Friday, January 31, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Starbucks

This is one of the hardest photos I have ever had to take.  I took it, knowing it would be he last one I would ever have of Starbucks - our sweet little Rat Terrier (we think), who was about 15 or 16 years old.  No one knew for sure.  She was found on the side of the road many years ago, abandoned.

She was the sweetest little dog  - not very bright, but she always tried her absolute hardest to please.  And she loved us with the heart of a dog ten times her size.  The Hubster called her our "me too" dog.  And she was.  She just wanted to be included in whatever was going on, and she always made sure she was in whatever room of the house we were in.  Towards the end, she was blind and going senile but she still loved to go outside and bark at anything that moved; and she lived to go for weekend rides with the Hubster, with the windows rolled down and her nose sticking out.  She would practically inhale any treat I gave her, and she always felt so important when we would give her a chew bone that was just for her.  She pranced when she had a bone as if to say, "Look at me!  Look how special I am!"

She was the Hubster's dog before I even knew him.  Over the years, she and I became very close but he was, without a doubt, her favorite.  She knew when it was time for him to come home from work, and she would wait patiently by the front door until he arrived.  She was stubborn about that, too!  She would not budge for anything while she was in waiting mode.  

About four weeks ago she started getting sick - coughing and wheezing and acting more lethargic.  The vet at first thought it was congestive heart failure, but we later learned it was cancer.  She stopped eating her favorite treats and, for the first time ever, she no longer followed us from room to room.  But our Starbucks was a fighter and it was clear that she was stubborn enough to insist she wanted to stay with us no matter how much pain she was in, how hard it was for her to breathe.  So - we made the decision for her.  Sometimes being responsible means making the decisions that hurt the most.  I hate that.  I hate that more than anything.

We petted her and held her throughout the night.  And this morning, we took her to the vet.  I know we made the right decision, the merciful decision.  But that doesn't make things any easier.  

As the drugs were administered, we held her in our arms and told her over and over how much we loved her.  We told her that she was the best dog ever.  I pray that her last conscious thought was knowing she was a good girl.  And that she was much loved.

Starbucks, you are sorely missed.  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Farewell Archivers - I Will Miss You

I first discovered Archivers back in 2009, shortly after I started scrapbooking.  The Hubster and I were trying to find a local store that carried a newfangled thing called a Silhouette - it was going to be my birthday present if I liked it - and after checking online, we found out that Archivers carried them.  I remember walking into the store for the first time and thinking I could spend hours, literally hours, just looking at and touching everything.  Sadly, the Hubster wasn't on board with that idea at all!  We found the Silhouette, made our purchase, and left.  But I vowed to go back, and go back I did - frequently - over the next four-and-a-half years.  

I knew nothing - less than nothing - about scrapbooking when I started (despite purchasing a Silhouette), but the sales ladies at Archivers were always there and always willing to answer even my dumbest questions, without once laughing or even batting an eye.  They demonstrated everything from the most basic, "What are brads used for?  How do you put them through paper?" to the more complex questions about stamping and embossing.  They oohed and aahed over my layouts when I went to crops - just like any encouraging mentor would.  They always listened with a smile on their faces as I gushed over the newest collection coming out.  I loved that store; I loved those employees.  So when I heard they were going to close their doors forever, I wanted to cry.  And I knew I had to go to one last crop there.  I spent the weekend with two fabulous ladies who love scrapbooking as much as I do:  Heather Leopard and Majken Pullin.  Before we left, I snapped this picture.  Yep, that's my big ole head taking up most of the pic (due to the short stubby arms I was genetically gifted with which were not able to hold my cell camera further away), but you can see we were having the best time, bittersweet as it was.  I love that picture and I love the memories it brings back - not just of that particular weekend, but of it all.

To create this layout, I started with a fabulous sketch that caught my eye over at MY SCRAPS AND MORE SKETCHES.  I used leftover scraps of LILY BEE papers and other random bits and pieces that were orphaned on my desk after I cleaned up from my last couple of projects.  I changed things around a little.  I only used one photo instead of 3 as shown in the sketch.  And, I used the bottom left space as a journaling spot instead of placing patterned paper there.  To make my layout look a little more like the sketch, I added a "faux photo" spot next to my one and only picture.  

I loved this "Happy" hexagon shape that I found, but it was the only hexagon shape sitting out on my desk.  No problem!  I simply used my shape as a template to trace and cut out a few more from my patterned papers.  I layered my handmade hexagons with flair and wood shapes and called them done!

I think it was quite fitting to pay tribute to my favorite scrapbooking store in a layout, don't you?  I know, I don't actually say anything about the store in my layout.  But I will always be able to look at this and remember how being there made me feel.  And that is really what is important.

Monday, January 27, 2014

2014: The Year of Selfies

You know me, I am cuh-ray-zee about sketches - absolutely love them, even if what I create sometimes doesn't look anything even remotely like the sketch I used!  So, it was icing on the cake to find out that The Paper Bakery has not one, but two, sketch challenges this month.  The current challenge is HERE.  And this is what I created using that sketch:

Now, there is a story behind this layout - oh, yes, there is.  My 13 year old, that once sweet baby of mine who has turned into a teenager (and all that that implies), told me that I was too old to take selfies.  In fact, she said I was too old to even use the word "selfie."  Really.  Too old?  Hmmmm...I am in my mid to upper 40's and everyone knows that 40 is the new 30 so, in my book, that makes me practically a teen myself.  Okay okay, I may be a teen with some parts that are definitely more wrinkled than they were 30 years ago and other, more unmentionable things....  BUT - I now have the means to buy a cell phone with a camera feature AND I was able to purchase my own laptop AND I am the person who pays the bills every month that keep us connected to every form of social media that would know what the word "selfie" means.  Soooo - as I calmly and rationally explained to my daughter, that means I can take and post all the selfies I want.  And then, I did the most immature thing ever - I promptly took a few selfies and turned them into a scrapbook layout.  I also made a proclamation that this shall be the Year of Selfies for me.  That's right, 2014 will be all selfies, all the time!  THAT WILL SHOW HER - HA!

So there you have it - a layout created because of a major snit.  And, I love it - obviously.  

I used my Paper Bakery Love Potion #9 KIT to create this layout.  The feather and "news flash" stamp were included with previous kits; however, they were so cute, I had to include them.  Here are a few close-ups:

Want to play along with the sketch or maybe create a layout using your own selfies?  We would love to see them!  Simply link to the BLOG or the Paper Bakery FACEBOOK PAGE.

And, of course, feel free to leave a comment here.  I l-o-v-e feedback!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

One Kit - Two Looks (Paper Bakery Kit Club)

I love scrapbooking - that is no secret.  And I love kits because everything is put together for me ahead of time so I can spend less time gathering supplies and more time crafting.  But - the sign of a really good kit is one that will let me achieve different looks with my projects, depending on how I use my supplies.  The Paper Bakery's January Kit, Love Potion #9, is exactly that kind of kit.  

Here is my first layout, which I had a blast making!  I adore bright colors so all the pops of yellow and teal made me a very happy girl.

Have a little too much blank space on your layout that's driving you crazy because you are NOT a minimalist clean and simple girl?  Well, if you are me, then you simply fill it up with a few ink splatters and a bunch o' sequins.

A-n-d if you are like me and have a sweet little glassine bag that is empty because you used all your sequins (or at least used all the ones that didn't end up scattered all across your floor), then why not add it to the layout, too?  I stitched around the edges of mine and tucked a journaling tag into it.  See?

Those little October Afternoon chipboard frames? Well, they just make me happy - plain and simple...

So, there you have one look.  Here is the second:

This layout has a softer, more vintage-y look.  And - rather than layering my papers like I often do, I instead layered my ephemera on this layout.  How did I do it?  Basically, I took every single bit and piece out of a bag full of bits and pieces from My Mind's Eye's Lost and Found Collection and moved each piece around on my layout.  If I liked it, it stayed.  If I didn't, it went back in the bag.  If I wasn't sure, it sat by the side of my layout until the end.  

Would you have guessed that these two layouts were made with the same kit?  I don't think I would have.

That's it for me today.  Do you like what you see?  If so, please stop by the Paper Bakery BLOG and let them know what you think!  And, of course, it would mean the world to me if you would let ME know what you think, too!!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

You Are My World - Pretty Little Studio

Happy Thursday!  We have a new challenge over at PRETTY LITTLE STUDIO today.  Can you guess what it is?  It's a word challenge!  That's right, our challenge was to create something using the phrase, "you are my world."  Like all Pretty Little Studio challenges, you don't have to actually use that phrase in your project, it is just the inspiration.  I, however, chose to interpret it literally and made it the title for my layout about my very most-favoritest valentine - the hubster.  That sweet face of his still makes my heart go pitter-pat!

I am having a love affair with the color gold right now!  I may be a couple of months late to the gold party, but I prefer to think of it as being fashionably late.  Yes, I am Elizabeth Taylor-ing the gold trend - lol!  I can't help my obsession, though.  Gold is just so pretty!  It sparkles, and I am a lover of sparkly things (yes I am)!!!

I love, love, love all the vellum papers that Pretty Little Studio came out with in the WOODLAND CHRISTMAS COLLECTION, including this one with tiny gold stars.  And the cooler tones of my Starfish paper from the SAND CASTLE COLLECTION (still one of my favorites over a year later) contrasts nicely against my pretty sparkling gold!  

Speaking of gold, one of the very next things I intend to get from the PRETTY LITTLE STUDIO STORE will be their new gold foil stickers like these ARROWS!  I need them.  I think I could have found a space to squeeze one or two on this layout, don't you?

That's it for me today.  Do you like the gold trend?  Is there another new, hot trend that I should try out?  I would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Playing with Paper Bakery and Dreaming Big

I am up on the Paper Bakery BLOG today with my first layout and tutorial for them using January's Love Potion #9 SCRAPBOOK KIT.  Can you guess what my layout is about?  If you guessed it is about my recent CHA trip (where I got to meet Sarah, the wonderful owner of Paper Bakery) - you would be correct!  But, my layout is about a little more than that, too.  

I was at a crop with two of my friends this past weekend, and we were involved in part of a discussion about the insecurity that seems to go along with scrapbooking, cardmaking, and mixed media - especially when we strive to be on design teams for the manufacturers whose products inspire us.  We allow ourselves to take a hobby or past time that is supposed to make us feel good about ourselves and, instead, we let it become a source of self-doubt.  We wonder what it is that makes someone else's style better than ours and we wrestle with the temptation to copy another style, another idea - in short, somebody else's dream.  And if we take a step back we see - that is crazy.  That is sheer stressful craziness.  And I don't want that.  

So - this layout symbolizes that.  It's a pledge to myself - a pledge that I am going to keep trying to make the dreams I have come true.  But while I am doing that, I am going to keep three things in mind always:
  1. I will stay true to myself and I will keep my own style.  I may not know what my style is called (and anyone who does know, PLEASE tell me - I am pretty sure paper-hoarder is not a style!) but I know it is my own and I know it is consistent.  Even if I am the only person who likes what I do, the only thing that matters is that I like what I do!
  2. I will only apply to teams or challenges that inspire me.  That means I will not apply to a manufacturer's team if I don't normally buy their products - no matter the temptation, the thought that I might be passing up my one big chance.  That's not making my dream come true; that's becoming a slave to an idea.
  3. Most of all, I will enjoy what I do.  I fell in love with scrapbooking because it made me feel happy and creative.  I absolutely refuse to let it be a source of stress!!!
Okay, stepping down off my soapbox!  Back to Paper Bakery - I knew it was the right kit club for me because its collections were filled with items that I had already purchased on my own.  I tend to stick with one or two manufacturers' products when I am working on a project, so it is a refreshing change to have papers and supplies to work with from several different manufacturers at the same time.  And best of all, it's already all coordinated and put together for me!  Look how nicely everything comes together on this layout:

I never would have thought to include vintage-y My Mind's Eye Lost and Found bits and pieces with these papers, but it works!  That's what I like about kit clubs, and especially Paper Bakery - they combine things so that I use them in different ways than I may have on my own.

Oh, one last thing before I go - see that title?  That was created from my own handwriting and then cut out on the Silhouette!  Yep, that title is created from my messy lefty cursive writing.  Want to see how I did it?  Then check out my TUTORIAL on the Paper Bakery Blog!  (It's simple)  Oh, and leave a comment if you like it!

Happy Crafting!!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

New Use for Old Stuff - Pretty Little Studio

PRETTY LITTLE STUDIO carries so many awesome things in its shop, including adorable little journaling tags that have calendars on them.  The only problem is - it's 2014 so the dates no longer match up with the correct days of the week.  That's a big deal if you are weird  slightly OCD like me.  How do you fix that problem?  (Note: the answer is NOT to throw the tags away)  If you are like me, you simply find a different use for them.  In this case, I punched them and cut them and created a cute little mosaic pattern on my layout.  See?

It looks great when paired with papers from the WOODLAND CHRISTMAS COLLECTION and NATURE WALK COLLECTION.

Add a couple of brads and a tag or two, and I call it done!

To see what papers and products I used, please visit the Pretty Little Studio BLOG or the STORE.

Do you find new uses for scrapbook products that may be considered old or out-dated?  Or do you just get rid of them to make room for the new stuff?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My First CHA - A Recap

I am usually NOT a lucky person.  I never win raffles; I don't even win at Bingo.  So imagine my surprise when the incredibly talented TINA WALKER invited me to attend CHA Winter 2014 in sunny Anaheim, California.  I am a h-u-g-e fan of Tina's.  Not only does she make all sorts of lovely things as a design team member for MY MIND'S EYE, but she is an incredibly talented mixed-media artist and the owner of FROG DOG STUDIO, a monthly mixed-media kit club.  Tina and I have been "facebook friends" for quite a while, and I jumped at the chance to meet her in person!

For the two or three of you who read my blog and are NOT into scrapbooking or crafting, CHA is a huge trade show that happens twice a year.  The newest lines and the next big thing in the crafting industry are made available to buyers so that they can determine what products they want to stock in their stores or provide in their kits.  And in addition to the new products on display for you to touch and drool on admire, all the big names in the industry are there!  The icing on the cake?  Quite a few of my crafty friends were going to be there, too.  To say I was like a kid in a candy store was an understatement!  There are not enough thumbs-up or like buttons in the world to convey just how excited I was - seriously.

Of course I INSTAGRAMMED all about it!  And, just in case you missed the flood of pics on Instagram or Facebook, I am sharing a few of my faves here. 

I am pretty sure I took a picture of every single piece of paper and ephemera pack that was being displayed by every single manufacturer.  I won't make you sit through all of them - pretty sure Blogger would ban me for life if I tried to upload all of my paper pics here!  But I will share one of the crate wall at HEIDI SONBOUL'S booth - simply because I have so much fun saying the name of her new company.  Chickaniddy.  chick-a-niddy.  chickaniddychickaniddychickaniddy.  Yep, it makes me smile saying it.  And all those fun crates made me smile, too.

So...what made my very first CHA so incredibly special to me?  These people (and a fun lil' adventure or two):

I flew in from H-town with my wonderfully talented friend, HEATHER LEOPARD.  Before we even got to our hotel, we had to make a stop here:

Say what you will, but I am a huge luvah of the double-double with a chocolate shake!

I spent a lot of time hanging out with these two wonderful ladies - Tina and Melissa - who renewed my love of all things mixed media:

So many light bulbs went off as they answered my mixed media questions that I am positive you could see my head lit up from outer space!

I loved hanging out with the friends I knew and making new ones, too:

And it was super cool to meet my Facebook friends "in real life" like the CHIC TAG girls Malika Kelly and Jennifer Haggerty:

Yep, that would be me with my eyes closed.  Maybe I was trying to show everyone my expert application of eyeshadow?????

Heidi Swapp taught Melissa and me how to expertly apply mist on a stencil:

She even graciously signed my work and posed for a picture with me... did my idol (because she designs many of the MY MINDS EYE papers that I hoard as well as does all sorts of cool home design/decorating projects) JEN ALLYSON (nicest.person.ever.)

See that dazed look in my eyes?  Pretty sure my brain had just finished short-circuiting...

And...most totally adorable picture?  The one of me with Baby Jack...

...oh, and his mom, Amy Tangerine.

And, of course, you haven't fully experienced CHA until you've had your picture taken with Tim Holtz...

...who, as it turns out, is just as fond of the cheesy grin as I am - ha!!!

And...there were purple cows...

And Disneyland with my besties...

...where we rode rides, and talked, and laughed until our sides hurt...

Until next time...I'll be back.

Friday, January 10, 2014


Welcome to the Practical Scrappers Blog Hop 
where we are Scrapping our Stash.

You should have just arrived from Nicole Laha's BLOG.  If, however, you just found me by accident and want to start at the very beginning (that's a very good place to start), then just click the link for PRACTICAL SCRAPPERS.

As I am sure you know, CHA is this weekend.  That means all the manufacturers we know and love are putting out all kinds of fabulous new goodies for us to play with. So what better time to kick off our new monthly series of Scrapping our Stash than now, when we are getting ready to get lots of new stuff in!   Right?  Right!!

Before I show you what I created from my stash, I want to give a special shout out to the sponsor of today's hop: Kiwi Lane Designs!

Kiwi Lane Designs creates templates that help take the frustration out of scrapbooking!  And one lucky winner today will get a border set and an accessory set from Kiwi Lane.  We at Practical Scrappers are big fans of Kiwi Lane Designs in fact, several of our Practical Scrappers are either currently on or have been part of Kiwi Lane's design team!  

 There's a lot of blogs to hop to, and we sure would love for you to visit as many of us as possible (and maybe leave a nice comment or two).  BUT - it is not mandatory to qualify for the Kiwi Lane grand prize.  

Want to know how to qualify for the grand prize? You can do any or all of the following for up to three entries!

1) Become a follower here
2) Become a fan on our Practical Scrapper facebook page
3) Become a fan on the Kiwi Lane facebook page and make sure to tell them we sent ya!

And one last thing, be sure to leave a comment on the Practical Scrappers blog to let us know what you did.

Speaking of stash, I have some new stash coming in from PAPER BAKERY, including some exclusive FLAIR that you cannot find anywhere else!  I have two extra packs to give away as candy at the end of this blog hop.  How do you win it?  It's simple -  become a follower on my blog (if you aren't one already) and leave me a comment.  I love feedback, and it would make my day to hear from you!

Here is what I created for this hop - a little layout using (mainly) Lily Bee's We R Family Collection:

Now you might be saying, "Krissy, the We R Family Collection is not that old.  How can this possibly be an example of you scrapping your stash?"  Well, it's like this.  I have been playing with my Lily Bee products and recently created two other layouts.  They can be found HERE and HERE.   By the time I finished with them, my work table was covered with lots of scraps and a couple of lonely Lily Bee papers that I had not yet used.  Rather than put them back in their little folder on the shelf, I took the lazy way out came up with the ingenious time-saving idea to go ahead and make one more layout, effectively using up all of my stash.  Now I have an empty paper folder just waiting for the new Everyday Collection, which I cannot wait to get my hands on! (Note:  I did use a few embellishments that were also sitting out on my table by Jillibean Soup.  But Jillibean and Lily Bee play nicely with each other on my layout, don't you think?)

Here are a couple of close-ups:

Well, that's it for me.  Your next stop on our hop is WENDI ROBINSON.  Happy hopping!!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Shaking Off Those Winter Blues

Even here in the southern part of Texas we have not been able to escape freezing "arctic" temperatures.  So, to warm things up a little, I put on a pot of hot coffee and decided to use one of my favorite pictures taken this past summer in a layout.  PRETTY LITTLE STUDIO has the perfect papers to create a summery layout, too, with its dreamy NEAPOLITAN COLLECTION.  My inner girly-girl will always love hearts and butterflies and flowers, which is what this collection has in abundance!  

And this - this was the end result:


I've got to tell you that I am quite proud of it - proud of the subjects, proud of the moment that I captured with my camera, and pretty darned proud of my layout.  It's got a lot of white in it but doesn't look too empty at all.  (I love my tone-on-tone white sunburst that I started off with!)  It's got a lot of layers, but it's not too crowded.  It's got a lot of little pieces, but it's not too busy.  In fact, I would say it is j-u-s-t right!!!

Here are a few close-ups:

See?  Hearts, butterflies, and flair - all the things I love.  *sigh*

Yes, I did use journaling cards on my layout that don't have one single word of journaling on them.  They were used - gasp - purely for decorative purposes.  Don't judge.

Want to find out more?  Just check out the Pretty Little Studio BLOG!  

What are you doing to stay warm this winter???  Do you love the snow and cold temps or are you, too, dreaming of summertime and balmy weather?