Thursday, December 20, 2012

WCS Sneak Time

It's sneak time for Write. Click. Scrapbook. Gallery goes live on January 1.

I feel like all I've been doing lately is showing sneaks here and sending you off elsewhere to see the rest of whatever it is I have to share. I cannot believe how close Christmas is!! I still have quite a bit to do, but I got to check a couple things off my list yesterday. Lucas got to decorate his first gingerbread house last night, and I got some gifts wrapped after the boys went to bed. There's still some shopping to be done and handmade gifts to throw together. Plus I'm cooking Christmas Eve. I hope I'm able to get it all done!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

write. click. scrapbook

Head on over to Write. Click. Scrapbook today to view my latest layout and card.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Elle's Studio | Celebrate December

I'm Celebrating December with Elle's Studio this month. The blog is packed with holiday inspiration from so many amazing designers. Hop on over there right now to see what I contributed.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Little Black Dress December & An Announcement

Here's what I did with the Little Black Dress December Kit, A Swanky Notion. This is such an amazing kit! The kit includes the 12x12 Studio Calico Burst Mask. I actually squealed with delight when I opened box and saw it! I hope I have some time to make some more with it before the next delivery arrives and takes over my desk. Oh! And there's My Mind's Eye Enamel Dots too!! So much fun!!

First up is a layout with photos from a backyard picnic we had this past summer. I cut some circles and laid them out on the page, decided where I wanted photos, and then stitched the circles in place. The misting with the mask should have been done before that step, but I just didn't plan ahead this time. I love the yellow with the bright contrasting blue blanket in the photos.

SUPPLIES | Little Black Dress December kit--patterned paper: Echo Park, American Crafts, My Mind's Eye| sheet music & playing card | phrase stickers & enamel dots: My Mind's Eye | tape stickers: Crate Paper | mask: Studio Calico  [non-kit items- yellow alpha: BasicGrey | mist: Studio Calico | pen: American Crafts]

Next is a layout about how we always get a real Christmas Tree. I used the mask again, and this time did it first thing--before doing anything else. Went to my Silhouette and cut out a few pine branch looking shapes that I think came pre-loaded in my library. I designed the title in Silhouette Studio. I think the fonts are Screengem & Sofia. The tree shape was cut with a punch by EK Success and then decorated with sequin trim from the kit.

We have yet to get our tree this year. I'm hoping we can check that off the list this weekend.
SUPPLIES | Little Black Dress December kit--patterned paper: Crate Paper & Glitz Design | stickers: Crate Paper | enamel dots: My Mind's Eye | alpha stickers: American Crafts | mask: Studio Calico | sequin trim [non-kit items- cardstock & pen: American Crafts | Silhouette SD | tree punch: EK Success | mist: Studio Calico] 

Hey, it's my favorite cousin and I again. I LOVE the vintage photos I have of the two of us, and I think Little Black Dress kits are always just so perfect for scrapping them! There's such a great, interesting mix of papers this month. The trim, vellum, and tiny gold alphas kinda scream Christmas to me, but the rest of the kit doesn't. I love this mix of gold Christmassy accents with a non-traditional Christmas color scheme and non Christmas themed papers.

The garland looking trim is wired so I just bent it into the shape of the star and used one little staple with my Tiny Attacher to attach it to the page.
SUPPLIES | Little Black Dress December Kit-- patterned paper: Crate Paper | vellum & alpha stickers: American Crafts | enamel dots & phrase sticker: My Mind's Eye | garland trim [non-kit items-- cardstock: American Crafts | pinked circle punch: Martha Stewart | bracket & tab die: Quickutz | pen: American Crafts | tiny attacher]

And now for my big announcement! A new design team has been picked over at Ormolu, and I'm on it! I can't wait! I'm joining Jen Kinkade and Angie Gutshall again, along with six others I'm looking forward to getting to know and work with.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Little Black Dress Kit Club | December Sneaks

It's sneak peek time. I had so much fun working with the December Little Black Dress kit!! So many great papers, trims, and embellishments this month! Look for the full reveal on Friday, and watch the Little Black Dress Facebook page and blog for more kit details.

Monday, December 3, 2012

December Galleries

December galleries went live on Saturday over at Elle's Studio and Write. Click. Scrapbook.

Here's one of my layouts for Elle's Studio, created with tags from the Be Merry line.

The scribbles in the background were created with a Versamarker watermark pen and gold embossing powder. Really fun technique! I'm loving the gold trend right now!

Check back tomorrow for Little Black Dress sneak peeks!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Write. Click. Scrapbook | December Gallery Sneak Peek

I took a break last month from the write. click. scrapbook monthly gallery, but I'm back and here's a sneak peek of my layout for the December Gallery. Watch the write. click. scrapbook Facebook feed today for more sneak peeks from my fellow contributing team members.

Next month's gallery will be revealed on December 1st.

Monday, November 19, 2012

December at Elle's Studio

I can't wait for December over on the Elle's Studio Blog

(...And I'm totally geeking out about my photo being up there with Kelly Purkey and Ali Edwards.) 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Little Black Dress Kit Club | November Kit: Handsome Pretty

What an amazing kit this month! Lots of October Afternoon Midway in this one and a whole roll of washi! Great little bits and pieces, ribbon, and baker's twine too! Here's my first layout—clean and simple with lots of white space.

Little Black Dress November kit--patterned paper: October Afternoon & My Mind's Eye | alpha stickers: October Afternoon | epoxy stickers: Glitz Design | baker's twine [non-kit items- cardstock: American Crafts | shipping tag | small alpha stamps: Hero Arts | Silhouette SD] 

Next up, a three photo layout with a fun circle cut made with my Silhouette.  I love taking a simple shape, repeating it, and filling it in with stamps, bits of paper, and embellishments.

Little Black Dress November kit--patterned paper: October Afternoon, My Mind's Eye, Studio Calico | alpha: October Afternoon | epoxy sticker: Glitz Design | baker's twine &  bingo markers [non-kit items- white & kraft cardstock: American Crafts | number stamps: Elle's Studio | ink: Stampin' Up | Silhouette SD | tiny attacher]

From three photos to four photos. There's even a mask included in this kit! I handcut the circles from the October Afternoon paper and then cut slits between each piece of the "pie" for a little added dimension.

Little Black Dress November kit-- patterned paper: Studio Calico & October Afternoon | alpha stickers: October Afternoon & Glitz Design (red) | epoxy sticker: Glitz Design | mask: Studio Calico [non-kit items- mist: Studio Calico | cardstock: American Crafts]

This patterned paper from Webster's Pages was my absolute favorite this month. Had to use it on the page with the babies. I used my Silhouette to cut an envelope out of the kraft notebook page included in the kit. It's perfect for tucking away the journaling.
Little Black Dress November kit--patterned paper: Webster's Pages & Echo Park | ribbon: Crate Paper | washi: October Afternoon | epoxy stickers: Glitz Design | buttons, baker's twine, kraft colored notebook sheet [non-kit items- cardstock: American Crafts & Bazzill Basics | brads | tiny attacher | Silhouette SD  & font: Sofia]

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Quietness

Are you ready for this....this is a lot of personal and a lot of real. It's not easy for me to get this personal and this real. I was afraid to post this—to share something so personal. This post was sitting open on my desktop for days. I couldn't get myself to push that bright orange publish button.

Mid October it got pretty quiet here on the blog. We went from a family of three to a family of five in about eight hours. We had our first foster care placement. We got a call about newborn twins and said, "yes." When my husband relayed the message, "newborn twins" my first thought was an apprehensive, "Really? Twins!?" Most women get 9 months to prepare themselves to care for twins, but I had eight hours. I was excited, but scared. I definitely felt inadaquate, "God, I can't believe you are entrusting me with not one, but two precious little babies." It felt too good to be true, and turns out it was. How is this going to work...going from a family of three to a family of five? But with His help I succeeded, we succeeded, and it was actually a piece of cake—they were the best babies. And Lucas....Lucas was such a trooper. He stepped right into that big brother role. I was worried about him. We hadn't really prepared him, but how do you prepare a three-year-old for your first foster care placement? My other mom friends have growing bellies and 9 months to get their firstborn used to the idea of a sibling. And we wouldn't have been able to say yes without the awesome support system we have. Our family and friends were and are 100% behind us in this decision to take a path less traveled—foster care and adoption.

Sadly, our first placement only lasted eleven days, much MUCH shorter than anticipated. Six days in we got unsettling news that due to a judge's ruling and thrown out appeals, the babies must be moved to another foster family in another city to be closer to the parents (and now much further from their siblings). It was heartbreaking. We know the ultimate goal in foster care is to reunite parents and children, but we know it doesn't always work that way. When we said yes to those babies, we were saying yes to the possibility that they could be a part of our family forever. I know eleven days might sound like nothing, but those sweet babies stole our hearts. I dropped everything, I left my comfortable life as a work at home/stay at home mommy of an awesome, low maintenance three-year-old and willingly took on newborns again. Babies that were not mine and might not ever be mine. I suddenly found myself back in that routine of late night/early morning feedings and speed showers. Back to diapers....diapers x 2. Wondered how I would ever be able to go grocery shopping again. I tried to soak up every minute of it. Little sleepy baby snuggles are the best. It was such a joy having babies in the house again. We loved them and cared for them the best we could and welcomed them into our little family. It was so hard to see them leave.

I'm still picking up the pieces. I know it all happened for a reason, but the feeling of loss is overwhelming. I know it has stretched us and we have grown and it has brought us closer together. Our own little boy is so amazing and resilient and he has grown too. I remember sitting on the couch with a baby in my arms, the other sleeping a couple feet away in a bouncer, and looking at Lucas playing on the floor. Who was that big boy? He looked so much older all of the sudden.

We did exactly what we were called to do. We gave those babies a safe and loving home. And oh how we loved them! I got to be foster momma to newborn twins for eleven days. And it was amazing. And they are amazing.

And now we're back on the list. We are waiting and praying for that next phone call.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Orphan Sunday

Today, November 4th, is Orphan Sunday.

Orphan Sunday 2012 from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

We are not all called to adopt, but would you please consider doing something for the orphan today? It doesn't require spending a penny—you can simply pray. But if you have some extra pennies, please considering giving or look for an Orphan Sunday event in your community.

If you don't know where to give or who to give to, Lifesong For Orphans is a great place to start. They are a reputable organization headquartered right here in Central Illinois.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Elle's Studio | November Design Team Gallery

Another month, another great design team gallery full of inspiration over at Elle's Studio! There's a lot of Halloween in the gallery this month. I made some super easy treat bags using some Spooky Tales items. My other two projects feature The Sweet Life collection and are so not Halloween. Come on, what are you waiting for?! Go check out the gallery!

And thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Elle's Studio | Sketch Thursday

I've got a new layout up over on the Elle's Studio Blog for Sketch Thursday. Hop on over to the see the whole layout.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Little Black Dress Kit Club | Just For Today Kit

Grab the Just For Today Little Black Dress kit right now, before it's too late! It's a really great one this month. I know, I always say that.....but it's always so true. 

I started this page with that My Mind's Eye strip of patterned paper with the bee and built the page from there. I lined all the strips up on my Silhouette cutting mat just how I wanted them on the page and sent all the pieces through together at once. Does that make sense? I cut the bee on kraft separately and added him in, but he was cut out from the strips as well so he sits right in there snugly with everything else. Matt's aunt just happened to be scanning in some old photos and sent a bunch my way. This is one of them, and the school photos you'll see further on down are some others.

Little Black Dress October kit--patterned paper: Pink Paislee, Cosmo Cricket, & My Mind's Eye | alpha stickers: Authentique | flair badge: BasicGrey | buttons [non-kit items- cardstock & pen: American Crafts | Silhouette SD]

Oh boy, did this one take me a while! By the time I was nearly done carefully filling in squares, I had thought of a much faster way of doing things. Don't be surprised if you see me try this technique again! I got out my good ole' Creative Memories cutting system and cut a handful of circles in different sizes from three different papers. I drew out a grid on my white cardstock the width of the biggest circle, then made the grid even smaller by "cutting" all those squares in half. I carefully cut and arranged all the circle pieces into the grid. Lastly I stitched along each grid line then layered on some photos and paper clipped the pieces to sheet of light kraft paper.

Little Black Dress October kit--patterned paper: American Crafts & Pink Paislee | alpha stickers: Authentique | border sticker: Cosmo Cricket | flair badge: BasicGrey | ribbon & paperclip [non-kit items- Cardstock: American Crafts | shipping tag | Creative Memories cutting system (circles)]

Yes, I'm back to triangles again this month. Gotta love all the things you can do with the most basic of shapes! Used a square punch again and just cut them in half. I ran out of the letter "o" and had to find one more to use from my stash that was a similar size.

Little Black Dress October kit--patterned paper: BasicGrey, Cosmo Cricket, & My Mind's Eye | journal tag: Ormolu | flair badge: BasicGrey | alpha stickers: Authentique | paperclip & button [non-kit items- square punch: EK Success | letter "o" sticker: Sassafras | alpha stamps: Hero Arts]

More old photos from Matt's aunt. Gotta love those old school pictures from picture day. They were in color, but I changed them all to black and white, like you'd see them in the yearbook. The one from kindergarten cracks me up! Looks like he just rolled out bed. Can't wait to compare these to our son's school pictures once he starts school.

Little Black Dress October kit-- patterned paper: Pink Paislee & Cosmo Cricket | alpha stickers: Authentique | other stickers: Cosmo Cricket | flair badge: BasicGrey [non-kit items- small shipping tags | mist: Studio Calico | ink: Stampin' Up | square stencil: handcut]

Kinda random sidenote: can you believe high school yearbooks are entirely in color these days?! As a person who studied printing in college, I can totally believe it, but I was looking through my high school's most current yearbook when I was substitute teaching recently. While cool that it's completely in color, I think I actually prefer yearbooks that are majority black and white with a few color spreads like when I was in high school.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Elle's Studio | WCMD winner!!

Lucky commenter #4! Ruth, you are the winner of the Elle's Studio Everyday Greetings printable!
Thank you for leaving me your e-mail address—you should be receiving an e-mail from Elle's Studio soon.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Little Black Dress Kit Club | October Sneaks

The Little Black Dress October Kit, Just for Today is now available. Here's some sneaks of my layouts this month. The design team also put together a special treat for World Card Making Day yesterday. You can see that over on the Little Black Dress Blog here.

(And the Elle's Studio giveaway is still open here until Monday morning)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Elle's Studio | World Card Making Day

I'm celebrating World Card Making Day today with Elle's Studio. Elle created this fun printable for the occasion. It's been marked down this weekend only (Oct. 6 & 7)—it's on sale for only $2. (See below for a giveaway.) 

I played around with mist & a mask, stamp ink, large sequins and thread to create this fun confetti card for a birthday. I used a pencil eraser to stamp the small circles.
SUPPLIES  cardstock: Neenah | sentiment tags: Elle's Studio | mask: The Crafter's Workshop | ink: Stampin' Up | mist: Studio Calico | sequins: Treehouse Studio | thread

And guess what!?  You can't celebrate World Card Making Day without a giveaway. I get to give this Everyday Greetings printable away to one lucky commenter! Please leave a comment below with your e-mail address. Comments will be closed Monday morning and a winner will be chosen via

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Elle's Studio | October Inspiration Gallery

The Elle's Studio October Inspiration Gallery went live on Monday. Here's the reveal of the layout I used for my sneak peek in the blog hop. Hop on over to the gallery to see the closeups.
SUPPLIES  patterned paper: Studio Calico, Crate Paper, My Mind's Eye | tags: Elle's Studio | stamp: Hero Arts + Studio Calico | flair badge: American Crafts | stamp ink: Stampin' Up

Closeups for the layout below can be found hereDoes that black and white patterned paper (colored with orange) look familiar? I've used it quite a bit lately (herehere, and here). I love it so much I scoured the internet because I had to have more! It's Sassafras so it wasn't easy to find, but it must have been my lucky day. I ordered like 7-ish more sheets from Emma's Paperie
SUPPLIES  cardstock: American Crafts | patterned paper: Sassafras & Crate Paper | tags: Elle's Studio | large alpha: American Crafts | small alpha: October Afternoon | stickers: Sassafras | tab: K & Company | mist: Studio Calico | tiny attacher