Austin's First Bike Ride

A few weeks ago, over 4th of July weekend, we took Austin for his first real bike ride. He got a really cool Cars bike (with noises and lights) for his fourth birthday, and we were awaiting good weather and a free weekend to have him try it out. Unfortunately where we live is not a safe place to ride a bike for a little guy, so we went one town over to the bike path (which used to be a set of railroad tracks).

I made a digital page for the photos from that day, because it's definitely one of those milestone moments.

I used the new Story Grids Vol. 6 from Amber LaBau Designs, as well as one of her older collections called Life Is Beautiful. I just thought that some of the cards and elements worked perfectly in coordination with these photos.

I love using pocket templates even though I'm not doing full on Project Life documenting anymore. This template is great because you can use a few square cards too. It's on sale for just $2 this weekend at The Lilypad, so grab it here if you like it too!

Present Birthday Card

Yep, I'm a blog slacker. Are you really all that surprised though? Someday I really will get back to this on a regular basis.

Right now I've been wrapped up in reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. And it has totally changed my view on collecting stuff. I've donated 8 bags of clothes, donated and sold multiple bags of toys as well as some larger furniture items, and thrown out over a foot high stack of old user's manuals that we didn't need to be keeping. I've been re-folding and re-stacking clothes, organizing cabinets and drawers, and doing a whole house de-clutter. It feels awesome. Are any of you reading this book and following it?

And this past week I've been totally binge watching Daredevil, on Netflix. It reminds me a lot of the Batman trilogy with Christian Bale. It's really dark, and it is so good. If you're a Marvel fan you should watch this!

But I do have a card to share with you. I made this one for SarahBeth's sweet little five year old daughter for her birthday.

I had picked up the Brilliant Gifts die from Simon Says Stamp because I thought it would be perfect not only for Christmas cards, but also for birthdays. I also thought it would allow me to use up some of my stash of scraps.

I first took some glitter card stock and ran it through my Xyron to add adhesive to the back. Then I ran that and the die through my Big Shot and cut out the border. I placed that onto my card, and then I ran a bunch of scraps from the My Mind's Eye Happy Day paper pad through the Xyron and die cut presents out of those papers. Then I just went to work placing each little die cut section into the frame.

For the sentiment, I used the Avery Elle Cake & Candles stamp set, because I thought the curly font matched well with the bows on the presents.

I really love this present die and the bold statement it makes on the front of a card. You can easily keep the rest of the card simple because the presents become such a focal point.

Vacation Photo Book Pages

I had a free code from Shutterfly for a photo book, so I thought I would quickly whip up a book from the trip, so that at least the trip was documented. I definitely want to go back and do some individual layouts but until I have time for that, I'm happy with a photo book.

I didn't want to use the standard Shutterfly themed pages, so instead I went with the A Story Captured Vol. 5 template pack from Anita Designs, along with papers from an older collab from Pixels & Co., Bermuda Triangle. In the end it took me three nights to get it all together but I'm happy with the results. I put in lots of photos, and then one big wordy text box to tell the main events of the day/portion of the trip.

Here are my pages. (You can click on them to view larger-didn't want to overwhelm the blog post with huge images).

Front cover and the airport/flight out to Las Vegas:
First day in Vegas:
Second day in Vegas:
 Day three in Vegas, drive to California:
Goofy's Kitchen:
Our hotel, and the start of Disneyland:
 California Adventure:
 California Adventure, and back to Vegas:
 Flight home:
All photos on the trip were taken with my iPhone 6. I debated whether to bring my DSLR (even took a poll in Instagram), but in the end I thought the freedom of not having to carry it around with me was worth more than a few really great photos. In all honesty I captured way more things that I would have, had I had to whip out my camera. And lugging it around in the heat (Vegas was 110!) would have just I've done it both ways, and I think theme park trips are fine with just my iPhone. I will definitely bring my big girl camera on the cruise, or for any "scenic" types of vacations (like the mountains or the beach).

Vlogging in my jammies!

I'm a blog slacker. So here's a vlog, from me, to you. Just filling you guys in on where I've been (if you've been following my Instagram you already know the answer) and showing off a few new stamp sets I bought.

Sorry for the slight camera shaking - the laundry is on our second floor and it tends to shake the house when the washer spins. And I realized watching this play back that I talk with my hands. A lot. Sorry. :) This was shot with the front camera on my iPhone 6. Not too bad quality, I think!

Let me know if you like this type of thing...maybe I'll do them more often.

Flip It Father's Day Card

Today I wanted to share with you a Father's Day card I made for my Father-In-Law using the Triple Circle Flip-its Dies. I picked up this die set at CKC from The Stamps of Life booth. This is my first flip card and it was both fun and challenging to make.

Here's the front of the card, held flat. I used all scraps from my scrap bin to complete the cared, which makes me happy. I love using up scraps. The only part that wasn't a scrap was the card base, which is Stampin' Up!'s Midnight Muse card stock.

The "Happy Father's Day" stamp is from the Stampin' Up! Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set. I just inked only part of it at a time so I could stamp it vertically. The little banner under it was actually from the Memory Box Banner Parade die, but I chopped the ends off and placed them under my circle to make a tiny banner.

When you open the card, you see this on the back of the circle part.

The hard part for me was leaving the inside plain. I think it could have used something on this polka dot paper but I left it as it was. I also had a hard time resisting signing the inside of the card, so instead, I stamped "Love, Austin" using The Stamps of Life's miniabc2stamp set on the back and heat embossed it with Recollections Pearl Snow embossing powder.

I plan to make more of the Flip-its cards with my scraps soon. They do look cute when put together!

Newest Obsession: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish

Guys, I'm in love. With a line of nail polish.

About 6 weeks ago now I tried out the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel no light polish, and I am hooked. It's a polish and top coat system, no base coat. This stuff doesn't last two weeks as it claims, but it does last a good full week for me with only minor chipping/edge wear. I can go three full days without a single chip, where all my other polishes have always had a chip by day two if not the first day. So now I can do my nails over the weekend and I can go all week and not have hideously chipped nails on Fridays. Plus it removes easy with regular nail polish.

Here are the ones I've tried so far. I started with the pink, which came with the top coat in a two pack (top left below).  I've forgotten the name of the pink, but the others are Combusteable, Creme de la Creme (which I don't like much), Grey Matters, Red Eye, and Game of Chromes. Grey Matters is my top fave.

Here's the pink when it first chipped after day four. You can see the rest of my nails still look great.

And the other night I picked up three more colors. Street Flair, Tidal Wave and Purplexed, I believe. (Don't have the bottles with me right now).

I've found the best price for these is Target, at $7.99 a bottle (in MA anyway). You can also get this price on their website. The three in the photo above I got at CVS. Right now they're doing a $5 Extra Bucks coupon when you buy two bottles, so I bought two, and then used the coupon on the third bottle, so each bottle was just over $8 each.

I have read that if you use the top coat over regular nail polish it should make that polish last a bit longer as well, but I have yet to try this. However I am definitely working on switching over my nail polish collection to this stuff. Why go back to daily chipping when I can get away with this for a full week? Also, it seems to have strengthened my nails quite a bit. I'm not splitting my nails like I was before I started using this polish. Perhaps because it lasts longer around the tips, I'm not sure.

Have you guys tried the Miracle Gel polish? What were your results? I have seen more people like it than not, but I did see a few people didn't care for it, so I'm curious. If you didn't like it, why not?

Candle Birthday Card

Today I wanted to share with you a simple, but super fun one layer birthday card.

A few months ago, Simon Says Stamp released the Big Birthday Wishes stamp set as part of the monthly card kit. I don't get the kits but I just had to grab this set. The candle is what got me. I don't know why, but I couldn't resist it. I've used the stamp set on a few cards already but in my mind the whole time was this simple card with different colored candles.

I stamped the candles and flames across the card with various colors of ink - Hero Arts Butter Bar shadow ink, and Stampin' Up!'s Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie, Certainly Celery, Baja Breeze, and Crisp Cantaloupe.

The sentiment is from a free stamp set Simon Says Stamp sent me for my birthday. It's called It's Your Birthday, and it has some really great small birthday sentiments. I used one on the outside of the card and another inside.

To finish off the card, I added some Wink of Stella clear glitter to the candle flames. They were hard to photograph so I took a shot held up to my window for you to see:

I just adore this card, and it's so versatile. You could send this to anyone for their birthday, and it would be perfect.

Hexagons Thank You Card

Today I wanted to share a card with you that I made with the Stampin' Up! Six Sided Sampler stamp set and Hexagon punch. I've had this set for awhile because I am drawn to anything hexagon, but I haven't done a whole lot with it.

I was inspired by this beautiful card by Julie, that I found on Pinterest. Julie used a butterfly on her card, but I had recently used butterflies on another card so I thought I'd switch it up a bit. I also made mine a thank you card, using the 'thanks' stamp from the Hero Arts Thanks Stamp & Cuts stamp set. I stamped it with Versamark and used Stampin' Up! white embossing powder to heat emboss it.

I used Stampin' Up!'s Calypso Coral card stock for my main color, and for the inks I used Calypso Coral and Versamagic's Night Sky and Turquoise Gem. I stamped each hexagon, punched them, and attached to the card front panel. Then I attached that to my card base, and added the flowers and center bling with glue dots.

This card was actually quite simple to put together but I love the little something special the flower adds to it.

Happy Ever After Card

Today I have a card to share that I made for the upcoming wedding of a friend of mine. My first attempt at a shaker card was rough. But I had an idea for one and thought I would give it a try again. I'm happy to say this one was much easier and I like the results much better.

For this card I die cut the front panel using the largest rectangle in the Large Stitched Rectangles die pack from Lawn Fawn. Then I ran the card stock through again using the Stitched Hearts dies from Memory Box.

I used some spare transparency sheets to make the window in the large heart. To attach the transparency behind the card front I just used Scor-Tape. The tape is really strong and I can rip it and place it where I need to. Next I lined along the edge of the heart on the back of the panel with Scotch foam tape. I placed more foam tape around the rest of the panel so it would pop up from the card base. Before attaching it to the base I added white and silver sequins. For the base I wanted a little color to show through, so I used Pink Pirouette card stock from Stampin' Up!

On the front, first I stamped 'ever after' with an older Hampton Art stamp I had onto the smaller of the hearts. I just colored those words only with Tuxedo Black ink, stamped it, and then attached the heart to the front of the transparency panel.

I die cut the 'happy' using the Avery Elle Simply Said Happy die. Before die cutting I used an adhesive sheet from Sizzix to add adhesive to the back of the card stock, which made it easier to attach to my card later. I temporarily adhered the die cut to a sheet of card stock, then stamped all over it with Versamark, and added Stampendous Sterling Silver embossing powder. I heat embossed it, carefully peeled off my die cut, and added it to the card front.

I hope my friend likes this card! I actually had a lot of fun making this shaker card, so I feel much more confident about making more of them in the future.

First Hero, First Love

Today is Memory Pockets Monthly release day! The June kit, Viewpoint, is gorgeous, as always, but I'm most excited about all the add-ons Amber LaBau has this month. My favorite is this great mini kit, perfect for Father's Day, called A Father's Love:

I used the mini kit, the coordinating pocket cards, The Little Things Journal Cards, and the Viewpoint main kit to make a page dedicated to what an amazing father I think my husband is:

I love how perfectly all the colors coordinate in this month's collection. Grab the kit and all the add-ons today while they're on sale!