Saturday, February 28, 2015

January Top Five #5 - Me, Too!

Each month I am challenging myself to scrap my Top Five (photos or stories or events) from the previous month.I chose a digital template from this month's Simple Scrapper membership materials and papers from my digital stash to help me quickly complete my fifth layout before the month ends at midnight tonight!

Journaling reads: Summer spent all day Saturday with us when Kim & James took their trip to New York. We didn’t do anything special, just strolled around McKinney Trade Days, stopped at the shops on Stacy Road, ate leftovers, created cards in my craft room & worked on a puzzle. When Kim asked Summer about the day, Summer said she had a great time. Kim commented, “Don’t you just love Robbie, he treats her like a princess.” Summer replied, “Me, too!” I love the fact that although we didn’t do anything special, Summer felt like she’d been treated like a princess. Robbie’s not sure what he did that caused her to feel that way, but I know exactly what it was. He was just being himself!

I'm so excited to have my top five stories and photos from January scrapped and am thankful to Jo for the INSPIRATION to take on this challenge each month! Have you scrapped your favorites from January yet?

January Top Five #4 - Twins Got Email

Each month I am challenging myself to scrap my Top Five (photos or stories or events) from the previous month. Near the end of January, my twin nieces got their first email accounts, and I received an email from each of them. They very quickly learned that the iCloud accounts also allowed them to send text messages and make FaceTime calls, so I began receiving emails and texts and FaceTime calls regularly. So much FUN to receive random messages throughout the week.

I printed out the first emails, screen shots of some of their cute texts, and a FaceTime with all three of my nieces to use on this layout documenting all these fun contacts!

There are a still several hours left in February, so I'm off now to see if I can get the last of my Top Five layouts scrapped! What are you up to as February comes to a close?

Friday, February 27, 2015

INSPIRATION 2015 Notebook

I created a video with a look through my INSPIRATION 2015 notebook and an explanation of how I'm using it as a planner for my year of INSPIRATION. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mega Make & Take Extravaganza

When I planned to meet my friend Amy for Scrapbook Expo's Thursday night Mega Make & Take Extravaganza, I expected to create a few little things provided by some of the show vendors and spend the rest of the nine-hour crop scrapping layouts with the supplies and photos I put together to work on. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were eleven very nice make & take projects!

We started with a Magic die cut kit from Paper Wizard Scrapbook Company. I still have lots of photos from my day at Disneyland during the Play! in Anaheim event last year, so I slipped this fun embellishment into my storage binder beside those photos and will be using it on a layout soon!

Next up was a cute purse gift card holder from Sparkle N Sprinkle. We used Tear-ific Tape to adhere the glitter along the strip at the top of the purse, then used Brushable Glue to include additional glitter (which I placed along the jagged leaf lines in the green paper). Such a sparkly project that I'll definitely use for giving a gift card!

The step-up card from It's Cheaper Than Therapy was fun to put together with lots of little pieces to assemble the card, sentiment and embellishments. The flowers and leaves looked a little plain, so I outlined & added veins to the leaves with a green pen and Amy pulled out some bling for the center of the flowers.

The Craft Fantastic kit included materials to create two tray pendants along with three options for wearing/using the pendants (a necklace, a key chain and a clasp). There were five sheets of images to choose from, and I picked the letters "M" and "R" for my pendants. I especially enjoyed this project because it's something I haven't done before. On Friday, I stopped by the Craft Fantastic booth for the free make & take. I chose a sunflower image to make a glass embellishment that I'll probably use on a scrapbook layout.

The Rubber Cafe's project was a card created with a clear plastic paper as the base and incorporated a technique that I've tried before but had forgotten about (stamping an image on different papers, cutting out various pieces and reassembling them for a layered image). There were also two punched hearts to decorate the inside of the card.

We received a new-to-me product in the Scrap That card kit - a chalk writer that can be used to edge papers and to write chalk messages on black cardstock. (I didn't add the black cardstock to the inside of this card because I didn't think it went with these beautiful papers.) We also received a full package of brads, so I have some leftover to use on another project.

Krazy Kreations shared how to use outline stickers on pre-made glitter paper and shimmer sheetz to create embellishments that we used to decorate a note pad. We also included twine and a sentiment on the cover of the note pad. I think I have some of these outline stickers in my stash that I've never used, but I'll definitely be adding them to a project now that I've seen how great they look!

Next there were three layouts (one 6x6 and two 12x12), which I started but didn't complete. I'll be adding photos and completing those layouts to share with you soon.

The final project of the night from Bee Creative was a simple pocket envelope and two pre-stamped tags. The kit also included a Spectrum Noir alcohol marker for shading the stamped images and an EZ Dots Runner. This last session began at 10:30 pm and I have to admit that I didn't do anything with it as I was starting to feel the effects of a full day and tons of INSPIRATION! I did put the pocket together & add some shading to one of the tags earlier today.

You might remember that I mentioned in my first post about Scrapbook Expo that it was a whirlwind of activity  . . . this was just the first of the two days I was there!!

In one of the make & take kits, I also received a lovely Sizzix embossing folder. However, I do not have a Sizzix (or any other machine) that I can use this folder in, but I'm hoping one of you can. If you'd like to be in the draw for this embossing folder, please leave a comment letting me know what type of machine you have & how you might use this folder. (I'll pick a winner on Monday, March 2.) Otherwise I'd love to hear from each of you which of these make & takes is your favorite!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

January Top Five #3 - Family

As I mentioned in a previous post, each month I am challenging myself to scrap my Top Five (photos or stories or events) from the previous month. I used another one of this month's sketches from the Simple Scrapper membership materials for my layout showcasing photos of a short visit with my nephew Trey and his family when they stopped by my parent's home in early January.

There's actually another story I want to tell with the photo of me reading attempting to read a little book to Aubrey, so I'll be using that same photo again in a connections layout at some point.

All that icky winter weather has finally  made its way to Texas, and we are iced in for the second day in a row. Luckily Robbie's able to work from home using remote access to his work computer. Of course, it also means that our new refrigerator will not be delivered today (so I don't have to worry about cleaning it and filling it) and I'm putting off the calls I need to make about appointments and such (because many offices are closed or short staffed), so I have an entire day in my craft room! [Yippee!] I'm planning to work on my other two January Top Five layouts as well as complete and photograph the make & take projects from the Scrapbook Expo so that I can share them with y'all soon! What are you working on today?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Scrapbook Expo 2015

This past weekend I attended Scrapbook Expo in Grapevine, Texas. I met up with my friend Amy for the Mega Make & Take Crop on Thursday evening and enjoyed the eleven make & take projects prepared by various vendors, everything from cards to gift card holders to 12x12 layouts (which I'll be sharing in an upcoming post). Friday morning we hit the show floor for a little shopping, then attended a class, and enjoyed more cropping in the evening. 

Friday afternoon, I also met up with Susie, the owner of Scrappin' Goodtime, and we toured the show floor again, visiting with vendors as she chose new products for the store.  I especially enjoyed seeing all the samples on display and am looking forward to trying out some of the ideas I gathered on future layouts and projects. There was lots of INSPIRATION in the various booths and it was nice to meet some of the business owners who continue to make this an exciting and fun hobby!

Honestly, it was quite a whirlwind from the time I arrived at 2 o'clock Thursday afternoon until I headed home at 9:30 Saturday evening. (Amy & I did head to our room for a short six-hour sleep after Thursday night's crop!) The expo was held at the Gaylord Texan Resort, which is a beautiful place. We had a balcony in our room overlooking the atrium.

And, of course, the decor is all Texas themed.

However, in all the shops and restaurants and vending machines the resort only sells Pepsi. Not so great for a Coca-Cola lover like myself. Luckily, Susie & Carla were willing to stop on their way to the show and pick up a Coke just for me!

All-in-all is was a FUN time filled with INSPIRATION!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

January Top Five #2 - Step of Faith

As I mentioned in a previous post, each month I am challenging myself to scrap my Top Five (photos or stories or events) from the previous month. I used one of this month's sketches from the Simple Scrapper membership materials for this layout about my niece Pun'kin's Natashia's baptism.

Since I did not have photos, I used text messages and Pun'kin's Natashia's Facebook post from that Sunday on this layout. I am so proud of her as several months ago she began attending church regularly on her own, getting involved by singing on the worship team and helping out with various events, growing in her faith, and making the decision to deepen her walk with the Lord through baptism!

I can't believe the last week of February is here already . . . and I still have three more of my January Top Five layouts to complete! (One is almost done!)

Are you scrapping your five favorites each month? If so, have you completed January?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Simply Playful Accents

Several weeks ago I scrolled through all the materials in the old BPC self-paced class called Simply Playful Accents where Angie Gutshall shares tips for adding simple embellishments to enhance and change the look of layouts. There were some great tips for adding little elements to complete pages. I enjoyed the materials and ended up scraplifting two of the layout designs for stories that will go in our 2011 albums.

This first layout has several pieces of memorabilia along with miscellaneous embellishments and a funny story.

Wrapping twine around the journaling card was one of the ideas I really liked on the layout I was copying.

My favorite part of the layout I scraplifted next was the punched border underneath the photos.

I used a cardstock background and some really old papers for this layout and absolutely love the way it turned out with these cute photos of my great-nephew. Journaling reads: After many, many trys, Andrew finally connected foot with ball!

Have you reviewed any of the classes in your BPC account lately?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Texas Star

When I first saw the Texas Star custom paper by Reminisce at Scrappin' Goodtime, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it!

The Texas Star is the Ferris Wheel at the State Fair of Texas. We don't attend the fair every year, but when we do, we always ride the Texas Star. I scrolled through our digital photos (and scanned in a couple of print photos) to find photos of us at the fair. I used Photoshop Elements to crop them and add the year, then printed them to use for this layout that I absolutely love! It makes me so happy when something turns out just like I envisioned it!

We are actually riding the Texas Star in all (except one) of these photos, and I especially like how you can see parts of the Ferris wheel in the background.

Have you ever seen a piece of patterned paper and immediately envisioned a completed layout? How did it turn out?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Kaisercraft's Blue Bay Collection

I recently created a layout for the Scrappin' Goodtime Design Team using an old photo of me as a teenager. It's a black and white, somewhat blurry photo with lots of shadows because it was taken on a very sunny day in the mid-1980s. It's not a very flattering photo really. However, it looks much better on a layout using Kaisercraft's Blue Bay Collection!

Click HERE to see the full layout and read more about this great collection on the Scrappin' Goodtime blog.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

More Happy Mail

Last week I received three more postcards as part of  Sian's Pile of Postcards Valentines Exchange. One arrived from Jennifer in Canada and the other two arrived from Mari and Carole in the UK. All three were wonderfully unique cards and had such nice notes written just for me! Thanks ladies!

I also received two handmade cards from friends I met at last year's Christmas Cards With a Texas Twist class at Scrappin' Goodtime! LaDonna also recently participated in all the visiting and laughing and crafting at my Valentine's Day Card Class and used the doily dress tutorial for this really cute card.

The other card came from Ruth, an elderly a young-at-heart lady that happens to share the same first name as my Grandma (who I miss dearly!). I saw Ruth when I was at Scrappin' Goodtime recently. She makes and sends lots of cards, and I mentioned that it had been years since I'd received a card from someone named Ruth and it would make my day if she sent me one. And it did totally make my Valentine's Day when this lovely card arrived!

I hope your mailbox has been filled with happy mail lately, too!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Faith Canvases

After completing my layout using Authentique's Faith collection, I used the leftover paper scraps, die cuts and stickers to create a mixed media canvas. I also included some Kaiser paper flowers and pearls.

I like the collage background and decided to try something similar with old book and hymnal pages as the background for another canvas that I created for my friend Amy who chose "freedom" as her word for the year. I used diluted yellow acrylic paint over the background, then stamped her word and added doilies, butterflies and other embellishments to complete this canvas.

When Amy first shared her word with me, I immediately thought of the words to a song that originated with a scripture in 2 Corinthians. I used a Sharpie to write that verse, which ends with the word freedom, onto the canvas.

Have you created any canvases lately? Do you collage items for the background?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine Postcard INSPIRATION

After signing up for Sian's Pile of Postcards Valentines Exchange, I began contemplating what type of postcard I would send. Along with the Valentine's theme, I knew I wanted it to have something representing Texas, and I thought about simply purchasing some postcards. But I also wanted a scrapbooking/crafting theme because that's what brought me to blogging and keeps me connected with many of my bloggy friends. About that time, I received this beautiful postcard in the mail from Rinda.

Rinda created postcards showcasing her photography, this one a beautiful still life grouping. It was just the INSPIRATION I needed to create postcards for the Valentines Exchange! Thanks Rinda!

I started pulling out items to create a Valentine/crafty/Texas theme, then snapped several photos. I chose the best one and added my favorite salutation (Happy Scrappin' Y'all) and blog address using Photoshop Elements. I have to admit that I'm thrilled with the resulting postcard!

I enjoyed creating these postcards and will definitely be using the idea of using still life photography to create more in the future. Thanks Sian for hosting this fun exchange!!

Happy Valentine's Day Y'all!

Friday, February 13, 2015


We didn't go to see the Frozen movie when it came out in the fall of 2013, however, after hearing and reading many great reviews, I checked it out from the library last September. Robbie and I both truly enjoyed it! So when we stopped at a Disney store on our way to Florida a month before Christmas and spotted the Elsa and Anna dolls, I knew they would make perfect Christmas gifts for the twins (our then nine-year-old nieces).

I delivered the gifts in early December when I went down to see Pun'kin Natashia in the local theater production of It's a Wonderful Life. On my way home from that trip, I stopped at Scrappin' Goodtime and in the midst of the new product that had just arrived were some wonderful Frozen die cuts!! Of course, I purchased a few to use with the photos I'd just taken of the girls and their new dolls.

Paige's favorite character is Elsa . . .

and Laurie's favorite is Anna.

After the girls opened their gifts and played with them a little while, they brought our their Barbie clothes and put together other outfits for each of the dolls. I was so impressed with how well they found perfect outfits to match each doll's character and color choices!

Weren't those die cuts just the perfect accents for this page!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Book Review - The Killer Angels

As part of my goal to read all the Pulitzer Prize winners in fiction, I recently completed The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara.

This book is a fictionalized account of the four-day Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. It is a great historical novel that helped me better understand the battle and the men involved on both sides of it. The chapters are told from various perspectives, shifting between the various commanders and from the south to the north, which presents an easy to understand story of what was happening within each army. There are also maps included that show where the various armies were at different points during the battle.

This is one of the best war novels I've ever read! I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys history.

Have you read this book? Please share your thoughts or suggestions for other historical novels in the comments.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bits & Pieces of Christmas 2014

One of the things I have to do often in my craft room is clean up the piles of stuff that accumulate on the sewing table and floor. As I was processing some recent piles, I came across the little bits and pieces of memorabilia that I saved from Christmas. It was a happy little pile of stuff - strips of wrapping paper, gift labels, tags from the PJs Robbie got me for Christmas, the sheet Daddy used to track our progress playing Phase 10 on Christmas Day, ribbons, candy wrappers, etc.

The thought came to mind that this was a wonderful peek into our Christmas. Normally I would put these items in my memorabilia file to be used on layouts with photos, however I was inspired to simply create a layout right away. So, I pulled out a piece of cardstock and adhered all those bits & pieces to it!

It's quite a hodgepodge of a layout, but I absolutely love it! What do you do with all those little bits & pieces from Christmas?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

January Top Five #1 - Girls' Night Out

As I mentioned in a previous post, each month I am challenging myself to scrap my Top Five (photos or stories or events) from the previous month. (Thanks for the INSPIRATION Jo!)

I created this first layout, Girls' Night Out, because I wanted to record the story of the night I spent with Mama in the hospital after she had surgery early in January. (She's recovered and doing great now!) I didn't have any photos to go along with this story, but I found a photo of the hospital online that I could include.

Here's the story: When Mama called to ask if I’d stay overnight with her after her surgery in early January, I (of course) said yes. I arrived at the hospital around 10 am the Thursday morning she was scheduled for surgery. She and Daddy had already been there for a couple of hours and were still waiting for her turn. The surgeon arrived to check for any pre-surgery questions shortly after, and they wheeled Mama off for surgery. A couple of hours later, the surgeon came out & let me and Daddy know that things had gone fairly well. Mama was assigned to a room on the maternity ward, where she arrived in the early afternoon. The next four hours or so were busy as nurses were in and out hooking up the IV, checking her medical history (again), administering medications, checking vitals, etc. Then things slowed down a little . . . but not much. Every two or three hours a nurse arrived to check vitals or give meds or reload the IV machine which had started beeping. Actually it beeped all the time, but it got louder when it was empty! After two trips back to the house for things Mama needed, Daddy headed home for the night late that evening. Around 9 pm, Mama and I both fell asleep . . . until the nurse was back in at 11 pm . . . then midnight . . . then 2 am. The hospital room was somewhat small and the nurses often ran into the end of the hospital bed or chair/couch I was on. After apologizing for bumping into my makeshift bed (to which I replied, “no problem”), the young nurse that came in sometime in the early morning to check Mama’s blood pressure (again) and empty the bag at the end of the catheter (again) apologized for having to wake her again. Mama said it was ok. The nurse replied, “Y’all sure are being nice about everything.” I had to smile when Mama replied, “Oh, we’re having a Girls’ Night Out just the two of us!” I laughed & said, “Yep, just some good old mother/ daughter bonding time.” Of course, we were both exhausted and Mama was in pain (or feeling no pain because of the morphine drip maybe), but it totally makes me smile to think that we were able to joke and make the best of the situation. 

However, I do hope our future Girls’ Night Outs don’t include a hospital or a beeping IV machine or being awakened every two hours!

This is the first layout I've completed for our 2015 chronological album! Have you scrapped any of your 2015 photos or stories yet?

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Very Good Mail Day

Last week I mailed off a batch of postcards for Sian's Pile of Postcards Valentines Exchange. That same day Barbara emailed asking for my address. When I replied to her, I joked that I would be stalking my mailbox . . . but as is becoming more common around here, I completely forgot about it!

Until today . . . when my mailbox was overflowing with happy mail! The package from Barbara contained a vintage Valentine and two cute blocks that are now displayed in my craft room. So perfect for my year of INSPIRATION - thanks Barbara!

My first two postcards also arrived today - a wonderful classic heart print from Ally and a fun Hello with a British feel from Mel! Thanks ladies!!

And that's not all - I also had a handmade card from my friend Carrie in my pile of mail today! I met Carrie last year when she took my Christmas Cards With a Texas Twist class at Scrappin' Goodtime and we recently enjoyed visiting and laughing and crafting together again at the Valentine's Day Card Class. Thanks Carrie!

It was definitely a good mail day around here! Have you found anything good in your mailbox lately?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Mockingbird, Toe Socks & Mississippi

What do those three things have in common, you might ask? Not much really, except that they are the subjects of three more layouts for our 2011 chronological albums.

To Kill A Mockingbird - photos & playbill from a theater production; two 8 1/2 x 11 pages that will fit the front & back of a page protector. I enjoyed using several die cut 3x4 cards as accents on these pages.

Toe Socks - 12x12 page design inspired by an older May Flaum layout. I like how all the little bits & pieces tie these two photos together.
Journaling reads: After I posted a memorial to Elinor on my blog, one of my blog readers (Rebekah) sent me a festive package containing a pair of toe socks! As I mourned the loss of my dear friend, I was able to enjoy new friendships that have developed because of my new hobby of blogging.

A Quick Stop In Mississippi - a fairly simple 12x12 layout showcasing photos of friends & family.
Journaling reads: Headed back home after Robbie had a job interview in southern Louisiana, we made a quick overnight stop in Mississippi. We didn't have time to see everyone, but we visited Peggy & Penny, made the rounds to put flowers on graves at three cemeteries, and stayed the night with Aunt Betty and Uncle Adrian.