Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A California Christmas and a Minnesota New Year's Eve...

Happy New Year's Eve everyone!!!!!
It's my absolute most favorite holiday of the whole year!!!

We just got back from California late last night, after spending a wonderful Christmas with family. Both Michael and I have family there, and it was awesome to be able to be together for the holidays. I wish I would have gotten more good photos, but I do love this one I took of Michael on Balboa Island.
LinkI also want to share a pic of this fabulous pillow my sister Renee made for me. Is it not the CUTEST THING EVER? It goes perfectly in my scraproom, and Willie loves it already! P.S. Renee is going to be selling her cute pillow creations in her etsy store very soon!
So... tonight is New Year's Eve! What are you doing to celebrate? I absolutely love this holiday. It's my favorite, because it gives me a chance to look back on the year gone by, and make plans for the new year ahead. I'm so grateful for everything that has happened this past year, and all the blessings I have in my life.

I've got tons of ideas for 2009 and I'm just bubbling over with excitement! Here's a draft list off the top of my head:

Keep creating every day!;
Get enough sleep to feel rested;
Widen my creativity to include making each room in our home a reflection of our personalities;
Honor this body that god gave to me by eating healthfully and moving more - walking, stretching, dancing, etc;
Have more formal dinners with Michael - complete with a beautiful table setting.

I'd like to have some sort of actual schedule which will include (gasp) a BEDTIME. This will allow me to get enough rest every night which will give me the energy to reach all of the other goals. Hmmm... It seems so sensible.

Okay, this post is getting really long, but I've been away and I've got so much to share!

Here's a gift certificate holder that I made for Renee for Christmas - I used the December Crop Suey kit for this one, plus I added some KI memories paper to the bottom:

and speaking of Crop Suey, tomorrow the January kits are revealed! I received mine when I returned from California and I am telling you ITS MY FAVORITE YET!!! I know I say that every month but its true!!! They just keep getting better. Here's a little sneak peek for ya:
LinkThis kit is so cute and colorful and whimsical - YOU ARE GONNA LOVE IT!!!!

Oh - one more thing before I sign off for the evening. We are giving away a hand-crafted holiday prize this week at Scrapping the Music ! A package of 30 all-occasion greeting cards - handmade by the design team members! Each of us made three, but one person will win them all! Here are the ones I designed:

If you would like to win these - plus 27 more, head on over to Scrapping The Music and leave a comment!

Have a wonderful, warm and safe New Year's Eve everyone! Hugs to you all!

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Song... (scroll down and pause the jukebox before you press play)

Then I found this cool version by Sister Hazel. I love it too!!!

"One Little Christmas Tree"

One little Christmas tree was standing alone
Waiting for someone to come by
One little Christmas tree that never had grown
Cried as he looked up to the sky

Oh please Mr Father tree, the tallest of all
I'm so afraid and alone
Could one little Christmas tree so tiny and small
Light up someone's home 'cause

One little Christmas tree can light up a home
So one little child can find a toy
One little Christmas tree can light up a home
So one little heart can find some joy

One little angel who was riding a star
Cried as she looked down at the tree
Oh please Mr Father tree wherever you are
May I give him the star you gave to me

Then in the heavens came a voice from afar
A voice that was heard throughout the world
Go down little angel girl and give him your star
Tonight he'll light the world 'cause

One little Christmas tree can light up the world
So those who are lost may find their way
One little Christmas tree can light up the world
So all men may see you on Christmas Day

Here's wishing you and your loved ones a very merry christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Beauty of Snow and the Importance of Gratitude...

Happy Saturday to you - it's my favorite day of the week! We have a steady snowfall going here in Minnesota. It looks pretty, but I'm not looking forward to driving in it in a couple of hours. I have to get my hair cut today. I can't put it off. To say I look like a limp noodle would be an understatement. So off I will go - snow or no snow, in search of holiday hair.

I am still so excited about Project Catwalk I don't even know what to do with myself! I've been in touch with Jeanette and it sounds like my prize package will be in the mail soon, and I will start getting my SiS collections in January. This is such a dream come true. I feel very blessed and humbled. If you get the SiS newsletter, you can see a sneak preview of some of the final projects, both mine and Julie, Mandy and Jen's. It was the first sneak I got of the other girls' final projects and they are absolutely gorgeous. I have been continually inspired by their work and I can't wait to see them in more detail. I also can't wait to share my final projects with you here, but I have to wait a little bit longer...

In the meantime, I can share the minibook I made to go in my little pouch. I posted this on the Crop Suey blog last Tuesday, but in case you missed it, here it is again. It is my answer to the Creative Therapy blog catalyst for last week, which was:

What was a dream you had as a child (about your future); did it come true or not? If it did, was it what you hoped it would be and if it didn’t are you disappointed?
Don't forget you can click on the images if you want to see them larger...

I used the December Crop Suey kit, plus some added trims and my bind-it-all for the spiral binding.

I've been thinking lately about how blessed my life feels, and realizing just how much things have changed for me in the last six years. I don't talk about the hard times much, cuz I'd just as soon leave them in the past, but suffice to say I've had some (haven't we all), and what they taught me is to be grateful for every single good thing that happens in life - both big and small, and I am. I am sooo very grateful.

I will be back tomorrow with more to share, but til then - love and hugs to you all my friends!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stumbling for words...

I just found out I won Project Catwalk. I feel absolutely speechless. Thank you so much for all the support and words of congratulations I have gotten already in the form of emails, thread posts at SiS, private messages and comments here. This scrapbooking community is so wonderful and I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of it. I will post more later, but wanted to get this out now - thanks doesn't even begin to cover it...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Project 52, The Cuteness of Squirrels and The Holidays Hit at Scrapping The Music!

Have you heard about Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's Project 52? I encourage you to check it out if you haven't. I love her idea about documenting a year in this way - especially the idea that you can dabble in lots of different types of art, but record them all in one place - that is right up my alley! Not sure exactly what forms this art project will take for me, but I am going to start preparing my album to put them in now! I'm in! This will be fun! Thanks for the inspiration Julie!

I'm also excited because the neighborhood squirrels are finally enjoying the squirrel feeder thingamabob that we put out for them:
How cute is that???? I LOVE IT! Look at his little ears aren't they cute? It just makes me smile.

Alrighty then, don't forget to check out Scrapping The Music this week! The song is "All I Want for Christmas" by Mariah Carey, and here is the layout I created for it:
I used the December Crop Suey kit for this one - which is not a Christmas-themed kit, but it worked great anyways - yeayyy!!!

Til next time I wish you tons of creative energy and plenty of time for self-expression!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday Projects...

It's Tuesday again and I've got a couple of projects to share with you over at the Crop Suey blog! Come on over and say hi!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Crops, Creativity and Feline Friendship...

I'm off to my monthly crop with my girlfriends today, and I'm so excited! I think I prepared pretty well this time, and I have lots of fun projects to complete! I can't wait to see my friends and catch up on what's been going on in life! Hopefully, when I come back I will have lots to share!

In the meantime, I want to share this Christmas card I made this week for my work group to give my supervisor (I think I'm safe in sharing because I don't think she reads my blog). I had so much fun creating this little card - it really put me in the holiday spirit!I used the KI Memories Joyful Holiday Collection and the Love, Elsie Noel collections, along with some graph paper, pom pom trim and a doodle pen. Oh, and a page from the dictionary!

I also want to share with you my latest pic of the boys. I cannot even describe how much it warms my heart to witness the friendship these two have. They do most everything together. It's so cute. This is where they spend a lot of time during the day. On my desk right next to my computer, watching the birds and squirrels. They truly warm my heart and brighten my days.
I will be back tomorrow, but until then I wish you warm and cozy friendships, hot cocoa and plenty of time to create!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fun with Fabric...

My latest project with the December Crop Suey kit "Fast Food" is a fabric pouch to hold a minibook about my childhood dreams. The super-cute fabric brings me right back to my childhood, hence the idea for the minibook. Now I don't own a sewing machine, but this was simple to do and I completed it in one evening. Along with the fabulous Crop Suey kit fabric, I added some black checked fabric for the inside, and red pom pom trim.
I also drew a cloud on some craft foam and wrote the title of my minibook on it with a permanent marker. The rocketship bead is handmade and also comes in the Crop Suey kit!
I posted a complete step-by-step tutorial on how to make these at the Crop Suey blog yesterday. Click here if you would like to see it!

In other news, Scrapping The Music has started their holiday season with the Bing Crosby and David Bowie version of the song "The Little Drumer Boy." It's a real holiday classic, which I hope you will enjoy! Whether or not you celebrate christmas, there's a message of hope for Peace on Earth in the song, which is awesome! Come on over and see this classic video! I hope you will want to play along with us!

I hope your week is filled with creativity and singing and dancing and bright colors and tons of laughter!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I've Got a Tutorial For Ya...

Psst... Come on over to Crop Suey. I've got a tutorial to share with you today... Please say hi! I'd love to know you stopped by!

Friday, December 5, 2008

An Award and Five Inspiring Blogs...

I was recently honored with this awesome award by my beautiful and talented friend Bree! It means my blog is one of her faves to visit! Yeay!!!! Thanks so much Bree! I will post it proudly! And now, it's my turn to pass the award on to five of my favorite blogs (without duplicating Bree's awards). So I pass this most honorable award to:1. Lucy Folch - this woman is talented beyond belief, and her work always makes me smile!
2. Nat Kalbach - she has a way with colors that knocks my socks off!
3. Suziblu - what can I say? She is a goddess and the one who inspired me to start art journaling!
4. Dina Wakely - I recently took her Art Journaling 101 class and discovered how wonderful her art is - she makes it look so easy!
5. Julie Fei-Fan Balzer - This woman has a super-cool eclectic style and so many talents! Her blog is full of fun and helpful tutorials too!

So now - Lucy, Nat, Suzi, Dina and Julie - if you want to, you can pass this award on to five blogs that you are inspired by! Let's keep the inspiration seed growing!

If you have not visited these talented ladies blogs, I highly recommend it - you will definitely be inspired!

Thanks again for the shout-out Bree!

Obsessed with Organizing...

I spent a good part of this evening trying to find extra big scrapbooks. You see, alot of my layouts stick out from the side of my pages, like this one for example:

so when i put them in my scrapbooks, and put my scrapbook on the shelf, the sides of my layouts get wrecked. I hate that. So I was thinking if I could just find a scrapbook that was, say extra wide, it would protect my layouts. I did not have a lot of luck with that. Especially since I want 3-ring, not postbound.

So, my new idea is to cut a piece of wood to place against the back of my shelf (along the bottom), so that the book can't go in all the way, thus keeping the layout from smashing against the wall. It's not ideal, but it's the best thing I've come up with.

Does anyone else have this problem? What do you do to protect your extra big layouts?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thinking About Organization...

With the New Year coming up, I've been thinking about how I organize my scrapbooks, and what I might want to change with the new year. Currently I have three 3-ring Binders. One for 2006, 2007 and 2008. I don't scrap chronologically AT ALL. I scrap based on whatever I'm inspired to do at the moment. The current system I've been using allows me to scrap that way and then insert the pages into my chronological albums wherever they belong, based on when the pictures were taken. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
I'm discovering a few problems with the system tho. Sometimes I do layouts with pictures from more than one year. Sometimes I do layouts with pictures from before 2006. But those aren't the main problems. The main problem I'm having is this.

When I make a layout, I'm usually recording feelings. Sometimes I do scrap events, yes. But more often than not, I am inspired by a song, or a challenge, or an emotion. These things are not chronological events, and even tho I may include a photo that happened to be taken in 2006, the feeling I am expressing is happening now. Know what I mean? It seems disjointed to take that layout and file it in the 2006 album.

So I need a new system. Here's my idea so far:

1. One album labeled 2009. This would be an overview of the year. One calendar-type spread for each month with highlights of that month. (This would be something completely new for me).

2. One general ongoing series of albums where I put all layouts, in the order I scrap them, newest one on top. I think I would give these albums random fun names that don't have anything to do with chronology.

Now, I ask you - how do you organize your layouts? Do you have a system that works for you? I'd love to hear about it! Let's share ideas!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday Update...

It's already Wednesday - where is the week going??? Yowza! It's been a great week so far!

I got my first set of ATCs for the "Decades" swap on Monday. This first set is all about the 1960s. Aren't they fun!?!!! I love seeing everyone's different take on the decade. Put them all together and I think they really make a cool statement - don't you?It's going to be great fun to see the stack grow with each month as we add another decade! I want to come up with a really creative way to put them all together. Not sure if it will be a box, or a book or what. Hmmm...

I also wanted to share with you the layout I made Monday night with my new Crop Suey kit! I posted it on the Crop Suey blog yesterday, but in case you missed it here it is again:

It's that same thanksgiving picture that I blogged about last Friday. I loved it so much I just had to turn it into a layout! The kit I used is called "Fast Food" and you'd never know it by looking at this layout, but it has a fabulous retro-space-robot-travel theme to it, which I absolutely LOVE! I can't wait to make some more stuff that focuses on the theme, but first, I really wanted to scrap this photo, and I love that I could use the kit for that too! I'm telling ya BOTH of the Crop Suey kits this month are to die for! Head on over and get one for yourself - you won't regret it!

I will be back tomorrow with more random thoughts and craftiness! Til then I wish you big fantastic fun and tons of creativity!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'm over at Crop Suey blogging today...

Come on over and say hi! I've got a new layout to share and I would love love love it if you leave me a comment!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

There are Places I'll Remember...

The new song at Scrapping The Music is "In My Life" by the Beatles. It's such a beautiful song. The lyrics made me think of my childhood home:

The journaling reads: 3940 Unity. My childhood home. I lived from 4 years old until 7th grade, when the city decided to widen the highway and bought up all the houses on our block to make room for it. I have some great memories from growing up there and I dreamed I was back there for years after we left.

I used the Night Owl collection from SiStv, which I LOVE cuz there's lots of ORANGE in it, which is my favorite color! The mailbox numbers, the rainbow pin and little keys are all thrift store finds, and I also added the smiley face button from my own stash.

I am a little bleary-eyed tonight cuz I stayed up til 8:30 am (yep you read that right) working on my final Project Catwalk Project. It felt good to get it done though. Now I am finishing up my tutorials for the three projects. I don't know what will come of this contest, but I do know that it has really stretched me as an artist and I have learned so much from the whole process I can't even begin to describe it. I will be forever grateful for that.

See you all tomorrow! I wish you a good night's sleep and peaceful happiness on this last evening of November my friends!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Having Scrappy Fun This Weekend...

It's driving me crazy making all this stuff and not being able to share with you! I've got two of my three Project Catwalk projects done and I'm starting to gather inspiration for my third. I'm having so much fun with it - I can't wait to show you! I also finished a layout for Scrapping the Music. That one will go live on the STM blog tomorrow, so stay tuned! In the meantime, here's a couple of cards I made with the November Crop Suey kit "Strawberry Cream Gelato". I posted them on the Crop Suey blog on Tuesday, but in case you missed that I wanted to post them here too:Everything for this one is from the November kit, except for the newsprint flower, which is from The September Crop Suey kit. These kits last a good long time!

For the gnome card (don't you just love that little gnome stamp? He came with the kit!) I stamped the gnome thru a hole I punched in the front of the card. That way when you open the card you see this:
I love the double-sided paper in this kit - it's perfect for cards cuz you can show both sides! Everything for this card came from the kit except the pink rik-rak. The stencil in the upper left corner is from the prima flower packaging.

These cards, plus the bunny card I showed you earlier, are going to be given away as part of a holiday RAK at Scrapping The Music in December, so if you like them, stay tuned to the STM blog!

I will be back tomorrow with my new Scrapping The Music layout - until then - have a beautiful day!

Friday, November 28, 2008

So Thankful

Three years ago I was living life as a single woman in the city. I was fine, don't get me wrong. I loved having my own condo and living the urban life with my two cats. I didn't feel I needed anything else. But then, one late night in 2006 I did something that would change my life forever. I tried e-harmony... I met the most wonderful, funny, quirky, loving, crazy man! Fell madly in love, got married and inherited three awesome kids! Sometimes I wonder what I ever did to deserve this much laughter and happiness in my life. So thankful to be able to say this is my family. This is a pic we took yesterday. That's our kids Tony, Steve, Becca, Becca's boyfriend Chad, Me (duh) and my handsome blue-eyed papermaker Michael. How great is that?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's Tuesday Again and You Know What That Means...

Hey everybody I'm blogging over at Crop Suey today! I would love it if you come over and say hello!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fabulous Slideshows and Brotherly Love...

Hey everyone - I'm knee deep in Project Catwalk right now and having the time of my life - my scraproom is a big, fun disaster!!! But I wanted to take a minute to say hello and remind you to check out the slide show for this song over at Scrapping The Music today! It's one of our biggest and best slideshows ever - 21 layouts!

I will leave you with a couple of my latest pics of William and Johnathan hanging out in the scraproom:

Are they not the best pals or what? They make me smile!

I will talk to you tomorrow - I hope your Sunday is fabulous!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Reorganization Dreams Continue...

My stamps are out of control. I have too many. I used to be a Stampin Up Demonstrator and I collected a lot in those days, but I forget what I have, so I don't use them, and alot of them I have are no longer my style. Here's what they look like right now:

Even little Wilbie is amazed by the state of disarray they are in! So, here's my new idea - I found this at the Ikea website. Isn't it lovely??? I could just see decorating this up in pink and orange - maybe a little lime green thrown in. Perhaps some sort of groovy retro design on the drawer fronts...

I think as part of my reorganization project I need to purge my stamps down to the bare minimum. Only keep the ones I really love. And then buy one of the lovely cabinets pictured above and put it at the end of my scrappy desk - here (instead of the wobbly wood thing with the scarf tied around it): Then I can take the stamps out of those plastic containers and fill the drawers with them. How handy and lovely would that be???

It's good to have dreams...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Mail and Organizing...

It was a fabulous happy mail day today! My swap yo yo's came and they are just a little pile of sunshine! Aren't they gorgeous? I haven't used yo yo's on layouts yet, so this will be a fun new adventure!

Next, Fedex brought my new Non-Conformist collection from SiSTV! It is YUMMYYYY!!! So chock full of goodness! My favorite part is the carnival fan! Oh, and the red houndstooth gaffer tape! Oh, and also the imported sequiney flower thing. Oh heck - I LOVE IT ALL!!! Can't wait to create with it!

Okay, so on to other news: The organizing has begun in my scraproom! I started with the desk area. I forgot to take a picture of what it looked like before, but I must say the setup wasn't working very well. Now it's absolutely grand! I'm so happy with it - it seems like there is more room, and I finally have a good spot for my paper cutter:
Ahhhh, that feels better already! One step at a time...

New Projects and Thinking about New Year's...

Can I just say that the November Crop Suey kits ROCK!?! I had so much fun Monday night creating stuff with Bree's Strawberry Cream Gelato kit! I even entered the Dreamgirls challenge! I've looked at their challenges before - they've got an awesome design team and some really fun ideas; but this is the first time I've played along. The challenge is to make a layout about something you are thankful for, and you had to use masking and metal. Here's what I came up with:

Everything I used is from the Crop Suey kit, except for the green number 4. I did the masking with oil crayons, and the metal is a brad that's in the red flower under the 4.

I also made a notecard with the November kit!

So, it's that time of the year again. The time when my thoughts start turning to fresh starts. Have I mentioned that New Year's Eve is my favorite holiday? I love it because it always gives me a chance to honor the year that is coming to a close, as well as think about what I want for the future. A time for re-organizing, re-evaluating and re-prioritizing. I love that. This year has me thinking about a couple of different things that relate to scrapbooking and my art. The first is that I need to purge and reorganize my scraproom. Now, all in all, I love my scrappy studio, but I must admit, there are a lot of little piles and cubbys crammed to the point that I don't know what's where anymore, and that's not a good thing. Here are a few examples of what I'm talking about:
Piles of boxes of incoming and outgoing mail.
These plastic drawers don't open and shut very well, so I never go in them. I wonder what's all in there.
Layouts end up stacked on shelves like this when I am done with them, cuz my 2008 album is full and I haven't gotten a new one yet.
and bags of purchases get shoved into a cubby because I don't have a place to put them.

All this just makes me realize I need to tweak my system. Time to purge, sort and reorganize. In the coming months I plan to make it an ongoing task and I will share my progress with you - just in case it's helpful to anyone else who might be in the same boat!

That will be, of course, after I finish the next Project Catwalk challenge, which was just announced today - it's gonna be fun and exciting, and I think its safe to say I'm going to be busy for the next two weeks!

That's it for today friends! I wish you inspiration galore and the confidence to follow your dreams!