Sunday, November 28, 2010

Holiday Scrapping on a lazy Sunday!

Today I stayed in my jammies until 7pm, at which time I got in the shower and put on clean jammies! I LOVE those kind of days. Nothing really pressing to do other than some laundry, and I *think* I've got the start of a head cold so it felt great to just kick back and do whatever. I even got a few pages done today. All three are holiday pages because I just got a huge order from ACOT (my first since the summer!) and it was chock full of all the new yummy Christmas lines. I realized not too long ago that while I scrap a lot of *everyday* things, I'm really not much on scrapping the holidays.

So I started with this layout of our Christmas tree on Christmas Eve LAST year! All of these pages use papers and bellies by BoBunny, Little Yellow Bicycle and/or Echo Park and the title letters are either American Crafts Thickers or Anna Griffin.  The gold trim on this is by BoBunny,,,.I LOVE it but you only get that small amount (plus a little bit more that I cut off).  The month tag is from Oriental Trading with a Martha Stewart red dot on it.

This is what my daughter and I spent much of Friday and Saturday working on! Our 2010 Gingerbread House. It came out quite good I must admit. The last time I tried one of these the kids were only 4 & 5 and it was a DIS-AS-TER!!! It kept falling apart, the icing wouldn't set up right....just a mess. So I was a little leary when Susie said she wanted to make one. But I think we did a splendid job! I assembled and iced the room and the eaves, while she put all the candies on it! (In addition to above supplies, I added a 'gingerbread' flash card from Elle's Studio sprayed with Coffee Shop Glimmer Mist so that it would coordinate better and assorted buttons, some tied with the new bakers twine I just got, and some ric-rac from Walmart.

Lastly is a layout of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert John took me to last Saturday to celebrate my birthday and the start of the holiday season. I added some musical sickers by Recollections. Aren't those Anna Griffin letters (the red ones) great!! I got them at Michaels on Friday and they were 40% off then I had another 30% coupon! Gotta love Black Friday. Some choose to stand out in the cold at Best Buy for 3 days....I just strolled into Michaels and AC Moore mid-morning after a good nights rest and got everything I was there for!

And so my nice, relaxing long weekend has come to a close. Its back to work tomorrow and the start of my "busy season" at the college. Getting courses ready and faculty scheduled for September 2011! A few weeks of busy will be rewarded with a week off between Christmas and New Years, and of course there are 3 personal days that I have to take before the end of the year so I think will make myself a couple more long weekends this month!!

Till next time.....thanks for stopping by!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Halloween in November!

I have one more layout to do and Halloween 2010 will be in the books. Without too much detail so as not to create another long boring post, here's the three I have done so far! The top one is for the Countdown Challenge at ACOT and is a direct scraplift of Barb's St. Maarten layout that I LOVE!! Funny how making it Halloweenie changed the whole look!! The challenge was to use 5 Buttons, 4 Halloween elements other than pumpkins, 3 patterened papers, 2 pumpkins and 1 solid Black Background.

The next two I did a few weeks ago so honestly can't remember if they are sketch based or challenge based. I'm not as on top of things as I usually am.

Posted by Picasa

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I was quite melancholy for mine, being the first time in 43 years that my mom wasn't with me. But on the other hand, its my second "first without Mommy" already and she's only been gone 6 weeks. Somedays I feel like I'm being 1-2 punched, but then some friends think that its a good thing that all my major FIRSTS will be behind me by mid birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and my mom's birthday all fall between November 18 and January 11. Its true, every day gets a little easier, but my heart still aches like I've never known before. At least with the holiday season upon us, I have other things to focus my attention shopping! Did you do any Black Friday shopping? I did a bit online and then on Friday mid-morning the kids and I hit the stores. I wasn't in the market for any of their Doorbuster items so we didn't have to brave any crazy lines or anything. I mostly shopped at Michaels and AC Moore taking advantage of their before-noon deals and a 30% off entire order coupons. Is it really bad when you have most of the stuff for sale at those stores? Yikes! But I did pick up two Gingerbread kits which we will decorate today.

I have two layouts this morning. This first one...above...has been sitting on my desk partially done for weeks now. Its not a great photo but I "borrowed" it from my daughter's Facebook page. The journaling reads - "With the invention of Facebook there is no shortage of pictures of Susie and her friends, uploaded with their phones or webcams. This one is of Susie and Emily." I have grabbed so many cute pictures off my kids and their friends Facebook pages. Shots that I would normally never see. But thanks for Facebook, and the fact that they are not allowed to have an account if I can't have free reign to see what they are doing (and even most of their friends are my "friend" on Facebook), I have access to hundreds of silly snapshots capturing a moment in time when its not MOM behind the camera!

I did start with a sketch on this one but since its sat for so long, I for the life of my cannot remember where I got the sketch from! So if this is your sketch, I'm sorry for not crediting you properly! This layout is also an entry in the monthly Color Challenge at ACOT. Here it is November 27 and I have only ONE layout done for the November challenges!

The above layout came about because while at Michael's I saw this adorable little Santa hat and had to get it for our cat, Cloudy! Here he is, sporting his Santa hat and wishing you all a Meowy Christmas!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Its An Altered Day!

After I finished my altered frame I just wasn't in the mood to scrap with photos so I pulled out these letters I had picked up for my daughter's room. She's almost 13 now and just about 2 weeks ago we finally updated her room from the little girl pink and purple that it was to Hot Pink and Zebra stripes! It really looks cute and fits her personality! She's been looking at all sorts of Zebra accessories for her room (we only got the bedding and curtains) so I thought these letters would be a cute extra present for Christmas. The black on the zebra striped is flocked so the letters have great texture. I used lots of bling in hot pink and silver and the pink/white dotted ribbon was actually wrapped around a pair of pajamas I just got at Target! The jammies were cheap...I think like $9 and there was at least 2 yards of this ribbon holding the package together! SCORE! I have to admit, I selected the jammies I got based on the ribbon that was on it. Different styles had different ribbons and I KNEW I would get use out of this one! I got the letters at AC Moore during a 40% off sale, plus had a 25% off entire order (even sale items) so they worked out to cost about $3 each complete!! Can't beat that!
Posted by Picasa

Decking the Halls!

So this isn't exactly scrapping but I had to show off my latest project! During the crop last week at A Cherry On Top, Jess had a class on this awesome altered frame. I thought about it all week and Friday night we were out and about and I stopped in AC Moore and picked up a $2.50 frame. All the rest was supplies I had on hand already. The frame is covered with old book pages that I cut into 2" circles, twisted on a pencil and hot glued to the frame. The frame took about 4 hours from start to finish, not including the insert but I absolutely love it and John suggested I make one for his mom for Christmas....THAT says a lot as he's not big on the compliments on my crafts. I do want to change out the bow at the bottom with a chunkier ribbon but didn't have anything on hand. I am also going to make inserts with different holidays and seasons. If you want to see the full instructions, the class thread is here: Jess's Altered Frame Class.

Here's another view of mine:
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 6, 2010

More crop layouts

Last one for a bit as my son has a football game soon! This was for challenge #3 at the ACOT Crop. You had to message someone you have never messaged before and ask their favorite color. The layout has to be predominantly that color. My person said RED. The other requirements were bling and and alphabet. I used MME Lost and Found papers, Heidi Swapp hearts, Maya Road Stickpin in the red prima rose, Recollections bling and Thickers alphabet.

Wish us luck on the game. Its the playoffs and my son has some high school scouts watching him. If he does well and gets a scholarship I may not be forced to move to a better school district after all. THIS IS BIG!!
Posted by Picasa

Mug Shots of Mom

This layout came together quickly! The photos were random shots John took (the first two when I wasn't paying attention) when we were in Busch Gardens over the Summer. I haven't done anything with them because I didn't like the photos. But then came Challenge #2 at the ACOT crop. We had to create a layout based on this ad as inspiration:

We had to have a title, 3 photos, and the numbers 1,2 & 3. I think i turned out cute. I used My Minds Eye Breaking Away paper for the background, leftover Sass Lass from the last layout for the photo mat. The shield is also My Minds Eye. Letters are Thickers and Cosmo Cricket Tiny Type. TFL!

Posted by Picasa

Hi...Remember Me?

Before I get into the above layout, I just wanted to thank those of you who have been praying for my mom. Its with a heavy heart that I tell you that my mommy, my best friend, a huge part of my heart....went home to be with her God on October 13. It was sudden and unexpected and I didn't get to say goodbye. I talked to her the day before and she was feeling good. The next day I got a call from the hospital to get there right away. She was in an induced coma and on a ventilator while they tried to stabilize her heart but they were not able to do it. After two days we made the difficult decision to let her go. The last two years she has fought so valiantly against obstacle after obstacle. She was tired. I knew that. She had little quality of life. I knew that too. But still, I always thought she'd be ok. She always was. This time was different. She didn't suffer....but we are. I miss her more than words can say and I am having a very hard time getting through each day. They say time will make it easier and I know that its true, but my heart aches, the pain is relentless and the tears have no end. I feel suddenly alone and half the person I used to be. Thank God for my family....if it weren't for my kids and John, and so many friends....I don't know where I'd be right now. As you can imagine, the last thing I was interested in was scrapping.

The last few weeks I have found myself being non-productive in all areas of my life...except that I get up and go to work everyday. So this weekend is an online crop at A Cherry On Top and I decided that this was my opportunity to get my act together and get back to my hobby that love so much. I know that's what my mom would have wanted. She loved to see my layouts and hear all about the new goodies I got or what I was working on. So that's what I'm doing. The above is the first layout I've created in quite some time as I have taken a leave from my DT positions until I am sure I can fully commit. This is for Challenge #1 of the crop - Use Sassafrass Lass paper. I used papers from the Count Me In collection, chip letters from Colorbox, flower by Prima and orange gem flowers by Creative Charms. I will post more as I complete them but I have to creative juices aren't flowing quite as freely these days so they may not be my best work, but its serving a bring me back to a new normal. Thanks again for all of your prayers. I am sure that God heard them and is taking wonderful care of my mom.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 10, 2010

ACOT Sketch Challenge/S4A Color Challenge

I created this layout in conjunction with two challenges! Its been a while since I've been able to do that! I used the monthly sketch at A Cherry On Top as well as the color challenge for the Sweetest Day Challenge #2 at Sketches For You. Papers are all My Minds Eye Lost and Found, ribbon from my stash. I'm off to tackle about 6 loads of laundry now!!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sketches In Thyme

I'm late once again with the reveal for this weeks challenge at Sketches In Thyme! I can't wait for November to get here and have life slow down just a little!! Anyway, I LOVED this sketch....its by our very own DT Member Diana and it was her first sketch! Didn't she just do an awesome job? Make sure to head over to Sketches In Thyme to see the rest of the DT work on this sketch and we hope you will play along! We have a new sponsor for October. We'll be giving away two gift certificates this month. Each challenge you play along with gets you another entry in the randome drawing to win a great prize from Michelle's Scrapbooking , this month's sponsor. Michelle is giving away a $15 and $10 certificate to her terrific store.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hanging Out With Matthew

Its so strange....I really had not planned to scrap tonight. But not in the mood for Sunday night football, I sat in my scraproom and turned the TV on. I RARELY do that when I am in here. The next thing I knew I had watched all my Sunday shows (the 11pm news is one now!) AND completed 2 more layouts! This one was a scraplift challenge at Sketches For You. I used Moxxie papers and embellishments, Thickers and Echo Park letters, gold Stickles and Patina and Lime Green Glimmer Mist. The photos are of Matthew who was hanging out on my bed (and checking his text messages!!) with me on day a few weeks ago. As soon as I got the camera out he started hiding his face....see left picture! THAT is not going to my children they are REQUIRED to allow me to photograph them at will! LOL!

Hope everyone has a great week. Its supposed to be rainy again here....I like the cool temps a little but NOT the sogginess!
Posted by Picasa


Lately I have been battling with my pre-teen 12 year old daughter over what seems like EVERYTHING. So rather than do another "You're the best" or "So Cute" layout I decided that its OK to do a layout that may not exude happiness. I don't always do a lot of journaling on my pages but I think this one called for an explanation of the title. The journaling reads:

"Now that you are entering the tough years of being a teenager, I can see that things are changing so quickly. You are not the little girl you used to be and sometimes I think you are trying to grow up too fast. You have an attitude that you never had before and sometimes you even lie straight to my face. We don’t see eye to eye on everything and sometimes you get very angry with me. But even though sometimes you make me crazy and I wonder how I’m going to survive your adolescent years, I will ALWAYS love you and have to remind myself that you are a lot like I was when I was your age and sometimes I drove my mom crazy too!"

I used papers from the Mix & Mend line from Sassafrass Lass and added flowers from my stash (AC Moore cheapies!!) and some bling. The sketch is by Becky Fleck of Pagemaps and I did this one for the SGOTM Challenge at Sketches 4 You.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Devils Bridge - Antigua

The calendar may say its Fall but this beach girl refuses to let go of Summer! What better way to pretend its not a chilly 60 degrees outside today than to scrap another page for the Antigua album. This layout is of a place in Antigua called Devils Bridge. Legend has it that when slavery was at its worst in Antigua, many slaves would throw themselves off the cliff (see middle photo) into the rough and rocky waters below in an attempt to kill themselves. Because of this it was said that the Devil presided over the area to entice the slaves to do such a thing. I'm nearing the end of the Antigua album now with probably less than a half dozen layouts to go! I'll be very happy if I completely finish this album before the one year anniversary of our trip!

I used papers by Reminisce and metal embellishments by Making Memories. Assorted buttons, ric rac and twill from my stash.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 1, 2010

John's 45th Birthday Night Out!

Yep....its true! I finally scrapped today! I have been waiting and waiting to do these pages but I had to wait until I had enough to make an online order worthwhile as the only place I have seen these Asian papers is online! The colored paper is by Creative Imaginations, Marah Johnson, as are the epoxy stickers and the yen brads at the top and bottom. I actually bought the stickers and brads way before the paper! I got them for $1 each at the CKC in Valley Forge this past July, knowing that I had just taken these photos of John's birthday. We went into Atlantic City and had dinner at PF Changs (hence the Asian theme), then saw a magic show at the Tropicana Casino. The photos were all taken from my Blackberry and I'm pretty impressed with how well they printed. The one of the two of us isn't great but it was really dark in the restaurant and the waiter took the photo! You know how that goes! Anyway, the asian print paper is called Bamboo from the KaiserCraft Lush line. I added some Basic Grey Wander letter stickers and some velvet trim that matched perfectly even though its from Fancy Pants! I was hoping to get more done but alas, my eyelids are getting very heavy! But I am very glad that I got this one done! I've had it worked out in my mind for 2 months now!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sketches In Thyme

Have you stopped by the Sketches In Thyme blog yet this week?  Yesterday a brand new sketch by Helen Croft was posted as well as the Design Team's take on it.  I think everyone did a fantastic job on the sketch and we all came up with such different looks!  Here is my take on this great sketch as well as the sketch itself.  I used the last of my Girls Paperie papers and embellishments on this layout...the photo was taken during our summer trip to Busch Gardens.  I really love the photo, just wish I had thought to remove my sunglasses!  I do that ALL THE TIME and then am disappointed when I see the photo!  

Swimming in the Abyss!!

For those of you who follow my blog and have sent me emails to see if I am ok, the short answer is yes, all is well!  Unfortunately my real life has become a bit more demanding and the one thing I can push to the side right now without an incredible amount of guilt is scrapbooking.  Its been weeks since I've been able to check out other blogs or visit the sites I regularly participated on.   I miss seeing all the inspiration out there but honestly, I sort of feel a sense of relief as well.  I was getting to the point where if I didn't create at least a half dozen layouts in the course of a weekend I was angry at myself.  I found that I was creating layouts just to use a particular sketch or have an entry in a particular challenge contest.  This said, I WILL still use sketches and participate on challenge blogs "when I want to" instead of putting unnecessary pressure on myself to "HAVE" to do it.  If a sketch or challenge doesn't move me or inspire me in a way that makes me excited about jumping in and creating....I'm not doing it!   Can you believe that I have not even purchased a single piece of paper (until yesterday when I did a big order!) since JUNE!  Yep, my last order was 3 months ago and I haven't even used it all yet.  That was another problem....I was buying like crazy without any idea what I would use the stuff for!  As the title of this post reads....I felt like I was swimming in the great scrapbooking abyss and getting nowhere for my efforts.  So its time to regroup.  I will shift my focus and only work on layouts that I am inspired to create...if it happens to meet a challenge--great.  If not...that's great too!  I seriously considered packing up my stuff and calling it quits again (I did that once for 2 whole years!) and giving the kids back their playroom.  I have been THAT uninspired and overwhelmed by the restrictions and expectations I was putting on myself.  But rather than go the drastic route, I am just going to refocus myself.  So yes, there will be new layouts posted.  But will there be new posts all the time...not likely.  So if you do not hear from me here for a week or two at a time, please don't fret.  I'm still here, I'm doing ok.  Just doing it "my way" now!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

First Day Of School

Well hello blog friends!! Seems like its been forever since I have scrapped anything! I have a few to upload today but unfortunately am running against the clock as Matt's first OFFICIAL Football game is tonight and I have yet to get in the shower, figure out what they are going to eat before the game, etc. So for now, I will just post this one. I LOVE it! I am playing along with the Sketch-a-thon over at Sketches For You and this layout is based on a sketch by Liz Qualman for one of the challenges. Head on over and see what else is going on for Sketch-a-thon. I used some leftover pieces of Bo Bunny paper, the letter paper I am not sure who makes but I have had it for years! Still have another piece too! The apple die cut has also been in my stash from when I used to do swaps and that hasn't happened since 2002 (since I went back to work Full Time)!! See...I never get rid of ANYTHING! The "chalkboard" was made using Coredinations Black Magic paper with the cream center and I sanded it lightly to make it look like it had chalk erased from it. My kids laughed at me when I asked them if it looked like a chalkboard! What do they know! That's it for now! I will be back tonight or tomorrow with the rest!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Time for each other...

One of the things I am most proud of with Susie & Matt is how they still, even at 12 & 13, don't mind just hanging out, taking a ride, or doing something silly with me. And even more, that they actually like each other and have fun doing things together. Now I am not naive, I realize that this can and probably will change (hopefully only for their teenage years!) but for right now, it just makes my heart grow with pride that I have been blessed to be able to raise these two beautiful human beings.

This layout sort of evolved. I was going with more of a "road trip" theme - hence the papers which are from The Paper Company Studio and their Spring Break line. But as I was thinking about a title, I just keep looking back at the photo which was taken on one of the early summer days when we had nothing to do and decided to hop in the car and take a walk around the Historic Village of Smithville. Now honestly, for a 12 and 13 year old - this is not something fun to do. In fact, even less so when you consider that we live one town away so its not even NEW to them. But it was time we got to spend together...just the three of us. And that was worth more than a trip of a lifetime could be. We stopped in the bakery in the Village and the kids each got a donut. They sat down next to each other on a park bench and even shared a soda! They still love each other....they just may not admit it!!

Other than the paper, the only thing I added was a Jillibean Soup journal spot and some black ric rac, and black letters by Luxe. I did this layout for the "September Scraplift the GCT" challenge at A Cherry On Top. Again, because its not my layout to post here, you can check out her work in her gallery at ACOT.
Posted by Picasa

Earl, Change & Thanks!

Before I get into the other stuff, I wanted to take a minute to thank those of you who have been keeping my mom in your prayers. I think they are working! I didn't mention anything about it because I've been a little scared, but on Wednesday morning I got a call that stopped me in my tracks. Myself, my sister and brother were summoned to the hospital where my mom has been for going on one month now. She has a laundry list of things that are wrong so its hard to say "she's got this" or "this is what's wrong" because it varies from day to day. Basically we thought we were losing did the doctors. I live an hour and a half away on a good day, but currently the Garden State Parkway is under major construction and it took over 2 hours to get there. My brother and sister are both closer. As I was about 45 minutes away I got a text from my brother to slow down...that she was OK. Turned out that she had, in fact, died twice the night before and NOT ONE DOCTOR called us until 8:30am the following day. They were able to revive her but needed us there to get her paperwork in order for a Living Will, DNR, etc. because what they did to revive her was not extreme but given the fact that her wishes were unknown, and the fact that she's old and not in good health, they would not have done anything more. Thank GOD she responded to what they did do and I still have my mom today. She is by no means out of the woods, but I have to believe that all of the prayers being said for her are being answered. We joke that my mom is like a cat....except she appears to have way more than 9 lives! I know in my heart that the end is near....maybe not tomorrow, maybe not even next month...but I am so grateful to have her TODAY. So thank you, from my family and most especially ME.

This layout has been in progress on my desk for over 24 hours! I NEVER take this long. I just couldn't get it to flow the way I wanted...I originally had a bird/cage theme going and changed directions to the butterflies because I just love that quote which I used for the title. "Without change, there'd be no butterflies". I used Fancy Pants Happy Together papers, a Martha Stewart butterfly punch, the bling I added with my brandy new i-Rock tool that I got using a 40% coupon at Michaels! The title letters are Jenni Bowlin and Anna Griffin. The swirl is Heidi Grace and the hinges I cut on my Cricut.

And finally, we stopped by the beach this evening to see what Earl was churning up.  In case you didn't know, I live in NJ and am only 1/2 mile from the Bay and a few more miles from the ocean. The sunset was breathtaking and the waves, while not as bad as we were anticipating, were definitely a sight to behold. Nature is beautiful and I just wanted to share a few photos!  All of these were taken on Brigantine Beach...some looking towards the ocean, the others with the Atlantic City Skyline behind the jetty.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 2, 2010

France - Busch Gardens

So here I am! Its my LAST Thursday night that I can stay up late and scrap...tomorrow is my last Friday off for the summer. On Tuesday its back to 5 days a week!! So of course I had to make the most of it and got right to work on a layout as soon as I got home. Only thing is, I didn't plan for it to take me almost 3 hours to complete (well I did leave twice to take and pick up Matt from Football).
This layout is *I think* the last of the country layouts from our trip to Busch Gardens last month. Here we have FRANCE! I combined two challenges with this layout....the first being the sketch challenge at Let's Scrap. Check it out....there's a GREAT prize from Jillibean Soup to be won! The second is the September Color Challenge at A Cherry On Top which is to use Blue and Brown and you could use another neutral. I used papers from Fancy Pants Happy Together collection, added a bunch of doo dads from Heidi Grace, K&Co, some blue flowers, brown buttons, blue pearl brads, brown and blue dotted ribbon, the Eiffel Tower I cut on my Cricut using an SVG from A Southern Belles SVGs and doilies from Wilton that I sprayed with Walnut Gold Glimmer Mist. I am very pleased with how my Busch Gardens layouts are coming out!

Not sure what's up next but in case I am not back tonight or tomorrow (busy day ahead) I want to let everyone in the path of Hurricane Earl know that I am hoping that you weather the storm and stay safe! We have cleared out the loose items in the yard and more or less battened the hatches for what we are expecting which is just some pretty strong sustained winds and rain. But living a block from the water anything is possible so we are prepared to lose power, see some flooding, etc. Hopefully we will not have to evacuate. Stay Safe Everyone!!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Italy - Busch Gardens

Ok, I did it! I had already cleaned me desk and was ready to watch the Emmy's when I decided to just do ONE more layout for the weekend! This layout is of the sites we saw in Italy, Busch Gardens. I used Prima papers and flowers, the word Italy and the red and white border sticker are also Prima. I outlined the bird and leaves in gold and green Stickles, added Cosmo Cricket mini letters for Busch Gardens, and the Ciao Bella was cut on my Cricut using the "Viva Italia" font. The layout is a scraplift for a challenge at A Cherry On Top.   Since its not MY layout, I won't post the layout I lifted but if you go to A Cherry On Top you can check out the challenge there.
Now I am going to get my dose of reality TV and watch the new episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians (I know, I know!!) and get ready for bed. My last week of summer hours....boy this Summer went fast. See you next Friday, if not before!