April 26, 2010

The CROPETITION Begins with BINGO!!!

Come on over to Creative Cookbooking to enjoy a week of fun activities in our first ever CROP! The first challenge is up and is by yours truly. All you need to do is choose a row or a column from the above bingo card, create a cooking related layout using each item in that row or column and enter it in our CROPETITION!

Here is my BINGO example, I used row 2 (buttons, grilling, brads, black) AND column H (yellow, pop it up, grilling, red) but you only need to choose one!

This week has so much fun in store: games, tutorials, challenges and, of course, lots of PRIZES!!! Hope to see you there soon!

April 15, 2010

Creative Cookbooking Cropetition!!!

The Creative Cookbooking team would like to invite you to join us for a week long crop starting April 26th and going through May 3rd, 2010. There will be fabulous challenges, tutorials, games and lots of PRIZES! Here is a sneak peek of some of the goodies up for grabs! :-D

If you are competing for the Iron Chef guest designer position, then there are a few more things you should know!

This challenge will be posted Friday evening, May 1st and is due Sunday, May 3rd, 11:59 p.m. MST If you've ever watched the show on Food Network, you know there is always a "secret ingredient" that is used in each dish. Each competitor will choose one layout from a current Chef to lift. The secret ingredient must be used in some way, shape or form on your entry layout. Judging will be based on originality, presentation, and creativity. The judging panel will consist of all forum members. A poll will be posted on Monday, May 4th and a winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 6th.

The winner, based on voting results, will be the Iron Chef Guest Designer during the month of June!

April 13, 2010

Tuesday's Tips & Techniques: Working with sketches

 Sketches are so much fun to use in creating layouts. I have had lots of questions about just how closely I feel I need to follow a sketch. My answer is this: I use a sketch for inspiration, a starting place. I look at a sketch and at my photos and papers and bring them all together in whichever way I like. Sometimes that ends up being a very close follow to the sketch like this:

 This is a layout that I did as a guest designer this month over at Creative Scrappers. Here I did follow the sketch super closely but I didn't use all photos as sketch designer Lindsey Krauss perhaps intended. When I first looked at the sketch I must admit, I panicked a bit. It just didn't move me...at first. So I set it aside for a few days and then suddenly, inspiration struck and now I have one of my favorite layouts ever!

On the other end of the sketchy spectrum...I sometimes don't follow a sketch too closely at all but simply use a bit of it in my own way.
Here is Cheri's sketch this week over at Let's Scrap:
 And here is my take on only the first page...
I love the four big strips of paper on the sketch but I really wanted to use this single photo of baby bear and grandpa. Using full size strips as they are on the sketch wouldn't have worked for this single 4x6 so I cut four small strips, inked the edges and sewed them onto the page. I kept the title on the 3rd paper strip and hand stitched the bee's trail. {That stitching took FOREVER but I did it while sitting on the screened-in porch chatting with Jason. I admit, I really prefer the speed of machine stitching...}
So, this layout is still inspired by the sketch but definitely with my own twist.

And then there really are times that I get a double page spread completed. Not often anymore but it does happen!
Here is another of Cheri's sketches:

And here is how I interpreted the sketch:
This one is about as close to the sketch as possible!!!
A couple weeks ago we had a challenge over at Creative Cookbooking to scrap what was in our pantry. I took that opportunity to clean up my pantry a bit. Some of my fellow design team members took the opportunity to "show it like it really is." Well, Jason and I are pretty fussy about how our pantry looks so I really didn't do all that much. It usually looks pretty neat since the pantry door is left open most of the time and you can see right in it from the living room.

My favorite all time sketch is one done by Julie Bonner. I don't have a copy of her sketch {help Julie!} but here is one of my takes on it;) I've used it several times...
 This particular layout holds a very special place in my heart...it was the first one of mine that Scrapstreet Magazine published.

While I often put my own unique twist on sketches, one thing that is always a MUST for me is to credit the sketch artist.

Happy Scrapping!

April 9, 2010


 {WARNING: picture heavy post}

It is spring break for the kids this week and we have been very busy with day trips to lots of fun places. Our favorite so far seems to be the butterfly garden in Chattanooga. I practiced my photography skills and was quite pleased with my results. The garden was just fantastic! The kids were sooooooo thrilled to be landed on or to hold a butterfly gently on their fingers:
 Okay...this one. Not sure if you can tell by the photo and baby bear's grin but he was LESS than enthused about a critter landing on his head. Daddy had to talk him through his fear...
I just LOVE to look at all the cocoons they have on display at the garden. If you watch long enough you can always catch a "live birth." So amazingly cool.
We also hit the aquarium. The kids love the peek-a-boo chamber. Well, maybe that is not quite right, some of the kids love it. Personally, I am so not interested in being surrounded by giant SPIDER crabs. YUCK!
This is more my style. The shark and ray touch pool. As I was going through all the photos from the pool I just had to giggle when I noticed that my kids were ALWAYS holding out 2 fingers with which to touch the animals. The docent gave instructions to "only touch the animals with two fingers." My kids are well-known for following the rules;). ESPECIALLY this guy:

We also made a stop at the Children's Museum. The kids created their own pose for this photo and I didn't even panic about baby bear standing on the wall! Maybe there is hope for me yet!
 My climber.
Baby bear was pretty good at this!
Ah, the T-Rex. We have about a thousand shots of our kids "getting eaten" by this very dinosaur. Apparently baby bear knows the drill because we found out he is not really that scared:
Daddy climbed up high for this shot. Such a trooper!
The kids had lots of fun playing in the waterworks! I need one of these in the backyard!!!
And finally, the famous Choo-Choo.

Off on another adventure today, have a wonderful weekend!

April 4, 2010

Easter Egg HUNT!

It rained all morning. Thunder crashed and lightning flashed. It appeared as though it was going to be a rain-out for the annual neighborhood Easter egg hunt. We have lived here for 13 years now and never, not once, in all those years have we missed the hunt. Then, 30 minutes before hunt time, the rain stopped and the hunt went on. Wet, soggy, cold but no one seemed to care a bit.
Baby bear couldn't take his little eyes off the Easter Bunny
This was the first year that biggest brother couldn't hunt for eggs himself. He took on the role of helper in stride.
No caption needed on this one!
It was a bit difficult to pick up the eggs with mittens on...
Yes, I know this shot is blurry. That is just how fast she was going...
He looked all the way out into the forest
Jason chatted with a couple of his fellow dancer dads
The loot!
Not sure if you can tell from her face but she was thrilled to FINALLY get her face painted;)
Happy Easter!

April 1, 2010

Scrap-a-Little BLOG HOP

Welcome to Scrap-a-Little's First Blog Hop! Each designer has chosen a song and based a layout off of their chosen song.

April's challenge is to pick one of our 6 songs and base your layout on that. You will need to link your layout to Mr.Linky on the bottom of Helen's post.
This all has to be done before April 30.

As you know, Easter is in April, so in honor of Easter, my song is Here Comes Peter Cottontail!

Here comes Peter Cottontail
Hoppin' down the bunny trail,
Hippity hoppity,
Easter's on its way

Bringin' ev'ry girl and boy
A basketful of Easter joy
Things to make your Easter
Bright and gay

He's got jelly beans for Tommy
Colored eggs for sister Sue
There's an orchid for your mommy
And an Easter bonnet too. Oh!

Here comes Peter Cottontail
Hoppin' down the bunny trail
Hippity hoppity
Happy Easter Day

Here comes Peter Cottontail
Hoppin' down the bunny trail
Look at him hop and listen to him say,

"Try to do the things you should"
Maybe if you're extra good
He'll roll lots of Easter eggs your way

You'll wake up on Easter morning
And you'll know that he was there
When you find those choc'late bunnies
That he's hiding ev'rywhere,

Here' comes Peter Cottontail
Hoppin' down the bunny trail
Hippity hoppity
Happy Easter Day.

And THIS is my Easter basket!
I used lots of Crate Paper for this project. I started with their big yellow die cut paper and used my Creative Memories circle cutter to cut out a half circle to form the handle of the basket. I repeated that process to cut out the woven paper base of the basket.
The fan fold flowers are some of my favorites. They are quick and simple to make but have tons of impact on a page. I learned how to make them from one of Helen's fabulous tutorials.
The grass is a  12 inch paper strip that I ran through my paper crimper and then snipped into blades. After I adhered it to the page I used my fingers to scrunch it down a bit. Super easy!
This is a fairly "thick" layout but I love all the dimension.

If you decide to become a follower on my blog, leave me a comment and I will put your name into the hat for a little prize at the end of the month! Now, hop on over to Kayla's fabulous blog and see which song she chose for your next stop on the hop! Thanks so much for coming by!

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