Friday, July 31, 2009

Family History--Preserving My Personal Legacy

This has become a bit of a series on Preserving a Legacy. I hadn't really planned to approach it that way, but I will go with it. Thank you for all of your sweet comments on my writing, it means the world to me!

After looking back at all of the beautiful memorabilia from grandma's house I decided to sort through a couple of tote-fulls of my own personal history. I realized that I am hanging on to a lot of old stuff and some of it isn't very well protected. I spent a few hours sorting through pictures and categorizing them: 'Little Nellie' 'High School' 'College' 'Family' 'Now'. I have a long way to go to get everything where I want it. I can see why moms are so overwhelmed with the 'I'm SOOO behind' attitude. I guess I should start at the beginning.

My first project is my baby book.

This book-in-a-box was stored in our smoke-friendly home where it got yellowed in the cabinet above the refrigerator.

Ugh. I have some work to do.

I need to preserve this stuff. My mother's handwriting about being a new mom is so priceless to me:

Some of the pages have become damaged:

I have a green 3-ring album that will work for now. I would like to shop around for a pink one. My goal is to remove the sweet pages of the book and put them in document sleeves for safe-keeping.

I also want to preserve the other ephemera, cards and letters in my baby book in this 3-ring album. Some of the things I saved from grandma's house will definitely go in here.

Un-sewn patches from Brownies fit perfectly in a trading card sleeve.

I won't be doing a scrapbook with all the patterned papers and stickers and stamps. I want to keep this very simple.

I also want to make it easy on my loved ones who might have to sort through this stuff one day for me. Like my grandma, I can't bear to throw anything away...but hopefully I can be a little more organized!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Polaroid {a tribute}

I may be a little later than some. Recently, I have fallen in love with the polaroid picture. When I first started scrapbooking I wasn't sure where to put the just didn't fit in with all the other pictures. Now I know that it does just fine standing on its own. I read this article in Newsweek and it perfectly captures all the things I appreciate about the polaroid. I have posted snipits of it here, but you can go to the link to read the entire article. The polaroids I have included in this post are from years ago, I found them recently and I thought it would be fun to share them with you...some people don't like to read long articles, but they will spend time looking at pictures!

Excerpt from Newsweek:
Polaroids bound for extinction, the Polaroid esthetic has in recent months become a rather ubiquitous signifier of cool. In February 2008, the Polaroid company, which had stopped selling instant cameras a year earlier, announced that it would cease producing its instant film as well, and by the beginning of 2009, all five of its remaining plants had been shuttered. Whatever film was left in stores was it. Polaroid enthusiasts flipped, scouring shops for leftover stock and propelling the price of a Polaroid packet into the high double digits. Some turned to activism (; others began to archive prints online ( A group called the Impossible Project even leased an abandoned Polaroid factory in the Netherlands and recruited a team of former Polaroid technicians to invent a new instant film. Soon the art world's longstanding
passion for Polaroids began to trickle down to people who'd never shown a particular interest in the format....

But why, and why now? As faddish as it may seem, I suspect that the eleventh-hour Polaroid resurrection actually reflects a latent uneasiness with the changing role of photography in our culture—and a deeper discomfort with how that shift is affecting the way we remember. Of course, nostalgia is nothing new; Edward Steichen probably lamented the loss of the daguerreotype. But unlike earlier periods of progress, the Information Age isn't replacing old objects with new ones. It's using 1's and 0's to get rid of objects altogether. As larger swaths of our lives become immaterial, we tend to rely on computers to preserve or reproduce (or simply promote) the esthetics of the more tangible technologies they're displacing. Hence sites like Muxtape (which replicates the mix-tape experience in MP3 form) and Telegram Stop (which mails electronic missives in typewritten 19th-century packages). The Polaroid revival is a symptom of the same condition. When all of our infinitely replicable, infinitely Photoshoppable images reside on hidden hard drives, the idea of a whirring box that instantly gen-erates a single unreproducible print has a certain comforting allure. It's still remarkable, even magical. But it's one step less removed from reality.

To be sure, that description could apply to any kind of photographic print, instantaneous or not. What makes the Polaroid picture special—and suddenly so resonant—is the way its formal qualities dovetail with the mechanics of memory. If cameras are "clocks for seeing," as the critic Roland Barthes once wrote, the Polaroid is a particularly potent timepiece. For much of its history, photography marked the moments sporadically (each roll of film contained a limited number of images) or abstractly (in black and white); we were required to exercise our mnemonic muscles by supplying the color or recalling the context. But digital photography rewrote the rules, parceling out the past in a flood of images that are as detailed and consecutive as our devices allow.

The misty mental process of recollection and imagination that once filled the gaps in and around our pictures is no longer strictly necessary; we can simply point, click, and consult Flickr later, without ever taxing our gray matter. The Polaroid serves as a palpable re-minder of the pleasures of good old-fashioned remembering. For one thing, it materializes in real time, making it the only form of photography that transcends mere documentation to become part of the moment it's meant to preserve; we blow out the candles, look at the Polaroid, and archive both experiences as one. And while digital images strive for inhuman fidelity—the more megapixels, the better—Polaroids in-
advertently warp, and thus estheticize, every moment they capture, cropping a panoramic world into a soft, summery square, then mounting the image inside its own albescent frame. People often describe the effect as "nostalgic"; what they mean, I think, is that Polaroids look like memories—imperfect and incomplete, but somehow realer for it. In an era that encourages us to forget how to remember, that's a seductive anachronism.

Don't get me wrong. Brooklyn's Polaroid Party goers aren't contemplating the metaphysics of memory as they snap photos in some massive exposed-brick loft space. They just like the way Polaroids look. Most of them, in fact, aren't even using Polaroid cameras; for the young and wired, programs like Poladroid are far more practical. But maybe that's a good thing. As the remaining supply of Polaroid film dwindles and millions of SX-70s are finally rendered useless, it's nice to know that we'll still have some small, visible reminder of how the past was preserved before memory was obsolete—even if we'll have to log on to Facebook to remember.

Awesome flickr group for polaroids.
Poladroid Project You can download this to your computer and turn any picture into an instant poloaroid.
iPhone Apps ShakeIt
I have this one, it rocks: Polarize
Favorite blogs that show polaroids: Rockstar Diaries Little Life

The pictures above are actual polaroids, but here are a few I made using Poladroid on my desktop.

Here are a couple of pictures I made on my iPhone app Polarize:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Going Away

Hey Guys! I am going up to St. Louis in the a.m. to Six Flags and then to see some stuff in the city until Sunday. I have a bunch of great posts scheduled, but sometimes that doesn't work for me, so I hope they go through!

I will 'leave' you with this sweet little card I made. I stamped the owl on patterned paper with versamark, heat embossed him, cut him out, punched out the eyes, and added him to white cardstock over top of the same image, I cut that out and popped it off a craft card. The flourish on the left was stamped with clear embossing powder and the letters are Foam Thickers.

99 Things...Just for fun.

I have done the things in BOLD.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited New Zealand

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland/world/Disneyland Paris

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo

11. Went Canoeing

12. Climbed into an underground cave

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables (herbs?)

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Made a Snow Angle

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Stood in the rim of the Grand Canyon

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an erupting volcano in person.

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theatre

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Cookies for charity

62. Gone whale watching (Actually, we were on a boat in the ocean and saw a whale!)

63. Been given flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp/Holocaust Museum

67. Bounced a check (yeah, it was hard to adjust to only getting paid once a month when I first started teaching!)

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favourite childhood toy

70. Visited Buckingham Palace

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt or blanket

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured a school in another country

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Been to the top of the Sears Tower Building

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House (I didn't go inside...but I stood at the fence)

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (Lobster!)

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life (Possibly by giving blood)

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous (Boomer Grigsby! ;-)

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

Feel like playing along? Lets see what you've done!

List your answers on your blog and then leave me a comment so I can come over and see.

Blog Candy From Practical Scrappers

Check out the new design team challenge site Practical Scrappers. All you have to do is become a follower to win some blog candy! Good Luck!

I can't wait to see what they come up with on Monday!! Super exciting!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Staying Busy. Very Busy.

I am going to a bridal shower on Saturday for a good friend who currently lives in St. Louis. I sent an engagement gift a couple of months ago so I was really struggling with what to get for her shower gift...and do I get a wedding gift too? Hmmm....I don't really know all the rules for that...Anyway, I decided to make her a shower gift and I might make a wedding gift too, it just depends on how busy I am in October.

One of the best gifts I have ever received, was from a friend who hand-wrote recipes on little cards and made me a recipe book. It was so thoughtful and sweet. I decided to make something similar for my friend Danielle.

Last night I was sitting in my craft room playing around with an old chipboard book and I decided to re-cover it and make the recipe book using it as the cover. My original plan was to use the Bind It All to add the pages. Well, I also had some cheap photo albums sitting on the table (you know, from the dollar store). Well, after cutting the book apart, the cover was still in tact and the photo album fit perfect inside....hmmmm...I used my pivot point stapler to attach the pages. Then I covered the book. Presto! Instant recipe book, completely customizable!!


I woke up this morning trying to figure out how to finish the recipe book. While I was thinking about it, I decided to use the extra chipboard to make more books for later. I learned that covering the book with paper, then stapling the pages, and lastly putting another layer of paper on the spine was the best way to make the book. To cover the book, I used glue dot sheets, they work way better than liquid glue or a tape runner for big areas like book covers.

You will be seeing these bad-mamba-jambas later!

Then I decided that the book would need some help staying closed so I used my Crop-A-Dile to punch some holes.

I only had black elastic (I bought it to finish up my daily calendar...I really wish I would've had white) but I simply put it through the holes and secured it in place with an eyelet.

Originally, I was just going to leave the cover plain so that it doesn't get torn up in the kitchen. But then I made this little page for the back of the book...and it looked absolutely adorable on the cover so I attached it with foam adhesive.

Then I made a front cover sheet and a back cover with measurement conversions.

Here is a shot of the inside of the book.

I went over to the LollyChops blog and downloaded some free printable recipe cards, cupcake recipes and other goodies for my book. If you have never checked out this bog before, I must warn is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I also printed some of my personal recipes from and I stuck in a few other recipes I hand wrote on the recipe cards.

I made a copy of the recipe cards so that I will have my handwriting preserved for future books. I will definitely make something like this again.

Supplies: Printables from Lollychops blog, patterned paper from My Minds Eye: Breaking Free Adventure Series, Kaisercraft paper, Martha Stewart Cupcakes, EK Success cupcakes, Stampin' up ribbon and crochet flower, The paper Studio paper, AC Thickers, white gel pen.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Prize Winner

So I just threw nearly 120 names into a bowl...(some names went in twice for linking me up to their side bar...btw, you can take me down now, thanks!!)

And the lucky winner is SARAH over @ Sarah's Paper Tray.

Congrats Sarah....enjoy your goodies!!

p.s. email me at with your address and I will get your package in the mail ASAP. :-)

Thanks for all of your wonderful comments. I am looking forward to my future blog posts and I hope you are too.

And, tonight for some reason I am feeling especially creative. I just started an awesome recipe scrapbook for a bridal shower I am attending this weekend in St. Louis. It is going to be fabulous. I will post pictures soon, so look forward to that!

{Thoughts} One Year Today.

Yahoo! One year ago today I started this blog. My creativity, craftsmanship and design have improved tremendously through my participation in challenges, guest design spots and swaps over the last year.

Since last summer, I have started teaching workshops for both scrap booking and card making. I have taught demonstrations at crops and home gatherings on techniques. I have started a club for my stamping friends so that we can swap cards once a month.

This blog has encouraged me to move my creative space out of the corner (nobody puts baby in the corner!) and I have literally taken over the spare bedroom as my studio. By following other crafters and reading about their daily crafting experiences I think about creating something every day. Generally, I don't actually make something daily...but weekly...and if I am lucky, I get to spend several hours in the creative zone every week.

{Close to My Heart}
Being a personal consultant for Close to My Heart has changed my life. Last summer my amazing upline encouraged me to start this blog. The company is so supportive of consultants and the training academy is incredible. Through the training academy, I found personal, business and creative development. Jeanette Lynton is a creative genius. I am proud to be part of such an amazing organization. I love sharing the art of stamping with people. My favorite part of being a consultant is when I am teaching a workshop and people have that aha-moment and I can tell that they have learned how to do something they had never imagined before. Having a successful business has supported my ever-growing collection of tools and supplies and I can justify buying new paper, stamps and embellishments because I really do need them!

I have gotten back into photography as a serious hobby since last summer. I bought a couple of new cameras and I appreciate the art of taking pictures.

Having a place where my cards, layouts and designs are appreciated makes everything I do worthwhile. I am truly inspired to make things that make me feel good and having a sincere audience is a driving force behind my motivation. Knowing that my readers are wondering 'where I am' is enough motivation to get me into the studio to produce quality creations.

Having said that, I must delve into the argument of creativity and criticism. In my life I meet lots of women that are self-labeled 'not creative' and I get quite a bit of opposition and jealous attitudes because of my talents. I do not try to rub it in or brag that I create art, but the snide comments about the fact that I 'made' something do hurt. I don't know if people are as harsh towards knitters or quilters...but whenever I complete a painting or mini-book I always note the hint of disdain in comments that follow "Oh, you made that...." Usually, the comments are sweet enough, but the jealous and annoyed undertones are definitely present.

The thing I don't think they GET is...I NEED to make stuff. I HAVE to paint. I HAVE to make collages. I HAVE to do it...I don't get a break from creativity. I can't turn it off. Just like an athlete who has to train and work out, it is ingrained into my very being. (Speaking of athletics, I must admit that I reflect a jealous attitude towards the naturally gifted and athletic women that I meet so I am guilty too!) But as far as creativity, I have chosen a career that lets me flex my creative energy every day and I hope that I am always able to be creative in my hobbies and career.

{Paper Crafting as a career}
Seriously stepping into the world of paper crafting and following different companies, designers and editors has changed my perspective on the hobby. I read a variety of blogs, and I love seeing the behind the scenes stuff that goes into great design. I don't know a lot about graphic design or photoshop...but I really wish I had a background in that (I NEVER thought I would say that in my life...we always made fun of the graphic designers in college because they weren't 'real' artists!) Some days, while I am teaching about color mixing (AGAIN!), I just wish I could be at home making a card or writing or learning. I love kids and being in the classroom, but this blog has encouraged me to think beyond education and keep my possibilities open.

I have several goals including getting published, (I submitted a bunch of stuff this month to paper craft magazine) being on a design team, (still searching for the perfect thing....) maintaining my Etsy store (I posted my first 5 items this week!), and signing up new consultants who love doing what I do as much as I do (anyone interested?).

{This little blog of mine}
This little blog of mine has changed the way I view the world around me. I spot layouts, color combinations and patterns everywhere. This blog has encouraged me to embrace the artistic experience in a way I never thought I could after my college art classes. By no means has it turned me into a perfectionist...but it has changed my perception of my work and elevated my opinion and ability to recognize what is good and what is crap. My style is always evolving and changing and I appreciate the talents and efforts of those gifted artists that I follow every day.

This little blog of mine has helped me to be a more reflective artist and I enjoy that aspect of the creative process almost as much as actually finishing something.

Thanks for reading!
I will post the winner of my blog candy tomorrow morning!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Traveler's Inspiration Challenge {four}

Tomorrow will be the ONE YEAR anniversary of this blog! I will be picking a winner for my blog candy tomorrow night. (THANKS FOR ALL THE SWEET COMMENTS!) I will email the winner for her address and I hope to get that in the mail before Thursday as I will be going out of town to visit the great city of St. Louis next weekend. I hope to see the City Museum, Zoo, and the Roller Derby while I am there!!

Anyway, I had a chance to participate in a wonderful little challenge tonight. I have several favorite blogs, but this challenge features two blogs that you absolutely have to check out ASAP. My 'one little word' this year is {Inspire}...I am doing my best to pass on the love by participating this challenge, I hope to inspire you to create something beautiful or follow these blogs in your quest for daily creativity.

The challenge site is and she posts a weekly picture for inspiration. This week's picture is beautiful but I love this blog because the author, Tina is wonderful! She is so sweet and her layouts and creations are incredible. Seriously, if you have not checked out this blog yet, you should indulge in her thoughts on {creativity}. She has started a wonderful conversation about creativity and inspiration and the challenges that artists face.

I am so excited to participate in this challenge and I look forward to many more to come as it is only the traveler's inspiration challenge {four}

The second blog to mention is Scrappin and Stampin with Savitri. She is the wonderful artist who chose this picture for the challenge this week. Savitri is an absolute doll. Her artwork is beautiful and she always leaves the sweetest comments.

Here is my creation for this week's challenge. I decided to make a set of 4 cards using some new patterned paper that I picked up this weekend in Tulsa at a scrapbook store. Originally, I set out to make some cards for a swap, but once I started on these and I used the birdcages from a Hambly Screen print, I knew this set of cards would be destined for a different fate...(see my new Etsy store!...more goodies coming soon!)

I was definitely influenced by the arch doorway and I used my oval coluzzle cutter to cut the ovals on the Piggy Piggy tails glitter paper. The card sketch I used for this card is from the CTMH book Wishes, Sun Dial.

(the turquoise-y glitter on the patterned paper reflects the turquoise door much more in person than it does in these pictures...all well.....)

Anyway, I hope you are having a fabulous week!! Enjoy!

Friday, July 24, 2009

School Year Planner

Whew! This week I have been dreaming about school every night and I still have at least 3 weeks of vacation! It's no surprise that I was super excited to start creating a new planner/calendar for the school year. It isn't completely finished...I still have to add a larger sized o-ring for the binding (should arrive via UPS today or Monday) and I want to add eyelets and an elastic cord to hold it closed but I will show you the basic steps I used to create this planner.

1. Found an old book and cut off the front and back cover. I could've used chipboard, but this was cheaper and sorry in advance for the first few pics, I seriously took these while I was making the night, in my craft room.

2. Recovered the book with patterned paper. I used this really cool paper from Paper House Productions called Impressionists. I can't find it anywhere if you find it somewhere, let me know because I bought it at a close out store and I would love to have more!

Also, I used those big sheets of sticky dots, they are perfect for this sort of project...I've learned not to use liquid glue or tape runners after lots of trial and error with this sort of thing.

Here, I scored the edges and creased them to make a nice cover.

Then I put some vintage patterned paper on the inside covers of the book.

3. Printed calendar months onto colored cardstock. I printed mine so that the months would be similar to the color wheel rather than in rainbow order...August is yellow...and December is Red...and by the end of the school year I am using greens etc. Anyway, I downloaded and customized the calendar pages from this site.

To elaborate a bit on what I did to each calendar month...I punched the edges with a scalloped punch or my lace punch.

I added a piece of the patterned paper on the back just because it was pretty and I wanted it to be a bit more decorative.

4. I drew up my daily planning guide based on Geninne's Art Blog that inspired me (Scroll down to see her journal pages. Isn't she fabulous??? I just love her blog, it is so beautiful!). I made copies of these (front and back) to use for the entire year. I wanted them to be blank so I could draw pictures or write out instructions and since I rarely plan my weekends on those pages, I left the spot where Saturday and Sunday would be blank for sketches or lists.

5. I made a little pocket for the back of the planner to hold notes etc. and I cut some of my favorite Hambly clear overlays to put in the planner at various points for visual interest.

6. Okay, I went to Hobby Lobby to buy a metal binding o-ring and I took it to school with me to use on the binding machine we have there. I used my 40% off coupon on a new 3-ring binder scrapbook album while I was at Hobby Lobby.

After attempting to use the binding machine at school with the zutter o-rings, I realized that I would have to have a Bind-It-All in order to finish the book. I called both scrapbooking stores within a 50 mile radius to see if they had one customers could use...or pay to luck. So I made a phone call to a friend that gets the news paper and asked for her Sunday Hobby Lobby coupon since I already used mine from the online coupon site. I went to her house, picked it up, went back to Hobby Lobby, bought the darn BIA and took it home. In my attempt to bind the book, I made a few mistakes...but I am sure that no one will notice...also, Hobby Lobby only carried a 1/2" o-wire or a 3/4" o-wire and I really need to use a 1 1/4" so I had to order those from the website.

The finished calendar is 6" X 9" and the inside pages are 8 1/2" X 5" 1/4 which is basically a sheet of 8 1/2 X 11 cut in half, this made copying the pages really easy.

And for the record, this calendar is awesome in person! Now that I have figured out the ins and outs, I really want to make a few of these to sell in my Etsy store to make up the cost of the BIA....I hadn't planned to spend $40 buck on that this week. Do you think you would want to buy something like this or do you know someone that would? It would be perfect for a college student because it is set up in school-year order.
Thanks for reading!