Dog Days of Summer

When its as hot as it is here in Atlanta, its hard to be motivated to do more than lay on the couch with fans blowing on you. This past weekend Shane and I went to park. It was so ridiculously hot even at 930AM it felt like I was running on a treadmill. We ran into one of his little friends from school and stayed far longer than I'd intended with the heat.

I cant believe its August 1st. I desperately need to finish started layouts. I've got ones going for Crate Paper Toy Box, a Sassafrass page for mothers day, one using 100 days of summer, and a school one. I don't know what my problem is. I have quite a few new summer pics that will be great w the new summer lines: 100 days of summer, Beach Bum and Yacht Club. And I just got some of Studio Calico's state fair including papers, die cut tags and stickers. Worst of all the new product lines I haven't touched yet like October Afternoon's Rocket Age just don't feel that inspiring. Even leftovers from lines I loved like Basic Grey's Life of the Party no longer excite me. I know it's not because I just want new CHA stuff. I look at my supplies and think I have so much stuff I haven't touched.

I spent a good bit of time last night organizing and putting finishing touches on 2 layouts. Afterwards my scrap area looked like a tornado came through.

What you can't see the papers strewn on the floor, pages waiting to be photographed, IRIS boxes with mini books and projects and various states of completeness, and drawers crammed full of new collections and embellishments.

My friend Peggy assures me I'm not alone in this ebb of inspiration, motivation and productivity. The summer always brings that for scrapbookers. In a few weeks I'm going to a scrap retreat weekend. Last time I had all these grand plans for projects. This time my plan is just trying to do a bunch of layouts and use my stash. I get stressed out when I see all the product going unused. It's such great stuff, I can't stand to waste it. How do you deal with summer slow down? Do you ever feel guilty for not using everything you buy?

Thanks for the moral support!

Can you hear the Ooos and Ahhs?

It's that time of year. CHA Summer 2011 is only a week away. Most scrapbook manufacturers are in the process of unveiling their newest creations. Crate Paper is one of my favorites. Here are 2 of their 3 new lines.

I love it all and must make it MINE!

Glitz Designs has a new release a super hot color combo I first saw with My Mind's Eye's Stella and Rose release earlier this year. Vintage Blue is just awesome. You can see more of the products here.

I LOVE everything and anything Halloween. Jenni Bowlin typically isn't my style, but her latest vintage Halloween line is awesome.

Can't wait to get my hands on the accessory sheet.

I want to give a shout out to Studio Calico's Memoir collection, and I'm eagerly anticipating the embellishments from My Mind's Eye's Lost and Found 2 release.


This past weekend was my 15 year high school reunion. 15 years isn't much in a lifetime, but boy have I changed and so have my classmates. It was nice seeing everyone and I had the particular good fortune to reconnect with not one but two long lost friends. Hopefully we'll keep in better touch this time around.

I'm really enjoying the camera on my new phone. The feature I love the most is when I snap a pic it's automatically uploaded to my Photobucket album. So awesome! This photo was taken at the reunion picnic. Shane got along famously with the other alums' kids.

Traveling back to my hometown, Pittsburgh, PA, is a special treat. I try to visit with as many friends and family as possible. A sweet moment was taking Shane to visit his great-grandma. She's 92 years old.

I can't wait to scrap these pictures. Seeing them together brought tears to my eyes.

Cooling off with Snow Day

It's going to be 95 in Atlanta today. I'd like to pretend it's winter, so I'm looking back on some wintertime layouts. These were both made with Crate Paper Snow Day.

Enjoy and stay cool.

What can I do with my leftovers?

My last post was about all the great new summer scrapbooking products out there. Well, if you're like me, I collect (read hoard) products for certain themes. Summer, Halloween, and boy are my biggest vices. I have separate bins storing all kinds of papers, products and embellies for these 3 types. The collections are amassed in 2 basic ways. When I buy new product, and I've used as much as I want for layouts the leftovers go into a bin. Or if I see products for one of these themes on sale or deeply discounted (usually older releases) I'll buy a whack of it. That's what my friend Peggy calls it.

If you could get a peak in my summer collection stash, you'd find papers from Bella Blvd All Inclusive, Disney cruise stuff, Making Memories Great Escape, Fancy Pants Rusted Sun, Webster's Garden Gala, October Afternoon Seaside Retreat, Pink Paislee Hometown Summer, and Simple Stories 100 Days of Summer. Embellishments are an even bigger mix. Many are the remainder of what I purchased with a line but some are little finds that were on sale or just caught my eye like American Crafts Heat Wave layered glittered stickers. Whenever I make layouts or projects with summer photos I shop this collection of products.

Last night I took out this journaling book by Fancy Pants.

There are a generous number of journaling pages in various shapes and sizes. They are alittle too large to use on my 12x12 layouts, but I came up with a great way to turn them into alittle flip book. Here is the cover.

I tore out all the pages then folded the larger ones nearly in half as shown below. On the backside of the large paper, I glued down the outer edges but left the right edge open to serve as a pocket for journaling cards or memorabilia.

The ones with the same shape like the scallop edge circle I glued together like the one above. Below is the backside.

In addition to pictures, I used rubons and stickers from the Rusted Sun line, and summer/beach themed chipboard from K and Co. Here are the other pages and the back.

The last step was to punch a single hole in the upper left corner of each page and secure the pages with a binder ring. I'm a notoriously slow scrapper, but this project took me less than 2 hours. One of the reasons was because I had all my summer supplies together when I started. I also kept the page size small (under 4x4) and used only a few pictures. The result is a super cute brag book I can keep in my purse and share with friends.

Thanks for reading. Have a happy Fourth of July!

Great summer products

Like most scrappers I love getting the latest and greatest products. Typically I go after product lines and embellishments first. This is especially try when it comes to Summer and Halloween themed collections. So far this year my must-haves are:

Pink Paislee Hometown Summer paired with Simple Stories 100 Days of Summer

Some papers, chipboard elements and adhesive banners and borders were my picks from Hometown Summer. The element stickers and flash cards cutouts were must haves from 100 Days of Summer, along with some of the patterned papers.

Webster's Pages Yacht Club

I find their products difficult to work with, but this line was just too cute to pass up. The journaling cards are great and can be used with many types of projects. I love Webster's new chipboard buttons and fabric tickets.

Cosmo Cricket Salt Air

I always like Cosmo's products, and I got some of all 4 lines they released in 2011 including this summer one. I wasn't really into scrapping when their last beach line, Snorkel, came out. So I didn't want to miss out. In addition to the patterned papers, borders and elements I grabbed the element sticker sheet, buttons and the super hard to find diecut butterflies. If I was more into stamping I would've bought the Unity Stamps sets that corresponded. They were reasonably priced under $10.

7Gypsies Mykonos
My last pick was a surprise even to me. I've not loved what 7 Gypsies brought out in late 2010 and winter 2011. But I do love bright primary colors and geometric patterns, and Mykonos has both of those.

What I particularly like about these patterned papers is there are sections that really lend themselves to being cut out or if you use the entire piece some already have a layered effect. Similar to what Sassafras Lass has been doing recently. The only drawback is no great embellishments. Not even stickers. I've got enough in my summer stash so there will be plenty to choose from, and I imagine these papers will get mixed with other lines.

I want to give Echo Park's Splash line an honorable mention. I passed on the patterned papers, but needed the stickers, cards and borders.

I have some pictures from Summer 2010, but I'll be using most of this product with Summer 2011 photos, so it'll be awhile till the pages debut here. Thanks for reading.

Happy Father's Day

This is a page I made awhile back of my son and his dad. Even though I am no longer married to Shane's father, I believe it's important to celebrate and commemorate their relationship. Fathers and sons have a special bond. Happy Father's Day to all the dads and grandads out there.

Another month gone by...

Wow is it really June? The heat in Atlanta in oppressive. Shane inquires about going to the pool on a daily basis. All the on-sale ice cream is sold out at the grocery store. Yup, it's summer. I'm keeping busy with a little bit of this and that. I'm scrapping pretty consistently, but not churning out the volume I have in previous years. I'm ok with that. My focus lately has been high quality or experimentation. Sometimes one doesn't lead to the other!

This layout was created with Bo Bunny's Ad Lib line for EMI.

This page uses older and new embellishments from Crate Paper, Jenni Bowlin, MME, Sassafras and Basic Grey with WRMK Merry January papers. I saw another page where the banners and pennants were overlapping. I tried mimicking that, but I don't think I got it just right.

This layout combined 2 very classic boy lines one from Echo Park and the other from Bella Blvd. I used some premade layered embellishments to add dimension to the page along with EP Little Boy stickers.

I picked up some recipe cards at Michael's this past weekend. A set of 20 cards on heavy cardstock was under $1. My thought was to use them as reinforcement for some journaling cards I add to mini books. When I got home and took them apart the first thing I did was glue cards together back to back. So 2 cards became one. I glued them with the card print facing out. The backs were white, and in hindsight that would have been better. A few months back I bought this cute die cut journal book. It's from Bo Bunny's Blast Off line. 12 patterns with 2 sheets each for $5 was a very good buy IMHO. I've yet to use them, and decided I pull out the sheets and glue them to these heavy duty bases I'd created.

I cut them out with my large Fiskars scissors. Detail scissors just weren't tough enough. If the white side of the cards had faced out I could have left a slim border around each one. Instead I just cut straight to the edge of the paper. Not sure what will become of them, but I'll be sure to share results here. Thanks for reading.

Shane's Room

Shane and I are making a new home together. When we moved I wanted to give him a room that was for boys. I picked out some bedding and a carpet that had cars, planes and trains. The colors are very masculine - navy and forest green. I didn't want to put up cheesy kids art. I decided to make my own using scrapbooking materials.

The products are mainly from Basic Grey's Wander line including the papers, stickers, and chipboard. He's enjoyed having them over his bed. I wonder if they spur his imagination. I put them up on the wall, but they would also have made a good mobile.

Using a set of chipboard tag pages, I'm making another wall hanging for Shane. This one has pictures.

These are 2 of the 5. I really like the 4 x 5 size. It's just enough to make a cool collage and incorporate a small photo. Much easier for me to work with than ATC size which is only 2 1/2 by 3 1/2. Hope you enjoy these. Thanks for reading.

My Mother's Day

I try not to make much of a fuss over Hallmark holidays like Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. This year I did exactly what I wanted. Went to the gym, spent time with my son and some friends, and visited with my mom and dad.

Shane with a messy ice cream face.

Over at 2 Peas, they are having a content for Little Yellow Bicycle. I submitted this layout using LYB Twig.

I did some scrapbooking, but no pics to show for my work. I've got 3 new layouts and a mostly finished mini book to photograph. Be back later this week.

For the record

Scrapbooking company Echo Park has been around for just over a year. I love their For the Record collection. Occasionally I take a variety of papers and embellishments and create a vintage inspiration mini book. Besides the EP, supplies I used were Glitz Scarlett pp, Prima Pastiche chipboard pieces, stickers from 7Gypsies, American Crafts, and K and Co. The inspiration cards and canvas "create beauty" tag are from GCD Studios Melody Ross. The crocheted flower is from American Crafts and the brad is My Mind's Eye Lost and Found.

This one is unique because I've used a 7Gypsies accordian album and I left space for adding photos or ephemera. I'll bequeath this little beauty to someone special in my scrapbooking life. Thanks for reading.

Fresh Start

When I started this blog in 2009 it was about sharing my creations and my enthusiasm for scrapbooking as a craft and hobby. Last summer my life turned upside down, and I abandoned the blog and crafting for the most part. My personal life and my marriage required all my attention. Things happen. They are no one's fault and everybody's fault. Mistakes were made. Feelings hurt. If you know me or have met me in the past 12 months, chances are you know something about it. Of course I have regrets, but we do what we do because we feel a need to protect ourselves. Sometimes to stop the pain, sometimes for love.

Establishing a new life for myself and my son has taken most of my energy since last fall. New home, my own routines, my own habits. I think "you've already done this once. it's not supposed to be like this." There is a sense of loss that I've been carrying around with me for so long. Loss of self, loss of home, loss of love, loss of life. Because of this decision I made, nearly everything in my life is different than it was one year ago. Many of the people and things that were so fundamental to me are gone. Often I ask myself "now what?"

How do I know its been a year? Because Shane turned three last month. I can hardly believe my eyes. My baby is a little boy.

Here we are on his 2nd birthday. Mother and son blowing out the candles.

I've no idea what I wished for. I hope it was peace.

Here are a few layouts I've done since the beginning of 2011. This one is from the Disney Cruise we took last summer. The layout was done for a recent My Mind's Eye blog sketch challenge.

This is a layout for EMI Scrapbooking. The pictures are Shane and my brother hanging out. The paper line is Pink Paislee Hometown Summer. The title card is from Fancy Pants Rusted Sun.

This is my son and his favorite school teacher. I love that he's getting to the age where school is a fun part of his life. The paper is Crate Paper School Spirt with some October Afternoon Report Card accents.

I'm not a photographer. Adam always did that. He's not here anymore. When you don't have a partner anymore, you wonder "who will care about taking a picture of me?" If I want to capture memories of my child, my friends, my family, I have to do it. How do I capture memories of myself? Standing in front of a mirror with a camera seems staged. I recognize the importance in capturing everyday moments. I struggle with the frivolousness of photographing food I eat or random objects and occurrences. I need to get better at photographing the things in which I find beauty. Maybe if I make a conscious effort to look for them I'll see more.

Redefining myself means I redefine my creativity and if I'm going to share my creative work, then this blog will change too. I've always struggled with scrapping my feelings. To me, scrapbooking is about preserving happy family memories. It's easiest for me to scrap about my son because he's nearly always happy. He's always changing, discovering new things, and finding joy in them. His innocence is something to be coveted. Little does he know the more you learn the more difficult things become. What do you scrap when you're not happy? When your family unit no longer exists? When you'd rather forget than remember? When life is an uncertainty? I don't know.

Thank you for reading and I hope to make my updates here more frequent. There are many women in similar situations to me in the scrapbooking community. I hope I can inspire and support them through my stores and creativity. I promise to share some more introspective work in the future.

Happy 2011

I've been gone for a few months. I really want to post more often this year. Maintaining a blog takes a lot of time when you have as much to say as I do! I really appreciate your patience and for continuing to visit me. Here are a few projects I've done in recent months

This layout features Pink Paislee Bayberry and 365 papers, stickers and chipboard.

This layout was made with the Girls Paperie On Holiday collection.

Here is Sassafras Lass' summer release, Indie Girl. There is enough blue in the line to do fun things for boys too.

I made this layout for EMI Scrapbooking in Cumming, GA. This is Studio Calico's Elementary.

This is another layout for EMI. Comso Cricket's winter line, Mitten Weather was an interesting mix of traditional red and green with light purple and blue.

When Shane and I moved into our new home, Basic Grey's Wander line inspired me to make some wall art.

ATCs are really popular. I had a set of raw chipboard ATCs from Maya Road.

I decorated them with a variety of vintage papers and embellishments. They go perfectly in my 7 Gypsies printers tray.

CHA Winter 2011 starts next week. A great place to check out sneaks is on Scrapbook Update. My favorites so far are Crate Paper with 4 amazing new lines, Webster's Spring Market and Echo Park's For the Record.

Thanks for reading.