Sunday, March 12, 2017

Designing with Stampin' Up | March 2017

I love matching stamp and die sets, but using dies alone can also make a huge impact. I pulled out my Stampin' Up! Succulent Framelits Dies, a few distress ink pads, and my favorite polka dot patterned paper and created a dimensional thank you card.

I die cut the three large flowers from white cardstock, then used my mini distress tool to rub on two colors of ink per flower. I overlapped the colors slightly, making sure to blend them together well.

I used glue dots to adhere the three flowers together, then added a button and twine to the center. How cute is that?! I love how my big, colorful flower turned out. I added a die cut "thank you", also from white cardstock + colored with my mini distress tool, under the flower. The sentiment is from Stampin' Up's Thoughtful Branches stamp set. 

The Oh So Succulent stamp + die set is a must have! I have two more cards to share later this week using the stamps and dies. Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Jack | Right Now

Reading | the first book in the Percy Jackson series. Up next is book two. His reading skills have improved so much in the past year, and more importantly, he is reading for fun. He is in the top reading group in his classroom and has come so far from his "I don't need to learn to read" days (hello Kindergarten). 

Playing | Playmobil, Lego, his own made up Minecraft games, Roblox on the computer, Nerf guns. He has always been a kid who loves to play, and he still loves play above everything else.
Wearing | a uniform to school. At home he mostly wears joggers or track pants and a t-shirt. We also had to buy him a new sweater this year (he outgrew his previous sweater) that turned into a big argument. Jack insisted on wearing his old, too small and in need of replacement sweater, and refused to let me buy him a new one. I finally bought him a new one right before Christmas and he responded with "I guess that will do". Oy, he is a finicky kid.

Studying | math, English, orthography, Spanish, science, and history. History is his favorite subject and he loved studying the ancient Greeks this past fall. 

Eating | grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza flavored fish crackers, waffles and pancakes, milkshakes, apples, and GoGurt. His favorite food is french fries, preferably from McDonald's. He is also a fan of the free bread at Texas Roadhouse (but nothing else on the menu). 

Loving | beanie-boos, the color blue, playing with his neighborhood friends. Riding his bike. Learning about history in school after school snacks. Joggers and sweatpants. Asking to be tucked in before bed. 

Not Loving | going to school five days per week (three or four would be better), homework, cleaning his room. 

Watching | Dan TDM on YouTube. Pokemon cartoons on Netflix. Cat videos with his mama. 

Anticipating | two field trips in March (including a trip to the movie theater to see the new Beauty and the Beast movie... I won't be missing this field trip!). A sleepover at Arianna's house that has been in the works for a few weeks. Grandma and Grandpa visiting in April. His birthday party at a nearby park with his classmates. 

Thriving | as a second grader. He had a hard time adjusting to first grade (longer school day, more rigorous curriculum, less playtime), but he has turned the corner in second grade and I am seeing huge improvements across the board. I couldn't be more proud of my sweet Jack.

B&N Night | Traditional Layout

A couple of weeks ago the kids and I participated in Barnes and Noble Night in support of their school. I took a a bunch of photos of Jack running around the store, filling out his scavenger hunt sheet, and several of him reciting the Preamble with the rest of the 2nd grade scholars. I picked the best four photos, printed them to 2.5 x 3.5 inches, and trimmed them keeping a white border around each photo. 

I pulled out the Studio Calico Roman Holiday scrapbook main kit for my layout. This is such a versatile kit and I used bits and pieces from most of the embellishments, plus two pieces of patterned paper. 

My favorite element of this layout is the adorable chipboard pencil. How cute is that?! I added an aqua enamel heart on top and adhered it to the bottom right corner with two other elements. The black phrase stickers are from Ali Edwards' Read Story Kit, and the plastic stars are from the Studio Calico Smalls kit.

A few things to note:
  • I am loving white borders around my photos right now. I use a Canon Pixma photo printer and I adjust the pictures so I have a thin (or sometimes not-so-thin) border around the edges. 
  • Scrapbooking the boys' school events has become a priority. Their school has so many wonderful programs and activities and I want those events represented in their albums. 
  • In 80% of my photos, the boys are wearing their school uniforms. I need to make sure to pull out my camera after they have changed into street clothes... all of my photos look the same! 
  • This basic grid design is super easy to replicate and works with virtually any photos (everyday, birthdays, holidays, etc.). 
I'm hanging out in chilly Washington this week with my family. I haven't been able to celebrate my birthday with my parents in almost a decade, so when my parents offered to fly me to WA for a week as an early birthday present I jumped at the chance! My birthday is mid-March but I'll take what I can get. 

Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Designing with Stampin' Up! | January 2017

The new Stampin' Up! occasions catalog is full of beautiful stamps and dies. I received some new goodies to play with last month and I finally had a chance to sit down and play! The Beetles & Bugs stamp set is adorable and the first set I used to create a card. Something about the perfectly symmetrical little bugs that I just love. I am not a bug person (at all!) but I love them as stamps! 

Here are step-by-step instructions for completing this card:

1. Create the stamped background using four cute little bugs (outlines only... no solid stamps or detail images). I used four ink colors (navy, lime green, aqua, and orange) and used one stamp per ink color. I started at the bottom right and stamped my way up to the top left. 

2. After the background is finished, ink the edges using a mini distress tool or makeup sponge and lime green ink. I used small, sweeping circular movements to keep the ink light and avoid swirl marks. 

3. Die cut aqua cardstock from the middle Framelits - Labels Collection die. The Labels set is currently unavailable, but this set is similar! Trim the edge off the aqua cardstock and adhere it to the card front. 

4. Trim a piece of vellum to 1 1/4 inches by 6 inches. Stamp sentiment with VersaMark and sprinkle on embossing powder. Heat set, then wrap around card front (centering sentiment on aqua label) and adhere. 

5. Wrap black and white twine around card. Adhere enamel dots above and below sentiment.

The products in the Occasions catalog are available until May 31, 2017. I'll be back with more projects using this stamp set and several more cute stamp and die sets. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Evan | Right Now

Reading | so many wonderful books at school and he just finished the Harry Potter series at home. He received Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for Christmas and read it in two days. This kid is a super fast reader and flies through books almost as fast as I can buy them.

Playing | soccer, football outside with his friends, board games and card games, Roblox on the computer, and occasionally Legos. 

Wearing | a uniform to school, with little complaint. This kid is not too picky about his clothes, although he prefers basketball type shorts and t-shirts to long pants and long sleeved shirts. He doesn't like wearing bulky or heavy clothing at all and hates wearing a jacket, even in cold temps. 

Studying | math, history, English, science, and Latin. He is doing really well in school and made the A/B honor roll for the second year in a row. PCCA has a much more difficult curriculum that he has adapted to beautifully. 

Loving | his friends and play dates. This past year he has made some new friends in our neighborhood, plus he has buddies on his soccer team that he likes to hang out with. Friends are extremely important to him at this stage in his life. 

Not Loving | rice, the color pink, waking up early, brushing his teeth, and sharing the computer. 

Watching | mostly YouTube and videos of people playing video games. I must admit I don't understand the appeal of watching other people play video games (why not play them yourself?), but he loves it. He doesn't watch any TV shows except sports (Seahawks, WSU football, and baseball).

Anticipating | his birthday and birthday party. He has already decided to have his party at the Field of Dream park with his school friends and his soccer friends. This park has so much for the kids to do and will be the perfect place to throw a birthday party. It should be a great day for him.

Thriving | at school and home. Yes, there have been some bumps in the road and yes, we are dealing with some preteen/tween angst, but I've seen my sweet, loving 10 year old during winter vacation, and I love it.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Designing with Papertrey Ink | Color Pop Butterflies

Hello there and Happy New Year! The boys and I are in Washington for the holiday which means I get to play in my mom's stamp room. Yay! She has a wonderful collection of supplies that differs from mine, including the adorable Papertrey Ink Stamp set: Color Pop Butterflies

This kit is so much fun because it includes matching paper and stencils to go along with the stamp set and dies. I used the gray background paper and created my own colorful butterflies using various Tim Holtz distress inks and a mini distress tool. 

The "so happy" die was die cut from Stampin' Ups Pacific Point textured cardstock three times and glued together (carefully!). I popped up a butterfly and added three gems to the center, and sprinkled some enamel dots above and below the sentiment. 

I hope you enjoy my card! I have added Color Pop Butterflies to my wish list because of how versatile the stamps and dies are. I also plan to use more stencils in the coming year... they are so much fun to use! 

Have a great week and I'll be back soon! 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Retro Sketches | Challenge #239

This week's Retro Sketches Challenge is up and it's a good one! The sketch is based on one of my previous cards

To create a new version of this card I pulled out one of my favorite Stampin' Up! stamp sets: Secret Garden. Oh, how I love this set. It has both solid and outline images, and I have made several lovely cards with it. 

I started by choosing my color scheme. I used two pieces of retired Stampin' Up! designer series paper and matched cardstock and ink colors to those patterns. The light pink flower is stamped with Melon Mambo, the dark purple is Rich Razzleberry, and the leaves were stamped with Crushed Curry. 

I found matching buttons from an old (old, old) bag of Autumn Leaves buttons, and the enamel dots are from My Mind's Eye. The sequins are from my stash. 

One of my favorite things about this card is that I used products from my stash that are several years old. Great floral sets never go out of style, and the matching dies make this set even more versatile. 

I hope you can play along with us this week! You can find more inspiration on the Retro Sketches blog here.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Designing with Stampin' Up! | Christmas Shaker Card

Happy Friday, friends! I hope everyone is having a nice week. I have been busily working on Christmas cards, Christmas shopping (I love shopping for the boys!), and working on my December Daily album. Fall is my favorite time of year! 

Stampin' Up! has a ton of cute (and versatile!) stamps and dies in the Holiday catalog, and they just released a new die set called Stitched Shapes Framelits Dies. I used the dies to create a fun shaker card, sandwiching a piece of acetate in between stitched circles and foam tape. 

Start by stamping the sentiment onto white cardstock with Emerald Envy ink and Stampin' Up's Oh, What Fun stamp set. Next, die cut two red circles using two stitched circles dies. Adhere a red circle to the card base, making sure to center the sentiment. Die cut a pie of foam tape with the same circles and adhere to the top of the red circle. Sprinkle sequins in the center of the circles, and adhere a piece of clear acetate on top of the foam tape. Finally add adhesive to the back of the second red stitched circle and place on top of the acetate layer. I also tucked in a tag to the top of the ornament so it can "hang" from the card.

Make sure to check out some of the matching stamp sets that are on sale this month, too!

It's barely November and I've already made a ton of Christmas cards. This may be the first year that I have all my cards made by December 1st! I'm never this on top of things but it's a really great feelings. 

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

In Bloom | 2016 Photography Project

One of my personal goals this year is to grow as a photographer. Photography has been a passion of mine for the past 10+ years and I am proud of many of the photos I've taken, especially of my boys. When they are grown and gone, I will have a cache of photos to remember their childhoods. 

However, photography is not a hobby that can be mastered. You can continually grow and learn, practicing new techniques along the way. This year I am making a point of photographing foliage, tree, flowers, and nature. Steve and I have taken several walks/hikes this year, photographing nature during each trip. I also practiced my skills while the kids and I were in Washington in June/July. My Uncle's church has a lovely garden, tended by a master gardener. I could have spent hours photographing the flowers! 

I have some thoughts on what I'm going to do with these photos. I might print them as 4 x 6 photos and create a photo collage with white frames and hang it in my living room. I also think a miniBook of all flower/foliage photos would be cool. So many possibilities!  

These first five photos were taken at the FIT (Florida Institute of Technology) Botanical Gardens. 

My love of palm trees extends to cool palm fronds. The light bouncing off the palm fronds in this photo is awesome. 

I really wanted to photograph the butterflies flying around the botanical gardens but they were stubborn little buggers. I did get some nice shots of flowers and palm trees, though. 

Flamingo Gardens in Davie, FL has the most amazing Desert Rose bush. Gorgeous hot pink flowers with almost white branches. So pretty. 

During one of our walks through Turkey Creek, in Palm Bay, I captured this shot. 

My mom planted some beautiful potted flowers on her deck this summer. I especially like this one. 

Another flower from my mom's yard. The yellow is striking against the green leaves. 

My parents took us to Seattle for a few days in June and we stopped off at the Pacific Science Center. I took this photo while we were in the butterfly gardens. The boys were being entertained outside by Grandpa. 

The gardens at my uncle's church, in Vancouver, WA, are really spectacular. I plan on framing this photo. 

So many varieties of flowers, most of them I can't name, but so beautiful.  

Another shot from my mom's garden. Her lavender plant is huge, and absolutely gorgeous. I used my 85mm 1.8 for this shot and I am super impressed with the detail it captured on the flowers.

What about you? Are you working on any photography projects right now? 

The new edition of Click magazine landed in my mailbox yesterday and I must say, it is beautiful. I had forgotten how much I love getting magazines in the mail! I devoured this issue and can't wait for the next issue to arrive. I highly recommend subscribing if you're a photography buff! 

Click Magazine

Have a great week!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Designing with Stampin' Up! | November 2016

The Christmas Pines stamp and die set from Stampin' Up! is so much fun to work with! I love the fern dies and how they look layered on a card front. So pretty! 

For this card, I used the Christmas Pines stamp and die set, along with the Presents and Pinecones designer series paper. 

I started by stamping the frame and sentiment onto white cardstock. I stamped the red frame with Stampin' Up's Cherry Cobbler ink pad and the sentiment with black ink. Then, I trimmed a piece of Presents and Pinecones patterned paper for the top of the card, and a piece of silver glitter paper for the bottom.

For the cluster of elements on the left, I die cut the leaves from Emerald Envy cardstock and a pinecone from white cardstock. I die cut the bow from Cherry Cobbler cardstock, then adhered them with foam adhesive. I die cut Cherry Cobbler cardstock with a scalloped border die from Papertrey Ink. Then I added enamel dots (from My Mind's Eye).  

You can check out all the Stampin' Up! products on the Stampin' Up! website:

 Check back soon for a card using the new Stitched Shapes Framelits Dies! Have a good week.