Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

As we head into the new year I want to say happy 2013 to all my friends and family! Wishing you the best as you enter this new year. Thank you for joining me on my blogging journey. I can't wait for what's to come.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

12 For 2012

I have seen several posts of bloggy friends sharing their favorite projects from 2012. That prompted me to take a look back at all that I had scrapped in 2012  and I was surprised by the fact that I had finished 88 layouts as well as many cards and gifts. Yeah me! :) This year I am hoping for even more and am excited to expand my crafty horizon through new design team opportunities. But today is about looking back so here goes.

My top 12: (in no particular order)

1. Love this girl! A majority of my pages were made for my sweet niece Mikayla. She graduated high school this year and I made a book for her.

2. I think it's the colors of this layout that draw me to it. I don't get to do to many girly colors!

3. Need I say more?? Love how this one turned out!

4.This is just one of the pages in the guest album I made for my niece, Ashleigh's wedding this summer. I loved how it turned out.

5. I like the mosaic look on this, but mostly I just  like that it shows my favorite place.

6. With senior pics like this to steal the spotlight, how can any layout go wrong? Love the Echo Park line used here. It was a fave this year.

7. My first layout of my sweet pup. Had to add this one in there!

8. Love the simplicity of this against the kraft background.

 9. I think this is a fave because I added so many photos yet kept it not too busy. I had too many big photos and couldn't choose which ones to leave out. Love that I got them all on.

10. My experiment with layering and adding more and more :) This was off a sketch from Citrus Twist and I loved it with the Pink Paislee Portfolio.

 11. This one is framed and hangs in our bedroom. It was for a scraplift challenge and it is one of my most favorite of all times. I love this man!

12. Welcoming our new "nephew" Lee into the family. Great guy!

There you have it. I'm sure if I went back and did this whole post over I would probably have 12 different layouts because it was so hard to pick. I feel like I'm leaving some of my babies out. lol!
Can't wait to share more with you in the new year! If you have a favorite layout or project I would love to have you link it up in the comments below. I want to see what you are working on. Maybe I will take a day and showcase my reader's faves to start the new year. What do you think??

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

12 Days of Christmas

For  Christmas this year I decided to do the 12 days of Christmas for David. Each day I left him a little gift that coincided with the day it was. I had so much fun with it. Some of the gifts I gave were bigger, some just a small token. Some of the days were simple to figure out, others took a little more work and scouring of stores and my brain to come up with the certain number of things for that day.  I will share a list of all the things I did at the end of this post, but today I want to share my gift for the last day, 12 reasons I love you. This was probably the best day just because it had meaning behind it and he really enjoyed reading through my reasons. I used my Cricut and my new Teresa Collins Christmas cartridge to design the outside of the card.

I made tags for each separate reason and placed them inside the card. I then tied the card with twine and placed the set in his stocking for Christmas morning. Here is a look at the whole set. I used some Simple Stories Documented for the tag backgrounds and embellished with some green washi tape I had, some twine, buttons and some Jillibean Soup letters. 

I had so much fun making this as it's the first think I have crafted in a very long time! It was a bit of a struggle though because I just can't twist and use my right arm the way it wants to to put all those small embellishments on with this cast in the way.  Can't wait to get this off and get to crafting again. This totally created the itch again!

Here is a list of the things I did for each day:
Day 1: 1 package of Starbucks Christmas blend, his new fave.
Day 2: A pair of movie tickets...(wonder who he'll take on a date!)
Day 3: A 3 pack of the gum he likes to chew
Day 4: 4 pieces of a candy he likes from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
Day 5: 5x5  Garden dollars... this one is a little bit of a stretch. I couldn't think of 5 golden things so I  
            gave him an Olive Garden certificate for $25. He's been wanting to go because he loves their               
            salad and breadsticks.
Day 6: A six pack of Coke
Day 7: A set of 7 ratchet wrenches from Home Depot
Day 8: An 8 pack of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Day 9: 9 Hugs and Kisses ( I hid 9 Hershey's hugs and kisses under his pillow
Day 10: 10 Cow dollars from his favorite Chick! ($10 to Chick Fil A)
Day 11: 11 ounces of his favorite Toffee candy. (this one was a hard one!! It is hard to find 11 of 

Had so much fun hiding the little gifts each day and fun watching him go through the day finding them. Did any of you do the twelve days or anything else really fun for someone else?? I would love to hear.
Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Off the Page

Good morning!
Today I'm going to take you off the page and show you some wooden 7 Gypsy trays that I altered as Christmas gifts last year. They were so fun to make and I actually planned to make a few more this year for some other family members. These were made with photos we had taken with David's family as an anniversary gift for his parents.

I liked theirs so much I ended up making one for myself. This one sits in a little stand on our fireplace mantle.

3 more days?? Who's ready? I still have a laundry list of things to accomplish. I'm going to go tackle some baking right now.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

15 Years

My oldest son turned 15 today. That fact simply blows me away! It doesn't feel possible to have that many years already in the books as his mom.  I can remember the anticipation of his arrival, the very first moment he looked up at me as they laid him on my tummy, the feel of his soft skin and his finger wrapped around mine. Now I have to look up to see his face, and when I gave him a hug this morning he actually lifted me off my feet.  He is no longer my little boy... he's a young man who is maturing and growing daily before my eyes.  I am amazed and excited to see the person that he is becoming.  He is a great kid and it's been fun to watch him as he has entered  high school this year and has begun to make his way into a whole new world. I know these next few years will go by fast, so tonight I will just hold him close as I hug him before bed and relish the time with my boy.

Love you, Nathan!

I'll be back later this week with some more Christmas fun.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday Spirit

Hi. I'm back after a little break for the craziness of life. There has been a lot happening around our house as I'm sure it is the same for many of you during the holiday season. I am trying to wrap my head around the short amount of time that is left to get everything done before the big day gets here. My mother in law is coming to town tomorrow and we are going to have a shopping day so hopefully that will take a big chunk off my list of things left to do. I am usually more on top of things but I seriously haven't even started most of my shopping.

I went back to the orthopedist last week hoping that they would tell me everything was great and I could get out of my cast. That was not the case. Instead they told me that the x ray showed a break in the radius that they had missed the first time and it was not healing the way they wanted it to. I am now in my cast for another 4 weeks and then we will see what happens. I am getting used to doing things with it for the most part, but it gets in the way and makes most things harder. I haven't been crafting much for that reason, but I thought I would get into the spirit of the season and start showing you some of the layouts I've made for Christmas' past.

Today I want to share a page I made for my in laws last Christmas. Every year I make pages to put into their album. I absolutely love the design of this page and loved how many pictures were able to fit. This was a lift of a layout in the Creating Keepsakes December 2011 Issue.

What do you think?

I'll be back with more Christmas inspiration soon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Typical Chris

Good morning! It's been a little slow here on the blog side of things. Slow on my scrappy time too. I am anxiously awaiting the removal of this cast so I can get back to the fun stuff. I wanted to share a layout I made with the October Citrus Twist kit just before I broke my arm. I loved the Pink Paislee Portfolio collection and there was plenty of it in the kit. I especially love the Ephemera pack with all the arrows, banners, speech bubbles and fun sayings. I decided to use the sketch of the week from Citrus Twist because I loved the layering that it used. I have had this picture of Chris and it has always been a favorite of mine because it shows Chris in the perfect way. He always has been a little more on the messy, who cares if I match side of things, but that smile...Oh that smile!... it's always there. 

Have a great day!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving and hope that you are finding many blessings to be thankful for today. I know my life is full of so many things to be grateful for that it overwhelms me when I stop to think of them. I have been given more than I deserve in so many ways. Even in the things that have been hard or continue to be trials, I have been blessed to know that I do not walk any of these roads alone. 

And just because I know my family will appreciate this:

Have a super day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Amazing News

Good morning. Doing a quick check in before I have to take Chris to his first physical therapy visit. We are hoping to avoid surgery and heal his knee this way.

I have some fun news today. I have been chosen to be a part of the design team for Practical Scrappers. I am so super excited and will start my term in January, just in time to have this silly cast off. Yeah! Practical Scrappers is an awesome inspiration blog that I've been following for awhile. I have had several of my layouts featured on their Fan days and was excited to be asked to submit my name for the team. I will be on the Ten Things team which gives ideas for using different tools, materials or techniques each week. They also give lots of ideas for current trends, altered projects and so much more. I'd love for you to stop by and get to know us and I will be posting my projects here soon.

Have a great day!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Birthday!

This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but remember that saying from the last post about life happening?? hmmm...
My son is in a theater production at his school. This week was performance week and though it was a smaller part, he did a fabulous job. This boy may have a future in acting which really doesn't surprise me. :) Yesterday was their final performance and cast party. Just before the show he and another kid were "entertaining" their fellow cast mates with a tango and somehow Chris ended up down with his knee caught up behind him. I was just on my way to the school when they called and said I may want to come take him to the ER because it wasn't looking so good! He refused to go until he finished the play so he performed his role in a wheelchair. Dedication..that's good right? Needless to say we spent the rest of the evening in the ER with a boy who was upset about missing his cast party. The initial read of the MRI shows no tear in the acl or mcl which is good news. They are going to have an ortho specialist look at the MRI today to make sure nothing else is there we should be concerned about. So my poor boy is spending his thirteenth birthday today sitting with his leg elevated and a lot of pain! We are having family over this afternoon for cake, ice cream and presents so maybe that will bring some cheer. So happy birthday, Chris! You've stepped into your teen years and I am proud of the amazing young man you are becoming. You are our humorous entertainer who brings light and laughter to our family. I know God placed you in our family for that very purpose because you remind your sometimes uptight, perfectionist parents that life can and should be fun. I love you and am excited to see the paths God will lead you down. Keep your heart open to Jesus and your zest for life and excitement close. But please, please keep the broken bones and injuries to a minimum in this newest phase of life!

And for the post that was supposed to go up yesterday... Happy 50th birthday to an incredible sister in law who is also a much needed and appreciated friend to me. I love you! Hopefully I'll see you today before you see this, but if not, that is what you get for going to Bermuda :)

 Have a super Sunday! Off to bake a birthday cake.

Update: Just got a call from the specialist. Poor kid tore his Meniscus and is looking at surgery. What a happy birthday.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Life Happens

Good morning. It's election day. How many of you have been able to vote already? I am thankful for early voting after seeing some of the lines today!

This will be a short post as I am pecking each word out and it is taking awhile. I learned this week (again!) that life doesn't care what you have planned, it has a way of planning itself. I had a little accident this past weekend while working at my parent's house and ended up hurting my arm.  They are saying it is broken and will be doing an MRI at the ortho Dr. this week because the x rays didn't give the best picture. For now I am in a bulky, hard half cast that is making life difficult since it is my right arm. I now realize just how much I use my right hand for everything!  Of course it is the week of my son's theater production and several responsibilities there I had signed up for, as well as his 13th birthday and the week I am responsible for making breakfast for his whole RAM class on Friday morning. Plan B... homemade out, store bought in.

Thought I would share this link today. Two of my recent Halloween layouts were fan features on the Practical Scrappers website this last week. Love for you to check it out.

I will check in as I can. I have a few projects done that I will be sharing soon.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Winning is So Fun!

Good Friday morning! So glad the weekend is here. We have our last football game of the season today. I am planning on spending much of the weekend at my parents doing things they need done around the house. My boys will also be spending time there raking up the leaves from the two huge Oak trees in their yard. I had that job many, many times growing up in that house and from experience, they will be two tired boys when the job is done :)

So winning... we all love it, right? Well, I have that winner from my guest design post and that person is...
Comment #5- Jen Friel.  Yeah, Jen! There are some goodies on your way to scrap some of those Halloween pictures I know you got the other night.

And speaking of winning, look what showed up in my mailbox!

Now that is some scrappy goodness. This is the ENTIRE City Sidewalks line from Pink Paislee. I am loving the addition of the pale blue to the traditional colors. And it has such an old time Christmas feel. Can you believe this entire line was the prize for joining in and winning one of the World Cardmaking Day challenges on the Pink Paislee blog?  This is the mini card set that I made that led to these goodies.  I used papers and embellishments from their super cute Prairie Hill collection that I had on hand.

Cute cards to have on hand for a little pick me up for someone. My card supply has become dangerously low, so World Card Making day seemed like a fun time to add to my collection and play along with all the fun that was going on besides.  I also made a card for their Masculine category.  I find it much harder to make cards that work for men.

That's it for today. Just wanted to share the fun with you. How many of you participate in blog challenges or have ever won some sweet goodies, scrappy or otherwise?


Monday, October 29, 2012

Busy, Busy! (and giveaway reminder)

What a busy week and even busier weekend. Did anyone think to warn me what life with teenagers is like? I feel like my biggest job title is chauffeur as I drive my little sweeties and many times their friends to and fro, never really leaving the 5 mile radius of my home yet spending hours of my day behind the wheel. How does that happen?

The other consuming piece of life?? Football. I love it, but I am glad that we are finally at playoff week and it is winding down. Chris' fall play is in full swing as well and this is their final week of practices before they have their shows. He will be spending a lot of time at the school for that.

I have to share a couple of photos I was able to capture at some recent games. I love watching Nathan out there doing his thing. He is really developing into a great player, but as quarterback I see a lot of leadership skills developing as well.  It is so fun to see.

Can't wait to get some pics of Chris on stage. I love seeing my boys shine at what they do!

I would love to have you check out the giveaway on this post here. It will close soon and I have some great things in the goody bag including an American Craft 6x6 pad. Comments are few so your chances are great!! :)

Hope to get some scrapping in this week.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Guest Design- Express the Moment Part 2 and Giveaway!!!

Hello and welcome back to Part 2 of my guest design projects with Express the Moment. I promised you some cards and another cute project and I am here to deliver! Unfortunately, I was not able to get to any more projects as my night was overrun with it's usual busyness that teenagers tend to create.

Let's get started. I made two cards. The first is for a friend who's birthday is right at Halloween. I usually don't try to send her cards that embrace the traditional colors and theme, but with the kit this year I decided to embrace the season. I'm thinking about going back and adding a bit of sparkle to the web tag...

The next card came together after I created the tag using my Cricut for one of the layouts I showed yesterday. It ended up not fitting and who wants to waste such a cute haunted house??  I couldn't get the black to show up so well in the photos no matter what I tried. It looks much sharper in real life. I am seriously in need of some photo and editing classes with this new camera!

The last project I have to share are some treat toppers I created for something special for my kids. We have a bit of a tradition with Pez dispensers and I couldn't resist some cute Halloween ones. I know they are getting older and celebrate less when it comes to this time of the year, but I am POSITIVE they will be okay with this. I'm going to make them ooh and ahh over the cute tops before I let them get to their treat!

I am so thankful for the opportunity to create with Express the Moment. Please make sure you take time to visit their website and stop by their Facebook page and say hi as well.  And because you made it through both days with me, I would like to treat you to a giveaway. I have some fun Halloween scrapping goodies for some lucky person!  Just become a follower of my blog and leave a comment telling me what your favorite project was that I showed you from the kit. (and if you don't have a favorite, just I will pick a winner at the beginning of next week.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guest Design- Express the Moment

I am so excited! I have the privilege of guest designing for Express the Moment, a scrapbook company that also produces monthly kits for their clients to purchase. Kim, the owner, sent me October's  kit of the month to play with and I have had tons of fun. I will be taking today and tomorrow to show you some of the fun projects I was able to create with her kit.  So far I have completed 6 different projects and still have enough paper and embellishments to keep going.  The kit was full of double sided pattern paper from Authentique, We R Memory Keepers and Pink Paislee. There was a good assortment of embellishments including ribbons and twine, tags, embossed stickers, buttons, and sticker letters from Echo Park. It was mainly a Halloween kit though with creativity the papers could be used for other things as well.

Today I am going to concentrate on the layouts I created. I had some pictures from a couple of Octobers ago, while we were still living in Ashburn. I have been waiting to scrap these pictures because I was able to get some fun ones and I knew right away the papers in this kit would be perfect since they weren't cutesy Halloween papers but could give a little more of a spooky look.

This first layout was pictures of the kids as they set out for trick or treating. We had such a great "hood" in Ashburn. The neighbors were awesome and there always seemed to be some kind of block party going on. I used twine from the kit to create a spider web design. I was really struggling with the left side of this layout for awhile.

The next layout is of our good friends Kirsten and Mike. You couldn't get a better picture representing these two. Mike is such a goof ball and he loves to taunt Kirsten. I had to get these pictures scrapped.  I have to say I love the little spider by Kirsten's head, but I know she will hate it even though it's not real. I used a stamp from a Pink Paislee set included in the kit.

The last layout I made uses a picture of my youngest son, Chris from that night. I wanted to use the kit to do something besides traditional Halloween.  My best friend and scrapping buddy got me going with an idea from one of the stickers in the kit and I decided to create a layout that journaled how I was feeling with my youngest turning 11 and hitting the tween years. I used a sketch from the Authentique blog to go along with their October sketch challenge. I turned the sketch because I wanted the picture to be on the left side of the layout. I loved the Enchanted line that was included in the kit from Authentique and used several of their papers including the Bewitched, Glowing and Spellbound papers.  I represented the tween years with the circle over the numbers 11 and 12 on some washi tape I already had.

Be sure to check back tomorrow. I have some cards and another cute project to share.  There may be a little giveaway involved too...hmmm. And who knows?? If I get some more time in between schlepping kids to and from their various activities I may try to sneak in some more with the leftovers I have. But for now I must run...mommy duty awaits.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

What a Week!

Goodness I have neglected this blog! My week was a whirlwind of activity. I spent last weekend in Estes Park surprising my sister in law with a 50th birthday girls get away. It was so much fun and very relaxing. We spent much of it staying warm by the fire while watching movies and eating tons of candy (no judging!) from our amazing candy island everyone contributed to.  

Surprise! It took a bit for it to register that her hubby had deceived her and we were her dinner dates.

The mountains were gorgeous and the elk were plentiful. We had one elk just steps from our car and saw herds of elk on the golf course in town as well as by the river. It was a girls weekend that was much needed and a time away from all the crazy October madness that seems to come every year. What is it about October??

On Sunday I headed home just in time for my best friend and her amazing family to show up for a visit from Nebraska. The whole family has been missing our Kuszaks terribly since we've moved. It was good to reconnect. Our kids have been together since they were tiny and they are the best of friends. Their time here was short, but we were able to get a short trip to the mountains in and saw some beautiful views.

After cleaning and remaking the guest beds, our friend Rick flew in from Florida. David and Rick were old roommates while we were dating and it was super fun having him around. He is a favorite of Nathan and Chris' because he's an absolute nut. Now he is gone and I am resetting and preparing for next week. Fall break is over, the kids are back in school... life resumes. I have several scrappy projects done and prepared for the blog this next week. Working on some more for a guest design spot with Express the Moment, a great scrapbooking company that also puts together and sells monthly kits. So excited to show you what I did with their October Kit.

Have a great Sunday night!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


One of my favorite things is a good sketch to get my mind started. I love to use sketches and have created a book of sketches I've found on different web sites, blogs etc. There are many times I can just start in on a layout and the design comes naturally for me. Then there are those times where I am stumped or just can't seem to figure out a set of pictures. That is when I will turn to a sketch. The best thing about a sketch is that it is just a starting point. It is a place to jump off and start my creativity flowing. Sometimes my layout will turn out looking exactly like the sketch, sometimes you won't even know I started with the sketch in front of me.

My layout today was created with a sketch from the blog Sketches in Thyme. They are actually hosting a design team call and with my love of sketches I figured why not give it a shot? Being a Sketch Maven would be so fun for me. I have only recently found this blog so I have only used a couple of their sketches so far, but what I love is that they provide a new sketch each week and they do both one and two page layouts.  Score! As a two page junkie, I love this option!

The sketch they provided for the design team call was this:

I decided to use a picture of Chris that is one of my all time favorites. He was known for his one eyed smile and every time he heard someone say smile or saw a camera, this is what we would get. I have had this My Mind's Eye collection on hand for awhile and knew this was the perfect paper and the perfect sketch for this picture.

I switched the strip going down the side to run along the bottom of my layout. i felt that this grounded my photo a little better. I added the banners on top to bring a finished feeling to the top of the page as well since the strip was no longer there.

I wanted to show a close up so that you can see the layers and the way that some of the layers have popped off the page. I will often use several layers of glue dots to get a little lift and make the page more than one dimensional. I also used foam dots to give even more lift to the title tag.

So how many of you like to use sketches as a starting point? Do you find yourself following the sketch exactly as it is or do you tend to go crazy with it and end up with a different look?

If you get a chance, hop on over to Sketches in Thyme and check out their new layout for this week. It looks fun and I'm excited to try it out. If you would like to try out for the design team, the call is open until October 20th. Here is the link to get the information from their blog.

Catch ya soon!