Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Memories

Can you believe Christmas has already come and gone!?!? It certainly has been a busy month and with the giant snow storm that left my new, lighted flamingo by my koi pond completely covered in snow, I just lost track of time.
We spent the entire weekend before Christmas digging out, and by losing that weekend to the weather, I became quickly overwhelmed with not much time to get ready for Santa's visit. But Christmas did come with most of our usual traditions.

I did manage to pick up some oysters for our traditional fry on Christmas Eve. I even manged to convince Luke to try one, even though he hates them. Only my mother, Nicky and I enjoy them.

Our tree was beautiful this year - very fat and tall - all adorned with sparkling gold and white velvet ribbons.

All of our stockings were hung on the mantle, waiting for Santa to stuff them full of goodies and surprises. Even the dogs have their stockings up waiting for Bone treats.
Christmas Day brough wonderful gifts, a hearty breakfast of biscuits and sausage gravy and time to play with the kids. I had my traditional Christmas afternoon soak in our huge bathtub and then began to prepare the evening meals for our family.

The table was dressed in gold and red this year. Dinner included eighteen guests consisting of both my husband's and my parents.

And after our huge Christmas dinner of Prime Rib, we enjoyed lovely desserts brought over by Aunt Erica.

If I ever get around to scrapping all of these delightful memories, I'll be amazed. Unfortunately I have a Design Team Kit due January 1 (which I haven't started yet) and the colors are brown and blue - all wrong for my Christmas memories, so I may not get started on scrapping this year's Christmas until after the New Year.
Hope your Christmas was filled with old and new traditions and you get time to scrap all of your 2009 memories.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December Design Team - Scrapbooks-Plus

I was the Designer this month for the Scrapbooks-Plus Designe Team. I chose the Christmas Mint and Winter Song papers from SEI for my kits. I gave the other designers the flexibility to chose their own embellishments. My Favorite layout is VISIONS above, but I had such a wonderful time with the kit, I really enjoyed making every layout and project and truly like the results.
This is a great photo I took last winter of my two dogs, Bailey and Maggie, running in the snow. I altered the colors slightly to get the blues of the photo to align with the blue of the paper. I may add glitter to the title when I get it back from the store - still debating.
This is a total scraplift from the February "All About Me" series from Basic Grey. Becky Fleck provided the design; I just reinvented the theme and made a two-pager that tells the story of the many ornaments on our tree.

This is my layout in accordance with my page-map design. The large snowflakes were cut with my Big Kick and Sissix dies.

I made this very cute ribbon bound photo journal as a gift for one of my sisters-in-laws.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's Snowing!

Except for last year, we have had snow of some sort here in Virginia every year for the past seven years. How do I know this? Because I always scrapbook the first snow! So the dates are recorded in my books. We haven't even had our first frost and my geraniums are still going strong on the front porch. This will be a great backdrop for a layout using Eskimo Kisses! Its a great day to scrap!

Cinderella's Castle - Take Two

Okay, so I made some changes. We all have to sometime! I dropped the memory frame for the subtitle. When I added the flourish, it was just too busy and the supporting title just wasn't worth the effort. I transformed the layout a bit in the process. I cut up a Prima flower and added a green feather and a blue flourish cut with my Big Kick. Kind of reminded me of Tinkerbell (I just couldn't put an actual Tinkerbell sticker or embellishment on one of my me crazy, but to me that would be "cheating"). I kind of liked the feather so I added a second one under the sheer ribbon on the bottom left. Sort of gave me a sense of balance. I'm happier with it all now. What I liked most was playing with these new Smooch paints. I cut the flourish from glittered paper and the color was all wrong, so I "smooched" them with blue and purple. I used green Smooch to ink the edges of the green papers. Just love this stuff. I bought the "lollipop" line, but they come in a ton of colors. A new favorite toy to play with!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thinking outside the Box

A couple of days ago, one of the Scrapbooks-Plus DT members sent out an SOS email for ideas for my December DT kit that wasn't a Christmas theme. So I thought, besides the obvious "winter theme", what else could one use these gorgeous SEI Christmas Mint and Winter Song papers for? With that being the challenge, I set out this morning to create something "non-Christmas" and "non-snow". Well here it draft form anyway. I'm not completely happy with my sub-title/journaling memory frame, that sits empty right now and still hasn't been glued down yet...maybe a charm, Tinkerbell perhaps?
Anyway, this is my husband and me at Cinderella's Castle in Orlando during an unseasonably cold spell (I had to buy a jacket and a scarf!). But the foil green swirls were a perfect match and just the right contrast to the bright blue castle.

Even if a paper seems meant for a certain purpose, it doesn't mean you can't change it up. I've nearly finished my projects for the December kit (as the designer of the month, you have to go above and beyond). So far, I have four single page layouts (and another in the works) and one double page layout plus a card. And surprisingly, only two of my layouts are Christmas...the rest have varying themes of birds, dogs, playing in the snow and Disney. It is amazing how creative you can be when you challenge yourself to think outside the box!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Interim Lines from Basic Grey

Today, my favorite manufacture, BASIC GREY, is announcing two new interim lines of patterned paper and embellishments, Origins and Sugar Rush. Origins is by far my favorite. Love those earth tones and the fact that the paper is double sided. Sugar Rush is cute. Designed with Valentines Day and Romance in mind, it's not too pink - and you know I don't do "pink" well at all. I'm not sure when they will ship, but will keep you posted.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Late Autumn

The rain has been so dreary the past several days. I was scrolling through my recent photos from Skyline to scrap and maybe put me in a better mood. I love this one of all the colors of late autumn. The hues are deeper at the higher elevations ealier, which resembled then as things look now in my back yard (although I don't have this view!).
I've been working on my December DT kit. The two-page layout is nearly complete. It's a spin on a design from an early All About Me class. (My two-page design Mo Jo is running low!)
I'm also waiting for an on-line order of product to create Pam's banner for my in-laws at Thanksgiving. Just need that Graphic 45 paper! Also need to decide what pics to use. The project uses three portraits. So should I choose my in-laws now (together) and two others of them when they were infants, OR of relatives that have passed on - their parents and our nephew who died 7 1/2 years ago. The former is safer, the latter is more sentimental but may cause too much heart ache. What to do? I'm sure I'll figure it out soon enough! Will post my version when I finish.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Page Maps

Seems Page Maps are the new trend, and we've been scrapping to a lot of them on the Scrapbooks-Plus Design Team in recent weeks. I will be the designer of the month in December, so the members are busy creating with the kit that I put together to mark the beginning of winter and the Christmas holidays.

All weekend, I have been working on Christmas gifts that I am making (nearly all my gifts this year will be hand made since I hate shopping - unless it is for scrapbook supplies!). But in addition to taking the dogs out for a woodland run in Lucketts, attending the C-League Champoinship football game on Saturday and making gift albums from old 78 record storage albums, I whipped up my first page map this weekend.
If you want to get started early on the December DT challenge, put your thinking caps on for the pics you'll choose for this map.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Skyline Drive and the Absolute Beauty of Autumn

"...with the smell of the woods, and the wind in the trees, they will forget the rush and strain of all the other long weeks of the year, and for a short time at least, the days will be good for their hearts and for their souls." Franklin Roosevelt said this of Skyline Drive and the Shenandoah in 1936. I used his quote on this layout featuring my son Zach and our adventure last weekend on Skyline Drive. The layout features SEI Monrovia papers and flowers by Prima (my new favorite manufacturer). I've added just a few of the photos from our Sunday drive. My friend Carol Wingert asked for a little Virginia autumn - since she doesn't get much of it out in Phoenix - so I thought I'd share some of those photos I sent to her with the rest of you!

Here's Zach and I at one of the lookout points. Some nice man took a photo of the two of us.

The chaotic Blue Ridge Skyline.

A gorgeous sugar maple.

Sassafras along the side of the road. While I was taking this picture (and not paying much attention to much else) a small bear crossed the road right in front of us. I wasn't quick enough to get his picture though!

The Massanutten. Notice the difference in the formations of these mountain - more even and organized than those of the Blue Ridge.

Another Maple...I love their colors best!! Stay tuned, I have more lovely autumn layouts in the works!!

Monday, October 26, 2009


Ready for Spooky? Ready for Halloween? I don't know about you, but Halloween is one holiday that I am definitely behind in scrapping. This week's make-and-take is this clever little mini book to help you journal all your Halloween memories. The layout is all Basic Grey. All the paper you need is at Scrapbooks-Plus except for the purple "screech" paper. For that we had to substitute cardstock (although the paper should be in next week). Also the witch sticker on the right page will be available next week when we feature a Halloween design using the Eerie Sticker elements. (So save the spot on your layout and come by next week for a "BOO" experience).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Correction - Pumpkin make-and-take and Basic Grey Layout is today!

There was a problem with the inventory needed for Misty's Make and Take layout, so TODAY, October 7, is the Basic Grey layout featured at Scrapbooks-Plus. So head on over today while they last!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Indian Summer and Pumpkins

Don't use all of those Indian Summer Stickers elements up just yet! If you came by Scrapbooks-Plus and did the Wednesday make and take, you most likely bought those Sticker Elements from Basic Grey's Indian Summer line. (If they were sold out when you got there, don't worry - there will be more in stock just in time for this next make and take).

Basic Grey has published these great one-page layout instructions featuring all of their newest papers. I have created a make-and-take element featured on a second page that I have designed to match. This Wednesday Misty has this really cute "Kiss the Cook" layout planned for our Wednesday Make and Take crowd. Next week on October 14, you'll find a Pumpkin element with a pumpkin layout to match! The make-and-take is a chipboard cut pumpkin (Accu-cut) that is hand-rubbed with gold wax (I did the rubbing!). You'll cover the element with Martha Stewart Fire Opal Glitter and top the stem with a burgundy organza bow. (and for those like Lydia who don't like glitter in her books, skip the glitter - the golden waxed chipboard will work beautifully without it!). The rest of the layout can be made right in the store - you'll just need some brown ink to color those to spell the title.
So save those element stickers - or pick up some more - and enjoy your Indian Summer in the pumpkin patch!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Autumn Leaves

You got to just love this new paper from Basic Grey called Indian Summer. The palette is so diverse you can make so many different styles of layouts from it. The line is filled with black browns, oranges, reds, pinks - including fushia!. This layout is featured this week at Scrapbooks-Plus as their Wednesday Make-and-Take two page layout combo. One of the pages in this layout was designed by Basic Grey. The instructions can be picked up at the store on Wednesday. Just be mindful that Basic Grey instructions often have errors, so I have identified those errors and corrected them for you. The second page is my design to compliment the first page. It includes the make-and-take (below). It is a small date tag (or you could journal on it - just not much!). The leaves were punched using three Martha Stewart leaf punches. You'll use a Krylon leafing pen to add the gold.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Make and Take - Mango Style!

Scrapbooks-Plus is celebrating their 9th anniversary in business the last week of August. In their celebration week, they have a variety of specials at the store, including special discounts on certain products - a different special each day - as well as daily make-and-takes, classes, and more. Tuesday August 28 is my day for a make-and-take; I'm also teaching my "Dog Days of Summer " class that night. The make-and-take that I designed is a simple tag, using Mango Luau paper from Bo Bunny and Doodlebug ribbon. The special discount on Tuesday is on all acrylic stamps in the store, so I've used an Imaginisce stamp on my tag - the flip flops - to a way to use stamps on projects.

To compliment the free make-and-take, I've designed a two page layout to show how to use tags as journaling block on layouts. I will put a few page kits for sale as well - complete with all the papers you'll need to complete the layout along with color instructions. The cool thing about this layout is how I got the LONG sticker title to be straight without having to draw a line on my background (something I HATE to do!!)

I used my Tim Holtz clear center ruler to attach the bottom half of the letters with the top half hanging off. This allowed me to line them all up (with no lines!). When I got them all on, I placed them where I wanted them on the layout and pressed them down. I then carefully (released the bottom half from the ruler) and pushed them down...perfectly straight!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Big Easy

A wedding in Lafayette, Louisiana this weekend gave my husband and I, along with a few of our good friends, the opportunity to party a little in the Big Easy. New Orleans is such a fun town. From Bourbon Street and the French Quarter to the garden district and the wonderful shopping, we had such a good time. Here we are after a HOT walk down Canal street to the Mississippi River for lunch (which would have been a lot cooler had we stayed at the hotel!).
I'm waiting for our friend Kinga to send all of her pictures of us out on Bourbon Street on Thursday night. Those photos should really be interesting!!!
Here's Kinga showing off one of those masks we saw along Canal Street for sale.

Of course the wedding two and a half hours away out in Cajun country along the Atchafayla Swamp, was a way different experience as well. (I have never seen a seven-tiered wedding cake before in my life!!)

It was a beautiful ceremony and a reception party like none I have been to before either. Quite the experience - a really good time with great food and ambiance.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

On the Shore

We left on Friday for our annual trek to Bald Head Island - a lovely barrier island at the mouth of the Cape Fear river south of Wilmington, NC. We have been coming here since 1994, and although the community here changes, the beauty of the nature here never does. I did bring some scrapping stuff (just in case of rain), and plan to work on my beachcomber book a bit. Meanwhile, we've been enjoying the beach with the kids and the dog. I have taken a ton of pictures, so I'll have plenty to do evenings! . And, this is the first year that we've stayed in a house with internet access (albeit slow!) so I can post if I want - although I'm sure I'll be checking work email more than posting!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Beach Comber Book

I've had this idea for a project for a while now, but only when Scrapbooks-Plus had all this Creative Imaginations product left over from the make and take layouts did I began to pull it together. It is not finished yet, as I am still decorating the inside pages. I do plan to do this as a class the last Saturday of August. And I may sell kits - depending how challenged I become in getting it all together. I have two other classes (layouts) scheduled in August, so we'll see if I can get kits together or not! This will be my first "project" that I've taught. Hopefully it will go well!

The book, which is an altered hardback novel, has 30 pages inside that you can fill with your photos and journalling. We are leaving for vacation in two weeks, and I would like to get another one of these together to take along as my photo journal for the trip. That way I'll have two samples for the class - one will be complete with photos and the other blank (the blank one will be the store sample which I will have at the front on display sometime this week - definitely by the weekend!)
Hope you like it!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Celebrating our Nation's Birthday

We just got back from the Leesburg Independence Day parade - and what a nice parade it was. The weather was perfect - sunny with a cool breeze and absolutely no humidity - a rare thing in July in Virginia! The boys had a great time and I even managed a few smiles out of my husband! (And don't you just love that tiara!!)

I downloaded my pictures already so I can start on a July 4 layout - although it will have to wait 'til tomorrow since we are soon heading to my mother's house in Lucketts for a picnic and fireworks with my family.

I bought these really cool buttons from Rusty Pickle at Scrapbooks-Plus last weekend and couldn't wait to use them. My friend Debbie, who owns Scrapbooks-Plus, and I cropped all day last Saturday and I had the perfect layout in mind. I was so inspired by Melissa Frances (I took two of her classes at GASC last week), I used her patriotic line to make this subdued Memorial Day layout.

I'm kind of wishing now I had used this paper for today's parade, but I bought a bunch of Rusty Pickle's Rockin' America paper that I can improvise with. Got to run - I think my boys found the fireworks and I need to make sure they don't blow themselves up!

Have a great 4th!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Soire'e

Summer is here and have I got the class for you! After a busy weekend of taking classes at GASC and 14 hours of cropping at Scrapbooks-Plus on Saturday, I have tons of ideas and projects in the works. I just designed my July Basic Grey class layout - Summer Soire'e - using Basic Grey's new Lemonade line of patterned papers, complete with a jeweled beetle. You can easily incorporate both girl and boy photos or make the mats all blue or all pink. The class is scheduled for August 4 (I know I said July, but all the Tuesdays are booked!) from 6:00 til 8:30. Sign-up soon!

I am also working on my August class using the June Bug line of papers. That class (titled The Dog Days of Summer) is scheduled for August 28. More on that later....
Can't wait to show off all the cool layouts I worked on this weekend - some still need titles and journaling, so I'll post when I finish. Meanwhile, I'll get those make-and-take layout posted.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Make and Take for GASC

Designing "make and takes" is not my greatest talent, so I leave them up to the pros - folks like Louise and Lisa at Scrapbooks-Plus deserve all the credit for the out-of-sight make-and-takes you'll find this weekend at Scrapbooks-Plus and at the GASC. I have incorporated both make-and-takes into layouts that will be on display at the conference and at the store all weekend. Above, you'll see this cute pocket designed by Lisa Housman that I incorporated into a two-page layout (the S-A-N-D letters are my additions to create part of my title - Sand Art ) The layout features Creative Imaginations Christine Adolph's latest South Seas line of papers and stickers. Here you can see how I've cut out the flowers and popped them on the second page.

You can make the pocket for free at the store. There is another make-and-take ( a cute butterfly tag) available to make at the conference on both Friday and Saturday. The instructions for both layouts that I designed will be at the store all weekend. I'll post the materials list and photos of both layouts here after the conference. Here's a sneak peek of the layout that includes the tag that you can make only at GASC today and the store next week.

Can't wait to see everyone this weekend at the conference and at Scrapbooks-Plus. I'll be at the conference all weekend and at the store crop all night long on Saturday. Hope to see you there!