Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lori Whitlock Design Team

I have been sitting on this news for the past few days, about to go nuts I have wanted to spill the beans so badly!!! If any of you have pet dogs that suddenly started howling and acting strangely this time a couple of days ago, I can safely say it is because they were reacting to the ear-splitting shriek I let out when I got the news that I am on Lori's Design Team!

Now, between you and me, I am pretty sure they meant to send an email to a Kristy Clark McGee or maybe a Prissy Lark Mackey, and they entered my name by mistake. But I made sure I said yes really quickly before they could realize their error - LOL!!!

For those of you who are wondering who Lori Whitlock is, well...she designs a lot of the cutting files that are sold by Silhouette - my can't live without it scrapbooking machine. She is also a featured designer for Echo Park! That's right, she designed among other things the "For the Record" Collection that I used up and went out and bought again and used up and went out and bought again and used up get the picture. For more info about Lori and to check out all the wonderful goodies she creates, simply click HERE. Here are just two wonderful examples of the got-to-have-them-they-are-so-darned-cute things Lori designs and sells on her website:

And, if you want to check out the blogs and maybe say "hello" to the other fabulous ladies on Lori's Design Team, simply follow these links:

Tamara Tripodi

Natalie Graham

Corrie Garza

Carolyn King

Joy Dickson

Happy Happy! Joy Joy! Happy Happy! Joy Joy! Happy Happy! Joy Joy!
*yes, I am still doing the happy dance*

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Remembering When with Birds of a Feather Kit Club

Sunday was my turn to BLOG over at Birds of a Feather. And let me tell you it wasn't hard! I love all different types of paper - I really, really do - and I have thoroughly enjoyed playing with every BOAF kit I have received. But I have a special warm fuzzy place in my heart for vintage-y papers and ephemera. Whenever I look at vintage-type items I am always reminded of sitting on one of my great-aunts' front porches as a child listening to them and my grandmama reminisce about family members and times gone by. SO - when I got the BOAF November Kit and saw all the wonderful goodies from Simple Stories Generations and Bo Bunny Timepieces collections I danced, I giggled, I touched every single item at least two or three times, I rubbed my hands in glee, I called my BESTIE up and bragged a little - I did just about everything but lick the paper - and I ALMOST did that! I was a little worried about getting a paper cut on my tongue, though, so reason ended up prevailing.

For my first layout, I used a pic of the Hubster and me taken just a few short weeks ago on our fourth anniversary. It was taken at a Chili's Restaurant. By my 11 year old daughter. After spending three hours chaperoning a bejillion sixth-graders during a fall choir concert. Not exactly the most romantic scenario for an anniversary, was it? But, you know, all night long I had such a wonderfully complete sense of contentment. We were together, and we were happy, and that's all that mattered! So...back to the scrapbook kit, when I saw the "Happily Ever After" image on one of the papers, it was pretty much a no-brainer what my layout was going to be about!

My second layout was this one:

It's a simple layout really. The picture, which was taken about four years ago, was edited and given to me by my oldest daughter (in the pic with my youngest daughter). I loved the gold tones in the sepia-tinted photo. Maybe it was because I was working on this layout late, late at night, but it reminded me of flashbacks that you see in the movies - where everything is replayed in a hazy, warm kind of glow. I decided to play on that warmth with my papers and a gold-toned paint that I sprayed onto a Pink Paislee template (included in the kit). Add some clock cogs (to represent the wheels of time) and flowers and ribbon (because they were just plain pretty) and voila! Layout complete!

I have so many ideas floating around in my head for this month's kit, and I cannot wait to share them with you! So stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Playing with Creative Scrappers

I have really been enjoying playing with Creative Scrappers Sketches lately (try saying Creative Scrappers Sketches five times fast - I dare ya!), including the newest one SKETCH 177, which I used to make this layout. Sometimes I find sketches that I THINK are going to work well but, for whatever reason, I can't make them come to life on paper. You know what I'm talking about, right? The sketch looks like it should work but just doesn't? I have found,though, that I normally have better luck with Creative Scrappers, so that site has now been saved as a favorite on my trusty laptop.

In case you are curious, most of my papers and sweet little embellies on this layout are from the Pink Paislee Nantucket Collection, which I am IN LOVE with! I added it onto background paper from MME's Stella and Rose Collection, but the papers all seemed to get along well with each other so I went with it. I pop-dotted a few of the paper embellies, and I used rock candy crackle paint and outlined everything in marker to add extra dimension. I turned one of the squares from the sketch into a journaling pocket; and, of course, I had to add a cluster of bits of randomness in the upper corner because I am ALL about that lately thanks in large part to my BESTIE'S influence!

Speaking of my Bestie, Alissa - she has just posted an INCREDIBLE File Folder Mini-Album Tutorial, which can be found HERE! I was privileged to be able to preview it, and it is a fantastic, concise video that will have you making a perfect file folder album in no time - think DIY Christmas presents!!!

In other news, I have found that just about everything worth knowing can be found either on Pinterest or YouTube. I have been wanting to learn to create sketches for scrapbooking for awhile and think I have found the perfect tutorial to learn how. Wish me luck and stay tuned...

Happy Scrump Day!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Getting Ready for Halloween (and a non-related rant)

This morning the weather here in Tejas is a breezy, beautiful 63 degrees with a high expected of 75. Brrrr!!!!! Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating as to the "coldness" of our cold front (that's right, the weather man is calling this a cold front for us), but it sure does feel incredibly wonderful and fall-like for the first time this year!

My thoughts are currently focused on Halloween which, to me, is the kick-off to the holiday season! The Hubs and I are both big kids-at-heart and love to dress up and put out Halloween decorations and tell ghost stories.

Apparently, my Goblin-and-Ghoul-Loving Gene was passed down to my second daughter (in the layout above), which should come as no surprise since she was born less than 5 hours before Halloween! I am not ashamed to admit that I am always stalking her Facebook page for photos, and when I found ones of her fiance and her playing with the masks in the store, I immediately saved them to my computer just in case she were to wise up and take them down. I'm pretty sneaky like that!

I used my Fancy Pants Oct 31st collection that I am working with this month for Let's Capture Our Memories and a sketch I found on Pinterest - which is quickly becoming my go-to site for anything and everything.

I am a HUGE fan of Fancy Pants Designs, and their Halloween collection certainly does not disappoint! The papers are beautifully detailed and range from vintage to little kid cute, allowing the creative freedom to scrap just about any Halloween-themed thing you can imagine. And the rub-ons and stickers included in the collection really let me layer my layout to my heart's desire! See?

Of course, I also had to make a couple of Halloween cards. I am on a handrwritten correspondence kick these days (an art that seems to be quickly dying out), and what better way to send a handwritten note or letter than inside a pretty handmade card, right? Right!

And that wraps it up for my Halloween projects for the moment. Now, on to my rant...

I NEVER thought I would hear myself saying, "In my day we just didn't do things like that..." but here I am getting ready to do exactly that! I guess that phrase comes along with crow's feet and hairs that keep wanting to turn gray...sigh.

Yesterday, I was at the grocery store picking up a couple of items for dinner. As I went through the check-out lane, the cashier made absolutely no eye-contact with me and said not one word during our entire transaction. Nothing. Nada. Now, I know she wasn't mute and was capable of speaking English based on a question that she answered for the customer ahead of me. But when it was my turn in line, there was no friendly smile, no "how are you," not even a "did you find everything." There was NOTHING. And this was not an isolated incident. I am encountering this same lack of...anything...from the store employee at more and more stores.

Now I worked in a grocery store throughout high school so that I could earn enough money to buy a car (and clothes, and make-up, and cassette tapes). I actually had to ring up grocery items and memorize the correct department keys, not run bar codes across a scanner. And, I certainly had to speak with and be friendly towards every customer whom I checked out; I would have been fired if I had not.

Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't expect to engage in a long conversation with the cashier. But is it too much to expect a "hello" and a friendly smile? Is courtesy no longer part of the job description?! Should I say something, or should I let it go and simply mourn the passing of time and standards? What would YOU do?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Birds of a Feather Birthday Blog Hop Winner (and other stuff)

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! A few days ago you all left wonderful comments on my blog announcing the BOAF Birthday Blog Hop and Crop, and today (because I am a day off due to yesterday's holiday)using the totally scientific method of asking my 11 year old daughter to pick a random number, I am thrilled to announce that Karen in Houston (who left the 10th comment)is the winner of my blog give-away. What is the prize? That's right, it's the November Birds of a Feather Kit set for release on October 20th! Karen in Houston, please email your address to me at so I can make arrangements for your BOAF scrapbooking kit to be sent to you! You are going to LOVE all the wonderful goodies that come with the kit, I just know you are!

Now, for those of you have been playing along with the BOAF Birthday Crop and Blog Hop, this is NOT the Grand Prize being awarded by Birds of a Feather - just want to clarify. This is simply the Krissy Clark McKee Blog Prize. So don't fret!

Although I have had a busy weekend getting my son ready for a homecoming dance and going to see hubby run around on stage in tights (for a play), I squoze squeezed in time to participate in a couple of the BOAF Birthday Crop Challenges. Here's what I made so far:

and this (which is a lift inspired by M. Bauer - found her layout on Pinterest, of course!):

There are 10 challenges total on the Birthday Crop Forum, so I am hoping to get one or two more completed prior to the deadline. If you want to play along, you have until tomorrow, October 12th, at midnight. So come on! What are you waiting for?!?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Birds of a Feather Birthday Blog Hop!

Happy Friday morning everyone! I am so excited because Birds of a Feather is turning one and is celebrating this wonderful exciting event with a BIRTHDAY CROP and a BLOG HOP!

The gals at BOAF have put together some great birthday challenges and games, including this blog hop! Each stop on the hop reveals one word to a fun quote picked out by our chickie Lisa. The object of the Birthday Blog Hop is to collect all the words to the quote, in the correct order, and report back to the Birds of a Feather BLOG to be entered into the drawing for the BIG PRIZE.

As an added incentive, if you decide to follow my blog and leave me a comment no later than Sunday, October 9th at 6 p.m. to let me know you've stopped here on your hop, I will randomly draw a winner on Monday, October 10th. What will the winner get you ask? How about the Birds of a Feather November Kit set to be released on October 20th?!!?

I love all the Birds of a Feather Kits, but so far, I think my favorite has to be September's Kit because it contained papers from Echo Park's Victoria Garden's Collection, which I am nuts over, and TONS of pretty embellies and bits of ribbon - all wonderfully coordinated with the papers of course! They were perfect for these pictures of my little niece dressed as a garden fairy.

Now, if you are just reading about this and want to join in the Blog Hop fun, you need to start HERE.

If you are already hopping along and just came from Heather's BLOG, you are at the right place! Yeah!!!! So, without further ado, your word from my blog is...

The next stop in the Birds of a Feather Happy Birthday Blog Hop is Linda. Her blog can be found right HERE.

One last thing! Don't forget the Birthday Crop! The prizes are going to be super fantastic, including (drum roll, please) a $50 prize package of Bella Blvd products! To participate, all you need to do is register in the forum (totally free) and start playing! Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mini-Album Improvisation

I got a pack of cool 7 Gypsies Cards as part of my loot for my September Let's Capture Our Memories Marketing Team projects; however, when I opened them up and looked at them, I realized I had absolutely no idea what to do with them! I normally don't use large cards on my layouts. Plus, they had such pretty images on the front and the back, I really couldn't choose which side I wanted to use even if I COULD figure out how to incorporate them.

So, I thought and I thought. Then I thought a little more. Then I set the cards to the side (where they became promplty hidden under other papers and supplies), goofed around entirely too much on Pinterest,worked on other projects, and promptly forgot about these cards until the week my last project for the month was due. THEN I frantically dug them out and had to start thinking again...

My cards all had a vintage traveling theme, which got me to thinking about some of the seriously fun adventures, both at home and abroad, that I've experienced over the past few years. And THAT got me thinking about some of the cool art journals and travel journals that I have seen on Pinterest. And THAAAATTTT got me thinking that maybe I should use my 7 Gypsies cards to make my own little travel journal-esque mini-album. And that's exactly what I did.

I simply purchased some binder rings (also, coincidentally, made by 7 Gypsies) and hole punched my cards so I could attach them to the rings. I really wanted my impromptu mini-album to look as if it had been created over time so I wasn't concerned with the fact that the cards were different sizes and didn't line up perfectly. This is what I came up with...

I created pockets on most of my pages by sewing around the sides and bottoms of the pictures or cards and tucking a journaling tag inside.

I didn't have quite enough cards to fit the pictures that I wanted to use so I added some flash cards that I had sitting around (unloved) from my Pink Paislee Daily Junque collection. I used distress ink, Rock Candy Crackle Paint and Crackle Accents on almost everything to add to the vintage feel.

Here's what the back of the flash card looks like...

Another page with a pocket for journaling...

I love mini-albums because I find myself using little bits and pieces from all sorts of things - brads, bling, punches, pennants - it's all fair game!

I think this is my favorite page. It has absolutely no value other than to look pretty, which is absolutely fine by me!!!

And the back. I think the picture pretty much says it all...

Another Pink Paislee Flash Card. The stars were made by placing tiny apothecary labels (also by 7 Gypsies)on paper and then using a star punch.

This picture DID require was all very innocent...really...

More journaling. Check out the pennants on the side of the page. I glued two fronts together for each one since both sides would be seen.

And the picture that goes with the journaling on the flip side...

I wanted to include a little section for my adventures closer to home, and I thought this card was perfect.

My last page. I am pretty sure that being lazy in my pool qualifies as a backyard adventure! That's right, there's another journaling tag behind the picture because that's the way I roll!!! Ha!

For a product list and my discussion about which LCOM products I used, click HERE!

And if you want to tell me what non-traditional items you have used to create your mini-albums, I would love to hear about it. I am really liking doing something that isn't quite the norm! And I'm always on the lookout for new ideas! Pinterest can't have them ALL (even if it does seem like it)!!!