Monday, February 28, 2011


WOW!  When I first started this blog 2 years ago it was a way of sharing my scrapbook layouts and photographs and a little bit of everyday life with my extended family.  Soon I was participating in fun blog challenges and becoming engrossed in other people's blogs and all of the wonderful information and creativity out there.  Now I enjoy sharing my ideas, and the things/people I find inspiring, as well as a small glimpse into my life each week. To some bloggers "100 Followers" may be no big thing...but to me, it is a milestone I never dreamed imaginable! Blogging has been a great outlet for me over the past few years to be able to talk about and share the things I love with people who are genuinely interested and I sincerely thank each and every one of you for listening!

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Friday Freebie!

Hop on over to the Get It Scrapped blog where you can download my Valentine-inspired sketch and layered template for free!

And while you're there check out their awesome archives of sketches and templates!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Five Years of Us!

Five years ago today, I married my best friend and the most kind and supportive man I've ever known!  And after five years of marriage, I know with all my heart there are five things I can always count on from him!

1. To make me laugh.
2. To do the know I hate those dishes.
3. To be the best daddy in the WORLD!
4. To call when he's running late so I won't worry.
5. To forgive me my flaws and love me FOREVER!

Oh wait...I guess that's six huh? 

Here's to five years of loving you babe!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Makeover Monday: Making Your Camera More You-ser Friendly!

Over a year ago I upgraded from my humble Kodak EasyShare to a Nikon P90. It's not a DSLR, but its a vast improvement over the camera I was using to capture all of life's greatest moments (though I still have my old one as it holds a great deal of sentimental value for me!). I have LOVED this camera with all my heart, despite the fact that its sometimes hard to get properly exposed photos indoors, and even harder to get that really great background blur, without a great deal of distance between my subject and its background.  And while I've entertained the idea of purchasing a new camera (just 18 months later) I feel like I still have ALOT of work to do before upgrading.  So when I have these thoughts, I remind myself  that my current camera has been my trusty companion through my journey to capture photos I LOVE and instead of replacing it for better camera, I should embrace it as an extension off my creative self and focus on becoming a better photographer.

So how does one go about creating this type of "bond" with their camera...?  After a great deal of consideration, I came up with the following ideas to help us make our cameras more "you-ser friendly":

Have a Way to Carry Your Camera With You That is Both Practical and Comfortable 

Having your camera with you at all times is a good first step. Being prepared to capture all of those perfect moments--instead of saying, "Wow that would have made a great photo..." will not only improve your chances of capturing those "perfect shots," but will also strengthen the relationship between you and your camera.  You will become more comfortable with using your settings and pretty soon all of those technical details will become like second nature.

Photo Source: Donna Downey

Start by finding a bag that you can carry with you at all times, like the raw canvas camera bags from Donna Downey (pictured above) that you can design youself, or even a beautiful over-sized vintage handbag like this one used by Elsie Flannigan.  Using a bag thats comfortable and fits your personal style will make carrying your camera with you feel like less of a burden and more like an everyday routine.

Photo Source: Design Sponge

Maybe a bag isn't really practical for you, then why not consider making a fun camera strap, like this awesome DIY Neck Tie Camera Strap from Design Sponge or purchasing a funky ready-made strap like this one from Capturing Couture.

Learn the Ins and Outs of YOUR Camera

For some people referencing their manual from time to time may be enough, for others you might want to consider taking a class that will not only help you to understand your camera's settings better, but also help you to understand how all of those buttons and knobs fit into the grand scheme of capturing photos you'll love. 

Photo Source: Get It Scrapped

I recommend Katrina Kennedy's "The Very Basics" class available at Get It Scrapped! Or Karen Grunberg has a great series of videos on her blog Karenika, which offers tons of very useful info!

Use the Right Equipment to Help You Capture Photos You'll Love 

While it may not be practical to go out and buy all of the things you think you may need to capture beautiful pictures...there may be a few essentials that you should consider.  And whether you buy them or make them yourself, having the right equipment can help you to have more pride in your photos and more faith in your camera!  To get an idea of the products you may benefit from owning give this article a look. Or check out this awesome article featuring 10 DIY Projects to Improve Your Photography!  Besides featuring fun step-by-step visuals, this article could save you a lot of money, while giving you access to more than just the essentials!

Sometimes our thoughts of replacing our cameras can be justified.  However, the next time you find yourself on the verge of replacing your trusty sidekick, first consider how you and your current camera can overcome your differences and team up to take better photos!

Looking forward to seeing you next Monday for more great makeover tips!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Boy and His Ball...

Even though he fell asleep on the way to the park and wasn't quite  ready to wake...

And he wasn't quite sure how he was going to get that ball loose from it's tether...

Once his eye caught that "lellow ball tied to a string" it was love at first sight!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

McGyver's Toolbox: Three Products I Love!

I am totally in love with the products below...check them out and see if your crafting could benefit from one or more of them!

Friskars Fingertip Craft Knife can be used just like your exacto knife, but with much more control!  My friend Brenda gave this too me a year ago and I haven't been able to put it down!  It takes a bit of getting used to but makes cutting out letters or details from your patterned paper much easier!

Provo Craft's Terrifically Tacky Tape:  I was introduced to this magnificent adhesive by scrapbooking expert Tania Willis in her class Scrapbooking With Fabric.  But not only does it work wonders with fabric, but it also works great with other problem materials like your metal charms/plaques, bulky flowers, and glass pebbles.

Darice's Rhinestone Setter:  While these are generally thought to be used only on fabric, I enjoy using mine with my scrapbooking and crafting, as well.  With this tool and the adhesive backed rhinestones, you can design your very own bling! And with the interchangeable applicator tips, this makes keeping track of and positioning your rhinestones much easier. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday Makeover: Hype Your Type!

When it comes to our alphas, I can think of three main reasons a makeover might be in order:
  1. Your missing the letters you need
  2. The color is not quite right.
  3. Or maybe your alphas just need a kick. 
Here's a few quick ways that paper scrappers and digi scrappers, alike, can overcome these obstacles and "HYPE THAT TYPE!"

Get Out the Paint

If the color isn't quite right, get out your paintbrush or your trusty "paint bucket" and go for a quick fix.  You could also use spray mists, ink pads or even your Photoshop blending modes to get the perfect color for your titles.

Crazy Daisy Kit Club

  Bring on the Bling

Sometimes all you need is a little something extra--a little bit of sparkle or a touch of texture and you can give those letter a real leg up.  So bust out your glitter and flock--or even those handy acrylic layer styles to make your letters truly Lovely!

Scrap This Kit

Cut it Out!

Why not try dressing up your alphas with your favorite patterned papers?  Whether your going to cut them out by hand or use your fonts as a clipping mask, bringing a pattern to your alpha may be just what your layout needs!

Danielle Young Designs

Get In Line

Try outlining your letters or stitching around them to really help them stand out.  Sometimes all that missing it that little bit of detail that can really make your alphas POP!

Crazy Daisy Kit Club

Mix It Up!

Try using a variety of your leftover alphas or favorite fonts to build the perfect title.  This technique can come in handy when you're missing alphas, have multiple colors you want to accentuate, or when you just want to have some fun!

Need a Hand?

Still stumped...?  Then its time to take matters into your own hands.  Using your sharpie or your graphic tablet try out a handwritten or doodled title to bring that edge you've been looking for to your layouts.


Do you have any more ideas for making over your alphas?...I'd love to hear them! 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Faves:The Valentine's Edition

Hi there everyone and thanks for your participation in our giveaway we've had going on for the past couple of days!  Two lucky gals will each receive a month long subscription to Masterful Scrapbook Design!  And the winners are...........
Ellie A.
Go ahead and email me at with your information, so that I can send you everything you'll need to claim your prizes!  And thanks again for participating!

I love to stay in and watch movies on Valentine's Day...perhaps it was a habit developed from all of those Valentine's Days in high school and college spent home, dateless--or perhaps I'm just a sucker for a good chick flick!  Either way here's a few of my all time favorite movies to watch on Valentine's Day:

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A New Attitude: New52 Week Six

First off...if you haven't had a chance to sign up to win a one month subscription to Masterful Scrapbook Design visit the comment section of the previous post and leave a few words...thats all it takes and you'll be entered to win a chance to spend an entire month with some wonderful scrapbook experts, exploring the subject of "scrapbook page titles."  The giveaway closes tonight!

And on with the NEW...

Today, I am excited to begin a two-week journey with Karen Grunberg in her FREE class Embrace Imperfection. I had the priveledge of working with, as well as, learning from Karen during last month's Masterful Scrapbook Seminar.  That's when I started following her blog (what a shame I had missed out on it up until then!) and saw all of these lofty goals she had for herself and thought WOW...I could never do a book each week--journal EVERY day!  AMAZING!  But it was actually when I listened to the introduction to this class, that it all fell into place.  I knew immediately that Karen had an amazing attitude towards life and art, that I wanted to share!  And while I haven't exactly mastered this NEW attitude...I've taken the first step...that's something, right?!  

So I thought I would start small...and armed with some of the great tips included in Karen's first handout, I set aside an hour of ME-time, dug through a tray of leftovers and pulled together the layout above.  Thats right one hour...I set the timer! And though I am sure I could spend paragraphs listing all of the things that aren't perfect about this layout, instead I'd like to share a few things I LOVE about it:

First of all...
  • I LOVE the colors!  The rich tones on the off-white background really pop off the page!
  • I have been trying to use that feather chipboard piece on something since I bought it...but was searching for the PERFECT layout...instead I decided to use it on this imperfect one and I think it turned out nicely.
  • I loved this photo of my son and I the moment I saw it...something I have not been able to say about a photo of myself in a very long time! 
  • I love that this layout is pieced together from leftovers...using up scraps makes me smile!
  • And finally I love that this page has "journaling" on it--most of the time I am content with the customary title and sub-heading but I really felt compelled to share a story in my own handwriting...something I'd like to do more of in pages to come!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Come Meet Kayleigh Wiles and Enter MSD Giveaway!

If you've never seen Kayleigh Wiles' digital handi-work then you are truly missing out!  But chances are if you've looked online for inspiration for your pages or flipped through a scrapbooking magazine lately, then you've seen her beautiful layers staring back at you and maybe even engaged in a scraplift or two!   Today, I am so excited to share a little bit about one of my favorite digital scrapbookers, as well as, offer you a little treat--in the form of a giveaway.  But there will be more about that after the interview...let's find out more about Kayleigh...

Kayleigh Wiles lives in Ontario Canada with her two busy little ones (Spencer age 3 and Makenna age 1) and her husband Eric of 4 years. She is a stay at home mom who enjoys cooking, adventures with the kids and scrapbooking whenever it can be fit in!

Scrapbooking is something Kayleigh has done for years but started digital scrapbooking in November of 2007 and found the wonderful community and amazing products at Designer Digitals. She was overjoyed to join the Creative Team in September 2008. Kayleigh has been published in Creating Keepsakes, Canadian Scrapbooking, Scrapbook Trends and was a contributor to the e-book "It’s in the Brushwork". She is also a teacher at Big Picture Classes where she currently teaches the self paced class, Template Manipulation. Quick Page Sets and Layer Works Templates, inspired by her very own pages are available at Designer Digitals. You can also find her at Creative Inspiration Blog where she shares challenges and inspiration with her friend Tara.

    Layout by Kayleigh Wiles

Tell us a little about how you got started with digital scrapbooking...

I started digital scrapbooking shortly after my son was born in 2007. I was intrigued by digital and fell in love not long after I started. I paper scrapped since my high school days & still have the large stash to prove it. I have dabbled here & there with paper since starting digital but i am loving digital right now.

When and where would we find you at work on your pages?

Wherever my laptop is really! Usually i scrap on our dining room table so i can be a part of the action & grab a few minutes here & there on the computer. Usually in the evening i scrap in the comfort of my bed while watching tv & hanging out with my hubby (hows that for multitasking?)

How would you classify your personal scrapbooking style?

My style is layered with lots of embellishments/papers/stitching with my photos + journaling. I like keeping areas on my page blank (negative space) to add drama to my scrapbook layouts.

Layout by Kayleigh Wiles

What three things would you consider "must haves" for your digital scrapbook pages?

1. My laptop (although we haven't been getting along very good these days: a broken hinge, overheating, random shutdowns & 45 minute start-ups...perhaps a new one is in store for me?)
2. Katie Pertiet's "whimsy" products from Designer Digitals
3. Anna Aspnes' stitching also from Designer Digitals

What three things are on your wishlist?

1. A new laptop (see above!)
2. A new lens for my camera: 24-70mm 2.8
3. More time ... or simply better time management skills!

What technique, style or craft would you like to try, but haven’t?

 I would really like to do more hands on crafts occassionly. I use to cross stitch in my teen years & loved that process. I still have a project i started years ago & haven't finished, so i really should wrap that project up! I am also really intrigued by quilting. I love mixing patterned papers which i think would transpire nicely with mixing fabrics.

Layout by Kayleigh Wiles

What inspires you?

Seeing my kids and extended family flip through the albums i have made for them makes me want to scrap more for them by documenting their lives.

Finally Kayleigh leaves you with this piece of advice:

Have fun with what you doing, if scrapbooking or whatever hobby you are involved with is not making you happy then be ok with that. If you love embellishing a page until it can't possibly have another item on it - do it! If you are a simple scrapper who just loves photos, journaling & a solid coloured paper - do it! Try not to get too caught up in what you think you should be & enjoy your craft!

Thanks for stopping by to learn more about Kayleigh!  And an extra BIG thanks to Kayleigh for sharing!  You can find her this month at Masterful Scrapbook Design, where she and a handful of other scrapbook experts will be spending the entire month exploring the topic of "scrapbook page titles."  Now I bet you're wondering about that giveaway aren't you...?  Well I have TWO one-month subscriptions to give away, for our lucky winners to join Kayleigh and company at Masterful Scrapbook Design for the next 30 days!  You can enter to win by simply leaving a comment below.  The winners will be selected randomly and announced Friday morning!  

Friday, February 4, 2011

T.G.I.F: Love... Love... Love

I know it sounds cliche...but on this first Friday of February, I am thankful for all of the LOVE in my life!  I feel very fortunate to have such a wonderfully supportive and caring husband, as well as, two beautiful boys, who fill my life with love and laughter each day.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Here's Looking At You Kid...

As my son Caleb celebrates his third birthday today, I find that I have cause to stop and remember our journey together. As I am reminded of the past three years, I am both amazed and delighted by the fact that we've made it this far--through the good times and the we are.  Three years older, wiser and richer in love!   Here's looking back at you kid...

When you were BORN, you were content and alert...some might say the perfect baby.  

When you were ONE, you were playful and sweet--always amused by the simplest and sometimes, strangest things.

When you were TWO, you were stubborn and wild, but with a sense of humor that trumped all! 

And now that you're THREE, I'm not sure what's in store...but one thing is for certain: "IT WILL BE AN ADVENTURE!"

Thanks for joining me in saying... Happy Birthday Caleb!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Playing Well with Others: I Love a Good Collab!

Don't you just love when two of your favorite things come together to create something incredible?!

Like Cookie Dough and Ice Cream or Jay Z and Coldplay (give it a listen...I think you'll like it)--I can't get enough of these two digital designers. And though I'm not sure how they would feel about being likened unto the previously named items...I think they're a match made in heaven in their collaboration Dialogue!  That's right I'm talking about Paislee Press and One Little Bird Designs.

I find that Paislee Press' clean and contemporary designs often bring order to my sometimes chaotic style:
Featuring "Serendipity" by Paislee Press

While One Little Bird's cozy elements, paired with hip color schemes--always seems to be perfect for every layout:
Featuring "Confessional" by One Little Bird Designs 

Together, their variety of elements and papers almost never have me reaching for another kit to complete a layout!
Featuring "Dialouge" by Paislee Press and One Little Bird Designs

Thank You Gals for creating all of these yummy products...what would a digi scrapper like me do without them ;)  If you haven't checked these designers out, visit their stores at Oscraps...they're on spolight for the month of they've got lots going including challenges and freebies!  Don't miss out!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gotta Have That Bag! An Inspiration Roundup

After my post last week (inspired by Donna Downey's messenger bag), I began to see tutorials everywhere for these adorable do-it-yourself handbags and clutches.  Like a big fat reminder, these beautiful bags were all staring me in the face saying, "Eat Your Heart Out!"  But this boring mommy held her ground and convinced herself that none of those bags deserved the treatment that was most certainly in store for them, should they ever become mine.  One day I will have a special portion of my closet devoted to all of the adorable handbags I will day when I no longer find fruit snacks at the bottom of my purse or random papers--like  the kid's menu from IHOP that my son insisted on saving. ONE DAY...but not today.

So instead I decided to round them all up and share them with you...I hope you enjoy making them as much as I enjoy looking at them!

Click on the images below to be linked to their tutorials.

Transparent Clutch
Photo Source:

Suit Coat Clutch
Photo Source:
Craftaholics Anonymous

Placemat Purse
Photo Source:
Alisa Burke

Book Cover Handbag
Photo Source:
  Curbly DIY Design Community

And of course the bag that started it all:

Ruffled Messenger Bag
Photo by 

And here's one from me:
Jean Pocket Purse
Photo Source:
Amy Kingsford

Know of more great handbag tutorials?...Link us up in the comments below  A girl can never dream of having too many accessories ; )

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