Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Do you know about Plum District?

It's the same basic concept as GroupOn and LivingSocial, but with more of a mom/Mormon-y bent.  I'm asking because they have a deal where you get $50 worth of Silhouette stuff for $30.  You can't use it on the machines, gift cards or downloadable shapes.  HOWEVER, if you're kind of thinking about buying the Designer Edition of the software, or maybe you want to try some vinyl or rhinestone packs, it would be perfect.  I used mine for the software...I'm hoping to quit my day job.  ;)  Just kidding.

I'm not trying to get mine for free or anything, just sharing the love.  :)

Here's a linky-poo to see the offer. (I hope)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Sneak Peak

Blah Blah Blah.
This is the third version of this because apparently I thought you needed the blow by blow of my weekend, but really, what you need to know boils down to this:

1. I was actually at my house for the weekend.  (normally I am not)
2. Due to the holiday (Thank you to all who have served, past and present) I had the day off.
3. I cleaned and purged my scrap room.  There will be some really kick ass trash at 8860 this Thursday.
4. I have scrapped 3 layouts SO FAR this weekend.  I'm hoping to squeeze in one more before bed.
5. I have a sneak peak:

6. I think I failed to mention that I recently took a class called A CUT ABOVE offered at  I simply can't say enough good things about this class.  The class is about die cutting, both traditional and Silhouette, with a card slant.  I had hoped that it would get me past my card making issues, but sadly, it didn't, but the techniques and products and how-tos were fantastic.
7, I think I also failed to mention that I recently took Kerri Bradford's "Oh the places you'll go" class.  Which is kind of alie, because, truth be told, I'm only about half way through it.  I have learned a metric shit ton about the Cameo software.  That's saying a lot, because I really thought I knew a ton to start with.  She's got some really fabulous examples and goes through the software in a goal-oriented way, so you aren't just learning how to do something, but why it's handy to know it.  I've put so much of it to use already.  Such a time saver.  Both classes are self paced, so if you have a little extra money to spend on yourself (don't we all??) these are really good investments.
8.  I think I said something about attempting to do another layout tonight, so I think I should wrap this up.
9. Thanks for stopping by.
10.  Nine is such a dopey way to end a list blog entry.  Who would do that? Not me!

UPDATE: That 4th page? LOLOLOLOL

Thursday, May 17, 2012

As close as I come to decorating...

I would like you all to think that I live in an austere, dust-free environment.

Sadly, I do not.

However, I do aspire to that and because that's how I'd like to live, I have made the conscious decision to keep tchotchkes to a bare minimum. It's not that I don't like knickknacks, but I don't like dusting and I don't like dust.  So keeping the trinkets at bay helps - at least a little - to keep things a little less...yucky.

A couple of years ago I made a little banner for my apartment door.  It was a fun little Saturday night project with my girls and it came together so effortlessly - which is NOT how things usually work for me.

I have to say: coming home to this on my door made me happy for an entire month.

I have moved and no longer live in the cute apartment with the cute door.  The home I live in now has a front door that wouldn't keep this dry.  Also, no one would ever see it.  Except the guy who stopped by today looking for donations for St. Mary's Church...but that's neither here nor there.  However, the door that leads into the garage is both dry and viewed daily.  And in desperate need of some "spruce."  So the banner thing has sort of grown.  there's a "Luv U" banner and a "JOY" banner for Christmas.  But if you think about it, that means that the door has something seasonally appropriate October through February.  Only the Luv U banner stays up until October.  Because heck, I Luv U...or them, that is. This brings Molly great distress though, and I have been told more than once that I needed to fix that.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I'll get around to it.

Ok. Disclaimer: the door to the garage is too ugly to actually show. :P  So this is a section of the living room wall. This is the Saturdays collection from Little Yellow Bicycle.  And the fun the patriotic colors and patterns begged to be made into a summer banner.  This'll last us from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Molly!  :P

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Another Sneak Peek

Today is the deadline, and it made a nice little whoooooshing sound as it whizzed by.  It's been quite the couple of weeks and the calendar doesn't have as many holes in it as it usually does.  I sort of thought because I was scrapping under a lot of pressure that I'd end up hating whatever I made today.  Nope.  I get to use Bella Blvd and it's impossible to play with those colors and not love the result. :)

See what I did there? Talked about all the happy colors and then showed mostly text?  That's called creating suspense baby. :P

Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Let's change gears.

I still have one more thing from the Simple Stories "Fabulous" line, but I thought I'd change things up and move on to Little Yellow Bicycle's "Saturday" line.

This is another one with a very country aesthetic and it has a really patriotic feel to it as well. I promise to never lie to you - I respect you too much.  And since I already said country isn't my thing, I can't back peddle.  So here's the bottom line:  I probably would never buy this line on my own.  However, that said, it was pretty fun to take a little vacation while playing with this line.  I think because we have such strong images of Americana and country porches and patriotic buntings and picnics and fourth of July celebrations - that all made it a very easy line to scrap with.  And it's funny that I would frame it that way and then show you a layout that uses pictures that has nothing to do with any of those things and was taken in January:

But do you see what I mean about the patriotic bunting?  Okay, maybe it's a stretch, but it was the launching-off point for this layout.

I think that sometimes it's really hard to separate layouts from pictures.  I really like this layout, but I don't know if it's because I like the colors, the flow, the title treatment or because I'm so in love with these photos of Molly and Reba.

Molly is the ultimate tom boy when it comes to her hair and wardrobe - she just doesn't want to fuss with that stuff and consequently she keeps her beautiful hair pulled into a ponytail and uses a black headband to catch the strays.  Every. Blessed. Day.  I had my lights set up for another project one day and when she came home from school I sent her straight to the showers and then blew dry her (beautiful) hair.  I really just wanted some decent pictures of her, but we were working on the stairs, which are just opposite the kitchen entryway.  The entryway has a baby gate that keeps Reba penned into the kitchen/dining/family room area.  Why? Because she sheds like crazy and likes to eat lady's underwear, so she's just not welcome in the rest of the house.  Here's the thing about Reba: she gets really jealous when more than one family member is on the other side of that gate.  Heaven forbid Ted comes into my scrap area to talk to me at night - Reba will bark and whine and whack her tail against the wall until we pay attention to her.  So on this day she was up to her old tricks and eventually I gave in and let her out.  Oh, and the other thing about Reba is that she won't look into the camera.  She's just smart enough to have wised up about my flash and lights and will keep her head turned and her nose up in a very aloof pose.  And while this wasn't supposed to be - nor is it - a layout about the dog, I like the way interacting with the dog really relaxed Molly and showed one of her many good points (see journaling strip above. ☺)

Here's a tiny tip for portrait photography:
The key to a good portrait is a relaxed subject.  It's your job as the person behind the camera to help them relax.  Think about what makes you tense when someone is taking your picture...and solve those problems for your subject.  Don't just hide behind the lens - talk to them. Make a crack if you can, and if you have to adjust your camera tell them you need a minute.  Most people don't mind waiting, but they don't want to hold that "picture pose" longer than they need to.  And here's what I started this to say: Most people don't know what to do with their hands and feel self conscious about know...just hanging there all dead fish-like.  ;)  Even if their hands aren't going to be in the shot, giving them something to hold - even just a glass or a bottle of water - solves a problem and helps them relax.  The whole upper body becomes more natural once the hands have a purpose.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Oh! And if you're regular in these parts, I'm happy to report that I got a 91% on my calc final and an 84% on my modern geometry final, and A's in both classes.  w00t!!  And now I get to relax (sort of) until the summer session starts on May 21st.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Just plain CUTE

Have I mentioned I'm really not a card maker?
Have I mentioned I'm not actually much of a card giver?
My heart is as big as Montana, but I suck in that particular regard.

Maybe if I have a stack of cute little cards ready to go, that will change?
We'll see.

This is using the Fabulous line from Simple Stories.  Have I mentioned I ♥♥♥ those birdies? Oh, boy do I!

I love making round cards.  You know how you think you've invented something and then you start to see it everywhere and realize that you didn't, you just came to the realization at the same time as a bunch of other people?  I think that's the way it is for me and circle cards.  I swear I never saw them before I made my first one a couple of years ago, but I see them enough to know I wasn't the inventor.  But I like to pretend I did.  I think it's fun, and just different enough, and yet totally easy.  I made my by cutting "conjoined" circles on my Cameo, but before I figured out how to do that I'd just fold my cardstock and run it through my Revolution on a circle die, with the fold just inside the blade.

What do you think about that envelope?  I think it's kinda cute!  I cut it from regular old printer paper, because I didn't want any extra bulk and it's not like I'm concerned about how long it'll hang's a'll be in the trash two weeks from now. :P

So that's today's "That's that."  Brought to you by Cord Camera Scrapbook Studio.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Creative Procrastination :)

I have a Modern Geometry final tomorrow and I really should be trying to make sense of my notes and some really complex processes.  But yeah...I need a break.

So I thought I'd share one of the things that I made for Scrapbook Studio.  I was asked to play with Simple Stories "Fabulous."  It is unrealistic to think that I will love all the lines that I'm asked to play with, and some I won't even like.  This one fell into the "not love" category.  Because I'm prone to over-thinking just about everything I tried to pinpoint what the sticking point was for this line.  Turns out that the creamy base is what holds me back from loving this - and most of the Simple Stories lines.  But every person who, like me, would prefer a white base, there's probably an equal number (if not more), who think the cream is easier to work with.

The funny thing is, I decided to just forge ahead with the white backgrounds.  Maybe it's wrong but it worked for me.  I'm pleased with the results.

Here's the layout I made with it:

That's my daughter Maggie (on the outside) and her BFF Tessa. I took their senior portraits and these are a couple that we did together.  Converting the pics to black and white made it a easier to with the line - their clothes didn't match the papers, but I think the line has a fun, young feel that perfectly matches these girls.
What??!  That technique again?  What am I trying to pull?

Yep.  I love it.  And in real life it's even neater looking.

And while may not have loved the line, these little birds? I'd spring for a whole sheet of them.  I think they're absolutely adorable!

And we've seen this done a gajillion times, but it's actually a first for me.  But definitely not a last.  Two stickers layered on top of each other the top one bent up and powdered (to make the sticker not sticky) and held in place with a Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher staple.  By the way, if you haven't sprung for one of those, you need to.  Part embellishment, part problem solver, part adhesive alternative. All cool. ;)

So that's that for today.  I really need to get back to pretending to study.  Those Betrami-Poincare thingees aren't going to solve themselves.  Sweet baby Jesus, I really dislike this class.  But come this time tomorrow it'll be nothing more than an unpleasant memory. :P

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

'Tis the season!

(To rack your brains for fun/appropriate/affordable teacher gifts)

It's that time of year to express our thanks to the teachers that put up with educate our rambunctious darling children.  I kid, I kid with the crossed out words - I actually think my kids are pretty swell.  However, I've chaperoned enough field trips to know that those kids exist.  And if my kid were that kid my end-of-the-year teacher gift would be a Sam's Club sized bottle of Advil.

Fortunately, having well behaved kids allows me to get a little more creative with my gift giving:

I know a lot of people poo-poo practical gifts.  I am not one of them.  I would rather give you a really nice pizza cutter that gets used once a week and saves you frustration than give you a ceramic tchotchke that you have to dust.

  Molly recently brought home a note from school saying that the kids had pretty much consumed all their consumables.  I.e., they were all out of pencils and crayons and glue sticks, and hey, wouldn't it be nice if you sent some more in, cuz hey, it is their education that we're talking about here.

That got me to thinking about how much teachers need to share with kids.  And how, I imagine, it's less "sharing" than "giving."

So my gift isn't fun.  It's not a Starbucks gift card.  It's not premium chocolate.  It's not a bottle of OPI nail polish with a clever note attached saying "Hey, you really nailed it this year!"  (hmmmm)  But it's practical.  And it will get used.  And it's pretty derned cute.

I mean seriously.  Check them out:

I guess maybe it's the math-nerd in me, but these black Dixon Ticonderoga pencils are fabulous.  They write well, sure, but they're so sleek.  I hear I look 10 pounds slimmer when I write with them.  ;)

At any rate, this is just a juice can wrapped in Lily Bee Design paper, with a chunky eyelet border cut from (more) Lily Bee Design paper, using the Cameo. (I didn't really need to mention that, did I?)  The tops of the pencils are wrapped in yet more LBD paper, but they're only a little bigger than an inch long.  I thing the 6x6 pad of paper would be perfect for getting a nice variety.  Because I know better than to trust adhesive on a curved surface like that, the colorful baker's twine from WeRMemoryKeepers is doing double duty - looking cute AND holding the paper in place/down.  Oh wait! It's doing triple duty! It's also holding the little tags down.  They were mass cut on the Cameo and have V stickers from the LBD alpha letter sticker sheet.  I'm not going to lie: I'm glad the teacher getting this is Ms. Vidmar and not Ms. Smith, Ms. Thompson, or Ms. Martin.  I don't mind giving up all my Vs, but for any of those other names we might have to exploring a stamping options. ;)

And in the interest of full disclosure, the picture shown above isn't complete.  The label wouldn't stay put. I tried wrapping it in twine for a could of days - I hoped to let the adhesive 'set', and maybe make the paper less resistant to the curve, but it just didn't work.  No biggie though.  I used my Crop-o-Dile to make some small holes at the widest part of the label and added some small brads.  Now I feel confident that the label is there to stay.

I'm really pleased with the way this came together.  It wasn't a speedy project - it probably took an hour and a half to wrap the pencils, but in the end I think it was worth it.  It's cute and practical and I know it'll get used.

I'm not making them for all the teachers though.  So I better start hunting down some new ideas.  Got any thoughts to help a sister out? ;)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Handmade, Part I

This past month I had the great pleasure of being assigned three different lines to create with for Scrapbook Studio.  Lest that sound like sarcasm: it is not.  Apparently, I am the dweebie girl who loved school so much that using the word assignment gets me all a-tither.  So getting three lines to work with was, in a word, AWESOME.  I'll share as I can, and I can't until they get posted at Scrapbook Studio's blog.  I suppose you could bypass my blog and just check out the projects there, but I'll have a couple of extra views and talk a little about the process and hurdles of the layout process. So yeah, maybe you just want to check out their blog, instead. :P

And while I'm plugging for them, I feel compelled to mention: If you are even remotely considering a Cameo purchase, NOW IS THE TIME.  I don't know how long it will last, but right now it's on sale for $269.99.  I am not a fan of paying full price for anything, but in all honesty, I think the Cameo is so worth it that I would...except why would you if you could get it on sale.  It rarely happens, so I'd hop on that while the hopping is good.

If, on the other hand, you already have a Cameo and just want to get your dander up, I'll direct you to episode 110 of Paperclipping Roundtable: Clash of the Die Cutting Machines. I left a comment, and let me just say that it took a couple of delete-and-rewrites before I managed to get the tone in the general neighborhood of civil.  I don't know why, but hearing people say not-nice things about the Cameo really upsets me. :P

So anyway, back to me. One of the lines that I had the pleasure of playing with was Lilybee Designs "Handmade".  The line has that old country feel that makes you think of spring quilts that your grandmother would make.  Reds, pale blues, pinks, yellows and a couple of pale linens.  I don't have a country aesthetic, but it's impossible to not love this particular combination of colors and prints.

Here's the layout I made with it:

First: I don't know what happened.  I used to HATE white backgrounds and for some reason I've done a couple 180 on that.  I love them. I think the white versatile and clean.  And I love that the Handmade collection has a white base.  Makes using it on white that much easier.  The collection pack has a whole bunch of heavy weight double sided patterned papers, as well as Lilybee's signature little alphas (Yay! Adore those!) and then a sheet of fun cardstock stickers with the banners that I used here.  I'm guilty of loving banners.  I know they're ubiquitous, but I don't care.  Love, plain and simple.

Of course, there's lots of Cameo love going on here: the pretty blue border on the left side, the tab, the journaling banner on the bottom, and the title:

Yes, I'm going to unapologetically beat this technique to death.  And every time I show it I'll give Nichol Magouirk credit.  I have been using one color all stacked up just for height, but I'm digging this variation using two colors.  Makes me so happy to see that color peeking out.  :)

And then here's the card I made using the line:

First, I accidentally left the Cameo off my supply list when I sent this to my design team boss. OOPS.  But I did use it - the perfectly perfect red scalloped square and the adorable fish-tail banners are both from the Silhouette store, cut on the Cameo.  And of course the adorable Lilybee letter stickers.  I love that you get SO MANY letters and such a variety of fun colors.  Those sticker sheets are such a fantastic value.  And again: the colors and designs of the paper are just so darned happy.  The card is so simple and the easy shapes and colors carry the day.

So that's that for today.  I've got one more project to share from this line.  Let's just say I'm saving the best for last.

So humor me here: What's your feeling on base cardstock colors?  Do you tend to reach for the same thing over and over?  Do you hate black or white?  Or do you use patterned paper as a base?  And if you use patterned paper as a base, do you have cardstock underneath as fortification, or do you just trust the page protectors to do their job?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Tomorrow I will do a real blog post.  Fo shizzle.

In the meantime, here's a sneaky of what's on the table today:

I ♥ days off where I get to play!