Thursday, October 30, 2014


is tomorrow and it seems like this Halloween came up fast. I have been wanting to share how the house looks since everything has been decorated since mid September. This year has been different with Shelby away at college.
There is a funny/emotional story this year from the pumpkin patch that had me in tears last week. We had taken Ellie to pick out a pumpkin with Jon's parents and standing among all the teeny tiny pumpkins was this sweet, curly blonde blue eyed girl. Her hair was in a bun with ringlets and the whole nine yards. I'm standing, staring at her and thinking "wow, she looks exactly the way Shelby did at her age." All of the sudden I hear her mom say "Shelby!" and that was it, instant tears streaming down my face and a deep longing to hug our girl.
Needless to say it hit me like a MAC truck and the next time I spoke to Shelby she could sense I was missing her and of course I had to tell her the story.
Ok, sorry back to Halloween decor.

This is a long wall in our family room that has been bare since we moved in. Jon promised when we moved in something would be here within the first year. He just wanted that wall and here we are over 2 years later and nothing, so the wall after the holidays is going to be mine (at least that's what I tell him with a loving, yet firm voice), lol.

It is amazing how expensive die cut cardstock shapes can be, especially from known names like Martha Stewart and they are all the same size in the package. So, I decided to cut these with my Silhouette Cameo and I started with a small size and worked my way up from there. All I used was black cardstock and 3D foam squares. It was fun and inexpensive.

On Pinterest I came across a variation of brooms on a chalkboard wall, so I put my spin on it and this is how it turned out. Shelby came up with the name and Ellie donated her skeleton bones school paperwork to the typewriter. It was great timing that she was studying and had to know the major bones of the human body for her science class. 

This was a little hard to put into perspective with a photo. These sticks are right underneath the fan. We had to cut them down because it is still so hot here in Arizona during October and the fan has to be running. Jon put the birds in the branches. 

The area above the entertainment center is also a little difficult to photograph. It's full of potion and poison bottles. Rats, skeletons, old books and cameras, spiders, you know all of the essentials.

You can't go wrong with skeletons and crates. Those are all of the main areas around the house. There are a few more little vignettes. 
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you and your family have a safe and fun filled Halloween!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It all started

on Sunday afternoon, when my mom texted me asking if I knew of a place where she could get a bow tie. I simply responded with, "is it for a costume or something more formal."
After that text she called to ask if I was home, then she came over with a top hat and bling sunglasses. Then, I got the real story. She had bought a life sized skeleton that she wanted to find a bow tie for and she wanted her skeleton to be a girl.

That led to this....

As the top hat was being created we were talking about names for the skeleton and my mom had decided she came from New Orleans. We settled on Olga for her name.

After the bow tie and top hat was complete I decided that Olga, our southern skeleton also needed a Halloween charm bracelet. I used some Tim Holtz metal clips and chains to hang the charms from. It was an unexpected creative afternoon spent with my mom and she was super excited with how everything turned out. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 06, 2014

Halloween invites....

are crazy expensive, seriously. Every year we have our annual pumping carving party and some years I have made the invitations and other years (like last year I bought them). Last year I remember being behind in the invite category of Halloween and having to buy them pretty much pre.made and that about killed my creative spirit and my pocketbook wasn't to happy either.

This year, I have made it a point to be more proactive even though these invites turned out super simple I kind of like it. The Silhouette Cameo, a bat cut file, black cardstock, a Uniball Signo white pen and kraft envelopes. A little time consuming but simple.

This Halloween seems to be all about bats. It all started with the bat wall I wanted to create in our living room and I loved how it turned out so I carried that theme into the invitations. Getting these little pretties in the mail today felt good. Wishing you all lived close so I could send one to you too!

Hope you have a great week!

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Tim Holtz Folio

was the perfect base for creating this mini book of my Nannie and Papa. I love that the flaps of the folio can be folded at different levels depending on how much room you need for the embellishments you used. It really was a great little project to work on. This was created using the small folio that can be found here, if your interested.

The elastic band closure gives the folio a great vintage feel and I couldn't help but add a vintage brooch to the cover. The heavy duty material the folio is constructed of made the stamped images bold.

The top photo, my Papa in High School and the bottom photo is my great grandparents, my Papa and all of the brothers and sisters on the family farm.

The top photo was my Nannie and Papa hanging out with their friends and the bottom photo my Nannie was pregnant with my mom. 

I feel so lucky and blessed to have these wedding day photos of my grandparents. I love that in the family, if photos are found everyone sends them to me not only for safe keeping but they also know I try to find out the story if I can to tell it. 

Papa in his Senior year and away serving in the military. Nannie on the family farm while he was away in Germany.

I used some of these photos before in a layout but this little folio is displayed in our home year round and just walking past it makes me smile. My mom told me recently that she would love to have this book someday after seeing it and looking through it.

On another note, Halloween decorations have been up for almost 2 weeks and I feel so good about it. I think I'm a little ahead of schedule this year, which I'm liking. I was able to get more than half way through making the annual Halloween Pumpkin Carving Party invites as well as mailing all of the birthday thank you notes!

Hoping your week is a fulfilling, productive one!

Friday, September 12, 2014

through the viewfinder

When I came across this awesome viewfinder die cut in the Silhouette store I was drawn to it and had to have it. I remember actually having a viewfinder growing up and maybe that's what drew me to it and the fact I could make my own viewfinder of sorts.
Now the great thing about die cutting with the Cameo is you can make your die cuts as small and as big as you like. Sometimes though, it gives me too many possibilities, lol.
With this, I wanted to go big (go big or go home, ask any of my friends and they will tell you I say this quite often, being from Texas and all). I wanted to almost completely fill the 12 x 12 paper.

I used some of the photos we took driving Shelby up to college and getting her moved into her dorm room. We were able to see old friends and be there for Shelby with whatever she needed. While attending the parent orientation as the health staff at her school went through the needs of out of state incoming Freshman it hit me. They started talking about getting all of the medications, health related things that we normally give our children at home and stocking them up before we left.
This was something I thought about but it really hit home after hearing the health statistics on college students. So, we went to the store and I started thinking about how awful it is to be sick and not have anyone there to really take care of you. I have to say Jon looked at me a little crazy but hey, I'm a mom and that's what we do, we take care of our kids. Did I go a little overboard, making sure she had everything, maybe a tinsy bit. BUT again, that's what we do, make sure the ones we love are well taken care of when we can't take care of them ourselves.
Wow, sorry about that. Got a little off track.

So, the center of the viewfinder was a little plain to me and I wanted to fill it with a bigger photo. So after the original cut was complete I left the mat loaded in to the Cameo and I used the angle tool to cut the large circle out of the center.
Measuring each opening in the viewfinder I printed the photos and attached them under each one.
Finishing the layout with stamps, stickers, gold foil chipboard and some journaling.

Hope you guys have a great weekend!
Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

nothing I love more

than seeing, collecting and documenting a group of photos all together on one layout. I have never has this many photos on one layout but I have to say grabbing all of these moments, memories and relationships choked me up a bit. Right now, at this point I needed these photos. I'm missing her and holding onto Ellie as hard as I can. They grow up so fast, and for friends and family that have little ones, I know it's hard to believe but seriously, it's a blink and here we are.
Maybe because I turn 40 this month I'm a little more emotional than usual. Whatever the case may be I'm still missing her and spending as much time as I can with Ellie.
Oh, that reminds me I can't wait to see the Book Of Life Movie with her. Let the good times roll! :)

I used the kit "A Wonderful Life" to create this one. The kit went on sale this morning and can be found here. I love all of the gold foil papers and embellishments in this one. It's hard to tell but the ampersand paper is gold foiled and in real life it rocks. You can never go wrong with gold foil on anything.
This layout has 56 photos total and at first it was a little daunting figuring out how to work with all of them. So many friends, activities, accomplishments wrapped up in all of these snapshots of high school. In the end, I love how it turned out and I can't wait to show Shelby when she is home.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, August 25, 2014

back from

from a great road trip to Oregon and getting Shelby set up in her college dorm. Our family dynamic has definitely changed. It was a long drive but well worth the special times and experiences we shared with her. I remember always telling her like I tell Ellie now as well, knowledge is power. One of my life goals was having our girls go to college and now one is there and we are beyond proud.

A few years ago I created a minibook called 34 before 34. Which documented the 34 days leading up to my 34th birthday. This year being my 40th birthday I'm creating a second edition. Right now I'm working on my 40 before 40 minibook. Taking a photo each day for 40 days leading up to my 40th birthday.

Since we were on the road during some of this time I was journaling each day in my calendar planner. This came in very handy. We were super busy each day and there was just no time to scrapbook on the road and we wanted to focus on Shelby, getting everything she needed and spend as much time as possible with her before we headed back home.

As mom's (at least this mom), we tend to leave our (my) story for last. Scrapbooking about yourself, likes, dislikes, loves, emotions, trials and tribulations and everything in between is something that I think our daughters would love to know about me as they get older and start their lives with families, work, etc. They are after all apart of me and might want to know how I dealt with certain situations, family history, navigated relationships, etc.
This little book will serve as a snapshot of (40) things and events that were going on right before my milestone 40th birthday.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The 60th

birthday for Mom and a lot of us were out of town traveling on business and two of these girls would already be in school for their first day of High School as Freshman. With everything going on all of us girls decided we would take Mom out for dinner and then travel to downtown Scottsdale for dessert. Where to go for dessert was an easy decision, dinner was another story. This is what happens since Mom only has granddaughters.

Lots of girl talk, emotions, love, clothes and shoes talk. She has been there for us all in one way or another, good, bad, happy, sad. Good times for us girls. Mom wanted to make sure in our photo that the Life is Good sign was in the back. This photo was the best I could do.

For the love of anything gold foil. This "favorite" chipboard word sticker was so cool looking. Loved using it to ground the photos. The chipboard flower pieces was one big piece originally. So, I cut it into two pieces and it worked out perfect.

Thanks for stopping by!