Best. Mascara. Ever

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Just a few travel pics

So the first week of school is more than halfway done and I feel like we have all been running in a marathon (not that I would have any idea how that really feels!).  I know we will all settle into a routine soon, but it hasn't happened yet.  Fortunately or unfortunately, I'm not sure which, all of the clutter, crafting and home improvement projects I want to do will still be waiting for me when I am ready to tackle them.  I have to just take a deep breath and accept that I can't do it all.  Sigh.  I'd like to do it all.  It's just not going to happen!

So I haven't had much crafty time this week (read: none at all), but I am so ready to dive in and play with some new products I bought and some fun pictures I printed.  

Although I haven't printed these yet, here are some travel pictures from our recent trip to Menton, France - a beautiful city with dozens of beaches and plenty of sunshine.

I just might have to make a mini trip album from our visit to Istanbul and Menton.  I love looking at the pictures and remembering our trip.  At the very least, I am going to write down my thoughts and memories, so I can incorporate them into a layout - even if it is a while from now!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

You know you are a scrapbooker when...

It's kind of obvious that you are "crafty" when you have ink stained fingers (no, it's not nail polish - it's Tim Holtz Distress ink!), mist and paint stains on your white pants and glitter on your nose!  Sometimes I just stare at the blank page in front of me, somewhat paralyzed to begin.  "What if's" swirl through my head… what if I mess up, what if it doesn't look good, what if these colors are ugly together.  And of course, the answer is, so what!  It is just paper and maybe some time if it doesn't work.  Often, my best designs come from covering up a mistake.  Many times my project goes from bad to worse but if I keep working on it, suddenly it comes through looking great and like I meant it.  Ha,ha.  I have thrown out a few experiments gone awry and the world kept spinning and no one was the wiser.  It's still fun to make a mess.

This layout was inspired by one of May Flaum's classes - I think it was the stencil class on backgrounds.  I have been obsessed with the Tim Holtz stencils (not surprising!) and have been collecting them from my local store, The Stamp Asylum.  I was mainly trying them out as techniques on cards, until I took this class at and saw the possibilities for using stencils on scrapbook layouts as well.  I've definitely been experimenting and mixing up my scrapbook layouts - and enjoying every minute.

I love May's classes because they are "process videos" where she shows you how she designs, not just a great finished product at the end.  I love that she will commit to products (i.e., glue them down) and then a few minutes later (before that glue dries) she is pulling them up and moving them or adjusting them.  If she makes a mistake, she goes with it or covers it up, and the end results are terrific.  It's real.  I think sometimes people stop creating because they feel like everything has to be perfect and designed.  I'm letting it go and just enjoying what I create.  Enjoy the process… (I figure Enjoy the Journey is over used).


Monday, August 25, 2014

Home Again

I love to travel, but hate traveling.  Getting places is difficult sometimes and exhausting too.  There is nothing quite like your own bed after being away for a bit!  I love seeing all of the new places, eating different foods, talking to people, learning about the history and culture of different places - I just hate taking cars, taxis, buses, planes and whatever else is required to get there!

I promised some photos from our quick trip to Istanbul.  It was definitely too short a time - and we will have to plan another, longer visit.  Istanbul was much bigger than I realized and much more a melting pot of cultures and history than we could absorb in such a short time.  

I loved being in the Grand Bazaar as well.  I thought it was going to be an outdoor market place but instead it is a large building with over 61 "streets" and over 3,000 shops.  We had an hour (I so could have supported the Turkish economy had I had more time to shop!) to explore and even though I was paying careful attention to where we were going, we still got a bit lost.  We "had" to listen to a rug pitch in exchange for directions out!  I did manage to resist the rug, which if you know me, was pretty difficult.  It was a deal and a beautiful rug…sigh.

Here are a few pics from inside the Bazaar.

I'm looking forward to crafting inspiration from all of the beautiful and intricate designs and wonderful colors.  Once I have unpacked, done some laundry and gotten the kids established in school, it will be time to get out my crafting goodies and get to work!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sunshine and Roses

We are traveling in Menton, France (near Monoco) to drop our son off at college this week.  (I know, not a bad place to be going to school).  The town is right on the beach and is beautiful.  It is an incredible opportunity for our son to be heading here to school for the next two years through Columbia University.  He will finish in New York for his last two years.  It is all so charming and rich in color and texture, I am itching to create layouts about this experience.  It is so inspiring to be here.

I brought (lugged) my Nikon D3100 here and am so glad I made the effort.  The iphone takes great pictures, but not as good as the Nikon.  I can take a much wider range of pictures with a better success rate with the Nikon than with my phone.  There are two classes that I think I will try and take at this fall.  One is all about using the SLR out of automatic mode because it is a waste to have all of that power and not fully use it.  The other class is about getting more out of your iphone photos.  They both sound like interesting classes to take.

I did not bring anything other than my ipad (with my husband's ZAGG keyboard - this thing rocks!) which poses a wee problem with posting my pictures.  I have no way to transfer the pictures from my camera to my ipad - at least not with me this time and apparently, I don't have all of the correct apps and whatnot to get my pictures from my photostream.  I did mention I was technologically challenged in one of my posts, right?  More lessons to learn... just not today!  I'm going to sit back and enjoy my caffe au lait and watch the world go by.  I might just get a crepe or a croissant to nibble as well.

More posts when I return home.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

So different and yet the same

An amazing, but brief visit to see friends in Istanbul. So very different with sights, sounds and smells. But amazingly, so many things are the same. Nice people, rich history, an interesting culture.

I'm typing from my iPad so this will be very short!

Having trouble getting pictures to post... More to follow when I get home.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Maybe not everyday

I would love to say I am going to post to my blog everyday, but I am guessing it's just not realistic.  You may not want to even want to read a post everyday!  I think a lot of people who blog (would that be a blogger?) have moved away from blogging and started posting on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest (and probably some I haven't even heard of).  Of course, I am a day late and a dollar short coming into the blogging sphere, but I am choosing this format because #1) I have a lot to say (apparently) and #2) I am hoping to start a dialog with new, online buddies.  However, to post a comment, you have to open my blog feed on the browser (listen to me, don't I sound like an expert?) and not just have it downloaded to your email.  The blog looks prettier from the webpage, so I hope you check it out every now and again.

My tech guy (read: my son's friend Eddie) not only got my blog up and running and looking pretty, he also TAUGHT me how to add, widgets, favorite sites, and pages (I have added a layout page and a cards page and will add a random photo page next... I haven't uploaded all of the content to these pages yet, but I am working on it).

I am traveling next week (taking my son to college... in France) and we are making a trip of it.  I will try and post some pictures from there.

For today, just a random photo I snapped this morning... just trying to get all of the laundry (and there is a rather large quantity of it) while my furry friends felt the need to keep me company.  I could barely fit in the laundry room with all of them for company (and the fourth one is around the corner).  Four dogs.  Seriously.  Who does that?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

It's embarrassing but...

It's embarrassing for me to admit it, but I'm crafty.  But there. I've said it.  When I tell people I like to scrapbook, the usual response is, "How do you find time for THAT?!?  I just could never find the time to do that."  And by their tone, you pretty much know they mean it is a big waste of time.  So I don't often tell people.  Haha, except now I have a blog.  So the secret is out.  I guess my feeling is that we make time for the things we like doing.  It's just that there is so much out there that is worthy and we can't do it all.  If I could take "just 30 minutes a day" for all I wanted to do, I'd be gone before my list was over.  Think of all of the things you and/or your friends are interested in: healthy eating, exercise, reading, spirituality, meditation, yoga, travel, photography, cooking (oh thank heavens that is my husbands area of interest!), marathons (or even Ironman's!), music, technology etc etc etc. and I'm not even scratching the surface - it all takes TIME.  But if you love it, it doesn't feel like a waste of time.  So I admit it.  I like crafting.  I have to confess that I wailed and cried a little each time one of my scrapping buddies found something else to do with their time.  I tried to hold on.  I didn't want to let go. It's just that it is more fun with friends.  So I am looking for new, online, crafty friends I can talk "shop" with.

I especially like looking at my pictures and remembering the stories that go along with them.  It is amazing how fast the story behind the pictures disappear.  I like taking the incredible volume of pictures we have from our life (you know, the picture of your dinner at a restaurant, the shoes you want to buy for your kids but need to text a picture to get their approval, the picture of our flag on a beautiful sunny day) and connect the stories to the pictures.  I am taking a class (I know, I know, I've been taking a lot of classes) from called Inspired Scrapbooking with Stacy Julian.  Learning to provide context for a small sampling of those millions of photos we all have is what I enjoy.  The books are for me, but I hope my family will enjoy them for a long time...even if they have to scan those 50lb books someday!

Here is a peek at another one of my layouts.  I have several layouts related to this trip we took to Italy and some have lots of journaling and some (like this one) has very little.  All together, it makes a nice memory of our trip.

I hope you can make time to do something you enjoy today.  (And if you are my hubby, I hope that something is a tasty dish for dinner!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Old into New?

It's all Tim Holtz's fault really.  It started about a year ago (or maybe two) when I bought some "Distress Ink" and had no idea what it was or how to use it. So I looked Distress Ink/ Tim Holtz up on the internet.  And my computer blew up with the amount of information, demos, pictures, classes etc out there on Tim Holtz and all of his products.  The very first online classes I took were the Chemistry 101 and 102 classes of Tim Holtz (  I became a groupie.  I loved all of his product demo's at CHA (Craft and Hobby Association Tradeshow) that he did with Noell Hyman (and her husband Izzy as the cameraman).  Watching all of those demos on Youtube led me to the Paperclipping website and more classes and podcasts all about scrapbooking.  So you see, it is all his fault that I have become scrapbook obsessed!  More on Tim Holtz another time.

Recently I bought some supplies (very necessary ones, of course) at my favorite local store, Stamp Asylum.  I caught the buzz about stencils and modeling paste and I wanted to play with these craft items.  They are great for making backgrounds on cards and scrapbook layouts.  You can color the paste, emboss it or stamp it.  Definitely messy and fun.  I turned some really old papers (those ones from the late 90's) into new background papers.  I'm not sure how I will use them yet, but they are more appealing to me now.  I may make a card or tear them up or use them as a background.

Here are the pages I created when playing with stencils, modeling paste and spray mists. (I didn't take a before and after pic, so you will just have to imagine).  Who knows, maybe I will actually use them on a layout now and publish the results.

The last images are old papers that were sprayed, stamped, cut and pasted and are the beginnings of some cards to come.

Hope you have time for a little messy, crafty fun!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Pretties

So I admit it - I have a little bit of a scrapbooking supply addiction.  It's just so pretty.  And I don't ALWAYS have to have the latest and greatest.  I am just as excited about my "bargin basement" finds at Marshalls, Tuesday Morning, warehouse sales, clearance sections and so forth as I am about my new kits arriving or new purchases made at and  I have learned not to buy the "knock-off" brands when discount shopping because they just aren't as good.  And when I said I had scrapbook supplies from 10 years ago, I was lying... because actually, I have stuff from the late 90's and that is even too long for my brain to compute in this industry!

But did I mention that it is just so pretty?  I took pictures of the "kits" I have just pulled together from my stash. Did I mention I have a lot of stuff.  I mean a lot.  But I still like it.  Sometimes though, it just doesn't get used as much because I use the new kit that arrived in the mail and sort of forget about all of the stuff on the shelves.  So I loved the idea of re-kitting my old stash - it was an idea from and also from Camp Scrap with May Flaum ( and it revitalizes some of those "older" products.

I do have some papers in my stash that I look at and say, "What was I thinking?" - I believe some came from "box sales" - you pay a small amount for a manufactures overstocks and you get what you get and you don't throw a fit!  But even these papers can be used in new ways.  I'll show you some of those ideas next time.

Here are some pics of "new" stuff mixed with some old.  Now it is ready to go and will be easy to use.  How fun is that?

Don't those happy colors just make you smile?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Talk, Talk, Talk...

I don't know what it is about girlfriends, but they are the BEST!  I love getting together and just talking. I think that is why I finally wanted to start a blog.  I need more people to talk to about scrapbooking, paper crafting, paints, inks, stencils, die cuts, wood veneer... ok, you get the idea!

I've been hesitant to participate in forums or share my pages on scrapbooking websites because I didn't know how to upload my pictures, I didn't have a blog, I am not a designer, I am just a mom who loves playing with all of the stuff!  And I have stuff.  Lots of it.  I can't seem to "purge" and clean out anything either because I still like it.  Even the goodies from 10 years ago.  I'm not kidding, I still have paper and ribbon from the early days.  My kids say I am a scrapbook doomsday hoarder.  And sometimes as scrapbooking companies closed and magazines stopped publishing I felt fairly justified in maintaining my stash!

At Noell Hyman's site (where I became a member) I have learned lots of new tricks and techniques for using my stash.  I have learned some design principals that help me create better pages.  One of the videos I loved was about making kits from old product, mixing it together in a new way and getting re-energized to use those kits.  I'll take pictures and share my "new kits" tomorrow.

Of course, I also subscribe to a monthly kit club at The Scrap Room ( where I get the newest goodies all put together.  I have been using up those kits because it is so easy to pull together a layout with all of the products they have put together.

I'm having fun with this hobby and am looking forward to sharing the love!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I am a dinosaur

I know in the scrapbooking world I am considered a dinosaur.  I still scrapbook chronologically, I use 4x6 photos (often cropped down, but always printed in 4x6), double-page spreads, and multiple photos.  I don't do "pocket" pages or Project Life.  Although I may be event heavy still, I have branched out to include everyday moments and more story inspired layouts.  I think my head would explode if I didn't have this structure to fall back on.  Single photo, beautiful works of art are fun to make, but don't really help me capture my stories - I do make them sometimes as the title page in my album or in conjunction with a second page with multiple photos.

I have a friend (you know who you are ;) and I hope you don't mind me sharing) that feels so overwhelmed by "being behind" by years and thousands of photos.  My feeling on that is two fold.  I look at it like I have a lifetime of fun cropping ahead of me.  I will never run out of inspiration for what to scrapbook.  And, I will enjoy reliving all of those memories all these years later.  Remember when you could choose the cute clothes your kids wore??  The distance also helps weed out what is really important.

But, on the flip side, if it is so overwhelming that you can't start, maybe it's time to change the approach.  Stacy Julian at Big Picture Classes ( has a great system along the lines of creating an album by category: People we Know, Things we Do, Places we Go… and she creates stories that go in those categories.  She connects her stories- maybe using a photo from ten years ago with one from today showing change or growth.  She has lots of great "classes" at Big Picture Classes.  I've taken several now.  Love to pull from these ideas.

I'm attaching a layout I made about Christmas morning from several years ago… I just made this layout in 2014.  What fun to think about Christmas in August.  And if I want, I can make a layout (maybe a single page to go at the end of my album) that looks at Christmas morning for the last five years… hmm, that sounds like fun.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy

It is hard to believe that summer has rocketed by and the kids will be heading back to school shortly!  It's been a bit chaotic with my oldest starting college, my middle heading to senior high and my youngest starting high school.  We have drivers ed, cheer camp, back to school shopping and all of the rest.  I manage to fit a bit of creative play into the mix, but in short bursts.  Ten minutes to pick the pictures, another 10 to pick the colors I want to use (I am usually picking a kit from The Scrap-room.  I love their kits), and so on until I complete my page.

Here is a layout I did using this short burst method.  I was actually using up one of the kits and pulled some other items from my..umm…. rather large stash of supplies.  It felt good to finish up all of the pieces of the kit:

Thursday, August 7, 2014

It's harder than it looks

Getting started with a blog is harder than it looks.  I thought it would be so easy to create a cute header, upload photos of my layouts and write a quick post everyday.  Well, the technology aspect of trying to create the blog (even within blogger) was a bit too technical for me... so I hired my son, who then recommended one of his friends to help.  I feel a little better that it is taking the kids longer to figure it all out than they expected.

I went and took pictures of all of the layouts I have completed (but not yet put in an album) and even that took longer than anticipated and then I have discovered that it looks better if I take the time to crop the photos in iphoto before uploading them.  A definite learning curve.

And I don't really want to start promoting my blog until it is ready.  So I am practicing with a few blogs, but nothing very consistent.  If you've found me, I hope you will stick with me for a bit until I work out all of the kinks!

In the mean time, here are some layouts I created after "attending" the May Flaum Camp Scrap on-line classes.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Energized by classes

I've just discovered there is a whole world of online scrapbooking.  There are classes, videos, and even podcasts - who knew?  I've wanted to have a blog since 2008.  Yup.  I made one post and felt intimidated and it's taken this long to try again.  I'm not sure how to post pictures, participate in forums and interact with people online without feeling a bit like a creeper.  But, I am making progress.  I found the Paperclipping site and their podcast the Paperclipping Roundtable from YouTube videos on new products and since then, I have taken classes at Big Picture Classes, May Flaum Camp Scrap and some others.  I am having a blast.  I'm learning new techniques, playing with my embellisments (and acutally using them on layouts!) and cranking out layouts and cards.  I'm having a harder time taking pictures and uploading them.. but baby steps.

Here are a few layouts I've been working on.