Monday, May 01, 2017

Hello Flora.

I was that "cool mom" last summer, that bought all the fun pool floats and regretted it once I realized that they required an overnight filling by an electronic machine, because it was just too massive to have any human attempt to fill it.  How do I know this?  Because we tried for a couple of hours before we ran to the store for said machine; the batteries were depleted by the time Flora was filled.

I was also that "cool mom" that attempted to climb up on Flora, just for a great photo; all attempts resulted in slipping, dropping and epically failing at being that "cool mom".

We had a great DAY with Flora the Flamingo.  She was a part of the family for 24 hours, but sadly she came with clipped wings.  I contacted the vendor soon after she was deflated (which took at least a week), and received a full refund for her.  But she was too far gone to keep her.

This year I plan to get "Flora the Flamingo 2", (smaller version); and just for giggles i'll throw in a pineapple float... because I'm noticing lately that my favorite color is yellow.  #TeamYellow

The collection I used to create this layout is by Crate Paper called "Poolside".. if you search Google long enough you just may find some remnants of it.  This was a very popular collection last year and it sold out pretty quickly.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to share more projects this month, as time allows.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Love His Beard.

So remember when I said that I wanted to do all of the Paper Issues Spring Crop challenges by the end of the weekend?  I epically failed!  However, I was able to create 3-4 more layouts.  I already shared one of them on my IG feed.  If you're interested in seeing it please visit my IG: @AtStudioD...

The challenge I'm sharing today was to document someone you love.  My husband pretended to be offended, since the layout was not necessarily about him.  I pulled out paper from an old hoarded collection by Simple Stories called "Summer Vibes" and added die cuts, thickers and stickers to create a half messy page.
I'm a little bummed that I did not add the journaling before I took the photo.  The truth is, I was not going to add journaling since I am able to remember details by just looking at each photo.  But if anyone were to ever look a my layouts, they'll assume - by the looks of this page - that I just really loved my husband's beard.  Except, that's not the story behind the photo.

It wasn't until I recently listened to an episode of "Live Inspired" (with Host Tracie Claiborne and Special Guest Host Amy Sorensen called "Telling Our Stories"), that I didn't understand the need to tell the actual story behind the photo, and not just what is obviously happening in the photo.  I never thought or really cared to scrapbook the occasion or the why or the reason or the humor behind what was going on in the photo; because again, photos are able to jog a memory for me.  But I'm finding that scrapbooking isn't just making pretty pages to display in my living room.  I have a lifetime of stories I'd like to keep and share.

So I am still sharing this unfinished layout, but I will be adding some journaling to my page later.  Possibly add 3 lines next to "His Beard" or add something on the back if I am not brave enough to add those lines and make myself liable to ruining the page.  But from here on out, I vow to work on making my journaling an important factor in my layouts.
I really want to thank Tracie & Amy for helping me understand the importance of those untold stories.  Especially for my little boy who, in this case, will be looking through my albums when he's older and wonder why I loved his dad's scruffy beard.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come back soon for another layout share.  The next one I'm really excited to share!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Lovely Heart.

This next Paper Issues Spring Crop challenge prompted crafters to leave 2/3rds of white space on their page.  As a person who likes to keep adding elements to "balance" things, I found this one very challenging and exciting.

I used vintage Dear Lizzy "Neapolitan" items and two recent photos of my little boy and his best friend.  He was trying to tie her loose shoes and epically failed; since he himself is still not able to tie his.  He can multiply and read 2nd grade level books, but he can't seem to learn the simple show-tieing process.

I created 3 specific areas for quick journaling, in trying to keep this layout very simple and white.
I love the turn out and I absolutely love that these layouts have not been taking me days,
(like usual occurs) to complete.  

I may be getting into the groove of things again, between my layouts, pocket pages and traveler's notebook documenting.  Exciting, because COMMIT was one of my OLW's this year; which included committing to documenting our everyday life.

I'm sharing all the links for you to find and follow Paper Issues.
I hope you join the fun this week too!
Challenge ends on Sunday!

Paper Issues - Facebook Group
Paper Issues - Spring Crop
Paper Issues - Instagram
Paper Issues - Website (blog & shop)

Use code "UNICORN" in the PI shop, for 30% off your purchase!


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Cute Selfie.

Today I'm continuing the layout share...

If you were here yesterday, you read how I raved about the Paper Issues Spring Crop that happened over the weekend.  The good news is that it's still open to everyone, and you can still join the fun!

The challenge for this layout was all about fussy cutting.  I think I first heard this term on YouTube, from Bona (I shamefully forgot her YT channel name), but you all may know her as 
Bona Rivera-Tran on Instagram.

Anyhow, I learned how to fussy cut from her and what were the best scissors to use.  Some people prefer the yellow cuttlebug scissors.  However, I am a TONIC girl all-the-way!
I tapped into some newer Amy Tangerine paper.. this is from her "Oh Happy Life" collection, and thankfully I did have two of the same sheet... I guess because I knew I'd want to use both the floral print and the striped print.  The photo itself was me at work on my 43rd birthday.  Of course, EVERYONE needs a birthday selfie, yeah??  Well this was pretty quick to put together.  The hexagon background was cut on my Silhouette machine and I just added touches of items that were recently added to my craft table, like the diecut heart, the fussy cut window and polaroid frame, and other pieces from different collections.  I loved strategically (there I go again!), placing the word "SELFIE" to appear as if the end of the hexagon background begins at the "S".  That was a fun touch that I didn't think about til I made the page.  I like exploring with little tricks and fun elements that make my pages unique.  Like the fact that the journaling on this one is actually absolutely unseen.  Go ahead and give it a try.  Zoom in.  I bet you won't find it! lol

I'm sharing all the links for you to find and follow Paper Issues.
I hope you join the fun this week too!

Paper Issues - Facebook Group
Paper Issues - Spring Crop
Paper Issues - Instagram
Paper Issues - Website (blog & shop)

Use code "UNICORN" in the PI shop, for 30% off your purchase!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Layouts Galore!

Over the weekend I participated in the Paper Issues Online "Spring Crop".  They have several challenges that were very interesting and fun.  I absolutely LOVED it because it allowed me to pull out some of my hoarded supplies and use them together with new photos.

The first page I'm sharing below is fully loaded with Dear Lizzy product.  I just love the Neapolitan collection she designed and it was the perfect fit for a photo of myself and Giovanni sharing an ice cream.  I am not sure if you noticed or care, but at the bottom of the 12x12 pages there is always a strip of paper labelled by the name of the designer and the paper.  Most of the time this strip of paper comes with a pattern that is not always introduced in 12x12 version, but does work great with the collection.  I like to use those as "fillers".  Meaning, pieces that I add, that serves a dual purpose.  For the page below I used a end-strip to not only ground my photo on the page, but also to add my journaling; since it was a dark grey striped paper.  I love the look of hidden journaling on pages.

This second page started out messy.  I used a brick wall stencil and several colored sprays by different manufacturers, mainly Heidi Swapp and Studio Calico.  The challenge was named "Rainbow" and it prompted crafters to use at least 5 colors of the rainbow in ROYGBV order.  I was able to do just that on this layout.  I ended up cutting an additional piece of white card stock (at an angle, because I strategically wanted to cover two things.  1 - the fact that not all the bricks were the same length on the page (for some reason I kept moving the stencil further down the closer I got to the right side of the page), and 2 - the fact that I did not size the colors evenly and ended up with too much purple, which needed to be strategically (there goes that word again!) covered with my two photos.  I really had a blast with this one.  I was able to pull out my very organized-by-color diecuts box and arrange the pieces in such a way that it provides dimension and color-sequencing.  The diecuts range from Elle's Studio, Jillibean Soup and Amy Tangerine.  Also, I chose to add my fur-babies to this layout because when I think of Rainbows, I think of the story of Noah, who built an arc and after it rained for 40 days and nights, he received a symbol and confirmation that God will never again destroy the planet earth by rain.  So this is my very own arc of pets.  A malti-poo and a bunny... and I just may and a cute little piggy too one day!

Image may contain: textThe Paper Issues Spring Crop is open until March 26th.  I plan to complete each and every challenge, just because I found them to be so fun, it helped me tap into my missing mojo and I am actually using the products I once loved and forgot about.

Paper Issues - Facebook Group
Paper Issues - Spring Crop
Paper Issues - Instagram
Paper Issues - Website (blog & shop)

The best part is, if you use the code "UNICORN" in their shop, you will receive 30% off your purchase!

Thanks for checking in and be sure to return for more 12x12 layouts that I created over the weekend!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


I turned 43!
More than a month ago!!
So I'm practically 43.5 now!!
Because the older I get, the faster it happens!!!
[what's with the exclamation marks?!?!!?]

To be honest, for me, inspiration does not come from the collection.  Contrary to how many others may choose to scrapbook, I don't first decide on a collection and then find a photo to match that style or color.  I first choose my photos (the ones I'm most interested in documenting), and then dig through my stash for what will blend well.  I try to stick to one company, so that when I'm #hashtagging away I won't have to add so many on Instagram, but it's difficult, because I want to give everyone their fair share of time and space in my pages.

Now there are not instances, that browsing through online shops I come across a collection that's just amazingly beautiful, that I must have, not thinking of any photos that will work well with the line, but there is always a photo waiting to be taken that will be the perfect match.

[Or if you're like me, you'll be that mom that makes the photo happen by looking for backgrounds and making sure your family wears a specific outfit that you know is going to set the stage for an awesome photo. ] 

Either way I'm not that creatively strategic when it comes to building my pockets.

For this set of photos, however, I did try to stick to My Mind's Eye "HOORAY", which was difficult because the 4x6 card is random and some of the chipboard stickers are from Simple Stories / Carpe Diem.  I also used their sticker sheet and clear stickers to help complete the burst of confetti fun on this layout.
The clear stickers that say "hello 43" are actually 3 stickers different stickers from 2 different companies.  Simple Stories & Making Memories.  If you look at "hello" with the double lines it is 1 sticker.  What I did is I cut the word apart from the double lines and placed the numbers in between, otherwise it was going to look a little odd.  I like having the freedom to play around with the original item to get the desired look I need/want.

There are occassions I share more crafty photos on my Instagram, than my blog, so if you care to take peeks at what I'm up to just click here.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Counter-Clockwise Forwards In Reverse.

This week I make a tough decision to put aside my worrying about the items that I missed documenting in 2015, which enabled me to create a cover page in my current 6x8 Simple Stories SNAP! album.  I used mostly Elle's Studio 3x4 cards, but as you know I like to mix it up with different designers and companies.

My plan is to work counter-clockwise, forwards in reverse... is what I'm calling it.  I will do current pocket layouts as I go back in time.  There are a few photos I've already printed, tucked ravagely in a Target Dollar Spot accordion file folder, and are patiently waiting to be documented.  I would either use in my album or make mini TN layouts.

I came to the conclusion that the more I worry about the photos I have not yet scrapbooked, the more time I waste in not actually getting started doing so.  I'm not concerned about what goes where anymore.  I'm not thinking about chronological order.  The fact that I'm dealing with pockets allows my cards to move around if need be.  If I can work my way forward and backwards, I can knock them out at the same time, fill my album and be ready to scrapbook my 2016 December Daily by Labor Day... last year...
No judgements from you, right?!

If you go to the middle of my album you will find a July 2016 family movie date page and the very next page starts the new year.
I used two 4x6 cards from 2 different collections.  One is Project Life, the other is Simple Stories.  I added a few embellies from Elle's Studio, Amy Tangerine and American Crafts, and used one of my favorite NYE photos.  I have 1 other NYE photo to add, but as you know, things will get moved around, and oddly enough, I'm not sure I even have that one printed.

The page below is immediately following the one above, it's a double spread because there was much to document.  Our annual fair event is the highlight of our 21-Day-Fast Finale... hehe... next year I think I'll start the fast on Jan 2nd, to enjoy more days with that delicious PRETZEL!

I used yellows, mint/teals with accents of red, and mainly Elle's Studio cards.  I happen to be such a fan that I finally buckled and go on board with the subscription kit.  Other than the $10 IPSY sub I had a year ago, this will be the first one I try.  It will be my first scrapbook one I try.  I love all of their products, their stamps, acrylics, wood veneers (which I hate that they're kinda dying out), and alpha stickers, I may have doubles of each color.  So why not grab their anniversary deal which is running all month long?  You'll receive an exclusive set of cards and a pen.  It's all limited so I suggest you get started on your Elle's Studio journey.
I'm not stressed or anxious about my random scrapbooking.  As long as my phone records the dates, I'll be able to catch up at my own pace.

Stay tuned for another pocket page post this week!


Wednesday, February 22, 2017


...the time to document your life.

I did just that over the weekend.  Although my nose was stuffy, my head was cloudy and my tastebuds lacked appeasing, I made it a priority to find the time for some me-in-my-craft-space time.  I was able to dig out some old summer pix and create a couple of fun layouts.

In the past I have felt a little hesitant about sharing these personal pages, not because of the content, but because I am not my own supporter when it comes to my handwriting.  I am so happy that my husband blessed me with a typewriter last year.  It's my go to item for journaling.

In these next few layouts I chose to use the Simple Stories "You Are Here" collection.  I had the 12x12 cardstock sticker sheet, clear stickers and SN@P pack kit.  It included the perfect shades of blue and orange to complete the bright summer look I was going for...

For the photo below I wanted to eliminate the orange and add yellow.  This was easy with Simple Stories, because I was able to tap into their other product lines to bring in some reds to match my son's sweater.

What I love about Simple Stories, is that I am not limited to their products in order to create the perfect blend of pages.  They work well with other companies and even products that were released in different seasons.

I hope you make time this week to pull out those great photos and document the wonderful memories tied to them.  This may seem like just a silly movie pic, but in 10 years, when Gio would rather go to the theatre with his friends, I can look back at this and relive the moment.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Sermon Notes

Originally I chose the "Ballerina" planner from Simple Stories & The Reset Girl to help me organize my blogging schedule.  Being that I have made more time for checking things off my 2017 GOALS list, this planner found a different purpose.

Some time, in the middle of January, as I listened to some Podcasts, I realized how much wisdom I wanted to save from the sermons I was listening to, and if you recall seeing the first photo on Instagram, you'd know this was from the Pastor Steven Furtick "Work Your Window" series.  I was so blessed by him that I decided to take notes.

Except, in the past, taking notes meant I would never look at them again.  Bringing them into my blog planner has helped me not only review them, but make them more exciting by using my craft supplies.

I decided, from then on, that I would schedule my note-taking time and prepare my pages with washi, stamps, inks, stickers and more.  I especially love that I can dig into my stash to mix & match items from different collections, different colors and different styles; and yet they all just perfectly blend.  So this planner not serves multiple purposes... I schedule my blogs and jot my blog ideas, I take sermon notes and I even use it to take notes from my online writing course...

I hope this has inspired you to not only use your supplies for documenting photos, but also to document your life as a whole.

Thanks for checking in and I hope you return tomorrow for more inspiration.

Supplies by:
- Simple Stories
- Carpe Diem
- The Reset Girl
- Illustrated Faith
- Amy Tangerine
- Dear Lizzy
- Studio Calico
- My Mind's Eye


Friday, January 27, 2017


As much as I'd love to share photos of what I've been up to in the last year, I don't believe you will be here 12 hours - scrolling through this post.. so I thought I'd take you through the latest project... my OLW (One Little Word) notebook.

I've been choosing OLWs for a few years, but never documented it.  I knew this was important and needed to keep track of how I progress.

I ordered a few of the items from Ali Edwards here, and started by creating an intro page.  I wanted to include the definition of "COMMIT", but I really dislike my handwriting (improving this is on my wish list), so I used the WeRMemoryKeepers Typecast Typewriter on one of the journaling cards in the new 2017 OLW collection.
This will be a great reminder of the path I am pushing myself to take this year.

There are a few other crafty projects I'd like to work through; like finalizing my planners and traveler's notebooks, and more.  But I've just been extremely wrapped up with family, work and church activities.  I really need to schedule time for my "down time".  It's so important for me to take these moments to unwind.  But the guilt of needing to spend time with family outweighs my personal desires.  Creating a craft schedule is another item I have to work through.

Another update I'd like to share is my No-Spend January success.  I really enjoyed limiting myself and creating boundaries with spending.  It did hurt on occasions seeing the new stock of Target Dollar Spot items, and not being able to dig in or the fact that Studio Calico came out with a new Mega Times Stamp that I drooled over... thankfully hubby knows about my rollerstamp obsession and purchased it for me as an early birthday gift.  (what a darling!)  If it weren't for that I probably would have to wait until they restocked the pre-order.  This No-Spend process has brought me to the realization that I really don't "NEED" everything I see.  It's become borderline 'Envy'.  We hate using that word because it sounds like it's wrapped up with 'Jealousy', but 'Envy' is just a fancy word for "wanting what someone else has".  That's my definition.  That's the biblical definition and if I want to be a better Jesus follower, I need to recognize these areas and work on them.

So now that I'm reaching the end of my No-Spend challenge I'm noticing mixed feelings.  Happy because I can go back to getting things I want.  Sad because I really enjoyed limiting myself, saving money, paying off HUGE CHUNKS of debt/bills and working on my credit.  All in one month!  I think I'll continue the "No-Spend" challenge, but lighten it a little.  Maybe give myself a weekly spending budget of $25.  If I want a purse, I'd have to wait 4 weeks.  I think this is reasonable.  Especially if I'm thinking of possibly joining a monthly membership.  Which I'll need hubby to purchase for me, because the open enrollment ends 1/31.  lol.

Along with the $25 weekly budget, I will include any and all new rollerstamps.  Which, if you have been paying close attention to Instagram, you'll know there are at least 5 new rollers to come out.

But, I COMMIT to saving more and spending-less.
Especially if I am in a continual "Decluttering" state of mind.
Especially if I'm consistently giving away crafty things.
Especially that confessing it here is keeping me accountable to that.

P.S.  Now that you're here, why not go ahead and follow my blog... there's several ways to do it.. just look at the right hand sidebar for more details.

Have a great weekend!