Friday, March 29, 2013

Aloha Friday - Catching Up

It has been FOREVER since I've updated the Aloha Friday posts.  Both the kids are napping so we'll see how much I can put together before forcing myself to click "publish."  So here are some photos of what we've been up to these past few weeks.  I'll leave it to mostly UNEDITED photos and little commentary because...eek, there aren't enough hours in the day!!!

1.  Makua Beach and Kaneana Cave.  We drove along the west coast of Oahu and fell in love with the amazingly peaceful and gorgeous beach at the end of the highway.  Literally...end of the road. 

And here are some photos of Benjamin in the back seat on our way back home.  What a ham!!

2.  Diamond Head.  The entire family FINALLY hiked diamond head.  I carried Benjamin in the baby carrier while Justin carried Charlotte in the Kelty backpack.  While Charlotte slept the entire time on our way up, she walked down all by herself.

A seriously stunning view at the top...

Charlotte LOVED sitting in that backpack!


3.  Waimea Valley.  You have to pay to enter the valley but the path to the waterfall is totally paved and stroller friendly.  There were also beautiful gardens to visit along the way.  

Charlotte had fun (in the beginning) trying to identify the birds.


4.  The Punchbowl - The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.  I'm a sucker for war memorials and monuments.  I studied them in college and graduate school and the topic of memory and commemoration continue to fascinate me.  The Punchbowl was a must see on our Hawaii bucket list and it definitely did not dissapoint.  And the view of the city is pretty spectualar too.

This quote is from a letter written by Abraham Lincoln to a mother who lost four of her sons in the Civil War.  Reading it gives me goosebumps every single time.

The memorial also incorporates these gorgeous mosaics of the Pacific battles. This mosaic of the Vietnam War was dedicated in 2012.

Peek a boo!

Okay, that's it for now!!  As always, thanks for stopping by!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Xyron and Imaginisce Blog Hop


Welcome to the final day of the Xyron and Imaginisce Blog Hop!  I cannot even begin to tell you how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE Imaginisce.  Their designs are always so cute and bright which is totally my vibe.  And their sticker and chipboard stackers always make embellishing any type of project a breeze!

For this blog hop, I got to play with goodies from the Childhood Memories Collection to create two scrapbook layouts and two altered frames.  With the awesomeness which is Xyron, all of these projects came together so easily.  And...if you make it all the way to the bottom of this post, I promise you an AWESOME GIVEAWAY!!!!

1.  Altered Picture Frame {a tutorial}.  

Using a Xyron machine (in my case, the Xyron Creatopia) is probably the fastest and easiest way to cover any picture frame.  Coupled with the awesome stickers by Imaginisce, you can create the most adorable frame perfect for any home.

For your supplies, you will need an unfinished picture frame,

...the Xyron Creatopia with Permanent Adhesive,

...Imaginisce Patterned Paper (Childhood Memories), Imaginisce Chipboard Stackers, Craft Knife.

Run your picture frame through the Xyron Creatopia.  Remember to place the front of the picture frame facing DOWN.  Also, remember to adjust the rollers to "2" or "3" to allow for the thick frame.

Remove the plastic and then the frame from the backing paper.  Place the frame sticky side down onto the BACK SIDE of your patterned paper.  Press down firmly to make sure the adhesive is secure.  Then, using a craft knife, cut off the excess paper.

You know have a beautfiully covered picture frame.  (Does anyone else get the humor in covering an unfinished wood frame with a wood grain paper??!?!)

Next, you embellish the frame with the Imaginisce chipboard stackers.

And now you have a beautiful, class, clean and simple picture frame ready for all your photos.

Supplies:  Patterned Paper and Chipboard Stickers (Imaginisce - Childhood Memories); Xyron Creatopia with Permanent Adhesive; Martha Stewart Craft Knife; Ikea Unfinished Frame.

It was so easy, that I created a second frame just to use that adorable banner sentiment, "Just be Little."

2.  Hopscotch Memories {a scrapbook layout}.  When planning a scrapbook layout, I am often inspired by the product itself.  While working with the Childhood Memories collection, I was drawn to the hopscotch image.  Maybe it was because I loved playing that as a child or that my daughter has a hopscotch rug in her bedroom.  Regardless, I really wanted to mimic the look of a hopscotch board on the blacktop surrounded by chalk drawings.  This is what I came up with.

Supplies: Patterned Paper (Imaginisce - Childhood Memories); Chalkboard Paper (DCWV); Stickers (Imaginisce - Childhood Memories); Stamps (Imaginisce - Childhood Memories, Scenic Route); Ink (Versamark); Embossing Powder (Hampton Arts); Brads (Oriental Trading Company); Adhesive (Xyron Mega Runner, DIY Foam Tape); Other Tools (Photoshop CS5, Heat Gun by Darice, Fiskars Stamp Press).

For my background paper, I used chalkboard paper from DCVW and stamped images throughout using versamark ink and white embossing powder.

The photo collage is meant to look like a hopscotch board.  I created the collage in photoshop, printed it out on my printer, and simply cut it out with my scissors.

At this point, it was just a matter of layering on some patterned paper (which I cut into banner strips) behind the photo collage and embellishing with the Imaginisce stickers and color coordinating brads.

And how fun is that, right?!?  Here are some closeups...

3.  Forever Young Friends {a scrapbook layout}.  Finally, here is a layout I created inspired by the Polaroid paper in the collection. 

Supplies:  Patterned Paper (Imaginisce - Childhood Memories); Cardstock (Neena Paper); Stickers (Imaginisce - Childhood Memories); Stamps (Lawn Fawn); Ink (Memento, Ranger, American Crafts, Uni-ball); Adhesive (Xyron Mega Runner, DIY Foam Tape).

Make sure to visit the Xyron and Imaginisce blogs for more inspiration!!! Both blogs will be featuring giveaways throughout the week!

Now, here are the details for my own personal giveaway.

XYRON CREATOPIA GIVEAWAY!!!  So, I accidentally ordered a second Xyron Creatopia when I meant to just order refills.  DOH!  Don't ask me how.  Sigh.  However, you are totally going to gain from my HUGE mistake.  Get this.  I am going to be giving away a XYRON CREATOPIA preloaded with permanent adhesive.  Did you hear me??  YOU CAN WIN A FREE XYRON CREATOPIA!!!  You want one?  You should because it's pretty awesome.  How can you win?

Make sure you are "following" my blog and leave a comment by April 7 at 12:00 AM PST and I will randomly pick a winner.  To get an additional entry, you can "like" my facebook page and leave a comment to let me know!  Because of the large size of the prize, I am only opening this to US residents.

Best of luck to everyone and as always, thanks for stopping by!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sweet Stamp Shop - Designer Spotlight

I am so ridiculously excited to be guest designing with the Sweet Stamp Shop this month.  In addition to the layouts I showcased in this blog post, I also made some cards using the same Calendar and Today Was stamp sets.

1.  UR So Special {a card featuring "Today Was" by the Sweet Stamp Shop.  For this stamp, I wanted to use the grid portion of the journal card stamp with a negative mask.  I also used the "special" sentiment together with some letter stickers for the sentiment.  Plastic sequins adhered using my Xyron 1.5" Create a Sticker completed the card perfectly.

Supplies:  Stamps (Sweet Stamp Shop - Today Was); Adhesives (Xyron 1.5" Create-a-Sticker, Xyron Creatopia - Repositional Adhesive); Letter Stickers (American Crafts, October Afternoon); Sequins (Doodlebug); Paper Punches (We R Memory Keepers, EK Success); Cardstock (Neena Paper).

2.  July Congratulations {a card featuring "Calendar" by the Sweet Stamp Shop}.  For this card, I wanted to use the calendar stamp to mark the recipient's actual birthday.

Supplies:  Stamps (Sweet Stamp Shop - Calendar); Adhesives (Xyron Mega Runner, DIY Foam Tape); Patterned Paper and Embellishments (October Afternoon - Sidewalks).

If you haven't already, make sure you head over to the Sweet Stamp Shop Blog to see all the fantastic March releases and the awesome projects the design team has created!  Nicole, thank you so much for this amazing opportunity to work with you, your company, and ever so talented crafty colleagues.  I am honored. 

As always, thanks for stopping by!!!
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