Monday, June 2, 2014

Liebster Award - Discover New Blogs

Well now, I was nominated by Denise over at Mamarazzi Scraps and am happy I got mentioned as one of her 10 blogs to check out (I am honored!). So, thank you, Denise :)

This is something new to me. I had never heard of this award and now that I know about it, I am glad I have heard about it. Basically, it is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. It is a way to bring attention to these blogs and build the blogging community. Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Here are the rules:

1. Thank the blogger who nominates you.
2. Answer the 10 questions she/he asks of you.
3. List 10 random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 10 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
5. Ask these 10 bloggers 10 questions of your own.
6. Let them know you have mentioned them.

Well now, what can I tell you about me? Here goes nothing:

1. Most people know that I played basketball for MANY years (I am 5'10"), but most people would never guess that my first sport was figure skating. I did it for 5 years, until I realized that my height was not advantageous!
2. I once won a dance contest in Korea at a night club.
3. I have been to the Great Wall of China twice within a year and a half.
4. I LOVE to read and buy purses based on whether or not they can fit a hardcover - lol.
5. If I could live in pajama pants and racerback tops, I would.
6. I was scrapbooking even before it was the thing to do (you should see my albums from the 3 years I lived in Korea).
7. I love music and am always humming or singing something.
8. I am super close to my younger brother and can honestly say we tell each other EVERYTHING.
9. I grew up as a tomboy, but am secretly happy that having the husband I have allows me to be girlie once in a while.
10. Nothing is sweeter to my ears than the giggles of my 2 girls when they are playing together!

Now, the questions from Denise:

1. Do you consider scrapping a hobby for yourself, something you do for your family or a combination of the two?  Please explain - I consider it a hobby for myself that also is something my family benefits from. By writing down all the stories, my girls will have all these memories when my husband and I are long gone. They will know that they grew up with a lot of love around them.
2. What style is your home decorated in? I like clean lines, so a lot of angles, but warm colors. I have always been told my spaces are comfortable and "homey".
3. Do you have any other hobbies besides scrapbooking?  If so, what? I have been dabbling in mixed media for almost a year now. I also love to read, so books are constantly passing through my hands.
4. What is your favorite ink? Hmm, it has to be "Vintage Photo" distress ink by Tim Holtz. I love inking edges of things.
5. If you had to choose one color to see for the rest of your life (furniture, clothing, roads, cars, flowers, grass, buildings, all 'stuff' would be that color) what color would you choose? That's a really tough one because on any given day, that can change. I love bright, bold colors (I tend to gravitate to Bo Bunny papers when scrapping). Pastels and neutrals are not really my thing...if I had to choose one color, I guess it would have to be a bright aquamarine.
6. What is one tool you'd never give up? My Cricut!
7. Are you a girly girl or a tomboy? TOMBOY!!!
8. Do you have a go to clothing item or pattern for yourself or your children (overalls, plaid, polka dots, etc)? I love anything with a v-neck because I have broad shoulders (round necklines are not as nice on my and make me look broader).
9. Do you have any allergies (pet, food, environmental)? Cats and rodents.
10.  If you have children, what type of parenting style would you say you have? I am a mother who tries to balance being the authoritative figure with also being fun and allowing my kids to try things on their own. They know the rules, but also know they are allowed to expand their horizons. So far, so good!

So here are some blogs to check out:


And here are my 10 questions:

1. What made you start blogging?
2. If you could live anywhere else other than where you are now, where would it be?
3. What is your most prized possession?
4. What is your favorite song?
5. Where is the furthest you have traveled?
6. Are you married? How many years?
7. How would your friends describe you in one word?
8. Vanilla or chocolate?
9. What is your dream job?
10. If you had to do one cardio class every single day, what would it be?

Okay, that's it for me! I hope some of those questions were original. I am excited to see what kinds of answers they bring :)


A Bit of Canadiana

In late April my grandmother passed away. We all made plans to get to New Brunswick to her hometown, Caraquet. My brother, my dad and I drove the 12 hours from Montreal to get there (after they flew up from Florida). As we were driving on the long stretch across New Brunswick, I saw a big maple leaf and started excitedly saying, "we need to turn back and take some pictures at that maple leaf!". We stopped just after it to have a bio break and get some food and drinks at Tim Horton's. Dad and Jay agreed that it might be fun to take those pics, so we made a quick stop. This layout is of those pictures:
I just got my hands on the new Bo Bunny papers from Lemonade Stand and found these papers that I thought would be perfect as the background to my pictures. I also used the Go Canada! cartridge from Cricut to cut out the titles (which I outlined in white and black pens). Now, keep in mind that these pictures were in late April - do you see the snow in the background?! Crazy! It was quite cold, but I refused to take the pictures in my coat (I know, I am a bit stubborn about the cold). Anyways, these were so much fun to take.

Now for some details about the layout: the left side is based on a Midweek Mojo at Scrapbook Steals (Daisy #6). Because of the number of pictures I had, I adjusted it to be a double layout. The space above the title for New Brunswick will eventually get some journaling on it, but this layout is pretty much done, otherwise.

I love the simplicity of this and love how Canadian it is. I am proud that I am Canadian and am still thrilled I spotted that maple leaf as we were driving by :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Distress Paints

Tonight I went to an art journal class and we were working with Distress paints. I had a lot of fun putting together some really bright colors and using water to move them around. Once I had the background, I decided that maybe it needed to be softened up a bit (I know - me? softening up colors?). I used some white distress paint to make some faded circles, which I really liked. I made a sun with bristol paper, stamps and paint (and then layered some glitter paste on it). I took a stamp to add a saying to the page. Then I felt like I needed to use the "dead" space in some of the circles - faces! I used a stencil of different faces to fill 3 of the orbs. Then I added some glass bead gel to a few circles, did some stamping around the edges and this is the final piece:
I love it! Bright and happy colors - that's me :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

The first thing I have to do is wish all the mothers out there a very Happy Mother's Day - especially my own! May you all have a lovely day and be showered with lots of love.

On my Mother's Day weekend, I got to go cropping. I took my 5 year-old with me for a few hours (she painted 2 canvases and did a collage on a third). Once I brought her home for her nap and returned, I got down to business ;)

I started out with this layout. The pictures may seem familiar because one of them was on another recent one I posted (the fairy princess page), but these are the pictures of my youngest and I had a slightly different spin on the look. Erica's page was light and airy because she tends to be my more dainty girl, while Alexis is not a girl you would use the word "dainty" for - lol. So, here is my page "Lady (?) Alexis":
All the papers are from the line Daydream by First Edition Papers (a pad I picked up a few years ago). I wanted the soft colors of the dresses to be picked up, but needed a bit of dark to ground it all and make it fit the personality of my youngest. I was having a hard time figuring out how to split the 5 pictures over 2 pages, so to keep it feeling balance, I split the middle picture between the girls (really easy to do since they had a slight gap between them). I then fussy cut some flowers from one of the patterned papers in the line and backed them with the darker patterned paper to allow them to stand out against the soft colors. Thickers for the title finished it off and a bit of journaling in the corner. I love these pictures because they really show what Alexis is like. A strong character? You don't know the half of it - lol.

I then decided to pull out some selfies I did with Erica. She came up to me one day and just asked if we could take some pictures while making funny faces. I was more than happy to oblige because the giggles that came out of it made my cheeks hurt! She comes by her silliness honestly:
So, it has been a while since I dove into some of my My Mind's Eye line The Sweetest Thing (tangerine). I wanted something fun and bold because these pictures are pure goofiness. I kept within the same colors so that the bold patterns did not compete with each other or detract from the pictures. I used my Cricut to cut the letters for the title, using the Storybook font. I also used some of the embellishments in the kit for some dimension (I even put some Stickles in the button holes for some subtle sparkle):

I used Thickers to make an arrow to point out the choice of "silly", since that was the ones I wanted to highlight:

Then I managed to get a third layout done. I took Erica to her first "Mom & Me" crop back in January at Scrapbook Centrale. I used the Glam Gal papers from DCWV and some black cardstock to make the papers pop. Some magenta colored Thickers for the title and it was done in no time at all (it literally came together within 20-30 minutes):
I also started a birthday card for a colleague, but it is not finished (I need one more item before I post it). I then decided I wanted to make something decorative for a shelf or mantel. I have seen lots of posts of banners and things with the seasons, so I decided to make something for spring and summer:


These will be the flip side of each other. I will also look for some papers to use to do this for autumn and winter (all 6-letter words). I think it will be nice to use these throughout the year as decorations. I plan to use chipboard or cardboard behind the letters to give them a stiffer back. Then I will probably make an accordion with them either using ribbon or hoops. Once I finish them, I will post them.

Not bad for about 5 hours worth of time, eh? I am pleased with how productive I was yesterday :)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

And I am Rock Star Rose!

I just finished the last layout of the Rose series! Woo hoo! Sketch #10 from Scrapbook Steals inspired this:
These are some pictures I took at an all-day crop a couple of months ago. I, unfortunately, did not partake in the crop, but stopped by with the girls to say hi to everyone. Alexis is my less social daughter, but she LOVES my friend, Karin. Here she was looking through Karin's supplies and just enjoying hanging around with her.

Being a Bo Bunny fan, I did the whole layout with just their papers and embellishments. I love how vibrant these colors are and am happy that there were some light spaces in the pictures to offset that. I really like how this turned out!

I also did a layout using Daisy #1:
I used papers from different lines (Crate Paper, America Crafts and MME). I used the flower garland sticker from Bo Bunny and then some Thickers (and stamping) for the title. These pictures male me smile because they are of my girls and their 2 cousins all piled in a box together. This is much more muted and subtle (not something I do often). I am really happy with how this turned out as well.

And the last thing I made tonight:
A birthday card for someone I know who has a sarcastic sense of humor. Again, I used Bo Bunny papers. The stamp is from the Dylusions line with Dyan Reavely. Love that saying! It makes me giggle.

So there you have it! Another productive Friday night!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Always Radiate Sunshine

Here is an 8x10 canvas that I finished this week. I started it with black gesso and then used acrylic paints to layer over it (using a stencil). I then used another stencil to do the sun in the upper left corner. After that I used yet another stencil to do the broken up circles everywhere. Added some other metallic colors in lavender and turquoise and then added glitter paste (I love that stuff). Glass bead gel makes up the center of the sun (such cool texture). Then once I had all the layers done I figured I needed a saying to lighten the dark area:
I looked up sayings about sunshine because I wanted something positive as the message and here"s what I ended up choosing:
I then outlined the letters with a white pen to make it stand out a bit and to make it a bit "messier". This will go into a pile that I am starting for next December at work when they have employees sell their crafts during the lunch hour throughout the month leading up to Christmas. We'll see how many I can get done and how well I do with the sales. Only time will tell...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

3 is My Number...

So, it seems that Fridays I often get things done in 3's. Last night I finished 3 layouts (and all 3 are for challenges).

Here is the first one (for The Paper Girls Challenge blog). Now, let me start by saying that I have had these Fern & Forest papers from My Little Yellow Bicycle for some time and have been waiting for the perfect fit. the soft greens and pinks are really sweet. I had the prefect pictures of the girls in their princess dresses and they matched the colors perfectly. Because I wanted a softer effect, I fussy cut all the pictures for the layout so that there were no distracting colors. I cut off the bottom piece of the green base, used another paper from the line and then put the bottom piece back on so that I didn't lose any of the details of the swirls and flowers. As luck would have it, my oldest refers to her green dress as her Tinkerbell dress. When I flipped over one of the papers, there was a Tinkerbell quote! That definitely had to go on the page. Then some random rhinestones were added and this is the finished product:
I LOVE this layout. It just makes me smile because my oldest loves being dressed as a fairy princess (just look at the smile in the middle picture). She makes my heart ache, she is just so sweet.

My next layout was done using sketch Rose #9 for Scrapbook Steals. These are pictures from last summer during the time I had off with the girls just before starting my new job (which was a great change for me). We were making forts with cardboard boxes and blankets. I remember having so much fun that day. Because the girls and the background had so many different colors on them, I had the pictures printed in B&W, so that I would have an easier time choosing papers to scrap with. I once again ended up using the Authentique Gathering papers (I am really loving those lately). I then added some flocked chipboard letters from Lush. These pictures just show how happy my girls are just being with each other:
Oh I am such a proud Momma - these 2 girls are definitely the loves of my life!

And the last layout is for sketch Rose #8 from Scrapbook Steals. I am actually a bit sad that I am late with it because it was a sketch done by a friend I have made through Facebook and our mutual love of all things crafty (Kristina Corzatt MacKeen). I decided I wanted to do a layout of my impish little girl. In these pictures she is very proud of herself for climbing up on the chair in front of the computer (because she stole that spot from her daddy ~ lol). As frustrating as her strong character can be, I love her for it. She keeps us on our toes, that's for sure! That look just says "Trouble!". I used strips of paper from Authentique's Gathering, Crate Paper's Pink Plum Collection (peach) and Scrap Within Reach's Emerson Collection. I then added some lace trim that I bought at Wal-Mart a few years ago. Then Thickers...doesn"t everyone just love Thickers? Using a black background just makes the colors pop and I love the stark contrast:
I am now thinking about doing some sort of spring/summer decorations (today is actually nice out!). I bought a couple of vibrant patterns last night to make either a banner or an accordion-style decoration for a shelf...we'll see where I go with it...