Thursday, May 31, 2012

Some More Fun Design Team News!

In addition to, the Craft Your Nest Challenge blog and Crafting Ireland on-line scrapbook magazine, I have been asked to join the team at Scrapbooking From the Inside Out kit club!
You can see the blog post announcing the new team here :)

When I told my husband the news, he was happy for me.
But then asked, "how many design teams did you apply, too?" since they have come so quick in succession. And I have never been on more than one design team at a time before :)
I had to laugh because really I applied to just four, not expecting anything. And thought to get even one, would be fabulous!
I really am very picky about what I apply to because I want to enjoy scrapbooking and not be overwhelmed by commitments.

But first for Craft Your Nest, I sent Dawn an email because I saw her post saying she was looking for a few Chickadees and I thought it would be fun! Since ScrapGal, I have missed being on a "team" and having others to work with. I love the deadlines and responsibilities because it has *pushed* me in a good way to improve my style and get more projects done!
And for Crafting Ireland, I thought it would be absolutely amazing to work for an on-line magazine with fun people and I have been inspired by Ireland for a while. :)

As for Scrapbooking From the Inside Out, I spent some time on their boards recently for an on-line crop, and really enjoyed meeting and chatting with the other women. The kits are amazing and I find lately that I really like to work from "kits". I have been creating several pages at once rather quickly this way!
I was also really impressed that on their Current Kit page, they show the kit, a list of journaling prompts, a Pinterest board link for each kit with inspiration, and a music playlist to go with each kit!
I am a Pinterest and music junkie! After seeing both of those options, I sent in my application right away! Plus, one of the songs in the playlist this month was "Beautiful Day" by U2. Um...perfect! :)

 I will actually be starting with the July kit for SFTIO, but here is a sneak peek at the June TRUTH kit...

The reveal is sometime today, and I am looking forward to seeing the contents of this kit. And also the projects made by the older design team members :)

As for design teams, this is it. You won't be seeing any more announcements by me because I am not waiting to hear from anyone else. I am pretty darn happy with my three :)

Hope you have a great weekend and I'll be back on Monday!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Crafting Ireland Design Team! :)

This was hard news to keep to myself for the past week or so! I was asked to be on the first design team for a new free on-line scrapbook magazine in Ireland called Crafting Ireland :)
You can see the announcement and meet the other design team members here.
The current issue,  #10 became available yesterday.
They also have a Facebook page as well :)

Timi and Nicole have put together a fun, inspiring magazine and I am happy to be a part of it!

They introduced the new team in issue ten as well as on the blog, but you won't be seeing our work in there yet Not until issue 11, and I can't wait!

And in the spirit of my new team, a few more pages from my mother-in-law's Ireland trip album :)
 Just some group shots with a journal spot in the center for her to write.
Sorry, the black color is a little off on this page. And the crooked "T" has been fixed. But really just didn't want to take a whole new photo just for the "T" :) Another journal area for her to fill in at the bottom.
And one of my favorite pages from the album. Not because of the "scrapbooking" but because of the photos. I love that photo of Mike's mom on the donkey. She is so beautiful. But I really love his grandmother on the donkey. Especially that bottom photo. I just love that she looks like she has such a wonderful sense of humor. I so wish I could have met her. And I love Mike's grandpa's handwritten notes about the photos.
This is what scrapbooking is all about! :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Evan! :)

I can't believe he is ten today!
Where does the time go?

In the past year he has...
learned how to climb a tree...
been to the Lego Discovery Center in Chicago...
seen U2 not once (this photo Chicago),
but twice up close by the stage. How many kids his age can say that! (And ignore me in this photo, that is water on my shirt because it was so hot! A heat advisory in effect actually. Thankfully they didn't make Evan stand in line all day like us. He was able to come down at 5pm.) But look how cute and happy he is!

And it was worth it! :)

Moving on :)
Been to the CN Tower in Canada. And if you know Evan's love of architecture, you know how much he wanted to see this.
Been to the Hockey Hall of Fame. I had to wait until I was 24 for that one!
 and Niagra Falls!
Started fourth grade...
Visited the 9/11 Memorial here...
Had his dad create the coolest Hogwarts castle for Trunk or Treat at school (with costumes and everything)
Worked really hard on his science fair Earthquakes and Buildings project...
and was able to take a special trip to Indianapolis with his Dad and Erin to see his favorite skyscraper there :)

He wants to be an architect, loves Legos, and likes to travel. And he really did get to travel to some fun places last year! He is a great big brother (when he's not teasing her). And I feel very lucky to be his mom!
I can't wait to see what the next year has in store for him :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

*To Be a Child Again*

Still working on layouts for the challenges over at Scrapbooking From the Inside Out this week. The crop was last weekend and we have until Saturday night to finish.
Challenge #6 is the Iron Scrapper Challenge, and Kai gave us this quote to use somewhere on the layout

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them?
Rose Kennedy
Plus we had to use some symbolism or picture of a bird and sunshine on the project as well.

When I read the quote, the perfect photo jumped into my head! And then the layout came together pretty quickly afterward :)

I love that photo! Mike took it a Mother's Day last year and it just makes me smile :) But if you click on the layout and look at the journaling, you can see the direction my story took. When I see Erin in moments like this, I sometimes wish I could be a kid again! Free of all the grown up responsibilities I am faced with every day ;)
But I had my time to enjoy my childhood. And I think I did! I really do. So my hope is that both of my children will be able to do the same and not grow too big, too fast. I want them to enjoy their childhood  :)

For the sun, I misted my pinked circle stamp by Studio Calico. But I also used a journal spot by Elle's Studio to type the quote on. The symbol on there made me think of the sun. My bird is a cute little bluebird from my October Afternoon Sidewalks sticker sheet.

Do you ever wish you could be a kid again? :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Craft Your Nest and a Layout

I mentioned a few posts ago that I am now a design team member (Chickadee) for a new challenge blog called Craft Your Nest. I really like the way Dawn describes why she started the blog and what it is about in this post
So our job will be to challenge and inspire you to just get pages done. And hopefully have some fun in the process :)
And I know Dawn is planning on having a scrapbook giveaway in the near future as well.
Craft Your Nest also has a Facebook page here and a Facebook group where you are able to post your pages from the challenges or any other project you would like to share here.

My first post is up today, and I would love for you to come check it out!
Also, Dawn is in the process of looking for some more Chickadees, which is this blog post here :)

And now for a layout...
This layout is for the May Sketch challenge at Little Red Sketchbook. It is a Page Maps sketch and here is what it looks like...
My layout is definitely a little simpler and cleaner I think, but that is my general style I gravitate towards :) Since I did a layout about Erin and I prior to this one, I decided it was Evan's turn. Because a lot has changed for him, too, since Erin was born. And he is a great big brother! But I know every now and then, he likes when it is just the three of us. Like the old days :)

Well, that is it for today. And hopefully I will see some of you hanging out at the Nest sharing some amazing work! I know that Dawn also wants to do a monthly blog feature on project submissions :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

This Moment...

This layout came about because of a challenge over at Scrapbooking From the Inside Out. 
The theme of their kit this month is Delight and one of the May challenges is to create a layout about living in the present moment. Here is my take on that challenge...
I wanted to keep it simple using one of my favorite, recent Instagram photos. And I have also been wanting to do a four square, grid layout for a while. It really seemed to work for this particular idea.
Man, this is a topic close to my heart right now with Erin starting Kindergarten in the fall. I keep telling everyone that I am going to "miss her" when she starts full time. It's not like we won't spend time together, but it won't be the same. Kind of like when Evan started Kindergarten five years ago. But at that time, I had a new baby to take my mind off of things ;).

Anyway, I am really trying to focus on the here and now. And just pay attention to all the little things going on. Not take anything for granted! These moments are going by way to fast, and I want to remember it. :)

If you are looking for some fun challenges, Scrapbooking From the Inside Out also has a crop going on right now. We have all week to work on the challenges, so that is where I am hanging out this week :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ireland Continued...

I have two more layouts to share from my mother-in-law's album :)
I did decide to use black cardstock as the base throughout. I have also transitioned into using the October Afternoon Farmhouse papers and embellishments now that most of the photos are about the family farms in Claremorris. I think the colors go well with the papers I used for the first part of the album so it will still flow :)
I added blank journal strips so she can write in whatever she wants!
Lots of blank space for writing on this page! The photo of her and Birdie (who helped take care of her while she was there) And the cow photos! Well those are special :) I love how excited she gets when she talks about how the cows would come right up to the house in the morning while she was there. So I put in a big journal block for her to tell the story on paper!
I am getting so excited to give it to her! I will have two more layouts to show you next week that are complete, but the photos still need editing. So that means I have completed ten so far! I'm half way there, but moving fast now!
I will also have two completed challenge layouts to share as well. One is a sketch challenge, and one on being present in the moment :)

Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


It's Wednesday, so I will be linking up to Julia's blog and sharing what is currently happening in my craft space. Love to see so many different places and spaces!
I took a break from my mother-in-law's Ireland album, to work on a sketch challenge (which I actually just completed). But you can see both layouts in progress here, and I am getting so close to finishing her album. I completed four pages recently and have started a fifth.
Several people have asked me over the years if I have thought about making scrapbooks for money. But honestly, I just don't think that is my thing. I like to do them as gifts, but I am such a perfectionist when it comes to pages. And doubly so when someone is paying me, because I want everything to be just right!
It's a lot of work to put an album together, and I am a lot harder on myself when it's not just for my family or personal use. 
So, no. I don't see myself becoming a scrapbooker for hire any time soon :)

Right now, I am actually busy with a lot of school activities and celebrations for the kids. Last week was Teacher Appreciation day. And thanks to Pinterest, I made my own version of this...

But mine looked like this...

I actually included a small baggie with four giant marshmallows, one regular size Hershey chocolate bar, and found a box of six small packs of graham crackers. I think there were 6-8 crackers in each individual pack. That was a lot of fun to give the teachers. :)

In addition, to the S'mores treat, I volunteered to pick up the classroom gift of flowers for Evan's teacher. Of course while we were picking them out, Erin saw some that she wanted to get her classroom teacher. I couldn't say no to that :)

So between that, a field trip for Evan today, an end of the year celebration coming up for Erin, end of the year teacher gifts and so on, the school year is definitely winding down to a close! It's been a good year, but I am definitely looking forward to summer.
Are you looking forward to summer? :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Monday! :)

It feels good to be back to the blog! A week off was just what I needed, although I did miss checking in with everyone :) But I will have plenty to share through the second half of May starting with this layout.
I was originally inspired to create this layout because of this site -  Scrapbooking From the Inside Out! The theme of their kit this month is Delight, and this photo and story came to mind :)
It is a photo Mike took with my phone while we were waiting in the general admission line to see U2 last summer. There was an excessive heat warning that day, but it was so worth it to be right in front of the Edge!
I actually posted this photo to Facebook right after he took it. And for fun I hid a little card with my Facebook status and all of the comments behind the photo on my page.
Here is a close-up :) If you are on Facebook, have you ever scrapbooked one of your statuses?
My layout is also up on the Write, Click, Scrapbook blog for Social Media Week.
It was fun combining two different sources of inspiration on one layout :)

As for Mother's Day, it was pretty perfect this year! Believe it or not, I went for a walk/jog this morning. Then I had a special breakfast made by Mike and Erin.
I was able to do a lot of scrapbooking, watched the last episode of Glee, and just relaxed.
The weather here was beautiful as well so we ate lunch and dinner outside on the patio!
Since I was needing a head shot for an on-line site, Mike also took a few photos of me. It has been two years since my last, so I was overdue :)
I have to say, I am not comfortable in front of the camera. Not at all. I am very self-conscious. And 99 times out of 100, I can tell you what is wrong with a picture of me. Silly I know, but true.
I just don't like having my picture taken! Unless it's something like this photo from Niagra Falls where I can hide behind my children and sunglasses...
 But he did get one I am happy with :)

Even though the shirt is a little brighter than I thought it would be, and I definitely need to get more sleep. (The reason I usually wear sunglasses in photos) See there I go again! Finding what is wrong ;)
But seriously, between that photo and this fun one my sister-in-law Janel took...
I am thinking I just don't need to worry about photos for at least another two years, right? ;)

Anyway, the reason for the new "headshot" is a small design team position I have been offered that I think will be a lot of fun! A friend of mine is starting a challenge site (blog and Facebook page) called Craft Your Nest, and I am going to be one of her *Chickadees* :) Cute, right?
The whole premise of the site is just to get people scrapbooking, using scrapbook product on hand and having fun. There will be challenges, tutorials, tips and prizes.
It's not up and running yet, but hopefully in the next week. So I will share more info when I can!

And now I am off to enjoy my Monday!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Five on Friday!

Lots of things to share today :)
1.) Another page from my mother-n-law's Ireland album. I'm keeping the title pages simple.

2.) Well, for some reason this photo will not go straight no matter how hard I try! But just wanted to share the happy mail Ashli (aka soapHOUSE mama)  sent me. She had a giveaway on her blog for the beautiful tag she made, which I am using as a bookmark. But in the package she also included this adorable stamp set and twine! Really, really sweet! Thanks again Ashli :)
3.) My girl is going to be such a good little mommy some day. I can just tell by how she is holding her baby all wrapped up. And not sure if you can see by this photo, but there are some little drops of water on baby's forehead. Yep, she was baptizing her in the bathroom :)

4.) An Instagram photo of Erin and I at the playground on Wednesday. We stopped by after I picked her up from school. I know I've said it before, but I am going to miss these moments next year when she is in Kindergarten. I really am.

5.) And lastly, I am taking a blog break next week. I will be back after Mother's Day. Just really want a week to relax and finish up my mother-in-law's album. Plus I have some news about a fun, little design team opportunity that I am excited about. Just finalizing and setting up things now, but will have more to share on the 14th.

Happy Mother's Day to all you Mamas out there! I hope you have a beautiful day!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

WOYWW and a Beautiful Change :)

Today is Wednesday, and it's the day where crafter's from all over link up to Julia's blog at The Stamping Ground so we can get a peek at all of our work spaces :)
I am still working on my mother-in-law's album from her trip to Ireland almost 60 years ago. And I think I will be able to have it done by Mother's Day :)

All of this sharing with other crafty people has made me realize how much my life has changed since the invention of the internet. I am usually pretty slow to technology changes. In fact, my husband teases me regularly about how outdated I am sometimes :)
But I have embraced the internet and it has made a huge difference in my life.
Several years ago, I was welcomed into a private group of women who scrapbooked. We had a site called Suziebeezieland where we met regularly and chatted. It was through this group of women that I "met" Katherine.
Her two sisters, Marie and Elizabeth are the crafty types and were members of our group. So Katherine joined our group anyway even though she didn't scrapbook :)
I have always been impressed and amazed by Katherine. She is an Associate Pastor of the First Congregational Church in Western Springs, Illinois in addition to being a wife and mother to two girls.
And now she is a published author.

This is her new book, and a group of us are celebrating the release of her book by sharing stories on our blog about a beautiful change in our lives :)

Now I am not much of a writer, but I would like to say that there have been many beautiful changes in my life over the years.
But this technology thing has been a way for me to connect with amazing women. And it just makes me feel so lucky that I have been able to form relationships with women from all over the country. Women I may never have met if it wasn't for the internet!

Over the years, I have belonged to several scrapbook message boards. Some have closed and thanks to the internet, blogging and Facebook, I have been able to stay in contact with many of those women.
Looking at my Facebook page, I have to smile because 1/4 of my friends are women I have met due to scrapbooking.
Some I have been lucky to meet in real life, some I may still get the chance to meet, and some I may never meet. But we have shared a lot over the years. I have chatted with quite a few of them and have had my spirits lifted when I was feeling down. And I hope I have been able to do the same for them :)
This group of women from all over have been a huge source of inspiration for me.

So Katherine, I wish you much success with your first book. And I am so glad to *know* you and the other Willis girls :)

If you would like to check out Katherine's post on the topic and see some of the other linked stories, you can see it here.
I will say that Elizabeth Dillow's Beautiful Change story really spoke to me, since we both have daughters starting Kindergarten next year. :)

I hope you have a Beautiful Wednesday!