Monday, January 31, 2011

Sketch Class time at Inspired to Scrap

This Tuesday we kick off another stellar sketch class at Inspired to Scrap. If you need a kick start on your scrapping, this will do it! We have more than 15 sketches, a TON of samples and tips, and some great prizes to motivate you! I even contributed 2 sketches. Plus- I have gotten plenty of pages finished in preparing for the class. We even have digital files for all of you DIGI SCRAPPERS!

I hope you will join us…you won’t be sorry!! We’ve got a great group of ladies signed up already and I can hardly wait to see what they all do with the class sketches and ideas!

Back by popular demand is our sketch class!
Features of the class-
Brand new *exclusive* sketches!
Access to a private area of the message board
Daily sketches
Digital sketch templates
Photo and/or Video tutorials on a variety of techniques
All new sketches and layouts to spark your creativity
Encouragement and support to complete 15+ layouts
Inspiration from fellow classmates
**Plus an extra two weeks to complete the challenges to be entered into a prize drawing!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Super Girl

1.28 - Hen Party Friday at Scrap Chicks- Holiday Have To

If you're anything like me- the Holidays are the toughest pages to scrap. Ok- maybe not the toughest, but the ones I tend to put off.

This weeks Hen Party Challenge is to create a layout/project revolving around a Holiday. Easy peasy! Any holiday. Birthday, Christmas, St. Patty's Day, Earth Day or in my case, Halloween.

Here is my sample layout. My dear friend Brett gave me a gift certificate to for a belated birthday present. I bought some new papers that I used here.

TITLE: SuperGirl
Journaling: You were all set to go as Superman until Dad mentioned Super Girl- you were sold. We made a trip (several) to get fabri so I could sew your costume. From the gold belt to the cape- it turned out so cute & you looked great in it. Your favorite parts were the boot covers and cape. A true super heo on the the lok out for Halloween tricks and treats. 10/10.

Product: Bella Blvd alpha & paper, Doodlebug Designs alpha, October Afternoon paper, Echo Park paper.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

One.Little.Word 2011

Each year in the scrap world Ali Edwards challenges us to pick ONE little word as a "focus" for the new year.

2008 Balance
2009 Relax

Last year my word was New. 2010 was a year of new beginnings and new adventures. On January 26th, 2010 I welcomed my third daughter Eleanor Margaret into the world and became a mother of 3. In September, I started a new job at the YWCA after a year of being unemployed. Nick accepted a new position as a professor at UW-Stevens Point in addition to running Big Fat Designs. The girls each had new changes- Scout started her new preschool/daycare at the YWCA and Ellie started going to Amy, our awesome inhome daycare, Bennet started 4K. So much NEW.

I love this idea because it makes me take a step back and evaluate me. At least once a year I slow down to ponder who I am and what I want to do to be a better, happier me.

My word for 2011 is TIME. I recently heard a speech given by a young woman who grew up without alot of the benefits that most people have. She said that she never felt that she went without because her mother gave her the best gift. A free gift. The gift of her time.

I've often said that no one has any more time than the next person. We are all given 24 hours in the day. No more- no less. What we choose to do with it is up to us.

This year I want to take the TIME to listen better.

Take TIME for just me. Without guilt.

Spend more undivided TIME with my girls and Nick.

Find TIME for moments of lifting laughter.

My friend Casie gave me this mug as a Christmas gift last year. Little did she know that it would become a staple for 2011 and beyond.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday to Eleanor Margaret

How is it possible that an entire year has already passed? Each year has the same number of days, but I feel like Ellie's first year went by even faster than usual. But like Nick said the other day- it feels like she's always been here. It seems like yesterday that I was questioning every ache and pain and hoping that today would be her arrival day.

Sweet Ellie- this is what I love about you.

I love how your eyes literally sparkle when you see your Dad or me pop our head in your room in the morning.

I love how you go to sleep without a peep.

I love when you make monkey noises to your stuffed monkey.

I love your brown hair and brown eyes. They are distinctively you.

I love your throaty giggle.

I love your go-with-the-flow personality. It makes the rest of your family run smoother.

I love that you're a good sleeper and eater.
I love how you do a little side-to-side shimmy when you're proud of yourself.

I love that you know when you're being sneaky/funny and your face shows it.

I love that you want to walk but are taking your time. That's fine with me!

The little things (so I don't forget):
6 teeth. 4 on the top. 2 on the bottom.
Wearing 24 m/2T clothes.
Loves bathtime.
Adores the cats.
Eating what we eat and drinking what we drink.
Uses a sippy cup.
Goes to bed at 7 p.m. and wakes at 6:30 a.m.
Still takes 2 naps a day.
Wants to hold utensils and do it herself.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELEANOR!! We love you and are so happy that you are ours.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cold Temps Means Hot Weather Layouts

Last weekend I snuck some scrapping time in and participated in the Scrapbook Nook's online crop. Here are a couple layouts I did about our annual 4th of July weekend with my family in MN.

TITLE: My Favorite Day
Product: Scenic Route paper, Echo Park paper, Hambly, Cosmo Cricket alpha, October Afternoon alpha, Making Memories alpha

TITLE: Party of 5
I just took a sampling of photos from the weekend and did a simple grid design. I love blocking and grids! Added some machine stitching too .
Product: Echo Park pp, Scenic Route pp, American Crafts alpha, Heidi Grace rub ons, Creative Imaginations embellie

Friday, January 21, 2011

Smile Laugh Sister

I am inspired by quotes on a daily basis. Some make me smile, others make me laugh and some make me cry.

This week's Hen Party Friday challenge at Scrap Chicks is to create a layout/card/project that uses a QUOTE as the title or in the journaling.

TITLE: I smile because we're sisters. I laugh because there's nothing you can do about it.
Photos of one of my sisters, Katie and me through the years. From high school to college to present.
Making Memories alpha, Doodlebug Designs alpha, Cosmo Cricket paper, Creative Imaginations embellishment, Scenic Route journaling spot

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Right Now

Today I Am: looking forward to a Scout-centered evening since Bennet is going to a sleepover. She has a busier social calendar than her parents.

Listening: to Kaleidoscope Heart by Sara Bareilles

Reading: The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards.

Wishing for:  a long weekend at the cabin. Always.

Thinking About: where I was a year ago since Ellie's 1st birthday is next week.

Planning To: make homemade pizzas and watch a movie with Scout tonight.

Dreaming Of: finding a way to make our mornings less hectic. Not sure it can be acheived but I'm going to try.

Enjoying: watching tv with Nick at night when the girls go to bed. Even if it's a 1/2 hour.

Vowing to: get Ellie's 1 year portraits scheduled. Can't let the 3rd kid fall through the cracks.
Working on: getting my house back in order and clean!

Excited About: Seeing friends this weekend at the Boys and Girls Club fundraiser, Wine, Cheese and All That Jazz.

And a photo of Scoutie. She LOVES skirts and dresses. She got this one for Christmas from G&G Sweeney and is easily her current fave because "Mom- it has polka spots, glitta, buddafly and wibbon. And pink- see!"

Monday, January 17, 2011

Men Who Cook 2011

Last Saturday was a crazy day for the Sweeney's. It was the YWCA Wausau's 9th Annual Men Who Cook fundraiser. It was my first year working/organizing the event and it was Nick's first year as a chef.  We had 23 tables of 8 with 39 men chefs. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. A big thank you to Mark & Sara Sweeney who took all 3 girls for the day/night. THANK YOU!!

Friday night Nick prepared his signature dessert. Cheesecake duo (one chocolate crust, one NillaWafer crust) with 2 types of chocolate accents, berries and homemade whipped cream. This photo won't turn no matter what I do. Oh well.

The Grand Ballroom at the Jefferson Street Inn.

Their menu, American Bistro, was as follows:

 Asparagus Rolls with Prosciutto and Basil Ricotta Cheese Toasted Pistachio-Cheese Arancini Squash Soup with Cheese Baguette and Cheddar Pepper Palmiers Pear and Candied Apricot Mixed Green Salad Beef tenderloin with green peppercorn sauce, Lemon angel hair pasta, Seasoned peppers Cheesecake duo with triple berry sauce and chocolate accents

Nick and me at the end of the night. I still have shin splints from being on my feet all day/night. Next year I'm bringing multiple pairs of shoes.
The finished dessert.
Nick, Matt and Matt being hard asses :) Both Matt's are roommates from college. He cooked with Matt Barnes and Matt Woodward was their waiter extraordinaire! They had a lot of fun.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Inspired to Scrap Crop RECIPE Challenge- This Look

Here is one of the challenges I'm hosting at the Inspired to Scrap Whimsical Winter Crop. You have until Tuesday to finish challenges so get over there!

I love the end result of a good recipe. This time of year I always crave a warm, hearty soup to fight off the winter cold. My challenge to you is to create this soup recipe in the form of a layout/card/project. I can't wait to see how everyone's soup turns out.

Whimsical Winter Soup
Start with a cardstock base.
Mix in 4 different patterned papers.
Stir in a 2 word title.
Next add the seasonings- a pinch (4) of embellishments. (I used brads)
Enhance the flavor with a techinique such as misting, stitching, paper piecing, doodling or stamping.
Let it simmer.
Polish it off with some handwritten journaling.
As with any good creation you can add additional personal touches.

Finish by uploading to the gallery and linking back to the thread so we all can enjoy!

Here is my sample layout

Bubble Love

1.14- Hen Party Friday- Tools of the Trade
Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE stitching, buttons and my circle punches. This layout has 3 of my favorite things.
I LOVE using my circle punches. For this weeks challenge create a layout/card/project using your punches. It can be circles, squares, die cut shapes, whatever you have in your scrappy toolbox. You bought the tools- now use them!

TITLE: Bubble LoveJournaling: You have always liked bathtime, but up until now you had a solo soak. Now that you join in with your two big sister you TOTALLY love it. Smiling, laughing & giggling. Smacking your hands in the water for a splash. You never seem to want to get out. 11/10
Product: Bazzill Kraft, American Crafts paper, My Mind's Eye paper, Imaginisce paper, Cosmo Cricket alpha, Bella Blvd. alpha, My Mind's Eye rub on alpha

Monday, January 10, 2011

Weekend Crops

I have a big work fundraiser this weekend, YWCA Wausau's 9th Annual Men Who Cook so I won't be able to play, but. . .  both Scrap Chicks and Inspired to Scrap are having crops with weekend.

Friday, January 14, starting at 6pm CST. It will be very informal - a *hen housewarming* if you will. We just want a night to scrap and chat and welcome everyone to Scrap Chicks! We will kick off our first Scrap Chicks class that evening as well. Hope to see you there

Here is a sample crop prize!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Check out Scrap Chicks

December 31st meant the end to a scappy place that I had called home for several years. Monica, the owner of ScrapFreak decided meet 2011 with a change of focus. While sad, I understand the continual struggle to find balance in life.
Luckily, a fellow freak, Shannon Bogan, has taken on a new adventure with Scrap Chicks. She asked me if I'd like to serve on her design team as she gets things off and running. I was happy to help out. Scrap Chicks has a forum, gallery, and (coming soon) monthly kit club.

Each Friday we have what we call Hen Party Friday. Each of the challenges are designed to help you develop your scrapping skills as well as having fun! At the end of the month, if you've completed all four challenges, you'll get a Golden Egg to add to your signature. And at the end of the year, if you have completed all the challenges for 2011, you'll get an even cooler Golden Egg to add to your signature plus you'll be entered into a drawing for prize from Scrap Chicks!

Today is our first challenge. Before we get started with 2011 let's take a look back on 2010. This week's Hen Party Friday Challenge is to create a layout/card/project that reflects on 2010. It could be the birth of a child, favorite movie, significant purchase. . . anything that will stick out in your head from 2010 when you look back in 10 years.
I did an 8 1.2 x 11 double page layout about my return to books in 2010. I created the collage in Picasa.

Journaling: In 2010 I renewed my love of books and reading. I started getting books from my local library and keeping track on I've always loved a good book, but this year I made the time to read. Something for me. I read 42 books this past year. Not all of them were great, but all of them made me think about something new. My favorites were the Millenium trilogy, Sarah's Key and The Hunger Games trilogy.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Inspired to Scrap- Jan/Feb Kit "Happy Together"

I am starting out 2011 with a new Design Team gig at Inspired to Scrap. I've known the owner, Stacey, since my first DT experience at Feeling Scrappy 3 years ago. She has opened her own store that offers kits, classes and an active forum. I encourage you to come check it out! The next class will be a sketch class- you won't want to miss it!

Here is the January/February Kit called Happy Together.
Design Notes: I used the red Jenni Bowlin paint dabber to paint a nekeed 5 for the title. I didn't want to waste the entire piece of striped paper so I cut strips and adhered it to my gray cardstock.

 TITLE: Stuck Like Glue
Journaling: I have so much fun with you. It seems like no matter if I don't want to laugh you find a way to make me smile. I know that we are lucky to not only love each other but also love each others company. There is no one else I'd rather be with. It's you and me till the end. 12/10

TITLE: Lesson #10
Journaling: At Matt & Megan's wedding Grandpa thought it was time to give you some advice on boys. Listen up Ms. B.

Design Notes: I used elements from the current kit as well as items from the December/November Glittered Wonderland kit. I usually have a hard time doing vintage/subdued colored layouts but I like how this came together.
TITLE: Happy
Journaling: You always start out cautious but after a couple splashs you are HAPPY as can be. Soaking wet, free as can be, carefree and happy
Design Notes: I used the red Jenni Bowlin paint dabber to paint some patterned chipboard I had in my stash. It's a great little tool. I may have to pick some more colors.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Top 10 (ok -12) layouts of 2010

Happy New Year!!

Many scrapbook bloggers pick their top 10 layouts of the past year. I decided to pick 12- one for each month of the year. I don't set firm scrap goals for myself beyond making sure that I create time in my schedule to create. That being said I was able to create 140 layouts this year. Not too shabby. 

In no particular order here are my favorite layouts of 2010.