Wednesday, April 30, 2008

ready for a peek and some sketches?

i have a couple 12x12 sketches for ya! with some examples using the May main kit. are ya ready?
i thought you might be! ;)
here is the first one:

and here is my page using the sketch, this is me and molly's lil one :)

and here is your next sketch:

and here is my layout :

now i am going to give you guys a little incentive ;)

play along with us and do one or both of the sketches, link your layouts to the comments, and i will randomly pick a winner-- for a RAK from me! if you do both sketches, your name will go in 2 times! you have until May 9th, 2008 @ midnight EST to enter! now-- ready set SCRAP!

Happy Mail and my MIL. this card I got from Jamie this past weekend. Isn't it beautiful? Thanks so much for your thoughtfulness and creativity, Jamie! You are such a sweetheart! She is also a saint for being so patient... She, along with a few others have been asking about the WIP flickr account and the WIP logo. Please bear with me...I have two newsletters that are due and a huge NSD crop this weekend, but I swear it will all be spelled out here on the blog early next week. So any and all of you working on kits this upcoming weekend, you will be able to post them on a group gallery finally---yeah!

And here is a layout I did using the April WIP kit. Man, I love Scenic Route.
I also truly love the layout. It is a photo of my MIL and my husband, Chris. Neither one of them pose well for the camera. They appear awkward and unnatural, so catching them in a candid is better than posed shots. They're also blinkers, which has brought about many bloopers in my files. But this shot--it captures their spirits, they're relaxed, and I love it.

I will be the first to say that my relationship with my MIL has not always been good. For many years, I felt like she thought I wasn't good enough for her son. After the birth of our third child, we all sat down and had a long talk. It wasn't easy for any of us at the time.

Our relationship has changed so dramatically in the past 2 years. She has been there for me and for my family. She showed up when my mom was in the hospital and I was at my lowest. I accepted help. I let her in. She and I were both cautious, but present. Slowly, we have worked on appreciating the other for who we are, and it is truly wonderful to see that things have reached this stage now.

I don't really share a lot of my personal life on this blog--it is generally work/creative/inspiration related. But I wanted to share this with so many of you who also have relationships that you want to repair. When you think it will never happen--it can. If you both want it--it really can.

The journaling on the layout reads: "I hope we do as good a job raising our two sons as she did raising him." And as a single parent, she really did an amazing job raising him. As Mother's Day approaches, I enjoy reflecting on these things. Love you, Marcia!

Enjoy your day people!

Monday, April 28, 2008

The "I Hope" Carousel...

...turned out better than I had hoped...At my daughter's First Communion party, I set this sign out, along with a bunch of cards for people to write their own statements for her...
The carousel, the sign and the blank stack of I Hope cards along with writing utensils were next to her cake on display...

And to my delight, many people filled out cards and left them for her.
I also passed these cards out to her grandparents, her godparents, and close relatives. Some included them in their cards to her, and a few even elaborated and elected to write full letters. It really was something, and I was thrilled.

I took the liberty of adding more "formal" statements to give people ideas (the original "I Hope" statements--about a dozen of them). I added over 100 photos, 10 plastic sleeves (which will house the letters and such) and it turned out like this:

I'd highly recommend getting photos printed out in matte rather than glossy if you attempt this project. Since the photos are handled a lot, matte holds up better and you can't see the fingerprints from handling. Also, I used several 5x7 photos as well as 4x6--it worked well! I like the staggered look to it.

It belongs to her now. I plan on adding a few photos from the party this weekend, and it will be in a special place on the desk in her bedroom. I love that she looks at it all the time, and keeps re-reading the sentiments that were written specifically for her. Total sap, just like her mama...

Have a wonderful evening!

Saturday, April 26, 2008


My house has been filled with these all week. Beautiful, amazing and handmade. Every single one. Hundreds and hundreds--no kidding. The various shades of pink and orange are even more beautiful in person. Here they are on the kitchen counter and island...Aren't they something? Thank God for crafty friends who share. Margaret and Jen are amazing, and I really can't express my gratitude. These were used for a big event at the Art Museum last week, and they were kind enough to lend these to me for my daughter's party this weekend. The concept came directly from the one and only--Martha. The original tissue paper kit was purchased, and they took that concept and ran with it. You can't really tell in the photos, but the larger flowers are a foot in diameter.
And they're filling my dining room too...

They took heavy glass vases and wrapped them in vellum. And the coolest trick--they purchased the battery powered tea lights and put them in the vases, so they all shimmer and glow!! Totally breathtaking...

You gals rock. Thank you, thank you!

And since we're on the topic, check this out for a cute flower tutorial too. She does really crafty and creative things with flowers...

Have a super weekend!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cupcake Balls

I made a few pots of these babies for my son's Mother's Day Tea Luncheon at the pre-school yesterday. They were a big hit. You can thank this gal for the idea. She was on Martha's Cupcake week and when I saw how easy it was, I knew it would be something I'd try. They're yummy, too! You can check out her Bakerella Blog for detailed instructions along with photos. I got the pots from Michael's because they were weighty and ceramic--and the cupcakes are heavy when finished. Val also told me there were recipes posted on the NSBR board over at Peas for those of you who want to venture over. I went with boxed cake mix and canned icing and it worked just fine!

Have a super weekend all!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

This just in...

Ironically enough, my friend Val stopped by yesterday just as I got this shipment and happened to be wearing this shirt...Here are some of the delish papers that arrived yesterday and will belong in a June WIP kit. They make me "Happy"...
And there's more. Much more....

You'll see.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Hope...

{Buck up, people. This is going to be a long post.}

On occasion, I get asked if I have a favorite album. I usually respond by saying that it depends on the day. But hands down, my favorite album to make for someone else and give as a gift is the "I Hope..." album.

I can't tell you how many I've made. If I had to guess--somewhere between 20 and 30. When you see the photos below and the patterned paper that was used, you'll see for yourself. I started out doing them for nieces when they became teenagers--their 13th birthday. Now, it is my standard First Communion or Confirmation gift. No two have ever been alike, and they generally suit the person intended. I made the one below as a class sample a couple years ago. I saved it because it will be my son's when he makes his First Communion, and all I have to do is add pictures.

The concept came from way back when Rebecca Sower came out with her first book and she was it. She did a mini with the same topic, and anything she did, I did. So the concept grew. I took a few of her "I Hope..." statements and made them my own. I added and deleted and modified them all, and have quite a few in my repertoire now. You'll get the idea.

I almost always make these 8x8 albums. There is a dedication page. And after that, on every left page, an I Hope statement. On every opposing right page, a photograph(s) of the person. It is always better to make the photos snapshots, and random--over a span of time. You'll want to grab photos that capture the person's personality for this one. Next, come up with a color scheme, lots of patterned paper and a handful of embellies. Be sure you have either a cutting system or several coordinating alphas too--so you can spell out specific words.

So here goes...the dedication page (fill in the blank area with the person's name, of course.)

Now, every "I Hope" page begins with just that. Then, select a word in the statement to highlight and make it bigger than the others using stickers, die cuts, etc.

This is what the right side with the photo looks like...

And of course, I always take the last page and leave them on this note...
Okay, so that was more of a masculine version, using mostly KI Memories papers. Here is the same version using red, orange and yellows, using the exact same concept (4 layouts in one photograph).
I sometimes decorate the covers of the albums, and for the above album for my niece Taylor, here is what her cover looked like...
Now, I know many of you out there are celebrating First Communions and Confirmations here soon with friends and family members. Give this a shot. Come up with 10 "I Hope" statements and use what you have--and you'll be done in no time at all!! I promise you, once you make one you'll be hooked...

Now, as some of you know, my own daughter is getting ready to celebrate her First Communion soon. I had intentions of making one of these for her and I never got around to it. And then it hit me.

Why not use the 7Gypsies Photo Carousel? It doesn't have to be in the confines of a book.

So I uploaded about 200 photos of her to Costco and picked them up today. I will simply adhere the photos back to back, and place them on the photo carousel. And the "divider" sections will be 4x6 cards with "I Hope" statements on them. And to kick things up even more, I printed out 4x6 cards that all say "I Hope" on them and "Love," on the bottoms, and they will be available for people to write their own I Hope statements for her during her party. The carousel will be given to her as a gift, and it will be on display in her room after the party to hopefully inspire her whenever she feels the need.

I have to tell you, when the thought hit me, I couldn't sleep. I was so wired about the whole thing, I got up and started right in. And I've been surfing that wave for 3 days. I LOVE how it is turning out. I promise I'll post finished pics next week after the party...

And I know my daughter will be over the moon excited when she sees this. She's just as sappy as her dear ole mom...I can't wait til she sees it!

My apologies to Jen, Val and Tina who are sick of hearing about it already and want me to shut up about it, I'm sure...LOL!

Thanks for sticking around long enough to read this one, and have a super day all! :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tina's on a roll...

I know I tease her about her love of all things mini, but it's true. Tina popped this out in no time--along with 2 others this month--and I had to share. She used the May Project kit for this one, and there are still a few left here.

Check out the detail...I love how she highlighted with the doodling...and how she created little tabs...
...and the MM letters along with those punched flowers...YUM!
I have yet to start on mine for the newsletter, and this has prompted me to get started...
Thanks for always banging out a winner, Tina! Be sure to check out this one too...

I also wanted to mention that Juliann Marchant is going to be pubbed in ScrapStreet's May issue using the March WIP kit. How cool is that?

Back tomorrow for one of my all-time favorite projects, perfect for a First Communion or Confirmation gift. Dig out an empty 8x8 album and a bunch of coordinating papers and embellies for this one...

Have a terrific day!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Some eye candy this Monday morning...

I grabbed these at Archiver's yesterday. I love the look of these, and that they can be placed individually or as a strip...And this cool new velvet die cut ribbon is really awesome...
I loved the look of this paper line by Bo Bunny. Not their usual, and I like that...
I'm also currently obsessed with working on my blurb. If you blog and would love a hard copy of it to have and hold forever, check it out. I saw the concept on the Laura Vegas blog, and I knew as soon as I saw it I had to do it. I'm nearly halfway through and I LOVE it! When it arrives, I'll be sure to post pictures of the finished product...
What have you scored lately that you're in love with? I wanna know!

Hope your week starts off great!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Been busy...

Next to packing and shipping WIP kits, I've been busy planning a big party for my daughter's First Communion. Luckily, I have 3 other friends who are also planning big parties in the next few we've merged forced in the decorating arena to help one another out. No one will know--we're all inviting different guests except each other!I used my 50% coupon at Michael's this week to get the above paper stars. It doesn't look like it, but one package took me nearly 2 hours to complete! I got two, and they're ready to be hung.

One friend had this job. Thank God she's good at details:

These flowers are two of dozens and dozens and dozens of flowers. Her event is today, and I can't wait to use these in huge arrangements on the tables as centerpieces! They are also Martha Stewart's, but she bought tissue paper in bulk and did her own. Not too shabby, huh? Good luck with your party, Margaret!

More on decorating ideas in the near future...

I also wanted to post this tip for the folks who took any one of the Grade School Album classes. Some of you mentioned the interest in including memorabilia in the book. I found these at Archiver's this past week, and they are perfect for just that. There are three in one package, and it cost under $5.00. I tend to photograph a lot of my children's artwork, but for the pieces you can't bear to discard, this should do well...
Oh, and the WIP May Add-on kit is officially SOLD OUT.

Enjoy this weekend!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Altered Photo Cube

This was sent in by Molly, who is still playing around with the April WIP Kit. She altered a photo cube and created a treasure. Isn't it lovely?

And I have to say, she's got some mad photoshop skills...

Thanks, Molly!

Enjoy your Friday people!