Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The most wonderful

time of year....especially for this sweet girl! She waits all year for the month December. Christmas and her birthday within ten days of each other. Every year we focus on what her interests are and plan her party around those. Keeping that special day Christmas free for the most part.


She is a lover of any living creature, seriously. When she thinks of an animal she does not care for, she then thinks of something that makes that one special.
Horses, horses, horses....she has been riding for awhile now (going on 5 years). I remember Flame the first horse she rode consistently, watching her brush him, clean him, etc. used to make me so nervous. Flame was so tall that she had to get on a tall log stump to even ride him. But she is a natural and is so comfortable around every horse she has come in contact with. Her new horse love is Max and he is quite handsome.


She can and will find any all dirt to play and jump around in. Definitely an outdoors girl.
She loves drawing, writing stories, crafts in general. That's my girl! :)

Keeping all of these things in mind we decided to have a sort of craft day.
I gathered some supplies to make animal necklaces with and snow globes out of mason jars. I saw these on Pinterest and thought they would be fun and fairly easy to make.


Next, Jon and I thought we could take her and a friend to "As You Wish". It would was the first time Jon and I had been there and I have to say we had a blast and the girls had a great time deciding what to paint, the colors they wanted to use, etc.


We pick up our masterpieces this week. :) It was a fun filled weekend celebrating our girl!


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy, Happy

Thanksgiving to you and yours! A time to give thanks and to remember how grateful we are for family, friends and the life that we live. Here in Arizona there has been a chill in the air, especially in the mornings, which is a nice change of pace.
Tomorrow the Christmas decor will be brought out, Jon is prepared and ready to do his part (he is such a good man), who knows how I love decorating and how I want the house to look amazing. We are looking forward to Shelby being home and the phrase "Merry & Bright" has been ringing in my head. I think this might be what the chalkboard niche will convey.


Man, I'm getting ahead of myself. With a chill in the air I made the first banana bread of the season and it tastes so good. I can pass up Jon's 10:30pm ice cream bowl every night of the year but banana bread is my weakness. So super yummy. I wish I could share it with all of you and maybe with some coffee, tea or hot chocolate!

I wanted to share some layouts I created about special moments and stories in our family. Thankful that Shelby has a partner in crime, a boyfriend that cares for her and inspires her at the same college.
Thankful that they are able to share college life and experiences together.


This was their Senior Prom. The last dance they would go to together. They had been to quite a few
dances throughout their high school career but always as just friends until this last year, when feelings grew from their four year friendship. 

For this layout I put my Silhouette Cameo to the test, creating a layered die cut piece. Here is a little tutorial I put together for Scrapbook.com. 
I used a doily cut file from my Silhouette Cameo library. I re-sized it so it would fit a 12" x 12" background sheet of paper side to side and then cut it out of the ivory cardstock. 


Once it was cut, I grabbed a Teresa Collins woodgrain patterned paper as well as brown cardstock and went to work.


I wanted to create a multi layered doily die cut piece as the focal point of the layout. So I started by backing it with the woodgrain paper and then put it on top of the brown cardstock sheet I used as my background.


Next, I decided to use three photos and I wanted to create some sort of collage which would require another layer within the doily center. Looking through my Silhouette library I came across a pie chart cut file and knew this was what I needed.


I took the inside measurement of the doily and sized the pie chart accordingly (making it slightly larger).


Looking at the file, I realized I needed to add a circle around the outside of the pie chart to create a "home" or frame for the photos, so I used the Arc tool to draw the outer circle and cut it out.


I played around with the arrangement of the pie chart in the center of the doily, figuring out the placement and how it would affect the photos. 


I had three photos and looking at the pie chart I wanted those photos to be placed in the biggest sections of the chart.


After the photos were cut down, sized and placed, it left me with one small section for embellishments. I started with backing that section with patterned paper to give the layout some color. 


I grabbed the chipboard stickers and chose one I liked, then cut it down at an angle so it would fit perfectly inside the pie chart. Then I gathered some of the other embellishments, trying to decide which ones I wanted to use, moving them around until I was happy. Then the fun layering part began! A combination of flowers (chipboard and paper), leaf stickers, cork, buttons and rhinestones, is what I ended up with.


After placing the embellishments, I had to figure out where to put my journaling, because for me, it's about the story as much as it is about the photos. Originally I had planned on having more journaling than I ended up with and that's ok. I included the most important parts and by using the chipboard journaling sticker I was able to include my handwriting which is also a bonus. Family members will love that you included your handwriting and I try to do that as often as possible. Maybe that becomes a 2015 scrapbooking goal of mine. More journaling in my handwriting.

Here are a couple of more layouts that celebrate the season of giving thanks!


Daddy, Mommy and Daughter dates are the best, especially when you add dinner and a movie into the mix!


Thankful that Shelby has the most amazing best friends that traveled over 1,000 miles to surprise her at college and they remembered to take photos! They have been trained well....;)
Hope your weekend is surrounded by loving family and friends!
xoxoxo




Wednesday, November 19, 2014

File Folder love....

I created this awhile ago and haven't shared the finished book until now. It really hard to believe that this time with her and Ryne at Homecoming was a little over a year ago. The time really does go by so fast and I tried to savor every moment I could last year, knowing this year would be different with her away at college. I'll be honest I'm still adjusting and I miss her tremendously. I have found myself saving photos to my phone from Facebook (thank goodness for social media). Can't wait until she is home for Christmas!

The file folders are from Heidi Swapp but you could re-create the same book with any file folders, especially if you have a set that includes various sizes of them. To bind all of the file folders together I used the Cinch from We R Memory Keepers. With Christmas coming up it would be the perfect addition to your wish list for sure.


On the top file folder I added a mini flip book to hold more photos, give the project dimension and having an interactive element on the cover turned out to be a super fun addition.


The golden flower was actually white inside the package and I have learned to never turn down cute white flowers because you can take spray mist and make them any color you like to match your project. Getting some ink on my hands always feels a little refreshing too. :)



Journaling cards are made by so many manufacturers now and can not only be used it Project Life - Pocket Page scrapbooking but many are the perfect size to fit in minibooks as well. Journaling cards have all kinds of different finishes and I won't lie I get suckered in every time for the gold foil and specialty finishes that now adorn journaling cards. 
The leaves were hand cut and layered, then stitched with the We R Memory Keepers floss, you can also use plain old DMC floss too. One can't go wrong with using Crate Paper and Heidi Swapp to embellish!



Another favorite thing for me now is to add die cut pieces throughout a project. Last year at this time I had never owned a die cutting machine and I got a great deal on the Silhouette Cameo last Christmas from Scrapbook.com and I have to say it was one of the best investments I have made to date. There are so many things you can do, including creating/designing your own cut files. The Silhouette Cameo Version 2 is hitting stores. I have given it a test run and it is just amazing as the original with a few more added bells and whistles. It would be another great addition to your Christmas List as well. You won't regret it.


I loved how the cover turned out with the flip book on top and since I still had a few photos I wanted to put in this book I went ahead and added a second mini flip book onto the left hand page. 


Finished with some more Crate Paper flowers, My Mind's Eye journaling cards and die cut pieces. 
Thanks for stopping by!
xoxo



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pinwheels, you say?

What do you think of when you think of pinwheels? Spring, Summer, children running in a green flower filled field. I know, that's what I think of too, but I just got the We R pinwheel punch board and I was a little skeptical. I'm not really a tool person, per se but....when I started thinking of all of the possibilities I couldn't resist, even though it's almost Thanksgiving.


From making killer gift wrapping to parties, wedding, baby showers and everything in between I have to say this little tool can do it all. I created five different projects with basic supplies, the pinwheel punch board and for this particular project some crazy cool gift wrapping paper. 

For the gold glitter wrapped "thinking of you" present I create two double pinwheels and then "nested" them on top of each other. Finishing it off with some My Mind's Eye party confetti and button and a rhinestone. You can always switch out the cardstock banner tag for a congratulations, thank you or celebrate saying which is perfect for any occasion. 
When I opened up the glitter wrapping paper from Teresa Collins I was a little scared it was going to shed all over the place but it didn't. Then I thought maybe when I started to cut into it that's when it would get a little crazy and it was going to spread all over the place, but it didn't, which was a nice surprise. I love glitter but not all over me and the place I'm working. It was easy to work with in that respect. As far as adhesive I don't know if it was the fact that I wasn't working with Scotch brand tape or not but the tape I had was not holding with the glitter. So I had to think outside of the box and I grabbed my 3D foam squares and used those underneath the wrapping paper to hold it. In the end it worked out and you can't see how the wrapping paper is adhered. I finished it off with some gold twine to make sure everything stayed in place. Hopefully, that makes sense. I don't have the presents with me to take more detailed shots, maybe when I get them back. :)

I can't wait to share the other projects with you guys and they will be apart of our Thanksgiving/Christmas home decor for sure! For Christmas I'll have to mix some cool snowflakes in with them. 

Hope you guys have a great end to your week!
xoxo





Tuesday, November 04, 2014

this weekend

I got to work with the November Scrapbook.com Kit called Thankful for Family. This kit has a touch of Thanksgiving and Fall elements but can also be used for documenting other stories as well.
When I was creating with this kit I didn't create one single Thanksgiving layout. This kit doesn't pressure you to do that, it's not too "themey", which is nice.


Here is a little peek at what I was able to come up with. While creating these I took photos of the process, which is something I have never done. Trying to shake things up a bit on my little blog.


So, that's what is up around here. Oh, and convincing my husband to ride the Kamikaze (which he is terrified of). I'll share what I posted on Facebook because in the moment it was hysterical and still thinking about it puts a smile on my face. He really does put up with me and all my craziness. 


At this point in the ride, completely hanging upside down Jon was yelling "Oh my gosh honey, I can't believe you made me do this", we are going to die!" I couldn't stop laughing, I live for these kinds of rides! This is how I know he really loves me!

Thanks for stopping by!
xoxo

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween

is tomorrow and it seems like this Halloween came up fast. I have been wanting to share how the house looks since everything has been decorated since mid September. This year has been different with Shelby away at college.
There is a funny/emotional story this year from the pumpkin patch that had me in tears last week. We had taken Ellie to pick out a pumpkin with Jon's parents and standing among all the teeny tiny pumpkins was this sweet, curly blonde blue eyed girl. Her hair was in a bun with ringlets and the whole nine yards. I'm standing, staring at her and thinking "wow, she looks exactly the way Shelby did at her age." All of the sudden I hear her mom say "Shelby!" and that was it, instant tears streaming down my face and a deep longing to hug our girl.
Needless to say it hit me like a MAC truck and the next time I spoke to Shelby she could sense I was missing her and of course I had to tell her the story.
Ok, sorry back to Halloween decor.


This is a long wall in our family room that has been bare since we moved in. Jon promised when we moved in something would be here within the first year. He just wanted that wall and here we are over 2 years later and nothing, so the wall after the holidays is going to be mine (at least that's what I tell him with a loving, yet firm voice), lol.


It is amazing how expensive die cut cardstock shapes can be, especially from known names like Martha Stewart and they are all the same size in the package. So, I decided to cut these with my Silhouette Cameo and I started with a small size and worked my way up from there. All I used was black cardstock and 3D foam squares. It was fun and inexpensive.


On Pinterest I came across a variation of brooms on a chalkboard wall, so I put my spin on it and this is how it turned out. Shelby came up with the name and Ellie donated her skeleton bones school paperwork to the typewriter. It was great timing that she was studying and had to know the major bones of the human body for her science class. 


This was a little hard to put into perspective with a photo. These sticks are right underneath the fan. We had to cut them down because it is still so hot here in Arizona during October and the fan has to be running. Jon put the birds in the branches. 


The area above the entertainment center is also a little difficult to photograph. It's full of potion and poison bottles. Rats, skeletons, old books and cameras, spiders, you know all of the essentials.


You can't go wrong with skeletons and crates. Those are all of the main areas around the house. There are a few more little vignettes. 
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you and your family have a safe and fun filled Halloween!
xoxo





Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It all started

on Sunday afternoon, when my mom texted me asking if I knew of a place where she could get a bow tie. I simply responded with, "is it for a costume or something more formal."
After that text she called to ask if I was home, then she came over with a top hat and bling sunglasses. Then, I got the real story. She had bought a life sized skeleton that she wanted to find a bow tie for and she wanted her skeleton to be a girl.

That led to this....


As the top hat was being created we were talking about names for the skeleton and my mom had decided she came from New Orleans. We settled on Olga for her name.


After the bow tie and top hat was complete I decided that Olga, our southern skeleton also needed a Halloween charm bracelet. I used some Tim Holtz metal clips and chains to hang the charms from. It was an unexpected creative afternoon spent with my mom and she was super excited with how everything turned out. 

Thanks for stopping by!
xoxo





Monday, October 06, 2014

Halloween invites....

are crazy expensive, seriously. Every year we have our annual pumping carving party and some years I have made the invitations and other years (like last year I bought them). Last year I remember being behind in the invite category of Halloween and having to buy them pretty much pre.made and that about killed my creative spirit and my pocketbook wasn't to happy either.



This year, I have made it a point to be more proactive even though these invites turned out super simple I kind of like it. The Silhouette Cameo, a bat cut file, black cardstock, a Uniball Signo white pen and kraft envelopes. A little time consuming but simple.


This Halloween seems to be all about bats. It all started with the bat wall I wanted to create in our living room and I loved how it turned out so I carried that theme into the invitations. Getting these little pretties in the mail today felt good. Wishing you all lived close so I could send one to you too!

Hope you have a great week!
xoxo