Monday, December 31, 2012

Take 12 Project - December 12 and a Look Back on 2012

With it being the last day of 2012, it seems like a good time to finally share my December Take 12 Layout.

Digital Supplies: Splendid Fiins (Classic Album Templates).

December 12 was an amazingly happy day.  That was the day that Justin came home to San Diego for the beginning of his Christmas leave (aka vacation).  We had two insane weeks in San Diego together where we celebrated Christmas and Charlotte's birthday, played at Disneyland, mourned my grandfather's death, laughed and cried with both of our families, and packed up the rest of our belongings into A LOT of suitcases before moving to Hawaii just a few days ago.  

I think I've mentioned this before, but being part of the Ella Publishing Take 12 Team has been so rewarding.  Looking through all my layouts, documenting just one day each month, truly did provide an accurate snapshot of my life - from my daily routines as a work-at-home mom to the difficulties of having a premature baby while Justin was on deployment.  I think 2012 might just be one of the hardest years of my life.  But I am so grateful that I now have 12 layouts that document this journey.  

To Elizabeth Dillow and Ella Publishing, thank you so much for the opportunity to be a part of the Ella Publishing family.  It has been an honor.

And because I love seeing all the layouts in one place, here are the rest of my 2012 Take 12 Layouts.

As always, thanks for stopping by!!  Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year and looking forward to new and exciting things for 2013!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Still here...

::knock, knock::

Is anybody there???

Sorry for being MIA these past few weeks.  Between the holidays, Charlotte's birthday, our move to Hawaii, and most unfortunately. the passing of my amazing grandfather, it has been an insane December.  But our little family is finally together now in Hawaii just waiting for just a few more weeks before we can move into our new house.  

There are lots of exciting things coming in 2013!!  But for now, I just wanted to say hi and wish everyone a belated merry holidays and joyous new year!

And here's a shot of the kiddos on Christmas Eve.  :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Creating Keepsakes Publication!!

I'm so excited to share that one of my layouts is published in the online edition of Creating Keepsakes!!  Make sure to check it out along with a really interesting article on how to incorporate yarn into your projects!

The published layout features photos of Justin and Charlotte strung across a flat wreath form covered in yarn.  The Xyron creatopia made adhering the yarn elements onto my layout a breeze.

Supplies:  Patterned Paper/ Stickers/ Die Cuts (Authentique Paper); Dies (Spellbinders); Punches (Fiskars, EK Success); Paper Clips (Paper Source); Mists/ Inks (Studio Calico; Tim Holtz); Digital Elements (LIV.E Designs); Adhesives (Xyron Creatopia, Xyron Mega Runner, Xyron 1.5" Sticker Maker); Yarn (Red Lion).

I love incorporating digital elements (like the Polaroids from LIV.E Designs) into my paper layouts.

And these rolled flowers made using Spellbinders dies really helped to complete the layout.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Xyron and Basically Bare Blog Hop - Christmas Activity Book

Today I get to share with you this adorable Christmas activity book I made for Charlotte using some awesome products featuring Xyron and Basically Bare!

I started with a fantastic album with a gate fold cover and lots of different types of pages inside - cardboard, canvas, even a plastic page (which I sadly melted trying to emboss some snowflakes...yes, an obvious duh moment at 3 am).  :)  This project also reflects my attempt to use up my massive Christmas stash with older papers and embellishments from a number of companies.  So without further ado, here goes.

Here is the book cover.  I used my Xyron 5" Creative Station to cover almost all of the pages in the book.  (I would have used my Creatopia but it's on a barge somewhere in the Pacific Ocean headed to Hawaii.)  But it worked beautifully.

Since the cover was a gatefold and I wanted it to stay closed when not in use, I just added some velcro to the backside of the circle scallop to create a faux clasp.

For the first page, I created this stocking stuffer game for Charlotte.  Inside the library pockets are some cards with numbers.  Whatever number she draws is the number of candy canes she needs to put in the stocking.  To make sure that the game pieces would last, I laminated them using my Xyron 5" Creative Station again.

For this library pocket, I just simply embellished it with a chipboard piece that I ran through my Xyron machine and filled it with some festive Jenni Bowlin Studios digital files that I printed on Kraft cardstock.

On the canvas page, I stamped a number of pine branches from a Lawn Fawn (Ornate Ornaments) set using my Faber Castell PITT artist pen big brush.  I then stamped, colored, cut, and laminated a number of different ornaments and pine cones (from the same Lawn Fawn stamp set).

I then attached some velcro throughout the tree and on the ornaments so that Charlotte could decorate the tree as she pleased by just mixing up the pieces.  (I think that the Xyron magnet tape would work just as well - but again, my tape is on a barge somewhere headed to Hawaii.)  TIP: I noticed that the velcro I bought kept sliding off of the laminated pieces so consider using a hot glue gun or stronger adhesive to attach the velcro to laminated pieces.

In this little cute envelope, I just put in the extra candy canes, ornaments and cards from the various games in the book.

And for the last page, I made a matching game by stamping a number of different holiday images and then covering them with laminated presents that have velcro in the back.

Supplies:  Basically Bare Album, Patterned Paper (My Mind's Eye); Cardstock (Neena Paper); Stickers and Embellishments (My Mind's Eye, Imaginesce, Crate Paper, Echo Park, American Crafts); Stamps (Lawn Fawn, Paper Smooches, Chicken Girl Designs, Technique Tuesday; Inks/ Pens (Derwent, Copics, Tsukineko, Faber Castell, Uni-ball, American Crafts; Digital Elements (Designs by Dani, Jenni Bowlin Studios); American Crafts Knock Out Punches; Adhesives (Xyron Mega Runner, Xyron 5" Creative Station; Xyron 1.5" Sticker Maker); Other (Silhouette Cameo, Photoshop CS5, HP Printer, Craft Foam by Creatology).

Make sure that you head over to the Xyron blog for more awesome projects all week featuring Xyron and Basically Bare!  As always, thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Days 12 - 25; Project Life Weeks 46 and 47

Well, my 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge has instead morphed into incorporating a list of 30 things I am grateful for into my project life layouts (and I'm totally fine with that).

1.  Week 46.  Not too much excitement happening at home, especially with Benjamin being so small.  However, there was lots of crafting going on for both Xyron and preparations for Charlotte's Rapunzel birthday party!

2.  Week 47.  Thanksgiving was clearly the highlight of the week and amazingly enough, I didn't take any photos.  However, I did get some cute photos of Dad with Benjamin after dinner.  With Justin being gone, the holidays seem more bittersweet than anything.  We miss him so much.  I think we're going to have to redo Thanksgiving once we get settled in Hawaii...

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Catching up with Project Life; 30 Days of Gratitude - Day 11.

So I am now determined to finish my Project Life 2012 digitally and get everything printed and bound in a beautiful book.  I'm serious.  I mean it.  But, um, I'm just a tad bit behind.  And when I say behind, I mean that I still have to document the middle of March through the end of October.  But I can do it, right???  Just wanted to share some pages towards that endeavor.  But just think how awesome it's going to be when I take a photo of me with a beautiful bound album of all our 2012 memories.  You just wait.  I'm so going to do this.  :)

1.  Week 44 (First Half).  The highlight of this layout was definitely Halloween.  Charlotte has been telling everyone that she was going to be a monkey ballerina for MONTHS!!  Click here to see Week 44 (Second Half).

2.  Week 45.  Big events this week were saying goodbye to Justin (again), Charlotte's lantern walk at school, and Benjamin's two month birthday!!!  

3.  30 Days of Gratitude - Day 11.  I didn't include a photo for my Day 11 journaling.  I won't lie, after this week, it was hard for me to keep up with the 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge and I found myself trying to remember what I was grateful for in retrospect.  But I still think it's definitely worth following through.  But, as I noted in my layout above, for Day 11, I am thankful for military wives.  Despite the obstacles that life seems to throw at us, we continue to persevere and thrive with the support of each other.  

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Take 12 Project - October 12 and November 12

Since my September Take Twelve post, so much has happened.  Benjamin is home.  Justin came home then left again.  Movers came to pack up our belongings.  Charlotte is getting potty trained.  I still can't believe that Thanksgiving is this Thursday.  For the record, I am cooking/ baking nothing this year.  I'm lucky to sneak in a shower in the morning before the kids are awake (or finish a shower without having to jump out dripping wet because either Benjamin or Charlotte is crying).

While both of these layouts are "late" for posting for the Ella Blog, I wanted to share them with you and keep up with the challenge.  Of all the scrapbooking things I've done this year, this challenge has been one of the most fulfilling.  It truly has been a reflection of our crazy life this year.

Here is my October Take 12 Layout.

Digital Supplies:  Carina Gardner (Photocuts Vol. 6); Design by Dani (Happily Falling); Liv.E Designs (Needs + Wants Stitches Vol. 1).

On this day, Justin spent the morning with Charlotte at Bates Nut Farm to visit the pumpkin patch.  Charlotte had a BLAST!  Before Benjamin was born and all this crazy started, Charlotte told me that Daddy was coming home to take her to the pumpkin patch.  I would gently remind her that Daddy was still on the ship but would be home by Christmas.  Apparently, the joke was on me.  :)

And here is the layout for November 12 with Daddy gone again and Ben finally home.

Digital Supplies: Splendid Fiins (Template 7); Glitz Designs (Yours Truly); Jenni Bowlin Studios (Vintage Stick Pins).

Make sure you visit the Ella Blog to see November 12 layouts created by the other Take 12 Team members!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Twelve Days of Christmas - Xyron/ Faber Castell/ Creative Imaginations Blog Hop

If you're coming here from the Xyron Blog, welcome!  I'm so excited to share with you my gift giving ideas for this awesome blog hop with Xyron, Faber Castell and Creative Imaginations.

1.  Christmas Advent Calendar/ Banner.  So there is a selfish motivation behind this project.  As always, our plans have changed and we will be spending Christmas in San Diego before moving out to Hawaii.  We weren't able to secure housing before the holidays and the idea of spending Christmas and Charlotte's birthday in a hotel room just made me sad.  That being the case, ALL of our Christmas decorations will be in a storage locker somewhere in Honolulu.  However, I refuse to let that stop our family from having a happily decorated "home" (i.e. a few bedrooms in my parent's house), even if everything is made out of paper!!  So here is the Christmas Advent Calendar/ Banner I made for Charlotte (now hanging in the upstairs hallway and ready to be filled with wonderful holiday activities).

Supplies:  Patterned Paper and Stickers (Creative Imaginations); Cardstock (Neena Paper); Die Cuts (Imaginsce); Stamps (Lawn Fawn); Cording and Clothespins (Walmart); Inks/ Pencils/ Colors (Faber Castell PITT Artist Pens Big Brush, Faber Castell PITT Artist Pens; Faber Castell Gelatos; Memento Dye Ink; Versamark; Copics; Embossing Power by Hampton Arts); Adhesives (Xyron Mega Runner; Xyron 5" Creative Station); Digital File by Silhouette; Silhouette Cameo; Heat Embossing Gun.

All of the patterned papers are from the new Creative Imaginations holiday line, Holiday Joy.  I personally adore the traditional Christmas colors and the bit of blue throughout really makes it an absolutely lovely collection.  I cut 24 library card pockets on my Silhouette Cameo using Neena Solar White cardstock and glued them together using my Xyron Mega Runner.  I embellished the front of each pocket with a bit of decorated patterned paper using Lawn Fawn Stamps, stickers from the Holiday Joy collection, and the amazing products I received from Faber Castell.

For some pockets, I used the Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen Big Brush to directly stamp images onto the patterned paper (like this pine branch from the Ornate Ornaments set from Lawn Fawn).

You can use the Faber Castell Gelatos to create beautiful colored backgrounds to enhance embossed stamped images.  For this pocket, I stamped a large snowflake image from Amuse Studios on to patterned paper using Versamark Ink and then embossed it with clear embossing power.  I then colored on a variety of different colors using the Faber Castell Gelatos, rubbed the color around with my finger, and then cleaned off the embossed image using a baby wipe.

The Faber Castel gelatos were also perfect for simply distressing the edges of each pocket.

Additionally, I used the Faber Castell PITT Artist and Brush Pens to directly draw and color some images.  To hang the pockets, I stamped numbers (Lawn Fawn Quinn's Numbers) onto circles and adhered them onto scallop circles (this was done in a snap using my Xyron 5" Creative Station).

These circles were adhered to mini clothespins using the Xyron Mega Runner.  Finally, the large scallop circles at the beginning and end of the banner are shapes cut from my Silhouette Cameo and then adhered together using some DIY Foam Tape.  The Santa and Elf images are just die cuts from the last year's holiday collection from Imaginisce.  To give the circles some more strength, I adhered a piece of cardboard to the back of each circle.  These circles are adhered directly onto the wall using 3M Command Poster Strips.

2.  DIY Library Kit.  As a kid, I remember trying to catalog our entire book collection and making check out cards for each one.  My sister even instituted a library card/ borrowing system!  (I know, we were super cool kids.)  :)  I wanted to make a kit to recreate this creative play for my daughter.  Since her favorite color is purple, these winter themed patterned papers by Christine Adolph for Creative Imaginations were perfect!

Supplies:  Patterned Paper and Die Cuts (Creative Imaginations); Stamps (Lawn Fawn, Office Depot); Inks (Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen Big Brush; Memento Dye Ink); Digital Files (Lori Whitlock, Silhouette, Carina Gardner); Adhesives (Xyron Mega Runner, Xyron 5" Creative Station - Laminating Cartridge); Silhouette Cameo; Photoshop CS5.

Using my Silhouette Cameo, I cut eight library pockets from the patterned paper and adhered them with my Xyron Mega Runner.  I then ran each pocket through my Xyron 5" Creative Station and trimmed the plastic backing around each pocket.  This effectively made each pocket into a sticker that could be directly adhered to the inside of any book.

I then stamped a library card stamp from Lawn Fawn (Check This Out) onto coordinating Creative Imaginations patterned paper and cut it out to slip into each library pocket.

To complete the kit, I paired it with an office date stamp and a library card I made on Photoshop and laminated with my Xyron 5" Creative Station.

Finally, I cut this cute Scallop Favor Box by Lori Whitlock on my Sillhouette Cameo and placed all the cards and stamps inside.  

3.  Fabric Flower Headband.  For my final project, I wanted to showcase how you can use the Faber Castell Gelatos to make your own colored sprays.

Supplies:  Red Fabric Tote; Faber Castell Gelatos; Mini Mister by Ranger; Twinkling H2Os by Creative Imaginations; Adhesive (Xyron 5" Creative Station, Glue Gun); Felt; Elastic Band.

To make the fabric flower, I started with this little red bag that Charlotte got at a birthday party.

I cut the bag apart and ran a large piece (about 24 inches long) through my Xyron 5" Creative Station.

I then cut the fabric into 1 inch wide strips.  After making sure to burnish the fabric really well onto the plastic backing (to make sure that the adhesive transfers onto the fabric), I pulled each fabric strip off its backing and folded it in half lengthwise.  (Note that because this is not the fabric adhesive that you can otherwise get with the Xyron Creatopia, the adhesive may not adhere perfectly to the fabric.)

Each strip will make one fabric flower.  I basically followed this tutorial.  You initially roll the beginning of the strip into a tight roll.  I glued that down onto the center of a fabric circle using a glue gun.  And then just roll and glue the fabric strip until you get a complete flower.

Once the flowers were made, I set them aside to make a red shimmery spray to intensify the red color of the flower.  To make the spray, I colored the bottom of a small plastic container pretty liberally with a red Faber Castell Gelato.

Then I added a bit of water and some Twinkling H2Os in Red Pearl.

Once completed diluted, I poured this mixture into a Mini Mister and saturated my fabric flowers with the spray.

Once completely dry, I sandwiched the flower and a piece of felt onto an elastic headband with a glue gun.  Viola, the perfect headband to match those cute holiday dresses.  Here's a photo of Charlotte wearing hers while making Daddy a present this morning.

Whew!  That must be the LONGEST blog post ever!  But just goes to show much fun you can have when working with some of the best manufacturers in the industry!

As always, thanks for stopping by!!
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