Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy 9th Birthday Sweet Delaney!

Happy Birthday Delaney!

My sweet, loving daughter turns 9 today!

I want to wish a very Happy Birthday to this wonderful, creative, athletic, intelligent, compassionate, thoughtful girl.  She makes a great daughter, big sister, friend, granddaughter...and so much more!

Your dad & I are so proud of everything you do!
And Jake, well, he says, "PLAY DEE DEE!!  PLAY DEE DEE!!"

Have an awesome day and never forget how special you are!

PS-Kudos to Brooke at the Washington Square Sears Portrait Studio!  She took these wonderful photos of Delaney and so many more...of Jake also, even though it seemed we were pulling out all his teeth without anesthesia.  She somehow manage to make the phots look like they were both having a great time, not just Delaney!  So if you're in need of a photographer, give Brooke a call!

I'll share more photos & tell you more about Jake's fun Saturday in another post.
Wish us luck on Tuesday, Jake's having his second surgery for an inguinal hernia...first was at 5 weeks.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Layout of the Week - Family with Graphic 45 Papers & A Special Annoucement!

This week, as the sun shines outside here in Oregon, I want to share my family with you.  Dave, my wonderful husband,  is a sports fanatic who loves to play with his kids.  He managed to combine those this week...he got Delaney to fill out an NCAA bracket and then had Jake do one too.  Dave used blocks with the first letter of each team and had Jake pick his favorite of the two.  Yes, it took quite a while and Jake's bracket is full of M-named teams (his current favorite letter).  Poor Jake didn't fare well with Montana last night, but he still has a chance to beat his Daddy.  I keep telling Dave that knowing about sports really has nothing to do with winning with these tourney brackets.  On to Delaney, my beautiful, talented, creative daughter, will be 9 on Sunday.  Delaney is so well-rounded, she loves participating in all sorts of sports (those talents come from Dad), creating original, eye-catching art pieces and she's a "bit" of a perfectionist (that, I'm sorry, comes from me!).  She is thoughtful and loving, especially to her little brother.  So that makes Jake last.  Mr. Jake is now two and FULL of ENERGY!  He loves the movie "Cars," any every character in it.  We're missing Sally right now and he asks for "Yaddy" every chance he gets...I'm sure she's around somewhere, probably in one of Delaney's shoes.  We all love to hang out together and are very excited that the weather's warming up here!

So that's a bit of our story!  On to my layout...this design idea came to me a bit backwards.  Usually I have a photo and then come up with a layout.  OK, sometimes I have a paper collection that I love and take photos to go with it.  This time, I was inspired by a pile of mismatched Graphic 45 papers laying all over my counter while I was creating projects for the Graphic 45 design team call.  Seeing these papers, most are the backsides, reminded me of a patchwork quilt.  I thought & thought about how to combine them and came up with using a brown background and my favorite sepia tone photos.  I didn't shoot a new photo for this page, I remembered that my mother-in-law shot some photos of us when she was visiting in early December.  This one was almost our Christmas card photo, but it didn't quite make the cut.  We were very excited at the time, being huge Duck fans and having just attended one of our most exciting games ever...the Civil War win over the dreaded Beavers!  So we decided to have a Duck theme Christmas card.  Even though we didn't use this photo, we found some even more fun Duck photos of all of us.  My trusty sepia tone came into play because dark green and almost neon yellow don't exactly match the Graphic 45 color scheme.

Since I had been thinking of this project as a patchwork quilt, I searched the internet for patchwork quotes.  I found a few that combined the quilt idea with the family idea.  I didn't find one that fit my thoughts exactly so I made up my own.  I didn't want a big wordy journal box or title on this one, so I used photoshop to print my quote right on top of my photo.

For the patches, I cut my papers to 2 1/2" square and then used a ruler to gently fold the edges in 1/4" on each side.  I tore upward along these folds so the white would show on the edges.  Next I inked the edges with brown ink.  I used one little Hermafix square on the back of each square and placed them on the brown background, leaving an area in the bottom right corner for the photo.

This was my very first attempt at machine stitching on a layout.  I'm pretty excited with the results.  I had been planning to give it a try.  Dave put a table in the laundry room for my sewing machine and I dug the poor thing out of one of the "holes" or storage closets in the bonus room.  It had been in there more than 5 years.  I was surprised it worked at all.  I searched the internet for ideas on machine stitching and found tons of them.  So I experimented with an extra sheet of my background paper and extra little squares.  I adjusted the tension, stitch width and lenght, writing each of the number combinations next to that particular stitch on my sample sheet.  When I found one I liked, I used it.  I chose ivory thread for this project.

After sewing around the page twice, I decided to create my own embellishment for my title.  I cut a piece of patterned paper twice as long as my photo, tore it leaving a white edge, inked it with the brown and folded it into pleats.  I used the same straight stitch I used on the whole page to stitch my pleats together.  I went over the pleats twice.  Next I stitched down my brown ball fringe ribbon.  For the title, I inked the edges of the Graphic 45 letters with black and adhered them with pop dots.  To attach my homemade embellishments, I used glue dots.

I was very happy with how this layout turned out.  I loved machine stitching and can't wait to use it again!  Next time you're together with your family, shot a photo and remember to create a layout to celebrate these special people!

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I want to share some exciting news with my readers!  I am now a featured writer on the Oregon Women's Report website.  I am writing a series of fun, anecdotal stories about scrapbooking.  I'd love it if you'd stop by over there and read my first one!  I'm planning to post each article here also.  I'll post one in both places every two weeks or so.  If you're from Oregon or just interested in all the cool women writers on the site, sign up to receive updates from OWR in your inbox.  Thanks! :)

Don't Forget!  Join me at Ann's tonight for Virtual Girl's Night Out!  Stop by to join in the fun, meet lot's of great women bloggers (and sometimes some male bloggers too!), hop around the internet leaving comments and getting some for yourself too!


Of course, use sepia tone or black & white to help your photos blend with your chosen papers.

If you're looking for a new way to include journaling in your layouts, give photoshop a try!

Look at the backsides of your papers, they might inspire a layout all by themselves.

Think about creating your own embellishments.

If you've got a sewing machine, try machine stitching!


Graphic 45 papers...from all different collections, most are the backsides.

Graphic 45 alphabet letters

Bazzill brown ball fringe ribbon

Dark Brown Ink - Cat's Eye ink pad

Ivory thread for machine stitching

Friday, March 12, 2010

Layout of the Week - Believe Achieve (my words for 2010)

I just have to say, I love this layout.  It isn't very often as scrapbookers that we create layouts about themselves.  At the beginning of this year, I read a lot of different blog posts about finding a word for yourself for the year.  The word would be your theme word, giving you something to focus on throughout the year.  I started to think about myself and all the things I've done in my life and the things I'd like to do in the future.  Being the mom of a two year old, it has been a while since I've thought about my own goals or even thought much about myself at all.  I was just starting to get back to thinking about me when Delaney turned 6 and was at the end of her year of 1/2 day kindergarten.  It was nice to look ahead at the things I could start to do for me once she started school full time in September of 2007.  And then suddenly my world was turned upside down.  I found out I was pregnant with Jake in June of 2007, just a week before Delaney was done with kindergarten.  It was quite a shock after about 5 years trying to conceive and then coming to terms with our being a 3 person family.  I still can picture the look on Dave's face when Delaney & I told him we'd be having a baby.  I'll tell you more of this story another time, but suffice it to say, shock doesn't even come close.  So my thoughts took an about face, away from what I wanted to do with the "rest of my life" and toward raising another little one.

As I was reading these "word of the year" blog posts in January, I thought maybe I should think about me a little sooner this time and not wait until Jake was going to be in first grade...for goodness sake, I'll be 43 by then.  Here's my first Believe Achieve blog post.  And the thought of turning 40 this year also added to my eagerness to make plans that were mine alone.  For years, I've been involved in scrapbooking in some way, working on albums at home, helping my friend with projects, working at Whimzee's, writing my blog.  I also began another of my efforts at being healthier and losing weight this year.

Being someone who isn't short on words, I couldn't narrow my choices down to just one.  For my 2010 words of the year, I chose Believe and Achieve.  I chose them even before I walked into Jake's room to get him up from his nap and saw those exact words stenciled on a plaque on the wall in his room.  Dave chose it at a baby boutique when we were shopping for bedding & decorations for his room.  It hangs over his crib and someday we'll explain to him what they mean...right now, he just enjoys pointing out that there is an "A" on the sign.

These words are important for me to remember this year, because I have a few goals for myself.  I want to expand my blog and find a sponsor or two (if anyone has any suggestions, bring 'em on!) and I hope to be chosen for a Design Team of some sort in 2010.  I also want to continue with my efforts to work out, eat healthier and by doing those things, lose some weight.  One more important goal, for the whole family really, is to make smart money choices.

I think that I am moving toward all these goals, but I do have to remind myself everyday, that I have to Believe in myself and make efforts in order to Achieve them this year.  I created this layout to highlight my words and remind myself everyday of what I am working toward.  I challenge you to find a theme word or two, even three or four, who's counting.

In creating a layout that highlights my words, I wanted to use some of my favorite products.  The papers are from Lily Bee and the embellishments are from all sorts of places.  I wanted to show contrast in this layout.  Not only am I a mom and wife, I also have personal and professional goals outside of my family.  These goals will benefit my family in many ways, but they are my goals.  I chose to create contrast in my layout by placing the rhinestone "BELIEVE" on a distressed piece of corrogated cardboard.  The rhinestone title also contrasts nicely with the slick orange "ACHIEVE."  I created depth by using a cardboard circle covered with word filled paper.  I used pop dots to raise my photo above the background.  Again highlighting my words, I used Photoshop to print them on my photo.

I love this photo of me.  I asked my friend, Pandra, to shoot a photo of me to send in with a design team application.  I was planning on changing & doing my hair first, but she just got out her camera one night when we were hanging out with friends.  They started telling jokes & I couldn't keep a straight face.  It just all went downhill from the very beginning....  This first photo was the best of the bunch!  Thanks P! :)


Think of a theme word for the year & remind yourself of it everyday!

Create a layout or project highlighting your word and place it somewhere you will see it everyday!

Don't be afraid to create contrast with by using totally different embellishments in your layouts.  Rhinestone & cardboard...glitter & slick plastic.

Have a friend shoot some photos of you and create a layout that shows your personality or how you felt that day!


Patterned Paper - Lily Bee
Rhinestone Title - Kaisercraft
ACHIEVE & 2010 - THICKERS by American Crafts
Paint - a variety of craft paints

This post shared on Today's Creative!  Be sure to check them out for links to all things creative and the best features of creative blogs on the internet!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Meet my 200th Follower! And the Layout of the Week - Friends




OK, you can tell I'm SO excited to have my 200th follower!  And since 200 is a pretty big milestone, I want to share my 200th follower with you.

Meet Adrienne from Kitschalicious!  She has one of the cutest blogs I've seen, all covered with polka dots, little cherries and a splash of glitter.  But that's not the only reason why I love it....the craft ideas & projects are wonderful!  If you've got tons of little Happy Meal toys underfoot, just check this out....a Happy Meal Toy Wreath!  Boy I wish I hadn't give ours all to Goodwill after they didn't sell in the quarter box at the garage sale!  So click on over to Kitschalicious, be sure to leave a comment to say HI, sign up to follow Miss Adrienne's adventures & tell her Julie sent you! :)

I met Adrienne on a great blog hop adventure sponsored by Today's Creative.  I've been participating for a few weeks now and I've met so many awesome bloggers.  I'm pretty sure that Today's Creative is now responsible for my last 20 or so followers!  ThAnKs! :)

Every week there are between 100 and 300 crafty blog posts listed for you to check out.  I have tons of awesome ideas for my scrapbooking, decor and organizing, so many that I'll never have time to get to all of them, but still, so much fun to hop around & see who's over there.  So click on over to Today's Creative to see the "Get Your Craft On" post.  And be sure to see whose crafty blog is being featured today.  Kim created Today's Creative & she's also got a personal blog loaded with funny stories & crafty ideas, so skip on over to Scrap to My Lu!
to see what's up with Kim.

OK, now on to this week's Layout of the Week!

This is one of my favorites that I've made in the last few months!  I really LOVE Lily Bee, who made this cool paper!  Their die cuts are to DIE that a pun??? :)  I knew I'd save this paper for something special and this photo of me & two of my bestfriends is just the thing.  That's me, Amy & Julie.  We've been friends since freshman year in college, wow, 22 years, say it isn't so!  We've been through all sorts of things together good, bad & ugly, but we're still together, well, Amy lives all the way out in Denver, but as together as you can be across a few states.  Julie & I really are together, I bought her house and when she moved a few blocks away, that's pretty together for two almost 40 year olds!  Every time we are lucky enough to be together, we take a self portrait.  Now, we've been doing this since college and even with the introduction of digital cameras into our lives, we still do it the old fashioned, not with real film, but without anyone standing there looking at the screen to see if we're really in the photo!  It's a tradition, even the order we stand in is always the same.  There have been many special occasions when Julie & I (yes, we're the 2 Julie's) have taken a self portrait, just the two of us with a space in the middle, to let poor Amy know she's missed!  This photo was taken last fall when Amy came out to visit for a Duck football game...we're all University of Oregon Alumni and fanatically proud of our school & just about everything related to it.  It's Oregon, afterall, no NFL here!  So GO DUCKS!

I knew I'd have to print this one in my old standby sepia tone if it was going to work with the cream/brown/pink color scheme.  There's no way dark green and neon yellow would match with this subdued color scheme.  I kept the photo 4 x 6 so I'd have plenty of space for lot's of fun embellishments.  I added some cute ball fringe ribbon and a couple other pink & brown ribbons.  I love the Mark Richards Mosaic Tiles, cute little pink squares.  This was my first layout using them & I just can't stop!  For a some more bling, I added a little field of pink & brown Prima flowers.  For the centers of the flowers, I looked for tiny bronze brads.  Not finding any in my HUGE stash up in my studio, I settled for some copper ones.  Then I dipped them into some G Studio glitter glue and then my favorite brown Pink Paislee glitter.  I think they turned out great!  I also used the G Studio glitter glue & brown glitter to add a little flourish to the brown birdie paper near the top of the layout, a little difficult to see in the photo, sorry!

I used brown ink on the edges of my papers in this layout, I love the added texture it gives.  For my title, I chose some brown THICKERS.  I painted "3" & "us" with pink G Studio glitter glue and sanded the letters for "of".  I like the juxtaposition of the soft pink glitter and the roughed up word in between.  Hey, aren't we all soft & glittery sometimes and just a little rough around the edges other times!

I did enter this layout in Lily Bee's Design Team contest this week, so wish me luck!

Hopefully I'll see you Friday, over at Ann's, for her Virtual Girls' Night Out!  Such a great place to meet other cool bloggers, get & leave a few comments and see what's going on in the blogging world! :)


Of course, print your photos in sepia if it will help them blend better with your papers.

Don't be afraid to use one 4 x 6 on a layout, it will give you lot's of room for embellishments!

Ink the edges of your papers & embellishments for a little added texture and it's free to boot!

Chipboard letters, dress them up with glitter glue or down by sanding them.

If you're brads don't match your layout, dip them in glue & coat with opaque glitter, no one will ever know what color they really are!


Patterned papers & die cuts - Lily Bee
Mosaic Tiles - Mark Richards
Glitter Glue - G Studio
Glitter - Pink Paislee
Ribbon - Creative Imaginations, American Crafts
Flowers - Prima
Brads - Making Memories
Ink - Creative Cafe
Alphabet - THICKERS by American Crafts


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