Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Two for Tuesday - Christmas Hats

Does anyone besides me collect Christmas stuff?  

Scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, cards, decorations...I'm a sucker for the colors and feel of Christmas...

And, gladly, there always seem to be plenty of pictures to draw from for Christmas layouts...at least in my world.

These are pretty old pics...2011...but they have been carted along to every crop I've been to for a year and never scrapped because I didn't bring the hefty Christmas Collection with me.

This last crop I did, I sorted out a Christmas kit, as it were, and went to work on some Christmas photos.

As you may well have noticed, this falls into my very favorite three photos on a shelf format...def one of my go tos!

I am so in love with these photos...these ages are some of the very best for kiddos. They would try on any hat and ham around in them for hours.

I can't get over how little my little is...they do grow up WAY too fast...but that is why I scrapbook!

Peace, ya'll!

Thursday, April 21, 2016


I bought a Somerset Memories magazine some time ago and fell in love with the work of Louise Nelson that was showcased there. 

I don't often use black as a background. I was inspired to use the black background, white paint and one key color to design a layout.

Here's the thing - this layout was REDICULOUS fun!!! The hard part was waiting for things to dry so that I could put it all together.

While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I built the layered photo piece.

Then assembly was a breeze!

This is a technique I see myself using at least a few more times...Its too fun not to include again!

Peace, ya'll!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


These photos are not new....

But they are significant.

My sweet big boy was not fond of getting his face wet. He didn't want to be in the shower, only a few inches of water in a tub.  Definitely not in a swimming pool.

So swimming lessons were a pretty big deal...as I look at these shots, my heart swells and my face has a huge grin...this was a moment that I will always remember.

I hope my little guy will too.

Really, this is a very simple approach...its all about the pictures and the story...its all about the moment when he mastered his own fear. 

He's already quite proud of this moment, even only a few years after the fact. He recognizes it as a moment of triumph. 

I hope this layout will help him remember the next time he comes up against something that he fears....

Peace, ya'll!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

TV face

Have you ever sort of looked sideways at your kids and noticed something you've never really seen before?

After several such occasions, I noticed that my littles have this rapt expression any time that they were in front of the almighty glowing box...

We have dubbed it "tv face!"

We're pretty strict about tv time. But honestly, an occasional 30 minutes of silence while a favorite show is on can be quite rewarding!

If something brings total stillness, complete silence, huge unblinking eyes and that open cod-fish mouth, it cannot be good for you in any large doses. Hence - the limited time in front of a glowing box.

But it does make for a great layout....

Peace, ya'll!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


This year, I have a plan....

To do something with these:

Yes...that is like 2 feet of layouts....

And no they are not in books...

And yes, I should really do something about that....

And no, I don't have anything more than intention to get them in books...

But I can work with intention.

Peace, ya'll!

Thursday, April 07, 2016

big boy bed

This is my second layout made with the Doodlebug Hip Hip Hooray collection. I fell in love with the enamel dots and letters when I saw them on line, so you may be seeing those on my projects for some time to come. 

This is another of my projects that falls neatly into my more day to day design style - lots of photos and lots of story. 

My hope is that even though I don't do Project Life, my kids will get a great feel for what their lives were like through layouts like these. 

Some time ago, I took a series of classes on the basic foundations for layouts...this one is somewhere between a shelf and a grid...its one of my go to's for stacking lots of photos onto a page.

It is worth talking about why I don't do multi-page layouts anymore to accommodate lots of photos.

For starters, I like single pages. Its a canvas that I'm quite comfortable with.

Also, I have found that even a large event, one that generates tons of photos - say like Christmas, Easter, a school program - still produces micro-stories within the larger story. So, I may produce, for example, 4 or 5 Christmas 2015 layouts.  However one will be about the decorating tree, one about the gifts under the tree, one about opening gifts, one about the dinner, one about the aftermath...and so on and so forth.

If I stick to the smaller story, a one page layout works well.

This canvas size gives me room enough to tell a story, be artistic and use the right photos and still be concise. I am forced to edit myself to fit things onto the page - which makes me choose the right words and the right story...

All that to say....this is my sweet spot...

Peace, ya'll!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Monkey Around

I appear to have gone through a phase where I outlined everything.

It makes a shabby line that looks sewn and quite 

I COULD sew on my layouts, but my machine isn't exactly in the most convenient place for that - like in a box in the garage....

Anyway....I appear to have gone through a phase where I outlined everything...and at the same time, gravitated back to my multi-photo project style. 

I've also been digging through my older stash and using up some old things...these stars, for example, are very, very old...but oh! so cute with a little edging...

Plus, the whole transparency thing is coming back around in paper crafting. 

I am so very comfortable doing projects with lots of photos and all garnered from a 4 x 6 size.

Its just not the sort of project that I have to think very hard about.

Oh, I know, I know...its old fashioned, its not full of mist or artistic techniques. But seriously, every layout I do cannot be that way....My children would have to take their memory books away in U-haul trucks if I did every layout that way!

PS...is that Doodlebug Hip Hip Hooray paper is the funnest paper EVER to work with!!

Peace, ya'll!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

pasta face(s)

If you've seen my projects across any length of time, you are aware that I have a tendency to take the same kinds of shots of both my boys.

And then when I get the pictures back, I have a tendency to duplicate the corresponding projects...

If you ever wondered why, its because they EACH have books. (Ok, not so much books as piles of layouts dedicated to go into books that I'm going to build for each of them some day).

So...since the idea is that they will grow up (or at least get older) and leave my nest one day (hopefully), at some point marry and have children of their own (God willing), they can each have a book/set of books with their OWN stories...in addition to family stories. 

I keep books for me too. Because when they do all that stuff in the paragraph above, I'll be nostalgic for when their faces looked like they do in the layouts below...

I know I say to my kids at least once per day "wipe your face!" and I know my husband says it at least 200 times per day.

But kids get messy faces...and sometimes its stinkin' adorable to just see that messy face in all its adorable messiness. Kids gotta be kids, right???

Its important to document these moments when we aren't chasing them around with a napkin yelling "please clean that up!!"

Anyway, I don't often feel its necessary to reinvent the wheel just because I have a set of messy-faced photos of each boy. Hence I do duplicate layouts...one design, one color scheme, two stories for two books.

Plus, if I do a matching layout for each kid, they can't say I loved one of them more than the other when they are like 40 and fighting over who has to take mom in to live with them in her gray years.

Peace, ya'll!

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Here's a little quiz for all any long-time paper artists out there - who made the letter stickers I used in this title?

Answer is at the BOTTOM. 

This is a really great look at a little old a little new...and who would have thought you could mix doilies and headphones in one layout!?!?!?!?!
Still trying to work my way through the one-photo layouts...this one feels more like my style...heavy on the journaling, lots of ink splatters...and the page feels full. Hey, even a stuck clock is right twice a day...so I got the proportions on this one right.

If I play enough, I eventually find my way to something that works. 

So here is my little secret ingredient...the top and bottom borders. 

They are dark, so visually recede, leaving the eye to only focus on the 8 or so inches of craft cardstock in between. I can totally work with that amount of space!  

The picture could really have gone on either side...but I settled on the left so that I could generate the feel of a line just off center and align things along that focal point.

And that doily!  It both grounds and highlights the photo.

And here is another little secret - this layout came togethe FAST!  Once the borders were on the page and I knew I wanted to work everything off that off-center line, it literally all fell into place. 

Add I also really like the subtle way that the cork gives texture on the craft background...its just different enough...

So, if you guessed that the letter stickers are old Sassafrass Lass, you are really really good!!!! Who still has those floating around in their stash!?!?!?

Peace, ya'll!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


One of the greatest trends in paper crafts has been travel lines and camera images.

I'm a complete sucker for them both...even though I don't do much in the way of travelling right now in my life and I'm always at a loss as to how to use the cameras. 

Travel lines come in about a billion possible combos, from maps and compasses to suitcases, trains and airplanes. I 

The vintage cameras in paper, wood veneer, stickers and on all sorts of variations of paper. They are just SO CUTE!

And being the supply junkie that I very much am, they are hard to resist in their many forms!!!

Lucky for me, as the mom of boys, I can probably use airplanes on 10 or more projects with photos just taken around my house....

But oh, when you get fortunate enough to capture a toddler taking a photo of his stuffed friends in an airplane...

The angels sing and the stars align and out come the supplies that have been sitting around my work station waiting for attention....

I'm absolutely certain I got the idea to make the lines wonky from some brilliant scrapper who's layout I found and loved somewhere...but I can't find my original sketch nor inspiration....So, whomever you are, thanks for inspiring me!

Peace, ya'll!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

My new Favorite Fun thing....

I've been eyeing these little babies since I saw the first video on the CHA sneak peeks. 

I have a very significant set of Faber Castel Gelatos, but these are different....



Here is how...

1. They are different colors.

2. They are super saturated color - a very Tim Holts kind of saturated color

3. They are narrower and easier to control in tight spaces.

So...if any of you need to justify having BOTH gelatos and distress crayons, please feel free to use any of  my reasons!

I've been mostly just messing around with them....

Them and my OTHER Tim Holtz fave - crazy birds stamps:

Now I can color and paint with my boys!

Peace, ya'll!

Thursday, March 17, 2016


Another experiment with single photo projects - my challenge of late.

Not a single piece of 12 x 12 printed paper was harmed in the making of this project - this layout is all scraps!

Confession: I have buckets of scraps. 

They normally are seen again on cards, as Cricut die cuts, on projects for teacher gifts...or, sadly, in the file box where they land after a particular project is done. 

BUT...when I go to a crop, I have a special little envelope for my scraps. 

And when I go to a crop, I pack kits of specific supplies.

And when I go to a crop, I STICK to my kits of supplies.

So when I go to a crop, I tend to use everything up...even the scraps that get put into that little envelope for my scraps.

Sooooo....this one is all from scraps...a scrap of the AMAZING Bella Blvd Clear Cuts transparency. I love those things!!!

 I'm again not entirely sure about the proportions here...maybe a bigger pic? Bigger journaling?

Not sure...but this is in the "done" pile and its staying there.

I'm not a re-doer!

Peace, ya'll!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

favorite place

In this day of taking more pictures with my cell phone than my camera, I find myself with a huge number of single pictures and not a clear plan on how to get them into stories. 

While Project Life would be a perfect way to keep track of these, I don't do that kind of memory keeping. (I know I know its awesome, I should start, What's wrong with me, blah blah blah)

So...I've got a bunch of single pictures, with stories of their own...

And I'm not a single photo sort of scrapper...

I always sort of looked at single photo scrapping as either a way for manufacturers to showcase their product or a way to get a ton of journaling on a page or a way to flex my artistic muscles. Not my day to day process for my projects.

But I'm willing to experiment and fuss around for art's sake. Any time I've done design team layouts, they have been single pic layouts with lots of products to showcase the company and so I'm not a complete stranger to the process.

So...out came the single picture sketches and off I went to create the feel of an art layout with my boy pictures.

It was harder than I thought...but seriously fun.

Most of my kid photos are straight up 4 x 6...as I went through this process, I think I'm going to have to work on sizing...the photo feels small, the proportions are harder to get right.

BUT adding outlining and mist and layers to build a whole gave me the feel.

Lets face it...my style is more simple when it comes to those boy layouts...

Its just SO FUN to mess around with techniques and style challenges.

Peace, ya'll!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

you & me (times two)

I admit it... I'm a shameless scraplifter. 

I LOVE the work of some of today's papercrafters and when they come up with a fabulous idea...I will shamelessly copy...and slightly modify to suit my needs.

Such is the case with these layouts I did of me and each of my boys...

I found this amazing layout byNancy Damiano on the Studio Calico Blog:

And I NEEDED to attempt one of my own....

I had two sets of pictures and one set of letters that was a color I will never use as long as I live. 

So...I made up a few boy words of my own and 

In retrospect....I would probably mat the pics.

BUT I love this use of letters...I like using things up and this certainly gave me a way to use up letters I didn't care for all that much.

I will def be doing something like this again!

Peace, ya'll!

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Boy Oh Boy

Did you ever have one of those projects where you were certain it wasn't finished, but you were also not certain what else you are supposed to do with it?

Boy Oh Boy is one of those projects...I'm certain it needs something...but I'm just not sure where to go...




White paint?

What would you do with it?

Peace, ya'll!

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Boas Go Here

Despite appearances, I've been a very busy scrapper....

I have about 30 layouts to share over the next few weeks and many more to come...

Not that I've been spending any crazy amount of time scrapping...just that I've actually been spending a NORMAL amount of time scrapping...

This, of course has to be fit in around my nutty "day job" schedule - which has turned into more of a nights and weekends job lately....

Still...I find that if I don't find time to create, I become cranky (or as my hubs would say, crankyER)

This little layout is just one big ole experiment:

I'm rather in love with mists...but I typically use them to make little splatters here and there. 

For this layout...I felt BRAVE.

I've gotten somewhat addicted to the Heidi Swapp Mixed Media Color Shine collections - three little mists in one package..

For some reason, I jut laid down a stencil and started spraying...

One thing led to another and suddenly there was a background!

Some distressed paper scraps, my OTHER addiction - WASHI - and my project was done.

Love it when my experimental projects actually yield a bookable layout!

Have an amazing day!!