, to find a quote, to discuss why the word was chosen, and what we "invited" from this word for the next year.  I REALLY liked doing this part.  The blanks you see will be filled with various "crafty" items related to the word.

So, there you have it.  The reality of returning to work is coming in the next 48 hours, but the enjoyment from working on these has been great.  Glad I chose to jump in!