Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Linking with Love with Practical Scrappers

I love learning new techniques, and I especially love it when I see a layout that inspires me to try something different. The important thing, though, is to give credit where credit is due. You may not remember where you got a certain idea or inspiration - goodness knows that has happened to me! But if you do recall, and if you are blogging about it - why not add a quick link to share where the idea originated? That's what the other ladies and I are doing over at PRACTICAL SCRAPPERS today.

I love the more minimalist look of layouts with random clusters of ephemera around a smaller photo. But I'm still learning how to make that style my own. So, when I saw this LAYOUT by Mademoiselle Severine on Pinterest, I was inspired to give it a try. Is my layout a "Lift" of hers? I don't think so. But the placement of the picture and the small odds and ends placed around the picture were definitely inspired by her layout. And because of that, I believe I should extend the courtesy of linking the source of my inspiration.

For more of Mademoiselle Severine's wonderful work, please feel free to visit her BLOG.

Hope you have a great day! And if you get a chance, I would love to hear your thoughts about when credit should be given for inspiration and where you draw the line.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saturday Challenges with BOAF

The BIRDS OF A FEATHER February Kit is full of goodies that include papers from Basic Grey's Kissing Booth Collection. So, when I found some free time yesterday to play along with the BOAF February Challenges, I first took a peek over at the Basic Grey site for a little inspiration. I found this great SKETCH (and you know how much I love sketches), and decided to use it for the February Color Challenge.

Lately, I have been gravitating more towards layouts with the placement of "random" bits of paper and odds and ends, and this sketch definitely fit the bill! I edged everything in orange ink that came with this month's kit, and I added pop dots to various parts to add dimension and layers.

I also created this layout using a picture of my older daughter and her fiance that I found by stalking Facebook.

Not exactly the most brilliant idea for a journaling challenge when I have no idea where the picture was taken or anything else about it, other than the date it was taken and who is in it!

I loved fussy cutting these hearts and putting pop dots under them to make them stand out. I also added a few little charms.

A few punched stars to the ends of my flourish, and I was done.

Today, my schedule will once again focus on housecleaning, laundry, and grocery shopping. But I really enjoyed taking a break from chores yesterday to challenge my creative side. I hope you have had time this weekend to challenge yourself, too!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Project Life with Lori Whitlock

About a month ago, I bought a tray at a craft store for under a dollar. It was originally $12, but the back part had splintered off and the store was really just trying to get rid of it. I took one look at it and knew I HAD to have it. I didn't have a clue what I was going to do with it, but I definitely had to have it! When I saw Lori's Project Life cards, I immediately knew what I wanted to do with the tray. It was perfect for those cards! I quickly sent her an email that was the equivalent of a grade-school kid with their hand raised in the air, jumping up and down, and yelling, "pick me, pick me!"

Now, I don't keep a project life album. I think they are a WONDERFUL idea, but they are simply not for me. Quite frankly, keeping up with one initimidates the heck out of me! But, a tray filled with Project Life cards? That I could do! My schedule has been jam-packed full lately. And while I may not always have the time to devote to a full layout, making a card or two at a time is easy, and fast, and totally cute!

I added door pulls to the bottom of my tray to give it feet. I simply cut off the screws with a hacksaw. I'm sure the idea lodged firmly in my brain after seeing it somewhere on Pinterest.

My papers came from Echo Park's Charming and Graceful collections from the This and That Line (designed by Lori, of course), and I used her brand new DOILY BANNER. I added some twine and a few buttons, and I wrapped the doily banner off-center around the side of my tray for a festive look.

The opposite side of my tray has different embellishments added. This time, I fussy cut several of the circles and a border from my EP papers.

As you can see, I covered the inside with more EP papers and added paint around the top edge of the tray (allowing it to drip slightly down the sides for a more antique-y, less polished look). Of course, the outside of the tray was just too deliciously distressed to completely cover up - so I chose embellishments that would highlight and compliment it!

And my cards? Those are where I have been having the most fun!

I used the PROJECT LIFE 4x6 cards and reduced the size by one inch so they would fit my tray (app. 3x5). For some cards, I added journaling on the back side and a picture on the front; for other cards, I chose to add embellishments on the front and a picture on the back. I even created a pocket on one card. The best thing about these cards is that there is no wrong way to use them! And Lori made the decorating process even easier by adding wonderful phrases for me to use, such as these in her SO HAPPY TOGETHER set!

Are you ready to get started on your own Project Life project? Whether you use a tray or an album for your cards, it's more affordable than ever. Why? Because Lori's having a sale, that's why!

That's right, now through February 29th, you can save 25% off your purchase in Lori's STORE if you use the code: BDAY25.

Now go! Leave! Step away from your computer and go live each day to the fullest! And remember, it's not only the occasional vacations or holidays that make up our lives; it's the small, everyday events and the people we see and interact with day in and day out that make up each of our unique, richly flavored stories!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pardon the Interruption...

...we will now resume our regularly scheduled programming.

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball. And when it does, you have to figure out how to deal with it. That's exactly what happened to me almost two weeks ago, and I am just now getting back to dealing with "every day" life.

I have a son. He's a teenager. Life can be rough on teens. Oh sure, they can be melodramatic about how hard their lives are. We won't let them borrow the car, their curfew is unfair, a girl doesn't like them, their teacher gives the longest homework assignments over the weekend, their friends don't have to keep their rooms clean, and the list goes on and on. But, sometimes, it really can be hard. My son made that point loud and clear when he threatened to kill himself. I'm not talking about that melodrama; that, "the world is against me and I hate my life" stuff. I'm talking about the fact that I looked into my son's eyes and knew - absolutely, positively knew - that he meant every word he said. If something wasn't done, there was a good chance he was not going to be alive the next day. And I have rarely been as scared as I was at that moment.

My son was sent to the hospital for evaluation. He is currently seeing a doctor on a weekly basis. Family counseling has started. He has made promises to me and his doctor that he will not hurt himself, and I pray every night that he means it.

A teenager's life may not be a hard as ours. They may not have to raise a family, or go to work every day, or pay the bills - but they have stress, and it can be too much too deal with. So talk to your kids. Listen to what they are saying, and what they are not saying. And don't downplay their problems - because they are just as real as yours or mine.

Tomorrow, I will be back to blogging about all things scrapbook related. But I wanted to let you know that I haven't forgotten about you. I just needed to make sure my family was okay and get some firm ground back under me again.

Much Love,


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Practical Scrappers Challenge

You know me - I love a good challenge! So, of course, I jumped on board to join the other ladies at PRACTICAL SCRAPPERS and create a layout with black matting for Challenge Me Tuesday. I highly encourage you to check out the other fabulous DT layouts to see their takes on using black matting to make their layouts pop!

Also, I need to take a minute (or a paragraph) and give special mention to my friend, QUEEN KAT. Wy? Because she excels at using black cardstock as her background paper, adding that extra touch of drama to the ordinary. Don't get me wrong, her layouts are anything but ordinary - but with her trademark black cardstock they are even MORE not ordinary! I am certain she first inspired me to do this long, long ago!

I love the way black matting (and black background paper) makes bright colors that much brighter and vivid! To create my layout, I used a great sketch by Sketchy Thursday found HERE. I also used my Silhouette and a couple of cutting files by LORI WHITLOCK to make the banner and the journaling label. My patterned paper had all these wonderfully cute flowers on it, so I fussy cut several of them out and layered and clustered them around my picture. Aren't they cute?

This was such a fun challenge to complete and I love the bold, different look the black matting and background paper give my layout! Now, it's your turn! That's right - you! What are you waiting for? Go grab some black cardstock and challenge yourself!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Love is in the Air Crop with LCOM

Just wanted to share this quick little post and a fun layout I made this weekend.

As you know, Valentine's Day is right around the corner. So, what better way to get in the spirit of things than to play along in the Love is in the Air Virtual Crop with the ladies over at LET'S CAPTURE OUR MEMORIES? I think my Oh How I {Heart} This Girl layout is my favorite project so far. I used an LCOM Sketch found HERE. The object of the challenge was to make a banner using hearts. I used my heart banner as part of my title.

One thing I loved about the sketch (and the reason why I wanted to use it) were the small areas of clusters in the upper and lower corners. All the cute paper embellies from my package of Crate Paper Emma's Shoppe Collection were perfect for clustering.

Hope you are all rejuvinated, relaxed and refreshed from the weekend and ready to start a new week!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Altered Balloon Mobile

It's currently too rainy and cloudy for me to take decent pictures of the project I should be posting for the LCOM SKETCH REVEAL (so be sure to stay tuned for that whenever this epic storm blows over and the sun comes back out). In the meantime, I want to tell you about this fun little project and share a few pictures I took when I finished it last week.

My youngest child, the Huntress, is ALMOST a teen now - something she reminds me of every chance she gets. (In Hunter-speak "almost a teen" means she has a year and a half to go). Regardless, she has recently boxed up her Barbie dolls, although she's not even close to wanting to give them away, and she is changing out her loft bed and juvenile bedding for a Pottery Barn-esque bed that her dad is building for her (at a fraction of the cost, I am proud to say). Her bedroom is being painted, and we are transitioning her pictures and other decorative items to reflect her changing taste. So, when I came across a box in the attic that contained this old, chipped mobile that used to hang in my son's room when he was a toddler, I knew it would be perfect with a little makeover(courtesy of my scrapbooking supplies).

I used my Pink Paislee Daily Junque Collection - a favorite that I have bought and re-bought at least three times since it first made an appearance at my LSS last year - some odds and ends that I had on hand, and a little coat of mod-podge on all my papers to turn it into this:

I tested my mobile out in my guest bedroom, and I can tell you that it looks awfully cute hanging under the air vent where it lazily spins around everytime the air blows - which is quite frequently as our Texas weather seems to ignore the fact that we are in the middle of winter.

A few close-ups:

I LOVE giving an old, tired object a new life! What have you altered or re-purposed lately? Feel free to share links to your projects - I am always looking for inspirational ideas!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lori Whitlock Valentine's Blog Hop!

Happy Blog Hop Thursday everyone! Isn't this a great way to get ready for the weekend? I am the last stop on this hop, on which I am absolutely positive you have seen (and maybe even pinned)all sorts of great ideas from the rest of Lori's team for THE DAY OF LOVE (did you read that in the Barry White voice I typed it in?). If you are hopping with us, you should have arrived from Corri's BLOG.

If you are just joining in and want to start from the beginning, head on over to Lori's BLOG to get started.

I don't know about you, but I LOVE to give out little gifts to the people who are special in my life, especially on Valentine's Day. But I am often plagued by what to get that isn't the standard box of Whitman's Candy that you buy at the grocery store. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Whitman's - I just want something a little more personal. And if I can use my Silhouette to make it, that is even better!

When I saw Lori's 3D PURSE, I knew it fit the bill perfectly.

I would love to tell you that I sweated and labored over these for hours and hours but, truthfully, they were so easy to put together that my youngest child could have done it! The hardest thing I had to do was pick out which cute embellishments I wanted to use after the purses were assembled!

The little purses are the perfect size for holding gift cards and treats - which is exactly what I plan to do with these that I made for my daughters. I am going to make more for my co-workers and fill each purse with a couple of cookies and small candies. And, one will go to my mom filled with homemade Valentine's cards from my kids (and me) to her.

Don't forget, all items in Lori's STORE are 25% off through the weekend!

AND...she is giving away a free shape each day!

What a nice way to say she loves us!!!