Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Cards

Merry Christmas!!!

I love this time of year! Peace on Earth! Good will toward men! Family, friends, food, THE DECORATIONS! I love it :) But most of all, Jesus (the greatest gift of all) is the Reason for the Season :)

I always have a hard time choosing a photo for our card. I like to do a special Christmas-themed photo shoot. This year, with Kevin in Kuwait, it wasn't going to happen. I was really unsure of what to do, but finally decided that a multi-photo card was the way to go. That way, you're not putting all the significance on one photo.

I usually do 4x8 cards. It's easier and cheap and you get free envelopes. They don't make 4x6 envelopes.

But, I've decided this year to write our very first family newsletter. So much has happened in the past year and this is the simplest way to to get it all out there to our family and friends. So, since I'd be using letter envelopes, I figured I could get away with a 4x6 print.

This is my Christmas card (if you're on my mailing list, you can pretend to be surprised):

I immediately thought about my Christmas card when I saw Sue Cumming's 'Christmas Stamps #2' and that is the framework for my card. I cropped and edited the frames a bit. The snowflakes and elements are from Sue Cumming's '52 Inspirations 2008 Weeks 46 & 49'. The label and the alphas are from this year's HUGE Merry & Bright daily download kit.

I think it turned out pretty well. I hope you enjoy it!

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Little Shop of Sketches Wednesday

Tanya has come up with a fabulous sketch for this week. Here is sketch #60:

You don't have to go with the Christmas theme, but since it's December, I did. Here's my take:

I used the new Danielle Young and Cinzia Designs Collab kit: Oh Joy! available at Oscraps. The word art and titles are from Sue Cummings' Merry&Bright (awesome concept with a mini-kit for every day in December!)

As always, head on over to Little Shop of Sketches to see the other fabulous layouts and be sure to tell us if you do one as well!

I hope you like it!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

We did our annual running of the Manchester Road Race (~5 miles) in the morning. I convinced my brother-in-law to join my brother (so glad he's back from school - missed him last year) and I. Alas, I finished a close third out of us three. (The other people in the picture are family friends or friends/family of those family friends ...)

Then, we had 13 people over for a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner. I must really thank my lovely mother and sisters for doing so much to help with the cooking, baking, cleaning, decorating and last but not least, childcare. I couldn't have done it without them!

I hope your holiday was just as good as mine!


Oh, have you been wondering where I've been? Well, I've been right here ... but with no Internet! I thought my cyber woes were over, but they were just beginning.

I was actually in the middle of a fantastically long and detailed blog post with several pictures ... and my browser 'encountered a problem and needs to close' which completely ruined everything.

Between the browser problems and the recurring Internet connection problems, I'm about ready to pull out some hair ... but God is good and I will choose not to let this get me down!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Change of pace ... GGS trade album (August)!

I went a bit old-school for my August Girls Gone Scrappy Trade Album.

My trade partner, Kathy, has a very ecclectic style, so I didn't know if she would like this simple one, but she did. I must admit, the hanging scrapbook is a cool idea :)

This is a hanging scrapbook. You can check out my gallery to see some other awesome ones I've done :) I think it's a rather cool idea and there a lot of different ways to implement it. This time I cut my own pages out of chipboard, punched the holes and connected them with book rings. I also tried to create the pages before attaching them to the chipboard ... it's a bit different than other times, but I did it because of the metal accents (brads punching through the background paper). We'll see if it works out better or worse.

I apologize for the sideways pictures. I didn't notice until just now and I don't want to have to change them all and re-upload them ... so just tilt your head to the left and imagine ...


So, I used some very old Plum Mist patterned paper from Close to my Heart, some metal words from Making Memories, misc. ribbon and other metal accents (mostly from CTMH).

Page 1 & 2:
Flip open the first page and you get two photo mats and the one on page 2 hinges open for space for more pictures.

Page 3 & 4:

Page 4 has a tri-fold mat that folds and opens out for room on both sides.

Page 5 & 6:
Page 5 has tags behind and in front of the photo mat.

Page 6 has a fold out held closed by photo turns.

Pages 7 & 8:

Page 7 has a tag. And because the page is longer, the tag is, too :)

Page 8 has a fold open page held closed with a photo turn.

Pages 9 & 10:

Page 9 hinges to turn up (or down) with a tag behind the hidden space. Triple layers :)

Page 10 has a pocket and tag.

Pages 11 & 12:

Page 11 has a tag and a fold-open page.

Pages 13 & 14:

Page 13 is triple layered again, but not quite as hidden with two tags and a pocket.

Page 14 (and the end) has a fold out page.

That concludes my purple hanging scrapbook.
I hope you like it!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Today - Samantha

Alright, this is an odd one. I don't even know where to begin describing it.

Dawn, from Createwings Designs, gave a freebie mini-kit on her blog about a month ago. She then had a contest for people to use the freebie.

At the time, I had no digi stuff on my computer (because it crashed - long story), so free was nice. I really didn't have any digi stuff to work with. I finished it about 90% of the way (using Danielle Young's Halloweentown tree - it's what I had!) and then didn't have anything for a title ... so I forgot about it. The blog contest is long gone, but I finished it up and thought I'd post. I just inserted some word art from Sue Cummings.

It's a little odd, but still cute ... I think.

I hope you like it (or at least smile)!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Little Shop of Sketches Wednesday (a day late)

Yes, it's Thursday. Due to a combination of forgetfulness, procrastination and computer challenges, I am posting a day late. Please forgive me.

Sketch #55:

And this is my take on it:

5 Siblings = one big happy Family!

I used all Danielle Young elements from several different page kits. Let me know if you want to know about something specific.

I hope you like it!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sue Cummings Design Challenge at Oscraps - Day 1

Almost every week, there's a digital scrapbooking design challenge at the Oscraps forum. This past week Sue Cummings was highlighted and she gave away a beautiful freebie page kit called Each and Every Day.

I had this horrible photo that I wanted to try and salvage. The original photo looked like this:

Why waste a good photo, right?

You tell me, did I salvage it?

Because of course, each and every day I love my husband :)

I hope you like it!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

I love you :)

As you may already know, I've quite a few computer problems in the last few months. My laptop broke around the move, but I fixed it. My Internet connection took weeks to get resolved and they still haven't finished the install (must remember to call about that - again). Our family computer was having major problems and was so friend that we couldn't even re-format it and re-install the operating system, so we're now in the market for a new computer. My computer things were all packed away - including my back-up discs and I just had the hardest time getting enough time and focus put together to do a lot of computer work instead of all the other work that I needed to do. My laptop doesn't have enough memory to house my digi kits and my home computer is in limbo, so I didn't have any digi supplies even if I had the time and inclination to create something.
Now things have settled down a bit and I've been able to slowly start up my hobby again :)
One of the first things I did was download some of Danielle Young's new kits that will soon be available at Oscraps.
The layout above has a freebie from Createwings Designs (the heart and wings) and the rest is from the Family collab kit by Danielle Young and her black alpha from Halloweentown.
Sometimes it's really frustrating not having the ability to browse for just the right thing and get what you want ... but sometimes it's nice to not have to worry about having the right thing. You just work with what you've got :)
I hope you like it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Caramel Coffee Coolatta

An ode to coffee:
Using Danielle Young's Cream and Sugar kit.
I took a picture of my favorite (for the moment) drink - a Caramel Coffee Coolatta. I didn't end up using any of the wonderful word art in the kit, but it's a great kit for helping to record that caffeinated moment in your life - or more :)
I hope you like it!

Little Shop of Sketches Wednesday

It's that time again! Little Shop of Sketches time. And I have a treat for you today! Two layouts! We're up to sketh #54, but I'm also going to show you my version of sketch #51. I did it a few weeks ago, but wasn't able to post on my blog again yet ...

Anyway ... Here's Sketch #51 from Little Shop of Sketches:

And here's my take on it:

I used Basic Grey papers, CTMH brads, spiral and photo turns, AC Thickers and misc. string.

I'm doing a series of one photo layouts for each member of my family. I'm going to put them together in an album for my mom. The title is always their name and the journaling (not complete on this layout yet) says "She/He is ... (words from other family members to describe them) ... and so much more!"

You can see my first layout in this series here: Abby
I have more than one more in progress and hopefully I'll get them finished soon. Oh, the joys of moving :)
And here's more fun:
Sketch #54:

And my take on it:

I used the Sue Cumming Each & Every Day kit from Oscraps and Danielle Young's Family collab kit coming soon to Oscraps.
We took the photo on an abnormally (for the time) hot day in October when Kevin was back for his 4-day pass. It was so nice to have Daddy back! I didn't quite realize it until he was back, but life isn't complete without him here.

I hope you like them!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

GGS Trade Album (July)

Well, you may remember in June ... when I posted about Girls Gone Scrappy and the mini-album trading club. I thought it was a great idea because it forces you to actually get something done and you get to create something wonderful for someone who will appreciate it.

So, with one trade under my belt, I went into July with a million ideas and possibilities. My trade partner was Jackielou, who said she loved PINK and FLOWERS! Well, I can do pink and flowers :) I might have taken it to the extreme :)

I was excited about my new Bind-It-All and there are so many possibilities when you have one! I was just brimming with ideas. It was so hard to choose!
I had some chipboard pieces - 4 of them - and decided to use them and then add three of the now infamous envelope pockets (using a mailing envelope cut in half and altered) and I also made my own pocket :)
This is the front. It's a chipboard piece the same size as the tabbed ones, but with a window. I'm not exactly sure what to do with windows ...
The album is covered in paper from DCWV. I've used white acrylic paint on every page.
There are large Prima flowers with a gorgeous K&Co fabric and jeweled brad, CTMH paper and jewel flowers, Prima jewel flowers, CTMH rhinestones and bling, misc. flowers and lots of different ribbons.
You know, I wish I knew what to put on the front of these albums ... I mean, if it were for me or a gift for someone where I was using pictures, I would have put a photo or a title. Yes, definitely a title. But, when you don't know who is going to use it or what they're going to use it for, you don't want to limit their options ... so I almost never put a title on and sometimes I think I should. But still, it's hard to decide what words, phrases, stickers, journaling, etc to include ...
This is the inside - pages 2 & 3:
You can see the other side of the window. I really don't think I utilized it correctly. I tried to place the pocket where it would look good through the window, but I really shouldn't have put the pocket there at all. I should have created a page where the spot that showed through the window would have been blank for them to be able to put a photo or whatever they wanted to show through to the front ...
I stamped a journaling spot in pink, inked the edges and stuck it behind a hot pink flower.
You can see the next page behind the pocket, but for the pocket, I added ribbon that you could slide something under, a CTMH flower and large brad the tag is white with pink inking and pink ribbon. The edges are all painted with white paint.
This is page 4 & 5:
You can see the back side of the pocket. I painted a white photo mat, added ribbon, a Prima flower and bling.
On the fifth page, I put a large CTMH flower on the rounded tab and you can't see it very well, but there's a very thick acrylic MM pink flower brad in the center.
I painted a white background and then added squares of patterned paper connected with glitter glue stitches for what I call the 'glitter quilting' effect.
This is pages 6 & 7:
On page six, there's another CTMH paper and crystal flower on the rounded tab and a photo mat with painted edges. I added some white flower trim and didn't stick down the middle so that you could slide something underneath it.
Page seven is a pocket that I created by folding patterned paper in two and gluing the bottom together. I used a Martha Stewart trim punch at the top (which was really hard because the paper isn't that sturdy). I had cut the butterfly out using my friend's Cricut machine a few months before this project, but it went really well and I added some rhinestone bling.
Inside the pocket were three tags:
One of the tags was two strips of patterned paper glued together, punched, painted and ribbon. You can sort of see it peeking at the top of these photos.
The other two tags were a butterfly cut in two. I used a butterfly mask and pink glimmer mist on one side and then took the wet mask and laid it down on the other side of the paper to make the pink butterfly.

I outlined both butterfly shapes with glitter glue, so I guess it'll be hard to add journaling, but it's really pretty :)
Pages 8 & 9:
The other side of the large pocet has a small version of the butterfly on the other side.
Page nine is the backside of a envelope pocket. I added patterned paper and glitter glue quilting.

Pages 10 & 11:
The front side of the pocket has more patterned paper and glitter quilting with a CTMH flower and brad and two tags with ribbon. In case you haven't noticed, the ribbon is attached with blue staples. They were in the stapler and I guess I was too lazy to change them.
Page eleven is similar to page six, but not exactly mirrored. The trim is in a different location and there's a different flower :)
Pages 12 & 13:
Page twelve has a painted background, patterned paper and glitter quilting. Prima flower and rhinestone.
Page thirteen has a CTMH flower and MM pink rhinestone brad.

Pages 14 & 15:

The back of the pocket with some rhinestones and the last page I really did up with the flowers. There are a lot of different sizes, colors, textures, brads, rhinestones, velvet, flocking, paper, sheer, fabric, etc. I though it was really pretty.

The back cover (nothing special, really :) )

So ... that's it. I hope Jackielou liked it and I hope you do, too!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Little Shop of Sketches Wednesday!

It's Wednesday here where I live and that means it's time for something from Little Shop of Sketches!

The girls there have been so gracious about letting me stay on the design team even with a two + month hiatus. But I'm back! It's so good to be back :)

I decided to come back with paper scrapbooking because well, my computer has been (and still is) having challenges and it's just nice to get in there and physically handle things. Looking at my beautiful products just inspires me :)

This is Tanya's Sketch #53:

And this is my take on it:
This is a glossy finish double-sided paper. The grunge feel and the turquoise colors with the rather Hawaiian feel just make me think of my sisters. I don't know why ...

I liked both sides of the paper, so I thought why not cut out the rectangular section and just flip it around? Brilliant, right? Well, it would have been brilliant if my cuts were perfect. I tried, but I can't make perfect right angle cuts (especially four of them) even when I try my hardest. I'd blame it on the paper cutter, but I have this problem with all my paper cutters, so maybe it's just me.
So, the rectangle didn't quite fit, which warps the paper a bit, but that's ok. I reattached it with staples. Blue staples :)

Cosmo Cricket Blackout chipboard letters and American Crafts letter stickers.

I looked everywhere for a turquoise cardstock (for the picture mat) that would match the paper. I even considered raspberry or red ... and nothing seemed to be right! I was very frustrated. Then I noticed this tissue paper sticking out of my gift wrap box ... and thought it might work. It did! And it gives some fun texture.

Misc. lace, ribbon and trims and a Basic Grey sticker finish it off.

It's actually pretty simple. I kept thinking I needed to do something more. But, the paper is so detailed and the colors work. Maybe simple is better. It's so hard for me not to put so much onto and into my layouts. Maybe that's why I don't get many done ...

Anyway, I encourage you to head over to the Little Shop of Sketches blog to check out the other lovely ladies' work and be sure to use the sketch! If you create a layout, please upload it to the gallery and you'll be entered to win a prize :)

I hope you like it!