Monday, December 30, 2013


I have a confession to make.  I love Christmas and making Christmas projects, but every year I fail to get them all completed.  I always think I am going to have so much more time than I actually do!  And, I fool myself into believing I can get ____ number of projects done, clean my house from top to bottom, plan activities with my family and friends, bake, wrap gifts, bake some more, put up decorations, bake a little more - whew!  Makes me tired just typing about it.  

This year I decided to get creative and re-purpose a few of those unfinished Christmas projects into, well, non-Christmas ones.  This is my first one.

I had an unused branch cut from one of the bushes in my yard that I spray painted white some time during the first week of December.  It has been sitting in my garage ever since (don't judge).  Christmas may be past but Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and I thought this white branch would be perfect to hang handmade Valentine's ornaments from.  

Of course, I needed Valentine's ornaments and, being the ambitious girl that I am, I created a few simple Silhouette cutting files so I could make 3-D hot air balloons and hearts.  The link to these free cutting files is available at the end of this post.

Three dimensional objects, like these balloons and hearts, are actually very easy to make.  And they look so cute!  I dug into my scrapbook supplies and used the last pieces of paper from one of my all-time favorite lines (seriously must have bought these papers 4 or 5 times when they came out) - PINK PAISLEE'S Daily Junque Collection (from back during their House of Three collaboration).  I also used a little bit of Pink Paislee's Parisian Anthology (also from their House of Three days).  And, just to keep things interesting, I used bits and pieces from the Hey Kid and Color Wash Collections.  They all blended together like they were made for each other!  This is how my project turned out.  Pretty cute, don't you think?

I am going to use this as a centerpiece on my table for the next 6 weeks.

(a little Color Wash mixed with Daily Junque)

(more Color Wash and Daily Junque)

(Parisian Anthology and Hey Kid)

(more Parisian Anthology and Hey Kid)

(Note: my clouds are not 3-D.  They were simply made with my cloud punch.  I glued two pieces together with a piece of twine in the middle.)

Want to see how I made these?  You do?!  Okay - here you go - a little video tutorial made by yours truly:

And here is the LINK to the Silhouette Cutting Files that I created for this project.  These files are free, so all you have to do is download them.

Let me know if you have any questions and, of course, comments are ALWAYS appreciated! 

Happy crafting!


Well, color me happy!  You all left such wonderful comments on my blog during the recent BLOG HOP, and I am so grateful and feeling a little blessed for all the kind words!  If I could, I would give out a PRETTY LITTLE STUDIO gift certificate to everyone who left a comment (because I l-o-v-e their products).  But I am afraid that might cause a little marital discord between the Hubster and me so I had better stick to the plan and just give away one.  And the winner is....drum roll please...chosen by

True Random Number Generator  11
Using my awesome college education, I was able to count and determine that Patricia is the winner of the gift certificate!  Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Patricia!  Go Patricia!  You're the winner!  You're the winner!  I will send you the code for your gift certificate a-s-a-p.
Now, on to my newest happy news.  I have been wanting to join the design team for a kit club for a while now.  But I wanted to make sure the kit club was one that suited my style and was a good fit for me.  I have been drooling over THE PAPER BAKERY'S kits for some time now and...apparently they think I am a good fit, too!  (insert very big, huge grin on my face here!)

I am equally excited to be working with these talented crafty ladies!  Can I get a woot woot?!!
Be sure to stay tuned.  I have a little video tutorial to share with you...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Top 10 Blog Hop and Give-Away - 2013 Edition

Welcome to the Top 10 Blog Hop - 2013 Edition.  You should have arrived from Laurel Seabrook's BLOG I am thrilled to be hopping along with many of my scrappy friends this year and am so glad you are joining us!  In fact, I am so thrilled that I will be having a little give-away (more on that at the end of this post).  

I loved looking back at the projects I created this year.  I tried to narrow them down to my favorite 10, I really did!  But, the closest I could get my favorites narrowed down was to a "lucky" 13, which just happens to correspond with the year.  So, I went with it. I know - it's a Top 10 Blog Hop, and I am being a rebel and a rule-breaker; you aren't telling me anything my Grandmama didn't tell me at least a hundred thousand bejillion times growing up!  But the heart wants what the heart wants.  *smile*

So, without further ado, here are my Lucky 13 from 2013.  I included the link to each original post just in case you want more details or close-ups:

(HERE AND NOW created for a Practical Scrappers Frugal Finds Challenge, using American Crafts papers)

(THESE ARE THE DAYS created for the Two Peas CHA 13 Online Winter Social Challenge, using several Echo Park collections)

(HUGS AND KISSES created for the Practical Scrappers Pinterest Challenge, using Crate Paper's 14 Collection)

(LIVE INSPIRED created for a Practical Scrappers Sketch Challenge, using Studio Calico papers)

(PERFECTLY IMPERFECT created for a Practical Scrappers individual feature on using less-than-perfect photos, using Pebbles Seen and Noted Collection)

(THE JOURNEY created for Pretty Little Studio, using the Birthday Cake Collection)

(HELLO 13, created for a Pebbles Sketchy Thursday Challenge, using several Pebbles collections)

(FAMILY OF 4 created for Pretty Little Studio, using the Nature Walk Collection)

(BELIEVE YOUR DREAMS, created using Glitz Design papers)

(LIKE A SHINING STAR, created for a Pretty Little Studio sketch challenge, using Woodland Christmas papers)

(FOLLOW THE LEADER created for a Practical Scrappers sketch challenge using Pink Paislee's Hey Kid Collection)

(DEAR SANTA...PLEASE STOP HERE created for the My Mind's Eye "Dear Santa" challenge, using a couple of My Mind's Eye collections)

(OH CHRISTMAS TREE, created as a mixed media tutorial for Pretty Little Studio, using the Woodland Christmas Collection)

Whew!  Are you still with me?  If you are, you may have noticed that several of my projects feature Pretty Little Studio papers.  I have been extremely fortunate to be on the Pretty Little Studio design team and love, love, LOVE their products.  So, if you are a follower of my blog AND leave me a comment telling me which layout you like best from my Lucky 13, then I will choose a winner by random drawing on Monday, December 30th to receive a $20 gift certificate to the PRETTY LITTLE STUDIO STORE!!!

Ready to keep blogging?  Your next stop is KERRI YARUS

Here is the entire list (just in case you get lost).  Happy hopping!!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Dancing in the Street (Happy Family Together)

I want to share this fun little layout that I completed this past weekend at a crop I was at with the amazingly talented HEATHER LEOPARD.  She inspired me to play along with Lily Bee's "Tag You're It" Series that began with a fabulous sketch (also created by Heather), which can be found HERE!  The "Tag, You're It" week may be over, but the sketch looked like so much fun, I had to give it a try!

I know everyone is focused on Christmas right now, but these two pics of my youngest child and my oldest child (aka, the Hubster) were so adorable I could not wait to scrap them.  Seriously?  How often do you get to scrap people you know dancing down the sidewalk - and in perfect sync no less?  Right?!!  Besides, LILY BEE'S Motto is "Everyday Loveliness" and that is EXACTLY what this is - everyday loveliness!

I love the We R Family Collection; however, my local scrapbook store was out of almost everything I wanted to use.  But - I am a lemonade out of lemons kind of girl, so I reached into my stash and pulled out my papers from the Pinwheel Collection, which just happened to coordinate beautifully with the We R Family double deck cards.  See?

To give my layout a little extra dimension, I added pop dots behind these 3x4 cards.  I also made a journaling pocket out of the first card and stuck a little tag made with paper from the Pinwheel Collection into it.  I love it when different collections play so well together, don't you?

I think this will be my motto for 2014 - Happy Family Together.

Seriously, I was able to fussy cut to my little heart's content with the 3x4 cards and papers...

I loved making this layout and hope I have inspired you - inspired you to use bright colors, to mix your patterns and collections, to take pictures of the silliness and everyday moments, to make lemonade from lemons, and most of all to enjoy your happy family together.  

Merry Christmas Eve, y'all!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree - Pretty Little Studio

I've got a super easy and, I think, super cute project up on the Pretty Little Studio BLOG today.  If you are looking for a home-made Christmas present or maybe have a spot in your house that needs an extra bit of Christmas decor, this fast and easy project is for you!  How easy is it?  My 4 year old assistant had a wonderful time helping me make it - 'nuff said!

One of the things I like about this project is that it was made from an old piece of home decor that I got for a steal at Hobby Lobby.  It was on the "we're getting ready to throw this away if you don't buy it for this super reduced price clearance aisle" and was much, much cheaper than getting an unfinished wood piece from the craft section.  

See?  Anyone who knows me knows I love good coffee; however, this wood sign did not work with my decor.  So, I had no problem applying two coats of white acrylic paint over everything as a start to my project.

All papers and die cuts used are from the Pretty Little Studio WOODLAND CHRISTMAS COLLECTION and include these pieces:

Merry & Bright Flair;
Woodland Christmas Fir Tree 8x8 Paper;
Woodland Christmas In a Pear Tree 8x8 Paper;
Woodland Christmas Peppermint Bark 8x8 Paper;
Woodland Christmas Pinecone Potpourri 8x8 Paper;
Woodland Christmas Starry Night 8x8 Paper;
Woodland Christmas Twinkling Lights 8x8 Paper;
Prancer Vintage Die Cut; and
Red Birds Vintage Die Cuts.

Here are a couple of close-ups so you can see how my assistant and I "decorated" my tree:

Want to see my tutorial for making this?  You do?  Then simply click on this LINK for the Pretty Little Studio Blog!  

Happy Four-Days-To-Go-Until-Christmas.  Hope you and your loved ones are escaping a little of the hustle and bustle and are building happy memories together!!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tiny Treasures - Pretty Little Studio

Today is a new Technique Challenge at the PRETTY LITTLE STUDIO BLOG, and you-know-who is up with this layout.  It's a color pop challenge with an inspiration photo that made me want to turn on the Christmas carols, make some hot chocolate, and start crafting.  Can you guess what color I chose for the "pop" on my layout?  If you said red, I did it correctly!  *smile*

I chose to create a simple grid pattern on my layout using Twas the Night Paper and Bookmark Journaling tag from the WOODLAND CHRISTMAS COLLECTION.  I really wanted my red accents to, well, I kept my background a very simple white.  To provide a little extra dimension, I made my grid on a smaller square of white cardstock which I then glued in the center of a 12 x 12 piece of white cardstock.

I am in love with the Red Circles Vellum paper included in the Woodland Christmas Collection.  I keep cutting those vellum circles out and sewing them on my papers.  I love how you can see the text of my paper through the vellum circles.

The little redbird die cut (also from the Woodland Christmas Collection) HAD to go on this layout.  Many of my Christmas ornaments have been collected over the years and are treasured by me, even though the majority of them weren't expensive at all.  They consist of things like a glittery snowman, handmade by my girls when they were teens and (I thought) too old to care about homemade ornaments; an angel made from felt and a popsicle stick by my oldest when she was in grade school; a stuffed goose, which my second daughter bought for me on a school trip to Washington, D.C. in the 5th grade rather than getting anything for herself.  And redbirds - I have several old-fashioned redbird ornaments on my tree - some chipped, but still very much loved - because they were my grandmother's favorite.  And I just know that she looks down and smiles that sweet smile I remember when I put my redbird ornaments on the tree each year.  There are handmade beaded ornaments given to me by my mother-in-law, a superman ornament that I bought for my husband the first year we were married, a Starfish ornament purchased in Charleston years ago as a promise to myself that things would get better  - the list and the memories go on.  

So, where was I?  Oh yes!  Pretty Little Studio!  Color Pop Technique CHALLENGE!  Come play!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dear Santa...Please Stop Here

This layout is proof that I am a problem-solver.  That's right - me - a solver of problems.  Oh, I haven't figured out how to end world hunger.  I haven't even figured out how to use the various remotes that sit on our coffee table.  But - I have figured out how to create a Christmas layout when I cannot find where I decided to store all my new Christmas papers!

See, this is what happened.  My BESTIE and I made a pre-Thanksgiving trip to our favorite scrapbooking store just days before Thanksgiving.  But, when I returned home, I was trying to get my house spic and span for my mother's yearly visit to Casa de Chaos (which is aptly named, trust me).  And...I violated one of the 10 Commandments of Organization.  THOU SHALT NOT PLACE ITEMS IN A SPACE THAT IS NOT LABELED AND/OR EASILY VISIBLE.  Guess what happened when I wanted to use my nice shiny new Christmas papers?  If you guessed I couldn't find them, you would be absolutely correct!!!  Rather than waste precious time when my mojo was actually in residence, I pulled out my regular, everday papers and used them to make a Christmas-themed layout.  The only holiday items I used were 2 Christmas brads and holiday rub-ons left over from last year which were in the appropriately labeled box.  

Which papers did I use?  Well, I shamelessly mixed things up from a few different MY MIND'S EYE Collections (I'm a rebel that way), namely the COLLECTABLE COLLECTION and the SWEETEST THING COLLECTION.  And because I was playing with My Mind's Eye papers, I decided to play along with the DEAR SANTA CHALLENGE.  

Want to see a few close-ups?  Here you go:

To create piece thingy...I started with a Bright-Eyed Label from the Sweetest Thing Bluebell Collection because it looked like a snowflake to me.  See, you can just see the edge of the "b" sticking out at this angle.  I wanted a little extra-layering so I put one of the Happiness decorative flower-brad combinations on top (from the Collectable Collection), although I switched out the actual brad with one from last year's Christmas collection.  My cluster thingy still needed a lil' something extra so I hand cut three tags and added "Ho Ho Ho" rub-ons to them before layering them along the bottom.  A little artfully arranged loose thread and I called this cluster complete!

Of course, I couldn't use these papers without doing some fussy cutting.  And although my stickers came from a non-holiday themed collection, they work absolutely perfectly for this Christmas layout!

These rub-on snowflakes and little splatters of mist add nice subtle layers behind this fussy cut piece, don't you think?

Even though my papers were from different collections, they coordinated so beautifully that I wanted to use them ALL on my layout!!!  See?

So - what do you think?  Was I successful in creating a Christmas look with my non-Christmas papers?

Friday, December 13, 2013

December Sketch - Practical Scrappers

Happy Friday the 13th!  Do you like a good sketch?  Well, then, today is YOUR lucky day!  Why?  Because PRACTICAL SCRAPPERS has a fantastic new sketch by our own Liz Chidester that is being revealed today along with several Practical Scrappers' takes on it (including mine)!  I used a couple of different collections by PINK PAISLEE on my layout - I didn't quite have enough papers from the Hey Kid Collection to use, but I did have a sheet sheet left over from the Hometown Summer Collection (the red paper with white stars) that coordinated perfectly.  I love it when that happens!  I gotta tell you, there is something about the combination of red and yellow that I absolutely love!

I also improvised a little with Liz's sketch.  The two photos I wanted to use weren't oriented the right way to work with the sketch, so what did I do?  I rotated the sketch 90 degrees counter-clockwise so my pictures wouldn't be all "squished" together.  

These two photos make me laugh a little every time I look at them.  Little Lula really really wanted to "fly" in the swings like the Huntress but wasn't quite brave enough to stretch her arms and legs out.  She's a little daredevil, though, so I expect she will be "flying" alongside her big bestie before too much longer.

I loved layering all these pieces together into a cluster around my journaling tag.  I added doodling and machine stitching to help tie everything together:

Want to know how I came up with the left side of my layout?  It was definitely not a thought-out process!

So I was pretty sure I wanted to use an arrow or two at the bottom of my layout to help balance out the scalloped circles at the top and to call attention to my title.  There were so many cute bits and pieces, though, that I couldn't decide which I wanted to use.  Before I knew it, I had a line of "possibles" and I decided I liked the way all of them looked together.  I did move some over to the side so that the ends were off the paper (and cut off the excess parts hanging over the edge) just because I thought the arrows looked better staggered that way.  As for my title, I ran out of "L's" on my sticker sheet.  So, I simply pulled out my different alphas until I found another "L" that I liked.  And I really like the end result.  I love it when randomness comes together!!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sketch Challenge Time at Pretty Little Studio

It's Tuesday and you know what that means, right?  Okay, yes, it is the day after Monday but it is also sketch challenge time over at Pretty Little Studio!  And with my fantastic WOODLAND CHRISTMAS COLLECTION, I could not wait to get started!

Here is my interpretation of this week's sketch, which can be found at the Pretty Little Studio BLOG:

Although the lines on this week's sketch travel in a diagonal from the bottom left to the top right across the layout, I decided to create lines that mimic more of a starburst pattern - pretty sure there is no need for an explanation why on that choice! *smile*

I used these sweet little Twinkling Star STICKERS that I machine stitched over.

On top of my star stickers, I layered a few sequins and larger stars that were punched from my Pretty Little Studio packaging.  I've got to tell you, only Pretty Little Studio makes packaging that is so cute I NEVER throw it out.  I consider it my bonus material - just the right size for my punches and to make small tags!

Instead of two Christmas trees, I used a couple of journaling TAGS to anchor my cluster.  My Merry and Bright FLAIR and Yule Log TAB were the perfect finishing touches, don't you think?

Have you played along and used a Pretty Little Studio sketch lately?  There's a new one every week, and their clean lines make them perfect for a layout of any size, including December Daily albums!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

More Woodland Christmas and a Winner

First, I want to thank everyone who left such lovely comments.  They were much appreciated!  Using my random number picker (a/k/a asking the Hubster to pick a number between 1 and 21), the winner of the free Pretty Little Studio flair is Jenny Kozar!  Jenny, if you will send me an email (send to with you address, I will get your flair sent to you post haste!

Now, on to a little layout I recently finished using one of my new favorite Christmas lines - that's right, it is Pretty Little Studio's WOODLAND CHRISTMAS COLLECTION.  

Let me tell you, the second I saw the Fir Tree paper which is covered in the stars you see on my layout, I knew I would be fussy cutting and using them on a project.  Then, when the Huntress decided she wanted to go out and gaze at the stars a day or two later, I knew my layout was meant to be! *smile*

My heart-rate also increased a little when I saw all the yummy vellum that is included in this holiday collection.  Seriously, big festive stars and vellum - my perfect scrapbook supplies cup runneth over!  Just look how cute these are together:

I outlined my stars so they don't blend in too much with my white background, and I tilted up the corners to give them a more three-dimensional appearance.  

I added a couple of clusters around my photo along with a little journaling to complete my layout...

and, voila!  I was done.  What Christmas collections are your favorites this year?  Have you used your holiday papers for non-Christmas layouts (such as I have done here)?