Sunday 30 June 2013

Sweet Angel

Today The Memory Nest is sponsoring Sketchabilities - a sketch blog that "challenges you to get out of your comfort zone when it comes to paper and embellishments" (from the Sketchabilities 'About Us' page). Isn't that awesome? I know that I tend to fall back to what is familiar when I am working on a layout, and I love the challenge of using a sketch to help me break out of my comfort zone and try something new.

Using patterned paper from Studio Calico, I created this layout based on Sketchabilities' latest sketch. Now I know it is Summer, and the pictures on this page are from Christmas, but my Christmas 2012 pictures are all I have left to scrap from last year, and I am bound and determined to get them done.
This sketch was awesome! Not only did it get me to do something new for the title of my page, but it also inspired me to combine embellishments in an unexpected and unique way.

I do not often layer my title on top of patterned paper, and if I do it is on a faint pattern. Following this sketch, I slipped pennants, cut from bold papers, under my pictures, and then layered my title on top. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive at first, not sure if I liked how this looked...but now I love it! The title is written using Thickers from American Crafts and small letter stickers from Glitz.
In keeping with the whole Christmas theme, I wanted to add snowflakes to my layout. Since there were flowers on the sketch I decided to add them to the layout alongside the snowflakes. I love how it looks - a little unexpected and really pretty. The gorgeous brads from Basic Grey tie in nicely with my photos and the color scheme of my page.
Like I said, a great sketch to work with - clean and simple which matches my scrapping style, yet still encouraging me to try some new layering techniques and embellishment combinations. Awesome! 

I am very happy with how this layout turned out....and that I have one of many 2012 Christmas layouts completed. 

Thursday 27 June 2013

Smiling Crochet Pear

As a thank you gift for my daughter's teacher, I crocheted this smiley pear.
The pattern is from this great book which is full of adorable amigurumi projects with simple, easy to follow instructions.

Bridget was so excited to give this gift to her teacher today. In the card that I showed you on Monday, she wrote this darling note.
How sweet is that? She looked so happy and excited as she stood in line before school this morning grasping the gift for her teacher in her hand.

She had an absolutely wonderful year in Grade One, and we are so thankful to her teacher for all her hard work in making that happen.

Wednesday 26 June 2013

The Garden Patch Granny Afghan: I'm Almost Done!

Guess what? After threading my needle thousands of times and after countless hours spent sewing squares together, my Garden Patch Granny Afghan is completely assembled!
You would not believe how excited I was to lay it out on the living room floor and see it all together. I actually had butterflies in my stomach.

I know it has been a long time since I updated you on this project, but really there was not much exciting to say...I was just sewing and sewing square after square together.

But the moment the sewing was done and I was able to stand back and marvel at the sea of grannies covering my floor, made all the hours I spent crouched over with a needle in my hand worth it. I am so happy with how it looks. It is just beautiful and I love it.

I have now removed all the papers and tags that I used to keep track of what went where, and have begun working on the edging. I am keeping the edging quite simple, a necessity I think since the blanket itself is so very busy.

I'm almost done and I am so excited!

(To read all the posts about this project, click the Garden Patch Granny Afghan box on the sidebar)

Tuesday 25 June 2013


Today I would like to show you the layout that I did for this month's Color Challenge at The Memory Nest.
When I saw the colors for this challenge I immediately thought of the Tell Your Story paper line by Teresa Collins. I converted my picture to sepia so it would coordinate better with the patterned paper (and to hide my roots - I really needed to dye my hair when this picture was taken, truth be told).

To embellish the page I rooted through my stash to come up with the tag from Pink Paislee and the clock from Making Memories.
I cut my title (font: Monotype Corsivia) and the butterfly out using my Silhouette.
Now, awhile back I completed this layout using this same line of paper and a picture from when Steve and I were dating. The layout that I am showing you today is of us a few weeks ago - married almost ten years with two little girls and a life built together. When I put these two pages into my album, I am going to put them side by side, as sort of a then and now, two layouts to celebrate where we started and how far we have come together. A beautiful addition to my scrapbook, for sure. I don't have many pages of Steve and I outside of our wedding album, so it will be nice add these pages as a way to celebrate us.

Monday 24 June 2013

Card of the Week: Thank You Teacher

This is the last week of school for my daughter Bridget. So naturally I made a thank you card for her to give to her teacher.
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: my paper stash; Cardstock: Bazzill; Border Punch: Fiskars; Apple: cut with Silhouette; Sentiment: Pebbles; Rub-On Pencil: Basic Grey; Paper Clip: junk drawer; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives

Bridget had a fantastic year in Grade One, and what better way to say thanks to her teacher than with a card covered in bookworms. It really is quite fitting as Bridget has fallen completely in love with reading over the course of this year. She reads constantly and we are incredibly proud of her.

Did you notice the punched border on the bookworm paper? Don't you just love that it makes the paper look as if it was torn from a notebook? I bought this punch specifically for school themed projects and was so excited to use it on this card.
I am going to let Bridget write her own note to her teacher and I can not wait to read what she has to say. I also have a gift for her teacher that I finished making this weekend...I'll show you that later in the week.

Oh, I can not wait for school to be out, and for the carefree, fun days of summer to begin.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Sweet Girl

This week the Design Team at The Memory Nest was working with Yours Truly by Glitz.

I took this photo of my daughter on the day she turned six years old and it is one of my favorite photos of her ever. I mean, look at that smile. She is such a happy and sweet girl.
I love these little letter stickers with the numbers in the corners, they remind me of Scrabble tiles. I used them to spell out my title and added it to this small embellishment cluster using foam squares. All the hearts on this page were cut using my Silhouette.
When my layout was complete, I made a really simple card using the adorable elephant motif that was in the corner of one of the patterned papers. I love elephants so I think this card is just the cutest. 
Be sure to visit The Memory Nest today to see what was created by the other ladies of the Design Team. Everyone is so incredibly talented, and their work is always beautiful and inspirational.

Monday 17 June 2013

Card of the Week: Happy Father's Day

My old problem reared its ugly head this week when it came time to make cards for Father's Day - making cards for men is so hard. What manly paper do I have? Not much. What should I use to embellish the card when I can't use flowers, my usual standby? Suffice to say, a considerable amount of time was spent this week combing through my supplies to find something that would work. In the end I did find some suitable paper and I had these two cards to give to my Dad and my Opa.
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: My Mind's Eye; Cardstock: Bazzill; Corner Rounder: EK Success; Button: American Crafts; Floss: my sewing basket; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, Glue Dots
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: My Mind's Eye; Cardstock: Bazzill; Corner Rounder: EK Success; Button: American Crafts; Floss: my sewing basket; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, Glue Dots

I kept the cards super simple yet added a few subtle details - rounded corners, and floss in the center of the buttons. The cards were well received. Both my Dad and my Opa are laid back, simple guys, so these cards suited them well.

Now for my hubby I wanted to do something a little different, something a little more personal. Here is his card:
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: American Crafts; Cardstock: Bazzill; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives

I put an adorable picture of our girls on the front of the card. I mean what could be better on Father's Day than to have a personalized card with your two sweeties on the front? He loved it.

Have you ever put a picture on a card?

Because of the picture, I allowed myself a little more freedom in terms of paper choice. I used the same paper as I used on this layout, even sneaking in some flowers. Ahh, maybe that is the way to add flowers to a man's card: include a picture of two little girls and then the flowers seem more fitting?

Anyway, I hope everyone had a lovely Father's Day. We enjoyed an afternoon outdoors and finished off the day with a delicious BBQ. It was a great day spent celebrating the men of our family.

Thursday 13 June 2013

Gardening: Early Summer

My garden is doing very well this year. The temperature has been fairly moderate, and it has rained regularly - the perfect ingredients for a flourishing garden. I could not be happier with how things are growing and blooming.

This is my happiest garden ever. In all my years of gardening, this is the one garden that has brought me the most smiles.
Just look at the color of these Lilies. Simply breathtaking.
As planned, we also planted some fruits and vegetables. And the bunnies have left well enough alone, thank goodness. I planted some basil in the vicinity as I read it discourages rabbits from visiting, and I also sprinkled a generous amount of chili powder on the garden right after I planted it. I'm not sure which is working to deter the bunnies, but so far nothing has been nibbled away, not even the lettuce.

The Tomato is looking well.
As is the Pepper.
And the Strawberry is looking so promising, you can even see a few berries on there already; the girls are so excited.
I planted pink Petunias in the window boxes on the girls' playhouse.
Every year I have a Gerber Daisy in a pot on the deck; my deck would not be complete without it.
In this flower bed not much is blooming right now, but things are certainly growing and filling in.
The front yard flower bed has always been a challenge for me. It is completely shaded, so the plant options are limited. The Hosta always do well, and this year I added some Coleus and Begonias. I am hoping things will fill in a bit more.
It has been a lot of work, a lot of time spent on hands and knees, getting these gardens into shape. If you could have only seen what they looked like when we moved into this house six years ago - they were terribly neglected and overgrown. We are very proud of how far things have come.

Everyday when I walk into my yard and see the flowers blooming, I feel a sense of peace. Flowers have that power.

Thank you for coming along with me on this second tour of my garden. I did the first of these posts on a complete whim, but am really enjoying photographing my plants and posting the pictures in a neat collection here. Watch this space for more photos of the gardens as the summer progresses.

Tuesday 11 June 2013


Today I am excited to show you the layout that I created for the June Sketch Challenge at The Memory Nest.
To be honest, I was a little anxious about this page at looked so empty, like something was missing, there was too much blank space and too few embellishments. But after looking at it for a while (in other words, leaving it laid out on my table for days), I came to love the clean and simple design of this page and how its focus is kept so crisply on the photo.

I used scrap paper that I had laying around for this layout. And I was so happy to use these pink fabric Thickers from American Crafts for the title.
I added the arrows pointing up to the top of the page to emphasize the whole 'climb' theme of the page. And of course I needed to add a layered flower; can't have a page without layering, that would not do.
I really enjoy participating in these Sketch Challenges - it is so much fun and so creatively satisfying to take a basic sketch and make it all my own.

Be sure to pop over to The Memory Nest see what others have created based on this month's sketch. And while you're at it, why not create a layout of your own and link up.

Monday 10 June 2013

Card of the Week: For the Love of Scraps

Some time ago I wrote about how I sort and store my paper scraps by color. (click here to read more about my scrap paper storage). I have had this system in place for the last several years and it is awesome! Case in point: this week when I was looking for paper to make cards I found all the patterned paper and coordinating cardstock that I needed quickly and easily because it was all neatly organized. Hooray for finding my supplies quickly and getting down to the business of creating.

With my scraps in hand I was able to make two cards. A grid card.
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: my scrap paper stash; Chipboard: Scenic Route; Flower: Prima; Brad: Making Memories; Sentiment Rub-On: Pebbles; Circle Punch: Fiskars; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives

And a small note card.
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: my scrap paper stash; Twine: We R Memory Keepers; Sentiment Rub-On: American Crafts; Adhesive: 3D Foam Squares; Scrapbook Adhesives

By creating these cards this paper, that I bought for a layout who knows how long ago, got a bit more mileage. Being able to find and match up my scraps quickly and easily allows me to complete more projects with them which helps to stretch my crafting budget.

I should mention that it was by complete accident that this post where I talk about my love of scrap papers and how useful and handy they are includes pictures of cards made with heart paper. Completely coincidental, honest; it's funny, yet fitting, how that worked out.

So now, I need to ask, what do you do with all your paper scraps? Save them? Toss them? Are they neatly sorted? Are they on a random pile? Please share your system and how it works for you.

Thursday 6 June 2013


Today I would like to show you a layout I did of my girls playing in the leaves last fall.
I used Night Fall from American Crafts for this layout and kept the amount of patterned paper to a minimum; I found that if I added too much, it overwhelmed my photos.

The title is a shape that I purchased from the Silhouette online store and then cut out.
And the leaf stickers that I arranged across the page to look like they were falling are from S.E.I. It's incredible how well they coordinate with the patterned paper on this page, especially the leaf paper that runs along the bottom of the page.
Now, I realize that we are on the doorstep of summer and I am showing you a layout from a few seasons ago, but I am in the process of getting some of my older pictures scrapped and I mean, let's face it, as scrapbookers were are never completely caught up - there are always pictures on the 'to be scrapped' pile. But there is no need to stress, because those pictures will find themselves onto a page and into an album in due time - like these pictures finally have.
The Memory Nest

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Gee, That's Swell!

This week The Memory Nest Design Team was asked to create a layout using Cashmere Dame by Glitz. It is bold paper - bold colors and patterns, with large, retro looking coordinating stickers. Since the paper was bold to begin with, I decided to go a little bold in my photo choice and scrap a picture of my tulips that I bought in desperation this past winter (desperation that winter was nowhere near over, that is) and was having a heck of a time finding coordinating paper for. Somehow the leaves and stems in the picture were an unusual green color, making the photo hard to work with...that is until I saw the greenish turquoise color used on this paper and a match was finally found.
I used one of the coordinating stickers as a title for this page:
And here is a closer look at my journalling:
When my layout was complete, I decided to combine the scraps of paper that I had left with another of the coordinating stickers to make a card. Many of the stickers in this line would be great for cards.
This is great paper. The bold patterns were really fun to layer together and made for some really funky creations.

Head on over to The Memory Nest today to see what the other Design Team members created using this paper line.

Monday 3 June 2013

Card of the Week: Congratulations Butterflies

This week I made a card using one of my Jillibean Soup 6x6 paper pads. These paper pads are awesome - so many patterns to experiment with! After some time spent playing around, I came up with this:
Card Base: Recollections; Patterned Paper: Jillibean Soup; Cardstock: Bazzill; Butterflies: Jillibean Soup; Twine: We R Memory Keepers; Sentiment Rub-On: Pebbles; Rhinestones: Kaisercraft; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives, 3D Foam Squares

My favorite detail on this card is the layered butterflies. The chipboard butterflies are from Jillibean Soup, and I cut the red butterflies out using my Silhouette and layered them on top using foam squares. Love it! Another detail I like a lot is the twine tied around the card.
Beautiful patterned paper, lots of layers; I am so happy with how this card turned out.
The Memory Nest