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Dedra Long

Last Build Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2017 13:20:48 +0000


Gone, but not forgotten

Wed, 25 Mar 2015 07:44:00 +0000

my little blog. Life, life gets in the way. It slaps you around and takes names. There is always a host of things that pull you in a million directions daily. Updating the blog is always the first to go on my list. Especially with Facebook, twitter and man I have been an Instagram user for years but this past week I got bit by the bug and I'm loving the ease of Instagram. Pair that with Pinterest, and actually being creative and there you have it.

Let's start with the planner craze that is going on right now. I have always, I mean always had a planner but not a planner like the current ones being released right now. They are absolutely gorgeous! The other day I started looking through the studio and I found a ton of my old planners even from around the time that Shelby was a toddler. You know, you have to keep track of so many things, from doctors appointments, to date nights and everything in between. I found a planner dating back to 2000, when I was diagnosed with stage III cancer. Looking back through it brought tears back to my eyes and the thoughts I wrote down during that time are pretty heartfelt. Shelby was 4. Crazy, looking back through all those planners.

Seriously, the thing is you can totally interchange your scrapbooking supplies with your planner supplies, it's pretty cool really.

Here is a little peek at something I've been up to the last few days.

Finding new ways to use the Silhouette Cameo and customizing the planner by adding additional pages that match my style and personality. Using the 3x4 cards from the Silhouette Store that were designed for Project Life, I resized them to fit as pages in my planner. Mixing, matching and layering with old supplies from my stash and newer products that I had just purchased was so fun and gave me a new creative direction.

Here is another page that I added to my planner.

This one I layered a piece of vellum and a die cut card and finished the page with a couple of metal clips. Now, I'm thinking of more ways to incorporate die cut pieces into unique page designs that make my planner even more fun and colorful. 

I would love for you all to follow me on Instagram and or Facebook where I'm more active and post photos that may never make onto this little blog. I feel like when I post here it needs to be something more profound but I'm going to try and update this little place more often, regardless. 

Thanks for stopping by and giving my blog your time. I know your time is precious and you could be surfing so many other places right now. Hope you have a fantastic day! xoxo

last minute

Wed, 24 Dec 2014 22:04:00 +0000

goodies for friends and neighbors. This Christmas Eve we will be heading out early to see a few friends and neighbors before we settle in and start out nightly traditions.
When we arrive we never like to show up empty handed and we always make sure to take a little something.
For finding just the perfect and cute ideas I turned to my thousands of pins on Pinterest. I have some serious Pinterest love and don't know how I survived without it. It was nice to finally put a pin to good use and really see if it would be a success.

Basic supplies - peppermint candy canes, marshmallows, dark chocolate and of course super festive straws! Unwrap candy canes and crush, melt dark chocolate and combine straws and marshmallows.

We made these early this month for Ellie's birthday and everyone loved them!
The perfect addition to your hot chocolate by the fire or in our case the fire pit.

Here is a fun printable holiday photo checklist that and our team put together. You can access it here.

Hope your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are as amazing as you are!

A little

Fri, 19 Dec 2014 04:45:00 +0000

Christmas cheer! Christmas is such a festive time of year and during the holiday season I really do like to make our home really welcoming and I take "Deck The Halls" pretty seriously.I had a such a great time putting together our niche this year. We did have to re-paint it after Halloween, it was a mess and needed a fresh chalkboard paint coat.I told Jon about the vision I had. I promised him all he had to help me with was suspending the branches from the ceiling and honestly I'm so thankful he puts up with my crazy ideas. Sometimes when he is looking at me and I'm letting him into my mind he must think I'm absolutely insane. Most of the snowflakes were cut using my Silhouette Cameo and others were hand cut by Ellie, she had so much fun creating these for my project. If you are looking to add a die cutting machine to your Christmas List this year, I promise you will not be disappointed if the Cameo is the machine you choose.After creating some Pinwheel projects for work, I was hooked on the Pinwheel Punch Board from We R Memory Keepers. So much so that I created a pinwheel wall for the holidays. Right now, it is on major discount too. A total score! For the last few years I have been collecting trees and I can't seem to get enough of them. If I had my way the entire house would look like an outdoor wonderland full of trees everywhere you looked.For now this will do, but I have asked Jon if we could go out on Christmas Eve day and grab trees that did not sell and fill the house with a little more cheer! I tell you this man has some serious patience with me. ;)I still love the massive pinecones that my mother and father in law brought us from Lake Tahoe. They hang gloriously on each of our kitchen cabinets. They love seeing these displayed every year with such love and care!This year Shelby was still in Oregon when we brought the tree out and we decided to only put the lights on. We would wait for her to come home before we decorated the tree with ornaments, her absence would be felt too much.So, our tree went from this....We hope your holiday season is merry and bright! Thanks for stopping by during this busy time of year. xoxo[...]

The most wonderful

Wed, 17 Dec 2014 01:32:00 +0000

time of year....especially for this sweet girl! She waits all year for the month December. Christmas and her birthday within ten days of each other. Every year we focus on what her interests are and plan her party around those. Keeping that special day Christmas free for the most part.

She is a lover of any living creature, seriously. When she thinks of an animal she does not care for, she then thinks of something that makes that one special.
Horses, horses, horses....she has been riding for awhile now (going on 5 years). I remember Flame the first horse she rode consistently, watching her brush him, clean him, etc. used to make me so nervous. Flame was so tall that she had to get on a tall log stump to even ride him. But she is a natural and is so comfortable around every horse she has come in contact with. Her new horse love is Max and he is quite handsome.

She can and will find any all dirt to play and jump around in. Definitely an outdoors girl.
She loves drawing, writing stories, crafts in general. That's my girl! :)

Keeping all of these things in mind we decided to have a sort of craft day.
I gathered some supplies to make animal necklaces with and snow globes out of mason jars. I saw these on Pinterest and thought they would be fun and fairly easy to make.

Next, Jon and I thought we could take her and a friend to "As You Wish". It would was the first time Jon and I had been there and I have to say we had a blast and the girls had a great time deciding what to paint, the colors they wanted to use, etc.

We pick up our masterpieces this week. :) It was a fun filled weekend celebrating our girl!

Happy, Happy

Thu, 27 Nov 2014 07:02:00 +0000

Thanksgiving to you and yours! A time to give thanks and to remember how grateful we are for family, friends and the life that we live. Here in Arizona there has been a chill in the air, especially in the mornings, which is a nice change of pace.Tomorrow the Christmas decor will be brought out, Jon is prepared and ready to do his part (he is such a good man), who knows how I love decorating and how I want the house to look amazing. We are looking forward to Shelby being home and the phrase "Merry & Bright" has been ringing in my head. I think this might be what the chalkboard niche will convey.Man, I'm getting ahead of myself. With a chill in the air I made the first banana bread of the season and it tastes so good. I can pass up Jon's 10:30pm ice cream bowl every night of the year but banana bread is my weakness. So super yummy. I wish I could share it with all of you and maybe with some coffee, tea or hot chocolate!I wanted to share some layouts I created about special moments and stories in our family. Thankful that Shelby has a partner in crime, a boyfriend that cares for her and inspires her at the same college.Thankful that they are able to share college life and experiences together.This was their Senior Prom. The last dance they would go to together. They had been to quite a fewdances throughout their high school career but always as just friends until this last year, when feelings grew from their four year friendship. For this layout I put my Silhouette Cameo to the test, creating a layered die cut piece. Here is a little tutorial I put together for I used a doily cut file from my Silhouette Cameo library. I re-sized it so it would fit a 12" x 12" background sheet of paper side to side and then cut it out of the ivory cardstock. Once it was cut, I grabbed a Teresa Collins woodgrain patterned paper as well as brown cardstock and went to work.I wanted to create a multi layered doily die cut piece as the focal point of the layout. So I started by backing it with the woodgrain paper and then put it on top of the brown cardstock sheet I used as my background.Next, I decided to use three photos and I wanted to create some sort of collage which would require another layer within the doily center. Looking through my Silhouette library I came across a pie chart cut file and knew this was what I needed.I took the inside measurement of the doily and sized the pie chart accordingly (making it slightly larger).Looking at the file, I realized I needed to add a circle around the outside of the pie chart to create a "home" or frame for the photos, so I used the Arc tool to draw the outer circle and cut it out.I played around with the arrangement of the pie chart in the center of the doily, figuring out the placement and how it would affect the photos. I had three photos and looking at the pie chart I wanted those photos to be placed in the biggest sections of the chart.After the photos were cut down, sized and placed, it left me with one small section for embellishments. I started with backing that section with patterned paper to give the layout some color. I grabbed the chipboard stickers and chose one I liked, then cut it down at an angle so it would fit perfectly inside the pie chart. Then I gathered some of the other embellishments, trying to decide which ones I wanted to use, moving them around until I was happy. Then the fun layering part began! A combination of flowers (chipboard and paper), leaf stickers, cork, buttons and rhinestones, is what I ended up with.After placing the embellishments, I had to figure out where to put my journaling, because for me, it's about the story as much as it is about the photos. Originally I had planned on having more journaling than I ended up with and that's ok. I included the most important parts and by using the chipboard journaling sticker I was able to include my handwriting which is also a bonus. Family members will love that[...]

File Folder love....

Thu, 20 Nov 2014 01:32:00 +0000

I created this awhile ago and haven't shared the finished book until now. It really hard to believe that this time with her and Ryne at Homecoming was a little over a year ago. The time really does go by so fast and I tried to savor every moment I could last year, knowing this year would be different with her away at college. I'll be honest I'm still adjusting and I miss her tremendously. I have found myself saving photos to my phone from Facebook (thank goodness for social media). Can't wait until she is home for Christmas!The file folders are from Heidi Swapp but you could re-create the same book with any file folders, especially if you have a set that includes various sizes of them. To bind all of the file folders together I used the Cinch from We R Memory Keepers. With Christmas coming up it would be the perfect addition to your wish list for sure.On the top file folder I added a mini flip book to hold more photos, give the project dimension and having an interactive element on the cover turned out to be a super fun addition.The golden flower was actually white inside the package and I have learned to never turn down cute white flowers because you can take spray mist and make them any color you like to match your project. Getting some ink on my hands always feels a little refreshing too. :)Journaling cards are made by so many manufacturers now and can not only be used it Project Life - Pocket Page scrapbooking but many are the perfect size to fit in minibooks as well. Journaling cards have all kinds of different finishes and I won't lie I get suckered in every time for the gold foil and specialty finishes that now adorn journaling cards. The leaves were hand cut and layered, then stitched with the We R Memory Keepers floss, you can also use plain old DMC floss too. One can't go wrong with using Crate Paper and Heidi Swapp to embellish!Another favorite thing for me now is to add die cut pieces throughout a project. Last year at this time I had never owned a die cutting machine and I got a great deal on the Silhouette Cameo last Christmas from and I have to say it was one of the best investments I have made to date. There are so many things you can do, including creating/designing your own cut files. The Silhouette Cameo Version 2 is hitting stores. I have given it a test run and it is just amazing as the original with a few more added bells and whistles. It would be another great addition to your Christmas List as well. You won't regret it.I loved how the cover turned out with the flip book on top and since I still had a few photos I wanted to put in this book I went ahead and added a second mini flip book onto the left hand page. Finished with some more Crate Paper flowers, My Mind's Eye journaling cards and die cut pieces. Thanks for stopping by!xoxo[...]

Pinwheels, you say?

Thu, 13 Nov 2014 02:40:00 +0000

What do you think of when you think of pinwheels? Spring, Summer, children running in a green flower filled field. I know, that's what I think of too, but I just got the We R pinwheel punch board and I was a little skeptical. I'm not really a tool person, per se but....when I started thinking of all of the possibilities I couldn't resist, even though it's almost Thanksgiving.From making killer gift wrapping to parties, wedding, baby showers and everything in between I have to say this little tool can do it all. I created five different projects with basic supplies, the pinwheel punch board and for this particular project some crazy cool gift wrapping paper. For the gold glitter wrapped "thinking of you" present I create two double pinwheels and then "nested" them on top of each other. Finishing it off with some My Mind's Eye party confetti and button and a rhinestone. You can always switch out the cardstock banner tag for a congratulations, thank you or celebrate saying which is perfect for any occasion. When I opened up the glitter wrapping paper from Teresa Collins I was a little scared it was going to shed all over the place but it didn't. Then I thought maybe when I started to cut into it that's when it would get a little crazy and it was going to spread all over the place, but it didn't, which was a nice surprise. I love glitter but not all over me and the place I'm working. It was easy to work with in that respect. As far as adhesive I don't know if it was the fact that I wasn't working with Scotch brand tape or not but the tape I had was not holding with the glitter. So I had to think outside of the box and I grabbed my 3D foam squares and used those underneath the wrapping paper to hold it. In the end it worked out and you can't see how the wrapping paper is adhered. I finished it off with some gold twine to make sure everything stayed in place. Hopefully, that makes sense. I don't have the presents with me to take more detailed shots, maybe when I get them back. :)I can't wait to share the other projects with you guys and they will be apart of our Thanksgiving/Christmas home decor for sure! For Christmas I'll have to mix some cool snowflakes in with them. Hope you guys have a great end to your week!xoxo[...]

this weekend

Tue, 04 Nov 2014 18:12:00 +0000

I got to work with the November Kit called Thankful for Family. This kit has a touch of Thanksgiving and Fall elements but can also be used for documenting other stories as well.
When I was creating with this kit I didn't create one single Thanksgiving layout. This kit doesn't pressure you to do that, it's not too "themey", which is nice.

Here is a little peek at what I was able to come up with. While creating these I took photos of the process, which is something I have never done. Trying to shake things up a bit on my little blog.

So, that's what is up around here. Oh, and convincing my husband to ride the Kamikaze (which he is terrified of). I'll share what I posted on Facebook because in the moment it was hysterical and still thinking about it puts a smile on my face. He really does put up with me and all my craziness. 

At this point in the ride, completely hanging upside down Jon was yelling "Oh my gosh honey, I can't believe you made me do this", we are going to die!" I couldn't stop laughing, I live for these kinds of rides! This is how I know he really loves me!

Thanks for stopping by!


Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:04:00 +0000

is tomorrow and it seems like this Halloween came up fast. I have been wanting to share how the house looks since everything has been decorated since mid September. This year has been different with Shelby away at college.There is a funny/emotional story this year from the pumpkin patch that had me in tears last week. We had taken Ellie to pick out a pumpkin with Jon's parents and standing among all the teeny tiny pumpkins was this sweet, curly blonde blue eyed girl. Her hair was in a bun with ringlets and the whole nine yards. I'm standing, staring at her and thinking "wow, she looks exactly the way Shelby did at her age." All of the sudden I hear her mom say "Shelby!" and that was it, instant tears streaming down my face and a deep longing to hug our girl.Needless to say it hit me like a MAC truck and the next time I spoke to Shelby she could sense I was missing her and of course I had to tell her the story.Ok, sorry back to Halloween decor.This is a long wall in our family room that has been bare since we moved in. Jon promised when we moved in something would be here within the first year. He just wanted that wall and here we are over 2 years later and nothing, so the wall after the holidays is going to be mine (at least that's what I tell him with a loving, yet firm voice), lol.It is amazing how expensive die cut cardstock shapes can be, especially from known names like Martha Stewart and they are all the same size in the package. So, I decided to cut these with my Silhouette Cameo and I started with a small size and worked my way up from there. All I used was black cardstock and 3D foam squares. It was fun and inexpensive.On Pinterest I came across a variation of brooms on a chalkboard wall, so I put my spin on it and this is how it turned out. Shelby came up with the name and Ellie donated her skeleton bones school paperwork to the typewriter. It was great timing that she was studying and had to know the major bones of the human body for her science class. This was a little hard to put into perspective with a photo. These sticks are right underneath the fan. We had to cut them down because it is still so hot here in Arizona during October and the fan has to be running. Jon put the birds in the branches. The area above the entertainment center is also a little difficult to photograph. It's full of potion and poison bottles. Rats, skeletons, old books and cameras, spiders, you know all of the essentials.You can't go wrong with skeletons and crates. Those are all of the main areas around the house. There are a few more little vignettes. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you and your family have a safe and fun filled Halloween!xoxo[...]

It all started

Tue, 14 Oct 2014 13:44:00 +0000

on Sunday afternoon, when my mom texted me asking if I knew of a place where she could get a bow tie. I simply responded with, "is it for a costume or something more formal."
After that text she called to ask if I was home, then she came over with a top hat and bling sunglasses. Then, I got the real story. She had bought a life sized skeleton that she wanted to find a bow tie for and she wanted her skeleton to be a girl.

That led to this....

As the top hat was being created we were talking about names for the skeleton and my mom had decided she came from New Orleans. We settled on Olga for her name.

After the bow tie and top hat was complete I decided that Olga, our southern skeleton also needed a Halloween charm bracelet. I used some Tim Holtz metal clips and chains to hang the charms from. It was an unexpected creative afternoon spent with my mom and she was super excited with how everything turned out. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Halloween invites....

Tue, 07 Oct 2014 05:22:00 +0000

are crazy expensive, seriously. Every year we have our annual pumping carving party and some years I have made the invitations and other years (like last year I bought them). Last year I remember being behind in the invite category of Halloween and having to buy them pretty much pre.made and that about killed my creative spirit and my pocketbook wasn't to happy either.

This year, I have made it a point to be more proactive even though these invites turned out super simple I kind of like it. The Silhouette Cameo, a bat cut file, black cardstock, a Uniball Signo white pen and kraft envelopes. A little time consuming but simple.

This Halloween seems to be all about bats. It all started with the bat wall I wanted to create in our living room and I loved how it turned out so I carried that theme into the invitations. Getting these little pretties in the mail today felt good. Wishing you all lived close so I could send one to you too!

Hope you have a great week!

The Tim Holtz Folio

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 01:04:00 +0000

was the perfect base for creating this mini book of my Nannie and Papa. I love that the flaps of the folio can be folded at different levels depending on how much room you need for the embellishments you used. It really was a great little project to work on. This was created using the small folio that can be found here, if your interested.The elastic band closure gives the folio a great vintage feel and I couldn't help but add a vintage brooch to the cover. The heavy duty material the folio is constructed of made the stamped images bold.The top photo, my Papa in High School and the bottom photo is my great grandparents, my Papa and all of the brothers and sisters on the family farm.The top photo was my Nannie and Papa hanging out with their friends and the bottom photo my Nannie was pregnant with my mom. I feel so lucky and blessed to have these wedding day photos of my grandparents. I love that in the family, if photos are found everyone sends them to me not only for safe keeping but they also know I try to find out the story if I can to tell it. Papa in his Senior year and away serving in the military. Nannie on the family farm while he was away in Germany.I used some of these photos before in a layout but this little folio is displayed in our home year round and just walking past it makes me smile. My mom told me recently that she would love to have this book someday after seeing it and looking through it.On another note, Halloween decorations have been up for almost 2 weeks and I feel so good about it. I think I'm a little ahead of schedule this year, which I'm liking. I was able to get more than half way through making the annual Halloween Pumpkin Carving Party invites as well as mailing all of the birthday thank you notes!Hoping your week is a fulfilling, productive one!xoxoxo[...]

through the viewfinder

Fri, 12 Sep 2014 13:44:00 +0000

When I came across this awesome viewfinder die cut in the Silhouette store I was drawn to it and had to have it. I remember actually having a viewfinder growing up and maybe that's what drew me to it and the fact I could make my own viewfinder of sorts.
Now the great thing about die cutting with the Cameo is you can make your die cuts as small and as big as you like. Sometimes though, it gives me too many possibilities, lol.
With this, I wanted to go big (go big or go home, ask any of my friends and they will tell you I say this quite often, being from Texas and all). I wanted to almost completely fill the 12 x 12 paper.

I used some of the photos we took driving Shelby up to college and getting her moved into her dorm room. We were able to see old friends and be there for Shelby with whatever she needed. While attending the parent orientation as the health staff at her school went through the needs of out of state incoming Freshman it hit me. They started talking about getting all of the medications, health related things that we normally give our children at home and stocking them up before we left.
This was something I thought about but it really hit home after hearing the health statistics on college students. So, we went to the store and I started thinking about how awful it is to be sick and not have anyone there to really take care of you. I have to say Jon looked at me a little crazy but hey, I'm a mom and that's what we do, we take care of our kids. Did I go a little overboard, making sure she had everything, maybe a tinsy bit. BUT again, that's what we do, make sure the ones we love are well taken care of when we can't take care of them ourselves.
Wow, sorry about that. Got a little off track.

So, the center of the viewfinder was a little plain to me and I wanted to fill it with a bigger photo. So after the original cut was complete I left the mat loaded in to the Cameo and I used the angle tool to cut the large circle out of the center.
Measuring each opening in the viewfinder I printed the photos and attached them under each one.
Finishing the layout with stamps, stickers, gold foil chipboard and some journaling.

Hope you guys have a great weekend!
Thanks for stopping by.

nothing I love more

Wed, 03 Sep 2014 18:44:00 +0000

than seeing, collecting and documenting a group of photos all together on one layout. I have never has this many photos on one layout but I have to say grabbing all of these moments, memories and relationships choked me up a bit. Right now, at this point I needed these photos. I'm missing her and holding onto Ellie as hard as I can. They grow up so fast, and for friends and family that have little ones, I know it's hard to believe but seriously, it's a blink and here we are.
Maybe because I turn 40 this month I'm a little more emotional than usual. Whatever the case may be I'm still missing her and spending as much time as I can with Ellie.
Oh, that reminds me I can't wait to see the Book Of Life Movie with her. Let the good times roll! :)

I used the kit "A Wonderful Life" to create this one. The kit went on sale this morning and can be found here. I love all of the gold foil papers and embellishments in this one. It's hard to tell but the ampersand paper is gold foiled and in real life it rocks. You can never go wrong with gold foil on anything.
This layout has 56 photos total and at first it was a little daunting figuring out how to work with all of them. So many friends, activities, accomplishments wrapped up in all of these snapshots of high school. In the end, I love how it turned out and I can't wait to show Shelby when she is home.

Thanks for stopping by.

back from

Mon, 25 Aug 2014 11:47:00 +0000

from a great road trip to Oregon and getting Shelby set up in her college dorm. Our family dynamic has definitely changed. It was a long drive but well worth the special times and experiences we shared with her. I remember always telling her like I tell Ellie now as well, knowledge is power. One of my life goals was having our girls go to college and now one is there and we are beyond proud.

A few years ago I created a minibook called 34 before 34. Which documented the 34 days leading up to my 34th birthday. This year being my 40th birthday I'm creating a second edition. Right now I'm working on my 40 before 40 minibook. Taking a photo each day for 40 days leading up to my 40th birthday.

Since we were on the road during some of this time I was journaling each day in my calendar planner. This came in very handy. We were super busy each day and there was just no time to scrapbook on the road and we wanted to focus on Shelby, getting everything she needed and spend as much time as possible with her before we headed back home.

As mom's (at least this mom), we tend to leave our (my) story for last. Scrapbooking about yourself, likes, dislikes, loves, emotions, trials and tribulations and everything in between is something that I think our daughters would love to know about me as they get older and start their lives with families, work, etc. They are after all apart of me and might want to know how I dealt with certain situations, family history, navigated relationships, etc.
This little book will serve as a snapshot of (40) things and events that were going on right before my milestone 40th birthday.

Thanks for stopping by!

The 60th

Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:14:00 +0000

birthday for Mom and a lot of us were out of town traveling on business and two of these girls would already be in school for their first day of High School as Freshman. With everything going on all of us girls decided we would take Mom out for dinner and then travel to downtown Scottsdale for dessert. Where to go for dessert was an easy decision, dinner was another story. This is what happens since Mom only has granddaughters.

Lots of girl talk, emotions, love, clothes and shoes talk. She has been there for us all in one way or another, good, bad, happy, sad. Good times for us girls. Mom wanted to make sure in our photo that the Life is Good sign was in the back. This photo was the best I could do.

For the love of anything gold foil. This "favorite" chipboard word sticker was so cool looking. Loved using it to ground the photos. The chipboard flower pieces was one big piece originally. So, I cut it into two pieces and it worked out perfect.

Thanks for stopping by!

Photo bomb

Fri, 15 Aug 2014 14:44:00 +0000

is his new favorite little thing he likes to do and at his age he thinks he is hilarious. Picking up Ellie from the airport and we are waiting at baggage claim. We are standing there and I decided I wanted to take a photo of us all. The girls were up for it so I turned to Jon and asked him if he wanted to take a photo with us.
No response, he is totally distracted. So, we get close and snap the photo.
We had no idea until we went back to look and there he was in the back making a goofy face.

Ellie is such a little collector just like her mama. She kept the US Airways wings that they gave her on the flight, a girl after my own heart. I love when I can use memorabilia on a layout to help tell the story.

I used design ID# 59047 and design ID# 61508 from the Silhouette Online Store as well as the Kit "Together Is My Favorite Place".
I love that this kit includes a Tim Holtz Tag Stencil and Cat's Eye Ink.

Hope you have a great weekend!

California lovin'

Tue, 12 Aug 2014 12:44:00 +0000

is what Ellie has every summer. She loves when Jon and I drive her up to see Grandpa and Grandma B. in California. As soon as we pull into the driveway at the ranch, she gives them both a big hug, gathers carrots and peppermints, finds us all then we head down the street to see Lucy Blaze (her favorite California horse).

Jon and I usually stay the weekend and then head back home. Ellie stays for about two weeks and Grandpa and Grandma usually have fun things planned during her stay. This summer activities included going to Sacramento to see Uncle Bud and Terri, getting her toe nails done, as well as, getting breakfast and the water park with a friend, the zoo, helping Grandpa mow the ranch, reading books, taking the RV to Santa Cruz by the beach and walking the boardwalk.
So many great memories packed into each summer trip with Grandpa and Grandma.

To create this layout I used the August Kit "Together Is My Favorite Place". I love the color combinations you can make using this one. You can check it out here. I was able to fit a total of eight photos on this layout. That's one of the things I love about trips and vacations, lots of photos, memories and great stories to tell with it which usually makes an interesting layout. All of the colors that each photo can bring to add interest and depth to your design and embellishments, the perfect recipe.
I also loved how mixing the silver foil vellum and gold foil chipboard pieces meshed so well together.
Jen Allyson with My Mind's Eye knows the way to this girls heart with the fabulous Market Street Collection she designed. Makes me want to learn how to design collections myself.

I created the pinwheel using design ID #2007 from the Silhouette Online Store as well as the This Its It die cut banner piece which is design ID #56000.

Thanks for stopping by.

The gold vellum

Mon, 04 Aug 2014 13:24:00 +0000

map from Chic Tags made me gasp out loud when I first saw it at the January CHA show. I knew I wanted to include it into one of the Kits. The Across The Miles kit is one of my favorites, there are a few left and you can check it out here. All of the little bits and pieces, journaling cards, a wood sheet, cardstock stickers and more = good creative vibes for me.I sat down with this kit and the map vellum paper in particular, I started dreaming of all the destinations that were pinned to my Pinterest board. My "bucket list of places" that eventually I wanted us to travel to as a family or just Jon and I. Then it hit me - I have never done any sort of layout or documentation of my Pinterest boards and how interesting that might be to the girls later. Out Pinterest boards are sort of an expression of what each of us is "in to" or our "style", the foods we like to eat or the exercises we think we should be doing. When you think about it, it does speak a lot to who we are and what we are interested in as a person. The more I thought about it the more I wanted to create a "bucket list" travel layout.I headed to the destinations board in my Pinterest account and printed out a couple of screen shots from that board, which became my photos. I used sewing thread, the Chic Tags wood veneer sequins and little gems to mark the places in the photos I wanted to travel to someday. Super fun!There are over 100 die cut and acetate pieces from Pink Paislee included. So many good pieces that I had a hard time narrowing down which ones I wanted to use for this fun girl selfie layout. Shelby, Mom and I on a day road trip to Prescott. So much laughter and girl talk that day, one I want to remember.Also included in this kit is wood paper from My Mind's Eye. Swoon. I really, really wanted to cut this wood paper with the cameo. It took a few setting changes and a little finesse with the cameo but in the end it worked like a charm and I was pleased with the final results.Here in Arizona this morning is the first day of school. Now, it's just Ellie starting 6th grade. I always take a photo of her first day of school but I always forget to take a photo of her last day. This time I remembered and took that last day photo too. It's always amazing how one school year can make a big difference.Thanks for stopping by and hope your day is fabulous!xoxo[...]

Old photos

Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:44:00 +0000

using current scrapbook products for some reason hinder my creative abilities. Sharing some more recent layouts using the kit Nautical Days that can be found here. There are still a few in stock. Over the years I have found that most of the people I have met and talked to are focused on documenting the present or the future (I more times than not have that same focus).This is a story about my grandparents that had to be documented. Until this layout the girls and Jon had no idea what the story was behind them. Why my Papa was always next to or holding a photo of my Nannie.I started with the original photos and I knew that I didn't want to use them on the actual layout and I didn't have or own a scanner. So I took my iphone and snapped a photo of the photos. Cropped them and then printed them in the size I wanted, instead of the original size they were. Easy peasy.Since my Papa was serving overseas the Map paper from Echo Park was perfect and I wanted to include a unique border between the photos and the bottom portion of the layout.Instead of going to the Silhouette Store and searching by borders I looked for a vine or leaf. That is one thing I love about cut files you can make them any size you need them to be. At first I wasn't sure about this vine but in the end adding the blue underneath to give it color made it work. Oh, how I love my Silhouette Cameo!This was the last school function I chaperoned with Shelby. A couple of days after graduation, three corporate buses full of Seniors and two chaperons for each bus headed for Disneyland and California Adventure. We had a great time and more than a few stories to tell about the trip once we were home.It took me an entire weekend to recover from those bus rides but the memories and time together with her and her friends was more than worth it!With our girls getting older, traveling and doing more of their own thing during the Summer Jon and I feel our life changing and starting to move in a little different direction. We are able to enjoy more of those date nights we used to experience before the hustle and bustle of young children. This layout was all about the ever changing seasons of our life and how I'm so grateful for our wonderful girls and special time alone with Jon.Hope your week is going great!xoxo[...]

Let's be real.

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:44:00 +0000

I'm a horrible blogger and if anyone is still here, your the da' best!Life has been more than a little crazy (we survived Graduation and Shelby turning 18) and when it gets like that for me, this little place always ends up being on the bottom of the list and neglected. Even though this place suffers, I'm still creating layouts, putting together kits for and making sure all of the product for the store is available as soon as possible. I will always be passionate about supplies, reading blogs, posting to Pinterest, all the little things I'm sure everyone else is doing too, in the little spare time they have. Life is sometimes more than a juggling act.Here are some layouts I created a little while ago using the Family Favorites Kit. You can find it here and sign up to be notified when it comes back into stock. Sorry, I'm just sharing these now and not when the kit is still available. I'll do better, with sharing a little sooner.In the off season of dove hunting Jon and I like to go to Usary Pass to do some clay shooting. When we are there I'm in a zone and never remember to take any kind of photos but this time I didn't forget and set a reminder on my phone. This was a snippet of our relationship I have been wanting to record for years now, but for some reason every time we are there I just forget until we are in the truck and the opportunity has come and gone.This Easter is a bittersweet one. I wanted my journaling to reflect my feelings of this Easter in particular and as I sat at the end of the table watching (a participating, a little bit) I found myself reflecting on past Easter festivities. The traditions that Shelby has known growing up and what pieces she would take with her as she starts her own journey as an adult.This layout turned out to be extremely dimensional. After cutting the kraft paper strips I stitched each one to the background paper and then bent each one up. I thought it would give a little more "western" or "rugged" feel.Thanks so much for stopping by and spending a little of your time!xoxo[...]


Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:44:00 +0000

less than a month from Graduation. I feel like reality is hitting me like a Mac truck. Going through all of her College acceptance letters, FASFA, tests, talking about where she wants to start her college career, her dreams, her being excited, yet not really ready to leave her childhood behind. Me, well I have been thinking how she has the whole world in the palm of her hands, a clean slate to become anything she wants to be. Excited as well for her but scared as a mom. She has college acceptance letters from Oregon to California to Colorado and more. The good thing is all her the colleges are in state universities or the others are all on the west coast.Then comes the thought of missing her, her voice, her smile, her room that looks like a tornado went through it and all of the little things in between. I tell you when Summer is over our house will be completely different without her presence. I know there are also positives that will help me through not seeing her everyday, but in the end she is my baby and I will still miss her. So, in that vain I came across a quote that I love. A quote that is valid for every member of our family. "Your voice is my favorite sound"I recently gave the chalkboard niche a makeover I think it turned out ok. Still love the old book page wreath and being able to display the minibooks I have created over the years.I always love putting the kits together. It's one of the highlights of my job and April's kit - April Showers is jammed packed with goodness. You can check it out here. There is also a challenge gallery, where you can upload your layouts/projects, then you are entered to win one of two 30 dollar prize packs. Here is what I put together using the kit and my trusty Silhouette Cameo.This was a recent date night for Jon and I at an old flour mill in downtown Tempe. The old building and silos were an amazing place to see our friends band play.Shelby being asked to her Senior Prom with a message in a bottle from her great guy! I love that he thought about her love of the ocean and beach and tied that into his plan. He really is such a good guy.Another Heidi Swapp shadowbox frame. For this one I wrote the months of all of our birthdays and then put a black and white photo on top with some monochromatic embellishments. I didn't want to take the focus away from the family photo.[...]

the learning curve....

Fri, 04 Apr 2014 01:26:00 +0000

realizing that something will always be apart of your very being, something your passionate about, interested in and think about all the time....but you don't know where to start to begin to pursue it. Your scared and want to leap but don't know how to. That's kind of where I'm at right now. Things are changing, changing quick! Life is screaming by, there are dreams, but fulfilling them means reaching out for help in the unknown. So, I'm struggling to figure it out.
The learning curve recently was figuring how to make cut files of my handwriting for the Silhouette Cameo. This was my first attempt and let me tell you....I'm hooked.

This is the first layout using a cut file I created as well as designing with the Teresa Collins Hello My Name is collection for a newsletter.

Here are some of the other cut files I created and looking forward to using in upcoming projects.

Been busy creating all of the months in the year and every day in the week and started to create a list of other phrases, song lyrics etc. It's just as addicting as Pinterest and that's saying alot seriously. Next up will be the make over of our family chalkboard wall with a favorite quote: "Your voice is my favorite sound".

Thanks for stopping by love!

life, love

Thu, 06 Feb 2014 11:44:00 +0000

and everything in between. Since the last post I returned from a very productive CHA, put the Kit together, had our Anniversary weekend and then everything in between when you have two daughters, especially when one is a teenager and headed to college shortly.Ahhh, here we are already in February, the month of love. My DIY craft list keeps getting longer and time seems to disappear. I did, however, make time to work with the Kit, Heart of Gold and you can take a look at it here. Jammed pack full of beautiful papers and amazing embellishments from Teresa Collins to My Mind's Eye and Prima.This first layout had a lot of journaling and photos that I wanted to include and I didn't want the layout to be overwhelming, so my approach was mini album (minibook) meets layout.For the closure I stamped a mini clothespin with one of the Prima stamps that is included in the kit. The title was created with my beloved Silhouette Cameo. I really do love, love, love the cameo and I know that I'm just scratching the surface of what it can do.I took a 12x12 piece of cardstock, cut the equal strips, scored the strips (to make the pages), then adhered each strip together and bent at the score line. Voila! a little minibook ready to be filled!I used the red cardstock that is in the kit and cut out little words, banners and titles to embellish the pages. Usually, to attach delicate titles and embellishments I use the Martha Stewart Glue Pen (I have three of them and I can't live without them). The words were so small and delicate that I decided to use the Tim Holtz tiny attacher (stapler) and it worked like a charm.This was the perfect solution for adding bigger photos, a lot of journaling without a page that is super overwhelming and without having to create a double page spread.This next layout was all about Ellie's love of horses, all animals in general really and how that love began. Her horseback riding and how she is excited to not only ride English but also Western. That's our girl!I cut the big horse with the Cameo and I had the leftover negatives of the banners I used in the first layout, so I decided to re-purpose it instead of putting it in my scrap pile. I used Ali Edwards new Technique Tuesday stamp set and I also used it in the minibook on the first layout, I just don't have a shot of it in use. The "enjoy life" die cut was small, so I used the Tim Holtz tiny attacher once again.The last layout, documents a special anniversary gift from our parents. Jon and I were able to mark this off of our bucket list. A rememberable experience that we had on the same day and time we were married 12 years ago.The arizona sunset from a hot air balloon was breathtaking. The title was cut using the Cameo and I was happy with my first attempt at welding the letters together. Getting ten photos on a layout along with journaling the whole story was also a plus. I have found that my journaling has once again become a staple to each layout I put together, whether it's hidden, front and center or part of the design. I say long live journaling and telling your story! Your family will thank you.Wishing you a fabulous rest of your week. Thanks for stopping by!xoxod.[...]

Fresh New Year

Sun, 12 Jan 2014 13:44:00 +0000

We are already moving into the second week of the new year and I'm feeling accomplished with the three layouts I have managed to get done right before leaving for CHA, using the January Kit Club.
After I packed away all of the Christmas decorations, lights and everything in between I got a little gloomy but this kit includes the bright, fresh new colors that I look for every new year.

It has a little hint of Winter but when using it I thought about babies and how my girls are no longer that, but this would also be perfect for those baby memories. Makes me want to run over to a couple of my best girlfriends houses and steal their babies. Give'em a kiss on the cheek!

Zipper flowers, Heidi Swapp glitter words, wood veneer phrase from Fancy Pants, let's be real you had me at Heidi Swapp!
There is also a confession I have. For anyone who has been reading here for awhile (probably not that many, lol) or listened to Noell and I on Paperclipping live, I have never owned a die cutting machine. Swore those suckers off awhile ago, right before Christmas I could no longer fend off the burning desire to own a Silhouette Cameo. I was just making sure that everyone really loved theirs before I invested in one (at least that's what I kept telling myself in order not to purchase it)!

As I was using it on the layouts below, I was kicking myself for waiting so long but thankful I was loving it and finding that I couldn't live without it now. It's one of those thoughts you have, once you have a die cutting machine like this you can't go back!

Thanks for stopping by!