Monday, March 31, 2014

Me Series: March

Remembered to do this months ME page by the skin of my teeth (how is that a saying?--wait, I probably don't want to know.) Late last week it dawned on me that I hadn't done the page yet so I got cracking and here's what I made...

The photos don't really do it justice, I'm afraid. It's challenging to get a great capture of a page when the weather here is always so gloomy and gray. But, you get the idea. For the rainbow I used some brand spanking new gelatos that I had received in the mail the day before. I'm having so much fun playing with these things! Can't wait to get messy and creative with them again soon. Maybe I'll even do a little review or tutorial or something. (love it when a new to me product gets the creative wheel cranking!)

So that's March. Yay! If you want to see the other pages in the series so far, or read about why I am doing this thing about ME, click here:

Saturday, March 29, 2014


This girl has hit 1900 posts on Instagram!

I'm so glad that this is my latest post there. I've been trying to be happier lately. That means playing with the kids at the park, getting in on the fun instead of absentmindedly pushing them on a swing and wishing they would choose the slides instead. It means cutting myself a break when I need it (lots of breaks). It means getting enough sleep, checking things off of lists, making time for myself, dancing for no reason, giggling as much as possible. Actively deciding what I need to do to be happy.. and then doing it.

This is a baby steps kind of thing, not something that's happening overnight, but rather in little bite-sized morsels. The last few months have been a real challenge and I'm feeling like it's time to get. a. grip. No one else can make me feel better, I'm the only one that can snap me out of this funk. Just me. Now is the time. Anyway, just thought I would share some quick thoughts on this, because I haven't been feeling really happy in quite some time… but here's to 1900 more happy photos, and more importantly, happy moments.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Here's another one of the layouts I created last week with my big box o'goodies (one of the four I was making at the same time)… isn't creativity strange? I don't know if it's like this for everyone, but mine goes in big spurts. I will create like mad for a couple of days at a time and then nada, nothing for like a week or more. Anyway, I cherish when I do have time to be creative… and I cherish the times we have with family, as well as the snapshots of these moments together… glad that the two can go hand in hand.

Something funny my husband passed along to me about being creative was a saying he found: "If you marry a creative person know that some days you'll come home to a spotless house and some days dinner will be forgotten, the kids will be in pj's and it will look like you were robbed. Find a way to appreciate both because the second will happen much more often than the first." --I'm lucky he doesn't cherish a clean house! --and also, in response I asked if normal people don't do this.. you know, forget to dress the kids and fuss over meals because some inspiration struck… he said back, "I don't know what normal people do, I married you!" What a lucky guy. ;)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

This Is How I Roll: Derby Comeback Edition

Can you call it a comeback if you're really just coming-back after a minor (what is considered fairly minor for a knee injury, meaning no surgery, but feels very major to me) injury? I guess maybe it's not technically, but with another 6 weeks of rehab, building up endurance and strength, and having to pass a skills test in order to play full contact roller derby again… it feels like one. 

I posted this photo on Insagram last week after skating for the first time since I tore my MCL. I was feeling very sorry for myself at the time (I still kinda do. Pity party for one, please.). I hate this part of recovery. I suck at it. The mental part kills me. That point when you are healthy enough to put on skates, but your body just simply can't do what you want it to. The part where you are really unsure of the fine line between temporary limitations and pushing it too hard. The point where you wonder if it will ever really feel 100% again.. and when? why not now?! 

It's very frustrating to be in this position where I have to fight for just about every moment in a workout… when nothing comes easily… basic skills take my every effort and concentration. In the back of my mind I'm wishing I could just relax and let things take their course, be patient, confident that I will recover flawlessly and be just as bad @$$ as I've always been…. (that might be an overstatement.) I'm someone who goes balls to the wall in whatever I do. I don't have an in between mode, a cruise control, an ease in, a mosey… which is really challenging in a situation like this, when I'm supposed to be taking it easy!

Mostly, I just want to feel like this again….

Just the act of putting on skates and being present isn't enough for me anymore. I want to dominate…. and hopefully I will in about 6 more weeks! 

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Been playing a lot with a big ole box of American Crafts/Crate Paper/Studio Calico goodies. Having a lot of fun doing it. Isn't it amazing what a desk full of fresh materials can do to amp up your creativity? At one point I had four layouts going at the same time. Here's one...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

DIY Shop

It's DIY Shop week over on the American Crafts blog. You can find a weeks worth of inspiration using this super versatile line. This is the line that I felt most excited about during the releases at the last CHA… and let me tell you, now that I have it in my hands, it does not disappoint! It's an awesome collection of items that are wonderfully adaptable to any and every project on your wish list. The possibilities are endless!

Here are my projects…

My favorite parts of DIY Shop are the washi tape, chalkboard labels, and brayer stamps (the hearts on this one…. so fun for creating that textured/layered look.)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

this is how i roll: 8x8 Edition

I've really been loving the 8x8 blown up Instagram look lately. Maybe I've said this before? Can't remember. But if you follow along you've probably noticed I've been using these a lot lately…

I'm enjoying 8x8 photos so much that I just picked up a new batch from Costco to keep it going. I'm a big fan of using one photo on layouts and an even bigger fan of Instagram edits so the two paired together, in a big statement size, is a big fat YES in my book. The photo quality might not be for everyone… they come out a bit grainy (most instas do when printed), and they lose a bit of the sharpness too since they're so big… but I gravitate towards the artsy look of them and feel like they will add something a little different to my albums.

Have you been playing around with any sizes lately?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I'm sure that you've seen quite a bit of the latest trend, hand lettering. I was so excited when this became a thing in scrapbooking because this is what I actually used to do for a living when I worked as a sign artist for Trader Joes. Playing with different fonts and making up my own has been a passion of mine since I learned how to write cursive. In fact back when I first started scrapping I used to draw on my pages in place of letter stickers (but it was more because I was too cheap to buy them when I could just draw the titles myself). Time to brush up on my skills! (oh look, a pun.)

"Fearless" with ink and "Mr. Snicklefritz" with marker.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

This Is How I Roll: Project Life Edition

I've been thinking for the longest time that I should do a post about how I tackle project life… not because I think everyone should do it this way, or because my way is the best.. but because when I first learned about PL I remember thinking it wasn't for me because it seemed like way too much work and I didn't feel I had the time to do it. Turns out that's not the case. I was able to do it even when I had a full time job and kids to manage, when I was tired from pregnancy & on top of all of the other scrappy work I do… even with a newborn. It's all about being organized (another post to come), having a method that works for you, and letting the expectation that it has to be perfect, or beautiful, or take tons of time to do go. Just go for it.

I've mentioned before that I do PL a month at a time. This works for me. At one point I was trying to do it week by week but it was starting to become something on the to do list that I wasn't checking off, I felt behind a lot. Now it is something I look forward to since it actually gives me a little break from my traditional pages.

The first thing I do is print my photos. I do this at home with iPhoto and a Canon printer. I go through the past month and select each photo I want to include. I click Print, then Contact Sheet. From there I can customize the amount of photos I want on each page. Smaller sizes mean that I can include more on the spreads and still have room for journaling, which is what I like.

Once I have those printed and trimmed I pull out my page protectors and decide where I want the photos placed. Next comes the cards or background paper. I think about what kind of journaling I would like to include with these photos & keep this in mind when making my choices.

Next I plan the embellishments for each pocket. I don't go too crazy here because it's really more about the story and less about the frills for me… but a little is nice. I've been using the Studio Calico Project Life monthly kits and it makes embellishing a breeze since everything in the kit coordinates already. Not a whole lot of time is spent thinking or hunting down things to match.

 Now I glue everything down. Pull out some labels for easy journal spots. Stamp & embellish quickly.

That's it. From start to finish (not including printing the photos) one layout takes about 30 minutes (maybe less depending on how many times one of the rugrats little angels bothers me).

Here are the rest of Februarys pages.

I know there are a lot of different approaches to this project, and finding what works for you is half of the battle. The more simplified and organized you are, the more likely you are to keep up and make this happen. I would encourage you to try because it's super super cool to have a year worth of pages to look back on.

One of the things I love most is that these are things I wouldn't have normally scrapped.. like 5 foot icicles, baby yogurt faces, epic driveway shovel-a-thons, silly bath time antics, even feelings about the not so rosy moments. These are the little things that make up our daily lives, this is why I scrap. The kids won't always be dumping toys all over the living room (I hope), or crawling onto my lap for a quick snuggle, or doing science projects. I want to have a way to look back on these things and remember them. That's what Project Life is for me. It's not a chore, or something I feel like I have to do, but rather a way to preserve our family history… even if it's really only important to me. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

American Crafts Blog Assignment

Hey ya'll, did you catch the American Crafts Plus One Week? Plus One is the newest line by Amy Tangerine and it is the bees knees. I feel like a good way to describe it would be, "black and white and colorful all over." Right up my alley. Here's what I put together for the blog this week….

One of the details on this layout took me for-ev-ah! Can you guess what it is? Stitching! It's actually ombre with some aqua thrown in. Even though it took the longest time to do I am loving the look of it… but it doesn't really shine on this page since there's so much going on. I want to use the stitching stencils for background of pages in the future, and really showcase the stitches. So many ideas swirling around in my noggin right now.

and my black and white card with a little pop of pink. What do you think?

Friday, March 7, 2014


So this is what it feels like to breathe again. We finally sold our house in Kentucky. The relief is palpable, and even more sweet then I imagined it would be. I'll admit that I hesitated to even write this post. The past six months have been the most difficult of my life. We combated challenge after challenge. I felt like every time I would say, "well it may be tough but at least we still have ---fill in the blank---" then that thing would come crumbling down too… as if the universe was against us. We couldn't catch a break.

But it occurs to me that times are a changing, for the better… and it's ok to say that because it's not going to jinx it. We are on our way to picking up the pieces and putting them back into their happy little places.. and maybe I will be even more grateful for the puzzle when this is all said and done.  

It feels so amazing to wake up and be able to really smile, because I almost forgot what really smiling with my whole heart felt like… finally.

and now we can move out of this dump!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's A Party On My Page

For some reason birthday pages are something I hesitate to create. I don't really know why that is because I LOVE birthdays. I find myself setting aside materials for these pages all the time… oh, that's perfect for a birthday page, I'll do that later… I print the photos and they collect dust.

To be honest this is actually the one and only thing I ever feel scrap-guilt for being "behind" on. Another year rolls around and as I snap the photos of them blowing out candles I think to myself, "I haven't even scrapped the last ones." (and also I think, "how in the world are they *insert age here* already?!") Luckily a call for submissions was the little push I needed to make it happen. Here's a couple of the pages I made….

(btw. SEVENTEEN! Are you kidding me?! Dude graduates this year. I'm still in denial.)

Yes, I have a 17 year old, and a 1 year old… because I'm a genius. #not 
Hey, it makes for a broad spectrum of birthdays to scrap. Maybe I'll dust off some more photos.

Monday, March 3, 2014

American Crafts February Gallery

Sharing a gallery layout for American Crafts today...

You can see all of the spectacular pages the rest of the team made here.

I'm happy to say have quite a few projects on the horizon to share with you. I've been creating like a madwoman for submissions. And I'm working on somewhat of a tutorial for my Project Life process. Also, I just received a very LARGE box of products from AC that includes items from American Crafts, Crate Paper, Pink Paislee, Heidi Swapp, and Studio Calico. I'll be diving into those goodies later on this week. In fact, I may just never ever leave my desk! --unless I run out of photos that is.