Thursday, May 29, 2014

Star Struck

My stepdaughter Jaime teaches 5th and 6th grade.  She had 4th graders for years. The children's book author, Christopher Paul Curtis, is one of her favorite authors and she finally got to meet him and get a book autographed.

The "don't forget" sticker is particularly symbolic here because there is a post it note in the photo with her name on it the way she spells it.  He still misspelled it.  Oh well, she was still happy with the meeting and a bit star struck.

I created this page at Karen's over Easter.  We had a lot of fun playing with mixed media.  The background is composed of book paper (not his books) with stenciled designs using a variety of mists.  They layer over pages from the 24/7 Collection by Simple Stories.

The collection also gave me lots of stickers to work with here.

And the stars are made with gel medium and silver Perfect Pearls.  I cut a star shape from the Cricut to use a template.

Is your name one that people misspell?  My first name is easy of course but my last name is often spelled differently than I spell it even around here. There are at least 3 common spellings.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, May 26, 2014


If you live in the US or Canada, no matter where, I think you would agree the winter 2014 of weather has been ENOUGH.  Whether you had tons of snow, cold, rain or drought, you probably had more than your fair share.

My stepdaughter who is a teacher lives several hundred miles from us but the climate is typically like ours and they get maybe one or two snows a year at most.  2013 they had absolutely nothing.  This year was quite different.

She sent the photo after their first snow well before Christmas.  It was pretty and fun then.  After they missed 22 days of school - a.k.a. having-to-stay-home-with-a-bored-12 year old - it wasn't much fun.

For the page, I did the background when visiting Karen.  I'd had regular modeling paste but had not tried light modeling paste until that weekend. For the background, I applied light modeling paste over a Rosette stencil from Crafter's Workshop.  After it dried, I used several mists from both of our collections.

Here's hoping the summer brings us milder weather.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Childhood Playground

Today's LOAD prompt is to scrap about your playground as a child.  This is a coincidence as I actually made this page yesterday but couldn't get it uploaded because of Internet problems.

The page captures what my parents business was like.  The wood background paper from Simple Stories represents the exterior look for the building.  I have a very small view of the outside in the Polaroid.  Unfortunately, I have no photos of the interior so I turned to memorabilia to help tell the story.  I used crackle paint found at Michaels (where they keep the Mod Podge) to finish the word SHOP for a rustic look.

Finding memorabilia was tricky too as I don't have anything from the time period.  I think somewhere - probably in the attic - I have some old sales tickets and business cards.  What I would love to have are some products - '70's vinyl wallpaper and shag carpet come to mind.

Instead I turned to my own stash of samples from when we built our house and took a couple of things leftover from my window treatment business - a drapery weight and pin.  My parents also sold draperies in the early years.  They did not make them but sold and installed so the items I have are somewhat different but I did have these couple of things everyone in the business uses.  I played with drapery accessories in the storeroom when I was in elementary school.

To contain all of this, I cut envelopes on the Silhouette.  The journaling is on tags a bit in each pocket. I talk about my play in the storeroom, wandering up and down the aisles when no one as around making up characters or recreating TV shows in my mind.  I remembered friends coming to visit and playing in the shop and warehouse, too.

I even had a sleepover once in high school where several of us 'slept' in the section of the store with the most padded flooring.  My parents had an intercom system for the shop so this room was also furtherest from the intercom.  Even so I doubt they got much sleep with a bunch of teenagers gabbing and laughing late into the night.

The page process is in this video:

If, like me, you are missing photos of things you would like to scrap, check out the No Photo?  No Problem!  PDF available here.

These kind of pages take some time but I don't mind as they contain so many good memories.  Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Heritage Mini Album Pages and Video

My Dad's mini album is complete!  Here are some of the pages.  And the video below shares almost all the pages in the album.  Two are part of the No Photo?  No Problem PDF so I didn't include them.

The Silhouette got a workout on the top page above.  I cut a stencil and used it for the background with light modeling paste.  I cut a baby carriage on the Silhouette, too.

The Trips page is one of my favorites and features the Travel Girl collection papers from October Afternoon.  I happen to have them in 8x8 and the color scheme worked perfectly.

Probably the most momentous decision my father ever made was to start his own business.  It really changed all our lives for the better so the Shop as we always called it got a bit more journaling.

In the pocket for this spread near the end of the book, I have a letter my aunt Linda sent to include with his album.  I put my own letter in the envelope on the Baby Makes 3 page.

And this page is the last in the album.  The photo is from the late 1990's and has always been one of my favorites of my parents.  They were on a cruise.  The background is stenciled by misting through a doily with Heidi Swapp Tinsel colorshine mist.

See all the pages here:

I have a process video that goes with this showing

8 Steps for a Quick, Cohesive Mini

It is available in my May newsletter to newsletter subscribers.  To subscriber, see the sidebar.  It's free!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 19, 2014

30 Months

The good thing about getting braces when you are 10 years old is that you get them off when you are 12 just when everyone else you know is starting the process.

The bad thing is that at 10, particularly when you live in a rural area in the 1970's, you don't know anyone else who has had braces that you can talk to.  So you don't have any idea what you are getting into.

Our LOAD prompt on Sunday was to tell the story of our relationship with the dentist.  One take on this was to talk about braces.  So this is my story:

The payment book had exactly 36 tickets in it for 3 years worth of payments.  My parents thought they had it all planned out as I had my braces on for 30 months and then 6 more months with the retainer all the time.

For me, it was 30 months of brushing and restricting what I ate.  I had known this was coming but had no idea at all what I was getting into.

When I was 6 and had my permanent front teeth, our family dentist sent my parents and me to an orthodontist to talk about how I would need braces some day.  My front teeth protruded badly.  Everyone was afraid that if I fell, I might break out my teeth.  I saw the orthodontist yearly.  The plan was that as soon as all my permanent teeth were in, I would get braces. 

At age 10, I was ready, physically ready.  Mother talked to another woman at church whose daughter had braces so she would know what to expect.  The woman’s daughter was a few years older than me.  Everyone who had braces, and there were not many in our rural area, was older.  No one in my family had ever had them.  So I talked to no one about it and only had the book they had given me at the orthodontist office to prepare.  I did not even read the section on head gear because I didn’t think I could possibly need that.

Getting braces was a multi-day event.  On my first appointment, my mother waited in the waiting room as always and I went through the door and into the exam room on the left where I’d always gone for each of my yearly visits.  I waited a long time and no one came.  I can still remember standing there unsure what to do.  So I finally ventured to the back and there was this huge room with dark cabinets and 5 chairs in front of windows with a patient in each one.  Other teenagers were on the low chairs waiting their turn.  I was terrified. Finally, about 2 hours after I’d first been called back, it was my turn.  They put in the spacers.  I’d been so frightened and there was really nothing to it.

That was until the next appointment a few days later. I got my braces on and then came the head gear.  I had to wear this awful band around the back of my head for several weeks.  Later on, I would wear it again for a few weeks.  Eventually I got used to braces.  I even smiled for this first school photo after they were put on.

The doctor's office was unlike any other doctor I had ever seen.  It was decorated in a modern 1970’s look.  His assistants were slim, beautifully dressed in matching outfits which were definitely not white nurses uniforms and were very competent.  He insisted they remember his instructions without notes.  He could be moody.  On one visit, he was a nice as he could be to me and that night I broke one of my wires by eating a taco – a forbidden food.  Boy, I heard about it the next day at his office. 

One of the good things about getting your braces at age 10 is you get them off at 12.  Just before Christmas in the 7th grade, I came back to school without my braces.  I was so happy and I had really pretty teeth!  I had to wear the retainer for a few months and then at night for years.  I even got to keep my wisdom teeth as they only made a minor difference in my bite. 


Unfortunately, my story continues as I've had further issues with my teeth and bite later in life.  For many years though, I enjoyed my pretty smile.

For the page, I used a Silhouette background that made it into my wishlist early on. The design reminds me of the '70's.  I cut it from gray paper because it also reminds me of silver braces.

The yellow, orange and purple papers remind me of the color scheme in the orthodontist office.  With so much in the background and long journaling, the remaining embellishments are simple wood veneer pieces from Michaels.

Here is the proess video:

Thanks for visiting today!


No Photo?  No Problem PDF available.  Click here for more info.

Love doing two page layouts?  Lots of tips and tricks in Two Page Terrific! class here.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Making Plans

I didn't dream of marriage and children.

I dreamed of building a house.

Before I was in junior high, I started drawing house plans on the back of sales tickets in my parent's business.  People came in with their plans to pick out carpet, draperies and wallpaper.  We visited houses under construction on the weekends.  I seldom got to see the house complete with furniture but I could imagine based on a few decorator magazines we had at home.

As I got older, I fantasized about my perfect house. There was this one home plan in a book of plans my Mother bought.  I just loved it and could picture myself in my huge master bedroom and in my sitting room.  I wanted to go to college, get a good job and build a house.

Of course, I met a guy and then another guy but my dream never died.  In 1993 it became a reality and we moved into the house I designed.

I have tons of photos of the house building process.  I don't have any photos of the little girl drawing house plans or even me in the shop where I spent a lot of time (but that is for another story.)

For this page, I used a copy of the architects working drawing based on one I had given him of the house I wanted.  We made a few changes to this but it is close.  Also on the page is one of the many drawings I did as I worked through ideas to get to the final floor plan.

It makes for a busy background so I was challenged to find a way to keep the background from being overwhelming.  Using a lot of wood veneer and wood look elements tied to the photos and kept he color scheme simple.  I also repeated my embellishments.

There is more on the process in this video:

This page was my interpretation of one of the LOAD prompts about things we did as a child that influenced our life.  Drawing house plans, as simple as they were back then, definitely influenced my life through my 20's.

Thanks for visiting today.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

May FREE Scrapinar

This month's FREE Scrapinar on May 28 is all about photographing food.

I admit I've turned into one of those people who snaps the occasional photo of a great meal at a restaurant.  I try to be discreet.  And I like to take photos of dishes I make here at home.  These photos often end up on my pages.

To sign up for this free event click here.

Feeding Frenzy

If you aren't available on the 28th, the event will be available to watch over the next few days.  You do have to preregister.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dream Car

My cousin Roxanne got a powder blue Ford Mustang in the early 1970's.  I remember the first time I saw it and I knew that was the car I wanted.

Several years later my dream came true.  They no longer had a light blue or any really fun colors.  I ordered black by default since I couldn't decide on anything else.

I drove that car for 13 years and 187,500 miles.  It was wonderful.

Eventually though it wasn't large enough to accomodate my window treatment business.  A year after starting the business and a year of borrowing just about everyone's vehicles to haul things to customer's homes, I broke down and ordered my first van.  I like the space of a van but I certainly miss the Mustang.  I sold it to a man who had always wanted one like mine - the LX model with the larger engine.

All this was many years ago but the events never got scrapped until now.  I actually have the photos my dad took after I received the car for college graduation.  It came in a little early so I actually had it on my birthday.  Mother put the pink bow on top.

I got to use one of these little wood veneer cards from Prima for the page.  Also I had fun playing with mist and Perfect Pearls on the background.

In today's video, I start by showing the completed page.  Of course if you are getting to the video via the blog, you have seen the completed page but I wondered if you like seeing the project before seeing the process.  It came up on a discussion board so I thought I'd try setting up the video that way.

Watch at YouTube:

And here is the sketch for the page:

Thanks for stopping by today!

Check out my new e-book No Photo?  No Problem!  by clicking on the e-books tab at the top of the screen.
Also be sure to subscribe to the FREE newsletter.  Subscription is on the sidebar.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mini Album Pages - May Newsletter soon

In May, I have been doing some pages about my past and a LOT of pages about my father's past.  Daddy has a big birthday coming up soon and I'm working on a mini album about his life.

These are two of the layouts I have completed.  My May newsletter will have a special video:

8 Steps for a Quick, Cohesive Mini Album
My Process for Creating a Mini

The newsletter is FREE.  All you have to do is subscribe. If you haven't subscribed, you can enter your e-mail address on the right sidebar.  I'll be sending it out next week with a tip and this video, but only to subscribers so be sure to sign up.

For the background of the Family page, I used light modeling paste and a Jenni Bowlin stencil.  Since the album is my father, I want to add some embellishment and interest without making it too feminine.  Using stencils and ink or modeling paste is working well to add texture to the pages.

I've still got a few pages to finish up. The project is moving along.   Thanks for visiting today!

Friday, May 9, 2014

When Country Wasn't Cool

Barbara Mandrell sang it in the '80's and I was it in the 70's.

I was country when country wasn't cool.

One of our LOAD prompts this week encouraged us to scrap about our favorite music growing up.  For me it was country music.  I didn't even know most of the popular songs my friends were fans of.  I do remember liking Shawn Cassidy but that was more because he was cute than the actual music.

I grew up listening to country music and still do.  For this no photo page, I used music paper from a hymnal and children's music book.  The lyrics aren't important, just the music notes as a way to convey the theme.

Lots of mists and stencils add some bright 70's colors.  To create the word Cool, I downloaded a pair of glasses for the Silhouette and filled them in with vellum.

The page is more mixed media than traditional scrapbooking.  I love that we can do so many fun things in this hobby.  Try it.  It's just glue, ink and paper!

Watch the process at YouTube:

For more on No Photo pages or pages without the perfect photo, check out the e-book tab at the top of the screen.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Why I'm an Archival Ink convert

Karen and I experimented with Ranger Alcohol Inks over Easter.  We did several cards and some backgrounds.  I finished up this background that reminds me of marble the way the colors blend together.  I used some of Archival Ink she bought me for my birthday.  (Thank you, Karen!)  I like the pretty backgrounds we created but haven't decided if I want to invest in the alcohol inks for myself yet.  I think I'll have to have a specific project first.

I LOVE Ranger Archival Ink pads. These are permanent inks.  It is true these will stain your clear stamps.  However, I have no collectible clear stamps like CTMH.  So none of my clear stamps are ever going to have an after market value.  I don't think you can give some of them away on E-bay!

You can clean permanent ink off Stampin' Up! stamps which I do resell sometimes.  So I'm going to go for the permanent Archival ink from now on whenver they have a color that suits my purposes.

The reason is that it stamps so beautifully with any kind of stamp on almost any kind of surface.  I can use it for mixed media and then go over with Mod Podge or paint without worry of smearing.  I can stamp on this glossy cardstock or transparency film.  And of course, I can stamp on plain on cardstock.  I used Stazon for years but Archival Ink from Ranger is just so, so much better.

I won't get rid of my Distress Inks.  They have some fun properties and seem to last a very long time without a refill.

So I'm a convert!  I won't be getting rid of my Stampin' Up! pads either but I probably won't buy anymore ink from them, just cardstock - always lots of cardstock.

What kind of ink is your favorite?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I Believe

One of our LOAD prompts this month pays tribute to a special man in many of our lives when we are young - Santa Claus.

I remember other children telling me there was no Santa.  So one evening I asked my Mother as she was tucking me into bed.  She told me that Santa was real as long as I believed.  I pulled the covers over my head and said, "Yes, Momma, I believe."

I also remember leaving cookies for Santa but was told he preferred Diet Pepsi to milk.  In the late 1960's hardly anyone drank diet drinks.  That Santa and my dad preferred the same beverage should have been the tip off. :-)

For this layout, I actually do have a childhood photo and it is in fabulous condition.  I used a sketch from earlier this year and flipped it around quite a bit for the final result.

The main embellishment group is a mix of a Crate Paper die cut, a package I created and a misted circle.  This page is also for a challenge to use my latest mist purchase.  Rudolph Studio Calico mist was part of a Peachy Cheap order a few weeks ago.

I was delighted to have this photo.  It is a rarity.  If you, like me, don't have a lot of childhood photos, check out the PDF No Photo?  No Problem found here.

Video at YouTube:

Thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Silhouette Love and Craziness

I know, I know.  I must have lost my craft-loving mind.

One of the LOAD prompts this weekend was to recall how we played board games as a child.  Well, I loved playing board games so much so that I often played games like Monopoly and Yahtzee by myself.  I have no idea how I made Monopoly that doesn't even work well with 2 players into a single player game but I did.  I'd keep a board set up for days on our dining room table.  I suppose I did this more in winter when it was too cold to go outside or over to my neighbors to play.

I had and still have a Monopoly Playmaster which is an electronic device that rolls the dice for you and keeps track of the player pieces. It was quite high tech for its time in the 1970's.  I set it up for the photos and hearing it play "We're in the money" certainly brought back found memories. I think the last time we used this was when Lenny's daughters were teenagers.

SO... I thought it would be cool to create just the grid design of the play board for my layout.  Also it would give me a chance to learn more about the Silhouette software and what it can do and what it can't do.  I have Sure Cots a Lot and so I know the basic ideas.  I spent much of Saturday afternoon and evening figuring out the best way to do this grid and cutting all the pieces.

I decided it would be slightly less crazy to layout one edge at a time and then piece them together rather than try to cut the entire thing at once.  It was and there is at least one error of what square goes where but you still get the idea.  I wasn't going for perfect just a memory jog.

The light bulb, train and question mark (for Chance) are also cut on the Silhouette.

Sunday, I had another LOAD layout all ready to create but just couldn't stop fiddling with the Silhouette.  My mat was getting very unsticky by this time so I figured it was time to try stencils before switching mats.

Please note, you can actually cut through you Silhouette mat!  I didn't have the paper in the right place and the blade too deep and well you see what happened.  That mat still works but is definitely about to go.

I am having a lot of fun so much so that I did a 3 month Silhouette subscription.  Subscriptions are 20% off in their store right now.

Also, I released my new book

No Photo? No Problem!

We don't always have the perfect photos to crop with so the book provides ideas and inspiration when you have a story and a less than perfect photo or no photo at all.

Check it out here.

So I had a fun, crafty weekend.  What about you?  Did you get to play on National Scrapbooking Day?

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

First Flight and New e-book!

Happy National Scrapbooking Day!  I hope you are having fun today creating lots of fun projects.  Thanks for taking a moment out to spend here with me.  I have a new layout, video and my e-book is ready to go!

I created the layout for a challenge to write the story first.  I've been doing a lot of that as I prepared layouts for No Photo?  No Problem!  I don't have a lot of childhood photos so I often begin with the story.

For this page, I focused on my first two flights.  The little photo on the page was downloaded from The Commons area on Flickr.  I remember disembarking down steps on my first flight but the 2nd one had a jet way or it was supposed to and that is part of the story. The journaling is at the bottom of the post. I tell the story in the video also.

For the page, I used October Afternoon Travel Girl papers and stickers and a die cut image from the Silhoutte. The 'be free' wood veneer is from Prima. 

If you find yourself without the perfect photo or any photo at all, I have lots of ideas for you in

No Photo, No Problem: 
10 Techniques for Scrapbooking Your Stories 
without the Perfect Photo

The PDF contains 17 layouts with examples of all the techniques.
As a BONUS, there is a 45 minute video with some process and techniques for several of the pages.

The cost is only $8 and it is available now by clicking on this page.

Here is the process video for today's layout on YouTube:

And here is the sketch:

Here's the journaling for the 2nd flight:

We again went to Seattle for the 4th of July week in 1979 when I was 15.  Daddy wanted to save money so we took the red eye.  We had a 3 hour layover in Atlanta and had wondered what we would do with the time.  When we arrived in Atlanta, the plane did not taxi to the gate and we disembarked via stairs.  By then, my parents were accustomed to jet ways so they knew something was wrong.  We were all loaded on busses and driven into a field.  Eventually, we were told a bomb threat had been called in after we left Charlotte.  They soon discovered this was a fraud and we were taken to  the airport in time to meet our connecting flight and arrive in Seattle at 3:00 a.m. Pacific Time.  My aunt and cousin Steve were happy to see us but not too excited to have to go to the airport in the middle of the night.

Thanks for visiting today!  Happy NSD!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Influences from 1964

Today is the first day of LOAD514 which has a theme looking back into our pasts.  The first prompt could be interpreted to use current events from the day, month or year we were born to inspire a page.

I chose the year of 1964.  There have been many 50th anniversary events in the news - the Beatles coming to America and the passage of the Civil Rights Act.  Another event that happened in April was the first Ford Mustang rolled off the assembly line.  As a long time admirer and once owner of a Mustang, that is an anniversary I remember.

As I thought about these events I realized the Beatles arrival had no impact on my life at all.  By the time I was old enough to chose my own music, many other bands had replaced them in popularity.  However, as I gave it a little thought, the Civil Rights Act did impact my life and all other Americans.  I can't quite imagine what it would have been like to grow up in the south without it.  Also, the women's liberation movement continued to grow in the late 60's and times definitely changed.  I know I had many more opportunities because of the work done by others.

So I journaled these thoughts and put them in the pocket of my layout created with the band across the middle.  The layout is based on a sketch from my 2013 Sketchbook available here.

The black and white photo is actually the 1963 signing of the Voting Rights Act.  I found it in the Common area of Flickr where photos are available for reprint without a license.  The other photo is me with my 1985 Mustang when it was brand new. I loved that car and will do a page on it later on.

Here is the process video for this page:

Thanks for stopping by today!  I look forward to sharing my latest PDF with you in just a few days.  It is called No Photo? No Problem! and is perfect for those times when you don't have just the right photo or perhaps no photo at all to tell your story.   Stay tuned...

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