Sunday, November 7, 2010

Let's just pretend like I've been here all along, shall we?

I've had this cool Crafter's Workshop template for a while, but no photos to go with the peace sign theme. When Annamarie started flashing a peace sign in every picture (What's up with that? Judging from the pics I see on Facebook, it's a middle school girl epidemic.) I knew I had my photos. I used about six colors of Glimmer Mist with the template and then decided it didn't "pop" quite as much as I wanted, so I stitched (badly) around the shape in black. I love the look and I also love the new Maya Road bingo pieces-- so fun! Here's another layout using a Crafter's Warehouse template: The Proposal

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Stash Busting Weekend

Recently I've done a lot more gallery surfing and shopping than actual scrapping, but I'm on a roll this weekend. Shimelle's class has me in "use it or lose it" mode, and I feel a big purge coming on.

I am a big fan of Doodlebug Design, and notoriously unable to part with any of their products, no matter how old. See the tokens on the layout below? 2003. And that's one of my last remaining Heidi Swapp bling circles. I love them and they are very hard to find these days. The rub-ons are Making Memories, also from 2003, and they are still the best quality rub-ons around...they go on like buttah.

I am a sucker for the paper pads Michaels sells, especially the glitter and spot-embossed ones, but I wish they were about a third of the size. Who needs 54 sheets of paper from the same line? The background on the layout below is from one of those pads, and I never thought I'd use it, but I kind of like it here.

Annamarie and I are off to get haircuts and have some lunch, and the boys are shopping for new sneakers. Thomas has clearly hit that growth spurt we've all been waiting for. It's nice to see him actually eating for a change but he is, in true teenage boy fashion, eating us out of house and home.

Wishing everyone a blessed Easter. He is risen!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Little Lift

I ran across an adorable layout on Two Peas, and I knew it would be perfect for a rare photo of my friend Sandy and me. (Both of us would much rather be behind the camera than in front of it.) Lifting this layout would also allow me to play with the Maya Road mini banners that are my single favorite thing out of all the winter CHA releases.

Now I'm off to run some errands with my girl. We have shoes to return and fabric to buy and perhaps coffee to sip.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I have really been on a Glimmer Mist binge recently, and I received some extra inspiration to play with it when the Scrapdoodles design team got to try out some new templates from The Crafter's Workshop. I had heard people raving about the Marshmallow Limited Edition Glimmer Mist, so of course I had to get my hands on some. It adds a beautiful sparkle and shine to white cardstock, but it really wowed me when I used it on black.

I took this detail photo to try and show how sparkly it makes the page...perfect for the photos of this romantic proposal while ice skating after dark in the snow!

I don't actually know the couple, but Ron and I were watching the kids skate at National Harbor the day of the huge December blizzard (don't know why I never blogged about our being snowbound in Maryland for three days). All of a sudden this guy knelt down in front of his girlfriend and I started squealing to Ron, "He's going to propose!" Naturally I had been snapping photos of Thomas and Annamarie, so I kept shooting. Because of the snow and extremely low light, the picture quality is pretty bad, but I love the dreamy silhouette look. We congratulated them and got their email address, and they were planning to use the photos on their save-the-date cards. What does it say about me that I scrapped photos of strangers before the ones of my own children skating?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Attacking the stash

After hearing many rave reviews, I finally signed up for one of Shimelle Laine's online classes. Let's just say the topic spoke to me. I am HIGHLY qualified for this particular class, whose goal is to get us to actually use the stash of supplies we've been hoarding. The first "assignment" was to think and journal about why we purchased those supplies and why we haven't used them yet. The simple answer, for me, is that it's often much easier to find inspiration to shop than to sit down and create. I have been realizing lately that the actual scrapping part was simpler in the days when all of my supplies fit neatly into my Crop-In-Style XXL bag. Don't get me wrong, though--I love my stuff.

In the past couple of years I have become better about not buying every embellishment in a line, so the bulk of my embellishment stash is several years old. Compared to paper and cardstock, these little items don't take up a huge amount of space, so I am less ruthless about purging them. There are an awful lot of them, though... this drawer alone contains three layers of these storage boxes.

And then there are a few jars.

And a couple of Clip-It-Ups. And if I must be perfectly honest, that chest over there on the left is full too.

I can't wait to get started!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Most days I consider it a major accomplishment when I get myself showered, dressed, and fed all in the same 24 hour period, and then there are days like today. Annamarie and I went to breakfast with a friend, and then to the supermarket, where we proceeded to spend the equivalent of Haiti's gross national product. Not only had the cupboard been bare for quite a few days, Ron and I are responsible for feeding dinner to our church's youth group tomorrow night. Almost exactly a year ago we invited some friends over for dinner, and the day before they were to arrive I realized that I did not own enough glasses or silverware to serve everyone. At 14 people, that was the largest group I had ever cooked for. I don't know what possessed me to agree to cook dinner for 50 ravenous teenagers, but back in September when I signed up, March 7 seemed awfully far in the future. We lucked out though because the high school youth are on a retreat this weekend and we only have to feed about 20 middle schoolers.

Anyway, I have prepared an unimaginable quantity of salad which, if my own children are any indication, none of them will touch. I made Pioneer Woman's Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever, and only had to start over once when I didn't follow directions. I won't detail all of the preparations, but I have to say this non-cook is very proud to be almost ready to serve spaghetti (with meat and vegetarian sauces), garlic bread, salad and chocolate cake to a horde of young people who would probably have preferred Domino's pizza.

Much more within my comfort zone, I also whipped up this card to go with a gift for a new baby who is soon to join our family (extended family --- my brother's stepson's girlfriend, seriously). I've only had the wrapped gift sitting on my desk for about two months. I really really hate going to the post office, but the baby isn't due for another couple of weeks. Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I wanted to share a couple of layouts that I did this week for Scrapdoodles, where I have the honor of being the coordinator for the store's very talented design team. If you are within driving distance of Fredericksburg VA, do not miss Scrapdoodles. In a world where we are losing so many of our precious scrapbook stores to the sagging economy, Scrapdoodles survives and thrives because of its sheer awesomeness. It is packed to the rafters with amazing product, and the staff there is knowledgeable and always helpful.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A little birdy brought me some Crate Paper goodies from CHA (not a new line, but one I didn't own), and I used it to document our low-key New Year's Eve celebration. It's a shame that amidst all these snow days I have only been able to crank out one layout. Not only do I have both kids home all day every day, my accounting class is kicking my butt. It just reminds me how much going back to work is going to cut into my leisure time.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Someone's enjoying it

My kids are holed up in the house, each snuggled up to a computer or TV, while Ruby is outside having a ball with her BFF Bartlett. (I love the snack breaks.) And yes, I am filming this through the window because it is 18 ding dang degrees out there and I do not have a fur coat.

You have got to be kidding me

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


So many little pieces of my day in this photo... I'm working on making valentine cards and I was planning on posting some on etsy for sale, but it's probably too close to Valentine's Day at this point. Maybe they'll be ready for next year. My kids feel like they're too old for homemade cards. There's also a tiny peek at a Magistical Memories chipboard album I'm playing with. I keep re-painting/misting/glittering it trying to get just the color combination I have in mind. The chipboard will likely be an inch thick by the time I get it just right.

A highlight of my day (which started off with kids home from school because of widespread flash flooding in our area) was receiving a letter from Victor, the child I sponsor through Compassion. So exciting to get new photos of him and his whole family posing with the clothes and food bought with our Christmas gift. I love this kid from Togo who I've never met but who always draws fish or soccer balls or handbags on his letters to me.

On top is part of the homework I spent 4 hours on today. I'm taking an accounting class at the community college and, silly me-- I thought it would be a piece of cake because I took several accounting classes back in college. After all, that was only 25 years ago. That can't be true, can it? Anyway, this class is kicking my butt in the first week! Tons of details for my feeble old brain to remember.

I also took Annamarie to ice skating lessons, which she started a few weeks ago (she's in the pink coat). It was a beautiful day after the torrential rain stopped, and after skating we stopped into a gifty little shop on the Downtown Mall. Annamarie got a Pandora-style charm bracelet for Christmas and this shop carries Pandora charms, so we went in to take a look. To be honest, we don't shop down there on the Mall very often because the people working in the shops can be pretty snooty, especially with children. The man working in this store could not have been any nicer, and spent a long time patiently showing Annamarie the charms, even knowing that she was unlikely to buy any (they're pricey!). When it's time for her birthday, though, I will be back at that store because that man took a few extra minutes to be nice to me and my children. Isn't it a sad state of affairs that good customer service is something out of the ordinary enough to inspire a blog post?

Monday, January 18, 2010

And also, layouts!

I've had a backlog of layouts to scan since my scanner decided it wasn't compatible with Windows 7. Their differences were apparently irreconcilable and I had to get a new scanner, which is much faster and also has clean, adhesive- and glitter-free glass.

I love, love the Life Stories line from My Mind's Eye.

And also Pink Paislee's Amber Road collection.

Using the last of this wonderful Chatterbox line from about two years ago. 2010's resolutions include using more stuff and buying less. Blah, it sounded more fun in my head.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Playing catch-up

I'm not going to even mention my lack of blogging. Just pretend like I've been here every day, providing you with interesting, inspiring, and funny content, and let's move on. Our holiday season was derailed a bit by the Blizzard of '09 and by our being trapped in a Maryland hotel for three nights. I'm blaming those events for the fact that I didn't get my cards mailed until December 26, and also for our totally forgetting that we had purchased (not cheap) tickets to see the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes show in Richmond. The show was on December 23rd, and I was so excited about it, having heard from friends that it is an amazing show. On the 27th, I was sitting at my mom's house and suddenly realized that we had forgotten to go. I am additionally going to blame that one on my obviously perimenopausal state, which--who knew?--apparently makes one dumb as a box of rocks.

I didn't do a whole lot of homemade gifts this year, but I did make this house on a gift box, which was heavily inspired by Melissa Phillips. Mine is much simpler than hers, but I love it and the recipient seems to as well, or else she is just very kind and a good actress.

Annamarie and I made several kinds of sweet and spicy nuts for teacher gifts, during which project I burned $30 worth of almonds to a crisp (see aforementioned box of rocks). We made candied pecans, chipotle honey peanuts, Mexi-cashews, and cajun spice pecans, and now my mouth is watering.

Every year I intend to send handmade Christmas cards, and even though they were late getting in the mail, I actually did it this year! These cards are so sparkly and glittery in real life.

Last but not least, I promised to post a better photo of the banner and window frame I made. I haven't decided whether I am going to remove the banner and photos and redecorate the window, or whether I'll put it away as is for next Christmas.