Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bundle up!

This is an older layout, but who can pass up the opportunity to share pics of their baby girl?! This is actually 1 of a 2 page layout. I used 1 sheet of winter paper and cut it apart to make it last 2 layouts. The result is basic, but works, and allows the pictures to be the main focus, but the winter theme comes thru strong.

It's snowy outside (here)! Scrap some cozy pics!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Big Project

The lack of recent scrapping posts indicates I've been swamped with something.. and here it is! A good (great, really) friend of mine asked me to do her kid's baby books - a first year book for each of them. That was towards the beginning of November and the goal was to get the first one done in time for Christmas. Well, I didn't quite make it (there are a lot of pictures for a first year!! :), but I did take her a decent sized book of 33 pages and she seemed pleased. Which of course was thrilling for me.

We all know how many pictures there can be of our first baby's first year. So there was plenty of picking and choosing that had to be done before we began, and we've decided we'll go for around 50 pages. I'm thrilled with this decision, because there are so many great pictures, it could easily go on 100. I'm sure some of you who scrap ALL your kid's pictures have book upon book like this. But doing a commission book requires some limits, right? So I'm learning a lot about these limits and how this works.

Here are some of the pages. Yay!!
(You may notice some blank areas... there are some spots open for journaling for the fabulous mommy to add her 2cents! :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sophia's Invites

Sophia made her birthday invitations today, and I thought I should share since she has been featured on here before. :)

She turns 6 next week and is having a few friends over for a little party after school that day. The party has a loose theme of Taylor Swift, horses, and being a girl. :) It should be fun. As usual, she was in charge of the design. I had picked up some materials I thought she would like, and she took it from there. I'm always impressed with her ideas. I know I'm biased. It doesn't matter. Either way, I'm so glad we get to work together on something we both enjoy!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Untie the ribbons.

One of my favorite creations ever. It was our Christmas card a few years ago and on the back I included a bit of a Christmas letter explaining our eventful year. I love the picture of my girls, the colors, and the quote - something we should all keep in mind. Not too complicated, not too busy - just right.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Stitch It

This is my layout for Practical Scrapper's week of stitching! I usually stay far away from the sewing machine, but for this project I stretched out and headed to my mom's. She tried to teach me to sew in the early years of 4H, but it didn't trip my trigger.

But I saw a layout like this a few weeks ago, and immediately knew it was what I wanted to do for this week's challenge. I cannot for the life of me find the article from which I scraplifted it. I know it was in a Creating Keepsakes and when I find it I'll give credit to the original creator!! But it worked out great for this page that is a part of a commissioned baby book. (My first!) Not too complicated, except you have to have a sewing machine. For the star, I hand stitched. My time with the sewing machine went so well today that I'm thinking maybe I should try the sewing thing again. I LOVE making things, and being able to at least put together some curtains seems like a reasonable task. We'll see!

I haven't had much mojo lately to post on here, but this baby book is helping get me going, so hopefully I can share more soon! The holidays and deadlines are keeping me on my toes!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fun with Paints

Acrylic Paints. Ah, how fun they sound!! But how often they are avoided. After this challenge I now realize how great they are, especially in the right situation. I loved using paint on the back of my transparency. I will definitely do that again. I think I'd like to use it for a title background and add a rub-on to it as well. And hello - on chipboard it will come in so handy. I've had these for a while, but they will be getting way more use from here on out.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rough it up

Color core and white core cardstock. I'm going to have to get some more of this. I really enjoyed playing with it. I have such a paper addiction... :) And Practical Scrappers really has forced me to use stuff I wasn't using. Which means it's about time to go shopping!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Practical Scrappers has a new feature we're calling Simplicity. I'm excited about this for a few different reasons. So far designing with Practical Scrappers, I've been challenging myself to do layouts that I probably wouldn't have made before PS. It's been great. I love the creativity and the stash I'm using!

But when I sat down to do a Simple layout, I was more excited about the process than I have been in a while. For a long time I've wanted to focus on clean&simple, and now I really have an excuse to do this. I need to have a specific goal and challenge to be simple and creative at the same time. That's what I've aimed for in the past, and now it can be like my job. :)

Btw, we are featuring something different every weekday: (M)Layouts, (T)Cards, (W)Cricut/Cuttlebug Projects, (TH)Altered Projects and Simplicity, and a (F)Guest Designer along with my little analysis of the week's challenge. Lots of beautiful pages and ideas over there from some incredibly talented women! Our new design team is up and running, bringing with them some fresh looks. Oh, and over the next 2 months we'll start running lots of Christmas projects and ideas which will be fun and festive. Can you tell I'm excited?! I LOVE this stuff!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bright Eyes

This is one of those layouts that just doesn't look as good online as it does in person. Maybe tomorrow I can get a sunshine picture of it. But I love it. I was hesitant to put in two pictures, hate to go against the odds rules, but the idea couldn't be resisted. I love these pics and my baby's bright eyes. Using my new star border punch with these pictures for the punch challenge at Practical Scrappers worked great. One more example of how the PS blog continues to give me great results!

Part II of the paper challenge

This was a fun card to make! These papers are youthful and make me smile.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Tonight Christine and I were talking about the blog and how it has changed us as scrappers. Not in a bad way, just change. We are both getting more pictures scrapped and feel good about our designs. I know I've been "challenged" to try materials and techniques that I wouldn't have used without the site. I love that. It's making me a better scrapper.

But what also came up was making sure we stay focused on what we love about scrapbooking. I love the creative process and the challenging of myself, and I need to make sure I'm not getting distracted by the pressure to create something amazing. When I sit down, alone, and CREATE, I learn something about myself, I relax, and I find some fulfillment. I reflect on the photos and the people in them; the events and the way life has changed since then. I gather my ideas and I create something that reflects not only who I am, but the values and interests of my family.

If I'm scrapping for others, this is going to change.

Practical Scrappers was started because scrapbooking is a great hobby that can help us find meaning when sometimes it's buried under housekeeping, busy schedules, bills, and daily frustrations. Christine knows how great scrapping is and wanted to challenge people to use what they have - their own materials AND their own ideas - to create something for their families, and for themselves.

I'm so thankful I've gotten to be a part of this, and thankful that we can help keep each other focused on what this hobby is all about. Take away the blogs, take away the followers, take away the magazines, I'd still be scrapping. It brings me joy and IT helps me stay focused on how great my life is. And I don't want that to change.


Christine handed out the same paper to 5 or 6 of us at Practical Scrappers and then we all did layouts with them to show how the same paper can be used in so many different ways. It was a great challenge. Just enough guidance, plenty of freedom.

This is more freedom than I usually take. I was inspired by a layout I saw in Creating Keepsakes (again; I know! it's weird for me!) and so I stepped out of my box - as Practical Scrappers has led me to do over and over - and found this layout hidden inside me. :)

I've had this picture for years and I'm glad that the layout turned out this way. It needed special treatment.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Great Love Chipboard Album

This summer my Aunt Colleen turned 60. I was commissioned by Aunt Kay to create a book for her celebrating all things Colleen. What a privilege. My aunt is amazing. She has overcome so much and remains a loving, welcoming, forgiving woman that we can all learn from.

Not sure how I feel about the quality of the pictures here. But I wanted to share some highlights from it. I've been making mini-albums for years. I created mini albums and gift albums long before I started making my own books. But this was my first chipboard album, and I was nervous about it. It was fun to work with a new material - as it usually is!

Mini albums are so fulfilling to me. I love them because it's easy to apply a theme, which gives me more guidance and direction. Making them as gifts gives me added gratification. Some old pictures and meaningful words, and you've really got a gift.

Love it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Imagine.. office supplies!

This week's challenge at Practical Scrappers is to use office supplies on a project. This card came together in very little time and was fun to make. I'm on the fence about whether the office supplies are forced, or not, but I think I like it. The imagine quote is "If you can imagine it you can achieve it." I was thrilled to find that I had made a card that would work for a graduation. Those seem to be ones I struggle with a lot.

The really fun thing was, though, getting to use some of my favorite office supplies. I love using staples all the time. And being the office supply junkie I am, this summer when I found these chunky black paperclips on clearance at Staples, I had to get them. Plus, you can't tell, but the spiral paper is from one of my favorite bound books with nice heavy paper. As a journaler, my paper is important to me. :)

Did I just make up the word journaler? :) Surely not.

Lace Cardstock

I'm behind on posts!! Yikes!
Ok, so here's my layout from Practical Scrappers challenge (last week!:) to use lace cardstock. I love these pictures of Sophia and me when she was sooo little! We were in Canada visiting family and I was excited to take Sophie on an international trip before she was even 1! :) That summer she also visited Washington DC. This is one traveled little girl!

Anyway, it was fun to use this paper, and not really something I would have done left to my own devices. Good stuff!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sophia's Turn

My daughter is 5 and I think she has It. It's that knack for knowing where to place the next eyelet. It's the confidence to add a sticker or a flower and feel like it made the layout perfect.
She has it. :) And I'm thrilled.

She's been scrapping with me for over a year now. Often when I sit down to work, she pulls up a chair also. She prefers not to work with photos most of the time.. creating a card, or just a "page." It's papercrafting at its most innocent, most honest and sincere. It's art.

The other day when I was working on my layout for Practical Scrapper's challenge to use decorative edge scisssors, I invited her to join me. I explained the challenge to her and she accepted it. I convinced her to pick out a picture that she likes, to use as a focal point. Of course at that moment I was called away to assist the younger child in some activity or problem. By the time I got back, she had created her scalloped edge mat, added the picture, and glued on her diecuts. I was delighted! She asked for help adding her heart trim at the top. By the time we finished that, I was called away again, and returned to find some personal artwork at the bottom, and the word ZOO in a variety of places. :)
To finish it off, she agreed that she would give the picture a caption and add some eyelets.

I know I'm partial. But indulge me. It's fun to celebrate our children and their creations!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

More Scissors!

I opened up my January issue of CARDS and quickly found some inspiration from Lisa Truesdell for a card using decorative scissors and one of my favorite things - scraps. The paper is Fresh Print Pear by Deja Views. And I love this sentiment.

Wouldn't have done this without Practical Scrappers! Yeah!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Old School

This week at Practical Scrappers the challenge is to use decorative edged scissors on your layout. That's right - this week it's old-school scrappin.

I was excited about this when I sat down. It gave me an excuse to just have fun with my layout. Lately there has been a lot of structure on my layouts, and I've been wanting to do something a little more abstract. I enjoyed making some funky edges on some various paper. I didn't feel pressure to not screw up whatever valuable material I was using. I just scrapped. Found some great pictures and some refreshing paper, and scrapped.

Not only was this easy for me, but Sophia had her hand at it as well. I'll post that layout later this week, proving the ease and fun that can be had with good 'ol paper and scissors.

P.S. I used a Crafter's Workshop template for the circle around my journaling and Eyelet Outlet sent us the funny little worm! :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Oh yeah, from a LONG time ago. But thanks to Practical Scrappers, I took the challenge and used it! And I'm pleased with the results..

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Felt Layout

I love these pictures from a fall day a few years ago. When I found my felt for this week's Practical Scrapper's Challenge, I knew exactly which picture I wanted to use with it. Using felt on my pages is new to me. I've used some other fabrics before, but I had no idea how much texture and depth felt would add to my page. I'm a disappointed with the LO pic, b/c it looks so much better in person. Regardless, this was a fun LO and I'm so glad Christine had Felt on our list of challenges!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fun Card

I'm excited about this birthday card for a few reasons. I love the paper I used - Paper Studio I think. Nothing too fancy really, it's not even very heavy, but it worked. Using the cricut was fun, of course. But I'm really happy with the sentiment. I'm beginning to have more confidence in the ability of my own penmanship. This result was good encouragement for me.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Scrapsketch / Practical Scrappers Challenge

This weekend at Practical Scrapperswe have partnered with Scrapsketchfor a challenge to create a layout based on a sketch from Stephanie. I'm all about being inspired by other layouts, but I rarely follow a sketch as closely as I tried here. It was fun to challenge myself in this way!

I shifted the sketch vertically so that I could use these photos from Easter of 08. I love how sweet and happy my babies look in these! Overall I'm pleased with how it turned out. Try your hand at the sketch too and enter it in the challenge at PS today - we have until 10:00 PM CST!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mimi and the Aunts get Press

This is my layout for Practical Scrapper's challenge to use letter stickers creatively. It was definitley a challenge! :)

One day Sophie started calling my mom 'Mimi.' This caught on quickly (though my dad couldn't remember what the name was.. "Fufu?") and, anyway, Mom's sisters loved it too. My mom and her sisters enjoy getting together as regularly as they can - there are 5 of them plus some outlaws and cousins depending on who is in town. Add these facts to their love of music, and we stumbled upon 'Mimi and the Aunts.'

Children, brothers, the old and the young, lovingly refer to my mom and her sisters as Mimi and the Aunts. And since they are all 'Mimi's,' they happily respond.

This picture was taken at the annual Memorial Day gathering of McCabes about a week after Clare was born. The Aunts were more than happy to pose for a picture with the newest member of the family. :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Simple Punches

Practical Scrappers challenge this week is to use simple punches. I don't have many, so I was a little intimidated. This was the second card made in my attempts, and while other designers got more creative with their circles, I'm pleased with how it turned out. I will have to harrass my brother about buying it from me for his new bride, since I used the ribbon from their wedding! ;)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Our Family - Lift

This weekend Practical Scrapper's wanted to see our Lifts from PS. Well, what a great excuse to proceed with one that I've been wanting to do. This LO is lifted from Christine, but I've been wanting to do a big circle for a while.

This picture is one of my favorites of all time. It was taken last year at a cousin's wedding. Love the colors, love that it's all of us, love that we were having so much fun.

The sentiment about family is one that my mom has had hanging in her living room since before I was married. I'm sure the words are used frequently, but I can't get past how true they are.