Friday, December 31, 2010

Everyone else is doing it!

And I hate to feel left out, so here is my Top layouts for 2010. These are some of my favorites, though there are still a few that I cannot put up because I am awaiting to hear if they will be published.

Of course featuring that cute little one I call "niece." Loved the colors and the pictures of this one.

One of my first layouts for a For The Luv Of Art challenge. Love, love, love the colors on this page!

An all time favorite brainchild of mine. Sticks, heat embossing, paint splatters, and my favorite neutral.

Totally funky colors and absolutely awesome people.

This layout moves me every time I see it. I think I was channeling her spirit when I made it.

LOVE!!! The colors, the flowers, the embellies, just everything. I could eat this layout up!

So proud of the handmade element to this one. I know it is very recent, but it had to have a spot.

And just because, I am adding an extra one. This would be my favorite layout that was a push for me. It isn't really my typical colors, though I did revisit them in my favorite #8 above, yet when I finished this, I was really drawn to it and how it had come together. It was based on a sketch from My Mind's Eye.

Thanks for playing along with my recap. Guess what? Tomorrow, on the first day of a new decade, I will do another Top 10 recap, featuring my favorite ten non-layout creations of 2010. Have a fabulous and safe New Year's Eve!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Feeling the Christmas spirit!

I went to a Holiday Crop over the weekend and was able to get *most* of my Christmas cards done. I also started this layout and finished it at home. I love the Cosmo Cricket holiday line with it's mix of colors-- purples, grays, greens, and reds. I have held onto this photo of my niece for a year waiting for the perfect layout for it and I think I found it.

Cosmo Cricket patterned paper, American Crafts Thickers, Maya Road ribbon, MS embossing punch and twine, misc. brads and buttons

I made the flowers surrounding the photo, including the ribbon ones. I was going to completely surround the picture with, but figured it would 1) be too much and 2) take too much time. Instead I am very happy with how it looks. 

Another thing that is totally Christmas time is Jeff Guinn's Santa-centric novels, starting with The Autobiography of Santa Claus. I highly recommend these novels. They are fabulous and especially wonderful at this time of year. I would imagine that kids would enjoy these stories as much as adults.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My big idea!

Drumroll, please.....



I found a really cool green binder at the Dollar Store and it sat on my table, taunting me to put it to good use. A school binder? An inspiration binder? Something for Christmas? The December Daily? None of these seemed like the right calling for it. Then inspiration struck.

A recording of Christmas morning! To me, there is nothing that signifies the culmination of the Christmas spirit like Christmas morning. The family gathered around each other, generally in pajamas, sporting bed hair, and sleep still blearing their eyes. There is chit chat, hands gripping coffee cups, and a special glow from the Christmas tree which seems reflected in the love showing through on everyones faces. 

My intention with this book is to make quick one page layouts that focus on those moments. I have only gone back two years so far, but I may go back further. I want it to be a snapshot of who was there, where the celebration happened, and maybe even some things that were going on with those people.  

In 2008, we were in Oregon for Christmas. My brother and sister-in-law were expecting their first child. I love this picture of my siblings and I curled up on the couch together, the last year before there were children in our lives, our last year before we crossed the threshold of being someone's child to having our own.

I used KaiserCraft's Ginko patterned paper border punched with an MS Around the Page punch, Bazzill dotted swiss card stock inked with Vintage Photo Distress, AC Thickers number stickers, K&Co chipboard sentiment, and a greeting card from the Dollar Spot at Target last year. The card holds the journaling.

This layout is from my niece's first Christmas and I love how these photos really embrace the feel of our Christmas morning and that Miss Cady-Bird is at the center of the action, much like she is at the center of our hearts. 

This is based on red Bazzill card stock with a K&Co Yuletide patterned paper on the bottom, Me & My Big Ideas chip trees and bird, Making Memories snowflake transparency, K&Co Evergreen glitter tree and sentiment, and GCD Studios number stickers. The pom pom trim and snowflake brads are of unknown origins.

I know in the craziness that can be the holiday season, you might think that having one more project is just too much, but I certainly encourage you consider making one of these Christmas celebration books for yourself. It is a tradition that can be enjoyed for many years. If you do choose to follow me on this journey, I would LOVE to see your creations, so please, please, please share.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

An icy slide into December!

Wow! This year has zoomed by! December 1st already? It is time to start on my December Daily, I am working on the free class offered by Jessica Sprague, and I have a new project that I really cannot wait to reveal tomorrow. Hopefully it will inspire some of you.

This last half of the year has been a bit crazy, but it is starting to wind down. School will be ending in a few weeks, I am starting to find my routine, life is just good. I am going to play a quick catch up here:

My new favorite Thanksgiving decoration. They remind me of a balloon from the Macy's Parade.

Then there is my newest handmade Fall decoration. No surprise it is a banner, right? 

Thanksgiving dinner was unconventional with no turkey. I feel like I did a lot of these that day.

But this turned out pretty darn good. At least that is what the masses said.

And I found some more inspiration when I found the top of my desk last night. Can't wait to send this to my friends.

Okay, so that is about the last two weeks of November in Cliff's Notes. I will be back tomorrow to unveil another of my midnight, should be sleeping inspirations.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Brain Fog

It has been too long and I am really sorry about that. These last few months seem like I have been accidentally pressing the fast forward button on the Life Remote. October was a whirlwind, something every weekend, but not enough time to dedicate to any of the events. Now it is mid-November and I *might* hit my stride again.

Since I was last here, I made the tough decision to drop a class. I had to come to terms that it didn't make me a quitter or weak, that it was a considered adult decision and it was okay. It gives me more time to focus on the other very demanding class and also allows me to not feel like I am selling a piece of my soul. We went to my Grandfather's memorial service, which in itself was an emotional roller coaster I wasn't fully expecting. One of these days I will realize I am human and tears are pretty darn natural. Oh, and that it is okay to cry.

I was so overwhelmed last month that I didn't pull out the full Halloween decorations. This is a first in years. Again, I have to be gentle with myself and promise that it is okay if I missed a year.

The hubby and I spent last weekend in one of my favorite cities, Seattle, to celebrate our 2 year anniversary. Crazy how fast THAT time has gone. Sometimes it feels like I have known him forever and others, I think he is a complete stranger. Or maybe just completely strange... We had a wonderful time. Seattle has a lot of the charm of San Francisco with a lot less of the grime, or at least it seems to me who has only ever spent extended stays there. I am sure like with all places that after living in Seattle you would start to see the tarnish.

I have also stepped back into the creative world, one toe at a time. I burst out of the funk with this layout which is now one of my favorites. They are both my own sketches and designed from my muddled brain. I love the mix of colors in this one and have to say that Indie Girl by Sassafras Lass has to be one of the best they have ever done, (IMHO), which is saying something because I own A LOT of Sassafras. 

There is also some of my all time, can't fail favorite-- Pink Paislee. How they continue to knock it out of the park with their lines is a testament of their greatness. The turquoise ruffle ribbon, the pink letter stickers, and the AWESOME circle frames are all Pink Paislee. I couldn't wait to get my paws on these Artisan Element frames when I saw them on the Pink Paislee blog and I was not disappointed. I Glimmer Misted these with Mustard Seed and Lemon Zest. I have a feeling I will be picking up more packages of these frames to stash for later use. All the flowers with the exception of the pinkish-red ones are made by me. The white ones are Maya Road ribbon, the green ones are a ribbon as well, and the multi-colored ones are stacked vellum scrunched around a brad.

If you have read this far, thank you. If you just scanned for the photos and some key words, thank you. And if you are still a follower, I really thank you.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Boo time is around the corner

and I have a new handmade decoration to add to the mix. I put together the adorable wreath below that my friend Nikki created as a class. Isn't this too cute?

It uses the super cute kids from the "Blackbird" line by My Mind's Eye. You can't really see it, but there is also a spider web stretched across the back and on the edges. I put this together last night while watching the Vikes ALMOST beat the Jets. So close, yet no banana. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Snail Killings

Last Thursday, my darling husband and I noticed a large pile of snail shells on our back porch. They hadn't been there the night before when he had swept the porch, but gross enough, there they were. We kept bouncing ideas back and forth about what happened. He wanted to blame the beautiful bushy tailed squirrels who perform death defying leaps from tree to tree in the back area of the complex, but I insisted that these were not refined squirrels with a taste for such delicacy, no these are your good ole down home squirrelies. Dear hubby of course resorted to the internet to see if squirrels eat snails, which they do, but only in certain circumstances. The next afternoon we opened the blinds to find more in the same spot! Not as many this time, but now my hubby was adamant he was going to catch the culprit. Last night he came in from B.P.I., (Back Porch Investigation), to report that he had found a nut in the pile as well so it HAD to be the squirrels. Well, based on circumstantial evidence I was hard pressed to come up with a defense for my squirrel pals. Then this afternoon, we had a breakthrough in the case. The culprit returned to the scene.
Here he is, friends.....

Tell me that isn't the look of a trouble maker right there? It seems a relative of this cocky bird has decided that our back porch is perfect feasting grounds. He lands in the potted plants, hunts for his morsels, and then breaks them down, leaving the shells for the "help" to sweep up. We know this because he was brave enough to do so while my hubs was watching out the window. To add insult to injury, this meddling Mickey is also taking nuts that don't belong to him. Yeah, remember the single nut found at the crime scene? Well, it is believed that the once suspected squirrels buried the said nut in one of the potted plants on the back porch for winter keeping and this brat dug it out and moved it to his pile of shells. We believe this because he unearthed one today too. 

When dear hubby was telling me this revelation, my reply was, "You know what that poor squirrel is saying, right?"


"Stop messing with my nuts!" 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Taking a breath

I know it has been a moment at least since my last cryptic post. I haven't been creating much, so I haven't been inspired to blog. Tonight though I need to take a moment to open up. I am generally a pretty private person, not because I am selfish, but because I know we all have our paths to walk and I never really figure someone wants to hear everything I see along mine. My grandfather, the one and only who has ever come close to fitting that title, passed away unexpectedly this morning. I am sorry that he is gone, not so much because there is a loss in my life, but because I know that his wife and my mom are now hurting very much.

There is a natural order to life that I have never realized fully until today, but if life works as it should, each of us will be an orphan at one point in our lives. That is a harsh reality and may sound callous in this moment, but please do not mistake my tenor.

Tonight I am taking a moment to breathe. To inhale what is life and to thank my stars that I had someone who I could call "Grandpa" even if neither of us were ever sure what that was really supposed to mean. I am also thanking my stars that I have my parents for yet another day.

Safe journeys, Grandpa.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Been traveling

and we are off again in a few moments. Here are some photos of where we were this last week. I got my first dose of real humidity. It was beautiful.
I was in love with all the architecture! I would happily move into a beauty like this!

Or this.

It was certainly HOT!

Incredible church doors.

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Two layouts for the gift album

I made two layouts last night for an album I started for our niece who turns one tomorrow. I only have four layouts in there, but I will add as time goes on. I used sketches for both of these layouts. Sadly, I cannot remember who made this sketch or where I found it, so if you recognize it, please let me know so I can give appropriate credit to the artist. If it is yours, please accept my apologies in advance for this oversight.

I have blurred the faces to protect the innocent and because I haven't received permission from the subjects to publish their image. I worked with Pink Paislee papers, Bazzil card stock, Jenni Bowlin banner stickers, and a Dear Lizzy journaling tag. The burlap flower, (LOVE it!!!), is K& Co with a Jenni Bowlin chipboard button, Heidi Swap bling, and some ribbon and yarn scraps. The chipboard "Love" sticker is something I don't recall and the gold coin is from Monterey's Cannery Row. The yellow dot ribbon and the funky green fiber are from my stash and I haven't a clue where I found them.

I really liked the simplicity of this sketch. I knew that I could put some busy patterned paper in it and it would speak volumes. This was not the paper I had in mind, but as quick as this layout came together and as much as I love the end result, that is all the matters.
Look at all that yummy color! K&Co patterned paper, Thickers alphas, Dear Lizzy ribbon, and My Mind's Eye die cut flower and acrylic overlay. The two yellow roses are made from the Dear Lizzy sticky back canvas paper and the longest strip behind the photo is the bottom edge from a Sassafras Lass paper that I had cut off on another project. The other strip is something I received in a RAK and the rick rack, which is one of my all time favorite fibers EVER, is May Arts, I *think* or possibly Maya Road. I have just a little bit left and would love to find a bunch more of it. It has the best texture, weight, and color saturation.

Hope you are getting your craft on today!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A picture heavy post

Here is what I have been up to for the last two days.

The top photo is of stamps sets that I have been trying to organize and catalog and the bottom one is of inks, embossing powders, and extras. I was generously gifted with an incredible stamp collection over the weekend and I have been integrating it.

Now, on the crafty side, here is a LO I did last night. I had to use the Martha Stewart butterfly punch.

I canNOT wait to see this little girl soon! It will be the first time we have met in person, but I am already madly in love.

Last but not least, I promised to show you more of the inside of the Eclipse mini featuring the Punky Sprouts album. 

Okay, back to those stamps!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Eclipse Mini!

Here are a few pages of the Eclipse mini I just finished using the Punky Sprouts album from my June For The Luv Of Art kit. I LOVE how this turned out!!! I made some new flowers for this book, using a scalloped punch and the paper towel I used to wipe up the excess Glimmer Mist every time I sprayed something for the book. I also made my own masks for the pages.

This is just a sneak peek because as I was going through the pictures, I noticed a few pages needed something more, so I am going to return this to the scrap room to further embellish those pages I overlooked and then I will show the entire book.

I used the kid's meal toys that I have collected from Burger King to further embellish the album.

Beware! I even journaled in this book!

So there are some sneak shots! I will be back Sunday to post the rest! I am off to the Central Valley of California, where I will be dealing with 101 degree temperatures! Whew! Have a great weekend!