Birthday Card

My mom's birthday is coming up next week, so I went about making a card for her.

I'd been digging through my stash of dies, and found the Stampin' Up! Large Paper Doily Sizzlit die. This die is retired but you can check it out here, and I've seen a few on eBay. It is a bit tough to work with though - I had to follow some tips I found to make it work properly. I finally got it to work by covering the surface of the die with packing tape, and using a shim, along with an additional smaller shim under 1/2 of the die. All of those tricks helped to even the surface so I could die cut a doily. Even so, I don't plan to use this die too often - it's very detailed and takes awhile to punch out all of the little spots.

Anyway, once I got the die working I used some brown patterned paper I had in my scraps bin and made a doily for the front of the card.

I used one of my My Favorite Things Stitched Circle dies to cut a circle to fit the center, and then I lay both over the card (the card base is Stampin' Up! Pool Party, which you may have figured out by now is my favorite color of card stock), trimming at just about half, the rest to be saved for a future card.

I used a Zig glue marker pen to attach the doily to the card, and then over it I layered some paper flowers (these were picked up a year or two ago in the Michaels' dollar bin section) with some glue dots. I used Tombow Mono Multi Glue to attach pearls from Simon Says Stamp to the center of each flower.

For the sentiment, I used the WPlus9 Strictly Sentiments 5 stamp set and some Memento Rich Cocoa ink, and stamped right onto the card base. I then added more pearls and rounded the corners of the card with the yellow WRMK Corner Chomper.

My mom really appreciates receiving handmade cards, so I know she's going to love this one too.

Memory Pockets Monthly: Charmed

It's time for the March MPM kit release at The Lilypad!

Charmed is perfectly in time for St. Patrick's Day, but this kit and the add-ons are incredibly versatile. I used the main kit and add-ons from Amber LaBau to make a page about a day at Animal Kingdom during our last Disney trip:

I used the A Charmed Life papers, pocket squares, and Story Grids Vol. 3 from Amber along with elements from the main kit.

You can buy the kit by itself, but if you subscribe monthly you'll get some great benefits! Subscriptions start at 8.99/month for a 2 month commitment, and the longer you subscribe the higher the discount. A subscription includes:

Main kit each month, a $14.99 value 35% off all MPM add-ons
Presale access to MPM add-ons
MPM private forum group and challenges
Special tutorials and video for inspiration and product usage
Personal interaction with your favorite pocket designers: Allison Pennington, Designs by Lili, Sahlin Studio, Sara Gleason, Stolen Moments Design and Valorie Wibbens

I subscribe and have been absolutely loving the kits each month.

New releases are 20% off right now so go check out the Charmed kit and add-ons from all the designers here in the Memory Pockets Monthly section at The Lilypad.

Project Life 2015 - Jan 16 - 27

I finally felt like working on something this past weekend, so I decided to work on most of the rest of January in my Project Life album. I used some of the Hello Memory Pockets Monthly kit from The Lilypad, as well as three of the add-ons from Amber LaBau - labels from the Hello, Friend Elements pack, a few of the Hello, Friend papers, and a card from the Hello, Friend Pocket Squares pack. I subscribe to the Memory Pockets Monthly kit (you can too, at a great discount off the price of the kit without a subscription), and so far I am loving it. I haven't wanted to use any of my physical pocket cards, because these kits are so fun!

Anyway, here's my full layout:

Most of my spread focused on just two main events - the Garth Brooks concert I attended with Brad and my brother, and the Blizzard of 2015, which completely hammered us. We ended up with just under 3 feet of snow...and then the snow just wouldn't stop. For almost a full month, we were hit with storm after storm. The city closest to me, Lowell, has been named the snowiest city in the country. That was back when we had 111" of now. That's since grown by a few. A normal season for Lowell is under 40". So crazy!

I had to include a shot of my pretty best friend, Shannon, on our crafty day. I love the little "best friend" tag that came in Amber's element add-on. I included my ticket stubs for the concert and our parking ticket. I also used one of my free Best Moment Overlays to highlight what became my favorite moment of January. 

And of course, the right page was all about that snow. That shot as I opened the garage door was so neat. And I had to go out and take some photos of all the snow drifts and of a ruler stuck in the snow (while the snow was still falling).

I used the "hello" card from the main kit and added alpha stickers to spell "blizzard." Then I just added some snowflake and regular sequins to decorate it.

I'm not exactly up-to-date with Project Life this year, but I'm writing notes every day using my free planner pages, and organizing my photos so I can work as I want.

Project Life is an amazing and simple scrapbooking system designed by Becky Higgins. While I often use products created by other designers, I attribute my love of pocket style scrapbooking to Becky and Project Life, which is why I always refer to my pocket pages as Project Life. For more information, please check out Becky's website. If you're new to the blog and you'd like to scroll back through my past few years doing Project Life, you can find all of my Project Life related posts here.  In 2014 I used the digital Project Life format, which you can find products for here. Or you can design a page using the Project Life iOS app.

Two Birthday Cards

Last month, two of my friends had little girls that celebrated birthdays, so I made cards for each of them and wanted to share them with you. Unfortunately due to so much snow and sickness, we never were able to get together to celebrate their birthdays, so I'm just now able to post these :)

For this pinwheel card, I used the Stampin' Up! Sizzix Pinwheel die (pretty sure this was discontinued) and some paper from My Mind's Eye's My Girl 6x6 paper pad, along with a sparkly brad I had in my stash. I also used some American Crafts thickers to spell out "happy" on the front. 

And for this one, I used the Stampin' Up! Little Letters dies to punch out "happy", and then a stamp from the Avery Elle So Happy set to stamp the "birthday." The little owl comes from the Stampin' Up! So Very Happy stamp set, and he is colored with Copic and Spectrum Noir markers. The papers I used came from the My Mind's Eye My Girl 6x6 paper pad.

I love making bright, cheerful, feminine cards whenever I can, so these were a joy to work on :)

Birthday card

I think it's safe to post this now :)

I wanted to send a friend a pretty little card for her birthday last month, so I pulled out a new-to-me card edge die set from Pretty Pink Posh and an adorable 6x6 paper pad from Pebbles and got to work:

I not only adore the curve of this die on the card edge, but the stitching. I can't seem to get enough of that stitched look. I added a strip of the butterfly paper from the paper pad underneath, making sure it lined up perfectly with the back of the card. Then I added some paper flowers from Prima (I found a bottle unopened at the flea market a couple of years ago and I still have a ton of them) and some pearls from Simon Says Stamp.

The happy die cut was made with my Silhouette and a set of cut files from Karla Dudley (I'm not sure if they're still sold - these were from Pixels & Company originally). They cut beautifully with the Silhouette. I popped the die cut up from the card using Kool Tak clear foam tape (which is a genius product).

Just a fun happy card, and I like that the design can be replicated for other occasions or papers.

Valentine's Day Cards

I just wanted to share the Valentine's Day cards I made for Brad this year.

First, I wanted to do something simple for him from Austin, and I wanted Austin to be involved. I found this card on Pinterest, which seemed fun and easy, so we worked on the card together. He really enjoyed dipping his thumb in all the different colors of ink. I just used some Colorbox pigment ink, which wiped off his thumb cleanly.

For the card from me, I just wanted to play around with some of my supplies. I decided on using a "love" die from a Dear Lizzy die set, and a Heidi Swapp stencil to make my card.

For the stenciled hearts, I just used a sponge dauber and some Heidi Swapp pink ink and sponged on the ink in various thicknesses, moving the stencil around the card stock.

I die cut the word love both out of the card and some teal card stock, and then I fit the word back into the card so that it had kind of a inlaid look.

Of course I handed Brad the card, without an envelope (because for whatever reason this card ended up a few millimeters too wide for an envelope) and even forgot to sign it. I think the past few weeks have taken it's toll on me, mentally. Too much snow, too much sickness, and, most recently, too much sadness.

But at least I had handmade cards, right?

Review: Fifty Shades of Grey (movie)

I'm not a movie critic. I just want to be entertained. I don't need deep plots or intelligent dialogue, so take this review however you like.

I LOVED this movie. Loved it loved it loved it. And there are so many haters out there who started giving it crap reviews before it even came out based on what they THINK the premise is, that I felt it necessary to post my thoughts.

I held off reading the books until sometime last year, so long after the initial craze. But oh my gosh, did I become obsessed with the books. I read them all in one weekend, on my Kindle, borrowed from my local library, and then went and bought the paperbacks just so I could read them again and again. It wasn't about the dirty stuff, for me, it was the love story between Ana and Christian. I am a bit of a romantic and I couldn't get enough. I bookmarked my favorite scenes (like the intense car chase in book 3).

So I eagerly awaited this movie, and bought my advanced tickets for last night as soon as they became available. I went into the movie knowing that it would be hard to portray the intensity of the book on screen, and hoping I just would be entertained.

I sat through the first hour of the movie with a stupid smile on my face, simply happy to just see the characters come to life. I thought both Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan were wonderful. They are exactly how I had pictured Ana and Christian in the books. I know some people aren't so keen on Jamie, but I thought he was the perfect Christian. I did find the casting of Taylor and Elliot to be a bit off. Taylor I always pictured a little smoother, a little friendlier looking, and Elliot was wilder than I thought he would be. I thought the soundtrack was perfect. I thought it was very well filmed (also a comment mentioned by my husband). I even was satisfied with the ending. The book doesn't end on a happy note, and I was concerned we'd be walking out of the theater all depressed. They ended it in such a way that it just sets up for the sequel, without making you feel cheated.

Without spoiling the movie, I do want to make a few comments. The movie did switch up a few scenes, timing-wise. There were many scenes left out, but the movie is over 2 hours already. The scenes missing I don't feel took anything away from the story and leaving them out, though I noticed because I know the books so well, was appropriate. The volume of sex is, of course, drastically reduced in the movie (because, duh), but I will say that the scenes they did include were a lot was almost like watching soft-core porn. That's really all I can say without getting too graphic.

Just to give a non-reader's opinion - my husband walked out of the theater, and I asked him if he liked it, because I'd heard him chuckling throughout the movie (there are quite a lot of little bits of humor in it) and he turned to me and said "that was actually a great story." He thought the beginning was rushed (but it's rushed in the books, too) but he enjoyed the story between the characters, and even agreed to watch the movie again when I get it on DVD.

Anyway, I really just wanted to shout about how much I loved this, as a huge fan of the books. I cannot wait for the release of the sequels (which are rumored to be happening).

Saying goodbye to Eddy

We got Eddy about ten years ago. We adopted him through the PetSmart adoption center. He chose us. We were looking for a kitten, but this (appoximately 1 year old) fat kitty snuggled in my arms, reaching out to paw at Summer's nose, and we knew he was meant to come home with us. 

A little over a week ago, I noticed that Eddy wasn't feeling quite right. Brad was out of town though, and Eddy always was stressed out when we left the house, so I didn't think too much of it. But he started vomiting bile and he looked a little thin, so I made an appointment with our vet. I never got to take him to that appointment (it would have been this evening, postponed due to the last snowstorm).

On Monday Eddy wouldn't eat his food, wouldn't drink, wouldn't sleep. He sat on the counter, watching us and drooling. I discussed taking him to the emergency vet with Brad, but with the storm, it was risky. He spent Monday night wandering the house and crying.

I took him to the emergency vet yesterday morning, and unfortunately, it was determined that he had kidney failure, and it was about as advanced as you could get. We made the decision to say goodbye yesterday.

We are thankful that he did not suffer long (up until Saturday he was mostly his normal self). But it was so unexpected. We didn't think we would be saying goodbye to him yesterday. We'd hoped that whatever was making him sick, would be fixable. We couldn't save our little buddy.

There will never be another cat like Eddy. We liked to call him a Sourpatch Cat, because he would be a total pain in the butt much of the time, but then come snuggling up to us all sweet and purry. He got into everything. We couldn't leave any sweet pastries around, or foam bath toys. He'd get into the cabinets and closets, banging around at all hours of the night. He'd eat strings from towels and clothing and he'd torment our other cat. He was always on the counter during dinner, no matter how many times and methods we used to try to get him to stop.

But he was our pain in the butt. And we will miss him, so much.

I hope he's up there in kitty heaven, laying in the sun with my Gizmo. I know he's not in any pain now, and that we did the right thing. It just hurts.

Goodbye, my friend. My snuggly fat kitty. My Sourpatch Cat. You will never be forgotten.

I'm still alive...

Sorry for the lack up updates here in the past few weeks. All three of us came down with the flu, and I'm still fighting a bad cold that I got after I'd recovered from the flu. Plus we've had 5 feet of snow fall in the span of a week in my town, and my husband was away for a week. It's been stressful and I haven't had much time for anything besides recovering and taking care of Austin. I was even out of work for most of the past week. Hoping to get some time over the weekend to catch back up here on everything. In the meantime, you can always follow me on Instagram if you're really itching to know what I'm doing. I update there on a regular basis.

I'm not exaggerating about the snow, by the way:

I'm so over this winter!

Project Life 2015 - Jan 1 - 15

Today I'm sharing the first half of January in my 2015 Project Life book. The date range wasn't planned to be exactly 1/2 of the month, rather, I just felt like working on a spread. So I printed out all my pictures...and then I was stumped.

It was like I'd forgotten how to pocket scrap with physical product. I didn't understand it. I'd done fine with my cover page. I pulled out some of my Project Life cards and put them in the spots they should be in, but I didn't know what to do then. I knew I didn't want to just do cards and photos. I wanted something creative on the page. So I walked away from the layout for a couple of days.

And then along comes Wonderful You, a new collection (including papers and elements, pocket cards, and number tiles) from Amber LaBau. The colors in the kit are just

So, like my cover page, I decided to do a hybrid layout. And I loved it. I got to combine my love for touching product with my love for digital scrapping. Will every layout be hybrid? Probably not. But it definitely gave me that burst of creativity I needed to complete this spread.

Here's a look at the entire spread:

And a closeup look at the left page:

For my title card, I took one of Amber's Monthly Frames and layered it over one of the Wonderful You Papers. After printing, I added the number tiles to mark the start of 2015.

Here's a look at the right page:

The card on the bottom right was made with one of the Wonderful You papers, and a "right now" element from the kit. I just cropped the paper 4x6, and added the element as a stamp. 

I needed a journaling spot on the 4x6 card with the weather screenshot, so I used a stamp I had ("School Paper" from River City Rubber Works) to create lines, and wrote write over the pretty pink splotches.

It felt really nice to have a completed physical pocket page again. And I really loved mixing in the digital designs to create it.

Project Life is an amazing and simple scrapbooking system designed by Becky Higgins. While I often use products created by other designers, I attribute my love of pocket style scrapbooking to Becky and Project Life, which is why I always refer to my pocket pages as Project Life. For more information, please check out Becky's website. If you're new to the blog and you'd like to scroll back through my past few years doing Project Life, you can find all of my Project Life related posts here.  In 2014 I used the digital Project Life format, which you can find products for here. Or you can design a page using the brand new Project Life iOS app.