let us remember

for those who have fallen for our country
who have served our country
and serve our country today
we thank you

home sweet home

This layout uses some paper piecing techniques and not a single photo, if you can believe that, for an assignment at Ella Publishing.

The house is made with a covered chipboard square and a roof made with some corrugated paper packaging. The leaves on the flower are made by cutting a heart punched shape in half and the grass was made with this border punch. The sun is actually a Christmas chipboard star that I trimmed to make look more like a sun. 

The journaling speaks of how Gordon and I have done lots of DIY projects to our home, so I reinforced that theme by using some tape measure ribbon, a scallop punched shape from a Guest Check {available in this kit in my Etsy shop} with some sewing. I also randomly stamped my background with a grid patterned stamp to mimic graph paper and drywall tape {if you know what that is}. The word SWEET is anchored on kraft paper punched piece, using my new fave shape.

he holds the key to my heart

This project was created using a 3-pack of mini canvases from Hobby Lobby and a vintage key I purchased at a German flea market back when Zach was just a babe. I wrapped some of the JBS seam binding ribbon around the key and threaded, then tied, one of their rhinestone studded pearls around the key. I adhered a dictionary page to a JBS chipboard heart and added the embellished key on top of it with some glue dots. Yes, the metal key has remained on the paper with just a few glue dots, they are that good!

The background was created using the JBS receipt and butterfly stamps. I first dabbed the Lemon Drops ink pad all over the canvas until it was saturated a nice, vivid color and then accented with Cough Syrup ink on the edges. 

This happy art is still on my craft desk in this very same spot and it makes me smile. Every Day. Just like he does.

Find more great love gifts for guys like these in my shop.
              Alphabet of Our Love              10 Things I Love About You                   Coupon Book

52Photos :: map

my 52Photos capture

My boy has begun his new adventure in life. He's in the Navy and he's in his third day as a Sailor away from home. When Gordon picked up the girls from Nana's house on Monday evening and they walked in the door, the realness of having said goodbye to Zach that morning really sunk in. They both began sobbing, which made my lower lip quiver and I began crying, too. Victoria wailed that her favorite tentmaker was gone. And then, she wriggled out of my hug, looked me squarely in the face and said, "Mommy, are you sad your teenager has left?"

Zach will find himself in many different places on many different maps for at least the next six years and I'm sure we'll need to start a pinboard to keep up with him.

next week's theme


the wrap-up

We're halfway through our 52 weeks and if you're new to 52Photos no worries. Hey, I'm behind myself in up loading photos to the Flickr group, but I'm not letting that stop me from playing along with new photos for each week's theme. Jump in and be inspired by our weekly prompts and begin uploading now! 

Ghere for an explanation, a blog button and an invitation to join our 52 week journey of discovery! We'd love to have you join us...just jump in now and see where your photos take you.

6264 | a mini album

I used this DIY mini album kit to begin documenting favorite things about our home. I made several for the shop, and as is usually the case, I wanted one for myself to play with, too. Being the shop owner has its advantages. 

Our home has changed over the 13 years we've lived in it and grown with it and renovated and renovated and renovated it again. I wish I had been better at taking more BEFORE photos which led me to think that I should document how it is NOW, at this moment {before it changes again}.

I began by adding our street address number to the felt page, which I am using for my cover, and added a foam letter W from the Dollar Tree to the inside front cover. The AC Thickers on the front are raw chipboard and I just outlined the numbers with a blue Sharpie.

Inside the glassine envelope {included in the kit} I placed a photo of our home and added the red cardstock banner strip as a pull tab. The cloud die cut was just for cuteness! This photo is several years old and has our old landscaping. I plan to take an updated photo this week and add it to another page. The back of the glassine envelope has a Momenta die cut tree sticker. I will probably add the new photo of our home to the back of this photo and place it back inside the envelope...we'll see.

Using one of several sheets of this grade school manuscript paper {included in the DIY kit}, I wrote an introduction to the mini. The cream letter stickers and the red letter sticker are both from Jenni Bowlin Studio.

stop by for a visit

I have an altered frame project featured on the Momenta blog today, which just happened to also double as a birthday gift from the girls for their Papa this past Friday. It consists of pretty paper, handprints and a glue stick!

we interrupt this blog

if you want a copy of this, contact me and I'll make it a downloadable PDF

We had a family get together on Saturday {grandparents, uncle, and us}.  Gordon grilled his famous burgers and we had shrimp skewers and mushroom and Vidalia onion skewers. Took it easy and actually only had chips and cookies from the deli as accompaniments. Totally not something I do. But we had some nice conversation. 

Yesterday, Zach continued to clear out his room...there are stacks and bins and stuff everywhere and I just don't go  in there. I will face all of that another day. Me thinks he is having a little of a tough time with it all himself.

I will drop off Zach at the Naval Recruiting Station today at 4pm where they take over his life and whisk him away to do what they do best. He flies out tomorrow to his home for the next two months, Great Lakes, where he will quickly come to the realization that his Mommy was not nearly as strict and demanding as the Drill Sergeant he is about to meet.

I thank all the wonderfully sweet ladies who have e-mailed me to send words of encouragement and insider views into the life of a Navy man, and particularly sneak peeks into the Nuclear program Zach will be entering upon his graduation from Basic Training.

Everything Happens for a Reason.

beautiful baby

It might appear that this layout has no journaling, but I snuck it on the background paper around the edges...do you see it?

Grey and green may seem an odd combo for a baby girl layout, but this photo was one I liked but it was so blurry. I converted it to black and white, which helped a little, and tried to make it appear purposeful by choosing the grey paper. It's actually the backside to a patterned paper.f

I happened to be looking for an older layout to feature, I probably did this one about 2 years ago, and this one seemed so fitting. Victoria has now lost her second tooth and in this photo she has NO teeth, so there you are. She's wrapped in the arms of her DaDa's love in this photo...so is she smiling at me taking the photo or because she's being snuggled by her number one guy? 

We'll never know what's making this beautiful baby so happy.

graduation | one year later

patterned paper {SEI} | rub-ons {American Crafts} | binder ring | key tag | Zig marker

In our world, as Victoria likes to put it, kids graduate in May. It's been almost a year since Zach graduated from High School and so much has happened. Let's just say it's been interesting and that Gordon and I have earned our Parenting combat patch!

the chipboard circle has an American Crafts rub-on and hides the prongs from the brad on the front cover

Using the free download from Cathy Zielske, I created this mini album to chronicle each day in May. {She has a download available for each month!} It's written from my perspective, telling Zach what his day was like and what he did and where he went. I don't honestly think that he's even looked at this mini, but I might be wrong. He will though one day. Give it a couple of years and it will be interesting to him.

I used a 130 lb. smooth white cardstock for the cover and each page for added durability. Using my Crop-o-Dile, I added a grommet to thread my book binder ring through. The arrow points to Zach's year of graduation. All the rub-ons are from American Crafts.

I've already shared this idea for a Graduation album, and Zach DID look at this one quite a bit. I've seen him in his room browsing through the album and I like that.

It was only yesterday, sigh.

52Photos :: vintage

my 52Photos capture

I've been on the lookout for a vintage manual typewriter. My in-laws had an old one, but it was electric. It didn't make my heart go pitter-patter but I took it anyway. For some reason, it wasn't working so I returned it, although I think Mr. wRight could have repaired it if I had asked him to. Almost six months later, I decided to stop by an Antique Mall that I pass each time I head home from town. I was quite happy when I found a small glass-domed cheese board, I had been looking for one and it was only $4. Then, much to my surprise, I found a manual typewriter, in a case, AND it appeared to be in very good condition. I asked them to hold it so that I could go home and do a Google search for typewriter ribbons. 

I can  now say that this $15 beauty is  now mine, all mine.  Makes me smile, that's for sure.

next week's theme


the wrap-up

If you're new to 52Photos, go here for an explanation, a blog button and an invitation to join our 52 week journey of discovery! We'd love to have you join us...just jump in now and see where your photos take you.

to be a dad

On what was probably Gordon's second Father's Day, Zach gifted him with a pillow that had this saying.

And you all know how incredibly special I think Gordon is. And, usually, Zach thinks Dad is pretty awesome, too. 

Well, guess what. It appears that Zach won't be home for Father's Day this year. Zach was originally to have left for Navy Boot Camp in September. His date has been moved earlier. Quite a bit earlier. Like...to next Tuesday. In 6 days. Wait, let me compose myself before I start tearing up again.

In true Mom fashion, I've already been to town to purchase some storage bins so that Zach can begin organizing and purging his room. Bags for garbage, boxes for donations and bins for things he can't bear to part with. I don't even want to think about the cry fest that will occur when Isabella and Victoria find out that Zachi is leaving. Please think happy thoughts for us. Thanks.

So, if you think the Dad's in your life are special, I have this print available in the shop here. The print is actually the color you see below, not the slightly blue-ish color in my photograph above. I'm not a professional photographer, that we know!

When purchasing, mention the coupon code ZACH2011 and you'll receive 15% off!

4o things

My best friend in the whole wide world, my Sweetie, {aka my husband, Gordon} is turning 40 this year. If you're crinkling your forehead in confusion, yes, I married a younger man {by 8 years} and boy was I lucky when our paths crossed.

 December 1997

That's a photo of us at a friend's Christmas party two weeks before Gordon proposed to me on Christmas Eve. Do you see that possessive hug I have on that hottie? "Back off ladies, he's all mine," it seems to say. And I still feel that way.

Speaking of Christmas...sometime last year, just after Christmas, I was thinking about projects and ideas and plans for Gordon's birthday and came up with the idea of 4o Things I Love About You. Not an original idea, but the twist on my version is that each week I write something that happened that week that reminds me why I love my husband so much. The plan came together, by a stroke of luck, when I counted back 4o weeks from his birthday in September and it just so happened that the first week I needed to begin my project was December 15th.

I began with a simple spiral bound notebook and numbered lines from 1 to 40...

...and one to grow on, which is the title of the 41st week.

The 40th week is September 14th, his birthdate and so on and so on. I numbered the weeks so that I would know my progress and I highlight the week when I've written that week's "love" thought. At this point, I am just writing in my spiral bound notebook as I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this project. I'll keep you updated though, I'm sure it will be some sort of mini album. {wink, wink}

To help me follow-through on this project, I have a reminder in my calendar so that each week I take a moment to think about how Gordon made me smile. I think it will be more unique to have a weekly thought with a date so that it's sort of a timeline of his last year in his 30's and a spin on my Gratitude Journal as well, rather than me just coming up with 4o reasons why I love him. 

I am so grateful that God brought Gordon and I together. I know I might drive you crazy with the really nice things about Gordon here on the blog. He's a special man to have married an older {divorced} woman with a 6-year old son {Gordon has been in Zach's life since he was 3 1/2}. How does a young man tell his parents about that? From Day One I have felt nothing but warmth, compassion and acceptance from my in-laws. And they treated Zach as if he were one of their natural-born grandchildren, even thought at the time they didn't have any. Now that they have Isabella and Victoria, I am even more certain that they were, and are, so, so good to Zach and have never made a difference in the natural-born or by marriage designation.

To keep it real, Gordon IS an awesome partner, but we have our moments, too. We're both first-born, Type A personalities who both think we're wRight and will stand firm for what we believe. Thank goodness he's a Virgo, because I am a bit more strong-willed than he is {I'm Aries} and find it hard to apologize and back down. One of my flaws, and I'm not proud of it. We don't have too many "moments" but we are normal, ya know?

One thing we do have a lot of is this; fun together. He makes me laugh, sometimes cry. He thinks I'm witty and beautiful, but it means more to me that he thinks I am intelligent. And he brags about me to his friends and colleagues. And he cleans the bathroom. And cooks. Okay, and buys and trades cars and trucks and various other 4-wheeled vehicles much too often. See what I mean, much more good than bad.

I have no trouble at all coming up with my weekly reasons for loving him so much. He's a keeper. And I'm happy to have been the one to spend the last 16 years of his life with him.

...just an idea that you might want to try out for the awesome man in your life.

a few of my not so favorite things

In this post, I shared with you the Shipping Tag mini book, which I've had on my craft desk begging me to play with it. And I did, but in an unconventional way. I contemplated not even sharing this at all. Then, one night after the girls were in bed {and Zach was out doing what 19-year olds do until midnight} Gordon and I were talking. And he was speaking of something that happened during his day and said, "I hate indecision." That comment convinced me that I shouldn't be afraid to share this AND that he and I are soooo much alike.

And by seeing the opening page below, you'll know why I hesitated. I am betting, though, that many of you will have some of the same "hates" I do.

I'm not saying that you should document your dislikes, only that it's okay to go the unconventional route once in a while. It's all part of who we are and someone, somewhere in the future, will find this just as interesting as the "Things We Love" mini albums and layouts we've all made.

{ Now you know much more than you ever wanted to know about me. }

If you're up for the challenge of stepping out of your comfort zone, or just want to use this mini book to share some loving thoughts, I have some {you get a set of two} available in the shop. And they come with those darling kraft punched shape embellishments you see below.