Wednesday 28 January 2015

Three Things

January can be a tough month. It is cold outside, often dreary, and spring seems so far off. It is this time of year when I really struggle....the lack of sunshine has that effect, and so I do believe that a three things post is in order to help me notice and appreciate the bits of happiness that surround me.

Three things that are making me smile this week:

Purple flowers on my kitchen table.
My blanket. Those stripes are so calming to crochet. I'll do a post on my progress soon.
This arrangement of pretty and favorite things on the front hall dresser.
How are you coping with January? And what is making you smile this week?

Monday 26 January 2015

Happy Birthday Mom

This weekend was my Mom's birthday. We got together with her on Sunday afternoon for coffee and cake and then had a simple and delicious dinner. I feel very blessed to have my parents live so close to me, making celebrating these days together possible.

Of course I made my Mom a birthday card. Using flowered paper, because everyone who has a birthday in the dead of winter deserves a flower birthday card.
The patterned paper is from the Beautiful Life line by Echo Park.

I inked the edges on this card, which is something I have not done in a while, and I love how it makes the papers pop against each other.
After I was done my Mom's card, I had a few paper scraps left on my table so I quickly put together this card, which I will keep on hand for my Oma's birthday in March.
Making cards for the special people in my life makes me so happy, especially when I see how happy it makes them to receive a handmade card. Sharing my love of the handmade and seeing the joy it brings to others is one of the many reasons I craft.

Have you made cards for anyone lately? Or anything else?

Thank you for reading and have a fantastic day.

Sunday 25 January 2015


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2015."

So much love this week. Needed to balance the unpleasantness. Claire drew Bridget a picture at school to make her "feel better" and Bridget was so overwhelmed, crying and smiling at the same time. I love to watch my girls love each other.

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.

Friday 23 January 2015

A (Fun) Craft List

Today as I was making my grocery list and my ‘to-do’ list for the weekend, I got to thinking about what other lists I could make. You know, more fun lists. Lists that include something other than ‘clean bathrooms’ or ‘milk, cereal, bananas’.
So I sat down and made this list of the crafts that I want to work on/accomplish/complete in the next month or so (very loose deadline here, nothing hard and fast).
  • Design Team layouts for February
  • Build 30 Days of Lists book – so I can start this project in March (details to come)
  • Claire’s 1-5 year photo book (details to come)
  • Cozy Stripe Blanket – keep going!
I am keeping the list short as I do not want to be overly ambitious and then end up overwhelmed. After all, the everyday and necessary lists still need to be ticked off. And of course I realize this list is in no way as urgent as the grocery list – we will run out of milk sometime tomorrow so best we get some more – but I am hoping that corralling all these craft project ideas into one list will help to keep me organized and focused. And then there will be the satisfaction of stroking a project off the list – is there any greater feeling than that?

This is not an original idea, I am sure, but I am excited to see how it goes. And I look forward to checking in here and letting you know how my projects are coming along.

Have a wonderful weekend and hope you get some crafting done.

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Flowers, Flowers, Flowers

Last week, on a particularly cold and snowy day, I needed to remind myself about my garden and all the flowers that grow there when the sun is shining and it is much warmer outside. So I made this page using my favorite flower pictures from the summer.
And I was instantly, or in this case pictures of them, have that effect.
I used large pictures and kept my embellishments to a minimum. It was a lot of fun arranging these little clusters of embellishments.
The patterned papers and most of the embellishments are from Jillibean Soup. The other embellishments are from my stash. I have been very good so far this year at using what I have on hand and not buying more craft supplies; I think the key is to avoid the craft store (like the plague) and thus avoid temptation (Question: Does buying craft supplies with a gift card count?)
Flowers make me so happy.

If where you live is freezing cold, snowy, and windy, than I hope today's post put a huge smile on your face. It will get warm again and there will be blooms outside your window. Promise.

Sunday 18 January 2015


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2015."

Sisters - Best friends one moment and sworn enemies the next. I much prefer the friend moments.

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.

Monday 12 January 2015

Our Gingerbread House

Happy Monday!

Today the first sketch challenge of 2015 is revealed over at The Memory Nest. I am so happy to be part of the Design Team again and am excited to play along with the challenges and be inspired by all the incredible creativity. I just love this community of craftiness and I am thrilled to be a part of it.

So, without further ado, here is the sketch:
And here is the layout that I created:
I feel this layout is more loosely based on the sketch than some of my other sketch-challenge-inspired-work, but that is how it goes sometimes...

And it is definitely a much busier page than I normally create, but I think that sort of fits considering the busyness of the gingerbread house.
All papers and embellishments are from the Christmas Countdown and Christmas Wishes lines by Bella Blvd. I love the bright colors!

The other ladies on the Design Team did an incredible job working with this sketch, pop on over to The Memory Nest to see their beautiful work. And if one of your New Years Resolutions was to scrap more or catch up on your pages, I hope this is the inspiration you need to get started.

Sunday 11 January 2015


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2015."

A week of proper winter weather meant it was time to go outside and play in the snow. Such fun, until everyone was just too cold and we needed to come inside and warm up with a mug of hot chocolate. 

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project. 

Friday 9 January 2015

One of My Favorite Things (& Thoughts on the Blog)

My kitchen windowsill. I love it. The things that sit on it are always changing, though there are always several plants there since this seems to be the only place in the house where plants do well (in other words, grow rather than drop all their leaves and die).
I have spent a lot of time over the last while thinking about this blog of mine – what I like, what I want to change – and have come to think that perhaps “real life” is lacking from my posts. Most of my posts have been of the "show and tell" type - I make something and I want to share it with you - and that is great, I mean that is why I started this blog in the first place. But that being said, I don't want there to be a misconception in this space that I spend my days sipping coffee and crafting (I certainly wish that were true, but believe me it is not). The truth of the matter is that I spend a great deal of time doing "real life" stuff, honestly a lot more time than I spend crafting, and I want my blog to reflect that. So, moving forward into the new year, I am going to write some more "life" posts to capture and share what is happening around me everyday, what often inspires my crafting. There will still be crafty "show and tell" - I certainly wouldn't dream of stopping that - but there will be a healthy dose of everyday stuff thrown in too. Sound okay? I'm excited to see where this goes, and hope you enjoy a peek into my daily life.

Thank you for visiting and reading. Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday 7 January 2015


I didn't get to do as much paper crafting over the holidays as I had hoped to - partly due to my blanket obsession, which is still going strong - but I did make this layout.
The paper is the Recorded line by Webster's Pages which I bought on a whim at my local scrapbook store simply because I loved it. Is there any other reason?

The picture was taken at an amusement park that we visited in the summer. Many years ago, my sister and I rode this very same ride and a very similar picture was taken. I felt like the very definition of nostalgia when I rode the swans with my own girls.
Once my layout was done, I went on to make this card. Never is a scrap too small to create with.
Did you do any paper crafting over the holidays? 

I am attempting to “use what I have” in terms of craft supplies, call it a New Year’s Resolution of sorts. But then I saw this new line by Pebbles Inc and was struck with a severe case of paper-desire.....

Monday 5 January 2015

In the Works: My Cozy Stripe Blanket

While the weather was unseasonably mild before Christmas, the start of the year has brought some downright frigid temperatures. And wind! Goodness it sounds awful to hear that cold, icy wind whipping around the house. This is the kind of weather when I stay inside....and start crocheting another blanket. I still have my v-stitch blanket in a basket beside the couch, ready to be worked on, but I just could not fight the urge to start a New Blanket Project.

The story of this new blanket began one afternoon in early November when I was visiting my favorite blogs, one of which is Attic 24. Are you familiar with this blog? It is absolutely fantastic, a feast of colorful crochet inspiration, just full to the brim with beautiful yarn and gorgeous projects....I truly love it. I have been so inspired by Attic 24 over the years and this particular afternoon was no different. Lucy was introducing her Cozy Stripe Blanket Crochet-A-Long, and I immediately fell in love with what I saw, and knew instantly that this blanket needed to be a project of mine. I ordered the yarn pack from England - 15 balls in total - and was pleasantly surprised when it arrived on my doorstep in less than a week (and for only $40, which I thought was quite reasonable). With November and December being so incredibly hectic, I did not get in on the Crochet-A-Long, which was really too bad as I would have loved to crochet along with Lucy and all the others hookers working on this blanket all over the world. Instead I spent several lovely afternoons over the holidays working up these gorgeous stripes.
The yarn is just gorgeous...both the feel and the colors. I have not seen this yarn (Stylecraft Special DK) for sale in the shops I normally visit, so I will be checking out some of the more specialty yarn shops in my town to see if they carry it. I would love to use this yarn for other crochet projects.

As for the pattern, it is so straightforward and simple. I recall Lucy describing the pattern as one you could work on while having a good chinwag, and after reading that I knew this was a pattern for me. After breaking up with my ripple, I was completely taken with the idea of a pattern with minimal counting and gorgeous colored stripes.
I keep sneaking away to the living room to add another row or two. And I find I am bargaining with myself "just to the end of this row, and then I'll go make dinner". This is a truly addictive blanket - a cozy, colorful, pretty addiction. I just can't stop....can't imagine it will be long between progress updates.

Saturday 3 January 2015


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2015."

Bridget: Always willing to be the teacher.

Claire: So close to reading on her own. You can almost watch her mind working and can just faintly hear her whispering as she sounds out the words.

I am joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project, excited to capture a moment in my girls' lives every week this year.

Friday 2 January 2015

Three Things

Three things that are making me smile this week:

My sweet Bridget who turned 8 years old on December 31. She is such a happy girl. I love her so much and am so proud of her. She makes me smile everyday.
Paper Whites. I planted the bulbs before Christmas. An overachiever, this one bloomed well before the others had begun to grow. Such pretty white flowers, especially nice to have on a grey winters day.
Wonder Woman. Steve bought me this little figure/statue for Christmas as an ode to my role in the house....or maybe as a joke?
As you start the New Year, what is making you smile?