right now | march 2013

Thanks so much for all the happy birthday wishes on Facebook...you made me smile!

Here's to celebrating the gift of another year and how I'm feeling right now!

march | 3. 29.13

melancholy...getting older, but thankful i am where i am. life is truly a gift.

on the to do list
spring clean, organize studio, plan summer activities, mud room ideas...finally

my guilty pleasure
too many cups of coffee in a day...mmm!

sugar patch kids easter bunnies...way too good and very addictive

dreaming about
finished projects...studio, mud room, furnace room + reduce clutter

grateful for
the gift of another year...here's to making 49 fantastic!

It's never too late to begin...you can document your very own thoughts every month by downloading your right now page template. Enjoy!

right now archives

it's a banner day | the twinery

Some days, we just need to remind ourselves to have a wonderful day no matter what! Today, I'm sharing my project for the It's A Banner Day Challenge on The Twinery blog.

I used both Blossom Iridescent, which is a limited edition shade, and Green Shimmer on my little banner and used a skewer to thread through the grommets. The way the shimmer and iridescent catches the light is just so lovely in real life.

Here's hoping your day is banner-worthy! If there's no time to make your own, just head over to  download this free design and just add twine!

And don't forget to link up your projects for your chance to win, win, win...contest ends on Friday.


goofing around

Spring Break is over and everyone here is back-to-work and back-to-school. Unfortunately for us, the warm weather we had the weekend before Spring Break did not last and it was so, so cold. During that glorious weekend of warmer weather, I was able to snap a few photos with my iPhone on a ride back through the 'holler in the Jeep.

I have a photo of Zach taken at this very same spot when just the three of us {Zach, Gordon and me} went for a hike one Fall day ten years ago. Zach was eleven and Isabella was just 3 months old, so she stayed with Nana and Papa while we had a little family time with our boy.

Here's one for Mommy.

But these turned out much better!

These girls just wanna have fun! They love their new Charley One Horse cowgirl hats and Chaco's, that's for sure. This really great shot from Papa's cabin was taken on the same day. 

color pop | shop update

As I've been moving things around in my new Studio and trying to find the permanent homes for my crafting supplies, it has made me want to create. And I have! So fun to finally have the time to do a few fun things for our family.

I've also had the time to put together these two COLOR  POP mini album kits. They're limited in number, they're on the skinny side and they are unpunched. Selections include blue.001 and purple.001.

I decided that because these kits are smaller than my usual mini album listings, I would leave the pages unpunched in case you wanted to add them to another mini album you already have, add more of your own paper, punch them with your Bind-It-All or use them for something else altogether. 

Of course, there are a few added goodies to help you create a few pages once you add your photos AND there are two 1" book binder rings included as well.

So, tell me...what COLOR  POP mini album would you like to see in the shop next?

never underestimate the power of a cute notebook

My friend, fabulous writer, write.click.scrapbook. teammate and Big Picture Classes instructor, Amy Sorensen, encouraged her Write Now! students to choose a notebook they loved. Thrifty gal that I am, I took a notebook I already had in my stash and turned it into something I loved all while watching tv in bed one evening.

I shared this photo collage of my notebook on Instagram not long ago. 

I've been a bit slow about working my way through the class, but I am persevering and am determined to reach the end as I want to learn as much as I can about effective writing, writing that will help me to better tell our family's story.

I realized that I had shared this project on Instagram, but not on the blog. Sooooo. It all started with this notebook.

And by adding some fun paper, decorative tape to the spine and inside front page, chipboard accents and cardstock die cuts, I was able to turn a blah notepad into something lovely...and it makes me happy, too!

And while we're on the subject of taking classes and making cute notebooks, here's a notebook I received in a Swap with a lovely French blogger. I added some letter stickers from Momenta and October Afternoon and the washi tape and layered sticker are from My Mind's Eye. I'm using this one for the Bloom Your Blog class with Jessica Sprague.

be happy | write.click.scrapbook.

I rarely use sketches, but enjoy them when I do. Did you happen to stop by write.click.scrapbook. on Scrapbook Saturday? I created this layout using the sketch by Diane Payne based on an Amy Coose's layout from her recent blogging week.

the layout

Finally a big enough snow for the girls to build a snowman. So, out we went bundled up and still in our pajamas, for a little fun. They build a snowman. Scout tried to herd the snowball slash snowman. Mommy took photos of  it all.


I'm not yet sure how I feel about this layout. There's ALOT of pattern, which I'm somewhat intimidated by when creating layouts...but not mini books for some reason and it confuses me as to what the focus is. My eye wanders. Well, a story has been told and it will remain as is. I had hoped that the addition of the dark gray textured cardstock would help to calm the layout.

The chevron paper strip below is cut from the title strip at the bottom of the cardstock. Don't throw it away...recycle it! And see how bright the strip of decorative tape on the right looks compared to the small swatch on the left? Karen Grunberg, a My Mind's Eye Design Team buddy, shared on the MME blog last week that she places two layers of decorative tape on some items to increase the color impact.

Everything I used is from My Mind's Eye, with the exception of the red washi tape and the yellow doily.

thrifty tip

I learned this thrifty tip from Tina Walker, we're both on the My Mind's Eye Design Team...trim away the chipboard skeleton from the 12x12 chipboard elements sheets when you're finished. One side is already sticky and then just add adhesive to add it to your layout or mini album. Saves on foam dots and works really well for larger pieces like this cardstock element I trimmed from a journaling card.

seeing double

And if I've made a bit of a mess with some pretty paper, I might as well do a layout for each of them, right?

Working on the introduction of a new monthly feature and can't wait to have all the details worked out so I can tell you all bout it!

pattern play | online card classes

NEWS FLASH  I'm always a bit intimidated by pattern and I don't even consider myself a card maker, although I do make them from time to me. Have no fear if you feel the same way!

JOIN ME on the journey to learning more about both from two lovely and talented designers {and a few of their friends}. Kristina Werner and Jennifer McGuire have a new Online Card Classes treat for us all...Pattern Play.

LEARN MORE Make the most of your patterned paper stash while learning tips and tricks and discovering both clean-and-simple and advanced techniques. Pattern Play includes many card ideas - all with videos - and a variety of card styles.
LET'S DO IT I'm looking forward to the first day of class and hope you are, too. If you sign up, leave me a note in the comments so we can "sit" next to one another! 
Hope your Friday is fabulous and your weekend is wonderful!

easter egg candle wrap

A light bulb went off in my head.

I noticed the small holes in the Easter eggs that I had bought for the girls and wondered if I could somehow add a "ring" to them so that I could make a wreath similar to our Christmas ornament wreath.  You can and I did. 

Wonder where the wreath is? Monika realized she had too few eggs for a full sized wreath, so I made a candle wrap instead. Don't know if there is such a thing, but now there is...thank you very much.

Gather your supplies and begin.

  1. Cut a short length of floral wire and fold in half. Thread floral wire through one of the holes in egg. Sometimes I used the hole at the narrow end of the egg and sometimes I threaded the hold at the wider end of the egg. Just to be different, you know. 
  2. Twist the wire a few times to hold the wire in place and then separate the two strands of floral wire to keep it from slipping back through the hole
  3. Now your egg has a "ring" to slip onto a length of floral wire to form your very own Easter egg candle wrap. Or, if you have lots of time, make a wreath.
  4. Wrap some of your eggs with washi tape if you so wish.

I noticed that there were some spots where I could still see the floral wire and decided to tie simple ribbon bows around the floral wire to fill in the bare spots. Love how it turned out!

When I realized that I didn't have enough eggs for a wreath, I thought it best to use the floral wire for my candle wrap and I'm glad I did because it was much easier to bend and wrap than the wire hanger we used for the Christmas ornament wreath.

5onthe5th | march 2013

Lucky for us...Gordon and I were able to spend the day together while the girls were in school and it just happened to fall on the 5th of the month. Not a normal, everyday 5th of the month, but a good day to document for sure!

1  |  pile of shirts ready to go to the dry cleaner to be laundered and pressed. way back when...when I was a new stay-at-home Mom with only two kids, I somehow convinced Gordon that starched dress shirts made a better impression in the work place and he fell for it agreed. lucky for me, he still takes them to the dry cleaner freeing me up for more creative time. 

2  |  a day together called for errands {see #1} and breakfast out together. can I just say that pancakes and coffee should not cost THAT much. no wonder we only go to IHOP once every five years. seriously.

3  |  this antique mall is on our commute from town to home but we rarely stop. when we do, we always seem to find a treasure. the server we moved from the sunroom to our dining room comes from here as does a sofa table we used for a while and then gave to Nana and Papa. 

4  |  Gordon has quite the eye for unique, and perfect, decor items. when he saw this treasure of an old, silver trophy he said that I needed it for my new Studio. made the purchase. silly ham that he is, he told me that I was his trophy wife. when he says it, it's way cuter than when I retell the story, so you'll just have to trust me that it was funny. especially because "trophy" wives are usually 8 years younger than the husband, not 8 years older like I am. see...funny. right? wait, it is an old trophy, so maybe it's not so funny after all. ha.

5  |  treasure # 2 was a 80s era Star Wars podracer. my Sweetie does love Star Wars, still, and his girls do, too. they loved it and he loved that they loved it. when I posted this photo on Instagram, I also e-mailed it to Gordon's brother who quickly wanted to know where he got it. yep, another Star Wars fan.

5 on the 5th 2013 Archives
January | February | March | April |  May  | June | July | August | September | October | November | December 

5onthe5th | february 2013

A little background. The 5 on the 5th project I've been doing for the past 14 months is based on the 12 on the 12th project that Ella Publishing {I was once a Design Team member} popularized last year. By the way, they are now part of Big Picture Classes! I knew that I wouldn't take the time to do 12 photos, but thought that five would be a good number for me. We have five family members and occasionally, Zach contributes a photo to my monthly montage.

1  |  we've been married for nearly 15 years and probably have had this server for 12 of those years. it's had temporary spots in different locations in our home over the years, lastly in our sun room. on a whim, we moved it in front of the window in our rather smallish dining room. we moved the table out, which makes it not centered under the chandelier, but i love it anyhow. it feels so fancy schmancy and cozy and warm. i kinda feel i'm in a southern living magazine spread. yes, Peppy Paige, the american girl doll is sitting in Victoria's chair and no, i had not finished decorating the top of the server. 

2  |  one of the prints from the shop in a very non-valeniney color of seafoam. love it. seems so perfect with the styrofoam balls i covered with tons of baker's twine for a project last year. always fun to change out the goodies on our sofa table for the seasons.

3  |  my Sweetie knows me so well. i don't want dead flowers that cost a ton. if they're cheap, okay, go for it. or even better, pick me bouquet from the yard. soooo...in my new studio, i have an oversized ampersand on display that i picked up for cheap at hobby lobby. he came home today with these mugs from starbucks that say you.me. and have an ampersand on the front. so very me. he won't be home for valentine's day, but i will have a cute mug to drink out of and while i think about him. 

4  |  big boys and their toys. this is scout number 3 of 4. they make him happy. he loves a project. or two. or three. or four. 

5  |  this little loveseat has been around for about 12 years as well and it's amazing that in the past month, we've used it more than we have in the whole 12 years its been hanging out in the sun room. it's really very comfy. the girls like to sit down and talk to me while i'm in my studio. they like to read. they like to cuddle with Smoky. and the best thing, Gordon comes in after cleaning up the dinner dishes with a cup of coffee in hand for us to share. we chat. he surfs on his iPad. i putter. the girls interrupt every five minutes.

life is good. 

5 on the 5th 2013 Archives
January | February | March | April |  May  | June | July | August | September | October | November | December 

life is good | my mind's eye

I'm happy to be here to share February's mini album that I feature each month over on the My Mind's Eye blog. This month, I thought I would show a few detail photos to show you how to take a handful of ephemera, scraps of paper, patterned cardstock and less than perfect photos and make them into a fun, interactive documentation of a moment in time. 

When Gordon asked me to join him for a long weekend in Nashville, he was already there on business, I said "Yes!" Then we quickly went to work coordinating school pick-ups and overnights with Nana and Papa. But, it was all worth it. Totally worth it. Totally.
When making a junk journal like this, as they are often called, I begin by choosing a handful of coordinating patterned papers that share common colors. Next, I choose a variety of patterns that include florals, stripes, bold patterns, subtle patterns that might also include contrasting colors.
Don't let anything go to waste...use your scraps to punch shapes. I just love using journaling cards as pages in my mini albums, like you see on the above left, and almost always use the back sides to journal. As you can see, I left the front of the card as is and attached a mini shipping tag to the back with a cardstock sticker from MME's new Collectable collection.
This mini book is full of imperfect photos and I just decided to go with it. Even though I had my big camera with me, I found that my iPhone was always with me and much easier to haul around.  On the left page, I used my "a good day"stamped sentiment to cover the spot where the hotel lamp light was just a big white blob...now it's barely noticeable!

I love to add interactive elements to my mini albums. I hole punched a banner shape, added some twine and popped it onto my binder ring.

I had to snag this Do Not Disturb sign, too cute not to, and then journaled on my tag.

And a mix of pages with just words or just photos helps to move the eye along from page to page.
It's okay to leave some pages sparsely embellished or with little to no journaling.

Again, more imperfect photos, but Gordon finally agreed to let me ask another couple to take our photo {below} because I couldn't find a good spot to prop my camera to do it ourselves. And one word says it all. HAPPY.

I love this page. Love the peekaboo element. Love the shape of the heart. Love the striped paper and the way the arrow points down to the wood cutouts. Crush! When you lift the striped paper, the cloud paper with the wood cutouts peek out.

And don't be afraid to make your own embellishments, just like I did here on the right. Do you see how I used a decorative pin to attach receipts?

more TIPS
+  Use chipboard sandwiched between your two pieces of patterned paper for stability, paying special attention to the direction of your patterns when preparing to die cut your shapes.
+  Utilize the negative shapes from the chipboard pieces as page elements. I happen to love a chunky, layered mini album with a variety of shapes and sizes to the pages. Somehow, it makes it all the more interesting for me.
+  Decorative tape, mini staples, twine and pins are all fantastic alternatives to traditional adhesives when attaching ephemera to your pages.
+  Make your journaling cards, word stickers and layered stickers work for you in creating pages that are uniquely yours. Not every page has to include journaling or a photo, a mix of techniques and a little white space are good design elements.
+  It's okay to include everyday items like receipts, tickets, menu's, coffee cup sleeves and room keys in your mini album. That's what makes them so fun and interactive!

You can find the original post for MME here.