Monday, February 22, 2010

Greatest Love

I think this layout might possibly be my favorite layout I have EVER made. I love it that much. Seriously. I cried over the thing. I used the lovely "Seaside Cottage" kit from 

I took the Jenni Bowlin diecut paper and cut out the center of it and then retraced it on cardstock to get a template that I could build my patterned paper pieces on. I cut random bits of patterned paper (Prima, Webster's Pages, Making Memories, MME), inked the edges and then layered them and trimmed the edges. I machine stitched around the edge and then re-assembled the diecut with my paper pieced background. The little hearts are cut from KI Memories diecut paper and backed with vintage dictionary pages. The pearls are from Melissa Frances. I placed the Hambly doily rub-on (LOVE THESE) on kraft cardstock and cut out. My journaling strips are wrapped with Martha Stewart baker's twine. 

The quote says "Born not of my flesh, but born in my heart. You were longed for and prayed for and loved from the start."

My journaling: Girls, I was a mother in my heart long before I was a mother in my arms. All along while my heart ached so desperately for a baby, God was whispering, "Not yet." It was only so He could bring me the two of you. Every moment with you is a gift and I will never forget that. Isaiah 61: 3 says: "He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair." I am so blessed with a full heart and full arms and wouldn't change a thing.

Well, my weekend went differently than I had planned. We ended up staying put instead of heading to my parent's house. It started snowing Friday and wouldn't quit and I refuse to take my girls out when it's that bad. We're going to try again this coming weekend and maybe even leave on Thursday. My family came to visit us instead on Saturday and Glen's parents came for a visit Sunday.

I better get moving. I have a yummy potato soup cooking in the crock pot but I have dishes and laundry staring me in the face. Time to play house wife! :)

Enjoy your day! :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Scrapbook Girl Next Door

I received an amazing e-mail from Crate Paper yesterday about my "Merry & Bright" kit projects. If you check out Crate Paper's new blog you'll see that I was selected as a "Scrapbook Girl Next Door" for using Crate Paper products! And it looks like I'll get to go on a little Crate Paper shopping spree.....YIPPPEEE!!! I absolutely ADORE their new lines, especially Paper Doll. I can't wait to scrap the girls with that one.

Today, I wanted to share another layout I made using the "Seaside Cottage" kit from I have now created a layout for each of my girls when I met them for the first time. The pink Prima paper is one of my favorites. I punched circles out of the Webster's Pages and Making Memories patterned paper and vintage dictionary pages and cut them in half to make my scallops. I also punched butterflies out of the dictionary pages and used both the positive and negative images on my page. The vintage labels are by Elle's Studio, lace transparency by Hambly, and pearls by Melissa Frances. I used some older American Crafts stickers and Pink Paislee chipboard for my title.

Here are a couple of new photos of my 9-month-old cuties! It's hard to believe the month of February is almost over and they will be 10 months old. It's getting harder and harder to stage these photos shoots because the girls want to "fly" off the couch. And for some reason, they seem to be grumpier when we put them together so it's hard to capture a smile. Nonetheless, I really appreciate the pictures of them growing beside their bears. It's fun to look back through them and see how much they have changed. 

This weekend the girls and I are headed out of town to visit my parents. We haven't been out there since Christmas and it's always an adventure traveling with the girls. It seems like I always have a loaded down van.

Enjoy your weekend and I'll be back with something new on Monday! :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"Merry & Bright" Kit for Sale!

It's here!!!!!! My "Merry & Bright" kit is now up for sale and shipping at The Scrappy Gourmet! I put together instructions and details for the 3 projects you see here - a 12-page (including front and back covers) ornament mini album, 1-page layout and bonus card. The patterned paper for the ornament album comes pre-cut so it is very easy to assemble. I absolutely adored working with the North Pole collection by Crate Paper - the colors are so bright and cheery. Of course, I had to shabby everything up with a little cream paint and brown ink and some machine stitching. I also created a lot of texture on the mini album by simple paper tearing and paper rolling - lots of fun! Here's a picture of the full kit...

And here's a closer look at the layout...

And the bonus card...

And the darling ornament album - complete with a jingle bell on the cover! :)

Pages 1 & 2

Pages 3 & 4

Pages 5 & 6

Pages 7 & 8

Pages 9 & 10

Quantities of this kit are limited so be sure to pick one up fast

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bittersweet Day

I'm pretty sure I have the cutest and sweetest grandpa EVER! I love my grandpa so much. He's a retired farmer and about the nicest person you could meet. He has 6 grandchildren and now 2 great-grandchildren. For fifteen years, my sisters and I were the only grandchildren until my three boy cousins came along. You can imagine we were fairly spoiled being the only grandkids for that long. We would spend the night at grandpa and grandma's house all the time (they lived just 7 minutes away). Grandpa and grandma came to all our school activities. They were so proud of us - you could just tell. 

Grandpa just LOVES being a great-grandpa. He shows off the girls' pictures all the time. I send him new pictures each month and he keeps one right where he can see it every day. If he has to be in town for an appointment, Grandpa makes sure to stop and see the girls. On one such visit, I captured these photos of my grandpa holding Lily. I just love the way he is looking at her with complete adoration. I named little miss Lily (her middle name) for my Grandma Kathryn. 

Today is a bittersweet day for me because it marks one year since my grandma passed away. We found out days before grandma died that we were chosen to adopt the girls. In fact, as soon as we heard the news we drove an hour home to tell my family and especially grandma. Grandma was in hospice care at the time and when we told her she was going to be a great-grandma, she was so excited. She told everyone who stopped by her room the good news. The day before our meeting with the birth mom I had been visiting with grandma and she kept asking me about the meeting and wanted to be sure that I would make it instead of being there with her. In fact, I think it was during the night that grandma at one point said, "There's going to be two babies." Some foreshadowing, perhaps?! :) 

Grandma died early on Monday morning, the 16th. I had been to visit her for the last time on Saturday. I just knew that was probably the last time I would ever see her and so I spent some time alone with her holding her hand. I will never, ever forget her opening her eyes, looking right at me, and saying "You're beautiful" to me. The night before she died I called my mom and asked her not to call me until after our first ultrasound appointment with the birth mother. Today is bittersweet because I was able to see my daughters for the very first time on the ultrasound - the same day that grandma passed away.

I miss my grandma so much. There are days after the twins came that I just sat by myself and bawled because they would never get to meet her. She was such a special lady and could laugh like no other. I could talk to my grandma about absolutely nothing on the phone for hours. I have many fond memories of laying on grandma's bed with my aunt, grandma and sisters (all piled on there) just talking and laughing. Grandma taught me to cook and bake. She was famous for her cinnamon rolls. She sold them at one of my garage sales and the next year a neighbor was back looking for them. Every time someone visited grandma and grandpa's house, you were invited to sit at the kitchen table for something to eat. Grandma always had something baked. The first Christmas without grandma was difficult because grandma loved the holidays. She always asked the grandchildren to sing and I played my flute when I was younger. I know that the relationship I had with my grandma was unique and for that, I will treasure it forever. My grandparents have always been special to me and I know that is unusual in this day and age. I want my children to have that same relationship with their grandparents. 

I used a combination of Homespun Chic and Artsy Urban by GCD Studios for this layout. The buttons are by Rusty Pickle, pearls by Melissa Frances and thickers by American Crafts. 

Here's a quick card I put together using some scraps from the above layout. I used my Cricut to cut the heart shapes and machine stitched down the center of each of them. 


More from me tomorrow.... :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

I Love My Sister

This weekend I had the chance to play with the "Seaside Cottage" kit from As I was going through photos to scrap, I came across this little gem of the girls when they were just weeks old. I love finding pictures like this...ones I don't remember taking. When I create I try to challenge myself to use up some older supplies as I work with kits. For this layout, I wanted a teal title but the American Crafts thickers I had were too bright. I shabbied them up by dry brushing them with white paint and then distressing with brown chalk ink. The hearts at the top of the layout are from a full sheet of hearts by KI Memories that I cut up. I hand drew the scallops on a sheet of Prima patterned paper. The pink floral patterned paper is SEI and the stripes are Webster's Pages. Noel also included sheets from a vintage dictionary in the kit that I used for the scallops and butterfly. I glittered the Prima dogwood blossom with chunky Martha Stewart glitter and used an older Heidi Swapp heart and Making Memories word sticker. The journaling block is by Webster's Pages and the Prima pebble is in the center of the flower. I created another layout so far using this kit that I will share later this week.  


I will also share full images of my "Merry & Bright" Christmas kit at The Scrappy Gourmet later this week. The kits are up for sale now but won't start shipping until Wednesday.

Enjoy your day! :)

Friday, February 12, 2010


Glen and I have so many hopes and dreams for our girls. When I saw these chipboard word strips with beautiful sayings like "expect miracles", "let your wings unfold", "embrace the journey" and "be brave," I knew they would be perfect on a page. I combined bits and pieces of the new Melody Ross lines (Artsy Urban and Homespun Chic) by GCD Studios. I am absolutely in love with the dress pattern CUTE! I pleated and then stitched the black and white floral patterned paper and hand drew the pink scallops at the top of the patterned paper block. The chipboard words strips are separated by Melissa Frances rhinestones. The girls were just 3 weeks old when we took these pictures. I can't believe how different they look now. They were such skinny around 5 1/2 lbs. You would never know it by looking at them now - HA! 

My sister is visiting us today so I'm hoping to get some photos edited for new pages to create. I have several ideas in mind and can't wait to get to work. I got the new Seaside Cottage kit in the mail yesterday. It's the most beautiful kit full of soft, pretty pastel colors that would make sweet baby layouts. 

Have a fabulous weekend enjoying the ones you love most! :)

Monday, February 08, 2010

Glee Challenge

I have a new layout to share today that I did for a challenge at The challenge was to do a layout using one or more of the following: 
* Use the photo as a sketch
* Use one of the song titles on a layout
* Talk about which Glee character you were in High School
* Use sheet music paper or music notes

I'll admit that I have never watched Glee...I watch enough TV as it is so I didn't need to add another show to my line-up. But, I did really love this sketch so I decided to make it my own. I used the Mill Street kit from for my supplies. I turned the sketch on its side and built a collage of pictures and patterned papers. The patterned papers are actually the Farm Fresh journaling cards by October Afternoon. I used the reverse sides and trimmed them down a bit to fit. I used the girls' 6 month pictures and journaled about their developments during that month. I hope to create a layout for each month but only have two done so far. 

It is snowing yet again in Iowa today. I think we are supposed to get 4-7 inches this time. Yuck! I'm really trying to be positive...I really am, but it's starting to get tough! :) I had a good weekend with my girls and my family plus a lot of scrap time. I haven't been able to sleep well lately. I don't know if it's because I keep waiting for someone to wake up or what the deal is. It seems that as soon as I turn off my lamp to go to sleep, I hear cries and have to get up. I've been tossing and turning a lot and wake up feeling like I have barely slept. Then I compensate my lack of sleep with caffeine and I think that hasn't been helping my situation one bit as I can't seem to go to sleep until at least 11:30. Anyway, I'm hoping for a productive Monday. I'm thinking about making heart sugar cookies later this week for a fun treat. 

Enjoy your day! :)

Friday, February 05, 2010

More Sneak Peeks....

I have more sneak peeks to share with you today - this time of my other kit up for sale soon at The Scrappy Gourmet. The "Merry & Bright" kit includes full instructions for making a mini album, 1-page layout and bonus card. I absolutely adored the papers and embellishments from The North Pole collection by Crate Paper. Because the papers were bright and had a lot of pattern to them, I chose to keep my photos black and white and they just pop against the bright colors. I'm thrilled that I was able to complete a mini album so soon after the girls' first Christmas. We have so many great pictures that I can't wait to scrap some more of them.

I'm looking forward to a (hopefully) relaxing weekend. I have been editing photos and getting ready to scrap some new layouts. I try to pre-plan as much as I can to optimize the limited time I do get to scrap. Depending on what I am working on, I might start with photos and match them to patterned paper or sometimes I'll have a patterned paper that I love so I'll look for photos to match. I really enjoy my creative time. It's something I NEED as a busy mama!

Have a fabulous weekend! :)

Monday, February 01, 2010

Sneak peeks....

I have been super busy the past couple weeks working on new project kits for The Scrappy Gourmet and I decided to share some sneak peeks of one of the kits with you today. This kit will have instructions and supplies for a 2-page layout, 1-page layout and a bonus card. The projects are all pretty and shabby and use a variety of techniques for added interest and texture. I'm not quite sure when the kit will be for sale at The Scrappy Gourmet but I will definitely let you know.

My girls are 9 months old today! I can't believe we'll be planning a 1st birthday party soon. Time really does fly and I think the first year especially does because of that new parent haze. All of my time and energy is so focused on the girls that anything for me really takes a back seat to them. The girls have been teething so that makes life a little more miserable for all of us. We were up most of the night with the girls so their poor teeth must be coming through or they are just having growing pains. The girls are definitely hitting a fun age though. I love spending my days with them. We have our little routine down and we have a lot of inside "mommy and me" games we play. I enjoy being home with them so much!

My parents visited this weekend so Glen and I finally got to go on a date to celebrate my birthday. We went to Ruby Tuesday's which is one of my favorite restaurants and then hung out at Barnes and Noble for a while. I really enjoyed the time out as I think our last date was in October or November.

Well, time to feed a couple of little girls. Have a great Monday! :)
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