Monday, December 31, 2007

Oh No! It happened...

My family has been sick, one after the other for almost 2 weeks. Through it all, I have fought it off. I pride myself on "never" getting sick (don't have time for it!). But, sadly here I am - you guessed it - SICK! This is my second crud in two months, so I guess that NEVER thing is out the window. Bleh. I woke up at 2am coughing and miserable - sore throat, earache. Waaah. And of course, it is just in time to return to work, after 10 days off. Hopefully I recover more quickly than the rest of my clan, since I don't have any more time off!

I did get a layout done yesterday, so I will share that with you before I crawl back to bed. I got a sewing machine a few weeks ago, and decided to try it out on this page. Funny, I never did learn how to sew. I know many people don't, but since my mom was a professional seamstress, you would think I might have picked it up! But I really have no affinity for it - in fact, I find it really quite challenging! I must not have this gene - like the cooking gene - it must skip a generation! But I tried, and got it done without TOO much swearing. This layout is of my daughter's first day of "big girl" preschool - she went from a 2 day tiny tot program to a full day preschool.

I took pics of the pages individually, since I think they show up better - I am having a hard time getting good pics of layouts - I just don't seem to have enough light! Here is page one...

And page 2...
The patterned paper in this layout is Tinkering Ink and Stampin' Up!; Cardstock is Stampin' Up! and Bazzill; Stamp set and ink is Stampin' Up!; Glitter alphabet stickers - K and Company; Foam alphabet - American Crafts; Ribbon - Stampin' Up!; Other - buttons from my stash.

I am off to take some Nyquil and crawl into bed - I doubt I will feel up to scrapping tonight, but hope to have something to share soon. You know the worst part of getting sick TODAY? It is New year's Eve - and although were were hanging out at home anyway, I bought steak for dinner...mmm steak. I have not had a steak for at least 6 months, and was really looking forward to to Steak, Baked Potato, Ceasar Salad...and my throat hurts and I don't feel like cooking. And our friends invited us to dinner tomorrow and I have to flake... I sure do hop to feel better in the morning!

Happy New Year to all of you - stay healthy, and be safe!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ack! Only three days left!

I am not ready to go back to work! I have had such a nice, relaxing vacation - spent most of my time in sweats or PJs, spent at least a couple hours scrapping almost every day, had the kids home being lazy with has been just lovely and I hate that the busy-ness is about to begin again! I hope to make the most of my last couple of days - scrapping, napping - you know, the things I love most!!

I finished another layout last night. Honestly, I am not sure about this one. I have had this layout designed in my head for months - but it looked so much better in my head! (LOL) I like it, but feel like it needs "something" - yet adding anything takes away from the for now, it is done... I love these papers, and this photo really makes me smile...

The patterned papers are DaisyD's, Paper Loft and Creative Imaginations; Cardstock and journaling pens and glitter are SU!; Rub On is Scenic Route, Ribbon is Basic Grey.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Time Well Spent...

See --not working really DOES give me time to be creative. I really need to win that Lotto - I love being able to create something every day!

I finished this layout last night - decided to dust off some stamps and my watercolors for this one. I used the new stamp set that Stampin Up! sent as a gift in December - it is called Time Well Spent, and was the perfect choice for this layout, not only because it is about spending time with friends, but also because the flowers work so nicely with the pattern on my shirt! :)

This photo is of me and my buddy Charissa on my birthday (when we went to So You Think You Can Dance!) Go ahead, you can say it - we ARE hot - LOL. We had so much fun, and I am so glad to have finished a fun layout of me and my FRIEND!

All Supplies are Stampin' Up! except the die cut turquoise cardstock by Bazzill.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Good Morning!

Yesterday turned out to be a pretty scrappy day! I actually had time to complete 2 layouts - and with 3 kids home I think that is quite an accomplishment! The kids are still moving a little slow recovering from their Christmas Cooties.

I am still trying to work through my Disney photos... I have so many photos from that trip, and really would like to have the accomplishment of a complete album! This first Layout is of my oldest son, Christian. Sadly Christian has reached that age where smiling for the camera is SOOO not cool. And since I refuse to scrap 12 year old attitude photos, I am finding that I have less and less of him to scrap! I keep trying to explain to my children that that I only plan to scrap happy memories of pleasant, obedient children, so that if they want to be in the books, they need to cooperate! I guess I need to keep working on that. Anyway, this photo is one in which I caught a couple of smiles from the boy... and I am so glad to be able to have SOMETHING to scrap where he does not have his eyes rolled at me lol. Gotta love pre-teens! It's a good thing that I adore him so.

All papers, die cuts, rub on and transparancy overlay are My Mind's Eye; Alphabet stickers are American Crafts Thickers, and Chipboard is Lisa Bearnson; Ink and Ribbon are Stampin' Up!

The design for the next layout is one that I loved from Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame created by Jamie Harper. I love finding layout ideas that incorporate multiple photos, and as soon as I saw this one I new that I HAD to use it for these photos of the kids playing in the water park area in California Adventure.

Cardstock and Ink is Stampin' Up!; Patterned Paper is Daisybucket Designs; Gems are EK success, Chipboard is Basic Grey, Rub ons are K & Company.

I am hoping for more scrap time over the next few days, so I will be back soon!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I hope you all have had a peaceful and joyful holiday, and had an opportunity to spend time with those you love! I know you will forgive me for not posting for so long -- this has been a crazy month. I can honestly say that I am DELIGHTED that the big day is behind us, and we can all enjoy the rest of the season at a slower pace!

What's new around here? Well, sadly my family has been sick. Lauren especially - she came down with a fever and cough on Wednesday night last week, and is still fighting with it. Fever is finally gone, and a Sunday trip to urgent care revealed ear infection in both ears (including a possible perforation in her left ear drum - trust me, it is not a relaxing day when you wake to find your child bleeding from the ear!) She has also had to be on breathing medication --this seems to be helping a lot and she is getting back to her busy self. The other kids and DH have had a milder version - so far I am okay, sure to get sick just in time to return to work! But despite the germs and such, we managed to have a very nice Christmas! Perhaps the lower energy level is what made things more peaceful!

My children are very well loved (ok - spoiled) and were very happy children on Christmas morning! I am hoping that this keeps them busy and quiet the rest of the week, so that I can enjoy my scrappy new toys and do some creating!

In other news, my husband went for another job interview last week, and has been asked back for second interviews for both positions he has applied for. Our fingers are still crossed - hope yours are too! I am so hopeful that our new year starts out with this new journey and new opportunities that will bring us to a brighter future together!

Well, I guess that is all for now... I hope that you have a wonderful day!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Wow...I passed 6000!

Is that possible? I have had over 6000 visits to my blog since I started in June? Wow. I guess that must mean that people ARE in fact reading and looking - thanks for joining me! Would love to hear your opinions, what you like or don't. What you want to see more of!

This week has been so crazy, I have not had time to share anything...but I am sure you all understand, since you are living in December right along with me! I can't wait for next week - I have 10 days off, just hanging out with the kids, having family time, playing with new toys, hopefully a little scrapping for me!

Yesterday Lauren had her first Hula performance - they did a Holiday Hula, and danced to Christmas music (both traditional and Hawaiian) -- it was a great show, and my little darling is a star! I was so surprised at how well she did, especially since I expected she would refuse to go on stage once we got there, or just stand there in fear (since this is what I would have done lol). She did spend a good deal of time on stage watching the band (lol) but she really did great, I was so very proud! Did not get great photos as the lighting was horrible, but I will try to play with pics to share them soon.

I am off to do a little last minute shopping this morning before work. Hope you all have a great day!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Filled with Wonder

I completed this page last night, and I am so delighted to share it with you. These are my FAVORITE photos of my daughter from our trip to Disneyland in July. This was her first trip to Disneyland, and she was SOOOO excited. We entered the park on our first day there as the parade was passing by Main Street. She was just filled with excitement and awe, and it was such a wonderful moment to get to watch her experience this for the first time. I LOVED being able to capture this on film, and am so thrilled with how this layout captures her experience.

Patterned papers are Fancy Pants and Daisy D's, Die cut is Fancy Pants, Hat pin and inks are Stampin' Up! Chipboard is Lisa Bearson, I also used Memory Makers Glitter Glaze, which is hard to see in the photo.

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Scrapbooking as Therapy..

I have always said that scrapping is my "therapy"...that is keeps me sane. It relaxes me, and gives me time to decompress, and leave the worries of daily life behind for a little while. Sometimes it offers even more than this.

Over the past few weeks, we have really been struggling with my daughter, and with behavior challenges. There have been moments that I have been ready to pull my hair out, and I may have been willing to give her to anyone that asked. Thankfully (knock on wood) we seem to have faired the worst of it, and for the last few days she has been delightful - she just had to test the waters and see how far she could push me I guess. We also think that she may have sleep apnea, which would really explain a lot!

During the time that she was behaving like a holy terror, and I was crying out of frustration trying to regain control of my household, I chose to scrap. I found that choosing to work with photos of her during a fun and happy time really helped me to focus on how wonderful and loving she really is. I adore this child, and when she is not possessed by aliens, she is truly a delight. I am so thankful that I have this tool available to me so that I am able to step away from the chaos for a period of time, and remind myself why I am a mom, and why making it through the really challenging times is so worth it.

I created this layout of my BEAUTIFUL, fun, silly, and FIESTY little girl:

Patterned papers and Rub Ons are My Mind's Eye; Cardstock is Bazill; Ghost Letters Heidi Swapp; Alphabet American Crafts Thickers; Stamps Autumn Leaves; Ink Stampin' Up.

The photos are from August, 2006. Isn't she just the cutest! I am keeping her!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

What a Weekend!!

It has been a bit rough, that is for sure. I have so many projects that I am in the middle of, and am feeling somewhat overwhelmed (what else is new!) Unfortunately a rather large wrench was thrown in my plans, and we experienced the loss of my computer yesterday. I had most of my important things backed up, so it is not as great of a tragedy as it could have been, but still - we can't afford to replace it, and I can't possibly live without it. It is a bit of an emotional loss as well, as it is the last thing that my father gave to us before he passed away - we have babied it and tried to keep it alive as long as possible, but it is beyond repair this time. I think the thing that will be hardest to recover the loss of on that computer is my FONTS! I have spent years collecting a huge variety of fonts, and now I have to start over!

I am borrowing my mom's laptop, and it will do the job until we figure out a new plan (thanks mom!) but getting used to different software etc. is a challenge for me!

I have not made much progress on my weekend projects either. We did get the tree decorated this morning - I let the kids do most of it (and tried hard not to re-do it lol) and they had a great time! I had hoped to spend time scrapping and participating in the virtual crop this weekend at Scrappin With Grace but did not get a lot done there either. I finished one layout, which under the circumstances feels like a big accomplishment to me! Here is what I got done:

I also took my daughter to Fairy Tale Town yesterday for a princess birthday party - they dressed up, and they got to visit with SANTA! Here she is:

I also got a chance to play with my camera and my new lens, so I had a lot of fun! I am really trying hard to learn to take better photos! I wish some of the great shots I got were of MY child, but I did manage to get what I think are some great shots - here are two of Lauren's beautiful princess friends:

Well, I guess that is it for today. I have an extra busy week - but hopefully I will be able to check in again soon! I am off to get dinner started so we can get another tree decorated, I can finish up some Christmas cards and hopefully get another layout done before bed! Have a great day!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Crossing our fingers and toes...

If you could cross yours as well, that would be great! Anyone willing to send a little good luck vibe our way, send it now! My husband has a job interview today! The market is really tough at the moment, but we are VERY hopeful that they will choose him. This is his first interview since completing his certification program, and it would just be so good for him to get a job in his "chosen" field. It would also be great for our family, as it has a much higher (long term) earning potential and a place for him to grow. I hope, I hope, I hope...

What else is happening around here? Well, not a lot of sleeping, that is for sure. Monday night my daughter woke me up at 2 am, and I was not able to go back to sleep, so I drug my butt around in a daze all day yesterday. Last night she slept, but I tossed around, finally waking at 4am, and decided to get up at 5am, since I wasn't really resting anyway. I have a long list of things on my to do list this week, so I guess I will get a jump on them...

Hope you all have a great day - and don't forget to cross your toes!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Princess Layout

Okay, so this page layout turned out NOTHING like I had envisioned in my head. Frankly, it really frustrates me, but I have decided to let it go, and be satisfied with what it is. I have decided to do a mini book with these photos, since I think Lauren would really like it, and I really like the pics!

Patterned Paper -Fancy Pants
Rhinestone words - Me and My Big Ideas
Rhinestone crowns - Heidi Swapp
Some flowers are Petaloo, but the giant flower and flower ribbon source is unknown.
Stamps - making Memories
Ink Stampin' Up!
I also used a scrap of the fabric from her dress behind the photo.

I did include a page two, just because I wanted to include the photos in her scrapbook, but obviously no design involved.


Okay, I had the VERY BESTEST time last night EVAH!

My dear friend Charissa and I went out on the town - a birthday celebration, and all around great time. We went for dinner - Thai, my favorite (YUMMY!) and then we went to see SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE!! Oh my heck was it ever good. I admit, I am a reality TV junkie, and I know most (or many) people probably think this is on the cheesy side, but trust me, this was entertainment at it's best!

We had amazing seats! I really can not believe how fantastic these performers are, and how wonderfully they danced for over 2 hours. My voice is gone from screaming so much! If you are a fan of the show, I really recommend trying to catch the tour! I already can't wait for next season!

The best part last night - well funniest anyway, was when local boy Dominic stripped down to his undies and then mooned the audience as he exited the stage - he was such a ham all night, but I laughed so hard at this I nearly fell out of my chair!

I am so grateful that I got such a fun opportunity! They really CAN dance!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving wishes and a new Layout to share

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I know, it is actually the day after Thanksgiving, but I did not get a chance to wish it sooner. Unfortunately I came down with a NASTY bug on Wednesday, and slept through most of the day -- so needless to say I am a little behind! I felt better yesterday -- enough to enjoy a day with the family, but still moving slower than usual. Oh well - that is what holidays are for, right!

I had a lovely, relaxing Thanksgiving dinner with my family - we did it here, but everyone else cooked - how great is that! My mom wanted pics taken with all of the grandkids for her Christmas cards, so while they were here, we went across the street to the park, and I tried to get some --HA HA HA! I swear, trying to get 5 kids and my silly mother all looking cute at the same time is simply not a possibility. Sweet little Lilly, my niece, did NOT want to play! Here is what we ended up with - not horrible I guess.

I hope you had a lovely and relaxing day as well!

The kids let me have a little scrap time this morning, and I got a layout finished...

This is of my boys at our Disneyland trip (I am really trying to finish scrapping this trip!) - Getting Goofy --it was really cute - Max stole Ethan's "Goofy" hat, and then played keep away while Ethan tried to get it back - they were so playful and silly, and the boys were just cracking up!

(You can always click for a larger image)

Patterned paper and Die Cut letters - Paper Loft; Solid Cardstock - Bazill and Stampin' Up!; Big Brads - Hot off the Press; Rub Ons - Making Memories.

I am hoping to get in a few more hours over the long weekend! Hope you get to do something you love this weekend as well.

Hugs, KP

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Cinderella Story

I finished this layout last night. I really enjoyed playing with the colors and textures in this paper, and thought the softness of it with the gorgeous flourishes and birds made it very "fairytale" like. So what better to use it for than a visit with royalty. These photos are from our Disney trip in July - Lauren LOVED meeting the "real" princesses and getting photos and autographs with ALL of them. Cinderella was a favorite of course...

Patterned Paper, Die Cuts, Letters and Rub Ons are Basic Grey (Periphery); Ink and ribbon are Stampin' Up!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ethan's New Smile :)

My cutie pie Ethan got his braces off yesterday! He was so excited. And honestly so am I - keeping teeth clean with braces is a lot of extra work for a kid (and for a mom if you want them to actually get clean!) He still has baby teeth, so we may have to do more work in a few years, but they sure are a huge improvement so far!

Here he is before and after - now isn't that a great smile!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Two in one day...

And I am feeling pretty great! I get such a sense of accomplishment when I finish a page layout, and to finish two in a day feels awesome. Today the kids were so cooperative, my husband had the day off and helped keep things under control, and yes - I scrapped the day away (well, with only a few minor interruptions anyway). It was the most relaxed day off that I have had in a VERY long time, and I am thankful for it.

I finished this layout of the boys on our Hawaii trip last summer. We were at the Halona Blowhole on Oahu South Shore - quite lovely!

Patterned paper, Die cuts and Flowers - My Mind's Eye; Solid Cardstock and buttons- Stampin' Up!; Journaling - Signo white gel pen.

I am on a roll, almost hate to clean up - but at some point I gotta get the kids to bed. Hope your day was as lovely as mine!

"Miss You" Layout

I completed this layout today. This one took me a few days - both because I ruined the paper once, and because the subject matter was a little emotional for me.

I decided that since I am trying to stretch myself creatively, that the best way to do that was to really challenge myself. And since most of my layouts are of happy beautiful children playing, this was indeed a challenge. But one that has been in my head for quite a while, and since I am scrapping for ME, this made the most sense to start with. I caught myself crying quite a bit over the past few days as I worked through this, but I am really happy with the results.

Patterned Paper, Die Cuts and Stickers - Cosmo Cricket; Chipboard letters - Heidi Swapp; Chipboard Flourishes - Deluxe Designs; Ink - Stampin' Up!; Journaling font - Anke Calligraphic

Journaling Reads:
The Truth is, I am all right.
Sometimes we lose the people that we love,
And it is difficult and painful,
But we move forward, and it is okay.
I am okay.

But that does not mean that I don't miss you.

When one of the kids laughs or smiles, and the expression
Reminds me of you...That is when I miss you.

When I think of something funny, and I know that it
Would make you laugh...That is when I miss you.

When I think about how truly amazing my children are,
And I think how proud of them you would be, and I wish that
I could share them with you...That is when I miss you.

When my computer is having trouble, and I NEED you here to
Help me figure it out...That is when I miss you.

When your beautiful granddaughter, who never had the chance
To meet you, but so very clearly KNOWS you, starts crying
Because she "misses her grandpa"...That is when I miss you.

When I am walking in a store, or at work, or around the neighborhood
And I see someone with a moustache like yours,
Or hear someone with a laugh like yours,
Or catch the scent of someone with a scent like yours,
That is when I miss you.

Every Day. That is when I...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Shopping...again :)

So, if you remember, the first part of my "creative goal" for myself, was to buy what I like. It turns out that this part of the goal is really not going to be any trouble at all! Since I just bought all I could carry at expo over the weekend, you would think that I was good for a while, yes? No.

Yesterday I was working on (and almost finished with) a layout (yay Kristine!) when I blobbed brown ink all over my journaling. Well, of course I had to start over, and of course I only had one sheet of the paper that I was using, so of course, I had to shop. I guess it really HAS been a while since I have shopped for scrapbooking supplies, since I just discovered yesterday that the store I usually go to in such scrap emergencies is gone. And they were not just closed, there was an entirely different business up and running. Imagine my surprise when I pulled up to the soccer store!!

So I had to head across town (like to the other side of Elk Grove) this morning to a NEW store. I say new, but they have been in business at least a year, I have just never been there. Probably never should have gone in there. I just needed one sheet of paper, but somehow my basket filled up...crazy! I did have a coupon, so I don't feel TOO bad. AND I got home and there is a birthday check in the mail, so I guess is was fate! And just in case my husband ever decides to read my blog --It really wasn't bad at all, honey! (LOL)

Off to finish the page I messed up! Have a great night!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Expo Photo

So, at a table with six scrapbookers, all six of us forgot to bring a camera (duh!). One of the sweet ladies helping out at the crop was kind enough to take a photo of us and email it to me. Here we are!

From left to right: Charissa, Michelle, Me, Sonda, Christina, Jenn.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Scrapbook Expo

Are you having a great weekend? I am. I had the opportunity to go yesterday to Scrapbook Expo, and had such a nice day! I spent the day with my dear and fabulous friend Charissa, which always makes for a nice day. I had an opportunity to see friends I don't see nearly often enough - Jenn, Christina and Tonja - and thoroughly enjoyed their company. And I got to shop - which was amazing - I have limited myself so much with shopping that just being surrounded by new and fabulous products made me giddy - At one point I literally broke into a sweat with the excitement of it along with the anxiety of trying to decide which of the MILLIONS of things I wanted that I could possibly narrow it down to. I picked up some great things, and am very hopeful that they will actually get used - soon! And got a nice list going for all of the things I want when I can budget for them...boy are there ever some amazing new products available!

I took two classes. The Rusty Pickle class was fast paced and really fun, and the layout is beautiful -- I need to find some photos to compliment it, and then I will share -- we used Burlap on the page - a new element for page design for me, and a VERY messy (but cute) choice. I also took an S.E.I class that was sadly not as wonderful. I had fun, and shared the class with Jenn and Christina, so I enjoyed laughing with them, but the page is simply ugly, and I am doubtful I can salvage enough to even keep the page - just a crazy, busy, loud design - not at all my style. But I learned a little, I guess. I won a delightful "booby" prize - seriously I can't imagine where they got this - left in a warehouse since 1984 is a iron on velvet page element that includes igloos and polar bears - truly hideous. I couldn't give it away! IF anyone out there has a love for the obnoxious and enjoys winter cartoon scenes on their pages, let me know and it is yours! LOL

The crop was a lot of fun - heck, just an opportunity to be out with the girls and surrounded by paper is a truly exceptional thing. And I have some truly talented friends - the layouts they made were just lovely. I got one layout finished, and started a second. I was a little off my has been so long it may take a while for my creativity to start flowing freely I suppose, but I am happy with the layout I finished, and even more happy that I got a layout DONE.

Here is what I worked on:

These are photos taken of Lauren last month at the pumpkin patch. I used the following to create this layout:
Stamps: Fabulous Flowers, True Friend
Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, Really Rust
Patterned Paper: Apple Cider
Inks: Chocolate Chip and Really Rust Craft
Accessories: Chipboard - Blossoms and Basics and Lots of Letters, Build a Brad, Chocolate Satin ribbon, sponge dauber

Hope you had a great day as well! KP

Friday, November 9, 2007

Thoughts on my CREATIVE CRISIS...

Okay, so I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. Serious thinking about where I am in my life "creatively". This might sound like a silly thing to be thinking about, but if you know me at all, you know that my NEED to express myself creatively is one of the things that really drives my life and defines who I am. Without it, I am not me. And frankly, I am not happy with the place I am creatively. It has been gnawing at me for a while, and really hit home recently. I think I finally got a handle on it, and got to the heart of what is bothering me this week when I met my dear friend Nic for coffee. We really had a good chat, and it really got me thinking. (Thanks for listening Nic).

If you know me, you know that scrapbooking is my passion. Creating an artistic representation of the memories that are important to me - I NEED to do this. And yet I have found that in the last year, I have done virtually NO scrapbooking. I think about it, I want to do it, but I dont get to it. I am deeply saddened by this, and by the time that has been lost while I have been too busy to do what is really important to me. I am really busy, and this is not likely to change soon. And what creative time I have available to me, I spend planning workshops and preparing for classes, which brings me pleasure,, but keeps me from my TRUE love.

I love stamping - really I do. But I started stamping to supplement my scrapbooking - to add a little more to my pages. And somehow over the past few years, it has taken over. I love Stampin' Up, and think the products are fantastic, but being a demonstrator has put me in a place that makes me feel that all of my available "free money" should go to SU products, and this keeps me from truly expressing myself creatively - if I were true to my creativity, I would just buy what I liked, regardless of how it would affect my "business". I am not really sure how or why I have allowed "business" to affect my art, but it really has. I love card making - LOVE it. I love teaching classes, sharing what I love with others, and especially inspiring people to create. But the time that I spend thinking of class projects, preparing for classes, etc. keeps me from being able to really create for me, and I am feeling stifled, stuck, and I NEED to break out of this place and move my focus from "business" to creativity - and really focus on MY memories, MY scrapbook pages.

About 3 years ago I set a goal for myself that I wanted to be published before I was 40. Guess what. I am a week away from 39, and have progressed nowhere in those three years. I have not grown in my art. I have not produced the kind of amazing pages that I KNOW in my heart live inside my head - in fact I have produced relatively few pages at all! This is a goal that I want to accomplish - maybe not by 40 (since I waited so long) but someday. If I don't work, and don't try, it can't happen.

I want to work on a design team. I want my art to be an inspiration to others. But if it stays here in my head, it can't. And I can't enjoy it, and my children can't cherish it. I have to scrap it.

So what does this mean? Where is my rambling caffeine induced monologue taking us? I am not entirely sure. But I know that I have reached a point of change, and the direction that I go from here will define my creative future. I know that I need to step back from my "business" and not allow it to direct my creativity. I need to not have all of my creative time be spent on cards, workshops and classes - it is not enough for me. And the change needs to happen now, while I am motivated, inspired and driven.

My goals for NOW:
1. Buy what I like, and USE IT. Whether or not I can sell it or demonstrate it will NOT be what directs my art.
2. At least 50% of my creative time is for ME, and will be spent scrapbooking for me (the rest can be for classes, gift making, card making etc. )
3. Learn, grow and progress with my art - get out of the rut, think creatively, and do what I like, not what will sell.
4. Build confidence so that I will submit work for design teams, contests etc., and then SEND IT.
5. Learn how to say no - my time is important.

And why did I share all of this with you? Because if I write it down, and I put it out there, then I am accountable for it. I know that there are a few of you out there that will push me to meet my goals, and I need to be pushed. I need to be reminded of what art means to me. This is important to me. I will do this.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Another photo to share...

No, it's not stamping...not yet. I am DEFINITELY getting some scrapbooking done this weekend, though - so next week will have plenty of stuff to share - really! I am going to Scrapbook Expo this weekend, and I am so excited. I am taking two classes, and can't tell you how thrilled I am to get to be the student for a change. I am doing a Rusty Pickle class (i LOVE Rusty Pickle) and a technique class by SEI. Then I am cropping the night away. I need to find some time this week to put together some stuff so that I go prepared and get some pages done! Hopefully I will finish some pages that are cute enough to show off!

I did want to share this cute pic of my youngest. You know, she looks so sweet in photos. It is so deceiving...she is such a handful! (okay, more like two hands full). But I just adore her anyway... We are out the door to Hula class. Have a great night!

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Wow. Can you believe it has been a whole month since I have been able to post. Obviously I can't start every post with an apology, but that seems like the way it is working right now. Not sure why life has gotten away from me - things just seem to get busier every day!! But in November and December I am taking a break from SU workshops and classes, so that I can focus more on some of the projects I want to do around here. Hopefully that will translate into more things to share with you!

I HAVE been stamping, but mostly for workshops and gifts, and did not take photos! I enjoyed making halloween treat bags for my daughter's preschool. This is what I came up with this year:
I used the Batty For You set, Batty wheel, Arachnophobia wheel, Creepy Crawly paper, Pumpkin and Black paper and ribbon, Circle, Scallop and Key Tag punches. I used 4 x 8 paper bags, and created front and back panels. They were pretty quick and easy, I like the way they turned out, and the kids enjoyed them.

My kids had a great time on Halloween this year! We went to a local church Harvest Festival - the kids got a TON of candy! We enjoyed spending time with our friends the Arch family too! Here are my cuties:

Lauren was Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty). She was so lovely. She has been wearing the costume daily since the week before Halloween - she LOVES to dress up! Isn't she just the cutest EVER! (yes, I am biased).

My boys (Christian and Ethan) were Mario and Luigi. They had so much fun, and enjoyed the attention of being "recognized" by the gaming public.

Here are the photos with their friends Kean and Miriam...

In other news... Hmm, what else can I share?? My son Christian's soccer team will be in the Championship playoffs this weekend - even though the team lost every game of the season - go figure. They dominated at the tournament - came through when it counted I guess. He is excited. He also had his first Band Performance last week - he is LOVING band!

The other kids are busy with activities, and keeping me busy daily! Ethan is off track, so I am trying hard to keep him occupied. He learned how to Pogo stick this month, and can easily pogo 1000 times in a row! And Lauren is LOVING her new Smart Cycle - wow is that a great invention!

Me? I am focused on my weight loss and "life changes" and doing really well. I am quite proud of myself. I have lost 13 pounds so far, and still motivated.

I promise that next time I update, it will be with stamping to share!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Stamp a Stack cards...

Yes, I know - it has been FOREVER since I have shared something new, and I apologize. All of my "FREE" time has been taken over by my children's activities, and every spare moment I can squeak in to stamp has been spent getting ready for my Stamp a Stack this weekend. I love doing Stamp a Stacks, and they really do force me to get creative and use my stuff! AND I get to spend time with people I like doing my favorite thing! I am really looking forward to this weekend - we are making a variety of Thank You and Friendship cards. And since I have not done anything else creative this week, I thought I could at least share these with you. I really strive to create cards for these events that are simple to create, but really interesting - visually rich and appealing. Here are the cards for this class...If you are a customer and are coming to this event and want to be surprised - QUICK - Shut your eyes! (lol)

This first card is made with Artfully Asian and the Weathered background. I used Watercolor Crayons to color the focal image, and sponging for detail. I really do love the Tafetta ribbon, and this color (Bashful Blue) is just so pretty. Cardstock Colors are Close to Cocoa, Sage Shadow, Blush Blossom, Bashful Blue and Whisper White.

This card is very simple to create, but I really love the color combination, and I personally think ANYTHING made with Baroque Motifs is just gaaaawgous! The colors here are Bravo Burgundy, Always Artichoke and So Saffron. I used craft ink to stamp the focal image, and sponge daubers to apply ink at the edges for a richer look.

Okay, I may have mentioned that Fabulous Flowers has climbed into my FAVORITES - I seriously LOVE this big flower! I did have a hard time coming up with "simple" for this set. But I am really pleased with how this came out. I used Purely Pomegranate and Soft Sky ink and cardstock, basic stamping and some cutting. (with just a touch of glitter) I love these colors together! I do have some customers who DON'T love cutting (imagine that) and 3 layers per card might do them in, so I offered an alternate for those who preferred.

This is the alternate card. This color combo is much cuter in real life - I used Certainly Celery, Taken with Teal and Rose Red ink and Cardstock, with the In the Spotlight hostess set.

I really like this card. I CASEd this one about a year ago for my own use, and unfortunately did not record where I got the design idea from, and can not find it again! So if you are the original designer - holler so credit can be given. Anyway, I stumbled upon the card while planning and thought it was just right for this class. I used the Linen and French Flair background stamps, Carte Postale, and Sincere Salutations, and circle and square punches. Colors are Brocade Blue, Night of Navy and Very Vanilla. I used the White Signo Gel Pen to accent the swirls and add dimension.

And of course I needed a MANLY thank you...I love these western sets! So much fun to stamp with. For this card I used Bronc Buster, Wanted, Sanded (my new favorite background) and Amazing to Zany. I used a snip of the Outlaw Designer Series Paper, and a Pewter Jumbo Eyelet set with the Crop a Dile and tied with Hemp. I also distressed the edges with the cutting tool, and sponged. Colors are Close to Cocoa, Really Rust, Chocolate Chip and Kraft. Focal image was stamped with Craft ink.

And finally, this card made using True Friend - I SOOOOOO love this set. It just makes me smile every time I use it! SURE do hope it makes it to the next catalog (hoping hoping hoping). For this one the colors are River Rock, Really Rust, Groovy Guava, Close to Cocoa and Very Vanilla. I used Apple Cider designer paper (fab!) and Chocolate Satin ribbon (yum!). I also got a chance to share my scallop punch ... LOVE it!

Whew. That is all of them. I better get back to cutting...thanks for stopping by and have an awsome day!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Emerging Fall Colors

Okay, I love this technique! I have been wanting to try it for several days, and finally found a little time yesterday to play. I love fall colors, and love the way this flower turned out in these shades. You can find the tutorial for this technique, called "Emerging Color" here.

I followed the tutorial above, however with a slight modification for this card. Before stamping the colored images, I used the brayer to add More Mustard ink to the Whisper White cardstock, so that my focal image flower would have color as well. This stamp set, Fabulous Flowers (should I say it is my favorite???), is perfect for this technique.

The ingredients for this card:
Stamps: Fabulous Flowers, All Holidays
Cardstock: Whisper White, Close to Cocoa, Ruby Red, Really Rust, More Mustard
Ink: More Mustartd, Ruby Red, Really Rust, Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive (classic and craft), Versamark
Ribbon: Chocolate Chip Taffeta
Accessories: Clear embossing powder, Brayer, Heat Tool, Ticket Corner punch, Rhinestone brads, Dimensional Adhesive, Sponge Dauber

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tumbled Tile Coasters

One of my coworkers has been asking me to put together a tile coaster class for her and a group of her friends. I love making tile coasters, and have finally found some time to figure this out for her. I spent time this weekend making up some samples. Unfortunately, all of the stamp sets that I own that work best for tile coasters are retired sets --but rather than buy several new sets, I have decided just to use these - they are some of my favorites, and really work beautifully for this project! You can click on images for a larger view.

There are a variety of methods to making tumbled tile coasters, and everyone has their favorite way to do these. You can find tutorials on for alternative ways to do these. I personally prefer not to use methods that require me to spray an acrylic sealer over the tile. Since I want them to be used as coasters, I want the natural stone to maintain it's absorbency.

The best stamp set choices for making tile coasters are those with fine line drawing images, and plenty of area for adding color. Fat lines and solid images do not stamp as well in my experience. I love choosing stamps that have a lot of subtle detail - images with shading and stippling add a lot to this project!

When I make tile coaster, I purchase the "Botticino" brand tumbled tiles from Home Depot. I wash them to remove the powdery residue, and allow them to dry before beginning the project. Once dry, I stamp my focal image in Stazon (permanent ink) - Timber Brown is my favorite color choice. I like to use a background (especially French Script) so I mask the focal image, and then stamp the background in Stazon as well. For best results, allow the Stazon to dry overnight (it really does make a difference!) Then I use craft inks and a blender pen to color my images. It takes just a tiny bit of craft ink - I have all 48 Stampin' Up! colors in the Stampin Spots, and I smudge my desired colors onto a palette (a blank CD works great for this, and we all have one we messed up on or has gotten scratched laying around - or a free one AOL sent us, right). I pick up a little of the lightest color choice first, then add color for accent in darker shades. Once I have colored my images, I bake the tiles to "really" set the color. About 5 minutes at 375 seems to do the trick. Colors do fade slightly once the tile is completely dry, so keep this in mind when coloring your image and make them more vibrant than you may desire in your completed work. Once they are baked (and cooled) I add felt pads to the bottom of the coaster. Tie sets of 4 together with a ribbon and add a cute handmade gift tag and VOILA! These are a lot of fun to make, and make awesome handmade gifts.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Missing and "Wanted"

One of my coworkers is ill, and will be off of work for several months. The office is kindly taking food to his family every week....but I don't cook. And for those of you that know me at all, you know that taking MY food to a sick friend is really NOT an act of kindness. So I decided to make some cards to send ALONG with the food that others are taking instead.
Of course, if you know me, you know that masculine cards are not my best thing either...but I am working on that. I had an excuse to buy these fabulous (truly FABULOUS!) new western stamp sets so that I could make a special "WANTED" card. I am so excited by these stamps.

I aged the paper used for the focal image on this card using lemon juice. This is a really simply technique, and looks GREAT for cards that you want to look aged and distressed. You simply take your neutral colored paper (in this case, I tore the edges of mine first) and use a sponge or paintbrush to apply lemon juice. I like to use an uneven coat of the lemon juice so that I get "puddling" in some areas if possible. Then you heat the cardstock with a heat tool. The heat burns the lemon juice on your cardstock and turns it brown. This takes a while, so don't give up! Heat it more in some areas than others for the variation in color. And BE CAREFUL - the paper can catch fire, and fingers can get burned (no real need to ask me how I know) so take your time and proceed with caution :)

You might also notice that I have been adding Jumbo Eyelets to everything lately - well that is because they ROCK! These ones are the pewter eyelets, and gol' dang if I don't just love em! And of course you can't love the jumbo eyelets without the crop-a-dile. I bought this tool on a whim one day when I HAD to make a chipboard coaster box, and then it sat on my shelf for months. I am so glad I dusted it off and put it back into use - it really is a nifty little gadget.

Ingredients for this card: (note that this is a 5 x 7 card)
Stamps: Wanted, Bronc Buster, Canvas
Paper: Outlaw DSP, Chocolate Chip, Really Rust, Very Vanilla
Ink: Chocolate Chip (both classic and craft), Really Rust, Clost to Cocoa, Creamy Caramel
Ribbon: 5/8" Chocolate Grosgrain
Accessories: Lemon Juice, Heat Tool, Crop a Dile, Pewter Jumbo Eyelets, Sponge Dauber

Friday, September 14, 2007

Garden of Hope

As promised, here is another card made with the GAWGEOUS set, Garden Silhouettes. But as predicted, my "set sampler" ended at just these two cards, because my new toys arrived and, well I got distracted. Come on, you new it would happen. But I WILL come back to this set! It is worth spending some more time with.

This card was very simple to create. I sponged inks in More Mustard, So Saffron, Creamy Caramel and Close to Cocoa onto Very Vanilla Cardstock. Then I stamped the leaf image in Chocolate Chip ink, and stamped off (stamped it again without re-inking the stamp) to create the shadow effect. I love how soft and ethereal this looks, but the colors are warm, masculine, and peaceful. I made this card for a coworker that is out ill - hope he will like it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pretty Pink Blossoms

Oooooh! I am so loving this new Hostess Set - why are you all not beating down my door to try to earn it?! Seriously, cute! I am so excited to have had a few minutes to stamp (well, neglected other things to make a few minutes really - but that is beside the point). I have decided to work on set samplers for a few of the new sets I have recently received, and this one was just calling to me. It is so versatile, and just so pretty. Look for a few more this week made with this set (I hope). I have new toys arriving later in the week, so I want to make a few with this one before getting distracted by other new things!

The ingredients for this card:
Stamps: Garden Silhouettes (hostess), SO Many Sayings (hostess) Linen BG, Floral BG
Paper: Regal Rose, Pretty in Pink, Mellow Moss, Very Vanilla
Ink: Mellow Moss and Regal Rose markers, Regal Rose Classic and Craft, Mellow Moss and Always Artichoke.
Ribbon: Mellow Moss 1/4" Grosgrain
Accessories: Ticket Corner punch, Word Window Punch, Artichoke brads, Dimensional Adhesive, Sponge Dauber

Sunday, September 9, 2007

I Scrapped!

Hooray! I found some time to do some scrapping! For some reason lately it seems that finding time for this is next to impossible, and when I DO have time, creativity is somewhere else entirely. So I am very excited this weekend to have accomplished something. No, they are not my best pages, but the fact that I finished them is QUITE an accomplishment, so I wanted to share. I used up some of the retired papers and accessories that I have been hoarding (GOOD JOB, Kristine!!) I used the Retired "Treehouse" Designer papers, and the 2006 "In Color" cardstock and ink. The stamps and accessories used here include: Office Accoutrement, Genuine Article, Big Deal Alphabet, Short Order Alphabet & Numbers, Priceless, Everyday Flexible Phrases, On Board Chipboard, Spiral Punch, Jumbo Eyelets.
The photos are from last November, when My son Ethan and I did an overnight trip with the Cub Scouts. We took the train to San Francisco, where we spent the night in the Aquarium - slept in the shark tube! Then we took the bus to the Exploritorium. It was an awesome trip. I have a ton more photos, but am sadly out of this Designer paper, so will have to do the rest another day when creativity strikes again. I am off to try to do a few cards or simple stamped items before bed, as I still have a few hours in me! Have a great day!