Friday, April 30, 2010


Come along with me on memory lane, will you? I'm feeling extremely nostalgic tonight. In just a few short minutes, it will be my sweet little girls' 1st birthday. I can't believe how quickly this first year has gone. I remember the time leading up to their birth so well.  

On the day of their birth, I was home and Glen came home from work around noon. We knew our birth mother had an appointment around 1:30 p.m. to get an ultrasound. Her doctors had been monitoring the babies' growth and heart rates closely. We knew there was a chance she would have a C-section on the 1st so we waited by the phone. The hours passed and we didn't hear anything. I remember Glen asking me if I wanted to go for a walk, and there was no way I wanted to leave the house! Finally, around 5:30 or so I called our adoption agency to see if they had an update for us. Around, 6:00 we received a phone call back from the pregnancy counselor that the girls had been born at 3:33 and 3:34 p.m. via an emergency C-section. Baby A's (who we later named Nora) heart rate had dropped. Everyone was okay after the birth. It was decided at that time that we would wait to go to the hospital until the next afternoon because our birth mother was pretty out of it from the surgery. We were later able to talk to the birth mom's mother and get some more information about our little girls.

We will both never, ever forget getting to meet our daughters for the first time. It was such a beautiful moment in our lives. We still feel so blessed that we were able to be a part of their time in the hospital. We were able to feed them, change their diapers and see their first bath. That time was such a gift from our birth mother that she wanted to include us in those moments. She certainly didn't have to but she did. That speaks volumes of our mutual trust and respect for each other in a relationship whose foundation came from God.

I've put together a collection of photos from each month of the girls' life. I LOVE looking back at these and seeing their growth and development. It's amazing how alike yet how different they are. Nora and Lily definitely have distinct personalities, and it's been a true joy to be their parents. We love our little girls so much! 

We're just about ready for their birthday party in the afternoon. I'll try to put together some images to share sometime next week. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Daddy

We're getting closer and closer to celebrating two little girls' 1st birthday!!!! I'm so excited about the party decorations I made and will hopefully share the details next week sometime. Their 1st birthday has caused a lot of reflection on both our parts about the miracle of them coming into the world and us receiving the special gift of becoming their parents. I'll share more about this story on their actual birthday but wanted to share a new layout with you today. I used the Audrey collection by Lily Bee to create this layout and love the rich, elegant, yet masculine colors....perfect for a layout about daddy and his girls. The heart banner was cut using my Cricut and of course, I pulled out my Melissa Frances pearls that I seem to use on everything I create. :) A few straight and zig zag stitches and it has a homespun touch. 

Here's a close-up of the heart banner...

And a close-up of the title block...

I have been creating like mad lately but it's all projects I can't share with you yet. But, you can expect some projects from me using GCD Studios, Crate Paper and the brand NEW May Midnight Rooster kit which I can share sneaks of this weekend! Whoohoo! I think I will actually be posting quite a bit this weekend!!!!! :)

Enjoy your's going to be beautiful here! 

Friday, April 23, 2010

8 months

I've had a ball going through photos of the girls that we take every month and am slowly getting caught up on their month-by-month layouts. The colors in Crate Paper's "Pink Plum" collection matched the girls' outfits perfectly in their 8 month photos. I swear Crate Paper got their inspiration from The Children's Place for this collection. :) I adored the girls' little brown and cream polka dot berets. They didn't exactly like to keep them on very long but were so cute anyway. I'm planning on doing a layout just of Lily (the upper left photo) because her baby blues are just gorgeous in this photo. 

I kept my design fairly simple by using a grid and created a border for the layout with patterned paper and machine stitching. 

I cut a strip from one of the patterned papers to create border across my layout and accented the designs with pearls. I layered journaling stickers matted by patterned paper that I trimmed with pinking shears for my journaling block. 

Finally, I highlighted the "8" in my title with a Crate Paper sticker and machine stitched across the "months."

We're cleaning like mad this weekend but I'm hoping to fit a little scrap time in tonight and maybe Sunday afternoon. I got the May Midnight Rooster kit in the mail and hope to work on some layouts for the big launch. You will LOVE this first kit! I got the add-on kit too and it's fabulous! Both kits are full of exclusive items including stamps and fabric. Yum!

I might be back later this weekend as I'll have a new layout kit up for sale at The Scrappy Gourmet. See you then!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Celebrating 2010!

I got the latest kit in the mail before the weekend and had a chance to play with it last night. The May kit "Playdate" is aptly named with bright, fun colors. I dressed up the girls in rainbow sweaters to ring in 2010 and knew my photo would match this kit perfectly. The patterned papers are a mix of Cosmo Cricket, Sassafras Lass and October Afternoon, stickers are Sassafras Lass and October Afternoon, red alphabet is Jenni Bowlin, red rhinestones are My Mind's Eye and the red glitter sticker is KI Memories. I also used an older Making Memories notebook paper from my stash. (I really loved the October Afternoon sticker that said "just the 2 of us.")

Here's a close-up of my title...

And a close-up of some of the layering and dimension...

I have to put this kit aside for awhile so I can focus on some assignments but you can bet I'll be back with more! We had a fabulous weekend with my family but I was so tired while I was there. There's just something about going home that relaxes me and I was about passed out on the couch each night by 9:00. Glen went fishing with my dad and cousin and had caught a bunch of fish so I know he had a great time too. And the girls were in heaven spending time with their grandparents and aunts.

I have a busy next couple of weeks ahead but I'll be sure to pop in with a layout or two.

Enjoy the rest of your day! :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

GCD Studios Technique:: Flowers, flowers and more flowers!

It's FINALLY my turn to post over at the GCD Studios blog!!!! I think I was the last design team member to post so I've been waiting very patiently to share my very first GCD Studios project with you. I've really enjoyed working with GCD Studios' products!

I enjoy documenting my twin daughters' growth by creating layouts for each month of their first year. I thought the Lydia collection matched perfectly for their 7 month photos. I love the flocked yellow patterned paper in the collection - the texture creates such an elegant look. 

To create my title block, I used one of the plaques from the ChipArt chipboard collection and a tiny flower to create a border along the bottom. I then dry brushed brown paint across the plaque. I machine-stitched along the edge of my chipboard piece. Yes, you can even stitch on chipboard (I would suggest using a separate needle just for this purpose). I cut a strip of the green and cream plaid patterned paper and pleated it before I placed it above my flower border. I cut out a purple flower and green leaves from the patterned paper and adhered it with foam adhesive. Finally, I adhered my title and a rhinestone to the flower. 

I kept the rest of my design fairly simple but wanted to create some interest and texture above the larger photo of my daughters. I made a row of patterned paper flowers and will share this easy tutorial with you.

To begin, freehand cut a circle from patterned paper. 

Then cut a spiral in the circle (the key here is imperfection…don't worry about keeping lines straight). 

(Before beginning the next step, you can distress the edges of your spiral with ink or paint). Start at the center of your spiral and begin swirling your circle into a rolled flower, adhering with glue dots along the way. Add a button, rhinestone, or die-cut to the center of your flower. 

It's easy to create these flowers and they add a lot with minimal supplies and time. Try varying the sizes of these circles as well for added interest. 

(Additional supplies used: American Crafts thickers, Basic Grey alphabet stickers, Melissa Frances rhinestones, Fiskar's punch).

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

2 months

This is just one of a handful of pictures of my girls where I think they truly look a lot alike. It's funny how that changes day to day. Some days they look very similar and other days they look very different. This layout is part of a monthly album I am putting together for them. I am not quite half way caught up on scrapping their monthly pictures. I love looking back through and seeing how much they have changed. I used a lot of LilyBee Designs patterned paper from the Vintage Poppy collection as well as Jenni Bowlin alphabet, Pink Paislee chipboard, my Martha Stewart punch and Melissa Frances pearls. 

Here's a close-up of my title block....

And a close-up of my journaling....I did a lot of machine stitching for added texture (like usual).

If you are new to my blog....welcome! I have two baby projects up on the Melissa Frances blog and therefore have some new readers.

I have been busy working on projects for GCD Studios that I can't wait to share. I'll be able to share one of my projects this weekend. I'm also really excited to get the May Midnight Rooster kit in my hands. It's full of beautiful patterned paper and a lot of one-of-a-kind items!!!

We're heading out of town this weekend to visit my mom and dad. We're looking forward to relaxing and spending time with family. The next couple weeks we'll be busy getting ready for the girls' 1st birthday party so it will be nice to have a little break before their party.

Enjoy your day! We plan on enjoying it with a play date at the park! :)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Birthday Invitations & Midnight Rooster

I thought I would share what I did for the girls' 1st birthday party invitations today. Their 1st birthday is on May 1st and I am getting really excited to celebrate! After thinking about what theme I wanted to go with, I decided that a cupcake themed party would be pretty fun for a 1st birthday. I had to make 25 of these invitations so I kept the design fairly simple. I used my Cricut and the Wild Card cartridge to cut out the cupcake shaped card. The cupcake pieces were cut from Crate Paper's "Pink Plum" collection...perfect for little girls. I inked the candle on the cupcake with yellow chalk ink, printed the party details and matted them on pink cardstock for the inside of the invitation. Pretty simple and pretty cute! I'm hoping to create some other things for their party using the cupcake theme but this is at least a good start.

I am also really excited about THIS fun news. I have been invited to join the design team for Midnight Rooster, a brand new kit club debuting really soon. I love the challenge of designing for a kit club so I am very much looking forward to this. The website will be up soon but in the mean time be sure to join Midnight Rooster's Facebook page.  

And lastly, I'll leave you with a photo of my two cuties on Easter. I had so much fun dressing them up for church and they looked so girly and sweet. We have so many great photos that I can't wait to scrap!

Have a great day! :)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

No. 5 & GCD Studios

Today's layout uses the lovely "Sonoma County" kit at Every year, I create a new layout for our anniversary album. It's so fun to look back at the pictures and see how we celebrated our anniversary. We'll be celebrating 7 years in July so I was behind a couple years and needed to get caught up. The patterned paper in this layout is Crate Paper, Cosmo Cricket, Pink Paislee and Jillibean Soup. The "No. 5" for my title came from the Jillibean Soup paper. The stickers are Crate Paper, burlap flower is Prima, the cork button from Pink Paislee and the brad is My Mind's Eye. I love the cork buttons by Pink Paislee. I think I need to get some more of them from their other collections. I also used a little snippet of a paper doily. 

Be sure to head over to the GCD Studios blog and sign up for our newsletter and become a google follower. We're giving away the Ava collection - which is gorgeous (love those blues, greens and yellows).

Speaking of GCD Studios, I've been hard at work on my April projects that I will be able to share with you later this month. I'm finding the collections incredibly easy to work with...they mesh with my style so well.

I hope you all had a great Easter with your families. We really enjoyed the girls' first Easter. I LOVED getting them all dressed up in beautiful dresses. We got some great photos that I can't wait to scrap.

More to come later this week! :)

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Um, wow!

Check out the lady in the 6th row...yep, that's me! I was invited to create designs for the Crate Paper blog over the next few months. And this is a list of the the new blog, so honored to be among these girls....some of which I have admired for years.

Thank you Crate Paper for this opportunity!

Happy Easter, everyone! I'm so thankful that I know and love a Savior who died so that I might LIVE! Thank you, Jesus! He is risen!

I'll be back tomorrow with a new layout. :)

Saturday, April 03, 2010

I'm going to be an AUNT!!!!

I am so excited to finally share that I am going to be an AUNT!!!! My youngest sister, Jaime, and her husband, Cole, are expecting their first baby in October! I've kept this secret for about 6 weeks until she could go to her first doctor's appointment yesterday and now I can finally spill the beans. She will be 12 weeks on Monday. To help her record her pregnancy, I created this pregnancy journal for her to keep small photos and journal about her cravings, appointments, etc. I used a Maya Road scalloped chipboard album that I dry brushed with white paint to give it a shabby chic look as well as beautiful Melissa Frances patterned papers, sticker, pearls and chipboard. 

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