Friday, February 27, 2009


I love the crafting world. It's such a giving place. What do I mean by this statement? Well, there are so many tutorials and great videos out there explaining techniques. Crafters are not a stingy bunch when it comes to techniques. I am generalizing here. I'm sure there are crafters out there that would rather kick you in the junk than look at you. I'm clearly not talking about any of them. Today I am listing my favorite video tutorial sites in a nod to all those giving crafters and manufacturers out there. I am truly appreciative.

Hero Arts Channel

Jennifer McGuire's Ink Channel

Two Peas in a Bucket Channel

Paulette Insall Channel

Craft TV Weekly Channel

I plan on watching the colored pencils and watercolor pencil techniques on the Hero Arts Channel. I hope you find something new to learn or inspiring. Have a great weekend. Until then...Happy Crafting!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Out of Control

Did I mention that I am completely out of control since getting my refund check. I told myself it was okay to buy WHATEVER I wanted and clearly I did. The sad thing - I forgot to put one bag of things on top of this pile so it's not even accurate. Not to mention it's only the shopping from Saturday. Yes - believe it or not - there was Sunday shopping. The upside - I stimulated the heck out of the economy over the weekend. I've already played with a lot of my new stash and even found homes for the items. Which really is saying something considering the amount of stuff I have and the size of my apartment. Also, with Monica here I made out like a bandit because we share paper stacks. We never need three pieces of the same paper so we make a swap. Another great craft weekend bonus. Debating making a trip to Red Lead this weekend. I would love to believe I could just walk out if I couldn't find anything I liked - but who am I kidding? Someone please help me make it stop!

On a more crafty note - here's another craft weekend project. The patterned paper is care of Monica sharing her Green stack with me. Love this paper so much. So happy I have such a thoughtful, giving friend. Also - I want one person who will remain nameless to notice there is pics of the little man in this page. I love these pets. This page is a little uncharacteristic for me. Why? There is fussy cutting. Fussy cutting of the flowers to be exact. It worked out really well and I got some help from Mon when I started to become a big crabby pants. I really liked the outcome of this page. I was worried about the collage of pictures being too busy - but it really worked out well. I love all of the different things you can do with paper, glue, pictures, stamps, and ink. It's amazing. It allows a left-brained person like me to be creative. Thank God. Hope your Thursday is bright. Mine will be very long due to evening meetings. Until then...Happy Crafting.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Humpday Challenge

This week's challenge is brought to you by Pencil Lines and Creative Therapy. I completed Sketch 122 and Catalyst 49. The photo is of my sister and her puppies. I love the three of them so much. Each summer when I go to Los Angeles - I don't want to come back. I love seeing them. It's wonderful to be with the people who know you best. Despite the sketch - this layout took a LONG time to complete. The coolest thing about sketches for me - is that they open my eyes to what I can do on other layouts. They influence me to push the boundaries. They remind me of techniques that I love but have long forgotten. Gotta love anything that gets you in the chair feeling creative and confident. For instance, Sketch 122 has so many layers. I found myself layering on my remaining pages. Gotta love that.

On another note: after three working days of meetings, I am totally ready to do my job of working with kids again. Full day meetings are just not for me. I hope you take the challenge plunge this week. Re (Learn) something. Have a good time. Let go. Until then...Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reading Corner

After a productive craft weekend with a lot of shopping (thanks to my refund check) - I have a couple of books I have purchased that I can't wait to read. The first is An Illustrated Life by Danny Gregory. This book is a true gem. It centers on one of my greatest areas of curiosity - the inner workings of the creative mind. I love the opportunity to glimpse into the minds of artists and see their thought processes. I believe I was meant to read this book - cheesy I know. But - I found this book by accident in the graphic design section of Borders while looking for the It Girl's Guide to Blogging with Moxie. The book on blogging wasn't in stock but I found this instead. I immediately knew it must come home with me. There just aren't enough books that give a glimpse into the creative mind. I'll keep you posted on my reading progress.

I found this interesting book (Creative Awakenings) by Sheri Gaynor on impromptu trip to Borders last Thursday after attending a conference in Springfield. I really love the idea of mixed-media art. Currently I am too afraid to give it a try. Shameful I know. I feel like I've just gotten a handle on scrapbooking. There is still so much to learn about stamping and I don't even have the supplies to delve into mixed-media art. I could possibly break the bank trying out one more new thing. In reality - these are just excuses. I see the work of others and tremble with fear - I'm not sure I'll ever be able to do work like all of the mixed-media artists I love. But I believe I am in the collection phase (a year long phase in my case). I'm slowly reading about mixed-media collage, buying supplies, and trying out techniques in a sketchbook. Mind you this is only about once a month. Slowly but surely I am getting there. Maybe a year from now I'll be posting my mixed-media art. With any luck I will be. Until next time. Happy Reading & Crafting!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Madness

I am both happy and ashamed to admit that I spent my craft weekend buying a number of Hero Arts clear stamp sets, including the ones from my first Monday Madness post. Thanks refund check. Craft weekend was absolutely wonderful. It's always great to see my good friend Monica. Crafting with a friend is a true joy - especially when that friend gives you help without judgement. Everyone needs a crafting friend like that. Heck, everyone needs friends like that. Period. Thanks Mon. I love craft weekends.

Today I am showcasing button flowers by Sassafras Lass. Anyone who has seen my pages knows I love buttons and flowers. I really can't finish a page without at least one of these elements. In one of many moments of genius, Sassafras has created a product that combines my two loves. Not to mention they do something I am way too lazy to do - thread the buttons. Can't get enough of these. I can't currently find them at any local stores. Might be time for an online order. My bank account might need to recover a little first. :) Here's hoping you have a productive week. Happy Crafting!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Challenge Success!

I just posted my first challenge and I am so ecstatic. I didn't even have to make my little blog public which makes me so happy. Not quite ready to make that leap. I uploaded the pages on my Two Peas profile - which had been empty. Totally excited about this option. However - I must say I have nervous little bugs in my stomach at the thought of putting my "stuff" out there to be examined and judged. I guess time will quiet my fears. Here's hoping anyway.

On the crafting front - I've been doing my best to whip up cards. Cards are not my favorite thing to do. I love collecting stamps - but never seem to use them to my liking. I've going to try and post a few cards that I feel okay about - which is saying something. I just need to put on some finishing touches. My creative process involves looking at books and magazines for a LONG time and then testing the waters. I literally purchased Clean & Simple Scrapbooking - The Sequel by Cathy Zielske one year before trying scrapbooking. So - I really feel like I'm just getting my feet wet in the stamping arena. Here's hoping you find the time to do something crafty. Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Humpday Challenge

Supplies: Patterned Paper: Paislee Press, Basic Grey; Cardstock Stickers: Basic Grey; Buttons: Flair by American Crafts; Epoxy Stickers: Studio G; Flowers: Prima, Creative Imaginations; Masks: Tim Holtz; Brads: Making Memories

Supplies: Cardstock: Hobby Lobby; Patterned Paper: Crate Paper; Buttons: Flair by American Crafts; Stickers: K&Company; Flowers: Prima; Misc: Buttons (unknown); Movie Ticket Stub (ArcLight)

Supplies: Patterned Paper: Creative Imaginations, Making Memories, October Afternoon; Letters: Scenic Route Paper; Buttons: Flair by American Crafts; Stamps: Hero Arts; Flowers: Prima: Misc: Pearl Button

Supplies: Cardstock: Target; Patterned Paper: Basic Grey, Chatterbox; Scenic Route; Epoxy Stickers: Love, Elsie; Buttons: Flair by American Crafts; Chipboard: Making Memories: Stamps: Hero Arts: Flowers: Prima, Heidi Grace; Brads: Making Memories; Misc: Teal button (unknown)

CHALLENGE DAY! When I read the challenge on Method Playground's blog I was immediately ecstatic. Why? Well first, I've been crazy about collages ever since finally replacing the color cartridge in my printer. Second, I'm finally getting the hang of these collage templates from Scrapbooks Etc. and Adobe Photoshop Elements (I'm a MAC owner - here's the link for PC's). Let me tell you - there is a LOT less cursing when I'm using Elements now. Third, I had FOUR layouts that fit into this challenge that I am actually happy with - a miracle within itself. Fourth, I didn't have to expend any energy to make these layouts because they were already done. Scratch that. I didn't have to expend any energy beyond taking photos of the layouts and uploading them on to my computer. Very good. Fifth, I get a chance to save all my crafty, inspiring goodness for my craft weekend with one of my favorite people this weekend. Yay! Good challenge. No, great challenge! AND, this week I will be commenting on their blog with a link to my pages. Which means - the blog will have to go public. Pretty scary if you ask me. I think I've worked out most of the kinks. Anyhoo. Give it a try. Stretch yourself creatively (even if it only means taking pictures of old layouts and uploading them to your computer). Which is a good reminder to take the pictures BEFORE they go into the album. Go ahead do a challenge. It really can be a blast! Happy Crafting!

BTW: Yes, I love Brad Pitt. I have no idea if it's okay to post those pictures. I found them on the internet. Downloaded each to my desktop and made a collage. Love it so much. Assuming it's okay since I found the pics on the internet and I am clearly never selling the layout. Not the layout of my Brad! ;)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Reading Corner

Reading is absolutely, hands-down, my first love. I also love to buy books. My apartment is starting to become overrun with the sheer number of books and craft supplies living in it. What is a girl to do? Well, continue to buy books and craft supplies of course. The rest will work itself out, right? So - this week's reading corner is devoted to scrapbooking goodness and blogging! Whenever Making Memory Books releases something new I get so excited. I just got the newest issue and it has an article on their newest book, Playing with Paper. I worked myself into a frenzy just thinking about this new book. My absolute favorite supply is patterned paper. It makes me believe in a better more beautiful world. And yes, I am totally insane. Can't wait to get this book. The new Outstanding Mini Albums book is an intriguing proposition as well. I already have Ali Edward's book - Sharing Your Story: Recording Life's Details with Mini Books. And in my humble opinion, it's pretty hard to improve on Miss Ali. But - I am still seriously considering buying this book. You can never have too many idea books - at least I haven't even come close to hitting my limit at this point.

The middle book on blogging is mainly because I want this blog to be a success. I want to attract readers and inspire people. I want people to see my work and share in my excitement over this hobby which is quickly breaking the bank. I want to see what others are doing in this hobby as well. I'll keep you posted on my progress in both the buying and reading areas. In the meantime, Happy Crafting and Reading!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Madness

This week for your blogging pleasure, I am showcasing my new favorite stamps from Tim Holtz. They were unveiled at the Winter CHA show. I just heard from my good friend Edie that she bought slight alterations (1st stamp on the left) at Rock Paper Scissors (one of my favorite LSS). If you're wondering what I'm going to do with these stamps, don't worry so am I. I already have these stamps. I've used one stamp on a bookmark in the six months I've owned them. I honestly hope I put these to better use. The last set was vintage items which really aren't entirely me. These have a funk factor which I think are more suited to my crafting personality. Can't wait to get them. They are $24.99 each so I will take a hit buying all three at one time. Not to mention the 5 sets from Monday Madness last week. So I'll need to really think about being patient - which is somewhat laughable. All this stamping goodness is likely to make my bank account explode. Thank God I have stuck to my no credit card rule! Hope your weekend and Valentine's Day was wonderful. Here's to a productive, inspiring week. Happy Crafting!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Not So Good.

Today I got kicked in the junk. Seriously not a good day. Not so inspired or wanting to post about anything crafty or reading related. Literally waiting to be tired enough to go to sleep. Hoping the mojo comes back in the morning. Hope your day was better. Hope the video of my boys makes anyone down feel better. It brightened my day a bit.

Shabach and Libby

This is a video of my nephews Shabach (in the pic) and Shasta at doggy daycare. Shabach is the huge Bernese monster (he's actually quite sweet) wrestling the smaller dog. Shasta is the statue in the background. He's a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Here's hoping your weekend is full of inspiring goodness. Happy Crafting!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Today I was surprised with a gift card from Barnes and Noble by my good friend Angela. The card was a super nice gift for helping out with activities at my school. After a very long day, it was nice to have the opportunity to stop by my local stomping grounds and see what was new in the magazine and craft section. To my absolute surprise the new Simple Scrapbooks magazine was there. I wasn't expecting it until the end of the month. Unfortunately, Simple Scrapbooks will be publishing their last edition soon (this is their second to last issue). Needless to say - the magazine will be missed. I'm so glad they were around today to give me the pick me up I needed. Thank you Simple.

I plan on posting a few recent layouts for Method Playground's photo collage challenge. Look for those on Friday along with some fun links to provide some inspiration over the weekend. Until then...Happy Crafting.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Humpday Challenge

Supplies: Cardstock: Archivers; Patterned Paper: Sassafras ;Flowers: Prima; Digital Elements: Ali Edwards for Designer Digitals; Other: Collage from; Stock Photo: Microsoft Office Online Media

When I started this blog - I knew that I wanted to do a challenge weekly. Previously, I haven't been diligent about following through on challenges. I passively stalk the blogs thinking it would be so cool to do a challenge and maybe even upload it to their site (gasp!). I decided to go ahead and complete a challenge this week and upload it here. This is a small step towards uploading on the actual sites. This layout is based on the Wish challenge on the Art is Found site. As an added bonus I also used the sketch challenge (#120) on the Pencil Lines blog. The layout is about my biological clock. It's basically been ticking as loud as Big Ben lately. I've been "borrowing" friends' babies to get my fix - don't know how long that's gonna work. I thought my sudden need for mommyhood would be a good subject for a wish layout. The layout isn't exactly what I had hoped for - but I'm satisfied with the outcome. I used a stock photo from my clip art file and entered prospective baby names on to create a word collage with my favorite names. By the way, did I say I was obsessed? One challenge down - hopefully many more to come. Challenge sites are a great way to stretch your creativity - especially in a slump. Go ahead. Give it a try. :) Happy Crafting!

BTW: If you are a book lover like me, take a look at two books with scrapbooking challenges: We Dare You: Scrapbook Challenges About Real Life and Cut Loose: Break the Rules of Scrapbooking. Both books are favorites in my craft book stash.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Reading Corner

Young adult books are my new absolute favorite. If you haven't heard yet - the young adult book section is an incredible gem for voracious readers. At first I had to leave behind my embarrassment at being a 31 year old searching this section. But then something amazing happened - I started to find the most unbelievable books. Books unlike anything I had read in a long time. How could I have been missing out on this? The two books (Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines) above by John Green are two of the best books I've read in years. They have male protagonists and generally describe all my feelings about being a teenager (despite the fact I'm a girl). Come to think of it - they describe most of my feelings about being an adult. I often wonder what being an adult means. Yes, I have the job, car, apartment, bills, etc - but inside I don't feel much different. I often wonder if the feeling of being an ADULT comes with marriage and children. I keep on thinking the next milestone will do it (i.e., job, 30, etc.). I'm starting to think that no one gets it all figured out.

On the crafting front - I'm currently working on coloring in images for some handmade cards I plan on surprising a special someone with. I've already got the Triple D book ready for another special person. I think I finally may have found a trick for using watercolor pencils. More on that to come if it actually pans out. I'm also working on challenges for this week. I made two over the week and am debating over whether they are "good enough." I'll post those on Wednesday. Until then...Happy Crafting and Reading!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Madness

Welcome to Monday Madness! Every Monday I will be blogging about items I have my eye on or am currently using with abandon. Today is an ode to Hero Arts. The new Hero Arts 2009 catalog has oodles of acrylic stamp goodness. The above stamps are the highest priority on my wish list! The first stamp set has funky scallop borders. I can only imagine using these borders on cards and scrapbook pages. The elephant stamps can be used for a variety of different occasions - can't wait to get my hands on those. I fell in love with the happy thoughts stamps during my latest trip to Archivers. The final two sets are for babies/children. I currently know 11 people having babies. I don't have any stamp sets for new arrivals. So - I'm trying to get ready. The first baby is due in March so I have some time. I am so excited about the new Hero Arts products. I will be talking about more Hero Arts products in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, I'm going to try and learn all I can about using clear stamps accurately - not my strongest skill. I'll keep you posted. Happy Crafting!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cycle of Creativity

The May/June 2008 issue of Simple Scrapbooks magazine has an article by Elizabeth Dillow on the Cycles of Creativity. The article represented a real turning point for me creatively. I was going through a major slump at the time and was starved for inspiration. I was searching for creative blogs constantly and visiting the local Barnes and Noble daily in the hopes of the release of a new magazine. I was having the kind of creative low that I wasn't sure I would come out of. Enter Elizabeth Dillow's article. The article goes through the cycles of creativity. There are five cycles: Collection; Inspiration; Organization; Burned Out/Too Busy; Pursuit of Other Ventures. At the time I was in the Collection phase desperately trying to restart my dwindling mojo. I was busy reading books, looking through magazine archives, and reading blogs. This article made such an impact on me. I finally understood that creativity didn't mean producing items daily or even weekly - there were phases that I would go through. It helped me be a little more forgiving of myself. I began to remember Ali's credo - It's ok. I've decided to keep a picture of my creative phase on the blog's sidebar. Right now I am in the inspiration phase which means I'm churning out pages and trying new things. Love this phase so much. If you are interested in learning more, I highly recommend reading Elizabeth's article. It definitely gave me some insight into my creative brain. I hope it helps you too. Happy Crafting!

BTW: This hasn't made the frustration of the burn out phase any better. I just constantly remind myself there is more creativity to come - it's just another phase.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Be Funky

Recently I was introduced to on Emily Falconbridge's blog. It's an amazing site that allows you to alter your photos without having a fancy photo editing program. I've altered around 30 pics using this site. This photo is the result of combining three photos into one. Love this so much. It's an option in the Picasa program which is also a new find. Love this program too. They both allow me to explore my funky side - which is definitely a good thing. I love finding new ways to make my photos and pages more interesting. I'm sure there will be more to come! Happy crafting!

Brand New

Welcome to my brand new creative blog. This is a dream I've been nurturing for some time. I've just been terrified to take the plunge. However, this morning - I got a dose of inspiration and decided to just begin. To be perfectly honest - I am a little terrified of starting this blog. I'm not quite sure what this blog will be - I hope it turns into something special where I can chronicle my journey as a scrapbooker/paper crafter. I hope to make others feel more comfortable about the inherent imperfectness in crafting. I hope to inspire people with paper, glue, and photos - I've added a layout from the summer of 2008 about inspiration. I guess it's time to just begin. Just breathe. Just be. Happy crafting!

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