Saturday, November 27, 2010

Attitude and Style... Brought to you by a dose of Blue's Clues

Good Saturday Afternoon!

Being the first weekend after Thanksgiving, I'm willing to bet many of us are starting to feel the energy and/or chaos starting to build already. Personally, I'm trying to fill my house with as much cheer and spirit as possible....and waiting for my loving husband to take a small picnic table out to storage. It's the first step in making room and rearranging the play room to place our tree in the house. The next step is finding a new spot for our son's cubbies. Yikes!

While I'm waiting on all that (and debating baking a few dozen cookies), I thought I'd catch up on some blog posts. I have a couple more tags to tie up AND some personally exciting news, too.

First up, this award:

It was bestowed upon me by Fern. Seriously, go check out her crafty goodness! I'm floored and inspired by the beauty she creates. The rules for this award are as follows:

1) Thank the person who gave it to me.

Thank you, Fern! Receiving awards was something I never fathomed for myself and this one is beautiful.

2) This is very special because it comes with a wonderful $5 gift certificate from The Digi's with Attitude Store

In order to qualify for the $5.00 Digi’s With Attitude! Gift Certificate I will state 3 things that makes me different from everyone else and then I must nominate 5 blogs. Lastly, I must display the Blog Award Badge (above) in my sidebar and link it back to the Digi’s With Attitude! Challenge Blog.

How cool is that?!

Now the tricky part, three things that make me different... Hmmm....

1) My internal I Pod rarely turns off. There always a relevant song to sing or shake my hips to. Truly, my three-and-a-half year old son can tell you, I probably sing far too often during the day. I just can't stop myself!

2) My energy and drive always resets on Mondays and the first day of each month. While so many others dread the M-word (both, even), I live for it.

3) I'm excited for Christmas (been planning and plotting since September). I believe snow can be romantic. I strongly dislike cold. If we could get a Christmas season, blanketed thickly with snow AND 50 degree temps, I'd be a happy camper....

Put that special Christmas on a Monday and who knows what magic would happen?

And the five blogs I tag...

1)Bev -- 2 Hearts
2)Amarily's Little Corner
3)Tiffany -- Breakfast @ Tiffany's
4)Candid Candace
5)Megan -- CropChocolateDesigns

I know I was also nominated for a second award by Fern, but I think my time to just sit and write has been ended. I'll work on coming back to that one soon!

OH! I also have some fun info to share related to Sketches In Thyme and Frosted Designs! Mainly, it's fun for me, but still, I'd like to share.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Oh, Karen! Beautiful (and sorry for being so late), it's true!

Good Tuesday Morning! Aside from starting the day up and running because PLAY seems to be the word of the day (and currently a tiny candy cane break to refuel the spider web slinging powers), I need to add a phrase to my vocabulary. Mea culpa. Since I bet I spelled that wrong, I'll just add "my bad." Back in July, I was given a very lovely award from a fellow blogger; the Beautiful Blogger award. I was in shock and delight. I quickly wrote up a response post...only to get super shy and become a horse's patoot. I was quite certain that this would be one of those things that no one would care about. Horse's patoot, I know!

In the spirit of gratitude that Karen reached out to me to begin with, I've updated the original post and highly recommend you check out her blog. Her focus is better health, being active and losing weight. She runs fun active challenges each month that I would also like to dive into in the months ahead.

Without further ado....

I am equally surprised and honored to have received a blogging award! Karen, author of muffin fixation, bestowed (yeah, I'm not sure why I'm all fancy this morning, either) the award of Beautiful Blogger onto me.

Along with this award, I'm supposed to share seven things about myself.

1. As much fun as Summer can be, I'm already looking forward to Fall. It's not unusual for me to start buying sweaters in mid August.

2. In October, 2004, I met my goal of losing 101 lbs. The whole journey lasted two years and ten months. I maintained that loss for several months before ten of those lost pounds found me...Then those 10 lbs sent out a batch invitation to ten more pounds....Then they send an invite to nine more...then I got pregnant.

3. On December 28, 2009, I went back to Weight Watchers to lose the 80 that I had gained back since meeting my original goal.

4. At this point, I've lost 40 of those 80 and seem to be holding steady. I'm okay with that because I've had to put my Weight Watchers meetings on hold until other details of my life improve.

5. I never thought I'd enjoy paper crafting and scrapbooking as much as I do. My mom had bought me a kit (album, paper, stickers, alphas, and so on) It stayed in it's box for well over a year before I finally decided I wanted to give it a try. I was hooked from the first page!

6.Evidently, I easily turn scrapbooking into a competitive activity. I've nearly learned to chill out and just do what makes me happy.

7.There's pretty much always one major obsession in my life. At one time, I was collecting dinner plates like crazy...then clothes...then there was the period of time that I'd spend three hours at the gym every day...then Sims....then blogging....then paper crafting. Now, I'm not sure what I'm going to be obsessed with.

And now to tag seven other bloggers. This is going to be tricky because I'm shy. I will share seven blogs that I like to read and gather inspiration:

1.Senora X -- {Daily Anecdotes}
2.Mellissa W -- Vini Vidi Clicki
3.Steffanie -- Stars N Sparkle Blooms N Bling
4.Stacy -- Scrap with Stacy
5. Beth Moore -- Runs with Scraps
6.2AMScrapper -- LOTSA SCRAP
7. In a scrap of paper -- I've just recently begun reading her blog.

And now, to type up some other posts with more information and further prevent horse's patoot-itude. Evidently, I'm about to get a nuggie from zee boy. I'm thinking that's the universe at work.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cooking Class

Hello! Hello! Hello! How does the life find you today? Personally, life today finds me excited and moderately focused...and wanting time to reflect on a few details that have escaped my attention for some time. Think, keeping all the plates spinning at once. Yeah....

In the mean time, I found some fun inspiration at Sketches In Thyme last Thursday morning:

I really like the clean lines of the sketches that originate from Creative Scrappers. I'm pleased that I've finally stopped being shy and started digging in to have some fun. Here's my take on the sketch:

Now, if you find yourself thinking this is a beautiful page.... Well, first of all, thank you, BUT the real credit goes to both Creative Scrappers (for the design, of course) and Graphic 45 (the makers of the patterned paper. The vast majority of this page was created with the Domestic Goddess line. Okay, so Mr. Holtz is responsible for the Distress ink on the edges, too.

One of my favorite details is thanks to my friend, Steffanie, who created this flourish on a transparency:

She has the patience and artistic talent that I lack so I was happy to snag many flourishes from her Etsy shop. She's also brilliant at making paper flowers (an eternal love of mine!).

And for the fluke files, the Distress Stickles (glitter glue) in the center of the Prima flowers dried in a perfect bubble. That never happens!

Lest I forget, the photos are my son and my Mom. It was a special day -- chicken and dumplings from scratch. It's a family favorite and absolutely amazing. My son enjoys the dish so much that he insisted on "helping" us put it together. In our house (to a reasonable and safe extent) that is absolutely an option. He gets to make his own peanut butter sandwiches. He gets to help pour the cereal into his bowl. Occasionally (if the jug is empty enough) he gets to participate in pouring his own juice. He helps us stir and dump measured ingredients into a bowl. He gets to read the numbers/quantity linked to the ingredients we need. He gets to mop up if he helps us make a mess, too.

Cooking is a family event that he truly enjoys. It's something we love to do together whenever possible. Sometimes we use the time to talk about life and thoughts and dreams. Sometimes, we just have fun and laugh. It's part of who we are as a family and what we do. To have him WANT to participate and know this aspect of our love feels good and right.

I share all this because I know that it would be easy to assume (just by looking at these pictures) that we might be crazy. My mom is slicing celery beside him in one photo; and standing beside her at the stove for the rest. He was so intent to practice "slicing" with his dull children-size knife that he didn't care about her plate. He's also received over a year's worth of stove and oven safety lectures from us and knows to keep his hands off....and the burner below the pan was off -- they all were. We did not turn the stove on until he was back to his toys in another room.

I believe that's all I wanted to cover for now. In a few minutes it will be time to wake my son. *sigh* I'm really going to miss these naps much more than he is someday, aren't I?

Monday, November 15, 2010


Good Monday morning! The sky is blue and it's been warm enough so far to get out of the house and into the least for several minutes of physical activity. I'd love to get a few (hundred) more days like this before Winter sets in and we're bouncing off the walls. Since I don't know if that's possible, we'll try to get out more and celebrate life. In the mean time, my little one is enjoying a nice cup of cocoa with marshmallows and I'm enjoying a moment to sit and type.

Speaking of celebrating life, that's pretty much what inspired a layout I'm about to share with you. A few posts back, I shared some photos of my nephew clearing four bales of hay like a hurdle. That same day (a few minutes later, actually) he and my son took some time to just chill on that hay and enjoy a quiet moment together. I'm convinced it would have been some level of sin if I didn't save it to adore for years to come; but how? Well, I relied on a sketch from Creative Scrappers -- Sketch Challenge 129, I believe:

And here's my take:

I decided to keep it pretty simple this time. I had my fill of chunky distressing for a little bit. It's nice to be able to move back and forth with how much detail or however many techniques I choose to do. Besides, the paper I used (Basic Grey, Max & Whiskers) is already grunged up enough in it's design. The Jenni Bowlin buttons and Prima Devines are supposed to give it a more relaxed feeling; but I'm still pumped from running and playing this morning that even I'm getting confused. (Mental note: explore some basic yoga with the child.)

The "G" in Bonding was actually a bit of jerry-rigging. I have some unloved Thickers that I'm trying to use; but I don't have any G's. Instead I cut apart an O and used the straight piece to create a G...then covered up my clever ways by snipping this teeny tiny "display" piece out of the back packaging of some Jenni Bowlin bingo cards. I swear, I use their packaging more than their actual product. Must work on that!

Ah, well! It seems that the cocoa cooled and has been emptied from the cup. I suspect I'll be on the run pretty soon. Thank goodness it's a nap day!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Giddy to be a Guest Designer!

Good Sunday evening! Granted, it's another gray day, but I'm so giddy that I can barely contain myself. You've likely noticed that I've been inspired by a number of sketch challenges posted at Sketches In Thyme. I've had so much fun that I decided to apply for their new Design Team a few weeks ago.

Since the new team has been posted on their blog, go ahead a take a moment to check them out. Go ahead. I'll wait....

Pretty great group, huh? As excited as I am to be exposed to all that incredible talent, I'm also excited that I've been offered an opportunity to be a Guest Designer for Sketches in Thyme in January and February of next year! Woohoo! The Mavens pick so many amazing sketches that I LOVE; this is going to be an outstanding start to the new year!

So, that's why I've added the new blinkie off to the right. It will take you to the main page for Sketches In Thyme so you can always see the latest Challenge and/or news. Oh, and how about those cool links in the upper right? I'm so happy to see that they've created sections where you can find past sketches in case you want to use them again -- scrapbook pages, cards, even tips and tricks for paper crafting goodness!

Yeah, it's a good day. Hope your Sunday treated you beautiful and well.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Keeping Play Time In Your Heart

Good Saturday Morning! How does this fine...gray...leafless day find you? I'm probably a little too giddy to steal some blogging time while my son puts together some puzzles with one of my Aunts. Family has come to visit and I've become third fiddle. Normally, my presence is requested for a vast amount of the day; and no one else will do. This weekend, however, he has "new" people to play with and has no desire to play with me. I'm torn.... LOL

I digress. I'll make the most of it by sharing a page I created yesterday. It was inspired by this week's sketch at Sketches In Thyme:

Fun one, in my opinion. So fun, that I've also decided to dive into the sketch of the week at Creative Scrappers, from where this one originates. It's just about finished and I hope to share it soon.

For now, here's my take on the sketch above:

Last weekend, we joined my brother for dinner. My son was so happy to see that the one puzzle he played with last time we were over had multiplied into three! He was in heaven and simply HAD to put them all together immediately. Unfortunately, dinner was also ready. He informed us that he just was not going to come to dinner yet because (and with a solemn face and a hand over his heart) he had playtime in his heart. I stifled a laugh and my husband and I gave him a few more minutes to fill his heart before we insisted he fill his stomach. Unfortunately, I didn't get the exact moment on film, but I tried my best to get a picture of him with his puzzle anyhow. Not the best, but it's what I had.

Since then, I've thought about and used his phrase several times. How cool (and smart) is it to recognize that we all could use more playtime in our hearts? More time running around the slides and rock walls. More time running through the leaves. More time putting puzzles together and helping baby dinosaurs get back to, and rescue, their Potato Head mothers from wicked traps. More reasons to laugh and sing and dance and jump.

More time playing when putting together something as simple as a scrapbook page. I've been wanting to try a new technique for a couple months now; water distressing. Essentially, you get the edges of the paper wet and scrunch them up to create perma-crumpled edges. Turns out, it's pretty easy; fairly quick and another reason to get dirty with ink. Why was I refusing to play for so long?

It does plump up the page a bit, too. I think next time I'll use the technique on a larger background piece so I don't have to worry about bending or warping my photo. Foam dots are helping support it, but still.

I've been afraid of getting it wrong and refused to play around with it. I'm also quite hesitant to use something so simple and fun as the stickers you see here. They are a mix of the stickers that coordinate with the Oliver line from Basic Grey (shown here along with a polka dot page from their Jovial line) and some pieces from Sassafras Lass. I tried playing more with some by popping them up with foam, too.

It appears puzzle time is nearly over; as is my post. I hope you had a chance to enjoy today. Here's wishing you a playful weekend in which you enjoy everything that life has to offer. For now, I'm going to prep for a trip to Target.... Maybe Hobby Lobby, too. THAT's where I find playtime in my heart.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Loved the Pretty Pretties So Much I Nearly Forgot the Title

Good Thursday evening! I'd ask if it's the weekend yet, but the next three days are going to be even crazier than the past four! We've been preparing for family to visit AND get my husband back on a good work/study schedule so his Japanese and computer technology classes don't suffer. Oh, and the ever-present job search....and teaching a three year old that there's more to life than getting new toys. Among the few words I wish he hadn't recently learned, "collection" is among them!

I digress. I had a whole 'nother bobble to share with you this evening. Many of you being crafters may already be aware of this, too. It's been posted for a couple days now.

In a word, Prima.

In many more words, I did not know that they have a monthly routine of gathering up a coordinated collection of their stunning flowers and blingy items to share with their fans. For the month of November, they have two ways to enter your name into the hat. One, is to share the word in your own blog.... Ergo, dis'go.

Seriously, whether or not you're crafty... Whether or not you are a fan of flowers that never fade.... Whether or not you have a thing for bling, take a look at this:

Pretty? Drool-y? Lovey? I know I do. If nothing else, I'm loving looking at this.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Good afternoon! Here's hoping you're getting the sunshine that we are currently missing. Gray day + virtually all of the leaves on the ground = November in Michigan. Since it's a typical November day for me, I thought I'd try to multi-task with cleaning my living spaces and putting together a fun page about my son. I got the page done, but I'm still trying to finish up the Living Room. Perhaps if cleaning involved attaching fun bits of paper and whatnots to the walls and tables, it would have gotten done first.

Since I got the page done, why not reward it with a blog? Okay, so "reward" might be a stretch, but it's what I'm doing, so... yeah....

Last Christmas, my son received this really cool robotic dinosaur for Christmas. He thought it was interesting, but preferred to spend more time NOT playing with it...until a few months ago. While he may not have been ready for such a cool toy last Christmas -- it walks; roars when you talk to it; purrs and sings when you rub its chin or tail; evidently also dines frequently on Matchbox cars -- he is totally ready for it now and plays with it often. In September, he also learned that it was a fun playmate. The two fast friends enjoyed an entire day of playing checkers and Bingo, tic-tac-toe and a few puzzles, too. I would be clearly amiss if I didn't grab my camera and snap a few photos to remember.

It's based on this sketch, posted on the Page Maps blog:

I went back to one of my favorite paper collections, Basic Grey's Oliver line. To me, it's the perfect "boy" set of patterns and I'll be a little bummed when I run out. Then again, it's not like they've stopped making it. I suppose I could get more, huh? Maybe if I finish cleaning the Living Room and Master Bath? Deal? Deal.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dude! (How many times will that be a blog title I use?)

Good Morning! How does this day find you? Yes, I really like to know these things. In my house we are taking turns with a head cold; right now my son is "IT." This means I get to play rousing games of Make the Three Year Old Blow His Nose; but they aren't as tricky anymore. Woohoo for that, huh?

I digress. I have another little story and a layout to share; based on Challenge 22 at Sketches In Thyme:

And here is my take:

As you may be able to tell, I had a lot of fun with this one. I was able to start it quickly so I could spend most of the week on the details. I inked the edges of the photos. I wasn't terribly concerned with staying in the lines; which is also why I went with sepia tones to play on my own messy tendencies.

I decided on the stamp shape AFTER I had glued down the photos and green paper. Rather than overlap onto the photos, I cut off the excess to create a double frame. Initially, I was only going to stamp the misted chipboard and leave it alone. Then I got the urge to highlight the feathers on the end and stitch my little heart out. It was an experiment...I'd do it differently if I tried it again.

The title threw me for a little while (like four days). I knew where it was "supposed" to go but it wasn't working for me...Then I got the urge to paint up some grunge stars, ink the edges and put the title on them. That made me happier.

The button tag was a matter of playing with a pool of glimmer mist left on wax paper AFTER I had finished misting the stamp frame. I added some red and just covered five Jenni Bowlin journal spots, two stickers and a few bracket chipboard shapes to be used later. Since I like the colors, I know they'll get used somehow in the upcoming season.

The subject is my nephew. A couple months ago, there were a number of teen and tween cousins at my Mother In Law's house; just spending some time hanging out. Often, she'll get up two twenty family members filter through in a day just because. My husband and I were also filtering through because the days are getting more rare when schedules mesh and our little boy gets to spend time with his older cousins. So, in the spirit of hanging out, I grabbed my camera and clicked like there was no tomorrow. This was especially true when zee nephew decided to jump hurdles over four bales of hay in the back yard. Half way through, I remembered I had a Sports setting on my camera and had even more fun than he.

One of my constant thoughts was, "Dude!"

Dude, I cannot jump four bales of hay! I don't even know that I can jump one. This is very cool.

Dude, he's got good form! I wonder if he'll try out for track someday.

Dude, he's having fun!!!!

The fact that he was having fun warmed me the most. He has fun often in life, but I firmly believe he could be having more. He's a great kid and I consider it an honor and privilege to have watched him grow from an infant into the beginnings of a young man. He's so smart and so strong and I want him to know that he has every capacity to take on the world and win it all, because, well...


So, I think highly of my nephew. He is one of the people for whom I am thankful to know on this rock. In the spirit of preparing for Thanksgiving, I wanted to capture this special moment all about him.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Just Quick!

Morning! I just wanted to create a quick post for purely selfish means. I was just reading the latest post at Practical Scrappers -- how to get creative in rigging alphabet stickers to create something you need.

At the end of the post, they shared a really cool site, Anagram Solver, that will give you REAL words, after you supply them with a list of specific letters (like the ones you always have extra of in a sheet of alpha stickers) -- up to 12 letters. I tried it and really liked it. Aside from the crafty benefits, it's got to somehow help in a game of Scrabble, right?

So, yeah, that's it. Go play! Someone needs to have the fun today. I'm going to be alternating between cleaning the house and sneezing my fool head off today.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Good Wednesday Morning! How does this middle day find you? To be honest, I'm not even sure how it finds me. I'm pre-writing on a Tuesday night, while my husband takes his turn at putting our son to bed. Tuesday night, I'm sniffly and sneezy... and a little content to have finally watched Toy Story 3 with my son. The boy is a fan. I get a chance to relive my childhood conviction that the toys really do come to life as soon as we leave the room. I'd always try to sneak up on the dolls I had lined on my made bed to see what kind of bouncy dances they'd try because I was downstairs. *sigh* I never saw a single jig.

Anyway, this is approximately what my son looks like while watching the movies:

It's from last June, and I'll get back to my real point; a scrappy page of our annual trip to Montrose Apple Orchard. Each year, I start asking my husband, around August, if it's time to go to the orchard. Each year, he tells me I have to wait until the weekend before Halloween. This year, he tried to make me wait until October 30th! Time got away from him moreso than from me. After an adequate amount of irritation and point-making, we went on the 23rd. Woohoo! We also went a few hours before a decent rainstorm would have ruined the day. Double Woohoo! Throw in an added bummer for good measure, though. We never stay as long as I'd like so I always feel like there's a bigger reason to come back next year.

I based the pages on the weekly sketch from Sketches in Thyme:

And my take on the sketch:

If you're a stickler for details you may/not notice that this one is much flatter than pages I've created in the past. It certainly feels flat to me. I think the stuffy nose is throwing me off, but more than that, I've noticed my son's annual album is getting a bit thicker than I'd like so I'm trying to slim the pages up a bit. Perhaps an upcoming page about my niece in her Halloween costume will balance it all out. I'll get to use thick flowers and bling and actually do something girly! Woohoo again!

For now, I will love my flat page and the fun memories it holds. I wonder if my glittered up jack-o-lanterns ever dried.

Carve With Care

Good November Afternoon! Can it really be November already? Add me to the list of people wondering where in the world October went! I lived it, but it certainly wasn't long enough for me.

Ah, well....

On the upshot, I have some proof of life. We had a blast on the weekends this past month. A couple times, I was even able to score an afternoon away from home; like to my Mother-In-Law's home. Often, I refer to her as Gramma Camm'ra (I'll have to go back and look for the blog post explaining that. It was among my earliest posts, I believe). She got a little too excited to buy pumpkins this year and had a ton of carving to do. Since she buys one for each grandchild (and my lil one is still a little too young to handle sharp objects) I went over to carve one for him.

For the life of me, I don't know WHY I chose to carve a spider on his pumpkin... Okay, it's because he was Spider Man this year, but still! It's my third ever attempt at carving. A spider was not my best choice. But then again, it wasn't the only questionable "best-choice" situation of the The very beautiful and confident Gramma Cam'ra thought otherwise. Happily, she was right... sorta... for the most part. No one was harmed...except the plastic carving knife.


Well, it was such a fun experience for all of us I simply HAD to be scrapped, so I did. I used this sketch from Page Maps as inspiration:

The paper is DCWV, Amber Autumn, with a bit of last year's autumn line, too.

The title spot is a fussy cut of a pumpkin from the DCWV paper stack AND a couple leaves from another sheet in the stack. the Carve bingo card is the display/back packaging from a set of Jenni Bowlin bingo cards. The cards themselves are 5x7 and I like using the smaller previews, too.

The flowers and the blingy centers are Prima; as are the rhinestones framing the corner of the focal photo. It's one of my favorite photos of my MIL, for the expression on her face. But to prove that she is so very beautiful any other time...

I've got a load more of scrappy goodness to share with you. Hopefully, this healthy feeling will hold strong long enough to get them all posted.