Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Hump Day" with Sofia

Wednesdays tend to be seeing as the "light at the end of the tunnel" because you can see the weekend as an achievable goal. Some Wednesdays are better than others and we are just going to leave it at that. The jury still out on many things, one of them being whether or not I'll win the battle with my nose during allergy far, the nose is winning by a long shot :-(

Today when I got home after a long day, lots of sniffles, a bubble head as a result of congestion and running like a mad woman to make it to doctor's appointments. I needed to decompress in a bad way, so I went to my trusty friend "Mac Baby" and started looking at pictures. I needed inspiration for a layout I want to tackle and luckily I came across a picture that I had totally forgotten I had--and that did it for me.

This adorable creature is Sofia, daughter of a good friend of mine. Sofia was a source of joy to our family the first few years of her life. We used to get her once in a while and spent time with her. Unfortunately now that she is a "big girl" we don't get to see her as often but her stories are timeless.

Sofia is absolutely beautiful and has the mind and vocabulary of a grown up that has gone through Harvard school of communication. When she was about two years old she was telling her Mom that maneuvering the complicated task of trying to go potty while at the beach was "not feasible", her facial expression conveying her level of frustration with the whole interaction.

I wanted to share a little bit of the background of this picture so when I get done with the layout you can understand it better. It goes without saying, I'm sure you'll fall in love with Sofia, because how can you not.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Girly Stuff

I'm back among the living hoping that I've won the allergy battle this year--we will see!

Since Thursday I was taking precautionary steps to ensure I didn't spend the whole weekend in bed fighting the sniffles. I vacuumed Thursday and Friday....took "nose pills" both nights and got my reward when Saturday I woke up and I could breathe--so time for some fun activities!

There is this wonderful lady I met in one of the scrapbooking groups and she shared that she was going to have her first granddaughter. She stated that she mostly scrapped for boys. I thought it would be a fun thing to be able to make a couple of things to help her get into the "girlie-frilly" stuff. This is what I came up with:

This was the perfect way to get my MOJO back because it was a quick fix with instant gratification. These are just paper cut outs done with my Silhouette using card stock. I love the level of intricacy you can get with the machine and of course, being able to make your own files is a plus. I do love my Cricut but for different reasons proving that you can have more than one love.
A few days ago I came across a prompt; "Why do I scrapbook?" Today I decided to try to see what would come out of that prompt. Even though I finally have a good set up at the house, it takes a while until the inspiration kicks in and certainly making these pieces for Betty did it for me. I seem to have the opposite problem from her, everything I do ends up very frilly. I struggle with trying to make stuff for boys/men and no matter what, I am never satisfied. I have to make an effort to be able to switch gears. I tried a more "weathered" look and made the journaling a huge part of the layout. I think I went a bit overboard to the "grunge" side....but I guess it will take some practice to reach a good happy medium. I used just white paper and went heavy on the ink until I came up with that dirty looking color...

The whole feel of the page comes from the journaling--which you can't see because the picture is pretty lame. I took those two baby pictures of the kids and wrote about the day those pictures were taken. In reality you can use pictures and words to capture those moments in time. If you succeed, you can re-visit that feeling every time you see that page. I was quite happy with the journaling aspect...and the page is not too bad...all I can do is keep on trying! I'll try to take a better picture so you can see more of the details. This layout was made with the Cricut, I love being able to have it right in my room as it makes life so much easier!

Friday, March 25, 2011

To breathe or not to breathe?

Yesterday started ok. I struggled the last two nights with the allergies courtesy of the beautiful Spring. During the last 48 hours I've been able to breathe about 10. You don't even realize how important breathing really is until you can't do it *lol* Even my black boy Sammy (four legged furry child) has red eyes and runny nose. We are sharing giant amounts of Benadryl and we are very sad picture to see. Here is one of the culprits we have in the backyard. The flowers are gorgeous so I guess my misery is worth it at some level.

Last couple of nights I've been trying to get the right feel to my home in cyber space and had all kinds of fun with it. Finally after some trial and error I ended up with what you see colors and font that is a little funky--I'm not sure if it is a keeper just yet, but wanted to keep it "fun." My Sis suggested that I tone down the colors because it might be a bit easier to read and she is right. The funny thing is that she doesn't realize how much trouble I've encountered just by wanting to put some badges. I'm up for the challenge, let's see what tomorrow will bring but as of now, hoping to be able to breathe takes priority over choosing better colors for the page!

With my daughter's graduation around the corner I made the decision of not ordering the traditional graduation announcements, invitations and other paraphernalia because I find them so "boring" and impersonal. Instead, I ordered some high quality blank invitations and matching envelopes and will be making them myself. I already have three designs in mind and thought it would be fun to see which one you guys like best. I'll have the pictures of the prototypes here tonight.

I know some people would wonder WHYYYYY will you go through the trouble of making something when you can pre-order the cookie cutter version everyone gets. That's EXACTLY my point! We are NOT cookie cutter people and I wanted something that will stand it will be a blast to make them! Actually, there might just be ONE other reason.

Yesterday was one of those days filled with reminders of how things should NOT we are trapped in a world that is inefficient at best. Things that appear to be simple and a matter of common sense NEVER are. On a cold day I would have gone to do the stairs (six flights of stairs can make you regain your perspective) but since it is so darn hot I've reached the point when cursing someone out starts to sound like a magnificent idea. I was a good person and bit my tongue instead...therefore my Karma is a lot better as a result.

Today I'm off from work because I want to finalize the prototypes for the cards and work on a few more things but this morning by 5:30 AM I had to take 2 pills because of the breathing issue. I might have to spend my morning off sleeping but it came down to a tough choice...Should I'm trying to be creative but the "nose drugs" have taken over....unfortunately breathing won this battle and I'm fading away fast.

My immediate goal is to be able to wake up at about "noonish" and have the pictures posted in here or at the very least, a tutorial of something :-)

Right now the question remains, to breathe or not to breathe.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I finally got to a point where I knew a blog was the only way to go. Throughout the years I've learned incredible things from amazing people that decided to give their time and effort to share their knowledge with others. I think the time has come for me to try to do the same for the people that really care, and are passionate about using their creative outlet for the sake of their own sanity! English is not my native language so I hope you are gentle while judging my grammar mishaps, just remember that I mean well :-)

I live in a small town where I unfortunately don't have anyone to craft with. To end my misery my "real friends" all live out of town so it is me, my computer and my supplies and a relentless will to learn new things. Part of my love for the creative process is being able to share and bounce ideas with I've taken to the web to try to find "virtual crafting BFF's" and thankfully have been able to fill that "void" I had in "real life."

Background on my "real life."I live a pretty crazy life and most days I wish I could run away from it. I work in a world that's bizarre on a good day...a bad attempt on a comedy script the rest of the time and yet, I get up every morning and face that overwhelming task because it helps pay the bills...but most days the job sucks my soul right out of my body and I look forward to get home so I can "hide" in my happy place!

I have two wonderful children that provide a great deal of joy and once in a while, some insane migraines but wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. My other "two children" are two amazing rescue dogs that keep me grounded. They are both 11 years old and thanks to them, my world is a better place. I haven't had a good night sleep in the past 11 years because we are some of those people that allow them to sleep in bed with us, making the bed a very crowded place.

Then there is my partner in crime--the hubby guy, AKA "Saint Lee." He is a great human being and an awesome father with the patience of a Saint! His only vice in life is Golf...and he is the most fantastic cook in the WORLD! On top of it all, he allows me time to do "my own thing" and be creative and supports me every step of the way.

Oh, did I forget to say that my 85 year old Mom moved in with us 3 years ago? That provides a whole new dimension to the mix. My Mom is a very opinionated Mom and still does things her way but I'm sure I got my love for everything creative and beautiful from her. Having her at home has given me the opportunity to see how I could drive my kids insane and I'm hoping to be able to work on my own behaviors :-)

All and all I think I've kept my "act together" by escaping to my creative world. During days such as today, when I really think I can just look at someone at work and tell them off right to their face....I get home, to my safe place where everything seems to work somehow, where I have a little corner of heaven, my craft room!

I took over what used to be a "formal living room", a room that was used for about two hours twice a year and converted it into a bright craft room where I can escape from it all.  This year for my birthday my Hubbs surprised me with ten cubicles from Joann's and that threw me into a a four day frenzy while furniture got relocated, repurposed and my little piece of paradise was born!

This is a view of the far wall where I have my 8x11 papers, drawers with all sorts of goodies including embossing plates, melting pot, a drawer designated for decorative tapes, boxes for Juke Box, the Mini Your Story binding system and the rest of those "essentials" we all "NEED."

The picture below shows how I was able to get a pretty good work surface by using the cubicles as the base for a "desk." I bought a pretty big piece of plywood and went to the dollar store for ROLLS AND ROLLS of contact paper. I used that paper to cover the plywood and to try to unify the room as this is the first thing you see when you get in the it *had* to be pretty! This room provides instant inspiration, a perfect place to create beautiful things.

This desk is a "hand me down" from my daughter. Since the room right across from here is the formal dinning room, and we have mission style furniture there, I decided that it would work. I have that "station" dedicated to do my heat embossing and a lot of times, do most of my cutting in here as well. I keep my markers in the drawers and as you can see the boxes on top are great "hiding places" for unsightly but necessary cutting templates, card board, acetate and a box dedicated to the Epic Six cutting and embossing "sandwich plates." These boxes are easy to reach and keep the place looking tidy. Notice my Cricut in the corner :-) I have a Silhouette that I keep in my bedroom running on Mac OS and it provides me the best of both worlds! Maybe at some point I could move the Mac and the Silhouette with the printer and the scanner and take over the dinning room as well! *lol*

Great working space looking out to the front garden! It provides great natural light. Notice how I tried to get as much stuff out of the way and that's where IKEA came in SUPER handy! I used their magnetic knife holders to put some of the flowers and buttons on cute spice cans and utensil stainless cans to put miscellaneous stuff.

Last but not favorite corner! I have an INSANE amount of ribbons, some great "bling" accessories and general embossing powders, ink pads, brads, eyelets....and all that other fun stuff.

I was able to find a home for every thing here including a hide away place for the Epic Six. Everything can be easily tucked away but very accessible. The display of all the pretty ribbons plus the cube that has the glass door makes it for a very pretty corner....which is a good thing because it seems it is "out there" for the world to see!

So, from this moment forward I will try my best to bring a little bit of my life into your world and I hope that if you are having a rough day, at least I can provide a good chuckle or something that would inspire you to do something great for yourself.