Friday, December 26, 2008


Well Christmas has officially come and gone. It was magical and spectacular as usual, filled with lots of family time, laughing and celebrating, great food, and gift-giving. :) Some of the highlights of this year's celebration include:
  • church with my family....although it is not my church, it was still wonderous to hear the Christmas story with my family gathered 'round.
  • Christmas Eve dinner consisting of Pizza Hut pizza and a delicious salad and the conversations held during dinner.
  • Putting together a Harry Potter puzzle with my cousin Tony...I swear it was addicting!
  • Coming home to our house all decorated and taking pictures in our Christmas outfits and with 2 rambunctious labs. What an adventure!
  • Opening our annual christmas eve presents, pajamas! :) Mine are the best...they say "99% nice, 1% naughty" and they make me smile whenever I see them.
  • Popping popcorn and playing Disney Scene It! while sitting in front of a cozy fire in the fireplace.
  • Going to sleep knowing that when I wake up it would be Christmas....the feeling of joy and happiness is still with me as I anticipate this day every year.
  • Waking up, knowing that it is Christmas and thinking about all the wonderful things that this day holds.
  • Spending time with my family as we open presents...I think my favorite moments were when they opened the gifts from me....Dad opening his "Scarecrow" movie that I tracked down online, Mom opening her new mixer and the photo frame I altered for her bedroom, Renee opening her skillet (that she picked out) and not remembering what it cute, and Zach opening his DVD series that I bought him. :)
  • Opening my new scrapping Cricut Expression....which is a huge die-cutting tool for cutting out letters and shapes. Can you believe that was like my entire Christmas?
  • Heading to Grandma's to eat a fabulous dinner and play Mexican Train Dominoes all afternoon.
  • Going to see Marley and Me in the theaters. It was a fabulous movie, but a real tear-jerker...I cried and came out of the theater all puffy eyed.
  • Coming home and scrapping my heart out while playing with my new toy! :)

I will always remember how awesome this day was, in spite of the not-so great things. Like dropping a jar of pickles on my finger...ouch! and being really mad at my camera because it will not work at all! I am going to take it in to our local camera shop this week and see if they can do anything for it. I am so fed up with it not working. It didn't work at all during our family Christmas party on Saturday so I got like 2 pictures, but then it worked fine at our other party on Sunday. Then today it doesn't work at all so I had to borrow my sister's camera....grrrrr. considering my camera is supposed to be top of the line....a digital SLR! Grrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!! It is just so frustrating. Well anyways, overall it was a great day and I know that even with the craziness, this Christmas was fabulous! :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What a Day!

Wow, what a day! Today was our annual family Christmas party....5o-something people coming to our house to celebrate the holiday. Well we had a pretty major ice storm on Friday and over 70% of the county was without power, but not us. And the temperatures have been below freezing so it is not melting. And on top of that the winds have picked up. So this morning, we woke up to no power. We called everyone to move the party to my aunt and uncle's house. Then about 10 minutes later the power came back on. So we waited awhile and then called everyone back and put the party back at our house. So everyone came over and we had a great time hanging out and celebrating the holiday with each other. Then as people were starting to leave, the power went out again. So people cleared out prety quickly. We waited to see if it would come back on as quickly as it had last time, but it didn't. So 4 hours later, we packed up to head to my sister's house to spend the night. And as we were pulling out of the driveway, the lights came back on. Go figure! It has been crazy!!! I am just glad that we are in our nice warm nousenow and relaxing with power and heat...because of course it is the coldest day of the year at -2 degrees. So I am signing off and wishing everyone a super, fabulous happy holidays! Until next time....

Friday, December 19, 2008

"Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful...."

Today I am sitting here at home, nice and cozy in my jammies, surfing the web and looking at the beautiful, if somewhat frightening, scene outside my window. Why may you ask? Well we got hammered with an ice storm last night and so school was cancelled and the trees are coated with ice. I headed outside a while ago to take some pictures of the beautiful scenery and I got a lot of great shots (which I will try to upload and post today sometime), but you could hear the ice crackling every time the wind moved through the branches. I just hope we don't lose our power...many places to the south of us, including my sister, have already lost theirs and if we do that means no scrapping for this girl. And that would totally STINK because all I want to do right now is get downstairs to my scraproom and get working. But that may be a possibility sooner than later because it is starting to freezing rain/sleet lets hope not. So for now, I am signing off so I can go play with my paper and glue and get creating! :) See you all later!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas :)

Well, the season is officially here. Our family is gathered around the Christmas tree putting up ornaments, remembering each ornament and the memories it brings. The little black lab that reminds us of our first christmas with Bailey, the ABC tree I got my first year of teaching, the glass ornaments that Mom got while we were in Frankenmuth, the toolbox that reminds us of our year building the house, and all of mom's classic rocking horses. Records are playing with all our favorite holiday carols and songs and the snow is falling. We are taking a break from the tree so Dad can make his famous Christmas stollen. The house smells delicious with the smell of baking bread and we are all here, safe and sound at home, enjoying just being together and celebrating the holiday with one of our favorite christmas traditions. :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Whirlwind of a Month

Wow, this month has been super busy for me! I haven't gotten near as much scrapping in as I wanted to, but I have had fun doing many other things with my friends and family. I did finally get all my layouts from this past month uploaded...yea! Wow, if I hadn't gone to an all day crop a few weeks ago, I wouldn't even have half of these layouts completed... So here are the ones I have done and I hope you enjoy them. :)

I really like how this 4th of July layout came together. I was able to use a ton of pictures and even got to use up some star sequins that I have had forever. I really like the look they give this layout. I also got to play with my Graphically Speaking cartridge from Cricut for the title which is perfect on here.
This is a pretty simple layout. I just have some patterned paper and lots of diecuts on here. I used the Graphically Speaking cartridge for the and sign which makes the title my favorite part of this layout.

This is probably my favorite layout out of this bunch. I love how these pictures turned out and I was able to make a purple page. :) I have all this purple stuff in my scrapbook stash but never seem to have photos to go with it. This layout was perfect for this line by K and Company. I have had it for quite some time and it was great to break it out and have some fun playing with it. I also was able to play with some grungeboard from Tim Holtz. I stumbled across his website a few days prior to this layout and I was amazed by all the creative stuff he has going on. Check him out at if you are interested...his videos are the best!
This layout is another one of my favorites from the month. I was able to break out some super-cute baby products from Making Memories and use some of my felt products as well. I even sewed the buttons on...they aren't naked this time Valerie!.... :)

This is a simple layout but I really like how it turned out. The colors and the patterns really bring out the pictures and help me remember this awesome night! :)

This layout was super -fun to make. I used a ton of bling and flowers on it and was able to use some of my Making Memories stash up too. I even tried my hand at doodling and I kinda like the look. I don't think I will be using this technique a lot but it really helped define the elements on this page.

A cute quickie of my cousins. This layout was inspired by a sketch from Valerie Salmon, who is an amazing designer...gotta love her classes! Check her out at
This is another one of my favorites...more Making Memories products on here (can you tell I love that company?) as well as some grungeboard that I painted with copper-metallic acryllic paint. It is a great photo of my cousins and the paper I chose compliments it beautifully!

This is a layout that was inspired by a class I am taking from my friends Valerie Salmon and Janna Wilson called "Got Sketch Express". If you are looking for design inspiration, look no further than this class. It is amazing! These ladies are uber-talented and show you step-by-step how to create stunning layouts. :)

This is a super simple layout that I created using the new Bazzill Dotted Swiss Cardstock, which is divine and super fun to play with. I have made so many projects out of it and I love all of them.
Well there you have creative life over the past 3 weeks. With a 5 day weekend coming up I am hoping to be super-inspired to create even more. Talk to you all soon!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Tonight at a friend's birthday party, I ended up sitting next to him for almost 2 hours...yet in those 2 hours I barely talked to him at all. Why is that? I really like this guy and I can't say 2 intelligent words to him. Period. :( I don't know what it is but it is so difficult for me to carry on a conversation with him lately. And it is so aggravating...

Also aggravating about this evening is that I took my camera and didn't take one bloody photo the entire time. What was up with that? least I know Emily got some good ones...and hopefully she will share. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wedding Photos from Indy :)

About a month ago, I headed down to Indy with my family for my cousin Jenny's wedding. It was at a beautiful old mansion and there were lots of great photo ops. Here are a few of my favorites from the day.

This picture is of the bride and groom. I was able to capture them as they came down the stairs to the reception area. I simply love the looks on their faces in this photo and I think it captures the day beautifully.
This is my sister and my cousin Ashley. I took this photo out front right before Ashley had to leave. They just look so cute together don't they? :)
This was probably my favorite part of the entire day...just watching my little cousin play in the water in this fountain out on the patio. She had a blast and reminded me of how fun it is to be so little.

My dad and two of my uncles doing what they do best...talking about some sort of construction project that someone in the family needs. I am proud of them paper was brought out at this event to sketch what they were planning on doing. :)
My cousin Katie and her dad, my Uncle Jim...this is just such a great photo of the two of them!
My sister, my cousin Ashley, Grandma, me, and Uncle Mike all just hanging out waiting for dinner.
My cousin Lucas playing hide and seek underneath the present table...he is such a cute little kid!
A duplicate...and I don't know how to make it go away!!! :)
Such a beautiful image from the day...there was stained glass everywhere here and it was all so intricate and beautiful!
Uncle Mike says "Cheers!" to a happy couple and a great day!
My cousins Tyler, Kiersten, and Henry.
Little Garrett all dressed up for the big day...he is so grown up now and I can't believe this is the same little boy that I chased around a wedding just over a year ago.
Aunt Peggy and Uncle Pat just chillin'.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Winner and More Recent Layouts

As promised, this is the layout that I won the September Use Your Supplies challenge over at I especially love this page because of the bright colors and beautiful pictures that I got of the tulips in our front yard in the spring of 2007. I also love the little 3-D clear acetate butterflies that I covered with was a great way to use leftovers and it made an uber-cool accent too! And also my new fave font, Fling LET is used on here in the title and these great date stamps that I found that almost match it perfectly! In all it is one of my fave layouts this year! :)
These are some of the other layouts I have created over the past few weeks. I have been super creative lately and I am using up supplies to boot! :) Which makes me uber-happy! (If you have seen my stash, then you definately know why!) I truly love this layout for so many reasons....the colors are super bright and fun (just like my sister)....the fact that I used 29 eyelets on one page!....the Bazzill Bling that I used everywhere to make it super shimmery....and the cupcake and photo corner all blinged out with beads!
This layout just came together so perfectly. I had to get creative with the blue circle paper becuase I didn't have much left, so I added the strip of photos down the right hand side since I ran out of paper. I love the effect though because I was able to get 8 more photos on my page...bringing the total to 18 fabulous photos!!! :)
I so totally love this layout for so many reasons! The puppy, Sam is sooo cute and my sister looks so happy with him. I also love how much riboon I used on this goal this month has been ribbon, ribbon, ribbon...becuase I have way too much of it and I love the pleated look of the ribbons in the middle. And lastly I love this layout because of how perfectly the patterned papers match the pictures. This is a newer collection by KI Memories (a fave company of mine) and it was a great match!

Recent Layouts

These are some of my most recent layout creations. The ones below are all layouts I completed at a crop last weekend with some of my scrappin' friends from work. I haven't been to a crop in forever and I had so much fun doing all of this. I got a TON of layouts completed and I only cropped in about a 24-hour time period! :) The pictures on this layout flip up. It is another one of my takes on a sketch from the Got Sketch 101 class that I was part of this summer. I totally love this sketch because of the versatility of it and the ability to get so many pictures on one layout! :)
This layout was inspired by a one-page layout over at this month. I loved how the layout looked so I scraplifted the left page and added the right page to the design so I could add the fun pictures of all of my friends. :)
This layout came together so beautifully! My favorite part is that the patterned paper matches the color photo perfectly!!! I also love the touches of black and the b&w photos that make this page super elegant. :)
This was a fairly simple page, but I love how it looks. I was able to use my new snow border punch from EK Success and some paper and stickers by Pebbles to create this great, shimmery page. :)
Another fairly simple layout but I love it! This was my second try with these photos...earlier I had made a layout but never finished it because I didn't like it at all, so I threw it away and did this one. And I am so glad because it is perfect now. I love every little part of this! :)I love this page because of all the beautiful and bright pictures I have on here. I also love the yellow background and how it makes everything pop! :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Scrapbooking Weekend

This weekend I headed to Albion to a weekend crop. I headed up on Friday and came back on Saturday and in that 24 hour period I got 9 pages done, 3 two pagers and 3 single pagers. This is huge for me for a weekend and I got a lot done. I am hoping to get my layouts uploaded tomorrow so be watching for them. :) It was a great weekend and I got a lot of compliments on my pages. It was a Creative Memories crop and many of the ladies do more simple style pages and had not done pages like mine before. It was fun because I was able to teach a few new ideas to some of them and share my expertise with them. :) One lady even stopped me and told me that every time I got up from my table people came over to my table and were oohing and aahing over my pages. I was so touched and it made me feel so awesome.

In other news, I found out today that I won the September Use Your Supplies challenge over at and the lady who was running the challenge is sending me a prize package. I can't wait to see what goodies I get. :) I will also post that layout tomorrow here.

So until tomorrow, happy scrapping everyone! :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Challenge 4: Portraits (Tips, Tricks, and Challenges)

Well I am way behind on this one, but I guess it is better late than never right. I love taking portraits, but I sometimes find it difficult to find people who are willing to sit for more than a photo or two and so I don't get much practice or many shots to work with. Most of the following ones I just got lucky on...I have lots of not so lucky ones too. The only really willing subject I have is my dog who will sit for hours if I have a treat or a toy. :)

I shot the portrait above a few weekends ago at my cousin's wedding. I took lots of pictures to get this amazing photo and I love how it turned out. :)

This is my aunt and her new dog, Buddy. He is the sweetest little thing you will ever meet and I wanted to show the special relationship that these two have.

This is my dog Bailey. One of my favorite things to do on a summer day is take her outside and take a gazillion photos of least she doesn't mind. To get this shot, I was holding her favorite new toy over my head and snapping away as she looked at it longingly. Then after a few shots, we played catch for awhile and started shooting again.

This is my other super cute cousin at the wedding a few weeks ago. Isn't she adorable?

My sister and her fiancee...again at the was a gorgeous old mansion and both the inside and outside were wonderful for taking pictures.

My dad at the wedding...I really love this picture of him, even with the bit of glasses glare. :)

This is my cousin at our family 4th of July barbecue and pool party. My aunt let me play with her zoom lens and I was able to capture this sweet shot.

My mom at the pool. This is probably my favorite portrait I have taken all summer. She looks so relaxed and happy and she looks beautiful as well!

My self portrait...this was taken this summer in Disney as I was walking around the World Showcase at Epcot all by myself and of course I had to get a picture of myself in each country. :) This is my favorite one...the dreamy look of Italy behind me is a great look.

This is our sweet little neighbor boy. He and I were playing around with my dog and I captured this shot of him. I really like the angle of it and it shows his fun personality.
Another great shot of our neighbor boy...this one is more thoughtful and sincere. I really like it with just the clouds in the background. I was sitting on the ground for both of these photos and looking up at him. Its a great natural backdrop for stunning summer portraits! :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Scrappin' Up a Storm

Have you ever heard the expression "When it rains, it pours"? Well this little phrase just about sums up my scrapping world this month. It started when I joined two online classes, which are very different from each other but compliment each other beautifully! One is Got Sketch 102 from the fabulously talented Valerie Salmon and Janna Wilson with 2 new page sketches every week and lots of bonuses along with a weekly chat. The other is Product Playground 2 from Big Picture Scrapbooking, taught by Lisa Damarosh. This class is all about using your stash (which I have accumulated over the years) specifically edgy products, fabric and felt inspired products, office supplies, glitter!, stickers, and lettering. It has been awesome digging into my stuff and finding new (old) stuff to play with and find new uses or looks for! The best part of these classes is that I can create layouts that work for both classes and I don't have to do 2 seperate layouts each time...which rocks because I am uber-busy this month with everything else in life too.
Then about 2 weeks ago I ran into my friend Janet who I used to know from Luv2Scrapbook at Curves. We got talking and she told me about the card-making ministry at her church, which just happens to be my church as we found out! So last night I went to my first meeting for that and now will be making 50+ cards for the ministry at church, for birthdays in our church family as well as new babies, deaths, and other prayer requests. This is so totally a God thing because I have been asking Him to show me how I can use this creative scrappy talent for His glory and this just kinda fell into my lap. :) Gotta love it when that happens!
Then on Monday at school I was talking to one of our Kindergarten teachers who is also a scrapper and she told me about a scrapbook retreat that she and another teacher are going on from our school. So I, of course, hopped on board and in 3 weeks I will be heading to an all-weekend crop to scrap my heart out! Which is also awesome because I have wanted to get together and scrap with these ladies for awhile but our schedules have never worked this is perfect! Also a bit weird because I haven't actually gone to a crop anywhere since last summer (2007)!
And to top it all off, my fabulous friend Rebekeh is coming to scrap all day on Saturday!!! :) 12ish hours of scrappping bliss...complete with a trip to Archivers! She is such a fun gal to scrap with and she comes over and helps me use my stuff and creates fabulous pages!!!! :) So I am super excited for that but I gotta get my scrap room cleaned...right now it is a disaster but on Friday night it will be awesomely clean! :)
Plus, I just bought a new Cricut cartridge..."Doodlecharms"...and I can't WAIT to play with it!!! :D

Monday, September 1, 2008

Scrappin' Weekend

Wow! This weekend sure went fast! I spent most of the weekend scrapbooking for my two new online classes and I got a lot done. Two single pagers, one double pager, 2 cards, and a good start on another 2 pager. :)

My classes are going awesome! I am totally luvin' Product Playground 2 from Big Picture Scrapbooking and playing with all my edgy products to create fun and energetic pages. We had a chat on Friday night and I spent almost 3 hours online with my fellow scrappers talking about everything under the sun, from our edgy products to favorite techniques and organization techniques. :)

My second class is a sequel to a class I took back in June. Got Sketch 102, taught by Valerie Salmon and Janna Wilson, is just as good as Got Sketch 101. We got our first sketch today and I am well on my way to having my layout completed.

Now I am anxious to get home tomorrow night to finish my page and upload some of my favorite photos here.