Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wonder Advent Calendar Tree

With December just one day away, today is the perfect day to share an Advent calendar to kick off a month of Christmas and holiday festivities! Like many of you, I come across treasures to alter from time to time. About five years ago, I bought this Advent Christmas tree at Starbucks. (Yes, it has sat unused at my house until now - ha!) The front of it was truthfully not that pretty so I used the beautiful "Wonder" collection by Authentique Paper to make it beautiful! 

I simply covered each box front with patterned paper and then added number stickers, Wonder Noteables, Tabloids and Icons, Diction stickers, pearls and rhinestones to decorate.

To decorate the top of the tree, I used a doily die-cut, tissue trim, twine and a "Joy" sentiment from the Noteables die-cuts.

Here's a couple close-ups of the individual boxes. 

I also hot-glued tinsel trim around the perimeter of the tree.

Supply List:
Authentique Paper (Wonder Collection Patterned Paper: Expectation, Awe, Yearning, Curiosity, Anticipation; Wonder Noteables, Diction, Tabloids, Icons)
Melissa Frances tissue trim, tinsel trim, pearls, rhinestones
American Crafts chipboard, vinyl number stickers
Martha Stewart twine, doily die-cut

Lots more to come the rest of the week! :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Give Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! I hope you are enjoying your time with family and friends. We're visiting my parents today and then celebrating with Glen's side of the family at our house on Saturday. 

Today I have a two-page layout to share with you about the girls' very first Thanksgiving at just 6 months old. I used the gorgeous Hudson Valley kit from Noel Mignon to create my layout. These photos are only a couple years old but wow, did I ever go down a walk on memory lane as I was looking through them and editing.

I have to share a little about the photo on the right. This was the first time the girls ever laid on Grandma Kathryn's bed. It's a family tradition that all the girls lay on Grandma's bed every time we would visit and talk and just laugh. As I'm sure you can imagine, we all can get to laughing A LOT. There's usually 5-6 of us on the bed at one time. And sadly, Grandma is not here anymore to lay with us but it's a tradition that we still keep alive.

Here I created a block of patterned paper squares and stitched an "X" through several of them and then embellished with items in the kit. (Look at those little girls!)

I carried the squares and stitching to the other page and embellished with an American Crafts leaf embellishment and then a Melissa Frances rub-on I had in my stash.

All of my journaling is housed on an Elle's Studio "gratitude" tag. 

Don't forget to stop by Noel Mignon tomorrow as you start all your Christmas shopping and pick up the "Mistletoe & Holly" kit! I'm actually going to attempt a December album with mine!

Thanks so much for looking and have a fabulous holiday! :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pebbles, Inc.: Grateful for this Moment

As I've shared before this is National Adoption Month so I knew that for "I'm Grateful" week over on the Pebbles blog that I needed to share more about the gift that I'm most thankful for - my two beautiful daughters through the gift of adoption! While not a perfect photo, this is the only one we have of Glen and me together on the day we got to meet our twin girls for the very first time.

I love the new kraft gift tags from the "With Love" collection and played off the hearts by masking and misting hearts on my cardstock and then carrying that theme through with a "New Addition" layered heart embellishment and "With Love" Heart Candy Dots.

A complete supply list is available here.

I finally got to go see Breaking Dawn yesterday afternoon and LOVED it. It was definitely the best movie yet. I'm going to see it again tonight with my mom and sisters and might sneak away by myself again sometime next week!

I'll have a Thanksgiving post to share with you tomorrow!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Love You Sis!

I was so excited to dig into my beautiful "Hudson Valley" kit from Noel Mignon with these photos of my girls hugging each other this fall. I feel so blessed to be able to witness the two of them develop such a loving relationship toward each other. I have two sisters myself but there's something about seeing twin sisters together that is so unique - I hope they always have the type of relationship where they are best friends!

Here I layered a transparency by Hambly, banner stickers by Crate Paper and a label sticker by Mind's Eye.

I love all the alphabet stickers included in this kit - here I combined almost all of them! 

The tag, twine and "Together" sticker are by Crate Paper and the label sticker is My Mind's Eye. 

I apologize for being a little absent this past week. At my mom's circle group I go to at church, we are going through a wonderful series on motherhood and something that has been sticking in my mind this past month has been if I am "mothering generously or mothering sparingly" to my kids. Sit on that (if you will) and see if that doesn't make you question how you balance your time throughout the day?! The girls are getting to be an age where they are curious and learning so much and talking all the time. Before I know it, we will be making decisions about going to school or home schooling and I want to soak up every minute of their time and attention and sweet little minds while I can. I have been prayerfully considering how my days are spent over the past while and slowly making changes as I go. Anyway, just wanted to share where my mind has been lately. Being a mom is such a blessing and I want to give my kids the time and attention they deserve! 

Have a fabulous rest of the week! :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

October Projects for Emma's Paperie

Today I want to share with you the rest of my projects for Emma's Paperie for the month of October. First up, is a sketch by Lisa that I created a card for using Webster's Pages products. A complete supply list is available here.

For the month of October, we spotlighted Crate Paper. I worked with the rich, gorgeous colors of their Farmhouse collection and created this layout of all of us on our front steps with our freshly "picked" pumpkins. All of the supplies I used to create this layout are available here along with instructions of how to create it. 

I recently picked up this awesome maple leaf punch by EK Success to punch these leaves. (You'll be seeing this on a lot of future projects). 

And here's a "thanks" card I created using Crate Paper's Farmhouse collection. A complete supply list is available here

I'll be back to start sharing November projects soon. Today the girls and I are headed to my parent's house overnight to visit family. I'm looking forward to a little time away. Last night I had a fun girls' night at a coffee shop with a group of other moms. We put together "busy bags" for our toddlers to play with over the winter and swapped bags last night. I ended up putting together a Noah's Ark memory game as my bag to swap. I can't wait to start using them with my girls!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Art with Grandpa

I just love the versatility in the Noel Mignon September kit, "Study Hall". My girls aren't near school age yet but they are certainly learning new things every day and this layout celebrates a unique chance for them to learn from a talented artist right in their own family - Grandpa Pete! Here Miss Nora draws with Grandpa on her Magna Doodle and I captured their special time together on this layout.

I created a little badge for my title using a chalkboard sticker and star rub-on by Fancy Pants, Amy Tangerine thickers and burlap trim by My Mind's Eye. 

Try using the Study Hall kit to capture family relationships where one person learns from another!

I'm sorry for the lack of posts over the last week. My hubby and I had a stomach bug that held on forever (and that we believe can be traced back to take-out we had = food poisoning). It was not fun at all and left us really weak and tired out. Luckily, our girls were sooo good while we were sick. They played quietly together and watched videos and that made being sick so much easier. When you are both down and out, it's hard to function! Needless to say, I've been busy this week catching up on household work and everything else I do on a daily basis.

Don't forgot to pick up your November kit from Noel Mignon "Hudson Valley" - it's shipping now! I can't wait until mine arrives so I can scrapbook a lot of our fall photos!

So, I do have a lot more to share coming soon! :)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Happy National Adoption Month!

Hello friends! Did you know that November is National Adoption Month? If you are new to my blog, you might not know that my twin daughters came to us through the gift of adoption. Please check out my blog post about National Adoption Month from last year to read more about our adoption journey.

We have an open adoption with our daughters' birth mother and her family which means that we get together 3-4 times a year and send photos and talk on the phone every so often. It has been the perfect arrangement for us thus far although I'm sure it wouldn't necessarily be ideal for some families. We imagine that as our daughters get older this relationship might change and that's okay. We're perfectly content going with the flow as our dynamics change as well.

Another special day in our family is quickly approaching - December 2nd is the day that we celebrate 2 years of the girls being legally adopted! It's almost like another birthday in our house and we hold that date near and dear to our hearts. It won't pass by without being celebrated to the fullest!

In honor of National Adoption Month, I have a layout to share with you that is published in the December issue of Scrapbooks Etc. magazine. Our dear friends supported our adoption by hosting a fundraiser for us a couple months before the girls were born and this layout highlights all the love that went into making it a success! All of the photography is by my dear friend, Carrie Krupke.

As I'm sure you can imagine, any adoption story tugs at my heart strings and just yesterday, I was so thrilled to learn of another baby born through the gift of adoption to a dear friend and her husband. I just love how God brings together families in His perfect way!

More from me soon! :)

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Design Element: Stars

I've barely begun to delve into my Noel Mignon "Study Hall" kit from September so this week I thought I should make a few cards to show the versatility in this kit. I chose a common design element - stars - and made two different cards.

For the "Joy" card, I started punching out stars and embellishing them and putting the whole card together. I knew I wanted the sentiment to go on the blue star but I wasn't sure what it was going to be until the entire card was finished. I decided the colors looked decidedly "Christmas" so the card quickly became just that.

I knew going in that this would be a "Happy Birthday" card and used the tiny My Mind's Eye stickers to put the sentiment on a chalkboard label sticker by Fancy Pants.

I added a little machine stitching for texture to both cards and that was it! Quick and easy!

I've been sooooo busy this week what with Halloween and a fun Harvest Party at our church that I helped organize. And so now I'm feeling very behind on my household work for the week and I seemed to have done something to my low back so that doesn't help matters much. But, I continue to plug away because that's just what you do as a mom. No rest for the weary! :)

Have a great day!
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