Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Mint Cafe

Anyone who reads this blog regularly or knows me well has heard me refer to The Mint Cafe. It is our favorite local diner and we frequent it often. Once a week for the last 5 years.

Here is a recent layout I did about The Mint. Scout is less than a week old in the photo. Now the staff know her by name.

JOURNALING: Good food and good friends. That is the Mint's motto and we couldn't agree more. It's our favorite local diner. With classic food and historic charm, it's our special place. At least once a week we are greeted by the staff with warm smiles and our regular order that they know by heart. Tuna melt add tomato and clubhouse substitute bacon for ham. Bennet and Scout are treated like celebrities with loads of attention. The Mint has that personal touch that is hard to find. That makes the good eats even better.

This year my sister Katie asked for my name in the gift exchange this year. I had no idea what she was planning. Her college roommate Renee grew up here in Wausau. Renee's good friend, Melissa Clay, is an Art teacher at a high school in town. Renee has a similar print at her house. Katie saw it there and wanted to have one made for me. She contacted Melissa and commissioned one just for me! I think she used charcoal but I'm not 100%.

To say I love it is an understatement. I held back tears as I opened it. I'm pretty sure Katie cried a little bit (Blame the hormones :)) The fact that Katie put so much thought, time and energy into something so special just made me feel so loved. I mean what a wonderful sister to go above and beyond and have something so personal made for me. I just feel so lucky.

It's absolutely perfect. It now has a permanent spot in our kitchen. Every time I walk past it I get another little wave of happiness.

After I opened it I showed Bennet and asked, "What is this?" Without missing a beat she said, "The Mint". She knows- without any prompting she knew exactly what it was. That also made me tear up a little bit.

I can't wait to tell the ladies at The Mint about my rock star, one-of-a-kind artwork. Thanks again Katie. I love it- and I love you!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's a Wonderful Life

I love the movie It's a Wonderful Life. I did a layout about it with the December Kraft Girls kit. Blog entry here.

My mom found this awesome wall sign at a local market. She got it for me over a year ago and for some reason thought I wouldn't be WOWED by it. Then she realized that our blog title in the header is It's a Wonderful Life and thought, wait, she really does like that movie. She gave it to me for my birthday in November and I totally cried when I opened it. Doesn't take much for the waterworks to start. Needless to say I was WOWED by it.

I have it hanging in my scrap studio/man cave in the basement. I ordered another one in red glitter to have up during the holidays.

I stole the wall display of layout idea from my friend Jess. I bought a simple curtain rod and stitched page protectors together. I can switch out layouts whenver I want. I apologize for the photo. My area is narrow so it's hard to get a good shot.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another Holiday Wreath

We had a very special and memorable Christmas this year. I'm in the process of organizing and backing up my photos and will get them uploaded to our Kodak gallery ( soon. But in the mean time- here is another wreath I made for my mom. She has yellow in her kitchen so it looks great!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

3 years ago today

Our sweet Bennet was born. I say it every year but WOW! She's 3.

  • She makes us laugh. The stuff she comes up with.
  • She tells us "Oh that makes me so happy" when I tell her that it's Saturday and we're all staying home together.
  • She makes us shake our head and stifle curse words too. Do NOT use marker on Dad's new TV.
  • She says her colors in English but says Red in Spanish. It's always Rojo.
  • She tells us "Couty did it" when she clearly didn't.
  • She likes to run, not walk.
  • She wants to read the "scary book" every single night.
  • She learned to go #1 & #2 on the potty. Can I get a Woop Woop!!
  • She adores her PawPaw's and Grandmas.
  • She shares her food with her sister and gives her hugs.
  • She giggles and says "car toots" when we go over rumble strips.

    Happy Birthday B! We love watching you grow into YOU!

Happy Birthday to my Grandpa Bud too! He's 93. Happy Birthday to my cousin Tiffany too! She's 22! (Yes- my Grandpa has a granddaughter and greatgranddaughter who share his birthday. Very cool!)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More Holiday Love

As my dear friend Carrie said, I've been a busy little bee this holiday season. But I can honestly say that I'm enjoying myself. I have always been a bit of a planner and when it comes to the holidays I take it up a notch. I try to keep my projects at a manageable level so I don't get crabby about them or disappointed if I don't finish. My word of the year was Balance and I'm proud to say I feel like I did a pretty good job sticking to that.
Here is another layout I made with the December Kraft Girls Kit. It just keeps going and going!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Memory Makers January Issue

I'm breaking a ton of copywrite laws but I am bursting to share.

10 days after Scrapbooks, Etc called for my 'Chatty Gene' layout I got an email from Memory Makers that they wanted this layout. It's in the January issue. I know it's a super simple layout. 2 colors of solid cardstock, some computer journaling, rub ons and one photo. A slightly trained monkey could have made it. I guess I'm the monkey :)

It just showcases Scout's beautiful blue eyes. I wish it transferred to print better but I get to see those baby blues everyday in person.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Wreath

Does the paper look familiar? It's from the same Making Memories paper pad.
I made this paper loop wreath for our neighbors, The Gasall's. I brought it over yesterday and got a hug- I think they liked it :) Our girls have so much fun playing with their 4 kids. Thanks for being such great neighbors and friends.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Daily December Album Days 5 - 11

More layouts from my Daily December Album. I have photos taken and thoughts written down for everyday. I'm not sure if I'll do more now or wait until after Christmas. We'll see how ambitious I get. :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Great Christmas Tree Adventure

I love the smell of a real Christmas tree. I love the traditional look of it. I'll take sap and pine needles anyday over a fake tree. Growing up we always had a real tree and it's something I want to continue for my family. That being said, it is alot of work and takes alot of patience! Especially this year.

On Sunday, Dec. 7th we trekked out to Newby's Farm to find our tree. It was cold! Here we are on the trailer as we head out into the woods.

Bennet had fun running through the snow. She kept saying, "Mama- wait for me!". It's hard to run in boots but trust me kid, your boots are nothing like the moon boots of my era.
Don't be fooled. I cut down the tree. Nick swoops in afterwards and gets the trunk all pretty and level. If he had his way we'd have a prelit tree. I'll admit there were times this year that I almost caved. Almost.
Poor little Scout had chapped lips and rosy cheeks. But like the trailer driver said, "Thanks for bringing your family and creating memories" Well said!
Look at that pout!That day all we're able to do is get the tree in the POS tree stand and tie it to the wall with wire. With 2 cats and 2 kids I just know it would crash otherwise.
The next day I decide to tackle the lights. I open my trusty, labeled rubbermaid tote to find all the lights beautifully wrapped and organized from the year before. Of course I test them before I start stringing them. Over half of the white lights are out. Lovely. They worked when I put them away last Jan. Very peculiar.
So I decide to go with all the blue lights. I'm a strand short. Curses.
The next day I buy another strand of blue and white. I get them home and they are icicle lights. Won't work. The next day after that I check Shopko for lights. None. Zero. Nada. No lights at Shopko. Um. . . . ok. I finally strike gold at Walgreens. 4 days after I started hanging the lights it's done. Not pretty, not even, not perfect, but done.

It isn't until last Friday that we hung our ornaments on the tree. Bennet wanted to hang all the fragile ornaments herself. "I use two hands Mom and walk really slow ok?" Scout went to the bedroom and pulled out a bin to stand on to reach higher. Ah- yes. Memories.
I tried to put the Santa Claus topper on and the tree started to tumble. So, no topper this year.
It isn't the world's prettiest tree. It isn't standing up straight. It isn't decorated on the bottom half. But it's our tree. To us it is beautiful. To us it is magical. To us it is ours.

Merry Christmas to all!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cosmo Cricket @ Scrap4Life

I had the opportunity to work with the Cosmo Cricket 'Oh Joy' line for my December Design Team projects at Scrap4Life. I am usually a bright color kind of girl but I loved the muted, classic colors here.

This photo is from this time last year. She has grown up so fast!

Journaling: Our Miss B- you were born 4 days before Christmas. As you get older it may be tough. But for us celebrating your birth makes the holiday season that much sweeter and that much merrier.
More wall hangings. I made these for my co-workers for Christmas.

The Outtakes
JOURNALING: Even with a tripod & fancy SLR camera with self timer on continuous shoot it is still impossible to get that elusive holiday shot. But I'll keep trying. 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

SummerTime MiniAlbum

Since it is 'booger freezing' cold here today I thought I'd post a SummerTime minialbum I recently made. I made it for Scrap4Life's anniversary celebration.

The album is Melissa Frances and the papers are all Rusty Pickle. The rest is from my stash.

I went in chronilogical order from May-August and picked photos that summed up the month. I printed a little summary for each month as my journaling.

It's a fun album that gives me a quick snapshot of the summer of 2008. Oh how I'm wishing for some sun and warmth right now!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ho Ho Claus

For weeks Bennet has been wanting to see Ho Ho Claus. Every night she wants to wear her Candy Cane pj's and makes sure Scout has her Ho Ho Claus pj's on (they have snowmen and reindeer too- but B's all about the Ho Ho Claus). Even Scout was getting in on the fun. When she wakes up every morning she likes to look at the Santa Claus window cling on her window.

But Bennet was truly excited. Each morning she tells me one of three things A. Go away Mama- I'm sleeping B. I want to stay in my pjs all day or C. We going to see Ho Ho Claus today?

Well, last night was the night. She was very excited to see Ho Ho Claus. But in classic 2 3/4 toddler fashion she changed her mind when we got there. She was a little afraid of him. I can't say I blame her. Santa can be a little intimidating in that big red suit and beard. Plus- he's so powerful sitting in his big chair.

So instead of a photo with Bennet and Scout we all joined in the fun. Of course by the time we left we was giving him high fives. Santa was taking a break and he told Bennet that he had to go check on his reindeer. The rest of the night she wanted to go help Ho Ho Claus find those reindeer :)

She turns 3 next Sunday and she is so much fun at this age around the holidays. She has that geniune excitement about all the sights and sounds of the season. And we can still threaten her with the Naughty list and she believes us. I'm going to miss this. . .

Here is last years photo

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holiday Fun List

I've seen this on a couple blogs and thought this would help me maintain my holiday spirit.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Paper

2. Real tree or Artificial? Real. Always. We trudged into the woods last weekend and cut it down. Even though it drives Nick bonkers.

3. When do you put up the tree? Always after Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take the tree down? Shortly after New Years.

5. Do you like eggnog? I can't honestly say I've ever really tried it. Which is odd because I've tried most things. The texture scares me a bit.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I clearly remember getting a new pair of ice skates and a really cool BOOM Box. I also love my Christmas ornaments. (I think Nick would say the same). My godmother Denise would get me one every year. When I was a kid I would get them and kind of think "Oh - an ornament" The kid in me wanting a toy. But now as an adult I love digging them out of the box and putting them on the tree. What a fabulous memory! We buy one each year for the kids too!

7. Hardest person to buy for? Nick's parents (Barb & Rog- send ideas!!)

8. Easiest person to buy for? Bennet and Scout. It's easy when they are little and tell you what they want.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. My grandma Leona handpainted a beautiful ceramic nativity for me. I won't put it out until after kids are older. I couldn't stand it if something broke.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. This happy scrapper uses Shutterfly though. I don't make time to handmake cards.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Money. When I was 14 or 15 I asked for money instead of gifts. It was the worst Christmas ever. Watching everyone else open gifts and I got an envelope. Bad idea!

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's a Wonderful Life

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? All year but usually in Sept/October.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No, but I've thought about it. I have one gift that we received 4 years ago that is still in the box. I'm a horrible person.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? My Grandma Trunnell's Cranberry Pudding. So good!

16. Lights on the tree? How can you not? I like green/red and Nick likes white. Although this year it's blue and white since those are the only lights that worked when I opened the box from storage.

17. Favorite Christmas song? A Christmas Song and All I Want for Christmas is You

18. Travel at Christmas or stay at home? We alternate every other year. One year we go to Minnesota to celebrate with my family. The next year we stay home and celebrate with the Sweeney's.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Comet, Vixen, Rudolph, Cupid, Prancer, and Donner...

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? We have a vintage looking Santa that my old boss gave me as s gift one year.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? It is Trunnell tradition to open them on Christmas Eve. When we are here we have a nice family meal on Christmas Eve with our immediate family and then we do presents Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? It goes too fast. Oh and all the commercials boasting "The Lowest Prices of the Season" I'd love to know how they define season.

23. What theme or color are you using? Theme? There is a theme?

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? My dad's Prime Rib. De-licious!

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? sweaters (it's cold at work!), a scrapbook weekend at Tall Oaks Retreat, a new coffee pot (not a maker- just the pot), lounge outfit.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Daily December Album

The hot trend in the scrapbooking world this winter is the Daily December Album inspired by Ali Edwards. I wanted to do one last year but time got away from me. I kept mine very simple.

The key to success is to get it prepped before December starts. I had my album pages and numbers ready to go by Halloween. Now all I have to do is take the photo and put the page together. I'm having alot of fun with it.
Here are days 1 through 4.
Making Memories patterned paper and chipboard
American Crafts mini-mark numbers
American Crafts ribbon
Heidi Grace rub ons

Monday, December 8, 2008

Kraft Girls Kits

My scrappy friend Pam took on the wonderful adventure of starting her own kit club - Kraft Girl Kits. She asked me to be a Guest Designer for December. I was very honored and excited.

Click here to check out the kit. It was so much fun to work with. A nice mix of muted and bright colors.

This photo is from 2006 when Bennet was just 1 year and 4 days old. How things have changed in 2 years. I handstitched the ornament strings and bows.


A photo of Scout from last Christmas. She's wearing a bib another scrappy friend Sara thoughtfully sent us as a baby gift. I did some stitching here as well and created a little frame. Nick said that I'm stitching on every layout these days and it's true.

Journaling: It's a Wonderful Life is one of my all time favorite movies. So much so that our blog shares its name. It reminds me that the way I treat others leaves a lasting impact. That it isn't the things, but family & friends that determine wealth. No matter how many times I see it I always end up with tears running down my face. As soon as George Bailey shouts 'My mouths bleeding, Bert! My mouth's bleeding' and digs in his pockets for ZuZu's petals I'm a goner. They continue to roll as George runs through Bedford Falls as a magical snow falls. When he runs in the house and grabs the loose banister knob, something that had been one of life's problems and kisses it, I'm reminded that all the day-to-day stresses and issues are not as bad as we make them out to be. I truly do have A Wonderful Life. Clarence the Angel was right- 'No man is a failure who has friends'

And last but not least. I took a KaiserCraft Victorian Tag Album and made a little wall hanging with one of the wooden pages.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I'm Officially Published!!

This is the original post I made in late June:

I had submitted this to a couple publications since I was pretty happy with the layout. Then I saw something very similar in the Aug issue of Creating Keepsakes. Bummer. I thought of it first darn it :) Well I'm sure the whole word bubble thing is not a brand new concept. Oh well- I'm still proud of it.

It's funny. I have this goal of having a layout published in print. Sometimes I'm not sure why I care. Why do I need that validation? Why do I need someone else to tell me I'm worthy? At the end of the day I honestly scrapbook because it makes me happy. It makes me happy putting the moments of our life to paper for us to enjoy today and my grandkids (*gasp*) to enjoy later. It just makes me happy!!

I will say that I love Nick to pieces. I do the posting on our blog but he gets updates. The other day he says, "I spent some time on our blog today and saw a bunch of your projects I hadn't seen. Some of them are just great. You're really taking it to a whole obba lebel (inside joke). I don't know why you haven't been published yet" Thank you Nick- just the ego boost I needed :)

Here is the layout. I created the word bubble and put Bennet's favorite words and translation on the inside. Printed it on transparency for a clear look. The transparency doesn't show up well here. Then I did a combination of handwritten journaling and stickers right on the photo.

Journaling: You have inherited Grandma Sweeney's chatty gene. Talking a mile a minutes about anything and everything.


Well- less than a week after this post I got a call from Katie at Scrapbooks Etc. wondering if it was available for publication. Hell yeah it's available. I was so excited. Like I said, at the end of the day I honestly scrapbook because it makes me happy. But of course I'm thrilled to see my work in print. It just makes me feel all goey inside.

My copy hasn't arrived yet but thanks to the fabulous ladies at Wisconsin Scrappers I found out it was out. I can't find it in Wausau yet but it's out there. Scrapbooks Etc. Jan 2009 issue.

By the way, I created this layout at Tall Oaks Retreat. It's a great place for jump starting your mojo!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Our Oscar Films of 1984 & 1985

Nick and I watch alot of movies. It's safe to say that I am a movie buff. I just soak up all the trivia and behind-the-scenes stories in addition to the actual movie. Over the course of the last year or so we caught ourselves "Didn't that come out in 1984? 1985?" while watching a favorite movie for the 100th time.

So I did a little research. Check out the CLASSIC movies that came out in 1984 and 1985. Now it's probably a generational thing but WOW- those are some awesome movies.




The Karate Kid

Romancing the Stone

The Natural


Beverly Hills Cop

Purple Rain

Sixteen Candles

The Terminator

This is Spinal Tap

Revenge of the Nerds




Back to the Future

Rocky IV

Breakfast Club

Weird Science

Better Off Dead

Pee Wee's Big Adventure

Teen Wolf

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

REMINDER: Sounds of the Season Cyber Crop

REMINDER: The Scrap4Life CyberCrop is this weekend. Fun starts late Thursday night and runs through the weekend!

As part of my role as a Design Team member at Scrap4Life I get the privilege of hosting a monthly CyberCrop. I will be the host for the month of December. On a side note I have to say how proud I am of the little ad I created (see below). I am not a digital scrapper but I know a little PhotoShop. I only had to ask Nick for help for one part. Yeah me!

Some of you may be unfamiliar with what a CyberCrop involves. The crop is run online at the Scrap4Life website. All you need to do is register (for free) and participate. The crop will have 10 main challenges and 3 BONUS challenges. Throughout the weekend there are prizes too. PRIZES people!

Plus- it is Scrap4Life's Anniversary is Dec. 4th so there will be a ton of challenges and prizes for that too!

I know there are many of my friends and scrappers out there that regularly view my blog. Don't you love tracking software? :) I'd love to see some familiar faces at the crop. I realize it is at the height of the holiday madness but give yourself the gift of 'YOU' time and join in the fun!

In addition to the FABULOUS prizes that Jodie will be providing I am adding a couple of prizes to the pot. I will be giving out 2 prizes packages as shown. I'll probably add a couple more goodies to it as well.

Prize Package One: For every challenge you are able to complete I will put your name in for a random drawing.

Prize Package Two: I'd love to see some NEW faces participate in the Cyber Crop. So the 2nd prize package will go to one of the NEWBIES!!!