Monday, April 29, 2013


It must be working some because I haven't totally lost my mind - just yet.  However, I must be close.  My headache has spread through my neck into my shoulders.  I'm so tired, but can't sleep during the day at all.  Today was the first time I've walked into the kitchen except for morning coffee.  Dad's doing pretty well, worried all over the place about my mom.  Yes, they're in Tampa and, though I know my brother is taking very good care of them, I can't help but worry and the control freak in me thinks I'm the one who does it best.  Besides, my mom is my only friend around these parts and I miss her so very badly.  And my mom and dad's 35th anniversary was a week ago today and they were in Tampa.  Okay, enough about that!

I've been trying to do a layout a day.  Of course, my printer has gone on the fritz!, but that hasn't deterred me much as I had a few printed, and others I emailed and picked up at Walgreens.  Some layouts have taken more than a day, and there was a day when I just didn't feel like I could do anything at all.  But here they are (and sorry that the photos are even crappier than usual, I just didn't feel like doing them over even once I saw how bad they were!):

Cardstock: The Paper Studio; Patterned Paper:  October Afternoon & The Paper Studio; Journaling Spot: Echo Park; Stickers: American Crafts; Wood: Studio Calico. 
(OH MY GOSH! Yes, these photos were just bad to begin with; but once I shot this crappy layout photo, they got even worse!!!)  While this layout goes in my 2012 album, the rest are in order in 2013.

Cardstock & Bling: The Paper Studio; Patterned Paper, Journaling Spot & Stickers: My Minds Eye; Thickers: American Crafts; Flair: Basic Grey; Envelope: Amy Tangerine for American Crafts;Tape: KI Memories
A companion page to the What You Do I did for JC last month using Basic Grey.  I actually didn't even think about it, but even though the papers are very different, the color schemes are similar and look great!  Scrapping Karma!!!

Patterned Paper:  Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper, My Minds Eye; Chipboard: Basic Grey; Letter Stickers: American Crafts Thickers & October Afternoon; Frame, Stamp & Wood: Studio Calico; Page Pebbles: Makin Memories; Pearls: Doodlebug; Tape: Bazzill; Spray: October Afternoon
I have decided I am going to use something very old at least once out of every 10 layouts.  I started with the Making Memories Page Pebbles that I have had for so many years I've lost count (8 maybe).  But they did make great eggs backed with the MME 6x6 paper.  (It was GiGi's idea to 'hide' the eggs on the page - genius!)  Also, one of my favorite things to do when I can think of it, making a title within a title.
Patterned Paper & Stickers: American Crafts; Title Card: Echo Park; Wood: Freckled Fawn; Spray: October Afternoon
Isn't this the sweetest photo ever!!! My mom actually slept right like that for the entire week (except one night) that my dad was in the hospital!  Oh, and I found some Amy Tangerine paper that I actually like - the background paper is from the Yes, Please collection (also got the pink camera paper).  It's actually lovely and goes with the Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm so very well.  Also, used a 5x7 for a change of pace - will definitely do this more often.

Patterned Paper:  Dear Lizzy for American Crafts, Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper, October Afternoon, Pebbles, Simple Stories; Journaling Spots: Echo Park, My Minds Eye; Tape: Bella Blvd, Recollections; Felt: American Crafts; Metal: Momenta (Photos taken with iPhone 3G)
No title for this one, just couldn't think of one so I figured it could do without - the photos, journaling, paper & embellishments tell the story without anything else needed.  I have extra copies of these photos that I plan to scrap for GiGi's album, so you'll see them again!  Hopefully the next time the layout photos will be better because these really are lovely pictures.
Patterned Paper, Journaling Spot, Sticker: My Minds Eye; Thickers: American Crafts; Tape: KI Memories; Wood: Studio Calico
With sooo many photos and the patterned paper & tape, I felt that more embellishments would just take it over the top in a very crowded way - even though I do love a carnival and own a bunch of themed items. (Wonder what it is about spiky circles that remind me of carnivals!?! Hmmm....)

Patterned Paper:  Creative Imaginations, Echo Park, Sassafras; Journaling Spot: Echo Park; Thickers: American Crafts; Wood: Studio Calico (Photo taken with iPhone 4S)
Okay, I don't know if you guys know this about me or not, but I am a huge Harry Potter fan.  Kind of sad that with two grandkids in the house, I'm the one who owns the books, movies, games & t-shirts.  Just pathetic.  GiGi actually bought me the background paper a while back but I had nothing Potterish to scrapbook (except my love which I still haven't done!) until she let me name her kitty last week.  And that's a big WooHoo!!!

As you may have noticed, most of these layouts are rather skimpyish on the embellishments.  Well, a) I did what I felt like doing - beats me how a 10-minute layout takes me well over an hour at least; and, b) I'm not dissatisfied with a single one - I think each looks just fine with what it has.  I'm sure this would bother me more if there was less pattern on each page.

So that's it.  I'm going to take my meds, put sheets back on the bed & hopefully get to sleep in an hour or so.  I hope everyone is scrapping away.  Oh, and I am so very excited about our HOLIDAY!!!  My first stop will be Pretty Paper. True Stories. and, depending on what the deal is, I may just stay there.  At any rate, meet me there for coffee!


P.S.  Thank you all so very much for the prayers!  I do believe it helps and that without it we are lost. I know I am - and yours have been a great comfort. 

"Don't think.  Thinking is the enemy of creativity.  It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy.  You can't try to do things.  You simply must do things."  - Ray Bradbury

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dear Life...

Just to let you know I'm not ignoring it all, my dad has had another stroke - this one in his brain-stem.  He is home tonight, able to stand with help some of the time and can communicate - we are very fortunate.  At the same time, we know that we are standing an indefinite vigilance as it is only a matter of time.  While dad was in hospital, mom stayed all but one night and at one point we were forced to take her to the ER due to consistently high 'sugar' readings (over 300) and blood pressure readings (ex. 220/88) for days on end.  Now that she's home, I am only dealing with her bp and feel fortunate that something is going right.  In the meantime, my daughter has created the most stress of all on the entire family and I am dealing with that while ensuring that GiGi and JC are okey-dokey.  The past few (and next couple) of days are getting meds together, forms completed, instructions typed and bills paid because mom and dad are going to Tampa to stay with my brother during the Rehab process.  As much as I want to do it all, I just can't right now.  Between the stress, exhaustion and super-human strength I've required to move my dad from spot-to-spot, my MS has kicked into overdrive and I feel like I am hanging on by a thread both mentally and physically every second of the day.

But this is life, dear life.  The alternative rather sucks.  So I am here, doing the best I can, and missing scrapping and everyone so very much.  I feel like if I could just do one layout and share it here with all, as well as spend a few minutes to see what you guys are up to, I might have more strength of mind and body to get the rest done.  But right now, that seems selfish even to me and I actually know what it's worth

I hope everyone is scrapping away.  Think of me when you smell that next sheet of pretty paper and glue this-to-that.  I'm thinking of you.


P.S.  Watched Glitter Girl in the cardiologist office today... having forgotten headphones can't imagine what all those folks thought of me watching some woman scrapbook while waiting for the doctor!!! HA! And that's life - grabbing those little glories in the middle of the madness!  Love to all.

Monday, April 8, 2013

What Dreams May Come...

This is what happens when you try to just get it done, take the pic & post it... it haunts your dreams.  In the middle of last night, I awoke with the thought that the layout totally wasn't complete - something definitely missing.  So I got up and finished the little space on top of the envelope.  Had to share that little drama in my life as it honestly shows that I am possessed!!!  I'm putting it back in the album now and hopefully it will stay put!


Added some KI Memories tape, Basic Grey chipboard & a Maggie Holmes sticker and then moved some photos around.  Happier now. Let me know what you think - still not sure about the photos.

Glad to hear I'm not alone in my 'untrendiness' regarding Amy Tangerine.  Thought it must just be me! But I totally agree that things seem a little overpriced for the quality and then a lot of things are just not 'pretty' (and let's face it, I'm a slave to 'pretty').  However, I do think those little veneer pieces are very cute (especially if you can find them on sale) and the envelopes are rather lovely even if not vellum - I adore the colors.  But I feel so much better about not bowing to peer pressure now and will be very selective (and not expect too much) if I decide to make any further purchases.  Oh, and I will add that I do plan on making her 'camera' album my next album purchase (it's going to be all mine, no family layouts or anything like that!!!) but then you can't go wrong with an American Crafts 3-ring binder!

Also, want to add that I understand totally about the Maggie Holmes.  While the colors are genuinely lovely, the patterns are rather off-putting.  As you can tell I've dug into it for a few layouts, but honestly don't totally love it yet (except the camera paper, but its camera paper!).  However, I have no doubt that it will be like the Lucky Charm and will grow all up on me and I will fall madly in love (I so hope).  P.S. I stand by the word that the embellishments - especially those frames - are enchanting.

Okay, that's all - just had to let you know what my nightmares consist of - and why I stay so tired all the time!! (Not!).  Hope everyone is creating, creating, creating.


"The invariable mark of a dream is to see it come true." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, April 7, 2013

This Just In...

First let me say I am so sorry I've been gone.  Of course, I've been rather down and out.  It's not that I haven't thought of my blog, it's just that I couldn't get anything actually going in the computer.  Unfortunately, I had an MRI the other day and found that I have some rather bad arthritis and bulging disks in the mid-portion of my back - not lower back, not upper back, just around my middle (you know, under your shoulder blades to just below your bra strap).  And I've been very tired.  Just know, that I haven't been ignoring you on purpose and that I will try to be better about getting something down.  Now...

I've never done anything like this before... I rather think that shopping is a personal experience.  But I also believe in 'product knowledgability' - in other words, know what you're getting!  As so often is the case, whether we buy something in person or online, we don't really know what we're getting before we open the packaging.  So in that vein, I thought it would be a good day to rate a few of the items I've picked up lately. 
Oh, not paper - after all, paper is paper for the most part and once you see it - whether online or in person - you know what you're getting. But I will say one thing about paper, the new Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm has rather surprised me.  I was rather iffy about purchasing it in the first place, but once it was ordered I rather chomped at the bit to get it in my scrapping little hands.  Then it came.  I must say I was rather taken aback - it was so very different from the 5th & Frolic (that I adore to the point of thinking of just framing some and putting it on the walls to look at all the time!).  In fact, I cut into my Lucky Charm that first day because a piece of the paper fit into a Scrapbook Remix Prompt.  But the rest... well, I flipped through it before choosing something else.  I just didn't really love it.  Then I took my little trip to St Augustine and brought back those lovely bright photos - and there was nothing else that actually worked with them as well as the Lucky Charm.  In fact, the more I cut into it, the more I loved it - not just for my trip photos but for those other around the house photos as well - until I had cut up nearly every piece and wasn't near through working with it.  So I ordered more of my favorite pieces as well as some embellishments.  Moral of that story - we do often purchase things just to get them home and become sorely disappointed; sometimes it's just about giving them a chance to grow on you again.
But this Post is about embellishments.  I try to make my own embellishments - diecuts, rosettes, pinwheels, etc. (And let me just add here that this has led to the purchase of 6x6 pads as well as the 12x12 papers.  Not only have I found my way with these little gems while making cards, but have discovered lovely use of them on my scrap pages - and they are the perfect size for making my own coordinating embellishments... everything from rosettes to diecut stacks look so much better made from the smaller sized patterns.)  However, I also like to add a few things that come from the manufacturers as well.  I nearly always purchase the cut-apart journaling tag sheets (sometimes even without the coordinating papers!).  Oh, who's zooming who?... I love flair, chipboard, true diecuts, anything wood and especially polaroid frames for my Hipstamatic prints!!  In fact, I love getting my hands on new embellishments.  But here is where I find we don't always know what we're paying for - so I thought I'd give a little rundown of how I like my new purchases.  Let me start by saying that I have purchases OH SO MANY of the Dear Lizzy and Amy Tangerine acrylic stamp packages and love them all; however, I find that a few don't want to stick so very well to my block - but that happens to any brand; once the images are stamped, they are crisp and lovely.

So, in my reviews of my new embellishments, let's start with my few Lucky Charm purchases: specifically the Lucky Charm Stickers, Flair and Chipboard. 
  • The Accent & Phrase Stickers are absolutely as lovely as the paper; in fact, of both 6x12 sheets, there are only 3 that I am not crazy about:  a horse, a balloon, and a horn - these are just not icons that have a place in my personal scrapbooking.  But the other 26+ stickers (plus alphas) more than makeup for these three that may or may not ever be used.  Rating:  Good Purchase. 
  • Flag & Label Stickers: Again, a lovely choice, and oh so usable!  I see using these with so many paper choices that they definitely rival my October Afternoon collection of label stickers!  Rating:  Great Purchase 

  • Printed Chipboard Shapes:  Hmmmm.  Well, let me start by just saying this - if you're expecting to get chipboard when you purchase this package, you will be disappointed.  This is not chipboard by any stretch of the imagination.  This is a diecut pack - and yes, I have triple and quadruple checked the packaging to make sure it says chipboard.  (I don't know if this was a mistake by the packaging people or actually supposed to be this way!  But it is not labeled chipboard on the AC site - go figure!) Aside from the disappointment of not getting chipboard, the diecut package is awesome.  I love the variety of shapes and sayings included.  Other than still wanting chipboard, I would rate this: Good Purchase.

  • Flair:  LOVE.LOVE.LOVE.  Need I say more.  I have admitted a genuine love of flair, but even I find that there are many times that I purchase a package of flair finding that only about 2/3 of the pieces are usable on my personal pages.  But this package of flair is a 100% success as I see using every single button - soon!  Rating: Great Purchase. 

Now on to some other new product in my stash: Crate Paper's Maggie Holmes collection.  While many of the colors are actually some of the same ones found in the Lucky Charm collection, these are softer, muted, cream-based.  I adore them every bit as much as I thought I would - and that's saying a lot!  (But be warned: unlike previous Crate Paper collection pads, the Maggie Holmes pad does not include the cut-apart sheet; and as they are printed all catawampers on the cardstock, I will need to purchase an additional piece of the cardstock.)  Anyway, in addition to the papers, I also bought the Open Album (sort of like a two-ring clip board - like it, though not sure what I'm going to use it for!) and just a few embellishment packages to start (though I already feel the need for maybe some chipboard or flair or diecuts creeping into my bloodstream):

  • Fabric Frames:  These frames are made for 4x4 prints.  The quality, color and quantity available in the package makes this my ALL TIME FAVORITE embellishment purchase.  Six of the frames come embellished with a high-quality cardstock word or pattern either sewn or stapled to the bottom of the frame; the other six are left unadorned.  All the fabrics are vibrant and beautiful.  Rating: Exceptional Purchase.
  • Open Album Ephemera:  I'm including this as part of my embellishment listing because I plan on using much of it without the benefit of the album, but just on my scrap pages.  This too is of the highest quality and includes a few items prepunched for insertion in the album but a few other are just large embellishments: a few large diecuts, a vellum envelope of sequins, another envelope for your personal choice.  (Be aware:  These are very large pieces.)  I was excited to open this package so this rating: Good Purchase. 

  • Accent Stickers:  Perfect coordination to the line, lovely colors, very usable.  Not only do you receive word accents, but there is over 1/2 page of just cut words/phrases. While many of the stickers are what you'd expect to find in such a collection (tabs, tags, circles) many are rather fresh or at least feel like they are - scalloped shipping lables, tickets, flags & arrows.  Rating:  Good Purchase.

Next on my list is a couple of Amy Tangerine items.  I hate to admit it, but I am just not a fan.  I've tried to be - it seems like the 'hip' thing to be.  But I keep being disappointed.  I have only 3 12x12 sheets of her papers and a 6x6 of her first collection, and it seems almost all of this will go into the 'pass-along' bin.  And while I often love what I see of her embellishments, they just seem to fall flat when they get home.  Well, except for the Stamps and because I'm a sucker for 'what you see is what you get') I just purchased two additional embellishment items; but feel that I really should rate all three of my AT purchases:

  • Flair:  This was my first purchase of this line.  Oh my.  While I really was excited by the look of this flair on the website, when I got it home - Oh my.  It's terrible.  I've used a couple of the pieces because I refuse to just discard it out-of-hand after paying for it.  But the flimsy items in these packages should not be passed off as flair.  Rating: Not what I thought (& won't do it again).

  • Bits - Vellum Envelopes:  There is a diecut 'Hello' card at the front of this package, so while the description said 'vellum envelopes' I rather thought that either they were printed (like the hello card that I originally did not know was a diecut) or that there were other cards included (once I saw the diecut).  No, just the one 'hello' card.  And if you're expecting vellum envelopes that you might place lovely little souvenirs or sequence or whatever in, No.  If this is vellum, it's a vellum I've never used before.  The envelopes are opaque and, while not cardstock, don't feel like vellum in the least.  While they are in lovely colors, they are definitely not what I thought I was buying.  (I used one on the last layout below.) Rating: Good Purchase/Not what I thought. 

  • Bits - Wood Veneer Tags:  Alright, these are cute.  BUT... these are not your Studio Calico 'veneer's.  These are true veneer - if you've ever had anything to do with furniture refurbishing you know what I'm talking about - those paper-thin veneer sheets you get at Home Depot.  These are extremely cute and extremely usable; but I  was rather shocked that my wood is the same thickness as my diecuts.  Rating: Good Purchase/Not what I thought. 

(You know, I have a lot of American Crafts embellishments - Flair, Remarks, Details, Bits as well as the Collection coordinates like several Dear Lizzy and Crate Paper/Maggie Holmes.  I just don't understand what the deal is with their Amy Tangerine line of embellishments - it's like a totally different company puts this stuff out.  Puzzles me every single time I buy something because I'm always thinking that the last time was a fluke and that American Crafts will step it up to their usual quality.  Hmmmm.)

And now for a few This & That's that I've ordered... just because I believed they were adorable and usable:

  • Pebbles Cards & Pockets:  Library cards in library pockets - adorable.  Colors - adorable.  Usability - hmmm.  These are the perfect thing for card-makers in my opinion because the sentiments on the pockets are 'Congrats' 'Birthday Wishes' 'Thinking of You' 'Hello', etc.  But I am sure to find them usable on my pages by just covering up the sentiments with diecuts (which I would have done with blank ones as well).  Rating:  Good Purchase.

  • Heidi Swapp Memory File Color Instaframes:  Okay, I've had these for a few months but definitely think they warrant mentioning.  They are perfectly colored to use with cream-based or white-based papers, they come with  rub-ons for the bottom of the frames, your photo actually slides inside the frame creating a truly substantial element to your page, and the package includes label & other small stickers.  Downside - only four frames and all these rub-ons leftover.  It would be great if I could just purchase an Instaframe 'refill'.  Rating - Great Purchase.

  • Studio Calico Diecut Frames:  If you want your photo to fit inside the frame, it will need to be 2-1/8 x 2-1/8.  But I warn you: the frames are a true transparent vellum and the three edges are extremely narrow.  These frames are just cute.  But, I've had these frames since February and have yet to use one.  Rating:  Not sure.
  • Alison Kreft for Webster Pages Paper Bags:  These are lovely.  I'm just not very sure about whether or not it was a good purchase because $3.00 for 6 small paper bags seems rather expensive - but that's probably just me and I suppose it's fine.  Not going to rate this one - just know they are very pretty little bags.
  • Alison Kreft for Webster Pages Mini Folders with Cards:  Awesome.  The quality of the cardstock, the vibrancy of color, the amount of product you receive.  Everything about this purchase is absolutely awesome.  Now if I can just find the right layout to use them!  Rating: Exceptional. 

  • Doodlebug Mini-Pearls:  FlowerBox and Spring collections.  I really love these little accents and think the pearl sheen adds a little glamour to my pages... and looks great with Lucky Charm or Maggie Holmes.  Each sheet comes with 6-colors of 4-sizes of pearls. However, these collections are extremely similar with the only differences being:  Spring has hot-pink and purple where FlowerBox has red and white.   And, whether it be twine or pearls, Doodlebugs price point on all their 'this & that's' is spot on. Rating:  Hooray.

  • Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic:  I just want to mention here that on top of loving this paper line, I rate the coordinating embellishments that I've purchased among the best:  Fabric Stickers, Phrase, Chipboard, Diecuts, Stamps, everything has been the highest quality and so much fun to use.  Rating:  Hooray.

  • Basic Grey:  The Hey You and Fact & Fiction lines I've been talking about for over a month.  Bought gobs of their embellishments - chipboard, flags, flair, fabric flowers, diecuts and more (as well as the Knee-High chipboard) - and have loved every single thing.  The quality is top notch, the colors beautiful, the usability beyond expectation.  From now on, if I see something I like from Basic Grey, I will not hesitate for a single second to snatch it up.  Rating: Hooray.
If you're not a mail-order person, let me just say that I cannot find anything hardly around here and have finally succumbed to the temptation.  However, I do balk at paying enough postage to actually have had an additional item in my 'cart'; so I save up my purchase, putting things in my cart all along, until I have A) enough to qualify for free shipping, and B) enough money to afford to buy something.  Different 'stores' have different purchase amounts to qualify for free shipping - TwoPeasinaBucket = $50, ACherryOnTop=$100 each with a code available in their newsletter (and tracking on your shipment!).  Also, Stop&Scrap does a great preorder and limited stock for $2 across the board.  However, I should warn you that the adrenaline rush tracking and waiting for your package as well as the scrapgazim from actually opening that box and going through all your new goodies is definitely addictive!!!  Honestly, it's so much more fun than going shopping in a real store - it's just sad (but then, I've never been to Archivers!!!)

Sorry all the next photos are so very bad, I've been taking them in my garage because the kitchen is 'under construction (spring cleaning).  While I was waiting for this months order, I created the first from some American Crafts I had in my stash (I gotta use up this paper!!!) but had to share this great pic of the kids.

 Patterned Paper & Thickers:  American Crafts; Letter Stickers & Button: October Afternoon; Diecut: BasicGrey; Twine: Doodlebug; Punches: The Paper Studio; Dies: Spellbinders; Other: Eyelets
And then I got in all my lovely Lucky Charm 'refill' papers and some new embellishments (woohoo!!)!  I want to mention here that I'm taking a note from Shimelle in that I am using cameras & keeping other consistency with the use of wood veneer on all of my Road Trip layouts.  I am not going so far as determining a certain background or paper line; however, it seems that Dear Lizzy is lending itself so well to these photos that it is dominant on all these pages.  (Mom and my clothing may be at the center of this trend so I think next time I take a lot of photos at any given time, I will predetermine what papers I use and make sure everyone dresses accordingly!!!)
Cardstock: Paper Studio; Small Letters: October Afternoon; Mistable & Wood: Studio Calico; Everything Else: American Crafts

Small Letters: October Afternoon; Wood: Studio Calico; Tape: Bella Blvd, KI Memories; Everything Else: American Crafts
I have to tell the story of this layout.  These photos have been laying in my ToDo basket forever waiting for the right mood/scheme/paper.  When I got the 6x6 Maggie Holmes, I knew instantly that this paper was the perfect background for them.  I just had to chomp at the bit until the 12x12 finally arrived.  Now, this paper already has the ink splatters on the corners, but I thought it needed just a bit more - and yes, I spilled the ink all over the both the pink and background papers.  I covered it up, but this did not end up at all the way it was planned.  Oh well, it's finally done!
Patterned Paper:  Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic, Lucky Charm & Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper; Small Letters & Spray: October Afternoon; Thickers & Journaling Card: American Crafts; Flowers: Paper Studio; Flags: Basic Grey

Patterned Paper: Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper; DieCuts & Thickers: American Crafts Dear Lizzy; Chipboard: Basic Grey; Die: Spellbinders; Pen: Sharpie
Patterned Paper & Frame: Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper; Envelope, Thickers, Flair, Journal Tag: American Crafts; Letter Stickers: October Afternoon; Spray Ink: Heidi Swapp; Other: Rhinestones

 Okay... I think I'm all caught up for the past couple of weeks.  Maybe it's a good thing that I don't get to post more often!  I hope everyone is well and having a creative and fun time.  It seems that Spring is still teasing us so everyone stay healthy! If you leave a comment, I will follow it to your blog - I really, really want to know what you've been doing lately.


"Keep some souvenirs of your past, or how will you ever prove it wasn't all a dream?" - Ashleigh Brilliant