Friday, September 28, 2012

Big Picture Class Giveaway Winner!!

And the winner for a spot in the Big Picture Class taught by Tracey Clark, Picture Color, is...

You are an amazing woman Van! It is no wonder that your sweet baby boy is as strong as he is. Blessings to your sweet family and welcome the world baby Ben!

Congratulations, Melissa!!!!  I'll message you with the prize details!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Xyron and Globecraft Memories Blog Hop

It's time for another Xyron blog hop!  This week, Xyron is partnering with Globecraft Memories & Piccolo to feature their Card Decor Sets, raw bookboard pieces for decorating with powders, gels, glitter, ink, paints and more!  I worked with the Decor Style #9 set and made these two cards (and have plans to use the rest of the pieces to make an additional 4 cards)!

1.  Friendship Card.  I need to make a lot of thank you and friendship cards to express our family's gratitude for all the generosity and love we've received since Benjamin's arrival.  For this card, I covered a Piccolo book board piece with a variety of Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists, Clearsnap Smooch Spritz, October Afternoon Sprinklers, and Fresh Ink Pigment Ink.  I wanted it to the match the pink in my patterned paper while also looking slightly distressed.  

Supplies:  Embellishments by Piccolo (Decor Style #9); Patterned Paper (Studio Calico and Crate Paper); Ribbon by American Crafts; Stamp by Lawn Fawn; Inks and Sprays (Fresh Ink, October Afternoon, Clearsnaps Smooch Spritz, Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists); Punches (We R Memory Keepers, Fiskars); Adhesives (Xyron Mega Runner, Xyron 1.5" Sticker Maker).
2.  In Love with You Card.  I'm not a huge fan of flourishes and overly ornate things in general.  But I found that pairing two of the flourishes in the kit made the most adorable little heart.  So I covered the delicate pieces with Versamark Ink and then embossed it with Martha Stewart red embossing powder to make the main embellishment for this card.  

Supplies:   Embellishments by Piccolo (Decor Style #9); Patterned Paper (Studio Calico, Crate Paper); Washi Tape by American Crafts; Absolutely Die by Simon Says Stamps; Stamp by Simon Says Stamps; Embossing Poweder by Martha Stewart Crafts; Inks and Pens (Uni-ball, Memento); Brads by Oriental Trading Company); Corner Rounder by We R Memory Keepers; Adhesives (Xyron Mega Runner, Xyron 1.5" Sticker Maker; Homemade Foam Adhesive using Craft Foam and Xyron 5" Creative Station).
I had so much fun working with the Piccolo card decor sets and can't wait to use up the rest of the pieces to make some more cards.  Make sure you head over to the Xyron Blog and Globecraft Memories Blog for more inspiration and ideas from our design teams.  

As always, thanks for stopping by!  

**Both cards were made using papers and embellishments from my September Counterfeit Kit.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wedding Cards!

I don't know what it is about August and September, but we had FIVE weddings these past two months!  Sadly, we were unable to attend any of the celebrations.  It was in my third trimester and thank goodness we decided not to travel since, as you know, Benjamin arrived much earlier than expected.  I have no idea how I would have survived if I had gone into labor in San Francisco or Orlando!  At least when Charlotte was born in Flagstaff, I had Justin with me.  :)

Anyways, I wanted to share with you the wedding cards I made featuring amazing products by Xyron, Cloud 9 Design by Colorbok and Spellbinders.

1.  Xyron and Cloud 9 Wedding Cards.  Xyron recently partnered up with Cloud 9 to feature some of their new patterned paper and fabric flower embellishments.  You can check out more projects by the Xyron Design Team on Xyron's facebook page.

Supplies include: Colorbök Cloud 9 Patterned Paper, Neena Paper Cardstock, Cloud 9 Flower Embellishments, We R Memory KeepersSew Easy and Floss, Lifestyle Crafts Embossing Folder, Paper Smooches Stamps, Xyron Mega Runner, Xyron 5" Creative Station.
Supplies include:Cloud 9 Patterned Paper, Neena Paper Cardstock,Colorbök Cloud 9 Flower Embellishments, Lawn Fawn Stamps, Martha Stewart Punch, Glossy Accents, Stickles, Xyron 1.5" Create-a-Sticker, Xyron Mega Runner, Xyron 5" Creative Station, Copic Markers.
Supplies include: Colorbök Cloud 9 Patterned Paper, Cloud 9 Fabric Flower Embellishments, Neena Paper Cardstock, Lawn Fawn Stamps, Copic Markers, Gloss Accents, Homemade Foam Tape, Xyron Mega Runner, Martha Stewart Score Board.
Supplies include: Colorbök Cloud 9 Patterned Paper, Cloud 9 Fabric Flower Embellishments, Neena Paper Cardstock, Lawn Fawn Stamps, Copic Markers, Gloss Accents, Homemade Foam Tape, Xyron Mega Runner, Martha Stewart Score Board.

2.  Xyron and Spellbinders.  Some other cards I made featuring Xyron and Spellbinders can be found on this blog post.  And other projects by the Xyron Design Team are found here.  But this is a wedding card I made using the Spellbinders fold and tuck dies.  SO FUN!!!!  

Supplies include: Dies (Spellbinders Paper Arts Shapeabilities - Round About, Ribbon Banners); Patterned Paper ( My Mind's Eye); Cardstock (Neena Paper); Sprays, Masks, Inks (Studio Calico, Memento); Buttons (Basic Grey); Stamps (Lawn Fawn); Adhesives (Xyron Mega Runner, Xyron 5" Creative Station, Homemade Foam Tape, Glossy Accents); Big Shot; We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Xyron and Clearsnaps Blog Hop


I'm so excited that Xyron and Clearsnap are teaming up this entire week to showcase amazing products from both companies!!  I've been using Clearsnap products since before I even started scrapbooking.  They manufacture, among many other things, Colorbox inks which were some of the first stamp pads I ever purchased!  In fact, when I started getting into scrapbooking about three years ago, I bought a lot of Colorbox Cat Eye Queues which are still working perfectly today!

1.  Meeting the Yellow Princess {a scrapbook layout}.  This first project is a layout featuring a photo of me and my daughter with Belle.  Since she hasn't seen any of the Disney princess movies except for Tangled (which she is obsessed with by the way), all of the princesses are known simply by their color.  Cinderella is the blue princess.  Aurora is the pink princess.  Belle is the yellow princess.  Hey, at least she knows her colors, right?  :)

Supplies:  Inks and Sprays (Clearsnaps Colorbox Pigment Ink and Chalk Ink Cat Eye Queues, Smooch Spritz in Gold Glow, Memento Ink); EK Success BrusH20 Pen; Stamps (My Cute Stamps, Lawn Fawn); Patterned Paper (Authentique, Studio Calico); Die Cuts and Embellishments (Authentique, Studio Caclico, Crate Paper, Sassafras, Ormolu); Ribbon and Paper Trip (American Crafts, Studio Calico); Dies and Punches (Lifestyle Crafts, EK Success), Letter Stickers (American Crafts, Studio Calico), Adhesives (Xyron Mega Runner, Xyron 1.5" Create-a-Sticker, Homemade Foam Tape using Craft Foam and Xyron 5" Creative Station).
One of the most obvious ways of using the Clearsnap Colorbox Inks is to apply the ink directly to paper.  I did that here with a small subtitle, "may all your dreams come true," a sentiment from the Lawn Fawn Critters Ever After stamp set.

Next, I used the inks together with a water pen to color in stamped images for my page.  The adorable dragon is from the same Lawn Fawn set while the castle and Fairy Princess are from My Cute Stamps Make a Wish set.  (Enabler alert - all of the stamp sets from My Cute Stamps are currently 50% off.  I bought A LOT a few months back and it looks like they still have a decent selection available.)

And finally I sprayed some Clearsnap Smooch Spritz directly onto my page for some additional shine.  I also painted on some of the spray over the yellow areas on the stamped images (i.e. the fairy princess' dress and the castle windows) and randomly throughout the page for some additional sparkle.  While these photos don't really show it, in real life, it really adds a lovely touch.  

2.  Happy Birthday Card.  For my second project, I made this super cute card for my best friend and college roommate.  You know that she's my best friend because instead of sending a card or baby clothes after Ben was born, she sent me three bags of bagels from Zabars, my favorite bagel place in New York City.  :)  Love her.

Supplies:  Inks and Sprays (Clearsnap Colorbox Pigment Ink Cat Eye Queues, Tim Holtz Distress Inks); Stamps (Lawn Fawn, Paper Smooches); Patterned Paper and Chipboard Buttons (Studio Calico); EK Success Border Punch; Twine by Twinery; Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher; Thickers by American Crafts; Adhesives (Xyron Mega Runner, Homemade Foam Tape using Craft Foam and Xyron 5" Creative Station).
This card showcases the variety of colors that the Clearsnap Colorbox inks come in.  I can easily find the ink colors I want by simply rummaging through my many (or few...depending on who you are) Clearsnap Colorbox Ink Cat Eye Queues.  Using stamps from Lawn Fawn and Paper Smooches, I created the happy birthday patterned paper which serves as the anchor to my card's design.  And here is a closeup.

Make sure you head over to the Xyron Blog and Clearsnap Blog for more inspiration and ideas from our design teams.  And if you haven't already, make sure to "like" Xyon and Clearsnap on facebook!

Both projects were made using papers and embellishments from my September Counterfeit Kit.  And remember that there is still time to enter the giveaway for a free seat in a Big Picture Class taught by Tracey Clark, Picture Color.  Just make sure to "follow" my blog and leave a comment on this post.  

As always, thanks for stopping by!  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Take 12 Project - September 12

In last month's Take Twelve layout, we said goodbye to Justin before he left on deployment.  While our family had already been separated for a few months because of Justin's training schedule, his deployment overseas brought a whole new set of fears and challenges for our family.  But I know that he was eager to get to sea, which he absolutely loves.  

This September, the 12th fell on a day dictated by a new routine for our little family.  September has presented new challenges and blessings which have forever changed our lives.  On September 7 at 11:50 pm, we welcomed into the world our beautiful baby boy, Benjamin.  He weighed 3 pounds, 3 ounces and was 16.75 inches long.  His gestational age at birthday was 30 weeks plus 6 days.  

Ben thankfully had a strong cry right out of the gate.  My sister was able to snap this photo of him before the doctors and nurses brought him down to the NICU.
Part of me feels like I jinxed myself celebrating 30 plus one not so long ago.  But I know that there is so much to be grateful for.  Baby Ben got almost an entire week longer than Charlotte did in the womb.  I was able to get 4 hours worth of steroids (to help with Ben's lung development) before I delivered.  And even though Justin was not there, I did get to speak with him both before and after the delivery.  My sister was also at my bedside during delivery.

Talking to Justin after delivery.  
Ben is currently in the NICU and being cared for by an amazing team of nurses, corpsmen and doctors.  It is the same NICU that took care of Charlotte once she was transported from Arizona to California almost three years ago.  Right after I delivered, the attending neonatologist (who was also there when Charlotte was at the NICU) said to me, "You make strong preemies."  Sigh...

My favorite photo of Benjamin to date.  Taken on September 13 after his oxygen tubes were taken off, with his IV hiding behind his head, and his light mask off.
So on September 12, my photos reflect this new reality of constantly pumping, household chores, parenting Charlotte, visiting Ben in the NICU, and trying to keep some sense of routine and normalcy for our family...on my own, without Justin.  I know that I am strong enough to do get through the days and take care of our children.  But there are moments, especially when I'm driving back and forth from the hospital on my own, that I cry and am dumbfounded that here we are again.  In the NICU.  With a preemie.  I honestly and genuinely thought that I would carry this baby full term.  But it just wasn't meant to be.  And this time around, even though I am surrounded by the familiarity of the hospital, many of the same amazing nurses, and an understanding of what to expect as Ben continues to grow, I don't have my husband's shoulder to cry on.  And this entire experience, by the time Justin comes home, will only be mine and he won't be here for any of it.  

I am exceedingly grateful for what we have and am overjoyed by our new baby boy.  However, there are fleeting moments during the day or in the middle of the night where I feel that I am left chasing for rainbows in what sometimes feels like a rainstorm.  But I know that there are rainbows out there.  I just have to keep my head held high and be strong.  

Here is my layout for this month:

Supplies:  Patterned Paper, Cardstock, Stickers, Thickers by American Crafts; Punches (EK Succes, Martha Stewart Crafts; Stamps (Studio Calico, Technique Tuesday); Twine (Twinery); Epoxy Sticker (Epiphany Crafts); Xyron Mega Runner; Homemade Foam Tape.

The inspiration for the title came from here.  

For the photo page, I simply created a 12 photo collage in Picassa and printed it as a 8x10 photo on my home printer.  

And here is a close up of the September 12 subtitle area.  

Play Along.  If you are playing along this month, make sure to upload your Take 12 layout to your blog or any photo-sharing service, then link it up to this blog post by midnight EST, September 18 for a chance to win a spot in this year's Big Picture Classes Boot Camp!  

Also, as some of you may already know, Ella Publishing Co. is now a part of the Big Picture Classes family!  Big Picture Classes is the leading online education program for creative classes worldwide.  Their focus is to teach inspiration-based scrapbooking while making the creative process of scrapbooking fun and easy for everyone.  

GIVEAWAY!!  To celebrate the new relationship between Ella Publishing Co. and Big Picture Classes, I will also be hosting a giveaway - a seat in a Big Picture Class taught by Tracey Clark, Picture Color.  This is a 30 day self-paced course that will encourage you to turn your lens towards the colors that delight you the most.  To enter my giveaway, make sure that you "follow" the blog and leave a comment on this post.  I will draw a name and announce a winner on Sunday, September 22.  

To our friends and family, thank you for your constant prayers and words of congratulations and comfort.  And to everyone else, as always, thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lawnscaping Challenge #41 - Cards using Spellbinders Nestabilities

So I've been stalking the Lawnscaping Challenge Blog for some time now and am always in awe of the gorgeousness that my dear friend and stamper extraordinaire, Jennifer McDermott, always creates for the them.  Since this week's challenge was a super simple card sketch, I didn't have much of an excuse to not play along.

I used my Spellbinders Nestabilities dies to create a frame for my stamping.  I especially love how Spellbinders dies can both cut and emboss, something that even my beloved Silhouette Cameo can't do.  I think that adds just another level of sophistication.  So here are the two cards I made using primarily papers and elements from my September Counterfeit Kit.

1.  Flying By Card.  This card uses three different Lawn Fawn sets (Belinda's Borders, Sunny Skies, and Flying By).

Supplies:  Patterned Paper (Studio Calico - Take Note); Cardstock (Neena Paper); Dies (Spellbinders Nestabilities - LG Classic Scalloped Circles, LG Standard Circles); Washi Tape (Martha Stewart Crafts); Stamps (Lawn Fawn); Adhesives (Xyron Mega Runner, Homemade Foam Tape); We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper.

2.  Note of Thanks.  I've found that some of the larger Lawn Fawn sentiments, like this one from Many Thanks, fit perfectly in a scalloped circle to make the perfect simple card.

Supplies:  Patterned Paper (Studio Calico - Take Note); Cardstock (Neena Paper); Dies (Spellbinders Nestabilities - LG Classic Scalloped Circles, LG Standard Circles); Border Punch (EK Success - Musical Symphony); Stamps (Lawn Fawn); Adhesives (Xyron Mega Runner, Homemade Foam Tape); We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper.

Make sure to stop by the Lawnscaping Challenge Blog for more details on how you can play along.  You have until September 12 to submit an entry!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Counterfeit Kit Challenge - September 2012 Kit

It has been a long time since I've played along with the Counterfeit Kit Challenge (actually, since I was the January guest designer)!  But I genuinely love the concept and, in looking at my ever growing stash, decided that it was time to play along again.

The inspiration kit for this month is the August Kit by Birds of a Feather.  You can view a photo of that kit and their contents here.  My previous kits have been massive, so much so that I was never able to use everything.  So I have tried to scale it down a bit this time around and here is what I came up with.

Here are some close ups of the patterned paper.  They are from Authentique, October Afternoon, Studio Calico and Crate Paper.  I especially love the B sides and will probably use those more than the busier A sides.

Here are the papers together with some of the stickers and die cuts.  The inspiration kit had a couple of pieces from Studio Calico's Take Note so I went ahead and threw in the entire 6x6 paper pad.  This has already proved super helpful in card making.  The American Crafts thickers are in the chit chat font.  The word stickers/ die cuts/ journaling stickers are from Authentique and Studio Calico.

And here are the embellishments.  In choosing these, I'm more inspired by color and feel than actually trying to exactly mimic the inspiration kit.  So in this lot, we have some chip board pieces from Studio Calico, a number of flowers from Sassafras and American Crafts, twine from the Twinery, Crate Paper Buttons, various tags and bags from Ormolu and Canvas Corps, Washi Tape and ribbon from Studio Calico, American Crafts, and American Crafts.

I also went ahead and pulled out the coordinating ink colors and put them on my desk, hoping that it will inspire me to use my stamps more often.  Can't wait to get crafty this month and see what I can put together with this Counterfeit Kit!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Thirty Plus One

Today is a big day.  

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JUSTIN!!!  While we can't be together to celebrate another year, know that Charlotte and I will be sure to eat lots of ice cream and cake in your honor.  :)

Secondly, we wanted to make a little announcement...

Digital Papers and Elements by Crystal Wilkerson.
I've hesitated announcing this to the blog but since today officially marks 30 weeks plus one day (one whole day longer than Charlotte stayed in my belly), I figured it was the perfect time to let the blogging world in on our little secret.  

Charlotte is already preparing to be the "best big sis" ever.

I'm trying to nest and make pretty things for the baby's nursery.  

Supplies:  Twine by The Twinery, Floss by We R Memory Keepers, Cardstock by American Crafts and Martha Stewart Crafts, Frame from Ikea, Adhesive by Xyron (Creatopia, 5" Creative Station).
And since I know that it's hard for Justin to be away while all of this is happening, I made him this little pillowcase to remind him how much our entire family loves him.  It still amazes me that by the time he gets back from deployment, there will be one more little person to hug and love and welcome him home.  :)

As always, thanks for stopping by!

{More} Catching Up - Digital Projects for Jessica Spraue

I just wanted to share some layouts I recently made for  They highlight some fabulous digital products from Echo Park, Pink Paislee, Carina Gardner and Lori Whitlock.

1.  Paradise Cove at Disney California Adventure.  Before Justin left on deployment, we had a family weekend at Disneyland and it was AWESOME watching how excited Charlotte was.  Here is a layout I made from some photos at Paradise Cove.

Digital Supplies:  Echo Park (Everyday Eclectic); Spendid Fiins (@ the office supplies 1Evidence-polaroid frameslights, camera, action! -vintage set).  Sketch by Jennifer McDermott for (Mid Week Mojo - Pearl 4).

2.  Flying like an Airplane.  Charlotte and I met up with some friends at the Speckles Park in Coronado a few weeks ago and I snapped these adorable photos of her on the swing "flying like an airplane."  

Digital Supplies:  Pink Paislee (Shabby Sugarland); Splendid Fiins (Lights Camera Action - Vintage Set, Wishy Washy - At the Office, Baker's Twine Photo Megapack, @ the Office - Supplies 1).

3.  Our Daughter.  This was a new type of page for me, attempting to extract a photo from it's background.   The background text says "A daughter is the happy memories of the past, the joyful moments of the present, and the hope and promise of the future."  

Digital Supplies:  Pink Paislee (Shabby Sugarland Collection).

4.  You Can Reach for the Stars.  I bought this t-shirt for Charlotte and she couldn't stop giggling every time I read what it said.  The journaling is just a short letter to Charlotte from me.

5.  Sweet Berry Farm.  This is a fall themed layout using products from Lori Whitlock.  I can't believe that it's already September and that fall is already here!  Pumpkins and falling leaves are definitely already on my mind!

Supplies:  Lori Whitlock (Autumn Afternoon, Patriotic Picnic Elements); Design by Dani (Boy Crazy Complete Kit); Sketch by Katrina Hunt for

As always, thanks for stopping by!
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