Thursday, January 31, 2008


31 layouts in 31 days! I am so proud of myself :) Here is Day 31's layout:

It was a quickie--I'll probably add some embellishments later. I figured as long as I was scrapping Vegas pics, I might as well scrap these too. THey were from the same trip as the last Vegas layout I posted. They were taken at Red Rock Canyon.

Want to see what 31 layouts really look like?

I feel such an acheivement looking at this. Now I need to get them into their proper albums--LOL.

I'm off to Vegas in a few hours. I still need to make dinner, pack my scrap stuff, finish 16 more swap cards (they're stamped and cut, but not assembled), and try and clean up the house a little for Mike. I am so excited though! Two days of scrapping and classes with no kidddos--yippee! I won't be posting this weekend, so have a good one everyone!

Spread some JOY today!

Lynda, a lady I "know" from the CTMH Bulletin Boards has a special request today. Before I go on, I have to say, that this woman is a hero to me. She has had so many obstacles thrown her way in the last 6 monts. Things I can't even imagine dealing with. Through it all Lynda has shown such amazing strength and faith. She has the best attitude. Last month, she lost her 8-year old daughter, Micayla. She has shared her journey through this difficult time and her strength and attitude moves me to tears. I feel blessed just reading her words. Everytime I do, I take a moment to count my blessings and hug my kids. I got this message from her last night:

Tomorrow is the one-month anniversary of Micayla's journey on this earth coming to an end.

Instead of being sad. Do something extraordinary for someone tomorrow to bring them JOY!!

Please join me today in honoring Micayla (and Lynda) and send a little joy out there into the world. And to Lynda, thank you for sharing your journey--I'm sending lots of virtual (((hugs))) your way!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


WOW--I can't believe I hit over 5,000 on my counter--thanks for visiting everyone! I want to do something special, so I'm giving away some blog candy. How can you enter for your chance to win? In honor of Valentine's Day, I want to see your LOVE artwork. It can be cards, layouts, whatever. It can be something new or an old favorite. Simply send me the link as a comment to THIS POST. I will draw a name on my birthday, Wednesday, February 6th. Seems fitting to give away stuff on my special day :)

Here's some of my cards. Only the first one is new. Haven't had too much time for Valentine cards, yet.

My FAVORITE new layout

I've been working on this one for the last couple days. I was originally inspired by Pammie. On the CTMH board she posted one of her famous OOYB (Out of Your Box) challenges to use this quote:

Far away there in the SUNSHINE,

are my highest asprirations. I may not REACH them,

but I can look up and see their beauty, BELIEVE in them,

and try to FOLLOW where they lead.

~Louisa May ALcott

When I read it, I immediately thought of this picture I took over the summer. Then I wanted to title it "Dream Big". When I did that, I thought of the song by Ryan Shupe and changed the journaling to that. This one is going to hang in my scrap room. I am planning on painting the room the lighter blue in the layout. I played with the photo in photoshop to blur it and fade the color. THen I printed it on cardstock to give it a nice texture feel.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Proud Moment, a NOT so Proud Moment and Las Vegas

Ok, proud Mommy moment (someone--maybe Dr. Phil said to always start with the positive when talking about your kids). Austin came home with a note from his teacher that said he had finished the entire kindergarten word list, so she was sending home the 1st and 2nd grade lists--go Austin!

That happened AFTER I got this phone call from the school: "You need to come pick Austin, he has something stuck on his finger. We've tried ice, cold water, and soap, but it isn't coming off". So I rush over to find this:

When I got the call, I had visions of a hospital trip, but I thought I'd try myself first. So after a moment's debate, I used my scissors to crack each size and squeezed. The plastic shattered and out came the finger.

I drove him back to school for the rest of the day. Gotta love the thought pattern of a boy

"I don't know--there was a hole in the middle"
Hmmm...a hole means you must stick your finger in it. Nothing else you could possibly do.

Must be because I'm headed there this weekend, but I just keep scrapping Vegas pictures. These are from 3 years ago when I was Preggo with Brendan.

Somewhere I have Vegas embellishments, but I was too lazy to dig through everything, so I used CTMH's now retired Rowdy papers. The old me would have hoarded them forever since they are no longer available. However the new me, with the goal of using my stash, used them anyway! My new motto--if I use them in the scrapbook, I can ENJOY them forever--can't do that if they're stashed in the cabinet!

You have to see this

I missed this on her show, but another consultant (Thanks Nona!) posted this on the CTMH board. I laughed so hard that I was in tears. Can you imagine trying to stamp in this chair?! Too funny.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Almost there

Just a few more days (and layouts) to go :) I know I didn't post here yesterday. Don't worry, I still got something done--I polished up one of the accordion albums for my daily scrapbooking. I had trouble coming up with a page last night. The problem was that I took too many good pictures on our Vegas trip. Nothing new for me--LOL! They were all zoomed in close, so I couldn't crop them small and I already had them printed. I wish I could be more like my friend Cyndie--she plans her layouts first, then has the pictures printed in the sizes she needs. I never think about it.

Anyway, I divided the pictures from our trip to Spring Preserve in Vegas into 3 layouts, but that still left me with 15 pictures on one of the pages. I tried on my own, I looked at sketches, and I couldn't come up with anything that made me happy--and I even had the perfect papers. So then I took another stack from the trip and was able to use an Imagine layout. But by the time I got it laid out, it was already late, so I left it to finish today. And after that super-long explanation, here it is. I'm really happy with it.

The papers are CTMH Free Spirit--one of my faves, even though normally I stay away from yellow. I also used the Legendary Moments stamps and Opposites Attract Cricut cartridge (have you figured out that I love that one?). I actually finished this layout over 3 hours ago and forgot to post--I only remembered when I came in to turn off the computer. That would have been really sad to come this far and not make it!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

What a day!

First off, I have to report--no snow :( Now it's raining again and the boys aren't happy. Brendan ran up to me and said "I don't like rain! I only like snow. The rain should stop!"

This was not as funny as Austin telling us that "THEY" shouldn't make rain, only snow. When we asked who "they" were, he told us the guys that make the rain--Huh?! Apparently, he thought the weather people were actually making the weather, not reporting it. We had to clue him in on the fact that no one can control the weather.

Crazy busy day today. We started the day with Austin's first basketball game. It was great--can't remember the last time I laughed so much. It's so fun watching the little ones play--most of whom are clueless. My favorite moment was when Austin dribbled the ball all the way down the court only to hand it to a kid on the other team--TWICE! Too funny. Poor Brendan just wanted to be out there. As is the way, I'm sure, for most little brothers.

Then we came home and I got ready for a workshop I had this afternoon. We did the fun Folio Accordion Albums designed by a fellow CTMH Consultant, Kelly Triggs-English (I think--sorry if I butchered her name). I love these. The two here are mine--I wish I would have taken pictures of the other ones the ladies did. We made the books together and then everyone had their own pack of Stickease to decorate. It was fun to see all the creative ideas as everyone made it their own.

Then tonight, I finally had a chance to sit and scrapbook. Pretty Woman was on t.v., so I've been having a few laughs--I haven't seen it in ages. Love that movie. Anyway, these pictures have been on my list to scrapbook for a while. They just crack me up. It still needs something, but I don't have any "potty" or "underwear" stickers or embellishments. Guess I need to go shopping--LOL!

Here's the journaling on the pictures:

1. Use the potty (or try)
Be sure to use lots of toilet paper—on the floor!

2. Run before anyone catches you

3. Look for underwear in Brother’s drawer

4. Find Scooby Doo ones—they’re the best

5. Put them on—hopefully not backwards

6. Wear them Proud

7. Mission Accomplished!

Friday, January 25, 2008


I finally had time to sit and finish one of my swaps today. THis is for a CTMH Spring Idea Book Swap. My stamp set was Heartfelt and I used Baby Pink, Blush and Hollyhock, as well as Chocolate. On the front, I used the emerging color technique I learned from the Stamp Goddess herself a while back. In short, you random stamp your paper as you normally would. Then you use Versamark to stamp and emboss over that. Then you roll an inked brayer (in this case, Baby Pink) over the whole paper. Last you sponge in around the embossed image and wipe off ink. Sometimes I do this in multiple colors, but stuck with baby Pink for this one.


Ok, I'll admit it, with this challenge, it's been hard to be inspired to scrapbook each day. While it's fun, some days it's really hard to find the time. Usually when I find inspiration somewhere, I write it down and hope I can come back to it later. Well this morning I was surfing around the SS site and came across their National Letter Writing Week Challenge. I put down everything to go scrap. Part of that could be that the deadline is today--LOL. However, I read something a while back about writing a letter to your child each year on his birthday. I wanted to do it, and thought that a scrapbook would be a great place for it, but never got around to writing the actual letters. So I'm starting now, with Austin's 6th birthday. A little early, since it's not for a couple weeks.

The papers are once again CTMH's Guy Thing pack--I can't get enough of these papers--they're perfect for so many layouts.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fire, snow and a giant rat

Ok, last night, since it was so cold we decided to have a fire in the fireplace. Mike about died laughing when I handed him the log. I kid you not, this is the wrapper on the log.

Gee--fire? Really? Hmmm...who would have thought.

We woke up to a little (and I mean a little) snow this morning. I know those of you in snow country are laughing at me right now. We're actually hoping for more than this tonight. It's been spitting rain and snow all day, but it's turning to snow now and it's only 5:00 pm. Fingers crossed that we get some accumulation. The boys are dying for some snow to play with. Their grandma in Idaho has had snow every few days it seems like and the boys are quite jealous.

Lastly, here's my layout for today. I loathe Chuck E. Cheese's (might have something to do with the fact that I once was Chuck E), but this trip wasn't too bad. We had fun acting silly with the kids. Papers are My Mind's Eye and I strayed from my usually Cherish and Imagine layouts with last night's and tonight's--I used Becky Sketches.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Santa, Knights and Geotrax fun

First, here's day 23's layout. I am loving getting all this scrapping down, but I'm glad I'm moving in on the final days of this challenge. I miss being able to have time to create cards and other projects without "having to get my pages done first". I do want to keep going though, but I think I'll keep up a layout a WEEK challenge going for the rest of the year. Today's layout is from 2006--it's still one of my absolute favorite pictures. It was a Christmas card last year and everyone commented on how great it was.

The papers are CTMH's now retired Traditional Holiday kit.

I did have time to play with my Sweet N' Sassy stamps finally. This is a mock up of Austin's birthday invites. Hopefully tomorrow I can sit down and make 20 more.



His knight party is really proving to be a challenge. Everything is pirates and it's really hard to find knight stuff. I found a few things online and I'm making some of my own stuff. The cake is my last hurdle. I don't want to pay a fortune at a specialty bakery, nor do I have time (or know-how) to make my own. I talked to the lady at Albertson's and she was really helpful, but they don't have anything like that, except for Shrek. Not really what we are going for. She told me I can either take a picture and do a photo cake or find 3-d goodies and they can decorate around that. Not really what I wanted to hear. Oh the fun. On the positive side, Austin really wants to go to Medieval Times. Since it is so expensive, I told him that would be his birthday gift from us and he was fine with that, so yay!

Last for today--this is what Austin was doing while I was scrapping and Brendan was sleeping. He started building a track with his GeoTrax, but decided a sign would be more fun. This is a sign for "Soup $65" made out of track. Yes that is some expensive soup, but very creative :)

A little about me?

Ok, I've seen these on a number of blogs and figured I'd check it out. Well I was pretty surprised at how right on this was. Even the things I would argue don't fit, others would probably say they do. Interesting...

What Nicole Means

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are very open. You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily.
You are a naturally creative person. Ideas just flow from your mind.
A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. You are very adaptable.

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.
You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.
At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.
You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.
Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Day 22--Shoreline Village

I'm a little early posting for today--trying to be ahead of the game. These were from a trip we made down to Shoreline Village in Long Beach to ride the carousel. The papers/Stickease are CTMH's new It's a Guy Thing kit. Love the colors--can you tell I'm trying to use my new goodies?! The stamps are also CTMH.

Monday, January 21, 2008

We're back...

We had a fabulous weekend in Vegas! One of the benefits to living in the middle of the desert is that we're only about 2 1/2 hourse from Las Vegas. We're also lucky that my sister lives there, so we can stay for free and have fun without going anywhere near the strip :)

Many of you have heard me brag on my sister before, but she really is the best!! We arrived in town late Saturday afternoon and she had a big surprise for us. We opened up a belated anniversary gift to find movie tickets and a gift card to The Red Rock Casino (a very nice upscale casino that is way off the strip out toward Red Rock Canyon--a local favorite). The casino has a movie theater, bowling alley, and lots of restaurants. She told us that she and her boyfriend, Mike, would take the kids to Chuck E. Cheese's while my Mike and I had a date night. I almost cried. Mike and I NEVER go out without the kids. Ok, occasionally when we are in Idaho and my mom takes the boys off our hands, or when my friend Brandy has a free night and watches them, but these events are rare--once or twice a year.

Mike and I had a fabulous time. We went to see Mad Money--which was very funny, had a nice dinner and dessert, gambled a little and just enjoyed spending time together. It was just what we needed. Thanks Sossy--you really are the best :)

Yesterday, we took the kiddos out to Spring Preserve, which was really nice. We got there too late in the afternoon to do the paid stuff, but we spent about three hours hiking through the free trails and gardens. The boys loved it. Here's a couple pics

I took more that I'll share later--some really neat perspectives and views. Kind of like this one:

Now we are home and ready to start a new week. I did a little scrapping tonight and here's my layout. It's a part two to one I posted before. These were taken on our zoo visit in Boise last summer. The papers and embellishments are CTMH's Expedition papers and ribbons, with Autumn Terracotta accents.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Warm Fuzzy Slippers

Erin over at Inky Smiles wanted to see pictures of feet in their warm slippers. Now I'm never one to pass up a challenge, especially where blog candy is concerned. These are mine, made with love by my grandma. I love them and she keeps me well stocked, so I have some to match all of my jammies. They are like putting on a little hug--all right, I'm getting mushy. Now, we aren't as cold as many of you (I wouldn't survive anywhere that gets near or below zero), but even here in Sunny California, we do get into the 20's and 30's at night :)

A weekend's worth of layouts

I'm headed to my sister's in Vegas tonight, so I figured I'd better post ahead, so I just have to borrow her computer to post to the Layout a Day Gallery. I worked ahead because I knew there would be no time to scrap while I'm there :)

I had a crop here last night and this was the layout I got done. The papers are CTMH's Good Times. It's one of my new favorites and the perfect colors for Brendan's birthday pictures. The two was a fun idea I got from my friend, Cyndie. I cut a bunch of twos on my Cricut and layered them so that it's nice and thick, like chipboard--FUN!

Yes, for those of you wondering, only one layout. You see the girls that came joined my Word Puzzle Club, and I was so far behind that I hadn't even finished the cards, let alone cut everything for them. So that's mostly what I worked on. I don't know what it is lately, I feel so disorganized. Anyway, speaking of the club, here's January and February's Calendar pages. The club members get to choose whether they want to do cards, calendars, layouts or all of the above.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

February Card and Bowling layout

Do you ever have one of those scrapbooking pages that look so much better in your head? THat was this page. I have all this Boise State (Go Broncos!) paper and very few pictures of us when we were actually in school, so I decided to use it for these bowling pictures. In my head, it was great. On paper, not so much. I plyed around a little, but finally decided to just go with it. I still don't love the bottom of the left page, but I can live with it.

Here's a card I did for my monthly CTMH swap. When I got this set, it screamed black and red/Valentine's Day. When I saw the requirements for the swap were pastels, I was worried. However, I like the way this turned out. It gave the set a more springy feel. It makes me like it more. I like when a challenge forces me to step outside my box. ANyway, this is the February Stamp of the Month, Endless Love. The colors are Breeze, Lilac Mist, Key Lime, and Baby Pink. I did the emerging color technique on the background. Then I layered and glittered the main image.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Baby layout and February class

I know, this layout is missing it's title. I forgot to glue it down and when I moved it from my creating spot to my photo spot, I lost it. I didn't notice until I uploaded the photo--oops. Oh well--the title was "So Proud" in diamond shaped across the top. This picture is one of my favorites. It was Brendan's first time pulling himself up and he just thought he was hot stuff.

February is a super-busy month for us, so I tried to come up with a Valentine workshop that was quick and easy. I was inspired by Pamela's blog (ok I totally copied her tin and the bag she posted on the CTMH board). The card is inspired by a card in the CTMH Idea Book. Hey, I've been too busy with layouts to be completely original :) The workshop will be February 12th at 5:30 if anyone is local.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Here's today's layout. These pictures are old, but I am loving that this challenge is helping me get caught up on my layouts. The papers and embellishments are SEI. I thought the fun, whimsical patterns went well with pictures of the boys reading storybooks.

I spent some time today organizing pictures and planning layouts, so my pages would come together quick for the rest of the month. I put each category of picture in a seperate 12x12 bag with a sketch design. I am then planning on matching up the papers and adding those too. I got through about four layouts with papers. I'm trying to get to a point where I can just grab a bag and go for it. This way, maybe I'll have time for other cards and projects too. I think by the end of the month I will have all of 2006 and 2007 finished. WOOHOO!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Finally got to play with my Bellas

I can't believe I've had them for a couple weeks now and haven't had time. Here's a couple Cosmobellas. I'm sad that the lighting wasn't good and the colors look off, but you get the idea.

This one has lots of bling, if you can't tell. I also paper pieced the pants. This is CTMH's (sadly retired) Stylin' paper

This one is My Mind's Eye papers and I'm thinking might need some more bling--LOL!

This one I think I already posted, but I re-visited it today and added Stickles and a flower. The papers are SEI

Ad here's today's layout. Our Build a Bear Trip was such a fun experience--thanks again to my cousin Krissy and her Hubby Tony for getting the boys the gift cards for Christmas--they sure love Parker and Ted E. Bear!

The papers are from the Kids stack my friend got me for Christmas--love these papers.