About Me

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I am a SAHM mother of three...only one left home though. Paper crafting is my passion...I love creating things and saving memories. I also enjoy reading, baking, spending time with my friends and family, and walking my two furry children. My goal on my blog is to share something a little crafty, something yummy, and something fun every week. Thank you for visiting & comments are appreciated :)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

End of Many Chapters

 Actually many chapters.  this week is proving to be a little emotional for me, and next week will be no better.  This is Jarek's last year of Middle School and his confirmation is on Sunday...many 'chapters' coming to an end.

It started with his final band concert on Tuesday.  While he enjoys playing the saxophone, he has decided that there are others classes he would rather take in high school, so not only was this his last middle school concert, but his last band concert.  To make it even more bittersweet, his band director is leaving and it was his final concert at Ankeney Middle School as well.  It is amazing to me how far Mr. Jacobs was able to the bring the band in three years.  I am hoping that while Jarek will not be taking band in school, that he might pursue his playing in other ways

One to Wednesday night's Confirmation practice...the ceremony on Sunday will mark two years of commitment on these 19 teenagers part.  They have attended church, assisted with services, attended Sunday school, attended Wednesday night gatherings, participated in youth retreats, completed community service projects, wrote sermon reports...and so much more.  I have had the pleasure to assist the youth directer with this program and get to know all of the kids on some level.  It is incredible to me the growth of these young people and how far they have come.  I truly enjoyed being around them and being able to help with this program.   I have seen so much growth in Jarek....not just in his faith, but just as a person.  Sunday will be an emotional day.

Sunday will not be the end...Wednesday will be Jarek's last day of middle school...on to high school!  On top of all of Jarek's 'final chapters' we are facing a move over the summer, so more 'ends'.  Needless to say, with all the emotions flying I have not done much creating....next week...hopefully.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pick 3 for the week of 5/27/12

1)  Patriotic Cocktails - summer is the time for patriotic celebrations (Memorial Day, 4th of July) so these cocktails caught my eye.  Wouldnt' they be fun to serve at your 4th of July barbecue?

2)  Patriotic Wreath - since paper medallions are hot right now, and most of us have an overabundance of decorative papers, I thought this wreath might be fun to make.  Of course, you can always change up the color palette for other holidays, but I like this one.  The chalkboard in the middle makes it even more versatile as you can customize the message for Memorial Day, 4th of July, Veterans Day, Welcome Home, etc.

3)  Technique Zone - came across this site while searching for a technique online.  This site has everything...stamping, backgrounds, cards, mixed media, etc.  Lots of video tutorials.  It is a great go to site for inspiration, or refreshing.  Check it out!

I hope you are having a wonderful day.  Remember, let me know what you think of the picks...I love comments ;)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

In Remberance....

I often wonder how many people truly know and understand the significance of Memorial Day...especially when someone says, "Happy Memorial Day".
Memorial Day is suppose to be a day to remember those who lost their lives in service to our country.  It has been in observance since the civil war...with the North and South actually celebrating on different days.  The first official observance of Memorial Day was may 30, 1868.  Memorial Day is supposed to be May 30th, but in 1971 the National Holiday act moved it to the last Monday of May to ensure a three day weekend for federal holidays.  Personally, I think this only helped to diminish the reverence of the holiday.   It is our job to pass on to the next generation...Memorial Day is NOT a celebration or just another day off.  If is a time to remember and honor those who sacrificed for our freedom.  It is a time to remember the heroes. 
Now, I am not saying we shouldn't celebrate...we should...we should celebrate their lives and the gift they gave us...FREEDOM.  We should be glad their were men and women who would do that for us. 
Yes, we can have your cookouts, parades, parties and fireworks...but remember who gave up in order for you to continue to have these freedoms.  Take some time out of your celebrating to honor them.  Visit a cemetery(it is truly moving to see the flags in Arlington National Cemetery), fly your flag properly on Memorial Day (half staff until noon in rememberance, then raised to full staff for the remainder of the day in a show of strength of our nation), wear a red poppy on your lapel, attend a memorial ceremony or service.  Then enjoy your time with your family and friends, then enjoy the freedoms that are given to you by the sacrifices of those fallen men and women.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Graduation Card

I can finally share this card with you.  I made this center step card for my best friend's daughter's graduation from college.  I love it...it really came together nicely.  Here's the details"

Image:  Frantic girl graduate by Sassy Cheryl's Digis

Papers:  Bo Bunny scraps and black card stock

Embellishments:  flourish stickers, rhinestones, flowers, ribbon, and gold glitter pen (on the image), sunflower Smooch (on the sash and horn).

I just love the feeling the image evokes...elation, relief, happiness.  I hope she liked it!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pick 3 for the week of: 5/21/12

Had a lovely weekend...band concert on Friday evening...hard to believe that it will be Jarek's last.  He has decided to not continue with band in high school.  Then Saturday was a baseball day...Opening Day for Jarek's league.  We had ceremonies in the morning and then a scrimmage in the afternoon.  Sunday was just a relaxing family day...church, brunch, and a little shopping.
All this 'boy stuff' this weekend got me thinking about Fathers' Day...and my picks for this week reflect that...

1.  Fathers' Day Wreath - found this on Pinterest and I love it.  I think I am going to pick up the stuff to do this...with a few changes.  First, my husband would not wear a bow tie, so I am going to change it to a regular tie.  going to do a black wreath, since that is what my husband wears the most.  Finally, I will paint my letters to match whatever tie I choose.  Think it is going to be cute.

2.  Jacket Card - I am follower of this blog and I really like this card.  It is a variation of the suit/shirt cards that we have all seen and done.  This is very elegant.  

3.  Any Size Envelope Tutorial - I love this tutorial...so simple, but a great tool.  I know I often make cards with out thinking of the envelope and then I am hunting just the right size.  I usually end up with one that is too wide or too long...now, that problem is fixed!

Hope you have a creative week.  Remember, let me know what you think of the "Pick 3's"...I love comments!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

ATC: April Showers

 Just had to share my latest ATC and the story behind it...here goes!
I was trying to come up with my ATC for the latest PCD swap.  The theme was "April Showers" and while i had many ideas none of them were working when I went to actually create them.  I was explaining all this to my BFF, Brandi, and she started describing this stamp she had.  Well, no matter how cute the stamp it really wasn't going to do me much good...we live 3+ hours apart!  Fortunately, Brandi's mind was not frazzled from trying to regain creative mojo and she had the good sense to stamp it off, scan it in, and e-mail it to me  Yeah!  As soon as I saw it I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  I wanted to keep it simple and highlight the things that were on theme...the umbrella and rain boots.   Soooo....I colored the umbrella red (it there any other color for an umbrella?) and then covered it with Crystal Effects for added dimension.  When it was dry I added a black rhinestone for the top of the umbrella.  For her boots I colored them in with Sunflower Smooch.  I finished it up by tearing around the image, inking the edges with Raven Cat's Eye Chalk Ink and adhering to black card stock.  Done...thanks to Brandi...she saved the day.

Before I go, I wanted to share this picture with you...roses from my garden.  I just love that rose bush...it is always full of blooms.   I love having fresh flowers in the house.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mother's Day Layout with a Sketch

So, here is the monthly sketch challenge from Paper Crafting Divas.  I initially found it on Pinterest and I loved the simplicity of it.  There were just so many things your would do with it.
I decided to use it for my Mothers' Day pictures.  I knew I wanted to use the background paper right off...I have been holding on to it for awhile, waiting for just the right layout...and this was it.  I then picked two solids and another smaller print to use.
I added some flowers, pearls, rhinestones and ribbon.
I did change it up a little with a journal box and there is a pocket...can you find it?  OK, I will tell you...the top half of the layout is the pocket.  I created it by simply stitching the printed paper to a piece of card stock.  Now, since I didn't want my pocket to be 12" deep I ran a row of stitching behind where the ribbon trim is.  Voila...a place for my cards!  I have to admit that this sketch challenged me a little, but I am very happy with the final product.

Cake Shooters

No post yesterday because I was busy creating in the edible way. I decided that we needed a special treat for the last confirmation gathering...CAKE SHOOTERS! I already had the push up forms...purchased those when I saw them on Pinterest. Now, what flavors... Jarek requested brownie with mint, so brownies with mint frosting and an Andes on top. Next, had to have fun fetti cake with bubble gum frosting...fun! Finally, strawberry cake with fluffy white frosting and sprinkles.

First to bake the brownies and cakes. I used mixes...not many teenagers can tell the difference...and I baked them in disposable sheet cake pans. Once they cooled I used one of the push up forms as my cutter and I cut all my circles out.

Now to prepare the frosting. For the mint and bubblegum I used the new Mix Ins by Duncan Hines.

Time to assemble! I layered two cake circles with frosting. I used my decorator tool for the frosting. I topped each final layer of frosting with a little something and then put the lid on. 0nce they were all completed and my kitchen cleaned up, I had to figure out how to transport them to the church without getting destroyed. This was a real challenge, but I finally came up with a quick fix. Note to self- make a holder before making again.

The kids loved them!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pick 3 for the week of 5/14/12

1.  Memory Box Dies - these have got to be the most intricate cutting dies available right now.  I love them!  They have everything...from butterflies to flourishes.  They also carry dies to cut the pieces to make rolled flowers, rosettes, and layered blooms.  There are several online sources for purchasing.

2.  Olloclip Quick Connect Lens - I received these for Mothers' Day and I am excited to start using them.  I read about them in one of photo magazines and then I began to look into them.  With the increasingly better quality of cameras on the iPhone it seemed only natural to add a lens and really up your quality of pictures.  So, after a few hints my DH and DS got them for me.  Here are a few links to read more about them:  Techno Buffalo,  Amazon, andEngadget.

3.  Design Seeds - I absolutely love this site for finding fun color palettes to work with.  Sometimes I just get stuck into an old rut of the same color combos and this is the perfect site to help get me out of that rut.  They offer an inspiration picture with a matching color palette...this is great for scrap booking, room design, etc. 

Remember, let me know if you give any of these picks a try.  I love hearing your feedback. 

Enjoy your week!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothers' Day!

"Youth fades, love droops; the leaves of friendships fall.
A mother's secret love outlives them all."
~Oliver Wendell Holmes,Sr.

Already a wonderful day! I went down to the kitchen this morning to find a large vase of pink roses and presents. Jarek and John gave me two Coach purses ( my favorite) and lenses for my iPhone. We went to church and are now headed to Melting pot for lunch. We have two movies to watch when we getting home, and are feeling satiated from a delicious meal. Happy Feet 2 and We Bought a Zoo. Going to be a lovely day! Hope everyone is having a wonderful day whether you are a mother, celebrating with your mother or remembering your mother.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Flashback Friday: Friends Layout

When my creative juices are just not flowing I look through magazines, peruse online galleries, or even flip through my scrapbooks.  So, the other day when I was trying to do a layout for my son's youth retreat I found myself in just that position.  I began looking for inspiration...and I found it in my own online pictures.  

This is a layout I did when working as a designer.  It was very popular...I know several people copied it and I made kits for several more.  As I looked at the layout I realized this could be adapted to any papers and sticker sheet.  This particular layout was done with Bo Bunny papers, Bo Bunny sticker sheet, black card stock, ribbon, flowers...lots of them, rhinestones, Stickles, and pop dots.  It was relatively simple to put together.  It is probably one of my favorite layouts.  Looking at it now I can see many ways to adapt it to other papers and events....instead of flowers use circles or leaves or rosettes, go with more masculine colors, twine instead of ribbon...You can even change the the elements of the layout to accommodate more pictures...the large sentiment on the lower right page could actually be another photo mat...the square mat on the left page could be changed to accommodate a 4x6 photo or two smaller photos, just as the large mate could be divided into two.  

So, when your creative mojo takes a hike, look for inspiration in what you have already created.  You might be surprised at what you find.

Thanks for looking!  Enjoy your weekend...don't forget to pamper your mothers!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cut, Fold, Tuck by Spellbinders

So, I purchased the one of the new "cut, tuck, fold" Spellbinders last week.  I purchased Spectacular Spin.  It comes with three dies, however I only used two.  I made these two cards featuring the cut.  The top is only the largest die, while the bottom is the smallest layered over the largest die.  I LOVE the look.  I used a sketch from Card Positioning Systems.  This sketch is also the challenge sketch on my FB group.  I used papers from my scrap basket, added a few embellishments (ribbon, epoxy sentiment, fancy pebble centers, ink) and done!  Two very pretty Mothers' Day cards.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pick 3 for the week of: 5/7/12

So, this past weekend was National Scrapbooking Day.  Unfortunately, I did not have much free time to work on my scrapbooks, but I did get a couple of cards made...will share them with you later this week....and finished up one layout.  I hope you all were more creative than I.  Now on to my picks for the week...

 1.  Spectrum Noir Markers - these are new on the market.  They are alcohol based markers and come in 160+ colors.  They are refillable.  The markets are double ended, so you get two different tips for coloring.  I just purchased a bundle deal from Paper Wishes of 72 markers.  I have not used them yet because I have to get the right card stock...on my list of things to do tomorrow. 

2.  Bo Bunny: Serenity Collection - I love this collection!  It is Asian inspired with fans, lotus flowers, and lanterns.  The colors are great...teal, red, black, green...very rich.  Loved it so much that I picked it for a swap on FB.  I know I have said this before, but I don't think I have ever met a Bo Bunny paper I don't like :)

3.  Pixie Dust Studio - this one of my absolute favorite digi stores.  She has the cutest images...animals and characters.  She offers freebies quite often, which is a great way to check her out.  Take a look...I am sure you will find something to tickle your fancy!

So, there you have it, my picks.  Tell me what you think...or if you give them a try. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


 This past Friday we had our first neighborhood Progressive Dinner.  We decided to stick to three courses - three houses since it was our first and it was a Friday evening.  Our first house, cocktails & appetizers, was wonderful.  The Browns' had sangria, Mexican bears, shrimp ceviche, chips and salsa.  After about an hour there we moved to our house...the entree.  I thought a lot about it and decided that since it would be a buffet I wanted something that would be easy to eat without a table, so I went with a taco salad bar. 

I decided to make two meats - chicken tinga and shredded beef.  I cooked them the day before in the slow cooker...they were delish!  I baked my own salad shells...this took a little practice, but once I got the hang of it, it was no problem.  I also made cilantro lime rice and chili beans.


I had all the fixin's for the salads...lettuce, tomato, black olives, different cheeses and sour cream.

The drinks were probably the easiest part...Of course I made sangria.  Then I picked up two beers - Corona and Negro Modelo.  I made limeade for something non-alcoholic.  I also had a pitcher of water.

Salsa Table.  I had baked and regular chips.  I made guacamole, fire roasted tomato salsa, black bean and pepper salsa, and drunken salsa.  The drunken salsa was delicious...hot but flavorful.

I had a lot of fun with the decorating...I used things I had and a few things I picked up at the craft store.  All the sombreros I had...from my daycare time ;)  I picked up a few bunches of bright colored flowers, the dish towels with recipes, and a fun table runner.  I think the evening went very well and we will do it again. 

Oh, for our final course we went to eh McKennas for dessert...Tres Leche cake, Mexican wedding cookies and a fruit salad.  maybe next time we will do Italian!