Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Things I am Thankful For mini album

First of all, let me confess: this idea is not original to me, I just tweaked what Cathy Zielske did.  You can check her album out here.  I fell in love with her album, it is so adorable yet simple.  And she has put all the colors and numbers and used adorable graphics, and has figured out all the measurements for you, and has even created a label for the album spine!  I can't say enough good things about her album.  But there were a few things that I wanted to do differently, so I created my own.  1) Cathy designed her pages for a 6x6 album.  I have put myself on a scrap spending freeze, so I can't go out and buy another album.  2) since it's a 6x6 that you print out and then cut, I would be using 32 pieces of white cardstock, and would have a lot of scraps.  3) because it's a 6x6, the photo would have to be cut down to 5x4.  No biggie...but I'd rather just have a space for a full 4x6 and cut down on my work.

I have a bind-it-all with lots and lots of binder rings I stocked up on when an lss went out of business, so it was a no brainer to just make my own.  I took 1 piece of 8 1/2 x 11 chipboard and 8 pieces of 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock and cut them in half.  Then I used my bind-it-all and punched the holes in one end.

Then I took out a well-used collection of paper, Indian Summer by Basic Grey, and cut thirty 1 x 5 1/2 inch strips of paper and attached them near the end of the white papers away from the holes on both sides.  There was one piece of cardstock 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 left over which I later used to cut out the title for the front of the book.

Then I used distress markers and made colored lines to hold the journaling for each day, and then used a stamp set I've been hoarding for 5-6 years for the first time to stamp the date on each page. 
I can't wait to use it!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chevron nails

I have discovered nail stamping and have fun playing with my nails when I find make the time.  I love how fun they came out today!  If you want to learn about nail stamping, go to

Friday, October 12, 2012

60's family

After adding the circles to this page, I decided it needed another thing to make this special. Sewing is one of my favorite techniques to do on my pages. Mama taught me to sew when I was little, and it is very relaxing to me. I have these wonderful flourish templates from Oriental trading, and too many bobbins of DMC floss to count. As a finishing touch, I added pearls to the ends of the flourishes. My oldest sister did the journaling on this page since it was a few years before I was born.

The paper I used is the Faith stack by Paper Studios, and this is an 8 1/2 x 11 page to fit in my heritage album. I used a one inch circle punch for the circles, and a coluzzle template for the tag.


Sigh, my son is 15 now, and a head taller than I am, and driving every chance he can now... but he was such an adorable 4 year old!

 I stamped a train track, then stamped the train cars and fussy cut them out and pop dotted them onto the track, putting the title on the cars.  The smoke was made with a flower stamp, inked once.

I started this layout about 2 years ago, and originally intended on a 2 page layout, but tonight the pictures fell on the page just so...and I decided it was good enough!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Our Scotland Journey

The prompt today was to tell about your journey, how you get some where or how you do something.  This really fit in with what I had intended to do this month, creating a digital album which I would then have printed to present to my 2 sisters who went to Scotland with me in the spring and for my friend who lives there.  So, I downloaded the trial version of PhotoShop Elements and then searched the web for  a template that would work with what I wanted to do, and then decided to create one from scratch. Then I had to search for tutorials on how to start a blank page, how to add things to it, how to do the masking and clipping, etc.  It took me over 24 hours for this first digi layout, but I think I'll be able to do it much quicker next time around.  Especially since I created a couple of templates along the way that I like, but wasn't able to use due to the maps I wanted to use.  Speaking of maps, that's what took a LOT of the time, creating the maps on google and then doing a print screen, pasting it in paint and then cropping out a bunch of stuff.  The digital kit I used is designed by Megan Turnidge, and is available on

My sisters really wanted to see exactly where we went and where we stopped along the way.  The text on the outside, beginning at the bottom left corner and wrapping all the way around lists our main stops.  Not all of these stops are on the week long map in the middle of the page because there were too many for the software; so I broke it down into the main 5 days of driving.  The last day we didn't drive anywhere, we just rode the bus into Edinburgh and spent the day there.

There's so much of Scotland I didn't get to see, I'm thinking I need to go back and spend another week.

If you would like to make a map like this with little markers for where you stopped, go to google maps and create the map, then click on 'print screen'.  Open the software paint which is on most computers in the accessories folder on the start menu, click on the paste icon and then crop the unwanted items and save the .jpeg

Thursday, October 4, 2012


So the challenge on the 3rd was to use a color palate from  So I pulled out my mini album of photos to scrap, and debated between 3 different items.  I finally settled on this picture.  A couple of Thanksgivings ago, we went to Donna's house and decided that since all 4 of us were there that we should take a group photo shot by her pool. And it just so happens that the color palate went so well with Basic Grey's Indian Summer, BONUS!

Since there was only one photo to go on the page, I decided that a wow factor was needed.  Yes, the papers would be good, but I wanted something else.  I bought a stitching template from Oriental Trading a few years ago with a tree on it.  Last year I came up with the brilliant plan to use some variegated thread to make this a fall tree, I cut a piece of cardstock and stitched the tree, and it was so pretty!  But then I tried to add it to a page.  Because I stitched it on plain white cardstock, the eyes were drawn to that and the photos took second stage, totally not cool.  I wound up mounting it on a card and mailing it to a friend who would appreciate the hours spent on one card.  I've been trying to figure out how to put this tree on a layout as I had originally planned without the tree taking center stage.  I think I've figured it out.  I didn't mount it on anything, just stitched directly onto the page.  Now I think it might blend into the page a little too much maybe...

or maybe if I had done the brown a darker brown... now, that's something I can easily change with a marker. :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Today's LOAD challenge is to use memorabilia on a page.  I reached into my memorabilia drawer and there were tickets from Biltmore, a piece of pink cast from where Mishal broke her arm 6 years ago, tickets to the aquarium, Harry Potter, hotel key card, tickets to Daytona speedway, and bracelets from several events.  The items that I knew I had pictures for were the Nickelodeon hotel and the Daytona speedway.  I found the pictures and decided that the one to scrap today was the Nickelodeon hotel.  I pulled some stickers that I bought JUST for this page, then I had to decide on the paper... decisions decisions decisions.  But when I came across the snorkel collection, I knew it was the perfect paper.

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Theme Song

Today's the first day of another month of doing a scrapbook layout every day.  I have decided to go with the prompts again this time because I didn't enjoy the last LOAD as much as the first one I did because I wasn't doing what everyone else was doing, I was just creating my Scotland album.  And while that was wonderful, and I love that I got it done so quickly, I lost the feeling of being in the middle with my fellow LOADsters.

Today I had to figure out what the theme song of my life is.  I've chosen "One Day At a Time" by Marijohn Wilkin.  It's a song I've heard all my life and have remembered it often when life takes those twists it inevitably does and I began to obsess about the future.

I have a few OCD tendencies, and have come to realize that is perfectly fine; nothing wrong with that.  Knowing that has helped me deal with some things that seem overwhelming and impossible at the time.  I like to plan and organize and know when something is going to happen and how and what I can do to get the outcome I visualize.  But there are times that life takes a twist and my plans are a mangled mess and it upsets me.  But then I remember, I can only see a little window of the present; only God knows what was, what is, and what is to come.  So I have to daily trust in Him and take a deep breath and make it through the day.  That's all I have to worry about, making it through just ONE day.  In Matthew 6:34 it says, "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."  Trusting in God has allowed me to enjoy the present things that are going on; knowing that I don't have to obsess about if something will happen the way it should; or about disasters that will  happen.  I've been accused of wearing rose colored glasses, and I'm ok with that.  I like concentrating on the good things that God has blessed me with.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fall decorations

I have been having fun decorating.  I tackled a few projects that I have been procrastinating about.  Whenever I finish doing one of those, it's surprising to me that it was so easy and quick to do, and I enjoy it a lot. Today I decided to do something with my mail box.  Actually, I made the decision a couple of weeks ago when I picked up a can of Cinnamon colored Rustoleum spray paint.  But then it rained for a few days, and you know how the excuses pile up.  Then today when I got off work, I took an SOS pad and scrubbed the mailbox.  It was a beautiful day and it dried very quickly.  
I sprayed a light coat of paint, and was afraid at first that it was going to be a TN Orange.  While it finished drying, I went inside and pulled out the roll of Silhouette Vinyl that has been living in the drawer for over a year still with the wrapping intact.  Definitely past time to use it! A few designs from the Silhouette online store, and using the Black Rose font for the name and address, and voila!

Last week I pulled a project I had started last year out of the closet and completed it.  I had seen a similar one on Pinterest, and had bought the wreath and tulle and had almost finished it, but by the time I gave up on it last year, it was time for the Christmas wreath.  This year, it only took about 30 minutes to finish it, and it is so cute!

I've always thought that the fall yard decorations other people had were adorable (except for those scary Halloween displays), and wanted to have one of my own.  This year I was able to do one of my own.  I convinced myself that I can use the hay for the garden next year, so I wouldn't be spending all that money on something just decorative for a couple of months.  I debated about where to put it, and finally decided to put it next to the telephone pole behind the mailbox.I got the hay at Home Depot for $4.75 a bale, mums at Walmart for less than $3, the pumpkins at the Dollar tree, and the scarecrows were at JoAnn's for $7 each. I don't know if I'll be able to use them again next year or not.
Finally, about 10 years ago I bought a few autumn buildings at Walmart when they were on clearance.  I think they were between 70% and 90% off.  They have not seen the light of day for a few years, but I really enjoy it and decided to pull it out early enough to enjoy it a few months this year!  I pulled the lights through the entertainment center and used some green wrapping paper for the ground.  

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fall Anticipation

Of all the seasons, Fall is my favorite.  The colors are so rich, and the air so crisp, The holidays are around the corner, and my creativity runs wild.  It's like mojo season :)  I guess it's from years of making Christmas presents, and having to start in the fall.

I made a half dozen of these cards in celebration.  I stamped "Thinking of you" on the outside because it could then be used for anything... Thinking of you...on your birthday, in your time of sorrow, as you heal, or just because :)
I stamped "Lovely As A Tree" by Stampin' Up with brown Stazon.  Then I used my Tim Holtz Distress markers to quickly cover the sky and grass, then I sprayed it with water to get rid of any stripes created by the markers.  Then I applied the flower soft glue and sprinkled with the Autumn flower soft.

I've decided to try to make most of my cards 4x6 because that's one of the sizes of envelopes on my coluzzle template.  Then on the inside, I take a 3x5 index card and used photo corners to attach it; that way the person receiving the card can easily reuse it.

Then a miracle happened, I addressed a few envelopes, wrote a few notes, and actually put them in the mailbox!

This card also satisfies the requirements for Jaydee's challenge over at The Paper Players.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Distress Resist

I don't know about you, but I could get lost on youtube tutorials for a year!  There are so many things that I want to try out, and I love learning new techniques so much! I guess I'm a technique junkie, but that's what makes amazing looking items with less effort.

It was after watching a video (that I can't locate at this moment) that I felt an overwhelming desire to go to Micheal's and get a large butterfly stamp that I had seen there a week or two before.  I had thought, what in the world would I use that for?  I hadn't thought about stamping the butterfly on an envelope, or this technique; so I didn't allow myself to buy it.  But after seeing the video, it became a necessity ;) ;)  I will try again later to find the video.

For some of these cards, I was over at my friend's house making them, and she didn't have any Versa mark.  She had an embossing ink pad by Paper Studios.  She was told by someone at Hobby Lobby that it was better than Versamark for embossing.  Let me tell you, it was not for this technique. 
The ones that were done with the Versamark ink pad maintained a vivid look, but the ones that were done with the Paper Studios ink pad took on a more watered-down look which tells me that when we wiped the embossed area with a damp cloth that the water was able to seep through the layer of embossing.

Oh, and I must give a shout out to my friend Frank who made me a small bow maker, it really made tying these bows a breeze.  I was down to the last two cards when I remembered it was almost as easy to make a double bow with it as the single bow.  I don't think I'll make single bows any more, the double bows are so much prettier, don't you agree?

Even though I can't find the video, I can explain the technique.
Step 1: put different colors of ink on the paper. (These are the colors that will show through) and let dry thoughly
Step 2:  use an embossing buddy (or any anti-static thing) and rub the entire square. I forgot to do this on the card where I used the "True Friends" stamp and that's why there's a haze around that butterfly.
Step 3: Stamp your image with Versamark ink pad and emboss with clear embossing powder.
Step 4: Ink entire panel with a dark distress ink
Step 5: lightly wipe off the embossed area with a slightly damp cloth and watch the colors pop!

Happy 1st B-day

One of Mishal's bff's daughter turned one this weekend, and Mishal needed a card to go with the present.  I didn't want to spend much time on a card for a 1 year old because I knew it wouldn't be appreciated, and I had other things I wanted to make, but I still think that it turned out cute.  I cut the cake  shaped card with the single candle with my silhouette as well as the 'Happy birthday'.  I then took different pp and cut those to fit, and added some glossy accents to some of the stripes and flowers to dress it up a bit, and put some glue on the flame part of the candle and then dipped that in glitter.  It only took about 30 min to do everything, including making an envelope to match.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Cards

Alex has a birthday party to go to tomorrow, so of course, I had to make a card. ;) Actually, two of them because it's a party for two of his friends.  I knew as soon as I saw this card sketch that I wanted to use it, I just couldn't wait... so I didn't lol.  After making the card, I had these little triangles I had cut from the ends of the pp, and decided that it was the perfect touch for a matching envelope!  I always have a problem with the 'scoop' of a banner, so I cut out a circle with my coluzzle and used that as a guide.  After gluing down the little triangles, I outlined them with a fine tip pen.

I scanned this before remembering to add a bling to the sentiment banner, so just imagine a single bling right before the "Happy Birthday". :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 4th

This is based on a sketch by Patti Hutchinson.  I knew pretty much when I saw this sketch what I wanted to do with it.  I love it when an idea comes together! 

I took some pictures with the fireworks setting on my camera this year, and I think those photos came out great.  I used Picasa and cropped 6 of the best pictures into squares, and then selected those and created a 4x6 photo collage to print.  I then used my Coluzzle to cut them into circles. 

I bought the Vintage Nation pad by Paper Studios a few weeks ago when I fell in love with a layout on the magazine at Hobby Lobby, and new it would be perfect.  I used Tim Holtz' Rosette die with different papers to mat the fireworks photos. 

This was my first time using washi tape.  I picked some up at Micheal's last week when it was on sale.

I also inked the edges of the red papers with Aged Mahogany, and the blue papers with Chipped Sapphire.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

Flybaby friends

This was created based on a sketch from The Sketchy Thursday Archives.

So the final page in my Scotland Scrapbook is about my friend Sharon and how we met and have been friends for 10 years.  I've been so thankful for how Flylady has changed my life, and how through her system and groups on the internet I have made some very special friends.  I put the 15 on the clock because Sharon and I clean our houses together for 15 minutes at a time between chatting.  The hearts are because FLYing stands for "Finally Loving Yourself" and the butterflies are for our fluttering wings.  A few years ago, I bought a few pins from the FLY shop, and I took the back off of one to put in the middle  of the flower. 

The journaling reads:

The person who really made this trip as wonderful as it was is Sharon.  If it weren’t for her, we would have been on someone else’s schedule, we would not have seen everything that we did, and would have to see and do things that we weren’t interested in. Sharon did a lot of the itinerary planning and found things for us to see; she rented the car and drove the whole time so if we wanted to stay somewhere longer we did; and if we were too cold then we didn’t have to stay anywhere waiting on anyone.  And if I wanted to stop and take a picture, we were able to pull over and stop!  And when we needed batteries, we found a store. She also bought a bag full of toiletries for each of us to use while we were there so that we were able to put everything we took into carry-on luggage, then charged us just a couple of pounds because she said she knew she’d be taking most of it home at the end of the week.  She also found an old suitcase a friend of hers was tossing out so that we could bring things home in a checked baggage.  And so everything would fit in the compact car, she filled it with the snacks and drinks she had purchased for us to use during week.  Sharon and I met on an MSN group, flybabies. We had both signed up for Flylady in 2002 and due to our schedules were often cleaning our houses together for years.  We got to know each other well and are there to listen in good times and bad. 


The design from this came from Let's Capture These Sketches

When you think of a food from Scotland, most likely you think of Haggis and cringe.   It is made from sheep's pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock.  But I've always been adventurous when it comes to food. 

I finally used up some Prima flourishes that have been living in my house for a few years.  I used the celtic stamp again at the top of the focal panel and used black bling to tie it into the flourishes, and to cover up where the stamp overlapped.  The shape for the title spot was cut with my silhouette.

The journaling reads:

I had to try Haggis while in Scotland.  At Beinn Edra, Rachel cooked me a Haggis that Sharon said was a very nice brand. I liked it very much, but I didn’t like the brand they used at Cairngorm guest house as well.  I also had Haggis with ‘neeps and tatties’ a.k.a. Turnips and potatoes while at Urquhart Castle.  I didn’t like the turnips and picked those out.  The haggis I liked the most wasn’t even my dish.  Sharon ordered Chicken and Haggis in Ft. Augustus and gave me a taste; it was very flavorful.

Q Inn

The sketch I used for this one came from Pagemaps.  I tried to create a visual triangles with the gold dazels, the bling, and also the splotches of red which is also found on the curb of the hotel.

The journaling reads:

The only place we stayed more than one night was this Quality Inn in Edinburgh, so close to the airport that we could see the hotel from the window when the plane was taking off. Fortunately, we were not kept awake by the airplanes. The beds were squishy, and easily moved.  The bad thing about it was that we were unable to connect to the internet here, which was very irritating.

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round & Round

The layout I lifted for this layout can be found in Creative Keepsakes Volume 16 Issue 4 page 89.

Part of the experience in Edinburgh was how we got around, and the hiccups that occurred.  Donna actually asked me the first night why I was taking a picture of us waiting on the bus; because she certainly didn't want to remember that! I told her it was all part of the experience! You have to take the bad with the good! It was the only bad experience we had on this wonderful trip.

The journaling reads:

The public bus transportation was the least expensive, but it was a fiasco from the start.  (Edinburgh is putting in a subway to go to the city, so this shouldn’t be an issue for future visitors.) Sharon had called and e-mailed the company Just the week before we arrived and discussed schedules, terminals, prices, etc.  The Customer service people seemed very helpful, but neglected to tell her that the terminal where we were to start is closed! So we couldn’t use their toilet as planned, and we had to wait outside in the cold wind waiting for the bus which was very late arriving. The bus stopped every 2 minutes on the way into Edinburgh. It seemed to take forever to get there!  We took a taxi to the castle in order to save time and energy since it took us so long to get into Edinburgh.  We said later that it was the wisest decision we made of the day! In the evening we went to the bus stop before the scheduled pick-up time, but we had to wait and wait and wait.  I think we waited an hour and a half or 2 hours for the bus.  While we waited we probably saw 20 Airlink buses pass by on their way to the airport near our hotel. The next day, we went to the airport and rode the Airlink bus into Edinburgh, and when we were ready to go back to the hotel, there was less than a 5 minute wait at their bus stop!  They did stop a few times, but nothing compared to the public bus.  The second day we rode the City Sightseeing bus.  In the picture on the far left, we’re on a bridge! Imagine the engineering feat of hundreds of years ago making a bridge big enough for buildings!