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

During my last hosting week at Write.Click.Scrapbook. I featured Jenni Bowlin Studio products and  was able to create a whole slew of mini albums and some bonus projects, too! 

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.

Aaaah, subway art. Many of you might recognize this as one of the freebies I include with your order {and it is included in this mini album kit}. It's also available here with TOGETHER as the last line {instead of I LOVE IT ALL}. I added a Scenic Route sticker and a heart shape that's been elevated with a pop dot.

This map page, of which you receive 2 of in your kit, is not of our town, or even our state. I used a label sticker, added the name of our town with more Jenni Bowlin Studio stickers and used my old standby, a black Ultra Fine Point Sharpie to write our state. I like it!

Several vintage dictionary pages are included with the kit, and also in this collection, and this one just happened to have the word frontier on it. It made me laugh because this city girl DID think she was moving to the frontier when we began renovating this house...it's in the mountains, in a small town {close to several larger cities} and our only neighbors are my in-laws up our very long driveway. Anyway, seemed fitting to document that.

Vintage children's book page with a castle on a hill {even though we live in a 'holler} makes me think of our lovely home and how it is our castle, our refuge.

Isabella wanted to practice sewing, so one day we cut some shapes out of felt and she sewed them to together to make a house. I decided to add it to this HOME mini, otherwise it might just get lost in the art project shuffle never to be found again.

This calendar page {included} seemed a perfect spot to write a few words about all the jobs there are to be done when you're a homeowner.

Behind this vellum page where I've used more Dollar Tree stickers, I will add photos of our flowering plants.

On the kraft paper, I used my date stamp to include Victoria's birthdate and the He Said, She Said speech bubble punch. I didn't think I would use it all that often, but I DO!

A quick documentation of how Zach's basement bachelor pad came to be.

Edited to Add: Guess I'll need to include a photo of Zach's room in transition. Sigh.

And that's it for now. I have my list of photos to take to fill up and fill out this mini and when I have them edited, I'll update this mini and share the results. If you'd like your own DIY to document something fun and special in your life, you can get it here.

I've added some new items to the shop:

this 40+ item kits is used in today's post

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.