Friday, December 30, 2011

We All Fall Down

Some of us more than others. Goober that I am. I spent the evening scrambling to get this layout finished for the Little Yellow Bicycle Fall/ Winter challenge. Emphasis on the Fall and Winter. I saw the sketch and the word "challenge" and ran off to see if I could get a layout done in time. Should have read the original blog post...because it says to use any of the their Fall and Winter lines. I used "Elizabeth Park", a Spring line from long ago. The pictures I wanted to scrap needed a springy theme, Voila!

We try to have a little Summer "get together" every year. The kids invite their friends and parents over to visit. It's a good excuse to sit around and snack on chips & salsa and S'mores. The girls love to play on the swings, dance and build pyramids. This year they were one short for the perfect pyramid, so Lerita volunteered. Hilarity ensued :)

Had to take this photo at night and then Photoshop the crud out of it :) Colors are a tad off, I'll have to hope for some sun tomorrow and do a retake. I have several layouts that need the same treatment. This is the  downside of living in Michigan and being cursed. Well, maybe cursed is a little strong but my as my Dad has pointed is always sunny on my days to work and cloudy, rainy, or gloomy when I'm off. Go figure. 

I see a lot of people are doing year in review type posts. I'm way too lazy for that! Takes too long to think that hard :P  Thank you for finding my blog and becoming a follower, look for more exciting things ( giveaways and such) in the coming year. Hope you have a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Santa's Little Helper

Is the Christmas line I won on the Imaginisce blog this Fall. I was so excited to open that box. Oodles of scrappy goodness at my fingertips. Since they so generously provided the loot, I created my design team entry with it! Alas, I wasn't one of the lucky ones...maybe next time :) I did scrap two Christmas layouts, which is quite an accomplishment considering Christmas layouts are my nemesis. The first is from 2009.

Cut the large curvy label with the Storybook Cricut cartridge.

Added gems and twine to this cute tree and as always...foam squares. I think I keep 3L in business :)

Buttons by Fancy Pants, machine stitching and  "Stickles" glitter glue for that extra "pop".

Last years Christmas photos were a perfect fit for this sketch from Sketch Support. Have I mentioned I love this sketch blog :)

Title is diecut with the "Opposites Attract" Cricut cartridge.

My brother in law in payback mode (on the right) :)

I'm so happy my sister in law Debbie takes photos and emails them to me or no one would remember what I look like ;)

and more foam squares...

More glitter glue, gems and...(do you see a theme here?) foam squares!

Aren't these diecuts adorable. I think that they are my favorite goodies of the lot.

I love premade embellishments for cards, it's so quick and easy!

Martha Stewart border punch (one of my favs) and a little machine stitching. Then my version of a rosette ornament. Unfortunately you can't see the pretty glitter at all.

Thanks for sticking with me through this lengthy post! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are going to have a fabulous new year!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

We Wish You a Merry Christmas...

and a Happy New Year! The children are all tucked into their beds after our annual family celebration (my hubby's side) and this Mom and Dad are ready to call it a night. Morning brings brunch with my small family,  my Dad and Stepdad. Hope you are having a wonderful holiday with friends and family.

New layouts to share coming next week.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dutch Village

Journaling reads: When my Aunt Carolyn And Cousin Chris came to visit we made a trip to Dutch Village with Grandpa John and Grandma Linda. Matthew @ 19 months. Date: July 28, 1998. Holland Michigan.

Matthew had a grand time running around. First the carousel, then the petting zoo and finally the giant stork. We enjoyed watching his boundless enthusiasm.

It was very bright and sunny that day and the photos are busy so I chose a more subdued color palette.

Cut out circles and fringed them to mimic flowers in Fancy Pants patterned paper.

Buttons and medallion accents are from Little Yellow Bicycle. I can't remember the brand of the chip letters (which is very unlike me) but I do know that I painted and then used Stickles on them, inked the edges and finally, outlined them with marker.

Not sure if I'll find time to post again until after Christmas. Today I'll be going to Dad's and helping him with "activities of daily living", then taking him to the Dr. in Kalamazoo. Then Try to fit in finishing 40 treat toppers, a trip to Benton Harbor for a couple of presents and another batch of cookies. Probably won't get all that accomplished, but here's to trying :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

School's Out!

The two beasts were so wound up last night, we could hardly get them to bed! Today is the start of Winter Break and they apparently thought "What's one more day?". They are dragging tail today :)

 Matthew's first jazz band concert was Wednesday. He was in panic mode. Having never been a band member prior to this year was definitely a disadvantage. He wanted to back out, "Mom I'm gonna mess up!" but our mantra here is "Never be a quitter", and off he went. Turns out he did mess up a bit, but it wasn't noticeable. Due in part to the fact that he was hiding behind the piano and that the horn section drowned him out. Only a couple of really bad photos for this Mom to scrap, I'll have to make do ;)

Like how he has his back to the audience during pre show warm ups.

Here is my one photo of him during the actual concert, see his head behind the piano to the left.

Much better success at Mimi's band concert on Thursday. She was front and center, just a little hidden at times behind the band director's podium.

Later she said "Mom, they weren't paying attention to Mr. Murphy" in response to this picture.

It's amazing how much they've improved in a year. Especially after hearing the 6th grade play :)

I LOVE this picture! This expression is in reaction to the band director's face when he saw her reindeer antlers.
Mimi reminds me of the elf that wanted to be a dentist from the classic "Rudolph the red Nosed reindeer".

A sea of Santa hats and one reindeer :}  I have the feeling she's going to be a little bit of a rebel, in a good way. She is talking about possibly becoming a vegetarian. Loves the Beatles and the Gorillaz. Reads voraciously, I could go on & on but I don't want to run you off.

Time to pick up Matt from wrestling practice. I'll be MIA this weekend. Have to help some very tired pregnant ladies be happy for Christmas! Hope to see you Monday.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Boyz

You can't see my husband in this picture but I can clearly remember the expression on his face...pure joy. Before his accident he could play with abandon and not worry about the after effects. That is why I treasure these photos so much. Matthew has a cast on his arm in this photo, the result of a fall from my arms to the carport floor. You gasp...I know, I felt terrible. Those of you who have  strong willed boys may empathize with this. He threw himself backwards out of my arms because he wanted to see the dog in her kennel behind him. She barked and he literally flung himself out of my arms! Many tears ensued, his and mine. Thankfully my pediatrician knows I'm not a child abuser (although the x-ray technicians gave me some nasty looks) and could understand my hysterical blubbering over the phone :) I can smile about this now, back then...not so much.

Love how this title turned out. Used the "Boys Will Be Boys" Cricut cartridge, "Herringbone" Cuttlebug embossing folder, and some foam adhesive to create it.

I'm getting into this rosette making craze :) There are so many options and you can customize them!

Popped up the little red "dots" with foam also. Scrounged the star buttons from my stash, I think they are from my "BK" days (before kids). Finally dug into my "Game On" stash of paper from Little Yellow Bicycle. Love it so much I'm having trouble parting with it :)

So busy right now. Concerts, shopping, baking, and wrapping, Oh My! Found time to check my email and found a forward from my FIL, a video of Carrie Underwood singing "How Great Thou Art", reminding me of the true meaning of Christmas and bringing me to tears. I highly recommend having a Kleenex in one hand.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sweet Summertime...

We sure miss you :)

Envy you southerners right now! Here in Michigan the temps are into the 20's, Couple of inches of snow on the ground, Brrrr. It does make it feel more like Christmas though. Here is the second layout from my Sketch Support Creative Team entry. Oh how I miss those sweet chubby cheeks. Still love them to the moon and back, but I miss the innocence of childhood so much.

Made my own white spray ink with some acrylic paint, water, and sparkly Smooch spray. Can't see it online but it gives it a lovely sea spray effect.

Title and flowers made with the  "Birthday Bash" & "Life is a Beach" Cricut cartridges. Cut 2 layers of the title in orange and one in black to create a subtle shadow.

The colors in the pictures were a perfect match to these Bo Bunny papers.

Mimi and I did some more Christmas shopping today, crossed another one off the list. I splurged on a new Fiskars trimmer and extra blades. Micheals was having a daily deal and all Fiskars products were 50% off. Disappointed at Jo Anns :(  The Spellbinder dies on sale were the "special offer" ones, all of the others were regular price. Of course all the good ones were gone. Searched high & low for a pair of black dress pants for Mimi. After going to three other stores we found them at TJ Maxx, our last stop. Murphy's Law.

Work the next 2 days and then 3 days off :) Maybe some more shopping and a little baking? Can't wait!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I Miss you Mom.

The Holiday's this year are really reminding me how much I miss my Mom. We used to shop together, make cookies, and wrap presents and it hurts to know she can't do these things with her grand kids either.

Everything on this layout has some meaning to me. She loved to crochet and did so right up til a month or so before she passed. She even made scarves for the nursing home employees. She used to sew my clothes when I was little, loved bingo, and watched the cooking channel faithfully (even though she never cooked any of the recipes). She was only in her early 60's when she passed for COPD and Emphysema. Smoking kills.

The journaling reads: Shopping at Hudson's together in your Hot Mama boots with your Micheal Jackson moves (she slipped and did the splits and came back up from them in one motion, just like Micheal Jackson used to do in his videos)...Making Christmas cookies together from family recipes while singing along to Johnny Mathis... Laughing hysterically over the silliest things like "Vont Turkey!" (think Egor and his limp going through the house yelling "Vont Turkey" because it was taking too long to cook) and my "Flashdance" moves and broken toe (done while doing aforementioned moves)... I miss you Mom...

There is some glare in the upper right corner, darn Michigan weather. Used my favorite Anna Griffin diecut to stencil the upper right corner, it had a lot of dark empty space. Gorgeous Crate Paper, paper.

Love the vintage buttons, found them at a nearby antique mall.

Vintage doily, bingo chip and needle holder (rose). Basic Grey laser cut paper on bottom.

The thread in the button was the original thread from when it was cut off the garment, so cool.

To all of those missing loved ones now, I'm right there with you. Hope they have a glorious celebration in heaven with our Saviour. Off to finish a little shopping and then go to a good friend's house for our annual gingerbread house party. The kids aren't so much into the making as the eating anymore but they still love it :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sweet Dreams

Before I hit the pillow for some of my own... here is a layout of my sweeties when they were about two and four. I remember smiling when I snuck upstairs and found them sleeping, so alike in their repose. These papers and diecuts from Crate Paper reminded me of all things a child would dream about and more :)

 Used the Cricut "Storybook" cartridge for the background flowers.

Love the old fashioned feel of these papers, reminds me of my childhood for some reason :)

 Tissue flowers are  Martha Stewart and the fabric ones are Recollections.

We had our Thanksgiving today. Eric has this meal down to an art! All the Grandpas agree...YUM! The only item I made was the fruit salad, an old family recipe that my Mom used to make every Thanksgiving too. Sure am missing my Mom a lot right now. Melancholy, that's what I am.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas? Where did the time go?

I'm so not ready! Usually I do all my shopping on Black Friday but working nixed that. So here it is, November 30th and I just started my shopping. Mimi and I went to Kalamazoo after school with the goal of getting 2 presents. Accomplished. The problem is that we also came home with a bunch of other goodies! New towels(desperately needed), boots for Mimi and a bag of my favs, Ghiradelli peppermint Bark squares. Scrumptious :}

Unfortunately I didn't receive a happy email this weekend, so I can share my design team entry for Sketch Support here. Congrats to those that did!  I'm looking forward to more great inspiration this coming year and a big shout out to Ashley Horton for making the team!

The cake is a cut from the "Wrap it Up" Cricut cartridge.Snipped the candles off then added a Jolee's candle embellishment. Mimicked the patterned paper and stitched around the cake. The banner ls layered and popped with foam squares. I noticed almost all of Matthew's photos after he learned to walk include bruises on the forehead. Poor baby! Fancy Pants patterned paper and Jillibean Soup corrugated letters.

Well...since Blogger won't upload the second layout I guess I'll have to post it later. Anyone else having trouble with Blogger? Work the next two days. Hoping for a happy medium. We seem to be feast or famine when it comes to pregnant ladies :p

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Family Fun at the Fair

Typically when confronted with the opportunity to purchase patterned paper or embellishments, I choose paper.  Rationalizing that I can always come up with something on my own...right? Then later, when selecting the perfect photos to go with the paper, regret not snagging some of the matching goodies :{ Such is the case here! So after going through my Cricut cartridges and not finding what I was imagining, I created my own "Big Top"!

Used some Bazill Swiss Dot for the top layer of the title then added Stickles to the dots.  Layered several cuts to create depth and finished by offsetting the last layer (contrasting cardstock) from the top layers. Font from the Storybook cartridge.

Isn't that seal adorable :) He is from the Birthday Bash cartridge.

Used the "Sew Easy" by We R Memory Keepers for the stitching. Punched and layered tissue paper for the flower. This "ticket" paper from Imaginisce was perfect for the title and embellishing!

I'm 3 days through my 4 day stretch and I'm dragging. So many patients today! Tell me why a person wouldn't eat or drink all day and then come to hospital and want to eat because they were hungry? One more day and I can scrap again. Happy Happy, Joy Joy, Happy Happy, Joy! (Picture me hopping from one foot to another while singing, It's guaranteed to bring a smile to your face!)

Tell me about you Black Friday shopping experiences, so I know what I missed this year :}}

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

To Change or Not to Change?

That is the question! I've been trying to improve my computer and blogging skills but it's a toss up between "pass" or "fail"  :) So I ask you fellow bloggers for your constructive criticism and milk your brains for knowledge. "Like" or "dislike" the changes and "why?" are the questions.

Any suggestions on how to make a header appear would be helpful. The template is from Cutest Blog on the Block , they have a matching header but it doesn't have an HTML code to copy. So puzzling!

Please be honest :) I want a pleasant viewing experience for you all. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dress Up...or Not!

So much work went into these dresses. French seams, delicate lace around the edges, and an adorable headband for Mimi. Ready just in time for Easter. But when I tried to dress was all "No you are not!". She kicked and screamed the entire time. Not sure if she opposed the fact that it was a dress or this dress. She finally gave in to her mother's superior will (and power), a moment I'm not proud of. Who makes their kid wear something she doesn't want to wear? A Mom who worked like the dickens...that's who!

This making Memories patterned paper has been in my stash forever! Sorry for the glare on the photos, having trouble lately taking pics without it :(  Used a Becky Fleck Pagemap for this layout.

Doesn't she look innocent, hard to believe she was kicking and screaming a few minutes before :)

It's  fun to play with girly, lacy, frou frou stuff sometimes, but I'm ready to go back to my more traditional style now. I think I'm cutesied out! Oh, and a quick note about moves when you try to sew it down. I ended up with a ripple and had to add the paper with the heart border punch to cover it up.

Really sad that my long spell off of work is almost over. Not looking forward to the 4 twelve hour days to come. If we are lucky, maybe all the pregnant ladies will be too full to come to the hospital :) Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I Love Gramps

I rarely use a sketch twice, mainly because there are so many great sketches out there. This one by Sketchy Thursdays called to me again :) I found these photos of my Dad and Matthew when looking through Matthew's baby photos. There seemed to be a yellow cast to them, so choosing the paper was a little more difficult than usual. This paper by My Minds Eye had been in my stash forever, just waiting for these photos!

These corrugated letters from Making Memories started the standard kraft color but morphed with acrylic paint, chalk ink and marker, before I was satisfied.

The twine was a happy accident. I was digging through my ribbons and it fell out onto my layout :) 

Can't get enough of border punches...when will my obsession end!?

Tucked the journaling behind the photo, I love how it eliminated the need to find room on the layout. It really felt good to use some of my stash! Not one of these items was purchased in the last year, in fact, most are several years old.

After Mimi & I picked up the new retainers today we went shopping. Eric turned 51 today and we wanted to pick him up a couple of treats. A box of Fannie May Pixies and some doodads for one of his tools and he was quite happy. We had some quality time shopping at Plato's Closet. She picked out 2 cute skirt and blouse combos, tights, a cute jeweled owl ring, and a feathered hair accessory. More photo fodder for her Mommy :)

Now off to bed. Work the next 2 days and then a blessed 5 days off in preparation for the 4-12 hour shifts of torture over Thanksgiving!

Dumpster Diving...My New Occupation

Yes, I've been reduced to dumpster diving. Last week my lovely daughter unwittingly threw her brand new retainers away! The wonderful retainers that are clear so you can see how pretty her teeth are now. Into the school lunchroom trash they went and she didn't realize it until after she returned to her class. The trash had been bagged up and emptied into the dumpster.

I really didn't want to tell her Uncle Steve (who did all her orthodontics non gratis) that she'd thrown them away, and I figured this would be a good deterrent to doing it again, so off to the dumpster we went. Six giant trash bags later...covered in taco fixings and a multitude of other goodies (it happened to be "sampling" day), we gave up. It didn't help that the current high school gym class was hanging out of the windows yelling "trash pickers!" and the yellow jackets were chasing us around the dumpster.

So, mean Mommy that I am, I was going to make her pay at least half of the cost of her replacements. Daddy saved the day by putting it on our flex spending account. Why does he get to be the good guy!? Now I'm off for the 2nd time today to Kalamazoo, to pick them up. This morning was spent with my Dad at the vascular surgeon having the rest of his staples out and an ultrasound to check the flow in his fistula. Woe is me, pity party for myself going on here :( Missing my scrapping time.

Hoping to get a layout posted tonight if the computer is cooperating...and that is another story :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

There's Nothing Like a Good Friend!

Emily and Mariel have been friends since they were born :) I have pictures of them when they were a year old playing in the leaves. My BFF Lerita and I were pregnant together and delivered about 6 weeks apart. I love how they can go weeks without seeing each other yet it's like they've never been apart when they are back together. Just like Lerita and I!

We had an impromptu photo shoot right before we went shopping with the girls at Plato's Closet. Plato's Closet is a resale shop for teens and Mariel's favorite place to shop. I wish I'd taken my camera along, they were so cute trying on all their sassy selections. Mimi kept forgetting to hold her door when she came out to show what she was trying on, then the door would shut and lock. After the sales girl had to unlock it for the 3rd or 4th time, we made her start climbing under the door :) A pretty funny sight since the gap was barely tall enough for her to slip under. She came home with a pair of jeans, several shirts, a sweater jacket, a hoodie, earrings and a couple of necklaces all for $65. All brand names and some of the items still had the tags on them!

Used "Indie Bloom" by Basic Grey, it matched their outfits perfectly and has that boho, youthful feel I was going for :) Misted over a laser cut paper by Reminisce with smooch ink to create the background.

Traced around the title to make it more visible.

Prima center on punched flower, used a pencil to recurve the petals.

Cut the big petals with the Sizzix, crumpled, inked and layered with a Basic Grey felt flower.

Used lots of Distress ink to grunge it up.

A little brighter and busier than my usual but I'm mixin' it up ladies! Have a great day :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Wow...a 2 pager!

This is one I did for a Creating Keepsakes sketch challenge. It's getting harder to find papers to go with my sons' baby & toddler wardrobe, since most of his outfits were red and blue. Why didn't I dress him in other colors?! If only I'd known then, that I was going to be a "scrapbooker" and chosen a wide variety of colors so I could use my bountiful stash :) Oh, and while I was at it...taken better and more plentiful photos.

All the cuts are done with the "Birthday Bash" Cricut cartridge. Couldn't have been a better fit!

Used "Rocket Age" by October Afternoon patterned paper. Did a little stitching around the circles.

The rest of the tile reads "and I will hold your lolly if you want me to!".

Cut the title 3 times and offset them then popped with foam. Love the 3-D effect.

Had a wonderful Sunday! Received a "star" day from work for 12 hours and didn't get called in! Finished a layout and photographed a backlog of layouts and edited them. Snuggled with Mimi on the couch and watched Eclipse in preparation for the new movie Breaking Dawn. We always watch all the movies in a series the week before a new release to amp up the excitement. We are both "Team Edward". Mimi says " You cougar you!", I had to explain that our bodies age but our minds don't. She gave me that "wiser than her years look" and smiled. Hope you had a wonderful day too!