6.30.2015

Girls' Night

For months, Izzy has been hoping and wishing and pining for a girls' night out. We recruited my mom for a quick, one-night trip out of town this weekend. There were a few requirements Izzy had for making it a "perfect weekend" and to her utter delight, we managed to fulfill them all (she's nothing if not realistic!)



She wanted to stay in a hotel on a high floor. With a pool. And hike or walk a nature trail. She wanted to see a movie and eat curly fries. She added on "shopping" after her list had been deemed complete but we managed to make that happen too.

We took a short drive to Grand Rapids with the intention of hanging out in the hotel Saturday night and spending a few hours at Frederik Meijer Gardens the second. As it turned out, she was exhausted by the second day so we ended up skipping it (boo.) My mom and me have big plans to make a day trip out of it soon though. This trip really could have been done at the Holiday Inn that's 5 minutes away with the same results but the road trip is part of the fun, no?

A few highlights:

Fulfilling her most fervent wish for curly fries and salad.

Checking out the view from the "high" floor (floor 2.)
Making herself at home. Note stuffed animals and a robe hanging from the bedpost. (Her comment when I took this photo: what are you calling that one? Hashtag perfect bed?)
Izzy and grandma strategizing (or, possibly, checking out the knitted dog pattern book Izzy brought along.)

Exploring Grand Rapids.

We're calling this "nature trail."

Hotel pool fun.

More good times with grandma.

A stop by Frankenmuth on the way home to check off the "shopping" list item that was added last minute. I live less than 30 minutes from here and have never been. It's totally charming (where I was expecting super touristy - which it also is - but manages to pull off both somehow. We'll definitely be making another trip there this summer with the boys.
And finally, the video I discovered that she made while we were driving home. 

video



2.28.2015

MFT March Release Countdown Day 4

I'm two-for-two so far in my quest to create something for each day of the March countdown (thanks so much for all of the kind comments yesterday, by the way.) I'm calling that a win.


Today, I repurposed the new Window Die-namics to create this grid design. I backed the grid with acetate, filled it with paper-punched confetti, and added a vellum back to the pocket so that those pops of color would be visible from the inside as well. The sentiments that I added to the front are from the Free with $60 Die-namics - Happy Trio (you'll see those later in the countdown.)


On the inside, I stamped a sentiment from the Totally Happy stamp set - I'll be using that one a TON.

You can see everything that is being debuted today, and for the remaining three days, on the MFT blog. There are some fantastic new pet-themed products that animal lovers will find irresistible. Be sure to leave a comment if you'd like to be entered into the random drawing for the daily $75 voucher!


2.27.2015

MFT March Release Countdown Day 5

So, I've been working for My Favorite Things now for well over a year now (!) and though I've dabbled with the products and card-making in general, I've struggled with finding the time to actually make stuff. Every month, I see the new goodies, get all excited about playing with them, and then promptly run up against the next new month of new designs. Where does the time go?


This month, I've decided, is THE MONTH that I will change things and actually attempt to play along for each day of the countdown. Be gentle, I'm a scrapbooker first and a card maker-in-training.

For this card, I started with the new Blueprints 23. The Blueprints line is awesome because each includes four sketches for assembling cards with the included pieces. I began by selecting one of the sketches, and die cut a few of the elements. Where the sketch had a trio of holes down the center panel (easy to create with the three-holed die that is included!) I used the Circle Scribble Flowers Die-namics to cut the shapes, inlaying those die-cut Scribbles within the holes. A couple of stamped and die-cut leaves, the stamped sentiment, and I was done! I'll be honest, trying to take a photo (why is this so much harder than with a layout?) may have taken longer than assembling the card.

You can see everything that is being debuted today, and for the next four days, on the MFT blog. If you like what you see, make sure to leave a comment as they are awesome and give away a $75 voucher for every day of the countdown.



2.03.2015

Listen to Your Parents


Zack seems impressed, right?

I've had an idea for this canvas for awhile but as I am woefully ill-equipped to actually create "art" I put it off for a long time. The canvas had been in my basement for a couple of months so finally, I just hung it on the wall blank with the thinking that staring at it on a daily basis would motivate me to actually complete the project. The day after I hung it, I pulled it back down and painted it (hint: don't hide those in-progress projects until you're ready to do them. Force yourself to confront them until you knock them out or, just as acceptable, decide to forgo them altogether.)

The painting isn't perfect. It's not big enough for the space. It emphasizes how off-center our couch is (I could fix that but it would entail moving a cabinet in order to move a rug in order to move the couch and sometimes, imperfection is fine.) But I honestly love it anyway. I did it as a reminder for the kids, sure, but how much does it really mean to them? Mostly, I did it as a reminder to myself...that they are always listening, always observing...even when all evidence points to the contrary. It's a reminder I need sometimes.

I had a couple of people inquire about the design so I saved it as a digital version as well in case you need a reminder of your own. You can grab an 8" x 10" printable from my etsy shop, or, download a 3" x 4" card right here.



I think an entire collection of Words of Wisdom cards might be in the works. Any suggestions? If I use yours, I'll send you the whole set when I'm done creating them. Collaboration works, friends :)

11.15.2014

2015 Five by Seven Calendars

I had a request to create a 5 x 7 calendar in horizontal and vertical formats that included all of the months in a single image. It was pretty simple since I had all of the bones created already for the individual calendar pages included in the 2015 Five by Seven set in my shop so I thought I'd share these here for anyone to grab and use :) Click the image to download - enjoy!

9.22.2014

Five years later...

In July, we went to the UP for a week with my parents. We managed to find the exact same spot I took one of my favorite photos ever. I wish I would have brought the original for reference but I think it's pretty clear the boys have grown a bit since then.


What surprised me was their willingness, their gusto, in taking the redux version. These photos and memories mean as much to them as they do to me. How cool is that?

9.15.2014

Blog Tour

Last week, I was tagged by the incredible Melanie to participate in a blog hop spotlighting our favorite scrapbookers. I said yes because I can't turn her down and I've been itching to get back into a blogging routine now that the kids are back in school!

1. What am I working on right now?
Too much and not enough. I'm bouncing from project to project but not finishing anything. I have multiple things in the works for my etsy shop that may or may not ever see the light of day. Personally, I'm on my third year of project life. I haven't finished a year yet...sigh. I've said it before (and was totally wrong) but I think this year, I have a laid-back system I can stick with. I still love creating traditional pages though and am struggling trying to figure out how I want to balance the two.


2. How long does it take me to create a project?
A layout? Usually two to three hours. I was much faster when I was strictly text and paper but now that I occasionally add some bits and bobs, the fiddling adds considerable time. I've been doing some card making recently (using the scraps from a layout) and that takes 30-60 minutes. I am building a nice stash to gift to my grandma at Christmas though - she's a card sending fool :)

3. What are my favorite things to create with at the moment?
Still paper. It will forever and always be paper. 75% card stock, please. Since I've started working for My Favorite Things, I've been doing LOTS of die cutting too though and even though I will never give up hand cutting, those nifty little dies do make quick work of neat little elements (and make those mass-production projects a lot more enjoyable! Halloween treats in the works...)

4. How does my writing/creating process work?
It doesn't work very well anymore. Back when it was working, it worked because I did it every single day. I drew sketches. I jotted down layout ideas. I wrote journaling...long, meaningful, expansive journaling. There was a time, a long time actually, that I was making a new layout daily. I know I'll never get back to that point but one or two a week sure would be nice. When it worked, I would look at my sketches, my photos, my journaling, and mix-and-match them all together until I had something that worked. Late nights nursing are wonderful for this kind of work. I'll never have those nights back though so I need to figure out what will fill that gap for me now.

5. How do I become inspired and stay inspired?
By working at it. The more consistently I push through the "dry" times, the more productive I am. I go back and look at the pages I've ripped from magazines, things I've pinned...the oldest stuff is the most inspiring so I always scroll to the end and work up to the newer stuff. Right now, I'm not inspired - I'm pushing though!

6. What is my signature style?
At one time, it was clean, graphic, heavily influenced by type, and journaling-centered. Now, I'm not so sure I have a signature style. Once upon a time, I think my work was recognizable - friends could pick it out of a gallery without looking at the name. Now, it's just random. And that's OK as long as I'm happy with the finished project. It's a process.

Does it seem like I'm longing for the good old days? I totally am. I've been trying so hard lately to get back to that time but the golden days, for me, took awhile to achieve. I need to remind myself of that *now.* Simply answering these questions has me more focused though - ready to work, consistently, on re-discovering that sweet spot.
___________________________

Melanie is undoubtedly one of my favorites for her clean, graphic layouts full of meaning (and have you SEEN her photography?!?) I can't choose her though (sad face) and two other favorites have already been chosen (I clearly have excellent taste) but I feel exceptionally lucky to be tagging the person I am today. Elizabeth inspires me by the way she thinks about journaling in new and interesting ways. I love the way she applies design principals in completely unique ways. She's killer at iPhonography. And she should share more scrapbooking on her blog ;)

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