Traditional Scrapbook Layout - Hello Four

Today I wanted to share a double page scrapbook layout I made last week. I really wanted to make a layout using the photos I took of Austin for his fourth birthday, so I found a couple of sketches on Pinterest (here and here), put them together, and created my pages.

When I had taken the photos, I'd made my own back drop using circles punched from card stock. I used most of the same colors of card stock to put the layout together.

On this page, I added a card from the Project Life Azure edition. I love the '4' and the four hearts. I also used a couple of the circles leftover from the backdrop as mats behind some the wood car and chipboard button embellishments. I also added a '4' from an October Afternoon alpha sticker pack. 

On the page on the right, I added my title using more stickers from October Afternoon, and thickers from American Crafts. I like the Scrabble tile thickers because they tie in to the photo of Austin holding 'four' in Scrabble letters on the opposite page.

The background paper here (the dark grey) is from a Crate Paper stack. 

I added homemade enamel dots in three clusters across the two pages. I've found the best way to attach these is using a Pick Me Up stick and Tombow Multi Medium Matte. I like this matte adhesive because when it dries, even if a little bit squishes out from behind the dots, you can't see it because it doesn't dry glossy.

It had been awhile since I had made a scrapbook layout, so it was nice to get a chance to work on one. It's fairly simple but I think makes the photos stand out more.

You're One Birthday Card

This past weekend we celebrated the first birthday of the son of a dear friend of mine. His actual first birthday is today. Happy one, little Desmond!

I made a birthday card for him that I wanted to share with you guys:

The layout of the card was inspired by this card I found on Pinterest. At CKC last month, I picked up the Baby Jungle stamp set from Jane's Doodles, and I knew it would be perfect for the card. I stamped the animals with Memento Tuxedo Black ink, and used my Copics and Spectrum Noir markers to color them in (Copic colors Y17, C-1, C-3, E37, E35, Black, Blender, and Spectrum Noir OR1). Then I chopped them square and added them over a strip of yellow card stock. I found some yellow polka dot paper from my scraps bin (always happy when I get to use up scraps) and added both panels to the card front.

I stamped the 'you're' with the minitags2cut set from The Stamps of Life, and added some American Crafts white foam thickers.

Inside the card I stamped 'happy birthday' with the Simon Says Stamp Big Birthday Wishes stamp set. I love the little heart after the 'y.' Such a fun card for such a sweet little boy.

Around Here

Around here we are...

...enjoying the springtime weather. It's finally warm enough (but not too warm) to keep our windows open. I love sleeping with the fresh air and waking up to birds chirping outside.

...anticipating the installation of our solar panels. We signed up for solar panels through Next Step Living,  after having the free energy audit as part of the Mass Save program. After a very long, thorough presentation, we jumped on these. They won't cost us a penny. Nothing up front, and they will make money in the long term. This is managed through several methods. A huge rebate from the Federal government, a smaller rebate from MA. An instant rebate from Next Step Living. A loan that is split into two pieces, the longer portion being low interest. Savings on energy bills and, over the next ten years, National Grid will also pay us annually for everything our solar panels produce. Once the panels are paid off they just save you money on your electric bill, and they're guaranteed for 25 years. Only a small percentage of homes can actually have solar panels, so being qualified is pretty neat. They should be installed and running sometime around September.

...looking forward to two upcoming vacations. We'll be bringing both Austin and Summer to Las Vegas, then on to California to visit Brad's parents, with a stop at Disneyland and California Adventure in the middle. We're also going to be going on our second Disney cruise, a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Disney Fantasy. We absolutely loved our cruise last year, more than we ever expected to, so going for longer this year is just going to be amazing.

...loving Pac-Man and Paw Patrol (Austin) and Game of Thrones (Brad and I). Austin has been all about playing Pac-Man or watching Pac-Man videos on YouTube. He also has been starting to watch Paw Patrol after collecting a few of the toys. Game of Thrones Season 5 started last month and Brad and I of course tune in every Sunday on time to watch. I can't believe the season is half over already. We do hate the year long break between seasons.

...starting a new job (Summer).  She's picked up a new waitress position at a fancy steakhouse nearby, and she's quite excited.

...eating healthy. Mostly. We are counting calories and cooking things like pork with veggies and brown rice. We are also working out often. Both of us have extra pounds that we're trying to shed, and both of us would like to drop at least some of them before our trip to California.  We like using the My Fitness Pal app for tracking our calories, and I sync it with my Fitbit too.

...preparing for a semester in Spain (Summer). She'll be attending Berklee's Valencia campus for the fall semester. It's going to be hard on Brad having her so far away but we know this is a really big opportunity for her. She's going to have a blast.

...reading all the time. (Me). I'm on book number 51 of 2015, and I'm currently wrapped up in the After series from Anna Todd. Which is driving me bananas. It's entirely too long but I just have to know how it ends! Other recent favorites of mine (I'm sorry these are all romance, but that's what I'm hooked on) have been Tangled and Twisted from Emma Chase, the Hacker series from Meredith Wild, and anything from Beth Kendrick. I also LOVED The Duff (which is now a movie that I can't wait to also see). And for a pretty amazing non-fiction book, read Brain on Fire.

...listening to the Serial podcast. I had this bookmarked for a long time but never got a chance to listen. Once I started I had to hear the whole thing, so I listened to it all in one weekend. It was so good. It was kind of like listening to an episode of Dateline, which I love.

I hope you are all enjoying your springtime (or fall, if you're in that part of the world).

CutterPillar Crop Unboxing Video

A package showed up on my doorstep today, and I had no clue what it was. When I opened it, I found my very own CutterPillar Crop! I hadn't expected it because I didn't receive a shipping notice, so this was a really great surprise. I had backed the KickStarter campaign but there have been massive production delays, and I didn't think I was included in the first round of people to get their Crop.

Since I am one of the first people to receive it I thought it would be fun to do an unboxing video to show you the Crop. A warning, I really hate how I sound on videos. I find myself stumbling for words a lot. So, ignore my speaking and just watch for a look at the Crop.

Sparkly Mother's Day Card

The last of my Mother's Day cards is one of my favorite cards, and of course it's because of all the sparkle!

I love sparkle, so I have been going crazy over all of the Wink of Stella brush markers. I was looking to get a combo pack of them on Amazon and stumbled upon this set of Wink of Stella markers with a marker tip, accidentally ordered them thinking they were brush tip, and wound up LOVING them. These have a fine tip so they are perfect for coloring. I decided to use them on this Mother's Day card.

The butterflies were stamped with a rubber stamp from Outlines. I got it several years ago so I'm not sure if it's still available, but it is just so gorgeous. Adding the glitter from those Wink of Stella markers just brought out the beauty of this stamp.

Just so much sparkle! I stamped my 'Happy Mother's Day' sentiment using the Stampin' Up! Wonderful Mother stamp set. This card was really easy to make, since it's all one layer, but the butterflies make such an impact. I hope the recipient likes it!

Single Layer Mother's Day Card

Sharing another Mother's Day card with you today.

I needed a card to send through the mail, so I opted to keep it thin. I decided to use stamping without any embellishments. I used the Avery Elle So Happy set, one of my favorites (plus I only have a couple of stamps that say 'Happy Mother's Day' on them). This set is nice in that it comes with some little flower stamps in addition to the sentiments.

First, I stamped my sentiment just above the center of the card with Memento Tuxedo Black ink. Then, I took some simple paper tape (it's actually a medical tape I found at Walgreens in the first aid aisle) and ran a strip of it across the card as a mask over the sentiment. After that was placed, I randomly stamped some of the flowers and leaves using Hero Arts Shadow Inks (I have several of the cube packs, so I can have lots of colors for not much money) in Butter Bar, Green Hills, and Passion Flower.

I removed the tape and thought the card needed something else, so I flipped it over and scored lines with my mini scoreboard along the edge where the tape was. Then I rounded the corners using the yellow WRMK Corner Chomper, and that finished off the card.

I have one more card to show you tomorrow and that will finish up this year's Mother's Day cards. :)

Outfit Inspired Mother's Day Card

The other day I wore an outfit and for whatever reason, it gave me some inspiration for a card design. Here's the outfit:

I was thinking of a blue polka dot die cut panel over white, with some sort of mint accent. I got a chance to work on this Sunday night and I think it turned out great:

I grabbed a scrap of bright blue card stock I had in my scraps bin, and then die cut it several times using the WRMK polka dot cutouts die. I used some super thin tear tape to adhere it to a white card base.

Then I stamped my sentiment from the Stampin' Up! Wonderful Mother stamp set onto some white card stock, cut a rectangle and then used a square punch to turn it into a pennant on one side.

I die cut the butterflies with the Memory Box Cascadia Butterfly Trio die and some mint shimmery card stock. The card stock isn't glittery, it just has a little bit of a satiny shimmer to it.

I added some pearls to the centers and used foam tape to attach the pennant and butterflies to my card.

So fun to take inspiration from my outfit and turn it into something crafty!

Layouts layouts layouts!

I wanted to share three digi layouts with you today, all with products released over this weekend.

First up, I have a layout to share using the newest collection from Bee Tree Studios, called Sail Away.

This collection is perfect for documenting a cruise, so of course I made another page with photos from ours. (I'm eager to get on our second one this fall so I have more to document!).

I love the word art pack that comes in this kit!

Next up I have two pages using kits from Amber LaBau. On Friday, she released several items as part of the May BYOC at The Lilypad.

I used her The Good Stuff pocket cards and her Fresh Squeezed bundle (which coordinate so well together) to create this page about the Topsfield fair a couple of years ago.

Finally, Amber and Sara Gleason collaborated to release a gorgeous fun kit called A Daring Adventure.

I couldn't wait to play with this kit, and so I used it, along with a great template freebie that Amber has on her blog right now, to make this page about Austin's first time at the ocean.

How gorgeous are these colors?!

All of these items are on sale right now so don't wait, go grab them and play!

Mother's Day Card

I've got a Mother's Day card to share with you today, the first of a few I'm making for those special ladies in my life this year.

For this card I cut a 4"x5.25" white panel, and die cut a flower using these Victorian flower dies from Elizabeth Craft Designs. Behind the panel I used some striped paper from an American Crafts 6x6 Dots & Stripes paper pad. I love the bright purple color.

I attached a button in the center of the flower with a glue dot, then stamped my sentiment using the Avery Elle So Happy stamp set and the teal Heidi Swapp ink pad.

I added dashed lines all around the border of the white panel with a grey Staedtler fineliner pen.

Inside the card I stamped a couple of flowers that looked a bit like the die cut using an older Stampin' Up! stamp. I stamped them just off the edge of the card, so I can write my note in the center. 

I'll share a few more cards up through Mother's Day. Hope you liked this one!

Foil all the things!

Or just one card...for now :)

I resisted the foiling trend for a little while but a few weeks ago I saw a video that Jennifer McGuire did showing foiling without a laminator, and I had to try it. I also saw a fantastic video by Tim Holtz showing how to foil using the Ranger Sticky Embossing Powder, which I already had, so I grabbed some of the Heidi Swapp Minc foils from Hobby Lobby and gave it a shot. This card uses the teal and hot pink, which you can grab here on Amazon if your local store doesn't carry it.

I used a retired Stampin' Up! butterfly stamp for this. I LOVE how you can just keep adding color with the sticky powder, so I could use two different colors of foil for it. You just press down one color, but then you can go in and fill in areas with another. You can't do that with a laminator. I am in love!

I did also try using a die cut word with the Stick-It adhesive, and it came out pretty terrible. That stuff is hard to work with.

I gave this card to Shannon on Friday when we headed out to CKC. :) 

Since making this card I did purchase the laminator that Jennifer recommends in her post, so go check out that post for a link. It was less than $19 on Amazon. I'm eager to try using the laminator and embossing powder, as shown in this video Jennifer did.