Thursday, May 27, 2010


I am so, so, so excited to share that I will be joining the design team at Noel Mignon!!!!! If you've been a blog reader of mine for a while, you'll know just how much I adore Noel's kits! They are so packed and so fun to work with! Here's a recent layout I made with Noel's "Playdate" kit using patterned paper by My Mind's Eye, Pink Paislee, October Afternoon and Cosmo Cricket. I LOVE how Noel mixes manufacturers. 

I love these photos of Lily. She made these "frowny" faces for several months but no longer does it so I'm glad we captured it on camera. I love that her look is clearly directed at me! :)

Here's a close-up of my title...

And another close-up...

The July kit "Sun-kissed" will go on sale June 5th. Here are the sneak peeks:

More from me soon! I will have a LOT to share over the next month! :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Small Town Illusion

Today I have a new Upsy Daisy Designs layout to share with you using the "A Walk in the Park" collection. One of the many things we love about living where we do is how our neighborhood gives us the feeling of living in a small town, yet we are right in the center of a busy city and have easy access to all the city has to offer. We love taking the girls on walks and these photos are of our first stroller ride. 

All patterned papers are by Upsy Daisy Designs as well as the maroon brad on the tag. Other supplies are Basic Grey chipboard, American Crafts Thickers and rub-ons, Jenni Bowlin button and label, 7gypsies label and My Mind's Eye rhinestones. 

Here's a close-up of my title.

By the way, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the kraft cardstock by Jillibean Soup. It's a darker kraft than Bazzill (which I also love), but I find I'm using it a lot on my layouts. 

And, be sure to stop by Midnight Rooster's new blog for a sketch contest and sneak peeks of the June kit. I'll be able to share my work sneaks with you next Wednesday! 

My husband is off work this week having a little vacation time at home so we're spending a lot of time together as a family and getting some projects done around the house. It's also giving me a little time to myself which has been fun! 

We had a great weekend at my parent's house with a date night and my husband got in some fishing. We were also able to visit with our family. We're trying some "tough love" with the girls this week and trying to let them cry it out more when they go to sleep. It's been difficult to do that before now with their eczema and teething so we're hoping and praying now is a good time to do it! 

I'll have more to share soon!
Have a great day! :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Scrappy Gourmet Sneak Peek!

Today, I have some sneak peeks to share with you of a mini album and layout kit that will be up for sale on June 1st at The Scrappy Gourmet. I used a Clear Scraps 6 x 6 tabbed acrylic album and Maya Road square kraft envelopes to create an "Our Everyday Life" album. I love Ali Edward's concept of a "Week in a Life" but know that would take a lot of dedication and commitment on my part. What I did instead was focus on one single day in our life and documented our everyday routines. I took nearly 150 photos and narrowed them down to 21 that I could use in this album and then journaled about our day. This process was so fun for me and I know I will love to look back at this album when the girls are older. And what makes this album design simple to put together is that all photos are wallet size. Here's just a quick peek at what the album looks like:

And here's a couple peeks at the one-page layout I created to go along with the kit:

Be sure to watch my blog for more information on when this kit becomes available for sale at The Scrappy Gourmet. The kit will come with instructions and images will be available in The Scrappy Gourmet's gallery. The main patterned paper and embellishment collection I used for this kit was Lily Bee "Lovely" along with patterned papers by Jenni Bowlin and 7gypsies. It's bright, fun and vintage AND perfect if you have boys OR girls in your life. What I love about the "Our Everyday Life" concept is that ANYONE can do this album no matter where you are in your life. 

Have a great weekend everyone! :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Crate Paper: Card Sketch Challenge

Be sure and stop by the Crate Paper blog today to see beautiful card inspiration from several blog contributors. We were given this sketch to work with:

Give it a try yourself and link up your creation on the Crate blog for the chance to win two Crate Paper collections.

I used the Paper Doll collection for my contribution. The patterned paper, turquoise flower sticker and "Someone Loves You" rub-on are all by Crate Paper. Additional supplies used include Jillibean Soup cardstock, Making Memories notebook paper (the pink scallop), American Crafts ribbon, Jenni Bowlin button, Melissa Frances rhinestone and twine.

Here's a close-up of the texture and dimension on this card.

I have been so busy creating lately but it's nothing I can share yet! A lot of projects for design team work and some just for myself that I'll share in the next month. The girls and I have been soaking up this beautiful, sunny weather. We've had a rough two weeks at our house with teething. Holy cow...have we had some grumpy little girls (and in turn, grumpy mom and dad). We had about 3 hours of sleep the other night and would have had less if we didn't let the girls cry it out for a while. We tried everything to make them comfortable until all that worked was to have them cry themselves to sleep. Each of them has had one tooth pop through so far but I just know there are more coming through. 

Well, I better get busy today...much to do! :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

1st Birthday Party: Crate Paper and Cupcakes!

The girls' 1st birthday party was so fun! I know 1st birthday parties are more for the parents and family to enjoy but you could genuinely see the excitement on the girls' faces that so many people were around and giving them attention on their special day. I loved it and know I will never forget it! I had various ideas for themes and party decorations and in the end decided to keep things fairly simple but with a few special touches. I thought a cupcake theme was appropriate for a 1st birthday so that's what I went with, and I loved the browns, pinks and oranges in Crate Paper's Pink Plum collection. All of the party decor went around this theme and colors. I started with their birthday invitation and used my Cricut Wild Card cartridge to cut the pieces out. 

Next, I created a party centerpiece using a couple of scalloped chipboard pages from a mini album. I turned the pages so the holes lined up and I could tie them together with ribbon. The chipboard cupcakes and chipboard "celebrate" are by Maya Road. 

I used Martha Stewart micro mini beads on the "celebrate" and "1" and love the texture it gives the chipboard.

What party wouldn't be complete without party hats? I think these were my favorite thing I made for the party and they were fairly simple. I cut a large circle the size of my 12 x 12 patterned paper and then cut it in half. I shaped the half circle into a cone shape so that the flat edges of the paper met each other. I cut tiny pieces of tissue paper and then hot glued them on the base of the hat. To do the tops of the hats, I gathered the cut tissue paper fringe and tied it off the middle and went through the bottom of the hat to draw the fringe through the top. A little hot glue ensured that the fringe would stay in place. 

I used a scalloped punch and circle template to do the circles and then added a foam thicker by American Crafts for the "1". I stapled elastic string to the hats to finish them off.

The last couple items I made were large cupcakes with the girls' names to sit behind their high chairs. I used my Cricut again to cut the pieces and topped the cupcakes with chipboard flowers by Crate Paper. The letters on their names have the Martha Stewart mini beads on them. I also made tissue paper flowers and hung them from a light fixture in my kitchen at various lengths. 

Here's a look at Miss Lily in her high chair ready for cake...

And here's Miss Nora...

Sweet little birthday girls...

And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this look at their 1st birthday decor. It was so much fun for me to make everything. I looked at the store-bought possibilities and didn't like a thing I saw. It was very meaningful for me to create it all myself. As you can see, I truly kept things simple by using one collection and coordinating all the colors. We even had pink gerbera daisies, a pink, orange and brown birthday cake and pink, orange and brown balloons. Fun, huh?! :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Noel Mignon Challenge: Motherhood

The newest challenge at is about motherhood. I think this is the quickest I have ever scrapped a photo but this is from Mother's Day this past weekend. I come from a family of girls and we all have the most special bond. And now my daughters get to be a part of it! 

I chose to highlight the photo with soft, pretty, girly colors from the June Lemonade Stand kit. The patterned papers are a combination of Crate Paper, My Mind's Eye, KI Memories and October Afternoon. I created a patchwork block behind my photo and used gray as an accent color with the Pink Paislee tape and My Mind's Eye diecut border. 

I created a layered flower by punching a scalloped circle from the pink Crate Paper and then cut out a KI Memories flower. The next flower is a metal one by Making Memories and then I topped it with a Prima pebble. 

The green label is by October Afternoon and the leaves and rhinestones sticker is KI Memories.

More to come soon! It's been so gloomy here this week. We finally got a peek at the sun today, thank goodness! :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

GCD Studios Theme:: Paper Piecing

For the month of May, the design team was given this photo of darling nesting dolls to work with:

I loved all the patterns in the photo and decided to use as many patterns as I could and do some paper piecing to create a scene. In all, I used 7 different patterned papers on my layout. I love this photo of my daughters with their Easter baskets and the pinks and greens in the Homespun Chic collection matched their jammies perfectly!

I used a template to cut ovals from cardstock and then paper pieced each egg by layering patterned paper. I cut one of the Homespun Chic transparencies in half (loved those little chicks and they were perfect for an Easter layout) and used part of it on one of my eggs and the other part at the top of my layout.

I adhered patterned paper to one of the chipboard plaques from the ChipArt collection and decorated the edge with Stickles.

My egg title needed grounding on the page so I drew wavy lines on two patterned papers and cut them out. A little machine stitching and white paint and it's shabby Homespun Chic!

Additional supplies used: American Crafts thickers, Stickles, Fiskar's punch

Happy paper piecing! :)

Saturday, May 08, 2010

What Mother's Day Means to Me...

It used to be a day that was so incredibly painful for me. A day where I purposely avoided going to church because it hurt when mothers were asked to stand or when countless babies were dedicated to God in front of our church family. My arms were empty and my heart had a raw ache. I learned my lesson that it was just best to stay home when before I left the room in tears. I watched friends grow ripe with round bellies and gritted my teeth as I sat through their baby showers. I tried desperately to be excited for them but it was difficult when my belly remained flat. 

When you want something so badly, it seems like the reminders of what you don't have are everywhere. I know that I will never, ever forget that hurt in my life and I know that I never, ever want to. Those feelings and emotions are a constant reminder to me that I am beyond blessed in my life right now. 

A little over a year ago, I was given the most beautiful gift.  The gift I was given came to me in an unexpected way. Instead of having empty arms, they BOTH were full.

On Mother's Day, my heart is full of love not only for my two beautiful daughters but for a woman who entrusted ME with this beautiful gift. My daughters' birth mother is amazing. Period. She is so, so special to me and someone I would consider to be a dear friend. We have a wonderful relationship with her and she's someone I pray for and have in my heart daily. 

One of my "secret" loves about our adoption is how much my girls look like me. A little story about that...when my husband and I were dating (and starting to get serious) he told me he could just picture a little girl with my blue eyes. That's something that has remained in my heart to this day. As the girls have grown, I get so many comments about how they look just like me. These comments come from people who both know and don't know about our adoption. I LOVE it! I love that God made this hope come true for my husband. My mom took this photo of me and my girls at Easter. I can't look at it without tearing up. 

I've certainly learned in the past year that motherhood is not a bed of roses. It's definitely the most challenging role I've ever had in my life. Most days are beyond wonderful but today was one that left me weary. My poor babies are teething and it's the worst experience we've had yet. I feel so helpless with they are hurting. I became really frustrated which led to "mom guilt." Boy, do I struggle with that sometimes! :) 

But, on this Mother's's one that will be extra special for me. It's also the day that we will stand before our church family and dedicate our daughters to the Lord. Finally, finally, FINALLY, I will get to be among the other mothers in my church and experience the same joy that Hannah had in the Bible when she dedicated her son to God. We chose not to dedicate the girls on Mother's Day last year because they were only a week old. (At that point in my life, I was lucky to get dressed for the day!) :) 

So, dear friends, I pray that you have a blessed Mother's Day! And if your heart aches on this day, please know that I am saying an extra prayer today just for YOU.

Friday, May 07, 2010

The Rooster is Crowing!

Settle in with me for an image heavy post! Midnight Rooster has gone LIVE and it's time for me to share my work with the May kit. As I said before, I also worked with the add-on kit. 

My inspiration for this first layout came from the adorable rooster die-cut. LOVE him. I have to give a little back story on this layout. For those of you that don't know, my husband and I adopted our twin daughters and were able to bring them home from the hospital when they were just 4 days old. The first night was HORRIBLE. I don't think I slept at all and the next morning I thought I was going to DIE!!! :) I love my girls like nothing else but I couldn't believe how awful my nights were going to be for the next few months (they finally slept through the night at 11 weeks). My dearest husband captured this photo of us the morning after our first night. Don't I look chipper?! :) I thought that little die-cut rooster was just perfect for this page.

Here's a look at my little sun in the corner. I loved the Sassafras number paper and used foam adhesive to pop up some of the "rays."

Here's a close-up of Mr. Rooster in all his glory. I shabbied him up with paint and used the dotted cardstock in the kit behind him.

Here's my title block...I used both of the alphas in the main and add-on kits. The tulle is in the add-on kit.

I've had the photos for this next layout on my desk for awhile but needed just the perfect papers and embellishments to go with them. When I saw the Cosmo Cricket chipboard included in the add-on kit, I knew I had just the right inspiration. My dad calls the girls his "sweet peas" so the little chipboard peas were just perfect! The letters in "Grandpa's" and the journaling card are the only products from my stash. I used the wood grain stamp in the add-on kit for part of my title and the little strawberry stick pin is an EXCLUSIVE product in the add-on kit. And, for the very first time EVER I used Shimmerz on a layout. The color is called Bed of Roses. 

Here's a closer look at the woodgrain stamped image. I cut it in half to use on my title.

Love those little peas! :)

I strung a little of the ribbon in the main kit on the strawberry pin and stuck the pin through my journaling card. 

My inspiration for this next layout was the beautiful handmade fabric banner in the main kit. This layout is another one in the series of monthly layouts I'm working on for my daughters. I used a Martha Stewart medallion punch with red cardstock for the little "11" part of my title block. The "11" numbers are by October Afternoon and from my stash as are the American Crafts thickers. The little flower stick pin is a Midnight Rooster EXCLUSIVE! 

I also used a little "pure joy" October Afternoon sticker and red Jenni Bowlin label from my stash. The little butterfly was punched with a Martha Stewart punch. 

For this final layout, this was another instance where I was holding onto some photos waiting for just the perfect moment to scrap them. The girls were "hot stuff" chili peppers for their first Halloween and I knew that typical orange and black for Halloween wouldn't cut it for these photos when the red is so vivid. I cut flowers from the Jenni Bowlin patterned paper and used a tiny strip of the red polka dot from Cosmo Cricket. Here's a full look at the EXCLUSIVE woodgrain add-on stamp. I'm usually not a long title kind of girl but I wanted to use the chipboard "Garden" by Cosmo Cricket somehow so that's how I worked out the title. The alphabet stickers are October Afternoon, red labels and red alphabet are Jenni Bowlin, black thickers are American Crafts - all from my stash. This is a pretty simple layout for me but with the busy title and lots of photos....I think it works! :)

Here's a close-up of the woodgrain stamp. The "black" thickers were actually a brilliant green but I wanted black ones so I inked them up and love how some of the green shows through.

Here's another look at my super long title...

Finally, I made a card using the exclusive die cuts found in the add-on kit. LOVE these. I used the dotted yellow cardstock as my card base and highlighted the texture of the dots by rubbing my "Old Paper" distress ink pad across them. The red patterned paper and stripes at the bottom are both Cosmo Cricket. I added a Melissa Frances rub-on from my stash. 

And there we go! Thanks for hanging in with me for this long post! I've been reflecting on my past year as a mom so I'll update again tomorrow with my thoughts about Mother's Day.

Have a great Friday! :)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Midnight Rooster May Kit Sneaks!

I am way, way excited to share sneak peeks with you of the May Midnight Rooster kit. This kit is fabulous and full of very fun exclusive items. I had a blast working with it and I can't wait to show you my full reveal of what I created. I worked with the main kit and the add-on kit. You are going to want BOTH! I've had a peek at what the other members of the design team created and their work is SO beautiful! I believe the website goes LIVE on Friday and you can bet as soon as I have the okay, I'll post all the info right here. In the mean time, be sure to stop by Tobi's blog as she introduces the design team members and leave a comment to be in the running for an exclusive Midnight Rooster stamp!

More to come!!!!!! :)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Noel Mignon Challenge: Me, Myself & I

The challenge this week over at is to scrap how you got your name and the meaning behind it. I keep a running list of layouts I want to eventually scrap and I have had this particular topic on my list for awhile now. I wanted to scrap the girls' names and how we came up with them so I decided to participate in this challenge by scrapping the story of Nora Elizabeth's name. I used the absolutely beautiful "Seaside Cottage" kit from March to create my layout. This kit has been perfect for my baby photos. 

The patterned papers are Prima, SEI, and 7gypsies, cardstock is Jillibean Soup, and chipboard alphabet is Prima. I used a Hambly lace transparency and Hambly doily rub-on. I love the little SEI doily and Webster's Pages silhouette cameo. The stick pin, ribbon and striped fabric are also included in the kit. The Jenni Bowlin pink labels and mini alphabet stickers are from my stash. I used a lot of cream paint to shabby this layout up and my sewing machine for added texture.

Here's a close-up of my title block and you can see how I used the fabric as a little curtain for my photos by stitching and gathering the fabric on my sewing machine.

And here's a look at the gathered ribbon, doily and cameo. 

My journaling:
"We chose the name Nora because it was elegant and artsy. Nora means "woman of honor" and we hope you will follow this definition by keeping your eyes on God. You were named Elizabeth after me - your mother, and I was named after my great-grandmother's first name."

Much, much more to come from me this week! :)
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