Friday, January 31, 2014

American Crafts: Snow Much Fun

Good morning! Today I have a couple of new projects to share for American Crafts using their brand new, just released collections. The first is a layout using the Amy Tangerine Plus One collection. I love the combination of bold and subtle patterns in this one and the bright colors are fun! Our girls received new sleds from Santa for Christmas and we were able to try them out right away. We have some very small sledding hills just in our backyard that are perfect for toddlers!

I used my Cameo to cut out the snowflakes from several of the water-colored patterned papers.

I used a stitching template to make the teal circle and punched a circle and embellished with a brad.

The frame was cut out using a new thin metal die - these are new to the American Crafts family and a great addition! I have a Big Shot for dies.

I also created this month with the Dear Lizzy Daydreamer collection and made this sweet little "never grow up" card. 

The puffy heart stickers are a favorite embellishment!

Thanks for stopping by today! I'll be part of a blog hop on Monday for Gossamer Blue so be sure to stop by then. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Webster's Pages: Lovely Frame

Good morning! Every so often I love creating home decor projects and this one was created for a Webster's Pages challenge to create in monochromatic tones. I went with pink (as we have a lot of it in this house!) :) I created this using a simple wooden frame that I believe was $1 at Michael's and the collections I used were Postcards from Paris and New Year New You.

I painted the edges of the frame with gold paint and added a few cream touches here and there with the doily and lace trim.

I love the gorgeous metal charms and this one became the focal point with the addition of a floral resin cameo that I got glued to it. 

I will love displaying this piece for Valentine's Day! Thanks for stopping by today. I'll have another Webster's Pages project to share tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gossamer Blue: Happy 4th

Good morning! Today I have one more layout to share with the January Gossamer Blue kit. I was especially inspired to focus on the red and blue and scrapbook our 4th of July parade photos. We have an amazing tradition in my small town and there isn't anywhere else we would rather spend the 4th. Our parade is a wonderful way to celebrate our freedom and it's important to me to document that each year. As you can imagine, I had a lot of photos and managed to fit 11 of them on this layout along with a lot of journaling that I slid into a Simple Stories pocket.

The Studio Calico Printshop collection and its text patterned paper makes a great background. To help the bright colors pop, I used black cardstock as the base. I also made use of the cut files this month and cut "happy" as my title from the 6x6 Simple Stories paper pad. 

The cut file star was another part of my inspiration to do a 4th of July layout this month. I added embellishments here and there - flair, die-cuts and more!

On the second page, I embellished the largest Simple Stories pocket with more stars, a chipboard color wheel and flair. 

Finally, for my journaling this month I used one of the Gossamer Blue exclusive cards and a Simple Stories 4x6 card to adhere the October Afternoon chipboard speech bubbles. The bubbles gave me a unique format to add more details about the holiday and what it means to our family. 

Thanks for stopping by today! :)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Gossamer Blue: Love Her

Good morning! Today's layout is all about my spunky and sweet girl, Lily. She always keeps us on our toes and we love her so much. I love creating layouts like this that focus on little personality quirks and make sure to make at least one a year. I used the January Gossamer Blue kits on this one.

The Pink Paislee die-cut paper made this one easy to create. I just added a few embellishments to it. 

I knew that I wanted to add a lot of journaling to this one so I placed it all on the Pink Paislee labels. 

Thanks for stopping by today! I'll be back tomorrow with a two-page layout for Gossamer Blue!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Gossamer Blue: Merry-Go-Round

Good morning! Hope you all had a great weekend! Today I have a new layout to share for Gossamer Blue using the January kits. My girls LOVE to go on the merry-go-round and this past summer, they got to go several time with Grandpa & Grandma on the 4th of July.

I just love the bright, happy colors in this month's kits. The "so happy" circle is part of the exclusive printables.

 I did a lot of layering on this one with fun patterned paper from Simple Stories and Pink Paislee.

I love finding ways I can use the exclusive cards from the Life Pages kits on regular layouts and this one I dressed up with a little vellum and flair.

Thanks for stopping by today! I'll be back with another Gossamer Blue layout tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

American Crafts: Card Trio

Good morning! Last week, I had this trio of cards up on the American Crafts blog for Silhouette week. I have used my Cameo a lot on my layouts but had not yet used it for card making.

All of the cuts I used on these cards are American Crafts cuts in the Silhouette store.

I find that the type of card I need most often are birthday cards so I made most of the cards ones I can use for birthdays. I love this doily cut and would like to try it out on a layout sometime!

Next time I try out the heart cut, I might do some hand-stitching!

 And the heart card is a great way to showcase a lot of fabulous patterned papers!

Thanks for stopping by today! I spent the whole weekend sick and am slowly recovering! I'll try to stop by tomorrow with a project for Webster's Pages.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Stitch Fix Review #8

Happy Friday! I have another Stitch Fix review to share with you today! I had a bit of credit and my birthday is next week so I decided to treat myself to a "birthday fix." I asked for the usual polka dots, florals, lace, etc. in the form of dresses, blouses, cardigans and skirts. Maggie was my stylist again this time and she did a great job! I probably will not do another fix for quite awhile but I would request her again. My items ranged in price from $38-$88.
Here are my reviews for previous fixes: Stitch Fix Review #1, Stitch Fix Review #2, Stitch Fix Review #3, Stitch Fix Review #4, Stitch Fix Review #5, Stitch Fix Review #6, Stitch Fix Review #7.
Here is what I received this month:

1) Daniel Rainn Dacey Geo Print Front Pocket Blouse -  I love the fun, funky print on this blouse and the style is definitely a favorite. You can never go wrong with black! I'm loving this blouse a lot! It's definitely in my top two of what I was sent this month.

2) 41Hawthorn Milo Bird Print Pleated Detail Skirt -  I was sent this high-waisted navy bird skirt. I ended up pairing it with a cream lace tank top and a brown belt. It's cute but I'm not sure how much of a fan I am of a high waist. I love the length of this skirt a lot. I would say this definitely fits the romantic style I am so fond of!

3) Under Skies Darren Dot Print Chambray Shirt - I love the polka dots on this shirt and the quality is great! The details near the buttons and the cuffs are a favorite. I also like the sleeves will roll up and you can cuff them with a button. My only dislike - the length of this shirt. I think it's too short!

4) Moon Collection Madrid Floral Knit Drape Front Cardigan - Okay, I must admit this one ended up being a surprising favorite for me. If I could sleep in this cardigan, I would. It's sooooo amazingly comfortable and like being wrapped up in a big blanket. I really love the floral print. This cardigan is also in the top two! I definitely do not own any cardigans like this with the drape front. 

5) 41Hawthorn Kia Keyhole Bishop Sleeve Dress - Well, I definitely love the color and the style! The length is just right. What I don't love is the fabric...I think with dresses that are in a solid color, I prefer to have some texture to the fabric and this has none.

So there you have it! I will take the weekend to decide between the cardigan and the blouse. Thanks for checking out my review! I hope to maybe do another fix this spring.

Note: This post is not sponsored by Stitch Fix. I used my own money for the styling fee/items. But, I do earn a referral credit if you sign up via my referral link.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Webster's Pages: Iowa State Fair

Good morning! Sorry for the extended absence on my blog...I managed to come down with a horrible cold and spent most of the weekend recuperating but am on the mend now. I had the chance work with a couple of the new Webster's Pages collections for the winter CHA trade show and am excited to be able to share one of my layouts with you today. The "Our Travels" collection from Adrienne Looman is so much fun and has great colors!

I loved the tiny square patterned papers so I cropped my photos into squares and made a grid. I used some older Webster's Pages alphabet stickers and my Cameo to cut part of the title.

I accented the grid with just a few simple embellishments - a camera paperclip, chipboard button and sequins.

Thanks for stopping by today! More soon! :)

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

A Year of Learning to Balance

Happy New Year (again)! There's something about a fresh start to the year that has me excited! I have to say I am so happy to say goodbye to 2013. It was not the best year for me. Without going into too much detail, I went through some health issues that have caused me to make some major changes in my life. I found out that I am gluten intolerant and fructose intolerant so the most significant change I have made is to my diet. It has been a long road of trial and error discovering what I can and can't eat. I had many, many days last year where I just felt sooooo sick and couldn't do much of anything. You might remember me posting last June how I was experiencing vertigo. Well, that vertigo lasted the better part of four months. It was not a fun time in my life and it caused a lot of anxiety that I am still trying to process. 

I spent a lot of time praying and trying to figure out what God was trying to teach me through all of this. I came to the conclusion that God wanted me to be more intentional in how I was spending my time. I have always been a "go, go, go" type of person and I firmly felt God telling me to slow down. I don't need to do everything. I don't need to be superwoman or supermom. I don't need to be "crazy busy". My kids don't need to be involved in every activity or have play dates all the time. (They are only four and even still, we need to be protective of the activities they are involved in). I don't need constant obligations that take me away from where I am needed most.

What I have discovered is what I do need!

1) I need regular dates with my husband and time discussing our life as a family.
2) I need to stop and PLAY with my kids. Be less distracted and more engaged.
3) I need to take care of myself. Eat small meals consistently throughout the day and focus on protein. I need to moderately exercise - I just can't handle high impact exercise. Completely cut out gluten and sugar (or at least learn to suffer the consequences if I indulge.)
4) I need to start my day reading God's Word. It helps my focus and gives me strength for the day. This fall, I also became a part of a women's Bible study group. I had not participated in a Bible study since before the girls were born. It's been a much needed experience for me and I really enjoy our discussions. 
5) I need to continue making healthy meals for my family. I love to cook and bake and my new diet has been great for helping us to eat better. I am making more changes to what we are eating and trying a lot of new recipes and modifying them to meet our needs.
6) I need to be okay with saying, "No!" Part of saying "no" includes saying it to myself.
7) I need to be okay with staying home. I can't focus on what I need to do if we are constantly gone.
8) I need to read books again. I have always been a voracious reader but somewhere in the last year or so, I stopped. The past few months have been full of reading and I have loved it. (Along with great fiction titles, I have been reading a lot of Christian parenting books and learning so much. Books I wish I had read two years ago!!)
9) I would like to pick back up hobbies I used to enjoy - crocheting and embroidery. It's been way too long since I have made anything!
10) I want to take better care of what we have been given. We have some rather simple improvements we want to make to our home - painting, etc. and work more on organizing/purging/maintaining our things. Less is more! And maybe leaning towards being a minimalist is not a bad idea.
11) This year we will be making a major decision on what to do for the girls' first year of school. Part of our discussion has been about homeschooling. I knew that if we even considered homeschooling, I would need to prioritize my life even more. 

I don't necessarily consider these resolutions for 2014 but rather goals. And I began implementing almost all of them this fall. I cannot even begin to tell you the difference making these changes have made in my life. I am much happier, more focused and less stressed! My husband has noticed a much improved change in my attitude towards him and my kids that came mostly in how protective I am of our time. I want to focus my life in terms of QUALITY instead of QUANTITY. Part of that focus included me resigning from a couple design teams. I am continuing to design for a few companies because I do really enjoy it but keeping my commitments to much less. I will weigh any future opportunities if they come about and see how they fit into my life. 

I want to do less WELL instead of more at a hectic, crazy pace. I would love to share more about my journey at a later date and maybe do more recipes and reviews of books I am reading in a future blog post. Even though it took a health scare to wake me up and give me a reality check, I am thankful to God for every valley He brings me through. He has shown me time and time again that He is faithful and that His plan is much better than any I have for myself. 

**Layout created with the Gossamer Blue January kit**

Monday, January 06, 2014

Gossamer Blue: Play Date with Friends

Good morning or should I say "Brrrrrrr!" What crazy weather! I stocked my kitchen and ran errands on Friday and Saturday without plans to emerge from my hibernation until at least Wednesday. 

Today I'm dreaming of warm temps with these fun photos of a play date we had with one of our favorite families. All the kids got on the tire swing at the park and sang songs. It was so cute!

This layout was created with just the main kit this month from Gossamer Blue.

I used a lot of Simple Stories Daily Grind collection here with portions of the exclusive printables in the kit. 

Some great alphabet options to make a title!

Thanks for stopping by today and stay warm!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

American Crafts: Christmas Projects

Good morning and Happy New Year! This week I plan to share some changes I have made in my life but until then I wanted to share these Christmas projects I created for American Crafts in December. 

My little cuties have to bring snacks once a month at preschool and I found a cute idea to make "Grinch kabobs" on Pinterest - green grapes, bananas, strawberries and marshmallows (in that order). They were so proud of their creation!

I found a Santa silhouette that I cut out on my Cameo and backed each one with patterned paper using the Peppermint Express collection. 

I also made a quick and easy canvas by painting a 5x7 canvas red with brown highlights. 

I embellished the snowflakes with white and clear sequins. 

I added a dimensional sticker, tied a ribbon in a bow and hot glued a section of mini pinecones and berries. 

Finally, I also created this layout of the girls' first Christmas program from 2012. The photos I had weren't great so I picked my three favorites and printed them to about 2x3. 

I definitely had a story to tell so I created my design so I could have plenty of room to journal.

Thanks for stopping by today! I'll be back tomorrow with first layout using the January Gossamer Blue kits.
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