Sunday, November 14, 2010

In the Christmas Spirit

This week, I picked up the Anna Griffin Holiday Traditions Paper Pack along with a packet of dimensional stickers and was overrun with a bad case of Christmas Spirit.  This never happens to me this early in the year (Usually it is Christmas Eve before I realize that it is Christmas already!).  So I went on-line and picked up some great layout ideas.  This first one is a near 100% scraplift from  I had made these fans once before and just had to make them again.
Now to find a perfect vintage family picture to place on the layout.

This next layout is half scraplift and half original.  The left page was inspired by an Anna Griffin design.  The complimentary right page is my own, with my glittered three-dimensional peppermint lamp posts.

The whole thing was just too fun to create.  I know it is early for Christmas Spirit, but maybe it will motivate me to at least start my shopping.  I'd love to do these as a class (I was thinking about a "paper pack" class.  Purchase the paper pack and I'd spend a few hours showing everyone how to make both layouts and a few cards.) But not sure if I will have the time - or if there would be interest since you need the paper pack (and that's a lot of papers to purchase for just two layouts!)

But here's to early Christmas spirit...hopefully it will motivate you, too!

Lingering Days of Autumn

Another beautiful autumn afternoon today inspired this Autumn layout from my recent drive along Skyline.  Again, I used leftovers from Basic Grey's Indian Summer line.  The rays of afternoon sunlight and the leaves of my burning bush are a beautiful backdrop for this simplistic design.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Autumn in the Mountains

There is nothing more serene than an autumn drive in the Virginia mountains.  I took the day off on Friday and headed out onto Skyline drive with the kids  - my hubbie decided to join us for the first time this year.  The air was chilly - at 43 degrees is was a whole lot colder than we expected!  But the sky was clear and the sun shining.  Here's a quick layout I put together using last year's Indian Summer line from Basic Grey. Nothing fancy - just using the scraps I had left over from a couple of projects last year.  There was this little bird sticker leftover from the Elements Stickers pack that I gave new tail feathers.  I just love how the tail feathers transform an otherwise plain pink bird in too an awesome peacock!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

Last Saturday we took Zach, Nicky and a friend to Pumpkinville, just outside of Leesburg.  It was a beautiful day!  I took a ton of pictures but this one was especially nice of the three of them searching for the perfect pumpkin.  As I am determined to use the papers and supplies I have been hoarding for the past few years, I put this layout together using last year's Little Yellow Bicycle line "Autumn Bliss" and two new Sissix Dies I bought last weekend on sale at Joann.
I used a craft knife to cut into the paper deisgn to create an overlay. Most of the embellishments, including those really cute leaf brads, are from the Autumn Bliss line of papers.
If I don't use a product line that I buy right away, it seems to sit on a shelf forever and becomes forgotten. Rediscovering this line again was such a pleasant surprise!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Where has the summer gone?

Just as quickly as it came, summer has seemed to vanish into fall.  My ninety-one days are gone - and then some!  But what a busy, memory filled summer it has been.  Lots of work and travel  -  I have been so busy that in fact I have had little time to craft, and scrap!

My big project this summer that seemed to undermine everything else was the redesign of the landscape in our back yard.  Seems I have had constuction workers and Virginia red clay around all summer! But the results are stunning!
I designed and then had built a patio, two new decks, an outdoor living room under a pergola, a summer kitchen complete with refrigerator and an enormous grill with an oven, and a hot tub.  Before we had a very small brick patio off a wooden deck with ugly railings.  I had the railings removed along with all the pressure treated wood and designed new wrap around steps to open the back deck to the back yard.  We replaced the gray and splintered wood new Treks "wood"  - cool to your feet and you never have to refinish it.

The old patio was maybe 200 sq ft and had grass growing in between the brick.  I ripped it all out and built a new 1400 sq ft patio with a 2 ft retaining wall to keep the run-off from the back yard in my basement.  The new patio is made with the "flagstone" pavers.  They are three inches thick with 6 inches of gravel and rock dust under them and polymeric sand betweeen them - I dare a weed to grow in between them!
And don't you just love that kitchen!  I have a new margarita mixer out there as well - and you know that will go to good use.

This is the construction of the "hot tub deck".  It is finished now, but I haven't taken pictures of the completed deck.
And I built a firepit for these cool autumn nights that are on their way.

Here's my hubbie grilling - you can thee the pergola off to the right.  I just had it painted white and I bought some really nice wicker furniture and a propane patio heater for it.  Hopefully if it ever stops raining, we can sit out under the stars this fall.

Now that I have been bitten by the "landscape bug" we have added a second "upper" patio with an in-gound pool.  Of course it will be November before the final phase is complete, but at least for now the bulk of the designing is finished.  Next Spring I may add a couple of walkways and put in a few new gardens since all the ones by the house had to be removed for the constuction...but that will be next year...

Anyway, I have been back in my "studio" working on a project for my nieces wedding and finishing up my "91 days of Summer" album, although I won't have 91 layouts - that is for sure.  I did manage to take a ton of pictures, and have a number of layouts (simple ones I might add) completed.

I will take some photos of and share soon....

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ninety One Days of Summer

My boys are out of school for the summer.  They get exactly 13 weeks for summer vacation.  This year, we decided that each of them would journal everyday throughout the break to keep track of what they did. (It also keeps their writing skills from degenerating over the long break!).  So I thought what a great idea for me, too - a small scrapbook page for each of the 91 days until they go back to school.  Anyone want to play along?  Day One was baseball games, Day Two was football tryouts, and Day Three was gardening and cleaning the pond. (Don't you love my little croaking friend?).,
I'll take a photograph, journal a half page or so and make a simple 8 1/2 " x  11"  page to to keep it all together.  That's the plan any way!
Hope your summer is off to a terrific start - we have 12+ weeks to go!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A May Day Basket

Last month, I participated in my very first swap hosted by Kari Ramstrom. The idea of this swap was to create and exchange May Day Baskets with your swap partner who was randomly selected by Kari.   The baskets were to be sent in time for a May 1 arrival. For my swap partner, I put togther this very artful basket using purples, beige and creams.
Contents included this very cool handmade "calypso" soap and local grown cinnamon I bought while in the Virgin Islands, along with a hand made bunny, a lilac candle (my favorite scent!), a big "H" (for my swap partner's first initial), a small "dragonfly" watercolor bowl, a journal, some Starburst jelly beans, and a mini album that I made.

I made this friendship album using Basic Grey's Kioshi papers and a Rusty Pickle chipboard flower album.

I was really pysched about this album because it turned out even better than I thought it would.  I loved the way the purple ink looked over the ivory painted edges of the chipboard.  I really hope my swap partner enjoys putting her own photos in it...and speaking of which....

if you were wondering, my swap partner never basket, no email, no acknowledgement of the basket I sent, no reply to my email inquiring if everything was alright with her.  At first I was concerned that something terrible may have happened to her, but I noticed that she has been active on her blog, so at least I know she's okay.I guess life gets in the way sometimes, and even though we have the best intentions when we commit to something, life finds a way of taking over our plans. I hope she enjoys her May Day gift as much as I enjoyed creating it!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Garden Delights

My mother's clematis is absolutely gorgeous this year.
I don't think I have ever seen it with so many blooms!
And the peonies from my grandmother's home place that I transplanted along our driveway are as fragrant and as beautiful as ever.

I love these old fashioned ones.  They smell so much nicer than the new hybrid ones that I have mixed them with.

And look what has made a nest in the Rhododendrons under our dining room window! 
The cardinals are back after a two year hiatus when a hawk took their nest.  This nest seems to be a little less conspicuous so hopefully we'll have little babies soon!
I love my garden in bloom!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Artful Spring

Today I am home from work, sick with the croup bug my boys brought home last week.  It started on Wednesday, and progressively has gotten worse as the week went on.  I was able to teach my Turtle Dreams class on Saturday, but I think that is what pushed me over the edge. I have been confined to my room for three days since, but at least today I feel like actuallty doing something!

Although I haven't blogged in a while, I have been very busy creating lots of projects for lots of causes this spring.  First, I had to get my auction donations ready for my kid's school annual fundraiser.  I made two rocking chairs and five photo journals.  The rocking chairs featured papers from Anna Griffin's Isabelle line.
I also made a number of my favorite photo journals, similar in style to the class I taught on Saturday. (by the way, all of my fees from that class were donated to Sea Turtle Survival programs).  It is the same design as my Beach Comber project from last summer, but instead of the teal colors for the Creative Imaginations line, I used the coral papers. 
Here are a few of the pages from the project.

I am hopeful that I will be over all this sickness and can get back to work and back into my scrapbook room.  I have too many unfinished projects as well as too many ideas  in my head to get started on before summer!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Spring has sprung in Washington DC. My hubbie and I took the boys to the Tidal Basin on Good Friday to see the beautiful showing of the cherry blossoms.

It was a gorgeous day, and a bit crowded, but we got there early and left  the city before the crowds became too maddening.

I have already started a book using Basic Grey's Kioshi papers, Prima cherry blossoms and the chop sticks I kept from lunch at the Cherry Blossom festival.
Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New Photo Journal Class in May - Turtle Dreams

It's a go!  I will be teaching a class at Scrapbooks-Plus on how to make this very special "Turtle Journal".  Class is scheduled for Saturday May 15 from 10am til 4pm. The journal includes 4 signatures and holds over 50 photos.  For the front cover you will get a reproduction of my turtle watercolor and a gilded shell that I brought back from the BVI.  Inside are more than a dozen pages, pockets and tags for photo and memories,.
 You'll receive flocked yellow letters to personalize your book any way you'd like. 

I've included some very cute ephemra that I brought back with me to make some very cool pages like these beautiful hibiscus stamps and a card-map of the Carribean islands that can be used as a mat for a photo or for journaling.
We'll stitch some flowers and also hand make this very cool cloth fish that will cover a plastic CD case that will hold two CDs of movies or pictures from your trip.

Trust me - there is a CD case behind this that opens up within the book.
This is one of my favorite pages.  I found this shell on the beach - you'll have to replace it with one of your own since I only found one!

I am pricing the class at $50.  Again, I will be donating all my instructor fees to a good cause - this time it is the Carribean Conservation Corporation - which is 100% dedicated to the protection of Sea Turtles.  What better cause for a Turtle Journal!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Turtle Dreams - Vacation Photo Journal

I've got something new in the works!  Remember my little turtle watercolor?  How cute is he shrunk and copied on watercolor paper and mounted on a canvas mat?  I'm thinking of another class - this one in May.  Thoughts anyone??

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Cherry Blossoms are out!

The Cherry Blossoms are beginning to POP in Washington!  The boys asked me last night to take them into the city tomorrow to see them before they fall.  Last year we waited too long and many of the blooms were on the ground by the time we were able to get downtown to see them  (as you can see from this photo).

If I can squeeze out an afternoon this week (maybe tomorrow?), I'll yank them out of school early and head into town armed with my camera (and patience).  I bought the entire line of Basic Grey Kioshi paper thinking it would be perfect for a photo journal of the annual showing of spring color in our beautiful city.  Here's hoping!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Earth Day

Here's the layout for my class honoring the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on Aprill 22.  I am donating all my class fees to the Forest Stewardship Council.  The layout features all recycled or repurposed materials (with the exception of the little green ribbon!).  The paper is from Basic Grey's "Green at Heart" line which is made with FSC certified paper (meaning 85%+ of the content is from recycled components) and the ink used is soy-based, which uses fewer resources to make and is far more environmentally friendly than traditional petroleum-based ink.  Everything else is repurposed - an old drop cloth serves as the basis for the canvas flowers, old tee shirts are used for the colorful petals, and painted twigs serve as "prima-style" sprays. I'm charging a little more for this layout - $22, so that I can maximize the donation to the FSC.  The class is Tuesday April 20 from 6:00 - 8:30 at Scrapbooks-Plus in Chantilly, Virginia.  If you are interested in a kit and you are not in the area, you can call the store and order one.  The only additional cost will be shipping. The store's telephone number is 703-263-9503 if you want to sign up for this very cute, very earth-friendly, layout class/kit!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Green at Heart - Double page layout class

I haven't taught a class since January and haven't designed one since last fall, so I felt like it was time to get back in the groove.  The newest Basic Grey just arrived last week and I just love the hot colors of the "Green at Heart" line.  In the spirit of recycling and with Earth Day just around the corner, I came up with a design that involved nearly everything "green", repurposed or recycled.  Twigs collected from my back yard, some fabric I had lying around, left-over canvas and a little paint all contributed to my "green" design.  Except for the ribbon, students will make everything by hand...even the flowers!
The Class will be taught in April at Scrapbooks-Plus. I'm still working out the date with the store, but it will most likely be Tuesday evening from 6:00-8:30 on either April 20 or 27.  Will announce the details when I have them.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More Squares

Heres' my progress on my squares.  Since I'm on vacation, I don't have any buttons or embellishments, so I used a small shell with a hole on its top for one square.  On the green square, it is a small stone from the Coppermine we visited on St. Pattie's Day.  The green in the stone is actually copper.  How Cool!  I tried to put a small shamrock in next to it, but after two attempts, it just wasn't working for me.  I'll be all caught up on the plane home tomorrow - Ugh! Back to the real world again!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mr. Turtle

Yesterday on our sail to Anegada, I spotted this really cute Loggerhead sea turtle swimming along side our boat.  I did a little research last night to get a glimpse of exactly what he looked like.  Tonight I drew him (well, watercolored him) while the boys watched "Bad Santa"
It's still wet, so tomorrow morning - before the rest of the crew gets up, I'll fill in a few more details.
I just love being on vacation and having time to do what I love. Wouldn't it be great if all we had to do in this world is what we love?  Sailing with our kids and painting sea turtles - ah - to dream!!!  Hope you enjoy your weekend and make some time to do what you love!!  And dream a little!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Another Square - Fleur De Lis

Here's my square for today - in the setting evening sun!


I've done a little sketching and watercolor while at the beach (since I don't sun bathe anymore!).  I've been sitting under a tiki canopy watching the boys play in the water, attempting to capture the beauty not only with my camera, but with my pencils.
This is the southern end of Mahoe Bay.  The water is spectacular, but the colors keep changing as the sun moves across the sky.  Guess I need to be faster!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Stitch in Time - I'm still behind!

I'm still behind but making progress towards my 48 squares.  These two newest ones are inspired by the lovely scenery here on Virgin Gorda.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Break!

Spring break is finally here.  The kids got out of school on Friday for two whole weeks, so we packed up and headed south for a while. We are in the beautiful British Virgin Islands (and far away from the cold!).  This is the view from our pool, overlooking Leverick Bay.   I've brought some scrapping materials to make (and finish I hope) a photo journal of the island and of the vacation.  I sat out by the pool this morning and put a few of the pages together while my son swam in the water.  I also brought my stitching - I even did a square on the plane!!  So when the light is better in the morning, I'll shoot a few shots of my progress.
But meanwhile, here's some lovely photos of the beautiful Virgin Gorda (and yes, I even brought a printer so I could add photos to my photo journal).

This is Spring Bay.  The boys enjoyed jumping off the rocks into the surf.
These are the gardens below our our balcony.

A spectacular view from the overlook at Gorda Peak.

more to come......