Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Soaring to Brand New Heights (Fancy Pants Wonderful Day)


Happy Wednesday! Today I have a Fancy Pants Wonderful Day layout to share. Boy, do I love this collection. This is the second layout I've done with these papers (here's the first) and it definitely won't be the last.

I really thought the hot air balloon design was going to stump me, but I am so happy with how this came together. I did my usual, adding embellishments to the pre-printed design to create dimension and texture, and it worked. I chose this paper, and title, since this is a page about how much Alexa has grown as a dancer in the past year. She is definitely soaring to new heights and being oh-so-patient as she waits to see if she made the junior performance team this year (something she tried out for in June, but won't have an answer to until the end of August). In the meantime she's keeping busy with intensive dance classes and practicing at home.

Have a wonderful day! I'll see you tomorrow with sneak peeks of the projects I did with this month's creative kit from My Creative Scrapbook.
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Favorite Fruits (Simple Stories I Heart Summer)


Today's layout features Simple Stories I {Heart} Summer collection. I am loving, and using, this collection as much as Summer Fresh from last year. I guess Simple Stories has a knack of producing summer collections that really work for me.

This page is about our fruit picking adventures at our favorite pick your own farm. We've picked loads and loads of fruit this summer, including strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and raspberries. Yum!

The photo of the strawberries may be the focal photo, but some 2x3 photos of the other fruits we picked are tucked into the white bag on the right side of the page.

See the bead-style strawberry embellishment about 1/3 of the way in from the top left of the page? It's made from Pixos, a children's bead craft that melds together when sprayed with water. Alexa made it for me about two years ago and I've been holding onto it for just the right occasion.

Turns out a number of "old" embellishments found a home on this page and I was happy to be able to use them. Don't you love when you can use something that's been in your stash for a long time?

See you tomorrow with another new layout, this time using Fancy Pants Wonderful Day collection...
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Monday, July 29, 2013

Ooey Gooey Goodness (Simple Stories I Heart Summer)


Happy Monday!


What could be better than enjoying s'mores on a lazy summer afternoon? Aside from watermelon, I think they are my favorite summer treat. What could be better? Chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers...

I paired Crate Paper The Pier slide frames with Simple Stories I {Heart} Summer to create this page. The frames allowed me to include four photos on the page without taking up a lot of real estate. I love how they showcase each photo.


A twine bow and small stickers dress up the bicycle which is pre-printed on the background paper. Pre-printed designs can seem a bit "flat" so I like to add some texture and dimension to them.


I'll be back tomorrow with another I {Heart} Summer page to share. In the meantime, enjoy your day!

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Summer Sipper (Simple Stories I Heart Summer)


I finally had a chance to break into the new Simple Stories I Heart Summer collection I ordered a number of weeks ago. I love this collection just as much as I loved Summer Fresh last year.

The story behind this layout goes something like this...I came across a blog post about staving off summer boredom by having summer camp at home. This particular post talked about having a different theme for each day, like Make It Monday (crafting, baking, etc.), Take a Trip Tuesday (field trip of some sort), Wet Wednesday...Well, you get the idea. Although we haven't implemented full days of "camp", we have tried some of the themes and ideas. This one, drinking from an orange (a "try it" activity), made it onto the epic fail list. No matter how much we rolled and squeezed that sucker, we couldn't eke any juice from it. Alexa even inserted the straw in a couple of different places. Even though it didn't work, it sure was good for laughs. Thankfully our attempt at making homemade lemonade (do you sense a citrus fruit theme here?) worked out MUCH better!
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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Craft 'n Connect: Top Product Picks

With Craft 'n Connect (formerly CHA) in full swing, I thought I'd share some of the products that have caught my eye. 

1. Bella Blvd. Snapshots Collection: Love the color palette, especially with the bit of black mixed in. Black always seems to make everything pop.
2. Bella Blvd. Daily Chevies Collection: Again, lots of fun color with touches of black. Looks like it will be perfect for the many tween pages I'll be working on.
3. Doodlebug Happy Harvest Collection: With the beautiful summer weather we've been having, I'm not quite ready to think about fall yet, but how could you pass on this fun collection? Owls! Plaid! Wood grain!


4. Fancy Pants Collecting Moments Collection: Love this color palette too, especially the navy.

5. Little Yellow Bicycle Feels Like Home Collection: New diecut word embellishments. Love these!

6. My Mind's Eye Cut & Paste Collection: Enamel dots are my newfound favorite embellishment.

7. Pink Paislee Sentiment Series Collection: This collection includes stamps, alpha stickers, labels and more. Every little bit will be mine. LOL!

My list could go on and on but right now it's pretty manageable so I'll stop here. What's on your shopping list?
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Monday, July 22, 2013

That's a Wrap (Fancy Pants Wonderful Day)


I'm taking a look back at Mother's Day today with a layout about the gift Alexa gave me. 

When I opened this gift, it was one of those moments that really touched me and made me realize, once again, how thoughtful she is (and yes, I got teary). Alexa bought me a cookbook at the school book fair. This isn't any old cookbook, but chosen because I had just gotten a brand new 9x13" baking pan. The book is chock full of recipes meant specifically for this size pan. Alexa wrapped the gift, all by herself, and made me a beautiful card (bottom left corner of the photo) to go with it.

Don't you just love the special moments when someone touches your heart with thoughtfulness and loving kindness like this? I sure do.

Have a great day!
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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Paper Issues: New Theme, New Store

There's so much going on at Paper Issues this month! First, there's the grand opening of the new store. Have you checked it out yet? Not only can you get 20% off your order with the code HELLO (see below), but domestic shipping is free on order $60 and up.



Also, we have a new theme up on the Paper Issues blog, sponsored by Pretty Little Studio. It's called Nature Walk. We want to see your nature-themed projects OR something made with Pretty Little Studio goodies! You could win a gift certificate to Pretty Little Studio. You have until July 27th to link up. What are you waiting for? :)
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Altered Project: Pop Goes the Fourth Firecrackers (Bella Blvd. All American)


I have a fun and festive patriotic project to share with you today. These came about after I stumbled upon the idea on The Happy Scraps blog. It was a collaboration between me and hubby, because it paired his love of woodworking with my love of paper crafting. Actually, now that I think about it, it was a family project — Alexa and her friend made the copper wire "fuses".

Tom cut the wood pieces to size (from scrap pieces of 2x4 he had in his workshop) and then rounded the edges a bit. The finished blocks are 1 1/4" square. The shortest is 4 3/4" high, the next size up is 5 3/4" high and the tallest is 6 3/4" high.

I used Mod Podge to adhere strips of patterned paper to the front of each block and then played with embellishments until I was happy with the result. The whole kit and kaboodle is tied together with a length of May Arts twine.

Here's a look at the firecrackers with a few other pieces of my patriotic/Americana decor.


Kind of fun, don't you think? So easy too!
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Monday, July 15, 2013

A Master{Piece} (Echo Park Here & Now)


Hi everyone! Happy Monday!

If I told you I've been working on this page since April, would you believe me? It's true. Really. I tried this photo with so many different collections but it just never came together. It wasn't until I ordered a few pieces from Echo Park's Here and Now collection that it finally clicked (and boy am I relieved to have it done).

There's a yearly event here called Community Arts Day. Part of it is an art show displaying work done by students in our school district. This is a pop art piece Alexa did following the styles of both Andy Warhol and Wayne Thiebaud. Even if I don't end up keeping the original (although I think I'd like to have it framed), I'm happy to have it recorded in her scrapbook.

I added the white text in Photoshop so the photo would resemble an art poster.

You can check out Echo Park's Here & Now collection in the Paper Issues store. Use the code HELLO for 20% off your order, plus shipping is free on orders over $60.

Have a great day! I hope it's a creative one. :)
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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Card Share: Made in the U.S.A. (Little Yellow Bicycle Vintage Summer)


I didn't have a chance to share this last week, but a card celebrating patriotism and America is good to share any time, right? Hooray for the red, white and blue!

I put this together using Little Yellow Bicycle's new Vintage Summer collection with a few odds and ends from Bella Blvd. and Studio Calico added in for good measure.

Have a great day!
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ecole de Cuisine (Little Yellow Bicycle Poppy)


This is the last project I created with My Creative Scrapbooks creative kit this month. It's about a cooking class we took, as a family, on Mother's Day.


I couldn't resist using this background paper to scrap these photos because the words "Ecole de" (meaning "school of" in French) are printed on the paper. I took advantage of the empty label below these words, also printed on the paper, to add the word "cuisine".


To add some texture and depth to the page, I used embroidery floss to sew around a number of the pre-printed flowers and on the fence posts too. I like how it gives the flowers a bolder look.


Here's a close look at the embellishment cluster in the bottom right corner of the page:




Here's a detail shot of the embellishments on the left side of the photo strip:


Thanks for stopping by today! Here's one last look at the creative kit I used to create this project:


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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Altered Project: Napkin Rings (Little Yellow Bicycle Poppy)


I recently had some friends over for lunch. In an effort to make the table look inviting and pretty, I decided to use this month's creative kit from My Creative Scrapbook to make napkin rings. All it took was some strips of patterned paper and diecut flowers (and flower centers) from Little Yellow Bicycle's Poppy collection paper crafting kit.

I folded the silverware into fabric napkins I had on hand. A band of patterned paper, wrapped around the napkin and secured with double-sided tape, helped keep the napkins secure. 


Each band of paper is topped with a diecut flower, diecut circle and a pearl.



Here's a closer look at one of the flowers:



The napkin rings were a big hit. One of my friends liked them so much, she took them all home. :)

Here's a look at all of the goodness in the kit I worked with. If you're interested in subscribing, you can view and purchase kits here.


See you tomorrow with one more kit project!
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Monday, July 8, 2013

Sweet Times (Little Yellow Bicycle Poppy)


It's the 5th of the month and that means it's reveal day at My Creative Scrapbook! It's the day when I not only get to reveal the kit I worked with, but I start sharing my projects too. The photo above shows this month's creative kit.

Here's a look at the first project I created with this kit. 


I couldn't resist pairing these photos of me by a sign that says, "Please Help Us Grow" with Little Yellow Bicycle's Poppy collection. It's all about springtime, growth and nature. I loved being able to use so much color with my black and white photos.


Here's a closer look at the top left section of the page:



I'll be back next week with more projects from this kit. Have a great weekend!
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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Card Share: Good Times (4th of July) & Gina's Designs Winner


Happy 4th of July (well yes, I know it's tomorrow but I'm taking tomorrow off from blogging)!

I put this card together with a hodge podge of product from a bunch of different manufacturers, including Doodlebug, Jillibean Soup and Bella Blvd.

I created the tag by running it through my printer. Before I did so, I created a text box in my word processing program and typed in "Happy Birthday, America!" as repeated text.

Here's a look at some of the dimension I created by using 3D foam squares under the banner:



I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating our country's birthday. There's nothing like a good barbeque, being surrounded by friends and loved ones, and even taking in a fireworks display!

Before I go (and as promised), the winner of the Gina's Designs chipboard clipboard pack is...

This is so cute!! LOVE that great layering!

Congratulations, Kimberly! Please email me with your mailing info (use the round envelope button in the sidebar of my blog and it'll get you right in touch with me) and I'll pass it on to Gina. :)
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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Chickpea Blondies


Last week I shared a delicious recipe for Thai Style Quinoa Salad I found on the Ambitious Kitchen blog. Today I'm sharing another jewel I came across, this time for a tasty dessert.

If I didn't tell you, you would never guess that chickpeas are at the heart of this recipe. Don't go saying "Ewwww" now!

Ingredients

  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup all natural almond butter or peanut butter (I used peanut butter)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave nectar (you can also use honey if you’re not vegan) (I used maple syrup)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup vegan (or regular) chocolate chips plus 2 tablespoons (dark chocolate was recommended but I used semi-sweet)
  • sea salt, for sprinkling (I omitted this)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and spray an 8×8 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a food processor, add all ingredients except chocolate chips and process until batter is smooth. Fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. Batter will be thick and you could even eat it, as is at this point.
  3. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips on top (we used a bit more because...well, Alexa is 12 and she sometimes goes overboard). The batter may stick to your spatula (it did not stick to mine), so spray your spatula with nonstick cooking spray first. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and the edges are a tiny bit brown. The batter may look underdone, but you don’t want them to dry out!
  4. (Alexa decided the chocolate chips she sprinkled on top needed to be spread at this point to create more of a frosting. I have to admit she was on to something.) Cool for 20 minutes on wire rack. Sprinkle with sea salt then cut into squares. Makes 16 blondies.
Enjoy and please let me know if you try this recipe.

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Sneak Peeks: My Creative Scrapbook Creative Kit (July)


Happy Monday! It's the first of the month which means it's time to share sneak peeks of the projects I did with My Creative Scrapbook's creative kit. Pam outdid herself this month, pulling together a kit with so much color and such pretty embellishments!

I'll start sharing the full reveal of these projects on Friday. I'm excited to share them with you. Hold on for just a few more days, OK? :)
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